FS1 on-air crew lauds Camping World's decision to re-up with Truck Series
MAY 07, 2014 1:45p ET
NASCAR announced on Monday that Camping World has entered into a seven-year agreement to continue as title sponsor of the Camping World Truck Series through the 2022 season.
The new deal ensures that Camping World will own exclusive rights as the series' title sponsor for 14 consecutive years.
Here are some thoughts from three members of the FOX Sports 1 on-air talent crew that brings you each and every Truck Series race in 2014:
What's your reaction to Camping World's decision to re-up with the Truck Series thru 2022?
Ray Dunlap, FOX Sports 1 reporter: "Well, Camping World is such a great fit for NASCAR fans. When you go to any NASCAR race and you look around, 80 percent of the people that are there are staying for the weekend in a camper, so it's a fantastic fit. But even more so for the Truck Series, it just gives them that great stability. We had Craftsman (as the series' title sponsor) for a number of years ... but with this agreement, Camping World will have been there longer, so it just really is a great stability thing."
Hermie Sadler, FOX Sports 1 reporter: "I look at it from all different sides, having been a driver and a team owner and now a member of the media covering the sport and more so the series. It speaks to the type of racing that it is. To me, the racing is the best racing in NASCAR, and it speaks to the fans who not only watch on FOX Sports 1, but also to the fans who come out and support it on a weekly basis live in the grandstands, and it's good for everybody. It lets everybody know the health of the series for the foreseeable future, and it helps when teams are talking to sponsors, when drivers are talking to teams, everybody, knowing how long the racing's going to be on the TV. It just allows everybody to have a little sense of security and gives you something positive to talk about and makes it a little bit easier to plan, whether you're a team or a racetrack or whatever the case may be, so it's good news for everybody."
Phil Parsons, FOX Sports 1 analyst: "It's tremendous news. I've been a part of the Truck Series actually since 2001 doing television, so it is very near and dear to my heart. The other partner we had, Craftsman, who had been there since the very start, was a great partner, and then Camping World came in and didn't skip a beat, and they've been such a great partner and such a great fit for NASCAR, our fans and Camping World that we, for sure, wanted to see that continue, and we're awfully fortunate and glad that it will continue."
How big is this for the state/health of the Truck Series moving forward, and will this silence those who have at times questioned the future of the series?
Dunlap: "For whatever reason, at the beginning of every season people come to this unrealistic conclusion that there's not going to be any teams and that everything's going to go away, but the people that have been involved in the series have found a real home there, and many of the team owners have told us over and over they have no desire to go to the top level. They like the form of racing, they like the budgets, they just like the competition level, so I think the series sponsorship being extended really does put an end to that, 'What's going to happen next?' kind of a question. We've had a few short fields here and there -- that happens based on the schedule and those kind of things -- but when you look at the competition right now, it's as good in the Camping World Truck Series as it's ever been since 1995."
Sadler: "Stability and kind of knowing what's going on is helpful to everybody. A lot of times in racing things are a 3-year-plan or a 4-year-plan, especially when you're bringing somebody else into the sport, whether it be a new driver or a new sponsor, but when a lot of people don't know the long-term plans of the series or where the series may be going or the health of the series, this makes it better for everybody. Everybody now knows Camping World Truck Series racing is going to be around for the foreseeable future, it's going to be on TV for the foreseeable future, so people can focus on the things that are important and that is finding the next talent to come in the series, working on longer-term deals with your sponsors and taking care of stuff on the racetrack. This takes the pressure off of a lot areas and gives people the chance to go do what's important and that's focus on the product they put on the racetrack."
Parsons: "I hope so. I hope that will quiet some of the rumblings about the series. It's such a great series and we're very fortunate here at FOX to be able to broadcast the series, and we have such loyal followers and viewers -- and a lot of them -- quite frankly, so we're awfully glad of that. ... I'm so, so thankful that Camping World feels that their investment is justified, and wanted to continue on. Again, I think it's a great series and it's a great proving ground for young drivers as well as drivers with a lot of experience like a Ron Hornaday and people that who continue to run competitively, so it's a nice mix of the young guys and the experienced guys."
As TV ratings continue to rise for the Truck Series on FS1, why do you think the Truck Series continues to expand its reach and attract a broader audience?
Dunlap: "Well, I think there's three factors about the series. No. 1 is the diversity of the drivers that we have. You go from 54-year-old Ron Hornaday down to 18-year-olds who are trying to make their mark and get things started, so we've got a lot of veterans and a lot of guys who are in the middle stage of their career, and a lot of people who are just getting started, so that mixture, I think, provides some really great entertainment just on the racetrack, but more so I think it's actually the physical style of racing and the fact that our events are much shorter than the Sprint Cup Series that really gives it that, 'These guys race hard every single lap because they know they've got a short time to try to get it done.'"
Sadler: "The big thing for me and the big think that I hear from the fans is it's grassroots, very, very good racing. The races are not as long so, therefore, the races -- from the green flag to the checkered flag -- are very, very competitive. We've got a great mix of veteran drivers and young that are coming in, so that means the series is providing opportunities the way it's supposed to, bringing new people in and giving them the opportunity to compete against some of the best drivers in the world. The other part of it, too, is the way that we cover the races. It's not all that fancy, so to speak. We bring you the racing and bring you the drivers and bring out some of the personalities of the competitors, but at the end of the day the racing on the racetrack is what we show and what we highlight, and I think our fans like that."
Parsons: "It's such great racing. I think everybody in the industry says that's the best racing we have in NASCAR -- and that's not to throw stones at the Cup series or the Nationwide Series. It's just the races are short, these trucks are pretty durable and they beat and bang and they can lean on each other, and I think that's the appeal of it, and good gosh, we have pickup trucks running 190 miles an hour."