Yea, I don’t know. I’m just going with it.
Congratulations to Joey Logano and the No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil team on their win at Michigan this weekend.
Yea, I don’t know. I’m just going with it.
Congratulations to Joey Logano and the No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil team on their win at Michigan this weekend.
Sunday morning I woke up ridiculously early so that I could get to the track in time to get a ride in the pace car with Brett Bodine. This was my second time getting to ride around the Sonoma Raceway track but it had been long enough since the first time I’d done it to not remember what it felt like. Let me tell you this, Brett Bodine doesn’t lay off the gas pedal just because you’re not a race car driver. That guy went flat out and it was insane.
First, I apologize for taking so long to write about Sonoma. Life, work, blah, blah, blah.
I finally have time to write things and tell you what I’ve been up to lately. As I said in my last post my day job took over my life in the past month because we were busy launching a major website redesign project for our client.
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.
I didn’t see the kicking and screaming at Richmond after the Nationwide Series race because I was at work, or on my way home from work but I heard all about it. I think this year is all about drivers “not taking it anymore,” like, everyone suddenly remembered NASCAR saying “Boys have at it” but it didn’t sink in until this year.
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!
Jimmie Johnson won the Daytona 500 and in the distance I could hear the sound of the saddest trombone sighing “waaah, waaah, waaaaaaah.”
Through some completely unscientific research I’ve done while reading interviews with NASCAR drivers during yesterday’s Media Day in Daytona, I’ve determined that nobody gives a flying fig about Danica Patrick dating Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and people should probably stop asking them about it.
This past week was the Sprint Media Tour in Charlotte, which meant that the NASCAR media corps got to ask the same questions they always ask, hope someone gives an interesting answer (Tony Stewart stepped up), eat free food and get free stuff. So of course I’m annoyed I couldn’t go — because of the free food & swag, obviously — but what can you do.
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.
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.
In my travels on the internet I have come across photos of the weddings of some of NASCAR’s top drivers. I thought it would be a good idea to get them all together in one place since they’re all strewn about.
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 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.
I’ve decided to make a BOLD prediction about who will make it into the top 12 field of drivers for The Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. It’s going to be.. Are you ready for this?? It’s going to be the twelve drivers in the top-12 in points right now! haha.
Bristol was super fun. Obviously my favorite part was Tony Stewart throwing his helmet at Matt Kenseth’s car. I mean, that’s just pure gold! NASCAR should create a new award to give out at the Championship awards banquet for the driver that provides the most entertainment outside of the race car, Tony would win for Saturday’s shenanigans alone. And Danica Patrick should of thrown her shoe at Regan Smith. It would have been poetic justice, sort of.
"I’ll be honest, I wish everybody would get off her back and just let her go race and let her learn. Everybody is putting so much pressure on her and so much focus on her. Going to a place that you’ve been to is obviously going to help, but everybody needs to take a step back and let this girl learn and do what she is trying to do there. It’s kind of a double edge sword. It’s been great from the publicity side, but for her, I don’t know how she handles it. It’s making me nervous having to talk about her all the time, let alone, she is the one that has to actually do it. I just hope everybody respects her enough to give her the room to know that whether she makes three laps or whether she finishes the whole race the whole goal is to just learn."
Tomorrow night is the Coke Zero 400 presented by Coca-Cola at Daytona International Speedway. Not like I needed to tell you that, right? But there are some cool things we need to talk about first.
The thing that frustrates me about Danica Patrick is that she doesn’t seem to spend a lot (or enough) time thinking about the fact that she’s a female and how doing those dumb GoDaddy ads affects other female athletes, and women, in general.
Before I get into Saturday at Fontana, I want to thank you for your well wishes. I’m totally fine and have removed a lot of stuff from my plate. It’s a lot easier to breathe now.
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.
And so begins a new NASCAR season (sort of) and I couldn’t think of a better way to do it other than posting the best quotes I’ve read so far from the press conferences during Pre-Season Thunder testing at Daytona International Speedway.
I woke up ridiculously early Wednesday morning to catch my 6am flight to Las Vegas. I received media credentials to attend the 2011 Motorsports Marketing Forum presented by Sports Business Journal/Daily. I knew I wasn’t going to be able to get see the entire program for that day, but I wanted to get in as much as possible.
Congratulations to the No. 14 Office Depot/Mobil 1 team for their victory at Texas. Tony Stewart and crew are definitely making things anxious for Carl Edwards. But because I’m greedy, I really wish that Matt Kenseth & Kevin Harvick could get in the mix somehow and stir things up so that everything will be nice and crazy for Homestead. That would be fun, no?
Of course, there was that whole Kyle Busch situation that was covered AT LENGTH over the weekend, so I’m not going to go into it very much only to say that I hated it when they would recount what happened on Friday with Kyle and Ron Hornaday. They made it seem like it wasn’t OBVIOUS that Hornaday got into Kyle on accident, he got loose and it was plain as day. I’m probably nitpicking about this but saying “they tried going 3-wide and it didn’t work” doesn’t quite explain the situation accurately enough for me. Oh and one more thing, did you think it was interesting that in KyBu’s apology letter he didn’t name Kevin Harvick Inc. by name? I thought that was interesting. Douchey and interesting.
And I’m not talking about on the track either. They might need to post security in the media centers for the next 10 races. A lot of interesting things happened Saturday night at the Wonderful Pistachios 400 at Richmond International Raceway post-race press conference. Sounded like a good time full of ripped up paper, tension, verbal jabs that made no sense and the comedic talents of Matt Kenseth.
I guess Snookie has that kind of effect on people.
Anyway… The only thing I can/want to say about the media and it’s questions that always sound the same is to quote one of my favorite movies from the 80s, “Heartburn,” starring my one of the greatest actresses of all time Meryl Streep (I love her!) and Jack Nicholson (He’s great too!). The movie is about a couple who get married, have a baby and then the husband cheats and the wife loses all trust she had for the husband but tries to carry on in the relationship. During that portion of the movie Jack’s character says to Meryl’s character “You can’t take it’s temperature every five minutes.” He was referring to their relationship, us ladies always want to know where we stand in our relationships especially if things don’t feel “right.” (If you’ve ever had to ask a guy “where is this going??” it’s probably not going anywhere good) Anyway… I love that line and I think that it applies to the media when they keep asking drivers how they feel about making The Chase, being in The Chase, still being in The Chase, why are you in The Chase, what does it feel like to be in The Chase… it NEVER ends. They do the same thing with other storylines, whatever it is they will ask the same question in various formats every week until there is a resolution. But I say, you can’t take it’s temperature every five minutes, dude! Nothing’s changed and when it does change, ask a question then.
Moving on… Congratulations to Kevin Harvick and the No. 29 Budweiser Chevrolet team! It had to have felt great considering the announcement he and his wife DeLana made earlier in the week about shuttering the racing side of Kevin Harvick Inc.
Richmond was a great, caution-filled race and I can only hope that we get more awesome action like that in the next 10 races. I love this time of year right before the first race in The Chase when everything feels possible. I hope we get to hold on to that feeling for more than two races.
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.”
Let me take this opportunity to get you caught up on what all of the current NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers are saying about Danica Patrick’s possible move to NASCAR full-time in the Nationwide Series next year.
They’re saying a whole lot of nothing. Why? Because she hasn’t made an official announcement so there’s nothing to talk about. It’s hilarious. I’ve been reading through the top-12 driver media sessions from Michigan and it’s all the same song and dance. The media asks and then the drivers asks the media what’s been going on ’cause they haven’t heard anything about it. Ugh.
