Nascar announced yesterday that beginning next year TOYOTA CAMRYS will compete in the Nextel Cup Series. The uniquely American sport of stock car racing is being invaded by a foreign car manufacturer. This is a big mistake. Nascar clearly doesn't know WHO attends stock car races. Americans attend these races. The allure of stock car races in the first place - was being able to see the cars we had in our driveways compete on a track. Because of rules changes and safety concerns, those days are gone - the cars are now merely "shells" of the cars we actually own. But - they "resemble" the cars we own. Chevys, Pontiacs, Fords - recently Dodge, race every weekend. They are AMERICAN cars in every way. WHO attends Nascar races? These race fans are patriotic tax paying people, who drink beer and drive pick-up trucks. They tailgate and eat huge slabs of ribs. They arrive by the family, Dads, Grandpas, Cousins & Nephews. They believe in God, Country & Dale Earnhardt. They are blue collar. Many have either been - or still are - auto workers. They root for the Monte Carlos they helped build the Friday before. They've seen their jobs lost to the increase in Japanese car sales. I know this profile is stereotypical - but how far off am I - really? Cheer for a TOYOTA? Hell, those people bombed Pearl Harbor!!! Don't tell me, "Camrys are built in Kentucky!" Yes, they are, but the profits go to Tokyo. How is cheering for a Camry supporting America?
Nascar has blundered. The announcement is so fresh I have yet to hear any public feedback. In the next few days, we will, and I predict Nascar will come under assault. Nascar will stick to their guns and do it anyway. The fans will boo. The poor drivers of these cars will be frowned upon. I wouldn't put it past rabid fans - that they verbally abuse - if not actually physically assault Toyota drivers.
Nascar will then reconsider their position and announce in 2008 that "Maybe it wasn't such a good idea."
There is just one way for this TOYOTA CAMRY THING TO WORK. Dale Junior. "AND IN THE NUMBER 8 BUDWEISER TOYOTA CAMRY - DALE EARNHARDT JUNIOR!!!!!!" But Junior is a "Chevy Man" - and so is Jeff Gordon, Tony Stewart, Kevin Harvick, Michael Waltrip - and anyone worth a damn.