Wednesday , October 22 2014
Home / Voices From the Cheap Seats (page 4)

Voices From the Cheap Seats

Voices From The Cheap Seats: NASCAR Told To Kiss Hamlin’s Posterior

Yeah, yeah, I know he didn’t quite put it in those words but he might as well have! In case you have no idea what I am talking about, and unfortunately there are some out there who fall into that category, the big story this week, besides the not unsurprising whining by Jimmie Johnson over a restart, is that NASCAR is fining Denny Hamlin 25 grand for providing firsthand feedback on Brian France’s latest toy, the “Gen-6†car. Hamlin has said that he refuses to pay the fine. It’s hard to know for sure just what it is that pissed NASCAR off because they are acting exactly like your wife… I mean, significant other… when you ask her, I mean them, what is wrong and she… dang! … I mean, they won’t tell you! Anyway, as far as _we_ can tell, Hamlin’s offending comment on NASCAR's new chassis read as follows… \"We learned a lot. I don't want to be the pessimist, but it did not race as good as our generation five cars. This is more like what the generation five was at the beginning. The teams hadn't figured out how to get the aero balance right. Right now, you just run single-file and you cannot get around the guy in front of you. You would have placed me in 20th with 30 to go, I would have stayed there – I wouldn't have moved up. It's just one of those things where track position is everything.†<div style=\"float:right; width:250px; margin: 20px; border: black solid 1px; padding: 3px;\"><img src=\"http://www.frontstretch.com/images/14673.jpg\" width=\"250\" height=\"361\"/><p style=\"margin: 3px; text-align: left; font-weight:bold;\">Jeff Meyer is willing to pitch in if Denny Hamlin is eventually forced to pay his fine, but he completely agrees with Hamlin that the whole thing is ridiculous.</p></div> Personally, I think someone was walking by his motorcoach, heard him tell his significant other that the reason he didn’t win is because “the new car is a piece of s*#t and it sucks out loud!†then promptly reported him to the nearest NASCAR Nazi, who in turn ran straight to Adolf France, who in turn ran sobbing to Robin Pemberton and ordered him to have Hamlin immediately arrested, interrogated (painfully) and then shot. No, no, I mean arrested, interrogated (painfully), fined, and then shot. NASCAR, of course, is not admitting to the arrest, interrogation and execution part. But here's what they did say. _“Following the Sprint Cup Series event last Sunday at Phoenix International Raceway, Denny Hamlin made some disparaging remarks about the on-track racing that had taken place that afternoon. While NASCAR gives its competitors ample leeway in voicing their opinions when it comes to a wide range of aspects about the sport, the sanctioning body will not tolerate publicly made comments by its drivers that denigrate the racing product.\"_ In defense of NASCAR, they have already made clear this year that free speech is not to be tolerated when they indefinitely suspended Nationwide Series driver, Jeremy Clements, for supposedly using the dreaded “N†word during an off the record conversation with a supposed media member. _(Side bar and passing thought) Is it racist of me to use a capital \"N\" when referring to it or is it a sign of respect? I would think it would be offensive to use a lower case \"n,\" seeing as how it is about the most heinous thing a white person could possibly utter, so it seems these days. Just something to think about. (End of side bar!)_ It is amazing to me how stupid the leadership of NASCAR is and/or can be. Just when you think things might be getting better and we are finally getting back to the \"roots\" of this sport, what with the new “look like the street version car†and all, plus the \"winning the core fan back\" initiative, they go and make a decision like this one. When it comes to the Gen Six car, which as I predicted and Denny seems to agree is more aptly the \"Gen Sux\" car, NASCAR has said all along that it is a work in progress. So what better feedback can you get then from the men who race it? They sure aren’t going to listen to the fans. NASCAR should take the time to listen to Denny and others who actually _drive_ the machine they have created. You can bet your (insert body part of your choice here) France, Helton or Pemberton aren’t going to risk their (again, the body part bit here) trying it out! I know that I have been hard on Hamlin in the past for seeing a \"sports psychologist\" about his inability to win enough. But in this case, I firmly stand behind him and his decision to not pay this stupid fine. \"Ultimately, I'm not OK with it,\" Hamlin said of the penalty. \"This is the most upset and angry I've been about anything in a really, really long time, anything that relates to NASCAR … the truth is what the truth is and I don't believe in this, I'm never going to believe in it. As far as I'm concerned, I'm not going to pay the fine. If they suspend me, they suspend me. I don't care at this point.\" Hamlin followed up those comments with a Thursday evening series of \"Tweets\":http://www.twitter.com/dennyhamlin/ which said the following… <div style=\"float:right; width:200px; margin:20px; padding-left:20px;\"> <object classid=\"clsid:d27cdb6e-ae6d-11cf-96b8-444553540000\" codebase=\"http://fpdownload.macromedia.com/pub/shockwave/cabs/flash/swflash.cab#version=7,0,0,0\" width=\"160\" height=\"350\" align=\"middle\"> <param name=\"allowScriptAccess\" value=\"sameDomain\" /> <param name=\"movie\" value=\"/poll/poll.swf?pollid=2133&owner=phpjabbers.com&phpurl=/poll/\" /> <param name=\"quality\" value=\"high\" /> <param name=\"bgcolor\" value=\"#ffffff\" /> <embed src=\"/poll/poll.swf?pollid=2133&owner=phpjabbers.com&phpurl=/poll/\" quality=\"high\" bgcolor=\"#ffffff\" width=\"160\" height=\"350\" align=\"middle\" allowScriptAccess=\"sameDomain\" type=\"application/x-shockwave-flash\" pluginspage=\"http://www.macromedia.com/go/getflashplayer\" /> </object> </div> _The short of the long of it is I believe I was severely disrespected by NASCAR by getting fined. I believe that the simple fact of us not even having a conversation about this issue before I was hit with a fine has something to say about our relationship. What I said was 1 sentence taken completely out of context. Most drivers will tell you that we constantly have our AND NASCAR's best interest in mind when speaking. On the other hand, I am a person that worked very hard from the BOTTOM to get where I am today and someone telling me that I can['t] give my 100 percent honest opinion really bothers me. Since being fined in 2010, I have been a lot more careful about what I say to media and I felt this past weekend felt completely in my rights to give an assessment of the question asked. I feel as if today, NASCAR lost one of its biggest supporters vocally of where our sport is headed. So in the end, there are no winners. I said today I would not pay the fine. I stand by that and will go through the process of appealing. Trust me, this is not about the money.. It's much deeper. I will now shift my focus on giving FedEx and my team what they deserve this weekend, a win._ In the end, if Denny is forced to pay the fine, I, for one, would be glad to pitch in to defray the cost, as long as I get to tell NASCAR exactly where they can stick it… in their end! Stay off the wall (but maybe peek over it to see if anyone is eavesdropping on you!), Jeff Meyer P.S. - On a side note, just to get it off my chest and let my readers know exactly where I stand on the brewing storm of the NRA sponsoring the upcoming Texas race and then say no more about it. I own guns, I reload my own ammo and I 99% of the time support the NRA! If you don’t like it, that’s your choice. I don’t care if you do or not. At least I’m honest. \"Contact Jeff Meyer\":http://www.frontstretch.com/contact/14350/ Read More »

