Curtis Turner for 2016 HOF

Curtis Turner for 2016 HOF

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Curmudgeons, Sam Ard Update, Mayfield Documentary, and Racing Tunes

What is a Curmudgeon?
It seems some folks who are looking for happy happy joy joy Kool Aid drinking pabulum from myself and folks like Matt McLaughlin and a couple of others writers are under the mistaken impression that we have to follow the dictates of the Ivory Towers and must fall in line with their dictates. Then they complain to or about us even though they know full well we’re not exactly their cup of Kool Aid. They seem to believe that we must write using the old Star Trek thing of “Resistance is futile. You will be absorbed”. If you’ve read what I write more than once, you pretty well know what to expect. I’m not going to promise you a rose garden, paint pretty pictures, or toe the party line. Fans want their voices hear and that’s what I do. And there’s a lot of fans out there who aren’t happy with the current state of racer-tainment that is NA$CAR.
I can’t speak for Matt or the others nor do I intend to. But if you read on the right underneath my picture, it says in very legible letters, “Curmudgeon at Large”. That’s what I am. A curmudgeon. I make no apologies for it and wear it as a badge of honor just like the EOD badge I wore for so many years during my military service.
So just what exactly is a curmudgeon? The best description I’ve found lately to describe what a curmudgeon is, is a quote from Jon Winokur:
A curmudgeon's reputation for malevolence is undeserved. They're neither warped nor evil at heart. They don't hate mankind, just mankind's absurdities. They're just as sensitive and soft-hearted as the next guy, but they hide their vulnerability beneath a crust of misanthropy. They ease the pain by turning hurt into humor. . . . . . They attack maudlinism because it devalues genuine sentiment. . . . . . Nature, having failed to equip them with a serviceable denial mechanism, has endowed them with astute perception and sly wit.

Curmudgeons are mockers and debunkers whose bitterness is a symptom rather than a disease. They can't compromise their standards and can't manage the suspension of disbelief necessary for feigned cheerfulness. Their awareness is a curse.

Perhaps curmudgeons have gotten a bad rap in the same way that the messenger is blamed for the message: They have the temerity to comment on the human condition without apology. They not only refuse to applaud mediocrity, they howl it down with morose glee. Their versions of the truth unsettle us, and we hold it against them, even though they soften it with humor.
Now that we’ve got that out of the way for at least one quarter of the race schedule, let’s get on to some other things.
Holding His Own
It seems that Sam Ard got a burst of energy recently and was able to get into the shower to clean himself. To the average person that might seem like no big deal but considering Sam’s medical condition, it’s a major accomplishment. A real red letter day. Normally Sam has to be assisted with his bathing or given a sponge bath. So for this to happen is something to celebrate about.
Of course his financial situation hasn’t gotten the same positive energy going. Once again Sam has had to sell off more memorabilia on E-Bay. For those drivers who promised to help out the Ards, it’s time to put your money where your mouths are. To all the fans who have been sending donations to the Ards to help them out, Jo Ard wants you to know that she deeply appreciates your help and that you are truly blessed.
Sponsor for the #75 Car at Martinsville
It looks like MAXelence and All Star Sports Pouch will be sponsoring Jay Robinson Racing’s #75 car at Martinsville this weekend with Derrike Cope at the wheel. They’re a go or go home team and as they’re one of the little guys and a definite underdog, I’m giving them a plug here.
More on the Mayfield Documentary
From what I’m finding out, there are some things in the documentary that NA$CAR definitely won’t be happy about as they’ve done their best to suppress a lot of information surrounding this whole deal with Jeremy Mayfield and the drug testing. The lamestream media didn’t bother following up on Mayfield’s independent drug test claims in which NA$CAR positively stated there were no witnesses to those independent tests. I wrote last year in one of my Laidback Racing articles about the fact that there was a witness to the independent test, I know the individual personally, and got verification from him/her regarding their presence during those tests as a witness. So Faux King Brian and company were caught in a very big “mistruth”. So if they weren’t on the up & up about this, what else have they been lying, excuse me, what have they not been completely honest and forthcoming about when it comes to this whole drug testing deal with Mayfield?
In this documentary, names will be named and truths will be told that may cause the Ivory Tower Gang to go looking for some Boudreaux’s Butt Paste because it’s really going to chap their backsides. Once the public sees the documentary and the information and truths in the documentary gets circulated, you can expect to see some public outcries of disgust with the leadership in Daytona and maybe even some demands for the resignations of those involved for all the good it will do. Maybe a big enough fan backlash could cause this to happen because of the bad publicity it will cause? We’ll have to wait and see.
What’s Up With the JGR Engines?
That seems to be the million dollar question right now for Joe Gibbs. 5 different races and 5 engine failures from 5 different parts. I don’t buy into Jabber Jaws theory about a bad lot of parts. I could see it if all the engine failures were caused by a bad batch of valve springs or rocker arms but they’re not. And as the teams pretty much buy from the same suppliers, why aren’t we seeing the same number of failures among the Fords, Chevies, and Dodges for the same reasons? We’re not. It’s somehow related to one of two things. Either the switch to ethanol because it doesn’t provide the same burning qualities as the unleaded fuel they were running or the double secret probation dyno tests that were run last year whose results were handed over to TRD in a backroom deal so they could try to catch up to Ford and Chevy and their new, cooler running engines. Remember folks, they got over 130 engine concessions and favors to be named later when they bought their way into NA$CAR versus the 90-something the other makes got because they didn’t fork over any payola.
Roush Taurus Chassis For Sale

Anyone interested in a Roush-built Taurus chassis along with a body and spare parts, it’s located in Tennessee. If you're interested call 804-921-0902 for pricing and details. And no, I don't get anything out of this other than helping out a friend.
How to Eliminate the Start & Parks
Russ came up with a solution to eliminate the start & park problem. Expand the Top 35 to a Top 40. This means that the mega-teams and all their satellite organizations get in, the best of the part time teams get in, the real go or go home teams get in, and the start & parks odds of getting in are dramatically decreased.
Kahne’s Replacement
Next season, when Kasey Kahne switches over to the #5 Hendrick car, Red Bull will be replacing him with Kimi Raikkonen. Kimi is coming to NASCAR isn't an April Fool's joke. My sources say he'll be replacing Kasey Kahne next year in the #4 car. I had originally heard about this last year but didn’t put much stock in it then. But now I’m hearing it from more than one source. As to Mark Martin’s fate next season, I’m not hearing anything yet, just the same old rumors of him going to Phoenix Racing but that’s not going to work out as I’ve heard James Finch wants to keep both Landon Cassill and Bill Elliott driving for him. So where Martin’s going to end up is still up in the air.
Old Versus New
You don’t hear any songs being written about Dale Jr, Jeff Gordon, or any of the rest of today’s drivers but if you go back to the old racers, you might find a song or two about them. Here’s one about one of my early racing heroes, Fireball Roberts:

