Monday, September 15, 2008

"NASCAR Now" Singles Out Junior


Halfway through the Monday review of the Sprint Cup Series race from Loudon, NASCAR Now host Allen Bestwick turned to a TV guest for more information on the race. It was ESPN.com writer David Newton. His topic was Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Earlier that day, Newton had written an article about Earnhardt for ESPN.com's NASCAR section. The thrust of the article was that Rick Hendrick had to step-in and manage Junior during the races. Newton said Junior was "having a fit."

Newton wrote that the main problem was Earnhardt's "expletive-laden rant(s)" and "radio tirades." Newton made sure ESPN.com readers knew exactly the words Junior had said by carefully using just enough letters to get his point across.

Last week, Earnhardt had joined Tony Stewart in speaking-out about ESPN's perceived poor treatment of NASCAR drivers and teams on-the-air. What Earnhardt had objected to was ESPN's use of team radio comments during the races. The network had replayed several audio clips of heat-of-the-moment comments much later without putting them in context. Some had been used for days.

"I think it's just poor taste by the networks and I am seeing it too often," said Earnhardt. "It's taking it too far where they're putting those type of conversations on network television and it's getting the kind of press it's getting. It's really about class...or the lack of it."

There is an interesting irony in seeing Mr. Newton and hearing him essentially repeat his ESPN.com story on NASCAR Now. Bestwick's Monday guest is usually a driver or crew chief who is in the news from the weekend races. The Monday show has consistently been one of ESPN finest NASCAR offerings.

In appearing on this program, Newton said Hendrick "for a few weeks now" had been monitoring Junior's radio. Newton indicated that Hendrick had turned "amateur psychiatrist" because Junior "gets out of control at times." Again, Newton made sure to mention that Earnhardt "starts yelling and screaming profanities" at Tony Eury Jr. during races.

Hendrick was interviewed after the race. "The fans probably think that he (Junior) wants to rip Tony apart," said Hendrick. "Then he gets out of the car and wants to hug him. If he can just focus, they have a real shot at this thing."

What Hendrick was trying to give Junior on the radio was referred to as "old man experience" by the veteran owner. At the end of Newton's appearance, Bestwick stated that Earnhardt is "always emotional" on the team radio. When asked if this was something new for Junior, Newton said "he was about the same" at Loudon as the other races.

Newton tried one final time to sell this story. "He (Earnhardt) says stuff to Tony Eury Jr. that you wouldn't say to your worst enemy at times and that's got to have an impact," said Newton. All of this hype, it turns out, was over a set of tires.

Earlier in the show, Junior had talked about how just one bad set of tires put him back in the field and he just did not have the time to get back up to the front. In his first Chase race for Hendrick, that had him upset. In a post-race interview with an ESPN pit reporter, Earnhardt was polite and thoughtful.

Todd Bodine, Ray Evernham and Mike Massaro made up the panel for this program and added their thoughts. Evernham suggested that Hendrick will sit the team down and preach his philosophy of respect. Bodine wanted to make sure Junior knew he was the quarterback on the team and everyone took their cues from him. Massaro wondered if Earnhardt will change his style to the non-emotional and more analytical approaches of teammates Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon.

NASCAR Now touched on all the race highlights, including a good review of the Kyle Busch situation. An added touch was a good decision to show Craftsman Truck Series highlights that included the post-race fracas and let Bodine explain what happened. In talking about the meaning of Hornaday's win after the steroid hype, Bestwick made sure to say that was an ESPN the Magazine story.

Things certainly get interesting this time of year when the pressure is on for all those concerned in the sport. Bestwick let Evernham completely off the hook as an owner, even as the Jayski.com website is reporting that GEM is set to buy Bill Davis Racing. That is a huge story that should have been covered.

Bodine was again fun to watch and plain-spoken as usual. Massaro is an observant and thoughtful reporter who has really lent a hand to this series each week with his journalistic perspective. Next week, Boris Said will join Evernham and Massaro on this program that airs each Monday at 5PM Eastern Time.

The photo at the top of the page is Earnhardt in Loudon before the race courtesy of Getty Images.

Here is the link to the David Newton story:
Hendrick Busy Being Referee

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112 comments:

Village Idiot Intern said...

David Newton:
Need More Cowbell!

Lou said...

Why do I get the feeling that this story would not be on NN if Jr had not made the comments he did last week with Tony. Just more sleaze from ESPN from a timing point of view. I am not saying the story is not true, just the timing of it. Yes, I did read the story from the link you provided JD, thanks. Good thing I only watch NN on Monday only and not the rest of the week.

red said...

wow: it's not even thursday and newton's rolling out his "big story."

except it's not. dale jr fans know about this from listening in on the race scanner and it's being discussed on other boards. many are taking exception with newton's emotion-heavy language: "screaming profanities," "rants," tirades" and so on. in addition, hendrick has been vocal about his role in the #88 team's communications of late as well. since the jrs did not have an active owner while at dei, one never heard said owner on the radios or saw said owner on the box during the race. as far as i can see, the sole difference is that hendrick is a more active owner with his teams (and didn't he go thru the very same issue with the #48 team a few years back?) so i 'm not seeing this as a new story: it comes up every so often in each season b/c of the way the two jrs talk to each other on the radio. in my opinion, old news, dressed up for today. (or, in the language of today's campaigns: it's akin to trying to put lipstick on . . . well, you guys know the rest by now, doncha?)

as my self-imposed boycott against espn is still in place, i haven't read newton's article and so i can't comment on specifics. but i can say this:

it is a mighty interesting coincidence that newton has chosen this topic and that espn has put him on NN today after dale's comments going into the weekend. it might be just that -- a coincidence -- but i have a great deal of difficulty believing that. not certain why this piece from newton was NN-worthy (unless there's a motive behind giving it full air play now?) and i don't remember reading on the front page of TDP that newton was scheduled.

just another moment that makes me go hmmmmm.

Anonymous said...

I don't understand why when reporters do traditional styles of reporting you all get up in arms. NASCAR drivers shouldn't be treated with kid gloves. The bottom line is that those radio conversations can be heard. People have feeds of them and the radios can be listened to via a headset at the race. NASCAR has often been very quick to penalize drivers for things said over their radio. The bottom line is that the Junior story IS a story. Newton should and did report it. If a QB and WR were fighting on the sideline every game, cameras would be on them and reporters on the sideline would be trying to get the scoop on what they're saying. As professional athletes, NASCAR drivers included, they have no right to privacy when they're performing, whether that's in a car, on a football field, or wherever.

I'm starting to think that JD turned his Erik Kuselias anger on to David Newton because he doesn't treat drivers the way Barney treats children.

bobb said...

So how come there was no mention of Kyle Busch use of profanity after pitting before pit road was open? I heard it and it was really bad. And it was not just venting. He was mad at NASCAR.

So If you are a popular dive you get ESPN bad spotlight coverage? and drivers that fans hate get a free pass = Wow.

Anonymous said...

ESPN is doing its best to get radio traffic made off-limits to everyone.

ESPN is also carefully picking and choosing who it will stab in the back from one week to the next.

This network is out of control and needs to be reigned in by NASCAR.

