The Frontstretch: Bowles - Eye View : A Jarrett Letdown by Thomas Bowles -- Monday August 29, 2005

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Bowles - Eye View : A Jarrett Letdown

Thomas Bowles · Monday August 29, 2005

 

Bristol is one of those racetracks that lets out the animal in all of us. 160,000 rabidly cheering fans, a 500-mile spectacle unlike any other, and 43 drivers bumping and banging each other so hard all over the track they’re lucky to have any sheet metal left by the end of the night. The constant traffic and nerve-wracking pressure make it easy for anyone to lose their temper, leading to some memorable yet embarassing moments through the years. But if you were to ask anyone before the race who’d be the most embarassed driver exiting the track this Saturday night, who in their right mind would have said Dale Jarrett? Seriously! Yet that’s exactly what happened…and Dale has no one to blame but himself.

For those living under a rock in Alaska, Ryan Newman gave Jarrett a tap in turn 2 close to the halfway point of Saturday night’s fight under the lights at Bristol, sending Dale into the wall and limping to pit road. The chances of Jarrett making the Chase for the Championship all but ended, he was unable to control his emotions. Jarrett went right back out on the track during the next green flag run with only one mission in mind: knocking Newman into the wall. Rarely do drivers get the chance at revenge so quickly in these types of situations; usually their car or their conscience get the best of them before they do something stupid. Unfortunately for Jarrett, the car would still run and the conscience was missing, so just ten laps after his own spin, he put on his own dunce cap. Slamming into the 12 car of Newman exiting Turn 2, he took himself and Newman into the wall, with Kevin Harvick getting caught up in the mess before it was all said and done.

Newman was shocked. Harvick was pissed. And the whole NASCAR community seemed to be…confused. This couldn’t be the Dale Jarrett the sport has nurtured as one of its best and brightest role models. Growing up in the shadow of a legend, Dale Jarrett has always had to face high expectations. With a father, Ned, known as a NASCAR legend both as a driver and a broadcaster, Dale is constantly finding himself living up to the shadow of Ned’s gentlemanly demeanor left behind by four decades of dedication and devotion to the sport.

And most of the time, Dale’s played the part well. Sure, Jarrett’s had his moments of weakness, as we all do. Back in 1993 at Bristol, he got so mad at Bobby Hillin after a wreck he threw his helmet into the driver’s side door, nearly landing it in the driver’s cockpit and knocking Hillin in the head. And this spring at Bristol after a wreck by Shane Hmiel in the Busch Series race, Jarrett had a nasty conversation with the young driver after he walked up the front straightaway after the crash.

But for the most part, Jarrett has been a composed, intelligent, model citizen and family man, the perfect driver for NASCAR to advertise as the leader of America’s “family sport.” Only problem is, as of late there’s been nothing to advertise. Jarrett hasn’t been running well….and not just for a few weeks, or a few months. It’s been a few years now. The man who spent the 1999 season as the champion of NASCAR’s highest level has simply spent the last year or two trying to remain on the map, outside of those continuously funny UPS commercials. He hasn’t won a race since Rockingham in February of 2003, and hasn’t finished in the Top 5 in points since the end of the 2001 season.

If this were all happening to Jarrett at 30 years old, maybe even 35, then perhaps Dale would have more patience. But as everybody knows, Dale doesn’t have that kind of time to iron out the kinks in his Nextel Cup program. He’s going to be 50 years old next season, in a sport that is likely a few years away from disposing of any and all 50+ drivers for good. He’s under pressure to perform, and it’s just not happening; the only reason Jarrett was in contention to make the Chase in the first place was simply by finishing every race, and his stats were being used as the guinea pig for critics anxious to see NASCAR’s playoff system changed.

But no matter how big the pressure’s become, the incident Jarrett created Saturday night was inexcusable. This was ten times worse than anything we’ve seen a driver do this year. Jarrett tried taking someone out at a track that averages almost 130 mph around it, with 43 drivers flying by in under 16 seconds. It wasn’t a gentle spin Jarrett created, it was a slam into the wall that caused Newman to fly across the track…and the consequences could have been far worse for the 12 car then just a gentle hit by Kevin Harvick when things were all said and done. Jarrett could have caused serious injury to a competitor, all stemming from his inability to keep his cool, something he should easily have learned by now after 20 years on the circuit.

So what happens now? Jarrett got two meaningless laps spent in the pits, with his reputation saved him from any further penalty; you better believe that if it was Kevin Harvick starting that mess, we wouldn’t see him on the track for another month. Instead, the 88 goes to California next week with a clean slate and still an outside shot of making the Chase; the 12 has to focus on making the playoffs, and based on how Newman has dealt with Rusty, I find it unlikely he’ll try and make peace with a driver he’ll only have to deal with for another year or two. In the end, one would think that everyone will try and put this whole mess behind them, shurg it off, and just try and move on with the rest of the season with the playoffs on the line.

The problem is, Jarrett’s legion of fans can’t shrug it off, no matter how hard they try. What happens to all the 10-year-olds of his who saw what happened out there in Turn 2? Has Jarrett just taught them to punch someone back the second they’ve been punched in the face? To be a sore loser when things don’t go your way? To play dirty tricks in order to get sweet revenge? There’s a lot of questions those gans be asking, and not a lot of good answers one of NASCAR’s model citizens will be able to provide.

When the good guys fall, it’s not always pretty. But that seems to be the case for Dale, and the sport is worse off for it. Too bad Jarrett has no one else to blame.

