Fill in the blank!
For me, I just yawn and move on. So the things that I’ve been thinking about since Sunday’s race have nothing to do with what happened in the race really.
Fill in the blank!
For me, I just yawn and move on. So the things that I’ve been thinking about since Sunday’s race have nothing to do with what happened in the race really.
I haven’t posted anything in a really long time and I apologize. My day job has taken over my life to the point where I’m working weekends and not getting home until late during the week.
Because I honestly don’t remember a whole lot. Anyway, the image gallery is going to be the best part of this post, so enjoy!
I haven’t missed a Fontana race in 5 years, so it really sucked when I realized I wouldn’t be able to go this year. All the action & drama that happened on Sunday made it that much worse, but then again there’s no guarantee that it would have happened had I gone so I’m using that to make me feel better about the whole thing.
I was watching Kasey Kahne in victory lane at Bristol on Sunday. I listened to him talk and I couldn’t help but feel like something was different about him. He seems more manly. I’m not saying that he wasn’t manly before but he seemed more… something.
Matt Kenseth is a great race car driver and it’s cool that he won, and as my mom said when I told her that, “well it’s nice that someone different won,” I couldn’t disagree with her. It’s true, but why I am not super excited when Matt Kenseth wins? I have no idea. It’s not personal.
Jimmie Johnson won the Daytona 500 and in the distance I could hear the sound of the saddest trombone sighing “waaah, waaah, waaaaaaah.”
For the second year in a row Kasey Kahne, driver of the No. 5 Farmers Insurance Chevrolet for Hendrick Motorsports, has won the title of the Hottest NASCAR Driver. Over 17,000 votes were cast in the final round, with Kasey clinching the title with 70% of the vote, leaving runner-up Clint Bowyer with 30%.
NASCAR drivers reported to Daytona International Speedway yesterday for two days of Sprint Cup Series Preseason Thunder testing. This was supposed to be an extra-special testing session because they were driving the new sixth-generation car.
The 2012 NASCAR Champion’s Week is over and here are the photos I was able to use for the site. Enjoy!
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.
I don’t know if you heard but there was a little incident at Phoenix International Raceway yesterday. It was so small that it caused #NASCAR to be a trend nationally on Twitter and for The Today Show to mention it this morning. Just a bunch of dudes getting in to a fist fight in the garage that’s all.
"Well, Jimmie (Johnson) wasn't in New York when (Hurricane) Sandy hit — he was in North Carolina it looks like so he made it. So, scratch that from the list of ideas possibly that I could win this championship. I think hit man is probably out of the order. He rides his bicycle a lot — I was hoping maybe he would blow his knee out or something. Nothing career-ending or anything. Maybe painful — something painful to keep him out of the car. You have to beat him. That's what makes this sport what it is. It's incredible the job they do each and every year and it's a challenge for everybody to try and outrun him. They are so solid. We saw in Kansas — about the time you think, 'Oh boy, they've done stubbed their toe now,' they had a hell of a Band-Aid and got it fixed right back up. I think he finished right behind me and its like, 'How did they possibly do that?' That's what it takes to win a championship and if we do that, it's going to be pretty cool."
Good job, Clint Boywer, good job.
There are five races left in the Chase for the Sprint Cup Series Championship and I’m wondering exactly how much can change in that time.
I think Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s comments after yesterday’s race at Talladega were right-on:
I had this weird feeling while watching Brad Keselowski win yesterday’s race at Dover. It felt like the dudes in the booth calling the race weren’t all that excited by Brad’s win. I’m not saying they were rooting against him I just got this general feeling that there wasn’t a sense of “Oooh, this is interesting!” When it IS in fact interesting.
I watched the start of the SYLVANIA 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway at my boyfriend’s apartment. He doesn’t have cable (I know, insane!) but I do. Because I had my handy dandy iPhone, the Watch ESPN app I’d downloaded the day before and Apple TV, I was able to watch NASCAR Countdown and the first handful of laps on my boyfriend’s television. Technology is WONDERFUL and I highly recommend it.
I’m over Jeff Gordon’s mustache. And apparently the mustache is over itself too because it did NOTHING to help out Ella & Leo’s dad this weekend at Chicagoland Speedway. Just goes to show that you shouldn’t hang your hopes on facial hair.
I watched some of the Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond International Raceway from a bar known to be frequented by cops and firefighters in Oakland. I was there for something had nothing to do with racing OR cops/firefighters, it was a gathering of my boyfriend’s friends. Anyway, I couldn’t hear anything but I saw the red flag come out and some of the racing. The night was about Jeff Gordon fighting his way into the top-12 and ultimately in to The Chase, which meant that Kyle Busch had sit this Chase out.
My ability to watch races this month is severely hampered. It’s a lack of access issue that I’m not going to get into, but know that when September rolls around I’ll be back up to speed. I’m moving into my new apartment then and I cannot wait! It’s going to be awesome. Anyway, Pocono was last weekend and Jeff Gordon won the rain-shortened race. Above you’ll find a photo gallery (if you don’t see it come to the website and view it there) of the weekend. There are some very good “artsy” shots included.
I have to admit that I didn’t see the race yesterday. I know! I know. It really sucks to miss a race it feels like I’m missing an episode in a soap opera, even if nothing particularly huge happens you still feel like you need to see the story lines they use to set up other story lines to stay up to date.
Lots of a random things to share and I want to get to all of them.
Here we go:
– The lovely Keri Luiz wrote a wonderful article about me, Simply ‘Fabulous, for a local newspaper here in the San Francisco Bay Area. Keri is the assistant editor at the Benicia Herald. Thank you, Keri!
I’m so ridiculously late with this post, I must apologize. The Coke Zero 400 came through with some interesting events, including one bombshell that happened before the race even began.
First, let me apologize for my serious delay in writing about Sonoma. The Monday following the race I came down with a cold and subsequently felt like crap ever since and didn’t feel like doing anything at all except breathing.
My recollection of Talladega includes Brad Keseolwski winning, Kurt Busch in his Talladega Nights themed “ME” car and Jimmie Johnson sitting in Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s pit box after his car clunked out of the race.
I’m not sure what I can say about Kansas except that it was a race and Denny Hamlin won it. So let’s leave it at that shall we?
Hmm, what happened at Texas? Oh that’s right, NOTHING.
There was some good racing in terms of Greg Biffle snatching the win away from Jimmie Johnson, but other than that it was snoozeville.
I woke up early Sunday morning to clear skies and no rain. When rain is a possibility during a race weekend I’ve taken the stance of not talking about it. At least not in the negative. You don’t know for sure what the weather is going to do, so why stand on negative side of the fence and go on an on about how it’s going to rain and we’re not going to get the race in, blah, blah, blah. I’d just rather not and deal with what’s actually happening.
I’m all apologies lately. I feel like I’m continually apologizing to you guys about being late and I hate that. I can say, with complete confidence, that I’m not going to be late anymore and I’ll be back on track posting stuff from here on out.
Over 4,700 votes (whoa! that’s a record!) were cast in Round 3 and now we’re ready to reveal the four drivers that have made it in to Round 4 of the 2012 Hottest NASCAR Driver Tournament. It’s getting good now!
Over 1,700 votes were cast in Round 2 and now we’re ready to reveal the drivers that have made it in to Round 3 of the 2012 Hottest NASCAR Driver Tournament. Sadly, last year’s winner of the Hottest Driver Tourney has been eliminated from the competition. Clint Bowyer handily defeated reigning champ Tony Stewart.
Over 600 votes were cast and now we’re ready to reveal the drivers that have made it in to Round Two of the 2012 Hottest NASCAR Driver Tournament. Brian Vickers & Jeff Gordon were randomly seeded in to Round Two when the brackets were created, so that’s why they’re in. One of the closest results from the first round were between Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Jeff Burton. Burton snuck past Dale Jr by just 2%. David Gilliland did the same thing in getting past Juan Pablo Montoya.
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.
The theme of 2011 for The Fast and the Fabulous has to be growth. We grew in traffic, content and opportunities. I am so incredibly thankful for everyone that reads this blog and receives any kind of enjoyment from it. You guys are the best! I had a “car thought” the other day (I do some of my best thinking while driving, this is also similar to “shower thoughts”) and I realized that the reason I read celebrity interviews & magazines in general is because I’m trying to learn something about myself or something that I can apply to my life. And I think that that’s something people can do when they read about my experiences at the track. You might find my stories funny but maybe you learn, or reinforce, something you already knew about yourself from one of my stories or from an interview I did with a driver. That’s what I hope, anyway.
Thursday was decidedly less cab filled than Wednesday. I walked next door to the Bellagio for the NASCAR NMPA Myers Brothers Awards Luncheon. My table, number 31 (my fave number because it’s my birthday), was the designated NASCAR Citizen Journalists Media Corps table. We were a couple tables behind the Joe Gibbs Racing table where JD Gibbs and Kyle Busch were seated.
Maybe it’s because I watched Scream 4 (there was A LOT of stabbing going on in that movie) over the weekend that the old song by the O’Jays, “Back Stabber,” comes to mind when I think about yesterday’s Sprint Cup Series race at Talladega.
I’m not saying that guys were being back stabbers on purpose, I just think that this whole two-car tandem racing thing puts them in that position. At some point you have to be selfish, or team-ish, or manufacturer-ish, and it’s not that enjoyable to watch. Clearly in racing you have to go for yours, and not worry about anyone else, but because of two-car craziness it puts people in awkward situations that they wouldn’t normally have to think about.
I don’t like what Talladega has become, it’s kind of boring and since we all know the drivers don’t like it, it makes it less fun. It’s just something they have to get through. It’s not really racing, it’s elementary school all over again trying to find someone who likes you enough to play with you. While strategy obviously plays an important role in every NASCAR race, the strategy that comes into play at Talladega becomes an annoyance.
That being said, I was happy for Clint Bowyer and Richard Childress Racing. And it was extra special because RCR scored their 100th win.
Anywhoo, can’t wait for Martinsville!
