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What is NASCAR’s Biggest Challenge? Denny Hamlin Has an Answer (and so do Fans)

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Joshua Lipowski

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When asked by Jenna Fryer of the Associated Press what the biggest challenge NASCAR faces is, Hamlin answered, "Lack of stars. No one even knows who the stars of our sport are now. "

What’s Happening?

Adam Stern recently tweeted out a quote from Denny Hamlin from a Jenna Fryer piece in the Associated Press. In that quote, Denny identified NASCAR’s biggest challenge as its lack of stars. Fans online also have their own takes on this opinion as well.

  • The Jenna Fryer piece Hamlin said this in includes opinions from multiple NASCAR industry leaders including Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson, and Richard Petty. Hamlin currently has stake in this as a current driver, team owner, and remnant from NASCAR’s high water years.
  • This comes amidst a general decline of the sport over the last 15 years. From the world’s largest spectator sport to where it is now. It also comes amidst former NASCAR superstars retiring and moving on to other things.
  • Fans and others on social media gave their own thoughts on this issue. It seems to be generally agreed upon.

In the Stands

Jeff Gordon and Dale Jr have not raced full time since 2015 and 2017 respectively.

Brandon said that modern drivers are not names the mainstream population recognize.

Chris Weaver says the lack of a dominant driver causes some of the lack of stardom.

John Rhodes Jr mentions that drivers do not seem to do as many autograph appearances as they used to.

Matt Reid gives his two cents on why modern drivers lack the same starpower.

NASCAR has not had a licensed video game since 2021 with no new one on the near horizon.

Lance Fritz notes that drivers have more sponsors now then they have in the past.

Lex believes NASCAR should do more to market stars.

SpoPolPop talks about the lack of personality as a reason why NASCAR does not have the same starpower it once did.

Ralph Hughes believes it goes deeper than just the superstardom of drivers.

I would be all for this. Give Daily Downforce some advertising too?

ClearlyInvisible on Reddit wonders if the superstardom came from NASCAR being more mainstream, or if the superstars made it mainstream.

justBusinessbb talks about Hamlin further expanding upon this in the article

On Your Screen

Darian agrees with Hamlin’s conclusion.

Could this become another Daily Downforce video article? We’ll be watching, Elite!

In the Garage

Kenny Wallace will have more to say on this topic.

It is impossible to deny the fact that NASCAR drivers do not have the star power they once did. How much can NASCAR realistically do to give these drivers more star power, even if it cannot recapture the star power of the early 2000s?

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Picture of Joshua Lipowski

Joshua Lipowski

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