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Ragan’s breakout season; RCR getting a 4th car in ’09; Trouble getting sponsors

Posted by chadmusselman on May 27, 2008

David Ragan’s breakout season
David Ragan is having a great season in his second full year in the Sprint Cup Series. He’s currently in 13th place after slipping one spot from the 12th place Coca-Cola 600 finish. In an interview earlier in May when David was 12th in points he said, “I still got a lot of hard racing in front of us” to get into the chase. “Don’t want to stop at 12th. Want to move up to 11th, 10th, and so on.

He says he’s better this year since he doesn’t push at the start of races anymore, and he’s smarter driver now that he’s doing everything for the second time.

Last year, in his rookie season, David had two top 5’s and three top 10’s with an average finish of 24.5. This season David already has two top 5’s and three top 10’s with an average finish of 16.33.

I don’t know if David will be able to keep the good run going and make the chase, but he has the potential to do it. When asked about his success he said that he’s not surprised about it, and expects to contend for the chase.

4th Car in 2009 for RCR
Richard Childress Racing will add a 4th car to their team in 2009, and it will be #33. General Mill will be the sponsor since they’re leaving Petty, and they want a driver by June to start a marketing scheme with him in it.

They don’t have a driver for the car yet, but current General Mill driver Bobby Labonte says he’s staying with Petty racing although he has been linked to moving to RCR. A couple of other candidates for the spot are Scott Wimmer and Martin Truex Jr. Greg Biffle and Carl Edwards contracts are up at the end of this year, so they may be candidates also.

Bobby Labonte Labonte may be a better choice since he’s won a championship and guaranteed to start the first five races, and he already has established a relationship with the sponsor.

So, what do you think? Who should RCR get to be their driver for the new team?

Sponsor Issues
Several teams are having issues getting and keeping sponsors for their teams. It costs teams about $300,000 to $400,000 per race for a car, which adds up quickly to $10.8 Million to $14.4 Million to finance a since car for an entire season. With these high costs it’s easy to understand how teams can get into financial trouble.

There are only a handful of teams that have legitimate shots at winning races and making the chase for the championship, so it’s also easy to understand why corporations don’t want to shell out $10 – $15 Million for sponsorship. You’re seeing more teams have multiple sponsors to help pay for an entire season.

There are some sponsors looking to get out of their contracts and/or restructure them. UPS and Office Depot are a couple of the sponsors that are looking to get out of their contracts or restructure them.

Even established teams like Robert Yates are having problems. They didn’t have a sponsor for six races already this season. Their team has been on the decline since the 1999 championship. Yates has a technical alliance with Roush which has helped them get back on track.

BAM racing is going to part time schedule due to lack of sponsors

While on NASCAR Now on ESPN, Dale Jarrett suggested cutting some races to save money and reduce the financial strain on the teams and corporations. I like Dale’s idea, and even suggested it myself in an earlier blog (How To Bring Back The NASCAR Viewers). Trimming the schedule to 28 – 32 races would be nice, but there’s no way they’ll turn down the revenue that TV coverage brings for the races.

Leave a comment letting us know what you think.

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