Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The case against euthanizing NASCAR

If NASCAR is euthanized, as author Robert Weintraub suggests, the hundreds of men and women who work with NASCAR, its teams and related industries would be collateral damage. (AP photo by Wilfredo Lee)

After calling your attention yesterday to a piece at calling for NASCAR to be “euthanized,” I’ve done a considerable amount of thinking about what its author, Robert Weintraub, had to say.

Let me begin by saying that it’s absolutely valid to point out that I have a considerable stake in NASCAR’s survival. I cover the sport for a newspaper, The Charlotte Observer, that still thinks racing is worth devoting its resources to covering. I host a talk show five mornings each week on Sirius NASCAR Radio. The demise of big-time stock-car racing in this country would not be good news for me professionally.

Having acknowledged that, I contend that doesn’t disqualify me from making a legitimate case against Weintraub’s primary arguments.

If you haven’t read the piece, the brief summary is that Weintraub, who says he is a NASCAR fan, believes that the financial crisis gripping America’s major auto manufacturers makes this “the right time to put the sport out of its misery.”

Citing some of the most familiar refrains of disgruntled long-time fans of NASCAR, he points to declining ticket sales and television ratings, dislike of the Chase format, discontent over changes to the sport and the overall blandness of its drivers as examples of said misery. He even sings the “Dale Earnnhardt Jr. is nothing but an average driver” song that’s sure to strike chords with a broad strain of racing nay-sayers.

What he conveniently ignores, of course, is that far, far more people buy tickets or turn their television sets to NASCAR events now than they did 20 or even 10 years ago. Or that before there was a Chase the same fans who hate it hated the old points system just as purely. Or that there certainly are just as many interesting characters and stories – and, to be frank, considerably fewer criminals – among the 45 or so drivers who regularly compete in NASCAR’s top series as there are on any single NFL, any two Major League Baseball or any three NBA team rosters that contain roughly the same number of people.

But the bigger problem, Weintraub argues, is that in a world where hybrid cars and alternative fuels are to be the next big thing, “it’s hard to see where gas-guzzling, emission-belching stock cars fit in.” In conclusion, he argues that even if the Big Three auto companies survive there’s no way they could justify spending money on an anachronistic diversion such as NASCAR.

It would be easy to be as dismissive of Weintraub’s arguments as he is of all of what NASCAR brings to the millions of fans who still love and follow the sport. That would be wrong. His points about alternative fuels and technology are valid. NASCAR should be leading its fans down roads toward the next generation of the American automobile, not clinging to the industry’s long-abandoned past.

NASCAR certainly had other issues to deal with, serious issues such as increasing its diversity and melding new safety technology with the need for close competition, even before America’s economic crisis hit. Nobody is saying that NASCAR isn’t facing critical issues as that tsunami washes over the sport and the country.

But Weintraub’s central point is not that the sport CAN not be saved. His premise is that it SHOULD not be saved.

Why? Because, he says, “continuing to fund stock-car racing would be a sign that Detroit simply cannot function in the new century.”

The idea that Ford, Chevrolet, Dodge and Toyota “fund” stock-car racing implies that these companies do that because they consider it either a playground or a charitable enterprise. That premise, of course, ignores both history and reality.

Manufacturers, for one reason or another, have pulled their support of stock-car racing several times in the past. They have returned each time, however, not because they simply missed being in racing or because they had a few spare millions of dollars they decided to blow on a pointless diversion. They’ve returned because racing makes sense for them as a business proposition.

Research by the Sports Business Journal showed that the value of exposure for sponsors in the Cup Series this year, on television alone, was nearly $1.7 billion. Chevrolet got $126 million, with Toyota and Ford each getting better than $73 million. That’s not counting logos on driver or crew uniforms or on the cars’ quarter-panels.

It also doesn’t measure the impact of any at-track displays or other sponsor contact with fans who actually buy tickets to go see the races. And oh, by the way, there are millions of those. Even with the short-term dip in ticket sales, one that could be even more pronounced in 2009, NASCAR events draw huge crowds. Those people come into communities that have race tracks and stay in hotels, eat in restaurants and buy gas. Or they bring in their campers, go to the grocery stores and buy diesel.

Weintraub says NASCAR should suspend operations because, at least partly, it is a diversion. “Once it goes,” he says, “we’ll probably wonder why it ever existed in the first place.”

But if Weintraub had his way those fans wouldn’t be able to do something they love to do. Those communities wouldn't get that revenue. Several thousand people with NASCAR, race teams and various support businesses would be out of work. That’s a lot of leftover misery from what Weintraub would call a mercy killing.

If NASCAR doesn’t get enough things right as it goes forward, Weintraub and the fans who think he’s on to something will get their wish. That’s how business works. If the issue is whether NASCAR is so essential that it should be propped up or bailed out amid a financial crisis, the argument for its demise would be infinitely easier to make.

If the auto makers pull their support completely, NASCAR will either adapt to that new reality or it will die.

Over its history, NASCAR had adapted to its world quite successfully. Even stock-car racing’s harshest critics have to admit that the work and vision of the sport’s leadership has carried it to heights that never could have been imagined when NASCAR was formed in late 1947.

If today’s leaders truly do lack vision or if the work they do and the changes they make loosen the sport from its real foundations, NASCAR’s death will become a matter of fact, not debate. But anybody who believes that death is imminent – or should out of some sense of the greater good be hastened – is far more misguided that anyone who ever has led or ever will lead the sport.


Anonymous said...

I have to think NASCAR should have not strayed from their original fan base when they closed N Wilkesboro and Rockingham. Rockingham attendance would have been better, had they have moved the dates to warmer parts of the year. NASCAR jumped into other markets where there are just too many entertainment choices, and not as high of a concentration of die hard fans as there are in the southeast...the bithplace of the sport. Couple that with the fact that NASCAR has watered down the drivers to where if they so much as misspeak, they are losing points, and getting a fine. The sport has evolved to the point of losing all of what once made it great, and attractive to sponsors and fans. I once was a fan, but now don't feel it is worth my time to watch any longer. I say go ahead and put it out of its misery.

Anonymous said...

I loved NASCAR in the 80's and 90's. I think that was its heyday. I'm too young to remember much before that and there was not nearly as much media coverage then anyway. Even though I am an NC native, I must admit that there were lots of boring races at N. Wilkes and Rockingham just like there are now at Fontana, Vegas, etc. now. I believe the thing that has hurt NASCAR more than anything else in this decade is the death of Dale Sr. in 2001. Love him or hate him he was the iconic star of the sport and his passing has left a huge void. Many fans started losing interest once he was gone, even ones like me who were not his fans.

Anonymous said...

Life would be dull without NASCAR.
Charities would be unfunded,
restaurants empty, collectible vendors out of business, etc......
What would take the place of the unique characteristics of engine roar, smells, hubbub of pitroad activity? What would make my tears fall with the sounds of the national anthem. When could I say "Amen" in front of thousands? What other sport brings motor enthusiasts together all over the country? Life would be dull without NASCAR.

Anonymous said...

Agree with Anonymous. NASCAR has done this to themselves.

1 Less Darlington Race

How about the Nationwide/Busch

Take racing out of the heart of racing country and what do you get? California where people DO NOT show up. Drivers like Kyle Petty say they SHOULDN'T EVEN BE RACING HERE!

To many COOKIE CUTTER TRACKS!! How about we try to create another Rockingham? Bristol? Darlington?

How about the Busch series leaving Hickory, Myrtle Beach, South Boston, etc?!?!

They had something GREAT when Harvick and his temper came into the sport, Carl Edwards leaving it all out there. Then NASCAR tries to "clean up" the acts and you lose fans. People want to see what happens from week to week. They want to see emotion. Nascar, provides NONE!

Not to mention the turn stile for series sponsorships... Nextel? Sprint? Now who next? Busch/nationwide? Cup teams can't get Phone Carriers sponsors? Come on, give me a break! Nascar deserved everything they stand to lose, it is just a shame us people who work our butts off stand to lose from this.

