One Bad Apple Ruins It For Everyone
I think by now folks have figured out that I stick up for the little guys and have been trying to help out Sam Ard and his wife Jo. There are some people out there who really need to be taken out behind the woodshed and be straightened out. Jan, who is Sam’s nurse and a friend of the Ards, sent this to me:
Recently Jo had Sam sign some cards for a man who had mailed them to her stating that he only wanted it for his son's collection. Jo even sent him a patch. This man (E-Bay User ID: pit4nascar - me) paid her absolutely nothing. Now he has shown his appreciation by listing it for $25.00 or best offer on E-bay. Sam is not even in the photo. Because ...of this fraud Jo has requested that no signatures will be given except through me.
So for you real fans out there who have helped out Sam and have supported him in his fight against Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Disease, my thanks and my apologies on behalf of the Ards for having to take measures like this to protect Sam’s good name and to keep low lifes like this one from exploiting Sam’s medical condition.
Stuart Virginia Still Home to Wood Brothers
I had a chance to talk with Eddie Wood of Wood Brothers racing briefly at the autograph session at the old Wood Brother’s shop turned museum Last Friday night and asked him about the shop being in NC. Eddie said that he still lives in Stuart and commutes to the shop in Harrisburg. So even though they may have moved the shop to NC to be closer to the action, Eddie still has his roots firmly attached to Stuart.
Martinsville…The New Bristol?
Back before Bristol was reconfigured, it was THE track you had to go to at least once in your lifetime because of the intensity of the racing there. Since the track was reconfigured and the generic race vehicle was introduced, the 500 “parade laps” conducted there have lowered it’s stature from being a legendary, action-filled, knock-down, drag-out, bare-knuckle brawl to the same hum drum status as that of Fontucky and the cookie cutter 1.5 mile tracks . Martinsville on the other hand has elevated itself to THE Action Track as witnessed this past Sunday. Lots of beating, banging, trading paint, chrome horn use, and chess-like pit strategy. And while it wasn’t a sell-out, it had more fans there than I’ve seen in the last 3 years and folks weren’t falling asleep. They were cheering, booing, and applauding at what was happening on the track. So if you’re not happy with what Bristol has become, I suggest going to Martinsville.
No Tire Problems at Martinsville?
"Here's what we know: The tire is different than what it was last year. The tire's not failing. The tire has some different drivability characteristics that everybody is dealing with. But it's a combination of a tougher left side and softer ride side, so the cars feel different. It's hard to make a judgment either way right now. We'll see what 500 laps of racing does." - John Darby at Martinsville
I consider Darby’s statement pretty interesting considering a couple of “brave drivers” talked about how the tires were wearing down to the cord during the race in post-race comments. Are we going to have an entire season of tire problems?
Martinsville Live Versus Martinsville on TV
I got several e-mails and Facebook messages about how horrible the Focks coverage of the Martinsville race was. Here’s a sample. This is from Vince on Facebook:
We got the same ole Racertainment from Faux. Plenty of ultra tight shots, in-car cams, roof cams and bumper cams. Couldn't tell who was where on the track half of the time. The incidents on the track were continually missed live and shown in replay instead. DW was his usual obnoxious self. It's all about him after all.
This is from Joe on Facebook where we were originally discussing an article by Monte Dutton. As I was at Martinsville, I let Joe know what I saw and this was his response:
We don't ever get to see that stuff on TV. They always follow the lead cars. I know there is always good racing in the pack somewhere, but we are at the mercy of FOX. Wish they would put a camera inside Robby's car for a race, now that would be entertaining.
This is from an e-mail from Dave in Texas:
I just don't see how a new fan could get interested in this entertainment, err, sport. The TV "coverage" is of one car at a time. All the "action" is on replay (if at all). Blabbering, huge graphics and hundreds of commercials (usually the same ones over and over again - this week were even the same one back to back!?!). What a turn off.
Well, the end is here. Hope they like what they have done!
I sure hope the fine, feathered finks at Focks are reading these comments as well as those at The Daly Planet. I know exactly what the folks at home missed. Lots of good racing going on mid-pack on back. Clean passes in addition to the normal bumping and banging. I watched Busch the Elder, Robby Gordon, Paul Menard, and Trevor Bayne racing each other although some of it wasn’t for position. Bayne probably learned a thing or two following Robby around as long as he did. You didn’t get to see cars start out strong on the beginning of a run and fall back to where they started from at the beginning of the run. Instead, the home audience got the see the usual pre-prescripted “usual suspects” and maybe a couple of others because of blown tires or wrecks but not the rest of the racing going on mid-pack on back. It’s a shame really because to me, the best racing wasn’t what was happening up front.
