NASCAR Announces Modifications To NASCAR Hall Of Fame Eligibility And Selection Process
posted by Mike Neff
Thursday December 5, 2013
The Sanctioning Body Also Creates New Award For Outstanding Contributions
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Dec. 5, 2013) – NASCAR today announced a number of changes to the selection process for the NASCAR Hall of Fame (NHOF), including a modification to driver eligibility parameters and the creation of a new award to honor significant contributions to the growth and success of the sport.
In all, six changes and updates will be made starting with the selection of the Class of 2015 – all designed to improve upon an already strong process that has led to the selection of 25 deserving inductees.
“We’re very proud of how the NASCAR Hall of Fame has evolved and believe the first five classes reflect the strength of the nominating and voting procedures, with voices from every corner of our industry included in the selection process,” said Brett Jewkes, NASCAR vice president and chief communications officer. “Based on feedback from voters, industry leaders, media who cover our sport and the fans, we believe the changes announced today are a strong recognition of the uniqueness of our sport and will make the overall selection process even stronger in how we honor those who have driven NASCAR to great success on and off the track.”
Following is a summary of changes:
Currently, drivers who have competed in NASCAR for at least 10 years and been retired for three years are eligible for nomination to the NHOF. That will not change.
Moving forward, however, drivers who have competed for a minimum of 10 years and reached their 55th birthday on or before Dec. 31 of the year prior to the nominating year are immediately eligible for the NHOF. Also, any competitor who has competed for 30 or more years in NASCAR competition by Dec. 31 of the year prior to the nominating year is automatically eligible, regardless of age.
Drivers may continue to compete after reaching any of the aforementioned milestones without compromising eligibility for nomination or induction.
Nominating Committee Will Select Five Fewer Nominees for Enshrinement
Throughout its history, the NHOF Nominating Committee has selected 25 nominees each year to be discussed and voted on for NHOF enshrinement. That number will be reduced to 20 starting with the selection process for the 2015 class.
Landmark Award for Outstanding Contributions to NASCAR
Beginning with the 2015 class, a new award – Landmark Award for Outstanding Contributions to NASCAR – will be initiated to honor significant contributions to the growth and esteem of NASCAR.
Potential Landmark Award recipients could include competitors or those working in the sport as a member of a racing organization, track facility, race team, sponsor, media partner or being a general ambassador for the sport through a professional or non-professional role. Award winners will remain eligible for NHOF enshrinement.
Five nominees will be selected by the NHOF Nominating Committee and then be voted on by the Voting Panel. To win the award, an individual must appear on at least 60 percent of the ballots and no more than one award will be presented annually. Voting for this award will occur immediately following the voting for the NHOF class and be monitored by the same independent accounting firm that oversees NHOF voting.
Nominating Committee to Meet, Vote on 20 NHOF Nominees / Five Landmark Award Nominees
For the first time, the Nominating Committee will meet in person to discuss, debate and vote to create two ballots – the NHOF ballot and the Landmark Award for Outstanding Contributions to NASCAR ballot. Previously, the committee submitted nominees via mail to an independent accounting firm that tallies the nominations in order to create the final NHOF ballot.
The Nominating Committee will meet during Speedweeks at Daytona on Friday, Feb. 21, 2014, and the nominees for both ballots will be announced later that day.
Nominees To Be Recused From the Nominating / Voting Process
Any member of the Nominating Committee or Voting Panel who appeared on the previous year’s ballot or current year’s ballot will now be recused from participating in the nominating and / or voting process for as long as he / she appears on the ballot. If an individual who is currently on the Nominating Committee or Voting Panel is inducted, or is no longer included on a final ballot, he or she is immediately reinstated to active participation on the panel(s).
Reigning NASCAR Sprint Cup Champion Added To Voting Panel
As was already announced on Nov. 14 at Homestead-Miami Speedway during the annual NASCAR Championship Contenders Press Conference, the reigning NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion will be added to the following year’s voting panel.