Friday, March 25, 2011

Mayfield Appeal, Twitter, & Excuses for the Weekend

Mayfield Appeal Filing
This is from Bob Pockrass regarding the appeal that Jeremy Mayfield filed:
NASCAR has denied all of Mayfield's claims in past filings, and NASCAR spokesman Ramsey Poston on Wednesday disputed a theme of the appeal that NASCAR didn't want Mayfield to compete with the sponsorship.
“On the contrary, NASCAR wants more qualified competitors and sponsors involved in the sport, not less," Poston said. "The more involvement by drivers and sponsors, the better it is for the entire sport.”

 The “new & improved” politically correct NA$CAR has denied it had anything to do with moonshine and yet its’ very roots come from moonshine. Bill France Sr. borrowed money from Raymond Parks Jr. on several occasions to keep NASCAR afloat and where did Parks get the majority of his money from? Selling moonshine. One of the tracks that Bill France Sr. was involved in had a still in the infield. So NA$CAR denying Mayfield’s claims is to be expected.
As to the deal with, I’ve mentioned in the past how teams have had their sponsors “re-assigned” to teams other than the ones who originally signed them up or were “re-assigned” to NA$CAR itself. Remember when Jack Roush snagged Crown Royal and wasn‘t allowed to have them on his car for an entire year but they were the official liquor sponsor of some ISC tracks? Or how some sponsors have left because of the strong-armed tactics used by both NA$CAR and the networks to force them into a sponsorship and commercial deal?
And just what did the Propaganda Minister mean by “more qualified competitors and sponsors”? I’ve seen teams trying to get off the ground with very competent drivers and sponsors only to have their sponsorship snagged or "re-assigned" and were never able to get to the track to run their first race. I’ve also know of one incident where a sponsor’s color scheme was redesigned by NA$CAR itself to the point where it wasn’t recognizable by the sponsor causing the sponsor to cancel their sponsorship deal with the team. And who can forget about the incident? A perfectly qualified sponsor but because Faux King Brian doesn’t like the word “redneck”, he wouldn’t allow the sponsorship to appear on the car. So don’t go trying to blow smoke up our tailpipes.
You Have to Wonder Twitter Statements 

@Elliott_Sadler: FOX does a great job but it’s hard to show how fast and how banked Bristol is... that place is crazy in person
Does anyone else think this qualifies Sadler to be drug tested?

@AllWaltrip (Darrell Waltrip): Bristol now produces "good" racing, old Bristol produced "bad" racing, more side by side racing, you can pass someone without wrecking them!
If the racing is so good why are there so many empty seats and the TV ratings down 25% versus last season?

@AllWaltrip: Let's keep everything in perspective, the place holds 166,000 people, today there was probably 100,000 people there, still a huge crowd!
100,000? I think maybe it’s time to get your eyes checked. The official capacity is nowhere near 166,000. There may have been 90,000, maybe, and that’s being generous.

@AllWaltrip: Appreciate this sport and the people that support it so we can have racing, at least we don't have millionaires fighting with billionaires!
As it’s sports entertainment, why should it be appreciated? And do we really having racing? On TV it’s hard to tell if it’s racing, practice sessions, or highlight reels. And there are millionaires fighting billionaires. Roger Penske is a billionaire. Richard Childress, Jack Roush, and Rick Hendrick are millionaires. And they’re al fighting for the same thing. A championship.

@mw55 (Michael Waltrip): Why must we focus on the empty seats? There were a whole lot of full ones. I watched basketball game after game that had empty seats.
When you have a race that sold out for decades and there are massive amounts of empty seats, that’s a sure sign that’s something is really wrong. We’ve seen more and more empty seats the last few years. And don’t try to change the subject to basketball. We’re talking NA$CAR here.

@AllWaltrip: Gas is $3.75 a gal. We don't have the extra cash laying around to spend on attending a race, it's not the racing, it's not Nascar, it's the economy.

Even with gas at $3.75 a gallon, folks would actually go to Bristol if it hadn’t been reconfigured and the COT wasn’t being run. The combination of the two really killed off what use to be the two most exciting races of the year and placed it into the same status as Otto Klubb Speedway in Fontucky.

@AllWaltrip: Bristol was short track drama, Cali. will be high speed suspense,2-0-10 off into the corner this week, that'll get your attention !
Drama? What drama? It can’t be drama because it’s not on TNT. After all, TNT knows drama. They say so in their commercials. I’ve read so many fans complaints about how boring the Bristol race was it’s not even funny. Fontucky is a high speed cure for insomnia laughingly passed off as a race. Going shopping under the grandstands before the race Jabber Jaws?
This came out on Thursday, March 24th, on Twitter:
Crash Gladys
I live in Los Angeles, but I'm not hearing any promos 4 NASCAR @ Cali Spdwy this wknd. Hearing a ton more about IndyCar

 And they wonder why they can’t fill the grandstands or even get the grandstands half full.
Excuses for the Weekend
The grandstands were empty because of the economy.
The grandstands were empty because of high gasoline prices.
The grandstands were empty because of radiation from Japan.
The TV ratings were down because of the economy.
The TV ratings were down because of F-1, IndyCar, and the Sweet 16 being broadcast.
Bristol Attendance Update
According to the local law enforcement folks at Bristol, there were maybe 75,000-80,000 people in attendance. That’s a far cry from the 120,000 NA$CAR claims were there and closer to my generous estimate of 90,000. So, if NA$CAR over-estimates by 40,000 people, that makes the attendance figures for most other races very suspect, which most of us pretty much have guessed anyways.

