Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Baker Refutes Reports Of Team's Demise

Baker Curb Racing co-owner Gary Baker is denying internet reports that his race team is closing its doors, telling Sirius NASCAR Radio’s Sirius Speedway with Dave Moody that he is confident the team will compete at Daytona with at least one -– and possibly two –- cars.

“Are we furloughing some employees? Yes. Are we selling off some obsolete cars and parts? Yes. That’s all true,” said Baker. “But the rumor of our doors being padlocked is reminiscent of when Mark Twain said, `rumors of my demise have been greatly exaggerated.’ We are going full-bore toward finding sponsorship for next year.”

Baker said he was not contacted by anyone to confirm the erroneous reports, adding, “I got a phone call the other night from someone who read on the internet that we were padlocked. At the time, I was in a meeting, talking about our ability to field two cars next year if both the sponsors we are talking to come through. As of today, we do not have a sponsor signed for even the first car. But we are very, very hot in conversation with two prospective sponsors. One of them says it’s a done deal, but I’ve been there before. When the contract is signed and the money is in the bank, then it’s a done deal. Not before."

Based on conversations with those potential sponsors, Baker said it is “above 80% likely that we’ll be at Daytona with one car, and more than 50% likely that we’ll be there with two. But we’ve got to sign something within the next 10 days to make it happen.”

Baker said rumors of his team’s demise make it more difficult to do business. “They’re dangerous,” he said. “That kind of prophecy can be self fulfilling. The last thing you want is for (a prospective backer) to read something on the net that makes them say, `don’t call us, we’ll call you.’

“It takes money to run this business, and our major source of income is sponsorship. Purse money on the Nationwide Series borders on tokenism, so we need sponsors. If we don’t find some money, we won’t be at Daytona. But we’re confident that we will be there.”

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