The Frontstretch: 5 Points to Ponder: Pit Problems, Waltrip Must Go, And Ethics Run Amok? by Bryan Davis Keith -- Tuesday February 22, 2011

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5 Points to Ponder: Pit Problems, Waltrip Must Go, And Ethics Run Amok?

Bryan Davis Keith · Tuesday February 22, 2011


ONE: Take a Breath, It’s the Morning After

It was impossible not to be excited after Trevor Bayne scored one of the biggest upsets in NASCAR history, charging towards the first Daytona 500 victory for the Wood Brothers since 1976 in only his second Cup start. A rip-roaring opening act to the 2011 season, the questions were soon flying: would Bayne move to Cup full-time after declaring for the Nationwide title? Would a $1.5 million payday move the Wood Brothers back to full-time racing?

Let’s all take a collective breath. Yes, Bayne effectively served notice that NASCAR has a new superstar in the making on Sunday. But talk of Cup championships, full-time campaigns and the like are all premature… as is any real discussion that Sunday marked a new era in NASCAR.

Sure, the weekend saw the mighty Hendrick juggernaut stumble, Joe Gibbs Racing become a non-factor, and underdogs like Bayne and Brian Keselowski work Daytona Beach miracles behind the wheel of their part-time rides. But the 500 is its own animal in more ways than the pageantry. It’s a plate race, making the playing field the most equal it will be at any point over the course of the season. It’s the only race on the circuit that provides the opportunity for teams to race their way into the show; without that, both Bayne and Keselowski would have hardly been as successful as they were. Bayne would have never earned the respect of Jeff Gordon prior to the 500, while Keselowski was the slowest car in Daytona on a single-car run and would have been a near-automatic DNQ.

The fact of the matter is, no matter how good that finish was the real regular season starts this weekend at Phoenix. When the Cup Series arrives out West, the car count will go down considerably from the already shaky 48 who attempted the 500. At press time, that entry list was reduced to 45 and that number includes Brian Keselowski, who may not even be able to show up. This Sunday, rest assured Trevor Bayne will not win, nor will any single-car team for that matter. In their place, the Hendricks, Roushes and Gibbs of the world – none of whom led more than nine laps during the 500 – will be back at the front, leading early and often en route to sweeping the majority of top-10 positions in the race.

Now don’t get me wrong; a return to “normalcy” this weekend should in no way diminish the significance of what happened during a special Daytona Speedweeks 2011.

But one miracle does not a season make; this sport didn’t change overnight.

TWO: The Weekend of Waltrip of Detriment to All

Michael Waltrip pulled into Speedweeks with three rides and a new NAPA commercial starring himself more than Martin Truex, Jr., the man that actually wheels the car they sponsor. Need I say more? Fresh off the heels of an autobiographical publication posing as a tribute to Dale Earnhardt, self-anointing himself the face of the racing world’s 10th anniversary remembrance of the late, great Intimidator, Waltrip started Speedweeks in a storybook manner with a last-lap pass to win Friday night’s Truck race. The move was a memorable one, stirring up emotions on the actual 10th anniversary date of Earnhardt’s death.

What a perfect ending … only several things didn’t add up. For one, Waltrip’s spoiler collapsed during the final run to the checkered flag, a mechanical development that numerous Sprint Cup drivers confirmed would have been an aerodynamic advantage to Waltrip as he slingshot around Elliott Sadler. NASCAR has remained mum of yet on if an inspection of the spoiler found anything illegal, but as Frontstretch reported that Friday night there were irregularities between the removal of Waltrip’s spoiler from his truck in post-race inspection when compared to the rest of the top-5 finishers. He all but refused comment on the matter, simply saying “It’s been a long day” when asked about other drivers questioning the legality of his equipment on Twitter.

Michael Waltrip’s 2011 return to Daytona was memorable… for all the wrong reasons.

What Waltrip did go out of his way to do, though, was stress how much his win was about his fallen friend on this, the 10th anniversary of that death combined with the first of his two Daytona 500 wins. He even tried to make the case to be thrilled to be racing with Sadler, of all people, as the Virginian was born the same day as Earnhardt.