That means Jimmie Johnson, who captured his sixth NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship, will be included in the selection meeting and can cast a vote for the NHOF Class of 2015 on Voting Day, Wednesday, May 21, 2014.
NASCAR Purchases Iowa Speedway
posted by Mike Neff
Wednesday November 27, 2013
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Nov. 27, 2013) – In a strategic move designed to expand its commitment to enhancing event experiences and fan engagement, as well as solidify the future of one of the premier racing and entertainment facilities in the Midwest, NASCAR announced today that it has purchased Iowa Speedway. The agreement, finalized today under a wholly-owned subsidiary, Iowa Speedway, LLC, is effective immediately.
“Iowa Speedway is a great entertainment facility with a very bright future,” said Eric Nyquist, NASCAR vice president, strategic development. “The facility has the support of the region, it’s positioned well in the heart of the Midwest, and year in and year out it provides great short-track racing action for motorsports fans.
“NASCAR ownership will allow us to draw on the entire resources of our company. It also provides us with the opportunity to execute first-hand a number of entertainment ideas and engagement opportunities with fans – much of which we have outlined repeatedly as the core of our Industry Action Plan.”
The facility, located 30 miles east of Des Moines in Newton, features a fast, .875-mile asphalt paved tri-oval designed by NASCAR Hall of Famer Rusty Wallace. The Speedway released its 2014 schedule earlier this month, encompassing three weekends, one each in May, July and August. The schedule will include two NASCAR Nationwide Series races, a combination NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and IndyCar Series weekend, plus two additional NASCAR K&N Pro Series support races. NASCAR has no plans for Iowa Speedway to host a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race next year or in the immediate future.
NASCAR will host a special event in Des Moines on Thursday, Dec. 12, to outline additional details on the purchase and plans for the future. Information on this event will be announced soon.
The 2014 Iowa Speedway season opens May 17-18, with the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East versus West Challenge on Saturday night. The stars and cars of the NASCAR Nationwide Series then will battle on Sunday in a 250-lap, high-speed contest. The race marks the only Sunday afternoon event of the season at Iowa Speedway.
The new NASCAR Camping World Truck Series / IndyCar Series race weekend at Iowa Speedway is slated for July 11-12. The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will race Friday night and feature short-track racing action that has become synonymous with the series in the American Ethanol 200. The first-ever Iowa Corn Indy 300 will follow on Saturday night.
On Friday, Aug. 1, a second NASCAR K&N Pro Series East versus West challenge race will be held followed by a second NASCAR Nationwide Series 250-lap event on Saturday under the lights.
Season ticket holders may renew their tickets for the 2014 season, and will have an exclusive right to secure their current seats until Dec. 14. All other seats are available for purchase immediately, with season ticket prices starting at $95. All season tickets will include a guaranteed seat location, complimentary Casey’s Fan Walk pass and an opportunity to participate in pre-race ceremonies. Season tickets, parking passes and onsite camping options are available online at www.iowaspeedway.com, or by calling the toll-free ticketing hotline, 866-RUSTY-GO (787-8946).
Iowa Speedway’s ticketing office, located at 3333 Rusty Wallace Drive in Newton, also will be open to assist customers from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, holidays excepted.
2014 IOWA SPEEDWAY EVENT SCHEDULE
Saturday, May 17 – NASCAR K&N Pro Series East vs. West Challenge
Friday, July 11 – American Ethanol 200, NASCAR Camping World Truck Series
Friday, August 1 – NASCAR K&N Pro Series East vs. West Challenge
Stewart-Haas Racing announces reorganization of their Competition Department
posted by Mike Neff
Tuesday November 19, 2013
Stewart-Haas Racing is expanding to four teams in the Sprint Cup series for 2014. As a result, the organization is realigning some personnel into new roles within their competition department. The new assignments for 2014 include:
1) Greg Zipadelli has been named Vice President of Competition and will oversee all four Sprint Cup teams. The crew chiefs of the teams will report directly to Zipadelli.
