An unpleasant anniversary

NASCAR officials privately met with the drivers Friday morning at Daytona International Speedway, a biannual meeting to discuss the state of the sport and ongoing initiatives.

Last July, this meeting did not go very well for me. I’d like to share that story with you now, since hopefully enough time has passed to discuss it publicly.

On the Friday of the summer Daytona weekend last year, a story of mine was published in USA Today with the headline “NASCAR Looks Beyond Declining Attendance, TV Ratings.” This story had been in the works for months, ever since editors watched the April race at Bristol and noticed the tens of thousands of empty grandstand seats.

The conclusion was to do a story explaining to readers what was happening in NASCAR, and I was given the assignment to write it. NASCAR knew the story was in the works — I interviewed chief operating officer Brent Dewar for it, along with 200 fans — but wasn’t happy it was coming out.

Obviously, people who follow NASCAR closely were already familiar with topics like ratings and attendance, but the general audience USA Today served may not have been as aware. And since Brian France is known to read USA Today, anything negative in the newspaper often comes under a microscope.

Knowing this, I walked into the track that day braced for some level of blowback. That’s the nature of writing for a national outlet like that.

But even though I knew some in NASCAR would be upset — just as they were over the Wall St. Journal story this February — I was totally unprepared for it landing on drivers’ radars as well.

However, NASCAR made sure it did. During the midseason update meeting, a high-ranking NASCAR executive held up a copy of the newspaper with my story and told all the drivers in attendance that this was the type of coverage that was killing the sport. You have to remember this was in the midst of a title sponsor search for NASCAR, so it was a particularly sensitive time for everyone.

Shortly thereafter, I was approached in the media center by David Higdon, who was leading the NASCAR communications department at the time. He gave me a heads up I’d probably be getting some hostility from the drivers in the coming weeks, because the story was discussed in the meeting and not received favorably by the drivers.

I was skeptical upon hearing this. NASCAR spending time in a meeting with all the drivers to discuss a newspaper article? Come on.

So I texted a driver I really trust to tell me the truth and asked him if my story was discussed in the meeting — and if other drivers were angry about it.

“Call me,” the reply said.

Uh oh.

The driver told me that indeed a copy of the paper was held up in the meeting and discussed as an example of the kind of negative coverage the sport didn’t need and couldn’t afford at the time. And that, yes, some other drivers were upset with me (apparently Carl Edwards was the most vocal about it, but we’ve since gotten back on better terms).

This was sort of devastating news for me. It’s so hard to build relationships in the garage (and I’m not great at that in the first place), and it felt like all that was suddenly in jeopardy. It was a terrible feeling, because I’d made a concerted effort to walk the tightrope of writing about the assigned topic without going too easy or too harsh on NASCAR. I tried to play it straight down the middle.

But the fact the story existed at all — as the main story on the front page of the Sports section during a holiday weekend — was enough to really anger some people in the garage.

I wondered how much damage control was necessary, so I started texting several drivers with whom I had good working relationships and asked them if they were upset. To my surprise, even some of them said they weren’t happy about it.


The best thing to do in situations like that is make sure people have a chance to yell at you and express their displeasure instead of stewing over it and talking behind your back about how much you suck. So I tried to be very visible for the rest of the weekend, walking up and down pit road to show my face before the race.

I don’t want to get into all the conversations since most of the drivers are still around, but I’ll share a couple.

Before the race, Brian Scott was leaning against the wall at the entrance to pit road and interrupted a conversation to call me over.

“Oh man, NASCAR is so pissed at you,” he said with a grin. “What kind of crap have you been getting from people?”

Then I walked further down pit road, and bumped into a driver on his way to the car. He stopped and put his hand on my shoulder.

“You fucked us!” he said.

“Come on, did I?” I asked.

“Oh, I don’t know, that’s just what they told us in the meeting,” he said. “I didn’t read it.”

