Or maybe I should say, "How stupid does International Speedway Corp.(ISC) think you are?" Of course I don't think you're stupid! You are after all, taking time to read your favorite Frontstretch column! That, in itself, shows your intelligence. ISC, on the other hand, thinks you are an idiot.
For example, did you know that Darlington gave up its November race date to Phoenix willingly?
"Darlington, S.C. lost one of the Nextel dates to Phoenix last year," said Grant Lynch, ISC vice president. "But such shifts are rare and done only with the willingness, if not encouragement, of the track that would lose the date."
Oh really!? Do you hear comedian Bob Ingval's voice in your head too...."Heeerrreee's your sign!"
Lynch's comment, among others, was made recently during a press conference concerning NASCAR/ISC's proposed race track in Kitsap Co., Washington. However, when pressured about a guarantee of a Cup date at the proposed new track, ISC officials became a bit vague.
"Especially in the wake of the Enron scandal, ISC has to maintain an arm's length relationship with NASCAR and with NASCAR officials who could make that guarantee," said ISC spokeswoman Sue Santa. Thats the official version. Santa is privately quoted as saying, "Our corporate board wouldn't let us go this far" toward the building of such a track unless the likelihood of a Cup date from one of their other tracks wasn't a sure thing.
Jeesh! Who ARE these people, and where do they find them?
Look again at Lynch's quote. ISC would have you believe that the COMMUNITY/PEOPLE of Darlington willingly gave up a date. The truth, unfortunately, is that the OWNERS of Darlington didn't mind giving up the date because Phoenix is a bigger market. Oh, did I mention that ISC owns Darlington AND Phoenix? ISC didn't give a rattus's natch (that's a large rodent's hindquarters for those of you holding signs...) about the economy of the Darlington area or what the fans thought. All they saw was the bottom line.
Not only does ISC own Darlington and Phoenix, but also California, Daytona, Homestead, Kansas, Martinsville, Michigan, Richmond, Talladega, Watkins Glen and 37% of Chicago, not to mention most, if not all of the souvenir and concession businesses at said tracks under the trade name Americrown.
My point to all this is that when it comes to tracks getting a date, how can NASCAR/ISC NOT be monopolistic as the recent Kentucky Speedway lawsuit claims? Of course new tracks in the Northwest and New York, built and owned by ISC, will get Cup dates! All NASCAR has to decide is which of its other tracks/communities wants to 'willingly' give up the millions of dollars a Cup weekend generates.
Now, let's pretend that it turns out that I am Bill Gates's long lost illegitimate son, and I am suddenly filthy-stinking rich! I want to build the BEST-EVER race track here in Iowa. Will I get a Cup date? Yeah right! Heeerrreee's your sign!
Truth be told, I don't think Kentucky Speedway will get a Cup date even if NASCAR/ISC loses in court. But I would like to see a change in the way dates are handed out. If that doesn't happen, perhaps I should just buy some ISC stock so I can get a slice of the monopolistic pie too!
If ya can't beat 'em, join 'em...but always...
Stay off the wall,
NEW YEAR? NEW NEWSLETTER. LOOKING FOR THE INFO YOU NEED ABOUT NASCAR IN 2013 – SENT RIGHT TO YOUR EMAIL INBOX?
Well, you’ve come to the right place. The Frontstretch Newsletter gives you more of the daily news, commentary, and racing features from your favorite writers you know and love. Don’t waste another minute – click here to sign up and get all the information you need. We’re here to make sure you stay informed … so make sure you jump on for the ride!
©2000 - 2008 Jeff Meyer and Frontstetch.com. Thanks for visiting the Frontstretch!