Voices From The Cheap Seats: Fans That Sue Are No Fans At All!

Voices From The Cheap Seats: Fans That Sue Are No Fans At All!

Here it is, not even a week after the first race of the season and already it looks as if NASCAR is going to have at least three lawsuits to contend with. We’re off to a great start! Now normally, when it comes to suing NASCAR, I am usually on the "non-NASCAR" side of the aisle. This time however, I find myself firmly entrenched in the sanctioning body’s camp. Read More »

Voices From The Cheap Seats: Reality Of The Risk

_Author’s Note: This article may tick you off. I am not a monster; I am simply a man that lives in reality._ The reality of what happened on the final lap of the Nationwide race… not on the track, but in the stands is a tragedy. It is a tragedy because people got hurt. The latest stats that I have from reliable sources, as of this writing is a total of 33 injured in all; two are in critical condition and one of them has life-threatening injuries. (As of this morning, both patients have been upgraded to stable). My sincerest thoughts and prayers are going out to all those involved. Read More »

Voices From the Cheap Seats: Sex, Lies and Video Tape in NASCAR

Danica Patrick’s historic capture of this year’s Daytona 500 pole position couldn’t have come at a better time for NASCAR. After all, we all know that when it comes to the marketplace, sex certainly sells. I mean, who among the male fan base doesn’t like a fast woman? Congratulations, Danica! Here’s to hoping you don’t become fast and loose… a seemingly recurring theme with these new Gen-6 cars. Not to be outdone in the "selling sex" department, Michael Waltrip Racing has hired Christmas Abbot (I know, my first thought was of Holiday Monks, too…) as a full-time pit crew member for their Sprint Cup operation. Abbot stands five foot, three inches tall and tips the scales at 115 fat-free pounds. Read More »

