Sam Ard’s Birthday Approaching
I know times are tough right now for everybody and I know I‘m going on about the situation with Sam Ard. Like Sam, my grandmother had Alzheimer’s and luckily she passed before it had reached the point where she required constant care. Seeing what was happening to her was definitely sad. She was a strong-willed, hard-headed, out-spoken woman who had taken care of herself most of her life. Although I was appreciative of her neighbors and my relatives who were taking care of her, it was a heartbreaker to see her like that.
So if you could please send Sam Ard a birthday card with a $25 Walmart card in it, you’d definitely brighten both his and his wife’s day as they’re trying to make it on Social Security, which is no easy feat. If you can’t send the Walmart card, just send a birthday card. They’ll appreciate it just the same. Sam’s birthday is on Valentine’s Day so if you want to send him a card, here’s the address:
1237 Bass Rd.
Pamplico, SC 29583
Daytona Track Repaving - The Lost Section
It seems that although they repaved the tri-oval part of the track, they did nothing to the road course section. From what I heard from some folks who were there, some of whom were racing on it, the road course section is in really bad shape and they wonder why it too wasn’t repaved. I guess that’s what happens when you spend millions of dollars on an infield amusement park and zoo instead of what‘s really their bread and butter. The track itself.
Growth Energy & The Switch to Ethanol by NASCAR
I’ve been doing some research on Growth Energy. I’ve been going through their Form 990’s that they have to file with the IRS. The PR release from NA$CAR is a bit misleading. Growth Energy isn’t an advocacy group. Growth Energy itself holds the 501c6 status, which is for trade groups not environmental and research efforts. It turns out the trade group is specific to Midwest ethanol sources, and cuts out support for the Virginias-and-Carolinas biomass-to-cellulose-ethanol programs that were investigated when big tobacco started moving overseas. Two of the paid consultants are former Army General Wesley Clark and former Iowa Congressman Jim Nussle.
Two companies are operating with names similar to American Ethanol (a la standard stock scam and con-man practices) and the one Growth Energy claims as a business partner is missing a LOT of contact info! I wonder why?
I am Surprised by Some of the Media
Some of the lamestream media has actually surprised me over the off-season with articles regarding the changes to the Shoot-out, the points system, and even the play-off system. And they’re pointing out things I have over the last 7 years, like the dumbing down of NA$CAR and how the continuous changes are driving fans away. When the lamestream media starts to turn on NA$CAR, that’s when you know they’re in big trouble.
Daytona 500 & First Half of the Season Coverage
I don’t know how many of you read the Daly Planet article about how David Hill said the coverage will be but if you thought the coverage in the past was bad, it’ll be worse this season.
"What this sport is all about is the driver. Everything else in NASCAR is an afterthought. People follow the sport because the drivers are heroes because that’s what the fans want to hear, superheroes that can do things that only very, very few people can or will. Anyone can be a crew chief. Anyone can be a tire changer. Anyone with the technical ability. Just think about what it takes to drive a car 200 miles an hour. ee sports: Mountain climbing, bullfighting and auto racing. All the rest of the games."
First off, he got it wrong about this being a sport and I refer once again to the sworn affidavit from NA$CAR’s VP of Racing Operations who said that “NA$CAR is family oriented sports entertainment”. Where he did get it right is that everything else is an afterthought. The marketing takes precedence over the actual racing. The promotion of drivers takes precedence over the racing. So the racing isn’t important but serves as a backdrop to marketing NA$CAR’s sponsors and promoting the drivers into cult hero status. Anyone can be a crew chief? Then let’s see Mr. Hill get on top of Dale Jr’s pit box and see how long he last. Anyone can be a tire changer? Then let’s see Mr. Hill sling those tires around and try to do it in under 14 seconds. I don’t know what it takes to drive at 200 mph but I do know what it takes to drive at 160 mph. Which is more dangerous? 200 mph on an enclosed banked race track with only 42 other cars competing or 160 mph on the German Autobahn with thousands of cars? And not everyone who’s technically oriented can be a crew chief, mechanic, or tire changer. Ryan Newman, who has an engineering degree, can’t exactly get out there and sling tires around or handle a dump can. He might be able to do some mechanical work in the garage though. And as NA$CAR is sports entertainment, that means it’s a game and not a sport.
"Fox is going to concentrate on the driver, too. Right across the board. We’re putting the emphasis back where it belongs on the driver. We probably haven’t utilized Darrell (Waltrip’s) inner knowledge enough. Darrell is the only one on our (announcing) team, in reality who is a champion. He understands the motivation and what goes on. I don’t know. Is it instinct or is it skill? This is something that I’ve talked to the Alain Prosts about and the Jackie Stewarts. What is it? There’s something that drives them. What we’re going to be doing at Fox and what we’re going to be doing at SPEED is telling stories of drivers.
So it’s going to be a lot like last season where they only show the usual Chosen Ones and Jabber Jaw’s favorites, plus whoever ponies up the most mention money that doesn’t fall into those categories. It’ll also mean more in-car camera shots. That means they’ll be so locked into promoting the chosen drivers, using the in-car cameras and gimmick shots, and cluttering the screens up with graphics that we’ll more than likely miss the wrecks, the beating and banging at Martinsville and Darlington, and some of the pit road action. And if you weren’t happy about the amount of jaw-jacking Jabber Jaws did before, Mike Joy and Larry Mac aren’t going to be able to get a word in edge-wise with this new “coverage”. On the plus side that should mean less Moe Ron Myers and Hollywood Hambone.
Appearance is Reality
That is a term used by Vince McMahon of the WWE and later by Mafia Mike of NA$CAR. And it definitely applies to the new points system, especially when the play-offs start. By making it appear close, the master marketing genius in Daytona thinks people will be fooled into believing that the points race will be close. Unfortunately for him, the fans who have been following the sport for a while and don’t have an attention deficit already know it’s nothing more than smoke and mirrors. The same smoke and mirrors that have been used since the play-off system was implemented, continued when the generic car was introduced, and still continues to this day in an attempt to fool the fans. Unfortunately, the only person being fooled is the head fool himself.
Continuing Promise 2011
The USNS Comfort, a Navy medical ship, will be undertaking a 4 month mission of providing humanitarian assistance and training to a number of Caribbean island nations and countries in Central and South America. Both the Comfort and her sister ship the USNS Mercy have been used in a number of humanitarian missions as well as for their designed mission of providing medical support to combat operations. The Comfort’s 4 month mission starts in April and will be made up of both military and volunteer civilian personnel. So to the crewmembers of the Comfort and the volunteers of Continuing Promise 2011, my thanks for doing what others are unwilling to do.