NASCAR MEDIA TOUR: BEHIND THE SCENES

This week, the racing media descends upon Charlotte for the annual NASCAR Media Tour. I was fortunate to attend this event twice. While most fans know this tour is a chance for teams to tout the possibilities of 2010, things do happen behind the scenes. Here is a glimpse behind the curtain.

Everyone is winning the 2010 Sprint Cup
We all know Jimmie Johnson is taking home his fifth straight title this year. Still, it’s newsworthy to hear Denny Hamlin, Kurt Busch and Carl Edwards explain why 2010 is their year. But when start-and-parkers say they’re going to make the Chase, I cringe on so many levels. Reporters don’t challenge these comments; they just choose to not use the quotes, tossing them away like a losing lottery ticket. Instead, most ask why 2010 is their year, and the following words come out.

We’re really excited blah blah blah

A reporter once kept track of how many time the word “excited” was uttered in opening statements of the tour. He stopped keeping track at 200. Michael Waltrip jokingly banned the word from his opening remarks in 2008. I told you he was going to be a good owner.

Every announcement is the biggest announcement of all time

Teams use this week to make positive announcements, like Kyle Busch extending his contract or teams working on earthquake relief. Not all announcements are so newsworthy. Just don’t tell that to the PR staff. We were eating lunch and told to hurry up with cameras ready for important announcement. Food scarfed down, lunch kind of messed up, but it’s an important announcement. Turns out that important announcement was the unveiling of the Johnny Carino’s car on the Nationwide Series. At least we got a gift card, which was nice, but not as nice as this.

The hotel bacon is awesome

The tour has a central location. Every morning, we got free breakfast. Some tried to eat healthy. I tried to be one of those folks – until I had a slice of the hotel bacon. When you have a slice of the hotel bacon, those resolutions drop faster than Paul Menard from the lead lap.

You’ll be hearing about this crap all year

Every writer is tweeting, blogging, reporting, updating and possibly annoying the tar out of you with nuggets of wisdom. But as quick as the news cycle is, there are stories gathered from this event you’ll be hearing about in July. The access to every random crew member, executive and driver is unparalleled. It is access you don’t get in other sports and one of the reasons NASCAR achieved its popularity. So read well racing fans, and don’t hesitate to mail me some bacon.