Richard Petty Motorsports

NASCAR's circus sideshow hijacks prelude to Cup chase for championship

NASCAR's circus sideshow hijacks prelude to Cup chase for championship

Perception is everything, and brand marketing adds an important element that drives the conversation in all businesses, including NASCAR.

Look out your window. That busted-up jalopy crawling up the highway reflects NASCAR’s current Q score, or the measure of familiarity with a brand.

The run-up to the playoffs in Richmond, Va., should have been a great opportunity for the sport to gain momentum going into the 16-driver, 10-race scramble for the 2017 Monster Energy Cup championship that starts Sunday at Chicagoland Speedway.

Instead, it turned into a proverbial three-ring circus.

Introducing ...

1) Derrike Cope, who was a...

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