Chutzpah, Sponsorship, ALMS, & Rex White

Way To Go Jennifer Jo Cobb
While we only heard part of the story, it takes a lot of chutzpah to do what Jennifer Jo Cobb did. It reminds me so much of Ted Musgrave and the #75 car at Homestead back in 1999 when he parked the car and walked away because it was junk. She doesn’t want to sacrifice her self-esteem, self-respect, or her reputation and apparently Rick Ware seems to think she’s got the sort of brass it takes so he’s putting her in a car at Fontana.
Finally, USA Today Woke Up
It seems that the folks at USA Today finally woke up to the fact that there’s more than just one female driver in NA$CAR. They did a decent article on Jennifer Jo Cobb. To me, she’s a more complete driver than the female Messiah NA$CAR’s been touting. She comes from a racing family, came up through the ranks, is more mature, actually likes being around race fans, signs autographs without muttering or mumbling or complaining, and doesn’t make excuses for a bad race or poor performance. Danica could learn a thing or two from Jennifer Jo Cobb.
Sponsorship Rumors
I’m hearing that Jay Robinson Racing has got some sponsorship lined up for Fontana. MAXELENCE will be the Primary Sponsor of the #28 car and All American Sports Pouch Beverage will be the Primary Sponsor of the #70. Looks like JRR has been doing some serious searching into various avenues of going green with their sponsorship quest.

Key Motorsports got Preval as their Primary Sponsor at Bristol. Hopefully this will turn into a full-time sponsorship deal for them so fingers crossed.
Why No ALMS on TV?

Has anyone been paying attention to what’s happening with Speed TV? How often do we see an ARCA race any more? Or an ASA race? Or any series that the France family doesn’t have some sort of influence over besides Formula-1, Aussie V-8, or German Touring Series? Since ALMS is the main competitor to the Rolex Series and the Rolex Series is suffering financially and fan-wise, simply use the same control on Speed that’s used on them to control just what all is put out there about NA$CAR. You eliminate the competition. Then folks are forced to either watch what’s provided or go elsewhere. In the case of ALMS, fans are watching it on the web. Wow, fewer commercials than on Speed, something like Race Buddy to watch the race, and no special cable or satellite packages to buy. Sounds like a dream.
Why No Outrage Over Bristol Tire Situation?

While I’m not surprised none of the lamestream media is saying anything about what happened with the tires, where’s the outrage over the sense of fair play? The teams practice with one tire compound most of the weekend then get issued a different compound for race day. Of course, had somebody been able to do some actual testing at Bristol like a couple of years ago, NA$CAR might have had some feedback on the tire compound and have made changes well in advance. Now that they’ve used about half the tires for the upcoming Sleep Lab 400, brought to you by United Insomniacs Inc., at Otto Klubb Speedway, what excuse will be offered up when they don’t have enough tires for there? The economy? High cost of hotel rooms? High gasoline prices? Fans shopping under the grandstands?
Why Are There So Many Unsponsored Busch Series Cars?
Lord only knows the Busch regular teams don’t get enough recognition for the efforts. Did anyone happen to notice that when a Busch regular team announces they have a sponsor you’re lucky to hear about it but when a Buschwacker announces a sponsor, it’s splashed all over the front page repeatedly and mentioned relentlessly by the talking heads during the various racer-tainment shows? Or how about the coverage of the Busch practice sessions? Anyone happen to notice who BSPN was locked in on? It wasn’t folks like Scott Wimmer, Derrike Cope, Blake Koch, or Morgan Shepherd. It’s folks like Dale Jr, Mr. Happy, and Cousin/Crazy Carl who are shown. So whomever might possibly step up to sponsor a Busch regular team isn’t going to sponsor a Busch regular team or even a Buschwacker team for $10 million for a whole season when they can put that same $10 million into a sponsorship on a Cup team which stands a better chance of being shown. Sponsors don’t get the Return on Investment (ROI) on a Busch Series team that they can on a Cup Series team. How many folks have rushed out and bought DuPont paint just because they advertise on the 24 car? How many folks have rushed out and bought a Caterpillar bulldozer just because it’s on Mayor McCheese’s car? How many folks know what green effort Jay Robinson Racing has on the C Post of their cars? Not many. So despite the name recognition of the drivers and the lack of coverage and mentions, especially with a Busch regular team, the sponsors aren’t getting back in sales what they had hoped to achieve through sponsoring a team. Why do you think the Navy, Marines, Gain, Red Baron Pizza, Bob Evans, Nesquik, Schneider National, and others have left the sport? They’re not getting back their ROI plus the strong-armed tactics used by the networks and NA$CAR to get them to advertise or be the official product/service/partner/provider of NA$CAR.
Just Why Are the Sponsor Mentions Down?
I really had a good laugh about this. It’s pretty simple really. Remember at the beginning of the season Focks said they’d be concentrating more on the drivers? That’s one part of the reason. Another part of it has to do with the economy. Sponsors are having to cut back on just how much money they’re laying out. It’s not just a matter of them laying out $20 million for a race team sponsorship, they also are subject to the strong-armed tactics of NASCAR and Focks to buy air-time for commercials or to be the official sponsor of some sort of segment during the race broadcasts which can cost them up to an additional $8 million. Or to be an official product/service/provider/partner of NA$CAR. So that $20 million sponsorship just jumped up to costing them $28 million or more. Who do you think pays for “The Five Knuckle Shuffle” brought to you by Mr Stiffy or the Exlax “Smooth Move of the Race”? Why do you think one car manufacturer is so heavily advertised and shown on so many sponsor graphics during the racer-tainment and we have both Jabber Jaws and The Human Shill yammering away about that one car or truck make so much? Then there’s also the cutback on “mention money”. That’s money paid to the networks to ensure that a team gets mentioned on-air. You don’t pony up any mention money you don’t get mentioned. With all these revenue sources drying up and the unwillingness of sponsors to fork over what almost seems like extortion money to get shown and mentioned on the air, it’s no wonder sponsors aren’t getting shown or mentioned as much. Take a good look at who buys air time during the commercial programming segments which is interrupted briefly by the weekend racer-tainment and how many times that team sponsor’s is shown to include the hood and quarter panels. You’ll see a lot more of the 48 and 24 cars than you will of the 7 or 92 cars. Why? Because the 7 & 92 sponsors don’t buy commercial programming time. It’s really that simple. You pay “protection money” you get taken care of as they say in La Costa Nostra.
IndyCar Heading for Trouble?

