• UNCONVENTIONAL WISDOM:

Monday, May 31, 2010

WHAT HAPPENED at INDY

The best moment of Indianapolis 500 weekend was Bill York, the longtime Speedway media center manager (starting 1958 until last year) receiving the Bob Russo Founders Award at the Saturday AARWBA breakfast. Bill's name was added to the large plaque displayed in the media center. The Russo is presented for "profound interest, tireless efforts and undying dedication to auto racing as exemplified by Russo through his career." Russo, the late racing journalist/historian/publicist, founded AARWBA in 1955.

The smartest moment was new IndyCar CEO Randy Bernard making the media center rounds Friday a.m., putting faces with names. (Why didn't the new IMS' marketing/PR VP do the same?) I spent some time with Randy. I reaffirmed a point made when Randy guested on my The Race Reporters show last week: The problems of Indy and the series can be described in one word -- Arrogance. I respectfully urged him to continue to squeeze that out of the IMS Corp. system.

That led to the dumbest moment, as the infamous IMS Yellow Shirts took it upon themselves to deny access to the media parking area Saturday morning, instead directing everyone to a more remote lot, claiming, "We're not honoring parking passes today." No reason given -- just typical Yellow Shirt arrogance!


We got what was to be expected from ABC for a one-day production effort, as opposed to the days that includes practice and qualifying coverage on ABC/ESPN: Awful. This is what happens when there isn't a dedicated Indy-focused production crew -- and, fans have a right to know -- includes people whose personal agendas include showbiz and entertainment ventures. That's fine, but not when it takes away from a quality presentation of a diminished-but-still American sporting classic. The truth is there were troubles with ESPN's coverage across its various information delivery platforms -- it was not a good month for ESPN as far as telling the Indy story was concerned. Too many mistakes! On the TV side, what is it the network finds so difficult about doing a proper victory lane interview? After the Jack Arute fiasco last year, detailed in this blog, Vince Welch got the spotlight assignment this time, and came up with this poorly thought-out opener to Dario Franchitti: "How sweet the milk tastes . . . How good did that milk taste, my friend?" Completely embarrassing! The all-important showcase victory lane interview was a 500 percent dud. Really, can't ABC find four pit reporters who actually know to ask meaningful questions? When Marty Reid came over from NHRA to replace the much criticized Todd Harris, a well-known broadcast industry name told me: "Marty runs out of talent after a quarter-mile." Many would say that's been proven to be true. Pseudo-intellectual Eddie Cheever for a one-off? Please, have more respect for the audience. And, as I've said for a long time, Brent Musberger should have been retired to pasture when CBS fired him two decades ago. Bottom line: A sad and terrible effort from the sports operation made famous by the legendary Roone Arledge. ABC has the rights through 2012, but you can now firmly put me in the camp of those who believe the time for change has come. Especially after last Sunday's lazy, uninspired and in key areas, obviously unprepared, production.

Here's a link to my story in last Sunday's Arizona Republic, focused on Danica Patrick and Simona De Silvestro. You might "enjoy" A.J. Foyt's quote, as well as some of the things said by Simona, Danica and Sarah Fisher. At over 800 words, this story was quite long by local standards:

http://www.azcentral.com/sports/speed/articles/2010/05/29/20100529simona-de-silvestro-danica-patrick-indianapolis-500.html


FAST LINES: The second smartest move was displaying the Delta Wing car in the high-traffic area of the plaza, behind the Padoga . . . Another "classic" Indy 500 start, or what Brian Barnhart thinks is "classic," with the field stretched single file. I thought it was going to be all about showbiz now . . . Crowd reaction to Danica during driver introductions reminded me of what Jeff Gordon gets. But public opinion is a fragile thing, and she may have regained favor with a top-10 finish . . . I thought it would be better -- lower level front straight seats empty from almost the start/finish line back toward turn four, and the now-expected gaps in the corners and Tower Terrace. I hope Randy Bernard takes a look at the overhead camera images, which will drive-home the challenges in rebuilding Indy and the series.

Congratulations to my friend Jon Asher, announced as winner of AARWBA's Straight Shooter Award Saturday, in memory of photographers Art Flores and Ron Hussey.

