Kurt Busch to Attempt The Indianapolis-Charlotte Double
posted by Phil Allaway
Tuesday March 4, 2014
Andretti Autosport announced this morning that Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet in the Sprint Cup Series, will attempt the Indianapolis 500 in a fifth entry for the IndyCar Series team. Once the Indianapolis 500 is completed, Busch will fly from Indianapolis to Charlotte, jump in his No. 41 Chevrolet and compete in the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Busch considers the opportunity to do the double as an old-school throwback moment.
“This is really to challenge myself within motorsports,” Busch said in Andretti Autosport’s press release. “Perhaps I am a bit of an old-school racer; a throwback, I guess. I enjoyed the era of drivers racing different cars and testing themselves in other series. It is tough to do now for a variety of factors, but when the opportunity is there, I want to do it. While NASCAR is my home, I have been fortunate to compete in Pro Stock on the NHRA circuit a number of years ago and test a V8 Supercar. This opportunity was a talk with Michael [Andretti] over dinner one night, a “What if,” and now it’s becoming a reality for me to drive in the Indy 500 with Andretti Autosport. It’s literally a dream come true. To go to the famous Brickyard with the iconic Andretti name, it doesn’t get much cooler or better than that.”
Busch will be doing the Indianapolis-Charlotte double as a Memorial Day mission to men and women serving in the U.S. Military via the Armed Forces Foundation. Fans can contribute to the cause by texting AFF to 50555 to donate $10.
Busch, who has never raced an IndyCar, passed Rookie Orientation at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway last year during a test session. At the time, Busch was more or less testing the Dallara DW12 for fun.
Busch will be the fourth driver to attempt the Indianapolis-Charlotte double. John Andretti was the first driver to attempt it in 1994. After finishing four laps down in tenth in Indianapolis, Andretti crashed and had engine problems in the 600. Robby Gordon has attempted the double five times, most recently in 2004. However, Gordon failed to make it to Charlotte on time and did not start the 600 in 2000 (P.J. Jones started Gordon’s No. 13 Ford in that instance). Finally, Tony Stewart has attempted the double twice (most recently in 2001) and is the only driver to ever complete all 1100 miles. Neither of the three drivers has won either leg of the double. The best finishes are Stewart and Gordon’s sixth-place finishes at the Indianapolis 500 (although Gordon’s came in 2000, the year he didn’t make it to Charlotte in time to start the Coca-Cola 600), and Stewart’s fourth-place finish in the 2001 Coca-Cola 600.
Danica Patrick, Justin Allgaier Talk About Phoenix Incident
posted by Frontstretch Staff
Tuesday March 4, 2014
A disappointing start to the year for Danica Patrick won’t include continued conflict. Patrick met with rookie Justin Allgaier Sunday, shortly after the Phoenix Cup race after a wreck ruined both drivers’ days. Patrick, who was critical of the No. 51 car on the radio, claiming Allgaier was “driving all over the track” appeared receptive to a conversation that quickly settled differences over what will be a long season.
“She was just upset because she got involved in the crash that we had,’’ said Allgaier to the Motor Racing Network. “She says she’s been through this and that she felt like I needed to settle down at that point. I explained my position on why everything happened. I think she understood where I was coming from. It doesn’t fix either one of our racecars. It doesn’t fix either one of our days. Unfortunately, we were both having pretty decent days.’’
Allgaier wound up 30th due to the incident while Patrick was 36th. The incident, which was caused by Allgaier’s spin also involved the No. 32 team and Travis Kvapil, which wound up 38th after sustaining heavy damage.
Camping World Close to Extending Title Sponsorship of NCWTS
posted by Frontstretch Staff
Tuesday March 4, 2014
Marcus Lemonis, CEO of Camping World, Grand Marshal of Sunday’s Sprint Cup race at Phoenix International Raceway, and star of CNBC’s “The Profit,” made the announcement over the weekend that the retailer is very close to announcing a deal that would continue its title sponsorship of NASCAR’s Truck Series. The original agreement with NASCAR is scheduled to conclude after the 2015 season.
According to the sanctioning body, no formal contract has been signed, but “the agreement between the two parties has proven to be a beneficial one.”
“In about a month, we’ll be announcing a significant extension to that contract. It’s been great for us,” said Camping World’s Lemonis in a statement. “The NASCAR relationship has worked well for Camping World. When we started, we had 35 stores. Now, we’re up to 120 stores. As we travel the country and we meet new customers in stores, they always are very appreciative of our relationship with NASCAR. It’s been good.”
Gaining a long-term commitment from Camping World to sponsor the Truck Series would be a relief for NASCAR, which is set to lose Nationwide Insurance as title sponsor for the NASCAR Nationwide Series at the end of the 2014 season. The sponsorship of the Cup Series by Sprint runs through 2016.
The NCWTS is back in action on March 29th at 2:30 PM (ET) when the trucks visit Martinsville Speedway in the Kroger 250, which can be seen on Fox Sports 1. Ratings for the season opener were up 11 percent.
Harvick Takes Win At Phoenix In Second Race With New Team
posted by Justin Tucker
Tuesday March 4, 2014
Phoenix International Raceway has become Kevin Harvick’s home away from home. Sunday Afternoon was no exception as Harvick charged to the front early and would dominate for much of the day, leading 224 of the scheduled 312 laps to record his record fifth win on the one mile oval and his third win in the last four races at Phoenix.
Harvick, coming off of a disappointing Speedweeks which was capped by a last lap crash in the Daytona 500 in his debut with Stewart-Haas Racing, set the tone on Saturday by winning both practices while having the best 5 and 10-lap averages in the first practice of the day on Saturday. On Sunday, Harvick and his No. 4 Jimmy John’s Chevrolet was nothing short of flawless as he was able to hold Dale Earnhardt, Jr. by .489 seconds after a late race restart to claim his 24th career Sprint Cup Series victory.
“Man, this is awesome,” Harvick said after his dominant victory on Sunday. “Man, this just solidifies so many things and so many decisions. It’s been so much work with all the time and effort that these guys (the crew) have put in—but what a race car.”
Stewart Haas Racing co-owner Gene Haas shared in Harvick’s excitement after the race.
“It took long enough,” Haas joked. “This is phenomenal. I think there was a lot of skepticism last year about what myself and Tony (Stewart) what we were up to, was there a lot of madness to this. Quite frankly, it’s a great team, there’s a lot of synergy at the shop, people working together. I don’t know what we did, but I think we put together a great organization.”
Daytona 500 winner Dale Earnhardt, Jr. continued his hot start to the 2014 season. Earnhardt Jr. would finish second on Sunday, marking his seventh consecutive top 10 finish since the end of the 2013 season. Earnhardt Jr. was pleased with the effort after a coast-to-coast whirlwind week after winning his second Daytona 500 and also gave great praise to the efforts of Harvick and the No. 4 team.
“I’ve got to congratulate Kevin. Those guys were two-tenths faster than everyone all weekend in practice. They were just phenomenal,” Earnhardt said. “To be able to run with them all day was a big confidence builder for us.”
