One of the best things about watching a NASCAR race is that fans have the opportunity to listen into the complete radio discussion from every driver in a race. Sometimes other sports put out selected bits of audio from players on occasion but you get the complete unfiltered and uncensored talk as teams discuss strategy and some of the stupid things their competitors do.
If you feel NASCAR drivers are too vanilla and too boring outside the car, listen to them inside the car. Tensions are high and drivers don’t have time to watch what they say when they go 200 mph. Even Jimmie Johnson can curse like a sailor if he gets caught up in a wreck.
At Talladega, spotters typically dominate the radio because they need the radio open to let the driver know who’s all around them so they don’t crash into another driver. Crew Chiefs will come on during cautions to figure out what to do for pit stops while the drivers will tell the crew chief what adjustments they want and to talk about their fellow drivers in a not so nice way. Fox Sports has a sampling of the best audio from Talladega in their weekly “Radioactive” segment.
There’s some gems in here. It wouldn’t be a NASCAR race without tempers flaring and we got that.
On Ricky Stenhouse Jr. coming down in front of Kevin Harvick to get trash off his grill:
Kevin Harvick: “I didn’t know what the hell the 17 was doing.”
Tim Fedewa (Harvick’s spotter): “Neither did I, buddy. I had no clue there. I think he had stuff on his grill.”
Harvick: “If that’s the case, they just need to communicate if he needs back in.”
Kyle Busch: “He doesn’t know how to lead a race properly. Dumbass!”
Harvick has a point. It’s early in the race, that’s the time where drivers are more willing to let someone in line. Stenhouse’s spotter just needed to talk to Harvick’s spotter and let him know what the plan is. That maybe doesn’t happen with 20 laps to go but 20 laps in, Harvick would be willing to give him room.
On Martin Truex Jr. and Ryan Blaney getting together at the end of stage 2.
Martin Truex Jr.: “I don’t know how I saved that one. Fucking Blaney.”
Truex Jr.: “Tell the spotter to use his fucking head, driving like an ass.”
Ryan Blaney: “What the hell is the 78 mad about? He’s the one who come down on us.”
Truex Jr.: “If he does that shit again I’m just going to turn his ass.”
Seeing that sequence live, it definitely wasn’t Blaney’s fault because it seemed like Truex came down on him. If anything, it’s Truex’s fault but even that’s unfair because they’re trying to get every position they can for the end of the stage. It’s close racing and the hole closed quicker than Truex and his spotter realized.
Selected quotes during the Big One:
Eddie D’Hondt (Chase Elliott’s spotter): “Oh my God, he just spun us!”
Aric Almirola: “Hahahaha, I didn’t hit a thing!”
Chad Knaus (Jimmie Johnson’s crew chief): “Did you slide a tire JJ?”
Johnson: “No sir, I was all over the loud pedal getting the fuck out of there.”
Bowyer: “Who’d you say hooked the 24?”
Brett Griffin (Bowyer’s spotter): “Ding-a-ling.”
Mike Bugarewicz (Bowyer’s crew chief): “I just don’t know how dirty it is at the bottom of the track.”
Bowyer: “It’s probably pretty dirty. I may have sharted just a little bit.”
Bowyer’s last quote summed up restrictor plate racing. It’s 500 miles of moments like that.
In the end, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. wound up winning and his fellow competitors seemed to be surprised and happy for him. Despite what is said inside the car, most things remain in the car and the drivers are able to bury the hatchet with each other at the end of the day.
The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series heads to Kansas for the first night race of the season on Saturday night, the night before Mother’s Day. If you think drivers will be on their best behavior because it’s Mother’s Day weekend, think again.