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shut up about about danica, i’m so over it!

espys_dpatrickSo 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.

indy grand prix of sonoma: antinucci sighting does not disappoint

The garage on Saturday, August 22, 2009 at the Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma at Infineon Raceway (photo credit: The Fast and the Fabulous)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.

shortcuts: obama meets nascar, childless viso wins daddy challenge

– 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.

antinucci’s indycar debut has me twitterpated

Richard Antinucci (photo credit: RichardAntinucci.net)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.

a memorial day weekend to remember

David Reutimann celebrates winning the Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe's Motor Speedway, his first career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victory. (Photo Credit: Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)So that was quite a memorable Memorial Day weekend. Early Sunday morning I caught the very end of the Monaco Grand Prix, the winner of which was Jenson Button. After hearing his name I couldn’t help but think of the movie “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” and how much I’ve always wanted to go to Monaco. Then I started thinking about how cool it would be to travel around the world to cover Formula 1 racing. I think that’s the one aspect of Formula 1 racing I like the best. I know men drool over the cars and all that but it just seems really boring to me. The cars are ginormous and the field always seems to be spread out. NASCAR just offers more… action. Anway, one thing I can say about Jenson is that his website is adorable. I love his logo! Someone make me a logo that cool.

The second race of the day was the Indianapolis 500. My hope was behind Marco Andretti and then on the very first lap he got screwed by Mario Moraes. It was at that very moment that I decided I would never ever try to pick someone to win a race ever again. So irritating. My heart broke for Marco. It’s one thing to lose it on the last lap, at least you were still in it, but to go through all of that preparation and not even get a chance really start anything. It’s just tough.

I know that Helio Castroneves’ win was emotional and it meant a lot because of his whole tax evasion aquittal, but it left me kinda cold? I’m happy for the guy, really, but I dunno, I just wanted to see something new. He’d already won the thing twice, give someone else a turn! Ha! That sounded like something you’d hear on an elementary school playground. Anywho, it was cool that Danica Patrick finished third. I think I understand her a little bit better after that pre-race piece ESPN on ABC did on her and her father. I think I understand her motives for keeping her feelings underwraps and trying to not be vulnerable.

A couple things I learned whilst watching the Indy500: 1.) Scott Dixon’s wife is pregnant! 2.) Ryan Hunter-Reay is engaged to marry to Robby Gordon’s sister, Beccy. The fact that I didn’t know either of these things show exactly how much attention I put towards IndyCar wives & girlfriends.

So after the Indy 500 show was over I changed the channel to FOX for NASCAR’s Coca-Cola 600 coverage. Little did I know that I wouldn’t find out who would win this notoriously long race a day later, with only a little over half of the race actually completed. It wasn’t NASCAR’s fault that they couldn’t run the full race, the weather just wasn’t cooperating, but it’s so annoying.

I’m happy for David Reutimann and Michael Waltrip Racing in general that they’ve received they’re first win, but I hate that it had to come under such lame circumstances.

Between yesterday and today I was witness to the world’s longest post-race show that included a stupid talking cartoon gopher (and his friends!) and fake grades for each race team that participates in NASCAR. You know those teams that they gave a C- to really deserved an F. They just wanted to be “nice” so that they could walk through the garage without getting dirty looks.

I couldn’t wait for them to just call the race already, I gave up on seeing a full race the moment they showed Carl Edwards walking around in jeans and a polo.

The only redeeming moment of the day came when Tony Stewart called the bald crew member from Reutimann’s team Billy Bad Butt. That was awesome and oh so very hilarious. I want to know why the guy felt the need to get in the middle of a conversation that Tony was having with David. Why don’t they have a microphone on Tony Stewart at all times?!


Jimmie Johnson, sporting a new haircut, jokes with Hendrick Motorsports teammate Jeff Gordon during practice for the Coca-Cola 600. Each driver has three wins in the historic race. (Photo Credit: Geoff Burke/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Dear Jimmie, What is going on with your hair these days? You have a super fashionable wife, can’t she take you to a proper salon in NYC and get your ‘do done? I mean, c’mon. Go talk to Sally Hershberger, she’s done great things for celebs like John Mayer, Roger Federer and Tom Cruise (to name a few!). She could really hook you up. :) XO – Valli

Jimmie Johnson, sporting a new haircut, jokes with Hendrick Motorsports teammate Jeff Gordon during practice for the Coca-Cola 600. Each driver has three wins in the historic race. (Photo Credit: Geoff Burke/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Team owner Jack Roush inspects spark plugs in the garage during practice for the Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe's Motor Speedway. (Photo Credit: Geoff Burke/Getty Images for NASCAR)

He would.

Team owner Jack Roush inspects spark plugs in the garage during practice for the Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. (Photo Credit: Geoff Burke/Getty Images for NASCAR)

A group of kids enjoy some Domino's pizza while waiting out the rain delay at Lowe's Motor Speedway. (Photo Credit: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Soooo adorable!!! I love this photo.

