Thursday, August 20, 2015
Crying All the Way to the Bank
I put up a picture of Danica and her new sponsor to represent last week for two reasons: first, Michigan hardly deserves a picture and second, I knew it would piss off lots of Danica haters.
Let's start with Michigan - I give NASCAR lots of credit for trying but the new high drag package they put in place for Indianapolis and Michigan did nothing to improve the racing at those two tracks, not to mention, I hate the look of the giant spoiler. Reminds me too much of the COT. Kentucky? Yes, that was a success and resulted in a great race but NASCAR needs to cut their losses and go back to the drawing board for Indy and Michigan.
Of course, I will admit that it is harder for me to get excited when none of my favorites are fighting for the win and that was the case in Michigan. I was cheering for Jimmie (that goes without saying) and Junior and Jeff and Tony and Kyle Larson and Danica....or I was hoping for a a new winner (any new winner). I would be pleased to see poor old Roush get a win because I'd like to see them be competitive again. I rooted for Kyle Busch to get in the Chase but now that he's pretty safely there, I've jumped off his bandwagon. I'm lukewarm about all the Gibbs cars.
Anyway, Michigan seemed pretty much like the same old-same old. Guy gets out front and no one can catch him. Well, they can catch him but they can't pass him.
You can tell me if you think my biases are showing.
On the other hand, I loved the Mid-Ohio Xfinity race. In fact, I just like road courses, period. Tagliani drove such a superb race until Regan Smith made that classic last lap pass to snag the win. He didn't wreck him or spin him out but simply moved him out of the way and charged on by. Perfectly executed.
Kyle Busch won the Camping World Truck race, if you can believe that.
Now, to Danica. Yes, yes, yes, I know that there are other drivers you think are more worthy of sponsorship. Yes, I know you think she's all celebrity and no substance. Yes, I've taken note of all your whiny arguments. Yes, I know you believe she wouldn't be there if she hadn't used her sex appeal to get where she wanted to go unlike all those upstanding male drivers (who used family connections to get where they wanted to go. Right, Paul Menard, et al?)
But, in fact, it is Nature's Bakery that is going to be spending millions of dollars to use her as the face of their brand, not you, and they evidently think that will pay off, so suck it up. When you have the money, you can sponsor whomever you choose. And they are probably right. Danica practically made Go Daddy a household name and she can most likely do the same for Nature's Bakery. Research shows she is the third most well-known athlete in the U.S. She has a ton of fans who watch NASCAR to root for her every week (including me), people who will seek out Nature's Bakery and give them a try because of her.
So you go, Girl. Haters gonna' hate but I'm sure you'll be crying all the way to the bank.
A sad development - Michael Waltrip Racing announced it would not field a full-time Sprint Cup team in 2016. Of course, we know that Rob Kauffman bought part interest in Chip Ganassi and Felix Sabates' team so that's evidently where his money is going to go. MWR has released Clint Bowyer and David Ragan to look for other rides. The assumption is that Clint and 5-Hour Energy will go with Rob to Ganassi but poor David will be out in the cold once again.
It's too bad. At one point, Michael Waltrip Racing seemed to be on the cusp of making the leap into the first tier teams but it all started to go to hell with the Richmond race when it appeared that Bowyer spun on purpose to help a teammate get into the Chase and NASCAR put Jeff Gordon in and took Martin Truex, Jr. out. Luckily. Martin landed on his feet with Furniture Row Racing but MWR never seemed to recover and they've been mediocre ever since.
Actually, its not the drivers who will pay the highest price but the engineers, over-the-wall guys, fabricators and everyone else who makes their living from Michael Waltrip Racing.
And in other racing news, though not NASCAR, Kimi Raikkonen will be with Ferrari again in 2016 - yes!