The Frontstretch: If I Ruled the (NASCAR) World: New Hampshire by Becca Gladden -- Tuesday July 19, 2005

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If I Ruled the (NASCAR) World: New Hampshire

Becca Gladden · Tuesday July 19, 2005


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 16 – July 23, 2005 :

  • I would crown Bill Weber Prince of Puns – no, make that Guru of Groaners – for his numerous musical references in the first few minutes of Countdown to Green, such as:

“It’s a Concert of Cars.”
“The stars of this ‘Sock and Roll Show’ are ready to take the stage.”
“One driver has a long-distance dedication to the rest.”
“The ‘hits’ just keep on coming.”
“One superstar would like to make an encore appearance,” etc.

  • As much as I would like to see Mark Martin back in the 6 for ’06, I would rather see him happy and relaxed, retiring on his own timetable. But I would award him a special medal for loyalty to longtime friend and car owner Jack Roush.
  • I would advise all teams within striking distance of the Top 10 to take note: Matt Kenseth has moved up eight places in the standings in just four weeks, and Kurt Busch made up five spots in one race. Folks, it’s never over till it’s over.
  • I would tell Michael Waltrip to keep on ignoring the people who told him his “time is winding down.” You’re only as young as you feel, Mikey…just ask Morgan Shepherd.
  • I would admonish the royal cameramen for missing the moment when Jeff Gordon socked Mike Bliss in the eye … “Four-time Champ loses temper at Chicago Airport – film at 11!”
  • I would instruct my Minister of Finance to insure that every deserving child in the land would be able to visit the Victory Junction Gang Camp.
  • I would thank Goodyear for listening to my “two words” suggestion last week (Better Tires!), particularly after hearing that they are, indeed, adjusting the tire compound.
  • Okay, NASCAR Poker was fun, but in my kingdom we would have NASCAR football – with Tony Stewart as quarterback.
  • There was yet another awkward moment on TNT this week, when Chad Knaus tried to say hello to Allen Bestwick and Allen shooed him away. On the heels of last week’s embarrassing moment with Jamie McMurray, I have two words for the NBC/TNT crew: Stop it!
  • I would direct the royal media to call Tony Stewart’s bluff … Next time he asks if you want to talk about his race record or his criminal record, choose the latter.
  • I would commend Greg Biffle for a nifty job of backpedaling when asked to defend statements that his team had lost its edge. What he meant, of course, was that other teams had finally caught up to his. Right.
  • This week’s Commissioner Appointment: A Commission of Color Guards, to ensure that our nation’s colors are always presented as beautifully as they were at Loudon. The use of the All-Services Color Guard was truly inspiring.
  • I would ask if weather was the reason there was no flyover on Sunday, and why there was no explanation of this on the broadcast.
  • I would put an end to speculation about Michael Waltrip’s status for 2006 by actually appointing him Grand Poobah of NASCAR.
  • I would sit down with Matt Kenseth and Jamie McMurray and find out how they feel about becoming teammates in 2007 … with friends like that, who needs enemies?
  • I would instruct the 22 team to think twice before staying out for track position again. As a result, the car ran out of fuel, stalled, wouldn’t fire, and was caught on pit road when a caution came out.
  • How scary was it that a crew member on the 24 team almost got hit on pit road, just hours after the pre-race story about Mike Lingerfelt? I would advise NASCAR to keep searching for ways to protect all the over-the-wall boys.
  • I’d like to pose this question to the guy at Harrah’s who writes the check to Robby Gordon every week: Is it really a good idea for your casino to sponsor a car that is inextricably linked with the word “unlucky”?
  • I would direct the track owners at all remaining scheduled races to add reinforcements to the fences along the start-finish line. If Smoke stays hot, you’re gonna need ‘em.
  • And finally…could things get any worse for Jeff Gordon? He was crowing on Lap 72 that he loved his car, ran in the Top 10 for most of the day, and was battling for fifth with just 15 laps to go. Seconds later, his brakes were gone, and he was forced to limp in for a 25th place finish, barely avoiding a black flag for failure to maintain minimum speed. Adding salt to the wound, Gordon was lapped by Tony Stewart en route to the checkers. It’s tough to see the 72-race winner struggling so badly. My royal decree this week is for an immediate reversal of fortune for the 24 team.

Until next week, I remain your Benevolent Dictator … Becca

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Becca Gladden is no longer a contributor to the Frontstretch, but you can see all her past articles on herbiography and archive page.