Two Thumbs Up to Mr Happy’s Crew
After the Victory Lane celebration at Martinsville , Mr Happy’s crew pushed the car down the front straight and around Turns 1 & 2 to get it back to the garage area. When several fans were cheering about Mr Happy’s win and congratulating them, they stopped pushing the car and thanked the fans and held up one of the bottles of champagne they had with them. This is a lot better than some other crews do pushing the winning car back to the garage with their fans cheering. So to Mr Happy’s crew and their recognition of the cheering fans, two thumbs up.
Tim Richmond Lawsuit
If you have access to the PACER system, Tim Richmond's case # is C-C-88-0204-M, filed in the Western District Court of NC, Charlotte Division. Filed in 4/281988, Timothy L. Richmond versus National Association For Stock Car Auto Racing, Inc (NASCAR), et al .
A Real Anomaly
Here’s a real anomaly for you. Johnny Sauter, a Truck Series regular, actually won the Truck Series race at Martinsville. He’s the first Truck Series regular to win a race this season. 3 Cup drivers won the first 3 races even though they were said to be an anomaly by the Minster of Propaganda. What was that about anomalies Ramsey?
New Street Names Coming
At the site of the old Augusta International Raceway in Hephzibah Georgia, two new street names will be added when the next round of street names are approved for the housing area there. My good friend Rex White and Wendell Scott will be having streets named after them. They’ll join Fireball Roberts, Dave MacDonald, Frank Warren, and others in having streets named after them. Hopefully the Scott family can make it down there for the official ceremony when it happens. Rex is a fixture at the annual Augusta International Raceway drivers reunion and car show so you know he’ll be there.
Giving Credit Where Credit’s Due
Not many folks know this but North Wilkesboro Speedway, particularly Steve Wilson and his wife Ann Marie to be exact, pioneered the idea of using Twitter to provide race updates to fans who were following the races at North Wilkesboro Speedway on Twitter. At one point, North Wilkesboro was burying NA$CAR and their controlled media by providing these updates and passed them in popularity on Twitter as Tony Stewart remarked after the first race that North Wilkesboro used Twitter to update the race fans. Since then, you’ll notice a lot of NA$CAR’s controlled media types provide a constant barrage of Tweets for practice sessions and the races to update fans. But they’re just being copycats of the track that wouldn’t give up the ghost and is still a favorite in the hearts of many a race fan.
Somebody Finally Noticed Jeb Burton
If you’re a fan of Ward Burton, then you know his son has been trying his hand at racing the last few years. Somebody in the media finally discovered it and wrote about it. Day late and a dollar short?
New Race Fuel Stinks
The old unleaded race fuel use to have a somewhat nasty smell to it but the ethanol that’s being used now makes the old race fuel smell like Chanel #5. I can’t put my finger on it exactly but there’s something about the odor that really doesn’t settle right with the olfactory senses as I found out at Martinsville.
Ethanol Plant Files for Bankruptcy
And BZF went to ethanol for exactly what reason? Besides the obvious one of filling his bank account.
Ethanol Causing Problems with Motorcycles?
The Italian manufacturer Ducati is having to replace plastic fuel tanks because they are becoming distorted. Apparently, when the tanks have to be removed for maintenance, they've swollen so much they won't fit back on the bike! Removing the gas tank for some maintenance duties is common on motorcycles. Dealers are replacing the affected tanks as needed. Ducati and the regulatory agencies are investigating but won't divulge their findings yet. BMW motorcycles are also having a similar problem in America. Since the problem only exists in the USA, the thinking is the ethanol in the gas is causing the problem.
The AMA (American Motorcycle Association) is vigorously protesting the proposed increase in the amount of ethanol in our gasoline (to E-15).
Texas Doomed to Poor Attendance This Weekend
It seems that there’s not a heck of a lot being done to advertise this weekend’s race at TMS. Here’s an e-mail from a fan there:
The races are this weekend at TMS. Almost nothing in the Dallas paper about it. No one seems to care.
The track did the same thing they did last year. They raised ticket prices $5.00 this week, but put a $10.00 off coupon in Sunday's paper for the qualifying and Nationwide "race" (that Kyle Busch will "win"). So......I'm supposed to be too stoopid, again, to see that it's not a $10 coupon but a $5 coupon. I find that insulting. Boy, that Eddie Gossage is a genius, ain't he?
There will be a pre-race "concert" by 3 Doors Down. It is $79 (not including your ticket). For that you get to stand on the grass in front of the stage to hear them do 4 songs. Wow. At Indy a few years ago, 3 Doors Down sang all during the driver's introductions - no extra charge. Again, how 'bout that Eddie?
I’m not sure but I think I got a stomach bug or some bad hot dogs at Martinsville so I have to cut this one short folks. I’m beginning to think my toilet is my new lounge chair I’m spending so much time on it.
Keep an eye on the kids and God bless the troops.