All posts tagged David Ragan

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dale jr. did what now?

David Ragan, Clint Bowyer, Scott SpeedTomorrow is day one of the Toyota/SaveMart 350 at Infineon Raceway. I’m super excited because I’ve got some cool stuff lined up and I can’t wait to write about ‘em and share it all with you guys.

Today I attend the press luncheon (photo evidence at left) where Clint Bowyer, David Ragan and Scott Speed were in attendance. They held a short press conference and answered questions. Afterwards I happened to be sharing an elevator with Scott and his PR person and I introduced myself. Scott was very nice, I think he dug the name of this blog.
:)

In other news…

Dale Earnhardt Jr. really enjoys the soccer. Check out this video of him prepping for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. This also serves as my friendly reminder to vote for Dale EVERYDAY (put a sticky note on your computer if you have to), over at facebook.com/adidasSoccer (click on the World Cup Fans tab) so that Dwight Howard, Reggie Bush and BJ Upton will have to wear Dale Jr’s gear. We’re almost there!

where the rubber meets the grass: experiencing major league baseball as a nascar blogger

AT&T Park - Stay off the grass sign (photo credit: The Fast and the Fabulous)The facts as I knew them before I arrived at AT&T Park last night:

1.) There was to be a group media session with Kurt Busch and David Ragan an hour before the game started.

2.) Kurt and David were going to take a lap around the field at some point in between innings with the No. 18 M&Ms Toyota showcar rumbling behind them.

3.) David and Kurt were going to lead the crowd in “Take Me Out To The Ballgame” during the 7th inning stretch.

4.) It was NASCAR Night at the San Francisco Giants vs Baltimore Orioles game

I parked at one of the piers just down from the ballpark and walked superfast to the place where my credentials were waiting. This was my first time attending a Major League Baseball game as a credentialed member of the media. I got to go because of Infineon Raceway and the fact that it was “NASCAR Night.”

the coca-cola 600 aka bradley cooper day

Charlotte Motor Speedway all set for the Coca-Cola 600 on Sunday, May 30th, 2010 (photo credit: The Fast and the Fabulous)To answer Melody’s question from my previous post, I was in Tony Stewart’s hauler for all of 5 minutes. It was luxuriously air conditioned and I didn’t see the back lounge area. Plus Tony wasn’t there he was out practicing but it was very cool to be inside a hauler for any reason and any amount of time.

:)

Sunday was of course the Coca-Cola 600 and on my drive in to the track I couldn’t get over the amount of tailgating that was going on seemingly EVERYWHERE. Every blade of grass surrounding the track was filled with trucks, tents and people with barbecues. Even the parking lots of commercial office buildings had groups of people crowded together. It was so neat to see. There’s tailgating at the California races but nothing to the degree of what I saw outside of Charlotte Motor Speedway. It’s something that you have to witness for yourself.

I got to the track in time to attend a tweetup organized by SBNation’s Jeff Gluck. I went to meet up with ‘Fabulous’ readers Tara S. and Penni. It was really cool finally getting to meet them in person. I seriously adore the women that read my blog, you guys are the bestest! This is the perfect time to thank you all for the sweet comments about my interview with Tony Stewart. I really appreciate the encouragement.

Actor Bradley Cooper takes a photo with a fan at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Sunday, May 30th, 2010 (photo credit: The Fast and the Fabulous)As I alluded to in the title of this post, the Coca-Cola 600 was really all about Bradley Cooper and his hotness visiting a NASCAR race for the first time. He was there with three of his other cast-mates to promote their new movie “The A-Team.” I thought Brendan Fraser’s presence at Chicagoland a couple of years ago was a big deal but Bradley really brought out the ladies. Media and PR people alike make it a point to be in the media center for the cast’s press conference. As soon as Bradley walked into the media center people were requesting to have their photo taken with him (as you can see at right, that’s not me, unfortunately), which he happily obliged.

sprint cup media tour madness (aka photos of drivers in long-sleeved shirts)

This week was the annual NASCAR Sprint Media Tour hosted by Charlotte Motor Speedway. I wasn’t there (trust me, I’m crying inside) and so all I have to share with you are these photos of drivers sitting in chairs. Enjoy! :)


(Left to right) Richard Childress Racing's Clint Bowyer, Kevin Harvick, owner Richard Childress and Jeff Burton take part in the 2010 NASCAR Sprint Media Tour Hosted by Charlotte Motor Speedway Tuesday in Concord, N.C. (Credit: Harold Hinson Photography)

(Left to right) Richard Childress Racing’s Clint Bowyer, Kevin Harvick, owner Richard Childress and Jeff Burton take part in the 2010 NASCAR Sprint Media Tour Hosted by Charlotte Motor Speedway Tuesday in Concord, N.C. (Credit: Harold Hinson Photography)

nothing cuter than nascar’s littlest fans

I don’t know about you but I’m a total sucker for photos of kids and babies getting autographs from drivers. It’s gotta be in the top 10 of cutest things on the planet. And since I’ve been slacking on posting photos here’s a bunch from some of the NASCAR events that have taken place this month.

If these pictures don’t make you smile you need to see a therapist. :)


NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver AJ Allmendinger waves to a young fan Friday in Daytona Beach, Fla. at the NASCAR Preseason Thunder Fan Fest at Daytona International Speedway. (Credit: Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver AJ Allmendinger waves to a young fan Friday in Daytona Beach, Fla. at the NASCAR Preseason Thunder Fan Fest at Daytona International Speedway. (Credit: Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Kevin Harvick poses for a photo with a young fan during autograph sessions on Saturday at NASCAR Preseason Thunder Fan Fest at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, FL. (Credit: Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Kevin Harvick poses for a photo with a young fan during autograph sessions on Saturday at NASCAR Preseason Thunder Fan Fest at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, FL. (Credit: Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)

A young fan meets NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Elliott Sadler and gets an autograph on Saturday during the Sprint Sound and Speed Fan Festival at Nashville Municipal Auditorium in Nashville, Tenn. (Credit: Grant Halverson/Getty Images for NASCAR)

A young fan meets NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Elliott Sadler and gets an autograph on Saturday during the Sprint Sound and Speed Fan Festival at Nashville Municipal Auditorium in Nashville, Tenn. (Credit: Grant Halverson/Getty Images for NASCAR)

A young fan gets an autograph from NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver David Ragan on Saturday during NASCAR Preseason Thunder Fan Fest at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, FL. (Credit: Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)

A young fan gets an autograph from NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver David Ragan on Saturday during NASCAR Preseason Thunder Fan Fest at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, FL. (Credit: Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. meets a junior JR Motorsports fan Friday in Daytona Beach, Fla. at the NASCAR Preseason Thunder Fan Fest at Daytona International Speedway. (Credit: Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. meets a junior JR Motorsports fan Friday in Daytona Beach, Fla. at the NASCAR Preseason Thunder Fan Fest at Daytona International Speedway. (Credit: Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Clint Bowyer takes a picture with a young fan on Saturday during the Sprint Sound and Speed Fan Festival at Nashville Municipal Auditorium in Nashville, Tenn. (Credit: Grant Halverson/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Adorable!!! :)

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Clint Bowyer takes a picture with a young fan on Saturday during the Sprint Sound and Speed Fan Festival at Nashville Municipal Auditorium in Nashville, Tenn. (Credit: Grant Halverson/Getty Images for NASCAR)

a ‘fabulous’ 2009 year in review

I’m a few days late with my year in review but at least I’m not posting this in February or something. 2009 was a very big year for The Fast and the Fabulous. While I didn’t get to attend more races I did have a lot of fun new experiences.

