Las Vegas Sun

February 9, 2016

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Mike Smith

Editorial Cartoonist

Mike Smith has been the Las Vegas Sun’s editorial cartoonist since 1983. His work, which has appeared in The New York Times, USA Today, The Los Angeles Times and the Washington Post, is nationally syndicated by King Features Syndicate. Smith came to the Sun after graduating from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles with a bachelor’s degree in humanities. A NASCAR racing buff, Smith also draws a weekly auto-racing cartoon for The Sporting News and is the author of “Nuts for Racing,” a collection of these cartoons. Smith was the 2011 winner of The Best of The West award for editorial cartooning.

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Blog Post Archive

I hate clean air
Monday, June 14, 2010
Drivers love clean air.

I don’t.

I think it makes races less competitive.

Will Jeff Gordon no longer be able to refer to his Sprint Cup car as a Chevy? (Updated)
Thursday, June 10, 2010
GM is proposing that Chevrolet no longer use the nickname Chevy.
Who wears the firesuit in your family?
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
Inevitably, it happens to every guy who has a wife. You want to have a beer with the guys or replace your ancient TV with a new flat-screen model, but first you have to check with the wife.
You can always count on the Busch brothers to create a little drama
Sunday, May 23, 2010
Who needs to watch reality shows when you can watch Sprint Cup racing?
Mayfield's lawsuit against NASCAR dismissed
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
Mayfield's lawsuit against NASCAR has been dismissed by the U.S. District Court.
Junior Johnson still has what it takes
Thursday, May 13, 2010
Junior Johnson hasn’t lost his touch. And I’m not referring to his driving abilities.
Don't count out Stewart yet
Thursday, May 6, 2010
There have been a few prominent media stories this week addressing the performance of the No. 14 team this season.
Where are the Fords this season?
Thursday, April 29, 2010
The dark financial clouds over the Ford Motor Company are clearing, but the Ford Sprint Cup teams are struggling to find success this season.
I'll take a green-white-checkered finish any day over seeing a race end under caution
Monday, April 26, 2010
The last win for Richard Childress Racing at Talladega came in 2000 by Dale Earnhardt. I attended that race and I can vividly remember to this day how no one in the grandstands sat down once during the entire event.
Is a Johnson/Gordon feud developing?
Monday, April 19, 2010
The fenders of the No. 24 and No. 48 cars weren’t the only things bruised at the end of the race at Texas Motor Speedway.
Phoenix Sketchbook
Monday, April 12, 2010
I drove over to Phoenix early Saturday morning to attend the Subway Fresh Fit 600. As usual, I had my sketchbook in hand as I wandered around the garage area, taking in the sights and sounds. Here are a few sketches based on the day’s events.

What's the biggest challenge for Sprint Cup drivers at Phoenix?
Thursday, April 8, 2010
Phoenix International Raceway is one of my favorite racetracks in the western part of the United States. The one-mile oval is the closest thing to a short track that West Coast fans can enjoy.
How is Tony Stewart's 2010 season shaping up in comparison to 2009?
Friday, April 2, 2010
Remember all the talk last season regarding the success that Tony Stewart had in his first year as an owner-driver?
Too bad there aren't four races a year at Martinsville
Monday, March 29, 2010
There is no question that the racing at Martinsville is better than the racing at Bristol.
Will the spoiler help or hurt the No. 48 team?
Friday, March 26, 2010
During a press conference over the Las Vegas race weekend, Kevin Harvick was asked about Richard Childress Racing’s newfound momentum.
Jimmie Johnson finally wins at Bristol
Sunday, March 21, 2010
Jimmie Johnson and crew were obviously so tired of losing at Bristol that they put everything they had into crossing the finish line first on Sunday and in the process continued to rewrite NASCAR’s record books.
NASCAR drivers have memories like elephants
Friday, March 19, 2010
They say elephants have great memories, but their ability to remember can’t hold a candle to the powers of recollection that NASCAR drivers possess.
Did Keselowski get what he deserved?
Thursday, March 11, 2010
Brad Keselowski’s airborne acrobatics have landed him in the glare of the national media spotlight.
Sunday sketchbook from the Las Vegas Motor Speedway
Sunday, Feb. 28, 2010
It was a great weekend for racing and for cartooning.
Saturday sketchbook from the Las Vegas Motor Speedway
Saturday, Feb. 27, 2010
NASCAR attire looks like a collision between a billboard and a box full of Crayola crayons.
All Danica, All the time
Friday, Feb. 26, 2010
Every year when NASCAR comes to the Las Vegas Motor Speedway, I grab my sketchbook and head out to the track to draw a few cartoons.
Will Chevrolet's success at Fontana also mean success in Sin City?
Sunday, Feb. 21, 2010
Repave Daytona. Not!
Thursday, Feb. 18, 2010
Does Potholegate justify repaving Daytona? I’ll have to vote no on the question.
The new green-white-checkered rule made the wait worth it
Monday, Feb. 15, 2010
NASCAR had had enough. After suffering through a year of declining TV viewership and lackluster ticket sales, the sanctioning body realized it had to pay attention to the reasons behind reduced interest in the sport.
GoDaddy girls, Danica Patrick and Mark Martin
Thursday, Feb. 11, 2010
I hate changes in an administration. Whenever a new crew comes to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, it takes me several months to learn how to draw the new president and his entourage.
The Shootout could be a good indication of things to come
Saturday, Feb. 6, 2010
The only thing missing from the Budweiser Shootout was a longer battle to the finish.
NASCAR is probably glad to hear that Dale Jr. may race another 15 years
Friday, Feb. 5, 2010
While talking with members of the media on Thursday at Daytona, Dale Earnhardt Jr. mentioned that he might be willing to race for another 15 years.
A brief look at how some of Saturday's Bud Shootout participants have performed in the past
Thursday, Feb. 4, 2010
I’m rapidly finishing up my honey-do list so I’ll be ready to spend time on the weekends doing what’s most important: Sitting in front of the TV watching a NASCAR race.
Will Ford's $2.7 billion profit have an impact on its Sprint Cup program?
Friday, Jan. 29, 2010
Finally, there’s some good news out of Detroit. The Ford Motor Company, the only Detroit manufacturer that didn’t accept federal bailout money, announced Thursday a surprising profit of $2.7 billion for 2009.
Who's the new "Mr. Excitement?"
Thursday, Jan. 28, 2010
NASCAR driver Jimmy Spencer’s aggressive driving style won him the nickname “Mr. Excitement” when he drove in the Cup series. Is there a new “Mr. Excitement” on the horizon for this season?
Day two of the SCORE Laughlin Desert Challenge
Sunday, Jan. 17, 2010
Trophy-Truck driver Andy McMillin, who won on Saturday, took the checkered flag on Sunday and finished first overall at the season-opening SCORE Laughlin Desert Challenge.
SCORE off-road racing comes to the Nevada desert
Saturday, Jan. 16, 2010
On Saturday morning I drove from Las Vegas to Laughlin, Nevada to attend the season-opening SCORE Laughlin Desert Challenge.

