All posts tagged David Gilliland

71 Posts
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i’m still here. i’m just really, really tired

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.

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clint bowyer wins but never gets to do a burnout

Good job, Clint Boywer, good job. :)

There are five races left in the Chase for the Sprint Cup Series Championship and I’m wondering exactly how much can change in that time.

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jimmie johnson kisses the bricks, daughter is hesistant

I feel like I should send Carl Edwards a care package. Or at least a nice handwritten note that reads: “Buck up, kid! Everything happens for a reason.” Seems like the right thing to do since he hasn’t won a race this year and crap keeps happening to him.

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fontana: it never rains in southern california, until it does

I woke up early Sunday morning to clear skies and no rain. When rain is a possibility during a race weekend I’ve taken the stance of not talking about it. At least not in the negative. You don’t know for sure what the weather is going to do, so why stand on negative side of the fence and go on an on about how it’s going to rain and we’re not going to get the race in, blah, blah, blah. I’d just rather not and deal with what’s actually happening.

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2012 hottest nascar driver tournament: round two

Over 600 votes were cast and now we’re ready to reveal the drivers that have made it in to Round Two of the 2012 Hottest NASCAR Driver Tournament. Brian Vickers & Jeff Gordon were randomly seeded in to Round Two when the brackets were created, so that’s why they’re in. One of the closest results from the first round were between Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Jeff Burton. Burton snuck past Dale Jr by just 2%. David Gilliland did the same thing in getting past Juan Pablo Montoya.

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2012 hottest nascar driver tournament: round one

Where the hell have I been?? It feels like forever ago since I’ve written anything but there’s a totally awesome reason why: I met a guy! Yep, I went on a coffee date and the guy, his name is Jack, turned out to be pretty amazing, so amazing that we spent the next four days together. So, needless to say, I like him A LOT and he likes me A LOT. I wasn’t expecting it and it’s been the best thing ever. However, it’s totally thrown my whole schedule out of whack. I always had a ton of time to myself, pretty much any time I wasn’t working was my time to work on this site or do whatever. But now that I’m with Jack that’s pretty much all I want to do–be with him–so I’ve been prepping the 2012 Hottest NASCAR Driver tournament in bits and pieces, in small chunks of time, over the last few days and now I’m FINALLY ready to launch it.

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shortcuts: pre-brickyard 400 goodies

2010-Indianapolis-NSCS_featuredHow excited are you that there’s going to be NASCAR Sprint Cup Series action this week? I, for one, am really happy about it, and it’s the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway no less. It throws my entire weekend off when there’s no race. I end up doing horrible things, like working. :)

I was going through various driver pre-race reports and found some quotes that I thought were funny or interesting enough to share (this doesn’t happen that often).

– Before I get to the pre-Brickyard stuff, I have to say something. So I got an email today from some PR person promoting a book about why men cheat. I have NO idea why I got this email because, while my audience is chock full of women, I don’t write about relationship stuff in that way. But still it got me thinking about something that’s been on my mind lately. The idea or “fantasy” of dating a racecar driver or crew member. I’m not going to lie, I’ve thought about it. Of course I have. I wouldn’t be human if I hadn’t, but I must say that it’s never been my GOAL. For groupies, it’s their one freaking goal. For me, it never was and now that I’ve been in the garage a lot and have heard many a story about crew guys, crew chiefs, drivers & team owners I can tell you that the “fantasy” has been thrown to the ground and stomped all over. If you’ve heard the crap I’ve heard you would make a rule that you would never want to even entertain the IDEA of dating one of those guys. Which is not to say that you can’t have a perfectly awesome committed relationship with a guy whose job revolves around racing. You totally can, but just be careful. And there are a lot of nice, stand-up guys in the garage too. I’m just saying. Any pro athlete that’s constantly traveling is ripe for shenanigans. Keep your eyes OPEN.