– Questions?: At the Auto Club 500 I did what had previously been unthinkable, I spoke during a press conference and posed questions to some NASCAR drivers. It’s still surreal to me to just be in the same room witfh these guys. Growing up as “The Shy One” I’m proud of myself for coming as far as I have. To top it all off David Ragan said he liked my question, which seriously made my life. :)

– Weekends of racing: While I didn’t get to improve upon on my personal best, I did attend four races — Auto Club 500, Shelby 427, Toyota/SaveMart 350 and Pepsi 500 — in 2009 and added photo galleries from each one to the site. And, I attended my very first drivers meeting during the Shelby 427 weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

– NASCAR Citizen Journalists Media Corps: When I started this blog my goal from the beginning was to get as much credibility as possible. My aim isn’t to be TMZ (gag me) or to just publish anything. I want people to know that if I’m saying something there’s actual thought behind it. I respect NASCAR and this site is all about my experiences and about learning as I go. It means so much to me, probably even more than I know, to be included in the NASCAR Citizen Journalists Media Corps because to me it shows that I’ve done what I set out to do and that people like it.

Sprinkles Cupcakes– Sprinkles Cupcakes: I can’t believe this happened this year, It seriously feels like it was 2 years ago. My harrowing saga of searching for Sprinkles at Auto Club Speedway (and the follow-up) is hands down one of my best posts ever, and if you haven’t read it you should. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll want to eat cupcakes. :)

– Champion’s Week in Las Vegas: OMG. Seriously. Getting the chance to attend Champion’s Week was just awesome. I had a great, great time, so much fun and of course had the most amazing photo taken with Carl Edwards that beats any photo ever taken of me in my entire life. I think NASCAR has found a perfect home for Champion’s Week in Las Vegas. It is such a fun place for fans and NASCAR drivers alike to just let their hair down and celebrate. Where else could I drunkenly accost Chad Knaus? I cannot wait for Champion’s Week 2010, which I am sincerely hoping includes Dale Earnhardt Jr. and then maybe I’ll be able to get the greatest photo ever taken in the UNIVERSE! haha.

– A few of my favorite things: Some people that are new to this site might not be fully aware of my sense of humor. I do have one and I like to use it from time to time. In “Dear Dale, It’s Not Me, It’s You” I compared my driver/fan relationship with Dale Jr to that of a love relationship between a boyfriend & girlfriend. Some people didn’t get it but whatever, it was funny and some of my best work to date. And frankly, if you can’t find humor in a sucky situation what are you left with? A sucky situation that just sucks.

With “My Mom Gets It Sort of Right” I shared one of my mom’s Christmas gifts to me which was a Dale Jr. baby car shade. It’s awesome because I am childless. My mom is great though, she supports my NASCAR habit and I appreciate that more than anything.

This year for the first time I put together my non-prediction predictions for the Chase of which I am very proud because they serve no other purpose than to make me laugh.

– You guys!: It’s still kinda weird to know that people know me and my site when I don’t know them. I am eternally grateful to everyone who reads this blog and gets any kind of enjoyment out of it. You guys are awesome. Thank you for an awesome 2009 and here’s to an even better 2010!

Did I miss anything?? Let me know in the comments.

shortcuts: david ragan surprises people

– It was announced yesterday that Jamie McMurray will take over the No. 1 car for Earnhardt Ganassi Racing next year. I say congratulations to Mr. McMurray. I like knowing that people have jobs. This leads me to think about another driver that I think should have a ride next year and that would be David Gilliland. I think Joe Gibbs Racing should take on a 4th team and that team should be for David. It’d be awesome. :)

– NFL star Junior Seau has a new TV show called “Sports Jobs With Junior Seau.” Before Seau decided to come back to the NFL he filmed this original series for VERSUS about the people working behind the scenes of major sports leagues. In the December 23rd episode Seau tries his hand at being a pit crew member for IndyCar Series driver Scott Dixon. Check your local listings.

Mike Rowe, host of the super grody show “Dirty Jobs,” will be the Grand Marshal of this weekend’s Ford 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. I love Mike Rowe because he does muck around in all of the muck on his show, and he has an awesome voice. AND he used to host a local TV show here in the San Francisco Bay Area so he’s sentimental fave. I’m glad he’s doing really well.

– NASCAR Sprint Cup driver David Ragan surprised three Daytona International Speedway season ticket holders with free tickets to the 2010 Daytona 500 in February. There were pictures and I felt the need to post them.

:)


Daytona International Speedway President Robin Braig, left, joined UPS driver Robert Clopton and NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver of the Roush Fenway Racing No. 6 UPS Ford David Ragan to present longtime season ticket holder Ben Allen and his wife with their tickets for the 52nd annual Daytona 500 at their home Tuesday. (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Daytona International Speedway)

Daytona International Speedway President Robin Braig, left, joined UPS driver Robert Clopton and NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver of the Roush Fenway Racing No. 6 UPS Ford David Ragan to present longtime season ticket holder Ben Allen and his wife with their tickets for the 52nd annual Daytona 500 at their home Tuesday. (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Daytona International Speedway)

Longtime season ticket holder Mike Bruno Jr., right, poses with his tickets to Feb. 14's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Daytona 500 and driver of the No. 6 UPS Ford, David Ragan on Tuesday as Ragan hand-delivered him tickets for NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Daytona 500 on Feb. 14, 2010. (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Daytona International Speedway)

Longtime season ticket holder Mike Bruno Jr., right, poses with his tickets to Feb. 14′s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Daytona 500 and driver of the No. 6 UPS Ford, David Ragan on Tuesday as Ragan hand-delivered him tickets for NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Daytona 500 on Feb. 14, 2010. (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Daytona International Speedway)

