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    Loudon Fans, Thy End is Near

    bruton%20smith.jpgIt seemed only a matter of time that some Texas megalomaniac would sink his teeth into the soft underbelly of New England charm and rip its heart out with gnashing teeth. We always figured it would be George W. Bush (or maybe even Ross Perot) but it turned out to be Bruton Smith. (How many Texas megalomaniacs are there, anyway?) Today Smith was supposed to announce that he has purchased New Hampshire International Speedway, owned by octogenarian Bob Bahre, and the ominous consensus is that the Loudon track is going to be one Nextel Cup race for the poorer when all the smoke and dollars clear. You may recall that Smith took NASCAR to court (and ultimately won, mind you) to have a second Nextel Cup at Texas Motor Speedway, arguably NASCAR's 2nd most boring track next to California. Of course, since the privately-owned NASCAR turned its crown jewels over to Brian France, the sport has been less and less about excitement and fans and more and more about marketing and money. In spite of the 100,000 devoted fans jamming the stands twice a year at NHIS one man with way too much money is going to take it all away from them for his own selfish motives, while Prince Brian sits on his throne and blesses the transaction and NASCAR.com stooges like Joe Menzer spew their propaganda that it's good for the sport. How can having a guy like Smith own more tracks be good for anyone? He's already closed North Carolina Speedway, he's threatening to close Lowe's Motor Speedway if Concord doesn't let him build a drag strip there, and he even wants to move the awards banquet out of New York to Las Vegas, where I guess we'll be able to bet on which driver delivers the dullest speech.  And NASCAR wonders why its audience is beginning to wane...  

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