Joining Harvick and Earnhardt in the top 5 of The Profit on CNBC 500K were Brad Keselowski with his second consecutive top 3 run of 2014 in third. Keselowski’s Team Penske teammate Joey Logano would finish fourth, and Jeff Gordon would come home fifth in his No. 24 Pepsi Max Chevrolet.
Jimmie Johnson finished in sixth, followed by Ryan Newman with a nice rebound after Daytona in seventh. Carl Edwards would carry the banner for Roush Fenway Racing by finishing eighth, Kyle Busch was ninth, and Jamie McMurray would finish tenth.
A look at the Profit on CNBC 500K by the numbers. There were 14 lead changes among eight different drivers, there were eight cautions for 39 laps which slowed the race pace to 109.229 MPH.
Next Sunday, the Sprint Cup Series heads to Sin City and the Las Vegas Motor
Starting Lineup: The Profit On CNBC 500K
posted by Thomas Bowles
Saturday March 1, 2014
Drivers in RED (i) are those ineligible to collect Sprint Cup points
Daytona 500 TV Ratings Down
posted by Frontstretch Staff
Wednesday February 26, 2014
What was the longest weather delay in Daytona 500 history turned out to bring NASCAR lower ratings and TV viewership Sunday night than expected. According to a report Monday from FOX Sports, the 56th running of the Daytona 500 airing at 8 PM (ET) posted a 5.6/10 national household rating/share which averaged 9.3 million viewers. That’s down 44 percent from last year’s 9.9, easily making it the least-watched Daytona 500 of all-time.
Due to the six-hour, twenty-two minute rain delay in Daytona, the race was up against the primetime coverage of the Winter Olympics Closing Ceremony from Sochi, Russia on NBC (15.25 million viewers). FOX also reported that 69% of the pre-rain delay viewers of the race, which began at 1 PM (ET) kept tuning in.
In comparison, the 2013 Daytona 500 on FOX was the most-watched race in five years, posting a 9.9/22 rating/share, commanding 16.7 million viewers. The Daytona 500 in 2012, the first to ever be run on a Monday and in the primetime slot did a 7.7/13 overnight rating/share which resulted in 13.67 million households viewing the race according to Nielsen TV ratings data.
Earnhardt, Jr. Claims Second Daytona 500 Victory
posted by Justin Tucker
Wednesday February 26, 2014
Ten years is a long time. For Dale Earnhardt, Jr., it felt like an eternity. NASCAR’s Most Popular Driver endured many near misses and close calls at the Daytona 500 since his only win in the Great American Race in 2004. Earnhardt had finished second in two of his last three Daytona 500s coming into Sunday’s race. He was also riding the tail of a 55-race winless streak, dating back to Michigan in 2012.
However nothing would stop Dale Jr. on Sunday, not even a 6 hour and 22 minute rain delay from capturing his second Daytona 500 win. Earnhardt Jr. led a race-high 54 laps on the evening and used some timely drafting help from teammates Jimmie Johnson and, on the final restart, Jeff Gordon to separate from the pack and secure the victory.
“Winning this race is the greatest feeling that you could feel in this sport besides accepting the trophy for the championship,” said a jubilant Earnhardt after pulling into Victory Lane. “We could fight off battle after battle. We got a little help at the end there from Jeff to get away on the restart. This is amazing. I can’t believe this is happening. I never take this for granted, man because it doesn’t happen twice, let alone once.”
Aside from the race itself the big story of the race was the 6 hour and 22 minute red flag, which threatened to move the race to Monday evening (had the race been postponed, FOX Sports’ Chris Myers had tweeted that the race would resume at 5:00pm EST). However, Mother Nature would cooperate and would allow the race to be run under different conditions from which they practiced this week. Once the race resumed, the intensity picked up from the changing track conditions. This allowed the pack to race side-by-side and at times 3-wide up to seven rows deep.
Joining Earnhardt Jr. in the top 5 for the 2014 Daytona 500 were: Denny Hamlin who closed out a spectacular Speedweeks in second, Brad Keselowski in third, Jeff Gordon in fourth, and Jimmie Johnson who overcome two wrecks leading up to the 500 in fifth.
Rounding out the top 10 in the Daytona 500 were Matt Kenseth in sixth, Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. in seventh and Greg Biffle would bring his No. 16 Ford home in eighth. Austin Dillon would come home ninth in his first Cup Series race in the iconic No. 3 for Richard Childress Racing, while Casey Mears would round out the top 10.
A couple of major contenders for the Daytona 500 win would see their hopes dashed early on as Martin Truex, Jr. would blow up just 30 laps into the race, relegating him to a 43rd-place finish in his debut for Furniture Row Racing. Crew chief Todd Berrier was already in Nashville for a test session before the race was even over. Kyle Busch, meanwhile would have a pit road violation just before halfway and would spend much of the race battling back from that mistake. Busch would eventually finish 19th after leading 19 laps.
Danica Patrick would also be bit by bad luck as she was caught up in a multi-car wreck on lap 145. Patrick would lead her second consecutive Daytona 500, but wouldn’t have the finish to show for it finishing 40th. Tony Stewart would encounter a frustrating evening as well, with a fuel pickup problem derailing his quest for his first Daytona 500 win. Stewart would finish 35th.
A look at the Daytona 500 by the numbers. There were 42 lead changes among 18 drivers, while seven cautions for 39 laps would slow the race pace to 145.290 MPH.
Next week, the Sprint Cup Series heads to the “diamond in the desert,” Phoenix International Raceway for The Profit on CNBC 500K. The Green flag is scheduled for 3:15pm EST.
Nationwide Series Post-Race Quotes: Drive4COPD 300
posted by Thomas Bowles
Tuesday February 25, 2014
Frontstretch Interviews – Courtesy Mike Neff
ELLIOTT SADLER – FINISHED 4th
Thoughts on the race?
It’s definitely a lot different racing than what we’re used to.
Comfortable with it?
Yeah, it’s just different. You’re worried about what you’re doing, but you’re also worried about what everyone else is doing and they’re not doing more than you’re doing. Physically pushing a guy is way better than just riding so you just gotta time it right and push it to the edge.
Happy to start the year with a top 5?
Yeah. Hell, that was the worst we ran all day, I think. I have no idea how they put the 3 car in front of us on that last restart. I hadn’t seen the 3 car hardly all day. When they put us from fifth to sixth, on the outside line, it just really boxed us in. I would have really restarted behind my teammate and given him a good push to the front. Anyways, it is what it is; we’ll take it and move on.
Looked like you were up front all day.
The guys did a good job. We had a fast race car. Great pit stops, just really proud of these guys. The car’s in one piece and we can take it to Talladega now. Great job by my guys. A lot of effort came into coming down here to Daytona and giving ourselves a shot to win. We had that chance to be up front and make some things happen. Fifth is not what we want, but we’ll take it and move on.
Bumping vs Pushing?