Moving on!! :)

– In his pre-race report Jimmie Johnson was asked how he’d characterize the first half of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season. The last sentence of this made me chuckle:

“I would say parity is really the first thing that comes to mind. You can flip it around and maybe say the lack of a dominant team as well. There have been guys that can flex muscle at times, but no one consistently has just schooled everybody. It’s been very, very equal this year and unpredictable if you will. A lot of first time winners, which is great to have and no runaways right now. It’s been an exciting time for the fans I believe. Then also we’ve been acting like fools out there at times so that’s always spicing things up.”

Kurt Busch is really excited about the interview he did with ESPN, which will air this weekend during the pre-race show for their first Sprint Cup Series race of the season:

“ESPN is starting their coverage very strong with a feature like this,” said Busch. “When he told me during the interview what his angle was and started asking all the questions, I said to myself, ‘Wow, now this is a really different way to look at this track and this race.’ When he brought out the prop to use at the end of the interview, I said, ‘Man, this guy really has his act together. This will be one of the best features on our sport for the season…maybe one of the best ever.” Be sure to watch ESPN’s coverage that begins at 12:00 noon EDT on Sunday.

David Gilliland shared a nice story on his memories of his very first visit to the Brickyard with his father, Butch:

“I think just the history of the Brickyard is what makes it so special. I remember the first time I ever went to the track was with my dad in 1994 for the inaugural Sprint Cup race. My dad wasn’t racing, actually, but we went to try to help a friend of ours try to make the race. Just going through the museum, seeing the bricks on the start-finish line and just thinking about all of the history and everything that has happened at that track is cool. And to be able to do that with my father makes it even more special. He was racing a lot and I just loved being around it. Then, just to go to Indy with him, that is something I’ll never forget.

And at that time, for stock cars to be racing there was something unheard of. Growing up, I don’t think my father or I ever thought we were going to see that day. Growing up on the west coast, anywhere really, Indy was about Foyt, Unser and Andretti. And being west coast guys, the Unsers were big names. We really didn’t think names like Wallace or Earnhardt were ever going to be a part of Indy. Then, here we were working in the same garages as these guys. It’s cool, too, because I can bring my family and my son, Todd. We can have that same experience. Some people are giving this race a hard time, but this is still Indy and it’s always special.”


NOTES:

– Take the 2011 ‘Fabulous’ Reader Survey and enter for your chance to win an awesome Goo Gone prize package. Contest & survey ends on August 10th, 2011. More info

– Help me raise money for My NASCAR Year 2012. More info

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saturday at infineon: dale jr. thought of a way to scare me

On Saturday I forgot my cell phone at home, and my camera’s battery died, like, 15 minutes after I arrived at Infineon Raceway.

It was really weird to not have my cell phone or camera on me all day. It was annoying that I couldn’t take any photos or tweet out updates on the fly. I realized that those devices also served as security blankets. They were these things that proved I had “something to do” while I was in the garage. I wasn’t just wandering. I had to take pictures and constantly check my phone for updates–that gave me purpose. So without a purpose I felt like a nerd, just standing around. And I was worried that without the photos that I usually snapped throughout the day I wouldn’t have anything to remind me of what happened.

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the coca-cola 600 was just mean

There were three races yesterday. The Grand Prix of Monaco, the Indianapolis 500 and the Coca-Cola 600.

As much as I would LOVE to visit Monaco, I’m not going to pretend that I give a flying fig about Formula 1 racing. It’s interesting I’m sure, but I’ve found that men that follow it are particularly annoying to talk to about any other kind of racing and that has turned me off to it entirely. Yes, I’m basing my opinion of Formula 1 racing off of random encounters with douchebags, and I’m totally OK with that. I’m sure there a lot of really nice Formula 1 fans out there, so please don’t leave me any annoying comments. Anyway, I’ve watched some F1 races and it doesn’t really do much for me. (“Random Encounters with Douchebags” would make a great book and/or movie title, right? Story of my life) :)

On the other hand I do hope that Kimi Raikkonen will try his hand at NASCAR Sprint Cup Series racing at Infineon Raceway next month. Why? Because I’ll be there and new blood is always cool.

So on to the Coca-Cola 600. I’m happy for Kevin Harvick and the No. 29 Budweiser team for winning the race. I just wish it could have been Dale Earnhardt Jr. instead.

