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 Frontstretch.com 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,
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