The Frontstretch: Matt McLaughlin's Thinkin' Out Loud: Phoenix-2 Race Recap by Matt McLaughlin -- Sunday November 14, 2010

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Matt McLaughlin's Thinkin' Out Loud: Phoenix-2 Race Recap

Matt McLaughlin · Sunday November 14, 2010

 

The Key Moment – With 47 laps left, Carl Edwards passed Denny Hamlin to take a lead he’d never relinquish.

One extra pit stop for fuel in the closing laps of the race cost Denny Hamlin most of his lead in the Chase for the Sprint Cup.

In a Nutshell – For the want of a nail the shoe was lost, for the want of a shoe a horse was lost… and for the want of a gallon of gas, the battle was lost. How about the war?

Dramatic Moment – Edwards and Hamlin had a protracted battle for the lead running side by side, unusual to see for a points leader in the penultimate race of the season.

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

Was the No. 11 car really that low on fuel or did the pressure of the title chase force the team to play it conservative?

There was no clear victor in last week’s Gordon-Burton battle, but Hamlin clearly knocked the crap out of that bottle of water he was handed after the race. His dashboard might have been heading for the canvas, too. Anyone else remember when Davey Allison broke his hand punching his transporter after losing a race at Talladega?

Was Kyle Busch under team orders not to pass Hamlin on the fourth restart?

Didn’t they use to run this race on Saturday night? I’d prefer that time slot for the penultimate race of the season. Editor’s Note: The Phoenix race in November has always been run on Sunday; it’s the one in the spring that gets run Saturday night.

I’m a little confused as to why Jamie McMurray wasn’t penalized for throwing his water bottle out the window of his badly damaged car to draw the caution he needed. Typically, there’s at least a one-lap penalty for a driver purposely drawing a yellow flag. Somewhere, Jimmy Spencer is laughing.

For NASCAR’s King, his reign as a car owner is nearing an end now that his RPM team – where he owns just a four percent minority stake – is drowning in debt and struggling to come up with cash just to make it to the track and finish the season.

Longtime fans who still revere the King are increasingly concerned. The four RPM entries for the Phoenix race were basically held hostage at Texas until Wednesday of this week as Roush Fenway Racing waited to see if the check to pay for those cars cleared. Apparently, it finally did and the four RPM transporters rolled west out of Fort Worth Wednesday evening. If I was one of those truck drivers, I’d be more than a little concerned if the corporate credit card was going to be approved after I fueled up and if my paycheck might bounce once I got home.

Yeah, yeah, I understand about TV being nationwide and all (we even got cable TV here in the sticks now!) but it seemed a kind of odd pairing to have Robby Gordon sponsored by Polaris snowmobiles for a race in the Arizona desert near a town where snowbirds flock to avoid the Northeast winters. No offense to Polaris; I own a Polaris Indy Special that’s currently residing somewhere in that third garage bay under boxes of Christmas lights, unsold novel manuscripts, mustard-colored Carhartt zoot suits and about fifty dozen scrapers. Guess it’s time to wade into that zombie zoo before winter hits for real.

According to Brian France and Mike Helton, NASCAR is still considering possible tweaks to the Chase. In a related note, the White Star Ocean Liner company is still considering a more southerly route for the Titanic in future passages stateside to avoid icebergs.

You have to wonder if Mike Helton hosting a press conference wearing a “48” cap this weekend was a good idea. No, the cap didn’t have Johnson’s team’s colors or stylized number, but it raised a few eyebrows.

The bank Wells Fargo has begun foreclosure procedures against the NASCAR Plaza tower located alongside the floundering NASCAR Hall of Fame. Hmmmm. Building new office space in an already floundering commercial real estate market? Who knew that wasn’t going to work?

Danica Patrick may raise her voice inside the car, but her results (32nd on Saturday) have yet to be raised to the level of success expected for her to succeed in NASCAR.

Another fun factoid for new Danica Patrick fans; when she’s upset, her voice hits a frequency range only small dogs and bats can hear. At least she finally learned that you can use the front bumper of a car for something other than an object to lean against whilst wearing swimming apparel.

Kurt Busch, who has dabbled at drag racing, earned his Pro Stock license on the very first full pass he took in the King of Door Slammers. I guess the way he’s been running in the Chase, it’s wise to have a few career options. (Note to Kurt: The first rule of drag racing a Mopar…make sure the nitrous is off before you park it in the pits.)

