NASCAR Changes Qualifying Format
posted by Summer Bedgood
Tuesday March 11, 2014
Following safety concerns regarding NASCAR’s new qualifying format, the sanctioning body is introducing some changes in preparation for this weekend’s race at Bristol Motor Speedway. According to the Associated Press, NASCAR is banning teams from cool-down laps after their qualifying attempts, but will instead be allowed to hook up cool-down units to the engine through hood flaps.
Late Tuesday afternoon, a release from NASCAR fully detailed the changes. Teams will be allowed a single cool down unit to be connected through the right or left side hood flap, however the hood must remain closed. Additionally, two crew members will be allowed over the wall while cooling down.
“The qualifying is new to all of us and as we have said over the past several weeks, we are looking at it from all aspects,” said Robin Pemberton, vice president of competition and racing development. “Following discussions, both internally and with others in the garage area, we moved quickly to make a few revisions that will be effective starting with our two national series events at Bristol Motor Speedway this weekend. We believe this will only enhance and improve what has demonstrated to be an exciting form of qualifying for our fans, competitors and others involved with the sport. Moving forward we will continue to look at it and address anything else that we may need to as the season unfolds.”
The move comes after three weeks of NASCAR’s new knockout qualifying system, where multiple cars are allowed to make qualifying attempts at the same time instead of the traditional one-car-at-a-time procedure. Drivers and teams had complained that the new rules didn’t allow them to cool their engines down on pit road, and the cool-down laps caused a dangerous situation with slower cars staying on the track at the same time that other cars were running by them at much higher speeds.
The rule will begin this weekend in Bristol, a track that has a much narrower racing surface than Daytona, Phoenix, and Las Vegas.
Kurt Busch to Attempt The Indianapolis-Charlotte Double
posted by Phil Allaway
Tuesday March 4, 2014
Andretti Autosport announced this morning that Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet in the Sprint Cup Series, will attempt the Indianapolis 500 in a fifth entry for the IndyCar Series team. Once the Indianapolis 500 is completed, Busch will fly from Indianapolis to Charlotte, jump in his No. 41 Chevrolet and compete in the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Busch considers the opportunity to do the double as an old-school throwback moment.
“This is really to challenge myself within motorsports,” Busch said in Andretti Autosport’s press release. “Perhaps I am a bit of an old-school racer; a throwback, I guess. I enjoyed the era of drivers racing different cars and testing themselves in other series. It is tough to do now for a variety of factors, but when the opportunity is there, I want to do it. While NASCAR is my home, I have been fortunate to compete in Pro Stock on the NHRA circuit a number of years ago and test a V8 Supercar. This opportunity was a talk with Michael [Andretti] over dinner one night, a “What if,” and now it’s becoming a reality for me to drive in the Indy 500 with Andretti Autosport. It’s literally a dream come true. To go to the famous Brickyard with the iconic Andretti name, it doesn’t get much cooler or better than that.”
Busch will be doing the Indianapolis-Charlotte double as a Memorial Day mission to men and women serving in the U.S. Military via the Armed Forces Foundation. Fans can contribute to the cause by texting AFF to 50555 to donate $10.
Busch, who has never raced an IndyCar, passed Rookie Orientation at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway last year during a test session. At the time, Busch was more or less testing the Dallara DW12 for fun.
Busch will be the fourth driver to attempt the Indianapolis-Charlotte double. John Andretti was the first driver to attempt it in 1994. After finishing four laps down in tenth in Indianapolis, Andretti crashed and had engine problems in the 600. Robby Gordon has attempted the double five times, most recently in 2004. However, Gordon failed to make it to Charlotte on time and did not start the 600 in 2000 (P.J. Jones started Gordon’s No. 13 Ford in that instance). Finally, Tony Stewart has attempted the double twice (most recently in 2001) and is the only driver to ever complete all 1100 miles. Neither of the three drivers has won either leg of the double. The best finishes are Stewart and Gordon’s sixth-place finishes at the Indianapolis 500 (although Gordon’s came in 2000, the year he didn’t make it to Charlotte in time to start the Coca-Cola 600), and Stewart’s fourth-place finish in the 2001 Coca-Cola 600.
