All posts tagged Juan Pablo Montoya

66 Posts

the chase is set and it better not suck

Denny Hamlin celebrates winning the Chevy Rock & Roll 400 at Richmond International Raceway, his second victory of the season. (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/Getty Images for NASCAR)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.

shortcuts: obama meets nascar, childless viso wins daddy challenge

– On Wednesday President Barack Obama played host to NASCAR’s champions in what I can only describe as the coolest thing I’ve seen happen at the White House in really, really long time.

I loved that in his interview with ESPN President Obama stressed the importance of NASCAR and its role in helping the automotive industry. It’s a very important marketing tool and I’m so glad he took the time out from his insane schedule to support the automakers and NASCAR.

rain keeps delaying my nascar happiness

Pit crews work to cover the cars as rain postpones the start of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at Watkins Glen International on Sunday in Watkins Glen, N.Y. The race has been rescheduled for noon ET Monday on ESPN, MRN, SIRIUS Satellite Radio. (Photo credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images)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.

juan pablo swears, still loses and jimmie wins again

The No. 48 team celebrates their win during Sunday's Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. (Courtesy Hendrick Motorsports)Poor Juan Pablo Montoya, the win was in his sights, it was right there and then he’s caught speeding on pit road by barely anything and it’s all over. No win for you Juan Pablo!

The rule is what it is, there’s nothing to dispute. Although I have to think there’s gotta be a way to make the process that drivers go through to set their pit road speed for each race better than what it is today. Pit road speed varies at each race track and drivers mark the pit road speed in their cars before the start of the race based on the speed the pace car sets. It seems like that leaves everyone open to a lot of room for error. It just seems like technology-wise there’s gotta be a way to make that more precise.

kasey’s winsome stare and dale’s magnetism

Kasey Kahne drives his No. 9 Budweiser Dodge to Victory Lane at the Toyota/SaveMart 350 at Infineon Raceway on Sunday, June 21, 2009 (photo credit: The Fast and the Fabulous)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)?

jeff gordon predicts havoc at infineon

Infineon Raceway 2008 (photo credit: Getty Images for NASCAR)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.

pre-season tidbits

So here are the things that have been rolling around in my head ever since my last blog post, which feels like an eternity ago and I apologize for that. That being said I’m not sure if it’s going to get any better at least until the season truly starts up again.

– I was listening to a few clips of Jamie McMurray talking about his love for kart racing. He mentions in one of ‘em that he doesn’t like to golf because it hurts his knees and back. I know that’s not huge news but I thought it might be interesting to McMurray superfans.

– The 2009 Sprint Sound & Speed event in Nashville, Tennessee is taking place today and tomorrow. Photos from last year’s festival were posted this week and frankly any photos of Dale Earnhardt Jr. from any point in time are totally fine with me. See below.

Clint Bowyer filmed a commercial with the Hamburger Helper hand at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California this week. That guy has all the fun doesn’t he?

Keith Urban, super talented hottie and Nicole Kidman’s hubby, will perform at the Daytona 500 Pre-Race Show this year.

David Stremme, who is coming back to the Sprint Cup Series this year with Penske Racing, spends time with his girlfriend playing Guitar Hero.

Tony Stewart at the 38th Annual Fort McDowell Fiesta Bowl Parade presented by Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation– As grand marshal for the Fiesta Bowl Tony Stewart attended the 38th Annual Fort McDowell Fiesta Bowl Parade presented by Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation. Stewart sat atop a Corvette convertible and waved to fans along the 1.9 mile parade route while two Chevrolets decked out in the branding of his new primary co-sponsors for the 2009 Sprint Cup season, Office Depot and Old Spice, rolled along beside him.

“That was like driver introductions at Indianapolis times 10,” said Tony, in reference to the pre-race activities for NASCAR’s annual race at the prestigious Indianapolis Motor Speedway. “This is a huge event and I’m just honored to be a part of it. It’s pretty cool to sort of venture outside our box a little bit and take in a game of this magnitude. With the racing season being what it is, getting away to see a college football game is kind of tough. When the Fiesta Bowl Committee called and asked if I was interested in being their grand marshal, I said, ‘As long as I get a ticket and a field pass to the game, I’m in.”


NASCAR driver Clint Bowyer gets a helping hand as he tapes a commercial for his new NASCAR Sprint Cup Series sponsor General Mills'

NASCAR driver Clint Bowyer gets a helping hand as he tapes a commercial for his new NASCAR Sprint Cup Series sponsor General Mills’ “Hamburger Helper” at Auto Club Speedway on Wednesday. Bowyer will debut his new ride in Southern California at the West Coast Premiere of NASCAR Feb. 20-22, hoping to end up in Gatorade Victory Lane following the Auto Club 500 on Sunday, Feb. 22. The new commercial spot is scheduled to begin running in February. (Photo Credit: Auto Club Speedway)

Joey Logano and brakeman Kenneth Stout, who led with only Todd Bodine left to go, watch the TV at the finish line as the eventual champion makes his final run. (Photo Credit: Todd Bissonette)

