Archive | May, 2012

The Four Categories of NASCAR Commercials

29 May

If you’ve ever watched at least 20 (consecutive) minutes of a NASCAR race, the commercials you saw likely fell into one of these four (manly) categories…

(1) “SPORTS”

Category includes:

  • commercials for products that promise to make you look and feel younger (but mainly just erectile dysfunction pills)

Likely target audience:

  • middle-aged men

Sample brands featured:

  • Viagra, Cialis, Androgel Testosterone, etc.

Sample commercial from this category:

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(2) “TRUCKS”

Category includes:

  • commercials for off-road vehicles, motorcycles, cars, boats, and what everyone else refers to as “truck”

Likely target audience:

  • middle-aged men

Sample brands featured:

  • Ford, Chevy, Toyota, Dodge, Nissan, Buick, etc.

Also included in this category:

  • commercials for car/boat/motorcycle/motor home insurance companies such as Geico, Farmers, State Farm, Progressive, and Nationwide

Sample commercials from this category:

 

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(3) “TOOLS”

Category includes:

  • commercials for home improvement stores and all kinds of “tools,” from lawn mowers to drills and wrenches

Likely target audience:

  • middle-aged men

Sample brands featured:

  • Husqvarna, Kobalt Tools, Lowes, Home Depot, Aarons, etc.

Also included in this category:

  • cell phones (the tools we use to communicate), featuring companies such as Verizon, AT&T, and Sprint

Sample commercials from this category:

 

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(4) “BEER”

Category includes:

  • commercials for products that can create an altered state, such as beer, or Golden Corral (this altered state is intestinal in nature)

Likely target audience:

  • middle-aged men

Sample brands featured:

  • Miller Lite, Coors Light, Bud Light, Golden Corral, Pizza Hut, KFC, etc.

Also included in this category:

  • energy drinks and sodas such as Pepsi, Coca-Cola, Mountain Dew, and 5 HR Energy

Sample commercials from this category:

 

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By the way… I honestly considered adding a fifth (bonus!) category called “Jimmie Johnson Commercials.” He’s in a ton. Here are some more:

 

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So, what do you think of these categories? Did I miss any?

Also, did you notice a common theme with the target audience? Companies that advertise during NASCAR events sure seem to target their advertising at the male demographic, especially middle-aged men… Do you agree?

Feel free to respond in the comments section below or tweet your comments/suggestions to me at @NASCARneophyte.

Thanks for reading!

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Race Recap: Coca-Cola 600

28 May

With the F1 Grand Prix at Monaco, the (IndyCar series) Indianapolis 500, and NASCAR‘s Coca-Cola 600 all happening yesterday, this past weekend is known across motorsports as “Racing’s Greatest Weekend.”

In Sunday’s late race – the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor SpeedwayKasey Kahne won his first Sprint Cup Series race as a member of Team Hendrick.

Kahne led 96 laps total, including the final 42 on the day.

Before the race, yesterday’s CBS Sunday Morning segment on Jimmie Johnson referred to Team Hendrick as the New York Yankees of NASCAR. Well, after back-to-back Sprint Cup Series victories, Team Hendrick sure seems to be back at the top of the sport.

It now seems like just a matter of time before Hendrick team members Jeff Gordon and Dale Earnhardt Jr. make it to victory lane this season.

A few notes from yesterday:

  • The 600 is NASCAR’s longest race, but this one turned out to be the quickest 600 in history at 3 hours, 51 minutes, 14 seconds.
  • Dale Jr.’s winless streak continues… It is now up to 141 races.
  • Danica Patrick struggled in her third Sprint Cup Series race. She finished five laps down, in 30th place.

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As always, I picked up some new NASCAR knowledge this weekend thanks to Twitter, and the announcers on FOX. Here’s a summary:

  • According to DW (during the broadcast), NASCAR’s cars don’t have speedometers, but it sounds like they do have tachometers:
  • I always wondered how teams make adjustments during pit stops. Here are some explanations:
  • Yahoo!’s NASCAR blog is called “From The Marbles.” I never knew why until today, when I read the latest issue of Sports Illustrated. In the article on IndyCar driver JR Hildebrand, they mentioned the small pieces of rubber from tires that build up as debris on the track. These pieces of debris are known as “marbles.”

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As always, some questions came up yesterday as I was watching. If you can answer them, help me out in the comments section below or tweet @NASCARneophyte.

Brad Keselowski bumped into Tony Stewart on pit road, which caused Stewart to have to spin his car around in order to get to his pit box. Two questions:

1. Are the spotters really tasked with directing drivers while on pit road??

2. I’m assuming (since Stewart did a burnout/spin-o-rama to get to his pit box), that these cars don’t have a reverse gear?

