Michael Waltrip Racing announced today what Sirius Speedway first told you two weeks ago; that Martin Truex, Jr. will join their driver roster next season at the wheel of a new, NAPA Auto Parts-sponsored #56 Toyota. In addition, NAPA has signed a multi-year contract to continue as primary sponsor of the team.
Michael Waltrip will drive a limited schedule next season -- beginning with the Daytona 500 -– in his familiar #55 NAPA Toyota. Owner points earned by Waltrip this season will transfer to Truex's full-time effort in 2010. Truex has 135 career Sprint Cup starts, with one win, 12 Top-5 and 36 Top-10 finishes. He currently stands 24th in points at the halfway mark of the 2009 campaign.
Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing General Manager Jeff Steiner will join us live at 6:15 PM ET today to discuss the loss of Truex, and what it means to his team.
ISC Announces Revenue Plunge: International Speedway Corporation has reported a 13.6 percent drop in revenue for the first six months of this year, most of it attributed to a $55.6 million write-down for merchandise vendor Motorsports Authentics.
The company’s financial statement also showed a drop in admissions revenue of 16.5 percent, and ISC President John Saunders said he expects overall admissions revenue to drop 15 percent for the year. Advance ticket sales are down approximately 25-30 percent, as fans wait until later to buy tickets.
ISC had a net loss of $6.5 million for the first half of the year, compared to a $62.25 million profit in the first half of last year.
NASCAR Still Valuable To Automakers: A report in this week’s edition of Brand Week magazine shows once again why automakers see value in NASCAR.
The report cites statistics from Nielsen Media Research – the people in charge of determining television ratings – and MRI's Survey of the American Consumer showing that NASCAR fans are extremely patriotic about their cars and trucks.
Data acquired from NASCAR viewers in the first quarter of this year showed that they are more likely than average consumers to drive an American-made vehicle. NASCAR fans were 70-percent more likely to drive a Chevrolet than non-NASCAR fans. They were 64-percent more likely to drive a Ford than non-NASCAR fans, and Dodge’s numbers were plus-59 percent.
New Arrival: Congratulations to Matt and Katie Kenseth, who welcomed Kaylin Nicola Kenseth to the family Monday. Matt also has a son, Ross, from a previous relationship. Mom and baby are doing fine, Dad’s a little shaky.