I haven’t missed a Fontana race in 5 years, so it really sucked when I realized I wouldn’t be able to go this year. All the action & drama that happened on Sunday made it that much worse, but then again there’s no guarantee that it would have happened had I gone so I’m using that to make me feel better about the whole thing.
All posts tagged Jeff Gordon189 Posts
Matt Kenseth is a great race car driver and it’s cool that he won, and as my mom said when I told her that, “well it’s nice that someone different won,” I couldn’t disagree with her. It’s true, but why I am not super excited when Matt Kenseth wins? I have no idea. It’s not personal.
Carl Edwards, who is sponsored by Subway, won the Subway Fresh Fit 500 at Phoenix International Raceway yesterday which is wraps up his 70-race losing streak nicely.
NASCAR drivers reported to Daytona International Speedway yesterday for two days of Sprint Cup Series Preseason Thunder testing. This was supposed to be an extra-special testing session because they were driving the new sixth-generation car.
The 2012 NASCAR Champion’s Week is over and here are the photos I was able to use for the site. Enjoy!
Since I’m not in Las Vegas (*sniffle*) for NASCAR’s Champion’s Week festivities all I can do is post photos. Above is what I’ve got so far from Tuesday and Wednesday. I’ll post everything else on Saturday.
I was going to write a whole paragraph about how traveling sucked but I figured what’s the point. You guys have been there, you know what I was dealing with on my flights from San Francisco to Charlotte and then on to Miami. Although I have to say I have NEVER been on a flight so full of babies & toddlers as I did that Saturday. It was crazy and it made me vow that if I ever have kids I’m not flying anywhere with them until they’re adults.
I don’t know if you heard but there was a little incident at Phoenix International Raceway yesterday. It was so small that it caused #NASCAR to be a trend nationally on Twitter and for The Today Show to mention it this morning. Just a bunch of dudes getting in to a fist fight in the garage that’s all.
All I can say about Jimmie Johnson winning yesterday at Martinsville is this: No. Just, nooooo.
We’ve seen this movie before and I don’t want to see it again. We’ve seen the 4 sequels, too. I’m over it and I want to see something new.
In my travels on the internet I have come across photos of the weddings of some of NASCAR’s top drivers. I thought it would be a good idea to get them all together in one place since they’re all strewn about.
I’m over Jeff Gordon’s mustache. And apparently the mustache is over itself too because it did NOTHING to help out Ella & Leo’s dad this weekend at Chicagoland Speedway. Just goes to show that you shouldn’t hang your hopes on facial hair.
I watched some of the Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond International Raceway from a bar known to be frequented by cops and firefighters in Oakland. I was there for something had nothing to do with racing OR cops/firefighters, it was a gathering of my boyfriend’s friends. Anyway, I couldn’t hear anything but I saw the red flag come out and some of the racing. The night was about Jeff Gordon fighting his way into the top-12 and ultimately in to The Chase, which meant that Kyle Busch had sit this Chase out.
I love that Kid Rock couldn’t be bothered to put his drink down to give the command to start engines.
I didn’t love Mark Martin’s gnarly crash on pit road. That was crazy and scary. So glad it wasn’t worse.
Jeff Gordon got all huffy at Dale Earnhardt Jr. I found that to be cute.
And Greg Biffle won the race! I think that’s cool because Biffle is a nice dude.
I think pretty much everyone in agreement that the finish to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series’ Finger Lakes 355 at Watkins Glen International was crazy, right? I scrolled through my Twitter feed and all it showed were a series of tweets that said “Wow.”
My ability to watch races this month is severely hampered. It’s a lack of access issue that I’m not going to get into, but know that when September rolls around I’ll be back up to speed. I’m moving into my new apartment then and I cannot wait! It’s going to be awesome. Anyway, Pocono was last weekend and Jeff Gordon won the rain-shortened race. Above you’ll find a photo gallery (if you don’t see it come to the website and view it there) of the weekend. There are some very good “artsy” shots included.
I feel like I should send Carl Edwards a care package. Or at least a nice handwritten note that reads: “Buck up, kid! Everything happens for a reason.” Seems like the right thing to do since he hasn’t won a race this year and crap keeps happening to him.
First, let me apologize for my serious delay in writing about Sonoma. The Monday following the race I came down with a cold and subsequently felt like crap ever since and didn’t feel like doing anything at all except breathing.
Pepsi MAX wants you to MAX it Now! Why? Because you could win some pretty awesome prizes. This is especially great if you’re a serious Jeff Gordon fan.
Dover was fun right? Riiight?
Pit crew guys were almost run over, there was a big ‘ole crashy-crash and Jimmie Johnson wore a silly rainbow-colored clown wig. Good times. Good times.
Yesterday I received a large package in the mail. It was odd since I wasn’t expecting anything. The return label was from a PR company that I’d remembered from emails, but I didn’t remember sending them my address. So I opened it and found a large steel box with the Pepsi MAX logo on it. Inside of that I found three bottles of Pepsi MAX in pint bottles featuring three different Jeff Gordon designs. They’ll be in your grocery stores next week but they sent ‘em to me to early to get the word out, I’m assuming. Lord knows I’m not good with keeping fun secrets. Pepsi MAX is also planning some social media stuff for their “MAX It Now” campaign so keep an eye out for that.
My recollection of Talladega includes Brad Keseolwski winning, Kurt Busch in his Talladega Nights themed “ME” car and Jimmie Johnson sitting in Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s pit box after his car clunked out of the race.
I woke up early Sunday morning to clear skies and no rain. When rain is a possibility during a race weekend I’ve taken the stance of not talking about it. At least not in the negative. You don’t know for sure what the weather is going to do, so why stand on negative side of the fence and go on an on about how it’s going to rain and we’re not going to get the race in, blah, blah, blah. I’d just rather not and deal with what’s actually happening.
Over 600 votes were cast and now we’re ready to reveal the drivers that have made it in to Round Two of the 2012 Hottest NASCAR Driver Tournament. Brian Vickers & Jeff Gordon were randomly seeded in to Round Two when the brackets were created, so that’s why they’re in. One of the closest results from the first round were between Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Jeff Burton. Burton snuck past Dale Jr by just 2%. David Gilliland did the same thing in getting past Juan Pablo Montoya.
Where the hell have I been?? It feels like forever ago since I’ve written anything but there’s a totally awesome reason why: I met a guy! Yep, I went on a coffee date and the guy, his name is Jack, turned out to be pretty amazing, so amazing that we spent the next four days together. So, needless to say, I like him A LOT and he likes me A LOT. I wasn’t expecting it and it’s been the best thing ever. However, it’s totally thrown my whole schedule out of whack. I always had a ton of time to myself, pretty much any time I wasn’t working was my time to work on this site or do whatever. But now that I’m with Jack that’s pretty much all I want to do–be with him–so I’ve been prepping the 2012 Hottest NASCAR Driver tournament in bits and pieces, in small chunks of time, over the last few days and now I’m FINALLY ready to launch it.
The theme of 2011 for The Fast and the Fabulous has to be growth. We grew in traffic, content and opportunities. I am so incredibly thankful for everyone that reads this blog and receives any kind of enjoyment from it. You guys are the best! I had a “car thought” the other day (I do some of my best thinking while driving, this is also similar to “shower thoughts”) and I realized that the reason I read celebrity interviews & magazines in general is because I’m trying to learn something about myself or something that I can apply to my life. And I think that that’s something people can do when they read about my experiences at the track. You might find my stories funny but maybe you learn, or reinforce, something you already knew about yourself from one of my stories or from an interview I did with a driver. That’s what I hope, anyway.
So this is the first of several “Inside the Actor’s Studio” interviews I completed while I was in Las Vegas for Champion’s Week. Jeff Gordon’s birthplace is Vallejo, California which is only 25 minutes from where I grew up and still not that far from where I live now. So he’s obviously someone I’ve known about since I was a kid outside of the fact that he’s a four-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion. And obviously it was a HUGE deal to meet and interview him. He’s a very nice man who always gives thoughtful answers to any question anyone throws at him. So this was fun. Enjoy!
Thursday was decidedly less cab filled than Wednesday. I walked next door to the Bellagio for the NASCAR NMPA Myers Brothers Awards Luncheon. My table, number 31 (my fave number because it’s my birthday), was the designated NASCAR Citizen Journalists Media Corps table. We were a couple tables behind the Joe Gibbs Racing table where JD Gibbs and Kyle Busch were seated.
I woke up ridiculously early Wednesday morning to catch my 6am flight to Las Vegas. I received media credentials to attend the 2011 Motorsports Marketing Forum presented by Sports Business Journal/Daily. I knew I wasn’t going to be able to get see the entire program for that day, but I wanted to get in as much as possible.
“It’s the most wonderful time of the year…”
When I sing that song I’m not thinking about Christmas. I don’t get nearly as excited about Christmas as I do about NASCAR’s Champion’s Week in Las Vegas. I enjoy Las Vegas. It’s got everything and you never have to leave your hotel to experience half of it.
You have a dirty mind, my friend! I meant your arm! All for a good cause, of course.
Matt Kenseth’s sponsor for Talladega, Jeremiah Weed® flavored malt beverages, is offering free tattoos to race fans (adults!) this weekend at the race track. For every tattoo inked Jeremiah Weed is donating $100 to The Air Force Enlisted Village.
“We have some of the best fans in all of sports,” said Matt Kenseth, driver of the No. 17 Jeremiah Weed Ford Fusion. “They wear our numbers, fly our flags and sometimes even get tattoos to show their dedication. It’s incredible that Jeremiah Weed is doing all this for our fans and to support such a worthy cause as The Air Force Enlisted Village. I look forward to personally checking out the tattoos throughout the race weekend.”
On Saturday, Oct. 22 adults 21 and over will be able to sign up at the Jeremiah Weed event space in the Talladega fan zone to receive a free tattoo. A series of tattoos will be available for fans to choose from, including Matt Kenseth’s signature, a number 17, Jeremiah Weed logos and a Jeremiah Weed® Lightning Lemonade® can. The tattooing will occur at a local tattoo parlor approved by the Alabama State Health Board. Free transportation to and from the parlor will be also provided. For every tattoo inked, Jeremiah Weed will make a $100 donation to The Air Force Enlisted Village, a charity committed to providing safe, secure and dignified homes for indigent surviving spouses of retired Air Force personnel.
In other news…
– Joey Logano will be making his much anticipated appearance on the Travel Channel show “Man V. Food Nation” tonight at 9pm ET alongside the show’s host Adam Richman. Check your local listings for details. Do you think Joey can eat a three pound bacon double cheeseburger loaded with pulled pork and a meaty hot sauce over a pound of fries in ONLY 30 minutes??
– With everything that happened on Sunday I wasn’t in the mood to post photos from the NASCAR race weekend at Charlotte until now.
‘Cause he won the race, you guys. I don’t miss playing Red Rover in elementary school, although Steal The Bacon was my absolute LEAST favorite game. I’m more of a Hopscotch/4 Square girl, no annoying boys yelling at you if you do something “wrong.”
Anyway, Kurt Busch’s win of the AAA 400 at Dover International Raceway was one big piece in the changed up Chase standings. I love that everything is still up in the air and we have no idea who will ultimately walk away with this year’s trophy. I hope Brad Keseolowski is right, he posted the following tweet last night:
After today’s race. It’s obvious the chase winner will be decided on the last lap at homestead. Every one is so close.
Did you see all of the babies on pit road during the pre-race coverage on ESPN? Adorableness times a million.
The best quote of the day (in my opinion) came from Jimmie Johnson. I like Sassy Jimmie
Q. You both (Carl Edwards) talked about essentially mistakes that you made today that prevented you from winning. How do you get over that? How long does that take? What’s that process in moving forward?
JIMMIE JOHNSON: If I was Carl, I wouldn’t get over that mistake.
JIMMIE JOHNSON: I maybe wouldn’t show up next week.
JIMMIE JOHNSON: (Laughing). Not sure we answered your question.
“Who’s That Girl?,” starring one of my heroes, Madonna, stuck in their brain. Louden was the uptight husband, that needed to loosen up, of the insanely rich chick in the movie that Madonna’s bad girl, Nikki, (but she’s really nice) character ends up with. Anyway, they said his name about a million times, so I guess it makes sense that I’d remember it. Loudon, New Hampshire is where New Hampshire Motor Speedway is located and it was the home of the 2nd race in the The Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, the Sylvania 300, on Sunday.
