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April 1, 2009

Posted by claireblang in 2008 Season.
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Pictures – Worth a Thousand Words: Behind the Scenes – Behind the Microphone! Check out my new blog post. Photos to follow. http://ping.fm/uyd1i

Claire B. Schedule – Martinsville Speedway March 28, 2009

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The weather is iffy here at Martinsville. Everyone’s in a good mood even with the cold, wet weather…….Here’s my broadcast schedule:

Saturday March 28, 2009 – Martinsville Speedway

“Dialed In” Sat. 1pm-1:30 pm ET ( pre Kroeger 250 Camping World Truck Series)

“Dialed In” Saturday from the End of the Kroeger 250 until 7pm ET

Sunday, March 29, 2009 – Martinsville Speedway

Sirius NASCAR Radio Pre Race Show (CBL in Booth Steve Post in Garage on Wireless)
10:15AM-12:15PM ET

Post Race – CBL In Victory Lane

Two hours after the Race “Dialed In” picks up – Live from the media center until 11:00 p.m.

March 14, 2009

Posted by claireblang in 2008 Season.
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Test

Jan 16th – FANFEST Daytona January 16, 2009

Posted by claireblang in 2008 Season.
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Looking across the Daytona International Speedway
Image via Wikipedia

LIVE from Daytona Blog
Friday, January 16th, 2009

Welcome to Daytona!

After waaaay too much time away from the track during the off season – it’s time to go racin’ boys! (Girls too!) I officially declare today, January 16th 2009 the official start of blogging on this site from the race tracks and the start of an inside look at the 2009 season.

I’m here at Daytona International Speedway covering Fan Fest and as I set up here in the media center I can hear the cars on the race track (ok – it’s the Richard Petty Driving Experience) and I can hear the thumping of music from the Fan Fest stage located right outside the door. I’ve always noticed that Daytona International Speedway plays the best music over the sound system – and each year when I arrive at Daytona to start the season -I wonder who put the music mix together up in master control.

Tonight (Friday, Jan 16th) 7-10 and tomorrow (Saturday, Jan 17th) 12-3 p.m. I will be broadcasting LIVE on SIRIUS NASCAR Radio from the media center here at Daytona.
Here is a tentative list of drivers that I will have on live and what time to expect them:

LIVE on “Dialed In” SIRIUS NASCAR Radio – Friday, Jan 16th
7:00 -10:00 p.m. EST – Channel 128

7:05 EST John Wes Townley

7:15 EST Reed Sorenson*

7:50 EST Jeff Burton*

8:00 EST Martin Truex, Jr.*

8:35 EST Greg Biffle*

8:50 EST Mike Skinner*

9:00 EST Ryan Newman*

9:35 EST Casey Mears*
LIVE on “Dialed In” – SIRIUS NASCAR Radio -Saturday, January 17th
12:00-3:00 EST Channel 128

12:15 EST David Ragan*

12:30 EST Jimmie Johnson*
1:00 EST Rick Crawford*

1:15 EST Paul Menard*

1:30 EST Jeff Gordon*

2:20 EST Alex Garcia

2:40 EST Denny Hamlin*

HOT TOPIC:
I’ve gotten a number of emails on the new rules regarding the Budweiser Shootout. The in box is going crazy on both sides of the issue.

Fans who follow a driver that is in the Shootout now because of a new wild card wrinkle are naturally thrilled.

Other fans are not happy: Here’s one on the “don’t mess with it” side:

Hi Claire B.

They turned the Bud shoot out into a joke….They’re just making it up as they go…I won’t even watch…what a farce how we just go ahead and let the rest of the field in….They screwed it up when they changed the format in the first place…Now they’re just making it worse…

Randy

Remember this is a non-points special race – like the All Star race. LMS event folks make format and rule changes to that race each year on a whim….is this any different? We know that getting the stars of the show into the Budweiser Shootout is good for ticket sales. What’s wrong with changing the format – as promoters have been known to do when the race is a special event? Just asking the question. Email me at insidercbl@aol.com.

