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Speed Mail: Hall of fame, Mexico race need support to survive

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Larry McReynolds

Larry McReynolds has more than 30 years of NASCAR experience as a mechanic, Daytona 500-winning crew chief and broadcaster. He earned 23 Sprint Cup wins as a crew chief, including two victories in the prestigious Daytona 500, as well as a pair of non-points victories in the annual all-star race. Follow him on Twitter.

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Christina from Florida: Who decided where the Hall of Fame would be located? And, why not in Daytona, you know, the World Center of Racing? Yes, I do live in Florida, but it would have been nice to see the Hall of Fame where NASCAR was born. Larry McReynolds: No matter where they put it — Daytona, Richmond, Atlanta, Charlotte, Kansas or Phoenix — it was going to be a big deal. It's going to be a big deal, and the city that ended up with it was going to do a very good job. When I look at the World Center of Racing, Daytona, it already is saturated with fan-friendly stuff from the speedway to Daytona USA to the new Nextel Fan Zone during the races. And 12 months out of the year, I run into people in gas stations and restaurants that come to the Charlotte/Mooresville area to visit the race shops. Many race shops have become fan friendly with viewing areas, just like the big enclosed catwalk across the Penske Racing shop. If those fans are already coming to Charlotte and viewing all of the different shops with their favorite teams and drivers, then it's kind of a win-win situation for the hall of fame to be nearby.

Charlotteans, we got what we asked for; now we've got to make sure we support it. The same holds true for Mexico and its Busch race. You've got a race, Mexico, but you didn't support it on Sunday as well as you did last year. Charlotte, you've got your hall of fame. We all lobbied hard for it. The city powers that be worked very hard to get it here with an awesome presentation and the help of a lot of people. Now, gang, we need to make sure we support this thing as it's being built and especially after it's up and running. No matter which city was awarded the hall of fame, we knew that four cities would be disappointed with the outcome of the selection. Who exactly decided where the hall of fame would go? I'm sure the France family — from Bill Jr. to Brian to Lesa France Kennedy — had a hand in selecting Charlotte.

Mexican crowd disappoints

Wes from Jayton, Texas: Larry, I was just wondering if NASCAR has any plans to run any Nextel Cup races out of the country, like the did at Japan a few years ago? Larry McReynolds: Honestly, I haven't heard anything about any international Nextel Cup events, and not to short-cut Mexico, Canada or anywhere else, but we've got all the races we need right here in the United States. We've got 38 events right now, including the Budweiser Shootout and the all-star race. We've got potential tracks coming to the Pacific Northwest and Staten Island. Kentucky Speedway has filed a lawsuit to get a Nextel Cup date.
Speed Mail Larry
It's like feeding people overseas. I'm all for it, but let's make sure everyone in the United States isn't running around hungry before we venture out of our country. It's the same with racing, and it makes total sense to take the Busch and Craftsman Truck Series to tread the waters north and south of our borders. I was a little disappointed in Sunday's crowd. Last year, it probably helped the walkup sale to have a Mexican driver, Jorge Goeters, win the pole. But there were eight Mexican drivers, including stars like Adrian Fernandez, so it was disappointing to see empty seats on the frontstretch. I would say the same thing to Mexico, Canada or anywhere else that I said to Darlington. Don't just complain, support. We couldn't have had better weather if it had been preordered so there was no reason why the crowd should have been as small as it was on Sunday.


FOX race analyst Larry McReynolds has more than 25 years of NASCAR experience as a mechanic, crew chief and broadcaster. He and his fellow Crew Chief Club members take you behind the wall at www.crewchiefclub.com.

"How to Become a Winning Crew Chief" is on bookstore shelves, or you may order your own autographed copy from www.DWStore.com.

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