All posts in IndyCar

104 Posts
macysunion3_featured

indycar invades the bay area (and macy’s)

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. :)

indycar_featured_TK

the indycar catch-up, catch-all

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!

Alex and Bronte Tagliani

Alex and Bronte Tagliani walked the red carpet for the drivers party in Edmonton

Simona de Silvestro

Simona De Silvestro created her own flotation device when the rain washed out practice at Edmonton

Sebastian Saavedra

Sebastian Saavedra chats with a young fan

James Jakes

James Jakes arrives at the drivers party in Edmonton

James Hinchcliffe

James Hinchcliffe arrives at the drivers party in Edmonton

Helio Castroneves

Helio Castroneves arrives at the drivers party in Edmonton

Marco Andretti

Marco Andretti drives through Toronto

Dario Franchitti

Dario Franchitti celebrates his Honda Indy Toronto win with the Grid Girls

Graham Rahal

Graham Rahal poses for a photo with fans

Marco Andretti - Michael Andretti

Marco Andretti celebrates his Iowa Corn Indy 250 win with his family

Helio Castroneves, Dario Franchitti, Will Power

Will Power won the Edmonton Indy, while Helio Castroneves finished 2nd and Dario Franchitti took 3rd.

Ana Beatriz

Ana Beatriz's nails are color-coordinated with her firesuit. Super cute.

(all photos courtesy of INDYCAR)


NOTES:

– 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

GooGonePackage_featured

getting to know you: 2011 ‘fabulous’ reader survey & goo gone giveaway

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.


Goo Gone Prize Package image

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!
:)

weddings_featured

your ‘fabulous’ guide to getting married at a speedway

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?

harveys_featured

fashion shortcuts: the original seatbelt bag, tees for tots, and sheetmetal pendants

Harveys bags on display during the NASCAR race weekend at Infineon RacewayIt 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).

I love these bags because they remind me of plaid (I'm mad about plaid!) and they're made from 100% reclaimed seatbelts plus organic hemp and water-based inks. Great for the environment!

I love these bags because they remind me of plaid (I'm mad about plaid!) and they're made from 100% reclaimed seatbelts plus organic hemp and water-based inks. Great for the environment!

– 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.

Isn't he too cute?! This Motor Munchkins onesie is adorable and funny.

Isn't he too cute?! This Motor Munchkins onesie is adorable and funny.

– 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.

A necklace made by Pit Pass Gifts from sheetmetal remnants from Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s racecar

A necklace made by Pit Pass Gifts from sheetmetal remnants from Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s racecar

indycar_texas_featured

firestone twin 275s please and displease

Dario FranchittiSome 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.

Ricky Carmichael poses with Mario Andretti. Ricky got to take a ride in the two-seater IndyCar with Mario.

Ricky Carmichael poses with Mario Andretti. Ricky got to take a ride in the two-seater IndyCar with Mario.

Marco Andretti

Marco Andretti

Alex Tagliani celebrates winning the pole for the first of the two Firestone Twin 275s

Alex Tagliani celebrates winning the pole for the first of the two Firestone Twin 275s

Will Power and Helio Castroneves pose for photos with a young fan at a autograph signing event

Will Power and Helio Castroneves pose for photos with a young fan at a autograph signing event in Texas

James Hinchcliffe

James Hinchcliffe checks an iPad for help with practice

JR Hildebrand

JR Hildebrand jumps in his car? Or is that out of his car? I can't tell :)

Will Power

Will Power is just kinda happy about winning his first oval race

helio_featured

givin’ it away: shell v-power® helio castroneves prize pack

Helio CastronevesYa 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

victory_featured

indycar wags and habs (husbands and boyfriends) walk the red carpet

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.

:)

Pippa Mann

Pippa Mann and her date

Ed Carpenter, Sarah Fisher

Ed Carpenter (far left) poses with his wife, Heather, his team owner Sarah Fisher (who's expecting her first child this year) and her husband, Andy

Alex and Bronte Tagliani

Bronte and Alex Tagliani

Tony Kanaan and his girlfriend Lauren Bohlander

Tony Kanaan and his girlfriend Lauren Bohlander

Ryan Hunter Reay and his fiancee Beccy Gordon

Ryan Hunter Reay poses with his fiancee Beccy Gordon

Dario Franchitti and Ashley Judd

Dario Franchitti walks the red carpet with his wife, Ashley Judd

James Hinchcliffe and his date Melissa

James Hinchcliffe and his date Melissa

Dan and Susie Wheldon

Dan and Susie Wheldon

Danica Patrick and her husband, Paul Hospenthal

Danica Patrick and her husband, Paul Hospenthal

Buddy Rice and his wife, Michelle

Buddy Rice and his wife, Michelle

Indianapolis Motor Speedway chairman Mari Hulman George arrives with Florence Henderson, and Mari's grandson Jarrod Krisiloff and his wife, Megan.

Indianapolis Motor Speedway chairman Mari Hulman George arrives with Florence Henderson, and Mari's grandson Jarrod Krisiloff and his wife, Megan.

2011 Indianpolis 500 drivers on stage

Doesn't it look like they're at a telethon?

