Tuesday , September 23 2014
Home / Voices From the Cheap Seats (page 17)

Voices From the Cheap Seats

Racing On History : A Look At Life At Greenville-Pickens Speedway

Racing On History : A Look At Life At Greenville-Pickens Speedway

_Editor's Note: Jeff Meyer is off from Voices From The Heartland this week. Instead, good friend Mike Neff fills in with a unique voice of his own, about life working at one of the country's most unique tracks. Look for Jeff to return next week with his usual sarcastic humor!_ One of the coolest things about working on a Late Model race team in the Southeast is you get the opportunity to run on some of the tracks where NASCAR first put down its roots 60 years ago ... places like Hickory, Martinsville, and Concord, to name a few. But quite possibly the coolest track to race on is Greenville-Pickens Speedway outside of Greenville, South Carolina. It is an ultra-flat, half-mile oval that is about as slick as an ice skating rink, and will put even the best drivers to the test. GPS hosted its first NASCAR race in 1951. Bob Flock won $3,325 that day, finishing first in an Oldsmobile to begin what would be a long, fruitful partnership between stock car racing and the track. The oval was dirt from its opening until 1970 -- when it was paved and maintained to its current half-mile length. Read More »

Voices From the Heartland : Time To Get The Manufacturers Out of NASCAR

Voices From the Heartland : Time To Get The Manufacturers Out of NASCAR

Wow! That’s a pretty bold headline! But the time has come to be honest with ourselves. Time to call a spade a spade. Time to open your eyes and actually see what your eyes are looking at every week. Time to stop being a narrow minded, automotive bigot! Time to admit that it _IS_ going to happen down the road, so we might as well embrace it and not stupidly act all surprised about it later. You are smarter than that. Consider some facts: GM stock has lost 75 percent of its value in the last nine months and is trading at an all time 54 year low. Fifty-four years people! That’s almost _BEFORE_ NASCAR was ‘invented’! Read More »

An Honest Assessment of the Discrimination Lawsuit

An Honest Assessment of the Discrimination Lawsuit

As much as Brian France would like to fuggiddaboutit, it is well known throughout the racing world that NASCAR is now facing a huge, multimillion dollar lawsuit claiming, among other things, sexual harassment and racial discrimination. The suit is being brought on by one Mauricia Grant, or “Mo” as she is more commonly called. “Mo” was a NASCAR Official in the now Nationwide Series for about two-and-a-half years -- from 2005 until her termination in 2007 -- and “Mo” is a 32-year-old Afro-American female. Those are all facts. Now, before I get to far along in all this, I want to say that I have read the 43-page lawsuit in it’s entirety and I have read Mo’s comments from her first face-to-face interview since filing the lawsuit. I am not writing this to proclaim guilt or innocence upon anyone involved; I am merely sharing with you some of the questions and concerns that I have after reading all the material. Read More »

Running On Empty? No, Running On Faith!

Running On Empty? No, Running On Faith!

In the NASCAR world -- no matter which of the three top series you happen to be talking about -- the news of multi-million dollar sponsorship deals are the norm. Take, for instance, the recently announced Roush-Fenway Racing/Aflac deal. Aflac has stepped up to be the primary sponsor for Carl Edwards and the No. 99 team for the next three years, to the tune of about 25.3 million dollars a year. Speed, they say, costs money; and lots of sponsors out there are shelling out big bucks to see their name go by really, really fast. But at the other end of the spectrum, you have arguably the biggest, most important sponsor of all time. This "sponsor" does not sit down every few years and negotiate a new contract for x amount of dollars. No, they wrote their first contract many, many years ago and, in fact, have never "renegotiated" it since. That sponsor is God ... and his team is Faith Motorsports. Read More »

Voices From the Heartland: Silly Sponsors and Another Nail In the “Manufacturer’s” Coffin

Voices From the Heartland: Silly Sponsors and Another Nail In the “Manufacturer’s” Coffin

As usual following an "off" NASCAR week, finding things to write about can be pretty slow. There were, however, a few things that did pique my interest enough for me to share my opinion on them with you my lucky readers. Of course there has been the whole Jack Roush vs. The World Toyota saga, but since I am running a day late this week, you've probably read all you want on that subject anyway. Not that there is much of an actual story there. The way I see it, if Jack Roush has the lugnuts enough to make accusations of theft, he should at least "put up or shut up". Don't throw little barbs out there and then not tell the whole story. If they stole something, tell us what it is! Until Jack comes clean, to me he appears to be just a sniveling little crybaby. (And now, to use a phrase that I detest, but seems to be one of our editor's favorites, and would have probably been thrown in here anyway…) But I digress. Read More »

The Best Of The Frontstretch : TNT “F Bomb” Squad Snips Wrong Wire!