What might be new in NASCAR is actually old. And that's a good thing
Thursday, Jan. 14, 2010
NASCAR may be in the process of taking a few steps back in order to move forward. This past week the sanctioning body announced a number of changes that it is considering as a way to improve competition
Bring back the rear spoilers (Updated)
Thursday, Jan. 7, 2010
The Transportation Safety Administration isn’t the only governing body that is reviewing rules regarding flight safety. After Sprint Cup cars took flight last season at Talladega, NASCAR has been working on a way to keep the cars from becoming airborne
I needed a NASCAR fix
Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2010
My family says I’ve been crankier than usual. My mom was convinced that I wasn’t myself over the holidays. Even my friends in the newsroom, a place known for its curmudgeons, think that I’ve been extra curmudgeonly lately.
How far will NASCAR stray from its roots?
Monday, Dec. 21, 2009
The most common theme running through a lot of the comments posted on my blog and others is the criticism that NASCAR continues to stray from its roots.
Crash totals are down, but questions about restrictor-plate races remain
Friday, Dec. 18, 2009
The number of crashes in Sprint Cup racing is dropping. For the second year in a row the number of wrecks and spins has gone down.

A few NASCAR rivalries are on my wish list
Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2009
But one thing that’s missing from racing that would make the sport more exciting is rivalries.
Drive, Danica, Drive
Thursday, Dec. 10, 2009
What we already knew has now been confirmed. Danica Patrick will run a partial Nationwide Series schedule in 2010.
A few observations from the NASCAR Awards Banquet
Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2009
I’m not much of a fan of suits and shinny shoes. Frankly, I’ve never been a person who paid much attention to what I wear.
Will a fourth consecutive title by Jimmie Johnson be good or bad for NASCAR?
Friday, Nov. 20, 2009
A friend asked me this week if I thought a fourth consecutive title by Jimmie Johnson would be good or bad for NASCAR. “It will be good and bad for NASCAR,” I said.
A few observations from the infield at Phoenix
Monday, Nov. 16, 2009
Anyone who thinks NASCAR has strayed too far from its roots by becoming overly fancy, upscale and polished should visit Phoenix International Raceway.
How successful does a crew chief have to be?
Thursday, Oct. 29, 2009
After less than two seasons on top of Kyle Busch’s “war wagon,” Steve Addington will no longer be the crew chief for the No. 18 car.
Martinsville provides what Bristol used to offer
Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2009
Martinsville is now Bristolville. I used to look forward to the races at Bristol more than any other races during the season. Not anymore. Now I wait, like an anxious kid who waits for Santa, to see the racing at Martinsville.
Would the No. 48 make Jr. great?
Friday, Oct. 23, 2009
One of the things I’ve always admired about Dale Earnhardt Jr. is his refreshing honesty.
Forget the bumping at Martinsville, Talladega could be more of a worry for Johnson.
Monday, Oct. 19, 2009
The fat lady hasn’t sung yet regarding who will win the Sprint Cup Championship. But she is offstage warming up.
No Camaro in the Nationwide Series? What is Chevy thinking?
Thursday, Oct. 15, 2009
In a step that I hope will eventually lead to the "pony cars" coming to Sprint Cup racing, this week Ford and Roush Fenway Racing unveiled the Mustang that will be used next year in the Nationwide
Auto Club Speedway needs to be reconfigured
Monday, Oct. 12, 2009
In September the Los Angeles Times reported that no action is being taken on a multimillion-dollar proposal to reconfigure Auto Club Speedway.
NASCAR's move to change start times is the right decision
Thursday, Oct. 8, 2009
Inevitably at some point during the week my wife asks me, “What time is the race on this weekend?”
Does Gordon or Stewart have the momentum heading to California?
Monday, Oct. 5, 2009
It’s foolish to bet against Tony Stewart. During the past two weeks, it was beginning to look like the wheels were coming off the No. 14 team’s championship bid.

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