All posts tagged Casey Mears

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sonoma saturday: where I met dale jr.’s doppelganger

When I got to the Cup garage at Sonoma Raceway on Saturday the inspections process was in full-swing for qualifying.

Kristen attempted to explain to me how NASCAR started using lasers this year at one of the inspection stations to measure the car. It’s kinda neat how it’s able to find the center of the car. It’s all completely computerized.

Driver Danica Patrick smells a flower during the 2013 NASCAR media day at Daytona International Speedway on February 14, 2013 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Tom Pennington/NASCAR via Getty Images)

shocking news: nascar drivers don’t care about danica patrick’s relationship with ricky stenhouse jr.

Through some completely unscientific research I’ve done while reading interviews with NASCAR drivers during yesterday’s Media Day in Daytona, I’ve determined that nobody gives a flying fig about Danica Patrick dating Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and people should probably stop asking them about it.

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homestead: penske persistence pays off (say that ten times fast) and other stuff

I was going to write a whole paragraph about how traveling sucked but I figured what’s the point. You guys have been there, you know what I was dealing with on my flights from San Francisco to Charlotte and then on to Miami. Although I have to say I have NEVER been on a flight so full of babies & toddlers as I did that Saturday. It was crazy and it made me vow that if I ever have kids I’m not flying anywhere with them until they’re adults. :)

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sunday: denny hamlin has mad hops

I woke up at 6am Sunday morning in New Hampshire and willed myself to get up so that I wouldn’t get stuck in race day traffic. SYLVANIA gave us a tip that we (their invited media peeps) should get on the road by 7:15am at the latest in order to miss the traffic melee. It worked because the drive to the track only took 25 minutes. I have to say that NHMS is by far my favorite track to drive to because the scenery is beautiful, but more importantly it was (basically) a straight shot from the hotel to the track, with one left turn and one stop at the drive-thru Starbucks on Loudon Road.

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interview: inside the actor’s studio with casey mears

The following interview with Casey Mears, driver of the No. 13 Geico Toyota Camry, took place in the garage at Infineon Raceway. It was a surprise for both of us since I didn’t have a time scheduled with him and I just saw him standing there talking to a couple of guys and figured why not go for it. I interrupted (politely) and asked if I could interview him. He was a good sport and had some great answers. I sincerely appreciated the time he took to speak with me.

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friday at infineon: low key people watching

When I arrived at Infineon Raceway on Friday I was late. It was only 9am but it was late. The garage opened at 7am and that’s when people showed up, so the media lot was full when I arrived. I was stuck in lot 1 which is next to the helipad. It’s not a big deal (there’s an awesome shuttle that takes you right to the media center no matter where you’re parked) but it’s funny to me how 9am can be considered late for anything. Anyway, Friday was the day of press conferences for the top-12 drivers.

little hayden mears has arrived

Casey MearsGeico Racing announced that their driver in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, Casey Mears, and his wife Trish have welcomed a new member of their family into the world today.

The couple’s son, Hayden, was born this morning and joins big sister Samantha.

Congratulations to the Mears Gang!! :)

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

I’m driving down to Southern California for the Auto Club 500 race weekend at Auto Club Speedway on Thursday. Eaaaarly Thursday morning, to be exact. Clint Bowyer is launching “Speedway Day L.A.” on the steps of City Hall in downtown Los Angeles, and then immediately following that he’ll go on a tour of L.A. with media and race fans on a double-decker bus. I’m getting on the bus! You know how much I enjoyed my time on the double-decker bus in Vegas during Champion’s Week, so there was no way I was missing out on this opportunity.

The festivities will start at Noon at City Hall (200 N. Spring Street at 1st Street in Los Angeles), then we’ll stop by Elvis’ star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame around 1:30pm (Southeast corner of Hollywood Blvd and N. La Brea Blvd. in Hollywood), then walk down to Grauman’s Chinese Theatre between 1:30 & 2:10pm, and then we’re going to In-N-Out Burger where Clint will serve ice-cold Coke to people around 2:15pm, and then we’ll return to City Hall.

Fun right? Totally looking forward to it, and it makes up for the fact that I’ll be missing out on Tony Stewart’s appearance in the San Francisco Bay Area that’s also taking place on Thursday (more about that below).