When he opened his front door, longtime Daytona International Speedway season ticket holders Jim Barron and his wife Char were in for a surprise -- NASCAR Sprint Cup series driver of the No. 6 UPS Ford, David Ragan. Ragan, who stopped in Daytona Beach before heading down to Homestead-Miami Speedway for this weekend's final races of the season, presented tickets to Barron for the 52nd annual Daytona 500 on Feb. 14, 2010. (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Daytona International Speedway)

When he opened his front door, longtime Daytona International Speedway season ticket holders Jim Barron and his wife Char were in for a surprise — NASCAR Sprint Cup series driver of the No. 6 UPS Ford, David Ragan. Ragan, who stopped in Daytona Beach before heading down to Homestead-Miami Speedway for this weekend’s final races of the season, presented tickets to Barron for the 52nd annual Daytona 500 on Feb. 14, 2010. (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Daytona International Speedway)

bristol reminded me of a younger, unwiser britney spears

Kyle Busch celebrates winning the Sharpie 500, completing the season sweep at Bristol Motor Speedway. (Photo Credit: John Harrelson/Getty Images)I have so much to tell you and I’m late on all of it! Grr. Last weekend I went to the Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma and then there was this whole Miss Universe pageant where Miss USA wore a NASCAR-inspired outfit. I have a lot to discuss, but first my thoughts on Bristol.

Bristol was basically like Britney Spears‘ supposed “comeback” performance at the MTV Video Music Awards a couple years back. Everybody was all excited leading up to it and then it happened and it was a complete FAIL.

Bristol was friggin’ boring. Well not entirely but still a vast majority of it. So much so that I was actually sad I couldn’t take a nap to get through it.

i like the denny

Team owner Rick Hendrick (left) and crew chief Alan Gustafson (top) celebrate with Mark Martin (right), driver of the No. 5 CARQUEST/Kellogg's Chevrolet, celebrates with in the Victory Lane after winning Saturday night's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series LifeLock.com 400 at Chicagoland Speedway. (Photo Credit: John Harrelson/Getty Images)Since I never wrote up my thoughts on the Coke Zero 400 last week I’m doing a double-double this weekend and including them with my write up of last night’s LifeLock.com 400 at Chicagoland.

First the Coke Zero 400, I felt that Tony Stewart did nothing wrong to Kyle Busch in the last lap. Apparently when Kyle ends up wrecked it’s whiney time, but when he does it to someone else he’s just racing. Whatever, dude. I do not understand Kyle’s logic, seriously.

With Tony’s win, Burger King definitely got their money’s worth for their sponsorship of his No. 14 right out of the gate. If they don’t do more next year, I think that would be a mistake. But I still think the BK King is creepy.

Now, I should say that I wasn’t all that thrilled that Tony won. I really wanted Denny Hamlin to win, and this weekend too. I’ve never been a Denny fan but he’s really growing on me. I’m not sure why. Well, maybe it had to do with seeing his episode of Cribs on CMT awhile back. He had this piece of paper in his bathroom that read: “I Can, I Will.” I guess it struck a cord with me that he even thought enough to post an affirmation like that, and then to let it be filmed. So I want the guy to win something, that and I want to hang out on the little beach he has in his backyard. It just seemed so relaxing.

how do you solve a problem like talladega?

A multi-car incident involving 14 cars in Turn 4 brought out the first caution on lap 8 of Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Aaron's 499 at Talladega Superspeedway. (Photo Credit: John Harrelson/Getty Images)Wanna know what my reaction was to the end of the Aaron’s 499 at Talladega Superspeedway?

Jaw. On. Floor.

I couldn’t believe it. Here I was thinking that Dale Earnhardt Jr. was going to win it and then Brad Keselowski comes from outta nowhere — after getting in the way all day — and takes it.

Only seven laps in we got a “Big One” that took out guys that I like, including Bowyer and Gilliland, which was highly disappointing. But I still had Dale and the hope that he had read my post and had taken it to heart. Ya never know. Plus well, Talladega is a really good track for him so I’m sure it had everything to do with that and nothing to do with me, but because he left there with a top-three finish (which is what I asked for) I like to think it was mostly me.

Anyway, I congratulate Brad on his first Sprint Cup win.

Carl Edwards chats with talk show host Ellen Degeneres (Photo Credit: Michael Rozman/Warner Bros.)I’m so glad that Carl Edwards is A-OK and that his crash only looked absolutely horrible and didn’t result in anyone’s death. Actually because of that insane fly through the air Carl will be a guest on “The Ellen Degeneres Show” that airs tomorrow (Wednesday, April 29th, check your local listings).

Apparently Ellen thinks that Carl should take it easy from now on and gives him a new ride, a “Cruzin Cooler”, to be exact. It’s a cooler on wheels. Niiice.

I don’t know the answer to the safety questions surrounding Talladega. I’m not going to lie and say that I don’t like watching cars run 3 or 4 wide. It’s pretty cool. And yes, seeing the “The Big One” happen is interesting to me. It’s also crazy to see two cars hook-up and push each other past the entire field. It’s so unique and I like it. Whatever NASCAR needs to do to make it so that people don’t get themselves into the situations that Carl and Matt Kenseth found themselves in this past weekend they should do, but hopefully that doesn’t involve taking the banking away.


Dale Earnhardt Jr. (left), driver of the No. 88 National Guard/Amp Energy Chevrolet, congratulates Brad Keselowski (right), driver of the No. 09 Miccosukee Chevrolet, in Victory Lane on his first Sprint Cup Series win at the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Aaron's 499 at Talladega Superspeedway. (Photo Credit: Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Dale Earnhardt Jr. (left), driver of the No. 88 National Guard/Amp Energy Chevrolet, congratulates Brad Keselowski (right), driver of the No. 09 Miccosukee Chevrolet, in Victory Lane on his first Sprint Cup Series win at the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Aaron’s 499 at Talladega Superspeedway. (Photo Credit: Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Marcos Ambrose (right), driver of the No. 47 Little Debbie/Kingsford/Clorox Toyota talks with team co-owner Brad Daugherty (left) during Friday's first practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Aaron's 499 at Talladega Superspeedway. (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Marcos Ambrose (right), driver of the No. 47 Little Debbie/Kingsford/Clorox Toyota talks with team co-owner Brad Daugherty (left) during Friday’s first practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Aaron’s 499 at Talladega Superspeedway. (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR)

David Ragan, driver of the No. 6 Discount Tire Ford, celebrates his first NASCAR national racing series win Saturday in Victory Lane after capturing the checkered flag at the NASCAR Nationwide Series Aaron's 312 at Talladega Superspeedway. (Photo Credit: Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)

David Ragan, driver of the No. 6 Discount Tire Ford, celebrates his first NASCAR national racing series win Saturday in Victory Lane after capturing the checkered flag at the NASCAR Nationwide Series Aaron’s 312 at Talladega Superspeedway. (Photo Credit: Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Old Spice Chevrolet, waves to the fans following driver introductions and before the start of Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Aaron's 499 at Talladega Superspeedway. (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/Getty Images)

Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Old Spice Chevrolet, waves to the fans following driver introductions and before the start of Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Aaron’s 499 at Talladega Superspeedway. (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/Getty Images)

Mike Skinner and his No. 5 Bad Boy Mowers Toyota team celebrate winning the O'Reilly Auto Parts 250 at Kansas Speedway. The win was Skinner's first of the season and the first for the team since becoming Randy Moss Motorsports last summer. (Photo Credit: Darrell Ingham/Getty Images)

Mike Skinner and his No. 5 Bad Boy Mowers Toyota team celebrate winning the O’Reilly Auto Parts 250 at Kansas Speedway. The win was Skinner’s first of the season and the first for the team since becoming Randy Moss Motorsports last summer. (Photo Credit: Darrell Ingham/Getty Images)

Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Old Spice/Office Depot Chevrolet chats with former teammate Denny Hamlin, driver of the No. 11 FedEx Toyota in the garage during Friday's practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Aaron's 499 at Talladega Superspeedway. Earlier in the day, Stewart held a news conference about the 2009 Prelude to the Dream. (Photo Credit: Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Old Spice/Office Depot Chevrolet chats with former teammate Denny Hamlin, driver of the No. 11 FedEx Toyota in the garage during Friday’s practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Aaron’s 499 at Talladega Superspeedway. Earlier in the day, Stewart held a news conference about the 2009 Prelude to the Dream. (Photo Credit: Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)

this post is really about barry zito

Sam Hornish Jr. waits for his turn to qualify at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Friday, February 27, 2009 (photo credit: The Fast and the Fabulous)I like to talk about things in chronological order but somehow I went a little out of order in my account of my Las Vegas weekend.

For example I have yet to talk about sitting on pit road during qualifying. I’ve been to a lot of races but I’ve never stayed out on pit road for qualifying. I usually hang out in the garage and try to snap photos of drivers jumping out of their car after they’ve finished their laps.

It’s just as good trackside, if not better, because the drivers are just sitting on the wall waiting for their turn to come around. If they’re not sitting, they’re standing next to their car just a few feet away from people like me.

When I think of that I can’t help but marvel at all of the access NASCAR fans have to their favorite drivers. I’ve always told people that it’s not a matter of if, it’s just a matter of when and where you’ll run into your guy. I think it’s crazy to ask these guys to do more in terms of reaching out to the fans. I mean, Sam Hornish Jr. was standing on pit road for like an hour all by himself, not many people were talking to him. Some fans eventually went up to him to take a photo with him, but for the most part he was just there completely available. That just doesn’t happen in the NFL, NBA or in MLB. If I could walk out on to the field at AT&T Park during practice Barry Zito would be mine, or at the very least I’d have enough photos with him to use for my Christmas card for the next 5 years. The San Francisco Giants should make that happen. Think about it Giants, just think about it. :)

So that was Friday. On Saturday I staked out the garage for photos like wrote about in my last post. For the Nationwide race I went out on to the track for driver introductions and then down to pit road for the anthem. I stood in between David Ragan and Brendan Gaughan’s cars. During the race I watched it from my seat in the media center.

BBQ Pulled Pork Nachos in the Neon Garage at Las Vegas Motor Speedway (photo credit: The Fast and the Fabulous)At one point, I went out to the Neon Garage to get something to eat. I sat out there and watched the race on one of the two big screens that sit opposite each other inside the huge courtyard-like area. I ordered the yummiest $9 BBQ pulled pork nachos I’d ever tasted. They could easily cut that portion in half and sell it for $4 and it’d be just as good. Overall though, I highly recommend them!

At the end of the Sam’s Town 300, the top-3 finishers were brought into the media center to field questions, as per usual. Pit road speed seemed to be a problem for a lot of drivers that day and Brian Vickers and Carl Edwards seemed to think that the pace car hadn’t set the right speed before the race start, and that is what caused a lot of drivers to speed on pit road.

And that was Friday and Saturday. Next up: Sunday, Sunday, Sunday!


Tony Stewart prepares to qualify for the Shelby 527 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Friday, February 27, 2009 (photo credit: The Fast and the Fabulous)

Tony Stewart prepares to qualify for the Shelby 527 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Friday, February 27, 2009 (photo credit: The Fast and the Fabulous)

Jason Keller, Mike Bliss and Steve Wallace chat before driver introductions for the Sam's Town 300 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Saturday, February 28, 2009 (photo credit: The Fast and the Fabulous)

(from left to right) Jason Keller, Mike Bliss and Steve Wallace chat before driver introductions for the Sam’s Town 300 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Saturday, February 28, 2009 (photo credit: The Fast and the Fabulous)

Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Scott Speed chat before driver introductions for the Sam's Town 300 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Saturday, February 28, 2009 (photo credit: The Fast and the Fabulous)

Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Scott Speed chat before driver introductions for the Sam’s Town 300 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Saturday, February 28, 2009 (photo credit: The Fast and the Fabulous)

The No. 62 South Point Hotel & Casino team lineup for the National Anthem Dale before the start of the Sam's Town 300 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Saturday, February 28, 2009 (photo credit: The Fast and the Fabulous)

The No. 62 South Point Hotel & Casino team lineup for the National Anthem Dale before the start of the Sam’s Town 300 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Saturday, February 28, 2009 (photo credit: The Fast and the Fabulous)

where is david ragan’s parking sticker?!

David Ragan leaves the stage after being introduced to the crowd before the start of the Sam's Town 300 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Saturday, February 28, 2009 (photo credit: The Fast and the Fabulous)I drove 8 hours to get to Las Vegas, so I think that solidfies me as a true blue NASCAR fan. I’ve done the drive to Vegas from the Bay Area 2 times before, and I think it feels longer after you’ve done it the first time.

I arrived in Vegas yesterday and checked into my hotel, South Point Hotel Casino & Spa, where I found that many other NASCAR fans and teams were also staying. It’s a nice place but the fact that the casino is full of smokers pretty much solidfies the fact that I will not be indulging my passion for penny slots.

This morning I got up early to get to the credentials trailer. When I walked in the door I immediately identified David Ragan standing at the counter. I wondered why he was there and cursed the fact that I didn’t have my camera on me, not that I could have taken a photo because it would have been super obvious. Anyway, I stepped up to the open window next to him and handed over my ID to pick up my stuff.

It was then that the woman across from David asked how she could help him. He said that he needed his parking sticker for his RV. The woman told him that they should have given it to him when he drove in, there’s a little booth there. Well, David, who was obviously irritated by the whole thing, said that the guy manning the booth told him to come to the credentials trailer. He said that he would go back but asked if there was a specific person he could talk to about it because he thought this wasn’t a very organized way to handle things.

