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Smoke Rising....Dodge boss Mike Accavitti leaving Chrysler abruptly...and the latest on Danica-in-NASCAR | NASCAR Racing Breaking News: Trackside Live, Every Week, Every Sprint Cup Race - MikeMulhern.net

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Smoke Rising....Dodge boss Mike Accavitti leaving Chrysler abruptly...and the latest on Danica-in-NASCAR


   A perfect day for racing...a great race...good crowd...great town....Kansas City! (Photo: Getty Images for NASCAR)

   (Developing)

    By Mike Mulhern
   mikemulhern.net

   KANSAS CITY, Kansas
   Smoke is rising…with Tony Stewart's gamble-and-win over Jeff Gordon and Greg Biffle in Sunday's Kansas 400, and with Mark Martin and Jimmie Johnson suddenly cooling off a bit, there are now eight men solidly in the Sprint Cup case as the stock car tour heads to Los Angeles.
   If only California's Auto Club Speedway could hit the long ball like Kansas Speedway does:
   Not so long ago, this track on the western fringes of the city was just farm land.
   Now it's a booming metropolis, with hotels, shops and huge shopping malls as far as the eye can see. And still just 15 minutes from downtown jazz haunts and steak places.
   To see Kansas Speedway today is to put in a vote for Grand Lynch, who helped put the package together.
   And now the France family's International Speedway Corp. is proposing a mammoth casino-hotel project next to the Kansas track, just behind the second turn…and if that's approved, Lesa France Kennedy has promised this place a second Cup date…though it's unclear just where that might come from.
   Maybe something like that game plan might help the family's California track, which has struggled with crowds and interest in Southern California.
   Or maybe just Danica could help: The Indy-car star, who continues to be mum herself about her NASCAR plans, appears to be looking at a modest 10-race ARCA/Nationwide package for 2010, while running the full Indy Racing League series.
  The most information about what Danica Patrick might be planning is coming now from car owner Rick Hendrick: http://bit.ly/EQ6Z4

  

  
  Dodge's Mike Accavitti (R, with driver Elliott Sadler) was just promoted to Dodge CEO in June...and now he's abruptly quitting, as new parent Fiat shakes up management. Is it good or bad for Dodge in NASCAR? (Photo: Getty Images for NASCAR)
  


 

   So Hendrick-engineered Chevys are still winning – Stewart's win was the 15th, in the year's 29 events – and Jack Roush's Fords may be on the comeback.
    But in the other two camps things aren't so good: Toyota at least has wins with five drivers, though Brian Vickers' chase chances are over, leaving Denny Hamlin to try to carry the day. But Dodge, well, Monday's bombshell was that Mike Accavitti, first the company's racing boss, and since June the company's CEO, has just suddenly quit, as new parent Fiat shakes up the Chrysler brands and management.
   What does Accavitti's departure mean for Dodge's NASCAR teams? 
   Accavitti has been a staunch NASCAR supporter. But what of the man replacing him? And just who is that….and why really the sudden shakeup?
   Kurt Busch, 90 points down, is hanging on in the chase, for team owner Roger Penske, who will apparently be the only Dodge operation next year in NASCAR, with the George Gillett-Richard Petty move to Ford.
   But Gillett's top driver, Kasey Kahne, 190 points behind, is all but out of the chase.

  

  Marketing, anyone? (Photo: DanicaPatrick.com)

 

  

 

I was impressed with the

I was impressed with the crowd at Kansas. Looks like the place was sold out, even the infield looked like a race in the old days, not just the motorhomes of the drivers and crews only like today at some tracks. Maybe the old adage is NOT true, if you build it they will come. Meaning, if you continue to build more grandstands you can pack 'em. Kansas grandstands are where you can see all the action, including pit road. On the backstretch, the motorhomes/campers were parked up high with a great view of the track, probably high enough to see the action on the frontstretch.

On Danica. Just like a woman, can't make up her mind. If a driver came to you. And their resume reads like this. Only lead 108 laps in the last FOUR YEARS of racing. Won ONE pole. Won ONE race. Would you hire them?

It's bad enough we got Paul Menard living off daddy's money to keep a ride in racin' whereas championship caliber drivers like Travis Kvapil have to kick rocks and wait. I guess that's racin'. And NASCAR wonders why people are losing interest.

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Yessireee, I was impressed

Yessireee, I was impressed all the way around with the Kansas weekend. KC is a cool town, the track and traffic worked smoothly, there was a very, very good crowd (and traffic still moved well). Good job all the way!
Danica? oh, well....but there are a lot of drivers hanging around the NASCAR garage that aren't getting the job done...and who have little marketing pizzazz to boot. I mean, you think Delta or USair would paste a big poster of Tony Stewart on the side of a plane? LOL.
but, yes, i get your point. wonder if NASCAR does.

I have a relative at AirTran

I have a relative at AirTran who tells me they made that decal set when they first signed Danica as a spokesperson... the plan being to decorate a plane as soon as Danica won a race... they waited... & waited.... 3 seasons later she finally won a race & it took them a hectic 24 hrs to FIND the decal set..... it's still on the plane too.. they also have one with Elton John on it... they were just about to put Michael Vick on one, but he "went to the dogs"....

CC

I saw a video clip saying

I saw a video clip saying Danica wants 8 million dollars to run a total of 8 races in 2010, is that figure true, Mike?

Well, Dale Jr. is making

Well, Dale Jr. is making $30-million-plus a year.....
Whatever a sponsor is willing to pay.
And I do know that the Jack Roush men were taken aback earlier this summer with the money pitch Danica's people made, saying it didn't make much financial sense to them. But maybe Rick Hendrick can make it all work.
I'd think that Danica 'wants' $8 million, and that she 'wants' to run only eight to 10 NASCAR races. If that's the finish line, well, I wish her luck....

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