I haven’t posted anything in a really long time and I apologize. My day job has taken over my life to the point where I’m working weekends and not getting home until late during the week.
All posts in IndyCar103 Posts
Upon hearing the news of Dario Franchitti & Ashley Judd’s statement that they’re getting a divorce, this was my reaction:
IndyCar’s 2012 Champion Ryan Hunter-Reay welcomed his first child with his wife, Beccy, on Friday, December 28th. The couple’s son, Ryden, weighed in at 6 pounds, 8 ounces and 19.5 inches.
IndyCar recently asked their drivers how they will spend Christmas this year in addition to naming the best Christmas gifts they’ve ever received.
It’s that time again. The time when you guys get to fill out a quick, handy-dandy survey that helps me figure out the best way to move this site forward. I REALLY appreciate your time & input. The fact that you read this site AND enjoy it means so much to me.
I’ve been pretty clear about the fact that Dale Earnhardt Jr. is the reason that I became a NASCAR fan and subsequently a NASCAR blogger. I’ve chronicled what it meant to me to get to stand in on one of his press conferences and how the MTV documentary “True Life: I’m a a race car driver” is what piqued my interest in racing.
There’s a new reality show that’s specifically looking for sports fans like you. If you love sports AND social media you should apply ASAP to be on this show. I think it could be really fun and the people behind it created other popular shows like “Survivor,” “The Voice” and “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire.”
My morning at the racetrack in Sonoma (formerly known as Infineon Raceway) started with a crack. Not the crack of dawn, but the butt crack of some photographer loading himself into the media shuttle van. That was a sight I really could have done without.
IndyCar drivers Ryan Hunter-Reay, who’s happily married to Beccy Gordon Hunter-Reay (Robby Gordon’s sister), and James Hinchcliffe spoke with the media at Sonoma today (the photo above is old, not from today, obviously). When asked about how they spent their recent time off the guys were very entertaining. Especially that Hinchcliffe, he’s a character.
This weekend is the GoPro Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma. I’ll be there on Sunday and so will London 2012 Olympic gold medalists Tyler Clary and Erin Cafaro. Clary won the gold in the 200-meter backstroke and Cafaro was a part of the US Rowing Women’s 8-boat team. They’ll give the command to start engines with Sacramento mayor and former basketball star Kevin Johnson.
I have some super duper awesome news to share with you guys. Thanks to the wonderful people at 3M I get to go to the Sprint All-Star Race weekend in Charlotte! They’re paying for the trip and to make it more fun I get to bring my boyfriend. I’m really looking forward to sharing my passion for NASCAR with him, especially since it’ll be the first time he’s ever attended a NASCAR race. He’s also serving in an official capacity as my photographer.
I recently signed up for LivingSocial. It’s one of those sites that offers discounts on local services, products & experiences for a limited time. Last month I received one about an “adventure” being held at Andretti Winery in Napa. When I read the part about Andretti I was instantly in, I knew it would be a great thing to write about here and I didn’t even know that Mario Andretti owned a winery. So in addition to writing about tasting the Andretti wines, I also get to tell you about the mustard-making class that was also included.
The theme of 2011 for The Fast and the Fabulous has to be growth. We grew in traffic, content and opportunities. I am so incredibly thankful for everyone that reads this blog and receives any kind of enjoyment from it. You guys are the best! I had a “car thought” the other day (I do some of my best thinking while driving, this is also similar to “shower thoughts”) and I realized that the reason I read celebrity interviews & magazines in general is because I’m trying to learn something about myself or something that I can apply to my life. And I think that that’s something people can do when they read about my experiences at the track. You might find my stories funny but maybe you learn, or reinforce, something you already knew about yourself from one of my stories or from an interview I did with a driver. That’s what I hope, anyway.
Yep, he was at it again this weekend. Tony Stewart won the Indy Karting Classic on Sunday at Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis beating both NASCAR and INDYCAR drivers in the process.
The truth is that I really don’t want to write this entry. I wish that this wasn’t necessary. I don’t know that I have anything more to add to the posts and articles that have and will come in the time since Dan Wheldon’s death. Just writing that doesn’t even seem real to me. I can’t believe he’s gone. He should be here. When I saw the crash today, it was the worst racing accident I’d ever seen to date. I had a feeling that someone might not make it through it but I didn’t want to believe that. Everyone had to be OK, everyone had to make it through and maybe it wasn’t as bad as it seemed, but that wasn’t the case.
I had the opportunity to interview popular IndyCar driver Tony Kanaan at Infineon Raceway this year. Tony, or “TK” as people like to call him, was so very nice and a fun interview.
I interviewed Ryan Briscoe, driver of the No. 6 Team Penske Dallara-Honda, at Infineon Raceway during the Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma weekend last month. It was great getting to meet him and ask him these fun questions. The more I do it, the more it feels like I’m giving people a 3 minute psych test or something. I love it. When Ryan gave me his original answer for his favorite word he wasn’t totally satisfied with it, so he tweeted me later with his final answer.
I interviewed Helio Castroneves just before the autograph session that he and his Penske teammates were taking part of at the Macy’s men’s store in San Francisco the week of the Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma at Infineon Raceway.
I didn’t realize until just now that I missed a question in the questionnaire, which is crazy considering I’ve asked these questions a million times now. Anyway, it’s still a good interview. Helio laughs a lot and has a great personality. He’s just as you’ve seen him on TV, which is very refreshing.
Yep, I got to meet THE Mario Andretti, which, if I do say so myself, is pretty freaking amazing. He’s a LEGEND. Think about it: When people make jokes about people who try to drive fast they say something like, “Who do you think you are, Mario Andretti???” But he actually IS Mario Andretti and I got to ask him the fun little Inside the Actor’s Studio questions. I’m so glad he humored me. It was truly an honor.
It’s IndyCar week here in the San Francisco Bay Area (or at least that’s what I’m calling it) because the Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma is this weekend at Infineon Raceway.
Later today at the Macy’s in San Francisco on Union Square (170 O’Farrell Street) you can get autographs from Marco Andretti, Helio Castroneves, Will “I’ll Flip You Off” Power, Ryan Briscoe, Ho-Pin Tung, Mario Andretti and Simona De Silvestro.
It all happens at 6pm in the Men’s Store on the Main Floor. And if that wasn’t enough with the purchase of any IZOD merchandise, you’ll receive a free IZOD IndyCar Series cap. Customers who make a purchase of $50 or more will receive a pair of tickets to Sunday’s race.
So be there or be square! I will be there because I’m interviewing a couple of the drivers, specifically Marco and Simona. I’m debating whether or not to ask them about Danica Patrick related stuff. We shall see what I come up with.
I’ve been super slacking on my IndyCar duties so consider this post a catch-all, catch-up on the series.
I fully intended to write a post dedicated to Marco Andretti’s win at Iowa, but got sidetracked with other stuff. I’m still super stoked that he FINALLY got another win, but I’m really hoping he can pull off some of the same magic at Infineon Raceway this year. ‘Cause I’ll be at that race.
Am I the only person that is completely bored whenever Will Power or Dario Franchitti win a race? It’s really boring. I don’t dislike either driver, quite the contrary–I like them both a lot–but it’s so predictable. I think IndyCar might want to think about doing something to their points system to make things more interesting, ala NASCAR’s “Chase” structure.
In couple news… Andretti Autosport driver Ryan Hunter-Reay married his girlfriend Beccy Gordon (Robby Gordon’s sister) on Sunday, July 3rd. Congrats Ryan & Beccy!
(all photos courtesy of INDYCAR)
– Take the 2011 ‘Fabulous’ Reader Survey and enter for your chance to win an awesome Goo Gone prize package. Contest & survey ends on August 10th, 2011. More info
– Help me raise money for My NASCAR Year 2012. More info
It’s that time again! Time to take the 2011 ‘Fabulous’ Reader Survey! All of this information is important to help me grow this blog and to help prove to potential sponsors that there’s value in partnering with me.
So if you’re like me and enjoy filling out surveys, have at it! It should be fun and easy peasy, I wouldn’t expect it to take longer than 5 minutes to complete.
AND to sweeten the pot this year there’s a giveaway attached to the survey. The truly awesome people at Goo Gone have put together a super-duper prize package for one lucky reader that completes the survey.
The prize package (pictured above) includes the following:
(1) Goo Gone branded cargo box
(1) 8 oz bottle of Goo Gone
(1) 12 oz bottle of the Goo Gone Spray Gel
(1) 16 oz bottle of the Goo Gone Pro-Power Pump Spray
(1) 14 oz bottle of Goo Gone Painter’s Pal
(1) 8 oz bottle of Goo Gone Coffee Maker Cleaner
(1) Goo Gone Mess-Free Pen
Being a Goo Gone GooRu, I already own the Goo Gone Spray Gel so I can attest to it’s power and super usefulness–makes it ridiculously easy to get pesky sticker goo off my car windshield (The end result of affixing parking stickers to my car for race weekends at the track). And the rest of the products included are equally as helpful.
You can only fill out the survey once, so of course, only one entry per person is allowed. You don’t have to enter the contest if you don’t want to, you’ll have the ability to opt out at the end of the survey.
Thanks so much to Goo Gone for the awesome prize and to YOU the reader for reading this blog! Thank you in advance for the feedback!
I was browsing traffic reports for this site when I found that people searching the web with the keywords “get married at a racetrack” found my website. This got me to thinking about race fans and people that might be interested in hosting their wedding at a track and I figured that there probably wasn’t a lot of information on the subject on the web already, so why not create a guide?
It just so happens that I’ve either ran into or received a bunch of info about fashion & accessories that relate to racing, enough to warrant an entire post dedicated to the subject. So here ya go!
– When I was at Infineon Raceway for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Toyota/Save Mart 350 last month I wandered around the area behind the grandstand where the majority of vendors had their wares on display. One such vendor was Harveys, the makers of “The Original Seatbeltbag™.” All of their products are made from real seatbelts that you find in your car.
Their display caught my attention because it was the ONLY one selling stuff specifically for women, and they had the cutest little Airstream trailer as their stockroom. So I asked if I could take some pictures of their big variety of bags. They’ve got something for every occasion, just check out their website. I especially loved the clutches and the tote bag made from recycled materials. But I really thought the black clutch wallet would be PERFECT for Champion’s Week in Las Vegas. You can carry a bunch of stuff in it and it’s just really well made. They’re pricey ($78 for the wallet and $228 for the Treecycle Carriage Satchel that could be my next laptop bag) but they’re going to last you for a REALLY long time. Plus Harvey’s offers a Bag Spa — just send them your worn down bag and they’ll make her look all special and fabulous again (there’s a small fee but it’s worth it).
– The creators — a husband & wife team from Florida — of Motor Munchkins emailed me last month about their line of racing inspired kids clothing. They’re just launched their website and they’ve got some really cute stuff. I especially love the “Look, Mom! No Hands!” and “I (heart) boobs & karting” (see below) shirts & onesies. Definitely check out their site and let them know what you think.
– Ever wonder how you could keep your favorite driver CLOSE to your heart? Ya know, without getting arrested? Well, Pit Pass Gifts creates custom NASCAR jewelry using actual remnants from the track. They’ve turned pieces of sheet metal from the cars of drivers like Matt Kenseth, Dale Earnhardt Jr, Kyle Busch and Jimmie Johnson to create unique necklaces. Check out the Pit Pass Gifts eBay site for more information.
Some things I learned while watching the IndyCar Firestone Twin 275s at Texas Motor Speedway on Saturday:
1.) Race car drivers are not entertainers. What I mean by that is when you interview them on TV they’re not going to understand that they only have seconds to explain themselves or tell a story and be extremely funny or charming while doing so. So it’s not helpful to interview them about nothing while they need to pick a tire and sign it. Just let them pick the damn tire and sign it. Keep it moving! There is nothing they can say that will enhance the enjoyment of them picking their starting position.
2.) Dario Franchitti is not a fan of randomly selecting his starting position when points are on the line. While I understand his perspective and his frustration, I think that the way the staring lineup for the second race was created wasn’t that big of deal. Racing is a crapshoot, even if you qualify 1st or last. Either one isn’t a guarantee of anything, so if you picked the number out of hat or ran laps for it, to me at least for one race, it’s not that big of a deal. But then again, I’m not trying to win a Championship, but then again I STILL feel like it’s all a big game of chance anyway, so whatever.
Ya know, I can remember a time when gas cost only $1 a gallon. Isn’t that crazy? It wasn’t THAT long ago either, I think I was in high school. Anyway, I’m talking about gasoline because Shell is giving away FREE gas for FIVE YEARS for one lucky person in their Fuel My Passion Sweepstakes. Five freaking years. If there was ever a contest to get in on, this would be the one. Also, runners-up have the chance to win free gas for a year!
Shell is giving race fans a chance to win FREE Shell V-Power® premium gasoline for up to five years with the Fuel My Passion Sweepstakes. From April 13 through June 22, customers can enter by going to www.shell.us/fuelmypassion. All they have to do is show their passion for what they drive by entering their information and uploading a photo of themselves showing the “Power of the V” sign, a peace sign with your palm facing the camera, alongside their ride. The contest is “fueled” by Shell V-Power customers looking for optimum performance or those drivers who simply expect the most from their vehicles.
To promote this awesome sweepstakes Shell is giving me the opportunity to give away a special prize pack featuring everybody’s favorite “Dancing with the Stars” Champion, and IndyCar driver, Helio Castroneves.
One lucky reader will receive the following:
- Helio Castroneves t-shirt
- No. 3 Shell V-Power car 1/64th scale diecast
- No. 3 Shell V-Power can coolie
- Helio Castroneves 8×10 photo
Last night was the 2011 Indy 500 Victory Awards Banquet where they honored this year’s Indianapolis 500 winner Dan Wheldon.
There are a bunch of great WAGAHAB (Wives and Girlfriends and Husbands and Boyfriends) photos, so let’s not dilly dally.
(all photos courtesy of INDYCAR)
I could not believe what I was seeing. I thought that J.R. Hildebrand would round that corner, come down the straightaway and win his first Indianapolis 500 in his first attempt. I thought he would receive a hero’s welcome when he came back here to the region of his Sausalito hometown, the San Francisco Bay Area. Surely there’d be a parade or something in his honor.
But then he hit the effing wall! I couldn’t freaking believe it. I was screaming. I should of known better, you’re not supposed to count your chickens before they’ve hatched. I was so heartbroken for J.R.. I’ve never been within reach of winning the Indy 500 and crashed, but I know what that feels like. Think about it, you’ve had one of those moments where you make a mistake and it costs you BIG time. It really stings.
Dan Wheldon was the winner, and he was emotional, which made ME emotional! How could this race do that to me in the span of 3 minutes?? I felt sadness, anger, disbelief, happiness, and empathy. I felt it all.
What an incredible finish. Just incredible. And this race really needed that kind of ending, because if Dario Franchitti or Scott Dixon cruised to the win it would have be soooo boring.
And one word about the broadcast itself. I loved the pit reporters and I really, really wish we could have only heard from them. They were the only people giving me the information I wanted & needed. That’s a hard job too, so extra kudos to them for doing such an awesome job. On the other hand, the announcer’s booth peeps, I have no words.
(All photos courtesy of INDYCAR)
Happy Saturday! I hope everyone is having a fabulous weekend so far. I had some cool photos sent to me yesterday and I really wanted to share them with you.
