Curtis Turner for 2016 HOF

Curtis Turner for 2016 HOF

Friday, February 3, 2012

Z-Line Gone?, Ward Returning, Awesome Bill, & Some Other Things

Z-Line Gone?
It appears that Shrubbery’s attempted homicide of Ron Hornaday at Texas Motor Speedway angered Z-Line Designs to the point that they’ve pulled the racing sponsorship across the board. Not just in NA$CAR but also IndyCar. I guess this is sponsorship “black eye” goes rather well with the sunglasses sponsorship.
Magical Media Tour

Once again, the Magical Media Tour took place and we had pretty much a rehash of last season all the way down to Faux King Brian’s “State of Racer-tainment” speech. The lamestream media was quick to take the team and NA$CAR PR sheets, reword them, and sing the praises of the infinite wisdom of Faux King Brian. Same thing as last year.
One of the things that came out during His Majesty’s speech was that there won’t be any more secret fines. Gee, do you think that maybe this is an effort to try to remove the 50 feet of tarnish on NA$CAR’s reputation? Faux King Brian said that you can’t denigrate NA$CAR but you can express your opinions about other things. So I guess it’s now OK to call Faux King Brian a bungling incompetent, Helton a over-bearing bully, & the rest of NA$CAR’s leadership & officials whatever you feel like just so long as you don’t denigrate NA$CAR itself.
"Now, having said that, you can be critical of things you don't think we're doing well, in particular a race call. You can say, 'I don't think I was speeding; I disagree with that.' We understand that. It's when you go after the integrity of the sport is where we will step in, and they will be public." 

So I guess when a driver complains about the numerous on-track appearances of Ms Terry DeBris, they’re getting into a gray area. They can say they think the appearances by Ms Terry DeBris are a major inconvenience but they can’t say the timing on them sure is funny because they always seem to come out when one of the Chosen Ones is about to get lapped.
Much Ado About Nothing

NA$CAR and the Kool Aid drinking media all seem to be going gaga over the 2013 NA$CAR model Fusion that Ford’s rolling out. While the nose looks a little more like the car it’s based off of, you can still see the Camry of Today (COT) bodylines in it. Of course, the one issue that wasn’t addressed by the media is a major problem of the Camry of Today. The mechanical issues. Things like all the mandated, sole-sourced parts and the inability of the vehicle itself to turn. Whatever happened the test results from the different tire, suspension, and steering set-ups that were done? Are we going to see a vehicle which will actually be able to turn or will it still be the same non-turning piece of junk we’ve seen before that drivers have complained about til they‘re blue in the face?
Happy With TV Contracts

It seems that Faux King Brian is oblivious to the complaints of the fans and the networks regarding the race coverage:
"We really like our current partners," he said. "My expectation is they want to renew their involvement with NASCAR, and my hope is at the right time we'll figure that out together. If it happens early, it's possible, or it might not. We're having conversations." 

The networks have been complaining for years that they’re losing money because they’re unable to sell on-air advertising time. Privately, some TV & media people are tired of NA$CAR dictating what will and won’t be covered and actually want to give the fans at home a better product. The fans have been complaining about the poor coverage and commentary that the networks provide along with interrupting the commercials for a lap or two of racing before having more commercials rammed down their throats. Just so long as Faux King Brian’s piggy bank is getting full, everything is OK.

I’ve got a feeling the Ivory Tower Gang in Daytona is going to be in for a real surprise when the networks are only willing to pony up 20-25% of what they did last time around using the same excuse Faux King Brian has been using as to why the grandstands aren‘t full and the TV ratings are scraping the bottom of the barrel. The poor economy.
Ward Burton Returning

