The Frontstretch: Matt McLaughlin's Thinkin' Out Loud: Richmond Spring Recap by Matt McLaughlin -- Monday May 3, 2010

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Matt McLaughlin's Thinkin' Out Loud: Richmond Spring Recap

Matt McLaughlin · Monday May 3, 2010


The Key Moment: Kyle Busch outgutted Jeff Gordon on the final restart to take the lead from the outside lane. Having dominated the first half of the race, it felt somewhat appropriate for Busch to fight back and take the win at the end.

In a Nutshell: Sedate night’s all right for napping, get a little sleeping in…

Dramatic Moment: On lap 230, Jeff Burton passed Kyle Busch, indicating to the rest of the field this event had turned from a merry-go-round ride into a race. Busch led 221 of the first 229 laps.

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

Some drivers drove well and others poorly. Kyle Busch won the race. But the true hero this weekend was Heath Calhoun, an Iraqi vet who lost both legs to a roadside bomb yet refuses to let misfortune slow him down. He is emblematic of so many badly injured war veterans who have served nobly to protect our freedoms, then refused to let their injuries keep them from enjoying the freedom they protected in the greatest nation in the history of the earth. NASCAR drivers are brave, but Mr. Calhoun, you are a hero in the fullest sense of the term. Thank you for your service, and Godspeed to you.

Whatever sealer the Sawyer family used to use at Richmond to ensure side-by-side racing in two lanes before selling the track to the ISC needs to be pulled out of storage and slathered all over the track again.

Kyle Busch turned 25 this weekend and celebrated by snatching victory from Jeff Gordon on the final restart at Richmond Saturday night.

It’s been a busy week off-track for NASCAR personalities. Kyle Busch turned 25 on Sunday. (By the way, is Jeff Gordon really going to be 39 this year? He’ll be as old as Brett Favre; draw your own conclusions with Ella Sophia’s Crayolas). Jeremy Mayfield turned 41 on April 27th. He wanted to play a spirited game of “Pin the Tail on the Jackass” at his birthday party, but Brian France refused to stand still. And finally, Dale Earnhardt would have turned 59 on the 29th. I still miss the Hell out of him. The one race I’ll never get to attend, that would be the last race I’d ever have to attend, would have been the one when he ran his last NASCAR event and retired on his own terms.

There are also reports that DuPont might not be back with Gordon and the No. 24 team next year as primary sponsors, though they will still remain with the team to some degree. That would end the longest-lasting Team/Driver/Sponsor relationship in the sport currently, as the trio have been together since Gordon’s Cup debut in Atlanta in November 1992. Early indications are that Pepsi might take over the sponsorship for the team, a move that’s deliciously ironic. Pepsi is used to finishing second to Coke just as Gordon is getting used to finishing second to Johnson.

Hmm. Talladega Nationwide race winner Brad Keselowski got caught with a soft left front spring and shock after the event and only lost 50 points? At a track where springs and shocks offer such a competitive advantage, I can’t help but remember another race winner losing a similar chunk of points (25) for uttering a cuss word in Victory Circle. I guess when NASCAR decreed “Boys, have at it” earlier this season to engage combat-sanitized racing, they also forgot to add, “The rulebook is in the dumpster.”

A recent poll showed that sports fans who label themselves hardcore fans of NASCAR racing dropped 19% since 2008. Color me surprised. I’d have thought the number was closer to 50% given my email recently.

Does anyone else think that Richard Childress Racing’s decision to cut back from four teams last year to three outfits this season has greatly increased the fortunes of the three remaining teams? Tony Stewart, take note.

