TV Times – Drive For Five = TV Ratings/Ticket Sales Tanking?
And even coming in third, JJ still holds the point lead in The Chase For the Sprint Cup.
Denny Hemlin is next with 36 points behind, and Kevin Harvick is third with 54 points.
It’s interesting that The Speed Report and Wind Tunnel pundits seem to think that it’s JJ’s “chase to lose”, and that Hamlin and Harvick still have an outside shot, that is in the event Johnson has problems at the upcoming Chase races at Talladega and Martinsville. Those are two tough venues where anything can happen.
However, despite what others are saying, Speed’s Bob Dilner was emphatic that JJ does have the right stuff to pull off another championship. And that is exactly where the problem lies. If bets are that JJ is going to win, then ticket sales will continue to tank as will TV ratings. Each are still not doing well, in fact they’re way off.
Lots of empty seats at Fontana as well. Also having problems were Kyle Busch and Greg Biffle. Busch, however, managed to win that Fontana Nationwide race, but Brad Kaselowski is still the Nationwide Series points leader.
It’s anyone’s guess on how to generate suspense for The Chase. Even if Brian France and company do go back to the drawing board for a solution, would it result in TV ratings kicking up and would more tickets be sold? Probably. But Johnson, along with crew chief Chad Knaus and team owner Rick Hendrick, have proved one thing: if there’s a way to wire things in a team’s favor, they may have accomplished it. We’ll know for sure at the Chase finale in Homestead next month or possibly even sooner.
In the ARCA RE/MAX stockcar race at The Rock, Ty Dillon won, while Patrick Sheltra’s fourth was enough for him to win the point championship for that NASCAR feeder series. In NHRA action at Maple Grove, PA, Larry Dixson took the AA Fuel win, Cruz Pedregon won the Funny Car honors, and Dave Connolly did it in the Pro Stocks.
In the IZOD Indy Car Series, Tony Kanaan became a free agent from the Andretti team because 7-11, the convience store chain, dropped its sponsorship making things fluid. There are also doubts about Ryan Brisco, Justin Wilson and Simona DeSilvestro, the sensational Swiss gal and Rookie Of The Year, on where they will land. Each have been put in motion and may possibly be out of rides for 2011. As of now, there are too many variables.
On the postive side, the ageless Steve Kinser still keeps racking up sprint car wins. According to the Speed Report, he’s amassed some 551 of them in his four-decade long career. His latest came at the Rolling Wheels Speedway in central NY State this past weekend.
The F1 race held at Suzuka, Japan, resembled a short track oval race going awry. There were smash-ups galore and parts flying everywhere with a loss of several cars, making the victim drivers spectators. Sabastian Vettle survived the carnage going on to win in the Land Of The Rising Sun, while Mark Webber and Fernando Alanso made the podium. Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton comprised the top five. In the F1 point chase, Webber leads the tally while Alanso and Vettle are both -14 out of first place with Hamilton next, some -25 points behind. The two week break might help to heal wounds and egos before the big question mark regarding the Korean GP. That is = will it happen?
NBC’s “World of Adventure Sports” show will air Travis Pastrana’s record run up Mt. Washington in Gorham, NH, on Sunday, October 31 from 3-4 p.m. EST. The run was a test for next June’s resuming the Annual Climb To The Clouds which was discontinued some years back due to the lack of sponsorship. It was a record-setting 6 minute 20.47 second run driving his Vermont SportsCar-prepared 2011 Subaru WRX STI. Mt. Washington is the highest mountain on the east coast of the USA and the peak is over 6,000 feet high.
The UK Court of Appeal in London ruled that the Force India Formula 1 Team breached a 2007 sponsorship contract with Etihad Airways, the Abu Dhabi-based national carrier, and Aldar, one of Abu Dhabi’s leading property developers. Etihad and Aldar entered into a three-year £20 million sponsorship agreement with the Silverstone-based Spyker Formula 1 Team, which was renamed as the Force India Formula 1 Team following a change in ownership in October 2007. The companies switched their allegiance to Ferrari a year later and were ordered to pay $4.7 million to the team by the Queen’s Bench Division of the High Court in November last year for breach of contract.
The Court of Appeal however found that the companies were entitled to cancel the deal as they argued that Force India’s promotion of both a rival airline, Vijay Mallya’s Kingfisher, and an alcohol brand breached its sponsorship deal. Appeal judge Sir Bernard Rix ruled that both companies were contractually guaranteed the status of the team’s most prominent sponsors. The Court ordered the case to be referred back to the Queen’s Bench Division for an assessment of Etihad’s and Aldar’s damages, and instructed Force India to pay Etihad and Aldar’s costs of the proceedings. This came from SportsBusinessInternational.
