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SBD/March 14, 2014/Leagues and Governing Bodies
Many NASCAR Metrics Up With Dale Jr. Success, But Ratings Still In A Slump
Published March 14, 2014
TOY STORY: In Tennessee, Kevin Castle writes Lionel Racing's future "really started looking up" after this year's Daytona 500. Lionel "began taking orders for a raced, die-cast version of the National Guard number 88 just hours after" Earnhardt won. Lionel Senior VP & GM Howard Hitchcock said, "We began selling 100 cars an hour." He said that the current rate of Earnhardt’s sales of that particular car "have already beaten sales of the two previous Daytona 500 winners, Jimmie Johnson and Trevor Bayne, by a 2-1 margin in just three weeks." The win "could possibly signal a new uptick in die-cast sales, which Hitchcock admitted took a hit with the economic downturn." He also admits that as Earnhardt goes, "so goes the industry." Hitchcock: "As his momentum grows, it sort of carries the entire sport. It carries ticket sales. It carries merchandise sales. It brings more people to the track, sells more hotel rooms and meals at restaurants and it sells us more cars" (BRISTOL HERALD COURIER, 3/14).