Two things I found interesting:

1.) He had to handle this whole thing himself. You think that all drivers have someone to drive their RV in for them, or pick up the necessary stickers. I guess it just isn’t like that for everyone.

2.) His accent becomes extra thick when he’s annoyed.

Here’s another totally random thought about David Ragan. He looks better in his street clothes than he does in that UPS firesuit. I really don’t think they should have used so much yellow. It’s not a good look.

just me, myself and elliott (sadler, that is)

Elliott Sadler at the Auto Club Speedway on Friday, February 20, 2009 (credit: The Fast and the Fabulous)All day the amount of media that gathered for the individual driver press conferences had been small to say the least. I think almost every driver who walked in commented on the lack of butts in the seats. The audio from each meeting was being broadcast over to the deadline media room, and the reporters there could ask questions if they wanted, so people didn’t have to show up in-person if they didn’t want to.

The only driver to have an insane grouping of everyone and their mother was Dale Earnhardt Jr. who was asked every kind of variation of the same question regarding the incident between him and Brian Vickers at Daytona. The gist of what he had to say was that he didn’t mean to do it, he’s sorry about it, and yes, he’s talked to Brian. Blah, blah, blah.

While the vast majority of media was hanging onto every word uttered from Dale’s lips, Carl Edwards was left sitting in the driver’s meeting room with only 3 writers in front of him. I was kicking myself for not ditching Dale and sitting in on Carl’s session instead.

When it comes to these Q&A shindigs with drivers I’ve never asked a question and I usually try to stay towards the back and to the side. But when you’re in a situation where you’re one of like 5 or 6 people in a big empty room it’s hard to blend in. I don’t prepare questions for these things, or at least I haven’t in the past.

These guys are always asked the same questions and if I did dare to say something I’d want it to be interesting and somewhat thoughtful. After about 3 drivers came in it was Casey Mears turn to take the stage and field questions.

I don’t know what I was thinking but I raised my hand to ask a question. I was curious if becoming a father last year has changed his outlook on racing at all. I was sort of afraid to ask because I didn’t want to pry into his personal life and I didn’t want him to give me a Paul Menard answer of “I’m not going to answer that.”

Casey was very nice and smiled throughout his entire response. Smiling is the international symbol for “Your question wasn’t horrible.”

Here’s Casey’s full response: “I’ve discussed this a little bit before and in Daytona as well. It’s funny because I think being one of the younger guys looking at some of the guys that have children and have a little bit more of a family thing, ‘Man, they’re probably slowing down a little bit.’ Ya know, they’re going to be a little more conservative because of that situation and in a lot of ways I think it’s completely the opposite now, being in that situation. It makes you want to try that much harder. It makes you want to be that much more successful. It makes you want to be able to provide for that family now and that child. And I think that it definitely brings a whole new light in my mind of the situation because I feel like you think about it at night a little bit more, ‘hey we wanna make something happen. I want to prove myself, I want to do well.’ So I think from that perspective things have changed. I’ve always had a huge drive to do well and be successful but it’s definitely affected my life probably, and my racing career, in a different way than I thought it was going to. It’s not slowing me down it’s making me work harder.”

From that and subsequent questioning of other drivers I quickly realized that these guys remember everything they’re asked and if you want to stand out and not sound like a schmo you need to come up with something different.

Unfortunately for me I didn’t have the time to think of something fabulous and witty when Elliott Sadler walked into the room. I was the ONLY media member sitting in front of him. As Elliott walked by me he was like “So it’s just you and me today?”, and I was all “I guess so!”

Inside I was freaking out, what am I going to say? I have nothing! Nothing! So I offered up the only thing I could which was the standard how do you feel about your car question. After that I followed up by asking him if ever gets the opportunity to sit down with The King, Richard Petty, or does it happen more in passing which is what Kasey Kahne and Reed Sorenson had said earlier that day. He was nice and answered them both well, but I could tell that I hadn’t wowed him with my journalistic skills. Luckily, a few reporters trickled in during his response to my second question and I was off the hook.

The best part of my day, in which I had to pat myself on the back, was when I asked David Ragan if he ever Googled himself. I think his answer speaks for itself, in it’s pure awesomeness:

“I have Googled myself and, trust me, I wasn’t just like sitting in a room and it was just me. It was probably with a group of friends or at a racetrack trying to kill some time, but yeah I read a little bit.

I think probably my aunts and uncles, and family members they read a lot more than what I do. I read a couple magazines and papers and kind of see what everyone’s talking about, but I don’t get overly caught up in what everyone is writing. And every now and then I’ll see something that ‘Hey that’s not right, or that’s not spelled out right.’ And I think that for a second I’m like ‘Man I wonder if they’re just confused or they don’t have the facts right’ and I’ll try to round ‘em up or if I see one of the writers at the next racetrack I’ll try to grab them or something like that. I do pay attention a little bit to what’s going on but I think my family probably keeps me up to date more than anybody.

That was a good question. I like questions like that, other than ‘How was your car?’ or ‘Are you excited to be here this weekend?’ and stuff like that. I like odd questions.”

Score! :)


Kasey Kahne and Reed Sorenson (credit: The Fast and the Fabulous)

Kasey Kahne (left) and Reed Sorenson (right) took on their press conferences together at the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, CA on Friday, February 20, 2009. (credit: The Fast and the Fabulous)

autoclub_dalejr_press

Dale Earnhardt Jr. mulls over a question at the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, CA on Friday, February 20, 2009. (credit: The Fast and the Fabulous)

on being thrifty and kasey’s movie star good looks

Gosh, where do I begin?

Let’s start with Thursday night when I arrived at LAX and picked up my rental car from Thrifty. I usually go with Hertz, but this time around Thrifty was cheaper and I was, well, trying to be thrifty. It was sort of a mistake. There was drama from the second I walked in the door. Some woman was trying to pay with quarters and one dollar bills and some other dude was trying to cheat the rental company out of money which ended with the Thrifty employee telling the dude to never come back there again.

What a glorious way to start a trip! Actually it wasn’t all bad, when it was my turn they got me out quickly, and I was able to pick the car I wanted. I ended up with a black Dodge Caliber. I’ve never driven one of those before and they said it was a compact car, but it totally doesn’t feel like it. I feel like I’m driving a boat.

Anyway, Yesterday morning I set off for the track with more butterflies in my stomach than ever. I always get nervous because I have no idea what is going to happen and I’m always seriously afraid that I’ll look like a nut job. How I would make myself look like a nut job I will never know, but I fear it nevertheless.

