The Frontstretch: Matt McLaughlin Mouths Off: Like a Rock -- Where Real Racing Still Exists by Matt McLaughlin -- Thursday April 23, 2009

Go to site navigation Go to article

The first night race of the 2009 Cup season offered fans a rare Sunday off. I hope most of you were able to enjoy the same beautiful weather that we had here in the Northeast, as Spring finally made its long overdue arrival. My plans for Sunday were pretty simple; I slept in a bit. I rode the Harley. I did a little (very little, I assure you) yardwork, then cracked a beer and sat down to enjoy the ARCA race from Rockingham.

Because I can’t always follow the ARCA series the way I’d like, I’d circled Sunday’s date on the calendar in red. Yeah, before anyone else points it out, I am a huge fan of Rockingham and still mourn the loss of the two Cup dates at one of NASCAR’s most historic and competitive tracks. Next to Darlington, the Rock was always my favorite race track. You can call Rockingham many things, (and many drivers have called it some pretty awful things as they slid around on badly worn tires trying to stay out of the wall) but nobody has ever called it a “cookie cutter” track. When they built Rockingham… they threw away the mold.

Saturday night’s Cup race at Phoenix didn’t earn a red circle on the calendar, but the Rockingham race was must-see TV. Phoenix was just another “must do” event, because that’s my job. Truth be told, it’s been a long time since I’ve felt the eagerness and anticipation that used to begin five minutes after one Cup race ended while waiting for the next to begin.

For fans newer to the sport that may never have even seen a Cup race at Rockingham, what made the track unique was its surface. Nestled in the Sand Hills of North Carolina, that track surface was notoriously abrasive. Even after as little as five green flag laps at Rockingham, drivers would be hollering they wanted to pit for four fresh tires. Based on the dropoff in lap times as those tires wore, rarely did a team make two tire stops during the race.

With that said, I’m not going to try to convince you that Sunday’s ARCA event from the Rock was perfect. The crowd was notably sparse. Old school fans, myself included, had better start voting with our wallets and attending races at Rockingham if we don’t want to lose her all over again. There was a troubling amount of cars at Rockingham that lacked sponsorship decals — that’s always been a problem in the ARCA Series, but in these gloomy economic times the problem seems to have mushroomed. There were a lot of drivers and teams I remember from ARCA races last year who weren’t on hand, as well as a whole lot of drivers I’d never even heard of before. And yes, Kenny Schrader pretty much dominated the show. Over the course of his career, Schrader has probably turned more laps at Rockingham than some of his competitors have logged in any sort of race car at any race track anywhere.

Ken Schrader was putting on a clinic Sunday at Rockingham before running out of gas with three laps to go.

Yeah, Schrader was putting on a clinic for some fast young drivers in the ways of the Rock. Anyone can look like a hero for five laps on fresh tires at Rockingham; but after they abuse and use up their Hoosiers, they’ll drop through the pack like they’re dragging a parachute behind them. ARCA teams were limited to four sets of tires at the speedway, including the set they started the race on. Tire management was going to be crucial to a good result, and Schrader ran just hard enough during the race to maintain the lead, while seeing to it he had good rubber underneath him for the later part of each stint.

More than once younger, bolder drivers lacking in experience made a run at Schrader; and that’s when something amazing happened. Schrader didn’t just roll over and play dead; he actually ran those drivers who challenged him hard, even in the earlier stages of the race. He’d run with them side-by-side, lap after lap, taking the preferred upper groove that is less abusive on tires and forcing them to use their stuff up grinding away in the low lane. And after a few laps, each challenger would fade. I have no doubt Mr. Schrader was grinning inside his helmet watching the young pups run themselves ragged into the prickle-berry bushes, but I am equally sure that he too was counting the laps until he could get fresh rubber as well.

The early stages of the race featured some added intensity because there was rain in the area and, a few times, sprinkles did visit the track. Based on weather forecasts, some drivers and teams were running as if the race would end shortly beyond the halfway point. That’s gambling against the odds, as no race at Rockingham has been shortened due to rain. Indeed, using up an extra set of tires early came back to haunt some teams — because something extraordinary did happen. Rain didn’t shorten the race, but the race went almost 85 laps at the end without a caution period, forcing teams to stay out even on badly worn tires with some question as to whether they had enough fuel in the tank to go the distance.

