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What is the worst pre-internet take you've ever heard?

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  • What is the worst pre-internet take you've ever heard?

    Thanks to a submission from happyscrappy-t in the "Things you didn't hear at a race track 30 years ago" thread for accidentally reminding me of this take and giving me the idea for this thread.

    Back in 1996, a magazine(can't recall which, sorry) published a letter they had received in late 1995 about the CART/IRL divide. Now... I can't adequately summarize the full contents of the letter without risking a ban. It was that bad - I can't for the life of me figure out why ANY magazine would publish something like it. So instead of summarizing the overall letter, I'll summarize the points it made that show it to be by far and away the worst take I have ever seen pre-internet(and to be honest, I haven't seen many worse takes in the era of the internet).

    DISCLAIMER: I was 15 when this "letter" was published, so there is a chance I could be conflating multiple crazy ramblings into one, particularly with my inability to recall which magazine it was published in. But I do distinctly recall all of these points being in letters sections in the same timeframe(May 1996), and they're ALL bad takes even on their own(I know for certain claim Blogs was stated by MANY people through the eyars, in fact), so I apologize if I have combined some separate things in my memory, but I'm gonna stick to my recollection since they're all good examples to bring up for purposes of this thread.

    1) The IRL will bring fans to the Indy 500, which according to the writer had been "devoid of fans in the stands" since 1982.
    2) Blamed the above on the Unser/Andretti finishing controversy from the previous year.
    3) Claimed CART decided to take the 1981 win from Andretti.
    4) Claimed Formula One was on the verge of collapse.
    5) Leveled several accusations against Roger Penske that run the risk of getting me banned if mentioned at all. (this is NOT a criticism of the TF moderators - we're talking accusations so vile that ANY reasonable forum mod would be hesitant to allow open discussion)
    6) Claimed top CART teams baselessly sued smaller teams to drain their resources and prevent them from competing.
    7) Claimed the 25/8 rule was an act of genius that would prevent the 500 from being "poisoned" by the taint of CART's "cartel."
    8) Claimed every CART team would defect to the IRL by the start of the season
    9) Claimed CART was guilty of racketeering but paid of investigators to avoid prosecution.
    10) Claimed that NASCAR feared the formation of the IRL.

    The lack of any mention of he US 500 tells me it was sent before CART announced the Indy boycott, though the "defection" claim feels like something asserted in response to the boycott announcement.

    I WANT to believe this was a letter meant to satirize what some IRL supporters said at the time - it would certainly make sense why it was published if that was the intent. But the way the letter was written, including a detailed analysis of the 1981 Indy 500 controversy that was fairly accurate save for attributing things to CART instead of USAC and coming to a ridiculous conclusion about what it all meant, came off as dead serious, and the accusations against Roger Penske involved things that even in the mid-90s no sane person would run the risk of printing for a satirical piece. Had the overall letter not come off as the ramblings of a crazy person, it genuinely could have harmed Penske.

    So that is the worst take of the pre-internet era I've ever seen, and still one the worst takes I've ever seen overall. I've only been closely following motorsports since 1993, so I'm sure there's other stories you've heard that are just as bad or worse. What have you all got to share?

  • #2
    That Bobby Allison lost the 1982 NASCAR championship because someone out in the sticks at Riverside was shooting his tyres out.
    "An emphasis was placed on drivers with road racing backgrounds which meant drivers from open wheel, oval track racing were at a disadvantage. That led Tony George to create the IRL." -Indy Review 1996

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    • #3
      Originally posted by ensign14 View Post
      That Bobby Allison lost the 1982 NASCAR championship because someone out in the sticks at Riverside was shooting his tyres out.
      ... Question: Was this take heard before or after the season 4 Knight Rider episode that featured this exact thing occurring at the Riverside CART race?

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      • #4
        Originally posted by ensign14 View Post
        That Bobby Allison lost the 1982 NASCAR championship because someone out in the sticks at Riverside was shooting his tyres out.
        I thought a saboteur put sugar in his gas tank too. Boy that guy was paranoid.

        Of course he won the Daytona 500 that year by tack-welding his rear bumper on so it would be easily jettisoned with a nudge by another car (which caused a crash that could've been nasty) and cruised the rest of the way with a car 75lbs. light and far superior aero...
        I live my life 4.048 miles at a time.

