All posts tagged Greg Biffle

88 Posts

if denny hamlin’s win wasn’t emotional for you too, then you’ve got problems

(Left to right) Joe Gibbs Racing President J.D. Gibbs congratulates Denny Hamlin, driver of the No. 11 FedEx Express Toyota, on Monday after Hamlin's fifth career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series win in the Sunoco Red Cross Pennsylvania 500 and third at Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pa. (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/Getty Images for NASCAR)Because the Sunoco Red Cross Pennsylvania 500 at Pocono was postponed from Sunday until Monday because of rain I couldn’t watch it live, on TV, from the comfort of my home. Since I was at work, I casually kept track of what was happening by using ESPN’s race widget in between doing work and sitting in meetings.

Once the race was over and I found out that Denny Hamlin had won I was stoked. Really, I was happy for him more than anything just because it had been what, 58 races since he’d last won a Sprint Cup race? So yes, this was a big deal, and like I’ve said before, I like the Denny. :)

It wasn’t long after I learned of Denny’s win that I received a text message from Tara, a young woman from Arizona who reads my blog and is one of the biggest Denny Hamlin fans around. She even won tickets to a race at Phoenix by professing her reasons why Denny is her favorite driver. Tara told me that she watched the final laps of the race while having lunch at T.G.I. Friday’s with her grandmother.

i do not hook up

Kyle Busch does his trademark bow after winning the CROWN ROYAL presents The Russ Friedman 400 at Richmond International Raceway. The win came on Busch's 24th birthday and completed the weekend sweep at Richmond. (Photo Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images)That subject line has absolutely nothing to do with this post but it’s been running through my head for the past 5 days so I had to use it. Thanks a lot Kelly Clarkson!

I watched Crown Royal presents the Russ Friedman 400 from the guest bedroom of my sister’s house in Los Angeles.

Saturday day was her baby shower and Saturday night was the fight party to watch Ricky Hatton get his head knocked off his shoulders by Manny Pacquiao. Anyway, everybody was camped out in the living room watching the Celtics beat the Bulls while I was having a grand old time watching the race by myself, with occasional visits from my nephews who asked questions like “You’re still watching this?”

Anywhoo, Kyle Busch won the Russ Friedman 400 in a car sponsored by Combos. I’m not a big fan of the Combos snack. I think they’re gross because they remind me of the dog treat Snausages. Ech. So it figures Kyle would win.

All in all though, it was a great race. There was suspense and intrigue and those are two attributes I dig most in a race. Obviously I would have loved it more had anyone else won, but what can ya do? Is it lame that I didn’t really want Jeff Gordon to win ’cause I knew that his daughter Ella wasn’t there? I didn’t want him to have another win without her being there to greet him in Victory Lane. Yea, this is the type of stuff that goes through my head. Jeff can’t win a race unless Ella is there, that’s my new rule.


Pole-sitter Brian Vickers and Darrell Waltrip joke with fans during

Pole-sitter Brian Vickers and Darrell Waltrip joke with fans during “Trackside Live” on SPEED. (Photo Credit: Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)

The No. 16 Ford of Greg Biffle is one of several cars to carry a decal honoring the late Charlotte Observer reporter David Poole who passed away earlier in the week. (Photo Credit: Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)

David Poole was an excellent writer and I will miss his insight and perspective.

The No. 16 Ford of Greg Biffle is one of several cars to carry a decal honoring the late Charlotte Observer reporter David Poole who passed away earlier in the week. (Photo Credit: Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)

The crew members of Kyle Busch's No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota celebrate winning the Lipton Tea 250 at Richmond International Raceway. (Photo Credit: Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)

The crew members of Kyle Busch’s No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota celebrate winning the Lipton Tea 250 at Richmond International Raceway. (Photo Credit: Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)

Contest winner Russ Friedman poses in front of the logo for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series CROWN ROYAL presents The Russ Friedman 400 at Richmond International Raceway. (Photo Credit: Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Contest winner Russ Friedman poses in front of the logo for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series CROWN ROYAL presents The Russ Friedman 400 at Richmond International Raceway. (Photo Credit: Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)

nascar goes clubbing at marquee in nyc

Last Thursday night NASCAR drivers, a smattering of celebrities and regular people gathered at Marquee, a super hot nightclub in New York City, to celebrate NASCAR Sprint Cup Champions Week.

Thanks to the great people at Guest of a Guest there are photos from the shindig to share. I’ve got some here but you can see ALL of them over at Guest of a Guest here and here.

My only note about this soiree is that I think that NASCAR should seriously ponder moving the Champions Week festivities to different locations each year, preferably Las Vegas, San Francisco or Los Angeles as I am close to all of those areas. :)

The celebs in attendance ranged from Rikki Lake to that one guy who was on Ally McBeal who loved women with “wattles” to Samantha Ronson and non-lesbian-lesbian Lindsay Lohan.


Ingrid Vandebosch

Ingrid Vandebosch (Jeff Gordon’s wife)

Miss Sprint Cup - Monica Palumbo (left) and Anne-Marie Rhodes (right)

Miss Sprint Cup Monica Palumbo (left) and Miss Sprint Cup Anne-Marie Rhodes (right)

Kyle Busch and Samantha Sarcinella

Kyle Busch and his girlfriend Samantha Sarcinella

Jimmie and Chandra Johnson

Jimmie and Chandra Johnson

Denny Hamlin

Denny Hamlin

Brian Vickers

Brian Vickers

Greg and Nicole Biffle

Greg and Nicole Biffle

sprint cup champions week rolls on

I’ll let the photos do the talking, enjoy!


A Jimmie Johnson fan meets her man Wednesday at Foley's in New York City during Champions Week. (Photo Credit: Mike Stobe/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Priceless. :)

A Jimmie Johnson fan meets her man Wednesday at Foley’s in New York City during Champions Week. (Photo Credit: Mike Stobe/Getty Images for NASCAR)

it’s all jimmie all the time in nyc

The place setting for NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson is ready at the Chef's Table at the Waldorf=Astoria in New York City on Monday. The dinner kicked off Champions Week. (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/Getty Images for NASCAR)It’s day two of the Champions Week festivities in New York City and I’m already sick of Jimmie Johnson.

