All posts tagged Elliott Sadler

47 Posts

kansas payback is a bitch

No. 16 3M Ford driver Greg Biffle celebrates in Victory Lane after earning his second win of the 2010 season and 16th of his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series career. (Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)Here’s how I feel about the David Reutimann/Kyle Busch incident: Boys will be boys.

LOL :)

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!


KANSAS CITY, KS - OCTOBER 03: 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)

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)

can we have another watkins glen race?

(Left to right) Juan Pablo Montoya and crew chief Brian Pattie spray each other with champagne in Watkins Glen International's Victory Lane after Pattie claimed his first victory atop the box in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series on Sunday at Watkins Glen International in Watkins Glen, N.Y. (Credit: Rusty Jarrett/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.

:)


WATKINS GLEN, NY - AUGUST 08: 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)

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)

Aug. 06, 2010 - Watkins Glen, New York, United States of America - 6 August 2010: Driver JAMIE MCMURRY 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.

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

WATKINS GLEN, NY - AUGUST 08: 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)

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)

WATKINS GLEN, NY - AUGUST 08: 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)

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)

Aug. 08, 2010 - Watkins Glen, New York, United States of America - August 8, 2010: Sprint Cup drivers.

(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.

Aug. 08, 2010 - Watkins Glen, New York, United States of America - August 8, 2010: Eventual race winner JUAN PABLO MONTOYA.

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.

Aug. 07, 2010 - Watkins Glen, New York, United States of America - August 7, 2010: Mobil 1 driver SAM HORNISH JR. holds his daughter before climbing into the car during qualifying for Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at the Glen at Watkins Glen International, Watkins Glen, NY.

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.

WATKINS GLEN, NY - AUG 07, 2010: Marcos Ambrose (47) wins the Zippo 200 at Watkins Glen International in Watkins Glen, NY.

Marcos Ambrose (47) celebrates winning the Zippo 200 at Watkins Glen International in Watkins Glen, NY.

WATKINS GLEN, NY - AUG 07, 2010: 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.

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.

WATKINS GLEN, NY - AUGUST 07: 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)

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)

WATKINS GLEN, NY - AUGUST 07: 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)

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)

WATKINS GLEN, NY - AUGUST 07: 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)

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)

pocono: it’s tricky, tricky, tricky

(Right to left) Elliott Sadler talks with ESPN's Mike Massaro after being evaluated and released from the Pocon Raceway infield care center following an incident that led to a 28 minute-46 second red flag following lap 166 on Sunday in Long Pond, Pa. (Credit: Chris Trotman/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.


LONG POND, PA - AUGUST 01: 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)

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)

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)

LONG POND, PA - AUGUST 01: 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)

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)

LONG POND, PA - AUGUST 01: 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)

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)

LONG POND, PA - AUGUST 01: 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)

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)

LONG POND, PA - JULY 31: 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)

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)

LONG POND, PA - JULY 31: 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)

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)

LONG POND, PA - JULY 31: 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)

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)

LONG POND, PA - JULY 30: 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)

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)

LONG POND, PA - JULY 30: 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)

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)

interview: inside the actor’s studio with elliott sadler

LOUDON, NH - JUNE 26: Elliott Sadler, driver of the  Stanley Ford, walks to the garage during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series LENOX Industrial Tools 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on June 26, 2010 in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images for NASCAR)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.


Valli from The Fast and the Fabulous and Elliott Sadler

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.

to infineon and beyond…

No. 83 Red Bull Toyota at Infineon Raceway on Friday, June 18, 2010 (photo credit: The Fast and the Fabulous)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.

little wyatt sadler has arrived

Elliott Sadler announced this morning via his Twitter account that his wife, Amanda, gave birth to their first child, a boy named Wyatt. Congratulations to the Sadlers! That kid has amazing timing!

:)

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

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


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

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

nothing cuter than nascar’s littlest fans

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Adorable!!! :)

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

my end to the pepsi 500

Jimmie Johnson, driver of the No. 48 Lowe's Chevrolet, pulls into Victory Lane on Sunday, October 11, 2009 at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, CA (photo credit: The Fast and the Fabulous)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.

shortcuts: sadler’s gonna have a baby, stewart to take lie detector test

– 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”?

Tony Stewart, driver/owner at Stewart-Haas Racing, pictured in center in his BURGER KING fire suit, shares some laughs with actor, Erik Estrada (left) and comedian/actor, Carrot Top (right), during a break behind the scenes of Burger King Corp.s ad shoot, The Tony Stewart School of Endorsements.– 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! :)


Tony Stewart, driver/owner at Stewart-Haas Racing, climbs into the hot seat to prove his love for the famous WHOPPER® sandwich in the latest ad campaign for BURGER KING® restaurants. The ad titled, Polygraph Prep, is the last in a series of four ads that begin airing on Sept. 7, 2009. Visit www.bkracing.com for more information on Burger King Corp.s national promotion with Stewart-Haas Racing.

Also, go to bkracing.com for the chance to win a visit to Tony’s race shop.

coke zero ad does it again

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!

was that really bristol?

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)

(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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

it’s true, having fun can be tiring

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…

lasvegas_saturday_spa– 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)

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 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)

lasvegas_saturday_mtruexjr

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)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Score! :)


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

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

autoclub_dalejr_press

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

goin’ to the races and i’m gonna get stooories

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)

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.

you’re not giving gilliland a ride? what, are you crazy?

David Gilliland at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in March 2008 (photo credit: Valli Hilaire/The Fast and the Fabulous)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)

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

“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)

(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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

so this is the new year…

…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 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 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)

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)

the top 5 best nascar commercials of 2008

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.

burton wins at lowe’s, changes things

Jeff Burton's pit crew celebrates winning the Bank of America 500 at Lowe's Motor Speedway. (Photo Credit: Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)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!

little samantha mears has arrived

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

Congratulations to Casey and his girlfriend Trisha!

In other news…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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