For the next couple weeks, drivers continued to bring up the meeting or the story. An example: After finishing a 12 Questions interview with a driver, I stood to leave and thanked him for his time.

“Wait, wait,” he said. “So what’s it been like for you after that story? NASCAR was pretty mad about that!”

Anyway, the whole experience served as an important reminder: Each tweet, story or interview helps shape a reporter’s reputation. And it’s a lot easier to ruin it than build it up.

88 Replies to “An unpleasant anniversary”

  1. This is typical of a privately owned business. They want to control the news coming out and about the entity. You speak your opinion, speak the truth, and they’re upset.

    In this country, a free and independent press must always be allowed, even if it’s “just sports.” News isn’t supposed to be and should never be propaganda.

    1. ^^ see comment about free press above mine, with which I wholly agree.
      Prime current example of exact same angry attitude towards truth & media: Trump.

      1. Sorry Gina!! this response was for Donna.. I clicked the wrong reply button under your name.

        Really! Donna not the same! Please don’t interject hateful political comments and compare it to Nascar! Again not the same!!

        1. How is it any different? Reporting the truth is the fundamental point of journalism. Whether it’s sports or politics it’s still journalism. Propaganda doesn’t do anyone any good. Jeff did some great work, trying to remain down the middle while being objective about the facts. Great work man, keep it up.

          1. Totally agree 100% ! You”re doing your job ,not trying to sugarcoat things. Sometimes the truth hurts but that’s the way real life is! Keep it up do what you have been doing.

    2. Amen! The press should never be expected to report anything besid s the real, unblemished truth.

      1. But do they always report the truth or just the parts they want you to hear. I’ve always had the firm belief that all politicians and news reporters are liars. If you don’t believe me check out their lips, if they’re moving they’re lying.

      2. You didn’t say anything that I haven’t said ! And some of the things have posted on Facebook aren’t as nice as your story..

  2. “In this country, a free and independent press must always be allowed, even if it’s “just sports.” News isn’t supposed to be and should never be propaganda.”

    This is so true! Well put.

    And Jeff, glad you weathered that storm.

  3. It sounds like NASCAR itself was far more angry about the story than the drivers. That’s not particularly surprising since several drivers have a contentious relationship with NASCAR regarding how they feel about the sport’s direction.

    1. NASCAR, especially the France family, have *never* liked criticism of them. I remember when Denny Hamlin tweeted something critical and they fined him *20,000* for writing it-saying, to paraphrase the actual wording, “bad for the sport.” And Ryan Newman got the same also.

      The fact it, their attendance and ratings *are* dropping and there’s multiple reasons. Being a Sports Management major, and trained on how these business’ run, I could bore you with minute details over it. However, in simplistic terms it boils down the the racing, the fact that one particular team owner (for 90% of the time for the past 10+ yrs…going on ever further than that) dominates, etc, same driver wins titles, racing on track is boring and ticket prices are high. Throw in the occasional mistake where the officials forgot to encrypt their channel while running the race-allowing fans to hear things they shouldn’t-doesn’t help.

      When they come across in the clear like they did in Richmond years ago when Jr won in the Bud car (they were instructing Jarratt and Labonte to move over) and you have problems. Personally, I’m not surprised because it’s a business and needs to make money; however, putting that in the open, where thousands could hear it, had a lot of people heading for the exits well before the race was even over.-many around me that held tickets for 20 yrs at RIR left that night and never came back.

      Throw in the Chase and you have a mess that I’m not sure they can fix.

      1. Making sure Jr gets the pole in final Daytona race adds validity to your comment

        1. Junior usually does qualify up front at Daytona. It is absolutely no surprise that he earned the pole. If NASCAR were fixing results, don’t you think he would’ve at least had won one championship by now?

          1. Your comments are so dead on especially about the same driver winning sooo continuously. I have commented that Jr needs to win this last Daytona since he has had NO opportunity to win a championship because he is not the favored driver of the team. Nor by NASCAR. I have not attended a live race in over 10 years and this is coming from a 40year plus fan. Today I may watch the last twenty or so laps and then watch Race Hub on Monday. Now I wish I could read the article that was so upsetting.