Only problem is, Sadler doesn’t have the same birthday as Dale. That didn’t stop at least one local paper in Florida from printing Waltrip’s fortuitous comments as fact, but the impact was clear: keeping Dale relevant to his efforts on-track was going to be the overriding theme on Friday night no matter what. With those intentions, to say that listening to this post-race sob story cheapened the significance of the evening was an understatement… and in a questionable ride, to boot.

Sunday was no better, as Waltrip took the wheel of his No. 15 entry and drove like he was trying to add to the Daytona oval’s body count. Triggering two wrecks in the first 29 laps of competition, he was responsible for damaging or destroying 18 of the 43 cars that took the green flag this Sunday before knocking his own out in the second wreck. To make matters worse, Waltrip spun his own car, driven by David Reutimann, out in front of the field and then blamed his driver for darting around too quickly in the draft.

“I was barely against him and then he said at the very last minute, ‘I’m going to the middle.’,” Waltrip explained. “He makes that quick move and it just spins him out. I’ve been doing this all week and I haven’t spun anyone out. I don’t know what I could have done different.”

The only positive was that development brought the weekend Mikey so desperately wanted as his own to an early ending. It was a Speedweeks filled with the usual self-promotion combined with an obsession to keep himself the center of attention … and at what cost?

THREE: The Daytona International Speedway Needs a New Pit Walk

ISC deserves a lot of credit for a number of the elements they developed in creating the FanZone within Daytona’s massive infield. The window bays for fans to see drivers and crews at work, the elevated platform atop the Cup garage, and the well-kept picnic area just outside of pit road are all developments other larger race tracks with space in their infields should take a good, hard look at.

It’s not just the pit stalls themselves that can get narrow at Daytona. The area behind pit road leaves fans, sponsor representatives and most importantly crewmen with far too little room to maneuver on race day.

That said, this track is 2.5 miles long. There is an untold amount of space in the infield. Yet Daytona’s pit walk behind the team stalls is just as narrow as any other race track… and that’s unacceptable for the host of the sport’s largest race. Holding the Daytona 500 means that the teams, more than ever are inundated with not just media but sponsor representatives, considering the race marks the start of new marketing campaigns. Jeff Gordon’s stall was a perfect example, as the AARP Drive for Hunger campaign had so many people near the pit box that there was no room to walk, much less for crewmen to move equipment up and down the pit road.

With all the space that is there at Daytona, the renovation the facility needs more than any other is to widen the pit walk. Considering the healthy crowds from this weekend, at least on paper the money’s rolling in once again: there is absolutely nothing stopping the track from making the area behind pit wall a few yards wider. In fact, they could even take it a step further and put bleachers behind the stalls for all the guests and sponsor reps to utilize while watching from the pits. But something, anything would be better than what was endured on Sunday. It was impossible as a media member to even try to do coverage from the pits… so imagine what the crews themselves must have felt like.

Easy fix here, ISC. Easier than a pothole.

FOUR: This Plate Package Needs Some Work

I already touched on this in a previous column during Speedweeks, but regardless of excitement level, speeds, etc., this two-car tandem racing has got to go. Making it literally impossible to act like an individual race car driver until the final turn of the final lap is inherently not racing, but that’s the reality of having to drive in pairs.

Driver Robert Richardson, Jr. who for his lack of Cup experience has become a fixture on the circuit when it comes to plate races, was pointed in his comments regarding the tandem experience, noting “It is definitely not Daytona racing.”

“There are definitely some things they need to change,” he continued. “To get it back to pack racing like it used to be.”

I’ll say. It’s not like the tandems proved to be any safer or easier to control for the drivers; teammates dumped each other at least four times over the course of Speedweeks, while Sunday’s 500 set an all-time record for cautions at 16. The pack racing is no less dangerous, no less destructive, but at least allows for a single driver to make his own moves, drive his own race, and do so from green to checkers. Kudos to Richardson for speaking out on this issue.

FIVE: I Clapped at the End of the Daytona 500. And…?

