View Full Version : Cheap SHOTS

09-17-2006, 04:02 PM
I can't remember when I saw a more flagrant cheap shot than the one Rusty Turbush took at our driver last night. Without any warning at all, he deliberately right-turned the #44 into the wall just past the exit gate in Turn 3. That's bush-league.

And so was the response of the officials, who left the green up until the #44 came to a stop near the entry gate. In a post-race discussion, the officials told us that they put the yellow out right away. That's baloney. As the #44 bounced off the wall, I glanced over to my right and saw the green light still displayed on the frontstretch. I then looked back at the car, which was still rolling toward a stop near the gate. Only then did the caution come out.

The officials took away Tommy Walkowiak's points last week for a lot less than what happened in the Charger race last night. Their excuse for penalizing Tommy was "rough driving." What Turbush did last night went way beyond "rough driving." And, after a low-rent dirty move like he pulled, what was Rusty's punishment? They stopped him in the "bad-boy square" and sent him to the back of the field. Wow! And that was after the SECOND incident he was involved in.

There is NO EXCUSE for the officials to allow the deliberate wrecking of a driver. The Chief Steward told me after the race, "In NEXTEL Cup, they wreck each other all the time." SO WHAT? Sure they do, that's what they do for a living. The top guys in NASCAR are insured for millions of dollars, and they're racing for other millions, not for $225.00 and a plastic trophy. Thanks to corporate sponsorship, a NEXTEL Cup driver's family isn't going to go hungry if something happens to him. Our drivers aren't so lucky. Most or all of them all have to hold down jobs to support their families and racing programs, and every one of them puts their life on the line whenever they strap in to the cars. What happens to them and their families if they are injured (or, God forbid) worse, some idiot gets his panties in a twist and decides to take out the guy outside of him by deliberately right-turning him into a concrete wall? They deserve better than officials who proclaim that what happens on the track is "between the drivers."

In a discussion after the race, the officials blamed the nonsense in the Charger Division on the "mix of experienced drivers and inexperienced drivers." Well, last night, the inexperienced drivers weren't to blame. The guy who turned the race into a travesty is one of the most experienced drivers in the history of the division and the raceway.

The officials also asked for understanding of the fact that there's always so much going on that they can't see everything. Yeah, well this one happened right in front of the tower! I know a little about being a sports official; I was a hockey referee for 18 years. And, as I told the Chief Steward last night, in ONE PERIOD of a typical game, I made more calls than he does in a whole night--on the spot, with nobody else's help, and while I was on the move in the rink, not up in the stands.

When I officiated, I took into consideration that the players I worked for, like our drivers, were not pros. If they were high-school kids, they had their whole lives ahead if them. If they were adults playing in a recreational league, they had families to support, mortgages to pay, and jobs to go to. In all the years I officiated, only one player got seriously injured, and that was because he lost his balance on his own, fell into the boards, and cracked his kneecap.

Out of respect for the players and the game, I always called if firm BUT FAIR, without FEAR or FAVOR.

Can the Chief Steward say the same?

09-17-2006, 08:10 PM
Yeah I think also that the 37 should have been penalized because of his actions on the track during and after the race towards Lutz. Brake checking him hard in the middle of the front stretch. Also, after the race, slamming him in the rear and nailing the gas, that isn't the act of a champion in my eyes. I like both guys, Ratti and Lutz, but I think that was just tasteless on Ratti's Part. It's unusal, because he usually isn't like that.

The Bullfather
09-17-2006, 08:27 PM
Hey don't worry we hear Ratti's response as to why he did what he did on Lap 4 on this week Pitbull!

09-17-2006, 08:44 PM

I didn't see any of the shenanigans between the #37 and the #36. I was sorta preoccupied with the crap going on in our area of the race field. The bank shot courtesy of Rusty T. off the Turn 3 wall was the second cheap shot that Henry got last night. The first one was by "The Beav" (between Turns 3 & 4) earlier in the race. Earlier in the season, "The Beav" dumped Henry in precisely the same spot (that time, at least, he apologized) --so when I saw the #44 entering Turn 3 with the #47 sticking his nose under the #44's rear end, I said to myself "Oh, no--not again." As if Beaver heard me, sure enough, he dug the nose right under the rear, mashed the gas, and around went the #44. resulting in a broken radiator and a trip to the pit. It was only through the great efforts of the pit crew (and also a lot of help from Dennis Freese of Oval Speed) that the #44 got back on the track at all.

Between what you saw and what I saw, maybe I should have titled the thread "Cheap SHOTS!"

W. J.
09-17-2006, 08:52 PM
Between what you saw and what I saw, maybe I should have titled the thread "Cheap SHOTS!"
Presto, it's now what you suggested.