First there was the announcement that fans would be losing a lot of their internet access to IndyCar. Then came the recent announcement that they’d be using the Free Pass and Double File Restarts that is used by NA$CAR. Obviously, they didn’t learn from NA$CAR’s mistakes. Right now the long time fans are in an uproar, just like the long time NA$CAR fans have been with all of the changes that have been forced down there throats by Faux King Brian. I had high hopes for IndyCar but if they’re going to go down the same road which took NA$CAR from being a multi-billion dollar industry to a multi-million dollar industry, you have to wonder if maybe their new leadership needs to look at some history. Like I say, those who fail to learn the mistakes of history are doomed to repeat them.
Upcoming Rex White Appearances
Rex will be appearing at the 5th Annual Legends Helping Legends Fundraiser on March 26th at the Memory Lane Museum in Mooresville NC. The first weekend in June, Rex will be at JB Days for the annual Raymond Parks birthday celebration. Then in August, Rex will be appearing at Lynchburg City Stadium on August 18th from 6:00 pm-7:15 pm. So if you want a chance to meet one of the class acts of the Grand National circuit and the 1960 Grand National Champion, you’ve got several upcoming opportunities to do so. And tell him I said “Hi”.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

If You Please We Are Legalese

Steve O’Donnell’s Affidavit
This is from an affidavit by Steve O’Donnell, NA$CAR’s Vice President for Racing Operations, that was filed on June 25, 2009. Please note Paragraph 5. I know I’ve stated this before in various articles but now I wanted to prove it once and for all to any doubters that might remain. I underlined the key phrase in paragraph 5.


I, Steve O'Donnell, being first duly sworn, depose and state as follows:

1. I am a Florida resident, over the age of eighteen, under no disability and competent to testify to the facts set forth herein. I am authorized to give this affidavit on behalf of National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing, Inc. (''NASCAR").

2. I am fully familiar with the facts stated in this affidavit, and where opinions are expressed, I am competent to state such opinions based on my training, knowledge, experience and expertise. If sworn as a witness, I am competent to testify to the contents of this affidavit.

3. I am Vice President of Racing Operations for NASCAR.

4. NASCAR was organized in 1948 as a sanctioning body by Brian France's grandfather, "Big Bill," to establish a common set of rules for stock car races, and to ensure that prize money was actually given to drivers and teams rather than squandered by race promoters. For nearly sixty years NASCAR has grown its organization through business acumen, foresight, and sacrifice. Today, with an estimated 75 million fans, NASCAR is the second most watched sport on television, and sanctions seventeen of the twenty highest attended sporting events in the United States. Since 1948, NASCAR has supplemented its rules and policies to account for the safety of all its participants.

5. NASCAR has taken particular care to ensure that spectators at NASCAR events are provided with family-friendly sports entertainment that is both exciting and safe.

As you can see, there are several things whose truth is definitely questionable starting in paragraph 4 with the 75 million fans. That one really jumps out. If there are 75 million fans, how come there’s never been a viewing audience higher than 38 million in the last 10 years? Why are souvenir sales down the toilet? Why are there so many empty seats in the grandstands? Also that “NASCAR has grown its organization through business acumen, foresight, and sacrifice”. If the business acumen and foresight were true, how come the grandstands are so empty, ratings down so far, and so many teams have closed their doors since 2003? Why have so many sponsors left the “sport”? Why have the networks and at least one major sponsor looked at ways to get out of their contracts?

And as to sacrifice, we know NA$CAR hasn’t made many sacrifices. The fans have made sacrifices in terms of time, money, vacations, travel, and seeing the history being re-written, revised, and made PC and historic tracks which provided thrilling racing for generations shut down. Fans have sacrificed their dignity by being lied to and having their intelligence insulted by NA$CAR, its leadership, and the NA$CAR controlled media. As to being safe for the fans, just ask the fans at Talladega who were injured just how safe NA$CAR is. And if the races are so “exciting, why are so many fans complaining about how boring the races are?
About the only sacrifices being made by NA$CAR is having to drink well-brand instead of brand name “sodas”.

Here’s how the WWE is defined:

World Wrestling Federation Entertainment, Inc.

(NYSE: WWE) is a publicly traded, privately controlled sports entertainment company dealing primarily in professional wrestling, with major revenue sources also coming from film, music, product licensing, and direct product sales.

The WWE is a sports entertainment company. NA$CAR provides family oriented sports entertainment. Hello? No wonder there are so many conspiracy theories abounding as to races being fixed, why only certain drivers can win, and why Ms Terry DeBris cautions come out to “assist” certain drivers in keeping from getting lapped, give them a lap back, or to keep them in the lead, or to give them a win.
Section 13

In the article I wrote regarding the Exclusivity, it referred to Section 13 in regards to category in the Telecommunications, Tire, and Fuel Categories. Below is Section 13.
13. DEFINITION OF “CATEGORY”. For purposes of this Agreement, “Category” refers, collectively, to the Telecommunications Category, Fuel Category, and Tire Category defined below.

(a) “Telecommunications Category” means wire line and wireless person-to- person and data to person communication services, including local and long distance services, wireless services, and two-way radio services (collectively “Services”) and hardware defined as wireless equipment required or utilized for the use of wireless Services (e.g., wireless phones, commercial grade two-way radios, handheld units for the wireless receipt and/or transmission of data, pagers (e.g., Blackberry, Palm, etc.) and accessories related to such equipment (e.g., face plates, belt clips, headsets, ring tones, wall paper, etc.) Notwithstanding the foregoing, NASCAR, in its sole discretion, may allow any and all existing souvenir product licensing relationships in the Telecommunications Category (e.g., cell phone covers, holders, etc.) to continue through the current term of their agreement.
(b) “Fuel Category” means combustion-based fuel and fuel blends for automotive vehicles including hydrocarbon-based, diesel, bio-diesel, ethanol, or alternative fuels and fuel blends.
( c) “Tire Category” means tires for vehicles including, but not limited to, passenger cars, vans, sport utility vehicles (SUV’s), light trucks, commercial trucks, trailers, motorcycles, aircraft, mopeds, scooters, and recreational vehicles (RV’s), including racing tires for any such vehicles listed herein.
Basically, in the “Telecommunications Category”, unless it’s a telecommunications product of the Cup Series sponsor or a licensed NA$CAR product, it’s prohibited. And if you read between the lines, that means that web servers like AOL, EarthLink, and others are prohibited. As to the fuel category, about the only thing allowed in the “Fuel Category” is wind, solar, coal, nuclear, water, wood, and people powered “fuels” or motor oils. In the “Tire Category”, I guess bicycle tires, tank treads, and skateboard wheels are exempt. Other than that, you won’t be seeing Hoosier, Michelin, Bridgestone, Firestone, Yokohama, Kumho, Dunlop, Cooper, Toyo, Pirelli, BF Goodrich, or any other brand of tire being advertised on any race vehicle, team uniform, or hauler.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

