Where the hell have I been?? It feels like forever ago since I’ve written anything but there’s a totally awesome reason why: I met a guy! Yep, I went on a coffee date and the guy, his name is Jack, turned out to be pretty amazing, so amazing that we spent the next four days together. So, needless to say, I like him A LOT and he likes me A LOT. I wasn’t expecting it and it’s been the best thing ever. However, it’s totally thrown my whole schedule out of whack. I always had a ton of time to myself, pretty much any time I wasn’t working was my time to work on this site or do whatever. But now that I’m with Jack that’s pretty much all I want to do–be with him–so I’ve been prepping the 2012 Hottest NASCAR Driver tournament in bits and pieces, in small chunks of time, over the last few days and now I’m FINALLY ready to launch it.
All posts tagged Bobby Labonte16 Posts
Sunday morning I got up super early so that I could get to Starbucks (a ‘real’ one that I scouted the night before) and beat any race day traffic that might rear it’s ugly head. I was delighted to find that there was no such traffic to fight and I even had time to take a couple pictures of the road I was on so you guys could see what I saw every morning. I did see a dead dear on the side of the road but I didn’t take a picture of that because it was sad (and gross).
It’s time for Round Two! But first let’s find out what happened in Round One.
Kyle Busch (68%) defeated Jeff Burton (32%)
Juan Pablo Montoya (62%) defeated Brian Vickers (38%)
Tony Stewart (97%) defeated David Reutimann (3%)
Paul Menard (71%) defeated Jimmie Johnson (29%)
Casey Mears (73%) defeated David Ragan (27%)
Regan Smith (86%) defeated Kevin Conway (14%)
This updates the brackets, which you can see below (click it to see it larger).
And now, I think this is when things are going to get even MORE interesting. Round Two is the largest group, it’ll be fun to see who makes it into Round Three. I was going to let Round Two last for two weeks but I have decided to run it for just a week. Votes poured in for Round One and I can only expect it to get crazier for this one, so I’m trying to contain it. Plus I’m highly impatient and two weeks sound like forever to find out the results.
So let’s get to it! Here are the match-ups for Round Two! You can vote as many times as you want each day until voting ends on Saturday, January 15th.
UPDATE: Round Two voting has ended. Stay tuned for the results and Round Three!
|Jamie McMurray||Kyle Busch|
|David Gilliland||Joey Logano|
|Clint Bowyer||Bobby Labonte|
|Kurt Busch||Travis Kvapil|
|Ryan Newman||Juan Pablo Montoya|
|Dale Earnhardt Jr.||Scott Speed|
|Sam Hornish Jr.||Tony Stewart|
|Carl Edwards||Kasey Kahne|
|Kevin Harvick||Casey Mears|
|Elliott Sadler||Reed Sorenson|
|Greg Biffle||Martin Truex Jr.|
|Jeff Gordon||Marcos Ambrose|
|Brad Keselowski||Paul Menard|
|AJ Allmendinger||Matt Kenseth|
|Robby Gordon||Regan Smith|
|Mark Martin||Denny Hamlin|
UPDATE: Round Two voting has ended. Stay tuned for the results and Round Three!
It’s a new week and that means new guests on SPEED’s NASCAR Race Hub. This week you have the opportunity to submit your burning questions to NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Bobby Labonte. Use the form below. The deadline for submitting questions is tomorrow, Tuesday, October 19th at 4pm EST.
UPDATE: Question submission window has closed. Thank you!
To answer Melody’s question from my previous post, I was in Tony Stewart’s hauler for all of 5 minutes. It was luxuriously air conditioned and I didn’t see the back lounge area. Plus Tony wasn’t there he was out practicing but it was very cool to be inside a hauler for any reason and any amount of time.
Sunday was of course the Coca-Cola 600 and on my drive in to the track I couldn’t get over the amount of tailgating that was going on seemingly EVERYWHERE. Every blade of grass surrounding the track was filled with trucks, tents and people with barbecues. Even the parking lots of commercial office buildings had groups of people crowded together. It was so neat to see. There’s tailgating at the California races but nothing to the degree of what I saw outside of Charlotte Motor Speedway. It’s something that you have to witness for yourself.
