Thursday, December 20, 2007
Friday, November 30, 2007
Sunday, November 18, 2007
- Jimmie Johnson starts from the pole; Jeff Gordon starts 10 places back. With the 86 point deficit, and the likelihood of Johnson leading at least the first (if not the most) lap/s, that means all Johnson has to do is finish 19th to lock up the title--no matter what Gordon does. For Gordon to win, Johnson has to implode early and finish well out of the top 30.
- Brian France, NASCAR's maximum leader, held a short "state of the sport" newser here in Homestead, and says his organization is pleased with the Chase, even with Johnson holding the biggest lead in Chase history. France is similarly not unduly concerned with declining TV ratings, but a reporter's question raising the point about the point gap prompted a response which could be termed nothing but high dudgeon, saying that it (reporting that fact) took away from Jimmie Johnson's accomplishment. Yeah, right.
- More after the Ford 400
Friday, November 16, 2007
Friday, November 02, 2007
- Speedway Motorsports, Inc. (SMI) is said to be buying New Hampshire International Speedway. What may well happen is that one or both of the Nextel Cup Races will go to another track in the SMI galaxy--likely Las Vegas. NASCAR (read the France Family) is not likely pleased, but feels it's better to deal with the devil you know, rather than the devil you don't (not that we call Bruton Smith, Jerry Carroll, John Henry, et al cousins of Beelzebub--it's a metaphor).
- NASCAR's Triple A series is making news for the wrong reasons. What was once a strict development series, morphed into Cup Lite...and is now exhibiting the same symptoms. The series needs more innovative marketing than simply printing an entry blank and opening the gates.
- Mercedes McLaren is protesting the Brazilian Grand Prix...no doubt trying to get Lewis Hamilton two points and the Driver's Championship in Formula One. The odds on whether the appeal would be successful are as long as Pinocchio's proboscis.
- Why did FIA boss Max Mosely trash Lewis Hamilton's accomplishment, and say that another dominant driver wouldn't be good for the sport?
My personal choice for Ignoramus of the Week--Josh Stewart for his column in the Long Island Press "Is the Military NASCAR's New Tobacco?". It contains a lot of Daily Kos/moveon.org rhetoric about military sponsorship of NASCAR teams, most especially Dale Earnhardt, Jr.
On balance, the military has helped more people, than it's harmed. Everyone of us who bangs on a keyboard, schleps a camera, or holds a mike owes the freedom to do that to brave young men and women who stand between us and those who want to kill us--and make no mistake, that is what terrorists want to do.
Why is it not allowable for organizations such as the US Navy and Army National Guard to use methods to reach their desired membership?
Point of Personal Privilege: the link for this column, and other comments are contained on the Frank A Johnson American Legion Post 758 Blog:
Monday, October 15, 2007
While we saw Jeff Gordon go a long way toward his 5th NASCAR title with the Saturday night/Sunday morning victory #81, we note, with some sadness, the final public appearance of our favorite attraction--Robosaurus--the metal munching robot. Robo is going on sale to the highest bidder.
This will force the Speedway Motorsports Inc. braintrust, led by Humpy Wheeler, to find another attraction for their pre-race entertainment at Lowe's, which, for the forseeable future, will remain comfortably ensconced on Highway 29 south of Concord, NC.
Sunday, October 14, 2007
Saturday, October 13, 2007
Friday, October 12, 2007
Thursday, October 11, 2007
Thursday, October 04, 2007
One of the last (if not THE last) auto racing pioneers died, when Wally Parks passed away at 94 last week. Parks founded the National Hot Rod Association which, in terms of rank and file members, is the world's largest auto racing sanctioning body. Its Powerade Pro Drag Racing Series has better attendance than all other series, except for NASCAR. The organization was founded to get racers off the street. It is the most fan and media friendly (big deal--media friendliness and $2 gets a cup of high end coffee somewhere) auto racing series in the world.
Dario Franchitti is not going to defend his IndyCar driving title and Indy 500 win in 2008. He opted to join Chip Ganassi to take the place of David Stremme in a second Ganassi Racing NASCAR Sprint Cup entry, and is on a fast track to NASCAR's top division, in much the same manner as Juan Pablo Montoya--who will likely be the last Nextel Cup Rookie of the Year (the series changes names to the Sprint Cup in 2008). Ganassi will wax folks at Daytona (think about a Daytona Prototype with Montoya, Scott Pruett, Scott Dixon and Franchitti in the 24 hours) in that part of Speedweeks.
