After Revealing NASCAR's 'Corporate' Obsession, Kenny Wallace Applauds Dale Jr for Denny Hamlin Hire


After Revealing NASCAR’s ‘Corporate’ Obsession, Kenny Wallace Applauds Dale Jr for Denny Hamlin Hire

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In the dynamic realm of NASCAR, change is a routine pit stop, but the most noticeable transformation of late revolves around the iron grip that sponsors hold over the sport. Without sponsors to appease the financial deities, a driver’s career prospects seem doomed. Gone are the days of unadulterated racers and unscripted theatrics. Today, it’s a world of polish and PR approval, where even the most gifted drivers must choose their words carefully, adhering to their sponsor’s script.

One individual who has witnessed this transformation from the frontlines is the esteemed NASCAR reporter, Bob Pockrass. He recently divulged insights on the Kenny Wallace Show, partnering with racing veteran Kenny Wallace to dissect the evolution of the sport into what they call “corporate NASCAR.”

In the battle between the raw, unfiltered past and the sanitized, corporate present, there’s a continuous struggle. Pockrass, who has been deeply entrenched in NASCAR since his early days as a sports writer for the Daytona Beach News-Journal in 1991, remains a keen observer of the ever-shifting landscape of stock car racing, now as an on-air talent for Fox Sports.

In a recent episode of the “Kenny Conversation,” Wallace ventured into a topic that’s been lurking in the garages: the corporate takeover. Wallace, in his trademark unfiltered manner, proclaimed, “The sport is undeniably too corporate; we all recognize that. It’s because sponsors can’t risk their drivers saying anything that might harm their sales.”

He continued, “So, you’re a journalist, did you prefer it when Rusty threw the water bottle at Dale Sr.? Did you like it when Dale Jr. was fined for saying ‘sh*t’? What’s your take? Have we become too sanitized? Is that why we’ve lost the drama and the intensity? It was more exciting back then. What’s your perspective?”

Pockrass acknowledged the real grip of corporate influence, stating, “In my opinion, sponsors still wield too much power, but they pay for that influence.” He suggested that the solution might lie in reducing teams’ dependence on sponsorship, allowing talent to shine through. “It could potentially enable them to express themselves more freely.”

In his candid style, Wallace nodded in agreement, remarking, “Absolutely, we’ve deliberately toned down the drivers.” He highlighted Denny Hamlin, a prominent figure known for his “Actions Detrimental” podcast under Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s media empire, “Dirty Mo Media.” Hamlin’s unapologetic openness and refusal to censor his thoughts have certainly raised eyebrows in the sport.

Wallace praised Hamlin, noting that his outspokenness is a positive for the sport, saying, “That’s why I admire Denny Hamlin. I appreciate ‘actions detrimental.’ I think, even though it may make NASCAR somewhat uncomfortable, as you’ve said, you have to step outside your comfort zone. Dale Jr. hiring Denny Hamlin is a great move for the sport.”

Denny Hamlin, the outspoken figure behind “Actions Detrimental,” has become a ringmaster of sorts, directing his voice in various directions. His latest target? NASCAR itself.

With the freshly minted 2024 schedule introducing a host of wildcard races into the playoff mix, controversy abounds. The playoffs commence with a high-banked 1.54-mile drafting oval in Atlanta, followed swiftly by a journey to Watkins Glen. Hamlin, however, doesn’t mince words.

NASCAR’s Senior Vice President, Ben Kennedy, attempted to defend the changes, citing their desire to “introduce a bit of variety.” He explained, “Introducing a drafting-style track like Atlanta to the Round of 16, followed by Watkins Glen and the Bristol Night Race, will truly test our drivers’ versatility and skill as they aim to secure a spot in the Round of 12. We wanted to do something different and shake things up.


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