Danica Patrick, Justin Allgaier Talk About Phoenix Incident
posted by Frontstretch Staff
Tuesday March 4, 2014
A disappointing start to the year for Danica Patrick won’t include continued conflict. Patrick met with rookie Justin Allgaier Sunday, shortly after the Phoenix Cup race after a wreck ruined both drivers’ days. Patrick, who was critical of the No. 51 car on the radio, claiming Allgaier was “driving all over the track” appeared receptive to a conversation that quickly settled differences over what will be a long season.
“She was just upset because she got involved in the crash that we had,’’ said Allgaier to the Motor Racing Network. “She says she’s been through this and that she felt like I needed to settle down at that point. I explained my position on why everything happened. I think she understood where I was coming from. It doesn’t fix either one of our racecars. It doesn’t fix either one of our days. Unfortunately, we were both having pretty decent days.’’
Allgaier wound up 30th due to the incident while Patrick was 36th. The incident, which was caused by Allgaier’s spin also involved the No. 32 team and Travis Kvapil, which wound up 38th after sustaining heavy damage.
Camping World Close to Extending Title Sponsorship of NCWTS
posted by Frontstretch Staff
Tuesday March 4, 2014
Marcus Lemonis, CEO of Camping World, Grand Marshal of Sunday’s Sprint Cup race at Phoenix International Raceway, and star of CNBC’s “The Profit,” made the announcement over the weekend that the retailer is very close to announcing a deal that would continue its title sponsorship of NASCAR’s Truck Series. The original agreement with NASCAR is scheduled to conclude after the 2015 season.
According to the sanctioning body, no formal contract has been signed, but “the agreement between the two parties has proven to be a beneficial one.”
“In about a month, we’ll be announcing a significant extension to that contract. It’s been great for us,” said Camping World’s Lemonis in a statement. “The NASCAR relationship has worked well for Camping World. When we started, we had 35 stores. Now, we’re up to 120 stores. As we travel the country and we meet new customers in stores, they always are very appreciative of our relationship with NASCAR. It’s been good.”
Gaining a long-term commitment from Camping World to sponsor the Truck Series would be a relief for NASCAR, which is set to lose Nationwide Insurance as title sponsor for the NASCAR Nationwide Series at the end of the 2014 season. The sponsorship of the Cup Series by Sprint runs through 2016.
The NCWTS is back in action on March 29th at 2:30 PM (ET) when the trucks visit Martinsville Speedway in the Kroger 250, which can be seen on Fox Sports 1. Ratings for the season opener were up 11 percent.
Harvick Takes Win At Phoenix In Second Race With New Team
posted by Justin Tucker
Monday March 3, 2014
Phoenix International Raceway has become Kevin Harvick’s home away from home. Sunday Afternoon was no exception as Harvick charged to the front early and would dominate for much of the day, leading 224 of the scheduled 312 laps to record his record fifth win on the one mile oval and his third win in the last four races at Phoenix.
Harvick, coming off of a disappointing Speedweeks which was capped by a last lap crash in the Daytona 500 in his debut with Stewart-Haas Racing, set the tone on Saturday by winning both practices while having the best 5 and 10-lap averages in the first practice of the day on Saturday. On Sunday, Harvick and his No. 4 Jimmy John’s Chevrolet was nothing short of flawless as he was able to hold Dale Earnhardt, Jr. by .489 seconds after a late race restart to claim his 24th career Sprint Cup Series victory.
“Man, this is awesome,” Harvick said after his dominant victory on Sunday. “Man, this just solidifies so many things and so many decisions. It’s been so much work with all the time and effort that these guys (the crew) have put in—but what a race car.”
Stewart Haas Racing co-owner Gene Haas shared in Harvick’s excitement after the race.
“It took long enough,” Haas joked. “This is phenomenal. I think there was a lot of skepticism last year about what myself and Tony (Stewart) what we were up to, was there a lot of madness to this. Quite frankly, it’s a great team, there’s a lot of synergy at the shop, people working together. I don’t know what we did, but I think we put together a great organization.”