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sharon
08/29/2005 01:10 AM
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All I have to say is good for Dale. Newman started it and he got what was coming to him. Like Dale Jr said, that guy has a hell of a temper...just sorry Kevin got wrecked and too bad Dale lost so many points. If it was the other way around Newman would have done the same thing, so don’t blame it on Dale. Newman said he didn’t mean to get into Dale; if you believe that, stand on your head.
EARNHARDT FAN FOREVER
E. Rudd
08/29/2005 04:28 AM
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If Ricky Rudd had done this he would have sat out a race. This is what is wrong with Nascar they are star struck
Teri
08/29/2005 05:25 AM
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Actually it was 2 “taps” Mr No Neck gave Jarrett and they were intentional. I’m a 29 fan but I don’t blame Dale. What happened to Kevin was spotter error. Happy Racing.
Sharon
08/29/2005 05:30 AM
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If this had been the 20, he would already be sitting out races, Just another example of Nascar selective decisions. And they wonder why people are getting tired of it all????
Dee
08/29/2005 05:42 AM
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Ok, you have made a valid point. On the other hand, how many times must DJ get bumped and shoved in the same night without some form of retaliation. Rusty ( Oh my gosh he is a saint) punted him early on in this same race. Then Mr Clean gives him a love tap. Are you serious? ” I didn’t mean to” Jimmy Johnson and the rest of the blockhead drivers that think fans are deaf, dumb, and blind can all take notice that Dale Jarrett is not going to be their football any longer. Yes, he is moving toward the end of his career as a driver, but even a ten year old can sift through one race and compare it to an entire career and come away with respect for the 88 driver.
Tracey
08/29/2005 05:53 AM
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Come on..give me a break.. I’m a Jarrett fan and I don’t place him on the pedestal you apparently have…The guy is human..no different than Jeff Gordon trying to get even with Mike Bliss…Waltrip with Jeff Green..You are the only one trying to sensationalize this..It’s just Bristol..get over it..and try some objective reporting..
mike goodwin
08/29/2005 06:04 AM
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This is not the first time Newman has hit Jarrett, and he hit him going into the turn. When is someone going to write a letter about these young guns having no patience? Sometimes they need to be put in their place. Next time newman sees Jarrett he likely will ram him into the wall.
Colin Baird
08/29/2005 06:13 AM
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Thomas…
I think your article criticizing Dale Jarrett for his actions at Bristol is a little over board.
Maybe Dale is just fed up with the young punks thinking and acting like they own the race track.
Carl Edwards rammed both of the Petty cars, and it was a good thing that Kyle was the one talking to Edwards after the race and not Richard.
Jimmie Johnson has done his share of putting the bumper to other cars, and so has his little friend, Jeffy Gordon.
Newman put the bumper to Dale and Dale returned the favor. It’s just the way racing should be. Harvick’s involvement in the scuffle was more due to his spotter not doing his job.
You know, this is automobile racing. The biggest mistake a driver can make is to bite off more than he can chew. I think Newman found that out.
I’m pretty sure that Jarrett was not pleased with the fact that he had to retaliate against Newman, but what other choice did he have. NA$CAR doesn’t permit punching an offending driver in the snot locker after the race. Ask Jimmy Spencer about that one. If it happens on the track, take care of it on the track. That’s the only way it can be done.
Dale Jarrett is no spring chicken in the racing world. I don’t think he’s washed up either. Dale knows how drive a race car, the only problem is, he can only drive the car as fast as it will go.
You might want to concentrate your attention on the “Cash Cows” of the Roush and Hendrick teams if you want to see some poor sportsmanship. Hell, some of them can’t even get along with each other.
gary
08/29/2005 06:48 AM
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Concerning Thomas Bowles article about Jarrett. Was Jarrett right, no. You’re worried about what a 10 year old watching thinks and you’re so concerned about Jarrett being a role model. The first and most important role models are your parents. They can explain to the 10 year old what’s wrong and right, not Dale Jarrett. Ryan Newman needs to learn respect (he’s the Paul Tracy of NASCAR, fast but foolish—his feud with Wallace is evidence that he feels superior to everyone). Harvick has done more to hurt racing than Jarrett ever will and Shane Hmiel caused more accidents by “out of control driving” and has shown no respect for anyone. Mr. Bowles—get a grip on reality—people aren’t perfect. Your support of the young guns exposes your bias. Clean up your own act before worrying about others.
chris gregory
08/29/2005 07:28 AM
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What??? Where have you been??? DJ has not been running up to par as you mentioned, but the 88 team has still been in contention w/ point system. Explain that. It’s Bristol dumbass! the 12 tapped him and later said not on purpose? DJ fans have watched their driver walk away and take the highroad too many times. The incident at bristol was a serious setback in points that any driver would have retaliated. Mention throwing helmets? If you’ve watched Nascar cup as long as I have you’d know who and how many objects have been thrown on the track. It’s funny I never read an article by Thomas Bowles movement when the 3 slugged the 2 in Michigan garage over a wreck in happy hour, or anyone wirting an article for the matter calling out Dale Earnhardt for an embarrasing moment. Dale Jarrett is as respectable today as he was in 1990. He’s a role model that was on top of the game for almost a decade. He’s the one that upset the 24 in 1999, which if you remember, the 6 and 88 were the only ones putting on the pressure in those years. Go Dale Jarrett, and good luck getting into the chase!!!
Chris Gregory Nashville TN
Joe Bucci
08/29/2005 07:38 AM
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Mr. Bowles:

Well-written article describing what surprised but did not shock this DJ fan. This fan will be able to “shrug it off” and look for a statement from Jarrett sometime this week. One question though to address the supposed double standard that you mentioned in the article between DJ and Harvick. How many times has DJ been placed on diciplinary probation by NASCAR in his 20 year Cup career? The answer is 1 time fewer than the number of races that Harvick has had to sit out because of a violation of probation. You make a valid point but have chosen the wrong posterchild in Harvick. Certainly DJ was unsportsmanlike on Sat. night but it is Bristol. I believe that Dale Earnhardt could have used a weapon at this track against another driver to gain position and Benny in the booth would say something about that contact being tough racing.

