Tonight in Unpacks: NASCAR may not employ its drivers, but it recognizes that it needs them to better promote the sport. Sources tell SBJ’s Adam Stern that the sanctioning body is in discussions to give drivers a good reason to do more media appearances and in-person events -- more money.
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Steve Cohen shifts his strategy with the Mets after building up record payroll
The crowds come out in Baltimore for Yankees-Orioles series
Commanders fans show love for new ownership with big practice crowds
Buffalo fans continue getting behind the Bills, and Kim Pegula returns to practice
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Sources: NASCAR may invest millions into driver incentive program
NASCAR is in discussions about investing millions of dollars into a new driver incentive program that would start in 2025 and reward the sport’s leading spokespeople for promoting it more, sources tell SBJ's Adam Stern.
Drivers are not NASCAR employees because -- unlike franchised stick and ball leagues -- NASCAR teams do not own the league. But this program is a recognition by NASCAR, privately owned by the France family, that the sport needs to be marketed better and that its most prominent and influential spokespeople should be at the forefront of that effort.
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The NASCAR Hall of Fame vote is set for Wednesday, and there is a lot of chatter about whether seven-time Cup champion Jimmie Johnson will be a unanimous choice.
He likely won't and here's the reason — there are people who likely believe he shouldn't be on the ballot.
A driver is eligible in the third year after retiring. Johnson "retired" from Cup racing after the 2020 season but has returned this year to run select races.
Count me among those who think that his racing this year should impact his eligibility. I'm a voter Wednesday, but I'll take the view that because the nominating committee decided he was eligible and put him on the ballot, I vote based on the ballot and not whether he should be eligible.
But it is quite likely that reasoning will keep someone from voting for him. There are no guidelines for voters so while I'd disagree with that philosophy, I could see it being a reason not to vote for Johnson.
In the end, does it really matter if he's unanimous? No. He'll be enshrined with the 2024 class. But it will certainly create a little bit of controversy and a little bit of stir.
They Said It
"We moved from irrelevant to relevant. The next step is to try to be contenders. You get to the contender status by winning races." — Brad Keselowski on RFK Racing after Chris Buescher's Richmond win