2) Matt Borland has been named Vice President of Engineering. The role will involve Borland overseeing the organization’s technical initiatives and a myriad of research and development projects. As Borland moves into his new role he will become a mentor for the crew chief of the No. 41 Haas Automation team of Kurt Busch.
3) Race Engineer Daniel Knost is being promote to the position of Crew Chief for Busch’s No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet. Knost is an engineer with a Master of Science and PHD in Mechanical Engineering from VPI and Virginia Tech. Knost’s previous roles at SHR included running the team’s seven-post shaker rig, at-track race simulation support and race engineer for both the No. 10 and No. 39 teams.
4) Chad Johnston is going to take over the Crew Chief position for Tony Stewart’s No. 14. Johnston has spent the last three years as Martin Truex Jr.‘s Crew Chief at Michael Waltrip Racing. Johnston brings Hoosier roots to the organization like Stewart. He is a graduate of Indiana State University with a degree in Mechanical Engineering.
5) The Crew Chief for Kevin Harvick’s No. 4 ride in 2014 will be Rodney Childers. Childers moved to SHR in October of 2013 from MWR where he was a Crew Chief for the No. 00 David Reutimann and then the No. 55 for multiple drivers. Childers Crew Chief resume extends back to 2005 when he was the head wrench for MB2/MBV Motorsports with Scott Riggs.
6) Tony Gibson will remain on top of the pit box for Danica Patrick in the No. 10 car for 2014.
Steve Addington is leaving SHR for other opportunities. The word is he will be the Crew Chief for the No. 51, working with his good friend Kevin ‘Bono’ Manion.
2011 Daytona 500 Champion Trevor Bayne Diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis
posted by Mike Neff
Tuesday November 12, 2013
Daytona 500 winner and Roush Fenway Racing (RFR) driver Trevor Bayne has announced today that he has been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Bayne – 22 years old – has undergone extensive testing at the Mayo Clinic and has been cleared by doctors and NASCAR to compete behind the wheel.
“I’ve never been more driven to compete,” said Bayne. “My goals are the same as they’ve been since I started racing. I want to compete at the highest level and I want to win races and championships. I am in the best shape I’ve ever been in and I feel good,” added Bayne. “There are currently no symptoms and I’m committed to continuing to take the best care of my body as possible. I will continue to trust in God daily and know that His plan for me is what is best.”
In 2011, Bayne became the youngest driver in NASCAR history to win the famed Daytona 500. He is currently sixth in the NNS standings, having accumulated one win, six top-five and 20 top-10 finishes in 2013. He will compete again full-time for the NNS championship in 2014, driving the No. 6 AdvoCare Ford Mustang.
In 117 career Nationwide Series races Bayne has two wins, 18 top 5s and 50 top 10s with six poles. Bayne also has 45 career Sprint Cup series starts. In those starts he has the one win in the 2011 Daytona 500, one top 5 and three top 10s.
Multiple sclerosis is an unpredictable disease of the central nervous system which interrupts the flow of information within the brain and between the brain and the rest of the body. Symptoms range from reduced or lost mobility to numbness and tingling to blindness and, in extreme cases, paralysis. The progress, severity and specific symptoms of MS in any one person cannot yet be predicted, and each person diagnosed with MS experiences the disease in a unique way.
Penalties Issued Following Sledgehammer Throw
posted by Phil Allaway
Thursday October 31, 2013
Last Saturday’s Kroger 200 at Martinsville Speedway will likely be best known for Darrell Wallace, Jr.‘s historic victory. However, late in the race, a crash involving Ty Dillon and Kevin Harvick, along with the pit road actions afterward, also made headlines.