At least one of them did not. Kenny Schrader ran out of gas with three laps left, handing the lead and the win to a startled Sean Caisse. Patrick Sheltra, who’d given a good accounting of himself most of the afternoon, finished second. Watching the most experienced driver with one of the better teams in the series run themselves out of gas was an “out of left field” surprising moment that used to be a highlight of stock car racing.

Meanwhile, the SPEED TV coverage of the race couldn’t have been much different than FOX’s infuriating attempts at cramming as many commercials and sponsor mentions into a short span of time. Yes, SPEED’s coverage was notably more amateurish. There were no cartoon rodents. There were no trick camera angles. There weren’t carefully choreographed, pre-taped segments of drivers making jackasses out of themselves that the producer felt obliged to insert somehow even during green flag racing. Hell, there wasn’t even a pre-race show. That’s right. When SPEED came on the air Sunday, the cars were already rolling and, in fact, heading towards the green flag. Having endured way too many seemingly endless Hollywood Hotel Comedy-Less Hours posing as a pre-race show… I was delighted. Yes, SPEED probably did plan some sort of pre-race opening, no matter how bland, but with threatening weather in the area they skipped it and moved up the start of the race. There’s a lesson that FOX, ESPN, and TNT should take to heart here. Fans tune in to see a race… not a jabbering bunch of jackasses spout off their highly prejudiced opinions. And yes, somehow a race can be held without the aid of an animated rodent.

The fact race fans want to see racing wasn’t lost on the SPEED crew. The boys in the booth talked about the race the fans were seeing … not the Cup show from the day before. And when the action was tepid at the front of the pack, the cameras focused further back where better, hardcore racing was going on. Knowing a lot of the drivers would be unfamiliar to viewers, there were occasional mentions of who those drivers were, what the season ahead held for them, and what they had accomplished in other racing series to date. No, we didn’t learn what their favorite pizza toppings were, how they felt about Phil Parsons’ hair, or what they drove to the prom. (To be fair, some of those drivers looked like they weren’t old enough to have gone to the prom yet.) We certainly never “got to know” some of those drivers in pre-recorded clips that were aired instead of green flag racing. For race fans, it was a treat to finally have some race broadcaster and a producer focus on the race itself — the race we had, in fact, tuned in to see. It’s a respect issue that had been sorely lacking in the fan-broadcaster relationship for too long. Don’t try to sell us on auto racing like it was some new brand of laundry detergent. If we weren’t race fans, we’d be watching something else or be out in the driveway waxing the Trans Am. And the odd thing is an actual race, albeit not a classic one, was entertaining once again. Somehow, entertainment programming with a race as the backdrop, as pioneered by FOX, has never been much fun to watch. In fact, lately it’s been like getting a root canal from a sadistic dentist with no Novocain.

The two hour length of the race seemed about perfect, too. It was enough time for an educated fan to watch the race develop and play out, without the usual hourlong segment where it seemed the drivers had set their cars on cruise control just waiting for the final 20 laps. Now, don’t get me wrong here; I’ve always liked 500-mile races. If they were to hold a 24 Hours of Darlington Cup race, I’d be hanging onto the catchfence screaming the whole time as long as the drivers actually raced for the entire 24 hours. Maybe it’s a lack of patience, or maybe I’ve got too much more to do with less years left to do it… but I’m beginning to think that three hours is the upper limit of length I can entirely devote my attention to anything that doesn’t have breasts or an engine.

To risk straying off the trail (and I’ve never done that before, have I friends and neighbors?) after my second trip out on the scoot, I caught the end of the IRL race as well. They may have a new name for it, but they still show the race itself in a split box during commercial breaks so fans can actually watch what’s going on. And, no, oddly enough, they don’t lock the camera on the car of the sponsor presenting the current ads. Carl Edwards and Subway would have been enraged — but I really wish somehow, some way Cup telecasts could pick up this feature.