Saturday morning, with my iPod blasting The Civil Wars (don’t get me started, their song “To Whom It May Concern” perfectly explains the state of my love life right now), I headed to the track. Well, I should say that I was headed to Starbucks. Now here’s the weird thing about that area around Kansas Speedway which has everything from a full on mall to Target, Hooters, a movie theater, Chipotle, Red Lobster, the LIVESTRONG Sporting Park, a baseball field, and a bunch of other restaurants — there’s no standalone Starbucks. The only Starbucks is tucked inside Target and we all know that the Starbucks inside of any other store is not a REAL Starbucks. If I can’t use my Starbucks card there it’s not a real Starbucks.
I flew into Kansas City, Missouri on Friday in the middle of the day. I knew that I was going to miss out on all of the top-12 driver press conferences, as well as Clint Bowyer’s big, non-surprise announcement that he was going to Michael Waltrip Racing next year in the #15 5-Hour Energy car. I knew all of that going in and it wasn’t a problem seeing as how the fact that I was going to the race weekend at Kansas Speedway at all was a big deal.
‘Cause he won the race, you guys. I don’t miss playing Red Rover in elementary school, although Steal The Bacon was my absolute LEAST favorite game. I’m more of a Hopscotch/4 Square girl, no annoying boys yelling at you if you do something “wrong.”
Anyway, Kurt Busch’s win of the AAA 400 at Dover International Raceway was one big piece in the changed up Chase standings. I love that everything is still up in the air and we have no idea who will ultimately walk away with this year’s trophy. I hope Brad Keseolowski is right, he posted the following tweet last night:
After today’s race. It’s obvious the chase winner will be decided on the last lap at homestead. Every one is so close.
Did you see all of the babies on pit road during the pre-race coverage on ESPN? Adorableness times a million.
The best quote of the day (in my opinion) came from Jimmie Johnson. I like Sassy Jimmie
Q. You both (Carl Edwards) talked about essentially mistakes that you made today that prevented you from winning. How do you get over that? How long does that take? What’s that process in moving forward?
JIMMIE JOHNSON: If I was Carl, I wouldn’t get over that mistake.
JIMMIE JOHNSON: I maybe wouldn’t show up next week.
JIMMIE JOHNSON: (Laughing). Not sure we answered your question.
Monday night Clint Bowyer was in one of my dreams. I have no idea why he would be but there he was confiding in me about his contract talks with Richard Childress Racing. I distinctly remember him being upset at not being able to seal the deal on a new contract and the number 4 was mentioned (don’t know what that means). I was telling him not to worry, that there were plenty of other teams that wanted him and would snap him up. I remember in the dream asking myself “Why are you telling him that?? You don’t know anything!” LOL
And then Tuesday morning there’s a report saying that Richard Petty Motorsports, who was reportedly interested in him if RCR wasn’t, is now reportedly NOT interested in him anymore. (That sentence alone is why silly season is so freakin’ silly). I remembered my dream and I felt bad that I gave the Clint Bowyer in my dream such bad advice.
I’m sure you guys have gone to sleep and had NASCAR drivers invade your dreams, please feel free to share what’s happened in yours so that I don’t feel like such a geek about mine (keep it PG!).
In other news…
– The top-12 drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, AKA The Chase drivers, were a bunch of busy little bees this week promoting themselves, NASCAR and The Chase for the Sprint Cup everywhere. I figured it was worthy of a photo spread. My favorites are the ones of Jimmie Johnson at the high school pep rally (Jimmie has to take that girl to the prom!) and Carl Edwards with the lobster (because he finally shaved off that goatee thingy, but now that it’s gone I kinda miss it).
This might become a regular thing. I scan through the press conference transcripts (I get Ford, Chevy & Toyota) and find the best quotes (at least, to me they’re the best).
So here we go:
– Tony Stewart’s press conferences are always entertaining. You only need to glance at the transcript to see how Tony’s feeling that day. If the answers are really short, someone’s not that happy. So when Tony was asked REPEATEDLY but in different ways, about what Danica’s schedule will be in the Cup Series next year, he was expectedly annoyed:
ANY THOUGHTS ABOUT DANICA PATRICK RUNNING IN A CUP CAR AT THE DAYTONA 500 NEXT YEAR?
“We’re worried about other stuff right now. We’re working on her schedule and when we have a schedule, we’ll let you guys know what those races are going to be. But right now, we have a lot of things to work on.”
WHEN DO YOU HAVE TO START THINKING ABOUT PERSONNEL?
“A month ago. You don’t make decisions like this and not already start that process.”
HOW FAR ALONG THAT ROAD ARE YOU?
“We’ll let you guys know. We’re working on it, guys. We’ve got a lot of stuff to do. There’s a lot of stuff not done yet; there’s a lot of stuff that has to be done and we’re in that process. We are in the middle of getting it all done.”
WILL THE DECISION ON WHICH RACES DANICA PATRICK RUN NEXT YEAR IN CUP BE A SPONSOR DECISION OR WHAT WILL IT BE BASED ON?
“When we have that we’ll let you know. When we have the schedule, we’ll let you know. We don’t have it set yet. We’ll figure it out.”
I GUESS WHAT I’M ASKING IS…
“I know what you’re asking. I don’t have an answer to your question. When we have the schedule done, we will let you know.”
Dear Fellow Media People: TONY WILL LET YOU KNOW!! LOL
– And now Clint Bowyer who expressed his displeasure with media for interfering with his contract negotiations. You tell ‘em, Clint!
ARE YOU SURPRISED TO BE THIS LATE IN THE SEASON STILL DEALING WITH STUFF FOR NEXT YEAR, STILL HAVING STUFF UP IN THE AIR AND DO YOU FEEL LIKE THINGS ARE CLOSER TO A RESOLUTION RIGHT NOW?
“You know, were just working on it. It takes time, those deals, you can’t just say YES, let’s do it. It takes time to put the sponsorships together, it takes time to have meetings, and it takes time to do all that. You have got to be patient. Unfortunately, the media gets a hold of it and it makes it even worse. Speculations, guesses, you guys need to stop and think sometimes about the situation and the detriment that it can cause to the situation. I think that is important, I think it’s good to be positive, it is good to give opinion but when it starts to show detriment to a situation one way or another, I think it is a problem.”
ARE YOU GETTING A LOT OF PHONE CALLS FROM OTHER OWNERS, OR DO THEY REALIZE YOU ARE NOT GOING ANYWHERE AND LEAVING YOU ALONE?
“Man, I tell ya. I have been busy. We have two things. Obviously the future, we have to take care of that, just like I said last week. Then the Chase, the chase is item number one. I want to be in this chase. I think my team deserves to be in this Chase and we have a shot at it. We can make this happen. You have to stay 100 percent focused on that. The biggest thing is you have to work hard on keeping your team focused. A lot of rumors and things going on, it is hilarious, they call it silly season for a reason. Good God, I heard rumors that I needed helicopters, it is pretty amazing. You don’t know me very well lady!”
– Dale Earnhardt Jr. was asked about making The Chase and how important it was to him. This was the best part because when Junior curses it tickles me.
“The Chase stuff, the points and everything sort of takes care of itself. You try to do the best you can throughout the year to put yourself in the best position there, but, I miss the Chase, I’ll probably catch a lot of s*** about it. It will save me a lot of s*** if I make the Chase so that is probably the only thing personally that I have to worry about.”
– Kevin Harvick was asked if he anticipated any happening between Elliott Sadler & Kyle Busch last night during the Nationwide race considering the skirmish the two had during the Truck race on Wednesday:
“First off, I do not have any reason to talk to Kyle. I was not even involved in any portion of the incident. Second off, hopefully he went back and watched the race. The first thing that happened was he shoved him (Sadler) up the racetrack and he got mad because Elliott (Sadler) ran in the back of him, and then he drove over the front of him and wrecked himself. It is just old Kyle I guess showed up last week and really laid into the fact that he was kind of pouting because he was getting his butt whipped. Keeps running his mouth he might get it whipped off the track.”
Jimmie Johnson (right), driver of the No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet, signs a fan’s shoulder on pit road after qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway on Aug. 19 in Brooklyn, Mich. (Credit: Wesley Hitt/Getty Images for NASCAR)
So why is he retiring?
Patrick Carpentier of the No. 99 NAPA Auto Parts Toyota signs autographs for fans prior to the NAPA Auto Parts 200 at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve on Aug. 20 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. (Credit: Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images)
David Reutimann, driver of the No. 00 Aaron’s Dream Machine Toyota, signs autographs on pit road after qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway on Aug. 19 in Brooklyn, Mich. (Credit: Wesley Hitt/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Get this man a contract! Enough already!
Clint Bowyer, driver of the No. 33 Cheerios/Hamburger Helper Chevrolet, climbs in his car in the garage during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway on Aug. 19 in Brooklyn, Mich. (Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Dale Earnhardt Jr. (right), driver of the No. 88 National Guard/Amp Energy Chevrolet, signs autographs for fans after qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway on Aug. 19 in Brooklyn, Mich. (Credit: Wesley Hitt/Getty Images for NASCAR)
A fan takes a photo with Kasey Kahne (left), driver of the No. 4 Red Bull Toyota, during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway on Aug. 20 in Brooklyn, Mich. (Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Kyle Busch, driver of the No. 18 Interstate Batteries Toyota, celebrates after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway on Aug. 21 in Brooklyn, Mich. (Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Congratulations to David Ragan and the No. 6 UPS team on winning the COKE ZERO 400 at Daytona! It’s been a long time coming! And if there was ever a driver that NEEDED to win right now it was David Ragan. I loved his post-race interview where the TNT reporter (can’t remember who it was, Matt Yocum?) tried EVERYTHING to try and get some sort emotional reaction from David and nothing happened. It was kind of anti-climactic. We love an emotional winner, and you’d think a first-timer would have brought something to the party.
Oh welly, David doesn’t need to cry for me to know that it means a lot. I’m happy for the guy.
