“NASCAR Is a Joke”—Fans Expose Secret Behind the Sport’s Massive News for Young Racers

“NASCAR Is a Joke”—Fans Expose Secret Behind the Sport’s Massive News for Young Racers

The latest development to get out of NASCAR’s headquarters in Daytona Beach is that the promotion is in the process of developing a particular “youth ladder system.” According to Ben Kennedy, NASCAR’s Senior Vice President of Racing Development and Strategy, this ladder system will help young drivers and their parents get a clearer view of the path to the higher ranks of stock car racing. Recent NASCAR entry Joey Dennewitz appears to be playing a crucial role in the development of this system.

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Adam Stern of Sports Business Journal magazine reported news of the development, revealing answers from an interview that went on behind the scenes. However, the community has not taken to the news well.

A ladder system that’s supposed to “clear the path” in NASCAR

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NASCAR has been the sole top racing league in America for the past two decades. The establishment of a well-defined ladder system is necessary to not only ensure a consistent intake of exceptional drivers but also reinforce NASCAR’s stronghold in the world of motorsports. According to Ben Kennedy, the journey to the top tiers of NASCAR has been extremely diverse for current and past drivers. He noted, “If you look back at our Cup drivers, everyone has a different path. Some will race short tracks, asphalt, dirt … late models, modifieds, all sorts of different vehicles.”

He added, “For us, it’s about really thinking, ‘What are those paths they took to get to the Cup Series? What does it look like today? Can we be part of that path from bookend to bookend in the future?” Ben’s solution for making the entire journey easier for upcoming drivers is working towards the goal of creating a “clear path where, if you want to become a future NASCAR driver, you can kind of look at that chart to see what that looks like.”

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With the news being reported by Adam Stern on the Sports Business Journal website and his own twitter page, fans weren’t taking the move as a show of goodwill, but rather as a way for NASCAR to mint more money.

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A ladder that can be climbed only with money?

In the current scenario, three national series that go by the names of Craftsman Truck Series, Xfinity Series, and Cup Series form the top tier of NASCAR. Below them is ARCA and a group of regional series throughout the United States. What or how the new youth ladder system will change or influence the existing framework is yet to be seen since official work on it hasn’t yet begun. But even as the program is in its early stages, the entire idea of it does not seem trustworthy to fans, as evident from their responses on Twitter (Now X).

A wide number of comments rallied under Adam Stern’s post, most expressing the ‘need for money’. One fan had it all clear with what NASCAR meant when they said they were creating a ladder. He replied, “I mean the ladder is pretty simple if you follow NASCAR at all. Money and move to and race in the Carolina”. Considering NASCAR’s deep-rooted connection with Carolina and the influence of the region in the sport, the fan’s take made a lot of sense.

Another reaction, in a rather harsh reply to Stern’s post, said, “Gee I wonder if they will explain the Charter system to mom & dad too? NASCAR is a joke.” 

The idea that was uniform in most of the replies was that this move by NASCAR would facilitate things only for those with deep pockets. A fan from North Carolina expressed the same with a sarcastic take on the move. He tweeted, “It’s already clear, bring money. Are we going to publicize the amount each team is demanding or show the ala cart prices (engine program, Eng resources, sim time, etc)?”

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This one reply from a fan summed up the community’s sentiment in its entirety.

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Away from the negative reactions that were spiraling around the news, NASCAR’s decision to move ahead with a more streamlined system comes after facing a lot of competition for young talent. With external promotions such as Formula 1 beginning to enter America with the hopes of recruiting potential talent, NASCAR will want to step up its game and create some sort of infrastructure to retain its dominance in the field of American motorsports. Whether or not the proposed ‘youth ladder system’ achieves this will rely on how Ben Kennedy and his team lay things out in the coming months.

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