Good job, Clint Boywer, good job.
There are five races left in the Chase for the Sprint Cup Series Championship and I’m wondering exactly how much can change in that time.
Good job, Clint Boywer, good job.
There are five races left in the Chase for the Sprint Cup Series Championship and I’m wondering exactly how much can change in that time.
Lots of a random things to share and I want to get to all of them.
Here we go:
– The lovely Keri Luiz wrote a wonderful article about me, Simply ‘Fabulous, for a local newspaper here in the San Francisco Bay Area. Keri is the assistant editor at the Benicia Herald. Thank you, Keri!
Where the hell have I have been? I keep asking myself this. Maybe you’ve noticed I haven’t written anything about the Budweiser Shootout or the Daytona 500 that turned out to be Mister Toad’s Wild Ride or even Phoenix.
NASCAR Nationwide Series driver Elliott Sadler and his wife, Amanda, welcomed their second child into the world today. Their daughter, Austyn Rose, joins her older brother, Wyatt Herman Fritts, who was born in February of 2010.
Elliott made the announcement, along with an adorable photo of Austyn, this afternoon via Twitter.
You 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.
“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??
– With everything that happened on Sunday I wasn’t in the mood to post photos from the NASCAR race weekend at Charlotte until now.
Saturday morning, with my iPod blasting The Civil Wars (don’t get me started, their song “To Whom It May Concern” perfectly explains the state of my love life right now), I headed to the track. Well, I should say that I was headed to Starbucks. Now here’s the weird thing about that area around Kansas Speedway which has everything from a full on mall to Target, Hooters, a movie theater, Chipotle, Red Lobster, the LIVESTRONG Sporting Park, a baseball field, and a bunch of other restaurants — there’s no standalone Starbucks. The only Starbucks is tucked inside Target and we all know that the Starbucks inside of any other store is not a REAL Starbucks. If I can’t use my Starbucks card there it’s not a real Starbucks.
Who doesn’t love a giveaway?! I certainly do and the fine folks at Hunt Brothers Pizza gave me some good stuff to hand over to a couple lucky winners. I have a couple of HBP Racing hats, one signed by Kevin Harvick and another signed by Elliott Sadler, plus two HBP Racing t-shirts and some HBP Racing Hero Cards. Just fill out the form below (one per email address) and you’ll be entered to win!
This might become a regular thing. I scan through the press conference transcripts (I get Ford, Chevy & Toyota) and find the best quotes (at least, to me they’re the best).
So here we go:
– Tony Stewart’s press conferences are always entertaining. You only need to glance at the transcript to see how Tony’s feeling that day. If the answers are really short, someone’s not that happy. So when Tony was asked REPEATEDLY but in different ways, about what Danica’s schedule will be in the Cup Series next year, he was expectedly annoyed:
ANY THOUGHTS ABOUT DANICA PATRICK RUNNING IN A CUP CAR AT THE DAYTONA 500 NEXT YEAR?
“We’re worried about other stuff right now. We’re working on her schedule and when we have a schedule, we’ll let you guys know what those races are going to be. But right now, we have a lot of things to work on.”
WHEN DO YOU HAVE TO START THINKING ABOUT PERSONNEL?
“A month ago. You don’t make decisions like this and not already start that process.”
HOW FAR ALONG THAT ROAD ARE YOU?
“We’ll let you guys know. We’re working on it, guys. We’ve got a lot of stuff to do. There’s a lot of stuff not done yet; there’s a lot of stuff that has to be done and we’re in that process. We are in the middle of getting it all done.”
WILL THE DECISION ON WHICH RACES DANICA PATRICK RUN NEXT YEAR IN CUP BE A SPONSOR DECISION OR WHAT WILL IT BE BASED ON?
“When we have that we’ll let you know. When we have the schedule, we’ll let you know. We don’t have it set yet. We’ll figure it out.”
I GUESS WHAT I’M ASKING IS…
“I know what you’re asking. I don’t have an answer to your question. When we have the schedule done, we will let you know.”
Dear Fellow Media People: TONY WILL LET YOU KNOW!! LOL
– And now Clint Bowyer who expressed his displeasure with media for interfering with his contract negotiations. You tell ‘em, Clint!
ARE YOU SURPRISED TO BE THIS LATE IN THE SEASON STILL DEALING WITH STUFF FOR NEXT YEAR, STILL HAVING STUFF UP IN THE AIR AND DO YOU FEEL LIKE THINGS ARE CLOSER TO A RESOLUTION RIGHT NOW?
“You know, were just working on it. It takes time, those deals, you can’t just say YES, let’s do it. It takes time to put the sponsorships together, it takes time to have meetings, and it takes time to do all that. You have got to be patient. Unfortunately, the media gets a hold of it and it makes it even worse. Speculations, guesses, you guys need to stop and think sometimes about the situation and the detriment that it can cause to the situation. I think that is important, I think it’s good to be positive, it is good to give opinion but when it starts to show detriment to a situation one way or another, I think it is a problem.”
ARE YOU GETTING A LOT OF PHONE CALLS FROM OTHER OWNERS, OR DO THEY REALIZE YOU ARE NOT GOING ANYWHERE AND LEAVING YOU ALONE?
“Man, I tell ya. I have been busy. We have two things. Obviously the future, we have to take care of that, just like I said last week. Then the Chase, the chase is item number one. I want to be in this chase. I think my team deserves to be in this Chase and we have a shot at it. We can make this happen. You have to stay 100 percent focused on that. The biggest thing is you have to work hard on keeping your team focused. A lot of rumors and things going on, it is hilarious, they call it silly season for a reason. Good God, I heard rumors that I needed helicopters, it is pretty amazing. You don’t know me very well lady!”
– Dale Earnhardt Jr. was asked about making The Chase and how important it was to him. This was the best part because when Junior curses it tickles me.
“The Chase stuff, the points and everything sort of takes care of itself. You try to do the best you can throughout the year to put yourself in the best position there, but, I miss the Chase, I’ll probably catch a lot of s*** about it. It will save me a lot of s*** if I make the Chase so that is probably the only thing personally that I have to worry about.”
– Kevin Harvick was asked if he anticipated any happening between Elliott Sadler & Kyle Busch last night during the Nationwide race considering the skirmish the two had during the Truck race on Wednesday:
“First off, I do not have any reason to talk to Kyle. I was not even involved in any portion of the incident. Second off, hopefully he went back and watched the race. The first thing that happened was he shoved him (Sadler) up the racetrack and he got mad because Elliott (Sadler) ran in the back of him, and then he drove over the front of him and wrecked himself. It is just old Kyle I guess showed up last week and really laid into the fact that he was kind of pouting because he was getting his butt whipped. Keeps running his mouth he might get it whipped off the track.”
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.
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)
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 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)
Congratulations to David Ragan and the No. 6 UPS team on winning the COKE ZERO 400 at Daytona! It’s been a long time coming! And if there was ever a driver that NEEDED to win right now it was David Ragan. I loved his post-race interview where the TNT reporter (can’t remember who it was, Matt Yocum?) tried EVERYTHING to try and get some sort emotional reaction from David and nothing happened. It was kind of anti-climactic. We love an emotional winner, and you’d think a first-timer would have brought something to the party.
Oh welly, David doesn’t need to cry for me to know that it means a lot. I’m happy for the guy.
Must talk about the sight of Andy Lally driving all by his lonesome during the race. Having a “partner” is the only way you’re going to do anything at Daytona these days and Andy didn’t have anybody for a while there. It brought me right back to junior high school P.E. class and dreading having to be picked for someone’s team (for some dumb activity that all the boys always took WAY too seriously). Ugh, it made me sad for him. I understand why guys didn’t want to work with him because they didn’t know what he was capable of, but still it was hard to watch. It’s the nature of the beast, though.
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:
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.
So, first thing’s first, who stayed up late last night, or got up super early, to watch the Royal Wedding? I didn’t do either of those things, I just Tivo’d it and fast-forwarded to the good parts this morning. All I wanted to see was her dress and I was very disappointed. It was boring and it kinda looked like the dress my aunt wore in her first wedding back in the 80s. But I’m totally off topic with all of this because this isn’t a Royal Wedding style blog now is it?
I feel like I’m behind on a lot of stuff that went down this week and last, so here’s what I’ve got.