Listening to ESPN’s Brad Daugherty reminds me of a parody Saturday Night Live once did on Family Feud’s Richard Dawson: “I hope you’re all as excited as I’m pretending to be!”

Congratulations to Sebastian Vettel, who won this year’s F-1 title. Vettel was third in the points entering the final race of the season. Fernando Alonso, in the lead, only needed to finish fourth to clinch a championship while Vettel had to win the race and hope his rival finished fifth or worse. Well, Alonso’s crew chose a conservative strategy and finished fifth while Vettel won the race in dominating fashion. I can’t predict who will win our title next weekend, but I hope it’s whichever driver runs his heart out all day and wins the race, while the driver and team that choose to play it conservatively falter. (Oh, and for the record, F-1 doesn’t reset the points late in the season or host a Chase. Vettel’s margin of victory was four points.)

In even better news, John Force at 61 years of age claimed his fifteenth NHRA Funny Car title on Sunday. Force, who was badly injured a few years back in a wreck, went on to thank the doctors who pieced him back together. (As in, “Thank you to the doctors who got my arms and legs back. I’m 40 again. I’m still ugly, but I’m 40.”) No, I’m pretty confident he’s still 61, but the inestimable Mr. Force remains the face of his sport and serves as an inspiration to those of us with a few years on the odometer.

The Hindenburg Award For Foul Fortune

It’s hard to imagine how Denny Hamlin must feel tonight. To have a car that good, that fast, and to lead the most laps only to finish 12th because of fuel mileage has got to be soul-crushing.

Brendan Gaughan rarely gets to compete at the Cup level, but his race lasted barely two laps this time out.

Kyle Busch also seemed to have a top-5 finish in hand most of the day, but his Gibbs Toyota was also forced to the pits for an extra splash of gas near the end. He finished one spot behind Denny Hamlin in 13th.

The “Seven Come Fore Eleven” Award For Fine Fortune

Edwards finally broke a 70-race winless drought. It was a pretty good weekend for the Missouri veteran, who took the Cup pole and the Nationwide race in addition to his Cup victory.

Johnson and the No. 48 team have gambled on fuel mileage before with less successful results, but they had enough gas Sunday to get to the finish and remain in title contention despite a merely adequate car all day.

Water bottle throwing aside, Jamie McMurray is posting the type of consistency this Fall (10th at Phoenix) that some consider him a Chase “lock” for 2011.

When his pit crew failed to tighten a lugnut late in the race, it looked like Kevin Harvick’s race and season were over. The extra bit of gas in the tank turned out to be crucial.

Not only was his wife kind enough not to go into labor during the race, Ryan Newman left Phoenix second. He won at this track in the spring what seems like decades ago.

Early in the race with his entire decklid hanging askew, it appeared Jamie McMurray’s race was over. He rallied back to finish in the top 10, so there’s no sense in crying over spilled water. Now if that water bottle had gone through the grille of the No. 48, then we’d have something to talk about, wouldn’t we?

Worth Noting

  • The win was Edwards’ first Cup victory since the Homestead season finale in 2008, a year when Edwards enjoyed nine of them. Edwards also became only the second Ford driver to win a Cup race this season. (The other was his Roush teammate Greg Biffle.)
  • His second-place finish was Newman’s best since he won the spring race at this track.
  • Joey Logano (third) now has scored five consecutive top-10 finishes.
  • Johnson (fifth) returns to the top-5 results after a two-event absence.
  • Matt Kenseth (seventh) has led at least one lap in six of the last seven races.
  • Mark Martin (eighth) has back-to-back top 10 finishes for the first time this season since Texas and Talladega in the spring.
  • Kurt Busch’s ninth-place finish was his best since Dover.
  • Jeff Gordon (eleventh) still has just one top-5 finish in the Chase.
  • Denny Hamlin’s twelfth-place finish was his worst since Kansas.
  • The top 10 finishers at Phoenix drove five Chevys, three Fords, a Toyota and a Dodge.

What’s the Points?

After all these years, the Chase format finally yields the sort of season finale its architects (and I doubt any of them could even spell that word) envisioned we’d have every year. Hamlin leads Johnson by 15 points and third-place Harvick by 46.

Edwards trails Hamlin by 264 points. What that means is if Hamlin, Harvick and Johnson are all abducted by space aliens this week and if NASCAR were to unexpectedly add another race to the season, he’s still got a chance!