Voices From the Cheap Seats: NASCAR Thoughts Of Optimism and Pessimism

Voices From the Cheap Seats: NASCAR Thoughts Of Optimism and Pessimism

As I start my 10th year of writing about NASCAR for Frontstretch.com, I find it even harder than in years past to get “really excited” about it just yet. Once the last race is run in November, I tend to totally shut out, or try to, anyway. That's hard to do when your significant other is a racing nut! But I do, avoiding all things that have anything to do with NASCAR until I actually see the pretty-colored cars going around in circles again the week before the Daytona 500. Unfortunately for me, my editors seem to think I should get excited a whole week earlier than that so in order to keep them happy, here goes… I recently read about a child who, having been told to drink his milk, said something to the effect that an “optimist saw the glass as half empty.” When his father corrected him that it was actually a pessimist, the kid replied… "Not when the glass is full of something you don’t like!” Read More »

Voices from the Cheapseats: Finer Points to Bring Back Fans

Voices from the Cheapseats: Finer Points to Bring Back Fans

As I promised in my last article, I will continue to expound upon some of the finer points that NASCAR could change that would help bring back some of the fans that have lost their zeal for the sport they once loved. As fate would have it, the race at Phoenix proved to be a perfect example of some of the things that have gone wrong with the sport. Not only was the race a good example but some of the comments left by faithful readers have pretty much written this one for me. Here are a few excerpts that I agree with. Read More »

Fixing NASCAR’s Product Is Simple, Yet Impossible

Fixing NASCAR’s Product Is Simple, Yet Impossible

If you haven’t read "Friday's column":http://www.frontstretch.com/ahenderson/42053/ written by my esteemed, award-winning colleague Amy Henderson, you should. In it, Amy eloquently explains, in a much nicer and less crude way than I do, the many points that are making NASCAR just another channel to surf over on a Sunday afternoon. While I agree with Amy on almost every point, a very rare occasion indeed, I do disagree that the way to "fix" NASCAR is not simple but actually quite the opposite. To put it mildly, the fixes are no brainers; they're just choices NASCAR simply does not have the balls to make. Read More »

Voices from the Cheapseats: Dodge Needs to Put Up or Shut Up

Voices from the Cheapseats: Dodge Needs to Put Up or Shut Up

If there is one thing…well actually there are many…but one of the things that just positively irks the living crap out of me is wishy-washyfulness. Maybe it’s just wishy-washyness, I dunno, but what ever you call it, I got no time for those who practice it. Either you ARE or you ARE NOT. You’re IN or you’re OUT. She’s pregnant or she’s not…you get the idea. Coming across this press release, I could do nothing more than shake my head and ask…WTF Dodge? Why even bother saying anything?! Read More »

BSNews! Allstate and Progressive Explore 2013 Sponsorship For Danica

BSNews! Allstate and Progressive Explore 2013 Sponsorship For Danica

A spokesman for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) has announced that two different car insurance companies have expressed an interest in sponsoring NASCAR’s most popular female driver, Danica Patrick, possibly full-time by 2014. The two companies are Allstate and Progressive. This could prove to be a huge boon for Danica, or it might prove to be a huge headache as she is currently a spokesperson for Nationwide insurance. As one might expect, any sponsorship by a rival insurance company would only be allowed at the Sprint Cup level as Nationwide currently sponsors NASCAR’s lower series. While Nationwide doesn’t directly sponsor Danica’s car on the race track, she does do their ‘Vanishing Deductible’ commercial at the track and often takes it a step further by vanishing from contention and even behind the wall during races. Read More »

NASCAR Capitulates! “No Brainer” Seen As “Good Idea”!

NASCAR Capitulates! “No Brainer” Seen As “Good Idea”!

Once again, a mere 11 or so years after the first time, an Earnhardt has lit a fire under the assess of the NASCAR brass, forcing them face the pain in the name of safety. In 2001, it took the tragic death of NASCAR’s most popular driver, Dale Sr., before NASCAR would mandate simple, existing safety equipment that would have saved his life. Those were the HANS device and SAFER barriers. This time, the son, again NASCAR’s most popular driver, is forcing NASCAR to back peddle when it comes to brain injury testing. Read More »