Imagine fans in the Philadelphia TV market tuning in to see the race Saturday night, only to find that their fine friends at FOX decided to pre-empt the first hour of the race to show the Pennsylvania Senatorial debate between Joe Sestak and Arlen Specter. While Philly remains loyally blue Democratic, most of the outlying suburbs the station serves remain bastions of bright red Republicanism, and most voters there have already decided they’ll vote for whatever candidate opposes Sestak (or especially alleged turncoat) Specter in November. Do you think FOX Philly would have pulled the same preemption during the opening hour of a Phillies, Flyers, or Eagles game? Not unless they wanted rioting in the streets, and Philadelphia lately only needs Facebook to trigger unruly rioting in public areas. Even presidential, much less senatorial debates historically draw rating numbers that make infomercials look like American Idol, so I can’t imagine what station management was thinking. It was probably the same as the rest of us… the only twenty minutes that are going to draw viewers to a NASCAR race are the last fifty laps. But thanks to FOX Philly for granting a low-rated home to such mainstream media outcasts like John “Storm of the Century” Bolaris (it never snowed despite the panic he created) and Sally Ann “Blinky” Mosey.

Now hold on thar just a second, Bubba-Louie! The IRL open-wheel race at Kansas became the B Main on Saturday, while the trucks got the prime Sunday date with the Cup Series off? How the Hell did that happen?

The Hindenburg Award For Foul Fortune

Jeff Gordon has finished second eight times since his last win. Once again, he seemed to have victory in hand in the waning laps only to be denied Saturday night at Richmond. Give Gordon some style points for being positively gracious in his post-race comments, though – a seemingly tactical admission he’s been a bit of a bitch after the last couple of races.

As crappy finishes go, Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s flat tire during an extended green-flag run seemed relatively benign. Usually it’s the driver, crew chief, or pit crew that’s at fault for him falling from outside the top 10 to finishes like the 32nd he grabbed Saturday night.

Normally, Richmond is one of Tony Stewart’s best tracks. But normally, his car doesn’t look like a garbage scow on rough seas, either. Stewart struggled home to a 23rd-place finish, his fifth straight outside the top 15. Smoke, Smoke, wherefore art thou, Smoke? (Probably in the Drive-Thru line at the local Burger King in his Ferrari, ordering a triple Whopper with double fixings in a continuing effort to make his butt larger than the state of Rhode Island.)

There was no late-race miracle finish for Mark Martin this week. Martin struggled home to 25th place, never a contender with a rare pit road speeding penalty the icing on the cake of an ugly night.

Kevin Harvick’s second straight top-3 finish Saturday (third) was enough to give him the point lead over Jimmie Johnson.

The “Seven Come Fore Eleven” Award For Fine Fortune

Juan Pablo Montoya was pretty vocal this week in stating he didn’t like the track at Richmond. Maybe after a sixth place finish Saturday, he’ll like it a little more.

Kyle Busch had a pretty good weekend leading up to his 25th birthday, winning the Cup race and finishing fourth in Friday night’s Nationwide event. Now, if he’d just grow up instead of just growing older… Hopefully, he’ll use part of that big payday to pay off some contractors who helped build his new race shop and allege they haven’t been paid. Some of those builders say that they’re barely able to stay in business with the unpaid debt on the books and they might have to lay off employees, throwing them a pink slip in these particularly harsh economic times. Busch said Saturday that he wasn’t in charge of paying those bills; but when your name is on the building, Kyle, the buck stops here.

Kevin Harvick had to overcome a slow pit stop (for which he loudly castigated his crew) en route to a third-place finish.

Marcos Ambrose has been a bit of a weapon as of late, and needed a good, clean top-10 finish to remind people he’s a talented driver. You just don’t want to be featured as the bad guy in the crash videos every week… so, mission accomplished with a solid (if almost invisible) ninth-place run.

Carl Edwards led his first laps of the season at Richmond en-route to a fifth place finish. How is that possible? The Fords aren’t just off song this season, they’re not even in the choir. It’s time to start swinging for the fences rather than trying to bunt. Driving into Darlington County, my eyes seen the Glory of the Coming of the Lord, driving into Darlington County, I seen an FR9 engine stuffed under the hood of Carl Edwards’ Ford! I’m not a fighting man by nature, but if a fellow has me on the ground and is pounding the crap out of me for nine weeks, eventually I’m going to swing back.

