What is a Curmudgeon?
It seems some folks who are looking for happy happy joy joy Kool Aid drinking pabulum from myself and folks like Matt McLaughlin and a couple of others writers are under the mistaken impression that we have to follow the dictates of the Ivory Towers and must fall in line with their dictates. Then they complain to or about us even though they know full well we’re not exactly their cup of Kool Aid. They seem to believe that we must write using the old Star Trek thing of “Resistance is futile. You will be absorbed”. If you’ve read what I write more than once, you pretty well know what to expect. I’m not going to promise you a rose garden, paint pretty pictures, or toe the party line. Fans want their voices hear and that’s what I do. And there’s a lot of fans out there who aren’t happy with the current state of racer-tainment that is NA$CAR.
I can’t speak for Matt or the others nor do I intend to. But if you read on the right underneath my picture, it says in very legible letters, “Curmudgeon at Large”. That’s what I am. A curmudgeon. I make no apologies for it and wear it as a badge of honor just like the EOD badge I wore for so many years during my military service.
So just what exactly is a curmudgeon? The best description I’ve found lately to describe what a curmudgeon is, is a quote from Jon Winokur:
A curmudgeon's reputation for malevolence is undeserved. They're neither warped nor evil at heart. They don't hate mankind, just mankind's absurdities. They're just as sensitive and soft-hearted as the next guy, but they hide their vulnerability beneath a crust of misanthropy. They ease the pain by turning hurt into humor. . . . . . They attack maudlinism because it devalues genuine sentiment. . . . . . Nature, having failed to equip them with a serviceable denial mechanism, has endowed them with astute perception and sly wit.
Curmudgeons are mockers and debunkers whose bitterness is a symptom rather than a disease. They can't compromise their standards and can't manage the suspension of disbelief necessary for feigned cheerfulness. Their awareness is a curse.
Perhaps curmudgeons have gotten a bad rap in the same way that the messenger is blamed for the message: They have the temerity to comment on the human condition without apology. They not only refuse to applaud mediocrity, they howl it down with morose glee. Their versions of the truth unsettle us, and we hold it against them, even though they soften it with humor.
Now that we’ve got that out of the way for at least one quarter of the race schedule, let’s get on to some other things.
Holding His Own
It seems that Sam Ard got a burst of energy recently and was able to get into the shower to clean himself. To the average person that might seem like no big deal but considering Sam’s medical condition, it’s a major accomplishment. A real red letter day. Normally Sam has to be assisted with his bathing or given a sponge bath. So for this to happen is something to celebrate about.
Of course his financial situation hasn’t gotten the same positive energy going. Once again Sam has had to sell off more memorabilia on E-Bay. For those drivers who promised to help out the Ards, it’s time to put your money where your mouths are. To all the fans who have been sending donations to the Ards to help them out, Jo Ard wants you to know that she deeply appreciates your help and that you are truly blessed.
Sponsor for the #75 Car at Martinsville
It looks like MAXelence and All Star Sports Pouch will be sponsoring Jay Robinson Racing’s #75 car at Martinsville this weekend with Derrike Cope at the wheel. They’re a go or go home team and as they’re one of the little guys and a definite underdog, I’m giving them a plug here.
More on the Mayfield Documentary
From what I’m finding out, there are some things in the documentary that NA$CAR definitely won’t be happy about as they’ve done their best to suppress a lot of information surrounding this whole deal with Jeremy Mayfield and the drug testing. The lamestream media didn’t bother following up on Mayfield’s independent drug test claims in which NA$CAR positively stated there were no witnesses to those independent tests. I wrote last year in one of my Laidback Racing articles about the fact that there was a witness to the independent test, I know the individual personally, and got verification from him/her regarding their presence during those tests as a witness. So Faux King Brian and company were caught in a very big “mistruth”. So if they weren’t on the up & up about this, what else have they been lying, excuse me, what have they not been completely honest and forthcoming about when it comes to this whole drug testing deal with Mayfield?
In this documentary, names will be named and truths will be told that may cause the Ivory Tower Gang to go looking for some Boudreaux’s Butt Paste because it’s really going to chap their backsides. Once the public sees the documentary and the information and truths in the documentary gets circulated, you can expect to see some public outcries of disgust with the leadership in Daytona and maybe even some demands for the resignations of those involved for all the good it will do. Maybe a big enough fan backlash could cause this to happen because of the bad publicity it will cause? We’ll have to wait and see.
What’s Up With the JGR Engines?
That seems to be the million dollar question right now for Joe Gibbs. 5 different races and 5 engine failures from 5 different parts. I don’t buy into Jabber Jaws theory about a bad lot of parts. I could see it if all the engine failures were caused by a bad batch of valve springs or rocker arms but they’re not. And as the teams pretty much buy from the same suppliers, why aren’t we seeing the same number of failures among the Fords, Chevies, and Dodges for the same reasons? We’re not. It’s somehow related to one of two things. Either the switch to ethanol because it doesn’t provide the same burning qualities as the unleaded fuel they were running or the double secret probation dyno tests that were run last year whose results were handed over to TRD in a backroom deal so they could try to catch up to Ford and Chevy and their new, cooler running engines. Remember folks, they got over 130 engine concessions and favors to be named later when they bought their way into NA$CAR versus the 90-something the other makes got because they didn’t fork over any payola.
Roush Taurus Chassis For Sale
Anyone interested in a Roush-built Taurus chassis along with a body and spare parts, it’s located in Tennessee. If you're interested call 804-921-0902 for pricing and details. And no, I don't get anything out of this other than helping out a friend.
How to Eliminate the Start & Parks
Russ came up with a solution to eliminate the start & park problem. Expand the Top 35 to a Top 40. This means that the mega-teams and all their satellite organizations get in, the best of the part time teams get in, the real go or go home teams get in, and the start & parks odds of getting in are dramatically decreased.
Next season, when Kasey Kahne switches over to the #5 Hendrick car, Red Bull will be replacing him with Kimi Raikkonen. Kimi is coming to NASCAR isn't an April Fool's joke. My sources say he'll be replacing Kasey Kahne next year in the #4 car. I had originally heard about this last year but didn’t put much stock in it then. But now I’m hearing it from more than one source. As to Mark Martin’s fate next season, I’m not hearing anything yet, just the same old rumors of him going to Phoenix Racing but that’s not going to work out as I’ve heard James Finch wants to keep both Landon Cassill and Bill Elliott driving for him. So where Martin’s going to end up is still up in the air.
Old Versus New
You don’t hear any songs being written about Dale Jr, Jeff Gordon, or any of the rest of today’s drivers but if you go back to the old racers, you might find a song or two about them. Here’s one about one of my early racing heroes, Fireball Roberts: