All posts tagged A.J. Allmendinger

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photos from the ‘racing dreams’ premiere

NEW YORK - APRIL 25:  Producer Dwayne Johnson attends the premiere of 'Racing Dreams' during the 2009 Tribeca Film Festival at SVA Theater on April 25, 2009 in New York City.  (Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for Tribeca Film Festival)I didn’t attend the premiere of “Racing Dreams”, the movie I told you all to go see ASAP, but there are photos from the event in Charlotte in May and the film’s debut at the Tribeca Film Festival last year where it won Best Documentary Film. I know this is late but better late than never I always say. Plus it’s another opportunity for me to remind you guys to figure out a way to see this awesome film.

And I’ll be honest about the fact that I also enjoy getting to look at photos of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, who was a producer on the film. I think I’m going to add meeting him to my list of things to do before I die. I’m serious. Have you seen his arms? Holy… Okay, I’m stopping. If you’re an AJ Allmendinger fan you’ll enjoy these pics too, he’s wearing a suit! And there’s bonus Kasey Kahne.

Go see “Racing Dreams”! And if the film isn’t showing in your area why not tell your local theater they should carry it.


NEW YORK - APRIL 25:  (L-R) Producer Dwayne Johnson, racer Annabeth Barnes, racer Brandon Warren, racer Joshua Hobson and producer Dany Garcia attend the premiere of 'Racing Dreams' during the 2009 Tribeca Film Festival at SVA Theater on April 25, 2009 in New York City.  (Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for Tribeca Film Festival)

(L-R) Producer Dwayne Johnson, racer Annabeth Barnes, racer Brandon Warren, racer Joshua Hobson and producer Dany Garcia attend the premiere of ‘Racing Dreams’ during the 2009 Tribeca Film Festival at SVA Theater on April 25, 2009 in New York City. (Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for Tribeca Film Festival)

interview: inside the actor’s studio with aj allmendinger

CONCORD, NC - MAY 22: AJ Allmendinger, driver of the #43 Best Buy Ford, stands on the grid prior to the start of the NASCAR Sprint Showdown at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 22, 2010 in Concord, North Carolina. (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)At Infineon I interviewed fellow Bay Area native AJ Allmendinger, asking him ten questions from Inside the Actor’s Studio and he had some good answers.

AJ drives the No. 43 Best Buy Ford Fusion for Richard Petty Motorsports and he was a very nice & very funny guy. There is a photo of me with AJ but I have made an executive decision to not post it for the very simple reason that I look like crap in it. My eyes were closed too. So I’m sure you all understand why I can’t post it. But wait till I post my interview with Elliott Sadler, that photo came out great. I look respectable in that one. :)

Without further adieu, here are AJ’s answers:

to infineon and beyond…

No. 83 Red Bull Toyota at Infineon Raceway on Friday, June 18, 2010 (photo credit: The Fast and the Fabulous)I know I’ve used that title before but I love it. :)

Friday at Infineon Raceway was day one of the Toyota/SaveMart 350 festivities. It was a pretty big day for me because it held actual things for me to do. My usual shtick is to just show up and let things happen but this time I setup interviews with drivers. Since things went so well with Tony Stewart and the Inside The Actor’s Studio questions I decided to make it my “thing” for now and to get as many drivers to answer the same questions.

On my schedule for the day were one-on-one’s with David Reutimann, Regan Smith, AJ Allmendinger and Elliott Sadler. I’ll write about each of those experiences in separate posts. Stay tuned for those.

Back in the media center I sat in on press conferences for Jeff Burton, Mark Martin, Carl Edwards, Tony Stewart, Greg Biffle, and a little bit of Denny Hamlin.

Tony Stewart’s presser was, of course, by far the most entertaining of the bunch. His session was after practice and he wasn’t very happy with his car. I think that Southwest airlines should use his press conferences as the basis for one of their “Wanna Get Away???” commercials. I had this uncontrollable urge, every time someone asked something cringe-worthy to look down and start playing with my cell phone. There are always a few questions that bug Tony and after sitting in on a few of his pressers I’ve learned that Tony is a lot better when you ask him questions that are very real to him. He laid it out pretty plainly that he only cares about racing. He wasn’t in the mood to get all theoretical or philosophical about racing after having a crappy practice session. It wasn’t helping that people were asking the same questions they’ve asked year after year, my favorite being “Should there be a road course race in The Chase?” That was the one that really bugged him and got him to eventually say that he had no interest in giving his opinion on such things, he just wanted to race.

newman and stewart star in ‘i love you, man: part 2′

Ryan Newman does a burnout to celebrate his Subway Fresh Fit 600 victory at Phoenix International Raceway.( Credit: Tom Pennington/Getty Images for NASCAR)Good for you, Ryan Newman. It was awesome to see him in victory lane after such a long drought. I loved his post-race interview and the one comment that stuck out the most for me was when he said that, when Tony Stewart came to congratulate him, he told Tony he loved him and that Tony said he loved him too. Isn’t that sweet? Men who are friends, openly declaring their love for each other without being all weird about it. Isn’t that cool? That was fun.

Here’s the video of it, in case you missed it:

Photo fun time!


