Nowhere close to the all-time highs of a 4.2 in 2002 & 2007. Just remember, that while the ratings were up, they’re not even close to the all-time highs for the fall Richmond race ratings. And the 2002 fall Richmond race was before the TV contracts were negotiated and was shown on TNT. So just how is going to the internet going to affect the TV ratings for next season? I guess we’ll find out next season.
Not the Fastest Growing Sport
With the number of teams that have folded since Faux King Brian took over, the large number of sponsors that have left or seriously cut back on sponsorship, and the recent announcement of KHI folding and Germain Racing facing some serious financial issues, you have to wonder just how much longer things will continue to go downhill? The only thing that seems to be growing right now in NA$CAR is the number of teams folding, and the number of start & park teams. You know it’s bad when both the Busch & Truck Series show up with short fields or 1/3 of the field is start & parks. Robby Gordon, who had been running full-time, has now switched to start & park in the Cup Series. And the grandstands aren’t getting any fuller either despite the announcement of that NA$CAR’s celebrity spokesmodel will be driving full-time next season in the Busch Series and part-time in the Cup Series. By the time next season rolls around, we may be at least 3 teams short in the Truck series, 2 teams short in the Busch Series, and 1 team short in the Cup Series.
De Silvestro to Penske?
Simone De Silvestro has been in talks with Roger Penske regarding a possible move to Team Penske. And she would be a good choice as Simone brings Entergy, Nuclear, and Areva sponsor dollars with her and they’re three year sponsorship deals plus options. Helio Castroneves may be able to scrape up a little sponsorship from Brazil but not nearly enough to fund a car for a full season. Briscoe has nothing for sponsorship, so if Simone does make the move to Penske, Briscoe will probably be the driver that Penske drops.
More Red Ink for HOF
This is from the Charlotte Business Journal regarding the France Hall of Fantasies:
Attendance at the NASCAR Hall of Fame fell by 35% in July from a year earlier, continuing a trend of declining results. The Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority, operator of the $200 million publicly funded stock-car museum, reported the figures at its board meeting Wednesday. In July 2010, 33,452 people visited the hall of fame. Attendance declined to 21,910 in July 2011, the first month of the new fiscal year. July marked the third month of attendance slips of 30 percent or more in year-over-year comparisons. Those figures offer a barometer of interest in the hall of fame, which opened in May 2010. For May 2011, attendance was 30 percent below the previous year (25,034 visitors compared with 35,090 in May 2010). In June 2011, crowds dropped by 39 percent to 17,604 visitors for the month. Visitors authority board members didn't discuss the hall of fame results during their meeting. A recent update to City Council included questions and discussion of whether ticket prices could be hurting attendance.
One thing that’s hurting the HOF is its location. Another thing that’s hurting it is the fact that instead of all drivers, owners, mechanics, crew chiefs, etc. that should be eligible for induction aren’t. Faux King Brian has dictated that the selection process be done by star power and name recognition instead of on the merits and records of those who should be nominated and inducted. If there was a category for advancing racing through inventions or improving existing parts, guys like Tiger Tom Pistone, Rex White, and Banjo Matthews would be at the forefront of the nominees. Geoff Bodine might get in for the use of power steering on race cars. Holman-Moody might get in for developing the standard spindle, hubs, and other parts that have become the standard in stock car racing. So by going after star power rather than actual achievements, Faux King Brian is shooting himself in the foot.
Act of Desperation 2
In an attempt to staunch the flow of the rivers of red ink coming from the HOF bookkeeper’s page, NA$CAR is having one of the Chase for the Chumps drivers at the HOF once a week from now through the end of the season. Once again, Faux King Brian is either drinking his own Kool Aid or has had one too many “sodas” again.
Races Going Online
For those folks who have their computers hooked into their big flat screens or have their computer in the same room as their TV will be able top watch the races online for 9 out of 10 of the play-off races. Now, the up side is that it will give more folks access to the races. Folks who don’t have access through cable or satellite TV will be able to watch the races via the internet. The down side is that it will have an impact on the TV ratings. With the large number of complaints about the quality of the broadcasts on TV and the constant interruption with commercials, sponsor plugs, mention money plugs, idiotic graphics that take up anywhere from a third to three quarters of the TV screen, this could very well be the direction that NA$CAR is headed as they’ve been extremely reluctant to use the side by side format for commercials like Versus uses for IndyCar races because it doesn’t allow NA$CAR’s sponsors, not the team sponsors, but NA$CAR’s sponsor to have their type of “branding”. So don’t be surprised if and when you get just as many commercials online as you do during a TV broadcast.
Give Bobby Allison His Due
For decades, Bobby Allison has been trying to get credit for his win at Bowman-Gray on Aug. 6, 1971 while driving a Ford Mustang from the Grand American Series and beating out the drivers running Grand National Impalas, Galaxies, and Chargers. Under the rules of the day, and with Bill France Sr.’s blessings, Bobby, Tiny Lund, and others would run in Grand National races using the Grand American cars, especially because there was a short field. The strange thing is that Tiny Lund has been given credit for a win in his Grand American car. So why hasn’t Bobby?
I think this win should be given to Bobby and it’s long overdue. One thing it would do is correct the official records of NASCAR. Another thing it would do is put him in a tie with Jeff Gordon. Now think of the publicity that Faux King Brian could generate with this. Lots of hype and hoopla of the 2 of them together and when the day arrives that Jeff should pass Bobby’s record, then a nice ceremony in Victory Lane showing Bobby congratulating Jeff. And the last thing it would do is deflate the oversized ego of Jabber Jaws with his 84 wins. Something a lot of fans would like to see happen. So Your Highness, there’s one heck of a PR opportunity and photo ops just waiting for you to exploit it by simply correcting a one win situation.
Bowyer Going to MWR?
The bad thing with Bowyer going to MWR along with their new sponsors is we’ll get even more shilling than we currently do out of the Motormouth Brothers. And considering MWR’s win record, well, I sure hope Clint enjoys being a back marker or consistently running mid-pack. You can bet that Crusty isn’t a happy camper since his sponsor is jumping ship and he’ll probably tell us that somewhere between now and Homestead. But then, can you really blame 5 Hour for jumping ship considering how many times Crusty’s boy has finished a race on the tow hook?
8th Annual Augusta International Raceway HOF Induction
Friday September 16th, Augusta International Raceway Preservation Society (AIRPS) will hold it's 8th Annual Hall of Fame Induction and Banquet. This years inductees are Jack Ingram; also known as the Iron Man, Sam Sommers former Cup driver, Jimmy Manese; motorcycle hot shoe, L R Newman of drag racing fame and George Lonergan; Hobby Class star. Also Bruce Brantley of Chamblee GA will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award. The Banquet starts at 6 pm and tickets are $20 . Tickets will be, as long as they last, at the door. The event will be held at Diamond Lakes Regional Park off Windsor Spring road in Hephzibah, Georgia, just outside Augusta . This is the site of the former Speedway complex.
On Saturday September 17th AIRPS will hold it's annual racing reunion this year partnering with the Charley Norwood VA Hospital to hold a Welcome Home Party for four companies/units of returning Veterans. It's free to the public with a kids zone, car show racecars and autograph session. The Veterans Administration will have a health fair, job fair, school fair and many other information services. There will be a stage with live entertainment for good family fun and all are welcome. Opening ceremonies are at 10 am with event closing at approximately 2 pm. For information call Harvey Tollison at 706-829-6825