Dennis Michelsen · Tuesday March 8, 2005
(Race News for Fans with Short Attention Spans)
NASCAR Nation Good, Bad, and the Ugly
Last week as I was sitting in my easy chair waiting for the weekly “Mirror Driving” meeting at Frontstretch, I was hit with this sudden longing for the return of “RPM2Night.” The new Speed Channel show “NASCAR Nation” inspired that feeling and according to the overwhelming e-mail and comments from readers last week I am not alone with those feelings!
The basic premise for “NASCAR Nation” is fine, the set is appealing, and the hosts don’t suck…so why isn’t this show hitting it off with the old time NASCAR fans like myself? A full hour of NASCAR news! Isn’t this what we always wanted…more of our favorite sport? Well perhaps more is not better when it seems to be a show with the scripts edited and/or written by NASCAR brass! Apparently what most fans want is unbiased news about their favorite sport and so far “NASCAR Nation” hasn’t butted heads with NASCAR on anything. But what exactly is wrong with “NASCAR Nation” anyway? As old sport’s guru George Michael used to say, “Let’s take a look at the video tape.”
In their comments to me last week lots of praise was heaped on Ralph Sheheen. Maybe being one of the ESPN guys is why old-time NASCAR fans despite saying “NASCAR Nation” is less than great still like Sheheen. Likewise fans seem to like Krista Voda and think she adds more to the show than just being a pretty face. Courtney George and Michelle Fizer seem to add little to the mix and some fans questioned their NASCAR knowledge. One rather curious episode occurred on the show Monday night this week. Reporting live from DEI headquarters the reporter was asked what was going on at DEI. The answer was a confusing “Not much.” So why have two remotes from a facility that was basically empty? This is the sort of confused programming we are seeing from this new show.
The concept being “NASCAR Nation” is great but so far according to the fans that have sounded off it seems to be missing its target audience. I have contacted the folks at Speed Channel for an interview with people involved in the show. If you have any feedback about the show or ideas of questions to ask please let me know. In the meantime count me out as a resident in the new “NASCAR Nation.”
Thanks for the Memories Mark Martin
Fan clubs and their assorted newsletters and web sites have never held much of an interest to me over the years. These self-promoting ventures seem to be more about selling stuff than letting you get a real glimpse at the driver anyway. Of course some of the older fan clubs such as that of Kenny Wallace is the exception to that rule. But this week a new fan club site for Mark Martin debuted and it got my attention right away. Called the “Mark Martin Salute to You” it features a ton of great pictures and even greater memories for all us Martin fans! Located at www.markmartinsalute.com, here is what you can expect to find. Do you remember Mark Martin’s first Winston Cup win? Now for a bonus point do you remember his sponsor? We used to say down at Purdue that this product was “Fire Brewed Over a Garbage Dump,” but they were sure good colors to follow back in 1989! Now for two more bonus points what track did he get his first win at race fans? There is even a link to the site of the 2012 Nextel Cup Rookie of the Year’s web site, none other than 13-year old Matt Martin! Take a stroll through the pictures and other fun stuff at the “Salute to You” web site and you won’t be sorry even if you aren’t a die-hard Martin fan. Thanks for the memories Mark, you are truly one of the best that’s ever been!
What is Win Fuel?
The new fad in the world of marketing is the so-called trend of Guerilla Marketing. The idea is to create a BUZZ for a product before people even know what that product is all about. United Airline’s used this technique to debut their new low-cost air carrier called “Ted.” Debuting in Denver, Colorado “Ted” kept popping up on billboards all over town. “Ted” bought people coffee and lunches. Messages to “Ted” even showed up on the message boards at Denver Nuggets basketball games. People wanted to know what “Ted” was and soon found out. This year in racing we have seen Dale Earnhardt Jr in advertisements for Win Fuel. After seeing advertisement after advertisement on race broadcasts I finally was curious enough to check out their product at www.winfuel.com. A visit to their web site left me even more confused since the product isn’t out yet! But their web site contains one of the craziest pieces of marketing I have ever seen. The “Win Fuel Edge” handbook “Winning With Losers” is a hoot! One little taste, they suggest that one of the ways to know that the Win Fuel Edge has taken hold is that flushing the toilet no longer affects the flow of hot water in the shower. Congratulations to the marketing geniuses at Win Fuel, we still have no clue what this stuff is or does but at least their marketing plan is a winner.
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