The Frontstretch: Matt McLaughlin's Thinkin' Out Loud: Martinsville Fall Race Recap by Matt McLaughlin -- Monday October 26, 2009

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Matt McLaughlin's Thinkin' Out Loud: Martinsville Fall Race Recap

Matt McLaughlin · Monday October 26, 2009


The Key Moment: Denny Hamlin held off repeated charges by Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon, and Juan Pablo Montoya during a flurry of late race restarts to claim another win in front of his partisan, home state fans.

In a Nutshell: There’s no problem so big with this sport that a great little short track can’t fix it… at least for a week.

Dramatic Moment: The first 350 laps were about as close to vintage stock car racing as newer fans are likely ever to see.

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

Say hello to your points leader. Oh wait, that’s under the old points system. Thanks to the Chase, Jimmie Johnson is still the points leader with four races remaining.

I noticed this doing my pre-race prep this week prior to Martinsville. Under the current points system, Jimmie Johnson led second place Mark Martin by 90 points and third place Jeff Gordon by 135. But under that tired old classic points system we used to use until it provided too many runaway champions, Tony Stewart would have been leading Jimmie Johnson by 117 points (27 more than the new system’s gap between first and second) and third place by 139 points. (Just four more than the current gap between first and third in the standings.) So tell me again how the Chase spices up the title hunt? If a faltering Stewart was losing points to a resurgent Johnson down the stretch, there might actually be some interest in the series. Yeah, yeah, I’m beating a dead horse. The Chase is here to stay. But a dream lives on forever. Maybe, just maybe, we can adopt a more reasonable points system down the road, and maybe, just maybe, someday Michael Waltrip and Brian France will be sharing an eight by ten residence, blasting out “Statesboro Blues” on their harmonicas while they serve DWI sentences. Wake up, mama…

Oh, and for the record, after Martinsville the gap between Stewart and Johnson under the old points system would be 85.

What is it cynics like me want from a stock car race to stop our incessant whining and negative hyperbole? Side-by-side racing for the lead, with tires smoking, fenders banging, and tempers fraying. We want to see the best drivers making seemingly impossible catches as their cars get out from under them or get shoved aside by a competitor. We want to see a handful of cars racing hard for the win in the fading sun of an autumn afternoon at a track so rich with history, it makes the White House look like a Taco Bell. Sunday’s race is what we want. Please, sir, could I have some more?

We, the fans, hold this truth to be self-evident: a bunch more short track races and a bunch less cookie cutter parades would greatly improve our sport and perhaps even arrest the declines in TV ratings and attendance.

It sure did sound like Denny Hamlin shares the opinion Kasey Kahne offered up two weeks ago that NASCAR is throwing bogus debris cautions late to add some excitement to the finishes of the Cup races.

Will the last person to care about the 2009 Cup season kindly shut off the TV and the lights when you leave?

Once again, there was a stricken car parked sideways across the start/finish line on the final lap of the race. (This time, it was John Andretti.) Once again, NASCAR didn’t throw a caution, though in other events they’ve waved the yellow hanky for debris the size of a gnat’s ‘nads in similar circumstances. It comes down to credibility and NASCAR’s account is overdrawn, in receivership and subject to foreclosure with all due prejudice.

A tempest in a teapot beats the doldrums, I suppose. Some folks are ready to form a lynching party for ESPN football analyst Bob Griese after an allegedly racist remark made during a promo for Sunday’s NASCAR race. The promo featured the top 5 guys in the points and someone asked, “Where’s Juan Pablo Montoya?” (Apparently unaware Montoya fell out of the top 5 after last week’s race.) “Probably out getting a taco,” Griese said in response. Insensitive? Yep. Uncalled for? Absolutely. Racist? Would everyone be in a huff if Griese had said Jamie McMurray (who might be Irish) was out grabbing a brew? If nothing else, it will be interesting to see if they can form a Politically Correct Lynching Party quickly enough to cost Griese his job for an ill-considered remark that reflected insensitivity but not hatred. Sometimes, I hate the times we live in…

