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Tilting at Windmills

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June 14, 2007
By: Kevin Drum

START YOUR ENGINES....From a story about Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s decision to join the Hendrick Motorsports team next year:

The move "makes good sense for Earnhardt because the [Hendrick] team will help elevate his game," said Michael Pitts, who co-teaches a course on NASCAR as an associate professor of management at Virginia Commonwealth University.

Virginia Commonwealth University offers a class in NASCAR?

UPDATE: They even have a blog!

Kevin Drum 1:23 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (58)

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Maybe they study the budding new literary genre, NASCAR Harlequins.

http://judgeabook.blogspot.com/2007/05/headed-north-by-northwest.html

Posted by: Martin on June 14, 2007 at 1:27 PM | PERMALINK

Yes, it's true. And it's an honor's class:

http://www.bus.vcu.edu/news/ackley.html

Posted by: Jon on June 14, 2007 at 1:29 PM | PERMALINK

I'm not a NASCAR fan, and I don't know much about it. However, I think it makes sense from a management instruction perspective. After all, managing the team, pit crew etc. to work together flawlessly every time, must be a huge management task. It's certainly no worse than some other courses you might think of. Philosophy of The Matrix is one that I've seen that springs to mind.

Posted by: sunship on June 14, 2007 at 1:30 PM | PERMALINK

To encourage mainstream acceptance of gasoline and fossil fuel conservation, while still maintaining its audience's expectation of thrills and spills, NASCAR should revive the lost art of the chariot race.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on June 14, 2007 at 1:31 PM | PERMALINK

I would like a show of hands as to how many readers of this blog also consider themselves NASCAR fans.

(Sheepishly raises hand) I blame it on 3 years of law school in North Carolina where NASCAR really is king, but if I had to choose between watching a NASCAR race and just about any other sproting event (exceptions would be the NCAA basketball tournament, maybe the Masters and the NFL playoffs but not the regular season), I'd pick the race.

Kevin, you have to understand that NASCAR in many areas of the country and among certain social groups (not only dumb rednecks, but also among very wealthy, professional types in the South and wealthy tradesmen types in many other areas), NASCAR is HUUUGGGGEEE!!!! And there is probably more money in it than tennis when everything is taken into account (how many Federer fans spend $1,000 year on merchandise?). Despite its image, NASCAR at its highest level is filled with very smart and savvy businesspeople and engineers.

Posted by: Doug-E-Fresh on June 14, 2007 at 1:35 PM | PERMALINK

Hey, Scott.

Anybody ever tell you that you're an asshole?

I hope the moderator will delete his comment forthwith.

Posted by: SteveK on June 14, 2007 at 1:36 PM | PERMALINK

With regard to what sunship said above, its not just drivers and pitcrews that are being managed, most of these teams have budgets in the tens of millions and employ hundreds of people who do nothing but assemble and test the cars. And that's before you count the other folks doing marketing, PR and support services. An organization like Roush Racing employs over 500 people and has a budget of $200,000,000 to run 5 cars. This is big business, like it or not.

As a Jeff Gordon fan, I have mixed feelings about the substance of the deal, however.

Posted by: Doug-E-Fresh on June 14, 2007 at 1:42 PM | PERMALINK

Hey, the University of California at Santa Barbara has a class in surfing. They even have a surfing team. Does VCU have a NASCAR team?

Posted by: anandine on June 14, 2007 at 1:43 PM | PERMALINK

besides that, the world is running out of oil:

http://news.independent.co.uk/sci_tech/article2656034.ece

I posted the web page to the BP report a couple days ago because it had the news that U.S. consumption of carbon-based fuels declined 1.5% (appx.) from 2005 to 2006.

Posted by: MatthewRmarler on June 14, 2007 at 1:47 PM | PERMALINK

There are a number of universities in NASCAR country that offer NASCAR related classes. UNC-Charlotte offers a NASCAR degree! (really automotive engineering, but its NASCAR-centric -they study the engineering of racing).

Posted by: Paul on June 14, 2007 at 1:48 PM | PERMALINK

NASCAR is an excellent study in brand management, customer loyalty, etc. etc. It's actually an ideal management case study. I wouldn't be surprised if it comes up at the best B-schools in the country (VCU is really known for their ad school). In many ways it's as important to study as GE or P&G -- in fact perhaps more so, as its business model of the rabid fan has become de-facto in the user-generated marketing world of Web 2.0.