Dan Wheldon

Dan Wheldon speaks to the audience

JR Hildebrand

JR Hildebrand took home the Chase Rookie of the Year award and $1,064,895! Wowsers!

(all photos courtesy of INDYCAR)

indy500_featured

the indy 500 slamdances with my heart

JR HildebrandI 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 WheldonDan 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. :)

Country music artist Kellie Pickler

Country music artist Kellie Pickler

Model & make-up artist Katarina Van Derham is friends with Marco Andretti

Model Katarina Van Derham is friends with Marco Andretti

David Letterman

David Letterman

Seal & Kelly Clarkson

Seal & Kelly Clarkson wave to fans before singing the National Anthem

Zachary Levi

"Chuck" star Zachary Levi

Kathy Ireland

Kathy Ireland

Patrick Dempsey

Patrick Dempsey

"Burn Notice" star Jeffrey Donovan

"Burn Notice" star Jeffrey Donovan

All 33 drivers take the traditional group photo on the start/finish line at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway

All 33 IndyCar drivers take the traditonal group photo on the start/finish line at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Dan Wheldon

Dan Wheldon with fans

Dan Wheldon celebrates with his fans

Dan Wheldon lays down on the finish line

Dan Wheldon revels in the moment. I love this shot!

Dan Wheldon with his wife, Susie, and their two sons, Oliver and Sebastian.

This photo and the one below it were taken the day after the Indy 500. Here Dan poses with his wife, Susie, and their two sons, Oliver (in Susie's arms) and Sebastian (held by Dan).

Sebastian Wheldon kisses the bricks! So cute!

Sebastian Wheldon kisses the bricks! So cute!

(All photos courtesy of INDYCAR)

featured_tpolamalu_andretti

the nfl’s troy polamalu rides on the “edge of disaster” at indianpolis

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!

NASCAR's Matt Kenseth, driver of the No. 17 Jeremiah Weed Ford, Jeremiah Weed strongman Rendy DeLaCruz, center, and comedian Adam Carolla celebrates with Jeremiah Weed Premium Malt Beverages after DeLaCruz pulled Kenseth 100 feet in 26 seconds at an event at Speed Street on Friday, May 27, 2011, in Charlotte, NC. Jeremiah Weed Premium Malt Beverages also distributed pre-paid taxi vouchers to legal drinking age consumers to encourage responsible drinking.

Jeremiah Weed Premium Malt Beverages strongman Rendy DeLaCruz pulls NASCAR's Matt Kenseth not pictured, inside the car, driver of the No. 17 Jeremiah Weed Ford, as comedian Adam Carolla, right, hypes the crowd gathered at Speed Street Friday, May 27, 2011 in Charlotte, NC.

Jeremiah Weed Premium Malt Beverages strongman Rendy DeLaCruz pulls NASCAR's Matt Kenseth not pictured, inside the car, driver of the No. 17 Jeremiah Weed Ford, as comedian Adam Carolla, right, hypes the crowd gathered at Speed Street Friday, May 27, 2011 in Charlotte, NC.

– 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”
today.

Mario Andretti and Troy Polamalu

bumpday_featured

the indy 500 bump day was definitely bumpy

The final 33-car lineup for the 2011 Indy 500I’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!

Alex Tagliani

Alex Tagliani realizes he's the polesitter for the 2011 Indianapolis 500

Alex Tagliani celebrates with his wife Bronte

Alex Tagliani celebrates with his wife Bronte

Ed Carpenter's wife, Heather, celebrates with the couple's daughter, Makenna. Ed will start the Indianapolis 500 in the 8th position

Ed Carpenter's wife, Heather, celebrates with the couple's daughter, Makenna. Ed will start the Indianapolis 500 in the 8th position

Danica Patrick

Danica Patrick

Ryan Hunter Reay gets a hug from Graham Rahal while his Ryan's fiancee, Beccy Gordon, looks on.

Ryan Hunter Reay gets a hug from Graham Rahal while his Ryan's fiancee, Beccy Gordon, looks on.

Alex and Samantha Lloyd

Alex and Samantha Lloyd

James Hinchcliffe

James Hinchcliffe

Supercute kid

How cute is this photo? This little fan is playing with his toy IndyCar racecar on the start/finish line! So CUTE!

AJ Foyt, Rick Mears and Mario Andretti

(left to right) AJ Foyt, Rick Mears and Mario Andretti

Ed Carpenter's son, Ryder, sends his dad a message

Ed Carpenter's son, Ryder, sends his dad a message


(All photos courtesy of INDYCAR)

helio_featured

shortcuts: helio castroneves pumps gas, martin truex jr. hosts fashion show

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.

Angela and Amber Cope

Angela Copy (left) and Amber Cope (right)

– 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.

The Stinger from Window World– 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.

A Family Affair: Michael Andretti (left), Marco Andretti (center) and John Andretti (right) attended the unveiling of "The Stinger"

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.

Martin Truex Jr. and his girlfriend, Sherry Pollex, speak to guests at the 2nd Annual Catwalk for a Cause event (Credit: CharlotteExclusive.com)

indycar_shortcuts_featured

shortcuts: stremme is engaged, indycar unveils 2012 concept cars

– 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.

