Monday, November 10, 2014

COMMENTARY: Stop Sissifying My Sport!

For the second week in a row, NASCAR Nation has been overrun by sissies. 

In the aftermath of Ryan Newman’s full-contact pass of rookie Kyle Larson within sight of the checkered flag at Phoenix International Raceway Sunday, internet chat boards and sports talk radio have been inundated with horrified fans who believe contact between racers is somehow unsportsmanlike, unfair, or even dangerous. 

Like they did a week ago with Brad Keselowski, a small-but-vocal contingent of shrinking violets has lambasted Newman, condemning his Neanderthal tactics and calling upon the sanctioning body to penalize him for his blatant, final-lap victimization of Larson.  

Most of these race fans have never scrubbed grease from beneath their fingernails. They have never uttered a four-letter word after busting their knuckles on the underside of a battered Street Stock racer, and are more likely to dine on sushi and pate’ than to partake of a Martinsville Speedway hot dog.

“Kyle was right on (Marcos Ambrose’s) rear bumper and when he went into Turn Three,” explained Newman afterward. “I think he slipped just a little bit and I went to the bottom. I figured, `I’m going to try it and see if it works,’ and it worked. I don’t know how much of it was racing luck, but the old adage of `eight tires are better than four’ was definitely true today.

“I don’t like racing that way,” he admitted, “but there’s a lot on the line here. I tried to keep it as clean as I possibly could. That’s what we’re supposed to do. I didn’t see anybody giving anybody anything (out there). Everybody raced hard. There were guys that could have backed off and not stuck it in there three wide on a restart, but everybody raced hard and everybody raced clean.

“We got beat around a little bit here and there, and we did our own beating around. That’s part of racing at Phoenix. That’s part of the intensity of this Chase. It’s racing, man.”

Correct as they are, Newman’s remarks were almost certainly lost on those who want stock car racing to be polite, genteel and strictly contact-free. That’s not NASCAR, my friends. That’s Formula One, where “avoidable contact” is viewed as a mortal sin, deserving of the most egregious sanctions. 

Stock car racing has never been a game for refined gentlemen in white gloves. If you want to see ballet, go to the ballet and leave stock car racing to those of us who understand the difference between wrecking a fellow competitor and simply “rattling his cage.” There has always been a clear and distinct difference between door-to-door contact and slamming into someone from behind, lifting their rear wheels off the ground and depositing them into the nearest SAFER barrier.
 
Racers understand that difference, which is why Larson has not joined the cacophony of whiners lamenting his treatment at the hands of a fellow racer who had everything to gain Sunday, and nothing to lose. 

This weekend at Homestead Miami Speedway, Ryan Newman will compete for his first career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship. If he prevails, Richard Childress Racing will earn its first Cup title since 1994 with the late Dale Earnhardt; a man who also knew a thing or two about moving competitors out of his way, against their will.  

Likely as not, someone will get their feelings hurt at Homestead. Somebody will get moved over, run over, or knocked aside by a man with a championship to win and no time for niceties. It’s an accepted part of the game, and it should be expected. 

"Wait until next week when the championship is on the line,” promised four-time series champion Jeff Gordon, after viewing a replay of Newman’s last-lap Phoenix pass. “You're going to see a lot more than that.” 

Cover your eyes if you can't bear to watch

49 comments:

  1. Anonymous11:01 AM

    Hey! I work on my cars and I also like sushi! Back off! Haha.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I hope Ryan Newman wins the championship with a 14th place finish at Homestead.

    That would give the series championship to a driver with no wins and only 4 top 5 finishes all season.

    That would put Phoenix in the rear view mirror pretty quickly - LOL.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Anonymous11:09 AM

    Careful Dave, Them are some strong words and our newer fan base may feel bullied and call for a boycott of you and your sponsors! As this is the way of the new NASCAR.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Good Comments Dave, As much as I root for Hendrick Motorsports before all other teams I can't say anything in the last two weeks have been unfair to Gordon. I'm interested in what Kyle Larson will have to say and I hope he takes the "high road" with his response. There is no doubt he was emotionally charged after the race and making the choice to not comment shows maturity.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Amen David, as you always state, it's the ribbons and trophies for all doing the whining. Any self respecting fan of any form of stock car racing knows these cars have the potential for, and will bump and bang. It happens, it is part of the sport of stock car racing. I am also a fan of open wheel racing. There a bump can kill a driver, in stock car racing they don't realize a bump is typically harmless