Posted by: DC1974 on June 14, 2007 at 1:51 PM | PERMALINK

Also, check this out:

BELMONT, N.C. – Belmont Abbey College announced today the nation’s first four-year bachelor’s degree with a concentration in Motorsports Management.

“We recognize the importance and uniqueness of motorsports,” says Dr. Philip Bayster, chair of the Business Department at Belmont Abbey College.

“There’s a need for management talent. The companies associated with the motorsports industry are exceedingly advanced and as the industry continues to grow, there will be an even greater need for highly sophisticated, competitive individuals.”

Belmont Abbey College President, Dr. William Thierfelder agrees.

“NASCAR is a young industry,” says Thierfelder. “ Belmont Abbey College recognizes that if the industry is to succeed, it will need qualified people who possess not only the proper training, but also the skills necessary to help cultivate it. We are very proud to assist in the industry’s future growth and in many ways, contributing to the economy of North Carolina through the success of our graduates.”

Posted by: Clueless on June 14, 2007 at 1:53 PM | PERMALINK

Virginia Commonwealth University offers a class in NASCAR? —Kevin Drum

After crystal-meth, NASCAR may be America's biggest problem. I think it is no coincidence that both find their greatest following in the rural areas of the country.

Posted by: JeffII on June 14, 2007 at 1:54 PM | PERMALINK

I teach a class on Professional Wrestling. The job was given to me based on my disertation of The Simple Life.

Posted by: nutty little nut nut on June 14, 2007 at 1:59 PM | PERMALINK

This post is for Marian: Search the house for a pod - Kevin has obviously been replaced by a replicant. There is no other explanation for Paris Hilton and NASCAR posts in one trip 'round the clock. Someone email me when Kevin returns. This is just too fucking much. I'm out.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on June 14, 2007 at 2:05 PM | PERMALINK

Judge orders Libby jailed during appeal

Whooo hooooo!

Libby gets the Paris treatment.

I'm sure he'll also get the Paris defense from the whiner wingnuts.

Posted by: anonymous on June 14, 2007 at 2:07 PM | PERMALINK

"In the interest of full disclosure, I have received a number of harassing, angry and mean-spirited phone calls and messages. Some wishing bad things on me and my family," the judge said. "Those types of things will have no impact."

"I initially threw them away, but then there were more, some that were more hateful," Walton said. "They are being kept."

It will be interesting to see from whom the letter came.

If from liberals, shame on you.

If from conservatives, well, what did you expect from mean hateful people?

Posted by: anonymous on June 14, 2007 at 2:10 PM | PERMALINK

The amicus brief supports the position taken by Libby's defense team that prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald, a U.S. attorney based in Chicago, Illinois, was not properly installed as special counsel to investigate what became known as the CIA leak case.

What a hoot!

Conservatives continually whine and rant about criminals getting off on technicalities (damn those civil rights in the Constitution they say!), but the first opportunity they get, they claim a techniciality that didn't even remotely affect the fairness of the trial, its outcome, or the fact of Libby's guilt!

Posted by: anonymous on June 14, 2007 at 2:18 PM | PERMALINK

I'm currently working on a Math Degree while maintaining a 4.0 GPA at University of Colorado. I hate country music, I don't smoke or drink, and I lived in Europe for 7 years in my 20's and 30's. I speak fluent German, love wine and a great hefeweissen, and yes, I'm a NASCAR fan. I find it truly amazing when people argue about sports and leisure events as if there truly is some universal definition of what a genuine sporting event must contain. It's great to be stereotyped based upon a sporting/leisure event.

Posted by: 1SG on June 14, 2007 at 2:19 PM | PERMALINK

"There are a number of universities in NASCAR country that offer NASCAR related classes. UNC-Charlotte offers a NASCAR degree! (really automotive engineering, but its NASCAR-centric -they study the engineering of racing)."

The guitarist in my litte bar band graduated from that program this past year and is now an engineer at Hendrick. I got a really cool tour of the facility - those guys are sharp.