Dillon got in the back of Harvick in Turn 2, spinning the Sprint Cup regular out, who then ran into the driver of the No. 3 Chevrolet. Dillon then responded with a number of unsuccessful attempts to spin out Harvick. When both drivers got to pit road, Harvick blocked Dillon’s stall and threw down his window net, prompting a scrum where a sledgehammer was thrown by a member of Dillon’s team at Harvick’s truck.
On Friday morning, NASCAR responded with penalties stemming from the pit road altercation. Marcus Richmond, crew chief of the No. 3 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet, has been fined $10,000 for failing to maintain control of his crew. Meanwhile, crewmember Adam Brown was judged by NASCAR to be the person who three the sledgehammer at Harvick and was suspended indefinitely.
In their press release, NASCAR cited violations of multiple sections of the 2013 Camping World Truck Series Rule Book. The sections cited were 12-1 (Actions Detrimental to Stock Car Racing) and 9-4A (Crew chief resumes responsibility for the actions of his driver, team owner, and team members in addition to himself).
There is no word as of yet from Richard Childress Racing as to whether they plan to appeal the penalties.
Marcos Ambrose to have new sponsor for Dover Cup race in September
posted by Mike Neff
Tuesday October 29, 2013
The current economic environment has seen sponsors cutting back and even leaving the sport. Richard Petty Motorsports announced on Tuesday evening that they will have a new sponsor on the hood for the Dover Cup race and an associate sponsor for half of the season. Stanley and their associated brands Mac and Dewalt will also be back for 2014 on the No. 9 Ford for Marcos Ambrose.
Brian Moffitt, the CEO of Richard Petty Motorsports noted that the company is willing to run an alcohol sponsor on the No. 9 but will never do it on the No. 43. “Richard promised his parents that he’d never run an alcohol or tobacco sponsor on his car and that will hold true as long as we’re an organization.” When he was asked about how this came about he said, “This just kind of happened. There are relationships out there in the marketplace that are always talking with each other. We ended up going to Boston and having a discussion with the company and the next thing you know we are partners.”
Twisted Tea is a division of Boston Beer Company, most famous for the Samuel Adams beer brand. Jon London, the Boston Beer Director of Brand Development was on hand and loves the marriage between Twisted Tea’s customers and NASCAR. “We look at NASCAR and think that they, along with Marcos Ambrose, are just a great fit for the brand. Our drinkers love NASCAR and Marcos is a little bit different, our drinkers are a little different and Marcos is a lot of fun so he’s a great person to represent our brand.”
Moffitt also confirms that, while there are a few openings left on the 2014 calendar for RPM, both Ambrose and Aric Almirola will be back in 2014 and should have all of their races covered by the start of the season.
Darrell Wallace Jr. Scores Significant Victory at Martinsville
posted by Mike Neff
Saturday October 26, 2013
Darrell Wallace, Jr. etched his name in the NASCAR history book under two different columns on Saturday at Martinsville Speedway. Wallace took the checkered flag first to become the second African-American driver in the history of NASCAR to win a National touring series race, and the first to win a Truck Series race. He is also the second graduate of NASCAR’s Drive for Diversity to win a national touring race, following Kyle Larson’s victory at Rockingham Speedway earlier this season.
Wallace led a race-high 96 laps en route to his win. He led three times including the final 50 laps. Wallace outran Brendan Gaughan, Jeb Burton, Ben Kennedy and Ryan Blaney to secure his win. The average age of the top 5 at Martinsville was 23.8 with four of the five drivers being under 22 years of age. Wallace is the second non-Cup driver to win in a Kyle Busch Motorsports truck following Brian Scott’s win at Phoenix last season.
