Thursday, June 11, 2009

Rusty Wallace's Nationwide Nightmare


"I hope to God you didn't do what they said you did," remarked ESPN Nationwide Series analyst Rusty Wallace. He wasn't in a TV production meeting yelling at a pit reporter or at the shop discussing the on-track antics of his racing son, Steven.

Wallace was standing toe-to-toe with his own employee, Bryan Berry. On Thursday, Berry was suspended indefinitely from NASCAR for using a racial slur against the only African-American driver in the Nashville Nationwide field named Marc Davis.

During the Nashville race, TV cameras showed Davis turning left into the garage area without signaling out the window. The move caught officials, teams and one driver in particular off-guard. That driver was Brendan Gaughan. He drives for Rusty Wallace. Gaughan's crew chief is Bryan Berry. Gaughan T-boned Davis live on national TV right on pit road.

Although able to limp back out onto the track, it was clear that Gaughan's race was done. Later, he was heard yelling on the radio to keep Davis in the garage area until the race was over so the two could have a conversation. On most nights, cooler heads would prevail and discussions would take place once everyone had calmed down.

Unfortunately, Berry and a group of his crew members stormed over to Davis immediately after the race. Although he was not yet out of his car, Berry allegedly yelled at Davis through the driver safety net on the window and let his feelings on the incident be known. Apparently, he stepped over the line.

Meanwhile, Georgetown University graduate Gaughan was on the air with ESPN claiming the Davis move was an example of a Howard University education. That school is a sponsor of Davis and his Nationwide efforts. Howard is an HBCU, one of the Historically Black College and Universities.

Luckily for Gaughan, his Georgetown days were spent rooming with NBA star Allen Iverson while both played basketball for the university. Well, playing may not be the exact word that Gaughan uses to describe his college basketball career, but he was a team member. Although sounding like an idiot on TV, NASCAR is allowing Gaughan to drive another day.

Not so fortunate was Berry, who added a little something into his rant at Davis that set off alarm bells at NASCAR HQ. Wallace called it an "alleged racial slur." NASCAR spokesman Ramsey Poston called it "an inappropriate comment that won't be tolerated." That seems to be a polite way of saying Berry dropped the N-bomb.

So, this leaves team owner Rusty Wallace front-and-center after a week that the Nationwide Series would probably like to forget. First, Gaughan throws barbs at the educational level of a university that produced Ed Bradley of 60 Minutes and legendary Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall.

Meanwhile, Berry is allegedly dropping the N-bomb on Davis through his window net in the garage while sponsors and others watch and listen. As if that were not enough, a skinny white kid is bashing the heck out of a hand-painted guitar that symbolizes Music City USA and the entire Nashville area in front of stunned fans in the stands.

The only thing worse than dealing with these events once is having to deal with them all over again. That is exactly what Wallace will be doing in Kentucky this weekend as he works for ESPN.

Not only will Wallace be reviewing the Gaughan and Berry incidents on the pre-race show with Allen Bestwick, but when Wallace looks to his left in the Infield Pit Studio he will see all seven feet of Brad Daugherty looking back at him.

The ESPN team will start the weekend with practice coverage Friday night at 6:30PM ET on ESPN2. They will return on Saturday at 5PM for qualifying and 8PM for the pre-race show.

On most nights, Wallace would then turn things over to Dale Jarrett at 8:30PM to call the race. That would give Wallace a break and let the telecast shift gears. But, not this Saturday. Jarrett has the weekend off.

It will be Wallace who will climb up into the booth and call the entire race with Jerry Punch and Andy Petree. On the Kentucky track will be Gaughan with a new crew chief. Also on the track will be the WHUR Radio sponsored Toyota of Marc Davis. Amid last week's commotion, it was Davis who quietly left Nashville without calling attention to himself and declined to comment about the incident.

Finally, Kyle Busch will be flying-in from Michigan to once again try and dominate this second-tier series and then leave town in a hurry. After Nashville, the stories unfolding in this Kentucky event will present the first big challenge to the NASCAR on ESPN team as they gear-up for Sprint Cup coverage in a little over a month.

TDP welcomes comments from readers. Just click on the comments button below to add your opinion on this topic. This is a family-friendly website, please keep that in mind when posting. Thanks for taking the time to stop by.

There will be a new post up later for your comments on the Friday TV coverage. The full weekend TV schedule including announcers and show guests is posted on the right side of the TDP main page.

60 comments:

Jimbacca said...

I guess I'm not 'in-tune' with what college is what. To me it was just a Georgetown Alumni digging on another college alumni. Nothing more nothing less. Out here we have UCLA vs USC. Race is not relevant in Brendans comments. Just a pop off valve for the frustration. He didn't go racial on the radio so why would that be an issue when he had time to shift gears?