Worth Noting

  • The top 10 at Richmond drove six Chevys, three Toyotas, and Carl Edwards’ lone Ford. Brad Keselowski in fourteenth was the top finishing Fiat… er, Dodge.
  • Kyle Busch has now posted four consecutive top-10 finishes. His victory was his first since last year’s Bristol night race.
  • Jeff Gordon has finished second or third four times in this season’s first ten Cup races. Finishing second or third doesn’t get you a trophy, but it pays pretty good.
  • Jeff Burton (fourth) scored his first top-10 finish since Fontana.
  • Carl Edwards’ fifth-place finish was his best of the season, and (obviously) his first top-5 result of 2010.
  • Marcos Ambrose’s ninth-place finish was also his best of the year. But I’m sorry. I just can’t look at a car sponsored by Baked Beans and not think “Blazing Saddles.”
  • Matt Kenseth hasn’t enjoyed a top-5 finish since Bristol. F-R-9!
  • Brad Keselowski hasn’t earned a top-10 finish yet this season, though he’s running very well in the Nationwide Series. Draw your own conclusions here.
  • Tony Stewart hasn’t finished inside the top 10 since he was runner-up at Bristol.
  • Kevin Conway was the top finishing rookie at Richmond (37th). Do you care?

What’s the Points?

Kevin Harvick wrested the points lead away from Jimmie Johnson on a night Johnson looked merely mortal. Johnson now trails Harvick by ten points.

Kyle Busch’s win moved him up two spots to third in the standings, 109 out of the lead. He leads fourth-place Matt Kenseth by ten, while Greg Biffle fell two spots to fifth.

Jeff Gordon rebounded four spots in the standings to take over sixth. Denny Hamlin moved up two spots to seventh, while Kurt Busch, yellow wheels and all, fell another spot to eighth. Jeff Burton made some nice forward progress, advancing three spots to ninth, while Mark Martin fell four spots to tenth.

Rounding out the top 12, Carl Edwards jumped two spots to eleventh, while Clint Bowyer dropped a spot to twelfth. Just like the gambling commission in Atlantic City, he’s hanging on by the skin of his teeth, just four points ahead of Earnhardt.

In other news, the flags are at half staff outside NASCAR headquarters, and key officials are gathering with their Prayer Circles. Dale Earnhardt, Jr. fell five spots and thus out of the Chase to thirteenth in the standings, about where he should be after a thoroughly mediocre start to the season. A Chase without Junior? Am I sniffing another end-of-the-year ratings disaster?

Joining Junior in the “Outside Looking In” club are Tony Stewart, down a spot to fifteenth, and Joey Logano, down one spot to seventeenth.

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 give it three cans of moderately cold domestic stuff. We didn’t see the fireworks we normally see at Richmond, and one driver dominated, but that happens sometimes in legitimate sporting events. (Though were it not for a few timely “debris” cautions, Kyle Busch might have lapped the field.) Things also heated up nicely at the end. It’s too bad the networks have to fill four hours of airtime with a race, because the final ten minutes of a lot of races this year would go positively viral if they were presented as YouTube videos.

Next Up: The Cup circuit heads back to the Mothership of speedway racing, Darlington. And I bet even with the awkward Mothers’ Day Eve date, the track still sells more tickets than Fontana will for either of their races this year.

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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05/03/2010 12:59 AM

Bret Farve is 40. So if Jeff Gordon turns 39 this year, he’ll never actually be as old as Bret Farve.

Also, IF Bret Farve was 39, then Jeff Gordon and Bret Farve would have been the same age for the past 39 years… that sure is some cutting-edge reporting, Matt.

Seriously though, you’re negative attitude is bad enough… don’t go “doctoring” facts to prove an increasingly negative point of view.

As for your argument about hardcore fans please note the following:

NHL has the most hardcore fans, the NFL has the most casual fans, hows that working out for the NHL?????

05/03/2010 01:01 AM

Agree 100% on comments about Heath Calhoun and the Rest of OUR VETERANS.

