Curtis Turner for 2016 HOF

Curtis Turner for 2016 HOF

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Silly Season by John "Dawg" Chapman

When I hear the term Silly Season, I tend to think of Adam Sandler, or
Jim Carrey movies. Maybe Happy Gilmore, or Liar, Liar, now that's what I think of as silly.

This years so called Silly Season on the other hand, reminds me more of
Nightmare on Elm Street, any of the Halloween movies, of maybe The
Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Particularly for anyone unfortunate enough to be involved, with the exception of Cousin Carl, it's been much more scary, than silly.

After Carl re-signed with Roush. That left Clint Bowyer as the top prospect. I have to admit that I was surprised when he didn't re-sign with RCR. After flirtations with several teams, I again have to admit to being shocked, when it came out that he was going to Michael Waltrip Racing. The top free agent going to a third tier team. What's up with that? Either he’s completely sold out, for money. Giving up on contending for wins, & making the Chase, or this was absolutely the only thing out there. I expect it was the latter. Joining this team, puts a driver on the fast track to mediocrity. Just ask Martin Truex. The scary thing about this is that his departure won't leave a vacant seat to fill.

While I'm thinking of Super Shill Racing, right on the heels of getting all their crew chiefs, & car chiefs tossed for the rest of the season. For yet another cheating incident, (I wonder when this is going to become too much of an embarrassment for the Japanese?)

They drop a bomb on the only driver to ever win for them.
Letting David Reutiman know by phone, (what a classy move) that he was
being kicked to the curb. This was apparently sponsor related. If Mikey is having sponsor issues that's really scary for everyone else. I think he even sleeps in the chicken suit. With only 3 races left, David's got about as much chance landing another Cup ride for next year, as I do. This is about like your prom date calling & telling you she's going with someone else. Just as you're starting the car to pick her up.

While he's in no danger of losing his ride, Matt Kenseth is losing his
sponsor, & as yet doesn't have anything else nailed down. This is about as scary as seeing someone in a hockey mask come up behind you as you wait for a bus on a dark corner. Matt not only made the Chase, but was in the thick of it, until Martinsville. Former Champion, multiple winner this season, great driver, all around nice guy. This just shouldn't be happening.

David Ragan isn't so lucky. UPS has decided to cut back from being a
full-time sponsor, & is switching to Carl. He's probably looking at dropping down to the Nationwide series at best. He says he "want's a competitive ride, wherever it is." Sorry David, these are all pretty much nailed down even in Nationwide.

Red Bull announced that they were going to use those wings, to fly out
of NASCAR. That's two cars gone, one of them would have had an open seat. Jay Fry has been trying to put something together to save the team, but if it hasn't happened by now. I don't expect it to. I'm not privy to any inside information, but I haven't even heard a whisper of anything working for Brian Vickers. If he did have any nibbles, Martinsville can't have helped his case.

Another scary aspect to this is that deserving Nationwide drivers like
Justin Allgaier, Brian Scott, Ricky Stenhouse, as well as Trevor Bayne,
have no place to go.

It wasn't long ago that Roush had to cut a team, because of the 4 care
rule. Now they will be down to 3. One of them unsponsored, as of now.
Childress from 4 to 3. Red Bull from 2 to gone.

Look out NASCAR, check out that guy behind you. He has real long fingernails, is wearing a hockey mask, & carrying a chainsaw.

This can't bode too well for you long term.


You can contact Dawg HERE


Sunday, November 20, 2011

Homestead Press Conference Transcript

For those of you who missed Faux King Brian’s Homestead press conference, here are the official transcripts regarding the press conference. You’ll notice that instead of getting to pat himself on the back for the poor job he’s done this season, he spends a good chunk of his time being questioned about the Double Secret Probation Fines that have been issued and does a poor job of defending the the Double Secret Probation Fines. One little fib. he states there has been nothing in place to punish people saying bad things about NA$CAR. There has been something in place since the days of his grandfather Bill France Sr. It's called "blackballing" somebody. More recently, when KuBu made some comments about the officials when he was driving the #97 car, his hard card was pulled which meant KuBu had to sign in every time he went to a track. A member of the television media questioned some decisions of NA$CAR and was KuBu's sign-in buddy as his hard card was also pulled.

So put on your hipwaders and have your air sickness bags at the ready.


BRIAN FRANCE: Good afternoon, everyone. I would say a couple of things that I've said before in previous get-togethers with the media. That obviously we think the season has gone very well. TV ratings, attendance, still some issues, depending on what market you're talking about.

Obviously, the economy continues to weigh heavily on the sponsorship component of our sport. We rely more on sponsorships than anybody in sports, so that obviously has an effect on us.

But the quality of racing throughout the year, the emphasis on winning that we keep adjusting to, I think is undeniably it is paying dividends. I would also say one thing about that. There was some wisdom or conventional wisdom some time ago that if you put more on the line, you put more emphasis on winning in Motorsports, that that wouldn't make a big difference because they're all out racing as hard as they can every lap, and it wouldn't make that big of a difference. And that's not true. We now know that's just not true.

When there is more on the line, you're seeing every weekend Tony Stewart and Carl, and everybody elevate and their entire teams are elevating their performance and the competition gets better when that happens. You saw that last year with Denny and Jimmie.

So naturally we're going to continue to look at the point system in a way that -- and the other portions of how we regulate and conduct the events, with an emphasis on just that.

But one more thing as this weekend unfolds, and naturally we're all excited because we're fans too, to watch and see what happens on Sunday. But the other thing that is happening in the marketplace is some really, really good things.

We held a Green Summit for the first time in Miami Beach yesterday. Had a number of companies that are doing some really, really great things in our industry - they're environmentally smart and productive - share their experiences. And we had a lot of new companies that were interested in what NASCAR was up to in the space where their technologies and their emphasis is. So they joined us as well.

My hope is that we'll continue to march down that road and get better and smarter and we'll attract more companies as a result of that.

Then just this morning, we awarded a $250,000 check to the Homestead Hospital in the Neonatal Care Center, trying to invest in the hospital as part of our NASCAR Foundation, and my mother and so on was there to present that.

In addition to an exciting weekend, the industry is really celebrating the fact that they're here in South Florida and doing some great things. So, with that, I'll be happy to take some questions.

Q. Brian, in particular light to your comments about the winning. Eight years ago Matt Kenseth won the championship before the Chase, had one win for the season which seemed to cause an uproar, and thus the Chase format was developed. Carl has an opportunity on Sunday to again win a championship with only one race week win in the entire season. Why should that be looked on any different as what Matt Kenseth did in 203?

