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."
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The Daly Planet

Relief Drivers

By Guest Writer John Ferguson | 11/25/2014

It was a beautiful day in Naperville, Illinois on Wednesday August 27, 2014 at 2:15pm.  The sun was shining, the sky was blue, and the temperature was very nice.  I was on my way to do a little shopping, with my wife in her own car just ahead of me, on her way to another store.  I was travelling south on Illinois highway 59, a very busy four-lane road with two lanes each way and a median in the middle.  I was going 45 mph in the right lane, travelling the speed limit and minding my own business.  That’s when it happened.
My first memory is waking up to realize I'm in a very bad crash.  My vehicle is rolling; I'm being tossed about.  I had no idea how I got in this situation, I blacked out upon impact for a few seconds.  I knew I was rolling, so I said to myself several times “please land on your wheels, please land on your wheels,..."  I knew I might be trapped if my car landed on the roof. Then I twice hit my head hard to my left and wondered why it didn’t hurt.  Amazing how much stuff can go through your mind in such a short time during a crash.  Looking to my left and seeing a giant air bag, I thought, “Oh, I reckon that’s why my head didn’t hurt.”  As I saw the windshield caving in, I hoped it would hold together and not cut me to death.  

Comments: 3
Last Activity: 12/09/14
By Mark Brune | 10/16/2014

Those letters probably don’t mean anything to a younger demographic, but, for me and many in my age group, they symbolize the very essence of what was great about NASCAR in the 90’s and went a long way towards making a fan out of me.

The Nashville Network used to broadcast the “slower” races, or the races which typically extended beyond 4 hours, back when the tracks did their own marketing and negotiated their own TV deals. They also used to broadcast myriad other racing series which helped to keep viewer interest in motorsports consistently high.

They boasted an elite group of broadcasters who are now considered among the best ever to grace the airways as well as a supporting cast who continue to provide excellent coverage even today. I’m sure to have forgotten some but I especially remember Ken Squier, Eli Gold, & Buddy Baker in the booth, and Glenn Jarrett, Steve Byrnes, Ralph Sheheen, Dick Berggren, and Larry McReynolds in the pits. (I don’t want to forget to mention ESPN here as an influence as well. Their broadcast team which included Bob Jenkins, Benny Parsons, Ned Jarrett, and Jerry Punch was peerless.) These guys weren’t just a bunch of pretty faces reading a script (or an advertisement) but deeply knowledgeable folks with a keen insight into racing and a talent for talking about it in ways that enhanced the race experience rather than distract the viewer from it.

Comments: 10
Last Activity: 10/18/14
By Mark Brune, RJO Guest Writer | 03/27/2014
Race Journal Online is proud to introduce Mark Brune as a new guest writer for our site. He's been a NASCAR fan for decades, and some of you may know him by his RJO screen name "dataman." Please welcome him, and drop a line or two in the comment section!

There has been a great deal of discussion lately about the state of NASCAR - predominantly, what's wrong with it. I'll admit that I've been one of the folks grousing, just not very loudly because I believe that criticism without a suggestion for improving the situation is just hot air.
A brief summary of how I feel:  It's too expensive. The Corporate Spokesperson template applied to all drivers has made most of them rather bland and difficult to get to know. There's too many 1.5 mile tracks which cause aerodynamics to play too great a role which leads to dull racing. NASCAR has abandoned its behind-the-scenes role and has tinkered with the "product" to such a degree that the sport we follow today is scarcely the same thing we followed way back when. The list goes on and on.
Most of what I read ends with the same lament: Put it back the way it was. That's a challenging task considering that each of us has a different vision of that bygone nirvana because each of us has something uniquely our own which drew us to love NASCAR racing. I encourage you all to reflect on how your journey began.

Comments: 6
Last Activity: 03/28/14
By Guest Writer, Lee Montgomery | 01/04/2011
It’s January 4, 2011, and already many of you are counting down the days until Speed Weeks at Daytona and the Daytona 500.

Can I ask you a simple question? Yes? Thank you.


To quote William Shatner: "Get a life, will you people? I mean, for crying out loud, it's just a TV show!" (I’m only half-kidding about that.)

Comments: 8
Last Activity: 01/05/11
By Richard D Fox | 07/24/2009
Üdvözöljük a Budapest és a Hungaroringen!

The Hungaroring circuit was built outside the national capitol of Budapest thanks to Bernie Ecclestone's desire to expand Formula One into what he saw as a vast untapped market behind the Iron Curtain.  While Bernie's preference was for a race in the Soviet Union, preferably in Moscow, a combination of factors led to the decision to instead build a track in the (then) relatively-open state of Hungary. 

Construction of the track started in October 1985, and the first race was held there in late March 1986, with the F1 "circus" making its first appearance there in August of that year. The track, despite criticisms, has remained a late-July/early-August staple of the schedule ever since, and last April, the track's contract was extended through 2016.  While widely criticized by many fans, the track is unlikely to ever be removed from the schedule, as the race is promoted by Bernie Ecclestone's company, Formula One Management, which holds the commercial rights to Formula One and is thus able to decide which tracks host Grands Prix--a situation similar to the connection between NASCAR and the International Speedway Corporation.

Comments: 25
Last Activity: 07/30/09
By Richard D Fox | 07/09/2009
An excerpt:

The best summary of this weekend's race came from Bob Varsha's introduction to the race broadcast on Speed a year or two back.  I don't remember the precise start of the quote, but I'll do my best to repeat it; the important part starts with "find," and THAT part, I remember word-for-word:  "Lying in the mountains between Cologne and Frankfurt, you'll find the world's greatest race track, and today... we're at the one they built next to it."

Comments: 5
Last Activity: 07/09/09
By Mike Deutsch | 06/20/2009
It goes without saying that, while I think water/sand barrels are superior to tractor tires as barriers, I definitely think tires are a better barrier than nothing!

Race tracks, like many businesses, generally maintain their physical plants in such a manner as to promote maximum productivity and profitability. A track will prefer to, say, widen pit road or add suites for sponsors, before replacing fencing or other on-track barriers. This attitude is abetted, in some aspects, by the "release policy," which basically leaves it up to the competitor to determine if the facility is safe enough for him/her to race. From the competitor's standpoint, however, if he/she doesn't sign the release, they don't race, and they don't get paid. So they sign, accept the risks that may or may not be evident to them, and unload the car.

Comments: 4
Last Activity: 07/15/09
By Richard D. Fox | 06/18/2009
An excerpt

Add in the fact that the field is closer than I've ever seen it, from the front to the back, the jumbling of the grid by the new rules that have seen perennial back-markers at the pointy end of the grid, and the unbeatable superteams struggling just to score points, drivers seemingly having decided to throw caution to the wind now that they all have a genuine shot at the podium, and cars that are not glued to the pavement by their downforce any more, but instead are a bit twitchy and unbalanced, and you've got a recipe for a fun way to spend a couple of hours before the Cup race--particularly since, presumably, everyone will be in a road-racing mode this weekend, anyway.

Comments: 3
Last Activity: 06/18/09

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