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NASCAR News for Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Morgan McClure Motorsports Back at Talladega After missing all of the 2008 season and the 2009 season to date, Morgan McClure Motorsports is set to make its return to the track April 26th at Talladega Speedway. Eric McClure will be behind the wheel of the familiar No. 4 Chevy, this …

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Are NASCAR’s Cost Cuts Helping or Just Another Smokescreen?

NASCAR recently announced that the sanctioning body would now conduct postrace engine teardowns at their Concord facility, the latest in a series of measures designed to cut costs. I’m not really sure how this one saves teams any money, unless NASCAR is planning on delivering the inspected engines to the teams they were taken from. It might save teams and officials a little time at the track, but the cost savings can’t be much. NASCAR has implemented several rules designed to cut costs, from banning testing at sanctioned tracks to the current car itself. But do any of them really work?

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Some Crazy Ideas For A New Superspeedway

In case you missed it, some weeks ago Happy Hour discussed how NASCAR can learn from baseball and build new venues designed to create better racing experiences for fans and teams. I presented a "rough outline":http:/www.frontstretch.com/ksmith/23120 of what the next speedway could look like. Judging from comments and e-mails, the idea was well received. Thankfully, there are fans out there that understand and appreciate the value of the venues where the NASCAR circus takes place. Coming up with a short track wasn’t difficult. Most NASCAR fans love short track racing, a sentiment that is clearly lost on the guys who make decisions where races will be held. So a quirky short track was likely to go over fairly well with purists. But a superspeedway, now that’s a challenge.

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Driven To The Past: When It Was A Lot More Fun…

I know that racing, like everything else, has progressed over the past 50 years, but I’m not sure that’s all been good. Seeing all the NASCAR officials, one to a car, lined up in the pit area at Texas reminded me of how few officials we used to get by on. I recall an ARCA race at Salem in the 60s when some USAC officials came down to watch, and one of them asked John Marcum where all his officials were. John said, “I’ve got Bud Holloway inspecting and handling pit steward duties with ‘Little’ Potts (my brother, Bob) helping, Don Brown driving the pace car, Potts flagging, Frank Canale handling the scoring, and I’m overseeing everything. How many do I need?”

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Tearing Apart the Trucks: Sponsorship Woes Hit Hard

As the Camping World Truck Series takes its longest break of the season, sponsorship woes continue to plague the series. When the economy started taking a downturn, I never imagined how serious an impact it would have on NASCAR, and more importantly the Truck Series. No team owner or driver is immune to the difficulties in finding a sponsor. Shane Sieg, driving for Billy Ballew Motorsports, went to Martinsville Speedway without a sponsor aboard the truck, but a solid second place showing in qualifying gave Woodward Pools, based out of Waycross, Georgia, enough incentive to put their name on his No. 15 truck.

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NASCAR News for Friday, April 10, 2009

Dale Earnhardt, Inc. Names Two Executive Leaders Teresa Earnhardt, owner of the Dale Earnhardt, Inc., who merged with Chip Ganassi Racing to form Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing this year, announced on Thursday the hiring of two new executive leaders of the company. Jeff Steiner, a global operating and business executive for Johnson …

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In Case You Missed It: Friday, April 10, 2009

ISC Revenue Drops 15% In First Quarter International Speedway Corporation released its revenue results from the months of December through February. The corporation reported a loss of 14.8% in admissions revenue, and a loss of 40.9% in food, beverage, and merchandise revenue. The revenue results were compiled from the Speedweeks …

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Blue Smoke and Burnt Rubber: Talk at the Track #3

CJ: Welcome race fans to this week’s edition of “Talk at the Track”. I’m C.J. Parker and today we took advantage of the off-week to catch up with Colton Preston, this year’s rookie sensation, at his home. Colton, thanks for taking some time with us. How’s it feel to be …

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Old Controversies: The No. 8 and Aric Almirola Are Shelved

On Wednesday, it was reported that the No. 8 Chevrolet team of Earnhardt Ganassi Racing will be scuttled immediately, removing themselves off the entry list for the Subway Fresh Fit 500k at Phoenix International Raceway next Saturday night. And with the news everyone has expected for days now becoming official, two separate issues that had been “hot button topics” over the last two seasons have converged and been simultaneously resolved in a most unceremonious manner. When Dale Earnhardt, Jr., NASCAR’s most recognizable and popular driver, announced in June of 2007 that he would be leaving Dale Earnhardt, Inc., the racing organization debate and controversy over the number 8 soon followed. That number had become synonymous with Dale Jr., emblazoning his Chevrolet throughout his NASCAR Cup career. While driving the Budweiser No. 8 for DEI, Earnhardt had made 17 trips to Victory Lane, including winning the Daytona 500 in 2004 during a nine-year stint that made it impossible to visualize anyone else behind the wheel with that number.

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