Saturday, January 05, 2008

NASCAR media exec on way out and more

It’s here! The official David Poole hodgepodge blog for the final weekend of what passes for a NASCAR offseason on the eve of the first testing at Daytona for a new year kind of thing:

* * *

OK, technically, it would be inaccurate to report that the No. 2 man in NASCAR’s broadcasting division is leaving to go to work for Ricky Bobby. But it is kind of, sort of true.

Dick Glover is leaving as vice president of broadcasting and new media, as of Jan. 15. Glover has been in charge of NASCAR’s Los Angeles office and, in that post, the company’s liaison with Hollywood.

One of the major “accomplishments” (note the quotation marks indicating the loose use of that term) of his tenure was getting NASCAR and stock-car racing mainstream exposure for its co-operation with the movie “Talladega Nights.” The film starred Will Ferrell playing a witless (but, of course, big-hearted) NASCAR driver named Ricky Bobby.

Glover is leaving NASCAR to become chief executive officer of something called Funny of Die Networks. It’s an online site where video content generated by celebrities like Ferrell as well as everyday users is shared.

When I checked it Friday, one of the videos posted near the top of the site showed “Kermit the Frog” pleasuring himself while supposedly watching porn on a computer. Thank goodness for the Internet, huh?

Paul Brooks, the president of the NASCAR media group who is now based in Charlotte, said Glover’s position will be filled but that the structure of what’s based where within the broadcasting operation could be re-assessed as that hire is made.

* * *

Speaking of television, for the millions of you who’ve been wondering when Jeff Gordon was going to get to substitute for Regis Philbin again we have an answer. The four-time Cup champion will be in New York on Jan. 18 to fill-in on “Live! With Regis and Kelly” for an 11th time.

* * *

Brendan Gaughan was scheduled to be in Daytona this week testing the No. 7 Fords in place of driver/owner Robby Gordon, but those plans changed in dramatic fashion on Friday when the Dakar Rally was canceled.

Gordon was to drive in the rally, but with eight stages in the endurance race scheduled to be run in or through the nation of Mauritania, recent terrorist activity and threats of more forced event organizers to call the whole thing off on the eve of its first leg.

* * *

In case you haven’t heard yet, this year’s Daytona 500 will be the 50th running of that event. ESPN Classic will get race fans geared up for that by broadcasting six memorable 500s at 2 p.m. each Monday between now and Speedweeks.

During that period, fans can go to and its NASCAR page to vote for their favorite one of those races. On Feb. 16, the night before this year’s 500, the top five will be counted down, starting at 10 p.m.

The six “nominated” races are:

1976 – David Pearson and Richard Petty wreck on the last lap, with Pearson inching across the finish line in a crashed car to win.

1979 – Donnie Allison and Cale Yarborough wreck on the final lap, allowing Petty to win and sparking the now famous fight between Yarborough and the Allisons.

1990 – Dale Earnhardt cuts a tire while leading on the final lap, handing a victory to the unlikely Derrike Cope.

1998 – After years of Daytona 500 heartbreak, Earnhardt finally gets a victory in the sport’s biggest race. 1999 – Jeff Gordon wins with a dramatic – and somewhat risky – late race pass.

2007 – Kevin Harvick edges Mark Martin in a photo finish. * * *

Derrick Finley has been hired as technical director at Petty Enterprises. Finley, 36, will oversee the full-time implementation of the new race car for Bobby Labonte’s and Kyle Petty’s teams.

* * *

AMP Energy drink, the new sponsor for Dale Earnhardt Jr. on the No. 88 Chevrolets at Hendrick Motorsports, has signed on to be title sponsor for Talladeaga’s fall race. The event will be known as the AMP Energy 500.

Earnhardt Jr. will drive a No. 5 Chevrolet in the Nationwide Series race at Daytona as well as in the season-ending race at Homestead with National Guard as the sponsor. Landon Cassill, 18, will drive that car in 19 other races. The team will be fielded by JR Motorsports, the team owned by Earnhardt Jr., in partnership with Hendrick.

* * *

Bill Elliott will drive the Wood Brothers’ No. 21 Ford in all of the events at Daytona’s Speedweeks, but the season’s full lineup is still coming together.

Jon Wood says he’s scheduled to be in the car for races where the U.S. Air Force is the primary sponsor, beginning with Las Vegas. Marcos Ambrose is also scheduled to drive the car in 12 races.

