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."
Click to read David Poole tribute
2015 Race Winners
Karen and Bryson Byrnes
in your daily prayers.
"When Steve and I were done talking, I felt happier."
-Kenny Wallace, summing it up perfectly for every person who ever met Steve Byrnes.
Official Beast of RJO
2003 - 2014
Please consider giving to
Friends of RJO
The Daly Planet
Is FOX Paying Michael Waltrip, or Is Waltrip Paying FOX?
By Carol Einarsson | 03/13/2012
Category: Cheers and Jeers
CHEERS to FOX and the network they’ve built, but after five or six of those banners, we were kinda just ready for the WE ARE… FOX SPORTS to kick off the race coverage.
CHEERS to the opening montage with old school and now, especially with drivers and their children. We’re so glad they’re all having kids again! Hey now, here we go…gonna get a little bit sideways. NASCAR on FOX knows how to energize a viewing audience!
CHEERS to calling Kurt Busch the “hometown favorite.” Favorite what? You kinda left that part out.
CHEERS to Matt Kenseth having a sponsor, and Zestfully clean is a perfect fit for him! Not a lot of guys could carry that slogan off.
JEERS to the weird camera angle that is present this year that we didn’t have before, with Michael and Darrell in the shot. Looks like the camera is on the desk at Chris Myers’ right hand.
CHEERS to the beauty of the 2013 Dodge Charger. Not planning on buying one (for the same reason I can’t ever own a Mustang), but you can’t go wrong with a red muscle car like that.
CHEERS to Dan Wheldon decals, and remembering a lost friend.
JEERS to using computers to recreate things we never saw. We don’t need reenactments in NASCAR. Sorry you missed the jet-dryer wreck, FOX, but don’t make a video game graphic to replace it. You missed it; it’s over; let it go. The virtual reality integration into the highlight reel cheapens the whole thing and almost has the feel of a newscaster making up a story to sensationalize and boost ratings.
CHEERS to Denny’s golf course interview, and while I think FOX is overdosing on Michael Waltrip, the photo with MW when Denny was just 10 years old – we loved that! It shows more clearly than any resume of youth-series wins how much he loved racing from a young age, and how his dreams have come true. That little 10 year old boy is now a NASCAR driver.
CHEERS to Darrell’s poofy hair. I’m guessing this is haircut week?
CHEERS to Tony blowing kisses at children. I don’t know whose little girl that was, but CHEERS to the camera man rolling on that one!
CHEERS to Dale Earnhardt, Jr’s collection of wrecked cars. From a business standpoint, it’s genius! Put together a museum of these demolished cars, set each one up with the video monitor of how it got wrecked, and watch the race fans line up to get in.
CHEERS to Las Vegas Motor Speedway having their own Speedway Chaplain.
JEERS to Pia Toscano’s presentation of the anthem. We just don’t need that much “breathy” interjection. You’re not Marilyn Monroe, and this is not Happy Birthday Mr. President.
CHEERS to that shot of Greg Biffle. Wow. What the heck was that? Either Biffle is only marginally taller than Mark Martin and we never knew it, or he’s got a giant on his team that looks to be about seven feet tall!
CHEERS to the Thunderbirds and one of the best flyovers EVER. Only thing better would have been to follow with the shot of Bobby Labonte looking up at it.
CHEERS to Jimmie approving the race. Now go win it so you can make good pictures for the race sponsor.
JEERS to the cheesy Vegas screen in the Hollywood Hotel (which really should be renamed if you've kicked Hammond out) with sliding scale odds and a video slot machine.
JEERS to Vegas show girls that have to hold their headwear in place. For some reason, that only ever makes me think of I Love Lucy, when she's coming down that magnificent staircase.
JEERS to feeling the need to tell Tim Allen to shut up even before he got around to his bad command to start engines. Look, you’re already famous, so just hold the microphone, and say the words, okay?
CHEERS to Larry Mac and the best ever tie in the NASCAR booth. That right there is the tie I would wear every day if I were the tie-wearing sort.
