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Monday, October 22, 2007

TEAM SPEAK

In most stick and ball sports, the term ‘coach speak’ is something that the head coach uses to help make excuses for his teams performance. Coach-speak, the gruff, clipped, cliché-ridden language of head sports coaches, can be heard on almost any ESPN Sports Center broadcast, but when it comes to NASCAR drivers, the better term might be called ‘team speak’.

The 19 team’s 2007 version of Team Speak:

ELLIOTT SADLER (No. 19 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge Avenger)

"We had a good car today, I think a top 15 at least. Unfortunately, that opportunity was taken away from us before we had completed 100 laps. After my crew made all the repairs and we came back out, the car still handled well in the corners and that's the key to success here at Martinsville. The rest of the race, we worked on different things, trying to find anything that could help us at Phoenix. We certainly didn't get the kind of finish our car was capable of today."

Now the Southern Gentleman is not the only driver guilty of such nonsense, (Ricky Rudd used to be the king of Team Speak in his days with the Wood Brothers), but there are some glaring issues from the very beginning of his post race comments. Breaking down a few items, one can see the Team Speak very clear.

“We had a good car today, I think a top 15 at least.”

So starting 14th, and after less than 30 laps have been run, your car falls out of the top 20 is a ‘top 15 car’? To make matter worse, when the unfortunate incident took place, the 19 car was running in the mid to high 20s and didn’t appear to be moving up through the field.

Now it is possible that Sadler was getting this ‘top 15’ idea from how the car ran after repairs had been made, but there is a problem with that as well. There was a comment made over the 19 scanner that the 19 was actually running ‘faster laps than the leader by a tenth a lap’, and while that was a true statement there was a very important omission. The 19 was running these laps on 50 or so lap fresher tires, of course one would expect them to be running some competitive lap times.

'Unfortunately, that opportunity was taken away from us before we had completed 100 laps.'

This a is very true statement on the surface and the result of an over-aggressive entry into turn one by a team-mate no less, and did take any opportunity to see if indeed the 19 car was in fact a ‘top 15 car’. The problem with the statement is how can one really determine where a car should finish with less than 1/5 of the race completed?

Flip the memory card back to the 2005 season at Loudon when the Southern Gentleman from the drop of the green flag had run pretty much every lap in the top 10 or top 5 and also led some laps when with a handful of laps left in the race, was dumped by Mark Martin causing the 38 car to finish multiple laps down. Now that was a ‘top 10 car’. See the difference?

But you are not alone, Elliott. There are about 30 or so other Cup drivers that are guilty of the same Team Speak each week when they claim they had a ‘top 10 car’.

And another sport that I love is full of Team/Coach speak, and 'Lou Holtzing' has become the norm not the exception on Saturdays.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

You are right, Sadler is bad, but not nearly as bad as a few others. Micheal Waltrip a couple of years ago made a claim that he had a top 5 car based on Qualifying and final practice when he was involved in someone else's mess in the first couple of laps, I think it was Atlanta.

Aaron said...

It is about time someone called out Sadler and his years of deception.I can't stand to watch him every Friday night on Trackside anymore, his act is getting about as bad as his on track performance.

top 15 car my foot, in those 90 some odd laps I didn't see Sadler pass one car except in the pits!

I wonder how long Ray will put up with it?

Anonymous said...

Has it ever occurred to you why Sadler is pimping that online poker site? Its because the best poker players are the ones that can bluff. A bluff is not much different than lying or deceiving.

After his racing career I see an acting job in Sadler's future. He has had enough practice of acting like a race car driver the past few years, he should be good at it.

Anonymous said...

From the Evernham website:

Sadler started 14th in the No. 19 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge Charger with a time of 20.097 sec. (94.223 mph). He ran in the top 20 up to the first caution on lap 45. A stop for four tires and fuel along with adjustments had Sadler 24th for the restart. He had worked is way easily back into the top 20 when he was caught up in a three-car mishap in turn one on lap 92.

He took 4 tires when most took 2 which lost him spots on pit road. Apparently he had gotten back in the top 20 before the accident. Maybe it's just spin; I don't remember. What should he say? That his car sucked like Kyle Busch so eloquently stated in Victory Lane at Bristo? Anyone listening to his scanner the first half the year knew he felt that way...maybe this time he actually thought he had a good car. When you've been racing crap for the first half the year, anything better probably feels like a top 15 car.

Aaron said...

Looks as if the Evernham website has the same problem of teamspeak as they omitted just how Sadler got back into the top 20, and that was but NOT pitting when other cars ahead of him did. Ray may the call to stay out twice when Sadler wanted more adjustments.

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