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This is the Statt Mann Baby.  Time to Scatt a little bit.

I’m not qualified for a book review but I am qualified to know what I like.

Faster coverNeal Bascomb’s book “Faster” is just that.  Not enough is done to explore motorsports history especially details about racing’s bed partner, politics.

Faster is a David and Goliath story from the 1930s.  It details an American heiress who built her own grand prix team and, eventually, hired a Jewish driver to beat the Nazi backed Mercedes behemoth head to head.

Lucy Shell did it with an under-powered French Delahaye driven by Rene Dreyfus in the run up to World War II.

The story is wonderful and educational but disappointed me in one very real detail.  Bascomb spent several pages glorifying the Nazi showcase at the 1936 Berlin Olympics without ever mentioning Jesse Owens.

He said in an email that his editor took out the mention.  It was a massive oversight.  Great book though especially if you aren’t allergic to learning.


This is the Statt Mann Baby. Time to Scatt a little bit.

Extreme E logoAs we learn sim racing along comes Extreme E. It’s a series run with electric SUVs in remote parts of the world where the environment is challenged.

Andretti Autosport this week announced plans to compete in the global odyssey. Andretti is the sixth team to announce and the first Americans.

The plan calls for five rounds of competition, each taking two days. Organizers hope the series will raise our awareness of climate change.

Starting next year, the racing will be staged in some of the most beautiful, remote and severely damaged locations in Brazil, Greenland, Saudi Arabia, Nepal and Dakar West Africa.

Organizers hope to draw attention to global warming, the melting polar ice, rising sea levels, deforestation, plastic pollution, drought and more.

I know some of you listening think that’s all a media hoax. But there are many who disagree and they’re willing to spend their money to help reverse the problem. Personally, I hope Extreme E succeeds.


This is the Statt Mann baby. Let’s Scatt a little bit.

I tried for several days to get around the concept of a NASCAR driver using the N-word in sportive communication with his contemporaries. Instead I just grew angrier.

Kyle LarsonHow could a Japanese American male, who was helped to the highest levels of his chosen profession through a celebrated diversity program, casually disparage another body of people who’ve been systematically kept out of those same highest levels? It’s hard to understand.

The profanity fell so casually from Kyle Larson’s tongue that he might have never noticed. There was a time he wouldn’t have been punished. No one on the open radio channel chastised him last Sunday. They only warned him that the microphones were hot and public.  Reminds me of the saying: you lay with dogs you’ll get fleas. That’s not to say that everyone in the NASCAR community is canine. But there are enough there that a man whose ancestors were treated like slaves and had their liberties and lives stolen found himself speaking just like the flea-bitten dogs you can find in that world.

He fashioned an apology a day later and he’ll get another chance in his chosen profession. Eventually. That’s better treatment than the people he maligned with his vulgarity.

The curiosity I’ve seen in the aftermath is the ongoing question from white Americans: “why is it they can use the word and we can’t?” The obvious answer: “Why ask permission? You do anyway.” But further, why is it you need to control everything including a community’s lives and language? Do you feel that entitled that you must enter every closet in everyone’s life to see what’s there and control how those things are used?

In fact, that seems how we got here in the first place. Your ancestors saw a commodity that met your needs and stole it for your own good. Now, centuries later, you still covet even the language of that commodity. It’s true. Many of you know no shame.

Today we celebrated Jackie Robinson breaking the Major League Baseball color barrier April 15, 1947. Now, 73 years later, racial profanity remains an issue in this culture. Entitlement is so addictive, corrosive and, ultimately, American.

This is the Statt Mann Baby. Time to Scatt a little bit.

FansI love it when people think outside the box. Refusing to think outside the box may be a reason why so many Americans are quarantined inside a social box now.

But I saw some outside the box thinking today while watching CBS Sunday Morning. A commercial highlighted jet car drag racer Elaine Larsen selling a financial instrument to protect incomes in case of a life change.

That’s certainly outside the box thinking.

I’ve always believed that the sponsor starved motor racing community continuously sells itself short when trolling for supporters. Motor racing and the people who participate and watch are a highly technical lot but technical companies are under-represented throughout the industry.

So much of the time motor racing sells speed and danger instead of problem solving and accuracy in everyday life.

That spot this morning stood out from ninety minutes of television programming. Isn’t that what sponsors are looking for?


This is the Statt Mann Baby. Time to Scatt a little bit.

FansThose of you waiting for things to return to normal better take two aspirin and sleep that off. The normal we knew is gone.

Except maybe in NASCAR. Despite fan response to the new, shorter and more competitive iRacing invitationals we may see NASCAR officials return to the old norms. Let’s hope not.

IndyCar this weekend got into the sim racing shows with Sage Karam stepping out of the shadows and getting the win at a virtual Watkins Glen. Maybe in sim racing we’ll find out that some of the better drivers are on the sidelines or at the back of the pack because they can’t get ownership attention for a regular seat.