    ReplyDelete
  6. Tell em Godfather

    ReplyDelete
  7. Anonymous11:29 AM

    It's the Gordon fans who think he is owed everything doing the complaining if it were anyone else that got knocked out no one would have said a word. I actually read a comment from one of these fans that Gordon Brown should have 7 titles but NASCAR changed the rules and took them away !!! Yet a grip people

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous4:16 PM

      NASCAR gave Gordon a spot last year based on guesses that no one else was considered

      Delete
  8. Anonymous11:31 AM

    As a Kez fan had to hear it all last week.ITS RACING! I love it,watch something else if offended.Cant wait to next week ,hope its a lot of the same and next yr.Moody get it right!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Like Roseanne Roseanadana said: "there's always something...."

    ReplyDelete
  10. Anonymous12:07 PM

    I hope the driver of the 24 reads your comments. He seems to be the #1 sissy here. What Newman did was much more of a "body slam" than what Brad did. Both were just racing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Considering that Brad did nothing more than get in Jeffy's way, I'd agree that Newman did more...but Larson knew it was coming, and couldn't get outta the way. He'll be doing the same in the coming years. It's a tradition.

      Delete
  11. I'm just waiting for the screaming wenches over at USA Today, (Ms. Armour and Ms Brennan) to start their melodramatic chicken little routine. Moody is way too polite and classy to say it but I'm not; to them, STFU!

    ReplyDelete
  12. I thought Newman's move was awesome. Remember that race where Carl Edwards tried to bounce off the wall to pass for the lead on the last lap? That's what I was thinking of for Newman on the last lap: "Dive it in deep, and hope it drifts up into a car instead of the wall." And that's exactly what he did. He drove straight through the apron and came out aimed at the wall, but luckily one Mr. Larson was turning left right at that moment. Result? Ryan Newman now turning left, too! It was GREAT.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Anonymous12:16 PM

    Last week nobody praised Kez for his brilliant move because Jeff Gordon key member of the HMS dynasty screwed up , a victim of his own mistake. So the announcers tip toed around with cautious praise. Jeff sadly is being insanely stubborn and watching his post race interview this week is still throwing daggers at Kez and refuses to admit he did anything wrong, and more importantly Jeff's ego wants Kez to apologize for his own screw up. Gordon is a baby. The fact that Newman or Hamlin is in the final four of the fiasco, speaks volumes as to the stupidity of this format in stock car racing. Their seasons do not fall under the definition of a Champion.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous3:48 PM

      I agree with the last part... The champion will be a joke. However.... What exactly did Jeff do wrong?? I mean besides taking the outside lane. The only thing he did wrong was trusting his fellow drivers to race him like he races them. Kes made the hole bigger then it was. Forced his car in there and cut down Jeff's tire. Hence killing his big points lead and missing the chase. Kes better watch his back from here on out. Especially seeing how Brad is 5th and Jeff is 6th in points. I would love to see Jeff take out Kes to get the 5th in points position. But we know Jeff respects his fellow drivers and doesn't look to take other drivers out unless provoked.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous4:24 PM

      Kez did what a race driver would do...there was an opening (Gordon spun his tires,) kez went through. Look back at the Greats .

      Delete
  14. Dwayne in Memphis12:25 PM

    Welcome to NASCAR getting what it's sought for so long. It's chased viewers and chased viewers to the point of almost alienating it's long-time core fan base. So now they have all of these new viewers who couldn't care less about the history or tradition of this sport. NASCAR has stood on the mountain tops and declared for decades "We are NOT stick and ball sports" - even Angie has the clip on your promo on Speedway, "Vroom Vroom, baby!" But in the never-ending quest for more viewers we have a stick-and-ball playoff where a driver can finish 2nd in two of three races and not make it through. Yet somehow, we're surprised when the newbie viewers don't get it. They've watched the sport for a grand total of 37 minutes, and we're shocked when they see what happens on the track. They're told by the old-timers that Days of Thunder is the most unrealistic NASCAR movie imaginable. And we defend ourselves with "Rubbin's racin'"...from Duvall's "Rubbin', son, is racing" from Days of Thunder.

