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More Lime than Wine at Sonoma Nationals

More Lime than Wine at Sonoma Nationals

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Published by Phillip Gary Smith
The NHRA drag races in wine country . . . what a contrast, yet it works, becoming one of the most exciting race events of the year. Published in my award-winning Media Matters column at Radioactive Drag Racing News. "Who would have thought a little red in the other lane would have turned the winner of a quarterfinals Pro Stock pair redder still, but that is exactly what happened when an act of perceived incivility from Erica Enders melted four-time Full Throttle champion Greg Anderson’s veneer of cool."
The NHRA drag races in wine country . . . what a contrast, yet it works, becoming one of the most exciting race events of the year. Published in my award-winning Media Matters column at Radioactive Drag Racing News. "Who would have thought a little red in the other lane would have turned the winner of a quarterfinals Pro Stock pair redder still, but that is exactly what happened when an act of perceived incivility from Erica Enders melted four-time Full Throttle champion Greg Anderson’s veneer of cool."

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Published by: Phillip Gary Smith on May 02, 2013
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10/29/2013

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Media Matters: More Lime than Wine at Sonoma NationalsFor a select few, never has lime green looked cooler.The ESPN scroll along the top of a television screen thisyear uses a “whiter shade of pale (green)” as Procol Harumsings, to highlight the drivers now locked into 2012’sCountdown to the Championship. The quickly-moving limesnippets are easily identifiable and allow one to note, for example, in both Pro Stock and Pro Stock Motorcyclesquarterfinals, each of the eight pairings had a qualified andnon-qualified driver.Who would have thought a little red in the other lane wouldhave turned the winner of a quarterfinals Pro Stock pair redder still, but that is exactly what happened when an actof perceived incivility from Erica Enders melted four-timeFull Throttle champion Greg Anderson’s veneer of cool.And that was after he just won a mini-staging duel over thefirst woman to ever win a Wally in the class . . . with him inthe other lane of that historic moment to start July. Now this ends the month.By a smidgen Ender’s GK Motorsports Chevrolet trippedthe redlight, handing Anderson’s Summit Camaro a plum,an automatic win, appearing on paper to have been a realgift.
 
Her elapsed time bettered his. Anderson’s .044-secondreaction time, though on the green side of things, was beatable.For his winning interview Anderson lit right into her, bitter like an unripe lime. “Sorry for her luck; I did think she didsome things that were unprofessional,” leaving no doubt toa viewer he was referencing their earlier moment in history.It appears that moment is continuing to expand like Macysinflating Thanksgiving Day balloons . . . .Give reporter Gary Gerould credit, he asked, he tried to geta flushed Anderson to ‘fess up to what was eating at him but to no avail. Gerould did hot-foot it over to Enders whodisplayed the ice-in-her-veins with, “I’m respectful . . . Ithink they’re great.” No darkness from her.The cameras catch the two, still at the top-end, talking.Viewers were sitting on the edge of the chair dying to hear what was being said; ESPN didn’t disappoint as amicrophone was quietly thrust near them.The audio caught a few words like Enders noting, “. . .more than a month ago (referring to her victory at ChicagoJuly 1) . . . wrong time (today) to say something” aboutwhatever is troubling him. She seemed flummoxed likeviewers as to the source of his irritation.
 
Incivility in the workplace is a hot topic. 96 percent of employees claim to have experienced it; 80 percent believethey get no respect at work.The difference here is whatever the reason and whether theslight is real or perceived, the tensions at high speed makesfor intriguing television drama better than any “Keeping upwith the Kardashians” episode.ESPN’s broadcast is more fun because of it, even thoughthese two drivers in their privacy must be twisting likeuntended grape vines.Seattle’s residents can only hope snow-capped MountRainier, the heaviest glaciated peak in the lower 48 peeringover the next event in the Western Swing, doesn’t thawfrom the heat of this quarrel.Fans will fantasize Zeus of brackets has them face-off firstround; let’s get to it. Better still, first pair!Imagine Erica’s “Eyes of the Tiger” as Allen Johnsonclaims she has, meeting Anderson’s tiger claws next time.Contrast this with a friendly team-rivalry at the samemoment, having fun while competing. Anderson’steammate, Jason Line, playfully “kicks” Johnson’s Dodge pulling to a stop while on television, knowing they were paired against one another in the semifinals.

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