Race Weekend Central

Voices From the Cheap Seats: Of NASCAR Twits & ‘Non-traditional’ Tweets

Due to the fact that I was asked somewhat politely to write about a certain subject last week, I never got a chance to share a few observations I had after the Daytona 500. This week however, I have been left to my own devices so I figure now’s the time.


Obviously, Juablo’s destruction of the jet-engine track dryer was one of the most bizarre incidents that I can ever think of as a fan of the sport of many years. Fortunately for Juan, cameras were able to catch video of the incident. I say fortunately because in the video, you can clearly see the No. 42 start to trail a shower of sparks before it started to spin up into the jet dryer.

This fact is important because it proves that something (later determined to be a truck arm … call Jeff Hammond for a complete description of what that is.) obviously malfunctioned, causing the freak occurrence. To be honest, when I first saw it, I simply assumed that Juan had become sick and was using Michael Waltrip as a substitute driver.

But anyway, none of that is the twit part … the following is the ‘twit’ part.

‘NASCAR officials announced a change to have an extra pace car with flashing lights behind the last jet-dryer truck on the track in all races in all three series – Sprint Cup, Nationwide and the Camping World Truck Series. The drivers of the jet-dryer trucks also will wear helmets and firesuits during each race, but that is a change agreed upon by officials at racetracks that play host to NASCAR events, not a rule instituted by NASCAR.’

OK, the drivers of the trucks should wear firesuits, that is a no-brainer. But do we REALLY need an extra pace car following behind the dryers? Is that going to make all the difference? Would that have prevented the accident from happening?

NO, NO and NO! What if a car spins into the jet dryer that is not the last one? Are they going to shield each dryer with an additional pace car? Leave it to NASCAR to react so stupidly after the fact of a once in a lifetime, freak occurrence. Can’t say as I’m really surprised.

And speaking of stupid … what exactly is a ‘non traditional’ fan?

Here is a quote from Brad Keselowski on his tweeting during the ensuing red flag for the jet dryer fire.

“I’m glad people enjoyed it,” Keselowski said. “I was amazed it got so much attention…. But it’s great for the sport to reach out to non-traditional fans. It’s good for everybody.”

I can’t speak for you, but I didn’t realize there WAS such a creature! A non-traditional fan? Seeing as how everyone and their mother has a Twitter account (except for me of course) and it they happen to be following a NASCAR driver, seems to me you are either a fan of racing or you are not. Maybe a non-traditional fan is a second cousin to the much sought after casual fan!

But again, that is not the really stupid part. Here’s the really stupid part … an excerpt from an ESPN story as it appeared on Jayski.

“No. 2 Brad Keselowski has no intention of ever using his phone while his tires are rolling. But just having it in the car could lead some young fans to think it’s OK to text or tweet while they are driving, already a growing problem on the highways across America. No one wants that, including Keselowski.”

See also
Fan's View: Twitter Changing the Face of NASCAR

Really? That has to be one of the stupidest assumptions of all time! Anyone, young or old, who would be stupid enough to make that connection or leap is not only a non-traditional fan but also a bona fide, supreme idiot. Along with anyone who believes there is some connection to be made in the first place. C’mon people, use some common sense!

Did anyone else catch this?

During a red flag for rain during one of the practices BEFORE the Daytona 500, Larry Mac talked about an interview he had with NASCAR’s Director of Competition. Larry said that one of the things they talked about was safety and slowing down the cars when they spin backwards.

Now I can’t remember it word for word, but Larry said that NASCAR realized that while the late, great, ‘wing’ on the famed CoT was exceptional at providing downforce while going forward … it also turned out to be an exceptional WING when the car was going backward!!!!

Enjoy that little tidbit, folks. It’s the closest you’ll ever get to hearing NASCAR admit they were wrong about something! Maybe there is hope after all.

Stay off the wall and don’t tweet and drive you twit!,

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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