The crew member.. well that was just ....in stupid. No place for that in this day of society.

This goes back to what many have said about car owners covering their own teams. It causes a conflict of interest and makes for some really odd ignoring or 'twists' on stories.

Jack from PA said...

Wow. I saw Brendan's tasteless interview on TV but did not hear of this altercation between Berry and Davis following the race. Also, in an article on ESPN.com I believe, it cites a 2006 incident at Hickory in which Davis was called the N-word by fans after he got into a car driven by a white man. Pretty sad that society is the way it is.

Certainly, this should make for interesting TV Saturday night at Kentucky. JD, I didn't even think about the fact that Rusty will be sitting in the pit studio with Brad sitting next to him. That should be pretty awkward.

Daly Planet Editor said...

The Howard University radio station is the sponsor on the Davis car.

It was a slam at the sponsor. Davis is not an alum.

Anonymous said...

I don't see why Rusty Wallace should be embarrassed or have to explain himself. He obviously isn't the kind of guy who supports what his employees did, and he will no doubt comend NASCAR's stern actions. Beyond that he doesn't deserve to be in the hot seat - the people who said these things do. I guess at some point it will come up, and Wallace will of course distance himself as much as possible. Beyond that, he shouldn't worry about anything - especiall "7-foot Brad Daugherty" in the studio... as if a physically imposing black man might alter Wallace's comments or on-air demeanor. I mean, really.

Anonymous said...

Sadly, this will not be the last racial incident involving this or other African-American drivers on the track. Some of these guys just can't help themselves... and the sooner they open their big dumb mouths, the sooner NASCAR can 86 the racists who remain in the sport. I didn't hear the Howard University comment, but to me that is just as bad as the N-word since everyone knows Howard is a black university. If he had said "Well, that's a black university education for you," he would be gone.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Anon 11:30PM,

Seriously? The entire issue here is that ESPN has an active owner of multiple teams in the Nationwide Series working the pre-race show and then calling the race on TV.

This has been an on-going discussion for three years and I believe it played a key role in Rusty being removed from the fulltime play by play job last season.

How is someone supposed to comment on themselves, their teams and their drivers as well as the other issues like Kyle and that uproar?

It might have been in ESPN's best interest to let Rusty step aside this weekend to get things settled down.

Instead, he will anchor every session as the lead analyst, handle the pre-race show and then call the race.

All of this while perhaps his teams are the center of attention. That is one tough assignment to pull off.

JD

Anonymous said...

It's a tough assignment for Rusty, indeed, since there can be no excuse for either Brendan's or his crew chief's actions. I suspect ESPN will tackle the subject the way it has handled most controversial subjects all year--by ignoring it. They'll talk about the Kentucky lawsuit, _maybe_ about the Kyle Busch guitar incident, maybe even about economic woes. But I'll be shocked, really shocked, if they deal with the elephant in the room. The model is the coverage of the Grant lawsuit, which they barely mentioned during the race broadcasts. Sad, but predictable.

Anonymous said...

I don't see what is such a tough assignment to pull off. His assignment is the same as every other week, except that this week one of his employees said something offensive and stupid. I don't see how Wallace's reaction would be any different if it were his team or someone else's, and I don't see how one of his crew chief's using a racial slur affect his ability to analyze mid-race action once the Nationwide cars are racing.

Anonymous said...

There is a myth that somewhere out there is a completely impartial expert commentator who can delivery unbiased comments. I say: HOOEY.

I'm sorry, but every single person in racing has biases. They have relationships that are strong, and relationships that are sour. They have people and companies that have paid their bills and may continue to do so. They all have different opinions based on their experiences, which of course makes them biased.

Instead of pretending that DW has to alter his opinions to be unbiased, or that Wallace cannot suddenely comment on a race because he might be biased... how about if we simply recognize the bias and use that bias to put the comments in context. Instead, the move seems to be to silence anyone who might have any sort of bias and get them off the air, as if their comments are worthless and as if someone else can step in who doesn't have a bias. Everyone has some bias.

Rusty Wallace didn't do anything wrong this week. He woke up, went to work, and planned to do his job. Some idiot who draws a paycheck from a company owned by Wallace's vast fortune says something stupid and suddenly we should punish Rusty Wallace by taking him off the air? That doesn't sound right to me.

K.R. in Bama said...

