All posts in Daytona – Speedweeks

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giving it away: 50 years of the great american race

Daytona 500: 50 Years of the Great American RaceOk, so I’m really excited about this. I was given a copy of the new 2-disc DVD set Daytona 500: 50 Years of the “Great American Race.”

I watched it last night and it gives you some really cool insight into the history, legacy and champions of the Daytona 500, NASCAR’s biggest and most significant race as we all know. The first disc is an interactive experience that allows you to watch this year’s Daytona 500 from the driver’s perspective. It’s pretty trippy to feel like you’re in the car with them. The featured drivers include Kasey Kahne, Tony Stewart, Denny Hamlin, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and of course the race winner Ryan Newman. You get to hear the team radio communications and you also have the option of switching to the broadcast coverage as well.

The second disc gives you a round table discussion (or square table as Michael Waltrip put it) with past Daytona 500 winners like David Pearson, Junior Johnson and Mario Andretti to name a few. The conversation is great and full of little interesting anecdotes, plus great footage from the archives of the race’s history. Oh and I just want to say that it’s pretty uncanny how much IndyCar driver Marco Andretti looks like his grandfather Mario when he was in his twenties. But I digress. The second disc also features some interviews with drivers from today including Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson and Kevin Harvick.

I highly recommend this DVD set to anyone that is a serious NASCAR fan. It’s a cool way to experience the race all over again. This DVD set is available for purchase online and you can also win a copy of the set from me! I was given an extra copy to give away to one of my awesome readers! Click here to enter the contest. The contest is over! Thanks!

The 50th running of the Daytona 500 is one of NASCAR®’s most unforgettable and highly-anticipated milestone events. Already the most prestigious race in motorsports, this landmark running is sure to be remembered and cherished by millions of race fans. On April 15, join A&E Home Video and NASCAR® Collections to celebrate the golden anniversary of “The Great American Race™” with DAYTONA 500: THE 50TH ANNIVERSARY, a highly-collectible 2-DVD set that puts fans in the driver’s seat like never before! Available just weeks after the 50th Daytona® 500 (February 17), this is THE official NASCAR® collectible of this historic race.

As part of DAYTONA® 500: THE 50TH ANNIVERSARY, the 2008 Daytona 500 will be presented in the ground-breaking “My Race” Interactive DVD format. This innovative user experience allows fans to choose the view of the race from six different driver perspectives plus the main broadcast feed, along with driver and announcer audio feeds — putting them right in the middle of the action. The second disc features the great stories and heroes that have defined the Daytona 500 through two exclusive NASCAR® programs: “A Sports Century” features a dynamic roundtable discussion of the moments and personalities that defined Daytona with a host and panel of NASCAR® experts including Richard Petty and Jeff Gordon, while “The Top 50 Daytona® 500 Moments” is the definitive telling of the story of NASCAR®’s Greatest single greatest event. Additional DVD extras include official NASCAR® PC wallpapers and time-lapse screensavers.

With a history of legend-defining and myth-making spectaculars, the Daytona® 500 winners circle has embraced NASCAR® heroes including: Richard Petty, Mario Andretti, Jeff Gordon, and Dale Earnhardt Senior and Junior. And DAYTONA® 500: THE 50TH ANNIVERSARY, an unprecedented and revolutionary DVD release, only adds to the legend of NASCAR®’s biggest race of the year.

daytona in short

Apparently Kevin Harvick hasn’t seen the animated movie “Cars,” because if he had he would have let Mark Martin win!

I know, I know, Kevin Harvick won the Daytona 500 fair and square, but still. Mark Martin has done everything but win the 500 and a Cup Championship and this is his last year racing in the Cup series. Harvick has a million years left in his career; this was Martin’s last chance.

Honestly my heart hurts for Mark Martin, I wish he could of edged out Harvick. He was so freaking close.

My other disappointments for the day included Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Clint Bowyer who both ended up in big crashes late in the race.

