Wednesday, April 3, 2013

NASCAR wins big from Jeff Gordon's Pepsi viral video

  Interesting analysis in this article from Business 2 Community on how Pepsi’s positive sentiment on social media increased exponentially after a video showing NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon pranking a car salesman went viral with over 32.1 million views on the Pepsi YouTube channel alone.

    The video is a Pepsi Max advertisement featuring a celebrity in disguise, this time starring Gordon.

   Read the whole article here.

Charlotte Motor Speedway hosts Food Lion Auto Fair this weekend

   The Food Lion AutoFair takes over Charlotte Motor Speedway this Thursday through Sunday, providing a plethora of activities for automotive enthusiasts and families.
   Among the features of the four-day extravaganza:  One of Elvis Presley’s daily drivers, lawn mower racing, the unveiling of “The Last HEMI,” a celebration of the 75th anniversary of Edelbrock, the 50th anniversary of the Porsche 911 and more.

   Elvis Presley Display: The highlight in the Showcase Pavilion is Elvis Presley’s 1956 Lincoln Continental Mark II, delivered straight from Graceland. Elvis purchased the Continental Mark II in Miami with proceeds from one of his tours. He needed a new daily driver after fans wrote all over his other Lincoln with lipstick.

   Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest: During the Food Lion AutoFair, fans can witness a preliminary round of an Elvis Presley Enterprises-sanctioned Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest. Held Friday and Saturday, contestants will compete to win $2,500, plus a spot in the semifinals for the Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest held during Elvis Week in Memphis, Tenn. in August. The preliminary contest will be held at the stage by the Showcase Pavilion in the infield of Charlotte Motor Speedway. Semifinals will be held Friday and Saturday, with finals scheduled for 3 p.m. on Saturday.

   Lawn Mower Racing: CMS will be on the “cutting edge” of American motorsports on Saturday and Sunday as the Food Lion AutoFair hosts the STA-BIL Lawn & Garden Mower Racing Series for two days of dirt-track racing on lawn mowers at speeds up to 60 mph.
“Lawn rangers” from across the country will compete in bladeless competition on a specially-made dirt track located at the 1/5-mile track behind Charlotte Motor Speedway. On-track action starts at 11 a.m. on Saturday, April 6, with feature racing at 1:30 p.m., and continues at 9 a.m. on Sunday, April 7, with feature racing at 12 p.m.

   The Last HEMI: Mopar enthusiasts will rejoice as the last documented car to leave any Chrysler plant with a factory-installed 426 HEMI engine will make its first public appearance after restoration. The 1971 Dodge Charger, dubbed “The Last HEMI,” was restored by Mooresville, N.C.-based RKM Performance Center. The car will be unveiled to the public at 11 a.m. on Thursday as part of opening day of the Food Lion AutoFair.

   75th Anniversary of Edelbrock: Vic Edelbrock Sr.’s original 1932 Ford Roadster will be the centerpiece of a special four-car display housed in the Showcase Pavilion at Charlotte Motor Speedway, honoring Edelbrock’s 75th anniversary. The car was his inspiration for designing and manufacturing the first Edelbrock intake manifold.

   50th Anniversary of the Porsche 911: This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Porsche 911 and CMS is celebrating with a special display in the Showcase Pavilion during the Food Lion AutoFair. The Porsche 911 holds the distinction of having been produced for more years than any other car model in history and took the company name to a higher lever when it was introduced in 1963.

    Kids’ Play Zone: Children and their families can have some fun in the Play Zone, complete with a petting zoo, face-painters, bounce houses, the popular Fan Van and an extreme air jumper. The Play Zone will be set up outside the pavilion in the infield of the 1.5-mile superspeedway. Play Zone hours will be from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Friday, 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Saturday and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday. Admission is free for children 13 and under at the Food Lion AutoFair.

   Collector Car Auction: Dealer Auctions Inc., of Denver, N.C., will offer 200 classic automobiles during a two-day sale at the Food Lion AutoFair. The auction will be highlighted by three rare Shelby Ford Mustang Hertz-edition cars. The Dealer Auctions Inc. Collector Car Auction, which takes place on the speedway’s concourse, is open to the public and starts Friday and Saturday at 11 a.m. Bidders and consignors must either register through the Dealer Auctions website ( or in person at the event.

   Huge Car Corral: More than 1,500 vehicles available for sale or trade will circle the 1.5-mile superspeedway, and the N.C. Department of Motor Vehicles will have an on-site office to process the paperwork.
   Food Lion AutoFair tickets are $10 for adults and free for children 13 and under. A four-day pass is available for $30. The AutoFair will be open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday-Saturday and from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday.

Denny Hamlin's breathing remains labored, but his focus is not

   HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. - Denny Hamlin's breathing remains labored a week-and-a-half after breaking his back but his focus is not.

   "There is mathematics that make it possible (to make the Chase), it's not going to be easy," said Hamlin, in his first interview since his injury in the March 24 Sprint Cup Series race at Fontana, Calif.

   "I'd like to cross that bridge when I get there, as far as that's concerned. I don't want the chance at a championship to decide when I get back in the car. I want to do it when it's most safe.

   "I want to do it when everyone - doctors, etc. - are comfortable with me getting back in the car, not just because 'if we don't get in this week then our season is done.'"

   Hamlin addressed several topics, including how he believes his circumstances would be different if SAFER barriers had been installed where he hit; how he blames Joey Logano for the accident but doesn't think NASCAR should penalize him; and how he thinks drivers and fans are wrong to think drivers can't get injured in today's Cup car despite all the safety advances.

   Check back later for more.


This just in: Blocking is not against NASCAR rules

   My two cents

   This just in: Blocking is not against the rules in NASCAR.

   Actually, it’s not ‘just in’ but with all the discussion the past two weeks over Tony Stewart’s criticism of Joey Logano’s blocking move at Auto Club Speedway, you’d think the issue somehow remained unaddressed in NASCAR.

   For as long as NASCAR has existed, there has never been anything in the NASCAR rulebook (in any of its three national series) prohibiting blocking.

   Other motorsports series do frown on the practice – notably Formula One and IndyCar – but not NASCAR.

   That doesn’t mean it may not always be “appropriate” in terms of driver etiquette.

   Now, some drivers may decide they won’t tolerate it from their competitors and vow to wreck those who do it, even though they employ the move themselves. Please see Stewart on multiple occasions during his career in regards to that example.

   Ryan Newman, on a teleconference this week, went so far as to call blocking “a chicken way of driving.” Yet he is often selected as the driver most difficult to pass by his competitors.

   The newest “big story” in NASCAR may be the use of blocking, but the bottom line is, the issue of right or wrong lies in the eyes of drivers affected.

   As long as there remain no guidelines to its use in the NASCAR rulebook, the only ramifications will be from fellow competitors.

   For 60-plus years that appears to have been enough to keep the practice in check.

   But even if it isn’t, this is still racing.
   If someone is trying to get by another driver, why would they expect to complete the pass without being fast enough to do so?

   You could always try IndyCar - it has a button you can press when you aren't fast enough to pass.