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Author Topic: Help Wanted: need money  (Read 813 times)
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Smallblock bored
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« on: June 26, 2004, 05:00:39 PM »

Jeff Smith, president of Roush racing has quite a situation to deal with. While not having a sponsor for Jeff Burton seemed like a fantasy only a few years ago, NASCAR and it’s participants are at a real shortage of genuine financial backbone. I can only wonder why a driver such as Jeff Burton would be left out in the cold after a seemingly budding career unfolded, but one has to admit that his success has slipped off a bit even before the fenders went blank. But analyzing Jeff Burton and his racing career are left for another day.
  What is a very real problem these days is a road with many forks. There are a great numbers of ways to get to the end of the line but a formula as to which way to go is a main key. While a great number of teams are well behind the rest of the field when it comes to available dollars, I don’t think that NASCAR has any genuine interest in getting the competition any tighter than it already is. Sure big brother will not let you use anything that gets you an obvious advantage over the competition, but I don’t see any real effort to pull the rope from the other end. When the Dodge Daytona was introduced to keep up with the likes of the Cyclone and Ford Torino, Richard Petty wanted to drive one but his contract with Plymouth prevented him to do so. Petty went and drove for the rival car maker for one year but Plymouth produced the Daytona clone known as the Plymouth Superbird, and Petty returned. After the so called “special cars” were ripping up the road, NASCAR put restrictions on the engine size and that was the end to that era.
  Also it would seem that if there is new twist NASCAR does not fully understand, that is not allowed either. An example of this would be the chassis Ray Evernham developed for Gordos’ ride a ways back.                                                                                                      