Matt Kenseth is fifth in the standings, followed by Jeff Gordon and Kyle Busch. Greg Biffle and Tony Stewart swapped the eighth and ninth spots, with Biffle now having the advantage. Kurt Busch took over tenth in the standings from Clint Bowyer, while Jeff Burton remains dead last among the 12-man field.

In the “Best of the Rest” category, Mark Martin arrives at Homestead thirteenth in the standings, 24 points ahead of Jamie McMurray.

Overall Rating (On a scale of one to six beer cans with one being a stinker and a six pack an instant classic) — We’ll give this one three bottles of Dos Equis floated across the Rio Grande-o, across that lazy river.

Next Up – With a very unpleasant sneezing and wheezing, the rusted and groaning calliope that has become the 2010 Cup season heads off to Homestead for the season finale. One way or another, this ten-month long disaster is going to finally be over. That’s why they have Thanksgiving the week after the season ends.

Contact Matt McLaughlin

Monday on the Frontstretch:
FREE NEWSLETTER! BREAKING NEWS ON JEREMY MAYFIELD AND BRIAN FRANCE! CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP
Fact or Fiction: Can Denny Hamlin Recover? And Is Harvick Still In It?
Running Their Mouth: Kobalt Tools 500
Bubble Breakdown: Brendan’s Bad Day Gives A ‘Front Row’ Opportunity For Underdogs
Blast From The Past: Who Could Benefit From A New Nationwide Series In ’11
Nationwide Series Breakdown: Wypall 200
Tracking The Trucks: Lucas Oil 150

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NASCAR Easter Eggs: A Few Off-Week Nuggets to Chew On
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©2000 - 2008 Matt McLaughlin and Frontstetch.com. Thanks for visiting the Frontstretch!

Kevin in SoCal
11/15/2010 12:44 AM
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Matt said: “You have to wonder if Mike Helton hosting a press conference wearing a “48” cap this weekend was a good idea. No, the cap didn’t have Johnson’s team’s colors or stylized number, but it raised a few eyebrows.”

Remember, Jim Hunter would wear a hat with NASCAR ’48 on it, in reference to NASCAR starting in the year 1948. I’m guessing Mike Helton is wearing the hat to honor Jim Hunter, who passed away last week.

phil h
11/15/2010 01:15 AM
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Matt,this 10 month long disaster (as you call it) is your bread and butter,is it not?

You should give thanks on Thanksgiving for the sport,you knucklehead!

ElectricPeterTork
11/15/2010 01:23 AM
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With Hamlin looking like he was about to cry in post race interviews, you think he’s already defeated himself in his own mind?

Bad Wolf
11/15/2010 01:55 AM
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I just happened to tune to the race when Hamlin had a 2.5 second lead, and the competition debrie caution reared it’s ugly head. I turned it off for the day.

Thanks for the update Matt, now I know what I didn’t miss, but my leg has a tingle going down it now thinking about the close manufactured points battle going into next week. Wooooo freaking Whooooo!!

ElectricPeterTork
11/15/2010 02:38 AM
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I’m actually surprised by NASCAR’s restraint. When Hamlin and Johnson were supposedly running low on fuel in the last 25 laps, I was expecting a mysterious caution flag to be thrown to give ‘em the chance to fuel up without losing spots.

Carl D.
11/15/2010 08:16 AM
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I thought the Danica Patrick comment was funny, but more importantly, right on the money. We’ve all seen her commercials.

Last week I noticed a bottle of water thrown out of Carl Edwards’ car and I don’t think he was looking for a caution, though I could be wrong. Maybe there’s a reason they don’t want empty bottles in the cockpit of the cars.

Brad Daugherty has actually become a pretty good booth announcer. Don’t forget that, come February, we get DW back, so save your complaints until then.

Not really a Dale Junior fan, but I thought his fan-designed paint scheme was pretty awesome, and it gives his fans something positive to talk about this morning.

As always, I enjoyed your column.

Jacob
11/15/2010 08:20 AM
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I have to agree with ElectricPeterTork. I was very surprised that there wasn’t a phantom caution thrown for Denny and Jimmie’s fuel concerns.

It is increasingly apparent that all Richard Petty will get out of RPM for next season is his name and the #43. I wonder how many of his long-time fans will start wearing Toyota hats if MWR fields an entry for The King next season. I wonder how many will claim that King Richard is an American traitor, should he attach his name to Toyota. Not very many teams have showed even a modicum of interest in keeping his name in the sport, except for Waltrip.