Daytona 500 winner Dale Earnhardt, Jr. continued his hot start to the 2014 season. Earnhardt Jr. would finish second on Sunday, marking his seventh consecutive top 10 finish since the end of the 2013 season. Earnhardt Jr. was pleased with the effort after a coast-to-coast whirlwind week after winning his second Daytona 500 and also gave great praise to the efforts of Harvick and the No. 4 team.
“I’ve got to congratulate Kevin. Those guys were two-tenths faster than everyone all weekend in practice. They were just phenomenal,” Earnhardt said. “To be able to run with them all day was a big confidence builder for us.”
Joining Harvick and Earnhardt in the top 5 of The Profit on CNBC 500K were Brad Keselowski with his second consecutive top 3 run of 2014 in third. Keselowski’s Team Penske teammate Joey Logano would finish fourth, and Jeff Gordon would come home fifth in his No. 24 Pepsi Max Chevrolet.
Jimmie Johnson finished in sixth, followed by Ryan Newman with a nice rebound after Daytona in seventh. Carl Edwards would carry the banner for Roush Fenway Racing by finishing eighth, Kyle Busch was ninth, and Jamie McMurray would finish tenth.
A look at the Profit on CNBC 500K by the numbers. There were 14 lead changes among eight different drivers, there were eight cautions for 39 laps which slowed the race pace to 109.229 MPH.
Next Sunday, the Sprint Cup Series heads to Sin City and the Las Vegas Motor
Starting Lineup: The Profit On CNBC 500K
posted by Thomas Bowles
Saturday March 1, 2014
Drivers in RED (i) are those ineligible to collect Sprint Cup points
Daytona 500 TV Ratings Down
posted by Frontstretch Staff
Wednesday February 26, 2014
What was the longest weather delay in Daytona 500 history turned out to bring NASCAR lower ratings and TV viewership Sunday night than expected. According to a report Monday from FOX Sports, the 56th running of the Daytona 500 airing at 8 PM (ET) posted a 5.6/10 national household rating/share which averaged 9.3 million viewers. That’s down 44 percent from last year’s 9.9, easily making it the least-watched Daytona 500 of all-time.
Due to the six-hour, twenty-two minute rain delay in Daytona, the race was up against the primetime coverage of the Winter Olympics Closing Ceremony from Sochi, Russia on NBC (15.25 million viewers). FOX also reported that 69% of the pre-rain delay viewers of the race, which began at 1 PM (ET) kept tuning in.
In comparison, the 2013 Daytona 500 on FOX was the most-watched race in five years, posting a 9.9/22 rating/share, commanding 16.7 million viewers. The Daytona 500 in 2012, the first to ever be run on a Monday and in the primetime slot did a 7.7/13 overnight rating/share which resulted in 13.67 million households viewing the race according to Nielsen TV ratings data.
Earnhardt, Jr. Claims Second Daytona 500 Victory
posted by Justin Tucker
Wednesday February 26, 2014
Ten years is a long time. For Dale Earnhardt, Jr., it felt like an eternity. NASCAR’s Most Popular Driver endured many near misses and close calls at the Daytona 500 since his only win in the Great American Race in 2004. Earnhardt had finished second in two of his last three Daytona 500s coming into Sunday’s race. He was also riding the tail of a 55-race winless streak, dating back to Michigan in 2012.
However nothing would stop Dale Jr. on Sunday, not even a 6 hour and 22 minute rain delay from capturing his second Daytona 500 win. Earnhardt Jr. led a race-high 54 laps on the evening and used some timely drafting help from teammates Jimmie Johnson and, on the final restart, Jeff Gordon to separate from the pack and secure the victory.
“Winning this race is the greatest feeling that you could feel in this sport besides accepting the trophy for the championship,” said a jubilant Earnhardt after pulling into Victory Lane. “We could fight off battle after battle. We got a little help at the end there from Jeff to get away on the restart. This is amazing. I can’t believe this is happening. I never take this for granted, man because it doesn’t happen twice, let alone once.”
