Scottvoight's NASCAR Blog

October 2, 2012

Rest in peace Chris Economaki

With a heavy heart I submit this entry to my NASCAR Blog.  Chris Economaki the dean of NASCAR’s death had a profound effect on me. Chris’s voice and commentary on ABC’s Wide World of Sports was the single reason I became interested in Motorsports racing and NASCAR in particular. As a young man I would sit listening and dreaming about driving a race car as Chris would describe what was happening on the track. He gave me the bug that translated years later into a job in the business.

My break came after I was injured in a work related incident. I had a broken back and torn rotator cuffs. It took years of surgeries to repair my back and arms. When I was at my lowest I would play the videos I bought about racing and NASCAR that Chris narrated. His voice peppered with that matter of fact tone gave me the strength to get back on my feet and begin a new career that would take to new heights.

I was lucky to sit down and talk with Chris a few years later and tell him my story. Humbled by what I said he gave me encouragement to continue to improve my skills, go to college, and get a degree in public relations. I couldn’t believe he would take the time to sit and talk with me a relative no-body in the industry and show such compassion and strength. His message was simple don’t ever give up on your dreams!

I would not see Chris again but his message resonates in my head when times get rough. Finishing college at the age of 50 was not a simple task and I was looking forward to letting Chris know I made it and graduated at the top of my class. This is the thing that hurts the worst, not being able to show him how far I have come. Hopefully, now he knows.

Chris thank you for the gift of yourself and your time to help a lost and confused man to get back on track and never give up on my dreams. Rest in peace Chris!


July 11, 2011

Fans used as game pieces in power play of greed and arrogance

Filed under: Uncategorized — Scott Voight @ 9:36 am

Courtesy of

Published on July 10, 2011 by Roberta Cowan ·

Up until this weekend NASCAR’s biggest debacle had been the Indy tire disaster of 2008. This weekend made that look tame. 15,000 – 20,000 people were turned away from the track that were holding valid tickets. Traffic was backed up for miles. The track was not ready for a cup date. The track knew it was not ready for a cup date in May of last year. But two words motivated the weekend. Two words that resounded loudly through every statement from the General Manager, Mark Simendinger and track owner, Bruton Smith’s mouths; those two words are arrogance and greed.

Brian Douglas
Kentucky Speedway was not ready for a Cup date. They said so themselves in May of 2010 when in a press release they stated, “a 2011 cup date at the Kentucky Track, may not be feasible because of a variety of capital improvements needed to the track.”

Kentucky added 40,000 seats to accommodate the Cup race but they did not expand parking or bathroom facilities to match that. Lines for Port a Potties were 20 to 50 people deep and mostly located inside the facility not in parking areas. By the time the green flag flew parking lots were full and fans were walking as far as three miles to get to the track.

At the drop of the green flag traffic was still backed up for 20 miles. Traffic advisories posted by the Kentucky State Highway Patrol read, “Traffic backed up for 20 miles and at a stand still. Avoid area.” Rather than apologize for the situation, track owner Bruton Smith said, “I 71 sucks. Blame the state of Kentucky.”

About halfway through the race officials began turning people away from the track regardless of the fact that they had a paid ticket. Track owner Bruton Smith stated, “15 – 20,000 ticket holders were turned away when the traffic pattern was reversed to allow flow of traffic out of the track.” By that time they were being turned away anyway, because all the parking lots were over flowing and cars were double and triple parked. The track general manager stated in response to questions on the parking/traffic situation, “It was the number of cars that threw us, not the number of people.”

The General Manager of the track Mark Simendinger estimated the total number of fans in the stands to be 97,000 people by ticket scan. But the capacity of Kentucky Speedway is 107,000 people. The numbers given by both GM and Owner lead one to believe that the track was over sold by 5 – 10,000 seats.

The truly sad part is people in the area said, “We knew it would be bad. But this is way worse than we anticipated. This is a nightmare.” There appeared to be no rhyme or reason to the traffic patterning. There appeared to be no communication between Kentucky Speedway and other SMI tracks that handle Cup date traffic on a regular basis. It appeared for all practical purposes to be a power play by both the state of Kentucky and Bruton Smith who used the traffic fiasco to leverage his bid for highway and road improvements by failing to utilize 4 lanes of road leading into the track in favor of using only 2. Perhaps sadder still paying fans were used as the pieces in a game of mine are bigger and I’ll show you.

