Do you miss Miss Winston? I don’t — I was satisfied when her position was eliminated. Which is why I’m irked at the fact that California Speedway feels the need to recruit Umbrella Girls for this weekend’s race in Fontana. Check out the video of the girls over at the AOL NASCAR Fanhouse, if you’re first reaction isn’t to gag then I just don’t know you anymore.
:)

The problem that I have with this is that we don’t need them. They bring nothing to the event except T&A, and while I’m sure men will find that appealing in general, overall it doesn’t add any excitement to the races. I seriously doubt that knowing that these “models” will be at the race would make someone buy a ticket for the first time. Especially in a place like southern California where it’s not hard to find a lot of people that are either models or aspiring actresses or women that are just trying to look like one of the two.

California Speedway’s other marketing ploy is a celeb-filled party they’re throwing at a club called Avalon in Hollywood tonight. While I don’t know that this will automatically translate into more butts in the seats for the race weekend, it could help with buzz — maybe, possibly, sorta.

All I know is that the last time I was in L.A. for my youngest nephew’s birthday party, one of the parents in attendance told my mom (after my mom told her about my blog) that she’d never met a NASCAR fan before. I wasn’t sure what to make of that. I mean I know NASCAR isn’t the most popular or talked about sport in our country but I’d put it on the same level as hockey. I know the major players, the general lay of the land, but I don’t follow it. But there’s no way I could ever say that I’d never met a hockey fan.

In other news…

– IndyCar driver Helio Castroneves has been added to the cast of ABC’s Dancing with the Stars. The new season starts September 24th.

– You can still get free tickets to this weekend’s race at the California Speedway, check out the details from Kodak:

As part of a promotion for its KODAK EASYSHARE All-in-One printers, Kodak is giving race fans something to “thINK” about.

To celebrate the winning entry in the company’s “Ink Ryan’s Ride” contest, Kodak will unveil a never-before-seen, custom-designed paint scheme for Ryan Newman’s No. 12 KODAK Dodge. The winning design was selected from over 3,000 contest entries, which were judged by driver Ryan Newman, NBA alum and TV co-host John Salley from “Best Damn Sports Show Period,” and online votes. After its unveiling, Newman will drive the newly inked car in the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series Sharp AQUOS® 500 race on Sunday, Sept. 2, 2007, at the California Speedway.

As further promotion of KODAK EASYSHARE All-in-One Printers, the first 75 fans to bring an old printer to the unveiling will receive two free tickets to the Sharp AQUOS 500 race, complements of Kodak, along with a coupon for dollars off a new KODAK Printer. All old printers will be sent to an electronics recycling center.

All attendees will receive a picture of the newly designed No. 12 KODAK DODGE, printed on the new KODAK Printer.

The Kodak Theatre
Hollywood and Highland Center Awards Walk
6801 Hollywood Boulevard
Hollywood, CA. 90028

Saturday, September 1, 2007
11:00 a.m.– 3:00 p.m.

Carl Edwards is always up to something, good that is, and tomorrow he’ll be at the Rancho Cucamonga Office Depot store for a backpack donation event:

Edwards will participate in his second Office Depot Foundation backpack donation event of 2007. He will be at the Office Depot store at 8160 Day Creek Boulevard in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif. on Thursday, August 30 from 5:00-7:00 PM. An autograph session will immediately follow the backpack donation. Fans wishing to participate may pick up a wristband starting at 7:00 AM at the store. Only the first 200 people will receive wristbands.

– Ok, I’m officially sad that I’m not going to be at the race this weekend. The band 30 Seconds to Mars will be performing in the California FanZone on Sunday (at 1:45pm, the show is free with admission to the race) and I have to miss it! Gah. They’re a great band you should definitely make a point to check them out if you’re going to be there. Tell the lead singer, Jared Leto, I said “Hi” and feel free to give him my phone number.