All posts tagged Brian Vickers

73 Posts
darlington_featured

xoxo darlington: i love it when the boys have at it

Greg Biffle, driver of the #16 3M Ford, stands on the grid with his wife Nicole Biffle prior to the start of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series SHOWTIME Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway on May 7, 2011 in Darlington, South Carolina. (Photo by Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR)Ryan Newman and Juan Pablo Montoya failed to bring what Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch delivered.

O. M. G.

The SHOWTIME® Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway was the greatest NASCAR race I have seen in quite some time. It was Ah-mazing!

First, congratulations to Regan Smith on winning his first Sprint Cup Series race (and congrats to Furniture Row Racing for winning their first race as an organization). He was emotional and his team was ridiculously happy. It was the perfect finish and I LOVED it. A first-time winner is the greatest thing. It was great to see him be congratulated by Carl Edwards, Greg Biffle and Brad Keselowski.

But of course before all of that you had the driver’s moms, as usual, giving the command to start engines. How adorable was Jimmie & Chandra Johnson’s baby daughter, Genevieve, clapping during the National Anthem? That was too cute.

Then there was the race with David Ragan peeling back Brian Vickers car like it was a can of sardines, poor Clint Bowyer crashing out, and the most amazing series of events with Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch.

I think that Kevin Harvick should walk around with a speaker hanging out of his pocket playing the song “I Won’t Back Down” by Tom Petty on a loop. It’s his theme song. He is no joke.

I know that fighting is frowned upon and all that but I loved it. When Kevin punched Kyle’s helmet/face and then Kyle pushed his car into his Kevin’s it was all TOO much for my brain to process. It was wonderful. I felt like a high school kid in the quad yelling “Fight! Fight! Fight!”

Does NASCAR really need to take action? I’m in a “Ah, whatever, let it gooo” kind of mood. They’re adults, they know what they did was wrong. Let’s not forget that sports are entertainment, they serve no other purpose than that (Yes, they can be inspiring and all that but still), and Saturday night’s race was PURE entertainment from beginning to end. So, NASCAR should send Harvick and Busch a “Thank You” card, some flowers & maybe some candy.

:)

Here’s video of the last laps:


Brian Vickers, driver of the No. 83 Red Bull Toyota, pulls into the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series SHOWTIME Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway on May 6 in Darlington, S.C. (Credit: Chris Graythen, Getty Images for NASCAR)

Brian Vickers, driver of the No. 83 Red Bull Toyota, pulls into the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series SHOWTIME Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway on May 6 in Darlington, S.C. (Credit: Chris Graythen, Getty Images for NASCAR)

Jimmie Johnson wears the famous Jim Hunter NASCAR hat in the garage Friday at Darlington Raceway  (Credit: Geoff Burke/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Jimmie Johnson wears the famous Jim Hunter NASCAR hat in the garage Friday at Darlington Raceway (Credit: Geoff Burke/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Chris Buescher, driver of the No. 16 Roush Fenway Racing Ford, sits in the car normally driven by Trevor Bayne, in the garage during practice for the NASCAR Nationwide Series Royal Purple 200 at Darlington Raceway on May 6 in Darlington, S.C. (Credit: Geoff Burke, Getty Images for NASCAR)

Chris Buescher, driver of the No. 16 Roush Fenway Racing Ford, sits in the car normally driven by Trevor Bayne, in the garage during practice for the NASCAR Nationwide Series Royal Purple 200 at Darlington Raceway on May 6 in Darlington, S.C. (Credit: Geoff Burke, Getty Images for NASCAR)

Polesitter Kasey Kahne waits waits to climb into the No.4 Red Bull Toyota before the start of the Showtime Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway (Credit: Drew Hallowell/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Polesitter Kasey Kahne waits waits to climb into the No.4 Red Bull Toyota before the start of the Showtime Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway (Credit: Drew Hallowell/Getty Images for NASCAR)

The No.78 team celebrates Regan Smith and Furniture Row's first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victory at Darlington Raceway (Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images for NASCAR)

The No.78 team celebrates Regan Smith and Furniture Row's first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victory at Darlington Raceway (Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Regan Smith climbs out of the No.78 Furniture Row Chevrolet after winning the Showtime Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway. (Credit: Geoff Burke/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Regan Smith climbs out of the No.78 Furniture Row Chevrolet after winning the Showtime Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway. (Credit: Geoff Burke/Getty Images for NASCAR)

talladega_featured

talladega and my fantasy top-12

Jimmie Johnson wins the Aaron's 499 at Talladega Superspeedway (Credit: Todd Warshaw/Getty Images for NASCAR)There was a point during the last 30 laps of the Aaron’s 499 where I told myself to just let go of whatever outcome I was hoping to see and just let it happen. Is it funny or sad that I get so wrapped up in these races that I need to tell myself something like that? I have absolutely nothing at stake but I still get so caught up in wanting a certain person, or persons, to win that I’ll stress myself out over it.

Anyway, I couldn’t believe Jimmie Johnson pulled off that win; I was sure it was going to go to one of the Richard Childress Racing guys. Clint Bowyer had been running up front all day and Kevin Harvick has been, well, winning.

When I saw Jimmie trying to give the checkered flag to Dale Earnhardt Jr. I knew Dale wasn’t going to want it. It was a really classy move by Jimmie, I must say. As much as I would have been ridiculously thrilled for Dale Jr. to have come away with the win I’m still insanely excited that he’s 3rd in points right now. That’s just fantastic. O! And another fantastic thing: Huge congrats to David Gilliland and the No. 34 Taco Bell Ford team for walking away with a 9th place finish!

Every week when the latest points standings are published I read through them and then create my own “fantasy” top-12, it’s the list of drivers that I think would make for a super entertaining Champion’s Week. So it’s not a “Who do you think WILL make The Chase?” list, it’s a “Who do you WANT to see in the Chase because you know they’ll be superfun to interview during Champion’s Week?” It’s really early to be thinking about Champion’s Week but I can’t help it, it’s my favorite time of the year. :)

My current list is as follows (in no particular order):

1.) Tony Stewart – He has to host his annual “Stewie Awards” from Vegas, it wouldn’t be the same with him.

2.) Clint Bowyer – He needs his own talk show to host during Champion’s Week. I’m just sayin’.