I thought they would have thrown a caution on that last crash, and I find it curious that they didn’t. NASCAR really isn’t helping themselves or Dale Earnhardt Jr. in being inconsistent in their use of the yellow flag. It seems weird to me that there wouldn’t have been any debris on the track after all the contact that happened.

Whatever, we move on to the next race! :)


They should use Trevor’s story for an episode of “House.” They still don’t know what the illness is/was.

Daytona 500 winner Trevor Bayne meets media on Thursday at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, N.C. to talk about his return to racing next weekend after battling an illness for several weeks. (Credit: Geoff Burke/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Daytona 500 winner Trevor Bayne meets media on Thursday at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, N.C. to talk about his return to racing next weekend after battling an illness for several weeks. (Credit: Geoff Burke/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Cole Whitt, the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series points leader, gets ready to make his second start in the NASCAR Nationwide Series and first with Pastrana Waltrip Racing during practice Thursday at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, N.C. (Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Cole Whitt, the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series points leader, gets ready to make his second start in the NASCAR Nationwide Series and first with Pastrana Waltrip Racing during practice Thursday at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, N.C. (Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Kyle Busch drives his No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota through the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series garage as the world's largest HDTV displays practice results on Thursday at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, N.C. (Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Kyle Busch drives his No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota through the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series garage as the world's largest HDTV displays practice results on Thursday at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, N.C. (Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Kasey Kahne examines the faces of fans who submit their pictures to be displayed on his No. 4 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Red Bull Racing Toyota this weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, N.C.  (Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Kasey Kahne examines the faces of fans who submit their pictures to be displayed on his No. 4 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Red Bull Racing Toyota this weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, N.C. (Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Matt Kenseth does a burnout at the start/finish line to celebrate his Top Gear 300 victory, the 26th NASCAR Nationwide Series win of his career. (Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Matt Kenseth does a burnout at the start/finish line to celebrate his Top Gear 300 victory, the 26th NASCAR Nationwide Series win of his career. (Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Larry the Cable Guy the voice of Mater poses with other stars from the upcoming Pixar film Cars 2 Sunday at Charlotte Motor Speedway. (Credit: John Harrelson/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Larry the Cable Guy the voice of Mater poses with other stars from the upcoming Pixar film Cars 2 Sunday at Charlotte Motor Speedway. (Credit: John Harrelson/Getty Images for NASCAR)

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers Clint Bowyer (right) and Ryan Newman (center) answer fan questions during a Q&A at the Coca-Cola Track Walk and Summer Celebration Cookout on Friday at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, N.C. (Credit: HHP)

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers Clint Bowyer (right) and Ryan Newman (center) answer fan questions during a Q&A at the Coca-Cola Track Walk and Summer Celebration Cookout on Friday at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, N.C. (Credit: HHP)

Ryan Newman, Mark Martin and David Gilliland get tangled up on lap 301 during the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway (Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Ryan Newman, Mark Martin and David Gilliland get tangled up on lap 301 during the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway (Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR)

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talladega and my fantasy top-12

Jimmie Johnson wins the Aaron's 499 at Talladega Superspeedway (Credit: Todd Warshaw/Getty Images for NASCAR)There was a point during the last 30 laps of the Aaron’s 499 where I told myself to just let go of whatever outcome I was hoping to see and just let it happen. Is it funny or sad that I get so wrapped up in these races that I need to tell myself something like that? I have absolutely nothing at stake but I still get so caught up in wanting a certain person, or persons, to win that I’ll stress myself out over it.

Anyway, I couldn’t believe Jimmie Johnson pulled off that win; I was sure it was going to go to one of the Richard Childress Racing guys. Clint Bowyer had been running up front all day and Kevin Harvick has been, well, winning.

When I saw Jimmie trying to give the checkered flag to Dale Earnhardt Jr. I knew Dale wasn’t going to want it. It was a really classy move by Jimmie, I must say. As much as I would have been ridiculously thrilled for Dale Jr. to have come away with the win I’m still insanely excited that he’s 3rd in points right now. That’s just fantastic. O! And another fantastic thing: Huge congrats to David Gilliland and the No. 34 Taco Bell Ford team for walking away with a 9th place finish!

