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More signs of trouble at NASCAR UPDATE #4 Street & Smith's Sports Group announced the merger of NASCAR Scene into an enhanced NASCAR Illustrated and plans to concentrate race and breaking news coverage of the sport on its Web site, scenedaily.com. Subscribers to the weekly NASCAR Scene will begin receiving the monthly NASCAR Illustrated, beginning with the 2010 NASCAR Sprint Cup Preview Issue in February. NASCAR Illustrated will see the addition of a number of Scene's award-winning staffers and its most popular features as it continues to offer a unique behind-the-scenes look at the country's most popular form of motorsports. The enhanced magazine will also add coverage of NASCAR's Nationwide Series and Camping World Truck Series for the first time. "We're excited about the opportunity to offer our expanded subscriber base NASCAR Illustrated's special look at the fun and excitement that the sport offers," Publisher Michael J. Fresina said. "With the opening of the NASCAR Hall of Fame in spring and what should be one of the most competitive seasons ever on the track, 2010 promises to be a special year for the sport's fans and our readers, and we're looking forward to it." scenedaily.com

01/06/10 It appears that NASCAR's Sprint Cup will not be without a rookie this year, as Kevin Conway is entered with Front Row Motorsports  see related new item

01/06/10 This rumor is upgraded to 'fact' today.  NASCAR Scene veteran editor Steve Waid was released along with reporters Jeff Gluck and Mike Hembree. Also, Lee Montgomery, Rea White, Jared Turner and David Exum were out. Finally, Ben White, Mark Sluder, and Shea Alexander were among those let go.

All in all, slightly less than 30 employees of NASCAR Scene and NASCAR Illustrated were released by the Street and Smith Sports Group. Jim Utter from the Charlotte Observer advised that one main website will emerge from the rubble, blending the content of scenedaily.com and NASCAR Illustrated. The actual publications are rumored to be ceasing operation.

Still employed are familiar names like Bob Pockrass, Jeff Owens and Kenny Bruce. Expect their content to be shared across the various websites owned and operated by Street and Smith, including the Sporting News. A major revamp of the company, including the various sports properties, is sure to follow. A move like this was not preceded by a successful operating year. Things are tough and this is the result.

01/06/10 And if you're looking to buy some souvenir tee-shirts and die-cast model cars this spring, well, it looks like the company that owns the rights to team souvenirs – Motorsports Authentics, a company owned jointly by the France family's International Speedway Corp. (ISC) and Bruton Smith's Speedway Motorsports (SMI) – is also on the ropes, trying to figure out a way to pay off the millions it owes teams...in an era where no one, it seems, is very interested in $25 tee-shirts and other expensive NASCAR souvenirs. The company says bankruptcy is a possibility. ISC and SMI bought Motorsports Authentics in 2005 for $250 million; the company has been recently valued at about $36 million. The company is trying to negotiate settlements with the NASCAR teams with which it has contracts. MikeMulhern.net

01/05/10 Will this year’s NASCAR rookie class produce another potential star?



Because there is no 2010 rookie class for NASCAR’s top series, and likely won’t be.  For the first time since the rookie award was created in 1957, it appears NASCAR will have no true rookies running in its top series next season.

The lack of a rookie driver in 2010 is both a shame and a big problem, one that NASCAR and its teams better hope does not become a trend.

With veteran stars like Jeff Burton, Jeff Gordon, Tony Stewart, Mark Martin (maybe) and others entering the twilight of their careers, NASCAR needs a constant flow of new talent entering its top series to replace them.

If there is no pipeline of new talent feeding the series, eventually the Cup series will be watered down with aging drivers and running short on new, exciting stars. FOX Sports

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