I got to the track in time to attend a tweetup organized by SBNation’s Jeff Gluck. I went to meet up with ‘Fabulous’ readers Tara S. and Penni. It was really cool finally getting to meet them in person. I seriously adore the women that read my blog, you guys are the bestest! This is the perfect time to thank you all for the sweet comments about my interview with Tony Stewart. I really appreciate the encouragement.
As I alluded to in the title of this post, the Coca-Cola 600 was really all about Bradley Cooper and his hotness visiting a NASCAR race for the first time. He was there with three of his other cast-mates to promote their new movie “The A-Team.” I thought Brendan Fraser’s presence at Chicagoland a couple of years ago was a big deal but Bradley really brought out the ladies. Media and PR people alike make it a point to be in the media center for the cast’s press conference. As soon as Bradley walked into the media center people were requesting to have their photo taken with him (as you can see at right, that’s not me, unfortunately), which he happily obliged.
It was announced this morning that David Gilliland will drive the No. 21 Motorcraft Ford Fusion for Wood Brothers Racing, filling in for Bill Elliott who is dealing with back problems, this weekend at Atlanta.
This news is of course awesome! Also, there’s more very cool news that David is “piecing together” his driving schedule for the rest of the season by driving at least one race for Robby Gordon and three races for Joe Gibbs Racing in a 4th car.
When I hear that other teams are up for working with David it just serves as further proof that he’s a good driver, someone you should have on your team.
So when I read the following quote from TRG Motorsports owner Kevin Buckler, I was still kinda miffed:
So, there I was just scanning the headlines on my iGoogle homepage and what do I see?? This: “Bobby Labonte to attempt to qualify in No. 71 car for TRG Motorsports in Atlanta Sprint Cup race”
Uhm, let me see if I can summarize my thoughts at that moment. It was something along the lines of “What the fuck?!” Sorry, I can’t censor myself right now.
What the hell is going on? I mean, really? They’re really letting Bobby Labonte drive the No. 71 at Atlanta this weekend? Why does David Gilliland keep getting the fuzzy end of the lollipop?? For a second I thought/hoped that maybe he was just sick or something, I dunno, something that would prevent you from driving that had nothing to do with other people’s stupidity.
David is a good guy and a good driver. It’s gross how he keeps getting passed over for other people who, with all due respect to Bobby Labonte, haven’t done anything in quite sometime. I think I did a good job of illustrating that back when Bobby and Paul Menard joined Yates Racing earlier this year replacing David and eventually Travis Kvapil. So I don’t feel the need to go through it again.
I’m so irked that this happened again to David at TRG — an organization that I thought understood the potential of the driver in their stable and valued the fans he brought with him. I get it that Bobby has won a Championship and whatnot, but it’s just annoying to me that it’s so hard for some drivers that deserve a ride to be able to get a chance to just grow somewhere.
I have no idea what will happen beyond this year between TRG and David, maybe this is just a blip and next year his ride will truly be his for the entire season.
Ugh. Maybe I am being a bit dramatic but this is getting really old.
Just in time for the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona tomorrow the Coke Zero people are launching a new ad. It’s another hilarious commercial showing the Coca-Cola brand managers attempting to persuade the Coca-Cola drivers to do something really not well thought out, like, at all.
I love it.
The first part of this video is a behind-the-scenes, making of the commercial feature and then the actual finished commercial is shown at the end.
And for your viewing pleasure I give you the old Coke Zero ad that I love just as much. It never gets old! Enjoy the track for longer than the other drivers. Ha!
Everything is bigger in Texas and that includes photo ops. Before we do this thing called the Samsung 500 we must first take a moment to look back at the promotional opportunities that were:
Note to self: Purchase Foreigner’s greatest hits CD. I just saw them on some show on A&E and they performed “Cold As Ice” and I realized how much I really like that song.
