All posts tagged Denny Hamlin

134 Posts
martinsville_featured

for some, martinsville was shaped like a pill — a bitter one

Juan Pablo Montoya runs high as Brian Vickers spins during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series TUMS Fast Relief 500 at Martinsville Speedway on Sunday.(Credit: John Harrelson/Getty Images for NASCAR)It was a fun race to watch because it eventually became a sophisticated 400-lap game of bumper cars, with Brian Vickers racking up the most points. What was that all about? Thought it was interesting that Brian’s friend (and former teammate) Jimmie Johnson even called him out on it during his post-race interview. Said Jimmie, “After a fourth, fifth time with the same car in the crash, you start thinking about maybe you’re the problem. Something is going on. You’re having a bad day. You need to stop crashing for whatever reason.”

With this win at Martinsville Tony Stewart now has 3 wins in The Chase and it’s totally possible that might not win the Championship. Isn’t that kind of weird? I guess consistency is key. No matter, I’ll be happy with whoever wins this thing as long as it comes down to Homestead. I adore the new points system. :)

I was shocked — just a smidge — by Tony’s post-race victory lane comments about how Carl Edwards needs to be worried and that Carl isn’t going to sleep for the next 3 weeks. Ha! I loved that. In general, drivers & crew chiefs need to talk more trash during this Chase. It’s fun, right? :)

(Left to right) J.J. Yeley and Tony Stewart sign autographs for fans at Martinsville Speedway on Friday. (Credit: Tom Whitmore/Getty Images for NASCAR)

(Left to right) J.J. Yeley and Tony Stewart sign autographs for fans at Martinsville Speedway on Friday. (Credit: Tom Whitmore/Getty Images for NASCAR)

(Left to right) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers Greg Biffle and Kevin Harvick talk in the garage after the two drivers made contact on the track during practice on Saturday at Martinsville Speedway. (Credit: Geoff Burke/Getty Images for NASCAR)

(Left to right) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers Greg Biffle and Kevin Harvick talk in the garage after the two drivers made contact on the track during practice on Saturday at Martinsville Speedway. (Credit: Geoff Burke/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Dale Earnhardt Jr. sits in the cockpit during the one NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practice of the weekend on Saturday at Martinsville Speedway. With a 95.554 mph/19.817 seconds lap, Earnhardt Jr. was the third-fastest Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver in the session. (Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Dale Earnhardt Jr. sits in the cockpit during the one NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practice of the weekend on Saturday at Martinsville Speedway. With a 95.554 mph/19.817 seconds lap, Earnhardt Jr. was the third-fastest Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver in the session. (Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Denny Hamlin celebrates with his Grandfather Clock for winning the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Kroger 200 at Martinsville Speedway on Saturday.(Credit: Geoff Burke/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Denny Hamlin celebrates with his Grandfather Clock for winning the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Kroger 200 at Martinsville Speedway on Saturday.(Credit: Geoff Burke/Getty Images for NASCAR)

The North Carolina A&T State University Blue and Gold Marching Machine perform before the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series TUMS Fast Relief 500 at Martinsville Speedway on Sunday. (Credit: Tom Whitmore/Getty Images for NASCAR)

The North Carolina A&T State University Blue and Gold Marching Machine perform before the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series TUMS Fast Relief 500 at Martinsville Speedway on Sunday. (Credit: Tom Whitmore/Getty Images for NASCAR)

No. 99 crew chief Bob Osborne and driver Carl Edwards talk before the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series TUMS Fast Relief 500 at Martinsville Speedway on Sunday. (Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images for NASCAR)

No. 99 crew chief Bob Osborne and driver Carl Edwards talk before the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series TUMS Fast Relief 500 at Martinsville Speedway on Sunday. (Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images for NASCAR)

No. 48 crew chief Chad Knaus spends time with Genevieve Marie Johnson, the daughter of his driver five-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson, before the TUMS Fast Relief 500 at Martinsville Speedway on Sunday. (Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images for NASCAR)

No. 48 crew chief Chad Knaus spends time with Genevieve Marie Johnson, the daughter of his driver five-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson, before the TUMS Fast Relief 500 at Martinsville Speedway on Sunday. (Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images for NASCAR)

The No. 17 Roush Fenway Racing team works on Matt Kenseth's car in the garage late in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series TUMS Fast Relief 500 at Martinsville Speedway on Sunday as Kenseth dropped three spots in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup standings. (Credit: Geoff Burke/Getty Images for NASCAR)

The No. 17 Roush Fenway Racing team works on Matt Kenseth's car in the garage late in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series TUMS Fast Relief 500 at Martinsville Speedway on Sunday as Kenseth dropped three spots in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup standings. (Credit: Geoff Burke/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Tony Stewart celebrates with his No. 14 Office Depot Stewart-Haas Racing team after getting his third win in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup at Martinsville Speedway on Sunday. (Credit: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

Tony Stewart celebrates with his No. 14 Office Depot Stewart-Haas Racing team after getting his third win in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup at Martinsville Speedway on Sunday. (Credit: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

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shortcuts: get matt kenseth’s name tattooed on your you-know-what

Matt KensethYou have a dirty mind, my friend! I meant your arm! :) All for a good cause, of course.

Matt Kenseth’s sponsor for Talladega, Jeremiah Weed® flavored malt beverages, is offering free tattoos to race fans (adults!) this weekend at the race track. For every tattoo inked Jeremiah Weed is donating $100 to The Air Force Enlisted Village.

The deets:

“We have some of the best fans in all of sports,” said Matt Kenseth, driver of the No. 17 Jeremiah Weed Ford Fusion. “They wear our numbers, fly our flags and sometimes even get tattoos to show their dedication. It’s incredible that Jeremiah Weed is doing all this for our fans and to support such a worthy cause as The Air Force Enlisted Village. I look forward to personally checking out the tattoos throughout the race weekend.”

On Saturday, Oct. 22 adults 21 and over will be able to sign up at the Jeremiah Weed event space in the Talladega fan zone to receive a free tattoo. A series of tattoos will be available for fans to choose from, including Matt Kenseth’s signature, a number 17, Jeremiah Weed logos and a Jeremiah Weed® Lightning Lemonade® can. The tattooing will occur at a local tattoo parlor approved by the Alabama State Health Board. Free transportation to and from the parlor will be also provided. For every tattoo inked, Jeremiah Weed will make a $100 donation to The Air Force Enlisted Village, a charity committed to providing safe, secure and dignified homes for indigent surviving spouses of retired Air Force personnel.

In other news…

Joey Logano will be making his much anticipated appearance on the Travel Channel show “Man V. Food Nation” tonight at 9pm ET alongside the show’s host Adam Richman. Check your local listings for details. Do you think Joey can eat a three pound bacon double cheeseburger loaded with pulled pork and a meaty hot sauce over a pound of fries in ONLY 30 minutes??


Joey Logano and Adam Richman

– With everything that happened on Sunday I wasn’t in the mood to post photos from the NASCAR race weekend at Charlotte until now.