This year was some of the WORST RACING I've seen for a long time. I've worked for a Nascar Busch team as a fabricator for 4 years. I loved racing since I was a kid. The sport of Nascar has taken a turn for the worse.

Anonymous said...

I grew up with NASCAR and loved it. The past decade has been dreadful. Sanitized cars, sanitized drivers, insatiable lust for commercials, total loss of the elements of danger and race intrigue, etc. Who even understands the zillion new rules implemented every year? I do not want to go back to the old days as that is not feasible but NASCAR stinks these days.

Anonymous said...

I guess all the MENSA NASCAR critics are out nice and early. One thing that amazes me is that people think because they attended races or worked in the industry, they should be able to tell the owners how to spend their money.

On Rockingham, the owner, Humpty Wheeler said he could not make a profit. That's what you need. If you don't make a profit, you have to leave. Even with all the nostaglia about the track, they couldn't even sell out the last race.

Okay, so Humpty sells it. The new owner has an ARCA race, Logano (sliced bread) is going to race (he won), Tony Stewart and others would also be there.

Well, they had about 16,000 fans! And it was in May, so weather was not an excuse.

As far as exciting, I sure remember lots of races that only had 2-10 drivers in the lead lap. The purses there were also not as high as other places.

When you put your money at risk, then you have the right to make the decisions. Humpty sold the track very cheaply. Somewhere in the $4 million dollar range. Tons of drivers make that much and could have afforded to buy it, but they too want to make a profit on their investment. Sure they liked racing there are long as they did not gamble with their money.

Anonymous said...

I honestly don't want my tax dollars (i.e. the bailout if it happens) to go to Nascar racing. Bottom line. It's a waste of money. Also, you can forget major corporate sponsorships in the coming year. Shareholders are going to scrutinize every dollar spent and plastering the side of a non-PC racin' car isn't going to be high on the list.

Monkeesfan said...

Whenever there are discussions about the state of NASCAR the myth somehow always get perpetrated that "Rockingham would have had better attendence had they moved the dates to warmer parts of the year."

Here's a reality check - Rockingham's weather was never an issue until attendance began declining and suddenly people started using weather as an excuse for declining attendance. Rockingham reopened in May - the kind of weather advocates say its Winston Cup dates should have had - yet almost no one showed up for the race, even with half the grandstands from before torn down.

Another myth that gets perpetrated is that "NASCAR has watered down the drivers to where if they misspeak they lose points and get a fine." That's not watering down, that's forcing the drivers to grow up and be professional. The sport didn't grow because drivers weren't "watered down." The stars of yore were not the hell-raisers modern mythology wants to portray - Richard Petty was no hell-raiser, David Pearson was no hell-raiser, Bobby Isaac had cleaned up his act by the time he got to Grand National, Glenn Roberts (the sport's first superstar) was (despite the Fireball nickname) what would today be called a pretty dull personality, Benny Parsons was no flamboyant personality, Bill Elliott was so opposite of flamboyant he needed police protection in the media crush of his 1985 Winston Million run - and on and on. The idea that the sport is missing something because it has "watered down" or "cookie cutter" drivers is wrong. Kevin Harvick's buffoonery and Carl Edwards' stupidity add nothing to the sport.

Dale Earnhardt's death is not what hurt NASCAR - tragic as it was, there is no void left by his passing.

There is also the myth about "cookie cutter racetracks." That they "look alike" is not relevant to anything because they are built for racing. For all the handwringing about "bring back Rockingham, try to create another Bristol or Darlington," those three tracks aren't very good racetracks. A far better model is Talladega - the sport truly took off when it outgrew short ovals and went to superspeedways and the best racing is still to be found on the big tracks.

NASCAR's problems are multi-fold (and Weintraub's piece misses seemingly all of them) -

1 - The sport's economic model of virtual "anything goes" spending has all but bankrupted it - i.e. where is the spending cap?

2 - The sport didn't so much stray from its original fanbase as try to shoehorn itself into demographics that don't want it - i.e. why are we racing in Las Vegas, Chicago, and Hollywood/Fontana (and those who remember Ontario Motor Speedway know NASCAR is making the same mistake again) and why on earth did/does NASCAR want tracks in New York City, Colorado, and Washington (The Siberia Of Pro Sports) State?

3 - The sport's competitive product is not good anymore. There's a reason why Talladega's races usually outdo all the others in TV ratings and attendance - when 28 leaders and 64 lead changes is the norm and not the exception, then there is real competitive depth.

Where are the 50-lead-change races elsewhere? Where are the new winning drivers and teams? Where are the comebacks by drivers and teams?
The sport has gone from 26 winners among 14 teams in 2001-2 to less than 14 winners and just six teams in 2008 with only one first-time winning driver in the last two seasons and no new winning teams since 2002 and just one comeback winning team (Ganassi/SABCO Racing in 2007) since then.

4 - The sanctioning body has provided no credible answers to its problems. The sanctioning body pretends that teams are independant contractors when they are actually members of its competitive family and need to be treated as such. Instead of attacking team spending and the unracability of the cars, it has hoisted a fraudulent and universally-hated playoff format on its top series and put on the track a grotesque, poorly-designed racecar based on a bogus reading of what makes competitive racing, the result of which is a racecar that has aggravated everything that impedes passing (aeropush, no drafting effect outside of the plate tracks, tire issues) while solving nothing in the way of competitiveness or race costs.

Worse, the sanctioning body went from treating companies and teams as partners to treating them as rivals. As Shaun Assael notes in WIDE OPEN: Days & Nights On The NASCAR Tour, it started when Brian France began getting serious responsibilities in the sport's marketing in 1996-7. Brian France's philosophy has gone from promoting racing to promoting the brand.

Recognizing what the actual problems are will help with creating credible solutions. Weintraub is wrong to want to euthanize NASCAR, but there is a need to "start from scratch" in a sense.

Monkeesfan said...

Anonymous #7 - on the contrary, they'll find that sponsoring racing is a good return, not a waste at all. Your "bottom line" is anything but.

Anonymous said...

Weintraub must be living in fantasyland. When has any profitable multi-million dollar organization like NASCAR ever just closed shop and went away? They'd have to suffer through years of deterioration before that became an option. No one walks away from money. Were'd this guy grow up?

With that said, I think the COT has been both a huge mistake and failure.

Most importantly it has not made the racing better - that's the one thing that could have gotten fans to accept the change. Additionally they haven't really saved teams any money (yet) or created parity between the "haves" and "have nots". That is why it has been a failure.

It was a mistake because it really did cut the balls off the manufacturers. To be honest the win on Sunday sell on Monday dynamic has become a cliche' only (even before the COT). The old cars weren't any more stock than the new ones but at least the manufacturers could have the illusion of distinguishing their brand from the others. Now why bother. I ask someone to tell me what would give the manufacturer a bigger bang for the buck - sponsoring 10 teams, each with sticker on them indicating the brand, or being the primary sponsor on Jr's car?
Oh yeah if Mr Weintraub, if NASCAR has become obsolete then baseball must be in a coma because it's been obsolete since the last time the players went on strike.

Anonymous said...


Opinions are great, but occasionally you have to look up facts to make sure you have informed opinions.

The assertation that corporate sponsors with not come/ its a wates of money.

Street % Smith Sports Buisness Journal, which is the gold standard of business journals, has the annual size of sports buisness at $213 BILLION. That's twice the size of the auto industry and 7 times the size of the movie industry.

Who gets the big bucks in the sports industry? The NFL, that football. They have 256 games per season and autos are the biggest advertisers. (Seven more times than races.) I watch football and it's hard to keep track of how many auto commercials there are in the pre-post and games themselves.

The auto industry pays big bucks for sport advertising not because the suits like the NFL and NASCAR. It's a science. There are surveys, many studies, cost benefit analysis, focus groups , and of course the proof= are they selling their product.

One manufactorer came to the conclusion that Tiger did not sell enough Buicks. But I watched 7 NFL games this week. Every few minutes, another car commercial.