LOL. I’m just kidding. Although with the elimination of the “Victory Lap” parade through Times Square you don’t get to see the other Top-12 drivers that much, so you get the feeling that it’s very “All Jimmie all the time” this week.

That’s all very well and makes sense because he is the Champion after all, but still, you couldn’t get Carl Edwards in the mix a little bit? Maybe you do a photo of him pretending to hit Jimmie over the head with the Sprint Cup trophy and then running off with it. Oh! Or you could have a photo of Jimmie posing with the trophy in Central Park with Carl and Greg Biffle standing way off in the background looking pissed. That’d be fun.

So today is the first in a series of posts that will more than likely feature photos of Jimmie and his wife Chandra, hitting up event after event this week.

On this Friday, December 5th ESPN Classic will air the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards Ceremony live at 9pm EST. Check your local listings. I’ve already got my Tivo set! If you miss it on Friday, don’t worry they’re replaying it on Monday, December 8th at 2pm EST on ESPN2.


Chandra Johnson and 2008 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson entertain guests before dinner in their honor on Monday at the Waldorf=Astoria in New York City, kicking off Champions Week. (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Chandra Johnson and 2008 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson entertain guests before dinner in their honor on Monday at the Waldorf=Astoria in New York City, kicking off Champions Week. (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Jimmie Johnson and Chad Knaus pose with the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series trophy in Central Park in front of the New York City skyline. (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Jimmie Johnson and Chad Knaus pose with the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series trophy in Central Park in front of the New York City skyline. (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Jimmie and Chandra Johnson pose with the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series trophy on a bridge over The Pond in Central Park. (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Jimmie and Chandra Johnson pose with the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series trophy on a bridge over The Pond in Central Park. (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/Getty Images for NASCAR)

the espn results simulator is super fun!

I have some homework for you and I recommend that you do it right now. Not because it’ll enhance your life but mostly because it’s super fun!

I’ve been playing with the ESPN Results Simulator for the NASCAR Chase for the Sprint Cup Championship for the past 2 hours and I love it. You get to try out different race result scenarios for the upcoming race.

I immediately dropped Jimmie Johnson way in the back in the 43rd position and set it up so that Jeff Burton, Greg Biffle and Carl Edwards finished first, second and third at this weekend’s race in Atlanta. With that finish in place it would push Jimmie back to second, 4 points behind Jeff Burton. Hehe. I looove it. And get this, when the race is on this weekend you can go into Live Race Mode and see how your predictions stack up in real time. I know my little race simulation isn’t super plausible but it makes me happy and that’s all that matters.

One really funny thing about the simulator is that when I picked up Jimmie and placed him in 43rd he said, “You’re a really negative person aren’t you?”

In other news…

– To prove that I’m not a negative person and that I do actually like Jimmie in general I’m posting this video from ESPN The Magazine’s “For Love Or The Game” feature. Let’s find out who knows Jimmie better: his wife Chandra or his crew chief Chad Knaus.

save the chase: jimmie johnson must be stopped!

Jimmie Johnson, driver of the No. 48 Lowe's Chevrolet, started from the pole position and went on to win the 500-mile event at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway on Sunday. Johnson led 339 laps. (Courtesy Hendrick Motorsports)I refuse to accept this Chase as it stands right now. No, no, no! This is lame people! Jimmie Johnson can’t walk away with the Championship. The other guys within mathematical distance of the lead need to step it up and make something happen. I was delighted to see Greg Biffle and Jeff Burton with positive and upbeat attitudes about the coming races. I hope they battle and fight and snatch the Sprint Cup out of Jimmie’s hands.

Think about it like this too, we’ve seen Jimmie’s wife Chandra all decked out for the Championship week in New York. That’s all fine and well and she’s got a great fashion sense but it’s about time another wife had the chance to show off. Kim Burton and Nicole Biffle totally deserve the opportunity.

Back to the racing: What good is having a teammate if you’re not going to use each other? I’m just saying, how hard is it to take a guy out for the sake of a co-worker?? Hmm??? Hehe. :) Do with that what you will. It’ll be so boring if nothing happens to Jimmie in the next 4 races.


Scott Speed improved from 32nd-quickest in the first practice session to 19-quickest in the final practice. Speed will be making his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series debut Sunday in the TUMS QuikPak 500 at Martinsville Speedway. (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR)

In case you were wondering, the female comic book character on his helmet is saying “Did my boyfriend just punch me in the side of the head?”

Scott Speed improved from 32nd-quickest in the first practice session to 19-quickest in the final practice. Speed will be making his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series debut Sunday in the TUMS QuikPak 500 at Martinsville Speedway. (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Kasey Kahne signs autographs for fans following the final practice for the TUMS QuikPak 500 at Martinsville Speedway. (Photo Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Kasey Kahne signs autographs for fans following the final practice for the TUMS QuikPak 500 at Martinsville Speedway. (Photo Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Crew chief Chad Knaus congratulates his driver Jimmie Johnson on winning the TUMS QuikPak 500 at Martinsvile Speedway on Sunday, October 19, 2008 (Courtesy Hendrick Motorsports)

Was I the only one who thought that Chad was going to pull Jimmie’s head off??

Crew chief Chad Knaus congratulates his driver Jimmie Johnson on winning the TUMS QuikPak 500 at Martinsvile Speedway on Sunday, October 19, 2008 (Courtesy Hendrick Motorsports)

Casey Mears, driver of the No. 5 Pop-Tarts/CARQUEST Chevrolet, started 23rd and finished sixth during Sunday's 500-mile event at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway. (Courtesy Hendrick Motorsports)

Casey Mears, driver of the No. 5 Pop-Tarts/CARQUEST Chevrolet, started 23rd and finished sixth during Sunday’s 500-mile event at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway. Here he confers with his crew chief Alan Gustafson (far right). (Courtesy Hendrick Motorsports)

Jeff Gordon (C), driver of the #24 DuPont Chevrolet, stands on the grid with his wife Ingrid Vandebosch (R), and daughter Ella Sophia (L), prior to the start of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series TUMS QuikPak 500 at Martinsville Speedway on October 19, 2008 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo by Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Jeff Gordon (C), driver of the #24 DuPont Chevrolet, stands on the grid with his wife Ingrid Vandebosch (R), and daughter Ella Sophia (L), prior to the start of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series TUMS QuikPak 500 at Martinsville Speedway on October 19, 2008 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo by Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Johnny Benson and his crew celebrate winning the Kroger 200 at Martinsville Speedway. The win moved Benson into first place in the point standings ahead of Ron Hornaday Jr. (Photo Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Johnny Benson and his crew celebrate winning the Kroger 200 at Martinsville Speedway. The win moved Benson into first place in the point standings ahead of Ron Hornaday Jr. (Photo Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)

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.

expressing gratitude & support at walter reed

So I’ve been meaning to post these photos for the past couple of weeks and now I finally have the time to put ‘em up. NASCAR drivers and team owners visited with soldiers at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington D.C.