Overall there aren’t many highlights of note. Kelly Clarkson‘s pre-race mini concert was just OK. She sang “Since U Been Gone”, “Miss Independent” (during which they unfurled a big picture of the Statue of Liberty, can you say lame?) and some new song that I’d never heard of before.

Country duo Big and Rich sang the national anthem and Nicolas Cage gave told the drivers to start their engines. I don’t know if it was just me but his hair looked a little weird (see below). At least his movie “Ghost Rider” was tops at the box office this weekend.

“Happy” Harvick himself

Winner Kevin Harvick, left, rookie David Ragan, center, and second-place Mark Martin speak during a news conference following the NASCAR Daytona 500 auto race at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla., Sunday, Feb. 18, 2007. (AP Photo/J. Pat Carter)

Luckily Clint Bowyer walked away from this mess without any problems

Flames lick from Clint Bowyer’s car, while Carl Edwards (99) passes by on the track following a crash on the last lap of the NASCAR Daytona 500 auto race at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla., Sunday, Feb. 18, 2007. (AP Photo/Terry Renna)

No autographs for you Jeff Gordon fans!

NASCAR fans peer through the windows into the garage area as Jeff Gordon watches preparations for the Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla., Saturday, Feb. 17, 2007. (AP Photo/Glenn Smith)

Am I right or am I right? Scary hair for Nicolas Cage

Actor Nicolas Cage, grand marshal for the NASCAR Daytona 500 auto race and who appears in the upcoming movie “Ghost Rider,” speaks during a news conference at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla., Sunday, Feb. 18, 2007. (AP Photo/J. Pat Carter)

Speaking of scary hair, here’s Kelly with extensions

Singer Kelly Clarkson entertains prior to the start of the Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla., Sunday, Feb. 18, 2007. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

And here’s Kelly with just her real hair

Singer Kelly Clarkson, right, talks with driver Martin Truex Jr. at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla., Saturday, Feb. 17, 2007, the day before the NASCAR Daytona 500 auto race. (AP Photo/Terry Renna)

insert a clip of the annoying song “bad day” here

Car parts lie outside a garage following the NASCAR Daytona 500 auto race at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla., Sunday, Feb. 18, 2007. (AP Photo/Terry Renna)

mikey’s not going to like this

Michael Waltrip’s #55 Toyota has been confiscated by NASCAR. Forget about what those other crew chiefs did, this team has gotten itself into the some serious trouble. I wonder if Michael knew all along? When he was interviewed during qualifying for the Daytona 500 this past Sunday he didn’t seem to be his normal gregarious self.

Here’s more from the NASCAR press release:

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Feb. 14, 2007) – NASCAR announced Wednesday that it has confiscated the primary car of the No. 55 Toyota team that competes in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series with driver Michael Waltrip, as a result of rule violations found during pre- and post-qualifying inspection for the Daytona 500. Crew chief Larry (David) Hyder and the team’s vice president of competition Bobby Kennedy have been ejected from this week’s events at Daytona International Speedway and suspended indefinitely. Hyder also has been fined $100,000.

NASCAR also penalized Waltrip with the loss of 100 driver championship points. His qualifying time from pole day on Feb. 11 was disallowed. Team owner Elizabeth (Buffy) Waltrip has been penalized 100 car owner championship points.

The actions taken by NASCAR resulted from violations of 12- 4-A (actions detrimental to stock car racing), 12-4-Q (car, car parts components and/or equipment not conforming to NASCAR rules) and 20-15.2C (gasoline must not be blended with alcohols, ethers or other oxygenates).

The confiscated car and the parts related to the violations will be transported to the NASCAR Research and Development Center in Concord, N.C. for further inspection.

NASCAR said the investigation of the confiscated car is ongoing.

bad crew chiefs, bad, bad

I don’t care.