John Wes Townley inspects the damage on his No. 21 Zaxby's Chevrolet after an accident in practice. Clint Bowyer will take over driving duties in the No. 21 for the Bashas' Supermarkets 200.(Credit: Christian Peterson/Getty Images)

John Wes Townley inspects the damage on his No. 21 Zaxby’s Chevrolet after an accident in practice. Clint Bowyer will take over driving duties in the No. 21 for the Bashas’ Supermarkets 200.(Credit: Christian Peterson/Getty Images)

sprint cup media tour madness (aka photos of drivers in long-sleeved shirts)

This week was the annual NASCAR Sprint Media Tour hosted by Charlotte Motor Speedway. I wasn’t there (trust me, I’m crying inside) and so all I have to share with you are these photos of drivers sitting in chairs. Enjoy! :)


(Left to right) Richard Childress Racing's Clint Bowyer, Kevin Harvick, owner Richard Childress and Jeff Burton take part in the 2010 NASCAR Sprint Media Tour Hosted by Charlotte Motor Speedway Tuesday in Concord, N.C. (Credit: Harold Hinson Photography)

(Left to right) Richard Childress Racing’s Clint Bowyer, Kevin Harvick, owner Richard Childress and Jeff Burton take part in the 2010 NASCAR Sprint Media Tour Hosted by Charlotte Motor Speedway Tuesday in Concord, N.C. (Credit: Harold Hinson Photography)

nothing cuter than nascar’s littlest fans

I don’t know about you but I’m a total sucker for photos of kids and babies getting autographs from drivers. It’s gotta be in the top 10 of cutest things on the planet. And since I’ve been slacking on posting photos here’s a bunch from some of the NASCAR events that have taken place this month.

If these pictures don’t make you smile you need to see a therapist. :)


NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver AJ Allmendinger waves to a young fan Friday in Daytona Beach, Fla. at the NASCAR Preseason Thunder Fan Fest at Daytona International Speedway. (Credit: Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver AJ Allmendinger waves to a young fan Friday in Daytona Beach, Fla. at the NASCAR Preseason Thunder Fan Fest at Daytona International Speedway. (Credit: Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Kevin Harvick poses for a photo with a young fan during autograph sessions on Saturday at NASCAR Preseason Thunder Fan Fest at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, FL. (Credit: Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Kevin Harvick poses for a photo with a young fan during autograph sessions on Saturday at NASCAR Preseason Thunder Fan Fest at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, FL. (Credit: Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)

A young fan meets NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Elliott Sadler and gets an autograph on Saturday during the Sprint Sound and Speed Fan Festival at Nashville Municipal Auditorium in Nashville, Tenn. (Credit: Grant Halverson/Getty Images for NASCAR)

A young fan meets NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Elliott Sadler and gets an autograph on Saturday during the Sprint Sound and Speed Fan Festival at Nashville Municipal Auditorium in Nashville, Tenn. (Credit: Grant Halverson/Getty Images for NASCAR)

A young fan gets an autograph from NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver David Ragan on Saturday during NASCAR Preseason Thunder Fan Fest at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, FL. (Credit: Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)

A young fan gets an autograph from NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver David Ragan on Saturday during NASCAR Preseason Thunder Fan Fest at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, FL. (Credit: Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. meets a junior JR Motorsports fan Friday in Daytona Beach, Fla. at the NASCAR Preseason Thunder Fan Fest at Daytona International Speedway. (Credit: Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. meets a junior JR Motorsports fan Friday in Daytona Beach, Fla. at the NASCAR Preseason Thunder Fan Fest at Daytona International Speedway. (Credit: Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Clint Bowyer takes a picture with a young fan on Saturday during the Sprint Sound and Speed Fan Festival at Nashville Municipal Auditorium in Nashville, Tenn. (Credit: Grant Halverson/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Adorable!!! :)

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Clint Bowyer takes a picture with a young fan on Saturday during the Sprint Sound and Speed Fan Festival at Nashville Municipal Auditorium in Nashville, Tenn. (Credit: Grant Halverson/Getty Images for NASCAR)

mcmurray and allmendinger went kartin’

(Credit: Ethan Miller/Getty Images for NASCAR)<br />
(Right to left) Four-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson and wife Chandra attend the NASCAR Evening Series with Emeril Lagasse (not pictured) at Delmonico Steakhouse in the Venetian Resort Hotel & Casino during NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champions Week Wednesday in Las Vegas.” align=”left” style=”padding-right:5px;” />Have you heard the news?? Duh, <strong>Jimmie Johnson</strong> is going to be a daddy! Earlier this week the <a href=Associated Press reported that Jimmie and his wife Chandra are expecting their first child in July.

It’s funny how excited someone else’s pregnancy has made me, considering I don’t know them at all. But I’m super excited for them. This is exactly what we need, more babies on pit road! I’m not making a joke, I’m serious. After baby Edwards and baby Sadler arrive baby Johnson will be future NASCAR driver number 3 for 2010 (so far). Did someone spike the VitaminWater or what?

In other news…

AJ Allmendinger went go-karting with Jamie McMurray down in Florida last week during the annual Daytona KartWeek By Cometic Gasket events at Daytona International Speedway. This was the third straight year that Jamie participated in the event and AJ’s first time.

if denny hamlin’s win wasn’t emotional for you too, then you’ve got problems

(Left to right) Joe Gibbs Racing President J.D. Gibbs congratulates Denny Hamlin, driver of the No. 11 FedEx Express Toyota, on Monday after Hamlin's fifth career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series win in the Sunoco Red Cross Pennsylvania 500 and third at Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pa. (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/Getty Images for NASCAR)Because the Sunoco Red Cross Pennsylvania 500 at Pocono was postponed from Sunday until Monday because of rain I couldn’t watch it live, on TV, from the comfort of my home. Since I was at work, I casually kept track of what was happening by using ESPN’s race widget in between doing work and sitting in meetings.