3.) Kasey Kahne – He’s adorable

4.) Dale Earnhardt Jr. – People will lose their minds

5.) Kevin Harvick – Another guy with personality

6.) Denny Hamlin – Denny adds a layer of honesty and he likes to instigate drama (or at least he did at last year’s After the Lap event)

7.) Brian Vickers – Because he had some good stories to tell about Jimmie Johnson, and I’m sure there has to be more right??

8.) Jimmie Johnson – I’m including Jimmie because he’s a good sport, not because I want him to win a 6th straight championship. :)

9.) Brad Keselowski – I think he’d have a ridiculously good time to Vegas and would be very entertaining at the various events.

10.) Jeff Gordon – Jeff has that honesty vibe too, and he’s also very chatty. Chatty & honest are two ingredients for good times.

11) AJ Allmendinger – He’s someone that can definitely bring a lot of comedy relief.

12) Kyle Busch – Another honest guy with a personality that lends itself perfectly to the Champion’s Week festivities. Plus he’s the hometown guy.

(Left to right) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers Joey Logano and Trevor Bayne talk in the garage during practice Friday at Talladega Superspeedway in Talladega, Ala. (Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR)

(Left to right) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers Joey Logano and Trevor Bayne talk in the garage during practice Friday at Talladega Superspeedway in Talladega, Ala. (Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Jeff Gordon, driver of the No. 24 Drive to End Hunger Chevrolet, talks with crew chief Alan Gustafson at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway. (Courtesy of Hendrick Motorsports)

Jeff Gordon, driver of the No. 24 Drive to End Hunger Chevrolet, talks with crew chief Alan Gustafson at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway. (Courtesy of Hendrick Motorsports)

Elliott Sadler celebrates winning his seventh career NASCAR Nationwide Series Coors Light Pole Award with a 179.558 mph lap on Friday at Talladega Superspeedway in Talladega, Ala. (Credit: Getty Images for NASCAR)

Elliott Sadler celebrates winning his seventh career NASCAR Nationwide Series Coors Light Pole Award with a 179.558 mph lap on Friday at Talladega Superspeedway in Talladega, Ala. (Credit: Getty Images for NASCAR)

Michael Waltrip will start 12th on Sunday in the No.15 Aaron's/Auburn National Champions Toyota at Talladega Superspeedway (Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Michael Waltrip will start 12th on Sunday in the No.15 Aaron's/Auburn National Champions Toyota at Talladega Superspeedway (Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

2011 Hall of Fame Inductee Bobby Allison on pit road with Brad Keselowski before the start of the Aaron's 499 at Talladega Superspeedway (Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR)

2011 Hall of Fame Inductee Bobby Allison on pit road with Brad Keselowski before the start of the Aaron's 499 at Talladega Superspeedway (Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Fans watch Jimmie Johnson cross the finish line .002 seconds ahead of Clint Boywer at Talladega Superspeedway. Johnson's win ties the record for closest finish in NASCAR history. (Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Fans watch Jimmie Johnson cross the finish line .002 seconds ahead of Clint Boywer at Talladega Superspeedway. Johnson's win ties the record for closest finish in NASCAR history. (Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Crew chief Chad Knaus and Jimmie Johnson, driver of the No. 48 Lowe's Chevrolet, celebrate in Victory Lane at Talladega.

Crew chief Chad Knaus and Jimmie Johnson, driver of the No. 48 Lowe's Chevrolet, celebrate in Victory Lane at Talladega. (Courtesy of Hendrick Motorsports)

phoenix_featured

jeff gordon drives to end his hunger for a win

Jeff Gordon celebrates his SUBWAY Fresh Fit 500 at Phoenix International Raceway. The victory was the 83rd of his career, tying him with Cale Yarborough for fifth on the all-time wins list. (Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images for NASCAR) What would have made Jeff Gordon’s win at Phoenix better? Ella and Leo, of course! Sucked they weren’t in Victory Lane with their papa but the win itself was great. I always love seeing a driver get emotional after a win. I’m always looking for something real, and by that I mean just something genuine to remind me that these guys really love what it is that they do and that it means more to them than just fame and money.

To me it’s easier to see the lows and the highs in this sport, than it is in others. A basketball team might lose one night and then win on another, or maybe go 5 games without a win but eventually a win comes up in that same season. But in NASCAR these guys can go YEARS without a win. It just makes it so much sweeter when it happens.

I cannot wait to get to Las Vegas this week. I’m driving down there on Wednesday, it’s my first race of the season and it feels like I’m going to summer camp or something. On Thursday I’ll be at Tony Stewart’s autograph session at Office Depot (1435 West Craig Road, North Las Vegas) at 12:30pm. If you want to get something signed ya gotta get a wristband first (one per person), which they’re distributing to the first 600 people starting at 8am the day of the event. Then you have to get on line for the autograph sesh no later than 1:30pm. This is all local/Las Vegas time.

Before Tony signs stuff for fans I’m presenting him with the 2011 Hottest Driver Tourney “trophy” and I sincerely hope he likes it. I already have anxiety about that whole thing. :) I’m sure it’ll be fine, though.

Daytona 500 champion Trevor Bayne is congratulated by NASCAR driver Danica Patrick on Thursday in Phoenix, Ariz. Bayne and Patrick made a special appearance at Phoenix International Raceway's annual "Night of Champions" charity event. (Credit: Tom Pennington/Getty Images for Phoenix International Raceway)

Daytona 500 champion Trevor Bayne is congratulated by NASCAR driver Danica Patrick on Thursday in Phoenix, Ariz. Bayne and Patrick made a special appearance at Phoenix International Raceway's annual "Night of Champions" charity event. (Credit: Tom Pennington/Getty Images for Phoenix International Raceway)

Five-time defending NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Jimmie Johnson looks on as his team adjusts his No. 48 Lowe's Chevrolet during practice for the SUBWAY Fresh Fit 500 at Phoenix International Raceway. (Credit: Christian Peterson/Getty Images)

Five-time defending NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Jimmie Johnson looks on as his team adjusts his No. 48 Lowe's Chevrolet during practice for the SUBWAY Fresh Fit 500 at Phoenix International Raceway. (Credit: Christian Peterson/Getty Images)