Joey Logano and brakeman Kenneth Stout, who led with only Todd Bodine left to go, watch the TV at the finish line as the eventual champion makes his final run. (Photo Credit: Todd Bissonette)

Country music star Jason Michael Carroll and NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Kyle Petty pose for a picture during the 2008 edition of Sprint Sound and Speed Presented by SunTrust. Both are scheduled to be back at the event this year on Jan. 9-10. (Photo Credit: Sprint Sound and Speed)

Country music star Jason Michael Carroll and NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Kyle Petty pose for a picture during the 2008 edition of Sprint Sound and Speed Presented by SunTrust. Both are scheduled to be back at the event this year on Jan. 9-10. (Photo Credit: Sprint Sound and Speed)

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Taylor Swift pose for a picture during the 2008 edition of Sprint Sound and Speed in Nashville. Earnhardt Jr. is scheduled to participate in this year's event on January 9-10. (Photo Credit: Sprint Sound and Speed)

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Taylor Swift pose for a picture during the 2008 edition of Sprint Sound and Speed in Nashville. Earnhardt Jr. is scheduled to participate in this year’s event on January 9-10. (Photo Credit: Sprint Sound and Speed)

thanks carl, for keeping it semi-interesting

Carl Edwards salutes the fans before doing his trademark back flip after winning Sunday's Dickies 500 at Texas Motor Speedway. The win was Edwards eighth for the 2008 season. (Photo Credit: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)There’s been a lot of press leading up to today regarding wait times and long lines for voting. Here’s a tip for you, move to the suburbs in the San Francisco Bay Area. I went to my polling place, which is right behind my apartment building, and there was no line and the only thing that took a long time was remembering how I wanted to vote on all of the propositions.

Anyway, on to more relevant things like Sunday’s race at Texas Motor Speedway.

First, I would like to thank Carl Edwards for restoring a little bit of drama to The Chase. I loved the fact that his team took a gamble on their fuel mileage and came out on top. Even if it didn’t work it still would have been cool. What did they have to lose anyway? All in all it was a great call and it made a pretty much boring race exciting in the end.

Ok, so there was that incident between David Gilliland and Juan Pablo Montoya. So David spun Juan out and ended up wrecking both of their cars. NASCAR parked David and I think that’s the first time I’ve ever seen NASCAR take such swift and decisive action with someone before. I mean, I know they’ve done stuff like that before but I guess I was never around to see them park somebody during a race. What David did wasn’t good but I still like him. Hehe. I want that guy to win and I want him to get more attention but not from stuff like that.

His actions impacted the race and The Chase in the grand scheme of things, but I think that’s what NASCAR is all about. You have to be strong enough to weather the race, and your fellow racers, to be a champion. As much as racing is about being prepared, talented and having great equipment, it’s also about fate and luck. Kyle Busch didn’t all of a sudden become a big loser and forget how to drive a racecar once The Chase started, he just ran into some serious bad luck. And that’s what I love about the sport, there’s so much that is left to chance.

In other news…

– If you’re interested in donating directly to the Sam Ard Fund, go to his website for more information on where to send your check. If you haven’t already, read this great article by Jenna Fryer of the Associated Press regarding the impact of Kyle Busch’s $100,000 donation to the Ard family.


Jamie McMurray, driver of the #26 Crown Royal Ford, stands on the grid during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Dickies 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on October 31, 2008 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo by Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Jamie McMurray, driver of the #26 Crown Royal Ford, stands on the grid during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Dickies 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on October 31, 2008 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo by Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Jimmie Johnson (right), driver of the No. 48 Lowes Chevrolet stands with his car chief Ron Malec (left), started seventh and finished 15th in Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup event at Texas Motor Speedway. (Courtesy Hendrick Motorsports).

Jimmie Johnson (right), driver of the No. 48 Lowes Chevrolet stands with his car chief Ron Malec (left), started seventh and finished 15th in Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup event at Texas Motor Speedway. (Courtesy Hendrick Motorsports)

Jeff Gordon, driver of the No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet, started from the pole position and finished second in Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup event at Texas Motor Speedway. Here he is prerace with daughter Ella Sofia. (Courtesy Hendrick Motorsports)

Is she not the cutest little girl ever??

Jeff Gordon, driver of the No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet, started from the pole position and finished second in Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup event at Texas Motor Speedway. Here he is prerace with daughter Ella Sofia. (Courtesy Hendrick Motorsports)

NASCAR Nationwide Series pole-sitter Carl Edwards meets television host Rachael Ray on pit road Saturday at Texas Motor Speedway before the O'Reilly Challenge. (Photo Credit: Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)

NASCAR Nationwide Series pole-sitter Carl Edwards meets television host Rachael Ray on pit road Saturday at Texas Motor Speedway before the O’Reilly Challenge. (Photo Credit: Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Clint Bowyer (L), driver of the #07 Jack Daniel's Chevrolet, talks with ESPN's Brad Daugherty (R) on the grid during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Dickies 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on October 31, 2008 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo Credit: Robert Laberge/Getty Images for NASCAR)

This photo cracks me up, I love it. :)

Clint Bowyer (L), driver of the #07 Jack Daniel’s Chevrolet, talks with ESPN’s Brad Daugherty (R) on the grid during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Dickies 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on October 31, 2008 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo Credit: Robert Laberge/Getty Images for NASCAR)

the other busch brother finally wins

The No. 2 pit crew hoists their driver, Kurt Busch, after he was declared winner of the Lenox Industrial Tools 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway (Photo Credit: Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)Here’s what I will say about the race at New Hampshire this past weekend: It was a good day for Kurt Busch and that’s pretty much it.