Posted by: mantooth on June 14, 2007 at 2:22 PM | PERMALINK

Donald from Hawaii: To encourage mainstream acceptance of gasoline and fossil fuel conservation, while still maintaining its audience's expectation of thrills and spills, NASCAR should revive the lost art of the chariot race.

Or come up with a set of diesel rules. Don't laugh, a diesel won Le Mans last year:

http://www.autoblog.com/2006/06/18/audi-diesel-dominates-le-mans/

Just stipulate that the fuel has to come from algae (I'm sure the pilot plants produce enough for NASCAR).

I would like a show of hands as to how many readers of this blog also consider themselves NASCAR fans.

I wasn't a NASCAR fan per se, but years ago I was a motor racing fan. They're boring as hell to watch on TV, but quite exciting in person.

Posted by: alex on June 14, 2007 at 2:23 PM | PERMALINK

Sorry ... Nascar has no cache' compaired with Formula 1 road racing where the drivers not only make left turns, but right turns as well.
Monte Carlo as compared with Charlotte NC? I don't think so. and the drivers are Hot!

Posted by: Erika on June 14, 2007 at 2:24 PM | PERMALINK

Maybe here's a degree Kevin can get behind:

http://extension.ucdavis.edu/unit/brewing/about.asp

Posted by: sunship on June 14, 2007 at 2:29 PM | PERMALINK

'Sorry ... Nascar has no cache' compaired with Formula 1 road racing where the drivers not only make left turns, but right turns as well.
Monte Carlo as compared with Charlotte NC? I don't think so. and the drivers are Hot! '

Right turns as well? Sears Point and Watkins Glen.

Posted by: jg on June 14, 2007 at 2:30 PM | PERMALINK

I'm currently working on a Math Degree while maintaining a 4.0 GPA at University of Colorado. I hate country music, I don't smoke or drink, and I lived in Europe for 7 years in my 20's and 30's. I speak fluent German, love wine and a great hefeweissen, and yes, I'm a NASCAR fan.

You are also really lame (and contradictory) in your attempt at humor.

I find it truly amazing when people argue about sports and leisure events as if there truly is some universal definition of what a genuine sporting event must contain. It's great to be stereotyped based upon a sporting/leisure event.Posted by: 1SG

Like golf, bowling, pool, table tennis, playing poker (hint, hint ESPN) or anything else involving a motorized conveyance, NASCAR is not a sport. Sports involve a degree of physical strength/endurance and full and sustained body movement.

Posted by: JeffII on June 14, 2007 at 2:31 PM | PERMALINK

I saw an article about a hospital that wanted to improve the efficiency and safety of its organ transplant teams. So they consulted with someone who had great experience with managing a large number of people who perform specific tasks that must be co-ordinated under great time pressure.

They brought in a NASCAR pit crew chief.

Posted by: Rod Hoffman on June 14, 2007 at 2:47 PM | PERMALINK

Erika, if you're intersted in an engineering competition where the only thing that really matters is qualifying, I agree, F-1 is the sport to watch.

If you want to watch cars actually, you know, race, NASCAR has it all over F-1.

Looks like with 1SG, there are 2 NASCAR fans in Colorado. I hear you 1SG, the idea that sports interest correlates with character is silly. I reject "NASCAR culture" for the most part, but love the racing (it was funny to try and score a corkscrew in the parking lot at Phoenix last year to open the wine we brought for tailgating, not too many wine drinkers out there).

Posted by: Doug-E-Fresh on June 14, 2007 at 2:50 PM | PERMALINK

Thanks JeffII for making that totally irrelevant point clear. Okay, it's not a sport, but its still incredibly competitive. Do you have any non-sporting interests in your life?

Posted by: Doug-E-Fresh on June 14, 2007 at 2:54 PM | PERMALINK

BGRS: At least give him until tomorrow. If catblogging gets replaced by pitbullblogging, then I'm right behind you!