It’s no secret that NASCAR has a deep respect for those that serve our country, you can see evidence of that at the racetrack each weekend, but I think it means so much that NASCAR takes the time to bring themselves to the people that have given up so much for all of us as Americans.


(Left to right) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Kyle Busch and former NASCAR champion Darrell Waltrip visit a soldier at Walter Reed Army Medical Center's Military Advance Training Center in Washington, D.C. NASCAR made its annual visit to the facility to salute the troops on Thursday. (Photo Credit: Larry French/Getty Images for NASCAR)

(Left to right) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Kyle Busch and former NASCAR champion Darrell Waltrip visit a soldier at Walter Reed Army Medical Center’s Military Advance Training Center in Washington, D.C. NASCAR made its annual visit to the facility to salute the troops on Thursday. (Photo Credit: Larry French/Getty Images for NASCAR)

(Left to right) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Scott Riggs visits a soldier at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C. NASCAR made its annual visit to the facility to salute the troops on Thursday. (Photo Credit: Larry French/Getty Images for NASCAR)

(Left to right) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Scott Riggs visits a soldier at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C. NASCAR made its annual visit to the facility to salute the troops on Thursday. (Photo Credit: Larry French/Getty Images for NASCAR)

A soldier at Walter Reed Army Medical Center's Military Advance Training Center in Washington, D.C welcomes, from left to right, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Travis Kvapil, NASCAR President Mike Helton, Yates Racing GM Max Jones and NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver David Gilliland. NASCAR made its annual visit to the facility to salute the troops on Thursday. (Photo Credit: Larry French/Getty Images for NASCAR)

A soldier at Walter Reed Army Medical Center’s Military Advance Training Center in Washington, D.C welcomes, from left to right, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Travis Kvapil, NASCAR President Mike Helton, Yates Racing GM Max Jones and NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver David Gilliland. NASCAR made its annual visit to the facility to salute the troops on Thursday. (Photo Credit: Larry French/Getty Images for NASCAR)

(Left to right) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Greg Biffle signs an autograph for a soldier at Walter Reed Army Medical Center's Military Advance Training Center in Washington, D.C. NASCAR made its annual visit to the facility to salute the troops on Thursday. (Photo Credit: Larry French/Getty Images for NASCAR)

(Left to right) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Greg Biffle signs an autograph for a soldier at Walter Reed Army Medical Center’s Military Advance Training Center in Washington, D.C. NASCAR made its annual visit to the facility to salute the troops on Thursday. (Photo Credit: Larry French/Getty Images for NASCAR)

it’s better for biffle if i don’t watch the races

Hoisting the Monster Mile trophy above his head, Greg Biffle celebrates his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Camping World RV 400 win Sunday at Dover International Speeday. (Photo Credit: Grant Halverson/Getty Images for NASCAR)I’m back from Vegas with two scratches and a bruise on my shoulder and I have no idea how I got any of them. Let’s just say it was an eventful, fun and productive weekend. I met some really awesome people from around the country and learned about some great products. For example, you should all check out Yoono. It’s a cool little web browser add-on that allows you to manage all of your social networking and instant messenger accounts from one place. And you should also check out Simon Pierce, it’s a company based in Vermont that makes amazing and beautiful blown glass pieces (think bowls, vases, etc.).

Most things that happen in Vegas should stay there but I have to share one very cool thing. Like I mentioned before I left Tim Ferriss, author of the book “The 4-Hour Work Week,” and musician Mike Shinoda of the band Linkin Park were the keynote speakers on the last day of the Blog World & New Media Expo event. Their talk only lasted an hour but I wish they could of tacked on a second one.

They talked about the stuff that really matters to me at this point in my blog career like how to brand yourself and get publicity, but in the right ways. Just before Ferriss left the convention center I went up to him and told him how much I appreciated his talk and how I wished he’d write a book about the topics he brought up that day. He gave me some advice and was very, very nice.

Ok, so about racing. On Sunday I didn’t get to watch the race live, yet again, which seems to be doing something for Greg Biffle because he won again for the second straight week, this time at Dover.

And uhm, that’s all I’ve got. Sorry! I’ve got a bunch of stuff to do like posting the rest of my Kyle Petty interview. So I’ll leave ya with some photos from Dover and news about a Dale Earnhardt Jr. auction.

In other news…

– Starting today and until October 3rd, 2008 you have the chance to bid on a ride of a lifetime with Dale Earnhardt Jr. Wrangler and Dale Jr. are auctioning off the opportunity to meet Dale and have him take you around the racetrack at Lowe’s Motor Speedway in his No. 88 AMP Energy/National Guard Chevrolet. All of the proceeds from the auction go to the Victory Junction Gang Camp. Here’s more information:
Dale Earnhardt Jr. for Wrangler Jeans

Here’s your chance to be one of the first to ride with Dale Earnhardt Jr. in his Hendrick Motorsports No. 88 AMP Energy/National Guard Chevrolet! You’ll ride shotgun with Dale for three high-speed hot laps — reaching speeds in excess of 170 mph — around Lowe’s Motor Speedway. The lucky winner will take home autographs, pictures and video captured from the in-car camera during their ride with NASCAR’s most popular driver. Earnhardt is also giving fans the opportunity to bid on two unique piece of Nascar history, including an autographed door panel from the infamous crash in his No. 88 AMP Energy/National Guard Chevrolet. Also up for grabs are a pair of Wrangler Jeans worn and autographed by Dale Earnhardt Jr. himself! Thanks to Wrangler Jeans, all auction proceeds will benefit the Victory Junction Gang Camp, a NASCAR-themed camp for children with chronic medical conditions or serious illnesses. Head over to www.ebay.com/wranglerjeans to learn more!