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Jeff Gordon, No 24 Drive to End Hunger Chevrolet, signs autographs for a couple of fans at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Oct. 13 in Concord, N.C. (Credit: John Harrelson for Getty Images)

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Jeff Gordon, No 24 Drive to End Hunger Chevrolet, signs autographs for a couple of fans at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Oct. 13 in Concord, N.C. (Credit: John Harrelson for Getty Images)

Denny Hamlin, driver of the No. 11 FedEx Express Toyota, walks in the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Bank of America 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Oct. 13 in Concord, N.C. (Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Denny Hamlin, driver of the No. 11 FedEx Express Toyota, walks in the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Bank of America 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Oct. 13 in Concord, N.C. (Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Ryan Truex (right) and Casey Roderick (left) sign autographs for a fan during the NASCAR Nationwide Series autograph session on Oct. 14 at the Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, N.C. (Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Ryan Truex (right) and Casey Roderick (left) sign autographs for a fan during the NASCAR Nationwide Series autograph session on Oct. 14 at the Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, N.C. (Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Carl Edwards, driver of the #60 Fastenal Ford, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series Dollar General 300 Miles of Courage at Charlotte Motor Speedway on October 14, 2011 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Carl Edwards, driver of the #60 Fastenal Ford, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series Dollar General 300 Miles of Courage at Charlotte Motor Speedway on October 14, 2011 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Elliott Sadler poses with Joseph Thornton and wife, winners of $100,000 in the NASCAR Nationwide Dash 4 Cash giveaway. (Credit: Geoff Burke/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Elliott Sadler poses with Joseph Thornton and wife, winners of $100,000 in the NASCAR Nationwide Dash 4 Cash giveaway. (Credit: Geoff Burke/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Actress Angie Harmon (R) and former NFL player Jason Sehorn (L), friends of Jimmie Johnson, attend the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Bank of America 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on October 15, 2011 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Actress Angie Harmon (R) and former NFL player Jason Sehorn (L), friends of Jimmie Johnson, attend the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Bank of America 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on October 15, 2011 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Tony Stewart, driver of the #14 Mobil 1/Office Depot Chevrolet, stands on the grid prior to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Bank of America 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on October 15, 2011 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Tony Stewart, driver of the #14 Mobil 1/Office Depot Chevrolet, stands on the grid prior to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Bank of America 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on October 15, 2011 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Matt Kenseth, driver of the #17 Fluidmaster Ford, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Bank of America 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on October 15, 2011 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Matt Kenseth, driver of the #17 Fluidmaster Ford, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Bank of America 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on October 15, 2011 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images for NASCAR)

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friday: the tale of the only yellow car in kansas city (both of ‘em)

I flew into Kansas City, Missouri on Friday in the middle of the day. I knew that I was going to miss out on all of the top-12 driver press conferences, as well as Clint Bowyer’s big, non-surprise announcement that he was going to Michael Waltrip Racing next year in the #15 5-Hour Energy car. I knew all of that going in and it wasn’t a problem seeing as how the fact that I was going to the race weekend at Kansas Speedway at all was a big deal.

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dover, dover send kurt busch right over

‘Cause he won the race, you guys. :) I don’t miss playing Red Rover in elementary school, although Steal The Bacon was my absolute LEAST favorite game. I’m more of a Hopscotch/4 Square girl, no annoying boys yelling at you if you do something “wrong.” :)

Anyway, Kurt Busch’s win of the AAA 400 at Dover International Raceway was one big piece in the changed up Chase standings. I love that everything is still up in the air and we have no idea who will ultimately walk away with this year’s trophy. I hope Brad Keseolowski is right, he posted the following tweet last night:

After today’s race. It’s obvious the chase winner will be decided on the last lap at homestead. Every one is so close.

Did you see all of the babies on pit road during the pre-race coverage on ESPN? Adorableness times a million.

The best quote of the day (in my opinion) came from Jimmie Johnson. I like Sassy Jimmie :)

Q. You both (Carl Edwards) talked about essentially mistakes that you made today that prevented you from winning. How do you get over that? How long does that take? What’s that process in moving forward?
JIMMIE JOHNSON: If I was Carl, I wouldn’t get over that mistake.
JIMMIE JOHNSON: I maybe wouldn’t show up next week.
JIMMIE JOHNSON: (Laughing). Not sure we answered your question.

Denny Hamlin, Clint Bowyer

Denny Hamlin (left), driver of the No. 11 FedEx Office Toyota, laughs with Clint Bowyer, driver of the No. 33 Cheerios/Hamburger Helper Chevrolet, in the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AAA 400 at Dover International Speedway on Sept. 30 in Dover, Del. Hamlin is 12th in NSCS point standings going into the AAA 400. (Credit: Geoff Burke/Getty Images)

Jeff Gordon, Alan Gustafson

Jeff Gordon (far left), driver of the No. 24 Drive to End Hunger Chevrolet, talks with crew chief Alan Gustafson (second left) while crew members listen in during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AAA 400 at Dover International Speedway on Sept. 30 in Dover, Del. (Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series points leader Tony Stewart (right), driver of the No. 14 Office Depot/Mobil 1 Chevrolet, talks over strategy with crew chief Darian Grubb (left) during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AAA 400 at Dover International Speedway on Sept. 30 in Dover, Del. (Credit: Geoff Burke/Getty Images)

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series points leader Tony Stewart (right), driver of the No. 14 Office Depot/Mobil 1 Chevrolet, talks over strategy with crew chief Darian Grubb (left) during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AAA 400 at Dover International Speedway on Sept. 30 in Dover, Del. (Credit: Geoff Burke/Getty Images)

Carl Edwards celebrates with fans in the grandstand after winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series OneMain Financial 200 on Saturday at Dover International Speedway in Dover, Del. (Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Carl Edwards celebrates with fans in the grandstand after winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series OneMain Financial 200 on Saturday at Dover International Speedway in Dover, Del. (Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Kevin and DeLana Harvick stand on pit road before the start of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AAA 400 on Sunday at Dover International Speedway in Dover, Del. Kevin would end the day with the points lead in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. (Credit: Tom Whitmore/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Kevin and DeLana Harvick stand on pit road before the start of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AAA 400 on Sunday at Dover International Speedway in Dover, Del. Kevin would end the day with the points lead in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. (Credit: Tom Whitmore/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Jimmie Johnson, driver of the No. 48 Lowe's/KOBALT Tools Chevrolet, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race weekend at Dover International Speedway. (Courtesy of Hendrick Motorsports)

Jimmie Johnson, driver of the No. 48 Lowe's/KOBALT Tools Chevrolet, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race weekend at Dover International Speedway. (Courtesy of Hendrick Motorsports)

Kurt Busch celebrates in Sunoco Victory Lane on Sunday at Dover International Speedway in Dover, Del. after winning the third Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup race of the 2011 season. (Credit: Tom Whitmore/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Kurt Busch celebrates in Sunoco Victory Lane on Sunday at Dover International Speedway in Dover, Del. after winning the third Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup race of the 2011 season. (Credit: Tom Whitmore/Getty Images for NASCAR)

nh_sunday_cars_featured

sunday: denny hamlin has mad hops

I woke up at 6am Sunday morning in New Hampshire and willed myself to get up so that I wouldn’t get stuck in race day traffic. SYLVANIA gave us a tip that we (their invited media peeps) should get on the road by 7:15am at the latest in order to miss the traffic melee. It worked because the drive to the track only took 25 minutes. I have to say that NHMS is by far my favorite track to drive to because the scenery is beautiful, but more importantly it was (basically) a straight shot from the hotel to the track, with one left turn and one stop at the drive-thru Starbucks on Loudon Road.

