The Frontstretch: </font>Voices From the Heartland: Bright iDEI revisited by Jeff Meyer -- Wednesday July 6, 2005

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</font>Voices From the Heartland: Bright iDEI revisited

Jeff Meyer · Wednesday July 6, 2005


Way back in February, when the temperature here in Iowa was between frigid and RFC (REALLY frickin’ cold!), I wrote a Voices column entitled Who’s Bright iDEI Was This? In that article, I wrote about the problems at DEI, and their decision to swap the #8 and #15 teams and cars.

I caught a lot of flack for some of the things I wrote from many Jr. fans, most of whom saying that I was full of Busch Light. What did I know anyway, they wrote, seeing as how in real life I am just an underpaid corporate security officer who is not privy to any inside information at DEI, yada yada yada. Well…

Since I’ve been married nearly twenty years now, and I don’t get to say this at home…HA! I told ya so!

While my critics were right about me not having any inside scoop, and there are times when I AM full of Busch Light, you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to read between the lines of a race team’s PR.

Thanks to a recent interview of the folks down there at DEI by Ed Hinton, a staff writer for the Orlando Sentinel who DOES have the inside scoop (read it here), I can now sit down here at the end of the bar smiling smugly.

I expect you, loyal reader, to click on both of the links above and read the full articles, but just because I can’t help myself, I’m going to throw a few quotes in here to show how my prediction turned out, before all this smugness wears off.

(Quote From Voices: 2/17/05)
The winner in all this (besides the paperwork person) is gonna be Mikey Waltrip. The crew that Jr. dissed is going to work twice as hard to put the #15 well above the #8 by the end of the year. Not only that, they got all of Jr.’s cars! Ya don’t hear Mikey complaining about his Daytona ride now, do you?

(Quote from Ed Hinton interview (Orlando Sentinel): 6/25/05)

“When we first made the change, Tony Jr. and that team were out to prove they could run good without me. And that I wasn’t carrying them," Earnhardt said. "They felt like people looked at them in that sense. So they were out to prove everybody wrong.”

"They thought they were getting the shaft with Michael at first. They thought they were not getting a good race-car driver with Michael, and that they were going to take Michael and make him a winner, and that would prove they were the ones building
the good race cars."

(Quote From Voices: 2/17/05)
The loser (in the crew chief change) is going to be Jr. and new crew chief Pete Rondeau. Earnhardt will lose races, and Rondeau will get the blame. It could never be lack of talent, so it’s
gotta be bad equipment and incompetent crew, right?

(Quote from Ed Hinton interview (Orlando Sentinel): 6/25/05)

(Pete) Rondeau was fired in May, before the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte, and (Steve) Hmiel took over. Earnhardt finished 33rd there, then 22nd at Dover, then 33rd at Pocono after falling behind with a blown tire, then 17th at Michigan last week on a mediocre run.

As for Eury Jr. and the former No. 8 crew, "I feel like they’ve proved their point," Earnhardt said. “Eury Jr.’s team and cars are looking "pretty sweet." I don’t want to insinuate anything. It’s still not halfway through the season."

(Quote From Voices: 2/17/05)
I see a lot more changes in the future at DEI, and it’s not going to be nice.

(Quote from Ed Hinton interview (Orlando Sentinel): 6/25/05)
"Who knows?" Earnhardt said. "I don’t know if any of us right now, even me, can guess where we’ll be in six months, as far as who’s driving for whom, and who’s crew chief for whom."

Anyways, you get my point! While the staff here at may not be the highest paid motorsports writers in the business, we do occasionally know what we’re babbling about!

In my own opinion, Jr will bounce back. Every driver goes through some rough turns. In the long run it’s good for them. That’s what true champions are made of, and Jr. does come from a champion bloodline. He’ll be ok.

Til next time, stay off the wall.


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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
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