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Need help on a research paper, please help!


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#1 B4RSK

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Posted 01 October 2002 - 13:41

Hi guys, i need help on a research paper topic. My school assigns us a research paper on American Studies in order to graduate high school. For my topic i picked American Motorsports (mainly on Indy Racing League and Nascar.) My thesis is The spirit of racing and sportsmanship in American Motorsports Racing is being dominated over by entertainment business, sponsership and money. I know some of you out there might not agree with my thesis, but its too late to change please help! Or please tell me if my topic is totally meaningless. But i really need help!
What i need are history, articles, facts and opinions that supports this thesis. Any help or comments will be appreciated! Thanks!
Justin

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#2 Ray Bell

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Posted 01 October 2002 - 13:47

What you need is Buford...

If he's not too busy... and maybe Mike Argetsinger too.

#3 Dennis David

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Posted 01 October 2002 - 15:15

I would take a look at NASCAR and the France family. A search through the Internet should be sufficient to find what you need plus there should be a number of books available at your local library. You remember that big building where all the geeks hang out and someone is always telling you to lower your voice? You have been there haven't you? :lol:

#4 B4RSK

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Posted 01 October 2002 - 15:32

Thanks Dennis, what do you mean by the France family though? I had been kind of searching the net, but my thesis ain't too much of a popular topic in forums or news. That's why i want to see if anyone here had been through what i'm searching for. Yes i had been to the library and trying to be one of those geeks there = ) but my library in school sucks, they only have 1 book bout nascar and it was published in the 70's! nothing too updated that i can use for my paper! Anyway thanks for all the tip!

#5 Dennis David

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Posted 01 October 2002 - 15:42

The France family owns NASCAR. I did a short search on "NASCAR and the France family" and found loads of stuff. Try Google using other combinations such as "The business of NASCAR". Your post reminded me of my school days so don't take offense. Where do you live? I agree that most HS libraries are sad affairs but any public library should have books on your subject.

BTW the topic you picked is very much in the news. You just have to hunt for it a little.

#6 petefenelon

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Posted 01 October 2002 - 17:14

Originally posted by Dennis David
The France family owns NASCAR. I did a short search on "NASCAR and the France family" and found loads of stuff. Try Google using other combinations such as "The businesws of NASCAR". Your post reminded me of my school days so don't take offense. Where do you live? I agree that most HS libraries are sad affairs but any public library should have books on your subject.

BTW the topic you picked is very much in the news. You just have to hunt for it a little.



Compare and contrast the dominance the France family have in stock-car racing to that that the McMahons have in pro-wrestling... (although I don't think any of the Frances are steroid-users on the same level as, er, "amateur bodybuilder" Vince McMahon!)

Something I wrote earlier this year:

> Nobody has to watch. That's not the point atall. The point is not
> manipulating the race to ensure that people watch. That way lies
> NASCAR and, ultimately, WWF.
>

I'd argue that NASCAR is already nearer the WWF than the FIA these days.

I mean -
- readily identifiable "good guys" and "bad guys" with silly nicknames,
just like the WWF.
- controlled by one autocratic, slightly cranky family (just like the
WWF, though I think there's less anabolic steroids and boob jobs in the
France family than the McMahons)
- regular "screw jobs" from the organisers to make sure the right guys
"win" (oops. sorry. perfectly legitimate aero rule changes and yellow
flags because of "debris on the track") - just like the WWF.
- a points structure that's almost incomprehensible, like the WWF's
"rules" for who gets a chance at the title.
- at least lately, plenty of car crashes in both!

Fortunately the WWF hasn't yet adopted restrictor plate rules to make
things boring. Instead, it has William Regal matches. :p

All we need is Richard Petty to come out of retirement and play Ric
Flair to the France family's McMahons, and the ghost of Ironhead to come
back to be their Hulk Hogan and the two would be indistinguishable.

Sure, I admire the WWF performers. I admire the NASCAR drivers too. They
all put in an amazing show and just as I'm willing to call any man
who'll be suplexed through a table onto concrete both brave and
foolish, I'll call any man who'll do 500 miles balls-to-the-wall
round Daytona with 40-odd rednecks brave and foolish. :)

What's this got to do with F1? At the moment, relatively little. But,
with Bernie going down the PPV and licensing-the-rights-to-everythign
route (which is how Vinny Mac makes his money) who knows....

