Sunday, January 18, 2009

Thank you for such a very prestigous honor

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- It's never easy to return to social or professional settings after you suffer through such a devastating setback like being laid-off. I admit I was quite hesitant to return to Charlotte this week for the annual NASCAR preseason media tour, not wanting to rehash being laid-off by Yahoo, what's going to happen to its NASCAR coverage, and so forth.

But as reluctant as I was to come here -- and quite frankly, I'm also doing lots of networking and job-hunting -- I'm suddenly very glad I did.

Sunday night at the annual National Motorsports Press Association awards banquet, I was shocked to learn I was the first place winner in the Spot News/Daily & Internet category for last May's column on Humpy Wheeler's abrupt departure from Lowe's Motor Speedway and Speedway Motorsports Inc.

Humpy's Sad Farewell

It took every ounce inside of me not to shed some tears not only for winning such a prestigious honor, but also because it reflected the work I had done at Yahoo -- only to see all that effort go for naught when I was laid-off on Dec. 31. Frankly, I had to bite my tongue -- literally; I have the bite marks to prove it -- to not lose it.

But perhaps more than anything, winning such a coveted award like this reaffirms that I have a talent which will hopefully soon resurface at another venue. Yahoo's loss will be another company's gain. When something like being laid-off occurs, you start doubting yourself, your ability, your talent and your future. That's part of the reason why it took me nearly a month to start my own blog, even though numerous people prodded me to do so earlier. I was just so self-absorbed in pity and depression, something that typically is not me. I felt like my career had come to a screeching halt, and I'd never get back to the level I was at with Yahoo, as the No. 2 most-read NASCAR site in the world.

More than anything, winning this award is not only a great honor, it also serves as incentive to get back to work and start kicking ass and doing what I do best: telling it like it is. It's time to stop feeling sorry for myself. There's millions more in this country, many of them NASCAR fans, that have also lost their jobs -- and I have to get back not only for myself, but also for them. If NASCAR is one of the few things they can enjoy in these hard times, I owe it to every reader to get back to work and give them information, entertainment and hopefully take them away from their troubles for at least a little while.

Which leads me to a request: if you or anyone you know is a NASCAR fan that has lost his or her job, please write me with your story about how NASCAR is at least somewhat of a motivating thing to help you get through some of the difficulty you're going through now. I promise that I will post as many of your stories as I possibly can in an upcoming edition of Trading Paint (most likely right around Feb. 1 or so).

E-mail your story to me at

Thanks very much to the NMPA, its officers including new president Dustin Long and outgoing president Tom Jensen, the contest judges and also to all of you that have written in over the last week. It's amazing how much feedback I've already received from folks without any promotion or announcement of my blog. But don't worry, word of this blog will start making news in the next couple weeks as I get back to the same old Jerry that you know and the honest analysis you have come to expect from me.


  1. Congratulations!!!! Extremely well deserved. This column is also very down to earth and real. It takes a lot to admit what you did. Keep going. Those in the know know how good you are.

    Get rid of the "profile" or explain it so we can sign the blog. I choose anonymous because I do not understand the others.

  2. Hey Jerry GLAD to hear about this.....your trip looks like its a beginning of good things to come....

    A Michigan Fan

  3. Good to see you here Jerry. The Marbles were very upset to see you off YAHOO and some harsh words were said about that, but now that you have a new home we're telling each other where to find you! Keep up the good work!

  4. WooHoo. I found the great Jerry.....Congrats on the award. I admit to missing your columns terribly. They either made me mad, made me cry or evoked some other racing inflicted emotion. Life just isnt the same without Jerry to debate.. Glad you have this and please please let us know when you get a regular column. Until then, keep up the great blog..
    Helen, Carson City. NV

  5. Remember, they tried to silence Einstein too Mr. a regular reader of yours at Yahchoo (said because they simply must be ill to get rid of you) I wish you the best, and know that I'll still, along with your many many fans keep up with anything you choose to Trade Paint with!

  6. Welcome back! A lot has happened since you left Yahoo! sports. So, have a good breakfast, get off your duff and start writing about it so we can argue at length about where you are wrong! lol. Missed ya JB

  7. Sure glad you will be around to "tell it like it is" again this year Jerry. It's Yahoo's loss and our gain.

  8. Hey guy how is the wife doing? I saw you at the Sirius party in NYC.I heard all about it how she was disable.And how her foot got crushed working with disabled kids at her high school. Man the wife gets hurt, then Yahoo screws you!Wishing you the best. Not down in NC this week. I hope things pick up for you two. And we will talk once again on the road.

    A friend...

  9. Jerry, I am long time NASCAR fan and enjoyed all your articles on Yahoo. Now I will start reading Trading Paint. Congrats on your award! Your writing makes me feel as if I am right beside you witenessing the same thing you are seeing and writing about. I wish you luck in the new endeavor. Keep up the good work. Thank you for writing the interesting articles.

  10. Sadly, you, like so many Americans today, are the victim of poor decision made by corporate management that is coming back to bite them in the butt. Watching the news on Yahoo, the problems are in all areas within that company...not just the sports reporting.

    Good luck in your job search. The award you received is validation that you are a talented writer. And in the end, NASCAR will still be covered in the media. I'm sure there will be an outlet that recognizes the contribution you will be able to make. In the meantime, I intend to keep up with you here.

  11. Definitely a well-deserved award, Jerry... Took me a while but I finally made my way over to your blog. Looking forward to reading your take on things this season, especially with all of the team upheaval in the off-season. Keep up the good fight!

  12. Congratulations Jerry. I hope you have luck finding a good job. You very clearly have telent as a motorsports writer - even without the award. Yahoo were utter fools to let you go. Buy their loss will be someone elses gain.

  13. Glad you are back on the web. Yahoo made a mistake and should've kept you. But at least we can read you here! (I've been through a job loss too, and in the end, turned out to be better, so hang in there!)


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