I was checking out the weather forecast for Fontana on Weather.com and it looks like it’s supposed to rain on Friday. So there’s a 40% chance that qualifying will be rained out. I would rather that it didn’t.

In other news…

Richard Marx– Grammy award winning artist Richard Marx (right) will perform the National Anthem before the start of the Auto Club 500 this week. I, for one, am SO EXCITED about this news. I LOVE Richard Marx! I mean, hello, “Endless Summer Nights,” “Right Here Waiting,” “Hold on to the Nights,” “Should’ve Known Better,” “Now and Forever,” and my personal extra fave “Hazard.” The man is a musical genius and I adore him.

– Another dude that I loved from my days as a pre-teen/teen is Christian Slater. “Heathers,” you guys. Oh! And “Untamed Heart”, that movie was, like, the most romantic movie to me until I saw Leo DiCaprio in “Romeo + Juliet.” Do I need to say more? He’s in a new TV show for FOX so I’m sure that’s why he was named the Grand Marshal for Sunday’s race at Auto Club Speedway. I’m not mad about that at all.

– Like I mentioned Tony Stewart will be stopping by the Bay Area on Thursday to hang out at the Oakland Zoo. He’s going to give the resident male elephant, Osh, a “pedicure” with the help of the Elephant Manager Jeff Kinzley. There will be a fan & media Q&A session with Tony held in the Marian Zimmer Auditorium and it should start around 1:15pm. Fans can get a $2 discount on admission to the zoo (for this Thursday only) by mentioning “Infineon Raceway at the ticket booth.

– Another Thursday driver event is taking place at the Stonewood Center Best Buy Mobile in Downey, Calif. Casey Mears and AJ Allmendinger will be on hand with Miss Sprint Cup Monica Palumbo from 6pm to 8pm to take photos, and sign autographs for fans. On Sunday Casey and AJ will be racing each other in a “race within a race” in order to win $5,000 from Sprint for the charity of their choice. Casey has selected Alzheimer’s Foundation of America and AJ has picked Paralyzed Veterans of America.

<a href=– IndyCar driver Dan Wheldon and his wife, Susie, welcomed their second child into the world this weekend. Their son, Oliver, was born on Sunday and joins older brother Sebastian, who turned 2 last month.

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2011 hottest driver tournament: round three

Hottest Driver LogoI’m having too much fun with this contest. I was right when I thought things would get much more interesting in Round Two and the results of last week’s voting have set up Round Three to be extra intriguing. Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Casey Mears just barely made it through in the closest match-up results so far. Dale Jr. beat Scott Speed by just 8 votes! I’m really, really surprised that it wasn’t a closer contest between Carl Edwards and Kasey Kahne.

Here’s what happened in Round Two:

Jamie McMurray (75%) defeated Kyle Busch (25%)
Joey Logano (55%) defeated David Gilliland (45%)
Clint Bowyer (56%) defeated Bobby Labonte (44%)
Travis Kvapil (62%) defeated Kurt Busch (38%)
Kasey Kahne (75%) defeated Carl Edwards (25%)
Casey Mears (51%) defeated Kevin Harvick (49%)
Elliott Sadler (70%) defeated Reed Sorenson (30%)
Jeff Gordon (52%) defeated Marcos Ambrose (48%)
Ryan Newman (83%) defeated Juan Pablo Montoya (17%)
Dale Earnhardt Jr. (51%) defeated Scott Speed (49%)
Tony Stewart (86%) defeated Sam Hornish Jr. (14%)
Matt Kenseth (65%) defeated AJ Allmendinger (35%)
Regan Smith (77%) defeated Robby Gordon (23%)
Martin Truex Jr. (88%) defeated Greg Biffle (12%)
Paul Menard (64%) defeated Brad Keselowski (36%)
Denny Hamlin (58%) defeated Mark Martin (42%)

This updates the brackets, which you can see below (click it to see it larger).

2011 Hottest Driver Tournament Brackets - Round Three

So let’s get to it! Here are the match-ups for Round Three! You can vote as many times as you want each day until voting ends on Saturday, January 22nd.

UPDATE: I’ve extended voting through Sunday, January 23rd until 9am, because of a snafu with the voting form. // Voting for Round Three is over! Check out Round Four!

