NASCAR Changes Qualifying Format
posted by Summer Bedgood
Tuesday March 11, 2014
Following safety concerns regarding NASCAR’s new qualifying format, the sanctioning body is introducing some changes in preparation for this weekend’s race at Bristol Motor Speedway. According to the Associated Press, NASCAR is banning teams from cool-down laps after their qualifying attempts, but will instead be allowed to hook up cool-down units to the engine through hood flaps.
Late Tuesday afternoon, a release from NASCAR fully detailed the changes. Teams will be allowed a single cool down unit to be connected through the right or left side hood flap, however the hood must remain closed. Additionally, two crew members will be allowed over the wall while cooling down.
“The qualifying is new to all of us and as we have said over the past several weeks, we are looking at it from all aspects,” said Robin Pemberton, vice president of competition and racing development. “Following discussions, both internally and with others in the garage area, we moved quickly to make a few revisions that will be effective starting with our two national series events at Bristol Motor Speedway this weekend. We believe this will only enhance and improve what has demonstrated to be an exciting form of qualifying for our fans, competitors and others involved with the sport. Moving forward we will continue to look at it and address anything else that we may need to as the season unfolds.”
The move comes after three weeks of NASCAR’s new knockout qualifying system, where multiple cars are allowed to make qualifying attempts at the same time instead of the traditional one-car-at-a-time procedure. Drivers and teams had complained that the new rules didn’t allow them to cool their engines down on pit road, and the cool-down laps caused a dangerous situation with slower cars staying on the track at the same time that other cars were running by them at much higher speeds.
The rule will begin this weekend in Bristol, a track that has a much narrower racing surface than Daytona, Phoenix, and Las Vegas.
Kurt Busch to Attempt The Indianapolis-Charlotte Double
posted by Phil Allaway
Tuesday March 4, 2014
Andretti Autosport announced this morning that Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet in the Sprint Cup Series, will attempt the Indianapolis 500 in a fifth entry for the IndyCar Series team. Once the Indianapolis 500 is completed, Busch will fly from Indianapolis to Charlotte, jump in his No. 41 Chevrolet and compete in the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Busch considers the opportunity to do the double as an old-school throwback moment.
“This is really to challenge myself within motorsports,” Busch said in Andretti Autosport’s press release. “Perhaps I am a bit of an old-school racer; a throwback, I guess. I enjoyed the era of drivers racing different cars and testing themselves in other series. It is tough to do now for a variety of factors, but when the opportunity is there, I want to do it. While NASCAR is my home, I have been fortunate to compete in Pro Stock on the NHRA circuit a number of years ago and test a V8 Supercar. This opportunity was a talk with Michael [Andretti] over dinner one night, a “What if,” and now it’s becoming a reality for me to drive in the Indy 500 with Andretti Autosport. It’s literally a dream come true. To go to the famous Brickyard with the iconic Andretti name, it doesn’t get much cooler or better than that.”
Busch will be doing the Indianapolis-Charlotte double as a Memorial Day mission to men and women serving in the U.S. Military via the Armed Forces Foundation. Fans can contribute to the cause by texting AFF to 50555 to donate $10.
Busch, who has never raced an IndyCar, passed Rookie Orientation at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway last year during a test session. At the time, Busch was more or less testing the Dallara DW12 for fun.
Busch will be the fourth driver to attempt the Indianapolis-Charlotte double. John Andretti was the first driver to attempt it in 1994. After finishing four laps down in tenth in Indianapolis, Andretti crashed and had engine problems in the 600. Robby Gordon has attempted the double five times, most recently in 2004. However, Gordon failed to make it to Charlotte on time and did not start the 600 in 2000 (P.J. Jones started Gordon’s No. 13 Ford in that instance). Finally, Tony Stewart has attempted the double twice (most recently in 2001) and is the only driver to ever complete all 1100 miles. Neither of the three drivers has won either leg of the double. The best finishes are Stewart and Gordon’s sixth-place finishes at the Indianapolis 500 (although Gordon’s came in 2000, the year he didn’t make it to Charlotte in time to start the Coca-Cola 600), and Stewart’s fourth-place finish in the 2001 Coca-Cola 600.