Since that won't happen, I suggest the drivers start a coordinated effort to not speak with anyone representing ESPN until the message is received in Bistol.

Jo said...

Glad I'm boycotting #$%^ & all its incarnations. This is not "news" - JRs. talk to each other like this for years. Non story. What makes it a "story" is that Dale Jr. spoke out against #$%^ so now he is a new target.

Kyle's mouth on the radio is not child friendly either - nothing about him? Hmmmm...

Scrolling down I just noticed Anon 733 - who was penalized for what they said DURING a race? Plenty have been penalized for post race cussing, & such. Not During a race, unless they stated they were gonna wreck or had wrecked someone on purpose. Please clarify.

red said...

anon 7:33 -- i am certainly NOT saying or intimating that the drivers need to be treated with kid gloves or protected. but i certainly do have to wonder aloud why newton chose this as his big story following loudon. the timing of it is the issue for me, not the content b/c, as i said above, there is very little that is newsworthy in the content for anyone who's followed earnhardt and eury for any amount of years.

i will also repeat that the emotionally charged language that is apparently part of newton's article is a longstanding disagreement that i have with him as a reporter. here's an example: "He (Earnhardt) says stuff to Tony Eury Jr. that you wouldn't say to your worst enemy at times and that's got to have an impact," said Newton. and newton would know that "it's got to have an impact" how?
that, anon, to me is newton speculating, putting HIS feelings into the story and then trying to somehow imply that eury jr feels the same way. and that is NOT reporting, it is speculating of the worst sort.

the "timing" question isn't about earnhardt or hendrick or eury or any of that. it's not even about the chase or racing. it's about the appearance of "payback" by espn in having newton write the article and the NN having him on the show to continue to flog his "report" so soon after they take one to the gut from earnhardt jr and stewart this past week.

and frankly, espn has lost all credibility with me this season and so i am not inclined to extend any benefit of the doubt.

Anonymous said...

The porblem here, folks is, simply:
This isn't news. News is, by definition, what is new.

These two guys have been going at it on the radio for years.

If Newton is admitting he didn't know that (not likely, I know), that's a problem.

If ESPN knew that very week, but is looking to make a point after his presser with Tony, that's a problem.

The latter looks more plausible. I hope Junior does refuse to talk to ESPN staff in the future.

Anonymous said...

Excuse me, I meant "if ESPN knew that happens every week.."

Anonymous said...

Give me a freakin' break. I guess Newton doesn't listen to the scanners of other drivers. There's a lot of stuff being said by a lot of drivers that you wouldn't say to your worst enemy. I've listened to Stewart screaming at his spotter, using language that you don't want to hear. Heck, a few weeks ago, Hamlin threw his entire crew under the bus during an ESPN interview.

Newton's article isn't the only one written about Jr. On Jayski's site, I counted at least three others on the same subject. But I do agree with one thing the ESPN group said----Jr is not good at giving information to his team to help matters out, info that most other drivers give to their teams. Perhaps Jr doesn't have the knack or knowledge to provide what his team needs to fix his car.

BTW, Mr Bodine was on ESPNews this afternoon on The Hot Seat talking about the Jr issue. His comments were pretty much on par with what he said on NN>

Richard in N.C. said...

I notice that Newton does not bother to mention how many years Dale, Jr. and Tony, Jr. have worked together or that Tony, Jr. chose to leave DEI in order to continue working with Dale, Jr.

The recent Hornaday ambush demonstrated that from the top down most of ESPN is not concerned with accuracy or completeness - just with attracting attention.

This was obviously an attempt by ESPN to send a message to those in NASCAR to cooperate and not criticize ESPN, or ESPN will get you - and they chose the opportunity to go after the most popular driver in NASCAR to get their message across.

Rather than asking Dale, Jr. and/or Tony, Jr. about the situation, ESPN chose to rely on eavesdropping.

Gymmie said...

Agreed! This is *not* News nor New!

Anyone whose followed Jr. and you can be a "casual" fan and have heard a thing or two knows this is how they've always been.

Like Smoke & Zippy, the Cousins can yell and say things that other folks can't get away with and for them it's "normal" and they're back to being buds again.

That's why that DEI 'speriment failed...Jr. needed family on the box that's all he's known. He needs to be able to talk "rough" to someone and them know when and how to dish it back.

Very suspicious on this "breaking news" and the timimg...hmmmmmmmmmmm..........

diane said...

Again, another example of why Evernham should not be on this program. Will they cover the lawsuit with Robby Gordon? It looks more and more like GEM is deliberately trying to break a contract and blame Robby, so they can do the deal with BDR. The last time Evernham broke a contract and tried to blame the other person, the whole Crocker debacle came to light. Doesn't he learn, or is this latest soon to be mess Gilette's doing? Either way, how can they ignore it during Nascar programming. No current team owners should be commentators.

Gymmie said...

Of course Richard! The truth isn't "juicy" enough for them...they need to invent things to fit their agenda.

Like with Grampa, him admitting to it and laying all out wasn't "good enough" the "journalist" needed to twist things to make it seem as if Grampa was hiding something.

So of course he can't get the truth from either Jr. it wouldn't fit the script...he had to make it seem as if they went to meet behind the haulers after challenging each other to a duel and Mr. Hendrick had to come in and "save the day".

Anonymous said...

Newton is right - Dale Jr. does say awful things to Eury Jr. during the races, absolutely awful.

This blog likes to take shots at the lurid viagra-type ads on NASCAR or the suggestive non-family shows that sometimes follow NASCAR shows on other networks... why is Dale Jr. given a free pass?

Dale Jr. should clean up his mouth, first of all - there are kids who want to listen to him. Second of all - he is somewhat of an emotional roller coaster on the radio. Hendrick is stepping in because I'm guessing Johnson and Gordon don't sound like him even on their worst days.

Anonymous said...

Also, Joe Menzer has pretty much the same article on NASCAR.com - talks about Hendrick stepping in on the radio and leaves little doubt what Jr said. Is NASCAR.com biased against Jr, too?

Anonymous said...

v

Because the radios are part of the team's own communications. If you choose to listen to them, you risk hearing things that aren't so nice. The teams shouldn't have to censor themselves just because you don't like it.

Anonymous said...

One final thing (I should think this out more and post all at once)...

To those who are saying there is nothing new here. Wrong! What is new is Rick hendrick having to get on the radio and get involved. I don't see Joe Gibbs getting in between Stewart and Zippy. I don't see Hendrick usually micromanaging his drivers' radio communications. THAT is the story - not that Jr has a mouth, but that it is getting to the point that Hendrick feels he has to verbally intervene DURING A RACE (not even after in a meeting, but DURING A RACE).

Guess what? That's called NEWS.

bevo said...

The reason this is now a story is because the boss is now involved. This has nothing to do with his language but rather his method of communicating issues about the car. Yes he and Eury have have always been this way but the main reason he gave in moving to Hendrick was his desire to win championships. Love him or hate him the one thing you have to admit is Hendrick knows how to build championship teams. He sees that the system they have used is not going to produce a championship so he is stepping in.

Anyone who has read my comments before knows that I'm not an ESPN apologist. In this case I believe it is a legitimate story and appropriate at this time.

