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 @onpitrowJune 27, 2011 8:45 am UTC No Comments
Our friend Bruce Simmons, author of NASCAR Bits and Pieces covered the Toyota/Save Mart 350 weekend at Infineon Raceway for OnPitRow.com and we have some great NASCAR pictures coming your waty from Saturday and Sunday. Bruce sent me the following observation from Sunday and I wanted to share it with you.
Today’s race (Sunday) had a different feel to it than yesterday’s practice. It had a warmer feel to it and it seemed to show as drivers were grumbling about it being slicker. That was only one aspect of the day as several drivers suffered calamities of various natures. Dale Jr’s radiator popped a cork and Denny Hamlin’s track bar broke, putting him out of the contention for the win. And don’t ask Tony Stewart about his day launching off the bumper of Brian Vickers!
But here’s the oddest bit about everything I saw today at the track. Kurt Busch seemed about the happiest of the bunch, almost as if he knew.
It all worked out as it seems!
Kurt certainly had the field covered. And so did Bruce. Thanks buddy.
Photo credit: Bruce Simmons for 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 @onpitrowAugust 24, 2010 3:01 pm UTC 2 Comments
Maybe I’ll get a tweet today when the show starts from Marc like this one…
WOW, look it’s Wednesday and I’m waking up to Steve and Charlie, can’t get better than that! http://onpitrow.com/
Sadly, I know that I will not. Never again.
When Steve and I started the Bench Racing blog several years ago, we didn’t really even know what a blog was. But as I poked around the internet doing prep for the radio show, and gradually looked for NASCAR news at places that weren’t called Jayski, a few names popped up more prominently than others.
The Full Throttle blog was one. And it was really good.
Early on Marc Boland the blogger became a bit of a blogging mentor to us here. He linked to us early, before many others recognized OPR. Marc alerted me when our content was being stolen, and helped us stop the thieves. He generously commented on our posts and later our Facebook fan page.
The 5PM ET live broadcast time of On Pit Row was breakfast and go-to-school time for the Boland kids, but Marc usually had some sarcastic comment or three to tweet us during the show. He let me know if the live sound stream was acting up too.
I never met him in person. But I feel I knew him pretty well. We considered each other friends – I do know that. I will miss him.
Marc was, to me, the perfect blogger. I was jealous of his RSS feed list. He found everything first. He was great at giving credit where due, and he linked out to more blogs and sites and forums than anyone else in the motorsports community. He could be acerbic and he would let you have it if he thought you were wrong. He wrote well.
I have two short Marc Boland stories for you. The first relates to his ability to get stuff before anyone else. A couple years ago, when Sports Media Challenge started their ten most influential NASCAR blogs feature, it was Marc who let me know that we had made the list. And I still remember telling my wife how surprised I was to have Bench Racing with Steve and Charlie included in a list with Full Throttle. A year later, it was Marc again who alerted me to the fact that we had made the list again.
The second story has to do with NASCAR’s Citizen Journalist Media Corps. Steve, BethAnne and I met with a member of NASCAR’s PR/media team at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, shortly after the NCJMC list was announced. Full Throttle had not made the list. And I couldn’t understand that. I was trying to ask in a round-about way, how “certain” sites were left out. The NASCAR rep said “do you mean Marc?”. And I said “yeah”. The reason she gave me for FT’s exclusion was that Marc had been using YouTube videos of NASCAR events on Full Throttle, which was against NASCAR’s agreement with Turner Entertainment. I suggested that I could tell Marc to lose the video content, but the NASCAR rep made me promise not to say anything. She was afraid of Marc’s reaction. “He’s got too much reach” she said. I always thought that that was funny. NASCAR was scared of Marc Boland. I think he would have loved that. He was the best.
That, to me, will be Full Throttle’s legacy.
God speed my friend.
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 @onpitrowDecember 23, 2009 10:51 pm UTC 1 Comment
Since you’re here,chances are pretty good that you are a NASCAR blogger yourself. Good on ya, as Marcos Ambrose might say
Been doing this NASCAR blogging thing for about four years myself. Love it, mostly.
But with all of that, we don’t get the kind of traffic that we should. Neither do any of the rest of you NASCAR bloggers. Admit it.
The biggest reason, I think, is, we don’t link out to each other enough. We seem to be so afraid that one of our visitors might read something good at Amy’s Bad Groove, the Daly Planet or the NASCAR Insiders that they’ll never come back.
That’s bull people.
Link out to other bloggers. Ask them to link to you. Send an email. Especially if you have a worthwhile post that you want folks to read. Create some relationships.
Follow other bloggers on Twitter. Re-tweet a few posts every week. Join fan pages of Facebook.
Tis the season.
by Charlie Turner
NASCAR bloggers come in many flavors. They tend to come and go too. When I first started checking out the NASCAR blogosphere, one of the names that kept popping up in my searches was this Diecast Dude guy. So I sent him an email. Cold. I asked for some advice on blogging. He explained some things – told me about “link-love”. And gave us some. I’ve owed him ever since.
Jerry Wilson was a guest ON PIT ROW Tuesday. He knows his stuff when it comes to auto racing. You can listen to that interview here. But it’s a little different than what follows. Seven questions for Jerry Wilson – the Diecast Dude. Enjoy.
OPR – What came first for you – your passion for racing or writing?
