Welcome to another edition of "How the Steering Wheel Turns."
This has nothing to do with camber or other suspension settings.
A licensing agreement between Harlequin Enterprises and NASCAR for racing-themed romance novels could not create prose juicier than what has transpired in this young season.
Because NASCAR is all about television images anyway, it needs a deal with the Hallmark Channel or Cartoon Network instead of a paper mill.
Coming this summer:
"Silence of the Scam"
Starring Tony Stewart, who despite coming in second Saturday night, showed the hand to a Fox TV reporter and then skipped an appearance in the media center as a top-three finisher in the Nextel Cup race at Phoenix International Raceway.
It was a boycott over what he implied was NASCAR hanky-panky.
Stewart said Tuesday night on his weekly Sirius Satellite Radio program that he is fed up with what he claims are mysterious caution flags contrived to keep a driver from running away from the pack.
Shunning microphones was his form of protest and means to perhaps avoiding NASCAR retribution.
We suspect NASCAR occasionally has conjured invisible car parts or tire rubber over the years, but only Stewart is speaking out.
NASCAR might mandate Stewart to begin wearing Dr. Hannibal Lecter's mask.
The new health-conscious and fit Stewart also was seen after the race shunning a Subway diet sandwich for someone's liver, fava beans and a nice chianti.
"Gone with the Win"
On the Hallmark Channel, Jeff Gordon watches luster from his first win at Phoenix and 76th of his career vanish in a hot desert breeze as blowhards in the stands and others the following days on Internet crap boards and talk shows huffed and puffed at his memorable moment.
Some were irate he won, and others took exception that he flew a No. 3 flag on his victory lap to honor the late Dale Earnhardt, who also won 76 times.
Wind bags are fine. Freedom of speech, you know.
Gordon's show of sportsmanship and salute to a legend and his friend was rewarded with a cascade of beverage containers onto the track.
That's illegal. And stupid.
Gordon's motto should be: "Frankly, Bubba, I don't give a damn."
"Car 55, Where are You?"
The Cartoon Network's remake of the zany 1960s TV comedy stars Michael "Mikey" Waltrip and plays off the old cop show's title for what has become a trilogy of misadventures.
It opens with "Tanked," a show that delves into the super substance detected in Waltrip's Toyota engine before the Daytona 500.
The draft for the second episode, "Meteor," was to reflect Toyota's anticipated juggernaut rookie season in the Cup series. It has been reworked to reflect Toyota's poor performance through eight races, with the title changed to "Meteorite," because that's what you call an object that crashes to earth like Toyota's performance has so far.
The third and, we hope, final chapter, "Asleep at the Wheel," details Waltrip's April 7 early-morning crash of his Toyota Land Cruiser about a mile from his North Carolina home.
Actually, it's the only positive press he's gotten for Toyota, considering he rolled the SUV and was able to crawl away with only a few cuts before walking home without shoes, according to a witness.
Maybe he needs a shoe deal.
Few sacrifice like Waltrip to get sponsors publicity, and this was a unique way to show the safety attributes of a Land Cruiser.
"Dale or No Dale"
Already sold for syndication, the game show features Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s contract negotiations with Dale Earnhardt Inc., the company his father founded and stepmother Teresa runs.
Junior wants 51 percent ownership of the company. His stepmom reportedly has instructed her negotiator to tell him if he wants majority ownership he can buy it. Estimates indicate that would cost $55 million.
Junior's reply should be, "No Dale."
Junior is DEI, and without him it's nothing.
He's in the last year of a contract with DEI and sponsor Budweiser.
He needs to dump DEI, keep Budweiser and start a Cup team within his JR Motorsports operation, which his sister, Kelley Earnhardt Elledge, runs.
Say no, Dale. Even you if can't take the No. 8 with you.
Your daddy and fans will be proud of you for taking that stand.
In NASCAR, life beats fiction every time.
Jeff Wolf's motor sports column is published Friday. He can be reached at 383-0247 or firstname.lastname@example.org.