It’s way harder. You don’t want to lay on the guy in front of you, so it’s tough racing. A lot different than what we’re used to, ‘cause you gotta go. You gotta drag the brake too ‘cause you don’t want to hit the guys and you don’t want to stay on him. It’s a lot harder mentally than what we’ve done in the past.
Car was strong all day. Pushing vs. Bumping, is that harder to do than just getting on somebody and pushing them?
Yeah, it is a little bit. When you bump ‘em, you jar ‘em, it kinda jacks ‘em a little bit. It’s a little more abrupt, obviously. I thought it was OK there at the end. It was certainly fun and hopefully entertaining. But a little bit of a struggle in the early part of the race and the midpart of the race to see a good race. And that’s unfortunate for the fans. You can’t do that the whole race, you can’t tear up your stuff, knock your grill in, overheat your motor, all that stuff so there’s no sense in doing all that until you get down to the last lap. The 7 and the 6, they did a good job. Man, the 7 really held the 22 and I tight on the bottom. I was rubbing his door and hitting the apron at the same time, no room whatsoever. So it was good; wish we were the ones who could have won but a lot better now than what we were last year.
Going home in one piece makes it a lot better, right?
Yeah. My back feels good. My foot feels good. Past years here, I’ve been going home with pain so I’m alright.
Connect with Mike!
2014 Truck Series Post-Race Quotes: Daytona (Exclusives)
posted by Thomas Bowles
Saturday February 22, 2014
When you’re on the outside like that, how frustrating is it?
It’s so hard. Timothy Peters has won here. Kyle Busch has won everywhere. Ron Hornaday has been running Trucks forever, probably before I was even born. I was surrounded by veterans there, and like I told them I don’t have a rookie stripe but I’m a rookie. This is only my fourth Truck race ever, my fourth superspeedway race, and man, I figured out when the 17 got up in front of me, I pushed him. And as soon as I pushed him, he took off. And I went with him. And I just kept doing it, and before I knew it, he was leading. And I saw Ron in my mirror, backed up to him, and if it wasn’t for him, I don’t know what would have happened. I gotta thank him big time for that. That was a true teammate move right there. I really appreciate that. He just bounced off me and we got to the front. I tried my hardest to sidedraft Kyle. I was probably touching his door.
Top 5 in the No. 30 truck. This deal come together at the last minute, but you had a heck of a truck. Tell us about your night.
Yeah, I’ve got to thank Turner Scott Motorsports. The guys worked so hard on this Rheem Comfort Products Chevrolet. Exciting! Just got hung up on the outside and had to wait for my teammate there to catch up. And then he got to the bottom, so… I got the old 32 and started pushing ol’ Ryan to the front. So, it’s not bad. We’ll take it. You just don’t want to step over that boundary. You don’t know how far to push and shove. We bumped about six times down the straightaway without latching onto them. Hopefully, that was OK and we came home with a top 5.
Connect with Mike!
2014 Budweiser Duels Post Race Quotes
posted by Matt Stallknecht
Friday February 21, 2014
BUDWEISER DUELS POST-RACE QUOTES
They’re saying the wheel bearing burned up in it. I don’t know what caused it, they’re taking it all apart to figure out what the heck happened. Something abnormal that’s for sure I don’t think I’ve ever had that happen at all. Hopefully, we made the race and hopefully we can fix the problem before Sunday.
WHAT WAS THAT LOUD BOOM ONCE YOU TURNED INTO THE GARAGE?
Loud pop was a tire… thankfully, it popped, hopefully it didn’t hurt anybody. All the heat created in the left front that popped was pretty weird.
REALLY GOOD RUN. WHAT DID YOU THINK OF IT?
Yeah, it was good. We have a car we can work with for the 500. Got a good starting spot, so we’re going to rest easy, fluff and buff our car for a couple of days and get ready for Sunday.
ANY DIFFERENCE ON WHETHER THE TOP OR BOTTOM LANE WORKED?
Yeah, I was just moving around, trying to stay with the flow. For me, this car works on all parts of the racetrack. So I’m pretty happy with it.
DALE EARNHARDT, JR.
GOT SHUFFLED BACK, AFTER PIT STOPS AND THEN COULDN’T GET BACK UP TO THE FRONT. WHY?
Nah, we were just sitting there waiting until the last few laps to make a move. You didn’t want to pull down and get sent to the back. Seen a couple of guys get sent to the back really quick so we were just kind of waiting for the end. I felt like we had a good situation there with Ambrose behind us — we had a good run off Turn 2 and I went. It was the last lap, time to go do something, nobody went with us but hopefully Sunday is a different story.
We got a great car. We don’t have to work hard. We learned, we got a good race car. Got a car in one piece, ready to go so we’ll try and get through the next couple of practices, deliver it to the starting group this Sunday and we’ll be real happy.
YOU’RE IN THE DAYTONA 500!
Yeah, it’s pretty awesome. This Whitetail Chevrolet was so fast that I knew all I had to do was stick it behind smart, intelligent drafters and we could have a good finish. That’s what we did in the Duels and I’m excited. I’m excited to go do some stuff with the Nationwide car and have some more practice with this. But to know that we’re locked in the Daytona 500’s pretty cool.
YOU WERE OBVIOUSLY IN FRONT OF THAT MELEE AT THE END. WHEN YOU WERE UP FRONT THERE IN THE BEGINNING, WERE YOU HOPING TO JUST STAY IN LINE AND LET YOU FINISH TOP 5?
I was pretty content to ride and luckily I knew a lot of people around us were. It was nice to have a little calm and not really have to be racing hard the whole time. I knew that the pit stop was going to shake everything up and that’s exactly what happened. Fell back a little bit there but made the right moves at the end to get a good finish.
HOW STRONG ARE THESE RCR CARS?
They’re very strong! They definitely have the capabilities to be winning one of these races.
YOU’RE IN THE TOP 5 FOR YOUR HEAT IN THE DAYTONA 500. YOUR PRIMARY CAR IS SITTING RIGHT IN THE GARAGE, KIND OF WADDED UP. DID YOU THINK THIS ONE HAD IT IN IT?
Yeah, it’s a brand new car also. It’s just not quite as good as the primary but still a damned good car. I’m just proud of everybody at RCR for building such fast race cars. All of our cars have been fast, ECR motor’s been strong, even our affiliate teams have been qualifying really good and racing good. So… excited about 2014! It’s going to be a good year.
WELL MAN, YOU STARTED IN THE BACK BUT WORKED YOUR WAY TO THE FRONT WHEN IT COUNTED MOST. WERE YOU JUST BIDING YOUR TIME THROUGHOUT THE RACE?
Eh, you never know if you’re going to get back up there or not. We had to start at the back, we had to make a run early and see what we could do. We drove right to 10th, or something like that and then it got stagnant. We tried to make something happen, and went to the back again. Drove back up to the front. Again, just really proud of my guys. Matt Kruder did a hell of a job on that pit stop getting just enough gas in to gain some spots there.
RCR CARS SEEM PRETTY DARNED STRONG. DO YOU THINK THE RCR CARS HAVE SOMETHING FOR THEM ON SUNDAY — ESPECIALLY THE THREE JOE GIBBS RACING CARS THAT SEEM TO BE THE CLASS OF THE FIELD RIGHT NOW?
