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Sunday, June 26, 2016

STEWART's WIN MAKES HIM P1 ON THIS WEEK's 'MOST INFLUENTIAL' LIST

POWER PLAYERS for the week of  June 26:This week's 10 most influential
people in the Business and Politics of Motorsports, as selected by long-time journalist/publicist and industry insider Michael Knight. 

   1. Tony Stewart -- Said Sprint Cup racing wasn't fun anymore on Friday, won at Sonoma Sunday to likely lock-up a spot in the Chase in what he says is his last season of Cup competition.

   2. Sam Flood -- Has preparation for the Summer Olympic Games caused the NBC Sports' executive producer to take his eye off the NASCAR ball? First test comes Saturday night at Daytona. 

  3. Jeff Burton and Steve Letarte -- Now it's their chance to shape public opinion about NASCAR. 

 5. Mike Helton-- How significant will NASCAR's vice chairman make the penalties in the John Wes Townley-Spencer Gallagher fight near end of Saturday night's Truck series contest at Gateway International Raceway?
   
  6. Chip Wile -- Former Darlington Speedway president gets his first chance to showcase his management talents at ISC's flagship Daytona International Speedway.

  7. Ron Capps -- Is this the year he finally wins a Funny Car championship? Norwalk made it three wins in the last four races for the points leader.
   
  8. Claire B. Lang -- There will be no shortage of news at Daytona and SiriusXM NASCAR Channel 90's popular garage area reporter will have it all. 

  9. Jason Line -- NHRA Pro Stock win No. 7 at Norwalk as the EFI master Summit Chevy Camaro team, including Greg Anderson, are undefeated this season.

10. Tanner Swanson -- Saturday night at Gateway made it four wins in his last five USAC Silver Crown pavement races.

SPECIAL 10th ANNIVERSARY BLOG COMING JULY 10.

more next week . . . ]

Sunday, June 19, 2016

'24' TRIUMPH PUTS INDYCAR TEAM OWNER ON TOP OF THIS WEEK's 'MOST INFLUENTIAL' LIST

POWER PLAYERS for the week of  June 19:This week's 10 most influential
people in the Business and Politics of Motorsports, as selected by long-time journalist/publicist and industry insider Michael Knight. 

   1. Chip Ganassi -- Lead team owner of Ford's new GT sports car program adds Le Mans to his victory list on first try and 50 years after automaker's famed victory over Ferrari.

   2. Joe Gibbs -- His team has turned-around Toyota's multi-year NASCAR frustrations and now fields THE cars in the Sprint Cup and Xfinity series.

  3. Bernie Ecclestone -- Not a single Formula One sponsor was asking for marketing or publicity opportunities in Azerbaijan yet F1's commercial boss let the series perform on a narrow and inadequate street course so he could put multi-million$ more into F1's bank account. 

   4. Jeff Gordon -- The Fox portion of the NASCAR season ends Sunday in Sonoma. Will it be Gordon's last chance to shape public opinion before he goes mainstream as new co-host on "Live With Kelly" as TV industry reports have suggested?

  5. Mike Hull-- Ganassi's managing director unsung key player in Le Mans victory as he has been in IndyCar, having called strategy for virtually all of Scott Dixon's triumphs.

  6. Ken Adelson -- TV production veteran, now NHRA VP for broadcasting and digital content, leading drag racing's presentation to significantly increased viewership on FS1.

  7. Sebastien Bourdais -- Co-drives Ford GT to Le Mans victory. Now onto Road America for IndyCar's return to the great road course.
   
  8. Chris Gayle -- How many different drivers (it was Sam Hornish Jr. last Sunday) can win in crew chief's No. 18 Xfinity series Toyota?

  9. Townsend Bell -- Was a threat to win Indy 500 and did win his class at Le Mans before returning to NBCSN IndyCar TV booth for rest of the season. 

 10. Jason Line -- Same old story. Wins at Bristol to keep his and Summit Camaro teammate Greg Anderson undefeated in NHRA Pro Stock this season.