Jerry Wilson – Writing. I’ve always loved racing, especially open wheel. My Dad was a huge car buff, and having grown up in Indianapolis the Indy 500 was as much a part of the sports world in my house as baseball or football. NASCAR I got into later in life, during the late ’80s. Writing I’ve always loved.
OPR – Ken Schrader was the first person on the scene after Dale senior’s fatal crash. What went through your mind, when you saw Schrader look inside that wrecked Goodwrench Chevy?
Jerry Wilson – Mostly disbelief when Schrader started frantically calling the trackside assistance crew to the car. How could anything be wrong? This was Dale Earnhardt. He’d walked away from wrecks far worse-looking than this one. Within the disbelief there was the sudden realization he must be hurt for Schrader to be acting this way. But mostly disbelief.
OPR – I know that you are a Jimmy Johnson fan. Why? And why does he not get the props that his success deserves?
Jerry Wilson - We California kids have to stick together. Seriously, aside from the immediate reason for liking him, namely his being a protege of my main man Jeff Gordon, I appreciate his calm relentlessness and total aversion to distraction. Johnson is pure focus and drive. We should all be so dedicated to our pursuits in life. As far as the lack of appreciation, the era of people either loving dynasties or loving to hate them has ended with the latter firmly in control. We live in an ADD society. We want someone new in the spotlight every fifteen minutes without fail. Johnson, by dint of being better than everyone else, isn’t allowing that to happen.
OPR – Describe your feelings about traditional NASCAR journalists. Terry Blount, for example.
Jerry Wilson – It’d be more interesting to hear what he thinks of me!
My feelings about the trad reporters covering NASCAR… it varies from reporter to reporter. I’ve long since abandoned the “you’re in MSM, therefore I as the big bad blogger am obligated to call you out and take you down whenever possible” mindset. It’s ludicrous to think that way. The reporters aren’t going anywhere and neither am I. As the years have rolled along and I’ve come to know some of the reporters — for example, Matt Crossman from the Sporting News and I are good friends — I’ve seen a shift in attitude by most members of both sides. For lack of a better term I’d call it a truce. The two sides still don’t see eye to eye, but there is at least acknowledgment of each others legitimacy.
Beat writing is a tough gig. It’s your job to report the news. That means gathering facts, verifying them, and putting them in print. This is always done under tremendous time pressure. The information beast wants everything five minutes ago. Blogging, whether it cares to admit it, is utterly reliant on the media for its source material to which it adds observation and comment. The other side is the media, whether it cares to admit it, envies the blogosphere for its ability to freewheel without concern for being shut out of news sources. Unless NASCAR Media decides to kick us all out. I don’t believe I’m off-base in stating the work I’ve done since 2003, along with other longtime bloggers such as Bram Hume at Backstretch Motorsports, went a very long way toward convincing NASCAR of our legitimacy. They admitted as such last year when they let us in. There is the thought that part of NASCAR’s motivation was hoping to keep us a bit more in check, but that’s nothing I can prove.
Back to the original question. There are good reporters and bad reporters. In my opinion Blount is a bad reporter. Too much opinion in what should be straightforward news stories, too much presentation of speculation and/or rumor as fact, and I believe he’s a plagiarist.
OPR – You can change one thing – and only one – in NASCAR. What will you change?
Jerry Wilson – Allow crew chiefs far more freedom to massage the new car and hopefully make it something not so prone to running loose all the time.
OPR - You recently left a great blogging gig – RestrictorPlateThis.com, for a big traffic sports site – to return to being TheDiecastDude. How tough was that?
Jerry Wilson – Brutal in the extreme. When I left, SportsBlogs Network which owns RPT had just finished putting together a team of investors including some heavy hitters in sports and sports media. SBN has the best of the best sports bloggers on its roster. It is going to be a major player in online sports blogging, reporting and analysis. The people running SBN are like the bloggers there — the best of the best. You don’t walk away from that without a lot of thought and in my case prayer.
There were several factors going into my decision to leave SBN, but the primary one was the ever-increasing pull on my heart to get back to being, again for lack of a better term, Diecast Dude. There were and certainly are now far more popular NASCAR bloggers than I in terms of readership. However, what I brought to the table was the ability to mix what I had to say about NASCAR, my goals in this being to present entertainment and opinion about the sport, with going off on tangents about different topics. These usually reflected my faith. I couldn’t do that on SBN. Not because I was told not to; no one there ever censored or disapproved of a word I wrote. Rather, it was because it would have been inappropriate of me to use SBN as a platform for such things. That’s not what they’re there for and that’s not what they asked me on board for. To follow what I had been called to do required me to leave SBN.
OPR – You are not just a digital author. You’re published as well, with the book, Restrictor Plate This and another, upcoming release. Tell me about the difference between writing a book and blogging.
Jerry Wilson – Blogging is far easier. Pick a topic, hit it, done. Writing a book requires far more planning and the ability to simultaneously monitor the here and now — the words you’re writing at any given point in the manuscript — and maintain full view of the overall picture you’re trying to create. A blog says “look at that flower” and then immediately moves on. A book doesn’t so much stop to smell the roses as it does plant the seed, cultivate the bush, and when the flower finally blooms make sure you’ve described it along with every step along the way in loving, full detail so the person who knows the rose solely from your words knows its fragrance as well as the person who actually gets a chance to take a whiff.