• Apr 30, 2010
Here's a story you might expect more from Formula 1 than NASCAR: team owners say that you simply can't be competitive in the sport if you don't have a plane to shuttle your crew around. Rick Hendrick, for instance, has three 50-seat regional jets, Joe Gibbs has another three, and Jack Roush has two Boeing 727s. Meanwhile, Formula 1's Jensen Button and Ross Brawn left the Malaysia after the grand prix on commercial flights.

The key is the schedule: NASCAR has races just about every weekend, making every available moment to work on the car an awfully precious one. Having a transportation fleet that can fly crews out the morning of the race, land and get them straight to the garage a few hours before the race, doing so without all those commercial glitches, can make the difference between podium and also-ran. Team owners say they actually save money using the planes, not having to book hotel rooms and pay for food. That means NASCAR has opened the door for us to use "it's thrifty" and "we'll need a private jet" in requests to our bosses from now on...

[Source: Jacksonville.com]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 25 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      Nascar woes is not a jet. Its the fact that they have a boring product that have lost all roots and direction.

      Requirements should be stock cars will roll cages and fuel cells and drivers must be part time white lightning runners. Okay, maybe not that extreme, but over commercializing something can ruin it. In this case, making it more corporate and less old school is the exact opposite to what Nascar was.

      Race on Sunday and buy on Monday will be dead forever until stock cars (with safety equipment of coarse) very similar to what is actually sold at the dealer are raced on tracks again. These hand built tube cars with skin and carbed engines resemble jack and s... with anything sold at a dealer. It would be better to slow them down and have real cars and real races.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Can't help but wonder about the dirt/paint scratches on the nose of the 747 in the picture. Do you think it got that from bump drafting an Airbus?
      • 4 Years Ago
      Hey, I got a novel idea. If the teams are worried about the techs being able to have maximum time with the cars, why not have them TRAVEL WITH THE CARS! Tour buses are way cheaper than aircraft, and still offer the same cost savings of not needing to pay for hotels etc.
        • 4 Years Ago
        This, of course is assuming that the teams still transport the cars via truck.
      • 4 Years Ago
      50 seat planes - good for 25 NASCAR fans.
        • 4 Years Ago
        This doesn't make sense. I mean, unless you're another Euro moron who uses the unoriginal "all Americans are fat" insult, then it might make sense.

        But alas, it just seems like a pathetic attempt at a stab at NASCAR.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Sad but true.
      • 4 Years Ago
      These planes easily saved thousands of lives in Haiti.

      For weeks, Hendricks and Gibbs flew nearly all of the non-government doctors and aide volunteers that went in or out of Haiti in their Saab turboprops. Free.

      They ran a private, free, full time air-shuttle and people got off the planes with smiles, having been treated like a first-class VIPs by the captain and crew. With this incredible generosity they fixed the transportation problem to get into Haiti for aide workers. It was amazing.

      I'm not much of a Nascar fan, but I don't need to measure these guys by anything else.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Why don't they have two crew teams. It would save more money because they won't have to fly the crew around, they could just drive with the tractor trailer and stay in Motel6 and eat Hardies. Fly the crew chief, driver and marketing handlers. Problem Solved. Now, what to do about that Oil Slick in the Gulf?
      • 4 Years Ago
      I wonder if these jets can only bank left.
      • 4 Years Ago
      And last year, NASCAR finally switched to UNLEADED fuel. The greenies must be huge fans.

      So glad I'm an ALMS fan
      • 4 Years Ago
      Is there where Nancy Pelosi came up with the idea that we the tax payers are responsible for her NEEDING(wanting) her private jet.

      With her own private jet, Nancy can jet around the country spending and wasting more pork - faster.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Give it a rest already.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Politicians (sadly more republicans) usually 'hitch' rides on their "constituents'" private and corporate jets. Then they report the trip as a donation amount equal to that day's commercial airline fare on the same or similar route. It's more addicting than coke - flying commercial feels like prison after you've had your taste and you'll do anything for more. Which of course they do.

        Nice huh?
        • 4 Years Ago
        It was George Bush that ordered the speaker of the house be given transport on military aircraft when traveling on official business.
      • 4 Years Ago
      The problem with NASCAR is too much money.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Actually that's the solution. The lack of too much money is the problem.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Nascar teams are notoriously cheap about their planes and charters. Used to sell this stuff and after walking away from a couple of teams shaking my head I learned to avoid them. They wanted whatever clapped-out old flying coffins would cost the least. They didn't care who flew them, some wanted to fly themselves, and would never accept a mechanic or pilot canceling a flight for safety reasons. Surprisingly, pro golfers weren't far behind.

      If it's true that Roush bought 3 727s for less than $5million then put live humans on them then that's really scary. $5mil gets you nothing.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Private money. Not my problem or concern.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Oh Alex...
        You may not realize it, but you pay for it. Do you patronize products that sponsor NASCAR teams? If you do, you pay for it.
        It costs roughly $15-$20 million dollars to sponsor a NASCAR team for a year. When a team demands a certain price for sponsorship, that cost has to be passed down to the consumer somehow. And everything involved with running the team, from building cars, to parts, testing, supplies, and yes, transportation is all figured in.
        Here's an analogy for you. If "TIDE" sponsors a car for $20 million a year, and they sell 20 million bottles of their product that year; instead of sponsoring a team, they could have conceivably sold their product for $1 less to the consumer.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Jay...
        It was a simple analogy. But I'm sure you get the picture.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Hey... I never said it wasn't a worthwhile investment, considering the exposure a top running team gets every week. Race attendances average close to 100000 people, depending on the size of the track. Thats a lot of eyes on that product name. And NASCAR fans are notoriously brand loyal. Plus, TV exposure, news bits, sound bites, and of course, the driver script that's almost painfully spit out when there's an interview.
        I'm sure it's worth the investment. If it weren't, cars would be blank.
        • 4 Years Ago
        If Tide only sold 20 million units, P&G would drop it like a hot potato,

        Procter & Gamble had $19.5 billion in sales revenue last quarter.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Uh, surely P&G or "Tide" or whatever spends MUCH more then $20M on regular print and TV advertisement over a year. You could just as easily argue that that $20M sponsorship could lead to $20M in additional sales, i guess that is the Gamble they are making (pun intended).
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