Come On Hamlin Get real

Cliff Tanner
Owner & Host
Radio Speed Talk
Cliff Dawg Media

If you have read my blogs in the past you know how I feel about whining in racing. Saturday night’s Nationwide race is a perfect example. Yes you will even read about my feelings on Cup drivers going down to the lower level to race. The Twitter Nation lit up like a Christmas tree on Hamlin’s comments.

With just a few handful or laps left Austin Dillon, who is racing for a Championship and Denny Hamlin, who was just there to play had a run in.

The saddest part of this whole situation caused the King ESPN to really screw up. REALLY. You had a young gun who had his best career finish ever. Ryan Blaney drove like crazy and finished second to Kevin Harvick. Now because the Gods of ESPN had to hear Denny’s rant they forgot about Ryan and didn’t even interview him. Are you freakin kidding me? Sad day in broadcasting if you ask me.

Yes I know I am a little off track but it needed to be said.

Racing went four wide and Denny got pushed down on the apron with Dillon next to him. Denny backed off to stop the four wide racing. Well needless to say this didn’t make King Denny happy. So we had some post race heat.

As they were going on to pit road Hamlin smacked Dillon in the wall. Well I don’t know about you but whoever you are if you did that to me I would be ready to kick some ass. Be a man and talk to me about it don’t wreck my car. Hell in reality it was just racing!

Well, let me say this and I will talk about the comments Denny made in a few minutes, but Austin did nothing wrong here. He was trying to gain points to win the coveted NNS Cup. We all know you would be racing hard to win too. It’s the competitive nature in us all.

Now let’s explore Denny’s comments. Now this is not word for word but you will get the jest of it. He complained that Dillon was racing him hard and because he drives the #3 he is entitled to do what he wants. If it wasn’t for his grandfather Richard Childress he wouldn’t even be here. He said if he wants to race hard he is going to let him know about it. In his rage he basically called the young driver out.and called him a wussy.

Now let us kind of break this down. Now I somewhat agree with some of the comments. Now Hamlin says that if it wasn’t for who it was he wouldn’t be here. There may be some truth there but look at the history of NASCAR.

First if it wasn’t for Lee Petty there wouldn’t have been The King himself Richard Petty. If it wasn’t for Ralph Earnhardt there wouldn’t have been a Dale Earnhardt Sr. Amazing both currently are tied with the most Cups- 7. On the other side where has Dale Earnhardt Jr. been. If we took that logic we have nowhere to go or back up that statement.


Now you can say what you want about Ty and Austin Dillon but them boys can drive. Yes they have the advantage of a Richard Childress but they have talent. Now I have to say that I believe Ty has more talent but I’m just saying. Look at the other teams out there. There is Rousch, Gibbs, Hendricks and yes even Waltrip racing teams. They have the advantage.

Put to rest the forever argument that only one or two guys on the team get the best equipment. Believe me car owners want all of their cars to win races and championships. Get off it Hamlin.

Now we see that Hamlin thinks that Dillon is a Prima Donna. I don’t know how you feel but I believe that Denny has always believed he was God’s gift to NASCAR. Case and point look at his current ad on The Chase. “When I was ten I promised Joe Gibbs I would win him the Cup if he gave me the chance. Where is Hamlin now? How many Championships has he won? 0 Oh that’s right!

It was said in last week’s truck race someone came up to talk to him about running through him to win. Now keep in mind this has not been verified but after last night you can’t help to believe it. It was Tweeted and re-tweeted several times. Supposedly Hamlin asked the young driver if he knew who the f&&k he was. Now again it is not verified but can’t help but wonder.

Bottom line in my opinion is this’ Hamlin until you stop being who you are then lay off others. If you can’t handle the heat get off the track. Grow up and become a man. Win a championship then you can become a Prima Donna. Until then quit crying.

Now I know I said you would hear my feeling on the big boys coming down to lower levels to race but i will just write another blog. I don’t want to take away from this event.

Oh yeah, by the way Elliot Sadler and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. are now tied for the lead with two races to go. Stenhouse actually owns the tie breaker with a race win.

I’m outta here!




Chris Economaki dead at the age of 91


If your race fan here in Indy or anywhere in the world you remember the voice of Chris Economaki.

Chris Economaki, known as the “Dean of American Motorsports,” died early Friday morning. He was 91.

Here are some thoughts around the racing community.