Here are my favorite quotes so far. First, from Carl Edwards:
“So is this a rumor guys or did Danica say what she is doing? You know what I am going to do, because of what I just learned with my contract? I am going to just wait to see what Danica has to say. That is what I am going to do.”
And now this from Dale Earnhardt Jr. whose team Danica is allegedly joining next year:
WHAT IS YOUR RESPONSE TO THE NEWS THAT DANICA PATRICK IS COMING TO NASCAR FULL TIME?: “There ain’t been no announcement yet so I don’t know why you would go report that. We’ve enjoyed working with her and would love to keep working with her. When there’s something to announce, they’ll announce it and we’ll just wait until that happens I guess.”
HYPOTHETICALLY, LET’S SAY IT WAS GOING TO: “I don’t deal in hypotheticals. I can’t do you no favors today.”
I love it. Ha!
Oh and here’s some video of Danica herself talking to the media in Canada in advance of this weekend’s race at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. Apparently her Lamborghini doesn’t have cup holders. The perfect example of a first-world problem if there ever was one.
(Photo Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Last night was the 2011 Indy 500 Victory Awards Banquet where they honored this year’s Indianapolis 500 winner Dan Wheldon.
There are a bunch of great WAGAHAB (Wives and Girlfriends and Husbands and Boyfriends) photos, so let’s not dilly dally.
(all photos courtesy of INDYCAR)
I’m going to be totally honest with you guys right now. I have never watched “Bump Day” for the Indianapolis 500. Well, until this past weekend. I know, crazy right? Well, I’m never going to miss another one!
It was the most dramatic, heartbreaking, sad and awesome thing I have seen in a sporting event in quite some time. People’s lives were on the line, well not their personal life but ya know, the one thing that matters most to them–participating in the 100th Indy 500.
I didn’t get to see Alex Tagliani take the pole on Saturday, but I didn’t need to see it to know how much it would mean to him. Had you even heard of him before he got it? Exactly. So I’m super happy for him.
But what the hell happened to Andretti Motorsport? After Bump Day on Sunday, only two of their full-time drivers had secured a spot in the race, Danica Patrick and Marco Andretti, and Marco saved himself at the VERY LAST MINUTE. He ended up bumping out his teammates, Ryan Hunter Reay and Mike Conway.
Watching and listening to Ryan Hunter Reay’s reaction to realizing he wasn’t going to be in the race was just the worst, but he’s been able to turn his frown upside down after securing a deal to drive the No. 41 A.J. Foyt Racing entry that was originally supposed to be driven by Bruno Junqueira, who qualified the car.
So now Bruno gets to lick the fuzzy end of the lollipop. I can’t imagine what THAT must feel like. You can’t deny that it’s effed up no matter how you try to spin it. Michael Andretti, owner of Andretti Autosport, had to keep his sponsors (Ryan is sponsored by DHL & Sun Drop soda) happy, sponsors that were expecting to be in the Indy 500, so they did this deal.
Anyway, I cannot wait for the race this weekend!
I have to admit that I didn’t see everything that went down at the 37th Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach yesterday. I got a late start because of the NASCAR race and then I realized I really needed a nap. But I did wake up with enough time to watch Mike Conway win his very first IZOD IndyCar Series race. That was very cool, I love it when someone wins for the first time. It doesn’t happen near enough.
It’s probably a good thing that I didn’t see the whole race, and so I don’t have a lot to talk about, because I can get right to the photos!
(all images courtesy INDYCAR)
Yes, VERSUS the channel that broadcasts IndyCar action needs serious help. I asked everyone (ok, nobody, but did I really need to?) what they thought of this weekend’s coverage of the Honda Grand Prix of Alabama and they all said the same thing: It sucked!
Now, I don’t like saying negative stuff but you guys–I’m talking to you Versus–need to hear the truth. Your transitions, your intros, your outros, your lead announcer who was way to excited when it wasn’t necessary, and those moments of dead air really took the wind out of your sails. It was not good stuff.
That being said it wasn’t ALL terrible. I really enjoyed your pre-race coverage with NUMEROUS live driver interviews (take note, FOX) and the look back at what happened last week at St. Petersburg since I didn’t get to watch that race–now I’m all caught up. I also dug that segment with James Hinchcliffe when you had him trace the layout of Barber Motorsports Park blindfolded. That was fun stuff.
You guys need to step it up though. Maybe you should go on one of those team building retreats and foster some good synergy to make your broadcasts more seamless & in sync.
We, the fans who have to endure your coverage, want this for you more than you know.
But on to the race itself. It was pretty interesting watching the IndyCar drivers have to get used to double-file restarts. It wreaked havoc with cautions all over the place, but it just made me even more excited for the Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma at Infineon Raceway later this year. It’s going to be really cool.
Another highlight was Simona De Silvestro. I’m so excited for this girl. She’s kicking butt right now, she finished the race in 9th (at St. Pete she finished 4th) but she’s sitting 5th in the points standings tied with Scott Dixon. As the SNL parody of Miley Cyrus would say, “It’s pretty cool!” (I’m obsessed with saying this by the way, I do it all the time in my head and sometimes out loud when no one’s around, it’s on a loop)
Sunday at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California started out with the customary trip to THE Starbucks. I call it “THE Starbucks” because it’s the one everybody goes to during the race weekend, and by everybody I mean literally everybody. It could be groups of fans apart of some racing package deal or pit crew members, PR people, and NASCAR drivers. I always see someone. On Saturday morning it was Michael Waltrip and Michael Waltrip Racing general manager Ty Norris. Sunday I chatted about the weather with a pit crew guy that recognized me from the garage.
Was the only thing that was interesting about the Sprint Cup Series race at Bristol the driver introductions that we didn’t even get to see? I would say “Yes.” They couldn’t show ONE of the driver’s walking into their song?? I know it costs money to get the rights to play the songs on air but Fox doesn’t have money for JUST ONE?!
I Tivo’d the pre-race show, as has become a new rule so that I can skip the crappy parts (80% of it), and I made sure I went through it TWICE to make sure I didn’t miss a moment where they might have shown an intro and I didn’t find anything. Instead, there was some thing with Darrell Waltrip and Jeff Hammond and some diagram that looked like the board game “Operation” or something. I dunno, I was fast forwarding.
Anyway, Kyle Busch’s weekend sweep was impressive, of course. The deal that went down between Jennifer Jo Cobb and the owner of 2nd Chance Motorsports was far more interesting than anything either race had to offer. Jennifer Jo Cobb is all about racing, why would someone who has stated several times that her goal this year is contend for Rookie of the Year in the Nationwide Series ever want to “start & park”? I mean, c’mon, she’s all about racing. I sincerely wish her all the best and hope she can get something together that’ll help her reach her goal. What she did on Saturday took guts. It would have been way easier to just run the few laps and get out of the car, but she stood up for herself and I think that’s awesome. That’s a person I can root for!
On Saturday morning in Las Vegas the first and only thing I scheduled to do that day was interview Jennifer Jo Cobb. She was great and it was awesome to find out that her favorite word is “Fabulous.” Smart lady!
What would have made Jeff Gordon’s win at Phoenix better? Ella and Leo, of course! Sucked they weren’t in Victory Lane with their papa but the win itself was great. I always love seeing a driver get emotional after a win. I’m always looking for something real, and by that I mean just something genuine to remind me that these guys really love what it is that they do and that it means more to them than just fame and money.
