Las Vegas Sun

June 26, 2019

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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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Story Archive

Electric pace car: extension cord not included
Tuesday, April 17, 2012
Hummmmmm. Can you hear it? That’s the sound of an electric pace car at a Sprint Cup race.
Twitter and Dale Jr. are cartoon subjects that can't be ignored
Sunday, March 11, 2012
I've done a few cartoons on the Tweeting talents of Brad Keselowski and I approach the subject again today in one of my sketches from the press box at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
You have to be creative to get a driver's autograph
Saturday, March 10, 2012
The Neon Garage in the infield at Las Vegas Motor Speedway allows racing fans to get a closeup view of the drivers and teams as they prepare their cars in the garage area.
Las Vegas Motor Speedway Sketch Pad
Friday, March 9, 2012
I love the smell of exhaust fumes in the morning.
Going off-road in style
Tuesday, March 6, 2012
If I could choose to own any high-performance vehicle available today, I would have to pass on the exotic names that would initially come to the mind of any car fantastic.
SCORE off-road racing returns to Laughlin, Nevada
Sunday, Jan. 15, 2012
The NASCAR offseason is always tough for me. As soon as the Cup season ends, I find myself counting the days until the Daytona 500.
Jeff Gordon break-dances at the NASCAR After The Lap event
Thursday, Dec. 1, 2011
Consider it the verbal version of "boys have at it." Each year, as part of the weeklong series of events leading up to the championship banquet, Ford and Coca-Cola sponsor the NASCAR After The Lap event.
Now that Stewart pays the bills, he has adjusted his attitude
Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2011
Opinions are often based on personal experience and a fear of consequences. So it was no surprise when I read today that Tony Stewart wants NASCAR to hold drivers accountable for retaliation on the track.
Objects in Carl Edwards' rearview mirror may be closer than they appear
Sunday, Oct. 30, 2011
Carl Edwards needs to keep checking his rearview mirrors now that a resurgent Tony Stewart is riding his rear bumper in final stretch to the Sprint Cup trophy.
Ron Hornaday wins at Las Vegas Motor Speedway
Saturday, Oct. 15, 2011
Camping World Truck Series driver Ron Hornaday took the checkered flag for the 51st time in his career in Saturday’s Smith’s 350 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Reaction to radio chatter depends on who's chattering
Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2011
When Kurt Busch uses some colorful language over the radio during a race it usually elicits a comment or two from the race broadcasters and a few mentions in the media. And fans aren’t too surprised since emotional blasts during the race aren’t out of character for the mercurial Busch.
What?! No Mustang in Cup?!
Thursday, July 21, 2011
I’m disappointed. Like a kid waiting to check out the latest Matchbox car at the toy store, I’ve been anticipating the introduction of the Ford Mustang to the Sprint Cup Series.
NASCAR can still give you wings
Thursday, June 23, 2011
By the end of this season, the Red Bull energy drink company plans to sell its stake in its two-car Sprint Cup team. Since the team was formed in 2007, it has accomplished only one Cup victory in the car driven by Brian Vickers.
Richard Childress can hunt small game, too
Monday, June 6, 2011

In life, there are some basic rules that most people with a hint of common sense understan
Hey, Danica, just sign on the dotted line
Friday, June 3, 2011

I’m tired of waiting. All of the planets seem to be in alignment for Danica Patrick to make the full-time move to NASCAR, but she’s still not ready to take the plunge.

The new and improved Kurt Busch
Saturday, May 28, 2011
This is great advice for drivers and crews that allow their emotions get the best of them during a race. How can a team problem solve if they’re bickering during the heat of battle?