The newly announced Budweiser Shootout rules below:
NASCAR announced today a revision to the 2009 Budweiser Shootout at Daytona format that provides each manufacturer with a ‘wild card’ entry, increasing the size of the field from 24 to 28 cars, highlighting the manufacturers’ involvement in NASCAR, and featuring more drivers for fans to support.

The 31st annual season-opening event at Daytona International Speedway will be held on Saturday night, Feb. 7. As was announced last August, the lineup will consist of the top six teams from each manufacturer, based on the final 2008 car owner points. Eligibility is based on owners competing in this event with the same manufacturer as 2008.

The new wrinkle calls for each manufacturer to be able to enter a seventh car, or “wild card” entry, based on the following criteria:
• Any owner outside of the top six in year end 2008 owners’ points whose driver is a past NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion that attempted to qualify for all of the 2008 events (only one position will be filled per manufacturer and will be based on the most recent past champion per manufacturer).
• If an owner/manufacturer does not have a past champion driver, the next highest eligible owner outside the top six in year end 2008 owners’ points from each manufacturer will be eligible to compete in the event.

As of today, cars eligible to compete in the 2009 Budweiser Shootout at Daytona would be as follows (using 2008 car numbers):
Budweiser Shootout
Wildcard:
70* 10** 22** 38**
* past champion (Tony Stewart)
** based on seventh highest finishing position in 2008 owners’ points

Ok so what do you think? Email me if you can – I want to hear your comments!

Stay tuned to this blog for inside stories and updates on my travels and the show. I’ll be starting to blog more regularly and stay in touch this way with you.

I cannot tell you how great it feels to be back at a race track.
By the way, don’t we all feel great about the miracle on the Hudson! Incredibly positive stuff to watch.

Hope 2009 is starting great for you. Stay tuned.

Cheers and many blessings this New Year!
Claire B Lang

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NASCAR Holidays December 8, 2008

Posted by claireblang in 2008 Season, Claire B's Mail, Fun Stuff, NASCAR, Off Season Fun.
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10 comments

NASCARXMASTREE2008-3

Greetings from my house in Charlotte, NC everyone!

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas! I wanted to touch base with you all today and, as promised, I will definitely keep you posted through the holidays with specific plans for the “Dialed In” show on Sirius NASCAR Radio Channel 128 (starting in 2009) and new schedule information very soon.

I’ve gotten a large number of emails about where I am at today on the dial. Thanks to all of you who had a scavenger hunt to find the show over the last months on various channels. I hope you enjoyed the “Dialed In” coverage in New York city on Sirius NASCAR Radio. I hope I made you proud. I am still unpacking from the trip and getting things back in order today and I am taking some time off post season (I am not on the radio this week) as I take some down time (vacation) to just rest up and prepare for some really exciting broadcast plans being put together for 2009.

I’m interested in what you thought of the banquet. Word on the street and amongst the reporters who were there -even the curmudgeons- was that it was better than last season with the drivers being unscripted (they were told by NASCAR to just make bullet points – no formal speeches). I though the surprise visit to the stage by Cale Yarborough to present his championship ring was a great touch. Cale was actually sitting at a table on the other side of the room from Jimmie during the dinner but no one noticed -and Jimmie had no idea. The surprise was so worth it. Also, how about Tom Cruise being at the Hendrick table, a guest of Mr. Hendricks? On the dance floor later I chatted with the guys from Matchbox 20 – totally down to earth. I also hung out with some of the guys from the 48 team who owned the celebration – and it was a fun night/early morning. Got to bed close to 4:00 a.m. Saturday morning. Let me know what you thought of the banquet and I’ll post it tomorrow. ClaireBMail [at] ClaireBLang.com

Melissa sent me this photo (above). She’s been a huge fan of Jeff Gordons and has been following him on a regular basis since 2002. When she first saw stores carrying Nascar Christmas Ornaments she had to have them! She decided to make a tree of Jeff or Nascar ornaments which also has a couple of Jimmie ornaments (and her most recent purchase of her other favorite driver KYLE BUSCH) on it. She says her ornaments have come from Lowes, Target, Walmart, Kmart. She shopped for them the day after Thanksgiving to let all her friends & family know which ones she wanted & where to get them. If you know anyone who has a similar tree for Christmas send the photo along I’d like to post it.