Danica Patrick, Justin Allgaier Talk About Phoenix Incident
posted by Frontstretch Staff
Tuesday March 4, 2014
A disappointing start to the year for Danica Patrick won’t include continued conflict. Patrick met with rookie Justin Allgaier Sunday, shortly after the Phoenix Cup race after a wreck ruined both drivers’ days. Patrick, who was critical of the No. 51 car on the radio, claiming Allgaier was “driving all over the track” appeared receptive to a conversation that quickly settled differences over what will be a long season.
“She was just upset because she got involved in the crash that we had,’’ said Allgaier to the Motor Racing Network. “She says she’s been through this and that she felt like I needed to settle down at that point. I explained my position on why everything happened. I think she understood where I was coming from. It doesn’t fix either one of our racecars. It doesn’t fix either one of our days. Unfortunately, we were both having pretty decent days.’’
Allgaier wound up 30th due to the incident while Patrick was 36th. The incident, which was caused by Allgaier’s spin also involved the No. 32 team and Travis Kvapil, which wound up 38th after sustaining heavy damage.
Camping World Close to Extending Title Sponsorship of NCWTS
posted by Frontstretch Staff
Tuesday March 4, 2014
Marcus Lemonis, CEO of Camping World, Grand Marshal of Sunday’s Sprint Cup race at Phoenix International Raceway, and star of CNBC’s “The Profit,” made the announcement over the weekend that the retailer is very close to announcing a deal that would continue its title sponsorship of NASCAR’s Truck Series. The original agreement with NASCAR is scheduled to conclude after the 2015 season.
According to the sanctioning body, no formal contract has been signed, but “the agreement between the two parties has proven to be a beneficial one.”
“In about a month, we’ll be announcing a significant extension to that contract. It’s been great for us,” said Camping World’s Lemonis in a statement. “The NASCAR relationship has worked well for Camping World. When we started, we had 35 stores. Now, we’re up to 120 stores. As we travel the country and we meet new customers in stores, they always are very appreciative of our relationship with NASCAR. It’s been good.”
Gaining a long-term commitment from Camping World to sponsor the Truck Series would be a relief for NASCAR, which is set to lose Nationwide Insurance as title sponsor for the NASCAR Nationwide Series at the end of the 2014 season. The sponsorship of the Cup Series by Sprint runs through 2016.
The NCWTS is back in action on March 29th at 2:30 PM (ET) when the trucks visit Martinsville Speedway in the Kroger 250, which can be seen on Fox Sports 1. Ratings for the season opener were up 11 percent.
Harvick Takes Win At Phoenix In Second Race With New Team
posted by Justin Tucker
Monday March 3, 2014
Phoenix International Raceway has become Kevin Harvick’s home away from home. Sunday Afternoon was no exception as Harvick charged to the front early and would dominate for much of the day, leading 224 of the scheduled 312 laps to record his record fifth win on the one mile oval and his third win in the last four races at Phoenix.
Harvick, coming off of a disappointing Speedweeks which was capped by a last lap crash in the Daytona 500 in his debut with Stewart-Haas Racing, set the tone on Saturday by winning both practices while having the best 5 and 10-lap averages in the first practice of the day on Saturday. On Sunday, Harvick and his No. 4 Jimmy John’s Chevrolet was nothing short of flawless as he was able to hold Dale Earnhardt, Jr. by .489 seconds after a late race restart to claim his 24th career Sprint Cup Series victory.
“Man, this is awesome,” Harvick said after his dominant victory on Sunday. “Man, this just solidifies so many things and so many decisions. It’s been so much work with all the time and effort that these guys (the crew) have put in—but what a race car.”
Stewart Haas Racing co-owner Gene Haas shared in Harvick’s excitement after the race.
“It took long enough,” Haas joked. “This is phenomenal. I think there was a lot of skepticism last year about what myself and Tony (Stewart) what we were up to, was there a lot of madness to this. Quite frankly, it’s a great team, there’s a lot of synergy at the shop, people working together. I don’t know what we did, but I think we put together a great organization.”
