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Discussion Starter #1
What an interesting moment last night - on the NASCAR review one of the commentators (is it Jeff Hammond?) had gone to Finland and reported back. He had about 20 seconds to try to capture rally for the NASCAR fan. He described the "incredible car control" and a lot about the "crazy enthusiastic fans" "even climbing on houses, anywhere they can to get a piece of the action" or similar words. He was also wearing a WRC shirt that warranted 10 seconds or so of commentary...

Make no mistake - this is very significant. NASCAR is bigger than even I thought. Simultaneous with the broadcast last night I was reading this week's New Yorker magazine. The NEW YORKER has a feature article on Bill France and the whole France family, and the business and culture of NASCAR. New York, the least southern and the least car-oriented city in the country, and the New Yorker, surely the most urban and classicly effete (and sometimes pretentious) publication in New York, published a completely unironic, carefully researched article on NASCAR. I now have a female friend, a lawyer in town, who with one of her girlfriends rents a car to go out and catch the races a Pocono. NASCAR, my rally friends, has arrived at the frontier.

And thanks to Speed for piggybacking WRC on to NASCAR! It's only because they know that racers are racers that we stand to get any exposure at all. But that exposure, played carefully, could have huge positive effects for rally in this country.

ACP
Flirting with the laws of physics.

PS - here's the weird thing for me: since Speed has started covering rally, I've become a bit of a NASCAR fan. Yes they're pushrod engines of 1950's design. Yes a few of the guys still sound like the Dukes of Hazzard. Yes the cars still look a little like the worst horrors of Detroit. Yes they're almost all terrified of turning right (and when they have to turn right, suddenly the very un-southern Ron Fellowes and Boris Said pop out of the woodwork).

But sheeee-it, brother, those are 770-hp cars doin' some rubbin' at 190mph. It's just racin' is all.
 

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Andrew:

I think that the SCCA and the Manufacturers are missing out on an enormous opportunity here to put three or four top NASCAR drivers in competitive cars on a Pro Rally.

Doug Woods
 

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Discussion Starter #3
WOW is that a good idea! The problem is finding some weekend when the NASCAR guys aren't racing. Can someone cross index the US prorallies against the NASCAR schedule? (EDIT - I just did - no rallies without Winston cup races for the remainder of the year. Maybe we can work on a gravel rally for next year...). I'll figure out how to get the cars and even try to liaise with NASCAR. Holy shee-it would there be some fun and some press coverage. We know that Boris Said would sign up...

ACP
Flirting with the laws of physics.
 

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>Andrew:
>
>I think that the SCCA and the Manufacturers are missing out
>on an enormous opportunity here to put three or four top
>NASCAR drivers in competitive cars on a Pro Rally.
>
>Doug Woods

I don't think kinship between Nascar and rally is very surprising. NASCAR drivers in rally cars: Mark Martin. A couple of years ago when everyone was trying to figure out heel-and-toe at Watkins and Ron Fellows and other ringers were winning and placing in one-off drives, the few NASCAR regulars doing well included Martin. When asked why, he said something (more or less) to the effect that "driving is driving - the roads around my home aren't in an oval - hell, the shiners didn't out-run the revenuer's on ovals..."

Anyone who believes that so-called 'roundy' racing is only about turning left is sticking their foot in their mouth.

I originally come from somewhat of a backwoods area (hehe). No offence, but I would put a number of the pick-up truck/Monte Carlo driving local yokels up against some of our "effete" citified rally brethren any day...

Robin
 

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RE: NASCAR = respectability?

With the politicos sponsoring cars and claiming that nascar fans are the replacement for soccer moms, the jump has been made.
The media has to be in the nascar loop to remain in the beltway LOOP.
Trump wanting to build a track raised eyebrows but political campaigns spending money on car sponsorships got their attention.
rz
added:
saw some roi for TV time with those sponsorships and the impressions/dollar were off the chart.
 

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RE: NASCAR entrants?

Most drivers will not subject themselves to possible failure after they've "made it"
A couple exceptions come to mind,
Terry Labonte ran Firehawk endurance races to get seat time.
Schrader and Stewart are still barnstorming.
In our little part of motorsports, having an unknown nascar truck racer would be a big deal.
Have Ben invite Ralph to a rally cross or rally sprint to do the interview.
One of those unknown Brazilians in CART should be easy to get as he'll be looking for work soon anyway.
rz
 

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Wait, I know the answer to this equation:

NASCAR + WRC = World Of Outlaws.

Sideways into the corners, it's on dirt/gravel, and it's all left turns.

Was this another quiz???
 

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>PS - here's the weird thing for me: since Speed has started
>covering rally, I've become a bit of a NASCAR fan.


I think an intervention is called for here......... :p
 

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Discussion Starter #10
>Wait, I know the answer to this equation:
>
>NASCAR + WRC = World Of Outlaws.
>
>Sideways into the corners, it's on dirt/gravel, and it's all
>left turns.
>
>Was this another quiz???

You know what? You're actually right. It's all jus' racin'. Rallyists hating NASCAR would be like triatheletes hating 400m dash (hey, they only turn left too!).

ACP
Flirting with the laws of physics.
 

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People just bash Nascar these days for the same reason that there was some much "Anti-EVO" and "Anti-WRX" going on.

People are jealous.

NASCAR is the dominant form of Big Time TV racing in the US. If your serious about marketing your product and have the BIG $$$$$, you go NASCAR.

They have the TV package, they have the marketing ability and most importantly they now have mainstream media coverage and AWESOME TV ratings.

CART? IRL? Rally? Please......

Nascar sponsorship deals are on the order of 15-20 million dollars PER CAR! That's what DEI is shopping around to replace Pennzoil on there car....and they will get another sponsor to fill that bill.

I commonly call NASCAR "The Marketing Machine".

The World of Outlaws is simply awesome if you've never seen it.

The first WoO race I went to, I was in awe watching an 800hp/1200lb car pull the front wheels off the ground for the entire 1/8" mile straight away.....none of the 2" off the ground stuff. I'm talking 2 feet in the air, standing on the gas. Lift, the front end drops, and through the corner like a wild animal....

Same kind of jaw dropping stuff that watching Walter Rohl's in-car give me.

Brian "If it's racing, it's racing"
 

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Alternatively, NASCAR + WRC = Pro Truck off road series a la Baja 1000. 700+ hp and travelling at speed on dirt roads (if you can call some of them that) continuously for hours on end. Definitely worthwhile going to watch a SCORE / SNORE / BITD race if you have the opportunity.

And, it's no secret that NASCAR has "arrived". Anytime you can have an (I think it was) NASCAR event called the "Waste Management 200" you know you're onto something.
 
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