Thursday, December 4, 2008

There Is A Blue Chevrolet Parked In The Taxi Lane


Would the owner of a blue Chevrolet please report to the front of the hotel and move your car. New York City wants to get back to the noise and chaos of a normal day in Manhattan.

After all the happenings of the regular season, it is time once again for the post-season Sprint Cup Series banquet. Friday night on the ESPN Classic TV Network NASCAR will be front-and-center from 9PM until Midnight.

Dr. Jerry Punch will be hosting the festivities and Matchbox Twenty is the musical guest. Comedian John Pinette will be along for the laughs and Kevin Costner will be providing a historical feature. For those fans who want to see the edited version of the three hour live program, that will air on December 8th from 2 to 4PM ET on ESPN2.

This is a very difficult time for the sport amid the struggles of the worldwide economy. The NASCAR revenue model for both the teams and the sanctioning body relies on sponsorship from major corporations who then get a high-profile return on their investments. That model is currently at a dead standstill.

Friday is going to be the last very public opportunity for NASCAR Chairman Brian France to infuse confidence in the teams, fans and sponsors. His appearance earlier this week at the Sports Media Summit found him speaking frankly about the economic decline even as he lamented the lack of excitement from Jimmie Johnson.

"He's a California guy, a very nice guy, a cool customer and obviously very talented," France said. "But he's not going to do a lot of things that are going to wow you or stun you or surprise you in the ways that sometimes other athletes make their mark. We need to do more with our athletes to bring out their emotions."

That last sentence is completely the opposite of the very public signal that NASCAR has been sending out on the TV airwaves for the last two years. Politically correct drivers like Carl Edwards, Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon are the role models for the sport.

The last seventeen races of the Sprint Cup season feature six or seven ESPN announcers dressed in suits-and-ties talking about cookie-cutter drivers who get out and say the same thing after every race. The results have been a TV ratings disaster.

The anticipated surge in viewership once the sport put the final piece of the TV puzzle in place and transitioned over to ESPN and ABC did not happen. This bitter pill has been tough to swallow for France even as he presides over a billion-dollar TV rights contract that has years left to run.

This season ended with the tension between the NASCAR teams and ESPN at an all-time high. This relationship seems to be so very different than the one enjoyed by either Fox Sports or TNT during those portions of the Sprint Cup TV season. It is certainly very different than SPEED, the one network that distinguished itself this season.

While France publicly pointed to Jimmie Johnson and the economy, he may perhaps have missed one big issue. It is up to the NASCAR on ESPN team to close-out the year with a bang. That is the very reason the TV schedule is arranged in this manner.

Fox starts the season, builds the drama of the Daytona 500 and then stays on top of the stories as the season unfolds. TNT comes along and the focus is on the summer Daytona race and the "wide open" coverage. Both these pieces of the puzzle are just the prelude to the "big boys" coming to town.

While Kyra Sedgwick might be "The Closer" where TNT is concerned, it is the ESPN/ABC portion of the Sprint Cup TV package that is supposed to be "the closer" for the NASCAR season.

Rather than reflect on the fact that Jimmie Johnson is not Tony Stewart, France may be well-served with a strategic meeting to determine why the last two Sprint Cup seasons ended in disjointed TV coverage, flat ratings and angry drivers.

There may never be a more difficult NASCAR off-season in the modern era than this one. Despite the presence of additional family in the sport and professionals like Mike Helton at his side, ultimately the focus is on France to hold things together through this turmoil.

A clean and neat appearance with clearly-spoken enthusiastic words at the Sprint Cup Series banquet on Friday night is going to go a long way toward erasing the memory of the disheveled executive defending everything from sexual harassment lawsuits to the COT in 2008. This night, the spotlight is on Brian France.

Thanks to a TDP reader for the picture above from this week in NYC.

The Daly Planet will have a live forum for your comments during the Sprint Cup Series banquet. There will be a full column up shortly after the program is over to review how NASCAR and its TV company chose to present this awards program.

To add your comment to this post, just click on the COMMENTS button below and follow the easy instructions. The rules for posting are located on the right side of the main page. Thanks for taking the time to stop by The Daly Planet.

29 comments:

Dot said...

I can't wait until the comment session during the banquet. I wasn't going to watch it, but I will now. Thank you, JD.

I think JP will do well as the MC since he will have a "script" to follow. The entertainment also seems to fit for once. Matchbox Twenty appeals to both young and old, rockers and non rockers. John Pinette is funny.