Anyone who doesn't think a part of the Formula One-to-Austin, Texas news last week was Bernie Ecclestone sticking it to IMS doesn't know Bernie.

Absolutely no excuse for this: In a news release last week, Sunoco's PR minions wrote that Mark "Donahue" won the 1972 Indy 500 under the company's sponsorship. (I'm told someone woke-up and corrected it.)

Now, here's a sponsor name (Matt Kenseth's at Charlotte): Jeremiah Weed Southern Style Sweet Tea Vodka. (!)

Everyone else take envy: Specs for Michigan International Speedway's new 66,000 square foot, $17 million media center and pit road suites building:

* Owner-driver meeting room -- 175 seats;
* Deadline room workstations -- 122;
* Team PR workstations -- 85;
* Photographers room workstations -- 75;

Plus -- five dedicated conference rooms, two single interview rooms, four radio rooms and a media lounge and radio, TV and AP editing.


Finally, this: In the annual AARWBA journalism contest, The Race Reporters took first place for Best Podcast. I also took firsts in the blog (third straight year) and online column categories and an honorable mention in newspaper feature writing.

Upcoming The Race Reporters guests:
(Show is live Wednesdays at 7 p.m. EDT, downloadable, and available on-demand at no cost. Click on TRR page logo in upper right-hand column.)

June 2 -- Journalists Roundtable on Indy 500 and Coca-Cola 600. Panelists: Holly Cain, Tim May, Al Pearce, Ron Lemasters Jr., Larry Henry.

June 9 -- One Year Anniversary Show featuring original Newsmaker John Force and first panelists Paul Page and Jon Asher. Plus: Special surprise guests from around the racing world.

June 16 -- TBA.

June 23 -- Newsmaker: Robin Braig (Daytona International Speedway president). Panelists: Dave Rodman, TBA.

June 30 -- Newsmaker: Jamie Allison (Ford North America Motorsports director). Panelists: Larry Edsall, Lewis Franck.

July 7 -- Newsmaker: Jack Beckman. Panelists: Alan Reinhart, Stan Creekmore.

[ Roundtable news notes Thursday . . . ]

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

THE RANDY BERNARD INTERVIEW

Four days before the 94th Indianapolis 500, new Izod IndyCar Series CEO Randy Bernard was the Newsmaker guest on my The Race Reporters show Wednesday night on PowerUPChannel.com. I went one-on-one with Bernard for about 15 minutes and covered a lot of ground -- including some things you might not have heard before.

Examples: I've long advocated financial incentives (or rules) to bring more qualified American drivers into the series. Randy: "You might have been reading our strategy . . ." Some of you will be surprised -- maybe shocked -- at the first name Randy mentions as a person who has given him the best advice. And why it's important there be a new car, despite start-up costs for team owners. And a lot more.

Use this link to listen to the entire show:
http://www.voiceamerica.com/voiceamerica/vepisode.aspx?aid=46074


Upcoming The Race Reporters guests:
(Show is live Wednesdays at 7 p.m. EDT, downloadable, and available on-demand at no cost. Click on TRR page logo in upper right-hand column.)

June 2 -- Journalists Roundtable on Indy 500 and Coca-Cola 600. Panelists: Holly Cain, Tim May, Al Pearce, Ron Lemasters Jr., Larry Henry.

June 9 -- One Year Anniversary Show featuring original Newsmaker John Force and first panelists Paul Page and Jon Asher. Plus: Special surprise guests from around the racing world.

[ more next Monday . . . ]

Sunday, May 23, 2010

4 DAYS BEFORE INDY -- RANDY BERNARD

In what I believe is one of the more anticipated interviews in the almost one-year history of my The Race Reporters show, new Izod IndyCar Series CEO Randy Bernard will be the Newsmaker of the Week guest Wednesday at 7 p.m. (EDT) on PowerUPChannel.com.

With all great respect for my various media panelist friends, I've decided to do this interview one-on-one, to put my own long experience in American open-wheel racing to use. I hope to follow a logical path in my questioning with the desire to have time for as many sentences from Bernard as time allows.

I do expect some interesting roundtable talk with Mike Harris, John Oreovicz, and, yes, Robin Miller. (!)