Daytona 500 winner Dale Earnhardt, Jr. continued his hot start to the 2014 season. Earnhardt Jr. would finish second on Sunday, marking his seventh consecutive top 10 finish since the end of the 2013 season. Earnhardt Jr. was pleased with the effort after a coast-to-coast whirlwind week after winning his second Daytona 500 and also gave great praise to the efforts of Harvick and the No. 4 team.
“I’ve got to congratulate Kevin. Those guys were two-tenths faster than everyone all weekend in practice. They were just phenomenal,” Earnhardt said. “To be able to run with them all day was a big confidence builder for us.”
Joining Harvick and Earnhardt in the top 5 of The Profit on CNBC 500K were Brad Keselowski with his second consecutive top 3 run of 2014 in third. Keselowski’s Team Penske teammate Joey Logano would finish fourth, and Jeff Gordon would come home fifth in his No. 24 Pepsi Max Chevrolet.
Jimmie Johnson finished in sixth, followed by Ryan Newman with a nice rebound after Daytona in seventh. Carl Edwards would carry the banner for Roush Fenway Racing by finishing eighth, Kyle Busch was ninth, and Jamie McMurray would finish tenth.
A look at the Profit on CNBC 500K by the numbers. There were 14 lead changes among eight different drivers, there were eight cautions for 39 laps which slowed the race pace to 109.229 MPH.
Next Sunday, the Sprint Cup Series heads to Sin City and the Las Vegas Motor
Starting Lineup: The Profit On CNBC 500K
posted by Thomas Bowles
Saturday March 1, 2014
Drivers in RED (i) are those ineligible to collect Sprint Cup points
Daytona 500 TV Ratings Down
posted by Frontstretch Staff
Wednesday February 26, 2014
What was the longest weather delay in Daytona 500 history turned out to bring NASCAR lower ratings and TV viewership Sunday night than expected. According to a report Monday from FOX Sports, the 56th running of the Daytona 500 airing at 8 PM (ET) posted a 5.6/10 national household rating/share which averaged 9.3 million viewers. That’s down 44 percent from last year’s 9.9, easily making it the least-watched Daytona 500 of all-time.
Due to the six-hour, twenty-two minute rain delay in Daytona, the race was up against the primetime coverage of the Winter Olympics Closing Ceremony from Sochi, Russia on NBC (15.25 million viewers). FOX also reported that 69% of the pre-rain delay viewers of the race, which began at 1 PM (ET) kept tuning in.
In comparison, the 2013 Daytona 500 on FOX was the most-watched race in five years, posting a 9.9/22 rating/share, commanding 16.7 million viewers. The Daytona 500 in 2012, the first to ever be run on a Monday and in the primetime slot did a 7.7/13 overnight rating/share which resulted in 13.67 million households viewing the race according to Nielsen TV ratings data.
Earnhardt, Jr. Claims Second Daytona 500 Victory
posted by Justin Tucker
Wednesday February 26, 2014
Ten years is a long time. For Dale Earnhardt, Jr., it felt like an eternity. NASCAR’s Most Popular Driver endured many near misses and close calls at the Daytona 500 since his only win in the Great American Race in 2004. Earnhardt had finished second in two of his last three Daytona 500s coming into Sunday’s race. He was also riding the tail of a 55-race winless streak, dating back to Michigan in 2012.
However nothing would stop Dale Jr. on Sunday, not even a 6 hour and 22 minute rain delay from capturing his second Daytona 500 win. Earnhardt Jr. led a race-high 54 laps on the evening and used some timely drafting help from teammates Jimmie Johnson and, on the final restart, Jeff Gordon to separate from the pack and secure the victory.
“Winning this race is the greatest feeling that you could feel in this sport besides accepting the trophy for the championship,” said a jubilant Earnhardt after pulling into Victory Lane. “We could fight off battle after battle. We got a little help at the end there from Jeff to get away on the restart. This is amazing. I can’t believe this is happening. I never take this for granted, man because it doesn’t happen twice, let alone once.”
Aside from the race itself the big story of the race was the 6 hour and 22 minute red flag, which threatened to move the race to Monday evening (had the race been postponed, FOX Sports’ Chris Myers had tweeted that the race would resume at 5:00pm EST). However, Mother Nature would cooperate and would allow the race to be run under different conditions from which they practiced this week. Once the race resumed, the intensity picked up from the changing track conditions. This allowed the pack to race side-by-side and at times 3-wide up to seven rows deep.