The NASCAR tv contract is signed and sealed. It goes til 2014. The contract is worth about $600 per year. It's divided in the following way: 25% owners, 65% track owners. and 10% NASCAR.

Another source of income for sport teams is licensed goods, souvenirs. That comes to $10.5 BILLION per year.
NFL make $2.5 billion per year, all colleges $2.5 billion,
MLB $2.3 billion, and
NASCAR makes $1.2 billion

The raw figures make it seem that NASCAR is far behind the top three, but we have to remember that there are almost 1700 NFL players, 1200 MLB, and less than 100 regular drivers. If you do the math, NASCAR/drivers are way ahead.

NASCAR is not going away. It will change, but will last.

Anonymous said...

I agree with most everyone here. I grew up a NASCAR fan, but the NASCAR of today is nothing like it was in the 80's and 90's. Actually, its pretty boring now. The leaders of NASCAR have done a great job growing the sport into what it is, but sadly along that path to greatness they left behind all of the things that made it so popular in the beginning and had people fighting over who is the best driver. They have definitely "watered it down" to make it more family friendly and appeal to everyone. Well... "everyone" aren't the die hard people who show up every week. "Everyone" are the people who might go to one race a year, or watch it on TV if there is nothing else on. Sadly, NASCAR has done it to themselves... they've alienated their core audience and that audience is leaving them.

Oh yeah, you mention the track in CA... I drove by it when I was out there a few months ago... it's in the middle of the Napa wine country! No wonder no ones shows up for the races... those people know nothing about it!

Anonymous said...

Right now I'm watching a taped interview of T. Owens of Dallas. One of his complaints is that he is unable to get many corporate sponsors because the press or whoever has given him the reputation of being a bad boy.

For those who complain about the JJ and Jeffs of NASCAR, next to Jr., Jeff is next as the biggest seller. Tony nor Kyle are any where near the top in total sales.

The top NFL selling jerseys belong to Tony Romo, Brett Favre, Eli Manning. Yes, mister no personality, but nice guy. Number 10 is T.O. So Eli sells 420,000 (close to Brett at 450,000) jerseys and TO sells 75,000.

NASCAR is not supposed to be the WWE. And I've been a fan for over 40 years.

Anonymous said...

I think today, there are only two kinds of people who really give darn if Nascar stays or goes: 1. those who directly or inderectly derive there income from the sport. 2. Those of us who are sitting around staring at our computers because we're bored. Really, I truely belive the rest of the world don't care one way or the other- and THAT my friends is the real issue nascar faces.

Anonymous said...

Stock car racing is not that old compared to other sports although Indy racing has been around 100 yrs. The sport is really only 50 yrs old at best .

There are those who feel Rockingham and North Wilksboro or Hickory should never have closed but the fact is closing these tracks allowed for other tracks nationwide to open.

The next step for NASCAR should be to expand and double the number of tracks and drivers and have 2 leagues of racing like all professional sports. Maybe Rockingham or N Wilksboro could be used then. Call them the American and National racing leagues.

Have a World Series or Super Bowl race at the end.

Anonymous said...

OK why dont we ban nfl nba pga college football, basketball etc., alot of more of your tax dollars go to those than you think, and alot more fuel is used to get to the thousands and thousands of games every year. I love NASCAR i'd give whatever i could to save it, AND I DO by supporting sponsors and charities of nascar. I love every boring race and you sirs are no better than hitler!

Anonymous said...

No disrespect intended to Monkeesfan, but if you really think Bristol is not a good track, you need medical attention. I do agree that just because the drivers aren't hell-raisers doesn't mean that the sport is worse off. More compelling racing is far more important than drivers' personalities.

Weintraub makes a good point about NASCAR clinging to the past, but it manifests itself in a different way than he presents. I believe the root of all of NASCAR's problems is the arrogance of Brian France and his band of yes-men. They are far less concerned about doing what is best for the sport than they are about making sure we know they are the bosses and what they say is Biblical law. For example, there will never again be a race at Daytona or Talladega with cars that don't have restrictor plates. That would be admitting they made a mistake putting the plates on, and that will never happen. Never mind that restrictor plate racing killed one of the 5 greatest drivers of all time; they're the bosses, what they say is law, and they're not going to admit a mistake.

Another example is the asinine practice of points penalties. No other legitimate sport does this. Remember when Julius Peppers was busted for taking illegal dietary suppliments his rookie year? What did the NFL do? Suspended him for 4 games. They didn't revoke one or two Panthers wins. Can you possibly imagine the NBA revoking 3 wins from the Detroit Pistons if Allen Iverson dropped an S-bomb in a post-game interview? Then why is it a good idea to dock a driver 25 points for doing so in a post-race interview? But again, the gods of NASCAR aren't about to stop this stupid practice. They came up with it, they're the bosses, what they say is law, and they're not going to admit a mistake.

Find a way to make the racing better (read: more than 2 or 3 passes per race), and get some real LEADERS in the sport instead of the Mafia bosses, and NASCAR will be just fine.

mythril1957 said...

To monkeesfan:
If you accept the premise of your post that these are the things wrong with NASCAR, then the answer is to change these things. But that is the problem, NASCAR is not going to change any of these things to improve the sport. What will drive any of these changes will be the total fall off of fans buying into what NASCAR has become. Hell, you can't even get the SPEED channel to air reruns of these races for Christ's sake! So we as fans will come here and belly ache about how NASCAR has lost it's way and how much we would like to see changes. We will find other outlets that will meet our needs, we will go back to watching live racing at places like the Bullring in Vegas or the figure 8's at Anderson Speedway or dirt track racing at Knoxville. We will watch the races that offer exciting racing and will just tune out all the noise that the other boring races offer. There has been plenty of talk, only actions will make the difference from now on.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous @ 1:21 - Please explain how internet posters posting opinions that are different from yours make those posters equal to one of the most evil, muderous people who ever walked the Earth? And please be man enough to post your name while posting that explanation.

We look forward to hearing from you. :-)

Anonymous said...

Well, if 2009 isn't somewhat better than 2008 from an economic standpoint, NASCAR could be in trouble. It wouldn't surprise me if the Sprint Cup field eventually becomes 35 cars instead of 43.

Anonymous said...

anon@ 12:48

I am amazed that you claim to be a fan for a long time and yearn for the 80s and 90s. What amazes me is that you did not know that Infinion Raceway in Napa will celebrate its 20th anniversary in 6 months. Wow!!! How did a real fan like youself no miss 19 years of racing in this great road race in the beautiful Napa valley.

And you think no one goes there!! Another amazing statement from you. We have attracted about 100,000 every year for years and years. Last year we had about 102,000. And the prize money is good too. $309,925.

This last year Kyle won and it was exciting and before that Juan Pablo won. Of course our favorite son is none other than Jeff Gordon.

Why would Rockingham with 40,000 and N Wilksboro at 35,000 be better? Some fans no little.

Anonymous said...

So what if the field is smaller. I remember years ago when only 21 raced. For years there were only 35

I'm sure the pit crews would love less traffic in pit lane.

Many sports get watered down because they grow too much. Many of the racers are terrible. Why have all these start and park guys?

Anonymous said...

I was upset about this author (Weintraub) and his assertion that NASCAR should just go away until I did a quick google search. It didn't take very long to find that he contributed about $4000 to democrats ($2500 to Obama) in the 2008 election. So, from my perspective he's just another liberal masquerading as a jurnalist, spouting the "company line". I wonder if he got his "green" talking points directly from the "Obama" team or if he comes by them honestly.

Why don't we just let market forces and fans determine the fate of NASCAR. It the sport can't make it in the current economy then it either adjusts or withers away.

While I don't particuliarly care for the France family and what they have done to NASCAR (recently) I am confident that they will make the right decisions to ensure the sport "weathers the storm".

Anonymous said...

"Dale Earnhardt's death is not what hurt NASCAR - tragic as it was, there is no void left by his passing."