(L-R) Chicago White Sox players Adam Dunn, A.J. Pierzynski, Mark Buehrle, John Danks and Gordon Beckham pose with Ryan Truex before the Bashas' Supermarkets 200 at Phoenix International Raceway. (Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Grand Marshal Apolo Anton Ohno watches the SUBWAY Fresh Fit 500 from the No. 99 pit box of Carl Edwards. (Credit: Christian Petersen/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Grand Marshal Apolo Anton Ohno watches the SUBWAY Fresh Fit 500 from the No. 99 pit box of Carl Edwards. (Credit: Christian Petersen/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Actress Emmy Rossum, who sang the national anthem, poses with Daytona 500 champion Trevor Bayne before getting a ride around Phoenix International Raceway. (Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Actress Emmy Rossum, who sang the national anthem, poses with Daytona 500 champion Trevor Bayne before getting a ride around Phoenix International Raceway. (Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

A Brian Vickers spin on the backstretch triggered a 14-car accident which included Jamie McMurray, Jeff Burton, Clint Bowyer and Dale Earnhardt Jr. The race was red flagged for 14 minutes and 4 seconds. (Credit: Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

A Brian Vickers spin on the backstretch triggered a 14-car accident which included Jamie McMurray, Jeff Burton, Clint Bowyer and Dale Earnhardt Jr. The race was red flagged for 14 minutes and 4 seconds. (Credit: Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

Jeff Gordon douses new crew chief Alan Gustafson with champagne after ending his 66-race winless streak with his SUBWAY Fresh Fit 500 victory. (Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Jeff Gordon douses new crew chief Alan Gustafson with champagne after ending his 66-race winless streak with his SUBWAY Fresh Fit 500 victory. (Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images for NASCAR)

mediatour_featured

sprint media tour: i missed out on swag, damnit

I’m sad I missed the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Media Tour in Charlotte this week. But, if I’m being honest, it’s only because I just read this article about all the swag the media received, that I missed out on. There were cupcakes and cookies and wine!

Anyway, here are photos from the week. It’s one of my favorite things to post photos of the teams wearing those annoying long sleeve shirts. I don’t know why I hate them so much but they just look wrong. I say this every year and no one listens to me.

It’s just like bridesmaid dresses: it’s really hard to pick on dress type that works on every body type. Which is why brides have started letting their maids pick a fit that suits them individually and then just going with the same color and/or print for the group. I think NASCAR teams should adopt this same principle. Some teams have, but definitely not the majority.

:)


NASCAR Nationwide Series driver Elliott Sadler, (second from left) speaks with the media, as drivers (left to right) Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Jason Leffler, and Aric Almirola look on, during the NASCAR Sprint Media Tour hosted by Charlotte Motor Speedway, held at Hilton University on Tuesday in Charlotte, N.C.(Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)
NASCAR Nationwide Series driver Elliott Sadler, (second from left) speaks with the media, as drivers (left to right) Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Jason Leffler, and Aric Almirola look on, during the NASCAR Sprint Media Tour hosted by Charlotte Motor Speedway, held at Hilton University on Tuesday in Charlotte, N.C.(Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Michael Waltrip's familiar No. 15 NAPA car is on display during the NASCAR Sprint Media Tour hosted by Charlotte Motor Speedway, held at Hilton University on Tuesday in Charlotte, N.C. (Credit: Harold Hinson/HHP)
Michael Waltrip’s familiar No. 15 NAPA car is on display during the NASCAR Sprint Media Tour hosted by Charlotte Motor Speedway, held at Hilton University on Tuesday in Charlotte, N.C. (Credit: Harold Hinson/HHP)

(Left to right) Bobby Hutchens, director of competition for Stewart-Haas Racing; Tony Gibson, crew chief of the No. 39 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series car; Ryan Newman, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver; Tony Stewart, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series owner and driver; and Darian Grubb, crew chief of the No. 14 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series car, pose for a picture during the 2011 Sprint Cup Media Tour hosted by Charlotte Motor Speedway on Monday at Stewart-Haas Racing in Kannapolis, N.C. (Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)

(Left to right) Bobby Hutchens, director of competition for Stewart-Haas Racing; Tony Gibson, crew chief of the No. 39 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series car; Ryan Newman, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver; Tony Stewart, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series owner and driver; and Darian Grubb, crew chief of the No. 14 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series car, pose for a picture during the 2011 Sprint Cup Media Tour hosted by Charlotte Motor Speedway on Monday at Stewart-Haas Racing in Kannapolis, N.C. (Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Regan Smith stands in front of his No. 78 Furniture Row ride during the Sprint Media Tour hosted byCharlotte Motor Speedway on Wednesday in Charlotte, N.C. (Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Regan Smith stands in front of his No. 78 Furniture Row ride during the Sprint Media Tour hosted byCharlotte Motor Speedway on Wednesday in Charlotte, N.C. (Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)

(Center) NASCAR Hall of Famer Richard Petty stands between his two NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers AJ Allmendinger (left) and the newest addition to Richard Petty Motorsports Marcos Ambrose during the Sprint Media Tour hosted byCharlotte Motor Speedway on Wednesday in Charlotte, N.C. (Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)
(center) NASCAR Hall of Famer Richard Petty stands between his two NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers AJ Allmendinger (left) and the newest addition to Richard Petty Motorsports Marcos Ambrose during the Sprint Media Tour hosted byCharlotte Motor Speedway on Wednesday in Charlotte, N.C. (Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Team owner Jack Roush (center) poses with drivers (left to right) Carl Edwards, Matt Kenseth, Greg Biffle and David Ragan, during the NASCAR Sprint Media Tour hosted by Charlotte Motor Speedway, held at the Roush-Fenway hanger of Concord Regional Airport, on Thursday in Concord, N.C. (Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Team owner Jack Roush (center) poses with drivers (left to right) Carl Edwards, Matt Kenseth, Greg Biffle and David Ragan, during the NASCAR Sprint Media Tour hosted by Charlotte Motor Speedway, held at the Roush-Fenway hanger of Concord Regional Airport, on Thursday in Concord, N.C. (Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)

(Left to right) Brian Vickers, driver of the No. 83 Red Bull Toyota, speaks with Kasey Kahne, driver of the No. 4 Red Bull Toyota, during the NASCAR Sprint Media Tour hosted by Charlotte Motor Speedway, held at Hilton University on Tuesday in Charlotte, N.C.(Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)
(Left to right) Brian Vickers, driver of the No. 83 Red Bull Toyota, speaks with Kasey Kahne, driver of the No. 4 Red Bull Toyota, during the NASCAR Sprint Media Tour hosted by Charlotte Motor Speedway, held at Hilton University on Tuesday in Charlotte, N.C.(Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)