Posted by: thersites on June 14, 2007 at 2:55 PM | PERMALINK

Thanks JeffII for making that totally irrelevant point clear. Okay, it's not a sport, but its still incredibly competitive. Do you have any non-sporting interests in your life? Posted by: Doug-E-Fresh

For the most part, I don't watch televised or attend sporting events of any kind. In fact, I've pretty much come to hate professional sport in particular, in spite of participating in two team sports up through my freshman year in college. What little leisure time I have is spent skiing, reading, gardening or abusing my wife and children.

Posted by: JeffII on June 14, 2007 at 3:00 PM | PERMALINK

NASCAR;
Go fast.
Turn left.
'nuff said.

Posted by: osama_been_forgotten on June 14, 2007 at 3:06 PM | PERMALINK

not too many wine drinkers out there).
Posted by: Doug-E-Fresh on June 14, 2007 at 2:50 PM | PERMALINK

Plenty of wine-drinkers among NASCAR fans.

Why did you need a corkscrew? Use the little pull-tab near the bottom of the box! It's the 21st century, dude.

Posted by: osama_been_forgotten on June 14, 2007 at 3:12 PM | PERMALINK

When one considers that Stanford allows students to drop a class 24 hours before the final examination without prejudice, and that Harvard instructors need permission to give a student less than a B, a course in NASCAR fits right in.

Oh, and USC is just a fucking joke.

Perhaps I'm just cynical.

Cheers,

Alan Tomlinson

Posted by: Alan Tomlinson on June 14, 2007 at 3:18 PM | PERMALINK

"Sports involve a degree of physical strength/endurance and full and sustained body movement."

So by your definition, NASCAR is a sport. 500 miles at 185 mph for 3 hours while spaced 1 foot apart in 130 degree cockpits takes endurance. Wrestling a 700 hp beast takes some stength. This isn't your Prius we're talking about.

It's more than just guys turning left. The amount of work that goes into designing, constructing, and preparing the cars is part of what makes the sport great. The cars running on Sunday is just the end result of a process that is running 24/7.

There are some very smart people in NASCAR. Smarter - Rick Hendrick or Isiah Thomas? Jack Roush or Steve Phillips?

Posted by: mantooth on June 14, 2007 at 3:26 PM | PERMALINK

I have a good friend who works in the NASCAR world. I grew up with it but I'm not a big fan (and I generally see cars as a scourge), BUT, I must say that it is fascinating. I've had the opportunity to tour the pits, talk to drivers, sponsors, and even the NASCAR Decider himself. It is absolutely worthy of study and from many angles: culture, economics, marketing, physics, engineering.

Posted by: none on June 14, 2007 at 3:39 PM | PERMALINK

The interesting thing about all this is a large chunk of Junior's fanbase was inherited from his father. Those people HATE the squeaky-clean goody-two-shoes Californians Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson ... who will now be Junior's teammates.

Posted by: Thlayli on June 14, 2007 at 3:48 PM | PERMALINK

Why wouldn't they offer a class on a sport that involves:

1) running a multi-million dollar a year business (average team budget $20 million/year)
2) uses leading edge technology, both in the car and in the development of the car
3) requires the best in sports therapy, fitness training and sports medicine

You tell me.

Posted by: QrazyQat on June 14, 2007 at 3:56 PM | PERMALINK

and to add to that, the management of a racing team is held accountable for failure to perform, unlike most big businesses nowadays. These guys don't get big raises and bonuses when their team fails, they get the sack. When you consider all that, why would a management course teach anything but racing teams' examples?

Posted by: QrazyQat on June 14, 2007 at 3:59 PM | PERMALINK

It is absolutely worthy of study and from many angles: culture, economics, marketing, physics, engineering. Posted by: none

Gee, and I thought they'd pretty much put the subject to rest with Talladega Nights.

Actually, I believe it already has been looked at from most of those "angles." That's why they limit speed and have such distinguished "sponsors" as Viagra, Budweiser, and Nicoderm.

Posted by: JeffII on June 14, 2007 at 4:05 PM | PERMALINK

JeffII, I think you may just be picking fights now. What is wrong with any of those products? And what is wrong living in a rural area (to revisit an earlier comment)? And Talladega Nights was what it was, a comedy. Sorry it wasn't "Das Boot".

I get it, people who watch racing are rednecks. Anything else to add?