I think you are greatly underestimating the impact Earnhardt's death has had on the sport. While I was not a fan of his, he was in most regards the greatest star the sport has ever had. I know Petty is 'The King', but he was at his best in an era with much less media attention than Earnhardt. If you create a timeline of NASCAR's decline, it starts in February 2001. Many die hard fans have tuned out ever since. That single event was not the only reason for the decline, but it was certainly the start.

Anonymous said...


Very good points. The market will decide. Unless the arm of govenment meddles and like the way the run the post office and IRS, they have proven they don't know squat about running private industry.

Anonymous said...

Some of the greatest drivers make good memories of all the wonderful races we have enjoyed in the Napa Valley in California.

Probably the greatest driver is/was Mark Martin. Not the top in wins but always in the top 5 or top ten. Anothers are Rusty Wallace, Ricky Rudd, Dale Sr, Ernie Irvan, and Michael Waltrip. And like I wrote before, this is Jeff Gordon country.

Anonymous said...

This year fans have spent $1.2 Billion on NASCAR memorabilia. That's a lot of money.

In Texas they are adding some exclusive motor coach spaces that will charge customes $15,000 per race weekend. And some of you think the fans are leaving? For us, thats a lot of money to rent a driveway, but more power to those that can. There are millions of us that will still go to races. It's in our DNA.

Anonymous said...

Not surprised Mr Weintraub gave to Obama, he's big fan of Al Gore and his movie!

Anonymous said...

1. breathe life back into north wilkesboro and rockingham.
2. stop trying to sell a "brand" and get back to racing for the thrill of racing.
3. leave the politics at the door...and yes the sport changes forver when any driver, not just a champion, passes on.
4. ISC was the WORST thing that ever happened to NASCAR.

Anonymous said...

They have tried to breathe life into Rockingham. Fans did not come.

Anonymous said...

NASCAR has no personality anymore. Most of the drivers and most of the races are boring. Too many mystery cautions. The Chase is a horrible playoff format. And Dale Jr. is average at best and he wins most popular driver... NASCAR isn't going to die but they need to find a way to make the sport exciting again. And no that doesn't mean infield fights or "redneckin" it up.

Anonymous said...

Earnhardt's death is not what started the downfall of this sport, hell the rest of that year the track's were sold out and tv boomed. The decline in the sport started in and around 2005 when the economy started slipping and the so-called newbie fan's had had enough and split.Even when the tv executives redone there contract's two year's ago i was bewildered to see and hear that they almost doubled what the previous contract dollar's were.But back to Earnhardt if anyone has left the sport because of him it's his fan's that automatically went to Jr. after his demise and after year's of worship have given up and left because they finally realize that he is just average and not great.

Unknown said...


Rockingham Speedway was owned by Roger Penske until 1999, at which it was sold to ISC (NASCAR)and closed in 2004. If you must write about something write about something that you at least have your facts straight on.

Track Medic

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...


When you and Mr. Weintraub reach a conclusion on this, could you please let people such as Bruton Smith and the France family know. I'm sure they need to do some planning for 2009.

Silly boys...both you guys need something to do.

Anonymous said...

People act like NASCAR is the only business being hurt by the what has now been labeled as the worst economic crisis since the 1929 Great Depression when the sport still had 30 yrs before it would get going.

The reason for the downturn is a liberal traitor silver spooner in the White House who started this bogus Iraq war using lies and its been downhill ever since including paving the way for the next president who wasnt even born in America. He couldnt do any worse than Bush for sure though.

The only thing that will escape the 2nd Great Depression are the very poor. Our kinfolk said that during the 1st Great Depression of 1929 they were so poor they didnt even notice it.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Poole - great post and commentary about Weintraub's tripe.

It amazes me, the disparity of opinion that the small sampling of responses here suggest.

Some are so quick to have NASCAR die - even those employed in the sport!?

Monkeesfan has really the only reasonable grasp on the situation of anyone so far.

I for one - as a Democratic, sportscar racing forty-something (with fuel in my veins...) - hope that NASCAR figures it out so I can continue to enjoy it as I have come to.

Anonymous said...

The truth is NASCAR has issues right now. Really bad decisions made over the past ten years are highlighting these problems in difficult economic times.

Anonymous said...

I don't think anyone still employed in the sport would want it to go away. Now those who have been recently laid off and have little to no prospect of returning, that's another story.

Monkees fan wrote one of the best critiques about the sport that I have recently read. I disagree with some of his points about the disaffected former fans and the cookie cutter tracks. I think those are minor factors in the lack of fan support.

He is correct in his opinion that the change in the business model has devastated this industry. Nascar (and a few teams) has taken the lion's share of the wealth and killed the rest of the sport in process.

Weintraub doesn't have to worry about someone pulling the plug. If things continue as they have been (and there's no reason to believe they'll change), the sport will continue to slide into irrelevancy just as Indy Car racing has.

Anonymous said...

The issue with NASCAR is the issue wiht all the other comapnies in the US that are having probelms. Bad decisions made by people who were paid to make better ones. I guess we will soon be hearing NASCAR asking the government to bail them out. Oh wait, the 700 billion bailout there was money set aside for them. I guess it goes to show. If your company, your bank or bad decisions made by your CEOs' put you in a difficult place the government should bail you out. If the democrats would have allowed off shore drilling then the big three could have sold some cars. But no that is not really the big issue here. The big issue here is that everyone has bitten off more than they can chew and now wants the government to make it all better. I think NASCAR has every right to continue, just like all the other businesses that may be in economic troubles, but I do not think the government should give them money. The big three should go bankrupt and NASCAR should have to find other ways to survive. Maybe this time next year we will see the NASCAR top brass go to Washington holding their tin cups.


Anonymous said...

ya off shore drilling would improve cars please.

Monkeesfan said...

Anonymous #36, people labeling this the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression are using hyperbole that's absurd even by the absurd hyperbole standards of the Mainstream Media.

As for it being the fault of Bush and the "bogus" Iraq War, it is neither. Bush told the truth about Iraq - a truth Bill Clinton put into law in the Iraq Liberation Act - and acted accordingly.

The "second" Great Depression isn't.

Anonymous said...

I blame the COT for the lack of action on the track. The only reason for the COT was to have a higher profile so Mikey , being tall, would fit in the drivers area. So, what has Mikey done since ? Nada.........

Anonymous said...

America is becoming a welfare state. If I don't act responsibly, I can just ask the government for a handout. One big problem, the govenment DOES NOT HAVE ANY MONEY. If you want money from them, they have to take it away from me.

The govenment should fight wars, fight fires, help disabled, keep the peace (police, sheriffs, marshalls, jails, etc.)

The problem is that it has become a nanny state, and "everything" is a good cause. If I complain, I'm labelled as cruel, racist, selfish, immoral, etc.

I like many Americans, work hard for my salary. I sure would like all to work as hard as I do. They would not need so much aid.

I remember the airlines going under, well, were still flying. Then US Steel was diving, well, they are still building bridges, etc. They just have to change their buisness model.

Someone posted somewhere that you cannot have people that make $72/per hour make cars for people who make $20.

Anonymous said...

What a load of hooey (especially by monkeeman). Racing at all levels will live and die by the laws of supply and demand like everything else in the known universe. Call your next case.

Anonymous said...

DAVID, Enjoyed your article.

NASCAR racing is obviously not perfect, but it sure is heads above 2nd place. It's had its problems before, adjusted, and come back stronger.

The good ole days always seem to be better, colder, and tougher. I sure do yearn for those nail biting 6 lap wins at Darlington in the old days - and I'm sure there are just dozens of crew menbers and their families that yearn for the days of 30+ car teams and those giant crowds of 15,000 to 20,000.

Racing is super entertainment for most of us, but for many, many people it's a livelihood and many of the changes in the past several years have benefited hundreds of people.

Anonymous said...

OH, forgot to say - now soccer, that should be euthanized before it kills more people from boredom.

Anonymous said...

NASCAR has already done itself in.
A slow and painful death will be captured, for all to see, during 2009 television broadcasts.

The bigger they are, the harder they fall....

It was fun.....wasn't it?

Anonymous said...

Now who is Robert Weintraub? Talk about something needing euthanized.