It was a good thing to see Patrick Carpentier capture the pole on Friday; you can’t take that away from the guy. Kurt needed a win in the worst way, but as usual I would prefer it if people could win — especially the much needed ones — with a complete race devoid of rain or controversy. It’s like when Dario Franchitti won the Indy 500. He’s a good guy and deserved the win, but just for me personally I would of felt better about it had it not been rained out. I’m just sayin’.

I didn’t see and hear everything that went on during the race because I was down in Los Angeles for my cousin’s wedding, and so I had to contend with my three nephews and their endless questions about racing. They’re 11, 9 and 7-years-old and they want to know everything. The questions never stop. Who’s leading? Who do you want to win? Who do you want to lose? Who do you want to finish 2nd? Who do you want to finish 3rd? Who do you want to finish last?

I love them I really do, and I desperately want to bring them to a race so they can see it all in person, but it did make me long for the times when I can watch the race in the peace and quiet of my apartment. :)


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The sixth caution came out on lap 273 when Dale Earnhardt Jr. got into an incident wit Jamie McMurray near the entrance to pit road. (Photo Credit: Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)” /></p>
<p><em>The sixth caution came out on lap 273 when Dale Earnhardt Jr. got into an incident wit Jamie McMurray near the entrance to pit road. (Photo Credit: Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)</em></p>
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During the seventh and final caution, Kyle Busch (top, No. 18) and Juan Pablo Montoya (bottom, No. 42) were involved in an incident that cost Montoya two laps for rough driving in the Lenox Industrial Tools 300 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway (Photo Credit: Chris McGrath / Getty Images for NASCAR)

Polesitter Patrick Carpentier and his daughter Anais meet the crowd during driver introductions before the Lenox Industrial Tools 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Polesitter Patrick Carpentier and his daughter Anais meet the crowd during driver introductions before the Lenox Industrial Tools 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/Getty Images for NASCAR)

duh, kahne is truly able

NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race winner Kasey Kahne gets ready to practice for the Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe's Motor Speedway. (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/Getty Images for NASCAR)I’m glad that Kasey Kahne won the Coca-Cola 600. It’s a great boost for him and his team and Gillett Evernham Motorsports (GEM — truly, truly outrageous!). I didn’t think it was going to happen since Tony Stewart had that commanding lead at the end, but his misfortune was Kasey’s good luck.

About the photo of Kasey to the left: I seriously challenge him to take a horrible picture! He’s not even trying for gosh sakes.

I have to give NASCAR kudos for all of the pre-race festivities involving the troops. I got all teary-eyed when the trumpeter played Taps and I got chills from the bagpipes playing “Amazing Grace.”

But here’s where I got irked during the pre-race show. During the Gas ‘N Go segment where Darrell Waltrip and Jeff Hammond answer quick fire questions asked by Chris Myers. They failed to include a question about the swapping of the deck chairs on the titanic that has been Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates.

Why oh why did they not talk about Jimmy Elledge’s firing, after he had been moved from Reed Sorenson’s team over to the crew chief position for Juan Pablo Montoya? That’s interesting. That’s something about which I’m actually curious to know DW’s opinion. What I’m not concerned with is the obvious fact that there’s no way that NBA star Yao Ming could fit into a race car.

Ya know, for a moment there when I heard about the crew chief swap at Gnassi and Juan Pablo’s frustrations that I actually felt for the guy, but then I read this exchange between him and Associated Press writer Jenna Fryer and I all of that went out the window:

Q: They call last weekend the biggest weekend in racing. Monaco, Indianapolis and the Coca-Cola 600 — of all three, which do you think is the biggest?

JPM: Um, the one I’m in.

Q: Do you mean the one you are in now (NASCAR), or the one you are in that particular year?

JPM: Both. I don’t know. As a show for the fans, the best one is this one. As far as tradition, the other ones have a lot of tradition. In Europe, the Monaco Grand Prix is a big deal. I think it’s such a big deal because it’s the only street course Formula One does. The other races you can actually see cars hitting walls and screwing up. I guess people like that.

Q: Which victory did you prefer, Monaco or Indy?

JPM: Don’t put me in that position.

Q: Why?

JPM: I am not going to answer that. You know what the answer is, so don’t ask it.

Q: I don’t know the answer. That’s why I asked the question.

JPM: Next question.

Q: I’ve got nothing else.

JPM: Good.

Why is this guy such a tool?? Okay, I actually do feel for him in terms of the crew chief situation and everything, but I still maintain that he’s got an icky, egotastic attitude.