To me it’s easier to see the lows and the highs in this sport, than it is in others. A basketball team might lose one night and then win on another, or maybe go 5 games without a win but eventually a win comes up in that same season. But in NASCAR these guys can go YEARS without a win. It just makes it so much sweeter when it happens.
I cannot wait to get to Las Vegas this week. I’m driving down there on Wednesday, it’s my first race of the season and it feels like I’m going to summer camp or something. On Thursday I’ll be at Tony Stewart’s autograph session at Office Depot (1435 West Craig Road, North Las Vegas) at 12:30pm. If you want to get something signed ya gotta get a wristband first (one per person), which they’re distributing to the first 600 people starting at 8am the day of the event. Then you have to get on line for the autograph sesh no later than 1:30pm. This is all local/Las Vegas time.
Before Tony signs stuff for fans I’m presenting him with the 2011 Hottest Driver Tourney “trophy” and I sincerely hope he likes it. I already have anxiety about that whole thing. I’m sure it’ll be fine, though.
Trevor Bayne continued his “Miss America Tour,” that’s what I like to call it (Because don’t you remember when winning Miss America was an actual big deal and they always did a TON of press afterward? Well I do and it’s the only thing I can compare it to), wherein he does various media interviews and appearances to celebrate winning the Daytona 500.
He was in San Francisco yesterday at Ghiradelli Square to scoop some ice cream and meet fans:
Bayne arrived in San Francisco late Tuesday afternoon and was driven from the airport under California Highway Patrol escort to Ghirardelli Square, where he walked the red carpet before assembling the very first Trevor Bayne Sundae, Sundae, Sundae, featuring rocky road, chocolate chip and chocolate ice cream, as well multiple toppings and all the fixins. The item is currently a feature on the Ghirardelli Square Ice Cream Parlor menu.
(credit: Getty Images)
I was there and it was freezing out. I’m from California and so anything under 60 degrees is not good. I had no gloves and I quickly lost feeling in my toes and my fingers. I’m not kidding. My cell phone lost battery power after 30 minutes and it was friggin’ cold so I didn’t stay for the WHOLE shindig, but I did get to see a bunch of foreign tourists ask everyone what the hell was the going on and watch their expression not change when people told them that the Daytona 500 winner was coming. I also got to see serious NASCAR fans cheer and go crazy for Trevor as he exited his Escalade. I watched Trevor happily recreate his triple-scoop sundae. I didn’t try the sundae myself but I did manage to get my numb fingers to grasp the cup that held a small single-scoop hot fudge sundae they were giving away for free to fans, even though I was FREEZING I couldn’t pass up free–delicious!–ice cream.
All in all it was a very cool and fun event. It was neat to see non-NASCAR fans stop to see what was going on and then once they were told who it was go “Oh! That’s the youngest person to win the Daytona 500!” That’s gotta be good for NASCAR, right?
Trevor was in Los Angeles today and he filmed an appearance for “The Ellen Degeneres Show” that will air tomorrow, Thursday, February 24. Check your local listings, of course. Ellen presented Trevor with a gift — a hula dancer dash board bobble head and a personalized ELLEN car sticker — which you can see in the photo below.
On winning the race…
Trevor: The Daytona 500, to me, has always meant a lot. I grew up wanting to win it as a kid but I didn’t know it meant this much to the rest of the world so to see these kind of fans and this crazy stuff going on, I love it.
Ellen: You must have girls all of a sudden going crazy over you because you’re adorable and now you’re getting all this attention. You getting proposals and stuff like that all ready?
Trevor: Well, I didn’t have a Valentine this year so I’m hoping for better things next year.
Ellen: You will. I think you’ll be okay.
In other news…
– Yesterday Michael Waltrip’s oldest daughter, Caitlin, gave birth to a baby boy named Bryson.
– Danica Patrick and Carl Edwards will make appearances on the inaugural sports awards show, Cartoon Network Hall of Game Awards. Danica will pick up the “She’s Got Game” Award (aka Best Female Athlete) and Carl is a presenter. The show, hosted by Jimmie Johnson’s friend Tony Hawk, airs on the Cartoon Network at 7 p.m. (ET) on Friday, February 25th.
Repaved Daytona International Speedway = Racing INSANITY!
It was nerve-wracking to watch but still superfun!
Congratulations to Trevor Bayne and Wood Brothers Racing. What an amazing finish! I was flabbergasted at that finish, but NOT because of Trevor Bayne. I’m happy for the kid and all that, and for the Wood Brothers, but I’m going to be honest, I was more stoked for David Gilliland. When I saw Carl Edwards had hooked up with David I start screaming at the television. I really, really, really wanted David to get up there and contend for the win, but I was totally satisfied with his 3rd place finish. He’s 2nd in points right now, and I know that’s only after one race but it’s a really great start!
I know it’s not Festivus, but I’d like to air some grievances. Ok, there’s really only one and it’s about the post-race coverage from Fox Sports. They didn’t interview David Gilliland post-race, but they did interview David Ragan who finished 14th. I understand why they talked to Ragan ’cause he made a small mistake that ended up possibly costing him the race (I say possibly because there’s no way to know for sure that had he not been black flagged he would of won), BUT if you only have limited time wouldn’t you automatically go to the top-3?! Ugh.
Anyway, I understand that directing and coordinating a live broadcast is hard and for the most part they get it right but it’s still really annoying when they mess up.
I’m EXTRA excited for Phoenix. I’ve decided not to attend that race, I’m still really looking forward to watching what happens. I’m still going to Las Vegas for sure and I CANNOT wait to get there.
Back to Trevor Bayne really quick, he’ll be at Ghiradelli Square tomorrow (Tuesday, February 22) in San Francisco at 5:30pm to create the “Trevor Bayne Sundae, Sundae, Sundae” and then he’ll be in Los Angeles on Wednesday at a free fan event at L.A. Live in Downtown Los Angeles (800 W. Olympic Blvd.) at noon.
Kasey Kahne signs autographs for fans in the garage Wednesday at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla. (Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Michael Waltrip celebrates in victory lane with his No.15 crew after winning the 2011 NextEra Energy Resources 250 at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla. (Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Tony Stewart celebrates with his crew in victory lane after winning the Drive4COPD 300 Saturday at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla. (Credit: Tom Pennington/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Danica Patrick talks to Dale Earnhardt Jr. about the No.7 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet in the Garage during practice at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla. (Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Brad Paisley entertains the crowd during the pre-race show before the Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla. (Credit: Tom Pennington/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Not a very good command at all. But I love the Transformers race cars.
Honorary Grand Marshals Michael Bay, Josh Duhamel and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley give the command to start the engines for the Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla. (Credit: Brandon Goodman/Getty Images for NASCAR)
The Baltimore Raven’s Ray Rice visits the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series garage and takes a look in the No. 42 Target Chevrolet Wednesday at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla. (Credit: Motorsports Images and Archives)
National Anthem singer Patty Loveless shows her support for Drive4COPD Saturday at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla. (Credit: Tom Pennington/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Martina McBride sings the National Anthem before the Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla. (Credit: ISC Archives/Getty Images)
Dierks Bentley performs during the Daytona 500 pre-race show Sunday at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla. (Credit: Cliff Hawkins/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Great moment–I held up 3 fingers too even though I wasn’t there!