Thank you and I look forward to your next article.
Sincerely
Joe Bucci
rose
08/29/2005 07:41 AM
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Hi!
I am one of those legions of Jarrett fans and guess what? I don’t think any less of Dale Jarrett. Yes,it was wrong. But, Did you see all of what precipitated the incident? No, neither did I and I am guessing that their was probably more to it that we saw. I’m sorry but,I have no sympathy for either Ryan Newman or Kevin Harvick. Both have a history of wrecking people and thinking that a simple “I’m sorry”will take care of it. Well, if you go out and do the same thing over and over sorry won’t cut it.That makes what he does just as bad if not worse because it is calculated not done in the heat of the moment. Just look back to Friday night where Newman did the exact same thing to Kahne in the Busch race.I’ll bet he said he was sorry for that too. But not sorry enough not to repeat it on Saturday. No, I’ll not feel disapointed in Jarrett’s behavior. I will chalk it up to being human and frustated with the arrogance of the “Young Guns” and their inability to drive clean. What’s the old saying,”Drive them the way they drive.” Well, how does it feel Ryan Newman?
Jim
08/29/2005 07:44 AM
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I disagree with your viewpoint on this.How many times have we seen one driver run into another and say “It was an accident-I didn’t mean to hit him”

I think that’s BS. Ryan Newman clearly hit DJ and it certainly looked intentional to me.

I applaud Dale for taking him out. Newman deservred it and he may want to think twice in the future before he gives someone else a cheap shot.

I see nothing wrong with what DJ did.
herb
08/29/2005 07:46 AM
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poor article
you forgot how harvick
drove in the busch race
he had it coming
Barry Thompson
08/29/2005 07:46 AM
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When I consider the fact that DJ has basically been knocked (or spun) out of the chase by the combination of Little E and Ryan Newman over the last three races I am glad that the old tiger finally took a hunk out of one of the “young guns”. Most of the young drivers do not know how to “move someone out of their way” as opposed to “putting them in the wall.” The young guys don’t show the same respect that these older drivers did when they were the youngsters. We’ve seen Harvick vs. Rudd and now DJ vs. Newman. Ryan has been a jerk to Rusty and he either a.) put DJ in the wall on purpose or b.) does not possess the skill to be trying the “bump and run.” Either way he deserved the payback. I am still trying to figure out how Harvick wound up in it. I truly believe Harvick was a victim of bad spotting AND he was trying to get a cheap pass on Vickers. No one will feel worse today than Dale Jarrett for what happened on Saturday night. Go easy on yourself Dale, the youngster deserved it.
Dave Peterson
08/29/2005 08:04 AM
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No doubt Dale wishes he hadn’t “tapped” Newman back. I think though you’ll have to go back a few races to get perspective. How many times has Dale been spun out by these young hot heads whose brains are somewhere else other than where they should be. A little patience helps the world go round. Carl Edwards is another driver who seems to have trained for a crash derby than a stock car race. Kyle Petty didn’t think much of his antics either. I could go on but I won't. It isn’t a good thing to retaliate, yet a message NEEDS to be sent to the young punks that a day of reckoning will come if you continue in your stupid ways. I, for one was glad to see Newman punted by Dale and for me the only thing that could make it sweeter is if Newman didn’t make the Chase either.
race fan
08/29/2005 08:04 AM
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The first thing jarrett should do is go to and tell Shane Hmiel how sorry he is for having been such an ass.

The second thing that should happen, NASCAR should make sure he does not get into the GREAT CHASE!
craig
08/29/2005 08:05 AM
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Newman could’ve been more patient at the time, but it looked like he bumped Jarrett a little too hard. He know’s Jarrett is in contention to make the chase, but you don’t hit a car that hard to get him loose at Bristol. That being said, I don’t blame Jarrett for his actions in wrecking Newman. It was unfortunate though that Harvick got caught up in the wreck.
ToddV
08/29/2005 08:22 AM
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Can you imagine if Tony Stewart did this? Nascar would have suspended him as well as his sponsors.
Rick
08/29/2005 08:35 AM
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Spoken like a true Newman fan. I estimate that Jarrett gains about 1 million FANS from this. Newman hit him twice – watch the replay.
kurt france
08/29/2005 08:39 AM
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Get over the Dale Jarrett incident. What do you think makes Bristol one of the best races in the series? It is the tight racing, competitive spirit and part of that is tempers flaring.

I am not in Jarrett’s legion of fans but I respect a driver that stands up for himself and makes someone accountable for their actions. Dale will be held accountable for his and Ryan Newman should be made accountable as well.

Competitive spirit and personal accountability have become unpopular recently. Too bad for out kids and nation.