Foreigner chief songwriter /guitarist/keyboardist and founding member Mick Jones and lead singer Kelly Hansen reflect on the experience after taking a ride in a Team Texas stock car at Texas Motor Speedway Monday, March 30, 2009. The band is headlining the AMDRO Fire Ant Bait Pre-Race Show beginning at 11:35 a.m. CT, prior to the start of the Samsung 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Sunday, April 5th at Texas Motor Speedway. (Photo By Tom Pennington/Getty Images for the Texas Motor Speedway)
Nice socks, Kyle!
Kyle Petty tees off during the AutoTrader.com Gears & Greens Charity Golf Classic on April 2, 2009 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images for Texas Motor Speedway)
NASCAR driver Denny Hamlin and Dallas Cowboys tight end Jason Witten make contact while racing around the track at SpeedZone in Dallas, Texas on Wednesday, April 1, 2009. The pair were racing to raise awareness for the March of Dimes and the 2009 March for Babies. (Photo By Tom Pennington/Getty Images for the Texas Motor Speedway)
Notice how Jason Witten is speaking to a million members of the media and over in the right-hand side Denny Hamlin is speaking to three dudes. I just thought that was funny.
Dallas Cowboys tight end Jason Witten (center) talks with the media after racing NASCAR driver Denny Hamlin around the track at SpeedZone in Dallas, Texas Wednesday, April 1, 2009. The pair were racing to raise awareness for the March of Dimes and the 2009 March for Babies. (Photo By Tom Pennington/Getty Images for the Texas Motor Speedway)
In honor of being inducted into the Texas Motorsports Hall of Fame Bobby Labonte got to take an awkward looking photo with Kyle Busch.
NASCAR driver Kyle Busch and driver Bobby Labonte unveil a throw-back paint scheme on the #18 Interstate Batteries Toyota Camry during the Texas Motorsports Hall of Fame Banquet held Wednesday, April 1, 2009 at The Speedway Club at Texas Motor Speedway. The paint scheme is the same scheme that Labonte drove during his 2000 Championship year. (Photo By Tom Pennington/Getty Images for the Texas Motor Speedway)
In addition to signing motor oil, Sam Hornish Jr. also signed tires and changed oil.
NASCAR driver Sam Hornish Jr. signs an autograph for a race fan at Mobil 1 Lube Express in Grand Prairie Tuesday, March 31, 2009. Race fans received a pair of tickets to the Samsung 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway with each oil change. (Photo By Tom Pennington/Getty Images for the Texas Motor Speedway)
I think I’ve twittered about being tired a lot in the very recent past. I’m sure people are wondering why I’ve been so tired considering the fact that all I’ve been doing is going to work as usual and attending NASCAR races in between.
Going to a NASCAR race is not like going to the movies or playing mini golf. It’s an all day thing and it involves a lot of walking, standing, and more walking. Plus I tend to get to the track early because I’m paranoid about missing out on something. Take Friday (qualifying day) for example, I got up at like 7am, to get to the track by 8. I was there until 6 and then I had to sit in ridiculous traffic for another hour and a half. I got back to Starbucks (my home away from home) at like 7:30pm.
So I’m still catching up on regular sleep and my normal schedule. It’s weird. I have a bunch of stuff to talk about so let me start with Saturday.
I walked the Sprint Cup garage to find the best place to stand to take photos of the cars as they exited the track during both practice sessions. I found the best spot across from Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s hauler. Cars passed by right in front of me, so close that it seemed like they were going run right over my toes. It was perfect.
Now I know that the type of race fans that read blogs like this one aren’t the fans that need to know the tiny piece of information I’m about to share with you. It’s really the casual fans that come to like one race a year that need to heed the advice I am giving. Look around you!!! I cannot tell you how many people I saw just walking around, lolly gagging, in a “hot” garage. Cars are constantly coming in and out, and these people have no idea where they’re walking.