CHEERS to the pit reporters’ attire being the best indication of how nice a day it is at the track. Looks like a gorgeous day in Vegas!
CHEERS to the outside line all fading to the back together, to take their punishment at the end of the field, but...
CHEERS to showing just how “not in the back” Kyle Busch really is starting! What’s up with that?? There were TEN CARS behind him! How is that starting in the back??
CHEERS to a big crowd in the stands. The frontstretch looks healthy, and the backstretch at least isn't tarped over.
CHEERS to Mike Joy telling us about the yellow 20 car. And with the turquoise 17, it’s feeling a little IROCish where the drivers aren’t identifiable from race to race anymore if you’re looking only at paint schemes.
JEERS to bad news for Brendan, and a rattle that should make a nice debris field for later.
JEERS to DW calling Mr. Letarte “Stevie.” When we hear that name out of Darrell’s mouth, we aren’t thinking crew chiefs.
JEERS to the Dodge Durango’s Stig rip-off! Some say their advertising executives are over-paid and can’t come up with their own ideas.
JEERS to making a big deal about Kyle Busch’s running position. He started 33rd and after 34 laps, has passed 12 mid-pack cars. Wow. That’s huge news!
CHEERS to Scott’s EZ Seed, my next project. We’ll see how it works.
JEERS to a caution out and all the coverage on the pits and who’s where before we hear why the caution is out and that Timmy Hill hit the wall. Evidently the bigger story is that Kurt Busch lost a lap.
CHEERS to spotter Bob Jeffry who’s probably hoping for a caution not for his driver, but to get himself another hat. I wonder if anyone’s ever thought about hat-tethers for spotters (and flagmen, too).
CHEERS to Jimmie’s new Lowe’s commercial. Anyone notice the absence of his Crew Chief? And I don’t like fake friends in ads, either. It’s just weird (though not as awkward as having driver’s fake children.)
CHEERS to the Texas hat, but I’m missing the Rutledge connection. He’s from Atlanta, right? Maybe they picked him because he looks far more natural in the hat than any driver ever has.
JEERS to coming back from commercial and being under caution with no idea why. The first explanation seemed to be that David Reutimann had trouble getting on pit road, or was that completely unrelated? The fact that we don’t know is where FOX failed.
CHEERS to Paul Menard bringing the Phoenix line to Vegas and making it work on the apron.
JEERS to a missed opportunity. If they’re going to replay the radio exchange from a driver, I think it would be a great addition if they captioned it. And in the FOX way, they could even put their text captioning in a cute speech bubble above the car.
CHEERS to “lateral loose.” Sounds like a driver got a new thesaurus. Didn’t we used to call that sideways loose?
JEERS to seeing a car and having no idea at all who may be driving it. I hate this time of year.
JEERS to a blown up 93 car. I know first hand that doesn’t smell like the regular smoky smell coming out of Burger King. Oh, but what if they could make it that way? If the 93 car could make that smoke smell like flame broiling, you know how many extra burgers the track could sell?
JEERS to the ridiculous pace car behind the jet dryers, and whatever command was given to make sure to show the viewing audience. Even with its lights flashing, it’s far less visible than they are! They’re big, bright yellow trucks. The pace car is black with tiny blue lights in bright daylight. Yeah. Makes plenty of sense.
JEERS to how much clear film had to be pulled across the camera on the 48 before they got a clean piece.
JEERS to momentary distraction causing me to hear Matt Yocum speaking about Kevin Harvick and saying, “His left leg is twisted!” What?! Oh. Sorry. You said the lap belt going across his left leg is twisted. His actual leg, however, is merely asleep. Still not a good thing, but makes you see how much worse things could be, doesn’t it?
CHEERS to Darrell Waltrip feeling the need to circle where Kevin Harvick’s lap belt is. Nicely done, DW.
CHEERS to Hammond showing the fan’s view of the garage, but why would fans opt to watch the 93 crew mill about a blown-up car rather than the race on the track between cars that are still running?
CHEERS to “Your job is overpaid AND easy.” But even still, you’ll notice in that conversation, nobody called Rick Hendrick “Dude.”
