HEAR THE NEWS?
A STUDY by the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health found that NASCAR fans are exposed to dangerously high levels of noise. According to NIOSH standards, the maximum sound level to which workers should be exposed is 85 decibels. In tests at Indy, Bristol and Kentucky speedways, NIOSH determined that NASCAR racing subjects fans, drivers and crews to up to 140 decibels. Drivers and crews wear earplugs, of course. The message of the NIOSH study is loud and clear: Fans should too.
PRETTY IN PINK
TOYOTA'S SPONSAFY Your Ride campaign provided some of the most entertaining ads of the year. Meant to encourage fans to create their own race car design schemes on the Toyota Racing website, the ads' fictional story line led Toyota driver Kyle Busch to come to the Nationwide race at Richmond in September in a pink fire suit and driving a pink race car. Both were decorated with images of hearts, kittens, bunnies and baby seals, as well as the words I LOVE YOU. In the race, which Kevin Harvick won, Busch drew a pit-road penalty and finished ninth—sending the Man in Pink home feeling blue.
BUT IS IT ART?
IT MAY be time to put to rest the tired image of NASCAR drivers as uncultured rednecks. Just look at the oil painting A Man and His Monkey. The man in question is two-time Cup champ Tony Stewart; the monkey is Mojo, who traveled with Stewart from 2004 to '07. They're posed in leather chairs, legs crossed and wearing matching smoking jackets. The painting, created for a recent Armor All ad, was auctioned by Stewart to raise money for his foundation, which aids critically ill children, injured race drivers and animal-protection organizations. Stewart got the monkey off his block for $2,565.
READY FOR PRIME TIME?
ACCORDING TO a Deadline Hollywood report, NBC is developing a NASCAR-themed drama. The show, (working title: The Crew) would revolve around "the family of distinctly different 'brothers' on a NASCAR racing team who have their own lives and dreams, opportunities and problems—but as a team share a singular goal to be the best." Word is that NBC is negotiating with NASCAR to use its tracks and race footage, which should lend some verisimilitude. Still...racing brothers? Who'd believe that? (That's the Allisons, above.)