The Frontstretch: Matt McLaughlin's Thinkin' Out Loud: World 600 Recap by Matt McLaughlin -- Tuesday May 26, 2009

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Matt McLaughlin's Thinkin' Out Loud: World 600 Recap

Matt McLaughlin · Tuesday May 26, 2009


The Key Moment: David Reutimann stayed out when a caution flew for rain. The precipitation never stopped, and Reutimann reigned at Charlotte.

In a Nutshell: After 24 hours plus at Charlotte, Mother Nature turned a stock car race into a high dollar game of musical chairs.

Dramatic Moment: Waiting to see if the weather would relent enough to allow even ten more laps of racing which would have dramatically altered the results of the race.

What They’ll Be Talking About Around the Water Cooler This Week

To quote Ben Blake, formerly of, the only thing worse than rain at a race track is rain at a race track with lights. I’m getting older, Blake. Now I understand…

Folks are going to debate whether NASCAR called the race too quickly, after too long a delay, or about the right time. I was looking at the radar and I think they should have pulled the plug at least an hour earlier.

Does the World 600 have to continue with its 600-mile length? Does Spring have to follow Winter? Does Harley Davidson really need to continue making V-twin motorcycles? Is beer best served cold? Is there still a place left for the Ford Mustang in the auto industry? Do bears bear, do bees be? Should teenage boys continue falling in love with teenage girls come springtime, and occasionally make horses’ asses of themselves trying to court their desired? There are some questions so stupefyingly stupid that they need to be answered not only with a “Yes” but with a “HELL YEAH!” Oh, but every other race on the schedule ought to be reduced to 2/3rds its current length starting next week. And we need to get rid of the Car of Tomorrow and revamp the current points system real soon. Sorry, there’s nothing I feel strongly about this week, so I’ll just bang out a column about the changing color of Jeff Gordon’s hair, OK? It’s all an attempt to prove my perspicacious-ness about the sport.

There’s been some discussion as to whether NASCAR ought to start using side-by side-restarts (wherein the second place driver starts either inside or outside the leader at that leader’s discretion, while laps down cars restart at the tail end of the lead lap cars). This procedure was used in the Winston (sue me) last week with some degree of success. Yes, I agree with those who believe that will make for more exciting racing. Lately, the race leader tends to bog down restarts so that the second place driver is left battling lap down cars while that leader drives off into the sunset.

Some question whether the proposed rule would keep a driver in a fast car from making up a lap he lost due to a flat tire or a botched pit stop. (And we haven’t seen many of them lately, have we?) Well, given the free pass rule there’d be good racing at the back of the pack while that driver tried to become the first driver a lap down… but that racing would take place without interfering with the lead pack. Better racing at both the front and back of the pack? Sign me up, Chumpie.

By all accounts, there’s going to be a crucial meeting this week at NASCAR’s research and development facility. NASCAR has all but ordered the sport’s leading proponents, team owners, drivers, and crew chiefs to assemble to discuss how to salvage what’s left of the sport by improving the racing. I’ve got my own usually subtle solution to NASCAR’s dilemma, though my invite must have gotten lost in the mail. It’s simple: Blow this whole mother up, cancel the rest of the season, and start over in 2010 with cars that are, in fact, “stock cars” racing on tracks that are real race tracks… not coliseums. And give Brian France a Rubik’s cube that’s the same color on all six sides to play with, so he’s befuddled and distracted while the whole lifesaving process goes forward.

As far as improving TV coverage, I’d think a great place to start would be introducing the same “Side by Side” racing coverage Indy car fans got to enjoy on Sunday. With Side by Side coverage, fans get to keep an eye on what’s going on out on the track even during commercial breaks. Commercials are a necessary evil, but auto racing is unique in that it doesn’t have any planned timeouts or breaks during an event. Allowing Side by Side coverage would help fans keep up with the rhythms and trends of the race while keeping their eyes glued to the screen during commercials rather than heading to the kitchen or the bathroom.

