Curtis Turner for 2016 HOF

Curtis Turner for 2016 HOF

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Big News Is No News

Big News is No News
The already known and not much interested in announcement that NA$CAR now has its own celebrity spokesmodel happened. General fan reaction seems to be “Big Deal!”. Judging from the Twitter traffic of race fans the extreme lack of interest was bordering on truly apathetic. We already knew NA$CAR was getting the IndyCar celebrity spokesmodel. We know she only finished on the lead lap 42.8% of the time against the Buschwackers, underfunded teams, start and parks, and back markers of the Busch Series. And the Ivory Tower Gang is expecting to see a miracles immediately if not sooner with the hopes that NA$CAR’s newest highly hyped savior will save NA$CAR from itself by filling up the grandstands with young boys just hitting puberty looking for cheesy bathing suit pin-up posters to while away their nights with during their late night fantasies and buy tons of her overpriced swag to help fill the coffers. Ain’t gonna happen bubba.
I would’ve loved to have had a lie detector hooked up to Danican’t during the press conference. That thing would’ve melted because of its buzzer and lights going off as many as times as it would from the false statements. “If it was for money I would’ve gone a long time ago”. Say what? I seem to recall her complaints about NA$CAR having too long of a schedule and how she enjoyed a 17 race season and being able to lounge around the pool and traveling around. It definitely is for the money.
Here’s what Kyle Petty said in an interview with USA Today about NA$CAR’s new spokesmodel:
Petty said Patrick's progress should be judged against full-time Nationwide drivers who once raced in Cup, and that her "race-craft" — her ability to execute passes and not just maintain a competitive speed — is the next critical area.
"She is a fast learner," he said. "But what I don't like about the Danica thing is if the hype that surrounds it is greater than the product on the racetrack”.
"She is a marketing machine. Carl Edwards and Jeff Gordon aren't the marketing machine that she is. But at some point, the marketing and the talent have to meet to produce results. I'm just not seeing it yet”.

"I'm all for giving her time, but I'm also all for killing the frigging hype. How long will the racing world buy the hype and not the performance?"
Also uncertain is whether Patrick will defer a lifelong dream of winning the Indianapolis 500, and whether a one-off attempt at the Brickyard in May would have an adverse impact on her NASCAR schedule. In a May interview with USA TODAY, GoDaddy CEO Bob Parsons said he expected Patrick still would run Indy next year.
"I think in her heart and her head, she's still an open-wheel driver who wants to win the Indy 500," Petty said. "But where the money is for her is (in NASCAR), so this is where she has to go. At least she is here. … The biggest thing I get out of this announcement is that she's committed to NASCAR. She's not sticking her foot in the water. She's in, and that's a huge statement. In the past, she hasn't been committed to the sport." 