Photos from Dover:


Even though he's pulling double duty this weekend by competiting in both the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Camping World RV 400 and the NASCAR Nationwide Series Camping World RV Sales 200, driver Clint Bowyer is all smiles in the garage during Friday's practice at Dover International Speedway. (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Even though he’s pulling double duty this weekend by competiting in both the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Camping World RV 400 and the NASCAR Nationwide Series Camping World RV Sales 200, driver Clint Bowyer is all smiles in the garage during Friday’s practice at Dover International Speedway. (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Last week's winner at New Hampshire, Greg Biffle (driver of the No. 3M Ford) chats with car owner Jack Roush in the garage during Friday's practice at Dover International Speedway. Biffle will start fifth in Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Camping World RV 400. (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Last week’s winner at New Hampshire, Greg Biffle (driver of the No. 3M Ford) chats with car owner Jack Roush in the garage during Friday’s practice at Dover International Speedway. Biffle will start fifth in Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Camping World RV 400. (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images for NASCAR)

<br />
Fans watch the action from the stands during the NASCAR Nationwide Series Camping World RV Sales 200 on Saturday at Dover International Speedway. (Photo Credit: Grant Halverson/Getty Images for NASCAR)” /></p>
<p><strong>Super cute kid photo of the day!</strong></p>
<p><em>Fans watch the action from the stands during the NASCAR Nationwide Series Camping World RV Sales 200 on Saturday at Dover International Speedway. (Photo Credit: Grant Halverson/Getty Images for NASCAR) </em></p>
<p><img src=

Kyle Busch and the crew of the #18 Interstate Batteries Toyota look at the car in the garage area during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Camping World RV 400 at Dover International Speedway on September 21, 2008 in Dover, Delaware. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Scott Lagasse Jr., during qualifying for the NASCAR Nationwide Series Camping World RV 200 at Dover International Speedway on September 20, 2008 in Dover, Delaware. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Helloooo Scott Lagasse. I’m just sayin’ :)

Scott Lagasse Jr., during qualifying for the NASCAR Nationwide Series Camping World RV 200 at Dover International Speedway on September 20, 2008 in Dover, Delaware. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

nascar drivers take new york by storm, look good doing it

Last week the top 12 drivers in The Chase for the Sprint Cup Championship were in New York City for Chase Media Day. For the drivers it meant making television appearances and conducting a bunch of interviews with various media outlets.

All twelve drivers appeared on The David Letterman Show to run down Dave’s “Top Ten List”, or in this case, a top-twelve list:

Carl Edwards and Jimmie Johnson hung out on The Early Show with host Harry Smith:

Kyle Busch and Carl Edwards went on Tony Stewart’s show on Sirius Satellite Radio and they addressed their “rivalry.” There’s a clip of them discussing exactly that over on Tony’s page at Sirius.com. Look for the section on the right-hand side with the “Sounds of the Show” heading.

And now for the photos, I’d like to point out Dale Earnhardt Jr. and how much I loved his sweater/button-up combo. That’s a very good look for him. In fact all of the guys looked really good, kudos to them and anyone that helped them pick out their outfits.

the chase: this is going to be good!

Greg Biffle and the No. 16 crew celebrate their first trip to Victory Lane this season and first win since Kansas last fall, taking the Sylvania 300 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Sunday. (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/Getty Images for NASCAR)I didn’t get to watch the Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire live because I was down in Los Angeles again. It was a very important trip because I was set to meet up with professional photographer Fred Egan so that he could work his magic and take awesome photos of me for this website. I am so excited about these pictures and I cannot wait to show them to off. You can expect a bit of a tweak to the look & feel of the site once I have them. I have to say that if you’re getting married or you just want amazing photos of you or your family just in general you should call Fred. I can’t recommend him enough.

While I didn’t watch the race live on Sunday I was able to listen to some of the race on Sirius Satellite Radio when I was driving to Nordstrom to have my make-up done. I heard about Kyle Busch’s troubles and then after the photo shoot was done I heard about Greg Biffle’s win.

I love the fact that Biffle won because for one the guy deserved a win without a doubt and two because it totally changes the landscape of The Chase. It reinforces the fact that there are more than just two guys that have a real chance at winning the Sprint Cup. That’s really the way it should be because the minute someone runs away with the points lead with a bunch of races still to come it’ll become incredibly boring and I am entirely against that.

I did Tivo the race at home so I saw it last night but of course I couldn’t resist fast forwarding through all of the slow parts, so it wasn’t really the same. I still need to watch all of the post-race interviews with the drivers, I kept falling asleep.


Atlantic Records recording artists OAR meet Carl Edwards after the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Drivers' Meeting at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Sunday. (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Atlantic Records recording artists OAR meet Carl Edwards after the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Drivers’ Meeting at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Sunday. (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/Getty Images for NASCAR)

(Left to right) Richard Childress talks with his driver Clint Bowyer in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series garage after Bowyer turned the fastest lap in Saturday's first practice at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Bowyer will attempt to defend his Sylvania 300 title on Sunday at the track. (Photo Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)

(Left to right) Richard Childress talks with his driver Clint Bowyer in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series garage after Bowyer turned the fastest lap in Saturday’s first practice at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Bowyer will attempt to defend his Sylvania 300 title on Sunday at the track. (Photo Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Jimmie Johnson takes a break during Friday's practice for Sunday's Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Johnson was second-fastest in practice. (Photo Credit: Elsa/Getty Images)

Jimmie Johnson takes a break during Friday’s practice for Sunday’s Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Johnson was second-fastest in practice. (Photo Credit: Elsa/Getty Images)

Tony Stewart straps into his ride for Saturday's first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practice at New Hampshire Motor Speedway for the Sylvania 300, the first race in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. Stewart was ninth-fastest in the practice. (Photo Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Tony Stewart straps into his ride for Saturday’s first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practice at New Hampshire Motor Speedway for the Sylvania 300, the first race in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. Stewart was ninth-fastest in the practice. (Photo Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)

i’m in the chase and you’re not, neener, neener

So now we finally know who the top 12 drivers are to make it into The Chase for the Championship this year. I’m glad The Chase to The Chase is over and I can now chew my fingernails down to the nub hoping and praying that something horrible doesn’t happen to my favorite drivers, which is basically everyone except Kyle Busch. hehe. I’m kidding!