I am headed over to get my mail which has been held for a week- and just really taking some time to get everything back in order after having been gone most of the year.

I will still post news here on ClaireBLang.com so if you check here you can get the latest and this is the best place to keep updated on the show and developments with a firm schedule and about you, the listeners.

Anyone got a tree that rivals Melissas? I’d like to see it.

I’ll have more time to post the next couple of days while I’m off so stay tuned for that and more news on this site.

Thanks for your support, your loyalty and your friendship in 2008. You all mean a great deal to me and I appreciate it.

Claire B

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Greetings from the Big Apple! December 2, 2008

Posted by claireblang in 2008 Season, Drivers, My Show, NASCAR, Teams.
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4 comments

Hey all! Greetings from the Big Apple!

I’m blogging you from the Sports Business Journal Motorsports Marketing Forum at the Westin Hotel at Times Square.

Tonight I will be broadcasting (Sirius NASCAR Radio and BEST OF Sirius on XM) Channel 128 LIVE from the Sirius studios in Manhattan – from 8-11 EST. I’ll have a recap of the day here in New York City and I hope you can hang out.

Last night on “Dialed In” (Sirius NASCAR Radio) I told you all that the media have been asked to rank the competition stories from 2008. Several of you called in and asked if I could put the list on the blog so that you could help rank them in order of importance in your mind. Here’s the list (below).

Listed in no particular order are the nominees for the top stories of the 2008 NASCAR season. The media members have been asked to rank all 17 moments in order. What do you think?

• Jimmie Johnson wins his third consecutive NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship, becoming only the second driver in history to accomplish the feat. Johnson’s championship performance is highlighted by his strong showing in the Chase, as he posts three wins, eight top 10s, six top fives and an Average Finish of 5.7.

• The new NASCAR Sprint Cup Series car concludes it transition year and is raced the entire season.

• Kyle Busch excels in all three national series, winning a combined 21 races in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, NASCAR Nationwide Series and NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series.

• Tony Stewart announces he’s leaving Joe Gibbs Racing to become owner/driver of Stewart-Haas Racing in 2009. Stewart won two NASCAR Sprint Cup championships during his 10-year tenure with JGR.

• Carl Edwards wins a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series-high nine races and finishes runner-up in both the NASCAR Sprint Cup and NASCAR Nationwide Series.

• Johnny Benson edges Ron Hornaday Jr. to win the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series championship in the second closest points battle in that series’ history. Benson joins Greg Biffle as the only other driver to win both the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series and NASCAR Nationwide Series titles during their careers.

• In his first season driving for Hendrick Motorsports, Dale Earnhardt Jr. breaks a 76- race winless streak by winning at Michigan International Speedway on Father’s Day. Earnhardt Jr. finishes 12th in points with one victory, 10 top fives and 16 top 10 finishes on the season.

• Jeff Gordon’s streak of 14 consecutive seasons of winning a race is snapped as he goes winless in 2008.

• Clint Bowyer wins the NASCAR Nationwide Series championship and continues to establish himself as one of the rising stars in the sport.

• Ryan Newman wins his – and owner Roger Penske’s – first Daytona 500, with teammate Kurt Busch finishing second. It is the 50th running of the Great American Race.

• After being voted into the field by the fans, Kasey Kahne wins the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race and rides that wave of momentum with a victory the following week in the Coca-Cola 600.

• Joe Gibbs Racing’s No. 20 Toyota wins the NASCAR Nationwide Series Owners’ Championship, claiming nine victories with four different drivers during the season.

• Eighteen-year-old Joey Logano bursts upon the national series scene, competing in 19 NASCAR Nationwide Series events, winning at Kentucky Speedway and posting 14 top 10 and five top five finishes.

• Greg Biffle wins the first two races in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup and re-establishes himself as a championship contender after a two-year absence from the Chase.

• Canadian Ron Fellows not only wins in his home country but does so in the rain at Montreal’s Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in August. The event is NASCAR’s first-ever national series points race contested on rain tires.

