26 November 1999

       

DATELINE: Homestead-Miami Speedway NASCAR 


Welcome back race fans to another exciting adventure of "Reflections from the 
Seats" by your roving reporter ACE.

Today's adventure is brought to you from site of the NASCAR race November 14, 
1999 at the Homestead Miami Speedway. After numerous attempts to secure my 
payment in beer from the prior articles I have written for this distinguished 
web site Mr. Gordon the head of theautochannel.com has relented to my 
suggestions to go to Southern Florida and cover this race

In case this is your first time reading the "Reflections" articles. It is my 
attempt to give the readers an insight of what it is like being an attendee 
to a race event reporting on off track activities and events that I encounter 
during the race weekend.

I have with me for this event an old gearhead friend of mine I usually call 
Picklehead who will be performing the role this weekend as the photographer 
for theautochannel. Being that his mother will most likely be reading this 
article I will refer to the Pickle as " Mitch". Look for photos by Mitch to 
appear in this section in the upcoming future. Please refer to the photo 
archives 


Ok Ace enough of the preamble. Homestead Miami Speedway is a 71,763 seat, 
434-acre facility located in Southern Florida. Opened in 1995 by local 
motorsports enthusiast Ralph Sanchez. Now owned by the International Speedway 
Corporation  [ISC]. I have been to this venue before to see the CART races. 
[Mitch broke his foot here in a prior visit, which is a classic Ace story of 
drunkenness and mayhem; you should have seen the look his mother gave me 
after that incident. "If looks could kill" - but that another story].

 I'd been to a number of racing venues in the United States and in my opinion
 it doesn't get any better than this, OK.  It sets the standard when I see 
motorsports events at other venues. It's a pleasure to see a race at this 
facility. If you haven't been to Homestead Miami take the time and plan on 
seeing a race here, you won't regret it


The racetrack has everything a fan needs to make ones outing a pleasant 
experience. Plenty of accessible parking. Points go to the person responsible 
in dealing with the Florida Turnpike Authority. The toll near the track exit 
was removed on race day to speed up the flow of traffic in and out of the 
area. Give that person a raise. Someone is thinking smart.

The track has plenty of food vendors offering a wide variety for ones taste. 
An interesting feature at Homestead is the " Brugal Rum Pavilion"; the 
Pavilion is a permanent structure built during the Sanchez days. It offers an 
interesting selection of alcoholic beverages versus the usual beer selection. 
The menu included a variety of frozen rum drinks with such names as "Gear 
Grinders", as well as other hard liquor drinks. Your diligent reporter took 
the liberty of checking out the local drink offering so that you, the reader, 
can be better informed. What's really missing since ISC has taken over the 
facility are the cigar girls selling cigars. I remember they once had a cigar 
roller available during race day, this was a true reflection of the South 
Florida culture

On the food front an interesting selection is "AREPAS" which consist of 
grilled sweet corn bread and mozzarella. I have only seen this at Homestead - 
Miami, this is a treat that fans should check out the next time at this track



        Out Witting the Winston


In my quest for that great American marketing tool known in my previous 
articles titles  "Tits, Ass and the Beer Wars", your trusty reporter set his 
sights on this aspect of the event. Here where things got a bit 
confrontational. The race series sponsor is the RJR Tobacco Corporation, 
which sponsors the "Winston cup" race series. Due to the ongoing current 
state of affairs in America today regarding tobacco, advertising and general 
promotional activities, it's fair to say the RJR is a bit on the defense 
side. 

As Mitch and myself are walking in the vendor area I set my sights on what I 
thought was the Americas perfect marketing vehicle. Attractive women in tight 
outfits advertising Americas latest and greatest consumer needs. As I 
approach the Winston girls thinking this would make a perfect photo 
opportunity for a picture as well as an addition to the Ace beer girl 
achieves [coming soon] here's where the situation got a bit confrontational. 
The Winstonetts were far from friendly to have their picture taken and even 
called over Winston security to clarify the situation. After stating our 
intentions of just having ones picture taken. I believe NO was their 
response. At this point Mitch decides he will enter Winston's promotional 
giveaway. This is were if your over 21 years of age and have valid I.D and 
produce a pack of RJ Reynolds cigarette  [not sure on if all RJR brands are 
valid or just Winston] you will get a half a carton of cigarettes with a 
racing video tape included.