Joining Earnhardt Jr. in the top 5 for the 2014 Daytona 500 were: Denny Hamlin who closed out a spectacular Speedweeks in second, Brad Keselowski in third, Jeff Gordon in fourth, and Jimmie Johnson who overcome two wrecks leading up to the 500 in fifth.
Rounding out the top 10 in the Daytona 500 were Matt Kenseth in sixth, Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. in seventh and Greg Biffle would bring his No. 16 Ford home in eighth. Austin Dillon would come home ninth in his first Cup Series race in the iconic No. 3 for Richard Childress Racing, while Casey Mears would round out the top 10.
A couple of major contenders for the Daytona 500 win would see their hopes dashed early on as Martin Truex, Jr. would blow up just 30 laps into the race, relegating him to a 43rd-place finish in his debut for Furniture Row Racing. Crew chief Todd Berrier was already in Nashville for a test session before the race was even over. Kyle Busch, meanwhile would have a pit road violation just before halfway and would spend much of the race battling back from that mistake. Busch would eventually finish 19th after leading 19 laps.
Danica Patrick would also be bit by bad luck as she was caught up in a multi-car wreck on lap 145. Patrick would lead her second consecutive Daytona 500, but wouldn’t have the finish to show for it finishing 40th. Tony Stewart would encounter a frustrating evening as well, with a fuel pickup problem derailing his quest for his first Daytona 500 win. Stewart would finish 35th.
A look at the Daytona 500 by the numbers. There were 42 lead changes among 18 drivers, while seven cautions for 39 laps would slow the race pace to 145.290 MPH.
Next week, the Sprint Cup Series heads to the “diamond in the desert,” Phoenix International Raceway for The Profit on CNBC 500K. The Green flag is scheduled for 3:15pm EST.
Nationwide Series Post-Race Quotes: Drive4COPD 300
posted by Thomas Bowles
Tuesday February 25, 2014
Frontstretch Interviews – Courtesy Mike Neff
ELLIOTT SADLER – FINISHED 4th
Thoughts on the race?
It’s definitely a lot different racing than what we’re used to.
Comfortable with it?
Yeah, it’s just different. You’re worried about what you’re doing, but you’re also worried about what everyone else is doing and they’re not doing more than you’re doing. Physically pushing a guy is way better than just riding so you just gotta time it right and push it to the edge.
Happy to start the year with a top 5?
Yeah. Hell, that was the worst we ran all day, I think. I have no idea how they put the 3 car in front of us on that last restart. I hadn’t seen the 3 car hardly all day. When they put us from fifth to sixth, on the outside line, it just really boxed us in. I would have really restarted behind my teammate and given him a good push to the front. Anyways, it is what it is; we’ll take it and move on.
Looked like you were up front all day.
The guys did a good job. We had a fast race car. Great pit stops, just really proud of these guys. The car’s in one piece and we can take it to Talladega now. Great job by my guys. A lot of effort came into coming down here to Daytona and giving ourselves a shot to win. We had that chance to be up front and make some things happen. Fifth is not what we want, but we’ll take it and move on.
Bumping vs Pushing?
It’s way harder. You don’t want to lay on the guy in front of you, so it’s tough racing. A lot different than what we’re used to, ‘cause you gotta go. You gotta drag the brake too ‘cause you don’t want to hit the guys and you don’t want to stay on him. It’s a lot harder mentally than what we’ve done in the past.
Car was strong all day. Pushing vs. Bumping, is that harder to do than just getting on somebody and pushing them?
Yeah, it is a little bit. When you bump ‘em, you jar ‘em, it kinda jacks ‘em a little bit. It’s a little more abrupt, obviously. I thought it was OK there at the end. It was certainly fun and hopefully entertaining. But a little bit of a struggle in the early part of the race and the midpart of the race to see a good race. And that’s unfortunate for the fans. You can’t do that the whole race, you can’t tear up your stuff, knock your grill in, overheat your motor, all that stuff so there’s no sense in doing all that until you get down to the last lap. The 7 and the 6, they did a good job. Man, the 7 really held the 22 and I tight on the bottom. I was rubbing his door and hitting the apron at the same time, no room whatsoever. So it was good; wish we were the ones who could have won but a lot better now than what we were last year.
