NASCAR and Hewlett-Packard have joined forces to develop a unique resource to serve the partners and fans of America’s favorite motorsport – the NASCAR Fan and Media Engagement Center. The innovative technology platform, which will provide near real-time analysis of NASCAR happenings, was unveiled on Monday January 14, with the endorsement of NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France who was quoted as saying that NASCAR believes the system “has the potential to be the best of its kind in sports”. France was joined by HP Enterprise Services Vice President Charles Salameh in the ceremonial ribbon cutting ceremony to open the center based at NASCAR Plaza in Charlotte, NC.
Located on the 8th floor of NASCAR Plaza, the Fan and Media Engagement Center (FMEC) features all-glass walls, thirteen HP displays with the latest touchscreen audio visual technology. Custom designed by HP, the system is capable of processing significant amounts of data and presenting it in a format which is relevant to fans and the NASCAR industry. Salameh noted that the FMEC allows “real-time data capture and analysis across a wide variety of media, traditional as well as digital”, also pointing out that the information can be “tailored to specific audiences within the industry”.
The FMEC took eighteen months to develop with the goal of benefiting all parties involved in NASCAR racing – tracks, teams, broadcast partners and sponsors – to receive detailed information on how the media and fans are reacting to events, almost as they happen. All going well, race tracks will more effectively be able to track how effective ticket promotions are, while new sponsors will get feedback on how they are perceived in this fast-paced sport, with a host of other applications available. Broadcasters will even receive feedback on which camera angles are most appreciated by fans. The gathering and input of information from all media sectors will give NASCAR the opportunity to respond quickly to any controversies or erroneous media reports.
At the ceremony France noted that the FMEC will allow the NASCAR industry to interact with fans in ways that had never been dreamed of before and this will be done “in real-time, in almost every medium, all over the country”. No doubt fans are looking forward to seeing this new NASCAR innovation in action.
The story of Hendrick Motorsports started in 1984. Rick Hendrick was a businessman with a passion for racing, and a dream to be a part of the racing world. Harry Hyde, a veteran racing driver, was not ready to retire from the sport he loved. Together, they created All Star Racing, just a small company that would only compete in a few events. But All Star Racing was not destined to take a back seat. Hendrick Motorsports, or HMS, raced only Chevrolets, and were seen in the Busch Series and the Nextel Cup circuits.
With nine Sprint Cup Series Championships, one Busch (now Nationwide) Series crown and no less than three Craftsman (now Camping World) Truck Series titles, Hendrick Motorsports has become one of the leading and celebrated racing organisations in the world of stock car racing. Starting with only one entry into a series, HMS now boasts four Sprint Cup Series vehicles.
Situated in Concord, which is in North Carolina, is the 250 000 square meter HMS complex, where all their racing cars are built from scratch. The entire manufacturing process takes place here. Each year, more than 550 engines are either built or rebuilt at this facility, with other NASCAR outfits leasing them from the team.
At present, HMS has over 500 employees that each contribute to the success of the company. They are the people who manage, take care of the team store, do the marketing, ensure the licensing, stay on top of the merchandising, run the public relations department, update the company’s website, and look after the HMS museum, which is 1400 square meters in size.
The drivers of the cars and the sponsors such as Corporation, Pepsi, Go Daddy, Lowe’s, DuPont, Delphi, National Guard and Carquest all play an important role in the success and growth of the company. It never occurred to either Rick Hendrick or Harry Hyde that the little “All Star Racing” company would grow up to be the mighty Hendrick Motorsports, but just as with many success stories, it started with a dream, loads of passion and a strong sense of commitment.
All stock car enthusiasts will be happy to know that the Penn Can Speedway‘s racing season is due to start soon – real soon. In fact cars will start screaming around the racetrack from Friday, April 25th. This years racing is going to be sponsored mainly by Boughton’s Auto Salvage and will include a wide variety of vehicles.
In actual fact the action will be starting on April 13 when the first scheduled practice day will take place. Further practice runs will be held on the 18th and 20th of April before the gates open for the season. All practice races will take place weather permitting. Any car owners who are interested in testing and tuning their vehicles in preparation for the season are invited to come and participate in this pre-race preparation. The Penn Can Speedway will be holding races for stock cars, super stock cars, sportsman, late models and modified and four cylinder vehicles will also featured on the racing calendar this year.
Each year the Penn Can Speedway plays host to some of the most exciting action in the region. It sees the likes of Mike Gular, Brian Weaver, Jeff Rudalavage, Billy Thornton, Joey Grammes, Mike Colsten and Mike Nagel take to the raceway and compete for the titles. Modified drivers who are planning to make a comeback include Chris Weaver and Dave Jenkins. Other divisions will see the likes of Dave Zona, Tracy Gregory, Bud Phillips, Jeff Crambo and Mike Loney returning the Penn Can Speedway yet again.
