Afternoon, all, from the media center at Daytona. We'll start with some Earnhardt Sr. talk since the 10th anniversary of Black Sunday is nigh, and next talk about the legendary Tom Carnegie who died today.
any earnhardt storys that we have not herd that you could share. Thanks for always being the best
Sometime in the 80s, Earnhardt and I were returning from deer hunting in a pickup truck. He's running wide open. Seat belts weren't required back then. He says to me, "Hold on." I say, "Why?" He says "Hold on." Before I can say why again, he whips that GMC pickup into a bootlegger turn, 180. I end up with my head out the driver's side window, breathing a cloud of tire smoke. I've flown clear across his lap. He shoves me off, says, "Git offa me! I TOLD you to hold on!" Then we drove on down the road, about 105 mph, which is where the speedometer on the truck pegged.
R I P Tom Carnegie
Here's one salute, I'll add another, then we'll talk about Tom.
Ed, what are your thoughts on the passing of Tom Carnegie? Any special memories or favorite calls by the IMS announcer?
We've been trading Carnegie stories in the media center all day. Of course he had that rolling thunder voice, but always calm. I remember how you could tear three or four cars to smithereens on the front stretch, and then would come that calm, booming voice: "We have a yellow light. Yellow light."The most famous phrase was, of course, "HeeeeeeeeeesONIT!more to come in next answer.
somebody told one i hadn't heard, but wish i'd been there. You know how one of his most famous phrases was, "And Mario is slowing dowwwwwwwn" when Andretti's car would break. Somebody said they brought out Mario's winning car from '69 and he took it on a parade drive around the speedway. Seems the darn think broke down on the backstretch, and Tom, while saying "Mario is slowing dowwwwn" just started laughing at himself, in mid sentence, with that deep voice.
Ed, will Shootout participants have an advantage over the rest of the field in the Daytona 500 because they've run a race situation on that new pavement?
Everybody's saying it will be huge advantage, huge learning process. But the ones who aren't in the shootout will get their education Thursday, assuming they don't crash out.
I understand that NASCAR is a sport, but I do not think that drivers can be called athletes. Agreed?
I don't think it matters. I'm always a bit uncomfortable when NASCAR people tout "these athletes," because they're not the same. Great eye-hand coordination, yes. But as Kyle Busch said to me a year or two ago, "all we do is sit on our butts and turn the wheel a lot."
My man is Trevor Bayne. I know he is a rookie, but I think he will turn some heads this year. What do you think?
He's all enthusiasm, all polish, all confidence, and the Wood Brothers are getting much better support from Ford this year -- I hear at the urging of Edsel Ford III. I think Bayne could put the Woods in victory lane a time or two this year. I think today is his 20th birthday, by the way.
As we had heard that Tom Carnegie Passed Away at the Age of 91, Did you KNow Him Very Well?
Can't say I knew him well, but I was around him a good bit. Always a very friendly, nice man, I never saw any ego in him.
what are the drivers saying about how the new nose effects the draft? Best Draft areo package was in 2001 JMO
Not a lot about how it affects the draft. They do say it bottoms out a bit more than the adjustable splitter. Mainly they're saying the cars drive themselves.
What do you think that NASCAR Should do About Michael Annett who is charged with DUI or DWI?
Hard call here. Rusty's disciplining him quite a bit himself. This didn't occur at a NASCAR track, so I'm not sure it falls under NASCAR substance abuse jurisdiction. Four times the legal limit, though, and the publicity he has received, I can see a case to be made for rule 12-4-A, "Conduct detrimental to stock car racing . . ."
at least we are talking about nascar and finally we are watching nascar on speed tv it has been hell for the last 3 maonths.
Now there's somebody with a positive attitude to break the malaise of NASCAR Nation. Good for you.
Good afternoon/early evening, Mr Hinton. I've been reading some Marcel Proust and came across this fitting idea that encapsulates the idea of new remembrance of ten-years since Big E left: Proust essentially says in "Remembrance of Things Past" that tragic death exonerates everyone. That can't be more true when it comes to Earnhardt. I've been around long enough to remember when folks vehemently hated Earnhardt and his brash driving, but now people love him for doing that. The paradox baffles me. Steve Hmiel is recently quoted as saying fans "have made him godlike in his death, and that's not who he was." Anyway, I'm sure you old school media types know exactly what I'm talking about. Also, why do all the responders on ESPN's articles not understand your Southern sarcasm? I think it's funny and I like poking back at you. Take care, bud.
YAR, if you're on Proust, you've put me a lap down. So lets throw some Faulknerian light onto your thoughts. Faulkner wrote that "the past is never dead. It isn't even past." I've been wanting to say this all week down here: "Earnhardt is never past. He isn't even dead."
Jimmie is good, but wins the championship because he has mastered the chase system and the tracks. do u see nascar changing even more things? like playoff system, different chase tracks, etc.