CHEERS to the running board at the top of the screen because at least that way we get to see Ken Schrader’s passes.
CHEERS to daylight savings time and the NASCAR schedule putting a western race with its later start time on the first Sunday following the loss of sleep.
JEERS to Jeff Gordon’s idea to run into Joey at an angle that might well have done more damage to his own car than to the 20. I hope the 24 team is ready for a right front blown tire here in a minute.
JEERS to putting the track flag pole so far away from the side of the track that all of the light towers are taller, and the flag perpetually looks like it’s at half-staff.
CHEERS to Jamie McMurray running well today after a slow start to the year. Makes you wonder about the “special sauce”, doesn’t it? And we liked how earlier when they showed the “Big Mac” name over the door, it was at the same time as a Pizza-Hut-sponsored graphic below.
JEERS to FOX hiring Michael Waltrip. Yes, I’ve already said it. Many times, in fact, but today when he’s talking about guys staying out on the track, the “broadcaster” Michael Waltrip says, “But we had a couple of guys do it – Clint Bowyer in the 5-Hour Energy car and Brad Keselowski both decided to stay out under this caution.” How can they allow this to continue?? And this from the same company that wouldn’t even show sponsor decals on cars when they first started with the “new” TV deal unless those sponsors paid extra. Again I’m wondering, did Michael Waltrip buy his way into the booth in order to get more TV time for his own sponsors?
CHEERS to another Waltrip, however, and that is Stevie Waltrip. CHEERS to Darrell, too, for the love he has for her and how he was too emotional to even fully finish his thought when he said hello to her back home. In that same moment, CHEERS to Mike Joy being the friend and professional he is, picking up that which Darrell couldn’t complete. Hope she’s feeling better soon!
JEERS to another Burger King car up in smoke. See what a wasted opportunity that is?
CHEERS to hand signals reported but not seen. It’s good to know it’s still possible to anger Mark Martin. Random thought… I wonder what NASCAR would do if a driver had his gloves made with a dark color for the thumb and three of the fingers, and the hand and just the middle finger color on the glove was white or yellow. All he’d have to do is put his hand out the window in the direction of the one with whom he’s displeased, be it another driver or even an official. What would NASCAR do then?
JEERS to completely avoidable circumstances for the 22. See, you don’t pit, and you’re gonna run out of gas. And when you’re up front, you’re darn lucky not to have collected a bunch of other cars right up your backside!
CHEERS to “Sounds like we need to go out and win some races.” We like Jimmie’s resolve even in the shadow of the controversy created by his crew chief.
JEERS to “the hometown favorite” in the wall, but also for all the emergency vehicles that had to drive to the 51. They could have been window-side sooner had they just walked.
CHEERS to being ready when you need to, and Tony Stewart simply gone from the rest of the pack.
JEERS to what could have been so much worse! Thanks to Twitter, race fans everywhere were updated quickly about the condition of the The Orange Cone (@theorangecone). Examined for a conecussion, he was treated and released from the care center, and while he reported it was just a bit of road rash, he also admitted he was sure he’d be feeling it tomorrow.
CHEERS to keeping it all in the Las Vegas family, and back-to-back cautions that will allow the hoards of Busch fans to get an early start home. If you look closely, you'll see them all. Both of them. A couple in their late 50s, headed home.
CHEERS to Tony concerned about restart trickery, but then realizing he can make Jimmie jump it just as easily as he can be accused himself.
CHEERS to four to go and craziness in the pack! No caution?
CHEERS to Jimmie doing what he does best. Control what you can control and never mind the rest. Are we suddenly seeing Jimmie Johnson as an underdog? Wow, how do you pull that off?
CHEERS to Tony, perhaps fueled by Darian’s win last week. Think he’s got something to prove? And there’s the checkers. Turns out it’s really Steve Addington, former crew chief for both Vegas boys that is the real hometown favorite!
CHEERS to the hold Tony had on that checkered flag as he whipped it about like that, but never dropped it.
CHEERS to Kobalt Tools guy who held the giant wrench up to Tony like a prize-fighter’s belt so it would be in the confetti pictures.