Yao Ming (L) talks with Kyle Petty (R) prior to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coca-Cola 600 on May 25, 2008 at Lowe's Motor Speedway in Concord, North Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

Yao Ming (L) talks with Kyle Petty (R) prior to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coca-Cola 600 on May 25, 2008 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway in Concord, North Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

Joey Logano addresses the media during a news conference to celebrate his 18th birthday. Logano will make his NASCAR Nationwide Series debut next week at Dover International Speedway. (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Joey Logano addresses the media during a news conference to celebrate his 18th birthday. Logano will make his NASCAR Nationwide Series debut next week at Dover International Speedway. (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Denny Hamlin, driver of the #20 Z-Line Designs Toyota (L), and Brad Keselowski, driver of the #88 NAVY Chevrolet, speak to the media in a press conference following the NASCAR Nationwide Series CARQUEST Auto Parts 300 on May 24, 2008 at Lowe's Motor Speedway in Concord, North Carolina. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Denny Hamlin, driver of the #20 Z-Line Designs Toyota (L), and Brad Keselowski, driver of the #88 NAVY Chevrolet, speak to the media in a press conference following the NASCAR Nationwide Series CARQUEST Auto Parts 300 on May 24, 2008 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway in Concord, North Carolina. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Travis Kvapil, driver of the #28 Lumber Liquidators Ford, sits in his car during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coca-Cola 600 on May 22, 2008 at Lowe's Motor Speedway in Concord, North Carolina. (Photo by Todd Warshaw/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Travis Kvapil, driver of the #28 Lumber Liquidators Ford, sits in his car during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coca-Cola 600 on May 22, 2008 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway in Concord, North Carolina. (Photo by Todd Warshaw/Getty Images for NASCAR)

oh yeah, about atlanta

It’s no secret that I don’t like Kyle Busch. While I respect his talent and I can appreciate his drive for winning, I still find him to be the most annoying and obnoxious driver on the Sprint Cup circuit to date. Even when he wins he can’t help but complain or take a jab at someone. I think it all stems from insecurity and immaturity but whatever, maybe he’ll grow out of that.

And now for some random fabulousness:

– I interviewed Washington Post sportswriter Liz Clarke a little while ago and I would love it if you’d read our conversation. I only point it out because I’m really proud of it and I think you could get something out of it. I’m just sayin’.

– If you’re new to my blog or are a regular reader please take a second to fill out my reader survey. It’s nothing fancy and I’m not selling the information I receive, so it’s all just for my knowledge. I’ll be your best friend, ok, not really but you know what I mean.

– My mom will be mad at me if I don’t mention the fact that on Sunday while we were watching the race we saw a commercial for Domino’s promoting some special NASCAR deal. We called our local Domino’s restaurant and the manager had no idea there was such a deal available. He’d never heard of it apparently and then my mother proceeded to ask him what kind of manager he was and then he hung up on her. Yep, that’s my mom. Anyway, we ended up getting pizza from Round Table, where, I might add the guy went out of his way to find a coupon for us to use since we didn’t have any. Good job picking up the slack Round Table!

– Do you read The Onion? Well you should because they’re hilarious and they write the funniest stuff. They decided to make fun of Carl Edwards and his backflip tradition. Ya gotta check this out… Carl Edwards Does Mournful ‘Did Not Finish’ Backflip (Onion Sports)

– If this doesn’t work I don’t know what will. In an attempt to secure a sponsor for the Yates Racing No. 28 car driven by Travis Kvapil they’re running a special “11 Million” paint scheme at Bristol this weekend. The “11 Million” stands for the average number of people that watch the race coverage on FOX each day. Of course it goes without saying, if I had the money I’d totally sponsor this team. Can’t you just imagine “The Fast and the Fabulous” Ford zooming around the race track? hehe. Maybe Travis and the guys at Yates are glad I don’t have the money. :)

The 2008 NASCAR TV season is already off to a great start with an average of more than 11 million people per race day watching the No. 28 Yates Racing Ford during FOX’s coverage. This three-race average doesn’t include the 33.5 million viewers that watched the Daytona 500. With TV ratings up, and the No. 28 team still looking for sponsorship, it only makes sense to highlight one of the many benefits of a primary sponsorship with Yates Racing and the No. 28 team by placing “11 Million” on the hood of the Ford Fusion. Driver Travis Kvapil thinks it’s a unique approach to attracting sponsorship and hopes that he can get his No. 28 “11 Million” Ford to the number one position this Sunday at Bristol.

“I think it’s pretty creative,” said Kvapil. “When you stop and think about it, that’s a lot of eyeballs watching you every weekend, and this is just a fraction of the coverage that we get each week. I can’t imagine what the number would be if you added up all the media coverage along with the practice, qualifying, pre-race and post-race shows. That’s huge.”

Sponsorship opportunities are available; please contact Kevin Thomas with Yates Racing at 704-706-2120.

– Speaking of Yates Racing, be on the lookout for my interview with Michelle Gilliland, wife of David Gilliland who drives the No. 38 FreeCreditReport.com Ford. I should be posting it in the next few days.


Photo Credit: Special to NASCAR

I’m posting this because I think Connie Montoya’s dress is super cute! That is all.