    Don't complain about the confusion of the new fans, Dave. NASCAR has changed just about everything it can about this points format time and again to try and get people to watch. Maybe it's just time for long-timers like us just aren't watching the same sport anymore. That's part of the reason I think there's a resurgence in the popularity of the Busch/Nationwide/Xfinity series...good old fashioned NASCAR. Winning races means something, and at the end of the season we'll worry about the point shake-down. And if Chase Elliot wins it a week early, it's ok...because we're about winning races down here. Not some goofy ever-changing Cup series points system to gimmick a new champion every time we've turned around.

    I think we're in a third NASCAR era. There's the 1972 BC/AD divider for the Common Era. Then there's a chase era. Matt Kenseth won a title after winning one race and the world had to change. And it's not stopped being tweaked since then. Talk about actions detrimental! Let's face it, Dave, they still have cars on the track, and Penske, Childress, and Hendrick are still putting them out there...but that's about the only thing the same.

    You can't complain about the very fans that NASCAR has worked SO hard to chase down. Just accept that isn't the same NASCAR you fell in love with and then you either make the decision to stay and watch it anyway (like I have) or you decide that it's not worth the frustration and walk away from it. But don't blame the fans for it...NASCAR has worked VERY hard to get them here.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You just said it all Dwayne!

      Delete
  15. Anonymous12:39 PM

    Newman's move was just hard racing.Something that has been done by thousands of racers since the chariot days.Every racer worth his salt would have done the same thing.

    ReplyDelete
  16. For once I have to agree with you, the world must be coming to an end. LOL

    ReplyDelete
  17. Jeff Gordon is a cry baby and a hypocrite. He stated that if had gotten to Junior's bumper in Martinsville he would have moved him or wrecked him doing what he had to do to lock himself in the chase. Fast Forward to Texas. On a restart, Brad, who really needed a win to make the chase went for it when Jeff moved up the track. Jeff came down on Brad, His front tires turned to the left to try to block Brad and he hit Brad, Brad didn't hit him, Jeff cut his tire wrecks then blames Brad for his mistake. If Jeff had just backed off and raced the big picture he would have been in the chase on points, but nope he tried to throw a block had it backfire then he cries about it, and so does his fans. What a joke.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous3:38 PM

      How can you block someone when he didn't know he was there sfbs?? The bump he would have given Jr wouldn't have taken him out of the race. He would have just moved up. The joke is you.....Alice.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous3:40 PM

      That is exactly correct. Why is no one in the media calling BS on cry-baby Jeff Gordon. Jeff Gordon's post Texas race actions are the equivalent of the "flopping" in the NBA and soccer. Even a blind man could look at the replays and see very clearly that Jeff moved left into Brad. Then he screamed, "He body slammed me." BS, Jeff, BS!
      Merlin in VA.

      Delete
  18. I love it. The new wave of doing anything you want as long as it benefits you or your team is long over due. Im realy looking foward to a first time winner taking out the championship leader for the win. Now that will be a hail mary moment.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous2:10 PM

      Yes chud59, it's much like the way the government works.

      Delete
  19. To a certain degree I must admit you are correct about the mentality of stock car racing.
    However, that is increasingly not the mindset of the population at large. So, either accept that those actions increase the marginalization of the sport, or change.If the decision is not to change than accept the continuing decline.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Anonymous1:21 PM

    Newman raced his ass off to get that final spot. I want to see that in my racing. I would love to see that dude take the cup next week.

    Ever see the in-car footage from Newman's car? The man is in attack mode from the drop of the green. Up on the wheel, elbows up, and when he gets back in the gas, he slams that pedal. I want to see a picture of the floorboard of his car after a race. I have a feeling it has a foot shaped depression in it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. He's a great racer. It would be a well deserved championship.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous1:10 AM

      ...too bad your fantasy for basically one race doesn't include the other 34 races that were less than subpar..yup a real champion waiting to be crowned.

      Delete
  21. Anonymous1:46 PM

    The Chase for the Sprint Cup. Just a Sunday drive to church and a little sushi afterwards.