Tony Stewart claimed the first win in The Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup yesterday. I have to say that was a pretty satisfying race. I’m not going to lie I watched it from home and kind of dozed off halfway through it but the ending was great. I, mean, hello, Dale Earnhardt Jr. finished 4th. How can you not love that? Now the points standings are all jumbled up and it makes going to New Hampshire this week all the more thrilling. I feel like I’ve mentioned this a ton already (on Twitter for sure) but I’ll be at New Hampshire this week, I leave on Thursday, and I’m beyond excited. It’s so early on in The Chase and the Championship is still up on the air, I can’t wait to get there and see what happens next. Although, I’ve been checking the weather forecast and there’s supposed to be rain on Saturday but not on Sunday. So let’s hope it stays that way.
During the rain delay coverage on Sunday I left the house to do something and I was listening to Claire B. Lang on SiriusXM’s NASCAR channel. She mentioned how people had been asking her what was going to happen in The Chase, who was going to win, etc. I wondered why people do that? Like, what’s the point? Have you ever watched the Super Bowl and thought “I’m SO glad I knew that the Packers were going to win because Terry Bradshaw said so.” No one EVER thinks that. (I have no idea what Terry Bradshaw’s actual prediction was, it’s just an example) So why should I say that I think this person or that person is going to win? I’m not psychic and I don’t want to be. I like not knowing and watching it unfold. Of course there are people that I’d rather see win than other people but that’s a given. Maybe it’s just because I don’t like counting people out because people constantly count me out and I don’t like that.
In other news…
Regarding the Camping World Truck Series race:
– How do you feel about Austin Dillon’s new celebration practice of sliding on the infield grass? I’m not really a fan because it doesn’t look that fun. It looks like it kind of hurts.
– Actor/singer Tyrese Gibson’s performance of the National Anthem was WONDERFUL. It was subdued but totally on point. The fact that I’m mentioning it at all is saying something.
Regarding the Nationwide Series race:
– Uh, I got nothin’
Regarding the Sprint Cup Series race:
– I feel bad that the Geico Caveman had to wear all that makeup and stuff for a SECOND day just to give the command to start engines.
– Loved the exchange over the radio between Carl Edwards and his crew chief, Bob Osborne, when Carl said that the sun was coming out and Bob sang back to Carl “Here comes the sun!! bababa!” So funny.
And I’m not talking about on the track either. They might need to post security in the media centers for the next 10 races. A lot of interesting things happened Saturday night at the Wonderful Pistachios 400 at Richmond International Raceway post-race press conference. Sounded like a good time full of ripped up paper, tension, verbal jabs that made no sense and the comedic talents of Matt Kenseth.
I guess Snookie has that kind of effect on people.
Anyway… The only thing I can/want to say about the media and it’s questions that always sound the same is to quote one of my favorite movies from the 80s, “Heartburn,” starring my one of the greatest actresses of all time Meryl Streep (I love her!) and Jack Nicholson (He’s great too!). The movie is about a couple who get married, have a baby and then the husband cheats and the wife loses all trust she had for the husband but tries to carry on in the relationship. During that portion of the movie Jack’s character says to Meryl’s character “You can’t take it’s temperature every five minutes.” He was referring to their relationship, us ladies always want to know where we stand in our relationships especially if things don’t feel “right.” (If you’ve ever had to ask a guy “where is this going??” it’s probably not going anywhere good) Anyway… I love that line and I think that it applies to the media when they keep asking drivers how they feel about making The Chase, being in The Chase, still being in The Chase, why are you in The Chase, what does it feel like to be in The Chase… it NEVER ends. They do the same thing with other storylines, whatever it is they will ask the same question in various formats every week until there is a resolution. But I say, you can’t take it’s temperature every five minutes, dude! Nothing’s changed and when it does change, ask a question then.
Moving on… Congratulations to Kevin Harvick and the No. 29 Budweiser Chevrolet team! It had to have felt great considering the announcement he and his wife DeLana made earlier in the week about shuttering the racing side of Kevin Harvick Inc.
Richmond was a great, caution-filled race and I can only hope that we get more awesome action like that in the next 10 races. I love this time of year right before the first race in The Chase when everything feels possible. I hope we get to hold on to that feeling for more than two races.
So Jeff Gordon won the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AdvoCare 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway, which is totally great but he missed his daughter Ella’s first day at school. For some reason, for me, that overshadowed everything else he said in Victory Lane on Tuesday. Don’t get me wrong, winning the race is HUGE and it looks like he’s in a great position to contend for the Championship this year–which I love–but when you think about it from a personal/family perspective a part of me goes “Awww, he didn’t get to take her to school.” He probably would have had the race happened on Sunday when it was supposed to.
Anyway, congrats to the No. 24 Drive to End Hunger team! It was great to see the car that was CLEARLY fast all day win the race in the end.
There are things that I want to say about this next race at Richmond–the last race to determine the 12 drivers in this year’s Chase for the Sprint Cup–but I’m not going to because I’m afraid I’ll mess it up. I can’t even say/type/think the “J” word because I’m afraid just saying it will have some effect. Just know that there are certain drivers that need to keep themselves and their teams together to keep things good.
I don’t even know if people call Brad Keselowski “Bad Brad” but I needed “B” words and it sounded about right, so there ya go.
How did you feel about his reaction to winning the Bristol night race? I thought it was great. Except for the jumping off the car part, because his ankle is still HURT. I don’t know why I have such a complex about him not using crutches or sitting down when he doesn’t need to stand. It’s CLEARLY working alright for him. I wasn’t expecting him to be such a big winner this year. It’s pretty amazing stuff and this is just his second year in Cup.
If you follow me on Twitter then you already know the fabulous news that I’ll be going to at least TWO more races this year FOR SURE. It’s all thanks to Sylvania and Hunt Brothers Pizza. Sylvania is the title sponsor of the New Hampshire Cup Series race in September (the second race in The Chase for the Sprint Cup) and they’ve got some fun activities planned around that weekend that I will be attending & covering. Can’t wait to write about it all. I’ll also be at Kansas, where I will be hanging with the Hunt Bros. Pizza group for the Nationwide Series race. Be on the lookout for a great interview to come out of that!
On a very personal note… It’s my birthday tomorrow. I turn the big 3-1 and the greatest birthday present you could ever give me, besides just being yourself and reading this blog (which I totally appreciate), would be to donate to My NASCAR Year 2012 project (or get your company to do it!). Read all about it and donate here. You can give anonymously or not, it’s up to you. Even $5 helps me get to my goal of $125,000!
Congratulations to David Ragan and the No. 6 UPS team on winning the COKE ZERO 400 at Daytona! It’s been a long time coming! And if there was ever a driver that NEEDED to win right now it was David Ragan. I loved his post-race interview where the TNT reporter (can’t remember who it was, Matt Yocum?) tried EVERYTHING to try and get some sort emotional reaction from David and nothing happened. It was kind of anti-climactic. We love an emotional winner, and you’d think a first-timer would have brought something to the party.
Oh welly, David doesn’t need to cry for me to know that it means a lot. I’m happy for the guy.
Must talk about the sight of Andy Lally driving all by his lonesome during the race. Having a “partner” is the only way you’re going to do anything at Daytona these days and Andy didn’t have anybody for a while there. It brought me right back to junior high school P.E. class and dreading having to be picked for someone’s team (for some dumb activity that all the boys always took WAY too seriously). Ugh, it made me sad for him. I understand why guys didn’t want to work with him because they didn’t know what he was capable of, but still it was hard to watch. It’s the nature of the beast, though.
So, I totally forgot to include these photos in my regular weekend write-ups. Luckily they work all by themselves.
I woke up at 5am in order to get to Infineon Raceway by 7am (with a quick stop at Starbucks along the way) at the latest. I wanted to make sure I got a ride around the track in the pace car with NASCAR’s Brett Bodine. You think because you’re going in the pace car it wouldn’t be intense, but you’re WRONG. I sat in the back seat and proceeded to be bounced around the my seat and fellow passenger next to me.
The most interesting things (to me, at least) that happened as a part of the Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips 400 at Michigan International Speedway had nothing to do with the action on the race track.
Yes, it was awesome that Denny Hamlin finally got his 1st win of the season. I was really happy for him and his team. And did you see Denny’s tweet this morning? He’s moving into a new house. Congrats on that too, Denny!
Okay, so for the interesting things. I spied Kurt Busch with his “lady friend” again (see photo at left). I hope she comes out to Infineon, I would love to see what’s going on with that whole deal in person.
Did you see during the pre-show when little Ella Gordon (who turned 4-years-old today) was smacking her dad, Jeff Gordon, on the butt?? Now that was some funny stuff.
Post-race 21-year-old Landon Cassill tweeted that he was celebrating his first Father’s Day. I had no idea he had a baby, but he does — a daughter with Miranda Smith. Congrats!
In other news…
– An update on My NASCAR Year 2012. Last week I received an insanely cool donation of $5,000! So now I’m at $5,205 and I still need your help to get to $125,000 that I need to make this thing happen. You can donate any amount, publicly or anonymously — even $5 helps get to the goal! DONATE
There was a point during the last 30 laps of the Aaron’s 499 where I told myself to just let go of whatever outcome I was hoping to see and just let it happen. Is it funny or sad that I get so wrapped up in these races that I need to tell myself something like that? I have absolutely nothing at stake but I still get so caught up in wanting a certain person, or persons, to win that I’ll stress myself out over it.
Anyway, I couldn’t believe Jimmie Johnson pulled off that win; I was sure it was going to go to one of the Richard Childress Racing guys. Clint Bowyer had been running up front all day and Kevin Harvick has been, well, winning.
When I saw Jimmie trying to give the checkered flag to Dale Earnhardt Jr. I knew Dale wasn’t going to want it. It was a really classy move by Jimmie, I must say. As much as I would have been ridiculously thrilled for Dale Jr. to have come away with the win I’m still insanely excited that he’s 3rd in points right now. That’s just fantastic. O! And another fantastic thing: Huge congrats to David Gilliland and the No. 34 Taco Bell Ford team for walking away with a 9th place finish!
Every week when the latest points standings are published I read through them and then create my own “fantasy” top-12, it’s the list of drivers that I think would make for a super entertaining Champion’s Week. So it’s not a “Who do you think WILL make The Chase?” list, it’s a “Who do you WANT to see in the Chase because you know they’ll be superfun to interview during Champion’s Week?” It’s really early to be thinking about Champion’s Week but I can’t help it, it’s my favorite time of the year.
My current list is as follows (in no particular order):
1.) Tony Stewart – He has to host his annual “Stewie Awards” from Vegas, it wouldn’t be the same with him.
2.) Clint Bowyer – He needs his own talk show to host during Champion’s Week. I’m just sayin’.
3.) Kasey Kahne – He’s adorable
4.) Dale Earnhardt Jr. – People will lose their minds
5.) Kevin Harvick – Another guy with personality
6.) Denny Hamlin – Denny adds a layer of honesty and he likes to instigate drama (or at least he did at last year’s After the Lap event)
7.) Brian Vickers – Because he had some good stories to tell about Jimmie Johnson, and I’m sure there has to be more right??
8.) Jimmie Johnson – I’m including Jimmie because he’s a good sport, not because I want him to win a 6th straight championship.
9.) Brad Keselowski – I think he’d have a ridiculously good time to Vegas and would be very entertaining at the various events.
10.) Jeff Gordon – Jeff has that honesty vibe too, and he’s also very chatty. Chatty & honest are two ingredients for good times.
11) AJ Allmendinger – He’s someone that can definitely bring a lot of comedy relief.
12) Kyle Busch – Another honest guy with a personality that lends itself perfectly to the Champion’s Week festivities. Plus he’s the hometown guy.
I feel so incredibly late with this post, and I apologize for that. There’s something about Sunday that makes me really not want to do anything that I “should” do.
And to make matters worse I didn’t even write anything about the race at Martinsville. Ya know, the one where Dale Earnhardt Jr. made me mental. When he took the lead I muted the television and began yelling my TV screen. Of course it didn’t work because Kevin Harvick had to be all good and everything and win the race. Despite not making my life and winning that race I’m so incredibly PROUD of Mr. Dale Jr. because he’s in the Top 12 in points, which is just awesome all by itself. One last thing about Martinsville, Harvick shouldn’t have said anything about “being the bad guy.” He did what he was supposed to do–anything and everything he could to win that race. He’s not supposed to worry about the feelings of JR Nation. Just race, that’s all we ask.
Soo, on to this past weekend at Texas. Congratulations to Matt Kenseth and the No. 17 Crown Royal Black team! That was a great win and I’m always stoked for someone to win a race when it’s been a REEEEEALLLLLLY long time since they last had one.
Here’s one housekeeping note: I recently launched The Fast and the Fabulous mobile application. Now you can receive alerts and stuff on your cell phone, if it uses the Android operating system. Look for it in the Android Market on your cell phone. Just search for “The Fast and the Fabulous” or “NASCAR.” There’s a solution coming soon for iPhones so stay tuned for that.
