Racing report card

Kay Bell | July 01, 2012

Mike Joy is as good a play-by-play man as there is, and I love the insight and perspective that Larry McReynolds brings to the party. But my real complaint is that on Fox, it’s all about Fox. From the embarrassing Hollywood Hotel to the annoying Digger the animated gopher, Fox makes sure that the broadcasts revolve around its on-air personalities instead of the on-track performers. And the final nail in the coffin is the addition of Michael Waltrip to the proceedings, where his dual role as commentator and active team owner is the ultimate in conflicts of interest.

Grade: D




| Not so fleeting tweets |

Social media is making its mark in motorsports, but with decidedly different results for NASCAR and Indy racing. When Brad Keselowski took to Twitter from his car during that lengthy red-flag delay in the Daytona 500, he was a big hit with fans. NASCAR benefited, too.

In the American open-wheel series, however, things didn’t work out so well. Panther Racing CEO John Barnes used Twitter to criticize IndyCar’s decision to make modifications to new engine supplier Chevrolet’s turbochargers. IndyCar officials fined Barnes $25,000 for making a “comment using improper or disparaging language” in reference to the series.

| Racing ‘hair’ apparent | While the racing world is focused on Austin in anticipation of its inaugural Formula 1 race this fall, the Texas state capital is also producing its first homegrown top-level racer. Alexis DeJoria, the daughter of billionaire John Paul DeJoria — one of the cofounders of the John Paul Mitchell hair-care empire — is quietly becoming a real force in the NHRA’s Fuel Funny Car drag racing series. In fact, she entered the summer months ranked 15th in the points. And her success has her father — who is also an investor in Austin’s new Circuit of the Americas — interested in adding a drag strip to the new Formula 1 facility. Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, Calif., has both a road course and a drag strip, and DeJoria is speaking to NHRA officials about the possibility of bringing their sport to Austin if a drag strip can be added.

| Of taxes and tires | The state of Indiana has helped the IndyCar Series consolidate its team facilities in the Indianapolis area through tax laws that make many of the transactions involved in running a race team exempt from state sales and use taxes. But the Hoosier State, like the other 49, needs money, and has recently changed its tax laws in a way that race teams won’t appreciate.

In a recent update, the Indiana Department of Revenue now says that tires and accessories aren’t eligible for its tax exemption.

Kay Bell is an Austin, Texas-based writer. When she’s not yelling at her television during NASCAR races, she writes about financial topics and blogs about taxes at Don’t Mess With Taxes (

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