It’s sad that this weekend’s 50th anniversary celebration of the World 600 had to be marred by bickering between Bruton Smith and Humpy Wheeler, the two chief architects of the Charlotte track’s success. For fans like me, it’s like watching the fallout of an acrimonious divorce of two friends. For those of us concerned with the future of the sport, it was a lot more reassuring back when the mercurial Smith and the polished Wheeler worked side by side to reign in the worst excesses of the Brian France Regime. Together we conquer… apart we fail. I’ll give the ever colorful Mr. Smith this much, though. When most have given up the fight and decided that this whole Car of Sorrow concept is a done deal, he’s still fighting the good fight. But it’s time for Smith and Wheeler to bury the hatchet. C’mon guys, can’t we all just get along?

Likewise, this whole Jeremy Mayfield scandal just isn’t going to go away anytime soon, as much as a growing number of fans wish it would. We’ve got an independent driver fighting to salvage his career and investment butting heads with NASCAR officials who have botched the fallout from Mayfield’s suspension so badly, the Little Rascals would be rolling in the aisle laughing at their ineptitude. Now it turns out the practitioner, Dr. Black, who is administering NASCAR’s drug testing might have ulterior motives. In Tennessee legislation, it has been proposed that any recipient of government assistance, be it welfare, unemployment, etc., would be subject to random drug testing. Black’s wife, a state senator, is a leading proponent of the law, and Black’s firm stands to benefit financially from it.

Well, what better way to show his firm’s competence while bidding on the drug testing contract than to show off Mayfield’s scalp as a trophy, the first well-known NASCAR driver to be suspended for drug use in the sport’s top series? Fans, please keep your hands inside the car because this is going to be a dark ride. On a lighter note, I can’t help but be encouraged that Mayfield’s lawyer has suddenly relegated me to second place amongst the competition for a really bad haircut on an aging hippie. In fact, this whole mess features more bad haircuts than a Foghat reunion tour. Meanwhile, France might have once again stumbled in his comments, saying that interested parties could ask him for a list of the substances banned under the new drug test program. Well Mr. France, please email me a copy via the Frontstretch. After all, unlike the folks that work for NASCAR, I like to know what I’m talking about before speaking.

The NAACP would like to see NASCAR help ban use of the Confederate flag at race tracks. I, in turn, would like to see the NAACP help ban the use of violent, sexist, and obscene lyrics in rap music blaring from the radios of cars beside me at traffic lights because I find them offensive. But when it comes right down to it, I guess I’m going to have to roll up my windows, turn on the AC, and tune out those drivers blaring their preferred sort of music because that’s a right afforded to them under freedom of expression; and as much as I don’t like it, I am not the final arbiter of taste. Too many good men and women have sacrificed their lives to defend our freedom of expression…

Here’s something I hadn’t realized. Because of environmental concerns, the massive amount of balloons that are released prior to the Indy 500 are now made of Latex, meaning they are biodegradable. OK, I’m sorry, but if your environmental extremism has become so hysterical you don’t dig the balloon release at Indy, you need to go the whole way and head off to the Arctic to nurse ailing polar bear cubs with a steak tied around your neck. I’ll drive you to the airport in my ’76 455 Trans Am and give you the catalytic converter I removed from the car as a keepsake.

Judging by the fans still waiting in the stands, soaked to the skin, as Chris Myers made the official announcement Sunday night’s race was postponed until Monday it would seem NASCAR told the networks about the postponement before they let the fans know. What’s wrong with that picture?

Danica Patrick and Dale Earnhardt, Jr. have more than their sponsorship in common.

Maybe ought to go for an arranged marriage between Dale Earnhardt, Jr. and Danica Patrick. They could raise a brood of well-compensated and popular kids who don’t win much of anything.