And the sanctioning body itself has been busy, with the signing of Nationwide Insurance as the title sponsor for its Triple A series (Busch Series until the last race); and Coors Light as the official beer of NASCAR. The Aflac Duck will likely get plucked; Allstate's Good Hands will likely get slapped, and the Good Neighbors of State Farm won't be as welcome...Brian France is already making noises about giving Nationwide a preferential position as the official insurance provider of NASCAR--he hopes to avoid the black eye situation with at&t v Nextel/Sprint with the new seven year sponsor.
There are always unintended consequences to actions...and with freezing out sponsors with money...the chill will ultimately fall on the teams.
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
1. Larry Dixon, 2,297; 2. Rod Fuller, 2,252; 3. Tony Schumacher, 2,247;4. Brandon Bernstein, 2,221; 5. Bob Vandergriff, 2,200; 6. WhitBazemore, 2,147; 7. Doug Herbert, 2,136; 8. J.R. Todd, 2,130.
1. Tony Pedregon, 2,259; 2. Robert Hight, 2,243; 3. Jack Beckman, 2,213;4. John Force, 2,191; 5. Ron Capps, 2,188; 6. Gary Scelzi, 2,186; 7.Mike Ashley, 2,176; 8. Jim Head, 2,072.
1. Dave Connolly, 2,408; 2. Greg Anderson, 2,356; 3. Allen Johnson,2,204; 4. Jeg Coughlin, 2,188; 5. Jason Line, 2,170; 6. Kurt Johnson,2,159; 7. Larry Morgan, 2,138; 8. Warren Johnson, 2,102.
Monday, September 24, 2007
Friday, September 21, 2007
The Monster Mile--Round 2 of the Chase
Friday, September 14, 2007
Sunday, September 09, 2007
Jimmie Johnson made a bold statement by leading 104 laps, including number 400, which pays the points, and, after the adjustment, gave him and crew chief Chad Knaus the top seed in the Chase for the (Nextel Cup) Championship. Second seed is Jeff Gordon; third, Tony Stewart; fourth, Carl Edwards; fifth, Kurt Busch; sixth, Denny Hamlin; seventh, Martin Truex, Jr.; eighth, Matt Kenseth; ninth, Kyle Busch; tenth, Jeff Burton, eleventh, Kevin Harvick and twelfth, Clint Bowyer. Dale Earnhardt Jr finished 30th, after a blown engine 7 laps from the end, which put him out of the race..he was running as high as 2nd, going for the lead.
The breakdown by team: Richard Childress Racing-3; Hendrick Motorsports-3; Roush-Fenway Racing-2; Joe Gibbs Racing-2; Penske Racing South-1; Dale Earnhardt, Inc.-1
Top 10 in the Chevy Rock and Roll 400:
Jimmie Johnson--see above
Tony Stewart--had a great battle going with Dale Earnhardt Jr. before Jr's engine went bye-bye
David Ragan--rookie--mixed it up with the veterans...
Jeff Gordon--led and stayed up front
Johnny Sauter--a good finish for him and Bootie Barker
Denny Hamlin--hometown hero, led 17 laps
Kevin Harvick--some close calls for Happy Harvick
Kasey Kahne--a top 10 for the next "Bud Man?"
Kurt Busch--same result for the Captain, Roger Penske who was here to see the festivities
J. J. Yeley--puts all three of Coach Gibbs's cars in the top 10
Saturday, September 08, 2007
USA Today reports that NASCAR and at&t settled their contentious sponsorship dispute. Bottom Line here in Richmond, the "at&t" logo is back on Jeff Burton's #31 Chevy Impala...and will be until 2008, when the original sponsorship agreement with Richard Childress Racing will expire, and at&t leaves NASCAR's top division. So Bill France's billion dollar estate stays relatively intact, NASCAR makes its point about exclusivity for its series sponsor, at&t gets the benefit of NASCAR eyeballs on its changed cellphone brand (still #1 in subscribers) for the rest of '07 and 2008, Richard Childress Racing gets some time to find another major sponsor, and the sanctioning body gets to stay out of one less courtroom. The only downside is for the litigators who were salivating at some $300/hour or higher legal work. Interesting that the only major print medium working this was USA Today.
