Team radio communications have made their way into many storylines this season in NASCAR, especially when a driver and crew chief are sniping at each other, or a driver is venting his displeasure at an ill-handling car.
Exchanges over the radio between five-time Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson and his crew chief Chad Knaus in last weekend's race at New Hampshire have been a topic of conversation this week.
On Friday, Johnson's Hendrick Motorsports teammate, Dale Earnhardt Jr., was asked his take on team communications being on the open airways. Here was his response:
“That’s sort of the nature of the way the networks want to provide the sport to the fans and that’s something that the media wants to cover. So I’ve kind of gotten used to it," Earnhardt said. "But I remember when you used to have a hard time getting a scanner or being able to listen to the teams or even when I was going to the races with Daddy, it was like pulling teeth trying to get a radio so I could listen to what they were doing. And nowadays it’s all sort of out there and in front of everybody.
"Every driver and crew chief have their times where they are going to say and do some things that they would rather not be public, but under the circumstances you really could care less at the moment. But yeah, I would rather the public and the media not know what we were talking about on our radios but that’s not the way the world works today. And so you have to understand and accept that. And I think it’s good because it makes you be a better person. It makes you control yourself better.
"Had we not have such freedom as we do today, who knows what kind of asses we’d be? I get a little bit more coverage than most guys, from what I’ve listened to. I’ve never crossed some of the lines these other guys cross, but that’s just the way it goes.”