Once the race was over and I found out that Denny Hamlin had won I was stoked. Really, I was happy for him more than anything just because it had been what, 58 races since he’d last won a Sprint Cup race? So yes, this was a big deal, and like I’ve said before, I like the Denny. :)

It wasn’t long after I learned of Denny’s win that I received a text message from Tara, a young woman from Arizona who reads my blog and is one of the biggest Denny Hamlin fans around. She even won tickets to a race at Phoenix by professing her reasons why Denny is her favorite driver. Tara told me that she watched the final laps of the race while having lunch at T.G.I. Friday’s with her grandmother.

i like the denny

Team owner Rick Hendrick (left) and crew chief Alan Gustafson (top) celebrate with Mark Martin (right), driver of the No. 5 CARQUEST/Kellogg's Chevrolet, celebrates with in the Victory Lane after winning Saturday night's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series LifeLock.com 400 at Chicagoland Speedway. (Photo Credit: John Harrelson/Getty Images)Since I never wrote up my thoughts on the Coke Zero 400 last week I’m doing a double-double this weekend and including them with my write up of last night’s LifeLock.com 400 at Chicagoland.

First the Coke Zero 400, I felt that Tony Stewart did nothing wrong to Kyle Busch in the last lap. Apparently when Kyle ends up wrecked it’s whiney time, but when he does it to someone else he’s just racing. Whatever, dude. I do not understand Kyle’s logic, seriously.

With Tony’s win, Burger King definitely got their money’s worth for their sponsorship of his No. 14 right out of the gate. If they don’t do more next year, I think that would be a mistake. But I still think the BK King is creepy.

Now, I should say that I wasn’t all that thrilled that Tony won. I really wanted Denny Hamlin to win, and this weekend too. I’ve never been a Denny fan but he’s really growing on me. I’m not sure why. Well, maybe it had to do with seeing his episode of Cribs on CMT awhile back. He had this piece of paper in his bathroom that read: “I Can, I Will.” I guess it struck a cord with me that he even thought enough to post an affirmation like that, and then to let it be filmed. So I want the guy to win something, that and I want to hang out on the little beach he has in his backyard. It just seemed so relaxing.

watched the all-star race and now i want a palm pre

Tony Stewart celebrates winning the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race, his first victory as a team owner. Stewart joined Geoffrey Bodine (1994) as the only two driver/owners to win the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race. (Photo Credit: Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)That was the goal right? :)

So about that whole All-Star Race thing that was on Saturday.

I loved it! If NASCAR hadn’t brought back the 10-lap shootout at the end it wouldn’t have been nearly as awesome as it was.

It’s kinda weird how happy I was for Tony Stewart to win the thing, when I’m not really a Tony fan. I just think it’s great for Stewart-Haas Racing and it just goes to show that his two-car race team will be a force to be reckoned with, and it’s just a matter of minutes before he or Ryan Newman win a race that has points on the line.

I think that I had more things to say about the All-Star Race but because I’ve waited insanely long to write them down I’ve lost them. Hmmm.

Let’s think about this, what happened at the race? Dale didn’t win. Tony did. Jeff Gordon wrecked.

Oh! What was up with Joey Logano winning the fan vote to get into the All-Star race? He wasn’t on the radar, like, at all! I did not see that one coming. mind = blown. Where are Joey Logano’s fans? Where are you people? It’s not that I think he doesn’t have any, or that he shouldn’t, I just don’t understand it. He’s been around for 5 seconds and he’s getting voted into the All-Star race?


AJ Allmendinger is all smiles after posting the quickest time during NASCAR Sprint Showdown practice at Lowe's Motor Speedway. (Photo Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images)

Denied!!! I guess the vote for A.J. t-shirt campaign just wasn’t enough.

AJ Allmendinger is all smiles after posting the quickest time during NASCAR Sprint Showdown practice at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. (Photo Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images)

Jeff Gordon battled Kyle Busch and Ryan Newman three-wide during the 10-lap shootout before spinning and hitting the wall, ending his night eight laps short of the finish. (Photo Credit: John Harrelson/Getty Images)

Jeff Gordon battled Kyle Busch and Ryan Newman three-wide during the 10-lap shootout before spinning and hitting the wall, ending his night eight laps short of the finish. (Photo Credit: John Harrelson/Getty Images)

Raybestos Rookie of the Year candidate Joey Logano was announced as in the top 10 in votes for the Sprint All-Star Vote. Logano needs to finish in the top two in the Sprint Showdown or win the Fan Vote to make the All-Star Race. (Photo Credit: Drew Hallowell/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Raybestos Rookie of the Year candidate Joey Logano was announced as in the top 10 in votes for the Sprint All-Star Vote. Logano needs to finish in the top two in the Sprint Showdown or win the Fan Vote to make the All-Star Race. (Photo Credit: Drew Hallowell/Getty Images for NASCAR)

The crew members of Tony Stewart's No. 14 Office Depot Chevrolet climb the fence to salute the fans after winning the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race at Lowe's Motor Speedway. (Photo Credit: Drew Hallowell/Getty Images for NASCAR)

The crew members of Tony Stewart’s No. 14 Office Depot Chevrolet climb the fence to salute the fans after winning the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. (Photo Credit: Drew Hallowell/Getty Images for NASCAR)

for the record, i voted for gilliland

The NASCAR Sprint Pit Crew Challenge Presented by Craftsman gets under way with the Opening Ceremony Thursday at Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte, N.C. (Photo Credit: John Harrelson/Getty Images for NASCAR)The NASCAR All-Star Race at Lowe’s Motor Speedway is tonight and I am prepared for the occasion because I bought Creamsicles. What does ice cream have to do with the All-Star race you ask? Absolutely nothing. I just like sweet stuff.