Hamlin Picks Up a Pair of Poles in Martinsville
posted by Amy Henderson
Friday October 25, 2013
Denny Hamlin will start on the pole for Sunday’s Goody’s Headache Relief Shot 500 at Martinsville Speedway after setting a new track record with a lap time of 19.013 seconds, good for a speed of 99.595 MPH. Jimmie Johnson and Kyle Busch ran identical second-place times of 190.61 seconds. Johnson will start on the front row after winning the tie-breaker, car owner points, where Johnson currently sits first. Busch will start third, and Matt Kenseth and Clint Bowyer round out the top 5. Joey Logano, Jamie McMurray, David Ragan, Jeff Gordon and Kevin Harvick complete the top 10.
The pole is Hamlin’s 17th in 288 races. It’s also his fifth of 2013, a career-best for Hamlin, whose season was interrupted by a back injury earlier in the year.
In all, 18 drivers broke the previous track record, set in the spring race this year by Johnson. Bowyer broke the 100 MPH mark in practice, but no driver was able to duplicate that in time trials. The Sprint Cup drivers will have a pair of practice sessions on Saturday before Sunday’s 500-lap event.
Seven Chase drivers qualified inside the top 10, and Dale Earnhardt, Jr. and Carl Edwards clocked in in 12th and 14th, respectively. Other Chase drivers include Ryan Newman (17th), Kasey Kahne (25th), and Greg Biffle (33rd).
Hamlin wasn’t done after his Sprint Cup qualifying effort. NASCAR Camping World Truck Series drivers took their time trials after the Cup teams had their shot, and Hamlin duplicated his earlier effort, snagging the pole for the Kroger 250 in the No. 51 Kyle Busch Motorsports entry. Johnny Sauter, Darrell Wallace, Jr., Ron Hornaday, Jr., and Ty Dillon round out the top 5 for Saturday’s race.
2014 Camping World Truck Series Schedule announced
posted by Amy Henderson
Friday October 25, 2013
NASCAR announced the 2014 Camping World Truck Series schedule today at Martinsville Speedway. The series will run 22 events in 2014 starting at Daytona on February 21st and concluding at Homestead on November 14th. The schedule includes stops at New Hampshire Motorspeedway and Gateway Motorsports Park next year. The series will once again turn right and left at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park along with slinging mud for the second consecutive year at Eldora Speedway.
2014 Camping World Trucks Series Schedule
Feb 21 Daytona
Tweet Lands Another Driver In Trouble
posted by Phil Allaway
Thursday October 24, 2013
NASCAR announced on Wednesday that Corey LaJoie has been placed on probation after posting an inappropriate tweet on Twitter last week. He will have to attend sensitivity training as prescribed by NASCAR.
In their statement, NASCAR stated that LaJoie is being penalized for “an insensitive and intolerable communication” posted on Twitter on October 15. The tweet, which has since been deleted, suggested that the Transportation Safety Administration (TSA) should conduct a cavity search on a man wearing a turban.
Wednesday afternoon, LaJoie tweeted out a statement.
“I am very sorry for those offended by my recent remark,” LaJoie tweeted. “It was an immature & insensitive comment. I am upset with myself and how this has affected what has been a very positive year in my career.”
This incident marks the second time this season that NASCAR has penalized a driver for comments on social media. Earlier this season, Nelson Piquet, Jr. was forced to attend sensitivity training after using a homophobic slur in the comments section of an Instagram picture that Parker Kligerman posted.
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Jeff Meyer · Thursday March 2, 2006
Is your life in shambles? Are you in need of some good PR so that others won’t realize how bad things really are? If that’s the case, NASCAR and ISC are the only numbers you need!
In case you are a new viewer of the entertainment show known as NASCAR Nextel Cup, let me connect a few dots for you so that you may follow this article with some sense of understanding. The fans that have been around for awhile who remember when NASCAR was a sport, please bear with me.