Posted by: mantooth on June 14, 2007 at 4:22 PM | PERMALINK

Golf doesn't involve full-body movement? Table tennis doesn't involve endurance? Bowling doesn't involve strength? Sorry, but that's unsupportable.

If you don't want to call poker or chess a sport, I can see your point, but what difference does it make, really? What turf are you defending?

Posted by: DoctorJay on June 14, 2007 at 4:28 PM | PERMALINK

And Talladega Nights was what it was, a comedy. Sorry it wasn't "Das Boot".

No shit? I thought it was a documentary.

I get it, people who watch racing are rednecks. Posted by: mantooth

No. People watch NASCAR are rednecks.

Posted by: JeffII on June 14, 2007 at 4:32 PM | PERMALINK

Hey Blue Girl, Red State, lighten up a bit. Think of the repercussions if Scooter's in jail with Paris. Nascar will arrange for a getaway car and folks will be watching the police chase on Cops. This stuff is good for America and Faux News.

Posted by: slanted tom on June 14, 2007 at 4:36 PM | PERMALINK

Golf doesn't involve full-body movement? Table tennis doesn't involve endurance? Bowling doesn't involve strength? Sorry, but that's unsupportable. Posted by: DoctorJay

Never got over getting cut from the JV wrestling team in middle school, huh?

Posted by: JeffII on June 14, 2007 at 4:40 PM | PERMALINK

People who write like JeffII are assholes.


Posted by: Will Allen on June 14, 2007 at 4:42 PM | PERMALINK

Okay, got it. JeffII is just looking for a fight.

I enjoy NASCAR (full disclosure - I live in Concord, NC and work for a NASCAR licensing firm, so I am very biased). I'm not going to run through "and these are my progressive activities" list, but I will admit that I don't garden and I think that wine is for douching. I don't know if you guys will take away my NPR tote bag for that one.

I am a pretty blue guy living in a very red area, and almost all of my friends could be described as conservative Republicans. When we talk politics, one of the things they don't like about the left is the feeling that they are being talked down to. When I read comments like JeffII's I'd have to agree with them.


Posted by: mantooth on June 14, 2007 at 4:51 PM | PERMALINK

It's great to be stereotyped based upon a sporting/leisure event." Posted by: 1SG on June 14, 2007 at 2:19 PM

Yeah, great! Are they letting women or minorities seriously drive yet? I don't support this particular sport.

Posted by: Zit on June 14, 2007 at 5:51 PM | PERMALINK

"I'm currently working on a Math Degree while maintaining a 4.0 GPA at University of Colorado. I hate country music, I don't smoke or drink, and I lived in Europe for 7 years in my 20's and 30's. I speak fluent German, love wine and a great hefeweissen, and yes, I'm a NASCAR fan.

You are also really lame (and contradictory) in your attempt at humor.

I find it truly amazing when people argue about sports and leisure events as if there truly is some universal definition of what a genuine sporting event must contain. It's great to be stereotyped based upon a sporting/leisure event.Posted by: 1SG

Like golf, bowling, pool, table tennis, playing poker (hint, hint ESPN) or anything else involving a motorized conveyance, NASCAR is not a sport. Sports involve a degree of physical strength/endurance and full and sustained body movement."

oops BIG mistake. Thank you for pointing out this inconsistency. I meant to say I don't drink crappy beer, alluding to the stereotype of NASCAR fans who smoke and drink nearly tasteless American beer, which is what it is, a stereotype. But to each his own.

Posted by: 1SG on June 14, 2007 at 6:17 PM | PERMALINK

"Yeah, great! Are they letting women or minorities seriously drive yet? I don't support this particular sport."

Looks like I'm the resident NASCAR defender now...

No one "lets" someone drive. There is no NCAA Racing League that leads to a draft every spring to bring up the latest talent. There are no after school programs for kids where all the equipment is provided. If you seriously want to get into racing you have to decide very early to do so, and your whole family has to be involved and be ready to sacrifice to advance. You buy your own car, your own tools, and you do or pay for any work that has to be done. Friends and families chip in all the time. I have a friend racing the local tracks here, he and his family worked on his car every night in the off-season, built it from the frame up. It cost $15,000. First race, another driver spins out and puts him in the wall. He is done until he can rebuild. There is little or no prize money. People do this because they love it. The people who love it are largely rural and white, sorry if that offends you. This is not a case where the owners just picked from a bunch of good ole' boys.

