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.
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Hmm, what happened at Texas? Oh that’s right, NOTHING.
There was some good racing in terms of Greg Biffle snatching the win away from Jimmie Johnson, but other than that it was snoozeville.
I was OK with not being in Las Vegas this year, which feels really odd to write but it’s true. I guess it’s because I know that I’ll be at more races this year, so it’s not the worst thing in the world if I miss one that I’d normally attend.
Where the hell have I have been? I keep asking myself this. Maybe you’ve noticed I haven’t written anything about the Budweiser Shootout or the Daytona 500 that turned out to be Mister Toad’s Wild Ride or even Phoenix.
Over 1,700 votes were cast in Round 2 and now we’re ready to reveal the drivers that have made it in to Round 3 of the 2012 Hottest NASCAR Driver Tournament. Sadly, last year’s winner of the Hottest Driver Tourney has been eliminated from the competition. Clint Bowyer handily defeated reigning champ Tony Stewart.
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.
Five-time Sprint Cup Series Champion Jimmie Johnson was my final interview at this year’s Champion’s Week in Las Vegas. He’s also the only driver (so far) that’s actually met James Lipton who hosts Inside the Actor’s Studio on Bravo and asks these very same questions of his guests. So in a Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon sort of way I’m now connected to James Lipton.
This post is really about everything that I forgot. It wasn’t until I started unpacking that I realized I’d forgotten my evening bag/clutch. This was important because there was no way I could carry everything I’d need for the Awards Ceremony without a bag and taking my regular purse would have been ridiculous.
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.
And he kept fighting ’til the end!
What a race. The Ford 400 was pretty ah-mazing considering there wasn’t serious wreckage. It was all about Tony Stewart driving it like he freaking stole it to the win. Not only winning the race but his third NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship. I’ve never seen anything like that, and it makes me wish we could have a race that looked like that one every weekend. I dunno but Tony certainly put on a show, his restarts were pitch perfect.
I’m oh so very happy for the Office Depot team, and I’m not just talking about the pit crew and Tony, I mean the PR peeps from Office Depot. They’re genuinely some of the nicest people you’ll ever meet and have been so good to me over the past few years. All of my awesome moments & interviews with Tony have been because of them and I am so grateful. They totally deserved this win and I can’t wait to see ‘em all in Las Vegas!
Hats off to Carl Edwards for being his usual classy self. I know losing this Championship had to hurt, but he’s gotta be proud in knowing that he’s an elite driver in NASCAR. He’s come so far in following his dream, and like the awesome song “It’s Amazing” by Jem says, “Nothing can compare to deserving your dreams.”
Obviously Tony winning the Championship means that Jimmie Johnson didn’t, and of course leading up to Sunday’s race everybody was talking about how amazing Jimmie’s 5-peat was, and it is, but the thing that annoys the hell out of me is when people say that no one will ever be able to do that again. I just don’t like it when people rule things out. It’s possible. Anything’s possible. It’s also ridiculous to say that Jimmie will never win another Championship (insane that anyone even thought that). I feel like people say stuff just to say things because they have to fill in air time. Whatever.
And to all the douchebags that booed First Lady Michelle Obama you should be ashamed of yourselves. Regardless of your political beliefs she and Dr. Jill Biden were there in support of our troops and their families, show some respect. Idiots.
Anyway… I’m just going to put this out there: I really think that Tony winning this year’s Hottest Driver Tournament was a good omen for him. I might be slightly biased in that opinion, though. The 2012 Hottest NASCAR Driver Tournament will begin right after New Year’s on January 2, 2012. So stay tuned!
Up next… Champion’s Week in Las Vegas!
Here’s my round-up of fun/interesting quotes from some of today’s press conferences at Homestead-Miami Speedway:
Have you ever run three races in the same weekend?
“Never. Nice birthday present from Kyle (Busch).”
Earlier you were asked about your motivation for next year after this year, how expensive was that shopping trip with Chandra (Jimmie’s wife) yesterday?
“She did well. (Laughs) She can win trophies for her shopping skills. She is good at that.”
Carl Edwards (just after Jimmie made the comment above):
“I went to the outlet mall last night, so I feel for you, Jimmie. I’ve never been to a Coach bag store before. We got caught looking at little baby clothes at The Gap as well, but it was fun.”
Who is organizing the party if you win on Sunday?
“I don’t know what I’m gonna do. People are asking me who is organizing the party after this deal on Sunday. I don’t have a party organizer. Maybe Jimmie could be my party organizer. I knew when I went back to the motorhome, I think it was last year or the year before, and Nick Lachey and his entourage came out of Jimmie’s motorhome and they got in a limo and went somewhere, I thought, ‘That’s gonna be a party there.’ I don’t know what I’ll do. That might be one night you’d see the other side of me. That might be kind of fun. I need help with that, though, guys. You have to keep me in order.”
Is there someone that you would recommend others should follow on Twitter?
“No. There’s nobody on Twitter that you need to follow.”
“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.
It was a fun race to watch because it eventually became a sophisticated 400-lap game of bumper cars, with Brian Vickers racking up the most points. What was that all about? Thought it was interesting that Brian’s friend (and former teammate) Jimmie Johnson even called him out on it during his post-race interview. Said Jimmie, “After a fourth, fifth time with the same car in the crash, you start thinking about maybe you’re the problem. Something is going on. You’re having a bad day. You need to stop crashing for whatever reason.”
With this win at Martinsville Tony Stewart now has 3 wins in The Chase and it’s totally possible that might not win the Championship. Isn’t that kind of weird? I guess consistency is key. No matter, I’ll be happy with whoever wins this thing as long as it comes down to Homestead. I adore the new points system.
I was shocked — just a smidge — by Tony’s post-race victory lane comments about how Carl Edwards needs to be worried and that Carl isn’t going to sleep for the next 3 weeks. Ha! I loved that. In general, drivers & crew chiefs need to talk more trash during this Chase. It’s fun, right?
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.
Sunday morning I got up super early so that I could get to Starbucks (a ‘real’ one that I scouted the night before) and beat any race day traffic that might rear it’s ugly head. I was delighted to find that there was no such traffic to fight and I even had time to take a couple pictures of the road I was on so you guys could see what I saw every morning. I did see a dead dear on the side of the road but I didn’t take a picture of that because it was sad (and gross).
‘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.
I woke up at 6am Sunday morning in New Hampshire and willed myself to get up so that I wouldn’t get stuck in race day traffic. SYLVANIA gave us a tip that we (their invited media peeps) should get on the road by 7:15am at the latest in order to miss the traffic melee. It worked because the drive to the track only took 25 minutes. I have to say that NHMS is by far my favorite track to drive to because the scenery is beautiful, but more importantly it was (basically) a straight shot from the hotel to the track, with one left turn and one stop at the drive-thru Starbucks on Loudon Road.