Saturday, October 31, 2009

Live Blog: Larry McReynolds Speaks Out On Sirius (Updated)

Wednesday evening NASCAR on Fox analyst Larry McReynolds took to Sirius Satellite Radio to speak out in anger on a topic recently in the media.

McReynolds was apparently upset about the quotes used in some recent articles published by veteran NASCAR reporter Dustin Long. Click here for a direct link to this series of interviews featuring McReynolds, Kyle Petty and Jimmy Spencer.

Basically, Long gathered three NASCAR TV personalities together for a candid conversation about a wide variety of NASCAR topics. The articles featured many direct quotes and some comments that may be considered controversial in the very small world of NASCAR.

McReynolds was clearly upset and indicated that his belief was that the negative aspects of the sport were emphasized without the positive being presented as well. The thrust of his comments were that much more was said in the conversation but not contained in the final article.

Dustin Long is the current president of the National Motorsports Press Association. A short time ago, he took his place on the NASCAR Hall of Fame Nominating Committee. He is a well-respected journalist who works for the Landmark Newspapers chain. He has almost twenty years of sports journalism experience.

Larry McReynolds got his first crew chief job back in 1985. He is best known for his time with Yates and then Richard Childress Racing. In 2000, he joined the NASCAR on Fox team as an analyst. He now also works for SPEED in a wide variety of roles, including his own program called NASCAR Performance.

Update: Here is the NASCAR response in full:

There's been a lot of chatter about comments made by Jimmy Spencer, Larry McReynolds and Kyle Petty, all TV personalities, about the state of NASCAR. Their words were harsh to be sure. The most common question I've gotten is, "what is NASCAR going to do to them?" Simply, nothing. There is nothing we can or would do. We've long believed in having an independent media. One of the things that makes NASCAR, or any sport great, is debate. That's healthy for sports. However, I have had my share of strongly worded discussions with members of the media when their coverage was inaccurate or unfair. So, it's a reasonable question to ask, were their comments accurate? Were they fair?

Spencer contends that the economy has absolutely nothing to do with attendance. "People will come to events if it's worth coming to," he says. In a sense, that is true and quite frankly I'm damn proud of the crowds we've had this year. By any estimate the average attendance is over 100,000 fans at each race. NASCAR has 17 of the 20 largest sporting events of the year - that's good in any economy. But to think the economy hasn't had any affect is just wrong. Going into the season, more than a third of NFL teams were in danger of having local games blacked out this year because they could not sellout. Those worries were indeed justified, as several games have already been blacked out. In addition, MLB had the biggest drop in ticket sales in 50 years. So, has America turned against all major sports? Of course not.

Spencer also takes a shot at the on track competition, "it's just not where it needs to be," he claims. Anyone can throw out an opinion like that but what does it mean? What's that based on? Take a look at Spencer's career, he won two races in 1994 (and earned more than million in his career). In that year, there were an average of 9.2 leaders per race and an average of 18.9 lead changes with an average margin of victory of 2.85 seconds. Oh yeah, 1994 was the last year when a race winner lapped the entire field. How does that compare to today? There are an average of 10 leaders per race and an average of 18.8 lead changes with an average margin of victory of an astounding 1.1 seconds. Here's what I have to say about the competition today: NASCAR is the best racing in the world, period.

While Spencer made most of the comments, Larry Mac and Kyle seemed to happily agree and piled on too. People like to **** about things and that's fine. Some just like to stir up controversy. But when you are a paid broadcaster shouldn't there be some kind of standard and responsibility for what you say? Could you imagine John Madden complaining about the NFL or Joe Buck telling fans that baseball wasn't worth going to?

Throwing out "controversial" statements isn't "telling it the way it is" or "righteous" if there are no facts and is driven by ego. It's meaningless. Every executive at NASCAR would be quick to say that there is room for improvement. We know that not all fans are satisfied and we've taken steps to improve NASCAR on and off the track. We also are careful to include the industry on all key decisions; that's why we held a Town Hall meeting with drivers and owners earlier this year (and will continue to hold more). We want to be the standard for all auto racing. We're proud of the drivers today and the racing. We want to make it even better and even more competitive.

The real question here is what are their employers going to do? David Hill, the chairman of Fox Sports and Hunter Nickell, the president of SPEED (all three are on SPEED's payroll and McReynolds is on Fox's), are the ones who should be concerned. Fair or not, broadcasters essentially telling the fans to stop watching the races is not a good thing.

It would seem that the last paragraph of this suggests that there should be some sort of suspension or termination over the opinions offered by Petty, Spencer and McReynolds. That certainly is something I have never heard NASCAR say before.

As the day unfolds, we are going to get your opinions on this topic and update any media links that might be published on this topic. To add your opinion on this issue, just click on the comments button below. This is a family-friendly website, please keep that in mind when posting. Thanks for helping us with this topic today.


Beating A Dead Horse said...

So in a nutshell, this broadcast media personality objects to print media's methods and procedures. Hmmm. This must be this man's first print interview in which he has been the subject of an interview. No, I don't think so. Methinks this man regrets his complete honesty in answering questions posed to him by the interviewer, but the writer pulled no dirty tricks nor did he engage in any unethical behavior in the course of writing his columns. Sorry, Larry, you have no valid complaint.

Tom said...

Sad. You get some veteran commentators who have gotten off the Koolaid for a short while, NASCAR becomes so incensed that they hint that the networks should "do something" and then everyone has to backpedal and say they were "misquoted". Just like so many before, any independent thought is quashed.. NASCAR has taken over Sirius talk shows (oh sorry, MRN, a wholly owned subsidiary of ISC...NOT NASCAR. right Bagman?) Now Larry Mac, not a guy know for controversial opinions, makes a few statements and he has to blame Dustin Long? Long is a pretty solid reporter and not someone I would consider "looking for trouble" This IS the problem with NASCAR....they try to control the media to the point that you feel like Vince Mcmahon is writing the script.

Inverness, FL

bevo said...

There are a lot of things going on in the fallout from this interview. On Tuesday Kyle Petty was on Sirius Speedway and at the end was asked about his comments about "certain hosts" on that channel. Now anyone who has listened knows exactly who Petty is talking about. Petty said that if anyone's feelings were hurt they should get thicker skin since they are in the media. When you boil it down Petty was saying criticism of NASCAR and it's media partners is a healthy thing while Dave Moody took the position that no ill should be spoken when it comes to the source of their livelihoods.

Last night Claire B Lang, in her own words, went toe-to-toe with Larry Mc to confront him about his comments. Immediately he threw Dustin Long under the bus in no uncertain terms. He stated that he would never speak to him again and left no doubt about his contempt for the print media. He even threw out the name of the female pr person from Speed who set up the interview and praised David Hill several times. He also pointed out that he has to go to the NASCAR hauler every weekend as part of his job. When Lang directly asked him if anyone from NASCAR had said anything to him he said no, the only contact he had was with Robin Pemberton to talk about the new Nationwide car.

It was obvious someone talked to him and I believe him when he says no one with NASCAR contacted him personally but that doesn't mean they didn't talk to his agent/manager. He sounded like the stereotypical cheating husband who spills his guts to his wife when he's caught blaming everyone and everything for it and begging her to take him back.

Donna DeBoer said...

In this particular case, I had no reason to think Long's column wasn't an accurate reporting of what was discussed, and that it represented those guys' opinions. NASCAR had every right to offer theirs in return. I read them both, I will decide for myself what I want to think, and I think NASCAR is out of line trying to force people to publicly recant when they continue to be outwardly inviting but inwardly closed to honest discussions about the state of the sport. IMO.

Anonymous said...

years ago (before the big time contracts) a certain analyst was let go for being honest about NASCAR. There's no doubt in my mind that Larry was probably threatened or is afraid he will be. Just as some years ago Michael Waltrip pretty much admitted he'd heard from the powers that be over things he said on TV. I doubt Long did anything wrong, except inadvertently put these guys in danger. I've never understood this aspect of NASCAR. If you watch football and there's a bad call, the analysts are free to say so. If Roger Goodell makes some decision they don't like, the talking heads on Sunday morning feel completely free to criticize. Yes, on a team by team basis there have been issues with individual reporters (or, situations like the Redskin fans getting thrown out for anti-Snyder behavior.) But in general, analysts don't appear to worry that they're going to get a call from the NFL telling them to shut their mouths. Why is NASCAR so afraid of legitimate criticism? When I first became a fan (still in the ESPN/CBS/TBS days...) this aspect puzzled me. But now I think I understand better what control freaks they are. If they put out a better product, they woudn't need to worry.

Paul said...

Larry, Kyle and Jimmy's comments sounded like what most fans would say. Pretty obvious that Larry was taken to the woodshed!
Has Kyle or Jimmy backpedaled too?

DrTeplisky said...