Must talk about the sight of Andy Lally driving all by his lonesome during the race. Having a “partner” is the only way you’re going to do anything at Daytona these days and Andy didn’t have anybody for a while there. It brought me right back to junior high school P.E. class and dreading having to be picked for someone’s team (for some dumb activity that all the boys always took WAY too seriously). Ugh, it made me sad for him. I understand why guys didn’t want to work with him because they didn’t know what he was capable of, but still it was hard to watch. It’s the nature of the beast, though.
It was sunny everywhere in the Bay Area EXCEPT at the Golden Gate Bridge on Wednesday. It was the San Francisco cliche: totally foggy. I arrived at the the north side of the bridge to take part in the Cheerios Walk for a Healthy Heart event with NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Clint Bowyer (left). Over 100 fans showed up and received free commemorative t-shirts plus the opportunity to mingle with their fave driver.
As we all know by now, this year Kurt Busch has been arriving at the track without his wedding ring and without his wife, Eva. So last weekend at Pocono when Kurt was seen standing at his car for the invocation and National Anthem with another blonde that wasn’t his wife it sent tongues wagging. The woman by his side (seen here and here) is Patricia Driscoll, President and Executive Director of the Armed Forces Foundation. Sources tell me that the two met through Ms. Driscoll’s foundation’s work with traumatic brain injuries.
I have no idea if there is in any relationship there other than a professional one or plain old friendship. Kurt has yet to announce a divorce from Eva, so it’s anybody’s guess as to what’s going on there.
In other news…
Next week is the Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Infineon Raceway way in Sonoma. I’ll be there so I’m REALLY excited about it. But before any racing gets started there are a couple events you should know about:
– On Wednesday, June 22nd Clint Bowyer will meetup with fans for the Cheerios Walk for a Healthy Heart across the Golden Gate Bridge. The walk will depart from the north side of the iconic bridge at noon. If you want to join Clint for the event go to Ghirardelli Square at 11 a.m. for FREE transportation to the walk. I’ll be there too, so make sure you say “Hi!”
– On Thursday, June 23rd Infineon Raceway is hosting a parade of up to 50 NASCAR haulers through the streets of Sacramento under a full police escort. This will be the first ever hauler parade in Northern California, and will serve as the Sacramento kickoff to the Toyota/Save Mart 350 weekend. The parade will depart from its starting location at 2 p.m., cross the Tower Bridge and do a loop around the State Capitol.
– Help me raise $125,000 for My NASCAR Year 2012 project. Just donating $5 helps me reach my goal. We raised $205 in one day, let’s keep it going! Learn More
The image I created in my head of Richard Childress getting Kyle Busch in a headlock and beating him up far surpasses any actual image of the incident that you could show me (if one even exists). I can’t help but laugh at the whole thing. It’s just too much. Childress was fined $150,000 for the incident and put on probation by NASCAR. When they give fines I think they should be the same number as the person’s car number, so Childress should of been fined $180,000 for Kyle’s #18 truck. NASCAR should maintain a NASCAR theme at all times.
Ya know what’s annoying? Yesterday’s race was Brad Keselowski’s second NASCAR Sprint Cup Series win, his first with Penske, and the commentators didn’t bring that up until he crossed the finish line. I find that annoying because I would like that information up front–with laps to go–so that I can get all emotional and worried for the guy. They do it for Dale Earnhardt Jr. ALL the time. They’ve got that “Races since last win” graphic queued up, always ready to go.
I feel like we didn’t get to really appreciate the fullness of the moment for Brad because nobody talked about the significance of it all that much. Kinda lame.
While I certainly don’t dislike the Fox broadcast team, I am REALLY excited about TNT’s coverage because I’m looking for a change of pace. It’ll be good to get a different perspective, until we get another perspective when ESPN/ABC takes over later this year.
My only question right now is: Can it be time for Infineon’s race now?? Please! I’ll be there and I cannot wait for that race weekend. I know it’s going to be superfun, but let’s hope this ridiculously cold & rainy weather we’ve been having doesn’t last through that weekend. I’m ordering perfect weather; not too hot, not too cold, but just right.
There were three races yesterday. The Grand Prix of Monaco, the Indianapolis 500 and the Coca-Cola 600.
As much as I would LOVE to visit Monaco, I’m not going to pretend that I give a flying fig about Formula 1 racing. It’s interesting I’m sure, but I’ve found that men that follow it are particularly annoying to talk to about any other kind of racing and that has turned me off to it entirely. Yes, I’m basing my opinion of Formula 1 racing off of random encounters with douchebags, and I’m totally OK with that. I’m sure there a lot of really nice Formula 1 fans out there, so please don’t leave me any annoying comments. Anyway, I’ve watched some F1 races and it doesn’t really do much for me. (“Random Encounters with Douchebags” would make a great book and/or movie title, right? Story of my life)
On the other hand I do hope that Kimi Raikkonen will try his hand at NASCAR Sprint Cup Series racing at Infineon Raceway next month. Why? Because I’ll be there and new blood is always cool.
So on to the Coca-Cola 600. I’m happy for Kevin Harvick and the No. 29 Budweiser team for winning the race. I just wish it could have been Dale Earnhardt Jr. instead.
I thought they would have thrown a caution on that last crash, and I find it curious that they didn’t. NASCAR really isn’t helping themselves or Dale Earnhardt Jr. in being inconsistent in their use of the yellow flag. It seems weird to me that there wouldn’t have been any debris on the track after all the contact that happened.
Whatever, we move on to the next race!
Yea, I said it!
The most interesting thing about the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race was the the driver & crew introductions. I’m not even kidding.
Seriously, did ANYTHING happen during that race? I really think everybody saying, “Ooooh, there’s no points at stake, anything can happen!!! the gloves are really gonna come off! Squee!!!” really made it lame. It was just boring. And come to think about it, why would no points at stake and a million dollars be that much more of a motivation for them? Winning the Championship is a far, far bigger deal than the All-Star race will ever be, so I’m not expecting anyone to go above and beyond to win it.
It’s not good when a race ends and I’m just indifferent, like it didn’t even happen.
Also, I find it really interesting how NASCAR drivers can get away with acting like they need a million dollars. Ok, throw in some Nationwide Series or Truck Series guys, or even better, the dudes in the K&N Pro Series, and you’d see a REAL dash for cash. Carl Edwards could ALREADY afford to put his kids through college, this race wasn’t going to be the difference between them going or not.
Anyhoo… here are some photos!
Saturday’s Nationwide Series 5-hour ENERGY 200 was more entertaining than Sunday’s Sprint Cup Series FedEx 400 Benefiting Autism Speaks because, ya know, stuff happened.
Not that you ever want to see anyone get hurt, but Saturday had some crazy crashes and all of the drivers walked away totally OK. Although crew guy, Glen Wheeler, for the No. 33 Kevin Harvick Inc. team did sustain an injury to his left leg and was held at a hospital overnight for his injury. It’s crazy that the debris that hit him came from the car he works on. I couldn’t believe Clint Bowyer’s crash. That was insane. When incidents like that happen at Dover they’re always insane. Hopefully Mr. Wheeler will be A-OK.
Sunday was cool and all, who doesn’t love babies in Victory Lane? But it was one of those races where if you talked to me five minutes after it was over and asked me what happened, I wouldn’t be able to tell you. Sometimes it’s like that and then sometimes it’s like last week at Darlington and you can’t stop talking about it. Nevertheless, congratulations to Matt Kenseth and the No. 17 WileyX team. I think that was the second WileyX sponsored race for the No. 17 Roush Fenway Racing team, so that’s pretty good for their second time out!
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:
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.
I woke up at 4:30am to the sounds of soft rock playing from my alarm clock. I marveled for a moment at the fact that I didn’t feel super horrible waking up that early in the morning. I usually feel terrible and have to think of a million things to psych myself up to get going but I didn’t have to that last Thursday morning.
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…
– 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.
– 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.
Now that I’ve finally finished up my Vegas posts I can get to some of the other stuff that’s happened recently.
Monday night was the finale of the 15th season of “The Bachelor.” I was surprised to see Emily Maynard “win” (I don’t like to think of it as “winning” so much as just being the best person for that particular person ’cause those other women aren’t losers, ya know what I mean?) and become engaged to Brad Womack. I’m happy for her, but I’m also really happy that she thought it best to wait to get married until after they’ve lived with each other in the “real” world. All in all definitely hope for the best for those two.
So here’s the fun/interesting news tip that Tara S. sent me. Apparently the newest Miss Sprint Cup, Kim Coon was a contestant on this season of The Bachelor, as well. I had no idea there was another NASCAR connection on the show. Kim was eliminated at the 3rd rose ceremony.
In other news…
– NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Jamie McMurray swapped rides with IndyCar Series driver Scott Dixon today at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Alabama.
McMurray, on the car-swapping opportunity: I think it’s cool that the racetracks came together and were able to let us help promote those races and make it fun for us. For me, getting to drive this is a great opportunity. It’s a lot of money to come and do something like this, so it worked out well that they were already here testing. For Chip to bring his car down to Talladega and let Scott drive it, it’s hard to put those two together, because it costs so much money.
Dixon, on the possibility of becoming a Sprint Cup driver: Well, there’s no $5 million prize in NASCAR, so no, I’m not going. (Laughing.) Obviously, I’m intrigued by it. Sprint Cup is a massive sport, and has a huge following. I think the thing that’s most intriguing, as you’ve seen by the people who have tried to make the transition or have made the transition, it’s 43 cars that are very, very tight and very, very close. I think the tough part for me would be actually doing the 36 races a year. That’s a lot of travel.
(All photos courtesy of INDYCAR)
– In his pre-race press release for Bristol, Clint Bowyer shared the story of what happened after his engine blew up at the spring race at Bristol last year:
You finished 40th last year after you blew an engine. What do you do after? Do you hang out? Go home?
“You have to go home and it’s not much fun. Funny story – I was driving and on my way home I about ripped the leather off the steering wheel because I was so mad. I pulled in to get gas down the road and the cashier had a little TV behind the counter watching the race. I told him how much money I put in and he looked at me, looked at the TV, looked at me again and said ‘why are you here?’ I said ‘long story; don’t ask.’ It was actually pretty funny.”