The 2008 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup field poses with the Sprint Cup trophy after the Chevy Rock & Roll 400 at Richmond International Raceway. The drivers are (Back row L-R) Matt Kenseth, Greg Biffle, Denny Hamlin, Carl Edwards, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jeff Burton (Front row L-R) Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson, Tony Stewart, Kevin Harvick, Clint Bowyer and Kyle Busch. (Photo Credit: Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)

The 2008 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup field poses with the Sprint Cup trophy after the Chevy Rock & Roll 400 at Richmond International Raceway. The drivers are (Back row L-R) Matt Kenseth, Greg Biffle, Denny Hamlin, Carl Edwards, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jeff Burton (Front row L-R) Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson, Tony Stewart, Kevin Harvick, Clint Bowyer and Kyle Busch. (Photo Credit: Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)

The 2008 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers celebrate their Chase berths after the CHevy Rock & Roll 400 at Richmond International Speedway. (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/Getty Images for NASCAR)

The 2008 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers celebrate their Chase berths after the Chevy Rock & Roll 400 at Richmond International Speedway. (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/Getty Images for NASCAR)

all good things come to an end

The red carpet is rolled out at the Auto Club Speedway (photo credit: The Fast and the Fabulous)On to driver introductions. This year the Auto Club Speedway rolled out the red carpet, literally. Basically from the pit road wall to the back stage area there was a long red carpet roped off for the drivers to walk. It was a cool idea and it was nice because it allowed for drivers to be cheered or booed twice before they made it to their racecars.

After all of that I headed down pit road and saw Michelle Gilliland standing next to her husband’s car. I totally interrupted her conversation with someone else and I’m totally sorry about that, but I had to introduce myself and I was afraid I wouldn’t get another chance to do so that day. I hadn’t talked to her since I interviewed her over the phone back in March. She was just as nice and gracious as she was then. We chatted for a bit and then I headed back down pit road trying to figure out where I was going to stand for the national anthem.

It’s always annoying ’cause I don’t want to be in anyone’s way, or be super obvious. It’s one of those moments in life where you just want to be there but you don’t want to be noticed, I guess that’s what I’m trying to say. I dunno. I got as far as Tony Stewart’s car and spied Krissie Newman chatting with him. I also caught sight of Casey Mears being very sweet with his very pregnant girlfriend Trisha Grablander. I watched Dale Earnhardt Jr. give an interview and I ended up standing behind Jeff Gordon’s pit crew with some other reporters and PR people.

I watched the first couple of laps of the race from behind Denny Hamlin’s pits. It had a good view of the start/finish line. I also got to watch ESPN’s Dave Burns give a report and then listen to him as he talked to the kid that has to hold up the mini TV screen for him during the race. It helps the pit reporters so that they can see what’s going on on the track while they run around the pits. This kid that was with Burns seemed to be new ’cause he was telling him to just stick with him at all times. That must be an interesting job. You have to stay with the guy; he doesn’t say where he’s going you just have to follow.

I watched the race from the press box but when there were ten laps left I made sure I was back in the pits in position to get to victory lane. Apparently so were everybody else and their mother. The minute pit road was open everyone raced across to get into position for Jimmie Johnson’s arrival. I was slow and there was no way I was getting close to middle of it all but I did come away with some great shots of Jimmie entering victory lane. He actually drove in at the wrong angle and had to back up, turn and drive in again.

There was no point in standing behind all of those people, looking at nothing so I went back into the garage and headed to the conference room for the press conference with the top three finishers. I caught Denny Hamlin and Greg Biffle but there wasn’t much to ask it seemed and not a lot to say about the race. It was a pretty boring race wasn’t it?

I headed back home to my sister’s place where she, my brother-in-law, my three nephews and their cousin had all stayed up to wish me a happy birthday. This had to be one of the most memorable birthday weekends I’ve ever had.


The No. 24 Pepsi pit crew

The No. 24 team listens to the national anthem before the start of the Pepsi 500 at the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif. on Sunday, August 31, 2008 (photo credit: The Fast and the Fabulous)

Jamie McMurray

Jamie McMurray waits with his girlfriend, Christy Furtrell, for the start of the Pepsi 500 on pit road at the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif. on Sunday, August 31, 2008 (photo credit: The Fast and the Fabulous)

Jimmie Johnson

Jimmie Johnson enters victory lane after winning the Pepsi 500 at the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif. on Sunday, August 31, 2008 (photo credit: The Fast and the Fabulous)

surprise, surprise it’s kevin harvick!

Every once in a while there’s a story that comes along that truly inspires.

The following story of a couple from Maine who received a surprise visit from NASCAR Sprint Cup driver Kevin Harvick makes me want to go out and buy a million AMP Energy drinks so that I can turn the cans into a giant replica of the No. 88 AMP Energy Chevrolet, in the hopes that Dale Earnhardt Jr. would appear at my doorstep. Eh, who am I kidding? That would take too much time, I have no patience.

Anyway, check this out:

Kevin Harvick paid a surprise visit to Chris and Jim Lamb who have a huge collection of antique Shell Oil Company signage and collectibles. Several weeks back these folks sent a note to Kevin at his race shop in Kernersville, North Carolina telling him of their collection and inviting him to visit their house in Maine. Little did they know that Kevin had already planned to run the TD Banknorth 250 Late Model race in Oxford, Maine in his final NASCAR Sprint Cup Series off weekend during the July 19th – 20th weekend. Not only was the surprise visit to the unofficial Shell museum special for these Shell fans in Maine, but Kevin went on and won the event in dominating fashion — one of the largest short track races in the United States. Kevin was the 7th Daytona 500 champion to compete in this race.


Kevin Harvick at the home of Chris & Jim Lamb in Maine

Isn’t that such a cool thing? It’s so sweet! It truly epitomizes how much fans mean to NASCAR and how the drivers truly value them. Oh, and if you didn’t know, Kevin drives the No. 29 Shell/Pennzoil Chevrolet for Richard Childress Racing, hence the Shell Oil connection.