Now let's watch some Cowboys! :)

red said...

anon 8:32: no disagreement about dale's language and attitude on the radio. and that's really quite irrelevant b/c this blog is, at least in theory, about the media.

and that's why we're discussing this. for me, newton's story is an attempt to make a driver who critcized newton's employer look bad. and again, i don't believe that newton was originally scheduled to be part of NN on monday, was he? so, how come THAT happened?

and couldn't more time have been spent with bodine talking about the fight that erupted and involved his team? or maybe talking about how the points leader had a mechanical failure that plummeted him in points? or even as diane has suggested, a discussion about the status of gordon's team with evernham?

nope. none of those stories, stories that also took place this weekend, were the highlight of the show. sorry, all: i'm not buying this one, not at all.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, but this is very newsworthy IMO. This isn't ESPN running wild with some team radio communication. This is about an owner feeling the need to be on one of his driver's pit box to deal with communication issues with that driver and his crew chief. It's about said owner thinking that it's effecting the team performance and hinting that if things don't get better than he will make a change. Hendrick addressed these concerns with the media. It's not just wild speculation about why he was on the radio and pit box. And there are articles about it all over the internet. Jr. and Eury Jr. are well know for their dysfunction on the radio, and it looks like Hendrick isn't going to put up with it if he thinks it's effecting the performace of the team.

majorshouse said...

What a load of crap. I watched tonight and got really pissed off. Earnhardt and Yuri, Jr. have always talked to each other like this and this is nothig short of a witch hunt by ESPN and where in the world does David Newton get off with his yellow journalism anyhow? I have no respect for him over magnet gate, so let's just pony up and get on with real racing and not this malarky and Rick Hendrick new what he was getting with Dale, Jr., so I really do not see what the big deal is here.

Anonymous said...

ESPN is nothing but a big fat bully.

They are he**bent on doing whatever they can to cast a negative light on the drivers. This is all they care about.

These guys are out there running upwards of 200mph, depending on the track, and with few exceptions, the temperature in the cars can reach over 130 degrees. They do this for three or four hours at a time and unless they're very ill, an extended red flag is thrown or rain halts a race, they can't get out of the car during the race. I'd like to see those of you who whine about what's said on the scanner function under these same conditions and NOT get frustrated or cranky.

If what you hear on the scanner offends you, then don't listen. It's that simple.

As for me and millions of other fans, I happily and willingly pay for the privilege of being able to listen to my favorite driver and his team each weekend. Colorful language doesn't bother me as I understand that the driver(s) are in an intense, high-pressure situation.

This business with everyone wearing their heart on his or her sleeve and taking EVERYTHING personally has gotten ridiculously out of hand. We probably have the media to thank for most of this, too. Spiffy, isn't it?

Anon123

Dot said...

Well, this explains why Jr's voice is so hoarse when he does his post race interviews.

majorshouse said...

If you think about it, Jeff Gordon has used some really strong language on his radio and I have never heard of Rick Hendrick getting on to him, so what gives? I think it is simply a witch hunt by ESPN because Junior has been os outspoken against them and frankly it would not hurt my feelings to see all of the drivers not speak to any of the ESPN reporters no matter how badly it looks. Maybe that would really teach them a lesson to really report the news instead of inventing it like they have been so famous for lately.

Deborah said...

Claire B. Lang spent quite a bit of time on this story on her show, playing audio clips from both Junior and Rick Hendrick in which they talked about this topic. As others have noted other media outlets covered it as well. So then why is ESPN expected to ignore this? The question is whether a particular clip from a driver's radio adds anything to the story of the race either for an individual team or overall - at times I would agree that ESPN has played clips where that's not the case but in this instance I would have to say yes, that it does give some insight into what was going on for this team. As others have pointed out it's not the language or the fighting, it's that the owner felt the need to step in.

Jessica said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jessica said...

So, Dale was just on Tony's radio show and this was a big part of the discussion. The general consensus was that they both enjoyed the fact that fans can choose to listen (or not) but that the networks "especially lately" have been taking advantage.

My own personal opinion is this- we are eavesdropping. Writing a story about what goes on on the radio is no better than writing about something you learned by listening to a team meeting by pressing your ear up against the hauler. It makes you a lazy and sleazy reporter. One of the things that bothers me the most is when these "journalists" put their own spin on what they are hearing. One person's "rant" or "tirade" is another's blowing off steam. A transcript is one thing but interpreting it for the fans goes over the line. Even Junior said that the reason Rick started listening in is because he was seeing transcripts and "it don't look too good written down." But when Rick listened in, he got it.

I notice too that Newton decided not include the many funny and lighthearted moments from this weekend. After a wreck caused by three-wide on the apron Junior: "Chuck Norris could race on the apron." TJ: "Chuck Norris can divide by zero.

Elaine said...

IT seems to me that ESPN is on a witch hunt. THis is not news...as for what Mr H said post race, maybe everyone should hear the entire interview and not just the highlights. As for Mr H stepping in, guess some fo you don't know about teh little meeting he called with Knaus and Johnson when it was so bad between them. He sat them down with milk and cookies and told them if they were going to act like children, then they would be treated like children. ALL drivers cuss, whine and have it out with the CCs...look back to Pocono and Edwards and his CC. They had vid showing them going at it, but no report about that from ESPN. That wasn't covered to death because Edwards hasn't spoken out about them yet. How about Kyle Busch saying he would run over a crew member if they couldn't get out of his way fast enought to leave his pit stall? Don't see that making headlines on ESPN. THis is just becoming the norm for reporting on ESPN and I for one am past fed up with them!

Anonymous said...

I think if George Steinbrenner had to call down to the field during a game to comment on how he felt his manager and star player were communicating was affecting the performance, it would be news.

If Robert Kraft had to call down to the field during a gmae to comment on how he helt his coach and star player were communication was affecting the performance, it would be news.

So why shouldn't it be news that the NASCAR owner had to get on the horn can comment on how he felt his crew chief and driver's communication was affecting performance? It seems to me to be the exact same issue.

In this case, I don't hear ESPN playing clips of Junior getting furiuos out of context. I don't hear ESPN replaying audio to embarrass JR. I don't hear ESPN doing anything other than reporting the story above - an owner is getting involved in his team on a personal basis, during the event no less.

It's news.

Matt said...

What many of you are missing is that Rick Hendrick is actually concerned about this. Newton and ESPN are not making up these quotes. They aren't forcing Hendrick to be on box with Eury. This isn't from "sources." This is reality. And just because "that's how Eury and Dale always are" doesn't make it right. If you read the ESPN article, it stated that Dale doesn't act that way with his Nationwide crew chief, so why should he with Eury? That's what Hendrick wants to find out. And that is newsworthy.

Stephanie said...

How do you know Steinbrenner or Kraft haven't called down? The media and fans do not have access to the phone lines/radios of stick and ball sports.
This is news for one reason, Jr called ESPN and basically some of the media on the carpet for their 'reporting'. Hendrick is a hands on owner and has told Gordon to shut up and drive when his whining was a bit much. This is not new.

Anonymous said...