– REMINDER: Enter to win a Richard Petty Driving Experience ride-along at Bristol in August.
I set out for my Las Vegas adventure last Wednesday. I drove my VW Eos for 9 hours all the while listening to “The Howard Stern Show.” This was during the height of the Charlie Sheen craziness so the sound clip of Charlie uttering his trademark “Winning” catchphrase has been permanently emblazoned on my brain. It is the one word to describe my entire race weekend experience. But not in a “I’m losing so bad I’m winning” way, it’s more of an “I feel like I’m actually winning, doing good and making progress” kind of way.
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.
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)
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)
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) 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) 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)
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)
(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)
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)
(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 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 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)
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)
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)
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)
I’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).
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|
|Clint Bowyer||Travis Kvapil|
|Ryan Newman||Dale Earnhardt Jr.|
|Tony Stewart||Kasey Kahne|
|Casey Mears||Elliott Sadler|
|Martin Truex Jr.||Jeff Gordon|
|Paul Menard||Matt Kenseth|
|Regan Smith||Denny Hamlin|
Voting for Round Three is over! Check out Round Four!
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|
Awww, man! The only NASCAR drivers included in the Gillette Young Guns “Class of 2011″ are Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch. Nothing against them, of course. I’m just sad that Kasey Kahne, Clint Bowyer and Carl Edwards aren’t included.
Still, I think Denny and Kyle do a good job of representing NASCAR.
Here’s the video introducing the new Young Guns and after that is a behind the scenes video with Denny and Kyle.
Meet Kyle Busch:
Meet Denny Hamlin:
Clint Bowyer, driver of the No. 33 Cheerios Chevrolet for Richard Childress Racing, is a character for sure. He’s a funny guy and I’m really happy with how this interview turned out–I laughed while I transcribed it! Hopefully all of that comes through. In addition to the questions below I asked Clint if he had any special plans for the off-season and he said, “Whatever I want, that’s what’s nice about the off-season you have the opportunity to do whatever you want for a while.”
This ranks up there as one of my favorites for sure. I had to leave in our conversation about these answers because without it, it just wouldn’t make sense and it makes it funnier.
What is your favorite word? *laughter* I can’t tell you
What is your least favorite word? No
What turns you on? Everything. Well, this is not fair! *laughter* (Me: Yes it is!) What turns me on? Uh, cars.
What turns you off? Penalties. Penalties suck.
What sound or noise do you love? An engine turning 9500 RPM.
What sound or noise do you hate? An engine expiring.
What is your favorite curse word? I cannot tell you that. I like ‘em all. I put ‘em all in play, put it that way.
What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? *laughter* I don’t know, give me a good one, what would you do? You gotta help me sound cool. (Me: Uhh, I don’t know, an actor?) Uh, a rockstar.
What profession would you not like to do? Uh, man. How about that one, what profession would we not want to do? This is collective group effort. (Me: I’ve heard sewage stuff, trash collector) I was going to say shit hauler would be bad. Shit hauler. Is this going to be on, like, public record? (Me: It’s going to be on a blog on the internet, it’s going to be there forever) Oh great, the internet’s forever? I don’t know, help me come up with a better one then. (Me: An office job where you have to sit in one place?) Uhm, man, I don’t know. Try to keep track of me, put it that way.
If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates? What would I like him to say? Welcome! *laughter*
Read more of my “Inside the Actor’s Studio” questionnaire interviews in the archives and read about how it all started with Tony Stewart.
This year’s crop of racing-related commercials found drivers singing, professing their love of love and playing poker with Big Foot. Here is my list of the best commercials of 2010:
Tony Stewart Burger King Employee
My absolute favorite commercial of the year because it was real. Tony really did work at a Burger King and the result was really funny. I know it would be copying but I really think Lowe’s should put Jimmie Johnson to work in one of their stores. He’d be great at selling appliances, dontcha think?
The Sponsifier program was a big hit this year and it’s gotta be because their commercials were hilarious. I will never be able to get the line “I want Kyle Busch in a pink car and a pink suit” out of my mind or Joey Logano’s chainmail outfit and that look of utter disgust on his face.
Gillette Young Guns & Big Foot
Because Big Foot is a sore loser. I find that idea to be really funny.
Mario Andretti Honda
How adorable is Mario Andretti? Like, really adorable. All because he says “I’m hungry.” I love it.
Coca-Cola Drivers Sing it Out
People who can’t sing (or aren’t known for singing) and then unexpectedly start singing is a recipe for hilarity.
Honorable Mention: Gillette Young Guns Wedding
Because I just like Clint Bowyer in this one. We need more commercials with Clint flexing his funny bone in 2011!
Friday, December 3rd was the day of the 2010 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards Ceremony & Banquet at the Wynn Las Vegas.
NASCAR After The Lap started off mostly like last year, with hostess Jamie Little asking the drivers questions submitted by fans. There were a few new wrinkles like some of the fans asking the questions in person, and the drivers walking in through the crowd with Jimmie Johnson making his grand entrance in his No 48 Lowe’s Chevy.
Immediately following the press room session with the Chase drivers at the Bellagio, I got on the bus taking the media over to the starting line in front of Planet Hollywood for the Victory Lap down The Strip (aka Las Vegas Boulevard).
Thursday was filled with events including the NMPA Myers Brothers Awards Luncheon, the Victory Lap and After The Lap at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino.
I arrived in Las Vegas on Wednesday morning-ish. I checked in at my hotel, ARIA Hotel & Casino at CityCenter. I am giving this hotel two thumbs up because when I opened the door to my room (that unlocked after only having to wave my room key in front of the keypad above the door handle) music began to play and the curtains pulled back on their own revealing floor to ceiling windows facing a skyline of mountains.
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!)
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.
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)
As the campaign to prove that Jimmie Johnson isn’t vanilla rolls on, I thought it would be fun to assign an ice cream flavor to each of the drivers in The Chase for the Sprint Cup Series Championship.
I don’t know why Jimmie would mind being vanilla, I mean, it’s a classic and reliable flavor (how do you mess up vanilla??). It’s a trusty, go-to flavor, and doesn’t that make sense for him since we rely on him to win all the time? I’m just sayin’.
1.) Jimmie Johnson – Ben & Jerry’s New York Super Fudge Chunk: He has a house in New York and this is as far away from Vanilla as possible. Happy, Jimmie??
2.) Denny Hamlin – Ben & Jerry’s Neapolitan Dynamite: Because Denny is the only one that sort of reminds me of Napoleon Dynamite.
3.) Kevin Harvick – Ben & Jerry’s Chubby Hubby: He’s not chubby, but he is a hubby.
4.) Jeff Gordon – Rocky Road: It’s been one for, like, the past 2 or 3 years, right?
5.) Kyle Busch – Pistachio: I’m not a fan of Pistachio
6.) Carl Edwards – Vanilla frozen yogurt: Carl is all about eating healthy (Subway!), and staying ab-tacular, so this is all he can have.
7.) Tony Stewart – Ben & Jerry’s Chunky Monkey: He had a monkey once.
8.) Matt Kenseth – Ben & Jerry’s Imagine Whirled Peace: He never gets into fights, ok there was that time with Jeff Gordon, but overall Kenseth is Switzerland.
9.) Kurt Busch – Rum Raisin: Alcohol, there’s no such thing as beer ice cream.
10.) Jeff Burton – Ben & Jerry’s Stephen Colbert’s AmeriCone Dream: This happens to be my favorite Ben & Jerry’s flavor and it’s also the only flavor that is remotely related to politics, and ya know Jeff Burton will be a politician somewhere, someday. Just go with me on this OK?
11.) Greg Biffle – Ben & Jerry’s Phish Food: Can’t you imagine Biffle relaxin’ with some of this yummy chocolately, caramely, marshmallowy, fudge fishy goodness?
12. ) Clint Bowyer – Ben & Jerry’s Maple Blondie: He’s blonde, duh.
I’m finally writing again! I have so much stuff to post for you guys, please bear with me while I get everything up. There are new Inside the Actor’s Studio interviews coming too. I’m in Las Vegas this weekend for Blog World & New Media Expo, but I’m planning on getting a lot of writing done as well. So stay tuned…
Last Thursday I drove seven and half hours down to Southern California for the start of my Auto Club Speedway/Pepsi Max 400 race weekend.
As I was driving I tried to think of new & interesting questions for Tony Stewart. Tony was having an autograph session at the Office Depot in Rancho Cucamonga that day and he had an open media session before he starting signing things for fans. Yet again I found myself having a hard time thinking of more questions for Tony. I really loved how well my first interview went with him that I didn’t want to ruin it by asking more questions and having it be lame.
Jimmie Johnson got to celebrate his win of the AAA 400 at Dover International Speedway with his wife, Chandra and their new almost 3-month-old baby daughter, Genevieve. It was, as expected, absolutely adorable to see Jimmie looking so lovingly at his daughter.
This is surely Genevieve’s first of many trips to Victory Lane with her daddy. I can’t help but turn this simple beautiful moment into something competitive and so I can’t help but think about how Genevieve has already beaten Jeff Gordon’s 3-year-old daughter, Ella, at something. She got to celebrate with her papa first. It’s silly, I know, and yes, while Ella hasn’t physically been in Victory Lane she did get to celebrate her dad’s win at Texas after the fact that one time, but still it wasn’t the same.
I guess Ella can take solace in the fact that Genevieve won’t remember last Sunday anyway. Although, Ella has a lot to be proud of, she’s accomplished a lot in the last three years. The two wines — a chardonnay and a pinot noir — that her dad named after her won awards and she designed a paint scheme for her dad’s car. So there.
UPDATE: Sarah, an awesome commenter, has corrected me. Ella has been with her dad in victory lane when she was really little. (this photo is proof) I stand corrected, Ella and Genevieve are even! Thanks Sarah!
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the Lowe’s/Kobalt Tools Chevrolet, celebrates in Victory Lane with daughter Genevieve Marie and wife Chandra after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AAA 400 at Dover International Speedway on September 26, 2010 in Dover, Delaware. (Photo by Geoff Burke/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Absolutely loved the first race in The Chase for the Sprint Cup Series Championship! Clint Bowyer won it! Yaaay!