NASCAR is a privately held company by the France family. International Speedway Corporation (ISC) is a publicly traded company, controlled by the France family. I commonly refer to both as conjoined twins. California Speedway (along with 11 others) is owned by ISC. Gillian Zucker, whom I will be quoting from during this article, is the president of California Speedway, i.e. an ISC employee and this week’s official company spokesperson. Ok, now that we have cleared that up"¦
If you are one of those fans that was against the move of forsaking "˜The Rock’ altogether, and Darlington losing a date just so California could have two dates, you might have been happy to see over 10,000 empty seats at this past Sunday’s race. Well, I’m sorry to burst your gloating bubble, but those seats were not actually empty. They were actually bought and paid for, not by race fans, but by some SERIOUS California shoppers.
“I was underneath the midway area during the event,’’ said track president Zucker. “It was packed. When I came around to this side of the grandstands I thought, ‘Oh, wow! They’re going to think that there’s a lot fewer people here that are here.’ Underneath that grandstand there were [fans] that were shopping during the race.’’
Let me see if I got this straight. There were 10,000 NASCAR fans out there who figured that the cheapest way to shop for NASCAR stuff was to buy a ticket to the race just so they could go shopping? Oh my! That has got to be NASCAR’s ideal fan base! Rich and stupid! No wonder they were so eager to get two dates into the country’s second largest MARKET. It is all becoming clear to me now.
I do, however, have another question/problem that, I hope, someone who has actually been to a race at California Speedway can help me with. I have never been there, but at every track that I have been to, the main areas where the souvenir TRAILERS are located are actually OUTSIDE of the areas of the speedway that you need a ticket to get into. Is this different in California? Like I said, I haven’t been there, so I really don’t know the setup. Hopefully one of my faithful west coast readers can help a brotha out and let me know.
Despite the fact that there is apparently some fantastic shopping deals at the California Speedway which people will go so far as to buy a ticket for, ISC may be thinking about doing something to the track, such as progressive banking, to make the racing almost as good as the shopping.
“Certainly in Miami, it’s completely changed the show,’’ Zucker said. “If that’s what the fans are telling us that they need to see … we always hoped to have some of the spectacle that brings so many people to the track.’’
Wow! Nothing gets by this Zucker chick! The president of California SPEEDWAY (note SPEEDWAY!) is beginning think that the folks who buy tickets to a SPEEDWAY want to see more of a spectacle called RACING! My God, where do they get these people?
This is the current state of NASCAR folks! I absolutely cannot make it any clearer to you. If you still do not get it, you are dumber than a post.
The silent majority of true race fans can ill afford to be silent much longer. We MUST let the idiots that have done this to the great sport of racing know how we feel. The only way to do that is with the dollar. Write, call, email, send a carrier pigeon if you have to, but let NASCAR know what you WON’T be buying or which race you WON’T be attending this year.
"We’re 40 miles from the entertainment capital of the world, and that’s something we’re really looking to maximize on,’’ Zucker said.
Hey Gillian baby, call me a hayseed from Iowa, but if you want to fill the stands at a SPEEDWAY, maybe you should be looking to maximize on the RACING! Just a thought.
Stay off the wall,
©2000 - 2008 Jeff Meyer and Frontstetch.com. Thanks for visiting the Frontstretch!
I live less then 2 hours from California Speedway, and even I think it is a waste of money to attend their races.
They need to make a Richmond or Texas out of the current track. Follow the leader racing is not exciting at all. Plus they only seem to sell the “Good” seats to those with who get renewable packages. It makes it tough for the regular people.
Big money ruins all sports. NASCAR is no different. It has become ALL about marketing and cash flow and nothing about racing. It has become an “entertainment” business. Unfortunatly if you like racing it is no longer entertainment. If you like Americain Idle and Inside Hollywood it probably is entertaining to you.
Well said, Mr. Meyer. I just don’t understand why NASCAR has to make this an “us” versus “them” battle. Give Cali two dates, I don’t care. But if you’re going to leave Darlington with only one date, make it the Labor Day Southern 500. Give the old fans their due while trying to attract “new” fans. Why do we race at Loudon? Especially twice? Give one of those dates back to Rockingham. Spend a friggin’ dime on the facilities at Darlington so the toilets don’t stop up half the time. NASCAR thinks that they have to forsake their roots to grow. Name me one thing on this earth that grows without roots.
