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Woody: Bad News, Good News And Other News

| Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Tuesday, August 10 2010

The Wood Brothers go to work on the car of Curtis Turner during a pit stop at de-activated Rockingham. NASCAR's Southern Strategy has some flaws. (Photo courtesy of Wood Brothers Racing)

Larry Woody | Senior Writer

My three cents worth (adjusted for inflation):

I hate to see Atlanta lose one of its two Cup races for the same reason I hated to see Darlington lose one. And for North Wilkesboro, Nashville and Rockingham to get cut out of the sport they helped build. No wonder more and more Southern race fans are telling NASCAR to kiss their grits.

When NASCAR does something right it ought to get credit, and whatever it did to bolster its race cars is saving lives. There was a time when a driver wouldn’t have walked away from a crash like Elliott Sadler’s two weeks ago, or several other metallic manglings we’ve seen in the last couple of seasons.

The Nationwide Series is in deep doo-doo and nobody seems to know how to fix it. It needs the drawing power of the Cup raiders, but those same Cuppers are siphoning off money that Nationwide regulars desperately need for survival. Rome is burning and all we hear from Daytona is fiddle music.

Danica Patrick is old news until she moves up to Sprint Cup or does something dramatic in a Nationwide race. Hot looks can compensate for a lack of hot laps for only so long. Understand, I like Danica. I also like my grandmother but at some point granny has to start winning.

Frankly I’ve never heard a lot of deep thoughts springing from race drivers, but if they want to voice an opinion about something they don’t like, they should have the right to twitter away. By gagging them, NASCAR is not protecting the brand, it’s promoting the bland.

Drivers blaming the media for things going sour is as amusing as it is old. Back during my Vanderbilt football beat days a peeved fan said it would help the team if I’d be more positive and upbeat. I suggested writing, “Yipeee! Vandy Loses 56-0!” He didn’t appreciate the humor.

There’s another empty seat in the Old Press Box with the passing of veteran Florida racing writer Norm Froscher. Norm was a cheerful companion in all weather, and his and  crop-duster cigars always kept the skeeters thinned out.

If Aussie Marcus Ambrose had been leading Sunday’s road course race at Watkins Glen you can bet your wallaby he wouldn’t turn off his engine to save gas as he did at Sonoma – killing his engine and his hopes in the process. From now on he’ll get out walk home first.

Retired racer Tommy Ellis got 18 months in jail and his wife 12 months for failing to report some income to the IRS. Seems harsh; and why aren’t a couple of prominent U.S. Senators and at least one high-level Cabinet member their cellmates?

Anybody want Jack Roush’s unused Frequent Flyer miles? Surely he’ll take a bus from now on.

I agree with my old sports writing pal Ed Hinton who opines on ESPN.com that we tend to recall more racing action than there really was back in The Day. I also seem to recall that the girls were prettier, the beer was colder and our jokes were a whole lot funnier.

– Larry Woody can be reached at lwoody@racintoday.com

| Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Tuesday, August 10 2010


  • Al says:

    I enjoyed the races back when for no other reason then the fastest car normally won. No Lucky dogs, run arounds, pit road speeding, etc. and I didn’t have to listen to all of the NASCAR shills (Byrnes, Larry Mac, I’d go on but my finger will wear out. And after the short track races I could go into the pits and actually talk to the drivers. I wish they would stop dissing ths past to promote the current.

  • brian says:

    Well…the beer was colder for sure!!!