Kyle Busch: “I think it’s stupid. I don’t know, I’m not the marketing genius that’s behind this deal.”
NASCAR has been in a transitional period in recent years. It’s been more or less of a retirement tour for the veterans. Out with the experience and in with the rookies. New faces have been introduced to NASCAR fans, replacing the favorites.
From a marketing side, NASCAR certainly pushes the younger drivers quite frequently, regardless of win count. That is especially noted on the social media side of the marketing campaign.
My brother watches the NASCAR snapchat account frequently. He regularly asks me, “Who are these kids?” Some of the veteran drivers have taken note of that same marketing push.
It’s not a debate of whether or not NASCAR pushes the younger drivers, with less accomplishments over some of the veterans. Any scan of the media outlets will facilitate the same conclusion. But, is it a good thing or a bad thing? Is it the right direction for the marketing campaign? That’s the part that’s up for debate.
Yesterday, NASCAR drivers visited the Charlotte Convention Center for a media tour. The topic of the new generation was brought to the drivers attention.
At age 32, Kyle Busch is entering his 15th year in the NASCAR Cup Series. 43 wins later, he see’s a shift in the marketing campaigns.
“All you’re doing is advertising all these younger guys for fans to figure out and pick up on and choose as their favorite driver,” Busch commented during the NASCAR media day at the Charlotte Convention Center.
“I think it’s stupid. I don’t know, I’m not the marketing genius that’s behind this deal.”
“So I just do what I can do, and my part of it is what my part is.”
Kyle Busch does understand some of the aspects to pushing a younger driver into the sport. That’s from the teams perspective. However, he still doesn’t understand the marketing aspect.
“I guess one thing that can be said [is] that the younger guys are bullied into doing more things than the older guys are because we say no a lot more. Because we’ve been there, done that, have families and things like that and want to spend as much time as we can at home,” Busch stated..
“Maybe that’s some of it. But some of the marketing campaigns pushing these younger drivers is I wouldn’t say all that fair,” Busch concluded.
At age 38, Clint Bowyer is a veteran driver with 13 years of NASCAR Cup Series experience. 8 wins and 433 starts are credited to his name.
“I don’t care. They’re good kids, and I understand,” said Clint Bowyer. “They’re filling some pretty big voids. You got somebody getting into Jeff Gordon’s car. You’ve got somebody getting into Dale Jr.’s car.”
For 2018, Alex Bowman replaces Dale Earnhardt Jr, the 15-time most popular driver award winner. Last year, Chase Elliott replaced Jeff Gordon, the 3-time NASCAR champion.
“We have to figure out how to fill that void somehow, and it can’t all be on the same old guys that have been there.”
“I get it if they deserve it. … Look at Matt Kenseth, he was outrunning them pretty much each and every week and not getting the limelight. Some of those things are bothersome at times.”
“Did I deserve it? I wasn’t running as good as I needed to. But if I was running up front and should have been in the limelight, I would have been barking, biting back a little bit,” Bowyer concluded.
At age 42, Kevin Harvick is the most experienced driver to comment on the topic. Harvick, now driving for Stewart-Haas Racing has collected 37 wins over his 610 starts in the MENCS.
“That’s like the child that’s whining, somebody who’s whining for some attention,” Harvick commented on the topic.
“I can’t complain about that because of the fact that our sponsors have been so involved with the things that we do. NASCAR has been very open to the things that they’re doing and involving us in it.”
“I can’t back that up, to be honest with you. You have to have a push for the younger-generation guys as well in order to help introduce them to the fans. In the end, that only works if they have success on the racetrack,” Harvick concluded.
Veteran drivers to retire in the last 2 NASCAR seasons: Dale Earnhardt Jr, Jeff Gordon, Tony Stewart, Matt Kenseth, Greg Biffle, Carl Edwards and Danica Patrick
Related: Tony Stewart on young NASCAR talent