Fellow Virginian Ward Burton is returning to the track and bringing his son Jeb with him. While the primary emphasis will be on Jeb racing in the Truck Series, if I read Ward correctly, if the sponsorship is there, we could see both him and Jeb racing against each other. I think the last father-son team to race against each other were the Earnhardts on the Cup side of things. So it could be interesting to see how well Ward & Jeb get along on the track racing each other.
Of course, with Ward’s return, Faux King Brian will have to get his translator out of retirement so he can understand what Ward is saying. The last time Ward said something that Faux King Brian took any interest in, it took over two weeks for him to figure out just what Ward had said. And Ward was 100% right. “That dog don’t hunt”.
Awesome Bill’s Return Raises Questions

Even though Bill Elliott appears to have a one shot deal for a July race, folks are raising questions about Slick Rick owning or fielding the car. Slick Rick has given an official explanation. He doesn’t own the car. So, it’s not a 5th Hendrick car. It’s another satellite team like SHR.
But if you delve a little further into the rules, a team could theoretically field a 5th car for a limited number of races. Such as putting a development driver behind the wheel for less than 7 races which wouldn’t jeopardize the driver’s rookie status. Or, for the non-points events, like when a driver leaves a team but is eligible to drive in the non-points events. The owner of the team the driver left from could field a car for that driver. For example, Mark Martin could drive in a non-points event for HMS providing he meets the eligibility requirements and Slick Rick is willing to field a car for him. Actually, field a car for Kasey Kahne so Mark could drive the #5 car again for the non-points event since Mark would‘ve theoretically been eligible as the driver of the #5 car.
Odds of this actually happening? Slim to none and Slim done left town.

VW Shooting for #1 Globally?

According to VW’s VP for Racing, VW has applied to be an engine supplier in F-1. If this is approved, it will have a global impact on VW’s sales as F-1 is a global racing entity, unlike NA$CAR which is confined to North America. Considering all the bad PR and recalls that have come from Japan the last few years, VW stands a very good chance of becoming the #1 manufacturer in the world. One question that remains unanswered is which VW entity will carry the VW on the engines? Will it be VW itself, Audi, or Porsche?
Austin Dillon in the #3 Cup Car?

Apparently there’s a rumor going around about Austin Dillon driving a car with the #3 on it in a Cup race and it has some folks foaming at the mouth. They seem to be under the misguided notion that Richard Childress owns the #3. He doesn’t own the #3. NASCAR owns the #3. Along with all the other numbers used by every single competitor. What Childress owns is the stylized #3 that was used on Dale Sr.‘s car. He holds the copyrights on it. So if he should field a car with the #3 on it, that’s his prerogative as the team owner as long as it‘s “blessed” by the Ivory Tower Gang. He could also use the stylized #3 that he has the copyrights on or he could use another font style for the #3 if he wants to.
Get Rid of the Top 35

Folks have been saying since its’ implementation that they Top 35 needs to go and we have even more proof of it this year than ever. It seems that Tony Stewart has bought the points for the #36 car of Tommy Baldwin Racing to make sure that the Queen of Hype is in the Daytona 500. And he’s also doing a deal similar to what was done at JR Motorsports to keep the QoH’s car in the Top 35 by having Roto-Reutimann filling the seats while she’s busy having temper tantrums and hissy fits because drivers are racing her too hard in the Busch Series.
By eliminating the Top 35, it would mean drivers would have top qualify each and every week except for a rain out during qualifying. If you make it great, if not, better luck next week. This would actually create competition, which is supposedly what Faux King Brian says is needed to get fans interest. We wouldn’t have teams sandbagging during qualifying and practice. They’d actually have to find the right set ups for qualifying and racing. Then they’d have to drive WFO during qualifying to make sure they got into the race.
But I keep forgetting. This actually makes sense and since it does make sense, it would immediately be disapproved by Faux King Brian and the Ivory Tower Gang in Daytona.


  1. I never looked into the #50 Wal Mart deal like that, good eye! It just doesn't make sense Wal Mart would make their long-anticipated enterance into the sport with a team that has 0 Cup starts, Turner Motorsports. It's just a different cover to the same organization that already controls 25% of the sport.

    Mike, remember the rant you posted a few years ago when you noticed the balance of teams shifting and the move torwards franchising? It really seems to be coming true today. DW praised the Danica points deal as a form of franchising and good for all parties. I just have to rant...

