To be blunt, NASCAR is struggling, because its two biggest STARS or FRANCHISES have struggled over the past half dozen seasons.
Jeff Gordon and Dale Earnhardt Jr. win races sparingly. And, they’re all but non-existent in the “Chase” playoff format.
This reality is killing NASCAR from a popularity perspective.
Just how popular are Gordon and Earnhardt Jr.?
Well, together, they control approximately 80-85% of NASCAR’S fan base. Trackside merchandise sales and surveys point to Earnhardt Jr. controlling between 65 and 70% of the demographic, while Gordon garners 10 to 15%.
That means the field of other drivers collects the remaining 15 to 20%.
So, if Earnhardt Jr. and Gordon are not dominating or competing, the overall interest will suffer.
Consider the following …..
What happens when the Red Sox and Yankees are not in the playoffs?
What happens if the Colts, Patriots or Steelers are not in the playoffs?
What happens in Duke or North Carolina are not competitive in ACC basketball?
If Dale Earnhardt Jr. finds that early-career success, will NASCAR rebound in popularity? Absolutely …..
How about if Jeff Gordon recaptures his youthful championship-caliber performances? Yes, that will absolutely help.
I wouldn’t say NASCAR is in peril, but they need the 88 or 24 in Victory Lane. Or, they better hope that next BIG THING comes along sooner rather than later.