  4. NASCAR is like the song “Home on the Range,” because its mantra is “Where seldom is heard a discouraging word.” It’s also like the Hatfields and McCoys: “either yer with us or yer ag’in us.”

  5. Love this story Jeff. Helps me understand that if I ever get your level as a writer I will tread lightly around delicate subjects.
    Keep up the great work!

  6. Obviously NASCAR would like to push the blame for their problems onto someone else but all the fans know the problems start right at the top.

    1. Really! Gina not the same! Please don’t interject hateful political comments and compare it to Nascar! Again not the same!!

  7. Jeff, it’s not your job to prop up the sport. You’re not a PR person, you’re a reporter. Writing honestly about the sport should include the Good, the Bad and the Ugly. It’s a shame some in the sport, including some drivers, don’t understand that.

    Keep up the good work!

    1. Well said Allison, totally agree.

      Jeff, keep up the good work, keep doing your job!

  8. I hope this doesn’t deter you in the future. The fact of the matter is those seats were empty before and after your article.
    TV coverage for NASCAR has become so good that for many fans the price of going to a race doesn’t make sense.
    There are many things that NASCAR and track owners could do that could improve upon this. Singling out a news article isn’t one of them.
    I suppose it’s easier to pass the blame vs taking a look in the mirror.
    Keep up the good (at times thankless) work.

    1. I disagree regarding TV! Yes, the visual coverage is very good with all of the different camera shots. However, the race on TV is boring. I gave up my season tickets to Richmond 6 years ago not because of TV. The races are just tiresome. There is no excellent racing live or televised. The drivers move out of the way and they just run around in circles. There is I would say only a handful of drivers that race the other drivers. The rest just ride around. I believe safety first but Cale, Bobby, Davey, Darrell are gone,as of course the late great Dale.

  9. I’ve been a fan of NASCAR since I was a kid in the 80’s. I had a favorite Darrell Waltrip Mountain Dew T-Shirt and turned into a Bill Elliot fan when my brother rooted for Dale Earnhardt. I then turned to Dale Jarrett and am current a huge Kevin Harvick fan. I have vested ALOT of my time and money into NASCAR over the last 35 years. Within the last few years I’ve made every excuse to my friends and family concerning the lack of ratings and attendance in the stands. It frustrates the hell out of me to read your blog that bigwigs would be so upset about the truth regarding the sport and the decline in popularity.

    The continued effort of changing the rules every year just makes the sport look so desperate. Don’t get me wrong, I like stage racing. I like the chase. But with such a limited attention span and countless other entertainment value out there, NASCAR is making the biggest mistake by not shortening these events. I am not talking about a drastic change. I even think you keep the distances of the marque events. But a vast majority need a cut.

    Races should not take up more than 2-2.5 hours of my day. Break down the race into quarters with a stage victories in the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th quarters. Have a 15 min halftime break. Give fans and those watching at home a time to breath. Let drivers debrief, and for God’s sake let crews work on their cars to adjust them for the 2nd half.

    Give me a few weeknight races during the Summer!!! Give me my weekends back! People want to enjoy time with their families! I want to enjoy my weekend!

    Add more road courses and short tracks! No more two races at the same track unless it is a marquee location (Charlotte, Daytona, Martinsville, etc.)

    Get the lower series back to hometown tracks.

    Get top tier drivers out of the lower series.

    Get rid of pre-race entertainment that makes old farts happy. How many young people showed up at the EDM festival in Indy???

    Listen to people like me who can see beyond the excuses of the past if you want to stay relevant in a changing world of entertainment. NASCAR is not the NFL and will never be guaranteed a steady fan base under its current trajectory.

    Good for you Jeff. If the head brass cannot take the heat of a critical news story I am afraid of where we’ll be in the next 5-10 years.

