FanDuel - WFBC

April 25, 2007

Tony Stewart Likens NASCAR to Pro Wrestling: "I guess NASCAR thinks 'Hey, wrestling worked, and it was for the most part staged, so I guess it's going to work in racing, too,'" he said on his radio show. "I can't understand how long the fans are going to let NASCAR treat them like they're stupid before the fans finally turn on NASCAR."

posted by commander cody to auto racing at 04:25 PM - 24 comments

It's about time someone said so too.

posted by commander cody at 04:25 PM on April 25

For years Tony Stewart was chided for his reckless driving and taking other people out of races. Now, it appears the NASCAR hierarchy might be doing the same to him. How fitting that in life as in racing, what goes around ...

posted by wfrazerjr at 04:45 PM on April 25

I know he has his fans, but I think Stewart's a punk. He expects the very same deferential treatment that he refuses to give others on the track, then throws them under the bus off the track when they don't give it to him. I've never liked him, and I'm never going to. Don't just threaten it - go ahead and retire, Tony. On edit: Fraze hits it on the sweet spot.

posted by The_Black_Hand at 04:48 PM on April 25

But when Earnhardt drove recklessly, it was just hard nosed racing.

posted by igottheblues at 05:27 PM on April 25

Say what you will about Stewart's personality, at least he's got one. I'm a longtime fan and I couldn't pick Jimmie Johnson out of a line up. The guys in the Nextel trailer have today's drivers so terrified of saying or doing something wrong they've stolen every bit of true passion out of the sport. It's not like I got feed up and decided to stop watching. I just don't give a rat's ass anymore. Go ahead Nascar, build a new one in Seattle or Staten Island or some other place that doesn't care. You're losing your passionate base and that should scare the hell out of you.

posted by gradioc at 05:42 PM on April 25

Stewart is the most talented guy in NASCAR IMO. Ovals don't matter... Any idiot can drive in circles. The real skill in a racing driver is road courses, and Stewart is fantastic on them. The Daytona 24hr a few years ago where he was lapping in a car with broken suspension, in the wet, and was faster than everyone else (and would have won, had another wheel not failed 15 minutes from the end) showed that he's a real racer. In fact, as a Formula One addict, I would LOVE to see Tony get an F1 test at some point, see what he can do. (The only other driver I rate in NASCAR is Jeff Gordon, so I've doubly pissed off the hardcore NASCAR fans now.) I'm a wrestling fan too, and it's nice to see Stewart isn't really bashing that. Motorsport governing bodies doctoring stuff though is hardly news. Despite being a huge Damon Hill fan, even I think the penalties awarded to Michael Schumacher in 1994 were spurious. (Of course the FIA then went in the complete opposite direction and the let the fucker get away with everything...)

posted by Drood at 06:13 PM on April 25

well for starters i cant stand that whinny little piece of trash, and for years he has been nothing more than in the way for professional and very good drivers and his driving rookies into the walls and now he has the balls to talk trash about the very organization that has giving him chance after chance to straighten up he should be so lucky that he even has a drivers license at all and that he can step foot on a track

posted by coachhannon at 09:19 PM on April 25

I've never liked Stewart, mostly b/c of the way he races and then how he whines when the tables are turned. However, I do see his point. I too have noticed that many late race cautions for "debris" seem to coincidentally benefit the star drivers. The announcers even make note of it - "That caution was fortunate for (insert name), otherwise he never would have had a chance to win". Some of NASCAR's decisions seem a little too biased, and that's what Stewart is complaining about.

posted by whitedog65 at 11:44 PM on April 25

This is one of the reasons I gave up on NASCAR. I mean in Formula One, they put a yellow out when they really need it. Mostly in F1 though, it's to keep the race running rather than red flag it, so the world TV networks that show it don't get their schedules messed up. There was big controversy over this at Indy in 2004 when Ralf Schumacher crashed and was clearly in trouble (he fractured a vertebrae) but they didn't red flag it, choosing to keep the cars running while they worked on him. Very bad form. NASCAR though just takes the piss. Debris cautions. "And there's the caution Larry, because someone in seat Z-13 just belched." It renders any racing largely impotent until ten minutes from the end. Stewart has every right to be pissed off. They spend their entire time levelling the field with common templates and all that crap, and apparent the gaps are still too big. It's really akin to a 10-0 blowout in baseball, then stopping the game in the 8th innining, and awarding the losing team 9 runs. (That sums up the retarded "Chase" too.) Sure, F1 has had titles won, in some cases about 6-7 races early. I'd rather see that than some bullshit engineered run for the title.