Going home in one piece makes it a lot better, right?
Yeah. My back feels good. My foot feels good. Past years here, I’ve been going home with pain so I’m alright.
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2014 Truck Series Post-Race Quotes: Daytona (Exclusives)
posted by Thomas Bowles
Saturday February 22, 2014
When you’re on the outside like that, how frustrating is it?
It’s so hard. Timothy Peters has won here. Kyle Busch has won everywhere. Ron Hornaday has been running Trucks forever, probably before I was even born. I was surrounded by veterans there, and like I told them I don’t have a rookie stripe but I’m a rookie. This is only my fourth Truck race ever, my fourth superspeedway race, and man, I figured out when the 17 got up in front of me, I pushed him. And as soon as I pushed him, he took off. And I went with him. And I just kept doing it, and before I knew it, he was leading. And I saw Ron in my mirror, backed up to him, and if it wasn’t for him, I don’t know what would have happened. I gotta thank him big time for that. That was a true teammate move right there. I really appreciate that. He just bounced off me and we got to the front. I tried my hardest to sidedraft Kyle. I was probably touching his door.
Top 5 in the No. 30 truck. This deal come together at the last minute, but you had a heck of a truck. Tell us about your night.
Yeah, I’ve got to thank Turner Scott Motorsports. The guys worked so hard on this Rheem Comfort Products Chevrolet. Exciting! Just got hung up on the outside and had to wait for my teammate there to catch up. And then he got to the bottom, so… I got the old 32 and started pushing ol’ Ryan to the front. So, it’s not bad. We’ll take it. You just don’t want to step over that boundary. You don’t know how far to push and shove. We bumped about six times down the straightaway without latching onto them. Hopefully, that was OK and we came home with a top 5.
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Check in with Matt and Jay on their site at CareyandCoffey.com.
What is the value of a memory? What is the price of history? Does owning a part of history enable us to actually experience of a special event? These may be little more than hypothetical questions, but recent events in the news have helped to stir such thinking.
The front page headline at the top of the newspaper last week said it all: “Baseball Cards Found in Attic May be Worth Millions”.
This teaser drew readers to a story written by John Seewer of the Associated Press about a “soot-covered cardboard box” found by Karl Kissner and his cousin in the attic of their late grandfather’s home in Defiance, Ohio – a small town not far from the city of Toledo, and also the hometown of Indy 500 winner/NASCAR driver Sam Hornish, Jr.
Kissner was put in charge of handling his grandfather’s estate following the death of his aunt, who had lived in the family homestead until her passing last October. According to Seewer’s AP story:
His [Kissner’s] aunt was a pack rat, and the house was filled with three generations of stuff. They [Kissner and his cousin, Karla] found calendars… turn-of-the-century dresses, a steamer trunk from Germany and a dresser with [their] Grandma’s clothes neatly folded in the drawers. Months went by before they even got to the attic. On February 29… Karla Hench pulled out the dirty green box with metal clips at the corners and lifted the lid. (from the July 10, 2012 article)
Inside, Hench and Kissner found about 700 baseball cards dating back to the early years of the 20th century. What makes them even more valuable than their age is the fact that the cards were protected in such a way – bound with twine inside a cardboard box, albeit merely by chance – that their colors and edges stayed crisp and clean. Throw in the fact that the near-perfect cards were part of an especially rare production run (known as “the E98 Series”), and their discovery became part of sports memorabilia history.
As Karl Kissner put it, “It’s like finding the Mona Lisa in the attic.”
While this Ohio discovery is all well-and-good for baseball memorabilia, it doesn’t offer much by way of hope for NASCAR collectables. Simply put: NASCAR is “too young” of a sport to enjoy such ancient and esteemed artifacts. My thinking, however, goes a bit further; I’m thinking that NASCAR memorabilia will never achieve such a level of value and appreciation because there’s just too much of it available.