The sanctioning body is notoriously thin-skinned when it comes to criticism. They may not have directly gotten to Larry Mac--but their fingerprints were all over this. (I'll bet a bottle of Thunderbird, that that is what happened.)

Everyone in this arena needs to be reminded that a journalist covering a series like NASCAR (be they print, broadcast, blogger or a combination of the three) HAS to be respectfully adversarial toward the sanctioning body. That's the only way strong and different opinions see the light of day, and problems like safety get worked on.

People hired by the sanctioning body, and their broadcast and internet rights holders are more spokespeople than journalists, because it is through their work that the official position of the organization is conveyed, as well as the conveyance of a positive image.

There will always be tension between these people and journalists covering the series. The result of that tension yields the truth.

Haus14 said...

I don't doubt the accuracy of what is reported in Dustin Long's article. What I do wonder about is what was edited out of the articles. That can make a difference.

When tv networks do one on one interviews, the actual interview may be 60 minutes long, but only 10or 12 end up on the broadcast. Sometimes those intervies are edited to promote a certain angle or agenda or to avoid certain issues that may have come up in the interview. I wonder if that is what has happened here. It is something that has to be considered.

Keep the negative about Nascar and edit out the positve comments. Is that what happened? If so, one could understand how someone who has been in the sport for years could be so mad when he feels his opinions have been mischaracterized.

Anonymous said...

reminds me of the time bill france jr, after larry mac as crew chief had complained too vigorously about something or other, invited LM into his office for a chat, which LM recalls started out like this: 'Larry, you've got a nice job, right? Larry, you've got a nice house, right? Larry, you've got a nice car, right? Larry, this sport has been pretty good to you, right?' And you can imagine where the converation went from here. guess the guys in daytona gave him another call. one more reason i distrust tv -- too many guys drink the kool aide.

Vince said...

I've been around this sport since the 60's and NASCAR has always had a heavy hand regarding the media. Nothing bad or negative about NASCAR must be said or printed period.

Now in this new age of instant Internet access to any number of bloggers and writers with real opinions, NASCAR is panicing because they can't control everything anymore. But they are still trying. I have no doubt someone from NASCAR said something to the powers that be at SPEED/FOX about Larry Mac's comments. And now Larry doesn't have the guts to stand behind his earlier comments with Dustin Long. I've lost a lot of respect for you Larry.......

And NASCAR, guess what. The horse is out of the barn. We NASCAR fans actually have opinions about you and our sport. And not all of them are positive. So you can either keep doing what you've been doing, trying to squash anything you preceive as negative or you can try to fix what is really driving fans away in droves. (1) Vanilla crybaby drivers, (2) the COT that is safe, but not raceable, (3) the patethic coverage of the races by ABC/ESPN and yes Fox too.

The race broadcast partners need to quit dumbing down their coverage for the proverbial new fan. BS. They can learn the same way I did. By listening and paying attention to what is going on during the race and they'll figure it out eventually. We all did. We don't need somebody constantly showing us a computer graphic of a broken valve spring or showing us what a shock looks like.

Then get somebody that is really a fan of NASCAR and put them in charge of producing and directing the races. Quit the endless in car cams, bumper cams and roof cams. They were meant to be used to enhance the coverage of the race, not to be the main tool to cover a race. And for the love of god get some decent pit reporters and a PxP guy that doesn't put me to sleep (ESPN).

That's just a small portion of what's bugging us fans. As for Larry Mac, man up Larry. You said it. Now stand by what you said. NASCAR is not perfect and never will be. But trying to contol the media in this day and age is just making them look foolish.


Anonymous said...

To be honest, I never considered the article to be controversial anyway. The view from NASCAR's ivory tower must be quite obscured indeed for them to think that anything Jimmy Larry or Kyle said doesn't pretty much echo what most race fans are already thinking. If in fact Larry was taken to task over his comments and chose to throw Dustin under the bus, then shame on him. Perhaps he should just avoid doing any print media. Actual things I have heard from Larry in a broadcast : "You see them roof flaps, what them is is roof flaps" or "he took two right side tires only" As opposed to four right side tires? And my all time favorite introduction to the racing lexicon, "substained RPM's" I am and have been since the age of 16 an active short track racer. Anyone with any kind of race car acumen can diagnose for you exactly what is wrong with NASCAR and their crappy little car. Don't tell me the racing is better, because it isn't. No amount of Meadia censure by NASCAR is going to change my mind!

Zieke said...

What does NASCAR care what criticisms come from the media? Altho I like a few of them, incl. Larry Mac, let's take them for what they really are, talking heads, just like on CNBC. The media are not authorities- they just like to make money doing a job. Don't blame them for that. Just take their comments for what they are worth. End of story!

bevo said...

@haus- Long said last night that everything was published, the only thing he did was do some cleanup on the language. He also pointed to the positive things that are published that Larry conveniently overlooked.

@DrT- totally agree. Before Sirius got the rights Speedway was a pretty open show and Moody would criticize NASCAR when it was called for. The show also had no problem addressing tv coverage. I really held out hope for objectivity after they got NASCAR and hired David Poole and Speedway had pretty regular visits from JD to talk about the tv coverage. ISC and MRN have closed ranks and Moody's failed attack on Petty is really disappointing. Kyle has shown himself to be a gentleman through all of this in spite of Moody ridiculing him for wearing his cap with a black stripe across it in memory of Adam and questioning his relationship with Richard.

Debbie227 said...

I don't know what is sadder, Larry Mac backing off his comments, or NASCAR feeling like they need to control every talking head's opinion.

Actually with NASCAR trying to control everything to make it all positive it is scary. It seems like a dictatorship with King Brian hiding in his Ivory tower lopping off the heads of the non Kool Aid drinkers.

Kyle didn't back off of his statements, he just refused to name names and left the personal factor out of it. We haven't heard from Jimmy and perhaps we will this weekend. I would hope as opinionated as he is he would stand by his comments. Although he at times has back peddled due to pressure from King Brian. Larry is a kid who got caught on film with his hand in the cookie jar and is denying it and blaming it on everyone else. Perhaps he's been hanging out with Jeremy Mayfield lately?

Larry Mac is the loser in this one. He lost any credibility he had and sounds like a sore loser. He needs to man up and earn that respect back.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it!

Anonymous said...

I used to be a print reporter, although not in racing, or even sports at all. But this happens all the time - especially with good journalists. Why? Because good journalists get their subjects talking openly and candidly. Only later, when the subjects see what they said transcribed in black-and-white, they then have regrets. They either said something they shouldn't have, or else when they read the word-for-word transcription of how they speak, they either don't like the way they expressed themselves or wish they had said something else/something different. This "interviewee remorse" is incredibly common. The fact that McReynolds also has a problem with only portions of the conversation being used is just too bad - that's how it goes in ALL print journalism, and there is nothing yellow or unethical about it.

I love Larry, and I hope his mouth doesn't get him in hot water... but he can't blame the messenger, because all the quotes are his. If this were some first-year reporter you might question the journalist, but this was a seasoned pro. And speaking as someone who worked in the profession, he did nothing wrong at all.

Haus14 said...

I now understand why JD hasn't been on Speedway lately. They don't want to hear, nor can they handle the truth about the state of NASCAR media. This morning Pete Pistone was talking about how he doesn't understand all of the complaining about the racing because he thinks it is great. He is right. The racing is great. The problem is unless you are at the track, you wouldn't know it because you only see a few of the drivers and you have to put up with commercials every 3 laps.

Anonymous said...

Pathetic. I enjoyed Long's piece because he got three TV guys' opinions away from the mike. On the mike, especially on SPEED's lackey pre- and post-race shows, I expect them to lean toward the side of NASCAR-can-do-no-wrong. But when they have five seconds to gather their thoughts and not try to outbark each other, I enjoy the insight. McReynolds should have left the thing alone. Have a friggin' spine.

The Loose Wheel said...

I wish I had a full transcript of KP on Speedway and LM on last night. I had only heard the back half of the KP interview, then heard from Bob Margolis (sp) on the Late Shift last night. Even he admitted he had to tread a bit of water since he did not want his hard card taken away. That remark was probably partly in jest, but still it rings partially true.

I have no listened to enough SIRIUS as of late to really know who KP was talking about, but I can only guess it might have been Choc...but I dont necessarily care for him therefore maybe thats a biased guess.

This is why I miss John Kernan and The Drivers Seat!!!! It was a DIFFERENT show that really was fun and critical when it needed to be but Buddy Baker and others could find positives in things too.

Oy is all I have to say at the moment.

Ken-Michigan said...

I've never been a fan of McReynolds in the broadcast booth or any of his TV work. The TV work has grown his exposure not to mention his ego, it's a shame his grammar / vocabulary has grown with him.

Now he has problems with what HE was quoted with saying to a print journalist ?? Come on Larry, take a stand, play a part in making some changes with what you complained about.

