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 @onpitrowOctober 24, 2007 11:01 pm UTC 1 Comment
My favorite part of being involved with ON PIT ROW is the people that I get to work with. Last night, Jeff Hammond was one of our guests. Jeff has been a pretty regular part of our show for three or four years now and there is more than one good story attached to his appearances with us.
We weren’t sure that we were going to get him yesterday. The craziness of trying to do a live radio show and actually hook up with busy NASCAR people to participate is tough. Steve had been trying to make the Hammond connections all afternoon and we had resigned ourselves to failure. Then at about 6:30 pm we got a cell phone call from an out of breath Jeff Hammond – who said he had run in from somewhere on his property, to do the show. Pretty cool stuff for us.
Earlier in the show, we had as a guest, Michelle Thierault – Busch East and ARCA ReMax Series driver and participant in the Toyota NASCAR All Star Challenge over the weekend. Michelle is a big talent and is on track to get to one of the major series in NASCAR soon – maybe even the Cup Series. I asked Jeff what he thought was going to happen with all of the new, young talent entering the NASCAR ranks.
Hammond predicts a large turnover in the driver ranks of NASCAR’s top series. No real surprise there. But he also told us that he thinks that drivers like Tony Stewart , Jeff Gordon and others will go the Mark Martin route – opting for more part-time participant status in the Cup Series. He feels that the importance of winning the Cup Series championship will revert to more of what it was in the old days – less important than winning races – especially the high profile races like the Daytona 500, the Brickyard and Bristol night race.
No body is better connected in the NASCAR garages than Jeff Hammond. We don’t see him as much as when Fox Sports is the lead dog in NASCAR TV coverage. Even so, Jeff is very visible on Speed doing the Trackside show. He is also a big part of the Direct TV Hot Pass programming.
I had a chance to watch some of the Hot Pass stuff recently. If you are a NASCAR geek, it is a fantastic way to experience a race. Currently, you have five different drivers to choose from each race and you essentially become part of the crew for that driver. There are multiple split screens, in-car camera views, full scanner audio and commentary by guys like Jeff Hammond and Larry MacReynolds. It’s frickin’ awesome. Get a dish and buy it.
Update: The Black Flag Blog has a very cool contest running where the creative creature in you can win Direct TV Hot Pass prizes! Check it out.