– First up, Jeremiah Weed Premium Malt Beverages had their strongman Rendy DeLaCruz pull Matt Kenseth’s No. 17 Jeremiah Weed Premium Malt Beverages Ford Fusion down a street in downtown Charlotte. Mr. DeLaCruz pulled the racer 100 feet in 26 seconds. Crazyness, ’cause, ya know, racecars are HEAVY! Anywhoo, I love Jeremiah Weed’s Sweet Tea Vodka, and I cannot wait to try their new premium malt beverages, just from the names alone: Lightning Lemonade, Spiked Cola and Roadhouse Tea. Yumsy!
– Pittsburgh Steelers Pro Bowl safety Troy Polamalu got to take a ride around Indianapolis Motor Speedway with none other than Marco Andretti’s grandpa, Mario Andretti, who won the 1969 Indianapolis 500. Mario took Troy for a spin in the “Fastest Seat in Sports”
I’m going to be totally honest with you guys right now. I have never watched “Bump Day” for the Indianapolis 500. Well, until this past weekend. I know, crazy right? Well, I’m never going to miss another one!
It was the most dramatic, heartbreaking, sad and awesome thing I have seen in a sporting event in quite some time. People’s lives were on the line, well not their personal life but ya know, the one thing that matters most to them–participating in the 100th Indy 500.
I didn’t get to see Alex Tagliani take the pole on Saturday, but I didn’t need to see it to know how much it would mean to him. Had you even heard of him before he got it? Exactly. So I’m super happy for him.
But what the hell happened to Andretti Motorsport? After Bump Day on Sunday, only two of their full-time drivers had secured a spot in the race, Danica Patrick and Marco Andretti, and Marco saved himself at the VERY LAST MINUTE. He ended up bumping out his teammates, Ryan Hunter Reay and Mike Conway.
Watching and listening to Ryan Hunter Reay’s reaction to realizing he wasn’t going to be in the race was just the worst, but he’s been able to turn his frown upside down after securing a deal to drive the No. 41 A.J. Foyt Racing entry that was originally supposed to be driven by Bruno Junqueira, who qualified the car.
So now Bruno gets to lick the fuzzy end of the lollipop. I can’t imagine what THAT must feel like. You can’t deny that it’s effed up no matter how you try to spin it. Michael Andretti, owner of Andretti Autosport, had to keep his sponsors (Ryan is sponsored by DHL & Sun Drop soda) happy, sponsors that were expecting to be in the Indy 500, so they did this deal.
Anyway, I cannot wait for the race this weekend!
(All photos courtesy of INDYCAR)
There’s a bunch of stuff to give you the rundown on today! But here’s a housekeeping note: My Richard Petty Driving Experience Race Ride contest ends on May 31st, so submit your entry now. Two lucky winners will get to ride shotgun in a NASCAR racecar around Bristol Motor Speedway in August.
In other news…
– Angela and Amber Cope, the twin nieces of Daytona 500 winner Derrike Cope will attempt to make their NASCAR Nationwide Series debut at Iowa Speedway this weekend. They’re attempting to make NASCAR history in becoming the first set of twins to ever compete in a Nationwide Series race. Qualifying for the NASCAR Nationwide Series John Deere Dealers 250 presented by Pioneer will air on ESPN2 at 4:40pm EST on Saturday, with the race taking place on Sunday at 2pm EST on ABC.
– IndyCar driver Helio Castroneves surprised a bunch of customers at a Shell station in Indianapolis yesterday. Helio showed up unannounced and filled their tanks up with Shell gasoline. He also got to talk to them about the Shell V-Power Fuel My Passion program. Of course!
The Fuel My Passion sweepstakes allow vehicle enthusiasts who submit photos of themselves with their rides holding the two-fingered ‘V sign’ for V-Power the chance to win great prizes, including free gasoline for up to five years. For more information, please visit www.shell.us/fuelmypassion.
– This past Saturday Window World, the primary sponsor of John Andretti’s #43 Indianapolis 500 entry, unveiled “The Stinger” — a 2011 concept show car as a tribute to the 1911 Marmon Wasp and the 100 years of Indianpolis 500 history. “The Stinger” will be on display in the MotoGP garage area near Gasoline Alley at Indianapolis Motor Speedway through the Indianapolis 500 weekend.
“The Stinger” is also raising money for charities through Window World Cares:
To further support the 100th anniversary of the Indianapolis 500, the Window World Cares foundation has invited each of the race’s former starters to autograph the car as it sits on display at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. For each signature, Window World Cares will make a donation of support.
Since its creation in 2008, Window World Cares is responsible for raising more than $1.6 million for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and is also a sponsor of the Veterans Airlift Command.
– Martin Truex Jr. and his longtime girlfriend Sherry Pollex hosted The 2nd Annual Catwalk for a Cause Fashion Show yesterday. MTJ Motorsports was transformed into a fashionista’s paradise with many of NASCAR’s familiar faces on hand for the event that raised money for the Martin Truex Jr. Foundation. The fashion show featured apparel from Lavendar Boutique, a women’s designer boutique in Mooresville, NC owned by Sherry Pollex. There are photos here and here. I was able to spot DeLana Harvick, Krissie Newman, Larry McReynolds, Dale Earnhardt Jr’s mom Brenda Jackson, Miss Sprint Cup Monica Palumbo, Max Papis, amongst others.
– This might be old news to some, but I just realized I’d never posted it here. David Stremme is poised to return to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series with the newly formed Inception Motorsports, but he’s also embarking on a new adventure as a husband! David proposed to his girlfriend, Ashley Deihl, during Thanksgiving last year and the couple plan to wed later this year.
– Do you love Kasey Kahne? I mean, really, who doesn’t? Do you adore Brian Vickers? Well put your face on their cars for the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 29th. Well, not your face-face, but an image of your face. In fact you can put any–or as many–photos as you want on the No. 4 or the No. 83. Just send your pictures to [email protected] or upload them at www.redbullracingusa.com/shutterspeed by May 22nd.
– It’s time again for the “Official Small Business of NASCAR, Courtesy of Office Depot” sweepstakes. It’s my favorite NASCAR contest and if you’re a small business owner you simply MUST participate! The national FREE advertising you’d receive as a result of just being a finalist is priceless in my mind, but there’s also the small matter of $1 million that could be yours too!
Office Depot (NYSE: ODP), celebrating 25 years as a leading global provider of office supplies and services, is teaming up with 3M® and NASCAR® stars Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Office Depot/Mobil 1 Chevrolet, and Greg Biffle, driver of the No. 16 3M Ford, to offer the exciting possibility of a $1 million payday for one small business owner through the “Official Small Business of NASCAR, Courtesy of Office Depot” sweepstakes.
The sweepstakes runs from now through May 28 and small business owners can enter online and – new this year – via their SmartPhone at OfficeDepotRacing.com. Two small business owners will be randomly selected as finalists, earning them a $10,000 small business makeover from Office Depot* and a VIP race weekend experience for two – not to mention a chance at the $1 million prize! Plus, as an extra reward to small business owners who participate, Office Depot is giving away one $1,000 Office Depot gift card every day during the sweepstakes entry period.
(credit: Action Sports Photography)
Get all of the deets, and info on all of the other goodies you can win even if you’re not the ultimate winner, at OfficeDepotRacing.com.
– Dale Earnhardt Jr. unveiled the world’s largest HD TV screen today, which happens to live at Charlotte Motor Speedway. He tested out the ginormous screen with an iRacing.com simulator.
(Photo Credit: Credit: HHP/Harold Hinson)
For its operational debut, Smith and Earnhardt Jr. used an oversized remote to power on the 200 foot-wide, 80 foot-tall HDTV, created by Panasonic, to reveal a highlight video of past racing action
at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
“Charlotte sets the standard for the rest of the tracks,” said Earnhardt Jr. “They always do things first and do things the biggest and look, here we are today with another first from them. Charlotte holds a special place in a lot of drivers’ hearts, mine included and the big TV makes this place even more special.
“The Coca-Cola 600 is one of the best events we have all year long. Now fans can get a ticket to the race and have the experience of the live event with the comfort of their own TV at home with this big TV,” Earnhardt Jr. continued. “This place just keeps getting better.”
– INDYCAR had an unveiling of their own today. The 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series concept cars–one model for ovals and another for road/street courses–made their debut at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway where they will be on display throughout the 100th anniversary Indianapolis 500 on May 29th. These cars look… different, so it’ll be really interesting to see what the manufacturers come up with in terms of changes to the body kits. These mockups look like something out of a “Batman” or “Transformers” movie.
(Credit: INDYCAR/Ron McQueeny)
A rolling chassis – dubbed the IndyCar Safety Cell – will be the universal feature of the next generation car, with bodywork open to development and sale by any approved manufacturer. Three engine companies–Honda, Chevrolet and Lotus–committed for 2012 will augment the IndyCar Safety Cell and aero kit programs, creating its own buzz.
“The idea behind these is to show two totally different-looking vehicles that underneath are the same chassis,” Cotman said. “There is a lot of room for aerodynamic kit development and that’s what this platform is about – allowing people the freedom to design as they wish, dream as they wish and come up with a superior product than others. That’s what drives competition.
“So will these be exactly what Dallara’s kits are going to look like on road courses and ovals next year? No.”
This blog isn’t about fashion but sometimes it comes up and relates to racing.
A few years ago I wrote about Scott Speed working with Muze Clothing to create a t-shirt that would benefit The Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America Southwest Chapter. Well, the “Muffin Man” t-shirt is still available for purchase with 100% of the proceeds going to the same foundation.
And now I’m working with Muze to promote some of their newest t-shirts that will be of supreme interest to racing fans. First, let’s go over what Muze Clothing is all about:
Born out of an appreciation and dedication to classic movie lines, Muze is a lifestyle brand where movie quotes and fashion collide to bring you your new favorite shirt.
So the guys at Muze have created these two shirts: “If You Ain’t First You’re Last” one of the classic lines from the movie “Talladega Nights: The Legend of Ricky Bobby” and “Rubbin’s Racin’” from “Days of Thunder.”
I honestly don’t know why I didn’t think of this sooner. Today I’ve launched a brand new website that will serve as a trusty companion to this site. The ‘Fabulous’ Girl’s Guide to Racing is a reference guide for all of the stats you want to know about your favorite drivers in NASCAR and INDYCAR. I think every major sports website has one of those guides where they list each player’s stats as it relates to their performance in their respective sport; things like sacks, free throws, averages and whatnot. So why not have one for racing that lists just the stuff that they usually bury?
This information isn’t exactly new–it’s already out there in different places all around the web–but now it’s housed in one convenient location that will be updated on a regular basis.
Yes, who a guy is dating or who he is married to has nothing to do with the sport they participate in, but I’m curious about it and I find it interesting. It’s not being nosey, okay, it sort of is, but I’m doing this from a distance with respect. I’m not posting rumors or gossip, I’m not making anything up. Everything that goes in the Guide will be confirmed before it’s posted, and if something’s wrong I’ll fix it.
To start, the Guide has profiles for the drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and the IZOD IndyCar Series. Eventually I’ll be adding profiles for the men & women in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and Firestone Indy Lights Series.
In addition to the profiles, I’ve finally got a great place to recommend racing-related products you can buy. So far there are books (I totally forgot about all the NASCAR romance novels!), cookbooks, and DVDs.
Definitely check it out, tell ALL your friends and let me know what you think!
Parties that I’m never invited to. I just don’t understand it. Actually, I have no idea how the actual party goes, in terms of atmosphere, drinks & apps, but I do know that they’ve always got an amazing guest list that makes me seethe with jealousy. This year’s Indy 500 Centennial Goes to Hollywood soiree was held at The Colony in Hollywood, days before the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach.
The guest list was interesting. I’ll let the photos do the talking.
(All photos credit: Getty Images for INDYCAR)
I have to admit that I didn’t see everything that went down at the 37th Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach yesterday. I got a late start because of the NASCAR race and then I realized I really needed a nap. But I did wake up with enough time to watch Mike Conway win his very first IZOD IndyCar Series race. That was very cool, I love it when someone wins for the first time. It doesn’t happen near enough.
It’s probably a good thing that I didn’t see the whole race, and so I don’t have a lot to talk about, because I can get right to the photos!
(all images courtesy INDYCAR)
Yes, VERSUS the channel that broadcasts IndyCar action needs serious help. I asked everyone (ok, nobody, but did I really need to?) what they thought of this weekend’s coverage of the Honda Grand Prix of Alabama and they all said the same thing: It sucked!
Now, I don’t like saying negative stuff but you guys–I’m talking to you Versus–need to hear the truth. Your transitions, your intros, your outros, your lead announcer who was way to excited when it wasn’t necessary, and those moments of dead air really took the wind out of your sails. It was not good stuff.
That being said it wasn’t ALL terrible. I really enjoyed your pre-race coverage with NUMEROUS live driver interviews (take note, FOX) and the look back at what happened last week at St. Petersburg since I didn’t get to watch that race–now I’m all caught up. I also dug that segment with James Hinchcliffe when you had him trace the layout of Barber Motorsports Park blindfolded. That was fun stuff.
You guys need to step it up though. Maybe you should go on one of those team building retreats and foster some good synergy to make your broadcasts more seamless & in sync.
We, the fans who have to endure your coverage, want this for you more than you know.
But on to the race itself. It was pretty interesting watching the IndyCar drivers have to get used to double-file restarts. It wreaked havoc with cautions all over the place, but it just made me even more excited for the Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma at Infineon Raceway later this year. It’s going to be really cool.
Another highlight was Simona De Silvestro. I’m so excited for this girl. She’s kicking butt right now, she finished the race in 9th (at St. Pete she finished 4th) but she’s sitting 5th in the points standings tied with Scott Dixon. As the SNL parody of Miley Cyrus would say, “It’s pretty cool!” (I’m obsessed with saying this by the way, I do it all the time in my head and sometimes out loud when no one’s around, it’s on a loop)
(all photos credit & courtesy of INDYCAR)
I’m driving down to Southern California for the Auto Club 500 race weekend at Auto Club Speedway on Thursday. Eaaaarly Thursday morning, to be exact. Clint Bowyer is launching “Speedway Day L.A.” on the steps of City Hall in downtown Los Angeles, and then immediately following that he’ll go on a tour of L.A. with media and race fans on a double-decker bus. I’m getting on the bus! You know how much I enjoyed my time on the double-decker bus in Vegas during Champion’s Week, so there was no way I was missing out on this opportunity.
The festivities will start at Noon at City Hall (200 N. Spring Street at 1st Street in Los Angeles), then we’ll stop by Elvis’ star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame around 1:30pm (Southeast corner of Hollywood Blvd and N. La Brea Blvd. in Hollywood), then walk down to Grauman’s Chinese Theatre between 1:30 & 2:10pm, and then we’re going to In-N-Out Burger where Clint will serve ice-cold Coke to people around 2:15pm, and then we’ll return to City Hall.
Fun right? Totally looking forward to it, and it makes up for the fact that I’ll be missing out on Tony Stewart’s appearance in the San Francisco Bay Area that’s also taking place on Thursday (more about that below).
I was checking out the weather forecast for Fontana on Weather.com and it looks like it’s supposed to rain on Friday. So there’s a 40% chance that qualifying will be rained out. I would rather that it didn’t.
In other news…
– Grammy award winning artist Richard Marx (right) will perform the National Anthem before the start of the Auto Club 500 this week. I, for one, am SO EXCITED about this news. I LOVE Richard Marx! I mean, hello, “Endless Summer Nights,” “Right Here Waiting,” “Hold on to the Nights,” “Should’ve Known Better,” “Now and Forever,” and my personal extra fave “Hazard.” The man is a musical genius and I adore him.
