Not knowing the future as a driver in NASCAR's Sprint Cup series is weighed not on their driving talent, but the ability to retain a sponsor.
Sponsorship dollars in the Cup series is not a cheap investment.
The average cost for a full-time sponsor for one season is $30-$35 million.Team owners seldom have one primary sponsor for a year. The Cup teams will divide the season into pieces according to the dollar amounts each sponsor contributes for that season.
Only three teams in this year's Cup Series has one full-time sponsor - Juan Montoya (Target), Brad Keselowski (Miller) and Paul Menard (Menards). Other teams field at least two to five sponsors to maintain a competitive car on the track.
Team owners span the business globe in search of funds to keep their operation going each year. Some sponsors are relevant to competition areas and others may come from foundations or groups wanting their name in the spotlight.
Whatever the case, team owners will place their logo or name on the quarterpanel or hood of their car.
NASCAR officials need to consider the lack of sponsorship for many teams in today's racing generation. Some compete to earn a paycheck and others are running for a championship. It might be the best decision for NASCAR to cut the field to help the smaller teams to become more competitive.
The race cars simply make left turns with no element of excitement. Safety concerns are primary, but today's type of racing is not proving to be worth the buck of admission.
Race fans are finding it difficult to pay the expensive price of admission to the races for 15-20 minutes of excitement on the track.
Officials need to find new ways of increasing the excitement without endangering the driver or race fan.
Drivers and teams must be shown that altering a car or stretching the rules by the governing body will not be tolerated. One reason why officials will not extend the penalties to the car is due to sponsorship funds.
Sponsorship funds rule the way a driver competes, reacts and ultimately keeps his job.
My final thought on NASCAR sponsorship is that money rules the way of the world, but should not ruin the excitement on the race track.
Contact Eddie Thomas at firstname.lastname@example.org