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friday: when i think of loudon, i think of madonna’s movie “who’s that girl?”

“Who’s That Girl?,” starring one of my heroes, Madonna, stuck in their brain. Louden was the uptight husband, that needed to loosen up, of the insanely rich chick in the movie that Madonna’s bad girl, Nikki, (but she’s really nice) character ends up with. Anyway, they said his name about a million times, so I guess it makes sense that I’d remember it. Loudon, New Hampshire is where New Hampshire Motor Speedway is located and it was the home of the 2nd race in the The Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, the Sylvania 300, on Sunday.

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clint bowyer: get out of my dreams, get into a new racing contract

Clint BowyerMonday night Clint Bowyer was in one of my dreams. I have no idea why he would be but there he was confiding in me about his contract talks with Richard Childress Racing. I distinctly remember him being upset at not being able to seal the deal on a new contract and the number 4 was mentioned (don’t know what that means). I was telling him not to worry, that there were plenty of other teams that wanted him and would snap him up. I remember in the dream asking myself “Why are you telling him that?? You don’t know anything!” LOL

And then Tuesday morning there’s a report saying that Richard Petty Motorsports, who was reportedly interested in him if RCR wasn’t, is now reportedly NOT interested in him anymore. (That sentence alone is why silly season is so freakin’ silly). I remembered my dream and I felt bad that I gave the Clint Bowyer in my dream such bad advice. :)

I’m sure you guys have gone to sleep and had NASCAR drivers invade your dreams, please feel free to share what’s happened in yours so that I don’t feel like such a geek about mine (keep it PG!). :)

In other news…

– The top-12 drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, AKA The Chase drivers, were a bunch of busy little bees this week promoting themselves, NASCAR and The Chase for the Sprint Cup everywhere. I figured it was worthy of a photo spread. My favorites are the ones of Jimmie Johnson at the high school pep rally (Jimmie has to take that girl to the prom!) and Carl Edwards with the lobster (because he finally shaved off that goatee thingy, but now that it’s gone I kinda miss it).

:)

Ryan Newman and Kim Coon pose for a photo with the Ft. Riley soldiers at Kansas Speedway on Sept 14 in Kansas City, Kan. Newman is seeded eighth going into the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. (Credit: Kansas Speedway)

Ryan Newman and Kim Coon pose for a photo with the Ft. Riley soldiers at Kansas Speedway on Sept 14 in Kansas City, Kan. Newman is seeded eighth going into the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. (Credit: Kansas Speedway)

Denny Hamlin, (L), NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver of the No. 11 Joe Gibbs Racing FedEx Toyota Camry, and playing partner Fredrik Jacobson, (R), of Sweden pose for a photo during the Pro-Am round for the BMW Championship at Cog Hill Golf & Country Club on Wednesday in Lemont, Ill. Hamlin is in town for the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, which begins this weekend at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Ill. (Credit: Stan Badz/PGA TOUR)

Denny Hamlin, (L), NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver of the No. 11 Joe Gibbs Racing FedEx Toyota Camry, and playing partner Fredrik Jacobson, (R), of Sweden pose for a photo during the Pro-Am round for the BMW Championship at Cog Hill Golf & Country Club on Wednesday in Lemont, Ill. Hamlin is in town for the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, which begins this weekend at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Ill. (Credit: Stan Badz/PGA TOUR)

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Brad Keselowski answers questions for fans who won a Facebook contest during a breakfast at the Arizona Biltmore on Wednesday as Phoenix International Raceway gets ready to host the penultimate race in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. (Credit: Phoenix International Raceway)

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Brad Keselowski answers questions for fans who won a Facebook contest during a breakfast at the Arizona Biltmore on Wednesday as Phoenix International Raceway gets ready to host the penultimate race in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. (Credit: Phoenix International Raceway)

Anchor Hannah Storm interviews NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. during the 9 a.m. SportsCenter on Wednesday. (Credit: Joe Faraoni)

ESPN Anchor Hannah Storm interviews NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. during the 9 a.m. SportsCenter on Wednesday. (Credit: Joe Faraoni)

Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup driver Carl Edwards works with the Portsmouth Lobster Company to trap Loudon the Lobster on Wednesday in Portsmouth, N.H. Edwards was in town to catch the trophy for the second race in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. (Credit: New Hampshire Motor Speedway)

Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup driver Carl Edwards works with the Portsmouth Lobster Company to trap Loudon the Lobster on Wednesday in Portsmouth, N.H. Edwards was in town to catch the trophy for the second race in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. (Credit: New Hampshire Motor Speedway)

Five-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson breaks through a spirit banner during a Texas football-style pep rally at Byron Nelson High School on Wednesday in Trophy Club, Texas. (Credit: Tom Pennington/Getty Images for Texas Motor Speedway)

Five-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson breaks through a spirit banner during a Texas football-style pep rally at Byron Nelson High School on Wednesday in Trophy Club, Texas. (Credit: Tom Pennington/Getty Images for Texas Motor Speedway)

Byron Nelson High School cheerleaders react after seeing five-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson during a Texas football-style pep rally at Byron Nelson High School on Wednesday in Trophy Club, Texas. (Credit: Tom Pennington/Getty Images for Texas Motor Speedway)

Byron Nelson High School cheerleaders react after seeing five-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson during a Texas football-style pep rally at Byron Nelson High School on Wednesday in Trophy Club, Texas. (Credit: Tom Pennington/Getty Images for Texas Motor Speedway)

Sarah Rusinko (R) had the chance to meet five-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson after she asked him to homecoming during a Texas football-style pep rally at Byron Nelson High School on Wednesday in Trophy Club, Texas. (Credit: Tom Pennington/Getty Images for Texas Motor Speedway)

Sarah Rusinko (R) had the chance to meet five-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson after she asked him to homecoming during a Texas football-style pep rally at Byron Nelson High School on Wednesday in Trophy Club, Texas. (Credit: Tom Pennington/Getty Images for Texas Motor Speedway)

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‘the chase’ field has been set, might need a referee

Kurt Busch and Jimmie JohnsonAnd I’m not talking about on the track either. They might need to post security in the media centers for the next 10 races. A lot of interesting things happened Saturday night at the Wonderful Pistachios 400 at Richmond International Raceway post-race press conference. Sounded like a good time full of ripped up paper, tension, verbal jabs that made no sense and the comedic talents of Matt Kenseth.

I guess Snookie has that kind of effect on people.