Two Pro Motor employees, Dennis Borem and Darrell Hoffman, won this week’s Engine Builder challenge, assembling an engine from a bare block and getting it to run in a mind-numbing nineteen minutes and 27 seconds. I’m not quite that quick. Let’s see; a beer and a smoke before starting, 5 minutes, trying to remember where I left the piston rings, five minutes, calling Jegs to reorder the piston rings I lost, two minutes, another beer and smoke cussing my stupidity, five minutes, waiting for the Big Brown truck to arrive with the rings, two days, a trip to Sears to replace my missing 7/16th combo wrench, forty-five minutes…

Was anyone else ready to scream listening to Darrell Waltrip’s cheerleading for his brother and his team during the final rain delay?

Do you think Helio Castroneves is going to mail the IRS a check return receipt requested on Monday once he cashes in that big check for winning Indy?

They have to do something to fill the airtime during rain delays, but the look on Chris Myers face as he confronted a table full of race car parts was priceless. Myers looked like one of those apes staring at the obelisk at the start of 2001: A Space Odyssey. He even seemed clueless as to what a roll of duct tape might be.

The Hindenburg Award For Foul Fortune

In both of this weekend’s races, Kyle Busch had the dominant car, but bad weather ended his chances of claiming the pot metal.

Kevin Harvick’s race had barely begun when he got together with Sam Hornish, Jr.. Shortly thereafter, Harvick blew a tire and contact with the wall tore up the right side of the No. 29 car.

Kasey Kahne seems to have things figured out at Charlotte in May. He had a competitive car and was going for a third 600 victory in four years before the rain hit. Apparently, Kahne has everything figured out at Charlotte in May other than the weather… poor pit strategy dropped him to eighth at the finish.

Dale Earnhardt, Jr.’s car was so bad that apparently the driver and the team just threw in the towel. If changes aren’t made to the No. 88 team after this week’s debacle, Rick Hendrick’s sanity must be called into serious question.

Kurt Busch had another top 10 finish going at Charlotte before lugnuts left on his Dodge dropped him to the rear of the field shortly before the final bout of rain.

Mark Martin was running solidly in the top 5 until a loose tire got away from his crew during a pit stop. He wound up 17th.

It was another rough weekend for Richard Childress Racing, with none of their four cars finishing inside the top 20. The way things are going for RCR, Childress might have to turn to Teresa Earnhardt for advice… and that’s a scary thought.

The “Seven Come Fore Eleven” Award For Fine Fortune

David Reutimann had a win fall into his lap, but an old truism applies to this finish as well. To be the beneficiary of good luck, you have to put yourself in a position to have one handed to you.

Robby Gordon is fighting to stay in the top 35 in owner points so he’s got a gimme into the field each week. A third place finish is going to give that effort a major boost.

The way his season is going, I’d suppose that Carl Edwards will take a top 5 finish any way he can get one.

Bill Elliott and the Wood Brothers have been struggling as of late despite their glory days in the past. Watching Elliott make his 800th career start and come away from Charlotte with a 15th place finish was gratifying for the old school fan.

Worth Noting

  • Reutimann becomes the eighth different Cup driver to win a points-paying Cup event in 12 races this season.
  • The top 10 finishers at Charlotte drove five Toyotas, two Fords, two Chevys, and a lone Dodge. Happy Memorial Day. As it stands written in the Book of Bruce, “My Daddy come home to the Ohio Works, when he came home from World War II, now the yards just scrap and rubble, it seems Toyota did what Hitler couldn’t do.”
  • Ryan Newman (second) posted his best finish during his tenure with Stewart-Haas Racing, as well as his fourth straight top 5.
  • Robby Gordon (third) managed his first top 5 finish since Watkins Glen in 2007. Cue up the Boston because, “It’s been such a long time…”
  • Carl Edwards (fourth) had just his second top 5 finish of 2009 fall into his lap.
  • Brian Vickers’ fifth place finish matched his best Cup result of 2009. Vickers also finished fifth at Atlanta, Charlotte’s sister track.
  • Kasey Kahne (seventh) drove to his first top 10 result since Bristol.
  • Joey Logano finished ninth for the third time in the last four points-paying Cup events. He was the top finishing rookie of the race.
  • Matt Kenseth finished 10th for the second race in a row.
  • Bobby Labonte’s 12th place finish was his best since Vegas.

