NASCAR REINSTATES ALLMENDINGER

A.J. Allmendinger was recently reinstated by NASCAR after completing his drug program, which NASCAR calls the “Road to Recovery Program.” In my opinion this may have been a bad decision by NASCAR because it seems like they didn’t take his situation seriously enough. NASCAR should have taken time to more fully examine what was going on in Allmendinger’s life, such as looking into Allmendinger’s history and lifestyle. Originally, two drug tests were conducted by NASCAR and both were positive for an amphetamine, which means he definitely had something in him that wasn’t supposed to be there. Yet, Allmendinger claimed he didn’t know what or how it got in his body. If he got through NASCAR’s program in only a matter of a few months, then he might possibly be more likely to “do” drugs again later in his life. Prior drug use could also lead to drug use in the future even after he is retired from racing. An addict will always be an addict even after they quit using drugs and A.J. Allmendinger is no exception. NASCAR’s drug program is important for all drivers and teams in NASCAR because stock car racing is a dangerous sport and drivers and teams do not need anyone in the sport who is using drugs and racing cars at 150 mph. RA

DODGE LEAVING SPRINT CUP AND NATIONWIDE SERIES IN 2013

After being absent from NASCAR for over a quarter century, Dodge came back to NASCAR in 2001. However Dodge is making this 2012 season its last in both Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series.

Dodge’s departure from the two series leaves only three car manufacturers participating: Ford, Chevrolet, and Toyota. Toyota is, of course, the most recent manufacturer to join NASCAR but was greeted with much controversy from fans because it was the first foreign car manufacturer to be allowed to join NASCAR. With the departure of Dodge, NASCAR now only has two American manufacturers and many fans are wondering if the exit of Dodge leaves a vacancy for a second foreign manufacture to enter.

There is a silver lining to this story since Brad Keselowski, a Dodge driver, is first (as of this entry) in the Chase, and has the opportunity to send Dodge packing with a Sprint Cup Championship. SF

NASCAR Education

There is a negative stereotype that circles the world of NASCAR. It is sometimes hard to get people to break their stubbornness and watch a NASCAR race. I feel that there are still many people who do not have the desire to experience what NASCAR has to offer to the sports world. I recently had a conversation with one of my co-workers. I was discussing with her my enrollment in the Business of NASCAR class and she was stunned but also somewhat bothered by the fact that there is a class offered on NASCAR. The questions she presented were “What is so great about NASCAR that they would go as far as to have a class about it? What is the point? It is a boring thing to watch and is not a sport at all.” To the defense of the sport, I generously shared with her the information obtained from class.

What she learned from our discussion made her think that just maybe there is more to NASCAR then 43 cars driving fast in circles. There is an actual business behind the sport. She seemed to become curious about other aspects of NASCAR, which leads me to the reason of the need for NASCAR education for people that have no knowledge of the sport. I think that not only would that be a great way to grow the interest in the sport, but also the viewership, sponsorships and the overall excitement of the sport itself. I talked to one person and answered her questions and left a positive impression on her; imagine what could happen if everyone had that same opportunity that she had to learn about NASCAR. RP

Danica to the Rescue?

If Jimmie Johnson and Danica Patrick were walking down the street, who would be more recognized? Personally, I have the slightest idea what Jimmie Johnson looks like but I know I could easily point out Danica Patrick in a sea of people. Although her racing accolades pale in comparison to Jimmie Johnson’s, her face is known by millions of non-NASCAR fans worldwide primarily due to her appearances in several television commercials and print advertisements. Why is Patrick so popular? Is it because she is a woman? Is it because she is an attractive woman? Or is it because she has the potential to be one of the most successful drivers in the NASCAR Universe? No matter what the true answer is, executives in the business world have recognized her ability to sell tickets and increase TV viewership and are trying to cash in.

Recently, Danica announced that she will be participating in the 2011 Nationwide series; however, she is only contracted for half of the races. Is this a sign that her team, JR Motorsports, is merely testing the waters or just teasing their male fans? It is unclear how helpful Danica Patrick will be to the sport of NASCAR. Some experts say that she is purely a showboat designed to bring in money and others claim that she is the real deal who is ready to win races and break records. It will be interesting to see how the world reacts to the addition of Danica to the Nationwide races. We can assume she will make money for the sport in the short run; however, NASCAR should be looking ahead to the future and hoping that Patrick will be the gal who wins races and breaks records. While her physical appearance will initially bring in viewers, once her luster wears off only her talent will be able to save her in the end. TD

Great new opportunity for NASCAR and United States

Today I wanted to talk about a great opportunity that NASCAR and the United States are facing today. Recently, NASCAR got another chance to expand internationally. Saudi Arabian Prince Faisal bin Abdulla al-Saud (member of the royal family) approached Mr. George Gillett (majority owner of Richard Petty Motorsports) with a proposition to form a stock car league in Saudi Arabia. The partnership is still in the talking stage; however, Gillett feels that expansion in the Middle East will definitely take place. Gillett said that he was surprised to learn how enthusiastic the Saudis are about NASCAR and racing in general. “They have a tremendous interest in speed and love automobiles. I don’t think any of us had any idea about the respect they have for this kind of racing.” (ESPN)
By expanding into the world of Middle East, there would be many benefits for NASCAR and the United States. One of the benefits would be expanding the fan base of NASCAR and promoting the sport. Addition of new sponsors to the game would benefit the sport, teams, tracks, cities, government and so on. Additionally, all of the current sponsors would benefit by getting international exposure and recognition. Companies that manufacture cars and parts for them would also benefit, because the need for these would definitely increase. People of the United States would also benefit by the addition of new jobs required to feed the racing industry. Government would benefit by collecting a nice chunk of taxes from all goods produced, sold and exported (tariffs). Additionally such a partnership would be a great step in improving the image of the Unites States and relationships with the Arab world. By engaging in such an American sport, the Saudis definitely take a step ahead toward opening its doors to the rest of the world. Lastly, I believe the sport would benefit a lot by creating additional challenges for American drivers. They have gotten used to doing it here and competing against the same drivers. However, when you go to a new track, race against unfamiliar drivers and get to battle new climate conditions, that would definitely spice up the sport.
And that’s the view from here.
SK

A CHANGE FOR THE BETTER!

With declining numbers of attendance and TV viewership, NASCAR is making some very needed changes. The controversial COT, or better known as car of tomorrow, had been a cause of decline. Fans did not like the fact that all the cars looked almost identical except for a few stickers. This situation posed a problem for new fans since it was not easy to differentiate between drivers.
NASCAR has now addressed this by revealing four new COT’s for the Nationwide Series. Fans are very excited with the new designs, and the fact that the cars are a lot more realistic looking. With the new look of the COT cars for Nationwide, NASCAR has announced that the Sprint Cup COT cars will also get a facial uplift to give a resemblence to the newer Nationwide cars.
It seems like a good idea, which is getting a lot of positive feedback for NASCAR. This change is the closest to production looking cars since the late 80’s/early 90’s. In a bad economy, NASCAR is taking big risks by introducing new cars. Hopefully this time, NASCAR executives listened more to fan feedback rather than worry about cost saving measures.
And that’s the view from here.
WA