Johnny Sauter won the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Kroger 250 at Martinsville on Saturday, but he won on Tuesday, too! Johnny’s wife, Cortney, gave birth to the couple’s second child, a baby girl they’ve named Paige Gertrude Sauter (left). Paige joins her older brother, Penn.
Congratulations Cortney & Johnny!
In other supercute kid news…
– Just before the Auto Club 500 in California a couple weeks ago Jeff Gordon made an appearance on The Ellen Degeneres show and shared the cutest story about why his daughter, Ella, wants to be a racer driver one day. If your ovaries don’t weep from this one I don’t know what to tell you.
Ellen: I heard that Ella told you she wants to be a racecar driver?
Jeff: I get asked this all the time. Do you want your daughter to be a racecar driver? I just want to approach it the same way that my parents approached it with me and my sister. Whatever opportunities or passions you see as a parent your kids interested in, pursue that and see where that takes them. That’s what happened with me. We found racing at a young age. My parents introduced me to it and it just took off. I hadn’t thought about it a whole lot, certainly with my daughter, and we were driving down the road the other day and out of nowhere, she said, “Papa, I want to be a racecar driver.” And I said, “You do? Why do you want to be a racecar driver?” [She said] “Because I love you.” It just crushed me and at the same time, I thought, “Oh, now I’m going to have to get a racecar.” Laughs
(Paige Sauter photo credit: Cortney Sauter Facebook page)
Sunday at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California started out with the customary trip to THE Starbucks. I call it “THE Starbucks” because it’s the one everybody goes to during the race weekend, and by everybody I mean literally everybody. It could be groups of fans apart of some racing package deal or pit crew members, PR people, and NASCAR drivers. I always see someone. On Saturday morning it was Michael Waltrip and Michael Waltrip Racing general manager Ty Norris. Sunday I chatted about the weather with a pit crew guy that recognized me from the garage.
Was the only thing that was interesting about the Sprint Cup Series race at Bristol the driver introductions that we didn’t even get to see? I would say “Yes.” They couldn’t show ONE of the driver’s walking into their song?? I know it costs money to get the rights to play the songs on air but Fox doesn’t have money for JUST ONE?!
I Tivo’d the pre-race show, as has become a new rule so that I can skip the crappy parts (80% of it), and I made sure I went through it TWICE to make sure I didn’t miss a moment where they might have shown an intro and I didn’t find anything. Instead, there was some thing with Darrell Waltrip and Jeff Hammond and some diagram that looked like the board game “Operation” or something. I dunno, I was fast forwarding.
Anyway, Kyle Busch’s weekend sweep was impressive, of course. The deal that went down between Jennifer Jo Cobb and the owner of 2nd Chance Motorsports was far more interesting than anything either race had to offer. Jennifer Jo Cobb is all about racing, why would someone who has stated several times that her goal this year is contend for Rookie of the Year in the Nationwide Series ever want to “start & park”? I mean, c’mon, she’s all about racing. I sincerely wish her all the best and hope she can get something together that’ll help her reach her goal. What she did on Saturday took guts. It would have been way easier to just run the few laps and get out of the car, but she stood up for herself and I think that’s awesome. That’s a person I can root for!
I had to get up really, really early on Sunday morning in order to get to Las Vegas Motor Speedway in time to take a ride in the pace car with NASCAR’s Director of Competition, Research & Development Brett Bodine.
Friday morning in Las Vegas started with me arriving at the track just in time to interview J.J. Yeley at his hauler. But I found out that he had been asked to drive the No. 27 car for Baker Curb Racing in the Nationwide Series race. So he was participating in their practice session and wouldn’t be available till later in the day (We did end up connecting later in the day and I got some great answers from him).
What would have made Jeff Gordon’s win at Phoenix better? Ella and Leo, of course! Sucked they weren’t in Victory Lane with their papa but the win itself was great. I always love seeing a driver get emotional after a win. I’m always looking for something real, and by that I mean just something genuine to remind me that these guys really love what it is that they do and that it means more to them than just fame and money.
To me it’s easier to see the lows and the highs in this sport, than it is in others. A basketball team might lose one night and then win on another, or maybe go 5 games without a win but eventually a win comes up in that same season. But in NASCAR these guys can go YEARS without a win. It just makes it so much sweeter when it happens.
I cannot wait to get to Las Vegas this week. I’m driving down there on Wednesday, it’s my first race of the season and it feels like I’m going to summer camp or something. On Thursday I’ll be at Tony Stewart’s autograph session at Office Depot (1435 West Craig Road, North Las Vegas) at 12:30pm. If you want to get something signed ya gotta get a wristband first (one per person), which they’re distributing to the first 600 people starting at 8am the day of the event. Then you have to get on line for the autograph sesh no later than 1:30pm. This is all local/Las Vegas time.
Before Tony signs stuff for fans I’m presenting him with the 2011 Hottest Driver Tourney “trophy” and I sincerely hope he likes it. I already have anxiety about that whole thing. I’m sure it’ll be fine, though.
It was that time again on Saturday to reacquaint ourselves with the folks at Fox Sports and their brand of NASCAR coverage for another year. I have a secret wish that one of those animated robot football players they use for the NFL will walk onto the screen and bash Digger and his friends about the head until they run away forever. Did I just write that? Yes, yes I did.
Anyway, loved seeing drivers back in action. There’s nothing better than seeing cars driving at full speed, racing for something, anything, even if there aren’t any points involved. Congratulations to Kurt Busch and the “Double Deuce” team on winning the Budweiser Shootout.
Sunday was qualifying for the Daytona 500, but really just for the front row. Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Jeff Gordon locked up the front row for Hendrick Motorsports. And that was great and all but a bigger story, in my eyes at least, was Larry McReynolds dropping relationship news about Tony Stewart dating sprint car driver Jessica Zemken, who races for Tony Stewart Racing.
In other news…
– The winner of this year’s Daytona 500 will be honored in San Francisco on February 22nd (6pm) at Ghiradelli Square with an ice cream social. The lucky dude will have a sundae named in his honor and all fans in attendance will be treated to a complimentary sundae courtesy of the Ghiradelli® Ice Cream and Chocolate Shop. I’m going to be there FOR SURE, because I have first hand knowledge of how delicious everything is that they make at Ghiradelli. Chocolate covered strawberries are calling my name, and it’ll be cool to see the Daytona 500 winner fresh off their win.
– There’s more than just a win, and a starting position in the Daytona 500, at stake for Tony Stewart in the The Duels at Daytona on Thursday–there’s money too!:
“The Duels at Daytona are always exciting because the higher you finish, the better your starting spot is for the Daytona 500. But for this year’s Duel, I have a little added incentive knowing that the Tony Stewart Foundation could receive some extra funding if I win,” said Stewart, who has awarded almost $4 million to assist charitable initiatives through his foundation since 2003. “I am so proud to partner with companies like Office Depot and Lexmark that believe in Taking Care of Business by giving back to their communities and to those in need. As for the wager, the new Lexmark Genesis S815 printer is really fast, and in our business, speed counts.”
More details over at ‘Fabulous’ News
– Celebrities have made their predictions on who they think will win the Daytona 500, check ‘em out over at SI.com. I’m partial to Joe Namath & Janet Evanovich’s picks, but you should read them all. There’s some interesting little tidbits of info in there. Like Mike Tomlin, head coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers (aka Super Bowl XLV losers), went to college with JD Gibbs.
– Scott Speed will drive the No. 33 Rheem Chevrolet for Kevin Harvick Inc. in the Nationwide Series for two races this year: Iowa Speedway on August 6 and at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal on August 20.
Photo fun time from this weekend below!
Jeff Gordon’s wife Ingrid Vandebosch and his son Leo in victory lane after Jeff Gordon secured a front row start for the Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla. (Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Jeff Burton and Jeff Gordon share a laugh together during Budweiser Shootout practice at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla. (Credit: Todd Warshaw/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Denny Hamlin, Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon discuss practice at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla. (Credit: Chirs Graythen/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Dale Earnhardt Jr. draws the pole for the Budweiser Shootout as Kenny Wallace reacts Friday at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla.
2010 Daytona 500 Champion Jamie McMurray and teammate Juan Pablo Montoya share information during Budweiser Shootout practice at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla. (Credit: Nick Laham/Getty Images)
I’m diggin’ Kasey’s new firesuit. Cool design.
Kasey Kahne and Kurt Busch discuss practice Saturday at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla. (Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Joey Logano and Trevor Bayne talk during Daytona 500 practice at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla. (Credit: Todd Warshaw/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Kurt Busch in victory lane celebrating his 2011 Budweiser Shootout win at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla. (Credit: Todd Warshaw/Getty Images for NASCAR)
David Ragan signs a fans jacket during Daytona 500 Qualifying at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla. (Credit: Tom Pennington/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Carl Edwards signs autographs for fans after his qualifying lap Sunday at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla. (Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR)
I’m sad I missed the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Media Tour in Charlotte this week. But, if I’m being honest, it’s only because I just read this article about all the swag the media received, that I missed out on. There were cupcakes and cookies and wine!
Anyway, here are photos from the week. It’s one of my favorite things to post photos of the teams wearing those annoying long sleeve shirts. I don’t know why I hate them so much but they just look wrong. I say this every year and no one listens to me.
It’s just like bridesmaid dresses: it’s really hard to pick on dress type that works on every body type. Which is why brides have started letting their maids pick a fit that suits them individually and then just going with the same color and/or print for the group. I think NASCAR teams should adopt this same principle. Some teams have, but definitely not the majority.
NASCAR Nationwide Series driver Elliott Sadler, (second from left) speaks with the media, as drivers (left to right) Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Jason Leffler, and Aric Almirola look on, during the NASCAR Sprint Media Tour hosted by Charlotte Motor Speedway, held at Hilton University on Tuesday in Charlotte, N.C.(Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Michael Waltrip’s familiar No. 15 NAPA car is on display during the NASCAR Sprint Media Tour hosted by Charlotte Motor Speedway, held at Hilton University on Tuesday in Charlotte, N.C. (Credit: Harold Hinson/HHP)
(Left to right) Bobby Hutchens, director of competition for Stewart-Haas Racing; Tony Gibson, crew chief of the No. 39 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series car; Ryan Newman, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver; Tony Stewart, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series owner and driver; and Darian Grubb, crew chief of the No. 14 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series car, pose for a picture during the 2011 Sprint Cup Media Tour hosted by Charlotte Motor Speedway on Monday at Stewart-Haas Racing in Kannapolis, N.C. (Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Regan Smith stands in front of his No. 78 Furniture Row ride during the Sprint Media Tour hosted byCharlotte Motor Speedway on Wednesday in Charlotte, N.C. (Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)
(center) NASCAR Hall of Famer Richard Petty stands between his two NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers AJ Allmendinger (left) and the newest addition to Richard Petty Motorsports Marcos Ambrose during the Sprint Media Tour hosted byCharlotte Motor Speedway on Wednesday in Charlotte, N.C. (Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Team owner Jack Roush (center) poses with drivers (left to right) Carl Edwards, Matt Kenseth, Greg Biffle and David Ragan, during the NASCAR Sprint Media Tour hosted by Charlotte Motor Speedway, held at the Roush-Fenway hanger of Concord Regional Airport, on Thursday in Concord, N.C. (Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)
(Left to right) Brian Vickers, driver of the No. 83 Red Bull Toyota, speaks with Kasey Kahne, driver of the No. 4 Red Bull Toyota, during the NASCAR Sprint Media Tour hosted by Charlotte Motor Speedway, held at Hilton University on Tuesday in Charlotte, N.C.(Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)
(Left to right) Richard Childress, team owner; Clint Bowyer, driver of the No. 33 Cheerios Chevrolet; Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 29 Budweiser Chevrolet; Jeff Burton, driver of the No. 22 Caterpillar Chevrolet, and Paul Menard, driver of the No. 27 Menard’s Chevrolet, pose for the media during the NASCAR Sprint Media Tour hosted by Charlotte Motor Speedway, held at Richard Childress Racing on Tuesday in Welcome, N.C.(Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)
(Left to right) Five-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson, four-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Jeff Gordon, owner Rick Hendrick and NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers Mark Martin and Dale Earnhardt Jr. pose for a team picture Wednesday at Hendrick Motorsports Media Day during the Sprint Media Tour hosted by Charlotte Motor Speedway.(Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)
(Left to right) Sam Hornish Jr., driver of the No. 12 Alliance Truck Parts Dodge in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, speaks to the media as NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teammates Brad Keselowski, driver of the No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge, and Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Dodge, look on during the NASCAR Sprint Media Tour hosted by Charlotte Motor Speedway, held at Penske Racing on Monday in Mooresville, N.C.(Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Team owner Joe Gibbs (third from right) poses with J.D. Gibbs (third from left), Joe Gibbs Racing President, Joey Logano (left), driver of the No. 20 Home Depot Toyota, Kyle Busch (second from left), driver of the No. 18 M&M’s Toyota, Denny Hamlin (second from right), driver of the No. FedEx Toyota, and NASCAR Nationwide Series driver Brian Scott (right), during the NASCAR Sprint Media Tour hosted by Charlotte Motor Speedway, held at Joe Gibbs Racing, on Thursday in Huntersville, N.C. (Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)
J.D. Gibbs, president of JGR, on hiring Tony Stewart: “For 1997, we wanted to form a second team. We asked all the guys to write down the name of the driver they wanted the most and put it in a hat. There was one name on every piece of paper. That was Tony Stewart.”
Team owner Joe Gibbs (center) speaks about the 20th anniversary of Joe Gibbs Racing, as (left to right) JGR President J.D. Gibbs, former JGR drivers Tony Stewart and Bobby Labonte, JGR senior vice president of racing operations Jimmy Makar and Interstate Batteries CEO Norm Miller look on during the NASCAR Sprint Media Tour hosted by Charlotte Motor Speedway, held at Joe Gibbs Racing, on Thursday in Huntersville, N.C. (Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)
The No. 21 Motorcraft Ford proudly displays the new American Ethanol sponsorship around the fuel hole during the NASCAR Sprint Media Tour hosted by Charlotte Motor Speedway, held at the Roush-Fenway hanger of Concord Regional Airport, on Thursday in Concord, N.C. (Credit: Harold Hinson/HHP)
(Left to right) Juan Pablo Montoya, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver, team owners Chip Ganassi and Felix Sabates and Jamie McMurray, defending Daytona 500 champion, pose for a picture during the Earnhardt Ganassi Racing stop on the 2011 Sprint Media Tour hosted by Charlotte Motor Speedway on Monday at the Hilton Charlotte University Place in Charlotte, N.C.(Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)
The 2011 NASCAR racing season is fast approaching and that means I’ve finally got new photos to share with you guys from the Preseason Thunder testing that occurred last week at Daytona International Speedway. It was our first chance to catch some drivers wearing their new sponsor’s firesuits, a time to welcome back Brian Vickers (yay!) and an opportunity to see new driver/crew chief pairings (Gustafson & Gordon = Too much hotness for one team, I’m just sayin’).
I’m excited about the year to come, as I always am, and I know that I have at least ONE very cool, super awesome, off-line deal coming up that involves you guys! So stay tuned for that announcement.
Remember to check out ‘Fabulous’ News for press releases and random photos throughout the week. I’ll have a wrap-up of the media tour taking place now posted later on in the week.
But for now enjoy these photos!
Brad Keselowski recorded the fastest lap of the day at 45.316 seconds Saturday at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla. during Preseason Thunder testing.(Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images for NASCAR)
(Left to right) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Red Bull Racing teammates Kasey Kahne and Brian Vickers talk as they sign autographs for fans in the garage area during Preseason Thunder testing on Friday at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla. (Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images for NASCAR)
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Martin Truex Jr. laughs during a Preseason Thunder Fan Fest Q&A Thursday at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla. Truex turned the second-fastest lap of the first day of testing with a 195.776 mph circuit. (Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images for NASCAR)
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Marcos Ambrose smiles in the garage Saturday at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla. during Preseason Thunder testing.(Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images for NASCAR)
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Carl Edwards signs autographs for young fans during the Preseason Thunder Fan Fest following testing Thursday at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla. (Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR)
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Brian Vickers signs autographs in the Sprint FanZone Thursday during Preseason Thunder testing at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla. (Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Dale Earnhardt Jr. smiles during a break on Thursday at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach Fla. (Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR)
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Tony Stewart looks on as his crew makes adjustments to the No. 14 Office Depot Chevrolet Saturday at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla. during Preseason Thunder testing.(Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images for NASCAR)
A new look Kevin Harvick participates in testing Thursday at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla. (Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Jeff Gordon works with Ormond Beach, Fla. native Alan Gustafson in the Garage Thursday at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla. (Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Joey Logano who was third fastest with a lap time of 45.757 seconds signs autographs for fans during Preseason Thunder Fan Fest on Friday at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla.(Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Clint Bowyer signs autographs for fans during Preseason Thunder on Friday at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla. (Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images for NASCAR)
I’m having too much fun with this contest. I was right when I thought things would get much more interesting in Round Two and the results of last week’s voting have set up Round Three to be extra intriguing. Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Casey Mears just barely made it through in the closest match-up results so far. Dale Jr. beat Scott Speed by just 8 votes! I’m really, really surprised that it wasn’t a closer contest between Carl Edwards and Kasey Kahne.
Here’s what happened in Round Two:
Jamie McMurray (75%) defeated Kyle Busch (25%)
Joey Logano (55%) defeated David Gilliland (45%)
Clint Bowyer (56%) defeated Bobby Labonte (44%)
Travis Kvapil (62%) defeated Kurt Busch (38%)
Kasey Kahne (75%) defeated Carl Edwards (25%)
Casey Mears (51%) defeated Kevin Harvick (49%)
Elliott Sadler (70%) defeated Reed Sorenson (30%)
Jeff Gordon (52%) defeated Marcos Ambrose (48%)
Ryan Newman (83%) defeated Juan Pablo Montoya (17%)
Dale Earnhardt Jr. (51%) defeated Scott Speed (49%)
Tony Stewart (86%) defeated Sam Hornish Jr. (14%)
Matt Kenseth (65%) defeated AJ Allmendinger (35%)
Regan Smith (77%) defeated Robby Gordon (23%)
Martin Truex Jr. (88%) defeated Greg Biffle (12%)
Paul Menard (64%) defeated Brad Keselowski (36%)
Denny Hamlin (58%) defeated Mark Martin (42%)
This updates the brackets, which you can see below (click it to see it larger).
So let’s get to it! Here are the match-ups for Round Three! You can vote as many times as you want each day until
voting ends on Saturday, January 22nd.
UPDATE: I’ve extended voting through Sunday, January 23rd until 9am, because of a snafu with the voting form. // Voting for Round Three is over! Check out Round Four!
|Jamie McMurray||Joey Logano|
|Clint Bowyer||Travis Kvapil|
|Ryan Newman||Dale Earnhardt Jr.|
|Tony Stewart||Kasey Kahne|
|Casey Mears||Elliott Sadler|
|Martin Truex Jr.||Jeff Gordon|
|Paul Menard||Matt Kenseth|
|Regan Smith||Denny Hamlin|
Voting for Round Three is over! Check out Round Four!
It’s time for Round Two! But first let’s find out what happened in Round One.
Kyle Busch (68%) defeated Jeff Burton (32%)
Juan Pablo Montoya (62%) defeated Brian Vickers (38%)
Tony Stewart (97%) defeated David Reutimann (3%)
Paul Menard (71%) defeated Jimmie Johnson (29%)
Casey Mears (73%) defeated David Ragan (27%)
Regan Smith (86%) defeated Kevin Conway (14%)
This updates the brackets, which you can see below (click it to see it larger).
And now, I think this is when things are going to get even MORE interesting. Round Two is the largest group, it’ll be fun to see who makes it into Round Three. I was going to let Round Two last for two weeks but I have decided to run it for just a week. Votes poured in for Round One and I can only expect it to get crazier for this one, so I’m trying to contain it. Plus I’m highly impatient and two weeks sound like forever to find out the results.
So let’s get to it! Here are the match-ups for Round Two! You can vote as many times as you want each day until voting ends on Saturday, January 15th.
UPDATE: Round Two voting has ended. Stay tuned for the results and Round Three!
|Jamie McMurray||Kyle Busch|
|David Gilliland||Joey Logano|
|Clint Bowyer||Bobby Labonte|
|Kurt Busch||Travis Kvapil|
|Ryan Newman||Juan Pablo Montoya|
|Dale Earnhardt Jr.||Scott Speed|
|Sam Hornish Jr.||Tony Stewart|
|Carl Edwards||Kasey Kahne|
|Kevin Harvick||Casey Mears|
|Elliott Sadler||Reed Sorenson|
|Greg Biffle||Martin Truex Jr.|
|Jeff Gordon||Marcos Ambrose|
|Brad Keselowski||Paul Menard|
|AJ Allmendinger||Matt Kenseth|
|Robby Gordon||Regan Smith|
|Mark Martin||Denny Hamlin|
UPDATE: Round Two voting has ended. Stay tuned for the results and Round Three!
2010 was the year of the baby in NASCAR. People were giving birth all over the place and because of this I can’t keep all of them straight. So I’ve compiled a list of the babies that were welcomed into the world this year and the ones that are on the way continuing the baby blitz into 2011.
Wyatt Herman Fritts Sadler
Parents: Amanda & Elliott Sadler
Born: February 15, 2010
Parents: Kate & Carl Edwards
Born: February 24, 2010
(Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Genevieve Marie Johnson
Parents: Chandra & Jimmie Johnson
Born: July 7, 2010
(Credit: Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Manuela Montoya Freydell
Parents: Connie Freydell & Juan Pablo Montoya
Born: July 19, 2010
Brooklyn Sage Newman
Parents: Krissie & Ryan Newman
Born: November 18, 2010
(Credit: Ryan Newman (facebook) – Photo by Karen Will Rogers Photography)
Carter Scott McMurray
Parents: Christy & Jamie McMurray
Born: November 25, 2010
Eliza Jo Hornish
Parents: Crystal & Sam Hornish Jr.
Born: December 28, 2010
Arriving in the new year will be…
– A girl for Cortney & Johnny Sauter. The couple’s daughter is expected to join her big brother, Penn, in April of 2011.
– A sibling for Katie & Matt Kenseth’s daughter, Kaylin, due in early 2011.
– (From what you guys have told me) A sibling for Kate & Carl Edwards daughter, Anne.
Performance Racing Network gathered some NASCAR drivers holiday memories, thoughts, etc:
“I think I was five years old at Christmas, and walked out and under the tree there was a motorcycle sitting there for me. That’s what started racing for me, so that would probably be the most memorable. It really started everything. We’ve got some footage that’s absolutely hilarious of me riding that day. My parents took me out to an area to ride and I could ride a bicycle at the time, but my dad was holding the back fender and trying to show me how to twist the throttle and ride off. I can’t believe I was on a bike that young, but it’s pretty funny to see it.”
“Yeah, I was one of those kids that was trying to wake up my parents and say ‘Alright it’s Christmas now’, ‘No, no, no, go back to bed.’ So, I definitely was antsy at times, but now they’re the ones that have to wake me up on Christmas morning. I say, ‘Alright’ and I just kinda walk there with my cap on and I’m like, ‘Alright, let’s get this over with, I want to get to the food.’”
Friday, December 3rd was the day of the 2010 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards Ceremony & Banquet at the Wynn Las Vegas.
NASCAR After The Lap started off mostly like last year, with hostess Jamie Little asking the drivers questions submitted by fans. There were a few new wrinkles like some of the fans asking the questions in person, and the drivers walking in through the crowd with Jimmie Johnson making his grand entrance in his No 48 Lowe’s Chevy.
Immediately following the press room session with the Chase drivers at the Bellagio, I got on the bus taking the media over to the starting line in front of Planet Hollywood for the Victory Lap down The Strip (aka Las Vegas Boulevard).
I arrived in Las Vegas on Wednesday morning-ish. I checked in at my hotel, ARIA Hotel & Casino at CityCenter. I am giving this hotel two thumbs up because when I opened the door to my room (that unlocked after only having to wave my room key in front of the keypad above the door handle) music began to play and the curtains pulled back on their own revealing floor to ceiling windows facing a skyline of mountains.
Last week was pretty hectic for me, hence the lack of posts. Between making the turkey (using a brine is the only way to go) for Thanksgiving and then helping my mom get married on Saturday I’ve been a busy little bee!
So I haven’t had much time to think about all of the ramifications of the changes that were announced at Hendrick Motorsports last week.
But my reaction went something like this:
I can’t tell you how long I’ve been waiting to use that animation of Pee Wee! Cracks me up every time I see it and in this case it totally sums up my feelings when I heard the news. On one hand I was thinking it might be better for Dale Earnhardt Jr. to get Alan Gustafson, but I trust that Rick Hendrick knows what he’s doing. I love all of the new pairings and I’m really looking forward to seeing what comes of it. The teams of the 88 and 24 can definitely use the new energy, so I’m excited.
No. 5 Chevrolet
Driver: Mark Martin
Crew Chief: Lance McGrew
No. 24 Chevrolet
Driver: Jeff Gordon
Crew Chief: Alan Gustafson
No. 48 Chevrolet (duh, if it ain’t broke why fix it?)