SPECIAL 10th ANNIVERSARY BLOG COMING JULY 10.

more next week . . . ]

Sunday, June 12, 2016

ORGANIZERS OF PR MOVE OF THE YEAR TOP THIS WEEK's 'MOST INFLUENTIAL' LIST

POWER PLAYERS for the week of  June 12:This week's 10 most influential
people in the Business and Politics of Motorsports, as selected by long-time journalist/publicist and industry insider Michael Knight. 

  1. Josef Newgarden, James Hinchliffe, et al -- Help organize the PR Move of the Year, as IndyCar drivers go into Texas Motor Speedway grandstands to thank fans waiting out Saturday night's long rain delay. Most of the time when we hear about athletes going into the stands it's to take on a fan. If the IndyCar organization plays this right, it could be a turning point for how the mainstream media, general public and corporate America view the series.
(See my long Twitter stream on this subject last Saturday night.)

    3. Dave Pericak and Doug Fehan -- Ford's racing director and boss of the Chevy Corvette team fly the USA flag at Le Mans, including the return of the Ford GT.

   5. Daniel Suarez -- Grad of NASCAR's Drive for Diversity and NEXT programs becomes first Mexican-born driver to win a NASCAR national series race, in the Xfinity series at Michigan.

   6. Bernie Ecclestone -- Formula One's commercial boss scores again with mega-dollar and maximum-activation sponsorship with Heineken.

  7Donny Schatz -- Gets World of Outlaws points lead in Knoxville doubleheader, including ninth win of the season.

 8. Bryan Clauson -- Scores 40th career USAC national sprint car victory, tying Gary Bettenhausen for seventh on the all-time series wins list.

  9. Greg Anderson -- The Ken Black-owned Summit Camaro team goes 10-for-10 in NHRA Pro Stock this season, with Anderson's "major" win in Englishtown, N.J. 

10. Ron Capps -- The Made-for-the-Media driver wins Englishtown, his second consecutive NHRA Funny Car win, and takes the class points lead. Capps celebrated by pouring Mello Yello over his Wally trophy.

SPECIAL 10th ANNIVERSARY BLOG COMING JULY 10.

more next week . . . ]

Monday, June 06, 2016

THE 'MOST INFLUENTIAL' ON A RAIN-DELAYED RACING WEEKEND

POWER PLAYERS for the week of  June 5:This week's 10 most influential
people in the Business and Politics of Motorsports, as selected by long-time journalist/publicist and industry insider Michael Knight. 

  1. Gene Haas -- Kurt Busch wins Pocono's rain-delayed Sprint Cup race in the Haas owned-and-sponsored car and the Haas Formula One team comes to North America for the Canadian Grand Prix.

  2. Bernie Ecclestone -- What will Formula One's controversial boss have to say in Montreal about Alexander Rossi winning the Indianapolis 500, the status of the U.S. Grand Prix, and whatever else he decides to opine about? 

  3. Eddie Gossage -- How many people can arguably America's most aggressive race promoter put into the Texas Motor Speedway grandstands for IndyCar?

  4. Jack Beckman -- His unbelievable explosion during a qualifying pass in Epping, N.H., the most sudden and violent many NHRA observers have ever seen, made the national TV news.
The cancer survivor wasn't injured.

  5. Alexander Rossi -- Graham Rahal has urged the Indy 500 winner to take maximum advantage of his Brickyard win. It may take a win on the super-fast Texas oval to convince people Indy wasn't a fluke.

   6. Mike Helton -- NASCAR and its vice chairman get as close as it can to Detroit, at Michigan International Speedway, where automaker executives hope for bragging rights using the sanction's latest "less" downforce rules.  

  7Paul Tracy and Townsend Bell -- PT isn't afraid to tell it like it is and Bell had a car capable of winning the Indy 500, so what they say about Saturday night IndyCar at Texas Motor Speedway will shape opinions.

 9. Bryan Clauson and Rico Abreu -- Clauson claims USAC's Indiana Midget Week title for the third time and Abreu ends the tour with a Kokomo Speedway victory.

[ more next week . . . ]