by Steve Wronkowicz
I am co-host of the syndicated radio show: ON PIT ROW. Over ten years on the air and three on the net; see what can happen when I don't let the facts get in the way of my opinions.April 7, 2011 2:43 pm UTC 3 Comments
He retracted his statements on Tuesday after reviewing NASCAR’s evidence against him. The timing loop that he sped through was not the loop he thought he was being accused of violating. Regardless of whether NASCAR or Johnson were right or wrong; questions about the sanctioning bodies transparency arose.
Johnson; along with some media and fans have called for real time posting of pit row speeds for all teams at every trip for service. Cries of conspiracy have again permeated the NASCAR world. “They are hiding information from us,” was the lament from the grandstands. NASCAR has stated they don’t feel this is information that needs to be disseminated to the fan base.
I have to agree with NASCAR on this one. As I stated on this week’s ON PIT ROW show on ustream.tv; there still needs to be some intrigue within the races and maybe just a little bit of trust from the fans that NASCAR really is a fair and benevolent organization. NASCAR has nothing to gain by issuing false speeding penalties especially to the guy that has dominated their sport for the past five years.
There is enough information available to the fans and teams on a real time basis that there doesn’t need to be more graphics on my TV screen or video boards at the track. NASCAR’s radio communication with the teams, which is available on all scanners, is sufficient to notify them of a penalty when one has occured.
No other sport has the transparency of NASCAR and quite frankly I think fans have come to expect too much from the sport. Being able to not only listen to team strategy, driver and crew chief thoughts but also the sanctioning bodies communication should be enough.
Johnson’s complaint was not the first in regard to speeding penalties and it most likely won’t be the last, but I’m okay with not having to see every teams pit road speed displayed in front of me. There comes a time that it’s better to just watch the racing.
photo credit: BethAnne Heisler/ON PIT ROW
by Steve Wronkowicz
I am co-host of the syndicated radio show: ON PIT ROW. Over ten years on the air and three on the net; see what can happen when I don't let the facts get in the way of my opinions.February 12, 2011 8:24 am UTC 3 Comments
Annett takes over the #62 Nationwide Series ride for owner Rusty Wallace that Brendan Gaughan drove in 2010. Once again NASCAR is showing how two-faced it can be with its drug/alcohol policy.
Annett was charged with DUI after being involved in a traffic accident and blowing a .32 when the legal limit is a .08; four times the legal limit. He has not had his day in court; so all the innocent until proven guilty talk is still appropriate. However; that fact has not deterred NASCAR in the past from “suspending now and asking questions later” when a driver or crew member has connection to drugs instead of alcohol.
Drivers have been to quick to chastise their own when the talk of drugs are associated with them. Annett’s probation doesn’t seem to be raising the same ire of his fellow drivers. Arguements have always been that drivers have to rely on the good judgment of their competitors while at speed on the track.
How can Annett’s competitors feel confident on the track racing him at Daytona where on-track speeds hover near the 200 mph mark? NASCAR has indicated that along with the probation they may ask Annett to participate in random drug/alcohol testing. Isn’t that NASCAR’s standard procedure?
Maybe having Rusty Wallace proclaim that Annett, “doesn’t have an alcohol problem” is enough for NASCAR officials, drivers and crews to have confidence in Annett’s decision making. Along with Wallace’s car ownership and his TV work he must also have become an expert in alcoholism detection and treatment. Wallace refused to suspend his driver because he was afraid to loose sponsorship money needed to fund his Rusty Wallace Racing teams.
Annett brought with him a sponsorship deal and without Annett in the car that sponsorship money, in theory, would be gone. What this gets down to is Pilot Travel Centers is running RWR and if the sponsor is running the team; then in essence that sponsor is running NASCAR and the decisions it makes.
Once again NASCAR has brought its credibility into question. The NFL has had no problem suspending its stars for questionable off field activities; just ask Ben Rothlisberger or Michael Vick. We all know that NASCAR continually compares itself to the football league; so why not now?
Annett should have been suspended for a period of time to investigate the incident and his ability to make decisions on the race track. And he should have to be evaluated by someone other than his unqualified team owner. Blowing four times the legal limit is not having an extra beer at a party. It is serious over consumption.
At least some of Annett’s competitors have to be wonder about their safety when they take the track with him out there…and that just isn’t right.
photo credit: Icon Sports Media
by Steve Wronkowicz
I am co-host of the syndicated radio show: ON PIT ROW. Over ten years on the air and three on the net; see what can happen when I don't let the facts get in the way of my opinions.February 4, 2011 7:38 am UTC 2 Comments
The first five races of the season teams will be locked in to starting spots based on their 2010 owner points. But when race number six rolls around and 2011 owners points determine who is locked in to the field will the new points system.
The new system has the potential to have more teams with the same points totals. Any time you tighten the point differential between finishing positions as NASCAR did, the more probable ties become.
How will go about breaking these ties if they occur for that thirty-fifth and final lock in spot? That is what NASCAR has yet to address. Will it be laps run, qualifying positions, qualifying attempts or will they use some other criteria to fill the top 35?
These are just a few more questions NASCAR needs to address; and quickly before there can be cries of prejudice toward one team or another. If they wait too long to make public how they will address this situation you know fans will believe another conspiracy theory is afoot. Especially if one of the favored teams is on the cusp of not being locked in.
photo credit: BethAnne Heisler/ON PIT ROW
by Charlie Turner
Thanks for stopping by OnPitRow.com and the Bench Racing with Steve and Charlie blog. The best NASCAR and IndyCar news and opinion, exclusive pictures and video. I'm Charlie Turner. Follow me on Twitter @onpitrowSeptember 24, 2010 1:19 pm UTC No Comments
Some NASCAR fans, and media, want to treat the drivers who qualify for the Chase to the Sprint Cup nearly the same way that QB’s are coddled.
