It's not the time for celebration

No cheering in press box remains an important rule

March 02, 2011

One more postscript to the giddy story of Trevor Bayne winning the Daytona 500: Perhaps it was too giddy. I wasn't the only one taken aback when a bunch of journalists cheered as Bayne crossed the finish line, then applauded after Bayne's news conference.

Great story, but still … there needs to be a degree of professionalism, no matter who wins or who loses.

Rea White of Foxsports.com, the new Motorsports Press president, sent a note to association members urging them to keep the noise down to a minimum.

"To that end, and to continue to present a professional image as journalists, we should all work to refrain from cheering or shouting in the media center and press box," she wrote.

The lapse of professionalism led to the firing of at least one journalist. Tom Bowles, formerly of SI.com, said he was dumped for cheering Bayne's victory and then defending his actions on Twitter.

The incident led to quite the animated conversation among Bowles and some members of the NASCAR media. Bowles remains unapologetic for his actions.

California Dreamin': NASCAR's push for diversity, if you will, is reflected in the birth certificates of 75 drivers who started a Sprint Cup race last season. A color-coded map in the March issue of ESPN the Magazine rates California as the No. 1 breeding ground for Cup drivers with 10, including Jimmie Johnson, Kevin Harvick and Jeff Gordon.

The enormous size of the state, coupled with its population base, has much to do with that, but I bet you a bunch of people still would get it wrong if this were a Trivial Pursuit question.

New York, Indiana and North Carolina are next with five each. Florida has three.

Crossover: Look for Tony Stewart and 2008 Formula 1 World Champion Lewis Hamilton to swap race cars in an exhibition this year.

Mike Arning, a spokesman for Stewart-Haas Racing, confirmed the seat swap, which is expected to take place at Watkins Glen International this summer.

Hamilton will drive Stewart's No. 14 Chevy, and Stewart will drive Hamilton's 2010-model F1 McLaren.

George Diaz

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