Jul 9, 2014, 3:37 PM EST
Maybe not so much on the racetrack, but certainly in online souvenir memorabilia sales, according to a story in the Daytona Beach News-Journal.
While Earnhardt is going for his 12th consecutive Most Popular Driver Award this season, he also continues to be No. 1 driver on the NASCAR.com Superstore list of online souvenir and memorabilia sales.
But Dillon is climbing fast, going from 22nd last season (his last in the Nationwide Series) to 10th this season (his rookie Sprint Cup campaign).
Blake Davidson, vice president of licensing and consumer products for NASCAR, explained Dillon’s surge in an email response to the News-Journal.
“There was a lot of anticipation and excitement about having the No. 3 back on the track,” Davidson said. “Here we had a very talented, up-and-coming driver in Dillon behind the wheel of a car owned by his grandfather, Richard Childress, with the number that Dale Earnhardt made famous.
“Those are great storylines. Dillon had already won two NASCAR Nationwide Series championships, so he’d built a sizable fan following before he arrived at the Sprint Cup Series.”
Citing figures provided by the NASCAR.com Superstore, the News-Journal reported that seven of the top 10 drivers with the hottest selling merchandise changed positions from the 2013 year-to-date listing.
We don’t know if it’s a coincidence or not, but four of the top eight drivers on the list race for Hendrick Motorsports.
In addition, eight of the top-10 drivers are powered by Chevrolet. Sixth-ranked Kyle Busch (Toyota) and ninth-ranked Carl Edwards (Ford) are the only non-Chevy drivers on the list.
What are the hottest-selling items?
“Die-cast replicas and apparel (t-shirts, hats, jackets) are the two most popular categories,” Davidson told the News-Journal. “The die-cast is kind of like our sport’s jersey — it represents an authentic replica of what is on the track. Those have always been a major item for fans.
“We offer the very same hats that drivers are wearing themselves, so that creates a connection between the fan and driver. (And) the Daytona Rising Collection gives fans an opportunity to take home a piece of track history, including the actual seats where they may have once sat to watch the Great American Race.”
Here’s the breakdown, with this year’s rank, driver name and last year’s year-to-date sales ranking (source: NASCAR.com Superstore):
1) Dale Earnhardt Jr. (No. 1 in 2013)
2) Jimmie Johnson (No. 2 in 2013)
3) Jeff Gordon (No. 4 in 2013)
4) Kevin Harvick (No. 9 in 2013)
5) Tony Stewart (No. 3 in 2013)
6) Kyle Busch (No. 6 in 2013)
7) Danica Patrick (No. 5 in 2013)
8) Kasey Kahne (No. 7 in 2013)
9) Carl Edwards (No. 8 in 2013)
10) Austin Dillon (No. 22 in 2013)
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Jan 26, 2015, 8:45 PM EST
NASCAR heavily is considering using the May 16 showcase as a trial run of the rules package for the 2016 season and has begun informing Sprint Cup teams of the possibility.
Jan 26, 2015, 8:33 PM EST
Quick recap for Day 1 of 3 in South Florida for the Indy Lights contingent.
Jan 26, 2015, 8:06 PM EST
Kyle Busch say that he doesn’t see Toyota partners Joe Gibbs Racing and Michael Waltrip Racing working closely together and that “we’re idiots” for not doing so.
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Jan 26, 2015, 6:05 PM EST
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Jan 26, 2015, 4:54 PM EST
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Jan 26, 2015, 4:38 PM EST
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Jan 26, 2015, 4:05 PM EST
NASCAR Chairman Brian France says series officials are not looking to eliminate the four-car limit for teams.
Jan 26, 2015, 3:58 PM EST
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Jan 26, 2015, 3:30 PM EST
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Jan 26, 2015, 3:22 PM EST
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Jan 26, 2015, 3:08 PM EST
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Jan 26, 2015, 12:00 PM EST
Video game retail company continues support of Joe Gibbs Racing’s XFINITY Series program.
Jan 26, 2015, 11:30 AM EST
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Jan 26, 2015, 11:09 AM EST
NASCAR Hall of Famer Dale Jarrett will join NBC and NBCSN’s coverage of NASCAR in 2015, it was announced Monday.
National Motorsports Press Association honors Lynda Petty, Kevin Harvick and others for service, achievement
Jan 26, 2015, 10:31 AM EST
Richard Petty’s late wife, Lynda, and 2014 Sprint Cup champion Kevin Harvick were among those who were honored during Sunday’s National Motorsports Press Association annual awards banquet.
Jan 26, 2015, 10:10 AM EST
Lotus hopes to put a less-than-competitive 2014 to rest with the help of its new car.
Jan 26, 2015, 9:36 AM EST
A long layoff has drivers such as Danica Patrick ready ‘to take out this aggression somewhere right now.’
Jan 25, 2015, 11:33 PM EST
A big fan of the Rolex 24 at Daytona, Dale Earnhardt Jr. posed a rather interesting question to his Twitter followers: Could NASCAR ever do — let alone consider — a 24-hour race?
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