I should like AJ Allmendinger more than I do because he’s a local guy, well to me. Both he and Scott Speed grew up here in the Bay Area, and yet I’m not that intrigued by either of them. What’s wrong with me? I’m not saying that I dislike them; I just don’t feel “it” for them yet. I know that probably makes absolutely no sense but I don’t know another way to describe it.

I bring this up because it seems like everybody is voting for AJ to make it into the All-Star Race on the fan vote. I guess we’ll have to wait and see what happens.

Until then, check out these photos from the All-Star week that was:


In the shadows of the Charlotte skyline, NASCAR fans gather for NASCAR Rev'd Up in Uptown Charlotte to kick off NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race week on Wednesday. (Photo Credit: Chris Keane/Getty Images for Sprint)

In the shadows of the Charlotte skyline, NASCAR fans gather for NASCAR Rev’d Up in Uptown Charlotte to kick off NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race week on Wednesday. (Photo Credit: Chris Keane/Getty Images for Sprint)

O.A.R. thanks for the fans for coming out Wednesday in Uptown Charlotte for NASCAR Rev'd Up, kicking off NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race week. (Photo Credit: Chris Keane/Getty Images for Sprint)

O.A.R. thanks for the fans for coming out Wednesday in Uptown Charlotte for NASCAR Rev’d Up, kicking off NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race week. (Photo Credit: Chris Keane/Getty Images for Sprint)

Sprint welcomes NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Casey Mears to the stage Wednesday in Uptown Charlotte at NASCAR Rev'd Up, kicking off NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race week. (Photo Credit: Chris Keane/Getty Images for Sprint)

Sprint welcomes NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Casey Mears to the stage Wednesday in Uptown Charlotte at NASCAR Rev’d Up, kicking off NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race week. (Photo Credit: Chris Keane/Getty Images for Sprint)

Everfine/Atlantic recording group O.A.R. learn how to perform a pit stop from the defending champions of the NASCAR Sprint Pit Crew Challenge Presented by Craftsman, the No. 83 Red Bull Racing Toyota team, on Wednesday at Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte, N.C. (Photo Credit: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Everfine/Atlantic recording group O.A.R. learn how to perform a pit stop from the defending champions of the NASCAR Sprint Pit Crew Challenge Presented by Craftsman, the No. 83 Red Bull Racing Toyota team, on Wednesday at Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte, N.C. (Photo Credit: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images for NASCAR)

(Left to right) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers Brian Vickers and Michael Waltrip celebrate winning the Media Pit Crew Challenge after pushing their car across the finish line Wednesday at Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte, N.C. (Photo Credit: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images for NASCAR)

(Left to right) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers Brian Vickers and Michael Waltrip celebrate winning the Media Pit Crew Challenge after pushing their car across the finish line Wednesday at Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte, N.C. (Photo Credit: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images for NASCAR)

The winning Media Pit Crew Challenge team celebrates its victory on Wednesday at Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte, N.C. (Top, left to right) SPEEDs Rick Allen, FOXs Tony George, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Brian Vickers, SIRIUS NASCAR Radios Claire B. Lang, SPEED's Phil Parsons, Lugnut, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Michael Waltrip and Miss Sprint Cup Monica Palumbo; (Bottom left to right) O.A.R. drummer Chris Culos and SPEEDs Ray Dunlap. (Photo Credit: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images for NASCAR)

The winning Media Pit Crew Challenge team celebrates its victory on Wednesday at Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte, N.C. (Top, left to right) SPEED’s Rick Allen, FOX’s Tony George, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Brian Vickers, SIRIUS NASCAR Radio’s Claire B. Lang, SPEED’s Phil Parsons, Lugnut, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Michael Waltrip and Miss Sprint Cup Monica Palumbo; (Bottom left to right) O.A.R. drummer Chris Culos and SPEED’s Ray Dunlap. (Photo Credit: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Left to right) The No. 31 Richard Childress Racing Caterpillar team defeats the No. 43 Richard Petty Motorsports Air Force team in the NASCAR Sprint Pit Crew Challenge Presented by Craftsman Final Thursday at Time Warner Cable in Charlotte, N.C. (Photo Credit: John Harrelson/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Left to right) The No. 31 Richard Childress Racing Caterpillar team defeats the No. 43 Richard Petty Motorsports Air Force team in the NASCAR Sprint Pit Crew Challenge Presented by Craftsman Final Thursday at Time Warner Cable in Charlotte, N.C. (Photo Credit: John Harrelson/Getty Images for NASCAR)

The No. 31 Richard Childress Racing Caterpillar team, including Jeff Burton's wife, Kim (right), who drove the car, celebrates winning the NASCAR Sprint Pit Crew Challenge Presented by Craftsman Thursday in Charlotte, N.C. at the Time Warner Cable Arena. (Photo Credit: Geoff Burke/Getty Images for NASCAR)

The No. 31 Richard Childress Racing Caterpillar team, including Jeff Burton’s wife, Kim (right), who drove the car, celebrates winning the NASCAR Sprint Pit Crew Challenge Presented by Craftsman Thursday in Charlotte, N.C. at the Time Warner Cable Arena. (Photo Credit: Geoff Burke/Getty Images for NASCAR)

martin tugs on my heart strings

Mark Martin celebrates in Victory Lane for the first time in 97 starts. His last win was at Kansas Speedway in October 2005. (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR)How to make me cry at the end of a race:

1.) Be a respected driver and a generally nice guy.

2.) Be the oldest man to win a NASCAR Sprint Cup race since 1993.

3.) Climb out of your car and head straight to your crew chief, a man that has idolized you since he was a kid, and thank him for getting you to Victory Lane after 4 winless years.

