Monday, September 26, 2011

Sylvania 300

Dale had a solid day up until the end. Having a tire go down, he had to pit and finished 17th, moving him back to 8th in points. I had to work today, but I have the race recorded and will watch it tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

New Dale Jr ESPN commercial

Junior on First Take

Message from Dale Jr to JR Nation

Diet Mountain Dew to sponsor No. 88 in 2012

After four years with Amp Energy as primary sponsor, Pepsi wants a change.

Four years after making waves in NASCAR by signing on as the primary sponsor of Dale Earnhardt Jr., Amp Energy is phasing its brand off the car of the sport's most popular driver.

PepsiCo is expected to announce this week that Diet Mountain Dew will replace its Amp Energy brand as Earnhardt's primary sponsor for 16 races in 2012. The company has the primary sponsorship rights for 20 total races on the No. 88 car, and Amp will serve as an associate sponsor while also appearing on the hood for the other four races. The National Guard will continue to be the primary sponsor for the other 18 races Earnhardt drives.

The shift is a major downsizing in the sponsorship between Amp, an upstart energy drink, and
Earnhardt, the sport's biggest driver. Pepsi, which owns Amp and Mountain Dew, has one year left on its contract with Earnhardt and Hendrick Motorsports, and the company's executives believe Diet Mountain Dew, which is one of the fastest-growing soft drinks, stands to benefit more from Earnhardt than Amp.

"The story is really about opportunity," said George Cox, Mountain Dew brand manager. "With Dew, Dale and NASCAR there's this awesome marriage. Dale is the embodiment of the person we're trying to target with Diet Dew. We wanted to tap into that equity Dew has in NASCAR and put it into overdrive with Dale."

Pepsi and Hendrick Motorsports are expected this week to unveil a new paint scheme for the No. 88 car for next year's Daytona 500. The unveiling comes just weeks after Earnhardt signed a five-year extension with Hendrick Motorsports that will keep him with the team until 2017.

Cox said Pepsi plans to focus on developing its marketing and activation plans for Diet Mountain Dew and won't begin discussing a possible renewal with Hendrick until next year. Its current agreement with Hendrick and Earnhardt runs through 2012, but the company has had a long-standing relationship with Hendrick that dates to 1996.

Amp Energy signed a deal with Hendrick Motorsports and Earnhardt in 2007, shortly after the team added Earnhardt to its stable in one of the sport's most anticipated free-agent signings. The sponsorship was valued at $25 million to $30 million and made the brand the primary sponsor for 20 races on the No. 88 Chevrolet.

At the time, Amp was the fifth-largest player in a fast-growing category, which then had more than $6 billion in annual sales. But the category's growth has stalled recently. The category added only 1 million new energy drink consumers between 2007 and 2009, compared with 9.3 million new consumers from 2005 to 2007, according to Mintel, a global market research company. Amp Energy has remained a small player in the category, generating an estimated $234 million for the past year across key retail channels for energy drinks except Wal-Mart, according to SymphonyIRI Group, a company that tracks retail sales across consumer packaged goods.

The shrinking number of new consumers made it difficult for Amp to justify the cost of the sponsorship. The brand also is planning to relaunch its product later this year and reposition it as an energy drink for older users, sources said.

By shifting the bulk of its marketing support of the driver from Amp to Diet Mountain Dew, Pepsi can save the Amp brand money and align Earnhardt with a brand he's already passionate about. Earnhardt is a fan of Mountain Dew and grew up drinking the soft drink in North Carolina. When Brian Vickers drove a retro Mountain Dew car in a 2006 Nationwide Series race, Earnhardt famously asked for some of the retro hats that the brand rolled out for the occasion.

Though not as prevalent, Amp Energy will continue to have an association with Earnhardt, which PepsiCo hopes can preserve the connection Amp made with NASCAR fans during the past four years.

"They're going to continue to speak to the NASCAR Amp drinker we've developed, but Amp is going through an evolution," Cox said. "We're not to a point of where we can talk about where we're going with that, but once it's public it will make sense how we're using the NASCAR platform going forward."

Geico 400

Dale Jr had somewhat of a good day, slowly moving up towards the front of the field by the end. Due to a few drivers in front of him running out of gas at the end, Dale finished 3rd and leaped into the thick of the chase and into 5th place. There's a bunch of articles and video that I will post.

Monday, September 12, 2011

I promised pictures .....

..... and I have found some!
These come from Getty Images and Action Sports Photography.

So happy Junior is in the chase!! WAY TO GO JUNEBUG!!!!

They look like little kids holding their die-cast cars.

That looks like fun!!
 (Although I've heard it stings like crazy if you get it in your eyes!)

Never Forget

I should have posted this yesterday and didn't get the chance.

To all those who lost someone in
NYC, at the Pentegon, or in Shanksville, PA,
know that you're in my thoughts and prayers.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Wonderful Pistachios 400

What a race!! Dale Jr was doing great until lap 8 when he got caught up in a wreck. Stevie did an amazing job keeping the car together and at the same time keeping Dale calm in the car. We all know that Dale can be difficult when he's frustrated. At one point Dale told Stevie he felt like he was driving a fork-lift. Dale battled all night long and finished 16th. He's 10th in points, but has made it into the 2011 Chase for the Sprint Cup!! Once I get a pic of the 12 guys in the chase, I'll post it! WAY TO GO JUNEBUG!!!

AdvoCare 500

Sorry I didn't post this sooner, but with all the rain that NEPA got this past week, I haven't had time. My Mom and I got 8 inches of water in our basement, so the beginning of the week was pretty crazy. The rain this week pushed the race back to Tuesday morning, so the guys had a pretty short week to get ready for Richmond. Anyway, I had to work, so I can only tell you that Dale started 29th, finished 19th and held on to 9th place in the standings.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

So excited!

Blogger has updated a lot of things and one thing is that I can view how many people have looked at certain things I've written or posted. It makes me happy to be able to have this blog for JR Nation to have. I hope you enjoy what I post, and although I know sometimes I don't post things right away, I try to make sure I get results posted as soon as I'm able. Thanks and keep checking back!!

Irwin Tools Night Race

Dale Jr had a good night at Bristol, starting 22nd and finishing 16th. He's managed to stay 9th in points and if he has a good run this weekend and next Sunday, he will have made the chase!!