Oh yeah. The 20 car was extremely fast. The 11 didn’t qualify that good, but he’s a good drafter. I think he won. We definitely have something for him.
Check in with Matt and Jay on their site at CareyandCoffey.com.
I was extremely disturbed to learn a couple days ago that Frontstretch owner and Editor-in-Chief Tom Bowles was fired from his day job at SI.com (Sports Illustrated online) allegedly for cheering when 20-year-old Trevor Bayne won the Daytona 500 in the Wood Brothers No. 21 car. Under attack from some other shadowy media members, Tom then allegedly defended his actions on that thing they call Twitter. I have to admit that I am not a Twit. I have never Tweeted. I have no idea what that crap is all about. All I know is there’s a lot of people who do it and you’re confined to 140 characters or less. Hellfire, I can’t write my grocery list in 140 words or less even though I can condense the top three items each week to A,T,F. But it seems to me that Twitter is sort of like how email used to be. It’s a social medium you connect to with other people to communicate thoughts when you’re off work and on your own time. Only back in those days, the thoughts conveyed between two individuals were to a degree private between those folks… and the Russian Hackers.
Let me start by saying I am not a “journalist.” I’m a writer whose typical gig is to express an opinion. Over the fourteen years I’ve been writing about this sport, both on inky paper and on this internet conundrum I’ve put my thoughts out there. As is the nature of the medium, once I do I’ve heard back from other race fans both pro and con on what I’ve said. I’ve never considered myself anything other than that, a race fan with a pretty cool job. Your opinions are no less or more valid than my own. Back in college I majored in English, Psychology and Religion. My game plan was to write the great American Novel using psychology to flesh out the characters, then pray like Hell it sold well enough I could retire to the islands with a cute blonde many years my junior, ride Harleys, work on old cars and fish every evening. Obviously, that didn’t work out. (Well, the blonde and the Bahamas part didn’t…)
There’s been internal fighting between the “real” journalists and the Internet type almost since I began. I thought that war was over and a truce had been established. I started with a print paper back in the day. It was a free paper we published occasionally and used to haul to convenience stores in bundles to give away in the back of my boss’s girlfriend’s RAV4. I then moved on to several Internet sites and was surprised to learn that I was no longer a real writer. My applications for press credentials were denied. The Internet was not a legitimate medium, NASCAR stated. I, and a whole bunch of others weren’t real journalists. The Internet was never going to amount to anything. Yeah, they said the same thing about the Model T.
Fast forward a decade and a half. The “legitimate” journalists, those with degrees, who write the beat for name newspapers even in the Deep South have been reduced from an army of insiders to so few folks you could probably ride the lot of them in the press box home in a mini-van after the event – despite the stupendous girth of some in that group. The rest of the folks left covering the sport are the citizen soldiers just out there plugging away or, as some would have it, “Working on mysteries without any clues…”
Yeah, I thought that war was over. They wouldn’t have me and writers of my ilk in the NMPA. Now we’re welcome, but I subscribe to the theory of Groucho Marx that I wouldn’t want to be a part of any club that would have me. Instead, I once proposed a group called NIMPH, the National Internet Motorsports Press Hacks. Somehow, the idea never took off. (Damn it, I’d spent hours writing up my own set of inalienable rules everyone else would have had to adhere to. No, actually I didn’t. My aging hippie mantra has always been, do your thing and I’ll do mine. It’s only when our two things interfere with one another we’ll need to sit down, reach a mutually acceptable solution with peaceful conflict resolution, and then break into a few verses of Kumbaya.)
But over fourteen years, the landscape has changed. The big league papers are now using AP reports rather than sending reporters to the races. Newspaper readership, even from august journals is dropping precipitously. People get their news online now. It’s fresh and it’s current. I don’t want to wait sixteen hours to pick up a paper to see the latest from Libya or learn where the Dow Jones average closed the previous day. And I surely don’t want to wait a week to read a sports magazine that covers what happened last week and thinks that one issue with softcore porn every year somehow makes them relevant. Nowadays, it’s about reading writer’s opinions on what happened at the last event to provide additional insights.
In the interests of full admission, I once pretended to be a journalist back at Speedworld. But the journalist and I who covered the sport there got into a bit of a tiff. She quit. Derek asked me to write race reports on the Truck and the Busch Series, so I didn’t write my opinions; I did what journalists do. I covered the race. On lap 10, this driver passed that one. And then, on lap 25 this guy wrecked the other guy. Then, there was a real big wreck on lap 150. With two laps to go, this driver passed another and went on to win. It was terribly boring to do. I could cover the average race with about 25 minutes of writing. I hated it. “Why am I telling people about what they just saw?” I asked Derek. “Because a lot of people didn’t see the race and they want to know what happened,” he patiently explained. The gig paid $100 a column. Making $200 an hour? I was down with it. Who, what, why, when and where. I got it. Beer in the fridge, gas in the bike, and new headers for the Chevelle.
Even back in those days I’d get email from some of my fellow scribes telling me my latest column was “biased.” I wasn’t a real journalist, even as boring as I was trying to be. I’d called a driver out for wrecking another. That wasn’t how the game was played. Apparently, you were supposed to write, “On lap 499 Ernie Darnhardt apparently made contact with Gordie Jefferson, stuffing him into the wall.” “Apparently,” my skinny white Irish ass! I saw it happen and that’s how I wrote about it. Derek found someone else to write the journalist stuff. “Apparently” is the great divider between writers who are passionate about the sport and journalists. It is OK to write, “In what was apparently the dirtiest move ever made in NASCAR racing, Ernie wrecked Gordie.” Leave yourself some wiggle room to appease the editor who never even watched the race. Or the wealthy new website owner looking to cash in before the Internet bubble burst. Apparently, some professional journalists still have a stick up their asses.
Yeah, back then I was an angry young man willing to defend what I did to anyone who took me to task without looking at any possible valid argument they might have offered. Back in the day (and as far as I know, still today) these bastions of journalistic integrity were all too willing and eager to go on the preseason Media Tour and accept what they used to call “swag,” gift bags full of stuff from individual teams on the tour intended to elicit nice words on their cars, sponsors and drivers. I really wanted one of those lined brown leather jackets the “real media” folks got from one team. It wasn’t because I thought I’d look cool; it was because I couldn’t afford to heat my house that late winter with what I was making writing.
I pointed out that in an effort to gain positive reporting, NASCAR and the tracks provided free meals to accredited journalists in the press box. The late (and great) David Poole wrote me, “Dude, it’s just lunch.” I replied that the easiest way to avoid biting the hand that was feeding you was not to accept a free lunch. In my press box days, I always stopped on the way to the track and got myself a roast beef sandwich with horseradish on the side and a few soft drinks in my cooler. (Yeah, I had another cooler with not so soft drinks waiting in the car.) In the most egregious of detachment from professional journalism, I can recall Chevrolet gave NASCAR’s top writers of the then fledgling sport a free new ’57 Chevy to make sure they wrote positive things about the Bowties effort.