– Another dude that I loved from my days as a pre-teen/teen is Christian Slater. “Heathers,” you guys. Oh! And “Untamed Heart”, that movie was, like, the most romantic movie to me until I saw Leo DiCaprio in “Romeo + Juliet.” Do I need to say more? He’s in a new TV show for FOX so I’m sure that’s why he was named the Grand Marshal for Sunday’s race at Auto Club Speedway. I’m not mad about that at all.
– Like I mentioned Tony Stewart will be stopping by the Bay Area on Thursday to hang out at the Oakland Zoo. He’s going to give the resident male elephant, Osh, a “pedicure” with the help of the Elephant Manager Jeff Kinzley. There will be a fan & media Q&A session with Tony held in the Marian Zimmer Auditorium and it should start around 1:15pm. Fans can get a $2 discount on admission to the zoo (for this Thursday only) by mentioning “Infineon Raceway at the ticket booth.
– Another Thursday driver event is taking place at the Stonewood Center Best Buy Mobile in Downey, Calif. Casey Mears and AJ Allmendinger will be on hand with Miss Sprint Cup Monica Palumbo from 6pm to 8pm to take photos, and sign autographs for fans. On Sunday Casey and AJ will be racing each other in a “race within a race” in order to win $5,000 from Sprint for the charity of their choice. Casey has selected Alzheimer’s Foundation of America and AJ has picked Paralyzed Veterans of America.
– IndyCar driver Dan Wheldon and his wife, Susie, welcomed their second child into the world this weekend. Their son, Oliver, was born on Sunday and joins older brother Sebastian, who turned 2 last month.
Now that I’ve finally finished up my Vegas posts I can get to some of the other stuff that’s happened recently.
Monday night was the finale of the 15th season of “The Bachelor.” I was surprised to see Emily Maynard “win” (I don’t like to think of it as “winning” so much as just being the best person for that particular person ’cause those other women aren’t losers, ya know what I mean?) and become engaged to Brad Womack. I’m happy for her, but I’m also really happy that she thought it best to wait to get married until after they’ve lived with each other in the “real” world. All in all definitely hope for the best for those two.
So here’s the fun/interesting news tip that Tara S. sent me. Apparently the newest Miss Sprint Cup, Kim Coon was a contestant on this season of The Bachelor, as well. I had no idea there was another NASCAR connection on the show. Kim was eliminated at the 3rd rose ceremony.
In other news…
– NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Jamie McMurray swapped rides with IndyCar Series driver Scott Dixon today at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Alabama.
McMurray, on the car-swapping opportunity: I think it’s cool that the racetracks came together and were able to let us help promote those races and make it fun for us. For me, getting to drive this is a great opportunity. It’s a lot of money to come and do something like this, so it worked out well that they were already here testing. For Chip to bring his car down to Talladega and let Scott drive it, it’s hard to put those two together, because it costs so much money.
Dixon, on the possibility of becoming a Sprint Cup driver: Well, there’s no $5 million prize in NASCAR, so no, I’m not going. (Laughing.) Obviously, I’m intrigued by it. Sprint Cup is a massive sport, and has a huge following. I think the thing that’s most intriguing, as you’ve seen by the people who have tried to make the transition or have made the transition, it’s 43 cars that are very, very tight and very, very close. I think the tough part for me would be actually doing the 36 races a year. That’s a lot of travel.
(All photos courtesy of INDYCAR)
– In his pre-race press release for Bristol, Clint Bowyer shared the story of what happened after his engine blew up at the spring race at Bristol last year:
You finished 40th last year after you blew an engine. What do you do after? Do you hang out? Go home?
“You have to go home and it’s not much fun. Funny story – I was driving and on my way home I about ripped the leather off the steering wheel because I was so mad. I pulled in to get gas down the road and the cashier had a little TV behind the counter watching the race. I told him how much money I put in and he looked at me, looked at the TV, looked at me again and said ‘why are you here?’ I said ‘long story; don’t ask.’ It was actually pretty funny.”
– REMINDER: Enter to win a Richard Petty Driving Experience ride-along at Bristol in August.
This year’s crop of racing-related commercials found drivers singing, professing their love of love and playing poker with Big Foot. Here is my list of the best commercials of 2010:
Tony Stewart Burger King Employee
My absolute favorite commercial of the year because it was real. Tony really did work at a Burger King and the result was really funny. I know it would be copying but I really think Lowe’s should put Jimmie Johnson to work in one of their stores. He’d be great at selling appliances, dontcha think?
The Sponsifier program was a big hit this year and it’s gotta be because their commercials were hilarious. I will never be able to get the line “I want Kyle Busch in a pink car and a pink suit” out of my mind or Joey Logano’s chainmail outfit and that look of utter disgust on his face.
Gillette Young Guns & Big Foot
Because Big Foot is a sore loser. I find that idea to be really funny.
Mario Andretti Honda
How adorable is Mario Andretti? Like, really adorable. All because he says “I’m hungry.” I love it.
Coca-Cola Drivers Sing it Out
People who can’t sing (or aren’t known for singing) and then unexpectedly start singing is a recipe for hilarity.
Honorable Mention: Gillette Young Guns Wedding
Because I just like Clint Bowyer in this one. We need more commercials with Clint flexing his funny bone in 2011!
These are photos from a photo/video/web shoot that IZOD did with a bunch of IndyCar drivers a couple weeks ago in the California desert for the 2011 IZOD IndyCar season. I had to share these for sure because I love great photos and Weezer is featured in a couple of them. That’s right Weezer, the band I love for “Undone–The Sweater Song” will be on your TV screens next year promoting IZOD and IndyCar. It’s an interesting combo, don’t you think?
Graham Rahal and his girlfriend, Katie Osbourne.
The IZOD IndyCar Championship was decided back in early October which wasn’t that long ago even though it feels like it’s been 50 years. I intended to post these photos from their Championship celebration in Miami but got sidetracked. The event was held the day after the final race of the season, taking place at the W Hotel in South Beach.
Better late than never, and really, who cares how long you had to wait to see photos of the 2010 IZOD IndyCar Champion Dario Franchitti get thrown into a pool by Tony Kanaan? These pics hold up.
Will Power and his fiancee, Liz Cannon
Things I learned while watching the Indy Japan 300 Saturday night (which was actually Sunday morning in Japan):
1.) Drivers exchange helmets with each other. Cool!
2.) Tony Kanaan only sees his 3-year-old son, Leo, once a month. His son lives in Brazil. I found this piece of news to be distressing because I don’t know how I could live only seeing my child once a month. I know, well I’m deducing, that Tony isn’t with the child’s mother anymore (since he’s dating someone else) but it still sucks right? I guess that’s the best you can do considering his schedule and where the kid lives.
3.) Anthony Joseph Foyt V (That’s number 5!) was born on Saturday to AJ Foyt IV and his wife Casey. More from FoytRacing.com:
Congratulations from everyone at A.J. Foyt Racing to A.J. Foyt IV and his wife Casey on the birth of their first child Anthony Joseph Foyt V. Coming in two weeks ahead of time and with a full head of black hair, Foyt V clocked in at 2:48 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 18th in Indianapolis. He weighed 7 lbs. 1 oz and measured 20 inches. Mother and child are doing fine and the proud poppa hasn’t stopped smiling.
4.) Okay, so this tidbit I didn’t learn while watching the race, I found out by watching Oprah (it’s the last season! gah!). Last week Oprah had The Judds, Wynonna and her mom Naomi, on to discuss their comeback/farewell-for-reals-this-time tour they’re starting this year and it came up that the Judd women including Ashley and her husband Dario Franchitti all live next to each other on a 1,000 acre piece of land outside of Nashville, Tennessee. Ashley’s house is only 60 seconds down the road from Naomi’s and Wynonna’s house is 6 minutes from Naomi. I think this is super cool and their land is gorgeous, complete with a river running through it.
5.) How perfect is it that Will Power won the road course championship and Dario Franchitti clinched the oval course championship and there’s only 13 points separating the two of them going into the final race of the season for the overall IZOD IndyCar Championship? Couldn’t have written it better myself. My money is on Will.
Helio Castroneves won last night’s IZOD IndyCar Series race, the Kentucky Indy 300, at Kentucky Speedway. I only saw Helio in Victory Lane because I was watching the NASCAR Nationwide Series race and it’s extra long post-race coverage.
At any rate, the thing that stuck out the most to me was of course Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Terrell Owens hamming it up in Victory Lane with Helio. You’d think they’d known each other forever. Terrell was taking up so much time the Versus crew had to wait to get their interview with Helio.
So here’s how this interview came about: My brother-in-law’s brother works with a childhood friend of Chip Ganassi’s. My BIL’s brother told his coworker about me and my blog, and it just so happened that the Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma at Infineon Raceway was coming up, and he, Chip’s friend, was going to be at the race and could introduce me to the team owner.
I am super grateful to both men for making this happen. I was excited that I could meet Chip, especially this year when so many wonderful things have happened for Target Chip Ganassi Racing and Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates, winning the Daytona 500 with Jamie McMurray, the Indianapolis 500 with Dario Franchitti and the Brickyard 400 with Jamie McMurray.
Incidentally, yesterday was my birthday but it was also declared “Chip Ganassi Day” in Pittsburgh, PA.
I was very nervous meeting Chip, but he was nice and had a good sense of humor about the ITAS questions as you’ll see below.
Seriously. Today is my birthday. I owe you guys so much content, it’s not funny. I still need to wrap up my time at the Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma, post stuff from Bristol and Boris Said’s awesome win at Montreal. Oh! And my awesome interview with Chip Ganassi.
I’ve been busy with a little project that I hope will turn into big news, and I’ve been sick and I’m getting over the shock that I’ve been around for 30 years.
30 is a big milestone but I’m thinking that turning 31 next year on August 31st will be even bigger.
So here I was thinking that nothing that interesting was going to happen today while I was at Infineon Raceway for the Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma weekend. Today was the Fluid Film Pole Day and oh what a pole day it was.
So I was sitting on the wall behind the pit stalls for Dan Wheldon and Danica Patrick at the end of the IZOD IndyCar Series practice. Wheldon on my left, Patrick on my right. I stayed there through the Formula Car Challenge Race and then for the Firestone Indy Lights qualifying sessions. It was during the Indy Lights qualifying sessions that this young man suddenly appeared nearby.
He had a curious little box in his hand and he opened it. Inside of it was clearly a ring you’d give to a lady you want to marry. He opened it and closed it quickly. He seemed as if he was practicing his proposal. He was talking to himself out loud, like he was rehearsing what he was going to say. He was pacing.
At first, for like one minute, I thought that he might be some super sweet & romantic race fan that wanted to propose to his longtime girlfriend around the sport for which they shared a love.
But then I quickly started to think that that wasn’t the case at all. I believed that he wanted to propose to Danica Patrick despite the fact that she’s already married and that her husband was there today.
I was walking through a bookstore the other day, something that has become a routine for me these days, and I caught sight of the book “Become Your Own Matchmaker: 8 Easy Steps for Attracting Your Perfect Mate” by Patti Stanger.
Patti is a professional matchmaker and she has her own company called the Millionaire’s Club, where as the name pretty much says it she finds love for dateless millionaires. She’s also got her own reality show on Bravo, called “The Millionaire Matchmaker,” which is how I came to know of her.
Anyway, Patti is known for being super straightforward, cutting to chase and being sort of Simon Cowell when it comes to telling people what’s holding them back from finding true love. It’s one of the reasons why I like her show so much, she’s just honest with people whether they like it or not.
So the reason I’m bringing up Patti and her book is because I started to flip through it and came upon the page that you can see below. It’s from her section on where to find dateable single men. This is of EXTREME interest to me since I’m a single woman who is always on the lookout for eligible bachelors that don’t act like the dudes you see on the show “The Bachelor.” Ya know, a guy that actually wants to be in a relationship, but I digress.
Dario Franchitti held off Will Power to win the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio presented by Westfield Insurance last weekend. But I don’t think Will got too down in the dumps about the whole thing since he was able secure ownership of the first ever Mario Andretti Road Championship Trophy.
Legendary racecar driver Mario Andretti will be on hand at the Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma next week to present the trophy to Will. As we all know Sonoma was the scene of Mario’s grandson’s, Marco Andretti, first ever (and so far, only) IndyCar win. I was there to see it and I really, really, really, really hope that Marco can find some magic and get a win at Infineon Raceway again. Plus, I always think it’s adorable to see Mario, Michael (Mario’s son, Marco’s father) and Marco together.
I’ll take that or Graham Rahal winning, or Simona De Silvestro winning. I’m also willing to accept Milka Duno finishing higher than 20th place. OK, now I’m being greedy.
hehe I kid, I kid.
And since I brought up the topic of Mario Andretti, how cute is he in those Honda commercials? I love it when the “regular dude” takes Mario for a ride in a Honda, after Mario has taken the guy around a track in a two-seater IndyCar, and Mario says “I’m hungry.” (video below)
Ladies, this is Francesco Dracone. You’re welcome.
Also, Francesco will be one of eleven drivers testing at Infineon Raceway on Friday. I will be there as well, with bells on.
Things had been relatively quiet during the Honda Indy Edmonton IZOD IndyCar Series race, that is, until those final laps.
Helio Castroneves was caught blocking (in this scenario it’s a no-no) his teammate Will Power which to me looked like the slightest of blocking, but whatever the officials know better than me. Plus Will did say in his post-race interview that Helio blocked him and well you’re not supposed to do that.
So Helio, who finished first, didn’t win the race and proceeded to go apeshit when he got out of his car. That had to have been one of the awesomest racing-related tantrums I’ve ever heard/seen on live television. The video is below and it gets good at about the 3:55 mark.
My only gripe was that Versus didn’t cut to Helio sooner. They should of had a straight shot on him the entire time, why bother talking to Scott Dixon, who would have been second but ended up winning the race because of the penalty levied against Helio. I’m sure Scott was grateful (who wouldn’t be?), but who cares what he had to say. Helio was where the action was at.
Will Power, whose name continues to make me smile after all this time, won the Camping World Grand Prix at The Glen this weekend.
On Friday all of the Brazilian IndyCar drivers gathered to watch Brazil play The Netherlands in the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Brazil lost, which sucks (I’m over the World Cup since the US is out of it — just being honest here), but there were some awesome photos (see below) of Helio Castroneves in some heinous glasses and Tony Kanaan blowing his vuvuzela.
Ryan Hunter-Reay (right), along with Andretti Autosport, announced that they’ve secured enough sponsorship money to continue Ryan’s #37 entry through the rest of the 2010 season. This is great news and to make it even sweeter the team has put together a new program called “Racing For Cancer” to raise money for cancer research.
Ryan’s mother, Lydia, died last year in November from colon cancer and he’s dedicating this racing season to her. For more information go to www.racingforcancer.org. You can also follow them on Twitter @RacingForCancer
Among Ryan’s sponsors for the remainder of the 2010 season is AirTran Airways. I’m noting this because once upon a time I wrote to Southwest Airlines asking if they’d sponsor me and they said they couldn’t because they make a point of not sponsoring things that can crash. Kudos to AirTran Airways for taking a chance and sponsoring a great driver anyway.
The last IZOD IndyCar Series race, the Iowa Corn Indy 250 presented by Pioneer, was the same weekend as the NASCAR Toyota/SaveMart 350 at Infineon Raceway. So of course I didn’t watch it ’cause I was busy at the track, which sucks because I didn’t get to see Tony Kanaan finally end his 2-year losing streak.
