I could make some of this blog's loyal NASCAR haters happy this evening and rip Brian France and his top lieutenants for their presentation Thursday afternoon on the final stop of this year's NASCAR Sprint Media Tour hosted by Lowe's Motor Speedway.
You know what I mean. I could write something like this:
CONCORD, N.C. - To the great surprise of several hundred of people who've lost their racing-related jobs in the past three months, NASCAR chairman and chief executive officer Brian France said Thursday that everything is just peachy in the sport right now.
That's not what France said. But NASCAR officials declined to dwell on the economic issues facing the sport at Thursday's stop. Video screens at the NASCAR reasearch and development center greeted reporters with the words "NASCAR: Strong Through The Turns" and France and the other officials who spoke tried to keep things upbeat without sounding naive.
I guess some people who think Brian France is an idiot or Satan or whatever would have preferred seeing the chairman wearing sackcloth and ashes or weeping and rending his clothing in some sort of public display of dismay over how things have been going and how they're going to go in the future.
Sorry, didn't happen.
"It has been an interesting and challenging offseason for everyone," France said. "The Daytona 500 is just around the corner, and fans will once again start debating the on track topics rather than the off track topics."
If you hate France, that's called trying to bury your head in the sand. But if you're realistic about it, you have to ask what else there is that he could have really said?
It would do nobody any good for NASCAR officials to sit down with 200 reporters and talk about how bad things are. How would that help anybody?
"Despite the fact that there are no major changes," France said, "the NASCAR management team has been extremely busy this winter working with teams and tracks to face the challenges of the economy and keep our sport moving in the right direction."
That's as close as we got to an outright statement that things have been pretty bleak for a while, but as I wrote before the media tour began the thing NASCAR needs to do right now is begin turning attention away from all that and back to the track.
Good racing and good stories might not help NASCAR's economy turn around, but it sure won't hurt, either.
I am not giving France and the NASCAR brass a pass on their performance. One thing France said particularly didn't sit right with me.
"You know, you're seeing the economy has spotlighted teams that were struggling mostly in performance on the track, and now that sponsorship is even more difficult to come by," he said. "It will spotlight those teams that in the last few years for one reason or another, maybe no fault of their own, circumstances, bad luck or whatever, just simply haven't performed at the level that they need to, and that economic model is under a lot of pressure with sponsorship that is contracting."
Here's that, in English: Some teams haven't been winning might not be worth saving. That's a little Darwinian for me.