Jamie McMurray Joey Logano
Jamie McMurray Versus Joey Logano
Clint Bowyer Travis Kvapil
Clint Bowyer Versus Travis Kvapil
Ryan Newman Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Ryan Newman Versus Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Tony Stewart Kasey Kahne
Tony Stewart Versus Kasey Kahne
Casey Mears Elliott Sadler
Casey Mears Versus Elliott Sadler
Martin Truex Jr. Jeff Gordon
Martin Truex Jr. Versus Jeff Gordon
Paul Menard Matt Kenseth
Paul Menard Versus Matt Kenseth
Regan Smith Denny Hamlin
Regan Smith Versus Denny Hamlin


Voting for Round Three is over! Check out Round Four!

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2011 hottest driver tournament: round two

Hottest Driver LogoIt’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).

2011 Hottest Driver Tournament Brackets - Round Two

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
Jamie McMurray Versus Kyle Busch
David Gilliland Joey Logano
David Gilliland Versus Joey Logano
Clint Bowyer Bobby Labonte
Clint Bowyer Versus Bobby Labonte
Kurt Busch Travis Kvapil
Kurt Busch Versus Travis Kvapil
Ryan Newman Juan Pablo Montoya
Ryan Newman Versus Juan Pablo Montoya
Dale Earnhardt Jr. Scott Speed
Dale Earnhardt Jr. Versus Scott Speed
Sam Hornish Jr. Tony Stewart
Sam Hornish Jr. Versus Tony Stewart
Carl Edwards Kasey Kahne
Carl Edwards Versus Kasey Kahne
Kevin Harvick Casey Mears
Kevin Harvick Versus Casey Mears
Elliott Sadler Reed Sorenson
Elliott Sadler Versus Reed Sorenson
Greg Biffle Martin Truex Jr.
Greg Biffle Versus Martin Truex Jr.
Jeff Gordon Marcos Ambrose
Jeff Gordon Versus Marcos Ambrose
Brad Keselowski Paul Menard
Brad Keselowski Versus Paul Menard
AJ Allmendinger Matt Kenseth
AJ Allmendinger Versus Matt Kenseth
Robby Gordon Regan Smith
Robby Gordon Versus Regan Smith
Mark Martin Denny Hamlin
Mark Martin Versus Denny Hamlin


UPDATE: Round Two voting has ended. Stay tuned for the results and Round Three!

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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!


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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

to-do list: fontana and blog world expo

Pepsi Max 400 LogoFIRST: I am planning on attending the NASCAR race weekend at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana next week, although there is a small chance I might not make it out there. Please know that I am doing EVERYTHING I can to make it happen.

It’s ridiculous how badly I want/need to go to this race. It’s close enough to me (only 5 short hours) that it’s just a no-brainer and yet enough annoying circumstances can rear their ugly head’s to make my actual attendance slightly “tentative.” Ugh. Anyway, just know that I’m going to be at that race, happy as a clam, writing about driver’s visits to port-a-potties and women wearing inappropriate-for-the-racetrack shoes.

:)

Plus, there are too many things going on that weekend that to miss it would suck big time. For one, there are the weddings taking place at the track before the Sprint Cup Series race on 10/10/10 (which also happens to be Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s birthday) and my life won’t be complete until I get to see Michael Waltrip serve as the Best Man at a stranger’s wedding.

And there’s the matter of doing more driver interviews using the ten questions. So now that I’ve written this out there’s no way in hell I’m not going to this race.

BlogWorld BadgeSECOND: I’m definitely going to be at the 2010 Blog World & New Media Expo in Las Vegas. This year’s BWE is taking place at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center and I’m on a panel in the sports track titled “Women in Sports Media” along with some awesome women: Kathleen Hessert, President of Sports Media Challenge and Nicole LaVoi, Tucker Center for Research on Girls & Women in Sport & Minnesota Youth Sport Research Consortium. *(see update below)

I met Nicole at Blogs with Balls 3 this year in Chicago and you should really check out her blog about women in sports. I’m a subscriber and there isn’t a post where I’m not saying to myself, “She’s so right!” or “That’s so true!”