In temperatures and humidity that reached critical points, the speedway was unprepared to fill the hydration needs of it’s patrons with several sections running out of food, water and ice during the race. Interestingly enough, Kentucky is one of the few tracks remaining with a no coolers policy which leaves spectators at the mercy of the track in regards to prices and availability. Reports of four dollars for a bottle of water and nine dollars for a cheeseburger, two dollars for a cup of ice were reported by fans on Social Media sites like Twitter and Facebook. It should be noted that it is illegal in Kentucky to allow coolers according to Smith.

The track itself was in need of improvements and repair as well. Former series Champion, Tony Stewart stated on Friday, “They don’t have enough SAFER barriers yet. Not near enough SAFER barriers for what we’re doing here and how close the wall is to the race track. Hopefully, none of us will have to test that out and see anything.”

Four time champion Jeff Gordon echoed his sentiments saying, “I was just making a comment after last week’s announcement by Richmond(International Raceway). ‘I wonder why other tracks don’t have Safer Barriers.’ Then I came here and saw the inside wall. Hopefully that is the only time I notice it this weekend. You understand that they have put a lot of effort, you can tell they’ve put a lot of time and money and effort into getting this race track ready. Hopefully it’s not an issue. We’ll see. There is definitely some areas out there that could be addressed. Right now, the way that this track is, I see that the inside is not as much of an issue as maybe it is at some other tracks. But, we’ll have to get through a race and I’m hoping I’m not the crash-test dummy this weekend.”

The track itself showed deterioration with bumps all around the track. Dale Earnhardt Jr stated, “Well, the last time I tested here, the track was in a whole lot better shape. It’s kind of deteriorated a ton since we tested here last time. I think it was a couple years ago.” Bob Pockgrass of Scene Daily who participated in the pace car ride with former driver Brett Bodine at the wheel stated on twitter, “Pace car ride showed me that track has lots of small bumps. Not many big bumps but it’s the number of bumps that is issue.” When asked if the bumps were worse than those often talked about at Charlotte, he responded, “definitely more of them and no way to avoid them.”

Track owner Bruton Smith, made light of the drivers concerns, stating, “If they just follow Kyle Busch and drive where he drives they will be fine.” When he was asked about possible repave before next year, he stated, “That is all talk. We will look at it maybe after the 2013 race.”

The race itself didn’t rescue the venue from the arrogance of its owner; the long drawn out lack luster race was boring to say the least. Even TV commentator Kyle Petty concluded the broadcast with, “This wasn’t the most exciting race. But some guys really made something happen here.” Unfortunately for Petty it wasn’t the TV broadcast people. With poor camera work and too many specialty features the race was mainly silent. Many commented that after having watched the whole race they still were not sure what exactly had happened. Sadly, TNT went from the best broadcast of the season in Daytona to the worst broadcast in Kentucky.

The follow the leader racing on a two groove track was drawn out. The lack of cautions turned it into a mono tone recital of the same song that most, not all, of the1.5 mile cookie cutter tracks have fallen into. Track position was everything. Fuel mileage was a must. And aero and handling were premium. In short the drivers raced the track and the inherent disadvantages of the car of today rather than other teams and drivers. When it is viewed in light of the full day test on Thursday, the true impact of the poor race becomes clear. Changes are needed to the car if we are to ever return to the type of racing that made that NASCAR a household word.

The final observation of this disaster of a weekend is the obvious passing the buck of responsibility in regards to the Kentucky. NASCAR says it’s our job to bring the show. We brought the show we put on a race. The track says roads are not our responsibility our responsibility is to provide the track and the date. The state is responsible for the roads. The state says we gave you millions in tax abatement’s and you built seats without making accommodations for the people who would sit in them.

All three seem to be missing the point here. People who worked hard for the 170 dollars for a ticket to see the race were left out in the cold in some cases literally. The disappointment of children and adults across the board for this race is huge. Many are saying they will never go to Kentucky again.

This is the heart of racing country. With the current situation of ratings and empty seats, can NASCAR truly afford to have another half empty cookie cutter track on its schedule? Can the state of Kentucky afford the hit it will take in the department of tourism over the black eye for their highway system? Can Kentucky Speedway truly afford the loss of revenue and to start its life in Cup racing with the reputation of being the race weekend that never happened and the track that should never have had a date? In my opinion, the answer to all of the above is NO. But only time will tell how the fans will be compensated for this fiasco, will arrogance and greed take precedent over loyalty and devotion? Tune in next year to find out. Same traffic jam channel same traffic jam time.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ * * * * ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Congratulations to Kyle Busch on his Camping World Truck Series win and his Sprint Cup victory.

