Whole Messa Stuff
November 20, 2001 | 12:00 A.M. EST
That’s right… trucks is done, Busch boys is done, and after one snowy weekend up yonder, the Cup boys is gonna be done, too.
Matter of fact, racin’ up in New Hampsha near the end of November – gonna be like 20 or less I reckon – is so far removed from what these boys do ever’week, I ain’t even countin’ that as a race. Heck, they’s even racin’ on a Fridee.
You don’t reckon some NASCAR big wig has somewhere’s to be on Saturdee or Sundee that weekend, and that’s why… do ya?
Anywho, here’s some stuff I seen, heard or was thinkin’….
*The two of y’all – outta 50, by the way – that wrote me a letter sayin’ either ya didn’t think Dodge had an advantage at Homestead or that it’s OK that they did cuz other makes have advantages elsewhere can all but kiss my grits.
It all boils down to this here… so listen close…
1. As much as NASCAR does its best to make them cars even and competitive with each other, there ain’t a single weekend that goes by that one make or another don’t have an advantage. It’s impossible fer them cars to be different – one a Dodge, one a Ford, one a Chevy, one a Pontiac – yet have a system that makes’m all the same. Even a backassward country bumpkin like me can figure out that if it's impossible fer the cars to be the same, somebody has an advantage.
2. Y’all also gotta stop pretendin’ that just cuz a make has an advantage, that means they’s gonna win. There’s too much that can happen durin’ a race, and ya gotta take into account driver talent.
Example: You put me in a Dodge that runs 180 mph, and put Tony Stewart in a Pontiac that peaks at 175 mph… I’d still put my money on Stewart. You give Jason Leffler the same deal I got, and it’s about even. You put Bill Elliott in my Dodge, and he just might win the thing.
3. It ain’t Dodge’s fault they got an advantage at Homestead, just like it ain’t Ford’s, Chevy’s or Pontiac’s problem somewheres else. But just cuz it ain’t their fault don’t me ya gotta pretend like it don’t exist.
Anywho… on to this week’s stuff…
*What in tarnation takes NASCAR so dern long to move on things?
You tellin’ me it’s gonna take weeks or months again fer them to make a call on some of this pit-road safety stuff?
Look, it ain’t that hard. Here’s what ya do – and shoulda done a long time ago. (You know, like prior to another fella gettin’ sent to the hospital fer an injury y'all coulda prevented):
1. All the over-the-wall crew must wear helmets (oughta take like a day to figure out which ones you’s gonna make mandatory. Heck, just give’m the ones Craven’s team has been wearin’ all year).
2. All over-the-wall crew must wear them fire-retardant hoods that go under the helmets (I don’t care how hot it gets in Las Vegas or wherever).
3. Nobody is allowed in the pit area that ain’t wearin’ a fire suit. (Y’all see that fire in Kenseth’s pit a while back?)
4. There’s only 15 people allowed in the pit area at any given time. (Never been, but looks like 50 people and their kids is in there).
5. No member of any team is allowed to crawl under a car while it’s sittin’ on pit road. (It’ll hurt a team to go behind the wall fer a quick fix, but a car gettin’ bumped off the jack and slammin’ down on some feller could very well be our next tragedy).
6. Start penalizin’ these boys fer their bonehead moves drivin’ down pit road. (My granny has been mergin’ onto the interstate fer 50 years without touchin’ a sole, ya don’t think the best drivers in the world can do it knowin’ there’s a fine and penalty awaitin’ if they don’t?)
7. Make sure it’s all mandatory. (Otherwise, those slowed because of usin’ all the safety equipment they should be usin’ are just bein’ penalized).
*Pork, The Other White Meat 400? Are y’all kiddin’ me with that race title or what?
*Speakin’ of names, writer feller at Racin’One told me Buckshot Jones and his wife is fittin’ to have a baby boy… and his name is Colton.
As if a gun-related name like Buckshot ain’t bad enough, we’re now gonna have a Colton in the world?
What ya reckon the second choices were?…. Beretta? Rem’inton? 12-Gauge? Winchester? Howitzer? Musket? Derringer? Six-Shooter? Carbine? AK 47? Bazooka?
*Same Racin’One feller told me he seen Kevin Harvick ridin’ on a Zamboni durin’ intermission of a hockey game down there in Atlant’r.
Word is he only bumped into the back of one other Zamboni durin’ his three laps.
*Speakin’ of bumpin’… As many folks as Jimmy Spencer has bumped into on the race track, how perfect is it that his new sponsor fer 2002 is Target.
That’s right, rather than every other car out there bein’ a target fer Spencer, he’ll be the one with a bull’s-eye painted on his machine.
*Speakin’ of new cars… Nemechek to Haas/Carter I can deal with; Spencer to Ganassi, OK; the whole Mayfield to Evernham and Atwood now with Evernham/Smith, whatever; but this here I just can’t understand…. Robby Gordon to Richard Childress?
We’ve always heard Gordon had great talent, but he ain’t done nothin’ but stunk up the joint.
Two years ago, Gordon was gonna start his own team… remember? It stunk.
Last year, Gordon bumped Kevin Lepage out of the No. 4 car at the last minute, and went on to stink.
Now Gordon’s teammed with sophomore Kevin Harvick and Jeff “I tried this once before and also stunk” Green at RCR and he’s gonna what? Be good?
*Lastly… congrats to Jack Sprague, Kevin Harvick and Jeff Gordon. There’s a whole mess of stuff that could be fixed in this sport, but in 2001, y’all were the top dogs and it were a pleasure watchin’ you boys.
I’ll talk at y’all next week… I reckon.