"But where the money is for her is (in NASCAR), so this is where she has to go”. “She is a marketing machine. Carl Edwards and  Jeff Gordon aren't the marketing machine that she is”. There it is in a nutshell. Money. Marketing machine. There is only one mention of her as a driver and it’s in reference to IndyCar, which I’ll get to later. And as far as her being committed, is she really committed to being a driver, making all of the sponsor appearances that go with a 35 or 36 race schedule, and dealing with the fans in a much better manner than she has to this point? Is she going to be willing to show up at a children’s hospital with other drivers? Will she show up at a charity event with drivers in support of their children’s charities where they make appearances? So far she’s done a fine job of mouthing off to fans simply wanting an autograph and has yet to make an appearance at a children’s hospital when other IndyCar drivers have and she was invited to. And how about her remarks about not liking road racing when there will probably be 2 more road races added to the Busch Series schedule? Will she be making a call to 1-800-WAA-AAAH because she has to drive on road courses? Can she cut the mustard as NA$CAR’s celebrity spokesmodel in the Busch Series much less in a Cup race? I sincerely doubt it. Why? Comments made during some of her Busch Series races about the other drivers “racing me to hard”. This isn’t supposed to be “ladies before gentlemen”. It’s racing. The job of a race car driver is to race to win which means that drivers will race hard to get the win. They will also race hard not to get lapped. So if you can’t stand the heat in the Busch Series kitchen, I hate to think how you’ll react when you have to go door to door with some of the Cup drivers.
And what about the actual schedule itself. The famous celebrity spokesmodel has said she doesn’t like racing on road courses and prefers ovals. Guess what? Since Gateway and Nashville closed their doors, 2 more road races are going to be added to the schedule. If you thought you hated driving a road course in a relatively light Indy car, you’re really going to hate it in a heavy Busch Series car.
The GropeDaddy CEO said in a May interview he expected the celebrity spokesmodel to still would run Indy next year. Guess what? Unless her Busch Series or Cup Series car owner buys a car for her to race in, it’s not going to happen. She burned too many bridges with team owners, engineers, crew chiefs, and strategists in IndyCar and there was a big sigh of relief when she made her announcement today. Of course, there was probably some money exchanged between Andretti Motorsports, Tony Stewart, and Dale Jr/Rick Hendrick to get her out of any contractual obligations she had remaining with Andretti. So she is now the problem and responsibility of Stewart-Haas and JR Motorsports. I sure hope they can afford the new Indy cars, engines, and replacement cars.
Faux King Brian’s comment that he is happy that she is bringing her talent to NA$CAR to compete with the best drivers in the world. Again, she is not a driver, but rather a brand/celebrity/spokesmodel. And best drivers in the world and most loyal fan base? BZF has been tipping back too many “sodas” again. Viewership numbers have been steadily dropping, seats are empty, and NA$CAR/I$C is losing money hand over fist, so what loyal fans is he talking about? The Dale Jr fans? The Short Attention Span Crowd he brought in to replace all the “good ole boys” who followed the sport since before Faux King Brian was even a gleam in daddy’s eye? I know many people that have turned off NA$CAR. The poor ratings attest to that. And the empty grandstands were happening before the economy went Tango Uniform and has only gotten worse. So what loyal fans is he referring to? And best drivers in the world? The Cup drivers don’t even race in the rain so they definitely don’t qualify as the best in the world.
Kyle Petty’s reference to the hype is so very true. Has anyone really noticed how the drivers that NA$CAR has hyped have fallen on their face? They hyped Burnt Toast and he fell on his face. They hyped Hambone and he fell flat on his. They continue to hype Dale Jr and his performance isn’t what it was before the Hype Machine took over. How long will the racing world buy the hype and not the performance as Kyle Petty and myself have both asked?
And what happened to Faux King Brian’s big welcome to Dario Franchitti when he tried NA$CAR? Or Jacque Villeneuve? Oh, that’s right. They’re not marketing machines or celebrity spokesmodels. They’re race car drivers. When Dario showed up, there was little to no hype even though he was the reigning IndyCar champ AND is married to Ashley Judd, a Hollywood A Lister. How could the Hype Machine miss that one? And look at all the hype surrounding Shrubbery’s win record? Like Kyle Petty said, “When he gets 200 Cup wins then come talk to me”. NA$CAR’s Hype Machine needs to rust to a screeching halt and let results actually speak for themselves.
Anyways, welcome to Brian's Big Top Danican't where you'll be welcome til the hype wears itself out and owners get tired of you not living up to it. 