In the end, after Sunday’s ARCA race I actually felt better about the sport of auto racing. If, as I’ve been predicting for several years now, NASCAR eventually implodes under its own weight and ceases to be… that’s OK. Maybe it’s even preferable. The sport of stock car racing is so inherently fascinating to people like me and so ingrained in our American culture, stock car racing will survive without being run under the NASCAR banner. If the crowds are smaller again, that means it will be easier and cheaper to get a ticket, and the post-race traffic won’t be so bad. I’ve never felt the need to be one of those mindless sheep relentlessly searching out what’s new and hip as part of the herd. I was a stock car racing fan back when it wasn’t cool to be a racing fan. If a lot of the big dollar sponsors pack up their bags and go home, well… they have too much influence over the sport as it is. There will be still be drivers and team owners who will race on more limited budgets for less money. If it takes awhile to learn all those driver’s names — that’s OK, too. Eventually, the remaining fans will latch on to their favorites as they always have. If the big networks decide they want out and stock car racing goes back to a cable TV sport, well, hell…I get over 500 channels of programming, and I live out here in the sticks about a quarter-mile from the end of the Earth. And if some of the new cookie-cutter tracks get shuttered and turned into shopping malls while races are held at places like Rockingham, Darlington, and North Wilkesboro again… I’m down with that. If the cars look more like actual production cars, cost a lot less money, and feature a lot less flash-paint, I can’t see that as a bad thing. The series currently known as the Cup Series originally competed as the “Strictly Stock” division, after all.

So stock car racing will survive, even in this economy, just the same way Christmas came and went. It came without ribbons! It came without tags! It came without packages, boxes, or bags! It came without DW, it came without Hammond, it came without the Toyota Top Performers, or a cartoon rodent running amuck in Alabama.

Yes, there will always be Christmas, and there will always be stock car racing. Sunday’s ARCA race might just have given stock car racing fans a glimpse of their future. If it wasn’t your cup of tea… the exit doors are now unlocked. But if you dug it like I did, I’ll see you there.

Contact Matt McLaughlin

NASCAR NEWS, RIGHT TO YOUR INBOXAND IT’S FREE.
The Frontstretch Newsletter, back in 2014 gives you more of the daily news, commentary, and racing features from your favorite writers you know and love. Don’t waste another minute – click here to sign up now. We’re here to make sure you stay informed … so make sure you jump on for the ride!

Today on the Frontstretch:
Championship Caliber? What Does That Even Mean?
Mirror Driving: Winning Vs. Points, Needing a Boost, and The Lady’s Last Dance?
Nuts for Nationwide: The Curious Case of Elliott Sadler
Happiness Is…Arrogance, Less, Next, and the Outdoors
Frontstretch Foto Funnies: It’s Not Gonna Fit…
FREE NEWSLETTER! CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP

 

©2000 - 2008 Matt McLaughlin and Frontstetch.com. Thanks for visiting the Frontstretch!

Sharon J
04/23/2009 07:52 AM
permalink

The very best article that I have read about the TV broadcasting. I am growing weary of the “Carl Edwards show” or the “Junior show”. If I do not see my favorite driver in an hour, I do not watch the remaining 2 hors of Cup racing. I seem to be losing my love of Nascar and like you, I NEVER miss ARCA. I nap thru the cup race,that is how exciting I find it.

Mike
04/23/2009 08:07 AM
permalink

Reminds me of late 80’s ESPN Cup broadcasts. It wasn’t odd to have them come on air and flash the starting lineups on the screen as the cars were on the warmup laps because threatening weather was in the area. I can hear Bob Jenkins’ voice now…

Douglas
04/23/2009 08:12 AM
permalink

What has “racing” in this country come to?

Lets take the ARCA race, as you mentioned, the three (3) people that showed up and sat in the stands may have enjoyed the race, I dunno! I lost interest in ARCA when the “big names” and high buck teams kinda took over. I used to go to several ARCA events, but have not been in a couple of years! I don’t want to see the high buck Ken Schrader’s, or the Scott Speed’s taking money away from the everyday ARCA teams.

Then you take the sick state of NA$CRAP!

Couple that with “follow the leader” street races, ala The IRL & Long Beach (did you see where a couple of cars got together and actually totally blocked the course and the cars had to go thru the pit lane?), what a joke, always happens at Long Beach, maybe that’s why their stands were at best half full!

