Brown Turns Blue At Charlotte · Jess Nicholas · Wednesday May 31, 2006
Q: I’ve been a Dale Jarrett fan for years, and I can’t help but feel he is getting victimized by his own team now that he’s publicly said he’s going to go drive for Michael Waltrip in 2007. The firing of Eddie D’Hondt was just moronic to start with, and it really showed up when Dale and his new spotter couldn’t get on the same page. I can’t believe Robert Yates would be so hateful. Maybe Dale just needs to go ahead and leave now. 3rdbasecoach
A: I wrote at the time that this was a bad move for all involved, and to say the least, I’ve seen nothing to change my mind since. First of all, Jarrett’s team was knocking on the door of Chase eligibility when he announced his move. Does anyone think his team is going to rally around him for the rest of the year? That problem is made worse by Jarrett’s demeanor, which (in the time I’ve been around him) comes off a little too cool. I also question what he’ll bring to Waltrip’s team; he’s past his prime, and the attraction of having past champion’s provisionals to use only works if Bobby Labonte or a more recent champion doesn’t need them next year. Given how Labonte has started slowly the last two years, that’s a real concern. Is Robert Yates doing anything intentionally to torpedo Jarrett’s final races in the 88? I doubt it, but Jarrett did no one other than Waltrip any favors announcing his move now, and I think his season is about to go bust.
Q: If I was Joe Gibbs, I’d sit Tony Stewart’s (deleted) down right now and tell him no more Busch racing. Goat
A: This is one of the reasons I’m not a fan of open-ended Nextel/Busch crossover. I’m sure Home Depot just loved having their car knocked out early at Lowe’s Motor Speedway, and their driver hurt. I know Busch race promoters love having the Cup guys run, but it’s unnecessary and a little insulting. Major League Baseball players don’t go down and play at AAA on their days off.
Q: I have the perfect solution to the lack of quality racing at the All Star race: Hold it at Rockingham or North Wilkesboro. Charlotte is a one-groove snoozer. Heck, the Chili Peppers were lip syncing and were more entertaining than the race. Go to a track where the racing is good and more than one groove exists. Heck, why not Atlanta even? It is far superior than Charlotte. Shoot, why not Eldora? 333
A: I’m actually a fan of Charlotte Motor Speedway, but given the NBA and Major League Baseball move their All-Star events around with no fuss, it’s always stumped me why NASCAR’s All-Star race has to stay in the same place every year. Maybe do it the way the United States Bowling Congress does national championships. They have it in Reno every other year at the National Bowling Stadium and then somewhere else in the alternating years. A mixture of Rockingham, Atlanta, Texas, Bristol and Richmond would be a good start. I’d love to see North Wilkesboro get back in the mix, but the place needs work to be reopened for good again.
Q: I found the perfect solution to boring races on Saturday night or Sunday afternoon. I bought a DVR (Digital video Recorder) last year. I can go to my local Â½-mile dirt track on Saturday night or go on a picnic on Sunday and not miss a thing. When I get home, I simply watch the race from the beginning while it is recording the end. After I skip the commercials, caution flags and boring parts, I can watch the whole race in under an hour and not miss any action. Most of the time, I catch up and watch the end of the race live. Ken
A: That’s actually what I did this weekend, Ken. I was at Silver Dollar Raceway in Reynolds, Ga., for the Import Showdown drag races (heat index: 120 "" I’m still recovering). I watched the 600 at midnight when my wife and I got home. I can’t believe I ever lived without this thing.
Q: Have always been a Terry Labonte fan and always will be. The man’s a class act. I know he feels loyalty to Hendrick and feels the loyalty is returned. I feel, however, he should have left around 2000. A change of scenery would have been good. I was present for his only Top 10 for Terry last year at Richmond in the 11 car. Just like the old days, he started deep in the pack and drove to the front. Finished seventh. You have to ask yourself why he could do that at Richmond in a car that was clearly struggling at the time, yet in the 44 staying on the lead lap is an accomplishment. You can also look at what he has done for the 96 this year. He’s been more competitive in that car then the 44. Why? In closing the only thing I can say is Mark Martin & Rusty Wallace are treated like heroes being credited with helping to make the sport what it is today. I agree. But what about Terry, no mention. A two-time champion. The way he is being treated is a disgrace to the sport. John Freund
A: Very well said, John. I do think Hendrick has neglected the 44. I also, however, think Terry has lost a little of his edge, but not as much as some of these finishes would have you think. Where I think you hit the nail on the head the most, though, was how he often gets overlooked in a discussion of the sport’s greats. He won two championships in arguably two different eras. The sport will miss him when he’s gone.
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