BRIAN FRANCE: Because we didn't change the point system because somebody had one win or a few wins. That was never the emphasis. The emphasis was that we could create bigger moments if we had a more playoff style atmosphere as opposed to a complete consistency model in the years past. And we've achieved that goal, not all the time because it's obviously out of our control.

I would tell you the one win that Carl had might make the difference though. He only leads by three points. The one win in Las Vegas may well make the difference tomorrow. I don't know.

Clearly we cannot make winning the only thing. There are 43 teams racing at every weekend. So this is not -- however, we can make sure that we emphasize that. We can make sure that we reward that. And we're pretty happy that that translates into better racing.

Q:Not taking anything away from Jimmie's great accomplishments of five straight there. How much do you think an uptick of interest that there's been to have a new face fighting out for the championship this year?

BRIAN FRANCE: I don't know. But I do know that this will mark the end of one of the historic runs in all of sports with five consecutive championships. I would have never thought I would witness that.

Jimmie it's just a marvelous achievement, and Carl and Tony both are very popular, so they're creating new moments and we'll have to see how it all plays out.

Q. There's been an uptick in the television ratings. I'm wondering is that what you expected? Is that a slow surge to what you think will be more? Is it less than you thought it would be? What are you working on in the off-season that would be your main goals for next year?

BRIAN FRANCE: We've always said that ratings go up and down because of many, many things. The things we can control are showcasing the racing, telling our story, and giving the drivers some big moments to race for. That will help us. You never know how it all percentage- wise what really matters the most.

But we know that that's the NASCAR we want. We want to see these elevated performances, and they're just fun to watch. We want to see what's happened. I'm confident if we do that, and do a lot of other things, we will have better ratings and better attendance.

Q. NASCAR has fined, at least four times that we know of, drivers for disparaging remarks they've made, and NASCAR did not go public with those fines. Other leagues do. They do publicly say you can't talk about the officials. You can't talk about this or the league. Why does NASCAR take the position that these matters should be private and not public? Are there others that we don't know about?

BRIAN FRANCE: There could be. That's why they're private, right? Well, let me tell you what we've done in the last couple of years. In the last couple of years we've taken a position that drivers are going to be able to speak their mind and criticize the sport way more than any other sport would allow. So let's start with that.

However, there have to be some limits. We thought those limits were being exceeded in the last couple of years because you can't denigrate the sport. You just can't do that. We're not going to accept that.

You know what is interesting, almost every driver has come up to me at one time or another and said I'm glad you did that, because I don't like it when somebody just says something that is irresponsible about the sport.

Let me say one other portion of this. They are perfectly fine to criticize anything we do, any call we make. They can say they don't like it, they disagree with it. We didn't make the right call. That's fine. But we're not going to let anyone denigrate the sport, and that's going to continue.

Whether we make the fines public or private, we didn't see a benefit to making them public. If there is some benefit to that, we'll take a look at it. But that is the reasoning behind the penalties.

Q. But don't you think there is harm when it comes out after and fans take the stance of why did they do this in secret? What else are they doing in secret? In fact we're talking about secret fines today instead of your big game seven moment?

BRIAN FRANCE: That's up to you to what to write and be interested about. I can only tell you that I take every question. I never say no comment. I've explained it. If there's a better way -- sort of this idea that there are a bunch of things going on behind the curtain. We've never been more transparent. We've never had more of anything, and that is the way it should be.

If there's a benefit to announcing them to the public and the media, we'll take a look at them. We just didn't see a benefit at the time. Maybe there is a benefit.

Q. How much did the Kyle Busch situation at Texas concern you? How do you balance boys-have-at-it in retaliation with what appears to be a non-definitive line?

BRIAN FRANCE: That's not accurate. It was very concerning to all of us. There was a swift and very is he penalty on that as you know. There is a line and the drivers, and they may walk around and say sometimes that they're not clear about it, but they know the line.

We have these conversations with them all the time. What you've got to remember is this is a contact sport. So you're going to -- we thought a couple years ago that we were overregulating the events. We wanted to give more authority back in the drivers' hands, and that's been good for NASCAR.

But there is always a limit. You can't do anything you want. We will look at it. We talked to the drivers. If they're close to the line, we have a conversation that day. If they go over the line, we'll deal with that too.

So this idea that there is no -- nobody knows where the line is, not true. Not accurate.

Q. Brian, corporations all across the United States have been raising funds for the last years or so while you guys are looking for sponsorships. What is NASCAR doing to get corporate treasurers to open up the purse strings and become sponsors at a time when NASCAR really needs the employment?

BRIAN FRANCE: If the President of the United States is not getting them to do that, I'm not sure what we're going to be able to do to figure that out. But having said that, obviously we just held a green summit. We were doing things that attract new companies, new technology to validate in our sport. We're renewing a lot of companies, and some companies -- and it happens all the time, every year for us, will pull back their sponsorship or commitments or leave all together.

That is just the reality of having hundreds of companies involved in this sport. But we're working harder than ever with the teams and their business groups to tell the NASCAR story and the value that it brings to sponsors. We're having success with that.

I think if you ask the individual team owners, we've never had a more offensive strategy doing it together to bring in as many new companies as possible.

Q. After the test you ran this week in Daytona, what are the goals you're looking for for Daytona in February, and is one of them a virtual complete elimination of the tandem drafting? Is that one of the things you're after?

BRIAN FRANCE: It is one of the things we are after. We would prefer to eliminate tandem racing in the manner it exists today. There is no question about that. We are working on rolling back the clock to traditional Daytona, Talladega races. We'll have to see how that goes. I think the majority of fans would like to see that and so would we.

Q. You mentioned that you answer every question and you don't duck anything. There was a time when your grandfather and your father attended every race. They did these press conferences almost every Saturday or Sunday behind the hauler or whatever. We don't see you very often. We wonder why is it that you think the sport that you're not needed at every weekend or just why are you not around more often for these press deals?

BRIAN FRANCE: I frequently say, and I've said this before, if I thought that I was the last one out of every event and I turn the light off on the way out that that would grow the sport in some way, I would do it.

What we have is a different sport than it was 10, 15 years ago, and that's real clear. I don't publish my schedule, but it's pretty busy. We feel like we're managing the sport. We know we're managing the sport the best way that we need to to grow the sport.

Q. Could there come a time in the future where all the penalties are transparent? That they're all black and white so it can be reported as normal rather than just finding things out on the internet secondhand? Secondly, Bob earlier mentioned the Kyle Busch incident. Can you explain to me other than Brian Vickers' situation last week where he was not under caution as Kyle Busch was with Ron Hornaday at Texas, why Brian Vickers, something wasn't done about him when he, in fact, just came out of nowhere and plowed into Matt Kenseth for no apparent reason other than retaliation?

