This That And Ironhead

Howdy y’all.

Is 2001 treatin’ ya good so far? How are them New Year’s reserlutions holdin’ up? Y’all get a chance to get an autograph from Dale Earnhardt at the Winston Cup Preview this weekend?

What? He didn’t show up again? Hmm, I just might have to address that a bit later.

Here’s that and some other stuff I been thinkin’…

*I seen Jeff Gordon is gonna be doin’ the “Live With Regis” show, and they’re gonna call it “Live With Regis and Jeff,” I reckon. Well, I got to thinkin’ of some NASCAR folks and tv show titles that kinda work best with them. Here’s some of’m…

Mike Helton/Bill France: Who’s the Boss?
Dick Trickle/Dave Marcis: Antiques Roadshow
Bobby Labonte: King of the Hill
Kurt Busch: Quantum Leap
Geoffrey Bodine: ER
Rick Hendrick: Court TV
Junie Donlavey: Mission Impossible
Jeff Burton/Jack Roush: Pinky and the Brain
Cal Wells: Bloopers and Practical Jokes
Ray Evernham: Everyone Loves Raymond
Ron Hornaday/A.J. Foyt: Odd Couple
Bobby Hamilton/Larry McClure: Divorce Court
Jerry Nadeau: Touched by an Angel
Robby Gordon: Spin City
Kyle Petty: Grace Under Fire
The Wood Brothers: In Search Of...
Gary Nelson: Law and Order
Jimmy Spencer: Teletubbies
Dale Sr./Dale Jr.: All in the Family
Scott Pruett: Clueless
Ryan Newman/Casey Atwood: The Young Riders
Gibbs Racing: Happy Days
Darrell Waltrip: Meet the Press
Chicagoland Speedway: Northern Exposure
Elliott Sadler: Growing Pains
Kevin Lepage: Just Shoot Me
NASCAR media: Freaks and Geeks
Bubba Baker: Politically Incorrect

*Could y’all IROC folks catch a dern clue and announce the field all at one time? For cryin’ out loud, about every other day I read about some feller who has accepted an invitation to IROC and roll in 2001. Pick some fellers, announce who has accepted, and move on… please!

*And… Why do we have this IROC stuff anyway? If anybody out there is really interested in watchin’ stock-car guys smoke an open-wheel feller, couldn’t they just follow Robby Gordon’s progress durin’ the Cup races each week?

*If it cost so many dern millions of dollars to sponsor a race team, how do all these companies I ain’t never heard of have the money to sponsor someone? Y’all heard of Delphi Automotive, Georgia Pacific, NationsRent, Aaron’s, Ralph’s or Midwest Transit before they got into racin’? Ah heck, I reckon I just need to get out more or somethin’.

*Speakin’ of sponsors, and I ain’t kiddin’ here, you know what the folks sponsorin’ Mark Martin this year are callin’ his car? Take a breath now, here it is… Mark Martin is now the driver of the Viagra Sildenafil Citrate Ford Taurus. Good gosh, they run that name vertical on his uniform and it’ll be three inches taller than he is.

*Congrats to that Busch Series Ladies Association fer puttin’ on such a neat season preview deal the other night. I could only stay about an hour, but got me a few autographs, enough Lance crackers and NesQuik to last the year, and I even put me in a bid durin’ that auction deal. Hard to believe some feller wanted a bent up piece of quarterpanel more than I did, but hey, no hard feelin’s. The wife and I is just gonna have to find somethin’ else to hang over that fireplace.

*While I’s talkin’ about Previews, and since I got nine e-mails about this one topic since Saturday, here’s my take on Ironhead not makin’ the Cup Preview for the second year in a row. Ya see, it’s all a matter of perspective…
Point: He says he had the flu.
Counterpoint: Yet he was able to test a Corvette for three days straight, no problem.
Point: He was all the way down in Daytona testing.
Counterpoint: His testing teammate, and son, was able to make the trip.
Point: It’s not that big of a deal.
Counterpoint: Some fans waited in line nearly a dozen hours in below-freezing weather for the right to pay to get in to see the man, only to find out he ain’t comin’.
Point: Dale Jr. says his dad just had metal removed from his head.
Counterpoint: He’ll likely stick a No. 3 on it and sell it on the Shopping Network.
Point: He’s the most popular driver there is.
Counterpoint: Dern right. He’s so popular and makes so much money off us that havin’ several hundred of his die-hard fans choke on their loyalty ain’t no big deal.
Point: He’ll be there next year.
Counterpoint: I’ll bet ya two No. 3 Taz die-casts, an Earnhardt guitar, some his-and-hers DEI bathrobes and an Intimidator nightlight that he’ll be at a sponsor function instead.

*It was interestin’ to see the list of drivers scheduled to be signin’ autographs at that Cup Preview. On that list was: Mike Bliss, Jeff Fuller, Ernie Irvan, Kevin Lepage and Chad Little. Y’all help me out here, which Cup teams is they drivin’ for this year?

*The Media Tour is this week in Charlotte and I’m just about heartbroken I ain’t got no credential. Not because I ain’t gonna get to see the drivers, heck, you can just call them for interviews if need be. Nah, I’m disappointed cuz I ain’t gonna get to rake in all the hats, mousepads, t-shirts, coffee mugs, pens, tools, posters, motor oil, etc., them other writers is gonna get. I reckon my kids, nieces and nephews is gonna get stuck with old socks and rocks for Christmas again in 2001.

*Some of y’all are still askin’ me about what I think were the biggest stories for 2000. It ain’t that I’m against sharin’ my opinion, you know that, it’s just it hurts to be thinkin’ or writin’ about them in this case. So, once – and for all – the biggest three stories in NASCAR in 2000 were…
Winston Cup – Kenny Irwin’s death.
Busch Series – Adam Petty’s death.
Truck Series –Tony Roper’s death.
Anybody that even comes close to puttin’ things like Labonte’s title or Earnhardt’s comeback win in the same category just ain’t thinkin’ straight.

*Wally Dallenbach says if his Cup team owner don’t get his act straight by tomorrow, he’s gonna high-tail it over to the IRL. You’d be goin’ from bad to worse there Wally, and I know we’d be seein’ ya return soon enough. In fact, we’d probably have to change your name to Wally Tohellandbach.

*Speakin’ of rides… Atta boy Ricky Craven. Get out there and prove to them folks you can be the Maine Man if given the chance.

*Lastly… I was walkin’ through the local Wal-Mart this past Friday, and this little feller (maybe 12-years-old) wearin’ a Rusty Wallace t-shirt comes up to me, taps me on my arm, points to my well-worn Davey Allison cap and says: “Shore do like your hat mister.”
I says: “Thank ya, is you a NASCAR fan, too?”
He says: “Kinda. You wanna sell that hat?”
I says: “This ol’ thing? No, it’s actually kinda special to me.”
He says: “Darn, bet you could get some good money on e-Bay for that.”
I turned away thinkin’ I probably just ran into the NASCAR fan of the new millennium. I hope them marketin’ and licensin’ folks are proud.

I’ll talk at y’all next week… I reckon.

I shore do like talkin’ with y’all, so please send any questions or comments ya have about racin’ or my columns to I promise to answer’m all.

Related Topics:

Monster Energy NASCAR Cup, 2001

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