Each week, Frontstretch Staff Writer Becca Gladden looks at the prior weekend’s NEXTEL Cup race from a reporter’s point of view, covering the "who, what, when, where, why, and how" of the race, the drivers, the TV coverage, and even the commercials. Check back every Wednesday for Becca’s fun and thought-provoking commentary.
Who "¦ besides Jeff Gordon would be honest enough to let the world know that he has “Googled” his name, just to see how many websites there are about him? Although he claimed to be surprised at the number of sites he found, I wonder how many other drivers would even admit to looking—although most have probably done the very same thing.
What "¦ did Matt Kenseth say in his post-race interview on TV? I mean, I got the gist of it, but do you guys struggle to understand him like I do? People make fun of the accents of Ward Burton and Elliott Sadler, but Matt sometimes talks as fast as he drives, and combined with his Wisconsin pronunciations, my ears have to work extra hard to figure out what the heck he’s saying.
When "¦ did race tracks start offering family-friendly, alcohol-free seating? It was explained during Sunday’s TV broadcast that Lowe’s Motor Speedway offers just that—a section of family seating in the stands, separated from the regular seating by a vacant section. This idea would clearly appeal to parents who want to take their kids to a race without exposing them to the family-unfriendly things that sometimes occur when alcohol is involved. Hope this idea catches on at other tracks, if it hasn’t already.
Where "¦ could you go to find better pre-Memorial Day festivities than at Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600? With the head of the USO serving as Grand Marshal, the opening ceremonies included a 21-gun salute, a plaintive trumpet rendition of Taps by a member of the military, Carrie Underwood’s respectful performance of the National Anthem, and an impressive flyover by F22A Raptors – the Air Force’s newest fighter jet – from Tyndall AFB. Kudos to everyone involved in the day’s events for not being afraid to be patriotic and for paying tribute to all of our fallen soldiers. As Fox commentator Mike Joy explained, “The racing community honors and remembers.”
Why "¦ are so many Hollywood stars showing up at NASCAR races when it’s obvious they know little or nothing about NASCAR? I’m all for new fans discovering our sport, but these celebrities enjoy unprecedented access to the garage area, the drivers meeting, the team members, and even the drivers—all opportunities which lifelong fans would sacrifice a limb for—yet many of these actors and singers seem rather ungrateful, even apathetic, about the whole thing.
How "¦ much pain was expressed by Tony Stewart’s facial grimaces as he was lifted out of his car to a waiting ambulance for the second time in as many days? Stewart sustained a fracture of his right scapula, but will attempt to race this weekend, with Ricky Rudd standing by as a substitute driver if needed. Whether you’re a fan of Stewart’s or not, no one should wish an injury on any driver—or be happy when it happens. Get well soon, Smoke!
Rebecca (Becca) Gladden is a freelance writer covering NASCAR’s Nextel Cup series for two of the internet’s most popular racing websites. You can visit Becca’s website at www.RebeccaGladden.com for a complete listing of her articles, polls, unique NASCAR news, and more!
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