Wednesday, April 9, 2008
Viewer Alert: Fike Allegations And "NASCAR Now"
For those of you who have not read the Ryan McGee story over on ESPN.com, here is the link.
McGee writes about the new claim from former Truck Series driver Aaron Fike that he used heroin on race days prior to the events. In a nutshell, Fike states that he was on the track while high on drugs.
You may remember Ryan McGee as being employed by NASCAR Images over the last several years as the Managing Editor for that company. He is now a freelance writer who works for ESPN and has recently expanded his stories beyond NASCAR and into other sports. This is another strong and hard-hitting story that is going to have big repercussions.
NASCAR Now may treat this story as breaking news, or simply use it to lead the show. Even with the Truck Series off this weekend, this statement from Fike to McGee is ultimately going to cause a flood of concern. There is certainly a good reason why.
Many felt that other drivers who have been suspended for failed drug tests may have also been in the same situation and put other drivers at risk. Without naming names, veteran fans have seen the reckless actions of several young drivers who are currently suspended from the sport for failed drug tests.
The weakness in the NASCAR system is the current policy of testing once an issue or suspicion has arisen about a driver or crew member. The obvious topic of discussion is whether or not to institute a regular program of testing for anyone involved in "at risk" activity in the sport.
It should be very interesting at 6PM Eastern Time to see just how NASCAR Now deals with this story, and who they choose to have on the program to speak to this topic. This is not an issue that a Dale Jarrett or Andy Petree can speak to, other than to relate their own personal feelings.
NASCAR Now is going to need Ryan McGee or Aaron Fike to pay this story off on the only daily NASCAR program on TV. They will also need someone to speak to this issue from the perspective of what other professional sports leagues do in the same situations.
This post is not to debate Fike's statement or his personal agenda. It is merely to alert NASCAR fans that watching or recording the Wednesday 6PM show would be a good idea if they wanted an update on this story. There will be a full column up about the show immediately after it concludes. Thanks.