(Left to right) Richard Childress, team owner; Clint Bowyer, driver of the No. 33 Cheerios Chevrolet; Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 29 Budweiser Chevrolet; Jeff Burton, driver of the No. 22 Caterpillar Chevrolet, and Paul Menard, driver of the No. 27 Menard's Chevrolet, pose for the media during the NASCAR Sprint Media Tour hosted by Charlotte Motor Speedway, held at Richard Childress Racing on Tuesday in Welcome, N.C.(Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)
(Left to right) Richard Childress, team owner; Clint Bowyer, driver of the No. 33 Cheerios Chevrolet; Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 29 Budweiser Chevrolet; Jeff Burton, driver of the No. 22 Caterpillar Chevrolet, and Paul Menard, driver of the No. 27 Menard’s Chevrolet, pose for the media during the NASCAR Sprint Media Tour hosted by Charlotte Motor Speedway, held at Richard Childress Racing on Tuesday in Welcome, N.C.(Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)

(Left to right) Five-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson, four-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Jeff Gordon, owner Rick Hendrick and NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers Mark Martin and Dale Earnhardt Jr. pose for a team picture Wednesday at Hendrick Motorsports Media Day during the Sprint Media Tour hosted by Charlotte Motor Speedway.(Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)
(Left to right) Five-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson, four-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Jeff Gordon, owner Rick Hendrick and NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers Mark Martin and Dale Earnhardt Jr. pose for a team picture Wednesday at Hendrick Motorsports Media Day during the Sprint Media Tour hosted by Charlotte Motor Speedway.(Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)

(Left to right) Sam Hornish Jr., driver of the No. 12 Alliance Truck Parts Dodge in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, speaks to the media as NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teammates Brad Keselowski, driver of the No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge, and Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Dodge, look on during the NASCAR Sprint Media Tour hosted by Charlotte Motor Speedway, held at Penske Racing on Monday in Mooresville, N.C.(Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)
(Left to right) Sam Hornish Jr., driver of the No. 12 Alliance Truck Parts Dodge in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, speaks to the media as NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teammates Brad Keselowski, driver of the No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge, and Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Dodge, look on during the NASCAR Sprint Media Tour hosted by Charlotte Motor Speedway, held at Penske Racing on Monday in Mooresville, N.C.(Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Team owner Joe Gibbs (third from right) poses with J.D. Gibbs (third from left), Joe Gibbs Racing President, Joey Logano (left), driver of the No. 20 Home Depot Toyota, Kyle Busch (second from left), driver of the No. 18 M&M's Toyota, Denny Hamlin (second from right), driver of the No. FedEx Toyota, and NASCAR Nationwide Series driver Brian Scott (right), during the NASCAR Sprint Media Tour hosted by Charlotte Motor Speedway, held at Joe Gibbs Racing, on Thursday in Huntersville, N.C. (Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Team owner Joe Gibbs (third from right) poses with J.D. Gibbs (third from left), Joe Gibbs Racing President, Joey Logano (left), driver of the No. 20 Home Depot Toyota, Kyle Busch (second from left), driver of the No. 18 M&M’s Toyota, Denny Hamlin (second from right), driver of the No. FedEx Toyota, and NASCAR Nationwide Series driver Brian Scott (right), during the NASCAR Sprint Media Tour hosted by Charlotte Motor Speedway, held at Joe Gibbs Racing, on Thursday in Huntersville, N.C. (Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Team owner Joe Gibbs (center) speaks about the 20th anniversary of Joe Gibbs Racing, as (left to right) JGR President J.D. Gibbs, former JGR drivers Tony Stewart and Bobby Labonte, JGR senior vice president of racing operations Jimmy Makar and Interstate Batteries CEO Norm Miller look on during the NASCAR Sprint Media Tour hosted by Charlotte Motor Speedway, held at Joe Gibbs Racing, on Thursday in Huntersville, N.C. (Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)

J.D. Gibbs, president of JGR, on hiring Tony Stewart: “For 1997, we wanted to form a second team. We asked all the guys to write down the name of the driver they wanted the most and put it in a hat. There was one name on every piece of paper. That was Tony Stewart.”

Team owner Joe Gibbs (center) speaks about the 20th anniversary of Joe Gibbs Racing, as (left to right) JGR President J.D. Gibbs, former JGR drivers Tony Stewart and Bobby Labonte, JGR senior vice president of racing operations Jimmy Makar and Interstate Batteries CEO Norm Miller look on during the NASCAR Sprint Media Tour hosted by Charlotte Motor Speedway, held at Joe Gibbs Racing, on Thursday in Huntersville, N.C. (Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)

The No. 21 Motorcraft Ford proudly displays the new American Ethanol sponsorship around the fuel hole during the NASCAR Sprint Media Tour hosted by Charlotte Motor Speedway, held at the Roush-Fenway hanger of Concord Regional Airport, on Thursday in Concord, N.C. (Credit: Harold Hinson/HHP)
The No. 21 Motorcraft Ford proudly displays the new American Ethanol sponsorship around the fuel hole during the NASCAR Sprint Media Tour hosted by Charlotte Motor Speedway, held at the Roush-Fenway hanger of Concord Regional Airport, on Thursday in Concord, N.C. (Credit: Harold Hinson/HHP)

(Left to right) Juan Pablo Montoya, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver, team owners Chip Ganassi and Felix Sabates and Jamie McMurray, defending Daytona 500 champion, pose for a picture during the Earnhardt Ganassi Racing stop on the 2011 Sprint Media Tour hosted by Charlotte Motor Speedway on Monday at the Hilton Charlotte University Place in Charlotte, N.C.(Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)
(Left to right) Juan Pablo Montoya, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver, team owners Chip Ganassi and Felix Sabates and Jamie McMurray, defending Daytona 500 champion, pose for a picture during the Earnhardt Ganassi Racing stop on the 2011 Sprint Media Tour hosted by Charlotte Motor Speedway on Monday at the Hilton Charlotte University Place in Charlotte, N.C.(Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)

preseason_featured

testing, testing: preseason thundah

The 2011 NASCAR racing season is fast approaching and that means I’ve finally got new photos to share with you guys from the Preseason Thunder testing that occurred last week at Daytona International Speedway. It was our first chance to catch some drivers wearing their new sponsor’s firesuits, a time to welcome back Brian Vickers (yay!) and an opportunity to see new driver/crew chief pairings (Gustafson & Gordon = Too much hotness for one team, I’m just sayin’).