Friday, September 07, 2007
Thursday, August 30, 2007
The Phoenix Champ Car Finale is no longer--the promoters (who likely spent most of their warchest on the streets of Vegas--not the tables :-) ) said it wouldn't be viable without sponsorship. It got Sheriff Joe Arpaio's imprimatur--but even that wasn't enough. So our southwest fans will have to be content with the NASCAR Nextel Cup pentultimate round at Phoenix International Raceway. I'm also suspecting a little schadenfreud might be circulating at the PIR offices. The Champ Car series absolutely MUST have some more American rounds for 2008, and not front loaded in the spring.
Indy Racing League officials will speak at the Belle Isle Race course on Saturday...is is possible the entire '08 schedule will be revealed?
And the only vehicles circling the Track Too Tough To Tame in South Carolina belong to construction crews--fans are still sore about California Speedway taking the Labor Day traditional race weekend...but, in NASCAR-speak, it is what it is.
Saturday, August 25, 2007
Sunday, August 05, 2007
The Captain (Roger Penske) had the best day of all at Pocono...Kurt Busch gained points on Dale Earnhardt Jr by leading 175 of 200 laps at Pocono for his first race win since March 2006, and second win on the tricky 2.5 mile tri-oval. Busch beat his rival for the "transfer slot" for the Chase for the Championship, Dale Earnhardt, Jr.It was also the first Penske Racing win for new crew chief Pat Tryson. Busch (left) and Tryson (right) talked for a half hour after their Victory Lane duties were completed.
His IndyCar series drivers weren't so fortunate at Michigan--Tony Kanaan nipped Marco Andretti by .05 of a second to win the last IRL race at the 2 mile Michigan oval. Sam Hornish was credited with 9th place but wasn't running at the end. Last year's winner, Helio Castroneves, touched wheels with Vitor Meira and both crashed out on lap 58.
Busch tells us they get inspiration from having Tim Cindric (Penske Racing President) across the hall from their garage at Mooresville...and the fact that Penske Racing is one of the world's most successful road race operations is not lost on either Busch or Tryson. That said, both are on the way to Road Atlanta to test their Car of Tomorrow piece, which will run next weekend at Watkins Glen.
Though we're keeping a low profile...we'll keep our ear to the ground.
The polesitter, Dale Earnhardt, Jr spun a few moments ago...thought he had a flat, but spun and brought out a caution...a problem for Jr, none for the leader Kurt Busch. Jeff Gordon was running second when the flag flew.
Any semblance of co-operation and congenality between Formula One teammates Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso went out the window, when Hamilton inherited the pole after ignoring team strategy...Alonso won the pole, or so he thought--the FIA took it, and manufacturer's points away, so Hamilton started the Hungarian Grand Prix from the pole. Hamilton won, and pads his lead to 7 points...as the series takes a three week break.
The swan song at Michigan turned soggy...rain delayed the start of the final IndyCar race there (for the forseeable future)...so the battle continues between Dario Franchitti, and Scott Dixon.
Thursday, July 12, 2007
After recent meetings, Indianapolis Motor Speedway CEO Tony George and Formula One Management Ltd. CEO Bernie Ecclestone mutually agreed to not schedule Formula One racing in 2008 at Indianapolis.
“After several discussions, Bernie Ecclestone and I were unable to agree how to keep Formula One in Indianapolis for the near term,” George said. “However, we have agreed to leave the door open for a potential future date.
“It has been a pleasure having the United States Grand Prix at Indianapolis, and I hope that as we approach our Centennial Era at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, an opportunity might present itself that would allow its return.”
The 2007 event was June 17 and was won by British rookie Lewis Hamilton. At the time, George and Ecclestone agreed to a mid-July deadline for a decision about future events.
Sunday, July 08, 2007
Scott Dixon was quick and patient today. On Lap 19 of the IndyCar series race here at Watkins Glen, he saw his chances for victory increase dramatically, when polesitter and then leader Helio Castroneves whacked the wall in turn 11. Dixon was on the wheel, swerved and put himself in position to win, when he took the lead for good after the final round of pit stops. He won by 6.25 seconds over Sam Hornish, Jr (whom we will talk about later). Third was series point leader Dario Franchitti, fourth was Tony Kanaan and fifth was Marco Andretti.
