The National Guard will not spend $44,000,000 to sponsor race cars next year. The Guard spent $32,000,000 on its Dale Earnhardt Jr. sponsorship and $12,000,000 on the sponsorship of Indy Car driver Graham Rahal. Although Junior Nation is in a tizzy, I suspect Hendrick Motorsports will manage to find a few dollars to get NASCAR’s most popular driver on the track all season. If not, perhaps, a telethon would be in order. In case not everyone got it, that last sentence was meant to be facetious, ironic, and sarcastic.
Whether sponsoring Earnhardt was a good marketing strategy for the National Guard is a moot question. One side says the tie with the most popular person in a sport with millions of fans is extremely valuable, and the other side says no one can show that even one recruit signed with the National Guard simply because of its relationship with Earnhardt. Being a government entity and being funded with taxpayer dollars means anything that even smacks of waste is going to be a sore subject. I think the loss of $12,000,000 is going to hurt Rahal a lot worse than the loss of $32,000,000 will hurt Earnhardt.
Joe Gibbs Racing is NOT going to appeal the fines and suspensions received following a Brickyard 400 post race inspection of Denny Hamlin’s Toyota. That is interesting. I truly thought the penalties would be abated somewhat. Instead of a six weeks suspension for Darian Grubb and Wesley Sherrill, I thought the NASCAR Appeals Board might cut it to just three. The dollar penalty was hefty too, and the Appeals Board seems bent toward leniency, so that might have ended up at less than $125,000, maybe even less than $100,000. We’ll never know. So, did JGR think the penalty fit the crime, or did they wonder if it could be worse?
I am going racing this weekend, but I won’t be traveling to upstate New York. Tonight I will be on my computer watching a PPV from Hancock County Speedway in Britt, Iowa on XSAN.TV. The event is called Night of 10,000 Stars involves over 160 racers in four IMCA sanctioned divisions. Action begins at 7:00 p.m. Central Time, 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time. Tomorrow my son Matt and I are traveling about 70 miles to Junction Motor Speedway, about seven miles south of York, Nebraska. MARS, MLRA, and NCRA dirt late models will be featured. If you remember the Prelude to the Dream of several years ago at Tony Stewart’s Eldora Speedway, the cars NASCAR drivers raced then were dirt late models. Yes, on Sunday I will be watching the Sprint Cup race.
I encourage you to discover for yourself that there is more to racing than the NASCAR Big Three series. Check out a grassroots track in your area. You just might be surprised on how much fun you can have, and at a reasonable price too.
Thanks for stopping by.