All posts tagged Darrell Waltrip

22 Posts
bristol_march_featured

bristol was missing something (not just butts in the seats)

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! :)

Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the No. 88 National Guard/AMP Energy Chevrolet, participates in a media session on March 18 at Bristol.

Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the No. 88 National Guard/AMP Energy Chevrolet, participates in a media session on March 18 at Bristol. (Courtesy of Hendrick Motorsports)

Ricky Stenhouse Jr celebrates winning the Coors Light Pole Award for the NASCAR Nationwide Scotts EZ Seed 300 at Bristol Motor Speedway. (Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Ricky Stenhouse Jr celebrates winning the Coors Light Pole Award for the NASCAR Nationwide Scotts EZ Seed 300 at Bristol Motor Speedway. (Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Crew Members working on pit road during NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practice at Bristol Motor Speedway (Credit: Chris Trotman/Getty Images)

Crew Members working on pit road during NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practice at Bristol Motor Speedway (Credit: Chris Trotman/Getty Images)

Kasey Kahne watches practice at Bristol Motor Speedway. Kahne was fourth fastest in practice with a top speed of 127.929mph. (Credit: Geoff Burke/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Kasey Kahne watches practice at Bristol Motor Speedway. Kahne was fourth fastest in practice with a top speed of 127.929mph. (Credit: Geoff Burke/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Jeff Gordon looks on as his crew makes adjustments to the No. 24 Pepsi Max Chevrolet at Bristol Motor Speedway (Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Jeff Gordon looks on as his crew makes adjustments to the No. 24 Pepsi Max Chevrolet at Bristol Motor Speedway (Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Elliott Sadler watches practice after posting the third quickest lap of 15.677 seconds in NASCAR Nationwide Series final practice at Bristol Motor Speedway (Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Elliott Sadler watches practice after posting the third quickest lap of 15.677 seconds in NASCAR Nationwide Series final practice at Bristol Motor Speedway (Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Danica Patrick shows her frustration after an incident on lap 248 during the Scotts EZ Seed 300 at Bristol Motor Speedway (Credit: Geoff Burke/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Danica Patrick shows her frustration after an incident on lap 248 during the Scotts EZ Seed 300 at Bristol Motor Speedway (Credit: Geoff Burke/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Ingrid Vandebosch, wife of Jeff Gordon, with their son Leo before the start of the Jeff Byrd 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway

Ingrid Vandebosch, wife of Jeff Gordon, with their son Leo before the start of the Jeff Byrd 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway (Credit: John Harrelson/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Jimmie Johnson hold his daughter, Genevieve, before the start of the Jeff Byrd 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway

Jimmie Johnson hold his daughter, Genevieve, before the start of the Jeff Byrd 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway (Credit: John Harrelson/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Kyle Busch performs a burnout on the front stretch after winning the Jeff Byrd 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway (Credit: Geoff Burke/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Kyle Busch performs a burnout on the front stretch after winning the Jeff Byrd 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway (Credit: Geoff Burke/Getty Images for NASCAR)

vegas_saturday_featured-danica

danica patrick writes herself into nascar history, wax dale earnhardt stays in the shade

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!

i only care about tony stewart’s love life

Racing under the lights at Richmond International Raceway on Saturday. (Credit: Al Bello/Getty Images for NASCAR)Yesterday’s Crown Royal Presents the Heath Calhoun 400 was a rousing success because Tony Stewart had a new blonde girlfriend with him on pit road during the pre-race ceremonies. It’s not everyday Tony has a woman with him on pit road. Actually it’s been quite awhile since we last saw him with his arm around anyone. So yes, I’m that friggin’ nosey.

I wonder if Tony knows that there are thousands of women out there that think he should get married and have babies already. And I’m sure half of those women think that he should do all of that with them. I, for one, think that he would make some cute kids so he should get crackin’.

:)


(Left to right) Anheuser-Busch Sports Marketing Manager Brian Dunlap shakes hands with Darrell Waltrip, who also raced this paint scheme at one point during his career. Kasey Kahne will drive the No. 9 Ford at Richmond International Raceway this weekend. (Credit: Harold Hinson)

There is soo much going on in this photo that it’s making my head hurt. :)

(Left to right) Anheuser-Busch Sports Marketing Manager Brian Dunlap shakes hands with Darrell Waltrip, who also raced this paint scheme at one point during his career. Kasey Kahne will drive the No. 9 Ford at Richmond International Raceway this weekend. (Credit: Harold Hinson)

michael waltrip should be the next ‘bachelor’

Michael Waltrip (credit: Getty Images for NASCAR)2009 turned out to be Michael Waltrip’s last year as a full-time Sprint Cup Series driver. It’s bittersweet because on the one hand he’s making room for a young driver — Martin Truex Jr. — to grow in the sport, but on the other hand Michael won’t be competing every week.

I’ve always liked Mikey because he’s so freaking funny. There isn’t another driver around right now (ok, maybe Kenny Wallace) that is as charismatic and entertaining as Michael Waltrip. I always want to hear him talk, about anything.

So now that Mikey will have more time on his hands next year, he’s only running a part-time schedule, I figured it might be a good idea to give him a couple suggestions on what he could do to fill up the rest of his days.

