Race Journal Online
est. October 4, 2006

"I believe anybody who tells you he is unbiased is a liar. Being human gives you bias, and you can't avoid that. The best you can ever hope to be is fair."
-David Poole

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Jimmie Johnson!

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Quote of the Week
"It's just normal Ryan Newman stuff."
-Jimmie Johnson, when asked what the heated post-race conversation was about between the two drivers.

Please refrain from posting links to the crash video at RJO or in the Forum.

By Carol Einarsson | 08/19/2014

Photo: Alan Marler/HHP for Chevy Racing.

CHEERS to Tony Stewart taking as much time as he needs. I hope he knows how many people are praying for him.

CHEERS to the interview with Joey Logano. I wonder, though, given ESPN's often-questionable editing, if that sigh really was in response to his comments about Kevin and DeLana Harvick.

CHEERS to Geoff Rose for a matter-of-fact invocation. Here's your prayer. Done. I'm not convinced it should be a CHEERS , really, but it doesn't seem right to say JEERS .

CHEERS to Kate Collier and Chloe Sprague for their courage in singing the anthem. Yeah, you know what I mean. It's like saying a girl has a great personality.

Comments: 18
Last Activity: 08/21/14
By Carol Einarsson | 08/12/2014

Photo: Tom Pennington/Getty Imagesfor NASCAR.

CHEERS to the big shoulders of Greg Zipadelli. Nobody knows better how to help Tony through this. Throughout Tony's career, when you think of the biggest trials, Zippy's been there. I think he's as close to a brother as can be found.

CHEERS to the heart of Dale Jarrett, and the brotherly support shown Tony Stewart. Clearly DJ lost a LOT of sleep last night, and was still shaky this morning, but it's nice to know the kind of support -- prayer support -- that is surrounding Tony Stewart. I just rewatched it, and we've often seen DJ's heart, but I don't remember the last time I've seen that level of outward love to the point of near-tears. A very, very moving piece by Dale Jarrett.

CHEERS also to Marty Smith who never fails to put all the right words in order. And for sharing the driver tweets, especially the poignant words of one who knows, Dale Earnhardt, Jr. "We will all lose someone in our time. When a loss is sudden and unexpected, the pain and sadness is suffocating."

Comments: 22
Last Activity: 08/17/14
By Carol Einarsson | 08/10/2014

There was a time when, in tragedy (maybe especially in tragedy), I could put a string of words together that would sum up the whole emotional experience felt by so many. I fear that time may have passed. I sit here, in hour three, reading all of the reports from the sprint car race in New York, where a three-time NASCAR champion left the track alive, and a 20-year-old young man did not.

Tony Stewart was back to sprint car racing. The reports, which all seem so trivial now, are that he got into Kevin Ward, Jr, putting him out of the race. With a flat tire, Kevin got out of his car to do what racers do -- point at the guy who caused your wreck.

The caution was out, the cars had slowed, and Kevin was not just pointing, but moving down the track. He was in the racing line when the cars came back around, and as though being pointed at by a young racer was the ultimate insult, Tony accelerated towards the kid. Only Tony knows why.

Comments: 12
Last Activity: 08/12/14
By Carol Einarsson | 08/05/2014

Photo: Rusty Jarrett/HHP for Chevrolet.

CHEERS to the pre-race interview with Junior, but JEERS to the music in the background, the inexplicable playing of Pomp and Circumstance. I'm sure there was a purpose, but it's the kind of song that sticks in my head all day long. I guess the up-side is that I didn't have to shop for a graduation gift.

JEERS to a freaky bowling pin. It wasn't enough that it had a face, but did you see it's ridiculous nose? Kids, stay in school, lest you end up dressed as a bowling pin.

CHEERS to Smoke without his suspected comb-in hair color. Grey is much more becoming.

CHEERS to Junior's parade lap in the back of the truck and his weird wave to the crowd. A steady hand, which is probably nicer for fan pictures from the stands, but then every so often, it would quiver. The Quiver Wave.. better than the pageant wave any day!

Comments: 7
Last Activity: 08/05/14
By Carol Einarsson | 07/29/2014

Photo: NASCAR.

CHEERS to ESPN for replaying the "NASCAR arrives at Indy" piece that they also showed on Saturday, only because those kinds of heart-string production pieces have always been what ESPN does best, and that's not changed over the years. From seeing Kyle Petty so long ago and so outspoken (nothing's changed there, either), to Tony Stewart saying he was furious, it was a great lead-in to the race.

JEERS to the return of Brad Daugherty to the booth. Let's focus, though, on the absence of Ray Evernham, though, and see the positive side of things. Wait... what is that? Ray's NOT gone?? JEERS to false advertising by ESPN, then.

