LONG POND, Pa. – The driver merchandise haulers are all but gone. Starting this weekend, fans can purchase most of their driver gear at a new 60,000-square foot store erected at each Sprint Cup track.
Banners display where fans can find their favorite driver’s gear. For those who like heroes of the past, there’s also a section that includes Richard Petty, David Pearson, Dale Earnhardt and some of the other drivers who helped build NASCAR.
Only the gear for Team Penske’s drivers remain in a hauler. They’ll be incorporated into the trackside superstore starting next year.
Teams like that their drivers can be represented in a central area and that the displays can change from race to race. So, if the series races at a driver’s hometown market, that driver’s display can be moved to a more prominent location in the store and have more items available.
Haulers may be around at some tracks but they’ll serve as satellite locations on the track property. The plan is to introduce a hauler in October that allows fans to customize their favorite driver’s clothing or hats. One goal is to provide items that celebrate a driver’s win at a track just moments after the driver has taken the checkered flag at that track.
Ross Tannenbaum, president of Fanatics Authentic, says an advantage with the layout is “the breath of products” that are available to fans from T-shirts and hats to jackets, diecasts and much more.
There also will be online shopping stations for items that are not there. For fans who purchase items at the store, a tent of registers will help limit how long it takes to check out. Tannenbaum says the goal is to get fans through checkout in five minutes during the peak times.
NASCAR America: Navigating Sonoma means plenty of twists and turns
Brad Keselowski wants to buy a tank for the apocalypse, and supposedly Dale Earnhardt Jr. is waiting to take delivery on his own tank — both to kill zombies, of course!
Several drivers also talked about one of their former own who reportedly has already made big plans to take on any zombies that come across his path. As Wood said, that former driver’s name rhymes with Schmarl Schmedwards.
Check out the hysterical video — trust us, it WILL make you laugh — if for nothing else the outlandish responses from some of the drivers.
But it also makes one wonder: what if a zombie is among us and he’s disguised as a zombie? What then — and who might it be?
NASCAR America: John Hunter Nemechek looks to overcome small team, funding
The good news for John Hunter Nemechek was with his win last weekend at Gateway, he and Nemco Motorports qualified for this season’s Camping World Truck Series playoffs.
But there is potential bad news, as well: because of having one of the smallest teams in the truck series and limited funding, Nemechek and his team are going to need more financial help, lest they potentially can’t afford to race for the championship in the playoffs.
Nemechek talked about that with NASCAR America on Thursday’s show. See the above video.
NASCAR America: Papis teaching next generation of NASCAR champions
Even though much of his racing career was spent in open-wheel competition, it may surprise some to know Como, Italy native Max Papis has a combined 95 career starts in NASCAR across its three racing series: Cup, Xfinity and Trucks.
Papis’ versatility has proven invaluable in mentoring a number of young drivers with the potential of some day becoming NASCAR champions, including current student William Byron.
Papis spent Thursday on NASCAR America talking about what makes a good young driver and how he enjoys his role as a mentor and teacher.