The fans salute Dale Earnhardt on lap 3 by holding up three fingers during the Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway at Daytona Beach, Fla. (Credit: Todd Warshaw/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Carl Edwards and David Ragan congratulate Trevor Bayne in victory lane after the 53rd Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla. (Credit: Matthew Stockman/Getty Images for NASCAR)
There are no words. I have no words.
But I do have pictures.
Jimmie Johnson (L) kisses his wife Chandra as she holds their four-month-old daughter Genevieve, after winning the 2010 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship at the Ford 400 race in Homestead, Florida November 21, 2010. (REUTERS/Hans Deryk)
Things I learned while watching the Indy Japan 300 Saturday night (which was actually Sunday morning in Japan):
1.) Drivers exchange helmets with each other. Cool!
2.) Tony Kanaan only sees his 3-year-old son, Leo, once a month. His son lives in Brazil. I found this piece of news to be distressing because I don’t know how I could live only seeing my child once a month. I know, well I’m deducing, that Tony isn’t with the child’s mother anymore (since he’s dating someone else) but it still sucks right? I guess that’s the best you can do considering his schedule and where the kid lives.
3.) Anthony Joseph Foyt V (That’s number 5!) was born on Saturday to AJ Foyt IV and his wife Casey. More from FoytRacing.com:
Congratulations from everyone at A.J. Foyt Racing to A.J. Foyt IV and his wife Casey on the birth of their first child Anthony Joseph Foyt V. Coming in two weeks ahead of time and with a full head of black hair, Foyt V clocked in at 2:48 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 18th in Indianapolis. He weighed 7 lbs. 1 oz and measured 20 inches. Mother and child are doing fine and the proud poppa hasn’t stopped smiling.
4.) Okay, so this tidbit I didn’t learn while watching the race, I found out by watching Oprah (it’s the last season! gah!). Last week Oprah had The Judds, Wynonna and her mom Naomi, on to discuss their comeback/farewell-for-reals-this-time tour they’re starting this year and it came up that the Judd women including Ashley and her husband Dario Franchitti all live next to each other on a 1,000 acre piece of land outside of Nashville, Tennessee. Ashley’s house is only 60 seconds down the road from Naomi’s and Wynonna’s house is 6 minutes from Naomi. I think this is super cool and their land is gorgeous, complete with a river running through it.
5.) How perfect is it that Will Power won the road course championship and Dario Franchitti clinched the oval course championship and there’s only 13 points separating the two of them going into the final race of the season for the overall IZOD IndyCar Championship? Couldn’t have written it better myself. My money is on Will.
Helio Castroneves won last night’s IZOD IndyCar Series race, the Kentucky Indy 300, at Kentucky Speedway. I only saw Helio in Victory Lane because I was watching the NASCAR Nationwide Series race and it’s extra long post-race coverage.
At any rate, the thing that stuck out the most to me was of course Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Terrell Owens hamming it up in Victory Lane with Helio. You’d think they’d known each other forever. Terrell was taking up so much time the Versus crew had to wait to get their interview with Helio.
So here I was thinking that nothing that interesting was going to happen today while I was at Infineon Raceway for the Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma weekend. Today was the Fluid Film Pole Day and oh what a pole day it was.
So I was sitting on the wall behind the pit stalls for Dan Wheldon and Danica Patrick at the end of the IZOD IndyCar Series practice. Wheldon on my left, Patrick on my right. I stayed there through the Formula Car Challenge Race and then for the Firestone Indy Lights qualifying sessions. It was during the Indy Lights qualifying sessions that this young man suddenly appeared nearby.
He had a curious little box in his hand and he opened it. Inside of it was clearly a ring you’d give to a lady you want to marry. He opened it and closed it quickly. He seemed as if he was practicing his proposal. He was talking to himself out loud, like he was rehearsing what he was going to say. He was pacing.
At first, for like one minute, I thought that he might be some super sweet & romantic race fan that wanted to propose to his longtime girlfriend around the sport for which they shared a love.
But then I quickly started to think that that wasn’t the case at all. I believed that he wanted to propose to Danica Patrick despite the fact that she’s already married and that her husband was there today.
The last IZOD IndyCar Series race, the Iowa Corn Indy 250 presented by Pioneer, was the same weekend as the NASCAR Toyota/SaveMart 350 at Infineon Raceway. So of course I didn’t watch it ’cause I was busy at the track, which sucks because I didn’t get to see Tony Kanaan finally end his 2-year losing streak.
While I didn’t watch the race I did read the post-race quotes from Tony and his teammates at Andretti Autosport. I thought it was pretty telling that all of his teammates, except Danica Patrick, made a point of congratulating Tony. Very interesting. I guess Tony and Danica still have some sort of rift going on (He did say she needed to change her attitude) and who knows how that’s going to play out. Whatever the deal is I thought it was lame for Danica to not, at the very least, say something about how Tony’s win was great for the organization, ‘cause that’s just what you do. Duh.
“I have to thank my team and the entire 7-Eleven crew. They did a great job. I had a great car. I have to thank my teammates, Marco (Andretti) and Ryan (Hunter-Reay), who came over after qualifying. I was very disappointed. I made a mistake during qualifying and I was pretty down. They talked to me for 45 minutes and cheered me up. Marco gave me a little bit of his setup and Ryan actually helped me with the setup, putting it together for today. It was a great job as a team and it feels good.”
– Tony Kanaan
“We had an awesome day. We should have been on the podium with Tony today. We had an incident on pit lane and got black-flagged for it. We had to fight our way back up to the top 10. We had the Ethanol USA-Team IZOD car running in the top three. I’m really disappointed in the end. It should have been a great day for us. Congratulations to Tony; he deserves this for sure.”
“It’s definitely a disappointment to start third and finish where we did. The handling for the Venom car just didn’t make sense. We made all the right adjustments and we were still too loose. I wouldn’t be surprised if we end up finding something broken on the car. We just weren’t able to make it happen today on the ’26′ side, but I’m happy for my teammate (Tony Kanaan) and the ’11′ crew.”
– Marco Andretti
“It was a challenging race for the GoDaddy car. We had a good car, but the longer the race went on, the more difficult the car got, handling-wise. I wish we had a better day, but we’ll take a top-10 finish.”
– Danica Patrick
IndyCar photo fun time after the jump!
The Budweiser Shootout was on Saturday and it was a slip-slidin’ good time, just ask Kurt Busch. Congratulations to Kevin Harvick and the team of the No. 29 Shell/Pennzoil Chevrolet on winning the night’s race.
While I didn’t like the way the race ended, it doesn’t mean that the whole green/white/checkered idea needs to be revisited. Of course we’d all like the race to end under green but what else can we do? Just because something is lame doesn’t mean you have to change something. Sometimes you just have to live with it. You can’t make people not do something that they don’t know that they’re going to do i.e. cause wrecks.
What else did I learn from watching the Budweiser Shootout? Oh, I dunno that there’s only been one race broadcast and I’m already tired of Digger and his friends.
Earlier in the day was the ARCA race featuring Danica Patrick. I don’t know that there were any other drivers in the race besides her and there in lies the whole reason why I’m irked she’s coming to NASCAR, and it’s not even her fault. I don’t fault her. Let me repeat that so everybody doesn’t get all pissed that I’m hating on Danica. I DON’T FAULT HER. It’s the dissection of her move to NASCAR that is the most ANNOYING THING on the planet.
Apparently there’s something in the water of the NASCAR garage because everybody is either procreating or getting married these days, which is further proof that I need to get my butt to a NASCAR race ASAP!