Probably not. Heck, if they change the system, Knaus will just figure out ways to beat the new one.
who do you think is going to win the daytona 500
Harvick from RCR, or somebody from resurgent Roush -- say, Edwards or the Biff.
Newman fan here. Think he can be more consistent this year? Good talent with a more than his fair share of bad luck, tho some may be his own fault. What is your call on his prospects?
I'd say you've got a good handle on your favorite. He's mighty rough at times, always running on the edge, even if it takes him into somebody else's door panel. After all these years, I'm not sure he'll ever calm down.
Want to overfill the Brickyard with fans? Have Danica make her maiden Cup voyage in the 400. Media stuff would be off the charts.
Sure it would be a great draw, but ain't gonna happen. Her advisers are going to keep her in Nationwide for this season. They'd never throw her into that kind of pressure, a cup debut at indy.
Hold on, we're missing a good piece of the story. WHY did Dale do a 180?
WHY did Dale do a 180? In those days for him, you might as well ask, why is there air? Why did the sun come up. Why did Earnhardt do a 180? Because he just plain damn FELT like it at the MOMENT. The mood struck him. So he did it.
I'll give you guys another Earnhardt, with the understanding that there was no reason WHY. We're driving down International Speedway Blvd. late one night, one february in the 80s. We're in a Ford Bronco. Another guy and I are sitting in the backseat. A girl is sitting up front with Earnhardt, in the bucket seats. While she's not looking, Earnhardt sets the cruise control and eases off his seat belt. Running about 50 mph, he gets up out of the driver's seat, comes back and sits down between the other guy and me, and says, "Somebody else drive this bitch. I'm tired of it." The girl looks around and screams bloody murder. There's no driver behind the wheel. Just before we hit the ditch, Earnhardt reaches up and flicks the wheel and gets it straightened out.
How many career wins would Bill Elliott have if he had stayed on a big team like Junior Johnson instead of starting his own team. I say it cost him 20 wins and another title.
I doubt it cost him 20 wins. In '92, when he barely lost the title to Kulwicki, Bill was already pretty past his prime, even driving for Junior.
Hi ed, I was wondering what you thought about shortening the nascar races? And even the schedule? I think that if nascar wanted to light a fire under the drivers butts they should have had a 25% point difference from 1st to 2nd in points and shorten the races...fewer laps to get it done....and shorten the schedule...fewer races to get it done. I think that would make every driver get a hell of a lot more scrappy and the racing would be more exciting. OH and add more short tracks. I know that's not gonna happen, but one can dream. What do you think?
I like everything you're saying. 30 races max. No race more than 400 miles except the Daytona 500 and Coke 600, just for tradition's sake. I think over saturation is a lot of the reason nascar fans are in such a malaise.
Why is McMurray not on anyones radar, no one seems to talk about him but I think he could be a continder this year.
He's on the radar I'm watching. Carl Edwards told me the other day that McMurray "could win 10 races and dominate this thing." And I wrote that. I think everybody's aware that McMurray could break out this year.
Sorry, I didn't mean to get you all riled up with the why question. Just wasn't sure if Dale was avoiding a speedtrap or someone out to get him or just because he felt like it.
Sorry I sounded riled. I was just sitting here busting out laughing. That was Dale in his youth -- there wasn't a whole lot of rhyme or reason to what he did. No, I wasn't riled. You just made me laugh out loud thinking of the way he was then.
joey longano wins or a rookie wins it
What? The daytona 500? I doubt that.
so what are you going to do for the next week while you are at daytona for the next week.
Not the things I did in my younger days down here, for sure. Mostly it'll be got to the track, go have dinner, go to the hotel . . . repeat . . .
These chats are full of questions about Jr. How can his fan base still be groing when he is an OK driver at best
Maybe the fan base isn't growing so much as the core is just persistent and relentless.
i know that this is a stupid question thew are you going to watch the dale tribute tonight on speed by the way it start at 6:30that is 7:30 eastern tonight.
I may watch some of it. I have my own memories of Earnhardt, enough that I don't need documentaries to remind me.
What do you think was Dale's most impressive win? Any one in particular stick out?
Talladega, not long before he died. He made up what? 18 positions in 2 laps?
what kind of practice are we are going to see in today practice is it going to be a draft test for saturday night or just set the car right for the race on saturday.
Don't think anybody's wrecked in practice yet. They'll probably be cautiously probing, looking for ways to move, but not taking many chances. They don't want to tear up their shootout cars because the shootout is so important to learning for next week.
If I see one more word about Dale Jr's new crew chief being just what he needs I might gouge my eyes out. If Letarte couldn't win races with Jeff Gordon what make people think he'll do anybody with Dale Jr.??? It makes zero sense.
