Wire Tap: NASCAR Legends Talk Danica
Thanks to modern technology and a place called the Spy Store, I was able to do an unauthorized wiretap of a few NASCAR legends following Sunday’s qualifying for the Daytona 500.
Here it is, uncut, unedited and uncouth.
Richard Petty dials up David Pearson, Cale Yarborough, Bobby Allison and Junior Johnson on Sunday night for a conference call.
RP: “Hey I gotta talk to you guys because I’m having trouble with this Danica thing.”
CY: “What happened?”
RP: “She won the pole position.”
CY: “For the ARCA race?”
RP: “No, the Daytona 500.”
BA: “Have you been drinking King?”
RP: “No but I’m thinking seriously about starting.”
DP: “I don’t have cable, who is Danica?”
JJ: “I think she played Tom Cruise’s wife in Days of Thunder.”
RP: “No damnit, she’s the new face of NASCAR.”
DP: “You mean like Linda Vaughn?”
RP: “Good lord don’t any of you cats follow current events? No, she’s a race driver who came from Indy cars and now she’s Tony Stewart’s teammate.”
DP: “Does Bill France know about this? I don’t think women are allowed in the pits.”
CY: “Things have changed David, she was in front at the Indy 500 a few years ago.”
BA: “You mean in a pace car?”
CY: “No, in the race and she finished third or fourth.”
BA: “I must have hit my head worse than I thought.”
RP: “Listen, I’m worried about our sport and that’s why I called you cats. Before she won the pole, the biggest story all week was about Danica dating another driver.”
JJ: “Now just hold on. What in the name of Curtis Turner are you talking about?”
RP: “Danica divorced her husband and started dating the grand national champ, Ricky Stenhouse.
JJ: “Is she purty?”
RP: “Well yeah, I mean she’s an itty bitty thing but I guess most people think she’s smokin’.’”
BA: ”Then she deserves the black flag.”
RP: “No, like she’s a good-looking babe.”
DP: “Hold on. You’re trying to tell me that not only do we have a woman on the pole position of our biggest race but she’s lovey-dovey with another stock car driver?”
RP: “Fraid so.”
BA: “Me and Donnie loved beating up on Cale.”
CY: “Yeah, it took two of you to try and whip me but it didn’t work and Betty Jo hits harder than either one of you.”
JJ: “Wasn’t much of a fight but it did put us on the map as I remember.”
RP: “That’s my point. NASCAR used to be rivalries and tough guys and crashes and grudges and now its stories about dating and happiness and drafting partners.”
DP: “I was only happy when I kicked your butt King.”
RP: “Exactly. You didn’t gush about having a Top 20 car or bitch about somebody’s spotter not cooperating. You were there for one reason and that was to win. And we weren’t pals, we were rivals.”
CY: “Richard, you make it sound bad but NASCAR’s TV ratings are still damn good, second only to the NFL on a regular basis and there are still 43 cars and plenty of sponsors.”
RP: “I know, I know but I guess I’m just worried about our reputation. Our polesitter has a ponytail.”
BA: “I thought Kyle retired.”
Robin Miller brings 40 years of experience to his role as SPEED.com’s senior open-wheel reporter, and serves as a frequent contributor to SPEED Center and Wind Tunnel with Dave Despain.