Smackdown In the Post Race Pits
This was the result of an incident when Hornish and Kanaan touched wheels on Lap 29 of the 60 lap race. The incident seemed to bother Kanaan, who bumped Hornish's car and knocked the toe link on the cool down lap, going to pit road. Once they exited their cars, a discussion that Hornish characterized as "a little bit louder with my voice than I needed to be" and some physical contact ensued between Hornish, Kanaan and Hornish's father. A group of officials broke up the brouhaha, which was captured by TV, and is likely on YouTube. This will make for an interesting driver's meeting at Nashville, which is the IndyCar Series' next venue, which will be the 4th of five straight weekends. Do you think drivers get short tempers? Of course. Is it possible that the five straight week stretch might be broken up in 2008?
Pointleader Franchitti will like Nashville, since it's a "home game" for him (he and wife Ashley Judd make their home near there).Weekends off are good for everyone, IMHO.
The next "live" blog for us is at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. We'll comment on any other news that may occur in between.
Inside a typical IndyCar Series chassis
We found a cutaway car in the Watkins Glen garages. This is made to look like the #9 Target Dallara-Honda driven by Scott Dixon. The picture on the left shows how all the running gear is shoehorned in underneath the bodywork. On the right, the bodywork in place.
The aforementioned Dixon was the fastest in morning practice, 133.554 miles an hour...about 2 1/2 miles an hour slower than Helio Castroneves' pole winning lap on Saturday. The polesitter had the fifth fastest warm up lap.
The weather is warming up here on the hill. Despite the breezes that blow through the Glen, the temperatures can get unbearably hot. Race cars, and their drivers, like temperatures in the 70's to low 80's.
Jamie McMurray wins at Daytona
We were able to catch the last bits of the Pepsi 400 on TV...and Jamie McMurray break a Nextel Cup (soon to be Sprint Cup) victory drought with a big, close, exciting restrictor plate derby finish at Daytona. The TNT "wide open" format is an awful lot like the ESPN-ABC "side by side"...not an Emmy winning development by any stretch. The first and middle parts of the race put me to sleep...I wonder how many other viewers fell off to sleep.
Saturday, July 07, 2007
"knockout" where all the slow cars fall out and let the fast cars go for the pole. Castroneves says the Glen's 3.377 mile layout (the full course...not the dumbed down Nextel short course) gives the six lots of opportunities for clean laps. Scott Dixon starts 2nd...he and a gull made contact...the gull got the worst of it. Pointleader Dario Franchitti rolls 3rd...followed by teammate Tony Kanaan.
Saturday, June 30, 2007
Saturday Night Special--IRL Indy Cars at Richmond...Short Track DeLuxe
Wednesday, June 27, 2007
- Both of Rick Hendrick's top teams (24--Jeff Gordon/Steve Letarte; 48--Jimmie Johnson/Chad Knaus) were whacked 100 owner/100 driver points...and hit up for a $100,000 fine. Mr. Letarte and Mr. Knaus won't have to fight traffic at a Nextel Cup event until August 15th when they return to work at Michigan.
- The rules that they violated are NASCAR rules, and not easily available for inspection by observers such as yourselves. Mike Helton, NASCAR President told me one time at Daytona at a public news conference, that the rule book was a proprietary document and wasn't made available (like the National Football League, Major League Baseball, NCAA Sports, etc. It makes John Darby's job (Nextel Cup series director) even more difficult--I give Darby style points for trying.
- This business fosters an attitude that the "rules are what we say they are", even though they are in print somewhere. Another famous "sporting" organization has a rule book, too.
- So I guess that the Car of Tomorrow rules are like "Wrestlemania" and the standard car rules are like "Friday Night Smackdown".
- Again, when you have an organization with some sporting elements and more entertainment elements, the entertainment elements will win out, because they bring in the most money and can be manipulated to produce drama. What would have been dramatic about Jeff Gordon winning at Infineon Raceway at Sears Point?