1.) Dancing with the Stars: Fans that follow MW55 on Twitter have already sent this idea to him, but I don’t know what his reaction has been. I really think he should be in the next group of stars to learn ballroom dancing on ABC’s hit show. I have no idea what Mikey is like on the dance floor but I think that he could win over America with his charm and that would help him to go far in the competition. Besides, IndyCar was represented by Helio Castroneves, and now it’s time that NASCAR was in the mix. Oooh! What if Darrell Waltrip did it too? That’d be hilarious AND awesome.

2.) The Bachelor: It would be the greatest season of The Bachelor EVER if Michael Waltrip was doing the choosing! Oh my gosh, I would pay money to watch the show if it happened, and this is from a woman who hasn’t watched a full season of The Bachelor in, like, years. Mostly because it just doesn’t seem realistic, they never stay together. But what’s more realistic than a 46-year-old, divorced (I’m assuming it’s official at this point), part-time NASCAR driver with two children?? Are you kidding me? Again, I would PAY to watch this show. Picture this: 25 women in firesuits taking laps around a racetrack in order to earn a one-on-one date with Mikey. I could just see them all having to learn lines for an Aaron’s commercial, who ever delivers the pitch best wins alone time with him! Seriously, ABC really needs to make this happen.

:)

giving it away: talladega pepsi throwback prize pack

Talladega Pepsi Throwback Contest - Jeff GordonI have a new contest to share with you and this time you have the opportunity to win an actual piece of a NASCAR race. For the Aaron’s 499 at Talladega Superspeedway back on April 26th of this year Jeff Gordon’s No. 24 DuPont/Pepsi Throwback Challenger Chevrolet sported Darrell Waltrip’s championship winning 1983 yellow Pepsi Challenger paint scheme. The retro paint scheme celebrated Pepsi Throwback, limited time only products inspired by the ’60s and ’70s that are sweetened with natural sugar in a retro-look package.

Jeff didn’t win the race, he got caught up in one of the infamous Talladega “big one” crashes, but in this particular instance that’s sort of a good thing for you because I get to giveaway to one lucky Fast and Fabulous reader actual pieces of Jeff’s car from that very race. This is the part where you say “ooooooh!”

I suggest checking out the Pepsi Throwback site for very cool retro wallpapers, photos and videos to “Throwback” your blog or Twitter page.

The Talladega Pepsi Throwback prize package includes the following:

  • Lug nut from the tires of the #24 car used during the race
  • Throwback t-shirt featuring both Darrell Waltrip’s #11 Pepsi Challenger and Jeff Gordon’s #24 Pepsi Challenger
  • 2′x 2′ framed metal pieces of Jeff Gordon’s #24 DuPont/Pepsi Throwback Challenger, which crashed in spectacular fashion on Lap 7 of the Aaron’s 499 at Talladega Superspeedway on April 26th.
  • Pepsi Throwback drinks

Enter Now! Contest ends on Friday June 19, 2009

i do not hook up

Kyle Busch does his trademark bow after winning the CROWN ROYAL presents The Russ Friedman 400 at Richmond International Raceway. The win came on Busch's 24th birthday and completed the weekend sweep at Richmond. (Photo Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images)That subject line has absolutely nothing to do with this post but it’s been running through my head for the past 5 days so I had to use it. Thanks a lot Kelly Clarkson!

I watched Crown Royal presents the Russ Friedman 400 from the guest bedroom of my sister’s house in Los Angeles.

Saturday day was her baby shower and Saturday night was the fight party to watch Ricky Hatton get his head knocked off his shoulders by Manny Pacquiao. Anyway, everybody was camped out in the living room watching the Celtics beat the Bulls while I was having a grand old time watching the race by myself, with occasional visits from my nephews who asked questions like “You’re still watching this?”

Anywhoo, Kyle Busch won the Russ Friedman 400 in a car sponsored by Combos. I’m not a big fan of the Combos snack. I think they’re gross because they remind me of the dog treat Snausages. Ech. So it figures Kyle would win.

All in all though, it was a great race. There was suspense and intrigue and those are two attributes I dig most in a race. Obviously I would have loved it more had anyone else won, but what can ya do? Is it lame that I didn’t really want Jeff Gordon to win ’cause I knew that his daughter Ella wasn’t there? I didn’t want him to have another win without her being there to greet him in Victory Lane. Yea, this is the type of stuff that goes through my head. Jeff can’t win a race unless Ella is there, that’s my new rule.


Pole-sitter Brian Vickers and Darrell Waltrip joke with fans during

Pole-sitter Brian Vickers and Darrell Waltrip joke with fans during “Trackside Live” on SPEED. (Photo Credit: Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)

The No. 16 Ford of Greg Biffle is one of several cars to carry a decal honoring the late Charlotte Observer reporter David Poole who passed away earlier in the week. (Photo Credit: Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)

David Poole was an excellent writer and I will miss his insight and perspective.

The No. 16 Ford of Greg Biffle is one of several cars to carry a decal honoring the late Charlotte Observer reporter David Poole who passed away earlier in the week. (Photo Credit: Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)

The crew members of Kyle Busch's No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota celebrate winning the Lipton Tea 250 at Richmond International Raceway. (Photo Credit: Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)

The crew members of Kyle Busch’s No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota celebrate winning the Lipton Tea 250 at Richmond International Raceway. (Photo Credit: Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)

Contest winner Russ Friedman poses in front of the logo for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series CROWN ROYAL presents The Russ Friedman 400 at Richmond International Raceway. (Photo Credit: Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Contest winner Russ Friedman poses in front of the logo for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series CROWN ROYAL presents The Russ Friedman 400 at Richmond International Raceway. (Photo Credit: Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)

how to lose friends and alienate fans

daytona_greenflagThe Brian Vickers/Dale Earnhardt Jr. incident has been and will continue to be well documented by others so I’m not even going to get into it. Well I will say this; I don’t think that Dale intended to spin Brian out. I think it was an accident and I’m not just saying that because I like Dale. I actually like both of them. I just don’t think Dale would do that knowing there’s an entire field of cars behind him that could be involved. He’s always been pretty honest about his on-track exploits so whatevah.