Even though Ferrari (F1’s version of HMS) cheated its way to the top of the points, and Red Bull did everything in their power to throw the championship away, karma still brought the trophies to the best chassis this season.

Congrats to John Force, I guess. His dominance of Funny Cars made me stop watching drag racing years ago, but after his terrible crash, it is good to see him in top form again.

Finally, I have to wonder: When will certain people realize that they get bashed for bashing other posters, because they, themselves, are the ones that show NO actual knowledge of the sport?

Bill B
11/15/2010 08:24 AM
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“At least she finally learned that you can use the front bumper of a car for something other than an object to lean against whilst wearing swimming apparel.”

Ha ha ha. That’s funny and it works on so many levels. It’s funny because it’s true. Matt says what we’re all thinking.

The above responses brought to you by Homer Simpson for the benefit of Randy Goldman. LOL

janice
11/15/2010 08:30 AM
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i kept waiting for the mystery debri caution to come out with 3 laps to go. i was also hoping that the 48 car would have slowed down on the front stretch just far enough away from the s/f line.

i’d also like to have the winning lottery numbers for this week.

bobbyjr
11/15/2010 08:51 AM
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Matt, I’m surprised you missed Chad’s attempt to sneak illegal wheel studs on the right rear of the #48 through pre-race technical inspection, which would have helped make for a little faster pit stop. The officials allowed Chad’s team to change them back to legal length studs and go through inspection a 2nd time.

ESPN’s guys reported this before the race, but that’s the absolute last you heard of it. It’s like it never happened.

Alan
11/15/2010 09:15 AM
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Polaris makes much more than snowmobiles Matt. They have a big line of off-road four wheelers, including the Ranger RZR 4 seater Robby Gordon edition. It’s the week before the Baja 1000, and off-road racing is huge in Arizona. Quite smart for Polaris to sponsor the defending Score Off-road champion as he heads off to compete in the Baja 1000.

Jack
11/15/2010 09:16 AM
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Matt, I sure hope this 50+ year old race and music fan is not the only one who gets your occasional insertion of lyrics into your writing.. I sure do love it.

Halfstep, mississippi uptown toodeloo, hello baby I’m gone goodbye..

and the last 50 laps yesterday was some decent racing. Go Denny Hamlin!!

Craig
11/15/2010 09:40 AM
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As ticked off as Denny was at the end of the race. He still has the points lead, he just doesn’t get to ride around at Homestead next week. I thought his biggest worry was that the 48 would do his usual Phoenix domination act and take back the lead. Odd track to have a fuel mileage race though, someone usually burns off a tire at the end of a run. Hopefully, this close finish with the points will keep NASCAR from considering this “elimination chase” garbage.

Mike
11/15/2010 09:57 AM
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Congrats to John Force, I guess. His dominance of Funny Cars made me stop watching drag racing years ago, but after his terrible crash, it is good to see him in top form again.

Everyone is entitled to their opinion, and I have the same feelings about how dominant Bob Glidden, WJ, Greg Anderson, and the WayneCounty boys were in PS (still my favorite class thought…) – BUT, you have to give him credit in a sport where the fastest 16 earn the right to compete each week. No ‘Top 35’, no sponsor’s or past Champion provisional. Force is getting it done the same way the other 15 drivers are – and he’s not always in the top 3 qualifiers.

Congrats to him.

VolcanoNacho
11/15/2010 10:51 AM
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THANK YOU SoCAL KEVIN! This forum is so full of conspiracy theorists that they completely ignore the obvious and most logical solution to questions.

VolcanoNacho
11/15/2010 10:53 AM
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Also, to continue with the random posts this week… RandyG do you think I should sit Santana Moss tonight for MNF? I would ask Jacob but he is probably too busy designing pink toyota paint schemes with baby seals for kyle busch.

DoninAjax
11/15/2010 11:28 AM
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Saw the 48 crew working on the car in the garage after the race. I guess they were trying to make it legal.

How would you like John Force as your father-in-law?

Why do people post comments under different names? An idiot by any other name is still an idiot.

Mike W
11/15/2010 11:34 AM
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MATT, your comment about Danica was pretty darn funny.

Carl D.
11/15/2010 11:34 AM
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Jack…

This 50+ y/o fan caught the Todd Rundgren lyrics and thought he was the only one. Rock on!