Good for Dale.
BEARCAT
08/29/2005 08:44 AM
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Maybe if Newman had NOT spun Dale this would be a non-event. Newman is to blame, yet he did NOT get a 2 lap penalty.
ID Fuller
08/29/2005 08:49 AM
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To bad you have it all wrong. Ryan should have been penalized. Are you saying that Ryan's bump was not intentional?. Give me a break. He tried to do the same thing Friday in the Busch race. Jarrett did exactly what he should have done. He will not have any more trouble with Ryan in the future. Ryan is just a baby in a man’s sport. He sure does not mess with Rusty anymore, does he? Schrader said on Wind Tunnel last night Ryan got what he deserved.
clint
08/29/2005 08:59 AM
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Dear Tom,
I think the lesson everyone can walk away from this with is that you still have to stand up for yourself. I mean, you are basically telling these young Jarrett fans to sit back and take it when they are being pushed around by the fat bully on the bus. What Jarrett should have done is to go after newman in a situation where no one else could be wrecked-after the checkered flag for instance. newman HAS to know that Jarrett is in contention for the chase along with him and the mere fact that he bumped him goes to show why all he’ll ever do is qualify(and hardly ever) first. So, young Jarrett fans out there, DON’T start the fight, but do stand up for yourself in a way that no innocent bystanders will be hurt. THAT is how a true hero or a champion conducts himself.
kacey
08/29/2005 09:04 AM
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It is very easy for the reporters to sit back after the fact and cast blame. If this were the first time this year that DJ had been punted, that would be one thing. But it is not. You guys can not get your noses out of the rear-ends of your beloved young guns long enough to smell the coffee. Moving someone out of the way at Bristol is one thing, putting us in the wall and destroying a car is another. So Newman gets a pass because he says it was “unintentional” and did not mean it. Newman gave him a tap? You are quite naive. Get off your high horse and quit taking the easy way out. Standing up for yourself is something that every 10 year old should know and learn. I guess UPS and its employees and all of DJ’s other sponsors should just sit back and say, “that Ryan Newman, he is just such a little scoundrel.” There comes a time when enough is enough, and when your car is destroyed and you are knocked out of the chase, the message has probably come too late. I will remind you that Gordon drove in this same manner until Rudd and Rusty parked him into the wall on different occasions, now Gordon does not drive this way. Sometimes you have to hit a fly with a hammer, but like I said, the message was probably sent several races too late.
Tom Fuller
08/29/2005 09:06 AM
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Tom,
I have to agree with you on numerous areas of your article about the incident at Bristol with DJ. It was totally unlike DJ to do something like that but I think it is all catching up to him and the pressure that he is under with the new points system. That is not an excuse for what he did to Newman and I am not condoning what he did to him but if you look back at Dale Earnhardt, he use to do that sort of thing all the time and DJ was brought up in that era of race car driving. We have to look at all the drivers like Newman and Harvick and see some of their actions on the track, they are not so innocent. I really enjoyed reading your article, keep up the great work.

Sincerely,
Tom Fuller
Webmaster @ DaleJarrett4ever.com
mike
08/29/2005 09:18 AM
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You know what? Newman deserved it, and if it was someone else like Earnhardt, you would all be saying the same thing. Rubbin' is racin', I am not a Dale Jarrett fan but pretty boy Newman had it coming. Dale E. Sr. was noted for things like that, that's why they called him the intimidator. Now his son does the same thing and no one says anything, yet Jarrett gets even just once and everyone is on him about it. Get over it. Nascar fans love action like that, that's what's so fun about bristol..
Tim
08/29/2005 09:20 AM
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Yeah, whatever!!! as a Dale Jarrett fan I think the first part of your article was corect, THANKS. The second half sucked, true he lost his temper but i think he should have done it a long time before this. People seem to push him around because he doesn't retaliate.
Tony
08/29/2005 09:52 AM
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Newman got what he deserved. He speared Jarrett in the corner with no remorse. I don’t care if he said it was by accident (what a lie). He just told the reporters it was an accident to look good on TV.
Frabj
08/29/2005 10:01 AM
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Good for you DJ. It’s Bristol, you get hit, you hit back – it’s O.K. I understand, kids understand. Regret is Harvick but as they say, that’s racin and Harvick knows it.
Jack Moore
08/29/2005 10:04 AM
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Newman thinks he is special... I, for one, am glad Jarrett ran him into the wall. He deserved it.
James
08/29/2005 10:14 AM
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Sorry. NASCAR is to blame for this deal. Jimmy Spencer made a comment about drivers saying, “Oops, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to.” Newman has had a chip on his shoulder lately. Newman got exactly what he deserved. What irritates me about the whole thing is that NASCAR won’t do anything to Tony Stewart, Jeff Gordon, Jimmy Johnson or several others. DJ got screwed all the way around in this deal.
John Wright
08/29/2005 10:27 AM
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I agree that Jarrett should have given Newman a shot but not the way he did it, he could have taken out a bunch of other cars that had nothing to do with their issue.

The excuse of “That’s Bristol” is a copout.
Dustin
08/29/2005 10:47 AM
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spotter error? I didn’t hear the spotter say…”GO HIGH”?? Did you? No. Vickers went low…Harvick just made a sharp right turn into a car. That is called “DRIVER” error. Maybe that is why Harvick isn’t going to make the Chase…he is more worried about who to blame, than racing…
steve
08/29/2005 10:50 AM
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Put my name in the hat as one that disagrees with your perspective. I would like to see reporters get back to reporting facts and not so much commentating and spinning. A true reporter would have had the number of spins that Newman has caused this year as well as the number of times that Jarrett has been spun. Even 10 year olds can understand that kind of math.
Brian Lawson
08/29/2005 10:54 AM
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I can’t believe I’m reading some of this… I don’t care who you are and what you did, DJ going UP THE TRACK to take out Newman was over the line. I like DJ but that was quite possibly one of the stupidest things I’ve seen in a little while… Bristol or no Bristol…
NAN DAVIS
08/29/2005 11:12 AM
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Sorry, I don`t agree…I think Mr, Jarrett had enough of Newman`s bump and run game….He took care of it, “old school ” fashion…WAY TO GO Dale Jarrett !!!!!!
Skeeter
08/29/2005 11:26 AM
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Good for DJ. He’s been bounced around for too long by those younger boneheads and just taken it. Now that he plays “turn-about” he’s a bad guy? You and NASCAR can take your snot-nosed youngsters. Give me the classic guys like Schrader, Martin, and Jarrett.