Claire B. Lang spent quite a bit of time on this story on her show, playing audio clips from both Junior and Rick Hendrick in which they talked about this topic.
That show is frequently just a reactionary bandwagon. "Ooh, 'everyone' is writing about this today, so I'll cover it, too." Especially early in the week.

Anonymous said...

If you read the ESPN article, it stated that Dale doesn't act that way with his Nationwide crew chief, so why should he with Eury? That's what Hendrick wants to find out.

It is?

Here, Rick, let me help you:

Because they are relatives (and friends) who have known each other all their lives, and have acted this way toward each other for years.

There. Now you can tell Rick why he treats Tony Jr differently and we can let this go.

Anonymous said...

It's news.

Why wasn't it news last week, before Junior called ESPN on the carpet?

Yep, Rick was on the box, talking on the radio, then too.

But ESPN hadn't been called out, last week.

Tracy said...

I've heard Gordon use language with Letarte that's really, really rough - and I can't help but think all drivers have now and then just totally lost their tempers, and the crew chief is the unlucky target. If Hendricks feels the need to monitor things, then good for him. But I heard Junior say somewhere (can't remember the show, maybe one of his own productions?) that he and Tony Jr. get into it now and then and just clear the air, but in the end, they're family and they stick together.

I can't help but think this is ESPN trying to make Junior look like a spoiled brat who needs Big Daddy to make him straighten up and fly right. Whether or not that's true, the perception exists.

Anonymous said...

A few things:

"He (Earnhardt) says stuff to Tony Eury Jr. that you wouldn't say to your worst enemy at times and that's got to have an impact," said Newton. and newton would know that "it's got to have an impact" how?

He's making a statement that I think most of us would believe. If you say things to someone and they're really harsh, if you continue to apologize after each incident, eventually your apology seems hollow. Also, if you say something really hurtful to another person, regardless of whether or not you apologize because it's in the "heat of the moment," there's some truth to what you said. If there wasn't, you wouldn't have said it.

These guys are out there running upwards of 200mph, depending on the track, and with few exceptions, the temperature in the cars can reach over 130 degrees. They do this for three or four hours at a time and unless they're very ill, an extended red flag is thrown or rain halts a race, they can't get out of the car during the race. I'd like to see those of you who whine about what's said on the scanner function under these same conditions and NOT get frustrated or cranky.

Don't give me that crap. I'm the fan, they're the driver. That's like saying, "You shouldn't boo A-Rod, because until you can hit a 95 mph fastball with the bases loaded, you shouldn't talk." The drivers, as the face of their organization, are compensated handsomely for the conditions under which they operate. If it's too much for them, perhaps they can get a job doing something else. I could apply that same logic to this blog. For all of you who complain about ESPN, those writers operate on deadlines and HAVE to have a story each day/week/month regardless of whether or not they have a real great lead on a great story. Most of those guys/girls have wives/husbands and children. I'd like to see you operate in that same situation and succeed every time. I'd like to see those of you who whine about what ESPN does sit in a production truck as a director and call your own shots while you have 50 cameras that you somehow have to look at and see what's in each one all while having a producer yelling at you for what they want, even though you know better. Until you've done it, writing or TV production, sit down, watch the races, be thankful they're on TV and stop whining!

Daly Planet Editor said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Some posters don't seem to understand that this isn't about Jr.'s language on the radio. It's about how when things aren't going right at times during the race he isn't giving constructive advice of what to do to fix the car. That is why Hendrick came on the radio yesterday and said ""You can do this. Talk to everybody about what the car is doing. We can make the right adjustments." It has nothing to do with the language he uses and everything to do with the need for better communication between Jr and Eury Jr about what the car is doing and what adjustments to try. Some people seem to be all caught up on the wrong thing.

And it's true that the Jr.'s have displayed this type behavior for years - it's also true that they haven't won a championship. Rick seems to think that this could be part of the reason why and wants them more focused on getting the car right and not just yelling that the car is crap and cussing each other out.

It's pretty straightforward - nowhere did I see Rick say it anything to do with language. But he did say he wants a better exchange of information.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Anon 10:51PM,

Where ya been? We have been right here tracking this new NASCAR TV contract since February of 2007 with at least one new column every single day.

I have happily sat in many TV trucks for live sports events, managed TV networks and production companies. Many of our posters are active in the TV business.

To say that NASCAR fans should just take the TV slop that is being fed to them in this new contract and shut-up is ridiculous.

During the TNT portion of the season, former ESPN Director Mike Wells put on an incredible performance of working with his camera people to show fans the racing on the track no matter what position it was for.

It does not make a difference whether you have ten or seventy monitors in front of you as long as the people looking at them have an understanding of the sport.

Rick Hendrick always is on top of his teams. Junior and Tony go at it all the time during the races. Nothing Junior said in the Loudon race was any different from the rest of the season.

Before Dale Sr. got on the track, a crewman used to apologize in advance to those fans who were going to listen to his channel.

ESPN has discontinued the reporting they used to do from Mooresville during the week. No Shannon Spake or Marty Smith on-site working for stories.

This ten race period should be a time for ESPN to shine after working on their act for the past seven months.

The best Newton can do is Junior yelling at Eury?

When are you going to catch-on that this is not the same ESPN fans knew on the first NASCAR deal?

The problem Newton and others on the ESPN staff have is that many fans know NASCAR better than they do and have been around longer.

While those comments might get deleted on the ESPN.com website, they will not get deleted here.

Instead of telling us to shut-up, why not take a stroll back through the archives and see just how many things have changed since the fans had a voice for their TV-related issues with this sport?

JD

Anonymous said...

JD said: Rick Hendrick always is on top of his teams. Junior and Tony go at it all the time during the races. Nothing Junior said in the Loudon race was any different from the rest of the season.

You want to know what's different JD? Rick Hendrick's comments that HE made to the media. That's why this storyline is bing written about in multiple places on the web. I will blame ESPN when I think they have done wrong, but this just isn't one of those times.

Tom said...

Yes, I am afraid a great many (including JD) have missed this point. This is a story, because of Hendrick's comments. This isn't about who is reporting where, or who wrote what last week. I am the first one to call out ESPN, but I think this is legit. I think it is easier to make comments (and write headlines) when a story is viewed as it is no more legit than a dozen other articles Newton may have written. This time, all the elements here make for a story..not sleaze.

Tom
Inverness, FL

Anonymous said...

Anyone who has ever listened to Dale Jr. on the scanner has to wonder why his crew chief doesn't take a baseball bat to him after the race . The vast majority of problems the DEI team had were from Jr. not the car or the team . And now HMS gets to deal with it . Jr. gets so caught up in complaining that he forgets to race , hence the second half of the race he usually falls down the standings .
All of the media covering NASCAR have to come up with stories every day , seven days a week . As long as there is an interest , even a perceived interest, in tabloid journalism regarding NASCAR , these types of stories will be all the rage . David Newton , Marty Smith , the're just giving the fans what the fans apparently want .

Anonymous said...

In truth , this is a perfect argument toward digital or scrambled scanners . I don't think the world would change too much if the fans simply were not allowed to eavesdrop on the teams .

Anonymous said...

