NASCAR

Texico Leaving NASCAR, Who's NEXT

8/26/08 in NASCAR   |   badsam1956   |   0 respect

One of the big news announcements this past week was Texaco leaving the 42 Chip Ganassi Dodge driven by Juan Pablo Montoya at the end of this season. When I heard this announcement, it brought back something I heard a few years back about how good an advertisement deal NASCAR was. This statement made in the days before television decided that they deserved those advertising bucks more than the race teams. Now we see more than one team try to run a car without a major sponsor only to call it quits and park the car or sell out. NASCAR has allowed the sport to get completely out of hand over three things when it comes to the business of auto racing. The first thing is the sport has gotten completely out of control when it comes to the expense of racing these cars thus excluding what made it so strong in the first place. The second problem is allowing the huge multi-car teams that make it almost impossible for a small one-car team to compete. The last problem is the one that prompted me to write this article, NASCAR needs to look at is how the television networks televise their events. Take all of them in context and it is obvious that NASCAR is losing a battle for fans and the marketability of stock car racing as a form of entertainment.
Why has NASCAR stock car racing become so expensive in which to participate? A typical cup team will spend close to $500,000 to build a new Sprint Cup car. To maintain that car will cost another $500,000 per year per car run by that team. Most teams run as many as ten cars per season and it becomes obvious why it is so hard for an independent team to compete. NASCAR is trying to bring the cost down with the introduction of their Car of Tomorrow (COT), but in my mind, they missed the mark again. I have asked this question many times over the past few years, “Why has NASCAR abandoned the concept of STOCK in its idea of a STOCKCAR?” In years past during the heyday of NASCAR, the original idea was to use a STOCK vehicle right off the showroom floor. It took a turn during the Fifties to include safety equipment and hi-performance parts off the dealer’s parts room shelf. This was the first move away from a true STOCK car and most recognized it as next step into making these cars more exciting to watch. Still the factory manufactured all the parts and even though the parts weren’t offered on a new car, they could be purchased from the new car parts department as a factory approved dealer option and accepted by NASCAR. The manufactures were highly involved in the racing scene and the public were blessed with a plethora of exciting car and engine combinations. Optional engines included multi-carbureted inductions, fuel injection, and supercharging to name a few and when introduced, allowed on the NASCAR tracks. A purchaser could go to a dealership and buy an average family car off the showroom floor, equipped with all factory parts, and installing the minimally required roll cage, could go STOCK car racing. In fact, more than one car was driven to the track during Daytona Motor Speedway’s inaugural race in 1959. Bernie Hentges from Anoka, Minnesota bought a new 1959 DeSoto from his local dealer after been unable to find a new Dodge in the model he wanted. After completely tearing the car apart, Hentges reassembled it with the required modifications and a roll bar. After the build, he was given word that the actual race was a week earlier than anticipated and without a handy tow vehicle Hentges decided to drive the distance to Daytona in the new racecar. Loading the parts and tools he deemed necessary and putting on a set of hi-speed dirt track tires he set off for Florida. He arrived just in time for qualification, only to be told he couldn’t run the dirt track tires he arrived on. Hentges snuck into qualifying race and after starting at the rear fought his way to 12th place finish. He then found a set of correct tires and drove the car around Daytona until the race two days later. He blew his engine well into the race at lap 138 finishing 37th and had to purchase another one from the local dealer. He then replaced the engine, returned the racecar to pre-race form, and then drove home. Something that can’t be done with the current car.
After the introduction of the Hemi by Chrysler in 1964 as a dealer option General Motors decided to pull out of auto racing. Until that time, the GM products were always a force to be dealt with, but without factory engineered parts, most of the teams became second tier finishers behind Chrysler and Ford products. During the 1971 season GM began to covertly assist some team and forced NASCAR to change the rules. In an effort to make the GM engine packages, competitive weight penalties are given to the Ford and Chrysler cars. NASCAR revised the factory issued parts rule, all cars were allowed to run custom designed chassis instead of the original floor pan, and factory based suspension system. The original body and factory offered engine were mandated instead of allowing special optional parts packages. This eliminated the Chrysler Hemi and Ford Boss 429 the following season, as they were no longer offered for sale on the showrooms. NASCAR allowed the new engines to be modified with aftermarket parts instead of factory-engineered pieces. After seeing the aero wars of the late sixties and early seventies only general issued bodies would be allowed and the manufacturers would be required to produce The next year GM was again