Keep NASCAR Scanners Private

Filed under: NASCAR 

Stop Eavesdropping on Dale Jr

Both Tony Stewart and Dale Earnhardt Jr have sparked firestorms recently with comments they’ve made to their crew chiefs over their teams 2-way radios.

Dale Earnhardt Jr said “We need a security guard over there watching those son of a b______!” Right after his pit crew installed a bad set of tires at New Hampshire Sunday. “I can’t figure out why we keep f___ing up,” Junior ranted.

Tony Stewart chided his crew a week earlier at Richmond after losing to Jimmie Johnson. “Good job, guys. We gave another one away today. Great job.”

Both drivers defended their comments by trying to claim that these conversations were private conversations between driver and team.

I guess they failed to notice that half the fans sitting in the grandstands had on a headset tuned in to those private conversations.

Well, here’s a suggestion. If race teams really want to keep their communications private they should stop giving out their radio frequencies for public consumption.

That’s right – keep the frequencies private and they can have a private conversation. Right now you can easily find the frequencies on one major racing site.

This will eliminate those embarrassing moments when a driver opens his mouth in the heat of the moment and fires off an insult about his tire changer, the crew chief, another driver, a NASCAR official, or that fan in turn 1 that just showed the driver he was number one in their heart .

Sure, the crew will still hear the tirades, cursing and complaining – but at least the words won’t be magnified by media scrutiny.

A little privacy might bring a competitive advantage, too.

Crew chiefs would be free to make strategy calls without competitors eavesdropping. If they want to call for a gas only stop late in the race why let everyone up and down pit road know about it?

Speedway owners may be a little cool to this idea, however. They make a small fortune renting headsets on race day.

Sirius satellite radio has a several driver to crew channels where listeners can tune in to their favorite driver during the race. They may not like the idea.

On fans can sign up for Trackpass and hear the drivers during the race. They may not want to lose this feature either.

But if it increases competition on the race track I’m all for it. Let’s give the guys a little privacy.

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Photo Courtesy Hendrick Motorsports




25 Comments on Keep NASCAR Scanners Private

  1. Marilyn on
  2. I guess NASCAR will do what they want to do- even if it wrong—–so listening over radios will continue and if a person does not like what they hear—they will have to turn the radio off and watch the race. If owners and crew chiefs work together for a reason—so be it, if they have words—so be it. They all will work out their problems and go on. What was so great years ago was everyone just enjoyed the racing and left the communication to the crews,drivers and owners. Oh where are those days??????

  3. Sandy on
  4. so what if the drivers want to throw that love word and a few other choice sayings out there in the heat of a race. what about other sports, they all do it you just can’t hear what they say but if your a lip reader you get an ear full. maybe they could take out their fears and frustrations by slammin into another car

  5. Steve on
  6. You didn’t mention Direct TV Hotpass where fans pay $100 a season so they can watch and listen to conversations between the driver and crew. If the crew is worried some one will steal the pit plan, then start using code for what they plan to do just like a football play
    8 T would be change all four tires and so on.

  7. Marlene on
  8. If people are going to listen to the drivers conversations, then they should handle what ever is said!!!!!!!No one asked these people to listen in… It’s the drivers “Office” they don’t have a choice to throw you out or they would, If you don’t like it and think it is raw to your ears, THEN DON”T TUNE IN!!!!!! It’s just that simple!!!!They don’t have time to worry about your singed ears!!!!!!

  9. Duffy Spies on
  10. Marilyn, those days are gone until the fans, drivers, and owners get fed up with NASCAR and start their own league.
    Pray for the day but don’t hold your breath.
    Integrity and intestinal fortitude only go so far.

  11. Penny on
  12. I agree, if the fire gets too hot don’t listen in. The drivers get fired up for good reasons and the only people to take it out on is their crew chiefs. Like Dale Jr has said, Tony has broad shoulders but when all is said and done they are cousins and they work well together, so turn off your sets if you are offended.