The man's comments were wrong, regardless of whether he said it to Davis' face or not. I feel badly for Marc Davis, who is the one who was publicly lambasted on national television. The punishment was fitting. Comments like these are what put NASCAR in a bad light. I am very interested to see how not only Rusty responds, but Brad D. as well. Just wondering, J.D., where did you get that quote from Rusty???

Matt said...

If Robby Buhl can be in the Versus booth during the final weekend of Indy 500 qualifying while 3 of his 4 teams were struggling to make the race, then I don't see why Rusty shouldn't be in the booth while his team is going through some struggles. He didn't make the comment, he doesn't support it and he certainly wasn't there when it happened. While it may not be the most comfortable topic he'll discuss on air, he is pretty much a professional and he'll deal with it. Both Rusty and ESPN knew what the risks when getting together.

Anonymous said...

By inferring that there will be some kind of racial tension between Rusty and Brad aren't you just fanning the flames? By calling out Kyle Busch as a "skinny white kid", is that representing your sport with dignity?
Rusty is an analyst for ESPN. He is the owner of RWR. When the two clash, like last year in Kentucky when Steven wrecked Edwards on a restart, Rusty has shown class and held balanced arguments throughout to the best of my recollection.
My opinion is that Rusty and Brad will both have poignant comments guided in conversation by Allen Bestwick. Also remember that this subject will probably already have been breached in practice and qualifying which will take the edge off of the subject for everyone involved.
I am glad ESPN is not "hiding" Rusty this week. If they did, claims of cowardice would likely flow from the mighty TDP.

Big Henry said...

I love listening to Rusty, he makes me feel awfully smart. I hope they never take him off. I can't WAIT to see what stupidity somes out of the man's mouth this weekend. I can only hope Steven runs into Davis on purpose Saturday.

Anonymous said...

I just want to clear up the picture here...so if this Davis kid would have been from say, Ohio State, and Brendan ripped on the kind of education he got, it would have been o.k. But, since he went to a mostly black college,digs on the education, he's suddenly a racist...And I thought race wasn't suppose to be an issue anymore.

Damn J.D. I guess coming out of retirement and writing these articles everyday has left you with a lack of material. My guess is ESPN, Rusty, and the seven foot black man will be ok when they cover some other idiots comments. They'll have to just get along I guess, like adults.
Next time when you're hurting for material, just write an article on Junior...that's what everyone else does.

Lesley said...

Ive always thought Brendan was a clown..So did Penske!! Rusty needs to take a hard look at this spoiled kid and his crew!Brendan is a good race car driver..All that shows me is clowns can drive too!!

Daly Planet Editor said...

Anon 4:17AM,

Brendan was speaking about the car's sponsor, which is the Howard University radio station.

Nothing in my column called anyone a racist or suggested that Wallace was unfit for announcing on TV.

This is a time when the Nationwide Series needs to put on its best face in light of the tough economic times and the small crowds.

Between Gaughan, Berry and Busch it should be interesting to see if ESPN takes it head-on like they have Jeremy Mayfield and other issues or if it is just swept away and never mentioned again.

JD

Daly Planet Editor said...

There are many articles out there on this topic. Ed Hinton is the best at ESPN.com, but the information is contained at thatsracing, scenedaily, jayski and others.

JD

Anonymous said...

Funny, if Davis had called the crew chief a "cracker", not a word would be said. A definate double standard!

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said... "Damn J.D. I guess coming out of retirement and writing these articles everyday has left you with a lack of material. My guess is ESPN, Rusty, and the seven foot black man will be ok when they cover some other idiots comments. They'll have to just get along I guess, like adults.
Next time when you're hurting for material, just write an article on Junior...that's what everyone else does.

June 12, 2009 4:17 AM"

I would think somehing about TNT ratings being off might have been a better column. Is it the economy still or lack of NASCAR interest, or do the online options(racebuddy) take away from their own TV numbers.

Anonymous said...

JD, I'm glad you finally realized that what Brendan said on TV the other night was inappropriate, whether you think it was racist or not.

A commenter (JLee) very politely objected to Brendan's ESPN interview comment on Sunday's blog (in the "Kyle Petty leads TNT into a challenging Sunday"), and you responded:
---------
"BG was upset and rather than rant he tried to suggest that as a college graduate, like himself, Marc should have signaled.

If you try to dig for something more in those comments, you are going to come up empty.

JD

June 7, 2009 12:28 PM"
---------
I was so irritated by your complete dismissal of the incident that I wanted to reply (not to mention I knew Davis was too young to be a college grad), but I decided it wasn't even worth the energy. I'm glad you now realize that the Brendan comment encapsulates the attitude of his crew chief as well. It was just stated more politely.