– Scott & Amanda Speed announced this week via Twitter that they found out they’re expecting a baby girl this year. This is the couple’s first child together.
– The No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil crew took part in a tailgating cook-off and grocery bagging challenge at a local Kroger store in the Richmond, Virginia area this week. The event promoted a special program that Shell & Kroger created together to help people save money on gas.
Every time race fans in the greater Richmond area make a purchase at Kroger with their Kroger Plus Card, they not only save money on their grocery bill but also earn Fuel Points that can be redeemed at the pump for savings on fuel. Kroger customers now have the opportunity to instantly redeem 100 Fuel Points to earn a 10 cent per gallon savings, or up to 1,000 Fuel Points per visit to save up to $1 per gallon at participating Shell stations. This offer is valid up to 35 gallons of fuel per purchase.
– Elliott Sadler headed up to Canada to promote the Nationwide Series race, the NAPA Auto Parts 200 presented by Dodge, that will take place at Circuit Gilles Villenuve in Montreal this August. And his birthday was coming up, so they got him a cake! Awww.
– Kyle Busch saved the day by stopping some fake robbers from stealing the $1 million purse for the NASCAR Sprint Cup All-Star Race in Charlotte.
– Rachel Gilbert, a 100-year-old woman from Laconia, New Hampshire, took a spin around New Hampshire Motor speedway in the track’s pace car to celebrate her centennial birthday. This was such a cool thing, I love the photo of her sitting in the car looking over the steering wheel (see below).
Here’s more on what Rachel received for her major milestone birthday:
As part of this ultimate birthday celebration Gilbert and her family will receive suite passes overlooking “The Magic Mile,” where they will enjoy every lap of the LENOX Industrial Tools 301.
Gilbert will also have the opportunity to rub elbows with the stars of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series during the Sunday morning drivers’ meeting.
The longtime race fan was surprised with this once in a lifetime opportunity from her family and Gappens. When told she would be riding around the speedway in the pace car, she was ready to leave for Loudon immediately.
Included in her birthday package was a race car cake, an official LENOX Industrial Tools 301 hat, NHMS jacket and birthday card. Her favorite driver Carl Edwards even signed and sent an official crew shirt and birthday wishes.
“My mom has always been a major race fan. She doesn’t miss a race on TV,” says daughter Marie Anne Mills.
Marie also had the opportunity to ride around the track with Gilbert. “I was more nervous than she was,” she said. “This was so wonderful.”
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.
Was the only thing that was interesting about the Sprint Cup Series race at Bristol the driver introductions that we didn’t even get to see? I would say “Yes.” They couldn’t show ONE of the driver’s walking into their song?? I know it costs money to get the rights to play the songs on air but Fox doesn’t have money for JUST ONE?!
I Tivo’d the pre-race show, as has become a new rule so that I can skip the crappy parts (80% of it), and I made sure I went through it TWICE to make sure I didn’t miss a moment where they might have shown an intro and I didn’t find anything. Instead, there was some thing with Darrell Waltrip and Jeff Hammond and some diagram that looked like the board game “Operation” or something. I dunno, I was fast forwarding.
Anyway, Kyle Busch’s weekend sweep was impressive, of course. The deal that went down between Jennifer Jo Cobb and the owner of 2nd Chance Motorsports was far more interesting than anything either race had to offer. Jennifer Jo Cobb is all about racing, why would someone who has stated several times that her goal this year is contend for Rookie of the Year in the Nationwide Series ever want to “start & park”? I mean, c’mon, she’s all about racing. I sincerely wish her all the best and hope she can get something together that’ll help her reach her goal. What she did on Saturday took guts. It would have been way easier to just run the few laps and get out of the car, but she stood up for herself and I think that’s awesome. That’s a person I can root for!
On Saturday morning in Las Vegas the first and only thing I scheduled to do that day was interview Jennifer Jo Cobb. She was great and it was awesome to find out that her favorite word is “Fabulous.” Smart lady!
I’m sad I missed the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Media Tour in Charlotte this week. But, if I’m being honest, it’s only because I just read this article about all the swag the media received, that I missed out on. There were cupcakes and cookies and wine!
Anyway, here are photos from the week. It’s one of my favorite things to post photos of the teams wearing those annoying long sleeve shirts. I don’t know why I hate them so much but they just look wrong. I say this every year and no one listens to me.
It’s just like bridesmaid dresses: it’s really hard to pick on dress type that works on every body type. Which is why brides have started letting their maids pick a fit that suits them individually and then just going with the same color and/or print for the group. I think NASCAR teams should adopt this same principle. Some teams have, but definitely not the majority.
Michael Waltrip’s familiar No. 15 NAPA car is on display during the NASCAR Sprint Media Tour hosted by Charlotte Motor Speedway, held at Hilton University on Tuesday in Charlotte, N.C. (Credit: Harold Hinson/HHP)
(Left to right) Bobby Hutchens, director of competition for Stewart-Haas Racing; Tony Gibson, crew chief of the No. 39 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series car; Ryan Newman, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver; Tony Stewart, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series owner and driver; and Darian Grubb, crew chief of the No. 14 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series car, pose for a picture during the 2011 Sprint Cup Media Tour hosted by Charlotte Motor Speedway on Monday at Stewart-Haas Racing in Kannapolis, N.C. (Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Regan Smith stands in front of his No. 78 Furniture Row ride during the Sprint Media Tour hosted byCharlotte Motor Speedway on Wednesday in Charlotte, N.C. (Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)
(center) NASCAR Hall of Famer Richard Petty stands between his two NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers AJ Allmendinger (left) and the newest addition to Richard Petty Motorsports Marcos Ambrose during the Sprint Media Tour hosted byCharlotte Motor Speedway on Wednesday in Charlotte, N.C. (Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Team owner Jack Roush (center) poses with drivers (left to right) Carl Edwards, Matt Kenseth, Greg Biffle and David Ragan, during the NASCAR Sprint Media Tour hosted by Charlotte Motor Speedway, held at the Roush-Fenway hanger of Concord Regional Airport, on Thursday in Concord, N.C. (Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)
(Left to right) Brian Vickers, driver of the No. 83 Red Bull Toyota, speaks with Kasey Kahne, driver of the No. 4 Red Bull Toyota, during the NASCAR Sprint Media Tour hosted by Charlotte Motor Speedway, held at Hilton University on Tuesday in Charlotte, N.C.(Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)
(Left to right) Richard Childress, team owner; Clint Bowyer, driver of the No. 33 Cheerios Chevrolet; Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 29 Budweiser Chevrolet; Jeff Burton, driver of the No. 22 Caterpillar Chevrolet, and Paul Menard, driver of the No. 27 Menard’s Chevrolet, pose for the media during the NASCAR Sprint Media Tour hosted by Charlotte Motor Speedway, held at Richard Childress Racing on Tuesday in Welcome, N.C.(Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)
(Left to right) Five-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson, four-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Jeff Gordon, owner Rick Hendrick and NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers Mark Martin and Dale Earnhardt Jr. pose for a team picture Wednesday at Hendrick Motorsports Media Day during the Sprint Media Tour hosted by Charlotte Motor Speedway.(Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)
(Left to right) Sam Hornish Jr., driver of the No. 12 Alliance Truck Parts Dodge in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, speaks to the media as NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teammates Brad Keselowski, driver of the No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge, and Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Dodge, look on during the NASCAR Sprint Media Tour hosted by Charlotte Motor Speedway, held at Penske Racing on Monday in Mooresville, N.C.(Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Team owner Joe Gibbs (third from right) poses with J.D. Gibbs (third from left), Joe Gibbs Racing President, Joey Logano (left), driver of the No. 20 Home Depot Toyota, Kyle Busch (second from left), driver of the No. 18 M&M’s Toyota, Denny Hamlin (second from right), driver of the No. FedEx Toyota, and NASCAR Nationwide Series driver Brian Scott (right), during the NASCAR Sprint Media Tour hosted by Charlotte Motor Speedway, held at Joe Gibbs Racing, on Thursday in Huntersville, N.C. (Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)
J.D. Gibbs, president of JGR, on hiring Tony Stewart: “For 1997, we wanted to form a second team. We asked all the guys to write down the name of the driver they wanted the most and put it in a hat. There was one name on every piece of paper. That was Tony Stewart.”