For all the issues regarding crashes and restrictor plate packages at Daytona over the past week, the most heated debate on Twitter in the media center following Sunday’s race was about a spontaneous display that broke out as Bayne took the checkers. Overcome by the excitement and sheer history of watching a 20-year-old rookie win the sport’s biggest race by inches, the majority of assembled media broke out in applause as the No. 21 crossed the stripe, acknowledging a tremendous effort by a rising young talent… and a historic moment seldom seen in sport. Bayne earned himself another round of applause following his post-race presser, a lively interview that was the ultimate in contrast; Bayne glowed while the Wood Brothers and crew chief Donnie Wingo, a trio of wily veterans sat in quiet awe of what they had just accomplished.

Quick to the tweet were well-known scribes David Caraviello, Nate Ryan, and Jay Busbee among others who all denounced the celebratory display from the media corps as amateurish and too fan-like. In doing so, they all but encouraged writers like myself who engaged in the applause to buy a grandstand ticket and leave the sportswriting to the real journalists.

Well let me make one thing very, very clear to Caraviello, Ryan, Busbee, and anyone else with a holier-than-thou attitude about the conduct of NASCAR’s media corps this Sunday; I’m calling all of you out in return. Did none of you real journalists shed tears the day Dale Earnhardt died? Would you real journalists chide Ned Jarrett for the way he called his son to victory back in 1993?

I was among the many who applauded upon witnessing live one of the greatest upsets the sport has ever seen, as well as the accompanying appreciation of the accomplishment. It was not because of a biased allegiance to Trevor Bayne, or a relief that Carl Edwards was denied a plate victory. It was because I, like so many around me, knew exactly what the historical impact was of what I had just witnessed. Bayne’s victory was a positive outcome the sport has been in dire need of for a long, long time now. It was a rookie with strong upward potential who won the sport’s biggest race, was genuine in his appreciation for it, and in doing so brought the stalwart Wood Brothers back to the top of a sport they have given so much to. And hell, it was a thrilling finish to the Daytona 500. Isn’t that justification enough?

For once, the end outcome was something truly positive. It was a feel-good story, a historic triumph while blending new and old in a way I may not see in the next 20, 30, 40 Daytona 500s I cover. It was a joyous reminder of just how sweet the ecstasy of this sport at its best can be, for the competitors, for the fans, and for those of us fortunate enough to cover it.

To have writers, some of whom will openly admit that this job is a profession more than a passion for them, call out those of us that happen to be both race fans and working professionals offering both ethical and relevant coverage of stock car racing is nothing short of infuriating. I, for one, am not going to sit here and apologize for being a race fan that took great pride and joy in watching this Daytona 500 play out the way it did.

Because for all the professionalism and standards of conduct that can be thrown out there, in my opinion quality journalism can be fueled by passion. It takes that passion for what you’re doing to tell the inside story of the people you cover. It takes passion to appreciate and understand something in NASCAR that, for many goes beyond sport. And it’s going to take passion, be it positive or negative, to build stock car racing back up to where those of us that view it as more than a paycheck want it to be.

So, if given the choice between being a David Caraviello-approved professional journalist and an unabashed race fan, call me a race fan. And I’m proud of it.

Connect with Bryan!

Contact Bryan Davis Keith

Tuesday on the Frontstretch:
Who’s Hot / Not in NASCAR: Daytona 500 Edition
Crime Scene Investigation: Denny Hamlin Looking To Bury Phoenix Hatchet
No Bull: Bayne’s Win Was Big For NASCAR… Now What?
Talking NASCAR TV: Audio, Post-Race Issues Plague ESPN And FOX

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Today on the Frontstretch:
Championship Caliber? What Does That Even Mean?
Mirror Driving: Winning Vs. Points, Needing a Boost, and The Lady’s Last Dance?
Nuts for Nationwide: The Curious Case of Elliott Sadler
Happiness Is…Arrogance, Less, Next, and the Outdoors
Frontstretch Foto Funnies: It’s Not Gonna Fit…


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02/22/2011 06:22 AM

I am so sick of Michael Waltrip I could scream.