• The announcement is made that Camping World will become the official sponsor of NASCAR’s Camping World Truck Series beginning in 2009. Craftsman had been the official sponsor since the series’ inception in 1995.

• NFL standout Randy Moss enters the NASCAR Truck Series as owner of the No. 84 Randy Moss Motorsports Chevrolet Silverado.

I’d better get back to the seminar.

Enjoy the day!

Catch you at 8:00 EST tonight on “Dialed In”

Claire B.

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New York City- NASCAR Champions Week Schedule December 1, 2008

Posted by claireblang in 2008 Season, My Show, NASCAR.
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Jimmie Johnson in August 200...Image via WikipediaHey All! Greetings from New York City. Thanks for all the emails and for keeping in touch. Hope you had a great Thanksgiving.

I wanted to write you a note and let you know when I will be broadcasting on Sirius NASCAR Radio (Sirius Channel 128 and XM Best Of Package 128) here in New York City for Champions Week and post the schedule. I arrived today (Monday) in the city and will be on site and in and around the city covering and hosting live broadcasts at the events all week long – and I’ll be hosting a special wrap up show at the end of each day.

Did I tell you that the Sirius Studios are on the 36th floor of this building? Don’t look down 😉

My Schedule in New York City:

Monday, December 1

“Dialed In” with Claire B. Lang
Monday / 7p-10p ET
SIRIUS NASCAR Radio studios, Manhattan

Tuesday, December 2
“Dialed In” with Claire B. Lang
Tuesday / 8p-11p ET
SIRIUS NASCAR Radio studios, Manhattan

Wednesday, December 3
“Dialed In” with Claire B. Lang
Wednesday / 7p-10p ET
LIVE from the Sprint Champions Party, Sports Museum of America

Thursday, December 4
“The 2008 Stewie Awards”
Thursday / 6p-8p ET
SIRIUS NASCAR Radio studios, Manhattan

Then,

“Dialed In” with Claire B. Lang (Claire B Hosts Stewie’s After Party Show)
Thursday / 8p-11p ET
“Stewie’s After Party” — SIRIUS NASCAR Radio studios, Manhattan

“The 2008 Championship Year In Review”
Claire B Lang Back Stage LIVE at the Waldorf
Claire B – Friday / 3p-5p ET
Waldorf=Astoria Hotel
Featuring: Exclusive interviews with the entire #48 team including Jimmie Johnson, Chad Knaus, Rick Hendrick and the rest of the Championship team, plus the listeners will have a chance to call the show LIVE to talk with the team!

Remember: LIVE coverage of “NASCAR Awards Night / Banquet”
Friday / 7pm-TFN ET
Waldorf-Astoria Hotel (Anchored by MRN Radio)

I am slamming getting the show ready and getting used to the different layout in this studio. I’m looking forward to hearing from you on air tonight and sure hope you can catch the shows from New York City.

Take care,

Claire B

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Chex Most Popular Driver- Hot Topic! November 21, 2008

Posted by claireblang in 2008 Season, Drivers, Fun Stuff.
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13 comments

Hey all: The National Motorsports Press Association and Chex are looking for ideas to further promote and grow the Most Popular Driver contest. This year’s voting is already over and will be announced in New York City next week. I brought this topic up on air and found that it was really a hot one! I got tons of emails and feed back ranging from pick a most popular driver each month and then have a vote off at the end to charging for charity $1.00 per vote. There was talk that ranged from allowing people to vote only once to allowing them to vote as often as they’d like.

We had a man who called who set two computers up to vote up to 150 times a day. The listeners were amazed that was happening. Others said it’s nothing new and leave it alone.

Let me know your feedback if you can. Here are some of the emails I got yesterday.

Thanks for listening and checking out ClaireBLang.com

Claire B

________________________________________________
Hi Claire

It’s my understanding you were asking on behalf of Chex about the voting for MPD. As a long time Jr fan and voter, I shouldn’t give you my insight (ans spill our secrets), but here goes anyway. I feel the problem is: it’s very difficult for a casual fan to even locate the voting. Once it moved from Nascar.com to Scene Daily it was even more confusing for the casual fan. If you don’ t keep a link in your favorites, locating the voting can be a challenge. Now us Jr fans, it’s easy. We’re a very organized group. This is just my opinion. Thanks for asking.