“The passing of Chris Economaki is a tough loss for me on both a personal and professional level, having known Chris throughout my life,” said Brian France, NASCAR chairman and CEO. “Many people consider Chris the greatest motorsports journalist of all time. He was, indeed, ‘the Dean.’ Chris was a fixture for years at NASCAR events, and played a huge role in growing NASCAR’s popularity. I’ll miss seeing him and of course, I’ll miss hearing that voice. Our thoughts and prayers are with his daughters Corinne and Tina and the rest of Chris’ family.”

Others offered their thoughts on Economaki’s legacy and contributions to motorsports journalism.

Jeff Gordon: “Speed Sport News is something that I read religiously. Chris did a lot for that newspaper and for motorsports, and he was passionate about all of it. The last time I saw him was earlier this year, and still that is all he thought about was racing. And he cared so much about what was happening in this sport and wanted to make a difference and wanted to get those stories out there. It’s just not very often that you come across somebody that puts their heart and soul and entire life mission into that.”

Matt Kenseth: “You would hear him when NASCAR racing first started being on TV, or at least being on TV in Wisconsin before I could see it in person, and you couldn’t help but notice Chris. He was one of the first and probably the most recognizable and famous voices there was with motorsports, and I’m sad to hear about his passing.”

Danica Patrick: “I just know how instrumental he’s been in certain things and how long he’s been around. It’s sad. It’s sad that any time someone who has been around forever and is a legend dies.”

Grant Lynch, Talladega Superspeedway chairman: ” “Our hearts are heavy at the loss of Chris Economaki. Chris was a legend of motorsports media and will truly be missed. He touched so many lives during his time in our sport, not just those he that interviewed, but the thousands of readers and viewers who enjoyed his stories. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family during this time.”

Mike Joy, NASCAR on Fox and Speed play-by-play announcer: “Chris Economaki became the prototype for all radio and television journalists in his sport. His depth of knowledge and skilled questioning made network execs understand that auto racing needed specialists to properly cover the sport. Chris opened the door for a whole generation of voices you hear today, and we are all indebted to him.”

Dr. Dick Berggren, veteran motor sports journalist and Speed reporter: “Chris was the most premier auto racing journalist who ever was and ever will be. We’ll never again see someone as incredibly diverse and successful at his craft. Chris was every bit as at home with a microphone at a local short track as he was covering the Indianapolis 500 or Daytona 500. Dave Despain and I had a similar conversation with Chris regarding how we could improve our performance. Chris said simply, ‘Ask a good question.’ How appropriate today when some journalists make a statement to the driver or athlete and expect him or her to agree, but they don’t ask a question.”

Ralph Sheheen, voice of AMA on Speed and co-owner, publisher of National Speed Sport News: “Chris Economaki was the Dean of American Motorsports Journalism. With his typewriter and unmatched enthusiasm he made National Speed Sport News the most-read racing publication and his Editor’s Notebook an absolute must-read. With his voice he made racing exciting and helped to elevate it in the mainstream sports world through television and radio. Everyone in the racing community, whether they are members of the media, racers or fans, owes Chris a debt of gratitude for his passion and dedication to racing.”

Steve Byrnes, host of NASCAR Race Hub: “Chris was the standard for motorsports journalism. He essentially invented the business of covering motorsports. I was fortunate enough to cover some races for WTBS with him in the ’80s and learned volumes from him. He always told me to ask a question. ‘Don’t answer the question.’ This day, I still hear his voice in my head, ‘Don’t answer it. Just ask it. Ask the driver how they won. Ask the team how they won.’ That was just one specific lesson I learned. They called him the Dean for a reason. But not only did he work incredibly hard and ask the hard questions, he enjoyed life and could tell a joke to lighten the mood in a flash. He will be greatly missed.”

Adam Alexander, host of Speed Center: “When it comes to motorsports, you simply cannot measure Chris’ contributions. His dedication and tireless work helped promote the sport and its many drivers over the years. His presence on the air and his knowledge of all forms of racing made him one of a kind. No one does it today like Chris did it for so many years.”

Bob Dillner, SPEED reporter: “Chris was someone after whom many of us tried to model ourselves. He always asked the tough question and always took into account what the fans wanted to know, whether they were watching him on TV, listening to him on radio or reading his newspaper. … Chris always gave me great advice and taught me to look for the story inside the story because you may not realize what really is there. He loved all types of racing from the Cup Series to the short tracks. He was a true racer and an inspiration in my career. Chris Economaki was one of the real pioneers of our sport who helped build it to what it is today.”