sponsoring teams and they were starting to creep back into the winners circle. Stock car racing stayed in this form until the early nineties. At that time the cars were changed into the racer that represented the last edition before the COT. By the early nineties, most of the cars offered by the manufacturers were front-wheel drive (FWD) and both GM and Ford were discontinuing the rear-wheel drive (RWD) body styles that were offered at that time. GM wanted to use their FWD platforms, which included the New Lumina, Grand Prix, Cutlass, and Regal. Ford wanted to use their Taurus as its body style and by the late nineties Dodge came back to NASCAR with the Intrepid. The bodies were only simulated using a lighter gauge sheet metal. The cost of a car went from less than $100,000 and example overnight to well over $250,000. The teams now began to hire aerodynamic engineers to design the bodies for slicker drag coefficients. The engine became a pure race engine having nothing in common with any currently factory offered street power train. In short, the term STOCK had nothing to do with the cars being run. The leap in car design from the seventies to the nineties was gigantic. The new COT isn’t much different, as it has nothing STOCK on it. Even the past requirement for certain factory body panels is gone. The cost of building a new COT is astronomical compared to its predecessor.
This leads me to my next point, the huge multi-car teams. In business there is a rule that states that a business can reduce its cost by having an, “Economy of Scale.” A simple explanation of the term mean that if you build a large number of items, then the more you build the cheaper each item becomes. Multi-car teams use many of the same facilities to fabricate their cars. By combining the parts room and testing equipment such as dynameters, cost will be reduced significantly per car. Here is a small example: A team needs a new carburetor so it goes to its parts department and pulls one from stocks. The cost of a race ready carburetor is roughly about $1,500 per unit. A small company with only one team will have to pay this price because they only ordered five to ten units. A large multi-car company may buy as many as 150 to 200 units of the same carburetor so their cost per unit would drop to $1,250. Divide these units per team and the cost will still be $1,250 and not rise to the higher price. Therefore, a team from the larger company can reduce the per-unit cost and pick the best carburetor of the bunch. The smaller team will have to run with the best they have available. The larger company can also be more competitive due to the availability of having a larger selection of parts for comparison to pick the best combination. The team can also do the same when it comes to testing as they can compare test results thus making each team stronger. This also allows the larger team to reduce cost per team whereas the small team can’t absorb the additional cost of testing the same amount of runs as the larger team. In short, the mega teams are killing any hope for a small team to compete in the race or for that all important sponsor money. Less competition whatever the cause is bad for NASCAR.
The announcement of Texaco leaving NASCAR made me ask if the sponsors have decided to buy television commercials in lieu of car sponsorships. NASCAR use to dictate how race coverage was televised and made sure that the car sponsors were featured throughout the race. Does NASCAR still have that kind of control? The race is so frustrating watching it on television because of the constant commercials. Having watched the races over the years, I can testify to the extreme amount of commercials today as compared to years back. So I ask, if I was a sponsor deciding how to spend my advertising dollars, would I pay for a car sponsorship and a television commercial, or would I just pay for the commercial. I believe reality would set in here somewhere and the commercial only solution would prevail. Remember race fan, these companies are in it to advertise and promote their business, not race. Texaco/Havoline cannot advertise their fuel as all cars run Sunoco and the Havoline Oil isn’t a major producer of racing fluids either. Most teams run a race synthetic race oil blend that Havoline doesn’t produce, so they can’t claim that distinction either. So is NASCAR in trouble because so many teams have lost or are having trouble keeping existing sponsors? Over the past year, there have been more unsponsored cars than any time in the history of NASCAR.
The facts speak for themselves. NASCAR is losing fans. All the races have unfilled seats and ticket-selling businesses are being forced to deal with NASCAR’s reluctance to admit there is a problem. Every week we hear of a race sell out, but if NASCAR has a sellout, why are there unoccupied seats? I made mention of that observation during the Brickyard 400 that there were open seats in turn 3 and 4. Yet NASCAR announced a sellout at the beginning of the race. I am not talking about one or two seats, but a large section of the grandstands were vacant. Sponsors see this and they see the falling ratings showing the races on television. It all adds up to the same thing, sponsors are pulling their money from NASCAR because it is no longer profitable to participate. So race fan, what do you think? Am I nipping at a truth here, or am I see ghost of nothing at all? You tell me.
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9/5/08   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