Team owner Joe Gibbs (center) speaks about the 20th anniversary of Joe Gibbs Racing, as (left to right) JGR President J.D. Gibbs, former JGR drivers Tony Stewart and Bobby Labonte, JGR senior vice president of racing operations Jimmy Makar and Interstate Batteries CEO Norm Miller look on during the NASCAR Sprint Media Tour hosted by Charlotte Motor Speedway, held at Joe Gibbs Racing, on Thursday in Huntersville, N.C. (Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)
The No. 21 Motorcraft Ford proudly displays the new American Ethanol sponsorship around the fuel hole during the NASCAR Sprint Media Tour hosted by Charlotte Motor Speedway, held at the Roush-Fenway hanger of Concord Regional Airport, on Thursday in Concord, N.C. (Credit: Harold Hinson/HHP)
(Left to right) Juan Pablo Montoya, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver, team owners Chip Ganassi and Felix Sabates and Jamie McMurray, defending Daytona 500 champion, pose for a picture during the Earnhardt Ganassi Racing stop on the 2011 Sprint Media Tour hosted by Charlotte Motor Speedway on Monday at the Hilton Charlotte University Place in Charlotte, N.C.(Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)
I’m having too much fun with this contest. I was right when I thought things would get much more interesting in Round Two and the results of last week’s voting have set up Round Three to be extra intriguing. Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Casey Mears just barely made it through in the closest match-up results so far. Dale Jr. beat Scott Speed by just 8 votes! I’m really, really surprised that it wasn’t a closer contest between Carl Edwards and Kasey Kahne.
Here’s what happened in Round Two:
Jamie McMurray (75%) defeated Kyle Busch (25%)
Joey Logano (55%) defeated David Gilliland (45%)
Clint Bowyer (56%) defeated Bobby Labonte (44%)
Travis Kvapil (62%) defeated Kurt Busch (38%)
Kasey Kahne (75%) defeated Carl Edwards (25%)
Casey Mears (51%) defeated Kevin Harvick (49%)
Elliott Sadler (70%) defeated Reed Sorenson (30%)
Jeff Gordon (52%) defeated Marcos Ambrose (48%)
Ryan Newman (83%) defeated Juan Pablo Montoya (17%)
Dale Earnhardt Jr. (51%) defeated Scott Speed (49%)
Tony Stewart (86%) defeated Sam Hornish Jr. (14%)
Matt Kenseth (65%) defeated AJ Allmendinger (35%)
Regan Smith (77%) defeated Robby Gordon (23%)
Martin Truex Jr. (88%) defeated Greg Biffle (12%)
Paul Menard (64%) defeated Brad Keselowski (36%)
Denny Hamlin (58%) defeated Mark Martin (42%)
This updates the brackets, which you can see below (click it to see it larger).
So let’s get to it! Here are the match-ups for Round Three! You can vote as many times as you want each day until
voting ends on Saturday, January 22nd.
UPDATE: I’ve extended voting through Sunday, January 23rd until 9am, because of a snafu with the voting form. // Voting for Round Three is over! Check out Round Four!
|Jamie McMurray||Joey Logano|
|Clint Bowyer||Travis Kvapil|
|Ryan Newman||Dale Earnhardt Jr.|
|Tony Stewart||Kasey Kahne|
|Casey Mears||Elliott Sadler|
|Martin Truex Jr.||Jeff Gordon|
|Paul Menard||Matt Kenseth|
|Regan Smith||Denny Hamlin|
Voting for Round Three is over! Check out Round Four!
It’s time for Round Two! But first let’s find out what happened in Round One.
Kyle Busch (68%) defeated Jeff Burton (32%)
Juan Pablo Montoya (62%) defeated Brian Vickers (38%)
Tony Stewart (97%) defeated David Reutimann (3%)
Paul Menard (71%) defeated Jimmie Johnson (29%)
Casey Mears (73%) defeated David Ragan (27%)
Regan Smith (86%) defeated Kevin Conway (14%)
This updates the brackets, which you can see below (click it to see it larger).
And now, I think this is when things are going to get even MORE interesting. Round Two is the largest group, it’ll be fun to see who makes it into Round Three. I was going to let Round Two last for two weeks but I have decided to run it for just a week. Votes poured in for Round One and I can only expect it to get crazier for this one, so I’m trying to contain it. Plus I’m highly impatient and two weeks sound like forever to find out the results.
So let’s get to it! Here are the match-ups for Round Two! You can vote as many times as you want each day until voting ends on Saturday, January 15th.
UPDATE: Round Two voting has ended. Stay tuned for the results and Round Three!
|Jamie McMurray||Kyle Busch|
|David Gilliland||Joey Logano|
|Clint Bowyer||Bobby Labonte|
|Kurt Busch||Travis Kvapil|
|Ryan Newman||Juan Pablo Montoya|
|Dale Earnhardt Jr.||Scott Speed|
|Sam Hornish Jr.||Tony Stewart|
|Carl Edwards||Kasey Kahne|
|Kevin Harvick||Casey Mears|
|Elliott Sadler||Reed Sorenson|
|Greg Biffle||Martin Truex Jr.|
|Jeff Gordon||Marcos Ambrose|
|Brad Keselowski||Paul Menard|
|AJ Allmendinger||Matt Kenseth|
|Robby Gordon||Regan Smith|
|Mark Martin||Denny Hamlin|
2010 was the year of the baby in NASCAR. People were giving birth all over the place and because of this I can’t keep all of them straight. So I’ve compiled a list of the babies that were welcomed into the world this year and the ones that are on the way continuing the baby blitz into 2011.
Wyatt Herman Fritts Sadler
Parents: Amanda & Elliott Sadler
Born: February 15, 2010
Parents: Kate & Carl Edwards
Born: February 24, 2010
(Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Genevieve Marie Johnson
Parents: Chandra & Jimmie Johnson
Born: July 7, 2010
(Credit: Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Manuela Montoya Freydell
Parents: Connie Freydell & Juan Pablo Montoya
Born: July 19, 2010
Brooklyn Sage Newman
Parents: Krissie & Ryan Newman
Born: November 18, 2010
(Credit: Ryan Newman (facebook) – Photo by Karen Will Rogers Photography)
Carter Scott McMurray
Parents: Christy & Jamie McMurray
Born: November 25, 2010
Eliza Jo Hornish
Parents: Crystal & Sam Hornish Jr.
Born: December 28, 2010
Arriving in the new year will be…
– A girl for Cortney & Johnny Sauter. The couple’s daughter is expected to join her big brother, Penn, in April of 2011.
– A sibling for Katie & Matt Kenseth’s daughter, Kaylin, due in early 2011.
– (From what you guys have told me) A sibling for Kate & Carl Edwards daughter, Anne.
Sunday at Auto Club Speedway was a big day, not just for the Pepsi Max 400, but for all of the couples that were getting married and renewing their vows on the track. I was so excited about the whole thing and totally looking forward to seeing how it would all go down.
Here’s how I feel about the David Reutimann/Kyle Busch incident: Boys will be boys.
I love the idea of throwing that dumb cliche back in the face of people who like to use it to explain away bad behavior.
But seriously, I don’t really care. Reutimann was pissed and he decided to take action. The fact that Kyle is in The Chase is totally irrelevant. Everyone is trying to do the best they can no matter what, if they’re in the top-12 or not. That’s why I hate that Chase commercial where the drivers talk about all the stuff they have to compete against to win the Championship. Never once do they mention the fact that they still have to deal with 42 other drivers, not just 11 other guys contending for the Championship. That’s why winning the Sprint Cup is a big deal. The guys not in the Chase shouldn’t be expected to roll over, on the contrary, they should be getting in the way.
It’ll mean more for the the guy that ultimately wins the thing.
Congratulations to Greg Biffle and the No. 16 3M team! I’m so glad the standings within The Chase are still up in the air. Hopefully we can keep it that way for at least a few more races!
Jeff Burton, driver of the Caterpilliar Chevrolet, stands on pit road with his wife Kim prior to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Price Chopper 400 on October 3, 2010 in Kansas City, Kansas. (Photo by Christa Thomas/Getty Images for NASCAR)
It’s funny when you don’t realize you want something so bad until there’s a chance it can actually happen. For me that was the possibility of AJ Allmendinger getting his first win at Watkins Glen yesterday. He was chargin’, running up front with those guys and it really seemed like it could of been his day.