Congratulations to Brad Keselowski on his Nationwide Series win.

That said, to all the competitors in all the series thanks for giving us everything you have to give, you are our heroes. Most importantly, thanks to all the families who shared their loved ones with us so we could cheer our favorite driver and favorite teams. You are the true heroes of the sport and we are forever in your debt.

Many Thanks to Jim Utter and Bob Pockgrass for their contributions to this piece via Twitter, you guys are an inspiration.

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Kentucky Speedway Fiasco

Filed under: Uncategorized — Scott Voight @ 9:11 am

I have sat in traffic at both Atlanta Motor Speedway and Michigan for hours. Kentucky has had this problem from its inception. Two years ago my girlfriend sat in traffic for 4 hours trying to get home in Cincinatti. This was due to the parking attendants not letting her parking area go until other areas were empty. It has always had a poor plan of action and these things should have been addressed before recieving a cup date. The State police were always useless sitting in their cars instead of directing traffic. This shows Kentucky Speedway is under poor management from the top to bottom.

Here is what other fans had to say courtesy of

As a ticket scalper made his way up Ky. 35 selling tickets to Saturday’s Quaker State 400, a man shouted, “I’ll buy those tickets if you can guarantee that I get to the race on time.”

The race wouldn’t start for five more hours, and the track was just 3 miles away, but the scalper was quick to reply: “I don’t know if I can.”

The comment was made in jest, but the traffic jam getting to Kentucky Speedway left many less than lighthearted as they sat in traffic for several hours. The nearly never-ending stream of cars finally began to clear up close to 9 p.m., well after the race began, but that didn’t mean the problem was solved. Some drivers tweeted that they were turned away at the gate because no more parking was available.

From his owner’s suite, Bruton Smith told the Kentucky Enquirer that as many as 20,000 fans didn’t get in because “traffic is horrendous.”

Kentucky Speedway general manager Mark Simen dinger said track officials did not expect such traffic congestion.

“We’re learning a lot today,” he said. “I know that’s probably not a lot of consolation for somebody who was stuck in all the traffic for hours, but we have gone to school on this.”

Simendinger said the bottleneck was at Interstate 71’s Exit 57 onto Ky. 35, the road that runs by the Speedway.

“I think we’ve got to take a hard look at that and how we deal with that and alleviate some of that” traffic, he said. “Because the amount of traffic that we generated tonight, that spot certainly can’t handle.”

NASCAR driver Jimmie Johnson, who finished third in Saturday night’s race, suggested Kentucky Speedway put aside talk of improving the racetrack and pay more attention to the fans.

“Leave the surface alone on the racetrack and make sure that the fans have the experience they deserve to have,” Johnson said.

It got to the point that some fans pulled off the road miles before the track, parked their vehicles and walked. Property owners along Ky. 35 offered their land for parking, charging $20. Some people then had to walk nearly 2 miles to the track.

“I’ve been to many, many races here, and this is the worst one I’ve been to for getting in the track,” Ryan Vaughn of Cincinnati said.

NASCAR fans took to social media to show their frustration, dubbing the mass traffic jam “Carmageddon.”

Many said the origin of the problem was parking; they thought track officials lacked a solid plan to help move cars into the lots. Some drivers were even turned away from lots where they were supposed to park and forced to search for spots elsewhere.

“They weren’t flagging people in and parking them right,” Vaughn said. “There was no direction getting them in there. Everyone was just standing.”

Vaughn was caught in traffic on Interstate 71 for nearly 6 miles before he made it to the track, he said.

NASCAR driver Denny Hamlin tweeted at 3 p.m. that he, too, was stuck in traffic and worried he wouldn’t make the drivers’ meeting at 5:30.

Sen. David Williams, the Republican gubernatorial hopeful, never did make it to the track, the Kentucky Enquirer reported, even though he left Frankfort at 2 p.m. The trip normally takes 45 minutes.

John Hamilton of Louisville finally got off the interstate with 94 laps to go but opted to go to a nearby Indiana casino instead.

Even those coming from closer distances had issues. Greg Young of Lebanon camped in neighboring Sanders, which is typically a 10-minute drive from the Speedway. On Saturday, it took him two hours.

“They need to make the road in front of the track a one-way road that just takes people into the parking lots,” Young said.

That road, Speedway Boulevard, is two lanes with a center turn lane. All of the parking lots are on one side. Because of the setup, drivers on the other side of the road couldn’t turn into those lots.