Every week when the latest points standings are published I read through them and then create my own “fantasy” top-12, it’s the list of drivers that I think would make for a super entertaining Champion’s Week. So it’s not a “Who do you think WILL make The Chase?” list, it’s a “Who do you WANT to see in the Chase because you know they’ll be superfun to interview during Champion’s Week?” It’s really early to be thinking about Champion’s Week but I can’t help it, it’s my favorite time of the year. :)

My current list is as follows (in no particular order):

1.) Tony Stewart – He has to host his annual “Stewie Awards” from Vegas, it wouldn’t be the same with him.

2.) Clint Bowyer – He needs his own talk show to host during Champion’s Week. I’m just sayin’.

3.) Kasey Kahne – He’s adorable

4.) Dale Earnhardt Jr. – People will lose their minds

5.) Kevin Harvick – Another guy with personality

6.) Denny Hamlin – Denny adds a layer of honesty and he likes to instigate drama (or at least he did at last year’s After the Lap event)

7.) Brian Vickers – Because he had some good stories to tell about Jimmie Johnson, and I’m sure there has to be more right??

8.) Jimmie Johnson – I’m including Jimmie because he’s a good sport, not because I want him to win a 6th straight championship. :)

9.) Brad Keselowski – I think he’d have a ridiculously good time to Vegas and would be very entertaining at the various events.

10.) Jeff Gordon – Jeff has that honesty vibe too, and he’s also very chatty. Chatty & honest are two ingredients for good times.

11) AJ Allmendinger – He’s someone that can definitely bring a lot of comedy relief.

12) Kyle Busch – Another honest guy with a personality that lends itself perfectly to the Champion’s Week festivities. Plus he’s the hometown guy.

(Left to right) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers Joey Logano and Trevor Bayne talk in the garage during practice Friday at Talladega Superspeedway in Talladega, Ala. (Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR)

(Left to right) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers Joey Logano and Trevor Bayne talk in the garage during practice Friday at Talladega Superspeedway in Talladega, Ala. (Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Jeff Gordon, driver of the No. 24 Drive to End Hunger Chevrolet, talks with crew chief Alan Gustafson at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway. (Courtesy of Hendrick Motorsports)

Jeff Gordon, driver of the No. 24 Drive to End Hunger Chevrolet, talks with crew chief Alan Gustafson at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway. (Courtesy of Hendrick Motorsports)

Elliott Sadler celebrates winning his seventh career NASCAR Nationwide Series Coors Light Pole Award with a 179.558 mph lap on Friday at Talladega Superspeedway in Talladega, Ala. (Credit: Getty Images for NASCAR)

Elliott Sadler celebrates winning his seventh career NASCAR Nationwide Series Coors Light Pole Award with a 179.558 mph lap on Friday at Talladega Superspeedway in Talladega, Ala. (Credit: Getty Images for NASCAR)

Michael Waltrip will start 12th on Sunday in the No.15 Aaron's/Auburn National Champions Toyota at Talladega Superspeedway (Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Michael Waltrip will start 12th on Sunday in the No.15 Aaron's/Auburn National Champions Toyota at Talladega Superspeedway (Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

2011 Hall of Fame Inductee Bobby Allison on pit road with Brad Keselowski before the start of the Aaron's 499 at Talladega Superspeedway (Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR)

2011 Hall of Fame Inductee Bobby Allison on pit road with Brad Keselowski before the start of the Aaron's 499 at Talladega Superspeedway (Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Fans watch Jimmie Johnson cross the finish line .002 seconds ahead of Clint Boywer at Talladega Superspeedway. Johnson's win ties the record for closest finish in NASCAR history. (Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Fans watch Jimmie Johnson cross the finish line .002 seconds ahead of Clint Boywer at Talladega Superspeedway. Johnson's win ties the record for closest finish in NASCAR history. (Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Crew chief Chad Knaus and Jimmie Johnson, driver of the No. 48 Lowe's Chevrolet, celebrate in Victory Lane at Talladega.