My point being, these scenarios are positively driving spectators and supporters away by the thousands, each and every weekend.

Is there any really TRUE series one can sink their teeth into these days?

Me thinks not!

Gordon82Wins
04/23/2009 08:39 AM
permalink

It seems as though when a sport makes it big, they play not to lose…and that’s how they lose.

Ed
04/23/2009 08:54 AM
permalink

The “big names” do not always make for good racing. Like many other sports racing is relative. Schrader is one of a few true racers left. He will race anyone, anyplace, any time in any kind of car. ARCA at the Rock was great! NASCAR at the Rock again would be great, but, alas, it probably will never happen again because the Rock is traditional and it is in the South.

Casey B
04/23/2009 09:23 AM
permalink

As I do agree with the notion that the TV coverage of NASCAR has been absolutely horrendous as of late, I’m about tired of hearing about the good ole’ days and how it used to be and reading absolutely absurd suggestions on how to fix it. If you hate NASCAR so much and how it is nowadays, then move on! Why are you doing this as your job? How can having smaller crowds be good for any sport? Although it might be more convenient for you to get back to your mobile home in only 20 minutes as opposed to 40 because traffic is a little lighter, that makes no sense. Attracting a large audience to a race is a very vital part to even having the race. Come on, you want filled stands.

I know it’s not in this article but I just read the article right before this which was suggesting that only the 12 chasers run the last ten races, are you kidding me? Why would a sponsor sign with a car, any car, if there was an outside chance that they wouldn’t run the most viewed last 10 races of the season, what a joke, and another example of a ridiculous suggestion on how to fix NASCAR.

Minus a few writers on this site, I wonder why most even bother to watch the races anymore, if it’s so awful, move on, do something you enjoy, cause believe or not there are actually people who enjoy the sport of NASCAR that you tear down all the time.

Janice
04/23/2009 09:37 AM
permalink

i watch arca races on speed. they usually don’t have pre-race deal. arca also races on all kinds of tracks, they still race a points race on dirt tracks.

went to arca race at lanier ga several years ago. i have pic of me and jason jarrett on my desk, and to this day, years later, i’ll crack a smile and remember the incredible day i had at that race. i had pit/garage (no garages there) access. prior to the race, after qualifying, the cars parked on the track and all the drivers were there meeting the fans. you didn’t have to have special pass or pay extra for this privilege. You could walk up to chad mccombee, take a million pictures with him, autographs, then go to norm benning and get purple mardi gras beads (they’re still hanging in my car). even 7 time champion frank kimmel was approachable, and if his team was grilling pork the other white meat (his sponsor at the time), you could get a sausage or chop. it was great…way racing use to be. lanier was sold out for that race. sure not 100,000 seats like atlanta motorspeedway, but that may day in lanier, ga….i had the best time. ate with team, watched teams work on cars under their tents, and cheered driver on. and you know what…driver knew it was me and acknowledged it, not just a blank wave without any eye contact.

i attended arca race at ‘dega several years ago, and same thing…only thing that kept me out of the pits was the chain link fence cause ‘dega is a nascar sactioned track. i have pieces of jason’s wrecked car that i made into a table, sitting in my sunroom. fans left the area with all kinds of sheet metal that day. it was cup weekend too, but the rent-a-cops kept us out of the cup area.

amy anderson
04/23/2009 09:44 AM
permalink

“I wonder why most even bother to watch the races anymore, if it’s so awful, move on, do something you enjoy, cause believe or not there are actually people who enjoy the sport of NASCAR that you tear down all the time.”

Because hope dies last. We are still hoping for racing without the input of inanely stupid trivia that would insult the intelligence of a three year old. And I don’t watch it anymore. What, really, is there to watch? A quarter of the race is devoted to commercials, a quarter to stupid trivia, a quarter to extolling the virtues of FOX and Digger, and a quarter to the racing itself. If that is what you want in your racing, then by all means, watch it. But we who know what it was just ten years ago will keep up the mantra and we won’t go quietly into that good night,as it were.

