To the Editor:
Win on Sunday, sell on Monday? Guess again.
As the Big 3 wonder how they're going to keep the lights on, their marketing gurus continue to be good at coming up with smoke screens to justify motorsports budgets that equal the GNP of some small countries. Too bad they aren't as good at using racing to sell cars.
In the 1960s, I was a gofer on a factory-backed drag racing team. Forty years later, I'm still working in racing, and have watched its power to sell cars disappear.
Before the squawking starts, I don't deny the popularity of motorsports - just that racing, as the domestics do it today, doesn't sell cars.
The problem, as I see it, is that rather than do racing that can sell cars, the marketing experts focus on TV racing.
This isn't a racing witch hunt, but face it - TV race cars don't even resemble the cars in the showroom. Take NASCAR: The "stock" cars are retrofit to rear-wheel drive, carburetors, eight cylinders, rotor-ignitions, two doors, blah-blah.
Drag racing is as bad. The most naive consumer knows he can't buy a 320-mph, supercharged, 500-cubic-inch Hemi-powered, nitro-burning, plastic-bodied Monte Carlo or Mustang. Don't read that to mean you can identify the makes and models - you can't.
I'm not saying car companies should stop racing. Actually, I believe they should keep the same budgets and do more racing - but do the kind that sells cars. Maybe the motorsports marketing gurus should ask themselves if they're in the business of racing or selling cars.
RFTS Highspeed Marketing
Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio