NASCAR Race Weekend Central

NASCAR Mailbox: “Long”ing For Money You’re Rightfully Owed

So while relaxing at my home on Wednesday night, I was once again browsing Twitter whilst listening to a local country station. As I listened to Brad Paisley twang Beat this Summer into my ears, a Twitter notification popped up on my screen, and then another, and another. What did they all say?

“They just showed Brad Keselowski on American Idol!” “OMG Brad K was just on American Idol!” “Holy cow that pizza was good…”

Ok, so that last one was just an interjection of someone’s evening meal. Still, though, it was a big deal to see the defending champion on one of the most watched TV shows on the air right now.

Now, I don’t watch the show because, honestly, reality or competition shows on TV drive me crazy. Between the over-dramatic members of the show or the “I’m just doing it for the attention and fame” competitors, I find my rage building while simultaneously losing IQ points. I hate them. Still, Keselowski apparently didn’t have anything better to do and gave NASCAR some free publicity.

While a Keselowski victory alone wouldn’t get me to watch American Idol, I might consider tuning in if he actually got up on stage and performed. Get some Miller Lite in him and I bet that guy will do anything. You didn’t forget last year’s SportsCenter interview the evening of his championship, did you?

Now onto your questions –
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“ I am going to be graduating Jan. 2014 with a degree in PR & Marketing with a minor in Sports & Recreational Management. I want to know how to get into a company that works within NASCAR! I just want my career to be working in NASCAR somewhere!” Nikki

Well, Nikki, I think the bad news is that you’re probably not going to get a job within the industry right away. The good news is, technology is at your disposal. Make connections via social media, get to the racetrack when you can, and work on acquiring a relevant job. Even a job at the local newspaper or working in public relations for a smaller company can open doors and give you some valuable experience.

Another option is possibly looking at internships or opportunities at a local short track, or with a smaller race team. That will give you experience in a relative field and industry, and more than likely someone there will know someone else and before you know it you’re making even more valuable career connections.

One piece of advice to you, Nikki, that I’m sure most people will willingly give … Don’t ever give up. Do what you love, and love what you do. Who knows what journey life has in store for you.

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“Hi Summer. I heard something about Landon Cassill suing BK Racing. Is that true? What happened?” David

I wish there was a reason to answer this quickly, but there are so many allegations against them that it might take a minute.

First off, Cassill is suing for over $200,000 in what he says are unpaid winnings that the team did not pay him for racing with the team last year, along with some other fees he alleges weren’t given to him. An attorney for BK Racing says there are “disputes related to Mr. Cassill’s performance of his obligations,” and the lawsuit says that the performance clause in Cassill’s contract was a minimum of $500,000 and that he earned a total of $355,000. Cassill claims he is owed $145,000 to make up the difference. Additionally, he is requesting $60,000 for other fees he says are owed to him from the team.

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The Fries were cold for Landon Cassill at BK Racing this January. After getting stiffed on $145k last year, Cassill has filed suit against his former team. Will this action hurt Cassill in the long run?

Finally, Cassill claims that he was given a pay structure for 2013 eight days before he was told he would be let go from the team, and that he was misled into believing he would be driving for BK Racing again.

It’s a though deal because, honestly, this will probably hurt Cassill more than BK Racing. Even if Cassill winds up winning the lawsuit or settling with the team, I can’t imagine other teams won’t hesitate to give him an opportunity for fear of having a similar run-in. Legal issues just don’t look attractive to team owners, sponsors, or otherwise.

The team has until May to respond, and I’ll be curious to see how it winds up happening. Like I said, though, Cassill has more to lose.

“I’ve heard a lot of comparison to Carl Long in response to Denny Hamlin’s NASCAR fine. The whole thing sounds despicable to me. Does NASCAR have a vendetta against EVERY small team? Why just give the big boys a free pass?” Judy

For those who don’t know, since Hamlin refused to pay the fine himself, NASCAR’s rulebook states they can take it out of the purse money the team acquires. The question has been raised by other media members regarding Carl Long’s 2009 fine after he was found to have an illegal engine in the NASCAR All-Star Race. Long story short, Long couldn’t pay the fine and isn’t allowed to be in the Sprint Cup Series garage until the fine is paid. It raises the question, “If they can take the purse money from Hamlin while still allowing him to race, why can’t the same thing be done for Long?”

For Long, it wasn’t that easy. With FedEx and other sponsors backing that team, they have the funds to pay the fine and it won’t hurt them too substantially. Long was a part-time, underfunded team at the time and it wouldn’t have been a feasible option for him.

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Carl Long works on Nationwide Series Teams and is still not allowed in the Cup garage, after being unable to pay a $200,000 fine stemming from a worn out engine that didn’t make spec back in 2009.

Technically, NASCAR didn’t target him because he was a small team. But the rules are rather unfair to start-ups, and I really think they should look at that. After all, trying to find an edge on the field has been a part of this sport for as long as it’s been around. Especially if they are first time offenders, shouldn’t they be given a chance to redeem themselves?

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Now I have a question for you. The question is, “If there was one rule you could change in NASCAR, what would it be and why?”

Connect with Summer!
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