(Edited by Eric_)

Again, I'll point out the spec thing wasn't really a choice, everybody pulled out. The hope is that the new car (which will have turbochargers again, debut in 2011, and really can't come soon enough) will attract new manufacturers and allow for passing, especially on the road courses.

9/5/08   |   badsam1956

Eric_ wrote:
Finally getting a chance to respond to this...

In terms of television presentation, there are only three similarities between NASCAR and IndyCar.

1.) They are both racing series.
2.) They are (for now) on ABC/ESPN.
3.) They are paid to be on TV.

After that, it's night and day. NASCAR is treated like kings; IndyCar is treated like the leftovers. This year alone, at least three IndyCar races had to become timed events for TV, two races the start was moved to ESPN Classic for women's golf, and one race started because ESPN's broadcast because of a Nationwide race. This is normal ESPN treatment for us, and obviously something that would never happen with NASCAR.

NASCAR is commercial heavy, as you say and as I've heard, probably because a) the networks need to pay for the large contract with NASCAR, and b) since ratings are high, the ad rates are high. IndyCar is being paid much less, the ratings are much lower (save Indy), and as such the ad rates are lower. Thus, more commercials during NASCAR races.

Regarding the whole "companies will just advertise during races than sponsor anything" theory,  I don't know how true that really is. From my experience, the companies buying ad time are also sponsoring something in the series. Most commercials during IndyCar races are either a car sponsor (usually one of Danica's), or a company heavily involved in the series (Honda and Firestone). I would be surprised if this was also the case with NASCAR. With most companies, it's usually a two pronged attack. We'll see next year if this is the case with Texaco.

My theory, and mind you it is only my theory, is that sponsors are seeing the advertising strength of the teams waining in reguards to team sponsorship. This year alone two teams have decided to not run because they don't have a sponsor. Yet the TV coverages have more and more commercials per race. The advertisers that never did commercials are now doing them and many of the core sponsors are leaving or have already left the teams to do regular advertising. This trend started about 9 years ago when the TV coverage became so commercialized. I've got recordings of earlier races and can confirm the additional commercials per race. That said, I've seen a marked increase between coverages from the different networks. You can all but time between commercials at approximately 6.5 min. Each commercial segment last for up to 4 min to 5 min. That is a rough ratio of 55/45 race to commercial coverage today. Not many years ago the ratio was 75/25 and going back to the 80s it is 80/20. During that time the cost to cover the races have escalated and the buy in to do a coverage has gone out the roof. There is also a ratio in my thoughts to the loss of viewers versus the additional commercial coverage. I'm looking for sources to verify my theory.

As for the problems you are seeing with the IRL, I go back to the heydays of Indy racing the early and mid 70s. Rules were open to interpretation by the teams and it was exciting to see what new technology would show up during the season. From the old front engine Novi cars to rear engine Wildcat and Gilmore chassis and the famous turbines. I loved it back then as it was about the cars as well as the drivers. Now sadly the IRL car as in NASCAR is being specked to death. Everyone runs 1 engine and a variation of the same chassis/body. In fact I get the feeling in both series, if the car could be eliminated all together the sanctioning bodies would be happier. Problem with this crappy idea is one major issue. This is AUTO racing and not foot racing.