Edsel B. Ford II, member of the Ford Motor Co.board of directors: “All of us at Ford Motor Company are sorry to hear of Chris Economaki’s passing last night. He was an icon of the sport of auto racing and a familiar, knowledgeable face and voice to millions of race fans around the world. His influence on the growth of auto racing in the United States cannot be underestimated. National Speed Sport News covered everything from the greatest drivers around the globe to the local short trackers who competed for their families and fans around this country. Chris respected and loved them all, and they loved him back.”

Kevin Kennedy, Ford Racing Communications director: “Chris’ passing marks the end of a great era of auto racing and how it was covered in this country. He truly loved the sport, probably more than any journalist I knew, but he also loved the people who made up the sport, and was quick to tell a great story, say a kind word to those new to the sport, and hold court on any subject the sport could dish out. I’ll miss that great voice, and the fabulous stories, the Monday morning calls as he was finishing his weekly column, and, of course, the manual typewriter that every media center kept for him. His influence on the media, and the PR people who work in the sport, will never be matched.”

From  my facebook fans remember…

  • Angela Lee Stepro He will be missed!]
  • Alan Distel I had a chance to speak with him when I was doing some work for the Speed Sort News. Great ambassador for the sport. RIP
  • Ken Marshall I remember when Chris wanted to liven up 3rd day qualifications and chose to do a quick story about the “new fireproof uniforms’..He said that he was going to set a bucket of fuel (then used) at the track on fire with his foot in the bucket. His plan was to show how the “fire suit” and boot would protect the driver in a crash fire situation. What he did not think of at the time was that “this might be hot”. Thus, Chris gave himself a sophisticated “hot foot” on Wide World of Sports, much to the entertainment of many. The 3 Stooges could not have done this better. Gee, what was he thinking? BUT he did not get burned. (I am sure his fellow workers did the burning much later off camera). I think that was 1974. Can someone confirm the year. Thanks !



R.I.P. Christopher “Chris” Constantine Economaki (October 15, 1920 – September 28, 2012)


This week on The Balance


The Balance  

Airdate: September 29, 2012

Host: Tom Marquis

The Balance and Indy Pro Sports

1209 Country Club Rd

Country Club Industrial Park

Indianapolis, IN 46234

Phone (317) 903-8063


9:05-9:30: Radio Speed Talk

9:15-9:30: Josh Timmerman – Timmerman Racing

9:30-10:15: Evan Williams – Purdue University

9:30-10:15: Jimmy “The Intern” Cavanaugh – Indiana University

10:00-10:05: Elizabeth the Greek

10:15-10:30: – George Bremer – The Herald Bulletin

10:30-11:00: Indy Pro Sports Fantasy Football Huddle with 2 Dollar Bill Josh, Sparky, and more

Ryan Hunter-Reay wins IndyCar Championship

Here’s a great article by Cliff Tanner. Cliff is a good friend of The Balance Radio Network. We run Radio Speed Talk every Sunday on The Balance Radio Network. Be sure to catch the latest episode of Radio Speed Talk.

by Cliff Tanner
Owner and Host, Radio Speek Talk


Have to start this blog with a Hee Haw song parody. Keep in mind this is Roger Penske and Will Power singing this.

“Where or where were you tonight?’

‘Why did you leave me here all alone?’

‘I searched the world over and’

‘thought I found an IRL Championship’

‘But I crashed another and thpppppt you was gone’

Sorry was my best raspberry impersonation.

Always a bride’s maid, never a bride.

Alright, alright I’ll stop. I can’t seem to help it. Just a couple of hours ago the Izod Indy Car Championship was decided.

Penske Racing’s Will Power came into the final race with a 17 point over Andretti Motorsports’ Ryan Hunter. Power qualified third. Hunter-Reay 17.Now granted Power was hit with a grid penalty for changing engines. Still he started the race 8 positions in front of Hunter-Reay.

Let us take a step back for some back story here. Now first of all this is the seventh year in a row the Izod Indy Championship was going to be decided the last race. This was also a milestone because we all knew with all his problems this year Dario Franchetti was not going to win his fourth championship in a row. What did that mean you ask? Well it also guaranteed a first time winner in this year’s championship.

The second part of the story is this; This also ensured Will Power his third straight chance for the Champ’s trophy. Two years ago he spins out and crashes to drop out of the championship. Last year he was racing for the championship and with the unfortunate fatal crash of Dan Wheldon he was caught up in the big crash. He ended up with a broken back. It turned out that they didn’t even have to finish the race to finish runner-up.

The old adage of the third times a charm you would think would be in play here. But noooooooo (Steve Martin early days come into play here and voice inflection). The third time is a charm only works in fairy tale land. Seriously.