If you want to be a part of all the auto racing action, get yourself to the Penn Can Speedway from April 25th. You’ll find it on Route 171 in Susquehanna, which is in Pennsylvania. Other sponsors for the 2008 season include Don’s Automotive Mall, Pump-N-Pantry Stores, Bernheisel Race Components, Gary’s U-Pull-It, Trackside Products, Pine Line Auto, Sunoco Race Fuels and American Race Tires. For more information about the races you can visit the racetrack’s official website or contact the speedway office on 570 858 9928. So don’t waste another minute. Book your ticket for the Penn Can Speedway and enjoy one of the most exciting auto racing events in the region!
With the 2007 desert racing season drawing to a close, auto racing fans will no doubt be pleased to know that SCORE International is looking ahead, with the 2008 SCORE Desert Series schedule already in place. This six-race schedule is set to start on 24 January 2008 and will take place at the same exciting venues as the 2007 series with three races in Mexico and three in Southern Nevada.
SCORE International was established in 1973 by the late Mickey Thompson and, running under the direction of Sal Fish since 1974, continues to be the leading desert race sanctioning body. The SCORE Desert Series has always offered well organized events with great variety and excitement for fans, racers, sponsors and the media, resulting in an ongoing increase in the popularity of these events with many races drawing in crowds of over 300,000 spectators.
The SCORE Desert Series, featuring 28 Pro and six Sportsman classes for trucks, cars, motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles (ATV), will start off on 24 January in the city of Laughlin. The SCORE Laughlin Desert Challenge is considered to be the most unique as well as the most popular desert race in the United States, with over 200 racers and thousands of spectators enjoying the hospitality of this resort city on the banks of the Colorado River.
Mexico will host round 2 and 3 of the 2008 SCORE Desert Series, with the Tecate SCORE
Baja 250 taking place on 12 to 15 March. This will be followed on 30 May by the extremely popular Tecate SCORE Baja 500, a 40th anniversary event to take place in Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico.
The SCORE Desert Series returns to Southern Nevada, with the SCORE Las Vegas Terrible’s Cup IV taking place on 17 July at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. This is a closed-course event with select classes participating. Round 5, the SCORE Terrible’s Primm 300, is to be held on Sept 5 in Primm, Nevada.
The grand finale of the season is one of the most recognized and oldest desert races in the world – the Tecate SCORE Baja 1000. This unique and memorable race never fails to thrill spectators and drivers alike and has always been a fitting end to every season.
Desert racing, with different vehicles participating and varied terrain is a very exciting form of auto racing and is enjoyed by hundreds of thousands of auto racing fans. Find out first hand what it is all about by being a spectator at the 2008 SCORE Desert Series.
It would seem that auto-racing events are becoming more and more popular with the younger generation. While some view this as an excellent way to keep kids out of potentially dangerous environments – others have become concerned. The amount of tobacco industry-related advertising at such events is massive and worried adults are concerned that this could be negatively effecting the youth who attend these events.
Tobacco industries have retaliated by claiming that races are attended mainly by adults and that only a small percentage of spectators are children. However, the statistics have been growing steadily over the years. In 1996 it was found by the Simmons Market Research Bureau that over 25 percent of children between the ages of 12 and 17 watched auto racing on television. This amounted to more than 100 million children who were tuning in at home. In addition, eighteen percent of children actually attended live sports car racing events. Though these statistics are old today, it is proof that this trend has been a growing concern for quite some time. The fact that NASCAR racing has become a form of â€˜fun-filled family entertainment’ can be seen in the way that advertisers and event organizers have tried to fill this niche by arranging contests, rides, merchandise sales, hospitality areas, children’s areas and family restaurants. Today there are NASCAR speed parks, NASCAR video games, animated auto racing-based TV series and several magazines designed to exclusively promote the sport. Clearly auto-racing is becoming more and more popular with youngsters and adults and this growing fan base must be considered when it comes to auto-racing advertising at such events.
Unfortunately, little has been done up to this point to decrease the amount of sponsored advertising that can be seen at auto-racing events. Most major tobacco companies emblazon their logos on uniforms, equipment, race cars, T-shirts, toy cars and other merchandise. This means that children as young as five may be staring at a tobacco company logo, having that emblem ingrained on their young minds long before they even understand what it represents. Is all this necessary? It would seem that auto racing has become such a popular activity that continues to attract more and more non-tobacco related sponsors. This would indicate that tobacco-related sponsorship is no longer necessary, but it will take a while before any major changes are likely to come about.