Nascar

Aug 3, 2010
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Arnout said:
Being fresh in a downhill helps for sure. I doubt riders are doping specifically for that though. Being fresh uphill helps more.
The downhillers waited for the post race parties. It was much more fun to trash hotels and start food fights at the awards banquet when they were all jacked up. Then you have Missy. She was another story all together.
 
Jun 9, 2009
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So we see the anti-doping mechanisms of another pro sports league at work here. An athlete has tested positive and has been sanctioned according to the rules which include the protocol for reinstatement.

However, the subtext of the situation is also interesting. Allmendinger's career in Sprint Cup is likely over regardless of whether he complies with the reinstatement conditions of the sanctioning body because neither sponsors nor team owners will be interested in investing in him following his positive drug test.

This is effectively a lifetime ban imposed by the teams and the sponsors themselves without any direction from the sanctioning body. An interesting variation on how different pro sports deal with banned substances.
 
Aug 3, 2010
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gjdavis60 said:
So we see the anti-doping mechanisms of another pro sports league at work here. An athlete has tested positive and has been sanctioned according to the rules which include the protocol for reinstatement.

However, the subtext of the situation is also interesting. Allmendinger's career in Sprint Cup is likely over regardless of whether he complies with the reinstatement conditions of the sanctioning body because neither sponsors nor team owners will be interested in investing in him following his positive drug test.

This is effectively a lifetime ban imposed by the teams and the sponsors themselves without any direction from the sanctioning body. An interesting variation on how different pro sports deal with banned substances.
That is a great point. The real difference here is most likely that the owner of the team did not get where he or she is by using drugs themselves.
 
Does anybody remember Allmendinger in Champ Cars?

Just thought you might remember this:

RuSPORT DRIVER A.J. ALLMENDINGER, #10 CHAMP CAR TO
“WEAR YELLOW, LIVE STRONG” IN SUPPORT OF THE
LANCE ARMSTRONG FOUNDATION AND PEOPLE LIVING WITH CANCER.

Champ Car World Series Racing Team Will Run With LAF and Livestrong Logos in the Grand Prix of Road America, August 5-8, 2004


ELKHART LAKE, WI — August 4, 2004 — The RuSPORT racing team is showing its support for the Lance Armstrong Foundation (LAF) and honoring Lance Armstrong’s historic 6th straight Tour de France victory by running the #10 Champ Car in all yellow with LAF and “Livestrong” logos during this weekend’s Grand Prix of Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin.

The RuSPORT team, in its first year in the Bridgestone Presents the Champ Car World Series powered by Ford, posted second and third place finishes two weeks ago in the Molson Indy Vancouver. Driver A.J. Allmendinger hopes to again run at the front during this weekend’s grand prix to build awareness of the LAF’s mission to help people with cancer “live strong.”

“This is actually a pretty big honor for me to have the #10 car carry the banner for Lance and the Lance Armstrong Foundation,” said Allmendinger. “Lance has been such a great role model and inspiration for so many people that I hope I can do my part and deliver the great results this weekend that they deserve. Hopefully, together with Champ Car, we can reach more people and raise even more awareness for this great cause and provide some positive energy for those people living with cancer.”

The team’s support of the LAF caps off a weekend of fundraising activities for the foundation. On Saturday, Allmendinger and fellow Champ Car drivers will take to the track on bicycles during the Tour de Road America. They will cycle the 4-mile track with team members, fans, and local cyclists to reach the goal of raising $25,000 for the LAF.

Volunteers for the LAF will also sell 1,000 “Live Strong” wristbands during the Grand Prix of Road America weekend. Fans are encouraged to stop by the LAF booth to make a donation and sign a banner congratulating Lance on his victory at the Tour de France. All proceeds benefit LAF programs that help young people with cancer live strong.


http://www.pelotonride.org/more_news.html#RUSPORTLAF
 
Jun 9, 2009
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spetsa said:
That is a great point. The real difference here is most likely that the owner of the team did not get where he or she is by using drugs themselves.
I think one of the big differences is that the business model of NASCAR leverages the public images of the drivers to promote sponsors' products; many as outright spokesmen. The association between A.J. Allmendinger, Penske, and the #22 Pennzoil Dodge is heavily promoted in all media that covers NASCAR (ad nauseum). The drivers become synonymous with their sponsors: #24 Jeff Gordon DuPont Chevy, #48 Jimmy Johnson Lowe's Chevy, #7 Danica Patrick GoDaddy Chevy, #20 Joey Logano Home Depot Toyota, #18 Kyle Bush M&M's Toyota, etc. Many of you probably know these associations without even watching NASCAR.

