That got your attention, didn’t it? (The F1 report is down below.)
Several days before NASCAR star Tony Stewart took on the World of Outlaws sprint car regulars at Ohsweken Speedway and beat them (that happened Wednesday night at the Six Nations Reserve track near Brantford), another Sprint Cup regular, Kasey Kahne, was racing with the Outlaws at Williams Grove Speedway in Pennsylvania.
This is what happened: watch video here
Kahne survived but it was a close call and his NASCAR employers might be having a talk with him, even as we speak, considering that the NASCAR circus is in Indianapolis for a race Sunday.
Stewart and Kahne are throwbacks to the old days of barnstorming racing drivers, or "Outlaw" drivers, who didn’t race regularly at a particular track or in a particular series but showed up now and again to beat the regulars and make off with the prize pot, which was usually large, which attracted them in the first place.
The locals didn’t like ‘em in the old days and – if truth be told – the regular Outlaw tour drivers today probably don’t really like ‘em all that much either. I mean, Tony and Kasey might be okay guys but Stewart won $10,000 at Ohsweken Wednesday night and that’s a pay packet any one of the other tour regulars would have been very happy to pocket.
The World of Outlaws series is at Brockville Speedway tonight and in Drummondville, Que., tomorrow night. Stewart and Kahne won’t be there.
By the way, an aside: If Kahne is not in the NASCAR Chase for the Championship, it is a good bet he will be in an Indy car at Las Vegas in mid-October for that final IZOD IndyCar Series race in which a $5 million bonus will be paid to any outsider (or "Outlaw") who can beat the regulars.
FORMULA ONE GOING TO PAY TV
I have been suggesting for some time now that as more and more countries balk at continuing to pay extortion money in the millions to Bernie Ecclestone for the pleasure of presenting F1 races on their home soil, the chances of making you and me pay to watch the races on special pay TV channels has been increasing.
Well, the penny dropped today when it was revealed that Britain’s BBC (where TSN gets its signal) will only carry half the races next year and the rest will go on Sky TV, which is a pay TV channel in Britain that charges more than 30 British pounds a month ($45 a month Canadian) for its sports package of soccer, rugby and – now – F1 races.
Canada was the first to call Berni’s bluff and is now paying a sanctioning fee that is significantly lower than it was previously. We lost our race for a year but it paid off (at least in the short term). Other countries are starting to follow suit. Australia has served notice it no longer will pay up, as has the local and state government where the Nurburgring is located in Germany, and so-on. Even Malaysia, Singapore and China have been rumbling about the costs. (It seems that only the newbies, India and the U.S., are willing to fork over outrageous amounts, but give them a few years and they'll see the light.)
F1 is going to have to get the money from somewhere, so guess what? Get ready to shell out.
It’s too early to say what the implications are for Canadian fans in the short term but I’ll bet you right now that within five years (and maybe a lot sooner), you’ll have to pay Rogers or Bell a pretty penny to watch those races.
They already have Major League Baseball packages you can buy, and NHL and NFL packages, and WWE wrestling pay-per-view and MMA pay-per-view.
How does F1 pay-per-view sound?
Meantime, it’s still free (okay, you have to pay a cable fee to get "free" TV, but you get my drift) and you can watch qualifying from Hungary tomorrow at 7:55 a.m. and the race on Sunday at the same time – all on TSN. Lewis Hamilton’s still hot, with Fernando Alonso, Jenson Button, Mark Webber and Sebastien Vettel rounding out the top five in practice today.
NASCAR, of course, is in Indianapolis for the Brickyard 400 (TSN Sunday at noon; green flag at 1 p.m. approx.) The Camping World Truck Series will race on SPEED tonight at 7:30 – they’re at Lucas Oil Raceway (which used to be Indianapolis Raceway Park) – and the Nationwide Series will race on TSN2 Saturday night at 7:30, also at the Lucas Oil track.
No IndyCar this week. They go to Mid-Ohio next weekend for a double-header with the ALMS.