The New York Times’ Discusses NASCAR Coverage
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Question: The Times has done an excellent job responding to the popularity of Nascar. What do you see for the future of the sport, considering the downturn in the economy and the issues in the auto industry? Many papers are scaling back their coverage. What are your plans for Times coverage next year?
Answer: We’re wondering about these same issues as we prepare for a meeting this week with Jimmie Johnson. He’s stopping by to meet with some editors and reporters, and no doubt we’ll ask him to talk about how his sport is holding up during the economic downturn.
In addition to the drivers and the races, we feel that many of the most compelling auto racing stories are the ones that explore the sport’s other layers, like technology, business and culture. Consider the article John Branch wrote in May on Darlington Raceway, and his article in June on how soaring fuel prices were affecting lower-tier racing at tracks like New Egypt Speedway in New Jersey. We also wrote quite a bit about Nascar’s transition to the Car of Tomorrow as the sport’s leaders grappled with ever-advancing technology.
We have no plans to scale back our coverage. In fact, the issues you mentioned make the sport especially interesting right now. We’ll be eager to explore how reduced advertising budgets affect NASCAR (and all sports), whether fans continue to pack the seats at NASCAR’s big venues and how all of these issues play out in communities where auto racing is so prominent. We also want to find out