Monday, June 25, 2007
Saturday, June 23, 2007
Gordon, Johnson and teams about to taste the lash of NASCAR Justice
Doubtless you've heard that the Nextel Cup series point leader, Jeff Gordon, and the defending series champ, Jimmie Johnson were not allowed to qualify their "Cars of Tomorrow" at Infineon Raceway at Sears Point because the cars didn't pass NASCAR pre-qualifying inspection. Seems the Hendrick braintrust of Chad Knaus and Steve Letarte interpreted rules on the right front fender dimensions differently than did NASCAR. This situation got me thinking:
- When they first introduced the cars, the NASCAR powers-that-be bragged about having RFID (radio frequency ID chips) on the chassis, and that there were nine (count 'em) laser measurements that would insure uniformity. Are Hendrick Motorsports lasers less accurate than NASCAR's?
- Or is this a return to a historical use of the inspection process, to try to level the playing field? Throughout NASCAR history, the "room of doom" has been used to keep big-mouthed drivers quiet, and negate advantages found by team engineers worthy of the name (the late Smokey Yunick would have sided with both Knaus and Letarte), which might have tilted the balance of competition to those teams. Just to remind you, the Hendrick Racing team has won all of the Car of Tomorrow races except for Dover, where Martin Truex won. It is not called the "Room of Doom" for nothing.
- Or is this a way to generate publicity, by handicapping the series' most successful active road course driver?
- If in fact it was a violation of such epic proportion, than why weren't the teams banned from the NASCAR garage area, and told to go home?
A "smackdown" moment, to be sure.
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
- Lewis Hamilton has the F1 cars mostly figured out...now comes the tougher part of the schedule, beginning with the last French Grand Prix at Magny-Cours on July 1. His McLaren-Mercedes teammate, defending F1 champion Fernando Alonso has some experience...I'm wondering whether the bonhomie will continue as Hamilton piles up the points.
- NASCAR and AT&T are going to court...the issue is whether the sanctioning body can take the AT&T name off Jeff Burton's #31 Chevy. AT&T has exercised a multi-million dollar option to stay on the car; NASCAR is suing for $124 million dollars. Lest I be accused of schadenfreud ( a Germanic term describing one's reveling in other's misfortunes ; I'll apologize for the lame attempt to spell it phonetically), I think NASCAR needs to back off this battle and if they don't , I would like to see them lose it. Nextel/Sprint aren't going to take their $750 million or so and go home (despite the apologists's screed)...they are well behind AT&T/Cingular in numbers of cell phone subscribers...so they are likely happy to have NASCAR fight AT&T. Despite their wire-line mis steps and the gradual decline of that part of the telecom industry...they are still the largest phone company...and have lots of lawyers. Nothing dissipates estate money like hungry lawyers...and those who play in this arena have larger than normal appetites. The best thing NASCAR can do (and save a lot of Bill France Jr's inheritance) is move on. If NEXTEL/Sprint pulls out...the powers that be on International Speedway Blvd. will have NO lack of suitors.
Thursday, June 14, 2007
Sunday, June 10, 2007
Monday, June 04, 2007
Here's the details from CBS News:
This will affect all of auto racing as much, if not more, than Dale Earnhardt's death in February 2001. France was the last link to the real racers. Track owners like Joe Mattioli of Pocono and Bob Bahre of New Hampshire, were loyal to him personally...and it was at New Hampshire that the 2003 announcement anointing son Brian as NASCAR Chairman was made. Short-term: don't look for major changes. Long term: A split between International Speedway Corporation and NASCAR (a real split to take anti-trust actions like Kentucky Speedway's pending lawsuit out of play) and maybe a sale of the sanctioning body (like the NHRA professional racing division last week) to a deep pocketed high bidder. And look for major changes to the Nextel Cup schedule.
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
- Michael Andretti likely drove his last Indianapolis 500. He'll be credited with a 13th place lead lap finish. He is the Andretti in Andretti-Green Racing. Franchitti (winner) and Danica Patrick (8th) had the best finishes for AGR.
- I still contend that Scott Dixon and Tony Kanaan are the two best IndyCar series drivers never to have won at Indianapolis. Methinks TK will have unfinished business next May.
- Don't count Helio Castroneves out of the IndyCar championship. He's 4th in points with 171, just 13 back from Scott Dixon, who retakes the IndyCar point lead.
- NASCAR aside--Casey Mears wins on Memorial Day weekend at Lowe's Motor Speedway. That means the Mears family (he and uncle Rick) has five Memorial Day wins between them.
- Score two for the good guys--Franchitti's win at Indy...and Kyle Petty's third at Lowe's. Franchitti remembered the late Greg Moore when he answered a question about being so well liked in the IndyCar paddock. As for Kyle...there are places in the afterlife for those who really come back from adversity to make the lives of others better. You might have a favorite driver...but Kyle ought to be one of your favorite people and role models as well.