I don’t care that four crew chiefs were suspended for cheating this week. And you wanna know why I don’t care? Because it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t do anything to their teams. Yes it sets them back in points and money, but they’ll find replacement chiefs and the team will still compete on Sunday.

The race is what matters and if NASCAR really wants to punish people for cheating they shouldn’t allow them to compete. It’s ridiculous.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. accidentally curses on national television (this was a couple years back if my memory serves me) and he’s docked points but a bunch of people cheat on purpose and they’re docked points too. It doesn’t match up in my eyes.

Kasey Kahne and Matt Kenseth are hot, big name drivers right now, but I think we could live without them in the Daytona 500 this year if that’s what it takes to get teams to realize that you can’t get away with this type of behavior anymore.

introducing carl edwards, record exec

Daytona is 30 days away and I’m getting more and more excited about it by the minute.

Teams continued to test at Daytona International Speedway this week, including Carl Edwards and his Office Depot crew. Turns out Cousin Carl is a bit of a music aficionado. He’s the co-owner of a new record label that he started with some friends. (photo credit: Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Here’s more from a press release:

Playing a guitar is a bit of a project for NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series driver Carl Edwards (No. 99 Office Depot Ford), who reads chassis hiccups like sheet music and manhandles steering wheels.

But feeling his way through cords and riffs hasn’t stymied Edwards. As the creator — along with friends in his native Missouri — of new recording label Back 40 Records, Edwards hopes to provide a boost for unknown artists who need it.

“I like the people that write their own songs and are really singing about something that they care about,” Edwards said Monday prior to NASCAR Jackson Hewitt Preseason Thunder testing at Daytona International Speedway.

“I tell you somebody I met the other day who was really cool was Danielle Peck, the country music singer. She was really nice and it was really cool to hear her story and how hard she’d worked, and then to listen to her music.”

Edwards knows the power of a big break: He has advanced from obscurity to stardom in only three years with Roush Racing. And as this week’s second session of NASCAR NEXTEL Cup preseason testing begins at Daytona, he’s searching for a way back to the top of the series charts.

“There were times last year where I thought, ‘Man, what am I doing wrong here?’” said Edwards, who followed 2005′s third-place finish with last season’s frustrating 12th-place effort.

A crew-chief change from Bob Osborne to Wally Brown, then back to Osborne for 2007 seems to have settled things, allowing Edwards to pursue a comeback — plus his new role as music mogul.

“We’ve got our record label going so I’ve been listening to that stuff — all the Back 40 artists — everything, man,” Edwards said. “The last really neat CD that I got — and I got to meet the guys — was the Robert Randolph band. I thought that was a great CD, so that’s probably what I’ve listened to the most, lately.”

Edwards, who jammed onstage with the band in December’s NASCAR Busch Series Awards Banquet performance, grew up listening to his father and two uncles strum guitars at family reunions. His own tastes took a historical turn — borrowing heavily from his parents’.

“When I was about 14, I found a record player and some records that they’d stacked away in the basement,” Edwards said, “and it was like John Denver, and Simon and Garfunkel — stuff like that. So for a long time, I never listened to current music. I was probably 17 when I started driving my car and I’d listen to whatever was on the radio.”

I like Carl Edwards, as I’ve mentioned in a previous post, but I think I’m liking him more lately ever since Tony Stewart talked about how he thinks Carl is “Eddie Haskell”. I give Tony points for comparing Carl to Eddie, a name I’ve used for certain people in my personal life, but Tony kinda irks me so I still have to stick with Carl for the time being. Plus Carl is way cuter than Tony so there ya go.

In other news…

Ashley Force announced that she’ll be racing in Funny Car this year. This is great news! I can’t wait to see her competing against the men — and her father — at Infineon later this year. In an episode of Driving Force (on A&E) they show her qualifying to get her Funny Car license. It’s one of the sweetest episodes. John Force gets so emotional when she finally hits the mark that it got me all teary-eyed (which really isn’t that hard, but still). Anyway, Go Ashley!

