Race Journal Online
est. October 4, 2006

"I believe anybody who tells you he is unbiased is a liar. Being human gives you bias, and you can't avoid that. The best you can ever hope to be is fair."
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Quote of the Week
"I think my wife realizes that I might have a little special relationship with those bricks, and she doesn't mind."
-Jeff Gordon, on his brick-kissing technique


By Carol Einarsson | 07/29/2014
 

Photo: NASCAR.


CHEERS to ESPN for replaying the "NASCAR arrives at Indy" piece that they also showed on Saturday, only because those kinds of heart-string production pieces have always been what ESPN does best, and that's not changed over the years. From seeing Kyle Petty so long ago and so outspoken (nothing's changed there, either), to Tony Stewart saying he was furious, it was a great lead-in to the race.

JEERS to the return of Brad Daugherty to the booth. Let's focus, though, on the absence of Ray Evernham, though, and see the positive side of things. Wait... what is that? Ray's NOT gone?? JEERS to false advertising by ESPN, then.

JEERS to a prerace concert as part of the televised coverage. It's just a waste of time. I understand why tracks do it. There are fans there very early, and it keeps the excitement up in the same way a warm-up comedian energizes the crowd for a live-taping of a TV show, but it doesn't need to be televised.

JEERS , while I'm at it, to our (and yes, I'm including myself) obsession with recording everything on our phones. I think our focus on recording experiences has surpassed our actual enjoyment of living it. Think on that for awhile. Maybe we'd all be happier if we returned to EXPERIENCING things, rather than creating and recording experiences to be logged on social media.

CHEERS to the biggest asset at ESPN: Marty Smith. Everything else is tolerable, like spinach for dinner when you know you're getting chocolate cake for dessert. Keep those Marty Smith essays comin', and we can accept pretty much everything else ESPN throws at us.

CHEERS to Juan Pablo visiting our series again. It sure would be great for HIM to be the one to get that elusive win for Roger Penske, showing up the regulars.

Comments: 19
Last Activity: 07/30/14
 
By Carol Einarsson | 07/15/2014
 

Photo: Nick Laham/Getty Images forNASCAR.


CHEERS to TNT and the entire pre-race show for what will be their final NASCAR race. In particular, the sit-down with Trent Owens. What a story, and what a LIFE! Thanks, Larry Mac, for bringing us that story!

CHEERS to "Goodyear doesn't make bad tires; people just do bad things TO them." Very good point. I've never seen a parked car in the garage, engine off, and suddenly being propelled into a wall.

JEERS to 5-Hour Energy's "Yummification" contest. When you have a product that tastes so nasty you have to have a contest for the general public to find a way to make it palatable, maybe that should have been addressed before the first bottle was sold.

CHEERS to Mike Helton in the booth. We always enjoy hearing from him when there's no bad news to be delivered. And Wally wanting to make sure he can still hitch a ride when he needs one.

Comments: 21
Last Activity: 07/17/14
 
By Carol Einarsson and Matt Einarsson | 07/14/2014
 


Like every other Sunday, my assistant (who, in case you didn't know, now goes by the name of Matt) and I watch the race together. Together, but at separate places. He's at his home, and I'm at mine, but we're usually messaging back and forth, especially when there's action on the track. We banter back and forth, often with two opposing views, but both firmly held as factual. Sunday was no exception, and after our string of back-and-forth, it occurred to me that there were probably many like me, and many like him, that shared at least one side of our opposing views, so maybe you'd enjoy the fly-on-the-wall perspective. The conversation started like this...

Carol:   Joey Logano is an ass.

Matt:  How? He was being very nice given the situation. 15-lap-down car took out the second place car.

Comments: 11
Last Activity: 07/15/14
 
By Carol Einarsson | 07/08/2014
 

JEERS to rain delays with inconveniences extending beyond NASCAR. All those poor folks who got up at 8am to watch Lord of the Rings found their movie was already half over.

CHEERS to the command to start engines coming just one minute after coverage resumed on Sunday. Yes, we've all seen the radar, and NASCAR is not wasting a single moment of dry track.

CHEERS to David Gilliland and Reed Sorenson on the front row, but JEERS to so much talk about what a surprise, the oddity of qualifying, and everything else that serves to diminish the achievement for those two racers. Just let them bask, okay? Everyone had the same opportunity, and if they chose to sit on pit road, and then drive a pace-car speed (or slower) on the track, well, they got what they deserved.

Comments: 5
Last Activity: 07/10/14
 
By Carol Einarsson | 07/01/2014
 

Photo: NASCAR.


CHEERS to how short Kyle Petty's hair is now. Is the rebel aging? We vote by the end of the TNT season, he ditches the ponytail and just let's it hang free.

CHEERS to the way Danica doesn't just sign a little girl's shirt, but gives her a pat on the back as she walks away. Little things like that matter to fans.