    1. Well said, Brian! I had to scroll back to the top of your post to see if I had written it!
      I would love to see a Snake Pit-type event at NASCAR events and I know others would too!
      More road courses! We need another 3/4 mile track like Richmond and less repeat visits to the 1.5s.

    2. Oh my goodness I loooooove this. Your ideas are wonderful and I agree 100%. I hope NASCAR listens to people like you! I find myself trying to decide between Daytona and fireworks this weekend ????.

    3. Big point… SHORTEN… The race’s! IMO
      three hours sounds like a good idea. Also get the lower divisions to more local tracks. Moving races from some of the venues that have two is going to be tough with the ownership structure. But is probably the right idea.

    4. Restructure the tickets prices starting with the most expensive best seating. Drop the prices 5 to 15 dollars.

    5. If you want it that way , stick with ball and stick sports. Let the race play out , quit trying g to change what has worked for 60 years

      1. Can’t even put a name to your antiquated thinking Mr/Mrs. Anonymous? Guess what, the average age of a NASCAR viewer is getting older and older. What does that mean? Ratings and attendance will continue to decline. I live in Kansas City. We support our sporting events very well. I’ve attended every NASCAR race at Kansas Speedway since it opened in 2001. Attendance for this past May night race was bad. I saw kids with their parents. You know what I hardly saw. Young couples. Young groups of 18-25 year old people. Want some more ideas that will help the sport?

        – Cut back on the horsepower back on any track 1-1.5 miles in length. It’s become to difficult for drivers who carry too much speed into and throughout the corner to give us much in the way of racing

        – Connect fans with the in-car telemetry via technology. Younger fans with their cellphones want that interaction.

        – Every freaking track needs free Wi-Fi! When I set back at Kaufman Stadium to watch my Kansas City Royals, or at Arrowhead Stadium to watch my Chiefs I have free Wi-Fi!

        – I love you Darrell Waltrip but Fox needs to invigorate the booth. Same for Mike Joy. Both have done a wonderful job but it is time to get younger.

        – Get rid of the overtime rule. Always finish under green with the only exception being two attempts at a GWC for Daytona and Talledega

        – Give these track spotters high powered binoculars so that they can tell the difference between a towel and a piece of medal. Unless the debris is within 6 feet of the racing groove leave it alone! Death to the debris caution!

        – I mentioned shorter races with quarter stages and a halftime in my previous post. Caution flag laps should not count.

        – I mentioned 15 minute break at halftime. The 15 minutes start once the last car is in their pit stall. Crew members can make adjustments including spring/shock changes. Anyone caught doing something that they are not supposed to be doing will be parked for the remainder of the race.

        – We race at the Austin F1 track. Eddie Gossage can kiss my ass

        – Goodbye Brickyard. Your track is simply not meant for stock cars. Hello Iowa.

        – Get a freaking short track built up in the Northwest!

        – Tracks that loose their 2nd date:
        – Kansas (my home track)
        – Pocono
        – Talledega (We should never have such a track in the playoffs)
        – Texas (Send it to Austin)
        – Michigan

        That is five new dates. Add two more road courses and three new short tracks.

        I have other ideas but my old curmudgeon ass needs to go to bed.

    6. Why do you think following the sheep on shortening events will improve ratings?

      It hasn’t for football, MLB, or hockey, and all it has really done is irk paid attendees of more expensive all-inclusive seating who are now getting less value for money.

      Why not instead acknowledge that A) the ratings landscape has changed, there are 600 channels and more readily availabale community activities, B) Neilsen is a dead system who misses fans and streamers – we could easily get hard #s with anonymous collection from cable boxes, and C) actually fixing some of the problems harder core fans want corrected?

      It’s time sports stop trying to draw in casual new fans, statistically far more likely to be one and done, in favor of risking long-term/die-hard ones.