BRIAN FRANCE: Well, there is something being done about that. We're having a conversation about that, and they are very different circumstances. One was on a mile and a half track, a lot faster. One was under caution, which is very significant different.

Racing accidents under green are always subjective. Even though you may say this one wasn't, but typically there is always a debate about who went where. Ron Hornaday was racing for a championship, and you know we value that greatly.

So there are lots of differences. It doesn't mean though that we didn't think the line was almost met or somewhat close, whereby, we would have a conversation to explain that. We will be having a conversation with both Brian and Matt regarding really what happened in Martinsville the week before, which is a short track.

A lot of contact happened in that particular race. Like I said earlier, there is a line. The drivers know where the line is. If we should be guessing about that for some reason, we're happy to sit down and walk them through it.

Q. Ricky Stenhouse is probably going to win the Nationwide championship tomorrow. The decision NASCAR made to limit drivers to one championship run, has NASCAR gotten what they want out of that or is that policy going to be reviewed at any point?

BRIAN FRANCE: All policies are reviewed, but I think it's worked the way we want it to. We want to showcase the young drivers in their own series and still have the participation with drivers with a lot of experience. That's exactly what we've gotten.
I think it's been good for the young drivers to get some different notoriety. The honor and prestige of winning a championship and the money that comes with that and all the rest has been a good thing.

Q. Going back to the driver fines things. When you say you don't see a benefit to that, can you explain why there is no benefit to that? It would seem like if you're punishing somebody for disparaging the sport, you would want to let people know we're punishing this guy because we don't like what he said. In this room, you're monitoring social media, all the fans want to know more about it and want to understand why. It just feeds to the perception that you're an autocratic regime that doles out punishment in a capricious manner. Why would you not want to tell people here's why we're doing it?

BRIAN FRANCE: Sure. I'll explain it. We went for 50-something years and never had a system to fine anybody for disparaging remarks in the sport. We're the only sport on the planet that had that. So we simply really in the last couple of years changed that policy because we thought we needed to.

. So it's a new policy. It's not something that's been around for a long time. But like I said, we're happy to look at that in the off-season. See what benefit there would be. When it comes to social media, nobody is investing more, doing more, encouraging the drivers and everybody in the industry to participate on social media. Say what you want and all the rest.

So, you know, we ought not look at one policy and try to define how NASCAR approaches things.

Q. What's the primary benefit to not telling people? BRIAN FRANCE: The way we looked at it, what would be the benefit? The drivers know exactly what we're after. We have these annual meetings with them, right? And then we have semi-annual meetings with them, and we meet with them every weekend at the track. We have formal meetings in the off-season.

So they know exactly what we expect out of them. When they don't handle that, the only way we can control that is obviously a fining system. But look, don't panic over this. We'll look at it in the off-season, if we need to change it, we'll change it. Not a big deal.

Q. You mentioned earlier about the Chase format and that you're always adjusting. Is there a good chance that the Chase format will be tweaked yet again for the following season?

BRIAN FRANCE: It's possible. I don't know. We take those ideas throughout the year. We really look at them as carefully as we can. Then what we do is we run them past the team owners and drivers and other -- everybody else in the industry in the off-season before we would do anything, and that's exactly what we did last year going into this year.

We looked at all kinds of things and settled on this as a nice step forward to simplifying the point system. Hopefully getting what we have, which is a more competitive Chase, and we'll look at it again. I don't know where we'll end up.

Q. As far as the Chase goes, it's been a really exciting Chase. As far as when you came up with the idea of the chase and then you tweaked it. Did you expect that kind of result what do you feel about the future?

BRIAN FRANCE: I actually expected more years like this, frankly. I couldn't imagine somebody as incredibly dominating as Jimmie has been in a five-year run, so you have to give him an enormous amount of credit.

But our expectation is that given the balance of things that we have 43 cars at every event and given the nature of auto racing and how it unfolds and some of the traditions that you have to obviously respect, I think the current system and more tweaks will always come and we'll just have to see what they are.

Q. We're here for the first time actually, so we're growing interesting in NASCAR covering, and I would like you to talk about the growing of NASCAR in other countries than the USA, like Brazil with Nelson Piquet and Miguel Paludo?

BRIAN FRANCE: I think it's great. I was in Mexico City Wednesday and Thursday working on that very issue. We've got an Hispanic driver from Mexico running in the truck race this weekend. Our diversity program focusing on that.

So any time we are able to attract a talented driver, Juan Pablo being an example or anyone else, I think that broadens up the sport. Makes us more relevant to whatever home country that they're from, and we view that as a very good thing.

Q. Specifically in terms of what Brad said as far as EFI goes, what was it about that that NASCAR thought crossed the line? It wasn't a case of what Denny did in impugning the integrity of the sanctioning body, but more or less expressing opinion on the technological direction of the sport at that particular point. Could you at least elaborate on that?

BRIAN FRANCE: I can't elaborate on that because we didn't issue a public fine on that. You can read into what people say just like I can. When you cross a line that denigrates the direction of the sport or the quality of the racing, we're not going to accept that. Not going to accept it.

Happy to have any other criticism, any other complaint, happy to hear them all. If I own a restaurant and I say you know what, the food in my restaurant is not very good, we're not going to accept it. It's as simple as that.

Q. In light of that, will you be issuing a secret fine to Jaime Allison of Ford Motor Company for saying almost the exact same thing as Brad Keselowski did this week?

BRIAN FRANCE: Jaime Allison doesn't participate in NASCAR. I mean, he does in his corporate role, but come on.

Q. Sort of following up on that. One of the problems with the EFI, the electronic fuel injection topic, I think is the economy's bad and it's going to be expensive or be another expense. I think that's what Brad was talking about and we've been talking about in here and engine builders have been talking about. It is an extra expense at a bad time. Is it something that could be postponed for another year or so? Does it have to be right now?

BRIAN FRANCE: Well, we announced it several years ago. These are not the things that you can just pull off the shelf and put them back on and off. We have agreements with suppliers that have to be met.

You've got to remember why are we doing that? Because we want to be more relevant to the car manufacturers and other green technologies as well. We always said that we will do that in a balanced way. We're not going to be like some other divisions around the world that are heavily emphasized on that on technology.

