Sunday, July 22, 2012


The SpinDoctor500blog earned a special honor as "Best of Internet" in the 2011 International Automotive Media Awards, 21st annual results announced last week. For the second consecutive year, this blog won a gold medal in the category of Internet commentary. (Last year's winner was "How to Fix the IRL on Versus".) Specifically cited this time was the controversial "Untenable" posting from last October. IAMA judges take all the winners from all the Internet categories and, using a standard, select one as the overall "Best of Internet." That's a first-time honor for me and I'm most grateful.

As I've said before, "Untenable" produced more reader reaction than anything I've ever written in any media outlet. I was even asked about it by a bunch of people at last December's NASCAR Sprint Cup awards in Las Vegas. Here's a link:

Also, the Q&A I did with Kyle Busch for the Arizona Republic last year earned a bronze medal in the newspaper interview category. That's the fourth time one of my Q&A specials has received an IAMA award.

I again thank all who make time each week to read what I post here.

Congratulations to journalist Pete Lyons, the most deserving winner of IAMA's Media Award for Lifetime Achievement. Pete's remarkable career includes covering almost all of the world's great motorsports events, for publications like AutoWeek and Autosport, and a stint as a full-time Formula One correspondent. He's the author of nine books, including three on the Can-Am, my own personal all-time favorite series. Learn more about him at . The nominating and voting committees for this award change annually, and I was honored to serve on the voting panel this year. This award has been given each year since 1998, with Leon Mandel, Brock Yates, Jerry Flint, Chris Economaki and David E. Davis Jr. among the past honorees.

No IndyCar at Phoenix International Raceway in 2013 but Randy Bernard says a 2014 race there is a "must." Read my Friday Arizona Republic story -- and you might be surprised at some of the financial numbers. As I've often said, you can't be a good fan these days without knowing something about the Business of Racing. This might give you a better idea why the IndyCar financial model is so difficult for so many tracks:

My July column is specific to NHRA but the point applies to everyone in the racing industry. As I write in this column, my central point boils down to common sense and good manners. Here's the link:

A FEW FOLLOW-UPS TO LAST WEEK'S POSTING: Friend Larry Henry offers that the hot/humid weather in many parts of the country helped TNT's NASCAR ratings because people stayed indoors. With the Olympics going on and ESPN coming to the plate, we'll learn more, especially if Junior remains competitive or goes into a pre-Chase swoon . . . On the made-in-China Ralph Lauren U.S. Olympic team uniforms, I should have added -- Why not American cowboy hats or baseball caps instead of French berets? . . . Speaking of clothing, since Wind Tunnel co-hosts apparently now are required to wear a sport coat, the producers better make sure they have an adequate range of sizes on the studio rack. People were laughing Out Loud during the recent show at one guy's way-Way-WAY too-big jacket. It reminded me of the time I went to lunch with a famous racer who was wearing a golf shirt and restaurant rules required a jacket. Management provided one but it was as large as a tent and the racer told me he was embarrassed and wondered what other diners thought of him given his ill-fitted attire . . . What a joke: An ESPN press release last week referred to Katie Couric as an "ABC News journalist." As explained in last week's Unconventional Wisdom, Couric's total FAILURE as anchor of the CBS Evening News and her reaction to a legitimate media question when at Indy to interview (Guess who? Not Ryan Hunter-Reay!) Danica (!) proved AGAIN KC may be a TV star, but it's an insult to REAL journalists to call her one. Oh, in this taped piece, Katie will ask Danica about sexism in racing. Cue the Drama Queen theme music.

[ more next Monday . . . ]