With John Carollo
I’m one of you. Long before my first article or big name interview and for as long as I can remember, I’ve been a stock car fan. So for that reason, my name doesn’t matter and neither does my photo. It’s more like we’re just sitting here in the grandstand before the race, talking about Chevys and NASCAR. Hey, you want a cold one? --JC

A REALLY New Season

‘Bout a month from now, the 2009 season of NASCAR will step off down there in Daytona. And with the economy having its panties in a twist and all, it will truly be a NEW season for NASCAR racing. All this depression stuff is everywhere. I know I don’t have to tell you that. It’s kinda like when it’s real, real cold outside. You just seem to be surrounded by it and can’t get away from it, know what I mean? Now, we’re not fixin’to bum you out. I’m thinking the nightly news does just fine on that and don’t need my help. But this economy stuff is most definitely happenin’ and its havin’ what you’d call a “profound” effect on NASCAR.

As we write this, there’s ‘bout 1,000 boys and girls in Charlotte that done lost their racing jobs. And that might just be the opening act. Traditionally, folks get more pink slips right after the 500. Sound weird? Here’s how it works. The Daytona 500 is the Super Bowl of NASCAR, right? Seeing how it starts off the season, teams key their years on getting in it and making a good showin’. It’s not unusual for a team that might be strugglin’ to put all their eggs in the Daytona basket. IF – and that’s a mighty big IF – they make a good showing, they will be able to partake of the sponsors that swim around the 500 like sharks to chum. Ya see, savvy sponsors know they can get bargain basement prices on exposure pickin’ on the bones of the cars that done made the race but still have fenders with no names on ‘em. Sometimes, sponsors will fund enough for the rest of the year, too. And that helps out those teams that done spent their wad on getting into the big race. But every coin’s got two sides. And those poor souls that don’t make the race after putting the last of their bucks into the team have to close up shop or at least skin back their racin’ for the rest of the year. It’s kinda like that “brass ring”deal.   

Add the sorry state of bidniss in the US today where there ain’t no surplus of sugar daddies with deep pockets looking to go racing. They’re kinda like us, keepin’ our cards close to the vest. So there will likely be fewer teams trying to get into the Big Show and less bidniss folks looking to use racing, as they say, as their marketing vehicle. And that rolls ‘round to more folks getting pink slips after the 500 – and I ain’t talking ‘bout some guy waving his arms on a TV drag show.