I'm not thrilled to have to see the Emperor. He's such a horse's behind. I think some of our best comedy material will come out while he's on. Be ready TDP Comedy Players.

SallyB said...

Expecting Brian france to instill confidence in Nascar is going to be a tall order. So far in his sparse appearances, we've seen a man who looks as if he needs to find a good dry cleaner or make the acquaintance of a good ironing board. His inability to put together two coherent sentences is another problem. Platitudes and doublespeak are his stock in trade. The fact that his 'revolutionary and brilliant' ideas (he'll tell you so, anyway) have preceeded the lack of interest by the fans to either attend races or bother watch on television (unless you need a good nap, or course) doesn't exactly make me think he's up to the job.

Anonymous said...

I was so glad to see Jimmie in Jim Rome's show. When asked about his personality, he said this is the way he is now and has always been. Why should he be a phony bad boy? His personality is much like Peyton Manning, Tiger Woods, Eli Manning, Tim Duncan, etc. For all the cries of letting drivers be themselves, let Jimmie be himself.

Mr France should stop blaming the drivers for NASCAR problems (like putting the success of the season on Jr.)He should also notice how Forbes valued Jeff Gordon's car. It was valued more than the entire Petty Enterprise. He should also notice JJ has no trouble financing his car.

Mr France out to ask the NY Football Giants who they rather, Plaxico or Eli. And by the way, the 3rd best selling shirt in the NFL is Eli Manning's. This is out of 1600 NFL players in 32 teams.

I think it is so outragious to have the head of NASCAR diss the 2008 Cup Champion. When Roger Goodell gave the MVP trophy, he complimented Eli Manning on athletics but also for being a good role model. He didn't say how boring he was and hurting ratings.

Sophia said...

Wow.

I don't even know how to comment on Brian France.

He is such an out of touch embarrassment. I can NOT believe the way he put down Jimmie and puts the burden of bad NASCAR ratings on Jr...hopefully Jr will not fall for that line ..the boy has enough media fixation pressure without France trying to make Jr out a failure.

Just when you think Brian France can not say anything more clueless, he again opens his mouth, and inserts foot or feet as the case may be. Expect to see shoelaces out of his mouth at the Awards show.

Anonymous said...

You end by saying "This night, the spotlight is on Brian France."

I could not disagree more.

While France will no doubt make some comments, and a bored media looking for a story will run with it, the spotlight is firmly on one man: Jimmie Johnson.

This banquet is a celebration. Of the end of a long season. Of accomplishments for teams on the track. Of the sports champion. Of history being made.

The spotlight is and shall be on Johnson all night. And it won't be because he is clean cut and a good speaker, but because he is the best driver with the best team. And Carl Edwards won't be on the podium in 2nd place because he is runner up but because he is a wheel man, won the most races, and is the second best driver of the year.

NASCAR has problems. France has to do his part to try and fix or at least mitigate them. But this night, the focus is not on NASCAR's problems or on Brian France. The focus is on the 48. All hail the champion and let everyone raise a toast to his historic accomplishment. Leave the business to work day.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Anon 3:36AM,

Um, do you read the paper or watch TV at all?

No one is going to remember anything JJ said or did this week. That is already clear after his less-than-memorable TV appearances.

What France is facing is exactly what the Big 3 auto-makers are facing...the end of his business.

Just who is going to be racing in the Nationwide Series other than Carl and Clint? Where are the Truck teams going to come from now that the KHI sponsor was stolen by NASCAR just to keep the series alive?

Other than the big four owners and their satellite teams, who is going to round-out the Cup field next season?

This year featured COT tire disasters, horrible TV coverage and angry drivers. Only one person can either right the ship or let it sink.

I think the harsh reality of what is happening in the world still has not penetrated deeply enough into the France brain.

If NASCAR has to dip into its own resources to prop the sport up for 2009, he better make that clear this Friday.

The buzz behind the scenes is not what France is portraying to the media. His enthusiastic and clear-minded performance as Chairman at the banquet is what the fans and the media are going to be watching.

IMHO, this season the drivers are a sideshow.

JD

Anonymous said...

I also agree that the spotlight on the banquet will be Jimmie Johnson. As I read the numbers on Jayski, he has preformed tremendously since he came to Cup.

Mr France cannot "save" NASCAR in the few minutes he'll be on stage. The auto makers have not gotten their government money and their bailout and that's a huge part for teams. Several owners have admitted that they have overspent in their teams.