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Next weekend, the Sprint Cup Series will move to Delaware for the “FedEx 400 benefiting Autism Speaks.” What a mouthful.

And finally… Happy Memorial Day! Thanks to all who serve, or have served.

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Race Preview: Coca-Cola 600

26 May

NASCAR got lazy this week and decided to stay in North Carolina, so we have another Sprint Cup Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Sunday night…

Just kidding!

It looks like there is a NASCAR race at Charlotte Motor Speedway every year on Memorial Day Weekend, and this year is no exception. (Thanks as always, Wikipedia!).

Unlike last weekend’s Sprint Showdown and Sprint All-Star Race, this week’s Coca-Cola 600 will count in the standings, so don’t expect any drivers to “sandbag” their way through this one like Jimmie Johnson did last weekend.

The Coca-Cola 600 is race #12 (out of 36) on the Sprint Cup circuit. Race coverage on Sunday night starts at 5:30 PM EDT on FOX. (The race itself starts at 6:16 PM EDT).

Below the logo (which has to be the most boring one I’ve seen in NASCAR so far), find everything you need to prepare for Sunday’s race.

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NASCAR Sprint Cup Series – Coca-Cola 600

  • Location: Concord, NC
  • Track name: Charlotte Motor Speedway
  • Track shape: Quad-oval
  • Banking: 24 degrees (turns), 5 degrees (straights)
  • Lap length: 1.5 miles
  • Race distance: 400 laps / 600 miles

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As always, I’ll be tweeting my comments and questions about NASCAR during the race from my Twitter account: @NASCARneophyte. If you can answer my questions, please do.

Enjoy the race everyone!

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NASCAR Announces 2013 HOF Class

23 May

NASCAR announced its 2013 Hall of Fame Class today, and the only driver I’d heard of before was Rusty Wallace. (Apparently, it’s because he’s a NASCAR broadcaster/analyst on ESPN).

The other four Hall of Fame selections were Buck Baker, Cotton Owens, Herb Thomas, and Leonard Wood.

The class will be officially inducted on Friday, February 8th, 2013, in a ceremony at the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Check out NASCAR’s press release here for more information.

Congrats to all the selections!

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Race Recap: 2012 Sprint All-Star Race

20 May

The Associated Press recap of last night’s Sprint All-Star Race said it all:

“It’s not often a race car driver intentionally cruises slowly at the back of the field.

Jimmie Johnson did it for roughly 60 laps Saturday night, and it earned him a cool $1 million payday.

Johnson used a calculated strategy – he drove hard for the first and last segments, and coasted for the three in between – to join Dale Earnhardt and Jeff Gordon as the only three-time winners of NASCAR‘s All-Star race.”

It wasn’t the most interesting race (clearly), but then again, the All-Star games of the four major American sports leagues (the MLB, NBA, NHL, and NFL) aren’t very interesting either.

I’m sure that NASCAR’s All-Star weekend has (by far) the best tailgating, though.

These driver/crew chief trophy pictures are so awkward…

In case you missed it, there were actually two NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races last night (although neither counted in the standings).

The first one, called the Sprint Showdown, featured 22 drivers. The two top finishers in that race (Dale Earnhardt, Jr. and AJ Allmendinger) were added to the field for the second race: the Sprint All-Star Race, which featured 23 drivers.

The Showdown driver who earned the most fan votes was going to be the third addition to the All-Star Race. (Twenty drivers had automatic bids for the All-Star Race). However, since Dale Jr. was the #1 vote getter but raced his way into the All-Star Race, the #2 voter getter (Bobby Labonte) was added instead.

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I missed all of the Showdown last night, but I got home in time to catch most of the All-Star Race. My least favorite part was Carl Edwards in the booth (after he was knocked out of the race). His commentary was atrocious. Example:

(He basically repeated some variation of that comment every time he opened his mouth. It was ridiculous. And awful).

As I watched the All-Star Race, I quickly picked up on the race format: four 20-lap segments, with the four segment winners moving to the front of the field for the final segment: a 10 lap shootout. (Hence Jimmie Johnson running at the back of the pack after winning the first segment).

Ten laps isn’t a very long distance in NASCAR, so it was basically a forgone conclusion that the leader at the final restart would win it all if he got out to a lead.

Sure enough, Jimmie Johnson got out to a decent lead to start the final segment, and went on to win the All-Star Race for the third time in his career, tying him with Dale Earnhardt (Sr.) and Jeff Gordon for most All-Star victories in NASCAR history.