It’s bad enough Michael Waltrip can’t seem to finish a single race without running into an innocent bystander, but he’s once again taken his show on the road. Earlier this week, Waltrip made an illegal U-turn and turned into the path of a rider on a Harley Davidson. The Harley struck Waltrip’s luxury Lexus SUV in the driver’s side door. (What is so wrong with Toyota’s lineup of cars and trucks that all its drivers opt for a Lexus rather than the base model when selecting a program car? The LX570 Waltrip was operating while impaired stickers out at 95 G. I drove one last week. It’s a big, stupid truck. A nice one, but a big, stupid truck.) In a bit of a surprise, unlike the last time he rolled a Lexus SUV late at night, this time Waltrip remained at the scene. He was able to pass roadside sobriety tests, but a breathalyzer scored his BAC at .06. In North Carolina, like almost every other state of the Union, .08 BAC is the standard for Driving While Intoxicated, a felony. But Police investigators concluded that alcohol played a major role in the incident, and thus Waltrip was cited with the lesser charge of DUI, or driving under the influence. At police discretion, a driver can be issued such a ticket even at a BAC as low as .01 if the officers determine that alcohol was a contributing factor to an accident. My guess is the folks at NAPA are burying their heads in their hands, but consoling one another knowing they’ve only got five races left with this lunkhead.

I’ve never liked Michael Waltrip. I like him even less now. I ride a motorcycle too, by chance a Harley. It’s bad enough trying to avoid collisions with distracted drivers without factoring in those who have been drinking and thinking that the size and price of their vehicles allows them to violate traffic laws the rest of us have to follow. When I’m on my bike, I’m not out there to show off, piss you off, and take off: I’m just riding my scoot. Please keep an eye out for me and my brothers in the wind, just as I give your learning teenage driver a little extra space when I’m in the pickup even if I’d win that battle. When you see a motorcycle in motion, don’t think of it as a machine: think of it as a human being. As for Waltrip, it’s time the idiot hires a chauffeur. He’s obviously no good at this driving crap.

You know one way you can always tell a stock car race is being held in the Southeast and not somewhere else across the country? When the Preacher finishes the invocation, the crowd responds, “Amen” — not “Wooooo-hooo” or “Johnson sucks.”

Isn’t it getting a little ridiculous that in the AT&T pit crew of the year voting, Dale Earnhardt, Jr. and the No. 88 team remain atop the standings? They routinely cost Junior spots in the pits, and Earnhardt himself is a train wreck on pit road week after week. Do you think the fan vote portion of the balloting is keeping the No. 88 bunch at the top of the standings?

The Hindenburg Award For Foul Fortune

They could have shoveled what was left unbent or unbroken on Kasey Kahne’s No. 9 car into an empty pack of smokes, with plenty enough room left over for his title aspirations. They tell me Elliott Sadler will be driving a Ford for RPM next week at Talladega. It’s no wonder, as the team has to be nearly out of Dodges thanks to attrition over the last three weeks.

Dale Earnhardt, Jr. and the No. 88 team bought a brand new car and a fresh attitude to Martinsville this week. But they left with the usual half-ass finish after a string of blown right front tires.

The “Seven Come Fore Eleven” Award For Fine Fortune

Hard pit road contact with the No. 88 car bent up the right front of Hamlin’s No. 11 car and could have easily ended his day early. The Fed Ex Toyota wasn’t going to win any car shows, but it went on to win the race.

Starting 41st at Martinsville is usually a harbinger of a grim day at Martinsville, but Kyle Busch drove from 41st to a fourth place finish despite some problems in the pits.

A longish pit stop late in the race seemed to doom Jimmie Johnson’s chances at winning, but he drove on to a hard-fought second place finish.

It seemed Juan Pablo Montoya and Jeff Gordon were more determined to take one another out than win the race at times, but they cooled off and drove on to a third and fifth place finish, respectively.

Maybe it won’t be the same ratings bloodbath this week for NASCAR, with many NFL football contests that ran against the first three-quarters of the race decided by gaps of more than 28 points.