    ReplyDelete
  22. tryingtovbeafan1:50 PM

    YOU CAPTURED THAT BEAUTIFULLY ! IT SHOULD BE ABOUT WHAT THE RACERS,OWNERS,NASCAR,NASCAR MEDIA WANT - those fans certainly are way too stupid to know what they like or want

    ReplyDelete
  23. Tell ya what, if Larson was fast enough, that could not have happened. But it did, just like racing can be... fun and swapping paint.

    At this rate, I'm waiting for the "shrinking violets" to start complaining about the hitting in Boxing. Just saying.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Anonymous3:25 PM

    These whinners have forgotten what small track racing is all about. ANyone thats spent their weekends watching small track racing know this is exactly what happends. FINALLY something fun to watch again!

    ReplyDelete
  25. Anonymous3:40 PM

    I can't stand moody. He says the dumbest sht. His voice is so damn annoying.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You can't stand me, yet you listen to my radio show and read my blog? Who's the dumb shit?!? ;)

      Delete
    2. What would Dale Sr say about such a fan? ;)


      Excellent column Mr. Moody!

      Delete
    3. ...signed Anonymous.

      Funny.

      Delete
    4. Bryan Gideon12:55 AM

      Evidently he ain't got the stones to be called out by name

      Delete
  26. Hey all you whiners: Get off the couch and take in some races at your local short track. Then you'll really have something to complain about! I grew up going to races at Stafford Springs, Riverside Park, Thompson, Monadnock, and Seekonk. What you saw on Sunday happens 100's of times every weekend at those tracks! "Oh the humanity...."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous1:12 AM

      so what would that prove? that everything is roses and all time or not..and nobody is ever wrong??????????

      Delete
  27. After we lost Dale Earnhardt Sr. in a car that really wasn't much better than a death waiting to happen, NASCAR "got after" some long overdue safety improvements.

    They gave us a car that was gobs safer but not so good for racing.

    The developments to protect drivers has been far more successful than any of us dreamed of. Kudos to NASCAR.

    Then they went to work on restoring cars that drivers could race.
    Kudos to NASCAR; they did it!

    It's back!
    NASCAR!

    I really do want the sissies to go away because we're about to see another NASCAR boom.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Anonymous6:30 PM

    "I really do want the sissies to go away because we're about to see another NASCAR boom."

    No we aren't.

    And great job pandering, Moody.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Anonymous6:41 PM

    I know that zillions will disagree with my opinion but i think that sportsmanship should be paramount. Look at the golf guys, a fine example to America's youth. By the way, i raced short track stock cars for ten years. NOT a sissy! lol

    ReplyDelete
  30. Hats off to Newman for acknowledging Larson's feelings right out of the gate. Newman even said he'd talk to Larson about it!

    What a difference between he and Brad. Both make a dive-bomb move and take another guy out. But only one will talk to the guy he bombed.

    I'm with Dave. Don't sissify my sport. (But if I driver's too sissy to TALK, no crying when that driver gets the wall!)

    ReplyDelete
  31. Anonymous7:36 PM

    Martinsville Speedway hot dog. (sigh). Next year can't come soon enough. Oh and Newman, did nothing wrong. The same people who praised Keslouski for punching the hole are condemning him. They should Go back to watching the Voice.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Anonymous10:22 PM

    Dave, I listen to your show daily….I couldn't have agreed with you more today than ever before. Newman did what it took to advance; Jeff again showed you why he is the whiniest guy in all the land. The drivers who are quick to adapt moved on, the ones who live by their code didn't. There’s a new way of racing and it requires consistency with a touch of selfishness and daredevil.
    I’m pulling for Newman to win it all….For those who think he didn’t earn it because he didn’t have a win, I would suggest he followed the same rules as Denny, Joey and Harvick. He is where he is due to his tenacity.
    I am gruntled and digging the new chase….it’s a score in my book. Thank you Dave for keeping it real.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Bryan Gideon12:52 AM

    Agreed Moody. Could have NOT been said better.

    ReplyDelete
  34. Anonymous1:54 PM

    I just think the folks ad at Newman are the Gordon/Jr./Johnson fans who have been shoved out this year. When Brad punts a driver out of the way, when Harvick bumps a driver out of the way, wen Ambrose bumped his way around Watkins Glen, when Montoya used to pound drivers out of the way, no one complained like they are complaining about Newman.

    Newsflash disgruntled fans, get over it. It's going to be a long winter for everyone if Hamlin wins. He is the real dark horse here.

    ReplyDelete