(Left to right) Felix Sabates, NASCAR CFO R. Todd Wilson, Chip Ganassi, NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France, Connie Montoya, Juan Pablo Montoya, Kyle Petty and NASCAR Foundation Executive Director Sandy Marshall traveled to Colombia to raise awareness for the Montoyas Formula Smiles program and Petty’s Victory Junction Gang Camp. (Photo Credit: Special to NASCAR)

Photo Credit: Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR

Scott Speed is one colorful dude.

Guenther Steiner (R), the technical director for Red Bull Racing Team, talks with Red Bull Racer, Scott Speed (L) a few hours before his first NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race. (Photo Credit: Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Photo Credit: Marc Serota / Getty Images for NASCAR

Martin Truex Jr. qualified third for Sunday’s Kobalt Tools 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. (Photo Credit: Marc Serota / Getty Images for NASCAR)

Photo Credit: Marc Serota / Getty Images for NASCAR

After the track was dried, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series got in a final practice. In his quest for three consecutive Atlanta wins, Jimmie Johnson turned the eighth-fastest lap. (Photo Credit: Marc Serota / Getty Images for NASCAR)

don’t stand so close to me (unless you’re clint bowyer)

So I have this new vow that whenever I get media credentials I’m going to make the most of them. I’m going to do everything and access everything that my credentials will allow, at least, all of the stuff that I know about. There were three symbols whose meaning I never got around to figuring out. So anyway, back to making the most of things. I knew I wanted to get to the drivers introduction stage but it was way out on the start/finish line and not on pit road like it had been at California. So I wasn’t sure if I was allowed to be out there. Plus I didn’t see any of the media people that I recognized out there, but as I like to say “If you don’t ask, you don’t get.” So I went out there and one of the security people let me through. 

Before the start of driver introductions there were a bunch of small introductory speeches by various big wigs, the Mayor of Las Vegas Oscar Goodman, SMI Chairman of the Board Bruton Smith, etc. And then the Blue Man Group put on a little show. They were really cool to see in person, even if I only saw the right side of the stage. I thought it was fun having them perform. Musical/theatrical shows are such a Vegas thing and it’s only fitting to have one before the start of the race, plus it’s like you get a little extra for all the money you shelled out for the tickets.

While the blue dudes were performing Clint Bowyer walked out on to the grass with a bunch of guys I’m assuming were his friends. He stopped to check out the show like right next to where I was standing. It was the most awkward thing. Should I stand there and look at the show like “yea I think the show is really cool too Clint” or should I stare at him and snap as many photos as possible right in his face? Well I chose a sort of combination of the two. I took photos of him, and stared at him and also tried to move out of his way so that he could get a better look at the show, all the while trying to be nonchalant about the whole thing.

And so eventually all of the drivers streamed out onto the grass behind the stage. Dale Earnhardt Jr. sped by in his requisite black hoodie and into the tented backstage area. Meanwhile a woman standing next to me with a very large chest area had Robby Gordon sign her boobs, I mean, shirt.


Robby Gordon gives his autograph (Photo Credit: The Fast and the Fabulous/Valli Hilaire)

Robby Gordon signs a fan’s boob shirt at the UAW-Dodge 400 in Las Vegas.

Clint Bowyer watches The Blue Man Group perform before the start of the UAW-Dodge 400 in Las Vegas (Photo Credit: The Fast and the Fabulous/Valli Hilaire)

Clint Bowyer watches The Blue Man Group perform before the start of the UAW-Dodge 400 in Las Vegas.

Clint Bowyer watches The Blue Man Group perform before the start of the UAW-Dodge 400 in Las Vegas (Photo Credit: The Fast and the Fabulous/Valli Hilaire)

Clint Bowyer watches The Blue Man Group perform before the start of the UAW-Dodge 400 in Las Vegas.

The Blue Man Group perform before the start of the UAW-Dodge 400 in Las Vegas (Photo Credit: The Fast and the Fabulous/Valli Hilaire)

The Blue Man Group perform before the start of the UAW-Dodge 400 in Las Vegas.

J.J. Yeley and his adorable daughter Faith exit the stage during driver introductions at the UAW-Dodge 400 in Las Vegas (Photo Credit: The Fast and the Fabulous/Valli Hilaire)

J.J. Yeley and his adorable daughter Faith exit the stage during driver introductions at the UAW-Dodge 400 in Las Vegas.

A group of drivers hang out before they are introduced at the UAW-Dodge 400 in Las Vegas

Kyle Petty, Ken Schrader, Dario Franchitti, Juan Pablo Montoya and David Reutimann (sitting) hang out before they’re introduced at driver introductions.

would you like more water? coffee? tea?

Check out the photo below. It is of the Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates open wheel and stock car drivers for 2008. Now, is it just me or do they look like waiters? Or maybe service dudes from my local dealership? I’m just sayin’… :)

Photo Credit: HHP/Harold Hinson

Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates introduces its open wheel and stock car teams on Monday during the Charlotte Media Tour. From left to right, Juan Pablo Montoya, Scott Pruett, Reed Sorenson, Scott Dixon, Sabates, Ganassi, Dario Franchitti, Memo Rojas, Alex Lloyd and Bryan Clauson represent six different countries. (Photo Credit: HHP/Harold Hinson)

50 cent and cousin carl get sirius

After yesterday’s technical difficulties all is back to normal in Fast & Fabulous land. I’ll soon be moving this site and my others to a new host in the hopes of avoiding yesterdays service interruption. Yay.

