Sunday, April 19, 2009

RIP 8 car (and DEI?)

What a meteoric journey for the 8 car. Big Dale puts Little Dale in a cool-looking cool-sponsored car with Ralph's number on the side. The kid wins races, the kid competes for championships, the kid almost single handedly orchestrates Nascar's rise in popularity and ratings. As a testimony to Big Dale's competitive fire, the teams remain competitive for some time after his death, until the momentum gives out. DEI's success in my opinion was a testimony to the balance of racing and business, a balance borne out in the relationship of Dale and Theresa and their individual talents. Maybe it was too much to expect they could continue without him--the shoes to fill were enormous.

The 8 car is no more, losing its marquee driver and its sponsor, and after a 1 1/2 season revolving door of drivers and sponsors, it's gone. A sad ending to a fantastic sports story of tragic Shakespearean dimensions.

Lets hope DEI doesn't follow the course of the 8 car, but the evidence doesn't look good. See Jay Hart's pointed column for another example of its demise.

http://sports.yahoo.com/nascar/news;_ylt=AgwopL4YsTfEgiYDn9MFrRTov7YF?slug=jh-earnhardt041409

Saving DEI is akin to saving GM. Tough medicine. Big changes. Better management. More money. Possible? Maybe. Likely? Nope.

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