Posted By Pete Pistone
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - The kinder and gentler NASCAR continues to try and make the sport as fan friendly as popular.
A few weeks ago the sanctioning body announced it was relaxing the dress code of the pit and garage area. Fans and even media personnel are now no longer forced to wear long pants, shirts with sleeves and closed toe shoes. The new NASCAR wardrobe mandate will now admit shorts, t-shirts and even sandals to be on display inside the garage and on pit road this season.
As much as I shudder from the possibility of some of my colleagues now being able to rock cargo shorts or tank tops while chasing down the latest story, I guess it's nice to know NASCAR is trying to make things as comfortable.
Today comes word that anyone who holds a garage pass will be allowed to bring a child even under the age of eight along during "cold pass" times on race day, which basically means when cars are not on the race track.
That might not sound like much but it's another attempt by NASCAR to open the sport up to a younger audience and connect with kids, which is a large demographic currently trending on the weak side for the sport.
The elusive 18-34 demographic that advertisers covet has been found to be seriously lacking in today's NASCAR both in at track ticket sales and television audiences. Reaching out to lure the younger fan base is high on the lost of priorities for the sanctioning body as it looks to the future.
So take a good look around the NASCAR garage area this year for what may very well be a much younger and more comfortably dressed group of fans.