CHEERS to the Camry test car, complete with fuzzy dice on the rearview mirror, and a Larry Mac bobble-head on the dash. Yeah, that's style!!

CHEERS to Ralph Sheheen peering out the corner of his eye at the camera, and viewers not knowing why until Danica popped up!! Well done!

Comments: 10
Last Activity: 07/04/14
 
By Carol Einarsson | 06/24/2014
 

Photo: Robert Laberge/Getty ImagesforNASCAR.


CHEERS to the California state flag and the bear. It's one of the best things about racing at Sonoma.

JEERS to whatever that weird flute music was during the "moment of silence." Yes, flutists, that means you, too!

CHEERS to Tim Bouve, Track Minister at Sonoma for a nice invocation.

CHEERS to the track announcer pronouncing "Carrie Manolakos". I bet he could even say "Jimmy Fennig." JEERS to Ms. Manolakos' presentation of the anthem, though.

CHEERS to the Patriots Jet Team, however, for the fly-over.

Comments: 9
Last Activity: 06/24/14
 
By Carol Einarsson | 06/17/2014
 

Photo: Bob Brodbeck/AP forNASCAR.


CHEERS to a nice invocation and anthem, and a beautiful fly-over!

CHEERS to a command to start...your big moment...you flash your winning smile, give the command to "Gentleman, and Danica, start your engines!" and yet nobody hears it. And the engines don't start. And you don't know why. Well, at least Eric Ebron is already on the road to fame and wasn't counting on this as his 15 minutes.

CHEERS to the amusement in the booth. Nothing like the drama of the command to start engines, while Wally and Kyle looked like they were about to burst! And then Kyle playing like his mic wasn't working, and giving the booth producer a heart attack. Well-played!

CHEERS to Kyle interviewing Kyle, and nary a Busch to be found!

Comments: 38
Last Activity: 06/20/14
 
By Carol Einarsson | 06/10/2014
 

Photo: Getty Images forNASCAR.


CHEERS to TNT because for the next few weeks, we get the best NASCAR booth there is in Kyle Petty and Wally Dallenbach. Pure magic, they are, and no matter what else TNT does good or bad, no matter what NASCAR makes happen on the track or how far away from the roots of racing we move, it just doesn't matter because we can accept it for what it is and just laugh at it along with Wally and Kyle. Is there anyone on FOX or ESPN willing to openly say during a broadcast, "I'm throwing a B.S. flag on that"?? No, there's not. Kyle sticks to his beliefs despite what a network or a governing body may say. And Wally, you may remember, once told the world he wears his wife's underwear for good luck on race day. Together, they are perfect.

CHEERS to the size of the American flag at Pocono. I think it's bigger than it used to be, isn't it? I don't remember it looking like Talladega before, but that's a giant flag!

CHEERS to the TNT chant that I'm certain will now be in my head for the next six weeks. T-N-T !!

CHEERS to the TNT batch of pit reporters, even the one whose name I can never remember until it's on the graphic, but I'm not telling you which one it is.

Comments: 11
Last Activity: 06/12/14
 
By Carol Einarsson | 06/03/2014
 

Photo: Todd Warshaw/Getty Images forNASCAR.


CHEERS to Kevin Harvick ditching the grid-walk guy. One week in the bathroom, okay, but two weeks in a row? We call that a plot.

CHEERS to Rev Dan Schaefer's invocation that we initially liked because of the way he pronounces "beautiful" as beauty-full, but did he just "axe" for a safe race? Really??

CHEERS to Cassidy Pope for a very nice anthem.

CHEERS to Keelan not just with his own stylish sunglasses, but his hand over his heart.

CHEERS to Ryan Newman's daughter, Brooklyn, doing double-duty for her dad... He didn't have a hand to put over his heart because he was holding her, so she put her spare hand over his heart FOR him!! Sweetest thing ever.

Comments: 14
Last Activity: 06/09/14
 
By Carol Einarsson | 05/26/2014
 

Photo: Jared C Tilton/Getty ImagesforNASCAR.


CHEERS to Marine Sgt Gabriel Jasso and Army SFC David James Todd, Jr., the military heroes highlighted by Dale, Jr. When I see how young they were, my heart breaks. Maybe because so many veterans we see are older, we forget at the time of their war, they were very young men. And to see "Jr." at the end of Sgt Todd's name reminds us that somewhere there's probably a David James Todd, Sr. still missing his hero son. Pretty sure we aren't supposed to be starting the race coverage in tears, but yet, glad to keep the focus where it belongs. There's no greater honor than serving one's country.

CHEERS to the story of Carmen Diaz and her friendship with Jeff Gordon. And to Jeff for learning the cup song. Nailed it! What a sweet, sweet story.

CHEERS to Darrell's insight about the warmth and comfort of a driver's seat being the best thing for back pain, but what he didn't mention is -- until you lift a foot to change pedals, and then you think you're going to die.

Comments: 12
Last Activity: 05/29/14
 

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