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Coffee with Claire B. April 25, 2008

Posted by claireblang in Coffee with Claire B..
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Claire B. Lang – Talladega Alabama
April 25, 2008

This is the first in a daily morning blog – a quick post over coffee to stay in touch with you on claireblang.com. The posts and hits to this site are increasing – and I’m hoping this site is a way for me to post things that you may have missed on the show or items over the weekend after “Dialed In” goes off air. Note: Major breaking stories I will file on XMSN Sports Updates (every 20 minutes) over the weekend. Most days are crazy busy – so I’m going to attempt to jot you a quick note every morning about what’s going on – with the hope that even if you can’t be on the road following the NASCAR circuit like I do – you’ll feel like you are along for the ride.

I picked up my Starbucks today and headed to the race track shortly after 7:00 a.m. I’m in the radio room here in the media center – and there are a handful of radio talk shows live down the hall from me. These rooms are not soundproof. I can hear all the radio hosts talking loudly (as if all trying to outdo each other with opinions) – and the buzz is, of course, Tony Stewart. Sounds like “Conspiracy Theory Thursday” from what I can hear – with everyone throwing theories around now that Tony has said that he’s negotiating and has not decided where he will end up.

I thought that I’d miss Stewart’s conversation about his contract yesterday in the Nationwide garage as I was live on air in the mobile unit in an area in front of the track when it was initially scheduled. The hauler chat with Stewart was delayed as he was still in the Nationwide practice. When I got off air in the Chevy mobile unit I slammed my computer and audio equipment in a back pack and drove as fast as I could get by with through the tunnel and to the media center then ran into the garage. When I got there Stewart was still debriefing with his team and the media corps in attendance was waiting for him in front of the hauler.

What did I notice? Well first of all I had said the day before as the Tony Stewart “inside source” stories outlined what they had learned that I felt Stewart was negotiating plain and simple. When you negotiate you check out what’s out there and you most certainly would want it to get out that you are in demand.

It struck me as Stewart held court that he took every single question and bent over backwards to be accommodating to every single media person in the group. I like Stewart and he’s always been good to me when I need an answer on something–but trust me Stewart does not hold court with the media for almost a half hour – after practice – in that mood- unless it’s something that he wants to get out and communicate.

Do you not think that if Stewart or his people did not want the story out about his being offered deals that could have him at some point asking for an early release that it would have gotten out?

This, as I said earlier in the week is what negotiating is. I’m not always right – and I try not to be too opinionated so that listeners feel more comfortable with their opinions – I don’t want to tell race fans how to think. I want to hear what they think and give them all the information I can gather that would spur the discussion in an accurate and unbiased manner.

This time – I was right. Stewart was and is negotiating.

And that is what he announced on Friday.

I was glad I was there. Stay tuned today – I talked with Kevin Harvick after I left the garage with Tony Stewart. I’ll share with you what he said.

Also – After driving five hours – anchoring a live three hour show – filing reports to XM Sports Nation and XM Channels across the board and audio back to XM – it was time for dinner and a Merlot. I was fried.

At 9:30 p.m. EST I headed to the steakhouse near the hotel which is like team central on race weekend – and within walking distance of the hotel. This is what I love about NASCAR – the bar restaurant area was full of crew chiefs and engine builders and chassis guys and competition directors and we discussed everything from the Camping World Penalty to where will Tony Stewart go?

Will you look at the time – I gotta get out into the garage.

Have a great day!
Claire B


1. Peter Quinn - April 25, 2008

Hi. I am a long time reader. I wanted to say that I like your blog and the layout.

Peter Quinn

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