The Frontstretch: Sometimes, The Media Doesn’t Have A Clue by Jeff Meyer -- Thursday July 21, 2011

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Sometimes, The Media Doesn’t Have A Clue

Voices From the Heartland · Jeff Meyer · Thursday July 21, 2011


I have come to the conclusion that the only people who can even come close to the talents of political, BS spin correspondents are some of the ones who cover the sport of NASCAR.

Mind you, the last time I called someone out by name in this column, it resulted in a rather messy brouhaha and a heated email exchange ensued, toward the end of which I offered to buy the offended journalist a beer to which he declined (and then, sadly, later died.) Today I am not going after such big game and I will not name names, but I will stand by my guns that they are way off base and I personally, am getting sick of hearing it. (And yes, even if “they” get mad at me, I would still buy them a beer… as long as they don’t go off and do what the last one did before I saw him again.) Here are a couple of examples of what I’m talking about.

“After another festival of failures on pit road, the cracks are starting to show in the Five-Time champions. The sky is falling, Jimmie’s bawling, and Chad is crawling back to start, trying to figure out a way to salvage the season before the Chase starts.”

Or better yet, this one…

“On paper, the 48’s finish yesterday looked very strong. In reality, it was a disaster. Johnson is a very strong driver. He’s able to compensate for screw-ups.”

Well folks, lets look at the “reality” of this “disaster” that occurred just a few short days ago.

Following a fifth-place finish at Loudon, Jimmie Johnson jumped from fifth place in the standings to second, a gain of three spots. In “reality,” the only other driver to gain three spots in the standings this last week was Kasey Kahne, who now sits in 14th. (Yes, Scott Wimmer did gain four but 60th place in points is not really reality now, is it!?)

Other noticeable shifts in last week’s “reality?” Well, let’s see… winner Ryan Newman advanced one spot while his team owner and runner-up, Tony Stewart, well he didn’t advance at all and is still in 11th place. Let’s see… I think I am missing something here… oh yeah, Kyle Busch! Seems Kyle kinda slipped a bit and went from first to fifth! Oops!

Now, before a bunch of you get your knickers in a knot and go on uselessly about how we all here at hate Kyle Busch, I only bring him up for a reason that may surprise you. It pertains to the statement, “Johnson is a very strong driver. He’s able to compensate for screw-ups.”

Sweetheart, let me tell you something; Kyle Busch is a heck of better driver than that Johnson. Yes, Jimmie is very polished and he IS good, but I stand by statements I have made in the past that Johnson wouldn’t have even one championship Cup on his mantle if it weren’t for Chad Knaus. If it comes down to head-to-head competition and raw talent, I’ll bet my money on Busch any day of the week and twice on Sundays. (Which could be quite lucrative, seeing as how most races are held on Sundays!)

As for the sky falling in on the No. 48 team…yeah right. Why would you say such a thing? Because they only have one win? Well how about 1 win and 7 top 5s and 12 top 10s with only one DNF! Oh, how conveniently we forget about those pesky Top-5s and Top-10s when one wants to sensationalize something.

Who else has comparable stats? Well there is Kyle with 3 wins, 10 Top-5s and 11 Top-10s and, oops… 3 DNFs! Where is Kyle again? Oh that’s right, he fell from first to fifth. There is Carl (Edwards) of course, sitting at the top with 1 win, 10 Top-5s, 13 Top-10s and 0 DNFs, stats that are pretty comparable to Johnson’s so that must mean the sky is falling for him, too. Hmmmm, go figure.

All of these stats have made me remember something… remember 2003 and the reason we have this God forsaken Chase in the first place? I do. Matt Kenseth and Ryan Newman. Lets see, how’d those stats go again…?

Ryan Newman, 8 wins, 17 Top-5s, 22 Top-10s and 7 DNFs
Matt Kenseth, 1 win, 11 Top-5s, 25 Top-10s and 2 DNFs

Seems to me, I remember Matthew receiving a Championship that year. Man, what a disastrous year!

Folks, don’t be fooled by what some in the media would have you believe. While Jimmie and Chad and crew may not be doing “it” in the way they have have before, they ARE the five-in-a-row defending champs and any team, from third place on down as of now, would love to be living their disastrous season.

