Jeff Meyer · Wednesday March 8, 2006
Before we start today’s class of NASCAR Math 101, I want to take a moment to revisit last week’s edition of Voices.
In the wake of NASCAR’s explanation that the 10,000 empty seats at Fontana weren’t really empty but bought by people that were actually shopping under the grandstands, I said that that must be NASCAR’s ideal fan base; rich and stupid. That statement seemed to cause some slight irritation to a few California residents who wrote to tell me about it.
Allow me this opportunity to set a few things straight.
If you were one of those fans who actually took the time to write, I was NOT referring to you. The rich and stupid fans that I WAS referring to could not have possibly written, for they simply do not exist. But you will never hear that from NASCAR. NASCAR thinks you are stupid enough to believe that people actually paid for tickets to shop in an area that requires no ticket to get into. (Thanks for that confirmation MMarshall!)
Another thing I would like to make clear is that I, at no time, was ever knocking the “racing roots” in California. There were and are, many fine tracks out there that actually feature racing. A NASCAR Cup race at California Speedway is NOT one of them. On to the math.
The new Goodyear “Tire Leasing” program that is now effect as per The Big BF’s mandate (Brian France), is France’s idea of keeping costs down for teams. Here’s how it works.
At the last race, (California) Goodyear leased each Cup team a total of 16 sets of tires. 6 sets for qualifying and practice, and 10 more race sets after final practice. That is a total of 64 tires per team. (For ease of computing, I am only using figures for the final 43 starting spots.) So, if you take 64 times 43, you get a total of 2752 tires. NASCAR’s ingenious cost saving plan now kicks in.
Each tire is “leased” for $407 which includes mounting, balancing and inner liner (if required). Obviously, not all the tires are going to be used, so, any team that turns in an UNUSED (but previously mounted) tire, gets a $125 credit! What a deal! In addition to this fantastic cost savings, Goodyear has installed microchips into each tire to track inventory and make sure that ALL sets, used and unused, are returned. Oh, I should mention also that Goodyear, out of the goodness of their hearts, plan to issue a $20 rebate at the end of the year for each tire leased. They consider this rebate “payment” to the teams for all the Goodyear patches and decals on cars and uniforms.
For the sake of argument, let’s say that the new upstart team of Hall of Fame Racing leased 64 tires at California Speedway. Figuring in their rebate, that’s 64 times $387 for a total cost of $24,768. Imagine that they only used half of those by the end of the weekend and returned 32 unused tires to Goodyear. That would be 32 times $125 which equals a $4000 credit! Remember, these are 32 unused tires that HOF “leased” for $12,384 and had to return for a $4,000 credit. All this math amounts to an “instant NASCAR savings’ of MINUS $8,384 for HoF! Heeerrrreee’s my sign! Sign me right up! But wait, it gets even better, for Goodyear anyway.
What does Goodyear do with those 32 UNUSED tires that are deemed no longer suitable for Cup teams? Why, they are RESOLD to Busch and Craftsman Truck teams for $259 each! So, unless my high school education was for naught, 32 tires sold the first time at ($387 – $125 credit) equals a $262 per tire net for Goodyear. Now, take 32 x $262 and you get $8,384!
Resell the same 32 tires AGAIN at $259 and Goodyear makes an additional $8,288! Set back and look at this folks. Those original 32 UNUSED tires have now netted Goodyear $16,672! If you divide $16,672 by 32, that comes to $521 per tire. Want to take it further?
In my little scenario here, the team used half the tires and returned half. So, Goodyear sold 32 tires which got used up and warranted no return credit for $12384, and then turned around and made another $16,672 on the unused tires for a grand total of $29,056! Under the new tire leasing program, Goodyear nets $4288 more than if they had just sold the tires outright at $387 each. What a freaking scam. Thus concludes our lesson for today.
Before I go however, last week there was a cry for a contact number or email address by readers who would gladly let NASCAR know how they feel if they only knew how! Well dear readers, if you email me at email@example.com, I will send you my list. Better still, call NASCAR headquarters directly at (386) 253-0611! When you do call, choose option 9 from the menu. That gives you 3 minutes to air your gripes directly to the head office! Tell ‘em Jeff sent you!
Stay off the wall (but get on the phone!),
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