Anyway, on to the news. Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Hendrick Motorsports will be revealing the last pieces of the puzzle next week when they announce who the major sponsors of Dale’s car will be and the number that will be on said car. Rumor has it that will be a combination of the energy drink Amp and the National Guard. I guess the National Guard seems likely since they’re the ones that currently co-sponsor the #25 that next year will turn into whatever number Hendrick has been able to get it’s hands on. I’m hoping they grabbed the 88, that’d make the most sense, and for those numbskulls out there that got the #8 tattooed on their bodies it would be easy (in theory) to add another 8.

I love Ashley Judd, I love her whole family (one of my first concerts was in fact a Judds show). The woman is just plain cool. If Dario Franchitti does in fact make the switch from IndyCar to NASCAR I’m all for it if it means we get to see Ashley. She’s so fun; it’ll be great to get her perspective and opinions on the competition. She gives her opinion on things whether or not it’s been asked for and I totally dig that, like last weekend when she called out the No. 23 team of Milka Duno for being so slow on the track, which in Ashley’s words was putting other drivers in danger. She wasn’t way off base, the announcers basically agreed with her, without actually saying so though.

Oh and while I’m on the subject of IndyCar, there’s one driver that I won’t be so excited to see in NASCAR and that’s Sam Hornish Jr. He is so friggin’ boring. I feel like taking a nap every time I hear him speak. He seems so lethargic and devoid of any personality. He never seems that excited about anything. He could just be a quiet, low key person, which I totally get ’cause I’m like that, but still show me something!

In other news…

– In an effort to not be outdone by Tiger Woods, Jeff Gordon has posted a gallery of photos of his daughter Ella.

David Stremme has been dubbed “Mayor of the Infield.” But just when he gets props for being loved by fans he’s supposedly losing his ride. How screwed is that? Apparently it’s so screwed that even Juan Pablo Montoya is sad about it… although I doubt he’ll cry.

Fun Friday photo — worlds are colliding!:


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Carl Edwards meets music artist 50 Cent while at Sirius Radio for Chase Media Day. (Photo Credit: Sirius Radio)

shortcuts: casey loves the classics

– It’s all been done before, hasn’t it? Tomorrow night is the premiere episode of ABC’s new five-part series “NASCAR in Primetime.” It’ll air on Wednesdays at 10 PM EST (check your local listings). ABC News is promising to “offer viewers a ‘behind the scenes’ look at the inner workings of stock-car racing.” The show followed Mark Martin, Tony Stewart, Jimmie Johnson, Juan Pablo Montoya and others over the course of five months. Juan Pablo will be on Good Morning America with his wife Connie tomorrow to promote the special.

– The mayor of David Stremme’s home town — South Bend, Indiana — has declared August 21st to be David Stremme Day. To celebrate the city is hosting a party, “Stremme Comes Home/Rally to Bristol,” that’s open to the public from 5 PM to 8 PM.

“I haven’t really been back home in South Bend to spend any quality time in about a year, so this party is for my fans, friends, family and I to catch up,” said Stremme, who now resides in Concord, N.C. “It’s pretty easy to get wrapped up with work when you’re spending as much time as we do on the road. I’m thrilled to be hosting this event at Century Center in South Bend, and am looking forward to catching up with everyone and just having a good evening together.”

The event will also raise funds for Coaches Vs. Cancer headed locally by Notre Dame Basketball coach Mike Brey, as well as St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital.

– Happy (sorta early) Birthday wishes to Carl Edwards, he turns 28 tomorrow.

– On Friday night feel free to give Kurt Busch a hard time on my behalf. He’ll be bartending at the Artesian Wells Sports Tavern in Cement City, Michigan from 8pm to 9pm. He’ll be there to raise money for charity.

– At this weekend’s Cup race in Michigan Casey Mears will be rocking a special 1957 Chevy paint scheme for his No. 25 National Guard/GMAC Monte Carlo SS. What’s the special occasion? To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the 1957 Chevrolet.

“I’ve always loved classic cars — I have a ’61 Chevy Impala convertible and a couple of hot rods here and there. My dad is big into collector car shows, and that’s something I enjoy as well. Running the ’57 paint scheme should be a lot of fun this weekend, and Michigan, being the home track for Chevrolet, is an especially fitting place for us to do it.”

– I had to post these quotes from Dale Earnhardt Jr. He is by no means out of the Race to the Chase:

“I’m sure some people are gonna write us off for the Chase after our problems at Watkins Glen,” said Earnhardt, who finished 42nd at the Glen because of engine problems.

“But, I think it’s foolish to do so because we’re a great team and we’re gonna do everything we can to scratch and claw and fight for wins and every position on every lap.

