Thursday, April 13, 2006

Women are women and men are, well, sorry

It seemed like took Robin Pemberton a while on Wednesday to believe he actually was even being asked the question.

But after a few minutes, he realized that there are people who really did want to know if NASCAR planned to take any disciplinary action against Nicole Lunders, the girlfriend of driver Greg Biffle, for what she did Sunday at Texas Motor Speedway.

After first saying, "it's Easter, can't you give me a break?" the NASCAR vice president for competition said this: "There will be some conversations that will be had with the people that participated, and we'll make sure that this doesn't carry on and into the garage or anywhere else. You've got to remember, most everybody in the garage area are friends, and those two girls in particular have a close relationship. Tempers flare, and we'll look at that and we'll make sure it doesn't carry on any further than that."

In other words, "it's Easter, can you give me a break?"

Look, I know what I said after the Jeff Gordon-Matt Kenseth postrace shove at Bristol, about how NASCAR can't let things like that go without a fine because you never know where one shove might lead after a race when a lot of angry guys might be running around. But come on.

Actually, there is one thing that absolutely has to be done about Lunders going to Kurt Busch's pit stall to vent her anger to Eva Bryan, Kurt Busch's fiancée, about the contact from Busch's car that sent Biffle spinning.

Somebody needs to get the video clip of their confrontation, put Tammy Wynette singing "Stand By Your Man" behind it and get it on the NextelVision video screens at the track by next weekend at Phoenix.

If Lunders had gone in swinging a tire iron, then NASCAR would have had to do something about it. But if you think that's the first time the significant others of two race car drivers have ever exchanged words about an on-track incident, you're not only very single you probably don't have sisters, either.

That goes on a lot back in the motor home lot, which is the drivers' little world that those of us in the media all sort of keep our noses out of because we know better than to get in those messes.

If a woman cares about her man enough to follow him all over the country staying in a motor home - and I don't care how nice that motor home is, it still ain't the Ritz-Carlton - you know she's going to be there for him when the chips are down.

Some race fans seem a little irked, for instance, by the fact that DeLana Harvick wears a fire suit and sits on top of her husband, Kevin's, pit box. Let me tell you this, if there's ever a fight around me in the pit area, you can bet your backside that I'll know which side DeLana's on before I declare my allegiance.

A few years back, I decided it'd be a good idea to write a column advising Darrell Waltrip that it was time for him to hang up his driving helmet. I meant him no ill will, honestly, I just thought he was tarnishing his reputation by continuing.

I later recanted that article when DW ran well in a car owned by Dale Earnhardt Inc. But on the morning it ran, we were at Darlington Raceway and there were actually people who had been tasked to make sure that I didn't accidentally cross paths with Darrell's wife, Stevie, that morning.

Stevie, you see, wanted to a piece of me for that column. And I have no doubt in my mind that if she'd gotten hold of me, it would not have been pretty.

Look, here's the deal. Men are, well, men are sorry. We are. We're just plain sorry. Whenever we see two women get a little bit crossways with each other, that "c-c-c-c-cat-fight!" blood starts pumping. Don't bother denying it.

To hear some people talk about what happened Sunday at Texas, you'd think one girl snatched up a handful of another's hair and drug her into one of those little plastic swimming pools filled with lime Jell-O. Actually, that very well might have happened somewhere in the campgrounds during the weekend.

But it did not happen in Kurt Busch's pit - no matter how many times you sorry men try to imagine it did.


Anonymous said...


I don't think anyone disputes that Nicole (or any other SO of a driver) had every right to be upset. However, she should have waited to voice her displeasure back in the motorhome lot.

Did it make for some good and funny TV? Hell yeah. But, if you aren't on a pit crew you shouldn't go strutting into their pit box during a race, not for anything.

NASCAR had better nip that kind of behavior in the bud, like yesterday. Or they are going to have their own version or versions of TJ Patrick (Danica Patrick's father) running around during races yelling at the pit crew, other drivers, other pit crews and other team owners when they think their driver has been done wrong.

Do I really consider what Nicole did to be as bad as that? No. But I'm sure Mr. Patrick didn't start out that bad either.

Anonymous said...

As Michael Waltrip put it on Inside Nextel Cup, should Buffy ever come down off the pit box, he wants someone to tell him immediately so he can get down pit road and watch. The women are invested just as much as the men. Heck, in a few years, what's to say it won't be a husband on the pit box as his wife is wrecked? Yeah, I think the girlfriends/wives need to be warned to keep the space during the race, but that's just a warning after an incident, not something that has to have official reprimands or getting taken to the NASCAR truck.

And let's face it - one of the men mad isn't nearly as tough as one of the women. I'm with you - should DeLana ever get that pissed, I wouldn't want to be on the receiving end. (And I don't care how big the man/woman is she would go after - big and bad as they may be, DeLana is tougher.)

Anonymous said...

In the immortal words of James Kilpatrick, "Read your copy." Stevie, you see, wanted to a piece of me for that column.
Nice English.
So, there is going to be a ruling on this incident. Do you have the rulebook for this year yet? If so, what rule would this fall under? If not, then I assume they will use the "To the detriment of the sport" phrase.
Also, Kenseth was fined 25 points for his crew chief's infraction regarding the bumper/spoiler height. What makes his a points fine and the Johnson/Daytona cheating a non-points infraction? I guess that would take a rulebook also.
Your Jell-O comment got me thinking, bump the Red Hot Chili Peppers and replace them with the Red Hot Chick Fighters during the All-Star race. I'll buy the Jell-O. Hell, I might even buy a ticket.

Tiredawg said...

Lime jello? Hmmm seems like Lemon and BlueBerry would be a better fit, maybe with some cool whip, mmmmmmmmmm coolwhip. What was I sayin. Glad to see Stevie didn't get a hold of ya. If its all right with you I am adding you to my Faves.

Unknown said...

The ruling has come down. No penalty, just a "conversation." Sorry about the extra "to" in that sentence. That's not a grammatical error, it's the fact that I am typographically challenged.

Anonymous said...

Brad's need to call attention to the typographical
error seemed to justify correction of the specific rule he chose to incorrectly reference . . .

12-4-A: Actions detrimental to stock car racing

Monkeesfan said...

This is in keeping with NASCAR's lack of conviction for punishment. Just a "conversation."

They didn't even notice when, after Ken Schrader blasted Morgan Shepherd into the wall at Darlington in 1990, Sonja Shepherd ran down Schrader in the garage and clubbed him with her purse.

F00lhardt said...


As a woman actively involved in a local race team I think this sort of behavior must not be tolerated by "guests" of the team. Women and family being allowed in the pits is a relatively new phenominon and Id hate to see this privaledge revoked because of a complaicency twoards confrontation.

Carl Edwards was right on INC when he said "Women start most of that stuff..." At the local dirt tracks that is very true and disgusting to me to see so many women labeled with negative connotations. It makes it harder for me to gain acceptance as a competitor if we are seen as "too emotional" or "irrational" to be involved in racing.


Anonymous said...

Hey anonymous,
I figured David left out the word get after the word to.
Like David, I do not have a 2006 rule book; ergo my phraseology was not exactly as printed in said book. Since you are one of the fortunate to have one, pray tell, where can a humble fan, such as myself, acquire one?
Not wanting to pick fly poop out of pepper with boxing gloves on but what word were you contracting to come up with Brad's? Was that an is or a has?

Anonymous said...

Well, at least Nicole didnt have a helmet on...........