Curtis Turner for 2016 HOF

Curtis Turner for 2016 HOF

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?


  1. Mike
    Very good article. Glad you pointed out that people will generally find the money for what they want. Note that all the events you mentioned cater to the younger crowd.
    I doubt if Randy B. will roll over for ISC like Tony George did.

    Surprised you didnt mention the great success by Government Motors. 125 NEW CHEVY VOLTS HAVE BEEN SOLD!!

  2. Thanks. The surfing event tends to draw a good mix of young and old. As to the others, the do tend to draw a younger crowd, which is what BZF is lusting after.

    I think that if ISC does what they did before, Randy B will pull the plug faster than BZF can drink a "soda".

    Ford's F-150 sold over twice the amount of all the eco cars sold in the US last year. What does that say about the eco cars like the Volt and others? Not much.

  3. All the "gurus" have been commenting all season on how Jimmy Vannilly has been struggling all year. Notice how he is not "struggling" along in second place. And they always save their best stuff for the chase. What do you think, does the WWN script have Vannilly taking title number 6? And does it matter anyway since BZF has banished real racing from the hallowed ground of Daytona?

    Dave in Ohio

  4. Also Comic-Con International in San Diego. Sold out in seven hours. 130,000 people daily at the convention center and $68 million in direct spending on food and lodging.