God willing, I'll be at my 34th Indianapolis 500 this weekend.

It is a different Indianapolis Motor Speedway. At least, in terms of leadership. It was just one year ago that Tony George still lorded as one of the most powerful men in motorsports; yet only days away from the start of a series of events that would leave him on the outside of Speedway and Izod IndyCar Series management and decision-making (read that: check OKing) authority. IMS is now managed by Jeff Belskus, a long-time Hulman-George family employee. And the series Tony -- son of a racer, grandson of a racing legend -- founded is being run by a former cowboy executive.

I use that description for emphasis, not as a criticism of Bernard, who admits he had never attended a race -- let alone the Indy 500 -- before taking this job.

So -- more than anything this weekend -- I'll be looking for evidence of a change of attitude at the Brickyard. Did the old, bad, tradition-bound 'We're Indy. You need us. We don't need you!' arrogance go out the door with the numerous staffers who, candidly, needed to be replaced?

Based on a couple of experiences this month, I don't think so. I hope I'm wrong. As I've said many times, I don't think Indy will ever again be "Indy" in my lifetime. This, however, I know for sure:

The Indy 500, and the Izod IndyCar Series, will never turn the corner unless that breathtaking level of arrogance is banished -- once and for all -- to the ashbin of history.


NASCAR, its fans and all its constituency groups -- and certainly the France family -- were right to bask in the pride of Sunday's inaugural Hall of Fame class induction. Congratulations to all involved. Time will let us know if Charlotte will take a true place alongside Cooperstown. The only downside to me was hearing so many announcers gush with a flood of "we, us, our." And, that Dale Earnhardt Jr. couldn't bother to wear a suit jacket to such a ceremony.


Case Closed: Versus' Robbie (The Flub) Floyd and Lindy Thackston: In over their heads at Indy. And how could Vs. cut to commercial with four minutes to go on Bump Day?


Here's a good way NOT to start a news conference, presumably, one in which you wish the media to convey your message with a positive (read that: new sponsor seeking) tone. Why be adversarial and stick-it in the collective face of reporters? This came across to me like something terrible White House press secretary Robert Gibbs would say:

"As some of you may have seen on a Twitter post or somewhere else, RCR and Kevin Harvick have agreed to a multi-year contract extension for Kevin to continue in the RCR No. 29 Chevrolet Sprint Cup series car. As I said, multi-year agreement, no we aren't going to tell you the exact years and all of that good stuff."


I note, with sadness, the death last week of PR pro Marti Rompf. I dealt with her a lot going back to the early 1980s when she was on the Michigan International Speedway PR staff and I was CART's communications director. Marti went on to Atlanta Motor Speedway and then various PR assignments for Ford and its teams. She was a pleasure to work with. Marti was 67 and died at her home in Traverse City, Mich. God Bless.


Upcoming The Race Reporters guests:
(Show is live Wednesdays at 7 p.m. EDT, downloadable, and available on-demand at no cost. Click on TRR page logo in upper right-hand column.)

May 26 -- Newsmaker: Randy Bernard. Panelists: Mike Harris, John Oreovicz. Plus: Robin Miller.

June 2 -- Journalists Roundtable on Indy 500 and Coca-Cola 600. Panelists: Holly Cain, Tim May, Al Pearce, Ron Lemasters Jr., Larry Henry.

June 9 -- One Year Anniversary Show featuring original Newsmaker John Force and first panelists Paul Page and Jon Asher. Plus: Special surprise guests from around the racing world.

[ Randy Bernard news nugget Thursday . . . ]


Wednesday, May 19, 2010

PAUL TRACY on CONTROVERSY (and me)

Paul Tracy -- back at Indy -- was the Newsmaker guest on Wednesday night's The Race Reporters on PowerUPChannel.com. Gordon Kirby joined me for that interview. We started with some strong roundtable talk, about the NASCAR All-Star race, with Mike Mulhern and Kenny Bruce.

I worked with Paul in 1995 at Newman/Haas Racing. In a series that truly needs them, Paul is a proven ticket seller, which makes his part-time status that much more unfortunate. We talked about that. In reply to a question from Gordon about some controversy he's been in during his career, Paul kindly answered as follows. I appreciate his words:

"I really learned it from Michael Knight. With I first started my career with (Roger) Penske, I was very buttoned-down. Everything was written down for me to say. I was allowed to say this; I wasn't allowed to say that. 'This is what you say. This is what you wear. These are the pants you wear.'

