Kyle Larson will be back in NASCAR starting in 2021, this is old news. But what is of ongoing importance is that no companies have an interest in sponsoring the car he will be driving.
Seven-Time Champion Jimmie Johnson has finally retired as a full-time NASCAR driver, now putting an interest in down-force based racing series, such as Endurance racing and Indy Racing. This left an obvious void at Hendrick Motorsports, a team consistently filled with talent. William Byron took the job of being the first driver to have a long stint in the 24 car after Jeff Gordon retired. Chase Elliot is currently forging his own path and most recently won the Bill France cup. Kyle Larson however is entering this team and shaking it up beyond reasonable expectation of Hendricks organization.
Larson will be filling the void left by Alex Bowman and the 88 car. Bowman will be driving the 48 car which will retain its sponsorship from Ally bank. This was largely due to the fact Ally refused to sponsor Kyle Larson. Later Hendrick announced the 88 car will become the 5 car. This has implications that are far bigger than anyone in NASCAR realizes.
The first part of racing, in any form, is sponsorships. Gone are the days of James Hunt running a blank white Hesketh in Formula 1 as an open “F you” to the conventional ways of doing business in Formula 1. Most racing drivers are synonymous with a brand, think Kyle Busch and M&Ms Ken Block and Monster Energy, Michael Schumacher, and Marlboro. The sponsorship of race cars is a game within itself, and one of the most interesting behind the scenes parts of any sport.
So, when Hendrick rolls up to Daytona in February with a blank car that only says the team name on it, with the guy who said a racial slur it will be a point of focus not only for NASCAR but racing as a whole. Part of the sponsorship with racing is holding drivers accountable for their actions both on and off the racetrack. What is intriguing is that drivers losing sponsorships for their behavior is a very recent concept. Many drivers have had their sponsors stand by them during times of controversy.
Blue Emu, an ointment brand, decided to drop Bubba Wallace because he ended his virtual race early after an accident on the game. These simulation games were held when the real racing could not happen, these simulators are extremely realistic and test the driver’s skills just as much as a real race car would. Regardless, after Wallace ended his race early (which happens in racing) Blue Emu dropped him in a very petty fashion, announcing their departure on Twitter. While it is not nearly the level of controversy of Kyle Larson if you google “racing driver loses sponsorship” it is all articles related to this very minor event.
The reason it matters that cars be sponsored is that it helps bring down the cost of racing, and no amount of cool car designs can make up for the lost revenue. There are both good and bad implications with the idea of more sponsor less cars coming to the sport. When you have fewer sponsors on cars it forces more teams to select their drivers based on talent level and skill and not the money they bring into the team. It has been a part of racing since the beginning. Drivers have brand deals that are a part of their job and many times does that come into play when teams need to field a stable of drivers. This phenomenon is so deeply wound into racing that some drivers in Formula 1 are keeping their seats in a race car due to the money they bring in. (A perfect example would be Lance Stroll keeping his seat over Sergio Perez to make room for Sebastian Vettel)
There is an issue with non-sponsored drivers that is equally damning, money is a necessary part of racing, and the less dependent on sponsors race teams become, the financial burden will shift to someone and that group will likely be fans. If race teams demand a bigger share of race revenue, venues will likely raise their ticket prices to make up for the lost percentages. Race teams will also likely raise the price of the merchandise. Which is already a big moneymaker for the brands and the race teams themselves.
Money is such a critical factor in racing that it will always have the biggest voice over anything else going on. NASCAR is no longer the sport it was before 2008. NASCAR and its entities have fallen back into what is widely considered a niche sport.
So, the question remains, is Hendrick making the right choice? From a talent perspective, yes Kyle Larson is the best NASCAR driver available on the open market they made the right choice in selecting him. But is it fair to those who have been hurt by his choice of words?
Larson has had an interesting path to stardom, being the most talented and successful driver to come out of the Drive for Diversity program. Larson is an Asian American, but his talent is unquestionable. But it might leave a bad taste in people’s mouths for a driver who can thank a program centered around Diversity to get a slap on the wrist after shouting a racial slur.
That is not entirely the reality of the situation, however, Larson has expressed deep remorse for his actions. Most importantly, Larson personally paid a visit to the “Urban Youth Racing School” based in Philadelphia for his actions. The school invited him back and he apologized to its members in person. He has since bought racing simulators out of his own pocket.
This whole situation will obviously be rehashed come February for the Daytona 500 when his blank car rolls off the hauler. When it comes to sponsorships, activism, and the changes for NASCAR its clear things are moving fast, and fans just must try and stay one step ahead. If anything is clear for NASCAR’s 2021 Season, it is that nothing will be predictable.
James Wilson is the host of The Pit Stop, a weekly auto racing program on essay about how to get a driving license english thesis topic ideas https://psijax.edu/medicine/combining-viagra-and-muse/50/ https://www.carrollkennelclub.org/phrasing/recommendation-thesis-example/6/ http://visablepeople.com/can-money-buy-happiness-essay-6687/ go to link essay about cctv cameras cialis commercial male actors levitra viagra mixing https://academicminute.org/paraphrasing/1997-american-american-best-best-essay-essay/3/ viagra pfizer nepotism case study comprar viagra generico seguro https://teleroo.com/pharm/diflucan-gel/67/ go persuasive essay themes http://ww2.prescribewellness.com/onlinerx/o-que-female-viagra/30/ see url cialis breathing problems go to link https://raseproject.org/treat/buy-cheap-viagra-online-in-canada/97/ o viagra faz efeito por quanto tempo the piano lesson analysis essay 1984 thesis essay correction software free enter literary research jobs https://reprosource.com/hospital/order-pharmaceuticals-online-india/72/ report writing examples https://eventorum.puc.edu/usarx/viagra-sildenafil-sandoz/82/ social media short essay pdf https://vabf.org/reading/mit-thesis-list/250/ Tobacco Road Sports Radio. He is also the co-host of The Score with Brett Wiseman, 10am Saturday mornings on TRSR.
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