I personally think it was a racial comment. I know Brendan roomed with Allen Iverson (because he never lets anyone forget it) but I don't care. As a Georgetown alum, he knows what he said about Howard University would strike a nerve with anyone who even has a passing familiarity with Howard (which is in the DC area, like Georgetown.) Georgetown is known as a very wealthy school with very wealthy students, while Howard, while considered prestigious education-wise, is not a wealthy school for the most part.

Anyway, with the Associated Press article about this suspension appearing on just about every newspaper site in the country today (and also on CNN.com, which takes you to the si.com link), it's another PR problem ("racial slur") for NASCAR. And no, people don't distinguish between Nationwide, Trucks, and Sprint Cup. It's all NASCAR to them. What's sad about it is people are going to be like "It's NASCAR. What do you expect?"

Kudos to Davis for not commenting. He's just trying to race, poor kid. Ed Hinton's article quotes a source saying Berry's comments were "worse than Hickory". For Davis to have to go through this again at a track when he isn't even out of his teens is a travesty, plain and simple.

Anonymous said...

Anon @ 6:55 am
Funny, I had the same initial reaction as yours, but upon further thought, "Cracker" and "N#@@er" don't carry equal weight. No justification for use of either terms, ever, but the uphill battle that black drivers have historically faced in racing-particularly NASCAR, are well documented.
NASCAR is in a state of game changing transition, and attitudes need to change as much as business models.
The radio chatter "dissing" of Howard U is nothing more than typical venting of anger against another driver's sponsor. Anyone trying to imply a racial motivation there is really grasping at straws.
Rusty is in a tough spot- team is struggling, GM cutting support, PR issues with a crew chief and others.
If I were ESPN, I would position Rusty as a "guest" rather than commentator this weekend.
Bray Kroter

Anonymous said...

Some of you are incredible. A double standard? Please, just shut up and go home. This crew chief should receive a permanent ban from NASCAR as far as I'm concerned. What a disgusting display. I'm sure Rusty will do the right thing and fire this ignorant moron before Monday. If he doesn't, I will lose all respect for him. It's pretty clear that the crew chief *did* say what he is accused of saying. It's his word against many others.

Are we still stuck in 1930? Apparently, too much of the South still is. And southerners wonder why the rest of us across the nation still look down on them....

Anonymous said...

Bray Kroter said...
The radio chatter "dissing" of Howard U is nothing more than typical venting of anger against another driver's sponsor.

The comment about Howard University was made during an ESPN interview - it was NOT an over the radio remark. And really, how often do drivers "go after" other driver's sponsors? They talk about the actual driver who's making them mad, not their sponsor. Especially a UNIVERSITY? Please. Talk about grasping at straws...

red said...

Anonymous said...
"Funny, if Davis had called the crew chief a "cracker", not a word would be said. A definate double standard!"

first up, anon@6:55am, you have no way of knowing that so your claim of "double standard" in nothing more than personal speculation on your part.
second, anon, davis isn't the sort of person to call a white man "cracker" for any reason. he's a classy young man and if you had any doubts about that, remember that he left town after the race, saying nothing about what happened and has refused comment since then.
let's try and stay with the facts.

bray: there was no radio chatter dissing howard by gaughan. that comment came from gaughan after the race, during an on-air interview on espn. to me, that's a major difference.

anon8:02am: as a lifetime northener, i most certainly do NOT "look down" on southerners! there is more than enough racism up here in philly to go around!

as for rusty's responsibilities this weekend: in my opinion, as an owner, he should address it and condemn both the crew chief and driver. in fact, were i gaughan's owner, i would sit him down for one race just to make clear to him, the team and the sport and fans that i would not tolerate even the hint of racism to go uncontested on my watch.

it may be that gaughan's words were intended just as jimbacca suggests: collegiate bantering. however, it is equally likely that it was intended to be a racially-intended insult, especially as gaughan used "howard university education" in the context of an admittedly stupid move by a black driver.

from a media perspective: i do want to hear from rusty as the owner involved in this incident and i do want a dialogue between all commentators on the desk at the time and that would include daugherty. what i don't want is for espn to ignore it -- or beat it to death. cover it responsibility, have an open and frank discussion and then "return to our normal programming." the worst possible move in my opinion would be to duck and run from it.

and i have to say: props to nascar for suspending berry. maybe there's someone in daytona who "gets it" after all?

Vicky D said...

I also heard Gaughan's interview after the race, but I thought he said Harvard vs. Georgetown so I didn't think anything of that comment. Yes, Brad will address this this weekend but in a classy way. And I'm hoping RW makes a statement about his cc and driver. Hopefully by this weekend, Brendan has calmed down some.