***Sandy Beddie***
Proud member of Jr Nation
________________________________________________
Claire B – I am diehard Dale Jr fan and I voted daily. I’d gladly pay $1 a
day to vote… Maybe money to driver’s specified charity? Then it would
really reflect driver’s popularity!
Kat in VA

Paying a dollar a day for each vote would cost me $30.00 a month. In this economy that’s just not practical. I could not afford it, and many others couldn’t either.

Ginger
________________________________________________
Hey Claire!
I’m not out of the office yet, but I understand you brought up the topic of MPD and wondered if it should be changed. My vote is NO!

If indeed Dale Jr is the winner again this year, and from the apparent description that you gave on the show it sounds like he is, it is because his legion of fans has faithfully voted each and every day. In fact, some of us were fairly concerned that we were doing enough to show our support and wanted to do more. If fans of other drivers are not voting, that’s too bad. Maybe they feel that there isn’t a chance, but the only way that they can show their loyalty is to vote, vote, vote! My guess is that if fans could only vote once a season (boooo), or once a month, Dale Jr would still win. He just has more fans! The only way he is not going to win is if he follows Bill Elliot’s path and removes himself from the voting list.

Some of the things that also convince me that he is the most popular are (1) the hands down majority of fans wearing his gear at the tracks, (2) the reception he gets in driver intros, and (3) the advertising minutes/stats that get generated every year. My guess is that somehow Budweiser isn’t gonna be at the top of the list this year! And that is not to take anything away from Kasey, it is just that he is not as popular as Dale Jr!

Goodness knows, the fans get no respect and are not listened to by the powers that be in Daytona Beach. Don’t take this away from us too!

Chicago, IL
________________________________________________
Claire,

I am in my car and cannot call you. Had to walk in the school library to send this e-mail. My driver is Dale Jr and yes I do vote in the Most Popular Driver Award ONCE every day. I don’t feel the need to vote more than that. The MPD Award is very prestigous and means a great deal to us as Jr fans, that we have been able to win it for him the last 5 years running. We take a lot of pride in him winning it and we know it means a lot to him. I totally disagree with anyone who says it dosen’t mean anything. It shows where the drivers stand with the people who make it possible for them to do what they love every week. Don’t tell me “it dosen’t mean anything!”

I resent that Chex is even THINKING of changing the format in which this award is voted on. Please do not insult us as fans by cheapening what is now a very prestigous award. We don’t need some new “allstar” format to drum up excitement. Leave it alone…the people who want to vote already do. People need to suck it up…Jr has the most fans and that is that. Let them change it to whatever format they want because it does not matter…Jr Nation will come out on top. Please let the Chex people know though Claire, that I purchase Chex Cereal as my cereal of choice. I eat it every morning for breakfast. If they change this format, I will pull my support. I will not buy their product if they do this. I only buy it because they sponsor this award, I can easily find me another cereal to eat, that I like just as much.

Some of his fans, me included, have been concerned over the last few days because voting was supposed to be over at 11:59CT on Monday afternoon, and the website is still taking votes. Are the organizers of the award TRYING to sabatoge us fans who are voting for Jr??? Okay, I am joking so nobody get upset but it does make us wonder. Why will they not take the voting page down. Voting is over, yet, we can still vote. After hearing all of this, it just makes me wonder.

Thanks for your time

Jennifer

________________________________________________
Hey Claire!

1) Tell Gary the Mojo Crew says “Hey!” We got to talk to him a couple years in a row when he used to come to the Lowes Zone at LMS in Charlotte. He’s got some funny stories. I think Jimmie must get some of the humor from Gary. I thought Jimmie jumping into the crew reminded me for some reason of the Jimmie Gary talked about who invited everyone at a race he won to come to their house for a party and that when he (Gary) got home there were like a hundred people in his front yard. The spontaneous; I want to share my happiness with everyone; let’s have a good time Jimmie. They did a wonderful job raising Jimmie, Jarit, and Jessie. And I bet he’s enjoying Jarit’s little ones too. Congrats on that also.