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        • #5
          If it is the worst,at least in a certain manner, but it is the most shocking for me:


          The suggestion that the accident of Rudolf Carracciola in 1946 being caused not because of hitting a bird but being hit by something aimed at his direction.
          His nationality having something to do with this.

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          • #6
            "The IRL will never turn a wheel"
            Center Grove Trojans
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            • #7
              Originally posted by ensign14 View Post
              That Bobby Allison lost the 1982 NASCAR championship because someone out in the sticks at Riverside was shooting his tyres out.
              Was that the same shooter that shot out Swervin' Irvin's tire at the inaugural Brickyard to give Jeff Gordon the win?
              Chicago Blackhawks done didn't do it again!

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              • #8
                Originally posted by dalz View Post

                I thought a saboteur put sugar in his gas tank too. Boy that guy was paranoid.

                Of course he won the Daytona 500 that year by tack-welding his rear bumper on so it would be easily jettisoned with a nudge by another car (which caused a crash that could've been nasty) and cruised the rest of the way with a car 75lbs. light and far superior aero...
                I recall Bill Elliott having a sabotaged fuel tank at one time too. Probably in 1985 when he was winning everything in sight.

                I imagine security was far less tight back in the day.

                I remember hearing years that later Bobby Allison's car failed prerace inspection over some issue with the bumper cover. The crew was told to fix it but they used pop rivets to relocate the bumper cover to pass inspection.
                Then the pop rivets failed.

                I dont know, I was 16 at the time and nowhere near Florida.

                Just repeating what I heard in an interview.
                Live like Dave

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                • #9
                  There was an article in a non-racing automotive magazine(Might have been Car & Driver because my college roommate subscribed to it) that tried to claim Jeff Gordon's car was at least several hundred pounds underweight during prerace inspection for the inaugural Brickyard 400 and NASCAR ignored it. But the article ignored Geoff Bodine getting dumped by his brother and Ernie Irvan having tire go down late being the real key's to Gordon's victory.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by KevMcNJ View Post

                    I recall Bill Elliott having a sabotaged fuel tank at one time too. Probably in 1985 when he was winning everything in sight.

                    I imagine security was far less tight back in the day.

                    I remember hearing years that later Bobby Allison's car failed prerace inspection over some issue with the bumper cover. The crew was told to fix it but they used pop rivets to relocate the bumper cover to pass inspection.
                    Then the pop rivets failed.

                    I dont know, I was 16 at the time and nowhere near Florida.

                    Just repeating what I heard in an interview.
                    Yes, it was explained in the shaky Allison biography. They were told to move the bumper, so it was tack-welded back on then inexplicably forgotten about. I think while it was off Bobby and the boys looked at it and said, that sure is a clean look. How do we get rid of it?

                    After the incident, Gary Nelson recited his rehearsed line about Bobby getting nudged 'sideways" (video shows the bumper flying off with Cale 15ft. behind) and they never bothered to stop and check out a major piece of the car falling off, preferring to trust the observations of other drivers he drove along side of. I have my opinion....
                    Last edited by dalz; 09-03-2022, 10:06 AM.
                    I live my life 4.048 miles at a time.

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                    • #11
                      I mean, I think the worst pre-Internet take would have to be all the editorials defending banning women, Black people, and others from driving, the pits, or the grandstands. And many newspapers did run such material. I know this because I came across these takes...on the Internet. Ah. Well.
                      Scott Speed was third fastest in FP2 at the 2007 French Grand Prix.

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                      • #12
                        There were sabotage incidents at Talladega and Ontario. IIRC, the Ontario incident only involved the local late model sportsman cars in the preliminary race. Where's Big G when you need him? If he didn't cover that Talladega race, he probably heard all about it.
                        "Versions of a story that are more tidy, compact, and camera-ready should generally be viewed as historically suspect." - Jackson Landers

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                        • #13
                          Will Overhead
                          ...---...

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by JThur1 View Post
                            There were sabotage incidents at Talladega and Ontario. IIRC, the Ontario incident only involved the local late model sportsman cars in the preliminary race. Where's Big G when you need him? If he didn't cover that Talladega race, he probably heard all about it.
                            http://racersreunion.com/community/f...age-at-daytona
                            Fan of a small Club Series bankrolled by rich men

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by cheeseczar View Post
                              Will Overhead
                              What year did he win the 500? I can't remember ...
                              Real drivers don't need fenders!

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