Johnson’s crew also won the Pit Crew challenge on Thursday night, so it turned out to be an All-Star weekend sweep for his team.

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After the race, Team Owner Rick Hendrick went for a ridiculous victory lap on Johnson’s car. I’m still not quite sure how he managed to hang on. It looks like maybe he had one leg inside the car? If that was the case, it could NOT have been comfortable.

Here is the video:

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Here are a few questions I have about NASCAR’s All-Star weekend:

(1) Was this the first time a driver took his/her owner for a victory lap around the track?

(2) Do most NASCAR fans truly enjoy (and watch) the All-Star festivities?

(3) During the race, I texted my “NASCAR insider” (who was actually at the race) to ask why the drivers qualified at ~135 mph but raced at ~180 mph. His answer: race qualifying involved pit stops, so the times were much slower. Can anyone elaborate on this?

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NASCAR All-Star Day?

19 May

I’m confused by tonight’s NASCAR festivities. Apparently there are two races at Charlotte Motor Speedway this evening, but they don’t count for anything in the Sprint Cup Series standings.

The first one is the Sprint Showdown, starting at 7:30 PM, and running 40 laps long. That race has 22 drivers in it, but only one (really) big-name driver: Dale Earnhardt, Jr.

The main event is the Sprint All-Star Race, starting at 9:00 PM. That race has 20 drivers in it, including all the big-name drivers (like Jimmie Johnson, Kyle Busch, and Jeff Gordon). Unlike the Showdown, the All-Star Race will be 90 laps long.

Don’t look for these races on FOX; tonight, television coverage is on SPEED, starting at 7:00 PM.

Below the logo, check out your Charlotte Motor Speedway/Sprint All-Star Race essentials.

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NASCAR Sprint Cup Series – Sprint All-Star Race

  • Location: Concord, NC
  • Track name: Charlotte Motor Speedway
  • Track shape: Quad-oval
  • Banking: 24 degrees (turns), 5 degrees (straights)
  • Lap length: 1.5 miles
  • Race distance: 90 laps / 135 miles
  • Pole sitter: Kyle Busch
  • Last year’s winner: Carl Edwards
  • Here is the complete list of past winners in the All-Star Race (Showdown winners are listed as well).

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Here is the starting order for tonight’s All-Star race, and here is the starting order for the Showdown.

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I’ll be following the race(s) on Twitter tonight since I won’t be able to watch, but I’ll post questions and comments after the race(s) from my Twitter account: @NASCARneophyte. If you can answer my questions, please do.

Enjoy the race(s) everyone!

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NASCAR’s Equivalent Of CliffsNotes

15 May

If you’re a NASCAR fan and you don’t follow the official @NASCAR Twitter account, I completely understand; they tweet a LOT.

Pictures, videos, news articles, driver press conference schedules… you name it, they tweet it. And they don’t just cover the Sprint Cup Series, but the Nationwide Series and the Camping World Truck Series as well.

Leave Twitter for a few hours on race day, and you could easily come back to 50+ tweets from @NASCAR on your timeline.

Having said that, I’m sure you’ll excuse me if I don’t read every tweet or click every link posted by @NASCAR. (I’ve learned to skip past most of them).

On Monday, however, as I scrolled through my timeline on Twitter (@NASCARneophyte), I noticed a tweet that piqued my interest (see below).

As it turns out, after every race, the folks at www.nascar.com come up with a highlight video called “Race Rewind” that cuts down the ~3 hour marathon race into ~15 intense minutes of racing highlights.

They hit all the key race moments, without any of the boring fluff.

In high school English class terms, the Race Rewind is the equivalent of CliffsNotes.

(Where has this been all my NASCAR-following life?!?)

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Below is the tweet that introduced me to the Race Rewind. It links directly to the 15-minute recap of the Bojangles’ Southern 500 at Darlington (and yes, if you were wondering, I did watch the whole video).

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Less useful for my purposes is the “Weekend Top 5” segment, which recaps the Top 5 NASCAR moments from each weekend’s races.

(From what I can tell, it includes Nationwide AND Sprint Cup Series moments, although I’m not sure if the Truck Series is also included occasionally).

Below is the @NASCAR tweet that links directly to the Weekend Top 5 for Darlington.

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I know one thing for sure. If I have to miss another race in the future, I’ll just check out the Race Rewind afterward and get all the highlights I need without any moments I don’t.

I have to hand it to NASCAR; they did a great job with this video series. I’ll be sure to watch the next one, too!

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