But we're going to have to do more than we did in the past. It's not because we feel like doing it or want to put additional costs on anyone, but because they're accepting a lot of money from the car manufacturers, and that's what's under the hood on cars today, and we have to be mindful of that as we make policy.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Cost of Progress, Follow the Money, & Assorted Odds & Ends

NA$CAR EFI Versus Carburetor: The Cost of Progress

Just to give folks an idea on what the costs are of a team converting from a Holley 850 cfm carb to NA$CAR’s obsolete EFI (actually TBI) system, I went to my sources on the cost of the antiquated fuel injection system being passed off as new technology and checked the Holley web site. The carb which is currently being used cost the teams about $600 a piece. The mandated obsolete fuel injection system that NA$CAR is forcing down the teams throats, and only available from NA$CAR, will cost the teams $25,200 each. That’s 42 times what the carb cost. Don’t get me wrong here. NA$CAR “technology” does need to advance to the 21st century. And fuel injection is one of those items. But not obsolete 1980’s technology. Manufacturers are moving towards direct fuel injection systems and turbo charging their engines. And as to the cost, I’m using Holley as an example once again, there are competitive systems built by Holley that come in well under $25,200. They come in well under the $15,000 range. Why aren’t teams given the option to use these systems? If it’s going to save them a buck in these hard economic times, I’m all for it. But then I keep forgetting. If they bought from Holley or another manufacturer, the wallets of NA$CAR wouldn’t be lined with team money like they are from the model car kit they currently sell to the teams (batteries not included). Based on Rick Hendrick’s figure on what the Kit Car cost him and add in the cost of the fuel injection system, the cars cost over $500,000 a piece. A half million dollars. That’s more than a lot of drivers from the 40’s, 50’s, & 60’s made in their entire career. That’s more than what most folks pay for a fully furnished house and two cars and still have lots of money in the bank.
And along these same lines, when was the last time you were able to buy a car or truck with something other than a 5 speed transmission in it? Some manufacturers have 6 speed manual transmissions available in their vehicles. So if NA$CAR really wants to keep up with the times and be technologically savvy, shouldn’t they also make the move to at least a 5 speed transmission?
And why all of the sudden the move to this obsolete fuel injection system anyways? Was it because NA$CAR wanted to be current with their technology? Or is there another reason? In a recent interview, Bad Brad Keselowski stated that the move to the antiquated fuel injection system was little more than a PR move by NA$CAR as a part of their veneer of “going green”. The system doesn’t give the cars better gas mileage. As a matter of fact it’s about the same as the current carburetor that’s being used. Folks were worried that we’d end up having a whole new type of fuel mileage races because of fuel injection. Based on what Brad said it doesn’t appear so. The system that’s being used will give better gas mileage IF you’re driving at 65 mph. It wasn’t really designed for racing. It was designed for street use. So don’t worry about the dreaded gas mileage races because of fuel injection.. I’m sure Brad will get a Double Secret Probation fine for his comments and has probably received several rather nasty phone calls from Mafia Mike about speaking the truth.
And what will the teams be doing with all these carbs they’re going to have to remove? Make paperweights out of them? Sell them as scrap metal? Maybe they can get $25 a pop selling them to another racing series that’s still using carbs. Or you might find them on E-Bay. Or maybe in the classifieds. “Free to a good home. One Holley 850 cfm carb with only 600 miles on it. Treated with kid gloves. Send an SASE to Fred Fumducker PO Box 850 Podunk Center Iowa”. And what about all the test equipment that’s used with the carbs? This whole move is, once again, going to cost the teams a fortune. And it comes at a time when even the mega-teams are hard pressed to find sponsorship much less the back markers. At the rate things are going, NA$CAR might need to change their name to better reflect the cost of ownership to the title of a movie. The Billionaire Boys Club.
Follow the Money 
With the 2012 election season moving closer and closer, the Beach Boy Bubbas are doing there usual with political donations. Here’s what they’ve managed to dole out so far to try to curry favor with some politicians:
DAYTONA BEACH,FL 32120 NASCAR/MOTORSPORTS 6/6/2011 $10,000 Republican Party of Florida
DAYTONA BEACH,FL 32120 NASCAR/CEO 6/30/2011 $5,000 Democratic Senatorial Campaign Cmte
DAYTONA BEACH,FL 32120 N A S C A R/CHAIRMAN & C E O 6/10/2011 $2,500 National Republican Congressional Cmte
DAYTONA BEACH,FL 32120 NASCAR/C.E.O. 6/30/2011 $1,000 Adams, Sandy
DAYTONA BEACH,FL 32114 INTERNATINAL SPEEDWAY CORP/CHAIRMAN 3/16/2011 $5,000 National Republican Congressional Cmte
DAYTONA BEACH,FL 32120 INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY CORP./AUTO R 3/31/2011 $2,400 Haridopolos, Mike
ORMOND BEACH,FL 32176 NASCAR/PRESIDENT 7/5/2011 $5,000 Democratic Senatorial Campaign Cmte
ORMOND BEACH,FL 32176 NASCAR/C.O.O. 6/30/2011 $1,000 Adams, Sandy
ORMOND BEACH,FL 32176 NASCAR/EXECUTIVE 6/6/2011 $500 Republican Party of Florida
DAYTONA BEACH,FL 32114 INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY/EXECUTIVE 6/6/2011 $10,000 Republican Party of Florida
DAYTONA BEACH,FL 32114 INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY CORPORATION/ 8/31/2011 $5,000 Democratic Senatorial Campaign Cmte
DAYTONA BEACH,FL 32118 INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY CORP./PRESID 3/23/2011 $2,500 National Republican Congressional Cmte
These are the ones I’ve been able to find so far. I’m sure there are probably others that the Federal Election Committee haven’t published yet.
BTW, Faux King Brian’s donations were made from Florida where he is a registered voter and not North Carolina where he is supposedly a resident. Funny, in order to vote in Florida you have to be a resident. I guess Judge Mullen was wrong. So far this year, NA$CAR has spent $70,000 in lobbying money as a part of the Recreation/Live Entertainment Industry. Jordan Jiloty is their lobbyist.
Phoenix Race Coverage 
If you can call it that. The lamestream media is touting the 3.3 rating for what was supposed to be the Cup race at Phoenix. That doesn’t even come close to the 4.7 rating back in 2006. And it sure is awfully strange how Red Bull Racing got so much coverage throughout the race. About the only time we’ve really seen them this season has been when Vickers has managed to wreck or Kahne was able to get into the Top 10. It’s just a coincidence that the team still hasn’t been sold and NA$CAR would be down 2 more full time cars on the track if the team completely folds up because no buyer is found. NA$CAR would never act as an agent to help get that team sold because their owners in Japan want it to happen (sarcasm).
And BSPN didn’t go out of there way to avoid showing the aluminum in the grandstands. Despite having removed a section of grandstand, they still couldn’t pack them in even though PIR touted the race as being a sell out.
GM Confusion
When NA$CAR asked GM about running the Camaro in the Busch series, GM said no because they didn’t want their car associated with the generic design of the current race vehicle. And yet GM has introduced a generic bodied Corvette for racing in the NA$CAR Grand Am Series. So could GM please explain why they aren’t running the Camaro in the Busch Series again, please?
Don’t Drink the Kool Aid 
It’s taken at least 3 changes to the Chase for the Chumps, numerous “tweaks”, race manipulation, and a new points system in order to create something akin to excitement with the 10 race play-off system. Alan Kulwicki and Bill Elliott on the other hand created real excitement during a 36 race season coming down to the final race where leading the most laps in the very last race of the season created a championship win. So the 5 lb spider monkey in the room that is NA$CAR and it’s controlled media will be beating their chests long and hard before, during, and after the Homestead race about how exciting the season has been while ignoring the 300 lb gorilla in the room that is the fans’ dissatisfaction with the whole mess that Faux King Brian has created.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Loose Lugnuts by Mike Sanders