Ashley Force, 24, stands with her father, 14-time NHRA Funny Car champion John Force, next to the funny car she will drive this coming season in the NHRA Poweraide Series Tuesday afternoon, Jan. 16, 2007 in Yorba Linda, Calif. (AP Photo/Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, Will Lester)

I’m not digging her shorter hair, she definitely looks better with it longer.

– He’s baaack. Jeremy Mayfield was back in the saddle testing his new Toyota ride at Daytona this week. *sigh* I can’t wait for this race season to begin. There are a million and one storylines to be watched. Hold on tight, it’s going to be a bumpy ride.

Driver Jeremy Mayfield talks with crew members during NASCAR auto racing testing at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla., Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2007. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

don’t leave DEI, puhleeze

Even though the first race of the NASCAR season is still 37 days away — the prestigious Daytona 500 — racing has begun. Sort of.

Officially titled NASCAR Jackson Hewitt Preseason Thunder at Daytona, teams began testing their cars for the upcoming season. Teams that were in odd-number positions in the car owner standings as of July 12, 2006 tested this week. The even-numbered teams will test next week.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. was the fastest car in practice on Tuesday but of course that was overshadowed by the so-called drama between him and his step-mother Teresa Earnhardt.

Teresa was originally quoted as saying this to the Wall Street Journal. Junior then said this at a press conference on Monday. To which Ricky Rudd gave his two cents on Tuesday (he was asked for his opinion, so it’s not like he just busted out with it).

I just hope that this all blows over, Junior renews his deal with DEI and we can all get back to racing and trying to win!

In other news…

Greg Biffle got engaged over the holidays to his kick-ass girlfriend Nicole Lunders. She’s the woman who got so pissed with Kurt Busch, after he put Biffle’s car into the wall at Texas last year, that she stormed over to Busch’s pit box and chewed out his fiancée Eva Bryan. That was the coolest thing I had seen at a race in a very long time.

– This year’s NASCAR Day has been set for May 18th.

Fans interested in participating in NASCAR Day can purchase a pin, sign up his or her company and even purchase NASCAR Day apparel by going to NASCAR fans, corporations, schools and organizations across the country are encouraged to donate $5 and all participants receive a collectible 2007 NASCAR Day lapel pin for their donation.

Kasey Kahne signs autographs for fans during NASCAR Jackson Hewitt Preseason Thunder at Daytona International Speedway. (All Photos Credit: Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)

speed dating in daytona

I squealed with delight when I checked my email the other day. There was an email from Harlequin, the publisher of romance novels, touting a special Speed Dating event at Daytona International Speedway in Florida during next year’s Speed Week.

Here are the details from the Harlequin site: (link to it here)

On Friday, February 16, at the Daytona International Speedway®, we invite you to heat up your Speed Week with Harlequin and NASCAR. Get your heart racing with Speed Dating — NASCAR style!

What is Speed Dating? How can I get involved?

Speed dating is a fun way of meeting people with similar interests — did someone say NASCAR?!! If you will be at the Daytona International Speedway® and are interested in connecting with new people who share the love of NASCAR then this is a do-not-miss event. Spend an hour on our SPEED DATING track, racing through 5-minute mini-dates with other singles!

Just sign up at the e-mail address below — you will be contacted with more information in the coming weeks.

Click [email protected] to register for this exciting event. Please be sure to include your name, daytime and evening phone numbers and your email address. We will be contacting you shortly with details of the Speed Dating event.

I’m more than interested in this event. Being a single woman that’s into racing it’d be nice to meet a guy who shares my love for NASCAR. I can’t tell you how annoying it is to meet someone and have their face scrunch up when I mention Dale Earnhardt Jr.

The likelihood of me getting the chance — the most amazing, glorious and wonderful opportunity — to trek down to Daytona for Speed Week and the Daytona 500, is pretty low.

But nevertheless I urge all of you single ladies in the Daytona area to attend this event and then tell me all about it.