Editor’s Note: We’re proud to introduce our newest columnist: Becca Gladden! She comes to us from Insider Racing News, and will be writing a weekly column on Wednesdays…feel free to comment below and welcome her to our team!
If I ruled the NASCAR world, I would be a benevolent dictator, issuing edicts for the good of all who reside in my racing realm.
These would be my decrees for the week of July 10 – July 17, 2005 :
- NBC Commentator Bill Weber would stop asking lame questions like, “Will the Tony Awards continue today?” in reference to Tony Stewart’s two-race win streak.
- Speaking of Tony Stewart, I would ask him to stop referring to himself in the plural all the time. You rarely hear Tony say “I” or “me” – it’s always “us” or “we.” Maybe this explains why people accuse him of having multiple personalities.
- I know the sports world doesn’t exist in a vacuum, but the numerous references to the terrorist attacks in London and the pending hurricane were starting to be a real downer. I would ask the broadcasters to bear in mind that many people turn to diversions like NASCAR for temporary relief from real-life concerns.
- And while it was nice to hear all the concern about Hurricane Dennis, but I would ask Jimmie Johnson and Tony Stewart to be a little less obvious in capitalizing on the situation with back-to-back sponsor plugs, even if the motive in this case was altruistic.
- I would instruct the Royal Chef to insure that “Biffleberries” are never included on the palace menu.
- I would instruct all drivers to remember Greg Biffle’s simple reason for returning to his hometown for the 4th of July: “I don’t want to forget where I came from.”
- I would love to ask Allen Bestwick if it was a Freudian slip when he commented that Jeff Gordon’s singing had been “under the weather” lately.
- I would advise NBC to take measures to avoid such very awkward TV moments as occurred when Jamie McMurray walked away from Allen Bestwick seconds before his interview was to start.
- Note to Benny Parsons: Even when someone in the booth makes a mistake, it’s rather unprofessional to yell, “Yeah, you big dummy!” on national TV.
- I would insist that all future UPS deliveries to my palace are made in Dale Jarrett’s #88 car – preferably with DJ driving.
- This week’s Commissioner Appointment: A Commissioner of Cups, to devise a safer cup for drivers so that they don’t lose a half-second per lap when their drink spills at their feet while going 180 miles an hour going into turn one.
- Two words for New Hampshire: Better tires!
- The following phrase, courtesy of Wally Dallenbach, is banned from my kingdom forever: “You have to listen to your butt!” Even if it is good advice, that’s just wrong.
- I would also mention to BP how strange it sounds when commenting on a team’s two-tire pit strategy: “Well that’s good – he’s trying to win.” Ya’ think?
- Effective immediately, I would order a turnaround of fortune for the #24 team. Love him or hate him, the Chase for the Championship will be more fun with Jeff Gordon in the running at the end.
- I would order all drivers to listen to a tape of Matt Kenseth’s good-sportsmanship in taking the loss like a man, despite having the class of the field all day.
- And finally … how fun was it to watch Tony Stewart and Dale Earnhardt Jr. win the past two weeks? Stewart was so excited he climbed a 20-foot fence at Daytona and Junior, choked with emotion, could barely speak in Victory Lane. While I cannot mandate a different race winner each week just to keep things fresh, I would require that level of genuine passion from all victors. It’s encouraging to see that winning still matters, in an era when the phrase “big-picture racing” is more popular than ever.
Until next week, I remain your Benevolent Dictator…
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