Anyway… The only thing I can/want to say about the media and it’s questions that always sound the same is to quote one of my favorite movies from the 80s, “Heartburn,” starring my one of the greatest actresses of all time Meryl Streep (I love her!) and Jack Nicholson (He’s great too!). The movie is about a couple who get married, have a baby and then the husband cheats and the wife loses all trust she had for the husband but tries to carry on in the relationship. During that portion of the movie Jack’s character says to Meryl’s character “You can’t take it’s temperature every five minutes.” He was referring to their relationship, us ladies always want to know where we stand in our relationships especially if things don’t feel “right.” (If you’ve ever had to ask a guy “where is this going??” it’s probably not going anywhere good) Anyway… I love that line and I think that it applies to the media when they keep asking drivers how they feel about making The Chase, being in The Chase, still being in The Chase, why are you in The Chase, what does it feel like to be in The Chase… it NEVER ends. They do the same thing with other storylines, whatever it is they will ask the same question in various formats every week until there is a resolution. But I say, you can’t take it’s temperature every five minutes, dude! Nothing’s changed and when it does change, ask a question then. :)

Moving on… Congratulations to Kevin Harvick and the No. 29 Budweiser Chevrolet team! It had to have felt great considering the announcement he and his wife DeLana made earlier in the week about shuttering the racing side of Kevin Harvick Inc.

Richmond was a great, caution-filled race and I can only hope that we get more awesome action like that in the next 10 races. I love this time of year right before the first race in The Chase when everything feels possible. I hope we get to hold on to that feeling for more than two races. :)

Danica Patrick, driver of the No. 7 GoDaddy.com/GetYour.net Chevrolet, stands with crew chief Tony Eury Jr. in the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Nationwide Series Virginia 529 College Savings 250 at Richmond International Raceway on Sept. 9 in Richmond, Va. (Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Danica Patrick, driver of the No. 7 GoDaddy.com/GetYour.net Chevrolet, stands with crew chief Tony Eury Jr. in the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Nationwide Series Virginia 529 College Savings 250 at Richmond International Raceway on Sept. 9 in Richmond, Va. (Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

From laps 9-11, fans honor the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, staying silent for three circuits and waving American flags on Saturday at Richmond International Raceway. (Credit: Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

From laps 9-11, fans honor the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, staying silent for three circuits and waving American flags on Saturday at Richmond International Raceway. (Credit: Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

Members of the U.S. military hold the American flag during the prerace ceremony for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Wonderful Pistachios 400 on Saturday at Richmond International Raceway. (Credit: Todd Warshaw/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Members of the U.S. military hold the American flag during the prerace ceremony for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Wonderful Pistachios 400 on Saturday at Richmond International Raceway. (Credit: Todd Warshaw/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Dale Earnhardt Jr. jokes with his No. 88 crew about the state of his Chevrolet Impala after clinching the 10th spot in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup on Saturday at Richmond International Raceway. (Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Dale Earnhardt Jr. jokes with his No. 88 crew about the state of his Chevrolet Impala after clinching the 10th spot in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup on Saturday at Richmond International Raceway. (Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Kevin Harvick celebrates after leading 202 laps on his way to Richmond International Raceway's Victory Lane on Saturday. (Credit: Patrick Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Kevin Harvick celebrates after leading 202 laps on his way to Richmond International Raceway's Victory Lane on Saturday. (Credit: Patrick Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)

(Back row L-R) Tony Stewart, Brad Keselowski, Kurt Busch, Kyle Busch, Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon (front row L-R) Kevin Harvick, Carl Edwards, Ryan Newman, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Matt Kenseth and Denny Hamlin pose after clinching spots in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup following the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Wonderful Pistachios 400 at Richmond International Raceway on Saturday. (Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)

(Back row L-R) Tony Stewart, Brad Keselowski, Kurt Busch, Kyle Busch, Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon (front row L-R) Kevin Harvick, Carl Edwards, Ryan Newman, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Matt Kenseth and Denny Hamlin pose after clinching spots in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup following the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Wonderful Pistachios 400 at Richmond International Raceway on Saturday. (Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)

The 2011 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup field celebrates after the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Wonderful Pistachios 400 on Saturday at Richmond International Raceway. (Credit: Justin Edmonds/Getty Images for NASCAR)

The 2011 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup field celebrates after the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Wonderful Pistachios 400 on Saturday at Richmond International Raceway. (Credit: Justin Edmonds/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Jimmie Johnson, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Jeff Gordon qualified for the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup after the race weekend at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway. (Courtesy of Hendrick Motorsports)

Jimmie Johnson, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Jeff Gordon qualified for the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup after the race weekend at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway. (Courtesy of Hendrick Motorsports)

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rumble in the glen: who’s afraid of boris said?

Marcos Ambrose, driver of the No. 9 Stanley Ford, poses in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at the Glen at Watkins Glen International on Aug. 15 in Watkins Glen, N.Y. (Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)The race at Watkins Glen–the Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at the Glen to be exact–had it ALL. Let’s go through the list shall we?

– Close racing at the end where you had no idea who would come out with the win? CHECK!

– Crazy, gnarly crashes that thankfully left no one seriously hurt? CHECK!

– An emotional it’s-about-frggin-time first-time winner? CHECK! (Congrats to Marcos Ambrose & the No. 9 Stanley team!)

– Punches attempting to be thrown in the garage post-race? CHECK!

– Amazing post-race quotes from pissed off drivers? CHECK!

Loved this race, it was crazy, especially this quote from Boris Said about about his issues with Greg Biffle:

“It was crazy. I mean…the last lap; the No. 6 car (David Ragan) was getting into me a lot. I didn’t want to wreck him, but I had to stay on the track and he didn’t give me any room. We both collided. That is the only thing I feel bad about.

“I’m more upset with Greg Biffle. He is the most unprofessional little scaredy cat I’ve ever seen in my life. He wouldn’t even fight me like a man after. So, if someone texts me his address, I’ll go see him Wednesday at his house and show him what he really needs. He needs a…whooping and I’m going to give it to him. He was flipping me off, giving me the finger. Totally unprofessional. Two laps down. I mean he is a chump.

“I went over there to go talk to him. He wouldn’t even let me get out of the car. He comes over and throws a few little baby punches and then when I get out, he runs away and hides behind some big guys. But, he won’t hide from me long. I’ll find him. I won’t settle it out on the track. It’s not right to wreck cars, but, he’ll show up at a race with a black eye one of these days. I’ll see him somewhere.”

And to top it all off Watkins Glen International was left with a serious issue of getting safer barriers on their course before the next NASCAR race. It doesn’t make sense to not have them at all the tracks on the schedule. Why hasn’t this been done yet? Elliott Sadler is right.