While I didn’t watch the race I did read the post-race quotes from Tony and his teammates at Andretti Autosport. I thought it was pretty telling that all of his teammates, except Danica Patrick, made a point of congratulating Tony. Very interesting. I guess Tony and Danica still have some sort of rift going on (He did say she needed to change her attitude) and who knows how that’s going to play out. Whatever the deal is I thought it was lame for Danica to not, at the very least, say something about how Tony’s win was great for the organization, ‘cause that’s just what you do. Duh.
“I have to thank my team and the entire 7-Eleven crew. They did a great job. I had a great car. I have to thank my teammates, Marco (Andretti) and Ryan (Hunter-Reay), who came over after qualifying. I was very disappointed. I made a mistake during qualifying and I was pretty down. They talked to me for 45 minutes and cheered me up. Marco gave me a little bit of his setup and Ryan actually helped me with the setup, putting it together for today. It was a great job as a team and it feels good.”
– Tony Kanaan
“We had an awesome day. We should have been on the podium with Tony today. We had an incident on pit lane and got black-flagged for it. We had to fight our way back up to the top 10. We had the Ethanol USA-Team IZOD car running in the top three. I’m really disappointed in the end. It should have been a great day for us. Congratulations to Tony; he deserves this for sure.”
“It’s definitely a disappointment to start third and finish where we did. The handling for the Venom car just didn’t make sense. We made all the right adjustments and we were still too loose. I wouldn’t be surprised if we end up finding something broken on the car. We just weren’t able to make it happen today on the ’26′ side, but I’m happy for my teammate (Tony Kanaan) and the ’11′ crew.”
– Marco Andretti
“It was a challenging race for the GoDaddy car. We had a good car, but the longer the race went on, the more difficult the car got, handling-wise. I wish we had a better day, but we’ll take a top-10 finish.”
– Danica Patrick
IndyCar photo fun time after the jump!
Consider this your warning that I’m going to be posting more stuff about the IZOD IndyCar Series. It’s surely not a bad thing. Quite the contrary actually. I have to thank the Indy Racing League for giving me access to their media site because without that I wouldn’t be able to bring you these awesome photos. Who knows, maybe I’ll go to more races too instead of just the one at Infineon Raceway.
Scott Dixon won the Road Runner Turbo Indy 300 at Kansas Speedway this past weekend. He was joined in victory lane by his wife Emma and their super adorable baby daughter Poppy. Her red hair is so cute!
Anyway, you all know how much I love to compare drivers to celebrities and I couldn’t help but think that Scott bares a striking resemblance to the lead singer of one of my all time fave bands, Stephen Christian of Anberlin. Check out the comparison below. Don’t they look like they could be brothers? They were born in the same year just days apart. How freaky cool is that??
|Scott Dixon (left) and Stephen Christian (right)|
In other news…
– It’s time for a Richard Antinucci update. If you remember he’s that super hot racer that carries a dual Italian/US citizenship. I gushed about my sightings of him at last year’s Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma. He was in the IndyCar Series last year for five races and this year doesn’t seem to have a ride. Which boggles my mind considering that Milka Duno gets to cruise around as the resident safety hazard. Anyway, Richard is set to make his debut in the Italian Gran Turismo Championship. He’ll be driving an Audi R8 LMS for Audi Sport Italia in two events at Valleunga this Sunday and Magione in June.
– Check out this great article by Graham Rahal about his stint with Sarah Fisher Racing and his future in the IZOD IndyCar Series. I can’t believe he’s only 21. Racing sure does know how to make young guys grow up fast.
Scott Dixon and his wife Emma celebrate his victory with their daughter Poppy at the Road Runner Turbo Indy 300 at Kansas Speedway on Saturday, May 1, 2010.
Thanks to Mother Nature there was little to no racing today. Everything, and seriously, everything has been postponed to Monday.
The Goody’s Fast Pain Relief 500 at Martinsville Speedway has been moved to Monday where hopefully it’ll get started and run in it’s entirety. IndyCar had a race in the streets of St. Petersburg, Florida but that got rained out too and is supposed to take place tomorrow. And if that wasn’t enough, the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals at Charlotte Motor Speedway had to move too, to Monday, because of rain.
Rain is not the friend of motorsports that’s for sure.
I must apologize for my lameness in not updating this site for two weeks. Trust me, I really, really wanted to but I’ve had stuff to deal with. Everything is settled for now so I’m back and will be writing as usual from now on.
Here are photos from the weekend, so far, at Martinsville:
David Gilliland cranks his engines before Friday’s practice for the Goody’s Fast Pain Relief 500 at Martinsville Speedway. (Credit: John Harrelson/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Apparently there’s something in the water of the NASCAR garage because everybody is either procreating or getting married these days, which is further proof that I need to get my butt to a NASCAR race ASAP!
Kyle Busch proposed to his longtime girlfriend Samantha Sarcinella at Daytona Thursday night and she said yes. She’s on Twitter now too, so go follow her. Let’s hope she posts the wedding day details!
Photo from @KyleBusch
In other news…
– Did you know that Nicole Manske married IndyCar driver Ryan Briscoe this past December? I know, I’m a lamer and didn’t. Anywho, I extend my belated congratulations to the couple and follow it up with another “Did you know?” fact. Nicole — who is now going by her married name Briscoe — and Danica Patrick are both from Roscoe, IL and went to the same high school, although a few years separate them. Cool right? And now, Nicole is married to a guy that races against Danica in IndyCar. Fun stuff.
The photo below is from an interview Nicole did with Danica on ESPN last week.
– On Thursday night Jimmie Johnson hit up the Jose Cuervo Platino Penthouse and Hotel 944 Party sponsored by Jose Cuervo and GUINNESS in Miami, Florida with longtime friend Nick Lachey. Also in attendance was Nick’s brother Drew Lachey and former Miss Teen USA Vanessa Minillo (Nick’s girlfriend). The group ran into rapper Snoop Dogg as you can see for yourself in the photo below. I have to wonder what Jimmie’s rapper name would be but I can’t think of anything good. Ideas??
NASCAR driver Jimmie Johnson, rapper Snoop Dogg and singer/TV personality Nick Lachey attend the Hotel 944 Party sponsored by Jose Cuervo and GUINNESS at Eden Roc Renaissance Miami Beach on February 04, 2010 in Miami Beach, Florida. (Photo by: Vallery Jean /Getty for Jose Cuervo)
NASCAR driver Jimmie Johnson, singer/TV personality Drew Lachey and singer/TV personality Nick Lachey attend the Hotel 944 Party sponsored by Jose Cuervo and GUINNESS at Eden Roc Renaissance Miami Beach on February 04, 2010 in Miami Beach, Florida. (Photo by: Vallery Jean /Getty for Jose Cuervo)
Actress/TV personality Vanessa Minillo attends the Hotel 944 Party sponsored by Jose Cuervo and GUINNESS at Eden Roc Renaissance Miami Beach on February 04, 2010 in Miami Beach, Florida. (Photo by: Getty for Jose Cuervo)
Words cannot express how psyched I am to see that Travis Kvapil and David Gilliland will be teammates again! The two are joining Front Row Motorsports, running Fords, for the 2010 NASCAR Sprint Cup Season. This is superawesome news and I’m glad these guys are going to be full-time Cup drivers, with full-on organizational support, again.
From the official press release:
As previously announced, Front Row will have two more full-time Sprint Cup programs in 2010. Travis Kvapil is behind the No. 34 Long John Silver’s Ford Fusion and Raybestos Rookie of the Year candidate Kevin Conway is driving the No. 37 ExtenZe Ford Fusion. Veteran crew chiefs Steven Lane and Peter Sospenzo have been named crew chiefs of each respective program. This is the first season Front Row Motorsports, based in Statesville, N.C., will field three full-time programs. The teams will be supported by Ford Racing and Roush/Yates Engines.
Gilliland comes to Front Row Motorsports having been a former teammate with Kvapil at Yates Racing under the Ford Racing banner.
“It’s going to be great to be back in a Ford with Roush/Yates Engines and teammates with Travis and Kevin,” said Gilliland. “Travis and I had a lot of good runs together in the past and I know that Front Row Motorsports has put a lot of efforts into their program during the off-season. I think we can surprise some people.”
I totally agree, they can kick some butt. I remember when I interviewed David he said that he and Travis get on well and that they like the same things in their cars. That’s gotta be helpful in building your teams and setups. Oh and FYI, Gilliland will be in the No. 38 again but with Taco Bell as a sponsor. Niiice.
In other news…
– On Monday night our 4-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion Jimmie Johnson visited the Late Night with Jimmy Fallon show and engaged in a little “Bumper Car” racing with Jimmy and actress Ashley Judd, who we all know is married to the adorable Scotsman and reigning IndyCar Champion Dario Franchitti. I love Ashley, she’s so cool. I have to admit that I’m planning on seeing the Tooth Fairy because of her (maybe not in the theater, but still), although the fact that Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is in it too helps. He’s friggin’ gorgeous, and his arms! Omigosh his arms. Okay, I’m getting off track. Videos of Jimmie’s appearance are below.
Also, The Late Night with Jimmy Fallon blog has a poll up right now asking you to vote on who you think is the best motorsports driver of all time. If you guys let Speed Racer win, we’ve got serious problems!
It’s only been days since Danica Patrick announced her deal with JR Motorsports to run part-time in the Nationwide series and I’m already done.
The only thing I’d like to read about less would be the latest skank to come out and say she slept with Tiger Woods. (Why would you admit that you slept with a married man? I don’t understand that at all)
It’s kind of hard for me to reconcile my feelings about all of the hubbub surrounding Danica. On the one hand as a female, I’m all for supporting another woman, but I think it should be noted that just because she is a woman doesn’t mean that I’m going to run out and by any and all Danica gear for that same reason.
I support all people, male or female, in their pursuit of their dreams. If you want to be a race car driver and you want to be the best all the better for you, go for it.
– It was announced yesterday that Jamie McMurray will take over the No. 1 car for Earnhardt Ganassi Racing next year. I say congratulations to Mr. McMurray. I like knowing that people have jobs. This leads me to think about another driver that I think should have a ride next year and that would be David Gilliland. I think Joe Gibbs Racing should take on a 4th team and that team should be for David. It’d be awesome.
– NFL star Junior Seau has a new TV show called “Sports Jobs With Junior Seau.” Before Seau decided to come back to the NFL he filmed this original series for VERSUS about the people working behind the scenes of major sports leagues. In the December 23rd episode Seau tries his hand at being a pit crew member for IndyCar Series driver Scott Dixon. Check your local listings.
– Mike Rowe, host of the super grody show “Dirty Jobs,” will be the Grand Marshal of this weekend’s Ford 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. I love Mike Rowe because he does muck around in all of the muck on his show, and he has an awesome voice. AND he used to host a local TV show here in the San Francisco Bay Area so he’s sentimental fave. I’m glad he’s doing really well.
– NASCAR Sprint Cup driver David Ragan surprised three Daytona International Speedway season ticket holders with free tickets to the 2010 Daytona 500 in February. There were pictures and I felt the need to post them.
Daytona International Speedway President Robin Braig, left, joined UPS driver Robert Clopton and NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver of the Roush Fenway Racing No. 6 UPS Ford David Ragan to present longtime season ticket holder Ben Allen and his wife with their tickets for the 52nd annual Daytona 500 at their home Tuesday. (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Daytona International Speedway)
Longtime season ticket holder Mike Bruno Jr., right, poses with his tickets to Feb. 14′s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Daytona 500 and driver of the No. 6 UPS Ford, David Ragan on Tuesday as Ragan hand-delivered him tickets for NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Daytona 500 on Feb. 14, 2010. (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Daytona International Speedway)
When he opened his front door, longtime Daytona International Speedway season ticket holders Jim Barron and his wife Char were in for a surprise — NASCAR Sprint Cup series driver of the No. 6 UPS Ford, David Ragan. Ragan, who stopped in Daytona Beach before heading down to Homestead-Miami Speedway for this weekend’s final races of the season, presented tickets to Barron for the 52nd annual Daytona 500 on Feb. 14, 2010. (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Daytona International Speedway)
I wear my Converse Chuck Taylor All Star’s literally every day. They’re my most favorite shoes, I wear them until they fall off and then I buy another pair. I think they look better once they’re worn in and dirty. Anyway, I was doing something, looking around on the Converse website when I came across this strange video. It makes no sense at all but it’s kinda funny and racing related.
So here you go, click on it because “The Ants Won’t Wait For You To Drive A Race Car.”
So this whole Danica Patrick coming to NASCAR thing is irritating to me on a couple levels.
Take out the fact that she’s a girl and a fan favorite for a moment. What has she done? She’s won ONE race in IndyCar. One race. Uno. That’s all she’s got. No one was losing their mind about the possibility of Sam Hornish Jr. coming over to NASCAR, and he’s won the Indy 500 and the IRL Championship three times.
So what’s with all the hubbub about Danica? If you take out her record then it’s because she’s a woman and she’s pretty. I’ve got absolutely nothing against her (ok, I’m still irked she didn’t know who Gloria Steinem was, but whatevs), of course I want to see a woman compete at the highest levels and win everything there is to win.
And it’s not that I don’t want her to ever come over to NASCAR, I just think she should stay where she is and get great — win more races, and win a Championship. Conquer IndyCar first and then give NASCAR a try. Otherwise, it smells like a gimmick and I don’t like gimmicks.
Last Saturday I arrived at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma bright and early (8am to be exact) for the start of my Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma weekend.
Not long after I picked up my credentials, got to the media center, picked up the necessary schedules and general information I’d need for the day I had my first driver sighting.
Graham Rahal was in Victory Lane with his No. 02 McDonald’s Racing Team car for an interview with a local television station.
– On Wednesday President Barack Obama played host to NASCAR’s champions in what I can only describe as the coolest thing I’ve seen happen at the White House in really, really long time.
I loved that in his interview with ESPN President Obama stressed the importance of NASCAR and its role in helping the automotive industry. It’s a very important marketing tool and I’m so glad he took the time out from his insane schedule to support the automakers and NASCAR.
I try to watch IndyCar races when I can, er, when I remember to, but I’ve made it a point to watch the Camping World Grand Prix at The Glen tomorrow for one reason, and one reason only.
His name is Richard Antinucci and he’s a serious hottie.
I mentioned him in one of my posts about the Firestone Indy Lights drivers at Infineon last year. I know that liking a guy just because he’s ridiculously good looking is not what you’re supposed to do but you can’t deny that it catches your attention.
Besides, tomorrow is Richard’s debut in the IndyCar series with Team 3G and I really like the idea of getting to know a driver as he’s starting out in a new league. Get in on the ground floor, I say.
Some things I think you should know:
– Congratulations to ESPN/ABC pit reporter Brienne Pedigo and her husband, actor Tyler Christopher of ABC’s General Hospital. The couple is expecting their first child in October! You might have already known that but it’s the first I’d heard of it. Anywhoo, In an effort to help Brienne out in her job as her pregnancy progresses ESPN thought of everything:
To assist her in performing her duties through ABC’s five-race schedule of IndyCar Series events, ESPN worked with manufacturer Impact to produce a special firesuit for her to wear as she works the pits during the races. The suit is equipped with a stretch gusset in the back so that it can be expanded as her pregnancy progresses.
Look for Brienne tomorrow during ABC’s coverage of the Indy 500. Okay, to give you more information than you really need, Tyler Christoper plays Nikolas Cassadine on General Hospital and before he married Brienne, he was married to Desperate Housewives actress Eva Longoria who is now married to professional basketball player Tony Parker. Whew.