The only thing the third time did was to make sure Will Power finished second for the third time in a row. We have to go back and say this; this has to be right up there with Mark Martin finishing second many times in NASCAR, the Vikings and Bills in their quest to end the four game winless streak in Super Bowls and last but not least the Cubs not winning the World Series for 102 years.

Another thought has to come to the mind of Power and is this; ‘is this just a fantasy or escape from reality, open your eyes and what did I see? not an IRL Championship (yes a Queen song brought this to mind).

Okay okay. I get it. Stop. Sorry ADD kicking in. Hell it’s 2:00 in the morning. Plus it’s my blog. LOL I can do what I want.

If you haven’t figured it out the first American since 2006 was crowned the champion this day. What are serious? Power won? Come on Power comes from down under. It was Hunter-Reay.
The man who ironically down by 17 points and started the race in 17th place comes out and passes Power to win the championship.

Power spun and crashing his chance to become the Champion and his car. He was back in the garage and finished 25th out of 26 cars. Hey but that’s not all he still had a chance to win the coveted trophy.
Ryan Hunter-Reay had to finish the race in fifth or higher to become the champ. But however this did not come without drama. OOHHH the DRAMA! With nine laps left Tony Kaanan who crashed with nine laps left crashed hard into the wall. This of course brought out the caution as Hunter-Reay moved into fifth place to put him up by one point. A foot note here is that Helio Castroneves came in to pit and put on four fresh tires in hopes of passing Ryan to help Power still win the championship. What you say? Teammates don’t help each other? Better look again Mr. IRL fan.

Well the IZOD and their powers that be decided to red flag the race. Why kill the drama under yellow? Funny thing was watching the words come out of Michael Andretti’s mouth and surprisingly clean. Well at least the part they showed. I know if I was the owner a few expletives would be flying out of my mouth and maybe some other things. Which brings up another point. Does IZOD Indy Car need to go to green-white-checker. Wait, that’s another blog topic.

So as the restart comes Hunter-Reay moves up as high as third. Meanwhile Castro eves is flying through the field hoping to put Ryan back down the sixth. Only problem was is that he drove it to hard and ended up in the wall on the last lap.

‘Win one for the gripper’ is quickly losing patience with Mr. Will Power. Have to feel sorry for the man but you have to win or at least be smart about it. Maybe it is time to call in Dr. Phil. No wait if I was Power and Dr. Phil said, “It’s not about you,” I would probably, no wait I would kill him.

I really don’t even know how the man can be helped. I have said time and time again when you are in a situation like that you have to have a clear mind to get it done. It appears that at times that he is too careful. Doing that can bite you in the butt ask the Cubs they will tell you.

Congrats go out to Ryan Hunter-Reay and Andretti Motorsports. Hey here is a thought. You think Andretti Motorsports is going to invade NASCAR now? Well come on now that was the rumor earlier in the year. Also Hunter-Reay just signed a two year extension. Not bad for a guy who was ride less just two years ago.

The Championship was Ryan’s first but was Andretti Motorsports fourth. Again congrats.
Oh yeah Ed Carpenter made a great pass on the last lap past Franchitti to win. Congrats on the win Eddie. Awesome.

As for Power? Well maybe a visit to the Dr. Phil show will make you win the trophy next year.

I’m outta here

Radio Speed Talk Team Changes


Fort Wayne, Indiana (September 14, 2012) LAF-ing CLIFF Media of Fort Wayne, Indiana, parent company of Speed Talk & has announced the departure of co-owner, Speed Talk Co-Host & Executive Producer Pete LaFaucia Friday September 14, 2012.

Speed Talk started in spring 2009 as a local racing show on WNUY-FM eventually becoming self syndicated in August 2010 under the LAF-ing CLIFF Media banner. Cliff Tanner and Pete LaFaucia were its only hosts at that time. Speed Talk is a weekly 1 hour racing show that at its height had 10 radio affiliates nationally. At the time of LaFaucia’s departure Speed Talk has 2 terrestrial affiliates and 2 online affiliate.

The shows creators have decided to split on creative differences. LAF-ing CLIFF Media will dissolve with Cliff Tanner retaining Speed Talk, and its affiliates reforming under the Name Cliff Dawg Media. Pete LaFaucia retains undeveloped and an undisclosed amount of financial compensation. Speed Talk’s last show with LaFaucia airs on affiliates this weekend.