:)

In other news…

– On the same subject of doing something good for another person, now is the perfect time to give blood. Giving bloods helps save lives and that alone is really the greatest reward, but now, as an extra motivator, you can give blood and receive a chance to win a VIP trip to the NASCAR Sprint Cup race in Phoenix in November.
Biffle straps himself into the #16 Ford Fusion to prepare for the start of the Aaron's 499 in Talladega. (Photo courtesy American Red Cross/Red Cross Racing)

There are two ways to win: Join the Donor Rewards Program and enter each Red Cross blood donation you make. Every donation is worth points you can trade for Red Cross Racing branded gear. Once you reach Elite Status, you’re automatically entered to win a VIP trip for two to the Phoenix race in November.

You can also join or start a racing team, where each team member’s donation counts toward prizes and another chance to win that VIP trip to Phoenix. Even if you can’t donate, you can get your friends and family to give.

The more blood you give, the more points you earn.

To sign up and get more information, visit redcrossracing.com. Follow Red Cross Racing on Twitter too.

silly season rears its ugly head

No. 5 CARQUEST/Kellogg's Chevrolet, earned his first top-five finish at Infineon Raceway on Sunday. Mears started 23rd. (Courtesy Hendrick Motorsports)Whoa. So the rumors are true. Casey Mears is leaving Hendrick Motorsports at the end of this season. As per usual with these types of things there are no hard feelings from Casey or team owner Rick Hendrick. Mhmm.

“We’ve put a ton of emphasis on the No. 5 program,” said Rick Hendrick, owner of Hendrick Motorsports. “It’s been a total team effort, and Casey has worked as hard as anyone to help us improve. We’ve tested more than we ever have, but the results just haven’t come.

“None of us, Casey included, have been satisfied with the situation this season. But he’s confident there are other options out there for him in 2009, and we feel like Hendrick Motorsports will have some opportunities, too.”

Mears will finish the 2008 Sprint Cup campaign in Hendrick’s No. 5 Chevrolets.

“I know the effort has been there, but we haven’t had the finishes to show for it,” Mears said. “I’ve never tested this much or put more energy into racing. But for whatever reason, we just haven’t been able to make it click. It’s certainly not for lack of dedication on anyone’s part.

“I’ll talk to people about opportunities and get my 2009 plans wrapped up soon, but I’m also focused on the next 20 races and finishing 2008 on a positive note. We ran well the second half last year, and I know we can do it again. I want to close this season the right way.”

I hate to see this because I like Casey and I liked him with Hendrick but I guess ya gotta do what ya gotta do. I would really love to know the real, real reasons for this move and change. I’m sure it was based on performance but Hendrick is known for being this powerhouse race team, so you have to think if you can’t make it happen there what else can you do?

In other news…

Greg Biffle is staying with Roush Fenway Racing. He has signed a three-year extension with the company, extending the relationship that began in 1998.

“I’m extremely happy and relieved to have this contract complete,” said Biffle. “I have a team that can contend for the championship this season and for future seasons as well. 3M has been an incredible partner for several years now and having them on board made the decision even easier. All the elements are in place: the resources of Ford and Roush Fenway, the excellent team, the outstanding cars and having a great primary sponsor like 3M for the next few years.”

– On Sunday’s episode of Outside the Lines on ESPN the show will take a look at how our crap economy is affecting NASCAR and the teams that run in its series. We all know that it takes a lot of money to contend for a race, let alone a Championship, but these days just fielding a team at all requires serious positive cash flow.

“We are committed to getting through this year, but I got to be able to see into ’09 something a little more positive than I see today. I think we’ll make it, but the economy and the struggles the other teams are seeing are the same as ours. It is a tough, tough world out there right now in NASCAR.” – Doug Yates, owner of Yates Racing

Outside the Lines will air on Sunday, June 29th on ESPN at 9:30 a.m. ET; and on ESPNEWS at noon. Check your local listings.

Good housekeeping…

There’s still time to enter the contest to win a copy of the NASCAR DVD set “Full Throttle Adrenaline.” Deadline to enter is Friday, July 4, 2008. The contest is over!

– Are you new here? Yes? No? Either way you should fill out “The Fast and the Fabulous” reader survey, I wanna know what you think of me and the blog. Tell me the truth, I can take it.

– I fiddled around with the layout of the site a bit. I’ve included a new feature in the top right-hand side that shows off some of my favorite posts that I think you should read if you haven’t already.

– Have you ever left a comment here and wondered what that little blue box next to your name was? Well it’s a Gravatar. You can sign up for one at Gravatar.com and the next time you leave a comment the photo/image you registered will be displayed. The great thing is you sign up for this thing once and if you login or leave a comment on any site that uses Gravatars your image shows up every time.

the all-star race and why i won’t be watching

NASCAR All-Star RaceI still don’t have the SPEED channel and therefore won’t be able to watch the NASCAR All-Star event. Yes, I know it’s shameful and sad but for as many reasons that I have to justify the cost of having the channel I really don’t want to pay all that extra dough to move up to the channel plan I would need just to get one extra channel. I say bring on a la carte pricing!

Anyway, as soon as I move I’ll be sure to get DirecTV and I can avoid using those price gougers at Comcast.

So, yeah no All-Star festivities for me this weekend but I did vote for the drivers I want to see in the All-Star race on Sunday night. The All-Star Fan Vote has been going on since April and you have until this Saturday at 7pm to submit your vote. You can do it online by going to NASCAR.com or by texting the word “NASCAR” to 7777 on your Sprint phone. I highly recommend voting for Travis Kvapil, David Gilliland, Kasey Kahne, Michael Waltrip or J.J. Yeley. Since these guys are amongst the drivers that don’t have a spot locked in, they’ll have to either race their way in from the Sprint Showdown or be voted in by the Fan Vote.

In other All-Star news…

Dale Jarrett will be at Lowe’s Motor Speedway for the last All-Star race of his career. They’re making the occasion extra special by introducing Dale last during driver introductions and instead of sitting in the back of a Toyota Tundra, like the other drivers, to wave to the fans around the track he’ll be driving (finally!) the UPS Big Brown Truck. Sounds like it’ll be a really cool send off.

