The Frontstretch: Best of Voices From the Heartland: The NASCAR Untouchables by Jeff Meyer -- Monday November 28, 2005

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Best of Voices From the Heartland: The NASCAR Untouchables

Jeff Meyer · Monday November 28, 2005


I’ve never been accused of pulling any punches in this column, and I’m not about to start now. Not that any of them ever landed anywhere, "˜cept maybe my unceasing hounding and ridicule of NAMRF, the likes of which even my editors got tired of, but I keep swinging.

In light of the recent events surrounding Shane Hmiel’s 2nd suspension for violating NASCAR’s substance abuse policy, I must say that Shane was an easy target. He might as well have driven the #41 Chip Ganassi entry sponsored by Target with that big red bulls eye on his back.

To be brutally honest, in the world of NASCAR, Shane Hmiel was still a nobody. He was just an up and comer who showed some talent, a new media "˜young gun’ who had yet to establish a firm toe hold in the NASCAR world. In all reality, as the years pass by, Shane will only be remembered whenever his father (Steve Hmiel) is mentioned or whenever some other poor sap fails to study for NASCAR’s golden cup test. Like I said, Shane was an easy target. There are others though, starring in this soap opera we call NASCAR, that will NEVER have to worry, clean or not, about passing this particular test.

Now I’m not saying that I think there are other "˜dirty’ drivers out there, actually the opposite is true. What I am saying is that there are certain icons in this sport that will never have to worry about NASCAR dropping a UA (urine analysis) on them.

Now it is a known fact that Shane and Dale Earnhardt Jr. are close friends. It is also well known that Jr. likes to party. Do you see where I’m going with this? As the old saying goes, "You run with the dogs, you’re going to catch the fleas". Again, before all you Jr. fans out there start grabbing your pitchforks and torches and form a caravan towards Iowa, I’m NOT saying that I think Jr. is "˜dirty’. What I AM saying is that NASCAR would NEVER want to even take the chance of finding out!

What would it do to the bottom line of NASCAR’s ledger, if the son of the man that arguably made NASCAR what it is today, had to be banned from the sport? Imagine Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson, Tony Stewart or a host of others suddenly GONE! Not because of some tragic accident, but because NASCAR threw them out. It will never happen; the consequences would be too devastating to the profit column.

While it IS good that NASCAR must now stand up to the plate on this issue, it will always be someone like Shane Hmiel, who is expendable, which will bear the brunt of NASCAR’s substance abuse policy. To the real money makers, NASCAR’s official response will be, "I know nut-ting"¦!" (You know – Sgt. Schultz "" Hogan’s Heroes "" work with me here! Ok, I’m dating myself, I know"¦) Anyway, till next week"¦

Stay off the wall (and the drugs!),


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Today on the Frontstretch:
NASCAR Easter Eggs: A Few Off-Week Nuggets to Chew On
Five Points To Ponder: NASCAR’s Take-A-Breath Moment
Truckin’ Thursdays: Top Five All-Time Truck Series Drivers
Going By the Numbers: A Week Without Racing Can Bring Relief But Kill Momentum


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11/29/2005 04:52 AM


I realize the article is a re-run, and I enjoyed it as much as the first time around. But, for some strange reason, I gleaned more information and insight the second time around. That happens to me from time to time when I re-read an article, finding something I missed or skimmed over and didn’t retain or comprehend. Same thing can happen when I watch a movie twice, or more. Makes me crazy when that happens.

The first time I read your article—back in June, I somehow missed part of the message, I think. So I’m sorta confused. Let me run this by you to see if I have it correct now.

It didn’t take me long to miss something. Like the tid-bit of info at the end of the first paragraph where you tell us, ”.....but I keep swinging.”

I never would have guessed the wild life existed in those really small towns in Iowa. I’ve lived in the big city too long. I gotta get out more often.

The mid section of the article was very interesting, and it’s possible you’re correct about how NASCAR would, or wouldn’t, handle a situation involving a box office draw driver. Money down the drain, for sure—along with a career. Uppermost in the mind of France seems to be money—profit, actually. Very important, profit. For once it seems it isn’t who you [i]know[/i], it’s who you [i]are[/i]. Don’t ask, don’t really wanna know, so no need to tell. What’s not to like?

But, I digress…...............

The next tid-bit I missed the first time around is found in the last paragraph.

I never would have imagined anyone doing this, but there it is in black on white—you admtting it must have taken a lot of courage. Darned near knocked me right outta my comfort adjustable, rolling, multi-tasking computer chair—with arm rests. It isn’t every day I read, “Ok, I’m [i]dating myself[/i], I know…........Anyway, till next week.”

Are you saying you’re going to break-up with you “next week”? How could you do that to you? You don’t deserve that kind of treatment from [i]any[/i]body—not even from you!

Any chance you’ll reconsider and remain a couple? You were meant for you, doncha know? I think you’ll regret breaking up with you. Don’t rush into this without thinking about it very carefully. You and you make such a nice couple.

At least wait till after Christmas. You’ll need you to attend the parties with where, I assume, you “keep swinging”.

Just thought I’d mention that to you, and you can read it, too.

Until next season, I’m Off The Wall and in withdrawls. Can’t help but wonder if swinging or dating myself would make matters better, or worse.

Insight? Suggestions? Advice?

I sure need some. I feel like climbing the walls—and there’s still around 82 days left till Daytona. I don’t think I’m gonna make it this time.

11/29/2005 09:24 AM

Good Points !

I didn’t know there was any one out there that remembered what a Hudson Hornet was. And for you new fans it is not a bee.


11/29/2005 08:22 PM

I apparently missed that one the first time Jeff…definitely a good one. And HH you crack me up!


Contact Jeff Meyer

Recent articles from Jeff Meyer:

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