My Daytona highlights:

– FOX NASCAR racing analysts Mike Joy, Larry McReynolds and Darrell Waltrip laugh every time the Digger graphic comes up. I find it funny that they find it so funny.

– All of the NASCAR kids and babies on pit road during the invocation and National Anthem made my entire reproductive system want to explode from their cuteness. How adorable was Macey Waltrip helping her dad get settled into his car?

Julianne Hough was supposed to sing the National Anthem but she came down with the flu and couldn’t travel. In her place they were able to secure singer/songwriter Gavin DeGraw who gave the most pitiful anthem performance ever. I like Gavin DeGraw in general but this was definitely not one of his best performances.

Keith Urban performed a lot on Sunday. He performed acoustically at a press conference for the media (lucky nerds!) and then for everyone else with his full band behind him before the start of the race. Apparently Keith brought his wife, a little known Australian actress named Nicole Kidman, with him. If that doesn’t blow your mind enough Nicole’s ex-husband Tom Cruise was on hand to lead the field to the green flag in the pace car. I guess we should just call it a Days of Thunder reunion party. Side note: I have yet to watch Days of Thunder all the way through, but I have been on the ride at Great America.

Overall the Daytona 500 was a big ol’ anticlimactic mess for me. I mean, Matt Kenseth is cool and all but races that end with a red flag are just no good. It left me feeling gypped and bored with leftover 5-layer dip.

Oh, one more thing, speaking of Mr. Kenseth he’ll be in San Francisco this Wednesday for all of you Bay Area NASCAR fans:

Fans can see the winner of Sunday’s Daytona 500 this Wednesday at Willie Mays Plaza at AT&T Park at 12:30 p.m. during a fan rally and press conference. Matt Kenseth will be on-hand after taking a Victory Tour through the Streets of San Francisco on a motorized cable car. This marks the first time a Daytona 500 winner has visited SF. The day signals the Official Countdown to the Toyota/Save Mart 350 NASCAR race at Infineon Raceway in June.

Photo fun time!


Some might say Jeff Gordon, driver of the No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet, may have had a couple of good luck charms Thursday at NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Gatorade Duel 1. Wife Ingrid Vandebosch and daughter Ella Sophia hang out with the four-time NASCAR champion the grid prior to the race at Daytona International Speedway that he won. (Photo Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Some might say Jeff Gordon, driver of the No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet, may have had a couple of good luck charms Thursday at NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Gatorade Duel 1. Wife Ingrid Vandebosch and daughter Ella Sophia hang out with the four-time NASCAR champion the grid prior to the race at Daytona International Speedway that he won. (Photo Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Three-time Daytona 500 winner Jeff Gordon signs autographs for fans during the final NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practice on Saturday for the Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway. (Photo Credit: Geoff Burke/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Don’t tap on the glass, they hate that. :)

Three-time Daytona 500 winner Jeff Gordon signs autographs for fans during the final NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practice on Saturday for the Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway. (Photo Credit: Geoff Burke/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Country star Keith Urban performs a pre-race concert prior to the Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway. (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Country star Keith Urban performs a pre-race concert prior to the Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway. (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Matt Kenseth celebrates winning the 51st running of the Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway. Kenseth became the 33rd different driver to win

Matt Kenseth celebrates winning the 51st running of the Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway. Kenseth became the 33rd different driver to win “The Great American Race.” (Photo Credit: Geoff Burke/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Steve and Christine Deuker meet NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Ryan Newman (center) on Saturday at Daytona International Speedway. The Deukers honored Newman and their son, who passed away in 2001, by buying a brick from the NASCAR Hall of Fame. (Photo Credit: Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Steve and Christine Deuker meet NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Ryan Newman (center) on Saturday at Daytona International Speedway. The Deukers honored Newman and their son, who passed away in 2001, by buying a brick from the NASCAR Hall of Fame. (Photo Credit: Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Tom Cruise climbs into the pace car for some practice laps around Daytona International Speedway. Cruise led the Daytona 500 to the green flag in the pace car. (Photo Credit: Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Tom Cruise climbs into the pace car for some practice laps around Daytona International Speedway. Cruise led the Daytona 500 to the green flag in the pace car. (Photo Credit: Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Tony Stewart reads a Valentine's Day card before getting into his car for the final NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practice for the Daytona 500 on Saturday at Daytona International Speedway. (Photo Credit: Sam Greenwood/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww.

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Tony Stewart reads a Valentine’s Day card before getting into his car for the final NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practice for the Daytona 500 on Saturday at Daytona International Speedway. (Photo Credit: Sam Greenwood/Getty Images for NASCAR)

bring on the budweiser shootout

Never have I been so excited about the Budweiser Shootout. It signals the end of an offseason that has been dragging on and on like the movie version of The Horse Whisperer.

I am so freaking giddy that I get to wake up tomorrow morning and arrange my day around watching NASCAR.

