The Frontstretch: Voices From The Cheap Seats: Stewart’s Excuses And Brian Francisms! by Jeff Meyer -- Friday May 31, 2013

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With some drivers, whining is expected. Usually it is younger drivers, lower tier drivers or drivers ending in Busch. Tony Stewart, though, seems to whine a lot more when he’s not out in front.

“Everybody that thinks this crap of blocking is productive, they don’t know honestly what racing is all about,” Stewart said. “And the guys that do it who think it’s acceptable, I lose respect for them every day.”

Chief among those Stewart is supposedly losing respect for is the boyfriend of Stewart’s own driver, Princess Sparkle Pony…I mean Danica Patrick, Ricky Stenhouse, Jr.

Because Tony Stewart never, ever blocks! These days, he may not be blocking, but he’s not winning much either and that may be why he’s out of sorts.

“Ricky Stenhouse, I’d choke him right now if I could get to him,” Stewart told Sirius XM Radio after Sunday night’s Coca-Cola 600. “One more lap of having to mess around with him… “

Oh the drama! But what can Tony do? Imagine the ‘in-house’ fallout if Tony were to “educate” Ricky, so to speak! I tell you, if this ain’t classic soap opera crap, I don’t know what is!

Here’s the reality of it, Tony, so listen closely. Blocking is a part of racing. Always has been and always will be. Watch the leaders on the last lap of almost any race. Oh wait! Is that Tony Stewart attempting to block someone? Oh yeah, guess we have to go back a couple of years to see those replays…back when Tony won the Cup by a tie breaker.

Unfortunately for Stewart Haas Racing, blocking isn’t their only woe. It would seem that it is the cars themselves, and the lack of knowing what to do with them is another reason for a dismal season thus far.

From a recent article from SPEED…

• Zipadelli says Cars to Blame: Greg Zipadelli, the competition director at Stewart-Haas Racing and longtime confidante of Tony Stewart, said the team has fallen behind on technology relative to the top NASCAR Sprint Cup teams. Zipadelli said the combination of adding a third car for Danica Patrick, converting to the new Generation-6 cars and shuffling personnel internally has left SHR well behind top teams like Joe Gibbs Racing and Hendrick Motorsports so far this season. Coming into Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, #39-Ryan Newman is 17th in points, #14-Stewart 21st and #10-Patrick 28th. Thursday night, Newman qualified 10th for the Coca-Cola 600, with Patrick 24th and Stewart 25th.(full story at SPEED)(5-25-2013)

SHR, a satellite operation of Hendrick Motorsports, is behind the eight ball on the new Gen Six cars? Give me a break! Can you see me crying here? Perhaps SHR should take a few notes from Michael Waltrip Racing! Wow! Who’d have thunk anyone would ever be saying that!

And now the part we’ve all been waiting for…Brian France speaks!

Unfortunately, I am not, at this time, going to go through all of Brian’s latest ‘state of the union’ speech last Saturday night. I’ve neither the time nor the inclination, mostly the inclination, to do so. We all know that trying to make sense of Brian France is like understanding something likened to ‘English Trigonometry Theory,’ if there were such a thing. I do however want to comment on a couple of Francisms concerning some of the recent topics on everyone’s mind.

• News about the Air Titan track drying system: NASCAR chairman Brian France said during a Saturday state-of-union address that the new Air Titan track drying system has been a success, particularly at Talladega Superspeedway where it allowed Saturday’s Nationwide Series race and Sunday’s Sprint Cup event to be completed on the same day. So why doesn’t every track have the system? France said NASCAR, which owns the right to Air Titan, is in the process of educating tracks on the cost savings from getting the event completed on the scheduled day versus the cost of purchasing the machines. “In fairness to different tracks, they hadn’t seen that work in a real live condition [before Talladega],’‘ France said. “Now they have. My hope is that we will get the cost down, number one, and that every track who is in risk of having rain will be using the system.’‘’(ESPN)(5-27-2013)

So tell me Brian, which tracks do we race at where there is no risk of rain? Last I looked, there were no domed tracks. Also the last time I looked, there was this company, called ISC, which by the way, is owned by the France family, who happens to also own most of the tracks that NASCAR plays on. Perhaps it would be better to say “we don’t want to spend all that much money until we absolutely have to.” Especially for those places it rains! Here is another good one…

NASCAR TV Negotiations update: NASCAR chairman Brian France said during a Saturday state-of-union address that negotiations for a new television contract that would go into effect in 2015 are “getting down to the last bit of it.’‘ France said his hope is to renew with the incumbents. Fox already has renewed from 2015-2022 for a reported $300 million a year. ESPN and TNT are the other current partners. NBC also is a player for a major portion of the 36-race schedule. “My hope is to remain where we are,’‘ France said. “But that’s why you have negotiations and discussions. We’ll have to see how that plays out.’‘(ESPN)(5-26-2013)

I’ve always wondered what ‘negotiations and discussions’ were all about! I am equally elated that Brian is getting “down to the last bit of it.” I have been losing sleep, as I’m sure all loyal fans are, worrying if Brian can broker a record deal like he did last time. After all, divorce lawyers (not to mention track drying systems) are not cheap! And finally…

• Brian France not in favor of moving race from Charlotte: NASCAR chairman Brian France is not in favor of moving a Sprint Cup race from Charlotte Motor Speedway to Las Vegas. Earlier this week, Speedway Motorsports Inc. chairman Bruton Smith said there was a 70% chance he would seek to move the October Chase race from CMS to his 1.5-mile track in Sin City. That would leave the hub of NASCAR with only one point race, the Coca-Cola 600 in May, and the All-Star race held the week before. France said during a Saturday state-of-union address at CMS there have been no discussions with Smith or SMI, but his preference is to “make the events where they are more successful.’‘
“We have gotten a long way with our position in motorsports because we’ve had historically important events, like this weekend, that happen every year that people can count on,’‘ France said. “That said, for one reason or another, a certain market is not performing as well, it may be a better opportunity. We’ve seen that in the last five, six years or longer. We’ll take a look at it. My preference would be to keep the event here in Charlotte.’‘(ESPN)(5-25-2013)

“We have gotten a long way with our position in motorsports because we’ve had historically important events, like this weekend, that happen every year that people can count on.’‘ Did Brian really just have the balls to make that statement? Or is he just that stupid?

Does anyone remember the cherished race weekend called ‘The Southern 500’? I’m sure many Californians do! You go, Marketing Genius!

Stay off the wall, (you might block Tony’s view!)

Jeff Meyer

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Today on the Frontstretch:
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05/31/2013 11:14 AM

Brian talks out both sides of his mouth at the same time!

05/31/2013 12:39 PM

Kevin, He talks out his back side also !!!

05/31/2013 01:33 PM

Ha, good article. thank you for NOT doing a word for word analysis of the senseless ramblings of Brian France.

Tony’s a hypocrite with his no blocking talk.

05/31/2013 02:08 PM

Nice…two of the biggest tools in Nascrap in one article!!

Kevin in SoCal
05/31/2013 02:39 PM

Regarding your last point, in Brian’s defense, maybe he saw the errors in moving the Southern 500 from Labor Day and is not going to make that mistake again?


Contact Jeff Meyer

Recent articles from Jeff Meyer:

Voices From The Cheap Seats: The Tale Of Two Tires
BSNews! Bruton’s Plans Extend Beyond Bristol’s Track
Top Ten Reasons Fans Failed To Show Up At Bristol Sunday
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