I had to give this race 1 can, because of the “debris” cautions. Do you think this would have happened if Jeff or Jimmy was passing Kyle?
That was not the worst of it, no it was 18 cars getting the wave around, then caution for water bottle to allow wave arounds to pit, changed the whole race. Yes I’m a Rowdy fan, but to penalize any team for hitting the set up while others do not is just wrong. From 8 cars to 26 cars after a “debris” cautions. Started channel surfing after that. Did turn back in time to see Rowdy win.
Went approx 110 laps had 8 cars lead lap and Kyle leading get debris caution, Have Jeff leading go approx 200 laps and takes blown tire to get caution.
I have watched races where only 1 or 2 cars hit sit up, Jarrett at Michigan and J. Burton at Loudon are 2 that stick out, not my favorite races but at times someone just gets it right and stinks up the show. Thats Racing.

05/03/2010 01:18 AM

I thought you said last week that you were going to quit reading Matt’s column.
It is funny that you think us “old race fans” should quit watching if we did not like the racing, but you continue to bash Matt and everyone else who does not agree with you.

05/03/2010 02:06 AM

I will predict that next week’s race, no matter how bad, will get 6 beers and be the “greatest race all year.” Just a hunch.

05/03/2010 06:36 AM

Matt, I am a little confused. You said last week that you couldn’t wait to leave Talladega and head for Richmond. Would you now like to say that you wish we had skipped the last two weeks? I don’t blame you for hating the plates, but you can’t bash contrived action and boring racing both.
Last week the race was terrible because of side by side racing, unpredictable action, and multi-car wrecks. This week the racing was terrible because it didn’t have those very ingredients.
Richmond has been producing more green flag racing than action for at least a decade. I will admit though, I’m not sure of the exact date ISC (Incompetent Speedway Comission) bought the track.

@ DansMom:
Where exactly did you come up with the NFL having the most casual fans? I’m sure the SUPERBOWL attracts the most casual fans of any sporting event, but that is NOT the only event of the NFL season.
If you have even been in a sports bar, there are an awful LOT of hardcore fans watching the per-season, regular season, and post-season. It’s only the SUPERBOWL that gets 50 million people that tune in just for the commercials.
HARCORE fans are the lifeblood of NASCAR. The casual fans that NASCAR courted in the last decade are bailing on NASCAR even more quickly than the hardcore ones. That is why NASCAR gave the “boys have at it” policy a try.
Once again you show that you have never watched a race that DIDN’T start with “Boggity, Boogity, Boogity.” Yet again, I am left wondering if your family makes sure your helmet is securely fastened when you get off the couch.

05/03/2010 07:26 AM

WC- I claimed that I would stop commenting, not stop reading. This decision was in reaction to a post that claimed Matt’s columns were the most commented on, which they are, but I disagree that is because of quality – rather the placement of top billing on Monday morning. I claimed that if I stop commenting it would reduce the number of comments by 10 due to a lack of people who comment on my comments.

For the past month, without my comments, the average # of comments is 20.3, the first two months of the season the average number was 30.

I felt the need to comment today when the original version of this article claimed that Jeff Gordon was turning 39 this year, making him as old as Brett Farve. With Brett Farve being 40 I felt the need to correct this inacurracy. Also, If Brett Farve was 39 – as Matt claimed, wouldn’t they have been the same age for the past 39 years?

Bill B
05/03/2010 07:26 AM

Excellent comment wcfan. Did we ever even see that debris from the first debris caution?.. I don’t think so.

The wave around is a joke. All it does is insure that the first half of a race is meaningless. Talk about socialism – we’re seeing it in these races. If you fall behind don’t worry, big brother will make sure everyone is made to be equal. Now the races are becoming a refelction of the chase concept itself. After 26 races points are reset to make everyone equal and after 200 laps everyone is reset on the lead lap to make everyone equal.

05/03/2010 07:29 AM

I think NASCAR should run EVERY race at Phoenix in support of Arizona’s new imigration law.

Do you think JPM in his big red car will have any issues at the next Phoenix race?

I think it’s intolerable that MLB is considering moving its All-Star Game from Arizona.

Mike Croley
05/03/2010 08:17 AM

It sure does look like it’s always been more car than driver where Jeff Gordon is concerned . When it comes down to a one on one battle at the end , he sure seems to be lacking in driving skills .