Anyway, Forza Rob van Dam! Forza Dudley Boyz! Forza Chris Jericho! :)

pete



#7 ry6

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Posted 01 October 2002 - 18:16

A few issues to maybe "raise a few hackles?"

Motor racing probably started off as a sport (for the very wealthy) or a means of manusfacturers and those involved with supplying the manufacturers with parts (tyres, plugs, fuel) to promote product.

So it was always somewhere between a "not for profit" sport, a professional sport and a business.

In modern times Formula One has certainly, to my mind, become something of a WWF, but it sets out to be a platform for product promotion, and also supplies the "fans" with entertainment.

I think the sport part is no longer applicable.

#8 Ray Bell

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Posted 01 October 2002 - 21:50

Really, there's plenty available right here...

As I said, you need a bit of Buford and Argetsinger help...

Use the search feature, put in each name as the poster and nominate 'show as posts' in the options, use the keywords George and/or CART for Buford's posts, NASCAR for Mike Argetsinger's...

#9 Buford

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Posted 01 October 2002 - 22:11

Ray suggested I contribute but I really don't know what to say. In my experience, racing changed away from being mostly sport to being almost all business between the 1950s to date. I think a major reason was the increase in technology knowledge. Guys racing Formula Vees now know more about chassis setups and vehicile dynamics than the top professional F1 and Indy Car teams knew in the mid-1970s.

The technology boom that took place in the 1970s that revolutionized the sport in terms of speed and kicked off many of the safety concerns that have ultimately resulted in chicanes, restrictor plates, barn door wings at a set angle and rev limiters, and sanatized cookie cutter point and squirt race tracks, had to be paid for. At the point race purses stopped paying the costs, it turned business. When was that? Early to mid 1970s. There is a thread "Bob Anderson" on the front page of the Nostolgia Forum where Doug Nye posted an interview he had with Anderson (independant F1 racer) where Anderson talks about how he financed his team (which was just his wife and himself and a couple buddies) through full seasons of F1 on starting money, and minor accessory sponsorships.

This was mid 1960s. So you could still do F1 then with just a wife, two buddies, and a car you bought with an underpowered engine. He also comments there will not be many like him for long because it was almost impossible to do. No kidding, huh?

So I would say it was technology, and the need to fund it, which screwed up racing in general. Drivers became interchangeable, cars became the same, tracks were emasculated or abandoned for weak substitutes, budgets crossed the million dollar a year mark, then quadrupled, then blew into the over 100 million a year range in F1 and 15 million or more range in NASCAR and CART. Sport got lost somewhere along the way.

#10 Ray Bell

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Posted 01 October 2002 - 23:44

Not the ever-increasing need to justify the sponsor's high level of spending driving the push for that technology?

That's a chicken or the egg argument, I know... but a valid one.

#11 Buford

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Posted 02 October 2002 - 02:38

Nah, if they scam the sponsor out of more than they actually need, the owner is more than happy to put it in his pocket.

#12 dbw

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Posted 02 October 2002 - 06:14

"the spirit of racing and sportsmanship in american motorsports racing is being dominated over by entertainment business,sponsorship and money"

hmm....true in the teens,twentys,thirtys.....until the present day...is there any differance between NASCAR the WWF and the traveling racing "circuses"promoted in the very earliest days of the century?....the only addition i can think of is television.... :down:

#13 ensign14

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Posted 02 October 2002 - 08:02

NASCAR had nicknames and characters long before the WWF (or the NWA) started on them - Lil' Joe? Curtis Turner vs Lee Petty? Herb Thomas being wrecked by Speedy Thompson? Kiekhafer's stable as a prototype Four Horsemen?

And you had NO chance of getting into European racing for a long long time without patronage, it's just come full circle. Even to the point of Damon Hill et al getting into F1 via test driving, reminiscent of the likes of Nazzaro getting their jobs via mechanicry.

And, Pete, what's wrong with William Regal matches? I should give you a bloody good hiding, sunshine.

#14 B4RSK

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Posted 02 October 2002 - 08:03

Thanks for all your help guys! Really needed them and really appreciated them! Now it will be a lot easier to start my paper! Thank you so much!