– World champion gymnast and Dancing With The Stars winner Shawn Johnson will be the Honorary Race Official for the Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway tomorrow. She’s already started the weekend off by riding along with Coca-Cola Racing Family member Kyle Petty. It looks like Shawn was able to show Kyle some dance moves. I think that if Carl Edwards wins the race tomorrow Shawn should run out to his car and do a back flip with him.
– Eddie Bell, a firefighter and small business owner from Tulsa, Oklahoma is the winner of the Office Depot “At The Speed of Smart” sweepstakes. As a result of his win Eddie had the awesome the opportunity to go on a $14,000 shopping spree with none other than the 2009 All-Star Race winner Tony Stewart. From the looks of things Eddie and Tony got on really well. Eddie will also receive a VIP race experience for the Coca-Cola 600 this weekend.
“I am so excited about being the Office Depot ‘At The Speed of Smart’ sweepstakes winner,” said Bell, a lifelong NASCAR® fan who deems himself the “motor-head” of his family. “In my role as district fire chief and as a small business owner of a residential construction company, having a store that carries everything from paper clips to laptop computers is very convenient. I found out about the sweepstakes during one of my weekly trips to Office Depot, and the fact that Tony Stewart is my favorite NASCAR® driver makes winning this sweepstakes very special.”
“I was absolutely thrilled to help Eddie do some damage behind the wheel of an Office Depot shopping cart,” Stewart said. “As someone who gives back to his community every day through his job as a firefighter, Eddie is a very deserving winner and I think he’s going to have a great race weekend experience.”
Bell, who has been a firefighter in Tulsa for the past 30 years, regularly watches NASCAR® race broadcasts at home but this weekend’s Coca-Cola 600 (Sunday, May 24, 5 p.m. EST, FOX) will be only the second NASCAR® race he has attended in person. During the race weekend, Bell will also receive a special on-track ride-a-long experience with Stewart in the driver’s seat.
– And since I’m already talking about Tony, did you know that you can win the firesuit he wore for the All-Star Race last weekend? As I write this the auction ends in less than 19 hours. 100% of the proceeds raised from the auction will benefit Victory Junction through The NASCAR Foundation. What I want to know is: Do they clean the firesuit and then have Tony sign it? Or is it better to have it just used and not cleaned?? I’m not sure which is better. I’m thinking if you’re like a hardcore fan you would want it as is, but that might be kinda grody. If anyone knows for sure how it’s delivered I’m curious about the details.
– For the record, the only person I want to see win the Indy 500 tomorrow is Marco Andretti. It would be soooooooooo friggin’ cool! He came so close in 2006 and I’m a big fan of family stories. I wanna see grown men cry!
Some things you should know:
– Clint Bowyer will appear on the March 24th episode of NBC’s “The Biggest Loser.” Isn’t it interesting that the guy that is sponsored by Hamburger Helper is guest starring on a non-reality-reality weight-loss game show? I don’t remember HH being billed as the healthiest thing you could make for dinner.
– Carl Edwards was in New York this week to film a commercial for Claritin. During the shoot he was interviewed by Beth Stern (radio host Howard Stern’s wife) for a segment on the celebrity news TV show “Extra.” Is anyone else bored by the fact that Carl and other drivers are so boring when they talk about stuff like doing commercials? It should be fun right? But like really fun, not implied fun. It’s the same line over and over with them, “It’s really kind of fun.” Wow, definitely sounds like it. I guess I believe you? I dunno.
– Infineon Raceway gave $5,000 to the North Vallejo Little League on Thursday. Jerks broke into the league’s concessions and storage building and stole all of the uniforms, equipment and $600 worth of candy last week. The nutjobs also decided to break computers and trophies and ransack the building before leaving. Vallejo, where this burglary occurred, is the hometown of Jeff Gordon. The good news is that so far the league has received more than $13,000 from San Francisco Bay Area companies and organizations like the San Francisco Police Officers Associations and the Oakland A’s. “With these checks we really should be able to get back to business,” said the league’s President Tony Hodges. “I feel grateful. We are in a bankrupt city in a disadvantaged area. I appreciate everything that everyone has done for us to help these disadvantaged kids.”
– Jeff Burton made an appearance on the soap opera “General Hospital” and all I really want to know is if he asked them why no one ever says “Bye” before hanging up the phone. I mean, really, what’s up with that?
– Tony Stewart will be meeting fans and signing autographs as a part of the 5th Annual “Mark Martin Fan Appreciation Days” event in Batesville, Arkansas on Thursday, April 9th from 3 to 5pm CST. For more information go to http://www.markmartinfordmercury.com
– Some news for the IndyCar fans out there: Versus will air more than 130 hours of IndyCar Series coverage throughout the season with a minimum of seven hours each week the network airs a race, the most ever during a race week.
“IndyCar fans have been asking for significantly more coverage of the sport and with our new partnership with VERSUS we have responded to our fans in a way that we think they will love,” said Charlie Morgan, president and chief operating officer for IMS Productions. “With the new VERSUS schedule it will be a weekend of IndyCar programming with Qualifying coverage, expanded race day coverage, and race encores. With so many great drivers, teams and sponsors, the time is right for expanded programming.”
The network will air 12 live IndyCar Series events in 2009 beginning with live coverage of the season-opener from St. Petersburg on April 5. Each of VERSUS’ race telecasts will last a minimum of three hours and will include extended pre-race coverage. VERSUS will also air one-hour preview shows at 6 p.m. ET the day before each race which will feature qualification highlights and all of the relevant IndyCar Series stories of that weekend.
And since I’m on the topic of IndyCar I have this message to send out to all of you: If anyone is interested in paying for me to fly down to Long Beach for the 35th annual Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach’s Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race drop me an email will ya? I would die for the chance to hang out with Keanu Reeves and Luke Wilson and give them the opportunity to realize that I am their future wife. So really you’d be doing them a favor as well.
Sunday was the IndyCar race day. Driving to the track was a considerably different experience than it is for a NASCAR race, there wasn’t any traffic. Leaving was an entirely different story. It still sucked and what should only take 45 minutes took 2 hours. But that’s the way it goes with race weekends. Although, next year I have a plan for a new route to take me home that should cut down on the time I spend in my car wanting to slit my wrists from all of the stop-and-go traffic.
Anyway, back to the track. It was firefighter appreciation day and as I walked into the paddock area the first thing I saw was this old timey fire truck with the cutest and smartest Dalmatian dog sitting on top of it. I couldn’t believe how obedient he was! He just sat there in the seat and didn’t freak out or bark at the people gathered around staring at him. There was another dog, whose breed I couldn’t tell you, that was barking a lot but the cute Dalmatian could not and would not be baited into barking back.
And then there were these big creamy-colored horses to pull the old timey fire truck. They were huge, but absolutely beautiful. They had a special moment during the pre-race festivities when they pulled the truck down the track and in front of the grandstands.
So I guess IndyCar has this reputation for being more upscale than NASCAR in terms of its fans and such. They’ve got Cristal and Izod for sponsors after all. Well I’m here to tell you that it’s all a bunch of hooey. Why is it that I saw more boobs during this race weekend than I ever have at any NASCAR race I’ve been to? And when I say that I saw boobs I’m not saying that women were flashing them, of course they weren’t but let’s just say they were on display. And why is it that I saw more fans wearing NASCAR gear than anything else? The Dale Earnhardt Jr. fans were out in full effect. Instead of trying to act all hoity-toity I think they should try to soak up some of the NASCAR marketing tactics and get some more butts in the seats.
Oh, speaking of butts in the seats, that’s exactly where they stayed when it came time to try and break the record for the most people doing the twist dance. Yea, that whole idea crashed and burned the minute the music started up. A group of people did dance but mostly everyone just watched. To make something like that work you really have to have a group that’s invested in its success ya know?
So I was totally right when I said that George Lucas would probably make an appearance at the race because Marco Andretti’s car was running the special Blockbuster/STAR WARS: THE CLONE WARS paint scheme. George hung out with Marco during the pre-race festivities and then in his pit during the race. Marco’s race suit was made to look like a storm trooper uniform. I’m not a big fan of the whole codpiece detailing.
In the end, Helio Castroneves won the race, his first of the season and Dan Wheldon and Tony Kanaan were mathematically eliminated from the field running for the Championship with only two races left on the year. This win was a sweet one for the Team Penske guys after having their primary cars go up in smoke (literally) earlier in the week. It’s amazing they were able to come back and finish first with Helio’s Penske teammate Ryan Briscoe coming in second. Briscoe has the most awesome accent by the way. I gotta get to Australia.
Danica Patrick walks to the garage after the PEAK Antifreeze & Motor Oil Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma County on Sunday, August 24, 2008 at Infineon Raceway. (photo credit: The Fast and the Fabulous)
Marco Andretti gets ready for a warm-up session on Sunday, August 24, 2008 at Infineon Raceway. (photo credit: The Fast and the Fabulous)
Ryan Briscoe chats with someone on pit road on Sunday, August 24, 2008 at Infineon Raceway. (photo credit: The Fast and the Fabulous)
Fans gathered around victory lane to watch the first through third place finishers receive their trophies on Sunday, August 24, 2008 at Infineon Raceway. (photo credit: The Fast and the Fabulous)
I thought this guy looked a lot like paparazzo/ex-Britney Spears boyfriend Adnan Ghalib only cuter, but I figured he was probably just a guy from William Rast. WR is the clothing company started by Justin Timberlake and his best friend Trace Ayala. The company was the sponsor of Townsend Bell’s car.
Some dude on pit road on Sunday, August 24, 2008 at Infineon Raceway. (photo credit: The Fast and the Fabulous)
Saturday was IndyCar qualifying and the first of two IndyCar Lights races, the Carneros 100 and the Valley of the Moon 100.
For qualifying I hunkered down with $8 chili cheese fries in the lunch tent. They were absolutely delicious, although it totally didn’t help my self-esteem when the Infineon Raceway umbrella girls had to walk in with their skimpy outfits and fatless bodies while I was eating them. I got over it though because I was hungry and their job is to hold up an umbrella, so whatever.
This weekend was my introduction to the Firestone IndyCar Lights series. You should see the guys in this league. Ladies, these guys are serious hotties. They’ve got more eligible bachelors than you can shake a stick at. Yes, yes, the racing is all fine and good. But these guys are really cute. Have you seen Arie Luyendyk Jr.?? Richard Antinucci? Dillon Battistini? Raphael Matos? Logan Gomez? Dude, you need to. Get yourself to an IndyCar Lights race tout de suite! There’s only one race left this season, so uh it’s Chicagoland or wait till next year.
Okay, I’m laying it on a little thick, but not really.
Right before the IndyCar Lights race ended the apparent head of security for IndyCar barked orders to everyone in the area of the winner’s circle. I think watching him might have been more entertaining than the race itself. I have never encountered someone in NASCAR who has the same level of responsibility as this guy seemed to have. From a little Google search I gleaned that this guy is known as Security Chief Charles. His reputation and ability to corral and move the drivers along to their next destination seems to be the stuff of legend. He is pretty intimidating I must say.
So I have one funny story to share, well it’s funny to me. Not so much bust out laughing funny, but more ha-ha funny. After IndyCar qualifying concluded and Helio Castroneves received his pole award he was ushered to the media center (by Security Chief Charles of course). On his way over, he was followed by a woman yelling “Helio! Helio! Will you sign my shirt?!!?!” To which Helio responded in a loud boisterous voice, his arm up stretched with one finger pointed, “Yes! I will!” and walked right into the media center.
That tickled me. You had to be there. He eventually came out after the media press conference was done and signed the woman’s shirt.
Logan Gomez walks to the garage after finishing fifth in the Carneros 100 on Saturday, August 23, 2008 at Infineon Raceway. (photo credit: The Fast and the Fabulous)
Raphael Matos speaks with the press after finishing second in the Carneros 100 on Saturday, August 23, 2008 at Infineon Raceway. (photo credit: The Fast and the Fabulous)
Richard Antinucci speaks to the press after finishing third in the Carneros 100 on Saturday, August 23, 2008 at Infineon Raceway. (photo credit: The Fast and the Fabulous)
Helio Castroneves heads into the media center on Saturday, August 23, 2008 at Infineon Raceway. (photo credit: The Fast and the Fabulous)
Helio Castroneves leaves signs autographs on Saturday, August 23, 2008 at Infineon Raceway. (photo credit: The Fast and the Fabulous)
Marco Andretti asks Danica Patrick’s husband a quick question after qualifying on Saturday, August 23, 2008 at Infineon Raceway. (photo credit: The Fast and the Fabulous)
And now for my IndyCar at Infineon adventure. Friday was dedicated mostly to practice for the IndyCar teams, and because of that it meant that the garage was dead. You’ve never seen a cleaner garage in your life. Things didn’t get interesting there until Sunday when the teams actually had to use it for preparation before the race.
So the really big deal was the press conference set up to unveil Firestone’s new “Magic Circle.” They’re the tires they created specifically for the top drivers who are still in the hunt for the IndyCar Championship. The tires have a white wall on the outside so that they can be easily spotted in the field during a race. Just another way the fans can keep track of the Championship contenders. Before Sunday’s race there were 4 drivers mathematically still in the hunt — Tony Kanaan, Dan Wheldon, Scott Dixon and Helio Castroneves.
So I decided to stand outside of Victory Lane where the media had gathered for the announcement. I just wanted to try and get good shots of the drivers as they made their way over. What I didn’t know was that I managed to situate myself in the precise spot they were all going to stop their little motorcycles and scooters. Scott Dixon was the first guy to roll onto the scene right behind me. I find him to be incredibly cute and I can’t believe we’re the exact same age; he always strikes me as being a lot older. Then there was Helio who as far as I’m concerned seems to be totally over the whole Dancing with the Stars hubbub. Everyone loves to bring it up with him but he never goes into it and I can understand why. It’s been forever ago and he’s a race car driver, and that’s what he’s really about.
Finally Scott Wheldon rode up with his wife Susie on the back of his Target scooter/bike thingy. Instead of going around all the bikes where there was more room to walk, he had to walk on the inside of them causing me to try and squeeze myself against the Victory Lane fence. I think my bag hit him, but that’s what he gets.
Scott Dixon’s scooter on Friday, August 22, 2008 at Infineon Raceway. (photo credit: The Fast and the Fabulous)
Dan Wheldon and his wife Susie roll in for the ‘Magic Circles’ media event on Friday, August 22, 2008 at Infineon Raceway. (photo credit: The Fast and the Fabulous)
Helio Castroneves arrives at the ‘Magic Circles’ media event on Friday, August 22, 2008 at Infineon Raceway. (photo credit: The Fast and the Fabulous)
Scott Dixon walks in to the ‘Magic Circles’ media event on Friday, August 22, 2008 at Infineon Raceway. (photo credit: The Fast and the Fabulous)
Scott Dixon and Tony Kanaan pose for photographers during the ‘Magic Circles’ unveiling on Friday, August 22, 2008 at Infineon Raceway. (photo credit: The Fast and the Fabulous)
No outfit is complete without pockets!
Dan Wheldon speaks to the media on Friday, August 22, 2008 at Infineon Raceway. (photo credit: The Fast and the Fabulous)
But first a word about Saturday night’s Sharpie 500 at Bristol.
So the consensus amongst the drivers is that since Bristol was repaved in 2007 there are now multiple places to run on the track and therefore you can truly race on it.
Well that’s all fine and well, really it is, but I’m always a fan of people getting frustrated and getting into fist fights after the race. Hehe.