Worth Noting

  • Ford’s worst winless drought was 35 races in 1982-1983. This year, they’ve gone 30 races without a win. Buddy Baker broke the streak of futility for Ford at Daytona in July of 1983. Does anybody else out there recall which Ford driver won two of the next three Cup races to restore some hope to the Ford faithful?
  • Say it ain’t so, Auntie Em! Chevrolet drivers claimed seven of the top 10 finishing spots, with two Toyota drivers and a single Ford rounding out the order. The top finishing Dodge was Kurt Busch in seventeenth.
  • Denny Hamlin’s third Cup victory of the year makes this his most successful season.
  • Jimmie Johnson is averaging a 2.3 finish in the first six Chase races. My guess is that’s going to be kind of hard to beat.
  • Kyle Busch and Jeff Gordon have swapped fourth and fifth several times in the unofficial finishing results since the Martinsville race ended. As of right now, Busch is shown as the fourth place finisher. Either way, Kyle Busch scored his first top 5 finish since NHIS.
  • Either way, Jeff Gordon scored his fourth straight top 5 finish. And he’s losing ground to his teammate. That’s got to be depressing.
  • Jamie McMurray’s sixth place finish was his best of the 2009 Cup season. This gun’s for hire, even if we’re just dancing in the dark…
  • Ryan Newman’s seventh place finish matches his best of the Chase.
  • Kevin Harvick’s tenth place finish is his second top 10 in the last six races. Harvick also finished ninth at Richmond this fall.
  • Dale Earnhardt Jr. (28th) has now gone seven straight races without finishing better than twentieth. But as our old bud Kenny Mayne might point out, he remains popular.
  • Joey Logano’s twelfth place finish was the best by a rookie at Martinsville Sunday.

What’s the Points?

Jimmie Johnson continues to lead the points with Talladega next week, the final hurdle he must clear en route to a fourth straight title. He is now 118 points ahead of Mark Martin, who remains second in the standings and 150 points ahead of Jeff Gordon, still in third. Tony Stewart remains fourth in the standings, 192 points out of the lead, meaning that unless he won and led the most laps, he couldn’t take over the top spot even if Jimmie Johnson decided to stay home next week. So it’s now officially a three man battle for the title… and not much of one at that.

Further back, Juan Pablo Montyoa wrested fifth place honors from Kurt Busch. Ryan Newman took over seventh place honors from Greg Biffle.

Denny Hamlin moves up two spots in the standings to ninth. Carl Edwards holds on to tenth in the standings, while Kasey Kahne dropped down to 11th.

Brian Vickers remains the Chase’s cellar dweller in 12th.

Kyle Busch prevails in this week’s battle with Matt Kenseth in the “Best of the Rest” honors, regaining 13th spot in the standings.

Dale Earnhardt, Jr. lost a further two spots in the standings and is now 24th. The combined points position of his three Hendrick teammates is sixth. Medic!

Overall Rating (On a scale of one to six beer cans with one being a stinker and a six pack an instant classic) — I’ll catch some static, but given this season’s racing I’ll give Martinsville five ice cold bottles of Corona for a good, old-fashioned race. In fact, I might have given it six bottles, but Michael Waltrip filched one as a roadie for his ride home.

Next Up: It’s off to Talladega for the Halloween weekend show. Plate tracks typically offer up a lot more tricks than treats, and real horror is always just a shot away, just a shot away. With all the safety advances in our sport, flight and fire remain the drivers’ biggest two fears. Get ready for the Battle of Icarus next weekend.

Contact Matt McLaughlin

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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…


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Bad Wolf
10/26/2009 01:19 AM

Reading your recap almost makes me wish I watched the whole race instead of the last 35 laps. I saw all I needed when they showed that wad of tape that brought out that last caution.

Kevin in SoCal
10/26/2009 03:29 AM

Wait, where is the usual diatribe about the rows of empty seats? Oh wait, that’s only reserved for tracks you dont like. Why is it places like Dover, Kansas, Fontana and Charlotte get their empty seats and lack of attendance mentioned, but Martinsville gets a pass? Isnt this short-track racing what NASCAR is all about? Isnt this what the fans want to see? So, seriously, where were they?

10/26/2009 05:31 AM

kevin – i noticed the empty seats. the track covered some with the obligatory advertising banners. be interesting to see what ‘dega looks like next week.

race was ok. montoya made it interesting, i thought.

Bill B
10/26/2009 07:36 AM

I have never been more ready for a season to be over than this year.

I still think short track racing is more interesting to watch from a fan’s perspective than any other track except, perhaps, the restrictor plate races. Of course those are rigged to be exciting because of the plates.