Well, he didn’t win, Mr. Juan Pablo Montoya did, but I had a lot of fun cheering for AJ. I don’t have anything against Juan Pablo, but during the race when I was imagining who would have a better, more fun, reaction to winning in Victory Lane AJ won hands down. You know he would be waaaaaay more excited and happy and thankful if he’d won that race than Juan was. I love a first-time win, what can I say?
Anyway, congrats to Juan Pablo and the No. 42 Target Chevy team. And bonus congrats to crew chief Brian Pattie for his first Sprint Cup Series win, it was sweet to see his emotions post-race.
Even though I’ve never been to Watkins Glen I think it’s beautiful there. From what I can see on TV it looks fabulous and I really, really wanna go to the next race there. Hopefully that’ll happen next year. Watkins Glen is right up there with Bristol, Daytona and Talladega as the tracks that I want to visit the most.
I know the drivers might not agree but I really wish there were more road course races in the Sprint Cup Series schedule. I love ‘em. It jumbles everything, in terms of the race itself and the points standings. I guess as a Dale Earnhardt Jr. fan I shouldn’t wish for that but I have confidence in my driver no matter what, and one day that guy will prevail at a road course.
Denny Hamlin, driver of the FedEx Freight Toyota, stands on the grid with girlfriend Jordan Fish prior to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at Watkins Glen International on August 8, 2010 in Watkins Glen, New York. (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
Driver Jamie McMurray of Earnhardt Ganassi Racing sits on the steps of the Sprint Cup Series hauler on Friday before practice for the Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at the Glen at Watkins Glen, New York
Ryan Newman, driver of the US Army Chevrolet, and his wife Krissie, stand on the grid prior to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at Watkins Glen International on August 8, 2010 in Watkins Glen, New York. (Photo by Todd Warshaw/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Boris Said, driver of the Red Bull Toyota, stands on the grid with his family during the National Anthem prior to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at Watkins Glen International on August 8, 2010 in Watkins Glen, New York. (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
(left to right) Clint Bowyer, Tony Stewart, Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon, Jeff Burton, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Elliott Sadler hang out together before driver introductions for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at Watkins Glen International.
Juan Pablo Montoya clowns around with Tony Stewart prior to the start of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at Watkins Glen International.
Mobil 1 driver Sam Hornish Jr. holds his daughter, Addison, before climbing into the car during qualifying for Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at the Glen at Watkins Glen International, Watkins Glen, NY.
Marcos Ambrose (47) celebrates winning the Zippo 200 at Watkins Glen International in Watkins Glen, NY.
Martin Truex Jr.’s (56) helmet sits on his car during qualifying for the Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at The Glen race at Watkins Glen International in Watkins Glen, NY.
Bo Bice looks on during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at Watkins Glen International on August 7, 2010 in Watkins Glen, New York. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Max Papis, driver of the GEICO Toyota, looks on during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at Watkins Glen International on August 7, 2010 in Watkins Glen, New York. (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images for NASCAR)
A.J. Allmendinger (L), driver of the Insignia HDTV Ford, stands on the grid during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at Watkins Glen International on August 7, 2010 in Watkins Glen, New York. (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images for NASCAR)
They don’t call it “The Tricky Triangle” for nothing. The Sunoco Red Cross Pennsylvania 500 at Pocono Raceway was one crazy race, but in the end I’m so incredibly glad/relieved that Elliott Sadler was able to walk away from that gnarly crash, as well as Kurt Busch. Pocono has some serious work to do to make that backstretch far less treacherous in the future.
It’s amazing how you can go from winning one race one day to just making it out alive from another one another day. I’m super stoked and happy for Elliott that he won the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Pocono Mountains 125 race on Saturday.
Congratulations go out to Greg Biffle and the No. 16 3M Ford team for winning the Sprint Cup Series race. It was the perfect way to wish team owner Jack Roush a speedy recovery from his accident. He was upgraded to fair condition last night at Mayo Clinic, so that win had to have been the best medicine.
Matt Kenseth (L), driver of the Crown Royal Ford, holds his daughter Kaylin Nicola Kenseth on the grid prior to the start of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sunoco Red Cross Pennsylvania 500 at Pocono Raceway on August 1, 2010 in Long Pond, Pennsylvania. (Photo by John Harrelson/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Des Moines, Iowa native Michael Annett, currently 14th in the NASCAR Nationwide Series point standings talks with his home state media Friday at Iowa Speedway in Newton, Iowa (Credit: Jennifer Coleman)
Greg Biffle, driver of the 3M Ford, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sunoco Red Cross Pennsylvania 500 at Pocono Raceway on August 1, 2010 in Long Pond, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Crew members cheer on Greg Biffle, driver of the 3M Ford, from pit wall as he does a burnout after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sunoco Red Cross Pennsylvania 500 at Pocono Raceway on August 1, 2010 in Long Pond, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images for NASCAR)
The wrecked Air Force Ford, driven by Elliott Sadler, gets towed through the garage area after he hit the wall in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sunoco Red Cross Pennsylvania 500 at Pocono Raceway on August 1, 2010 in Long Pond, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Elliott Sadler, driver of the Grand Touring Vodka Chevrolet, celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Pocono Mountains 125 at Pocono Raceway on July 31, 2010 in Long Pond, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Mario Gosselin, driver of the TireMonkey.com Chevrolet walks on the grid with his family prior to the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Pocono Mountains 125 at Pocono Raceway on July 31, 2010 in Long Pond, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Todd Warshaw/Getty Images)
A decal placed on the Aflac Ford, driven by Carl Edwards, that reads ‘Get Back to the Track, Jack!’ in support for Team owner Jack Roush prior to practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sunoco Red Cross Pennsylvania 500 at Pocono Raceway on July 31, 2010 in Long Pond, Pennsylvania. Roush was hospitalized due to injuries he received after crash-landing his jet at Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh, Wisconsin on July 27 2010. (Photo by Todd Warshaw/Getty Images)
Denny Hamlin, driver of the FedEx Office Toyota, signs autographs for fans during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sunoco Red Cross Pennsylvania 500 at Pocono Raceway on July 30, 2010 in Long Pond, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Greg Biffle (L), driver of the 3M Ford, talks with Jamie McMurray, driver of the AXE Twist Chevrolet, in the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sunoco Red Cross Pennsylvania 500 at Pocono Raceway on July 30, 2010 in Long Pond, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Meeting and interviewing Elliott Sadler, driver of the No. 19 Stanley Ford for Richard Petty Motorsports, was fun. Plain and simple fun. He’s a funny guy, very personable and clearly in love with his 5-month-old son, Wyatt. In addition to asking him those same 10 questions from ITAS, I asked him about being a new father and how, if at all, it’s changed his approach to racing.
“No,” said Elliott. “My feeling about racing has not changed at all other than I’m more determined now than ever because I don’t want my son to think I’m a failure. That’s the biggest thing. I take more things to heart. When we run bad I take it a lot worse now than when I did before he was born just because I don’t want him to think that his dad couldn’t do this or shouldn’t do this.”
When he said that I had, like, 50 internal responses going on at the same time. First, I wanted to tell him that his son is going to love him no matter what place he finishes in a race. Then at the same time I was, like, “For the love of god please let him win a race!!” It broke my heart a little bit, if I’m being honest. I wasn’t expecting him to be that candid. I know Elliott can win and maybe getting back with his former crew chief Todd Parrott will help that happen sooner than later.
What is your favorite word? Awesome
What is your least favorite word? Trouble
What turns you on? Being at home, being around my family. I love being from a small town and just being back at home with all my friends and family. It just seems like we never have a bad time, everything’s always going in the right direction.
What turns you off? Any bad Sundays or any frustrating Sunday is a big, big turn off for me.
What sound or noise do you love? The ocean. I go to sleep to it every night with my sound machine. I love it.
What sound or noise do you hate? Alarm clock. It’s always too early.
What is your favorite curse word? The F-bomb.*
What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? I would have loved to be have been a professional basketball player. I just love that sport. I love following it. It’s a game I’ve always been intrigued by.
What profession would you not like to do? Hockey. I wouldn’t want to do hockey ‘cause I can’t ice skate. I tried ice skating when I was, like, 17 or 18 years old and my butt hurt for a month.