Daly Planet Editor said...

What's up with the TNT ratings issue? Drop me an email with that info or your questions about it.

JD

glenc1 said...

I pretty much agree with red on this one. I like Brendan a lot, but he really lost his head on this one. I can understand that he was wrecked & very upset, and I think that's the reason NASCAR let it slide (I certainly hope Brendan and Marc have a chance to talk it out this week, which is what usually happens.) I think Rusty should (and hopefully will) simply address it by saying he's upset someone on his team would make those comments (which I assume he is) and move on. It doesn't need to be discussed at length, and I don't think there's a need to put Brad and Rusty facing off. Mind you, I see nothing wrong with disussing the racial issue to some extent--I don't think we can combat these things without discussing them--I just don't think it needs to be, as red says 'beat to death' (as they do with almost everything...)

Like most race fans, I have seen a *few* small incidents over the years, but fortunately, it really has been very little. But the media dealing with it intelligently is important. May I add, I saw this on the ESPN ticket last night, and they made sure to mention that Rusty was an employee of ESPN (disclosure.) That was appropriate.

Anonymous said...

What a mess. The person I feel the most sorry for is Marc Davis, not because of the racial slur, but for what others will use him for.

He will be under a microscope, and not of his doing. The poor kid just wants to race cars. I bet dollars to doughnuts he does not want to be a black symbol for NASCAR. Good grief, he's only 19, and a nice kid.

So much of the conversations about race are very phony. Someone is always trying to advance whatever opinion they have. Marc will be a pon for that. I just hope no one brings up slavery.

The comment was a horrible, racist, prejudicial comment. Should it be addressed? Yes, and then let's go back to racing.

As far as Rusty is concerned, it's not his fault. How was he to know that an employee was going to start this firestorm? People can be jerks, be they white or black.

We in Chicago are the murder capitol of the US. Almost all of them are black-on-black murders. We don't blame our former senator Obama for that.

I would not call Kyle a skinny white kid anymore than I would call Marc a chubby black kid.

I hope we start talking about racing soon.

Anonymous said...

Marc did NOTHING wrong on pit road. He was just trying to get his car to the garage. Gaughan ran into Marc. I guess if Gaughan rear ended someone at a stop sign it would be the other driver's fault. What an idiot! He owes Marc a big apology.

Mary
Richmond, VA

Tracy said...

Anon at 12:17 a.m. - I'm afraid you're right that there's no chance of an impartial person in the booth. The question is, do viewers care?

Wallace, Hammond, Daughtry, even Evernham -altho he says he has sold almost his entire interest to RPM yet he still owns a fraction of it - it seems as if everyone has an interest in what's going on on the track, whether it's financial or emotional in terms of friendships. Kenny Schrader is wonderful when he's talking about racing on TV, and it's because he has the years, the ties, and the bonds to make it personal. He too is a team owner.

Wallace is in no tougher spot than anyone else with a team interest who's sitting in that broadcasting booth. Do the viewers care? I honestly think it depends on how much they liked him when he was racing. Same for DW. Old prejudices die hard. And that's the cliche' for the day.

BTW, Marc Davis has incredible self-control for a 19 yo. He earned my respect. Can you see Kyle Busch at 19 exhibiting the same restraint? At 23? ROFLOL.

Deborah said...

I don't see how Kyle Busch has any place in this discussion. The outrage over someone smashing a guitar should pale in comparison to a crew chief using a racial slur against a driver.

I'm very curious to see how Rusty handles it both on-air and off as this isn't something that can just be swept under the rug - not Brendan insulting another driver's intelligence and taking a shot at a sponsor, and especially not Berry's choice to use a racial slur. No matter how angry Berry may have been about the wrecked race car there is no excuse for it and I hope Rusty doesn't try to excuse it or dismiss it. Good for NASCAR for having zero tolerance and taking strong action.

Anonymous said...

Brendan Gaughan just better hope that Kornheiser and Wilbon on ESPN's Pardon the Interruption don't get ahold of this. They're both based out of Washington, D.C. so they know plenty about both colleges. As a PTI fan, I know they would have a fit if they were aware of Gaughan's televised putdown of Howard University in relation to an African-American driver, especially followed by his crew chief's remarks and suspension, which of course is the real issue. Perhaps they'll be too busy with the NBA Finals to get to it.

Good job by NASCAR to quickly investigate a complaint of what some people on pit road witnessed (good for those people for saying something, too). And a good job by NASCAR in taking decisive action once they determined what happened.

Bad Day For Chevy said...

And the hits keep coming for RW!