We're taking a road break until Pocono on June 8.
Saturday, May 26, 2007
Pre-Race Musings from the Soggy Brickyard
Milka Duno (above) says she's ready to start her first Indianapolis 500. Milka starts 29th. The last starter is rookie Phil Giebler.
- Penske Racing can never be counted out. They are masters of showing one facet, and concentrating on another to get one of their drivers up front...see 2006, when Sam Hornish won. By the way, 2 time 500 winner Helio Castroneves starts from the pole.
- Ganassi Racing is another contender, with IndyCar Series point leader Dan Wheldon, and Scott Dixon (who is one of my best Indy Car drivers who haven't won the 500)
- Andretti-Green has two sentimental favorites named Andretti (Michael, who has come so close in past years and says he'll hang up the helmet after Sunday and son Marco, who came so close in 2006). They have a dark horse in Tony Kanaan (another of the best drivers who haven't won Indy).
- My dark horse sentimental picks would be, in order, Sarah Fisher and John Andretti.
- I think, however, that Penske and Helio pick up another "Baby Borg" for winning the 500.
Posted at 11:58 am local time
Friday, May 25, 2007
- Tony Kanaan/#11--225.467
- Dario Franchitti/#27--223.807
- Michael Andretti/#39--223.575
- Helio Castroneves/#3--223.527
- Jaques Lazier/#21--223.468
Other Past Champs:
- Sam Hornish, Jr./#6--222.981 7th Fastest
- Dan Wheldon/#10--222.199 13th Fastest
- Buddy Rice/#15--221.161 17th Fastest
- Buddy Lazier/#99--218.149 30th Fastest
- Al Unser, Jr.--/#50--217.158 31st Fastest
- Danica Patrick/#7--222.862 8th Fastest
- Sarah Fisher/#5--218.173 29th Fastest
- Milka Duno/#23--211.658 33rd Fastest
Pit Crew Competition Results to follow.
Updated at 1:36 pm local.
Penske Racing and Helio Castroneves' crew win the Pit Crew Competition over his teammate Sam Hornish, Jr. Couple that with Ryan Newman's Pole at Lowe's Motor Speedway, and it's been a good 24 hours for Team Penske. See you Sunday.
Updated at 7:36 pm local
Monday, May 21, 2007
- Happy Harvick (Kevin, Daytona 500 winner from Richard Childress Racing/RCR) took the money at Lowes Motor Speedway and spanked "The Beast of the Southeast" at the Nextel All Star Challenge...if Hendrick Racing stumbles next weekend...Happy will get happier.
- Dale Earnhardt, Inc. and RCR are going into a joint engine program...wonder who will get the best motors...methinks Harvick and AT&T driver Jeff Burton (NASCAR lost this latest round in Federal Court to keep AT&T off the Burton car) and another driver for Childress will get the best (AA grade) and DEI gets darn good (AA-) engines.
- We wonder who's got the biggest bankroll to pay lawyers...AT&T or NASCAR...even Vince McMahon backed off when he had the dispute with the World Wildlife Federation.
- Almost 10 per cent of the Indianapolis 500 field (9.1% or 3 out of 33 starters) are women. Wonder where the NASCAR "Drive for Diversity" took a wrong turn--or are we impatient? Humpy Wheeler was ahead of his time when he arranged for Janet Guthrie to get a ride in the Coca-Cola 600 some 30 years ago.
- On Armed Forces Day, May 20: The men and women in the Armed Forces do something every day that 98.5% of the population can't or won't do--serve in the active defense of our way of life. They will, unfortunately, never get the respect they deserve in most outlets--except here.
Friday, May 18, 2007
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
News From the PK Communications Co.
May 15, 2007
Motor Sports Radio (sm) Network Reaches Broadcast Milestone With 700th Episode of "Radio-Road-Test"
JOHNSON CITY, NY–The Motor Sports Radio (sm) Network business unit of the PK Communications Co. (Johnson City, NY) reached a broadcast milestone with the production of its 700th network episode of "Radio-Road-Test", the network’s weekly five minute program of driving impressions of American and foreign cars and light trucks. "Radio-Road-Test" has been in continuous national syndication and production since its premiere on January 28, 1993. The episode is scheduled for first broadcast on May 18, 2007.