9/5/08   |   badsam1956

Eric_ wrote:
Finally getting a chance to respond to this...

In terms of television presentation, there are only three similarities between NASCAR and IndyCar.

1.) They are both racing series.
2.) They are (for now) on ABC/ESPN.
3.) They are paid to be on TV.

After that, it's night and day. NASCAR is treated like kings; IndyCar is treated like the leftovers. This year alone, at least three IndyCar races had to become timed events for TV, two races the start was moved to ESPN Classic for women's golf, and one race started because ESPN's broadcast because of a Nationwide race. This is normal ESPN treatment for us, and obviously something that would never happen with NASCAR.

NASCAR is commercial heavy, as you say and as I've heard, probably because a) the networks need to pay for the large contract with NASCAR, and b) since ratings are high, the ad rates are high. IndyCar is being paid much less, the ratings are much lower (save Indy), and as such the ad rates are lower. Thus, more commercials during NASCAR races.

Regarding the whole "companies will just advertise during races than sponsor anything" theory,  I don't know how true that really is. From my experience, the companies buying ad time are also sponsoring something in the series. Most commercials during IndyCar races are either a car sponsor (usually one of Danica's), or a company heavily involved in the series (Honda and Firestone). I would be surprised if this was also the case with NASCAR. With most companies, it's usually a two pronged attack. We'll see next year if this is the case with Texaco.

My theory, and mind you it is only my theory, is that sponsors are seeing the advertising strength of the teams waining in reguards to team sponsorship. This year alone two teams have decided to not run because they don't have a sponsor. Yet the TV coverages have more and more commercials per race. The advertisers that never did commercials are now doing them and many of the core sponsors are leaving or have already left the teams to do regular advertising. This trend started about 9 years ago when the TV coverage became so commercialized. I've got recordings of earlier races and can confirm the additional commercials per race. That said, I've seen a marked increase between coverages from the different networks. You can all but time between commercials at approximately 6.5 min. Each commercial segment last for up to 4 min to 5 min. That is a rough ratio of 55/45 race to commercial coverage today. Not many years ago the ratio was 75/25 and going back to the 80s it is 80/20. During that time the cost to cover the races have escalated and the buy in to do a coverage has gone out the roof. There is also a ratio in my thoughts to the loss of viewers versus the additional commercial coverage. I'm looking for sources to verify my theory.

As for the problems you are seeing with the IRL, I go back to the heydays of Indy racing the early and mid 70s. Rules were open to interpretation by the teams and it was exciting to see what new technology would show up during the season. From the old front engine Novi cars to rear engine Wildcat and Gilmore chassis and the famous turbines. I loved it back then as it was about the cars as well as the drivers. Now sadly the IRL car as in NASCAR is being specked to death. Everyone runs 1 engine and a variation of the same chassis/body. In fact I get the feeling in both series, if the car could be eliminated all together the sanctioning bodies would be happier. Problem with this crappy idea is one major issue. This is AUTO racing and not foot racing.

8/31/08   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

badsam1956 wrote:
Actually Eric, since NASCAR has set the procedures for televised racing, it effects all forms of racing. Since your interested mostly in the IRL this also effects them as well. Any time a business can find a way to cut cost when it doesn't hurt them it will. So if you follow that logic, then the sponsors of all forms of racing can see where it's just as cheap to buy commercial air time than sponsoring a car that is getting so damn expensive. Remember, all companies set a budget for advertising and sponsorships are included in those budgets. Then it has to decide how best to use it. In the past NASCAR had a certain relationship with its fans which was studied at some length back in the early eighties. They found out fans actually bought the products of the sponsors 8 out of 10 times as compared to a non sponsored product. They also did an assesment of the actual airtime each sponsor was on the screen and it was obvious that sponsoring a car was a wise investment. IRL wasn't as fan based as NASCAR they found, but it still played a role in deciding advertising bucks. Now with a race segment going about 5 to 7 minuets and then 2 or 3 minuets of commercial, the actual air time of the sponsored cars are cut almost in half today as compared to the time of the study. Another huge factor is the cost of sponsoring a car. It has really gotten out of hand and I have this info from a cup team owner that his own company sponsors the car. So I truly believe this is also effecting other forms of racing as well.

