NASCAR changes access ... for elite only

I hate when a publicist talks out of his/her exhaust pipe, just blowing smoke that fogs accuracy.

NASCAR announced Monday (Feb. 14) that it will allow children of all ages to enter its garage area under “cold” conditions when racecars aren’t permitted to move.

The proclamation came like it meant something to general fans.

No track I’m aware of sells garage passes to the regular fan so this move only is a perk for team members, sponsors, VIPs, etc.

Here’ the quote that irked me the most:

“NASCAR offers the best behind-the-scenes access in all of sports and this gives young people the opportunity to experience this excitement up close and personal,” said Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR senior vice president of track operations. “The thrill of being in the NASCAR garage on race day cannot be duplicated and we’re looking forward to having our young fans participate in this race-day experience.”

Not only misleading, but wrong.

Every fan at every age at an NHRA drag racing event can enter the pit area at any time, and most tracks include pit access with an admission ticket.

The IndyCar Series announced beginning this season it would be opening its garage area — which never allows racecars to run under power — to fans as young as 9.

NASCAR also has adjusted its dress code for the garage area to allow shorts, open-toed shoes, sleeveless blouses and skirts/dresses. This brings them in line with the code for every major racing series.

It’s hard for NASCAR to acknowledge that it isn’t always the leader in American motor sports.