Until you've done it, writing or TV production, sit down, watch the races, be thankful they're on TV and stop whining!


Some of us here have done it.

I have.

So, I guess we get to complain and YOU do not, by your own standardsm right?

Anonymous said...

It's pretty straightforward - nowhere did I see Rick say it anything to do with language.
Exactly. But Newton took it upon himself to decide that the language is the problem. That's not reporting.

Anonymous said...

ESPN has become the Enquirer of Nascar. They did a payback on Tony last week, and this week is Jr's turn after he defended Tony. Their staff of writers, with the exception of Marty Smith and Ed Hinton, have such limited skill in writing a good story, they fill the airwaves with this kind of trash. Thank God I missed this episode and has set in stone my decision to not watch another episode.

majorshouse said...

All I have to say about Rick Hendrick is that he knew what Junior was like before he ever signed him to the deal, so this stuff about him wanting to talk to his driver is crap. I think that the sporting media is trying to put something into nothing and how do we know that Rick's comments in the story and on tv were not taken out of context and edited for that purpose. I think that this is hogwash and just let Junior do what he has been doing. You don't see Joe Gibbs doing this to his drivers and look at some of the comments that they have made either on their radios or after a race. Like I said before, this is yellow journalisma nd I think that Junior is being singled out by a witch hunt organization because he has been rightfully critical of them.

Aven said...

I think Hendrick's attempt to change Jr. to conform to his male model "Ken doll" group of drivers is a mistake. A clean shaven, dressed up, politically correct and nice talking robot is not the Jr. the fans fell in love with. They loved Sr. because of his flaws because they could relate to him on a personal basis and Jr. became popular with the hope he would continue the model.

Jr. does not seem happy this year when he is interviewed. I think it is because of the 'new person" he is expected to show to the public and the constant questioning regarding a championship and wins since the media and his fans spent years saying he only needed top notch equipment and support to be a superstar.

Anonymous said...

I think Hendrick's attempt to change Jr. to conform to his male model "Ken doll" group of drivers is a mistake. A clean shaven, dressed up, politically correct and nice talking robot is not the Jr. the fans fell in love with.

True. Hendrick bought the whole package. If that isn't what he wanted, he should have known better. Junior, in his 30's now, is a mature adult who is who he's going to be.

Chrisb388 said...

I listen to Jr at races on my scanner and TrackPass a lot. Yes he gets pretty mouthy and the language and intensity can make even me cringe as a person that has been known to do the same. If anyone has noticed, this is family talking to each other and more times than not we treat and talk to our family far worse than we would others. With that said, not an excuse but a fact of life. As to Mr Hendrick "monitoring" them, GREAT!! It's about time Tony and Dale had an owner who steps in and helps with the moral of the Team. I truly believe as the seasons pass and Jr continues to get this guidance and coaching I think Dale needs and also wants, your going to see those rough edges smooth out. Theresa has had her faults regarding Dale Jr after Sr passed, but she was the changing force in Sr.'s life and polished a lot of rough edges for him.

To me this is only an issue because ESPN is making it one. I must confess I was excited to hear when ESPN got the contract they did but as time passes, this is not the "Old ESPN" of days gone by when NASCAR was getting started in TV. FOX is what ESPN used to be and better.

Lastly, Journalism whether it's Sport, weather or politics as of late pretty much sucks. Everyone wants to commentate and not report. The really good commentators I listen to and respect, the rest just report and let me come to my own conclusions.....

GinaV24 said...

Boy, the timing of this story sure is suspect isn't it? Jr stood up and said his piece about ESPN's use of the radio comments and now ESPN feels it needs to imply that Jr is crazy? LOL -- wow, not a smart move considering the size of the fan base that Jr has. I've been listening to the scanner for years at the track and all the drivers use strong language -- heck, they're excited, mad, frustrated -- the only person they can talk to is their crew chief, so they tend to vent. From what I've heard, this isn't new for Jr -- it's only because he's at HMS now that anyone is trying to maybe help him manage his frustration. Whatever. Funny comment earlier about Kyle not being kid friendly on his radio -- he's sponsored by a M&M's, right? -- I quit eating them. My own personal protest.

I continue to be dismayed at the type of coverage that ESPN is providing for NASCAR. This isn't news, its just tabloid trash.

I agree == AB shouldn't have let Ray off the hook. There was a real story there and ESPN chose NOT to cover that, but to work a stupid angle instead.

GinaV24 said...

Hey Anon 10:51 p.m -- do you work for ESPN or for NASCAR? "Be grateful for what we've got. Sit down and enjoy it."

That sounded an awful lot like the meeting at Michigan-- shut up and drive to me.

Lisa Hogan said...

This did not come as a surprise to me.

When Tony and Jr. made their comments about the media, I knew that ESPN would have to have payback.

They had already been after Tony and I was waiting to see how they would go after Jr. Lo and behold, there it was! :)

ri88girl said...

Red said:

'since the jrs did not have an active owner while at dei, one never heard said owner on the radios or saw said owner on the box during the race.'

Exactly. And I think Jr is doing better. I think this is a non story full of overblown language and it just proves to me that AB has no control over the content of NN.

Anonymous said...

So what, ESPN uses sensationalized events from NASCAR and other sports to increase ratings. Jeez, if CNN can why can't ESPN. Let's face it our society loves to see famous people make asses out of themselves. People get what they ask for from the networks. If one network reports the sensational and the other just reports the facts most people will opt for the former.

chase said...

John: Having listened to Jr on the scanner when I'm at races in real time for years, what he says is what he's feeling in the heat of the moment, or just chatting away be it with Tony Sr or Tony Jr - it isn't any big deal. If drivers can't say what they want to say to their crew chiefs and vice versa while they're working, then why bother having radio contact? If Newton and ESPN continue this slant then the radios between drivers and crew chiefs and spotters will soon no longer be available to fans. I agree with posters above that if Tony and Jr had not commented they did last week then none of this would be happening. I am sure Rick H is monitoring the radio to see if he can put his finger on just what needs to be done with Jr's team and I'll bet JD Gibbs does the same. Let drivers be drivers, let crew chiefs be crew chiefs, and do what they do best: race! ESPN continues to amaze me at their continued misguided coverage.

Daly Planet Editor said...

The reason Hendrick commented to ESPN is because they stuck a mic in his face after the race and asked him about Junior being upset and using profanity.

They made a non-issue into a story by creating it.

Did you see this on any other storylinks? What got talked about on the radio was ESPN reporting it, because the circle goes round-and-round.

JD

Dan said...

if CNN can why can't ESPN

So, if "everyone else is doing it", that makes it right? I wouldn't accept that excuse from my kids, let alone the "Worldwide Leader". There is a difference between following the herd and having principles.

Anonymous said...

Anyone who doesn't know that Dale Jr. and Eury Jr. swear at each other on the radio a lot hasn't been a Nascar fan very long. Same for anyone who doesn't know that they don't do very well at adjusting the car as conditions change during the race.

The ranting of "Jr is Perfect!" fans aside, it is definitely news that Rick Hendrick, having had 26 races to evaluate the cousins' partnership, has decided that Dale Jr. is the one who needs to shape up, mend his ways, and learn to communicate about his car.

