Hidden among the many and deserved tributes to Jimmie Johnson and the No. 48 team’s historic three-peat are more than a few stories discussing everyone’s worst nightmare, Black Monday. And while it will be a few days and weeks before we in the general public have a true appreciation of just how many people in the sport will be out of work — multiple estimates peg the number somewhere between 750 and 1,200 — there’s no question that the landscape will look very different very soon.
In contrast to its large impact on the sports and entertainment world, NASCAR is, in reality, a small, insular world where even minor additions or subtractions are quickly noticed. And, almost uniquely in sports, NASCAR likes to pride itself as a community that more closely resembles a family than it does a business — a reality borne out almost any time a member of the fraternity endures misfortune. Still, most families also have their share of dysfunction and, NASCAR is apparently no different.
Having been given the boot twice in my professional career, once via cellphone call two days after Christmas, I can attest to the fact that there really isn’t a very good way to deliver such news. However, if Dave Moody is to be believed and one member of NASCAR’s family fired its staff at the track — before the race! — on Sunday, then somebody deserves a very stern talking to.