From what I’ve seen of other NASCAR writers it seems like there should be a ton of stuff for me to talk about right now but I’ve gotta be honest with you, I’ve got nothin’. Well, sort of. The only thing I keep wondering about is how it’s gonna be once we get to the second race of the season at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California.

I’m planning on being there to witness it first-hand because I have to know if what Darrell Waltrip said in that wasn’t-meant-to-be-seen-tv-clip will come to pass. Everybody wants to be in the Daytona 500, it is the Daytona 500 afterall, but what happens after that?

If the number of driver headshots are any indication it’s gonna be interesting. The headshots for 2009 were released this week and there’s only 39 photos. Last year there were 52.

What a difference a year (and a crap economy) make. Although, who knows what the year holds for us, a lot can happen and change during the course of the season. I cannot wait to get this thing started.

espn ultimate nascar: the story up ’til now

ESPN Ultimate NASCAR (Vol. 1): The Explosion - NASCAR's RiseYesterday I finally finished watching ESPN Ultimate NASCAR (Vol. 1): The Explosion – NASCAR’s Rise. This documentary takes you through the basic history of NASCAR and evolution over the years. I loved it for it’s cinematography, the imagery was absolutely beautiful, and ability to seamlessly merge the past with present.

The Explosion gives you the story up ’til now and covers the bigger stories like Jeff Gordon’s entrance into the sport and Dale Earnhardt’s death. I dare you to not choke up or get emotional when Darrell Waltrip talks about the days after that horrible accident. I couldn’t get through it without crying.

The interviews are all first rate, not to mention the variety of interview subjects. Amongst the usual lineup of drivers like Jimmie Johnson, Tony Stewart and Denny Hamlin there were interesting conversations with Virginia Senator Jim Webb and bestselling author Tom Wolfe.

I highly recommend this DVD, and in the coming days I’ll be posting more reviews of the 4 other volumes in the ESPN Ultimate NASCAR series.

In other news…

– Did you know that Casey Mears has a second home in Scottsdale, Arizona? He bought it during the last off-season. Apparently the guy enjoys the dessert, Casey had this to say: “I’m a West Coast guy for sure. I was raised in Bakersfield, Calif., and spent a lot of down time with my family out on sand dunes. So, I naturally spend a lot of time in the Phoenix area taking my new sand car out on the dunes and just relaxing. The climate is perfect. I’m a flip-flops kind of guy, and this atmosphere just fits with me. I look forward to coming out here throughout the year. We’ve been out here all week since the Texas race. It’s like a second or third home for all of us.”

Jamie McMurray became engaged to his longtime girlfriend, Christy Futrell, this week.

Scott Speed is using his passion for fashion to help raise awareness and money for a good cause that is close to his heart. Speed was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis in 2003:
Scott Speed's

“This is a really cool opportunity for me to work on a project that ties one of my biggest passions — fashion — into motorsports, while also raising money for a great cause,” Speed said. “We’re hoping that through this project we can help create awareness and raise money for conditions such as ulcerative colitis, a disease that affects me personally.”

Muffin Man T-shirts went on sale Monday at muzeclothing.com. Half of the $40 will go to the Chron’s and Colitis Foundation of America. They’ll also be on sale this weekend at Phoenix International Raceway, where the Muffin Man’s creator will autograph shirts at an TBD location Sunday from 12:15-12:30 p.m. MT.

Why the Muffin Man?

“Just random, mate,” Speed said.

expressing gratitude & support at walter reed

So I’ve been meaning to post these photos for the past couple of weeks and now I finally have the time to put ‘em up. NASCAR drivers and team owners visited with soldiers at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington D.C.

It’s no secret that NASCAR has a deep respect for those that serve our country, you can see evidence of that at the racetrack each weekend, but I think it means so much that NASCAR takes the time to bring themselves to the people that have given up so much for all of us as Americans.


(Left to right) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Kyle Busch and former NASCAR champion Darrell Waltrip visit a soldier at Walter Reed Army Medical Center's Military Advance Training Center in Washington, D.C. NASCAR made its annual visit to the facility to salute the troops on Thursday. (Photo Credit: Larry French/Getty Images for NASCAR)

(Left to right) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Kyle Busch and former NASCAR champion Darrell Waltrip visit a soldier at Walter Reed Army Medical Center’s Military Advance Training Center in Washington, D.C. NASCAR made its annual visit to the facility to salute the troops on Thursday. (Photo Credit: Larry French/Getty Images for NASCAR)

(Left to right) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Scott Riggs visits a soldier at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C. NASCAR made its annual visit to the facility to salute the troops on Thursday. (Photo Credit: Larry French/Getty Images for NASCAR)

(Left to right) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Scott Riggs visits a soldier at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C. NASCAR made its annual visit to the facility to salute the troops on Thursday. (Photo Credit: Larry French/Getty Images for NASCAR)

A soldier at Walter Reed Army Medical Center's Military Advance Training Center in Washington, D.C welcomes, from left to right, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Travis Kvapil, NASCAR President Mike Helton, Yates Racing GM Max Jones and NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver David Gilliland. NASCAR made its annual visit to the facility to salute the troops on Thursday. (Photo Credit: Larry French/Getty Images for NASCAR)

A soldier at Walter Reed Army Medical Center’s Military Advance Training Center in Washington, D.C welcomes, from left to right, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Travis Kvapil, NASCAR President Mike Helton, Yates Racing GM Max Jones and NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver David Gilliland. NASCAR made its annual visit to the facility to salute the troops on Thursday. (Photo Credit: Larry French/Getty Images for NASCAR)