CHEERS to black Sprint Girl uniforms because the picture I’ve seen of the three of them in white suits and blond hair looked way too pale.
JEERS again to Chris Myers’ sidekick who maintains “And I know there isn’t any better drivers in NASCAR than those two right now.” Well, except that there are six guys ahead of Tony in the points, and even if Jimmie had his 25 points back, he’d not even be in the top 12. I’d say there are all kinds of better drivers in NASCAR than those two right now.
CHEERS to Ken Schrader who finished 11 spots better than he started and likely had a great time doing so despite nobody noticing. Occasionally, if he was on the running order at just the right time, you’d see his little icon pass the icon in front of him, but he was mentioned exactly once, and that was because he was pitting with someone else, and it looked like his car accidentally got in the field of vision where the cameras were pointed. He didn’t start and park; he raced. And he did so to the best of his and his equipment’s ability. For that we say bravo, Ken Schrader!
|JEERS to FOX. I will say this every week until they replace that clown in the booth. Do they not listen to their consumers? I am seriously considering boycotting FOX. He is insufferable. This week i needed $750 worth of parts, i didn't go to the NAPA store right down the street, but to the Advance much further away. You have MW to thank for that NAPA.
CHEERS to Smoke. He literally smoked the field there at the end.
CHEERS to JJ. He gave it his all there at the end. Can't ask for anything more.
CHEERS to the Kobalt tools scheme on the 48. It looks badass. But HMS cars need a yellow number on their cars, JEERS to the fact that only the 24 follows this.
Good luck to the 48 team for their appeal tomorrow. Even though they seem to confident, i doubt NASCAR would reduce its own punishment. Why the appeals aren't heard by a third party arbitrator i still do not understand.
|Sometimes I wonder if people aren't as much pleased with a "hometown favorite" moving up to drive in Sprint Cup or whatever as they are glad that they don't have to watch the guy beating up on their local short-track drivers anymore.
CHEERS to the new Dodge Charger, but JEERS that there are no top-tier teams to compete in it. Unless Chrysler and/or Fiat can find a lot of money to throw at an existing team (MWR, maybe?) or make up one of their own as they did with Evernham, I really don't see them continuing on in NASCAR. Sad.
JEERS to re-creating a wreck. I remember CBS doing this with Bobby Allison's near-fatal wreck at Pocono back in 1988. The race was on pay-per-view, believe it or not, and the broadcast (narrowcast?) team missed the accident. So, CBS had one of those courtroom sketch guys draw the collision in Turn Two from eyewitness accounts. It looked weird.
CHEERS to Ken Schrader and his great run. Back in the day, ESPN used to at least make an effort to highlight guys who were making progress despite not having the resources to run with the big teams. I miss that.
So, the commitment cone has its own Twitter feed? That cut it. I need to cancel my account.
CHEERS to Tony Stewart, picking up where he left off last year, albeit three races late. CHEERS that he can wave, but not drop, the checkered flag. When you've carried as many checkers as Tony has, across more divisions than I can count, you learn how to handle a flag!
JEERS, however to Carol's JEERS of Mikey's remark at the end (does a double-JEERS become a CHEERS?). You may not like the man's presence in the booth (I tend to fast-forward past those parts of the broadcast), but in this case, he speaks the truth. It's irrelevant what the points look like at this particular moment. Jimmie Johnson and Tony Stewart are the last two men to win the Sprint Cup. Year-to-year, they embody excellence behind the wheel. They may have had their share of opening-week jitters, but when the curtain rises on the Chase they will both be there.
JEERS, finally, to another light-equipped track not getting a night race. Yes, I know, NASCAR said they'd hold the line on the number of night races out of respect for weekly tracks, but for cryin' out loud, it's March -- most local tracks, at least in the Northeast, are still a month away from opening!
At least in Bristol they'll have lights and.... Oh. Nevermind....
|You know, I could accept the fact that they can't show where all 43 drivers are all the time but it really irks me that they can't keep the "running order" crawl going across the top of the screen AT ALL TIMES for ALL 43 DRIVERS with TIME INTERVALS and LAPS DOWN. That's the only way a fan can tell if their driver is moving forward or backward or on the lead lap. Dumbasses.