I think it will be funny to watch Larry this weekend at "Talla-deeega" as Mr. McReynolds goes into suck-up mode.

On another issue, NASCAR could clear up many issues simply by putting a representative in the network booth to give the fans direct confirmation on debris cautions, rules violations, etc.

For those of us who have followed the sport for decades, I'm afraid we have already experienced the best this sport HAD to offer, and now we simply stand and watch it decline. To me,thats very sad.

Anonymous said...

Larry Mac, grow some, will you? Sheesh.
The interviews were great. You guys said what the fans have been saying for too long. Big deal.

Dustin Long deserves a medal. At least he has a pair.

Anonymous said...

I don't know what the big deal here is. These guys spoke to truth about where their sport is heading and Nascar wants them to be busted for it? As for Larry Mac is he scared that he might loose his broadcasting duties as being the reason for backing out. Come on Larry, Kyle and Spencer spoke the truth and Nascar don't want to hear it.

Anonymous said...

I love Larry Mac, Davey was My driver and for that I will always love Larry Mac. Also, he is the only thing (along with SPEED team) that gets me ready for a race because ESPN sucks. So, I wish Larry would stick by his comments which I don't think were all that negative to begin with, but I'm not going to throw HIM under a bus because he got spanked. I understand and except that is the way it goes with NASCAR. I don't trust him less, I feel sorry for him.

Bill Jordan said...

Seriously enjoyed Longs column, and blog. If anything I gained more respect for the 3 guys for participating in it.

Man this whole deal stinks... Id lie to see a transcript before making up my mind.

Photojosh said...

We make fun or disparage stick and ball sports coverage an awful lot on this blog. From being mad that college football games run over the start of Nationwide races to complaining that NASCAR doesn't make Sportscenter unless ESPN is doing the Chase.

But the fact of the matter is that the stick and ball sports have got their heads in the right place regarding the media. You can read scathing commentary across the globe, hear it on the radio, or watch it on TV every day about football, baseball, basketball and so on. Stick and ball reporters have as much free reign to report or comment however they like, former players routinely lay into current ones, and former coaches make a good living criticizing current coaches as "analysts".

NASCAR once again proves that it is clueless about this sort of thing. The time when the image of the sport needed to be protected so america didn't think it was filled with redneck moonshiners is long gone. NASCAR is in good shape and is considered a legitimate sport by anyone with half a brain.

But we're stuck in the land of WWF/WWE with the NASCAR officials. Say whatever koolaid comments you want about how it's great that we don't have an owners association or a players/drivers union, but this is what you get without one. The few benefits of having total central control in a sport clash head to head with all the bad aspects of it. Sure, we get green/white/checkers in the middle of the season. But now we also get a guy who I think most of us liked and respected showing himself to be a NASCAR bootlicker when the cards are down. Of course, do we blame Larry or should we be blaming NASCAR for their stupid tactics? I blame both.

It sucks, I really like Larry Mac's work on TV. It's just a shame that he not only has to back down from what he said, but that he has to throw others under the bus to save his own butt. Larry shouldn't pretend to be anything but a "NASCAR guy" if he's going to backpedal like this. Don't give interviews, don't say anything bad ever, just do your TV job.

Just one more reason I like Kyle Petty more and more every year. Stay true Kyle, tell it like it is.

Photojosh said...

Lest the fact get lost in my rant above, let me be clear in saying:

I loved that article. My respect for those three men went up 100% for saying what needs to be said. What we, as fans, have been saying for a long time now. It was a great interview, a great look into our sport, and the EXACT kind of thing that makes us all love NASCAR so much. None of those guys would ever say it, but in that article they were being "that guy" that the sport is missing. They were rattling cages and not caring about the sponsors, the TV ratings, and so on.

It's just a crying shame that Larry is throwing people under the bus for speaking candidly. I know it's hard when you've got a job tied to the industry, but I wish he would have had the guts to see it through the whole way and say "No, I'm not going to back down and if you keep pressuring me I'll get out there and tell everyone that you're doing so. You think my statements now are a problem, just wait until you fire me!".

Still really bummed about Larry's actions. But I loved the article and what he said in it.

Sally said...

It's a shame that Nascar didn't pay attention to what the 3 men had to say, because they mirrored what fans have been saying for the past several years. Burying their collective heads in the sand doesn't work. Check out attendance and TV ratings is you need conformation. Simply using overkill by trying to outshout your audience with how wonderful everything is isn't going to change anyone's mind. I'm sorry that Larry Mac was put in the porition of feeling his job was in jeopardy for saying what is really on his mind, but backing down and trying to blame someone else for what he said doesn't reflect well on him. If Nascar wonders why they are losing the battle, this would be a perfect example.

Anonymous said...

Fascinating article -- not only for what the three men are saying, but what it says about them.

Here are my impressions:

Larry: Simply guy who yearns for simpler times. I wouldn't say he is intimidated by the technology and advances in racing, but he likes the old mecahnics better.

Spencer: Comes off as even more pompous than on his tv shows. It's all "I could fix this, I could fix that" and apparently he could fix everything overnight.

Petty: Has an overly distorted romanticism of the old days. In some of his comments, you almost seem to forget there can be only one winner per race. He's talking about how guys don't go for the win, don't drive hard, aren't upset when they lose. Give me a break. Things aren't as bad as he thinks, and they aren't as great as he remembers. He speaks a lot of truth, but he seems to be holding everything up to a mythincal standard that wasn't even actually achieved by the people he enshrines in his mind.

Anonymous said...

NASCAR entered a response to these interviews. One part I found to be especially compelling and truthful, for which I think someone like Jimmy Spencer has no response:

Spencer also takes a shot at the on track competition, "it's just not where it needs to be," he claims. Anyone can throw out an opinion like that but what does it mean? What's that based on? Take a look at Spencer's career, he won two races in 1994 (and earned more than million in his career). In that year, there were an average of 9.2 leaders per race and an average of 18.9 lead changes with an average margin of victory of 2.85 seconds. Oh yeah, 1994 was the last year when a race winner lapped the entire field. How does that compare to today? There are an average of 10 leaders per race and an average of 18.8 lead changes with an average margin of victory of an astounding 1.1 seconds.

Photojosh said...

"but he seems to be holding everything up to a mythincal standard that wasn't even actually achieved by the people he enshrines in his mind."

I have a feeling that comes from growing up the son of the guy we all call "the king". Anyone with that kind of view of the sport is going to have a different take on things than "normal" folks.

But I still think there is a TON of truth in what he says. Can anyone argue that there isn't a lot of difference in the public faces of the top 12 drivers (minus JPM)?

Photojosh said...

Ramsey Poston's response to this article is lame and clueless at best.

"But when you are a paid broadcaster shouldn't there be some kind of standard and responsibility for what you say? Could you imagine John Madden complaining about the NFL or Joe Buck telling fans that baseball wasn't worth going to?"

Oh I don't know Ramsey, bothered to pay attention over the past few weeks to the officiating nightmare that has been the MLB playoffs? Every talking head in sports has been calling for blood and laying into MLB for not being interested in instant reply. Sticking with baseball, how about going back and reading any of the past 5 year's worth of comments about steroids in baseball. Are you telling me that you aren't going to find any statements from any of the broadcast media about how awful steroids were for baseball and how MLB and the MLBPA were to blame?

I get that NASCAR wants to have an "attack dog" respond to something like this, and perhaps they should. But Ramsey's tactics were schoolyard at best. Stuff like calling this all a case of "ego", not so subtly slagging Spencer's career as a driver to make a point, and essentially making threats/demands on behalf of the sport to fire or muzzle those in the broadcast media are all just perfect examples of where NASCAR's head is at these days.

It would have been so easy for NASCAR to lay out some facts that refute some of the points made by Larry/Jimmy/Kyle rather than to take the low road. But aside from some good points about lead changes and the economy, Ramsey just got into a spitting match and tries to bully NASCAR's point of view across.

Anonymous said...

PETTY: If you go back, let’s go back to Earnhardt and those guys, do you think they ever went to the hospital when they had a pregnant wife?

This really bothers me. Is this supposed to be something we admire? Is a man any less of a racer if he is devoted to his family? Sorry, but from where I sit, if Dale Sr. had one shortcoming, it was the lack of attention he paid to his family in the name of racing. Even Jr. has spoken about it, in fact it haunts him in many ways.

I understand what Petty is saying - we don't see as much fire in guys in terms of "nothing is going to take me out of this ride." But I think when you fault a guy saying he would miss a race if his wife went into labor with their first child, you are stepping over the line.

OSBORNK said...

Larry showed his loyalty. How would you like to have to depend on him when things get tough? He puts new meaning into "fair weather friend". How can we trust anything he says? He will say whatever he is asked to say and the facts are unimportant.

bevo said...

