The Writer’s Roundtable is the weekly column to where our writers discuss one of the trending topics right now in the sport.
Throughout the season, NEWS FROM THE PITS has been able to speak to a variety of competitors from a diverse bunch of series, ranging from NASCAR to the NTT IndyCar Series. Each of those discussions has been fun, with a couple topping the list for a various reasons.
This week, it’s a writer’s tell all as each of them share their favorite interview for 2021.
Mitchell Breuer: You know, as a reporter you always want to be there for the big moments, right? And, I realize in hindsight this isn’t huge moment in all of NASCAR but nonetheless it was still cool to witness live.
All that said, my favorite interview of the year was with Corey Heim after he bumped and run’d Ty Gibbs to win at Elko. Just to get inside a driver’s mindset after a moment like that was just beyond cool to me, and it was made even better because there wasn’t much of media presence there, so I was pretty much the only one asking him questions that I knew I would want to hear.
Ashley McCubbin: Normally when you go into an interview, you kind of know what to expect with answers. It’s a lot of the same old questions, and typical answers that you could probably pull from a book for all drivers. However, every once in a while, you get a real dish of brutal honesty. It doesn’t just make for a good punchy headline, but also gives you something great to piece your story around.
When asked about the aggressive driving in the Truck Series, both Carson Hocevar and Grant Enfinger could have brushed it off, chalked it up to what we usually see. Instead, Enfinger walked us through what he was thinking in his version of the events at Martinsville Speedway with Matt Crafton, while Hocevar allowed everyone to understand what it is like to be the rookie.
I also applauded Sheldon Creed for offering that same type of honesty when it came to the job market after winning a championship. Not having plans back in August when we spoke, he said, “Gosh, I have no idea. We’ve had meetings recently with numerous different teams, and it’s really hard. It’s really hard right now to come up funding to do it. 10, 20 years if you could win and you had talent, you would get the job, then there was a lot of sponsorship money going around and everyone had rides. Right now, it’s really hard. I’ve learned that in the last couple of weeks trying to find a ride and trying to find somewhere to go. That’s really hard. Honestly, right now, I have no idea. I’d love to go Xfinity or Cup racing; I would love to have an answer for that but I don’t.”
There’s also Noah Gragson’s hot take on after accident driver-to-driver conversations in saying, “You just have to man up. Leave your emotions at the door. Leave whatever it is at the door, man up, and say what you feel. There’s nothing wrong in explaining your side of the story to that person and telling them your opinion. Maybe it becomes a little more clear in their mind, and vise versa – maybe what they say will make it more clear in my mind.”
I also can feel what Mitchell is saying with “being there in the moment,” as the buzz post-race following the NASCAR Pinty’s Series event at Sunset Speedway was everything. Speaking to both Raphael Lessard and Pete Shepherd, getting two polar opposite views of what happened, there’s a reason we love this job.