Monthly Archives: January 2011

Money

This time of year can be tough on race teams.  Drag racers don’t like sitting around not thinking or doing something that doesn’t look like racing.  You are waiting for parts for your car.  You’re hoping the weather gets good enough that you can go testing.  Yes, and this is the good part because you must have been lucky enough to have monetary help in the form of extra pay, another partner coming in with some money or … you have a marketing partner (sponsor).

Ah yes, the marketing partner or more commonly known as sponsors, are a hot commodity.  Especially this time of year, looking for a marketing partner is a cold hard fact that hits you right in the face like a snowy Winter blizzard, so this time of year can REALLY be tough if you don’t have a sponsor.

Marketing is a harsh business and involves creative answers to businesses advertising needs.  Drag racing is a great marketing vehicle but it requires a race team to be equally creative and vigilant about their ability to offer branding that advertises what the company needs.  Not easy for people who grew up twisting wrenches. When your promoting, advertising, marketing and racing, as Pink Floyd says: “Money, get away”.   You need constant support and investment.  But what if you don’t have what it takes (money) to pursue your passion in racing?

Again, this time of year is a frantic time.  Businesses are gearing up their pursuits and many have already costed-out their budgets.  The smaller businesses are more apt to have funding because they work on an as-needed basis but they don’t have large sums to invest.  Larger companies set their budgets up in the prior year and although they have more to spend, they’re locked into campaigns that were largely set up for the first of the year.  A real conundrum for race teams as the finish line nears.

What’s the answer?  Actually, I don’t have one but will say this: American businesses need to broaden their perspectives and perceptions and race teams need to work on offering real marketing solutions so they can do the thing they enjoy most, racing.  Don’t be a snail, hustle up folks, times awastin’.  … “Money, It’s a gas – Grab that cash with both hands and make a stash – New car, caviar, four star daydream … “

More on Pink Floyd here:

Home Of Nostalgia Drag Racing

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Top 5 Female Drag Racers

First, let me apologize at the onset.  I’m not going to mention every famous femina drag racer in this category – just the top 5 that attracted MY attention.  Drag racing is really the only sport where women and men stand side-by-side in competition and these women here, shown more brightly than others.  Oh, BTW, femina is latin for female.  Onwards.

  • Number 5  Peggy Llewellyn – Peggy has in her own right, overcome hurdles that no one in drag racing has.  As both a woman and black woman at that (Jamaican/Mexican American descent), she has accomplished what no other black women have and that’s a Top 5 finish of the points in a NHRA Pro Series.  She’s also the only black woman to win a Final in a Pro class and further, is the only woman to qualify in the final NHRA Countdown.  Although her career has been relatively brief, her accomplishments have been far-reaching.  Hope to see her full-time in 2011.
  • Number 4  Ashley Force Hood – Ashley’s career, like Peggy’s hasn’t been long in the Pro ranks but it has been memorable.  Up until her wins, she was only known as the daughter of John Force and being voted “Hottest Athlete” in the world a few years ago.  But now Ashley is better known as the first woman to ever lead the Funny Car’s in points, plus she also was the first woman to ever win a Funny Car Final.  Within a handful of years, she’s the most accomplished woman Funny Car driver in history.  Ashley will be taking off the 2011 season to have a baby but I’m sure she’ll return soon.
  • Number 3  Bunny Burkett – Some of you may not remember Bunny but she was one the earlier drag racing women and actually won her first event in 1964.  She would become known as a successful Alcohol Funny Car driver (1986 IHRA Champion) in the 80’s and 90’s.  Her’s was a tough row, having to strut her stuff (yea, it wasn’t glamorous) in the early years to make a buck.  Many tough years of mending after accidents and health issues, Bunny was still making appearances through last year.
  • Number 2  Angelle Sampey – As the woman with the most championships and wins, Angelle’s career was remarkable to say the least.  During her best years from 2000-2002, she had no peer.  Angelle dominated Pro Stock bike like no one before or since and was a superstar for awhile.  Along with her 3 Championships, she also won 41 meets, an astounding fete for anyone, let alone a female motorcycle driver.  She also held a record of 182 consecutive races without a DNQ – unbelievable.  Angelle retired last year and is now about to have her first baby in a month or so.
  • Number 1  Shirley Muldowney – Not surprisingly, Shirley is the bellwether of women racers –  in all motorsports.  No woman racer is as consummate a leader and blazed a trail as wide and long as Shirley Muldowney has.  Ranked in the Top 5 all-time greatest drag racers, much has been written about Shirley.  Her path and shadow is huge and offers the others listed here and all other women racers, a course and direction that I’m sure will go down in the annals.  She had a hellacious accident in the 80’s that sideline her for a time but she battled back like everything else in her career.  A match-race phenom (to make money), Shirley still found time to win 3 NHRA Top Fuel Championships and is in every Hall of Fame she can be in.  What more can be said of one of greatest racers – and will probably always be #1.  Did she ever retire?

