Woody: Trucks Put On Good, But Skimpy, Show
By Larry Woody | Senior Writer
They didn’t need a green flag to start last Sunday’s truck race in Iowa. They needed a feather-duster.
The rusty racers took to the track for the first time since June 12 at Michigan, running just their 9th race since the season opener ‘way back on Feb. 12.
Maybe NASCAR should change the name of its third-tier division from the Camping World Series to the Cobb-Web World Series. It’s not a sport for the forgetful and absent-minded.
In a world with a shortening attention span, going a month between races is an eternity. With big gaps like that it’s impossible to create story lines and maintain interest.
More’s the pity, because some fans consider the trucks NASCAR’s most action-packed, competitive series. Maybe the Iowa stop, which launched a rare run of several uninterrupted weeks of trucking, will revitalize interest.
The truck season consists of a mere 25 races, compared to 36 in the Sprint Cup series (plus two special events), and 35 in Nationwide. Yet despite the skimpy schedule only 18 drivers have managed to run all nine races this year.
Maybe that constant struggle for identity (and perhaps survival) is part of the truck’s blue-collar appeal. Most of the drivers aren’t major celebrities like in upper divisions. The majority of the truck teams have to cut corners and pinch pennies. You won’t see many truckers featured in Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous.
In the truck series, it’s a constant struggle on and off the track – kind of like stock car racing of old when drivers lived paycheck to paycheck.
It’s not exactly the Fried Baloney League – it’s possible to make a good living racing trucks – but it’s a long ways from the Caviar Cup Series.
Some criticize NASCAR for not doing more to promote truck racing, but in fairness it’s difficult to promote a series that sits idle for a month.
A solution would be to add more races, but it’s not that simple. Tracks can’t afford to add a race and post a purse without a title sponsor, and corporate cash is in short supply right now.
Plus, adding more races would mean more expenses for teams already struggling with tight budgets.
It’s a dilemma for a series dying for exposure.
About all teams can do is keep on truckin’, hope for better times ahead, and continue to put on a great show during their limited engagements.
– Larry Woody can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org Comments