And Newman didn’t mean to hit him? That makes it all ok, I guess. Seems to me that there was another guy that “just wanted to rattle” the other guy’s cage a bit. And he did it twice in a row to Terry Labonte at Bristol. Hmmmm, now who could that be. Another nice guy that didn’t mean to, no doubt.
Mike
08/29/2005 11:39 AM
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DJ has taken too many hits
in the back bumper without
doing anything about it. Now
maybe some of those guys that
ram the guy in front to pass
will think twice.
Bob
08/29/2005 12:24 PM
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Ryan Newman must learn respect. He gives NO ONE respect. I can’t wait to see the day (which is coming) when Rusty puts the little no neck punk in the wall. Dale Jarrett is a hero to me today. Ryan: you must give respect to GAIN respect.
Ray, Kimball
08/29/2005 12:25 PM
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The pit stop before the initial wreck, Jarret stayed out with old tires in order to get track position, which he did. Newman pitted and got new tires. So did Elliott Sadler. Several laps later Jarrett had dropped fron 2nd to 9th, because of his tires.Newman was closing, with Sadler and Martin right behind. It looks to me that if Newman lifts for Jarrett, he gets it in the rear from Sadler and Martin.
If you stay out for position hoping for a quick caution, you might cause the next caution when the new tire boys come through the pack. If Jarrett is going to take that chance he needs to get out of the way when it doesn’t work.
After making the first mistake,it’s too bad that Jarrett compounded it with a loss of temper.
My mother told me that a good reputation takes a lifetime to make, but only a moment to lose.
I hope DJ doesen’t have any more of these moments.
Keith
08/29/2005 12:29 PM
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If DJ could go faster, he wouldn’t have gotten bumped. Come on nascar, park DJ and fine him accordingly!
Dave
08/29/2005 12:39 PM
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Good Afternoon,I would like to address the events of Sat. nite, as I saw them. First Ryan did punt DJ, no doubt I guess they didn’t teach the bump and run at Purdue. Second what DJ did wasn’t correct, but I’m sure at the time he’d had about enough,that doesn’t make it right but i don’t think he was thinking about right and wrong. When Dale Sr. punted another driver, Nascar, the press and the fans loved it, after all “he made the sport what it is today.” As far as Kevin Harvick is concerned, he continues to be an embarassment to RCR, His sponsors, and true race fans everywhere. Go put in your million dollar bus all that your RCR money got you, no one cares. You took over possibly the greatest ride in NASCAR history and have done nothing with it, nothing. Your spotter can be clearly heard saying go low in the tv replay, so why did you try to pass when you were on the apron and the yellow was out? Grow Up. RCR would be well served to let you go if you want out so bad. Maybe they could put someone in who wants to race for him.
J88Ryan
08/29/2005 12:44 PM
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Saturday night was the most proud I’ve been of DJ since 1999! He should have taken Rusty out too.
J. Loder
08/29/2005 01:38 PM
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DJ acted stupid Saturday night, plain and simple.

Which means we only have about three or four more drivers to check off before we have every driver doing something flat-out boneheaded at least once this season.

He lost his shot at the top-10 thanks in decent part to Newman’s “accident.” Newman, it seems, has a lot of accidents. So, in truth, have Johnson, Gordon, Stewart, Earnhardt Jr.. Edwards and a whole host of other drivers. I don’t condone what Jarrett did, but at least he didn’t insult our intelligence and pretend it was all just a mistake.