The Teleconference

Several things I gathered from Faux King Brian’s teleconference last week. One is to expect the broadcast portion to be “dumbed down” even more than it has been. Why? Remember the last time Faux King Brian talked about creating new fans? We got the massive invasion of the Short Attention Span Crowd.
“I look at the interest level of the sport, and that's growing after having peaked and maybe dropped back a little bit for some reasons a couple years ago. The general interest level is going up and that's what we're going to be working on, is creating new fans”.

And last year when he admitted that the “fans” have a shorter attention span than they use to. Gee, I wonder why? Expect to see more things aimed directly at the Short Attention Span Crowd, like repeating the same garbage over and over and over even more than they do now. A good example would be how many times per race we get an explanation of aero tight and aero loose.
Read the question carefully and then the answer.
Q. You have the races where you grow ratings and attendance, then you have the off week. Can you detail the reasons why you have this off week so early in the season? Are you going to change that for next year?

BRIAN FRANCE: Well, it's historically how many events in the calendar we want to run, regardless when they ran. Historically it has been around this time where we do have an off weekend. Arguably you would like to have that come down eight or ten races later. But that's just how the schedule and the climate issues that we face with certain markets and everything else has played out. The reason for changing it is mostly driven that the other sports calendars are going to change on us - not just the NFL, but maybe some other things. So we're trying to get into the right date. It also does accomplish, when we change next year, moving back the 500 a week, we'll eliminate the early schedule gap here. That will probably be a good thing.
The answer doesn’t answer the question. It’s like a politician speaking. Lots of hot air and words that mean nothing.
Q. Brian, a lot of feedback that we in the media get from fans is about the post-race show or the lack of a post-race show. There seems to be a sense of frustration that fans invest so many hours into an event, then they get under 10 minutes of reaction after from the drivers that they've been watching. Is that something that NASCAR is hearing from your fan council? Do you have any input with FOX to try to solve this dilemma fans are faced with?

BRIAN FRANCE: We do have a fair amount of programming that happens with the SPEED Channel throughout the post race, even into the evening typically. But, yeah, I think generally speaking we would agree, that it would be nicer to have a longer post-race. But if you think about it, most sports don't have a particularly long post end of a game, whatever else. The networks don't stick around for an additional half hour. It's not something FOX should be thinking about because, after all, that's just not the norm with network or even cable television. Once the game is over, there's typically a short post-race. You hope the rest of it, social media, NASCAR online, places to digest good post-race information is where they go.
Considering who really calls the shots on what will and won’t be shown, I’m rather surprised that Faux King Brian doesn’t appear to really care about putting the NA$CAR brand on the winner even more with more post-race exposure of the winner and getting in as many post-race interviews as possible to help extend the NA$CAR "branding" of his brand of racer-tainment. Plus he seems to forget that not everyone gets Speed TV. Folks who don’t have cable or satellite can’t watch it. And even some folks with cable or satellite don’t have it because it’s not included in their package or is considered an extra that cost them through the nose. So they can’t watch the post-race coverage Speed TV offers.
Q. What do you see as the biggest impact on television ratings? Sponsorship revenues you and the tracks can earn or how are they becoming more critical on the rights fees as you start negotiating in the next couple years?

BRIAN FRANCE: We spend a lot of time looking at obviously traditional broadcast television. Our cable partners are critically important. We spent a lot of time recently looking at the other media, which is social and digital media, where that's all going, where people are getting information, content and everything else. We have a plan. We have a robust plan in the long run. We'll try to capture both. But one of the ratings impact is people are getting their news, updates, their fix, if you will, in lots of different ways today. We're going to want to, as a sport, make sure that we're taking advantage of all of them.
If Faux King Brian and his cronies actually spent a lot of time watching the races on TV, they’d see what the fans are complaining about with poor commentary, poor coverage, and too many commercials and the need for split-screen coverage like IndyCar uses to show both the race and commercials at the same time instead of the current running of commercials being briefly interrupted by a lap or two of racer-tainment. “We have a plan”. I seem to remember Richard Nixon saying the same thing when it came to Vietnam only we never found out what the plan was.
“But one of the ratings impact is people are getting their news, updates, their fix, if you will, in lots of different ways today. We're going to want to, as a sport, make sure that we're taking advantage of all of them”.

Notice the word “fix”. Faux King Brian is making it sound like race fans are a bunch of junkies in desperate need of drugs. A Freudian slip on his part? As the TV coverage and commentary is God awful, fans who have the means use things like Track Pass or Race Buddy to actually watch the races and supplement that with radio coverage by PRN or MRN to help eliminate the highly biased commentators and shills. I don’t know how many folks have noticed it but a lot of effort is being put into advertising the sanctioning body’s official web site. They’ve sponsored a couple of trucks and if you look at the tracks you’ll see the web site’s name painted on the asphalt or on the grass. Of course, after the latest changes to that web site and how badly they screwed it up, I can see why they’re trying to lure fans in and advertise it. If they really wanted to get fans to that web site, they’d make it easy to navigate and use. Instead, they make it more complicated than trying to assemble an engine while blindfolded with one hand tied behind your back. Fans use Twitter, Facebook, and various blogs to stay up to date and to get reliable info which isn’t in the same cookie-cutter mold as is presented by the lamestream journalists.
Q. Brian, can you address the ethanol situation and what challenges have you faced with the implementation to the new fuel in the three top series?