05/03/2010 08:25 AM

i lost interest, flipped to tv land to watch the raymond shows (i can’t remember title of show, old timers in full swing this morning). turned back to watch last 20 min of race.

i’m still confused about the ‘dega infraction with brad k….doesn’t na$car provide the shocks for that series, as well, at plate races?

jr sank like a boat anchor. maybe he should hook up some oil absorbing materials to his car and run around in the gulf of mexico to help contain the oil slick. all i’ll say is jr needs to get his personal life in order him being in national enquirer this week is just what the sport needs.

05/03/2010 08:32 AM

Not if he keeps his Green Card handy.

05/03/2010 08:33 AM

I believe I would get tired of every race at Phoenix, but I damn sure have no problem supporting their new law.

05/03/2010 08:38 AM

I hate (REALLY, REALLY HATE) to see PeeWee Herman win (or even lead) a race, but we were in the turn 2 stands watching him spank the field just like Brad did in the Nationwide race, when I leaned over to my wife and said “OK, he’s about to lap Jimmie Johnson and make it 8 cars on the lead lap: watch the caution lights come on quickly before he can pass anyone else and give them the ‘lucky dog’”. Sure enough, not even a whole lap went by. My cousin “Redneck Johnny” commented: “You’ve heard of past champion’s provisionals; that was a ‘present champion’s caution’”. And so it was. It really couldn’t have been more blatant. PS: I just had to comment on the eventual pass of PeeWee by Jeff Burton: The cheering in the stands couldn’t have been any louder even if Junior had done it.

Mr Bill
05/03/2010 09:00 AM

I, like Matt, was disappointed in the Richmond race. The side by side racing at Talladaga is because of the rules. The side by side racing at Richmond in the past has been because of the competition. The Richmond race this year had to be rescued by the wave around rule with Rowdy mowing down the field. I was surprised and disappointed that one driver was stinking up the show at of all places Richmond. Causing NASCAR officals to have to step in to make something of a show out of the run away performance of Rowdy. Some of us remember the Earnhardt and Waltrip show on the last lap at the old Richmond Fairgrounds track, with Richard Petty’s son passing both of them to win I think his first Winston Cup race. Compare this to the most recent race at Richmond with one car almost lapping the field, cautions from out of the blue just at the correct time to controll the show, and you can understand why Matt and myself were left with an empty feeling after the Richmond race. Just a reflection of how things have changed even at Richmond and more than likely next week at Darlington.

05/03/2010 09:24 AM

oh yeah, according to jayski shrub needs to win races, he owes his contractors $$$

05/03/2010 09:48 AM

Poor Dan…..

05/03/2010 10:01 AM

Matt, why does FS pay you? Aren’t you supposed to be excited by Nascar and love your job. It’s obvious in your writing that neither are the case.

Anyone ever seent he “Debbie Downer” skit on Saturday Night Live? That’s what I picture everytime I read one of Matt’s awful articles.

Bill B
05/03/2010 10:29 AM

What’s really sad though is the fact that Matt’s attitude is a reflection of so many fans’ attitude.
He’s writing what we’re all thinking.

05/03/2010 10:48 AM

I don’t know who it would have been meant to help , but the Elliot Sadler slide and subsequent yellow flag looked as suspicious as any i’ve ever seen . He starts sliding all by himself , the right rear was not down , nor were any other tires on the car . He then manages to limp the car around to the pits on four flat tires ( how did a fairly harmless slide wipe out all 4 tires ) and then for some reason decides to park the car at the entrance to pit road . He was able to get that far , almost a complete lap , why not another 50 yards to the entrance to the garage area . Sure looked like he was trying to delay the race and any pit stops by other drivers .

05/03/2010 11:06 AM

Its also annoying hearing you bash Tony because of his weight. He is struggling for sure. Leave it at that. The constant comments about it are getting old and adds nothing to this article.

05/03/2010 11:20 AM

I thought the race became a complete joke when half the field got the wave around.

Bad Wolf
05/03/2010 11:36 AM

Saw the caution for the hot dog wrapper (Dee Double You called it a water bottle) and turned off the TV and went to the shop for a while. When I got back in and turned the TV back on it was the last lap and I got to see Kyle take the checkers.

Hard to believe I used to be a rabid fan who never missed a second of the action. Thanks Brain France.