Hey Buzz!! Sorry you don’t like Loudon. But we NASCAR fans who live here in the north can’t always afford to travel hundreds of miles to see a race. So, we LOVE the fact that Loudon exists and has two races a year. It’s the only time we get to see racing in person. And since the July race is ALWAYS sold out, it’s a good thing September gives a few more people the chance to go. We go to both races and travel 150 miles one way to get there. But it’s the closest place we have.
NEXTEL had an advertisment which said, “the best way to honor a sport is to honor its traditions.” Then, NASCAR/NEXTEL promptly did away with the Southern 500 on Labor day. What a way to honor a tradition.
I have been to California Speedway twice, and you are correct in your assumption that the souvenir trailers are outside of the area requiring a ticket. And as far as being a bargain….......not! After the spring 2005 race, my brother and I agreed that it would be our last time attending. Hmmmm maybe Las Vegas next time or Phoenix. San Diego fan.
Good article. I think the CA fans weren’t in the stands because they bought tickets for Las Vegas. At least what happens here stays here, and not 60 miles away from the track (as in L.A.).
Excellent article Jeff. All week I’ve been reading the comments by one Gillian Zucker and, quite frankly, they are an insult to “real” race fans. She must not realize that most of us have been to an actual race. We know what is good racing and what is bad. Sunday’s race at California Speedway was awful – took a nap in the middle and missed NOTHING! Does she actually think 10,000 people were under the grandstands “shopping?” TOO FUNNY! What I keep thinking about is that they have been racing at California Speedway since 1997 – ten years. If you can’t get more than 75,000 people out of a 17 million person market to come to your track after ten years of racing then you need to seriously rethink your marketing strategy….either that or change the track to make the racing better. But Ms. Zucker sounds like an idiot so they’ll probably worry about their marketing strategy.
It is truly sad that NASCAR has become so blinded by all the money flying in thier face to see that they have ruined the sport. When did the on track product NOT become the main goal and seriously I want to know why they kept adding tracks that were the same (cookie cutter) when the best racing occurs on other tracks. Anyone know?
If you would all please realize that clifornia has some great racing roots, I think that would help your understanding fo the problems. Did you all forget about Riverside? Ontario? I’m only 18 and have never been to these tracks as they were destroyed before my birth. I’m glad that CA has two races, it’s the only time those of us who don’t travel get to see thw rold’s greatest sport. I agree that the race was boring, but there were good ones in the past, such as the ‘03 event and the inagural night race in ‘04. Give some consideration to the fans who are out here. Just because our region doesn’t grow up with racing shove down our throats doesn’t mean we don’t give a damn. The term success means a different thing to each person, so lay either lay off or get out here yourselves.
Riverside was lost to the housing expansion in southern California. It was a great track and had many great races there not only of NA$CAR, but sports cars also. Ontario had some great races. Unfortunately, it was lost to the greed of the owners who turned the track into an industrial park. Last I heard was the industrial park is pretty empty. Several good short tracks have been lost to the housing expansion in several areas. So the places where race fans can go to enjoy racing are getting to be fewer and fewer in California.
