Happy Hour: Should Jimmie Johnson have spoken after his Michigan engine problems?

Jay Busbee
From the Marbles

Welcome to the latest Happy Hour mailbag! You know how these work: You write us with your best rant/ joke/one-liner at happyhournascar@yahoogroups.com or on Twitter at @jaybusbee, we respond to your messages, everyone goes away with a smile on their face.

On Thursday, I am slated to watch Jeff Gordon officiate a dolphin race at the Georgia Aquarium. Thatne more reason why NASCAR is awesome. I'm hoping that one of the dolphins puts the other into the plexiglass wall. The most aggressive dolphin might just win a seat driving the 22 next year, you never know.

All right, your letters. And we begin with ... hypocrisy!

All of the whiners out there had a field day when Kyle Busch denied reporters a post-race interview after the Watkins Glen fiasco. Are they all going to come out this week since Golden Boy (aka Jimmie Johnson) refused to be interviewed after the Michigan race? I am thinking not, but anything Golden Boy does, or in this case, doesn't do is OK with NASCAR fans.

Dayna B.

Well, I'm not sure every NASCAR fan is OK with Golden Boy (more on that later), but the whole "oh my God Jimmie didn't speak to the media!" story was way overblown ... much of it, surprise surprise, coming from the media itself. Should Johnson have spoken to the media? Absolutely. Do I understand why he didn't? Yep. Probably a wise move, all things considered.

And for those screaming that the media goes after some drivers for doing this, and not Jimmie Johnson, here's the thing: certain drivers go out of their way to meet their media obligations, and others treat those obligations (which, remember, are really the fans, not the media) like a trip to the dentist. You play ball 99 times out of 100, you get that pass on the hundredth. You play ball nine times out of 100, well ...

Which brings up another point: there's also a significant contingent of NASCAR fans who have that "it's not fair!" little-kid complaint going. They scream whenever they perceive that their driver is getting treated unfairly, or that another driver is getting treated with too much love ... which means they're pretty much always screaming about unthrown penalties, unleveled criticism, unfair advantages.

Bottom line: NASCAR will never be fair, and the other guy will always be getting more love than your driver. No matter what.


[Regarding the Montreal shoe-throwing incident; letter edited WAY down]
How is it that not only NASCAR but the entire racing community, can so easily accept the victimization of a woman but not of a man? Where is the outcry from the racing community about the treachery of this act? As it currently appears, no one has championed this outcry. Fortunately, no one was injured and we didn't witness a huge pileup. Perhaps next time the object will be something more substantial than a shoe.

Dennis Johnson

Dennis had a lot going on in his letter, from alleged different treatment of women to shoe-throwers roaming free to NASCAR's indifference. Let me see if I can boil it down:

First off, I think we're past the "Danica is a gurl and gurls don't belong in no NASCAR" stage, except for the people who will never get it. She can race? Fine. She can't? Adios, ma'am. Nothing to do with gender.

As for the shoe ... well, it wasn't exactly the terroristic act that Dennis paints it, but it did cause some problems in the race. Perhaps by calling attention to it, NASCAR is afraid that we'll see copycat shoe-throwers, and maybe next time it'll be a steel-toed boot.

Besides, who's to say NASCAR didn't actually find the shoe-thrower? Not like he'd (and you know it was a he) be that hard to identify leaving Montreal. Good thing this wasn't Talladega. You know what they call a guy with one shoe there, right? Rich.


When I came across the truck race in Michigan on Speed, I was dumbfounded and laughing hysterically when I saw Michael Waltrip's hair. I was trying to figure out if it was a toupee, a bad Just for Men commercial, or a late-night infomercial for Ronco's "Great Looking Hair." Just glad to see his older brother Darrell doesn't color his hair with same product.

Steve in Orlando

Dude. The Waltrip Hair is the follicular equivalent of Chuck Norris. It can be woven into silk. It has the tensile strength of steel. Its clippings form shelters for families in disaster-ravaged regions. Do not disrespect the Waltrip Hair. Matter of fact, if you have other uses for Waltrip Hair, feel free to enlighten us in the comments below.


I hate how all networks (FOX, TNT, ESPN/ABC) allow us to listen in as the spotter for #48 says that incredibly annoying "New leader, the 48" every time Jimmie Johnson takes the lead. Was I the only one that joyfully screamed out "Blown Motor the 48" near the end of the Michigan race? I doubt it.

Eric Tackett
Pikeville, Ky.

Look, we're all jealous of the 48's success. We need to just admit it. It'll be easier in the long run.

Speaking of success, let's have this week's edition of How I'd Fix The Points ...


I'd tweak the awarding of points to give the winner of each race 100 bonus points. Then I'd move the top 12 in points into the chase, thereby doing away with the wild-cards. You can then adjust the points before the Chase starts, just like today.


Let's play this one out. Using the 100-point system (which means adding 57 points to the existing 43 you already get), your standings would look like this:

1. Jimmie Johnson, 966 points
2. Brad Keselowski, 947
3. Greg Biffle, 937
4. Tony Stewart, 899
5. Matt Kenseth, 860
6. Dale Earnhardt Jr., 858
7. Denny Hamlin, 841
8. Clint Bowyer, 814
9. Kasey Kahne, 808
10. Martin Truex Jr., 763
11. Kevin Harvick, 738
12. Ryan Newman, 737

Huh. I like that. I like that a lot. I've said that NASCAR needs to give a greater bonus for winning, and seeing it played out like that ... that's pretty much the best drivers at the top, isn't it? And Harvick and Truex, the only ones without wins on that list, are deservedly down at the bottom fighting for their playoff lives.


My wife and I saw the Mark Martin wreck Sunday. [What about using] a SAFER Barrier gate? Watkins Glen has a barrel full of water on the entrance of pit road. Could that also work as well?

-No Name Given-

I'd be surprised if tracks don't implement something to help blunt the impact of car on concrete. Maybe a SAFER Barrier would work, and maybe something as simple as angled concrete walls. But clearly, there are still holes where danger lurks. And yes, I'd be all over putting water barrels at various spots along every track. A car hits one of those, it's the only bath some fans are going to get all year! (Ha ha ha oh please don't kill me fans please)

And on that note, we're out. Thanks to all our writers this week. You want in? Fire up the computer and hit us with whatever's on your mind, NASCAR-wise, at happyhournascar@yahoogroups.com. You can find Yahoo! Sports' NASCAR coverage on Facebook right here, and you can follow me on Twitter at @jaybusbee and on Facebook here. Make sure to tell us where you're from. We'll make you famous!