This is how NASCAR works, and why the driver's image is no less important than his or her skills on track. Drivers not only have to be talented, but also marketable. The corollary of this observation is that if a driver's image is tarnished (e.g. by failing a drug test) and they lose their marketability, the sponsor pulls their commitment, and the owner pulls the driver out of the seat, probably for good.

The morality of "clean" racing is tangential to the business of promoting sponsors' products through the sport. But in this case it works effectively to discourage illicit drugs (and other behaviors that are deemed unattractive to the marketing demographic). In a sense, the owners, sponsors, and fans (one might say "the market") police the sport much more aggressively than the sanctioning body.
 
Jun 19, 2009
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gjdavis60 said:
I think one of the big differences is that the business model of NASCAR leverages the public images of the drivers to promote sponsors' products; many as outright spokesmen. The association between A.J. Allmendinger, Penske, and the #22 Pennzoil Dodge is heavily promoted in all media that covers NASCAR (ad nauseum). The drivers become synonymous with their sponsors: #24 Jeff Gordon DuPont Chevy, #48 Jimmy Johnson Lowe's Chevy, #7 Danica Patrick GoDaddy Chevy, #20 Joey Logano Home Depot Toyota, #18 Kyle Bush M&M's Toyota, etc. Many of you probably know these associations without even watching NASCAR.

This is how NASCAR works, and why the driver's image is no less important than his or her skills on track. Drivers not only have to be talented, but also marketable. The corollary of this observation is that if a driver's image is tarnished (e.g. by failing a drug test) and they lose their marketability, the sponsor pulls their commitment, and the owner pulls the driver out of the seat, probably for good.

The morality of "clean" racing is tangential to the business of promoting sponsors' products through the sport. But in this case it works effectively to discourage illicit drugs (and other behaviors that are deemed unattractive to the marketing demographic). In a sense, the owners, sponsors, and fans (one might say "the market") police the sport much more aggressively than the sanctioning body.
I agree and...
Before anyone dumps on 'Muricans for having hypocritical views on sports (considering the Nascar crowd that can't forgive are also the same folks that love NFL smash-mouth football) consider the danger factor of drugs in cars at 200+mph. Formula I would have to approach it the same way as not only the image tarnished but an impaired driver can kill alot of innocent folks.
Cyclists can't land a decent punch as evidenced by a irritated Frenchman during this last Tour.
 
Jun 19, 2009
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Libertine Seguros said:
Another irritated Frenchman would like a word (and maybe more) with you...

It looks like the Badger is hitting a woman. How could he find someone shorter than him to assault?
 
gjdavis60 said:
However, the subtext of the situation is also interesting. Allmendinger's career in Sprint Cup is likely over regardless of whether he complies with the reinstatement conditions of the sanctioning body because neither sponsors nor team owners will be interested in investing in him following his positive drug test.
My estimation is if the guy could produce podiums it would be a sanction, then return. Maybe back with a PR program to smooth it out a little, but he'd be back. Lots of prestige associated with wins, so a driver with a less than stellar reputation could be overlooked.

I stopped following the sport a looooong time ago, how many owners are left that consistently win podiums?
 
Jun 9, 2009
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DirtyWorks said:
My estimation is if the guy could produce podiums it would be a sanction, then return. Maybe back with a PR program to smooth it out a little, but he'd be back. Lots of prestige associated with wins, so a driver with a less than stellar reputation could be overlooked.

I stopped following the sport a looooong time ago, how many owners are left that consistently win podiums?
Popular drivers could possibly get a second look from sponsors after an infraction. This really is the litmus test for the upper echelon teams. I can't imagine any of them running a car without sponsorship, no matter who the driver was. Would Dale Earnhardt Jr. or Jeff Gordon attract sponsors after a failed drug test? Probably, but their marketability would be compromised significantly.

