Race Weekend Central

Voices from the Cheapseats: Repercussions of a Jr. Concussion

In light of Dale Jr.’s shocking announcement yesterday, there are a few observations and/or questions that I’d like to throw out there.

As I read through the “transcript”:http://www.jayski.com/news/teams/story/_/page/88-Hendrick-NASCAR-Team-News of the news conference, the first thing that caught my eye were a few statements that seemed a bit off. Well duh, you say, the man has a concussion! Yeah, that’s very funny and all, but here is what struck me as strange.

“So I took it upon myself to — I contacted my sister, and we talked about seeing a neurosurgeon, and we ended up getting steered toward Dr. Petty.”

OK that is great! The man (or his sister) has the sense to get some referrals. After all, nothing but the best for a man of his stature. As I read on, this statement seemed strange.

“I trust his opinion. That’s why I went to see him. He’s been a good friend of mine for a long time and has helped me through a lot of injuries before,…”

Excuse me, but if he is such a good friend and a neurosurgeon to boot, why would you need to be ‘steered’ to him? I mean, wouldn’t he be the first one you’d ask? If I were good friends with say, Tiger Woods, and I needed some help with my golf game, I think that’s where I go for advice. Just sayin’. It’s all probably nothing, but as I said, it just came off as weird to me. Blame it on a law enforcement background!

Second of all, is it just me (and you need to read the transcript for this part) or did trying to follow Dr. Petty’s comments positively drip with the oration style of Brian France? What is it with rich people and their social skills? As you ponder that, lets get on to some other thoughts.

If you are reading this, I’m sure you are aware of Jr.’s comments on Sunday following the big crash. Basically what he was saying, and was lauded for it by everyone for finally speaking up to NASCAR, was that he was sick and tired of this pack racing produced by restrictor plates and would rather sit out a race at Daytona or Talladega it this kinda crap was going to continue.

Could Jr. really be sitting out the next two races as a way to make his point about pack racing and big crashes?

OK, here’s the thing, no one in their right mind believes that Jr. would actually sit a big race out like the Daytona 500. NASCAR knows that too. So basically, what he said on Sunday was an idle threat. However, what if Jr. wanted to somehow put some weight behind his threat? How would you go about that? He is, after all, THE face of NASCAR. Even so, NASCAR isn’t about to do one damn thing to change the status quo. How does Jr. do it and do it in a diplomatic way? He essentially gives up on the Chase!

Think about it, after Sunday’s crash, Jr.’s chances of winning the Cup became about as good as Kyle Busch’s. He’s got nothing to lose by sitting out a couple of Chase races. NASCAR on the other hand, has it’s star player say “Hey, that last crash kinda re-injured me, I gotta sit out for a bit.” We all know that the only thing NASCAR will listen to is the sound of less money flowing into their coffers and this is an ingenious way for Jr. to maybe, just maybe, hit them where it hurts and possibly force them to make what ever changes need to be made to prevent the ‘Big One’ that NASCAR counts on no less than four times a year. I dunno, maybe I’m over-thinking it all.

One thing I do know for certain…if Dale Earnhardt, Jr. were in second or even third place in the standings right now, this press conference NEVER would have happened! Who’s gonna disagree with that?

Here are a few more things I thought of while on this whole subject…

How can the medical/coaching staff in college and professional football be so good at seeing a concussion almost instantly and take a player off the field, yet no one in NASCAR can?

And speaking of ‘The Big One’…ever notice how every year, four times a year, everybody always hollers someone is going to get killed! Yet no one ever does, even though the crashes get more and more spectacular? Granted they’ve tamed down a bit now that NASCAR got rid of the wing but still. We all know who the last person to get killed in a plate race was and that was not in a ‘Big One’! That man would still be alive today if only one simple safety device had been MANDATED BEFORE he died.

I hope Regan Smith wins!

Stay off the wall (and if you don’t, get yourself checked by an NFL guy!)

Jeff Meyer

“Contact Jeff Meyer”:https://frontstretch.com/contact/14350/

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