(Left to right) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Greg Biffle signs an autograph for a soldier at Walter Reed Army Medical Center's Military Advance Training Center in Washington, D.C. NASCAR made its annual visit to the facility to salute the troops on Thursday. (Photo Credit: Larry French/Getty Images for NASCAR)

(Left to right) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Greg Biffle signs an autograph for a soldier at Walter Reed Army Medical Center’s Military Advance Training Center in Washington, D.C. NASCAR made its annual visit to the facility to salute the troops on Thursday. (Photo Credit: Larry French/Getty Images for NASCAR)

duh, kahne is truly able

NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race winner Kasey Kahne gets ready to practice for the Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe's Motor Speedway. (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/Getty Images for NASCAR)I’m glad that Kasey Kahne won the Coca-Cola 600. It’s a great boost for him and his team and Gillett Evernham Motorsports (GEM — truly, truly outrageous!). I didn’t think it was going to happen since Tony Stewart had that commanding lead at the end, but his misfortune was Kasey’s good luck.

About the photo of Kasey to the left: I seriously challenge him to take a horrible picture! He’s not even trying for gosh sakes.

I have to give NASCAR kudos for all of the pre-race festivities involving the troops. I got all teary-eyed when the trumpeter played Taps and I got chills from the bagpipes playing “Amazing Grace.”

But here’s where I got irked during the pre-race show. During the Gas ‘N Go segment where Darrell Waltrip and Jeff Hammond answer quick fire questions asked by Chris Myers. They failed to include a question about the swapping of the deck chairs on the titanic that has been Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates.

Why oh why did they not talk about Jimmy Elledge’s firing, after he had been moved from Reed Sorenson’s team over to the crew chief position for Juan Pablo Montoya? That’s interesting. That’s something about which I’m actually curious to know DW’s opinion. What I’m not concerned with is the obvious fact that there’s no way that NBA star Yao Ming could fit into a race car.

Ya know, for a moment there when I heard about the crew chief swap at Gnassi and Juan Pablo’s frustrations that I actually felt for the guy, but then I read this exchange between him and Associated Press writer Jenna Fryer and I all of that went out the window:

Q: They call last weekend the biggest weekend in racing. Monaco, Indianapolis and the Coca-Cola 600 — of all three, which do you think is the biggest?

JPM: Um, the one I’m in.

Q: Do you mean the one you are in now (NASCAR), or the one you are in that particular year?

JPM: Both. I don’t know. As a show for the fans, the best one is this one. As far as tradition, the other ones have a lot of tradition. In Europe, the Monaco Grand Prix is a big deal. I think it’s such a big deal because it’s the only street course Formula One does. The other races you can actually see cars hitting walls and screwing up. I guess people like that.

Q: Which victory did you prefer, Monaco or Indy?

JPM: Don’t put me in that position.

Q: Why?

JPM: I am not going to answer that. You know what the answer is, so don’t ask it.

Q: I don’t know the answer. That’s why I asked the question.

JPM: Next question.

Q: I’ve got nothing else.

JPM: Good.

Why is this guy such a tool?? Okay, I actually do feel for him in terms of the crew chief situation and everything, but I still maintain that he’s got an icky, egotastic attitude.


Yao Ming (L) talks with Kyle Petty (R) prior to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coca-Cola 600 on May 25, 2008 at Lowe's Motor Speedway in Concord, North Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

Yao Ming (L) talks with Kyle Petty (R) prior to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coca-Cola 600 on May 25, 2008 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway in Concord, North Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

Joey Logano addresses the media during a news conference to celebrate his 18th birthday. Logano will make his NASCAR Nationwide Series debut next week at Dover International Speedway. (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Joey Logano addresses the media during a news conference to celebrate his 18th birthday. Logano will make his NASCAR Nationwide Series debut next week at Dover International Speedway. (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Denny Hamlin, driver of the #20 Z-Line Designs Toyota (L), and Brad Keselowski, driver of the #88 NAVY Chevrolet, speak to the media in a press conference following the NASCAR Nationwide Series CARQUEST Auto Parts 300 on May 24, 2008 at Lowe's Motor Speedway in Concord, North Carolina. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Denny Hamlin, driver of the #20 Z-Line Designs Toyota (L), and Brad Keselowski, driver of the #88 NAVY Chevrolet, speak to the media in a press conference following the NASCAR Nationwide Series CARQUEST Auto Parts 300 on May 24, 2008 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway in Concord, North Carolina. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Travis Kvapil, driver of the #28 Lumber Liquidators Ford, sits in his car during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coca-Cola 600 on May 22, 2008 at Lowe's Motor Speedway in Concord, North Carolina. (Photo by Todd Warshaw/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Travis Kvapil, driver of the #28 Lumber Liquidators Ford, sits in his car during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coca-Cola 600 on May 22, 2008 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway in Concord, North Carolina. (Photo by Todd Warshaw/Getty Images for NASCAR)

don’t sleep on gilliland and kvapil

Yates Racing teammates Travis Kvapil (left) and David Gilliland compare notes after practice for the Subway Fresh Fit 500 at Phoenix International Raceway. (Photo Credit: John Harrelson/Getty Images for NASCAR)Again I call for Fox Sports and ESPN/ABC (whenever they take over the coverage duties of NASCAR) to fill their pre-race coverage with profiles of the drivers instead of pointless 5-second interviews and shots of Darrell Waltrip dancing (I love you DW, but I could live without watching you dance).

