NASCAR provides fantastic racing every weekend with the world’s best drivers trading paint at 200 mph, but that’s no longer enough to draw the attention of the general public. To launch NASCAR back into the public discourse, officials will have to think unconventionally. NASCAR needs a good old fashioned scandal. Not the ‘Kyle Busch and Joey Logano Get RAW’ variety, but the NASCAR Party Baby kind of scandal.
Don’t take the high road, NASCAR. The Allisons and Cale Yarborough went toe-to-toe at Daytona, others have been caught with fuel additives and even steroids. People didn’t care about golf until Tiger’s "lady scorecard" was revealed, and like golf, a NASCAR scandal will propel fans back into the sport.
Here are a few scandal ideas to put NASCAR back in the headlines:
1. Reveal Secret of Joe Gibbs Fight Club
It’s NASCAR’s best kept secret, Joe Gibbs runs a fight club out of Gibbs Motorsports in Concord, NC. He doesn’t just organize it, Gibbs takes on all challengers ‘Kickboxer-style’ (fists dipped in resin and coated in broken glass). That’s why his rule is absolute, no one has ever defeated him in a glass-knuckled fight. Kyle Busch will mix it up with Childress, but would never challenge the lethal, athletic prowess Joe Gibbs.
2. Who will be NASCAR’s Gilbert Arenas?
NASCAR needs someone to work as hard as the NBA’s Gilbert Arenas to create scandal after scandal for the good of the sport. Arenas is a one-man NBA PR machine: when he’s not instigating gun play in the locker room (as a goof), he’s cornering the market on "endangering neighborhood children" by refusing to fence in his backyard shark grotto. Who in NASCAR will answer the challenge? Will Ryan Newman build a man-size catapult (Newman’s Own “man-a-pult”) in his backyard to launch unsuspecting children into neighboring subdivisions? Randy Moss, NFL star, scandal machine and a current Camping World Truck Series owner, can’t get to the Sprint Cup soon enough.
3. Mark Martin Old School Rap Feud
The most complex scandal for NASCAR to pull off. First, Mark Martin, known for his love of hard-core rap as he prepares pre-race, would retire from racing to become a rap star. With his rise to fame, he grows an entourage. Eventually, Martin’s prowess at the mic will spawn haters (We’re thinking Lil Wayne). Rival songs will be traded, one of Martin’s entourage will be wounded in a knife fight and racing will be back in the papers.
4. Jimmie Johnson and Madonna?
No one wants to sleep with Madonna, but a NASCAR star will need to have an extra-marital affair with the creepily sexy Material Girl to put racing back into newspapers. It worked for baseball (A-Rod, Jose Canseco), basketball (Dennis Rodman) and the Olympics (entire 2002 German ladies handball team).
Denny Hamlin did his best by supposedly hooking up with Paris Hilton, but that move doesn’t get Denny press, it only creates a shame that you can’t scrub off no matter how long you shower.
5. Reveal Bayne’s Daytona 500 win was staged on sound studio like Moon Landing
NASCAR needs to come clean and reveal that Trevor Bayne’s Daytona 500 win was an elaborate hoax created on a sound stage in Burbank, CA. In addition to the faked Daytona 500 win, NASCAR has been digitally fabricating Mike Joy’s interest in Darrell Waltrip’s stories for years, but everyone already knew that.