TV Times: Daytona 500 Moved Just For The TV Ratings
A February, 2011, press release from Daytona revealed that the move of the Daytona 500 to the final weekend of this February was done at the recommendation of Fox Sports, the broadcaster of the first group of races before TNT picks up the baton. The change was done not so much as to sidestep the ever-expanding NFL playoffs and Super Bowl, but to prevent the one weekend gap in March which the Fox Network felt that stopped the NASCAR TV ratings momentum! This year there will be NASCAR races every weekend through mid-November, with the exception of the Easter and Mother’s Day weekends.
With NASCAR hoping to better or at least equal the TV rights money when the contract comes up for renewal shortly, they deferred to the company that writes the big check to sanction, that is the tracks that host the Sprint Cup events as well as the team owners. Money talks and everything else walks, is the old saying.
Speed Week’s 2012 got underway with the minutes ticking down on the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona. There was a capacity infield crowd. In the process of that twice around the clock grind, Andy Lally and NASCAR’s A.J. Almendinger, along with co-drivers, made the trip to Victory Lane. On the NASCAR side, Danica Patrick announced to the media that she will forego the Indy 500 this year and will race at Charlotte in the Coca Cola 600 that same weekend with NASCAR. Brad Kasalowski signed with Penske Racing again.
AMA standout Bubba Stewart got his first AMA SuperX win at Oakland, CA, and also signed a deal with Joe Gibbs Racing to give NASCAR a try. Stewart has a lot of fans that will follow him over to NASCAR Land. NASCAR is still tweaking the two-car drift versus The Pack. That’s what NASCAR’s Mike Helton told the group on the NASCAR Media Tour held in Charlotte. There are lots of NASCAR changes as we start to head into the first two 2012 weekends. SPEED’s Performance Awards was delivered on the air Sunday night, and Tony Stewart got the nod. “This is an awesome moment for me,” he told the show host and Mario Andretti, who the award is named after. No surprise here as he won five of The Chase races.
The Sports Car Club of America and the Lincoln Airport Authority have recently agreed to a lease extension that will keep the Tire Rack-SCCA® Solo® National Championships at the Lincoln (Neb.) Airport through 2017.
The event, which annually attracts more than 1200 competitors to crown National Championships in each of the Solo classes, has been held on the concrete airport runway surface since 2009. The recently-signed lease has an additional five-year option included, which could keep the event in Lincoln through 2022. This year’s event marks the 40th anniversary of the Tire Rack SCCA Solo National Championship event. The Lincoln Chamber of Commerce estimates the event annually has a $3 million impact on the local economy.
In addition to the Tire Rack SCCA Solo National Championships, scheduled for September 4-7 this year, the Tire Rack SCCA ProSolo finale runs just ahead of the Solo Championships, August 30 – September 7. Both the Solo National Tour and the ProSolo Series will visit the site for the second Spring Nationals event Memorial Day weekend, another four-day event that draws competitors to the area.
After the end of all the rallies held in Italy and worldwide in the year 2011, Luca Rossetti is number one of the 2011 Italian Rally Ranking, thereby confirming his position obtained in 2010. A climb all year long allowed the three-time European Rally Champion to confirm his first position thanks to the points gained in events in Italy, The Italian number one of events on gravel is Daniele Batistini; number one on tarmac is Luca Rossetti; number one on snow is Gianluca Linari. There are 2095 drivers from all regions of Italy and the Republic of San Marino, who, after taking part in rallies in Italy and in the world in 2011, have scored the necessary results to enter the Italian Rally Ranking. .
Check Jayski.com to see what’s happening on TV this week into the weekend. (end)
NOTE: Information for this column came from press releases and personal notes.
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