All posts tagged Dario Franchitti

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my weekend, so far, in vegas

After a road trip that consisted of over 500 miles, one prison, and 50 Lance Burton billboards, I made it to Las Vegas on Friday.

I checked in to the hotel I went straight to the track to pick up my credentials. Traffic was crap.

Here’s the thing you should know about me. I’m a rule follower. I don’t like to break rules. It bothers me when others break rules. If we all say we’re going to do it one way I don’t like it when people disregard all of that and do whatever they want. So with that being said, I thought I was prepared.  Well as much as I could be given the fact that when you’re given credentials nobody tells you anything about where anything is. It’s all up to you to figure it out. Of course you can ask (and I have), but I don’t understand why they don’t have some sheet that just outlines basic stuff, like here’s how you get to the media center, here’s what those symbols on your credentials mean and what they give you access to, here’s why you’re not getting a parking pass, etc.

So back to Friday, My first mistake was getting off at the exit for general parking, there was another exit designated for people picking up credentials but I didn’t find that out until yesterday when I was on my way to the track again.

After exiting the freeway, I went in the direction that should have taken me to another road where I should have been able to turn left. Mm, no. All of the cops in the world were out in force and were diverting traffic to the right. So I went right. But I still needed to get to the credential office before it closed. So because my hands were tied, I did what the other people who were pissed that they couldn’t go left like they needed to did, I made what I’m sure was an illegal u-turn and headed back up the road. I crossed in front of oncoming traffic to turn into the credentials gate, no help from the cops there.

After I got my credentials I decided to just go back to the hotel. There was no way I was going to figure out how to get into the track at that point. Besides, I was tired and qualifying was over.

The navigation system in my car said that it should take 25 minutes to get back to the hotel. It actually took an hour. Traffic in general on the city streets was slow and then once you were on the highway there were two accidents to contend with.

So that was Friday. Saturday I made sure I got up early to be at the track as soon as the gates opened so I could get a good parking spot. Here’s the problem with that plan. There’s like thousands of other NASCAR fans who had the exact same plan. My spot ended up not being that bad but it was still a bit of a walk to get to the track entrance.

This was my first time to Las Vegas Motor Speedway. I was in awe of the Media Center. In the first floor lobby there’s this big wall of glass looking out at the start/finish line and pit row. I think I might have actually said “whoa” out loud.

It’s a beautiful, pristine building. But you know there’s a gripe coming right? The Media Center has three floors. The first has a lounge, a big meeting room (for drivers meetings and the like) and direct access to pit road. The second floor is where the deadline media have their view of the start/finish line and it’s where all of the PR materials, schedules & stat sheets live. The third floor, complete with roof access is where the VIP suites are situated. I’m not deadline media so that means I can sit in one of the workrooms and watch the race on a TV. I just think there’s something off about that. I’m here at the race with all this access and yet I still have to watch the race on a TV? Why not let me have access to the roof with the high rollers? I’ll promise to not eat anything from their platters of food.

I have no idea where I’ll be watching the race from today, but I can guarantee you it won’t be solely from a TV.  The more I think about that the more it irks me. Ugh. Anyway…

Below are photos from Friday and Saturday. I’m posting my photos tomorrow as I forgot to bring my USB cord with me today. Lame.


Photo Credit: Harry How/Getty Images

Kasey Kahne retreats to his hauler after he was one of six Dodge drivers to find the wall during Friday’s practice for the UAW-Dodge 400 at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. (Photo Credit: Harry How/Getty Images)

Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/Getty Images for NASCAR

Reigning NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and Indy Racing League Indy Car Series champions Jimmie Johnson and Dario Franchitti chat while looking for shade from the hot Las Vegas sun during qualifying for the UAW-Dodge 400. (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Photo Credit: Harry How/Getty Images

Tony Stewart motions to his crew what he’s experiencing on the track during practice for the UAW-Dodge 400 at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. (Photo Credit: Harry How/Getty Images)

Photo Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR

Kasey Kahne was fastest in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series final practice on Saturday for Sunday’s UAW-Dodge 400 at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. (Photo Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Photo Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR

Doing the double this weekend, Greg Biffle qualified his NASCAR Nationwide Series car and then hopped in his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series ride for two practices before racing his Nationwide car on Saturday. (Photo Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/Getty Images for NASCAR

Mark Martin (No. 5) slides by after making contact with Carl Edwards (No. 60) who collided with Brad Keselowski (No. 88) late in the Sam Town’s 300 at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Photo Credit: Rusty Jarrett / Getty Images

Dale Earnhardt Jr. celebrates the first win for JR Motorsports with Mark Martin taking the No. 5 to victory lane. (Photo Credit: Rusty Jarrett / Getty Images)

jeff gordon’s wife gets back to her dayjob

Ingrid Vandebosch in Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition - SI.COM 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!

would you like more water? coffee? tea?