2) Most Popular Driver voting: they need to continue to refine the program that runs that. Make it one where the voter has to enter a randomly generated code in order for the vote to go through so they can’t use the macro voting programs that generate votes without a person needing to hit the buttons by hand. Another would be if they can have it set up so it recognizes ISP addresses so people can’t vote with multiple emails from the same computer address. Just a couple of suggestions. Not a huge deal though. I’m a Jimmie fan and I know how wonderful he is whether other people figure it out or not. I’d rather be a fan of the 3 time Champion (IN A ROW! CAN YOU BELIEVE IT! I’M STILL A BIT EXCITED! Ha ha!) than the guy who is most popular but can’t get the job done on the track – and note my driver is physically fit enough that he can still breath and talk after 500 miles.

Thanks Claire! Love the show as always!

Pam J
________________________________________________
Hey CBL,

I haven’t voted in the most popular drive promotion in years, since Ward Burton got “booted” from the sport I haven’t had a car in the race. When you get some one as popular as Jr. it would be hard to cast that many votes, seems to me “awesome Bill” from Dawsonville was one like Jr. Don’t know what they could do to pull me into the voting again. I like Jr. but I like a lot of the other drivers too, maybe they should have a most “unpopular driver” segment too…I think I would be more apt to vote in that now than the most popular.

Joyce
Arkansas
________________________________________________
Dear Claire B

I am a faithful MPD voter, and I vote every day. This contest has been in existence for many years. I’m just wondering why you would want to change the format now. Is this Chex’s idea? PS Love your show.

G

________________________________________________
Hi Claire,
I voted for my driver, Casey Mears, everyday in the most popular driver voting. Everytime I voted I felt like it was a waste of time because the Jr. fans would win out every time Jr. is a choice for anything. I think that a driver should not be eligible after winning the Most popular award more than 2 years in a row. At least Bill Elliot had the grace to take himself out of the running after dominating that award for years.

David
Endicott, NY

________________________________________________
Hi Claire,

I’m and Dale Jr. fan and will vote no matter how they change it, but in my opinion if you ask people to pay to vote you will get fewer people to your website. These are going to be hard economic times and people will watch what they spend their dollars on.

In my opinion, I think if you offer participants a prize at the end of the year. A trip to the banquet for two all expenses paid. A trip to a race for two all expenses paid. Maybe some other smaller prize from their favorite driver. If you offer people something that they can’t get on their own in these hard economic time maybe they would be more likely to vote more often and then they would get more hit to their website.

Just my opinion.
Bonnie from Connecticut

________________________________________________
Should the NMPA Chex Most Popular Driver Voting be changed?

Yes it should be. I think it is a disgrace to the award to be able to make up email addresses and vote more than once. Try one person voting 6 times to 10 times. There should be a way that the IP address of the email address be registered and only to be used ONCE a day. No one will vote knowing the Jr Nation vote much more than once a day. This is fact. But, this is the ONLY trophy Jr will get. The one his so called Nation votes for him. Thank God the Championship is not decided by votes.

Have Happy Holidays
________________________________________________
Hi Claire,

Thanks for reading my email on the air! It was hard to drive and listen to something that I wrote at the same time!!!

Have thoroughly enjoyed the discussion. Now that I have a better feel, I have a couple more thoughts to share with Chex…

1. Whatever voting system is used, it has to be fair and open to all people equally or the results are questionable. To have someone pay to vote, or go to the track to vote, severely limits a segment of the population. While I would encourage them to put a donation link on their site, I would hate to see folks have to pay to vote in this economy, when racing/voting might be one of few perks in a pretty bleak existence.

2. I certainly support Chex wanting to have more hits to its website. Perhaps if after someone voted a set number of times in a month, they would automatically get a coupon for a discount on one of the Chex products. If, perhaps, one had to vote 20 times in a month, the coupon could not be possibly kicked out until the 21st of the month and if someone voted multiple times daily, then their votes would be discounted… the software is out there to match emails to votes. That would encourage folks to vote even if they perceived their driver not to be a potential winner!

