Keep NASCAR Scanners Private

September 17, 2008 by · 25 Comments
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 NASCAR.com 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

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