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Cheryl
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« on: April 26, 2004, 01:44:03 PM »

Sally sent me a link to this good article from Speed Magazine.  It's a good article about a bad subject.  I am SO sick about this "deal" that ISC has cut and its just like them to try and put some sort of positive spin on taking away races from good, competitive tracks and giving them to boring ones.  This guy makes some excellent points.

Cheryl

Darlington, Rock lose races; sport loses, too

By KEN WILLIS
MY TWO CENTS

Last update: 25 April 2004

 
There were plenty of whispers, and a ton of outright speculation, along with some fears and, of course, rumors. Plenty of rumors.

But the ultimate sign of problems ahead came a few weeks ago with a seemingly routine NASCAR press release about the reshuffling of its public relations department.

Longtime frontliner Jim Hunter, while keeping his VP title and shady parking spot, will take control of NASCAR's weekly local-track touring series (the former Winston Racing Series, now called the Dodge Weekly Series). Stepping into some of Hunter's former duties will be Ramsey Poston.

The release looked OK through a few paragraphs, and then a few paragraphs later you discovered that Poston cut his PR molars at a place called Powell Tate in Washington, D.C. (hub of Spinners Universe), and specialized in something called "issue management and crisis communication."

Poston, according to the release, "will especially concentrate on public relations initiatives in the country's top 20 media markets, and those involving non-traditional media outlets."

While confessing to the potential of misinterpretation, this sure sounds like Poston's job description could read: "Will help us cushion the PR blow of dumping on Rockingham and Darlington."

DETAILS TO COME

So this is the outcome of the Texas lawsuit? Rockingham loses its one remaining date, and Darlington loses one of its two? Well, at least that's the talk -- and, by the way, it isn't being denied.

Texas will get its second date. Phoenix, in that NASCAR hotbed of Arizona, will also get a second, and you have to assume Kansas City or Fontana will also somehow get a second from somewhere, unless we're simply waiting on that Great Northwest track to spring up in Seattle or Portland.

All the muddy back-channel details will eventually air out -- such as, there's no way the France family's ISC is netting a loss of one race while Bruton Smith's SMI gains one unless some cash or a high draft pick (rights to the All Star race?) changed hands.

Then again, maybe not, since it appears Bruton's bunch was sitting ace-high in this game of Texas Hold 'Em. There is, after all, no way that even NASCAR's beefiest Boys in Legal wanted this trial taking an ugly detour into the anti-trust jungle.

SKY'S THE LIMIT

Like a pair of external boosters on the space shuttle, Rockingham and Darlington are jettisoned in the name of higher altitude. They call it progress, and assuming you're one of those who will benefit financially from it, so do you.

But you're probably not. You're probably nothing more than a fan who enjoys watching races on tracks that offer a little something extra. Tracks like, for instance, Rockingham and Darlington, two of the top five NASCAR tracks on anybody's list.

Naturally, it's all being done for shareholders and those with pockets deeper than Russian poetry, the networks. And now, it seems to me, all the pressure falls on the folks at NASCAR's research-and-development center, where the "race car of tomorrow" is taking shape. If that car doesn't lend itself to action at passive tracks, what good is taking your product to a bigger audience if your product isn't really your product anymore?

And whatever happened to the theory of not elbowing folks on the way up because you'll probably pass by those same folks on the way down? Isn't the base truth of racing "what goes around comes around"?

Then again, we don't know much. Except for what we like, of course.

ken.willis@news-jrnl.com








So this is the outcome of the Texas lawsuit? Rockingham loses its one remaining date, and Darlington loses one of its two? Well, at least that's the talk -- and, by the way, it isn't being denied.

Texas will get its second date. Phoenix, in that NASCAR hotbed of Arizona, will also get a second, and you have to assume Kansas City or Fontana will also somehow get a second from somewhere, unless we're simply waiting on that Great Northwest track to spring up in Seattle or Portland.

All the muddy back-channel details will eventually air out -- such as, there's no way the France family's ISC is netting a loss of one race while Bruton Smith's SMI gains one unless some cash or a high draft pick (rights to the All Star race?) changed hands.

Then again, maybe not, since it appears Bruton's bunch was sitting ace-high in this game of Texas Hold 'Em. There is, after all, no way that even NASCAR's beefiest Boys in Legal wanted this trial taking an ugly detour into the anti-trust jungle.

SKY'S THE LIMIT









Like a pair of external boosters on the space shuttle, Rockingham and Darlington are jettisoned in the name of higher altitude. They call it progress, and assuming you're one of those who will benefit financially from it, so do you.

But you're probably not. You're probably nothing more than a fan who enjoys watching races on tracks that offer a little something extra. Tracks like, for instance, Rockingham and Darlington, two of the top five NASCAR tracks on anybody's list.

Naturally, it's all being done for shareholders and those with pockets deeper than Russian poetry, the networks. And now, it seems to me, all the pressure falls on the folks at NASCAR's research-and-development center, where the "race car of tomorrow" is taking shape. If that car doesn't lend itself to action at passive tracks, what good is taking your product to a bigger audience if your product isn't really your product anymore?

And whatever happened to the theory of not elbowing folks on the way up because you'll probably pass by those same folks on the way down? Isn't the base truth of racing "what goes around comes around"?

Then again, we don't know much. Except for what we like, of course.
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