The explosion of an "F bomb" at last Sunday's Toyota/Save Mart 350 in Sonoma, CA is a prime example of what seemed like a brilliant idea at the time go horribly awry. The idea was to have Kyle Petty be part of the race broadcast team, not from the booth, but actually while he competed in the race itself. Brilliant! So far, so good. This could be really cool. However, not long into the broadcast, a few problems began to manifest themselves. Initially, due to some technical gremlins, booth announcers Wally Dallenbach and Bill Weber were having some difficulty establishing contact with racer / analyst Petty. At one point, once contact was made, they broke in and surprised Kyle while he was leading the team in a pre-race prayer. Oops! But after the initial awkwardness, breaking in on the team prayer could seem like a great thing as far as ratings go. Read More »

Simple Solutions For The New “Cingular” Logo Problem

Simple Solutions For The New “Cingular” Logo Problem

It has often been said that I tend to see things a bit differently in comparison to most folks who call themselves normal. I do not consider that to be an insult, but more like a badge of honor, and it may, quite possibly, be the reason I like myself so much. Take this continuing stupid lawsuit nonsense concerning Cingular / AT&T and NASCAR / Nextel for example. In a nutshell, it goes something like this (for those casual fans that are just tuning in): In 2003, Nextel essentially "buys" NASCAR for the next 10 years (great, seven more years of this crap?!) to the tune of 700 million dollars, creating the Nextel Cup we know today - with the option to "rebrand" once during the life of the contract. Read More »

BSNews! Surprising Suspect Nabbed in Wallace Mugging

19-year-old Steve Wallace, son of 1989 Cup champ Rusty Wallace, reported earlier this week he was mugged outside a convenience store in Broad Ripple by a trio of thugs intent on stealing his watch. Veteran BSNews Super Sleuth Stu Padasso and intern Jack Sophalotte were immediately dispatched to investigate, and have reported that a shocking arrest has been made in the case. According to Wallace, he was entering the convenience store when three men made a comment to him about the watch he was wearing. While Wallace was a bit elusive about just exactly what was said, he did indicate that the watch in question was a gift given to him after winning a stock car race last year at Iowa Speedway in Newton, Iowa - a track which his father's company, Rusty Wallace Inc., had recently built. Read More »

Rest Easy, Anheuser-Busch: Dale Earnhardt, Jr. Did NOT Coronate Budweiser

A few days ago, my esteemed Frontstretch colleague and friend, Mr. Mike Neff, made the assertion that it is the driver that makes the sponsor. While that may be true for some lesser known products, I don't believe the separation of Dale Earnhardt, Jr. and Budweiser should prompt Anheuser-Busch to be searching through the St. Louis area Yellow Pages for a cheap bankruptcy lawyer _just_ yet. Contrary to popular cultural myth, Budweiser, the "King of Beers", did in fact exist long before the inception, conception, reception, and perception of NASCAR's Most Popular Driver. Truth be told, it predates him by some 98 years, back to 1876, when horsepower was actually rated by the number of road apples left in your wake. Read More »

Rest Assured, With Ten to Go, Teammates Know How You Make Your Bed!

Revealing what just may be the most profound look yet into the psyche of the mysterious enigma known as the Busch Brothers, big brother Kurt offered this bit of advice to his younger sibling after last Saturday's Pepsi 400 in Daytona. "For Kyle, the advice I would give is to understand that you're out there working as an individual," he said. "Hendrick is fielding your cars. There's not much you can do to help the other guys so therefore there's not much you should do to expect help from the other guys." That little bit of family wisdom was handed down on the heels of Kyle Busch's bitter defeat by .005 seconds to Jamie McMurray, a loss that ended with Busch none too happy about the way in which he was "pushed" to the finish line by his own organization. Read More »