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The Pit Stop


September 21, 2009 10:02 PM

Jack Daniels, Jeremy Mayfield, Last lap news, and Brian France interview...

NASCAR now wants Jeremy Mayfield to take a mental and physical examination due to him being booted from NASCAR.

Jack Daniels has made it official today and they are not going to be back to sponsor the #07 car driven by Casey Mears.

This Roanoke Times link talks about the last lap from the Sunday with the A.J. Allmendinger spin.

"We were waiting to see if [Allmendinger] could get going and get out of the way,'' said Robin Pemberton, NASCAR's vice president of competition. "You wait as long as you can to try to not affect the outcome of a race. We don't like the race to end under caution.''

I have in an email sent to me pieces of a Brian France interview that will be running on The $ports Take with Sports Professor Rick Horrow radio show tomorrow, Tuesday, Sept. 22.

Dale Earnhardt, Jr.

Horrow asks France if Earnhardt is bad for business since he hasn't won many races this year:


· "It's unhelpful, but it is what it is and he's trying to win races. He's a major franchise of NASCAR and he has not performed the way he wants to I can tell you and it would be helpful if he did."

NASCAR Fan Council

Horrow asks France how NASCAR reaches out to new fans while keeping the original devoted fans happy:


· "You've got to try some things to appeal to a new fan and certainly an older fan might view that as taking them for granted and we try to do that carefully. We have a fan council of some 25,000 people that we talk to often and we talk to this fan council all the time about new things and these are our most avid fans. We ask them well, what would you think if NASCAR did this or if the schedule looked like that or whatever it might be and we're able to get some good feedback on little things that we might not think are offensive to them, that if we did it this way, it would still feel like the old NASCAR. A big part of it is understanding your avid fan enormously and carefully and treating that as a relationship that you just don't want to not get right."

NASCAR Expansions

Horrow asks France about possible NASCAR expansion locations:

Denver:

· "I would say Denver is a market that feels like it could get developed. Nothing to report, but it does look like it has potential."

New York:

 "New York is [a market] we would love but not in the foreseeable future."

Seattle or Portland:

 "Seattle or Portland are [markets] that could happen, but not in the foreseeable future."

South Florida

Horrow talks to France about South Florida and the Homestead-Miami Speedway and how Miami could be the gateway to Latin America:


·  "The people that have the Super Bowl, I think they would tell you that South Florida is the best place that they know. Our sponsors tell us that. South Florida understands hospitality and the track has done amazing things with how they've recreated the racing surface. The weather obviously in late November is nice so South Florida really works well for us. I think Homestead will continue to be the home for the championship. I can't imagine wanting to move that around. We have some interesting companies that will only come and do hospitality and look at NASCAR when we're in South Florida."

· "Our corporate sponsors just love any part of South Florida and we're mostly aligned with the NFL in terms of how our schedules overlap and with the demographics so we're in close contact at the team level and the league level to make sure we're doing everything we can to give ourselves both the best opportunity. They're going to have two huge events here and we want to compliment that."

· "There also could be a chance to break into the Latin America market since Miami is the gateway to Latin America. Auto racing in all parts of South America is very popular, so yes, we'll take advantage of that as well."

NASCAR and New Media

France tells Horrow how new media is the future for NASCAR:



· "It frustrates me that some media members don't get it and don't get how we impact a certain market. I don't think they need to cover NASCAR like they did 15 or 20 years ago and cover the home teams. Frankly it's where digital media has the most upside for NASCAR, probably more so than any other sport because there are no boundaries and no predisposed cultural thinking in terms of what they have to cover in their newspaper or sports talk radio or whatever else. There's more space and less limitations so we're anxious probably more than anyone for the digital age to come not only to monetize it but to get it more publicized than we could have in the past."


NASCAR and the Car Industry

Horrow asks France if recent problems in the car industry have affected NASCAR:

·  "One thing we heard is that they have to sell cars in the future and we're one of the best places to do that. It doesn't mean that they didn't have some tough choices and have to make some cutbacks or pullbacks, but they want to stay in NASCAR and they've told us that and demonstrated that, but it hasn't been easy."

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