The Marty Smith Podcast: Steve Phelps Explains Why NASCAR Is About ‘Family’

by Jonathan Howard

Well, Outsiders, another successful Daytona 500. Except for this time, Outsider was at the track to talk to Steve Phelps and others.

NASCAR President Steve Phelps has led the sport and the organization through a lot of changes in recent years. At the core of it all has been a desire to get as many eyes on the races as possible. While the sport has changed and there are new audiences, the sport is trying to appeal to a broader base.

Phelps talked to our own The Marty Smith Podcast. Marty and Wes got in some great questions and talked to the man in charge. It has been a good beginning to the season for the sport.

“I’ll tell you a quick story. So I started on August 1st of 2005. I went to a Kansas race in the fall. I was sitting in the garage by myself… having a cup of coffee,” Phelps started in. “There’s a guy that’s, I don’t know, 80, 100 yards away. Doesn’t know me I just started in this sport. Comes over, and beelines towards me, and I’m like, ‘uh oh, am I in trouble?’ He said, ‘Hey I just wanted to say good morning, how you doing?’ That was Richard Childress. He didn’t know me. My point is this sport’s about family. This is a community that I joined. And that’s a special thing. So if you don’t know NASCAR come give it a try. Because these people are a community… they love racing and they love NASCAR.”

Imagine that, first day on the job basically and Richard freakin’ Childress is coming over like they’re getting coffee at the local Dairy Queen.

NASCAR Pres. Steve Phelps Has Successful Daytona 500

Folks have talked about that special community feeling about NASCAR. Many are hoping that the fan experience and reputation can help lead the sport into the future. People want something they can get their teeth into. That Daytona 500 is about as good as it gets if you’re Steve Phelps. A rookie wins in a tight one with key wrecks at 30 laps and 10 laps to go? Come on, man. Can’t write that better.

This Daytona 500 was a very good follow-up to the successful LA Coliseum Busch Light Clash. With so many new eyes on the sport, things like exciting laps, wrecks, and drivers walking away at the end of the day safe, is what will do it. Austin Cindric is now a NASCAR darling. He already has the 2020 Xfinity championship to his name. Could he go out and take the Cup Series in his first year?

Steve Phelps has put on two great vents to start the new season. If this continues, then there is going to be a lot of talk about NASCAR. New Next Gen cars have been successful and there is a lot of great talent in the field right now.