3. I must say I like the idea of a driver of the month and then perhaps in the last month a run off of all (or the top 3- 5) drivers over the year.

Thanks to you for listening and thanks to Chex for asking!

Mary
Chicago, IL
________________________________________________
Claire B:

How about 1 per month then a “chase” vote during the last week or so of the season between the drivers that won each month for the yearly big winner.

Or a 1 per month; then between those 3 for the quarter with the final vote between the quarterly for the end of year winner with all the quarterly winners being acknowledged some way.

And yes by clearing cookies anyone can vote more than once and after about the first month this year fans didn’t even have to do that to vote more than once. Didn’t even have to use more than one email. I voted but will admit most weeks I only remembered 4 out of 7 days.

As much as I love giving to my driver’s charity I have a bit of a problem with $1 a vote or whatever because that leaves out a lot of people who could not afford to do that. You are talking even at only one vote per day up to $365 a year and for folks who are struggling to make all their bills or saying they can’t afford $100 for a race ticket, does Nascar or the sponsors want to add one more thing people would have to pay for? Just a thought. Now maybe if they did a vote off at the end out of the top so many for the year to get the winner for the year or something and during that week or whatever the time frame is they want to do that, that could be interesting.

Just a couple thoughts.

Pam
________________________________________________
Claire B,
If they insist on a popularity contast, why not vote for a favorite team.
Some folks cheer the car and what it represents and not the driver.
Besides, these drivers aleady have a hard time fitting their heads in their
tight little seats.

Glad I’m finally getting listen today. Been too long.

Duane
Menifee. CA
________________________________________________
Claire B: This is an easy problem to fix. Only allow each computer’s IP address to count for 1 vote no matter how mant times they vote. Travis from KS

No matter how you change it Jr will win as he should he does have the most fans. That said I keep voting to hopefully keep Jeff G in 2nd (they have told us some years where the others were after Jr). I do know people who
say the Jr fans outnumber any others fans so why bother. The sweepstakes they have is a good thing as people might vote just to have the chance to win that. What I would do would not be what they want as they would get less hits on the site and probably not possible. I would like one Fan one
Vote and although I know Jr would still win that would be more accurate instead of being able to vote every day with all your email addresses. I don’t think you can do it for MPD but have heard of people being able to program their computers to auto vote when voting in an on-line poll.

Deb
________________________________________________
Claire: I voted several times for Sadler and know many who did the same. They used to show who was in the top 10 from time to time in years past, but I never saw that this year. Maybe if they kept it up to date on the standings more people would take place.

I don’t think any changes need to be made to the voting for this award. It’s the FANS vote so please leave it alone! No one complain in all of the years that Bill Elliott won it why now?

Virginia Spann
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding…” Proverbs 3:

Tough Times For NASCAR Crew Members November 19, 2008

Posted by claireblang in 2008 Season, NASCAR, Teams.
Tags: , , , , ,
3 comments

Charlotte, NC Studio
Claire B Lang – Blog
Wednesday, November 18, 2008

“It All Ends Here”

Tough Times For NASCAR Crew Members

As we close the books on the 2008 season and celebrate the crowning of a new champion and the end of the 2008 season I have something on my mind that needs to be said. It is with sadness that I walked through the garage Sunday on the last race day of the season – hearing of more and more team members laid off, some (from the 01 car) who learned on Friday afternoon inside the team hauler away from home and family support that they were loosing their jobs.

Many crew members who have been around a long time are predicting that the good crew members will find jobs and get work –eventually. As things pick up they will be returning to this sport but at a lower pay rate. This, say some in the sport, will serve to lower the pay scale that has risen excessively in the shops of NASCAR teams.

Others say – since the drivers are getting paid so much what is wrong with the crew members getting paid a decent wage. The price of running teams in this sport has sky rocketed – something has to give. Another huge discussion topic in the garage amongst the management folks on the layoff topic is how much the competitive teams had to beef up staffing for the car of tomorrow implementation and how those extra staffers are not needed now.