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Micsellaneous Miscellany

Rolling Thunder Modifieds
The Rolling Thunder Modified Series will be rolling into Motor Mile Speedway in Radford VA on August 6th. The racing starts at 7 PM. And since it’s just down the road from me, I might just have to go check it out.
Prime Time
I don’t know how many folks have heard of the blog Prime Time Chuck, but he’s got an interesting point of view and has been writing a series on how to improve/save NA$CAR. It’s not exactly for the faint of heart but Chuck does bring out some very good points on how to turn NA$CAR around and save it from the poor management that’s driving it into the ground.
Indy Excuses
One of the excuses I’ve seen on several sites is the reason that attendance is off at Indy has to do with the saturation of tracks and race dates near Indy. Now, what was the excuse for moving all of those race dates out of the South? Oh yeah, that’s right. There were so many tracks in the South and it was saturated with race dates. I guess since the south no longer has that saturation of dates NA$CAR can move a few of them back in the hopes that some of the fans that they chased off might return.
Ed Hinton put the crowd at barely 100,000 as he’s been attending races there for over 35 years and can remember races being upwards of 300,000 for the Indy 500. Ed’s figures are believable considering how many empty seats were visible.
X-Games Ties Indy
According to USA Today, the X-Games pulled in 2.9 million viewers as did the Cure for Insomnia 400 at Indianapolis. While the ratings were up for Indy, they still aren’t even close to the all time high of 19 million viewers set in 2005 or even close to the 6.7 million viewers in 2008, the year of the tire debacle.
Lucas Oil Renegotiating Deal?
Since NA$CAR pulled the rug out from under IRP by moving the races across the street to IMS, Lucas Oil is said to be renegotiating their deal on the naming rights for IRP because they were counting heavily on the Busch and Truck Series races being at IRP to help in promoting their product.
Interesting Observation from Bill the Mechanic
Maybe it's time to quit using the economy as a reason for poor attendance. On the news Friday night they showed:
X-Games from LA. The place was packed. I don't know what the tickets, parking, or refreshments cost, but we can assume they're expensive just because they can get away with it.
Video Gaming Convention from Anaheim. Another packed venue. You can bet the entry fee and food were high priced. City of Anaheim controls the parking, I've been told it's $20 bucks at the Convention Center now. Angel Stadium also!
Surfing Contest in Huntington Beach. This is a major surfing deal and the locals are concerned about what they'll do with the huge crowds (500,000) that show up each year.
All this happening just this last weekend.
Not only that, but people are camping on the sidewalks for days to be the first ones to see the latest movie release. And you can't get near a phone store, with people having to have the newest phones.
Looks like people will find the money if you have something they want.
Carbon Epoxy Problems
Carbon Epoxy, the wonderful material used to make the front splitter, can create some major electrical problems when turned into a powder form, which is what happens when it’s ground down on the track as the results of the splitter hitting the racing surface.
From an article called “How Products Are Made”, I found a couple of things regarding Carbon Epoxy. One is the health issues:
During processing, pieces of carbon fibers can break off and circulate in the air in the form of a fine dust. Industrial health studies have shown that, unlike some asbestos fibers, carbon fibers are too large to be a health hazard when inhaled. They can be an irritant, however, and people working in the area should wear protective masks.
The carbon fibers can also cause skin irritation, especially on the back of hands and wrists. Protective clothing or the use of barrier skin creams is recommended for people in an area where carbon fiber dust is present. The sizing materials used to coat the fibers often contain chemicals that can cause severe skin reactions, which also requires protection.
Think about how much of that material is circulating around the race track and fans are inhaling not to mention what the teams are exposed to during pit stops and even during the fabrication of the generic race cars themselves.
The other issue is an electrical issue:
In addition to being strong, carbon fibers are also good conductors of electricity. As a result, carbon fiber dust can cause arcing and shorts in electrical equipment. If electrical equipment cannot be relocated from the area where carbon dust is present, the equipment is sealed in a cabinet or other enclosure.
So, think about your own electrical equipment you take to the races. Radios, cell phones, and cameras. And then there’s the electrical equipment the teams use. Alternators, ignition boxes, electrical switches, wiring harnesses, electrical and battery connections, computers, TV monitors, video cameras, satellite dishes, and team radios. All of which could be shorted out by the carbon fiber being ground off of the splitter. It makes me wonder how many teams, if any, have started sealing their electronics and using protective gear for the shop and track personnel exposed to the carbon fiber.
Celebrity Spokesmodel Making The Move
Unnamed sources are reporting in USA Today, the celebrity spokesmodel Danica will be competing in the Nationwide series full time for JR Motorsports next year with limited Cup starts for Stewart-Haas Racing. She would also plan to run a warm-up race and the Indy 500. This is what Go-Daddy CEO Parsons had hinted weeks ago and he is the one signing her checks (a reported $12m last year). So, if Go-Daddy is supporting Danica in a full season Nationwide, some Cup, and a couple of IndyCar races including the Indy 500, what are the chances that Kasey Kahne’s Hendrick car needs to be searching for a sponsor for next year. I do not believe Go-Daddy can fund Danica’s season and also another Cup car.
Nashville Speedway Losing Races
Track owner Dover Motorsports has said they won’t be renewing their races at Nashville Speedway for the 2012 season. Where the races will go is anyone’s guess. Between the dwindling attendance and the high cost of the NA$CAR sanctioning fees, they’re not getting the return on their investment. Where the races will go is anybody’s guess.
Speedway Motorsports Q2 Losses
Charlotte Business Journal reports a second-quarter net loss of $28.3 million, or 68 cents per diluted share, down from net income of $23 million, or 55 cents per diluted share, in the same period last year.
Bruton and company are blaming high fuel cost and high unemployment for the losses. I think it has more to do with the poor product being presented to race fans than fuel and unemployment. Not to mention the debacle at Kentucky, which will affect not only next year’s earnings but earnings for years to come.
F-1 Racing Coming to NYC Area

F-1 could be racing in New Jersey area with NYC serving as a background as early as 2013. Bernie Eccelstone is in negotiations with a group of investors and mayors of two New Jersey towns to hold a second F1 race in the NYC area. Part of the course would run along the west bank of the Hudson River with Manhattan in the background in the Weehawken and West New York cities of New Jersey.
I$C to Host IndyCar Races Again?
There is talk that ISC is in discussions with IndyCar to host races at California, Kansas City, and Chicago again. The main thing IndyCar needs to enforce is ISC promotion of the races, which is something they never did in the past. That was a major reason for dropping ISC tracks. But ISC realizes that NASCAR alone will not pay the bills with the dwindling attendance figures.
Truck Team Hauler Takes Out Starters Stand
Apparently, the Hauler for the #81 truck took at the starters stand at Pocono. Are they sending a message about Pocono?