What’s the Points?

Jeff Gordon maintains the points lead and is now 44 ahead of Tony Stewart, who remains second in the standings. Kurt Busch, Jimmie Johnson, and Denny Hamlin remain third, fourth, and fifth in the points respectively.

Kyle Busch and Ryan Newman each moved up a spot and find themselves sixth and seventh in the standings. Jeff Burton fell two spots to eighth, while Matt Kenseth displaced teammate Greg Biffle to take over ninth spot.

Carl Edwards edged out Mark Martin to take over 11th in the standings, with a difference of three points between them. Meanwhile, his win moves David Reutimann up two spots to 13th in the standings, six points out of the top 12.

Further back, Dale Earnhardt, Jr. now finds himself 19th, a full 197 points outside the top 12. Put out the fire and call in the dogs, Boys. This one is over.

Overall Rating (On a scale of one to six beer cans, with one being a stinker and a six pack an instant classic) — Talk about a bad case of Competition Interruptus? We’ll give this one two Cups of rainwater.

Next Up: It’s off to Dover for a battle with the Monster Mile on Sunday afternoon. Hmmmm. Stock car racing held on a Sunday afternoon? It’s a radical concept, but it just might catch on. And for fans as sick of Digger and DW as I am, praise be to God, the Dover race will be the Swan Song for NASCAR on FOX this season.

Contact Matt McLaughlin

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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
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Bad Wolf
05/26/2009 01:58 AM

I predict a steep ratings drop next week after Michael “Billy Mays” Waltrips driver stole the win, and after having to listen to Darrel “ShamWow Vince” Waltrip shill for MWR and Toyota. I go out of my way to not buy any product from NAPA just because of these clowns, and I do thousands of dollars of business at the local auto supply shops each year.

What a refreshing change being able to watch a race where they showed all the action, kept us informed on pit road and had knowlegable announcers in the booth instead of pitchmen. Hats off to ABC on their Indy coverage. I don’t get Versus so this was the first IRL race I got to see this year, and was glad to hear the race is on ABC again next week. Note to ShamWow Vince at Fox; Tune in and take notes, especially where they have the 2 ways on at the start and we hear GREEN GREEN GREEN instead of the stoopid “Pull dem belts tight, BLAAAA BLAAA BLAAA crap the Clown Prince and all his Jesters are so fond of. Notice they had no childish cartoons either.

05/26/2009 06:36 AM

Bad Wolf, I couldn’t have said it any better.Try reading that Jester, Daley Planet. He is a FOX, DW, MW, Larry Mac cheerleader and if he watched the Indy 500 he would have seen great coverage. Plus he has a vedetta against Jerry Punch and continuosly criticizes him, while praising Jeff Hammmond, the worst TV broadcaster in any sport, and the rest of the FOX people for what he says is great work.FOX has major issues that really irritate many more people than they know, and they need to fix their coverage before next season.

05/26/2009 07:16 AM

WOW! What an outstanding column, start to finish!

And your: “It’s simple: Blow this whole mother up, cancel the rest of the season, and start over in 2010 with cars that are, in fact, “stock cars” racing on tracks that are real race tracks… not coliseums. And give Brian France a Rubik’s cube that’s the same color on all six sides to play with, so he’s befuddled and distracted while the whole lifesaving process goes forward”!

Best summation of the season EVER WRITTEN!

Or, instead of a Rubik’s cube, maybe we just buy King Brian some sex lube and let him pleasure himself, because that’s all he seems to be doing anyway all season long!

Oh, and the only downside to your column is your knock on Danica, her 3rd place finish in a REALLY competitive event totally outdistances Jr.s yet again dismal finish near the back in his event!

What position did Jr. finish in? 40th???

That’s laughable!

