Focus On Gen-6 Car As NASCAR's Media Tour Revs Up With Detroit, ESPN Visits
NASCAR, Ford, General Motors and Toyota execs yesterday were in Detroit to "kick off a nine-day, multi-city media blitz so fans can see the differences" in the automakers' versions of the new Gen-6 Sprint Cup Series cars, according to Don Coble of the FLORIDA TIMES-UNION. Car companies "hope to revive the 'win on Sunday, sell on Monday' maxim that used to be the backbone to their business." Ford Racing Dir Jamie Allison said, "Roughly 40 percent of those who intend to buy cars say they are a motorsports fan. ... To add the relevancy of our cars looking like the cars they own adds that emotional connection we wanted. It brings back the magic." Coble notes the NASCAR media tour includes reigning Sprint Cup Series champion Brad Keselowski's visit today at ESPN HQs in Bristol, Conn., while team owner Michael Waltrip will "meet the public" tomorrow in N.Y., and driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. will "stop at several network outlets" in N.Y. on Friday. The tour also will "make stops" at Newark, N.J., Arlington, Va., Atlanta and Jacksonville next Tuesday "before arriving" at Daytona Int'l Speedway next Wednesday (FLORIDA TIMES-UNION, 2/6).
STYLE & SUBSTANCE: In Detroit, David Goricki notes NASCAR President Mike Helton is hoping the new Gen-6 car "adds the showroom style to the NASCAR Sprint Cup series." The new car "showcases manufacturer-unique body panels placed on existing chassis, enhanced body designs that better resembles the cars found in showrooms across the U.S., and a design that puts the 'stock' back to stock car racing." Helton said, "(We also want to) build the identity of a driver with that race car, so the name across the top of the windshield is something that's out there" (DETROIT NEWS, 2/6). In South Carolina, Bob Spear writes "vibes remain good" ahead of the Gen-6 car's debut at the Feb. 24 Daytona 500. Guarded optimism "surrounds the cast, yet the stock-car racing fraternity won’t know -- really know -- until the curtain rises and a couple of performances provide concrete answers." Spear: "Is the ballyhooed Generation 6 car the antidote to dull racing, shrinking attendance and lower television ratings?" (Columbia STATE, 2/6).