02/22/2011 07:23 AM

Any form of racing that leaves half the field unable to see where they’re going doesn’t sound right to me. I hope the next time they race at Daytona Michael Waltrip will choose to show the class the Jr. did and stay in the background, hard as that is for him to do. And, any media person who didn’t feel like they could cheer at the end of that race, if only for seeing the Wood Brothers regain the respectability the have earned, probably shoud go and cover football.

Carl D.
02/22/2011 07:25 AM

Mom always said that if you can’t say something nice about someone, then don’t say anything all. With that said, I have absolutely nothing to say about Michael Waltrip.

I don’t know if anyone claimed Jamie was a championship contender last year or not, but like Trevor Bayne’s win Sunday, it was the whole story behind the win as much as the win itself that made it so special.

02/22/2011 07:37 AM

The only thing you left out was how the other Waltrip in the booth also ruined the race. His constant and incorrect blathering about who caused wrecks, how guys are racing and driving (DW’s not raced on a good portion of these tracks and even the ones he has have been repaved or reconfigured since he’d been behind the wheel.), etc., wore thin in about the first 10 minutes. DW, just shut up!

02/22/2011 08:31 AM

wait??… those guys call themselves journalists? Um hello.
They are NOT journalists, sportswriters yes, editors certainly, NASCAR shills possibly. I’d say journalists only in the sense of collecting and editing news with emphasis on the editing. Shouldn’t sports writing convey and reflect the excitement, passion and emotion of the sport? Hard to do if you don’t have any

02/22/2011 08:31 AM

Brian….you are so spot-on concerning Mikey. I am so glad this week-end is over and Trevor Bayne has so overshadowed Mikey, that it isn’t even funny. Maybe POS’s autobiographical-novel will drop off the face-of-the-Earth, now that he did such a great job of wrecking half the field, as you pointed-out. I just want to puke, everytime I have to watch that CRAPA ad, with him shakin’ his a$$, like the fool he is.
He should retire to the kart tracks around Owensboro. He would probably smack their walls down and wreck half the karts, though!

02/22/2011 08:42 AM

Wow, I actually agree with Randy. I can’t believe it.

I’m happy for Trevor Bayne and especially the Wood Brothers, but all it shows is that ANYONE can win a plate race. Trevor may be a superstar driver, but I’ll believe it when he wins at Martinsville.

02/22/2011 09:17 AM

Now that the excitement has died down, Bayne still has a lot to prove. If he wins this year on a non-plate track then we can really start talking. I have feeling that Roush and Ford see their future franchise to compete with Chevy and Hendrick and will get him whatever he needs. I agree on Waltrip. His two 500 wins were more a product of DEI plate dominance than Mikey’s skill. Though that big wreck was just as much ‘Beak’s fault. He made an abrupt move to the middle and Waltrip hit him at an angle. Unfortunately, I don’t know what NASCAR can do to break up the 2 car drafts. This is a product of a super smooth surface and bumpers that line up perfect. It’s funny the car was designed that way because with the old car there was concern with bump drafting and cars getting lifted off the ground causing huge wrecks. I don’t think this will change significantly until the new body designs in 2013.

02/22/2011 09:34 AM

Woohoo! Good job Randy… ya got a convert!

02/22/2011 10:23 AM

I personally am going to miss Jacob #2.

“2 fingers in the air”

Sherri T
02/22/2011 10:24 AM

If coverage by a “journalist” means watered-down, non-exciting, blab-festing, then I’m all for the NASCAR fan covering the happenings. As far as I’m concerned there is no such thing as a “Journalist” anyway. Look at the national media, they can’t even be objective about what’s happening in the news, so why try to get that out of sports coverage?
I’d rather see genuine racing fans covering racing. I’d rather see someone in their shirt-sleeves than someone in a suit and tie. I’d rather see passion and excitement (real, not acted) in the coverage of a race than people pretending to know what they’re talking about and condescending, nose-in-the-air “objectivity”.