Stay off the wall,

Jeff Meyer

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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?
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Happiness Is…Arrogance, Less, Next, and the Outdoors
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07/21/2011 01:10 PM

Jimmie is like a smooth talking politician who would gladly cut your heart out without a second thought while smiling and shaking your hand.
Kyle, being a wiseass always lets you know where you stand, there is no second guessing with him.

Sherri T
07/21/2011 01:55 PM

I’m glad I’m not the only one who shook my head in wonder at the quoted statements. I’m not a Jimmie fan, but to say he had a disastrous day on Sunday is stretching the truth to the max!

07/21/2011 02:12 PM

I didn’t like how 5-time was quick to throw his pit crew under the bus, while conveniently not mentioning his own spin that cost him as many spots as his pit crew.

07/21/2011 02:53 PM

I just love the media that keeps advertising Kyle as the fan favorite. What a crock. The majority of the fans hate that punk.

07/21/2011 02:57 PM

I think that a lot of Kyle’s success comes from his crew chiefs as well. It seems that in this day and age you need a great driver as well as a great crew chief to be successful.

Kevin in SoCal
07/21/2011 04:09 PM

The media’s favorite motto: Never let the facts get in the way of a good story.

07/21/2011 04:15 PM

Your article is very apropo. Seems everything is scripted anymore.

I compare Kyle Busch to drivers from a way long time ago. Junior Johnson, Curtis Turner, Fireball Roberts and others. You race to win. And to win you have to lead. You go or blow. Shove race stradegy aside. I find myself doing the same thing with Kyle that I did with Dale Earnhardt. I always want oto know where he is on the track. He is the only exciting driver in the series. Before anyone starts, I could care less about anything that occurs off of the track. This includes pre and post race interviews.

Johnson and Knaus are a super team. I think they were meant to be. Similar to Gordon-Everham.

07/21/2011 05:48 PM

“Jimmie is like a smooth talking politician who would gladly cut your heart out without a second thought while smiling and shaking your hand.” Speaking of facts did this occur or were you just trying to prove that the articles purpose happens everyday. Second the reason he did spin was because he was put so far back in the field from the lack of efficient pit stops that he had to press the car, and lets not forget that ol’ wrecker ball montoya was involved in that as well. If everyone did stick to the stats and the facts then nobody could measure up to to 5-TIME: he wins, is consistant, and pi$$es people off because he is nice while he does it. Third eveyone talks about how bad it is for nascar that Jimmie is going for six…well who exactly do we talk about in nascars history that are important to is everyone who won and in fact the more you win the better you are look at the top two (petty, sr.)seven titles apiece, and who watched the tour de france before armstrong..nobody it was not on tv…and guess why F1 became mainstream in U.S. because of a streak put together by a man named michael. Shall i keep going on. Jealousy drives people to go mad with envy and if you ask me Jimmie is not ruining the sport he is making alot of other people try a lot harder to win. So you tell me how anything he is doing is bad except for your driver. As for kyle busch either his crew gets him a car that is good and he can win with (and usually does) or he wrecks it trying to drive to hard because the car is not hooked up yet and has the patience of a four year old and does not have the mentality to pull home a top 15 for a points day. Untill he learns that he can get all the wins he wants but he will never get that championship (i mean the real one,cup) Until then Jimmie will take it on the chin with a smile and turn nascar into his own history book. So bend your facts, hide your stats, but always know the truth rises to the surface sooner or later.


Carl D.
07/21/2011 06:01 PM

I used to think The 48 team’s success was almost 100% due to Chad Knaus. However, I’m now convinced that Johnson is responsible for at least 20% of the team’s success.

I agree.. the trophy belongs to the 48 team until someone else takes it from them.

07/21/2011 09:15 PM

Alan – Montoya had zero to do with JJ’s spin.

07/22/2011 01:07 AM

Alan, without the Chad, Jimmie would be a neutered cat. Granted, he’s a damn good driver but Kyle is better. I am no fan of Kyle but if I was forced to spend the day with one of the two I’d hang out with Kyle just to see what he does.
Jimmie has spent years learning to be a good guy and smoozing the money guys just like any good politician would.


Contact Jeff Meyer

Recent articles from Jeff Meyer:

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