Finally getting a chance to respond to this...

In terms of television presentation, there are only three similarities between NASCAR and IndyCar.

1.) They are both racing series.
2.) They are (for now) on ABC/ESPN.
3.) They are paid to be on TV.

After that, it's night and day. NASCAR is treated like kings; IndyCar is treated like the leftovers. This year alone, at least three IndyCar races had to become timed events for TV, two races the start was moved to ESPN Classic for women's golf, and one race started because ESPN's broadcast because of a Nationwide race. This is normal ESPN treatment for us, and obviously something that would never happen with NASCAR.

NASCAR is commercial heavy, as you say and as I've heard, probably because a) the networks need to pay for the large contract with NASCAR, and b) since ratings are high, the ad rates are high. IndyCar is being paid much less, the ratings are much lower (save Indy), and as such the ad rates are lower. Thus, more commercials during NASCAR races.

Regarding the whole "companies will just advertise during races than sponsor anything" theory,  I don't know how true that really is. From my experience, the companies buying ad time are also sponsoring something in the series. Most commercials during IndyCar races are either a car sponsor (usually one of Danica's), or a company heavily involved in the series (Honda and Firestone). I would be surprised if this was also the case with NASCAR. With most companies, it's usually a two pronged attack. We'll see next year if this is the case with Texaco.

8/28/08   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

Debi_L wrote:
I'm sorry Eric, I have been a fan of all kinds of racing for many years, but NASCAR is my preference.  I have NEVER been a fan of Bobby Rahal and don't honestly KNOW anyone who ever was.  Unfortunately, as talented as Graham might be, his father's lack of popularity might be a contributing factor to his lack of sponso ship.  I hate to say it, but personalities, not just talent, sell products. (did I really just say that? How did Weed get M&M's to sponsor him then?)

Personally, I think Graham needs to grow a 'stache like his dad.

8/28/08   |   Debi_L   |   11862 respect

Eric_ wrote:
I was asked to comment, but honestly, as an IndyCar fan, NASCAR's problems don't really resonate with me, with the exception that if NASCAR is having issues with the economy, then IndyCar's are inevitably worse. They can't get a sponsor for Graham Rahal for cripes' sake. Don't get me wrong, I want to see all racing series healthy and brimming with sponsors, but to me, losing one major sponsor when are plenty more where that come from isn't the biggest deal. That is, unless it stops being an isolated incident and becomes a slippery slope.

From a track standpoint, it does seems like NASCAR is getting less and less competitive, but that's how racing always is. The biggest, best funded teams win. I did notice there were only four lead changes at Bristol, which seems mind boggling to me.

Still though, NASCAR will probably survive. I wouldn't get complacent though.

/end rambling that probably didn't make any sense

I'm sorry Eric, I have been a fan of all kinds of racing for many years, but NASCAR is my preference.  I have NEVER been a fan of Bobby Rahal and don't honestly KNOW anyone who ever was.  Unfortunately, as talented as Graham might be, his father's lack of popularity might be a contributing factor to his lack of sponso ship.  I hate to say it, but personalities, not just talent, sell products. (did I really just say that? How did Weed get M&M's to sponsor him then?)

8/27/08   |   Debi_L   |   11862 respect

badsam1956 wrote:
You raise one huge point about foreign viewers. I have few friends North of the boarder and I do know if you have a satellite dish you receive the US commercials. I know this as  one of my best friends and I talk to each other during the race and laugh at some of the commercials, even on ESPN/ABC. Some of them are cute, but I didn't tune in to see the same commercial fifteen or twenty times a race, The do get old, especially when they decide to go back to the race after an incident or something happening. Luckily both of us have race-view and know before many regular viewers what is happening. I couldn't just sit and watch today without my race-view package. So many times I wanted to throw my remote at the TV because of what's being missed. Just stay tuned, as I find out more info, I'll do another article about it. Another thing since you're a fan, look into getting the race-view as it allows you to listen between the drivers, spotters and crew chiefs. It's well worth the money for the entertainment value.

