[Editor's Note: This is the very first
article written for AR1 by Stan Creekmore, our new NASCAR Editor.
Look for his columns on a regular basis]
The former Director of the
Winston Cup Series, Gary Nelson, uttered one of the most
intriguing statements ever made in my presence. In one of
many heart to heart chats, Nelson posed a question
concerning the constant attacks on the integrity of those
ďJust because you donít believe
what we say, does that mean weíre lying?Ē said Nelson, just
two years ago.
The truth in those words is a clear indicator of the
adversarial relationship that exists between the print
media, the veteran race fan and NASCAR.
Those in the leadership roles at NASCAR have, despite their
best efforts, been found guilty before being proven
Nothing can be farther from the truth.
It takes a keen ear to hear the truth during a weekend of
public relation spinning in the Winston Cup garage. Donít
think for even a minute NASCAR is the only entity carefully
selecting every word uttered before the press.
Fans will be
locked out of the garage area, meaning they can't spy for teams
A story, appearing on a Ford website, outlining a rather
interesting conversation overheard at Daytona reminded me of
just how naÔve the media can be. The author of the piece
found it amazing that members of the DEI organization
actually spent time tracking a member of another
manufacturing camp taking pictures of the competition.
The story was interesting, but cause more than one chuckle
as this writer remembers a time not so long ago when Ford
paid a couple to take pictures of Chevrolet engines during
post-race inspection. Over the course of several weeks, the
same couple showed up in post-race inspection, took pictures
and then slipped the film to a crewmember from the Ford
camp. Each week the couple appeared as guest of a different
Ford team, according to their credentials.
Gary Nelson alerted this writer to their presence. NASCAR
officials had been tracking the couple for several weeks.
Why mention this matter?
fans will will have to lineup like cattle to have driver contact
The new crackdown on access to the Winston Cup garage will
seriously curtail the ability of manufacturers and teams to
flood the garage with spies. Innocent looking fans that seem
to never ask for an autograph, but take more pictures than
the professional photographers covering the sport.
Publicly the teams have all endorsed the crackdown.
Privately they have to be thinking that this move will send
espionage back 20 years to the days when crew members would
lean against a competitors car as a way of measure different
shapes and curves.
During the coming year many of
you who read the weekly ramblings of this less than humble
reporter will swear I have fallen into the mind-altering
machinery at NASCAR. It hasnít happened, but at the same
time, several years ago I accepted that just because I donít
believe something, that doesnít mean it isnít true.
The author can be contacted firstname.lastname@example.org
to discuss this article