Kasey Kahne (right), driver of the No. 4 Red Bull Toyota, signs his autograph for a fan in the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at the Glen at Watkins Glen International on Aug. 12 in Watkins Glen, N.Y. (Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Kasey Kahne (right), driver of the No. 4 Red Bull Toyota, signs his autograph for a fan in the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at the Glen at Watkins Glen International on Aug. 12 in Watkins Glen, N.Y. (Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Office Depot/Mobil 1 Chevrolet, speaks to the media on the grid after qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at the Glen at Watkins Glen International on Aug. 13 in Watkins Glen, N.Y. (Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Office Depot/Mobil 1 Chevrolet, speaks to the media on the grid after qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at the Glen at Watkins Glen International on Aug. 13 in Watkins Glen, N.Y. (Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 22 Discount Tire/Ruby Tuesday Dodge, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series Zippo 200 at Watkins Glen International on Aug. 13 in Watkins Glen, N.Y. (Credit: Geoff Burke/Getty Images for NASCAR)

I’m not one to begrudge people their happiness, but did you catch Kurt Busch making out with his girlfriend, Patricia Driscoll, in victory lane on Saturday? Was that really necessary? It just seemed like a bit much.

Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 22 Discount Tire/Ruby Tuesday Dodge, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series Zippo 200 at Watkins Glen International on Aug. 13 in Watkins Glen, N.Y. (Credit: Geoff Burke/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Adam Richman (right), host of Man v. Food, talks with Dale Earnhardt Jr.(left), driver of the No. 88 National Guard/Amp Energy Chevrolet, on the grid during pre race ceremonies prior to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at the Glen at Watkins Glen International on Aug. 14 in Watkins Glen, N.Y. (Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)

I love this man. Nooo, not Dale Jr. but Man vs. Food host Adam Richman. I LOVE that show and when I go on my NASCAR adventure next year I plan on bringing a list of all the places he’s visited on his show so that I can check them out too! The food always looks soo yummy & amazing. :)

Adam Richman (right), host of Man v. Food, talks with Dale Earnhardt Jr.(left), driver of the No. 88 National Guard/Amp Energy Chevrolet, on the grid during pre race ceremonies prior to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at the Glen at Watkins Glen International on Aug. 14 in Watkins Glen, N.Y. (Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Joey Logano (left), driver of the No. 20 The Home Depot Toyota, and Adam Richman (right), host of Man v. Food pose in the garage area prior to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at the Glen at Watkins Glen International on Aug. 14 in Watkins Glen, N.Y. (Credit: Geoff Burke/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Joey is supposed to film an food challenge for a Man v. Food Nation episode today (Wonder if that’s still happening) that’s set to air Oct. 19 at 9 p.m. ET on Travel Channel. :)

Joey Logano (left), driver of the No. 20 The Home Depot Toyota, and Adam Richman (right), host of Man v. Food pose in the garage area prior to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at the Glen at Watkins Glen International on Aug. 14 in Watkins Glen, N.Y. (Credit: Geoff Burke/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Denny Hamlin crashes the No. 11 FedEx Ground Toyota into the tire barrier after an incident in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at the Glen at Watkins Glen International on Aug. 15 in Watkins Glen, N.Y. (Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Denny Hamlin crashes the No. 11 FedEx Ground Toyota into the tire barrier after an incident in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at the Glen at Watkins Glen International on Aug. 15 in Watkins Glen, N.Y. (Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #56 NAPA Auto Parts Toyota, walks off the grid with his girlfriend Sherry Pollex as it starts to rain before the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at the Glen at Watkins Glen International on August 14, 2011 in Watkins Glen, New York. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #56 NAPA Auto Parts Toyota, walks off the grid with his girlfriend Sherry Pollex as it starts to rain before the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at the Glen at Watkins Glen International on August 14, 2011 in Watkins Glen, New York. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Carl Edwards (R), driver of the #99 Ortho Home Defense Max Ford, Ford, stands on the grid with his wife Kate (L) prior to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at the Glen at Watkins Glen International on August 14, 2011 in Watkins Glen, New York. (Photo by Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Carl Edwards (R), driver of the #99 Ortho Home Defense Max Ford, Ford, stands on the grid with his wife Kate (L) prior to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at the Glen at Watkins Glen International on August 14, 2011 in Watkins Glen, New York. (Photo by Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR)

pocono_featured

keselowski wins with one good ankle

Jimmie Johnson, driver of the No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet, at the Aug. 7 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event at Pocono Raceway. (Courtesy of Hendrick Motorsports)How much did you LOVE the racing between Jimmie Johnson and Kurt Busch? And how much did you ADORE their post-race face-to-face (with respectful distance) argument? Probably not as much as me! It was brilliant and just added to an already excellent race finish. Why don’t they turn up the mics and let them hover close to those guys when they’re arguing like that? I know there’s potential for foul language, but can’t they just risk it? I was straining to try and hear something. :)

Congratulations to Brad Keselowski! Maybe everybody should get injured more often? I mean, he won the race with one properly working ankle and Denny Hamlin won races after his knee issues. Crazy, but very cool.

Did you see Carl Edwards‘ finish line crash with Ricky Stenhouse in Iowa during the Nationwide Series race? More craziness. Never seen anything like that before, but it seemed like a fitting end to a race that saw those two getting into each other and Ricky didn’t appreciate it at all. The two had history from ORP last week and now this new wrinkle. During the post-race coverage they showed Carl talking to Ricky’s crew chief, Mike Kelly. You could clearly hear Mike say to Carl “Well, you tell him that. He thinks you hate him.” Finally some actual truthful feelings. Whenever the guys talk on camera you don’t always feel like you’re getting to true thoughts, and this time we got some via Ricky’s crew chief.

Michael Annett, driver of the No. 62 Northland Motor Oils Toyota signs autographs for young fans during qualifying for the NASCAR Nationwide Series U.S. Cellular 250 at Iowa Speedway on Aug. 6 in Newton, Iowa. (Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Michael Annett, driver of the No. 62 Northland Motor Oils Toyota signs autographs for young fans during qualifying for the NASCAR Nationwide Series U.S. Cellular 250 at Iowa Speedway on Aug. 6 in Newton, Iowa. (Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Jason Leffler (right), driver of the No. 38 Great Clips Toyota, speaks with crew chief Eddie Pardue (left) in the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Nationwide Series U.S. Cellular 250 at Iowa Speedway on Aug. 5 in Newton, Iowa. (Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Jason Leffler (right), driver of the No. 38 Great Clips Toyota, speaks with crew chief Eddie Pardue (left) in the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Nationwide Series U.S. Cellular 250 at Iowa Speedway on Aug. 5 in Newton, Iowa. (Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Ricky Stenhouse Jr., driver of the No. 6 RickyvsTrevor.com Ford crosses the finish line to win, ahead of Carl Edwards, driver of the No. 60 Fastenal Ford, after colliding on the final lap during the NASCAR Nationwide Series U.S. Cellular 250 at Iowa Speedway on Aug. 6 in Newton, Iowa. (Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Ricky Stenhouse Jr., driver of the No. 6 RickyvsTrevor.com Ford crosses the finish line to win, ahead of Carl Edwards, driver of the No. 60 Fastenal Ford, after colliding on the final lap during the NASCAR Nationwide Series U.S. Cellular 250 at Iowa Speedway on Aug. 6 in Newton, Iowa. (Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (center), driver of the No. 6 RickyvsTrevor.com Ford, celebrates with crew members in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series U.S. Cellular 250 at Iowa Speedway on Aug. 6 in Newton, Iowa. (Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (center), driver of the No. 6 RickyvsTrevor.com Ford, celebrates with crew members in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series U.S. Cellular 250 at Iowa Speedway on Aug. 6 in Newton, Iowa. (Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Paul Menard, driver of the No. 27 CertainTeed/Menards Chevrolet, signs autographs during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Good Sam RV Insurance 500 at Pocono Raceway on Aug. 5 in Long Pond, Pa. Menard won the Brickyard 400 a week ago at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. (Credit: Geoff Burke/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Paul Menard, driver of the No. 27 CertainTeed/Menards Chevrolet, signs autographs during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Good Sam RV Insurance 500 at Pocono Raceway on Aug. 5 in Long Pond, Pa. Menard won the Brickyard 400 a week ago at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. (Credit: Geoff Burke/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 29 Budweiser Chevrolet, looks under his car during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Good Sam RV Insurance 500 at Pocono Raceway on Aug. 5 in Long Pond, Pa. (Credit: Nick Laham/Getty Images)

Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 29 Budweiser Chevrolet, looks under his car during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Good Sam RV Insurance 500 at Pocono Raceway on Aug. 5 in Long Pond, Pa. (Credit: Nick Laham/Getty Images)

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series five time champion Jimmie Johnson poses with NHL Washington Capitals defenseman Josh Erskine in the No. 48 hauler during pre-race for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Good Sam RV Insurance 500 at Pocono Raceway on Aug. 7 in Long Pond, Pa. (Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images for NASCAR)

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series five time champion Jimmie Johnson poses with NHL Washington Capitals defenseman Josh Erskine in the No. 48 hauler during pre-race for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Good Sam RV Insurance 500 at Pocono Raceway on Aug. 7 in Long Pond, Pa. (Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Singer Lance Bass, member of the boy band NSYNC, stands by the Sprint Summer Showdown car during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Good Sam RV Insurance 500 at Pocono Raceway on Aug. 7 in Long Pond, Pa. (Credit: Geoff Burke/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Singer Lance Bass, member of the boy band NSYNC, stands by the Sprint Summer Showdown car during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Good Sam RV Insurance 500 at Pocono Raceway on Aug. 7 in Long Pond, Pa. (Credit: Geoff Burke/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Brad Keselowski, driver of the No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Good Sam RV Insurance 500 at Pocono Raceway on Aug. 7 in Long Pond, Pa. (Credit: Geoff Burke/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Brad Keselowski, driver of the No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Good Sam RV Insurance 500 at Pocono Raceway on Aug. 7 in Long Pond, Pa. (Credit: Geoff Burke/Getty Images for NASCAR)


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

infineon_friday_featured

friday at infineon: low key people watching

When I arrived at Infineon Raceway on Friday I was late. It was only 9am but it was late. The garage opened at 7am and that’s when people showed up, so the media lot was full when I arrived. I was stuck in lot 1 which is next to the helipad. It’s not a big deal (there’s an awesome shuttle that takes you right to the media center no matter where you’re parked) but it’s funny to me how 9am can be considered late for anything. Anyway, Friday was the day of press conferences for the top-12 drivers.

michigan_featured_denny

denny hamlin is a winner in michigan

Kurt Busch, driver of the #22 Shell/Pennzoil Dodge, stands with Patricia Driscoll prior to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips 400 at Michigan International Speedway on June 19, 2011 in Brooklyn, Michigan. (Photo by Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR) The most interesting things (to me, at least) that happened as a part of the Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips 400 at Michigan International Speedway had nothing to do with the action on the race track.

Yes, it was awesome that Denny Hamlin finally got his 1st win of the season. I was really happy for him and his team. And did you see Denny’s tweet this morning? He’s moving into a new house. Congrats on that too, Denny! :)

Okay, so for the interesting things. I spied Kurt Busch with his “lady friend” again (see photo at left). I hope she comes out to Infineon, I would love to see what’s going on with that whole deal in person.

Did you see during the pre-show when little Ella Gordon (who turned 4-years-old today) was smacking her dad, Jeff Gordon, on the butt?? Now that was some funny stuff.

Post-race 21-year-old Landon Cassill tweeted that he was celebrating his first Father’s Day. I had no idea he had a baby, but he does — a daughter with Miranda Smith. Congrats!

In other news…

– An update on My NASCAR Year 2012. Last week I received an insanely cool donation of $5,000! So now I’m at $5,205 and I still need your help to get to $125,000 that I need to make this thing happen. You can donate any amount, publicly or anonymously — even $5 helps get to the goal! :) DONATE

Trevor Bayne gets behind the wheel of his NASCAR Nationwide Series car during practice at Michigan International Speedway on Friday. Bayne returns to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series this week for the first time in nearly two months. (Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Trevor Bayne gets behind the wheel of his NASCAR Nationwide Series car during practice at Michigan International Speedway on Friday. Bayne returns to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series this week for the first time in nearly two months. (Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Kevin Harvick signs autographs for fans as he walks through the garage with them on Friday at Michigan International Speedway. (Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Kevin Harvick signs autographs for fans as he walks through the garage with them on Friday at Michigan International Speedway. (Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Carl Edwards climbs into the Michigan International Speedway grandstands to celebrate his Alliance Truck Parts 250 victory with the fans. (Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Carl Edwards climbs into the Michigan International Speedway grandstands to celebrate his Alliance Truck Parts 250 victory with the fans. (Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

The No. 99 pit crew of Carl Edwards huddles before the start of the Heluva Good Sour Cream Dips 400 at Michigan International Speedway. (Credit: Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

The No. 99 pit crew of Carl Edwards huddles before the start of the Heluva Good Sour Cream Dips 400 at Michigan International Speedway. (Credit: Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

pocono_featured

pocono gets a little too shifty

Juan Pablo Montoya, driver of the #42 Target Chevrolet, holds his daughter Manuela on the grid prior to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series 5-Hour Energy 500 at Pocono Raceway on June 12, 2011 in Long Pond, Pennsylvania. (Photo by John Harrelson/Getty Images)“Shift. Shifting now. Lots of shifting. Why do I have to keep shifting? Shifting is fun! I hate shifting this much!”

I am so over shifting!! I hate that word and I never want to hear it again. :) Some drivers hated it and some were totally okay with it because they would have been bored otherwise. That’s all fine and well, I’m just glad it’s over.

My favorite part of the race was the in-car cockpit view of the drivers in action. I loved that so much because you get to see what these guys are actually doing. This is how they do it and it’s fun to see the different techniques. So I appreciated that a lot. TNT’s coverage is off to a great start.