It probably won't happen (and, since I root for other drivers I hope it won't), but if Jr. were my driver I'd wear him out testing with multiple crew chiefs and deliberately mis-adjusted cars until he could accurately, consistently, and coherently describe the problems in a way that matches up with the instrument readings.

For a number of years now Dale Jr. has been working on his professionalism. Joining Hendrick was part of that.

The fact that Rick Hendrick has decided that communication is the next step for a driver who has, over the years, gotten away with a lot of laziness in this department is a legitimate news story.

Newracefan said...

I missed NN so I can't comment on the show in particular but what Newton should have concentrated on in his article is the Rick is doing everything he can to help Jr win a championship. Jr's problem is that the further into a race he gets the less information he gives Tony Jr, it not what he says it's what he doesn't say, how, where and what his car is doing. This is what Rick is trying to get Jr to understand and start doing. He is not trying to clean up his language or he would be on the 48 box working on Chad, 24 box working with Jeff, etc. All drivers and crew chiefs go off but the good ones also give the information needed to fix things this is the story and Newton missed it and went for the controversial Rick's trying to change who Jr is and that's not the case.

Anonymous said...

"The reason Hendrick commented to ESPN is because they stuck a mic in his face after the race and asked him about Junior being upset and using profanity."
_________________________________
You're really grasping at straws here, JD. Hendrick is a pro. If he didn't choose to comment, he didn't have to. He certainly could have been more neutral in his comments than saying:
_______________________________
"They're like brothers," he said. "They can fuss and say things, but when you've got millions of people listening … Tony gets some unfair [criticism].

"If he doesn't want Tony to go anywhere, if he's put a stake in the ground that he wants Tony Eury Jr., then he needs to treat him a little better on the radio."

"I've had the benefit of listening to a lot of drivers over a number of years. To my knowledge, I've never had one that gave us good information when he's on the chip. It's better information when he's got a little bit more time to think about it."
_______________________________
But Hendrick wasn't neutral. He laid it out on the line. He said these things (and much, much more). What is Newton supposed to do with that? Throw his notes away, erase the tape, and pretend it never happened?

Please. It's sad that YOU made this into a story to rile up Junior loyalists.

Sharon said...

I think the way Junior and Tony Jr communicate is new to Mr.Hendrick. Sure drivers get mad at their teams, but the Jr vs. Jr can sometimes be over-the-top. But its always been that way. So Mr.H is learning just as much as they are. No real story here, just more tabloid fodder for ESPN.

Anonymous said...

No one who thinks ESPN's just doing their job seems willing to answer this:

Why wasn't this a story BEFORE Junior slammed ESPN?

Yep, it is true--Rick Hendrick was on the box and on the team radio before Louden. Why did ESPN choose to report this fact only after Junior criticized them?

Anonymous said...

So let me get this straight. Newton says Jr. has a problem and that is why it was reported the Monday after his poor race performance? (sarcastic question)

Oh wait, he finished 5th! Lost to Biffle in a great car, teammate and defending champ Johnson, one of the best this year in Edwards, and Mr. Consistency Jeff Burton.

How this was a problem that needed immediate reporting is baffling to me.

Your headline on the subject is exactly right, JD.

Anonymous said...

You guys can jump on the "I support Tony and Dale Jr vs. ESPN" bandwagon if you want, but in the end ESPN is going to win. Tony and Dale Jr are not going to stop talking to ESPN, no matter how much they posture. NASCAR won't let them. (Even if NASCAR let them, ESPN would just turn focus on Carl and Jimmie, two guys their mainstream viewers like seeing and their anchors like talking to. It would be Tony and Dale Jr's loss, not ESPN's.)

NASCAR also isn't going to get rid of radio communication for the public to listen to because they make too much money off of it.

You're wasting your time and energy complaining about "mistreatment", and so are Tony and Dale Jr. who look like a couple of multi-millionaire spoiled babies, quite frankly.

ESPN's Ratings were up - however slightly - for the Loudon race. That's the first time the ratings have increased for a Cup race on ESPN since the Indy race. If ESPN researchers think any of the increase came from them running nonstop Tony's whining at Zippy in their commercials, or Clint Bowyer's comments on SportsCenter, or "controversial" stories about Jr, they're going to keep doing it. This is business. They're trying to keep NASCAR's ratings from tanking. And this week at least, it appears to have worked.

Anonymous said...

I would think the start of the "Chase" had more to do with a slight ratings increase than anything else. That, plus the fact that we were back to a 1pm start time on a Sunday on ANC as opposed to the changing start times from Saturday nights to rainouts with rescheduled dates like we have seen from the past few weeks.

ESPN will keep doing what they always do. There is no stopping that. But we viewers do not have to like it nor should we avoid voicing our displeasure when we don't.

Anonymous said...

And this week at least, it appears to have worked.

You have evidence to support that, of course. Concidence does not equal causality.

Anonymous said...

Start of Chase last year at Loudon on ESPN on ABC - 2.9 rating

Start of Chase this year at Loudon on ESPN on ABC - 3.2 rating

Anonymous said...

Tony and Dale Jr are not going to stop talking to ESPN, no matter how much they posture. NASCAR won't let them.

Good one. Tell that to Tony.

Anonymous said...

You have evidence to support that, of course. Concidence does not equal causality.

Tell that to the folks who are claiming ESPN is out to get Jr now because he criticized ESPN.

But that wouldn't fit your argument, would it?

Anonymous said...

There's more to the Chase this year than last. Dale Jr is in it first of all, the majority would love to see KyBusch fail, and there's more of a chance for anyone to win than it seemed last year when it was Gordon and Johnson dominating the competition.

That would be the ratings increase, not ESPN's style of coverage

Anonymous said...

Good one. Tell that to Tony.

September 16, 2008 10:48 AM


Um... remember when Tony compared NASCAR to pro wrestling on his radio show? And the next Friday, NASCAR stopped his hauler from entering the track and hauled Tony out of bed at 6 AM to have a chat?

Remember what Tony said?

"You can’t fix stupid a lot of times," he said. "I’m getting better about not saying stupid things at the wrong times, but I’m not totally cured yet."

The wrestling remarks infuriated image-conscious NASCAR officials, who called Stewart in to address the issue at 6 a.m. Friday, the hour the garage opened. "It's a little tender for me to sit down right now," Stewart quipped.


NASCAR isn't scared of Tony.

glenc1 said...

I read Newton's piece yesterday, long before the blog was up. Frankly, I read the same basic comments from Dave Moody, and I see that Claire B. Lang has reported it as well. To ask Rick about this is ESPN doing its job. His comments make it news, whether spurred on by them or not. Agree with the anon saying Rick knows how to handle reporters, and saying what he wants/needs to say. Having handled multiple crisis, I'm sure he can handle this. Should reporters stop asking questions? Geeez....I didn't see the 'visual', so I resisted commenting before now, but I don't see this as a witchhunt in any way, nor do I think it's connected with previous stories. I'm not a fan of some of the ambush tactics and previous actions of ESPN's reporters...but Junior is a top story every week...no matter what. He's a big boy, smart and very capable of handling the media. And yes, I've heard him and the others on the radio many times, and no, nothing I hear there offends me, it's my choice to listen. But if Junior has his way, one of the things that links the fans immediately to the teams will be taken away (one of the few subjects I disagree with Junior on.) By putting it on TV, did they...'increase' the importance of the story? Maybe. But I don't have that big of an issue with it compared to the multiple other problems ESPN has.

