Torco taking a break in '08 or just Mike Ashley?

Discussion in 'System One Pit Buzz' started by Will Hanna, Jan 8, 2008.

  1. Will Hanna

    Will Hanna We put the 'inside' in Top Alcohol
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    Just got this press release sent to me....could have quite a few implications to the drag racing community. I don't know whether it means that he dropped Mike Ashley's team or if the wording means Torco as a whole is taking a break.

    For Immediate Release

    Ashley's Team seeks Sponsorship for 2008

    MELVILLE, New York (January 8, 2008) -- Mike Ashley is no stranger to adversity or crisis in business. This morning, Ashley received a telephone call from his longtime sponsor Torco Racing Fuels, indicating that they would be taking the year off of drag racing. That leaves the opportunity wide open for new sponsors to step in and become a part of Ashley's winning team.

    "While I'm shocked and surprised, first I want to say that Evan Knoll is a friend and a first class guy, I appreciate everything he's ever done for me, and I maintain the utmost respect for him," Ashley said.

    "Although Torco was not specific in the conversation with me, I certainly understand based on the current state of the world economy and fuel and oil price instability why this would be an intelligent business move the them to take a break from racing in 2008.

    "This leaves an incredible opportunity for entertaining new sponsorships, partnerships or mergers in order to continue operations," Ashley said.

    Ashley said his company, Lend America, will temporarily take on the roll of primary sponsorship while new marketing sponsorship is secured. He also said his Gotham City Racing team expects to retain Melanie Troxel to drive, and any interested parties can contact him directly at mashley@lendamerica.com to explore opportunities.

    -30-

    Media Contact:
    Matthew Brammer
    Active Marketing
    (623) 879-4290
    pr@activemarketing.com
     
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  2. Will Hanna

    Will Hanna We put the 'inside' in Top Alcohol
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    no good

    A call to Matthew Brammer, who wrote the release for Ashley indicated that Knoll/Torco intends to drop all sponsorships, from what he was told.
     
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  3. eli

    eli Banned

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    Well that sucks, I was looking forward to see what Jessie Harris could do in Top Fuel, She is such a FOX, She will be the next Queen of NHRA.
     
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  4. bruce mullins

    bruce mullins Top Dragster

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    how about that bomb. i always said if Evan Knoll and Forrest Lucas decided to go fishing on day that drag racing would take one heck of a blow. kinda funny with all the press releases all winter about Melanie, Jesse Harris, Mike Ashley, and Dale Creasy. numerous releases in the past week, then BOOOOOOOMMMMMMM, now this. wonder who will be hurt the most.
     
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  5. Will Hanna

    Will Hanna We put the 'inside' in Top Alcohol
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    just one source

    keep in mind this is just one source weighing in on this issue. hopefully some official clarification comes out.
     
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  6. Darren Smith

    Darren Smith New Member

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    Can you say Holy SHIT!!!!!!!!!!!!!:eek:
     
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  7. Tob

    Tob Jr. Dragster

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    Smells Funny

    At the risk of getting slammed....It's never made sense that Knoll Gas/Torco/Skull Shine/etc. had so much money tied up in drag racing. I think folks have shied away from that public comment because they didn't want to bite the hand that fed them. No way is that investment and ROI justifiable. I think everyone in the sport has been appreciative of the funding, but many wondered when it would end or the sponsorship well would run dry.

    In the same breath, this doesn't make any sense with all the recent announcements, seasonal prep, paint scheme roll-outs, tribute car announcements, and overall marketing. You don't get to January 8th and realize that such a desperate change of direction is necessary with both short and long term contracts in place with racers, sanctioning organizations, etc.

    Do these organizations not have contracts with Mr. Knoll and his organizations? Surely, everyone had deals in writing with the Knoll Gas enterprises? What good are those contracts if they can be canceled by a phone call on the eighth day of the year?

    While the money in this game is always an interesting topic, this could leave some teams on the trailer for the year, and severaly set back by committments they made on cars, parts, other marketing relationships, etc. with the funding from Knoll Gas/Torco/etc.

    If true, this has some deep impacts beyond team sponsorships on drag racing: event sponsorships, co-marketing, team ownership, co-sponsorships, on and on and on...

    I thought Mr. Knoll owned some teams physical assets, not just sponsored those teams. Is this positioning for something different? There was speculation of NASCAR interest, maybe the resources will go to NASCAR ownership? Again, that doesn't make sense-what product does Knoll Gas sell that average Joe Consumer can purchase? What Brand would be the target for NASCAR fan?

    Smells funny. Doesn't add up. I'm awaiting word from Mr. Knoll before casting judgement. Very interested in seeing the details of this story and the after shock in both IHRA and NHRA.
     