I also think that calling Jimmie Johnson "politically correct" is an insult. Do you know him? Not just in Jim Rome's show, but all over the garage, that's just the way he is. Jimmie says that's the way he was raised. I came from a long line of polite people, and Jimmie Johnson seems very normal to me. Thank goodness.

Rockin Rich said...

Anon @3:36AM & JD @5:15 AM 12/5:

I think both both of you make valid points. Although JD, I think you seemed a little harsh with your opening statement back to Anon@3:36.

I do believe that NA$CAR is facing a serious crisis with an inept leader in charge of guiding it. I don't know whether he is truly incompetent/incapable, or just doesn't care to make the effort to do his job. I think it is more the latter.

I do believe that as Anon @3:36 says, the spotlight will not be on B. France. Whether it should be is another question. If for no other reason, I think the PR types running what I believe will be a sorry show, will not allow the focus to be on France due to his ineptness in delivering a message, (sloppy appearance not withstanding).

I think the whole "show" will be a focus on Johnson. He, and Chad along with the entire team have earned their time in the spotlight. I also agree that no one will remember what he said 15 minutes after he's done.

What will not be seen is a decisive moment like we saw back in 2000 when Bill France, Jr. took the microphone away from Baby Brian to make sense of the explanation Baby Brian was ineptly making about NASCAR's plans for 2001 and beyond. I think I remember seeing that at the Banquet, although it may have been at a news conference before the 2001 Daytona 500.

Personally, I think the "show" should be on the drivers,and the just concluded season. I believe that a separate, day-time-on-a-channel-more-people-can-see occasion should be used to deliver a message about how NASCAR is going to address the 2009 season issues. And, I believe that occasion needs to happen very soon.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Rich,

I totally understand your point.

Let's first eliminate any JJ connnection so the discussion does not get off-track. This media issue has nothing to do with him at all.

We exchange a lot of email behind he scenes, and what France is saying right now in public is not matching up with what teams are saying in Mooresville. That is a problem.

For those of us who remember Brian's father, this is a time for strong and high-profile leadership to grab the media and use it to get the message out to fans.

Nothing was better than when Bill Jr. would take the microphone and start telling the reporters how things were going to be in his sport.

How NASCAR chooses to present itself is going to be critical to keeping fans for next season.

Come on, this organization does not even have an email address, a blog or a website. NASCAR.com is run by a group of Turner employees in Atlanta, GA.

The memories of how this season ended in the stands, in the TV ratings and for the advertisers are still fresh in the minds of many as they officially say goodbye to NASCAR for over two months.

It should be interesting.

JD

Anonymous said...

I do not agree that this is the time for Mr France to "grab" the media. We are having a lot of problems in this country and what people will remember of this summer is $4 a gallon price of gas and the recession.

Every business is having trouble, even the NFL. Every decision that is made will have a "victim." The new testing policy will save teams money, but now I read of the tracks and towns that will suffer unemployment because NACAR won't be there.

Unlike other sports, NASCAR is made up of independant teams. They can run their teams however they want. That makes it hard. Just because you were a great driver, does not make you a great business man. Some have not managed their teams well. Some did not have a vision and just lived in the past.

I think that if
they had franchised the teams, there would be value in teams and they could have been sold and still kept their name, heratige and value. You can look at the Dallas Cowboys or the NY Giants as examples. Even though owners have changed, they still honor their proud heritage. As it is, you have Petty Ent. who is hanging by a thread and whose value keeps diminishing.

Unless someone does something, funny, outrageous, or stupid, no one will remember it. I don't remember most of the previous ones. I do remember when Tony came out with the Hans devise, Jeff and his glass of milk, etc. So I hope Jimmie does something funny. It's his night.

Deborah said...

Um, do you read the paper or watch TV at all?

No one is going to remember anything JJ said or did this week. That is already clear after his less-than-memorable TV appearances.


I read the paper, watch TV and visit a variety of websites and I've seen quite a bit of coverage of Jimmie this week as there should be. Even the New York Times is covering Jimmie this week. The focus will and should be on Jimmie at the banquet. The banquet isn't the time for Brian France to address the problems facing the sport or how he plans on fixing them. Not to mention he already addressed those issues earlier this week. If I watch the banquet it won't be to see Brian, it'll be to see Jimmie and his team be saluted for winning their third straight championship, and to see the rest of the drivers.

Those who think that Jimmie is lacking in personality and is less-than-memorable should have heard him last night on The Stewie Awards on Sirius - no shortage of personality from Jimmie or any of the other drivers on the show. Sounds like there's going to be quite some party in the Presidential Suite at the Waldorf tonight.

majorshouse said...