In other news…
– This is kind of random but it hit me that at some point this season or next, we’re going to see The Jonas Brothers at a NASCAR race. I’m just sayin’ think about it, ESPN is owned by ABC which is a subsidiary of Disney who are responsible for putting their faces everywhere, including the The Little League World Series the other day, which is where this whole thought process came from. Thank you.
– IndyCar comes to the San Francisco Bay Area this weekend and I’m excited! I’m picking up my credentials on Friday and then I’ll be there all weekend. Check in for updates!
So apparently Ryan Newman is set to be announced as the second driver for Stewart Haas Racing. The official announcement is supposed to happen tomorrow. This is yet another one of NASCAR’s worst kept secrets. I really want someone to send me a NASCAR secret so that I can blab it to everyone.
In other news…
– I’m going to the Pepsi 500!!! I’ve got media credentials again and I’m super excited about attending this Labor Day race weekend at the Auto Club Speedway in Southern California. The Sprint Cup race falls on my birthday (August 31st) and do you know what the greatest present would be? Well, besides winning the lottery, the best present would be if one of my guys would win the race. So I’m putting David Gilliland, Travis Kvapil, Clint Bowyer, and Dale Earnhardt Jr. on notice.
– And now for some random photos that I haven’t had the chance to post before today:
Oakland A’s pitcher Brad Ziegler gets a ride to his game on Wednesday from former IndyCar driver Davey Hamilton in a two-seat IndyCar. Hamilton drove the pair to the Oakland Coliseum from downtown Oakland, the drive was a promotional event in advance of the PEAK Antifreeze & Motor Oil Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma County at Infineon Raceway, August 22-24, 2008.
(photo credit: Chucke Walkden)
Motocross star Travis Pastrana took in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Pocono back in June of this year. He recently won the gold medal for Rally Car racing at the Summer X Games in Los Angeles.
Travis Pastrana in Pocono, June ’08, (c) David Vaughn (Courtesy of Red Bull Racing Team)
Infineon Raceway is really turning it on this year for the PEAK Antifreeze & Motor Oil Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma County.
– First of all an IndyCar testing session is taking place there tomorrow from 8:30am to 4:30pm. Mario Andretti, Will Power, Tomas Scheckter, Jamie Camara, Enrique Bernoldi, E.J. Viso, Oriol Servia, Vitor Meira, Marty Roth, Alex Lloyd, Ed Carpenter, AJ Foyt IV and Townsend Bell will all be on hand. Admission is free for fans!
– As I write this Oakland A’s pitcher Brad Ziegler is being driven from downtown Oakland to the Oakland Coliseum in a two-seat, street-legal IndyCar by former IndyCar driver Davey Hamilton. Ziegler is being rewarded for his 37-inning scoreless streak.
– Saturday, August 24th will be “Firefighter Appreciation Day” at Infineon Raceway, and Sonoma resident Mitch Mulas has been named Grand Marshal of the PEAK Antifreeze & Motor Oil Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma County:
The first 10,000 race fans that enter the raceway on Sunday will receive a FREE commemorative bracelet with the inscription, “Firefighter Appreciation Day,” and the date.
– For the first time this year fans attending the PEAK Antifreeze & Motor Oil Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma County will be able to purchase an IndyCar Platinum Pass. What is an IndyCar Platinum Pass you say?? Well, it’ll allow you to meet drivers Helio Castroneves and Graham Rahal, plus more! Read on:
Race fans will be treated to a special question-and-answer session on Sunday morning with the two drivers. This exclusive session will take place in a hospitality tent overlooking Turn 7 and is only open to Platinum Pass members. Moreover, the Platinum Pass is the only way for fans to get a garage pass, which puts race fans just steps away from all of the stars on the IndyCar Series circuit.
Castroneves (Team Penske) is a two-time Indianapolis 500 winner, as well as past champion of the hit television show, Dancing with the Stars. Rahal (Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing), son of legendary driver Bobby Rahal, became the youngest winner in open-wheel history (19 years old) when he took the checkers earlier this year in St. Petersburg (Fla.).
This deluxe package costs just $195 and includes:
- Meet-and-greet with Castroneves and Rahal
- Autographed hero card from each driver
- Full-event weekend pass (your choice of seats)
- Garage Pass
- Premium Parking Pass
- Platinum Hard Card
– And as if all of that wasn’t enough Infineon is also trying to break the world record for the most people doing the Twist. Ya know, that dance your parents did when they were teenagers. They’re loosely (and I do mean loosely) tying it together with IndyCar by linking it to Helio Castroneves and his stint on “Dancing with the Stars.” It has nothing to do with racing but it’ll still be interesting to watch!
Race fans will be invited onto the race surface at Infineon Raceway on Sunday, Aug. 24, to perform a dance that best describes the most challenging road course in the country — the Twist. Participants will be required to Twist for five minutes in the style made famous by Chubby Checker in 1960. Checker will be unable to attend the event but will send a video message that will be played on the Jumbotron prior to the start of the record-breaking dance.
“I can’t be there but I wish the people a lot of luck in trying to break the record,” Checker said.
According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the world’s largest Twist dance took place in Yorkshire, England, in 2004, when 1,691 high school students and staff danced to Checker’s classic hit. Infineon Raceway hopes to shatter that record on Aug. 24 right in front of the main grandstand.
I have fabulous news! I get to go to the PEAK Antifreeze & Motor Oil Grand Prix of Sonoma County on August 22-24 at Infineon Raceway. I dig the IndyCar races ’cause the atmosphere is so different from NASCAR and I’m looking forward to it mostly because I haven’t been to a race since my first one in 2006. Now that I have a better understanding of how things go down at races in general I think I’ll be able to get more good photos and have a better experience in general.
And speaking of my first IndyCar experience in 2006, it was then that Marco Andretti won his first (and so far only) race. I was glad I was there to see it in person and I hope he can do it again. This time his No. 26 IndyCar will feature a special design from Blockbuster and Lucasfilm promoting the first-ever animated feature from Lucasfilm STAR WARS: THE CLONE WARS. It makes extra sense because the Lucasfilm headquarters are here in the San Francisco Bay Area, so I would expect an appearance from George Lucas himself. I have no idea if he’ll actually be there or not, I’m just sayin’.
In other news…
– Last year’s winner of the IndyCar race at Infineon, Scott Dixon made an appearance at the track this week to help promote this year’s event. He learned how to carve wood with a chainsaw and made a replica of Infineon’s special trophy:
Dixon got the rare opportunity to build his own trophy on Tuesday in the Wine Country Winner’s Circle at Infineon Raceway with the use of a chainsaw and assistance from “Chainsaw Chick” Cherie Currie. The event was held as a promotion for the PEAK Antifreeze & Motor Oil Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma County, Aug. 22-24.
Dixon carved a replica of the raceway’s signature Champion’s Cabernet Goblet, which he toasted in 2007 after taking the checkers for his first-career win in the Sonoma Valley. The replica, which was created from a five-foot piece of redwood, was carved in high-horsepower fashion with an Echo chainsaw under the tutelage of Currie, a professional chainsaw artist. Dixon and Currie worked together to create the trophy during a 20-minute demonstration before media members and race fans.
“I think I know what I want to do after racing now. I think I found a new hobby,” said Dixon after completing the carving. “It’s something I’d never thought about doing, and Cherie was a great instructor. I’m just glad I didn’t chop the thing in half.”
All equipment was provided by Echo, a sponsor of Currie. Echo produces hand-held landscaping equipment for both the commercial and residential homeowner markets, and prides itself on setting the industry standard (www.echoincorporated.com).
“He did an amazing job, actually superb,” said Currie, who has been carving for seven years. “I told him he’s going to get the carving bug, because once you start you just want to keep doing it.”
(Photo Credit: Gary Phillips)
Here is some very, very cool news: Tomorrow (Tuesday, July 22) I’ll be a guest on the ON PIT ROW radio show. I’ll be a part of their “around the NASCAR net” segment and I’ll be discussing some of the current headlines in NASCAR. Now you’ll all get to hear what I sound like and hopefully that won’t be a bad thing.
You can listen to the live broadcast online tomorrow at OnPitRow.com from 5pm – 7pm EST (or 2pm – 4pm PST).
In other news…
– Did you not get enough of Brendan Fraser at Chicagoland? Well then you have to check out the awesome photos (and video) from the great people at Kodak. Their flickr account has some great shots too.
– So I didn’t watch the ESPYs but I did check out some of the photos from the red carpet. I was hoping for more racing related stuff but all I could find was this one of IndyCar’s Danica Patrick. Cute dress and all but I’m not sure how I feel about her hair.
– This is not at all racing related except that I wish that it was. Former NFL quarterback and The Bachelor bachelor Jesse Palmer is an on-air talent guy for ESPN’s show College Football Live and he’s so freaking hot. I really think ESPN should institute some sort of broadcaster exchange program. Maybe we could swap Rusty Wallace with Jesse for a weekend or two?? I’m just sayin’ it could be fun.
If only I could embed this video. ugh.
Danica Patrick took issue with fellow IndyCar driver Milka Duno this weekend at Mid Ohio and you must see the video of Danica confronting Milka about her driving. It’s hilarious and I love it.
I don’t understand why the woman, Milka, didn’t stand there and talk to Danica like a human being. Danica wasn’t being unreasonable, and seeing as how this isn’t the first time Milka has put people in precarious positions I’m surprised something like this hasn’t happened sooner.
I get back from Chicago and what happens? I get sick! Ugh. I have a cold but I’m getting better, I think the worst is over.
In other news…
– Jimmie Johnson won the ESPY for Best Driver. The show doesn’t air until this Sunday, July 20 at 9pm EST on ESPN and ESPN HD. Apparently word has it that Justin Timberlake killed as the show’s host, and IndyCar driver Danica Patrick appeared to be really, really short when standing next to really, really tall people. Who knew?
– Hendrick Motorsports driver Landon Cassill and I have something in common, we’re both still trying to get comfortable with being in the NASCAR garage. On how he feels he’s grown since his first Nationwide series start last year, the 19-year-old had this to say: “I feel like I have a higher level of confidence than I did a year ago. I know my way around the garage a lot better, and I know NASCAR race procedures so much better. Just to have that seat time is pretty important, and, obviously, I’ll be better next year than I was this year, too.”
– Did you know you can buy prints of ESPN The Magazine covers? They’ll even frame ‘em too! Yea! I know, I’m all over it. There are 6 NASCAR driver covers and 3 of the six are of course Dale Earnhardt Jr. but I’d be inclined to pick up the Carl Edwards cover too (see left) for obvious reasons. Ahem.
– Here’s the “no duh” headline of the week, from FOXSports.com: “Keselowski enjoys racing, competing for wins.” Please show me the driver that hates racing and has no desire to compete for wins.
I’m so glad and excited about the fact that Danica Patrick won her first race this weekend in the Indy Racing League. It’s an awesome thing and I think it’s safe to say that we all knew it was going to happen eventually it was just a matter of when.
My overall feeling was one of sadness that I didn’t get to see it happen live. I purposely went looking for the IndyCar race on television on Saturday and what I found on ESPN with a title of IRL Racing was in actuality professional women’s billiards. At that point I gave up ’cause after the Red Sox/Yankees debacle of last week I was over searching for races.
So yea, I’m sad I didn’t get to see it happen. I have to say that as a woman I am truly proud of this moment in motorsports history. This is a big deal and it’s important, it proves once and for all that it doesn’t matter what your gender is and that at the end of the day it’s about your drive and passion for the sport.
The only thing I’m not looking forward to is the coverage that’s going to come next. Instead of asking her when she’s going to get her first win it’s going to be all about when she’s going to get her second. And even in general, this will take her to another level of celebrity in the sport and outside. So are you ready for Danica Mania 2.0?
And following that thought, check out this promotion from Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, Calif. for their IndyCar race in August:
See Danica In Sonoma with FREE Weekend Garage Pass
Danica Patrick made history with her first-ever IndyCar Series victory on Sunday, April 20. You’ll get a chance to see her first-hand when the open-wheel series visits Infineon Raceway for the Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma County, Aug. 22-24.
For a limited time, the raceway will issue a FREE garage pass, with the purchase of a weekend race ticket to the event. Weekend tickets start at just $65. And with kids 12 and under FREE on Friday and Saturday (Aug. 22-23) and parking FREE all weekend, it’s the perfect outing for the perfect price.
You’ll get to stroll right past Patrick’s Motorola hauler and watch the race team prepare her car for the big race on Infineon’s twisting road course. You might even catch a glimpse of Patrick herself, or even get an autograph. You won’t want to miss this golden opportunity to not only see Patrick, but also other stars like Helio Castroneves, Marco Andretti and Graham Rahal.
This is offer is limited, so act today by calling 800-870-RACE or link to our IndyCar ticket page.
I think it’s weird to forecast the season or a drivers performance abilities based off of ONE race. I think that at least ten races have to pass before I can tell you if someone is having a sucky or great season. I know people have to write about something other than Tony Stewart’s hair but c’mon.
So I’ve been checking the weather down in Southern California and it looks like there’s a chance of showers on Sunday in Fontana. I’ve never been to a race with a rain delay. So if the rain does come down during the race that could be interesting. I’ll have to figure out where Dale Earnhardt Jr.‘s coach is located. Just kidding. Sorta. No, I’m kidding. Maybe.
In other news…
– California Speedway is no longer California Speedway. It was announced this week that it is now to be called The Auto Club Speedway of Southern California. California Speedway was a lot easier to say, but whatever.
– MomLogic has posted an interview with Pattie Petty, wife of Kyle Petty and mother to Adam Petty, a 4th generation NASCAR driver, who was tragically killed in an on-track accident in 2000. How Pattie Petty Honors Her Son’s Memory
– Kurt Busch will be signing autographs at The Palms Hotel & Casino in Vegas next Friday the 29th at 7:30pm, in the Palms Food Court. The Food Court??
– It was announced today that the IndyCar Series and Champ Car World Series have reached an agreement and are merging in time for the 2008 racing season. Michael Andretti says this:
“This is a huge day for the IndyCar Series and for our sport as a whole, for sure. Over the years, whether I was in the role of driver, team owner or promoter, I have always wanted a unified sport. That has been my only goal throughout this entire process and I applaud everyone who played a role in making this happen. So many people have worked tirelessly, both publicly and behind the scenes, to get this done. Everyone can now focus on taking the IndyCar Series to new heights for the good of our sport and everyone involved in it.”
There was a poll last year that showed that 29% of NASCAR drivers thought that Athena Barber (Clint Bowyer’s girlfriend at the time) was hotter then their own girlfriend or wife. I think as soon as those guys take a look at Ingrid Vandebosch’s (Jeff Gordon’s wife) photos in the latest Sport Illustrated swimsuit issue they’ll be singing another tune. Her body is ridiculous, especially when you take into consideration that this woman gave birth not that long ago. For more photos of Ingrid check out the photo gallery at SI.com.
Oh and before I forget, IndyCar racer Danica Patrick also graces the pages of the 2008 SI Swimsuit edition.
In other news…
– I knew something was up when I came across Michael Waltrip’s driver page in the NASCAR Media Guide. See, they always list a driver’s marital status and if they’re married they list their wife’s name too. Well when I came across Mikey’s there wasn’t a line for marital status at all. Was it a typo? Turns out it was no mistake at all (I guess), after consulting the website of the queen of NASCAR gossip, I found out that Buffy & Michael are indeed getting a divorce.
