The Frontstretch: Voices From the Cheap Seats: Sex, Lies and Video Tape in NASCAR by Jeff Meyer -- Thursday February 21, 2013

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Voices From the Cheap Seats: Sex, Lies and Video Tape in NASCAR

Jeff Meyer · Thursday February 21, 2013


Danica Patrick’s historic capture of this year’s Daytona 500 pole position couldn’t have come at a better time for NASCAR. After all, we all know that when it comes to the marketplace, sex certainly sells. I mean, who among the male fan base doesn’t like a fast woman? Congratulations, Danica! Here’s to hoping you don’t become fast and loose… a seemingly recurring theme with these new Gen-6 cars.

Not to be outdone in the “selling sex” department, Michael Waltrip Racing has hired Christmas Abbot (I know, my first thought was of Holiday Monks, too…) as a full-time pit crew member for their Sprint Cup operation. Abbot stands five foot, three inches tall and tips the scales at 115 fat-free pounds.

“She is an incredible elite athlete and she has worked with our crews by bringing some cross-fit elements to their workouts. She is a competitor and when she decided to start working towards an over-the-wall position, we said we are the perfect place to make it happen,” said Michael Waltrip on the hire.

Abbot’s intended goal is to become an over-the-wall tire carrier, and that is all well and good. However, if you don’t believe that this move is more of a publicity stunt than anything else, you are the person for whom Ford has to put the disclaimer at the bottom of their latest Fusion commercial that says “Car cannot actually fly.” (Well, they do, but they just aren’t very good at it and even worse at landings!) But hey, don’t take my word for it. Simply Google her name or better yet, check her out here.

If that is the look of the new “Gen-6 pit crew,” that babe can carry my tire anytime!

Speaking of the Gen-6 (time will only tell if it is renamed “Gen Sux”) car, it would appear that someone, somewhere, sometime was lying to us about the relevance of the manufacturers in the sport, particularly concerning the old adage of “Win on Sunday, Sell on Monday.”

If you dare to recall, I have been bitching for years that old adage had become irrelevant in the last 15 years (at least) of NASCAR. All the cars were simply kit cars that could easily be called anything they wanted simply by an engine change and a few strategically placed decals. High-placed executive types with Ford, Chevy, Toyota, Dodge and of course, NASCAR vehemently defended the theory as recently as last year. Now, however, things seem to be different as it was announced by Rick Hendrick last Friday that Chevy was prepared to pull out if NASCAR didn’t change the cars.

“It would have been a good chance,” team owner Hendrick said on Saturday at Daytona International Speedway. “As a matter of fact, I’m sure they might have.”

First of all, I have to say, that statement contains the same amount of commitment as a Brian France wedding vow. If someone had asked me “Who said this quote?” I would have sworn on my Grandmother’s grave that it was France. At any rate (I would say “but I digress but I hate that) at any rate NASCAR has all but admitted that the cars were irrelevant when it comes to manufacturer’s identity, as president Mike Helton said of the CoT that was introduced in 2007. “They backed us in a corner and said, ‘Here’s what you guys need to think about doing,’” Helton said. Why can’t they just come out and say I was right and thank me for my insight?!

On another front, NASCAR appears to be tired of lying about attendance figures and will no longer provide those numbers to the media, as reported by USA Today. (Oddly, I only see a USA Today paper when I am at an airport…)

Anyways, from the article: NASCAR will end its policy of providing estimated attendance figures in its race reports this season. Spokesman Kerry Tharp said tracks still will have the option of providing crowd estimates, but it will be their prerogative. “NASCAR’s race reports generally become a box score for the media, and box scores from sporting events do not generally provide estimates,” Tharp said. Of the 23 tracks that play host to races in NASCAR’s premier series, 21 are owned by publicly traded companies such as International Speedway Corp. and Speedway Motorsports Inc. Officials with those tracks have said they don’t provide attendance figures because they don’t want to provide earnings guidance.

Earnings guidance? Really? I guess from now on we’ll just have to assume that Fontana always sells out! Oh, and NASCAR can still fill up Indy too!

Now, here is the part you’ve all been waiting for… the video tape!

Well, no tape really but hopefully there will be in the future, as FOX is heralding all kinds of new camera gadgetry including, but not limited to, the new FOX Super Zoom 4k! According to their press release… “Super Zoom” camera produces pictures with five times the resolution of normal HD cameras and captures the action at 300 frames per second. The resulting detail is remarkable and can zoom into an area of interest during the race with incredible detail.

No excuse now for Miss Teri Debris, eh?

Fifty bucks says they super zoom in on Christmas at least once during the broadcast! If not, it’s a horrible waste of technology! Sex sells, remember?!

Stay off the wall (and with Super Zoom around, don’t pick your nose if you’re at the race!)

Jeff Meyer

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Today on the Frontstretch:
Did You Notice? … Breaking Down A Sprint Cup Season Eight Races In
Beyond the Cockpit: Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. on Growing Up Racing and Owner Loyalties
The Frontstretch Five: Flaws Exposed In the New Chase So Far
NASCAR Writer Power Rankings: Top 15 After Darlington
NASCAR Mailbox: Past Winners Aren’t Winning …. Yet
Open Wheel Wednesday: How Can IndyCar Stand Out?


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Bad Wolf
02/22/2013 03:07 AM

Those Waltrip boys will try any gimmick as long as it keeps them in the spotlight. Remember DWs silver suit and Unglasses at the Winston when he was past his expiration date and yearned for the spotlight?

Christmas would be much hotter if she could make all that ink dissapear.

02/22/2013 08:34 AM

When I first heard that nascar was no longer going to give out attendance figures I LOL’d.

Between that, and dumping the COT, they’ve admitted that the sport was falling away. Even ‘dega is losing fans.

It will be fun to watch all the gimmicks this year. Up to, and including the biggest gimmick, the chase.


Contact Jeff Meyer

Recent articles from Jeff Meyer:

Voices From The Cheap Seats: The Tale Of Two Tires
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?

Want to know more about Jeff Meyer or view his complete article archives? Then hop on over to his archive and bio page.