Over the years, things started to change. Tremendously talented writers, writers who I will not dare to compare myself to, people whose work I looked forward to daily, became Internet writers as well. The respective papers they wrote for saw the change in the wind and established websites of their own. Writers who worked for relatively small newspapers found themselves suddenly available to the whole of NASCAR fandom on a daily basis (Thanks largely to Jayski.com at first. That’s where this minor leaguer came from). And the ones who succeeded were the ones who responded to their readers, leaving the ivory towers of journalism to get down and muddy with the fans in the trenches. Guys and gals like Ben White, Poole, Mike Mulhern (the Pit Bulls), Monte Dutton, Lee Spencer, Larry Woody and countless other talented writers got ahead of the wave. I consider Mike Mulhern one of the greatest NASCAR writers ever, but if he only wrote for the print paper in Winston Salem you’d never have heard of him. Ironically now that paper, in the heart of NASCAR country relies on stringers for print coverage and Mike runs his own website.
This sport is about passion. It’s about love for their favorite drivers, and a diminishing but still substantial number of fans still follow the media coverage of NASCAR for both. It’s a virtual cornucopia for fans of the sport with the internet these days with the ability to surf (do we still use that term?) to websites most closely aligned with their views on the sport, be it cheerleading or browbeating. There’s a lot of bandwidth out there, and NASCAR suddenly found themselves no longer in control of the media. The death of Dale Earnhardt in 2001 set off a virtual firestorm and the organization has been back on their heels ever since. I think Hosni Mubarak understands how a popular uprising among the citizenship can lead to a dramatic shift in power. But Brian France sounds more like Charlie Sheen.
I’ve had this argument countless times, as recently as this week in the comments section below my last column. I took Kyle Busch to task for causing the wreck that took out Carl Edwards. (And, like a moron, had the lap number of that wreck wrong. My apologies. No excuses. I was just wrong. Note to self, get a spare pair of reading glasses so when you crush one you can still read your own notes written in longhand in what approximates my handwriting since I decided to punch Route 30 at 80 MPH falling off a motorcycle when I was 18. I should have a laptop to make notes but I can’t afford one. I left my last one on the roof of a car leaving Dover.) I was not, as some claim, trying to disparage Busch’s ability to drive. On a dispassionate level I consider Kyle Busch, Tony Stewart and Jimmie Johnson the three most talented drivers in the sport. And I wouldn’t walk across the street to talk to any of them on a day off.
Here’s my take on the situation. To cheer one driver over another coming to the line at a race would be unprofessional and unacceptable. It would be even more egregious if Tom cheered Bayne because Ford or Motorcraft were advertisers on the site and there was hope of financial re-numeration or a free set of wheels for doing so. To cheer after the race is fait accompli because there was a thrilling result should be OK. Some of you know before I was a writer, Bill Elliott was my favorite driver. (That hardly put me in an exclusive club.) But here’s the litmus test. If today, Elliott were to win a race off of turn four and beat any other driver to the finish line by inches I would say it was a great race. By the same token, if Bill was leading off of turn four and some other driver beat him to the line by inches I’d still say it was a great race.
I’m not quite sure why Tom is getting singled out here. If the august members of the journalists want to get their panties in a wad, why not turn on the members of the FOX and SPEED broadcast teams? They play to millions, not thousands. The brothers Waltrip are particularly galling. Already, we’ve seen DW in his Toyota commercial (for which he was compensated.) We’ve seen him cheer for his brother and make excuses for him. If there was a single mention that SPEED broadcaster Michael Waltrip’s race-winning Daytona truck was found to be illegal, and there were monetary and points fines levied as a result, I never caught it during the Phoenix truck broadcast. And for DW, it’s always the NAPA or FedEx Toyota as opposed to the No. 99 or 16 cars.
The most abhorrent of TV “journalism” lack of ethics occurred many years ago at the Firecracker 400. (And yes, that’s what I still call that race. Why favor one soft drink company over another?) The race that evening was the “Pepsi 400.” Jeff Gordon drove for Pepsi. Six other drivers, all big names and contending cars, were sponsored by Coca-Cola. The six Coke cars were all but invisible during that race, but Gordon the No. 24 car was on the air almost continuously with frequent mentions of his soft drink backer. Funny, I don’t recall the enraged artisans of journalism rising up to burn the camera truck afterwards. Maybe they didn’t see the broadcast because they were there live, not “sitting on their couches”. Bull hockey. Every press room I’ve sat in is equipped with multiple TV sets tuned to the race broadcast. I don’t care what an eagle-eye observer you are. A critical pass, pit stop faux pas or big wreck is going to take place while you’re looking elsewhere. Or, you’re going to be in the pisser when the key moment of the race takes place. (I have yet to hear of one of these couch-o-phobe professionals being catheterized prior to a race.) The replays tell the story and as a bonus, you don’t piss your pants.
Others will cite noted and legendary Ned Jarrett calling his son Dale home to the line in the Daytona 500. Yeah, that day frankly I was surprised. But it was a made-for-TV moment. Jarrett had always been scrupulously careful to let others in the booth comment on his son rather than him. He showed no favoritism. And here’s the part of the story you might not have heard. The week after “The Call” Ned Jarrett went up to Dale Earnhardt and apologized to him for what he felt was unprofessional conduct favoring his son. Earnhardt smiled, shook Jarrett’s hand and replied, “Ned, I’m a daddy too.” As best I can recall, there was no media uproar that day.
A breach of etiquette. Who gets to decide that? Dead white guys? Yes, according to Miss Manners tomes written during my childhood I should remove my ballcap when entering a shopping mall. A man does not wear a hat indoors especially in the presence of ladies. I don’t do that anymore. And I have yet to get thrown out of a mall. Back in the day, even adults addressed only their closest friends by their first name. Everyone else was Mr. This or Mrs. That. Nowadays, my friends kids call me “Matt” or more often, “Yo Dude.” (Which I dislike but don’t comment upon. It beats “Dude-man.”)
Times and mores have changed. So why do the “professional journalists,” perhaps jealous the “citizen journalists” have been allowed to breach their inner sanctum, still expect the rest of us to adhere to their antiquated rules? I mean when Rea White encounters a puddle, does she expect someone of my lowly ilk to lay down my suit jacket to allow her to cross without sullying her pumps?
Let me sum up here. In arguments over the professionalism of what I’ve written, I compare what I do to being a movie reviewer. (Which was my first writing gig back in school.) I watch the movie or the race, be it on DVD or in the theater. Or I watch the race from the track or in my lounge chair. Sometimes, I am going to write a movie was very good or even excellent. Other times, I will say it was poor or even relentlessly putrid. That’s my opinion. You might love a movie I hated or hate a movie I raved about and that’s cool. It’s still being a professional as long as I am not accepting payment or even a free ticket from the movie studio, an actor, the theater, etc. to sway my opinion and say a poor film was great. I wouldn’t green light a movie because I like Bruce Willis or some other star. And yes, very occasionally (I’m remembering the Sixth Sense, Shakespeare in Love, ET, Apollo 13, Forest Gump, and American Graffiti) at the conclusion of a film I will rise to my feet and applaud. I am not applauding because I’m paid to or I wish to help the movie become a financial success. I am applauding because I am a human being seeing what I consider a great piece of filmmaking, a compelling story well told, two hours of storytelling that made me forget about my worries and feel something new about the human condition we all share. And if you’re going to tell me to sit down and shut up, screw you. I might even put my damn ballcap back on just to piss you off.
