Saturday, November 22, 2008

The Rough Times Continue

A few weeks ago, I blogged about the challenges of being a fan of David Gilliland. When I started following David, I knew that it would be a struggle. It would have been so easy to follow the "names" of the sport, the Jimmie Johnsons, Jeff Gordons, Dale Earnhardt, Jrs, etc. Yet, I chose to follow the underdog, and I don't regret it for a bit.

Last year, fans of Yates Racing and David Gilliland were deeply focused on the sponsor search. As time marched closer to Daytona testing, we felt surely there would be a sponsor announcement. Yet the two cars from Yates arrived with "" on their hoods. Fans kept hearing that there were possibilities, and as we watched testing in Vegas and Fontana, there were still no announcements.

By Daytona Speedweeks, David had a 5 race sponsorship with That sponsorship extended through the season to Indy, and was followed by small sponsorhips from 5 other companies. Travis Kvapil, David's team mate, had 16 sponsors in a 36 race season.

Now, as discussed heavily in this informative article from Scene Daily, we see that NASCAR is reeling from the economy, in much the same way the rest of our country and our world is reeling. Rumors abound that Yates Racing will not be expanding from two to three cars, and since Paul Menard brings his family money with him, that David or Travis may be left out in the cold. Most say that David will be the first to go, but I truly believe that it could be either one, and it will depend on who gets the sponsor.

So, once again, David's fans are feeling lost and insecure. We have not lost faith in our driver, but we may have lost faith in the stability of NASCAR's current system. Franchises, anyone?