Managing Editor
11/15/2010 12:03 PM
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I’d like to remind everyone of the comments disclaimer at the top of the page.

“We welcome your opinions so we’ll never hold back a differing viewpoint. The only comments that will not be published are comments that serve only to personally attack another commenter or the article writer, vulgar comments, or comments that are written in all caps.”

We’ve let a lot go the last few weeks, but I’ve about had enough. Please keep bashing other posters to a minimum, please, or I’ll have no choice but to put a block on your IP address.

Thanks, hope everyone heeds the warning.

VolcanoNacho
11/15/2010 12:20 PM
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Finally! Maybe we can get back to actually discussing racing on this forum!

laxbro
11/15/2010 12:35 PM
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Good. Now the comments wont be full of pissing contests.

I thought the race was pretty good. Got exciting at the end. Harvick really was up on the wheel the last fifty laps when that pit stop put him back in the pack. Surprised no one wrecked him.

wcfan
11/15/2010 12:49 PM
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Matt

If the hat that Mike Helton(who I despise) was wearing a hat to Honor Jim Hunter That is a VERY BIG point for you to emit. Saying Helton was wearing a “48” cap gave me one impression. Reading Kevin in SoCal’s post stating that Helton was wearing the cap to honor Jim Hunter gave a very different impression.

For all the fans of the chase how do you justify winning the “regular” season and not be the # 1 seed starting the “playoffs” and how can Harvick have a better average finish then Johnson but trail him by 31 points

steven
11/15/2010 01:09 PM
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I think Hamlin had to pit because the Gibbs cars had more horsepower then the Chevies. Even little Joey had a good finish.

VolcanoNacho
11/15/2010 02:46 PM
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For all the fans of the chase how do you justify winning the “regular” season and not be the # 1 seed starting the “playoffs” and how can Harvick have a better average finish then Johnson but trail him by 31 points?

Because Nascar (like all other forms of racing) decided to emphasize winning over consistency. They have just chosen to do it in the format of the chase. IRL does it by only giving the top few drivers points each week. Horse racing does it by, well, only rewarding the top three. You dont hear people talking about “MrBojangles” finishing fifth on turf every week.

Craig
11/15/2010 04:00 PM
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They need to have the Chase seeding reflect regular season finish again. Seeding should be a combination of regular season finish and wins. I’m guessing they reset everyone even then added win bonus points so a driver (like Kyle in 2008) couldn’t have a massive lead (100+) on the lower seeds. However, if a driver wins 8 races in the regular season and is the points leader, they should have a massive lead on the 10th, 11th, 12th, place drivers. In my opinion the last few drivers in the Chase 10-12 are just window dressing to give teams and sponsors a “participation ribbon”. This is probably why they are floating 15 drivers for next. It’s the NASCAR equivalent of elementary school.

wcfan
11/15/2010 04:39 PM
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If winning in the regular season is so important then you should not need the chase to put you in the points lead.

Harvick had a 300+ points over Johnson and 400+ over Hamlin. With 2 more top 5’s and 3and 6 top 10’ respectively over Johnson and HamlinWhile a agree the race winner should be getting more points, consistant top 5 should also be getting rewarded.

Margarita Chicken
11/15/2010 05:07 PM
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I bet Hamlin wrecks next week. Maybe a tire falls off like Kurt busch in the first chase.

Sharon J
11/15/2010 06:32 PM
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Go Kevin Harvick

To the management – Cleaning up the personal attacks is a great idea.

gopapa
11/15/2010 06:35 PM
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Looks like that bad-ass intake manifold that the Toyotas got over the winter bit the 11 team in the back side. Breaks my heart.

The fuel mileage game can be an engine tuner’s nightmare. Denny was fast, but he didn’t have the fuel mileage he needed, probably because his motor was tuned more for power than fuel mileage.

You can Tuna Fish, but you can’t Tune a Toyota.

RandyGoldman
11/15/2010 11:03 PM
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Matt M. is the Richard Petty of frontstretch.com

He was the man, when there was no one else competitive. But he has long past his time of departure.

LET IT GO!

Keeping it REAL
11/15/2010 11:56 PM
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I’ve been a reader of Matt’s going back 3 websites. Honestly, I don’t think I can take it much more. I have to agree with many posters above. He’s become to crotchety, too self-righteous, and simply too hung up on the past.

