No. 1009
August 14, 2019

About The Autoextremist


Author, commentator, influencer. "The Consigliere." Editor-in-Chief of .

Peter DeLorenzo has been in and around the sport of racing since the age of ten. After a 22-year career in automotive marketing and advertising, where he worked on national campaigns as well as creating many motorsports campaigns for various clients, DeLorenzo established on June 1, 1999. Over the years DeLorenzo's commentaries on racing and the business of motorsports have resonated throughout the industry. Because of the burgeoning influence of those commentaries, DeLorenzo has directly consulted automotive clients on the fundamental direction and content of their motorsports programs. DeLorenzo is considered to be one of the most influential voices commenting on the sport today.

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By Peter M. DeLorenzo

Detroit. No, this isn't another column criticizing NASCAR. At this point all racing enthusiasts should want NASCAR to succeed because if it continues to deteriorate, make no mistake, all racing will suffer in this country. NASCAR is so much a part of the industry of racing in this country that to see it slide is alarming to everyone involved, and it should be alarming to everyone who loves racing, because it will negatively affect the sport.

The new "Gen 7" car and associated other developments underway in Charlotte and Daytona are marked by intensive discussions and planning, and the "new" NASCAR will truly be something different to behold, and on many levels too. The design and engineering of the car, the schedule, the tracks, the length of races - everything is under review, and judging by what I'm hearing everything about the sport will be altered in some way. And though long overdue, this will be significant.

But in the midst of all of this upheaval, a conundrum looms over the powers that be in NASCAR. And it is this: The balance between racing and entertainment. In recent years, there is no question that NASCAR has swung the pendulum too far in the direction of entertainment. I actually dubbed it "racertainment" many years ago, and it really turned countless people off, both hard-core fans and racing enthusiasts alike. 

And this gets to the heart of the matter, because in order to right the NASCAR ship, it will require a fundamental shift in philosophy. Equalized competition, meaning, the notion of making everything scrupulously equal, right down to the last lug nut, has killed the character of the sport and strangled the life out of NASCAR. It's a simple fact of the matter that NASCAR's relentless zeal to equalize the competition has left little or no breathing room - for anyone. 

As I've said in many, many, previous columns, there have always been the "haves" and the "have-nots" in racing. It has been that way since racing began and it will be that way for the foreseeable future. So, while the powers that be wrestle with the new "Gen 7" NASCAR, they need to step back and carefully consider the way they go about their racing. I sincerely hope they alter that fundamental philosophy of equalized competition. It is okay to have front runners, mid-pack heroes and teams trying to get their footing in the top-level of NASCAR. In fact, it will be more interesting for everyone involved, especially for the enthusiasts who love racing.

And that's the High-Octane Truth this week.

12 Hours of Sebring, April 1, 1967. The No. 6 Chaparral 2F Chevrolet driven by Jim Hall and Mike Spence started in second position but retired from the race with differential issues.