I haven’t met Kathleen before but I’m looking forward to it. Just check out this recent interview with her over at Sports Industry Insider. She’s helped many athletes manage their reputations and figure out their social media & web strategies. She’s the “woman who taught Shaquille O’Neal to tweet.” She’s also worked with guys we know like Kasey Kahne, Jeff Gordon, Greg Biffle and Casey Mears.

I had a small hand in putting this panel together in that I gave the idea to the sports track organizers and I’m glad that I did because there are so many things to talk about as it relates to female athletes, journalists and fans. I really feel like female fans get short shrift a lot of the time. It’s really easy to see the male demographic in racing but HELLO, 40% of NASCAR fans are women. What are you doing to engage the women?

Anywhoo, I’m really looking forward to the panel. If you’re involved in blogging, social media and new media in any shape or form (or you want to be) you should attend Blog World. There really is something for everyone (and I’m not getting paid to say this). I always walk away from it with more info and contacts than when I arrived.

UPDATE: I jumped the gun on my post and it turns out that Nicole LaVoi won’t be on the panel with me at Blog World, but Patricia Hannigan, The Golf Girl, will be! Should be a good time.
:)

who doesn’t love photos of nascar babies?

Finally got access to more photos from last week’s race at Atlanta and there were two cute photos of Casey Mears with his daughter Samantha and Matt Kenseth and his daughter Kaylin. I have to post them, and a couple others I thought you might be interested in.


HAMPTON, GA - SEPTEMBER 05: Casey Mears (R), driver of the  GEICO Toyota, holds his daughter Samantha on the grid prior to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Emory Healthcare 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on September 5, 2010 in Hampton, Georgia. (Photo by John Harrelson/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Casey Mears (R), driver of the GEICO Toyota, holds his daughter Samantha on the grid prior to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Emory Healthcare 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on September 5, 2010 in Hampton, Georgia. (Photo by John Harrelson/Getty Images for NASCAR)

HAMPTON, GA - SEPTEMBER 05: Kurt Busch (R), driver of the  Miller Lite Dodge, stands with his wife Eva on the grid prior to the start of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Emory Healthcare 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on September 5, 2010 in Hampton, Georgia. (Photo by Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Kurt Busch (R), driver of the Miller Lite Dodge, stands with his wife Eva on the grid prior to the start of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Emory Healthcare 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on September 5, 2010 in Hampton, Georgia. (Photo by Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)

HAMPTON, GA - SEPTEMBER 05: Matt Kenseth (L), driver of the  Crown Royal Ford, holds his daughter Kaylin Nicola on the grid prior to the start ofduring the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Emory Healthcare 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on September 5, 2010 in Hampton, Georgia. (Photo by John Harrelson/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Matt Kenseth (L), driver of the Crown Royal Ford, holds his daughter Kaylin Nicola on the grid prior to the start ofduring the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Emory Healthcare 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on September 5, 2010 in Hampton, Georgia. (Photo by John Harrelson/Getty Images for NASCAR)

HAMPTON, GA - SEPTEMBER 05: Warren Buffett, chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, watches the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Emory Healthcare 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on September 5, 2010 in Hampton, Georgia. (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)

If Mr. Buffett would like to give me some of his money, I’d more than happily accept it. :)

Warren Buffett, chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, watches the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Emory Healthcare 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on September 5, 2010 in Hampton, Georgia. (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)

HAMPTON, GA - SEPTEMBER 05: Denny Hamlin (R), driver of the  Sport Clips Toyota, stands on the grid with girlfriend Jordan Fish prior to the start of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Emory Healthcare 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on September 5, 2010 in Hampton, Georgia. (Photo by Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Denny Hamlin (R), driver of the Sport Clips Toyota, stands on the grid with girlfriend Jordan Fish prior to the start of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Emory Healthcare 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on September 5, 2010 in Hampton, Georgia. (Photo by Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)

a wall of crew chiefs

Cars lined up before the start of practice on Saturday, June 19, 2010 at Infineon Raceway (photo credit: The Fast and the Fabulous)Saturday is always my favorite day in the garage because it’s all about practice and we haven’t reached the max level of wandering people that will be around come Sunday.

