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Volkswagen...Honda...BMW? Maybe NASCAR is turning the corner | NASCAR Racing Breaking News: Trackside Live, Every Week, Every Sprint Cup Race - MikeMulhern.net


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Volkswagen...Honda...BMW? Maybe NASCAR is turning the corner

  Robby Gordon looks a little tired, after spending all day rockin' and rollin' through the Baja 1000. He finished third,  but won the Off-Road series championship (Photo: PlanetRobby)

   By Mike Mulhern




   Maybe NASCAR's odd decision to study electronic fuel injection, as a replacement for the venerable if outdated carburetors, does make some sense…now that Volkswagen's Hans Stuck is checking out the sport for his company.
   Earlier this year VW became the world's best-selling car maker, when the German government started giving new car buyers a $3250 (US) subsidy.
   Kris Nissen is VW's motorsports director; Stuck's role at the company is to work on "strategic development of possible new sporting committments."
   And where is the Honda racing dude?
  Of course a big question might be this: Is NASCAR making the pitch to VW, or is VW making the pitch to NASCAR?
  And in this stretch of declining crowds and slumping TV ratings, there is the issue of just how relevant NASCAR might be to the average American any more. That's certainly an image issue that NASCAR would like to address.
  When Daytona opens next season – and in just 54 days Sprint Cup drivers are due at the track for the annual fan preview kickoff, billed as NASCAR Preseason Thunder (  http://bit.ly/3hyszz  ) – how many full-time Cup teams will the sport have? Not including all those start-and-parkers, that are tolerated as field fillers for the TV contracts.
    Well, for starters it looks like the merger of the George Gillett-Richard Petty team with the Doug Yates-Jack Roush operation will feature a net lost of two teams.
   And Robby Gordon, who just clinched the SCORE Off-Road championship with a third-place finish in the Friday-Saturday Baja 1000   (http://bit.ly/S2QsF  and  http://bit.ly/8ViJba ), says he's only got sponsorship for the first eight races of 2010.

   Without even on-track testing at Daytona in January – a rather strange marketing move by NASCAR, which certainly doesn't do much for publicity or ticket sales for the 500 – it's hard to see why Daytona still puts on the driver preview session…which is little more than a glorified autograph session. Who, particularly in these hard economic times, is going to drive/fly to Daytona for something as weak as that?
   The more logical deal would be to put on the annual preseason review in Charlotte, N.C., in mid-January, at the downtown coliseum perhaps, or Charlotte's Lowe's Motor Speedway, in similar fashion to the R.J. Reynolds preseason shows in Winston-Salem.
   The Daytona 'Thunder' sessions have attracted only scant audiences, nothing on the scale of the 25,000 that RJR would pull into Winston-Salem, and that the sport could pull into Charlotte.



  Hans Stuck, the sports car star who ran the 24 Hours of Daytona several times, is now head of Volkswagen's racing program...and maybe interested in NASCAR (Photo: Hans Stuck)


    A lot of high-dollar celebs are on hand for the NASCAR finale, including Formula One's Sebastian Vettel and Heikki Kovalainen, and NASA's Buzz Aldrin.

    Kyle Busch missed the Sprint Cup playoffs, but he's taken the NASCAR Nationwide championship…in a Saturday race here that was perhaps highlighted by the latest run-in between Denny Hamlin and Brad Keselowski. Hamlin vowed at Phoenix, after an incident in the Nationwide race there, to take out Keselowski here, and that's just what he did – boasting about it. NASCAR then parked Hamlin for a lap; whether NASCAR will take any further action is unclear.



    Hard-driving newcomer Brad Keselowski: Roger Penske's new Cup driver is already on Denny Hamlin's Enemies List. (Photo: Getty Images for NASCAR)

   Beth Ann Morgenthau, a veteran NASCAR Cup team owner since 2001, but idled since mid-2008 because of sponsorship issues, says she and husband Tony will be back on the tour in 2010, with a new sponsor, Warner Music's new Nashville division, and running Toyota.
   Morgenthau said David Hyder would be returning to the team as crew chief; Hyder has been working with the Woods and Bill Elliott this season.
   The driver has yet to be announced. The engines will likely be provided either by Joey Arrington or Toyota's High Point race engine department.
   Morgenthau said the team would run the full 36-race tour.

   Miami's Beth Ann Morgenthau returning to the NASCAR playing field (Photo: NASCAR)


Rumors With Little Behind Them

Volkswagon has already said they're not interested - Stuck's visit means nothing. Honda maybe because they want to race against Toyota anywhere and everywhere. I don't buy that Morgenthau's team will be back - that team was something of a hoax when they ran and there's less to work with now than there was then.


I am in the market for a new car and spent all weekend looking for a NASCAR COT because I have been told numerous times by BROADCASTERS and NASCAR that this COT is an advanced technological wonder of the world.

After spending time at Chevrolet, Ford, Dodge, and Toyota dealerships I could not find anything that resembled a COT. Every stop I made the dealers were promoting more power while utilizing less fuel, multiple fuel sources, advance electronics, active and independent rear suspensions, antilock breaks, sensors that help you drive, black boxes that communicate with your technicians, big tyres, and my favorite-all the wheel choices.

With VW kicking the tyres and doing the their due diligence I ask, “How can a COT help VW showcase its new TN domestic mid-size sedan?”

Perhaps the answer lies with Chevy when they emphatically denied NASCAR the use of the Camaro label.


Turning the corner to where or what? More like going of a cliff.

Honda Not Coming To NASCAR

3-4 years ago, Honda was issued templates to build a truck for the Truck Series. They built the truck, tested it, and that's it. Nothing else has been done. With Toyota pulling the plug on F1 racing, which they've never won at, and pulling sponsorship on one of the major Japanese F1 tracks, Toyota will be staying with the one racing series they have a chance to win in. Honda has it's hands full with the IRL and motorcycle racing. So don't expect to see them anytime in the next 5 years. Unless they buy their way into the sport like Toyota did. You have better odds of getting Mercedes or BMW into NASCAR than getting Honda in it.

NASCAR mistake's

Nascar needs to leave some things alone like testing in January that was part of the excitment of coming speedweeks I remember those cold winter days being from the north looking forward to hearing the testing speeds people standing around the water cooler talking about NASCAR and daytona who's going to outrun who please bring some of that stuff back

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