Short Pitting: Cheers For Dale Earnhardt Jr., Chasing The Honey And Checking The Films

Another edition of RaceDayCT.com’s semi-regular concoction, brewed of the meatiest newsworthy items, opinions and meaningless meanderings down some paths that might not have anything to do with racing. Strap in for the ride.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. (Photo: Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Over the years we’ve used the space to criticize Dale Earnhardt Jr. in plenty of ways.

Today Earnhardt should be applauded for the decision he made to seek help instead of hide in the shadows. Earnhardt will miss the next two Sprint Cup Series races while he recovers from the effects of a concussion.

Granted, Earnhardt isn’t like most drivers in that he’s probably not in danger of stepping away for a few races and losing his ride, but he still showed a side that many athletes at his level don’t have the courage to show.

It’s not a weakness to show you’re hurt. That holds especially true with an injury that anybody can very easily hide. There’s no limp to a concussion, no noticeable loss of a step.

Earnhardt could race on, knowing he’s hurt. It probably happens almost every week at the highest levels of motorsports.

Applaud Earnhardt for showing macho sport doesn’t mean putting yourself or others in danger to fight through an injury.

— So Woody Pitkat wins the first RaceDayCT Honey Badger Award and then immediately returns to competition trying to win the second one?

Give him credit, Pitkat took his Honey Badger status seriously. It took him less than one lap of the first Late Model heat race at the Waterford Speedbowl last Saturday get feisty with Glenn Boss.

And speaking of Pitkat. Days before the Whelen Modified Tour Spring Sizzler at Stafford Motor Speedway you read right here that we were picking him to win. We got a lot of funny looks about that choice, but darned if he didn’t nearly come through on making that prediction come true.

That said, to keep things, we’re going with top-five for Pitkat and the Hillbilly bunch in Sunday’s Whelen Modified Tour season finale at Thompson.

And our picks for Sunday’s Modified Tour season finale at Thompson?

We’re going with Ron Silk for the win and Doug Coby to grab his first series championship.

— Starting any bulletin, directive or request with the words “Dear Drunk People” is always going to grab attention.

— It was another case of life imitating art this week with the news that Earnhardt would be sitting out at least two events because of concussion.

It got us thinking about the scene in Days of Thunder when Cole Trickle was trying to convince Rowdy Burns that he was having issues with his head, pointing out trophies that Burns couldn’t name.

“Yeah, that’s a Winston Cup, buddy,” Trickle said. “Hell, that’s an easy one to forget. What’s your name, or has that slipped your mind too?”

Crazy part is, we mentioned that Thursday to someone not so entrenched in the world of racing and got a blank stare.

Wait, not everybody is in tune with lines from Days of Thunder?

Ah, the beauty of niche films.

Growing up involved deeply in wrestling, we thought everybody must have loved the movie Vision Quest. Found out recently that its hard to find anybody that remembers it.

So we present our Top Three All-Time Not So Popular Niche Sports Films

1. Vision Quest (1985) – Louden Swain decides he’s going to wrestle the beast known as Shute. For anyone involved in high school wrestling it was validation that maybe somebody out there noticed.

2. Breaking Away (1979) – Introduced the world to Bloomington, Ind. and the Little 500. Made riding a bike seem cooler than it should be.

3. Youngblood (1986) – The film that gave us the line, “Wanna go, pretty boy?” Sure it was Slap Shot without the fun, but it had Rob Lowe, Cynthia Gibb and Patrick Swayze.

4. Eight Seconds (1994) – The amazing and true story of bull rider Lane Frost. It doesn’t matter how hardened you are, you’re going to cry.

5. The Cutting Edge (1992) – A movie that made figure skating sorta almost seem kinda of alright to watch.

— The password is: Reindeer.

— Kyle Busch is a 900 horsepower motor on five-inch tires. Kurt Busch is 750 horsepower on bare rims.

— To those bemoaning IndyCar’s decision not to bring a street race to Providence, R.I. next season we have one word: Seriously?

Are there actually people out there that think this could be a sustainable success in Providence. Let’s remember, in 2011 a group of people who are in the business of promoting motorsports events tried to bring IndyCar back to New England with an event at New Hampshire Motor Speedway that was a popularity flop.

So why does anybody think that a group of people that have no history promoting racing are going to make a form of racing thoroughly unpopular in this region successful.

Sure you could probably get a “curiosity factor” crowd in year one, but there’s no long term hope beyond that.

— We dare the management at Thompson International Speedway at some point this weekend to play Gangnam Style over the PA.

— Yeah, Jersey Shore is a guilty pleasure ok. Sorry. We can still proudly say we’ve never watched an episode of Survivor or American Idol.

But whoever thought Jersey Shore would one day be about being sober, dealing with pregnancy, being celibate and having exclusive relationships?

— If you’ve got to sit through a rain delay in a press box at the Waterford Speedbowl, there’s fewer folks better to do it with than Peter Zanardi and Sid DiMaggio.

— Here’s hoping that Oct. 27 doesn’t prove to be the last event at the Waterford Speedbowl under the watchful eye of race director Scott Tapley.

Like any race director worth his salt, Tapley has his fair share of detractors, that comes with the territory. Many people are just programmed to dislike those who try to keep them in line.

That said, Tapley has brought a consistency, balance, fairness and transparency to officiating events at the Speedbowl that is desperately needed.

— Girl Can’t Help It. Our favorite Journey song of all time. Ok fine, it’s out there now.

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Comments

  1. Tim LeBlanc says:

    Toe Pick!

  2. Alan Claffie says:

    Nice movie picks. To wrap a couple different thoughts here up nicely, Vision Quest has a kick-ass soundtrack, kicked off with Journey's "Only the Young".

  3. First Bridesmaids, and now The Cutting Edge? Who ARE you???

  4. I enjoyed reading your blog Shawn!

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