THE FRONTSTRETCH NEWSLETTER
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The Best Seat at the Track, The Best View on the Net!
December 27th, 2012
Volume VI, Edition CCXXXVIII
Editor's Note: This will serve as the final edition of the Frontstretch Newsletter for 2012. We thank you for sticking with us for news and opinion! The next edition of the Newsletter will run on Wednesday, January 2nd, 2013.
LEND YOUR SUPPORT TO VICTIMS IN THE WAKE OF THE SANDY HOOK TRAGEDY
After Friday's senseless shooting, Frontstretch sends its love and support to all of Newtown, CT as they grieve over the tragic Friday massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School. That horror, the second-deadliest school incident in U.S. history claimed the lives of 26 innocent civilians -- including 20 first-grade children. No matter what you think we should do from here, there's one fact we can all agree on: these victims' families need us to come together and help. There's plenty of ways you can do it, and here at Frontstretch we've found a great charity to recommend: a fund set up by indie rock band OneRepublic. Click here and find out how, with a few simple clicks of the mouse you can send money to help rebuild the lives of so many that were unfairly torn apart. And together, let's make a commitment this holiday season to find a way to stop the violence -- whatever your solution, don't hesitate to speak up and make your voice heard.
2011 Daytona 500 winner Trevor Bayne is now officially off the market. On Sunday, Bayne tweeted a photo from a ski resort that featured himself and his girlfriend, Ashton Clapp, with an engagement ring on her finger. The photo was accompanied by the quote, "Ladies and gentlemen, she said yes!" Bayne's father confirmed the engagement to Knoxville's WATE 6. There is no word on when a wedding could be scheduled. We at Frontstretch congratulate the Bayne and Clapp families on their great news.
NBC to Bid for NASCAR TV Rights?
MRN Radio is reporting that NBC Sports, via their parent company Comcast, may be preparing for a new bid to reclaim TV rights to NASCAR's Sprint Cup Series for the second half of the season. (The TV contract, for races 14 through 36 on the Sprint Cup schedule is set to expire by the end of 2014). The move would be done mainly to try to beef up programming on Comcast's NBC Sports Network. That particular network has been hit hard recently by the NHL Lockout that could possibly cost the league their second full season to labor strife in eight years.
Turner Sports, NASCAR's most tenured media partner (since 1983) will more than likely submit a bid, as will ESPN. In order for Comcast to win the rights, they would likely have to significantly outbid both ESPN and Turner Sports. If they were able to win the rights, races would not be exclusive to the NBC Sports Network. Some races would air there, while others would be on NBC. Such a deal could transform the NBC Sports Network into a must-see destination for motorsports fans, much like ESPN was in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Comcast already has rights to the Izod IndyCar Series and Formula One for the NBC Sports Network. Robby Gordon's Stadium Super Trucks also has a TV deal with the network that starts in April, and the network also has rights to the Dakar Rally.
However, ESPN can offer much more exposure for the buck, not just with race telecasts, but with coverage on SportsCenter and their existing daily show dedicated to NASCAR, NASCAR Now. If they don't re-up, the vast majority of that coverage will disappear, much like the NHL's coverage did after they signed a deal with the then-Outdoor LIfe Network. In the NHL's case, their on-air presence was reduced to analyst Barry Melrose showing up on SportsCenter to analyze hockey highlights.
FOX already re-upped for an additional eight years (2015-2022) earlier this year well ahead of the exclusive negotiation window. Turner Sports and ESPN will be able to submit bids first; then, if one or both entities don't sign on the dotted line, Comcast would have a window to bargain.
DEI to Create Outdoor Recreation Center in Mooresville, NC
Recently, Dale Earnhardt's widow Teresa Earnhardt proposed a 317-acre outdoor retreat that would be built on wooded land on the current property of Dale Earnhardt, Inc. on North Carolina's Route 3. Currently, DEI's complex exists primarily as a museum (referred to on their website as a "showroom") and a place to buy Earnhardt souvenirs. In addition, the facility has meeting spaces that can be rented out for groups of 25-400 people.
