This one is for the fans who like the taste of their beer to be domestic, their songs countrified with a Southern twang, and their races staged somewhere outside cookie-cutter tracks in big cities that cater to a new generation of NASCAR faithful.
NASCAR is going old-school Wednesday night as it goes racing on dirt for the first time since 1970 when they raced at the North Carolina State Fairgrounds. The Camping World Truck Series will run under the lights at Ohio's Eldora Speedway.
Can I get an "amen?"
"This is NASCAR's chance to get back some of the people who they lost," said Kenny Wallace, a NASCAR veteran who will be part of the mix Wednesday night. "There's been a big push to bring in the new generation. The older people feel we've left them. This is going to be one great night for all the people who feel we've left them. This is for them."
Wallace, also an analyst for the Speed Channel that will carry the race, is spot-on in his assessment. NASCAR officials got big eyes more than a decade ago when they started identifying bigger markets and left places such as Rockingham and North Wilkesboro in the wake.
The dirt-track event is a great way of saying, "We haven't forgotten," but it also needs to be more than a one-shot deal. Make this a regular gig on the schedule. There is much to gain and absolutely nothing to lose, especially when you look at the empty sections — not rows — of empty seats at the Camping World and Nationwide Series.
NASCAR would be better served these days by shrinking, not getting bigger.
"This is the exact venue that NASCAR should be getting these trucks back on; same thing with Nationwide," Wallace said. "When you looked at the grandstands for the Nationwide race in Chicago, it was pretty sad. We had great TV coverage but nobody in the stands.
"And here Eldora is a small venue, and no matter what, this is the correct venue."
Whether or not NASCAR looks at the bigger picture, this race should be a hoot — both for spectators and drivers.
It's definitely down and dirty on the half-mile track. There won't be any traditional pit stops. Drivers will race in segments of 60, 50 and 40 laps that will allow teams to make adjustments. Just 30 trucks will race instead of the standard 36.
And at 3,400 pounds, the truck cars will weigh about 1,000 more pounds than late-models and modifieds, "So we don't have to worry about trucks being too fast," Wallace said.
" I think we'll slide around. It should make for good racing. They're not going to handle well, so we're going to have to drive. It's going to be a blast."
Sprint Cup heads to NBC
NASCAR races will be telecast through a different set of eyes starting in the 2015 season when NBC and Fox will share rights to the Sprint Cup Series.
The deal, announced Tuesday, means that NASCAR is severing ties with ESPN and Turner Sports. Terms were not disclosed.
NBC will pick up the last 20 of a scheduled 36 Sprint Cup points races, with the possibility of airing some races as a lead-in to Sunday Night Football. Fox and NBC will share television rights to the Nationwide Series, which has aired on ESPN since 2007.
"This isn't about the present, it's about the future. And the future for us, with all of the assets of NBC and Universal and Comcast, made a very compelling point to us that we're better together going forward with their family of networks and assets," NASCAR chairman and CEO Brian France said.
The deal will cover other events, including rights to practices and qualifying, broadcasting the K&N Series, Whelen Modified and Toyota (Mexico) Series, and the NASCAR Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony and season-ending banquets.
"What we know is the integration of the assets that they are marshaling together, because this is going to be such an important franchise sport for them, made it to be so compelling that it was just the right choice," France said.
No more overhead cables
Sometimes the new technology is overrated or — in this case — dangerous. Which is why NASCAR made the only call it could make regarding the use of aerial-camera systems that hang over tracks:
Not going to happen.
The topic, though, may be re-visited after the completion of an investigation into the cause of a cable failure that interrupted the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway in May.
A nylon cable — moving a camera suspended over the track — broke during the Fox Sports telecast, injuring 10 spectators, damaging several cars and delaying the race for a half-hour while workers cleared the debris.
ESPN was planning to use a system from a different vendor for this weekend's Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis and at Watkins Glen for the road-course race on Aug. 11.
"The safety of our competitors and our fans remains NASCAR's No. 1 priority," NASCAR said in a statement. "And until total evaluation and analysis have been completed, usage of this particular technology enhancement and any similar enhancements has been suspended."
France family up close
Former Tribune motor-sports writer Ed Hinton — a guy who knows where all the restrictor plates and HANs devices are buried — came out with a fascinating five-part series this week on ESPN.com documenting the First Family of NASCAR, the Frances.
It is rich with details and anecdotes, including the powerful visual of Bill France Jr. giving away prized personal items like his boat and a Swiss watch from his deathbed.
Hinton also reminds us of the cruel irony of the France empire: France died of lung cancer after smoking way too many R.J. Reynolds' brands of cigarettes. The company was also NASCAR's signature title sponsor for 30 years.