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Voices from the Heartland: Things That Make You Go, Hmmmmm?

Aside from anything Brian France says whenever he opens his mouth, I found a few interesting news items this past week that has left me scratching my scalp in wonderment.

First off, we have Robby Gordon. Robby was recently competing in the 2009 Baja 250, held in the “trails and washes” of Mexico’s Baja California, where he finished with a respectable second.

But wait a minute! Did he really?

It seems that several teams are now accusing Robby of cheating – cheating in the form of taking a premeditated shortcut to pass the dude that was in front of him. A formal appeal regarding the action states that at the most remote part of the course, mile marker 132.5 to be exact, Gordon veered off course and drove over a cliff in an effort to avoid its most difficult part. The appeal further states that Gordon had, in fact, practiced the maneuver before the race. An investigation revealed a set of tire tracks re-entering the course at mile marker 136… presumably Robby’s. Editor’s Note: As of yesterday, this appeal has been formally dropped and Gordon will retain his second-place finish in the race.

Now, here are the things that got me to wondering… first of all, just how difficult was the course that a man would drive off a cliff to avoid part of it? Not only that, but practice driving off a cliff, all in an effort to finish second!

It would seem to me that if you are going to go to that extreme, the very least you could do is drive off a cliff to finish first. I mean, that’s what I would do… but what do I know?

Next up, we have the Lowe’s Motor Speedway press conference to announce that we have nothing to talk about!

To be totally honest, the press conference was to promote the Burnout contest at this year’s All-Star Race and to announce that Ric Flair – a retired man from NASCAR’s sister sport, professional wrestling – will be the honorary All-Star Race director, all of which must have taken a total of two minutes. The biggest news, however, was the announced change up of the race format, which, when pressed, no one wanted to comment on other than to say that we will talk about it later.

“We are working on some changes that will be forthcoming – some neat things that we’re going to be changing up,” said LMS president, Marcus Smith. “They’ll be exciting for the fans. We’re talking about some different things that we’ll be able to announce in a few weeks. The All-Star Race has a tradition of making changes.… We’ve had great conversations and experience with the folks at Sprint, and [television partner] SPEED and NASCAR. We’ll be able to talk about that in a couple of weeks.”

Translation: We are going to change something, we just don’t know what the heck it is right now. We are still bickering amongst ourselves, but rest assured, we know what is best for the fans. We will tell you when we figure it out.

The next item makes me wonder if our nation’s space program is even worth the effort.

Seems that the next shuttle mission, STS-119, will include a stuffed bear from the Victory Junction Gang Camp! Not only will the bear be in space, but it will be joined by a stuffed purple duck from Japan. Yes, you read that correctly: a stuffed purple duck.

Other items on this critical mission include a green flag provided by Andretti Green Flag Racing. The said green flag is expected to accumulate a huge earthly following according to NASA propaganda, once it is flown by astronaut Tony Antonelli; assuming, of course, that Tony and the precious cargo return safely to our planet. Time will tell.

In the Sad News department…

Seems that Roger Penske and Bruton Smith have fallen off the world’s “billionaire list,” according to the latest from Forbes. Other NASCAR related figures that are managing to remain on the list by the skin of their teeth include Roush Fenway Racing co-owner John Henry, John Menard – who sponsors the No. 98 Ford of son Paul – and Red Bull Racing owner Dietrich Mateschitz.

Dietrich’s last name alone is enough to make you go, Hmmm….

Stay off the wall,

Jeff Meyer

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