BRIAN FRANCE: Well, the fact that we haven't had a discussion is evidentiary proof of how well it's working. We couldn't be happier with it. From the early testing, we got good performance numbers. The teams certainly think it's working well. It obviously takes us another step. Especially now that you see energy prices going where they're going, it takes us a way down the road with a real biofuel that we're using in the car. They've just been a really good partner so far and it's going well.
“The fact that we haven't had a discussion is evidentiary proof of how well it's working”. Obviously you didn’t hear the profanity-laced dialogue between Biffle and his crew chief at Vegas regarding the new fuel and the fueling system. It isn’t working well. You might be happy but that’s only because you’re getting paid to be happy about it. Just what are you going to do when Congress cuts off the funding for ethanol because it’s actually a farce? You want a real bio-fuel? Try running the algae-based gasoline. Or convert to diesel and have the teams run oil from some hamburger or chicken joints and fill the stands with the smell of French Fries or fried chicken. That’s true bio-fuel.
Q. What do you think of Danica's run last week, historically what that did, the highest finish by a female in any NASCAR national series?

BRIAN FRANCE: I think that elevated her. There was some discussion, did she have the right stuff to compete in the Nationwide Series. You know, I think she dispelled a lot of that. There's always circumstances in the start of a new career. But sometimes things are out of your control, people can crash in front of you, a hundred other things. I think she elevated herself quite nicely. That's nice to see. She's a very competitive person. She's always said she's here to compete, not just happy to be here. That fits my criteria.
Anything that makes you a buck fits your criteria. Danica’s finish is not the highest finish by a female driver in NA$CAR. She finished 4th in a fuel mileage race in NA$CAR’s AAA series equivalent. Sara Christian finished 5th in NA$CAR’s top series in 1949 at Pittsburgh. Janet Guthrie finished 6th at Bristol in 1977 in NA$CAR’s top series. So until she runs in the Cup Series and gets a 4th place finish she isn’t the highest female finisher in NA$CAR.

There were more questions asked and Jayski's got the transcript posted for all to read. Check it out, read it very carefully, read what's said, what's omitted, and how the questions are really answered versus what the question asked.

Monday, March 7, 2011

5th Annual Legends Helping Legends Appearance List

These are the various drivers and racing personalities who are expected to be present at the Legends Helping Legends Fundraiser on March 26, 2011 from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM at the Memory Lane Museum in Mooresville:

Dr. Don Tarr
Chocolate Myers
Paul Lewis
Jim Vandiver
Rex White
Don Johnson
Cecil Gordon
Peanut Thurman
Jabe Thomas
Ronnie Thomas
Travis Tiller
Don Miller
“Tiger” Tom Pistone
Gordon Pirkle
Bill Hollar
Walt Keller
Brownie King
Grey Smith
Neil Castles
J.B. Day
Frances Flock
Tom Higgins
Lou Larosa
Little Bud Moore
Lee Holman
Jimmy Hensley
Wanda Lund
Deb Williams
Lynn Evans
Bill Nacewiez
Buz McKim
Slick Owens
Elliot Forbes Robinson
Mitze Moody
Lloyd Dane
Blackie Wangerin
Dave Moody
Gene Hobby
Donnie Allison
Gene Hobby

Provider Issues, Twitter, Firestone, & Legends Helping Legends

Dish Network & LIN Media Making Enemies Quick
In the battle between Dish Network and LIN Media, a lot of stations were cut off from not only Fox but also local news coverage. It appears Dish is not willing to pay LIN Media for a rate increase so LIN Media cut off their service to Dish. This definitely will not help the ratings this weekend and will also serve as an excuse should the ratings be down because of the affected cities. From reading several comments by Dish subscribers, they plan to discontinue service because of this dispute.
Championship Worries
Back in 2003, the big worry was about having a Cup Series champion who didn’t have a win. This same worry is starting to come up now with the Busch Series as a result of the new rules and points restructuring. As it stands right now, and based on the performance of the Buschwackers over the last several years, this problem could be a very real one for Faux King Brian and friends. If it does happen, don’t be a bit surprised if there’s another restructuring of the points system specifically for the Busch Series.
Something to Think About
Old Man Time wins the Busch Series race and gets one headline. The Queen of Hype finishes 4th and gets 11 headlines as of Sunday. Is 4th the new 1st? Or is it that she’s been deemed the new Messiah to save NA$CAR from it’s woes of poor attendance, poor TV ratings, poor souvenir sales, and financial problems caused by their previous Messiah not living to all the hype that was generated by him from the Ivory Towers?

And don't fall for the hype. The Queen of Hype finished 4th, which is the highest finish for a female driver in the Busch Series. Sara Christian finished 5th in the NASCAR Stritctly Stock Series in 1949, which is today's Cup Series. There's a big difference between Cup and Busch. So while she did set a record, she hasn't set THE record. Keep trying.
It’s Official, Firestone is Leaving IndyCar
Firestone announced that they will be leaving the IndyCar Series at the end of the 2011 season. This opens the door for a lot of tire manufacturers to step up and fill the gap. It would be quite a marketing coup if Hoosier got the contract. Hoosier tires on race cars in the Hoosier state. The Dallara “tub” being built in the Hoosier state. Lots of possibilities there on the Hoosier connection if they land the tire contract.

According to Robin Miller of Speed TV, Goodyear, Hoosier, and Cooper are all interested in being the replacement tire company. Miller thinks Goodyear will get the nod. 
Twitter Traffic of Interest
I don’t know how many folks heard about Jeremy Mayfield’s interview on Speed TV being stopped by Paul Brooks, but here’s a couple of Tweets regarding that from Mayfield himself:
Paul Brooks, "you won't be able to stop my next interview"
@beaverlakekid thanks, I'm gonna start telling my side of the story, "everything" they can't control what I say here.

