Voices From the Heartland · Jeff Meyer · Wednesday July 5, 2006
In a shameless attempt to be hired by some big ad agency, I will reitierate what I said the first time Tony Stewart started climbing fences.
Home Depot is a national chain. As such, they need to start some type of in-store competition among its employees to be an “Official Ladder Bearer” of any given race in their particular geographic area. Choose three lucky employees from stores near where the race is being held, and give each of them an all-expense paid trip to the race.
These employees would be guests of Home Depot and be on “standby” during the race. Should the inevitable happen and Tony win the race, these employees grab a Home Depot supplied ladder , rush it out to the catchfence, and set it up so an exhausted Tony doesn't have to work so hard! The fans would love it, and so would the employees. You could probably even get the ladder manufacturer on board as an associate sponsor.
Just visualize it in your head for a minute…guys (or gals) in orange Home Depot aprons run out and set up an orange ladder so the guy in the orange firesuit, who drives the orange car, can easily climb the fence! With assistance like that, Tony could climb fences indefinitely!
And speaking of marketingâ€¦
Recently, I came into possession of a book written about NASCAR history and full of replica old programs, ticket stubs, race reports, etc. One such item was the 1948 Rules and Specifications for NASCAR. It is essentially one piece of paper that has been folded in half, creating four “half pages” if you will.
When opened up to the â€˜inside' pages, there are all the rules and specs for an entry into a NASCAR event. All 35 of them! That's right, 35 rules, only a few of which are more than one sentence long. Today's NASCAR rulebook is 100 pages.
Today, we are on the verge of the Car of Tomorrow (COT). Here is a few interesting rules for the COY (Car of Yesteryear);
4. If car is a convertible type, it must be run with top up and in proper place and must be equipped with safety hoops mounted to the frame.
5. All cars must have full stock fenders, running boards, and body, if so equipped, when new and not abbreviated in any way other than reinforcement.
9. Fuel and oil capacities may be increased in any safe manner. Any extra or bigger tanks must be concealed inside car or under hood.
19. Any flywheel may be used.
20. Any part may be reinforced.
21. Any interchangeable wheel or tire size may be used.
22. Any rear end arrangement may be used.
24. Any type battery ignition may be used, excluding magnetos.
29. Multiple carburetion will be permitted. Any type carburetion may be used.
32. Altered cam shafts will be permitted.
33. Altered crank shafts may be used.
Those are just a few of the old rules. Not really what we have today, is it?
It occurred to me as I was reading some of the history of what NASCAR was founded on, that maybe, just maybe, if NASCAR had stuck more closely to what it was meant to be over the years, the big three auto makers in this country might not be in the shape they are in today.
It was a long held train of thought that what won on Sunday would sell on Monday, and for many years that was true. Even as recently as the eighties, one could look at a race car in a NASCAR Cup race and distinguish the different types of cars. Today, that is no longer the case, and the COT will be even worse.
Who knows what would have happened had NASCAR and the “big three” worked more closely together to keep the “S” in NASCAR to represent “stock” instead of “similar.” Probably just a pipe dream, I know, but maybe if an honest to God Monte Carlo had won last week, sales would be up today.
Stay off the wall,
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