      1. None of the major sports are any shorter than in years past. MLB is toying around with some rules to help speed up the game but the end result so far is negligible.

        Your point about all of the entertainment options out there is exactly why races should be shortened. Attention span of younger people is much shorter.

        Shorter races

        Different venues (short tracks and road courses)

        4 quarters with a halftime

        Wi-Fi at all tracks

        More technology connection with the fans and cars during the race

        Better entertainment that appeals to the younger crowd

    7. If the question is concerning the new Snake Pit at the Indy 500, it’s packed and it goes on all day long. As someone who goes for the racing, it doesn’t detract from the majesty of The Greatest Spectacle in the least. As a bonus, we talked to some of the folks who were just there for the Snake Pit waiting for the shuttle on the way out. They had a great time and also had questions about the race. The first thing is to get people on the grounds. That’s how you set the hook.

  10. This is the kind of bullshit that we have come to expect from Brian France’s NASCAR. We are expected to support what they do, embrace it, even though doing so destroys the sport we have come to love.

    Thank you for having the cojones to say what we all know!! The drivers sucking the NASCAR tit can’t speak for us. I do hope that BZF and his band of idiots will step aside before he completely destroys the things that his father and grandfather built.

  11. You told the truth … people don’t care for that lately….one other thing…interesting how the driver commented he never read the story but gave you grief as he was told too… way to much of that these days too…personally, I like you work better so certainly leaving USA Today…

    1. I had the same thought about the driver who was mad at you but didn’t actually read the story himself.

  12. Journalism is telling people in power what they don’t want the public to know or they want to hear.. thats always the truth.. good job and good luck..

  13. A story likes this gives Jeff Gluck’s opinions and writings more validation. He wrote the truth (no #FAKENEWS.) His credibility was not questioned. Sometimes the truth hurts, but his journalist street-cred was not questioned.

  14. Jeff I am 61, grew up in the Texas panhandle. Every story in the local paper (from the news wires I’m sure) started with this, “Bill France’s NASCAR…”. Now it’s Brian France’s NASCAR…something to remember…

  15. Having been a long time motorsports fan I have never been a fan of Nascar press. It’s not that they aren’t personable and talented
    however they all speak the corporate line. I can imagine how unpopular Your article may have been although I also haven’t read it. I never read any of Your work till You went out on Your own earlier this Year and I do enjoy it I hope NASCAR doesn’t pull your credentials for being disloyal ………..Keep the faith

  16. NASCAR has done it’s best over the years to control the media when it comes to reporting on their sport Trips to the Red & White, Yellow & Black & now Black & Green Trucks have been customary for Reporters have been regular occurrences when the leadership is not pleased with a Scribes musings about NASCAR. From Mulhern to Higgins & everyone in between this kind of harassment has been standard when “they” aren’t pleased. Thanks for not backing down & reporting truth. Everyone wins when that occurs.

  17. Iwas always proud to be a supporter of Jeff’s. Now I’m twice as happy. I have to admit I was not surprised that France would do something like that to undermine honest reporting. No wonder he was an earlyTrump fan. Fake news!

  18. See a day where a overly critical (true or not) gets a reporters credentials pulled?

  19. How typical of those in power lately to put the blame on everyone and everything but themselves. I’ts so much easier than trying to actually fix the problem. That way the only problem is everyone else. We are lucky to have media members willing to be honest. Thank you.

  20. You are a journalist, not a PR drone. And the truth hurts, sometimes. You didn’t say, or write, anything that anyone in NASCAR, from France on down to the fans, didn’t already know. If NASCAR is/was so damn touchy, it’s because they know damn well what’s happening. The fact that this was even brought up in a driver’s meeting ticks me off – a year later!

  21. NASCAR was experiencing double digit drops in attendance and viewership for years before this article was written. The trend continues.