And hey… if they didn’t sit drivers like Stewart, Busch, Johnson or Vickers for their tantrums, I can’t imagine they’d sit Jarrett this time.
jt
08/29/2005 01:47 PM
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Now boys, you all need to play better with your fellow drivers…you not only make a fool out of yourselves, but you make fools out of nascar for their biased disisions on handing out punishment…it all depends on who makes the infraction for how it is dealt with…another nascar blunder
JR
08/29/2005 02:36 PM
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While DJ was busy taking out No Neck Newman/Frankenstein, he should of put the wood to that ungrateful pencil neck driving the #97!!! And then go after that fraud in the #2! Go RYR!
Bridget
08/29/2005 02:40 PM
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Thanks for giving an accurate account of what happened in Bristol. In the end, DJ just screwed himself out of any chance to get into the Chase. Ryan Newman and the 12 team showed complete class by not going after the 88 team. Did we hear Ryan say anything bad about DJ after the race? No. He will simply move on and concentrate on staying in the Chase. I couldn’t be prouder to be a Newman fan!
Shae
08/29/2005 03:26 PM
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I love all the name calling that seems to take place…that shows class…NOT. I agree with you Bridget, DJ did something very stupid Sat night. Ryan got into DJ and apologized for it, but DJ has to blame his on something “breaking loose” in his car. My deal is: If you do it, at least own it!!!
Jacki
08/29/2005 03:30 PM
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First off… can we all have a little spelling lesson… JimmIE not a Y at the end… JIMMIE Johnson… Second… to whomever said that Tony would have already been benched… yeah right… he’s been NASCAR’s favorite for weeks… don’t know why, but he is… and I’m tired of television and media kissing his [butt] lately… boy do people have short term memories… Third… Newman has had it coming… he is one of the most arrogant drivers I’ve ever seen… it is ridiculous… he has about as much respect for others as CARL EDWARDS… I don’t know why everyone kisses his [butt] either… he has done tons of stupid careless things this season… so lay off of Dale Jarrett, and lay off of Jimmie… he hasn’t made anymore mistakes than anyone else… I am tired of people hating on Jimmie because he is an awesome driver and a total hottie… and a WINNER
Tom
08/29/2005 03:38 PM
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The fact that Clean Shaven Ryan Newman said oh I didn't hit him on purpose is a JOKE! A person just can't sit and let things go without pay backs! Ryan never does anything wrong… RIGHT! It's Roger Penske that convinced NASCAR to change the way the points are run. For what reason? Matt won the championship and was put down because he won one race! But he was always in the top 5. Look at the stands, are they filled up all the time? No! I wonder why. Perhaps Mr. Newman can fill them himself with all his fans.Instead of all this race to the caution, why not revert back a lap and line up the cars, Hummmmmmmmm wonder if anyone thought of that? Look at the restrictor track races, follow the leader, waiting for the big one to occur. Take off the plates and let it be balls to the wall racing! With all the tracks Nascar runs on, why not a dirt track in there during the series? Bristol did it for the World of Outlaws! Then you would see people that normally run up front go to the rear. Schrader, Stewart and so on would shine. Rather than driving around a corner, pitch 'er sideways and stand on the gas.
Nikki
08/29/2005 04:21 PM
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I think Dale Jarrett is one of the classiest guys in the garage, but when he did what he did on Saturday night, I sat there with my mouth hanging open. I could not believe that Jarrett purposely spun out Ryan Newman in the manner that he did…I was floored. Did Newman deserve it? Probably. He tapped Jarrett earlier, and while I don’t think he meant to spin him into the wall, he definitely meant to get him out of his way. We saw that plenty of times throughout the race, from veterans and young guns alike. I just never expected Jarrett to do something like that.
But did what happened on Saturday make me like Jarrett less, or make me lose any respect for him? Not at all. All drivers—as do all people—have their breaking point—that moment where enough is enough. I think we’ve seen Jarrett’s. We see that he still has the fire to compete and that’s good. But I’m still surprised by his actions and hope this isn’t the “new” Dale Jarrett.
In a perfect world, all drivers would behave the way Burton did Saturday night. Burton had every opportunity to give Kenseth a shot in the back in the end to try to get the win, and he may have been well within his right to do so. But he didn’t. Some guys race that way, some guys don’t. It’s just the way it is. But c’mon, would any of you enjoy NASCAR as much if there weren’t the “good guys” and the “bad guys”?
Pam
08/29/2005 04:28 PM
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I think the bump Ryan gave DJ was an accident. He was overheard on his radio saying he was so sorry and to please relay the message on to the 88 car. Ok, take for a second that he wasn’t sincere, although I think he was. If he did it intentionally, he did it in a way that wasn’t blatant and didn’t hurt anyone else’s chances to get into the Chase. I think everyone can agree that what DJ did was totally obvious. He may have had it up to here with “young drivers” showing no respect, but what he did wasn’t the way to teach it. Dale Earnhardt Sr. was a very aggressive driver who did the bump and run many many times, as do so many others. Folks, that’s racing. But when you blatantly go out to destroy someone’s car/chances/and or body you have gone over the line. A two lap penalty? What a complete joke. There’s only a few drivers that would end up with that kind of punishment. You know what? DJ was my second favorite driver behind Ryan. I’m sure I will get over this and figure out a way to like him again, but he sure did a lot of damamge to my faith in him Saturday night.

Jimmy Spencer and Kenny Wallace (especially Spencer) should get canned from ever commentating on Speed channel again. That big has-been (wait a minute…..I mean never was) has a lot of nerve getting his rocks off on what happened. Of course, I guess you have to consider the source when someone makes excuses for bully-like behavior.

