Hardcore NASCAR fans might not recognize their favorite sport when the season picks back up on February 15th at Daytona International Speedway in Florida. Chrysler, General Motors, Ford and Toyota have all cut back funding 20 to 30 percent, and once strong teams like Petty Enterprises have merged with rivals and closed up shop. What's more, fewer fans will be able to afford a weekend at the races, and that equals less revenue.
Still, Brian France remains optomistic that the 2009 season will remain compelling. Top-shelf drivers like Jimmie Johnson, Carl Edwards and Kyle Busch will be back to battle for the championship and there are still 50 teams that have signed up to race at Daytona in 2009. Come what may, it's a virtual guarantee that NASCAR racing will go on, though perhaps with a bit less sparkle, flash and income than in previous years.