    As long as Brian France is in charge we will have severe problems. Trying to make people get excited about an aero-push, spec series is a fool’s errand. NASCAR needs to fix the car by getting rid of the splitter and side skirts. It needs to get the cars back up off the ground. Needs bias ply tires which allow the drivers to 4 wheel drift the car rather than suddenly break loose and stick it in the wall. They also need to try and get back to stock shapes that look like the cars they are pretending to represent.

    But, Brian will never get there. He needs to leave and let the next generation fix these issues.

    1. This I’s a show that a famly ownes an that have total control over it don’t dare point out any of their short fall’s like restricted plate raising or that they drive kit cars they killed nasc car an harried it with Dale Ernhart what killed nasc car was puting 40 of the same cars on the track with diffrant stickers an just roll the dice to see who wins

  22. And this is why I don’t believe anything coming from the NASCAR media… They should be reporting news,good or bad and not just fluff…
    If they want to bury their heads in the sand and ignore the truth … Then they will continue on the downward spiral you wrote about …

  23. Instead of attacking the messenger, NASCAR should have looked in the mirror and said the product isn’t good enough we need to fix it.

  24. The fact that they chose to call out your article tells me that it cut close to home. And in a healthy organization, instead of ridiculing it, they’d be trying to find out how much was accurate and if any items could be improved.

    Instead, we get shoot the messenger and bury the story. Tells me that you did your job…

  25. You reported facts…you haven’t caused the decline. It’s not like we can’t all unfortunately see it week in and week out. Instead of being upset at you, they should collectively work on fixing the decline.
    One thing is certain…your approval rating is higher amongst the fans than Brian France’s is!

  26. You’ve really done it now, Gluck. Can you cover Rancho Cucamonga at Ontario girls water polo on Tuesday?

  27. I remember that story. You have now, nor had then, anything to feel bad about. You were doing your job. For NASCAR to blame negative coverage for their myriad problems, shows just how totally clueless they are.

    I feel certain in saying the majority of fans appreciate honest coverage of the sport, even if that coverage isn’t always what the sanctioning body wants. It should be their job to make sure there’s no reason for that type of coverage. Unfortunately, they continue to fail at that.

  28. For Brian France to say that this is the kind of coverage that is killing our sport is such a joke when in fact he has done the most damage is ridiculous.
    I hope that with you walking away from USA Today and being on your own, that the support you’ve been given shows the true test of where the fans & drivers loyalty lies.
    I’m sorry that you had to go through that personally for doing your job and hope that Brian France pulls his head out of his own butt long enough to make meaningful changes.
    Friends & family that use to watch & follow Nascar have stopped saying that it’s not a sport when it’s one person keeps changing the rules whenever they want. Sounds exactly like my nephew does when he loses at a game.

  29. Thanks for confirming what I’ve always suspected, that nascar prefers fans and participants with closed minds. Note to Brian: “you can’t fool all of the people all of the time.”

  30. It is really bad when the drivers I respect have partaken of the NASCAR koolaid. NASCAR leadership better start taking a long at the stands and the TV ratings. Gordon’s gone, Stewart’s gone, Edward’s gone, and at the end of this seaon, Jr’ gone. I had season tickets at LVMS from the second season thru last year (the year after Gordon hung up his driving shoes) and even the allure of two races are LVMS next year can’t guarantee I will be back. NASCAR better realize the drivers that drew fans to the races for so many years are gone or leaving and contrary to popular belief the young gun drivers (as good as they are) aren’t making up for the fans who have followed them for years. IF NASCAR expects to survive, they need to listen to the fans. Stop changing everything, let things be consistent for awhile. You want to save teams money, stop changing the car bodies, get rid of the crappy LIS system it is to unpredictable. Take the cars through a complete inspection when they come off the truck at the track and put all of them thru the same inspection at the end of the race unless they are too torn up from a wreck. The fans are fed up with going to qualifying and watch teams not make it out of tech because of consistently inconsistent equipment — let them race and get over your egos Brian France and Mike Helton, you both are too stupid to realize you are killing your own golden goose.