Bobb
04/23/2009 10:13 AM
permalink

In the era when names like “Sears Point” or “Charlotte” have given way to “Lowes Motors Speedway” or “Infineon”, I am still slow to adopt the “brand name” in lieu of the original name. It’s the freakin’ “World 600”, dangitall! Who you trying to fool; some wet behind the ears newbie that’ll buy into anything?!.

North Carolina Motor Speedway is at Rockingham, North Carolina. I know what people mean when they say ‘Rockingham’, but I always think of Benny Parsons at North Carolina Motor Speedway.

Let’s hope Andy is successful enough to keep the place viable, but never gets rich enough to re-pave the joint!

I went there four times for races. Every time, the weather wasn’t nice to me.
But, of the over 200 major races I’ve been to on 4 different continents, North Carolina Motor Speedway is quite special!

A special to amy anderson: I can’t say I’ve ever seen any quote, let alone two attributed to Emily Dickinson when discussing NASCAR… excellent use of two pieces of writing that apply perfectly!

Casey B
04/23/2009 10:29 AM
permalink

Amy, I agree with you, if you read the first line of my post I admit the TV coverage is awful, almost bad enough to make me not want to watch it, but I love the racing too much not to. And I share the hope along with you that it will get better, but I didn’t see you say anything was wrong with the racing itself, and thats what I watch for, not the mess that FOX puts on each week.

Michael
04/23/2009 10:33 AM
permalink

Well now , see there . It just takes a well reasoned , well thought out post by Casey to show us that we don’t know what we’re talking about . The Nascar races are just fine , the past should have no influence on the present , and if we don’t like the current state of affairs in Nascar , we should just move on .
Casey is the “ casual fan “ we hear about . Doesn’t know very much about the sport , follows it for the hero worship of a couple of drivers rather than the cars , the tracks , the history of the sport . Never heard of Curtis Turner and can’t imagine why it should matter . Likewise doesn’t have any idea who Bob Jenkins is .
There are two very distinct types of Nascar fans at this point in time , and i sure hope the fans who appreciate the racing outnumber the “ fans “ who only know or care about what happened one race ago .

Casey B
04/23/2009 11:02 AM
permalink

I might be a “newer fan” to NASCAR but calling me a casual fan and then spouting out some names that any “diehard” fan should know just makes you sounds more like an old timer who’s been passed by one to many times. I’m sorry racing isn’t the way you want it. And I truely am sorry that this sport attracts new fans like myself, what a dumb sport for attracting new fans. It would be alot better if it didn’t attract new fans and all we had were a bunch of beer can tossing red necks to fill the stands.

Casey B
04/23/2009 11:11 AM
permalink

And I love racing, that’s the only reason I put up with the coverage that we have, like I said twice before.

Being a newer fan to nascar i dont know guys that you mentioned, but i learn something new everyday, because i do follow the sport passionantly. Is that a bad thing? Is it a requirement to know every individual thats been involved with something to be a fan of it? But thanks for the names, i will look them up and expand my knowledge.

Kevin in SoCal
04/23/2009 12:41 PM
permalink

Wow, when one driver stinks up the show in a Cup race, Matt calls it a piece of crap.
But when one driver stinks up the show in an ARCA race at Matt’s favorite track, well then it gets excused and Matt calls it good racing. I think I’ve smelled that line of BS somewhere else before.
The same thing happened last year at this race with Joey Logano, only this time the guy who dominated didnt win.

Matt
04/23/2009 01:09 PM
permalink

It’s sort of a pet peeve but I’m not shy about venting my spleen, am I?

I welcome newer fans to the sport. I have spent countless hours in the grandstands at taverns and in the Wawa parking lot passing on what I know of the sport and its history to newer fans just as the fans who preceded me shared it with me in similar venues.

There’s always going to be a degree of tension between new fans and old fans as epitomized by the rivalry between fans of the 24 and the 3 back in the day.

But why is it when discussing the issue terms like “getting back to your mobile home” and “rednecks throwing beer cans” have to be tossed in, as if anyone who was actually at a stock car race Richard Petty won is a toothless product of incest witn an IQ of 50 with six DUI convictions? For the record, I have all my teeth minus three wisdom teeth, I graduated Villanova University with honors, and I do indeed have indoor plumbing though walking behind the garage to take a wizz when wrenching on classic car collection is a lot more convienient.