Check my archive for my column on that earlier this week. Hendrick didn't make the pairing based on records, he made it on matching personalities. He's great at putting the right people in the right places, and he also has a scientific system from an outside firm, for matching up personalities, work habits, etc.
What will be the biggest surprise this year?
When Trevor Bayne wins a race for the Wood Brothers, and/or when the Dinger wins one for the King.
NY COMMENT AT 4.10 LETS GET IT ON DAYTONA
raygordonreid, present and accounted for.
If Junior wins the 500, what percentage of Junior haters will actually believe NASCAR rigged it for him because its the 10th anniversary of his fathers death?
Well, he won one in '04, and he usually is a factor in the 500 . . .so there may be doubters, but not in big numbers.
Um James in Tx you might want to check that again. Steve won plenty with Gordon.
To referee here, Letarte and Gordon won 10 races in 5 years together -- but only one in the last three years.
now with a good crew chief talking about dale jr do you thing that maybe he will maybe win a couple of races this year and maybe daytona 500.
I'd say he has a better chance of winning the Daytona 500 than other races, because he's usually good here, no matter what. But yes, they could win a race or two elsewhere -- especially if he buys into letarte's way of doing things.
what do you thing about the new qualifing deal for the nascar nationwide series and the truck series for this year when they have two cars and two trucks out at the sametime.
it's ok. what i'd really like to see is like old f1 and sports car qualifying, where you have a whole bunch of cars out there at once.
If the 2011 NFL season cancelled due to lockout, will this have any positive effects for NASCAR?
maybe a little, but not much. you might have a few who decide to watch the nascar race because there's no football. some might stick with nascar, but i doubt that many would desert the nfl entirely for nascar.
what did you learn about dale sr about watching the film that you did not know about before watch the film.
Which film? If you mean "3," I wrote the treatment for it and was primary consultant. I argued with the screenwriter about a lot, but the real scenes they used that I gave them were the Earnhardt-Waltrip confrontation at Richmond, Earnhardt's relationship with Jake Elder, etc. If you mean "Dale," I didn't work on it. Frankly I knew him well enough that I haven't seen anything in any film I didn't already know. If anything, they all left out a lot.
For Ray Gordon Reid: LEARN HOW TO USE THE KEYBOARD! Ok? Thanks and have a good day.
Ray Gordon, you have fan mail.
How about the 21 and 43 having technical alliance. Would you have ever seen that coming 30 years ago?
Funny you should mention that. The other day I asked Richard, "Are you REALLY ok, working with the Woods, after all these years?" He said, 'well, as long as Dale (Inman) and Leonard (Wood) aren't the two contact points, we'll be alright." Inman and Leonard were big rivals back in the day "but we've got different generations now," Richard said.
How great of a story would it be if the Wood Brothers got back to victory lane this season? I hope they do it.
Fabulous story, and I think it may happen for two reasons. Bayne is confident and a fast learner, and Ford Motor Co. is putting extra umph into the Woods this year -- I hear on orders from Edsel Ford III.
i am talking about the film that is going to be on speed tonight right after practice is over.
don't know which one that is. If it's new, I haven't seen a preview.
I love the safety benefits of the new car, but wasn't another benefit supposed to be more parity between big/small teams. It actually has seemed that it's caused an even greater disparity. Will Nascar ever do anything or will they be content with the fact that if you don't race for one of the big 5, you have no shot?
I think you'll see small teams doing better -- RPM and the Wood Brothers tied in with Roush for tech support, etc.
Weren't people saying all the same things about McGrew at this time last year???? And yet there was no discernible improvement. Tracy 1 win in 3 years isn't a lot in my book, maybe we have different standards.
When McGrew came aboard in May of '09, everybody was saying poor guy, he catches the blame if Jr's slump continues. I don't think anybody expected him to be a savior. They just wished him luck.
Air Hamlin? Why are people acting like this is big. Jr was the first with the adidas thing.
Junior's such a big name that getting endorsement deals are no big deal to him. The others are a bit different.
Who do you think will be involved in the first "have at it boys" moment? One of the usual suspects like roid rage Edwards or somebody new?
Oh, I'd suspect such a moment in the Shootout. How bout Harvick and Kurt for openers?
how do you thing that bobby labonte is going to do in he's new ride for bdr racing this year in the #47 car.
Fair to middlin', but don't think he'll be up front much for a one-car team, hard as they try.
No but 9 wins in 2 years is great in my book. Steve is a great CC.
Return comment in the Letarte debate.
Will the Dodges be stronger this year in Cup with the addition of Robby Gordon, and Brad Keselowski having a full year under his belt at Penske?
Well, Robby's such a free spirit, does things his own way, and still so distracted by off-road, that I'm just not sure he'll make meaningful contributions to the overall Dodge effort.
15 minutes until the fisrt practice of the year oh yeahh it is on buddy i am exicted.
and now, it's time.
With that, our time is up. Thanks to all for stopping by.