What if a NASCAR team – say Richard Childress Racing’s victorius #33 of Clint Bowyer – were caught, red-handed on the wrong side of the templates?
Should NASCAR look the other way because Clint and RCR are in the Chase?
Some claim it’s been done before **cough Jimmie Johnson ’09 cough**. And maybe that is so.
Should NASCAR further separate the Chase Contenders from the Chase Chaff, by having separate rules interpretations for the Cheating Chasers?
NASCAR’s John Darby explained (thanks to foxsports.com) NASCAR’s measuring tolerances in a way that even I can understand…
“Take our height stick, for example. There’s where the number’s supposed to be, then a green area, a yellow area and a red area. The green is your working area that’s published in the rule book. Yellow is what we’re going to give you in good faith. When you hit red, you’ve gone too far”
I like Clint Bowyer and Richard Childress. I feel bad for them right now. But I don’t think that there should be a fourth color added – (say pink) between the yellow and red on John Darby’s stick – just for the Chase drivers.
And I don’t think quaterbacks should where dresses.
Photo credit : Glenn Bure – OnPitRow.com
by Mindy Monday, Special To NASCAR commentary and driver pictures, 2012 NASCAR schedule, video, Bench Racing With Steve and CharlieApril 25, 2010 9:59 pm UTC No Comments
In honor of Earth Day week, Mindy spreads some NASCAR dirt around in the latest Monday Morning Crew Chief video. Check it out.
by Clance' McClannahan, Special To NASCAR commentary and driver pictures, 2012 NASCAR schedule, video, Bench Racing With Steve and CharlieFebruary 27, 2010 12:04 am UTC 1 Comment
How much does luck really have to play in NASCAR? Auto Club Speedway was a perfect example of both good luck, bad luck, skill and strategy.
Race Day at ACS started out cloudy, with the threat of rain looming overhead in in the future. Lovely Katharine McPhee, Season 5 American Idol runner-up, performed the National Anthem, after stating “I’ve never watched a NASCAR game before.” Personally, I am really glad she said that prior to the first inning, or it might have been embarrassing for her later.
Andy Garcia was able to give the command. “ Gentlemen, start your engines!” and still be politically correct.
Pole sitter Jamie Mac led the race for about 5 seconds, and then Juan Pablo Montoya politely said “Excuse me?”, and took the lead. If you would reach far back into your memory…(I mean, it’s a stretch for me), you will remember that JPM led 60 laps at ACS in October, and in one truly horrendous moment, lost that race. Juan Pablo Montoya meant serious business and opened up a lead of more than 3 seconds by Lap 12. By Lap 29, Jimmie Johnson’s good luck began to show, and the 42 car’s not so good 30th lap, gave him a brush with the wall. Soon after…it was Good vs. Bad for JPM, Kasey Kahne and a few others. Namely Dale (**NOTE to Jr. Nation: Dale doesn’t want to be called Jr. or June Bug, anymore).
In the meantime, a war was beginning to rage. Kevin Harvick and Jimmie Johnson had begun the battle that would continue throughout the race, which culminated in one of the finest moments in NASCAR History.
Lap 97 began to get a little more interesting. Now we will get into the good luck, bad luck, strategy (?) syndrome that happenedthat day.
Martin Truex Jr. loses power. Later, Martin Truex Jr’s engine blows.
JPM begins to battle with Jeff Gordon for 5th position. Harvick and Johnson continue to dance the Flamenco (to impress Juan Pablo Montoya) for 1st and 2nd, not being able to decide who would lead and who would follow.
In one of the most endearing and heart breaking moments of the race, Kasey Kahne, being conscientious of the bleak economy, decided he would help out some poor souls, who needed to make some money to feed their kids, by making sure they had jobs replacing the sod he tore up.
Ryan Newman’s engine blew up. DNF. Again. JPM, looking very competitive, was out of contention once again, after a great 140 laps. It also, was due to another kaboom of a large quantity of moving parts, critical to the car continuing to run..
Kevin Harvick discovered that one of Jamie Mac’s pit crew has a part time job with Cirque du Soleil. Scary.
Then there was Dale Earnhardt Jr. It seems like the last few years, if it’s going to happen to someone it will be Dale Jr. Personally, I don’t think he has any better or worse luck than many driver’s. I think his worst luck is the scrutiny he is constantly under. Much more than other driver’s. Broken Axle. Axle Broken. Race over for the 88.
Jimmie Johnson seemed to be going backwards for a small moment in time. Then… From out of the blue…comes JJ again. Jamie Mac, startled, said “”How can he be leading? “He was on pit road, wasn’t he?!!”
Why yes, he was. Double J won. 48/48.
Luck? Strategy? All of the above?
Kevin Harvick , at the end of the race, summed it all up, in one sentence. Possibly one of the finest quotes in NASCAR History. I am honored to have been able to do small tribute to that little quip at The Church.
“They have a golden horseshoe stuck up their ass.”
…And that, Dear Fans, was the finest finish to a race I have seen since the Daytona 500.
*What wondrous events shall LVMS bring us this weekend? Aw…the suspense is killing me!