Aside from the race itself the big story of the race was the 6 hour and 22 minute red flag, which threatened to move the race to Monday evening (had the race been postponed, FOX Sports’ Chris Myers had tweeted that the race would resume at 5:00pm EST). However, Mother Nature would cooperate and would allow the race to be run under different conditions from which they practiced this week. Once the race resumed, the intensity picked up from the changing track conditions. This allowed the pack to race side-by-side and at times 3-wide up to seven rows deep.
Joining Earnhardt Jr. in the top 5 for the 2014 Daytona 500 were: Denny Hamlin who closed out a spectacular Speedweeks in second, Brad Keselowski in third, Jeff Gordon in fourth, and Jimmie Johnson who overcome two wrecks leading up to the 500 in fifth.
Rounding out the top 10 in the Daytona 500 were Matt Kenseth in sixth, Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. in seventh and Greg Biffle would bring his No. 16 Ford home in eighth. Austin Dillon would come home ninth in his first Cup Series race in the iconic No. 3 for Richard Childress Racing, while Casey Mears would round out the top 10.
A couple of major contenders for the Daytona 500 win would see their hopes dashed early on as Martin Truex, Jr. would blow up just 30 laps into the race, relegating him to a 43rd-place finish in his debut for Furniture Row Racing. Crew chief Todd Berrier was already in Nashville for a test session before the race was even over. Kyle Busch, meanwhile would have a pit road violation just before halfway and would spend much of the race battling back from that mistake. Busch would eventually finish 19th after leading 19 laps.
Danica Patrick would also be bit by bad luck as she was caught up in a multi-car wreck on lap 145. Patrick would lead her second consecutive Daytona 500, but wouldn’t have the finish to show for it finishing 40th. Tony Stewart would encounter a frustrating evening as well, with a fuel pickup problem derailing his quest for his first Daytona 500 win. Stewart would finish 35th.
A look at the Daytona 500 by the numbers. There were 42 lead changes among 18 drivers, while seven cautions for 39 laps would slow the race pace to 145.290 MPH.
Next week, the Sprint Cup Series heads to the “diamond in the desert,” Phoenix International Raceway for The Profit on CNBC 500K. The Green flag is scheduled for 3:15pm EST.
Nationwide Series Post-Race Quotes: Drive4COPD 300
posted by Thomas Bowles
Tuesday February 25, 2014
Frontstretch Interviews – Courtesy Mike Neff
ELLIOTT SADLER – FINISHED 4th
Thoughts on the race?
It’s definitely a lot different racing than what we’re used to.
Comfortable with it?
Yeah, it’s just different. You’re worried about what you’re doing, but you’re also worried about what everyone else is doing and they’re not doing more than you’re doing. Physically pushing a guy is way better than just riding so you just gotta time it right and push it to the edge.
Happy to start the year with a top 5?
Yeah. Hell, that was the worst we ran all day, I think. I have no idea how they put the 3 car in front of us on that last restart. I hadn’t seen the 3 car hardly all day. When they put us from fifth to sixth, on the outside line, it just really boxed us in. I would have really restarted behind my teammate and given him a good push to the front. Anyways, it is what it is; we’ll take it and move on.
Looked like you were up front all day.
The guys did a good job. We had a fast race car. Great pit stops, just really proud of these guys. The car’s in one piece and we can take it to Talladega now. Great job by my guys. A lot of effort came into coming down here to Daytona and giving ourselves a shot to win. We had that chance to be up front and make some things happen. Fifth is not what we want, but we’ll take it and move on.
Bumping vs Pushing?
It’s way harder. You don’t want to lay on the guy in front of you, so it’s tough racing. A lot different than what we’re used to, ‘cause you gotta go. You gotta drag the brake too ‘cause you don’t want to hit the guys and you don’t want to stay on him. It’s a lot harder mentally than what we’ve done in the past.
Car was strong all day. Pushing vs. Bumping, is that harder to do than just getting on somebody and pushing them?
Yeah, it is a little bit. When you bump ‘em, you jar ‘em, it kinda jacks ‘em a little bit. It’s a little more abrupt, obviously. I thought it was OK there at the end. It was certainly fun and hopefully entertaining. But a little bit of a struggle in the early part of the race and the midpart of the race to see a good race. And that’s unfortunate for the fans. You can’t do that the whole race, you can’t tear up your stuff, knock your grill in, overheat your motor, all that stuff so there’s no sense in doing all that until you get down to the last lap. The 7 and the 6, they did a good job. Man, the 7 really held the 22 and I tight on the bottom. I was rubbing his door and hitting the apron at the same time, no room whatsoever. So it was good; wish we were the ones who could have won but a lot better now than what we were last year.