Many speculated that track officials’ inexperience was a factor, noting it was the first time a Sprint Cup race was held at Kentucky Speedway. Earlier in the week, Si mendinger said the track had hired people with plenty of experience.

“Even though we might not have done a Sprint Cup Series race here, we’ve got a lot of Sprint Cup Series veterans helping with traffic management and just about every aspect,” he said Thursday. “We got a group who has done all those things at Atlanta Motor Speedway. They came here and coordinated our entire traffic effort.”

But as Saturday came and went, Simendinger acknowledged things didn’t go according to plan.

“Clearly it was beyond what we expected,” he said.

Read more:

I have never seen such a fiasco. At 3:00, we came to a complete stop 18 miles from the track. Ever the optimist, I still thought there was no way it would take 4 1/2 hours to go 18 miles. At 8:30, we finally came to exit 55 only to be met by another fiasco. Kentucky troopers just sitting in their squad cars instead of doing something useful like directing traffic, no signage for parking, people wandering aimlessly, the list goes on forever. Needless to say, by 9:00, we had turned around and started the 4 1/2 hour trip home, tickets intact. Never even got close enough to the track to hear the cars. I have been to Atlanta a few times and Indy once. Never as poorly planned as this was. As fans, we need to complain loud and long to Nascar. Kentucky Speedway does not desesrve another shot at this. I know that they raked in enough money to hire people to direct traffic and pay for some signage. I would not make an attempt to go back if they gave me tickets and offered me a lap around the track with my driver. Nascar fans, we spent our hard earned money and they delivered nothing but disappointment and frustration. E-mail, write letters, make phone calls. Let’s show Kentucky Speedway that Nascar fans will not stand for being treated this way. It is our money that they are pocketing and we deserve to see a race, not be left sitting in traffic because they are too greedy or stupid (maybe both) to direct traffic!

Read more:

they have hosted the Nationwide race for three years and the ARCA series!!! They should have had this down!!!! The only being allowed to carry in 1 bottle of water. PURE GREED, then they ran out of all drinks, food…I will never return

Read more:

The number was WAY more than 20,000 people. Heck, there were at least 20,000 CARS that didn’t make it to the Speedway on time.

We left the north side of Cincinnati at 2:05pm EDT and were making great time until the I-75/I-71 split. Signage was horrible and there was a complete lack of Traffic Control Officers. We finally got into one of the “back 40” lots off Exit 55 (after seeing a sign at Exit 57 that all parking should proceed to Exit 55…) at 8:35pm EDT. This was an 85 mile drive, by the way. 6 1/2 hours – most of it stopped and with no guidance. The Speedway’s own radio station (1620AM) only played an endless loop announcing the weekend’s events. No help at all!

Parking shuttles couldn’t move any faster than the visitors, as they did not have dedicated lanes. We started to walk from our impromptu parking spot when we realized we might not make it to the Main Gate before the Checkered Flag flew. We walked back to our car, proceeded to leave the grounds as the race reached the half-way point.

I’ve driven to a Daytona 500 and a Brickyard 400 – both of which hold far more spectators than Kentucky Speedway. Those facilities know how to handle traffic and move people. I’ve also driven to an August Cup race at Michigan, which doesn’t benefit from the same proximity to an Interstate highway. Those folks know how to move traffic. All lanes are commandeered for inbound traffic prior to and outbound traffic following a race.

Anyway, we didn’t get to use our two $110 tickets and are really left with a bad taste in our mouths. I felt very bad for families with young kids who didn’t make it on time. I also felt bad for the poor folks simply trying to get to Louisville (or parts south) that got stuck for hours in traffic.

A truly poor performance by the Kentucky Speedway and Kentucky State Patrol / Gallatin County Sheriff’s Department.

Read more:

Update after a few hours of sleep:

The more I think about this, the more I wonder if Mr. Smith secretly wanted a trainwreck to give him leverage. He seemed very prepared with his glib criticisms of I-71. As if to say; “See? I had to refund $2 – 4 million in tickets, now build me my Interstate!” (a much more costly proposition than any one-time refund).

It should be pointed out that the log jam did NOT begin on I-71. It began on the inadequate access roads, lack of sufficient queuing area and poorly designed and grossly understaffed parking lots at the Kentucky Speedway.

If this is true – and Mr. Smith used tens of thousands of loyal NASCAR fans as pawns in his game, it is even more outrageous.

Read more:

Oh yeah, and comments from Track Officials like; “We sure learned a lot” and “Things will be different next year” are of little comfort to those of us who wasted a day, hard earned money and gallons of gasoline.