Wow, Mr. Poston is quite the spokesman for NASCAR. I can't believe that a professional corporate communications department would allow that to be released to the public. Sounds an awful lot like the guy who runs the UFC.

The real question here is what are their employers going to do? David Hill, the chairman of Fox Sports and Hunter Nickell, the president of SPEED (all three are on SPEED's payroll and McReynolds is on Fox's), are the ones who should be concerned.

That's not a shot across the bow concerning their future employment at all is it???

Anonymous said...

I too wish I had a transcript of both Kyle Petty and Larry Mac on Sirius. Both of them, in my mind, were recanting on what they were saying.

Kyle didn't say a word about Long only getting half the story. Larry Mac claimed Long only wrote the negatives, not the positives. Two different stories.

Kyle seemed to be back peddling on what he said, with a lot of 'what I meant' statements.

Larry Mac just threw Dustin under the bus.

And I think that Kyle was referring to Rick Benjamin for the person who doesn't go to a track and who doesn't admit when he doesn't know anything. That was also the problem with Kernan...both not admitting to anything wrong, and not being at the NASCAR races.

And Spencer evidently is not answering his phone.

Debbie227 said...

Smooth and clever move NASCAR!

What I got from their statement is they can't and won't do anything to the negative Nelly's but they sure will make sure that the networks deal with it. If the networks choose not to do anything, then NACAR can hold a tv deal over their heads.

They basically pulled a move from the dirty politics book. I don't like it one bit! I am NOT impressed King Brian and your henchmen!

Aren't these 3 paid to give OPINIONS?! Just because the powers that be don't agree with them, they are just that, OPINIONS. Not one is right not one is wrong. It's just someone's point of view. Has it ever occurred to NASCAR maybe other's don't see things their way?

The last time I checked this was the USA, freedom of speech, rights to your opinion, etc.

I think that NASCAR's statement will damage them more in the long run then the opinions spoken from these 3 men. NASCAR has always had a credibility issue and this statement certainly won't help.

Such a sad state of affairs a simple OPNION based article from a stand up jounalist has become.

If one is man or woman enough to voice an opinion, then please be me man or woman enough to own up to it!

Haus14 said...

What is really unfortunate about this entire story is that there is more going on behind the scenes. It makes all parties involved look bad. The three amigos look like they are back peddling and accusing Dustin Long of slander. Nascar looks like an organization that can't handle one bit of criticism against its company. We can speculate all we want about who is to blame or why so and so said or did whatever, but the bottom line is there is something missing here.

Richard in N.C. said...

Credibility, in my view, is not widespread among the NASCAR print media - and, of course, Larry Mac has committed the unpardonable sin of criticizing the print media, and I have no doubt whatsoever that they will get him for it. One way to settle a good bit of the controversy would be for Dustin Long, who I do read regularly and respect, to release a full transcript of the discussions.

Tracy D said...

I hope Speed and Fox pat these guys on the back and say "go get 'em!" Will they? Never - because they don't want to upset the happy "family of Nascar" picture that's required by TPTB.

I wish all three would remember their job should be to help the fans understand what's going on and why, which is where the Long interview fits perfectly; not just to tow the party line.

Anonymous said...

"By any estimate the average attendance is over 100,000 fans at each race." Just wondering how in the world is that possible? It has to be because a few 'big' races still sold out or came close to it...Talledega, Bristol, Richmond, Texas...

I can only think that the fact that the economy didn't tank until Octoberish of last year had people who had already renewed their tickets and paid for them. No way will it be next year.

Sophia said...

I find this all sad that what most fans feel is getting these three in trouble.

I am not going to call names or throw anybody under a bus. Cripes what if jobs were/ARE threatened? Who wouldn't back down..where you going to get another job in this economy.

Stinks all the way around..but if FOX, SPEED or Hill punishes anybody, we should get a number and blow out some phone systems. THAT would be the outrage imo. (for these guys to be even more reprimanded, especially to make it MORE OBVIOUS to the fans)

glenc1 said...

This is all so sad. Photojosh called it right--other sports are criticized ALL the time by their own broadcasters. Does Posten ever watch other sports? It's not just MLB, a few really bad calls in college football (and subsequent 'reprimands' to the coaches who complained) have been debated at length. There are still animated arguments about the BCS. Every time an NFL player gets a fine or a suspension, they all go on about whether the league was too lenient or too harsh. Rule changes? They're arguing about how many rules we have to protect 'certain' players but not others. They criticize schedules, punishments, instant replay...I could go on and on. I really don't think those guys were telling people not to watch--they were trying to explain why people have *already* stopped, we've seen many of them here at TDP. In a way, I don't blame them for backpedalling because they need to make a living, but it would be nice if they could find someone without a stake to back it up. But this is looking like a real mess. Once again, NASCAR is acting as if we don't know how to think for ourselves.

Anonymous said...

I think NASCAR had a sit down with Mr. McReynolds and forced the Kool-Aid down his throat. I saw nothing wrong with Dustin Long's article. This is the Larry Mac I want to see, not the D.W. goofy sidekick. It is about time some members of the media stood up and said there are problems.

Mr. Poston's comments were very out of line, but of course nobody in the mainstream media will say that. Taking shots at all 3 were disgusting. They are human beings and have every right to say if they dislike the way the sport is going. As long as they explain why they feel this way and offer their own support, there is no reason to attack them. They have decades of experience and are more than qualified to speak their mind. They know more about the car than Mr. Poston himself. For Mr. Poston to consider their remarks were 'driven by ego' without any proof is well out of line. Maybe he should follow his own advice and meet the 'kind of standards' he describes before he bashes media personalities for their honest and professional opinions.

Oh by the way...
Does Mr. Poston realize there were less cars in the field in 1994 compared to 2009? Does he realize there were no gimmicks like the lucky dog or free pass? Does he realize there were no bogus debris cautions to bunch up the field with 5 to go? Without these factors, passing would be at 1994 levels still.

Anonymous said...

If NASCAR is so hot to have "town hall's" Then I suggest they conduct one each race weekend with fans that are at the track, and then see if the three amigos need scolding by their media employers.

In fact, I DARE nascar to hold a town hall for fans. Not the "Fan council" who are easily vetted beforehand, but fifty random fans at the track.

Your serve NASCAR, and I think it's dirty pool to try and get someone else to do your dirty work and reprimand people for speaking their minds.

More to the point...It goes right back to something they talked about in the artical. LEADERSHIP. The folks here on TDP will be familiar with this idea as I have experessed it loudly seversl times.

There is NO leadership in Daytona and the king has no clothes.

Anonymous said...

and wasn't the only thing that came out of the town hall the double file restarts ("shootout style"...)?

Beating A Dead Horse said...

NASCAR needs to worry more about what ESPN is doing to them than what Larry, Jimmy and Kyle have to say about anything.

Beating A Dead Horse said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Beating A Dead Horse said...

"RT @nascarwriter Most of the fans are very happy with the way things are...except for all the commercials during race broadcasts."

No. We are not.

Clance'McClannahan said...

Now...just sayin...Who else openly spoke up against NASCAR?
Jeremy Mayfield.

Anonymous said...

WOW. Can you imagine the NFL or MLB spokespeople coming out to denounce a measly Q&A with TV talking heads? (And I don't say that to demean the piece, just saying it's one piece out of many published in a given week in the racing media world). NASCAR is simply the most paranoid sports league on the planet. Ramsey Poston is a disgrace. Dude, you should be thankful there are guys like Dustin Long still covering your sport at all. Racing writers are a dying breed -- and they'll become more so as NASCAR acts like the Gestapo with anyone in the garage or the booth who dares speak their mind.

Jim Utter said...

I have no problem with anyone stating an opinion on any sport. However, saying "the economy has absolutely nothing to do" with attendance drops and David Poole "never wrote a positive thing about NASCAR. Never." are not opinions. They are statements of fact and they are WRONG.

The only problem here is Larry
Mac, and Kyle Petty and Jimmy Spencer are being called on it. And when they were they did what all of their kind do - blame the people they ran their mouths to.

The saddest part at all is their opinions actually carry weight among NASCAR fans.

Anonymous said...

Mr Utter,

ever heard of hyperbole?

The Loose Wheel said...

I won't sit here and say everything is wrong with NASCAR, and I think that is a bit of a misnomer that people who defend NASCAR often have. That the second anyone speaks out the willingness of everyone else to pile on gives the impression that there must be some deep seeded hatred for the sport and sanctioning body as a whole. Which I do not feel is the case. NASCAR does alot of things right every weekend, but occasionally they screw up. They drop the ball. Yet they are given a pass by a talking head that sits up there and says that very same line. NASCAR has to allow a certain amount of criticism because if you don't allow any, then you have zero constructive criticism to build off of.

