At Bristol, Itís Now or Never (maybe) -- by J. R. Andres 
Monday, March 23, 2009, 12:23 PM
Posted by Administrator
What a difference a year makes. Who would have thought that: 1) tickets were going to be made available to the denizens of Thunder Valley for the first time in 13 years, and 2) Travis Kvapilís loss of the Golden Corral sponsorship for his Yates Ford Fusion may be the first harbinger of the recessional malaise thatís beginning to tighten its grip upon those, whose performances fail to impress the keepers of the corporate bean vaults.

1. Itís beyond comprehension how any venue can sellout 160,000 seats for fifty-three straight events. Up until the last minute this year, Bristol wasnít sure if it was going to make a Guinness Book record setting fifty-four straight but it did. The positive in all of this was that a significant number of corporate sponsors decided to do something else this weekend, thus making room for those that had been shut out the ticket competition for over a decade. A little bit of ďcorporate conscienceĒ, either intended or unintended, goes a long way today.

2. Like it or not, NASCARís top 35 ďlock-inĒ rule has taken on a whole new meaning following the Food City 500 because those that were assured a spot in the program for the first six races this year, based upon last yearís performance must now be in the top 35, based upon their performance in 2009. This means that some teams may be walking the proverbial plank of the ship scheduled to arrive in Martinsville next weekend. To make matters worse, drivers like Kvapil, Menard, Mayfield, Gilliland, LaBonte and Bodine are now faced with a no warranty situation that will not only not guarantee their place in the field but also threaten the commitment of sponsors who are jittery about supplying the funds necessary for them to continue anyway.
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