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Cheers and Jeers

1989 Holly Farms 400 - When Men Were Men, Rudd vs Earnhardt On Track and Off
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By Carol Einarsson | 12/20/2011
Category: Cheers and Jeers
 

We're going to do something a little different this off-season with CHEERS and JEERS , and have a few mini-editions that should tide us over until Daytona. These are NOT replays of old CHEERS and JEERS , but rather, races that occurred before the column came into existence (prior to 1993). Up first, the 1989 Holly Farms 400 from North Wilkesboro, NC. It was run on October 15th of that year, after being postponed by rain from its original scheduled date of October 1st.

What we have, then, are the final three laps of the race (the final restart through the checkers) for you to watch, and that alone will be the race for purposes of this article. In future editions, should we continue, we may have the last five laps, the last seven laps -- depending on what race we use. If you have suggestions, please first see if it's available on youtube, and then email your suggestion to me. The idea is to have the video no longer than five to seven minutes. Hope you enjoy!



CHEERS to a race that included names like Harry Gant, Morgan Shepherd, Jimmy Spencer, Dave Marcis, Dick Trickle, and Davey Allison among many others.

CHEERS to the shape of the race cars!

JEERS to the red and white painted fence in the grass. I'll admit to loving the sight of it for nostalgic reasons, but now we've learned lessons that we wish we hadn't had to learn in such a hard way, just the sight of such a thing stirs discomfort.

CHEERS to Ned Jarrett and Bob Jenkins in the booth. We still miss them both.

JEERS to what seemed like a tough day for Bobby Hillin. Whenever the words "in the wall again!" follow your name from the announcer's booth, it's not been a good day.

CHEERS to Ricky Rudd roughing up the bumper of Dale Earnhardt to get him loose. Sure, we loved watching the Intimidator do his thing, but part of that joy was seeing his challengers try and take him down, too.

CHEERS to an on-track duel that literally was edge-of-your-seat viewing, and when Earnhardt came down on Rudd...

CHEERS to "As they go into turn one and BOTH OF THEM SPIN!!!" The sound of Jenkins' voice, higher pitched for the final lap of this race than perhaps any other male sports announcer has ever achieved, was the icing on the cake!

CHEERS to Geoff Bodine still in his pre-Geoffrey era, and in the #5 car.

JEERS to more reminders of lessons learned, crewmen not only without helmets, but without firesuits.

CHEERS to the final short track race of the decade, though as we learned during the Y2K season, it really wasn't. The last short track race of 1990 would have been the final of the decade, but we applaud Bob Jenkins for at least first referring to it as the last of the '80s.

CHEERS to Dick Berggren and Richard Childress, more than 22 years later, still looking like the Dick Berggren and Richard Childress of today. I'm not sure if that means they looked aged back then, or if they still look plenty youthful yet today.

CHEERS to "I just told all of 'em to be cool. We can't afford no trouble." Words from Richard Childress. Apparently nobody wore watches back then.

JEERS to a shirtless Geoff Bodine. Oh dear. Even his crewmen were trying to cover him up.

CHEERS to Ricky Rudd's soft-spoken voice amid the craziness after the race. Calm, cool, and quite collected even despite his last lap wreck. And when the two of them talked after the race, what was said? "I believe we were discussing the weather. It was a pretty warm day out there today."

CHEERS to Chocolate Meyers, who on replay we see willing to take on Rudd's entire Quaker State team all by himself! And did you see who did the backing up? It wasn't Chocolate!

CHEERS to Larry Mac, the crew chief, trying to get his guys to calm down before Chocolate's posse arrived to back him up.

CHEERS to what seems to be Dick Berggren, lone pit reporter. Could that really be? He interviewed Rudd with his team, and Earnhardt after he changed. Was there nobody else in the pits for ESPN at that time?

CHEERS to quotes when men were men and Earnhardt spoke his mind. "I gave him the whole bottom lane, he knocked the shit outta me." Well then. There you have it. And after Dr. Dick recovered from his momentary speechlessness, his follow-up question provoked Earnhardt to give his personal advice to NASCAR: "They oughtta fine that son of a bitch and make him sit out the rest of the year." Well, maybe that's a little extreme, but we still appreciate his willingness to say it.

JEERS to changing times having such an effect on NASCAR. We may blame the economy for fewer sponsorship opportunities, but looking at the finishing order of this one race in 1989, we have in the top seven spots three chewing tobacco cars and three beer cars. When we look at the difficulty in gaining sponsors these days, we should consider how much of our sport had been supported by the now-unpopular tobacco industry.

And finally,

CHEERS to YouTube allowing fans, 22 years later, to experience a race that would otherwise be buried in history books and perhaps referenced but not seen.

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Comments:
Bill B
12/20/2011 6:18 am (1)
Yes, how times change. Beer and tobacco were the life-blood of this sport for decades and what's wrong with using a few obscenities in an interview? They are just words.