I’m sick of hearing about how bad the racing is these days. That simply is not true, it is the most competitive it has ever been. I challenge Matt to name 2 statistics that show the old days were more competitive than today. If you don’t like the lack of personality, now I’ll agree with that – NASCAR tightened down too hard and is having a hard time figuring out how to back it off without appearing gimmicky. Yes, the COT was not a good idea. Neither were a lot of the cars run before, either – they tended to be death traps, remember?? But hey, it does produce close and tight races. Complaints? Not from this long-time fan. Stop complaining about the “quality” of the racing.

You also contradict yourself so badly. You want personality yet you cut all over Danica for showing some. Who cares if she can get more sponsorship money by putting on a swimsuit – tell me you wouldn’t if racing was your passion? Yes you would. She has more driving talent in her thumbnail than you’re whole family has. Who are you to insult her? I am not a Danica fan, but that is because her personality doesn’t resonate with me. For those that do, great. For those that don’t, find a different driver to pull for. I’ve had about enough Danica and Jr comments. I’m also so freaking tired of hearing about how GREAT Tim Richmond was. Funny how he failed to ever seriously challenge for a championship, yet according to MM he’d have denied Dale Sr ANY future championships – wake up old man. You tend to make martyrs. You spoke a LOT of crap about Dale Sr before his untimely death. Reading you now you’d swear he was a godsend. Yesterday wasn’t always better, and yesterday’s athletes were actually rarely better than today’s considering the ones today have been bred and groomed for this their whole lives. That’s why Jeff Gordon kicked the crap out of Dale Sr and the whole old guard, this is spoken from a lifetime Dale fan. Spare me the whole traction control argument, I have a degree in electrical engineering and have designed traction control systems – I’d happily debate the feasibility of that with you or any of your readers.

Finally, you jump to conclusions and make strong comments without even taking pause, just to put even more negative tone to this sport that has fell to hell in a handbasket, at least in your opinion. If Kevin is right, you have egg all over your face since you all but accused Helton of favoring the #48. Funny how when you don’t like the dominant team you assume they are dominant because NASCAR is SURELY favoring them. Get real. They are dominant because they are the best of the time. Sure, they have been caught cheating, but tell me a team that hasn’t? Yes, even Tim Richmond’s and, oh my, Alan Kulwicki’s were. And Davey Allison too. That’s right, look it up, it happened. So the lesson is simple – do not assume the dominant team is cheating every week. Makes you look extremely foolish and childish.

I’m debating whether I will get my weekly fill of negativity and drama by reading your articles or just stop reading altogether. I think many, many readers are in this exact same position right now. You are not making it easy on us long time fans, Matt. And yes, though I know you will not admit it, you are absolutely biting the hand that feeds you. I own a company with about 30 employees. I got into my position by being grateful for those that helped me and finding ways of taking care of them. I didn’t badmouth when I disagreed with something. My momma taught me “if you don’t have anything nice to say ..”. Maybe you were not taught the same lesson? If not for NASCAR you’d not have had the career you’ve had. But maybe you are too proud to care anymore.

Anyway, this novel must end, as must your career. The question is whether it will be on your own terms or whether enough people will have gotten fed up listening to you. We shall see, eh?

mazakrash
11/16/2010 12:27 AM
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Hey, keeping it REAL…. I have 2 words for you. Anger Management.

Bill B
11/16/2010 07:06 AM
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Keeping it real…..

Feel better?

Margarita Chicken
11/16/2010 07:31 PM
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WOW!! Keeping it Real, tell me what you really think. gopapa, you have the quote of the year “You can Tuna Fish, but you can’t Tune a Toyota.”

Jeff W
11/17/2010 09:40 PM
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Right on, Keeping it REAL! I too have read Matt’s columns for years and have tired of the constant negativity. I’ve noticed that over the past few years he has gone from expressing his usually negative opinions in comedic and enjoyable fashion with common-sense and facts to back it up.

Even when I thought he was completely wrong, I respected what he had to say because of his ability to show us why he formed his opinions. It’s like he’s “jumped the shark” and has taken the easy road by simply spewing the same ol’ negative hash in each column he writes. I get the feeling he doesn’t want to do it anymore and his writing is suffering. But, like anyone, he’s afraid to give it up. He’s become the DW of NASCAR opinion columnists.

I’ve enjoyed so many of Matt’s columns over many years, it’ll be hard to skip him.

upgrayedd
11/18/2010 02:49 AM
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Thank you Keeping it Real for putting it so eloquently what many of us long time Matt readers have been thinking.