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NASCAR hurt by rising gas prices

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  • NASCAR hurt by rising gas prices

    Gas prices hurting NASCAR teams, too
    / Associated Press
    Posted: 2 hours ago

    Rising gasoline prices are having just as big an impact on NASCAR's teams as they are on everyone else in the United States.

    Those prices will be felt strongly this week as NASCAR's Nextel Cup and Busch Series teams make the long trek from their home bases in North Carolina to Fontana, Calif., for this weekend's races.

    "The gas hike has affected us for sure, and not in just the ways you might think," said Jerry Freeze, general manager of Petty Enterprises. "It has really been a big deal across the board. Of course, moving the race cars with our transporters has seen the most direct hit. We are spending a lot more than what we had to at the beginning of the year, or even last season.

    "We also are seeing it in our aircraft. Our charter company, because we charter our team planes, has given us an extra charge directly due to the raise in fuel costs. That has been a big deal. We still need to fly our guys to the tracks. We then have to fly our over-the-wall guys on race day, too."

    And that's not all.

    "We are in a competitive business," Freeze said. "We go up to Michigan for wind tunnel time, and we are doing a lot of hauling going to and from test sessions. There are a lot of logistics that go into having a competitive race team, and the use of fuel becomes a big factor.

    "Any time the prices go up, yeah, you are going to see a difference in the bills. We really haven't discussed it, but if things stay the same or get worse we will have to take a look at it."

    Ricky Pearson, crew chief for T.J. Bell's Busch Series team, echoed Freeze.

    "It affects everything that we buy, and I'm not just talking about gas," Pearson said. "We get things shipped to us, and if it's not shipped then we actually have to go drive to get a part. That means more use of gas, it means that parts and pieces cost more to get shipped in. It's a big snowball effect and we see the results in our wallet."

    Pearson also pointed out the rising gas prices could soon start hurting race attendance.

    "It has to affect the fans," he noted. "I don't know how far they can, or will, come to go see a race. A guy with a family of four who takes a week's vacation to come and see a race, and a lot of them do that, they may not be able to do that right now.

    "They may not have the funds to go to a race 300 or 400 miles away. It doesn't matter if you are flying or driving, because this gas hike is changing everything. It's a little disheartening to see this happen. It just doesn't affect racing, but really everyday life. It's becoming a real problem."

    So, just impose a 55 mph maximum for each race. And make team members car pool. The answers are so obvious it's silly.
    June 9, 1973 - The day athletic perfection was defined.