I’m excited about the year to come, as I always am, and I know that I have at least ONE very cool, super awesome, off-line deal coming up that involves you guys! So stay tuned for that announcement.

Remember to check out ‘Fabulous’ News for press releases and random photos throughout the week. I’ll have a wrap-up of the media tour taking place now posted later on in the week.

But for now enjoy these photos! :)


Brad Keselowski recorded the fastest lap of the day at 45.316 seconds Saturday at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla. during Preseason Thunder testing.(Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Brad Keselowski recorded the fastest lap of the day at 45.316 seconds Saturday at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla. during Preseason Thunder testing.(Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images for NASCAR)

(Left to right) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Red Bull Racing teammates Kasey Kahne and Brian Vickers talk as they sign autographs for fans in the garage area during Preseason Thunder testing on Friday at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla. (Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images for NASCAR)

(Left to right) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Red Bull Racing teammates Kasey Kahne and Brian Vickers talk as they sign autographs for fans in the garage area during Preseason Thunder testing on Friday at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla. (Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images for NASCAR)

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Martin Truex Jr. laughs during a Preseason Thunder Fan Fest Q&A Thursday at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla. Truex turned the second-fastest lap of the first day of testing with a 195.776 mph circuit. (Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images for NASCAR)

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Martin Truex Jr. laughs during a Preseason Thunder Fan Fest Q&A Thursday at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla. Truex turned the second-fastest lap of the first day of testing with a 195.776 mph circuit. (Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images for NASCAR)

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Marcos Ambrose smiles in the garage Saturday at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla. during Preseason Thunder testing.(Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images for NASCAR)

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Marcos Ambrose smiles in the garage Saturday at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla. during Preseason Thunder testing.(Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images for NASCAR)

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Carl Edwards signs autographs for young fans during the Preseason Thunder Fan Fest following testing Thursday at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla. (Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR)

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Carl Edwards signs autographs for young fans during the Preseason Thunder Fan Fest following testing Thursday at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla. (Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR)

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Brian Vickers signs autographs in the Sprint FanZone Thursday during Preseason Thunder testing at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla. (Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images for NASCAR)

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Brian Vickers signs autographs in the Sprint FanZone Thursday during Preseason Thunder testing at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla. (Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Dale Earnhardt Jr. smiles during a break on Thursday at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach Fla. (Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Dale Earnhardt Jr. smiles during a break on Thursday at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach Fla. (Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR)

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Tony Stewart looks on as his crew makes adjustments to the No. 14 Office Depot Chevrolet Saturday at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla. during Preseason Thunder testing.(Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images for NASCAR)

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Tony Stewart looks on as his crew makes adjustments to the No. 14 Office Depot Chevrolet Saturday at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla. during Preseason Thunder testing.(Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images for NASCAR)

A new look Kevin Harvick participates in testing Thursday at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla. (Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images for NASCAR)

A new look Kevin Harvick participates in testing Thursday at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla. (Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Jeff Gordon works with Ormond Beach, Fla. native Alan Gustafson in the Garage Thursday at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla. (Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Jeff Gordon works with Ormond Beach, Fla. native Alan Gustafson in the Garage Thursday at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla. (Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Joey Logano who was third fastest with a lap time of 45.757 seconds signs autographs for fans during Preseason Thunder Fan Fest on Friday at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla.(Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Joey Logano who was third fastest with a lap time of 45.757 seconds signs autographs for fans during Preseason Thunder Fan Fest on Friday at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla.(Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Clint Bowyer signs autographs for fans during Preseason Thunder on Friday at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla. (Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Clint Bowyer signs autographs for fans during Preseason Thunder on Friday at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla. (Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images for NASCAR)

hottestdriver_logo_featured

2011 hottest driver tournament: round one

Hottest Driver LogoWho is the hottest, cutest, most-handsome driver in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series? I know who I think is the hottest, most-adorable driver in the series but if I just tell you what I think it’s boring and the fun only lasts for a few hours, or a day, tops. So instead I thought it would be way more fun if everyone voted!

I’ve randomly seeded 38 drivers into a single-elimination tournament. There will be six rounds of action before we crown a winner and each round will last at least one week. The second round will go on for two weeks because there are so many match-ups I want to make sure there’s enough time to get as many votes in as possible. You can vote as many times as you want and I strongly encourage you to do so every day. And as the rounds wind down be on the lookout for the opportunity to win a prize!


Hottest Driver Brackets Image
Download a copy of the 2011 Hottest Driver Tournament brackets!

Without further adieu here are the match-ups for Round One! :)

Kyle Busch Jeff Burton
Kyle Busch Versus Jeff Burton
Brian Vickers Juan Pablo Montoya
Brian Vickers Versus Juan Pablo Montoya
David Reutimann Tony Stewart
David Reutimann Versus Tony Stewart
David Ragan Casey Mears
David Ragan Versus Casey Mears
Paul Menard Jimmie Johnson
Paul Menard Versus Jimmie Johnson
Kevin Conway Regan Smith
Kevin Conway Versus Regan Smith



Round One Voting Has Ended! Vote in Round Two! CLICK HERE

jimmie and the gang feel the pressure (yipee!)

FORT WORTH, TX - NOVEMBER 07: Crew members of the  FedEx Office Toyota, celebrate in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on November 7, 2010 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)I’m not going to lie, watching the 48 Lowe’s team experience failure in real time was fun. No, I don’t wish them ill and, really, really, who cares if I do? Dude, they’ve won the Championship 4 times in a row, they’ve got their place in history sealed for-ev-er. A little schadenfreude never hurt anyone.

It was clear that the 48′s cage was rattled with that pit crew swap happening in the middle of the race and watching Chad Knaus’ post-race interview was amazing. We got to find out what he looks, and sounds, like when he doesn’t have to pretend that the Championship isn’t a lock yet, because it really isn’t this time! (Ok, ok, so it’s not that different from when he’s on top, but there was a difference!)