The proposed outdoor facility would be an extension of the current offerings for private gatherings that DEI has at their Mooresville headquarters. The retreat would have riding trails for horseback riding, a paintball field, an archery range, and a fishing pond (which already exists). In addition, an endurance course would be included, along with an outdoor theater. It would not be open to the public. Instead, according to Earnhardt's lawyer, Ben Ellis, the site would be open only to those who purchase memberships, then make reservations with DEI. In addition, clubs and non-profits can get access to the facilities as well.
"One of the aims of (the) project is to enhance awareness of nature and natural settings," Earnhardt wrote in her filing to Iredell County's Department of Planning, Development and Transportation Services, according to the Mooresville Tribune.
Earnhardt's application was approved last Thursday by the Iredell County Board of Adjustment in a public hearing by a vote of 6-0, despite the opposition of local residents who were concerned about noise from the complex, and the traffic that would be generated on the fairly rural Route 3.
According to Dick Brolin of Piedmont Design Associates, the DEI property already has five miles of trails that are used for farming purposes. Those trails could be repurposed as the riding trails. In addition, parking for 300 cars will be installed on the property, along with stalls for 25-32 horses. Boarding of horses can be possible as well.
It is unclear when construction will start or the overall cost of the project. Earnhardt continues to be involved, at least in name only in the ownership of Chip Ganassi's Cup Series program with drivers Jamie McMurray and Juan Pablo Montoya.
Have news for Phil and the Frontstretch? Don't hesitate to let us know; email us at email@example.com with a promising lead or tip.
TODAY AT THE FRONTSTRETCH:
DRIVER REVIEWS -- A FULL SCHEDULE IS UP! FIND THE ONES YOU MISSED AND GIVE US YOUR TAKE ON YOUR DRIVER'S FAVORITE SEASON.
2012 NASCAR Driver Review: David Gilliland
by Vito Pugliese
2012 NASCAR Driver Review: Carl Edwards
by Tom Bowles
Throwback Thursday: Owners Should Know Better Than Drivers
by Mike Neff
Throwback Thursday: How Technology Brought Busch Down
by Mike Neff
Also, check out these articles from last week:
Throwback Thursday: Top Ten NASCAR Driver Letters to Santa
by Kim DeHaven and Amy Henderson
Help From a Friend: How Casey Mears Is Saving Brian Vickers -- And Himself
by Amy Henderson
by the Frontstretch Staff
Mirror Driving: Ringing In The Holidays With NASCAR Nicknames...And Crossovers
by the Frontstretch Staff
Q: In 1986, Hendrick Motorsports won the overall pole for the SunBank 24 at Daytona with their Lola-built Chevrolet Corvette GTP. However, they failed to even take the grid for the race. Why?
Check back next Monday for the answer, here in the Frontstretch Newsletter!
Last Monday's Answer:
Q. If you look at the results for the 1989 Daytona 500 on Racing-Reference, you'll notice that Eddie Bierschwale finished a career-best tenth in the race and led his only career laps in the Cup Series. Yeah, not so fast. Yes, Bierschwale started the race, but he didn't finish it. Who did?
A. Bierschwale started the race, but got out only a couple of laps in when Neil Bonnett's CITGO Ford caught fire, bringing out the first caution. When that happened, Bierschwale brought his Oldsmobile to pit road and Kyle Petty took over. Petty, who was supposed to be making his debut with the brand-new SabCo Racing team, failed to qualify for the Daytona 500 after getting caught up in a 14-car crash in the tri-oval during the first Twin 125. Ultimately, the wreck was responsible for drivers like former Great America Truck Racer Charlie Baker and J.D. McDuffie being able to race their way into the Daytona 500. Petty eventually finished 15 laps down in 17th, that day but it wasn't enough to get him into the race. Petty brought his sponsorship from Peak Antifreeze to the Bierschwale team.
Frontstretch Trivia Guarantee: If we mess up, you get the shirt off our backs! If we've provided an incorrect answer to the Frontstretch Trivia question, be the first to email the corrected trivia answer to firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll send you a Frontstretch T-Shirt ... FREE!
Coming Wednesday, January 2nd, 2013 in the Frontstretch Newsletter:
-- Top News from Phil Allaway
-- Links to your favorite Frontstretch articles, and more ... including our 2011 Driver Reviews!
Coming Monday, December 3rd at Frontstretch:
2012 Driver Reviews by the Frontstretch Staff
Our driver reviews will continue. The schedule can be found here.
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