NASCAR feeling the effects of a slumping American economy

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Thread: NASCAR feeling the effects of a slumping American economy

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    GMI Contributor Premium Member Ming's Avatar
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    NASCAR feeling the effects of a slumping American economy

    NASCAR feeling the effects of a slumping American economy
    7/7/2008



    CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Chip Ganassi shocked the NASCAR industry when he shut down Dario Franchitti's unsponsored race team, putting last year's IndyCar Series champion and 71 other employees out of work.

    That it happened to Ganassi, a multi-car owner who just six weeks ago won the Indianapolis 500, was a wake-up call to every team owner not named Childress, Gibbs, Hendrick or Roush.

    These are tough economic times, and the sagging market is finally affecting NASCAR in nearly every facet of the industry.

    When the season opened at Daytona International Speedway in February, 53 cars attempted to make the race. On the return trip last weekend, only 45 cars showed up, six of which lacked full sponsorship and are operating on shoestring budgets. And there were huge swaths of empty seats in the grandstands for Saturday night's main event.

    It all coincided with the June car and truck sales reports, which forecast gloom and doom for NASCAR's participating automakers.

    General Motors Corporation reported an 18.2 per cent drop in sales as Merrill Lynch downgraded GM shares to "underperform" while warning that bankruptcy is not out of the question. The analysis contributed to GM shares dropping to a 54-year low.

    Ford Motor Company reported a 27.9 per cent drop, and Toyota showed a 21.4 per cent sales decline.

    But the biggest danger, according to JPMorgan auto analyst Himanshu Patel, lies with Chrysler. Sales are down 22 per cent, and Patel last week warned the automaker could be forced to file for bankruptcy protection or sell off parts of its business in the second half of 2009 if industry conditions don't improve.

    The automakers spend an estimated combined $500 million annually on their NASCAR programs - funds that could shrink, or even disappear, if conditions don't improve. And deep-pocketed sponsors also are losing the budgets they once had to splash their logos on the front of a race car.

    As more big businesses suffer, fewer sponsorship opportunities will exist. Scratch Starbucks off the list of potential new NASCAR money - on the same day Ganassi made his cuts, Starbucks said it will close 600 stores.

    NASCAR chairman Brian France is adamant his family-owned business ebbs and flows with the economy, and points out that a little over a year ago, he was being questioned about an overly saturated market of heavily funded race teams in the premier Sprint Cup Series.

    "Too many cars, too many well-funded teams - they're going to be disappointed when they go home (fail to qualify). What are you going to do? Are you going to expand the field? Tell me what you are going to do," France said, mimicking the questions he was asked a year ago.

    Source: http://canadianpress.google.com/arti...DP6x0Eoujk0BAw

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    6.0 Liter L76 V8 Joe in T.O.'s Avatar
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    Re: NASCAR feeling the effects of a slumping American economy

    That's what they get for letting Toyota into it.

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    Re: NASCAR feeling the effects of a slumping American economy

    Quote Originally Posted by Joe in T.O. View Post
    That's what they get for letting Toyota into it.
    Exactly. We all knew it. Toyota is a leach that sucks the life out of any sport they enter. What a shame.
    Member of the: Real Truck Guys Club.

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    Re: NASCAR feeling the effects of a slumping American economy

    I don't think it has anything to do with Toyota or gas prices. The economy is weak and sponsorship dollars are sparse. Champ Car had to merge with the IRL because of it this year and even NASCAR is getting pinched now. Recession means belt tightening and this recession could be a bad one.

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    Re: NASCAR feeling the effects of a slumping American economy

    Thank god.

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    Re: NASCAR feeling the effects of a slumping American economy

    I think its got less to do with toyota or the economy and more to do with nascar getting away from its roots over the last 10-15 years. I used to be an avid (rabid) nascar fan but with all the stupid rules and common templates it has become SO boring that many people like me are tuning it out.

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    Re: NASCAR feeling the effects of a slumping American economy

    Quote Originally Posted by dindak View Post
    I don't think it has anything to do with Toyota or gas prices. The economy is weak and sponsorship dollars are sparse. Champ Car had to merge with the IRL because of it this year and even NASCAR is getting pinched now. Recession means belt tightening and this recession could be a bad one.
    Toyota may not have anything to do with it but most certainly gas prices do. There used to be thousands of people who travel all over the country following the circuit and it would be enourmously expensive to do that. A lot of people don't even want to travel to another state to see their usual 1 or 2 races a year because of how much fuel has bitten into their budget.

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    Re: NASCAR feeling the effects of a slumping American economy

    Quote Originally Posted by Joe in T.O. View Post
    That's what they get for letting Toyota into it.
    That's exactly right. Not only have I, a 20+ year fan of Nascar, quit watching since toyota was allowed in, I have spoken to numerous Nascar fans of many years that said the same thing. Way to kill the Golden Goose, France. Not only are fans pissed off about toyota, they aren't going to spend cash to drive their RVs to the track. Fans can't afford to attend. Then of course you have toyota outspending the domestic manufacturers, costing them more, and therefore helping rid Nascar and America of our domestic car makes. This was toyota's plan in the first place. This is how the Japanese get back at America for kicking their ass in WWII. The entire thing is disgusting. SCREW TOYOTA. You get what you deserve, Brian France.