I think I could watch them race at Martinsville every week and never get tired of it (unless JJ won every race).
I predict that the 48 will be riding at the back next week and not get in harms way until the last 50 laps. With a 100+ point lead he can afford to be conservative and play it smart next weekend.

wayne morgan
10/26/2009 08:17 AM

I don’t feel so alone knowing someone else doesn’t care for Mikey-won’t miss him at all or his brother.

The Turnip!
10/26/2009 08:51 AM


Is the season over yet?

And a little banging and maybe some side by side racing, now we think everything is peachy-keen in the world of NA$CRAP?

How funny, kinda like using a WHOLE can of deodorant!


10/26/2009 08:55 AM

Come on Matt……….Do you honestly think that Brian could ever learn to play Statesborough Blues on a harmonica?
Secondly, what makes you think that he’d have a cellmate? The toughest thing about the “Country Club” facilities. Is that you can’t bring your own Golf clubs.
@ Wayne, You have lots more company than you know. Even the dummies, can recognise incompetence when we’ve seen it for so very long. If you think we’ll be relieved. Think how the other drivers must feel!

Carl D.
10/26/2009 09:10 AM

I swore I would only watch this race because it was the last short track race of the year. Still, once Johnson made his way to the front, I decided some fresh air was in order and so I took a ride in the Mustang along with some vintage J. Geils Band. I got back home in time to see the last 60 or so laps. John Andretti’s car may not have been very good, but it was definitely bigger than the debris that the previous caution flag was thrown for.

Oh yeah… Bobby Labonte had a top 15. Did anyone pick up on that? Oh that’s right… he’s not in the chase and his name isn’t Junior.

I’m gonna watch the Talledega race and then I’m done for the year. Congrats to Rick Hendrick on being rich enough to buy himself another trophy.

10/26/2009 09:17 AM

brian and mikey are used to having organs in their mouths, but harmonicas…probably not.

Ghost of Curtis Turner
10/26/2009 09:19 AM

Geez Mike don’t sugar coat it… tell us how you realy feel?

Ed - Georgia
10/26/2009 09:28 AM

Looks like a lot of people forgot there was a race…again. Too many empty seats for a great race track and race. The next time Waltrip has a wreck while drinking may be his last one for a long time. Let’s hope he doesn’t kill someone. Maybe it will shut his and his brother’s mouths and he won’t be there for FOX to coo over next year.

L Taylor
10/26/2009 09:43 AM

In a nutshell your In a nutshell was dead on. Stock car racing was born and thrived on short tracks.No matter what style of car, tracks longer than 1 mile stink.

10/26/2009 09:52 AM

Of course the remark by Griese was racist . Dumb and racist . But then Griese can’t even spell NASCAR , so how important is the incident .
The championship could easily be made interesting by awarding the Cup to the driver who has the most wins over the course of the season . Then every race , all season , is vitally important . And any team that plans to win the championship has to be up front at every race . Think that wouldn’t spice up the usual snooze fests leading up to the idiotic chase ?
As for fixing the current championship , the fans just simply need to stop paying attention . Yes , i know , thats already happened . But i’m talking about really not paying attention . For the remainder of this season , turn off the tv . Call or fax NASCAR and tell them you’re turning off the tv . Call or fax the network and tell them you aren’t planning to watch . And best of all , call or fax the major NASCAR sponsors and tell them you are not going to watch the races until the stupid “ chase “ is replaced by something that makes sense . If every fan did the above right now , and followed through with the threat , the entire championship model would be revamped in 1 week .
And while you’re calling and faxing , please tell them to bar Jerry Punch from ever participating in another NASCAR event .

10/26/2009 10:09 AM

I was there. Best race in a LONG TIME. (Been going since 1963). Do yourself a favor and buy a ticket for Martinsville next year and skip Kansas. Plenty of hotels in Greensboro and Charlotte to handle the folks. The leaves were changing, drive was great, traffic a breeze and hot dogs, well, the best.
As for Michael Waltrip, he was drunk when he rolled the Lexus the first time and this time he had to stick around, too many witnesses.
Next time he’ll probably kill someone. THAT needs to be corrected.

Sharon J
10/26/2009 10:18 AM

I get very bored watching Jimmie Johnson, Jimmie Johnson, Jimmie Johnson. So I turned off the race.