4.) Look into the television camera and thank your wife for letting you go racing again after you said you’d retire.

5.) Greet all of the drivers and crew members who come over to Victory Lane to congratulate you with a warm smile.

Yes, Mark Martin knows how to make me cry. I wasn’t bawling but I did get weepy. It was a special moment and I am so incredibly happy that I got to see it. Congratulations to the No. 5 Car Quest Kellogg Chevolet team for putting on an awesome show last night.


AJ Allmendinger shares a moment with team owner Richard Petty after the team announced Allmendinger has signed a contract to remain at Richard Petty Motorsports through the end of 2010. (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/Getty Images)

AJ Allmendinger shares a moment with team owner Richard Petty after the team announced Allmendinger has signed a contract to remain at Richard Petty Motorsports through the end of 2010. (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/Getty Images)

Crew members for Greg Biffle's No. 16 Ford celebrate winning the Bashas' Supermarkets 200 at Phoenix International Raceway. (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/Getty Images)

Crew members for Greg Biffle’s No. 16 Ford celebrate winning the Bashas’ Supermarkets 200 at Phoenix International Raceway. (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/Getty Images)

Subway Fresh Fit 500 Grand Marshall Michael Strahan and Carl Edwards share a laugh in the media center before the race. (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/Getty Images)

Subway Fresh Fit 500 Grand Marshall Michael Strahan and Carl Edwards share a laugh in the media center before the race. (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/Getty Images)

Track conditions changed drastically as the sun set and the final portion of the Subway Fresh Fit 500 at Phoenix International Raceway was run under the lights. (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images for NASCAR)

The cacti always look like they’re flipping me off.

Track conditions changed drastically as the sun set and the final portion of the Subway Fresh Fit 500 at Phoenix International Raceway was run under the lights. (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images for NASCAR)

was that really bristol?

Here’s my recap of the Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway this past Sunday: It was boring.

That is all. Now it’s photo fun time:


(L-R): Elliott Sadler, Kasey Kahne, Clint Bowyer and AJ Allmendinger are introduced before the Wii Boxing tournament during Food City Race Night at Bristol Motor Speedway. (Photo Credit: Getty Images for NASCAR)

(L-R): Elliott Sadler, Kasey Kahne, Clint Bowyer and AJ Allmendinger are introduced before the Wii Boxing tournament during Food City Race Night at Bristol Motor Speedway. (Photo Credit: Getty Images for NASCAR)

Elliott Sadler celebrates beating Kasey Kahne in a Wii boxing tournament during Food City Race Night at Bristol Motor Speedway. (Photo Credit: Getty Images for NASCAR)

Elliott Sadler celebrates beating Kasey Kahne in a Wii boxing tournament during Food City Race Night at Bristol Motor Speedway. (Photo Credit: Getty Images for NASCAR)

Kevin and Delana Harvick celebrate winning the Scotts Turf Builder 300 at Bristol Motor Speedway, Kevin's first NASCAR Nationwide Series victory for Kevin Harvick Inc. (Photo Credit: Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Kevin and Delana Harvick celebrate winning the Scotts Turf Builder 300 at Bristol Motor Speedway, Kevin’s first NASCAR Nationwide Series victory for Kevin Harvick Inc. (Photo Credit: Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Race fan Wessa Miller presents a penny to Dale Earnhardt Jr. prior to the Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway. Miller gave Dale Earnhardt a lucky penny before he won the 1998 Daytona 500. (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Race fan Wessa Miller presents a penny to Dale Earnhardt Jr. prior to the Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway. Miller gave Dale Earnhardt a lucky penny before he won the 1998 Daytona 500. (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Kyle Busch does a burnout on the frontstretch of Bristol Motor Speedway to celebrate his Food City 500 victory. (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Kyle Busch does a burnout on the frontstretch of Bristol Motor Speedway to celebrate his Food City 500 victory. (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

on being thrifty and kasey’s movie star good looks

Gosh, where do I begin?

Let’s start with Thursday night when I arrived at LAX and picked up my rental car from Thrifty. I usually go with Hertz, but this time around Thrifty was cheaper and I was, well, trying to be thrifty. It was sort of a mistake. There was drama from the second I walked in the door. Some woman was trying to pay with quarters and one dollar bills and some other dude was trying to cheat the rental company out of money which ended with the Thrifty employee telling the dude to never come back there again.

What a glorious way to start a trip! Actually it wasn’t all bad, when it was my turn they got me out quickly, and I was able to pick the car I wanted. I ended up with a black Dodge Caliber. I’ve never driven one of those before and they said it was a compact car, but it totally doesn’t feel like it. I feel like I’m driving a boat.

Anyway, Yesterday morning I set off for the track with more butterflies in my stomach than ever. I always get nervous because I have no idea what is going to happen and I’m always seriously afraid that I’ll look like a nut job. How I would make myself look like a nut job I will never know, but I fear it nevertheless.

I arrived at the track, picked up my credentials and grabbed the press conference schedule. So I’m used to having to go from hauler to hauler for each session, but this time around the majority of the gatherings were in the drivers meeting room in the garage. So I just sat there as driver after driver came in and took a seat behind the table on the stage.

Here is a quick rundown of things that occurred to me as each driver spoke:

Kurt Busch is kinda growing on me. I used to dislike him a lot but now, eh, not so much.

– I was dying to ask Matt Kenseth point blank whether or not his wife Katie was pregnant, but I do not have the balls to ask that kind of question. It’s none of my business, of course.

A.J. Allmendinger is talkative, friendly and funny. He joked that he told USA Today that he might be doing steroids in an effort to get them to write an article about him.