Hehe. :)

Ya know what really irks me though? It’s when I think about what could have been had Clint Bowyer’s team not received that 150 point fine. Things would be so different, it’s so frustrating! Would I prefer that Kevin Harvick won the Championship over Denny Hamlin? Yes, but I’ll take what I can get. I so wish I was going to Phoenix this week, and hell, Miami too. Just promise me that when I do get to go to every NASCAR race the Championship is as close then as it is now.

:)


FORT WORTH, TX - NOVEMBER 07:  Denny Hamlin, driver of the  FedEx Office Toyota, shoots a Turnbull Revolvers in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on November 7, 2010 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo by John Harrelson/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Uhm, Denny? What are you doing? What is that face? :)

Denny Hamlin, driver of the FedEx Office Toyota, shoots a Turnbull Revolvers in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on November 7, 2010 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo by John Harrelson/Getty Images for NASCAR)

delana harvick is my hero

I Wear the Firesuit in this FamilyI guess I was the only person who wasn’t surprised to see Joey Logano sticking up for himself on pit road this weekend at Pocono. He had a similar, albeit less obviously confrontational, show of anger last year at Infineon in the Camping World West Series race when he sideswiped Patrick Long with his car on his way to the garage.

So if I had to pick a theme song for Joey it would be Britney Spears’ classic “Oops, I Did it Again,” because he’s “not that innocent.” Don’t let the big, cheesy “aw shucks” grin fool ya. The kid knows how to be pissed off.

i got to go inside tony’s hauler, too

Matt Kenseth takes his No. 17 Jeremiah Sweet Tea Vodka Ford Fusion out for practice at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Saturday, May 29, 2010 (photo credit: The Fast and the Fabulous)Saturday at Charlotte Motor Speedway was the day of the Nationwide Series race, the TECH-NET Auto Service 300 powered by CARQUEST. It was also the day that I forgot to put my sunscreen on and got a nice little tan.

The two days that hold the Sprint Cup Series qualifying and Nationwide Series races are always my favorite days during any race weekend. It’s because there’s always, like, 50% less people running around the garage. I know it’s silly but I love feeling like I have the garage all to myself. And practice is always the best time to get pictures of the cars as they exit and enter the track.

On this particular day I witnessed something that has been going on forever but I only discovered it last weekend. I’m not sure what the process is but some cars come off the track and before going to their garage stall to make adjustments they stop at some designated area near or in the garage and the guys from Goodyear check out their tires. There’s also a crew member from their team checking stuff and taking notes.

brian vickers in spaaaaaaace!

To promote their upcoming Aaron’s Dream Weekend Talladega Superspeedway sent Brian Vickers to the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama to try his hand at becoming an astronaut.

Good times, good times. In the end he got his wiiiiiiiiings. Get it? Red Bull gives you wings! Whatever, I love it. Enjoy the photos. This all reminds me of the 80′s movie Space Camp with Lea Thompson, Kelly Preston, Tate Donovan and Joaquin Phoenix. Love that movie, it’s a classic.

:)


Brian Vickers listens to Al Whitaker of the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Ala. Behind Vickers is a replica of the Lunar Lander.

Brian Vickers listens to Al Whitaker of the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Ala. Behind Vickers is a replica of the Lunar Lander.

Brian Vickers gears up in his personalized flight suit at the U.S .Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Ala. Vickers was on hand to promote the Aaron’s Dream Weekend at Talladega Superspeedway, April 23-25. (Credit: Photo courtesy of Talladega Superspeedway)

Brian Vickers gears up in his personalized flight suit at the U.S .Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Ala.

Brian Vickers goes for a spin in an Astronaut Trainer at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Ala.

Brian Vickers goes for a spin in an Astronaut Trainer at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Ala.

Settling into a cockpit that looks a little different than his race car, Brian Brian Vickers listens to instructions as he prepares to try his luck at the landing the Space Shuttle simulator at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Ala.

Settling into a cockpit that looks a little different than his race car, Brian Brian Vickers listens to instructions as he prepares to try his luck at the landing the Space Shuttle simulator at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Ala.

Looks like Red Bull really does give you wings. Here Brian Vickers receives his honorary astronaut wings from Aviation Challenge manager Ruth Marie Oliver (call sign: Red Bull) at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Ala.

Looks like Red Bull really does give you wings. Here Brian Vickers receives his honorary astronaut wings from Aviation Challenge manager Ruth Marie Oliver (call sign: Red Bull) at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Ala.


(all photos courtesy of Talladega Superspeedway)

is in-n-out burger the way to a nascar driver’s heart?

NHRA: POMONA WINTERNATIONALS FEB 14On Sunday, I was watching a bit of the O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Spring Nationals that took place in Houston, Texas. Melanie Troxel, whom I totally dig because she’s kick ass and we have the same birthday (August 31st), is sponsored by In-N-Out Burger in both Funny Car and Pro Mod. She’s leading the points standings in Pro Mod, by the way.

Anyway… The In-N-Out Burger connection got me thinking. First about how yummy their burgers are and then about how every time the NASCAR drivers are in California or Nevada they can’t NOT talk about how they all have to stop by In-N-Out at least once during their stay in the West. So I was thinking why isn’t In-N-Out Burger sponsoring like, ANYTHING in NASCAR? At least for the races at Infineon, Auto Club Speedway, Las Vegas and Phoenix?

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard Kurt Busch, Jimmie Johnson and Brian Vickers wax on and on about how they love In-N-Out.

And then I started thinking that maybe all those NASCAR groupies should forget about trying to dress all sexy in the garage & pits and just bring a bunch of In-N-Out burgers and fries (animal style, of course) with them instead. They do say that a way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, well there ya go. Nobody said you had to be the one doing the cooking.

In other news…

– ‘Fabulous’ reader Leila emailed me today and was all, “Wouldn’t Ron Malec be perfect for ABC’s next Bachelor? I would love to see it!” and I was like, “You’re totally right!” Ron would make an excellent Bachelor (as would Michael Waltrip) but I do know that as of the Sprint Cup Championship banquet last year he had a girlfriend. But still ABC should direct their attention to the world of NASCAR to look for their next Bachelor, for sure.

