TOP STORY NO. 4: THE ECONOMY STINKS

The only thing that had a worse 2009 than Tiger Woods was the global economy. I don’t want to bore you with the details of why things tanked, but I do want to explain how the economy turned motorsports upside down in 2009, enough to be our No. 4 story of the year. What happened?Many race teams felt like the dude from Monopoly after landing on Boardwalk with a hotel. For the sake of making this column shorter than Avatar, here’s a synopsis: Robert Yates Racing started with three te ...

//more

RECOVERY MY !@$

   Hold your horses on all this economic recovery talk. While there are signs the recession might have slowed or stopped, there are two new reports that suggest the recovery for racing fans might take longer than the rest of the population.  The new management guru at Chevy met with the media before Sunday’s race at Atlanta Motor Speedway. If you think Chevy is going to bulk up its NASCAR coinage after bankruptcy prompted some serious hacking, I’ve got some GM ...

//more

ALT’s First Annual Tuesday Afternoon Blog Dump

 If there is a God in a Heaven -- and apparently fewer of us subscribe to that theory these days -- that Man flat out owes Mark Martin. Big time. Martin has finished second in the championship four times, once by an infamous 26 points (in 1990), third four times, and fourth on three occasions. You could be forgiven if you figured Martin and Hendrick Motorsports would make beautiful music together in 2009.* Mark Martin and Hendrick Motorsports were going to produce a st ...

//more

Marcus Smith Weighs in on the Economy

I hesitate to disagree with Marcus Smith (above, left, sitting next to his father, Bruton), President and Chief Operating Officer of Lowe's Motor Speedway and a guy who knows a thing or two about running a profitable business, but, tough crap. In the midst of a SceneDaily.com story about -- guess what? -- the deteriorating economy and its impact on NASCAR, the venerable Mr. Smith makes the following, immortal statement: "It's a very sad day when our government would ever try to tell ...

//more

Forbes Magazine Takes on NASCAR

It's a safe bet that no one from Forbes magazine will be getting an invite to the NASCAR Christmas party this year. Certainly not Jack Gage, the author of a fairly cold-blooded look at the current state of NASCAR and the stewardship of Brian France (read the story here). At the very least, Gage's story is a stark counterpoint to the one produced by Sports Illustrated in 1995 (which you can read here). It might overstate things to say that the two serve as suitable bookends for NASCAR ...

//more

Qualifying Attempts UP in 2009, Not Down.

About a month ago, ESPN.com's Ed Hinton, a reasonable, informed voice, and among the longest-serving reporters on the NASCAR beat, suggested in a column that NASCAR could well emerge from this economic downturn in improved condition. He went on to argue that the sport was born in hardship and it's endured equally-if-not-more-challenging periods than this (read Hinton's story here).Hinton's column was, of course, a response to the gloom and doom that has pervaded the sport, ...

//more