posted by Drood at 12:50 AM on April 26

I'm sure Stewart is going to get a bunch of heat from this comment, but at least he had the balls to say it. Or rather, the temperament to. Usually they'll show the "debris" on the track when there is a caution flag, but I remember one incident last week when the tv cameras couldn't spot anything. I'm not a fan of the caution flag, because it can determine the ultimate outcome of a race. When there is "debris" on the track, make sure it's actual "debris" and not a little chunk of rubber.

posted by wingnut4life at 12:54 AM on April 26

I used to enjoy watching NASCAR too, but these days the officials are so concerned about "packaging" the sport, the image of the sport, that it's not surprising that they've apparently gotten down to packaging the races finishes too. They seem to be concerned with only one thing, setting up the famous dash to the finish. I mean why bother to race the first 475 miles of a 500 miles race? Just show it for what it is, a ten lap race of worn out beat up cars and tired drivers. Have all the drivers go out and get drunk the night before, beat the crap out of their cars out in the desert somewhere and then just come in and run the last ten laps. This isn't oval racing any longer, it's just an extended length drag race with 10 or 15 cars instead of two.

posted by commander cody at 02:11 AM on April 26

not that i dont like tony stewart but i think he is a big baby look at the things he has done in the past if he does it it is ok but let someone else do it and he cant handle it lets see what he says next time he does something stupid and i am sure it wont be long before that happens

posted by hotstewey at 04:31 AM on April 26

hotstewey, Invest in a key with a period on it for your computer.

posted by Debo270 at 08:41 AM on April 26

Here's something for NASCAR and it's sponsors to consider: (because I wonder how many other fans are doing the same) I've stopped watching the whole race. I'll either tivo it and forward to the last 10 laps or so, or try to time it right if I haven't taped it, and I only watch the end. There is no point to watching 490 laps only to have NASCAR try and change or spice-up a finish with a green-white-checker every time. So......since I'm not watching most of the race, I'm not watching sponsor ads, either. I personally don't care whether he retires or not, but my guess is Tony Stewart will be in an IRL car two years from now.

posted by eccsport78 at 08:53 AM on April 26

If NASCAR is indeed 'fixed', I'll bet the Toyota teams are sure hoping the powers-that-be will soon start throwing them a scrap off the ole big-money bone.

posted by jaygolf at 09:16 AM on April 26

Any idiot can drive in circles. I have to disagree, I tried to run my 1969 Buick Duce and a Quarter (484, positive traction rear gear) around one of the smaller tracks on the TSS (Talladega Super Speedway) grounds. Banking of the corners, different length front and back stretches, and I am an idiot (seeing as we took advantage of an unlocked back gate to get on the track only to get 3 laps in before security ran us off.) The fastest I could go without loosing it in the corners was about 45mph. I think Stewart's a punk. He expects the very same deferential treatment that he refuses to give others on the track, HUH? Examples? not that i don't like tony Stewart but i think he is a big baby look at the things he has done in the past if he does it it is ok but let someone else do it and he cant handle it well for starters i cant stand that whinny little piece of trash, and for years he has been nothing more than in the way for professional and very good drivers I've never liked Stewart, mostly b/c of the way he races and then how he whines when the tables are turned. Again HUH? Any examples of this whining and "big baby attitude" some of you like to attribute to Tony. I've stopped watching the whole race. I'll either tivo it and forward to the last 10 laps or so, or try to time it right if I haven't taped it, and I only watch the end. There is no point to watching 490 laps only to have NASCAR try and change or spice-up a finish with a green-white-checker every time. I mean why bother to race the first 475 miles of a 500 miles race? Just show it for what it is, a ten lap race of worn out beat up cars and tired drivers. If all you care about is the winner then cool. Some of us actually enjoy all the tiny details and pit strategies and banter between drivers, spotters, and pit crews. Any comparison of Tony S. and Dale Sr. is apples and oranges. Dale Sr. had the ear of the Frances and the fan base to back-up his actions on the track. Since his death NASCAR has made changes in safety I think are positive. Then again they have made other rules changes I don't like. Of course so has the NFL, and the NCAA, and what I've read from our hockey loving brethren here at SpoFi so has the NHL. Rules in professional sports HAVE to evolve with the times. Some we fans like, others we don't. Not so long ago Tony made a few comments about TSS and the state of Alabama that pissed quit a few folks off round here. Tony S. has an anger management problem but at least he seems to be making an effort to control it. Including counseling and behavior modification. I make no claim to be an authority on NASCAR but I have spent two weekends a year for the past 27 or so years working at the track as an usher or other compasity as needed, I've met many drivers, crews, and spotters and get to hear lots of little comments about the competition on and off the track. Since the retirement of Rusty Wallace I no longer have just one driver/crew to pull for. So I watch the races and blindly throw darts at my TV to pick a driver to win that race. I never really liked Dale Sr.'s driving style and I have heard all the "rubbin' is racin" etal statements meant to justify his taking someone out just to make a pass much less win a race. I also find it ironic that he died while trying to block for Jr. on the last lap of a race and being taken out just as he had done to other drivers during his time as a NASCAR driver.