If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates? Thank god you made it!
*It should be noted that Elliott polled a bunch of people in the hauler on what cuss word he used the most before settling on his favorite. That was funny.
Elliott Sadler and me after I interviewed him at Infineon Raceway this year.
Follow Elliott Sadler on Twitter @Elliott_Sadler
Read more of my “Inside the Actor’s Studio” questionnaire interviews in the archives and read about how it all started with Tony Stewart.
I know I’ve used that title before but I love it.
Friday at Infineon Raceway was day one of the Toyota/SaveMart 350 festivities. It was a pretty big day for me because it held actual things for me to do. My usual shtick is to just show up and let things happen but this time I setup interviews with drivers. Since things went so well with Tony Stewart and the Inside The Actor’s Studio questions I decided to make it my “thing” for now and to get as many drivers to answer the same questions.
On my schedule for the day were one-on-one’s with David Reutimann, Regan Smith, AJ Allmendinger and Elliott Sadler. I’ll write about each of those experiences in separate posts. Stay tuned for those.
Back in the media center I sat in on press conferences for Jeff Burton, Mark Martin, Carl Edwards, Tony Stewart, Greg Biffle, and a little bit of Denny Hamlin.
Tony Stewart’s presser was, of course, by far the most entertaining of the bunch. His session was after practice and he wasn’t very happy with his car. I think that Southwest airlines should use his press conferences as the basis for one of their “Wanna Get Away???” commercials. I had this uncontrollable urge, every time someone asked something cringe-worthy to look down and start playing with my cell phone. There are always a few questions that bug Tony and after sitting in on a few of his pressers I’ve learned that Tony is a lot better when you ask him questions that are very real to him. He laid it out pretty plainly that he only cares about racing. He wasn’t in the mood to get all theoretical or philosophical about racing after having a crappy practice session. It wasn’t helping that people were asking the same questions they’ve asked year after year, my favorite being “Should there be a road course race in The Chase?” That was the one that really bugged him and got him to eventually say that he had no interest in giving his opinion on such things, he just wanted to race.
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)
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 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 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 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)
And now my final, FINAL, post about the Pepsi 500 weekend at Auto Club Speedway!
Before driver introductions got started I met Heather, who is a friend of David Gilliland and his family, she’s also a Kasey Kahne fan. She reads my blog and we tweeted our locations and met up in the garage. We had a grrreat time hanging around, waiting to see which garage exit Kasey would use to go out to the driver intros stage. Because, really, you can never have enough Kasey Kahne photos.
There was no way I was going out to driver intros; it was a packed madhouse out there. I waited and then went out to pit road for the National Anthem. And I just so happened to stand near Kasey Kahne’s car ’cause it was near the exit I like.
– Congratulations go out to Elliott Sadler and his wife Amanda. They announced today that they’re expecting their first child in March.
– I think this list of the top ten NASCAR questions submitted to Ask.com are pretty interesting. It’s fun to see what people are searching for as it relates to NASCAR. This is from the past week:
Top NASCAR Questions on Ask.com
1. How much do NASCAR drivers get paid?
2. Who won the Daytona 500 in 2009?
3. How do NASCAR drivers go to the bathroom?
4. Why was Lake Lloyd built?
5. What does NASCAR stand for?
6. Who won the first Daytona 500?
7. Who is Tony Stewart dating?
8. What do NASCAR drivers wear under their suits?
9. What is the closest finish in Daytona 500 history?
10. Why do they call Tony Stewart “Smoke”?
– And speaking of “Smoke” I’m sure by now you’ve seen Tony Stewart’s new Burger King commercials featuring “The Tony Stewart School of Endorsements.” Tony educates fellow celebs Erik Estrada and Carrot Top on the importance of only promoting things you believe in. I love the sunglasses Erik Estrada was trying to push that have his name emblazoned across the front. I really want them, they didn’t seem so bad!
Anywhoo, there will be more commercials, three to be exact; the final one will show Tony’s love for the WHOPPER® being tested by a polygraph machine. So get this, Tony is going to participate in a LIVE polygraph test on October 20th at www.truthabouttony.com. Starting September 28th you can submit and vote on questions to be asked of Tony during his lie detector test. Make ‘em good people!
Also, go to bkracing.com for the chance to win a visit to Tony’s race shop.
Just in time for the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona tomorrow the Coke Zero people are launching a new ad. It’s another hilarious commercial showing the Coca-Cola brand managers attempting to persuade the Coca-Cola drivers to do something really not well thought out, like, at all.
I love it.
The first part of this video is a behind-the-scenes, making of the commercial feature and then the actual finished commercial is shown at the end.
And for your viewing pleasure I give you the old Coke Zero ad that I love just as much. It never gets old! Enjoy the track for longer than the other drivers. Ha!
Here’s my recap of the Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway this past Sunday: It was boring.
That is all. Now it’s photo fun time:
(L-R): Elliott Sadler, Kasey Kahne, Clint Bowyer and AJ Allmendinger are introduced before the Wii Boxing tournament during Food City Race Night at Bristol Motor Speedway. (Photo Credit: Getty Images for NASCAR)
Elliott Sadler celebrates beating Kasey Kahne in a Wii boxing tournament during Food City Race Night at Bristol Motor Speedway. (Photo Credit: Getty Images for NASCAR)
Kevin and Delana Harvick celebrate winning the Scotts Turf Builder 300 at Bristol Motor Speedway, Kevin’s first NASCAR Nationwide Series victory for Kevin Harvick Inc. (Photo Credit: Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Race fan Wessa Miller presents a penny to Dale Earnhardt Jr. prior to the Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway. Miller gave Dale Earnhardt a lucky penny before he won the 1998 Daytona 500. (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Kyle Busch does a burnout on the frontstretch of Bristol Motor Speedway to celebrate his Food City 500 victory. (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
I think I’ve twittered about being tired a lot in the very recent past. I’m sure people are wondering why I’ve been so tired considering the fact that all I’ve been doing is going to work as usual and attending NASCAR races in between.
Going to a NASCAR race is not like going to the movies or playing mini golf. It’s an all day thing and it involves a lot of walking, standing, and more walking. Plus I tend to get to the track early because I’m paranoid about missing out on something. Take Friday (qualifying day) for example, I got up at like 7am, to get to the track by 8. I was there until 6 and then I had to sit in ridiculous traffic for another hour and a half. I got back to Starbucks (my home away from home) at like 7:30pm.
So I’m still catching up on regular sleep and my normal schedule. It’s weird. I have a bunch of stuff to talk about so let me start with Saturday.
I walked the Sprint Cup garage to find the best place to stand to take photos of the cars as they exited the track during both practice sessions. I found the best spot across from Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s hauler. Cars passed by right in front of me, so close that it seemed like they were going run right over my toes. It was perfect.
Now I know that the type of race fans that read blogs like this one aren’t the fans that need to know the tiny piece of information I’m about to share with you. It’s really the casual fans that come to like one race a year that need to heed the advice I am giving. Look around you!!! I cannot tell you how many people I saw just walking around, lolly gagging, in a “hot” garage. Cars are constantly coming in and out, and these people have no idea where they’re walking.
To illustrate my point perfectly there was a woman who walked right in front of Michael Waltrip and his #55 NAPA Auto Parts Toyota as he entered the garage. She was so freaked out that she tried to run out of the way but her fright got the best of her and she fell right in front of his car. Michael stopped of course, not close to her at all, and the security guy that had been directing traffic helped her out of the way. I know she was embarrassed. I felt bad for her but at the same time it was pretty comical.
In other news…
– Las Vegas Motor Speedway has a spa. Yes, my friends, a spa. It’s not for you and me, it’s for the drivers and their families. While the guys are out on the track their wives can relax and get manicures, pedicures, facials and massages. So you’re telling me that these people get to bypass the insane traffic in their helicopters and then once they’re here they get to have a mani/pedi too?! So not fair.
Bobby Labonte helps to push his car back to the garage during Sprint Cup Series practice at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Saturday, February 28, 2009. (photo credit: The Fast and the Fabulous)
Elliott Sadler navigates his way through the garage during Sprint Cup Series practice at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Saturday, February 28, 2009. (photo credit: The Fast and the Fabulous)
Martin Truex Jr. navigates his way through the garage during Sprint Cup Series practice at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Saturday, February 28, 2009. (photo 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.”