02/22/2011 10:57 AM

So let me get this straight… Everyone “loved” the daytona 500 this year so instead of embracing an awesome race and the beginning of a great season, we just HAVE to find something to complain about. Our solution… the commentators.

Wow, some people just really dont know how to enjoy the sport they claim to love.

Bubba d hyde
02/22/2011 11:00 AM

Oh how I miss….

“Trouble, turn four. Waltrip!”

02/22/2011 11:03 AM

After Daytona, I wonder how long it will take the media to get back to their 24/7 worship of…..Jimmy-Jeffie and Juuuuunior, once again?

It has been nice to get a break, last week, from Waltrip trying to dominate the media and the Hendrick domination and see just how great it was for an unknown, underdog driver to win, for a change, restrictor-plate and all!

We all know, it could take year/years for Trevor to get another Cup-win; but, let’s hope Trevor can help to pick NASCAR up from the fall it has taken, these past few seasons. From what I have seen, on various TV interviews, Trevor has handled himself quite well and very mature for his experience and age, btw!

NASCAR and the fans need a fresh, new, face, like Trevor Bayne, just as much as we need Jimmy, Jeffie and Juuuuuuuuunior!

Joe W.
02/22/2011 11:32 AM

Randy Goldman you really don’t get it, do you. Dale Sr. was a much more accomplished owner than Michael Waltrip. I can’t believe you’re making me defend an Icon of the sport, when what I want to do is congratulate an Iconic team. Great job by the Wood Brothers and Trevor Bayne. Yes now we move on and see how it goes the rest of the year. I hope Trevor does well in both series and shuts up some of the “experts” like Randy Goldman. Most people are happy about this win. Randy why don’t you back to watching whatever it was you were watching before last year O.K. ?

02/22/2011 11:34 AM

David Caraviello is not a journalist by any stretch of the imagination. He’s been noting but an extremely biased hack who does nothing but write articles praising Kyle Busch on a weekly basis.

02/22/2011 11:42 AM

Michael Waltrip racing has accomplised more then Dale Earnhardt Inc.?

Dude, put the crackpipe down and get some help.

02/22/2011 11:58 AM

I am totally fed up with BOTH Waltrips!! Put them out to pasture!!

Carl D.
02/22/2011 11:58 AM

For Michael Waltrip Racing’s most memorable accomplishment, please google “NASCAR Rocked By Cheating Scandal”. It’s all there.

02/22/2011 12:04 PM

I make it a point not to read any of Caraviello’s stuff. It’s soooo boring and pointless.

That being said, I LOVE the new style of Daytona racing. There is so much effort required by single drivers, for Trevor to win it is not just luck, or jumping out of the train at the right time…this was the first drivers’ race I’ve seen in NASCAR in a long time…

02/22/2011 12:18 PM

Great article….How can anyone be as cheap and self centered as a stinking Waltrip!
If I were the Earnhardt family, I would deck MW. He has used Dale Sr. death from day one, to do nothing more than to fake Earnhardt fans into thinking he was like the lost loved son!
What a fake both Mouthpieces are meanwhile Brian France lets them run wild. Shame on all three of them.

Bill B
02/22/2011 12:27 PM

Wonder how well Waltrip’s team will be doing 10 years after he’s gone.

Joe W.
02/22/2011 12:31 PM

Hey Randy Dale Jr. Has won 18 Cup races and 17 of those were with DEI. Does Waltrip have 17 Cup wins as an owner? No he has two. Both by “Beak” and one was rain shortened. I don’t consider “championing” toyota to be a plus. So please give up this insane argument. Dale Jr. won a Daytona 500 for DEI and Waltrip won 2 for DEI. MWR has not won a 500 as a team. DEI wins end of story!! Thank you Good bye! And all this coming from me, a Ford fan!!

02/22/2011 12:39 PM

Funny, how the autobiographic-novel, of POS’s came out, just in time for him and JAWS to shill that for that last several weeks. Watch that fall into oblivion, after he took-out half-the-field last Sunday.

