The Frontstretch: Voices From The Cheap Seats: Things That Please Me, Some Not And Others, Well… by Jeff Meyer -- Friday June 28, 2013

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As longtime readers know, I am not your usual media type. I didn’t set out to be a journalist when I started writing for FS but more of an exuberant, sometimes over-beveraged, know-it-all fan with an audience.

Back then, I made no bones about having a “favorite” driver in Dale Jarrett, and I have the shirts and caps and jackets to prove it, some with the old UPS logo but most with the current UPS shield. (Fewer still with the “Ford Credit” logo.)

It was with a heavy heart when I had to replace my favorite upon the announcement of his pending retirement, but at least he gave me time to find a replacement which I did in the form of an up-and-coming backflipper in the Truck Series who is, of course, Carl Edwards.

What makes a race fan happy? How about two favorite drivers running the same paint scheme in the Cup Series?

While I try, and I think I do a good job of it, not to be a biased cheerleader when I write, I do remember penning something about being quite giddy when UPS jumped on the Roush-Fenway bandwagon as a part time sponsor for Carl. It was, after all, the perfect opportunity to slap an embroidered 99 patch on the opposite sleeve of the 88 on my fancy UPS jacket, thus representing both my all-time favorite drivers in one fell swoop! I’m sure it violates some idiotic licensing law, but I don’t care. I’m gonna do it…been meaning to for a couple of years now.

The gist of all this is, it pleases me greatly when Carl gets to run the full UPS paint scheme on his car as is planned for this week in Kentucky. Hey, the older I get, it seems that less and less pleases me, especially when dealing with NASCAR. You gotta tout the small victories!

As an avid bowler since 1974, here is another thing that pleases me (wow! Two things in one week!):

From a press release: “Richard Petty Motorsports announces partnership with GoBowling.com: The number one recognized car in NASCAR will now feature the number one participatory sports activity – bowling! Richard Petty Motorsports (RPM) and Strike Ten Entertainment announced today at the International Bowl Expo (IBE) the launch of a new partnership that will feature GoBowling.com as a primary sponsor of the #43 Ford Fusion driven by Aric Almirola. Also at IBE was the official unveiling of the #43 GoBowling.com Ford Fusion. Richard Petty appeared on the Expo floor and helped give attendees a first look at the historic car as well as posed for photos and signed autographs. Later this summer the car will make its on-track debut at the GoBowling.com 400 on August 4 at the Pocono Raceway. The GoBowling.com Ford will also be the primary partner for the #43 team at the same event in 2014. GoBowling.com is the website to visit to learn more about the 2,100+ bowling centers around the country. Fans can learn about their local bowling centers, promotional offers, bowling tips and more. Currently, GoBowling.com is running a national promotion for one lucky race fan to wave the green flag to start their NASCAR Sprint Cup event (GoBowling.com 400) on Sunday, August 4. This partnership with RPM is their first with a team and driver.”(RPM)

Bowling is a wonderful sport! It is one of the few, if not the only sport, where you are not forbidden or even frowned upon for drinking while you do it, with other possible exceptions being golf and curling. At any rate, I like beverages and I like bowling and now they are going after other ardent beverage consumers—race fans. Sounds like a perfect ploy to me. The only downside to both the UPS thing and GoBowling thing is their association with Ford. I’ve never been a Ford fan, not when dealing with street cars anyway. (Old Fords are okay, but not much after ’75 or so!)

One thing I dislike very much are whiners.

Here’s a tidbit I found on Jayski this week: “(Jeff) Gordon would like to see change to car for road courses: After racing the new Gen-6 car for the first time on a road course, runner-up #24-Jeff Gordon has a note for NASCAR’s suggestion box. “There’s one thing I’m going to talk to NASCAR about with this car,” Gordon said after posting a much-needed top five that vaulted him three positions to 13th in the Cup standings. “We don’t have the body in the right position for the road courses to turn right. When we go to Watkins Glen, as fast as those right-handers are, we’re going to have some issues. There’s nothing to lean on. You have plenty of grip on the lefts, because the body still has a little bit of rake on the rights. It has nice sideforce for the right side of the car for those left turns, but on the right turns, the cars are just so out of control.” That’s an issue Gordon hopes NASCAR will address.”(NASCAR Wire Service)

Hey Jeffy, it’s just like a (gasp!) street car! I’m told it’s terribly complicated, but the gist is that it has to do with weights and balances etc. Ironically, the solution to your right turn problem is the same solution to my advocacy for removing restrictor plates: don’t go so fast that you lose control! If you want to feel more ‘balanced’, try Activia! Oh, and they do have racing series where you sit in the middle of the cockpit. Maybe that will help you.

Another thing I despise, although they do give me something to write about most weeks, are stupid, useless press releases.