Well at this point in the events we were not very welcome. As Mitch gives 
try's to get some cigarettes the security personal asks Mitch to produce a 
pack of Winston or another RJR brand. To their surprise I happened to have 
picked up a pack of free cigarettes in the media center. Well all hell breaks 
loose as they claim that the cigarettes that I have produced is a promotional 
giveaway pack and therefore is not usable for this giveaway. It seems there 
are cryptic writing on a side of the packs [unopened in cellophane] that the 
Winston guardians are highly trained to detect. Well we get a stern and 
rather unpleasant warning that were not welcome at this booth. At which time 
I have retrieved my media center promotional cigarettes and leave.

We outwitted the Winston by removing the cellophane wrapper and proceeded to 
go to another Winston booth none the less wiser. I pick up my half a carton 
of cigarette with video tape included titled " Straight Talk Video Magazine". 
 Mitch has decided to take up smoking with this newfound booty [I am sure his 
mother is thrilled to hear this]

First let me state that I think RJR has done a fantastic job as sponsor of 
the Winston cup. Their attitude reflects pressure applied on them from the 
government and trial hungry lawyers. Unfortunately they are not a bunch of 
happy campers, as we witnessed at Homestead. Please Mr. Beer company increase 
your Winston cup viability, bring on the beer girls, bring back the smiles! 



            The Business of Racing

NASCAR is the major league of racing. It's at a serious level and the 
business sponsors who are involved are serious as well. A number of companies 
this weekend have made announcements to increase their presence in NASCAR.

            NBC ups the Ante

Just prior to race weekend the unified television package was announced for a 
total $400 million per year. NBC, which has lost the NFL television rights, 
is looking to tap into NASCAR's vast viewing audience and solid rating on 
Sundays as a programming alternative to football. The network had already 
negotiated the rights to this Homestead race prior to the TV package 
announcement. I guess they view this as a warm up until 2001. The NBC 
personnel stood out in the crowd, I guess it's the blue blazers that gave 
them away, not your usual race day attire [I would have stolen the hubcaps on 
their cars for coming to a race dressed like that]. Not only did they seem 
out of place they were kind of uptight looking. My advice to them is to lose 
the blazers and maybe have some NBC marketing girls with peacocks on their 
chests to really catch the crowd's attention. On local front, the NBC Miami 
station has an interesting reporter named Neki Mogham who does reasonably 
good commentary reporting from the track. Keep your eye on her in the future

GOD, COUNTRY, NASCAR, GO MARINES

MARINES- Team Marines Chevrolet - new sponsor of the Hank Parker Jr. Bush car


First, let me state that it's not your tax dollars being spent here, the 
sponsorship money is being put up by a sponsor who was in the Marine Corps. 
It a pleasure to see the armed forces increasing their visibility in 
motorsports



Also to note the Coleman Corporation the proud manufacturer of camping 
equipment has also announced that they will increase their visibility at the 
RV sites as well as camp grounds around the racetrack. Nothing like getting 
close to the people who use your products. Best of luck.



Race day- you know the results, Dale Jarrett wins the championship and Tony 
Stewart wins the race. The view from our seats were fantastic, we sat up high 
with no obstructions whatsoever. Also MRN broadcast the race, the reception 
was superior. If they could just get rid of the commercials it would be 
better. I believe a good time was enjoyed by all. If you can see an event at 
this facility take the time and go. You won't regret it.

Ok race fans that brings you another adventure in the  " Reflection from the 
Seats" by ACE. If you like the article please tell Mr. Gordon, I am still 
trying to secure by payment in beer from Old Bob. 

To all race fans and their families, happy holidays, till then see you in the 
seats - ACE

LONG PUBLISHERS NOTE: The ownership and management of The Auto Channel assumes no 
responsbility(at all) for the views taken in these "FROM JUST ANOTHER FAN TO YOU" articles. 
We at TACH believe in a strong first ammendsment and that all viewpoints
have a right to see the light of a CRT. 
I hope the powers that be/are can rest their personel animosity long 
enough to let ACE take his tongue out of his Cheek
(although I really think that the ideas spouted forth within are heartfelt
and were made after years of experience in the sooty world of Motor Sports)
...happy NASCAR NBC and to all a good night.



















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