But it looks as if NASCAR has another direction in mind, which is to market the sport to nontraditional, non "y'all" populations.
Liz Clarke writes in the Washington Post this week that, "Having revved up interest in stock-car racing with last year's overhaul of the points system, NASCAR Chairman Brian France has his sights set on cultivating millions more fans at home and abroad. And he's looking to New York, the country's biggest media market - as well as Canada and Mexico - to provide the prospective converts who he envisions tuning in to NASCAR races on Sundays, scooping up souvenir merchandise and, in time, cheering for Hispanic drivers as they duel alongside superstars Jeff Gordon and Dale Earnhardt Jr."
Well, OK. But I still like the deer. Because to the uninitiated person, ignorant of automotive nuance, it just appears that there are Very Long Stretches of time where nothing happens. It's at these points where the announcer will work himself into a frenzy because "there's smoke coming from the Goody's Headache Powder car!"
Please. If I want to see smoke coming from a car, all I have to do is get behind a Dodge Caravan.
Still, lots of people are tuning in - NASCAR is second only to the NFL in sports viewership - and I can understand why race officials are looking to expand into three foreign countries: Canada, Mexico and New York City.
Canada is going to be a tough sell, in my view. Canadians don't even care if you raise their taxes, so I think you'll have trouble drumming up a sense of urgency about driving in circles. They don't mind a whole lot if they have to sit for two days in a hospital emergency room. They're not like us; they've got time.
And for a Canadian, NASCAR has one fatal flaw: It's not hockey. Remember, this is a nation where a baseball playoff win for Toronto will get bumped to the inside sports pages because some second-string hockey defenseman of the 1940s has passed.
Mexico has a better shot, I would think. Although after three centuries of watching soccer, NASCAR is going to appear to them at such a warp speed it may cause heart failure.
According to the Post, NASCAR eventually envisions not only Latino fans, but Latino drivers, which at first blush would lead you to believe that NASCAR officials have never seen how people drive in Mexico. You put some Geoffergo Bodinez behind the wheel and you don't know what you're getting.
Ditto for New York City. I don't care how fast Jeff Gordon is going, he's going to have a taxi on his bumper with the driver yelling, "Outta da way you fancy pants road hog!"
Unless - maybe NASCAR is finally paying attention to my original suggestions. The only thing more eventful than a deer on the track would be driver ranks filled out with Mexicans and New Yorkers with a few 40-mph-top-speed, stop-every-now-and-then-to-gaze-at-the-crowd Canadians thrown into the mix.
The way it stands now, the cars are exactly alike and the drivers are all excellent. We don't want that. How much more interesting would it be if cars were allowed to have OO7-like options, or a couple of circular saw blades popping out of the front a la Speed Racer? Couple that with a field of drivers that included the Gangsta Rapper category, the Mexican Street Gang category and the Ethel Mertz category, and I know I'd watch.
Tim Rowland is a Herald-Mail columnist.