Jayski Closes Down Website: A Remembrance

And just like that Jayski.com is gone.

After 22 plus years the site that first made NASCAR rumors mainstream and accessible is gone. Death by ESPN will be listed on the headstone. Crushed by the weight of the World Wide Leader distancing themselves from motorsports.

A Piece Of Our Childhood Died With It

Jayski was the website every NASCAR fan visited religiously in the early 2000’s. It was saved in more “favorites” bars than any other racing related website. It was Page 6 for NASCAR. Except there was no sex scandals just rumors like will Jamie McMurray take over the #6 car?

Every day after school I’d ride the bus home and wonder what I was going to find on Jayski every day. As soon as I got in the house and petted the dog I’d fire up the Gateway computer, wait for it to “warm up” and then connect to the internet. As soon as Internet Explorer popped up it was one swift click on the Jayski favorite and boom there it was.

A hideous yellow website with wordart graphics but that didn’t matter. It was filled with all the gossip and possibilities any NASCAR fan could want. Absurd rumors, some of which were true, some of which were so outlandish even my 13-year-old self thought they were ridiculous. Jayski opened up the garage for everyone. The rumors you heard in the garage would end up online. Now not all of them would but they were there. And this was pre #FakeNews era, everyone ate up these rumors and it made NASCAR immensely fun.

We all were addicted to this site. On vacation I’d take over a computer in the business center at the resort to read up on rumors. That’s how I learned David Gilliland was going to Robert Yates Racing. On a school trip to an overnight camp I used the phone call aimed at “checking in” with your parents to have my Dad tell me what was on the site. Jayski was crack for some of us. Also realizing that I was OBSESSED with NASCAR as a kid.

Outside of rumors Jayski had the most extensive collection of paint schemes on the internet. I’d spend hours going through paint schemes from each year. And anytime the flashy “new” graphic showed up next to a drivers section you got genuinely excited. What could Pepsi have up their sleeve for Gordon this year? Blue?! Wow and then you’d click to the next one. It was porn before we discovered actual porn.

Everything that was housed at Jayski was resourceful. Tracks had their own pages full of information. From track phone numbers, addresses, sponsors, statistics, past finishing orders. It was the perfect website. Hell there were Busch, Truck Series and race track rumors as well. It was incredible.

And then ESPN came along. Gone were the days of a yellow website with gaudy graphics and rumors that absolutely could not be vetted. Like most things ESPN touched they ruined it. F1live.com was the same way, it was the European Jayski. ESPN put their hands on it and then dead. Ceased to exist in the form that made it great.

Thanks for the memories Jayski. A piece of my after school ritual died today but all good things must come to an end.

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