General Motors is cutting factory support for Chevy teams competing in NASCAR's Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series.

Lets see if the Duce or Speed talk about this one.....this has far bigger ramifications than an idiot crew chief & spoiled rich kid's poor judgements at the track.

Nan S said...

I'd like to see Gaughan's and Iverson's SAT scores and grades prior to being admitted to Georgetown. Somehow I suspect that neither had the level that an average non-basketball player would have to gain entrance to that school. The comment about Howard University was more than just trash talk, it had a veiled racist undertone.

Rusty cannot lead the discussion on this matter. He just needs to have another person do that and he can answer questions.

As for the crew member, after the other NASCAR lawsuit they are going to come down hard on him if its provable by audio and witnesses. They should, since NASCAR has been trying to prove they are past that type of behavior.

JLee said...

Thanks JD the Editor for putting this story up. My whole point of my initial posting on 6/7/09 was to bring situations like this to the light. Although I appreciate you explaining your take on the Kyle situation which I'd 1st commented on & welcoming my comments, like Anon@ 7:50am today said,)(thanks Anon!) you were totally dismissive about the Gaughan/Davis issue. Unlike some posters, you didn't even ask, "How was the comments racist?" & that would have given me the opportunity to try to explain. That's ok though, I still read your blog, have done so for a while & plan to continue, so what I focused on was contacting Nascar, Rusty Wallace Racing, etc. Now come to find out, no doubt sparked by Gaughan's comments,his crew chief obviously felt empowered to take the situation even further by calling Marc this slur.

I emailed Gaughan that night (Sat) & told him how outraged I was & I emailed RWR/RWI (Rusty)too. To Gaughan's credit, he responded & told me of his participation w/the Urban Youth Racing School, his time at Georgetown playing against Howard & him spending alot of time on their campus, etc. Like I told him, since he has all this experience w/HBCU's/different cultures, I would have expected MUCH BETTER from him. However, a person can harbor racism & not even know it.

I'm speaking out against this because as a fan of Nascar, I'm tired of the bad publicity, it makes the sport look bad. I'm even more tired of the offenders. Minorities do not want special treatment, we just want to be able to race, attend the races, work in Nascar, etc. without being harassed & hindered from doing so. I'm not trying to change a racist's mind-if one still wants to be that way in 2009, I'm not wasting my energy to try to make them feel any different. Many ppl of all races have given & sacrificed WAY too much to try to change that. However, when you try to hinder a person's livlihood & rights to attend a public event without being harassed, etc. then it's time to speak up against that. That cannot be tolerated. Those that are racist in Nascar need to learn to check their racism at the door & be a PROFESSIONAL on the job. On the job, you have to keep your personal feelings out of it, & this Berry person is stupid as.... he has what many would consider a dream job, when alot of ppl are unemployed & he chose jeopardize that not only for himself, but to make his employer look bad.

There needs to be more open discussion about this which is what I myself will be doing. Ppl like Anon@ 6:55am doesn't get it; Marc would NOT have even called anyone "the C word", he's not that stupid. & this makes the 2nd time public known that Marc has been called a slur, it also happened at a race in GA. He has yet to call anyone that, & I too applaud his restrain because some of us feel if you call me out of my name, then we are more than capable of returning the favor.

Lastly, Kyle IS a 'skinny white kid' & Marc IS a 'chubby black kid'. So what? All I'm saying is let's keep the slurs out of it. Some ignorant ppl gave Wendell Scott a hard time & now still, in 2009 this same stuff is happening. I wasn't around in Wendell's time, but I'm here now & will continue to speak out against this crap. I encourage everyone else who feels the same way to do so as well.

Anonymous said...

Damn John,

Here I thought Russell Wallace was removed from the first chair. Was because he was annoying,& not particularly good at it, that & a much better person was available.
I was also under the mistaken impression that his biggest problem was Stephan's desire to be a race driver.
Seriously, In Baseball, we expect the announcers to be "homeys" NA$CAR announcers should be impartial. In this respect, all the networks covering the sport have failed the fans miserably.

dawg

Anonymous said...

Mary, this is not what the blog is about, but Marc *DID* make an error--you are supposed to signal that you're turning, and he didn't. He's a rookie, and expected to make mistakes, so it really wasn't a big deal. Brendan overreacted, which in the heat of the moment with a wrecked car, can happen. The crew WAY overreacted, and this is about how the media will deal with it.

I think Rusty can handle it. He's a smart guy with people to advise him. In general, Brendan appears to be a good guy and the kind of person you want representing the sport, and I think he will handle this accordingly--I don't believe he intended it in the way some are suggesting. Likewise, Marc is wise beyond his years and has handled it with great class...I imagine any future interviews about this will show the same. With any luck the publicity will haul in some more sponsorship or opportunities for him. Something good could actually come out of it.