Read more:

May 10, 2011

Social Media in NASCAR White Paper

Filed under: Uncategorized — Scott Voight @ 12:13 pm

Social Media in NASCAR

White Paper
Professor Shaluta
Journalism 300
Feb. 29, 2011
Scott Voight


The concept of social media in NASCAR is diverse. From the corporate level to the fan level there are so many avenues it can be used in. Here are some other ways social media is and can be used.
• Communications from NASCAR corporate offices to fans. (tickets, schedules, events, announcements and more)
• Communications between corporate and the media.
• Communication to teams.
• Teams connecting with the fans.
• Sponsors communication with the fans.
• Tracks communication with fans and competitors.
• Teams relating news to the media.
• Fan blogs, and twitters.
• Drivers communicating with fans on web sites, Facebook, Twitter, and through blogs.
As you can see there is a lot of communicating, informing, and connecting that can go on. There are three areas to concentrate on; corporate communication with the media, team and driver connections to fans and new ideas that need to be incorporated into NASCAR to better its’ position as an elite sport.
Problem Statement
Is NASCAR using social media effectively? Are there ways NASCAR can use this growing medium to increase its’ fan base and build its brand.
Media and NASCAR has been married since its’ inception, beginning with newspapers in local markets to fledgling radio stations covering the sport.
In 1961 ABC began covering the sport with their “Wide World of Sports” on Sundays. It was not long after that NASCAR negotiated its first multi-million dollar deal with the 1979 Daytona 500 to be telecast live in its entirety. (A) For years the television coverage jumped between networks until ESPN was created. Although CBS continued to cover the races, ESPN created shows to give an in-depth analysis of the races before and after the weekend events.
With the advent of the internet many sports did not how to use it to their advantage, but NASCAR did by being one of the first to create web pages for NASCAR corporate and enticed teams to create their own pages as well.
NASCAR has always been a fan oriented sport. In her blog Give NASCAR a Chance, Amy Joe Martin wrote, “Drivers are unusually accessible. I noticed this is a similar characteristic of UFC on this front. Drivers do fan Q&A’s and autograph sessions THE DAY of the race. The Daytona 500 happens to be the biggest day of the year for NASCAR. I don’t think Brett Favre was chatting it up with thousands of fans the day of the Super Bowl.” (B)
After a few years, more and more web sites dedicated to NASCAR were created from online journalist like “NASCAR .com”, “Jayski”, “Catch Fence”, “That’s Racin” and many more.
During the 2008 NASCAR PR Summit every team was instructed to create facebook pages for their teams. They were also instructed to get connected with,,,, and
We learned about,, and
At that point we were saturating our use in the technology available. (C) Randy Posten wrote, in his article NASCAR embraces changing media landscape, in 2009 NASCAR announced they are going to invite the top independent NASCAR-related websites to join a newly-formed “NASCAR Citizen Journalists Media Corps. This means, “NASCAR is providing this group of new media access to cover the sport while maintaining their independence.” (D)
In another press release in 2010 Poston wrote an article called, NASCAR Announces New Integrated Marketing Communications Department where a new direction is sought “This is a major investment for the company at a critical time and represents an elevation of this highly-important function for NASCAR and the industry. We are confident this evolved approach will yield immediate and long-term value for NASCAR, its media and business partners and the industry as a whole,” said Brian France, NASCAR’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. (E)
Previous Options
Looking at what has been done so far in NASCAR there seems to be a concentration in communicating with fans. However, there is much more that can be done. It requires thinking outside the box.
Recommended Ideas

Belief 1

NASCAR has a plethora of talented writers and public relations professionals that can write proper AP style press releases for instant release to the media. They do this at NASCAR Media to some extent; however, they only cover highlights of the top drivers.
Every driver has a fan base and would like a wrap up of what their driver did throughout the race. The high-dollar teams already do this and do it well, but the underfunded teams cannot afford coverage like this. NASCAR has wondered how to hoot the 18-35 year old demographic. Here is how. The biggest percentages of drivers in underfunded teams are the young guns, the new blood. They are earning their stripes getting seat time until a top job becomes available. They build their followings as they are just starting out. This is especially true in the lesser known truck series and the Nationwide series. This can be a big deal to fans and drivers alike. Each driver should have a biography, statistics, up to date information of appearances, driving schedule, sponsor links, and live twitter feeds from the driver team and PR manager.
There can be live streams during the race showing the drivers’ track location in relation to the leader. It can have a live dash board with camera feeds with forward view, telemetry, inside the car views and from above and behind streaming footage as the events are running.
Streaming links can be used after the race to interview every driver with their views and a recap of their race.

