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The Daly Planet

News and Views

Erin Andrews, Cole Pearn, and Tony Stewart
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By Carol Einarsson | 03/10/2016
Category: News and Views

So this week Erin "Dodge The 50-cent Kiss" Andrews was awarded $55 million in a lawsuit against the parties responsible for the violating video of her posted online. Some have voiced an opinion that this is ridiculous, but more (and here is where I agree) cite the reason it's not too much is because of how the defense attorney posed his questions to her, asking if in fact, this didn't prove to be a lucrative event in her career. No doubt this is the same attorney that would ask a rape victim, "But look, now you have a lovely child, right?" This is not a matter of someone who made a sex video intended to be private, but then it got into the wrong hands and went public. She had every expectation of privacy, and did nothing to bring this on herself. Give her the damn money! And don't stay at Marriott.

A Hendrick plane emergency landing for "smoke in the cabin"... Since everyone is okay, we can give the best comment award to the guy who said, "I just want to know why Tony Stewart wasn't on his OWN plane."

And speaking of Tony, I hope you've seen the new Mobil 1 ads suggesting some hobbies for Tony in his retirement. So far my favorite is Tony learning to speak French. See it here.

I've flipped in my opinion this week about the Cole Pearn penalty. To me, there are two issues here. First, I still completely disagree with the practice of penalizing cars based on any pre-race inspection. An inspection should be for the purpose of making sure cars are legal. If you're not, the ramifications should be that you go to the end of the line and have to try again. But to penalize such a large amount of money and points for something that did not give the team any competitive advantage, is to squelch creativity and innovation in the sport. Post-race inspection is a whole different matter. If you fail post-race, let the penalties fly!  

Secondly, though, and this is where I flipped. Initially my feeling was that there shouldn't be any penalty for something that doesn't (or doesn't attempt to) give a competitive advantage to a team. This was safety, not competition. And even as I'm writing this, I'm wondering if I really have changed my mind. How about a compromise: we only penalize safety issues if they have the possibility of harming others on the track. Each driver has to decide for himself if he trusts his crew, but other drivers should be kept safe from knuckleheads who aren't keeping their own driver/car safe. If Truex entrusts his safety to his team, he's responsible for his own due diligence. But if his car is on the track with the potential to hurt another driver or crewman, then there should be penalties.  

That said, I think we all know this penalty was more about NASCAR's anger at having been disobeyed. They told the team once, and then when they came back the next week with another roof flap issue, NASCAR played the "stern father" card and dropped the hammer with a "Boy, I done told you once already" penalty.

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And I know it's in the box with the podcast, but I wanted a more formal introduction for our new staff member, Dave Clark. He's got nearly 30 years in radio under his belt, and we're very excited that he'll be part of Race Journal Online and the new Race Journal On Air podcasts! Please drop him a line in the comments below.

Check back tomorrow for Friday's Top 10 which we plan to have every week on... you guessed it -- FRIDAYS!  

Eddo will be at the track this weekend, photographing whatever catches his eye in Phoenix, but texted me that if there are any pictures to be taken of Chad Knaus on the throne, it will ONLY be his pit box throne! We'll have to wait and see if there are any updates on the PIR "bathroom-door-gate" saga.

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a different Bill
03/10/2016 6:27 am (1)
A couple of things on safety and the pre-race inspection. The roof flaps on the car are designed to keep the car from getting airborne in a spin. And airborne car is a danger to not only its driver, but other drivers and fans as well. NASCAR has done extensive research into the design of these flaps, the size needed, the angle they need to be at, the speed at which they need to deploy. Drawing are made available to the teams and quite frankly they should be made EXACTLY to those drawings with no more than a +/- .005 tolerance on anything.

As for Erin Andrews, she should have gotten the whole $75 million she was asking for. What a lot of people don't know is the man who took the video was a known stalker she had a protection order out on. He asked for, and got assigned the room next to hers. He was a little tricky in doing so but if a guy can get the room next to a celebrity like her at a Marriot by requesting it, what hope does the average woman have? She deserves the money because in one instant she went from being known as an attractive, fully competent, female sports reporter to being forever known as the reporter who had a nude video of her released on the internet. She will never escape from that. Marriot got off cheap. Ten years from now they will be "Marriot, whatever their current ad campaign catchphrase is"...not the company that got sued.
03/10/2016 10:18 am (2)
@a different Bill: Thanks. I was wondering why Marriot was paying half the amount and the news clips I had seen did not say. What you report makes it entirely sensible that they should be included, and I agree entirely that she should have gotten the entire $75 million.
Bill B
03/10/2016 12:32 pm (3)
75 million is ridiculous.

Where do I sign up for that deal?

Just sayin.
03/10/2016 6:00 pm (4)
Agree - she should've received the whole $75 million. Forget recovering the stalker's half: empty/shallow pockets. She will net about $20 M after taxes BUT before her attorney's hefty contingency fee [40% and up if trial's required], plus the costs of suit the attorney laid out.

Net Net is closer to $10-12 M.

03/12/2016 9:25 am (5)
@ADB - without disagreeing with your main point, I think the penalty on Truex's team was excessive. As I understand it, the problem was a bind which prevented the flap from closing with it's own weight - a slight hand press was needed to push it closed. I don't see that as a safety issue, and I don't see it as uncommon - we've all seen a crew member push a flap down in the pits after a spin.

I'm with Carol on this one, the penalty is more about "I done told you once" than any real issue.


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