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Premium Member
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If Kenseth doesn't get a ride I'm going to be really mad. The guy is better than 3/4 of the field
Sadly NASCAR is one of the few sports where the best talent doesn't always make the big show.
 

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Formerly mwr1556
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I'm going to be really disappointed if Aric Almirola get the 10. He is textbook vanilla field filler in my opinion. I was/am hoping the 10 would either be Kahne, Kenseth or a new up and comer.
 

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I'm going to be really disappointed if Aric Almirola get the 10. He is textbook vanilla field filler in my opinion. I was/am hoping the 10 would either be Kahne, Kenseth or a new up and comer.
I think that's part of the outrage for fans towards Smithfield. They complained about performance, but it looks like their taking the same average driver with them.
 
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Just CraZy
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I'm going to be really disappointed if Aric Almirola get the 10. He is textbook vanilla field filler in my opinion. I was/am hoping the 10 would either be Kahne, Kenseth or a new up and comer.
Kahne said it's not him, despite that bacon tweet he had. But he did say his 2018 plans are finalized.


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Just CraZy
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I think that's part of the outrage for fans towards Smithfield. They complained about performance, but it looks like their taking the same average driver with them.
I don't think he's average. I just think he was in bad equipment for years.


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I must be the only one who isn't shocked Kenseth has a ride for next year. He is 45 and will be 46. There is a drop off. Mark Martin even acknowledged he saw his skills start to diminish.
 

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I don't think he's average. I just think he was in bad equipment for years.


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Almirola - 19.6 AvFn
Wallace - 17.8 AvFn

^One of these guys has over 200 cup races, the other had zero and on average finished nearly 2 spots better per race. Since returning AA's AvFn has jumped up to 22.7 in his last 8 races. Does he have the best equipment? Nope, but neither did Bubba and he looked a hell of a lot more competitive then Almirola has.
 

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I must be the only one who isn't shocked Kenseth has a ride for next year. He is 45 and will be 46. There is a drop off. Mark Martin even acknowledged he saw his skills start to diminish.
I'm not really shocked on Matt.
 

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I meant to put no ride.

I remember Ricky Rudd had all this hype in 2002 when he was a free agent but ended up with the Wood brothers and was never really a factor. Also his age in 2002 was 45.

I'm not really shocked on Matt.
 

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I meant to put no ride.

I remember Ricky Rudd had all this hype in 2002 when he was a free agent but ended up with the Wood brothers and was never really a factor. Also his age in 2002 was 45.
Denying Kenseth's age being a factor would be silly of me, but the man has been a central factor in the championship hunt in 3 of the last 4 seasons. Take away some of his bad luck this season, and he's sitting in the top 5 in points with maybe a few wins. Look at Stewart, Jr., Biffle, Martin, etc., all have seen a drop off in performance where they faded from being regular contenders for top 5s. Matt has not had this yet. Maybe it happens next year or maybe it starts now, but look at the last 8 races: 4 top 5s, 6 top 10s. He had a tire problem while running 3rd with 2 to go at Michigan and an ambulance cost him a top 5 car at Richmond, so that could very well be 6 top 5s in 8 races. In my opinion, no sign of running 15th-20th like Jr. is.
 

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Sunday Money
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I'll say it again.................

NASCAR is no longer about racing, it is about making money for NASCAR and television "SHOW" time for sponsors who continue to demand more for less money.

Greedy NASCAR has become the prostitute of corporate America sponsorship money and television revenue................which only has long term value when fans support and watch the "SHOW". Declining fan base = lower television revenues = lower sponsorship value = less money.

Television networks and sponsors are dictating to NASCAR how to run the "SHOW" and dictating to owner's and drivers what they are willing to pay which will continue to decline with the fan base.

Like any business, lower investment in the sport means less quality long term. Owner's can no longer pay the high salaries to quality drivers in addition to increasing team payrolls and operating expenses (constant change dictated by NASCAR/Sponsors) to make the "SHOW" more competitive (ie. exciting for the.....I want it all now......reality television mentality).

Some driver's are not willing to take a substantial pay cut to be told how to live their life on a daily basis dealing the demands from sponsors, NASCAR, team owner, and fans.......on top of the routine demands of a 10 month racing schedule.

Some driver's value their integrity and family more than selfish greed...............especially when they have already paid their dues and earned millions. Sometimes enough is enough.

btw................Earnhardt Sr. was 49 when he finished 2nd in the 2000 drivers standings (265 points behind Champion Bobby Labonte).

No one ever questioned the age of Earnhardt Sr. when he was making millions for NASCAR every week-end......... :rolleyes:
 

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I will say this about the age. There are exceptions but if you take a look at Racing Reference and look at all the drivers you will see that the wins really started to dry up by age 45. Darrell Waltrip won three races at age 45 and then never won again. If I am an owner and/or sponsor I don't want to invest in a guy who will be 46 next year.

As for the mediocre drivers getting sponsors. It's been around for a long time. Michael waltrip and Napa. Anyone who sponsored Kenny Wallace. And I know I will anger someone but Ken Schrader and Federated Auto Parts.
 