***Race Mama should be back from the old country and back running the normal articles at next week. I want to thank Dawg Chapman and Mike Sanders for allowing me to post their articles here at the Laidback Lounge***

Short track racing is supposed to be about bumpin' and beatin' and bangin', trying to squeeze your car into a tight spot to gain that next position on the track. But I do believe that The Sheriff took that to a new level at Martinsville a couple of weeks ago. He sure didn't act like a driver who is supposed to be out of a job at the end of the year, and should be using the last few races as an audition for a ride in 2012. He acted like a graduate of the Steven Wallace School of Driving, as he managed to take out about half of the field by himself. Maybe he has a relative that owns a sheet metal manufacturing plant, and wanted to drum up a little business.

Transcript Of The Secret Moustache/Cheating Weasel Tapes
Apparently, Nixon wasn't the only one who secretly recorded conversations in his office. I guess that Moustache Helton does it, too. The following is a transcript of the conversation he had with Cheating Weasel after C.W.'s pre-race orders to Bent Sh!tcan at Talladega, where he told him to intentionally smash in the rear of the car if he won the race, thereby removing any evidence of the cheating...err, extra preparations C.W. had made to the 48 car:

C.W.: Good morning, Mr. Helton.
M.H.: Good morning, Chad. Now about your conversation with Jimmie before the race at Talladega...
C.W.: Excuse me please, Mr. Helton, but before we get started I'd like to present to you a gift from Mr. Hendrick. It is a donation to Mr. France's liquor fund...err, favorite charity. And I also have a gift for you, too. Mr. Hendrick doesn't forget his friends.
M.H.: My goodness, that's very generous of Rick. Very generous, indeed. Umm...what were we talking about?
C.W.: About my talk with Jimmie before the Talladega race.
M.H.: Oh yes. You do realize that we cannot allow the integrity of the sport to be questioned or doubted. I'll have to ask you some very
         tough questions to make sure everything is on the up and up.
C.W.: Of course.
M.H.: Okay then...what's your favorite color?
C.W.: Green
M.H.: Good answer. Well then, I think we're done here. I hope you've learned your lesson.
C.W.: Why yes, I have.
M.H.: Alright then. Have a good day and tell your boss thanks for the generous gifts.
C.W.: I will, sir.

Shrub: NASCAR's T.O.?
Terrell Owens is a very talented NFL wide receiver, probably a future Hall of Famer. But he has bounced around from team to team because for all of his talent on the field, he is a cancer in the locker room. Teams put up with his crap for just so long, and then figure they have to cut ties with him. Shrub may be NASCAR's version of Terrell Owens. He undoubtedly has talent, but along with his million dollar talent he has a two dollar brain. Sometimes he really comes across as someone whose emotional development stopped at the age of eight. He still thinks he's playing with toys, except these toys are bigger, faster, more expensive, and a lot more dangerous then the ones he played with as a child. Eventually, his negatives override his positives, and it becomes time for his boss to let him go. The Felon probably could have kept him in his stable of drivers, but chose to let him go. You wonder how long it will be before The Coach, feeling a lot of heat from the 18 car's primary sponsor, cuts him loose as well. If that happens, then what? Maybe instead of starting his own Danica Series team, he'd be better off starting his own Cup team, because he might be the only owner who would want him as a driver. Sponsors are calling the shots more and more in NASCAR these days, and Shrub might be looking for a ride next year.

Weapons-Grade Stupidity
A certain writer for a certain web site that is associated with a certain four-letter sports network, who has a D.W.-sized man crush on Shrub, while writing about the incident that precipitated Shrub sitting out the Danica and Cup races at Texas last week, described Ron Hornaday, Jr. as a "journeyman" driver. Journeyman? JOURNEYMAN?!? To me, the term is used to describe an athlete who either has a minimum of talent, enough to barely keep a job, or someone who bounces from team to team. Well, that's about the LAST term I'd use to describe Ron Hornaday. Let's see: the all-time leader in Truck Series wins with 51 (including 4 this year), a four-time Truck Series Champion, and in the top five in points in 9 of his 14 years. Nope, talent isn't a question. Maybe he hops around from team to team, like some drivers. Let's see: 122 races with DEI and 174 for Kevin Harvick. 296 of his 299 races split between two teams, one of which is already defunct, and the other one that is about to become defunct. Nope, he's not a hopper. Damn "fatman", if you had bothered to do five minutes of research, you wouldn't be calling Hornaday a journeyman.

You can contact Mike Sanders here

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Sensationalism, North Wilkesboro Rumor, Shrubbery Pruned, and Other Things