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)
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)
Good news Fast and Fabulous fans! I am going to the Auto Club 500 at the Auto Club Speedway in So Cal on February 22nd AND I am also going to the Shelby 427 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway the following weekend on March 1st.
Whew! I’m exhausted just writing that! It’s going to be great and I’m beyond excited about it, it’ll be a lot of fun to be back at the track in full-on NASCAR mode. So be on the lookout for posts from me those two weekends.
In other news…
– Jeff Gordon went to Disney World with his family this week. It’s just so random. I look at this photo and I’m like, uhm, okay? That being said little Ella is still super adorable. What I really want are photos from Carl Edwards’ or Elliott Sadler’s weddings. Feel free to email me if you have them, nosey people like me want to see them.
Four-time NASCAR Cup Series champion and three-time Daytona 500 winner Jeff Gordon (left) takes a spin with his wife Ingrid (right) and two-year-old daughter Ella (front right) February 9, 2009 on the Magic Carpets of Aladdin attraction at the Magic Kingdom in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. Gordon visited the Walt Disney World theme parks the week leading up to the 51st running of the Daytona 500. (Photo Credit: Garth Vaughan and Walt Disney World)
– ATTENTION DAYTONA DALE JR. FANS! There is still time to get an ‘adidas Hot Pass’ to meet Dale Earnhardt Jr. tomorrow! Here are the deets:
adidas has teamed up with Champs Sports to give local NASCAR fans the chance to meet Dale Jr. tomorrow. The ‘adidas Hot Pass’ promotion kicked off February 6th and the meet-and-greet takes place at Daytona’s Volusia Mall Champs Sports tomorrow at 7 p.m. There are a few “adidas Hot Passes” left and the first 88 fans to purchase $150 of adidas gear at this Champs Sports meet Dale!
– Travis Kvapil secured a spot for himself in the Daytona 500 after posting the eighth fastest time during qualifying on Sunday, which is awesomeness, but remember kids there is free food to be had if he has a good race finish. Said Kvapil, “Locking ourselves into the race on Sunday was a huge deal for the No. 28 team. I knew that Doug (Yates) and Ben (Leslie) would bring a fast car this weekend, and I know they were both really excited when we made the race on Sunday. We have Golden Corral on our car this weekend, which is great for all the kids out there, because if we finish in the top 10, all kids eat for free on Monday.”
– Dancing with the Stars professional/champion and burgeoning country music artist Julianne Hough will sing the National Anthem before the start of the Daytona 500 this Sunday.
– So I was emailed the other day by someone who wanted to know what I have against Jimmie Johnson. I have nothing against him. I actually like him to a certain degree. I just think he can be very boring sometimes, he starts talking about his car and I zone out and can’t remember a word he just said. There have been other times, like when he spoke about how he proposed to his wife, when I was totally enamored by him. It comes and goes I guess.
Upon hearing the news that David Gilliland might be the odd man out at Yates Racing I became deeply pissed off.
I know that this is yet another result of the economy but that doesn’t make it suck less, actually it makes it suck worse. Because you know that if everything was ok, he’d definitely have his ride.
I seriously hope that David gets something together in time for the Daytona 500. It was nice to see that he posted a message to his fans on his website to let them know that he’s not giving up. I would expect nothing less. And I’m sure he knows that his fans are not giving up on him either. If I had it my way he’d be in the No. 38 sponsored by Starbucks and that’d be that.
In other news…
– Elliott Sadler got married yesterday, but he may not be able to go on his honeymoon. Elliott spoke with the media last week and apparently he’s having passport troubles:
I’ve had a pretty interesting week. Y’all haven’t asked me the good question yet. The wedding is Saturday. If I have two minutes, I’ve got to tell you something. We’re planning this honeymoon to go out of the United States, so I need a passport. Well, my passport was out of date, so I sent it in to get reinstated, but somehow my passport has been reported lost or stolen. So they’ve got a red flag up on security on my passport, so here I am three days before the wedding, we’re supposed to leave Sunday and fly out of the country on our honeymoon, and I don’t have a passport and don’t know if I’m going to get one. So actually the questions you guys are giving me today are pretty easy to the questions I think my wife is going to ask me Sunday if I’m not allowed to go on the honeymoon.
– Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing might be pared down to just two cars this year. Gag me.
– Out of all of the famous people that Dale Earnhardt Jr. has met, were there any that he was surprised to learn were racing fans? On a recent news conference he sort of answered the question, but the quote that stuck out to me was this one regarding Dave Grohl, lead singer for the Foo Fighters. Said Dale, “In 2000 I sent Dave Grohl from the Foo Fighters a guitar, and he got the guitar two days before my dad was killed, so he played the guitar after he found out about the whole story, he played it on a couple shows the next several months, and then he called me, left me a couple messages, and I was too scared to call him back. I regret that one.”
– The dude in the music video for the Toby Keith song “God Love Her” looks just like Kevin Harvick, except with long hair. I’m just sayin’.
Tony Stewart chats with members of the media during the NASCAR Preseason Thunder Fanfest at Daytona International Speedway. (Photo Credit: Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)
“I kind of relish the underdog role,” said NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series driver Brad Keselowski during a news conference Saturday at the Preseason Thunder Fan Fest at Daytona International Speedway. “It’s inspiring to me. It drives me to prove that we can do it.” (Photo Credit: Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR
(Right to left) Carl Edwards signs an autograph for a fan during NASCAR Preseason Thunder Daytona Fan Fest Friday at Daytona International Speedway. (Photo Credit: Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)
NASCAR Sprint Cup driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. talked about everything from barbeque ribs and driver Brad Keselowski to racing in Talladega and what he names his cars in a news conference Saturday at Preseason Thunder Fan Fest at Daytona International Speedway. (Photo Credit: Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Doesn’t Denny look a lot thinner now? I dunno, he looks cute though. He’s growing on me.
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Denny Hamlin shares a laugh during a news conference at the Sprint Sound and Speed Fan Festival Presented by SunTrust Saturday at the Nashville Municipal Auditorium. (Photo Credit: Steve Green/Getty Images for NASCAR)
NASCAR Sprint Cup driver of the No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet Jeff Gordon thought a fan just wanted to whisper something in his ear, but what he got was a kiss on the cheek on Saturday at the Preseason Thunder Fan Fest at Daytona International Speedway. (Photo Credit: Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Defending Daytona 500 champion Ryan Newman starts the game between the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Philadelphia Flyers with Lightning mascot Thunderbug saying ‘Let’s Play Hockey’ at the St. Pete Times Forum on January 15, 2009 in Tampa, Fla. (Photo Credit: Scott Audette/NHLI via Getty Images)
…and things are definitely different.
Is it Daytona yet? Seriously, is it? It feels like the longest off-season ever and I am counting the minutes until the 2009 NASCAR season is here.
I can’t help but feel a little uneasy because with everything that’s happened (and not happened) to our economy in the last year it’s left me feeling like the rug has been pulled out from underneath all of us.
I guess all of this craziness just proves how much we need NASCAR. I don’t know about you but I covet the time I spend on Sundays yelling at my TV screen. It’s how I relax and how I escape. I think we could all use a little escape right now.
So take the economy and then add in all of the Silly Season stuff that is still playing out and my head is spinning. Elliott Sadler is out at Gillett Evernham Motorsports? Petty Enterprises no longer Petty Enterprises?? What the ??
I don’t know about you but the Petty/GEM deal made me sad. I think it sucks that Petty Enterprises couldn’t keep it going on their own. They’ve been around for 60 years. It’s odd, and it’ll take some getting used to.
So about Elliott, he’s reportedly set to sue GEM for breach of contract. I say more power to him. I’ve run the whole ditching Elliott for A.J. Allmendinger through my head and I just can’t understand it. It seems like people change drivers these days like they change their underwear.
In other news…
– Jamie McMurray went karting. Yea, that’s all I’ve got.