I do not know if it is the fact that Bryan is living in Bill's shadow, or is just a pretty rich boy who has no credibility or competence. I think he needs to get it together and show the world what is going tohappen or we may not have a NASCAR. To be nice his leadership has been wishy-washy and void of any real leadership l;ike his father and grandfather always showed the world and it looks to this fan like naming him as his father's successor was a joke and a fialure and it will be really interesting to see how he handles the financial and mkotring crisis that we have created in this country and the show tonight should be rather interesting and personally I like Jimmy and how he conducts himself, but I am also looking for a little passion out of the other drivers like NASCAR promised us they would allow earlier this year and obviously that has not come to fruition too.

Rockin Rich said...

Re: JD @5:53AM —

Yeah, I think we are on the same page here. There needs to be a strong, honest message delivered soon on a media source, and at a time that most people will see. Probably won't happen.

I think there is even a bigger underlying set of issues here. How did NA$CAR get to this sorry situation? As you point out, there is NO way to get a communication directly to the decision makers in Daytona Beach. It seems to me they live and function in a bubble.

How did it get to this? There must be some smart-with-common-sense people in management there. The organization couldn't have reached the level of success it has without those kind of people.

I guess there is no point in rehashing the litany of recent bad decisions. The thing that just blows me away is that they seem to continue blindly along this path to self destruction. The real crime here is that their actions, (or lack of), could drastically alter the well being of the vast majority of the people that make their living in, or associated with, NASCAR.

Just one example, in my opinion, of functioning in this bubble is that they are apparently going to again thumb their noses at our laws concerning monopolistic business practices by awarding a second Cup date to the Kansas track. Maybe it's hubris rather than blindness, I don't know.

I think it is lucky for the Beach Bozos that Bruton Smith has apparently reached a point in his life that he is no longer the force he once was. I think if Bruton was 20, or even 10 years younger he would be actively pursuing starting a rival racing series.

I certainly don't mean to be demeaning, or age discriminating toward Bruton. He is a very successful business man. I just think the recent events surrounding him indicate that things are not the same at SMI.

What's all this got to do with NASCAR on TV? I think that the semi-paralysis in Daytona Beach has resulted in in the continuing disservice that ESPN foists on the racing fans across the country. But, again, that is just a symptom of much more serious problems.

Well, this turned into a longer comment than I started out to make. But, maybe it provides more fodder for comments from your readers.

I hope that you, and all your readers can begin getting in the spirit of the Season. There are many things to be happy for all of us to be happy for.

Tracy said...

"Come on, this organization does not even have an email address, a blog or a website. NASCAR.com is run by a group of Turner employees in Atlanta, GA."

That's the way they want it, and that's the problem. Stay away from the fans as far as possible so you don't have to handle their thoughts, concerns, and desires. Nascar fans are articulate, caring, and loyal to the Nth degree. Why would you want to keep them at arm's length?

Because you can. What a waste. Shameful.Shortsighted.Stupid.

Re BF's appearances before the cameras: You can be rumpled, dirty, and look as if you've just cleaned out the garage if what you're saying has authority and sense behind it. The sport needs a commander in chief who looks and talks like a. . . man. Sorry. I hate to say this, but BF has such a baby face, unhoned, unlined, as well as a petulant expression that seems to come from his DNA, I'm not sure he can look like a leader, much less sound like one. When he slams JJ in the press for being too nice, he sounds as if he has no idea what's going on in his sport. That's the real problem.

So we're back to Square One. A leader who doesn't look, much less speak, with authority or knowledge. And one who doesn't seem to care to attain either. Of course, I'm speaking from the outside, with no insider knowledge, and it's highly likely I'm totally off-base. But the issue is, this is how it looks from the stands. I'm one of millions, and I'll bet a majority see it the same way.

Anonymous said...

