ESPNs Outside the Lines Examines Economys Impact on NASCAR: Sundays Outside the Lines (ESPN 9:30am/et; ESPNEWS 12noon/et) will examine how NASCAR is being affected by todays struggling economy. Transporting equipment and personnel cross country has never been costlier due to escalating fuel prices, which have also impacted fans traveling to races. The economy has made sponsors more vital, yet hard to secure, prompting long-time team owners to seek outside investors: Boston Red Sox owner John Henry became co-owner of Roush Fenway Racing (2006); Montreal Canadiens owner George Gillette became primary owner of Gillette Evernham Motorsports (2007); Boston Ventures, an equity firm, took control of Petty Enterprises (May 2008). Mike Massaro reports.
From Sundays Outside the Lines: "We could see six or so teams shut down if they are not funded. Nobody is going to run this out of their own pocket for too long, myself included, so it is a serious situation". -- Doug Yates, owner of Yates Racing
"Before, let's say five years ago, a top echelon team, you were looking at $10-15 million. All of a sudden, now, I'm told, because of driver salaries and all the other factors that affected the cost of going racing, that top tier team now is $24-30 million" -- Larry Camp, motor sports marketing expert
"I know this is a sports story, but this is not a sport anymore, except on Sunday afternoon from about 1-to-5 in the afternoon. It's a business six days a week". Kyle Petty, driver for Petty Enterprises and son of NASCAR legend Richard Petty
"We are committed to getting through this year, but I got to be able to see into 09 something a little more positive than I see today. I think well make it, but the economy and the struggles the other teams are seeing are the same as ours. It is a tough, tough world out there right now in NASCAR". Doug Yates.(ESPN PR)(6-27-2008)