Race Weekend Central

Voices from the Cheap Seats: NASCAR’s Best Bet for Your Taxpayer Dollars

In case you don’t have any where you are from, the title is known as “sarcasm.” Go out and getcha some today!

While everyone else in the media is focused on the life-and-death issue of whether Greg Biffle and Carl Edwards will remain at Roush Fenway Racing after this year (both will, by the way), I thought I would do something different and focus on some of the more fun and frivolous aspects of the sport. In this case, I’m talking about the sponsorship by the National Guard in NASCAR.

Here are some fun facts:

-Annually, to meet its goal of recruiting 50,000 soldiers, the Guard needs to generate 1 million leads.

-As a NASCAR sponsor, through 2011 to 2013, the Guard spent $88 million.

Going from 24,800 to 7,500 prospective recruits? Is the National Guard even trying?
Going from 24,800 to 7,500 prospective recruits? Is the National Guard even trying?

-In 2012, as a result of NASCARsponsorship, the Guard received 24,800 recruiting prospects.

-Of the 24,800 prospective recruits, 20 met the Guard’s qualifications for entry into the service. (Yes, you read correctly. 20. Two-Zero, The number right after 19 and right before 21.)

-Of the 20 who met qualifications, zero joined. (But wait! It gets better!)

-In 2013, the number of prospective recruits associated with NASCARsponsorship dropped to 7,500.

-Brian France has name the National Guard as “The official fighting force ofNASCAR.”

OK, I made that last one up, but it sure wouldn’t surprise me if he did.

Can anyone explain to me why, for the love of Bob (Bob being this column’s official, inoffensive non-deity), is this kind of waste not an outrage to more supposed fans? It is, after all, YOUR money that is being spent here. Wherever Greg Biffle and Carl Edwards may or may not end up next year is not going to cost you one thin dime.

Is it just me or does anyone else think it is very ironic that these kinds of numbers are actually released and associated with NASCAR, a sport that is known for its rosy take on bad numbers? I refer of course to NASCAR’s take on attendance and ratings, both of which are hitting even record lows when no one thought they could get worse!

And answer me this: How does the number of potential recruits drop to less than a third of what they were the year before? Did someone forget to bring the informational flyers to the track? Were they counting on the 20 “really good” prospects they failed to get out of the 24,800 leads from the year before? LikeNASCAR numbers on any given subject, these numbers just don’t add up.

I know, I should be reporting on the really important Biffle/Edwards contract situation like everyone else, but I thought you might enjoy a break and hear about stupid, trivial stuff!

Stay off the wall (and remember to “getcha some!”)

Jeff Meyer

About the author

Jeff is one of the longest-tenured staffers at Frontstretch, starting his second decade as the resident humorist and pain-in-the-butt that keeps NASCAR (and his fellow co-workers) honest. Writing Voices From The Cheap Seats, every Tuesday, his BSNews! Segments along with alter ego “Stu Padasso” have developed a large following. Jeff makes his home in Tennessee and is a Bristol groupie, camping out for the August night race every year since he can remember.

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