"When I went to drive for Carl (Haas), and Michael Knight was my PR guy, he let me be the person who I was. Michael has been akin to stirring up the pot a little bit. I came out of my shell and never went back into it. I was with Newman/Haas for one year, and then when I went back to Penske, I was who I was and wasn't going to change or bend to what they wanted me to do. I didn't fit into their box, or mold.

"This is one of the problems with motorsports now. It's so buttoned-down, so corporate, nobody wants to say anything. I've been saying this: In IndyCar, there's nobody wearing a black hat. In NASCAR, you have some good guys, and bad guys. Kyle Busch, he's one of the black-hat wearers. People love to hate him. You can't just have everybody vanilla and think the people are going to tune-in and watch."

Use this link to listen to the show:
http://http//www.voiceamerica.com/voiceamerica/vepisode.aspx?aid=46160



Upcoming The Race Reporters guests:
(Show is live Wednesdays at 7 p.m. EDT, downloadable, and available on-demand at no cost. Click on TRR page logo in upper right-hand column.)

May 26 -- Newsmaker: Randy Bernard. Panelists: Mike Harris, John Oreovicz. Plus: Robin Miller.

June 2 -- Journalists Roundtable on Indy 500 and Coca-Cola 600. Panelists: Holly Cain, Tim May, Al Pearce, Ron Lemasters Jr., Larry Henry.

June 9 -- One Year Anniversary Show featuring original Newsmaker John Force and first panelists Paul Page and Jon Asher. Plus: Special surprise guests from around the racing world.

[ more next Monday . . . ]

Sunday, May 16, 2010

$20 MILLION ISN'T ENOUGH

Sorry, Bruton, but the cold-hard business facts are $20 million isn't enough.

Smith, the Charlotte Motor Speedway and Speedway Motorsports Inc. boss, let it out a few days ago there's a plan to offer $20 mil to any driver who can win both the Indianapolis 500 and Coca-Cola 600. The key word is WIN.

As no-less authorities than Jeff Gordon and Dario Franchitti have pointed out, the first element at play here is for a driver to have teams strong enough to actually WIN. For the NASCAR drivers, that would be expensive. It would require an unprecedented amount of scheduling cooperation between Indy and NASCAR, not just an early I500 starting time, but allowances for practice and qualifying days. In truth, Cup drivers would need budget for plenty of testing -- and if they were REALLY SERIOUS -- an open date to compete on an Indy Car oval pre-May.

Please don't tell me existing sponsors would cover those costs -- not at a time when Gordon has admitted DuPont isn't locked-in to continue the No. 24 team relationship in 2011. Anyone signing-up to try this double would need guaranteed multi-million dollar deals, not just "win" money.

Bottom line: It would take closer to $50 million to make this happen.


Yes, I DO read those news releases. And I couldn't help but note this from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway the other day.

"Snake Pit returns. The Snake Pit is returning to the Indianapolis 500 in 2010 as the premier party spot for the race. The Snake Pit was an unofficial, unorganized and usually unruly area for partying in the infield adjacent to Turn 1 during the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s. This year, it returns in Turn 3 as an officially sanctioned spot with live music, tailgating and partying on Race Day, May 30."

An Indy "tradition" renewed!


Oh, the twists-and-turns of sponsorship: Last year, Graham's Rahal was McDonald's. This year, it's Quick Trim diet systems. (!!!)


AP did a disservice to Denny Hamlin after Aric Almirola won last Friday's Camping World Truck race at Dover. In its results story, AP referred to the infamous Nationwide race at Milwaukee in 2007 when Almirola, under contract to Joe Gibbs Racing, started Hamlin's car because Hamlin had not yet arrived from Sprint Cup practice in Sears Point. AP reported that "Hamlin ordered Almirola out of the car and took over, driving the car to victory lane." That wasn't Hamlin's decision to make -- it was the call of Gibbs management.