Remember Pit Bull? They KILLED the last and probably only show that forced NASCAR to look at what they do in a real mirror. Now they run unchecked. Kyle sounds like he is standing behind his remarks because that is what he said. He may have tried to explain them further and gave the idea he was backpedaling, but he also said he was not going to abandon them since he said them therefore he feels they are true.

Larry should have done the same. His opportunity to go on the record about this could have easily been on Trackside where he could have taken these negative remarks and in turn discussed the positives with a looser atmosphere, but instead he attacks a member of the print and recants everything he said. Spencer should sure be interesting come RD Sunday...

The Loose Wheel said...

Jim your on the money completely.

Anonymous said...

I have to assume that the Update Comments are from Mr. Poston, based on othe rcontributors here, are they?

Mr. Poston said, " There's been a lot of chatter about comments made by Jimmy Spencer, Larry McReynolds and Kyle Petty, all TV personalities, about the state of NASCAR. Their words were harsh to be sure. The most common question I've gotten is, "what is NASCAR going to do to them?" Simply, nothing. There is nothing we can or would do. We've long believed in having an independent media. One of the things that makes NASCAR, or any sport great, is debate. That's healthy for sports. However, I have had my share of strongly worded discussions with members of the media when their coverage was inaccurate or unfair. So, it's a reasonable question to ask, were their comments accurate? Were they fair? "

If Mr. Poston's initial comments are credible, why in the end does he say " The real question here is what are their employers going to do? David Hill, the chairman of Fox Sports and Hunter Nickell, the president of SPEED (all three are on SPEED's payroll and McReynolds is on Fox's), are the ones who should be concerned. Fair or not, broadcasters essentially telling the fans to stop watching the races is not a good thing. "

Seems like a Threat Challenge to me, that if people speak out, NASCAR will press others to suppress you.

Seems like Mr. Poston's comments are not credible

PammH said...

I was absolutely floored by LarryMac last nite on Sirius! And I lost a ton of respect for him, but moreso, for Speed, David Hill & Fox (course I didn't have much respect for David "tough" Hill to begin with). Putting the screws to LM, which is probably where recanting his remarks came from, shows an incredible lack of respect for the intelligence of Nascar fans. And no doubt, Nascar's fingers are in this pie also. As someone said earlier in the remarks, the emperor is wearing no clothes & only us fans can see that he is naked.

Anonymous said...

If Mr. Poston or NASCAR were truly interested in what the Media or these Broadcasters really have to say, why haven't they invited these 3 commentators to have an open debate along with other memebers of the media? ( J.D. , you should also be one of the media members invited by tht way )

glenc1 said...

To be honest, I don't even agree with any number of things that were said. But I don't think they should be penalized for speaking their minds because NASCAR is paranoid. If Poston had simply said, 'we disagree and here's why...' I wouldn't have really had an issue with it. Personally, I think Spencer talks so much bull he forgets what he says...I don't agree with a lot of what Michael Waltrip says either...but neither deserves to be threatened.

Richard in N.C. said...

As I expected I see above that the all-knowing media is starting to pile on Larry Mac because he spoke the truth about a substantial part of the media, especially the now or former newspaper-based media. When I read that installment I suspected that LM mentioned Mr. Pole because he is no longer with us and I thought LM was a bit too hard on Mr. Poole. There are several members of the print media who I think would choke before they would write anything positive about NASCAR, and never let the facts get in the way. That was one of the things I loved about Trading Paint that Kyle would say right out that the media rep. did not know what they were talking about.

Anonymous said...

To any moron who posted a "kool aid" comment, a "bogus debris caution" comment, a "Larry mac got called to the trailer" comment:


Dannyboy said...

I've been watching NASCAR since the 70s and before. NASCAR lost me in the 80s when they started fooling around with V6s in the Busch series and such. And YES, Cup was boring when someone like the King would lap the field and the only question in the last 100 laps was would he break or wreck. CART/Indycar was king at the time and it was a far better product.

YES there is a lot more close racing today, without a doubt. But it's largely manufactured with spec cars and strategic cautions. NASCAR should look at Indycar for the results of a spec series (didn't someone say this in the interview?).

Jimmy was wrong if he claimed the economy has nothing to do with attendance (I don't recall if that's exactly what he said), but shoot, he's not the first to say something thoughtless in an interview. And all sports are down in attendance, for sure.

Nevertheless, a lot of what was said in the interview was true and NASCAR knows it. If they don't, then we know why things are not where they ought to be.

Anonymous said...

anon 7:05--not only have people admitted they were 'spoken to', including Michael Waltrip, there is at last one broadcaster who was let go because of his criticism of NASCAR (maybe it was before your time, but it happened.) Not long ago I read that journalists were actually *afraid* of Bill France Sr. Brian, not so much...

Anonymous said...

David said...
I wish I had a full transcript of KP on Speedway and LM on last night. I had only heard the back half of the KP interview, then heard from Bob Margolis (sp) on the Late Shift last night. Even he admitted he had to tread a bit of water since he did not want his hard card taken away. That remark was probably partly in jest, but still it rings partially true.

I had not read this when I saw: Nascar Writer - Bob Margolis: Most of the fans are very happy with the way things are...except for all the commercials during race broadcasts.

to which I responded: Most of the fans? What planet are you on??? Do you ever actually WATCH the televised races???

Now having read David's comment - he obviously has been drinking the Nascar Koolaid. And are we all forgetting how the drivers were told by Nascar to "shut up and drive" when they tried to complain about the COT...

MtnVwJay (forgot my password)

Anonymous said...

I happen to know all 3 guys personally. They all speak there mind all the time. They love the sport I do know that. Yes Spencer doesn't always articulate his thoughts the best but he has valid points.

Unfortunately NASCAR does have the control. We all know the saying "don't bite the hand that feeds you". For NASCAR this is true. That is what appears to be happening. As pointed out, for other sports it's not so much. The media has free reign. NASCAR is still a very small media contingent when all is said and done and can therefore be controled.

Kyle and Larry are 2 of the most generous, down to earth people that care deeply for the sport. It's unfortunate that this is what this good roundtable discussion has come to.

KP, LM, JS,...there are people that stand behind you. Keep up the great work. We need you guys in the sport.

Shootout Style said...

For all the talk of how NASCAR has gotten away from its "roots", they still can't let go of these old intimidation tactics. It's stupid, you can't get away with this crap in today's media world.

Sicklajoie said...

<<< There is at last one broadcaster who was let go because of his criticism of NASCAR (maybe it was before your time, but it happened.) >>>

I'm wondering who this was?? David Hobbs??

Major Fox Paws said...

Could be. Or Jackie Stewart.

@Shootout Style
ROTFLMAO You are so right.

red said...

ok, so i'm gonna play devil's advocate here in a minute. but first:

larry mac's anger at dustin long is, in my opinion, unjustified. he agreed to speak openly to a reporter, it was not off the record and long didn't violate any journalistic ethic as far as i can see. i also believe that his words on sirius last night were uncalled for, especially as he hasn't contacted dustin long man to man to express his anger but chose to vent all over on the radio. a big cheap shot, in my opinion.

poston's response is a unconscionable and he should be ashamed of himself. his most unsubtle threat speaks volumes as to how nascar deals w/those who are brutally honest and it isn't ethical or moral.

BUT . . . for just a brief moment, let's take larry mac at his word and say that no one -- not nascar, not fox -- leaned on him for what he said. let's just say he is angry for exactly the reasons he gives, nothing more, that he's angry b/c he feels dustin long took only the negative comments that were made and built his article around those, ignoring the positives (altho', in my reading, long also gave positives.)

IF larry mac is honestly angry b/c he feels he was misrepresented, does that change the discussion here? if nascar and fox aren't involved and it's just larry being angry at dustin long, how does that effect the response?

i'm not certain why we're all so ready to believe the worst of larry mac, that he wants to recant his words b/c he's responding to corporate pressure, that he's caved. and, in fact, i haven't read that he's recanting what he said at all. he's not said what long has reported is untrue, just that it's not an accurate representation of everything that was said.

i believe i can answer my own question: some have chosen to believe that larry mac is reacting as he is because nascar and/or fox has pressured him to distance himself from his honest comments. and, based on nascar's behavior in the past (both distant and recent), it's easy to accept that interpretation. ditto for fox.

and the shame of it is this: mcreynolds is, in my opinion, likely telling the truth here: he's angry at how he feels his words were misrepresented. i don't agree with him and i think he's flat-out wrong in all sorts of ways.

but does it change how you feel about it if the bottom line is that larry mac was being honest last night on sirius?

Tripp said...

What this incident to the fore for me is that the last thing this sport needs is to create its own network. How many contrarian voices do you think there would be on the NASCAR Television Network?

Anonymous said...