  It would seem that NASCAR would see the need for an influx of sponsorship could be had, by bringing the competition to a more even plane. It could be said that testing cars is good place to start to trim some fat off the bone. Trim some fat and it may attract a few more folks to the table. This is something that NASCAR really should take to heart. It only makes too much sense. In theory if you were to bring the competition to a more level state by limiting the testing be it by wind tunnel and on track stuff you would take two big bites out of the problem that is facing teams today. If I were to get my two cents counted I would say get rid of wind tunnel testing all together but this would create a sort of void for the bigger names in the game. With the Dodge camp getting factory backing wind tunnel testing is a big part of the game plan over at Evernham, and other factory backed teams. Keeping in mind the Dodge Daytona and Cyclone rivalry it is obvious that the Detroit factor has always known about the areo aspect, but it may be time to pull back those reins a bit. It would be something to see what Gibbs racing and Roush would have for the rest of the guys if they were unable to tunnel a car. We always hear “we found something in the tunnel” or “when we tested the air flow”. It can be argued that these cars need this type of testing due to the speeds. I say bull! If you look at the real speed factor a car that has limited and perhaps no tunnel timer at all is only a few ticks off the rest of the field. The advantage is gained for sure but the money spent seems a waste when you consider what could be gained in the sport for the sake of the competition factor. Not long ago drivers were saying things like “are we gonna’ drive these things, or flyem’”? Now we have a breed of drivers that have cut their teeth on the all so slick cars and may not fare so well in a car that has had its teething at the tunnel taken away. This I’m sure is another attribute that is taken into consideration at the big meetings. Just my opinion but I sure there are big meetings taking place about how to lower the budgets for these teams. I’m sure a salary cap is not the answer as it were .
  The next item that may help to solve some of the financial considerations faced by potential sponsors is television coverage. Not every team is seen on the tube each week. This part of the game has always been reality. If were not running well then you were not given any frames. Well unless you are Jeff Gordon or Jimmie J. no matter what happens to them they are still on the tube. I can see that Gordon is a former Champ turned over but if he is running 38th with a boggy car give him the same treatment you give Ricky Rudd who is serving out his final days with the Wood brothers. My solution to this is simple. In the television coverage, guarantee a rundown of the field and that each car running will get a mention of contention somewhere in mid race. You know, when the field has settled in and a bit spread out. It is not that hard to do, this sort of feature coverage has been done before. Only now make it a standard in the contract. Before the consideration is made for mix ups and what nots, use a checklist and ensure every car has it’s sponsor get at least 5 seconds of coverage. Try and forget who is sponsoring the race in this effort. Pepsi VS. Coke and the like. Nothing will ever beet Biffle sneeking in a win at Daytona only to chug a bit of Coke after the Pepsi race. But it is what it is. Guarantee each sponsor a shot on TV and it may spruce up the interest. I’m sure there are sponsors out there now that have to sell the idea to a “board” but can’t guarantee any television time. This would be good business, but it has snags as well. The first would be commercial time. It may be viewed by some they will wonder why they are paying for commercial time while a rival product gets free air time, no matter how short. NEXTEL may not want rival services getting air time each race either but given the efforts of Ryan Newmans’ ALLTELL team and this argument is pretty weak, but still warrants mentioning. There are many aspects to this proposal but I believe that a guarantee of at least one complimentary showing of the decals no matter the topic covered on the team is a good sound start to bringing in any interested sponsorship.
  Well last but not least is lifting of restrictions, on what types of products that can be sponsors. This is sorta messy. On one hand NASCAR leans toward history in keeping with the hard liquor issue. I can see only this, as any reason to uphold a stance on hard liquor. There are not any platforms on which to base the refusal. It can be argued that beer companies can have it, why not us? I pray that this never goes to court. The one beer equals on shot of booze has gotten a bit old for my taste. Hard liquor may be seen as a drinkers drink and not really a part of social life as portrayed by the beer companies. I say when a car runs an ad for a pill that is in all it’s secrecy, designed for pleasure of the flesh, the line has been a bit broken. I’m not educated on the other pharmaceuticals that Pfizer has developed but I will admit that the company has been a round for a good long spell. What does this say to the young teenage fan, I care not to guess. But whatever the case may be I don’t honestly think that because a 15 year old boy is a Dale E. jr. fan, he is liable to become a Bud drinker. That is another wacky litigation piece that for all the judicial common sense we never see.
 All in all it may have to said that keeping Hard liquor off the quarter panels is a good thing. It’s sad that Jeff lost out on a sponsorship but who knows what it would have led to. I do miss the red and white Marlboro ads and the Skoal Bandit, but political times and profiles are changing. It seems that it would be awkward for Jeff Burton to drive a car sponsored by a spirits company anyway. As I recall somewhere he takes no drink at all. I guess that is my homework assignment. Find out if Jeff Burton would use his potential sponsors product. I’m sure he would not care who was on the panels as long as it shores up the pitfalls that as a driver he sees from not having one. But, that  may bring into question his integrity to some. I would think not. I also miss the Cartoon network car. Just a final thought on sponsorship, perhaps the NAACP could sponsor a car to help diversify the sport. Next we should bring in the political parties. A Donkey and an Elephant would make great looking cars. The race for the governors seat would be a great sponsorship as well.
  We have had great causes that have adorned the rear sides of these great machines but my vote goes to trimming some fat from the budgets and it will be great for sponsorship as well as for the quality of racing. Then the television ratings would perhaps climb then the commercial dollars then the demand for being a part of a race team sponsor. It would be a great vicious circle of prosperity. The only detour that lay ahead I think would be the manufacturers’ advantage by having the tunnels taken away. And the new generation of drivers may take a bit to get back to driving. Not to mention the so-called employment lost to those that do the testing, but just try to tell that to the folks who used to manufacture, Levis jeans, Fruit of the Loom clothing, Lionel trains, Trico wiper blades, Wrangler, A common marble, the knife and fork you eat with, your socks, Revell models (see Iowa VS. China in the stock holders CEO open) A bike, yes people a bike.
  I’m getting my tickets to the Levis 500 in Mexico city before they sell out. Sellout now that’s a funny word.
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Cheryl
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« Reply #1 on: June 26, 2004, 05:19:14 PM »

Oh man, Mike!  What a post!  Good job!  You were really wound up today, I see.

