This has become a very hot topic every since the announcement that the State of Kansas, ( I thought the state of Kansas was pretty well summed up The Wizard Of Oz) had approved a casino license for a casino to build adjacent to the Speedway.The hot question being asked and written about is where will the date come from?
This started me thinking, is this the question we should be asking as fans? Does NASCAR feel that the core product, i.e., racing, will be improved by having a second race at Kansas versus, say, Martinsville, or California? If the race comes from California, then I’d have to say that the racing would be improved, but that’s NOT the reason for the move.
The reason is that NASCAR can deliver a large number of fans, twice a year as potential customers for the casino. The sole purpose of any casino is to separate people from their money. So far, the relationship of NASCAR and the casino seems pretty symbiotic.
My question is, is that as it should be?
Bruton Smith, SMI President, is famous for threatening locations who don’t give him what he wants. In his case, usually infrastructure improvements or drag strips. If the casino deal works out well, could we see NASCAR doing the same thing, punishing, or rewarding locations over casinos?
NASCAR, from it’s founding and it’s founder, has been 100% rock ribbed Republican. It has espoused family values, refusing to race on Mother’s Day, (until it became expedient to do so,) patriotism, and the Republican Party, relentlessly.
I’m all for family values. After all, I have a mother and a family. I’m a veteran, so I have no problem with that part. I am, however, out of step with the GOP part of the deal, but I only mention this in fairness.
Again, in the interest of full disclosure, I’m not opposed to casino’s. In fact my wife and I usually spend an average of 3 days a week in them. My wife’s a slot player, and a very successful one, I might add. I spend my time in the poker room.
It’s just that feeding fans to the Casino seems to be a contradiction to the family values that NASCAR is fond of touting. I understand that no one is forcing anyone to enter this establishment, it just seems a little strange that’s all.
I’ve always heard that "politics makes strange bedfellows." So does money, I guess. NASCAR has always been steadfast against gambling on our sport. I’m in total agreement on this.It just seems to me like rushing to give Kansas a second date, to feed the casino could be the first step on a slippery slope.