NASCAR Clichés Hit Overdrive


The NASCAR cliché says "Tony Stewart heats up in the summer," but is that really the case? (Photo: Getty Images)


As professional sports go, NASCAR is among the leaders in the number of clichés associated with racing.

Let’s be honest about this before we go any further.  Just about everyone does it.  Broadcasters, announcers, media members, drivers, crew chiefs, officials and - yes - fans all have "go-to" phrases that are repeated frequently throughout the season.

So we compiled a list (or maybe it would best be described as an "infamous" list) of favorite sayings, phrases and references we’ve heard many times.  Some are staples while others have earned their time to be added to Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s stock car "graveyard."

Top NASCAR Clichés

"Tony Stewart heats up in the summer"
(Forget the fact this has not been the case for nearly five years, if ever really at all.)

"Kevin Harvick is 'The Closer' "
(Sure, Harvick has won a couple races by leading only the last lap or two but.  But to us, "The Closer" will always be Kyra Sedgwick.)

"Dale Earnhardt Jr. is driving like his daddy"
(The comparisons between Earnhardt Senior and Junior have always been tired, but never more so than right now ... simply because the younger Earnhardt is having what is arguably his most successful Sprint Cup Series season.  Let it go people - please.)

"He drove the wheels off that thing"
(Which is why he’s in the garage on jack stands.)

"He’s driving like 'Jack the Bear' "
(I've heard of Jocko Flocko the monkey but never seen a driving bear.)

"Now that we’ve won a race, the rest will come in bunches"
(The list of one-hit wonders in the NASCAR record book would argue otherwise.)

"Checkers or wreckers"
(Usually used around All-Star Race time in tandem with the time-honored, "Bring me back nothing but the steering wheel.")

"The Pass in the Grass"
(Speaking of the All-Star Race, the move by Dale Earnhardt around Bill Elliott wasn’t a pass at all and really the grass part was marginal, at best.)

"Giving 110 percent"
(Physically and mentally impossible – 100 percent is the max.)

"Rubbin' is racin' "
(Thanks to the movie "Days of Thunder," the NASCAR world has been stuck with this one for nearly two decades – also grandfathered in "Shake and Bake" or any other Ricky Bobby reference.)

"If the Chase started now"
(Until September 14, it doesn’t.)

"Driving like his hair is on fire"
(Not sure about you but if my hair were on fire, I’d pull over.)

"You have to lose one to win one"
(Really?  I’d bet Carl Edwards and a few other drivers that came up short in the championship race might disagree with this one.)

"We lost the track"
(Apparently when "Mother Nature" decides to intervene, NASCAR needs to update its Google Maps app.)

"Running door handle-to-door handle"
(Know why drivers slide through the window to get into their cars?  BECAUSE THERE ARE NO DOORS, LET ALONE HANDLES!)

"To finish first, you must first finish"
(Thanks, Yoda.)

"Dropping the hammer"
(Ridiculous reference, unless you were on RCR’s Truck Series team last year at Martinsville.)

"It’s a racing deal"
(Oh, that’s what I’m watching?  I thought it was rugby.)

Honorable Mentions

"Road-course ringer"
"Shot out of a cannon"
"Throw a blanket over the field"
"Pushing like a dump truck"
"In the catbird’s seat"
"Stink up the show"
"At the end of the day"
"We ran out of laps"
"He’s swattin’ flies in there"
"Car’s a rocket ship"

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