Yes, Tim Allen's command to start the engines did suck.
FOX is oblivious about Michael Waltrip and many other things.
I like your idea for the "finger" gloves. I think they would catch on amongst the general public as well. That might be a million dollar idea. I can see high school students lining up to buy a pair.
|re: Junior's getting wrecked cars
I'm sure that would be a good idea Carol, if Junior didn't use the wrecked cars as trail markers on his property.
|Carol, Scott's EZ seed works really well. We have a very good success with it.
|CHEERS to me for not being out of town like last week, so I could see the race.
@ Carol: A little web searching says Mark Martin is 5'6" and The Biff is 3 inches taller at 5'9". I'd like to see them standing next to Mikey, would be funny. But make sure Mikey is anywhere but the booth when they take the pic, maybe he wouldn't be able to get to the booth in time and make a lot of us happy.
CHEERS to Pia's anthem, I actually thought it was good.
JEERS JEERS JEERS to Tim Allen saying light em up. There should be a rule that says you MUST only say those famous 4 words, nothing else.
JEERS to Fox for not showing the debris of a debris caution. Why don't they listen to all of us? Everything I read in the past several years has most of us begging to see the actual debris.
CHEERS to Carol for the new word "conecussion". Good one.
CHEERS to Bill B's comments about the crawl. You wrote exactly what I was thinking while watching the race.
JEERS to JPM getting lapped somewhere around lap 36. I looked at my Wife, then just shook my head back and forth. Ganassi is going to fix this somehow if they don't get better in the next few races.
CHEERS to Bristol, even though the track reconfig changed it too much. It's still a good one!
|The 48 team's penalty was unanimously upheld. Rick Hendrick is not giving up, he says he does not accept it and will appeal again.|
|CHEERS to Vegas... another good race, two good races in a row... this is getting scary!
CHEERS to Smoke, his team, and fans... his car was the best there at the end.
|...and he will lose again.
A team appealing to NASCAR is like a jewish person appealing to Hitler during WW2.
|Carol, if I have to hear how many cars Jimmie passed to get back up to front you have to listen to how many cars Kyle passed. Same amount of irritation for both of us.
Mark & Michael are side by side in 1 of their Aaron's commercials. It is a very funny sight.
Agree with everyone about getting Mikey out of the booth though. Thought it was bad enough during truck races but now...
Still agree that it is ridiculous having a "safety" car drive while the jet blower trucks are out. You'd think someone ran into them every single week the way NASCAR is treating the incident.
I'm sure that NASCAR would NOT let the drivers were those gloves you described but I agree that the general public probably would love them.
So happy that Ryan Newman finished 4th. He really needed it. Too bad no one could bother to interview him after the race.
Well, now I can't wait till Bristol. Yipee!
|I agree with the CHEERS to the new Dodge Charger. man that is a sweet looking racecar. the 2013 Ford Fusion looks pretty good too.
JEERS to Fox for missing the caution incident between Dale Jr and Mark, and then teasing us with in car video after it was over. I thought it was a replay, and we would see something interesting. Nope.
I remember that '88 Pocono drawing. it was weird. I also remember thinking how completely asinine it was to have a pay-Per-View race at Pocono... lol My family listened to them on the radio. :)
I also agree with BillB about the crawler. Only showing the top 10 towards the end of the race Fox? What was that??
of course: CHEERS for Tony, and bigger CHEERS for Tony for holding off Jimmie.
JEERS to EFI issues for Brad K and AJ this week.
CHEERS to the thought of adding BBQ smell to blowing up engine of the Burger King cars! I love it!
|"“broadcaster” Michael Waltrip says, “But we had a couple of guys do it – Clint Bowyer in the 5-Hour Energy car and Brad Keselowski both decided to stay out under this caution.” How can they allow this to continue??"...agree, and more than that...it has always annoyed me the broadcasters go out of their way to NOT mention the sponsors...with all the trouble NASCAR is having retaining any sponsors these days you'd think Fox would realize it is in everyone's best interest, even theirs, to mention the sponsors every now and then...