GREAT line by Dave Rieff on Saturday's ESPN2 NHRA Atlanta qualifying show. Remembering that Ashley Force Hood became the first female to win a Funny Car race at the same track in 2008, Rieff said: "Two years ago, she was Ashley Force Good."


How did it come to be that Jewel will sing the national anthem before the Indy 500? Try this: She's married to nine-time world champion pro rodeo cowboy Ty Murray. New Izod IndyCar Series CEO Randy Bernard ran the Professional Bull Riders group before taking over the series. Reminder: I'll have a one-on-one interview with Bernard on the May 26 The Race Reporters.


Here's a link to my story in last Friday's Arizona Republic about the track repairs happening at Firebird International Raceway:
http://www.azcentral.com/sports/speed/articles/2010/05/13/20100513firebird-international-raceway-repairs.html


Last week I noted CNN's to-the-depths-of-the-deepest-ocean plunge. Another terribly sad example is John King. Once a legitimate and serious journalist, King now hosts his own show, and even though he still poses as legit, has flushed his credibility with his audience-intelligence-insulting "Pete on the Street" segment. John King: Yet the latest to fall victim to the egoism of journalist-turned-entertainer.

On the June 9 one-year anniversary The Race Reporters show, I'll have a very special and deeply personal opening commentary on the subject of journalists/celebrities.


Upcoming The Race Reporters guests:
(Show is live Wednesdays at 7 p.m. EDT, downloadable, and available on-demand at no cost. Click on TRR page logo in upper right-hand column.)

May 19 -- Newsmaker: Paul Tracy. Panelists: Mike Mulhern, Kenny Bruce. Plus: Gordon Kirby.

May 26 -- Newsmaker: Randy Bernard. Panelists: Mike Harris, John Oreovicz. Plus: Robin Miller.

June 2 -- Journalists Roundtable on Indy 500 and Coca-Cola 600. Panelists: Holly Cain, Tim May, Al Pearce, Ron Lemasters Jr., Larry Henry.

June 9 -- One Year Anniversary Show featuring original Newsmaker John Force and first panelists Paul Page and Jon Asher. Plus: Special surprise guests from around the racing world.

[ Paul Tracy news note Thursday . . . ]

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

ARIE ON INDY

Two-time Indy 500 winner Arie Luyendyk was the Newsmaker guest on Wednesday's The Race Reporters on PowerUpChannel. Mark Armijo and Dave (The King) Wilson joined me for the media roundtable.

What happened to Tony George's leadership of the IRL? Who is the favorite for the Indy 500? What's up with Danica? We asked Arie.

Use this link to listen to the show:
http://www.voiceamerica.com/voiceamerica/vepisode.aspx?aid=46154


Must Read Alert: Jonathan Ingram, on RacinToday.com, with an inside story on what happened to the proposed U.S. Formula One team --
http://www.racintoday.com/archives/17528

Upcoming The Race Reporters guests:
(Show is live Wednesdays at 7 p.m. EDT, downloadable, and available on-demand at no cost. Click on TRR page logo in upper right-hand column.)

May 19 -- Newsmaker: Paul Tracy. Panelists: Mike Mulhern, Kenny Bruce. Plus: Gordon Kirby.

May 26 -- Newsmaker: Randy Bernard. Panelists: Mike Harris, John Oreovicz. Plus: Robin Miller.

June 2 -- Journalists Roundtable on Indy 500 and Coca-Cola 600. Panelists: Holly Cain, Tim May, Al Pearce, Ron Lemasters Jr., Larry Henry.

June 9 -- One Year Anniversary Show featuring original Newsmaker John Force and first panelists Paul Page and Jon Asher. Plus: Special surprise guests from around the racing world.

[ more next Monday . . . ]

Sunday, May 09, 2010

A GOOD EXAMPLE

Dave Rieff, ESPN2's NHRA pit reporter and host of NHRA RaceDay, set an example last week that the professional excuse-makers like S. Jarrod ("These Things Happen") England and others should learn from.

Dave had long been scheduled as a media panelist on my The Race Reporters. It was confirmed again last Wednesday morning. Twenty-or-so minutes before the show began, Dave called my cell to let me know his daughter had just broken her wrist, and he and his wife were dealing with that. I, of course, told Dave not to worry about my show. But he said he wanted to be on, and would be on, but would be late. And, that's what happened, he called-in in time to help interview Kenny Bernstein.

