The Frontstretch: Scanner Static : NASCAR Fans Speak Out by Jess Nicholas -- Wednesday July 5, 2006

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Scanner Static : NASCAR Fans Speak Out

Restrictor Plates, Or Restricted Fun? · Jess Nicholas · Wednesday July 5, 2006


Q: Can plate races get any more boring than that one? No big wreck, no Junior in it at the end, race ends under caution. NASCAR needs to figure out what we want to watch, and that wasn't it. Boggs

A: I don't think NASCAR can automatically send Junior to the front just because the fans want it, and I think it would be a little unscrupulous for, say, the flagman to throw a box of tacks down onto the track to trigger the "Big One." But the last caution was a little pointless. The race wasn't boring to me - the drama surrounding Bobby Labonte's rise and fall alone was enough to make this one exciting - but the one glaring flaw was that it was too short. I realize this race has been 400 miles forever, but I believe the time has come to raise it to a 500-mile event.

Q: I'm sure glad we all got to see Bobby Labonte's wreck when it happened - oh wait, we didn't. We got to watch two more commercials and then check in while the cars were already coming down pit lane. Thanks, Fox! Bring on NBC! Debbie Dee

A: If I was NASCAR, I would make it mandatory in any future television contract to cut back to live action in the event of a crash. Surely, such a requirement wouldn't cost too much. Fox's coverage of this race bordered on unacceptable.

Q: Jimmie Johnson is terrible. I wish NASCAR would develop some way to write “traffic tickets” to guys who start wrecks or just plain can't drive. You get enough tickets, you go to the garage area for a few laps. Bobby Labonte and Mark Martin are good guys and they've both been victimized by that punk on plate tracks. Do you not have to pass a driving test of some sort to race at Daytona and Talladega? (Expletive)! Russ

A: Johnson is an enigma. He's obviously very good or he wouldn't be leading the points this year and for much of last year, too. But he's one of four or five guys I wouldn't want to be around on a plate track. On the one hand, he's pretty fast at those tracks because when he wrecked Labonte, Johnson was running fourth. On the other hand, he doesn't seem to have great car control…he's kind of taken over from Hermie Sadler as the guy not to be around at Daytona and Talladega. I like your ticket idea, though. And so does the next guy…

Q: When I cause wrecks, I get points on my driver's license. When Jimmie Johnson causes wrecks, he gives out some lilly-whitewashed apology and collects a big check. Bud II

A: He also gets to enjoy the company of gorgeous women and get all the home improvement gear he wants for free. I wish I wrecked as much.

Q: A couple of "road courses" you didn't mention that might very well end up on the Cup circuit eventually - Mexico City and Montreal. I mean, isn't that the purpose of running Busch races at these venues, to prep them for eventually getting Cup races? BB6

A: Not necessarily. First of all, NASCAR does have the potential of drawing a fan backlash if they start giving Cup races to foreign countries. That might seem silly or backwards, but remember that NASCAR's fan base has its own quirks and personality. The other issue is finding a race on the current schedule to drop, if we assume the schedule will not grow beyond its current limits. The only date I see in danger at the moment is one of the two dates at Pocono. And if that one goes, it will probably go to an existing track (most likely Las Vegas). The big question in my mind is what happens if NASCAR adds a track in New York or the Great Northwest.

Q: Let's hear it for Boris Said. Two Top 10 finishes in two weeks. It must be the hair! Dr. Frankenfurter

A: I'll never complain about bed head again.

Think Jimmie Johnson is getting a bad rap? Did you make a 1.3 mile road course in your neighbor’s backyard and find yourself campaigning for a Cup date? Send jess the info at … or tell him what other racing thoughts are on your mind, and you may end up in this very column next week!

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Today on the Frontstretch:
Did You Notice? … Breaking Down A Sprint Cup Season Eight Races In
Beyond the Cockpit: Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. on Growing Up Racing and Owner Loyalties
The Frontstretch Five: Flaws Exposed In the New Chase So Far
NASCAR Writer Power Rankings: Top 15 After Darlington
NASCAR Mailbox: Past Winners Aren’t Winning …. Yet
Open Wheel Wednesday: How Can IndyCar Stand Out?


©2000 - 2008 Jess Nicholas and Thanks for visiting the Frontstretch!

07/06/2006 10:15 AM

In re: Jimmie Johnson getting loose and wrecking himself and Bobby Labonte. Gosh, you all need to move on and get over it. If it had been Jr who got loose, you all would have been saying, “Oh, man, not his fault – Busch took the air off him.”

You haters can’t see beyond your own prejudices.

07/06/2006 12:43 PM

JJ crashing at a plate track was neither a lack of car control, or “getting loose”. Once again he just ran out of talent. He is good at the cookie cutter tracks, and would be good at plate tracks if allowed to run within Chad Knaus’ version of the rulebook. To put it bluntly he is Kurt Busch with a unibrow.

07/06/2006 05:49 PM

Like I said, if it was Jr, you’d all be crying about how it wasn’t his fault, that Busch took the air off him, or some other such excuse.

And the unibrow jokes are so last year.

Again, like I said, get over it and move on.

07/06/2006 05:59 PM

And, yes, I guess that lack of talent explains why he has a top ten at every track on the circuit, and why his stats way outshine Junior’s.

Man, he’s just pathetic, isn’t he?

07/06/2006 06:35 PM

KB took the air off of JJ…it happens. Get over it! He had more to lose than BL at Daytona. Oh, and let’s not forget the race in which it was Mark Martin that took Jimmie out of contention in the parade lap…yep, takes a darn good driver to do that!

07/07/2006 08:13 AM

Yes Mark might have wrecked JJ, but JJ has wrecked Mark more than Mark has wrecked him. Also Mark is one of the most talented & respected drivers out there. JJ has just had everything handed down to him, and if you are still whining about that accident then you are the one who has not gotten over it.

07/07/2006 08:28 AM

Simply replying to the person above, as well as countless MM fans that continue to beat a dead horse. I’d like to know how everything has been “handed” to JJ. Has it ever occured to you that JG and RH took a chance on a young driver and it paid off? Great Drivers + Great Equipment = Success. The guy has finished in the Top 5 in points every year of his NNC career…you don’t get that without having talent.


Jess no longer contributes to the Frontstretch, but you can still read all his articles on his archive and bio page.