Are you kiddin me? Brian wants drivers to "show" emotion and personality???? This from the guy who crushed every facet of driver/team reaction? The guy who forced the heroes of the sport to the retirement home so he could make the sport more Hollywood-esque and hip???
Where the heck have you been, Bryan?? Drinking the Kool Aid with Davis Hill at FOX???

red said...

ok, first off: once again, not everyone has opted to pay to have espn classic as part of their cable package so for some, watching the full banquet live isn't possible.

second, exactly who is going to be home on a tuesday afternoon from 2-4 to watch the condensed version? really? is this the best time slot nascar could get from a broadcast partner to show what's supposed to be a premier event in the sport? shameful and yet not unexpected this year.

third, brian france is one of the most ungrateful and rude individuals i can imagine. he has once again blamed a driver in the sport for nascar's failures, this time the historic "three-peat" champion! brian: get a clue! you're supposed to be talking about how GREAT the drivers and teams are, not looking to shift the blame for the decline in popularity off your shoulders and on to theirs!

fourth, if brian france isn't going to hold broadcasters like espn accountable for the poor quality of their work, then what in heaven's name is he there for anyway? he doesn't present well physically, he doesn't speak intelligently, he doesn't hold his employees accountable for their actions, he doesn't attend the races, he doesn't support the non-cup series, he takes sponsor money away from the teams -- so why is he still around? oh, right: his family. pathetic and sad.

fifth, scene daily ran a quote from him that says he doesn't envision a 30 year term as head of nascar. dear God in heaven, what made him think we WANTED him to serve a 30 year term?

sixth: yes, the automakers are in deep, deep water and that will inevitably impact nascar. but if there was actually someone in charge of our sport who cared about the sport and not just all the $$ that has come to him from it, things would be different.

brian france stubbornly refuses to listen to any criticisms of the sport and so has shut himself off from a valuable resource for information on how to keep the sport alive and maybe, just maybe, undo some of the damage he's inflicted upon it.

championship week and the banquet should be for the championship teams to enjoy and receive recognition of their excellence. they shoud not be handicapped by such an inept and bumbling presence as brian france -- nor should our sport. he is an embarassment and if he's not going to learn how to even present himself in public and speak intelligently about the sport he theoretically leads, then he needs to be replaced by someone who will.

i nominate mike helton: he loves our sport, he speaks clearly and intelligently, he is at every race, he is visible to the fans and he is respected by the drivers. like him or hate him, agree or disagree with him, he is everything brian france is not and could be the saving change for our sport!

(and i won't be watching the banquet so i hope dr punch will shine in this latest role!)

Anonymous said...

We just can't get away from Dr. Punch,can we? Last year's awards banquet made me cringe when I heard Syrupy Suzy Kohlber's voice. Why couldn't Bestwick be emcee??

Rockin Rich said...

Follow up on my "epistles":

I just read that Kansas Speedway, and their business partner, Cordish Co., have withdrawn their application for "...Lottery Gaming Facility Manager for the Northeast Kansas gaming zone, with the intent to re-apply upon the re-opening of bidding for the zone."

Further the announcement states: "...Kansas Speedway will delay plans for the addition of a road course and potential second NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race." It also says they will reapply upon reopening of the bidding for Northeast Kansas Gaming Zone.

The announcement is on Racing One. I expect it will hit Jayski and the others shortly.

Think things aren't serious? This was a big deal, (read big $$$), for NA$CAR & I$C.

Maybe the classic saying "when one door closes, another opens" applies here. They may have saved themselves from a nasty anti-monopoly investigation, or another law suit.

Now for the TV related part of my comment:

I don't have access to ESPN Classic, so I won't see the Banquet. I haven't been willing to spend the extra $$ for digital when the only channel I want that I don't get now is Classic. I may wish I had done it anyway. For a change, this year's may be worth watching.

Broomfield, Colorado said...

It's Brian France's bed, he needs to lie in it. He created this disaster, he needs to deal with it. As far as putting Jimmie down, I didn't take it that way. What Brian seen is what millions of NASCAR fans have seen the last 6 years: Boredom. Vanilla. And don't get me started on "He's the best driver, he's no phony,etc" He IS phony. Alot of drivers and crew in the garage will tell you that. I know first hand.
Brian wanted to get away from the Redneck image, and Southern drawl, and he got what he deserved. That's not to say that Northerners are not good people. I happen to be from Colorado, but the minute he started to be ashamed of his heritage and past, that's the minute the sport took a down turn.He sees the ratings disater (finally), and INMHO is putting some of the blame where it rightfully goes. On Jimmie's shoulders. Jimmie has said recently, that he can't stand the crowds, the fans on pit road, and all of the media attention. Well, then, why are you here?
I agree that Brian is a mess, but the 48 teams' successes have contributed equally to flat ratings, bad attendance, and apathy toward the sport.
On a side note, with the possible extinction of Petty Enterprises, this sport is headed straight to hell, and probably won't recover from it. No matter how much success the 48 team continues to enjoy.

Anonymous said...

It is great how many folks out there are really treating Jimmie like a champion. I read about how he kept ringing the bell at the stock exchange and what a thrill it was. And he was cheered.

