Yesterday I pulled up to our local Wal-Mart Super Center and parked my white Ford Taurus next to a black GMC Yukon. As I looked to my right I said “they are NASCAR fans” to which she replied “but of who?”. Well she didn’t know I had noticed the two Carl Edward stickers on the back but I quickly told her of the fact.
As she was getting our 20-month old out of his car seat she said something that made us both chuckle. “Who’s Steve Park?”
Well it turns out this truck also had a sticker that said Steve Park. Now Steve Park hasn’t raced in #1 Pennzoil Chevy since 2003 but there it was, his name on this clean black GMC Yukon.
It’s been known for a while but NASCAR is a sport unlike any other. If you put a Pittsburgh Pirates logo on your truck then, it’s safe to say your a fan of the team no matter whose on the roster. Professional NFL, MLB, NBA teams aren’t going away no matter how bad they preform. In NASCAR if Steve Park does bad he’ll be replace by someone else. Those who have supported Park or a driver in such a situation will either have to search for a new favorite driver or hope he gets another ride.
In fairness Park does still race in the lower levels of NASCAR competition, but six years after his last ride in NASCAR his name still rides on this SUV as the driver of the #1 Pennzoil Chevy.
Sure stickers are a mess to remove, maybe the driver doesn’t even realize it’s even on there anymore, or perhaps he’s proud to call himself a fan of Steve Park. Whatever the case is driver branding in NASCAR is unparalleled by any other sport.