Pete LaFaucia is available for producing of any form of Talk show with experiences in Sports, Political, Business, fitness and Morning Show. He can be reached at 260-615-9530 or

LAF-ing CLIFF Media Logo, Speed Talk Logo and Pete LaFaucia Head shot available upon request

NHRA Lucas Oil Raceway Live Remote

The Balance
the ONE place where fanatics can come together and talk about their favorite teams.

Contact: Michelle Derr
Phone: 317.407.8540

Courtney Force, many others join The Balance live remote from Lucas Oil Raceway

You never know who will stop by The Balance this Saturday morning

(INDIANAPOLIS, IN) – This Saturday morning, September 1st, the Balance Radio Show will be broadcasting live from the MAC Tools NHRA U.S. Nationals at Lucas Oil Raceway.  The broadcast will be live from 9am to 11am EST on BlogTalkRadio.

Courtney Force (John Force Racing) will be the headliner guest, joining the program during the 10:00 hour.  After qualifying for her debut event at the wheel of the Traxxas Ford Mustang Funny Car, (Courtney) Force beat Bob Tasca III in round one, becoming just the second John Force Racing driver ever to win his or her first round with the sport’s most successful team.  Force is currently 6th in points standing, entering the season’s final competition this weekend.

Other scheduled guests include Vance & Hines drivers Andrew Hines and Ed Krawic along with Brandon Baker from John Force Racing. With all the activity around Lucas Oil Raceway this weekend, you never know who will stop by to say hello to The Balance.

We’re excited to announce that Cliff Tanner and Pete LaFaucia will be joining The Balance host, Tom Marquis, on this weekend’s show. Join us Saturday morning!


The Balance is the ONE place where fanatics can come together and talk about their favorite teams. The Balance brings an analytical breakdown of sports from a Fans point of view. Hosted by Tom Marquis, The Balance bring breaking news, commentary, stats, standings, audio, highlights, and more! We also have a growing social media presence. The Balance is LIVE on Saturday mornings from 9-11a EST. The Balance Radio Network is based in Indianapolis, Indiana.

BlogTalkRadio, powered by Cinchcast, is the world’s largest online talk radio network with thousands of hosts representing different viewpoints and topics and millions of listeners tuning in and interacting via their mobile, Skype, the web or iTunes.

The Balance 8/25/2012 9:00 EST


Welcome to The Balance.

This is the ONE place where fanatics can come together and talk about their favorite teams. The Balance brings you an analytical breakdown of sports from a Fans point of view.

We bring breaking news, commentary, scores, stats, standings, audio and highlights!

We will provide great interviews and sound Bytes…..

You don’t wanna miss the Balance !!!

On This weeks show

Airdate: August 25 , 2012

Host: Tom Marquis


The Balance and Indy Pro Sports

1209 Country Club Rd

Country Club Industrial Park

Indianapolis, IN 46234

Phone (317) 903-8063



9:05-9:30: Cliff Tanner– Radio Speed Talk

9:30-10:00: Evan Williams – Purdue University

9:30-10:00: Jimmy Cavanaugh – Indiana University

10:00-10:15: Breakdown of the Indianapolis Colts vs. Washington Redskins Game

10:15-10:55: BAMF Fantasy Football Huddle




Welcome to The Balance.

This is the ONE place where fanatics can come together and talk about their favorite teams. The Balance brings you an analytical breakdown of sports from a Fans point of view.

We bring breaking news, commentary, scores, stats, standings, audio and highlights!

We will provide great interviews and sound Bytes…..

You don’t wanna miss the Balance !!!

On This weeks show

Airdate: August 18, 2012

Host: Tom Marquis


The Balance and Indy Pro Sports

1209 Country Club Rd

Country Club Industrial Park

Indianapolis, IN 46234

Phone (317) 903-8063



9:05-9:30: Pete – Radio Speed Talk

9:30-9:45: Leslie Harley – Families for HoPE

9:45-10:00: Ed Kratz – Eagles

10:00-10:15: Jeff Curts – BearsClaws

10:15-10:30: Jay Graves – Jay Graves Report

10:30-10:55: BAMF Fantasy Football Huddle

10:55-11:00: Wrap Up

IndyCar goes Hollywood

IndyCar  inked a deal with DreamWorks Animation to make “Turbo to hit theaters in the summer of 2013.

The animated movie features an ordinary garden snail that dreams of winning the Indianapolis 500, and gets a chance to do just that after a freak accident leaves it with extraordinary speed.

The film is scheduled for release July 19, 2013, and is the biggest deal yet for IndyCar’s Entertainment division.

Filmmakers hope the racing snail can become as big a hit as the Cars series that featured a talking, NASCAR-style race car.