You know what this means? It means that The Chase will not be a predictable bore-fest. It’s going to be fun and intriguing and it’s not going to suck. Of course now that I’ve said that Jimmie Johnson will proceed to win the next 9 races.
I slept through the pre-race show ’cause I thought it all started at 10am PST, but that’s when the race started. That meant that I missed the pit road debut of little Genevieve Marie Johnson who is cute as a button (see below)!
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the Lowe’s / Johns Manville Chevrolet, holds his baby daughter Genevieve Marie as he stands on the grid prior to the start of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on September 19, 2010 in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
The perils of being Miss Sprint Cup
Team owner Richard Childress celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on September 19, 2010 in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo by Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Kiss my granite!
Clint Bowyer, driver of the Cheerios / Hamburger Helper Chevrolet, kisses the start/finish line after he won the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on September 19, 2010 in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo by Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Sorry but one photo wasn’t enough!
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the Lowe’s / Johns Manville Chevrolet, holds his baby daughter Genevieve Marie as his wife Chandra looks on from the grid prior to the start of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on September 19, 2010 in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
Scott Speed, driver of the Red Bull Toyota, walks back to the garage after his car suffered damage on track during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on September 19, 2010 in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo by Tom Whitmore/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Little Kaylin is rocking some supercute True Religion Brand Jeans.
Matt Kenseth, driver of the Crown Royal Ford, looks at his daughter Kaylin Nicola on the grid during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on September 19, 2010 in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo by Tom Whitmore/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the JEGS.com Chevrolet, stands on the grid with his wife DeLana prior to the start of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series TheRaceDayRaffleSeries.com 175 at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway on September 18, 2010 in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo by Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR)
So, I’m guessing nobody called Carl Edwards (or Kurt Busch for that matter) to tell him that the dress code options for the Chase Media Day in New York City this week were two things: plaid shirts or black shirts.
Carl looks like he’s running for president, while the rest of the drivers in the Chase for the Sprint Cup Championship just look like regular dudes.
I am a big fan of plaid so I applaud Denny Hamlin and Clint Bowyer for their choices. You think they called each other the night before and were all “What are you gonna wear??” Hehe. That idea tickles me.
Denny Hamlin, driver of the FedEx Small Business car, signs Sprint Cup posters during the NASCAR Media Day event at the London Hotel on September 15, 2010 in New York City. (Photo by John W. Ferguson/Getty Images)
While I’m not sure who I “want” to win the Championship this year, I can tell you who I think will win it and who I’m sure definitely will not.
I’ve had a feeling for some time now that Denny Hamlin would claim the 2010 Sprint Cup Series Championship, I’m not entirely sure why I feel that way but it just seems like the right thing. I think this kid is determined and it seems like it’s his time.
Now, on to who I think definitely will not win the Championship and that would be Jimmie Johnson. Not because he’s not capable, a duh he’s won 4 in a row, but because everyone else in the Chase wants it more. I think there has to be something to seeing Jimmie win it every year and I think these guys are psyched and pumped to make sure he doesn’t win a 5th. I just think the other guys want and NEED this Championship more than Jimmie does and therefore they’re going to do everything within their power to make sure they’re tops this year.
Clint Bowyer, driver of the Cheerios/Hamburger Helper Chevrolet, stands in the garage during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Air Guard 400 at Richmond International Raceway on September 10, 2010 in Richmond, Virginia. (Photo by Jerry Markland/Getty Images)
I missed the Carfax 400 at Michigan International Speedway on Sunday because I was busy driving two of my nephews (ages 9 and 11) from their home in Los Angeles to my mom’s house in the SF Bay Area. I love my nephews more than words can say but spending 7 hours in a car with them is not something I really want to do again. Who knew that doing word search puzzles could be a competitive thing??
Anyway, I did catch some of the race action from SIRIUS Satellite Radio’s coverage with MRN, but the boys were more interested in hearing music from Drake and, amazingly enough, Katy Perry’s song “California Gurls.”
In between pop music stints I did learn that Kevin Harvick won and that Dale Earnhardt Jr. dropped a couple curse words while being interviewed by ESPN’s Marty Smith.
So this post is going to be super duper photo heavy. Enjoy!
Delana Harvick takes a photo of her husband, Kevin Harvick (29), after he wins the Carfax 400 race at the Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, MI.
Don’t you just want to eat him up? So adorable! I’m talking about the baby, not Tony.
Tony Stewart, driver of the Office Depot / Old Spice Chevrolet talks with Gavin Grubb, son of Stewart’s crew chief Darian Grubb,during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series CARFAX 400 at Michigan International Speedway on August 15, 2010 in Brooklyn, Michigan. (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Jack Roush during the Carfax 400 race at the Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, MI.
Martin Truex Jr. (L), driver of the NAPA Toyota, and Sherry Pollex, stand on the grid during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series CARFAX 400 at Michigan International Speedway on August 15, 2010 in Brooklyn, Michigan. (Photo by Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Clint Bowyer, driver of the Cheerios / Hamburger Helper Chevrolet and guest stand on the grid for the National Anthem during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series CARFAX 400 at Michigan International Speedway on August 15, 2010 in Brooklyn, Michigan. (Photo by Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Jamie McMurray, driver of the Philips Norelco Chevrolet, talks with his wife Christy grid during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series CARFAX 400 at Michigan International Speedway on August 15, 2010 in Brooklyn, Michigan. (Photo by Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Greg Biffle, driver of the 3M Ford, stands on the grid with his wife Nicole for the playing of the National Anthem during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series CARFAX 400 at Michigan International Speedway on August 15, 2010 in Brooklyn, Michigan. (Photo by Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Nationwide driver Brad Keselowski celebrates with his mother after winning the Car Fax 250 at the Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Michigan.
Joey Logano (20) and girlfriend, Sabrina Simpson, before the start of the Carfax 250 race at the Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, MI.
Carl Edwards stands with his wife, Kate, and mother, Nancy Sterling, during pre-race ceremonies for the Carfax 250 race at the Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, MI.
It’s funny when you don’t realize you want something so bad until there’s a chance it can actually happen. For me that was the possibility of AJ Allmendinger getting his first win at Watkins Glen yesterday. He was chargin’, running up front with those guys and it really seemed like it could of been his day.
Well, he didn’t win, Mr. Juan Pablo Montoya did, but I had a lot of fun cheering for AJ. I don’t have anything against Juan Pablo, but during the race when I was imagining who would have a better, more fun, reaction to winning in Victory Lane AJ won hands down. You know he would be waaaaaay more excited and happy and thankful if he’d won that race than Juan was. I love a first-time win, what can I say?
Anyway, congrats to Juan Pablo and the No. 42 Target Chevy team. And bonus congrats to crew chief Brian Pattie for his first Sprint Cup Series win, it was sweet to see his emotions post-race.
Even though I’ve never been to Watkins Glen I think it’s beautiful there. From what I can see on TV it looks fabulous and I really, really wanna go to the next race there. Hopefully that’ll happen next year. Watkins Glen is right up there with Bristol, Daytona and Talladega as the tracks that I want to visit the most.
I know the drivers might not agree but I really wish there were more road course races in the Sprint Cup Series schedule. I love ‘em. It jumbles everything, in terms of the race itself and the points standings. I guess as a Dale Earnhardt Jr. fan I shouldn’t wish for that but I have confidence in my driver no matter what, and one day that guy will prevail at a road course.
Denny Hamlin, driver of the FedEx Freight Toyota, stands on the grid with girlfriend Jordan Fish prior to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at Watkins Glen International on August 8, 2010 in Watkins Glen, New York. (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
Driver Jamie McMurray of Earnhardt Ganassi Racing sits on the steps of the Sprint Cup Series hauler on Friday before practice for the Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at the Glen at Watkins Glen, New York
Ryan Newman, driver of the US Army Chevrolet, and his wife Krissie, stand on the grid prior to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at Watkins Glen International on August 8, 2010 in Watkins Glen, New York. (Photo by Todd Warshaw/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Boris Said, driver of the Red Bull Toyota, stands on the grid with his family during the National Anthem prior to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at Watkins Glen International on August 8, 2010 in Watkins Glen, New York. (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
(left to right) Clint Bowyer, Tony Stewart, Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon, Jeff Burton, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Elliott Sadler hang out together before driver introductions for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at Watkins Glen International.
Juan Pablo Montoya clowns around with Tony Stewart prior to the start of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at Watkins Glen International.
Mobil 1 driver Sam Hornish Jr. holds his daughter, Addison, before climbing into the car during qualifying for Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at the Glen at Watkins Glen International, Watkins Glen, NY.
Marcos Ambrose (47) celebrates winning the Zippo 200 at Watkins Glen International in Watkins Glen, NY.
Martin Truex Jr.’s (56) helmet sits on his car during qualifying for the Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at The Glen race at Watkins Glen International in Watkins Glen, NY.
Bo Bice looks on during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at Watkins Glen International on August 7, 2010 in Watkins Glen, New York. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Max Papis, driver of the GEICO Toyota, looks on during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at Watkins Glen International on August 7, 2010 in Watkins Glen, New York. (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images for NASCAR)
A.J. Allmendinger (L), driver of the Insignia HDTV Ford, stands on the grid during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at Watkins Glen International on August 7, 2010 in Watkins Glen, New York. (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images for NASCAR)
People always love to talk about NASCAR needs, ‘cause NASCAR always needs something, I guess. I never like writing or talking about stuff like that because I don’t think NASCAR is in a dire situation for anything. So what’s the point of talking about what would help it if I don’t think it needs help?
With that being said, if NASCAR does need something right now it would be what happened last night. David Reutimann won the LifeLock.com 400 at Chicagoland Speedway and while the race as a whole was kinda boring, it was pure awesomeness to see David win a race without the help of weather issues for the first time. He and his No. 00 Aaron’s Dream Machine team won the race fair and square. I loved seeing the emotion in his face and that of his crew chief Rodney Childers. Rodney apologized for all of his emotion while talking to the TNT crew, but he shouldn’t have. He earned that win and he should let those feelings roll, he earned it.