– The first ever NASCAR Day telethon is set for tomorrow at the Sam Bass Gallery in Concord, North Carolina. Various Sprint Cup drivers including Casey Mears and Brian Vickers will be on hand to field calls for donations. Call 1-888-MAY16TH (1-888-629-1684). SIRIUS Satellite Radio will be broadcasting from the telethon all day starting at 7 a.m. and SPEED will be cutting in and out throughout the day as well.

– On Sunday the rear panel for Carl Edwards’ No. 99 Office Depot Ford will carry a super cool message from the winner of the Harlequin & Office Depot “Say Yes to a Winning Proposal” contest. I’m soooo excited to find out who the lucky couple is and I hope someone produces some kick butt reaction photos of the soon-to-be bride. They’re unveiling the winning proposal tomorrow, so I’ll see what I can see, but be on the lookout for Carl’s car on Saturday.

Tony Stewart and Greg Biffle spent some quality time together this week while helping to build a KaBOOM! playground (in one day!) for Elon Homes for Children in Charlotte. Think they talked about swapping rides next year??


Tony Stewart, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver of the #20 Home Depot Racing car & two-time Series Champion and Greg Biffle, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver of the #16 3M Racing car help build a build a racing-themed playground in just one day at Elon Homes for Children (Photo Credit: CIA for KaBOOM)

Tony Stewart, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver of the #20 Home Depot Racing car & two-time Series Champion and Greg Biffle, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver of the #16 3M Racing car help build a build a racing-themed playground in just one day at Elon Homes for Children (Photo Credit: CIA for KaBOOM)

liz clarke interview: the jeff gordon effect

:: This is part two in a series of four posts (to see all of the posts on one page, click here) ::

Me: You talked about Jeff Gordon and his entrance into NASCAR and how that kind of signaled the entrance of, ya know, guys who grew up racing and learned about the whole corporate aspect of it and knew how to answer questions and all of those kinds of things. I’ve always thought of Jeff Gordon as the face of NASCAR, at least to the outside world, or to people who never NASCAR ever or haven’t in their lives. He usually the most recognizable person, I mean, obviously Dale Earnhardt and Richard Petty are big too but Jeff Gordon kind of like in the 90′s was like, the guy. Do you think that’s changing as far as, ya know, other people coming through? Like Dale Earnhardt Jr. is so popular and Carl Edwards is like, camera ready.

Liz: Yeah, he is, isn’t he?

Me: And he’s so good at it. It seems like its part of his personality actually.

Liz: Yeah, and it seems very natural and authentic. Not like he went to some school to learn how to talk. I guess there are a few more characters that people associate with NASCAR. And I think, I totally agree with you regarding Jeff being the face of NASCAR in the 90′s. Ya know, it really helped too because his car was so special. Ya know most of those cars then were one solid color. Ya know they were a color and then a number. And he had the rainbow. I mean, it’s different now but I mean kids loved that. It was like the rainbow car with all the colors and it just looked so sparkly. And he was so sparkly.

I live in D.C. which is hardly a hotbed of NASCAR but this Halloween I had two little Tony Stewarts and one Lightning McQueen come to my door. They were in the like little miniature Home Depot suits and it was really adorable. Now, Joe Gibbs of course owns that car so a lot of Washingtonians follow Joe Gibbs, but I do think Tony in that orange car that’s kind of become iconic.

I’m really not at all a fan of Dale Jr. having this two car sponsorship and two car look. Not because I’m opposed to either sponsor or either look.  But I just think in NASCAR it’s such an extension of the driver’s personality is his car. And when you keep switching it, it just muddles the message. I don’t think it does either sponsor a service. Who was it? It was Kyle Busch at California he was back to Interstate; he wasn’t the M&M’s car. It was annoying to me and I love Interstate, don’t get me wrong, but for little kids or new fans part of the way you come to know a driver is the black number 3, the rainbow colored 24 or the orange number 20. I mean I understand the business reasons for it, it’s too expensive, you need multiple companies to pay the freight, but I really think people are missing how serious this is to keep switching the uniform of the guy. It’s basically his uniform.

Me: Yea, I know what you mean. ‘Cause it’s the same thing with Clint Bowyer, he’s doing DirecTV and Jack Daniels. And then he has that switch happening at some point. Greg Biffle has a switch happening. It’s hard to remember which car they’re in, “Oh, wait, that’s so and so.”

Liz: And by extension it’s hard to care. I mean, it sounds silly but it’s just hard to care because that’s not my guy. You’re just more conscious of oh, he’s selling this product this week. You sort of don’t believe, like, “does he really like that product?” It’s not like you get that detailed in your thinking but the guy should look the same. You cheer for the car because you know who’s inside. I love that M&M’s car. I don’t like Kyle Busch, I’ll tell you that, but I love the M&M’s car. It should be in the race all the time.

Me: That’s one point where we totally agree. I don’t like Kyle Busch either. Well two points actually, I totally agree on both of those points.

That’s another thing that’s getting hard. Sometimes at the beginning of every season I have to go through the roster and say “Ok, this guy is with this team now and he’s driving this car, and he’s in these colors now so look for that if you’re looking for him.”

Liz: It’s hard enough as it is, with the regular changes.

Me: It’s one thing if the guy changes sponsors but then he’s changing his entire team, changing his number. I’m like “Oh wait, that’s not David Gilliland anymore, that’s Kyle Busch, so yea, don’t cheer anymore. If you see the M&M’s car just walk on by.”

making serious eye contact with biffle

The No. 99 team run to Victory Lane at the UAW-Dodge 400 in Las Vegas (Photo Credit: The Fast and the Fabulous/Valli Hilaire)So as the race wound down I made sure I was in the lobby of the Media Center to catch Carl Edwards’ flip into the grass as it happened. As soon as he sped his car into the garage the entire No. 99 Office Depot team came running through the lobby on their way to celebrate their win in Victory Lane. My blurry photo of some of the guys is to the left.

