NASCAR’S FRANCE RECYCLES MANURE


NASCAR has emphasized “going green” by becoming more environmentally friendly.

Much like Infineon Raceway did last year in Northern California when it recycled 67 tons of materials. And NASCAR’s fearless leader Brian France did his part to get 2011 off to an “organic” start recycling a bunch of bull crap during his state of NASCAR address Wednesday night in Charlotte, N.C.

France explained changes made to the Sprint Cup points system but his muddled explanation and answers to reporters’ questions left me baffled as I watched the news conference on Speed TV and NASCAR.com.

(You can read my thoughts on the changes in my Jan. 28 column that can be found here at lvrj.com/motorsports and in the printed version of the Las Vegas Review-Journal.)

France will never get hired for his speaking skills. Heck, he won’t have been hired for the position he holds had he not been born into it.

He used “organic” and “organically” to help explain the nature of the changes to the points system.

“Obviously it's got to be organic and sensible ...”

“But I would totally disagree that, first of all, it tightens things up organically.”

“Obviously it's got to be organic and sensible. But we like the idea that big moments are created by the best drivers and teams in the world.”

Maybe instead of variations on “organic” he meant to use “orgasmic.”

Or his organic references were to fertilizer.

I had to go to my buddy Webster to check definitions of “organic” that showed his usage makes sense with some definitions. But why use a word that requires someone with a college degree to look it up when you’re explaining changes made to simplify things?

What also bothered me during his time to speak directly to fans was how he curtly responded to a question by Jenna Fryer of The Associated Press.

Her question challenged why greater actions haven’t been directed toward sagging attendance and TV audiences for nearly ever race last year.

"There's a positive start to the season," he responded as he shook his head, clearly disappointed with a negative question.

"Look, we're very satisfied with the most important thing: the level of competition. Obviously, we want to be trending up, not down. And television ratings ... we want to see a lot of things with attendance improve.”

Level of competition? Hasn’t Jimmie Johnson won five straight championships?

Great doublespeak. Where’s the plan?

Look, NASCAR’s crowds remain among the largest in the world for any sport. Its TV ratings for Cup races are very good though they have been better.

I have one piece of advice for France: don’t try to explain anything ... let NASCAR president Mike Helton do the talking the next time.

Only France could make an explanation of a very basic, simple points system sound complicated.

Wonder how long it would take France to explain what an oval-track race is.

CHARITY RUN AT LVMS

Help out Las Vegas kids and get the thrill of going up to 75 mph Sunday (Jan. 30) on the 1.5-mile oval at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

The Las Vegas Chapter of Speedway Children's Charities invites you to take three laps behind a pace car for a donation of $30.

For an additional $10, you can take photos of your car and friends in LVMS victory lane. Laps for Charity will take place 11 a.m.-4 p.m.

LVMS BULLRING WEST

A large contingent of racers from the Las Vegas Motor Speedway Bullring will compete this Friday and Saturday (Jan. 28-29) at Toyota Speedway in Irwindale, Calif., in one of the most prestigious Super Late Models and Late Models races of the year.

The NASCAR All-Star Showdown also will include a K&N Pro Series race.

Several Las Vegas racers are expected to compete.

Taylor Barton will drive for Gene Price Motorsports and Spencer Gallagher will drive for Clark-Diederich Racing and the Spencer Clark Driven Foundation.

Entered in Super Late Models are: Casey Kingsland, Alex Haase and Dustin Ash. Brandon Davis will compete in Late Models.

Visit ToyotaSpeedwayAtIrwindale.com for details.

24 HOURS AT DAYTONA

The Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona starts noon Saturday at Daytona International Speedway with various divisions competing on the 3.56-mile road course.

The 49th annual race is the biggest sports car race of the year in the United States. Some of the biggest names in racing including Jimmie Johnson, Juan Pablo Montoya and Dario Franchitti will challenge reigning Gran-Am series champions Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas in the premier prototype division.

Speed TV (Cox digital 329 in Southern Nevada) will provide live coverage noon-7 p.m. Saturday and 6 a.m.-1 p.m. Sunday.

Visit grand-am.com for information.

2011 OPENERS AND LAS VEGAS DATES

SPRINT CUP
Opener: Feb. 20, Daytona Beach, Fla.
Las Vegas: March 6, Las Vegas Motor Speedway (LVMS)

NATIONWIDE
Opener: Feb. 19, Daytona Beach, Fla.
Las Vegas: March 5, LVMS

CAMPING WORLD TRUCKS
Opener: Feb. 18, Daytona Beach, Fla.
Las Vegas: Oct. 15, LVMS

NHRA FULL THROTTLE DRAG RACING
Opener: Feb. 24-27, Pomona, Calif.
Las Vegas: April 1-3, Oct. 27-30, LVMS

IZOD INDYCAR
Opener: March 27, St. Petersburg, Fla.
Las Vegas: Oct. 16, LVMS (tentative)

FORMULA ONE
Opener: March 13, Bahrain