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Monday, July 28, 2014

Ryan Newman is NASCAR's Rodney Dangerfield

Ryan Newman #31
Ryan Newman #31 (Photo credit: CANDID1PHOTO)
 Ryan Newman gets no respect

When Ryan Newman ran his qualifying lap Saturday, who knew? Despite posting the second fastest run at the time, Newman was one of the few, if not the only driver that wasn't shown on television. 

I was watching, waiting for him, but never did get a glimpse of the red and white #31. It was merely announced that Newman placed second. I an so tired of not seeing his lap. And, this isn't the first time.


As usual, Newman's on-track performance took a back seat to other more important broadcasting priorities. There must have been a commercial or a vital interview.  ESPN is not the only network; FOX likes to ignore Newman too. I wish Newman's fans would start calling them on it. 

NASCAR broadcasters need to do a better job, to at least appear unbiased, if they ever expect to be taken seriously. A reputation in journalism, like any other profession, needs to be earned. 

Indianapolis Motor Speedway
Indianapolis Motor Speedway (Photo credit: kagilbert45)
Newman is smart and witty. He has an incredible sense of humor that I, for one, would like to see more of. Newman speaks his mind though, NASCAR doesn't like that. For NASCAR, it is all about control. Perhaps NASCAR should realize that attitude lacks traction with the viewing public. Perhaps it is NASCAR itself that keeps fans from filling those seats at race venues. It was shocking how many empty seats there were at Indy during the Brickyard 400.


It is somewhat ironic that ESPN should ignore Newman, since he was last year's Brickyard winner. Until Kevin Harvick qualified, Newman held the track speed record. Imagine this year's coverage, had Dale Earnhardt, Jr. won last year...

Sunday's race

While Sunday's race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway did not end quite the way I wanted--with a second consecutive victory for Ryan Newman and his #31 Quicken Loans car--Jeff Gordon deserves congratulations for a well-executed race. His fifth career win at Indy is impressive.

Newman, who ultimately finished in the top 12 fought hard to better his track position all day. With an error in his first green flag pit stop, he lost positions that were difficult to make back up. But, his perseverance will keep him eligible to make the Chase for the Championship, as of now.