I must confess that yet again I was hoping and wishing that Dale Earnhardt Jr. would make it into the top 3 because at the end of every race they always have the top finishers come into the Media Center to answer questions. As soon as I saw Carl jump off of his car in Victory Lane I hightailed into the deadline media room and waited for Dale and Greg Biffle to arrive. Biffle came in first and looked dead at me like I was an alien. I don’t think he meant anything weird by it; I was standing right next to the door he came through and he was already answering questions from a couple writers so he was in mid-sentence and they just stopped right there by the door. Yea it was awkward. So I moved away and stood next to an empty workspace, trying to be as inconspicuous as possible from that point onward.

Eventually Biffle took a seat on the stage and Dale Jr. zipped in and took his designated spot next to him (after the questions were over he zipped right out, he’s not much of a lingerer that Dale Jr.). There were more questions directed to Dale than Biffle. Dale was funny and I knew they wouldn’t use his best responses on the local newscasts later that night. He called himself a tool for not being more aggressive when it came to restarts and when one writer questioned his status of emotions after coming in second, saying that he thought Dale seemed “subdued” in his demeanor, Dale replied, “I don’t know, I’m happy.  I’m sorry I’m not happier.”

The best part came when they were both asked about how much they think about the points standings and making sure they’re in the top 12. Dale admitted that last year he was “lackadaisical” about the Championship standings, saying that he’d say “We’ll get around to it, we’ll put some runs together to get in there,” but not so this year. This time he’s focusing on every lap. And frankly as one of his fans, that’s music to my ears.


Greg Biffle and Dale Earnhardt Jr. answer questions from the media after the UAW-Dodge 400 in Las Vegas on Sunday, March 2, 2008 (photo credit: The Fast and the Fabulous/Valli Hilaire)

Greg Biffle and Dale Earnhardt Jr. answer questions from the media after the UAW-Dodge 400 in Las Vegas on Sunday, March 2, 2008

my weekend, so far, in vegas

After a road trip that consisted of over 500 miles, one prison, and 50 Lance Burton billboards, I made it to Las Vegas on Friday.

I checked in to the hotel I went straight to the track to pick up my credentials. Traffic was crap.

Here’s the thing you should know about me. I’m a rule follower. I don’t like to break rules. It bothers me when others break rules. If we all say we’re going to do it one way I don’t like it when people disregard all of that and do whatever they want. So with that being said, I thought I was prepared.  Well as much as I could be given the fact that when you’re given credentials nobody tells you anything about where anything is. It’s all up to you to figure it out. Of course you can ask (and I have), but I don’t understand why they don’t have some sheet that just outlines basic stuff, like here’s how you get to the media center, here’s what those symbols on your credentials mean and what they give you access to, here’s why you’re not getting a parking pass, etc.

So back to Friday, My first mistake was getting off at the exit for general parking, there was another exit designated for people picking up credentials but I didn’t find that out until yesterday when I was on my way to the track again.

After exiting the freeway, I went in the direction that should have taken me to another road where I should have been able to turn left. Mm, no. All of the cops in the world were out in force and were diverting traffic to the right. So I went right. But I still needed to get to the credential office before it closed. So because my hands were tied, I did what the other people who were pissed that they couldn’t go left like they needed to did, I made what I’m sure was an illegal u-turn and headed back up the road. I crossed in front of oncoming traffic to turn into the credentials gate, no help from the cops there.

After I got my credentials I decided to just go back to the hotel. There was no way I was going to figure out how to get into the track at that point. Besides, I was tired and qualifying was over.

The navigation system in my car said that it should take 25 minutes to get back to the hotel. It actually took an hour. Traffic in general on the city streets was slow and then once you were on the highway there were two accidents to contend with.

So that was Friday. Saturday I made sure I got up early to be at the track as soon as the gates opened so I could get a good parking spot. Here’s the problem with that plan. There’s like thousands of other NASCAR fans who had the exact same plan. My spot ended up not being that bad but it was still a bit of a walk to get to the track entrance.

This was my first time to Las Vegas Motor Speedway. I was in awe of the Media Center. In the first floor lobby there’s this big wall of glass looking out at the start/finish line and pit row. I think I might have actually said “whoa” out loud.

It’s a beautiful, pristine building. But you know there’s a gripe coming right? The Media Center has three floors. The first has a lounge, a big meeting room (for drivers meetings and the like) and direct access to pit road. The second floor is where the deadline media have their view of the start/finish line and it’s where all of the PR materials, schedules & stat sheets live. The third floor, complete with roof access is where the VIP suites are situated. I’m not deadline media so that means I can sit in one of the workrooms and watch the race on a TV. I just think there’s something off about that. I’m here at the race with all this access and yet I still have to watch the race on a TV? Why not let me have access to the roof with the high rollers? I’ll promise to not eat anything from their platters of food.

I have no idea where I’ll be watching the race from today, but I can guarantee you it won’t be solely from a TV.  The more I think about that the more it irks me. Ugh. Anyway…

Below are photos from Friday and Saturday. I’m posting my photos tomorrow as I forgot to bring my USB cord with me today. Lame.


Photo Credit: Harry How/Getty Images

Kasey Kahne retreats to his hauler after he was one of six Dodge drivers to find the wall during Friday’s practice for the UAW-Dodge 400 at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. (Photo Credit: Harry How/Getty Images)

Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/Getty Images for NASCAR

Reigning NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and Indy Racing League Indy Car Series champions Jimmie Johnson and Dario Franchitti chat while looking for shade from the hot Las Vegas sun during qualifying for the UAW-Dodge 400. (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Photo Credit: Harry How/Getty Images

Tony Stewart motions to his crew what he’s experiencing on the track during practice for the UAW-Dodge 400 at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. (Photo Credit: Harry How/Getty Images)

Photo Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR

Kasey Kahne was fastest in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series final practice on Saturday for Sunday’s UAW-Dodge 400 at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. (Photo Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Photo Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR

Doing the double this weekend, Greg Biffle qualified his NASCAR Nationwide Series car and then hopped in his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series ride for two practices before racing his Nationwide car on Saturday. (Photo Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/Getty Images for NASCAR

Mark Martin (No. 5) slides by after making contact with Carl Edwards (No. 60) who collided with Brad Keselowski (No. 88) late in the Sam Town’s 300 at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Photo Credit: Rusty Jarrett / Getty Images

Dale Earnhardt Jr. celebrates the first win for JR Motorsports with Mark Martin taking the No. 5 to victory lane. (Photo Credit: Rusty Jarrett / Getty Images)