Basketball has very few whites in the pros - Racism?

Here's a link to a story about Chase Austin, a minority trying to make it in racing. (disclosure - I am friends with his sister).

http://www.sptimes.com/2006/06/17/Sports/At_16__driver_at_dive.shtml

His story is typical of families trying to get established in the sport. You work to race, hope to do well enough to move up to the next level. Once you get high enough a big-time owner takes a chance and invests a ton of money into you. You race ARCA or Truck or Busch. If you can compete (or bring sponsorship - see Ricky Carmichael for the new blood and Michael Waltrip for old) you get a Cup ride.

No one is just handing these things to white guys arbitrarily. Owners are spending a ton of money to win. If the main attribute owners signed drivers to contracts for was their Redneck appeal we'd have a bunch of Dale Jr. clones. Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson are hated by "Rednecks," but they are tremendously talented so they keep their rides.

Okay, I'm done.

Posted by: mantooth on June 14, 2007 at 6:26 PM | PERMALINK

Hey! Look at Grand Prix right now. Latest Great British hope is a 22 year-old who has been in the first three every time in his first season so far, won last weekend in Canada, leads the championship ahead of his team-mate, the reigning world-champion, and these guys might go as slow as 30 m.p.h. as well as as fast as 200 m.p.h. and turn both left and right...

and he looks like a product of a white-black marriage, and I haven't seen a comment in UK papers about that. Not one.

All power to these guys. Where are the gals?

Hamilton, Woods? Get over it.

Posted by: notthere on June 14, 2007 at 6:53 PM | PERMALINK

Car racing is really really boring. It is not a sport. Drivers are not athletes.

It's like video gaming.

Posted by: POed Lib on June 14, 2007 at 7:37 PM | PERMALINK

People do this because they love it. The people who love it are largely rural and white, sorry if that offends you. This is not a case where the owners just picked from a bunch of good ole' boys." Mantooth

Is that as in Randy Mantooth?

Your argument made no sense. And I am not the one to bring redneck into this discussion so I won't take responsibility for that term. Nor am I addressing them fun local tracks where the competition is fast and hard and of every color and size, and so's the cars.

Yes. Slap me with the word Offended and I will take it and stare you straight in the eye.

I am thoroughly disgusted that a national sport like NASCAR is allowed to continue discriminating to the degree they do on their drivers. I won't watch it or support it in any way until even a bit of diversification can filter into that privilaged circle. But it won't happen, not with the money and power that is wrapped up in it.

I fail, very much fail to believe in your reality that only white males qualify as serious and good drivers in NASCAR. Whatever you were babbling about money or entering racing at an early age or family involvment, what has that got to do with anything? True sports is about ability and I again fail to believe that the only ones with ability in driving NASCAR are white males. NASCAR is a closed door as far as opportunity goes, if Jeff Gordon had been born a minority, he wouldn't be driving NASCAR. There are minority Jeff Gordon-caliber drivers out there right now but they aren't getting on serious NASCAR circuits. They don't even get to roll around the edges, just in case they might win.

F1 has diversity, why not NASCAR?
Basketball has diversity, why not NASCAR? Football has diversity, why not NASCAR?
ECT...

The last race I caught a earful of in passing was talking about some female driver out on the track who had been deemed the Darling of the Racetrack. Call Jeff Gordon "darling" and see which fist he throws at your head. As demeaning as hell and an absolute fake. Let a honest competitive female driver out there with a car as decent as the boys cars. She'd run the fenders off some of those pansies. No can do, though, competition being as selective as it is in NASCAR.

NASCAR's lack of diversity is a huge elephant in the room of national sports, media, and social conscience. No one dares talk about the smell but it is there nonetheless.

Won't watch NASCAR, won't support it.

Posted by: Zit on June 14, 2007 at 7:48 PM | PERMALINK

I could care less about NASCAR, but its marketers are pretty crafty people in siphoning the Wal-Mart crowd away from baseball. Of course, you could argue baseball largely did it to itself, becoming a yuppified sport (think of all those overbearing Red Sox fans among college faculties across the country).