I do take Larry at his word. If he feels his opinions were not fairly represented then it makes perfect sense that he blew up on the radio. Even if thats not the best way to have handled it, but (and this is not a rehtorical sp? question) if that was all there was to it and Fox/Nascar were not bringing pressure to bear; then why did Ramsey Poston respond as he did on behalf of Nascar?

red said...

ri88girl: because nascar apparently is unable to tolerate any sort of criticism of the sport at any time and because poston is a corporate nitwit. poston responded in writing prior to the sirius interview last night. what he wrote/said was stupid at the time it was posted on and looks even stupider now.

i firmly believe the offices in daytona are manned by folks who love the sport and mean well but they are hampered by having twits in the heirarchy above them.

would nascar really pull the hard cards of the three amigos after all this mess? probably not.
would fox do something? who knows? we're talking david hill here after all.

anon 7:30 said...

the man let go, back in the day, is a NASCAR person in the sport today......he loves racing and didn't deserve it...but I'm sure now he would never say what happened. He can't.

Anonymous said...

thanks Red was not quite following your thought line but I get it now. Sorry not the brightest bulb on the tree... ;)

Daly Planet Editor said...

Great comments everyone, keep them coming. LOTS of people reading them...if you know what I mean.


Haus14 said...

Earlier tonight, I e-mailed Larry Mac to let him know I am with him ( Here is the text of my e-mail.

"Larry, I just wanted to drop you a note of encouragement to not back down from what you said in your interview with Dustin Long. You, Kyle and Jimmy were right on about the state of our sport. There are issues and someone needs to have the guts to point them out and address them. I appreciate what you said. There are too many linguini spined media members out there who won’t touch the short comings of NASCAR with a 10 ft. pole. That is a disservice to their profession, to the sport and most of all to the fans. Keep up the good work. We sure do miss you, Mike and DW in the booth these days. Definitely can’t wait to hear you guys again at Daytona. Keep it up, don’t back down."

Jim Utter said...

A little dose of reality people. The final installment of the series with Mac, Spencer and Petty ran on SUNDAY. Larry Mac said nothing about any problems until WEDNESDAY. What happened in between? My, Mrs. Poole and others started criticizing him. So, he did what all people do who don't take responsibility for what they say - make up some excuse that he didn't really mean what he said.


Anonymous said...

It would be silly to say that the downturn in attendence has nothing to do with the economic downturn. The difference between NASCAR and say, the NFL, however, is the televsion ratings. The NFL has seen its ratings go through the roof across the board. I believe the Viking/Packers MNF game was the highest rated program in the history of cable. NASCAR, in contrast, has seen its ratings decline pretty much across the board. This indicates that there is a downturn in intrest.

When I first read Mr. Long's columns, I had a gut feeling that those that were interviewed probably would be backtracking in the days to come. One just doesn't see "mainsteam" members of the NASCAR community criticize NASCAR in the way that those three did. It was less suprising to see NASCAR's reaction to the articles, seeing as how they've pretty much become the emperor with no clothes. Much has already been stated on this matter, so I shall simply echo their sentiments.

Daly Planet Editor said...

What do you think the chances are we will hear Larry Mac comment on this issue Friday on SPEED?

Larry is on the 2 and 4PM Sprint Cup practice sessions as well as Trackside at 7PM.


Richard in N.C. said...

red - very good. I don't have Sirius so I did not hear what Larry Mac said on Sirius and I might even be biased, but I would accept Larry Mac's word over all but just 2 or 3 people in the media. I see constant negativity, NASCAR-bashing, sloppiness, and twisted facts in the media all the time. I don't think there has been a big story in NASCAR well covered by the media, especially the newspaper-based media, in the past 2 years. For instance, what happened with Boston Ventures at Petty Ent.? No stories - too much work required. It is much easier to just pluck convenient facts and bash NASCAR than dig out all the facts. Joe Friday is not working in the NASCAR media.

The media is not through with Larry Mac. Watch for the negative articles to punish him for first criticzing the media and then calling out one of its members for selective reporting. If the NASCAR nattering nabobs of negativism can give me a case of the red ***, I can only imagine how much they must irritate an insider.

Mr. Poston might not be the sharpest knife in the drawer, but at least he fumbled right out in public.

Haus14 said...

I think that these comments more than any other prove that those on TDP aren't just mine numb robots who only have one point of view. Many of the posts here are from those who post regularly throughout the nascar season and yet, there are multiple viewpoints of this story represented and even opposite viewpoints from folks who often agree. I like it!

Anonymous said...

I can't believe all the hype these interviews are generating. The guys say a few obvious things that need to be said ... but in between those things they kinda embarrass themselves with some of the outlandish and unsupported stuff they bring up. Jimmy Spencer has an ego the size of Daytona Speedway the way he talks about how he could fix this or that in a flash. Some of his solutions are not solutions at all, but simply rants. And Kyle Petty in a few of his rants almost gets lost trying to paint some sort of picture of the past that didn't really exist. They go so far to make their points that they start to sound stupid... like bragging about how if a guy had a trophy in his living room he didn't care if he put a guy in the wall, or bragging about now attending the birth of a child so they could make a race. Point taken, but they go way too far.

I think NASCAR's point is that in an interview like this, the guys aren't really having a serious discussion about NASCAR solutions and problems, but a rant session where their gripes get away from them. And, yes, by doing so they are in fact whipping up the fans in a "Let's abandon NASCAR" sort of way.

PammH said...

JD-I will be at work Friday. Please keep the site going w/your tweet updates. They help alot. I can sneek here, but not other places.

Anonymous said...

I find it really interesting that AJ Allmendinger gets a DWI arrest and there is nothing on this blog. I guess you have to have the last name France for it to be news.

And Michael Waltrip doesn't even test over the limit, but you smear him in a top story. But now loser AJ probably blows getting the 43 car by drinking and driving OVER the limit, and narry a mention. Like I said, I guess this doesn't embarrass the Frances so it isn't worthy of your tabloid coverage

WickedJ said...

Read the column last night after it became the hot topic of twitter. found myself nodding in agreeance with alot of what was said. same stuff we the fans say EVERY SINGLE WEEK

It doesnt surprise me that NASCAR is stepping in, they did when the drivers started to complain about the car..

OT: CAPTCHA is "Dertsman" sounds like someone from like egypt whos some sort of hunter lol

red said...

@jim utter: i'm not certain i agree with your take on what larry mac has said. i agree he's blaming dustin long for reporting what he, mcreynolds, said and that's just stupid.

but i don't read it as him actually backing off what he said. as i read it, his complaint is that long didn't present everything he said, that long focused only on the negatives, and that there were postives that long chose not to report.

having reread long's articles at least twice each, i will say this: macreynolds is way off base and dustin long should be proud of his work.

but i really don't read it as mcreynolds backing off what he said. he is claiming, instead, that it just wasn't everything he said and that what was left out would mitigate some of what was printed.

in my opinion? he doesn't have enough hairs left to be splitting any! he was way off base in his attack on dustin long and he should have directed his complaint TO long, not spout off on the radio where long couldn't defend himself and his work.

i believe mcreynolds is authentically angry but he is flat out wrong to be blaming dustin long for reporting what was said among those three. and compounding the mess is that he waited three days, long after poston's inane response and after the internet started generating response from fans.

make no mistake: i am completely and totally in support of dustin long in this. i also believe, however, that mcreynolds isn't denying that he said what was printed but is rather protesting that it wasn't "balanced."

and that position is not one that endears him to me as a fan.

Anonymous said...

Anon 10:06

This is a media blog, not a driver blog. JD's artical was focused on how MW's incident was covered by the media, not about making a value judgement. Same thing with AJ, it happened, but the reporters didn't get it wrong, or ambush the driver as has happened in the past and has been discussed here. So unless they do, this blog isn't the forum for those comments.

Daly Planet Editor said...

The Allmendinger arrest will be covered in the column going online shortly.

We will also keep this post active and updated for Friday.


Richard in N.C. said...

A few years ago one of the esteemed members of the N.C. sports media, Lenox Rawlings, wrote and later repeated on the radio that NASCAR fans are "ignorant and gullible" - which I might be, but not enough to waste my time on him again. In the last year or so it has occurred to me that he really was doing a public service letting readers have a peek into the NASCAR media mind, and I use the term loosely.

What Larry Mac said about the NASCAR "pencil pushers" was 100% right on - some a lot worse than others.

Whether it is spite, envy, bias, or mere self-interest, the prevailing idea in the media, especially the print media, is that negative sells. Don't worry about facts or both sides of an issue, just bash someone.

I've seen more articles since Sunday about Griese's faux pas than about who's in danger of dropping out of the top 35 and what it might mean - and, except for one, none of them quoted Felix Sabates, a Cuban American who knows Griese, maybe because it involved inconvenient facts favorable to Griese.

In the media's eyes, everyone is fair game, except it. Criticize the media at your own peril since they have barrels of ink, but fewer than they used to. When it comes to criticizing the state of NASCAR and supporting such by pointing to declining ratings, I think you will find that NASCAR ratings are healthier than newspaper circulation which is surely an indication of how the public feels about the press.