Belief 2

During a race there are 43 cars going around the track. If the PR people act as runners in the pits (updating the media about what is happening with their car and what they are doing during a pit stop) and tweet what is going on with the driver’s car, more fans can follow their favorite driver and know what is going on, with up to the minute updates.
Right now the only people with technology to hear what is going on in the car are people who rent racing radios at the track.
Fans are at the mercy of the networks who telecast the races. The good ole boy system is in full effect depending on who covers the races. If it is Fox you get Michael Waltrip and his team shoved in your face to the point of favoritism, since his brother calls the races. If it is ESPN you get the Wallace’s until your blue in the face. How about the other competitors? Their teams deserve recognition too. As it is if you are not in the top teams you may not ever get mentioned.
Some drivers are capitalizing with tweet up’s and U-tube videos to get into races. Every year NASCAR has it’s equivalent to the All-Star game, which is a race featuring the drivers who won races the past year, past NASCAR Champions, and 2 drivers for what is left over. There is a race that all the drivers who haven’t won last year race in, to see who will get in The All-Star Race. The second way to get into the All Star event is by fan vote.
Here is where social media found a new means to be used. This is before American Idol. Several smart drivers made videos pleading their case, others had a tweetup. (F) reported, “Richard Petty Motorsports teammates A.J. Allmendinger and Elliott Sadler took part in Twitter gatherings at Darlington in which fans waved signs urging others to vote their driver into the May 22 race at Charlotte Motor Speedway.” “Truex has a video pitch, which made its debut last week ahead of the Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway.” The article went on to report, RCR spokeswoman Christine Brownlow says the team keeps the names of Burton and Bowyer out front as often as possible. “Obviously, it’s a big deal for our sponsors to get our cars in the All-Star race,” she said. “I have a lot of fans say they see updates and vote every hour.” These are mart ways to use the social media to sway fans and a fun way for fans to participate.
However the article mentions an example of twitter going off course, some in NASCAR can tweet too much. Darrell Waltrip recently apologized for scooping Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s announcement he’d drive the No. 3, a number made famous by his late father, in the Nationwide Series race at Daytona in July. In responsible hands social media can be a great way to reach fans who may not be reachable in other ways.
Belief 3

Is there more than twitter? According to article few drivers are in on the craze some who are “As of March, Montoya was the NASCAR driver with the biggest following (131,899 people) followed by Nationwide Series driver Danica Patrick (109,288). @MW55 (Michael Waltrip) leads the Baby Boomers with 34,000. Drivers’ wives also are getting into the action and attracting plenty of followers. Delana Harvick leads the way with 20,000 followers.” (G)
More drivers have twitter but do not use it correctly. This week I followed Kurt Busch to see what he had to tweet. All I got was his departing message, “leaving for the track.” During the weekend a short blurb about qualifying and another one after the race and that was it. should post all the drivers twitter links. I know they have them because they post it for the media on the NASCAR Media site instead. I guess they want the writers to take the quotes and use them in their articles. I guess (try to use something else other than I guess) the public cannot handle what the drivers have to say. Recently Denny Hamlin was fined by NASCAR for what he tweeted after the Bud Shootout. NASCAR keeps a tight rein on the sport and wants to keep its wholesome squeaky clean image. This may be why they do not release the twitter links. That will have to change in the future because the information will become common knowledge in the future. When I go to Hamlin’s web site (H) I see RSS feeds, Twitter, Facebook, e-mail and news feeds proving my point fans can find ways to stay connected.


As stated at the beginning of the paper, NASCAR is always on the cutting edge of media and that includes social media as well. The area they can improve is thinking outside the box. Taking the available technologies and using them in new and exciting ways. Reaching fans is their number one objective today, so use it to connect every fan to their favorite driver. Give them an exclusive look at racing through the eyes of their beholders. There are 43 separate races that happen during a race and even more trying to make races include them all in the coverage, make it a personal experience for each and every fan. That is the future of social media today.

