The uproar from the drivers since Atlanta announced how they’re going to re-image the track has been interesting to say the least.  It has certainly spotlighted the differences in the way the sport is viewed by the track owners and the drivers.

While I don’t think anyone is interested in skimping on safety, the track owners and the sport’s leadership understand that they are part of the entertainment industry.  Their survival depends on putting fannies in seats and attracting eyeballs to TV sets.  Team owners know that too.  Without those same elements, attracting sponsors becomes an incredibly difficult task.

On the other hand, the drivers see it as a job.  They like being able to showcase their skills, if that will help separate them from the less skillful.  Otherwise, they prefer the easiest route to a win.

Because of the way they’re involved, the drivers see races completely different than the fans do.  And, that’s where the disconnect begins.  I’m not sure that can ever be resolved.

Will the Atlanta re-imaging deliver more exciting racing?  We certainly hope so.  But, at this point, no one really knows.  We do know that, if it pays off with more fans and better ratings, the move will have been a success.