Race Mama has been busy for the last month and is still busy. So the articles you normally find at Laidbackracing.com will be here for the next few weeks until the work backlog is cleared up.
By Mike Sanders
First Of All
It was good to meet Jo Ann and Jimmy and the gang at Darlington. I
already can't wait for next year.
Thoughts on a couple of older subjects:
1. Everybody remembers Reuty Tooty limping around Martinsville until
his car died and he brought out a caution just as Jeffy had passed
Bent Sh!tcan for the lead with just 3 laps to go. Reuty claims he
kept his car on track in an attempt to stay inside the top 35 in
owner's points (okay, we get that), but for his benefit and not the
benefit of The Bimbo. Sure Reuty, sure...we believe you. Or not.
2. Speaking of late race cautions: the late race phantom debris
caution at Richmond that probably cost Smokeless a win wasn't what
some people thought it was. More than a few observers thought that
caution was payback for the earlier penalty against Flipper, when he
jumped a restart due in part to bad communications by everybody
involved. I think what that caution really was, was NASCAR telling
the fans to STFU. If you remember, the two races immediately
preceding Richmond (Texas and Kansas) were relatively
boring...alright, they were DAMNED boring! Long green flag runs with
the cars spread out and not a whole lot of passing or even
side-by-side racing. Fans had started complaining again about boring
racing. To be honest, most of the Richmond race was less than
exhilarating as well. So I think the NASCAR chuckleheads-in-charge
said "okay, you think the racing is boring because there aren't
enough caution flags, well we're gonna throw one at the end of this
race that'll be so dubious that it'll have WWE fans shaking their
heads. Now shut up and just enjoy the racing". To make it worse,
NASCAR chucklehead-in-charge of competition Robin Pemberton said
"Sometimes, some people are a little more needy than others and they
want to see that (the debris) for whatever reason". Gee, Robin, ya
think? Richmond is a 3/4 mile short track, and FOX Sports has about 3
gazillion cameras stationed around the track (give or take a
gazillion). They should be able to see a mosquito's butthole. But
they can't see the debris that brings out a caution flag that
influences the outcome of a race? Yeah, we "needy" people want to see
the debris to see if the caution is on the level. A lot of people see
NASCAR as nothing more than the WWE on four wheels. You'd think that
as a high-level muckity muck in the organization you'd be more
concerned with the integrity of the sport, or the lack thereof. I
R.I.P. Carroll Shelby
He passed away last week at the age of 89. He will be missed by
those of us who like to drive fast. He was quite the innovator.
Speaking of FOX's Camera Work At Richmond...
One other aspect of the coverage of the Richmond race: how is it
that you have 43 cars (until the start-and-park guys head for the
garage) on a 3/4 mile short track and the camera work is so atrocious
that you'd swear it was a qualifying session instead of a race because
all you see is one car at a time? It takes real talent to screw up the
production like that. If we were real lucky, we got to see two cars at
one time instead of just one. Part of it was an obvious attempt to
camouflage the fact that there were a lot of empty seats, but come
on. A six-year-old with a red crayon and five spare minutes could
have designed a better race coverage.
Did You Notice?
Aside from good camera work, did you notice the one other thing that
is missing from FOX's coverage this year? The Rodent is gone! Yes,
they killed Digger and the rest of the resident rodents. I guess FOX
finally gave up trying to pursue that all-important 6-8 year old
Say It Ain't So
When you talk about races at Talladega and Darlington, one word that
is never (or at least rarely) used is "boring". Well, NASCAR has
outdone itself by making these two races boring. The pack racing was
back at Talladega, but the cars were usually spread out a bit, with a
car length or so between them. No bump drafting. The attempt to break
up the tandem drafting went too far, and cars were overheating after
the slightest bit of contact drafting. Until the last 45 laps or so,
it just wasn't the same as the old pack racing days. Darlington
started out with over 170 laps of green flag racing. Sitting in the
Tyler Tower, I kept scanning the track to see if there was any
side-by-side racing going on outside of the top 10 cars. None...well,
maybe not none, but very little. Much less than you'd usually see at
The Lady in Black. There weren't many drivers willing to take any
chances. Points racing, instead of going for the win, has brought us
to this point. And things are going to get worse as we get nearer to
For The Second Year In A Row...
The most excitement at Darlington occurred on pit road after the
race was over, and it involved one of the Douche brothers. Last year
it was Mini Douche and Kevin Harvick getting into it, this year it
was Maxi Douche mixing it up with Ryan Newman. Or at least their pit
crews were involved in most of it. I look at Mama Douche when she
accompanies her sons across the stage during driver intros and I
think she must be so proud to have raised two weapons grade d-bags
like her sons. Good going there, Mom.
200 For The Felon? BFD
Yeah yeah, Bent Sh!tcan gave The Felon his 200th win in NASCAR. How
many of them are tainted? Hard to tell, just as it's hard to tell how
many of Barry Bonds' home runs are tainted. You just know that all of
them aren't legit. But hey, The Felon's not doing too bad for a liar,
cheat, and crook.
Notes On The Bimbo
1. I've been to both of the Cup races that The Bimbo has
participated in. I have made it a point to peruse the crowd before,
during, and after the races to see how many fans are wearing her
gear, in order to gauge her (supposed) popularity. At the Daytona
500, I saw one lonely Bimbo fan wearing her gear. Out of thousands
and thousands of fans I saw. Underwhelming, of course. At Darlington,
her popularity had exploded! I mean it was an exponential increase!
There were actually four Bimbo fans in Bimbo t-shirts. Yep, she's
having a real impact...
2. Evidently, D.W. gave The Bimbo a grade of A+ for her 31st place,
6 laps down effort at Darlington, because it is a tough track and it
was only her second Cup Series start. I wonder what kind of grade
D.W. would give Trevor Bayne for HIS second Cup Series start: the
2011 Daytona 500. I've been led to believe that the Daytona 500 is
important or something, and the kid won the race. Maybe that earns
him a grade of A+++++++++. Nah, he drives a partial schedule for a
small, underfunded team. I guess he earns a C-.
3. One more piece of evidence that NASCAR is now all about style
over substance: 2003 Cup champion Matt Kenseth, who is still one of
the ten best drivers in the sport, has to fight for every sponsorship
dollar he can get; yet The Bimbo, who has accomplished nothing in
NASCAR, doesn't have a sponsor-related care in the world.
Military Sponsorships Under Fire Again
Remember early last year when Representative Betty McCollum
(Dirtbag-Minn.) tried (unsuccessfully) to get military sponsorship of
motorsports events done away with? Well, since every other fiscal
problem facing the country has evidently been solved, she's at it
again. This time she has help...Republican Jack Kingston of Georgia.
And the ban would be expanded to include not only motorsports but
fishing tournaments and wrestling events. Let's hope this attempt
gets shot down as well. Rep. Kingston should be ashamed of himself.
There are a lot of military bases in Georgia. You don't want to piss
off those guys and gals.