We are rapidly approaching the 2010 NASCAR season. January is just around the corner, and in a few weeks, NASCAR’s big teams should be heading to Daytona for 3 days of testing in preparation for The Great American Race.
Note that I said should. The problem is that they won’t be heading to Daytona to test.
NASCAR’s infamous “Test Ban of ’09” worked so well to even out the competition that one team practically owned the 2009 season. Again.
Naturally, NASCAR had their story all lined up. The ban, as they said, was supposed to “cut costs” for the teams during a tough economic time. And NASCAR liked the result so well that they decided to enforce the ban in 2010 as well.
Again, to “cut costs”.
Whether or not the ban actually did “cut costs”(and I’m sure to some extent, it did), there is one little reason why NASCAR testing ban is ridiculous.
ARCA is testing in Daytona. Right now.
Yes, ARCA. That’s a stock car series that is three steps below the Sprint Cup Series.
If NASCAR banned testing to cut costs, then you’d expect ARCA to do the same. After all, NASCAR has a multi-million dollar series sponsor in Sprint, and Cup teams have sponsors pay them upwards of $30 million a year.
ARCA’s series sponsor, meanwhile, is a real estate company. That’s right, a real estate company. When ARCA races are televised(which is rarely), they are broadcast on Speed. They don’t have multi-billion dollar contracts with ABC or Fox.
And up until Danica Patrick and JR Motorsports signed Godaddy.com to a one-race ARCA deal, the biggest sponsor in the series was a family-owned cattle company.
Yet ARCA is holding a 3-day test. And better yet, the teams love it. I checked out the ARCA Daytona Testing entry list this morning and counted 48 teams that are in Daytona right now. 48! And most of them are family-owned with little or no sponsorship.
If these family-owned, under-budget teams can test for a series that has little exposure or prestige, why shouldn’t NASCAR’s multi-million dollar organizations be able to get off their fat wallets, pony up a few bucks, and do the same?
Hey NASCAR, I don’t know if you got the memo, but ARCA is testing in Daytona. Right now.