Anonymous said...

Who pissed on Mr. Weintraub's Hannukah party?

Anonymous said...

J- If you had seen Bobby Allison almost go thru the fence into the stands at Talladega you'd know why restrictor plates are used.

Anonymous said...

If the American auto manufacturers still think NA$CAR is relevant to them. Maybe that explaines why they need this bailout to remain in business.
If the so-called COT, & 30 year old engine technology is going to help save them, them I must have missed something.


Anonymous said...

Thank you David Poole! A voice of reason. I am highly suspicious of Weintraub and his motivation, writing for a liberal screed liek Slate.
Reports of NASCAR's are highly exaggerated and I think good can come from adversity. Frankly, as painful as it is to say, there are teams that NEED to fold. Those involved in promotion and logistics also need to cut the fat and NASCAR has had a nice run of fatness.
It's tru that this is no time for missteps by NASCAR leadership. By the same token, other sports have goen through times and made it.

Anonymous said...

Most eveyone, Great post with exceptions such as politics. It was a pleasure reading educated, thoughtful and informed opinions. Monkeesfan, your comments were spot on. Boring racing, COT,new tracks with no personality and arrogance from the top is killing NASCAR and I will die a death of a thousand cuts as I slowly watch the sport I love fade into its sunset. Thanks again to all who posted. You satisfied my NASCAR fix this week.

Anonymous said...

He got one thing dead on.

Dale Jr is a okay driver, not anything exceptional as most think.

Anonymous said...


I think you are dead-on target with all your comments, save the comment about this not being the worst economic crisis since the great depression.

Everyone from the chairman of the Federal Reserve down through any noted economist agree this is the worst economic crisis since 1929. That's not hyperbole, it is fact.

Just this week the Fed cut their overnight borrowing rates to zero, the first time in history.

There are tons and tons of other facts and anecdotes to support the claim that this is the worst economic crisis since the great depression.

Are we facing Great Depression #2? Probably not. (A depression is defined as an ecomomic downturn that last several years with unemployment as high as 25%. With the extremely loose moneytary the Fed has now adopted, that is extremely unlikely to happen.)

But is this a severe downturn unlike any we've seen in the last 75 years? You betcha.

Anyone who thinks otherwise either has their head buried in the sand, is kidding themselves, or doesn't know much about economics.

Anonymous said...

I think that NASCAR has out-priced their product, like almost all other forms of racing. In times like these it shows. NASCAR used to be a racing series. Now it is an advertising business. I would love to see a few old guys come in, now that the shows won't be full, on open trailers, pulled by pickups, with a tiny budget racing for the prize money like they used to. And NASCAR isn't the only ones in trouble, look at NHRA.

If you got rid of the huge salaries, planes, million dollar RV's, and hospitality suites, companies could afford sponsoring a team. It doesn't cost $20 million to race, it cost $20 million to go racing, because of the luxuries the teams have relied on for the last 15-20 years.

I say let NASCAR build the engines and shocks and let the drivers race.

Anonymous said...

"I say let NASCAR build the engines and shocks and let the drivers race." then you paint them all different colors and put tru value on the side--- wait a minute, that's already been done.......

Anonymous said...

Robert Weintraub claims to be a Nascar fan. If so, Nascar doesn't need fans like Weintraub. Weintraub is like so many on the Left who think that they're smarter than everyone else and therefore should make decisions that affect millions on ignorant minions. Lefties refuse to let Markets work. If Nascar has outlived its usefulness,it will die a natural death. Advertising and product promotion is vital for any business. Weintraub doesn't want the Big Three (little three?) to make advertising decisions on there own if they receive Tarp money.Weintraub doesn't deserve the attention he has received.

Anonymous said...

re comment @ 11:50 Monkeesfan

1 - The sport's economic model of virtual "anything goes" spending has all but bankrupted it - i.e. where is the spending cap?

Just at face value, this is one of the most inaccurate comments in the post. I mean "all but bankrupted it"? You are serious? Please!! Steert & Smith (a universaly respected journal in the field of sports business) has B France as the #9 most influential in the field of sport businesses. Specifically mentioned in getting the tv contracts. They are until 2014 and give NASCAR $600 per year every year. That is not bankrupt!! Owners get 25% of the contract. Good business model. B France has protected the brand. NASCAR makes $1.2 Billion in menrchandize sales (in a year). That's not bankrupt!!

What's with the "spending cap"? These are private businesses. Are you going to tell a person how to spend the money they earn?

When Petty was riding high and winning and getting all the money, Hendrick was just coming up the ranks. (What did Petty do with all his money?) At one point, Rick decided that he was better off bulding his own engines. He built an engine shop, fast forward, and now builds 700 engines per year. He hires 82 specialists, and has make a big difference in the industry. That is just an example. There are plenty more examples of "good buiness" models that are not "anything goes."

There are teams that don't have good business models, and they should be allowed to go out of business. On the other hand, we also have owners that have good business practices.

Anonymous said...

re Monkeesfan @11:50

3 - The sport's competitive product is not good anymore. There's a reason why Talladega's races usually outdo all the others in TV ratings and attendance -


Talladega does NOT outdo all others in tv ratings. You can look them up on Jayski.

This year Talladega got 5.7 rating on 4/27/08

Others got:
Daytona 10.2
Las Vegas 7.1
Atlanta 6.4
Fontana 6.2 (and it rained!)

For the last 3 years (maybe more, did not look further),the newer tracks of Las Vegas, Texas, and Fontana, yes Fontana, have beaten Talladega in tv ratings.

In attendance, the newer tracks of Las Vegas and Texas have beaten Talladega. And then there is the money which especially helps the struggeling teams the most.

Talladega paid the winner
10-8-08 $270,000

Texas paid the winner
11-2008 $ 496,300

Las Vegas paid the winner
2008 $ 425,675

Anonymous said...

Using Weintraub's logic, the fact that TV ratings are down in the last few years means that CBS, NBC, ABC (and all but a small handful of cable networks) should be shut down.


Anonymous said...

We need to get rid of Indy car racing since its over 100 yrs old and 50 yrs older than NASCAR and has outlived itself.

Weintraub needs to sell all his internal combustion vehicles and turn in his dirvers license and never fly in a plane that also uses fossil fuel or kerosene.

Maybe NASCAR needs to go to hybrid cars while they at it to shut these idiots up and eventally be 100% electric.

It would less noisy for sure and those who know what its like to have busted eardrums know what this is all about.

Bottom line, NASCAR can shut up all naysayers immediately by going hybrid only with plans to go 100% electric non-fossil fuel as soon as the technology allows for it.

Anonymous said...

God, I wish the people who keep railing about "NASCAR shutting down Rockingham" would get their facts straight. Bruton Smith and Bob Bahre shut down Rockingham, to move its races to their other speedways. NASCAR DOES NOT OWN RACETRACKS!

Anonymous said...

Na$car is in ok finanical shape they have the TV money and sponsers they are just the santioning body they make 10% of each event with out putting out many $ per event. It's I$C and $mi who have to worry they are public corporations and have mountains of debt building all the new tracks all over the country and if Na$car hits a speed bump it will be because of this. Na$car can take their races somewhere else if these tracks fold. If the teams start folding they can change the rules and make it more affordable and they may come back or someone else will replace them. It won't be the same it might look like the 50's or 60's racing but racing will survive.

Anonymous said...

to anon@ 11:01

Amen and amen!! Not only did NASCAR not shut down Rockingham, Smith said he was not making a profit. They could sell out the races!!!

Would you sell your house for half price to make someone happy? You do what's good for your business and your family. Period.

Anonymous said...

Oop! I meant they could NOT sell out the races.

Anonymous said...

Back in days, lesser money was involved. When NASCAR started to got media attention and publicity, more money was invested mostly by advertisers. Some teams used that money wisely, and so granted wealthy base economically and of course competitively. Racing started to get costly when other teams started to try catch these wealthy ones. This all happened together with growing popularity and this started to be snow ball effect.

