Kyle Larson, Brendan Gaughan, Ryan Newman and Joey Coulter reflect on a The CarCash Mudsummer Classic presented by CNBC Prime's The Profit at Eldora Speedway.
Austin Dillon wins The CarCash Mudsummer Classic presented by CNBC Prime's The Profit at Eldora Speedway.
Chairman and CEO of Camping World talks sponsorship, CNBC show Marcus Lemonis has managed to create the ultimate fusion between that which is nearest and dearest to his heart -- big business, small business, NASCAR and his reality television show, " The Profit ." As Chairman and CEO of one of NASCAR's national series title sponsors, Camping World and Good Sam Enterprises, a diehard race fan and a burgeoning television star of the CNBC hit show (Tuesdays at 10 p.m. ET/PT), Lemonis has enviably and smartly positioned himself and his companies to share in one another's success. And there's been plenty of that. The 40-year-old entrepreneur signed a seven-year extension in May for Camping World to remain title sponsor of NASCAR's Camping World Truck Series -- he says a sign of commitment and a signal of his satisfaction with the series that has truly featured some of the most competitive product on track among a group of NASCAR's most highly motivated young and diverse drivers. "In most cases, it's an expensive sport -- expensive to find sponsors, expensive to operate, expensive to make the trips -- and NASCAR has done a nice job of recognizing that these truck team owners are a lot like small businesses. And as you go up the ranks, the Nationwide Series turns into medium business and Cup Series Fortune 500 businesses," Lemonis explained. "I like that they've made it easier, more competitive and for me, (provide) far more opportunity for these younger and more diverse drivers and that's what's exciting. You could literally start a race on any given night and not have even four or five predictable winners. A 16-year-old kid could win, and it doesn't get any better than that for me." That connection between the Camping World Truck Series and small business is viable and strong for Lemonis, whose starring role on " The Profit " includes finding struggling small businesses around the country and helping them gain their footing -- sometimes with a complete makeover. And in turn, he invests his own money to make it happen. From day one on his popular show -- whose third season begins tonight at 10 ET/PT -- Lemonis has promoted a tangible link between some of the small businesses he salvages and the world of NASCAR. One of the first businesses featured on the show, CarCash , became the race title sponsor for one of the Camping World Truck Series' most successful and perennially anticipated events, the 1-800- CARCASH Mudsummer Classic at the famed Tony Stewart -owned Eldora Speedway . "I've used NASCAR from the first episode of season one," Lemonis said. "It is still heavily integrated and actually sponsors the dirt track event at Eldora -- and that was first business ever featured on the show. "Sometimes the episodes fit (naturally with NASCAR) and sometimes they don't, but it's been great for CarCash and every time that race airs or is mentioned, we get an influx of business. "I love the sport of racing, but if I didn't feel like it helped my business, Camping World or other businesses that have invested, I don't think I would do it. At the end of the day, you have to do things that make sense. NASCAR, for me, has had a phenomenal return on my investment. "I think the thing I'm most grateful for and I can't stress this enough is that these fans do not have to support the companies that sponsor their favorite driver, but they do and they do it religiously. And I think there's something to be said for that. "I can't think of any other sport in this country where the fans are as committed to the teams and committed to the sponsors that make it all happen and I think that's why these big and small companies keep coming back. "It's what I call the NASCAR effect, and it really makes a difference." MORE: READ: Latest Chase news PLAY: Monitor your Chase Grid Game picks WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Miss Sprint Cup Madison Martin wants you to vote for The NASCAR Foundation’s Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award presented by Nationwide.
March 2 event to be called The Profit on CNBC 500 presented by Small Business Fueling America
1-800- CarCash Mudsummer Classic set for July 23
The classic NASCAR film "Days of Thunder" was loosely based on the career of 13-time premier series victor Tim Richmond, who had earned the nickname "Hollywood." Given his comfort in the spotlight over the course of the past two decades, perhaps the nickname would also suit Jeff Gordon , who retired from full-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series competition after falling just short in his bid for a historic fifth title on Sunday. Born a California boy, it was clear from the start of his career that Gordon was cut from a different cloth than the good ol' boys who had ruled NASCAR throughout its storied history. He was polished. He was refined. He was -- eventually, once mustache met razor -- well-groomed. And people took notice. Before long there were endorsements, seemingly more Gordon memorabilia lining the shelves than shelves themselves and, oh yeah, four titles in his first nine seasons, solidifying a Hall of Fame resume before he even hit age 30. And Gordon's influence on the actual racing part of the sport will be everlasting. Take a look at the final Sprint Cup standings . There are only two drivers in the top 25 who originally hail from North Carolina ( Dale Earnhardt Jr . and Austin Dillon ), NASCAR's original talent pool hot bed. Many factors led to this, but Gordon's All-American appeal, charm and charisma helped pave the way -- even while playing the foil to Dale Earnhardt -- opening up NASCAR to a mainstream audience, flooding stands and couches in front of non-flat-screened TV sets with an audience that stretched from coast to coast, border to border. An audience that tuned in to see Gordon become the first -- and to date, only -- race car driver host one of America's most notable television programs, NBC's "Saturday Night Live." Jeff Gordon 's monologue from a 2003 episode of NBC's "Saturday Night Live." "I asked (Gordon) recently, a while back, about what made you go on 'Saturday Night Live,' what made you want to do that," NASCAR Chairman & CEO Brian France said Friday at Homestead-Miami Speedway . "Number 1, he said, 'Well, they asked me.' And I said, 'Well, OK.' But he said, 'Look, I felt comfortable doing a lot of things that were not mainstream for a NASCAR driver.' "And he was smart about it. He knew that that could separate him from other drivers and he was good at it." Gordon's SNL appearance on Jan. 11, 2003, was a tipping point of bringing NASCAR to the masses, an unquestionable testament to the Hendrick Motorsports driver's popularity and wide-ranging allure. Gordon got to "beat up" a fake Gary Busey while hosting "SNL." It's the crowning achievement in Gordon's on-screen roles, a list that includes 27 appearances on "Live!" (with Regis/Kathie Lee/Kelly/Michael), including 11 guest hosting gigs. He's also appeared in "Spin City", "Arli$$", "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire", " The Drew Carey Show", "Looney Tunes: Back in Action", "Taxi", "Herbie Fully Loaded", "Sesame Street", "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition", "Top Gear", " The Simpsons", "Jeopardy" and even "Cars 2" -- as the appropriately named character "Jeff Gorvette." That curriculum vitae alone -- which is pared down; check out his entire IMDb page -- shows Gordon's star power across generations of fans and television watchers. Gordon also got to play a fighter pilot. Ultimately, with Gordon walking away on such a high note from the sport he's gotten so much out of, NASCAR has reaped the benefits of his contributions. Millions of NASCAR fans can thank Jeff Gordon for opening their eyes to the sport. "He's one of those guys, I always look back at drivers that take out a lot less than they put in," France said. "He's one of those guys that has put in a lot to grow the sport. And other drivers should think about that a little bit. Because he's really a model in that respect. "I have a lot of respect for Jeff Gordon ."
Check out some of the best radio chatter from Homestead-Miami Speedway as Jeff Gordon starts his final race and Kyle Busch takes home the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup title.
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