– I knew Ashley Judd would make a big impression on NASCAR but I didn’t think it would happen this fast. I mean technically the season hasn’t started yet. Ashley wore a dress to the qualifying sessions for the Daytona 500 on Sunday which is a no-no in NASCAR garage rules. Women can’t wear dresses or open toe shoes. She got the shoes right at least. So now there’s talk of a double-standard. She shouldn’t be allowed to do it, and I’m betting (hoping) that maybe she just didn’t get that memo. With all the talk of this incident floating around the internets I’m sure NASCAR will do or say something.
– Oh, did you hear? Dale Earnhardt Jr. won the Budweiser Shootout on Saturday. Yea, I’m just kinda happy about that. It was a long time coming and it felt great to finally see that team in victory lane. This Sprint Cup season is going to be so much fun.
– So here’s something kinda fun and quirky. A guy named Ryan Parker wrote a song about NASCAR. It’s set to the tune of Billy Joel’s “We Didn’t Start The Fire.” Check it out below!
Check out the photo below. It is of the Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates open wheel and stock car drivers for 2008. Now, is it just me or do they look like waiters? Or maybe service dudes from my local dealership? I’m just sayin’…
Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates introduces its open wheel and stock car teams on Monday during the Charlotte Media Tour. From left to right, Juan Pablo Montoya, Scott Pruett, Reed Sorenson, Scott Dixon, Sabates, Ganassi, Dario Franchitti, Memo Rojas, Alex Lloyd and Bryan Clauson represent six different countries. (Photo Credit: HHP/Harold Hinson)
In a manner of speaking Gordon fans, don’t get your underwear in a knot.
– IndyCar driver Helio Castroneves captured the golden mirror ball (or whatever it is they win on that show) on the celebrity dance show “Dancing with the Stars.” I watched the show here and there throughout the season and I thought Helio did a good job, but I think Mel B. should of been crowed the winner, but that’s just me. Actually if you want to get really specific Sabrina Ryan should have won the whole thing but that’s another story for a completely different blog. And what’s this business about Helio dumping his fiancée? I wonder, and so does Darren Rovell, what affect this reality TV stardom will have on Helio’s racing career.
– Dale Earnhardt Jr. was announced as the winner of the Most Popular Driver Award for the 5th time in a row. Such a no-brainer, but then it’s interesting to note that the only NASCAR driver that’s consistently talked about in celebrity mags is Jeff Gordon.
– NASCAR’s Champions Week is this week and there are a bunch of photos that I want to share with you but I’ll have to do that tomorrow — I’m wiped out from actually working at work today. The Championship awards ceremony is tomorrow night at the Waldorf=Astoria. ESPN Classic is broadcasting the event starting at 9 p.m. (EST) (check your local listings).
My question is this: Why is this coming on the ESPN Classic channel?? What? We’re not good enough for the regular ESPN channel? Gah! Oh and something else of note, Kelly Clarkson is the musical guest. I wonder what she’ll sing. Considering the event and its content there aren’t many Clarkson songs that totally fit, except for maybe “A Moment Like This.” I guess I’ll have to wait and see.
I just recieved this press release from Andretti Green Racing regarding Dario Franchitti:
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Oct. 2, 2007) – Andretti Green Racing announced today it has released Dario Franchitti from his driver agreement.
The team’s agreement with Franchitti was set to expire later this year.
That’s it? That’s all ya got?? Whatever… He’s driving in the ARCA race at Talladega this weekend and it’s been said that he’ll be taking over the No. 40 from David Stremme next year. Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates has a press conference scheduled for tomorrow to announce their new driver.
Welcome to NASCAR Dario (and Ashley)!
After yesterday’s technical difficulties all is back to normal in Fast & Fabulous land. I’ll soon be moving this site and my others to a new host in the hopes of avoiding yesterdays service interruption. Yay.
Anyway, on to the news. Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Hendrick Motorsports will be revealing the last pieces of the puzzle next week when they announce who the major sponsors of Dale’s car will be and the number that will be on said car. Rumor has it that will be a combination of the energy drink Amp and the National Guard. I guess the National Guard seems likely since they’re the ones that currently co-sponsor the #25 that next year will turn into whatever number Hendrick has been able to get it’s hands on. I’m hoping they grabbed the 88, that’d make the most sense, and for those numbskulls out there that got the #8 tattooed on their bodies it would be easy (in theory) to add another 8.
I love Ashley Judd, I love her whole family (one of my first concerts was in fact a Judds show). The woman is just plain cool. If Dario Franchitti does in fact make the switch from IndyCar to NASCAR I’m all for it if it means we get to see Ashley. She’s so fun; it’ll be great to get her perspective and opinions on the competition. She gives her opinion on things whether or not it’s been asked for and I totally dig that, like last weekend when she called out the No. 23 team of Milka Duno for being so slow on the track, which in Ashley’s words was putting other drivers in danger. She wasn’t way off base, the announcers basically agreed with her, without actually saying so though.
Oh and while I’m on the subject of IndyCar, there’s one driver that I won’t be so excited to see in NASCAR and that’s Sam Hornish Jr. He is so friggin’ boring. I feel like taking a nap every time I hear him speak. He seems so lethargic and devoid of any personality. He never seems that excited about anything. He could just be a quiet, low key person, which I totally get ’cause I’m like that, but still show me something!
In other news…
– In an effort to not be outdone by Tiger Woods, Jeff Gordon has posted a gallery of photos of his daughter Ella.
– David Stremme has been dubbed “Mayor of the Infield.” But just when he gets props for being loved by fans he’s supposedly losing his ride. How screwed is that? Apparently it’s so screwed that even Juan Pablo Montoya is sad about it… although I doubt he’ll cry.
Fun Friday photo — worlds are colliding!:
Carl Edwards meets music artist 50 Cent while at Sirius Radio for Chase Media Day. (Photo Credit: Sirius Radio)
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.
Using the photos in my Flickr account I was able to buy these great little personal calling cards. The company that makes them is called Moo and they allow you to customize your cards using photos on one side and whatever contact information you want to provide on the other. You can get 100 cards for only 20 bucks and the quality is great! They’re half the size of normal business cards. It’s a great way to stand out and I love the fact that I was the one that took the photos. I especially love the one of Marco Andretti driving into victory lane for his first IndyCar win at Sonoma last year.
this photo is a tiny bit blurry, i apologize
Are you shocked? I’m not. There are worse things he could do.
And now I give you some things that you might want to know:
– If you’re a San Francisco Bay Area IndyCar fan you’ll be happy to know that Fior d’Italia Restaurant is giving $25 gift certificates to the first 40,000 fans that enter Infineon Raceway for the Motorola Indy 300, presented by Jackson Rancheria Casino & Hotel on Sunday, August 26. So make sure you get there early!
– NASCAR driver Ryan Newman will be a guest on the “Best Damn Sports Show Period” live from Lowe’s Motor Speedway on August 7th to announce the finalist for Kodak’s “Ink Ryan’s Ride” contest.
– Walk the track with Kurt & Kyle Busch, Jeff Gordon and Ernie Irvan at Pocono Raceway on Saturday:
Kurt will join brother Kyle and four-time Cup champ Jeff Gordon in Saturday’s LAPS Walk with Ernie Irvan at Pocono Raceway. Irvan, Gordon and the Busch Brothers will unite with NASCAR fans, Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) survivors, and the Pennsylvania Army National Guard for a walk on the racetrack to raise awareness and needed funding to conquer TBI in America. The LAPS Walk festivities will kick off at 2:15 with a Q&A session and presentation to the top fundraiser of a signed helmet to recognize his/her outstanding effort for TBI awareness and prevention. Following the Q&A session, all participants, including Irvan and Kurt & Eva, will move down to the track where they will be joined by members of the National Guard for the opening ceremonies and a walk on the racetrack. For more information, please visit www.lapswalk.org or call the Brain Injury Association at 800.772.4323.
– I find this quote from Jimmie Johnson to be very interesting indeed. It’s about the resetting of the points once the Chase kicks in for the final ten races of the season.
It certainly looks like I’ll be a big beneficiary of it (resetting the points) and with the way that it is, I’ll take that forgiveness the way the point system is structured right now and try to capitalize on it. But when you look at Jeff’s (Gordon) point situation and how strong he has been, deep down inside there is still a part of me that says, ‘Man, the guy’s had a great year and deserves to be the champion and have it re-racked with everybody on top of him again probably isn’t fair.’ But it’s the way it is. The Chase does a lot of positive things for our sport. I’m in a position where I could capitalize on a tough summer. So you deal with the situation, as it exists. Just falling back on the way racing has always been and the way we’ve all raced through the season and had every point add up to equal a champion, if Jeff doesn’t win the championship I’m sure he’ll have a lot of heartburn over it. And I think us racers, deep down inside, might not think that it’s exactly right. But it’s different racing today than it was years back.
– Greg Biffle will be running a special “Dog the Bounty Hunter” paint scheme on his No. 16 Ford Fusion at Pocono. Uhm, yea, I’ve got nothing.
– All I can say about this is that I hope either A.J. Allmendinger or Brian Vickers can make it into this race or else this visit will be kinda awkward and embarrassing. I got my fingers crossed for ‘em!
Two members of the New York Red Bulls, the MLS team that plays its home matches at Giants Stadium, will make the 90-mile journey from East Rutherford, N.J., to Pocono Raceway to absorb the sights and sounds of NASCAR racing.
Midfielder Joe Vide and midfielder/forward Clint Mathis will get a true taste of what stock-car racing is all about. They’ll hang out on the grid and in the pits, and the fleet-footed duo will meet Red Bull Racing’s two drivers for lunch Sunday morning.
I caught the end of the IndyCar race at Nashville this past weekend and I have to say that it was pretty boring. I think that’s saying something coming from a racing fan. I mean, I don’t know what it is about those cars but it’s so not that interesting. They’re so far apart from each other, there isn’t that much side-by-side racing, plus there’s only like 18 cars on the track. That’s no where near as intriguing as if it were 43.
But anyway that being said I still watched the race, half-hoping that another post-race fight would break out to spice things up. Unfortunately no dice. The only thing that managed to get me worked up was the lap traffic that kept Danica Patrick from having a real chance at winning her first race. The IndyCar powers that be really need to take a look at this thing. It’s utterly insane to me have to a person that’s 3rd re-starting in the 13th position behind cars that are 1, 2 or 3 laps down. I know the lap cars are still racing for position but let’s be realistic, the person with an actual shot of winning and making the race fun to watch is more important. Not some dope trying to move from 17th to 16th.
In between trying to put together toys and eating my 6 year-old nephew’s yummy birthday cake, I tried to catch the race at Infineon this past weekend.
I don’t even want to acknowledge the fact that Juan Pablo Montoya won the race (but there ya go). He’s seriously the last person (er one of the last people) that I wanted to win this thing. It was all entirely disappointing. I saw the headline “Montoya’s win left something to be desired” and I hoped that it would talk about how insincere he sounded in victory lane, but instead it was just about the fact that he won because of fuel strategy and not skill. I’ll take what I can get.
Eventhough Dale Earnhardt Jr. ended up finishing 13th, still not getting a top 10 in Sonoma, he started third and ran up front for the majority of the race. I think every Dale Jr. fan should feel good about that. While I would love it for him to win, at this point in the year all I care about is making sure he makes it into the Chase.
Speaking of the Chase… There’s a website that is analyzing the chances of drivers making it into the NASCAR version of playoffs (the final 10 races of the season). It’s pretty cool, and kind of depressing if your favorite driver has only a 4.9% chance (Casey Mears!) of making it into the Chase. Check out SportsClubStats.com
Dale Jr. ranked 6th this year in Harris Interative’s poll: “Who is your favorite sports star?” Tiger Woods came in first for the second year in a row. The complete list is as follows:
1.) Tiger Woods
2.) Derek Jeter
3.) Michael Jordan
4.) Brett Favre
5.) LeBron James
6.) Dale Earnhardt Jr.
7.) Tim Duncan
8.) Peyton Manning
9.) Kobe Bryant
10.) Tom Brady
My question is how did Kobe Bryant get on that list? Eww. For the women tennis star Serena Williams came in first, followed by IndyCar driver Danica Patrick. Check out the complete poll results from Harris Interactive.
Left to right: Jeff Gordon, Jerry Rice, Troy Aikman and Jimmie Johnson pose for a photo prior to the driver’s meeting at Infineon Raceway. (Photo Credit: Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)
I walked into my local grocery store last night and saw Dale Earnhardt Jr. I did a quick double-take but it was only a cardboard cutout of him. I was seriously tempted to find the store manager to see if I could put down dibs on taking the cardboard Junior home with me. If you could live in my brain you’d be adequately entertained by some of the thoughts that run through it.
Anyway… It seems that the real Dale Jr. is feeding his love for Elvis by hosting the first night of the “Elvis Music & Movies” series at Graceland on August 13th, 2007 (that’s a Monday for those of you thinking about going). They’re going to show one of Elvis’ movies “Viva Las Vegas,” which happens to be my favorite Elvis movie. Not so much because of Elvis but more because of Ann Margaret and her song “My Rival.” I love that part, you should rent it.
So Infineon is this weekend and I’m not going to the races. This is the only race that comes to my area but I have to pass on it this year so that I can attend my youngest nephew’s birthday in La La Land (aka Los Angeles). This is how great of an aunt I am, I am sacrificing the chance to see my fave drivers up close in order to celebrate the day my nephew turns 6. Family is important to me and honestly I can get better views of this particular race by watching it on TV.
Infineon is a very fun place to watch a race, but you really have to be in shape in order to get around that place. It’s hilly and only certain locations around the track give the best views. And if you’re going to try and track down the drivers after the race for autographs, be prepared to hike up the hill to the helicopter pad.
I’m sad that I can’t go, and I’ll be extra miffed if Dale Jr. manages to pull out a top 5 finish and I wasn’t there to see it. I like this quote from him about Infineon:
“This weekend is important to me because I’m sick of hearing people say ‘oh, he can’t drive on a road course.’ We’ve been so close here before and have always come away with some sort of issue that takes away from what we can really do. I want a top-10 so bad here, I can taste it. We finished 11th two years in a row and led some laps. It broke my heart that I didn’t get to race the Corvette there in 2004 because of the crash during the morning warm-up. I was angry because it cost that team a chance to race after they had been so good to me, but also because I was really learning a lot and had improved my road racing skills.
Then, in 2005, we had a car I thought had a chance to win the Cup race but we were trying a new transmission and it locked-up on the first lap and I was in the wall. That was so disappointing – and it was even worse when we fixed the car and I went back out and was still as fast as anyone in a car that was beat-up and taped together. It was frustrating, but it was another sign that I can do this. Last year, we passed more than 15 cars on track, moved into the top-10 and then got taken out by a ringer who was driving like a madman. We tested for a day at VIR (Virginia Intl. Raceway) a few weeks back, and I think this is the weekend we get can get a finish that this team deserves.”
In other news…
– Here are the things I wish for AJ Allmendinger: 1.) He qualifies for the race at Infineon this weekend and 2.) He places somewhere in the top 10 at the very least.
– NASCAR.COM’s Duane Cross writes about Liz Allison’s soon-to-be-released book (September 7th to be exact) The Girl’s Guide to Winning a NASCAR Driver (Secrets to Grabbing His Attention and Stealing His Heart)… The book provides info on how drivers met their wives and how to grab a drivers attention. Check out the article it’s a fun read, especially the part about Kurt Busch and a horse’s behind.
– Thanks to a reader I now have a link to a photo of Marco Andretti Shirtless… Your endless Google searches can end here.
– Another Infineon bit… Wanna meet Clint Bowyer? Here’s the lowdown on how you can this Friday, June 22nd in Petaluma, Calif.
