The biggest difference between the Freaks and the Pink Shirts (typical tired motorsports media types) is we do not subscribe to the norm.  Not that we intentionally set out to be as different as a rhino in a room full of Amish but as time went on, that seemed to be our credo. We will be different.

This includes how we deal with many motorsports series, the drivers, the PR types and even the CEO's.

In June 2001, we were in three huge radio markets that included Los Angeles, Dallas and San Francisco. We were on our way to becoming the Empire.  Not that it influenced us in how we went about things or produced/booked the show but you get the idea.

Again, like the last column, and sure to be like many others where I reflect, the picture can get a bit Freakin' fuzzy.  But this one, the fact is, we had a big time no show guest that was promised for days.

We had scheduled a phone-in interview from then CART CEO Joe Heitzler on our June 10, 2001 Sunday night radio show.  He was to call in after he had landed in Detroit that evening. 

This was a great get for us.  Heitzler, the CART big gun, newly chosen one to lead CART into greener pastures was coming into the Freak Nation.  We were pumped and pimped.  A press release had gone out, we had spots running on our affiliates promoting the fact that Heitzler was coming and even got some run in the Los Angeles Times.

Remember, Joe was only about six months into his Champ Car tenure and had faced a variety of surprises including the loss of two of the first four races, Rio de Janeiro and Texas.  So, needless to Freakin' say, we wanted Joe on the show to unravel these scenarios, and more, if possible.

Sunday night June 10, 2001 Joe was a no show. Calls were made to the proper CART PR folks that evening but we were unable to reach anyone.  No one picked up the phone.  It was a No Show Joe and we including the listening Freak Nation were bummed.  Bummed LARGE.

Monday and Tuesday, calls were again made to CART PR folks.  Beyond wanting an explanation for why the No Show Joe, I wanted to reschedule as soon as possible. But still, calls and emails were not returned.

By Wednesday night, we were fed up with the lack of response, being treated as a second or third rate yahoo.  More importantly, we were Freakin' steamed at the obvious elitist insult to our listeners.

Pink Shirts would shrug this off.  SpeedFreaks would not.

Thursday morning June 14, 2001 out went a press release saluting our latest affiliate in San Francisco, but with a Freaks' catch.  Between each paragraph and even in the title, the simple phrase Joe Heitzler, where are you? was conveniently inserted.  Not only was the phrase conveniently visible seven times but attached was a doctered SpeedFreaks group photo.  In the photo, resident sh** starter, Lugg Nuttz had conveniently inscribed the words Where's Joe on his t-shirt. Oh yea…

Think this didn't get the attention of a few PR folks Thursday morning when the email was sitting in the In Boxes?  It got pretty good if your a believer in the Freaks Gospel.  Like Dee Snider of Twisted Sister said, We're Not Gonna Take It!  Pink shirts of old, yes. Freaks, no.

I won't go into all the funny and really interesting phone calls, messages and veil threats that came our way from a few individuals but let the Sarge just say this. I don't know how Joe could be landing in Detroit while actually hanging out in Southern California that one Sunday evening.  Yes, they couldn't even get their stories straight.  Funny how that works.

Fast forward five months later to November 3, 2001 and the CART finale weekend in Southern California.

As SpeedFreaks broadcast a special Saturday edition on our Los Angeles radio affiliate from California Speedway to help pimp the CART race (run on sentence and still running), during the actually broadcast, in walks in Joe Heitzler bowing down to the Freak Nation.  There are photos.  Plenty.

Momentous and Freaks mojo.

Joe's travels into the Freaks Pits and subsequent on-air interview that November afternoon in Southern California was a salute to the SpeedFreaks.  However, more importantly to the Freak Nation listening audience. 

We, like CART, and any other capitalistic motorsports entity for that matter, know what is most important here. You. And if we screw you, we're screwed.

We know better. We went to bat with a phat fat tattoo of YOU, the Freak Nation, on our forearm and muscled this over the wall.  No one else would.

Fast forward to June 2005.  Joe's a friend of the Freaks, Champ Car drivers, owners and CEOs frequent the Freaks Pits. And that tattoo?  It's still waving and flying like a dollar bill at a topless bar. Right there for everybody to see.  Even Kevin Harvick.