  31. Tough beans if NASCAR was pissed, it’s their job to put out a good product. I think the decline started when the smaller Wilksboro and Rockingham got shuttered, that alienated a lot of the hard core people that stood behind NSSCAR.

  32. Credit to Jeff Gluck for pulling back the curtain an letting the fans see how NASCARs being run. Otherwise we’re just over here incredibly frustrated by the disparity between what the fans want to see, and what we’re being presented.

  33. Good article. I have been following all forms of autosport for decades, and just like Football and Baseball the “promoters” have priced the average fan out of the stadium. Why should I pay a weeks wages to go get sunburned, get cold drinks spilled on me and have to put up with obnoxious drunks, and pay another weeks wages for food when I can see it better at home? Closeups and slo mo replay are not available at the track. Not to mention as Tony Hullman discovered in the 50’s the real money is not the price of the seat it is the concession sales.

  34. Jeff, they may have been pissed at the time, but I remember the article. In my opinion, you were right on. The fact that they were pissed is because you hit the nail on the head. And they have done nothing to fix the attendance problem. There are still a lot of empty seats. They haven’t generated the excitement of the past. I don’t know if they will again. But, keep reporting the truth, never check yourself because of pressure from NASCAR. Voices like yours will drive them forward in their thinking.

  35. What’s wrong with NASCAR it has became entertainment like this rain delay got a live MMA match on the infield it’s forgot it’s roots unisex cars fined for farting all big business deals I watch Daytona for the wrecks I dislike restrictor racing it’s like i_4in rush hour bring back factory cars and rubbing and bumping and of there is a fight so be it

  36. You don’t deserve to be treated that way. No one needed to read your story to see that the attendance has been declining at NASCAR races for several years. You’re not the only one to have pointed it out either. You should not have been scapegoated like that.

  37. From what I see you were jus telling the truth Brian France don’t need you or any source to ruin a company he’s pretty damn good at it I mean quietly removing thousands of seats at multiple tracks is the first sign of an issue then to see the same track with still more empty seats c’mon.

  38. It shows NASCAR more and more needs a complete culture change from the outside. The culture of denial is a culture no one ever derives benefit from.

  39. Nascar sucks anymore. How many tracks sell out for races. Not to damn many. I use to go to dover every year loved it. But now they shut off lot 10 on the upper part. Because of some damn concert they got after that race. It use to be fun going there. Had good times with other race fans. I go to watkins glenn now. Closer to me and it sells out.

  40. Don’t the drivers ever look around before the race and think ” That’s a whole lot of empty seats”? TV has become pretty good at not showing all the empty seats much like a WNBA game. It’s always easier to blame someone else like a reporter than it is to man up and admit you’re doing something wrong. This new NASCAR racing isn’t very compelling and it’s becoming a television sport. I’ll stick to dirt races with a lot less bs.

  41. Keep it simple, keep Nascar on Fox, screw espn,screw fs1,and all the other ass wads that are trying to make a quick buck. If they want to screw somebody, go for the soccer fans,bunch of fags.

  42. I 100% agree with the reporting nascar is being ruined they took a sport and made it a buissness, going to these races should not cause a second mortgage corporate greed its out of control how much money do these people need to make for something that they so call a love of the sport muti millionaire owners and drivers what a joke dont rip on the reporter for telling the truth NASCAR is going down the toilet really sucks

  43. Well, look at it this way, at least you weren’t sent to the gulag then your would really feel like a rogue Pravda reporter.

  44. Who do you think you are anyway? You must think you are Robin Miller, because you sure are following his career path. You manage to get yourself fired from USA Today (yeah, nobody believes you voluntarily left that job to start a half-assed internet blog) and you are still poking NASCAR’S eyes. You just don’t learn. I hope they revoke your credentials for this. Nobody will miss you.