Bill B
05/26/2009 07:20 AM

What a bust the 600 was. I feel like I waited two days for a race that never materialized. Can’t blame this one on NASCAR though, it was mother nature’s fault this time.
As for NASCAR’s calling the race, I thought they waited about the right amount of time before throwing in the towel. Perhaps 30 minutes sooner would have been justified.

05/26/2009 07:40 AM

At least Danica finished third at Indy. Dale Jr. hasn’t been able to finish third very often. I’ve never see him around a woman except in commercials. I guess they get in way of his “career.” Great column. I agree, blow the COT up, start anew in ’10 with N. Wilksboro and The Rock back on the schedule, sans California, Chicago, Las Vegas, NH….

05/26/2009 07:50 AM

I couldn’t be more happy for Reutimann, the guy deserves it, he’s worked hard and busted his ass for years to get where he is. Shame he’s driving for Michael Waterlips.

I agree that the race should’ve been called much earlier. But, considering it was a Monday and no one was watching, NASCAR probably didn’t care about the five fans who were watching, being bitchy about constant drying and restarts.

05/26/2009 07:52 AM

By the way, if they had called it before halfway and been forced to wait until today – the weather forecast is – you guessed it – more rain. They were doomed from the start with this one. The only way they could have surely got 600 miles in is if they postponed the entire weekend (the next off-week is August 29).

05/26/2009 08:30 AM

Yeah, let’s blow the whole thing up now!

Go back to strictly stock, with none of them damn HANS devices or carbon fiber seats, and let’s get back to them tracks with none of them candy-ass soft walls, so we can kill off a driver or two every week.

Forget about them tracks near the population centers like Loudon and Fontana. Then no network would pick up a race and we wouldn’t have to listen to them dopey broadcasters.

Then guys like Matt, who publish their internet columns based entirely from what they saw on the TV, wouldn’t have a forum anymore.

Great thinking as usual, brainiac.

Carl D.
05/26/2009 08:40 AM

Danica may be somewhat overrated, but lets be honest here… If you didn’t drive for Roger Penske or Chip Ganassi, you had ZERO chance of winning the Indy 500. That said, third wasn’t too bad for Danica.

Yeah, the Nascar honchos waited too long to call the race, but remember that they had to get the OK from Lowes first. I was there in 2003, and believe me, if there was any way at all that they could have restarted yesterday’s race to give Johnson one more chance to get to the front, they would have.

05/26/2009 08:41 AM

Definitely, safety needs to always be paramount. But they could have redesigned the interior of the “old” car with extra crush zones and the driver’s compartment closer to the middle. But they need to do that with an otherwise “stock” car. No one was killed in the last 6 years of the “old” car either (despite some harrowing accidents), so the COT is not entirely responsible for safety. Have they even considered modernizing the engines to fuel injection?

As for the SAFER barrier, it should be installed all the way around all the oval tracks, including on the straightaways.

Carl D.
05/26/2009 08:51 AM

P.S. Hey Matt… Leave poor Foghat out of this. Most of the classic lineup is dead anyway; only the bassist is still alive. Besides, “Slow Ride” is the perfect ode to the COT.

05/26/2009 08:58 AM

Bravo Matt!

05/26/2009 09:15 AM

The best news we got all weekend was that the FOX broadcasts are ALMOST OVER !!!! HOORAY !! . Only one more week of those idiots . When FOX decided to do Nascar , they had to find the least expensive on air and production persons possible . And the result is the mess we’ve been forced to endure . And this weekend was proof positive of how terrible the Waltrip , Joy , Mac , Hammond , Myers really is . There was direct , side by side competition from Monaco and Indy . The difference was staggering . The Monaco and Indy broadcasts were so superior to the FOX debacle , i’m not even sure FOX should be allowed to call their mess a race broadcast . And boy didn’t the cheerleading reach new hights during this weekends Hiindrick lovefest . I’ve heard that Mike , Larry , and Darrel have to hold a book in front of themselves when they stand up after talking about the Hiindrick organization .