Going home in one piece makes it a lot better, right?
Yeah. My back feels good. My foot feels good. Past years here, I’ve been going home with pain so I’m alright.
Connect with Mike!
2014 Truck Series Post-Race Quotes: Daytona (Exclusives)
posted by Thomas Bowles
Saturday February 22, 2014
When you’re on the outside like that, how frustrating is it?
It’s so hard. Timothy Peters has won here. Kyle Busch has won everywhere. Ron Hornaday has been running Trucks forever, probably before I was even born. I was surrounded by veterans there, and like I told them I don’t have a rookie stripe but I’m a rookie. This is only my fourth Truck race ever, my fourth superspeedway race, and man, I figured out when the 17 got up in front of me, I pushed him. And as soon as I pushed him, he took off. And I went with him. And I just kept doing it, and before I knew it, he was leading. And I saw Ron in my mirror, backed up to him, and if it wasn’t for him, I don’t know what would have happened. I gotta thank him big time for that. That was a true teammate move right there. I really appreciate that. He just bounced off me and we got to the front. I tried my hardest to sidedraft Kyle. I was probably touching his door.
Top 5 in the No. 30 truck. This deal come together at the last minute, but you had a heck of a truck. Tell us about your night.
Yeah, I’ve got to thank Turner Scott Motorsports. The guys worked so hard on this Rheem Comfort Products Chevrolet. Exciting! Just got hung up on the outside and had to wait for my teammate there to catch up. And then he got to the bottom, so… I got the old 32 and started pushing ol’ Ryan to the front. So, it’s not bad. We’ll take it. You just don’t want to step over that boundary. You don’t know how far to push and shove. We bumped about six times down the straightaway without latching onto them. Hopefully, that was OK and we came home with a top 5.
Connect with Mike!
Check in with Matt and Jay on their site at CareyandCoffey.com.
Holding A Pretty Wheel · Amy Henderson · Friday September 25, 2009
It’s all fun and games until someone loses an eye.
Remember hearing that phrase as a kid? It was usually connected to doing something like running with scissors, or swordfighting with your brother with the kitchen knives. Anything where the “fun” was getting out of hand and becoming potentially dangerous; hence, the lecture.
Things are getting out of hand.
It’s not an eye being lost per se, but instead teams are bleeding dry while NASCAR pretends there is nothing wrong. Two major sponsors — Jack Daniel’s and Jim Beam — announced this week they will not return in 2010, leaving Casey Mears’ future uncertain and Robby Gordon’s tenuous hold on the sport as an independent owner/driver a little bit weaker.
It’s not a liquor company issue that’s driving them away — the industry is weathering the recession well — but rather one of cost/reward. Simply put, these sponsors weren’t getting their money’s worth considering how much they were putting in. So, as soon as one pulled out, there was not reason for the other to stay — for if nobody sees the competition every week, well, you don’t need to fork out to try and compete. Time to move on to a cheaper market.
There are a few things at work in this mess; and while NASCAR denies there’s an issue, rest assured the bleeding continues.
Let’s look at some specifics behind these sudden departures. The first thing going wrong is the skyrocketing cost of a Cup-level team. Ten or 12 years ago, a full-time Cup sponsor could be found for $4-5 million, while a top one might toss $10 million at a team.
But then, someone paid a little more. And then, the competition had to keep pace, so they shoveled out another couple million like common driveway gravel. Before we knew what was happening, suddenly it cost $20 million or more to field a competitive Cup car for a year, while the $5 million sponsor that once got a great deal of exposure in return can’t even buy the hood and quarterpanels of a top Nationwide Series car. And while the biggest companies toss the money into the pot, the smaller ones can’t possibly keep up with them. Some teams have had success running a number of smaller sponsors for a few races apiece, as Robby Gordon does, but that model hasn’t been reliable over the long-term. A solid primary sponsor, or possibly two, for the majority of the season is what keeps a team competitive — and there aren’t many of those left.