The late Dale Earnhardt said one evening in Bristol regarding the fans, “If they ain’t cheering, they better be booing.” If you, Mr. Professional Journalist, don’t feel passion or emotion anymore after an exciting finish, maybe you ought to be covering ice hockey or tiddlywinks.
©2000 - 2008 Matt McLaughlin and Frontstetch.com. Thanks for visiting the Frontstretch!
While I agree that cheering at the end of the race because you were moved to because of the outcome shouldn’t be an issue at all… from what I have read, it was the #1 rule of things not to do in the media center. It’s as simple as that.
It’s pretty much the yellow line rule at Daytona and ‘Dega when you are coming to the checkers… it shouldn’t count then, but it does. Plain and simple.
Did Tom Bowles not know this? From what he has had to say, it seems like he knew the rules rather well, but got caught up in the moment and dismissed them.
But rules are rules. I highly disagree with a lot of rules/laws, but I have to abide by them.
Why should this be anything different?
Yes, the outcome sucks. Granted, I haven’t picked up a copy of SI in the past 20 years except to look at the models in the swimsuit edition. And frankly, I never understood, even 20 years ago, why someone wanted to read about a sporting event a week or more after it happened, but maybe that’s just me.
I do have to highly disagree with one thing you said Matt. Brian France doesn’t sound like Charlie Sheen at all. 2 1/2 men reruns get higher ratings than almost every show on TV… the syndicated reruns, not just the reruns that air during the normal prime time spot. If Brian France could say that about NA$CAR, I would have to question my thoughts about what he has turned this “sport”… uhh, I mean “show” into.
And if you didn’t notice, even at Phoenix every Cup driver referred to the “race” as a “show”. So obviously the drivers don’t even like what is going on, and it’s not just the plate tracks I’m talking about.
Some people may ask if I am so fed up with NA$CAR, why do I keep watching. Well, first of all, I’m only giving it another race or two before I do stop watching. Seriously. But most of all is that I grew up watching it when it was awesome. Now it seems like it is geared towards people that like watching wrecks and “rules” created controversy.
When the rule book is published and pit row speeds aren’t secret… then maybe I’ll give NA$CAR another chance… if it still exists then.
Matt, I always enjoy reading your columns, and you are dead on point about the hypocrisy here. If reporters are not supposed to cheer, DW should have been fired a LONG time ago.
I think people should be focusing on a larger point here though, that being that Bowles was by far NOT the only person cheering on Bayne’s win.
That he was singled out for firing, I believe, may have had something to do with his running a website that employs Matt McLaughlin. We’ve seen insiders in NASCAR blaming the press for their low ratings and not the moronic playoff or boring tracks or constant commercial interruptions followed by a frigging dancing gopher. It wouldn’t surprise me that NASCAR and SI collaborated to take credentials away from a “citizen journalist” who didn’t kiss NASCAR’s butt.
The idea that a publication owned by CNN would fire a reporter for bias is laughable.
It’s important to remember who you work for. Fox doesn’t care that Daryl is a cheerleader for whoever because he is paid to act the way he does. He probably crosses the line now and again and he is less “professional” than Troy Aikman, who seems to be a able to get through a Cowboys game without cheering. Yet, Daryl broadcasts NASCAR races and he gets to set the tone for the race broadcasts on FOX because he was in the booth at the first race there was a FOX NASCAR broadcast. Again, it is important to remember who you work for.
I am not a journalist, but I do serve in a profession that requires a certain professional behavior. Times have changed and there are moments when I think to myself that some of the things I have to do are ridiculous. I go to meetings with my peers and many of us agree that things need to change, yet there are others in the group who argue about the importance of tradition and the need for continuity with the past et al. Both groups make good points. Currently, I work in a community that sides with the “traditionalists” camp, so I have to honor those professional behaviors that I often find oppressive or silly or ridiculous. I can breach those professional behaviors, I can attempt to change the system by challenging the status quo, but I shouldn’t be surprised if I get fired. I could get scolded and told to stop. But, I could also be shown the door and encouraged to go practice my profession in a more forgiving environment.
I don’t know Tom Bowles and I don’t know if he should have been fired by SI. Yet, it seems to me he crossed a line that SI didn’t appreciate. Whether or not SI is duplicitous or just behind the times, apparently they don’t want their reporter clapping or defending his clapping via Twitter. After reading Tom’s piece on Monday, I felt his righteous indignation at his firing was indicative to the fact that he probably needed to be fired. Not because he did anything morally wrong, but because he worked for an organization where he didn’t want to live by their rules. Their rules might be ridiculous, silly, and inconvenient, but the rules are theirs. Its important to remember who you work for. Now Tom works for himself and he sets the rules and now he can fire those in his employee for not clapping in the pressbox.
As usual Matt, your column is right on. I have been in NASCAR press rooms as a a photographer for a racing annual, and once for a fairly large website (the old racefan.com) in 2000 and 2001. I didn’t like it, felt really second class to TV and radio. In hindsight, it was amazing I was even there. I have always had a sense of fairness and at one time did Winner’s Circle interviews at a local dirt track. I often said that every winner was my favorite driver for a few minutes. It is really difficult to not feel good about a winner, they have an incredible amount of exhuberance. I was almost always the first one to the car and it was great. Trying not to show it was difficult.
At any rate, great job, thanks!
i find SI pathetic, i don’t pay pay attention to it.
I challenge anyone to find ONE just ONE “journalist” covering the nascar product.
“But Brian France sounds more like Charlie Sheen. “ BEST LINE EVER!!!
as far as the greatest “show” on earth, didn’t someone say that there was a sucker born every minute? What? are we all watching nascar’s “show”?
With very few exceptions, I don’t read the columns by “real” sports journalists because I don’t need a recap of something I just watched. And as a longtime Nascar fan, I find that most “insight” provided by traditional journalists is usually common knowledge or obvious to those of us who closely follow the sport. I’d much rather read the stories and opinions of Frontstretch writers who don’t insult my intellegence by explaining things to me I’ve known for years.
Whether or not Tom Bowles violated the rules of journalism is unimportant to me, though I am sorry he lost his day job; I’m just glad he now has more time to devote to writing for Frontstretch.
It IS true! Great writing IS like pornography! I cannot describe it, but I know it when I see it.
Goldman, Volcano or any other troll be damned. This column is great writing.