Kyle Busch talked about the incident at Daytona a little bit, all without actually saying Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s name. A reporter called him on it and asked why he wouldn’t say his name, Kyle replied (in a sort of annoyed tone) that he didn’t say the other guys’ (Brian Vickers) name either.

– I really liked the Kobalt Tools hat that Jimmie Johnson was wearing.

comparison_kkahne_twilightKasey Kahne kinda looks like the actor Robert Pattinson, who played the Edward character in the movie “Twilight.” They’re not dead ringers, but c’mon there are some similarities. :)

– When you ask Jeff Gordon a question he will never, ever answer it with just one word or one sentence. It’s not a bad thing, he just tends to go on more than others.

David Ragan is my new favorite driver! Why? Read my next post!

When I wasn’t listening to drivers talk about the track and their feelings about the upcoming race I spent time in the garage Twittering and taking photos. Oh, and I monitored the Port-A-Pottie usage of a few drivers like Kurt Busch, Matt Kenseth and David Ragan. These are the kinds of important updates you get when you follow me on Twitter.

so this is the new year…

…and things are definitely different.

Is it Daytona yet? Seriously, is it? It feels like the longest off-season ever and I am counting the minutes until the 2009 NASCAR season is here.

I can’t help but feel a little uneasy because with everything that’s happened (and not happened) to our economy in the last year it’s left me feeling like the rug has been pulled out from underneath all of us.

I guess all of this craziness just proves how much we need NASCAR. I don’t know about you but I covet the time I spend on Sundays yelling at my TV screen. It’s how I relax and how I escape. I think we could all use a little escape right now.

So take the economy and then add in all of the Silly Season stuff that is still playing out and my head is spinning. Elliott Sadler is out at Gillett Evernham Motorsports? Petty Enterprises no longer Petty Enterprises?? What the ??

I don’t know about you but the Petty/GEM deal made me sad. I think it sucks that Petty Enterprises couldn’t keep it going on their own. They’ve been around for 60 years. It’s odd, and it’ll take some getting used to.

So about Elliott, he’s reportedly set to sue GEM for breach of contract. I say more power to him. I’ve run the whole ditching Elliott for A.J. Allmendinger through my head and I just can’t understand it. It seems like people change drivers these days like they change their underwear.

In other news…

Jamie McMurray went karting. Yea, that’s all I’ve got. :)


Jamie McMurray takes a spin in his kart during Daytona KartWeek By Cometic Gasket at Daytona International Speedway. (Photo Credit: Motorsports Images & Archives)

Jamie McMurray takes a spin in his kart during Daytona KartWeek By Cometic Gasket at Daytona International Speedway. (Photo Credit: Motorsports Images & Archives)

Jamie McMurray shares a fun moment with a member of his team during Daytona KartWeek By Cometic Gasket at Daytona International Speedway. (Photo Credit: Motorsports Images & Archives)

Jamie McMurray shares a fun moment with a member of his team during Daytona KartWeek By Cometic Gasket at Daytona International Speedway. (Photo Credit: Motorsports Images & Archives)

Jamie McMurray works on his kart at Daytona International Speedway during Daytona KartWeek By Cometic Gasket World Karting Association races. McMurray upgraded his pit area from last year with a new trailer that he purchased from fellow NASCAR competitor Jeff Burton. (Photo Credit: Motorsports Images & Archives)

Jamie McMurray works on his kart at Daytona International Speedway during Daytona KartWeek By Cometic Gasket World Karting Association races. McMurray upgraded his pit area from last year with a new trailer that he purchased from fellow NASCAR competitor Jeff Burton. (Photo Credit: Motorsports Images & Archives)

are you ready for the nascar season to be over?

What about Regan Smith?? (Getty Images for NASCAR)I guess I am.

It’s time to take a break. It’s time to take a breath and get ready for next year, for fans, teams and drivers alike. We have three months to familiarize ourselves with all of the new teams and driver changes that happened this year. Someone should make a cheat sheet ’cause I can’t seem to wrap my head around all the changes that’ll be in place next year.

The DEI / Ganassi merger that was announced this week is not helping things. When I read about it all my first thought was what happens to Regan Smith? And why does Aric Almirola have a ride for sure and Regan doesn’t? That’s not a knock against Aric but I’m really curious about how that determination was made. Regan is still in the running for that fourth team along with Scott Riggs and AJ Allmendinger. It’s gonna be interesting to see how this all plays out. I don’t expect the new Earnhardt Ganassi Racing organization to start kicking butt and take names next year, all of this is just an attempt to stop the bleeding.

In other news…

– Have you seen Sporting News’ special collectors issue “60 Most Beautiful People in NASCAR”? I just flipped through it today, haven’t read it completely yet but it’s got some in depth interviews with drivers like Brian Vickers, Kasey Kahne, Casey Mears and Clint Bowyer, plus drivers wives like Krissie Newman, Chandra Johnson and Katie Kenseth. I find it odd that Kyle Busch didn’t make the list, I really do.

– One thing I must state, yet again, Ingrid Vandebosch was not/is not a supermodel. She’s referred to as one in the Sporting News special NASCAR issue. To be a supermodel I have to be able to know who you are by just hearing your first name. Think about it, if we’re sitting around talking about models and I say Tyra or Cindy or Gisele to you, you already know whom I’m talking about. If I said Ingrid you’d be like “Who??” I’m not knocking the woman; I’m just knocking the people who throw the supermodel moniker around like it’s nothing. It’s my personal pet peeve. To be called a supermodel you have to have done many things in your career to take you above and beyond the average working model. OK, I’m officially off the soapbox and I’m never talking about this again.