NASCAR is all about parity, so I would say that 50% to 70% of the cars in the field have a chance to win at any given race. There is definitely an upper tier of owners that field the largest, best funded teams, and tend to do well competitively: Hendrick, Rausch, Gibbs, Childress are the ones that come to mind. However, the 2011 champion did not come from any of those teams, so it's much more competitive top to bottom than, say, F1. This is by design.
 
Jun 14, 2012
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PED's less valuable in NASCAR.
Most of the cheating on the equipment side.
Given the structure of the points championship, the penalty for in season infractions usually pretty minor.

To some extent Drivers are viewed as light bulb's, totally replaceable, screw one in screw one out.

Kurt Busch, a very talented driver, is close to being out of the sport for basically being a jerk to the media.
 
Jun 9, 2009
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Oldman said:
I agree and...
Before anyone dumps on 'Muricans for having hypocritical views on sports (considering the Nascar crowd that can't forgive are also the same folks that love NFL smash-mouth football) consider the danger factor of drugs in cars at 200+mph. Formula I would have to approach it the same way as not only the image tarnished but an impaired driver can kill alot of innocent folks.
Cyclists can't land a decent punch as evidenced by a irritated Frenchman during this last Tour.
The drug testing program is designed to ensure safety, of course, but also to detect attempts to cheat. Like fighting in hockey, crashes in stock car racing are part of the appeal and have been engineered into the sport. Same thing with aggressive driving. The equipment has been engineered to safely deliver drivers from a 200 mph wreck. Fans like to see it. What they don't want to see are drug users and cheats driving race cars. So, driving like an idiot and wrecking another driver is (to a degree) tolerated, but getting caught with a meth habit or cheating with PEDs is not.

Having crashed both race cars and bicycles, I have to say I would much rather be surrounded by a tube steel frame, strapped in with a 5-point harness and covered with a full-face helmet and fire suit, than be sitting on a 15 pound bike in shorts and a jersey with a piece of styrofoam strapped to the top of my head before impacting a stationary object. Some of the most painful, lasting injuries I've ever received have been from bicycle crashes.
 
Feb 4, 2010
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This is highly unlikely to be about PEDs but rather recreational drug use. A others have mentioned, sponsors like their drivers to have squeaky clean images.

Even in NASCAR, race car drivers need to be fit and strong, but it's nothing like athletics like cycling, running, etc. The PEDs of any of those sports would be of very limited benefit.

They haven't announced what he tested positive for but rumor is it's an amphetamine of some sort. Hard to imagine he's into something like meth (although you never know), more likely some kind of uppers to enable him to keep up with his schedule.

Too bad, the guys got talent.
 
Jun 9, 2009
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Jack Ruby said:
PED's less valuable in NASCAR.
Most of the cheating on the equipment side.
Given the structure of the points championship, the penalty for in season infractions usually pretty minor.

To some extent Drivers are viewed as light bulb's, totally replaceable, screw one in screw one out.

Kurt Busch, a very talented driver, is close to being out of the sport for basically being a jerk to the media.
No doubt that PEDs are less effective in motorsport than cycling, but the penalties are possibly more severe. Allmendinger is probably gone for good, not because of the specific drug he was caught with, but because he was caught breaking the rules. It would not have mattered whether it was meth or EPO. His career is probably over because nobody will sponsor him; nobody wants him representing their product. And no sponsor = no ride.

I have to dispute your assertion that the points system dilutes or forgives the effect of penalties. Allmendinger is suspended indefinitely. Every time he misses a start he will drop like a stone in the standings. If he was ever competing for the championship this would effectively end his run.

Drivers are replaceable, but they are also the focal point of the sport. When they have a ride they are celebrities, but only as long as they project the image the sport and its sponsors demand. Celebrity is not unconditional. Kurt Bush is a great example of an incredibly talented driver (a past champion) who has basically excommunicated himself from the sport by acting like an a$$hole in public and alienating himself from the sponsor community. He never even had to fail a drug test. He didn't violate any sacrosanct NASCAR rules, he still has his skills and yet he's out.

I think the dependence of the sponsor on the driver as a highly visible representative of the sponsor's company and products places a heavy onus on the driver to maintain an image. This dependency also leads to the kind of effective oversight and remediation that occurs when financial interests are closely aligned with the mission and values of the sport.
 

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