I couldn't agree with you more on the fact that every driver and sponsor out there deserves some TV time like we used to see on ESPN.

And I agree it will be a travesty if Jeff Burton is denied a sponsor because it is hard liquor.  Isn't moonshing what contributed to the being of stock car racing over 50 years ago?  I'd never read that Jeff doesn't drink.  I'd find that kind of odd, but it could be true.  

When you mentioned Biffle downing the Coke at the Pepsi 400, you have remember that Jeff Gordon patented that move when he chugged a Pepsi after winning the Coca-Cola 600 several years ago.  Anybody remember that parody the truck series broadcast team did last year where Ray Dunlap won the "race" and said he wanted to make sure and thank his sponsor, some spring water company, as he made sure to chug from the bottle while ensuring the label faced the camera?  It was a classic!

Again, great post and I'm glad we have it to read and ponder during the long lull today before we actually get to see some racing tonight.   :wink:
Did I mention I'm not a big fan of night racing unless it is at Bristol (regardless of what coast it is on)?  I had to watch the majority of the truck race this morning cause I couldn't stay awake that late last night.  Geez, the damn thing didn't start until 9:30! :x

Cheryl
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Lou
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« Reply #2 on: June 26, 2004, 11:14:40 PM »

Smallblock,

Good post. Many things to agree with or at least ponder.

Excellent point about the line being broken with all the male enhancement products out there.

Question - how would you suggest regulating/monitoring the stoppage of tunnel time? There are many ways that manufacturers could get around it without a team actually being there and still be able to get data fed back to a team.

Testing - stopping testing has always been something I think they should do. Testing further widens the have and have-nots gap. And the mentality of "we have to test" is trickling down to other series like the USAR Hooters Pro Cup where only 2 or 3 teams can really afford to do ANY testing. But somehow because team X did it, the rest feel like they have to do it and there goes any budget.

Hard liquor - what the hell are people in the Ivory Tower thinking by not allowing this? It is a legal product, widely accepted by the world. More people enjoy having a "stiff one" brought on by something in a bottle than will ever do the same with a pill. I'm not advocating drinking or not drinking but if NASCAR wants people to treat them as a business, they need to extend the same courtesy to potential sponsor businesses. What if sponsors didn't want to be associated with NASCAR because they used the out-of-touch reasoning that NASCAR was a "redneck sport". Sounds silly but that what NASCAR is doing in reverse.


Lou "Hmmm, I wonder what would happen if I put a Viagra pill in my Crown Royal shot" Lauer
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Smallblock bored
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« Reply #3 on: June 27, 2004, 05:09:20 PM »

As far as getting wind tunnel out of the game it would have to be that there are only so many that are available. NASCAR would have to ask them that they refuse any entry to a NASCAR santioned car, in any league I guess. I don't think it would be that hard. The manufacturers could supply data and then the fab shop would have to have correct placement. Placment is the biggest key for greenhouses(roof,cockpit) Larry Mac did a good article on the body side of racing a ways back. I don't think it would be hard to ditch it. There is alot more than folks realize about the wind tunnel thing. The funniest thing I can think of is when a team spends all that cash on wind tunnels and garbage for the Daytona 500, then has there fender bent up right away. That has got to suck. It's like painting your hot rod and have the kid next door hit golfballs at it. Any way I put the same article on Speedwaymedia.com I write mostly garbage off the cuff kinda things. But at the same time I know my stuff. Like i've been begging Larry Mac to tell the pepople what the tires are filled with. Air? I think not there is a gas and/or liquid that is as much a part of our everyday lives as a drink of water. It is used a ton. What is it class?
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Lou
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« Reply #4 on: June 27, 2004, 07:10:02 PM »

Quote from: "Smallblock bored"
What is it class?

Name: Nitrogen
Symbol: N
Atomic Number: 7
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