05/26/2009 09:21 AM

As actual racing, F1 is pretty much a bust. Most races seem to be won during qualifying, or in the pits. ( remind you of anything else?) As for coverage, that’s another story. Even tho the broadcast team is not in control of the TV coverage, they manage to work around this.They come across as peolpe who know their sport, & who are having a good time covering it. This translates to the viewers as well. They set the bar for what coverage is supposed to be. Not a cheer leader, or paid shill in the bunch. No one even remotely annoying. It’s like a breath of fresh air. Way too much class to be pushing some reviled rodent. Faux has a lot to learn, & according to Mr. Hill. They aren’t learning anything.

05/26/2009 09:23 AM


Your a moron. Were did Matt say anything about eliminating the soft walls? Or get rid off all the safety stuff?

05/26/2009 10:42 AM


Proper usage is “You’re” a moron, not “Your” a moron.


05/26/2009 12:16 PM

You’ll never see the side by side coverage in NASCAR because of the enormous rights fees that the networks have to pay to NASCAR. ABC, Versus, etc. don’t have to pay rights fees to the IRL, or if they do it’s very minimal compared to what FOX, TNT and ABC pay NASCAR.

The only way that the networks can make that money back is by charging the most that they can to their advertisers and advertisers aren’t going to pay that much for half a screen on a NASCAR broadcast.

05/26/2009 12:19 PM

I flew 500 miles to see the race. I get to see one per year. Very dissapointing.

Some of us have to work Tuesday and couldn’t spend another few hundred on changing flights.

I got home in time for the Monday rain delay, and NASCAR couldn’t even give me a real race.

I don’t blame David Reutimann. Come on, he used pit strategy. Nothing wrong with that, especially in light of NASCAR’s new obsession with declaring a winner while cars are parked in the rain.

Here’s an idea: why not make it so all races have to, at least, END ON THE TRACK.

You can’t get in 150 more laps? Fine, when the rain stops tell everyone you’ll run 20, 30 more laps and that’s it.

Ann in DE
05/26/2009 01:10 PM

You know, if they didn’t have the season so choked with races, they could have postponed the race and run it on a different weekend. It’s one of the few races I actually enjoy. As to Reutimann, he and Mike Waltrip hardly ‘earned’ or ‘deserved’ that win. Having enough fuel to stay out when most of the drivers pit isn’t earning a damn thing. He was lucky, that’s all.

Stu Gatz
05/26/2009 01:15 PM

The finest words ever written concerning NA$CAR:
“It’s simple: Blow this whole mother up, cancel the rest of the season, and start over in 2010 with cars that are, in fact, “stock cars” racing on tracks that are real race tracks… not coliseums. And give Brian France a Rubik’s cube that’s the same color on all six sides to play with, so he’s befuddled and distracted while the whole lifesaving process goes forward.”

Keep up the Good Work!

05/26/2009 01:56 PM

Oh, and as regards the “very important meeting”, or “crucial” as NA$CRAP calls it, HUH?

Last year NA$CRAP called a meeting and told all involved: SHUT UP ALLREADY! DON’T CRITICISE US OR ELSE!

Now, they want to call a meeting to discuss why the sport is failing?


But, that’s King Brian and his stooges, (and there’s more than three in NA$CRAPLAND!)

Sure bet no one attending will “tell-it-like-it-is”!

NA$CRAPS revenge is brutal!

Don Mitchell
05/26/2009 01:58 PM

Sunday, I watched the only F1 race that I ever watch and also the Indy 500. What a treat the broadcasts were, professional start to finish. No cheer leading, shilling, idolizing, blatant huckstering, rodents, favouritism or any of that nonsense. No cutaway car being fondled by a washed up ex crew chief. The Pros of F1 and IRL broadcasts actually think some of their viewers may have seen a car with its hood up and can tell the difference between a coil spring and a drive shaft. What an absolete treat to listen to professionals.

Larry, Darrel and the other Darrel should be banished to the carnival where they belong.