Compounding this issue is NASCAR’s habit of snapping up several choice sponsors for themselves when they could be on the hood of a race car. In fact, there have been rumblings of the sanctioning body actually stepping in and taking these from a team if they don’t like the fit. But whether that’s true or not, NASCAR’s practice is definitively destructive to their end product — the racing. If the racing isn’t competitive except for a handful of elite cars, everyone suffers: the fans, the small teams, the track owners, and so on. Eventually, this will have to bite NASCAR in the butt… right? Instead of “The Official Toilet Paper and Dill Pickle of NASCAR,” wouldn’t the Charmin Chevy racing door-to-door with the Vlasic Dodge be better for everyone involved? But the sport doesn’t see the long-term benefit of making sure there are teams on the track over the money they can pocket today. 20 years down the road, Brian France will be retired in his upscale condo; why should he care about the state of the family business when it no longer pays his bills?
Another problem that NASCAR is in no hurry to solve is the Cup teams taking the choice sponsors in the Nationwide Series, which reduces the level of competition (and eventually, fan interest) in that series. To their credit, they have introduced a few token cost-cutting measures, but the only one that will make a difference is to limit participation from big name Cup drivers. If you’re a smaller sponsor, it’s a no-brainer where you should land; after all, you can sponsor the same Cup guy in Nationwide for $10 million or so, less than half of what you’d pony up on his big league car. But these small-time deals are putting a big-time killing on the series. If those drivers were not allowed to race, the sponsors could get the exposure they need on the hood of a Nationwide regular, and probably for a couple million less. You can’t blame a sponsor for wanting maximum exposure — after all, that’s why they’re here — but there has to be a way to make it profitable for them without killing off race teams.
Finally, the television networks have to shoulder some of the blame, especially in the Nationwide Series. Too many sponsors who do sign on with smaller teams don’t see 10 seconds of airtime when the Cup drivers control the airwaves. That’s important, as sponsors are essentially buying exposure; a car shown often during a race is a rolling commercial, and commercial time is very valuable. A popular driver should be no problem; in theory, he’ll get more airtime during a race than five or ten commercials, and that’s money in the pocket of the sponsor. But the airtime has to be there, and more and more often, it’s not. You can’t even count on the networks for one full-field rundown during a race, let alone the five to 10 cars they should be showing. And if these companies aren’t being seen on TV, there is little value in putting decals on a race car for a sponsor.
And so, the sport bleeds. A few drops have become a steady flow, and if that isn’t staunched, it could become a life-threatening hemorrhage — which means it will be too late. Unfortunately, I don’t know what the answer is right now; but without a cap, there will always be a few sponsors who will throw more cash at teams than anyone else, and those teams will take the lion’s share of spoils in both race results and exposure for the sponsor. If NASCAR were to help, and not hinder, funneling sponsors to the race teams, it would be a start, as would keeping the Nationwide Series for the Nationwide drivers and not the Cup egomaniacs who use it as a cheap way to win another trophy, thereby returning sponsorship to the real teams. So would the networks pledging to show every car in every race a few times.
But clearly, something needs to be done. Before someone loses an eye.
©2000 - 2008 Amy Henderson and Frontstetch.com. Thanks for visiting the Frontstretch!
Not questioning the whole article’s point, but how much of the “cost/reward” issue of Jack & Jim leaving is related who they were sponsoring?
You beat me to the punch Joe. How much exposure can a company expect sponsoring a car and driver who has consistently run in the 20s his whole career?
Still, Amy’s right about the Nationwide Series. I think NASCAR needs to start taking all of the Nationwide races to other venues on race weekends, which would strongly discourage Cup drivers running for Nationwide titles. Who cares if Kyle Busch beats all of the minor leaguers?
Very nice article and summation of NA$CRAP “SPONSORS”, and the dilemna they face.
From NA$CRAP itself stealing sponsors from
On any given Sunday, 31 cars are on the track, with ZERO TV coverage!