:)

Tony Stewart was named the Grand Marshall of this year’s Fiesta Bowl. The announcement took place last Friday in Phoenix and I had to share this photo of Tony at the press conference. I just think it’s funny/cute. He looks awkward in that coat. It’s not a good look; actually I don’t think that jacket is a good look for anybody.


Tony Stewart (center) is introduced as the Grand Marshall of the upcoming Fiesta Bowl by Chairman of the Board Dave Tilson (left) and Executive Director John Junker (right). (Photo Credit: Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Tony Stewart (center) is introduced as the Grand Marshall of the upcoming Fiesta Bowl by Chairman of the Board Dave Tilson (left) and Executive Director John Junker (right). (Photo Credit: Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)

mistaken identity in the desert, where it does indeed rain from time to time

(L-R): Chad Knaus, Jimmie Johnson and Chandra Johnson celebrate their victory in the Checker O'Reilly Auto Parts 500 with the No. 48 team. (Photo Credit: Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)I love living in Northern California. I’m very proud of my home state, but last night I had to shake my head in disgust. One of our local sports broadcasters referred to David Gilliland as Jason Leffler.

The guy runs through the highlights of the race at Phoenix and hits on the crazy wreck that put David and his car on top of Scott Speed, and then proceeds to say it was Jason — not David — with his tires on Scott’s windshield. It’s sort of an easy mistake to make because Gilliland and Leffler have the same car number (the No. 38), but in different race series. So really it’s a stupid mistake and someone wasn’t paying attention. I wanted to call the TV station and tell them they’re nerds but I figured it wasn’t worth it.

Anyway, even though the outcome wasn’t what I had hoped for I did find the race enjoyable. Who doesn’t love a good red flag every now and again? Was Carl Edwards eating an Arby’s sandwich during the first one?

With the season rolling to an end I really don’t have much to say about Phoenix. What can I say that you don’t already know? It’s highly unlikely that something crazy is going to happen next weekend to take the Championship away from Jimmie Johnson. I guess that’s OK.

I have to give props to the No. 26 and the No. 2 teams and their drivers Jamie McMurray and Kurt Busch for putting together great runs on Sunday. I really hoped one of them would be able to give Jimmie a run for his money at the end. It was great to see some different faces up front for a change.

:)


David Reutimann shares a laugh with Phil Harris of The Deadliest Catch. (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/Getty Images for NASCAR)

It’s Phil, Captain of the Cornelia Marie! I love Deadliest Catch!

David Reutimann shares a laugh with Phil Harris of Deadliest Catch. (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Kurt Busch poses with Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Brandon Webb before taking him on a pace car ride around Phoenix International Raceway. (Photo Credit: Robert Laberge/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Kurt Busch poses with Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Brandon Webb before taking him on a pace car ride around Phoenix International Raceway. (Photo Credit: Robert Laberge/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the No. 88 AMP Energy/National Guard Chevrolet, started fifth and finished sixth during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event at Phoenix International Raceway on Sunday. (Courtesy Hendrick Motorsports)

I’m diggin’ the scruffy look on him. :)

Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the No. 88 AMP Energy/National Guard Chevrolet, started fifth and finished sixth during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event at Phoenix International Raceway on Sunday. (Courtesy Hendrick Motorsports)

AJ Allmendinger, driver of the #10 McDonald's Dodge, during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Checker O'Reilly Auto Parts 500 at Phoenix International Raceway on November 7, 2008 in Avondale, Arizona. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

AJ Allmendinger, driver of the #10 McDonald’s Dodge, during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Checker O’Reilly Auto Parts 500 at Phoenix International Raceway on November 7, 2008 in Avondale, Arizona. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

kyle petty interview: driver marketability and the future of petty enterprises

Driver Kyle Petty speaks to the media to announce the construction of a new Victory Junction camp while his wife Pattie looks on prior to practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Camping World RV 400 at Kansas Speedway. (Photo Credit: Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)Hello! Today has been insane let me tell ya, but the one awesome thing has been writing up this final post of my interview with Kyle Petty. Again, this interview was done last week during Kyle’s promotion of Prostate Cancer Awareness Week.


Me: In regards to Prostate Cancer Awareness, a lot of the readers of my website are women, what’s the most important thing that they can do for their husband or father to help them to go out there and see a doctor about this?

Petty: When had our STAY ON TRACK for Better Prostate Health booth set up at Michigan I was surprised at the amount of women who came through and would bring their husbands, or would say “My father had prostate cancer, it runs in our family and I’m trying to get my brothers to go and I really appreciate you guys speaking up on it.”

I think prostate cancer for so many people and especially guys, guys just are afraid to go be checked. And just like I said before, as my father uses the example of putting together a pit crew for his prostate cancer, I think so many guys will baby their car, change the oil, do everything they can with their car and their lawnmower, and their fishing boat or whatever it may be but they disregard their body.

the pepsi 500 celebrity round-up

Jamie McMurray (left) and AJ Allmendinger (right) talk after leaving the drivers meeting for the Pepsi 500 at the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif. on Sunday, August 31, 2008 (photo credit: The Fast and the Fabulous)Sunday, August 31st was the Pepsi 500 at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California, but it was also my 28th birthday. I still can’t believe I’m 28. I sometimes wish they had a version of Tivo for our lives but oh well. Until that day comes I have my mom. She called me while I was at the track to wish me a happy birthday and to tell me about everything that happened on the day of my birth.

I’m sure anyone who saw me on my cell phone standing in the garage with tears streaking my face were probably wondering what was wrong, but everything was totally right.

