The die-cast car. It is a staple of many holiday gift lists for those who love, like or are forced to buy gifts for NASCAR fans. Recently, a list of top die-cast car sales for 2013 came out. The results show a lot of about the state of NASCAR as we end 2013.
Four of the top ten sales had the name Earnhardt on the car. Dale Earnhardt’s #3 is still in the top 10. His son had the three highest car sales. Gold, silver and bronze. Imagine how huge the #88 would be if he won more consistently.
Where is Jimmie Johnson?
Not first. Not second. Not third. Not fourth. Not fifth. Not sixth. Not seventh. You get the point.
Johnson isn’t anywhere in the top 10. The same guy who has six titles and may go down as the greatest driver ever can’t beat Clint Bowyer. On the surface, this kind of dominance should create a ratings bonanza. Instead, Johnson’s success might have actually hurt the sport. The logic behind this is baffling.
Many have argued how NASCAR needs rivalries and bold personalities. These findings align with that side of the fence. Tony Stewart, Danica Patrick, Brad Keselowski and Clint Bowyer all had regrettable years. It didn’t matter in this sales-based focus group. Carl Edwards, Jimmie Johnson and Martin Truex all went or should have gone chasing yet find themselves outside the quartile of sales figures.
I don’t know if this data is good for the sport. But it certainly explains why we’ve seen much of what we’ve seen on and off the track the last few years. Order now for on time delivery, and insert random catchphrase here.