Dans Mom, when you see Brain in the hallway on your way to lunch tell him thanks for nothing.

05/03/2010 12:13 PM

I just wish they had actually shown the race so I could tell if it was good or not. All they showed all day was close up 1 car (rolling billboard) shots and if one of the announcers happened to mention there being some real action on the track they quickly cut to the Tech garage or some other useless spot instead of showing the action. I really have no idea if it was a good or bad race being as Fox never showed more than 2 cars at a time which makes it impossible to get any kind of feel for what is actually going on on the track. At least the Nationwide race with Espn did have quite few shots where you could see several cars at once and get a feel for the race. I know as a long time fan that it is getting harder every week to watch when all you see is 1 car at a time and you can’t even tell where on the track they are let alone how the car is handling. I’ll shut up now, just had to vent.

Michael in SoCal
05/03/2010 12:26 PM

I saw the water bottle caution, and when they showed the water bottle from a different angle replay you could see part of a spring bouncing around in one of the turns, so there actually was debris out there.

05/03/2010 01:29 PM

I think NASCAR should run EVERY race at Phoenix in support of Arizona’s new imigration law.

Do you think JPM in his big red car will have any issues at the next Phoenix race?

I think it’s intolerable that MLB is considering moving its All-Star Game from Arizona.

Intolerable? In a sport where a good majority of the best players are Hispanic/Latino, what other choice did they have. I bet you supported Arizona’s initial refusal to observe MLK Jr. Day too. I think your hood and pajamas are ready for pick up at the cleaners.
Green card jokes from the peanut gallery too. How Precious!

You guys really lend credence to the stereotypes of NASCAR fans. I guess profiling is Constitutional.

Would you guys care to give back your little patches of trailer park heaven to the Native Americans?

05/03/2010 01:39 PM

Joe – many fans aren’t too far off. I mean, for the sounds of things we should be Nationwide racing in the middle east, because Danica surely isn’t allowed to race in that series.

Kevin in SoCal
05/03/2010 01:56 PM

Darlington holds only 66,000 fans. I have no doubts Fontana had that many in February and will have that many in October. Still sucks that Darlington has only one race a year though.

Bill B
05/03/2010 02:20 PM

I hate going into this political territory in a NASCAR blog, but you served it up…

How come we are worried about the illegal aspects of racial profiling but not the illigal aspects of illegally entering the country.

If you have a way to keep deal with the illegals that doesn’t involve racial profiling then please let us all in on it.
When people from Canada start crossing the border illegally in numbers that equal or exceed those of Mexico then we can start profiling white, fair-skinned people and I (being a white fair skinned person) will be willing to live with that profiling.
It seems to me that many are using the specter of racial profiling as a way to undermine getting rid of those in this country that are here illegally. Let’s face it, that’s a very convenient defense to thwart any kind of enforcement of border controls.
Personally, I see it as a necessary evil in this case where the end justifies the means.

05/03/2010 02:43 PM

He is writing what a select minoity are thinking… he most definitely does not speak for me or any of my friends that watch Nascar.

05/03/2010 03:12 PM


I didn’t serve it up. I merely responded to another poster’s comment about Phoenix. What I really had a problem with was the JPM green card comment. Uncalled for.

Drive for Diversity my ass.

As far as the “problem” of illegals, this has been going on since the days of the Republic of Texas and the Gadsden Purchase. All of a sudden we’re up in arms over it? I’ve always contended it’s a perfect red herring issue, because the pols have no answers for other issues, such as Arizona’s alarming educational stats, for one. I guess all Hispanic looking people are issued a gold sombrero when they enter Arizona, regardless of citizenship. Of course you would not have a problem being profiled… you’ve never been put in that situation.

The real problem that everyone ignores is this: Who employs these illegals? You think they come here just to get some affordable chorizo and a Dora the Explorer backpack at the Nogales Wal Mart? target those who hire illegals, problem solved. If there was no work on the border, they’d have no reason to come here. Of course you’ll be paying $15 for a pair of socks, but it’s the price of the American way of life right?