So my point is, this was inevitable progression, and the great problems start now when economical depression is going on. Advertisers (The Money) can't or don't want to invest right now such amounts of money than before, and that really kills the sport. In worst case scenario it only leaves few teams that really start to dominate the sport (hence, like we'd already seen this...). That is really bad thing for the sport.

NASCAR actually has seen this coming and changes like COT and Chase are small solutions, but have been partly failures, because you cant artificially level the playing field because it kills the sport. And they are failures from many other stand point too, which some of you writers have pointed out.

It is pretty obvious that there is no way that racing could go back in what it was back in 10 years and so. We are going to see even more boring racing, and only few really dominant teams which take biggest share of the even smaller advertising money.

Maybe if things take really big down turn, we see two-three big teams and rest of the field works with much smaller budgets. That starts to look like 60-70s era.

What NASCAR should first do in this situation is to outlaw multicar teams, only two cars per team should be allowed. Why not even only one. That would reduce the amount of advertising money invested, and that way cut the expenses. That would level the playing field in way of equal to everyone, and there would be more more sponsors available for not-that-successful teams.

Most owners and teams are doing this because they want to win, owning a NASCAR team in current economical situation is not good business in any form. So why punish (Or why not to hear them) these people who are doing this because they want to race and win, and not because it's some sort of business because IT'S NOT.

I really hope that NASCAR takes some REALISTIC economical approach on this and not artificial crap like COT and Chase.

If things go like they are going, maybe day comes when some of the ultimate multicar winning teams just get bored with lack of competition, and withdraw to other playing arenas. That is sad day, but new opportunity for the smaller players.

Anonymous said...

Racing is a business. You have to pay people for their work. They have to pay mortgages, car payments, medical bills, school bill, groceries, etc.

You have to buy equipment. You have to test it. You have to hire crews. You have to train them. You have to travel.

I love to sing. I wanted to sing the National Anthem at a race. No one will let me. I would do it for free. Those are just the breaks. (I do not have a great voice, but that should not matter, cause I love to sing and will sing for free!)

If you want a paycheck, it's a business.

Anonymous said...

John Royal said:

What NASCAR should first do in this situation is to outlaw multicar teams, only two cars per team should be allowed. Why not even only one. That would reduce the amount of advertising money invested, and that way cut the expenses. That would level the playing field in way of equal to everyone, and there would be more more sponsors available for not-that-successful teams.

If someone like Lowes does not spend millions on JJ, they will not go to Petty. They will go to NCAA football, or the NFL, or American Idol. THEY ARE NOT GOING TO DUMP MONEY ON BAD TEAMS!!

Anonymous said...

"maybe day comes when some of the ultimate multicar winning teams just get bored with lack of competition"

This has got to be a joke. Winning is the ultimate high. I have yet to meet someone who got bored with winning. You might ask Rchard Petty how bored he was when he was the winningest driver and winning most every race in site for about 20 years. Actually, he just kept cashing those checks.

You think Tiger Woods is bored? Or the Yankees back in their day?

I lived through UCLA basketball when they went YEARS winning every single home game. Years!! We were never bored. We were in tears when they lost their first game.

Winning is fun. Maybe those who have never experienced it just don't get it.

Anonymous said...

Jimmie Johnson will not be "bored" until he wins 8 championships.

Anonymous said...

The article points out one thing, a person with a chip on his shoulder from having a show cancelled can read an article and all of the crazy opinions that people that do not well versed in racing post, write a critical article about the subject, and get the natives, who have no racing to watch or speak about, worked up into a lather that consumes print media and the satellite radio shows (all of them). It is obvious that this man has an axe to grind and is very misinformed. Mr. Poole, please do not give the man another second of airtime on your show as you are feeding his ego and nothing good will come of it. Let it go!

Anonymous said...

There is much more to this story than meets the eye. It's very obvious to me that Robert Weintraub has an ax to grind. In other words, somebody in the NASCAR community has pi$$ed in his corn flakes and this is his way to get even. He will probably deny it to the end but somebody has made him mad and his childish way of dealing with it is to try to make a mockery of NASCAR.

Anonymous said...

The one true fact of the demise of NA$CAR?
Brian "Baby" France.
Brian "Baby" France.
Brian "Baby" France.
Not all sons can handle the keys to a kingdom. Just look at GW.

Anonymous said...

The Dewitt family owned Rockingham, sold out to Roger Penske, who sold out to ISC, who sold out Carolina fans to move a race to Yawntana, CA...then made more dollars selling the other race to Bruton Smith, who then sold out race fans to move the event to Texas.

The Staley family owned N. Wilkesboro. Enoch Staley sadly passed away...his son Mike saw dollar signs, and sold half the track to Bob Bahre, who sold out NC fans to get a race to his track in Loudon NH...then Mike Staley needed more bucks, so he sold the other half of the track to Bruton Smith, whose greed took the other race to his Texas Speedway (2 Carolina races now in TX).

No, Rockingham couldn't sell out. It was too durn cold (I still went). There were too many stands built. Looking back at my race programs from the late 80s/early 90s...those grandstands were FULL...capacity crowds...for a Busch Series race even! (well, before NASCAR ruined the Busch Series by making it "Cup Lite"). Bottom line...the races at the Rock were "buzz races". The tires were worn out in a handful of laps. Who could manage tires? Who could handle a slidin' car? Many "photo finishes"...these were water cooler races! Same with Darlington. Same with Wilkesboro. You trade these unique tracks (and I believe the tire wear makes the Rock special) for tracks (yes, the Kansas, Fontana, and Chicagoland tracks et al) that are bland and not conducive to good, close racing. It's a buzz kill. A momentum buster. An "I'd rather watch NFL" creator.

The one man who could have saved NASCAR, Bruton Smith, by starting his own league and taking it back to the tracks he owned and where the core base was(ala Tony George), chose instead to help push it to the precipice.

NASCAR is failing. It's failing on a competitive level, and it's failing it's fans.

Will a grass roots movement back to the simpler, pure, sport of racing get it back someday? A return of the Rock with Andy Hillenburg (God bless him)? A return to the uphill downhill Wilkesboro? Taking the Nationwide Series back to the 3/8 mile short tracks (Hickory, Rougemont, Lanier, etc) with one day shows?

Remains to be seen.

Anonymous said...

As a lifetime (52) resident of the Mooresville area I have seen the area explode in the 90's with all of the race teams coming to town. A lot of the drivers and owners buying family farmlands then building McMansions on the property. I had been a diehard fan since I was about 6 years old going to Charlotte on Saturday before the World 600 to see the final qualifing runs and consolation race. After my friends and I got our drivers license we would go to Wilkesboro, Rockingham, Charlotte and as we got older we included Bristol and Martinsville on our trek. Some of us helped out on Late Model Sportsman teams while the others wished they could. The sportsman races were mostly small put together teams running a car a few years older than the Winston Cup Cars. Back then they had a whole differnt set of drivers for each series and every now and then a Cup driver would race against the tough Saturday night dirt track raised drivers. Most of the Cup drivers came from rising through the ranks. Most of the people I know and others I talk to have the same opinion as I and that is to hell with NASCAR. I know many people that have been employed by the Cup teams since the 1990's and even asked them while I was between jobs about a job. Almost 100% of them said if they had not already invested their life into the teams they would not do it over. One of them said it was the most cut throat business thay had ever been involved with. This stuff started changing around 1990 when the teams started becoming very independent with major money flowing into the teams. I knew one guy that helped with a Cup championship team and he always went to Daytona in Feb. and all of the closer tracks the rest of the year. Asked him if he was going to Daytona, he said no so I asked what was going on. He said that in years past that the camaraderie between teams had been erased. You couldn't meet up at the motel lobby and go out to eat with the competitor team members so by this time you had to go everywhere as a team. Around 1985 I knew another fellow that would ride to the tracks with a different team because his crew left before he got off of his regular day job. From hearing these guys talk this was normal way to do things. Nascar
has grown up but I think not wisely. I know the parents of some guys that only work on Sunday as a member of the over the wall gang and they tell me that their sons make more on race day than they do for a full week of work at their day job. That is a far cry from the day when most of the teams had a volunteer crew or took the shop guys with them to the race. As a NASCAR official I talked to one day said, MONEY has ruined the sport which has been echoed by many. The rules are something else too that they want the cars to resemble the showroom models. Back in the day the manufactors had to build a minimum of 500 vechicles to be able to have a car on the track. I have yet to see a two door Charger, Camry, Impala or Fusion. What happened? What about the engines can't buy those blocks either. Remember the 351ci Clevelands. What about carburetors?
Haven't seem one of those on a new car since when? 1985? Nascar has done a good job of promoting the product to the new fans but have left us old guys out in the cold. I couldn't wait to get out of church, tune the radio to WFMX remember (The Racin Station) get home and turn the TV to ESPN. WFMX carried qualifing, Busch and Winston Cup races and done so with their own announcers sometimes. My how things have changed. Now if we do want to watch or listen to the race you have to wait to 2pm to get your fix. Lucky for most of us longtime followers we wait til the end of the race to watch or listen or just wait till the next morning to hear about it.

