Friday, December 04, 2009


So far, at least, NASCAR in Neon looks nice. We'll find out tonight if moving the Sprint Cup awards ceremony to Las Vegas after almost three decades in New York City will be a Wynn.

Thursday featured media interviews plus the NMPA Myers Brothers awards presentation. Here are some interesting quotes:

* NASCAR Chairman Brian France: "What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. Does that apply in a room full of media?"

* France on the CoT: "We've made 20 adjustments to the car based on (driver, crew chief) comments . . . We'll continue to look at modifications."

* Joey Logano, Cup rookie of the year: "At the start of the season, I was a huge project . . . "

* Dale Inman, Richard Petty's longtime crew chief, who received Champion Spark Plug's Buddy Shuman Award: Inman said Petty "is a little sick" and didn't come to Vegas. "Where's Richard when I need him?"

* Dale Earnhardt Jr., who received the Most Popular Driver award for the seventh year in a row: "I just wanted to be a race car driver. To have all these fans is a bonus. I guess I'll just keep showing up."

(On the Danica front -- Rick Hendrick said to ask Junior. Junior said to ask his sister, Kelley. Tony Eury Jr. and Kelley Earnhardt now have ownership shares in JR Motorsports.)

* Mark Martin, Coors Pole winner: "All I had to do was hold my breath."

* Lance Armstrong, seven-time Tour de France winner, in a video tribute to Jimmie Johnson: "You just have three more to go."

* Johnson, after collecting more sponsor award checks: "Looks like we have some gambling money . . . "

* Tony Stewart, after accepting a sponsor award: "I have to thank Juan (Pablo Montoya) for my inspiration." Stewart said he and Homestead rival Montoya "were having fun back there (behind stage)."

* Chad Knaus brought his own video camera onto the stage and said NASCAR Images might be upset he had his own "bootleg footage."

TIGER: My PR/media management antenna is signaling an eventual 60 Minutes sit-down strategy. CBS has long televised The Masters, so it wouldn't surprise me if golf host Jim Nantz did the interview. Or, depending on polling/demo research of female consumers by his agents at IMG, Katie Couric.

Upcoming The Race Reporters guests:
(Show is live Wednesdays at 7 p.m. ET, downloadable, and available on-demand at no cost. Click on TRR page logo in upper right-hand column.)

December 9 -- Season-In-Review, Part 1. Panelists: Holly Cain, Gordon Kirby, Jeff Burk.

December 16 -- Season-In-Review, Part 2. Panelists: Jon Asher, John Oreovicz, Bob Margolis.

[ more from Vegas Sunday . . . ]