The Herald-Dispatch |

At the Track
We'll note happenings at the national and local levels of racing.

Monday, November 16, 2009


Barring disaster on the part of Jimmie Johnson, just scratch his name on the trophy. Again.

Bah, Humbug. This year's Chase for the Sprint Cup hasn't been any fun. Well, except for last week when good 'ol JJ bounced off the wall. Seriously, you don't really think NASCAR fans across the country didn't laugh either in secret or just out loud? Probably the only ones who DIDN'T chuckle at least a little were my west coast friends Laura and Roberta and all the Jimmie fans.

I'll be honest about it. I was driving back from Gallipolis, Ohio when it happened. I was at the intersection of Route 2 and the I-64 connector. It's kind of like, "Where were you when: A. Kennedy died B. Earnhardt died C. Michael Jackson died?" I'll remember that one.

And I've said all along, I'd pay $20 cash money to any driver who took out pretty-boy Johnson So, I suppose I should send Sam Hornish the payoff, er, I mean, donation to his foundation. Should I just address it: Sam Hornish, Defiance, OH 43512?

Now to the question of the day, maybe of the past 10 weeks. What would Martin do?

He could go whine to Rick Hendrick and say, "But I've been sooooo close soooo many times? Couldn't I trade Jimmie cars, just this one time? Maybe you could tell him to just go slow during the race?"

Here's a thought? "Hey, JR, if you get near the 48, could you walk him up the track into the wall? There's 20 bucks in it for you from a woman in West Virginia." That's believable. Oh, come on, you know it is - wrecking and taking out Johnson, not me sending him $20. Although I really would. Which brings about a whole other series of thoughts and questions about Junior for a later time. How many did he take out at Phoenix on Sunday, 4 or 5?

Mark could hire someone to play golf with Jimmie, no one have on a watch, "lose track of time," and keep him away from Miami Homestead on qualifying day so he'd have to start 43rd.

How about just goin' to JJ and saying, "Look pal, I deserve this. You KNOW I deserve this. Just let me win this one time. Please? (Dropping to his knees, hands clasped at his chin, eyes pleading toward heaven.) PLEEZE PLEEZE PLEEZE? I promise I'll retire for real this time."


He'd be the fair-minded, clean-driving gentleman he's always been and congratulate his teammate on a good season, his 4th championship and say I'll see you on the stage at Las Vegas.

That's what Mark Martin would do. And probably will.