DJ needs to own up to it, talk to Ryan and Kevin privately (take a page from Kyle Petty’s book of gentlemanship), and vow to do better next time.
Dottie
08/29/2005 04:49 PM
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OH come on! Did Penske pay for this article? First Rusty hits DJ and then Newman….both have continued to get away with this behavior. Edwards did it to DJ in a previous race. How much is a man suppose to take? Granted, under normal circumstances DJ wouldn’t have done it but….how many times is a child supposed to get picked on before he defends himself? It’s the same thing…..we wouldn’t continue to allow that to happen as NASCAR has continued to ignore the bad behavior of other drivers. I think no less of DJ than I did prior to Saturday. I consider him a excellent role model for my 10 year old….Whether he’s top in the points or not..he’s tops in my book.
Chris
08/29/2005 04:56 PM
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There were countless bumps in the race Saturday. Jimmy Spencer was right at one time during his rant when he said “Veteran drivers know when they are slower and they move out of the way” DJ was on no tires and was fading fast, he should have gotten out of the way. Newman was probably surprised by how slow DJ was going and ran up on him. No matter if it was intentional or not, DJ eliminated himself from the Chase and cost himself millions of dollars. He was only one lap down when he wanted to exact revenge. Even after Newman spun him, he could have finished within the top 20. His temper got the best of him, and it’ll cost him more than Nascar could ever fine him. Jimmy Spencer had no idea what he was talking about for the remainder of his commentary, but he was accurate when he said “slow cars get out of the way”
Great article by the way.
dr
08/29/2005 06:01 PM
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Good for you DJ. “No-neck” had it coming. Don’t apologize for nothin’.
woofer
08/29/2005 07:06 PM
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Jarrett gets too much credit for being a gentleman. He’s a gentleman when everything is going well, but that’s easy. when things go bad, he’s simply a sore loser. remember when he caused a multi-car wreck at the daytona night race a few years back and then pouted and walked back to the garage because the ambulance didn’t get to him soon enough to suit him? How about when he ran out of gas at indy several years ago and commented that it wasn’t any of his making, that all he did was drive the cars, he didn’t put gas in them? (i thought nascar was a “team” sport) how about his embarassing actions with shane hmiel at bristol in the spring? this latest example only proves what I have known for years…dj is a sore loser. adversity shows a side to dale that is most unappealing.
BobbyD
08/29/2005 07:09 PM
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I was surprised that DJ hit the 12 in such a way that he took himself out.
The 12 does not take himself out in those situations.
woofer-hater
08/29/2005 07:53 PM
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But the 12 sure does take out half the field at plate races..and woofer if you watched marajuana boy at bristol you would've saw that HE crashed jarrett on purpose and was penalized for it…so jarrett could get pissed and it wasn't embarrassing. i wish yates would start caring about the man who launched Yates and not sadler…quit giving Jarrett bad cars when it matters the most, like at richmond last year. na$car is just a big money hog and controls who they want to win and succeed.
C88WIN
08/29/2005 08:47 PM
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First of all, I was actually at the race Saturday night and here it what truly happened: DJ struggled early, but the team adjusted the car to where it was easily one of the 2 or 3 fastest cars on the track (he blew 2nd place Jeffy Gordon’s doors off trying to get his lap back). Once back on the lead lap,he blasted his way from 31st to 15th until Rusty threw the block going into turn 3, messing up both cars. From there, the team had to play strategy to remain in contention. With fresher tires, if Newman felt he was being held up, why didn't he try the outside? I saw DJ do it earlier. Newman’s claim of the wreck being unintentional is crap since he hit DJ at the center of the corner, not going in.The boy got a little taste of biblical justice. Woofer, you need to get your facts straight. The incidents you described have left out all the important facts,but hey, just like the author, don’t let the truth get in the way of a good story. DJ is still the model around which all racers should be molded,and one highly overblown incident won’t change a stellar career.
Susan
08/29/2005 09:17 PM
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Dale is at the top of the list of drivers I do like. I cannot believe what is being said about him, and why people are making such a big deal out of it. It’s not the first time and not the last time, you see it every week. Why do you choose to harp on Dale? He has been a victim time after time. How much more does he have to take? What about Carl Edwards? Why arn’t you talking him down? SUSAN
Dave
08/29/2005 09:36 PM
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A well written article that I agree with. I (and many others) have lost some respect for Dale Jarrett because of his most unsportsmanlike and dangerous conduct. Let’s face it, all of the drivers on the Bristol racetrack got lucky… if one of the competitors would have been injured because of Dale Jarrett’s temper and stupidity, there would be an entirely different perspective on this incident. Please don’t forget, fellow race fans… racing is a sport that has the element of extreme danger and personal injury to the drivers. Please think this through.. again.. everyone is lucky that this intentional act by Jarrett didn’t cause any serious injury!
Sean Decker
08/30/2005 02:22 AM
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As a longtime Dale Jarrett fan I was stunned by his response to to Ryan Newman’s punting. I don’t know if I agree with what he did, but I certainly understand it.
Jarrett was right in realizing that Newman’s boneheaded move was intentional and unnessessary, if it wasn’t then Newman shouldn’t be driving a race car.
I think this was the straw that broke the camel’s back. Jarrett’s been on the receiving end of someone else’s overaggressive stupidity more than a few times, and he finally retialiated.
There was also an element of desperation in Jarrett’s action, he has fought to stay in this chase often with cars that seem to be a step behind and after working doggedly to get back on the lead lap being wrecked out of contention was more than he could take.
I do feel Newman got what he had coming. If you shove people around, sooner or later your going to run into someone who shoves back. Oops.
I’d feel bad for Harvick, too, except how many innocents have suffered at his hands? Again, what comes around goes around.
Did Jarrett damage his reputation? Probably not, in fact he may strengthened it in some fans eyes.
In the end, NASCAR is going to see this as just another race at Bristol, where rubbin’ is definitely racin’, where tempers fly and wrecking fellow competitors is part of the draw.
Chuck
08/30/2005 08:19 AM
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Mr. Bowles, This is a personal attack directed to you, just as you forgot journalism protocol when you personally attacked DJ.
Where do you writers come from-you sure as Hell don’t live in the real world. I am calling for you to stand up, do the right thing and resign. I'm sure you can find a job writing obits somewhere, but you would probably screw that up with your lack of maturity.
I’m guessing you are a recent graduate of a less than stellar college and you majored in History or Art Appreciation, and being unable to find honest work you turned to racing where you believed anyone could write-NOT.
Please go away after you apologize to your readers for the extremely poor drivel that you have dreamed up while pulling wings off of flies.
Please resign today!
Chuck
Ron
08/30/2005 09:13 AM
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One thing to remember: Whether Newman was wrong or it was an “accident”, DJ let down a lot of his fans and his sponsors by virtually eliminating himself and his sponsors from The Chase.
Carolyn
08/30/2005 09:15 AM
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Newman got what he deserved. If you are going to pull off a bump and run, do it at the right spot at the right time. All too often, we are seeing these young guys causing wrecks by doing this stuff in the corners, and also trying to bump draft at tracks where there just is no bump-drafting. Some need to go back to racing 101 and learn the tricks of the trade, and how to execute them properly.
hmielybug
08/30/2005 10:43 AM
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So why isn’t everyone ripping on DJ like they did on Hmiel? Why shouldn’t DJ have to wear the shoe if it fits? Come on people, lets be fair. At least Shane didn’t come out of the pits looking for DJ like DJ did Newman. Oh, that’s right, DJ’s a veteran. He’s earned that right. So I guess the real question is whether DJ slowed down to wait for Newman or was it because he’s getting tired of it all. Old and tired is more like it. And the penalty is not enough because for what its worth, he should at least be on probation for the remainder of year. What would have been really nice was if both Newman and Harvick would have walked up to Jarrett’s car, both giving him threats of revenge and pointing, and upon they’re departure DJ giving them both the Hmiely salute. HA HA!!! As I’ve said before, DJ needs to contemplate the routes of the 2 and the 6 before it gets embarrassing. Maybe if he was driving the truck, he might have survived the wall and actually driven over the top of the 12. Too bad, so sad. Get off the track old man, ‘cause the young ones have more time to deal with setbacks. One more setback for DJ and UPS will just as soon hand him a gold watch with a pension, because the only time they’ll get to handle the Cup they dream of is when they’re delivering it to New York for the banquet.
nascarfan
08/30/2005 12:17 PM
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Dale Jarrett was spun in a crash involving Rusty Wallace earlier in the race. I’m sure he wasn’t happy about that…but there was no one to blame. Then he was spun by Newman. Ryan had no reason to spin Jarrett, and he’s always been a clean driver. He just made a mistake. But that doesn’t give Jarrett any reason to go and wreck people. I’ve heard many people say that Jarrett was racing for points, and it was unfair for Ryan to wreck him. Ryan’s not exactly 80th in points…he’s racing for a spot too. Jarrett’s bump might have cost him that…
Jarrett was only a lap down at the time…he cost himself a top-twenty five finish because of his idiotic-ness (sorry if that’s not a word).
Jarrett lost alot of my respect. I used to see him as a great role model…but that’s changed now. He owes both Newman and Harvick a public apoligy, but i really don’t see that coming..he hasn’t said anything since sat night...I think he’s too embarrassed.
Now, if i’ve made anyone mad, please forgive me…unless of course you are dale jarrett. sometimes the older drivers aren’t always the wisest.
P.S. - Obviously, some people are “living under a rock in Alaska.” They refuse to see what really happened. Jarrett needs to get over it and fix the mess he’s gotten himself, Newman and others into.
go88
08/30/2005 03:09 PM
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Mr. Bowles,
You wrote “Jarrett hasn’t been running well.” Running in the top 10-15 isn’t running well? It’s better than 35-40 other drivers.