TO ALL OF YOU AT FRONTSTRETCHLOVE YOU,LOVE YOU!!!!!I agree with most of the letters above. So sorry Tom lost his job. Think SI made a mistake. Frontstretch is by far my favorite read. No.I don’t always agree with everything you write and never will but isn’t that my right?
Why Tom was singled out – who knows.
What I do know is NASCAR.com is unreadable due to their pro-NASCAR bias (and very very poor web design); SI, Yahoo, and ESPN manufacture and create big stories over a small issue when it is a slow week; the local beat writer and his full page coverage has been replaced by some AP robot writer’s generic four paragraph .
To me Tom’s clapping is no worse or better than the current state of “professional” journalism.
Finally – Matt – you really applauded at the end of “Shakespeare in Love”? After reading your columns since the R1 days, this might be the most shocking thing you have ever written.
So what do we have to do to get FOX to apply these standards to their broadcasters…. outbid the advertisers? I think most fans would forgo unbiased written word in the media, for unbiased broadcasting in the booth. Afterall we are forced to listen to their drivel if we want to watch the race.
To anyone using a rule is a rule argument….
Most of the so-called journalists suffering the “righteous indignation” at what Tom did are some of the biggest Kool Aid swilling, butt kissing, suck-ups to walk the face of the earth.
Which is worse? Being highly biased towards NA$CAR in your NA$CAR reporting while writing for a company whose bills are paid for by NA$CAR or clapping for a race winner?
One of the suck-ups said that if you have a media hard card you have to be totally unbiased no matter what. Well, guess what kiddies? Guess who has a media hard card? All the shills and cheerleaders who work for Fox and ESPN. How come they’re not being taken to task for their biased views, cheerleading, applauding, and shilling?
These so-called professional journalists” are so hypocritical it’s not funny. Report one thing then Twitter something totally biased on what’s supposed to be their “official Twitter account”.
Right now, the only reporting that’s even close to being interesting or factual isn’t coming from these so-called professionals. It’s coming from the outsiders the detest so much.
Write on Matt, Tom, and the rest of the FS staff.
Mr 3 Faces of Eve, get some professional help.
I would rather see and read articles from writers who actually care about the sport they’re covering. Its a better read than just “John passed Joe on lap 198 to take the lead. Chris got into Charles on lap 203 and started a wreck that took out 5 other cars.” I read Matt’s articles and the rest of Frontstretch for their opinions based on the race they just watched. I dont always agree and my opinions are usually in the minority, but I’m thankful for the chance to see things from another person’s point of view. Its how we grow and learn, and respect our fellow humans. If a “professional journalist” is cheering for a certain driver during the race, or booing a driver during the race, that is uncalled for. But being happy for a driver (AFTER the checkered flag) who just won the race and congratulating him on a job well done doesnt seem like bias to me.
And Matt, I’m still puzzling over the Pepsi 400 example you gave. If you’ll recall, Jeff WON that race, after running at the front all night. THAT’s why he got loads of exposure. The Coke drivers were all non-factors in the event. Are you suggesting that TV is obligated to give equal time to, let’s say UPS, if the Fed-Ex car is leading? I thought TV was there to cover the COMPETITION.
And yet, after reading all the way through this bloated column, I’m still not clear on where you stand on the original issue. Your columns tend to be long on colorful phrases, and short on clarity.
The Golden Rule.
The guy with the gold, makes the rule. Don’t forget it.
In regards to the Pepsi 400 race, it is true that the Pepsi car won. However the TV cameras were clearly avoiding showing the Coke cars (forgot which new Coke product they were shoveling).
Something is up when 15% of the field is never shown at all – especially at a restrictor plate race. I seriously remember only seeing those 6 cars maybe five times at most during the race.
If a reporter claps in an infield media center, I guess it does make a sound.
Thanks for reminding me of the apology that Ned Jarret offered DE the following week after that Daytona 500. That’s a poignant reminder of the respect that these guys all had for each other…
Its too bad that journalistic integrity seems to be considered more important than the objectivity of race officials then.
I’m sure that any perceived slight of NASCAR’s “COde of Ethics” (sorry, I giggled when I wrote that) would be swiftly deemed “an act detrimental to stock car racing”…with fines and suspensions forthcoming.
Glad to see SI will stay as relevant as it has been the last 20 years.
This incident with Tom Bowles just goes to show how common sense needs a place in our daily lives, even if it crosses the line (double yellow that is.)
Yes, it looks like most would agree; Tom crossed the line by applauding the amazing finish to what was truly one hell of a race… I too found my self applauding and yelling out loud over the amazing finish I had just witnessed from my lofty $350.00 Sprint Tower padded seat at the start finish line…
I wasn’t applauding Fords, Yotas, Bowties, or Dodges… I wasn’t howling at the height of my vocal capacity for Trevor Bayne… I wasn’t even happy with the ending of the race… hell, I was wondering what happened to the Double Deuce and Montoya, they were heading for the lead out of turn 2, but finished 5th and 6th… I wasn’t even cheering for the mighty Wood Brothers racing of yesteryears gone by…
I was applauding the day… I was applauding the fact that our National Anthem wasn’t sodomized… I was applauding a day in my life that I shared with 180,000+ fans… who, along with I, witnessed another in a long list of races that made my emotions overflow…
It’s just common sense to realize Tom Bowles shared his emotions as well… It’s sad he was fired for just being a fan!
Charlie Sheen actually makes much more sense when speaking,than Brainfart
I agree with you on this one Matt!! I am so sick of hearing D.W. sell toyota but we can’t have a guy applaud for a 20 year old kid in his 1st Daytona 500 winning for the oldest team in Nascar. Oh no that isn’t proper. Well to hell with that!! I am as biased as they come and proud to admit it. I am A Ford fan and cheer every win by Ford in any racing series. I HATE toyota being in MY SPORT. That is how many of us older fans feel. So when D.W. stops wearing his toyota polo shirt on Speed Channel and stops telling us how great Kyle Busch is well then maybe we can talk about the other “bias” stuff but not until. Thanks!!
Remember when Hot Rod Mag. told us what happened at Daytona or ABC wide world sports, and I use the ABC bit loosely
Another great read Matt.
I bet DW was given the biggest Toyota truck ever built to carry all his swag home.
Susan: “The proliferation of sites like this one has blurred the line between expressing personal opinion and presenting unbiased reporting and analysis. That really is too bad, because it lets FS equate itself with a professional news organization when it is really just an open forum for any self-appointed expert who comes along.“
Susan, I’ve scoured this website and can’t for the life of me find anywhere that Frontstretch describes it’s website as a “professional news organization”. Do yourself a favor and click on “Learn About Us” under the FS menu banner. Take the time to read it. I think you will find that Frontstretch has a firm grasp on it’s role in the Nascar online community.
Good work Matt, well written.
Looks like the we have a couple new names from the same old troll this week…
Susan, are you paid by NA$CAR and FOX to praise everything they do?