And for the first of these semi-in-depth profile interviews they should head on over to Yates Racing and talk to Travis Kvapil and David Gilliland. Why? Because those guys have been quietly kicking some race day booty. Gilliland, currently ranked 18th in points, has finished the last three races in 15th place and led 2 laps of the Aaron’s 499 on Sunday. Kvapil, ranked respectfully 23rd in points, finished 6th at Talladega — his second top-ten finish of the year.

Kvapil’s No. 28 Ford Fusion still needs a full-time sponsor and if his 6th place finish at Talladega isn’t proof enough of his abilities then I really don’t know what to tell you. Maybe Northern Tool & Equipment will sign on for the rest of the year? Who knows, but somebody needs to snap this team (and the rest of Yates Racing) up ASAP, these guys are really going places.

not another “hello newman” headline

Ryan Newman does a burnout to celebrate his Daytona 500 victory (Photo Credit: Marc Serota/Getty Images for NASCAR)What can I say about the Daytona 500? I’m serious… What can I say about it? I’m stoked that Ryan Newman won, I’m pretty sure that no one was expecting that. I know everyone is saying that Hendrick Motorsports got off to a bad start for the year, which is kinda true but 1.) It’s one race and 2.) Dale Earnhardt Jr. finished 9th so that’s a win as far as I’m concerned. hehe.

I’m shocked that I’m about to say this, I really, truly am shocked, but Kurt Busch is kinda growing on me. I know! I can’t believe I just said that. I still don’t dig his little brother Kyle, but Kurt showed some real maturity on Sunday and I have to give him props for that. He could have tried to go after the glory for himself but he didn’t, he helped his teammate instead. I so totally respect that. This is freaking me out I have to stop talking about it.

In other news…

How great was it to have Fox back covering NASCAR? Getting to watch the race with Darrell Waltrip, Mike Joy and Larry McReynolds is seriously like coming home. No, it’s like coming home with a Grande Cinnamon Dolce Latte (with whip cream!) from Starbucks, lounging on the couch with a big blanket and fresh baked chocolate chip cookies. It’s that good. :)

I’ve been reading the book “One Helluva Ride: How NASCAR Swept the Nation” by Washington Post writer Liz Clarke. I’m this close to finishing and I have to say that this was the perfect time to read it. The Daytona 500 brings up memories of the past, NASCAR’s beginning and it’s heroes. “One Helluva Ride” is the perfect companion. I wanted to get out of the house yesterday, so I took the book with me to Starbucks. Once I got to the parts about Dale Earnhardt’s death in 2001 I was crying — I’m sure the people around me were like “What’s her deal??” At any rate, I hope to get the chance to speak with Liz and ask her some questions. More on that later.


Photo Credit: Matthew Stockman / Getty Images for NASCAR

Actress Amy Smart was a guest of Kyle Busch, who ran the second Gatorade Duel 150 race at Daytona International Speedway. (Photo Credit: Matthew Stockman / Getty Images for NASCAR)

Photo Credit: Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR

Teammates Tony Stewart and Kyle Busch chat prior to the 50th running of the Daytona 500 (Photo Credit: Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Photo Credit: Robert Laberge/Getty Images for NASCAR

Carl Edwards scans other drivers on his radio during Gatorade Duel practice. (Photo Credit: Robert Laberge/Getty Images for NASCAR)

truly, truly, truly outrageous

Ok, so have two very random things to share with you today.

The first is this: On my personalized Google homepage I have the NASCAR.com RSS feed and one of the headlines for today was “GEM’s test gains end with Kahne as fastest of the fast.” Upon seeing the acronym for Gillett Evernham Motorsports I immediately thought of Jem. Jem is the 80′s cartoon about a singer, Jem, and her band, The Holograms. Jem had this ability to transform into her regular girl alter-ego, Jerrica, with the help of this big computer thing named Synergy. Anyway, the point is that I found this to be funny and from now on whenever I think of Kasey Kahne I will also think of being a “Jem girl,” (not to mention the color pink and big 80′s hair) which I don’t think is what they had in mind.

On the other side of things, I was looking through my traffic stats for my personal website and I found something amusing when I browsed the search terms people used in navigating to my site. Someone searched for “What does ‘Boogity, Boogity, Boogity’ mean?” So funny. Unfortunately I didn’t have the answer on my site; I just used the phrase for a headline, so they were out of luck. At any rate it’s still a timely search because just the other day Darrell Waltrip wrote his annual column about whether or not he should continue to use his now infamous catchphrase.

my fantasy nascar broadcast team

I have never been this frustrated with caution flags. Martinsville was un-real. I hated the way it ended. I was really hoping that Ryan Newman would be able to pass up Jimmie Johnson, but again a win for him was thwarted by the Hendrick powerhouse and those friggin’ cautions. Jimmie Johnson celebrates after winning at Martinsville Speedway. (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/Getty Images for NASCAR)

I could say how disappointed I was to know that engine problems are what screwed Dale Earnhardt Jr. for the millionth time, but really what’s the point? I don’t think I’ve ever looked forward to the end of a NASCAR season as much as I have this one. I just want to get to Daytona (in person!) and see Dale in his No. 88 Hendrick Motorsports Chevy and let the winning begin! I’m so done with this season it’s crazy. I say that but at the same time I hold out the hope that he’ll still win a race before this year is over.

