Tuesday, August 12, 2008

NAPA needs a new driver, Waltrip is not fit!

Something is very, very wrong with Michael Waltrip. The friendly, likable guy that I used to think was a pretty cool dude has left the building. His angry diatribe attacking David Gilliland on his show Monday night was another example of how far off the diving board he has fallen. His rant makes me think he has hit his head one too many times on the bottom of the pool. The anger was made even worse as David was not there to respond, and placed fellow panel member, Greg Biffle, into an uncomfortable position of not being given an opportunity to defend a fellow Ford driver.

I will give Mikey a bit of consideration. He left Watkins Glen with his car wrecked, another car a lap down, and his rookie being called to the NASCAR 'Oval Office' to discuss a horrific accident that took NINE cars out of the race. They have one car barely in the Top 35 and one that is NOT in the top 35. It is entirely possible that the stress of his car ownership has pushed his stress level to the max.

But, I think that he is showing that he is an angry, angry man. He has problems in his personal life. His business is struggling. He has lost one major sponsor, and only has a one year renewal on his long time sponsor, NAPA. It appears he only has enough sponsors for two cars next year.

It looks like he is deflecting his anger away from his own problems and redirecting them at the target known as David Gilliland. He is probably angry and jealous that he is failing in his business model and he is seeing that Doug is having success with the new team and with a lean business model, especially after Mikey was so gleeful after wrestling UPS and Dale Jarrett away from Robert Yates Racing. I think that Mikey's shop and fan experience has turned into a financial drain. I think he is still smarting from the NASCAR sanctions of cheating from early in 2006.

I need to remember to chalk it all up to a buffoon who has made his living on being a class clown. That show of his is the only thing he has left where he has a voice. He uses it to rant and rail against the supposed injustices of the World Against Mikey. However, he should realize that the court of NASCAR Opinion is firmly on David's side, judging from what I am reading all across the internet.

Forgive me if I take a moment to respond with a few rants of my own:

  • David Gilliland did not have a scratch on his car until he was shoved out of the way in Turn 11. He did not have any issues with McDowell before the accident happened. It only happened because the 00 needed to catch the 84 car.
  • David Gilliland is NOT worried about his ride, unlike Mikey worried about his company or the MWR drivers. (How interesting that McDowell is out of his ride for more than one race!)
  • David Gilliland, a class act over this whole deal, responded to Mikey's allegations by saying (on Sirius Speedway Tuesday afternoon) " Even when we were in the trailer with NASCAR, and we were watching the replay, (McDowell) said 'Oh , I didn’t even realize he was out there!' I don’t know if Michael Waltrip needed to be in the NASCAR trailer to hear his driver say that."
  • McDowell spent the remaining laps fretting over the finish of AJ Allmendingers car, which is ahead of them in owner's points. In hindsight, it certainly appears that he had orders to get through as much traffic as he could, to get as high as he could.
  • If it weren't for the safety of the COT, there could have been some very hurt drivers! It is time to put to rest the fact that the drivers are not 100% happy with the way the car handles. Because today, we have several drivers who are 100% alive after bad wrecks.
I sincerely hope that Michal Waltrip can find his way back to being an affable fun-loving guy. However I have no hopes for it, as he has already run into a brick wall, one made from several brick built on his own idiocy.

Or, he could just be showing that he is, after all, a huge ass!



calorchard said...

You go gal !!!! give em heck !

Anonymous said...

I was so disgusted with Michael Waltrip's performance on the show Monday night and his comments about David Gilliland. I would feel the same no matter which driver it was that had been in David's position. I used to be a Mikey fan. Now I will go out of my way to avoid any sponsor that supports him. No more "Get the door it's Domino's" or NAPA auto parts! No Aaron's close by here - I must be the Lucky Dawg! I'll say a prayer for ya Mikey. Looks like you got some issues to deal with.

Anonymous said...

I hope Reuit has an out clause in his contract... Oh wait - they don't usually make provisions for if your boss is an idiot do they...

Anonymous said...

It's understandable that fans are going to get upset when they feel that their favorite driver(s) are wronged but some of the reactions by some fans seem pretty excessive. A sponsor boycott because Michael expressed an opinion they don't agree with about a racing incident? It's great to be a loyal fan who is willing to defend one's driver, but some of the reactions are so completely over-the-top that I wonder what potential Yates Racing sponsors might be thinking if they were to come across some of it.

I didn't agree with Michael's assessment of the incident, but I think he (and Randy Lajoie who apparently made similar remarks on Nascar Now) should be able to say what he thinks, even if "the court of Nascar opinion" is on David's side. Drivers (or owners) shouldn't have to only say what fans find agreeable.

Anonymous said...

Hey anonymous 5:49, I think that you have forgotten that marketing is everything for these sponsors. If Napa or the other sponsors have to 'put out fires' from the actions of a driver, it could indeed impact their evaluation of their money.

And as far as Randy LaJoie and the rest of the ESPN team, don't forget that even Dale Jarret admitted his first assessment of David being at fault was changed. DJ was man enough to admit he looked at it again, and changed his mind.

As far as potential Yates sponsors, how much harm was done by Mikey's frothing-at-the-mouth rant against David. THAT is why the fans are angry. Reasonable discussion is one thing, malicious, one-sided ranting is another.

Anonymous said...

Seems like the only ranting that's being done is by Yates fans. Given the amount of insults, name-calling and even a threat to go to Raceworld by someone to express their anger in person, if there's any fires to be put out it's going to be by Travis and David with their own fans. NAPA loves the attention that Michael gets them and some of you are doing a great job of making sure he gets a lot of it this week.

okla21fan said...

Just as 'anonymous 5:49' feels that drivers should be able to voice their opinions, fans should have that same right. And if the fans feels strongly enough to write/boycott said driver's sponsors, so be it.

A common premise among the pundits is that NASCAR fans are some of the most loyal to product branding, and based upon this premise, I would say that NAPA would take any negative feedback coming from a group of fans as a serious issue. Just as the same reason why NAPA went with Waltrip in the first place, fan appreciation. But over time the longevity of that appreciation can waver.

Anonymous said...

There's been a year and a half of negativity directed towards Michael and MWR in relation to things far more significant than his opinion about a racing incident and NAPA still re-signed.

NAPA hasn't stuck with Michael because of fan appreciation - it's about his ability to create brand awareness and get them exposure.

okla21fan said...

There is something odd about NAPA's approach to the ad campaigns with Waltrip. It seems they thrive on the lack of on track performance and making Waltrip (for better terms)look like a dufus. From 'I am at the wrong track', to the 'talking bird' the common theme is similar. So i guess it would be a natural if NAPA chose to continue this for another year or so.

Waltrip is not the only driver in CUP with this stigma, as 'my driver' is just as guilty (and yes, I think it hurts his credibility as well)