10/26/2009 11:13 AM

In re Griese comment.

I’ve never been a bigger fan of Montoya than after hearing his response to the Griese comment. JPM didn’t give a rip and even laughed it off. He gets it. The way I figure if the target (no pun intended) of the crack is not offended why should anyone else be? Granted he didn’t even know who Bob Griese is, but last I checked 1970’s NFL was not big in Colombia. Class reaction by Montoya.

As for the late caution, NASCAR is getting more predictable than WWE. I keep waiting for Jerry Punch to say “GOOD GAWD, IT’S CHAD KNAUS WITH THE TIMEKEEPER’S BELL

Speaking of Knaus, Loved it for the lipreaders at the end of the race. “What the * are they doing?” apparently in response to Andretti sitting on the start finish line.

All in all a great race, but I am becoming more and more convinced that NASCAR is staged. Hell, all I have to do is tune in to the last 5 laps of the race next week and that’s all I need to see.

Oh, and NASCAR definitely lends credence to the stance of non racing fans when they say al lwe watch for is the wrecks. I mean they show a commercial about Talladega, and show McDowell’s wreck during qualifying in Texas as a symbol of Talladega’s fury? I don’t get it. Probably never will. Bill Sr. and Jr. are turning in their graves like rotisserie chickens at the current state of the sport they built with unnamed help.

Bill B
10/26/2009 11:19 AM

I don’t understand why the taco comment was that big of a deal. I’m Italian and if someone said I was eating spaghetti I wouldn’t get upset.
What exactly does PC etiquette entail? Does it mean we can never acknowledge anyone’s ethnicity ever?

Kevin in SoCal
10/26/2009 11:29 AM

Matt said: “Isn’t it getting a little ridiculous that in the AT&T pit crew of the year voting, Dale Earnhardt, Jr. and the No. 88 team remain atop the standings?”

Just more proof that Junior’s fans are more biased than the news media. I think Dave Despain said it best last year after the Kyle/Dale incident at Richmond. There was a poll somewhere about who’s fault it was, and 75% of the responses picked Dale Jr. Dave said they probably didnt even read the question, just saw Junior’s name and picked it.

10/26/2009 12:06 PM

Question of the week:
who would you rather be on the track with…Micheal Waltrip or Jeremy Mayfield?

10/26/2009 12:13 PM

The flip side to the Michael Waltrip story is that the operator of the motorcycle was also impaired. He admitted to police hours after the incident, at the hospital that he had two beers before getting on his Harley. That fact was brought up on the forums two days ago.

I watched both the truck race and the cup race. Because I love Martinsville. Both series are in a supposed run-away. But the truck series race was a better product. Why? First off only 200 hundered laps. You had had to make what you brought run good for several yellows instead of fresh feel goods everytime the caution came out. Second: A better TV production. ESPN is what’s ruining races, not the product on the track.

NASCAR really needs to re-think it’s media contract at the next negotiating period. Because ESPN and Fox is driving away more fans than the COT.

Michael in SoCal
10/26/2009 12:17 PM

Isn’t the whoel “AT&T Pit Crew Award” ridiculous? I’m a Junior fan, and there’s no way his pit crew should be up there. He’s only on there because he’s popular. I wouldn’t vote for him for this farce. Anyway, what’s the point? Tissot already awards a Most Valuable Pit Crew award based on pit crew speeds. Why do we need the popularity contest?

10/26/2009 12:33 PM

I never thought I’d say it but you could take away about 75 laps from the Martinsville race. The drivers did awesome racing at first, then settled in and just rode around until about 50 to go.

I’ve been screaming for more short tracks for years and even more so with the COT. The COT is MADE for short track racing in that it can take the beating that the old car couldn’t.

My stepson thinks nascar is boring but he watched Martinsville and thought it was awesome.

10/26/2009 01:02 PM

Jimmie Johnson is averaging a 2.3 finish in the first six Chase races.

Errm, based upon what math?

JJ finishes in the first 6 chase races:

4th at Louden
1st at Dover
9th at Kansas
1st at Fontana
1st at Charlotte
2nd at Martinsville

Add ‘em together, divide by 6, and you have an average finish of 3. Not that it’s a big difference, but you have had a few issues with math in these articles over the years and I felt the compulsive need to correct this one.

