Tough Times?  A Drowned Fan’s Perspective

Kenny Wallace posted the following response to the Jeff Gluck’s “Was Bristol a Good Race” poll on his Facebook Page.  I felt compelled to respond.

Sorry Kenny, but I disagree.

Photo found at Pinterest

No, I call bull crap!

What’s been so tough about these times?   

Someone voiced a different opinion?  


Someone clicked a different button than you?



You for one should know tough times and if you truly think people with internet access voicing different opinions about the sport on social media is tough times, I’m disappointed.

Tough times are losing Dale Earnhardt, Davey Allison, Alan  Kulwicki, Adam Petty, Kenny Irvin, Neil Bonnett, Rodney Orr, J. D. McDuffie, Tiny Lund and too many others and being so sick over it you don’t know whether you want to continue.

Tough times are seeing your favorite driver (or really any driver) hurt and forced to leave the sport well before they should have to.

Tough times is having your father, the man who raised you in racing and was by your side every step of the way, die, leaving you to wonder do I really want to go on with this alone?

Tough times is seeing your driver crawl into a car and trying to compete when reality says he has no business being in there anymore.

Tough times is seeing your once winning driver being forced out of the series for whatever reason-lost the edge, lost the sponsor, wasn’t corporate enough or the owner found the next Jeff Gordon to put behind the wheel.

Tough times is giving it your all in whatever you do in the sport and not being appreciated for it-something you have shared with us that you experienced

Tough times is seeing your favorite track close not because the fans didn’t fill it up but because their race dates were more valuable elsewhere.  Then watching the surrounding community slowly wither, all the while being told by the media mouthpieces that it’s your fault, you didn’t do enough.  Then being told by those same people to shut up-I don’t want to hear your crazy talk about bringing it back, it ain’t happening.  Give it up.

Tough times is seeing your favorite writers forced out because they shared their observations that the Emperor’s wardrobe may be lacking or seeing long-time NASCAR employees discarded because the sport is taking “a new direction”.

You get the picture?  Do you agree that these are tough times?   

Does contrary opinions really reach those levels?


Maybe not so tough times but still challenging ones is being in the sport for over sixty years and being told for years by today’s “talking heads” that all those races you grew up watching… they were crap and the only good racing started three years ago, only to have a race happen this weekend that looks nothing like today’s “good races” and strikingly similar to the “crap” you grew up with and now being told by those same talking heads it’s the greatest race ever and we need more just like it.  

I’m confused.  Which is it?  

Personally, somewhat tougher times is being treated like the enemy and the only thing you and others who have gone through it with you have done wrong is to stay with the sport through thick and thin, hung around when others left and lived long enough to now be classified into some undesirable and unwanted demographic.  Or being labeled into a group blamed for everything that goes wrong with the sport for “not accepting change”  and “handcuffing NASCAR” even though you’ve endured more change than any of your labellers will ever see.

By the way, the last time I checked you are now a card-carrying member of that group whether you want to be or not.  It’s apparently an age thing, not attitude, so you can’t escape.  That’s how labels work.  Welcome aboard!

And it’s tough seeing a respected spokesman of the sport take glee in the “drowning” of fans’ differing viewpoints and wondering if that’s just his opinion, he’s chasing clicks or he’s a mouthpiece for the management of the sport and parroting their beliefs and narrative?

So Kenny, you really want us to believe that this sport which is based almost entirely on differing opinions-my driver is better than your driver, Fords are better than Chevy or Toyota, etc has now become so fragile that differing opinions on social media or clicking “NO” instead of “YES” on an unscientific poll has created such tough times that they need to be eradicated?

Come on.  For real?  

If that’s all it takes to create troubling times, then I’m not sure that if “Big” Bill France was here today he’d recognize what his sport has become.

As I come up for a final breath of air, ponder what a wise man once told me about race fans’ opinions.  Maybe you have heard it before or even used it-

“If all race fans had the same opinion, they’d all be Dale Earnhardt fans!”

Perfect unity.  No tough times there but oh how boring it would be wouldn’t you say?

Guess we’ll find out soon enough once all these “drownings” are finished.  

Thanks for your time.  I know you’ve got a lot of work to do… holding them under and all…

Thunder On… and Stay Safe… blub… blub!

David Nance

Photo Credit (cover): F Price Williams


  1. David, what a profound article! Thank you. I must once again say, as I do after reading most of the articles you write, that I agree with you.
    After reading this, I started looking for something specific I wrote years ago as I wanted to find out about the changes in NASCAR the past decade. I did not find that article, but I read several others, and in one I referenced something you had written years ago. It was a good one. Hopefully, this link will work and get to it. If not, then copy and paste should work. There Is No Racing This Weekend

    Do you remember that one? It was a great and profound one and I am so glad we can find this stuff so many years later. Thank you once again for that one.

    Write on, My Friend!

  2. Thanks Vivian!

    Just try to describe what I see and feel and hope it brings back memories or triggers thoughts and discussion. Most time it’s “that boy ain’t right” but thanks for you kind words.

    I couldn’t get the link to work but found the draft sent to PKL at RFF and sent to Berra. Maybe he can cobble it back together.

    Thanks and good luck!

    Tell Don Hi for us!

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