Clay Travis: NASCAR Alienating Its Own Fan Base By Going Woke

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It’s no secret that NASCAR’s ratings have dipped over the past decade.

Look no further than the trend occurring with the Daytona 500, the sport’s premiere event that opens up every season in February. The 2021 installment, won by Michael McDowell, drew a 2.8 rating and 4.83 million viewers, the lowest rated and least-watched Daytona 500 of all-time. Just eight years prior, Jimmie Johnson’s win at The Great American Race in 2013 garnered a 9.9 rating and 16.65 million viewers.

NASCAR is actively looking to draw in more fans, but at the expense of its die-hard fan base, says OutKick’s Clay Travis. Travis appeared on FOX News’ The Ingraham Angle Monday to discuss why NASCAR is failing at gaining new viewers.

“They’re (NASCAR) trying to figure out ‘How do we keep the long time die-hard NASCAR fans, but also get younger?’, and instead of trying to appeal to them based on a sports related angle, they’re going with a woke angle,” Travis said. “And they’ve dove in head long into the culture wars. I think it’s a really bad decision.”

NASCAR has made many changes in recent years in an effort to remove itself from past stereotypes. In the wake of George Floyd’s death in the summer of 2020, NASCAR announced the banning of all Confederate flags being displayed at races.

With a cast of popular stars including Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jeff Gordon, Tony Stewart, Carl Edwards and Johnson retiring from the sport in recent years, Travis said the key to regaining viewers will be building new stars.

“NASCAR has been on the downward hill for some time now and the way to get everybody back I think is by having great, entertaining races and incredible stars to build around,” Travis said. “They haven’t been able to do that. Instead, they have tried to go the woke route.”

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Written by Nick Geddes

Nick Geddes is a 2021 graduate of the University of Central Florida with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism. A life-long sports enthusiast, Nick shares a passion for sports writing and is proud to represent OutKick.


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  1. Name one sport or business that has ever GAINED customers, fans, etc by “going Woke” and cowtowing to the Liberal mob. …I’ll wait. Thats not how the Lib mob plays … never has been … never will be.
    Stick a fork in NASCAR. Maybe NASCAR was in a death spiral anyway and this just accelerated it.

  2. When they allowed a car with “BLM” painted on the side to run in their races, I shut off the TV. BLM is a Marxist organization, no thank you. The rest of their boneheaded crap wasn’t so great either, like all their drivers bending the knee, I mean jeez-us, what a bunch of fucking pussies.

  3. Just a waste of gas to me. This sport was hemorrhaging fans before going woke. Such a stupid business plan. I like some of the drivers. Especially Brandon. Their leadership is failing them; making the sport unwatchable. Everything woke turns to shit. Duh?

  4. You go woke, you go broke.

    I thought we covered this years ago? You knew there were major problems in NASCAR when after being presented with obvious evidence the noose in his garage was a door pull, Bubba Wallace refused to pull back on his paranoia filled comments. No one ever insisted the record be publicly corrected and an apology issued by Wallace for that reckless stupidity, and down the toilet bowl the sport now goes.

  5. Look, NASCAR died with Davey Allison… If you have to “google” that name, you’re part of the reason NASCAR is no longer relevant. NASCAR, like “Country Music” sold-out (or was outright bought-out) by Hollywood and Leftist media. Garth Brooks and Jeff Gordon mark the death of 2 strongly Southern traditions… another step in destroying the USA…

    America was a great idea, I hope someone tries it again one day.

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