For the majority of the morning I spent my time stationed in front of a moving mister in the garage. It was situated next to the final inspection station teams had to pass through before parking themselves on pit road. This particular inspection took a look at the distance between the tires from the left and right and between the front and the back. It’s obvious if a team doesn’t pass muster, they just have to go back through it again, but I think they need to implement some sort of horn or a big flashing sign that says they didn’t pass. A little theater couldn’t hurt. :)

This inspection area also happened to be right next to the drivers meeting room and I wanted to get a good spot for photos. Well they started blocking it off and I got shuffled into the crowd. Yet another reason why I love the Nationwide Series ’cause they don’t bother with blocking anything off. But whatever, I caught sight of all of the VIPs on hand for the race.

Max Siegel, the president of global operations for Dale Earnhardt Inc. pushed past the crowd along with actor Blair Underwood, who is on a really great show on ABC that everyone should watch this season called Dirty Sexy Money. It’s really good, trust me.

Tom from MySpace was at the race! Tom Anderson, who is on the cover this month’s issue of Fast Company, started MySpace and if you sign up for the social networking site he’s your first “friend.” Anyway, he was there, looking shorter than I’d expected with a skinny blonde chick on his arm.

Drew Carey was walking around like the mayor of the garage looking far older than I’d imagined. I saw American Idol alum Bo Bice, who sang the nation anthem, walking around but I didn’t realize it was him until later. He’s way shorter than I’d thought, but I guess that’s how it goes with people that you’ve only seen on TV.

Actually, maybe that doesn’t apply if you’re an athlete because I saw Olympic swimmer Jason Lezak and he’s definitely 6’4″ like it says he is on the USA Swimming website.

Now, I begrudgingly, and I do mean begrudgingly, have to report that Heidi Montag and Spencer Pratt, so-called stars of the MTV reality show The Hills, were in attendance. I don’t like them. I felt sorry for Jamie McMurray having to show them around and speak to them. Although there was a moment of sweet justice when they were introduced to the crowd and they were summarily booed. It was brilliant.

Ok, so back to the drivers meeting. I stayed on the crowded side for a bit but decided to take a chance and head on over to the other side where there was a second exit. I was sure some slick drivers might decide to sneak out undetected. The only people on that side of the garage were team PR people. It was a good idea because I ended up walking right behind Jamie McMurray and A.J. Allmendinger.


The No. 84 Red Bull Toyota goes through inspection at the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif. on Sunday, August 31, 2008 (photo credit: The Fast and the Fabulous)

The No. 84 Red Bull Toyota goes through inspection at the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif. on Sunday, August 31, 2008 (photo credit: The Fast and the Fabulous)

Drew Carey

The Price is Right host and comedian Drew Carey walks through the garage at the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif. on Sunday, August 31, 2008 (photo credit: The Fast and the Fabulous)

Spencer Pratt and Heidi Montag

Spencer Pratt and Heidi Montag from the MTV reality show “The Hills” take a tour through the garage at the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif. on Sunday, August 31, 2008 (photo credit: The Fast and the Fabulous)

Jason Lezak

Olympic gold medalist Jason Lezak heads into the drivers meeting at the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif. on Sunday, August 31, 2008 (photo credit: The Fast and the Fabulous)

Tom Anderson

MySpace president Tom Anderson (center) drinks something and checks out the inspection process at the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif. on Sunday, August 31, 2008 (photo credit: The Fast and the Fabulous)

if only more teachers looked like him

I’m gearing up for my trip to Chicago tomorrow and I couldn’t be more excited. I’m going to attempt to document my trip with video but we’ll see how that goes.

I checked the weather today and there’s a 40% chance of rain at Chicagoland on Saturday. There’s supposed to be isolated thunderstorms in the evening. Ew.

So, did you know that Carl Edwards was once a substitute teacher? I just found that out. Carl will be at the Office Depot store in Frankfort, IL (11145 West Lincoln Highway) tomorrow at 11am, in order to help The Office Depot Foundation with their “Back To School” event. The Foundation is donating 3,000 backpacks to local organizations that work with kids in the greater-Chicago area. There’s also an opportunity to meet Carl and get his autograph at the same store from noon to 1pm. Get there early though, they start passing out wristbands at 8am, one per person with only 200 available.

One more thing about Carl, his No. 99 Office Depot Ford will have a special super cool paint scheme this weekend:
No. 99 Office Depot paint scheme for the LifeLock.com 400 at Chicagoland Speedway (courtesy of Office Depot)

The No. 99 Office Depot Ford piloted by Edwards will feature a one-of-a-kind “Taking Care of Business” paint scheme this weekend, featuring the individual signatures of close to 8,000 Office Depot associates from around the world. The signatures – collected from Canada to Korea, from Slovakia to Spain, from the United States to the United Kingdom – are representative of the fact that Office Depot associates in more than 40 countries across the globe help customers “take care of business” every day.

In other appearance news:

– In association with Jim Beam, Robby Gordon will be at the Cadillac Ranch in Bartlett, IL (1175 W Lake Street) tomorrow night from 10pm to 11pm.

– The crew of the No. 88 AMP Energy/National Guard Chevrolet (including Tony Eury Jr.) are taking in a Cubs game tonight at Wrigley Field.

In other regular news:

Jimmy Elledge is joining Red Bull Racing as the crew chief for AJ Allmendinger and the No. 84 team. AJ seems to be happy to have the help: “Of all the crew chiefs in the Cup garage, Jimmy is one of the only ones I’ve spoken to and had a chance to get to know. When I drove a few Nationwide races at Ganassi last year, Jimmy was always helpful. He’s a guy with a lot of crew chief experience and has a good knowledge of these race cars, so I’m looking forward to turning this season around together.”

Good for them, I hope it works out.