Kyle Busch proposed to his longtime girlfriend Samantha Sarcinella at Daytona Thursday night and she said yes. She’s on Twitter now too, so go follow her. Let’s hope she posts the wedding day details!
In other news…
– Did you know that Nicole Manske married IndyCar driver Ryan Briscoe this past December? I know, I’m a lamer and didn’t. Anywho, I extend my belated congratulations to the couple and follow it up with another “Did you know?” fact. Nicole — who is now going by her married name Briscoe — and Danica Patrick are both from Roscoe, IL and went to the same high school, although a few years separate them. Cool right? And now, Nicole is married to a guy that races against Danica in IndyCar. Fun stuff.
The photo below is from an interview Nicole did with Danica on ESPN last week.
– On Thursday night Jimmie Johnson hit up the Jose Cuervo Platino Penthouse and Hotel 944 Party sponsored by Jose Cuervo and GUINNESS in Miami, Florida with longtime friend Nick Lachey. Also in attendance was Nick’s brother Drew Lachey and former Miss Teen USA Vanessa Minillo (Nick’s girlfriend). The group ran into rapper Snoop Dogg as you can see for yourself in the photo below. I have to wonder what Jimmie’s rapper name would be but I can’t think of anything good. Ideas??
NASCAR driver Jimmie Johnson, rapper Snoop Dogg and singer/TV personality Nick Lachey attend the Hotel 944 Party sponsored by Jose Cuervo and GUINNESS at Eden Roc Renaissance Miami Beach on February 04, 2010 in Miami Beach, Florida. (Photo by: Vallery Jean /Getty for Jose Cuervo)
NASCAR driver Jimmie Johnson, singer/TV personality Drew Lachey and singer/TV personality Nick Lachey attend the Hotel 944 Party sponsored by Jose Cuervo and GUINNESS at Eden Roc Renaissance Miami Beach on February 04, 2010 in Miami Beach, Florida. (Photo by: Vallery Jean /Getty for Jose Cuervo)
Actress/TV personality Vanessa Minillo attends the Hotel 944 Party sponsored by Jose Cuervo and GUINNESS at Eden Roc Renaissance Miami Beach on February 04, 2010 in Miami Beach, Florida. (Photo by: Getty for Jose Cuervo)
It’s only been days since Danica Patrick announced her deal with JR Motorsports to run part-time in the Nationwide series and I’m already done.
The only thing I’d like to read about less would be the latest skank to come out and say she slept with Tiger Woods. (Why would you admit that you slept with a married man? I don’t understand that at all)
It’s kind of hard for me to reconcile my feelings about all of the hubbub surrounding Danica. On the one hand as a female, I’m all for supporting another woman, but I think it should be noted that just because she is a woman doesn’t mean that I’m going to run out and by any and all Danica gear for that same reason.
I support all people, male or female, in their pursuit of their dreams. If you want to be a race car driver and you want to be the best all the better for you, go for it.
So this whole Danica Patrick coming to NASCAR thing is irritating to me on a couple levels.
Take out the fact that she’s a girl and a fan favorite for a moment. What has she done? She’s won ONE race in IndyCar. One race. Uno. That’s all she’s got. No one was losing their mind about the possibility of Sam Hornish Jr. coming over to NASCAR, and he’s won the Indy 500 and the IRL Championship three times.
So what’s with all the hubbub about Danica? If you take out her record then it’s because she’s a woman and she’s pretty. I’ve got absolutely nothing against her (ok, I’m still irked she didn’t know who Gloria Steinem was, but whatevs), of course I want to see a woman compete at the highest levels and win everything there is to win.
And it’s not that I don’t want her to ever come over to NASCAR, I just think she should stay where she is and get great — win more races, and win a Championship. Conquer IndyCar first and then give NASCAR a try. Otherwise, it smells like a gimmick and I don’t like gimmicks.
Last Saturday I arrived at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma bright and early (8am to be exact) for the start of my Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma weekend.
Not long after I picked up my credentials, got to the media center, picked up the necessary schedules and general information I’d need for the day I had my first driver sighting.
Graham Rahal was in Victory Lane with his No. 02 McDonald’s Racing Team car for an interview with a local television station.
Here’s a little known fact about me. I get seriously nervous driving to the racetrack on the first day of a NASCAR race weekend. I mean, I get butterflies and super anxious. I’ve learned that this is a good thing, because if I wasn’t worried about it then it means it’s no big deal and it doesn’t mean anything to me. If I’m nervous about it I’m doing something right.
So that was me on Friday morning driving the super short 30 minutes to Infineon Raceway from my new home in Sonoma County. I moved to the city of Cotati just to be closer to my day job and cut down on my commute expenses but in the process I received the huge bonus of saving my sanity by not having to sit in excruciating traffic leaving the track each day. It’s a beautiful thing.
When I arrived at the track I picked up my credentials and then headed straight to the media center to grab the necessary schedules. I had to park up top next to the helipad and I made the wrong decision to just walk down the hills to the garage instead of waiting for the shuttle. Luckily for me this super nice man offered me a ride in his golf cart. It was great to not have to walk the whole way, but that ride down the hill in a super open vehicle was frightening. The entire time I was mentally and physically bracing myself for the possibility of being catapulted out of it at any moment. Super fun.
Sunday was the IndyCar race day. Driving to the track was a considerably different experience than it is for a NASCAR race, there wasn’t any traffic. Leaving was an entirely different story. It still sucked and what should only take 45 minutes took 2 hours. But that’s the way it goes with race weekends. Although, next year I have a plan for a new route to take me home that should cut down on the time I spend in my car wanting to slit my wrists from all of the stop-and-go traffic.
Anyway, back to the track. It was firefighter appreciation day and as I walked into the paddock area the first thing I saw was this old timey fire truck with the cutest and smartest Dalmatian dog sitting on top of it. I couldn’t believe how obedient he was! He just sat there in the seat and didn’t freak out or bark at the people gathered around staring at him. There was another dog, whose breed I couldn’t tell you, that was barking a lot but the cute Dalmatian could not and would not be baited into barking back.
And then there were these big creamy-colored horses to pull the old timey fire truck. They were huge, but absolutely beautiful. They had a special moment during the pre-race festivities when they pulled the truck down the track and in front of the grandstands.
So I guess IndyCar has this reputation for being more upscale than NASCAR in terms of its fans and such. They’ve got Cristal and Izod for sponsors after all. Well I’m here to tell you that it’s all a bunch of hooey. Why is it that I saw more boobs during this race weekend than I ever have at any NASCAR race I’ve been to? And when I say that I saw boobs I’m not saying that women were flashing them, of course they weren’t but let’s just say they were on display. And why is it that I saw more fans wearing NASCAR gear than anything else? The Dale Earnhardt Jr. fans were out in full effect. Instead of trying to act all hoity-toity I think they should try to soak up some of the NASCAR marketing tactics and get some more butts in the seats.
Oh, speaking of butts in the seats, that’s exactly where they stayed when it came time to try and break the record for the most people doing the twist dance. Yea, that whole idea crashed and burned the minute the music started up. A group of people did dance but mostly everyone just watched. To make something like that work you really have to have a group that’s invested in its success ya know?
So I was totally right when I said that George Lucas would probably make an appearance at the race because Marco Andretti’s car was running the special Blockbuster/STAR WARS: THE CLONE WARS paint scheme. George hung out with Marco during the pre-race festivities and then in his pit during the race. Marco’s race suit was made to look like a storm trooper uniform. I’m not a big fan of the whole codpiece detailing.
