Leveling the Playing Field

I read in today's paper that David Reutimann, he of the #99 Nationwide car, said he'd willingly forgo points and money if more money went into the pockets of the Nationwide regulars. He is not a NW regular, having a seat as well in the #44 Cup car. (Go David!) At first, I thought, "gee, why would he say that?" until I saw the broader picture.

As long as Cup regular drivers dominate and win in the lower level racing series, those cars that come from smaller garages without the resources for wind tunnel testing and fancy engineering will finish farther down the food chain. Less money equals fewer dollars to pay for good equipment which equals poorer running cars which equals. . . . You get the picture. The classic vicious cycle. If the racing is dominated by Cup cars and Cup drivers, the series will die. Who wants Cup Lite? If there's no Nationwide series racing, those Cup drivers who enjoy it, like David Reutimann, Carl Edwards, and Jeff Burton, won't have anywhere to play without the pressure of the all-important Cup points.

Establish a hierarchy now. Regular Nationwide cars coming from stables with no Cup contenders get more points and more money. Nourish the little guys. They'll get stronger when there are more bucks to pour into their cars, and the whole series will flourish. Good for David Reutimann for saying what he did.

In a way, it's like publishing. Big names, big stars get big bucks. As well they should. But the more they're paid, and the tighter dollars become in the publishing business, the fewer dollars trickle down to the midlist writers. The writers who fill the shelves and have devoted followings, just not in the millions. The writers who are the backbone of the business. Not everyone wants to read Hillary Clinton's book, paid for with a huge advance. A seriously dedicated group will always run right past the displays in the front of the store for the mystery section or any other genre buried in the back corner to see if there's a new gem from ____________. (Fill in the blank with any name.) As publishing pennies get pinched, these books will disappear. Didn't sell enough, will be the reason. The truth is, the print run was tiny to begin, and no money went into publicity. Do we want our reading dictated by money paid to "names?" Hmmm. Kinda similar to the situation in the Nationwide series, n'est-ce pas?