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 August 14 "" August 21, 2005:The Dictator’s Decrees:
- A happy birthday wish to Rusty Wallace, who turned 49 on race day and celebrated with a top-10 finish at the Glen.
- This week’s Commissioner Appointment: A Commissioner of Cornball, to rein in some of the network’s cornier music videos, such as this week’s piece claiming that Tony Stewart is, in fact, Spiderman. It was particularly ironic since Stewart didn’t climb the fence after his victory on Sunday.
- To Scott Pruett, substituting for Sterling Marlin, whose father passed away Sunday. Before the race, Pruett encouraged the 40 crew with these words: “Let’s make Sterling proud.” I’m sure that meant more to him than a win ever could.
- To Olympic bobsled driver Todd Hays for hanging tough when Wally’s car got sideways during the Wally’s World segment .
- To the Nextel Fan of the Week, crew chief of an Army Blackhawk helicopter, who compared the teamwork of his crew to that of a NASCAR team.
- Why does Tony Stewart keep referring to the pole as a “great starting spot?” I guess it is, but it’s sort of like referring to the Grand Canyon as a large hole.
- On Sunday’s pre-race show, Kurt Busch explained that the reason for his defection to Penske is, “Opportunities are far and few between.” Is that anything like ‘few and far between?’
- What in the world does Bobby Labonte have to do to catch a break? Labonte’s engine failure on Sunday marked his 9th DNF in 22 races this year. He and Michael Waltrip have way more than their share of misfortune, week in and week out.
- Was Tony Stewart’s dad serious when he responded to a comment that Stewart could die happy after winning the Brickyard 400 by stating, “He has to win the 500 first”? Stewart’s honest comeback: “Let’s not get greedy.”
- To Kurt Busch who, when asked about his decision to leave Roush racing over a year before his contract expires, who stated, “It was tough.” If Busch was hoping for sympathy from the fans, it didn’t work.
- To Bill Weber for saying this about someone with a flat who was making his way to pit road: “He’s getting there as fast as he can as slow as he can.” Even Benny Parsons was perplexed by that one.
- To Home Depot, for their commercial in which Tony Stewart walks towards an outdoor port-a-potty which he apparently intends to use. The spot itself is kind of funny, but did they have to show him grabbing a newspaper on the way in? The visual that conjures up is not a pretty picture.
And finally "¦ Why does the network have such tunnel vision regarding the so-called road-racing specialists? Prior to Sunday’s race, they reported that the last time a road course “ringer” won a NASCAR road course race was in 1973 – the same year Sunday’s race winner Tony Stewart celebrated his second birthday. Despite this, the coverage throughout much of Sunday’s race was inexplicably concentrated on an almost minute-by-minute description of Robby Gordon’s progress on the track. While it’s true that Gordon finished 2nd after starting in the rear of the field, he only has one win at the Glen in seven Cup starts, and that was two seasons ago. Jeff Gordon has four wins there, but was practically invisible to the TV cameras for much of the day on Sunday – as were a number of other drivers whose runs were equally worth noting. Nothing against any of the road racing “specialists,” but NBC’s coverage of them was nothing short of obsessive. If I ruled the NASCAR world, that would never happen again.
Until next week, I remain your Benevolent Dictator "¦ Becca
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