And don’t forget to re-read my Inside the Actor’s Studio interview with David. hehe.
In other news…
– At race time yesterday Jimmie and Chandra Johnson had yet to announce the name of their new baby girl, but today they finally shared her name, Genevieve Marie Johnson, along with a picture of the cutie pahtootie newborn. Raise your hand if you have the same middle name as Genevieve. I do! I do!
– 20-year-old Austin Dillon, grandson of team owner Richard Childress, won his first career NASCAR race today in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Lucas Oil 200 at Iowa Speedway. Congratulations Austin! Who doesn’t love a first-time winner?
They’re hugging like this because they’re friends in real life.
Actor Angie Harmon greets Jimmie Johnson, driver of the Lowe’s Chevrolet during driver introductions for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series LIFELOCK.COM 400 at the Chicagoland Speedway on July 10, 2010 in Joliet, Illinois. (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images for NASCAR)
“Big Mac”, love that.
Jamie McMurray waits for the race action to begin for the LifeLock.com 400 race at the Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, IL.
Austin Dillon, driver of the Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet poses with his little brother Ty Dillon, driver of the Karl Chevrolet Arca car after both of them won the pole awards at Iowa Speedway on July 10, 2010 in Newton, Iowa. Austin won the pole award after qualifying first for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Lucas Oil 200 and Ty won the pole award for the ARCA Prairie 200. (Photo by John Sommers II/Getty Images)
Carl Edwards and his mother, Nancy Sterlin, during pre-race ceremonies for the Dollar General 300 race at the Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, IL.
David Ragan (6) during practice for the LifeLock.com 400 race at the Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, IL.
Kevin Harvick, driver of the Jimmy John’s Chevrolet and his wife DeLana stand for the National Anthem during the NASCAR Nationwide Series Dollar General 300 Powered by Coca-Cola at the Chicagoland Speedway on July 9, 2010 in Joliet, Illinois. (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Reed Sorenson, driver of the Red Bull Toyota looks on from the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series LIFELOCK.COM 400 at the Chicagoland Speedway on July 9, 2010 in Joliet, Illinois. (Photo by Todd Warshaw/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Clint Bowyer, driver of the Cheerios Chevrolet looks on from the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series LIFELOCK.COM 400 at the Chicagoland Speedway on July 9, 2010 in Joliet, Illinois. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Duncan Keith of the NHL’s Chicago Blackhawks gives the command for the drivers to start their engines during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series LIFELOCK.COM 400 at the Chicagoland Speedway on July 10, 2010 in Joliet, Illinois. (Photo by Todd Warshaw/Getty Images for NASCAR)
The Coke Zero 400 was fun? I guess that’s the right word to describe a night that was full of crashy-crashes that seemed to take out, like, the entire field of cars. Only 17 out of 43 cars completed all 166 laps of the race. And that’s why Daytona will always be one of my absolute favorite tracks.
Congratulations to Kevin Harvick and the #29 crew for pulling out the win. I’m happy for them but I was actually hoping Clint Bowyer would be the Richard Childress Racing driver to run away with it. I guess it just wasn’t meant to be for Clint just yet.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. finished 4th which catapulted him into the top-12 in the points standings. Now all he needs to do is just STAY THERE. Seriously, please, just stay RIGHT WHERE YOU ARE.
I’d like to remind you guys that my Wiley X sunglasses contest is still going on, you’ve got until July 9th to submit your entry! The prize is worth $150! I think this is the most expensive thing I’ve ever given away on this site.
Photo fun time after the jump!!
Drew Blickensderfer waits for practice to begin for the Nationwide Series Subway Jalapeno 250 powered by Coca-Cola race at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, FL. (photo: ZumaPress)
This is just a great photo.
Kasey Kahne, driver of the Budweiser Ford, stands on the grid during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway on July 2, 2010 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Sam Hornish Jr. (R), driver of the Mobil 1 Dodge, kisses his daughter Addison after qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway on July 2, 2010 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
Darius Rucker performs on stage during the concert held prior to the the Coke Zero 400 race of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series held in the Daytona International circuit in Florida, USA on 03 July 2010.
Juan Pablo Montoya kisses his daughter while waiting for the start of qualifying for the NASCAR Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida on July 2, 2010. (UPI Photo/Martin Fried Photo via Newscom)
Carl Edwards, driver of the SUBWAY Ford, holds an umbrella on the grid as as rain cancels qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway on July 2, 2010 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Tony Stewart prepares for the Coke Zero 400 race at the Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, FL.
Professional tennis player John Isner sits on the pit box of Matt Kenseth, driver of the Jeremiah Weed Ford, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway on July 3, 2010 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
Members of Jimmie Johnson’s team rush Mark Martin to safety after a turn 4 wreck during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida on July 3, 2010. (UPI Photo/Martin Fried Photo via Newscom)
Kevin Harvick driver of the Shell/Penzoil Chevrolet celebrates with his wife Delana (L) his victory in the Coke Zero 400 held in the Daytona International Speedway in Florida, USA on 03 July 2010.
The Coke Zero Fan 400 is the first-ever race-within-a-race that allows fans to help their favorite Coca-Cola Racing Family drivers win by simply “liking” them on CokeZero.com. As drivers accumulate “votes” online they move up in the race standings.
Fans who vote for the driver who wins the Coke Zero Fan 400 earn a chance to receive a free 20-ounce Coke Zero to celebrate the win. In addition, Coke Zero will donate $10,000 to the NASCAR Foundation on behalf of the winner of the online race.
Each member of the Coca-Cola Racing Family competing in the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway on July 3 also will participate in the Fan 400. Fans can begin voting for their favorite drivers on CokeZero.com today. Voting ends following the finish of the Coke Zero 400.
Now, here’s the fun part. Drivers like Denny Hamlin, David Ragan, Clint Bowyer and Jeff Burton made videos imploring fans to vote for them. I’ve found Jeff Burton’s to be the most LOL inducing. See for yourself after the jump!
I mean, really. Let’s recap… He’s very good looking. He’s married to a model. He’s gonna be a daddy. He’s making millions of dollars as a race car driver. He’s won an unprecedented 4 Sprint Cup Series Championships in a row. He’s got the smartest crew chief. He’s just won two races in a row. He won the Pepsi Refresh Project competition he was in versus Jeff Gordon and Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Sheesh! Jimmie, knock it off! I kid, I kid.
Actually, now that I read that, if Jimmie ever feels down (why would he?) he can read that paragraph and it should perk him right up again.
Photos from New Hampshire after the jump!
On the morning of the Toyota/SaveMart 350 I attended the NASCAR Tweetup held in front of Victory Lane. It was there that I met an awesome ‘Fabulous’ reader, Angela (aka @caligirl88 on Twitter). She was super nice and she totally surprised me because I wasn’t expecting to meet anyone that read my blog. Thanks again Angela for your kind words!
After checking in with Dawn, my fabulous friend who is the queen of efficient packing for NASCAR races (she also makes great cupcakes!), I headed over to the driver’s lounge for the driver’s meeting. For some reason my memory of that room was that it was much, much bigger than it actually is. Once the meeting started we were packed in there like sardines. Even some drivers and crew chiefs had to stand.
Nothing earth shattering happened in the driver’s meeting but I like being in there and knowing that I’m in there with ALL 43 drivers. It’s kinda neat. Matt Kenseth was the first driver in the room, showing up 30 minutes early, which is smart move if you want to get a seat. I find his punctuality refreshing.
Post-driver’s meeting I met up with Kristen (read her blog) and the No. 2 Miller Lite “Brew Crew” as they walked their Dodge through inspection. I don’t remember if I’ve ever talked about Kristen before, I apologize if I’m repeating myself. Anyway, back in 2007 she won the “Miller Lite Next Great Sportswriter” Contest and she got to spend a bunch of time and race weekends with Kurt Busch and the entire team doing interviews and writing. She’s been their “unofficial tool cart girl” ever since and she’s superfun to hang out with. We have an awesome time swapping gossip and chatting about this and that.
So Sunday was no different, we got to watch as some Cougar tried to hit on one of the Brew Crew dudes. This woman was a piece of work. I hope she doesn’t read blogs. Anyway, she seemed a little tipsy to me. A couple inspection stations later we saw the same woman touching a security guy. Hilarious.
Oh! So this is good, remember how I said Ron Malec probably thinks I’m some crazy person following him around? Well the No. 48 Lowe’s Chevy & crew were in front of the No. 2 in line for inspection. So the entire time I’m standing with Kristen, Ron Malec is in front of us pushing the 48. I’m dead serious when I say that it was purely a coincidence and the last thing I want to be thought of is as a pit lizard. I have no desire to lick anyone’s helmet (although I’m sure that Cougar did!). I’m just an appreciator of good lookin’ dudes, so of course I took yet another photo of him (see right).
For driver intros I didn’t go behind the stage, thought it better to stay out on pit road. There cars were lined up one-by-one side by side faced out instead of in the usual two-by-two. It looked good and was a better use of space, in my opinion. I walked down to Tony Stewart’s No. 14 Office Depot Chevrolet because I know Lisa, who is a PR person on behalf of Office Depot. I never know where to stand on pit road for the Anthem and all that, so it’s nice to know someone and have a place to stand where you don’t feel like people are looking at you like “What is she doing here??” I don’t know that people actually think that but it’s what I think they’re thinking and it weirds me out.
Anyway, Tony’s dad, Nelson Stewart, was on hand for the day, he even walked out with Tony during driver introductions. He was at the car when Kevin Harvick stopped by specifically to talk to Nelson and give him a hug. It was a cute moment, photos of which you can see below.
After all the invocation, National Anthem and the command to start engines I walked pit road to get a spot behind the pits to watch the start of the race. Luckily, there was a spot right where I wanted to be, right behind the start/finish line. I stood on top of the little wall that sits at the back of the pits, right in front of the grandstands and got the best view of the green flag to start the race.