Kevin in SoCal
10/26/2009 01:26 PM

I did a little experiment based on my suggestion of changing the Chase to be the top 5 drivers with 5 races left. Since people dont like the Chase and Matt likes to post the classic standings, here you go.

Johnson: 5235
Martin: 5197 (-38)
Stewart: 5178 (-57)
Gordon: 5170 (-65)
Kurt Busch: 5122 (-113)

I took the top 5 drivers after Charlotte, reset their points to 5000, and added the 10 point bonus for each win. Then I added the points they scored at Martinsville.

I like the Chase, I just think its diluted with too many drivers and too many races left in the season. As we can see, 10 races and the current points system still allows a driver to get a huge lead over everyone else. Not every championship race is going to be a 10 point fight to the finish, just like every race is not, either. But this system does more to assure a close points race than the old way. Just look at the Trucks and Nationwide standings, with Hornaday and Buch having a 200+ point lead and running away with it.

10/26/2009 01:43 PM

Jeff gordon beats and bangs with montoya but when his teamate jj is on outside of him on the restart he turns into a wuss and lets him take his spot. Jeff your never going to win another championship unless you start running jj like you do montoya.

10/26/2009 01:47 PM

Kevin in SoCal,

you know, you’ve got a great point there. I like Matt’s stuff enough to post regularly as well, but to rail about many issues which seem to be NASCAR’s actions or inactions on many issues, and yet, he rails about empty bleachers and not a peep about Martinsville. I flipped on the tv yesterday as well and first thing I said to my buddy was “Damn, I remember when Martinsville was among the 5 toughest tickets in NASCAR and the only time you’d see empty seats was during the truck and Busch races.

Matt, you gotta call a spade a spade, otherwise you’re stacking the deck in the same manner.

Also, for those talking about Junior winning the pit crew award, Junior’s gotta win something right? I doubt this is important to him as his primary mission is to scrap the season, collect the paycheck and wait til the checkers at Homestead to commence the bender at Whisky River. If I were him, I’d take my name out of all the awards (Most popular, worst beard, Ward Burton Memorial worst vocabulary award) and say I don’t deserve crap, hell I don’t even deserve my salary and cut of the merchandise so I’m gonna re-dedicate myself to being a championship calibur driver in 2010. If anyone doesn’t deserve to go to the banquet unless he’d serving food, it’s Junior.

10/26/2009 02:07 PM

The Sprint cup championship should be renamed the Hendricks cup because that’s whose going to take the top spots in the points again. Debris cautions when there is no debris has become laughable just as nas$car has become unwatchable. Talladega may be interesting, but the rest of this “chase your tail” is more like the WWE. I’m out.

10/26/2009 02:41 PM

The Talladega race will be my last this season and only reason for that is because it is unpredictable. The other races will be won by Jimmie Johnson, Jimmie Johnson, and some Roush driver at Homestead and only because JJ already wrapped up the title and won’t care to win.

Bill B
10/26/2009 02:45 PM

I can understand why Jeff doesn’t bang on JJ because if he wrecks them both then he screws HMS. (Just like Edwards did last year at Talladega with his fellow Roush drivers). What I don’t understand is why the non-HMS drivers don’t push the point with JJ. If I am 100+ points behind and JJ tries to pass me I’m going to push it as far as I can. I am either going to get/keep that position or we are both going to wreck. You see, JJ is the one that should be backing down and playing conservative because he’s got the most to lose. If he doesn’t then we’d both wreck.

10/26/2009 03:00 PM

Griese is an idiot. If anything JPM would be out getting an Empanada not a Taco.

: )

10/26/2009 04:09 PM


i happed across qvc on thursday night and jr was on there for the 2nd hour of “for race fans only”. he was hawking his 2010 diecasts already. show was shot at wisky river. it’s all about the money. i nearly choked when qvc showed diecasts for the hof inductees. bill sr, jr, junior johnson, petty and dale. i stopped buying diecasts 8 yrs ago, especailly since they don’t do “limited numbers” any longer.


Carl D.
10/26/2009 04:34 PM

What Dirk Said…. Talledega then DONE.