Check out the photo below. It is of the Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates open wheel and stock car drivers for 2008. Now, is it just me or do they look like waiters? Or maybe service dudes from my local dealership? I’m just sayin’… :)

Photo Credit: HHP/Harold Hinson

Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates introduces its open wheel and stock car teams on Monday during the Charlotte Media Tour. From left to right, Juan Pablo Montoya, Scott Pruett, Reed Sorenson, Scott Dixon, Sabates, Ganassi, Dario Franchitti, Memo Rojas, Alex Lloyd and Bryan Clauson represent six different countries. (Photo Credit: HHP/Harold Hinson)

tony stewart’s hair: better long or short?

Ya know, I’m not quite sure which I like better. I’m usually a big fan of dudes with long hair but I don’t know how I feel about it on Tony.

At any rate, here are more fantastic photos from the second week of testing at Daytona. These were taken yesterday.


Photo Credit: Rusty Jarrett / Getty Images for NASCAR

Tony Stewart shares a laugh with the media during a Preseason Thunder news conference following Tuesday morning’s test session. (Photo Credit: Rusty Jarrett / Getty Images for NASCAR)

Photo Credit: Sam Greenwood / Getty Images for NASCAR

Sam Hornish Jr. signs autographs for fans on Tuesday morning during the second week of Preseason Thunder testing at Daytona International Speedway. (Photo Credit: Sam Greenwood / Getty Images for NASCAR)

Photo Credit: Rusty Jarrett / Getty Images for NASCAR

Dario Franchitti puts on his balaclava as he gets ready to test on the second day of the second week of Preseason Thunder testing at Daytona International Speedway. (Photo Credit: Rusty Jarrett / Getty Images for NASCAR)

Photo Credit: Rusty Jarrett / Getty Images for NASCAR

Three-time Daytona 500 winner Dale Jarrett will go for gold in his final Great American Race on Feb. 17 at the Daytona International Speedway. (Photo Credit: Rusty Jarrett / Getty Images for NASCAR)

Photo Credit: Rusty Jarrett / Getty Images for NASCAR

Dale Earnhardt Jr. poses with the special 50th running of the Daytona 500 edition of the Harley J. Earl Trophy during Preseason Thunder testing at Daytona International Speedway. (Photo Credit: Rusty Jarrett / Getty Images for NASCAR)

Photo Credit: Rusty Jarrett / Getty Images for NASCAR

It’s like he’s staring into your soul. Great photo. :)

Bill Elliott takes a break from testing the No. 21 Wood Brothers Ford during the second week of Preseason Thunder testing at Daytona International Speedway. (Photo Credit: Rusty Jarrett / Getty Images for NASCAR)

that’s a mighty short press release

I just recieved this press release from Andretti Green Racing regarding Dario Franchitti:

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Oct. 2, 2007) – Andretti Green Racing announced today it has released Dario Franchitti from his driver agreement.

The team’s agreement with Franchitti was set to expire later this year.

That’s it? That’s all ya got?? Whatever… He’s driving in the ARCA race at Talladega this weekend and it’s been said that he’ll be taking over the No. 40 from David Stremme next year. Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates has a press conference scheduled for tomorrow to announce their new driver.

Welcome to NASCAR Dario (and Ashley)!

50 cent and cousin carl get sirius

After yesterday’s technical difficulties all is back to normal in Fast & Fabulous land. I’ll soon be moving this site and my others to a new host in the hopes of avoiding yesterdays service interruption. Yay.

Anyway, on to the news. Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Hendrick Motorsports will be revealing the last pieces of the puzzle next week when they announce who the major sponsors of Dale’s car will be and the number that will be on said car. Rumor has it that will be a combination of the energy drink Amp and the National Guard. I guess the National Guard seems likely since they’re the ones that currently co-sponsor the #25 that next year will turn into whatever number Hendrick has been able to get it’s hands on. I’m hoping they grabbed the 88, that’d make the most sense, and for those numbskulls out there that got the #8 tattooed on their bodies it would be easy (in theory) to add another 8.