Consider the number of race teams competing across NASCAR Nation. Each team has a driver, a car number, several (if they’re lucky) sponsors, and a connection to a manufacturer. Each of these subcategories of one team can produce, market, and distribute any variety of relevant collectibles. Simply put, the sheer volume of available NASCAR souvenirs creates a flooded market that reduces the overall value of anything and everything related to the sport. When there’s no limit to what constitutes “a collectible”, there’s no reason to assume that one set of objects is more valuable than another.
Part of the problem stems from the condition of NASCAR collectables.
While a few items remain in their original packaging and get squirreled-away in dark, dry closets, the majority of NASCAR souvenirs (especially the swag often handed out at races or show car appearances) are exposed to contact and use. This difference in behavior is an ongoing debate within the world of collecting – does the artifact deserve to be used (because that’s what it was created for), or does the object need to be protected, preserved, and “saved” for future generations?
Take antique or custom cars. Do you lovingly (or maddeningly) restore an old car so as to keep it in your garage and only take it out on nice days, or do you drive the restored classic to shows, parades, and the grocery store because it’s “just” a car – a machine designed, constructed, and intended to carry passengers and goods from place-to-place? I’ve heard this complaint from friends with classic motorcycles who bristle at the thought of a collector towing his restored Harley-Davidson to an event. Does the item in question mean more if it’s shared with a curious audience?
Maybe it all depends on the anticipated financial value of the object. In the case of Karl Kissner and his family, the baseball cards they found will eventually be sold at special auctions in order to control their effect on the market and maximize their selling prices. As Kissner said to John Seewer of the AP, “These cards need to be with those people who appreciate and enjoy them”.
That’s code for “Those people capable of spending the most cash on what I have to sell.”
Apparently, the Ohio cards were part of a premium promotion given out by a candy company. As such, Kissner and his family obviously see the collection as having more extrinsic than intrinsic value, which is a huge distinction to make when dealing with collectibles.
When we study material culture (and collecting memorabilia of all kinds falls under that topic), we say that artifacts possess two types of value. One type of value is extrinsic, meaning that the item has external value – often financial – to a larger, more general audience. The other type of value is intrinsic, meaning that the item has internal value – often personal – to an individual. That’s why people collect things in the first place; we tend to collect materials that mean something special to us at an individual level. Financial value may be there, but the primary motivation for collecting is because we truly like the objects we gather and save.
I grew up during an era when baseball cards were part of a much-larger cardboard collectable culture. My schoolmates and I would often trade baseball cards during recess, but we were also prone to collecting cards from other sports and activities. During my childhood, I had cards from professional baseball, football, and ice hockey. I had a pretty extensive collection of manned space exploration cards, too, although I was often troubled by the prospect of wheeling-and-dealing with such precious items (“I’ll trade you two Apollo 8 mission logos for one Buzz Aldrin lunar bootprint…”). When NASCAR trading cards became available some years later, I eventually wound up with a small number of those, as well.
The thing about sports cards that I learned in school was that they possessed value according to the owner’s personal preferences. We used to “flip” cards in a game of competing for each other’s inventories, but you only flipped the cards that you didn’t mind losing. In that situation, the cards had value, but only the value we determined based upon our personal likes or dislikes; if a player wasn’t performing in games, and if you felt he wasn’t worthy of being in your collection, his card was likely selected to “flip” against a classmate. In some cases, my classmates would decide to flip the same player as I did – for all the same judgmental, lack-luster performance reasons.
But sports cards also had overall quality value, as well. A truly unusual or rare baseball card was just that because it was agreed that everyone saw the object in the same way. The implied value was based on the obvious quality shared by the greatest number of aficionados.
Consider the recent Ohio discovery and what makes those particular baseball cards so valuable. According to John Seewer’s AP story, the cards were authenticated by a reputable agency. This firm declared that the cards from Defiance “were the finest examples from the E98 series the company had ever seen”.
As Seewer explained it: “The company [Professional Sports Authenticator] grades cards on a 1-to-10 scale based of their condition. Up to now, the highest grade it had ever given a Ty Cobb card from the E98 series was a 7. Sixteen Cobbs found in the Ohio attic were graded a 9 — almost perfect. A Honus Wagner was judged a 10, a first for the series”.
