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NASCAR bullish on future after promising rebound

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By JENNA FRYER

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First of all, let me be the first to say how puzzling it is to see an article about NASCAR on Japan Today.

Second of all, this article paints an incredibly rosy picture for NASCAR, to the point where it almost reads like a press release at times. I hear a lot of "sense" and "feelings" that things are getting better, with little hard proof to back it up. And to be honest, I'm not sure if it's warranted- you'll see a ton of empty seats at any NASCAR race, and the difficulties or all but the largest teams to get consistent sponsorships is well known.

Too many 1.5 miles cookie cutter tracks, overly complicated "playoff" and points systems, the sanitization/corporatization of the series, hugely expensive race tickets, and the retirement of several popular drivers are all to blame.

Trying to shake things up, like with the Charlotte Roval, is a step in the right direction, and somehow they've got to keep their long-time fans while bringing in new ones (including from minorities), which is not a needle that I'd like to have to thread.

I suppose NASCAR may be able to turn a corner, so to speak, but until I see more proof, consider me skeptical.

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