Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Conflicts of Interest

Recently Brad Keselowski complained that Jeff Gordon was partial towards Jimmie Johnson and, to an extent, the whole Hendrick Motorsports organization due to his financial stake in the 48 team.  Well, financial and familiar ties have never stopped Nascar broadcasters from taking jobs.  Here’s a look at who’s connected to who and what amongst the Fox and Fox Sports 1 broadcast crews:

Mike Joy—Mike co-owns the New England distribution rights for Sunoco race fuels.  Considering that EVERYBODY in the media is given a bit of “incentive” to always say “Sunoco Race Fuel” instead of “gas”, I guess this puts him on something of an even-keel.
Darrell Waltrip—His only current concrete connection is to his brother (see below), but that connection used to be pretty irritating.  From openly rooting for his brother to appearing in a number of commercials for Toyota (and owning a Toyota-backed Truck Series team), DW has used his spot in the booth to improve his bank balance.
Jeff Gordon—Jeff owns a piece of the 48 team.  What this actually amounts to, what input he has in how the team performs, what it’s worth—is anybody’s guess.  It’s mostly a “thank-you” both for his years of service to Hendrick Motorsports and his role in finding Jimmie Johnson for the ride, as well as a vestige of when a person could only be listed as the “official owner” of two cars.
Larry McReynolds—Larry’s current connection is through his son Brandon McReynolds, a part-time competitor in the Xfinity Series.  Previously, however, he served as an advisor to Petty Enterprises and a minority owner of Bang! Racing during his time in the booth.
Michael Waltrip—Michael had the unique distinction of owning a major Cup Series team while also serving as a full-time broadcaster (in the studio with Fox and in the booth for the Truck Series on FS1).  He remains an occasional competitor and has a personal services contract with Aaron’s.

Phil Parsons—The longtime Truck Series commentator has owned a number of low-level backmarker and “start-and-park” teams during his time in broadcasting, such as MSRP Motorsports and PPR Racing.  The last of these teams shut down midway through the 2015 season.