I think I'll go see if I can find an ink-repellant raincoat for Larry Mac.

Darcie said...

I have the feeling that at the beginning of this week's Trackside we're going to hear the following: "Gray skies are gonna to clear up, put on a happy face".

That song should be the mantra of every talking head in Nascar. The powers-that-be in the sport want nothing but happy faces and will allow no negative comments despite the fact that most fans know the sport is heading towards a slow death. France, Helton and the rest can keep sticking their ostrich heads in the ground, but that's not going to stop the fans from leaving by the thousands (I could not believe the empty seats at Martinsville).

Larry Mac can do all back tracking he wants, but with the internet, his comments are out there forever, taken out of context or partial responses or whatever. It sickens me that Larry Mac found it necessary to go on yet another Nascar controlled program and basically accuse Dustin Long of writing an article of half truths.

But, it doesn't surprise me one tiny bit. Most of these guys have had me scratching my head for most of the season with their constant rah-rah comments about the sport. Jeff Hammond, Kenny Wallace and the rest have done nothing all season but tout how wonderful the racing has been this season, how great the sport is and all that rubbish. I have had to ask myself if these guys are watching the same races that I have been.

Now, for Nascar's official rebuttal to all of this, sorry but I say it came off as snarky, at best. To flat out say that the comments made by Petty, Spencer and McReynolds were ego driven, sounds just like some middle school kid who pouts "you're just saying that cause you're jealous" or some such other sophomoric stupidity. And as for the comparison to baseball and football, I wonder if they've ever listened to Madden or Buck? Madden has a history of telling it like it is, and even slamming those he felt were bad for the sport. Take a look at what's being said about Mark McGwire's coming back to baseball. The media has been all over this, and not in a positive way. Has this person ever watched or listened to sports talk radio? There's a ton of controversial stuff being said but you sure don't see David Stern or Roger Goodell writing articles trying to silence the media critics. Heck, MLB Commissioner Selig has been dragged through the mud thousands of times by every media outlet, but do you hear him trying to stop the commentaries? No, this just seems to be solely the venue of Nascar.

The one thing that concerns me about this whole situation is that we, the fans, are going to be spoon fed the company line, all in the hope of keeping on that happy face. I hope we'll see some brave persons out there who aren't scared out of their boots to tell the truth and perhaps force Nascar to wake up and realize that this isn't their daddy's Nascar and things need to change.

Shame on you Nascar for trying to silence your critics. Shame on you Sirius Nascar and your broadcasters for becoming the lap dog of France/Helton/Pemberton. And shame on you Larry Mac for turning heel and running back to the loving arms of Nascar and taking a giant gulp of the specially prepared glass of Nascar Kool Aid. We fans are all the worse for it.

The Loose Wheel said...

JD, I have some stewing comments on the Allmendinger thing, and Im an Allmendinger fan, so I'll be waiting on that.

Okay, Kyle Petty was asked point blank about the negativity about the issues addressed in the blog and he said that those were the questions posed. They were asked in a negative light therefore were answered as such. Dustin asked what was wrong with NASCAR, Kyle Larry and Jimmy answered. So that throws a bit of a contradictory light on Larry saying there were parts of the interview unused.

With conflicting stories between KP and LM it leaves me wondering if this really is CYA mode by Larry.

Darcie said...

Oh, and BTW, I see that Nascar has gotten their corporate lap dogs writing opposing views of this situation. I just read an article by Pete Pistone which totally rebukes the interview by Petty, Spenser and McReynolds. What's interesting is that comments following his article are pretty much pro-Dustin Long and anti Pistone. Ole Pete better wake up and realize that he's far too old to be putting on the skirt and sweater and waving the pompoms for Nascar. He's just not cheerleader material.

red said...

@richard in nc: not going to discuss the griese comment in this context.

however, while i am frequently critical of the nascar media, this is not such a case for me. i believe long acted responsibly and i believe he elicted answers from these three that they may not have offered otherwise. that is the job of a journalist and i believe dustin long did an excellent job.

my point has simply been two-fold: i don't agree with those who contend mcreynolds is "backing off" his comments. and i don't agree with those who say he is being "muzzled" by nascar and/or fox.

red said...

@david; so, is it your take that petty is somehow blaming long for asking the questions the way he did? if so, i gotta say: i sometimes like kyle petty alot but ya know what? he's an adult. if he didn't like the "negative light" in which the question was asked, he could have and should have turned it around. if that's how he felt, he should have said "well, i don't agree with that; i think that's too negative. what i think about what you're trying to ask is this . . ."

but he didn't. in fact, he jumped in with both feet and said much that i'm in agreement with.

one just can't blame the journalist for how the question is asked when one has the ability to frame the answer anyway one chooses to: agree with the tone of the question or reject it. petty clearly agreed with the tone at the time.

these guys are NOT media rookies: they know the drill. what i find immensely interesting is that the fans mostly agree with what was said and it's now 2 of the interviewees who are unhappy with what THEY said.

Major Fox Paws said...

Just wanted to point out after watching the Hokies/Tarheels game, the guys in the booth had no qualms about calling out the game officials before and after the challenges. On one call the booth guys criticized the official's call before and after the challenge and video replay, then termed the upheld call a mistake. Does anyone here think for a minute that NASCAR would not give birth to a cow should an event similar to that happen during a race telecast? Helton & Co. would send security down to the booth to evict the offending parties regardless of the television coverage. If you doubt that, please review Ramsey Poston's press release earlier. Vindictive.

Richard in N.C. said...

Major FP- I wouldn't lay odds on getting out of the stadium if he criticized John Swofford.

kang said...

Don't forget Tony Stewart pointing out the fake cautions. Nascar saw to it that he got his mind right. As far as other sports, anybody recall an NBA game in Detroit some years ago? Ron Artest, among other players, was involved in a small riot that also included the fans. ESPN was covering the game. All the announcers at the game and at the studio thought the fans were in the wrong -- only Bill Walton thought otherwise. Long story short, the NBA called ESPN and, in the speed of light, every on-air person at ESPN then agreed with Bill Walton. I expect TNT and Speed will stand behind their folks' opinions in the same manner ESPN did then.

Daly Planet Editor said...

The new post for Friday is up. SPEED is on all day from Talladega, no ESPN in sight.

Allmendinger will be in the garage, Michael Waltrip will be in the CWTS booth and Larry Mac will be on the air for hours live.

I would remind the earlier poster that the reason TDP did a Waltrip media watch after his incident was two-fold.

First, a traffic accident took place involving a motorcyclist who was injured and transported to the hospital. Waltip hit another person while impaired. Not legally drunk, but impaired. The story from the Mooresvill PD and the .06 made that clear.

Secondly, at the time, we had no idea if we would wake-up to the motorcyclist's lawyer on the Today show or pictures of MW from the scene taking a BAT test.

That's all it was and we only stated facts.

Allmendinger was given a BAT, failed and was allowed to go home without even going to the police station. No pics, no mugshots and no accident.

His story should playout on the SPEED telecasts, which is why he is included in the new TDP post.



Harry said...

NASCAR's detailed counter-statement is pretty harsh, essentially calling for the broadcaster to do something to the on-air guys. Not exactly fostering an independent media... as a matter of fact, it's hypocritical. A guy says something that's nothing less than true and two corporations may lower the hammer? David and Goliath, baby.

The Loose Wheel said...

Red, I am stating that Kyle mentioned that the reason the article came across to some media members or NASCAR as negative was because of the questions asked. Kyle, to me, did not backpedal on his comments, he said he stood behind them but attempted to clarify. He was not pointing at Long saying that he misquoted Kyle, but merely stated that he answered what was asked. He also stated that if anyone, anytime wants to do an hour long roundtable about constructive criticism about NASCAR that Kyle would be game and that he would conduct it on SIRIUS live. I hope that actually does happen and is not lip service.

Larry has gotten into some finger pointing where Kyle only attempted to clarify his remarks. I don't feel Kyle really did anything wrong and was not "backpedaling" but Larry Mac sure seems to be trying to distance himself from the article.

Dot said...

Boy, where to start.

I think Larry is suffering from interviewees remorse. They all said what they thought when asked by Mr Long. The truth hurts, and it's hurting NASCAR. I have always thought of Brian France as the Emperor. Now it's going beyond his clothes. I feel the decline of NASCAR began when BF got large and in charge.

I don't think Larry will discuss this during the weekend (Fri-Sun). Maybe it is better to let sleeping dogs lie.

I agree with the others here that Larry should have stood his ground. Could he really lose his job over this?

Anonymous said...

Did you guys see the martinsville tv ratings? It was horrible and yet Nascar don't want to hear the truth about the sport and how they can fix it.Too sad.

Anonymous said...

