Racing has always been a popular sport. The ancient Greeks ran in the Olympics while the Romans loved them some chariot races. The English raced ships and horses and they even have camel races in Australia, so it is only natural that we race automobiles as well.
There are two prominent racing organizations in the world and they are very different from each other. The first is the Formula 1 or F1 Indy cars. Their biggest event in the States is the Indianapolis 500, however they remain far more popular overseas. The big daddy in the United States is NASCAR, or the National Association of Stock Car Auto Races.
For reasons yet unknown, NASCAR is hugely popular in the United States. It has roughly 75 million fans and has 17 of the top 20 single day attended sporting events in the country. It has also turned into a 3 billion dollar industry that has created incredibly loyal fans.
Founded in 1948 by Bill France Sr. NASCAR is unique from other sports in that it is still owned and operated by the France family. In fact Bill’s grandson Brian is currently the company CEO. It also has a unique championship structure as well. Of course drivers win individual races, but they also are awarded points for every race they finish. Points are assigned based on what position they finish each race in. At the end of the season whoever has the most points wins the Sprint Cup championship.
There are several series of races that NASCAR runs and oversees but there are three bigger series that are the most popular.
The Nextel Sprint Cup Series is the largest, most popular and lucrative series of races. It the Super Bowl of races so to speak. It consists of 36 races over a grueling 10 month period. It also has the most famous racers such as Tony Stewart, Jimmie Johnson and now Danica Patrick. The Cup, as it is often called, was sponsored from 1972-2003 by R.J. Reynolds and known as the Winston Cup. Now that Sprint is the sponsor the cup is named after it.
Next is the Nationwide series that was founded in 1982 and originally sponsored by Budweiser and called the Busch Grand National Series until Nationwide took over in 2007. While it is not as prestigious as the Sprint Cup, many drivers would be more than happy to make their living driving for the Nationwide.
Thirdly there is the Camping World Truck Series. Founded in 1994 and originally sponsored by Craftsmen, this series is slowly gaining more and more popularity. While it is often the final series for many senior drivers the last few years has seen many drivers from the series go on to race in the Sprint Cup, often skipping the Nationwide.
Despite some of its reputation as being Southern and even redneck, NASCAR is becoming more and more popular every year. It is also becoming more and more profitable, something most other sports would love to do.
Aiden Jefferson lives, works, breathes and writes in sunny Southern California. He primarily writes about, history, education and real estate.He has an unrepentant love of pop culture and humor that he works in whenever he can. Enterprise Car Sales is a place you can find a lot of used car reviews.
People love him and hate him. But for the most part, this man known to many as F1Supremo is more loved than hated.
Last year, 81-year-old F1 Supremo Bernie Ecclestone gamely took the villain’s role when he insisted that organizers of the revived US race in Austin, Texas pay their dues first before they are included in the F1 calendar this season.
The standoff was not well received by the American public. The fiery Supremo was pictured as a heartless profiteer out to drive a hard bargain and strike a good deal at the expense of American motorsports fans during an ugly exchange, but in the end it was the diminutive former tire dealer who won the standoff.
Ecclestone was obviously still smarting from a contract dispute with the Indianapolis Motor Speedway that unceremoniously ended the last Formula One event in the United States in 2007. He did not want the Austin races to start, only to end with another contract disagreement.
Many people did not see it that way. Only Ecclestone did.
The Supremo is back in the news again – or was he ever out of it? – this time fighting for a budget cap for F1 teams in the light of the raging economic crisis in Europe.
“Let’s put it this way,” he said in an interview published in the official F1 website. “There are still too many people in Formula One running around with rose-tinted glasses.” The London-based racing mogul thinks it’s time to change them.
“These glasses make you blind to reality,” he reminds everyone. With Europe’s economy in a shambles, Ecclestone thinks team owners and managers should act accordingly.
His simple advice: “Change the color of your glasses and tighten your belts. Stop spending more than you need to.” He sees the signs from Hungary and Turkey, two former F1 hosts which could no longer sustain their hosting rights primarily because of the economic crisis plaguing Europe. Spain is similarly feeling the pinch and considered hosting only one event this year, instead of two.
Without the similes and metaphors, Ecclestone is actually asking team owners to spend less for their respective teams. This is good news for many small players in F1, but not for the major ones who think the “sky is the limit” when it comes to ensuring the victory of their teams.
Despite the initial negative feedback from the likes of Red Bull, McLaren, Mercedes and Ferrari over the suggestion, all team owners are curious to know what Ecclestone can see in F1′s tomorrow. After all, the Supremo had seen more F1 yesterdays than anyone else.
Mio dela Cruz is a full-time journalist, motorsport enthusiast and online F1 writer for usformula1.org, a US-based website company dedicated to the development and promotion of US Formula One racing in the United States and across the globe. For more of his Formula One articles, please visit http://www.usformula1.org/.