"CHEERS to Jamie McMurray running well today after a slow start to the year. Makes you wonder about the “special sauce”, doesn’t it? And we liked how earlier when they showed the “Big Mac” name over the door"...oh oh, "big mac" and he's sponsored by McDs...I noticed that on his car during the prerace and didn't put it together...Duh.
"CHEERS to hand signals reported but not seen. It’s good to know it’s still possible to anger Mark Martin. Random thought… I wonder what NASCAR would do if a driver had his gloves made with a dark color for the thumb and three of the fingers, and the hand and just the middle finger color on the glove was white or yellow. All he’d have to do is put his hand out the window in the direction of the one with whom he’s displeased, be it another driver or even an official. What would NASCAR do then?"...Genius, Carol, pure genius. And I'm trying to think if I ever saw Mark Martin mad before...
CHEERS to Kenny Schrader - good to see some old favorites make a race...
|@Carol - you said, "and back-to-back cautions that will allow the hoards of Busch fans to get an early start home". Well, JEERS.
hoard: noun. An accumulation or collection of anything valuable hidden away or laid by for preservation or future use; a stock, store, esp. of money; a treasure.
horde: A great company, esp. of the savage, uncivilized, or uncultivated; a gang, troop, crew.
You can talk about hoards of gold or hoards of food, but when it comes to huge numbers of people, the word you’re looking for is hordes.
PS: Love your column. :)
|I stand corrected. Must be all that Monday night A&E I've been watching!
Over the years the broadcasters have changed how they refer to the competitors - at one time it was common to call them out by sponsor name, then for a while by number ("so-and-so in the 5-car", for example), in recent times mostly just by name. How they do it doesn't bother me as long as they're consistant for all the teams. In Waltrip's case he's clearly only calling out his sponsors, which is reprehensible.
Dang it, it's my job to correct Carol's spelling :-)
Since this is C & J, CHEERS to Clint Bowyer's helmet graphics!
Find more RJO at:
Race Journal Online
Official Rules of New Chase Format
2014 Penalty/Deterrent System
TV Times are only estimates
Sprint Cup 2015 Schedule
Saturday night races in red
Feb 22 1pm FOX Daytona
Mar 01 1pm FOX Atlanta
Mar 08 3pm FOX Las Vegas
Mar 15 3pm FOX Phoenix
Mar 22 3pm FOX Fontana
Mar 29 1pm FS1 Martinsvl
Apr 05 OFF (Easter)
Apr 11 7pm FOX Texas
Apr 19 1pm FOX Bristol
Apr 25 7pm FOX Richmond
May 03 1pm FOX Talladega
May 09 7pm FS1 Kansas
May 16 8pm FS1 All Star
May 24 6pm FOX Charlotte
May 31 1pm FS1 Dover
Jun 07 1pm FS1 Pocono
Jun 14 1pm FS1 Michigan
Jun 21 OFF
Jun 28 1pm FS1 Sonoma
Jul 05 7pm NBC Daytona
Jul 11 7pm NBCSN Kentucky
Jul 19 1pm NBCSN New Hampshr
Jul 26 1pm NBCSN Indy
Aug 02 1pm NBCSN Pocono
Aug 09 1pm NBCSN WatGlen
Aug 16 1pm NBCSN Michigan
Aug 22 7pm NBCSN Bristol
Aug 30 OFF
Sep 06 7pm NBC Darlington
Sep 12 7pm NBCSN Richmond
The Challenger Round
Sep 20 2pm NBCSN Chicago
Sep 27 2pm NBCSN New Hampshr
Oct 04 2pm NBCSN Dover
The Contender Round
Oct 10 7pm NBC Charlotte
Oct 18 2pm NBC Kansas
Oct 25 2pm NBCSN Talladega
The Eliminator Round
Nov 01 1pm NBCSN Martinsvl
Nov 08 3pm NBC Texas
Nov 15 3pm NBC Phoenix
Nov 22 3pm NBC Homestead