NASCAR wants us 'old fans' back. Well, for starters, maybe the folks there could stop changing the series name references in regard to past Cup champions every time a dollar turns and the
'naming rights' to the Series are changed. Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt never were -- and never will be -- 'Sprint Cup Champions.' To hear Dale Earnhardt described on NASCAR Now as 'Seven time Sprint Cup Champion' is blasphemous to fans. The WINSTON CUP USED TO MEAN SOMETHING. Now, according to NASCAR, who clearly dictates how the television folks refer to the series, everything is put in the context of the current $eries $ponsor.
It's not 'confusing' to fans to have the right titles referred to when talking about the legendary drivers that have won the WINSTON Cup.
So, here's #1 on the suggested list of things NASCAR can do to bring the fans back. STOP PRETENDING WINSTON NEVER SPONSORED THE SERIES AND THAT THE DRIVERS NEVER WON THE WINSTON CUP....Or, are you going to go back and re-issue all the trophies won over the 31 years that the R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company sponsored the series? Yeah, right...If you're going to revise history, then do it right! Better yet, stop referencing Sprint when it comes to former WINSTON CUP winners.
Richard Petty never won a Sprint Cup. Neither did Rusty Wallace, Bobby Labonte, Terry Labonte, Alan Kulwicki, Bill Elliott, Dale Earnhardt, Bobby Allison, Cale Yarborough, David Pearson or any other racer who was a WINSTON CUP Champion.
That's the problem with NASCAR selling out it's naming rights in a prostitutory manner. All they had to do was NAME THE TROPHY -- how about the Bill France Cup, the Dale Earnhardt Cup, The Richard Petty Cup -- all excellent choices -- and they would not have created this problem. Ironically, in talking to so many fans over the years, a fair amount of them never really related 'Winston' to cigarettes. Winston Cup sounded regal or classy, and later fans who were not into the product often did not equate the Winston Cup to a tobacco brand.
As a fan, I still cringe when I hear someone call Petty or Earnhardt a Sprint Cup Champion. They weren't and never will be. They were Winston Cup Champions--back when it really meant something.