Monday, November 10, 2014

Day Two: World Challenge XXIII: Cheated Death Again

Vendor Row: Zoomtown, Avondale, Arizona, Race Day: The crowds are in the stands. This is a partial view; there are more trailers behind me.

Dateline: Somewhere over Arizona. I’m looking at my battery life and will exceed the duration of the first leg (to RDU) by a wide margin. The SWA WiFi speed is dependent upon the number of passengers who are downloading movies. My MacBook Pro can usually outlast a flight to Europe; well, almost. So, getting down to the message, or messages- as my head is spinning with all the great stuff that happened this week in the greater Phoenix area:

First, a shout-out to the Montgomery (AL) Blue Team. Breaking the WR, not once but twice- a marvelous accomplishment. The highly guarded secret that Montgomery is in contention for hosting next year’s WCXXIV seems to be out of the bag. I will neither confirm, or deny that pulling off the Big Win will have anything to do with our decision.

For the faithful few who routinely read my Blog, I hope that your just reward was a ticket to the Sprint Cup race. I did catch the last 20 laps. If you’ve never been to NASCAR, this would have been one of the best for a lot of reasons, not the least of which the price of admission was covered by LiftMaster. 

I don’t know how many crashes (the main reason for attendance), but a collective sigh of relief went up that no one died. On either course. I say this in all sincerity because after 23 years, it’s an enviable safety record for us. Bringing me to a new rule for next season, the three strikes and you’re out rule. At the CAB meeting we discussed safety. Dropping the dummy has a high correlation with being in over your head. More on this later. 

Now, what about that photo? It’s the vendor lane at Zoomtown. Also, an answer to the question as to why we were not selling merchandise at the track. You see, all those huge sponsors pour millions of dollars into NASCAR’s coffers. We are not one of them. To put this in context, NASCAR is a very, very expensive sport. Cars that cost millions. Pit crews, etc. So, I think that everyone gets it- you have to pay to play. We sometimes have problems explaining why we do not permit competing entities to sell merchandise at our events. Because survival depends upon income from multiple sources, including merchandise sales, it’s just not fair, not to mention a very poor business practice. 

Over the balance of this year, I’ve got Blogs in the works to discuss all the high points of this past week, plus our off season plans, Livestreaming issues and answers, the Keiser Force Machine, Lion’s Den Admission criteria, next year’s schedule, and any other nominated topic that you’d like to see in print. I strongly recommend that you subscribe to this Blog; you’ll not be seeing me hanging out on Facebook. Sorry, it’s just a thing. 

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