In the end, Helio Castroneves won the race, his first of the season and Dan Wheldon and Tony Kanaan were mathematically eliminated from the field running for the Championship with only two races left on the year. This win was a sweet one for the Team Penske guys after having their primary cars go up in smoke (literally) earlier in the week. It’s amazing they were able to come back and finish first with Helio’s Penske teammate Ryan Briscoe coming in second. Briscoe has the most awesome accent by the way. I gotta get to Australia.
Danica Patrick walks to the garage after the PEAK Antifreeze & Motor Oil Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma County on Sunday, August 24, 2008 at Infineon Raceway. (photo credit: The Fast and the Fabulous)
Marco Andretti gets ready for a warm-up session on Sunday, August 24, 2008 at Infineon Raceway. (photo credit: The Fast and the Fabulous)
Ryan Briscoe chats with someone on pit road on Sunday, August 24, 2008 at Infineon Raceway. (photo credit: The Fast and the Fabulous)
Fans gathered around victory lane to watch the first through third place finishers receive their trophies on Sunday, August 24, 2008 at Infineon Raceway. (photo credit: The Fast and the Fabulous)
I thought this guy looked a lot like paparazzo/ex-Britney Spears boyfriend Adnan Ghalib only cuter, but I figured he was probably just a guy from William Rast. WR is the clothing company started by Justin Timberlake and his best friend Trace Ayala. The company was the sponsor of Townsend Bell’s car.
Some dude on pit road on Sunday, August 24, 2008 at Infineon Raceway. (photo credit: The Fast and the Fabulous)
Here is some very, very cool news: Tomorrow (Tuesday, July 22) I’ll be a guest on the ON PIT ROW radio show. I’ll be a part of their “around the NASCAR net” segment and I’ll be discussing some of the current headlines in NASCAR. Now you’ll all get to hear what I sound like and hopefully that won’t be a bad thing.
You can listen to the live broadcast online tomorrow at OnPitRow.com from 5pm – 7pm EST (or 2pm – 4pm PST).
In other news…
– Did you not get enough of Brendan Fraser at Chicagoland? Well then you have to check out the awesome photos (and video) from the great people at Kodak. Their flickr account has some great shots too.
– So I didn’t watch the ESPYs but I did check out some of the photos from the red carpet. I was hoping for more racing related stuff but all I could find was this one of IndyCar’s Danica Patrick. Cute dress and all but I’m not sure how I feel about her hair.
– This is not at all racing related except that I wish that it was. Former NFL quarterback and The Bachelor bachelor Jesse Palmer is an on-air talent guy for ESPN’s show College Football Live and he’s so freaking hot. I really think ESPN should institute some sort of broadcaster exchange program. Maybe we could swap Rusty Wallace with Jesse for a weekend or two?? I’m just sayin’ it could be fun.
If only I could embed this video. ugh.
Danica Patrick took issue with fellow IndyCar driver Milka Duno this weekend at Mid Ohio and you must see the video of Danica confronting Milka about her driving. It’s hilarious and I love it.
I don’t understand why the woman, Milka, didn’t stand there and talk to Danica like a human being. Danica wasn’t being unreasonable, and seeing as how this isn’t the first time Milka has put people in precarious positions I’m surprised something like this hasn’t happened sooner.
I get back from Chicago and what happens? I get sick! Ugh. I have a cold but I’m getting better, I think the worst is over.
In other news…
– Jimmie Johnson won the ESPY for Best Driver. The show doesn’t air until this Sunday, July 20 at 9pm EST on ESPN and ESPN HD. Apparently word has it that Justin Timberlake killed as the show’s host, and IndyCar driver Danica Patrick appeared to be really, really short when standing next to really, really tall people. Who knew?
– Hendrick Motorsports driver Landon Cassill and I have something in common, we’re both still trying to get comfortable with being in the NASCAR garage. On how he feels he’s grown since his first Nationwide series start last year, the 19-year-old had this to say: “I feel like I have a higher level of confidence than I did a year ago. I know my way around the garage a lot better, and I know NASCAR race procedures so much better. Just to have that seat time is pretty important, and, obviously, I’ll be better next year than I was this year, too.”
– Did you know you can buy prints of ESPN The Magazine covers? They’ll even frame ‘em too! Yea! I know, I’m all over it. There are 6 NASCAR driver covers and 3 of the six are of course Dale Earnhardt Jr. but I’d be inclined to pick up the Carl Edwards cover too (see left) for obvious reasons. Ahem.
– Here’s the “no duh” headline of the week, from FOXSports.com: “Keselowski enjoys racing, competing for wins.” Please show me the driver that hates racing and has no desire to compete for wins.
I’m so glad and excited about the fact that Danica Patrick won her first race this weekend in the Indy Racing League. It’s an awesome thing and I think it’s safe to say that we all knew it was going to happen eventually it was just a matter of when.
My overall feeling was one of sadness that I didn’t get to see it happen live. I purposely went looking for the IndyCar race on television on Saturday and what I found on ESPN with a title of IRL Racing was in actuality professional women’s billiards. At that point I gave up ’cause after the Red Sox/Yankees debacle of last week I was over searching for races.
So yea, I’m sad I didn’t get to see it happen. I have to say that as a woman I am truly proud of this moment in motorsports history. This is a big deal and it’s important, it proves once and for all that it doesn’t matter what your gender is and that at the end of the day it’s about your drive and passion for the sport.
The only thing I’m not looking forward to is the coverage that’s going to come next. Instead of asking her when she’s going to get her first win it’s going to be all about when she’s going to get her second. And even in general, this will take her to another level of celebrity in the sport and outside. So are you ready for Danica Mania 2.0?
And following that thought, check out this promotion from Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, Calif. for their IndyCar race in August:
See Danica In Sonoma with FREE Weekend Garage Pass
Danica Patrick made history with her first-ever IndyCar Series victory on Sunday, April 20. You’ll get a chance to see her first-hand when the open-wheel series visits Infineon Raceway for the Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma County, Aug. 22-24.
For a limited time, the raceway will issue a FREE garage pass, with the purchase of a weekend race ticket to the event. Weekend tickets start at just $65. And with kids 12 and under FREE on Friday and Saturday (Aug. 22-23) and parking FREE all weekend, it’s the perfect outing for the perfect price.
You’ll get to stroll right past Patrick’s Motorola hauler and watch the race team prepare her car for the big race on Infineon’s twisting road course. You might even catch a glimpse of Patrick herself, or even get an autograph. You won’t want to miss this golden opportunity to not only see Patrick, but also other stars like Helio Castroneves, Marco Andretti and Graham Rahal.
This is offer is limited, so act today by calling 800-870-RACE or link to our IndyCar ticket page.
I think it’s weird to forecast the season or a drivers performance abilities based off of ONE race. I think that at least ten races have to pass before I can tell you if someone is having a sucky or great season. I know people have to write about something other than Tony Stewart’s hair but c’mon.
So I’ve been checking the weather down in Southern California and it looks like there’s a chance of showers on Sunday in Fontana. I’ve never been to a race with a rain delay. So if the rain does come down during the race that could be interesting. I’ll have to figure out where Dale Earnhardt Jr.‘s coach is located. Just kidding. Sorta. No, I’m kidding. Maybe.
In other news…
– California Speedway is no longer California Speedway. It was announced this week that it is now to be called The Auto Club Speedway of Southern California. California Speedway was a lot easier to say, but whatever.