Driver: Jimmie Johnson
Crew Chief: Chad Knaus
No. 88 Chevrolet
Driver: Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Crew Chief: Steve Letarte
I’m not going to lie, watching the 48 Lowe’s team experience failure in real time was fun. No, I don’t wish them ill and, really, really, who cares if I do? Dude, they’ve won the Championship 4 times in a row, they’ve got their place in history sealed for-ev-er. A little schadenfreude never hurt anyone.
It was clear that the 48′s cage was rattled with that pit crew swap happening in the middle of the race and watching Chad Knaus’ post-race interview was amazing. We got to find out what he looks, and sounds, like when he doesn’t have to pretend that the Championship isn’t a lock yet, because it really isn’t this time! (Ok, ok, so it’s not that different from when he’s on top, but there was a difference!)
Ya know what really irks me though? It’s when I think about what could have been had Clint Bowyer’s team not received that 150 point fine. Things would be so different, it’s so frustrating! Would I prefer that Kevin Harvick won the Championship over Denny Hamlin? Yes, but I’ll take what I can get. I so wish I was going to Phoenix this week, and hell, Miami too. Just promise me that when I do get to go to every NASCAR race the Championship is as close then as it is now.
Uhm, Denny? What are you doing? What is that face?
Denny Hamlin, driver of the FedEx Office Toyota, shoots a Turnbull Revolvers in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on November 7, 2010 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo by John Harrelson/Getty Images for NASCAR)
As the campaign to prove that Jimmie Johnson isn’t vanilla rolls on, I thought it would be fun to assign an ice cream flavor to each of the drivers in The Chase for the Sprint Cup Series Championship.
I don’t know why Jimmie would mind being vanilla, I mean, it’s a classic and reliable flavor (how do you mess up vanilla??). It’s a trusty, go-to flavor, and doesn’t that make sense for him since we rely on him to win all the time? I’m just sayin’.
1.) Jimmie Johnson – Ben & Jerry’s New York Super Fudge Chunk: He has a house in New York and this is as far away from Vanilla as possible. Happy, Jimmie??
2.) Denny Hamlin – Ben & Jerry’s Neapolitan Dynamite: Because Denny is the only one that sort of reminds me of Napoleon Dynamite.
3.) Kevin Harvick – Ben & Jerry’s Chubby Hubby: He’s not chubby, but he is a hubby.
4.) Jeff Gordon – Rocky Road: It’s been one for, like, the past 2 or 3 years, right?
5.) Kyle Busch – Pistachio: I’m not a fan of Pistachio
6.) Carl Edwards – Vanilla frozen yogurt: Carl is all about eating healthy (Subway!), and staying ab-tacular, so this is all he can have.
7.) Tony Stewart – Ben & Jerry’s Chunky Monkey: He had a monkey once.
8.) Matt Kenseth – Ben & Jerry’s Imagine Whirled Peace: He never gets into fights, ok there was that time with Jeff Gordon, but overall Kenseth is Switzerland.
9.) Kurt Busch – Rum Raisin: Alcohol, there’s no such thing as beer ice cream.
10.) Jeff Burton – Ben & Jerry’s Stephen Colbert’s AmeriCone Dream: This happens to be my favorite Ben & Jerry’s flavor and it’s also the only flavor that is remotely related to politics, and ya know Jeff Burton will be a politician somewhere, someday. Just go with me on this OK?
11.) Greg Biffle – Ben & Jerry’s Phish Food: Can’t you imagine Biffle relaxin’ with some of this yummy chocolately, caramely, marshmallowy, fudge fishy goodness?
12. ) Clint Bowyer – Ben & Jerry’s Maple Blondie: He’s blonde, duh.
Sunday at Auto Club Speedway was a big day, not just for the Pepsi Max 400, but for all of the couples that were getting married and renewing their vows on the track. I was so excited about the whole thing and totally looking forward to seeing how it would all go down.
Something I’ve noticed as I go to more races is that I take less pictures. In the beginning I was taking photos of everything; tires, cars, etc. But now that I know the pain of uploading those photos to Flickr and having to write a title for each one, I’m a lot more discerning when it comes to choosing a photo subject.
My Friday at Auto Club Speedway (ACS) began with me walking from my car to the garage and happening to see Travis Kvapil walking out of the drivers/owners motorcoach lot at the same time. I was set to interview Travis a little later on that morning, but he noticed me then. He must remembered me from when I interviewed him at ACS in 2008. This was, and still is, a big deal to me. He knew we had a scheduled interview for that day and he ended up having time right then so we went ahead and got the Inside the Actor’s Studio questioning out of the way.
Because I feel like the underdog pretty much all the time, it felt like a super cool “win” to walk through the garage, past crew members and whoever was around, with a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver who actually REMEMBERED ME. Which is why Travis Kvapil is a super cool guy in my book. He really is genuinely nice and I cannot wait for a Sprint Cup win to come his way. I’ll talk more about him when I post the interview. He was the first driver to answer a particular question a particular way. How’s that for cryptic?
FIRST: I am planning on attending the NASCAR race weekend at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana next week, although there is a small chance I might not make it out there. Please know that I am doing EVERYTHING I can to make it happen.
It’s ridiculous how badly I want/need to go to this race. It’s close enough to me (only 5 short hours) that it’s just a no-brainer and yet enough annoying circumstances can rear their ugly head’s to make my actual attendance slightly “tentative.” Ugh. Anyway, just know that I’m going to be at that race, happy as a clam, writing about driver’s visits to port-a-potties and women wearing inappropriate-for-the-racetrack shoes.
Plus, there are too many things going on that weekend that to miss it would suck big time. For one, there are the weddings taking place at the track before the Sprint Cup Series race on 10/10/10 (which also happens to be Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s birthday) and my life won’t be complete until I get to see Michael Waltrip serve as the Best Man at a stranger’s wedding.
And there’s the matter of doing more driver interviews using the ten questions. So now that I’ve written this out there’s no way in hell I’m not going to this race.
SECOND: I’m definitely going to be at the 2010 Blog World & New Media Expo in Las Vegas. This year’s BWE is taking place at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center and I’m on a panel in the sports track titled “Women in Sports Media” along with some awesome women: Kathleen Hessert, President of Sports Media Challenge and
Nicole LaVoi, Tucker Center for Research on Girls & Women in Sport & Minnesota Youth Sport Research Consortium. *(see update below)
I met Nicole at Blogs with Balls 3 this year in Chicago and you should really check out her blog about women in sports. I’m a subscriber and there isn’t a post where I’m not saying to myself, “She’s so right!” or “That’s so true!”
I haven’t met Kathleen before but I’m looking forward to it. Just check out this recent interview with her over at Sports Industry Insider. She’s helped many athletes manage their reputations and figure out their social media & web strategies. She’s the “woman who taught Shaquille O’Neal to tweet.” She’s also worked with guys we know like Kasey Kahne, Jeff Gordon, Greg Biffle and Casey Mears.
I had a small hand in putting this panel together in that I gave the idea to the sports track organizers and I’m glad that I did because there are so many things to talk about as it relates to female athletes, journalists and fans. I really feel like female fans get short shrift a lot of the time. It’s really easy to see the male demographic in racing but HELLO, 40% of NASCAR fans are women. What are you doing to engage the women?
Anywhoo, I’m really looking forward to the panel. If you’re involved in blogging, social media and new media in any shape or form (or you want to be) you should attend Blog World. There really is something for everyone (and I’m not getting paid to say this). I always walk away from it with more info and contacts than when I arrived.
UPDATE: I jumped the gun on my post and it turns out that Nicole LaVoi won’t be on the panel with me at Blog World, but Patricia Hannigan, The Golf Girl, will be! Should be a good time.
Jimmie Johnson got to celebrate his win of the AAA 400 at Dover International Speedway with his wife, Chandra and their new almost 3-month-old baby daughter, Genevieve. It was, as expected, absolutely adorable to see Jimmie looking so lovingly at his daughter.
This is surely Genevieve’s first of many trips to Victory Lane with her daddy. I can’t help but turn this simple beautiful moment into something competitive and so I can’t help but think about how Genevieve has already beaten Jeff Gordon’s 3-year-old daughter, Ella, at something. She got to celebrate with her papa first. It’s silly, I know, and yes, while Ella hasn’t physically been in Victory Lane she did get to celebrate her dad’s win at Texas after the fact that one time, but still it wasn’t the same.
I guess Ella can take solace in the fact that Genevieve won’t remember last Sunday anyway. Although, Ella has a lot to be proud of, she’s accomplished a lot in the last three years. The two wines — a chardonnay and a pinot noir — that her dad named after her won awards and she designed a paint scheme for her dad’s car. So there.
UPDATE: Sarah, an awesome commenter, has corrected me. Ella has been with her dad in victory lane when she was really little. (this photo is proof) I stand corrected, Ella and Genevieve are even! Thanks Sarah!
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the Lowe’s/Kobalt Tools Chevrolet, celebrates in Victory Lane with daughter Genevieve Marie and wife Chandra after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AAA 400 at Dover International Speedway on September 26, 2010 in Dover, Delaware. (Photo by Geoff Burke/Getty Images for NASCAR)
While I’m not sure who I “want” to win the Championship this year, I can tell you who I think will win it and who I’m sure definitely will not.
I’ve had a feeling for some time now that Denny Hamlin would claim the 2010 Sprint Cup Series Championship, I’m not entirely sure why I feel that way but it just seems like the right thing. I think this kid is determined and it seems like it’s his time.
Now, on to who I think definitely will not win the Championship and that would be Jimmie Johnson. Not because he’s not capable, a duh he’s won 4 in a row, but because everyone else in the Chase wants it more. I think there has to be something to seeing Jimmie win it every year and I think these guys are psyched and pumped to make sure he doesn’t win a 5th. I just think the other guys want and NEED this Championship more than Jimmie does and therefore they’re going to do everything within their power to make sure they’re tops this year.
Clint Bowyer, driver of the Cheerios/Hamburger Helper Chevrolet, stands in the garage during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Air Guard 400 at Richmond International Raceway on September 10, 2010 in Richmond, Virginia. (Photo by Jerry Markland/Getty Images)
Jeff Gordon and his wife Ingrid Vandebosch, a former model, attended “Fashion’s Night Out: The Show” at Lincoln Center in New York City last night. It was a ginormous fashion show to kick off New York’s Fashion Week.
Tonight is the actual Fashion’s Night Out “night” where shops all over the world open their doors to shoppers to celebrate fashion and, well, shopping. Why? Because the recession sucks and designers need your money. New York is the home base of sorts for Fashion’s Night Out festivities but events are being held all over. Check out the FNO website for stuff going on your area.
Doesn’t she look great? Didn’t she give birth to little Leo, like, a day ago? I’m exaggerating of course, but it wasn’t that long ago and she looks fab.
NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon and wife Ingrid Vandebosch attend Fashion’s Night Out: The Show at Lincoln Center on September 7, 2010 in New York City. (Photo by Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images for Conde Nast)
It’s funny when you don’t realize you want something so bad until there’s a chance it can actually happen. For me that was the possibility of AJ Allmendinger getting his first win at Watkins Glen yesterday. He was chargin’, running up front with those guys and it really seemed like it could of been his day.
Well, he didn’t win, Mr. Juan Pablo Montoya did, but I had a lot of fun cheering for AJ. I don’t have anything against Juan Pablo, but during the race when I was imagining who would have a better, more fun, reaction to winning in Victory Lane AJ won hands down. You know he would be waaaaaay more excited and happy and thankful if he’d won that race than Juan was. I love a first-time win, what can I say?
Anyway, congrats to Juan Pablo and the No. 42 Target Chevy team. And bonus congrats to crew chief Brian Pattie for his first Sprint Cup Series win, it was sweet to see his emotions post-race.
Even though I’ve never been to Watkins Glen I think it’s beautiful there. From what I can see on TV it looks fabulous and I really, really wanna go to the next race there. Hopefully that’ll happen next year. Watkins Glen is right up there with Bristol, Daytona and Talladega as the tracks that I want to visit the most.
I know the drivers might not agree but I really wish there were more road course races in the Sprint Cup Series schedule. I love ‘em. It jumbles everything, in terms of the race itself and the points standings. I guess as a Dale Earnhardt Jr. fan I shouldn’t wish for that but I have confidence in my driver no matter what, and one day that guy will prevail at a road course.
