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Sunday, March 29, 2009

Allmendinger is on verge of entering Chase territory … So where’s the sponsor?

I’ll never understand the business side of NASCAR.

There are drivers like Casey Mears and Reed Sorenson racing every week and never distinguishing themselves in any way, which would seem like a detriment to a sponsor. But they have something on their hood for the whole season.

Meanwhile, A.J. Allmendinger is doing a tremendous job racing better than the equipment he has, getting top-10s when he probably shouldn’t be able to do that, yet he is only sponsored through the end of May.

The Dinger is only 34 points away from being in Chase territory, yet there is a chance he won’t be able to race in June.

Calling all sponsors … I know times are tough, but considering some of the drivers who are sponsored, I hope someone out there has the cojones to step up and ensure A.J. can run the full season. If he continues the hot streak he is on, he has a legitimate shot at making the Chase, something that would almost guarantee the investment would pay off for a sponsor.

The problem, of course, is the economy. As a member of the newspaper business and a resident of the automotive-driven metro Detroit area, I’m painfully aware of what the recession has done to the ability of advertisers to promote their products as much as they’d like.

Logic would dictate that if Allmendinger continues to finish like he did at Martinsville, a sponsorship deal (or many small sponsorship deals) will come in the near future. But then again, logic sometimes loses out to real-world craziness.

Another concern is that A.J. is on the short list of drivers being considered for the U.S.-based Formula 1 team that will run starting in 2010. If NASCAR fails to provide him with a full-time ride for this season or next, you may see him make his way out of the stock car world, which would be a shame because he is a solid young driver who wants to be here.

It’s a case of bad timing, but I hope it works out for A.J. A driver performing as well as him shouldn’t have to worry about funding, especially considering how many less talented people have full sponsorships.

What rookie battle?
Joey Logano and Scott Speed continue to struggle, making the rookie battle a snoozefest as they both battle to be in the top 35. At this point, I wonder whether either one will step up this year.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wouldn't worry about that 44 not finding a sponsor. That team has some of the best looking for sponsorships. I heard they have De Cordell....real switched on guy....really knows his NASCAR and how to get sponsors on the cars.

March 30, 2009 at 4:52 PM 

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