No folks, this is NOT a “Robby Gordon” issue, he does just fine giving his sponsors their money’s worth, from a driver & owners standpoint that is. What he can’t give them, is ANY TV coverage as the nitworks have their favorite 12 (well, ok, 13, but Jr. is dying fast theses days and even he is not getting the coverage of old)!
I have often questioned myself why ANY sponsor would pay the big bucks to support any of the 31 cars, week in, week out, that get ZERO press coverage on a Sunday!
Maybe with the economy tightening as it is, more sponsors will realize how fool hardy this is!
And with the advent of “THE CHASE”, and all the coverage these 12 cars get, (thank you Mr. Farce), the bottom 31 cars simply don’t stand a chance!
But again, NA$CRAP is lurking in the shadows to sign these sponsors for themselves and to line their own pockets!
The teams be damned!
You guys are preaching to the choir. But unfortunately we are the only ones listening. The head “coke” drinkers at NA$CAR are the ones who should be listening but… they aren’t….. I guess when the last major sponsor leaves that’s when they might wake up….. but I doubt it… they are to self centered an egotistical to admit they made a mistake with the carp of tomorrow, the chase and everything else that has been responsible for people and now sponsors leaving.
If I were king, any network that broadcasts a race would be required to go through the entire field, at least once, giving each team (and sponser) their 20 seconds in the limelight. Even if someone is having a lousy race the sponsor gets a bit of exposure.
One good thing about JR not having a good year is when they do show him running mid pack or even passing a few cars as he is finally doing, is we get to see the cars around him. Their sponsors should thank their lucky stars that Jr isn’t doing well because we see Streeme, Gordon, Sorrenson, McMurrey,Hornish and Regan on a regular basis. These cars seem to be running around each others every week,so their sponsors get some incidental air time since Jr gets mentioned even if he isn’t having a stellar season.
It’s so typical that everyone is ready to be critical and not have an idea on the solution…
I sure miss the Coors light Dodge, oh that’s right, NASCAR has them sponsoring the pole award! They just need to find a way to give the sponsors more exposure on THE CARS. Between TV announcers and a general change in priorities at NASCAR it can be done. Otherwise the bleeding will continue. Wonder why the owners (especially outspoken ones) aren’t making more noise on this issue?
Another problem beside the the 20 million to sponsor a team is the bribe money it will cost you to have the car seen on TV.
Everyone is missing the big picture. NA$CAR is a business plain and simple.Does anyone think Big Bill began promoting races because he loved racing? He saw a way to make money.
right on “mike”, but most “smart” businesses nurture who brings in the money so the money keeps flowing!
Quite the opposite in NA$CRAP! King Brian cannot realize, or simply understand, that the MORE happy sponsors on the cars, the MORE money King Brain makes for himself, a win-win type thing!
But maybe King Brain has no brain cells left!
Great article, but your missed one important thing that has been in our faces so long that we don’t even see it anymore. The Na$car mandated “sticker pack” that every team has to junk up their paint scheme with in order to be allowed on the track. These are all “official products” of na$car that the team must run the decal in order to be allowed entry. It has gotten completely out of hand. These decals now take up the entire front fender, half of the door and part of the nose. Calculate the square footage of the space that cannot be used for the team’s sponsor logos and imagine what that costs each team. And it is USELESS! The fans cannot read those on tv, certainly not from the stands, and what average fan knows or cares what Mahle or Stant is anyway? Not to mention it completely ruins whatever paint scheme/logos the artists have laid out for the sponsor and makes the car look like heck. I remember a Busch series (yes, Busch) car that Dale Jr. ran a few years back with Reese’s as the sponsor, and they had none of that mess on the car, and it was the best looking race car I have ever seen. I don’t know how they got away with it, but it looked great.
Short story long, this is an egregious case of na$car stealing limited and valuable advertising space on each and every race car.
Keep up the good work. Dave
Dave, right on, and help me out here, my memory won’t quite bring back the exact circumstances, but in the past (recent?) years, one team refused to place one of the “official” NA$CRAP stickers on their car and were penalized in some form or fashion. I just can’t get that part of my brain working (no jokes please)!
Anybody remember this?
AND! Congratualtions Danica Patrick! Smart move!
