Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Tough TV Questions Surround Track Swap
It was Ed Clark from the Atlanta Motor Speedway who was the first guest on Tuesday's edition of NASCAR Now. Ryan Burr returned as host and the topic was changes to the Sprint Cup Schedule for 2009.
Clark is a respected veteran and he spoke clearly about the big issue. Atlanta was giving up their one race in The Chase to take an earlier date on the schedule. Clark said the magic words several times in his answer to the question of why the change was made. Those magic words were "night race."
Atlanta had given up a Chase race for a night race, California's Auto Club Speedway will be welcomed to The Chase in October and Talladega will scoot back a bit into November. That big track will stay firmly in The Chase races. Over on Foxsports.com, Larry McReynolds called it a win-win-win for the tracks and the fans.
Rusty Wallace was all smiles as Burr welcomed him into the show from the Iowa Speedway. Wallace is a partner in the track and was instrumental in the design. Burr let Wallace have his moment in the sun as Iowa Speedway was awarded a Nationwide Series race for next season. Clearly, Wallace has designs on a Sprint Cup Series race in the future.
Burr recapped the Tony Stewart number swap, with Stewart releasing the number 4 and telling Ryan Newman he will be in the 39 for next season. Hard feelings aired by the Morgan McClure team had a little something to do with that decision. Stewart has once again shown himself to be a very savvy businessman.
David Newton was not around, but Burr added a "Newton nugget" that the Montoya team had lost the Texaco-Havoline sponsorship for next season. It would have been nice to let a Ganassi spokesman address that issue. Burr closed the show with a promo for E:60 and the feature piece on Alba Colon, GM's Program Manager for NASCAR. There will be a column up on that program when it is completed.
There certainly was a lot happening in the racing world and this NASCAR Now episode covered almost all the bases. When the Gibbs team penalties come out tomorrow, maybe Burr can ask Andy Petree if he still believes the drivers were involved in placing the magnets on the cars. The email about that statement from both Petree and Tim Brewer has not let up. Wednesday should make for another interesting program.
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