I mentioned Jabber Jaws and his remarks about being a fan.
Darrell Waltrip
hey twitterville, I have absolutely nothing to do with the tv coverage of the Nationwide series, I'm a fan and follow it just like you do !
Just remember what the lamestream whiners said, “if you have media credentials you can’t cheer or applaud”. Not to mention Jabber Jaws own words from the Truck Series days. “You shouldn’t be involved if you’re a fan”. Words to live by there Jabber Jaws. So leave the announcing booth.
Jeff Gluck
Danica was pissed she didn't get the free pass there: "F---- lucky dog!!! Keeps biting my ass!!!" or something like that.
If you believe the hype she should’ve won the race before the green flag dropped. As to the quote by Gluck, I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s true. Ever so ladylike. Maybe she needs to hang out with Jennifer Jo Cobb and learn how a female driver handles adversity.
ESPN Strikes Again
In what was supposed to be an article titled “Danica Patrick Talks Crashes, NASCAR”. This would lead you to think that it’s about her racing in NA$CAR. But no, the first two paragraphs are about promoting IndyCar races in Texas and mentioning there might be a crash. Is that what IndyCar fans turn out for nowadays? Crashes? Isn’t that what they say NA$CAR fans turn out for? She spends more time talking about IndyCar than she does about NA$CAR and her Busch Series races. Maybe it should’ve been titled “Danica Talks About Her 2011 Racing Season”. It seems like sort of deceptive way to get some web hits on the article.
Another “strike” against BSPN came this past weekend when the Busch Series race was pre-empted by college basketball in a number of cities. If the Disney bunch (Disney/ABC/BSPN) knew this would happen, then why even bother bidding on the TV contract and angering race fans around the country who have no interest in college hoops? Any bets more races get pre-empted as March Madness continues?
Leave it to Speed TV expert and alienator of race fans everywhere to pull one like this. This is from Bob Pockrass on Twitter last Thursday:
Kenny Wallace gets black-flagged. He says on radio "They're black-flagging me?" And then he says, "Oh, I never signed in."
You’re not a real race car driver if you can’t remember to sign in at the NA$CAR trailer? I guess that’s a good paraphrase of his famous weekly remark.
Your Bias is Showing Again
During Cup qualifying, the almighty Jabbers Jaws couldn’t give the Fords credit for qualifying well. Any time a Chosen One or his favorite brand of car didn’t qualify well, it was because of the bumps on the track even though the Fords ran over the same exact bumps as everyone else.
Astute Observation
Erin made a very astute observation about the so-called “journalists” covering NA$CAR.
If you cover NASCAR you are an entertainment reporter...and as we've all seen covering entertainment requires no ethics!

And she makes a very good point. As NA$CAR events are held in entertainment venues and by their own admission is sports entertainment, they are entertainment and as such, all the ethical standards of “real journalism” do not apply. That means all of these supposed journalist covering NA$CAR are little more than reporters for shows like Entertainment Tonight or magazines like Entertainment Weekly. This explains why there are so many fluff pieces written or shown on the NA$CAR related TV shows. That’s racer-tainment!

Premature Enunciations

Some of the Kool Aid drinkers are saying that all of NA$CAR’s woes are over now and that everything has turned around and everything is sunshine and lollipops. We’re 3 races into the new season. There is no sports competition to speak of at this point, like play-offs or the start of the new stick and ball seasons. Unlike the Kool Aid Kids, I’m not quite ready to pull the patient off of life support yet just because they’re twitching from autonomous system reactions. Lets see how things go when we’ve got March Madness going on, MLB is playing, and the NBA play-offs are hitting their stride.
Robby Gordon on Double Secret Probation
It seems that after a shouting match between Robby and driver of the Stiffy Mobile Kevin Conway over money matters, Conway filed a report with the LVPD and complained to NA$CAR. NA$CAR in turn placed Robby on Indefinite Probation. I wonder just how long that will be considering Curtis Turner was banned for life and re-instated and some other folks more recently who were booted for drug use with indefinite suspensions have been re-instated. Will he have to pray to the Ivory Towers, wear a camel hair fire suit, and do thousands of mea culpas as penance?

Plus a few unanswered questions. Just what was a Busch Series driver (Conway) doing in the Cup garage? That sounds to me like he was looking for trouble. No answer out of NA$CAR. So why didn't they both receive the same punishment? No answer out of NA$CAR. Based on my past experience, unless you have Cup credentials, you can't go into the Cup garage if the area is segregated from the other series. But then the lamestream media isn't asking the questions either, which is no surprise. 
Upcoming Events
5th Annual Legends Helping Legends Fundraiser at the Memory Lane Museum

Date: March 26, 2011
Memory Lane Museum
Street: 769 River Highway (Hwy 150) I mile west of I-77 Exit 36
City/Town: Mooresville, NC

Time: 10 AM to 5 PM
Phone: 704-662-3673

As of right now, there’s expected to be 40 racing personalities there. That’s on the same weekend as the annual Fontana snooze fest so if you want to stay awake for something a little more interesting, you should come to this fundraiser and meet some of the racing greats who drove when it really was stock cars.

Cool Deal
LVMS and the USAF did something pretty cool with the large enlistment ceremony that was done at LVMS before the race. One of my son’s friend’s had her son swear in as part of the ceremony and she’s a very proud mom. I don’t blame her either. So thanks to LVMS for providing the time and space for the enlistment ceremony of these fine young folks who will be serving our country and keeping us safe. Too bad Focks didn’t have the gumption to show this. It would’ve been more interesting than hearing the English language get repeatedly butchered or the continuous yammering of Jabber Jaws.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Many Thanks, Buyer Beware, Morgan Shepherd: Crime Fighter, North Wilkesboro Testing, and More