I arrived at the track, picked up my credentials and grabbed the press conference schedule. So I’m used to having to go from hauler to hauler for each session, but this time around the majority of the gatherings were in the drivers meeting room in the garage. So I just sat there as driver after driver came in and took a seat behind the table on the stage.

Here is a quick rundown of things that occurred to me as each driver spoke:

Kurt Busch is kinda growing on me. I used to dislike him a lot but now, eh, not so much.

– I was dying to ask Matt Kenseth point blank whether or not his wife Katie was pregnant, but I do not have the balls to ask that kind of question. It’s none of my business, of course.

A.J. Allmendinger is talkative, friendly and funny. He joked that he told USA Today that he might be doing steroids in an effort to get them to write an article about him.

Kyle Busch talked about the incident at Daytona a little bit, all without actually saying Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s name. A reporter called him on it and asked why he wouldn’t say his name, Kyle replied (in a sort of annoyed tone) that he didn’t say the other guys’ (Brian Vickers) name either.

– I really liked the Kobalt Tools hat that Jimmie Johnson was wearing.

comparison_kkahne_twilightKasey Kahne kinda looks like the actor Robert Pattinson, who played the Edward character in the movie “Twilight.” They’re not dead ringers, but c’mon there are some similarities. :)

– When you ask Jeff Gordon a question he will never, ever answer it with just one word or one sentence. It’s not a bad thing, he just tends to go on more than others.

David Ragan is my new favorite driver! Why? Read my next post!

When I wasn’t listening to drivers talk about the track and their feelings about the upcoming race I spent time in the garage Twittering and taking photos. Oh, and I monitored the Port-A-Pottie usage of a few drivers like Kurt Busch, Matt Kenseth and David Ragan. These are the kinds of important updates you get when you follow me on Twitter.

clint bowyer gets his ring

2008 NASCAR Nationwide Series champion driver Clint Bowyer shows off his championship ring and trophy. (Photo Credit: Marc Serota/Getty Images for NASCAR)My intention for this post was to talk about the Nationwide Series Champions Week, but I realized that I don’t have much to say ’cause I wasn’t there, but I will say that Clint Bowyer is pretty cute when he’s smiling. Isn’t the photo to the left a great shot of him?

Thanks to ESPN we all get to find out what happened at the awards banquet, all of the important things like who was Joey Logano’s date and other items of that nature. Highlights will be shown on ESPN2 at noon (EST). Check your local listings.

little samantha mears has arrived

Casey Mears, driver of the No. 5 Pop-Tarts/CARQUEST Chevrolet, started from the outside pole position during Sunday's race at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway and finished 14th after leading twice. (Courtesy Hendrick Motorsports)The big newsy news of the day is that Casey Mears‘ first child was born yesterday. According to a post by Casey’s mom Carol on the Mears Gang message boards Samantha Mae Mears was born yesterday at at 12:42pm, weighing in at 8lbs. 7oz.

Congratulations to Casey and his girlfriend Trisha!

In other news…

– Do you ever wish that there was one place on the web were you could find all of the top headlines about racing? Well there’s no need to look any further than Alltop. It’s a site the pulls in website and blog feeds (including The Fast and the Fabulous!) from around the web in what they’re calling a “magazine rack” approach. It’s worth checking out.

– Here is a fun quote from Mike Skinner about Scott Speed who will make his Sprint Cup Series debut next year:

“He’s a really funny guy. He acts so goofy on the outside. But when he puts on that helmet and gets in that race car, he does a great job. He gives good feedback, and I think the kid’s got a bright future. Red Bull is really, really high on him. Heck, he’s already won in ARCA few times, he’s won in the truck series, he was second-fastest at the Charlotte test. I hope to be his friend for a long time and help him any way I can.”

– The Third Annual Jamie McMurray Foundation Golf Tournament will take place on Monday, October 13th in Mooresville, North Carolina. The Jamie McMurray Foundation raises money for austism awareness and research:

“It’s hard to believe the golf tournament is really next week,” said McMurray. “We’ve put a lot of work into this year’s tournament to make it nothing short of first class. There are a lot of people that made this event what it will be, but nothing would have been possible without the help of our sponsors. Crown Royal stepped up as the primary sponsor, along with Stanford Group, Coca-Cola, Aflac, Sprint, Motorsports Authentics and a ton of others. The list goes on and on, and it’s really those sponsors who have made this all possible.”

Joining McMurray for an afternoon of golf are his fellow Roush Fenway Racing teammates Matt Kenseth, Greg Biffle and David Ragan, along with Denny Hamlin, Rusty Wallace, Elliott Sadler, Reed Sorenson and others.

“I really can’t thank those guys enough for taking time out of their schedules to come out and support our foundation and help raise money for such a great cause.”

The JMF was formed in May 2006, and since has provided more than $200,000 to Autism Speaks and other autistic foundations throughout the United States.

kyle petty interview: driver marketability and the future of petty enterprises

Driver Kyle Petty speaks to the media to announce the construction of a new Victory Junction camp while his wife Pattie looks on prior to practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Camping World RV 400 at Kansas Speedway. (Photo Credit: Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)Hello! Today has been insane let me tell ya, but the one awesome thing has been writing up this final post of my interview with Kyle Petty. Again, this interview was done last week during Kyle’s promotion of Prostate Cancer Awareness Week.


Me: In regards to Prostate Cancer Awareness, a lot of the readers of my website are women, what’s the most important thing that they can do for their husband or father to help them to go out there and see a doctor about this?

Petty: When had our STAY ON TRACK for Better Prostate Health booth set up at Michigan I was surprised at the amount of women who came through and would bring their husbands, or would say “My father had prostate cancer, it runs in our family and I’m trying to get my brothers to go and I really appreciate you guys speaking up on it.”

I think prostate cancer for so many people and especially guys, guys just are afraid to go be checked. And just like I said before, as my father uses the example of putting together a pit crew for his prostate cancer, I think so many guys will baby their car, change the oil, do everything they can with their car and their lawnmower, and their fishing boat or whatever it may be but they disregard their body.

this time carl bumps but doesn’t run

Cars lined up for Cup Series practice on Saturday, August 30, 2008 at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif. (photo credit: The Fast and the Fabulous)On Saturday on my drive into the track from my sister’s house in Encino, I stopped by a Jamba Juice in Upland and bought a sixteen ounce Razzmatazz. I also decided to put the top down my on my car. It was 90-something degrees outside but I was wearing a hat and if you can’t put your top down when it’s hot what’s the point?

The day was about getting photos of anything and everything. During the Nationwide Series qualifying session I stood in the garage and watched as the top qualifiers came in and were interviewed by the crew from the SPEED channel.