In these politically correct times, why is it still OK to call us brain dead rednecks? Just imagine the uproar if someone in a debate over the present state of the NBA were to term old school fans who preffered Dr. J to Alan Iverson, “Chitlin breathed-felons on parole from the ghetto.” If you find that comment as offensive as I do, thnk twice about painting all older stock car fans with a broad brush. The doctor who is doing the heart surgery to save your yuppie ass might just be a David Pearson fan.

Casey B
04/23/2009 01:21 PM
permalink

Point taken Matt, unfortunately I am one of those 24 fans, he’s the one that got me hooked, and it seems like every victory that i have watched him get, minus this last one, he has something or another hurled at him, and it sure leaves a bitter taste in your mouth when you just spent the last countless hours rooting for him, so I guess thats why my attitude is so. But I get your point about not grouping all fans together, and my bad if I offended anyone else.

pj
04/23/2009 02:03 PM
permalink

i was at THE ROCK sunday and i hate to tell yall but there was alot more than 3 or 4 fans in the stands, i didnt care if the leader laped the whole feild 5 times seeing cars going around the ROCK again was great been goning to lowes for 15 years been to martiansville ,been to the lady in black, “ill say i love martiansville” but being back at the ROCK was the best ill be back in july

Douglas
04/23/2009 04:04 PM
permalink

Hey “amy anderson”!! !!

WELL STATED!

THANK YOU!

And for “pj”, ok, ok, I will count the hot dog vendors and the six (6)people in the rest rooms!

Glad the sun was not shining because the glare off all the open seats would have been hard on the eyes!

BUT! Once again, I ask, “why go to an ARCA race when you never know how many “cherry-pickers” are going to show up and ruin the show with their high $$$$ teams and pit crews?

Not me for sure!

john
04/23/2009 04:45 PM
permalink

Douglas:

Yes, there is an exciting series to sink your teeth into. The Truck Series.

Matt
04/23/2009 05:54 PM
permalink

Casey,
There is no need to apologize for being a 24 fan. Thanks for sticking with your driver through the divorce and his recent slump that ended at Texas. Racing fans have always been loyal to thier drivers when they hit long winless streaks whether it was Richard Petty, LeeRoy Yarbrough, or Bill Elliott.

Yes, it is tough to pull for a driver and only to see his wins booed by a lot of your fellow fans. But it is nothing new. Dale Earnhardt Sr. was loudly booed by a lot of fans during driver intros and after wins. Even more recent fans might recall the less than polite reaction Dale got for his win at the Bristol night race when he knocked Terry Labonte out of the way to take the win. If Jimmy Spencer had gotten to Dale’s rear bumper one corner earlier it might not have turned out that way. Yeah, back in the day there were T-shirts that read “I Don’t Care Who Wins as Long as it’s not the 3 car” just as there is ABG sentiments today.

I don’t mean to preach but if you are a recently minted fan to the sport take some time to Google older drivers like Mark Martin to see why his win at Phoenix was so popular and look at the accomplishments of such “lost” names as LeeRoy Yarbrough, Cale Yarborough, Curtis Turner, Junior Johnson, Ned Jarrett, Curtis Turner, Tiny Lund, Tim Richmond, Tim Flock, Tiny Lund, and too many others to mention. Just go to Wikidpedia and search those names before telling older fans Jeff is the greatest driver ever. Jeff deserves a mention in the endless debate over the Top 10 Drivers ever, but the hard work, accomplishments, sacrifice and even deaths of drivers who pave the way to make even an off season for current drivers earn a million bucks a year deserves some respect.