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  8. eli

    eli Banned

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  9. bud7291

    bud7291 New Member

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    Tob, I'm not going to slam you as I'm sure you are not alone in your opinion... But ROI isn't just monetary... He's investing in drag racing for the future... By being probably the number one sponsor in drag racing he is creating an emotional tie with his target market (racers need fuel to race) which will pay off longer than the sponsorships last... Also, money is only as good as the things you can buy with it... So if Evan's output (monetary) isn't completely returned, that isn't a loss because this is what he would spend his money on anyway...

    CJ Curtsinger
     
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  10. john348

    john348 Top Alcohol

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    There goes every class sponsor in the IHRA except AFC :eek:
     
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  11. konrodz

    konrodz Member

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    Even Knoll, will always be the one who made racing what it is today, FUN

    I know that Even Knoll is a gentlemen and this decision was well thought out. It must of hurt him as much as it will hurt the racers, I am quite sure that when he is good and ready he will issue a statement and tell everyone especially the negative talkers why he has made this decision. Lets NOT all judge this man in a negative way, because I personally think this man has made drag racing, what it is today. Just like Hulk Hogan made wrestling, one of the most highly profitable business for its owners and for ALL of its people involved.Thank you and God Bless you Mr. Knoll
    P.S What did everyone do to servive, be Torco came along?????
     
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  12. Will Hanna

    Will Hanna We put the 'inside' in Top Alcohol
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    it's official

    the official release is on the home page...all torco teams are dropped for 08

    this is off the top of my head

    mike ashley nhra fc
    melanie troxel nhra fc
    dale creasy ihra fc
    matt hagan ihra fc
    jr todd nhra tf
    clay millican nhra tf
    doug foley nhra tf
    terry mcmillen ihra tf
    jackie harris nhra tf
    dave connoly nhra ps
    justin humphreys nhra ps
    rickie smith nhra/ihra ps
    scott cannon pro mod
    scotty cannon pro mod
    matt smith nhra psm
    angie mcbride nhra psm
    dave heitzman nhra tad
    brian phfifer nhra tad
    kate harker nhra tad
    dave hirata nhra tad
    marty thacker nhra tad
    mick snyder nhra tafc
    chuck cheeseman nhra tafc
    dan dickey nhra tafc

    I'm sure I left a few out, but this is quite a list of racers that might not be racing this year.
     
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  13. Frankie

    Frankie Jr. Dragster

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    Whats really amazing is when you look at the size of the list, thinking of the amount of money Torco/Evan Knoll lays out every year. Its mind boggling!
     
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  14. Bill Sweeney

    Bill Sweeney Jr. Dragster

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    And add Densham and DSR (4 fuel cars) to that list as well.

    Oh, and Bruce Litton too.
     
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    Last edited: Jan 9, 2008
  15. egghead

    egghead New Member

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    The latest press release states that Evan Knoll sponsorships are stopping because of his health. He is having a real rough time due to lingering effects of his car accident in November 2004. It appears he must remain at home under care or risk his life. There is too much traveling and stress associated with racing.

    I don't quite understand the connection between his health and the ability of his companies to provide sponsorship. Why does Evan have to be actively involved in this? Maybe it's a combination of health and slow business. Of course, I don't understand how the various Evan Knoll enterprises make a profit from the sponsorships in the first place. Perhaps it was mostly a hobby to watch his cars run -- no point in paying the bills if you're not gonna be there to enjoy the competition in person.
     
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  16. konrodz

    konrodz Member

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    Lets All back off.

    When it come's to Even Knoll, its NOT about the money its about the BIG heart that he has. The man enjoys racing and is asking everyone to give him some recovery time, is that to much to ask for. So lets all back off with these asumptions and give him some healing time.
     
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  17. Pat McGill

    Pat McGill Member

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    Crappy deal for all of the race teams involved; wonder if they had any idea this could happen when they signed up? Were these all handshake deals? If not, wouldn't someone have to declare bankruptcy to get out of the deal?


    I wonder if situations such as this led to NHRA having an official fuel other than Torco.
     
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    Last edited: Jan 9, 2008
  18. Harry Happ

    Harry Happ New Member

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    I wonder if situations such as this led to NHRA having an official fuel other than Torco.[/QUOTE]

    Was Torco even involved in NHRA bid?
     
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  19. mike kirk

    mike kirk New Member

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    If you took all of the Torco money spent on drag race teams and put that funding into One GOOD NASCAR team, everyone would have heard of TORCO. Outside or the drag racing comunity no one even knows what or who TORCO is...... This is all about the money plane and simple.
    No disrespect to EVAN KNOLL, he is obviously a tremendous buisness man but if you read between the lines this is about value for the dollar.
    Belive me I am a dieheart drag racer, I have been doing this all my life, I love the sport. But the story line never changes, BS politics and no money to race for the crew or the owners.
    Get well soon Mr. Knoll
     
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  20. tad2155

    tad2155 Member

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    Evan Knoll

    Prayers & thoughts from Bama
     
    #20

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