On behalf of Jack Daniel’s, Bowyer will appear on the mezzanine above the Tolay restaurant at the Sheraton Sonoma County – Petaluma Hotel on Friday, June 22 from 7-8:30 p.m. The hotel is located at 745 Baywood Drive in Petaluma. Bowyer will be on hand to greet race fans and sign autographs.
I was looking at the traffic stats for my blog and I’ve noticed a lot of searches for the terms “Marco Andretti Shirtless.” I wish I actually had some photos of Marco sans shirt, I’m sure my traffic would skyrocket.
Anywhoo… It seems that Ryan Newman is back to his old tricks again. He secured the pole for a second week, this time for Dover this weekend. Congrats to him, hopefully he can stay up there at the front until the end of the race.
I know that this blog is supposed to be all about racing and whatnot but I would be remiss if I didn’t tell you about a couple really great CDs that I bought recently. The first is from the band The Used. “Lies for the Liars” is their 3rd album and it is sooo great! It hasn’t been getting a lot of media attention (if any) but it should ’cause it’s great rock music. If you’ve liked any of The Used’s songs in the past you should pick this one up. Also you should grab The Almost’s “Southern Weather,” I’m listening to it this very minute and I dig it. It’s kind of emo, kind of harder rock, but in general it’s your basic alternative rock type stuff. I have a hard time categorizing certain bands; all I know is that this stuff gives me goose bumps.
Just a couple tidbits about the upcoming Infineon race on the 24th:
– Legendary ex-NFL wide receiver Jerry Rice has been named the Grand Marshal of the Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Infineon Raceway. “This will be a new experience for me and I’m really looking forward to it,” Rice said. “I’ve never been to a NASCAR race but I understand it is quite an experience. I’m honored to be grand marshal of the race weekend and I’m looking forward to the event.”
– Teams for Casey Mears and Clint Bowyer prepared for the race in Sonoma by testing their cars at the Virginia International Raceway this week.
Hehe… I kid, I kid… I was very happy that Dario Franchitti pulled out the win at the Indianapolis 500 today but I was even MORE excited that Casey Mears won the Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway.
There’s no one else that I wanted to see win that race more than Casey (ok, maybe Dale Jr.) and his reaction to winning was all I needed to see. This is totally what NASCAR is all about; newbies winning, being emotional and truly appreciating the moment.
All I can say is congratulations to the #25 National Guard/GMAC Chevrolet team! What a great way to celebrate the Memorial Day weekend by winning one for our troops overseas. Awesome.
– I didn’t think it was possible to dislike a driver more than I do Juan Pablo Montoya. He totally beats out Kyle Busch and Tony Stewart in the lack of warm & fuzzies department. He doesn’t give off any kind of vibe that says that he cares about his fans or anything. I’m sure he appreciates them in general, but I have a feeling that any kind of success that he has is purely for his own ego and that’s about it. He doesn’t show you anything that leads you to believe that there’s something more to him. When I think of Juan Pablo I’m reminded of a scene in the classic television sitcom “Seinfeld.” Elaine ponders if there was perhaps more to Jerry’s rival Newman than what they had seen/knew; he simply replies “No, there’s less.”
– Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon must be stopped! I’m not saying this because I’m not one of their biggest fans I’m saying this because it’s incredibly boring watching them win every weekend. And I would think other fans would have to agree with that. It’s just lame. I love close finishes, which we’ve had, but what we desperately need is some serious overall competition. It can’t just be one team or one or two drivers that swap trophies every weekend. It’s getting old.
– In July NASCAR will launch the “NASCAR Cooks! Race Day Recipe Contest,” in which one lucky fan will receive party at their house with a special NASCAR celebrity… which is another way of saying that it won’t be a NASCAR driver… details below:
The contest will consist of fans submitting recipes, which must include at least one “NASCAR Cooks!” family of products, online at NASCAR.com, where online visitors can also download and vote for their favorite recipe. Finalists will be posted online and the winner will receive a party at their house for him or her and their 20 closest friends. The grand prize winner will receive a NASCAR viewing party and backyard tailgate with a NASCAR celebrity during an upcoming NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series race.
Fans interested in participating will be able to download contest rules and an application online at NASCAR.com later this summer.
– In honor of Mother’s Day (which is actually on Sunday) the Nextel Cup series drivers’ moms will be the official grand marshal’s of the Saturday night race at Darlington. Casey Mears’ mom Carol will be in attendance and he’d like nothing more than to win one for her, says Casey, “I’ve told my mom before that I wouldn’t be where I am today without her, but it would be pretty special to tell her again this weekend in Victory Lane. She’s an amazing person and a great mom.”
All of the mom’s will gather before the race to give the command “Sons, start your engines!” Awwww.
– And now something for those IndyCar fans out there. There’s a headline that says “Danica feels pressure to win more races,” how about just winning one for a change?
Like I’ve said before the Indy 500 is on May 27th and this entire month will be dedicated to speculation about every angle, every possible outcome and analysis of every single driver in the field. My hope, my deepest sincerest hope is that Michael Andretti can pull out the win this year. It’s so annoying to have come so close to just fail again and again. I would say that even if Michael doesn’t win it, then it’d be great if his son, Marco Andretti did, but even that’s not good enough. Michael has to win it, period.
I usually love the whole green, white, checkered, ending — now dubbed Overdrive — but this weekend it was pretty lame. It was very anti-climactic.
I’m not going to go into the whole Jeff Gordon-breaking-Dale Earnhardt Sr.’s-career-wins-record-fans-go-crazy debacle, except to say that I agree with tallglassofmilk in that if the Talladega fans can’t behave themselves ‘Dega should lose it’s second race. They should hand it over to Infineon, us Northern California NASCAR fans know not to throw things when we’re mad. We’d just make shirts that say things like “Anybody But Gordon” and call it day.
I’m still annoyed/upset about Casey Mears’ crash in the middle of the race. I thought he was going to make it this time and finally win one but alas it was not meant to be. He was so pissed when he jumped out of his car, seeing that emotion reminds you how much this means to these guys. It’s not just another day at the office. They go out there every race with the intention to win.
It was so very cool to see no-name drivers race upfront this weekend. Guys like Sterling Marlin, Kenny Wallace, David Ragan, Regan Smith, and David Stremme all led laps at Talladega. Congrats to them, I want to see more of that. Words cannot express how sick I am of seeing Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon winning these races.
The rest of my Sunday was filled with more racing coverage. After the NASCAR Nexel Cup race I caught the end of the IndyCar race in Kansas. Dan Wheldon was the winner and apparently there was some pit road debacle involving teammates Danica Patrick and Tony Kanaan. Tony took a page from the Tony Stewart PR handbook and left the race track without commenting on the events of pit road (Danica hit his car on her way out of the pits which ultimately caused Tony to fall 8 laps down, finishing 15th for the day).
Now everyone’s attention will turn to the Indianapolis 500, the race is on May 27th but the media hype is already beginning. Oh yay, a whole month of talking about the same things over and over and over again.
In other news…
Ashley Force went up against John Force for the first time in her burgeoning Funny Car career. She beat her dad in the first round at Atlanta Dragway.
The marquee match of the day was in round one when Ashley Force beat her famous father, John, by a 4.779 to 5.783 margin in the first father-daughter Pro-level race in NHRA history.
“Today I’m a proud father,” John said. “I’ve dreamed of this day for a long time, and it makes me emotional to think it finally came true. She’s a great young driver and she’s probably gonna whip me a bunch, but I’m okay with it because she’s my baby.”
Ashley went on to win her second round match-up but lost in the semifinals to Mike Ashley. All in all still a great day for women in the NHRA, it won’t be long until she’s a Funny Car winner.
Jeff Gordon is saluted by Dale Earnhardt Jr. after winning the Aaron’s 499 at Talladega Superspeedway. (Photo Credit: Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Fans throw beer cans onto the track as Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Dupont Chevrolet, takes the Sunoco checkered flag to win the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series Aaron’s 499 at Talladega Superspeedway on April 29, 2007 in Talladega, Alabama. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 DuPont Chevrolet, poses for a photo with his wife, model Ingrid Vandebosch, in victory lane after after Gordon won the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series Aaron’s 499 at Talladega Superspeedway on April 29, 2007 in Talladega, Alabama. (Photo by Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Since it’s Friday I went over to YouTube to try and find something fun and interesting.
I found a show called Indy Insider hosted by a kid named Arni. In this clip he’s at the Honda Welcome Party during the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersberg in St. Petersberg, Florida. He talks to Tony Kanaan (who comandeers Arni’s microphone) and Michael and Marco Andretti (who is apparently shy when it comes to talking to the ladies). [Indy Insider - Honda Party-part 2]
A couple weeks ago I attended a press conference at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma. In attendance was Scott Pruett (who didn’t know it at the time but would later be screwed by his own teammate at the Busch race in Mexico), NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle Rider Angelle Sampey, IndyCar Series driver Marco — Grandson of Mario — Andretti (sporting some interestingly decorated & detailed jeans) and NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series rookie A.J. Allmendinger, a native of Los Gatos, Calif.
Poor A.J. He has yet to qualify his #84 Red Bull Toyota Camry for any of the Cup series races this year. I sincerely hope that his team can pull it together, at least in time for the race at Infineon in June. Since he is from the Bay Area it would be nice to qualify and run in front of his hometown crowd.
I’m really bringing up A.J. for another reason. At the press conference there were media materials laid out representing all of the drivers in attendance. If you watched the special they ran before the Daytona 500 this year about Toyota’s entry into Cup racing you would have seen the photo shoot for this booklet. The results are great. They made ‘em look tall! The Team Red Bull booklet stood out and is by far the best piece of marketing for a race team that I have seen in quite some time.
I’m sure Brian Vickers is much happier now hawking an energy drink instead of womens shampoo. Bye Bye Garnier Fructis!
See for yourself in the photos below…
These are little cards that you can take out of the booklet and do with as you please. Nice touch!
I love clothes. I love looking at them in magazines, I love rummaging through racks in stores, I love trying them on… I think you get the picture.
When I was at the Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma at Infineon Raceway this weekend I stopped by Betty’s Garage. Betty’s Garage is company that designs race apparel for women. Kristi Chatham, a resident of Bethel Island, Calif., started the company and used her love for hot rods and classic cars as inspiration for her fun, retro designs.
Having seen the clothes up-close and in-person, I absolutely adore them. They’re beyond cute and I think wearing them would only serve to enhance your days out at the track. They’ll definitely get you some attention from the male population. Plus, it’s just nice to have some options, instead of having to don some hideously colorful graphic racing t-shirt.
At left, Kristi Chatham, owner of Betty’s Garage, is wearing the Drag Racing Jacket in pink and blue. This is my favorite piece. It also comes in black and white and black and pink. Below are more photos of designs from Betty’s Garage. To find out where you can get these fabulous threads check out BettysRaceGarage.com
I’ve been wanting to write this entry since Sunday but my grand plans about doing it once I left the track slowly eroded as I was stuck in traffic for 2 hours. That’s the only incredibly irritating thing about going to a race at Infineon, the drive home! It never fails. There’s literally only one lane out in each direction. I forgot to grab a cold drink and a snack before I got in my car so I was parched and starving; trying to sing along with my CDs in the hopes that it would help me to forget my hunger. It didn’t.
Anyway, I’m back at work and there’s so much that I haven’t talked about yet. So let’s get to it.
First off, this past weekend there were about a million times it seemed that I had to stop, look around and say to myself, “Look at where you are, remember this.” The first such moment was with Gene Simmons. Yes, he’s kinda weird but it was pretty surreal to have him just sitting in front of me, blabbering on about how great IndyCar racing is.
The second moment was when Tony Kanaan walked past me after the race. He went into the winners circle to congratulate Marco Andretti and then pushed past me and others to get to the garage area. He came up my chest. He’s short.
The third and final memorable moment of the day was after the race when Marco and Michael Andretti (Marco’s dad) were in the media center answering questions. This was Marco’s first IndyCar win, ever and he’s only 19 (although to me he looks like he’s twelve). He’s the youngest winner of a major open-wheel event to date. So this race, this win, was a huge deal and I was there to witness it. I’ll never forget it.
I’m a NASCAR fan and I’ll watch IRL stuff for a little bit if it’s on, or if it’s the Indy 500. Going to this race really didn’t change that for me. During the national anthem there wasn’t a fly-over! What kind of race is it without a fly-over? The crew members were hot I must admit, especially one particular guy on Dan Wheldon’s team. Hello!
But I digress.
I did get to see Ashley Judd, Dario Franchitti’s wife, and she looked great. I have a great photo of the back of her head, in case you’re interested. I also saw Danica Patrick a lot. There really isn’t anything that great to tell about her.
Infineon wasn’t as packed as it was for the NASCAR race in June, but there were still a ton of race fans on hand for the event. Overall I though, I thought the race was fun, cool and very memorable.
So Gene Simmons and his hair are here today. He stopped by the media center to answer questions and look cool. He wore sunglasses the whole time even though he was indoors and the room was somewhat dimly lit. I know he’s a rock star and all but c’mon. Apparently he’s a huge IndyCar fan and even has some marketing company that came up with the IRL tagline “I am Indy.” Oh and there’s a song too.
Some of the other members of the media commented that he seems pretty full of himself. At least I’m not the only one. He seems scripted, but the fact that he does it so effortlessly is kinda impressive.
He had the nerve to say “NASCAR, shmascar.” After that I had to write him off. He’s here with his entire family. It’s incredibly odd to see them all in person after watching them on their reality tv show, Gene Simmons Family Jewels, which airs on A&E.
The character himself Mr. Gene Simmons
The Nuge is here! Yes folks Ted Nugent is at the Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma today. It looks like he got to take a hot lap around the track with IndyCar driver Sam Hornish Jr. I snapped a quick picture through the window of the media center. It’s not the greatest photo but still. Danica Patrick was also driving a Honda Safety Car around the track. I have no idea why the Nugent is here, although he did play a show at the Fillmore earlier this week, but he’s not the Grand Marshall. Whatever the circumstances it’s very cool to see a rock legend enjoying the races.
Ted Nugent (left), Sam Hornish Jr. (center) and some dude (right)
Danica Patrick behind the wheel of a Honda Safety Car (the official pace car)
When I arrived at Infineon this morning for the Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma weekend things didn’t seem that different from when I was there in June for the NASCAR race. The same messy traffic issues with go-karts and pedestrians making it incredibly nerve racking to navigate the parking lots. There were the same big tents promoting everything from cars to clothes to video games and a super special cleanser for your sunglasses. But it wasn’t until I took a seat in the media center that I realized this was definitely not the same as a NASCAR race. The guy two seats down from me was speaking a language I couldn’t quite figure out, I’m thinking it’s Italian? Or maybe Portuguese? Anyway, he was speaking fast and broadcasting live, reporting on the IndyCar warm-ups going on before us. The other thing that tipped me off was that the whole front row was full of Japanese media.
Since the day was about practicing and qualifying I went off to check out the vendor tents. Qualifying is obviously important but I will admit that it’s the only boring thing about racing. I saw Tony Kanaan as I left the media center, he was walking with two other guys that I’m assuming were drivers but I couldn’t tell who from where I was standing. Tony kinda stands out in that bright green suit.
Behind the grandstands Honda had what looked to me like a regular showroom, complete with carpeting throughout, and every single car in their production out for display. I bumped into the Playboy tent, which was full of men, and young boys on the outside looking in. Sierra Nevada had a great outdoor lounge area featuring a stage where a band called the Spazmatics were to play today and tomorrow.