* * *

Scott Riggs and Jeremy Mayfield have swapped car numbers at Haas CNC Racing. Riggs will be in the No. 66 Chevrolets and Mayfield is in the No. 70. The team is working on a sponsorship deal with State Water Heaters for the 66 cars, but that has yet to be finalized.

* * *

Kasey Kahne has submitted a written plea of not guilty to the charge of misdemeanor battery stemming from his Nov. 16 incident with a security guard at Homestead-Miami Speedway. That action means an arraignment scheduled for next week now won’t be necessary.


Monkeesfan said...

Interesting stuff here, David.

Dick Glover typified the idiocy that permeates NASCAR's marketing efforts. Ricky Bobby was the worst movie since Daze Of Blunder and it did nothing to promote the sport - right now nothing NASCAR does promotes the sport.

Of the six Daytona 500s to be reaired, the 1976, '79, '99, and 2007 ones make sense. One that should get reaired also are 1974, '83, '84, '93, and '96. 1990 was dreadful other than the finish while 1998 wasn't much and looks a mite embarassing in hindsight. BTW, that 1999 pass wasn't slightly risky, it was suicidal and should be treated as such, not held as an example of excellence.

They missed a golden marketing opportunity with Junior - the Gatorade #88 is the perfect sponsorship package they can use.

Apprantly the Wood Brothers have no clue here - three different drivers instead of committing to a full season with one?

Anonymous said...

As the vrooming gets closer, the stories begin to multiply! Yeah...

I'm surpised the 2007 500 is listed as a top 5 to view, I guess some folks still think MM was the true winner?

Anonymous said...

You put the biggest news item (Kasey Kahne's plea for his battery arrest) at the bottom. Strange choice, but expected.

Anonymous said...

I am sign-in challenged on these comments, but this is David Poole answering the previous post. Kahne's plea was a prefunctory court process done in writing two days ago. It merely moves the case forward a step and erases the need for him to appear this week. It's a turn of the screw, not news.

Anonymous said...

David, you read comments? If I'd known that I would write more often. Your blog is great.

I understand your explanation you wrote to answer the person's (rude)comment. But it is my understanding that not a single person from the NASCAR media has interviewed Kasey Kahne about this - even the original articles from the Homestead track had his agent and evernham talking for him saying, they didn't know anything. Fans on boards were wondering "where is an update?" after Homestead. We didn't even know he had been arrested and charged until a few weeks ago, a month after it happened. Why hasn't someone called Kahne and gotten him to talk beween late November and now? Maybe he'll say he can't talk about it, maybe he won;t but somebody should at least ask.

Whether its just a turn in the screws or not, fans are talking about it and wondering why Khane hasn't said a word. It's news to us. Now he has hired a famous Florida criminal defense attorney to defend him, why in the sam h*** is that necessary for a misdemenor? Is this going to go to trial during the season (man, I hope not)? Is this dude going to be hyping this up on Sportscenter and Court TV like the Michael Vick lawyers?? Something's missing here and nobody is asking Kahne.

NASCAR drivers don't get charged with battery, that just ain't the norm. If this had happened to one of the Busch brothers, or Robby Gordon or Stewart and they had an off-track accusation of shoving an elderly man to the ground like this, I think the articles would be more frequent because y'all would hound them more. In other words, this not guilty plea would be an article on That's, not a blog note.

The appearance is of Kahne getting a pass from the media and I think maybe that's what the above was trying to say, they just shoulda been more polite about it. Thanks and enjoy Daytona.

Anonymous said...

Nobody is giving Kahne a "pass" on this one. But it's not a witch-hunt, either.
From the moment we heard about the situation at Homestead, I know that I began trying and other reporters began trying to get comments from Kahne and his team, from NASCAR and from the track. Everybody clammed up. I myself called the public information officer at the Homestead police department six times asking him what the charges were and none of my messages were returned. I know Bob Pockrass of NASCAR Scene kept checking, too.
At some point, after working and traveling all year, people who do this job take some time off. When you keep getting no answers and the story is not going to set the world on fire, at some point you just decide to let things play out. Eventually the case was going to come up. Eventually you figured a civil suit would come. When it did, we reported it. I called Kahne's people after that was filed and asked for an interview or comment. There's only so much you can do.

RevJim said...

I would be looking forward to the reairing of the past Daytona 500s, but, unfortunately, ESPN Classic is not availiable in my area.
Thank you for this blog, David. It sure beats the That's Racin' so-called "Auto Racing" Forums!