Something I hadn’t realized about the garage at Infineon is how perfect it is before the cars roll out for the first practice session of the day. Infineon’s garage stalls are all in one long row. You walk a straight line and you get to see everyone. This is especially eerie when all the drivers are sitting in their cars with their visors up just waiting for the call to drive out to the track.

It’s the only time when they’re basically a captive audience. You could jump out in front of their cars and do a little dance or hold up a big sign saying whatever you want and they have to watch because they can’t go anywhere. I didn’t do a little dance, I just tried to take pictures but I recommend that if you’re going to get a garage pass make sure it’s on a day when the guys are practicing. It’s the best time.

thank you, red bull, no seriously, thank yoooooou

Red Bull Racing has selected Mattias Ekström to handle the road course at Infineon Raceway next week in the No. 83 Red Bull Racing Toyota:

“First of all, I’d like to express my sincere thanks — to Red Bull for inviting a Swede with zero NASCAR experience to compete in the United States and to Audi for the possibility and approval that enable me to fulfill this dream,” said Ekström, 31.

I, too, would like to express my sincerest thanks to Red Bull for inviting a cute Swedish dude to race in NASCAR for the first time ever. Can you say, “fresh meat?” It’s perfect timing since I’ll be at Infineon next week for the Toyota/SaveMart 350. Can wait to see Mattias in action. Zero NASCAR experience and his first race is at Infineon. I love it.

:)


CONCORD, NC - MAY 27: Casey Mears (R), driver of the #83 Red Bull Toyota, talks with Mattias Ekstrom, driver for Red Bull Racing Team of Sweden, in the garage prior to practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 27, 2010 in Concord, North Carolina. (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)

That’s Mattias (left) with Casey Mears, sporting his wedding ring. I forgot Casey got married!

In other news…

– The 2010 Gillette Fusion ProGlide Prelude to the Dream was held last night and drivers from all kinds of racing disciplines were on hand, including Travis Pastrana who is famous for his motocross & supercross & general extreme sport background. I really, really wish Travis would try his hand at NASCAR. It would be a good time for sure. That guy is funny and super talented.

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.

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)

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.

texas: i’ll take drama any way i can get it

Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge, celebrates by firing two Beretta's into the air on Victory Lane after winning Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Dickies 500 at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas. This is Busch's 20th win in 326 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races. (Photo Credit: Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)Before the start of the Dickies 500 on Sunday I was thinking about what had to happen in order for Jimmie Johnson to lose some momentum in The Chase. Of course, I didn’t think any of it would happen. So when Jimmie’s accident occurred I was, uhm, sort of pleasantly surprised.

We needed that to make things a little more interesting. The guy still has a ton of points on Mark Martin but at least it gives hope a chance to shine. And, if I’m being honest, it was pretty cool getting to see the 48 team pull together and get that car back into shape to run in the race again. I’m never against seeing Ron Malec in action. (hehe) I have to give it Chad Knaus though, that guy is one cool customer. He was pissed of course that they ran into trouble, but his voice is always even. He doesn’t freak out, and you can’t afford to freak out in a situation like that, which is why Jimmie and the Lowe’s team are 3-time Sprint Cup Champions.

Watching Kurt Busch do his victory lap around Texas Motor Speedway in reverse with his tongue sticking out made me realize who he reminds me of, and no, it’s not Michael Jordan. No, I was thinking more along the lines of the character Pete Campbell from the awesome TV show Mad Men. Pete, played by Vincent Kartheiser, is kind of a punk. He whines when he doesn’t get his way and always thinks he should be treated better than he perceives he’s being treated. It’s funny. Watch Mad Men, it’s awesome. The latest season is over, but that’s what Netflix is for.

That being said it was cool to see Kurt so excited about winning and all that.

Uhm… There’s this one driver, I think his name is Dale Earnhardt Jr. or something, who doesn’t seem to be able to catch a break this season. I’m at the point, well I’ve been here for some time now, where I want to just say to him “Dale, (yes, in this scenario I know him and we’re BFFs) I think you should just park it and call it a season, this is lame. I know you’re doing your best but you need to tell whatever gods are in charge of luck to kiss your butt.”

He was running really well and then of course something happens and finishes crappy. And his finish has nothing to do with his overall performance. They were kicking butt and then it falls off. Ugh.

And now ladies and gentlemen, a photo bonanza!