NASCAR has always squashed anybody who gets out of line. Drivers have always been called to the trailer and given a heart to heart talk. The blunt message has always been "NASCAR can get along fine without you. How will you get along without NASCAR?" Tony Stewart used to criticize NASCAR at times until he got his head right at one of these meetings. Now he confines his rants to Goodyear.

These meetings were always behind closed doors, and the details rarely got out. The only thing I find surprising about this round of NASCAR's heavy hand is the public statement by Ramsey Poston. Asking the networks to take disciplinary action is what I would expect, but I can't believe he made it public. Now we don't have to guess what NASCAR's reaction was. Poston made it public for all the world to see.

And in making that public statement, Poston has invited a storm of public criticism and contempt for NASCAR's attempt to stifle honest discussion of the sport. I think NASCAR's attitude indicates a lack of respect for fans of the sport. They fail to recognize criticism as efforts by passionate fans who are only asking for improvements to make it better. I share many of the views expressed by Petty, McReynolds, and Spencer; but hearing them expressed in public is not going to make me stop watching races. Only bad racing and bad TV broadcasting will cause that. If NASCAR really wants to work on improving the fan perception of the sport, they should start watching cup coverage on ESPN and do something to fix that train wreck.

I have always admired and respected individuals and organizations that can tolerate criticism and discussion. They recognize there can be benefits, and they respond as adults when they disagree. Trying to repress all criticism is the mark of a dictator and indicates a small and insecure mind.

Note to Debby227 @ 11:08 a.m. - I am indebted to you for a mental image that will now stick in my head. Some people refer to Brian France as "King Brian", but I never thought he had the personal presence and manner to be much of a king. Thanks to you, I now see him as a different kind of royalty, namely the Queen of Hearts from Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. Carroll's queen always settled matters great or small with the cry "Off with his head!" That seems to be Queen Brian's response to anybody who dares to express a view that contradicts NASCAR's party line - OFF WITH HIS HEAD!

Michigan fan

Anonymous said...

Perhaps LarryMac was just worried about the next drug test. He might be found to be drinking the wrong koolaide and be banned for life unless he goes into a re-education program.

red said...

@david: thank you for the clarification in re:kyle petty's comments. i appreciate your follow-up and agree that petty was clarifying where his remarks came from, not backing off of them of blaming dustin long for them.

Tom said...

Just a "fair disclosure"...Pete Pistone is co-host on "The Morning Drive", a show produced by MRN, a wholly owned subsidiary of ISC, which is majority owned by the France family. He is a France family employee, as is his co-host and the host of "Sirius Speedway".

Just good to know where these opinions are coming from.

Inverness, FL

bevo said...

@Tom- Pistone is also with which is owned by MRN, hence his hiring to replace David

Kenn Fong said...


I wish David Poole was alive. He'd have something interesting to say about all this.


Richard in N.C. said...

Anyone who points out the substantial faults of the print media deserves a medal - plus body armor for the crap they will give him.

Unknown said...

Seems to me that NASCAR has enough to worry about OTHER than what the announcers said. They are rapidly heading in the direction that IndyCar went...crappy attendence,lousy racing, prima donna stars, and "who cares" fans.

Anonymous said...

First Larry Mac alludes to Bill Sr setting the bar for going against management in '69 and now Mikey is taking them to task for not letting teams practice like they need too. NASCAR the new nanny state.

Anonymous said...

@Mr. Utter that's my issue with him throwing Mr. Long under the bus. IF he had complained anytime after the stories were posted UP TO Wednesday there wouldn't have been an issue. But out of the blue the comments came :(

Jimbacca said...

Nascar- The people that seem to think you can be editor of real life.

Ok now step back and try that line again.

Where's the script editor?

Why do people not run there personal views by the pr department first.

--end sarcasm---

Sad, pathetic and an utter joke that you cannot speak your mind about things that you live on a day to day basis. Nascar better watch out for the feds. They warp and taylor things more then the mob.

Anonymous said...

Get rid of Larry Mac. PLEASE. He makes all of the sport look like ignorant rednecks. He is an embarrasment. He was never that successful anyway.

red said...

@anon@10:02 today: hate him if you choose to but to be fair, your comment that "He was never that successful anyway" is hardly accurate.

-> he was crew chief on 2 daytona 500 winners: '92 w/davey allison and '98 w/dale earnmhardt sr.

-> he won the winston all-star race in '91 and '92 w/davey allsion

-> as crew chief, he has led teams to 23 wins, 21 poles, 122 top 5s and 209 top 10s in 457 starts

-> teams under his direction finished in the top 10 in the standings 6 times and finished in the top 5 three of those times.

for me, them's pretty good credentials in our sport.

while i strongly believe he was way off base in this whole mess, i will not dismiss his career or what he's brought to the sport over the years.

The Loose Wheel said...

Red, he also made Turner bearable to watch lol

Anonymous said...

The racing is terribly boring, there's no question about that. The COT is a joke and no one wants to watch a box with decals go round and round and round while the politically correct drivers try as hard as they can not to actually race for fear they might rub someone the wrong way (both figuratively and/or physically). The NA$CRAP parades are the worst ans only the anticipation of a big wreck or two gets people excited about a race at Dega.

Monkeesfan said...

NASCAR is exaggerating badly in trying to cover its own butt.

First, the economy has improved lately (not because of the stimulus; dips and what the market always does) and the NFL blackout situation is not as horrific as NASCAR is portraying it.

Second, NASCAR seems to think 10 leaders and 19 lead changes a race is competitive. They're wrong. The fact is the sport has been in the Dead Lane Era since 1985, when the sport failed to produce a race with at least 40 official lead changes for the first time since 1970. From there only Talladega has consistently produced great races; Daytona has had several, Charlotte had great ones in 1988 twice, 1995, and 2000, and Pocono had several races with strong spurts of great competition, but overall the sport has not been that competitive.

One area where the sport did see competitive depth was in number of winning drivers and teams. 1994, the Second Hoosier Tire war, saw a sharp increase in winners after the sport went through two years without a first-time winner. 2001-2 saw the biggest surge in competitive depth in 26 winners among 14 teams - this was the period when the sport was running very high downforce and hard tires - the package Rusty Wallace furiously lobbied against because Ryan Newman was outwinning him; John Darby took him up on it and bastardize the downforce and tires to where the aeropush was worsened even before the COT debuted. And the result is the racing isn't competitive - it lacks lead changes outside of Talladega (double-file restarts have helped but only in spots: Chicagoland in July and Pocono in August saw the best racing with the new restart procedure), and it lacks winning drivers and teams.

It boils down to that NASCAR is way out of line here.

Anonymous said...

This is the very reason why NA$CAR is going down. I'm sure the criticiam was very light compared to what they were actually thinking. I can't even watch the races anymore they are so boring and until the kingdom gets rid of shills like Michael (see me, look at me, hear me) Waltrip and the other talentless hacks that bring the sport down, NA$CAR will continue to decline at the same amazing pace.

GinaV24 said...

Termination? For telling it like it is or certainly offering an alternative point of view from NASCAR's usual drivel? I certainly hope that it doesn't happen. NASCAR's dictatorship really rubs me the wrong way. Fans are falling away like crazy, BUT there's nothing wrong according to Brian France, Mike Helton, Pemberton or Poston. I used to be so into all of the NASCAR races. I couldn't wait for the season to start and now I can't wait for it to end instead.

Perhaps both sides of the issues should have presented in the articles (assuming those issues were discussed) but an honest opinion is hard to find these days.

GinaV24 said...

I am giving consideration to not renewing my sirius radio contract when it comes up at the end of the year. I got it mostly to listen to the various NASCAR programming and I find that I use that less and less these days. All of it has become so NASCAR PC without any other opinions that I'm not sure that I need it any more.

Richard in N.C. said...

I really believe that some of the people who do love the sport - Larry Mac, DW, and Rusty for instance - may go overboard sometimes because of the constant NASCAR bashing from the print media as Larry Mac correctly pointed out. There are several well-known writers who I never read anymore because I know they are mean-spirited and have a distinct anti-NASCAR bias. At the same time, if you are familiar with them, you don't have to read their articles because you know from their past writings what they are going to say.

As far as stifling criticism, my impression is that all DW has written since FOX went off the air is criticsm of some aspect of Cup racing, but with suggested changes.
If NASCAR is stifling criticism they sure seem to be doing a poor job of it from what I see.

It seems to me that there really are 2 issues - the quality of the racing and whether the broadcasting is really presenting the racing as good as it is. I think the racing does need improvement, but I think how EESPN presents the racing needs more improvement than what is happening on the track. Going back to the heyday of Ironhead (and I was a big fan of his) there has been a tradition of whining in the garage - Oh gosh, Ford has a wingnut that NASCAR won't let us use on Chevies. I still think the COT was a good idea, but the box is too tight - and now if it was loosened, only the top 3 teams could afford to take advantage.