C. Information taken from the 2009 PR NASCAR Summit Resource Guide By

Tim Earnhart speaker review

Filed under: Uncategorized — Scott Voight @ 12:04 pm

Speaker Review Paper
Scott Voight
Professor Shaluta
Journalism 300
May 1, 2011

On April 20, 2011 Tim Earnhart, who is founder, principal, CEO and Creative Director of Werkshop Marketing spoke to our class. Earnhart businesses are located in, Nashville, TN and Bowling Green, KY. His business Werkshop Marketing is a fully independent, full-service brand marketing and advertising firm.
Earnhart is a 1995 Graduate of WKU, with a degree in advertising and marketing. Earnhart has 17 years of experience in the business and is a partner in two other businesses besides Werkshop Marketing named: The Liberty Group and Premier Partners. Earnhart has lived in Bowling Green since 1991 and has been an active member of the community earning him in 2004 the Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce Small Business Person of the Year.
He began speaking about how fast the industry is growing and how the influx of social media has changed the business of public relations and marketing. Technology has played a major part in this change in the last 5 years especially.
His passion began while he was a sophomore in high school he got to tour the Wieden+Kennedy ad agency that was handling the Nike account. At home he began dreaming of owning his own agency or work for Wieden+Kennedy. As a result of that trip that night he created the name of the agency he would own in the future. Growing up in an artistic family atmosphere helped to develop the skill set to pursue his career choice.
When he graduated from WKU he was working for Wendy’s at a franchise level who operated 32 restaurants thought the state. He stayed there until he purchased and rejuvenated Liberty Group in February of 2000 becoming a small business owner. As entrepreneur he learned how to run a business. As a 20 year-old it was a great learning experience. His time there gave him creditability, networking and taught him how to develop the skills to meet people and create lasting relationships. The lessons learned would stay with him and prepare him to take the next step. In 2005 he founded Earnhart and Friends which was the business name he dreamed up after that life altering visit to Wieden+Kennedy.
Later Earnhart would meet Holly Rooks Grenvicz, in 2009. By 2010 he acquired her company Fresh Dirt Marketing which was a marketing strategy service because, together they could complement what each company was doing and stop having to outsource the work thus, doing it all in-house. He also acquired another company in Nashville, so all the pieces were complete to form Werkshop. Now he could take clients from discovery, marketing plan strategies, branding, and implementation giving them a full service ad agency, thus fulfilling his childhood dream. Quoting the Werkshop philosophy, “Brands aren’t born — they’re built. The message, the medium, the motive: they are what you make of them, and they’re all critical to your success.
At Werkshop, building is what we do best. From a foundation of thorough research and planning, all the way through to the shine and sparkle of design and language, we spend our days (and plenty of nights) crafting distinctive, directed brands for a wide gamut of clients. Whether you’re a startup or a Fortune 500, we have the tools and the tactics to increase awareness of your brand.
It’s our hobby, our passion, our meaning of life: To take the great things you’ve got going, and frame them in a way that potential customers find irresistible.”
The name Werkshop was born because they viewed themselves as a work shop. A place a client gets a full service agency that can handle you campaign from start to finish. The backwards E in the name was used for a few reasons, one was the name workshop was already taken, a second was it could represent the old Earnhart and friends and lastly since he was born is Switzerland in the German section, the word work in German is spelled werk.
His agency is filled with all types of professions from PR people, marketing people, advertising people, graphic artist and business oriented professions, if you want to work in an agency there is a place for everyone to work as a team for a common goal.
The bottom line of what Earnhart had to say and stressed was to find a passion and pursue it. You do not have to make the most money to be happy. Happiness is found in the work you do. You have to love what you do to be good at it. Try different internships to find your passion, don’t settle.