JEERS to a prerace concert as part of the televised coverage. It's just a waste of time. I understand why tracks do it. There are fans there very early, and it keeps the excitement up in the same way a warm-up comedian energizes the crowd for a live-taping of a TV show, but it doesn't need to be televised.

JEERS , while I'm at it, to our (and yes, I'm including myself) obsession with recording everything on our phones. I think our focus on recording experiences has surpassed our actual enjoyment of living it. Think on that for awhile. Maybe we'd all be happier if we returned to EXPERIENCING things, rather than creating and recording experiences to be logged on social media.

CHEERS to the biggest asset at ESPN: Marty Smith. Everything else is tolerable, like spinach for dinner when you know you're getting chocolate cake for dessert. Keep those Marty Smith essays comin', and we can accept pretty much everything else ESPN throws at us.

CHEERS to Juan Pablo visiting our series again. It sure would be great for HIM to be the one to get that elusive win for Roger Penske, showing up the regulars.

Comments: 25
Last Activity: 08/01/14
By Carol Einarsson | 07/15/2014

Photo: Nick Laham/Getty Images forNASCAR.

CHEERS to TNT and the entire pre-race show for what will be their final NASCAR race. In particular, the sit-down with Trent Owens. What a story, and what a LIFE! Thanks, Larry Mac, for bringing us that story!

CHEERS to "Goodyear doesn't make bad tires; people just do bad things TO them." Very good point. I've never seen a parked car in the garage, engine off, and suddenly being propelled into a wall.

JEERS to 5-Hour Energy's "Yummification" contest. When you have a product that tastes so nasty you have to have a contest for the general public to find a way to make it palatable, maybe that should have been addressed before the first bottle was sold.

CHEERS to Mike Helton in the booth. We always enjoy hearing from him when there's no bad news to be delivered. And Wally wanting to make sure he can still hitch a ride when he needs one.

Comments: 21
Last Activity: 07/17/14
By Carol Einarsson and Matt Einarsson | 07/14/2014

Like every other Sunday, my assistant (who, in case you didn't know, now goes by the name of Matt) and I watch the race together. Together, but at separate places. He's at his home, and I'm at mine, but we're usually messaging back and forth, especially when there's action on the track. We banter back and forth, often with two opposing views, but both firmly held as factual. Sunday was no exception, and after our string of back-and-forth, it occurred to me that there were probably many like me, and many like him, that shared at least one side of our opposing views, so maybe you'd enjoy the fly-on-the-wall perspective. The conversation started like this...

Carol:   Joey Logano is an ass.

Matt:  How? He was being very nice given the situation. 15-lap-down car took out the second place car.

Comments: 11
Last Activity: 07/15/14
By Carol Einarsson | 07/08/2014

JEERS to rain delays with inconveniences extending beyond NASCAR. All those poor folks who got up at 8am to watch Lord of the Rings found their movie was already half over.

CHEERS to the command to start engines coming just one minute after coverage resumed on Sunday. Yes, we've all seen the radar, and NASCAR is not wasting a single moment of dry track.

CHEERS to David Gilliland and Reed Sorenson on the front row, but JEERS to so much talk about what a surprise, the oddity of qualifying, and everything else that serves to diminish the achievement for those two racers. Just let them bask, okay? Everyone had the same opportunity, and if they chose to sit on pit road, and then drive a pace-car speed (or slower) on the track, well, they got what they deserved.

Comments: 5
Last Activity: 07/10/14
By Carol Einarsson | 07/01/2014

Photo: NASCAR.

CHEERS to how short Kyle Petty's hair is now. Is the rebel aging? We vote by the end of the TNT season, he ditches the ponytail and just let's it hang free.

CHEERS to the way Danica doesn't just sign a little girl's shirt, but gives her a pat on the back as she walks away. Little things like that matter to fans.

CHEERS to the Camry test car, complete with fuzzy dice on the rearview mirror, and a Larry Mac bobble-head on the dash. Yeah, that's style!!

CHEERS to Ralph Sheheen peering out the corner of his eye at the camera, and viewers not knowing why until Danica popped up!! Well done!

Comments: 10
Last Activity: 07/04/14
By Carol Einarsson | 06/24/2014

Photo: Robert Laberge/Getty ImagesforNASCAR.

CHEERS to the California state flag and the bear. It's one of the best things about racing at Sonoma.

JEERS to whatever that weird flute music was during the "moment of silence." Yes, flutists, that means you, too!

CHEERS to Tim Bouve, Track Minister at Sonoma for a nice invocation.

CHEERS to the track announcer pronouncing "Carrie Manolakos". I bet he could even say "Jimmy Fennig." JEERS to Ms. Manolakos' presentation of the anthem, though.

CHEERS to the Patriots Jet Team, however, for the fly-over.

Comments: 9
Last Activity: 06/24/14

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