JLee--I appreciate your thoughtful comments, but the point is, NASCAR did the right thing this time (and did so immediately)--they've come a long way since Wendell, and I'm sure they'll continue to do so. You're largely preaching to the choir here, I think.

SonicAD said...

First off, I don't see why you had to bring Kyle Busch into this, even if I don't care for him, I think it's far outside the point of the rest of this article.

Now I'm the guy who defends people everybody hates, and looks for reasons to give them a pass. Usually I can do that for something NASCAR-related, but in this case, at least for Berry, no chance. Was he right to be mad? Hell yes. The way he vocalized his anger? Well, I wouldn't mind if he's banned from the sport. Good riddance.

For Gaughan, however, I'm going to be a lot more lenient. Again, he had a right to be angry... and I've seen a lot of drivers take cracks at sponsors after exceptionally stupid accidents. Nothing against Marc Davis, but this was indeed an exceptionally stupid accident and I can see why anyone on the #62 team would be really angry. It's unfortunate that the sponsor on Davis's car is a historically black university, but I can see Gaughan making that crack if it were any other university on that car, so I think saying he was wrong to make that statement is a bit of a double-standard. I'm certain that joke has been made before in other sports, and probably NASCAR as well, relating to other educational institutions, and so I really hope it wasn't racism on Gaughan's part.

yankeegranny said...

If Brenden's crew chief had been black and made the alleged remark, this would have been a non-story because if a black calls another black a "nigga" it is OK, but if a white does it, it is racist. It is OK of a hip-hop or rap artist uses the "N" or the "MF" as part of the lyrics, but if a white rapper uses the "N" word it is unacceptable.. What a crock. I taught for many years and can't tell you the number of black students who have told me that only white people are racists and the black people can't be racists. The pathetic thing is they believe it. I think NASCAR should have told the crew chief to take some sensitivity training, but an indefinite suspension is pandering and nothing else.

majorshouse said...

I think that this is the craziest thing I have ever heard. I am so sick and tired of all of the political correctness in NASCAR. If it had been mark Davis making a racial comment aginst a white man, then it would have been swept under therug and done quickly. This racial diversity in NASCAR is nothing more than a drive for a quota and it is a shame that it is even here. I am not saying this to be radcially motivated, but come one poeple let's just move on and get the racing done and get rid of the political garbage going on right now.

Sophia said...

check the recent statistics.

New Orleans now has the highest murder rate in the USA.

As far as the rest of the comments on this blog, I am staying out of it, though most of this entire story has left me most disappointed.

Yet another reason all my friends in the next few weeks will ask me again "Why is it you love NASCAR so much?"

I am beginning to wonder myself. Oh and we have plenty of racists north of the Mason Dixon line.

Anonymous said...

I'm at work, I'm curious if First Take or SPEED has mentioned this issue?

I find the above two postings at 12:22 and 12:58 very tragic and indicative of the line of thinking that all my friends (and I'm white if it matters) attribute to typical NASCAR fans. But - it's a free country.

The thing is, the crew chief is a peer of Marc Davis. While the incident at Hickory was awful, it was slurs by fans who Marc Davis will probably never see or hear from again. Bryan Berry is a person who he will likely be seeing in his workplace again and again. So I think this incident is much worse. It's easy to say forgive and forget - when it's not you in the situation.

Even if the slur was not to Marc Davis's face, it was just one cubicle over, if you use the workplace analogy. And that wouldn't fly anywhere in any workplace in this country. A NASCAR track is a workplace. What people do or say on their own time is their business, but don't bring it (or underhanded "you know what I mean" comments, such as Brendan's) to the workplace. Why is that so hard for some NASCAR and team employees to understand?

Anonymous said...

I, as a white guy, am offended that you called Kyle Busch a "skinney white kid". I think that is just as racist as using the N-word. You guys want everyone is NASCAR to have more personality, then are critical of someone who shows some emotion (Kyle Busch) just because he smashes up someones trophy. Grow up guys.

Anonymous said...

Anon@1217AM Wrote:

"Instead of pretending that DW has to alter his opinions to be unbiased, or that Wallace cannot suddenely comment on a race because he might be biased... how about if we simply recognize the bias and use that bias to put the comments in context."

Well said. As a broadcaster dating back to 1975, and a veteran of covering a wide variety of hard news issues, IMO, no anchor or analyst can be totally unbiased. Their comments have to be weighed in the context of known bias. Just because he is a team owner, RWW didn't lost his ability to analyze a situation. He should just refrain from comment on his own race teams, and leave those observations to the other well qualified members of that broadcast team.

