Never rile a NASCAR fan

It seems odd that someone purporting to be
a sports columnist would choose to disparage the fastest–growing and most–watched sport of the last decade and display his complete ignorance at the same time [sports, feb 21].Kevin Faris's recent allegation that NASCAR is composed of "crazy rednecks" who "drive fast and out of control" shows his lack of knowledge on two fronts. NASCAR drivers hail from all over the United States. Four-time champion Jeff Gordon was born in Indiana and raised in California. These days, more NASCAR drivers come from the North, the Midwest or California than from Tobacco Road. It would be impossible to even start a race if the drivers were going "fast and out of control." The hand/eyecoordination, reflexes and absolute concentration required to pilot a 3000-pound, 700-horsepower stock car at 190 milesper hour - inches away from a pack of 42 similar cars - stay out of trouble and keep it up for 500 miles that's about the ultimate display of going fast but being in control. In racing, there is no room for gobbling a burger, yapping into a cellphone, applying makeup or any of the other distractions so commonly seen on the Beltline. And EVERY race car driverALWAYS wears seat belts.

It is Faris' choice not to watch NASCAR races on Sunday, if he is so inclined. But to insult everyone involved in racing (including Lexington's own Valvoline which sponsors that "crazy redneck" from Michigan: Johnny Benson) by comparing them to the (below) average New Circle Road driver is uncalled for and idiotic.

Bo Gray


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Mail: 486 West Second St , Lexington, Ky 40507


Time for Bed

Overall, I think it's helpful to keep perspective. How was your day compared with an earthquake victim's for example? That's fairly inhibiting.

-Charles Grodin

As much fun as we have with certain issues and events, the time has come to move on.

In other words, we've printed all the letters we have space for about how white-bread this year's bluegrass bachelors were (and we've argued otherwise - you put 10 guys in a Brady Bunch pose, there will be a certain similarity, just as when you put ten guys in tuxedos. I'm hard-pressed to pick out my own brothers in a black-tie crowd.)

One reader wrote to complain that the issue came out "too late" for her to select her buy. (Most people come to meet new people, and to support a charity. No purchase required.)

Several readers have written to suggest an Auction for and by, gay and lesbian bachelors and bachelorettes.

We don't know that we received any nominations for any homosexual bachelor candidates this year - but we don't know that we didn't. It's not a category on their questionnaire. Sounds like a bandwagon someone should jump on though.

We're certainly not the only game in town. There's a wonderful annual Bachelor Auction that supports cystic fibrosis, and there was a Toys for Tots firefighter auction last fall, which was also fun.

Another reader wrote in to complain about purportedly being referred to as the goth chick who wanted Stoli in my column (not the editorial), while scorning Belvedere. She provided a Grey Goose vodka ad, that cites a study ranking Belvedere near the bottom of the list.

Good to know.

She further noted that since I obviously don't frequent "the Hunt Club, the Polo Club, or the Sales," she was relieved our paths would never cross again.

I'd hate to embarrass anyone by admitting that I've been an occasional (well-behaved) guest at all three and that I was treated with the utmost graciousness.

But more importantly, the "goth chick" in reference was at a private party I attended earlier in the week -where I stepped behind the bar to help out a pal. Before he quickly asked me to step back out (though, in defense of my lack of cordiality to the aforementioned, she was an uninvited, unwelcome crasher who'd already insulted his mother, and his girlfriend. She also lives 120 miles away, so it would surprise me if she's a regular reader, or attended the Auction).

Miscommunication all around. Happens all the time.

I don't remember the reader who sent the ad (couldn't pick her out of a lineup if my life depended on it; I could've had a half dozen requests for Stoli at the Auction, or I could've had 20 - it was a long, high volume evening), so if our paths do cross again- I guess I'll recognize her as the one throwing the Stoli in my face.

I only distinctly remember one guy who got surly when offered Tanqueray as a substitute for Bombay Sapphire and grouchily went away thirsty - but no one disparaged him for his brand loyalty (only for his rudeness to one of our volunteers).

While I appreciate anyone's attempts to reform my terrible manners and wretched taste, I still stand by Belvedere. (Also: I drink, at most, four martinis a year, so I must disqualify myself as an expert.)

The other most popular response has been: why not a bachelorette auction? The most obvious reasons are: safety, security, and liability.

We don't want to perpetuate sexism here, but there are always risks. In the case of the bachelors, everyone signs waivers, background checks are completed, and we do everything we can - on both sides - to preserve the safety and privacy of everyone involved.

Auctioning off a woman to the highest bidder is a little trickier. Informally discussing the prospect with a few high-profile, single women, they all mentioned that they'd find it a little frightening to agree to a date with a complete stranger, for money (one volunteered that she feels like she goes on enough "charity" dates as it is).

An alternative that's been proposed is a Bachelorette Auction where the "dates" happen onsite. (Sort of like the old-fashioned "box supper" auctions: a suggestion from our classified manager.) So, stay tuned.

Meanwhile, all suggestions, recommendations, and commentary will be duly filed for consideration for next year's event(s). And thanks for the feedback.