Many Thanks
I want to thank Vince Meiste for lending a helping hand to Sam Ard. Vince is a long time race fan who got to see Sam race back in the good old days against the Hensley brothers, Rick Mast, and others in the Late Model Sportsman Series before it became the Busch Series. Even though Vince has a limited income, he was able to get the winning bid on one of Sam’s race winning plaques. So the plaque found itself a good home with a real race fan and has become the centerpiece of Vince’s racing memorabilia. So again, many thanks Vince for stepping up and doing what the France family won’t do.
The Past Comes Back to Bite You in the Backside
With all the recent stories about DW and Fox broadcasts, here is a story that was relayed to me.
Back in the days, when DW was racing trucks, the Craftsman Series was running the road course at Heartland Park Topeka. DW was racing his # 17 truck. During the normal workers meeting, when corner worker assignments were made along other event discussions, series officials make appearances. Well, I was told that DW made an appearance at one meeting. He asked how many of the workers were race fans. Naturally, every worker raised their hands. They were then shocked as DW scolded them, saying that it was unprofessional of workers, serving as officials, to be fans.
Funny how those words should now come back to haunt him, seeing how one of the biggest complaints about DW is his claim to be a fan, even though he is supposed to be a professional announcer, representing the sport. His home calls are a perfect example, which are a far cry from the Ned Jarrett call.
I believe it was on an ESPN NASCAR show, when Ned’s call was discussed. Ned stated he went over to Dale Sr. at the next race to apologize for his Daytona call when DJ beat Sr. But, Dale Sr. pointed his finger at Ned and said no apology needed, because he (Sr.) was a father too.
Ned was a professional, DW is not!
Buyer Beware!
This is from the AP regarding a racing school which was recently black flagged for not living up to their contract:
The Johnson County district attorney's office filed an action last week under the Kansas Consumer Protection Act against The Racing Experience Inc. and its founder, Kelly Bussey of Shawnee.
The Kansas City Star reports the district attorney is alleging numerous customers have been unable to use racing packages that allow them to attend a racing school and drive a racecar on a speedway track.
Customers also have been unable to get refunds.
The DA's office is seeking an order requiring the company and Bussey to pay full restitution to consumers and $10,000 in civil fines and penalties for each violation of the act.

 This sounds somewhat like the scam that Charles Collins tried pulling at North Wilkesboro before the current management team took over only his involved a reality TV racing show.
Morgan the Crime Fighter
Folks nowadays may not have a lot of respect or interest in Morgan Shepherd. Back in the day, Morgan was pretty good at chasing down other drivers on the track. He seems to have taken chasing down drivers on the track in days of old to chasing down thieves today. It seems Morgan was in the parking lot of a Wally World near LVMS when he spotted police officers giving chase to several individuals and Morgan decided to join in the pursuit chasing down one of the thieves and pinning him to the ground. Imagine the embrassment the 18 year old thief must've had by being chased down and caught by someone old enough to be his grandpa. He'll never live that one down.
All Quiet on the Spoiler Front
Anyone happen to notice that the lamestream media has been awfully quiet about the fold-away spoiler on Motormouth’s truck at Daytona? We heard more about Carl Long’s oversized engine than we have about this illegal spoiler. We heard more about the “jet fuel” incident at Daytona several years ago than we have about the illegal spoiler. Was a directive sent out from Daytona to the lamestream media that I didn’t hear about telling them to be quiet about it?
Liars Figure and Figures Lie
I don’t know how closely folks have been paying attention to the ratings but take a good look at the most recent ones from Phoenix and Daytona. The ratings were up among the 18-49 age demographic. No figures are being released about the under 18 or over 49. The over 49 crowd, which is where most of the Boomers and most of the older fans who have been following racing since the good old days are and who tend to have most of the money, seem to be excluded for some reason. Could it be that those ratings are so bad that it could embarrass Faux King Brian and his controlled media? Anyone who knows anything about statistics knows you can prove or disprove any argument using them. For example, the same stats which could be used to prove that The King is the best driver NA$CAR ever had can also be used to prove he wasn’t the best. If you look at winning percentages, The Silver Fox has a better winning percentage than does The King. That’s why I tend to stay away from statistics and PR hype.
Question of the Day
Bob asked me an interesting question Kenny “You‘re not a real race fan“ Wallace. He asks, “When did Kenney ever open his mouth that his IQ didn't show?” Good question Bob.
The last time I had a chance to talk with some drivers, I asked them what they thought about Kenny and his alleged sense of humor. None of them thought he was really funny. He’s tolerated more than he’s actually liked. Sounds like the drivers are more forgiving than the fans are.
Excuses Anyone?
This is one of the things coming out of the Focks Booth Buffoons that are causing fans to tune out. Jules the Engine Guy said this:
Yesterday (Sunday) Cryal shot to an early lead and Edwards ate him up and spit him out. I liked that a lot. When Cryal took him out I was upset. Then when DW made every excuse under the sun for Cryal.... well I just flat turned it off. I mean I'd rather have him say "he didn't know" rather than try and make excuses.
When I turned it on it was right after pit stops. They said Cryal made up time coming in and out of the pits (this happens all the time, has no one else gotten suspicious of this?). Then the caution came out and DW mentioned Cryal was in the lead but actually Stewart was. No correction was made.
Its also worth pointing out that the drivers have to be more accurate and politically correct when on camera than ole DW does. That is backwards.
I’ve mentioned several times over the last few years about the excuses that are generated by Jabber Jaws for the Chosen Ones, his brother, and anyone driving one particular make of car.
Nocturnal Omissions
It seems that congresswoman going on about the Army sponsoring a Cup car seems to have overlooked the sponsorship of an NHRA dragster and one of the IndyCar teams being sponsored by the National Guard. Anyone want to place bets that if Bruton or the Frances had a track in Minnesota that she’d be complaining?
Before the season started, there was an article about Jeffy and Jr being dumped by Hendrick if they didn’t vastly improve this season. It quickly got buried and few if any of the controlled media has said anything about it. Is Jeffy’s win at Phoenix enough to keep him in the Hendrick stables or will he get the boot and the end of the year? I guess we’ll have to stay tuned.
Another thing being curiously omitted by the NA$CAR controlled media is about the $40+ million in tax breaks that the France family and I$C got for improvements to their facilities, as upgrades to entertainment/amusement parks. Is it really racing or is it as the VP of Racing Operations said, “family oriented sports entertainment”?
Testing at North Wilkesboro
It seems that some teams are doing closed testing at North Wilkesboro Speedway. There will be some test sessions coming up this month for the PASS Series which will be open to the public.

HOF Induction Date Changed
Obviously somebody hasn’t really checked out the weather history for Charlotte during the month of January. Do they really think that after Christmas, folks are going to have the money to attend the induction ceremony? Plus add in the factor of winter weather. Not just in Charlotte but around the nation. How many fans are going to be able to get out of the Midwest and Northeast to be able to attend? Not many if this past January is any indication. I know the weather guesser isn’t always right but past history of weather patterns tend to be a good indicator of what to expect. Does Faux King Brian think he can wave his magic wand, which looks remarkably like a toilet plunger, and make the winter weather stay away and make fans show up? Just say the mantra, “I know what’s best for the sport” and the HOF will be packed. Yeah and I’ve got a bridge in NYC I’ll sell you too.