BTW, if it hadn’t been for Coughy’s $$$$ (I mean YEN!) Motormouth Motorsports would have closed their doors, back at the end of that great, 2007 season. Mikey had run Motormouth Motorsports right into the ground, financially. The big….“FOR-SALE” signs were almost out, at “Racertainment”, for sure!

Me too, JoeW!

Joe W.
02/22/2011 12:58 PM

O.K. Randy so now you are going to give us that lame argument that DEI was somehow better off without Dale Sr.? Well I think the fact that they no longer exist proves otherwise. I feel quite sure Jr. is still at DEI if Sr. is still alive and Park was a darned good driver before he was injured in that Busch series wreck at Darlington. You just don’t know the facts and by the way Robby Gordon did NOT drive for DEI. He drove for RCR. Like I said I’m a Ford guy and having to defend Chevy this much makes me cringe but dude you are just plain wrong!! Hey ddsbstrd I think we have something to look forward to this year until Nascar changes the rules on us again!!

02/22/2011 01:23 PM

Man you are correct re Waltrip. He is sooo over the top it’s pathetic. He knows it and is proud of it. He can cry at the drop of a hat better than Tammy Faye BaKKer. I totally agree on Waltrip. Couldn’t make it really in Cup and now is borrowing the limelight from a real champ-Sr.

But you missed one! You have to include Tod Bodine in the same boat—minus the self promotion. I swear he crashed in every race he ran in every thing he ran. Not all were his fault granted. But if you look at 500 replays you will see that dunce bump drafting in the corners! Geeezuzchrist didn’t the boy do his homework? Cup racing has advanced (?) to the point where it is now PUSH drafting Todd. You don’t whack a driver when he is sideways in the corner. You ease up and push draft for 2 1/2 miles then you do it again and again never leaving the bumper, unless of course something happens. But if you look real close this Tod cat is BUMP drafting in the corners…That’s what happens when you don’t run full time. You don’t know the current trends. He never made it in Cup because he just isn’t good enough. I remember whem I was hanging around this sport in the garage area when he drove in Winston Cup—they say he had the crew changing every srpring in the book every race…not because the crew was bad but because he didn’t know what the hell he was doing.

02/22/2011 01:37 PM

I was so sick of both Waltrips by the end of the weekend, I could have screamed.

for any of the NASCAR writers to point fingers is ludicrous, the articles they write are usually not worth reading and most days I don’t. If they want to look at bias, they need to take a good look at the guys calling the races from the booth every weekend. DW, Rusty, Mikey, Brad, Larry Mac, Phil Parsons, all have financial or ownership interests in the sport. they are so biased that they are like the old twisted sister racecars. I hate the cheerleading and shilling that goes on in the booth for all the races. I would like to see a professional broadcast done without all that garbage.

Was I excited for Trevor and the Wood Brothers? You bet. I am a diehard Chevy fan and I was cheering for that kid in the Ford because it was fun! Heck, considering that my fave went out when Waltrip wrecked a big part of the field, I figured I wasn’t going to enjoy the rest of the race – thanks to a surprising win, I did.

I just hope that they don’t push this kid in over his head. NASCAR can chew people up and spit them out — remember David Gilliland and others.

I enjoyed the moment – and I’m glad that you did, too.

02/22/2011 02:00 PM

Joe W
Most folks on this site just ignore the child.

02/22/2011 02:11 PM

Robbie Gordon 1996 — Finished 57th in series points, starting only three races. … Drove at Charlotte for DEI. … Drove in two races for Felix Sabates, at Rockingham and Phoenix.

One race

Joe W.
02/22/2011 02:19 PM

O.K. Pcarp I get it. Just ignore him. As has been pointed out Robbie Gordon drove all of one race for DEI, so I had forgotten that. Not really sure what this dude’s point is. He is Just proving DEI hired better drivers than MWR. Even though I think Robbie is basicly a “tool” he has more wins than MWR drivers do. Oh well whatever!!

02/22/2011 02:20 PM

Comparing DEI to MWR is like comparing Randy Goldman to someone who actually has 2 brain cells to rub together for a single thought. And Randy loses that contest.