Now that Conan O’Brien is on TBS, which is a sister channel to TNT, I fully expect a Team Coco integration to at least ONE of the TNT Summer Series races. We need Conan at a race or at least a bunch of the drivers on his show. This needs to happen. :)

Ryan Newman, driver of the No. 39 Haas Automation Chevrolet, sits in his car in the garage during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series 5-Hour Energy 500 at Pocono Raceway on June 10 in Long Pond, Pa. (Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images)

Ryan Newman, driver of the No. 39 Haas Automation Chevrolet, sits in his car in the garage during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series 5-Hour Energy 500 at Pocono Raceway on June 10 in Long Pond, Pa. (Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images)

Jimmie Johnson, driver of the No. 48 Lowe's Chevrolet, signs an autograph during practice for the 5-Hour Energy 500 at Pocono Raceway on June 10 in Long Pond, Pa. (Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images)

Jimmie Johnson, driver of the No. 48 Lowe's Chevrolet, signs an autograph during practice for the 5-Hour Energy 500 at Pocono Raceway on June 10 in Long Pond, Pa. (Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images)

Brian Vickers, driver of the No. 83 Red Bull Toyota, climbs into his car in the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series 5-Hour Energy 500 at Pocono Raceway on June 10 in Long Pond, Pa. (Credit: Drew Hallowell/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Brian Vickers, driver of the No. 83 Red Bull Toyota, climbs into his car in the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series 5-Hour Energy 500 at Pocono Raceway on June 10 in Long Pond, Pa. (Credit: Drew Hallowell/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Brad Keselowski, driver of the No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge, signs an autograph in the garage area during practice for the 5-Hour Energy 500 at Pocono Raceway on June 10 in Long Pond, Pa. (Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images)

Brad Keselowski, driver of the No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge, signs an autograph in the garage area during practice for the 5-Hour Energy 500 at Pocono Raceway on June 10 in Long Pond, Pa. (Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images)

Denny Hamlin and crew chief Mike Ford stand by the No. 11 FedEx Toyota during pre-race activities for the 5-Hour Energy 500 at Pocono Raceway. (Credit: Drew Hallowell/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Denny Hamlin and crew chief Mike Ford stand by the No. 11 FedEx Toyota during pre-race activities for the 5-Hour Energy 500 at Pocono Raceway. (Credit: Drew Hallowell/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Jamie McMurray, driver of the #1 McDonald's Chevrolet, his wife Christy and child Carter Scott stand on the grid during pre-race ceremonies for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series 5-Hour Energy 500 at Pocono Raceway on June 12, 2011 in Long Pond, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Jamie McMurray, driver of the #1 McDonald's Chevrolet, his wife Christy and child Carter Scott stand on the grid during pre-race ceremonies for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series 5-Hour Energy 500 at Pocono Raceway on June 12, 2011 in Long Pond, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Matt Kenseth, driver of the #17 Affliction Clothing: Live Fast Ford, stands at his car with his daughter Kaylin Nicola during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series 5-Hour Energy 500 at Pocono Raceway on June 12, 2011 in Long Pond, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Matt Kenseth, driver of the #17 Affliction Clothing: Live Fast Ford, stands at his car with his daughter Kaylin Nicola during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series 5-Hour Energy 500 at Pocono Raceway on June 12, 2011 in Long Pond, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images for NASCAR)

featured_dhamlin

random: denny hamlin said something about something

Denny HamlinThis is short, and maybe boring, but I was reading through transcripts from today’s top-12 drivers media sessions and I thought this exchange between Denny Hamlin and a reporter was funny and immediately made me think of his Toyota Sponsifier commercial:

What do you drive away from the track?
“I drive my Lexus 460L pretty much every day.”

Is it a high performance car?
“No, mine’s not. Mine is a four door sedan made for kids and groceries.”

(photo credit: Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota, stands on the grid during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 26, 2011 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Geoff Burke/Getty Images for NASCAR)

richmond_featured

richmond revelations: could denny hamlin be jack mcbrayer’s long lost brother?

I was this close to feeling bad for Denny Hamlin for not sweeping the races at Richmond this past weekend until I came across the program from last year’s Awards Ceremony banquet. The program included photos of each winner of every race in 2010. Denny won EIGHT of them. You’re not going to find any sympathy over here, Denny. :)

But I do like The Denny (that’s what I call him) and his new Toyota Sponsifier commercial is my favorite out of the three featuring him, Kyle Busch and Joey Logano. Why is it my favorite? Because I love the little kid that tells him he drives like his mom, and I love the silly smile Denny makes after the kid says that AND I love that when Denny smiles like that I instantly think he looks like that actor on NBC’s “30 Rock,” Jack McBrayer (he was in “Talladega Nights: The Legend of Ricky Bobby,” too). Here’s a side-by-side comparison shot:

Denny Hamlin vs Jack McBrayer

Denny Hamlin (left) vs. Jack McBrayer (right)


Tina Fey should get Denny to do a cameo on “30 Rock” as Kenneth Purcell’s brother. I’m just sayin’. :)

In other news… Elliott Sadler announced that he and his wife, Amanda, are expecting a child this year. The couple are already parents to a son, Wyatt, who was born last year.

Carl Edwards, driver of the No. 99 Scotts EZ Seed Ford, stands in the garage during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Crown Royal Presents The Matthew and Daniel Hansen 400 at Richmond International Raceway on Apr. 29 in Richmond, Va. (Credit: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

Carl Edwards, driver of the No. 99 Scotts EZ Seed Ford, stands in the garage during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Crown Royal Presents The Matthew and Daniel Hansen 400 at Richmond International Raceway on Apr. 29 in Richmond, Va. (Credit: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

(L-R) Lt. Gen. Benjamin C. Freakley, commander of the U.S. Army Accessions Command, Revolution Racing CEO Max Siegel, Darrell Wallace Jr and NASCAR Vice President of Public Affairs and Multicultural Development announce a partnership between the U.S. Army and Revolution Racing. (Credit: John Harrelson/Getty Images for NASCAR)

(L-R) Lt. Gen. Benjamin C. Freakley, commander of the U.S. Army Accessions Command, Revolution Racing CEO Max Siegel, Darrell Wallace Jr and NASCAR Vice President of Public Affairs and Multicultural Development announce a partnership between the U.S. Army and Revolution Racing. (Credit: John Harrelson/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Ryan Truex gets advice from older brother Martin before the start of the the BUBBA Burger 250 at Richmond International Raceway. Truex ended up posting his first career top-10 finish. (Credit: Todd Warshaw/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Ryan Truex gets advice from older brother Martin before the start of the the BUBBA Burger 250 at Richmond International Raceway. Truex ended up posting his first career top-10 finish. (Credit: Todd Warshaw/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Travis Pastrana signs autographs for fans during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Crown Royal Presents The Matthew and Daniel Hansen 400 at Richmond International Raceway on Apr. 29 in Richmond, Va. (Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images)

Travis Pastrana signs autographs for fans during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Crown Royal Presents The Matthew and Daniel Hansen 400 at Richmond International Raceway on Apr. 29 in Richmond, Va. (Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images)

Denny Hamlin celebrates winning the BUBBA Burger 250 at Richmond International Raceway, his second NASCAR Nationwide Series victory at his home track. (Credit: Todd Warshaw/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Denny Hamlin celebrates winning the BUBBA Burger 250 at Richmond International Raceway, his second NASCAR Nationwide Series victory at his home track. (Credit: Todd Warshaw/Getty Images for NASCAR)