If the alleged racist comments occured, those comments, and the people who made them, should be denounced and condemned. Now, and in clear to understand terms.

If the Davis crew is simply playing the "race card", it's as reprehensable as the alleged racist comments, and they, too, should be denounced and condemned.

And as to RWW, judge his comments in light of his possible bias, and move on.

Anonymous said...

JD- "Although sounding like an idiot on TV, NASCAR is allowing Gaughan to drive another day."
Really? When a driver is mad that his great run was ruined by such a dumb accident, I don't blame Brendan for being mad or slamming Marc's sponsor. He did not offend Marc and should not be called out in this article. Slamming other's sponsors is nothing new in this sport and isn't much of an issue

Daly Planet Editor said...

Great comments and LOTS of people in the sport have read them.

Anonymous said...

These are the kind of acts that make people outside nascar thinks that is a racist sport. As for Marc Davis I hope that he puts this aside, focus on his racing career and keep racing.

Sophia said...

Marc Davis has no sponsor for this weekend..is that what I heard?

also caught part of NN and Rusty is backing his employee that he did NOT drop the slur...sigh. Even tho others heard it.."hear say".

Now why would more than one person make that up?

DISAPPOINTED in Rusty's attitude in lieu of last years lawsuit. sheesh

Sophia said...

correction..just read on twitter Marc is focusing on the race in Ky...so I must've mis heard.

Karen said...

Sophia, yes, you heard it right. No sponsor for Marc Davis.

Rusty said the same thing that's on the Jayski site. He added on NN it's all hearsay but he is not appealing. Berry's been a longtime employee and admits cursing a lot but denies saying anything racial.

Rusty had a come to Jesus meeting on the plane ride to KY and said he didn't want to hear anything like that at the track or off the track. So NN got it out of the way. I don't expect to hear anything else about it this weekend.

Karen said...

Sophia, Marc's not on the entry list for KY or the practice speeds' list.

Karen said...

Well, I have to eat my words. They did talk about it during practice. Rusty even said Marc's father called to apologize and Rusty apologized. Blah-blah-blah. They even showed the incident and Brendan's ranting in the car and his ESPN interview in which he was a big jerk. Rusty said it was just a racin' thing.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Great job by Rusty Wallace and the ESPN gang on both practice and the NASCAR Now show.

Everyone will have an opinion about what Rusty believes, but the issue for us is that he stood-up and met the challenge head-on during the ESPN portion of the day.

JD

Sophia said...

Karen

Totally did not have tv on much today except a few minutes on SPEED. MISSED the R Wallace comment with Marc's dad.

Thanks for the enlightenment.

I DO know on Twitter Marc said the only race he wants to be concerned about is on the track.

I'd be lost without this blog and it's fine contributors.

Newracefan said...

I'm behind again so I haven't seen or heard what Rusty has said but...

As far as Brendan goes, I didn't get it. I knew I heard of Howard University but did not realize it was a a predominately black school, nor did I realize it was the sponsor not where Marc had gone to school (not sure why I thought that, I knew he was young and racing full time). I just assumed it was a school that Brendan was familar with and there was a rivalry with the university he attended. We can only hope that is the case, I guess we will never really know for sure and just have to hope he never does/says anything remotely like this again.

As far as the crew chief goes, I tend to believe it either was said or almost said. What do Marc Davis' people have to gain by making this up. It just increases the tension surrounding the kid who is trying to make it as a racer in Nascar. This has been a rough couple of months for Nascar fans.

jdh417 said...

I think this indefinite suspension is the worst thing that could have happened to Marc Davis' racing career. Not Bryan Berry, Davis.

This may serve to make Davis a pariah in the garage. His racing ability may be diminished as other racers will be afraid to race him hard.

The incredible level of insults hurled at Jackie Robinson (and later at Hank Aaron) bought them hard won respect from other players and fans and likely made them better players.

NASCAR putting Davis in a bubble will not make him a better racer. Nor will NASCAR commentators sensationalizing the story, while trying to shovel guilt at the sport and its fans for not being diverse enough.

If the story is true, lay out a fine, and then race on.

Anonymous said...
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Robert Upchurch said...

JD said: "This has been an on-going discussion for three years and I believe it played a key role in Rusty being removed from the fulltime play by play job last season."

Really? I thought he was removed because he was awful! He should not be in broadcasting, period!

Stop Dreaming Start Action said...
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Stop Dreaming Start Action said...
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