In Jacksonville, Don Coble writes the “economy is still losing speed in NASCAR.” Red Bull Racing, Germain Racing and Turner Motorsports “all have notified the state of North Carolina of potential layoffs at the end of the season.” North Carolina “requires the notice if 50 or more employees are about to lose their jobs.” Many employees at Kevin Harvick Inc. “have been laid off as that team moves its Nationwide Series program over to Richard Childress Racing.” KHI's truck series equipment “has been sold to Eddie Sharp Racing.” Roush Fenway Racing cars driven by Matt Kenseth and David Ragan “are without sponsorships,” and their teammate, Carl Edwards, “doesn't have full funding, either.” In addition, Clint Bowyer “doesn't have funding at RCR for next year, so he's moving over to Michael Waltrip Racing” (FLORIDA TIMES UNION, 10/7).
BOX OFFICE BOOM: In K.C., Randy Covitz writes what Danica Patrick “brings to NASCAR is box office.” The Nationwide Series is NASCAR’s “stepchild series, dominated by Sprint Cup drivers who parachute in on Saturdays for an extra payday.” Patrick’s departure from IndyCar next season to drive fulltime in the Nationwide Series “will give fans a reason to pay attention to Nationwide races, at least for a couple of years, and could open doors to a sport that has few women racers.” Patrick also “plans to enter eight to 10 Sprint Cup races, mostly at tracks where the Nationwide series runs on the same weekend” (K.C. STAR, 10/7).
TIME FOR A CHANGE: SI.com’s Jon Wertheim wrote former ATP Exec Chair & President Etienne de Villiers “was run out of town, in part because the players thought he was a grandstander.” Outgoing ATP Exec Chair & President Adam Helfant “has been criticized for being insufficiently visible.” Wertheim: “I think tennis could (desperately) use a forceful and outspoken commissioner, a presence who could cut through some of the nonsense and make some of the common-sense decisions that, when allowed to go unmade, hamper the sport. The problem: Which fiefdom is willing to surrender that power?” (SI.com, 10/5).
FREAK SHOW? The NFL announced earlier this week that it will open Super Bowl media day up to the public for the first time, and the AP’s Jim Litke wrote, “Media day is a freak show already. … Now, the league is inviting an audience to hoot and holler throughout the interview session, apparently hoping for something resembling an episode of ‘Maury.’ This is what happens when guys twice the age of the demographic they so desperately want to get down with decide to get ‘edgy.’” Media Day at the Super Bowl is “where a week's worth of sausage gets made for the NFL's awe-inspiring hype machine, which goes into overdrive by the time Sunday's big game kicks off.” Litke: “Seeing that could make the finished product look a whole lot less appetizing” (AP, 10/6).