Jamie McMurray takes a spin in his kart during Daytona KartWeek By Cometic Gasket at Daytona International Speedway. (Photo Credit: Motorsports Images & Archives)
Jamie McMurray shares a fun moment with a member of his team during Daytona KartWeek By Cometic Gasket at Daytona International Speedway. (Photo Credit: Motorsports Images & Archives)
Jamie McMurray works on his kart at Daytona International Speedway during Daytona KartWeek By Cometic Gasket World Karting Association races. McMurray upgraded his pit area from last year with a new trailer that he purchased from fellow NASCAR competitor Jeff Burton. (Photo Credit: Motorsports Images & Archives)
It’s that time of year again for my list of the best NASCAR-related commercials:
5.) Kasey Kahne Can Dance (Allstate): I can’t help but feel a wee bit embarrassed for Kasey Kahne when I watch this commercial. Not because he can’t dance but just because it’s so funny and such a perfect next step in the Allstate girls’ saga.
4.) Jeff Burton on Teamwork (Holiday Inn): One line sums up how funny this commercial is: “How come you don’t have a mullet?”
3.) Team Tylenol Tackles Your Questions (Tylenol): If I’m being honest Kevin Harvick owns this spot and I love it. I have yet to get tired of his expression after Elliott Sadler looks at him like he’s crazy. Brilliant.
2.) The One With The Talking Bird (Napa): Once again Michael Waltrip is in on the joke regarding his racing performance as of late and makes one of the best commercials of the year with the help of a bird who never forgets.
1.) Taste Infringement (Coke Zero): I love this commercial for a couple reasons, like it has a bunch of drivers in it who all do a good job of acting and the Coke Zero guys have the best zingers, I especially love the one at the end with Tony Stewart. Ah, it’s a classic.
Waking up this morning and realizing that there will be no NASCAR on today is a little disconcerting. I hardly know what to do with myself. It’s kind of like that commercial about quitting smoking where it shows people not knowing how to do regular things, like put their clothes on or get in their car, ’cause they haven’t had a cigarette. I’m having trouble watching football without thinking the flag on the play means there’s debris on the field.
Anyway, last night’s race at Lowe’s Motor Speedway was just OK. Well, at least for me. In the beginning it was exciting because I was wondering what would happen if Carl Edwards and Kevin Harvick got together on the track, but then that idea was tossed overboard when Carl’s car had ignition problems.
It seems lately that when I watch a race it’s only a matter of time before everybody on my I’d-Like-These-Drivers-To-Win-Please list slowly gets weeded out and runs into trouble. Ugh. So for their sake and mine I am throwing away the list and just watching without expectations.
That being said I am truly happy for Jeff Burton and the No. 31 AT&T team. I’m glad they won. I hope that their win signifies a change in The Chase — a change that brings more drama and a close finish for the Sprint Cup Championship. And by more drama I mean on the track, not in the garage. While it did tickle me to hear about the tussle between Carl and Kevin it’s not something I’d want to see every week, not like that.
I have to talk about Jessica Simpson and her rendition of the National Anthem. I like Jessica and I have all of her CDs — except this latest one — to prove it, but I don’t know why she seemed to be trying so hard last night. I think she’s constantly trying to prove that she has a great voice and in doing so she added all these weird and unnecessary runs in the song. And she missed words too. It’s “home of THE brave” not “Home of brave.”
Photos after the jump!
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.
Here’s more from my interview with Kyle Petty. You should note that we spoke last week and so when he mentions “this week” he’s really talking about last week.
Me: I know that you were on a Fitness TV show talking about your fitness regimen and health being a race car driver. It’s not something that people talk a lot about with NASCAR in terms of being an athlete. So how important is that to a race car driver to be physically fit and healthy and to have strength in the car?
Petty: Incredibly important. I think most people assume that if you play stick and ball sports you’re naturally an athlete, you’re in the best shape that you can be in and that’s the way it is. I think you’ve got to be in shape to drive a car at 180 or 190 miles an hour or to make split second decisions that can almost in some instances be life and death decisions. So when you look at it like that from your mental sharpness to your physical sharpness and that goes hand in hand. You hear so much about exercise and how that stabilizes and what that does to your mental well being and your attitudes, I think exercise is important.
Today’s race sucked. I’m happy for Carl Edwards and his team for beating Kyle Busch, of course. I think that goes without saying, but it was still kinda lame. Maybe I’m being too picky and hard to please but I just want someone to win who hasn’t won this year, or if that’s not possible then someone who’s only won once so far.
Has anyone started printing up “Anybody but Busch” shirts yet?? ‘Cause I can’t believe that I’m actually sad Jeff Gordon hasn’t won a race this year. I find that fact seriously disturbing and I’ve already started wondering when the four horsemen are going to show up. Watching him in his post-race interview I was happy to see that he was going to use his drop in points as a reason to take things up a notch. That team has got to get it together.
I’m not even going to talk about Dale Earnhardt Jr. Ugh.
I’m sure next week’s race at Bristol will be far more interesting.
On the bright side, don’t think I didn’t notice that ESPN’s cameras paid attention to the adorable Gilliland family during pre-race festivities for both the Nationwide and Sprint Cup Series events. That was great.
Pole sitter for the 3M Performance 400 Presented by Bondo and driver of the No. 83 Red Bull Toyota Brian Vickers stands next to his car during pre-race activities Sunday. (Photo Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Former driver and now TV commentator Dale Jarrett chats with driver of the No. 19 Stanley Dodge Elliott Sadler during Friday’s Sprint Cup Series practice at Michigan International Speedway. (Photo Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Fans crowd around Jeff Gordon, driver of the No. 24 Dupont Chevrolet, during qualifying Friday at Michigan International Speedway (Photo Credit: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Carl Edwards, driver of the No. 60 Planters Ford, celebrates a win in his typical manner — a backflip — but this time kept his helmet on. Edwards, who also was the polesitter, won the NASCAR Nationwide CARFAX 250 on Saturday at Michigan International Speedway. (Photo Credit: Marc Serota/Getty Images for NASCAR)
And so begins the television coverage of NASCAR from the fine folks at TNT. I really wish NASCAR could just be on one channel. One. Uno. But what can ya do right?
So TNT excitedly announced their new RaceBuddy feature on NASCAR.com, I didn’t bother to check it out — at least not yet — but the image that kept jumping to mind every time they mentioned it during Sunday’s race was the doll My Buddy from the 80s. I keep singing the theme song to myself “My Buddy, My Buddy, My Buddy, My Buddy and Meeeeeee!” and then I followed it up with “Kid Sister, Kid Sister, Kid Sister, Kid Sister and Meeeeeeee!” Bonus points to you if you remember My Buddy and Kid Sister and triple quadruple points if you actually had one!
Brad Keselowski, how can you not be happy for this guy? He raced his butt off and got his first NASCAR Nationwide Series win ever and I couldn’t be more excited for him and the Navy team. You could see the genuine relief and happiness in his eyes after the race. It was just so cool that his mom and dad were there. Those are my absolutely favorite moments in sports in general. Getting to see the family that has been with these guys from the beginning and getting to see them sharing that moment when they have their first taste of success, that’s pretty awesome. It’s another one of the million reasons why I’m so anxious for the Olympics to start.
Furthermore, didn’t it suck that Dale Earnhardt Jr. wasn’t there to be with his team for their first win? He didn’t even get to see it live on TV. DirecTV had a blackout and so for the last ten laps he had a friend relay the information to him online. Crazy.
Ok, so the Cup race at Pocono. Speaking of Dale Jr. what was up with him during his post race interview? I know that he’s not a super talkative guy after the races in general but that was less that usual. I’m sure it had to do with the heat, and it seems like all of the guys were feeling the affects of it after the race, except for Jimmie Johson who said he was totally fine. Right.
Kasey Kahne won another race and that’s great for him. I’m still miffed about the lack of attention that the Yates Racing guys have received. I want them to get a friggin’ top 5 finish so bad just so the media will have to talk about them for longer than 10 seconds.
In other news…
– Speaking of Yates Racing, both of their drivers will be here in the Bay Area tomorrow for testing at Infineon. I will be there too, taking pictures of whatever I can see. Hopefully something will be going on while I’m there, I won’t be able to stay the whole day.
– David Ragan will be on an episode of “Lawrence of America” on the Travel Channel tomorrow (June 10th) at 11pm EST. Check your local listings. “It was fun filming the show with Lawrence last fall,” said Ragan. “I think he learned a lot and it will be a great way to hopefully introduce the sport to some new fans to the sport. We had a good time at the go-kart track, but next time we’ll go the big track and see how he does.”
