Friday night during the Camping World Truck Series Race at Texas, SPEED helped pay the bills with the “Ram Guts and Glory” portion of the event.
The network served up the collision between Matt Crafton and Austin Dillon.
Umm… they both drive Chevys.
Of course, you can’t really blame SPEED. Of the 35 trucks in the field, only two carried the Dodge logo. That’s because, for all the Ram commercials during the breaks and all the paid mentions during the race, the company doesn’t put any money into teams that actually race in the Truck Series.
As it turns out, Dodge’s Parker Kligerman, driving for Brad Keselowski, finished second. (The other Dodge, driven by Clay Greenfield, is owned by Bill Alger, a guy who put his cell phone number on the hood to try to find sponsorship. I know because I called the number and talked to him just as he was asking a crew member to grab a tire and consoling Johanna Long after her wreck.)
Appreciative as Kligerman was to be in that spot, he started his post-race interview by explaining how his team is so underfunded that it never sees a wind tunnel or a seven-post shaker — the kinds of things manufacturers usually foot the bill for.
I can understand why a sponsor would choose to put its money into ads rather than a car. It’s the reason Coors Light left Chip Ganassi to become the Official Beer of NASCAR. As a corporate partner it’s guaranteed a certain level of exposure. As a car sponsor it’s a crap shoot.
But why would a manufacturer pour so much money into a series in a way that guarantees another manufacturer’s hand will be raised at the end of the day? I’d say this kind of thing was penny-wise and pound-foolish. But I don’t even think the penny comes out well.