Denny Hamlin, driver of the FedEx Freight Toyota, stands on the grid with girlfriend Jordan Fish prior to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at Watkins Glen International on August 8, 2010 in Watkins Glen, New York. (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
Driver Jamie McMurray of Earnhardt Ganassi Racing sits on the steps of the Sprint Cup Series hauler on Friday before practice for the Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at the Glen at Watkins Glen, New York
Ryan Newman, driver of the US Army Chevrolet, and his wife Krissie, stand on the grid prior to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at Watkins Glen International on August 8, 2010 in Watkins Glen, New York. (Photo by Todd Warshaw/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Boris Said, driver of the Red Bull Toyota, stands on the grid with his family during the National Anthem prior to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at Watkins Glen International on August 8, 2010 in Watkins Glen, New York. (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
(left to right) Clint Bowyer, Tony Stewart, Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon, Jeff Burton, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Elliott Sadler hang out together before driver introductions for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at Watkins Glen International.
Juan Pablo Montoya clowns around with Tony Stewart prior to the start of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at Watkins Glen International.
Mobil 1 driver Sam Hornish Jr. holds his daughter, Addison, before climbing into the car during qualifying for Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at the Glen at Watkins Glen International, Watkins Glen, NY.
Marcos Ambrose (47) celebrates winning the Zippo 200 at Watkins Glen International in Watkins Glen, NY.
Martin Truex Jr.’s (56) helmet sits on his car during qualifying for the Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at The Glen race at Watkins Glen International in Watkins Glen, NY.
Bo Bice looks on during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at Watkins Glen International on August 7, 2010 in Watkins Glen, New York. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Max Papis, driver of the GEICO Toyota, looks on during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at Watkins Glen International on August 7, 2010 in Watkins Glen, New York. (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images for NASCAR)
A.J. Allmendinger (L), driver of the Insignia HDTV Ford, stands on the grid during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at Watkins Glen International on August 7, 2010 in Watkins Glen, New York. (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Jeff Gordon’s son, Leo Benjamin Gordon, was born today! The deets:
Earlier today, Jeff Gordon and Ingrid Vandebosch welcomed a new son into the world. Leo Benjamin Gordon was born at 8:53 a.m., weighed 7 pounds, 2 ounces and was 19 inches long according to a post on
“He’s happy and healthy, and Mom is doing great,” said Gordon. The four-time NASCAR Cup Series champion will travel to Michigan later this week and is scheduled to participate in all on-track activities at Michigan International
Speedway, site of this weekend’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race.
I mean, really. Let’s recap… He’s very good looking. He’s married to a model. He’s gonna be a daddy. He’s making millions of dollars as a race car driver. He’s won an unprecedented 4 Sprint Cup Series Championships in a row. He’s got the smartest crew chief. He’s just won two races in a row. He won the Pepsi Refresh Project competition he was in versus Jeff Gordon and Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Sheesh! Jimmie, knock it off! I kid, I kid.
Actually, now that I read that, if Jimmie ever feels down (why would he?) he can read that paragraph and it should perk him right up again.
Photos from New Hampshire after the jump!
When I heard that Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jeff Gordon, and Jimmie Johnson were involved with the Pepsi Refresh Project I was all set to just vote for Dale Jr’s idea without hearing the other two. But instead of being one of those fans that blindly follows their favorite driver without question, I gave Jeff and Jimmie a chance to convince me their idea was better. They’re all equally good and would help very important causes, so I voted for all of ‘em.
Check out the videos below and then vote for yourself at www.NASCAR.com/PepsiRefresh
To answer Melody’s question from my previous post, I was in Tony Stewart’s hauler for all of 5 minutes. It was luxuriously air conditioned and I didn’t see the back lounge area. Plus Tony wasn’t there he was out practicing but it was very cool to be inside a hauler for any reason and any amount of time.
Sunday was of course the Coca-Cola 600 and on my drive in to the track I couldn’t get over the amount of tailgating that was going on seemingly EVERYWHERE. Every blade of grass surrounding the track was filled with trucks, tents and people with barbecues. Even the parking lots of commercial office buildings had groups of people crowded together. It was so neat to see. There’s tailgating at the California races but nothing to the degree of what I saw outside of Charlotte Motor Speedway. It’s something that you have to witness for yourself.
I got to the track in time to attend a tweetup organized by SBNation’s Jeff Gluck. I went to meet up with ‘Fabulous’ readers Tara S. and Penni. It was really cool finally getting to meet them in person. I seriously adore the women that read my blog, you guys are the bestest! This is the perfect time to thank you all for the sweet comments about my interview with Tony Stewart. I really appreciate the encouragement.
As I alluded to in the title of this post, the Coca-Cola 600 was really all about Bradley Cooper and his hotness visiting a NASCAR race for the first time. He was there with three of his other cast-mates to promote their new movie “The A-Team.” I thought Brendan Fraser’s presence at Chicagoland a couple of years ago was a big deal but Bradley really brought out the ladies. Media and PR people alike make it a point to be in the media center for the cast’s press conference. As soon as Bradley walked into the media center people were requesting to have their photo taken with him (as you can see at right, that’s not me, unfortunately), which he happily obliged.
Darlington was fun, that is, if you’re into that sort of thing. I’m sure it was ten times more frustrating to drive the SHOWTIME Southern 500 than it was to watch it, and that’s saying something because I’ve never wanted a race to end faster than that one.
Darlington is one of those racetracks where I feel like they could cut the Nationwide race down from 147 laps to 50 and the Sprint Cup race from 367 laps down to just 100 and we’d all be a lot happier. Well, I would be for one. It just seems unnecesary to have to drive around as long as they do.
Or maybe my frustrations are just Jeff Gordon’s rubbing off on me. I mean, what does this man have to do to catch a break and win a freaking race? He’s been so close this year. It’s kinda sad to watch, he’s like Sisyphus.
One the other hand, it was super adorable to see some of the drivers with their moms.
Jamie’s expression explains the ENTIRE weekend.
Jamie McMurray tries to explain how the car handled in the first practice to crew chief Bono Manion. After adjustments, McMurray led the final practice and earned the Coors Light Pole Award. (Credit: Geoff Burke/Getty Images for NASCAR)
The baby bump! Although, I still think Chandra can afford to gain like 50 more pounds
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s Chevrolet, stands on the grid with his wife Chandra during the NASCAR Sprint Cup series SHOWTIME Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway on May 8, 2010 in Darlington, South Carolina. (Photo by Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Dear Talladega Superspeedway,
I love you. I just do. You make me crazy and mental and while I always feel like I need a brown paper bag to breathe in just to make it through one lap, I still freaking love you!
Kevin Harvick’s amazing pass just before the finish line to take the win away from Jamie McMurray was one for the highlight reel. This win was HUGE for Kevin since he hadn’t won anything in the Sprint Cup Series in 3 years. I’m still shocked it’s been that long. I loved how his wife, DeLana, couldn’t watch the last lap. I don’t blame her, you’re such a nerve-wracking track! I’m so happy for them. We always expect such great races from you and you never fail to deliver.
Yes, I wish you could of gathered up some of that Native American burial ground mojo and used it to help Dale Earnhardt Jr. get the win instead but I’m okay with how things turned out. He’s still in the top-12 in points.
Oh! Before I forget, thank you for throwing another wrench in the relationship between Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson. I know I shouldn’t get excited when one person is mad at another person but it’s so freaking fun to watch Jeff Gordon get so pissed off. I wonder why it fascinates me so. I can’t get enough. I’m loving this season so far.
I can’t wait to see you again at Halloween! *JUAD* (that means I’m jumping up and down)
Sooo freaking close!
Kevin Harvick beats Jamie McMurray to the finish line by .011 seconds, the eighth-closest margin since the advent of electronic scoring in 1993, to win the Aaron’s 499 at Talladega Superspeedway. (Credit: Todd Warshaw/Getty Images)
I am absolutely in love with the little drama between Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson. Sign me up for more of that, please! I think that was my favorite part about yesterday’s racing double-header. As was Jimmie’s post-race comment about not wanting the issue between him and Jeff to be played out in the media. Good luck with that, Jimmie. I actually think Jimmie needs this, to be in a battle with someone, anyone, even a teammate. It’s far more interesting when someone’s pissed off at him. hehe.
I was very disappointed that Jeff didn’t get the chance to be in the race at the end, that wreck had to hurt and I’m not talking physically. Also, loved how Jeff went over to Tony Stewart and was immediately taking the blame but Tony calmed him down and ended up taking some of the heat at the end of it all. Tony was super classy yesterday, I dug it.
And now on to Dale Earnhardt Jr., I was super proud of him, and his team, for their eighth place finish. Even though he didn’t win when it felt like he could have. His tires just weren’t there to do the job he needed in the end. It was a fun race though, it was the first time in a long time that I found myself yelling at the TV for him to kick some butt. That’s saying something because for what felt like all of last year I didn’t even attempt to hope something might happen for him. He’s in the top-10 right now and that, to me, is better than eating cheesecake with The Golden Girls.
Fans spotted NHL Dallas Star’s Mike Modano in the garage at Texas Motor Speedway on Sunday. (Credit: Tom Pennington/Getty Images for NASCAR)
So that was some race at Martinsville yesterday. There were cautions galore, lots of beatin’ & bangin’ and Denny Hamlin grabbed the checkered flag in spectacular fashion.
I loved that finish, especially since Larry McReynolds didn’t think Denny could pull it off and then voila he rushes to the front and takes it. That was so cool. If only we could have finishes like that every week, and if only Dale Earnhardt Jr. could be the one rushing to the front to take the win. I could live with that, I really could.
I was hoping Jeff Gordon would go and find Matt Kenseth after the race and shove him again like he did that one time, but he didn’t. Lame! That would have been funny. hehe. I think I have issues because I love it when drivers get pissed at each other in any shape or form. Am I what’s wrong with NASCAR? ha! The correct answer to that is no, of course not.
Denny Hamlin celebrates winning the Goody’s Fast Pain Relief 500, his second straight victory at Martinsville Speedway. (Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)
43 different drivers started the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Shelby American in Las Vegas, but for some reason the same guy that won the race the weekend before won again.
How is this possible? What are the 42 other drivers, and their teams, doing?? I mean, really? This cannot keep happening. It’s not like it’s 5 dudes out there running around. There are FORTY-THREE cars!! Nobody should be winning anything in a row!
Grrr… Step it up please! Frankly, I was very sad that Jeff Gordon couldn’t get the win over Jimmie Johnson. Not because I wanted Jimmie to lose, so much as I just wanted Jeff to win.
Anyway, I have to talk about Amy of Amy’s Bad Groove. She got the chance to interview Tony Stewart, her favorite driver, in person over the Las Vegas race weekend. I am sooooo excited that she got the opportunity, and I cannot WAIT to read her interview with Tony. I have to put you guys on notice that she’s working on it so you should subscribe to her RSS feed so you can get it as soon as she posts it. I’m sure it’ll be awesome. This would be equivalent to me getting the chance to interview Dale Earnhardt Jr. one-on-one, so the fact that she didn’t pass out or forget all of her questions (which could totally happen if I was confronted with Dale Jr.) is awesome. Congrats Amy!
Fans watch Friday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and NASCAR Nationwide Series practice action from above in Las Vegas Motor Speedway’s Neon Garage. (Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR)
So, omigosh, there’s news! Jeff Gordon and his wife Ingrid are expecting their second child!! Woo-hoo! Why am I this excited about a stranger’s pregnancy?? I dunno! But I hope it’s a boy ’cause that’d be adorable.
In general, aren’t you all stoked that the 2010 NASCAR season is upon us? Budweiser Shootout on Saturday! It’s all starting up again and it’s fun. Although, all the PR emails I’ve been receiving this week have been crazy, I need, like, a day to just read everything.
And speaking of media, today was NASCAR Media Day where all the drivers were attacked by about 300 members of the various media outlets from all over. NASCAR.com had this funny little video clip show of the day’s activities.
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)
After the Myers Brothers Awards Ceremony, I left the Venetian and headed back to my room so that I could change out of my “business casual” dress and into clothes that were much warmer. It was so cold in Vegas. I wished it would get into the 70s but it never got close. Friday night, the night of the awards ceremony it was in the low 50s with freeze warnings in effect.
So I changed my clothes and tried to walk quickly to the monorail at Harrah’s/Imperial Palace station so that I could get to the MGM Grand as fast as possible because that’s where the start/finish line was for the Victory Lap. I wanted to see the top-12 drivers doing burnouts, but it wasn’t to be. I missed the whole thing. What I did see, from the windows of the monorail, was the traffic that was backed up for at least a mile next to the Strip. That was kinda neat.
Thursday, December 3rd was a big day full of events. However, my first event of the day had nothing to do with NASCAR but everything to do with moving from my $40 room at Harrah’s to my awesome not that much more expensive room at the Mirage. I loved my room at the Mirage so much that I took pictures of it. Which, I think, is saying something. For one, it had an iPod docking station & player so I could listen to my playlists while I got ready. The overall room design was modern & contemporary cool, complete with large flat screen TV with HD channels.