09-18-2006, 03:10 PM
Jim (unowho243), I guess you didn't know what happened last week after the main for you to come up with that statement. Ratti was just letting Eric know that he wasn't happy with him about protest and taking the motor out of car. He didn't spin him out, or plant Eric in the wall, as Ratti has more sense than that, so no need to even mention that silly statement. They both put on a great show all year long for the top spot, their crews deserve excellent credit for having the cars in top shape every week, both drivers deserve most improved driver of the year award if they had one.
But Eric doesn't need that black mark next to his name because of that protest, we all know that wasn't Eric's call. So Jim, give them the credit they deserve, not negetive. Either one I still would have been proud of to hand over the torch of CHARGER 2006 CHAMPION.
Retired Charger Champion, 2003, 04, and 05--Dan Turbush.

P.S.-- Jim, funny statement-- 2nd camera man protests your camera because you always get your pictures on the Jam and not his. So they take camera and open it up and take apart, maybe find something illegal because you take great shots, or maybe can't put it back together in time for following week, so that gives 2nd camera man top billing and all his shots are on the Jam the next week.

09-18-2006, 09:39 PM
Well now that you put it that way Dan lol.

Charlie's Angel
09-19-2006, 10:37 AM
I have to agree with Dan. Steve and Eric both ran a great run this season. It could have went either way and I think either one would have been a great champion. Congrats to Steve Ratti and congrats to Eric. You both did a fantastic job the whole year. And Eric you know that I appreciate the changes you've made this year. Thanks for the great racing. You're a champion in your own right!! See you next year.

09-19-2006, 02:29 PM
The 36 & 37 both did have great seasons...and I know "IF" is the biggest word in the dictionary, but what "IF" Tribuzio didn't break his elbow? Outcome could have been completely different.

09-20-2006, 12:20 PM
He could have had a chance going into the last night if he didn't break his axle the week before and got dead last.

Short & Simple
09-20-2006, 03:24 PM
Why can't we all just get along?

Tower Man
09-20-2006, 05:51 PM
Because people would rather complain.

Yes the 44 team was upset and in my opinion, rightfully so. However, what is an official to do after the fact? I am sure if it was my car I would be upset too, no doubt. I was on the ramp with them and, sorry, I didn't see it. And 44 owner, I know you a long time, but I just didn't see it. And I know they called for the caution as soon as it happened.

See you at the P.O. one of these evenings.

09-20-2006, 07:16 PM
Joe--Thanks for adding your comments to this thread. I know you guys can't see everything, but I stand by my version of what happened. I know what I saw.

A lively exchange has occurred between myself and a member of the #54 crew on the private email board during the last several days. I won't identify the person involved-it's up to him whether he wants to go public with his justification of Rusty's actions. Among the several reasons he has offered are: 1.) Rusty was "making room," 2.) It was "payback," although for what he didn't specify, 3.) The #54 was faster that the #44 and the #44 should have let him by, and 4.) The #44 was "chopping" the #54 (Rusty discussed this with our owner) and said that he was being "pinched,"--pinched, or chopped, I guess everyone gets the idea.

I'll deal with this last thing first. If the #44 was really chopping the #54 down, the ideal time to do it would have been as they were both overtaking the lapped #88 as he approached Turn 3. Henry could have used the 88 as a "pick" and forced Rusty to do one of two things; either 1.) Lift and fall in line behind the #44, or 2.) plow into the #88's rear end. Neither thing happened; instead, Henry moved up the track in order to give both cars a chance to pass the #88 safely. Apparently, that wasn't enough for Rusty. It doesn't take any talent at all to "make room" by smashing the other guy into the wall, but it sure is effective.

As for the #54 being the "faster" car: He had the inside, and yet he couldn't get by a supposedly "slower" car, even on the straightaway? That's a real stretch.

In addition, the matter of "racing etiquette" presents itself, and apparently
another party to this discussion is totally uninformed in that area. That was only Turbush's 2nd start in the Charger Division this season. Obviously, he was not in the running for a top spot in the final standings. That being the case, and with him being a very experienced racer who should know better, why didn't he stay out of the way of the top cars in the points? In addition to getting involved with the #44, he also had an earlier incident with the #36. It has recently come to my attention that when you were Chief Steward, and the season was coming to an end, you told the drivers in no uncertain terms that any driver who was out of the points race was expected to stay out of the way of the top contenders, and anyone who didn't would be black-flagged off the track. I don't know if anyone caught the incident between the #44 and the #54 on video, but if anyone did and you get a chance to see it, you might be inclined to agree that what happened justified an ejection from the race.

09-20-2006, 08:43 PM
In defense of the dirty driver. I assume nobody saw the cars being hooked together down that famous back straightaway either . Usually three wide doesn't work up there and you lose it all together. Finally, 54 passed more cars than anybody Sat. night 3 times front to rear. Always two sides to a story. JMO

Tower Man
09-21-2006, 05:30 AM
Actually three sides to a story...your version, their version and what actually happened. Most people look at things subjectively and don't look at all the facts and the big picture. Like I said earlier, I did not see the incident and I am not making judgement here. It happened. All parties involved see it their way and nobody is going to agree here.

09-21-2006, 07:34 AM
I agree TOWER MAN,

I think on that note you summed it up...