Posted by: Vincent on June 14, 2007 at 8:29 PM | PERMALINK

"Yes. Slap me with the word Offended and I will take it and stare you straight in the eye."

Awesome. Internet tough talk. Jesus. I wouldn't be commenting on anyone's alias - you like to be called Zit.

I really don't think I was babbling. Babbling would encompass grammar like "True sports is about ability". Or "...NASCAR is allowed to continue discriminating to the degree they do on their drivers." Did W write this? "Is our children learning?" I didn't make sense? You barely speak English.

Jeff Gordon didn't show up at age 18 and say, "Hey, I'd like a full time Cup ride!" He started racing at a very young age. His step-dad pushed him from level to level with funding and equipment. He started racing midgets at age 5. His family moved from California (hence the hatred from many fans) to Indiana just to have better access to the circuit. There are lots of families doing this. I'm sorry, but a lot of them are white. I'm not making shit up because of my secret "I hate minorities" agenda.

Rick Hendrick did not say, "Find me a white male." He saw Gordon racing in the Busch series and he impressed the hell out of him. He had already been racing for 15 years at that point.

I know a favorite hobby-horse of the liberal web is playing "spot and denounce the racist", so I'm not surprised that a discussion about Jr. turned into a "NASCAR is racist" discussion in less than 50 posts. I'm sure I'll be a racist within the next 5.

You profess that you don't follow racing, but then lecture me about what is wrong with it. It is very hard to get a cup ride. Guys at that level have been at it their whole life, most from families that have been in racing for generations (Earnhardt, Mears, Petty, Waltrip, Robby Gordon, etc.). The fan base is rural and white, the dirt tracks of which you say "Nor am I addressing them fun local tracks where the competition is fast and hard and of every color and size, and so's the cars" (and I was babbling?) are in rural, white areas. These kids are going to want to be drivers.

As I mentioned before, I work for a NASCAR licensing company. You think NASCAR isn't trying to tap that market? You think we wouldn't love to sell more apparel in Urban markets? There are programs dedicated to this: http://www.drivefordiversity.com. I'm sure it's not enough for you, but they are trying.

"Basketball has diversity, why not NASCAR? Football has diversity, why not NASCAR?"

From "Taboo" by Entine and Smith -

"13 percent of the U.S. population is black, but the NFL is 65 percent black, the NBA is nearly 80 percent black"

Are these leagues racist? Maybe we should enforce a quota system, where every league has the same percentage of races and ethnicities that the current population is composed of. Then maybe the bile in your stomach would settle. Keep on fighting the good fight, man. I don't believe you broke eye contact that entire time.


Aw, shit. Arguing on the internet...

Posted by: mantooth on June 14, 2007 at 10:39 PM | PERMALINK

mantooth: I know a favorite hobby-horse of the liberal web is playing "spot and denounce the racist"

Cheer up, it could be worse - try talking about illegal immigration.

Posted by: alex on June 14, 2007 at 10:52 PM | PERMALINK

And here I thought NASCAR was just another white trash spectacle.

Posted by: fastfeet on June 14, 2007 at 11:20 PM | PERMALINK

back to the topic at hand...

the blog makes a good point. for all this talk about meritocracy, Dale Earndhart got a better contract because of his last name. sure, he is a good driver, but is he better than Kyle Busch? the numbers don't say so, but he will bring a lot of money with him, based on his last name. So sorry, Kyle, you just lost your job to someone underperforming you who came from a better family. it's perfect for a management course!

Posted by: northzax on June 14, 2007 at 11:42 PM | PERMALINK

"...but is he better than Kyle Busch? the numbers don't say so..."

Career:

Jr - 17 Wins 114 Top Tens 6 Poles 2 Busch Championships 1 Nextel Open Win 1 Daytona 500.

Shrub - 4 Wins 38 Top Tens 2 Poles 0 Busch Championships 0 Nextel Open Win 0 Daytona 500.

Only 3 drivers have more wins since 2000 than Jr. - Stewart, Johnson, Gordon. He's a good driver, he has averaged more wins per season than Busch and I think he'll win more with Hendrick equipment.

Posted by: mantooth on June 15, 2007 at 12:05 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

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