Monticello Motor Club, an automotive country club and lifestyle resort located 90 minutes from Manhattan, had a good showing in the Petit Le Mans Powered by Mazda2 with Club sponsored racer Eric Lux finishing fifth in class. Lux, 22 of Williamsville, NY and teammates Frankie Montecalvo, 19 of Highlands, NJ, and 27-year-old Alex Figge of Denver finished fifth in the Le Mans Prototype Challenge (LMPC) class in Saturday’s race at Road Atlanta, completing 307 laps in the 1,000-mile/9-hour-and-10-minute race. That was just four laps shy of the number of laps that would have made the podium. The strong finish was all the more impressive considering the team had to battle back from a heavy crash that forced # 36 Oreca to spend more than an hour behind the wall to make repairs.
When the car returned to the track, Lux took his turn behind the wheel, driving for a full three and one half hours. Eric was not content to just turn laps though. He set the car’s fastest race lap during his stint when he turned a 1:17.582 on lap 136 helping the team secure a well-deserved top five finish.
Eric Lux spoke after the race: “The team really worked hard and all the drivers did a great job. We fought back, and no one on the team gave up. The way the strategy worked out I ended up running a three-and-a-half-hour stint. The cars setup was spot on and it was a pleasure to drive! I have to thank the team, Monticello Motor Club and the other sponsors: G-Oil, Bayshore Recycling and the Zais Group.”
Officially, 124,200 people attended the season finale for the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patron, which was a new record for the event.
Swiss-based Formula One team Sauber has announced a sponsorship agreement with Telmex, the Mexican telecommunications company, from next season. The deal will also see Sauber race with Mexican driver Sergio Perez.
Perez, 20, has been backed by Telmex for several years. He finished second in the GP2 series this season, winning four races including at the Monaco Grand Prix. “Sauber has been not only a very successful racing team but also a strong talent developer of some of the most recognized names in racing since their early stages as well as one of the most respected people in the sport,” said Carlos Slim, chairman of Telmex.
“Their decision of having Sergio with them is very significant on his career to become a top driver representing Mexico. For Telmex and our racing project Escuderia Telmex, it’s a great step forward, and we feel very proud to be able to consolidate these years of work for having a Mexican driver in F1 with Sauber Motorsport.”
In a media statement, Sauber said Telmex logos “will have a significant presence” on the cars from 2011. This came from SportsBusiness.com.
Ironically, the Swiss government outlawed motor racing way back in the 1955 when there was a tragic accident at LeMans, France when a race car went into the crowd and killed 80+ spectators. But, a few years ago they amended the law and Switzerland now allows auto rallys but not any other motorsports events. We’re sure that lots of Swiss citizens go to and enjoy motor racing and attend events in nearby Germany, Italy and France. A few years ago, on a European trip, we were about to cross the Swiss border from the Burgundy area of France, on the way to Lake Lucerne, where we noticed a first class kart track very close to the Swiss frontier just on the other side of the Rhine River. No doubt an attraction to Swiss racing fans and competitors.
Korea Auto Valley Operation (KAVO), race organizer of the 2010 South Korea grand prix, said it is confident the circuit will pass its final inspection next week.
Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone said last month the final inspection of the track had been left dangerously late and the race, due to take place on October 24, could yet be cancelled. Charlie Whiting, FIA (Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile) race director, will visit the circuit on Monday, the day after the Japanese grand prix and less than two weeks before the Korean race.
Whiting’s August visit to the coastal Yeongam circuit was postponed because the construction team had not finished laying the final track surface. “We are in the late stages, but we’ll get it done before the event,” KAVO race organizer Peter Baek said as quoted by Reuters. “Everything is on schedule and everything will be done.” “The construction department have shown no worries or concerns regarding that. They know what they are doing,” he added. “Definitely it will pass the test.”
However, the Speed Report on that channel stated that every track hosting F1 events must be approved by the FIA three weeks prior to the event. It sounds like Korea will be an exception. Because F1 El Supremo Bernie Eccelstone is so obsessed with moving established events out of Europe, because he can make more money, that he’s constantly “out shopping” for new venues.
Here’s what’s what for this coming weekend. The NASCAR Cup and Nationwide Series move to Talladega and the FIM Motorcycles will see action on Phillips Island, Australia. Check RaceFanTV.com for all of the times along with some redux and tape delay events. (END)