Plea to NASCAR BR Community: Stop Being Mindless!

Heath HeidemannCorrespondent IMay 31, 2009

Last fall, I started writing with B/R. Life got in the way, and I was not able to contribute all that much anymore. When time permitted, I signed in. I checked in to see some of the new faces, as well as the old. It was enjoyable to read the opinions of people like myself.

Recently, I realized one glaring problem. This was no longer fun!

I have somewhat watched all of the races this year. I drive most of the day, and mostly listen to Sirius NASCAR when doing so.

Each race has a storyline. Each storyline has a star. Each storyline also has a supporting cast. For the most part, a casual fan visiting this page would not know this. The NASCAR B/R page, with the exception of few, has become the Busch vs. Junior Bicker Fest page.

Let me take a break here to properly thank the people that do continue to try to report the other happenings in NASCAR. You do not get nearly the recognition that you deserve. It takes creativeness, and research to do a non- mainstream story, and I truly appreciate that.

As for the rest of you, let me say this.

When I sign in, and I see something on Junior, I am fine with that. After all, 50 to 75 percent of NASCAR fans are “Junior Nation”. I respect that.

However, when I sign in, and I see nothing but a list of articles written by people about a crew chief change, there is a problem. Follow that with a list of articles about Busch slamming Junior. If I click on any of the articles, it is Busch Fans against Junior Fans, with no real fact or relevance. Just back and forth junk.

I cannot be the only one to see what I am about to say. Newspapers, or websites, do not stay in the spotlight by having multiple versions of the same story. If they do, there is some sort of creativity involved.

Saying Busch is a baby for saying “blah, blah” about Junior…IS NOT CREATIVE!! Junior saying “blah” about Busch…IS NOT CREATIVE!! Putting your personal twist on the story...acceptable, but not after 5 stories have been done about it.

Then insert the new trend I have seen in the “Versus Series”, media bias. STOP IT! You HAVE to be kidding me with this!

“Darrell Waltrip talks about Kyle Busch too much”. “ESPN talks about Kyle too much”. How soon we forget mid 2007, when all you heard was Junior’s move to Hendrick, and Darrell affectionately calling Junior “Junebug”.

The fact is Kyle is controversy. Dale is a fan favorite. There were almost 1500 hits on the story I read on this site about the feud. My personal best is 600 hits. Why do you suppose that is?

My article was Tony Stewart.

There have been articles written about the personalities in NASCAR on this site! It’s what makes the sport interesting and unique. NASCAR writers know this. They do what it takes to get a person’s attention. Feuds fuel ratings, ask the WWE.

So let me break this down for you.

 If I want stats, I go to, I don’t need them in story form.

I read the paper and listen to Sirius Radio all day, so I get the NASCAR news I need almost as it breaks, through radio or AP. I realize they have an advantage, one most of B/R does not have the privilege of.

Therefore, I do not need to read the same story I already heard. If you choose to break it on B/R, once is sufficient.

If you as a writer complain about bias, your article should not reflect your own bias. If you truly believe a professional writer needs to remain neutral, then your article should contain absolutely no slams on any driver.  

If you do choose an opinion piece, do the time, and do the research. Saying “Joe Nemecheck does not belong in NASCAR cuz I said so” doesn’t hold water in the real world.

Everyone is on here to get noticed, or you wouldn’t be public with your thoughts. I am going to give you some insight. You are not going to get noticed by writing mindless, rehashed drivel. Be creative.

Any NASCAR fan familiar with great columns knows of and misses David Poole. You may also know the names Jim Utter, Lee Spencer, and Dave Rodman.  

Read some of the articles they put out. Sure they have credentials, sure they have phone numbers. Maybe they even have favorites. Not all are interview pieces. Do they run over each other? Sure. Do they still have a unique twist? Well, read a few.

So please, I ask you all. Stop the mindless ranting. B/R is here to spark interest, not deter it. It is a way for us to voice opinion, no doubt about it. That does not mean taking AP or Sirius Radio news  and putting it word for word in your segment, then making it “your own” by adding a couple of random thoughts.

Is it tough? Absolutely! That’s why we are here and not in the building of the Charlotte Observer.

Does it take thought? Yes! Research? You bet!

Can you do it? Some can. I have seen it on this page, in this community. I will not name names, but you know who you are, and again, keep it up!

As for the rest, please put forth an effort to make B/R a respectable place for NASCAR Cup, Nationwide, and Camping World Series columns.