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While Jimmie Johnson gets ready to accept his third straight Sprint Cup Series championship trophy, the rest of the NASCAR world can't help but have an eye on the economy.

While I'm not ready to declare an impending Armegeddon for the sport like some scribes who actually seem to revel in the fact that NASCAR is in a bit of a pickle these days, there are certainly dire situations ahead.

Brian France addressed the media in Phoenix this weekend and said the sanctioning body is aware of the financial crisis in the garage area that could see several existing teams nowhere to be found. But what NASCAR can do to help is another thing.

Unlike the NFL, which recently put together a $2 billion dollar credit line to be available for its teams, NASCAR can't take the same approach.

"There are individual businesses, literally hundreds of them, that could be affected," France said. "We're not talking about 20 to 25 teams where some halo credit line could be established for them."

However many in the garage point out that one easy way NASCAr could help is to direct sponsors to race teams rather than to a marketing role with the sanctioning body.

"We don't need an 'official this or that' of NASCAR, we need companies on the side of these racecars," said one source close to the situation.

Another area is the control of the sport's rising costs, which the development of the COT was supposed to help.

It has to one degree, but it has still never been more expensive to field a full-time Sprint Cup team with at least an $18-20 million pricetag.

The decision on testing could impact millions of dollars. But even if NASCAr does limit or ban testing all together in 2009, it would be impossible to stop the super teams like Roush, Hendrick, RCR and JGR from heading out behind closed doors to test at non-sanctionined tracks around the country.

The NASCAR world is going to feel the pinch just like the rest of the us. It will survive, just as we will.

But what the sanctioning body does to cope with the situation will be interesting to watch.

  • Apparently television partner ABC thinks its primetime line-up is more important than NASCAR coverage. The network bailed on Sunday's Phoenix race just after 7 p.m. ET to ensure its regular Sunday night programming hit the air in a relative timely fashion with the race switched over to ESPN2. That won't help the falling television ratings and certainly had to rile up thousands of NASCAR viewers around the country.

  • Kurt Busch and Jamie McMurray continued their late season surge Sunday and the recent solid performances have to have both drivers - and their respective teams - feeling better about 2009 after suffering through a mostly disappointing 2008.

  • The ridiculous rumors that Joe Gibbs Racing was set to pull the plug on Joey Logano's move to the No. 20 Sprint Cup ride next year were derailed by team president J.D. Gibbs. Amazing that Logano is considered a failure by some pundits after less than a handful of NASCAR starts.

  • Phoenix track management also had to shoot down a report that a race would leave the desert for Kansas in 2010. Although parent company ISC would have to harvest a date for a second race in Kansas, it is doubtful that it will come from Phoenix which draws to solid crowds during its pair of NASCAR weekends.

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