  13. myrna perkins on
  14. It is my opinion that NASCAR makes a lot of money from people who rent the scanners. Is that so? If it is then I imagine the drivers have no say in who listens to them. I don’t like to hear #$+? all the time so I don’t rent them. Also I think it is one thing to listen but another for the media to play it over and over and try to make a stink out of it. Most days I hate the media.

  15. barbara on
  16. Yes,I agree, those who listen SHOULD NOT BE COMPLAINING, as boys (men) will be boys, and don’t bring the kids in this because they probably hear worse or whatever at school. Also
    the girls who are interested in racing, THEY SHOULD NOT COMPLAIN either because they are entering a guys world. grammy66

  17. ACEfromTN on
  18. I also agree that you listen to the driver’s communications at your own risk.

    If teams want privacy, then they’ll have to start using scrambled communications. Since, with a few exceptions for military and public safety use, the airwaves are free for all in the U.S., someone will always be able to listen in on those communications. All they will need is a scanner radio even if they don’t know the frequency.

    However, NA$CAR, the track owners, and its media partners would not likely give up a lucrative revenue stream. I’d hate to be in the shoes of the first owner who tried to scramble their communications.

    I almost forgot that some clever people might be able to hack a “scrambled” communications system. I think the only answer for the teams is to use “code” for what they want to do.

  19. Marilyn on
  20. Duffy: I agree with you and know “those” days are long gone. I have to look back and wish once in a while—

  21. Howie MotorsportsPhotography on
  22. Actually NASCAR does not make a dime off scanner rentals, they are private companys

    Howie, NASCAR doesn’t actually do the renting of the scanners or the broadcasting of the radio traffic across MRN and Sirius.

    But I doubt that these companies renting the scanners would be there if they weren’t paying a fee to someone.

    MRN sells it’s broadcast rights to Sirius.

    MRN was founded by Bill France. JC France and Lesa Kennedy France sit on the board of ISC – which controls MRN.

    Brian France owns a chunk of ISC as well as being CEO of NASCAR.

    You can bet that NASCAR is getting some money out of the deal somewhere.

  23. Donna on
  24. People who complain about what is being said on the radios are using double standards. In fact, they are usually the ones that have said the same thing or worse but only see it as bad if someone else says it.

  25. ellen on
  26. Well.. I have a TV over the satillite provider and I get the “HotPass” I find that lately the drivers must be using a different channel to broadcast in most occassion. The only thing this special thing gives me is continuous picture of the race during the annoying commurcials. I feel it is not worth renewing next year. I have always watched the race for the past twenty years with no incite into the interaction between driver and crew and have found it to be MORE exciting then in this new capacity called “Hot Pass”. Guess what? You drivers and you pit stop and crew members…..I’m dropping my “Hot Pass” and going back to the old days!!!! (Ouch those commercials… but worth it for my drivers) :-)

  27. Cindy on
  28. Everyone says things when they are mad,upset,and frustrated that they don’t mean personally.That’s just being “Normal”.
    If EVERYONE in the world would just worry about there own business and whether or not what they say is appropriate instead of what other people do and say it would be a more better place for everybody.

  29. Jo Lynn on
  30. I love to listen to them getting all fired up! They wouldn’t be human if they didn’t. Hotpass cuts out the cuss words on TV. Let them say what they want, they have a right to. Put anyone in their situation and see if they don’t sling a few out there.

  31. Deborah on

    Wake up people if you don’t like the words Dale Jr an Tony Eury use stay out of the kitchen. I am sure you have heard worse. I know on your job you may have said the same thing just worded different. Thanks Gertrude

  33. Chet on
  34. The suggestion that drivers and pit crews use codes like the NFL is a great idea. Besides, what NASCAR fan hasn’t heard the salty language used by these guys in everyday life? It just adds to the reality of the sport.

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