OK, last weekend was the first weekend that I really missed having a race on Sunday. It was nice having a month of weekends of but now I'm good. January testing 3 weeks away.

MERRY CHRISTMAS Carol and all the RJO readers and a HAPPY NEW YEAR too!!
Stewbert
12/20/2011 9:13 am (2)
Hi Carol,

Just wanted to stop by and say "Happy Holidays."
eddo
12/20/2011 11:32 am (3)
love this!

that day made me a bit of a Ricky Rudd fan. :)
BNP
12/20/2011 11:50 am (4)
At the time I said and I will say it again. Dale came down on him.

The crew was not trying to cover up Geoff they were cooling him down with wet cloths.

Loved the clip, this is a great way to fill the off months.
Mallards Motorsports
12/20/2011 2:10 pm (5)
Nice idea Carol - Big E, Rudd, Chocolate, Ned Jarrett, North Wilkesboro....great memories.

I always liked it when other drivers got into it with Earnhardt senior, just cuz he was the biggest dog in the yard...

I don't actually remember them swearing on live TV (it was over 20 years ago) but the proof was right there...
Bobby
12/20/2011 4:49 pm (6)
Ironically, I look at the old red and white walls (Darlington paints the walls that way currently), and see Charlotte's yellow walls and we see some things haven't changed. Series sponsor-coloured walls are still a way of life in NASCAR, even though the colour has changed from red to yellow.

Levi Garrett . . . those were the days.
highbanks24
12/20/2011 7:32 pm (7)
Ahh... very nice! I like this a lot!

"I believe we were discussing the weather"

Priceless! :)
wlpelton
12/21/2011 7:15 am (8)
Someone once said " If Earnhardt had let Ricky go he would probably have 8 eight championships, but if he had let Ricky go he wouldn't have been Dale Earnhardt"
eddo
12/21/2011 10:01 am (9)
great quote @ wlpelton!

and yes, I think Dale came down on Ricky too. :)
FlounderFerg
12/21/2011 12:23 pm (10)
@ Carol: Awesome idea to do this in the off season. Really really enjoyed it.

JEERS to the #3 for coming down on him, then blaming Ricky.

CHEERS to me for smiling as I thought to myself "wow, that sounds just like Kurt Busch"!
possum
12/21/2011 3:56 pm (11)
Hi Carol,

A neat idea. Your comment on sponsors got me thinking, tho, because I don't think it's the absense of tobacco that's the problem.

So, we had Levi Garret, Skoal, Kodiak, and Chattanooga Chew, who all left because of the ban on tobacco in sports. That's 4 that are gone.

We had Budweiser, Coors, Stroh's and Miller x2. Budweiser's now a partial, Miller is a single car, Stroh's went bankrupt, and Coors decided being the "official beer of NASCAR" was better than sponsoring a car. That's three-and-a-half gone, mostly because NASCAR isn't a big enough return on the expense.

We had Valvoline, Quaker State, GM Goodwrench, Zerex, Citgo, Motorcraft, Sunoco, Havoline, Purolator, Crown Oil, Peak Antifreeze, and STP. Of them Quaker State, Motorcraft, and Valvoline are now partials, Sunoco is the "official fuel of NASCAR"; GM Goodwrench, Zerex, Citgo, Havoline, Purolator, Crown, Peak and STP are gone. But we added Carquest, Mobil 1, Interstate, Shell and Red Line as partials, and NAPA as full time. So 12 full time sponsorships went to 1 full time and 8 partials. Again apparently because the return from NASCAR sponsorship doesn't equal the cost (Crown Oil seems to have folded).

We had Dinner Bell, Folgers, Lifebouy, Crisco, Tide, Alka-Selzer, Kraft x 2 (Countrytime Lemondade, Bullseye BBQ Sauce), Hardee's, Kodak, and Heinz. None of these 11 full-time sponsors are now in NASCAR! (Kraft is the "official cookie of NASCAR" tho). And, while we've picked up over a dozen sponsors in the food area, from Burger King to M&M/Mars, none of them are a full-time sponsor, and many, like Bush's Beans, only sponsor a couple of races.

It seems to me the problem is that too many main-stream companies, the Folgers, Krafts, and Heinzs, have decided that NASCAR delivers far too little to justify a full-season sponsorship or even a partial.

Obviously a big part of that is that NASCAR costs more than it used to...altho the change in sponsorship costs between 1989 and 2011 is not very far out of line with the change in the cost of everything else. And certainly NASCAR stealing sponsors to be the "official whatever of NASCAR" doesn't help. But the biggest problem seems to simply be that the viewership of NASCAR is not an attractive market to advertise to right now.

John
possum
12/21/2011 3:59 pm (12)
Just an aside here, but the Facebook link seems to be really slowing down the page load.

John

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