"Radio-Road-Test" host Paul Kaminski said, "Our 700th road test vehicle was a Ford Mustang GT convertible. Like every other episode, this one features a real-world 0-60 miles per hour measurement (5.7 seconds timed on a hand held stopwatch), a discussion of handling, interior features as well as standard and optional safety features, a base price and sticker price comparison and a real world observation and measurement of fuel economy (22.4 miles per gallon combined)." Kaminski is a veteran radio journalist who has reported for CBS News Radio, ABC Radio News and Sports , the BBC World Service, and for other major English language radio networks nationally and internationally.
"Radio-Road-Test" is heard locally and nationally on terrestrial radio, internationally on the American Forces Radio Network, and by podcast from the company website (msrpk.com/podcast.htm). The network also produces "Race-Talk", a weekly program of major league auto racing news, preview and commentary.
Friday, May 11, 2007
- By walking from DEI, he raises the value for every driver in NASCAR's Nextel Cup Series when contract time comes around. It is, perhaps, NASCAR racing's "Curt Flood" free agent moment (Flood was the baseball player whose struggle and court battle established free agency as a sports way of life, for better or worse)
- He and sister Kelley are stand-up people for getting this out and dealt with...a little of the military academy training shone through.
- This announcement and its timing was a master PR stroke which even bumps Danica Patrick off the racing portion of the sports pages...Ramsey Poston (pr flack for NASCAR) had to like all the ink.
- One wonders just how many Budweiser cans with Jr's likeness are planned before he changes numbers...I can see it now...the '8' on a 24 oz can and call it Dale Jr's "master cylinder".
- One also wonders which of the Chevy contenders/pretenders will make a credible offer for Dale Jr's services.
- Dale Earnhardt, Inc. won a Pyhrric victory in these negotiations--Stepmother Teresa showed the NASCAR universe who was boss. But would you rather be the boss of a company worth hundreds of millions of dollars, or one worth tens of millions? The value of DEI is, for all practical purposes, reduced dramatically once Dale Jr drives his last race for the company in November. Dale Jr merchandise money goes to the new team, and his replacement won't sell as many collectibles. The question is raised again: On January 1, 2008, will Dale Earnhardt, Inc. be worth more in liquidation than it would be as a going business concern?
Friday, May 04, 2007
Monday, April 30, 2007
Sunday, April 15, 2007
Left--Champ Car point leader Will Power (3rd place finisher) and Center--race winner Sebastien Bourdais, who won his 3rd consecutive Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. Oriol Servia, who replaced the injured Paul Tracy, finished second, 2.61 seconds behind Bourdais, who led 58 of the 78 laps run.
Long Beach Impressions--a typically good Long Beach crowd, so the "bulldog" was fed very well. If the series can get past next week in Houston to that 6 week break until Portland, then they can work a little on the chassis. What looked like a lazy hit for Paul Tracy certainly wasn't--and the series can ill afford to have their series "bad boy" and leading active open wheel driver in terms of starts, victories and laps led on the sidelines. However, Tracy is just shy of 40, and recuperative powers diminish with age.
Cristiano da Matta continues to make progress from his head injuries suffered last summer at Road America; he was roaming the paddock this weekend.
Rookie Graham Rahal kept his nose out of trouble; the son of legend Bobby Rahal finished 8th. Graham (like it or not) has big shoes to fill; it would also help the series to have a credible American born contender. One does not become a contender by crashing, but completing laps, and learning how to go faster.
The Champ Car field needs at least 20 starters. That's a rough number to make when the DP-01 production line is shut down. To attract sponsors, you need "buzz" and it can be created with visuals like those which came from Las Vegas and Long Beach. The product must sustain the "buzz", somewhat like sourdough bread starter.
Next on-scene blog will be at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in May. We'll check in with comments before then, to be sure.
Posted at 4:48 pm local time
Update--the American LeMans Series results were under a bit of a protest when we left last evening. The results stand as we reported then.
We'll roam around and maybe post a few snapshots.
Posted at 8:20 am local time
Saturday, April 14, 2007
Above--the Red Bull DP-01 of PKV Racing rookie Neel Jani getting checked from front to back before the day's practice and qualifying at Long Beach. If it looks complicated, it is.
Posted at 5:16 pm local time