Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Bill Davis Racing shows financial consolidation

Monday's announcement that Marty Gaunt and Mike Held had bought Triad Racing Development along with a majority interest in Bill Davis Racing brought news of what seems like a intriguing business venture.

Triad Racing Development supplies engines and chassis to several teams that run Toyotas across the NASCAR racing platform, from the Cup Series through trucks and the Camping World series. Gaunt and Held believe that as the economic issues facing NASCAR continue to ripple through the garage, more teams might be forced to choose not to build their own engines or chassis and look to a supplier like the company they're buying to provide those things.

If you think about worst-case scenarios for the sport, that would include a pullout by the American auto makers. Teams get their engine blocks and other parts from manufacturers, and if that ended NASCAR would have to designate certain companies as approved suppliers for teams. Gaunt and Held figure that Triad Racing Development could be one of those companies, allowing them to pick up client and grow their business.

Gaunt and Held are not newcomers to racing or to NASCAR. Gaunt worked with Michael Kranefuss through the formation of his team and its partnership with Roger Penske's team and then was the first general manager with Red Bull Racing. Held is most widely known in NASCAR circles for his partnership in helping Robby Gordon form his own stock-car team. These are not guys who're coming into this deal blind, they know NASCAR is a business and they're hoping this turns into a profitable deal.

Gaunt and Held say they don't yet know what will happen on the racing side of the deal. They would like to keep the No. 22 Sprint Cup team going, but they say they won't put the team on the track without sponsorship. BDR won the 2008 Truck Series title with Johnny Benson driving, but Benson has moved on to another team and details of the former BDR team's plans in the Truck Series for 2009 are pending, too.

There's more to this than the business and the racing pieces, though. The personal piece matters, too.

If this is the end of the full-blown racing road for Bill Davis and his wife, Gail, the sport will miss them. Davis-owned Cup, Nationwide and Truck cars have run in 1,341 events and have won 40 times, including a Daytona 500 victory by Ward Burton. But it's about more than how many races Davis and his team have run and how many they won. Bill and Gail Davis have made it a way of life to give back to the sport and to the people in it, and they've long been admired not only as racers, but as friends and part of the NASCAR family.


Anonymous said...

How did this affect the people that were current employees at BDR and Triad Racing? Rumor has it that they are out on the street and neither them or there families have any insurance or compensation due to this purchase?

Anonymous said...

Merry christmas to all those dedicated employees hope they have a happy new year! Didn't those guys win Davis his 2008 champoinship?

Monkeesfan said...

If fewer teams build their own engines or chassis, the sport loses out because teams that use someone else's stuff are invariably shortchanged on power and performance - the last time a customer car showed any muscle in beating his supplier was JGR in the early 1990s, and Hendrick cut them out after 1995.

That Davis had to sell any stake in his organization is yet another example of how the sport's "anything goes" spending habits have all but bankrupted it.

Anonymous said...

Anon #1 6:02PM - It should be: "Neither THEY NOR THEIR families have any insurance or compensation due to this purchase."

If that is indeed the case, it is sad and unfortunate, especially at this time of year.

Anonymous said...

Maximum compensation minimum investment.
Great investigative reporting lots of questions ZERO answers!!! Could have got this from the local watering hole in charlotte. I can't beleive you can actually cash your paycheck without guilt

Anonymous said...

spanky, can you just go away? No one cares what you say!

Anonymous said...

monkeesfan, your comment about EVERYTHING seems to be "anything goes" spending habits.

You really ought to let people spend the money they earn. It's theirs not yours.

Some teams borrowed and spent beyond their ability to repay. They were trying to keep up with the Joneses. Others spend without going into debt.

My husband and I are retired. We eat out evry night. We go to nice restaurants. We're snow birds. We leave the mid-west in the winter. Not everyone can afford to do it. We will not stop because a lot of people never learned to budget their money. We worked, built a business, and now we get to spend.

Anonymous said...

Too bad.

After selling out Dodge to a foreign car company and hoping to get in on the ground floor of Toyota's entrance into Cup, Davis is finally going out of business.
Good for America.

Anonymous said...

Anon @8:53 pm
Don't sing to loud peanut butter and jelly may not be too far away. And don't correct me because "We say Ain't and we say Maam and if you ain't from the south." Well you might know the rest.

Anonymous said...

greg, you abviously only know folks who live from hand to mouth.

We have no debt, and both have pensions. The biggest blessing for us was that our folks went through the great depression. They taught us to live within our means and save.

My father had a simple rule. When you get paid, save 10%, give 10% to the church, and live on less than 80% of what you make.

It works.

Anonymous said...

Anon @10:46 pm
No I don't know only people that live hand to mouth but I do know people that have great wealth and the last thing that they would do is put what they have in the face of people that have less.

And my father tought me that I was never better than anyone maybe you need to learn more than a 10th to the LORD and a 10th to save maybe it's called pride.
You come on the Blog and correct people and brag about your life we could care less about what you have and where you spend your winter it has nothing to do with racing. And in one breath you say let people spend what they want or what they earn and the next you say give 10 save 10 live on less than 80%. What is it live BIG or TIGHT. Next time talk racing and not your life. And I will not comment anymore on this Have A Merry Christmas

Anonymous said...

i worked there and yes, no job, no insurance. the new folks are hiring and accepting applications to grow their business. i hope it works out. crap house christmas present from mr davis after helping win a championship....... preciate ya.

Anonymous said...

greg said:
And my father tought me that I was never better than anyone

I agree with your father.

Anonymous said...

greg asked:

And in one breath you say let people spend what they want or what they earn and the next you say give 10 save 10 live on less than 80%. What is it live BIG or TIGHT

Since you don't understnad simple English, let me try by giving you an example.