To illustrate my point perfectly there was a woman who walked right in front of Michael Waltrip and his #55 NAPA Auto Parts Toyota as he entered the garage. She was so freaked out that she tried to run out of the way but her fright got the best of her and she fell right in front of his car. Michael stopped of course, not close to her at all, and the security guy that had been directing traffic helped her out of the way. I know she was embarrassed. I felt bad for her but at the same time it was pretty comical.
In other news…
– Las Vegas Motor Speedway has a spa. Yes, my friends, a spa. It’s not for you and me, it’s for the drivers and their families. While the guys are out on the track their wives can relax and get manicures, pedicures, facials and massages. So you’re telling me that these people get to bypass the insane traffic in their helicopters and then once they’re here they get to have a mani/pedi too?! So not fair.
Bobby Labonte helps to push his car back to the garage during Sprint Cup Series practice at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Saturday, February 28, 2009. (photo credit: The Fast and the Fabulous)
Elliott Sadler navigates his way through the garage during Sprint Cup Series practice at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Saturday, February 28, 2009. (photo credit: The Fast and the Fabulous)
Martin Truex Jr. navigates his way through the garage during Sprint Cup Series practice at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Saturday, February 28, 2009. (photo credit: The Fast and the Fabulous)
By virtue of being a woman I tend to lead with my heart. But I’m logical and intelligent and I understand cold hard facts. I know that money is usually the biggest deciding factor in the world of NASCAR race teams and in this economic climate it seems like it’s the only one.
Still, even with those hard truths, I can’t help but feel like there’s more at work with the lack of attention being paid to great drivers like David Gilliland and Travis Kvapil. These are guys that truly deserve more time to prove themselves on the racetrack. Gilliland finished 2nd at Infineon Raceway last year, the best race finish between the two Yates Racing drivers for the season.
So what does his effort get him? Only to be left without a ride and on contract with a company who has given the points he earned to the new guy, Bobby Labonte who hasn’t had a top-5 finish since 2006.
While Kvapil still has a ride for 2009 it doesn’t have a sponsor yet (although Golden Corral has signed on to sponsor him in the Daytona 500) and his points have been moved to Paul Menard. Menard has had only two top-10 finishes in his entire Sprint Cup career and Kvapil has had six.
That just doesn’t sit right with me. Frankly I’m pretty disgusted by it. I understand wanting and needing drivers that can succeed and rack up great finishes. I also understand wanting and needing drivers that are marketable. Both of those criteria are needed to secure sponsorships and I know that Gilliland and Kvapil are completely capable of both of those things.
I had the chance to interview them during the 2008 season and you’re not going to find more genuinely nice, honest and hardworking guys. They’re both well-spoken, good-looking guys with beautiful families. They also have the most important thing: the passion and drive to want to win races. They want to put in the work.
So why did Bobby Labonte and Paul Menard suddenly become the new fresh faces of Yates Racing? Because everybody knows who Bobby Labonte is and Paul Menard comes with a built-in sponsor.
I’m not saying that Yates Racing doesn’t value the talent they have in Travis and David. I don’t think they would have signed them on in the first place if they hadn’t. I just think it’s sad that they couldn’t have held on to what they’d accomplished, built on the team success they had from last year and figured out a way to stay loyal to drivers already in their stable.
It’s really sad when the choice of sponsorship over talent rules the day.
So I was listening to the NASCAR channel on Sirius XM the other day and Bobby Labonte was a guest. He was asked how he felt about leaving Petty Enterprises and his prospects for the future. It was funny/annoying how all of the conversations started with the same thought about how crappy the economy is and then ended with the same question of “Has anyone from this particular race team approached you about joining their organization??” It’s ridiculous.
Honestly, all Bobby needs to tell me is whether or not he wants to race anymore, the rest is obvious. Of course he’s going to keep his options open. Of course things are tough for everybody right now because of the recession.
So about the economy and it’s affect on NASCAR. I’m sick of hearing about it. I know that it’s what’s going on, I know that it’s important and all of that, but that doesn’t mean it’s not incredibly depressing. I find myself trying to be extra optimistic about it all because I can’t bear to imagine what life would be like without NASCAR. Did you hear about the Arena Football League? They’re closing down for a year, with the full intention of coming back in 2010. Ew.
