Taking Care Of Business: NASCAR Sprint Cup Edition
BY DAVE GRAYSON
FINALLY, THE WORST KEPT SECRET IN THE NASCAR GARAGE GETS A PRESS CONFERENCE
It’s been generally well known that NASCAR Sprint Cup driver Martin Truex Jr was on his way to Furniture Row Racing’s, (FFR), #78 Chevrolet next year. It was just a matter of dotting some i’s and crossing some t’s in the agreement package before the official announcement was made. The highly anticipated press conference came on Friday, November 1st, at the Texas Motor Speedway:
Furniture Row Racing general manager Joe Garone announced that the Denver, Colo.-based organization has entered into a multi year agreement with Martin Truex Jr. to drive the team s #78 Chevy, beginning with the 2014 Sprint Cup Series season. “We couldn t be happier to have landed one of the top drivers in NASCAR,” said Garone. “Martin’ s talents both on and off the track — have been well documented and everyone at Furniture Row Racing feels that he is an excellent fit to continue the success that we have enjoyed this season.”
“Furniture Row Racing has been high on my radar,” said Truex. “The team has done a great job this year. It s a talented organization and it has been impressive to see what they ‘ve accomplished over the past few seasons. What influenced my decision is team owner Barney Visser and that the team really wants me as its driver. Everything else is important, but I really felt like Furniture Row Racing genuinely wanted me to drive for them.”
The series of events, following the September 7th Cup race at Richmond-Virginia, that led this driver and his sponsor, NAPA, to leave a long time association with Michael Waltrip Racing have been extremely well documented. Despite that, MWR made a very classy gesture by issuing the following statement following the FFR announcement:
“Michael Waltrip Racing congratulates Martin on his announcement today. We are very happy to see him in a competitive ride next year and appreciate the professionalism everyone showed throughout this entire process.”
I APOLOGIZE EVEN THOUGH I STILL DON’T LIKE WHAT YOU DID.
The beating and banging that went on during the October 27th Martinsville Cup race left driver Greg Biffle with a major case of Martinsville road rage. During the event, Jimmie Johnson’s Chevrolet hit the back of Biffle’s Ford causing the rear bumper cover to dislodge. The final result for Biffle was the loss of a potential top three race finish.
Afterwards, while Johnson was wrapping up post race interviews on pit road, Biffle surprised him by walking up behind him, grabbing the collar of Johnson’s driving suit and then began to deliver an editorial loaded with F-bombs. To his credit, Johnson kept calm and tried to discuss the matter but Biffle wasn’t going to have anything to do with that and left the scene.
During the course of an October 29th appearance at the NASCAR Hall Of Fame, in Charlotte-NC, Biffle admitted that the incident could have been handled better. He said he should have tapped Johnson on the arm to get his attention and ask for a private conversation instead of grabbing the back of Johnson’s uniform. He indicated that Johnson, and his fans, deserved an apology for his pit road actions.
However, he made it clear that he was still angry over the contact and damage to his car and said: “maybe I over reacted a small amount, but I wanted him to know that I was not happy with what took place.”
A NEW RIDE FOR A TRUE NASCAR NICE GUY.
Leavine Family Racing announced that Michael McDowell will drive the team’s #95 Ford Fusion NASCAR Sprint Cup Series entry in 2014. The announcement was made at Texas Motor Speedway – the team’s home track, where the Glendale, Arizona native signed a single-year deal to drive for Leavine Family Racing. McDowell will make his debut when the team fields an entry for the February season-opening race at the 56th annual DAYTONA 500 at the Daytona International Speedway.
“This is an extremely good opportunity for me,” said McDowell, who has worked with the Leavine Family Racing Sprint Cup team before, at this season’s Sprint All-Star race at the Charlotte Motor Speedway. “Bob and I first started talking about the possibilities months ago. I’m happy to be a part of this organization.” Vice president of marketing and partnerships Jeremy Lange said the goal of the organization is to run one full-time team in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in addition to competing in select Nationwide Series races in the #95 car. Leavine Family Racing’s 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series schedule will be released at a later date.
MARTINSVILLE TV TALLY.
ESPN’s live telecast of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway on Sunday, Oct. 27, earned a 2.7 U.S. household rating, averaging 4,315,850 viewers, according to Nielsen Media. The rating was up 12 percent from last year’s race, which earned a 2.4 rating with an average of 3,617,199 viewers. Of the six races in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup that have been run and telecast as scheduled, five have seen ratings and viewership growth over 2012.
The Martinsville TV numbers should come as no real surprise. First off, the Chase implications were huge. Then, let’s be honest here, when you place 43 full sized stock cars on a half mile track you know the evening is going to be filled with beating and banging.
LESS TNA AND MORE TCB.
Danica Patrick has appeared in more Superbowl television ads than any other personality for her long time racing sponsor Go Daddy (Dot) Com and, for the eighth consecutive year, will be appearing in two more commercials during the football classic set to air on February 2nd of next year. The new ads featuring Patrick will be loaded with humor but will not be loaded with the sex themes we’ve seen in the past. In other words, less TNA and more taking care of business.
In making the announcement, Barb Rechterman, Go Daddy Chief Marketing Officer, told “USA Today” that it was time for their ad campaigns to “move to the next level” and added “We polarized some. I understand that. But I’m not ashamed of our past. Now we need to take this brand to a new level.” Patrick was reported to approve the change in direction and said “I love what’s going on at Go Daddy,”