Sensationalism versus Competent Journalism
With the recent arrest and indictment of Jeremy Mayfield, a number of supposed news sites and racing web sites have been making some rather phenomenal claims regarding the arrest, implying things that aren‘t true, or just plain misreporting or misrepresenting what has happened.
One example is a couple of news sites said that Mayfield was arrested for having illegal designer bath salts. Nowhere on the arrest record, search warrant inventory, or indictment is there any mention of illegal bath salts. Another example was that Mayfield was arrested for sales and possession of marijuana. Unlike these supposed accredited reporters, I did some investigating on the marijuana charge that was reported. It seems that a James Bryant showed up at the Mayfield property well after the search warrant was executed and Mayfield was being booked at the jail. The police searched Mr. Bryant’s vehicle and found a small amount of marijuana, which falls into the category of personal possession not intent to sell, and a marijuana pipe. Mr. Bryant’s marijuana and pipe were confiscated, he was issued a citation, and allowed to leave. Nowhere on the search warrant or inventory is there an amount of marijuana connected to Mayfield which would be considered enough for sales and possession. The only mention of marijuana is connected to Mr. Bryant. But rather than issue a retraction or correction, these sites just let it hang out there.
Some so-called journalist have tried implying that Mayfield is a drug dealer because of his gun collection or that he’s getting ready to incite an armed insurrection or arm a militia group. Mayfield is a gun collector and enjoys doing some plinking and target practice from time to time. While 69 guns might seem like a lot to some folks, it’s nothing compared to some gun collectors I’ve read about who own guns numbering into the hundreds to include fully automatic weapons such as the old Thompson sub-machine gun, the venerable M-2 Browning .50 cal. heavy machine gun, M-3 “grease guns”, Uzi’s, and others. And the guns in Mayfield’s range from antique firearms to current modern day rifles and pistols. Nowhere is there a fully automatic weapon. One site tried implying that the fact that Mayfield has pistols in his gun collection to him being a drug dealer. This is plain and simply an example of yellow journalism at its finest.
Until Mayfield actually goes through the judicial process on this latest debacle, I would suggest that these “wonderful accredited” journalist go back, look at what’s been actually turned up, look at what they’ve written, and either issue retractions or corrections to their mis-statements. I’m not sticking up for Mayfield here, I’m just saying that there’s a lot of sensationalism going on that’s being passed off as competent reporting and it’s bad reporting in an attempt to generate a lot of hits for those web sites.
Shrubbery Penalized 
In what I view as being little more than a slap on the wrist for pushing Ron Hornaday into the outside retaining wall under caution at Texas Motor Speedway last Friday night, NA$CAR fined Shrubbery $50,000 and placed him on probation until Dec. 31. Big whoop. I would’ve went directly with the back-up threat of indefinite suspension. Carl Long's crew chief got fined $200,000 and Long gets docked 200 owner's and driver's points, and both Long and his crew chief were suspended for 12 races (later educed to 8) for a worn out engine in a non-points event. Shrubbery gets fined $50,000, parked one Cup & Busch race, and probation for what amounts to 2 race weekends for what some view as attempted vehicular homicide. Makes perfect sense what NA$CAR did. NOT!
Shrubbery has given his sponsors a big black eye as well as JGR. I won’t say he’s hurt NA$CAR because they’ve tolerated his past antics and relied on Shrubbery to generate headlines for them in an attempt to fill the grandstands and raise TV ratings. Which BTW, hasn’t been very successful.
Fan reaction, as a whole, has been negative. With M&M’s being the most visible sponsor, numerous fans have written and said they’re boycotting their products because of Shrubbery’s continued on-track hijinks. M&M’s pulled Shrubbery’s picture off their web site and issued what I consider to be about a terse a statement as one can expect in these days of political correctness.
Should M&M’s pull their sponsorship on the JGR car, you can rest assured that Shrubbery won’t be driving for JGR. And if they pull their sponsorship on the KBM vehicles, you can bet some of the other sponsors might follow suit.
Back when Tony Stewart pulled some of his acts in the Home Depot car, Home Depot insisted that he attend anger management classes. I think this is the minimum M&M’s should do should they not pull their sponsorship. Whatever actions JGR takes above and beyond that is up to the team owners.
Manufacturer’s Championship 
Chevy won the Cup & Truck Series manufacturer’s championships and Ford just wrapped up the manufacturer’s championship for the Busch Series. Shut out is the big T from Japan. However, as a consolation prize, since everyone‘s a winner in NA$CAR, they get to be the pace car for the Daytona 500.
North Wilkesboro Speedway 
I’ve been asked several questions about North Wilkesboro and here’s what I know. The company that was running the track folded up its tents and went home. There’s no sign of them to be found anywhere. Apparently, Steve O’Donnell, NA$CAR’s VP for Racing Operations and the man who swore NA$CAR was sports entertainment, has been talking to someone about the track and the possibilities of it maybe returning to the schedule after certain repairs and renovations are made. Whether or not O’Donnell will confirm this remains to be seen and I doubt you’ll get Bruton to fess up either. My take is that IF North Wilkesboro does come back, it’ll be for one of the lower tier NA$CAR series like the Whelen Modified Series and at best, maybe a Truck or Busch Series race despite fans demands for more short track races on the Cup schedule.
Here’s some trivia about North Wilkesboro Speedway. When NA$CAR was first looking into the SAFER walls, some of the test were conducted at North Wilkesboro Speedway and proof of it can still be found on one of the front stretch retaining walls.
Phoenix Rain-Out? 
Based on some current weather forecasts, there’s a possibility that the Phoenix race could get rained out. Should the rain continue until Thursday, the race would have to be rescheduled and run after the Homestead race making it, rather than Homestead, the season finale. Wouldn’t that just rain on Faux King Brian’s parade?
Veteran’s Day 
On Friday, November 11th, a number of companies are offering a variety of discounts and free meals to our active duty, retired, and military veterans as a way of showing their appreciation for those who are serving or have served our country. Here’s a link to a web site showing a lot of these offers:

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Shrub & His Bush League Move‏ - by Dawg Chapman

By now everyone knows all about Shrub having stepped in it once again.
Maybe stepped in it is a little mild. It's more like dived in head first, &
wallowed in it.

After reflecting on it, he issued a very sincere, & contrite sounding statement. Of course he did, after all, practice makes perfect, & we know he's had plenty of practice at being sincere, & contrite. After the fact.

The statement he gave after the mugging was way closer to the real Kyle
Bush. "I brushed the wall, but my truck was hurt where I don't think we could have
won." Kyle went on to say that Hornaday could see that they were going to be
three wide, & should have backed off. It would seem to me that Kyle could
also have seen the same thing, & as the truck behind as well as the one on
the outside. He was the one more in position to back off.

What I heard from this defiant self-serving statement was Me, Me, Me, It's
All About Me. He then went on to ask, Who's going to fix my truck, after it wrecked the first time? I found this pretty laughable, as neither truck sustained much
damage before he wantonly, & willfully destroyed both trucks.

So much for the so called, "new" Busch. He's once again shown us the real person, hiding behind the attempt to polish his image.
He again proved to be petulant, egotistical, & totally self-centered, with a huge sense of entitlement.This is not the first instance of him going down to another series, & wrecking someone on purpose who's running for points.

The first statement that Kyle gave with no hint of apology, & trying to
shift the blame to Ron Hornaday was Kyle trying to justify something that
was, & is totally unjustifiable.

The second one with apologies all around, was most probably written by some
PR guy, trying to do damage control. After everyone from NASCAR, to his
sponsor had weighed in.

I now see that NASCAR has levied a fine, on top of the suspension.
Nice to see them finally grow a set, & do what they were supposed to
have been doing all along.

Joe Gibbs issued a statement saying in essence, that they were weighing
their options. Coach really doesn't have a very enviable record of dealing with problem behavior within the organization. I would guess what that really means is
that he's got his finger in the wind.