02/22/2011 02:36 PM

Thank you Brian.
Another spot on article. The Daytona 500 is an anomaly. It is the hallmark of the Nascar racing season, coming at the beginning not at the end of the long season. We begin the season always hopeful and looking forward to cars on the track even if it is a plate track. That said, the list of winners of the 500 who never accomplished anything else in racing is long. But for this race and this race only it is all about the winner and the winner only. For that brief moment there is no talk of the Championship because we know, next week is when the real season begins and the hunt for the blasted Chase will start, but for this race it was about winning that elusive race in which luck plays as much a part as good equipment, drafting expertise and star quality.
That said, Trevor Bayne showed himself to be a cut above the whole of Speedweeks. He showed, and perhaps that was due to his sheer inexperience in the usual rp racing, that he was conscious of what he needed to do on the track and how to do it.
I am a Tony Stewart fan and that last restart had me hoping that somehow the 21 would get a great restart and win and my husband and I were both shaking each other and yelling at the tv for the 21 to keep coming. I haven’t yelled at the outcome of a race in years. It was that “moment bridged” when youth met with the salt of the sport and forged a fantastic finish and win. I applaud those writers who unabashedly showed their emotions. It shows they know what the Wood Brothers have meant to this sport.
If anything, I am thoroughly tired, of the racing analysts of espn, FOX, and Speed. TNT has become the cream of that dubious crop and they only do a few races.
I looked forward to Nascar Now last night on espn and hoped the analysis would contain Dale Jarrett as a long time friend of the Wood Brothers. But no, we have to get Marty Smith who might as well just stamp “Hendrick Toady” on his forehead and claim kissin’ cuzzin relations with Jr. And somehow even then, Trevor Bayne managed to make that interview palatable and fresh.
We go on to Phoenix and the usual drivers will come to the forefront, but for a brief, shining moment there was a Camelot and a miracle on asphalt that I hope is the start of something good….

Doug (wis)
02/22/2011 04:37 PM

Randy Goldman…the Mikey Waltrip of race fans……..?

02/22/2011 05:35 PM

I thought for sure that most people would say that trevor bayne only won the race because a lot of the others were behind the wall because of wrecks, but i was ready for them, that kid kept the ford up front all day, and ran with the big boys. hopefully the pr.people of nascar dont ruin the personality and enthusiasum this kid has.

02/22/2011 06:04 PM

I have to be honest, I think the Waltrip’s feel NASCAR just is not NASCAR without them. I also think that FOX foster’s this to the max.
Showing DW’s 89 win when there were many more exciting wins to show. Pearson in 76, Bobby Allison in 88 to name a couple. When will both NASCAR and FOX realize these two need ristrictor plates. I thank you and appreciate you writing this article

02/22/2011 06:47 PM

Joe & Randy, Ty Norris first built DEI & then he built MWR after DEI was silly enough to let him go.

02/22/2011 07:12 PM

Toyota just gave a team to Waltrip, Earnhardt built his with his own dough, I think. The Waltrips are tiresome, to hear that stupid boogity, boogity stuff at the start of a race is painful and embarrassing to think new viewers that are watching for the 1st time hear something so dumb at the start of the race….Been tired of see Mikey on speed ch. and on Inside Nascar for years, don’t really understand how he gets so much camera time…Also, it seems Carl Edwards is under contract with espn with the amount of times he ends up on camera with Bestwick, Rusty and Brad, though he at least isn’t a self promoter like Mikey. Glad somebody did write something about Mikey taking out half the field, it stinks. Not a fan of the way they had to race Sunday, but had a good finish so they probably think it’s great racing.

02/22/2011 07:27 PM

Did they check the gas in Waltrip’s truck after the race?

02/22/2011 08:19 PM

going back to DEI…you all seem to forget that Dale wanted Harvick, too…and explicitly told Childress that if he didn’t hire him on RCR he would sign him to DEI.

02/22/2011 08:48 PM

Way to go Bryan, another Waltrip bash! And two in one week, you should be so proud. Bet you you’re getting a kick out of this, uh?