– MomLogic has posted an interview with Pattie Petty, wife of Kyle Petty and mother to Adam Petty, a 4th generation NASCAR driver, who was tragically killed in an on-track accident in 2000. How Pattie Petty Honors Her Son’s Memory
– Kurt Busch will be signing autographs at The Palms Hotel & Casino in Vegas next Friday the 29th at 7:30pm, in the Palms Food Court. The Food Court??
– It was announced today that the IndyCar Series and Champ Car World Series have reached an agreement and are merging in time for the 2008 racing season. Michael Andretti says this:
“This is a huge day for the IndyCar Series and for our sport as a whole, for sure. Over the years, whether I was in the role of driver, team owner or promoter, I have always wanted a unified sport. That has been my only goal throughout this entire process and I applaud everyone who played a role in making this happen. So many people have worked tirelessly, both publicly and behind the scenes, to get this done. Everyone can now focus on taking the IndyCar Series to new heights for the good of our sport and everyone involved in it.”
There was a poll last year that showed that 29% of NASCAR drivers thought that Athena Barber (Clint Bowyer’s girlfriend at the time) was hotter then their own girlfriend or wife. I think as soon as those guys take a look at Ingrid Vandebosch’s (Jeff Gordon’s wife) photos in the latest Sport Illustrated swimsuit issue they’ll be singing another tune. Her body is ridiculous, especially when you take into consideration that this woman gave birth not that long ago. For more photos of Ingrid check out the photo gallery at SI.com.
Oh and before I forget, IndyCar racer Danica Patrick also graces the pages of the 2008 SI Swimsuit edition.
In other news…
– I knew something was up when I came across Michael Waltrip’s driver page in the NASCAR Media Guide. See, they always list a driver’s marital status and if they’re married they list their wife’s name too. Well when I came across Mikey’s there wasn’t a line for marital status at all. Was it a typo? Turns out it was no mistake at all (I guess), after consulting the website of the queen of NASCAR gossip, I found out that Buffy & Michael are indeed getting a divorce.
– I knew Ashley Judd would make a big impression on NASCAR but I didn’t think it would happen this fast. I mean technically the season hasn’t started yet. Ashley wore a dress to the qualifying sessions for the Daytona 500 on Sunday which is a no-no in NASCAR garage rules. Women can’t wear dresses or open toe shoes. She got the shoes right at least. So now there’s talk of a double-standard. She shouldn’t be allowed to do it, and I’m betting (hoping) that maybe she just didn’t get that memo. With all the talk of this incident floating around the internets I’m sure NASCAR will do or say something.
– Oh, did you hear? Dale Earnhardt Jr. won the Budweiser Shootout on Saturday. Yea, I’m just kinda happy about that. It was a long time coming and it felt great to finally see that team in victory lane. This Sprint Cup season is going to be so much fun.
– So here’s something kinda fun and quirky. A guy named Ryan Parker wrote a song about NASCAR. It’s set to the tune of Billy Joel’s “We Didn’t Start The Fire.” Check it out below!
I caught the end of the IndyCar race at Nashville this past weekend and I have to say that it was pretty boring. I think that’s saying something coming from a racing fan. I mean, I don’t know what it is about those cars but it’s so not that interesting. They’re so far apart from each other, there isn’t that much side-by-side racing, plus there’s only like 18 cars on the track. That’s no where near as intriguing as if it were 43.
But anyway that being said I still watched the race, half-hoping that another post-race fight would break out to spice things up. Unfortunately no dice. The only thing that managed to get me worked up was the lap traffic that kept Danica Patrick from having a real chance at winning her first race. The IndyCar powers that be really need to take a look at this thing. It’s utterly insane to me have to a person that’s 3rd re-starting in the 13th position behind cars that are 1, 2 or 3 laps down. I know the lap cars are still racing for position but let’s be realistic, the person with an actual shot of winning and making the race fun to watch is more important. Not some dope trying to move from 17th to 16th.
In between trying to put together toys and eating my 6 year-old nephew’s yummy birthday cake, I tried to catch the race at Infineon this past weekend.
I don’t even want to acknowledge the fact that Juan Pablo Montoya won the race (but there ya go). He’s seriously the last person (er one of the last people) that I wanted to win this thing. It was all entirely disappointing. I saw the headline “Montoya’s win left something to be desired” and I hoped that it would talk about how insincere he sounded in victory lane, but instead it was just about the fact that he won because of fuel strategy and not skill. I’ll take what I can get.
Eventhough Dale Earnhardt Jr. ended up finishing 13th, still not getting a top 10 in Sonoma, he started third and ran up front for the majority of the race. I think every Dale Jr. fan should feel good about that. While I would love it for him to win, at this point in the year all I care about is making sure he makes it into the Chase.
Speaking of the Chase… There’s a website that is analyzing the chances of drivers making it into the NASCAR version of playoffs (the final 10 races of the season). It’s pretty cool, and kind of depressing if your favorite driver has only a 4.9% chance (Casey Mears!) of making it into the Chase. Check out SportsClubStats.com
Dale Jr. ranked 6th this year in Harris Interative’s poll: “Who is your favorite sports star?” Tiger Woods came in first for the second year in a row. The complete list is as follows:
1.) Tiger Woods
2.) Derek Jeter
3.) Michael Jordan
4.) Brett Favre
5.) LeBron James
6.) Dale Earnhardt Jr.
7.) Tim Duncan
8.) Peyton Manning
9.) Kobe Bryant
10.) Tom Brady
My question is how did Kobe Bryant get on that list? Eww. For the women tennis star Serena Williams came in first, followed by IndyCar driver Danica Patrick. Check out the complete poll results from Harris Interactive.
Left to right: Jeff Gordon, Jerry Rice, Troy Aikman and Jimmie Johnson pose for a photo prior to the driver’s meeting at Infineon Raceway. (Photo Credit: Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)
– I didn’t think it was possible to dislike a driver more than I do Juan Pablo Montoya. He totally beats out Kyle Busch and Tony Stewart in the lack of warm & fuzzies department. He doesn’t give off any kind of vibe that says that he cares about his fans or anything. I’m sure he appreciates them in general, but I have a feeling that any kind of success that he has is purely for his own ego and that’s about it. He doesn’t show you anything that leads you to believe that there’s something more to him. When I think of Juan Pablo I’m reminded of a scene in the classic television sitcom “Seinfeld.” Elaine ponders if there was perhaps more to Jerry’s rival Newman than what they had seen/knew; he simply replies “No, there’s less.”
– Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon must be stopped! I’m not saying this because I’m not one of their biggest fans I’m saying this because it’s incredibly boring watching them win every weekend. And I would think other fans would have to agree with that. It’s just lame. I love close finishes, which we’ve had, but what we desperately need is some serious overall competition. It can’t just be one team or one or two drivers that swap trophies every weekend. It’s getting old.
– In July NASCAR will launch the “NASCAR Cooks! Race Day Recipe Contest,” in which one lucky fan will receive party at their house with a special NASCAR celebrity… which is another way of saying that it won’t be a NASCAR driver… details below:
The contest will consist of fans submitting recipes, which must include at least one “NASCAR Cooks!” family of products, online at NASCAR.com, where online visitors can also download and vote for their favorite recipe. Finalists will be posted online and the winner will receive a party at their house for him or her and their 20 closest friends. The grand prize winner will receive a NASCAR viewing party and backyard tailgate with a NASCAR celebrity during an upcoming NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series race.