05/26/2009 01:58 PM

No mention at all of the memorial day salute NASCAR did? I’m shocked.

05/26/2009 02:46 PM

If there is going to be a meeting of the minds to “solve” Nas-WWE-Car’s problems, then I could suggest a few qualified drivers, ex-drivers, owners, crew-chiefs and a few old-time retired broadcasters who could make short work of the issues.

Everyone who knows racing and has followed Nascar in the “BB” (Before Brian) years, pretty much knows what needs to be done to fix things and make the sport healthy and restore credibility in the “stock” portion of the Nascar name.

Alas, the only obstacle to getting this done is Brian France.

Don’t worry about Helton and the rest, the right folks in charge could make those stooges dance any way they wanted them to. They are just tools for Brian.

As long as Brian France has anything to do with Nascar, expect more ineptitude, loss of credibility and idiocy.

You can’t expect a party-boy to fill a business-MAN’s shoes.

Too many brain cells down for the count……

Carl in PA
05/26/2009 03:57 PM

Top 10 Things that MUST be Mentioned in a Matt McLaughlin Column:

10. COT Sucks

9. A word that sends you to the dictionary

8. Harley Davidson

7. Brian France’s lack of sharpness compared to the other tools in the shed

6. Beer. Cold beer

5. Goodyear: Not aptly named.

4. A classic rock band. Preferably the Dead, but special appearances by any band that will help draw the picture.

3. Would someone please get matching ball-gags for the Waltrip boys?

2. The unsponsored, like God and Bill France meant it to be, race name.

1. Matt’s Trans Am

Congrats on another perfect column Matt!

05/26/2009 04:31 PM

With all the rain delays, I was very worried we’d get a Digger cartoon marathon.

Jr, pathetic. I am at a loss of words for him and I’m tired of trying to figure out why Hendrick hasn’t done anything about it. In the pre-race on Sunday, when the interview Jr, his body language told me he really didn’t want to be there. Kept hearing things would change at Charlotte races, maybe they meant the fall Charlotte race.

Hopefully mother nature will be in better mood this weekend at Dover. I’m so sick of grey, rainy days, even not on race day.

Paul M
05/26/2009 05:26 PM

Here is something interesting. I have Hot Pass on Direct TV, and during one of the rain delays when it started sprinkling, FOX cut to commercial. On Hot Pass, I watched as Tony Stewart pulled down pit road, and then stopped. He then pulled off his helmet and gloves as the crew tarped the car. Well, by now, FOX comes back from commercial and shows the logo on the infield, then goes to the Hollywood Hotel for a few minutes. Then they showed in-car of 3 different drivers as they were driving during what gave you the impression was a yellow flag. If you didn’t know like I did, you would have thought that the race had not been red-flagged. So they were showing three TAPED drivers during a previous yellow flag. Then they went to commercial. After about 4 more minutes of ads, they came back and then Mike Joy told us about the red flag and showed the cars tarped. So that was deliberate misleading coverage!

This is on top of the fact they will NEVER show a radar or anything that would allow the viewer to determine if the race will be delayed much longer until the very end.

Hammond had the audacity to say Saturday night he thought they would get the race in………this as it was raining and about 9-10PM at night. Jeez dude! How long do you think all the workers can take doing their jobs out in the elements?

05/26/2009 05:45 PM

RE: JR.!

MMMM, no mention at all recently about “how Theresa screwed over Golden Boy”!


Or how about my take?

JR.SUCKS! Theresa knew that and understood Jr.‘s lack of serious commitment to racing!

All one has to do is take a look at how Jr. performs his task, week in, week out, in a top five (5) machine!


Congratulations Theresa!

You know your stuff!

