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Tuesday, April 11, 2006

NASCAR nation refuses to take Dateline's bait

Apparently Dateline: NBC did send a crew and some Muslim-looking men to the race at Martinsville, VA on April 1. Columnist Duane Cross at NASCAR.com reports that nothing happened, much to the shock and chagrin of the Dateline folks, I'm sure.

Mike Smith, director of public relations for Martinsville Speedway, said that the Dateline crew's presence wasn't as stealth as it possibly hoped.

"Our security knew almost immediately that [the Dateline crew] were on site and they were monitored the whole time they were here, for obvious reasons -- their protections, fans protection -- and they were not disturbed," Smith said. "It says a lot about our fans.

"If there is an upside, it shows that the image so many people have of NASCAR fans is a false one, and it shows that not only at Martinsville Speedway, but at NASCAR tracks in general, it shows what type of security we have in place that can discover something like this, observe it and make sure nothing happens.

"We've gotten calls [Thursday] from fans praising our security and wanting the number for Dateline," Smith said. "As disappointed as we are, we feel pretty good about the end result."

Remind me again who's more obsessed with race: the people at Dateline, who obviously were praying for an ugly incident of some sort, or the "redneck" NASCAR fans, who refused to oblige? It seems as though the only race the fans were interested in was the one going on on the track.

Update: Um, apparently this story came out on April 6. Nobody tells me nothin'. Thanks a lot, readers. You're on my list.

I still think my last line is pretty good, although given how long this has been out there, I'm sure sixty-four other people already used it. I guess I'm officially the only blog with a long lead time.

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