NASCAR 75: Fan growth, new stars among looming challenges

FILE - Jeff Gordon greets fans during driver introductions prior to the start of the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Richmond International Raceway in Richmond, Va., Saturday, Sept. 6, 2014. Denny Hamlin, one of NASCAR’s current veterans and also the co-owner alongside Michael Jordan of 23XI Racing, has long noticed the waning mainstream popularity of the Cup stars since the retirements of Jeff Gordon, Tony Stewart, Carl Edwards, Danica Patrick, Matt Kenseth and Johnson. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

NASCAR is crumbling. That is the image being presented to the casual fan early in this injury-plagued start to NASCAR’s 75th anniversary season.