Jimmie said in an interview that the day after getting the championship he was at ESPN in CT.
The first person he saw was Coach Mike Ditka (whom we love in Chicago), in the hallway. JJ said he went up and introduced himself to the coach and the coach said "I know who you are champ, and by the way, you are a dynasty." then Cris Carter, HOF nominee for NFL, also came and gave him kudos.

Jimmie says he was thrilled. (No one treated him like he was bland or politically correct.) I see him in interviews and video clips and he is having a ball, including at Tony's Stwie Awards.

I know that Jimmie will have fun tonight and so will his family, Rick, crew, and all of us that think he deserves to be cheered at this banquet.

Daly Planet Editor said...

If you think this media story has anything to do with Jimmie Johnson you are missing the point.

When the NFL needs help with a situation, the NFL Commish gets in the media and sets things right.

NASCAR is on the verge of a meltdown that will end the sport as we know it.

For better or worse, the buck stops with Brian France.

JD

GinaV24 said...

Well, I'll have to catch it on DVR on the repeat day since I don't get classic. (I know tell my cable company, not you). Of course by then, I'll have read all about it and may not want or need to -- I expect it will be the usual boring crap -- funny, isn't that a lot like the racing and the coverage?

These were the things that struck me most in your blog, JD. You said that it is a "bitter pill for France" but NASCAR still gets a lot of the money, so I'm not sure how this can be a bitter pill for BF -- for the fans, yes, for him, money sweetens all of it.

"This season ended with the tension between the NASCAR teams and ESPN at an all-time high. This relationship seems to be so very different than the one enjoyed by either Fox Sports or TNT during those portions of the Sprint Cup TV season. It is certainly very different than SPEED, the one network that distinguished itself this season."

Obviously, ESPN's style doesn't lend itself to making the drivers comfortable or trusting. Which in turns leads to the fans not liking ESPN -- plus the constant disparagment of NASCAR on all the other ESPN shows doesn't do much for it either.

"A clean and neat appearance with clearly-spoken enthusiastic words at the Sprint Cup Series banquet on Friday night is going to go a long way toward erasing the memory of the disheveled executive defending everything from sexual harassment lawsuits to the COT in 2008. This night, the spotlight is on Brian France."

Oh, that's very funny -- I won't count on it! Brian France needs an image consultant AND a personality transplant.

Anonymous said...

JD,

You write that it is wrong to think this story has anything to do with Jimmie Johnson. Well, I guess many are confused.

First you put a picture of his car and in your first paragraph you make reference to it. Then you mention Brian's comment about JJ and you call JJ a "politically correct" driver. Then you talk about cooke-cutter drivers who say the same thing. Then you say that JJ is not Tony Stewart.

I agree that Mr. France is not a very good executive and NASCAR needs different leadership. But I think the headlines after the banquet should be about JJ. A championship banquet honoring the winningest driver of this century is not the place to make/announce policy.

And since you mentioned Roger Goodell, I am sure he would not announce policy at a Super Bowl celebration. He would not want to take the limelight away from the champs.

I agree with you that NASCAR, and especially some teams are in a lot of trouble, but there has also been a lot of joy this season.

GinaV24 said...

One more thing ... -- Yes, I remember Bill France Jr -- actually once upon a time when I was a small child, I met Big Bill! Both of those men were forceful, with a clear vision of what they wanted their sport to become and they achieved it, only to have it come down to what it is now with this 3rd generation waste of space. You're right, JD, NASCAR's fate does clearly rest on Brian France's decisions -- heaven help us. Big Bill and Bill Jr would NEVER have let ESPN treat their sport this way, contract or not.

cncspd said...

Daly Planet Editor said...
No one is going to remember anything JJ said or did this week.

JD-

I'll remember and nice shot of the 48 car! LOL

Thanks!

bevo said...

For those who don't think Mr. France has a big problem check out the other news in motorsports today. Honda is selling their F1 operation and Audi is leaving the American Le Mans Series despite admitting it has increased their sales.

Tonight might just end up being The Last Waltz for the fat days of NASCAR.

Daly Planet Editor said...

There is a new post up for the live blog of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series banquet on ESPN Classic at 9PM.

Thanks,

JD

Geeze said...

John Pinette is very funny. Good choice. Much better to avoid a David Spade disaster.

Adam T. Martin said...

Brian France has lost all credibility but when has he had any?

Blaming ratings on Dale Jr? Give him a break!

No wonder why NASCAR is being kicked by big media. Brian France lets it happen.