Either way, you have your opinions I have mine, I probably shouldn’t have engaged in a political debate on this site, but I was incensed over a comment I read.

I don’t disagree that people entering the country illegally is a problem, but this is no better than the war on drugs. Go after the dealer and consumer, but leave the source alone. Point is get the business owners and others who employ the illegals and get the coyotes who bring them in. Chopping a snake’s tail off don’t do a damn thing to kill the snake.

Carl D.
05/03/2010 03:22 PM

Shame on Matt for being a year off in Brett Farve’s age! I’m going to quit reading… or quit commenting… whatever.

You know, the people who constantly complain about Matt’s negative attitude keep right on reading and complaining. I guess some folks are just blind to their own hypocracy.

As for the actual Cup race… for Richmond, it sucked. So did the Nationwide race. For lack of a better reason, I’m gonna blame it on Matt’s negativity, which is single-handedly destroying the sport.

Bill B
05/03/2010 03:33 PM

That’s not true. I have been profiled. When I was 18 I was driving to a rock concert. I had long hair, mirrored sunglasses and was in a souped-up Lemans. We got pulled over because we had blank looks on our faces (like you could tell with mirrored sunglasses on). So I was profiled for being young, long-haired, on a road frequented by young concert-going hoodlums, and in a muscle car. To make a long story short they found a bunch of beer (no big deal in 1980), made us dump it out, and sent us on our way. So we all get profiled at some point. In my case it wasn’t race but age and circumstances. Same deal either way.
I’m fine with them coming here to work, just don’t expect the same rights as citizens – no schooling, no health care, no food stamps, etc..

05/03/2010 04:05 PM

Bill B , you’re fine with THEM coming here ?? You’ve obviously put a lot of thought into this .This site isn’t about politics , or laws , or world events . It’s about NASCAR .That’s the way it should stay .
Find another outlet for the hatred of others .

I know it’s been said many times , but it might be worth repeating since some people don’t seem to understand . The only people who have a “ right “ to be in America are the American Indians . It was all their’s until Bill’s relatives came over here from another country and decided to settle . I live in Arizona , have for decades . I don’t have a problem with people coming to this country to find a better life . And i don’t have a problem with people coming across the border to make a living and then returning each night . I do have a big problem with American company owners who exploit those people to put some more money in their own pockets .

05/03/2010 05:19 PM

Another good article Matt. And as for dansmom dont flatter yourself thinking that without you Matt wont get as many comments

Race was a sleeper till the last 2 cautions and yeah the caution that put everyone back on the lead lap was bullshit

05/03/2010 05:50 PM

(same guy, no politics this time)


I thought that’s the way it read too. I think Matt has been around the net longer than dansmom.

Matt has in my opinion mailed it in on a few articles, but can you blame him? Give him something to write about. I admit I knew he was going to trash what I felt was as good a Talladega race as I can recall since Awesome Bill unlapped himself 3 times 2 down then again to take the lead. Without plates of course. But I was expecting him to pan the race. He’ll likely say Darlington gets 5 ice cold cans of Bud or whatever because of the venue and the spoilers. Fine with me. I’ll keep reading because I like to be entertained. Why people have so much animosity toward a columnist on the Net I’ll never know.

no Spin
05/03/2010 05:55 PM


If you were the snake“Chopping a snake’s tail off don’t do a damn thing to kill the snake. you would thin differently, but you right on and a dam good post

Why do you people replay to Dans mom your just talking to nascar or is Dans mom talking to her self, perhaps if we stop talking to her maybe nascar will stop laughing

05/03/2010 07:29 PM

Hi Matt,
Jeremy’s birthday is MAY 27th, not April! He still has a few weeks to go to hit 41…

05/03/2010 08:05 PM

I sure hope “Dan” got his intelligence from his DAD.

05/03/2010 08:20 PM

Matt, why does FS pay you? Aren’t you supposed to be excited by Nascar and love your job. It’s obvious in your writing that neither are the case.