Official Small Business of NASCAR, Courtesy of Office Depot (credit: Action Sports Photography)
(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.


Dale Earnhardt Jr.(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. :)


The 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series concept cars
The 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series concept cars
(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.”

If you ain't first, you're last

get the shirt: “if you ain’t first, you’re last”

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.”

Rubbins Racin T-Shirt If you ain't first, you're last
TFGGR_featured

introducing the fabulous girl’s guide to racing

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! :)

hollywood_featured

why does the izod indycar series have the best parties?

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.

Jenna Jameson

Former porn star Jenna Jameson

Tito Ortiz and Jenna Jameson

MMA fighter Tito Ortiz with his girlfriend, Jenna Jameson

Adrian Grenier

Actor, and the whole reason I'm so jealous of everyone that got to go to this party, Adrian Grenier

Dario Franchitti

Dario Franchitti

Helio Castroneves

Helio Castroneves

Adrian Grenier, Mark Wahlberg and Dario Franchitti

Adrian Grenier, Mark Wahlberg and Dario Franchitti

Craig Robinson

Comedian & actor Craig Robinson

JoJo

Singer JoJo (She has a new CD coming out this year)

Graham Rahal

Graham Rahal

Young The Giant

The band Young The Giant performed at the event

EJ Viso

EJ Viso

(All photos credit: Getty Images for INDYCAR)

longbeach_featured

mike conway loses his izod indycar series victory virginity

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!

:)

Marco Andretti (left) and his grandfather, Mario (far right) chat with Los Angeles Dodger shortstop Jamey Carroll before the start of the Dodgers game vs the St. Louis Cardinals on Friday, April 15th, 2011

Marco Andretti (left) and his grandfather, Mario (far right) chat with Los Angeles Dodger shortstop Jamey Carroll before the start of the Dodgers game vs the St. Louis Cardinals on Friday, April 15th, 2011

Marco Andretti throws out the first pitch for the Los Angeles Dodgers vs. St. Louis Cardinals game on Friday, April 15, 2011

Marco Andretti throws out the first pitch for the Los Angeles Dodgers vs. St. Louis Cardinals game on Friday, April 15, 2011

Dragon Racing owner, Jay Penske (left - hulloooo Jay!), and his driver Paul Tracy (right)

Dragon Racing owner, Jay Penske (left – hulloooo Jay!), and his driver Paul Tracy (right)

Danica Patrick

Danica Patrick

"True Blood" actor Stephen Moyer participated in the 2011 Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race

"True Blood" actor Stephen Moyer participated in the 2011 Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race

"Good Day L.A." host Jillian Barberie-Reynolds participated in the 2011 Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race

"Good Day L.A." host Jillian Barberie-Reynolds participated in the 2011 Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race

Kimora Lee Simmons shares a photo with her boyfriend Djimon Hounsou and their son, Kenzo

Fashion designer/model Kimora Lee Simmons shares a photo with her husband, actor Djimon Hounsou, and their son, Kenzo

Frankie Muniz

Actor Frankie Muniz

Brian Austin Green

Actor Brian Austin Green

Chef Gordon Ramsay and his children

Chef Gordon Ramsay and his children

Actor Patrick Warburton

Actor Patrick Warburton

Dario Franchitti (3rd place), Mike Conway (winner!), and Ryan Briscoe (2nd place)

Dario Franchitti (3rd place), Mike Conway (winner!), and Ryan Briscoe (2nd place)

(all images courtesy INDYCAR)

barber_featured

versus needs an intervention

Tony Kanaan and Wally Dallenbach Jr. 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)

:)

Dario Franchitti

Dario Franchitti

Danica Patrick

Danica Patrick poses for a photo with a fan

James Jakes

James Jakes

Ana Beatriz

Ana Beatriz shows off her fractured wrist. The injury occurred on lap 5 at the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg last month, the first race of the season. She's hoping to be back in her car for Long Beach this week.

Ryan Hunter Reay

Ryan Hunter Reay

Spiders at Barber Motorsports Park

Creepy! Spiders at Barber Motorsports Park

Will Power

Will Power jumps for joy over winning the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama

Dario Franchitti, Will Power and Scott Dixon

Dario Franchitti, Will Power and Scott Dixon celebrate landing on the podium at the Hond Indy Grand Prix of Alabama. Scott finished 2nd and Dario came in 3rd.


(all photos credit & courtesy of INDYCAR)

shortcuts_featured

shortcuts: bowyer to tour la la land on a double-decker bus

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…

Richard Marx– 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.

<a href=– 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.

swap_featured

shortcuts: another nascar connection on ‘the bachelor’, mcmurray & dixon swap rides

Miss Sprint Cup Kim Coon

Miss Sprint Cup Kim Coon

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.


Jamie McMurray and Scott Dixon swap rides

Jamie McMurray and Scott Dixon swap rides

Jamie McMurray and Scott Dixon swap rides

Jamie McMurray and Scott Dixon swap rides

Jamie McMurray and Scott Dixon swap rides

(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.