Yes, there are others who should be noted, such as past icons, Shirley Shahan, Lucille Lee and current women drag racers, Melanie Troxel, Erica Enders and Karen Stoffer.  On the Nostalgia side, Leah Leduc and Mendy Fry have made great strides.  Drag racing nowadays has more and more women all the time and they’re are many more coming up through the ranks.  We’re lucky.

Books on women in drag racing.

More on Shirley Muldowney.

Vote for your own favorite!

Home Of Nostalgia Drag Racing

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Is the NHRA a non?

Huh?!  I don’t know how to exactly approach this.  A couple of days ago, a press release was found on some discussion boards (forums) stating a law firm was calling out the NHRA to the IRS on its tax-exempt status (the story has now found its way onto Forbes – see at bottom for more). The firm is representing an unknown race team and inferred the NHRA was not operating like the non-profit they were suppose to be.

Yes, I rail all the time about the ineptness of the NHRA and blame in part, the fact they are just that, a non-profit and therefore not run like a real business should.  So this non-investigation and/or non-lawsuit has put me in a conundrum.  Do I agree with the NHRA that they are indeed an inept organization or an actual business that should be taxed like any other?  And yet another couple of items for me personally, is the fact that one, I detest taxes and their utter waste and two, I also detest whistle-blowers, which this seems to entail.

Where this is going, I have no idea, but you don’t have to light a fire under the IRS’ ass when it comes to motorsports as they watch race teams like a hawk anyway.  But now they’ll at least feel obliged to have a closer look.

The question that jumps at me first and foremost is, does this help or hurt racers and fans?  On one hand, you could say that the racer has been sucked dry by the NHRA and this will help them but then what if the cost of doing business is raised due to taxes, therefore costing teams more to put on the show (clowns maybe have to pay more?).  You know I’ve mentioned what I think should be done in that regard.

This may unravel our sport and that’s not necessarily good and then again, maybe this is exactly what we needed to get the sport to the next level.  More questions remain and whatever happens, this will be interesting to follow and more might be coming.  Hmmm …

See a story from Forbes here:

Home Of Nostalgia Drag Racing

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Mid-Winter Hug

While waiting for the new race season to start, the mind wonders during these cool dark days of Winter.  Politics seem to be everywhere – ugh.  The economy is, well, eh, trying to create some muster of it’s own, no thanks to aforementioned politics (could we just cut DC off & …).  Anyway, sports are about the football season winding down and the basketball season slugging along.  Yea, not much going on there.  The entertainment industry is, for lack of a better word or phrase, spinning off into oblivion.  Local flare here on the California Central Coast is sleepy this time of year.  One word to describe everything right now; malaise or like a bear sleeping off Winter in a cave … blah.

So with this snappy short narrative, where am I going?  Not far.  I’ve been trying to understand how to fit into the quagmire and couldn’t find that nice cozy spot, like a hibernating bear without a cave.  Need a little something.  Actually, I’ve nothing to complain about.  Although we had a very wet Fall and early Winter, it’s been fantastic weather over the last few weeks with temps hitting 70 more than a couple times.  I live in wine country on the Central Coast, which is one of the most beautiful places in the world.  I’m just short of two hours from one of the most venerable race tracks of all-time (Famoso) and just a few months ago, I had a full physical and was told, I was fit as a fiddle (OK, they’d like me to reduce the bulge of the stomachus) – maybe I’m more of a viola.

But I know most of us are still struggling in some fashion to stay afloat or get our boat rowing and to that end …

It seems we need a hug, which makes this day perfect for … National Hug Day.  Yes, today’s National Hug Day.  I know, like we need another “day”, but I’m thinking they may have this right.  Middle of Winter just doesn’t have much going for it, so why not.  It was started in Michigan, which makes sense; probably an excuse to help keep each other warm during those icy cold days and nights in the northern climes.  So I’m here to tell everyone to hug someone.  Careful and don’t get in trouble but hugs are good because you give as well as receive.  So for at least today, give someone a hug, especially those drag racers – there’s nothing worse than the off season.

Now if I could get a hug from my last posts centerpiece (Elle), everything would be fine.

Where’s the race season?

Home Of Nostalgia Drag Racing

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Morgan Lucas’ TV career

Just an update on Morgan Lucas’ new career in television.  The commercials for Nationwide Insurance seem to be popular.  Morgan has made a great transition and his ability in front of the camera, well, it’s amazing.  What’s surprising is that the Lucas Oil bunch have Geico for a sponsor but it doesn’t seem to be detouring any momentum.

Have not been able to hear from Morgan Lucas himself, to get a comment about the switch in jobs and whether he’ll still be driving the family’s Top Fuel digger this year, but I’m sure we’ll get to the bottom of this …

OK, wait a minute, easy does it.  Before anyone starts taking this seriously and getting their pants in a bunch, I’m kidding.  BUT you have to admit, Morgan Lucas and this guy from Nationwide sure look similar.  And awful funny how it just happens to be for insurance companies.  Hmmm … ?

The question does bare asking though: Have you ever seen Morgan Lucas and Nationwide’s “World’s Greatest Spokesman” together?  Inquiring minds want to know.  OK, well maybe not but it makes you think.  Next time, take a very close look and you’ll see what I’m talking about.  BTW, it looks like they found Morgan, oh, er, I mean the spokesman and he’s coming back.