:)

shortcuts: testing at infineon, lifetime tv sponsors jr motorsports

One of the benefits of being unemployed is the ability to do anything anytime you want, and in my case it means that I can attend media events that occur during the day at a time when I’d normally be working. This Friday I’ll be at Infineon Raceway for Two-Wheel Thunder, a test session for motorcycle riders in the AMA Pro Road Racing Series.

It all begins at 9am and is completely free to the public. So if your schedule is open that day you should come out to Sonoma and check it out. There will also be riders from Supermoto USA and TTXGP electric motorcycle demonstrations.

This is all in advance of the West Coast Moto Jam taking place at Infineon on May 14-16. If you purchase a ticket for the West Coast Moto Jam during Two-Wheel Thunder you’ll get to take a lap around the the raceway’s road course on your motorcycle. For more info go to infineonraceway.com

In other news…

– ESPN’s Jamie Little became engaged to Cody Selman, Kyle Busch’s former go-to guy. Congrats to Jamie & Cody! Check out her ring, it’s spectacular! I saw her interviewing Danica Patrick with it on over the weekend and I couldn’t take my eyes off it. Good job, Cody!

Brian Vickers participated in a special NASCAR Tweetup at Martinsville where he competed against fans in an simulated racing challenge at the Sprint Experience.


Brian Vickers races Miss Sprint Cup and six fans from Twitter during a pre-race tweet-up at the Sprint Experience. (Photo by Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Brian Vickers races Miss Sprint Cup and six fans from Twitter during a pre-race tweet-up at the Sprint Experience. (Photo by Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Brian Vickers congratulates Matt Dettelbach (@mdbach on Twitter) for beating him in the simulator race at the Sprint Experience. (Photo by Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Brian Vickers congratulates Matt Dettelbach (@mdbach on Twitter) for beating him in the simulator race at the Sprint Experience. (Photo by Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR)

JR Motorsports has joined forces with Lifetime Television for this weekend’s Nationwide Series race at Nashville. Be on the lookout for Scott Wimmer in the No. 7 car wrapped in a special Army Wives paint scheme.

I have to applaud this effort by Lifetime to recognize NASCAR’s huge female audience and the benefit of sponsorship. I WISH more brands and companies would realize the untapped power of female racing fans. Just email NASCAR, they’ve got all the stats (or ask for a ‘Fabulous’ media kit).

Oh and one request I have for Lifetime… Why not a Project Runway car? OMG! I would LOVE that… I would buy every piece of merchandise that existed, and Michael Kors could design the car and the firesuit! Heidi Klum could be the Grand Marshal for the race. Dude, it’d be so amazingly awesome on about a million different levels. Seriously, think about it.

More details, including info on a special sweepstakes where you can win an all-expenses paid trip for four people to a NASCAR race, from the press release:

more fun with comparisons: nascar drivers vs hollywood actors

It was while I was watching Bridget Jones’ Diary for the 500th time that I realized that Mark Darcy, a character played by the Oscar nominated actor Colin Firth, looks a lot like NASCAR’s most popular driver Dale Earnhardt Jr.

The eyes, the lips, the general skin tone and coloring are all very similar. See for yourself.


Dale Earnhardt Jr (left) and Colin Firth (right)
Dale Earnhardt Jr (left) and Colin Firth (right)

And then when I was watching the Oscars on Sunday night I thought that Jake Gyllenhaal, who is starring in the upcoming Prince of Persia film and whom I really, really hope will be at a race that I am at sometime this year, looks kinda similar to Red Bull Racing driver Brian Vickers.

Maybe it’s the beard and the eyebrows?


Brian Vickers (left) and Jake Gyllenhaal (right)
Brian Vickers (left) and Jake Gyllenhaal (right)

Oh! I would like to take this moment to say that I am loving Clint Bowyer’s hair these days. It seems, to me at least, to be reminiscent of Mark-Paul Gosselaar’s look circa 1991 on the TV show Saved by the Bell. Clint, please don’t cut your hair. :)

I’m not joking, I really like it. :)


(Left to right) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers Clint Bowyer and Marcos Ambrose answer questions in the James H. Hunter Media Center Tuesday during a Goodyear Tire test at Darlington Raceway in Darlington, S.C. (Credit: MotorRacingNetwork.com)

(Left to right) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers Clint Bowyer and Marcos Ambrose answer questions in the James H. Hunter Media Center Tuesday during a Goodyear Tire test at Darlington Raceway in Darlington, S.C. (Credit: MotorRacingNetwork.com)

Here’s my comparison of Kasey Kahne to Twilight hottie Robert Pattinson, again, because who wouldn’t want to look at these two guys?


Kasey Kahne (left) and Robert Pattinson (right)
Kasey Kahne (left) and Robert Pattinson (right)

**Gillette 500 – Don’t forget to join Team Denny / Kasey!**

you won’t like carl when he’s angry

Kurt Busch celebrates in Victory Lane after winning his third NASCAR Sprint Cup series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway. (Credit: Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)So I know everybody is putting a lot of thought into Carl Edwards actions this weekend at Atlanta. Was he justified in bumping Brad “I Have No Friends” Keselowski into flight or should he have found him after the race and gently slapped him across the face with a white glove?

I’m in two minds about it, but I know for sure that it was fun to watch. I’m glad Brad was OK after the wreck (and we should never take the strides they’ve made in keeping the drivers safe for granted), but we know that Carl didn’t intend for him to flip around like that.

Now let’s talk about the other disaster in this race. Dale Earnhardt Jr. gets the pole and then proceeds to lead not a single lap in the ENTIRE race. How is this possible? Holy crap, I love you Dale. I really, really, really do, but what the heck?

Big shout out and congrats to David Gilliland for putting on a great show on Sunday! He led laps and ran up front a whole heck of a lot. Good things are coming for that No. 38 Charter Air Transport / Taco Bell team! It’s so nice when you support a driver and they do good things to remind you why you pull for them in the first place. Seriously, I cannot WAIT till David wins a Sprint Cup race. It’s going to be AH-MAY-ZING.

**Gillette 500 – Don’t forget to join Team Denny / Kasey!**


Fellow Toyota drivers Kyle Busch and Brian Vickers talk in the garage during Friday’s practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Kobalt Tools 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway.(Credit: Tom Whitmore/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Fellow Toyota drivers Kyle Busch and Brian Vickers talk in the garage during Friday’s practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Kobalt Tools 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway.(Credit: Tom Whitmore/Getty Images for NASCAR)

las vegas: okay jimmie, we get it!