Were NASCAR's penalties the right ones?
Tuesday, May 10, 2011
When a Sprint Cup driver loses his ability to practice anger management after a race, I’m usually more impressed if he confronts his competitor directly as opposed to using his car to make a statement.
The two-car draft or a giant pack? What's the best form of restrictor-plate racing?
Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Every time there was a race at Talladega or Daytona, we would hear the same argument in the media and among the fans. Should there be restrictor plates on the cars or not?
When it comes to Kurt Busch, Jack Roush is Comedy Central
Friday, April 15, 2011
If Jack Roush were an animal, he would probably be an elephant. Elephants have great memories, and when it comes to Kurt Busch, Roush hasn’t forgotten a thing.
Is it too much to ask that Dale Jr. be like his father?
Friday, April 8, 2011
What were you thinking as Dale Jr. saw his chances of breaking his winless streak crushed by an aggressive Kevin Harvick at Martinsville?
Bristol Motor Speedway has become too polite
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
If you owned a Rolex watch, you would probably treat it with kid gloves. You’d protect it, preserve it and you certainly wouldn’t replace its Swiss time-keeping mechanism with the workings of a $15 watch from Walmart.
Friday sketchpad from Las Vegas Motor Speedway
Friday, March 4, 2011
Last year at this time Danica Patrick was all the rage in NASCAR. She received the majority of the media attention at every event she attended.
What is the most distinctive racecar in NASCAR?
Thursday, March 3, 2011
For some time now I’ve wanted to get a close look at the Dodge Challenger and Ford Mustang that are now used in the Nationwide Series.
How smart is Rick Hendrick?
Monday, Feb. 28, 2011
If Rick Hendrick's decision to make a few crew chief changes results in more victories for Jeff Gordon, he will be considered a genius. And if Dale Jr. starts winning some races, people will be saying he's the Albert Einstein of NASCAR.
Can Trevor Bayne help NASCAR bridge the gap?
Wednesday, Feb. 23, 2011
NASCAR wants to accomplish two important things: Grow the fan base by appealing to younger fans and hold on to older fans by preserving aspects of the sport they hold dear. Can Trevor Bayne help accomplish that?
Well, everyone knows who Trevor Bayne is now
Sunday, Feb. 20, 2011
Forget about “boys have at it.” Forget about the new pavement at Daytona. Forget about the two-car draft.
When Dale Jr. wrecked, so did I
Friday, Feb. 18, 2011
I had a cartoon wreck this week. Every Monday I pen the StockcarToon.
Four-wide at Daytona? I hope so
Friday, Feb. 4, 2011
The front stretch, the backstretch and the 35-degree banks of Daytona are repaved and ready to handle the 43 Cup cars that will be competing in the first race of the 2011 season.
You don't need a math degree to understand the new NASCAR points system
Friday, Jan. 28, 2011
I have never been good at math. Throughout my entire education I suffered through math courses, changed math tutors numerous times and dreaded the days that report cards were issued.
Tony Stewart: A man of consistency
Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2011
Changes. It seems like there have been a million of them in NASCAR over the past few season.
Day two of the SCORE Laughlin Desert Challenge
Sunday, Jan. 16, 2011
Rookie driver Bryce Menzies won the overall top spot in the Trophy-Truck division on the second day of the SCORE Laughlin Desert Challenge.
SCORE off-road racing comes to Laughlin, Nevada
Saturday, Jan. 15, 2011
The NASCAR offseason is the most difficult time of the year for me. No Cup races to watch, no feuds to enjoy, and no racing topics to discuss around the water cooler on Monday morning.
Will we see Jimmie Johnson on the stage in Las Vegas in 2011?
Monday, Dec. 6, 2010
It was deja vu. Once again, there was Jimmie Johnson on the stage at the Wynn giving an acceptance speech for winning the Sprint Cup.
No more Blue Deuce for Kurt Busch...and Jr. wins again
Friday, Dec. 3, 2010
There has been a laundry list of events this week leading up to tonight’s Sprint Cup Awards Ceremony.
No thanks, Jimmie Johnson! Keep Talladega in the Chase
Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2010
According to a story in The New York Times, Jimmie Johnson made the rounds of the Manhattan television studios last week, which included an appearance on the special “No Restrictor Plate.”
Can you compare other sports championships to winning the Sprint Cup?
Tuesday, Nov. 23, 2010
A lot of adjectives and sports comparisons have been used this week to put Jimmie Johnson’s five consecutive Sprint Cup titles into perspective.
A few thoughts, photos and sketches from the Kobalt Tools 500
Tuesday, Nov. 16, 2010
I was sitting directly above the start finish line at Phoenix on Sunday when Carl Edwards decided to jump into the enthusiastic crowd after his victory in the Kobalt Tools 500.
Jimmie Johnson is NASCAR's version of a rerun
Friday, Nov. 5, 2010
I like reruns. I can watch one of my favorite movies, episodes of “Seinfeld” or old NASCAR races on ESPN Classic a million times. So why don’t I like watching Jimmie Johnson reruns?
Lead or tailgate? That is the Talladega question
Thursday, Oct. 28, 2010
Restrictor-plate racing has often been compared to a game of chess.
Kurt Busch defends the No. 2 car, past and present
Tuesday, Oct. 26, 2010
Anyone who has watched Cup racing for any period of time knows that Cup drivers have memories like elephants.
Reutimann had better keep one eye on his rearview mirror
Monday, Oct. 4, 2010
David Reutimann was wrong. And as a result, he’ll have to spend the rest of this season, and maybe next season, looking in his rearview mirror, hoping that Kyle Busch isn’t riding his rear bumper.
The Harvick and Hamlin reality show
Friday, Oct. 1, 2010

Sprint Cup racing is the ultimate reality show. It doesn’t have the drama that Snookie brings to “Jersey Shore,” but it does have Kevin Harvick and Denny Hamlin.
The famous No. 3 returns to victory lane
Sunday, Sept. 26, 2010
Fan were on their feet waving three fingers in the air as Austin Dillon drove his black No. 3 Chevy to victory at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Saturday night.
If you haven't seen a race at Richmond, I suggest you do
Monday, Sept. 13, 2010
I visited Richmond, Va., for the first time this weekend to see, firsthand, what short-track racing is like at the small tri-oval.
Evernham and Dale Jr. would make a dynamic duo
Thursday, Aug. 26, 2010
Dale Earnhardt Jr. fans across the nation are in a world of hurt every time they hit the couch to watch a Sprint Cup race.
Is NASCAR sending a mixed message?
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
The Associated Press has reported that NASCAR has fined at least two prominent drivers for comments that were deemed to be critical of the sport.
NASCAR's changes don't seem to be making an impact
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
Despite NASCAR’s best efforts, attendance and TV ratings for Sprint Cup races remain in the doldrums. Is anyone surprised? I’m not.
Change more than just the Chase format
Thursday, July 15, 2010
It looks like more changes are coming to the Chase For The Sprint Cup. NASCAR chairman Brian France recently stated that more tinkering with the Chase format may be necessary to “bring out more winning moments.”
A few words of wisdom from The King
Friday, July 9, 2010
You’ve all heard and read the chatter this week about the exchange of words between A.J. Allmendinger and Richard Petty after last Saturday’s Daytona race.
Sprint Cup racing is a lot like Thanksgiving dinner
Thursday, July 1, 2010
An oil spill, the firing of a military general, Supreme Court confirmation hearings and the president’s falling poll numbers have all conspired to keep me from posting on Bloggity this week.