I know that NASCAR isn’t the AFL (Thank God), but it’s just one of those things that makes you pause and think about it for a minute.
In other news…
– Chevrolet is welcoming Tony Stewart back into the fold by giving away 30 trips to the 2009 Daytona 500 in February along with the opportunity to meet Tony and Ryan Newman. You can also enter to win Tony’s Chevy Silverado. Go to chevy.com/tony for all of the contest details.
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.
For some reason it has been so hard to write this post today. I’ve been wracking my brain trying to figure out what I want to say about yesterday’s Sprint Cup Series race at Watkins Glen.
I was confused by Tony Eury Jr.’s decision to leave Dale Earnhardt Jr. out on the track long after everyone else had already pitted. And then I was even more confused when I watched NASCAR Now hours after the race ended to find Dale Jr. sitting down giving an interview looking all worn out and sounding all lame and weary. I can’t even wrap my brain around all that right now. All I know is that I hope they get stuff figured out before Michigan.
And as if watching Dale Jr. lose two spots in the points standings and having to suffer through another Kyle Busch win wasn’t enough, there was the big wreck to process.
Here’s how I feel about the big wreck:
1.) I’m glad Bobby Labonte seems to be ok; they took him to a local hospital where he was checked and then released.
2.) In the post-wreck interview David Gilliland had with ESPN’s Marty Smith he made it seem like he felt that it was Michael McDowell’s fault and from what I saw of the video that’s what it looked like to me. McDowell said that he didn’t see Gilliland. So there ya go. This doesn’t do much for McDowell’s reputation. He’s a rookie and hopefully he’ll be able to keep himself out of trouble in the future.
NASCAR is one of those sports where if you make a mistake it has the potential to hurt other people who had nothing to do with it at all, in a way that is so different from any other team sport. For example, if you’re in a relay team and you’re the weakest leg of the team, your team might lose because of you, but at least you didn’t take out 5 other teams in the process. But situations like that — everything that happened at Watkins Glen — are what make NASCAR races so dramatic and interesting to watch.
3.) So in the end the crash, and it’s subsequent red flag clean-up, sucked.
4.) Max Papis sounds a lot like The Count from Sesame Street. He seems like a really nice guy who just wanted to finish the race but I kept waiting for him to say “One! One crash!” I’m just sayin’. Oh and here’s a little trivia, yesterday after the race was over Papis was #6 on Google Trends — a daily list of the hottest search terms.
In other news…
– On the bright side for Gilliland fans, he gained one spot in the points standings. Mostly because Mark Martin wasn’t in yesterday’s race, but hey I’ll take it.
– Congratulations to Marcos “Kangaroo Meat” Ambrose and his first ever NASCAR win in the Nationwide Series on Saturday.
– Mike Wallace and his daughter Chrissy are heading to New York today tomorrow to ring the closing bell of the New York Stock Exchange. I post this because Germain Racing is trying to build a full-time team for Chrissy so that she can run for the Raybestos Rookie of the Year title in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series next year and they’re looking for sponsors. Check out GermainRacing.com
– Red Bull Racing driver Scott Speed won his fourth ARCA RE/MAX Series race this weekend at Nashville. He leads the points standings by 140 over Matt Carter. I wonder where Speed will be racing next year… hmmm
Marcos Ambros driver of the #59 STP Ford celebrates winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series Zippo 200 at the Watkins Glen International on August 9, 2008 in Watkins Glen, NY. (Photo by Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet (L) greets grand marshal and former Buffalo Bills tight end Kevin Everett prior to the NASCAR Nationwide Series Zippo 200 at the Watkins Glen International on August 9, 2008 in Watkins Glen, N.Y. (Photo Credit: Geoff Burke/Getty Images for NASCAR)
The #43 Cheerios Dodge driven by Bobby LaBonte sits on Pit road after a multi car incident during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Centurion Boats at the Glen at the Watkins Glen International on August 10, 2008 in Watkins Glen, NY. (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)
The Pepsi 400 was such a big event I had to take notes. I didn’t want to forget my talking points. So here goes:
– So when TNT announced that there would be less commercials for the Pepsi 400 telecast did they mean there would be more?? Yes, they cut away to fewer commercials that took up the whole screen but those that played at the bottom of the screen — on top of the racing action — were no less distracting.