To Jeff: Are you stupid or are you stoned? 2003 was about the apex (that means highest point)of fan interest. Dale Sr’s death brought more fans to this sport than anything that has ever been done before. France was ecstatic (very very happy)about the fan base and wanted to capture even more of the ‘casual fans’ and started all his idiotic (stupid) moves and changes. In doing so, he alienated (pissed off) most of the true fans. Casual fans are, by definition, just that….casual, and are easily distracted by say, a piece of dust, so they are gone now too. You got to play to your core audience, man! Liken (compare) nascar’s situation to say, Alice Cooper suddenly producing rap albums. Yeah, that’s gonna sell!
Oh you mean the Ulimate Fighting stuff??? Where I live, we call that a ‘Tavern’. Come on down!
Actually very few of the stickers are “required”. They need the Sprint sticker, the Sunoco sticker, and the Goodyear sticker. There might be a couple others.
The rest of the stickers are “Contingency” stickers that pay out as part of the award money. You want to see a car with very, very few contingency stickers? Look at the Red Bull cars. VERY devoid of stickers (and the “award money” shows it- The 83 made less money winning the Michigan race than the 2nd place car of Jeff Gordon, which is plastered end-to-end with contingency stickers like all the Hendrick cars). But none of the Hendrick cars run the WIX sticker, so they aren’t eligible for that particular “award”. Roush doesn’t run the WIX sticker either (they run a K&N sticker).
In fact the Red Bull cars run less contingency stickers than most of the Start-and-Park cars.
As far as “penalizing” I do recall that Petty Enterprises refused to run the Budweiser sticker, and as such were ineligible for the Bud Pole award (or even to be in the shootout).
According to the ratings, 2005 was the best year in NASCAR on TV. And its all downhill after that.
Hey “Doug in Washington State”!
BINGO! And a big thanks for remembering the Petty Enterprises situation, that indeed is the one I was trying to remember.
Yes, most are “contingency” stickers, as opposed to actually being “penalized”, such as the Petty situation! That takes it out of the optional “should I, shouldn’t I” category, and puts it in the “penalty” category!
I.E. YOU CANNOT RUN THIS RACE WITHOUT THE APPROPRIATE STICKERS!
And on a different subject, while out riding the lawnmower and thinking, (hey, I can think, once in a while anyway), one of the reasons I don’t watch the “events” (can’t really call them races now can we?), you used to be able to tune in and within a reasonable amount of time, find out where you favorite drivers were running, even if they were say 40th, but at least you knew!
For a few years, one of the drivers I followed was Robby Gordon, (I admit it, I like Robby), heck, in recent years you could watch for a full hour before ANY mention of say 15th thru 43rd.!
And with the “chase” (can we “chase” that out of town?), it is even worse!
And they have this scrolling at the top of the screen! BUT! Guess what?
The scrolling starts at #1, goes to about 20th, and then they stop it to show a commercial or whatever!
Then they go back to #1, AND DO THE SAME THING ALL OVER AGAIN!
What kind of CRAP is that?
Doug in WA, thanks for saving me a bunch of typing. Those stickers mean money to teams at all levels of racing.
I’m one disgruntled fan turned off by Brain France and his insane changes to Nascar. I used to attend Nascar races each year and never missed a race on TV, but now I don’t give a crap and don’t watch.
I put in well over 30 years following Nascar and Brain France turned me off with all his insane changes to the sport I grew up with. If you told me 10 years ago I would not be following Nascar I would have called you a fool.
Thanks Brain France for ruining Nascar for me.
One more thing; Hows that ticket package scam working for you in Kansas? I received a mailing from Kansas Speedway crying for me to buy tickets for the cup race, but they still insist on scamming the fan for the whole package they don’t want. Screw you and I hope the stands are empty next month.
Hey “Bad Wolf”, RIGHT ON!
I could have written the very same thing, just change the 30 years to some 40+ years!
Yep, back in the days when things were exciting! I can still feel the adrenalin flowing when I think about the old days, now, gee, golf is even interesting to watch!
How sick is that?
One thing, Turnip, Morgan Shepherd wouldnt run the Budweiser sticker due to his Christian convictions..
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