I wished I was paid… The drive from Charleston to Daytona… Two overnight stays… Tickets for Cup (3 Sprint Towers) and Nationwide race… Food… Drinks… Beers… Glad my bank card never ran dry…
Common Sense… to me it means someone making a sound judgment or coming to a conclusion of solid reasoning… and it looks like you absolutely have little… Why?… who is the “Frustrated” one here?… Surely it is not I… for I stated that most would agree a line was crossed… by thy, on the other hand, believe… the responsibility of press cannot be distinguished from the responsibility of the fan.
I must point out to thy that if common sense was applied to Toms emotional outburst while inside one press box… oh, what a cheerful place that must be… thy would understand that one may be bias for that one moment… or more… while still reporting in a unbiased way…
for Tom did not report his biased interoperation of the finish that transpired in real time… no… he reported in print a moment in time that past us by… allowing for, I hope, an unbiased opine…
btw… nice read Matt… and how about that race????
Matt – Nice article.
Tom – It’s just a bump in the road…
Susan, how funny it is that you fail to mention that FS offers not only commentary but news as well. Yes, we do it all. (just so happens us commentary guys are a funner read usually!) And if you know me, I got NO QUALMS about telling folks that I do in fact have a favorite driver. I do not, however, let my love for my favorite overshadow my common sense. I simply calls it as I sees it.
And another thing that bears mention…its not like Tom Bowles was whooping and hollering in the media center for Bayne like he’s been known to do at FS company picnics!!! Tom may be the only one that got fired, I don’t know, but I DO know that several people showed the same amount of passion in the media center that day. Hell, I would have….but then I aint got to worry about Tom firing me….!
AncientRacer, i think you have a hard on for Randy Goldman. It’s funny that you are bringing his name up when he has yet to comment on this article.
I guess I’m the only one that thinks Tom was fired for purely financial reasons….
They grabbed him because of his work on FS, that brought instant credibility to SI’s Nascar coverage. Then he has a master’s in journalism so he was likely the highest paid Nascar writer on the site. Now they have three writers and Tom became expendable. And they found the excuse they needed to cut their expenses.
Its been happening in every single industry for the last ten years. Why would SI be immune from it?
Hey Mike, this link you included in your post wouldn’t open. What is it?
We are equally if not more professional than other sites describing the action of cars going around in a circle for 3 hours.
This was a sport that I can still remember was not always televised, and when it was, was often on a tape-delay and condensed down to fit an hour timeslot.
If Al Micheals can build a career (and the basis of a movie) out of believing in miracles, then maybe the alleged “unbiased media” (which is in and of itself an oxy-moron/nonsequitur/misnomer) and cease with their pontificating of “The Golden Rule”.
VIVA LA BOWLES!
Can I ask you a question? It seems off topic but it concerns me and I like to know who I am speaking with. Is your husband’s name Mike and did you used to live in Southern California?
Don’t ever sell your soul to the devil.
Susan, Why do you even read frontstretch? You pretty much disagree with everything & anything Matt writes about. maybe you & randi should hang out & compare notes & complaints about frontstretch & then maybe the 2 or 6 of you could come up with something worth typing…
The most troubling aspect of the whole matter to me is the possibility that Tom Bowles reputation as a journalist coule be tarnished. After many years of representing folks that had been treated unfairly by corporate heads the heavy-handed treatment that Tom received from SI is not shocking. Employees are treated unfairly and disrepectfully everyday.
Tom committed a small infraction of an unwritten rule (as did a good number of other journalists) and it certainly would have been understandable if SI had verbally reprimanded him for it. But nothing more excessive was approprite.
Seems to me that a small, vocal minority is relishing in this injustice and almost taking delight in Tom’s firing.
In my three plus years writing for the FS I was continually amazed at the degree of focus, journalistic integrity and committment to hard work Tom always exhibited toward his chosen profession.
This issue will die down to be replaced by another one. Hopefully, Tom Bowles reputation that he has worked so hard building will not be a casualty of this corporate idiocity.
That would be the biggest injustice.
I bet Susan is hot.
The gathering of malcontents and griping hacks that compose the majority of everything here are Bowles’ liability.
Writers have expressed emotion in the press box before.
They weren’t editor in chief at a website that chooses to dwell on negatives rather than being fair and balanced.
Karma… what goes around comes around. I don’t ever want to see anyone get drubbed, but in this case, it’s understandable. Like Matt getting canned elsewhere around the internet, you can say anything you want, but nobody has to be nice in return while you aren’t.
MATT, this Susan is not the Susan from Ky. married to me and who took over OOAL and moved to So.Cal.
Glad to see your back. How about an update on your latest project?
Mr. McLaughlin Well Said
Gee and I usually have to pay the gypsy lady ten bucks to get dime store psychoanalysis.
Depression, yes. It runs on the male side of my father’s family. It’s nothing to be ashamed of, just a chemical imbalance that is easily treatable. Paranoia? Hmmm. Never heard that one before. I don’t care about what you have to say about what I write. Over fourteen years I’ve developed skin thicker than saddle leather. What would concern me is potentially losing a friend like the other Susan who I’ve known many years. Friends, fast cars and Harleys are the three things I value most on this earth.
Wow, you’re bringing some issues to the table, aren’t you. I always liked Bill. I didn’t freak when he defected to Dodge and Ray. It was just a business decision. I was thrilled when he won again and was running well there for awhile. I’d stuck with him through the bitter dissapointment of 1985 after all those joyous afternoons celebrating wins. I was thrilled for him in 1988 when he finally got his title. 1992 was a weird year. So many strong runs, so many wins. Leading the points so long. But in retrospect knowing what happened in 1992 I am glad Alan got his brief time in the sun. I just wish Davey could have won a championship as well.
The Wood Brothers pretty much carried Ford’s flag after Holman-Moody closed up. Before this season the head of Ford Racing heard they might be closing shop. Out of loyalty to thier long time stalwarts they brokered the deal with Roush. After all if the Chevy teams were going to by cynical and claim Stewart-Haas isn’t a sattelit of HMS, why should they play by the intent of the rule rather than the letter? Young lady, if it weren’t for the Woods, the Pettys, Junior Johnson and a few others you’d probably be watching drag races or open wheelers on Sunday afternoons. NASCAR wouldn’t have made it after the factories pulled out. (Off topic but did you know in 1972, NHRA Pro Stock legendy Grumpy Bill Jenkins was tied as the highest compensated person in sports, tied with Lew Alcindor. They both made 250 grand. How times have changed, but Bobby warned me about that. Here’s another bit of Dylan wisdom you might want to study, “Don’t criticize what you don’t understand.”
I wish Trevor and Chase (if he ever makes the Cup level) many happy and successful years of racing together as part of the next generation. I don’t want to see them going after each other to settle some perceived slight of thier fathers. Then again I’ve never allowed bitterness to lodge in my soul as you obviously have. It’s a toxic weed that ultimately kills those who harbour it, not the intended recipient.
It’s interesting that you feel I’m obcessed with fixing all of NASCAR’s failings. In doing so you seem to admit that that such failing are indeed in a plentitude.
And if me and the rest of the writers here are a bunch of half-wit drunks what is so lacking in your life that you spend all this time over here reading what we have to say?