There's no doubt that this whole sorry deal has been a huge embarrassment
for NASCAR, Gibbs, Toyota, & Mars. It would seem to be primarily up to Mars what happens now.

Some have suggested that Kyle should be parked for the rest of the season.
I think we all know that's not going to happen.

What I think really needs to happen is for Shrub to grow up.
He seems to be way behind the maturity curve, & quite frankly,
I don't have a clue what it's going to take, for him to catch up.

But, I've said this before, & I'll say it again.
Shrub just doesn't seem to me to be the ideal candy salesman.

Matt Kenseth on the other hand, could still get them their TV
time. Without the controversy, Hmmm.

You can contact Dawg  here

Monday, November 7, 2011

Marketing, Poor Taste & Other Stuff

Who’s the Marketable Chump Going to Be?
Looking at the current points standings and who’s actually got a shot at being this year’s chumpion, who is the most marketable? Cousin/Crazy Carl with his big toothy grin, his “aw shucks” demeanor, and his time with the BSPN Booth Buffoons definitely makes him marketable. His Roush teammate, Matt Kenseth on the other hand isn’t that marketable as Faux King Brian and his band of mental midgets found out when Matt won the last real Cup championship. Bad Brad is an articulate kid with an expensive smile but he doesn’t have the name recognition that Cousin/Crazy Carl does outside of his supposedly continuing bad blood with Cousin/Crazy Carl. That’s a key point in marketing. Name recognition. Tony Stewart’s got name recognition but between the changes in his expanding and contracting girth, some whining the last couple of seasons, and not being marketed the way he was when he was at JGR, he might be a little more difficult to market. Mr Happy isn’t so happy this season despite KHI performing well. The commercials he was in for his previous sponsor showed he can do commercials but was it enough to get more folks to buy their product? Not that I can find. He does have some name recognition but not enough to really make him a highly marketable chump. Neither Busch brother is that marketable. Despite both being in commercials, their on-track antics and comments don’t exactly endear them to many folks outside of their fan base. Some race fans have written their sponsors to let them know they will no longer use/buy their products because of their attitude, antics, and comments. And after the elder Busch became the first chump in the Chase for the Chumps, Faux King Brian and company found out that the elder Busch wasn’t very marketable at all. Normally NA$CAR cranks out a lot of PR, pounds their chest, and does more than the usual late night show appearances. With the elder Busch, it was like he didn’t exist. Folks are tired of Jimmie Johnson. And his chances of being a 6 time chump have all but evaporated. And as Faux King Brian has found out, JJ has become less and less marketable after each chumpionship he’s won even though he’s got name recognition. It’s like the Head-On commercial. Folks get tired of the repetition. Plus it doesn’t help to have the likes of the Focks Sports and BSPN Booth Buffoons yammering on and on time and again about “ole 5 time”. That’s probably been a big detriment to him despite being on the cover of Sports Illustrated. As the rest of the drivers in the points standing don’t have a snowballs chance of winning, I’m not going to address them.
I’m not slamming these guys. Just pointing out their marketability. So it comes down to Cousin/Crazy Carl being the most marketable of the bunch should he be this years chumpion. I know some folks won’t be happy about that. And should his Roush teammate be this years chump, the folks in NA$CAR’s marketing conglomerate will be sweating bullets and having nightmares on how they can market him. For me, from a marketing standpoint, the perfect 2011 chump would be Matt simply because of the headaches it’s going to cause the Ivory Tower gang.
Poor Taste Department 
DuPont has been running some commercials on radio recently with two supposedly fictional characters named “Fireball” and “Hardhead”. In the background, you can hear Indy cars running. The first time these ads were heard, from what I can find out, was the day after Dan Wheldon’s fiery crash and death. Not to mention Fireball Roberts, who’s death was caused by a fiery crash at Charlotte Motor Speedway back in 1964, and Iron Head, aka Dale Sr, whose death I don’t need to go into.
You’ve Got to Wonder 
IndyCar, F-1, and the FIA world sanctioning body are all looking at what could’ve cause Dan Wheldon’s death and what can be done to prevent something like that happening again. And yet outside of some Cup drivers making some donations to the Wheldon fundraising auction and some comments about his loss, we see absolutely nothing out of NA$CAR saying there are things that could be learned or offering up any sort of assistance in analyzing the wreck data or helping to improve the design of the DW 12 car which is currently undergoing testing. While the rest of the world’s racing community has come together to prevent something like Wheldon’s wreck from happening again, NA$CAR remains aloof.
Point To Ponder 
By now most folks are aware that OOPS, currently on David Regan’s car, is going to be an “official sponsor” of NA$CAR and an associate sponsor on Cousin/Crazy Carl’s car. What happens when somebody becomes an “official sponsor/product/service provider” of NA$CAR, like with Badyear, Splint, or Sumoco? It means there’s usually an “exclusivity deal” that goes along with it. And what happens when there’s an exclusivity deal? It means that businesses in that same field cannot sponsor a car unless they’re “grandfathered”, the way AT&T & Alltel were in the past. So, if OOPS is the official delivery provider of NA$CAR, that means that Fed-Up isn’t, which means that Fed-Up will be grandfathered until their contract with JGR runs out, which means once their contract runs out there will be one less team sponsor which in turn will mean one less team if what’s happening to Roush and what happened to Robby Gordon with Motorola is an indication.
From Deep in the Heart of Texas 
This is from my old racing buddy Dave from down in the Dallas area:
TMS is touting a "4 Pack" for this week's race. For one price you get all 4 events. What's that you say? There's only 3 races? As far as they are concerned, Thursday's practice and Truck Qualifying is an official "event". Ignore the fact that there are coupons in the paper for free admission to Thursday's "event". Anyway, the "4 Pack" is $121.00. This gets you a row 1 - 10 seat for the events. Oh. You don't want to sit behind the concrete wall and see nothing? Then the "4 Pack" is $176.00 for rows 11 - 20. They have plenty of them, they said. (No kidding.) And one more thing. This package is considered a "mini season ticket" (that's what they said on the phone - with a straight face too), so........there is a $15 fee added. The fee is added whether you buy the ticket on the phone or at the box office. Nice, eh?
Oh, and one more thing. All the ticket prices were raised this week. The cheap seats went up $5.00 (for the Truck and Nationwide races) and more (they wouldn't say how much for the Cup tickets) for the rest. Hey, if you can't sell them at regular price - raise it the week of the event, right? There are $10 off coupons for the Truck race, which are buried in the Metro section of the Sunday Dallas Morning News with no heading, no nothing. Just two coupons on the bottom of the page. The speedway couldn't tell me if there were coupons as no one there had actually seen one, and no one knew anything about them.
And they wonder why the place isn't full??????
Tell me again why the media keeps telling me Eddie Gossage is a marketing genius?
Real Stock Car Racing Coming to Sears Point 
In 2012, the FIA World Touring Championship will be racing at Sears Point. The series involves real cars with real bodies and real fenders and bodies that are easily identifiable to a specific make. They’ll be running 2 thirty minute races which means you’ll be seeing short track action on a road course. Bumping, banging, and fenders rubbing. Whether or not it’ll be shown here is a different matter. It’s going to be carried on Eurovision. I know in the past Speed TV has carried some Eurovision broadcasts related to racing so maybe we’ll get lucky and be able to see some stock looking cars racing each other just like the Aussie V-8 Series. What a concept. Stock cars racing each other. Oh wait. Isn’t that what the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing is supposed to be? Stock car racing?
Don’t Be Fooled 
Despite all the “happy happy joy joy” things being written about the ratings being up, they’re still down by 5+ million viewers since 2008. Step back from the Kool Aid boys & girls and quit using the “1984” Doublespeak Dictionary to make things look better than they truly are.
Around the Web 
After the Martinsville race, I went to a number of web sites and read comments regarding the race at Martinsville. Overall fan feel for the race was, “Why aren’t there more races like Martinsville?”. They enjoyed the beating and banging that went on. Well, it comes down to a very simple reason. Faux King Brian has all but eliminated the short tracks and the unique designed tracks which gave us a lot of exciting racing in favor of his much ballyhooed and beloved 1.5 mile cookie cutter tracks. Darlington got cut back to one race. Rockingham was dropped off the schedule altogether. The formerly much beloved Bristol was turned into a shadow of it’s former self when it was reconfigured because the drivers, not racers, complained that they couldn’t race there because they had to beat and bang on each other to actually get ahead a position. In other words do some bare knuckle racing.
But not all the blame should be levied against Faux King Brian. A lot of the blame can also be placed on his dad and his grandfather when Winston and the networks showed up. Tracks like Columbia, Occoneechee, Hickory, Nashville Fairgrounds, and Bowman-Gray were dropped from the schedule. Short tracks with a lot of action. But because they were either dirt or didn’t have the amenities that Winston and the networks wanted, they got dropped.
Where Are Your Tax Dollars Going? 
If this isn’t enough to make you want to call or write your congressmen I don’t know what will:

