Race Weekend Central

Voices From the Heartland: NASCAR Athletes, To Be or Not To Be

A couple of weeks ago, an obscure journalist named Richie Whitt rose up once again and proved that the only wit he does possess is in his name. I say “once again” because some of you longtime readers may have some vague remembrance of having heard that name before… and you’d be correct.

The last time Richie Whitt appeared silhouetted in my crosshairs was almost five years ago, when he was a “freelance journalist” in Oct. 2004. You may remember his “groundbreaking” expose of the group NAMRF (National Association of Minority Race Fans)… or you may not, which is totally understandable as you probably had forgotten all about the clown show that was NAMRF, too.

Back then, Whitt spent a few days with the poor, supposedly ostracized group and documented a brief part of their plight and sojourn for us. During his time with them, while he was not invited to their inner meetings, he did manage to tell us that the principles of the group looked exactly like Bob Marley and Michael Moore. He also managed to reveal that they had a pretty cool tour bus. Yes, truly groundbreaking stuff.

He also seemed to have a preoccupation with the excess of female nudity, especially boobs, that can be found at NASCAR events, as he mentioned it several times back then.

Well dear reader, fret not. In these ever changing, uncertain times in which we live, some things apparently do not change! Mr. Whitt is still an idiot, (although he is now gainfully employed by the Dallas Observer) and he is still obsessed with the bounty of naked women at NASCAR events as evidenced in his April 1 article (and no, it was no joke) titled “NASCAR drivers, start your engines: It’s about the most athletic thing you’ll be doing during the Samsung 500.”

Mr. Whitt’s latest assertion goes something like this; NASCAR drivers are NOT athletes because they simply sit there and steer a car. It is the car that does the work; so therefore, they cannot possibly be athletes.

I’m sure you probably have some sort of retort for this statement, as do I, but I think Texas Motor Speedway president Eddie Gossage said it best when Whitt posed this assertion to him. (And Gossage got to say it to Whitt’s face, lucky guy!)

“That’s the dumbest thing you’ve ever said, and that’s saying something,” Gossage exclaimed.

Putting aside my utter disdain for Richie Whitt for a moment, (I’d rather befriend Kyle Busch than Whitt) let me clear up this whole “athlete” issue as succinctly as possible armed only with my good looks (subjective) and Midwestern common sense. (Unfortunately I cannot throw some female nudity in there, sorry)

The online dictionary defines “athlete” as a person who is trained or skilled in exercises, sports or games requiring physical strength, agility or stamina.

The keyword, in this case, for Mr. Whitt(less) would be stamina. In his article, Whitt admits that he has never been behind the wheel of a stock car, but he has never tried to sack Tony Romo either – although he does realize the difficulty of the latter. Well, if he thinks sacking Tony Romo would be hard (and remember, he never tried that), what makes him think spending three-plus hours in heavy traffic at 190 mph in a superheated cockpit is so damned easy if he hasn’t tried that either?

Better yet, Richie, try it at someplace like Bristol.

But I digress. The point is, different sports require different training. A soccer player doesn’t train like a boxer, a boxer doesn’t train like a basketball player and so on and so forth. Each sport requires specialized training in specialized areas, stock car racing included. Thus endeth the lesson for the day!

The funny thing about all this is, Richie’s column isn’t just something I happened to run into whilst browsing the web. It was sent to us here at Frontstretch by one of his colleagues at the Dallas Observer with the premise that we might have some fun with it. Says a lot about what his colleagues think about his writing, doesn’t it?

And just to prove (in case you haven’t read his article) that he is still obsessed with the nudity thing, here is another excerpt:

“On Sunday, the crowd will look for big wrecks, but during the week it’s obsessed with big racks. Trust me, NASCAR fans attend races just as much for chicks with loose morals as cars with tight steering. Walk around the infield and there’s so much focus on the female anatomy you’d think the Sprint Cup was Victoria Secret’s sleek, new bra.”

For the life of me, I can never figure out why some people go to such great lengths to prove to others that they are an ignorant ass. Must be an athletic gift!

Stay off the wall (unless you’ve taken your blouse off while reading this, then by all means, jump on up there!)

Jeff Meyer

About the author

The Frontstretch Staff is made up of a group of talented men and women spread out all over the United States and Canada. Residing in 15 states throughout the country, plus Ontario, and widely ranging in age, the staff showcases a wide variety of diverse opinions that will keep you coming back for more week in and week out.

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