This is where NASCAR collectables like diecast cars can run into problems. A diecast car is all-too-tempting to remove from its packaging, and it’s equally too tempting to play with – even when done gently. Toss in a child or two (or three), and the collectable can go from rare to wrecked in short order.
I amassed (he admitted, with great shame) a full set of Days of Thunder diecast Chevrolets that were being given out/sold at Exxon gasoline stations back in 1990. The film was what it was – a point covered in recent weeks by my Frontstretch brethren – but the cars seemed unique in that they featured different sponsors that either were (or could become) part of NASCAR competition. I kept the movie cars wrapped and protected amongst my assorted racing collectables.
Soon after completing the set, my then-wife “borrowed” all the cars for a Sunday school gathering, thinking the kids would enjoy seeing them. This crowd had apparently seen the film because they smashed, banged, and rolled each car to the point where the front ends were dented, the paint was chipped, and the axles were bent. To me, the cars were potentially valuable. To the kids, the cars were just like the Hot Wheels and Matchbox cars they played with at home (only my cars carried graphics from brands they recognized like Mello-Yello and Hardee’s).
Value was in the mind of the beholder; not that such implied “value” can’t be misconstrued.
For Christmas one year, I was given a one-gallon ice cream bucket that a well-meaning relative had fished out of a dumpster because it was a 1992 Richard Petty “Fan Appreciation Tour” promotion. The assumption was that because it featured Richard Petty, and because 1992 was such a significant year for Petty Enterprises, the old pail would be worth something to me, and that I would want to possess such a valuable object. As stated earlier: value is in the eye of the beholder, and I wasn’t crazy to beholden an ice cream bucket pulled out of the trash behind Piggly Wiggly.
Special events and historic occasions often generate valuable objects which add to the material clutter of NASCAR collectibles. My daughter went to the movies two weeks ago and bought a soda in a “limited-edition” Batman cup promoting The Dark Knight Rises. The cup featured a huge Diet Mountain Dew logo (even though she purchased Sprite) and an image from the film – all this about a week after Dale Earnhardt, Jr. carried these same names on his car at Michigan. With one savvy swoop of marketing, the soda, the film, Hendrick Motorsports, and Dale Earnhardt, Jr. all reached material critical mass – each brand riding the tidal wave of attention garnered by the No. 88’s popular victory at MIS, with each corporate cup easily available to moviegoers all across the country.
Large production runs of race/sponsor tie-ins and assorted memorabilia do little more than dilute the extrinsic value of the objects in circulation. “Supply and demand” may be an essential concept for the companies involved, but it damages the collectability of items created for that exact reason.
This is why NASCAR will never have an “Ohio attic” moment worth multiple millions of dollars. It’s all-too-likely that a treasure trove of rare artifacts will be plagued by an overabundance of like items distributed as part of an international production run. A “Holy Grail” of NASCAR collectibles is probably out there, but whether or not it’s truly a once-in-a-lifetime discovery will have to be determined by the person who’s lucky enough to find it.
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Good article Mark.
I used to buy 1/64 scale Racing Champions by the buttload. Any car I saw that I didn’t have, I bought. I would scour every department store near my home and on trips, I always had to stop at the local Wal-Marts to look for cars. I used to swap through the mail with other collectors, I’d buy extras in my area they couldn’t find and vice versa. We’d mail our finds to each other. Almost all of the cars I bought have all been kept unopened and are in numerous large boxes in my attic. At some point I stopped buying any and everything I saw and started concentrating on only a few favorite drivers, Elliott, Allison, Kulwicki, Petty, etc. I used to think, man, one day, these are going to provide a big return on investment. Now? I don’t feel that way anymore, I figure I have thousands of dollars invested and stored away that isn’t worth dollar for dollar what I originally paid. Just a small scale result of the waning popularity of NASCAR, I guess…
Greed killed the NASCAR collectibles market! Overproduction by the boatload and a new meaning for “Limited Edition.” Limited only to the number that you thought you could sell!!
Maxx cards came on the market at the height of baseball card mania. Man, I thought my Myrtle Beach set would buy me a new car in a few years. It won’t even buy me a magazine subscription to Road & Track.
Andy is so right! Still have a couple of factory sealed MAXX Myrtle Beach sets – and they aren’t worth much more than I originally aid for them !!