Tommy Baldwin Racing is hoping not to start-and-park at all in 2013 as it prepares to run two cars the entire season.
Dave Blaney’s car has nearly full sponsorship and J.J. Yeley has at least two-thirds of the races sponsored. Team owner Tommy Baldwin, who will be the crew chief for Blaney, has had to have his cars start-and-park at times during the last few years as he has tried to start up his own Cup organization.
A couple of weeks ago, track operator Bruton Smith, who is chairman of Speedway Motorsports Inc., criticized the practice of drivers qualifying for a race but parking early instead of running the full event. He said they were a “joke” and not good for the sport.
“Bruton has got enough money that if he wanted to be part of the solution, he’d help to get us or the teams that start-and-park sponsored,” Baldwin said Monday. “Those are the things that he probably should be worried about.
“In the past, … (most teams) started very small, just like TBR has.”
Baldwin has sponsorship from Florida Lottery and SANY America for Blaney and from Golden Corral, United Mining Equipment and Accell Construction for Yeley.
He said most new team owners in recent years who have thrown millions of dollars at their programs have failed to survive. The only way he has been able to build his team is through earning money on race weekends, even if that means not running the full event.
“It’s a Catch-22,” Baldwin said. “I understand what Bruton is saying. But if NASCAR didn’t give me the ability to start this process slowly and build, we wouldn’t be in the position where we are today.
“I think Bruton can do a better job. We tried meeting with his people to try to get his sponsors he has at his racetracks involved as a package deal. They don’t want anything to do with it. They’re too greedy.” Sporting News
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