So thanks again for reading.
Sam

Well, Sam, the disadvantage to living out in the boonies like I do, is no high speed internet.  Only dialup.  I've been a member of NASCAR.com since the early 90's, in fact has a page there and a crew devoted to us old members, BUT although I have scanner, I don't have raceview - it's simply not feasible with dialup.  Telus promises I should have high speed before the end of the year, and if so, you can bet your bottom dollar RaceView will be in my future!!!

8/27/08   |   badsam1956

Eric_ wrote:
I was asked to comment, but honestly, as an IndyCar fan, NASCAR's problems don't really resonate with me, with the exception that if NASCAR is having issues with the economy, then IndyCar's are inevitably worse. They can't get a sponsor for Graham Rahal for cripes' sake. Don't get me wrong, I want to see all racing series healthy and brimming with sponsors, but to me, losing one major sponsor when are plenty more where that come from isn't the biggest deal. That is, unless it stops being an isolated incident and becomes a slippery slope.

From a track standpoint, it does seems like NASCAR is getting less and less competitive, but that's how racing always is. The biggest, best funded teams win. I did notice there were only four lead changes at Bristol, which seems mind boggling to me.

Still though, NASCAR will probably survive. I wouldn't get complacent though.

/end rambling that probably didn't make any sense

Actually Eric, since NASCAR has set the procedures for televised racing, it effects all forms of racing. Since your interested mostly in the IRL this also effects them as well. Any time a business can find a way to cut cost when it doesn't hurt them it will. So if you follow that logic, then the sponsors of all forms of racing can see where it's just as cheap to buy commercial air time than sponsoring a car that is getting so damn expensive. Remember, all companies set a budget for advertising and sponsorships are included in those budgets. Then it has to decide how best to use it. In the past NASCAR had a certain relationship with its fans which was studied at some length back in the early eighties. They found out fans actually bought the products of the sponsors 8 out of 10 times as compared to a non sponsored product. They also did an assesment of the actual airtime each sponsor was on the screen and it was obvious that sponsoring a car was a wise investment. IRL wasn't as fan based as NASCAR they found, but it still played a role in deciding advertising bucks. Now with a race segment going about 5 to 7 minuets and then 2 or 3 minuets of commercial, the actual air time of the sponsored cars are cut almost in half today as compared to the time of the study. Another huge factor is the cost of sponsoring a car. It has really gotten out of hand and I have this info from a cup team owner that his own company sponsors the car. So I truly believe this is also effecting other forms of racing as well.

8/27/08   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

I was asked to comment, but honestly, as an IndyCar fan, NASCAR's problems don't really resonate with me, with the exception that if NASCAR is having issues with the economy, then IndyCar's are inevitably worse. They can't get a sponsor for Graham Rahal for cripes' sake. Don't get me wrong, I want to see all racing series healthy and brimming with sponsors, but to me, losing one major sponsor when are plenty more where that come from isn't the biggest deal. That is, unless it stops being an isolated incident and becomes a slippery slope.

From a track standpoint, it does seems like NASCAR is getting less and less competitive, but that's how racing always is. The biggest, best funded teams win. I did notice there were only four lead changes at Bristol, which seems mind boggling to me.

Still though, NASCAR will probably survive. I wouldn't get complacent though.

/end rambling that probably didn't make any sense

8/27/08   |   CRAZY_LADY   |   355 respect

wow loved it you hit it right on the nail you need to post this on nascar.com site they need it see over their   

nice writing    

8/27/08   |   Luke4HMS

WELL SAID!
Love the article for sure, I NEVER saw how having Home Depot  (FOR INSTANCE) on a car helped Home Depot.  Either you need stuff from there or you dont, UNLESS LOWES is closer, lol.
I hated Tony in that orange car, but still, I go to Home Depot.