I hung around down there for a little bit and then headed to the media lounge tent to hang out away from the sun. I ended up meeting a French guy named Mat who was attending a NASCAR race for the first time. He was stranded outside of the garage because he lost his Hot Pass and his roommate that he came to the race with was nowhere to be found. We had an interesting time trying to talk in between the roar of the engines and me trying to understand his accent. It was fun though.
With about ten laps left I went down to Turn 11 to see what I could see and got a front row seat to Clint Bowyer’s caution-less spin out. I asked one of the photographers standing next to me if they could send me the photo and Tyler Takeda of The Madera Tribune obliged (see below). I was too busy screaming, “Ahh! Whoaaaaa!” to take a picture myself.
Instead of rushing over to Victory Lane to take my usual picture of the winner driving his car in, I decided to pass through the garage. It’s an interesting place to be post-race since cars are coming in smashed up and crew members are rushing around trying to be the first team out of the track. Those guys are super fast, it’s amazing how quickly they can pack up. Maybe they can help me out the next time I have to move?
I was there when Boris Said’s crew chief Frank Stoddard yelled at Tony Stewart — as Tony was climbing out of his car — to “Come on! You fat fuck!” Tony just sort of waved him off and went into his hauler. I wasn’t quite sure I had heard him right until I locked eyes with a smiling GoDaddy.com crew member walking toward me. It was then that I knew I had heard him perfectly and rushed off to the press conference room where my cell phone was charging to send out a tweet about it. Funny stuff. (If you want the full story on what went down and caused that outburst check out the article over at SBNation.com)
Although now that I look at the photo I took in the garage just before Stoddard make his comment, I think Tony might have said something first (see below).
And so that was my day at the Toyota/SaveMart 350. Photo fun time below!
Eva Busch, wife of Kurt Busch, walks down pit road to her hubby’s car. If I ever reach a point where I can have an assistant at the track their entire job would be to take pictures of WAGs. Between making sure I got pictures with my cell phone for tweeting and my regular camera, I missed stuff! Grr!
In the second photo here, of Kevin Harvick greeting Tony Stewart’s dad Nelson, you can see the top of Tony’s head. He was kneeling to do something with his shoes.
The pit crew for the No. 39 Haas Automation Chevy lined up for the National Anthem.
The green flag drops for the Toyota/SaveMart 350 at Infineon Raceway. My view! So cool.
Kevin Harvick. Yet another one of my “I don’t know how I got that photo” photos.
Chad Knaus and Jimmie Johnson
Dale Earnhardt Jr. pulls into the garage after the race. So glad he finished 11th! Now he’s 13th in points! Yay!
I know I’ve used that title before but I love it.
Friday at Infineon Raceway was day one of the Toyota/SaveMart 350 festivities. It was a pretty big day for me because it held actual things for me to do. My usual shtick is to just show up and let things happen but this time I setup interviews with drivers. Since things went so well with Tony Stewart and the Inside The Actor’s Studio questions I decided to make it my “thing” for now and to get as many drivers to answer the same questions.
On my schedule for the day were one-on-one’s with David Reutimann, Regan Smith, AJ Allmendinger and Elliott Sadler. I’ll write about each of those experiences in separate posts. Stay tuned for those.
Back in the media center I sat in on press conferences for Jeff Burton, Mark Martin, Carl Edwards, Tony Stewart, Greg Biffle, and a little bit of Denny Hamlin.
Tony Stewart’s presser was, of course, by far the most entertaining of the bunch. His session was after practice and he wasn’t very happy with his car. I think that Southwest airlines should use his press conferences as the basis for one of their “Wanna Get Away???” commercials. I had this uncontrollable urge, every time someone asked something cringe-worthy to look down and start playing with my cell phone. There are always a few questions that bug Tony and after sitting in on a few of his pressers I’ve learned that Tony is a lot better when you ask him questions that are very real to him. He laid it out pretty plainly that he only cares about racing. He wasn’t in the mood to get all theoretical or philosophical about racing after having a crappy practice session. It wasn’t helping that people were asking the same questions they’ve asked year after year, my favorite being “Should there be a road course race in The Chase?” That was the one that really bugged him and got him to eventually say that he had no interest in giving his opinion on such things, he just wanted to race.
Tomorrow is day one of the Toyota/SaveMart 350 at Infineon Raceway. I’m super excited because I’ve got some cool stuff lined up and I can’t wait to write about ‘em and share it all with you guys.
Today I attend the press luncheon (photo evidence at left) where Clint Bowyer, David Ragan and Scott Speed were in attendance. They held a short press conference and answered questions. Afterwards I happened to be sharing an elevator with Scott and his PR person and I introduced myself. Scott was very nice, I think he dug the name of this blog.
In other news…
– Dale Earnhardt Jr. really enjoys the soccer. Check out this video of him prepping for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. This also serves as my friendly reminder to vote for Dale EVERYDAY (put a sticky note on your computer if you have to), over at facebook.com/adidasSoccer (click on the World Cup Fans tab) so that Dwight Howard, Reggie Bush and BJ Upton will have to wear Dale Jr’s gear. We’re almost there!
First, I must address the most amazing “Gentleman, Start Your Engines” ever PERFORMED on national television. That’s right, performed! Actors (and comedians) Kevin James and Adam Sandler were the Grand Marshals for the Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips 400 at Michigan International Speedway and the didn’t fail to deliver what I knew would be the most entertaining command to start engines since I don’t know when. (Off topic right now but this photo, left, is the best photo of Denny Hamlin I’ve seen in quite some time. Just sayin’)
Can we get Kevin James out to every race to do that little dance? Freaking hilarious. If you missed it, video of Sandler and James giving the command is below. They’re promoting their new movie “Grown Ups” which, of course, looks very funny.
My only question about this race is why didn’t Denny Hamlin pick up the giant fake tub of Heluva Good! Sour Cream dip that was sitting on top of his car in Victory Lane? That would of been great, especially if they’d had a giant bag of chips to go with it.
If you’ve been living under a rock, or maybe you don’t watch ESPN, you might not know that the 2010 FIFA World Cup has kicked off in South Africa. This soccer thing is a big freaking deal and the USA has a team. Of course we all want the US to do well, but interestingly enough so does Dale Earnhardt Jr. Dale is a soccer fan. I had no idea, but he really is and he’s working with adidas an their “Every Team Needs a Fan” campaign.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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)
Here’s my comparison of Kasey Kahne to Twilight hottie Robert Pattinson, again, because who wouldn’t want to look at these two guys?
– The following photo is quite possibly the greatest photo of Clint Bowyer ever taken to date. Love it!
Clint Bowyer gathers his concentration before heading out on track at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Friday for practice. (Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)
– This photo (below) of me with a cardboard Denny Hamlin was taken in 2008 at Infineon Raceway.
Did you know that Denny Hamlin and Kasey Kahne are teammates? Yep, they’ve joined forces for a very special Gillette Young Guns promotion called The Gillette 500 – “The Great American Shave.” It’s a challenge to see whose team, competing against the other two-man teams of Kyle Busch & Joey Logano and Carl Edwards & Clint Bowyer, will be able to log the most shaves before April 30th.
You know what the best part is? I’m the team captain for Denny & Kasey! Hehe. So it’s officially on and I am asking you to get your boyfriend, your father, your grandfather and basically ANY dude that you know to go to Gillette500.com, join Denny & Kasey’s team and log their shaves, using the Gillette Fusion MVP™ razor of course, everyday!
And ladies don’t fret, you can sign up for a team too. In addition to joining a team (Denny & Kasey, Denny & Kasey!!!!) you’re also entering for a chance to win a sweet hometown visit from one of the Gillette Young Guns!
Check out this new video featuring Denny & Kasey helping this poor dude out with his sensitive skin:
Aren’t they adorable? And of course they know the guy’s name, they’re NASCAR drivers, they know everything. I love it. They’re like skin whisperers.
And there will be more webisodes in the future, so stay tuned.
The team captains for the two other teams are a couple of awesome ladies that I know and love but it’s too bad I have to take them down! Tallglassofmilk, of Answer This, is the captain for Carl & Clint and Summer is the captain for Kyle & Joey, check out Summer’s blog.
It’s all about Team Densey!!! (yes, that’s Denny & Kasey combined)
This week was the annual NASCAR Sprint Media Tour hosted by Charlotte Motor Speedway. I wasn’t there (trust me, I’m crying inside) and so all I have to share with you are these photos of drivers sitting in chairs. Enjoy!
(Left to right) Richard Childress Racing’s Clint Bowyer, Kevin Harvick, owner Richard Childress and Jeff Burton take part in the 2010 NASCAR Sprint Media Tour Hosted by Charlotte Motor Speedway Tuesday in Concord, N.C. (Credit: Harold Hinson Photography)
I don’t know about you but I’m a total sucker for photos of kids and babies getting autographs from drivers. It’s gotta be in the top 10 of cutest things on the planet. And since I’ve been slacking on posting photos here’s a bunch from some of the NASCAR events that have taken place this month.
If these pictures don’t make you smile you need to see a therapist.
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver AJ Allmendinger waves to a young fan Friday in Daytona Beach, Fla. at the NASCAR Preseason Thunder Fan Fest at Daytona International Speedway. (Credit: Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Kevin Harvick poses for a photo with a young fan during autograph sessions on Saturday at NASCAR Preseason Thunder Fan Fest at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, FL. (Credit: Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)
A young fan meets NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Elliott Sadler and gets an autograph on Saturday during the Sprint Sound and Speed Fan Festival at Nashville Municipal Auditorium in Nashville, Tenn. (Credit: Grant Halverson/Getty Images for NASCAR)
A young fan gets an autograph from NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver David Ragan on Saturday during NASCAR Preseason Thunder Fan Fest at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, FL. (Credit: Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. meets a junior JR Motorsports fan Friday in Daytona Beach, Fla. at the NASCAR Preseason Thunder Fan Fest at Daytona International Speedway. (Credit: Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Clint Bowyer takes a picture with a young fan on Saturday during the Sprint Sound and Speed Fan Festival at Nashville Municipal Auditorium in Nashville, Tenn. (Credit: Grant Halverson/Getty Images for NASCAR)
The pool of contenders for the best NASCAR commercial of 2009 was pretty small. There weren’t a lot that stood out as particularly funny and that’s why I only have 3 standouts. Perhaps another way the crap economy has affected the sport.