Anonymous said...

In truth , this is a perfect argument toward digital or scrambled scanners . I don't think the world would change too much if the fans simply were not allowed to eavesdrop on the teams

This makes no sense, as this story would be reported even if the fans couldn't listen. This isn't being reported because the fans aren't listening, it is being reported because of Rick Hendrick.

True. Hendrick bought the whole package. If that isn't what he wanted, he should have known better. Junior, in his 30's now, is a mature adult who is who he's going to be.

Just because he knew what he was getting doesn't mean he didn't think he could make it better.

I predict Eury Jr. and Dale Jr. will be separated before the Daytona 500. There is a perfectly valid argument that Dale Jr. has been running great this year. But I don't think the way he has been running is enough for Mr. Hendrick. That's why this is a story.

Anonymous said...

Wow, Jr fans are so very sensitive. No the fact that the Jr's can't get along on the radio during a race is not "NEWS" what is "NEWS" is that Rick is doing something to fix the situation.

Jr nation wants the boy to win a championship and so does Rick - the only way they will is if they work together as a team to get the car right. Jr getting angry and cussing and Tony JR ignoring him has not won them a cup yet and they never will at the rate they are going.

Quit being so sensitive and reading more into the article than is really there.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Anon 11:19AM,

That would work great, except for all of the other factors at work that were documented in the column.

There is a big difference between "reporting" and "repeating." IMHO this was a non-topic that was made a big topic just like Bowyer's comment about Waltrip and Tony after Richmond.

It's the pattern that arouses suspicion, not the person.

JD

Anonymous said...

I don't think it's anybody's business what is said on the radio, but the team itself!!!

ESPN SUCKS, always has, always will!!!

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

My own personal opinion is this- we are eavesdropping. Writing a story about what goes on on the radio is no better than writing about something you learned by listening to a team meeting by pressing your ear up against the hauler.


I totally agree with the above. This is their work area,we are intruding. I am sure everyone has had conversations a work that would sound bad if heard at any point in the conversation. So everyone PLEASE LAY OFF THE JRS'

NorCalFan said...

On Dale Jr's radio show last week he said he liked having Rick on the pit box and being his cheerleader telling him he's doing great and asking him about the car. I listen regularly to Jr's channel on DirectTV Hotpass so I, too, am familiar with the dialogue between he and Tony Jr. However, for what its worth, Jr. doesn't hold back on the expletives with Rick H. either when describing what the car is or isn't doing. Could ESPN be focusing on this to highlight what they perceive as weakness with the #88 team?

On another note. Did anyone other than me find it odd that Todd Bodine was on NASCAR Now? Was Todd invited with the hope he would stir the pot about the skirmish on pit road after the race between his team and David Starr's team? If so, it didn't happen. Why have a truck series driver on a show on the same network that won't even mention the truck races because they don't broadcast them? Is it for ratings?

Daly Planet Editor said...

norcalfan,

Believe it or not, ESPN has scheduled Todd a while back for this weekend when the Trucks would be in New Hamshire. It fit right in with Todd being from NY and the Trucks running with Cup.

Still no word on penalties as of 3:30PM Tues.

JD

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Daly Planet Editor said...

Anon 3:43PM,

Probably would be a bit more helpful if you drop me an email when you catch something like that next time. Thanks.

JD

Anonymous said...

Newton is a hack, once again without something to report it seems now they have resorted to Hollywood Tonight style radio monitoring to dig the dirt. I don't care who it is heat of the battle stuff needs to stay off the TV especially if it's with your employer. Had Junior and Smoke not called them on their little in car camera piece Newton wouldn't have had his ear stuck to the radio like some cheap gumshoe out of a 50's detective story. Come on ESPN you can do better than this, how about trying some for some real racing news with substance and not something we all know already guys driving race cars get hot under the collar and sometimes say ooh naughty words over the radio, good grief grow up or don't listen J Edgar Newton.

Anonymous said...

First off, I think Anon at 10:51 was being hypothetical when he said, "Unless you've been in a truck...stop whining." Right before the rant was written they said that they were turning your words around on you. In other words, to say that you can't knock Junior because you've never driven a car at 200MPH at 130 degrees and haven't had to perform under those conditions is just as ridiculous as him saying if you haven't been in a truck, stop whining. At least that's how I took it.

Also, good to see the "Do you work at ESPN" question again. Always loved that last year, whenever someone said something positive about ESPN they automatically worked for the company. Bottom line is JD needs a new whipping boy now that Erik Kuselias isn't on the program. So now he chooses David Newton.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Anon 7:25PM,

I don't know what you were reading. Those comments were about TV and TV production. Nothing to do with racing and certainly not tongue-in-cheek.

Mr Kuselias is done with his Saturday morning NBA radio show and is now hosting an NFL Fantasy Football show for ESPN.com...the website.

While Newton and I disagree on his style of reporting, there is no doubt that the laughter from the NASCAR garage about the "Junior going loco" story is not going to stop for a long while.

JD

darbar said...

JD, did you know your name was brought up on Moody's Sirius show this afternoon? I was driving home at about 5:30 when a caller said that when "your regular guest from the Daly Planet" comes on, you need to talk about is article on ESPN going after Jr. Moody said you're not a regular, but only on when there's something to talk to you about. The caller said that he thinks what ESPN did was horrible and that the conversation between driver and crew chief shouldn't be talked about. Moody agreed, but only to a point. He said the BIG difference is not what Jr said, or how he said it, but it is important because Hendrick feels the need to run interference between the two, and that's telling. Moody feels that many driver's talk that way, but the problem is that Jr doesn't help his crew by giving helpful information that can make the car better, and all he does is complain and cuss at his crew. Hendrick wants to stop that business and get Jr to understand that he needs to be better at communicating what's going on with the car and how it can be fixed.

So, see JD. You're a topic even on the radio

Daly Planet Editor said...

dar,

I got a couple of emails about that one. Dave is good at keeping things on target in conversations and he has some good views on these topics with all his years of experience.

JD

Anonymous said...

Way back about 65 post's ago, Bevo made the point that Hendrick is stepping in to guide the two Jr's away from what has kept them from winning a championship; which is an inability to communicate. That alone is news. Eury Jr. and Dale Jr. have always argued, but to have a guiding presence like Mr. Hendrick involved in the game, creates a situation that Jr. fans like myself have been waiting for. I have enjoyed listening to the two of them cuss at each other through the years, but now that they have stepped up to the big time, with a team that demands results, they need to take their show to the next level. Hendrick stepping in will now provide the guidance that they both need to either put up or shut up. I think this is news worthy. I don't really care who reports it, it's a good story.

The second half of the story will come in about nine races. If the two can't get it together, there will be changes to the team...and I'm sure ESPN will be right there to report Steve Letarte as Earnhardt's new crew chief. I'll be watching and reading about. Because Earnhardt asked for it.