Crew chief Chad Knaus and Jimmie Johnson, driver of the No. 48 Lowe's Chevrolet, celebrate in Victory Lane at Talladega. (Courtesy of Hendrick Motorsports)

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last friday in fontana: an impromptu kasey kahne interview

Thursday evening in Fontana, after I checked into my hotel just down the street from the race track, I discovered I forgot my cell phone charger at home. So I went to a Best Buy down the street to get another one. Then in the morning I woke up and found that I had left the pouch that holds all of my cords, USB drives and–most importantly–my digital recorder that still had a bunch of interviews on it from Las Vegas that I had yet to transcribe. I made a silent prayer that it was somewhere safe and then headed back to Best Buy to buy another one ’cause I had interviews to do that day.

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why kyle busch put his wedding on tv, keselowski’s ‘recovery’ program

Friday morning in Las Vegas started with me arriving at the track just in time to interview J.J. Yeley at his hauler. But I found out that he had been asked to drive the No. 27 car for Baker Curb Racing in the Nationwide Series race. So he was participating in their practice session and wouldn’t be available till later in the day (We did end up connecting later in the day and I got some great answers from him).

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chaotic, nerve-wracking, crazy, insane: words to describe the 53rd daytona 500

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)
I LOVE the expression on this girl’s face. It is priceless. I can just imagine what she’s thinking! :)

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)
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)
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)
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)
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)

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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)

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)
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)
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)

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2011 hottest driver tournament: round two

Hottest Driver LogoIt’s time for Round Two! But first let’s find out what happened in Round One.

Kyle Busch (68%) defeated Jeff Burton (32%)
Juan Pablo Montoya (62%) defeated Brian Vickers (38%)
Tony Stewart (97%) defeated David Reutimann (3%)
Paul Menard (71%) defeated Jimmie Johnson (29%)
Casey Mears (73%) defeated David Ragan (27%)
Regan Smith (86%) defeated Kevin Conway (14%)

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

2011 Hottest Driver Tournament Brackets - Round Two

And now, I think this is when things are going to get even MORE interesting. Round Two is the largest group, it’ll be fun to see who makes it into Round Three. I was going to let Round Two last for two weeks but I have decided to run it for just a week. Votes poured in for Round One and I can only expect it to get crazier for this one, so I’m trying to contain it. Plus I’m highly impatient and two weeks sound like forever to find out the results.

So let’s get to it! Here are the match-ups for Round Two! You can vote as many times as you want each day until voting ends on Saturday, January 15th.

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

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


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

inside the actor’s studio with david gilliland

FORT WORTH, TX - APRIL 16: David Gilliland, driver of the #37 Taco Bell Ford, stands on the grid during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Samsung Mobile 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 16, 2010 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo by Todd Warshaw/Getty Images)David Gilliland drives the No. 37 Taco Bell Ford Fusion for Front Row Motorsports. I got to give him the Inside the Actor’s Studio/Bernard Pivot questionnaire at Auto Club Speedway during the Pepsi Max 400 race weekend.

His least favorite word struck a chord with me because I’ve been guilty of using it and I have really made a concerted effort in the past few months to not use it anymore. It’s just not cool and totally unnecessary.

What is your favorite word? Cool

What is your least favorite word? Retard. I hate it when people use that word.

What turns you on? My wife

What turns you off? Smelly people

What sound or noise do you love? The sound of an engine running

What sound or noise do you hate? Nails on a chalkboard

What is your favorite curse word? Damn

What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? Professional fisherman

What profession would you not like to do? Trash collector

If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates? Welcome


Read more of my “Inside the Actor’s Studio” questionnaire interviews in the archives and read about how it all started with Tony Stewart.

the hoff hassels our national anthem

Carl Edwards waits to be interviewed post-qualifying for the CampingWorld.com 300 at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif. on Saturday, October 9, 2010 (credit: The Fast and the Fabulous)Saturday morning at Auto Club Speedway found me inside the Nationwide Series garage watching as drivers qualified for the CampingWorld.com 300. Driver after driver made their qualifying run and I stood by in the media bullpen area where they keep the top-3 cars. Cars shuffle in and out (and drive by) as the numbers on the pylon change order.