– There’s still plenty of time to enter the contest for a free copy of the NASCAR Full Throttle Adrenaline DVD set.
– I don’t know what it is about Brian Vickers but every time I hear him speak I’m surprised by his southern accent. It’s like I forget that he has one every time I see him. It’s cute though, I like accents. There’s no big point to this, I’m just over sharing.
Brian Vickers finished second in the Pocono 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Pocono Raceway, moving up two spots to 17th in driver standings (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Mark Martin qualified third-fastest for Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Pocono Raceway, where he’s finished second six times. (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Fellow Ford drivers, Jamie McMurray and David Gilliland, talk about their cars during a break in Saturday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practice at Pocono Raceway (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/Getty Images)
Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Elliott Sadler share a laugh in the garage during Friday’s practice at Pocono Raceway (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR)
A few weeks ago I was given a copy of a new NASCAR DVD set entitled “Full Throttle Adrenaline Volumes 1 & 2″ to check out. I have to say that it’s a really cool and interesting set.
The first disc is hosted by Fox Sports pit road reporter Steve Byrnes who takes you through a bunch of classic race finishes and crashes. There were moments that I hadn’t seen before like the time when Michael Waltrip had a truly gnarly crash into the side of a wall that basically peeled his car a part like a banana. It also shows the moment when Michael proposed to his wife Buffy in victory lane. There’s commentary from drivers like Ricky Craven and Kurt Busch recounting their super close finish at Darlington back in 2003.
The second disc is my favorite. It features interviews with various crew chiefs, owners and drivers like Dale Earnhardt Jr., Casey Mears, Ryan Newman and Boris Said. They talk a little bit about their lives away from the track. You get to see Ryan’s classic car collection and Boris’ adorable blond & curly haired son. I think seeing a driver out of their element is a great way to get perspective on what they’re like as just regular dudes.
The discs also have extras like a trip to the NASCAR Research and Development Center in Charlotte and an in depth look at Elliott Sadler’s crazy crash at Talladega in 2003.
I was given three extra copies of this awesome DVD set to giveaway.
Enter the contest today! The contest ends on July 4, 2008.
Today has been hectic for moi. I officially moved into my new apartment and I’m so tired I could… well… go to sleep.
As far as NASCAR goes, here’s what I know:
I’m off to put a bedskirt on. Oh! But one more thing, I was thinking about this the other night. So crew chief Jimmy Elledge was fired from Chip Ganassi Racing, but he’s married to Kelley Earnhardt Elledge who basically runs anything that her brother, Dale Earnhardt Jr., is doing, so do you think he’ll get a job over at JR Motorsports?
Here are some photos from the testing sessions at Pocono this week:
They’re installing my dish tomorrow! Yay!
Clint Bowyer waits to get in his car during NASCAR Sprint Cup Series testing at Pocono Raceway. (Photo Credit: Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)
David Gilliland turned the fastest lap of the day on Tuesday (54.742 seconds) during NASCAR Sprint Cup Series testing at Pocono Raceway. (Photo Credit: Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Marcos Ambrose helps his No. 47 crew by working on his tires on Wednesday during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series test at Pocono Raceway. (Photo Credit: Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)
They’ve got great genes in that Labonte family.
Two-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Terry Labonte tests the No. 45 Petty Enterprises Dodge during NASCAR Sprint Cup Series testing at Pocono Raceway on Wednesday (Photo Credit: Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Dario Franchitti reviews data during NASCAR Sprint Cup Series testing at Pocono Raceway. (Photo Credit: Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Martin Truex Jr. meets the media during NASCAR Sprint Cup Series testing at Pocono Raceway on Wednesday (Photo Credit: Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)
I don’t know what is up with Jimmie’s hair but let’s just hope he’s “in between styles” right now.
Jimmie Johnson talks with the media during NASCAR Sprint Cup Series testing at Pocono Raceway. (Photo Credit: Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)
It was a super sweet moment seeing the group of NASCAR moms standing the track telling their son’s to start their engines.
With that said though it sucks that Kurt and Kyle Busch’s mom had to take on the fans booing her son. It’s one thing to boo Kyle but not when his mom is being honored for Mother’s Day. That’s really lame.
Kurt (left) and Kyle (right) help their mother Gaye (center) off of the stage before the Dodge Challenger 500 at Darlington Raceway (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Brian and Ramona Vickers leave the stage before the Dodge Challenger 500 at Darlington Raceway (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Ryan Newman and his mother Diane take part in driver introductions before the Dodge Challenger 500 at Darlington Raceway (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Everytime I see Kasey’s mom, Tammy, I’m always in awe of the fact that she looks like she could be his sister and I don’t mean that in an Eddie Haskell kind of way either. She looks great.
Tammy Kahne and her son Kasey wave to the Darlington Raceway crowd before the Dodge Challenger 500 (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Elliott Sadler follows his mother Bell off of the stage before the Dodge Challenger 500 at Darlington Raceway (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Reed and mother Becky Sorenson salute the crowd before the Dodge Challenger 500 at Darlington Raceway (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Tony Stewart and his mother, Pam Boas, wave to the Darlington Raceway crowd during driver introductions for the Dodge Challenger 500 (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Dale Jr’s mom, Brenda, wins for best outfit, I would totally go out and buy this entire ensemble. And I’m not just saying that ’cause she’s the mother of my favorite driver. Seriously, it’s a great look.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. follows his mother, Brenda Jackson, off of the stage before the Dodge Challenger 500 at Darlington Raceway (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Carol Mears follows her son Casey off of the stage before the Dodge Challenger 500 at Darlington Raceway (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Carol Bickford and her son, Jeff Gordon, waves at the crowd at Darlington Raceway, where Gordon has won seven NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR)
The winner of the Wave the Green Flag contest, Betty Easley, received an all-expense-paid travel package to the Dodge Challenger 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Darlington Raceway over Mother’s Day weekend (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR)
While the Nextel Cup Series was on a break this past weekend so was I. Part of it was self-imposed and the other was thrust upon me by the not-that-helpful-at-all people at Comcast. For the fifth time I had to have a Comcast service person come out to fix my internet connection. They came out on Sunday when it started working again on its own, but it’s down again.
For me not having an internet connection, or an unreliable one, is the same as not having electricity. Even if I’m not going to use any of my appliances I like knowing that I could if I needed to. I seriously feel wrong/weird not knowing if my internet connection is going to be working when I get home today. Peace of mind is everything.
Anyway, while drivers were spending their weekend off heading here and there (see below) I spent mine at a conference called WordCamp in San Francisco. The two-day event brought together bloggers and developers from all over the country who use WordPress as their blogging software of choice, me included. I only attended the first day but it was really fun to be around other people (tons of dudes) that were doing cool things with their blogs. I learned a lot of cool ways that I could enhance my site and I hope to implement some of those things soon. I think a slight redesign is in my future.
I’m not sure how much interest there is in this kind of information but I figured I’d list what I could about what some of Cup drivers did over their free weekend:
Kevin Harvick — Spent time at home with his wife DeLana.
“You know everybody has these trips planned to go this place and that place,” said Kevin. “Man, we go every week. I don’t know why you would want to leave home if you had a week off.”
Kasey Kahne — Went down to Mexico
Elliott Sadler – Played some golf and visited family & friends in Virginia.
Denny Hamlin — Denny hit up Miami.
Jimmie Johnson — Spent some quality time with his wife Chandra in Europe
Jeff Gordon — Practiced changing diapers at home with his wife Ingrid and newborn daughter Ella.
In other news…
Reed Sorenson won the Busch Series race at Gateway International Raceway in IL this weekend. All I can say is good for him. Although it would have been cool if Carl Edwards could have made it to the front again with that insanely banged up car but alas it wasn’t meant to be.
I can’t believe Reed is just 21 years old. What were you doing when you were 21? I highly doubt you were winning a nationally televised stock-car race. I’m 26 and I keep asking myself where the last 6 years of my life went. I vividly remember turning 21 and now I’m soon to be 27 and I have no clue what I’ve done with my life since then (well not completely but ya know, I am quite proud of a few things that I’ve done). For those same 6 years I’ve been a NASCAR fan. I had to quiz myself the other day on all the winners of the Cup Championship to make sure that I haven’t been in some weird sub-conscious coma. I’m happy to report that I was able to accurately name all of them.