Seriously, just take those above names and look at Wikipedia. And maybe, just maybe, one day my boss here at Frontstrech might allow me to rerun the 104 column history series I once wrote about the history of our sport in honor of it’s 50th anniverary back in the day on another site here not to prove I am a better fan than the newbies but to let them know of the stories before they jumped on the band wagon,

SirBraindead
04/23/2009 06:16 PM
permalink

I still have a problem with almost everyone complaining about the racing in NASCAR now. Other than Daytona I never get to attend a race in person but what the TV networks show is NOT the racing. All they show is special features or a close up shot of 1 car on track, so close that you can’t even tell if the car is loose or running good (or maybe just sitting on pit road to make it easier to film)or some stupid graphic plastered all over the screen blocking any chance of seeing the cars. If they ever decide to actually show the racing that supposedly goes on all over the track then people like me might be able to form an informed opinion as to the quality of the racing.

dawg
04/23/2009 06:19 PM
permalink

Bitch, Bitch, Bitch, that’s all I ever hear about the TV coverage. Sure it sucks, but then how could it not, when the racing sucks so badly. When someone is running things that knows why people watched NA$CAR in the first place, & gets back to it. Then it might become productive to rag on the coverage. As things stand, the best coverage won’t save it.

DoninAjax
04/23/2009 06:55 PM
permalink

It’s been a feeling of mine for a long time that players or drivers and fans today have very little knowledge of the history of the sport they are in. It’s like basketball “fans” who do not know the difference between Bill Russell and Bill Walton or Jerry West and Jerry Seinfeld.
The NFL is proving that they do not care about their old time players who are almost penniless while the millionaire players don’t care either.
Discussions of the best ever in any sport has been going on for generations. People who think Wayne Gretzky is the best ever in hockey should have seen Bobby Orr or Gordie Howe or Rocket Richard. People who discus the greatest quarterback should have seen Johnny Unitas or Joe Namath or any number of others.
Just because you think Jeff Gordon or Dale Earnhardt or anyone else was the greatest driver ever doesn’t mean the person like myself who thinks it was David Pearson is wrong.
It is a discussion that has no answer that will make everybody happy, but it is only an opinion.

pj
04/23/2009 07:11 PM
permalink

well doug keep on drinkin the kool aid from nascar and keep watching the iroc racing every sundy ill be at the rock seeing real rscing not what ever brand DW has been paid to talk about or what digger is doing nuff said

Master Braytak
04/23/2009 07:22 PM
permalink

Back at ya, Casey B.- If you hate reading Matt talk about the lousy state of Nascar and all the replies why do you even come here?

So it hurts your feelings when Jeff Gordon gets booed and has cans thrown at him? I was an Earnhardt Sr. fan back in the day and he got that all the time. He said if they ain’t makin noise you’re doing something wrong. I’ve been to plenty of Cup races and it’s par for the course to boo the other guys. The biggest boos would be for Sr. and Jeff, except for the days when Rusty Wallace became the Black Hat for taking out Jabber Jaws.

I just wish all the new fans had a chance to see the ESPN race coverage from the early ’80s to 2001. You would be on Matts bandwagon for sure, and would be marching on Fox with pitchforks and torches.

Once again I’d like to thank Matt for watching the races so I don’t have to. I have not watched this year except for small snippets, and get the lowdown on Mondays here. I guess I’m a proud -18%er. I’ll have to get a diamond shaped patch to put on my Nascar colors with -18% in the center. I think us old timers should be refered to as -18%ers and wear our patch with pride.

M.B. Voelker
04/24/2009 05:21 PM
permalink

Now you’re actually admitting that what you want is for Nascar to turn into a small-time sport of purely regional interest?

And you’re fine with never seeing or hearing about any races except the ones you personally attend?

When will even one of the Nascar-is-horrible whiners put his/her money where his mouth is and personally take responsibility for doing something about the problem?

If you actually know how the perfect racing series should be run get up and start that perfect racing series.

After all, it will be so much better than Nascar that it will instantly become the most popular series and thus attract all the best drivers and their fans so you’ll recoup your investment quickly.

Matt
04/24/2009 08:06 PM
permalink

Ummm…if that comment was directed at me, M.B. in this economy I don’t have enough money to open an lemonaid stand at the end of the driveway. I keep waiting for Humpy Wheeler or Bruton Smith to take the challenge of a new series. I’ll gladly put my so called career on the line and switch to writing about the new series and leaving NASCAR. If I find a crumpled ten dollar bill in an old jacket I’ll invest in stock in the new series.

What’s worse. Whining, or whining about other people whining? Lest I risk the accusation of whining about other people whining about people whining I will close here.