– And as a side note to the above commercial debacle, I would like to say that I’m totally over Jeff Gordon’s 10 years with Pepsi. Congratulations to Pepsi for sticking with a winner for 10 years that was so hard.
– Actor Kevin James served as the Grand Marshal and gave one of the most memorable versions of “Gentlemen, Start your engines” ever! He’s right up there with Matthew McConaughey. Oh how I wish I had videos of both McConaughey and James versions so that we could contrast and compare. It’s becoming a fine art — being able to say those words without boring the hell out of people.
– When Clint Bowyer was leading the race at one point he said to his crew something to the effect of “nobody’s gettin’ past me” and then of course a bunch of people got past him. When he said it I immediately thought those were some famous last words. He ended up finishing seventh which is still really good considering. But I know that he desperately wants to win one of these things. I know that his time will come; this year is as good as any, especially when this was their 9th top ten finish of the season so far.
– How cool was it that Jamie McMurray won the Pepsi 400? So cool! Now, I’m not sure if I was so excited about it because he beat Kyle Busch or because it had been so insanely long since he’d last won a Cup race. I guess it was both. His obvious happiness, relief, joy for winning that race was great to see. There was no sense of entitlement in his tone when talking after the race. He was genuinely excited and happy that he won. Sometimes it seems like drivers just expect to be there (Hello JPM!), like duh I was supposed to win, and to me that’s disrespectful. It’s hard to win, act like you appreciate it.
– It’s always so refreshing to see Kyle Busch whining after a race. No teammate support my butt, he’s such a freakin’ tool. “Waaah, Why isn’t everybody helping me win???! Waaah!” Any team that wants him can have him, and good luck. He could become the Michael Jordan/Joe Montana/Babe Ruth of NASCAR and I would still say that he’s a complete nerd. He’s talented I’ll give him that but it all gets overshadowed by his crappy attitude. Ugh. Doesn’t he get tired of being known for that?
And now for some Daytona photo goodness:
So close and so awesome
Jamie McMurray (No. 26) barely beats Kyle Busch (No. 5) to the finish line. (Photo Credit: Doug Benc/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Reed Sorenson awaits the NASCAR Busch Series race at Daytona International Speedway. (Photo Credit: John Harrelson/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Kenny Wallace puts on his game face at Daytona International Speedway. (Photo Credit: Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
They’re “older” but still super hotties!
Bobby Labonte and Dale Jarrett look on during qualifying at Daytona International Speedway. (Photo Credit: Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
Yes, Bobby Labonte was due for a win and I’m glad he finally got it today during the Busch race at Talladega.
What I’m more happy/disappointed about is that Casey Mears finished 3rd in the same race. He led laps and was in a position to win it at the end but because of a late caution he got the fuzzy end of the lollipop. Hopefully this’ll give him good momentum into tomorrows NEXTEL Cup race. There are still only two drivers that I want to get a win under their belt for this season, it’s Casey and Dale Earnhardt Jr. For some reason I have this huge interest in Casey. I think it has to do with watching him on the NASCAR Drivers 360 show on ESPN. Once you’re able to see a driver in his regular everyday environment it’s the turning point in whether you root for him or not.
As much as I would like to say that what a person does off the field, track or court shouldn’t matter when it comes to the game that they play, it does to a certain extent. It’s just easier to like the nice guy, even if they do something “bad” during the game.
In other news…
I was alerted by TallGlassOfMilk that the wives and girlfriends of NASCAR drivers are tossing out those boring synthetic fiber credential lanyards in favor of stylish beaded ones. Check out the photo gallery of the girls sporting their trendy necklace-esque lanyards on AnswerThis…