Is it just me or did they make the pre-race show shorter?? I’m not sure ’cause I only caught the last 10 minutes, which — thankfully — only consisted of the national anthem and the call to start the engines.

I was excited to read that Rusty Wallace was getting the axe but apparently it’s not actually going to happen. I started thinking about my fantasy race coverage crew. It goes like this, Allen Bestwick and Wally Dallenbach would do the pre-race stuff. The pre-race show would feature actual semi-in-depth interviews that were taped during the week before the race. Ya know kinda like how they do with the NFL. Darrell Waltrip, Larry McReynolds and Mike Joy would call the race (as they do now on FOX) and the pit reporters would be Dave Burns, Steve Byrnes, Dick Berggren and Matt Yocum. Ah, if only! What do you think? Good? No good?


Mike Skinner, driver of the #5 Toyota Tundra Toyota, kisses his wife, Angela after winning the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Kroger 200 at Martinsville Speedway on October 20, 2007 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo by Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Mike Skinner, driver of the #5 Toyota Tundra Toyota, kisses his wife, Angela after winning the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Kroger 200 at Martinsville Speedway on October 20, 2007 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo by Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Clint Bowyer, driver of the #07 Jack Daniel

Clint Bowyer, driver of the #07 Jack Daniel’s Chevrolet, watches during qualifying for the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series Subway 500 at Martinsville Speedway on October 19, 2007 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Clint Bowyer, driver of the #07 Jack Daniel

Clint Bowyer, driver of the #07 Jack Daniel’s Chevrolet, drives in the garage area, during practice for the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series Subway 500 at Martinsville Speedway on October 19, 2007 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

Denny Hamlin is all smiles during qualifying for the Subway 500 at Martinsville Speedway (Photo Credit: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

Denny Hamlin is all smiles during qualifying for the Subway 500 at Martinsville Speedway (Photo Credit: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 DuPont Chevrolet, walks in the garage area, during practice for the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series Subway 500 at Martinsville Speedway on October 19, 2007 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 DuPont Chevrolet, walks in the garage area, during practice for the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series Subway 500 at Martinsville Speedway on October 19, 2007 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

a quick high and then a big lowe’s

Tonight’s race at Lowe’s Motor Speedway could have been so freaking cool had Ryan Newman been able to keep his car stable. It seriously broke my heart to see him spin out like that.

I would have preferred it if Clint Bowyer took the win tonight over Jeff Gordon but it wasn’t meant to be. Clint is still within striking distance and I hope to God that he can really make this Chase interesting. If Jeff wants his 5th Championship he’s going to have to fight for it.

Oh and just in case anyone wasn’t sure, the ESPN on ABC coverage still SUCKS! Why must they repeat things that someone else just said?? Or repeat the things that they themselves just said? I watched the race with my mom who is becoming a bit of a NASCAR fan by default and she was even getting irritated by the stupid questions and pointless repetition of obvious points.

I’m this close to creating a petition that would beg NASCAR to only allow DW, Larry Mac and Mike Joy to cover the Cup races from 2008 onward. And they can have Allen Bestwick and Wally Dallenbach anchor the show.

a big bowl of bristol

I hope everyone had a fabulous weekend.

I gotta thank everyone that has left comments and/or emailed me regarding my last post about my plans for next year. I really appreciate it. It’s very encouraging to me and it lets me know that I’m on the right path with this. It’s my favorite thing to think about these days. I relish the thought of getting to be at the track every week and possibly getting to meet all the people that read my blog. Wouldn’t that be cool?

Ah, ok, so enough of that — for now — I have to talk about Bristol and how boring the race was. I’m not afraid to admit that I did in fact fall asleep during this race. I woke up in time to find out that Carl Edwards had won and that Dale Earnhardt Jr. finished 5th. It sucks that we can’t enjoy that 5th place finish more because of this whole Chase stuff.

More than anything I want that guy in the Chase but it won’t be the end of the world if he doesn’t make it. I want that guy to win a friggin’ race. Gah! I am happy that Clint Bowyer looks to be set for the Chase and I really want him to succeed — and win a race too! Those two guys are so due for one it’s ridiculous.

I think someone needs to sit down with the folks at ESPN and talk to them about their race coverage. It’s getting to the point now where I don’t even want to watch the pre-race show. I mute them! They’re killin’ me! Too much stuff is repeated. I couldn’t believe they actually had analysis on Junior’s motives for not wanting people to talk smack about his step-mother. Could it just be that he’s a nice guy? And that people calling her names isn’t going to change anything?

I usually long for Darrell Waltrip after Fox’s NASCAR coverage is over, but I’m going through some serious DW withdrawal right now. There’s nobody like him and Rusty Wallace makes me roll my eyes like fifty-million times throughout the race. Maybe he’s just trying to hard, I dunno.

And now for some photo fun:


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A sky diver holds an American flag as he descends into Bristol Motor Speedway prior to the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series Sharpie 500 on August 25, 2007 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

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Do you think Jack is happy??

(Photo by John Harrelson/Getty Images for NASCAR)

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Hendrick Motorsports teammates Jimmie Johnson (left) and Casey Mears (right) talk out on pit road prior to the start of the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway on Aug. 25. (Hendrick Motorsports/Autostock)

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Finally a sponsor that matches the driver…

Kyle Busch, driver of the No. 5 Hot Shot Chevrolet, out on pit road during NASCAR Busch Series driver introductions at Bristol Motor Speedway on Aug. 24. (Hendrick Motorsports/Autostock)

between the lines

This is completely and truly a blog about motor sports but I feel like I’m not being true to myself when I don’t write about everything that’s exciting me at the moment.