There weren’t a lot of fans milling around in the garage and only a handful actually stuck around to watch drivers get out of their cars and maybe ask them for an autograph. I noticed David Reutimann, in regular dude clothes, standing with the guys from Michael Waltrip Racing. He had on a hat and sunglasses but I still couldn’t get over the fact that people didn’t notice him. I guess it was good for him to not be bothered, seeing as how he’d just come off the weekend before and his infamous incident with Kyle Busch.

As qualifying progressed I watched as Carl Edwards got out of his car, spoke with various members of the media, signed autographs for fans, met with a large group of employees from his sponsor, Copart, took pictures with them, and then went off to the media center. All of that took place in the space of like 10 minutes. Now that’s multi-tasking.
:)

why delana and kevin harvick are the tops

Auto Club Speedway (credit: The Fast and the Fabulous)Something I’ve noticed as I go to more races is that I take less pictures. In the beginning I was taking photos of everything; tires, cars, etc. But now that I know the pain of uploading those photos to Flickr and having to write a title for each one, I’m a lot more discerning when it comes to choosing a photo subject.

My Friday at Auto Club Speedway (ACS) began with me walking from my car to the garage and happening to see Travis Kvapil walking out of the drivers/owners motorcoach lot at the same time. I was set to interview Travis a little later on that morning, but he noticed me then. He must remembered me from when I interviewed him at ACS in 2008. This was, and still is, a big deal to me. He knew we had a scheduled interview for that day and he ended up having time right then so we went ahead and got the Inside the Actor’s Studio questioning out of the way.

Because I feel like the underdog pretty much all the time, it felt like a super cool “win” to walk through the garage, past crew members and whoever was around, with a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver who actually REMEMBERED ME. Which is why Travis Kvapil is a super cool guy in my book. He really is genuinely nice and I cannot wait for a Sprint Cup win to come his way. I’ll talk more about him when I post the interview. He was the first driver to answer a particular question a particular way. How’s that for cryptic? :)

spending the weekend at auto club speedway

Jamie McMurray, he's on the pole for the Pepsi Max 400 at Auto Club SpeedwayIt’s only Friday and I already have so much stuff to share with you guys! It’s awesome. :) Needless to say I’m really looking forward to tomorrow and Sunday. David Hasselhoff is singing the National Anthem and, like, 56 couples are renewing their vows along with 16 couples that are getting married on the start/finish line of Auto Club Speedway. Superfun! Oh and there’s a race or two happening. Jamie McMurray (seen at left post qualifying) is on the pole for one of them, the Pepsi Max 400.

Of course I’m not writing a full post because I’m tired and I have to get up early again tomorrow and I didn’t get a full night’s sleep yesterday (my room makes weird noises at night and trains pass by here). But I can tell you that I had fun watching people flip out when they caught sight of Dale Earnhardt Jr. and I interviewed Travis Kvapil, David Gilliland, Marcos Ambrose, Juan Pablo Montoya, Brad Keselowski and Brad Daugherty. Whew! There’s a lot of great content coming up for sure.

Make sure you follow me on Twitter to find out what I’m doing while I’m doing it.

a wall of crew chiefs

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

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

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

i got to go inside tony’s hauler, too

Matt Kenseth takes his No. 17 Jeremiah Sweet Tea Vodka Ford Fusion out for practice at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Saturday, May 29, 2010 (photo credit: The Fast and the Fabulous)Saturday at Charlotte Motor Speedway was the day of the Nationwide Series race, the TECH-NET Auto Service 300 powered by CARQUEST. It was also the day that I forgot to put my sunscreen on and got a nice little tan.

The two days that hold the Sprint Cup Series qualifying and Nationwide Series races are always my favorite days during any race weekend. It’s because there’s always, like, 50% less people running around the garage. I know it’s silly but I love feeling like I have the garage all to myself. And practice is always the best time to get pictures of the cars as they exit and enter the track.

On this particular day I witnessed something that has been going on forever but I only discovered it last weekend. I’m not sure what the process is but some cars come off the track and before going to their garage stall to make adjustments they stop at some designated area near or in the garage and the guys from Goodyear check out their tires. There’s also a crew member from their team checking stuff and taking notes.