I love Ashley Judd, I love her whole family (one of my first concerts was in fact a Judds show). The woman is just plain cool. If Dario Franchitti does in fact make the switch from IndyCar to NASCAR I’m all for it if it means we get to see Ashley. She’s so fun; it’ll be great to get her perspective and opinions on the competition. She gives her opinion on things whether or not it’s been asked for and I totally dig that, like last weekend when she called out the No. 23 team of Milka Duno for being so slow on the track, which in Ashley’s words was putting other drivers in danger. She wasn’t way off base, the announcers basically agreed with her, without actually saying so though.

Oh and while I’m on the subject of IndyCar, there’s one driver that I won’t be so excited to see in NASCAR and that’s Sam Hornish Jr. He is so friggin’ boring. I feel like taking a nap every time I hear him speak. He seems so lethargic and devoid of any personality. He never seems that excited about anything. He could just be a quiet, low key person, which I totally get ’cause I’m like that, but still show me something!

In other news…

– In an effort to not be outdone by Tiger Woods, Jeff Gordon has posted a gallery of photos of his daughter Ella.

David Stremme has been dubbed “Mayor of the Infield.” But just when he gets props for being loved by fans he’s supposedly losing his ride. How screwed is that? Apparently it’s so screwed that even Juan Pablo Montoya is sad about it… although I doubt he’ll cry.

Fun Friday photo — worlds are colliding!:


newyork_50centcedwards.jpg

Carl Edwards meets music artist 50 Cent while at Sirius Radio for Chase Media Day. (Photo Credit: Sirius Radio)

who won the indy 500??

Hehe… I kid, I kid… I was very happy that Dario Franchitti pulled out the win at the Indianapolis 500 today but I was even MORE excited that Casey Mears won the Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway.

There’s no one else that I wanted to see win that race more than Casey (ok, maybe Dale Jr.) and his reaction to winning was all I needed to see. This is totally what NASCAR is all about; newbies winning, being emotional and truly appreciating the moment.

All I can say is congratulations to the #25 National Guard/GMAC Chevrolet team! What a great way to celebrate the Memorial Day weekend by winning one for our troops overseas. Awesome.

this is the good stuff

I’ve been wanting to write this entry since Sunday but my grand plans about doing it once I left the track slowly eroded as I was stuck in traffic for 2 hours. That’s the only incredibly irritating thing about going to a race at Infineon, the drive home! It never fails. There’s literally only one lane out in each direction. I forgot to grab a cold drink and a snack before I got in my car so I was parched and starving; trying to sing along with my CDs in the hopes that it would help me to forget my hunger. It didn’t.

Anyway, I’m back at work and there’s so much that I haven’t talked about yet. So let’s get to it.

First off, this past weekend there were about a million times it seemed that I had to stop, look around and say to myself, “Look at where you are, remember this.” The first such moment was with Gene Simmons. Yes, he’s kinda weird but it was pretty surreal to have him just sitting in front of me, blabbering on about how great IndyCar racing is.

The second moment was when Tony Kanaan walked past me after the race. He went into the winners circle to congratulate Marco Andretti and then pushed past me and others to get to the garage area. He came up my chest. He’s short. :)

The third and final memorable moment of the day was after the race when Marco and Michael Andretti (Marco’s dad) were in the media center answering questions. This was Marco’s first IndyCar win, ever and he’s only 19 (although to me he looks like he’s twelve). He’s the youngest winner of a major open-wheel event to date. So this race, this win, was a huge deal and I was there to witness it. I’ll never forget it.

I’m a NASCAR fan and I’ll watch IRL stuff for a little bit if it’s on, or if it’s the Indy 500. Going to this race really didn’t change that for me. During the national anthem there wasn’t a fly-over! What kind of race is it without a fly-over? The crew members were hot I must admit, especially one particular guy on Dan Wheldon’s team. Hello!

But I digress. :)

I did get to see Ashley Judd, Dario Franchitti’s wife, and she looked great. I have a great photo of the back of her head, in case you’re interested. I also saw Danica Patrick a lot. There really isn’t anything that great to tell about her.

Infineon wasn’t as packed as it was for the NASCAR race in June, but there were still a ton of race fans on hand for the event. Overall I though, I thought the race was fun, cool and very memorable.