So that being said, I must tell you about this amazingly talented singer, Sara Bareilles (pronounced bar-rell-is). She is awesome! I bought her CD “Little Voice” on Friday and I am so deeply hooked. She’s a little bit like Fiona Apple, Charlotte Martin or even Alicia Keys, but she’s different from them. She’s not a copycat she’s totally unique and you should check out her songs. I’ve had her CD on this entire weekend, I even drove around on Sunday just because I wanted to belt out the lyrics (I do all my best singing in the car). I’m a big fan of great lyrics in addition to great melodies, and this CD has it all. I like to think that music comes into your life when it does for a reason, and this music has been super inspirational to me. Not in a spiritual-ohm kind of way, but in a girls-kick-butt-and-never-doubt-yourself kind of way.

Ok… so now on to the race at Chicagoland. I’ll be completely honest with you, Tony Stewart was not on my short list of people I’d like to see win this race. After seeing that very nice pre-race piece on Clint Bowyer I would have liked it very much to see him in victory lane, but again it was not to be. At least he moved up in the points standings. Speaking of the pre-race interview with Clint, I was so glad they did something like that for once this year. It seems like it’s been forever since they’ve interviewed a current driver away from the track and talked a bit about his life before he was in the Cup series.

And despite his lack of power steering (and because of Jamie McMurrays bad luck) Dale Earnhardt Jr. was able to keep his 12th place spot in the points standings.

I know that Thanksgiving isn’t until November but I must say that I am very thankful for the fact that TNT’s coverage of NASCAR is now over! Woo-hoo! I love Larry Mac, Kyle Petty and Wally Dallenbach but I can’t take more of Marc Fein and Bill Weber. Weber’s attempts at sarcasm never seem to work out quite right. ESPN/ABC will be with us for the rest of the season and I feel like I can handle Brent Musberger — even though it still feels slightly weird for him to be calling NASCAR and not Basketball.

My wish for 2008 is that NASCAR will stick to one channel for the entire season. Imagine that? Not having to double check the schedule to figure out what channel the race will be on this weekend. I’d pick Fox only because that’s where Darrell Waltrip is and I just love that man, he makes the races that much more fun to watch. His passion is infectious and I don’t think NASCAR could ever dream up a better ambassador (if you will) for the sport.

Chicagoland eye candy to follow:


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The kid cannot take a bad photo to save his life.

Kasey Kahne takes a break during practice at Chicagoland Speedway. (Photo Credit: Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

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Was that booing I heard when Hanson got ready to sing the national anthem? That was totally unjustified. I’m not ashamed to say that I own some of their CDs.

(L-R) American pop rock band The Hanson Brothers, Zachary, Jordan (aka Taylor) and Isaac Hanson, sing the National Anthem before the start of the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series USG Sheetrock 400 at Chicagoland Speedway on July 15, 2007 in Joliet, Illinois. (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images for NASCAR)

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Dale Earnhardt Jr. (left) and Martin Truex Jr. following qualifying at Chicagoland Speedway. (Photo Credit: Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

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Casey Mears, driver of the #25 National Guard/GMAC Chevrolet, looks on after he qualified first for the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series USG Sheetrock 400 at Chicagoland Speedway on July 13, 2007 in Joliet, Illinois. (Photo Credit: Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Oh and don’t forget to take my survey!! I’m not too proud to beg.

just ask DW

Here’s a practical tip for Dale Earnhardt Jr. fans… You’re going to want to purchase some Goo Gone to help peel off those red #8 stickers from your cars & trucks. Rumors are a swirlin’ that his next sponsor won’t be Budweiser. It never hurts to be prepared.

These days the man with the info is Darrell Waltrip… If you want to know what possibilities lie ahead for Dale Jr. just ask DW.
—–
Dale Jr.’s one choice; Kyle Busch’s many options [FoxSports on MSN]
D.W. Hints that Dale Jr.’s New Sponsor Won’t Be in a Red Can [Racing Milestones]

oh no pocono

I have to take back what I said about everybody loving rain delays. I don’t think I like them anymore. Especially in a broadcast that has Bill Weber as the lead announcer. And who the heck is that Marc Fein guy?? I’m not impressed, yet.

The only good thing about this switch to TNT coverage was that we got Wally Dallenbach back, and surprisingly Larry McReynolds from FOX. But I miss Darrell Waltrip desperately… Can we set up a campaign, petition, something, to get him on every single NASCAR broadcast no matter what network it’s on?? We need our DW fix.

There’s more random speculation about what team Dale Earnhardt Jr. will join next year. Lately people seem to think that he’ll go to a smaller operation like Ginn Racing. If he’s going to go that route then why not just start his own team? In theory I think it’d be very cool. It’s such a romantic thought to imagine him starting his own team, and being highly competitive straight out the box. Wouldn’t that be so much fun to watch? I’d love it. I don’t know how realistic that is, obviously it takes a tremendous amount of work (hello, Michael Waltrip) to get things going and then to be successful (win) seems to be another thing entirely.

And now for a super cute photo… This is Joe Nemechek and his son, John Hunter Nemechek, signing autographs at Pocono this past weekend. (photo credit: GinnRacing.com)


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