you wrote “the only reason Jarrett was in contention to make the Chase in the first place was simply by finishing every race.” When was the last NASCAR race you “simply” finished?

Jeff
08/30/2005 04:01 PM
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Tom,
What makes you think DJ was embarrassed when he left Bristol? I don’t think DJ is ashamed of what he did.
I was there. Both incidents happened right in front of me as I was in the 3rd row from the fence in turn 2. Newman hit DJ more than once before he finally spun him. What did DJ have to lose by spinning Newman? Nothing! DJ finished 31st. Newman had a DNF. Look back at DJ’s career. What does it take to get DJ riled up enough to do what he did? Obviously DJ thought that Newman's bump was intentional. He ought to know, hes been racing Cup cars a hell of a lot longer than Newman! Get off DJ’s back just because he showed a little emotion that you are not used to seeing!!!!
Galaxie Jan
08/30/2005 04:09 PM
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Evidently Mr. Bowles must be a newbee fan who didn’t ‘discover’ NASCAR until the early ‘90s. I’ve been following ‘Cup racing since 1962 and remember the epic battles between Ned Jarrett and Junior Johnson. Would Ned have walled Junior in 1964 under the same circumstances? Absolutely, and no one would’ve criticized him for it! Even Mr. Bowles must certainly realize that Ned is one of the finest spokespersons and gentlemen the sport of auto racing has ever known.

DJ is not paid to be a ‘role model’ though he is an excellent one. I’m proud to say that my 6-year-old granddaughter is one of his biggest fans, as am I. He is paid to drive the tires off of Robert Yates’s Fords, win races and championships.

After Newman DELIBERATELY spun him, some retaliation was certainly in order. It’s a shame that NASCAR also didn’t penalize him for rough driving when he was the one that started the trouble.

Frankly, I’m sick of these young drivers who were ‘bred to race’ coming into the sport and being considered instant stars. Does anyone truly believe that ‘Lil Earnhardt is a wonderful role model for children? Let’s get real here.

Good job, DJ! If the circumstances warrant you showing the kiddies that you’re no one to mess with, please slam them again! By the way, when you do retire, so will I as a Cup fan.
editor
08/30/2005 04:35 PM
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We encourage you to debate the issue, but please refrain from personal attacks. Thank you!
Carl
08/30/2005 07:41 PM
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I hate to be the one to break this to you Galaxie Jan, but pretty much everyone who is a fan now wasn’t a fan in the early 90’s.

You’re not special because you wasted away your best years watching cars go around in circles instead of playing with your children or planning for your retirement.

You’ve just been watching TV longer.

Sorry, many people know more about NASCAR and how it’s run than you ever hoped of knowing. Your just a fan Jan. Stop thinking you know more because you’ve been here longer. If you want to share your knowledge and amusing anecdotes. then great, but don’t think that just because you haven’t figured out yet that your boy DJ hasn’t been earning his pay, according to your Job description, that he deserves to be applauded and not reprimanded for blatently losing his temper and wrecking a much better driver than him.

Retire DJ. You’ll free up a space and we won’t have to listen to Jan tell us about her or ?his? odd dellusions of superiority any longer.

Wake up DJ fans. Your boy is going out like DW only without the career to look back on.
John
08/30/2005 10:23 PM
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I believe your article is 180 degs wrong. I have more respect for Dale now then I had prevously. What I saw was a driver that refused to be someone else's doormat, and for that I cheered the 88s actions and showing of self-respect. Also, Bristol was the perfect track to settle the score. It wasn’t like he did this at Talladega!

As for endangering drivers lives… come on, give me a break! These cars only do about 60 though the turns at Bristol… don't you think your over-reacting. Bristol has always been the place where drivers have settled scores!

As for Dale loosing credibility and respect with fans. I THINK NOT! I was on-line in a NASCAR chat room at the time this happened, and everyone there thought the 88s actions were appropriate. It signaled to the rest of us that he's not someone that can be bullied. I think all Nascar drivers took note of what happened, and will make sure that they dont “accidently” wreck him next week.

GO 88! I’ll be rooting for you!

Signed,
Mazzman
(A Rusty Fan)
Bob W
09/01/2005 09:36 PM
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All the people that think Jarrett didn’t do anything wrong are either stupid or ignorant!

 

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