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Sunday Money
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If I'm an owner, I desperately need money from sponsorship to compete at a high level.

If I'm a sponsor, I want my company name and logo on television and driver promotional media as much as possible. If I win a few....GREAT.......my brand gets mentioned and I get a few more minutes in the spotlight during the driver interview in Victory Lane.

As a sponsor spending millions to fund a team, I want a driver running up front every week with a chance to win......knowing my brand is being indirectly advertised on screen. Select sponsors may want to market their brand to a certain demographic which may segregate drivers by age. Viagra sponsorship of Mark Martin between the ages of 42 and 46 is one example.

Danica took advantage of an opportunity and made the most of her brand (good for her)........marketing return of investment (especially in sports) is always difficult to measure financially.....and constantly change over time as market conditions change or the sponsor's operating results don't consistently deliver earning targets...especially for publicly traded companies.

I like Jimmie Johnson; however, I only shop at Lowes (few blocks from my home) if they have a better price than Home Depot or Menards. I'm more price sensitive than brand loyal....assuming quality is comparable. I have been a fan of Kenseth's since the beginning and never have purchased a DeWalt product other than Kenseth driven DeWalt die-cast and I don't drink. No Smirnoff Ice or Crown Royal for me. I may be an exception to the rule. :yes:

For the record, I just went to the Smithfield Foods website to see what brands they own. Never knew until now. LOL

Other thoughts to ponder............

Best race cars and teams which execute every week usually put themselves in a position to win. Can't have the best equipment and the best personnel without money from sponsors. Truex is successful this year because his car and team has outperformed the field on all types of tracks......dominating on some. Kenseth won 7 races in 2013 (first year at JGR) and attributed it all to having better race cars and Hamlin's help at the short tracks.

How many races the past 3-4 years would have different outcomes if the numerous phantom NASCAR debris cautions (water bottles/etc.) didn't occur at the end of races to manufacture "exciting" green/white/checkers?

The NASCAR show will continue to evolve dependent on the level of financial support (manipulation) from corporate sponsorship and television income................take it or leave it...........it is what it is!

Back to regularly scheduled programming......................
 

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I will say this about the age. There are exceptions but if you take a look at Racing Reference and look at all the drivers you will see that the wins really started to dry up by age 45. Darrell Waltrip won three races at age 45 and then never won again. If I am an owner and/or sponsor I don't want to invest in a guy who will be 46 next year.

As for the mediocre drivers getting sponsors. It's been around for a long time. Michael waltrip and Napa. Anyone who sponsored Kenny Wallace. And I know I will anger someone but Ken Schrader and Federated Auto Parts.
There is no doubt age is a factor and Kenseth's clock is probably ticking down quickly on that front. However, I ask you to just look at his last race and compare that to another aging champion, Tony Stewart. At Richmond, Kenseth ran in the top 5 all night and led laps until the ambulance incident. Did for one second you say to yourself: "wow Matt's doing a lot better than usual tonight, this reminds me of when he used to be good"? And after he got taken out by nascar, did you feel as though he would never get another opportunity to win? Compare that to Tony's last season where he ran around 20th for most of the season. When he led late at Sonoma, didn't you kind of get the feeling that this was it? The last time you would ever see Stewart be able to run like he did during his prime?

I don't think Matt has forever, but he still can legitimately contend for wins and championships unlike a lot of drivers in high quality rides.
 

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I don't doubt that he can win this year. It's next year I would worry about. Let's say he is under contract with Gibbs for the next three seasons with JGR and he wins 2 out of the last 10 races this year. Suddenly we are talking about how great he was over the last 10 races and he is a title contender in 2018. Next year he drops off and doesn't win a race but has a few top 5s and top 10s and is in contention for some wins but it doesn't work out and he doesn't make the Playoffs. What do we say then? Oh it was an off season for him that team is still good. Or do we question his age? Questions start to get asked about well has he lost a step is the 20 team struggling? We go to 2019 and Kenseth is awful the whole season yet wins a race and makes the Playoffs but is out the first round. Then in 2020 he is just dreadful and struggles and announces he is retiring at the end of the season. I swear this story plays out more often than we notice. If this was 1992 and Darrell Waltrip who won 3 races that year is a free agent, are owners/sponsors lining up to sign him? We know now what his career ended up like. But did we in 1992.


There is no doubt age is a factor and Kenseth's clock is probably ticking down quickly on that front. However, I ask you to just look at his last race and compare that to another aging champion, Tony Stewart. At Richmond, Kenseth ran in the top 5 all night and led laps until the ambulance incident. Did for one second you say to yourself: "wow Matt's doing a lot better than usual tonight, this reminds me of when he used to be good"? And after he got taken out by nascar, did you feel as though he would never get another opportunity to win? Compare that to Tony's last season where he ran around 20th for most of the season. When he led late at Sonoma, didn't you kind of get the feeling that this was it? The last time you would ever see Stewart be able to run like he did during his prime?

I don't think Matt has forever, but he still can legitimately contend for wins and championships unlike a lot of drivers in high quality rides.
 
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