A young Denny Hamlin fan watches the hometown favorite race during the Crown Royal presents the Matthew and Daniel Hansen 400 at Richmond International Raceway. (Credit: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images for NASCAR)

A young Denny Hamlin fan watches the hometown favorite race during the Crown Royal presents the Matthew and Daniel Hansen 400 at Richmond International Raceway. (Credit: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the No. 88 National Guard/Amp Energy Chevrolet, signs autographs in the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Crown Royal Presents The Matthew and Daniel Hansen 400 at Richmond International Raceway on Apr. 29 in Richmond, Va. (Credit: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the No. 88 National Guard/Amp Energy Chevrolet, signs autographs in the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Crown Royal Presents The Matthew and Daniel Hansen 400 at Richmond International Raceway on Apr. 29 in Richmond, Va. (Credit: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

Kyle Busch salutes the fans after winning the Crown Royal presents the Matthew and Daniel Hansen 400 at Richmond International Raceway. (Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Kyle Busch salutes the fans after winning the Crown Royal presents the Matthew and Daniel Hansen 400 at Richmond International Raceway. (Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR)

talladega_featured

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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a vegas ending: fake elvis, paris hilton and a hug from a hottie

I had to get up really, really early on Sunday morning in order to get to Las Vegas Motor Speedway in time to take a ride in the pace car with NASCAR’s Director of Competition, Research & Development Brett Bodine.

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

On Saturday morning in Las Vegas the first and only thing I scheduled to do that day was interview Jennifer Jo Cobb. She was great and it was awesome to find out that her favorite word is “Fabulous.” Smart lady!

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room for two: shootout and daytona 500 qualifying

2011 Budweiser Shootout driver lineup is introduced to the fans at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla. (Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR)It was that time again on Saturday to reacquaint ourselves with the folks at Fox Sports and their brand of NASCAR coverage for another year. I have a secret wish that one of those animated robot football players they use for the NFL will walk onto the screen and bash Digger and his friends about the head until they run away forever. Did I just write that? Yes, yes I did.

Anyway, loved seeing drivers back in action. There’s nothing better than seeing cars driving at full speed, racing for something, anything, even if there aren’t any points involved. Congratulations to Kurt Busch and the “Double Deuce” team on winning the Budweiser Shootout.

Sunday was qualifying for the Daytona 500, but really just for the front row. Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Jeff Gordon locked up the front row for Hendrick Motorsports. And that was great and all but a bigger story, in my eyes at least, was Larry McReynolds dropping relationship news about Tony Stewart dating sprint car driver Jessica Zemken, who races for Tony Stewart Racing.

In other news…

– The winner of this year’s Daytona 500 will be honored in San Francisco on February 22nd (6pm) at Ghiradelli Square with an ice cream social. The lucky dude will have a sundae named in his honor and all fans in attendance will be treated to a complimentary sundae courtesy of the Ghiradelli® Ice Cream and Chocolate Shop. I’m going to be there FOR SURE, because I have first hand knowledge of how delicious everything is that they make at Ghiradelli. Chocolate covered strawberries are calling my name, and it’ll be cool to see the Daytona 500 winner fresh off their win.

– There’s more than just a win, and a starting position in the Daytona 500, at stake for Tony Stewart in the The Duels at Daytona on Thursday–there’s money too!:

“The Duels at Daytona are always exciting because the higher you finish, the better your starting spot is for the Daytona 500. But for this year’s Duel, I have a little added incentive knowing that the Tony Stewart Foundation could receive some extra funding if I win,” said Stewart, who has awarded almost $4 million to assist charitable initiatives through his foundation since 2003. “I am so proud to partner with companies like Office Depot and Lexmark that believe in Taking Care of Business by giving back to their communities and to those in need. As for the wager, the new Lexmark Genesis S815 printer is really fast, and in our business, speed counts.”

More details over at ‘Fabulous’ News

– Celebrities have made their predictions on who they think will win the Daytona 500, check ‘em out over at SI.com. I’m partial to Joe Namath & Janet Evanovich’s picks, but you should read them all. There’s some interesting little tidbits of info in there. Like Mike Tomlin, head coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers (aka Super Bowl XLV losers), went to college with JD Gibbs. :)

Scott Speed will drive the No. 33 Rheem Chevrolet for Kevin Harvick Inc. in the Nationwide Series for two races this year: Iowa Speedway on August 6 and at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal on August 20.

Photo fun time from this weekend below!


Jeff Gordon's wife Ingrid Vandebosch and his son Leo in victory lane after Jeff Gordon secured a front row start for the Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla. (Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Adorables!! :)
Jeff Gordon’s wife Ingrid Vandebosch and his son Leo in victory lane after Jeff Gordon secured a front row start for the Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla. (Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Jeff Burton and Jeff Gordon share a laugh together during Budweiser Shootout practice at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla. (Credit: Todd Warshaw/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Jeff Burton and Jeff Gordon share a laugh together during Budweiser Shootout practice at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla. (Credit: Todd Warshaw/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Denny Hamlin, Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon discuss practice at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla. (Credit: Chirs Graythen/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Denny Hamlin, Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon discuss practice at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla. (Credit: Chirs Graythen/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Dale Earnhardt Jr. draws the pole for the Budweiser Shootout as Kenny Wallace reacts Friday at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. draws the pole for the Budweiser Shootout as Kenny Wallace reacts Friday at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla.

2010 Daytona 500 Champion Jamie McMurray and teammate Juan Pablo Montoya share information during Budweiser Shootout practice at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla. (Credit: Nick Laham/Getty Images)
2010 Daytona 500 Champion Jamie McMurray and teammate Juan Pablo Montoya share information during Budweiser Shootout practice at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla. (Credit: Nick Laham/Getty Images)

Kasey Kahne and Kurt Busch discuss practice Saturday at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla. (Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR)
I’m diggin’ Kasey’s new firesuit. Cool design.
Kasey Kahne and Kurt Busch discuss practice Saturday at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla. (Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Joey Logano and Trevor Bayne talk during Daytona 500 practice at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla. (Credit: Todd Warshaw/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Joey Logano and Trevor Bayne talk during Daytona 500 practice at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla. (Credit: Todd Warshaw/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Kurt Busch in victory lane celebrating his 2011 Budweiser Shootout win at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla. (Credit: Todd Warshaw/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Kurt Busch in victory lane celebrating his 2011 Budweiser Shootout win at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla. (Credit: Todd Warshaw/Getty Images for NASCAR)

David Ragan signs a fans jacket during Daytona 500 Qualifying at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla. (Credit: Tom Pennington/Getty Images for NASCAR)
David Ragan signs a fans jacket during Daytona 500 Qualifying at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla. (Credit: Tom Pennington/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Carl Edwards signs autographs for fans after his qualifying lap Sunday at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla. (Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Carl Edwards signs autographs for fans after his qualifying lap Sunday at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla. (Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR)