Follow me on

Twitter Feed Facebook Feed RSS Feed Linked In Youtube

Jack Roush says his world is sunshine, lollypops and rainbows...but then he's got Carl Edwards on his team

Jack Roush: Time to end Rick Hendrick's string of NASCAR championships
(Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images for NASCAR)


By Mike Mulhern

    After the success that Carl Edwards and Greg Biffle had last season, team owner Jack Roush is antsy to get the 2009 NASCAR tour under way.
   Yes, the U.S. economy is hurting, but Roush's world is doing just fine:  "Team sponsorship will remain a viable marketing investment in today's economy, as tough as it is. 
   "We've signed a total of 35 sponsor agreements, most of which were carry-overs, with a couple of new ones. And we've lost less than a handful of sponsors that left the sport.
    "The major sponsorship value comes from the TV audience and the fans who buy tickets. The ratings for 2008 were great, and we expect them to be better in 2009.  In fact, 2008 ratings, I understand, were better than 2007. 
   "The weakness in ticket sales is related to the economy -- and not to the quality of our racing.
    "And I personally am glad to see that the tracks have finally responded to some of  the challenges of the economy, by reducing the cost of the tickets and some of the other things that relate to the NASCAR experience for the fans.
   "Hotels -- a constant sore spot for me -- are responding as well.  Historically hotels charge teams and ticketholders two or three times what they would charge on a normal weekend.  And the charge for the race weekends typically go from three-day to five-day minimums. And that has been a real hardship. But we understand they're starting to get off some of that.
   "The sport has some economic challenges, not unique to businesses around the world.
   "The disappointing ticket sales and souvenir sales are an indicator of the health of the world's economy and not the popularity of NASCAR.
    "The core NASCAR product is fundamentally sound.
   "I'm a race fan, and my fellow race fans are still interested in the best on-track performance we can deliver. 
    "I'll do my part to see they get a great value for their entertainment dollar."
   And what effect will NASCAR's testing ban have on the competition?
   "There's been some question whether NASCAR's testing policy is going to have a negative impact," Roush  concedes. "I feel it will not. 
   "This is the third year in the car-of-tomorrow program, and I think the racing will continue to improve to everybody's satisfaction, both the look of the competition the fans see on the track and what the drivers think about it from the cockpit."
    However Roush still isn't a believe that the new car was really needed. It was an expensive project, he said.
   "The car-of-tomorrow involved a lot of angst, and we had to build, develop and race both kinds of cars for an extended period of time. 
    "That fiasco cost the earth, and required substantial additional car construction personnel. 
    "We're past the crunch now with the car-of-tomorrow transition, so the reduction (the firing of maybe 1,000 crewmen in the sport) is back to the pre-car-of-tomorrow level.
   "The jury is still out on what the affect will be of the NASCAR no-testing policy. The no-testing policy still does obviously involve some testing -- We can go to non-NASCAR tracks, and a number of teams are doing that…and we're certainly not going to get behind on that, as we did in 2007."

Sunshine and Lollipops?

Sunshine and lollipops? I'm half-expecting Roush to start singing Faith Hill's "Sunshine & Summertime"!

But Roush is flat wrong to say that lagging ticket sales is about the economy, not the (generally low) quality of the racing. People will still come out for good racing - that's why Talladega still outsells most tracks.

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
Enter the characters shown in the image.

© 2010-2011 www.mikemulhern.net All rights reserved.
Web site by www.webdesigncarolinas.com