Social Media In NASCAR survey paper

Filed under: Uncategorized — Scott Voight @ 12:01 pm

Social Media Survey Paper

By Scott Voight

Professor Shaluta
Journalism 300
April. 06, 2011

The purpose of this study is to analyze how NASCAR fans view the way public relations practitioners use social media to communicate with them. There are 3 areas to focus on Facebook, Twitter and the use of web sites.
Web pages can be used to broadcast races and events leading to races. Provide information for fans about their favorite drivers or teams. Provide statistical information, and be used to sell merchandise. There are many other applications in addition to what is mentioned, but for this study these will be used.
Twitter is new to NASCAR teams; it is in its infancy stage. Teams use twitter very little and have not yet realized its full potential. The applications used are purely social in nature. Some drivers talk about where they are and what they are doing, others use it to announce appearances. But most use it to inform fans or one thing or another. Twitter has many more possibilities that will be discussed later.
Facebook in NASCAR began after a PR summit in 2009 when the sanctioning body mandated all teams develop and maintain a Facebook page. The purpose was to provide new avenues of access to fans. NASCAR is a sport that prides itself on its service and accessibility to its fans. This was certainly to a new aspect of communications from the teams to the fans; however, it has only been use and in social and media application.
The first question I asked was how the fans rated the overall coverage of NASCAR through social media avenues? I did this because I wanted to get a general pulse of what is being done and to see if the fans knew what I was talking about with the term social media. I will explain further later. In general I got good ratings across the board. I also asked as part of this question how we could improve the coverage. This is where I got only one suggestion relating to social media and that was about Linkedin the rest were either general answers or good job to excellent and a suggestion concerning operations and not related to social media at all.
I followed up the ice breakers with three questions where the person surveyed was able to rate each service from one to ten with ten being the best. They averaged out to be about a five point two rating for Facebook, a five point three for twitter and not surprisingly a seven for the web. There was a pattern though, the people who did not understand the opening question voted lower consistently than the ones who did. Although this survey is two short for an opinion I did find it interesting nonetheless. I gave another spot for comments but the feedback had no bearing on the survey.
The next question is of my greatest interest in the survey, because it will be at the heart of my synopsis for graduation. I wanted to find out if public relations people translated what is going on during the race to tweets, would there be a market to reach the fans in a new way. During the race there are 43 cars on the track all racing for pride and money; however, television coverage will only talk about 10 to 15 of them unless the car is involved in an incident. So how about the fans who are at home, if they could get updates through twitter about what their favorite drivers are doing , this could enhance the coverage and the overall experience of the NASCAR fan. The PR person can be the announcer right from pit-road; we do it already for the pit road journalist, so why not the fans? I got mixed results, it was almost 50- 50 if they would use this service if available the people who said not were not the ardent fan and did not attend or watch many races if any at all. With so few respondents (6) it is hard to tell if there would be a genuine interest, but I do listen to the fans outside the track and they are dying for more individualized team coverage.
The next questions went on to see what kind of fans they are that took the survey. The first asked which medium they would like to see more coverage from and they all agreed on all three social media sites. I asked how often they watched, went to races in person and how often they visit sites to catch up on what is going on. I also asked their age and sex to get an idea of what kind of fan I was looking at. They all were from the three demographics’ as far as age 35-45, 45-55, and 55 and older. I had two females one was the most ardent fan, according to how often she went to races and watched them.
No, this was not the most thorough survey taken by far, I spent most of the time requesting to get into social groups and I am still waiting for most. I tweeted so many invitations to take part in the survey, but to get a good response I would have needed a few more weeks. I received six responses in all.
I did get a sense of what some people think and that encouraged me. I wrote a nice explanation explaining what this survey was about and also added more in the description blank of the survey. I tried to reach where the fan base is the strongest but regretfully those sites were the ones I am still waiting for access to. It shows the people who run these sites do not actively monitor their sites. The biggest site that fans visit was Jayski and they would not post the survey. Other avenues could have produced better results, but it would have taken much more time.

I think a social media survey may not have been the only way I would have gathered the info, a mail survey in conjunction would have gotten better results. Hand outs with paid postage at tracks throughout the circuit may have also bolstered response to the survey.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Scott Voight @ 12:00 pm

Content Analysis of Red Bull Energy Drink
Scott Voight
Professor Shaluta
Journalism 300
Feb. 24, 2011

In the fall 2009 study, there were 225,887,000 adults in the United States. 16,550,000 people drank Red Bull’s product. This equates out to 7.3% of all adults drank Red Bull in the last six months. The most significant drinker of the product is the adult 18- 49 age group. Of the 134,084,000 possible customers 14,747,000 consumed at least one Red Bull Energy Drink. Adult‘s between the age of 18-49 are 10.9% more likely to drink Red Bull than the general population. The second most significant age group is 25-54 with 126,879,000 possible drinkers. Of those 10,922,000 consume the product. Men out drink the women in all age groups significantly.

Mediamark Internet Reporter. Mediamark Research, Inc. (Fall 2009). Product
Energy Drinks. Retrieved February 22, 2011 from
MRI Plus database: tp://

May 4, 2011

NASCAR Branding Site

Filed under: Uncategorized — Scott Voight @ 11:58 am

To go to the NASCAR Branding Site click HERE

April 11, 2011

Anouncement Press Release

Filed under: Writting For Public Relations Class — Scott Voight @ 9:55 pm

Announcement of program

March 21, 2011

Rate my Blog

Filed under: WKUJ300-211 — Scott Voight @ 9:20 am

Please rate my blog here.

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