“We have four races coming up at four tracks where we’ve been very, very good lately. No one has been better or more consistent at Michigan than we have the last few years. We’re taking our favorite car – chassis No. 39 – that we’ve been using there and it just seems to really get up and go at Michigan.”

It’s OK Dale, I believe in you. :)

sabotage: not just a beastie boys song

Dale Earnhardt Jr. (left) talks with Ryan Newman after practice at Watkins Glen International. (Photo Credit: John Harrelson/Getty Images for NASCAR)First, I want to say that I still have one pair of tickets to the NASCAR Sharp AQUOS 500 at California Speedway, courtesy of Kodak, available to giveaway. Email me and they’re yours. Winners have been selected.

Watkins Glen was… something. That’s really the best way to describe it. It wasn’t fun for Dale Earnhardt Jr. which is incredibly annoying to me. I could not believe it when they said his engine blew up. I didn’t think that DEI could be trying to sabotage Dale on his way out, but after this weekend I can’t rule it out entirely. I mean this is just too messed up for words. I don’t know if I can take another Chase without Dale in it. The world will not be right. So I’m not counting him out yet until it’s all over, said and done. A lot of things could happen between now and when the Chase is locked in. Right? Right.

A few things that tickled me about the race this weekend:

1.) Juan Pablo Montoya as the in-race reporter. Yea, I knew that wasn’t going to work out well from the get-go. He’s a punk and even before the race started he couldn’t talk or give any insight because he was too busy whining about his steering wheel. Ok, I’m sure he had real concerns, but I just thought it was funny that the first chance they try to talk to him he’s pissed.

2.) The tussle between Juan Pablo and Kevin Harvick was classic. I loved it. I don’t care if Harvick was overreacting — he is a hot-head so I’m not shocked that he got into a shoving match over something that wasn’t even really JPM’s fault. It was highly funny and Harvick outdid himself at the end of the race when he said that he wanted to kick Montoya’s a**. It’s a shame he’s going to get fined for that. I dunno how I feel about the whole fining thing for saying a “bad” word. I’m ok with the money part, but the docking of points is a bit much. And I do agree with Rusty Wallace that instead of that money going to the points fund, they should give it to charity. That’d be a far better use of that money.

3) Ok… so what was up with that fool who decided to try and get Matt Kenseth’s autograph during the red flag? That was very bold of him and yet so very stupid. Although it would have been better had Matt actually signed his hat for him. I wonder if NASCAR would have fined him for that? I guess you wouldn’t want to encourage that kind of behavior.

4.) Seeing Jeff Gordon frustrated was a highlight. It is sad that he lost the entire race with one mistake, but after seeing Junior fall out of the race with his engine issues I wasn’t that sympathetic. I guess the thing I appreciated about seeing Gordon pissed after the race was that those were real, true emotions and he had no one to blame except himself, and he knew it. Plus I also liked the fact that he didn’t put on that happy face racers are always famous for doing, putting some happy spin on top of the fact they lost. But there was no getting away from this one, this was a hard loss.

past in present

So here’s more thoughts & things from the Pepsi 400 at Daytona last weekend, and some stuff leading up to Chicago this weekend.

– This exchange between Dale Earnhardt Jr. and his crew chief (and cousin) Tony Eury Jr. is just funny, so I felt like sharing:
Running 26 laps behind the leaders, the team needed one more stop for fuel to make it to the finish. The yellow flag flew on lap 116.
Eury Jr.: “Pit the second time by. We’ll just take fuel and we’ll be good the rest of the way.”
Dale Jr: “You ain’t gonna give me tires?”
Eury Jr: “You only have four laps on those.”
Dale Jr: “Well, if you like this set so much, you can take them home with you. I need tires. This place is like Darlington now.”
Eury Jr: “Alright, we’ll pit for four tires, second time by.”

As for Chicago, I think Junior is right:

“I’m beginning to think I should just not slow down when I see a crash in front of me. I hope that theme doesn’t continue. We’ve been taken out of two chances to win a race this season by getting hit from behind while trying to avoid a wreck (at Texas in April and last Saturday evening in Daytona). I keep saying that we’re due to have the breaks start going our way, and when they do, we’re going to enjoy it.”

– Are you like me and a need a new laptop? Well here’s the perfect contest for you to enter. You can win Carl Edwards‘ laptop. An autographed Toshiba Notebook. Go to www.officedepotracing.com for details.

– Another note about Jamie McMurray’s win last week at Daytona. After the race, while Jamie’s crew chief Larry Carter was being interviewed he looked as if nothing happened. The look on his face was priceless, he did not look or sound like a man that had just won a Cup race. In fact he looked like he had lost the thing. All of that changed, a little, once he was in victory lane with Jamie and the rest of the team. He finally cracked a smile! I counted at least 2 or 3. Maybe he just needed to be there in the winner’s circle before he could relax and enjoy it.

– After this weekend’s race at Chicagoland Speedway drivers Reed Sorenson, David Stremme and Juan Pablo Montoya will attend a Chicago Cubs game at Wrigley Field. The game on Monday, July 16th is against the San Francisco Giants. Sorenson is supposed to throw out the first pitch (don’t mess it up Reed, you’ll never live it down) and then go sing “Take me out to the ball game” with Stremme and Montoya during the seventh inning stretch. Uhm… Interesting. If you can’t make it to the game in person it’ll be broadcast on ESPN.

