Someone You Should Know-And Unlike Many Race Track Announcers I Can Pronounce His Name Correctly
Tony Anville gave me a racing history lesson yesterday, and I thought I would share it with you.
From Tony-“A Rest of the Dirt trivia question: Which current NASCAR Cup crew chief has won a Cup race in the ’80′s (Bobby Allison), ’90′s (Mark Martin), ’00′s (Kurt Busch) and ’10′s (Matt Kenseth)??
This same crew chief also has finished 2nd with Jimmy Spencer, and Derrike Cope as drivers (no small feat itself).
Hint: it’s NOT Chad Knaus.”
Since Tony is a Roush Fenway Racing fan and Matt Kenseth won the NASCAR Sprint Cup series race on Saturday, I guessed Kenseth’s crew chief Jimmy Fennig.
Anville went on: “Wouldn’t that be a win in each of the past 4 decades for Jimmy Fennig? Let’s see Knaus pull that one off.”
I agree with Tony that neither Knaus nor any other current crew chief will equal or surpass this feat. This is a story that FOX TV should be covering instead of Denny Hamlin shooting baskets in his back yard, but don’t expect to ever see it there.
Another Anville email: “If nothing else, I’m being serious here, old school crew chief Jimmy Fennig deserves at least a shout-out in your blog.
He was crew chief for Bobby Allison in the late 80′s. He’s NOT an engineer. He’s just an old dirt tracker from the ’70′s who likes to work on cars, AND, he still can take a Cup car to victory lane in this era of engineers and flashy crew chiefs.
I’ve talked to him numerous times over the years. He’s the most unassuming, calm, publicity shy person in racing. He’s cool (and truth be known, the real reason I’m a Roush fan).”
And finally: “I remember about 1996…when Derrike Cope was driving for Bobby Allison Motorsports. Fennig was the crew chief, one stretch they couldn’t afford to go back to the shop between races. They just went on to the next track.
I remember pulling into a Holiday Inn and there was the #12 Babcock Furniture Winston Cup car in the parking lot on jack stands. Fennig and his boys were working on it like it was a dirt track car. I’ll never forget that. Anybody could just stand there and watch. You don’t see that anymore!
Spencer was 2nd at the May 1993 Talladega race…Cope was 2nd at Phoenix in about 1995 (Rudd won) driving for that team. When the team when out of business, Fennig went to work for Roush as Martin’s crew chief. “
Anville enclosed a link for more information:
Thanks Tony. I always enjoy stories like this because it isn’t information everyone knows. Kenseth won Saturday’s race, and Fennig might even enjoy a little notoriety because of the win, but few people will ever know the rest of the dirt on one of the sport’s class acts. I wonder if it is possible to be a Fennig fan but not really like Kenseth that well.
I received another comment about announcer mispronunciation of driver names at the I-80 sprint car races this weekend. I have already commented on this-when an announcer mispronounces a driver name he has failed to do the homework he needs to do to get his job done right. However, the comment today mentioned the announcer mispronounced the same name multiple ways. That isn’t being lazy, that is being totally unprofessional.
I am shaking my head. If I had been there I doubt I would have rushed the announcer’s booth and pounded on the door demanding a correction, but I am sure that on the drive home from the races Matt and I would have discussed the situation using colorful adjectives and the phrase s o s-same old s—t.
Readers like Cheese think I have little common sense and haven’t gained much wisdom over the years, but it takes little common sense to realize that customers calling employees idiots or morons is not a good thing for any business, especially ones who get much of their income from people’s discretionary spending. The economy and price of gas are factors in grandstands being empty, but neither would carry the weight they do if there weren’t dozens of other issues irking fans.
I don’t really enjoy beating my head against the brick wall of my office when I know people I talk of don’t listen, but I have a damn hard head, so I am going to keep speaking out. Thanks for stopping by.