Anyway, after I got all checked in at the Mirage and waded through all of the authentic cowboys in town for the 2009 Wrangler National Rodeo Finals, I made my way over to the Venetian across the street for the NASCAR NMPA Myers Brothers Awards Ceremony.
Before the ceremony the top-12 drivers were available in an adjacent ballroom for Q&A sessions with media. I only had one question that I had any interest in asking any of the drivers and that was “Do you have any big plans for the off-season?”
Everyone was already engaged with media from various outlets: print, online, and TV. So I did a quick lap around taking pictures, and then chatted with ESPN PR.
Jimmie Johnson’s new nickname is “Superman” which is totally fitting because he reminds me of Clark Kent. Jimmie’s got the whole mild-mannered thing down pat.
Congrats to Jimmie and the No. 48 Lowe’s team. They did an amazing job in picking up their 4th straight Sprint Cup Championship.
I kept going back and forth over whether or not I would write about the whole “you should respect Jimmie” and “the garage respects him, now the fans need to” lines people have been repeating lately.
– First, some housekeeping. I’ve added a photo gallery to the site that contains all of the photos I’ve taken from my race weekend adventures. Definitely take a moment and check ‘em out. There are a lot of great photos in there that I’ve never featured on the site. If you’re a Kasey Kahne they’re especially good because there are a couple where he’s looking right at the camera so you can pretend he’s looking at you.
– There are 3 days left in the Tweet2Vegas sweepstakes which will send you and a friend to Las Vegas during the NASCAR Champion’s Week from December 2 through December 5th. You’ll get to attend After the Lap presented by Tissot, a Q&A session with the top 12 Sprint Cup Series drivers after they’ve taken their lap down Las Vegas’ famous Strip. Just follow NASCAR on Twitter for details.
– Here are some things to do this weekend at Phoenix International Raceway. I wish I was there:
CHEVY RIDE AND DRIVE AT PHOENIX!
When you go to a NASCAR race you get to watch some great driving on the track… but Chevrolet thinks consumers should get to feel the need for speed too! On Friday-Saturday, November 13 & 14 during the Checker O’Reilly Auto Parts 500 Presented by Pennzoil race weekend at Phoenix International Raceway, fans will have a rare opportunity to actually get behind the wheel of the coveted new Camaro for a test drive. Plus, all participants get a cool Camaro t-shirt!
The free Chevy Ride and Drive is a great way to experience and test drive brand new Chevrolet products right there at the Speedway. Participants will first get to enjoy some action behind the wheel of the 2010 Chevy Equinox, Malibu, Silverado or Traverse, and then take a spin in the all- new 2010 Chevy Camaro!
A sleek, fun, and efficient sports car for the 21st century, the 2010 Camaro combines great looks and performance, along with advanced technology and surprising efficiency.
The Chevy Ride and Drive is located near the Chevy Racing Display in the midway at Phoenix International Raceway and is open to the public on Friday, Nov. 13 from 8:00 am – 5:00 pm, and on Saturday, Nov 14 from 8:00 am – Noon. Fans can pre-register and skip the lines! See www.teamchevytestdrive.com for all the information!
CHEVY RACING DISPLAY AT PHOENIX INTERNATIONAL RACEWAY!
There is also an interactive Chevy Racing Display where you can check out all the latest Chevrolet cars and trucks along, with actual race cars, and pick up a complimentary gift.
The Chevy Racing Display is located in the Midway, and is open to the public on Friday, Nov. 13 from 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 14 from 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m., and Sunday, Nov. 15 from 8:00 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Both the Chevy Racing Display and the Chevy Ride and Drive feature the same vehicles that are offered in the Chevrolet dealerships owned by NASCAR star drivers Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon, Mark Martin and others including Malibu Sedan LTZ, Camaro 2SS, Traverse FWD LTZ, Traverse LT, Equninox, Tahoe 2wd LTZ, Suburban 1500 2wd LTZ, Silverado 1500 2wd Crew Cab LTZ!
– I have to give huge, huge props to Starbucks for sponsoring the No. 1 team this weekend at Phoenix. I have been saying for sometime now that Starbucks should sponsor a NASCAR team (and me!) and I think this will be really good for them. They’re promoting their new instant coffee product, Via. A NASCAR race is the perfect place for that, somewhere where you want a great cup of coffee in a pinch.
– On the same topic I have to give a huge middle finger to the jackass at the Seattle Weekly who has absolutely no clue what he’s talking about. Ya know, you could easily spend your entire life defending and explaining NASCAR to idiots but what’s the point? He clearly hasn’t been to a race ever. If he’d ever been to a NASCAR race he’d know that there is diversity, not just in ethnicities represented, but also in tax brackets. I’m so tired of people leaning on tired stereotypes. Get over yourself.
Before the start of the Dickies 500 on Sunday I was thinking about what had to happen in order for Jimmie Johnson to lose some momentum in The Chase. Of course, I didn’t think any of it would happen. So when Jimmie’s accident occurred I was, uhm, sort of pleasantly surprised.
We needed that to make things a little more interesting. The guy still has a ton of points on Mark Martin but at least it gives hope a chance to shine. And, if I’m being honest, it was pretty cool getting to see the 48 team pull together and get that car back into shape to run in the race again. I’m never against seeing Ron Malec in action. (hehe) I have to give it Chad Knaus though, that guy is one cool customer. He was pissed of course that they ran into trouble, but his voice is always even. He doesn’t freak out, and you can’t afford to freak out in a situation like that, which is why Jimmie and the Lowe’s team are 3-time Sprint Cup Champions.
Watching Kurt Busch do his victory lap around Texas Motor Speedway in reverse with his tongue sticking out made me realize who he reminds me of, and no, it’s not Michael Jordan. No, I was thinking more along the lines of the character Pete Campbell from the awesome TV show Mad Men. Pete, played by Vincent Kartheiser, is kind of a punk. He whines when he doesn’t get his way and always thinks he should be treated better than he perceives he’s being treated. It’s funny. Watch Mad Men, it’s awesome. The latest season is over, but that’s what Netflix is for.
That being said it was cool to see Kurt so excited about winning and all that.
Uhm… There’s this one driver, I think his name is Dale Earnhardt Jr. or something, who doesn’t seem to be able to catch a break this season. I’m at the point, well I’ve been here for some time now, where I want to just say to him “Dale, (yes, in this scenario I know him and we’re BFFs) I think you should just park it and call it a season, this is lame. I know you’re doing your best but you need to tell whatever gods are in charge of luck to kiss your butt.”
He was running really well and then of course something happens and finishes crappy. And his finish has nothing to do with his overall performance. They were kicking butt and then it falls off. Ugh.
And now ladies and gentlemen, a photo bonanza!
Overall I think Talladega went down pretty much the same way it would have gone down had NASCAR not instituted the new rules, smaller restrictor plate and no bumping in the turns. Those guys were going to hold off until the end and then crap was going to hit the fan in the final laps. Because really, at Talladega if you’re 35th you’re still in it, it’s all about being there in the end and getting in a good line up to the front.
I wasn’t mad about the whole no touching each other in the corners rule because of the rule itself, but more anxious about the enforcement of that rule. As it is, Talladega is a race that I love but one that also makes me crazy with anxiety because I’m hoping that my driver doesn’t get caught up in the “big one.” I hold my breath during Talladega because you just never know.
So then you add in the fact that my driver, Dale Earnhardt Jr., could get caught on some lame rule NASCAR cooked up an hour before the race starts, you’re just tacking on another layer of panic for me to deal with for the ENTIRE race.
The picture to the left was taken by Denny Hamlin himself. He posted it to his Twitter page, arriving home after winning Sunday’s TUMS Fast Relief 500 at Martinsville, with the caption “Just pulled up at my house.. LOL.” Isn’t that sweet? I love it.
The race itself was fun, and I’m glad Denny won.
I was thinking that I wouldn’t comment on Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s bad, bad luck but I feel like I have to say something. Maybe just for myself? This season has sucked and sucked hard. I don’t place blame or feel the need to point fingers because I truly believe that Hendrick Motorsports is doing everything they can to make Dale Jr. successful. I mean, it’s in everyone’s best interest that he wins. There is nothing to be gained from having an annoying season like this one.
I mean, really. So, now that Jimmie Johnson and the No. 48 “Dream Team” went and won two races in a row, catapulting them to the top of the The Chase standings, a lot of people are talking about how freaking boring it is that he could possibly win a 4th Championship in a row.
I am, of course, one of those people that would rather he didn’t win that 4th Championship. I don’t want him to not win it because I don’t like him or because I think it’s bad for the sport, or because I hate someone making history. No, I don’t want him to win it ’cause it’s purely boring!! It’s like watching a football game and watching one team slaughter the other team by going up 40 to zero in the first half. It’s effing boring, people. Nobody wants to watch that.
Watching a team other than your favorite make history isn’t fun. I’m sorry but that’s the truth. Of course I loved it when the 49ers won 2 Super Bowl’s in a row, but when the Patriots did the same thing I couldn’t tell you where I was when it happened. That’s just how it is. Good for them, but I’m not going to be that interested.
I respect the history and the feat, and how much it takes to be the best. Trust me, I get it. It’s a big deal and the 48 has proved they’re insanely good, and if they win this thing then I’ll congratulate them with all of the sincerity in the world.
But what’s wrong with wanting someone else to win it?
And now I’d like to say something that’s been bugging me. It should be duly noted that Jimmie Johnson has a TON of fans. So nobody needs to be running around trying to stick up for him. The man has fans; he has a ton of people out there pulling for him to win this thing, so nobody needs to tell us non-diehard Jimmie Johnson fans that we need to knock it off.
When I go to a race I always see Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson fans. The top-3 driver’s gear I see on people belongs to those guys, hands down.
And frankly, as a Dale Jr. fan I have bigger issues to worry about than whether or not Jimmie wins the Championship this year. Thank you.
So I’m finally wrapping up my posts about the Pepsi 500. It’s only a week overdue, but whatever.
Sunday was of course the Pepsi 500 and the morning was left open to do whatever made my little heart happy.
That weekend had been a celebration of Dale Earnhardt Jr’s birthday, which was October 10th, and Hendrick Motorsports 25th Anniversary. So it was only fitting that there was a Hendrick Motorsports hospitality tent, dubbed the “Party Zone,” where fans who bought tickets could eat, drink, be merry and ask Hendrick drivers, Dale Jr. and Jeff Gordon, questions before the start of the day’s race.
Auto Club Speedway picked one fan that purchased one of the special Dale Jr. Birthday ticket packages to meet Dale himself on Sunday morning. The Speedway let me go along for the ride. Well, sorta. I met Stan (photographed at right), the lucky fan who was going to meet Dale and present him with special No. 88 cupcakes from Sprinkles. Stan was a very nice guy, who had been a fan of Dale Earnhardt Sr. and transferred his loyalty over to Dale Jr.
I rode with Stan over to the hospitality tent where we parted ways and I went inside to wait for the Q&A session to begin, and Stan went on to meet Dale just before he took the stage.
I don’t know how their meeting went down, but I’m sure it was cool.
It was while I was standing around watching some country music cover band perform that Erin, a very cool woman who reads this very blog, came up and introduced herself. It was soo nice of her to say hello. Even though I have traffic numbers from Google that tell me people come to my site everyday it still amazes me when I meet a real person who reads my blog and likes it.
I stuck around long enough to watch Dale take to the stage and watch people lose their minds over his very presence. He seemed kinda groggy. It was like 9am PST but back east that’s 6am, so I could understand why he might not be all bright and shiny.
After all that I went back over to the infield to go to the Drivers Meeting. I decided I was going to take pictures of drivers but that devolved into just standing outside of the meeting room and not taking pictures. At that point it just seemed like I’d taken pictures before and what was the point?
It was there that I met Shari and Steve (photographed at left), a couple from Phelan, California who were on the lookout for Tony Stewart. I let them know that Tony was in the driver’s meeting room already and that he had to come out on our side of the building (there are two exits) because his PR guy was standing nearby. They had a Home Depot jacket that they wanted to get Tony to sign, they’d gotten Greg Zipadelli to sign it the day before. As the drivers meeting let out they were able to get Tony’s autograph.
Shari & Steve were super nice people and I was totally glad I could help them out in a little way. It’s actually my favorite thing to do at a track, help people stalk their fave drivers. Ok, not “stalk” but get their autograph or a photo, especially kids. At Infineon this year there was a group of little boys who were waiting near the garage with their mother to get autographs. Security had moved them behind a fence but next to the bathrooms. I saw Kyle Busch sprint to the men’s room just behind them but the kids hadn’t noticed. So of course I took it upon myself to tell them Kyle was nearby and to be on the lookout when he left the bathroom. It’s fun to help people check something off their list, or finish a really cool story they’ll tell their friends later.