After that I wandered the garage and spied Dancing with the Stars professional dancer Cheryl Burke with her new partner, Olympic sprinter and gold medalist Maurice Greene shooting some sort of video thing next to the pace car. Cheryl got to wave the green flag for the Camping World RV Service 300 presented by Coleman later that evening.

I made sure to keep close to the conference room in the middle of the garage where they hold all of the driver’s meetings and major press conferences. The Nationwide Series drivers meeting was set to start and I wanted to be in a good position to try and get good photos, but for some reason I got nothing of people going in, and then when they came out everybody was grouped together and they rushed out, so I didn’t get much.

One cool thing that happened was just a little bit later when the Cup Series guys got ready to go out for their final practice session of the day. Cars started to pull out from the far side of the Cup garage and made a long line out to pit road. They were all stopped and a second line formed right in front of me starting with Jeff Burton. He was so close that I could have easily walked up and touched the car and then poked my head in beside the window flap. Of course I didn’t, but there were photographers that did. They pushed their lenses right on inside the car to get close up shots of the drivers. I wondered what that must be like to have people basically shoving their cameras in Carl Edwards' No. 99 gets up close and personal with Jeff Burton's No. 31 at the Auto Club Speedway on Saturday, August 30, 2008 (photo credit: The Fast and the Fabulous)your face to get a shot, right when you’re about to go out on the track.

But moving on, while I’m standing there Carl Edwards drives his car up behind Burton and rolls to a stop, and then starts to roll again and bumps into the back of Burton. I took a photo before Carl backed up. I’m assuming he meant to do that. They must like each other right?

So I’m standing there taking a couple photos and I’m like, I dunno, five feet away from his car and Carl waves at me. So I waved back, smiled, laughed and said “Hiii!” It was too funny.

After the Cup practice was the Nationwide Series race and oh how I love a Nationwide Series race. I love the fact that there’s way less security and structure to the driver intros, at least behind the stage, you get way better photos and experiences because of it. I got some great photos of drivers looking right at me as I took their photo, like the one below of David Ragan.

Okay, so I have to put in one more “Awww, Carl” story. There were these two teenage girls who kept calling to Carl to come over and sign their stuff. He eventually came over, talked to them and signed whatever it was they had. To hear their reaction was so cute, they were all “We got Carl! We got Carl! Omigosh!” I love that.

Nothing too noteworthy happened after all of that. I think some dude named Kyle Busch went on to win the race, but I’m not sure.

:)


Cheryl Burke and Maurice Greene

Dancing with the Stars professional dancer Cheryl Burke and her new partner gold medalist Maurice Greene hang out before the start of the Nationwide Series race on Saturday, August 30, 2008 at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif. (photo credit: The Fast and the Fabulous)

David Gilliland

David Gilliland chats with his crew after qualifying for the Nationwide Series race on Saturday, August 30, 2008 at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif. (photo credit: The Fast and the Fabulous)

Carl Edwards

Look closely and you can see his eyes peeking out through the window net!

Carl Edwards sits in his car, waiting to start practice on Saturday, August 30, 2008 at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif. (photo credit: The Fast and the Fabulous)

Stanton Barrett

Stanton Barrett signs an autograph for a fan before driver introductions on Saturday, August 30, 2008 at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif. (photo credit: The Fast and the Fabulous)

David Ragan, Joey Logano and Carl Edwards

David Ragan (center) chats with Carl Edwards (right) and Joey Logano (left) before driver introductions for the Nationwide Series race on Saturday, August 30, 2008 at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif. (photo credit: The Fast and the Fabulous)

if only i knew what he was thinking

Michael McDowell gets ready to roll out for a practice session at Chicagoland Speedway on Friday, July 11, 2008 (photo credit: The Fast and the Fabulous)After the fun ESPN tour I headed into the Sprint Cup garage. I walked down one row and then another and stopped at the stall for the No. 55 NAPA Auto Parts Toyota. I took photos and then noticed Michael Waltrip walking towards me. As he passed by he smiled and said “Hello” to me and the guy taking photos next to me. He got into the car and strapped himself in.

Here’s the thing, I knew that the practice sessions were set to start soon, but I didn’t realize exactly how soon. So here I am walking down the garage right in front of the car stalls stopping at each one to take a photo. I started to see a pattern that all of the drivers seemed to be in their cars with their helmets on all at the same time. It didn’t dawn on me that they were minutes from racing out of the garage and onto the track until I got to the end of the row and noticed that nobody else was as close to the stalls as I was and drivers were looking at me as I took their photos like “What are you doing? Who are you? Don’t you know I’m about to run you over?!” It wasn’t that serious, but it was really, really, eerie.

I mean, really eerie. It’s this extreme calm before the storm. They were all just sitting there waiting for the go ahead. As soon as I caught on that they would be racing out at any moment I decided to walk faster and get to a corner where I could get a good view of the cars as they pulled out and stay well out of everyone’s way.

Once practice was over it was time for the drivers & crew chiefs meeting before the start of the Nationwide Series race. First I must say that I love the way the infield area of Chicagoland is laid out. The media center is smack dab in the center of everything and it’s closed off so the fans, even those with pit passes, are kept well away from it. The Sprint Cup garage is to the left and the Nationwide garage is to the right, and the tent for the drivers meeting was behind it.

So back to the drivers meeting, I went to tent area and stood with the security stationed outside of it to keep the fans at bay. Since it was the Nationwide race after all there weren’t that many people waiting with me, maybe like 3 or 4? If that, I’m not entirely sure but I know it wasn’t anything near all of the people that were there the next day for the Sprint Cup drivers meeting. They had to put up steel barriers for that one. But I digress. So I’m standing there and drivers start to trickle in. I snapped Tony Stewart, Brian Vickers and Matt Kenseth.
Clint Bowyer walks to the Dollar General 300 drivers and crew chiefs meeting at Chicagoland Speedway on Friday, July 11, 2008 (photo credit: The Fast and the Fabulous
And then there was Clint.

Clint Bowyer walks up, all alone and I hold up my camera to take a photo and he looks in my direction. Now, I had no idea if he was actually looking at me or just in my general vicinity. I had no idea what expression he was making and honestly I didn’t want to know. I feel totally fine about taking pictures of people if they’re not looking at me while I’m doing it. Plus he’s seen me directly taking shots of him at Las Vegas and Infineon and now Chicagoland. So I didn’t dare look up from my camera for fear that he might be frowning or something. I don’t know. He went into the tent and that was that.

Later on I looked at the photo in its full size and I cracked up because he is in fact staring straight at me with this weird expression that looks kinda like he’s pissed. But I love this photo. It’s my most favorite photo to date. :) The look on his face is priceless; he’s like “What??” Hmm. Note to self: No more photos of Clint Bowyer, at least for the next race. Or at least not when he’s looking.