So you need to look like these two guys (or a lizard) to sell insurance?  Morgan does have the better angle; 8000 HP.

Now, some of you might say like Bugs Bunny said; What a maroon (which is another word for a fool, if you care) – be nice.  Now while we’re talking about maroons, did you know the Pottsville Maroons won the NFL championship in their first year in the league during the roaring 20’s.  And Pottsville is home to Yuengling beer which is America’s oldest brewery.  Bet you didn’t think you’d be this smart after reading this extraordinary post?!  And I got in my favorite pasttimes, beer and football …

Now back to advertising.  Personally, the world’s greatest spokesman has and will always be Elle MacPherson.  Being a longtime Sports Illustrated guy (actually they’re all my favorites; Cheryl, Christy, Kathy, Rachel … sigh …), Elle made the cover many times and I was fine with that.  And maybe that’s old school but who would you rather see on a commercial?  Thank you.  Come to think of it, I never did buy any swimsuits.  On the other hand, I do remember a calendar or two … Now, what was I talking about?

Home Of Nostalgia Drag Racing

See more of Elle here:

Where’s the race season?

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

I’m learning

I know it may sound somewhat daffy but I did a little looking inward to see how to improve on such things as here on “The Nest”.  Hey, if Heidi Montag says she can learn new things to improve herself (as she recently and importantly stated), who am I to say I can’t improve like Heidi – well, um, there’s uh, some things that … OK, you get the picture.

What is the most important keys to social media?  I mention this because of my last post and some advice from people with higher pay grades than myself (they know more about blogging).  I’ve been writing during the week and some friends of mine on Facebook, LinkedIn & Twitter said they missed them because the story wasn’t published on the weekend.  I’m sorry if you’ve missed out on my wonderfully worded and gripping tales on “The Nest”, so by finding out most people read on weekends, I’ll be trying to post more for your weekend pleasure.

I did a little research and found that not only are some of my friends using social media on weekends but they’re looking for informative blogs.  Since there’s an extraordinary amount of information in my cerebrum, I’ll start giving out more gathered facts and data with maybe some lists occasionally (Top 5, Top 10 etc).  An expert in the field of writing told me I should be putting numbers to this information – and I’m a numbers kind of guy, so numbers it is.

I’ll try to keep things basic and simple and though I don’t think of myself as a doom and gloom guy, maybe a few more upbeat blogs are on the way.  I’ll try to be a little more sexy, if you will – Hey, I can be as sexy as the … OK, maybe I’ll not go that far but expect a bit more zip (heh heh, see above).  I also received some advice stating or more succinctly, asking: Where’s the video’s?  OK, OK I’ll add a few more.  Here’s a short clip by American Nitro – the 70’s may get ridiculed sometimes but they had a lot of good drag racing going on.

So there, a little introspective and now I’m a better man.  Oh and Ron will be back with a tidbit or two, also.  Did I miss anything?

Home Of Nostalgia Drag Racing

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

No American cars

The Great Recession has many victims.  The real estate market dropped like it never had before with millions of Americans directly affected.  The terrible slowdown has impinged on numerous categories and one of them is the car industry.  If you’ve checked recently about the economy in Detroit, their Depression has wreaked havoc on the area.  It sad and for car lovers like drag racers usually are, it hurts even more to see our beloved industry destroyed … when it didn’t have to be.  An interesting side note; I did a poll on current Pony cars and the dis-interest was palpable.

Detroit looks like something out of a futuristic, apocalyptic movie.  And the manufacturing in the U.S., isn’t much better and is a small shadow of its former self.  Why?  Well, we can’t explain such a wide-ranging problem in a short couple of paragraphs.  What we can look at is the simple basics.  Why do American cars strain to be on par with foreign imports?  First and maybe most important is Unions.  The huge cost inflicted by entitlements (i.e. pensions) along with exorbitant wages, have sucked the American car companies dry.

Also, another side of the story is: What constitutes an American company?  G.M. is owned in part by the U.S. government but a little known tidbit to this is that Communist China has a stake in General Motors.  Chrysler is also part owned by the U.S. government and Italian car company Fiat (which is subsidized by the Italian government).  Ford is really the only car company originating from the U.S. with American owned interest.

BUT …

Check this video out on the Ford plant in Brazil

Ford, like nearly every carmaker in the world, has its parts and some cars manufactured elsewhere.  For instance, Ford has a plant in Brazil that is very modern and produces several different models.  This plant is extremely efficient and quite a success story.  So why can’t the U.S. have a plant as successful as this Brazilian plant?  Back to square one – Unions.  Check out the video and see for yourself.

I guess we’ve come full circle because when you look at the history of the automobile, America has but a small part.  In the mean time, we don’t have American metal anymore and that is the sad reality.

Betty Grable with giant stuffed polar bearDid I make you feel all giddy, warm and cozy inside?  I have that knack.  Now I have to find out who’s close with unions and get next to them.  Hmmm, I know who’s in tight with the unions – I call the White House and I’m sure …

Home Of Nostalgia Drag Racing


1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized