There is only ONE Oklahoma

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


I must admit that I didn’t and don’t watch ‘this week in NASCAR’ regularly, but I did catch some innerweb rantings concerning Michael Waltrip’s comments about the ‘big one’ at Watkins glen last week. So thru the greatness of Tivo, I was able to catch the show late Monday night.

In a nutshell, Waltrip accused the driver of the 38 car, David Gilliland of purposely causing this wreck. Now this is eerily similar to the claims Elliott Sadler made when he was knocked out of the All-star race. (Funny how thier careers mirror each other as well) We have all seen the replays and one just has to wonder what Waltrip is smoking!

Now I am not going to lay blame on either driver as both contributed in their own ways. Gilliland ‘maybe’ could have given a bit more room once the 00 stuck a nose under the left rear quarter panel, and McDowell ‘maybe’ could have showed a bit more patience and not tried to complete the pass in a single turn. (The 00 would have been in a good passing position on the next right hand turn number 1 if needed)

We all saw the result of ‘hard driving’ by BOTH drivers, but that is a product of the late stages of a road course race. I have seen some calling McDowell’s move a ‘rookie’ mistake, but I have seen worse road course Bonzai moves by such ‘ringers’ like Ricky Rudd or even Robbie Gordon. But Waltrip’s accusations are simply over the top, and his justifications are even more humorous. To say that Gilliland is ‘fighting to keep his job’ or ‘just trying to stay in the top 35’ is priceless, and the look of disbelief on co-panelist’s face, Greg Biffle was something out of a Saturday Night Live skit.

While host Steve Byrnes did question Watrip’s reasoning somewhat, like most hosts, he treated his weekly guest with ‘softball’ questions and skirted the real issue. This again was much how Dave Moody lobbed softballs at guest Elliott Sadler when Sadler was ranting about being wrecked at the All-star on Moody's Sirius radio show. My question to these hosts; Are you that afraid to ask the really hard-core questions for fear of losing a guest (or even your show). Maybe you guys should take a page from Tim Russert. He would not waffle simply to keep a guest, but would ask FAIR but hard questions of his guests, and expected at the very least reasonable answers. If he didn’t get that, he would call out his guest, and that’s what gave him much credibility.

Lastly, there is a right way and a wrong way to publicly voice your opinion about matters like these. One only has to look at David Gilliland’s post race comments and all his comments since, to see the ‘right way’. And this is coming from a driver with less than 3 seasons in CUP; maybe some of the ‘veterans’ should take note.


Thru the greatness of the innerweb, many NASCAR fans aid their race day TeVee coverage by joining chat room and exchanging information such as scanner chat and ‘race view’ coverage. Frankly, it has enhanced that TeVee race day experience for many. However, some last Sunday seemed to fall victim to one of the oldest tricks in the innerweb books. That would be the ‘driveby’ post by some anonymous or unknown chat room member who claimed that MRN reported there were ‘team orders’ for the 00 car to wreck the 38. The 'claim' was that these team orders originated from the driver of the 55 (Michael Watrip) scanner chat. This ‘claim’ spread like wildfire in a handful of driver chat rooms, but little if any verification could be found. If one takes a peek at some of the driver’s message board they can see the fallout of this driveby even two days later.

I had MRN playing during the race, in addition to Elliott Sadler’s scanner along with the Official’s channel. I did not recall hearing anything about it, so I took the report with huge grains of salt. This week, I visited over 20 message boards, and there was absolutely no mention of the supposed MRN report. Frankly, it would be impossible for such a statement to be made, and not have it hit ANY of the other boards, including the NASCAR.com chat room.

Another blogger buddy, stayed up quite late Sunday night to listen to the MRN replay on Sirius. Even after the wreck there was no mention backing said driveby. To be clear, there was NO mention of ANY inter-radio communication between Waltrip and McDowell from any of the broadcasters on MRN. NONE!

I’ll file this one under another driveby that claimed a few victims, but those victims have fallen for stuff like this before, so I cannot say I am surprised.


nascar wrecks said...

Waltrip is tripping on something himself - sour grapes I say!

Anonymous said...

Nascar officials monitor the team frequencies throughout the the race. Noone in their right mind would give orders like that on an open radio frequency.

Nascar routinely calls spotters to the trailer after the race when they use offensive language, so they do listen.