So if you see me at a track and you wanna know where so and so driver is I might be able to help you out!
It is my duty as a sports blogger to have an opinion on everything and to make bold predictions. Normally I’m against this, everything doesn’t need to be said, but I thought it could be fun to make predictions about the outcome of The Chase, predictions that even I don’t take that seriously. Enjoy!
(in the order of the current points standings)
|1.) Mark Martin – I have believe that Mark Martin will win the Championship, unless something happens that makes it so that he doesn’t.|
|2.) Jimmie Johnson – Jimmie will definitely not win the Championship for a 4th straight year, because that would just be greedy and show-offy.|
|3.) Denny Hamlin – Denny will continue to be my sentimental fave for the year, and also my favorite Cribs episode featuring a NASCAR driver. Oh! He’ll also continue to get on people’s nerves.|
|4.) Juan Pablo Montoya – JPM will be frustrated.|
|5.) Kurt Busch – Hmm… Kurt will be all “Whatever” and I’ll be all “Whatever” and then he’ll be all, “Yeah, whatever.” He’s also writing for the Chicago Tribune’s Players Only blog on a weekly basis for the remainder of the season.|
|6.) Tony Stewart – Tony will get close to the Championship but won’t be able to seal the deal. He’ll continue to “mentor” young female drivers.|
|7.) Ryan Newman – He’s in the Chase? Oh, right, right. Ryan will win at least one race before the year is over.|
|8.) Brian Vickers – Bri Bri will be a threat for the Championship. He’ll continue to be supercute and will write a diary for Maxim.com. No really, he’s supposed to do that.|
|9.) Greg Biffle – Biffle’s eyes will pierce through you like lasers. They really do. His stare is intense. Yeah, he’s not winning this thing.|
|10.) Jeff Gordon – Jeff will hopefully *fingers crossed* impregnate his wife a second time and make the second cutest kid ever! I’d like to think he’d win the Sprint Cup but that’d mean I’d have to be mean to Mark Martin.|
|11.) Carl Edwards – Oh, Carly. Well, his Frisbee foot will heal just in time for him to not win the Championship. He’ll continue to confound female NASCAR fans everywhere with his supreme polite gorgeousness.|
|12.) Kasey Kahne – Kasey will pick himself up and dust himself off and start all over again tomorrow at Dover. He’ll improve his position. Kasey will also continue to confound me with his ability to be absolutely adorable without even trying. Look at that photo, c’mon!|
Congratulations to the twelve men that made it into the 2009 Chase for the Sprint Cup. It’s an interesting little group. I can’t believe the entirety of Stewart-Haas Racing made it in especially since I didn’t think they’d win a single race this year. Brian Vickers proved it really isn’t over til it’s over and made the Chase for the first time. I’m so excited for the No. 83 team.
I think it’s going to be a very fun Chase, at least I hope it is. It better be crazy at New Hampshire next weekend.
Why the heck has he been at so many races this year? It’s common knowledge that Tom Cruise starred in the 1990 film Days of Thunder which was set in the world of stock car racing. Tom and various members of his family have been seen at NASCAR races a lot this year. He was in Daytona for the 500, and I spied his son, Connor, tagging along with Rick Hendrick at the Auto Club 500. Since then Tom, his wife Katie Holmes & their daughter Suri were at Infineon, and now this past weekend at Richmond Tom, Connor and Tom’s mom, Mary, were on hand.
Maybe it’s just because he narrated the Hendrick Motorsports documentary Together: The Hendrick Motorsports Story, which airs on October 11 on ABC before the start of the Pepsi 500. Maybe this is some sort of subliminal promotion for the documentary since a portion of the proceeds from the sale of the DVD will benefit the Levine Children’s Hospital in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Wasn’t it nice to have a NASCAR Sprint Cup race on Sunday for once? Just kidding. Although, I was this close to losing it when they stopped the race because of rain. I don’t think I could of handled another race being postponed. I’m putting Mother Nature on notice, if she messes up another race this year I’m never speaking to her again.
I was happy for Brian Vickers and his first win of the season. It was nice to see a new face in Victory Lane this year. Leading up to this race it seemed like momentum was on his side for a victory. I would like to thank Jimmie Johnson for pointing out during his post-race interview the fact that Brian’s first career win a few years ago at Talladega, was kinda tarnished since he spun out Jimmie and Dale Jr. in the process. But whatever, this win was clean and totally deserved. (I swear I’m turning into a driver because I don’t forget stuff that went down like years ago!)
All of a sudden Watkins Glen has turned into a road course version of Talladega. The huge, gnarly crash that caught Sam Hornish Jr. and Jeff Gordon off guard seemed like a smaller version of “The Big One.” I’m glad everyone was ok after the wreck. Although, Jeff’s bad back was activated. I wonder if his back issues will be the reason he calls it quits on his career sooner as opposed to later. It’s just a thought that runs through your mind.
The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at Watkins Glen International race that was scheduled for today, has been rescheduled for tomorrow at 9amPST/12noonEST. Lame!
I remember a time when I loved rain delays. It meant that the network covering the event had to fill time with driver interviews and that meant talking to more than just the latest “news makers.” While I still enjoy that part of it I don’t appreciate the race being postponed ’til the next day. Especially when the next day falls on a day when I have to be at work, and I have a job that doesn’t include watching television.
Okay, so finally I’m telling you about my Sunday at last weekend’s Toyota/SaveMart 350 at Infineon Raceway.
Saturday night I came home with a mighty impressive suntan/sunburn and you would think that would lead me to make sure I bring a hat and a put sunscreen on the next day, but that didn’t happen. I honestly don’t know why I didn’t think to do either of those things. I’ve been to many races and I’ve never had a sunburn like the one I’m still dealing with to this day. I’ve been wearing a hat for the majority of the week to cover up my peeling forehead. Was that TMI (too much information)?
Let’s see if I can put into words how excited I am about the upcoming Toyota/Save Mart 350 race weekend at Infineon Raceway.
Mmm. Okay, yea I can’t. This weekend means a lot to me for reasons I can’t specifically describe to you in this post. Let’s just say that I need this opportunity, now more than ever, to be immersed in the world of NASCAR and to think of nothing else for three whole days. NASCAR is my escape. It’s funny, this weekend I watched “Into The Wild,” a film based on the true story of one man who got rid of all material possessions except for a backpack and clothes and headed to Alaska to be with nature. I also read the Vanity Fair article about Johnny Depp (on newsstands now) and learned all about how he escapes (in short, he owns islands in the Caribbean and big boat). After taking all of that in I realized that I use this blog and NASCAR as my escape from all of the trappings of “the real world.” This blog isn’t work, it’s fun.
For the last few weeks I’ve been watching the races with the DirecTV HotPass driver channels. As I’ve said before it’s an awesome feature and I like it a lot. I’d love it if I could mute the commentary and just listen to in-car audio and vice versa, but whatever.
I’ve been meaning to talk about the gloves Dale Earnhardt Jr. wears while driving the No. 88. They’re black with a skeleton print. Every time I see them I think of the Cobra Kai gang from “The Karate Kid” movie. I am a child of the 80′s after all. Of course I rooted for Daniel-san to kick the butt of the evil jerks from the rival dojo but I couldn’t help but think that the leader of the Cobra Kai, Johnny, was super hot. Girls always like the bad guy, what can I say? Hehe. I’d also like to note that the actor who played Johnny is still a hottie to this very day (look up William Zabka).
Anyway, now you know the thoughts that run through my mind when I see Dale’s gloves. I have no idea where his inspiration for said gloves came from but I really dig ‘em. hehe. I wonder if Dale could get Mr. Miyagi to work with him this year.
Congratulations to Mark Martin for winning the Life Lock 400 at Michigan International Speedway! He and his team did an excellent job of being in the exactly the right place at exactly the right time. It’s all about being there at the end to take advantage of any and all opportunities that might come your way.
I don’t understand why TNT cut their coverage short when they had like 20 more minutes left to broadcast. Post-race interviews are always my favorite. Jimmie Johnson seemed a little ticked after the race. That was cool. I would pay money to see Jimmie fight with someone. Not physically but just have a really heated argument. It’d be fun. He’s always so relaxed and cool. Seeing him highly irritated would be refreshing.
Photos after the jump!!
Some things of interest:
– Athena Barber, Clint Bowyer’s ex-girlfriend, has joined 3 Wide Life as a correspondent and contributor for the nationally syndicated motorsports focused television show. “This is really exciting,” said Barber. “3 Wide Life focuses on the core of racing and I could not be happier to be a part of it. Racing is my life, and this gives me the opportunity to be around something that I love. Plus I get to share it with the fans and racers across the country.” In her first episode she interviews Robby Gordon. Check your local listings for show air dates.
– For the first time ever Infineon Raceway will host the Toyota/Save Mart 350 on Father’s Day. Recently some of NASCAR’s Chevy drivers shared their thoughts on Father’s Day and what their dads have meant to them:
“Racing is a family sport and it’s been very good to our family. My dad has been the biggest part of it since Day One when I was racing in motocross when I was four or five years old. He was the one who kept it all together. He instilled in me that hard work pays off and that you get out of it what you put in it, and that holds true for just about anything you do.”
- Clint Bowyer, No. 33 Cheerios/Hamburger Helper Chevrolet
“When you’re young, you take for granted all the things your father does. But, when you are a father, you think, ‘Wow, you do a lot.’ You have to really understand what being a father is all about to understand what Father’s Day really means. I don’t like being away from my kids on Father’s Day, but this is what I do, and they’ll take care of me some other weekend.”
- Jeff Burton, No. 31 Caterpillar Chevrolet
“Being a father makes me really appreciate my father that much more. … I also get to have some fun because I’ve got my daughter and my wife making Father’s Day cards and stuff. It’s cool and it’s only going to get better.”
- Jeff Gordon, No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet
“Hopefully (Father’s Day in Sonoma) it will inspire me to go out and win and wish my dad a happy Father’s Day from Victory Lane. My parents sacrificed everything to get me and my brother our starts, and racing has been a big part of my family.”
- Jimmie Johnson, No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet
“(My best Father’s Day racing memory) would have to be the Michigan race. We won the race in 2004 on Father’s Day weekend and I told him on the radio, ‘There’s your Father’s Day present,’ and he said, ‘That’s all I wanted.’”
- Ryan Newman, No. 39 Haas Automation/U.S. Army Chevrolet
“(My father, Nelson) never pressured me to be the best racecar driver in the world, but he did want me to be the best racecar driver that I could be. He never compared me to anybody else. He expected that what I could do was what I could do. He never said that because this guy over here could do something, that I should be able to do it, too. He pushed me hard, but he was fair about it. That’s probably why you see so much fire in me today, because he always wanted me to be the best that I could be.”
- Tony Stewart, No. 14 Office Depot/Old Spice Chevrolet
“My dad means a lot to me and he’s really done a lot for me over the years and really stuck behind me and what I’ve been trying to do in racing. He’s had a long career in racing himself, and he understands how difficult it can be and how fun it is when things go well. It’s so nice to having him at the racetrack, and I look forward to having him at the track on Father’s Day.”
– Casey Mears, No. 07 Jack Daniel’s Chevrolet
There’s still time to enter to win a Talladega Pepsi Throwback prize pack. Enter now! Contest ends Friday, June 19th, 2009.
When Tony Stewart announced his plans to be a NASCAR Sprint Cup driver and owner I was skeptical. I had no idea what would happen but I can tell you that I definitely wasn’t thinking he would be leading in the points standings and winning races. Yea, I thought things would be “interesting” which is code for “not winning.” I didn’t think he would stink up the place but I certainly wasn’t expecting him to contend for the Championship like he is now.
His success is great though. I’m happy that Tony is leading and that he won this weekend’s race at Pocono. I know I’ve talked smack about Tony in the past, and I totally stand by it, but there’s something about him that I do like. I couldn’t tell you what it is right now but there’s something.
And because I’m a sucker for emotional things I love, love, loved it when TNT showed Tony’s dad in the pits. I loved seeing him wipe away tears as he watched his son drive into Victory Lane for the first time as a driver/owner. That’s a very sweet moment and those are the things that add that personal, sentimental touch to this sometimes impersonal, corporate sponsorship driven sport.
On Saturday I watched the Nationwide race at Nashville. No, I’m not going to talk about Kyle Busch’s ill-conceived plan for breaking up the race’s trophy into pieces to share with his team. (I basically agree with what Kyle Petty said about it during Sunday’s broadcast.) I want to talk about Brad Keselowski. Is it just me or does Brad seem a lot more mature and manly this year? He seems a lot less goofy (and I mean that in a really nice way!) and more sure of himself. Does winning a race make your voice change? Hmm, if so, maybe there’s hope for Joey Logano.
I kid, I kid. Photos after the jump!