PETTY: Here’s what I say that’s a commentary on. (Larry said recently) Earnhardt left a void that nobody’s filled. That’s what you said.
McREYNOLDS: Pretty much.
PETTY: I agree with Larry. Earnhardt left a void that hasn’t been filled. Richard Petty left a void that hasn’t been filled. Darrell Waltrip. Cale Yarborough. Those drivers left voids that haven’t been filled. The problem we have today is if … I go take the top 12 drivers in points and line them all up and ask them a question, they’re all going to give me the same soundbite except for Juan Montoya. Which tells me that now I’ve got 12 drivers that are really one talking head against Dale Earnhardt selling. So Dale Earnhardt is still going to outsell these guys because they’re all the same guy. I can buy 99, I can buy 24, I can buy 48, I can buy 11. It doesn’t make any difference. I’m buying the same guy. I’m buying the same personality.
People say we don’t have a Jimmy Spencer. We don’t have personalities. We have a personality. It’s an a typical, a political
McREYNOLDS: A predictable.
PETTY: It’s very predictable. ... Tony (Stewart) ventured out there and they slapped his hand. Kyle (Busch) ventures out there, everybody hates him. You look at it. I don’t know if it’s the sport or the fans or what it is, but I think part of it is the personality. What’s driving the personality as much as anything else is the sponsor dollars and the TV and all the things that we always hoped and dreamed and wished we had. Now that we got them, we don’t know what to do with them because we’re not controlling them. They’re controlling us.
Earnhardt was the last of that era who he was what he was when TV got here and it didn’t change him. Everybody else are products of the TV generation. They are the TV generation.
SPENCER: Watch all these young drivers coming up. Joey Logano. Anybody that is under 23 or 24 years old. I watched this (Paulie) Harraka (from Camping World West series) last night. They’ve got their hair cut perfect. They’re shaved. I didn’t know they could shave. And these kids are so concerned about being a Sprint Cup driver that they’ve lost focus on what they’re supposed to do.
You know what they’re supposed to do? They’re supposed to freaking race and win. You’re supposed to come in here and if you push that guy out of the way, say that I really didn’t mean to do that but that’s part of racing and I won. These guys have lost focus on trying to win races. Old man Earnhardt didn’t care who it was. He tried to win the race.
McREYNOLDS: It didn’t matter if it was his own race car.
SPENCER: He tried to win the race. We have lost focus on winning races and it goes to show that all these young kids coming along, they only have one thing in mind. I can get a Cup ride. I can’t ruffle no feathers.
PETTY: Let me ask you this, how many times, because I laugh, I just laugh at this, is how many times do you think on a Sunday afternoon or Monday morning that David Pearson or Richard Petty or Cale Yarborough, Bobby Allison or any of those or Dale Earnhardt got up and (said) I better call that guy and apologize for hitting him yesterday. I feel really bad.
SPENCER: It makes me sick.
PETTY: How many times do you think that happens. My God! They got up Monday morning and looked in the mirror, laughed and went to work. That’s the way it was. Because you know what, they had the trophy sitting in the living room and they had the check going in the bank. That’s what they went to the race track for. I’m sorry. It’s a different …
PETTY: … Because they feel like you have to apologize because, oh that guy is paying me $15 million, I’ve got to make my fans happy.
McREYNOLDS: Some of the biggest disappointments I’ve had this year was at Martinsville when (Jimmie) Johnson knocked (Denny Hamlin) out of the way (to win) and Denny basically, he apologized in his interview. What is he doing?
PETTY: You never would have heard that.
McREYNOLDS: It’s like, wait a minute you got knocked out of the way.
PETTY: I think that’s a commentary on the drivers and … I’m not blaming all the drivers, let me be real clear. I think that’s who they feel they have to be to succeed in this industry.
McREYNOLDS: But NASCAR started a big part of it. You know what? The analogy I’ve used, you can whip that dog and whip that dog and whip that dog for chewing that whatever up. You just can’t one day just all of a sudden one day say I’m not going to whip you any more if you chew. Go ahead and chew. That (dang) dog is going to say ... I ain’t chewing it.
PETTY: That’s a good analogy, too.
This is the final segement of Frankly Speakly. Take the opinions for what they worth -- three men talking about the sport.
So, what do you think of what they said about driver personalities? Agree or disagree?
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