Saturday, November 24, 2007

Mikey, Won't you Please Shut up??

The NASCAR CTS is easily the best pro racing going. They actually had a championship RACE down to the wire, and not a points runaway. That said, it was so unfortunate that Toyota Mouthpiece Michael Waltrip was on hand to help 'call' the race for SpeedTV. Mikey didn't make the Cup race field (AGAIN -- how many Cup races did he make this year? Rumor has it that he had to refund $300,000 to Toyota for each race he missed), so the geniuses (or is it genii) at SpeedTV once again kept him around to help broadcast the Truck race finale at Homestead, FL. All too often this year, we've had to put up with Waltrip in the booth. For this race, what was particularly annoying was that, shy of hoping to plant a grenade in Hornaday's truck, Waltrip was overtly rooting for Hornaday to blow up, crash or have problems on the track. At times, Mikey sounded like he was wired on Red Bull or something; it's one thing to be excited and enjoy a race and quite another to spend most of your air time trying to predict an accident for one of the championship contenders. I love it when announcers are sincere and don't play a party line. Unfortunately, Mikey always seems to have an agenda when he's in the booth providing commentary.

I have never heard such a trite, unprofessional job of calling a race before tonight. What promised to be (and was--if one could ignore Waltrip's commentary) a superb ending to the CTS with the down-to-the-wire finish between Ron Hornaday and Mike Skinner was dismally blotted by Waltrip's commentary. Obviously devastated that his beloved Toyotas were not going to win the CTS championship. Even with less than 20 laps to go, and Skinner in 35th place (out of 36 trucks), well, you have to admit that Waltrip was loyal to the bitter end. And, it must have been bitter for him, since Hornaday won the championship in typical Hornaday championship style.

Waltrip's comments seemed to be over-the-top pathetic in trying to root for his Toyota favorite. The only good thing about the end of the truck racing season is that we don't have to listen to Michael's whining and whimpering any more.

Congratulations to Ron Hornaday and the Kevin/Delana Harvick-owned 33 team for a fantastic finish. Hornaday is a true champion and deserved the championship this season.