I was told in another discussion in the garage that a service line mechanic at a dealership who works extremely efficiently and quickly can make $70,000 a year. On a good Sprint Cup race team the same person can make $140,000. Sources in the garage told me that pit crew members can make $150,000 – $175,000 if they do other jobs at the shop. One shop structures their pit crew pay this way $35,000 for a first tear guy, $40,000 for second tear, $55,000 for third and $70,000 for top rung. Plus, of course, what they get for the job they do in the shop.

Today, I heard awful stories of team guys who work at one particular race shop near an area where the employment applications are taken. One crew member said that all day while he is working on the race car at the shop he watches the line of people come in the door looking for work in staggering numbers, one by one, all day long, he sees a continuous line of employment seeking friends passing by looking for a job.

I am hearing that the US Army team guys will, for the most part, be moving as an entire team over to the Stewart Haas Race Team. The Army team guys are happy they will have work but are upset that they are displacing others and sad for their fellow crew members on that team who they will be replacing.

I have been told stories of crew members who got calls from crew members crying on the phone – asking for help finding jobs. Here’s another side – some in the garage say that crew members who made good money, way more than they could make anywhere else with the same experience, bought big houses and lived above their means and now have issues with big homes that they can’t afford.

Crew members told me this weekend that they think if folks do not get jobs soon – many of those released will likely go back home to other parts of the country as many of them relocated to the Charlotte area for the opportunity in racing. One crew member told me that he was told he would not have a job as he got off the airplane in Homestead. He got off the airplane and the crew chief called him over as soon as he landed. Others were told on Monday when they got to their race shop.. It’s not just about them – these are guys are tight with the guys they have roomed with and lived with and worked on a team with for years.

When I got into this sport – I remember a crew member who I met up in Mooresville, NC when I used to hang out at a local racing hangout the “Stock Car Café”. Team guys used to gather after work and talk racing there. These days, the team guys are busy testing and working with less time for hanging out mid week. This crew member was on a lower team and just getting the cars to the track was brutal every week with a lot of burning the midnight oil. He was not able to keep his struggling race team together and his family and his job and was in tears because he had no idea how to write a resume. In our world, these guys getting laid off are extremely talented people. Many are experienced only in getting cars to go fast.

I also remember all of the things that these crew members over the years have personally done for me. On my first national television deal – years ago – It was the crew members who gave me thumbs up – whispered information in my ear and cheered me on. When Dale Earnhardt died and we went to Rockingham and I finally let my emotion out, crying behind my sunglasses on pit road, it was a crew member who noticed and gave me a silent hug. When the road seems weary and the going gets hard away from home it’s a crew member who hollers a joke or busts someone’s chops and gets us laughing or who yells out your name. It’s funny how someone using your name is comforting to most people especially when you are on the road alone.

There are many opinions in the garage as well – who say that the NASCAR garage had many people in it making too much money – guys on race teams who did not need to be there. The days of having one specialty are over. Teams are tightening their belts and hanging on to the crew member who can handle multiple functions.

Right now as we celebrate the end of the season and prepare to go to New York with the newly crowned champ – let’s help each other through the hard times. Drivers need to think about the crew guys not only for their own teams but other teams that have helped the sport who are challenged right now.

I’d like to thank all of the crew guys, those who got laid off and those who are still working hard to make cars go fast, for their help during my career. They take my phone calls day or night – they carve out time to explain things to me and the race fans when there are issues that don’t make sense, when there are stories I want to get exactly right. Yes, they have been really lucky to work doing something that they love and the race fans would love to have been them, if only for one day, working on any race team up or down pit road. Today – every single person who has a job should thank the Good Lord and then look around and see who we can help or give comfort to who doesn’t.

Guys – thank you.

Claire B

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I’ll be on a new channel today – XM Channel 143 —from 3-6 EST. November 12, 2008

Posted by claireblang in 2008 Season.
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Hey Listeners!

I am writing this from the Miami airport – and I will be broadcasting today from the Chevy XM Mobile Broadcast Unit –

I’ll be on a new channel today – Channel 143 —from 3-6 EST.

“3 on 143” 🙂

Sorry to have to ask you to move again – but wanted to let you know – hope you can find “Dialed In” and hang out today from 3-6 EST on Channel 143.

Thanks for listening…..you all rock.

Claire B

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