Where do they get the return?  I NEVER understood that, and looks like Texaco agrees.

Great writing Sam

8/26/08   |   badsam1956

Debi_L wrote:
Sam, I would like to give you a bunch of thumbs up for this well thought out piece.  You have put into words the very things us long time fans have noticed, but you have researched very well and provided facts along with opinions. HIGH FIVES!!!!
I would like to point out something you may not have been aware of.  I'm a CANADIAN NASCAR fan.  During the middle months, when TNT and ESPN are the broadcasters, us Canadians have been forced to watch the races on TSN.  Now TSN does not have any obligation to broadcast the American commercials, so we get ads for "Lillydale Chicken".  Yep, that's righ, you've never heard of Lillydale, have you?  It's a Canadian brand of packaged chicken, turkey, and sandwich meats.  We get to see the same commercials over and over and over - same commercial, a hundred times or more a race!  IT SUCKS!  We hear (or read) our American friends talking about the "new" Dale Jr or Kasey Kahne commercial and we've never seen it!!  When FOX broadcasts in the spring, we get all the same commercials you get.  When ABC takes over for the chase, we get to catch up. 
Now, my point is this - NASCAR is becoming a sport fans around the world are watching.  Are the sponsors getting their monies worth if each country is broadcasting their own commercials instead of the ones authorized by NASCAR?  I think not.  I would be sponsoring the cars.  At least their logo is seen.

You raise one huge point about foreign viewers. I have few friends North of the boarder and I do know if you have a satellite dish you receive the US commercials. I know this as  one of my best friends and I talk to each other during the race and laugh at some of the commercials, even on ESPN/ABC. Some of them are cute, but I didn't tune in to see the same commercial fifteen or twenty times a race, The do get old, especially when they decide to go back to the race after an incident or something happening. Luckily both of us have race-view and know before many regular viewers what is happening. I couldn't just sit and watch today without my race-view package. So many times I wanted to throw my remote at the TV because of what's being missed. Just stay tuned, as I find out more info, I'll do another article about it. Another thing since you're a fan, look into getting the race-view as it allows you to listen between the drivers, spotters and crew chiefs. It's well worth the money for the entertainment value.

So thanks again for reading.
Sam

8/26/08   |   Debi_L   |   11862 respect

Sam, I would like to give you a bunch of thumbs up for this well thought out piece.  You have put into words the very things us long time fans have noticed, but you have researched very well and provided facts along with opinions. HIGH FIVES!!!!
I would like to point out something you may not have been aware of.  I'm a CANADIAN NASCAR fan.  During the middle months, when TNT and ESPN are the broadcasters, us Canadians have been forced to watch the races on TSN.  Now TSN does not have any obligation to broadcast the American commercials, so we get ads for "Lillydale Chicken".  Yep, that's righ, you've never heard of Lillydale, have you?  It's a Canadian brand of packaged chicken, turkey, and sandwich meats.  We get to see the same commercials over and over and over - same commercial, a hundred times or more a race!  IT SUCKS!  We hear (or read) our American friends talking about the "new" Dale Jr or Kasey Kahne commercial and we've never seen it!!  When FOX broadcasts in the spring, we get all the same commercials you get.  When ABC takes over for the chase, we get to catch up. 
Now, my point is this - NASCAR is becoming a sport fans around the world are watching.  Are the sponsors getting their monies worth if each country is broadcasting their own commercials instead of the ones authorized by NASCAR?  I think not.  I would be sponsoring the cars.  At least their logo is seen.

8/26/08   |   Raven73   |   103 respect

Great points Sam! I especially like your identifying the "track time" advertising vs. the commercial time for major sponsors. Agree or not, we need to give a hand to you for the extensive amount of information you've given us. Now I need to go chew on all of this...very enlightening!