NASCAR sponsorship dollars are declining due to declining television ratings and race attendance, and as a result teams are opting for development drivers who command lower salaries over proven veterans. At the peak of NASCAR’s popularity, the top teams would spend $30 million to run a car; with the sport’s most popular drivers earning $10 million/year in salaries. Today’s teams run cars for half of what they did just 15 years ago, and those unable to put together lucrative sponsorship packages are passing on high-priced drivers. Matt Kenseth, a former Champion without a team for 2018, recently explained the environment saying, “I think it’s a very tough time for car owners to find the money that they need to field competitive race cars with competitive personnel.”
Howie Long-Short: NASCAR is in trouble and I don’t see a quick fix here. Any solution relies on increasing viewership, but CEO Brian France refuses to even acknowledge the decline; recently touting “22 or 23” events that experienced a YOY rise in attendance. You can compare the cable television figures for yourself, here. All but one Cup Series race had a YOY ratings decline. How to solve a problem the company refuses to acknowledge?
Fan Marino: Martin Truex Jr. won Sunday’s Championship race at Homestead-Miami Speedway, holding off Kyle Busch to win his first Monster Energy Championship. The race drew a 2.7 overnight rating, down 18% YOY (3.3) and a staggering 39% (4.4) lower than the 2015 finale.
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