Racing is indeed a team sport including the guys back at the shop or on pit wall.

But drivers should have the greatest influence on a race. Racing is about men or women deciding who has the skills or heart to compete and win. I have the feeling that we don’t always see the best on a race weekend.

The whole point is this: we don’t know what normal will be from now on. Let’s just hope it won’t be what we’re experiencing now. I’d like to go outside again.


This is the Statt Mann Baby. Time to Scatt a little bit.

NASCAR and IMSA this weekend tried something different to keep race fans engaged during this shelter in place craziness.

IndyCar team owner Bryan Herta told The Freaks several weeks ago that he thought the idea of iRacing had merit. Now, Herta looks like a iRacingprophet with NASCAR and IMSA hosting iRacing weekends for the masses.

Even wilder, BMW pulled their drivers off the couch and out of the gym to get them involved in the Sebring Super Saturday iRacing raceApalooza.

If manufacturers such as BMW are willing to activate cyber fun will this become something we should pay attention to going forward?

For several years Nissan has had its GT Academy to get iRacing winners into an actual race. Some have even won real races and championships.

If Nissan, BMW and others can convert real fans with cyber races, we may be looking at a new reality emerging right before our screens.


This is the Statt Mann Baby. Time to Scatt a little bit.

CoronavirusCrazy times globally. All the event cancellations this week have caused executives to run around with their hair on fire for a while.

I’d love to be a fly on the wall when broadcasters and content providers figure out who owes whom what for all the television programming that’s disappeared this week.

One producer told me the commercials lost this week and in the weeks to come might amount to tens of billions of dollars in lost revenue. How do you make good on that?

ESPN, ABC Sports, Turner Broadcasting, FOX Sports, CBS Sports, and NBC SN have all paid multiple billions with the expectation of getting that money back in profits from programming that’s now gone.

Usually when commercials fail to run there’s something called make goods when the network makes other time available to make good on the time lost.

But this is so great there might need to be an extension to current contracts to cover these lost hours. In short, refunds are unlikely.


This is the Statt Mann Baby. Time to Scatt a little bit.

Here’s three women on International Women’s Day who became champions in a game that’s suffered under the control of men for decades.

Shirley MuldowneyMy list starts at Shirley Muldowney who won three Top Fuel titles in 1977, ’80 and ’82 when some tracks wouldn’t even allow women in their paddocks to watch her.

Erica Enders Stevens won NHRA Pro Stock titles in 2014 and ‘15 when sponsors refused to be a part of her team. She stayed home at times for lack of funds but won championships anyway.

Christina Nielsen won GT championships in IMSA in 2016 and ’17 and she’s not even 30 yet. For that matter, teenager Hailie Deegan might win a stock car title before she’s 20!

These are women who’ve faced down insanity on and off the track. They won titles if not respect on their way to the top.

As for potential sponsors who refused to support their championship efforts? There’s nothing that says money makes you smart.


This is the Statt Mann Baby. Time to Scatt a little bit.

Michele MoutonWe’re remembering Women’s History Month here in the U.S. but let me take a minute to remember French rally driver Michele Mouton.

In 1982 Mouton won three of 12 events and finished runner-up in the world rally driver’s championship. Her efforts helped Audi to its first manufacturers’ title.

Mouton, though, did more than rallying. In 1975, before rallying, she won her class at Le Mans.

But rallying was her first love. In fact, when she signed with Audi in 1981, she won in San Remo. In 1985, she set a record winning the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb in an Audi Quattro.

In 1986, while driving for Peugeot she won the German Rally Championship, the first female driver to win a major championship in rallying.

In 1988, she co-founded the international Race of Champions. Now, in addition to running the Race of Champions she’s working tirelessly to help girls into the upper levels of world motorsport.

They have an incredible legacy to follow.


This is the Statt Mann Baby. Time to Scatt a little bit.

Ryan  NewmanI’m one of the millions who’ve watched in amazement at the recovery road being traveled by NASCAR driver Ryan Newman.

I’m even more satisfied that Newman isn’t at the racetrack in Las Vegas this weekend. Newman did send a written statement read today by his Roush Fenway team executive Steve Newmark.

The statement said Newman is being treated for a head injury. I’d like to think the new car spec from NASCAR saved Newman’s life. Just being further away from the door probably helped limit Newman’s injuries when he was slammed by Corey LaJoie’s racer on the last lap at Daytona .

There’s concern, though, that no one’s saying what the head injuries are. We can assume concussion but that’s just an assumption.

Newman’s medical injuries are none of my business certainly. I’m just glad he’s still here, recovering and not at a racetrack or in a race car today. Hopefully the doctors will keep him out, with no external pressures to return, for as long as it takes to get him completely recovered. And maybe playing with his daughters.