When it comes to garnering national attention, no sport sanctioning body lives by the mantra of any publicity is good publicity more than NASCAR. The sport, which has recovered from the economic collapse but still slightly struggling, is looking to recreate the new wave of fans that brought in massive ratings and revenue in the early 2000s.
One of the ways NASCAR can do this, at least in my opinion, is through its management of The NASCAR Nationwide Series. NASCAR has a rare opportunity unlike any of the other sports in that their minor league development series still have television contracts and a dedicated audience.
Although it is unclear whether or not Fox will continue to support the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, there is certainly an opportunity to advance the NASCAR Nationwide Series through stand-alone weekend events, televised by ABC or ESPN.
NASCAR is once again reaching a transition period with regards to star drivers. Within the next five years, the class of drivers out front will certainly be changing more drastically than ever, and current or future Nationwide Series drivers such as Ty Dillon, James Beuscher, Kyle Larson, Trevor Bayne, Justin Allgier, Darrell Wallace Jr. among others are marketable personalities who can gain significant exposure before they even reach the Sprint Cup Series.
NASCAR has already established that they intend to separate the Nationwide Series from The Sprint Cup Series slightly by making Sprint Cup Series drivers ineligible for a Nationwide Series title. Another way in which they have made the series more independent is through stand-alone headlining events, especially at road courses like Mid-Ohio and Road America.
Tracks like Iowa Speedway thriving for Sprint Cup Series date need to showcase the passion for racing in their area, and there is no better way to do this than stand-alone events. Aside from grandstands and facilities expansion, hosting Nationwide Series stand-alone events is a great way to display potential.
If NASCAR where to expand The Nationwide Series’ independence and variety, it would certainly be a hit with many race fans who are keen to seeing the next generation of drivers. Under the current system, the Nationwide Series only has six opportunities all year to operate as the stars of the weekend, a system that leaves drivers and fans alike much to be desired.
Follow Mike Guzman on Twitter @Mike486