Jimmie Johnson celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the Shelby American in Las Vegas.(Credit: Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)43 different drivers started the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Shelby American in Las Vegas, but for some reason the same guy that won the race the weekend before won again.

How is this possible? What are the 42 other drivers, and their teams, doing?? I mean, really? This cannot keep happening. It’s not like it’s 5 dudes out there running around. There are FORTY-THREE cars!! Nobody should be winning anything in a row!

Grrr… Step it up please! Frankly, I was very sad that Jeff Gordon couldn’t get the win over Jimmie Johnson. Not because I wanted Jimmie to lose, so much as I just wanted Jeff to win.
Tony Stewart sits in his car in the garage during Saturday’s practice for Sunday’s Shelby American at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. (Credit: Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Anyway, I have to talk about Amy of Amy’s Bad Groove. She got the chance to interview Tony Stewart, her favorite driver, in person over the Las Vegas race weekend. I am sooooo excited that she got the opportunity, and I cannot WAIT to read her interview with Tony. I have to put you guys on notice that she’s working on it so you should subscribe to her RSS feed so you can get it as soon as she posts it. I’m sure it’ll be awesome. This would be equivalent to me getting the chance to interview Dale Earnhardt Jr. one-on-one, so the fact that she didn’t pass out or forget all of her questions (which could totally happen if I was confronted with Dale Jr.) is awesome. Congrats Amy!

:)


Fans watch Friday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and NASCAR Nationwide Series practice action from above in Las Vegas Motor Speedway’s Neon Garage. (Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Fans watch Friday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and NASCAR Nationwide Series practice action from above in Las Vegas Motor Speedway’s Neon Garage. (Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR)

champion’s week in vegas: after the lap

After the Lap presented by Tissot (photo credit: The Fast and the Fabulous)After the Myers Brothers Awards Ceremony, I left the Venetian and headed back to my room so that I could change out of my “business casual” dress and into clothes that were much warmer. It was so cold in Vegas. I wished it would get into the 70s but it never got close. Friday night, the night of the awards ceremony it was in the low 50s with freeze warnings in effect.

So I changed my clothes and tried to walk quickly to the monorail at Harrah’s/Imperial Palace station so that I could get to the MGM Grand as fast as possible because that’s where the start/finish line was for the Victory Lap. I wanted to see the top-12 drivers doing burnouts, but it wasn’t to be. I missed the whole thing. What I did see, from the windows of the monorail, was the traffic that was backed up for at least a mile next to the Strip. That was kinda neat.

champion’s week in vegas: spreading ‘fabulous’ awareness

Getting ready for the 2009 NASCAR NMPA Myers Brothers Awards CeremonyThursday, December 3rd was a big day full of events. However, my first event of the day had nothing to do with NASCAR but everything to do with moving from my $40 room at Harrah’s to my awesome not that much more expensive room at the Mirage. I loved my room at the Mirage so much that I took pictures of it. Which, I think, is saying something. For one, it had an iPod docking station & player so I could listen to my playlists while I got ready. The overall room design was modern & contemporary cool, complete with large flat screen TV with HD channels.

Anyway, after I got all checked in at the Mirage and waded through all of the authentic cowboys in town for the 2009 Wrangler National Rodeo Finals, I made my way over to the Venetian across the street for the NASCAR NMPA Myers Brothers Awards Ceremony.

Before the ceremony the top-12 drivers were available in an adjacent ballroom for Q&A sessions with media. I only had one question that I had any interest in asking any of the drivers and that was “Do you have any big plans for the off-season?”

Everyone was already engaged with media from various outlets: print, online, and TV. So I did a quick lap around taking pictures, and then chatted with ESPN PR.

champion’s week in vegas: beginning at the end

2009 NASCAR Sprint Cup Awards Ceremony table centerpieceInstead of starting from the beginning, I’m going to start with the end and work my way backwards.

Friday was of course the 2009 NASCAR Sprint Cup Awards Ceremony at the Wynn in Las Vegas. I woke up that morning with a slight hangover from the previous night’s festivities. I spent the majority of the morning willing myself to feel normal and to not vomit even though vomiting probably would have made me feel better, but whatever. I went down to Carnegie Deli and got their chicken soup, which helped tremendously.

That morning I had to go over to the Wynn (I stayed at the Mirage Thursday and Friday, and Harrah’s on Wednesday) to pick up my ticket to the banquet. Passing through the lobby I caught sight of Ron Malec, car chief of the no. 48 Lowe’s team, taking pictures with his girlfriend.

Along with the ticket to the event that told me my table number for the night, I also got to pick up the wristband to get me into the after party and a mini replica of the Sprint Cup Championship trophy. It’s as cute and cool as you’d expect, and it also doubles as a paper weight.

another awkward moment in press conference history

Juan Pablo Montoya answers the media's questions on Friday, October 9, 2009 at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, CA (photo credit: The Fast and the Fabulous)Finally, I’m sitting down to write the first of many posts about my weekend at the Auto Club Speedway for the Pepsi 500.

Friday was the usual routine of top-12 drivers press conferences. I was in a majority of them and some seriously interesting stuff went down. Okay, so it was only during Juan Pablo Montoya’s session that I had one of those Southwest commercial “Wanna Get Away??” moments. And I wasn’t even the one who caused the weirdness.

kansas in fits and starts

kansas_tstewart_flagDirecTV has some serious splainin’ to do. It all seemed to start on Saturday morning. I was watching TV and every now and again the screen would go black for a second and then the picture would come back. I didn’t think that much of it until Sunday when I was home all day and was all set to watch the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Price Chopper 400 presented by Kraft Foods that I noticed this problem hadn’t gone away.

The problem, which could get worse and then clear up just as suddenly, seemed to only affect local channels, and after I spoke to DirecTV I found out that it was only happening to people in the San Francisco Bay Area (including fellow NASCAR blogger Amy!). So I could watch ESPN and another cable & premium channels just fine, but ABC was not behaving. I tried to watch the race with the one of the HotPass channels but that was annoying because I wasn’t in the mood to have to listen to MRN.

So I dealt with it even though it gave me a headache from all the skipping and flickering of the screen.