10/26/2009 04:56 PM

I agree about the Michael Waltrip comments.He is so lucky after his two incidents that he hasn’t killed anyone yet, or suffered what Scott wimmer suffered. You would think after his first incident he would smarten up,but smart and MW don’t go together. Why he is still around has me confused. Never produced on track,if his personality is real, I mean not an act, then he is just plain ignorant.Don’t mention the DEI plate races as those cars were far superior at the time. Although if I posted this on the Dopey Daly Planet log it would be deleted.For some reason that ex ESPN employee loves the Waltrip brothers and snipes at ESPN with unfair cheap shots . I thought the race and coverage was good,you will never get perfection. When you find this coverage lacking, just remember what FOX gives us, which is pathetic.

10/26/2009 05:24 PM

It is nice that ABC has on the top of the screen most of the time who the current leader is, I can just flip over from football, and only have the race on for like 2 seconds, ‘Leader Jimmie’, and then I can flip right back to football, not to waste any more time. How convenient! Thanks ABC.

10/26/2009 05:25 PM

did I mention I can’t stand JJ?

JJ the S.T.D.
10/26/2009 05:53 PM

Ha Ha Ha. You’re right Brent, I do the same thing and I’m sure we aren’t the only ones, very convenient. Stick that up your tailpipe NA$CAR. (JJ the S.T.D., he just won’t go away no matter what you do) Very predictable thus extremely annoying. Nobody wants anything to do with the S.T.D.

10/26/2009 07:23 PM

Did anyone notice Mark Martin leaning on the pit wall during the National Anthem. Was not a fan before, darn sure not a fan now. Also one reason for the empty seats the last 2 weeks is bad weather 50 degrees last wk. and cool temps and chance of rain this wk. Why buy tix early when you can wait and see what the weather will be like.

10/26/2009 08:14 PM

I think Marty Reid should replace Punch in the booth next year.

10/27/2009 11:29 AM

Let’s settle this here. This year the crowds at all Cup races has been off..bad off…with the possible exception of the first Vegas race. Even the Bristol night race wasn’t a sell out. It’s become unremarkable that the fans are missing so why remark on it. Yes, I noted California had an extremly bad crowd (that’s a sticking point with me since Little Miss Half-wit who runs the place claimed everyone was just under the grandstands shopping.) I noted again Atlanta had a poor crowd the next week. But the thinnest crowds I have seen at ANY NASCAR track this year were the support (Truck and NW) races at Fontana. Until someone manages to outdo that paltry number I will remamrk at what’s remarkable, races that actually draw a decent crowd. Over and out. Mustang 10 returning to base.

Kevin in SoCal
10/27/2009 01:15 PM

BS Matt! Both Fontana Cup races had the same crowd they always do, about 65-70,000 fans. Yes the Nationwide and Truck races in Feb were terrible, but not the Cup races. Stop picking on Fontana.

Ed - Georgia
10/27/2009 03:51 PM

Kevin, quit blowing smoke. We saw the empty seats for ourselves. Give it up and get a life. Fontana doesn’t draw because it is a lousy track.

Kevin in SoCal
10/27/2009 04:16 PM

So if another track doesnt sell out, its because of the economy, or bad weather, but if Fontana doesnt sell out, then its a travesty based on a poor track, SoCal fans dont care, and NASCAR sucks for giving it two dates? Yeah, ok, nice double standard, hypocrites.

John Daly
10/28/2009 12:28 AM

Wayne, our post on Mr. Waltrip and his troubles was entitled “Will Waltrip Draw Attention From The Chase?”

With only .02 more alcohol, a multi-car Sprint Cup Series team owner would have been in handcuffs with a mugshot posted online in a heartbeat.

The fact that his actions have been buried by the mainstream media is a crime unto itself.

BTW, most of my email is from folks who believe I hate MW. I think he has issues and wish him luck with making better decisions in life.

I left ESPN with a nice party in 1989 for a job with a different TV network.

Since 2007, ESPN has almost single-handedly ruined the TV coverage of this sport.

Don’t expect my comments to cease until change is made for the fans and TV viewers.

Thanks for the time, Matt.

10/28/2009 06:26 PM


I looked up the results of the races in 1983. Big E won the next race at Nashville, Tim Richmond won at Pocono and Big E won at Talladega. Big E was in a FORD. Bill Elliott won the last race of the year at Riverside in November. It was race number 30.