Two weeks ago, then NASCAR’s COO and now President, Steve Phelps addressed the media. If you missed his remarks they were summarized and discussed in the following “Autoweek” article.
Others have discussed his remarks and their significance. I found it an interesting read concerning the direction he is taking the sport. I wish him luck and hope it works.
I found it refreshing that someone at that level finally publicly admitted what everyone but the most dedicated Kool-Aid drinkers already knew - that NASCAR has issues to work through. I believe such an acknowledgement is a meaningful first step. We’ll watch to see what Step Two and beyond brings.
President Phelps’ choice of words to describe the issues NASCAR faces was interesting - headwind. It is an apt description but the image it creates prevents me from commenting on the issues that make up this “headwind” as it earwormed a song into my head and now I can’t write or even think about the word without hearing that hit “Against the Wind” by Bob Seger and The Silver Bullet Band.
So now every time I hear or even read President Phelps’ one word assessment of the sport that Seger tune immediately pops into my head. To make it worse, when it’s mentioned in conjunction with NASCAR, my inner “Weird Al” (Yankovic) takes over and now these are the words that I hear to that Seger tune.
seems like yesterday
NASCAR was on such a roll
Stands overflowing, sponsors waiting all in a line
Paying big dollars to be on any car in the show, and
was racing and we cared
The kinda racing that we knew
Caught like a wildfire out of control
There was nothing left to do but watch the sport as it grew
I remember what they told us all
How they swore that it never would end
I remember they said a Chase was oh so right
Wish I didn't know now what I didn't know then
NASCAR’s runnin' against their wind
They made this mess, now they’re runnin'
years dragged slowly past
The fans found themselves alone
Enduring enhancements that seemed will never end
They found themselves further from racing we had known,
I guess NASCAR lost its way
They took so many side roads
Long-time fans discarded like we had nothing to give
With TV money they didn’t care if we even showed
ill-advised decisions at millennial speed
Breaking things that had worked without end
Fans began to find themselves searching
Searching for racing we loved once again
NASCAR says their fighting a headwind
They find themselves seeking fixes against headwinds
their glory days slipping past them now?
They’ve got so many things to think about
Sponsors leaving champs now
Who will stay in, who will bail out
now has a strong headwind
They’ve done it now, and are runnin’
They’ve done it now and still runnin’
racing' (against headwinds)
They’re still runnin' against headwinds
(Against headwinds) They’re still runnin'
runnin' against headwinds
(Against headwinds) aero push
runnin' against headwinds,
runnin' against headwinds
headwinds) see the Young Gun’s run
(Against headwinds) watch the Young Gun’s run
(Against headwinds) watch the Young Gun’s runnin'
(Against headwinds) They’ll be runnin' against that wind
headwinds) let the real fans slide
(Against headwinds) aah
(Against headwinds) watch ‘em say good-bye
(Against headwinds) NASCAR’s fighting against headwinds
(Against headwinds) against headwinds
(Against headwinds) fightin' against headwinds...
I hope that didn’t earworm you. Apologies if it did. Also, apologies to songwriter Dieter Bohlen, Bob Seger, the entire Silver Bullet Band as well as “Weird Al” Yankovic.
So “headwind” is now a part of NASCAR and takes on a new meaning for me. How about you? What did you think when you heard it?
I really wished President Phelps had picked a different term to describe NASCAR’s issues. Something closely related, but does the same thing... sorta like “tapered spacers” for “restrictor plates.”
Maybe instead of “headwinds,” NASCAR is experiencing Aero Push... Yeah... that’s the ticket. Sorta the same and a lot more difficult to sing to.
Again, congratulations to Steve Phelps for his recent promotion to NASCAR’s President. I wish him the very best of luck dealing with whatever, be it aero push or “headwinds” that NASCAR now faces.
humming “Against the Wind”
“(Against headwinds) Steve’s now running against headwinds...”