For example, this one: “Gordon, Stewart & Johnson looking for first win at Kentucky: In the 2012 season finale at Homestead, #24-Jeff Gordon was victorious leaving only one track that Gordon has not won at in the Sprint Cup Series, Kentycky Speeedway.

“Kentucky is one of only two tracks the Sprint Cup Series visits where #14-Tony Stewart has yet to record a Sprint Cup victory. The other is Darlington Raceway, where Stewart at least has a NASCAR Nationwide Series win (2008).
Kentucky Speedway is one of five of the 23 tracks on the Sprint Cup schedule where #48-Jimmie Johnson has yet to win. Michigan International Speedway, Chicagoland Speedway, Watkins Glen International and Homestead-Miami Speedway are the others.”

Okay, since they brought it up and specifically in the Cup series, there are upwards of 41 drivers looking for their first Cup win at Kentucky! There have been only three Cup races ever held at the facility! What are all these other guys, chopped liver? The only two racers not looking for their first win in Sparta are Kyle Busch and Brad Keselowski. I guess the youngsters decided to get this one marked off their bucket list early.

Finally we have something that just leaves me shaking my head more than Paula Deen’s life coach.

Another gem of a release from Burn Rubber Productions: “New NASCAR related clothes: Burn Rubber Productions and JRM Licensing announced the exclusive launch of the Dale Earnhardt Jr. Original Burn Rubber Tee Shirt. Printed using Burn Rubber’s Patent Pending process, the lineup includes shirts in several “paint scheme” designs – each screen printed with authentic Dale Jr. race used tire rubber. The first of its kind, the Original Tee takes being a race fan to a whole new level.”

If you set one on fire, does it smell like a Dale Jr. victory burnout? Speaking of which, does anyone remember what that smells like? Guess I have to burn one to find out!

Stay off the wall (especially when turning right!)

Jeff Meyer

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RickP
06/28/2013 08:08 AM
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Shake your head all you want, Jeff, but you know as well as I do, that the Jr. fans will sell the tires off of their trailer (but not their cigarettes and beer) and put off dental care just to buy Jr. junk.

GinaV24
06/28/2013 11:30 AM
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OK, why shouldn’t Gordon suggest improvements to the Gen6 car? Because IMO this iteration of the NASCAR spec car still needs a lot of work, on ovals, too.

You can shake your head over it – I’d rather see them fix the flippin car so that we don’t see follow the leader crap all the time.

pepper
06/28/2013 12:01 PM
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RickP, I am a proud member of Jr Nation. I can only speak for myself, but I don’t smoke or drink, and my teeth are in great shape. Your words speak more to your own lack of education and class than to any Dale Jr fan.

Sadly Jeff, the same applies to you for your snarky remark about remembering Jr’s last win. Or perhaps we can contribute that remark to your statement “exuberant, “sometimes over-beveraged, know-it-all fan with an audience”.

Ken
06/28/2013 12:44 PM
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Gee, Jeff! You better watch yourself for saying you will be cheering for Edwards this weekend, even if it is only because of his sponsor! Amy will poison your coffee!

And here is a little tidbit about the Ford Fusion. Last year, I read somewhere where Ford was supposed to be moving the Fusion production from Mexico to Flat Rock, Michigan. The plant Ford will was to build the Fusion at was one Ford co-owned with Mazda, and both Mazda6’s and Mustangs rolled off the assembly lines. That must have been quite an arrangement. However, Mazda pulled the Mazda6 production out of there and took it back to Japan. So, the plant was to start rolling Fusions off the line last September. Apparently, the news was a year early. According to a Ford rep I talked to at Michigan Speedway two weeks ago, the production is slated to start this August for the 2014 model year! All Fusions, except for the Hybrids, will be made in Michigan starting with the 2014s. The hybrids will still be made in Mexico. Something to do with the technology at that plant. Anyway, I hope, when those Ford teams roll out at Daytona next February, they all have “Proudly Made In The USA!” on them.

Ken
06/28/2013 12:49 PM
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Strike the word “will” out. It was supposed to read “The plant Ford was to build the Fusion at…” I wanted to correct it before the College Professor jumped all over me again!

Kevin in SoCal
06/28/2013 01:08 PM
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Dont go fast in a race car? Yeah Jeff, I think you’ve been drinking too much. :)

Joe..
06/28/2013 08:38 PM
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Jeff: What the hell is the matter with you. How dare you’re having fun and an opinion while writing. You have been doing so for years.

 

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
BSNews! NASCAR CEO Given "Special" Award Amidst Lavish Fanfare
Fan Coun-ci-What? Just What Is It That NASCAR Wants To Study?

Want to know more about Jeff Meyer or view his complete article archives? Then hop on over to his archive and bio page.