Randy, since it seems like you’re going to post this comment every week, I guess it’s time I respond to it. First let me say you are entitled to your own opinins just as I am entitled to mine. (Site management likes it when I preface my comments with cordial stuff like this. Sometimes they write it for me but in this case you’re dealing with Guthriesville Live)

I think somehow you’ve confused the job of a NASCAR writer and a cheerleader. Trust me you don’t want to see me in a short skirt waving pompoms. Scary visual.

I love stock car racing and I’ve loved it most of my 50 years here on earth. I just don’t care for NASCAR much lately because of the damage they are doing to the sport I love, which has consumed my life. The day my Mom (who loved dearly) died after helping make arrangements to send her off I snuck into a back bedroom and watched the Firecracker 400. It’s a sickness.

I’ve been doing this awhile. Over the years some readers have come to enjoy what I do. Others, like you to pick one for instance, don’t. I’m good with that. I pray daily for my loyal readers and thank God for them. I respect thier intelligence too much to be dishonest with them. That would be insulting to them. And I don’t insult my friends.

If a race is great, that’s how I write it up. If it sucked, I say so. I recall many readers being shocked that I once gave a Kansas race a glowing review despite my dislike for the joint. That particular day fate and fortune conspired to put on an entertaining race. I don’t go into any race with an ax to grind but I always have a switchblade in my pocket if I start getting bored.

I’m just an aging hippie, much more laid back in real life than I am in my columns. If you’re broken down alongside the road I’m the guy who’s going to pull over, give you a ride to the parts store, and try to help you fix your ride so you can get home to dinner and your family. If you offer me money I’ll say no, but if you offer me a beer I’ll probably have several with you.

Here’s what I don’t understand (in addition to women, Japanese street bikes, Priuses, and Daylight’s Saving Time). You come here and preach to me, if you don’t like the current state of auto racing, why are you watching and writing about it? So here’s my question to you. If you don’t like what I write about racing, why are you stil reading it and wasting your valuable time commenting on it. Did you win the Powerball and retire? If so could you slide me a few spare mill? The McLaughlin Muscle Car Museum ain’t half full yet.

Meanwhile if you happen to experience car trouble here in Southeast PA and you see a gray GMC with a Tim Richmond bumper sticker on the back, flag me down. I’ll get you back up and running because that’s WJWD. I don’t dislike anyone but, dude, if I start you’ll definitely be in the running.

05/03/2010 08:43 PM

I am an older fan like yourself, and look forward to your column every week. Thanks for telling it like it is, and trying to educate the newer fans. They have no idea how cool it used to be… like when a guy actually had to race their way back onto the lead lap.

05/03/2010 10:00 PM

I was enjoying KB (or any driver) spank the field, then Misty showed up and NA$CAR showed their true colors. What a farce.
@DansMoan, showing your interest in stats on comments in this column, why don’t you do us all a favor and reduce them by 1.0.
Matt you, like my brother, always remind me of that song that was sumtin’ like, He’s and old hippy and don’t know what to do. Should he hang on to the old or join in with the new. Or sumtin’ like that. Keep on cruisin’, bro.
After watching 60 Minutes last night, I think we need more canals.

05/03/2010 11:35 PM

Wow!!! Once again DansMom was chirping in from her home on the Island of Moronica. I generously gave the race 3 beer cans. While Talladega was a decent race, this one (except for some timely cautions) was a snoozefest. For once a debris caution was welcome.

Dan Hill
05/04/2010 08:50 AM

This is why Dale Sr. killed himself, because he didn’t like the direction NASCAR was heading. Who else is in favor of more Digger cartoons?

05/04/2010 08:54 AM

Haha. Wow!

Someone finally got to Matt. Point for RandyG.

05/04/2010 09:54 AM

Bill B,

you can trim the mullet, ditch the acid wash jacket and Dokken t shirt.

You can’t undo Hispanic.

Apples and oranges on the “profiling” trauma you encountered.

PS. What concert was it?

05/04/2010 01:46 PM

I haven’t watched the race broadcast yet but watching the race live, there was a lot of action. It was boring watching Busch spank the field in the beginning but the “Jimmy Johnson” caution was inevitable. Not sure why Truex wasn’t mentioned in the column. He did a great job of coming back from 28th to 5th and eventually finished 7th.