Carl D.
05/26/2009 06:29 PM


What up with the harsh comments about Dale Jr.? Did he steal your girlfriend or something? The guy is just doing his job to the best of his abilities given the equipment and people he’s been surrounded with. If he’s not getting the job done acceptably, that’s between him and Rick Hendrick. I’m not a huge Dale Jr. fan, but I don’t hate the guy, and no matter how badly he finishes in a race, it doesn’t cost me one thin dime nor do I loose a minute of sleep over it. Give the guy a break already; unless your name is Rick Hendrick, he doesn’t work for you so no need to be so vicious.

05/26/2009 08:27 PM

Carl D: Foghat’s original drummer, Roger Earl is still alive and rocking with the rest of the band. Your point is well taken though..“Slow Ride” is well suited for the COT..

Paul F.
05/27/2009 06:07 AM

Carl(without the D),
I don’t know if your list was sarcastic but I like all those things about Matt’s columns. Sorry if it wasn’t sarcastic, but I’ve seen him criticized for a few of those things before. Anyway, thanks again for the weekly wit on NASCAR racing, Matt.

Also, since the “scrap the season” tidbit is getting a lot of attention…I haven’t watched 4 races this season now, with this past race being the fourth. This is the first season I’ve missed a race I could have seen since I was 5 years old and I’m 23 now. I’m just apathetic to the whole thing. I have a few Saturday nights booked at a few local short tracks which I am excited about but as far as NASCAR goes I can’t find myself caring.

With all the retro muscle car designs coming out recently, I’ve had fantasies in my head of them racing on the short tracks I’m going to be visiting. I thought about how cool it would be to see a buncha regular guys like myself banging fenders in cars my neighbors have for a trophy. Then I realize that’s what NASCAR was at one point.

At most short tracks they run street stocks and late models among other more racing-oriented divisions, but one track here had a “run what ya brung” night where people would race their street cars. It was always a huge thrill seeing what people could do with a “strictly stock” car. There was nothing to sell for the promoters. We all just wanted to see what our street cars could do and we did. It was quite the show.

Carl in PA
05/27/2009 08:04 AM

Paul F: It was just an observation, however the top ten list was presented in only the most complimentary manner.

05/27/2009 10:07 AM

Hey Carl D.

Jr., Jr., Jr., all you hear about is Jr.!

Jr. want to “take over” DEI!

Jr. want to be the hero!

Jr. jumps ship to get “good equipment”! (isn’t that his excuse for leaving DEI?)

And what does he do with “good equipment”?


Your: “The guy is just doing his job to the best of his abilities given the equipment and people he’s been surrounded with.”

“Given the equipment and people he’s been surrounded with”?

What the he** is that supposed to mean?


Jr. insisted that Eury Jr. be his team manager!

Jr. stated that DEI was behind times! (wrong)

Jr. “ruined” DEI because of his attitude! Thankfully Theresa recognized his lack of commitment to racing and let him bail out!

No! I will not let the Jr. thing die! 43+ plus some, drivers out there, and every day you have to read about Jr.!

Remember, Danica = 3rd

Jr. = 40th!

The real talent comes out!

Ain’t this fun?


05/27/2009 10:16 AM


You left out his Monte Carlo LOL.

Why do you read his column if you dislike him so much? I can’t stand Pete Pistone and do not read anything that NA$CAR suck up writes.

ed clark
05/28/2009 02:34 AM

have watched only 2 races front start to finish this year daytona and tally only because i went to daytona for 15 years straight untill the year before dale won and then i quit cause in my book it was overpriced. now i dont watch cause the cot sucks( and yes it does)lead car takes off no one can catch him.go back to stcok cars or before the cot. matt you write a great column contrary to what others say in here. give me classic cars like you say especially mopar cars(cudas, challenegers, etc.) as for jr get rid of tony jr.

Kevin in SoCal
05/28/2009 12:31 PM

Matt said: “my ’76 455 Trans Am and give you the catalytic converter I removed from the car as a keepsake.”

Call me a hippie tree-hugger all you want (I’m not), but by removing the catalytic converter from your street car, you are telling the real enviro-nazis that the current laws are not tough enough to stop you, and so they must write tougher laws that affect the rest of us. Thanks a lot.