Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Daily Debris - Day 3 in Charlotte

Credit: Grant Halverson/Getty Images
(L-R) Kyle Larson, Jamie McMurray, Felix Sabates, and Steve Lauletta (president of Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates)
The day started a tad early with an 8:30 a.m. press conference with Chip Ganassi Racing w/Felix Sabates. Felix was a tad snarky, but it was more than a tad early, which got me to thinking (never a good sign). Although it is customary to request interviews through a rep like a driver's public relations person, if you really want to grab a few moments with someone, a real simple method is to hang outside the men's room. Unless, of course, you need an interview with Danica Patrick...

No really, follow me with this. Jamie McMurray goes into the men's room. Jamie comes out of the men's room. The same with Rick Hendrick. It doesn't matter if you work for a small racing team or a monstrous one. You go in and you come out. This way there is no middle man. Easy, right? I'm telling you, I'm on to something here.

Something else I noticed today is no one knows how to up-sell better than NASCAR. Seriously. I was listening intently at the presentation about this year's All Star Race and I was waiting for the major announcement - really any announcement - and nothing. Oh no, sorry. After you buy a ticket for the race you can buy another ticket for the Jake Owen pre-race concert. Oh yea, and for just $10 down you can reserve a seat AND interest-free payment plans are available.

Let's just drop this polite facade and hire the new OxiClean guy to shout out a commercial for us or better yet do an infomercial and we can keep adding a "but wait!" Really guys; we aren't that stupid.

My big "Aha!" moment today, though, was the realization that NASCAR chairman Brian France must be the most persuasive man in the world. Close down the Dale Carnegie training schools folks, because whatever Brian does is much more effective. This guy is once again making wholesale changes in the qualifying format AND the Chase and everybody is nodding passively and happily. Seriously, does this man have dirt on everybody, know where all the bodies are buried? What's the deal? The drivers, the owners, the crew chiefs - they are all okay with this and going along and following blindly.

What kind of Kool-aid are they serving in NASCAR? And more importantly, can they bottle it and give it to our legislators? No seriously. Follow me on this. Let's say that we send Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) to a special boot camp with Brian France to train them on how to make folks blindly follow and enjoy it at the same time. We could then neatly handle the whole "can't agree/work with others" issue by creating the Ministry of Unpopular Decisions and making Brian France the chair. He obviously could handle both NASCAR and this new position easily since no one disagrees with him. Easy-peasy. See? All problems solved!

Whew. What a day!

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