The Frontstretch: Voices From the Heartland: How Stupid Are You? by Jeff Meyer -- Thursday July 21, 2005

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Voices From the Heartland: How Stupid Are You?

Jeff Meyer · Thursday July 21, 2005


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,


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Jo Ann
07/21/2005 11:46 AM
Have I told you lately that They suck…but you are wonderful! Keep spouting the truths from the heartland!

Hope to see you at Bristol
Greg White
07/21/2005 12:51 PM
Jeff, I agree with you if the arrogant France family can keep Ky from getting a race they will definately do it now. However, with sponsorship deals waning in Nascar, and teams struggling to find sponsors, what if the sponsors try to distance themselves from this situation? With P&G/Gillette, Valvoline, Kroger, Cintas, Toyota, and many other Ky Speedway area companies pull their support from Nascar, what will that do to the cash-flow among the racing teams and Nascar? Could Nascar be cutting it’s nose off to spite it’s face?
07/21/2005 04:13 PM
I find it absolutely amazing that the owners of the Ky Speedway are going to court to try to get a Cup race while people in other areas of the country are going to court to keep a track and race out of their part of the country. What’s wrong with this picture ?
07/22/2005 12:07 AM
I tend to believe the investors in the Kentucky Speedway (KS) are getting disparate, and a little greedy. That has allowed them to be taken in by a shyster lawyer that’s leading them down the primrose path.

The Sherman anti-trust act is designed to protect businesses from unfair competition from competing businesses.

NASCAR is in the business of promoting stock car racing on a national basis. KS is in the business of promoting racing on a regional basis. There is no direct competition unless or until KS starts its own series as NASCAR has.

It may be instructive to read the words of Samuel Cherry who represented Francis Ferko and Texas Motor Speedway in his suit against NASCAR and ISC. (These are only a small portion of his quotes. The rest can be read on my site.)

“I think Kentucky is going to have a difficult time prevailing,” Cherry said. “We made the same antitrust allegations, but I didn’t feel very good about them.”

“Cherry said he declined an opportunity to get involved in Kentucky’s case because he doesn’t believe it to be as strong as SMI’s.”

There is little doubt those at KS are playing a game of chicken and are are attempting to win an out of court settlement as Cherry won for Ferko and SMI.

But there is a major difference. It was proven in court ISC/NASCAR had promised Texas a Cup race, no such promise has ever been made to the folks at KS.

As I said KS investors have gotten so very bad legal advice and in the end will not only lose but look stupid in the process.
07/22/2005 05:48 AM
Jeff Meyer,

Voices From the Heartland: How Stupid Are You?
Jeff Meyer
Thursday July 21, 2005

Very nice. Did you and Matt McLaughlin have coffee together recently? Hope so. We need to see and read more like this.

Would be nice to have another entity take over booking races for NASCAR. As much as I like having 2 races @ AMS (I work the races there) it would be nice to see some of my old favorite tracks opened and given dates back. Am I wrong to think that giving each track ONE date per season is a good idea and would surely make fans all over the country happy rather than the France family being the only ones smiling on the way to the bank?

Thanks for the nice article. Keep them coming and find a place to hide where the Frances won’t find you.

Ward Burton Fan Zone
“Always A WARD BURTON Fan”


Contact Jeff Meyer

Recent articles from Jeff Meyer:

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