  45. Who do you think you are anyway? You must think you are Robin Miller, because you sure are following his career path. You manage to get yourself fired from USA Today (yeah, nobody believes you voluntarily left that job to start a half-assed internet blog) and you are still poking NASCAR’S eyes. You just don’t learn. I hope they revoke your credentials for this. Nobody will miss you.

  46. It’s good to know NASCAR doesn’t read the internet. Because 80% of the stories on Jayski are from websites that trash NASCAR & Brian France specifically for ruining the sport. THOSE are overboard & self-serving. If you read Gluck’s article, it talks about what’s happening and why, but it doesn’t blame NASCAR brass in the idiotic ways internet sites do. Glad to hear NASCAR is still a newspaper sport that….oh wait. Nevermind, I’m reading a website.

  47. If attendance is down, how can you say that it’s not? Just ignore it?

    That’s not journalism.

    Somebody needs to grow up and get a grasp on reality!

    1. Nascar is still an awesome sport to attend. Been racing fan since my teen years. However, so many “Official Rule Changes” screw with everyone’s comfort zone and they just need to let it alone. Go back to the beginning where a race car driver can race… not whine that someone is winning to many races. One more thing… The price to attend is crazy. In California you pay heavily to attend. Where as you can attend the races in the South for way less $$. Put a cap on it.. you know us race fans are going to spend our money to support our drivers and the track. But don’t price gouge the piece of concrete or plastic chair we sit in! Signed a Die Hard Race Fan

  48. You could have stopped a lot of even temporary driver backlash by simply asking if they have actually read the article and if they wanted to point out any inaccuracies you would retract them. As for anybody from NASCAR communications you should have asked them how many writers they are paying for positive stories because you sit at a table and you aren’t getting the envelope over or under it.

    They would have looked defensive and thin skinned to get mad at someone who didn’t regularly cover NASCAR but they look all of that as well as vindictive to go after a writer who is there all the time and sees in person what’s going on. From the infield at some tracks the glare from the bare aluminum must be blinding even with rose colored glasses.

  49. Jeff, THIS is why people respect you. You don’t sugar coat anything. And the fact that NASCAR got pissed at you earns you even more respect from discerning fans. And if more of the drivers had read that article, they would have seen how even handedly you presented your information.

  50. I watched the Firecracker last night and just didn’t get it. The cars are just stuck pigs, ridin’ around and around. And the incessant talk about the “Playoffs.” I loved racing, starting in 1980, because it was sort of the “anti stick and ball.” I am not a car guy. Wasn’t then, not now. I just knew NASCAR drivers, Indy Car drivers, F1, sports cars, NHRA, sprinters, all were just really skilled at a compelling, dangerous sport. Today it all just seems so contrived and the NASCAR races are boring, especially Daytona. The great Daytona, which used to be something special. Really special. Now it is just contrived, nonsense. No wonder the seats are getting cold, and the TV ratings are plummeting. It is no longer a sport. Just made-for-TV pseudo-sport/reality show entertainment. That is why people are leaving it in droves. Nice going, France!

  51. Multi-millionaire drivers driving for mult-millionaire owners who are governed by multi-millionaire NASCAR establishment. No wonder why this racing show is so screwed up. Write on Mr. Gluck. Write on…

  52. Jeff,
    I have always appreciated your writing. I have been a fan of the sport since the mid 80’s. So I have seen and been a part of the rise to national prominence and the perceived contraction of the sports fan base.
    I have always had mixed feelings about the sports media coverage. I have always felt that the majority of the sports media personalities have had too close of relationships with the drivers, crew chiefs, owners, and NASCAR officials. I know those in the media have to develop relationships with industry insiders, but I don’t get the same feeling of closeness from the NFL media, MLB media, NHL media, etc.
    So thank you for being one of a few unbiased NASCAR media reporters. NASCAR is great at being the bully. Just like when a bully gets it handed back to them the make excuses. It would be much better if they would search for solutions.

  53. Its your job to report the news. If Nascar does not like the news its their job to correct the ship and by that change the news.

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