    The sport has been centralizing rapidly for a decade. There are really 4 major teams running the sport today: Hendrick, Roush, Childress, & Gibbs. You could call Penske a fifth major team, but they just moved to Chevy in Indy Car and took on Mr. Keselowski as a loan from Hendrick a few years ago. Once Dodge gives up, the Hendrick connections are already set. The COT 'kit car' helped speed this along. The five kit cars available match the five engines: Earnhardt-Childress, Roush-Yates, Hendrick, TRD, & Penske.

    Every other team in the sport is in satellite mode or hand-me-down mode except Earnhardt-Ganassi & Michael Waltrip, the last middle tier teams in the sport.

    With this structure it's impossible for someone that is not an investor to come in independent and run competitively. Furniture Row Racing was a big struggle for multiple years running on the owner's business $, hurt by the top 35 rule until their RCR 'technical support' started. The RCR umbrella package kit car, engine & top-35 points position deal in 2010 bought Furniture Row the success they could not find racing under those rules in that environment. Furniture Row's profits keep the RCR technology coming. All they need to do is add the stickers. The Danica deal is the similar. $ > racing. She didn't earn the points, and Tommy Baldwin is now under an umbrella. The system is still broken, I can't blame Robby Gordon for pretty much giving up.

  2. One thing that makes me wonder about Penske's move to Chevy in IndyCar is will it affect what happens with his NASCAR operation at the end of this season as Penske's contract with Dodge expires? If Penske does go to Chevy for his Cup & NNS operations, will he field his owns cars and engines or will he be a satellite of another operation? This could really shift the balance of power. I know Penske has had some of his Dodge cars built by another team that he has a technical support agreement with. Newman's last win for Penske was in one of those cars.

    There use to be a certain amount of integrity and sportsmanship involved in NASCAR. You had to earn your ride and pay your dues in order to get a ride with a good team. Now? You don't need talent to land a top quality ride. All you need is sponsorship money. Cale Yarbotough drove some of the biggest pieces of junk on the track until he paid his dues and the Wood Brothers hired him. Then he got a top flight ride. What has Danica done? She sure didn't work her way up through the ranks. Neither have a bunch of her male counterparts. They come in with sponsorship money and a team owner hands them a car. There's no paying their dues. And the lack of common sense and maturity shows.

    Back in the 60's, Holman-Moody reworked just about every Ford on the track and had numerous drivers in their stables. They were sort of a precursor to the current satellite team situation we have today. Sure, the Holman-Moody cars had various car owners on the cars, like Bondy Long for example, but it's no different than how the teams get around the rules today. You want to run more than 4 cars? You set up a satellite team with a front man who's agreeable and you take whatever info you can get from them and give them, if you're nice, info in return. Front Row Motorsports is using old Roush cars but outside of some engine support don't get much else from Roush. RPM gets their cars and engines from Roush but outside of the engines there's not much support there. They can't really be called satellite teams. Robby Gordon gets technical support from Penske but can't really be called a satellite team. Robby builds his owns cars, gets engines and other things from Penske, but that's pretty much it. If he were truly a satellite team, his cars would be in the Top 10-20 every week.

    I had thought that we'd end up with 11 mega-teams, but with the way things are going with satellite teams, we'll have the Hendrick mega-team with it's satellite operations on the top tier and Roush for Ford. RCR will stay a middle tier team along with RPM. MWR and Front Row Motosports will occupy a middle to bottom tier spot. Every other team will be satellite teams of somebody else with the odd exception here and there. So we'll end up having what is basically a franchise operation. I seem to recall DW being against franchising at one point. I guess he goes whichever way the wind is blowing.

    I'll be very curious to see what happens when SHR thinks Danica is ready for a full season in Cup and severs its ties with Baldwin. It'll truly be a sink or swim situation for Danica & Baldwin.

  3. I think that TBR will just be another branch of the HMS tree. Name only in fairly short order.