3.) Verizon V Cast Babies – This one is just cute all around. You think the guys are talking about actual cars but it turns out they’ve figured out how to supe up their baby daughter’s walkers.
2.) Tony Stewart School of Endorsements (Burger King) – The ad that launched Estrada Sunglasses! Very, very awesome and definitely the coolest commercial in the bunch. When people see my Estrada sunglasses they’re jealous, as they should be.
1.) Gillette Young Guns – This commercial wins top honors for one reason and one reason only: Kyle Busch on the phone interrupting Clint Bowyer while he delivers his lines. So funny. It, inexplicably, tickles me every time.
DirecTV 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.
I distinctly remember watching the AAA 400 pre-race show on Sunday and thinking that there was no way there would be another gnarly crash like the ones they were showing from past races at Dover because when something is hyped up that means the race will be boring as heck.
In this case, I was very, very wrong! Poor Joey Logano, his accident on the 31st lap was absolutely insane. I couldn’t believe he flipped that way and that much. It was neat, but I was oh so glad that he — and everyone else involved — were OK. I can’t even begin to imagine what that must feel like and from his reaction it wasn’t anything good.
Okay, so I said that the race wasn’t boring, but that was just for the first 31 laps. After that it headed down Snoozeville Road. Jimmie Johnson dominated the race and won it, and that is just not good. As I’ve said a billion times before, I don’t dislike Jimmie. I just find it highly annoying if he keeps winning all the time. It’s the same show over and over. Bleh.
Congratulations to the twelve men that made it into the 2009 Chase for the Sprint Cup. It’s an interesting little group. I can’t believe the entirety of Stewart-Haas Racing made it in especially since I didn’t think they’d win a single race this year. Brian Vickers proved it really isn’t over til it’s over and made the Chase for the first time. I’m so excited for the No. 83 team.
I think it’s going to be a very fun Chase, at least I hope it is. It better be crazy at New Hampshire next weekend.
The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at Watkins Glen International race that was scheduled for today, has been rescheduled for tomorrow at 9amPST/12noonEST. Lame!
I remember a time when I loved rain delays. It meant that the network covering the event had to fill time with driver interviews and that meant talking to more than just the latest “news makers.” While I still enjoy that part of it I don’t appreciate the race being postponed ’til the next day. Especially when the next day falls on a day when I have to be at work, and I have a job that doesn’t include watching television.
Because the Sunoco Red Cross Pennsylvania 500 at Pocono was postponed from Sunday until Monday because of rain I couldn’t watch it live, on TV, from the comfort of my home. Since I was at work, I casually kept track of what was happening by using ESPN’s race widget in between doing work and sitting in meetings.
Once the race was over and I found out that Denny Hamlin had won I was stoked. Really, I was happy for him more than anything just because it had been what, 58 races since he’d last won a Sprint Cup race? So yes, this was a big deal, and like I’ve said before, I like the Denny.
It wasn’t long after I learned of Denny’s win that I received a text message from Tara, a young woman from Arizona who reads my blog and is one of the biggest Denny Hamlin fans around. She even won tickets to a race at Phoenix by professing her reasons why Denny is her favorite driver. Tara told me that she watched the final laps of the race while having lunch at T.G.I. Friday’s with her grandmother.
– I didn’t get to spend a night out with Jimmie Johnson and his wife Chandra but the New York Times did. I am severely jealous of this assignment, I want to spend normal person time with Cup drivers! Gah! Check out the piece and great photo at NYTimes.com.
– Clint Bowyer played a prank on Kevin Harvick at a golf course. It was funny. Bowyer’s reaction is priceless. Watch the video (below)!:
– NASCAR is slated to announced the first group of nominees for it’s new Hall of Fame this Thursday on SPEED:
SPEED will air an exclusive one-hour special Thursday night at 8 p.m. ET from the site of the new NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, N.C., as NASCAR unveils the 25 nominees for the inaugural class of the NASCAR Hall of Fame.
“There are a limited number of ‘firsts’ in any area of life,” said SPEED President Hunter Nickell. “So, being able to work with NASCAR and the NASCAR Hall of Fame to bring fans a true first in their favorite sport is a real honor and a lot of fun for everyone at SPEED.”
NASCAR Hall of Fame: The First Class will be hosted by legendary motor sports broadcaster Ken Squier, with guest appearances from NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France and NASCAR Hall of Fame Executive Director Winston Kelly.
The NASCAR Hall of Fame is scheduled to open in May of next year.
Some things of interest:
– Athena Barber, Clint Bowyer’s ex-girlfriend, has joined 3 Wide Life as a correspondent and contributor for the nationally syndicated motorsports focused television show. “This is really exciting,” said Barber. “3 Wide Life focuses on the core of racing and I could not be happier to be a part of it. Racing is my life, and this gives me the opportunity to be around something that I love. Plus I get to share it with the fans and racers across the country.” In her first episode she interviews Robby Gordon. Check your local listings for show air dates.
– For the first time ever Infineon Raceway will host the Toyota/Save Mart 350 on Father’s Day. Recently some of NASCAR’s Chevy drivers shared their thoughts on Father’s Day and what their dads have meant to them:
“Racing is a family sport and it’s been very good to our family. My dad has been the biggest part of it since Day One when I was racing in motocross when I was four or five years old. He was the one who kept it all together. He instilled in me that hard work pays off and that you get out of it what you put in it, and that holds true for just about anything you do.”
- Clint Bowyer, No. 33 Cheerios/Hamburger Helper Chevrolet
“When you’re young, you take for granted all the things your father does. But, when you are a father, you think, ‘Wow, you do a lot.’ You have to really understand what being a father is all about to understand what Father’s Day really means. I don’t like being away from my kids on Father’s Day, but this is what I do, and they’ll take care of me some other weekend.”
- Jeff Burton, No. 31 Caterpillar Chevrolet
“Being a father makes me really appreciate my father that much more. … I also get to have some fun because I’ve got my daughter and my wife making Father’s Day cards and stuff. It’s cool and it’s only going to get better.”
- Jeff Gordon, No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet
“Hopefully (Father’s Day in Sonoma) it will inspire me to go out and win and wish my dad a happy Father’s Day from Victory Lane. My parents sacrificed everything to get me and my brother our starts, and racing has been a big part of my family.”
- Jimmie Johnson, No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet
“(My best Father’s Day racing memory) would have to be the Michigan race. We won the race in 2004 on Father’s Day weekend and I told him on the radio, ‘There’s your Father’s Day present,’ and he said, ‘That’s all I wanted.’”
- Ryan Newman, No. 39 Haas Automation/U.S. Army Chevrolet
“(My father, Nelson) never pressured me to be the best racecar driver in the world, but he did want me to be the best racecar driver that I could be. He never compared me to anybody else. He expected that what I could do was what I could do. He never said that because this guy over here could do something, that I should be able to do it, too. He pushed me hard, but he was fair about it. That’s probably why you see so much fire in me today, because he always wanted me to be the best that I could be.”
- Tony Stewart, No. 14 Office Depot/Old Spice Chevrolet
“My dad means a lot to me and he’s really done a lot for me over the years and really stuck behind me and what I’ve been trying to do in racing. He’s had a long career in racing himself, and he understands how difficult it can be and how fun it is when things go well. It’s so nice to having him at the racetrack, and I look forward to having him at the track on Father’s Day.”
– Casey Mears, No. 07 Jack Daniel’s Chevrolet
There’s still time to enter to win a Talladega Pepsi Throwback prize pack. Enter now! Contest ends Friday, June 19th, 2009.
Why is it that every time I see the Cheez-It logo I want some, like, immediately? That doesn’t happen with any other snack food.
Hats off to Mark Martin and the No. 5 Cheez-It/CARQUEST Chevrolet team for winning the Southern 500 presented by GoDaddy.com. They did a great job racking up their second win for the season. Hopefully they won’t fall off the edge of the earth and never win again. I don’t know why I just said that, that was kinda mean. I want Dale Earnhardt Jr. to win! Grrrrr! When is he going to win?! Gaaaah! The waiting is killing me. It almost feels like Ella Gordon is going to win a race before Dale does. Sheesh. Before everybody gets mad at me I say that with love.
In other news… One of my long held wishes has finally come true. I recently moved to Sonoma County here in California. I’m closer to Infineon Raceway now, but that’s not why I made the move. I did it to be closer to work and save money. In the process I finally got to sign up for DirecTV and I couldn’t be happier. I detest Comcast and I’m glad I finally had the option to switch over to DirecTV. Because of this lovely turn of events I get to watch the All-Star Race this weekend on SPEED. I finally have the SPEED channel!!!!
Also, I’m being a good NASCAR fan by supporting a company that supports NASCAR. So it’s a complete win-win situation.
I’m sure Mark Martin would congratulate me if he knew me.
An No. 33 crew member works on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series car after the 10th caution at lap 223 sent Clint Bowyer to the garage Saturday in the Southern 500 Presented by GoDaddy.com at Darlington Raceway. Bowyer’s streak of consecutive starts without a DNF ended at 83, one shy of tying Herman Beam’s nearly 50-year-old record. (Photo Credit: Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Mark Martin, driver of the No. 5 Cheez-It/CARQUEST Chevrolet, won Saturday’s race at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway after starting 12th. (Courtesy Hendrick Motorsports)
Seeking his first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series win at Darlington Raceway, Tony Stewart’s No. 14 is worse for wear after getting a trademark Darlington Stripe during practice. (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
Prettiest wedding dress t-shirt I’ve ever seen!
(Right to left) NASCAR President Mike Helton congratulates Brenda and Danny Barrett on their 15th anniversary on Saturday, where they were married, at Darlington Raceway. The Barretts drive the Official NASCAR Merchandise Trailer. (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR)