Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Presenting The FIrst Annual "Sirius Speedway Post Season Road Dog Awards"

The 2006 season is finally behind us, leaving time for only one final bit of business before the holidays; the presentation of the coveted, first annual "Sirius Speedway Post Season Road Dog Awards." These awards are voted on by a quasi-impartial panel of three (two if Suzy has a hair appointment), and all decisions are final. Winners will be declared honorary "Sirius Speedway Road Dogs" for the balance of the 2007 season.

And now, without further ado, this year's winners...

Best Alternative Use Of Closed-Cell Foam In An Athletic Event: Robby Gordon. His late-race use of a roll-bar padding projectile was second in audacity only to his, “nothing came out of my car…that I know of” innocent plea on national television. If Poker Face Gordon had represented OJ Simpson, The Juice would have fried by now.

Most Improved: Kurt Busch. Not his driving, his ears. He does make a lovely snow angel, though.

Most Admirable Insistence On Sticking To His Guns: SPEED’s Bob Dillner. Gullible? Perhaps. But steadfast in his devotion to protecting his sources. It could be worse.

Best Rebounder: Chad Knauss. He began the 2006 season by getting tossed out of Daytona International Speedway for cheating, and ended it with the Nextel Cup. There’s no quit in this guy.

Most Inspirational: Brian Vickers. After all, not just anyone can get 10,000 Talladega fans to throw down a perfectly good can of beer. The boy is a born motivator, that’s for sure.

The “Don’t Let The Door Hit You In The Butt On Your Way Out” Award: NBC. After failing in their attempt to incite a racial incident by sending a group of imitation Muslims to Martinsville this spring, the Peacock Network took a more passive approach the rest of the season; simply ignoring the sport they had paid handsomely to broadcast. NBC took the term “lame duck” to new depths in 2006, and they will not be missed.

The “I Don’t Deserve This, But Thanks” Award: California Speedway. NASCAR inexplicably rewards the nation’s largest market with a second Nextel Cup date, giving Los Angelans a chance to ignore stock car racing twice a year, instead of just once.

Most Insecure: Jamie McMurray. Other than a win in Sterling Marlin’s dominant Dodge 148 races ago, there hasn’t been much to write home about for J-Mac. A 25th place points showing for Roush Racing produced plenty of murmuring about his long-term job security, and it’s safe to say that 2007 will be a pivotal season for him.

The Lasik Award: NASCAR Officials. For their incredible ability to spot a chewing gum wrapper on the apron at 200 yards, just when Junior’s about to go a lap down.

The “Gee, I Really Thought It Was Ray’s Fault” Award: Jeremy Mayfield. He got the boot from Ray Evernham’s #19 Dodge after recording just four top-20 finishes (and no Top-10s) in 21 starts, then blamed it all on a “close personal relationship” between the boss and Erin Crocker. The fact that Elliott Sadler ran Top-10 in his first two replacement runs did little to bolster Mayfield’s case.

Bravest Driver: Jeff Gordon. The wreck he suffered at Pocono would make any normal human being contemplate retirement. But Gordo’s braver than most, as evidenced by his late-season decision to marry for the second time. Talk about big oysters.

The “I Should Have Quit While I Was Ahead” Award: Michael Waltrip. It took him decades – and an assist from Dale Earnhardt, Inc. -- to earn the respect of NASCAR fans and prove that he could drive. Now, he’s right back where he started, after failing to qualify twice in 2006, and running in the back of the pack when he did.

The “Time Warp” Award: NASCAR Fans who continue to insist that Rockingham and North Wilkesboro should return to the NASCAR Nextel Series schedule immediately, despite the fact that they never went to either track when they were ON the schedule!

Best Example Of Playing Both Ends Against The Middle: Mark Martin. He’ll run a Nextel Cup Chevrolet for Bobby Ginn next season, and a Craftsman Truck Series Ford for Wood Brothers/JTG Racing. If he can firm-up parttime Busch Series deals with Dodge and Toyota, he’ll have all his bases (and manufacturers) covered. There’s still time.

Most Improved: Scott Riggs. Is there any remaining doubt that his move from MB2 to Evernham Motorsports was a good one? Two poles and eight Top-10 finishes this season put him atop our “Best Driver Who Hasn’t Won Yet” list. He’ll change that in a hurry in 2007.

Worst Move: Brewco Motorsports. Brewco axed former Series champion David Green after 27 races, when he stood 16th in Busch Series points. Replacement Casey Atwood managed a best finish of 17th in his eight starts, proving that Green was not the problem. Now, veteran Jason Keller is in the running to replace Atwood in 2007, as the revolving door begins to pick up speed.