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    Re: NASCAR feeling the effects of a slumping American economy

    Quote Originally Posted by JKriegs View Post
    That's exactly right. Not only have I, a 20+ year fan of Nascar, quit watching since toyota was allowed in, I have spoken to numerous Nascar fans of many years that said the same thing. Way to kill the Golden Goose, France. Not only are fans pissed off about toyota, they aren't going to spend cash to drive their RVs to the track. Fans can't afford to attend. Then of course you have toyota outspending the domestic manufacturers, costing them more, and therefore helping rid Nascar and America of our domestic car makes. This was toyota's plan in the first place. This is how the Japanese get back at America for kicking their ass in WWII. The entire thing is disgusting. SCREW TOYOTA. You get what you deserve, Brian France.

    AMEN. I created nascarnate a while back and now I wish I hadnt. The sport is now boring, corporate BS. Its no different than an IROC event. I find motocross much more fun to go see and follow.

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    Re: NASCAR feeling the effects of a slumping American economy

    I hate that Toyota is in it, but I like seeing Kyle win. I'm a Hendrick fan, but it was very stupid to get rid of Kyle, who's talent is obvious just to get Jr in. Proves it's not about prize money, it's much more about T shirt money.

    Jr is more popular, but there isn't a shred of doubt that Kyle is 10 times more talented. He causes a few accidents, but so did everyone else starting out. Kyle is the most skilled driver on the track, and it's a shame he lost his job to some guy who inherited popularity.

    The reason is gas. Saturday night, we watched the end of the race from a tv in the bar, and there were a lot of empty seats. Nobody can afford to drive half way across the country to attend.

    That means less direct money from tickets. So we all know that means even more TV advertising to make up the difference. Yippy. Only NASCAR can make 400 miles at 200 MPH last 5 hours.

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    Re: NASCAR feeling the effects of a slumping American economy

    As much as I'd like to hold toyota responsible for Nascar's woes, I think it's a more complex problem than that. The economy, gas prices, and common template "stock" cars have all contributed to the issue. I think the change in the class of drivers has adversely affected Nascar, too. Old school drivers like Dale Earnhardt, Dale Jarrett, Rusty Wallace, Ricky Rudd, Bill Elliott, and Darrell Waltrip have all departed in the last decade, replaced by 130-lb prima donna jockeys who behave like spoiled little girls.

    Having said that, I do think letting toyota compete has had a negative effect. I was already losing interest in Nascar, but when they announced they were letting toyota compete that was the final straw. I simply don't feel that they have any place in Nascar, and I refuse to support the series as long as they have japanese manufacturers competing.

    And you know what? I really don't miss it.

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    Re: NASCAR feeling the effects of a slumping American economy

    Replace it with the Australian Supercar series and be done with it. Heck, even Dale Jr. loves it:

    http://blog.al.com/blogoftomorrow/20...ustralian.html

    NASCAR needs to be a series where you take a regular car off the showroom floor, add the appropriate safety equipment, and run it on Sunday. If one marque dominates, then so what? Isn't that what competition is all about? Doesn't competition breed better cars?

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    Re: NASCAR feeling the effects of a slumping American economy

    Quote Originally Posted by Joe in T.O. View Post
    That's what they get for letting Toyota into it.
    They got what they asked for .....sellouts to Toyota....hope gibbs goes under too.

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    Angry Re: NASCAR feeling the effects of a slumping American economy

    Quote Originally Posted by JKriegs View Post
    That's exactly right. Not only have I, a 20+ year fan of Nascar, quit watching since toyota was allowed in, I have spoken to numerous Nascar fans of many years that said the same thing. Way to kill the Golden Goose, France. Not only are fans pissed off about toyota, they aren't going to spend cash to drive their RVs to the track. Fans can't afford to attend. Then of course you have toyota outspending the domestic manufacturers, costing them more, and therefore helping rid Nascar and America of our domestic car makes. This was toyota's plan in the first place. This is how the Japanese get back at America for kicking their ass in WWII. The entire thing is disgusting. SCREW TOYOTA. You get what you deserve, Brian France.
    You couldnt have said it any better......ex 25+ year fan of "Nas-oda"

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    Re: NASCAR feeling the effects of a slumping American economy

    Quote Originally Posted by dindak View Post
    I don't think it has anything to do with Toyota or gas prices. The economy is weak and sponsorship dollars are sparse. Champ Car had to merge with the IRL because of it this year and even NASCAR is getting pinched now. Recession means belt tightening and this recession could be a bad one.
    No, I'm sure it's Toyota.

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