posted by Folkways at 10:56 AM on April 26

I never really liked Dale Sr.'s driving style and I have heard all the "rubbin' is racin" etal statements meant to justify his taking someone out just to make a pass much less win a race. You mean when it was allowed? And why does every SF post about NASCAR turn into a dis to Dale Earnhardt? Am i the only one who gives the guy any respect and not bash his face in?

posted by TelamarketersBeware at 12:25 PM on April 26

DEBO 270 IF THAT IS ALL YOU HAVE TO SAY THEN INVEST IN A MUZZEL FOR YOUR MOUTH.........................................................................................................................................................

posted by hotstewey at 01:08 PM on April 26

hotstewy, It was just hard to read. No need for the anger. I can type in all caps too. SEE!!!! On topic: Not to offend everyone but racing has become a joke. A couple years ago when it was a bunch of goood ol boys racin it was fun to watch. There was a storyline and rivals for most people and it was worth paying attention too. NASCAR has sold out and become a rich mans game. It is run by corporate sponsors that want to sell tickets and get people to watch. No one wants to watch a race that isnt close. I am definatly not saying it is right but thats what happens when money takes over. They want to keep a race close and keep viewers in their seats. If that means throw a few unneeded cautions out, so be it. Blame Nextel. They have ruined the sport. It is about $$$$ now and not racing anymore.

posted by Debo270 at 01:25 PM on April 26

I don't get it, Tony Stewart has never thrown a caution flag on another driver. He is complaining that NASCAR is doing it to all the driver for good or bad. So why the crap about how he is getting what is coming to him? As far as I see it another driver can take a driver out of the race and that's fine. Tony is right though that NASCAR should not be doing it with cautions. I would love to see a few races where the winner is ahead for the rest of the pack by a lap or more!

posted by cptdon at 02:27 PM on April 26

Tony held the lead AFTER the caution also... then lost first place while under green flag to Jeff Gordon... Please tell me how the 'trash caution' relates to the green flag pass. The grumble doesn't pass logic muster.... Now if Gordon had somehow lucked out and taken first place on the caution.... as happened and held it for the rest of the race.... maybe the grumble would hold up under scrutiny.... but in fact Tony took the lead and then lost it while under green... his fault... not Nascar's... Sour grapes never sell well.... Piscator

posted by Fly_Piscator at 03:50 PM on April 26

Piscator, why do you sign your posts with your name, it's already there. I'm just curious is all. Oh, could you lend some of your periods to luther.

posted by tommytrump at 09:11 PM on April 26

On topic: Not to offend everyone but racing has become a joke. A couple years ago when it was a bunch of goood ol boys racin it was fun to watch. There was a storyline and rivals for most people and it was worth paying attention too. NASCAR has sold out and become a rich mans game. It is run by corporate sponsors that want to sell tickets and get people to watch. No one wants to watch a race that isnt close. I am definatly not saying it is right but thats what happens when money takes over. They want to keep a race close and keep viewers in their seats. If that means throw a few unneeded cautions out, so be it. Blame Nextel. They have ruined the sport. It is about $$$$ now and not racing anymore. Thank you Debo270. I 100% agree. Just to add, did you all notice that these changes happened after Dale Sr. died?

posted by TelamarketersBeware at 09:49 AM on April 27

I can go to the Brickyard 400 like every year and spend about 100dollars.What a rich mans sports ...NOT...Most of the people on this post know the slightest thing about NASCAR,but think they should give us thier UNinformed opinion....BY the way the ticket is 85.00 were i sit 15.oo on food and drink and let's go racing.I go to the Trucks,Busch,and Nextel cup and I.R.L. at the Kansas speedway all 300.00.Although i LOVE my CHIEFS i don't think i can go to 4 football games for under 450.00 for that matter.

posted by nafsfeihc1#oN at 10:27 AM on April 29

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