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

NASCAR Took A Wrong Turn‏ by John "Dawg" Chapman

*As Race Mama is currently visiting the old country, I'm running the normal articles here on my blog - Mad Mikie* 
If you read my last article on Talladega, then you know I thought the racing sucked.
Well Martinsville was another story. Depending on who you root for, & how things turned out for them. I'm sure that a lot of fans were disappointed with the outcome. That having been said, I really don't see how anyone  didn't enjoy the race itself.
Guys, & Gals, this was the kind of racing that NASCAR was built on.
Last week, when I was ragging on Talladega, & the kind of racing that the Chase has produced so far. I said that the Chase needed tracks that had the potential to produce barn burners. Well call the Fire Department, this race was a five alarm Burn Burner.
Martinsville, coupled with the intensity of the Chase, produced a race that was a throwback to the days that we all say we want to see again. This thing kind of turned into Brian Vickers, vs. the field.
We had Junior looking racy as hell. He didn't win, or even really threaten to, but he was in there digging, & we haven't seen that for a while. We saw Matt lose his temper, lots of fans didn't even know he had one. Some  good runs, turned out badly, some gambles paid off, some didn't.
I consider myself a fairly sophisticated race fan. I don't watch to see wrecks, but I do enjoy good hard nosed, take no prisoners racing. I didn't see any of this "after you, no after you, want to lead a lap, come on," type racing.
But, & as Pee Wee Herman (not to be confused with Kyle Busch, who just looks like him) says, "everyone's got a big but." but I digress.
My but, is that the rare race like this, only makes what we normally see on the cookie cutter heavy schedule look worse. If this one was meat, & potatoes, then most of what NASCAR is serving up is cold oatmeal, without cream, sugar, or blueberries.
It's fashionable to blame all of NASCAR's troubles on Brian, & I've been known to lay a little on him, from time to time myself. This one's  primarily on his Dad.
It's kind of hard for a Sport that only turns left, (with two notable exceptions) to take a wrong turn, but they did. In short NASCAR, in the '90s under Bill France's leadership, took a wrong turn by deciding that Short Tracks, the tracks that built NASCAR, for the most part. Had outlived their usefulness. NASCAR had outgrown them. This is when it stopped being about the racing, & became about the money. In other words it's when NASCAR, became NA$CAR.
In those days people were still building tracks, in hopes of getting a NASCAR Cup date. Once Bill let it be known that NASCAR, at least at the Cup level, didn't want Short Tracks, no more were built.
Someone could have built another Bristol, but once the word was out, the Cookie Cutter came out, & we got Texas, Chicago, Kansas, Kentucky, Las Vegas.
With Bills blessing, in '96 North Wilkesboro, a 5/8 mile track that had hosted NASCAR races since 1949 was sold off, & pulled apart like a Thanksgiving Turkey. Bruton Smith, & Bob Bahre, picked the bones. Sending one race to Texas, the other to New Hampshire.
In 2003 when Brian took the helm, he continued full speed ahead in the direction that NASCAR was headed. NASCAR tried to shovel dirt on their very first Super Speedway. Darlington had been holding races since 1950. With it's peculiar egg shape it was, & is, one of a kind. It's Labor Day Southern 500  was second only to the Daytona 500. The Southern 500 date was sent to California to give them a second date.
They then saddled Darlington with the Mothers Day date. A date previously open, & considered a date doomed to fail. It's a credit to the fans that this date has been successful, & we've been spared another boring Cookie Cutter race.
In 2004 NASCAR kicked Rockingham Motor Speedway to the curb. They sent one of it's dates to Fontana. Then sold the track to Bruton, to give him a second date for Texas.
Andy Hillenburg currently owns The Rock, & is putting in soft walls. The track should be ready once again to host a Cup date, but I seriously doubt that pride would ever allow this to happen.
To my knowledge, California has never held a decent race, & when NASCAR needed a second date for Kansas, California was elected. So a date that came from either The Rock, or Darlington, went from one boring track to another boring track. But a boring track with a Casino, this move might help the bottom line but the racing still sucks.
The Rock is still without a Cup date. Darlington still doesn't have it's Labor Day date back. After a brave, but underfunded effort, weeds are once again growing in North Wilkesboro. The racing still mostly sucks. Except for that rare shining example like we just witnessed.
I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did.
You can contact Dawg at: