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Foreigners invade NASCAR

Posted Wednesday, December 19, 2007, at 9:11 AM

Watch out for a wave of new names in NASCAR next year.

Joining Juan Pablo Montoya, who was a rookie last season, are Jacques Villeneuve and Dario Franchitti, all from the open wheel ranks.

Toyota became NASCAR's first foreign manufacturer last year.

The formerly all-American institution is changing. Foreign drivers, or at least those with a more varied background than the typical NASCAR competitor, are arriving.

I doubt that Sprint Cup (the top series' new name as of next season) will be overrun with foreign drivers as the open wheel series like IndyCar or Champ Car have been.

But is the foreign blood coming into NASCAR a good thing -- or should it dominated by the red, white and blue?


Comments
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I love Nascar! Obviously...

-- Posted by nascarfanatic on Sun, Dec 23, 2007, at 12:36 PM

I agree .... Most every professional sport is just another way to advertise a business. Racing, baseball, basketball, football, golf, etc should all just played for the fun of it and name a winner withouth millions of dollars in advertisements. Tiger Woods makes upwards of $60mil a year in endorsements alone. It's just ridiculous. You want the cost of goods to go down? Tell companies to stop paying celebrities and sports icons more money than they're worth just to have a name on it's product.

College sports are much more enjoyable to watch IMO because they aren't getting paid to be there, they show up day in and day out, and give it their all, regardless of lucrative business contracts, etc. Their goal may be to make it professionally and garner large sums of money, but in the meantime they play their hearts out.

Nascar is no different, and you know I really don't see what make or model is racing because they are all tuned to the same specs and everything is supposedly distributed evenly. Whether it's a Ford, Chevy, Dodge, Toyota, or even a Nissan [possibly soon] who cares. The world around us is ever changing and not strictly American, so why shouldn't Nascar adapt as well?

-- Posted by darrick_04 on Sun, Dec 23, 2007, at 9:23 AM

My father and I went to my very first NASCAR race in Nashville at age 9 in 1967. I was hooked instantly, and have been a die hard fan since then. However the sport has lately been fueled, controlled and corrupted by high stakes corporate dollars. Fan attendance is down at nearly every track in the country. You no longer smell burnt rubber and high octane gasoline in the pit area. What you smell is money, and it's now a foregone conclusion that the teams with the most money are going to show up in victory lane and win championships. I quit watching baseball for the same reason.

-- Posted by Tim Lokey on Sun, Dec 23, 2007, at 4:32 AM

If anyone were to say that NASCAR should be dominated only by the red, white, & blue (or if that were some kind of law in NASCAR)that would open a whole nother can of worms. It would either be discriminating, a hate crime, or something of the sorts. I just think why not let foreigners into NASCAR, they are in everything else in America anyways.

-- Posted by ~*~justmyopinion~*~ on Wed, Dec 19, 2007, at 10:01 AM


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David Melson is a copy editor and staff writer for the Times-Gazette.