Monkeesfan said...

To Anonymous who calls reality hooey - the laws of supply and demand don't function in bankrupcy.

Richard In NC falls for the same false dichotomy a lot of people who knock the "good old days" fall for by assuming that we must accept and learn to love the changes of recent years else we'll collapse into multi-lap margins of victory. It doesn't work that way.

dawg - 30-year-old engine technology works.

Anonymous #70 - you're wrong. If Lowes was not able to sponsor a Hendrick car they absolutely would sponsor another team like Petty.

One more thing about Rockingham - an Anonymous said "Bruton Smith and Bob Bahre shut down Rockingham." Actually they shut down North Wilkesboro - Rockingham was purchased by Penske Speedways in the mid-1990s, then ISC bought out Penske Speedways, then as a sacrificial lamb in settling Bruton's Texas lawsuit against NASCAR, Rockingham was sold to SMI which then shut it down before selling it to Andy Hillinberg.

Anonymous said...

Robert Weintraub is nothing but another "tree-hugging" liberal!!!

"Global warming" is NATURAL, the planet has ALWAYS gotten colder and warmer and it ALWAYS WILL!!!

Please show me a "electric" car that can do 200+ mph! Maybe in 40 years!

Anonymous said...

Brainless Brian France is the problem with NASCAR!

Get rid of ALL his gimmicks and put somebody in charge that cares about the fans more than money and the fans will return!!!

Anonymous said...

Robert Weintraub must be a YANKEE!

Anonymous said...

I find it very amusing that monkeesfan@10:39 says:

Anonymous #70 - you're wrong. If Lowes was not able to sponsor a Hendrick car they absolutely would sponsor another team like Petty.


What evidence or proof do you have that Lowes would go sponsor a team that has absolutely NO chance of winning a race much less a Cup championshp? A team that has been brought to the 21st century kicking and screeming?

Everything about the culture of Lowes does not support your opinion. One of their stated goals is to appeal to women,(unlike Home Depot). A young guy like JJ appeals to women, the same way Kasey K.

Lowes is a visionary corporation, like Bruton and Hendrick. Sure, they started in N Wilksboro, but they agressively moved all over the US and Canada now.

If not Hendrick, then Gibbs, or Roush, or a progressive team like those. Otherwise, they sure love football.

Anonymous said...

monkeesfan @10:39

I don't beleive that Richard was presenting a false dichotomy.

What I think he was dong was using the art of exageration to make a point. I got it.

I hope Richard lets us know.

Anonymous said...

Well, monkeesfan, maybe you can beat the bushes for sponsors for Petty, 'cause he sure can't find or keep any.

Anonymous said...

Global warming is now causing snow in Las Vegas. I bet they hope it does not get any warmer

Monkeesfan said...

Anonymous #82 - the evidence that they're by no means a bad team and in fact do have capability of winning races. "They had to be dragged into the 21st century kicking and screaming." Wrong. Lowes absolutely would sponsor them because they know they're a good team.

The reason Petty hasn't got sponsors is the same reason Gillett Racing is laying off employees - the sport's "anything goes" spending model has bankrupted it.

Anonymous said...

What makes a good racing team? One that attracts sponsors/employees and is able to keep them.

A bad team:

Employs a driver (Labonte) and then gives him 6 different crew chiefs in 3 seasons! Who was in charge? Why so many hiring and firings?

Is unable to keep General Mills, a well-respected sponsor, not because GM is leaving the sport, no, because they are going to sponsor the #33 for RCR

Unable to attract Mighty Auto, who instead chose to go to Red Bull and Vickers.

A team that was defiant about moving to the hub of NASCAR and instead chose to stay in Level Cross where he was unable to attract the best in racing.

A team that has won only 3 races in 24 years. For years was content to pass opportunities and live in the past.

A team where who knows who is making decisions? Is it Loomis, Boston V, is it Petty?

A team that does not have the ability to line up or keep talent.

Boy, that sort of describes PE, IMHO

MrSmith said...

NASCAR will be around for awhile, however, when and if hybrids/electrics, etc. replace our present vehicles, then NASCAR will have to do what they should have been doing for the last few years to create some more serious interest and excitement.....and that is to have Twins throughtout the schedule instead of just before the Daytona 500. Instead of a 400-500 miler, have two 125-150's to take the place of the 400 mile race, with a generous intermission in between, and the previous 500 mile race could be split up into two-200 milers, for example.

In these above examples, and unlike the Daytona Twins, all drivers would compete in both guys, don't forget to bring your backup cars.

Monkeesfan said...

Anonymous #87, what makes a good team is one that races hard, works hard, works with what it has.

"Why so many hirings and firings?" Ask Jeff Gordon, who's won with multiple crew chiefs. Ask Matt Kenseth, who's now going through multiple crew chiefs.

"Is unable to keep General Mills..." as if they're uniquely inept at keeping sponsors. BTW, GM left Roush Racing for Petty in the first place.

"A team that was defiant about moving to the hib of NASCAR..." Monkey see monkeey do is not always a winning bet. Not moving to Moorseville sooner is not why they struggled.

And they were never content with living in the past - where people get this idea is beyond absurd.

"Who knows who is making decisions?" Ask Roush, who wins despite often not knowing what he's doing.

Not have the ability to line up and keep talent? Because the don't have superstars?

"IMHO." Your humble opinion isn't in sync with reality, Anon.

Monkeesfan said...

Anonymous #87, here are a few things you left out -

A team whose manufacturer (Daimler-Chrysler) was supposed to get its other teams to work with it (having had said team - Petty - work with its other teams in car development in 2000 and in the Truck Series in 1996-2000) but not only didn't, it spiralled the entire program into feuding little fiefdoms.

A team priced out of contention by the spendaholism of the sport's "anything goes" economic model.

Before you blame the Petty team for its struggles think about the big picture.

Anonymous said...

Monkeesfan said:

"And they were never content with living in the past - where people get this idea is beyond absurd."

Maybe this is where folks are getting it from, which I consider to be a pretty good source:

“Even the partners and the sponsors that we had and the promotional stuff that we did, [it] all included Richard Petty. [It] all included a guy who hadn’t been in a car for [about] 20 years. Everything was still tied to Richard Petty. Maybe we rode that horse so long, there was nothing left in that horse and maybe we just rode the King into the ground.

“We got all the good promotional value out of him we could get and then we never improved the company or the company never improved enough to stand on its own. And in this day and time, the company has to stand on its own.”

Kyle Petty, interview.

Anonymous said...

Barry, good comments.

I think Richard was just happy to make lots more money than he had ever had when he was winning, that that was enough.

Another thing was that the media was never tough enough on him. When his team did nothing year after year, they did not press him

It's interesting that they were constantly on Jeff Gordon after he had not won after 20-26 weeks. (We're talking WEEKS.) They kept it up to the end of the season. Jeff never said, "Well, I'm the winningest active driver with 81 wins and 4 cup championships. (Unlike Petty who always reminds the media what he has done in the past.)