I bet Dale Sr was smiling down on the #15 truck on Friday and I’m pretty sure he’s proud of his friend. Congrats Mikey!

PS: Don’t forget to delete this post too. LOL!!

02/22/2011 08:52 PM

Randy Goldman is the male version of MaryBeth, both are delusional.

02/22/2011 08:56 PM

As far as the Waltrip bashing goes, all I have to say is Dale Earnhart Sr. didn’t have the same opinion the author of this article has of Michael Waltrip.

It’s pretty stupid to think that a spoiler would be designed to “break” on the last lap of the race. What they had some kind of way to rig it so it breaks one the last lap of the race? Because if it would have broke earlier in the race NASCAR would have black flagged the 15 truck.

This part of the article is in very poor taste.
Obviously NASCAR didn’t have a problem with it or they would have issued fines today.

Vito Pugliese - FS Staff
02/23/2011 01:47 AM

I guess these four journalists were not in the press room at Michigan in 2008 when Dale Earnahrdt, Jr. walked in. I let out a “Ehhhhyyyy!!!!” and clapped a couple of times, kind of joking around, then EVERYBODY let loose with a round of applause. To which Jr. chuckled and said, “Heh, awllright Gotdamnint, knock it off…” and sat down to do the winner’s post race press conference.

Pretty much everybody in the room went up to him shook his hand or hugged him after the press conference. These people all know each other and are around each other 3 days a week for 36 weeks+ a year.

It’s called being human. You aren’t covering the State Department or part of the White House Press Crops. You can tell a story, be objective, and be human all at the same time. It’s a stockcar race, you’re not unmasking Deep Throat.

Shake yourself, Ryan.

Old Farmer
02/23/2011 02:27 AM

Can’t say I’m a Mikey fan, but at least when he makes a show he tries to race, quite unlike “Back Row Joe” and his ilk (it’s a word—look it up.

They show up, make a lap or two, hit the showers, and collect their unearned money, all the while leaving some guys who really wanted to race on the outside looking in.

02/23/2011 11:10 AM

if i had a vote on the matter, dw’s 45 year old great-grandchildren would accept his induction to the hall of fame.

02/23/2011 11:53 AM

Waltrip is nothing but a corporate schill. Always has been, always will be. His (over) promotion of his new book during Speedweeks at Daytona was absolutely despicable.

In terms of this Randy Goldman character, let me lay some pre-2001 DEI stats for you:

Cup Series
3 wins (2 Junior, 1 Park)
2000 All-Star Race Victory

Let’s not forget that Steve Park was injured in 1998 and didn’t run the entire season.

Busch Series
1998 and 1999 titles
35 wins (Earnhardt, Park, Junior, Hornaday)

Truck Series
1996 and 1998 titles
25 wins

02/23/2011 12:13 PM

As Clint Bowyer once said in a red flag caution (that Michael Waltrip caused), I qoute “Michael Waltrip is the worse driver in Nascar” end quote. And he is! He is a very nice guy but, he can not drive a race car for very long without either screwing up himself with a wreck or screwing up someone else,look at his history . speak for itself, he can’t drive a race car. He needs to mentor his drivers and run his company.

02/23/2011 02:32 PM

Michael Waltrip. Darrell Waltrip. I’m trying not to be ugly about them. There is just nothing at all good to say….except that “ol’ DW” didn’t get into the HoF which was hilarious and so satisfying. Those two should be penalized for actions detrimental to stock car racing.

02/24/2011 03:06 PM

I don’t want to hear anything else about Mikey, he is grossly overrated and doesn’t deserve the attention. Wont be long until he comes out of the closet…then everyone will have something else irrelevant to talk about

02/24/2011 03:52 PM

No cheering in the press box. Ever. Anything less makes you fanboy, not a sports writer.

02/24/2011 06:10 PM

Weak justification for your cheerleading, calling it “passion.” Peter Gammons and Tim Kurkjian have a long and deep passion for baseball, but they know how to act like professionals and aren’t afraid to be critical when it’s called for.

You can keep on cheering and acting like a fanboy if you like, but you’re going to lose credibility in the process.