From the moment the news leaked earlier in the week that Sprint Cup Series Director John Darby was moving to a new position within NASCAR, speculation has run rampant that he’s being pushed out, demoted, or being made a scapegoat. Even fans have gotten in on the act, applauding Darby’s move (in a bad way).
Now lets be fair. John Darby’s got one of the most difficult jobs in the garage. He spends much of his year away from home and gets to deal with a bunch of “creative”, ego-maniacs (though I don’t think he’s complaining).
Is he a dictator? Some would probably make that argument. The truth is, if you’re not you’re going to get walked all over very quickly. He’s got to serve as the policeman, the judge, the jury and sometimes the executioner. Despite all of that he’s one of the most respected guys in the garage. That says something about his character.
I know what you’re saying, “he was a supporter and propagator of the COT.” And while that may be true, we fail to remember, that arguably is his job. He’s got to be one of the chief supporters of NASCAR’s initiatives. If you’re looking for someone to blame for the COT I’d suggest starting with Gary Nelson and Brett Bodine.
As far as decision making goes, remember he does have people he answers to. John Darby is by no means the be-all-end-all at NASCAR or even over the Cup Series. Often when you get called to the trailer, you get the pleasure of meeting with both he and Mike Helton; and sometimes others.
I don’t believe John Darby was forced out. I don’t think NASCAR had any reason to do it, and I think their actions would indicate that’s probably true.
The fact is no one’s perfect; John Darby included. Has he made mistakes? Sure (who hasn’t?). But can we blame him for everything that’s wrong with NASCAR? Absolutely not.
As the old proverb goes “before criticizing a man, walk a mile in his shoes.” Even if you don’t respect his tenure as Cup Series Director, respect his commitment to the sport. John Darby is a good man.
Condolences to the Davis Family
We here at TNI want to send our condolences to Marc Davis, his family and friends on the passing of Marc’s father Harry.
Harry, a former NBC News cameraman, was a big guy with a big heart. He was a fierce advocate of his son and his son’s career. Though he was a relative newcomer to the sport, Harry will be missed. The sport could use more people like him.
Click here for a writeup from his former employer.