A group of kids enjoy some Domino’s pizza while waiting out the rain delay at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. (Photo Credit: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Team owner Michael Waltrip and winning crew chief Rodney Childers hug after the Coca-Cola 600 was called and Reutimann was declared the race winner. The win was the first in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series for Michael Waltrip Racing. (Photo Credit: Geoff Burke/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Team owner Michael Waltrip and winning crew chief Rodney Childers hug after the Coca-Cola 600 was called and Reutimann was declared the race winner. The win was the first in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series for Michael Waltrip Racing. (Photo Credit: Geoff Burke/Getty Images for NASCAR)

The Coca-Cola 600 was stopped just short of 3 p.m. ET to observe the National Moment of Remembrance. The cars lined up on the frontstretch and shut down the engines and crew members lined up the length of pit road to honor members of the military. (Photo Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images)

The Coca-Cola 600 was stopped just short of 3 p.m. ET to observe the National Moment of Remembrance. The cars lined up on the frontstretch and shut down the engines and crew members lined up the length of pit road to honor members of the military. (Photo Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images)

Olympic Gold Medalist and Dancing With the Stars winner Shawn Johnson learns how to change a tire before the Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe's Motor Speedway. (Photo Credit: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Olympic Gold Medalist and Dancing With the Stars winner Shawn Johnson learns how to change a tire before the Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. (Photo Credit: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images for NASCAR)

firesuits: bid on tony’s used one and brienne pedigo’s is expanding

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.


Shawn Johnson and Kyle Petty at Lowe's Motor Speedway (credit: NASCAR)

Shawn Johnson flips as Kyle Petty looks on at Lowe's Motor Speedway (credit: NASCAR)

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.

Office Depot At The Speed of Smart sweepstakes winner Eddie Bell and NASCAR Sprint Cup driver Tony Stewart try out office chairs at a local Office Depot store in Charlotte, N.C.

“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!

:)

shortcuts: infineon gives back, ‘biggest loser’ pulls bowyer’s car

Some things you should know:

NASCAR Driver Clint Bowyer and host Alison Sweeney get instructions from The Biggest Loser Director Neil DeGroot.  (Photo Courtesy Auto Club Speedway)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 StewartTony 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.

:)

would you like some cristal with your nachos?

Dalmation on a fire truck at Infineon RacewaySunday 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. Horses at Infineon Raceway

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

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

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

Ryan Briscoe chats with someone on pit road on Sunday, August 24, 2008 at Infineon Raceway. (photo credit: The Fast and the Fabulous)

Victory Lane

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)

William Rast Racing

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)

giving the indycar lights racers a once over

Infineon Raceway Chili Cheese FriesSaturday 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

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

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

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

Helio Castroneves heads into the media center on Saturday, August 23, 2008 at Infineon Raceway. (photo credit: The Fast and the Fabulous)

Helio Castroneves

Helio Castroneves leaves signs autographs on Saturday, August 23, 2008 at Infineon Raceway. (photo credit: The Fast and the Fabulous)

Marco Andretti

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)

magic circles are magically delicious

The Magic Circles and the IndyCar Championship trophy (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 bike/scooter

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 (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 (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 (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 (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)

Dan Wheldon (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)

prediction: jonas brothers to hang with nascar

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!

no such thing as a nascar secret

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 (photo credit: Chucke Walkden)

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)

Travis Pastrana in Pocono, June '08, (c) David Vaughn (Courtesy of Red Bull Racing Team)

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)

it’s all about indy at infineon

Marco Andretti enters victory lane at Infineon Raceway back in 2006 (photo credit: The Fast and the Fabulous)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.

To get your tickets to the IndyCar Race Weekend at Infineon Raceway go to www.infineonraceway.com or www.ticketmaster.com

scott dixon knows how to carve wood

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:
IndyCar driver Scott Dixon poses with Chainsaw Chick Cherie Currie at Infineon Raceway

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.”


IndyCar driver Scott Dixon carves wood with a chainsaw at Infineon Raceway (photo credit: Gary Phillips)
(Photo Credit: Gary Phillips)

listen up! i’ll be ‘on pit row’ tomorrow

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…
Wednesday, July 16, 2008 -- Los Angeles, Calif -- 2008 ESPY Awards -- IndyCar Series driver Danica Patrick (Photo Credit: Rich Arden/ESPN)
– 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.

:)

‘it’s not my fault that you’re slow!’

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.

for sale: a shirtless carl edwards

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, ESPN The Magazine - Carl Edwards Coverwe’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.

doin’ it for the ladies

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

Maybe you can get an autograph from Danica like this kid! (Photo Credit: The Fast and the FabulousDanica 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.

’cause 1 out of 36 makes or breaks you

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??

– IndyCar driver Danica Patrick made a trip to The Ellen Degeneres Show this week. Her sit down with Ellen airs today. Check your local listings for times.

– 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.”

jeff gordon’s wife gets back to her dayjob

Ingrid Vandebosch in Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition - SI.COM 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!