NASCAR and the Media

So what has NASCAR come to these days?

Constant rule changes, race formats being changed, COT getting a new twist to fit the drivers’ styles. Yes it’s a great thing for the sport, the drivers, and for the fans.

But there is one thing that is changing: the media that covers NASCAR.

NASCAR fans these days look up to these bloggers, writers and analysts to get more information on their favorite drivers. But when you look up your favorite drivers on sites like Yahoo! just to get recent news tidbits, you may come across an article that mentions your favorite driver is a dud!

So what’s the deal?

The deal is Orlando Sentinel NASCAR blogger Matt Humphrey decides to go all out on Media Day, gets past the media and joins a crowd of six reporters for a quick Q&A with Matt Kenseth.

While all the attention is surrounding Danica, Humphrey decides to ask Matt if the lack of attention bothered him, and like what a NASCAR driver should say Matt responded, “I’ve never really been worried about that. I’m more concerned about results on the track and that’s been the focus of my career.”

And the problem is?

Matt Humphrey’s problem is plain and simple: he brings down a driver due to what he sees in from of him, a quiet driver like Matt who doesn’t want all the attention, who never gets noticed for doing bad things like having a temper tantrum after a race, or ignoring reporters after a bad day. Matt is a class act who doesn’t do these in front of the camera, and after the race he gives his comments, he doesn’t say anything bad about a driver or call anyone out.

Maybe this doesn’t attract Humphrey? This is who Matt Kenseth is. Maybe he does come across as anti-excitement or has a less-than-bubbly-personality. Humphrey doesn’t know Kenseth; he doesn’t know him well enough to judge his personality. Matt takes things as it comes, and if he doesn’t impress the media or anyone else, then that is their problem, not Matt’s. Matt has always been this way and he shouldn't change his ways for anybody, not even the media. Matt is in NASCAR to race, to win, to do anything to accomplish his dream. He’s a racer, not a driver who wants to create drama to impress the fans and the media.

I’ve been a Kenseth fan going on almost 12 years now, and I have read a handful of articles that criticized Matt’s personality. Do you think it’s fair for someone who is kind of like the voice of NASCAR to create the most ridiculous of articles on any driver? The fans deserve to know the real side of NASCAR and its drivers from what someone thinks of that driver. That’s how fans are turning out to be these days, less on the drivers' ability and more who they and who they aren’t.

Quit the negativity and focus on the positive and the real side of our drivers. Is that hard to ask?

The opinions expressed are solely those of the writer.

Photo of Matt Kenseth from Bristol Motor Speedway and Dragway on Flickr
NASCAR and the Media NASCAR and the Media Reviewed by kenseth_babe_17 on Sunday, February 07, 2010 Rating: 5


  1. Michelle, I haven't seen Humprey's article but it sounds like to me he had a valid question. It's one I bet most drivers were asked concerning the Danica frenzy. Still you bring up some great points. We do tend to focus on the negative aspect of the sport rather than the positive side.

    I won't deny that until I met a few of you (the writers like yourself and Whitney) I never really thought of Kenseth having many fans. You just don't see them as often as you see fans of other drivers. Matt has a certain quietness about him that doesn't draw attention. Still if you look at his stats over his career It's obvious he can drive.

    Excellent post Michelle.

  2. Great post Michelle. Being a Matt Kenseth fan as well, I know what you mean by people criticizing Matt's personality. But his personality is what makes Kenseth fans stand behind him so strongly. He rarely starts trouble or badmouths another driver, even if someone wrecks him. He takes it all in stride. And despite popular belief, Matt Kenseth does have quite a sense of humor. I think if people would stop focusing on the negativity and look at the positive side of things, fans and the media would complain less and enjoy it more.

    And'd be surprised just how many Matt Kenseth fans there are! ;)

  3. Michelle, I was at Media Day and I don't think it was disrespect for established drivers that drew the media to Danica, but I think we all went to where the story of the moment was.

    Most of us have interviewed Kenseth but not too many had interviewed Danica--especially a few hours before her ARCA practice.

  4. Michelle, I still remember seeing a drunk fan trying to get Matt's attention at one of my first NASCAR events. She kept jumping up and down, screaming "Matty! Matty!" and trying to get his attention. He waved, smiled, gave her a hug and just kind of shook his head at the craziness. He's one of the few drivers who can handle all types of fans and always seems happy to meet them.