Now with that being said, they’ve had 10 years to build their fan base for that track. They did good with one race. But, like Texas, when that second date was brought in, the fan base started to shrink. Since the racing has taken a turn for the worse, those fans who were loyal are leaving because the racing has become a snooze-a-thon and the ticket prices keep getting jacked up higher and higher so that season ticket holders can’t afford to go any more. So you can imagine the Average Joe’s reaction when he finds out he’s got to lay out a good chunk of his paycheck just to attend one race out of curiosity. No repeat attendees there. And southern California is loaded with other forms of entertainment that are cheaper for a family to attend than going to a race. According to figures I’ve read from several California newspapers, there are approximately 20 million people living within a 2 hour drive of the track. That’s the figure that NA$CAR uses to figure out how successful a race will be and how many folks will attend. Well, you get 141,000 people jamming into Bristol, population 25,000, who come from all over the US and Canada to see the races there. And they can’t even get 92,000 people out of 20 million to go to Fontana? We’re talking about.46% of the people there attending the races. There is something definitely wrong with this picture. Either NA$CAR over-estimated their fan draw and pulling power or the way it’s promoted, the high ticket cost, and the other forms of entertainment there are keeping folks away. Of course, the way the second date was given to the track and where it came from did upset a lot of traditional race fans who still insist on boycotting the fall race at Fontana. So that’s definitely going to cut into the attendance. And wait, it’ll get worse next year with the arrival of Toyota when even more of the traditional fans quit attending races because of the appearance of the Toyotas.
With Jewel’s performance, stall out; the energetic “start your engines,” what energy; and watching everyone drive lined up like a.m. rush hour, please people; who didn’t have a blast Sunday? Living in Birmingham, Dega-Bound get’s more response than a tornado siren. California needs some serious revamp. The comment about Bristol and Darlington sum it up, LEGACY. People start planning for the fall race as soon as the checker falls in the spring race. Come on, let’s go to California and pay twice as much for gas, accommodations and have a terrible time. Maybe we could go to Mexico and spend the day lost or with the trots.
Good article Jeff…
Earlier I was reading the “Track Smak” thing over at NASCAR.com and they were discussing the California thing.
One of them said that the butts in the seats is not what matters, but it’s the market.
So I asked them to explain the math to me.
If a major T.V. market ratings are no more than the smaller market ratings and attendance doesn’t mean anything then why is it so important that we give up good racing just to be in a major market area?
I don’t know… it doesn’t add up when I do the math.
What is the point of being in a major media market if no one is interested.
Both NBC and Fox go nation wide with their networks, so a signal from Rockingham or Darlington will reach anywhere in the good ole U.S. of A. so why is NASCAR so willing to give up good racing for the same viewership?
I don’t understand the logic. If there is no difference in how many people are reached via the air waves from a major market with bad racing or a small market with great racing, then why?... Why do it.
I guess it’s more of that NASCAR “new math” stuff.
You know where you say you have 75 million fans but none of the factual numbers back it up.
Can’t help but shake my head at the way NASCAR has raised rationalization to an art form.
They ignore a venue like Kentucky Speedway that sells out (70,000+) for stand-alone Busch, NCTS, and even ARCA races.
Maybe my problem is that I’m old enough to remember how good it was and because of that, I can see how bad it has become.
I used to attend 3-4 races per year up until about 1996. Now when the weather is nice I barely watch them on TV. I always watch Bristol, Richmond and Talledega regardless. I’d rather spend the money at Buck Baker to get some seat time! I went to Dover twice a year until they ruined it by putting the concrete down and shortening it by 100 laps. Of course the tickets cost more for the 400 lapper than the 500 laps the year before. Hopefully Toyota doesn’t do to NASCAR what it has to every other series it’s been involved in. Eh, they can just rename it the “NASCAR Toyota Cup”.
Jeff, a lot of us would gladly let Nascar know our opinons if they ONLY would have an e-mail address to send it to them.
Recent articles from Jeff Meyer:
BSNews! Bruton’s Plans Extend Beyond Bristol’s Track
Top Ten Reasons Fans Failed To Show Up At Bristol Sunday
BSNews! NASCAR CEO Given "Special" Award Amidst Lavish Fanfare
Fan Coun-ci-What? Just What Is It That NASCAR Wants To Study?
Top Ten Reasons People With No Sense of Humor Write In And Complain About These Lists
Want to know more about Jeff Meyer or view his complete article archives? Then hop on over to his archive and bio page.