Thanks, Dave. I relate this story in hopes others will wake up and act in a similar professional manner.


I've been wondering who would land the first extensive interview with Tony George since his ouster from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Corp. Holly Cain -- a great The Race Reporters panelist (she'll be back June 2) -- wins the award. Congratulations, Holly. I'm sure this caused great heartburn for two competitor writers who must have thought they were more "deserving" of the scoop. The interview came in two parts on AOL Fanhouse.
http://motorsports.fanhouse.com/2010/05/04/exclusive-tony-george-unplugged-former-indycar-ceo-speaks-o/

http://motorsports.fanhouse.com/2010/05/05/tony-george-answers-was-it-all-worth-it/


Here's a link to my May "Drags, Dollars & Sense" column, now posted at CompetitionPlus.com. It's about respect:
http://www.competitionplus.com/index.php/drag-racing/editorials/14144-drags-dollars-a-sense-wondering-what-wally-would-say

And a link to my story in last Friday's Arizona Republic, in which Antron Brown opens-up about the accident last February at Firebird that resulted in a spectator fatality:
http://www.azcentral.com/sports/speed/articles/2010/05/06/20100506nhra-driver-reflects-fatal-crash-firebird.html


What was he thinking? (More likely, not thinking, which all-too-often these days is the problem in the media.) Last Wednesday, Washington Post writer Michael Wilbon did an interview with a Phoenix radio station (and, let me note, NOT the local ESPN affiliate) at the exact same time his PTI show was showing on ESPN. One might have logically thought Wilbon wouldn't want to compete against himself for viewers/listeners. One might also have thought ESPN management would expect the same.


Reese Schonfeld, co-founder of CNN, recently warned: "I think CNN is at risk of becoming a bad joke." Latest example of this truth: Last Thursday, amidst historic stock market turmoil, Times Square bombing attempt, oil spill in the Gulf, flooding in Tennessee, British elections and Greece in crisis, Larry King Live spent an hour on Lawrence Taylor's arrest and Bret Michaels' health. Turn out the lights . . .



Included in all the terrible news of the last couple of weeks was this: Drag racer Clay Millican's shop in Tennessee was flooded -- with water levels so high, it reached the cab of the team's semi. Clay talks about it with Larry Henry on Tuesday night's Pit Pass USA, 8 p.m. EDT, on PowerUpChannel.com.


Could some network executive, some producer, some agent, some manager, some publicist, some somebody, PLEASE work with Krista Voda to sharpen her interviewing skills? That's a BASIC requirement of being a pit reporter -- the ability to ask crisp, meaningful questions. Asking Jamie McMurray after Darlington, "Did you have fun?," doesn't cut it for a major network telecast.

Upcoming The Race Reporters guests:
(Show is live Wednesdays at 7 p.m. EDT, downloadable, and available on-demand at no cost. Click on TRR page logo in upper right-hand column.)

May 12 -- Newsmaker: Arie Luyendyk. Panelists: Mark Armijo, Dave (The King) Wilson.

May 19 -- Newsmaker: Paul Tracy. Panelists: Mike Mulhern, Kenny Bruce. Plus: Gordon Kirby.

May 26 -- Newsmaker: Randy Bernard. Panelists: Mike Harris, John Oreovicz. Plus: Robin Miller.

June 2 -- Journalists Roundtable on Indy 500 and Coca-Cola 600. Panelists: Holly Cain, Tim May, Al Pearce, Ron Lemasters Jr., Larry Henry.

June 9 -- One Year Anniversary Show featuring original Newsmaker John Force and first panelists Paul Page and Jon Asher. Plus: Special surprise guests from around the racing world.

[ Arie Luyendyk news note Thursday . . . ]

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

THE BERNSTEINS

Hall of Famer Kenny Bernstein and son Brandon, who drives the Copart Top Fueler in NHRA, were my Newsmaker guests on Wednesday night's The Race Reporters on PowerUpChannel.com. Susan Wade and Dave Rieff joined me.

