It’s lonely at the top. You have to make tough decisions between business and personnel, you’re responsible for the livelihood of many people, and all failures are your fault. That’s why so many business owners make the point of having a partner to help make those tough decisions.
Unless you’re Gene Haas, apparently. Then you just go and do whatever the heck you want.
And Gene Haas really, really wanted Kurt Busch. A broken leg from co-owner Tony Stewart had never been so timely, and guess who jumped on the opportunity?
Here’s the thing. I don’t blame Haas for wanting his own company paired up with a team and driver in the way that other sponsors are most closely linked with other teams. When you think GoDaddy.com, you think Danica. When you think Lowe’s, you think Jimmie Johnson. When you think M&M’s, you think Kyle Busch.
Now, when you think Kurt Busch, you’ll think Haas Automation.
And, probably, “Man, that Ryan Newman sure got screwed…”
Now, onto your questions:
“It scares me that a mega-company like ESPN doesn’t want NASCAR anymore and Turner doesn’t seem to care much either. I’m afraid that over the next few years, NASCAR won’t be live on TV anymore. Maybe if NASCAR listened to their fans about what is wrong with the sport, they wouldn’t be having these problems!” Freddy
Then how do you explain the fact that NBC jumped on board and FOX continues to be a partner with the sport?
Yes, it is a little concerning that the self-proclaimed worldwide leader in sports doesn’t want NASCAR, but, let’s be honest, most sports fans don’t include NASCAR in their TV lineup each weekend. I’m sure most of you have friends, co-workers, family, etc. who have watched every preseason game yet still think you’re weird for watching every practice session, qualifying run, and race each weekend from February to November. For ESPN, motorsports just aren’t worth the investment that other sports are.
However, it should be encouraging that, your word, mega-companies like FOX and NBC not only see the value in motorsports, but want to be a part of this sport for a long time to come.
And spend “billions”, with a “b”, on this sport over the next 10 years.
I wouldn’t worry about NASCAR leaving your TV sets just yet. Despite the dreaded Fox Sports 1 programming, they still have more motorsports programming than ESPN will, and NBC will probably pick up some of the slack once they start broadcasting the races on a more regular basis.
So don’t get too worked up about who is leaving the sport. I find it more encouraging to see who is staying and who is jumping back on board.
“Martin Truex, Jr. Denny Hamlin. Michael Annett. It feels like there have been a lot of racing injuries this year, and that’s just in NASCAR. That’s not even mentioning all of the deaths this year. Is NASCAR getting more dangerous?” Jerry
I don’t think so. I just think racing is a dangerous sport.
I could even name a few more. Eric McClure had a concussion last year at Talladega. I’m sure you remember Dale Earnhardt, Jr. had to sit out a couple of races because of his own head injury in 2012.
This is as opposed to 10 or more years ago where drivers would have been severely injured, if not dead, in the exact same wrecks. Sorry to be blunt, but NASCAR is heads and shoulders above where it was in even the recent past.
All three drivers you mentioned are going to be in a car this weekend, by the way. Even Truex, who just broke his wrist last weekend in Bristol, will be able to race with a cast on this weekend in Atlanta. With the hard lick he took in that car on Saturday night, that’s a relatively minor injury. It probably wasn’t minor to him, but it certainly wasn’t as bad as it could have been.
If anything, NASCAR is becoming safer and injuries are the exception rather than the rule. But don’t hold your breath for NASCAR, or racing in general, to become an injury-free sport at any time in the near future. If you want to watch an injury free sport, maybe you should consider watching golf.
“SHR 2014: The PR nightmare straight from hell. AMIRITE?!” Dan
Yes, Harvick, Stewart, and Busch aren’t known for their cuddly relationship with the media. Or NASCAR for that matter.
With that said, though, all three drivers and Danica Patrick have significant fan bases and at least three of those four have a proven ability to win races.
I would argue that the worst of the trio (because, let’s be honest, Patrick has no problem with public relations) is Kurt Busch, and he hasn’t had any major run-ins with the media this season. In fact, he’s been, for the most part, tame. Whether it’s some behind-the-scenes training that Busch has received or he just realized this quest to change the media conversation was counter-productive, it doesn’t matter. It seems to be working well for him and, if he can keep it up, won’t do anything to embarrass the team.
You do have a point, though. I’m sure Busch’s patience will be tried at some point this year and Harvick and Stewart have never really tamed. In that sense, I’m sure all three of them will be in the news for all the wrong reasons in the future.
But what else is new? It will be fun to watch for the rest of us.
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