Sunday, November 08, 2009


Since last week's TV-people-in-costumes comment here drew comment from some (not all) who have no education or experience in JOURNALISM, I'll make three basic, fundamental points, and that's going to be the end of it:

1. Despite up-tick TV numbers, the Camping World Truck Series is deeply troubled in terms of dollars. So, at Talladega, how many drivers who are in need of sponsorship or are trying to hang-on to sponsors, didn't get TV time because the announcers were busy being actors?

2. How many legitimate and important news stories went unreported because the announcers were busy in makeup, putting on their costumes, writing and rehearsing their lines, and acting out their parts?

3. Most importantly -- If there had been a tragedy -- and let me remind you, this was Talladega, where in the spring a car got into the fence and spectators were injured -- especially early in the race, just how would the announcers have had any credibility in reporting that news?

I'll answer that last one for you: They would have had zero credibility to report that news.

FAST LINES: For all of its mis-steps, let's take pity on the IRL and say they were unlucky. On the eve of the announcement of Izod as the new series sponsor, racing news was dominated by none other than Danica Patrick's reported impending deal with Dale Earnhardt Jr. for the Nationwide Series. (At Texas Motor Speedway, Brian Vickers said he understood her motivation: "IndyCar, that series has been struggling a lot, especially ever since the split. It’s only getting worse right now.") Oh, and I couldn't help but notice the League's official announcement included wording like "agreement in principle," "plans to be revealed in the coming months," and "expected." Here's the new logo . . . Never in the history of motorsports has fifth place in points been more hyped than by Marty Reid in the Nationwide series. Yes, we know it's not much of a championship battle and that fifth gets that driver on the awards ceremony stage (because we've heard it so often), but, please, give it a rest . . . Twenty nine of the 60 newspapers that covered major league teams during the season on the road as well as at home didn't cover the World Series, according to longtime baseball writer Murray Chass. "I’m saddened by it," Chass quoted Commissioner Bud Selig. "I think newspaper coverage over the years has enabled us to succeed much more than a lot of people understand so for me this is a very, very unhappy development . . . Believe me, baseball will not be better off as a result.”

Here's a link to my Mark Martin feature in last Sunday's Arizona Republic (and, remember, Mark Armijo and I will have coverage all this week. Look for my Tuesday story on the automakers' continued involvement in NASCAR. (You might be surprised at some of the numbers.) Notebooks, Q&As and other stories Thursday-through-Monday from me. If you aren't in Arizona to buy the paper, check us out at .

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

November 11 -- Robby Gordon. Panelists: Bill Fleischman, Jim Pedley. Plus, Dave (The King) Wilson.

November 18 -- NHRA Funny Car or Top Fuel champion. Panelists: Mark Armijo, John Sturbin.

[ Robby Gordon news nugget Thursday . . . ]