I mean PE couldn't even get a pit crew to compete. All it would have taken is lots of practice, but they just couldn't be bothered.

Anonymous said...

A Christmas wish list

Top 11 suggestions to improve NASCAR in 2009 by Bryan Shoemaker & Mike Hooks

1.Male Cheerleaders for each team in the pit box.

2.Require that the drivers have the sponsors product in the car (example: If the Skittles car wrecks, the there would be Skittles all over the track)

3. Require that at least have the field be foreign born

4Have more races in Canada and Mexico

5.Run at least one exhibition race in China

6. Three wide restarts with all lap cars in the front

7.bring back David Hobbs

8.Weekly TV special live from Fatboys in Mooresville sponsored by Days Inn as a tribute to the late, great Bill Connell.

9. Rosie O’Donnell, Ellen, Tyra Banks, Kelly Ripa and Regis should be pit road reporters.

10.Anyone under the age of 30 currently in NASCAR has to go back to legends and go carts. After reaching the legal age of 30 each driver would have to drive a Detroit City taxi cab with Ted Nugent and Downtown Julie Brown as passengers for 72 straight hours while taking Goody Powders and RC Cola. Then, they must race with Nigel Mansel, Steve Kinser, Dick Trickle, and Jimmy Spencer at North Wilkesboro. The driver must finish in the top 2 in a 100 lap feature driving equally prepared Mercury Capris.

11. The starting field will be determined by how the haulers arrived at the track. After the national anthem is over, the drivers will sprint to the cars, fire them up, and go. No practice. No qualifying.

Monkeesfan said...

Barry In TN, there is a difference between having Richard Petty as a promotional asset and "living in the past." Dave Marcis lived in the past with the way he ran his raceteam.

Anonymous #92, Richard always invested the money he could get into the raceteam. "They couldn't even get a pit crew to compete." You're a liar - they always had pitstop practices.

What ultimately killed the team was the sport's spendaholic economic system, the same system that killed DEI, Ganassi, Evernham (why else would they bring in George Gillett as owner? Because they needed massive sources of revenue), and other teams. Stop blaming Richard because the sport's economic system killed that team - blame NASCAR.

Anonymous said...

玫瑰花束 盆栽 網路花店 花店 鍛造 樓梯扶手 欄杆 鐵門 採光罩 熱水器 蘭花 化糞池 抽化糞池 抽水肥 水管不通 洗水塔 消毒 通水管 通馬桶 馬桶 馬桶不通 上順旅行社 五福旅行社 大興旅行社 天喜旅行社 天福旅行社 日本旅行社 日本旅遊 日本機票 日本自由行 日本訂房 包通 抽化糞池 抽水肥 水管不通 洗水塔 清水溝 通水管 通馬桶 馬桶 馬桶不通 便宜機票 國內旅遊 國外旅遊 國外機票 團體旅遊 直航機票 簽證 自由行 訂房 雄獅旅遊 汽車美容 汽車美容 三久太陽能 太陽能

Unknown said...

Nike Chaussures
Remise Chaussures Sport|
Chaussure de Sports|
Marques Chaussures Sport|
2010 Air Max Chaussures|
Nike Shox R4|
nike tn requin|
nike max tn|
nike tn |
tn requin |
Chaussures Sport|
Nike chaussures hommes|
Nike chaussures femmes|
Nike chaussures enfants|
Nike chaussures sport|
nike femmes chaussures|
chaussure nike tn requin|
chaussure nike air max|
chaussure nike tn|
nike tn|
cheap ed hardy clothing |
ed hardy t shirts|
ed hardy shirts|
ed hardy online store|
ed hardy womens|
ed hardy mens|
ed hardy bags|
ed hardy boots|
ed hardy shoes|
Ed hardy clothes|
Ed hardy hoodies|
Cheap ed hardy hoodies|
Ed hardy t-shirts|
Ed hardy clothing|
Cheap ed hardy boots|
Ed hardy jeans|
Ed hardy jackets|
Ed hardy swearter|
Ed hardy shoes|
Ed hardy mens shoes|
Ed hardy long sleeve|
Ed hardy belts|
Ed hardy hats|
Ed hardy bedding|
Ed hardy christian audigier|
Christian audigier long sleeves|
Christian audigier womens hoodies|
Christian audigier jeans|
Christian audigier clothing|

Anonymous said...

Laptop Battery
Camcorder Battery
Digital Camera Battery
Mobile Phone Battery
PDA Battery
acer laptop battery
asus laptop battery
apple laptop battery
dell laptop battery
fujitsu laptop battery
hp laptop battery
ibm laptop battery
sony laptop battery
toshiba laptop battery
CANON Camcorder Battery
JVC Camcorder Battery
PANASONIC Camcorder Battery
SHARP Camcorder Battery
SONY Camcorder Battery
NOKIA Mobile Phone Battery
APPLE M8403 battery
APPLE A1078 Battery
APPLE A1079 battery
APPLE A1175 battery
APPLE a1185 battery
APPLE A1189 battery
Acer aspire 5920 battery
Acer btp-arj1 battery
Acer LC.BTP01.013 battery

Anonymous said...

Dell inspiron b120 battery
Dell xps m1210 battery
Dell inspiron xps m1710 battery
Dell inspiron 1100 battery
Dell 310-6321 battery
Dell 1691p battery
Dell Inspiron 500m battery
Dell 6Y270 battery
Dell inspiron 8600 battery
Latitude x300 series battery
Dell latitude cpi battery
Dell 1x793 battery
dell Inspiron 1501 battery
Dell 75UYF Battery
Dell Inspiron 1720 battery
dell Latitude C640 battery
Dell XPS M140 battery
Dell Inspiron E1405 battery
dell 700m battery
dell C1295 battery
Dell U4873 Battery
Dell Latitude C600 battery
Armada E700 Series battery
Compaq 116314-001 battery
Compaq 319411-001 battery
Compaq nc4200 battery
Compaq Presario R3000 Battery
Compaq Presario 2100 battery
Compaq Presario r3000 Battery

Anonymous said...

IBM ThinkPad X40 Battery
Thinkpad x24 battery
ThinkPad G41 battery
IBM thinkpad r52 battery
Thinkpad x22 battery
IBM thinkpad t42 battery
IBM thinkpad r51 battery
Thinkpad r50 battery
IBM thinkpad r32 battery
Thinkpad x41 battery
SONY VGP-BPS5 battery
SONY VGP-BPL2C battery
SONY VGP-BPS2A battery
SONY VGP-BPS2B battery
SONY PCGA-BP1N battery

SONY PCGA-BP2E battery
SONY PCGA-BP2S battery
SONY PCGA-BP2T battery
SONY PCGA-BP2V battery
SONY PCGA-BP4V battery
SONY PCGA-BP71 battery
SONY PCGA-BP71A battery

generic viagra us said...

Excellent Blog Thanks a lot for sharing this information.


Anonymous said...



Anonymous said...

From the standpoint cheap chi Straightenersof beauty supplements, in particular, the market value of 2 billion yuan (303 million U.S. dollars) and is estimated to exceed 20 billion yuan over the next five years, eight years ago.

Royce Yuen, managing director of fantastic naturalghd straighteners cheap Cosmetics AG, better known as Fancl, Japanese manufacturer of cosmetics and food supplements, it is known, said: "China is the second largest market for

Fancl in Japan,UGG Adirondack Tall Bootshtml because increased awareness of beauty in recent years. "

cheap electronics said...

ard fans as there are in the southeast...the bithplace of the sport. Couple that with the fact that NASCAR has watered down the drivers to where if they so much as misspeak, they are losing points, and getting a fine. The sport has evolved to the point of losing all of what once made it

cheap cell phones said...

I like the side of the article, and very like your blog, to write well and hope to continue their efforts, we can see more of your articles.

wedding dresses 2011 said...

good post

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

This is the perfect blog for anyone who wants to know about this topic. You know You definitely put a new spin on a subject thats been written about for years. Great stuff, just great!

Nascar Sprint Cup Schedule