Use this link to listen to the show:
http://www.voiceamerica.com/voiceamerica/vepisode.aspx?aid=45507


Here's Susan's CompetitionPlus.com story on the interview:
http://www.competitionplus.com/index.php/drag-racing/news/14133-bernstein-doesnt-miss-beat-as-state-of-sport-scores-good-rating


I have mentioned on my show Valvoline/MTS Dodge Charger Funny Car driver Jack Beckman's campaign, which runs through June 2, to help raise funds for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Beckman is a cancer survivor. The link to donate is too long for radio, but here it is:
www.ocie.mwoy.llsevent.org/JackBeckman



Please look for my story on Antron Brown in this Friday's Arizona Republic. Antron opens-up about the accident at Firebird International Raceway that resulted in a spectator fatality. You'll be surprised at who has helped Antron get through this difficult time. If you're not in Arizona to buy the paper, look for the story at AZCentral.com.

Upcoming The Race Reporters guests:
(Show is live Wednesdays at 7 p.m. EDT, downloadable, and available on-demand at no cost. Click on TRR page logo in upper right-hand column.)

May 12 -- Newsmaker: Arie Luyendyk. Panelists: Mark Armijo, Dave (The King) Wilson.

May 19 -- Newsmaker: Paul Tracy. Panelists: Mike Mulhern, TBA. Plus: Gordon Kirby.

May 26 -- Newsmaker: Randy Bernard. Panelists: Mike Harris, John Oreovicz. Plus: Robin Miller.

June 9 -- One Year Anniversary Show featuring original Newsmaker John Force and first panelists Paul Page and Jon Asher. Plus: Special surprise guests from around the racing world.

[ more next Monday . . . ]

Sunday, May 02, 2010

ALL's FAIR IN NEW MEDIA WORLD

1 PICTURE IS WORTH 1,000 WORDS: As spotted outside Las Vegas Motor Speedway, telling you all you need to know about what's happened to Indy Car racing in the last 15 years.

Last week I mentioned that Dale Earnhardt Jr. wasn't (and maybe still isn't) too happy with Darrell Waltrip for using Twitter to reveal that Junior would be driving a No. 3 Wrangler-sponsored Chevrolet fielded by Richard Childress in the Daytona Nationwide race. This before Junior was able to make the official announcement and car unveiling at ceremonies to honor his late and legendary father.

I'm with Junior in that this is troublesome. Since a few people have been asking me about the ethics involved, let me share a personal story.

Several years ago, an IRL car owner got to using his team's website to share not only his thoughts on his own operation, but to let out as-yet non-public news about what other teams had planned. One week, he took the liberty to say something about a team-sponsor deal that got my attention, because I was working on that project. No surprise, I wasn't too happy.

So, what did I do? I let it be known that if said owner EVER did anything like that again on something I was involved with, I'd leak-out stuff that I knew damn well he didn't want out there.

You know what? I never had a problem with this guy ever again.


A "must read" Jon Asher column:
http://www.competitionplus.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=13990&Itemid=21

And one from Larry Woody:
http://www.racintoday.com/archives/17294

Please look for my story on Antron Brown in this Friday's Arizona Republic. Antron opens-up about the accident at Firebird International Raceway that resulted in a spectator fatality. You'll be surprised at who has helped Antron get through this difficult time. If you're not in Arizona to buy the paper, look for the story at AZCentral.com.

Upcoming The Race Reporters guests:
(Show is live Wednesdays at 7 p.m. EDT, downloadable, and available on-demand at no cost. Click on TRR page logo in upper right-hand column.)

May 5 -- Newsmakers: Kenny and Brandon Bernstein. Panelists: Dave Rieff, Susan Wade.

May 12 -- Newsmaker: Arie Luyendyk. Panelists: Mark Armijo, Dave (The King) Wilson.

May 19 -- Newsmaker: Paul Tracy. Panelists: Mike Mulhern, TBA. Plus: Gordon Kirby.

May 26 -- Newsmaker: Randy Bernard. Panelists: Mike Harris, John Oreovicz. Plus: Robin Miller.

June 9 -- One Year Anniversary Show featuring original Newsmaker John Force and first panelists Paul Page and Jon Asher. Plus: Special surprise guests from around the racing world.

[ Bernstein news nugget Thursday . . . ]