Sprint Cup cars roll out to the track for a practice session at Chicagoland Speedway on Friday, July 11, 2008 (photo credit: The Fast and the Fabulous)

Sprint Cup cars roll out to the track for a practice session at Chicagoland Speedway on Friday, July 11, 2008 (photo credit: The Fast and the Fabulous)

Tony Stewart heads into the drivers meeting before the Dollar General 300 at Chicagoland Speedway on Friday, July 11, 2008 (photo credit: The Fast and the Fabulous)

Tony Stewart heads into the drivers meeting before the Dollar General 300 at Chicagoland Speedway on Friday, July 11, 2008 (photo credit: The Fast and the Fabulous)

David Ragan (far left), Carl Edwards and Matt Kenseth leave the drivers meeting before the Dollar General 300 on Friday, July 11, 2008 (photo credit: The Fast and the Fabulous)

David Ragan (far left), Carl Edwards and Matt Kenseth leave the drivers meeting before the Dollar General 300 on Friday, July 11, 2008 (photo credit: The Fast and the Fabulous)

he finally wins and i miss it??

Dale Earnhardt Jr. celebrates winning the LifeLock 400 at Michigan International Speedway. The win ended a 76-race winless streak for Earnhardt. (Photo Credit: Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)I’ve managed to shock myself at how long it’s taken me to write something about Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s win at Michigan last weekend.

I was in Los Angeles helping to celebrate Father’s Day for my brother-in-law so I wasn’t able to watch the race unfold. I saw the beginning of it before we left for lunch and then when I got back to the house I found that my mom had called me on my cell phone that I had regrettably left behind. I called her back and she asked me if I had seen it, seen Dale win. My first emotion was anger that I had missed it. I was so mad. If you follow me on Twitter you already knew that.

Of course I’m happy for him, ecstatic even, but I’m still sad that I missed it. It’s not enough for me to see the highlights after the fact. I need to watch it live. In the end though there’s nothing I can do about it. I still got to see how it ended and his reaction in victory lane and his interview with ESPN’s Marty Smith. Although, I do wish his win had been cleaner and by “cleaner” I mean that I wish there wasn’t the whole controversy over passing the pace car under yellow. I’ll still take it of course, but still, it lingers.

My mom is traveling and she saw the end of the race in a restaurant in Arkansas. She was taken aback by the crowd cheering for Dale as he won the race. Stuff like that doesn’t happen in Northern California. If you enter a restaurant and the patrons are cheering it’s either because the Giants, Warriors, 49ers, Raiders or A’s are winning. Some places will have the race on TV but it’s usually because there’s nothing else on. At any rate, I want to experience that for myself. I must get myself to Charlotte asap!

In other news….

Kyle Busch has bowed of his attempt at running for a Championship in all three of NASCAR’s series. I think that was a good idea. After two sucky weeks I think it was the thing to do. I don’t think that’s something that I’d want any driver to do, even the ones that I don’t like. :) It’s too much work and it thins out your focus for the most important Championship of all, the Sprint Cup.

Joey Logano won his first NASCAR race and he’s the youngest guy to do it in the Nationwide series. How cool is that? I was really happy for him and it was fun to see his father counting down those final laps. It’s good to see the hype pay off.

– I’m all set to go to Chicago for the LifeLock.com 400 at Chicagoland Speedway in July. I even added in an extra day to my itinerary so I could check out downtown Chicago and see Gavin Rossdale in concert at the House of Blues.

– The NASCAR race at Infineon is this week and I’m super excited. I’ll be there on Friday. The first order of business will be attending the media gatherings outside of each of the top-12 drivers haulers. Of course I’m not trying to go to all of them. I have my select group of drivers that I’m interested in hearing from the most. I’ll be posting daily during the weekend, probably when I get home each day.

Nikki Blonsky, the young actress who starred in the latest movie version of Hairspray will be singing the national anthem for the Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Infineon Raceway. Northern California native Guy Fieri, host of the Food Networks show Diners, Drive-ins and Dives will serve as the Grand Marshall.

– For this weekend’s race at Infineon Travis Kvapil and the No. 28 Yates Racing Ford will be sponsored by… wait for it… the California Highway Patrol! Shut up! I know! Cops are sponsoring racing. How crazy is that? I love it.


Tony Stewart climbs in his car to practice for the LifeLock 400 at Michigan International Speedway. (Photo Credit: Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Tony Stewart climbs in his car to practice for the LifeLock 400 at Michigan International Speedway. (Photo Credit: Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Kasey Kahne, winner of two of the last three races, is all smiles as he waits to qualify for the LifeLock 400 at Michigan International Speedway. (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Kasey Kahne, winner of two of the last three races, is all smiles as he waits to qualify for the LifeLock 400 at Michigan International Speedway. (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR)

David Ragan is all smiles Saturday after posting the third-quickest time in the morning practice session. (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/Getty Images for NASCAR)

David Ragan is all smiles Saturday after posting the third-quickest time in the morning practice session. (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Team owner Rick Hendrick congratulates Dale Earnhardt Jr. after he won the LifeLock 400 at Michigan International Speedway, ending a 76-race winless streak. (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Team owner Rick Hendrick congratulates Dale Earnhardt Jr. after he won the LifeLock 400 at Michigan International Speedway, ending a 76-race winless streak. (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Defending race winner Carl Edwards gets ready to practice for the LifeLock 400 at Michigan International Speedway. (Photo Credit: Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Defending race winner Carl Edwards gets ready to practice for the LifeLock 400 at Michigan International Speedway. (Photo Credit: Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

(L to R) NASCAR Nationwide Series drivers Brad Coleman, Landon Cassill, Bryan Clauson, Eric McClure and Jason Leffler talk with 2,700 Nationwide associates prior to the Meijer 300 at Kentucky Speedway. Nationwide is headquartered in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo Credit: Padraic Major for NASCAR)

The really, really young guns.

(L to R) NASCAR Nationwide Series drivers Brad Coleman, Landon Cassill, Bryan Clauson, Eric McClure and Jason Leffler talk with 2,700 Nationwide associates prior to the Meijer 300 at Kentucky Speedway. Nationwide is headquartered in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo Credit: Padraic Major for NASCAR)

Joey Logano hoists the winner’s trophy at Kentucky Speedway as Tony Jones, Cincinnati Market Director for Meijer, looks on. Logano was the eighth different winner and eighth different pole winner at Kentucky; he was also the third consecutive series regular to win at the track. (Photo Credit: Padraic Major for NASCAR)

Joey Logano hoists the winner’s trophy at Kentucky Speedway as Tony Jones, Cincinnati Market Director for Meijer, looks on. Logano was the eighth different winner and eighth different pole winner at Kentucky; he was also the third consecutive series regular to win at the track. (Photo Credit: Padraic Major for NASCAR)