Race Weekend Central

Voices From the Cheap Seats: BSNews? No, Unfortunately It’s Real

Here are a few items that, had anyone even had any interest in caring about, you may have missed recently. All are worthy of my just now made up, imaginary award I’m suddenly going to call the ‘Jeff Meyer side to side bobble head WTF!’ award. (Picture me shaking my head in disgust and disbelief and you get the idea. Hey, this could be big! I can see me on dashboards nationwide…)

Nudge to the bobble head to set it a’goin number one;

Honorary Starter named for Auto Club 400: One of Mexico’s most acclaimed and popular actresses, Kate del Castillo, will serve as Honorary Starter for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series’ Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway on Sunday, March 24. As Honorary Starter, del Castillo will wave the green flag to get the Auto Club 400 underway. Del Castillo will soon star, alongside popular leading men Carlos Ponce and Christian Meier, in “Arranque de Pasion, La Historia de Ela,” an original webnovela produced exclusively for Univision’s online and mobile properties. A NASCAR-themed drama debuting on Univision.com/ArranqueDePasion on April 1, 2013 at midnight ET, “Arranque de Pasion, La Historia de Ela” is a co-production between Univision Studios and Kate del Castillo Productions, Inc., in association with NASCAR. To see del Castillo get the Auto Club 400 underway at Auto Club Speedway or to purchase tickets to race weekend call 800-944-RACE (7223), log on to www.autoclubspeedway.com or visit the Auto Club Speedway Ticket Office.(ACS)(3-20-2013)

Well, it’s good to see that NASCAR is spending its Drive for Diversity dollars wisely. That is definitely going to be some ‘must see’ TV even if I haven’t heard of any of them! I know I will be sure to have my DVR set for…oh crap…April 1st !? I certainly hope this isn’t some sort of cruel April Fools joke!

ISC is looking for huge tax breaks for future track improvements that may even include a mixed use development across the street if they get enough help from the Federal government. Jeff Meyer wants to know where his tax break is.

Nudge that head again…

NASCAR promoter lobbies for tens of millions in tax breaks: International Speedway Corp. and NASCAR promoter just won an extension of a lucrative tax break from the federal government. The company says interest among its most avid fans is at a five-year high. And it has signed a new television deal with Fox Sports valued at more than $2.4 billion over eight years, a 36% jump over its current TV-rights deal. ISC is lobbying the state Legislature for a package of tax breaks that could save it close to $100 million during the next 30 years. ISC says the tax breaks would help persuade it to go forward with a sweeping renovation and expansion of Daytona International Speedway, home of the storied Daytona 500 and other racing events. The company’s tentative plans call for everything from the installation of escalators, concourses and wider seats in the grandstand itself to a mixed-use commercial development just across the street. Adding pressure to get a deal done, ISC executives say the amount of money they ultimately decide to invest in the project is directly tied to whether the Legislature gives the company its tax breaks. “It’s definitely going to affect whether or not it [the project] gets approved or at what size or scope,” said Joie Chitwood III, an ISC vice president and the president of Daytona International Speedway. The legislation (HB 1049, SB 1394) was initially written by ISC lobbyists. It is being sponsored in the Legislature by a pair of Volusia County Republicans: Sen. Dorothy Hukill of Port Orange and Rep. David Santiago of Deltona.(Orlando Sentinel)(3-20-2013)

Actually that little news tidbit is worthy of a special version of the award. You know, the one with an extended middle finger prominently displayed! You and I ain’t getting no tax breaks from anyone! In fact, if I recall correctly from looking at my most recent pay stubs, the amount of taxes taken out of my check has done nothing but increase. The fact that this is a family publication prohibits me from writing what I REALLY feel about this. (That and the editors would just cut it out anyway so why bother?)

On this next one, picture my little bobble head giving a sly wink and an “attaboy!” to Jeremy Mayfield. Nothing like have the primary witness against you unavailable to testify!

(In part) Some charges against Mayfield dropped: Jeremy Mayfield’s quest to race in NASCAR again has taken a positive turn as 10 felony burglary-related charges were dropped in Iredell County because the primary witness against him died in a motorcycle accident last year. Mayfield, suspended by NASCAR in May 2009 for a failed drug test, still faces nine felony charges in two other North Carolina counties. Some of the Iredell County charges stemming from alleged burglaries at Red Bull Racing and Fitz Motorsports were dropped in November and the final one was dropped March 6, according to the court file. The dismissal sheets state that there is insufficient evidence to warrant prosecution because “co-defendant/primary witness against defendant is deceased” and “witness who can establish property was stolen from alleged victim is deceased.” The co-defendant in the case is John Kavann Franklin, who died following an aborted police chase on Sept. 16. Mayfield and Franklin were indicted April 2, 2012 on charges in Iredell County.

A co-defendant that is going to squeal on you suddenly ends up dead, from of all things, an aborted police chase and now the prosecution doesn’t have enough evidence to carry on the case? Now THAT’S a NASCAR themed, made for TV drama series if I ever heard of one! Ain’t no Mexican “webnovela” gonna top that!

Stay off the wall (but order those bobble heads now!)

Jeff Meyer

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