Jeff Gordon made about $35 million last year. That's one year's income. He bought a condo in NYC for about $6 million. That's living within his means even though to some it might look like an extravagance.

Tiger made over $110 million in 2007. That's in one year. He also bought property in the $60 million range. The point is that he lives within his means.

In both these examples, they spent less than what they made. They live within their means. How many of the people in trouble spent less than what they made? Look at Ed McMahon.

I say let people spend what they want. I spend less than what I make by choice. Those in debt up to their eyeballs also spent what they wanted. They are now reaping what they sowed.

Two NASCAR drivers who hit it on the nose are Dale Jr and Kyle Petty. Kyle said recently that at PE (meaning his dad), they milked the name Petty for all it was worth without investing in making the race team better and now the consequences.

Part of the Dale JR conversation was that money was being spent, but not in improving the race teams. (It was all about the legacy of Sr.)

I have a lot of sympathy for those who lost their jobs. I do not have sympathy for those who have used their credit cards to raise their standard of living. They are being bed examples to their kids.

Monkeesfan said...

To Anonymous #7, when you talk about "trying to keep up with the Joneses," you miss that in racing it is not supposed to be that way. There is supposed to be a cap on spending.

When Kyle Petty says PE didn't invest to make the team better, is he admitting what Robin Pemberton said he did in undercutting him (Pemberton) in 2002? Having said that, people continue to miss what has hurt them and DEI and a lot of other teams - the fact of the sport's "anything goes" spending habits. DEI's problems, Petty's problems, etc. would be solveable under a spending cap system. Bill Davis would still have his raceteam and engine shop under a spending cap system.

No, Anonymous whoever, we as racefans are NOT supposed to "let people spend the money they earn," we're supposed to support a spending cap on raceteams.

Anonymous said...

Bill Davis sold his NASCAR teams because he wasn't able to keep up with the other teams. But he is a big boy and when you can't run with the Big Dogs, you go sit on the porch. This isn't about spending, its about MANAGEMENT of your teams.

Anonymous said...


You are so right. It is all about bad management.

The bad teams would not make it under a spenidng cap. THEY DON'T KNOW HOW TO MANAGE.

For example, Bengals, Chiefs, Rams, and of course the LIONS!!

Anonymous said...

monkeesfan, says there is supposed to be a spending cap. Where? In his universe?

The individuals owners are INDIVIDUAL owners. They are operating according to the rules set in NASCAR. There is no "supposed" to be any such thing in NASCAR's rules.

Anonymous said...

The problem I see with a spending cap is management has to still want to win. I know, I've watched the Cincy Bungholes go thru the motions since 1990. Spending doesn't guarantee winning anyway. Look at the Yankee's. It's all about management.

Anonymous said...

Spending caps are no substitute for recognizing talent. Not just talent in the drivers, but in the shop, in the crews, in management.

The Tampa Bay Rays had a budget of $44 mil for an entire team, thats about 2 players for the NY Yankees. Rays made it to the World Series.

The type coaches makes a difference, the chemistry, not blaming others if you lose, lots of practice and watching film.

Anonymous said...

It sure is odd that every time a team lays off people no one in the press makes any mention, one way or the other, whether the team paid any sort of severance or made any other sort of provision for the terminated employees. Could it be that the press only wants to portray everything in the worse light to try to attract readers - rather than trying to make an effort to report the whole story? Lack of effort or lack of honesty by the press?

Anonymous said...

Well we got you ANON @ 10:22am
"They are being bed examples to their kids".
In most cases we would say type-o but for someone that is PERFECT the word is BAD not BED.

Like I said stick to racing and not to your life. The truth is you are broke and living in a trailer park hiding behind Anonymous and wanting to feel powerful.You have had less and want everyone that has been doing well to sink to your state so play the big shot on the Blog.
Oh I do understand plan english and those last statments about Jeff Gordon and Tiger weren't your before comments.

Have a Happy New Year

Anonymous said...

There should never be a spending cap on racing. Baseball does just fine without one. The NFL, which has a spending cap, is a pathetic joke. I say let the big dogs spend more and let the little teams act as field fillers.

Anonymous said...

Offhand I cannot think of any sport with a real spending cap. All the NFL's spending cap does is limit the amount spent on players- not what is spent on coaches, scouts, facilities, travel, etc. There are already too many rules - in NASCAR and the world in general.

Anonymous said...

Without a cap the only teams that will win is HMS,JGR,RFR,and maybe RCR or GEM.
And there are more there just there fans out there. And when they are the only teams that show-up for a race we will have a CART thing going.
And it will be the "last one to leave turn out the lights."
One might say NASCAR is to big for that but at one time OPEN WHEEL was to.

Anonymous said...

The rule on spending caps is that there is a max and a minimum. The minimum would eliminate many one-car teams. They could not come up with that amount of money. Caps are based on the total money made on events (races). Since the car owners get 25% of the tv money, the caps would be pretty high.

The highest expense for the teams is not the driver's salary (most of that comes from sponsors) but for engineers, equipment (7-post, wind tunnel), etc., shops (fabricaton, chassis, engine,etc).

Some of the teams have no business being in NASCAR.

Anonymous said...

gail and bill are not the people
the nascar world knew. they would
through their best friend to the
pack of wolves. its a case of small town trash wanting to be
big time. welcome back home.
hope the trucking company is out
of bankrupcy with all the money
you stole from your sponsors.

Anonymous said...

BDR has never had loyalty to anyone. Their contracts are meaningless. Good riddance!
Anyone who fires Tommy Baldwin and replaces him with Frankie Stoddard then fires Ward Burton to replace him with Scott Wimmer doesn't exactly have good business sense.

Anonymous said...

Nancy Pelosi sucks nigga cocks.

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