Fans interested in participating will be able to download contest rules and an application online at NASCAR.com later this summer.
– In honor of Mother’s Day (which is actually on Sunday) the Nextel Cup series drivers’ moms will be the official grand marshal’s of the Saturday night race at Darlington. Casey Mears’ mom Carol will be in attendance and he’d like nothing more than to win one for her, says Casey, “I’ve told my mom before that I wouldn’t be where I am today without her, but it would be pretty special to tell her again this weekend in Victory Lane. She’s an amazing person and a great mom.”
All of the mom’s will gather before the race to give the command “Sons, start your engines!” Awwww.
– And now something for those IndyCar fans out there. There’s a headline that says “Danica feels pressure to win more races,” how about just winning one for a change?
Like I’ve said before the Indy 500 is on May 27th and this entire month will be dedicated to speculation about every angle, every possible outcome and analysis of every single driver in the field. My hope, my deepest sincerest hope is that Michael Andretti can pull out the win this year. It’s so annoying to have come so close to just fail again and again. I would say that even if Michael doesn’t win it, then it’d be great if his son, Marco Andretti did, but even that’s not good enough. Michael has to win it, period.
I usually love the whole green, white, checkered, ending — now dubbed Overdrive — but this weekend it was pretty lame. It was very anti-climactic.
I’m not going to go into the whole Jeff Gordon-breaking-Dale Earnhardt Sr.’s-career-wins-record-fans-go-crazy debacle, except to say that I agree with tallglassofmilk in that if the Talladega fans can’t behave themselves ‘Dega should lose it’s second race. They should hand it over to Infineon, us Northern California NASCAR fans know not to throw things when we’re mad. We’d just make shirts that say things like “Anybody But Gordon” and call it day.
I’m still annoyed/upset about Casey Mears’ crash in the middle of the race. I thought he was going to make it this time and finally win one but alas it was not meant to be. He was so pissed when he jumped out of his car, seeing that emotion reminds you how much this means to these guys. It’s not just another day at the office. They go out there every race with the intention to win.
It was so very cool to see no-name drivers race upfront this weekend. Guys like Sterling Marlin, Kenny Wallace, David Ragan, Regan Smith, and David Stremme all led laps at Talladega. Congrats to them, I want to see more of that. Words cannot express how sick I am of seeing Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon winning these races.
The rest of my Sunday was filled with more racing coverage. After the NASCAR Nexel Cup race I caught the end of the IndyCar race in Kansas. Dan Wheldon was the winner and apparently there was some pit road debacle involving teammates Danica Patrick and Tony Kanaan. Tony took a page from the Tony Stewart PR handbook and left the race track without commenting on the events of pit road (Danica hit his car on her way out of the pits which ultimately caused Tony to fall 8 laps down, finishing 15th for the day).
Now everyone’s attention will turn to the Indianapolis 500, the race is on May 27th but the media hype is already beginning. Oh yay, a whole month of talking about the same things over and over and over again.
In other news…
Ashley Force went up against John Force for the first time in her burgeoning Funny Car career. She beat her dad in the first round at Atlanta Dragway.
The marquee match of the day was in round one when Ashley Force beat her famous father, John, by a 4.779 to 5.783 margin in the first father-daughter Pro-level race in NHRA history.
“Today I’m a proud father,” John said. “I’ve dreamed of this day for a long time, and it makes me emotional to think it finally came true. She’s a great young driver and she’s probably gonna whip me a bunch, but I’m okay with it because she’s my baby.”
Ashley went on to win her second round match-up but lost in the semifinals to Mike Ashley. All in all still a great day for women in the NHRA, it won’t be long until she’s a Funny Car winner.
Jeff Gordon is saluted by Dale Earnhardt Jr. after winning the Aaron’s 499 at Talladega Superspeedway. (Photo Credit: Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Fans throw beer cans onto the track as Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Dupont Chevrolet, takes the Sunoco checkered flag to win the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series Aaron’s 499 at Talladega Superspeedway on April 29, 2007 in Talladega, Alabama. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 DuPont Chevrolet, poses for a photo with his wife, model Ingrid Vandebosch, in victory lane after after Gordon won the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series Aaron’s 499 at Talladega Superspeedway on April 29, 2007 in Talladega, Alabama. (Photo by Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Check out Jay-Z‘s new video for “Show Me What You Got”, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Danica Patrick make cameos… The first minute is the best part.
Happy Birthday to Dale Earnhardt Jr.! He turns 32 today.
Speaking of Dale Jr., he and IndyCar racer Danica Patrick are both in the new Jay-Z video “Show Me What You Got.” It’s the first single off of Jay-Z’s new CD that’s set for release in November. The video was shot on location in Monaco and will premiere on MTV on Monday, October 16th.
More details (and photos) from MTV News.
The Nuge is here! Yes folks Ted Nugent is at the Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma today. It looks like he got to take a hot lap around the track with IndyCar driver Sam Hornish Jr. I snapped a quick picture through the window of the media center. It’s not the greatest photo but still. Danica Patrick was also driving a Honda Safety Car around the track. I have no idea why the Nugent is here, although he did play a show at the Fillmore earlier this week, but he’s not the Grand Marshall. Whatever the circumstances it’s very cool to see a rock legend enjoying the races.
Danica Patrick behind the wheel of a Honda Safety Car (the official pace car)
There’s a rumor running around that, on the heels of the announcement of Juan-Pablo Montoya coming to NASCAR from Formula 1, Danica Patrick might be pondering a jump from IRL to NASCAR.
I have very mixed emotions about this. First off I have no idea why she’d want to make the move. I don’t understand why she’d think about coming to NASCAR just because her contract with Rahal-Letterman Racing is up at the end of this season. It’s not like she’s made such a huge impact on IRL yet. Yes, she’s a woman and yes she’s the first woman to ever lead laps in the Indy 500, but she didn’t win the race. She should actually wait and do something before moving on to something else. Win the championship, win more races. Make a name for yourself outside of just being a woman. I’m not saying that she isn’t trying but I just want a real reason outside of her dad (he’s also her business manager) wanting her to go to NASCAR.
I’m a total feminist, I’m all for women excelling in male dominated arenas. I just want us to push past all of the excitement that we’re running with the big boys, I want us to pass/beat the big boys too!
The only thing that’s bugged me about Danica is a comment she made in an interview a while back. The writer asked Danica if she kind of thought of herself as the Gloria Steinem of racing, to which Danica said something like “Is that bad? Who is that?” You could have knocked me over with a feather. How can you not know who Gloria Steinem is and be a woman at the same time?? Ugh! While I don’t expect her to know everything about Steinem’s career, you should at least have a general understanding of what she’s about.
If Danica is to come to NASCAR she should work her way up, start out in the Busch series at least. Oh and don’t get me started about the Busch series. Why can’t they keep the Nextel Cup full-time drivers out of Busch racing? I think Busch would be better if it was full of unknown, up & coming drivers leaving the Nextel Cup series as something even bigger to aspire to than it already is for them.
About this past race weekend at Chicagoland; how cool was it to see Jeff Gordon spin out Matt Kenseth? And then how awesome was it to see Matt Kenseth super pissed off after the race?? I love that stuff. I know NASCAR frowns upon that kind of thing but there’s nothing you can do about it. The drivers are human and I would hate it if they acted like weren’t. The best thing about competition in general is the human spirit and passion behind it. Plus you know we’re all going to be tuning in next weekend to see if Kenseth retaliates! We can only hope.