Best Freudian Slip: Kyle Busch. Calling his girlfriend by his sister-in-law’s name on national television may have given us an unintended look inside Shrubby’s mind last Saturday night, but it almost certainly doomed him to sleep on the couch for a few days.

Least Lovable: Robert Yates. Dale Jarrett bolted for a start-up team run by Michael Waltrip. Elliott Sadler threw him under the bus for a Ray Evernham ride that was 96th in points at the time. And now, Johnny Sauter says he’d rather stay with Haas CNC Racing than drive Yate’s #88 Ford. What’s the guy got, leprosy?

Best Target For A Sophomore Jinx: Denny Hamlin. After the season Joe Gibbs’ new wonderboy had in 2006, is there anywhere to go BUT down? Well, yes, but he’ll have a tough time equalling his phenominal rookie campaign in 2007. The good news is, Carl Edwards is off the hotseat at last.

Best Timing: Travis Kvapil. When Cal Wells’ PPI Motorsports began taking on water like the Titantic at tea time, Kvapil wasted little time heading for the life boats. A new ride in Jack Roush’s #6 NCTS Ford makes Kvapil the first man ever to be promoted from Cup to Trucks, and leaves him just a heartbeat away from a Nextel Cup return, should David Ragan or Jamie McMurray not make the grade in 2007.


  1. KFarrar10:33 AM

    Good point on Kvapil, a well timed move, as he's in line for a much better spot if McMurray or Regan falter (without falling out of the top 35 all together) and Rouch decides to yank the plug on either. It'll be interesting to see which teams falter early next year and fall out of the top 35 after 5 races. I'll guess it'll only be about 3 teams as they are locked in for the first 5 and all the new teams will be beating each other over the head to get in for those races.

    Any guess as to what is going to happen with the Yates 88, Dave?

  2. WOW,
    Somebody Must be on Ray's Payroll!!!
    If U had UR eyes open Mayfield had made the chase both years until Ray did the ole' switcheroo w/ crewchiefs
    (Hummmmm) Kinda Like he did w/ his WIFE!
    KJ OUT

  3. Actually this is wrong: "The fact that Elliott Sadler ran Top-10 in his first two replacement runs did little to bolster Mayfield’s case." Elliott finished 10th at Michigan, and then 39th the next week at Bristol. The only other top ten he placed in the 19 car was 6th in New Hampshire which was his fifth race in the car.

    Did you also fail to see in all your research that Sadler had four DNFs just in the 19 car, which is more than the number of DNFs Mayfield had in the car and he drove it for 7 more races the Sadler.

    Maybe you could have also noted that the driver of the 19 car hasn't finished so low in driver's points since 2002, the first year Mayfield drove the car and its third year at EMS.

    You should really check Nascar.com before you start posting statistics that come out of the sky.

    By the way, did you see Evernham's date to the Nascar Nextel Cup Banquet? I think that speaks for itself. What do you think?

  4. You're right Lynn, Jeremy did a heck of a job this year. The stats certainly bear that out, don't they? And as far as Ray's banquet date is concerned, my take is that he can go with anyone he likes, without having to explain it the the likes of you and me.

    Thanks for writing in.

  5. KGManning6:59 AM

    Well when it comes down to it Sadler had a different race team then Jeremy. The prior post was pointing out that a Driver change to the 19 team only scored a top ten. Wow Moody you are right it was all JM's fault the 19 ran badly. As far as who Ray Dates you are right it is none of our busniess by why is he so ashamed of it? Any other driver or owner has no problem bring up ther significant other. Moody it seems you are just a Jeremy hater, but remember this JM's stats were not good this year he still made more money sitting at home then you doing your little doggie radio show.

  6. Anonymous9:12 AM

    Yes, both Rockingham and North Wilkesboro should be reconsidered!!! And of course I have attended races at both tracks... about 30 of them collectively. NA$CAR is on the fast track to disaster with the events and efforts of the past 2-3 years. Hope they wake up and see that before its too late. Liked your article, it made me chuckle several times. MJ "Rube" Rubley

  7. Great comments!!
    We would love to get you as a voter on our NASCAR Top 20 this year.

  8. Dave,
    I happen to be one of those "time warp" fans you are referring to and although you are correct in pointing out the fact that Rockingham never sold out, you are dead wrong on N. Wilkesboro, every race right up until the last one on September 29, 1996 was a sellout. Furthermore, Rockingham was hurt by the fact that NASCAR for some reason continued to give it dates on the schedule which virtually guaranteed the God-Awful cold weather that kept the fans from making the trip.

  9. Hey Dave,

    I'm the guy whose been seen sporting the "Bring Back North Wilkesboro Speedway" sign at various tracks throughout this past season. My intentions are not to see Cup racing return to the track, or Busch and not necessarily the CTS. It can be used for other activities, racing and non-racing. My intentions, along with MANY others are to try to keep a piece of history alive and remember those who made it happen.

    Speaking for myself and others, we are not asking for your support. But I do ask this, if you don't have anything positive to say about NWS, its fans and any possible ongoings that may take place in the future, we'd appreciate that you not comment at all. Likewise, we will not act or comment negatively toward you in any way.

    You do your thing, we'll do ours.

    A fan of the sport's history.

  10. Rick, you obviously don't listen to Sirius Speedway. If you did, you would know that on TWO different occasions, we have interviewed principals of the group attempting to resurrect North Wilkesboro Speedway, updating our listeners on their progress and telling how they can help. I have repeatedly stated that Wilkesboro deserves a better fate than to rot into the ground this way, and that it would be a tremendous venue for any number of regional racing series.

    I guess you missed all that, being busy with your T-shirt and all.

    Either way, I invite you to calm down and re-read what I wrote. You will see that I said nothing negative about NWS; only about the delusional fans who continue to believe Nextel Cup racing will return there someday. They're kidding themselves, a fact that we apparently agree on.

  11. Dave, ya lost me with the T-shirt comment(???)

    Anyway, when you make comments about delusional fans and North Wilkesboro in the same sentence, you can expect a reply. Fans of NWS are true fans of racing and its roots. Those comments won't always be taken with a grain of salt compared to similar comments directed toward the recently formed "here today, gone tomorrow" fan.

    I appreciate your repsonse. This won't turn out to be a war of words either. I wasn't fired up when I made my last comment. I just wish you had stated some of this last remark in your orignial post. It left some uncertainty.

  12. Dave,

    In light of the last couple of posts I have seen I would like to say that like Rick, I hold nothing against you or the radio show, in fact I listen to it whenever I get the chance. Nor am I naive enough to believe that either track would ever receive a Cup, Busch or even a CTS date again. Now I will admit I have only been a Sirius subscriber for about a month now and although I try to listen whenever I get the chance my schedule does not always allow me to do so. I was merely trying to point out what I felt was a factual error. I meant no disrespect and apologize if I came off that way.

  13. Here's some quotes from Aug. 2006
    Suite 101
    Ray Evernham Show His True Colors

    Posted by Jeremy Dunn

    "Ray Evernham was one of the best crew chiefs, but his team ownership skills leaves a lot to be desired."
    "Mayfield states the obvious. When he spoke out against Evernham, he did what most drivers would not have done. He did what Elliott Sadler, Dale Jarrett, and Brian Vickers would not dare."

    Mayfield's personality usually rather serene, but if you get him riled up, he isn't afraid to speak his mind.

    THATS REAL There is nothing FAKE about MAYFIELD and his morality issues

  14. And Jeremy Dunn would be...who? Maybe if we knew a little more about you and your personal life, we might understand why you're so caught up in Ray's.

  15. Well Dave, the new racing fan should not celebrate the closing of NW and the Rock just yet.

    A quick look at NASCAR's top division indicates several tracks have lost top billing only to have it return at a later date.

    In fact, even one of the current tracks on the NEXTEL CUP schedule actually lost top billing on two different occasions. And, it went through a period of closure!

    Groups such as Save the Speedway (STS), Augusta International Raceway Preservation Society (AIRPS), Georgia Automobile Racing Hall of Fame Association (GARHOFA), Living Legends of Auto Racing (LLOAR)and others will not let modern day racing media re-write the history books.

    Ignorance only helps the cause of preserving automobile racing heritage.

  16. Justin Petschauer3:40 AM

    well heck Mr. Dave Moody. i happen to like what they at Save The Speedway.net are doing of trying to re-open North Wilkesboro Speedway.and some of us SIM racers happen to like racing at North Wilkesboro Speedway on NR2003.and we all know that cup busch and trucks will or never return to NWS but it could be used by other series like the USAR HOOTERS PRO CUP SERIES. but i really wouldone day hopefully soon like to see a truck race there under the lights.anyway Mr. Dave Moody one day u should try to do some simracing broadcasting on SRN(SimRacingNetwork).