I’m going to let you in on a NASCAR secret: rumors run rampant in this sport. I know this is hard to believe, so take some time if you need it. From the garage to the media center to the shop floor, rumors sprout up like kudzu in a ditch and their often just as hard to contain.
Just to put this in perspective, remember high school? You know, the talking behind people’s backs, spreading gossip, getting in fights? High school is a lot like NASCAR’s garage. Now don’t get me wrong, it’s one of the best families you could hope to have, but cattiness creeps in a lot and people talk. I can’t tell you all of the oddball things I have heard through the years (TC has stories too). This is understandable though, you put hundreds of people together for 36+ weekends per year and the grapevine becomes never ending. Sometimes the rumors are true, most of the time they’re not.
TC talked a little about this last week with some of the ridiculous rumors that came out of Sonoma, but I couldn’t help but write about it after some more ridiculousness this week. My personal favorites of the last two weeks include Hendrick booting Dale Jr. (I guess to his own team?) in favor of Danica Patrick and EGR somehow becoming in-house partners with JGR.
Now I don’t mean to say these things are impossible (nothing is), but they are a little far fetched.
Jim Hunter, NASCAR VP of Corporate Communications, in response to the truck series demise blog post/article acknowledged the problems in the truck series, but said the writer of the post had a “history” of fabricating stories.
I won’t go so far as to say this writer or any other is fabricating rumors, but I think with the nature of the beast, sometimes people hear things and believe them without considering the obvious inconsistencies.
With the above said let me address the validity of some of the “rumors.”
Don’t expect to see the truck series going anywhere any time soon. NASCAR and team owners have far too much time and money invested for the series to shut down over night.
Danica may come to NASCAR, but she won’t be booting Dale Jr. out of his ride. He has a contract and is a superstar moneymaker for Hendrick.
EGR is not the powerhouse team Joe Gibbs is, but don’t expect to see Juan Pablo Montoya driving a Target Toyota for them. Chip Ganassi is a racer, despite what many may think, and he is not going to relinquish control of his NASCAR team or any other team he owns.
Richard Childress doesn’t have all of his funding locked in for next year, but in no way is that an indicator that he is going to be cutting his organization in half.
I guess what I hope everyone takes away from this is that just because something is published, that does not mean it’s true. We all love to break news, that’s part of the reason most people got into the journalism business (who doesn’t dream of being Woodward or Bernstein?), but we can’t break news while neglecting facts or common sense. Every news organization I know requires at least two good sources to break news. This is a rule we follow here. Neither of us likes to be incorrect in what we write, but if we are we acknowledge it. At the end of last season we even gave ourselves a report card in the name of transparency (as transparent as we can be).
I just ask you to not believe or give into everything you read.