Sophia said...

Was Dale SENIOR good at diagnosing a car problem? I could be way wrong (and somebody will straighten me out) Wasn't he bad at giving "specifics" about car problems ...at least in the early years? I wonder if Jr has that in common.

I confess I did not read all the comments in this thread....i can't read everything here....being off line a couple days, you miss a lot in this joint! :)

But THAT ALL SAID, I understand "venting, cussing and sounding off" but if it's NEVER constructive to moving forward and winning or doing better (which he IS doing better than last year) I would also want to intervene if I were Mr. Hendrick. Help channel the anger into better details for the entire team.

Sometimes there can be good chemistry and 'bickering' that some relationships thrive on. But having a neutral party listen can help direct things to make them more positive.

I have never been a fan of HMS but obviously if somebody can make it happen between Jr and Tony, maybe Rick can. I did not read the article link...I am just trying to skim the NASCAR info this year...so much extraneous junk.

That's why I read here. :)


Still, once again "ESPU's" timing of this article is curious with what Stewart and Jr said last week. *sigh* that's what's weird with ESPNs reporting..the old saying, timing is everything. ha

Tracy said...

NN tonight was boring, boring, boring. What happened?

Anonymous said...

Everything that Junior say's on his radio is his business, if you don't want to hear it DON'T. That is his office and he can and will do what ever he wants. ESPN has the worst people doing the announcing of the race with Jerry Punch and Dale Jarrett. Punch never knows whats going on and Jarrett is boring. They make more mistakes during the race. I think by next year they should get people that can do a better job.
Point: LEAVE JUNIOR ALONE. ESPN has written him off weeks ago. We'll see who laughs last, Junior is my pick.

Anonymous said...

ESPN must be hurting for news. They know that Jr. sells so anytime they can use his name in a story they will. If you don't like what Jr. is saying, don't listen. We are the eavesdroppers on a private conversation between a driver and his crew chief. There are more pressing issues in Nascar right now than Jr.s mouth.

Speedcouch said...

Why is it the Earnhardt fans are the most defensive of all the fans out there? Could it be that they realize as Mr. Hendrick was quoted on NOL that their driver "chokes" every single race?

I've heard him berate Eury and his crew for years on the scanner as well. If the guy wasn't his relative, he'd have quit years ago. Just because he's done it for years doesn't make it right. It's never HIS fault; always someone else's fault. I'm glad somebody finally has the guts to stand up to him and glad ESPN and others reported that fact.

Anonymous said...

I beleive Mr, Earnhardt just needs to grow up. Anytime something goes wrong in the car or his personal life it is never his fault.

Anonymous said...

JD said:

The reason Hendrick commented to ESPN is because they stuck a mic in his face after the race and asked him about Junior being upset and using profanity.

They made a non-issue into a story by creating it.

Did you see this on any other storylinks? What got talked about on the radio was ESPN reporting it, because the circle goes round-and-round.

JD

Not tru, JD. I was standing there when Hendrick started talking to Newton. Not a camera or Mic in sight. Just three reporters and Hendrick.

Anonymous said...

Not tru, JD. I was standing there when Hendrick started talking to Newton. Not a camera or Mic in sight. Just three reporters and Hendrick.

Not to mention with his high profile drivers, handling the media is nothing new with Hendrick. And he dealt with all the Kyle Busch drama before Jr. came along. If he says something to the media, it's not because a mic wa stuck in his face and he didn't have time to think.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Well,

We saw the footage of Hendrick on video on ESPN. That is where the story comes from.

Not saying you are mistaken, just that this was a TV and ESPN.com story with video of Hendrick and Junior.

Always interesting...

JD

Anonymous said...

Always interesting...

JD

Yeah, it was. Hendrick was in a spot where he could grab a high-profile reporter (or was even looking specifically for Newton) and start talking about Junior and his need to ease up. And Hendrick started the conversation on Junior, not the other way around.

Remember, interpreting events by the snippets you see on TV is like reading a book with two out of every three pages missing.

And I mean no offense by this, but that is the wekness of this blog when it comes to live news coverage. Fine blog for "scripted" shows, where editors and producers make choices well before airing, not so accurate when it comes to what goes on in the garage. A place I am at nearly every week.

Anyway, just wanted to drop a line and make sure you had the "story" witnessed on the beat.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Anon 2:53PM,

What is unfortunate is that you did not take the time to email me like the other reporters who tell a very different story. Why don't you email me right now?

If you are suggesting that Rick Hendrick sought-out David Newton for a story about calming Junior down that would be a very interesting moment in time.

Anytime you want to drop me an email, I would be happy to respond and correct anything that is off-base.

JD

Anonymous said...

The definition of hilarious:

The way this blog think ESPN has a bias against Dale Junior while refusing to admit you have a bias against David Newton.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Those who can't speak to the topic or who are unable to deal with debate always throw darts at me. Seen in over-and-over for two years now.

This story could be about any Sprint Cup Series driver and it could have been reported by any ESPN pit or NASCAR Now reporter.

It would have gotten the same response from me.

Hornaday and steroids, Waltrip and radio slam, Stewart and a moment of frustration. The ESPN media hype were NASCAR is concerned right now is approaching the level of last season.

JD

Terry in NC said...

Someone posted that they didn't think NASCAR had penalized anyone for protanity on the radio. Didn't Todd Parrot or Dale Jarrett get fined? ESPN seems to be overhyping what is common knowledge to hardcore fans, but they are just trying to increase viewers. After 40+ years of following NASCAR alot of this stuff is just fluff. The racing is the important thing.

Richard in N.C. said...

I am a Dale, Jr. fan and have now read 3 articles about Rick H. coaching Dale, Jr. on the radio at NH. Bob Pockrass' and Joe Menzer's articles were far superior to Newton's. Pockrass and Menzer both focused on what was important and both noted Dale, Jr.'s "profanity laced tirade" - but Newton chose to lead off with a description of Dale, Jr.'s language clearly intended to try to embarass Dale, Jr. Also noteworthy is that Newton apparently made no attempt to get Dale, Jr.'s or Tony, Jr.'s thoughts on their conversation. Instead he preferred to divine what might be in Tony, Jr.'s mind. It is clear to me that Newton was trying to get back at Dale, Jr. for his negative comments about ESPN. My question would be whether Newton just took it on himself to "get" Dale, Jr. or did the word come down from upstairs to teach Dale, Jr. not to criticize ESPN?

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Anonymous said...

"They made a non-issue into a story by creating it."

That was your statement, JD, and I would think it to be the most unfortunate one since it wasn't true. Again, Hendrick talked first to a few print reporters, not TV, making the premise of your argument false.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Anon 4:24PM,

Either step-up and claim it or step-off your soapbox.

You could be a thirteen year old boy in Kansas.

Still waiting for your email.

JD

Tom said...

Related to the ESPN v. Drivers front, has anyone noticed that when running down practice and qualifying, Stewart has not been listed in the "notables", unless he is in the top ten? He qualified 33rd for Dover, yet didn't rate a mention as a notable. I would think anyone in the chase would be "notable". A bit of payback perhaps?

Tom
Inverness, FL