– Try on this quote from Kyle Busch’s crew chief Alan Gustafson:

“There’s been a lot of speculation about the equipment we’re getting and what Kyle is getting. I’d like to set the record straight that there is no discrimination as to who gets what at Hendrick Motorsports. It’s the same as it’s always been. We finished second last week — I’d say we were the best car out there. We are here to make the Chase and win a championship. That goal won’t change regardless what the 2008 plans are. I expect the Kellogg’s/CARQUEST team to win this weekend. We’re right on the brink, like we were last year at this time. We have a lot of momentum and I think Chicago is as good a place as any for another win.”

Uhm… Where did this come from? I’m just thinking out loud here, but has he talked to Kyle about this? ‘Cause I think he’s probably the one that started all of the speculation.

the infineon blues

In between trying to put together toys and eating my 6 year-old nephew’s yummy birthday cake, I tried to catch the race at Infineon this past weekend.

I don’t even want to acknowledge the fact that Juan Pablo Montoya won the race (but there ya go). He’s seriously the last person (er one of the last people) that I wanted to win this thing. It was all entirely disappointing. I saw the headline “Montoya’s win left something to be desired” and I hoped that it would talk about how insincere he sounded in victory lane, but instead it was just about the fact that he won because of fuel strategy and not skill. I’ll take what I can get.

Eventhough Dale Earnhardt Jr. ended up finishing 13th, still not getting a top 10 in Sonoma, he started third and ran up front for the majority of the race. I think every Dale Jr. fan should feel good about that. While I would love it for him to win, at this point in the year all I care about is making sure he makes it into the Chase.

Speaking of the Chase… There’s a website that is analyzing the chances of drivers making it into the NASCAR version of playoffs (the final 10 races of the season). It’s pretty cool, and kind of depressing if your favorite driver has only a 4.9% chance (Casey Mears!) of making it into the Chase. Check out SportsClubStats.com

Dale Jr. ranked 6th this year in Harris Interative’s poll: “Who is your favorite sports star?” Tiger Woods came in first for the second year in a row. The complete list is as follows:

1.) Tiger Woods
2.) Derek Jeter
3.) Michael Jordan
4.) Brett Favre
5.) LeBron James
6.) Dale Earnhardt Jr.
7.) Tim Duncan
8.) Peyton Manning
9.) Kobe Bryant
10.) Tom Brady

My question is how did Kobe Bryant get on that list? Eww. For the women tennis star Serena Williams came in first, followed by IndyCar driver Danica Patrick. Check out the complete poll results from Harris Interactive.


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Left to right: Jeff Gordon, Jerry Rice, Troy Aikman and Jimmie Johnson pose for a photo prior to the driver’s meeting at Infineon Raceway. (Photo Credit: Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)

wishin’ for a red bull win

Do you feel that? It’s pressure… Who knew all of this pressure would be mounting for this year’s road course race at Infineon?

There are so many names being thrown out of potential winners it’s getting crazy. I almost wish I could ditch my nephews birthday party to see it in person… almost. I have some serious objections to Juan Pablo Montoya winning this puppy. Why? Because he won’t appreciate it. After he won in Mexico earlier this year (a road course track) he said he wanted to win at an oval next. So given his charismatic and warm attitude (that’s serious sarcasm folks) I’m sure he’d be oh so ecstatic to get a win at another road course. I’m sure he’d be happy in general about winning but he’d still whine that he hadn’t won at a super speedway yet. So I don’t accept that. I don’t even want to imagine it happening.

I’d much rather see AJ Allmendinger pull out a miracle win instead. The kid can do it, if he can qualify. Keep your fingers crossed because that would just be too much fun to watch. He’s got stiff competition from ringers like Boris Said and Ron Fellows, but also a cup regular like Robby Gordon.

In other news…

– Wanna know more about Crew Chiefs? Check out the Crew Chief Club website. I just stumbled upon this site today via Larry McReynolds’ column on FoxSports.com. There isn’t a lot of daily changing information on it (except for a link to Larry Mac’s weekly columns), but still you can get some background info on some of the top Crew Chiefs in NASCAR.

– A big thank you to all of you who have filled out my quick ‘Fabulous’ survey. I really, really appreciate it. If you haven’t filled it out yet, you should… I’ll be your best friend!

on carl’s mom and bad sportscasters

Where to begin… First I guess I’ll express my surprise that it had been over a year since Carl Edwards had won a Cup race. I didn’t realize it had been that long, so good for him. The fun thing about Carl Edwards is his mom. She’s at all of his races and she’s the only NASCAR driver’s mom that I can spot instantly. Like if I saw her at the grocery store I’d be like “hey there’s Carl Edwards’ mom!” If it’s anybody else’s mom I have no clue, their son would have to be standing next to them for me to put it together. I don’t know what it is about her but she stands out. I think it’s her hair. She’s got great hair. Or, duh, it could just be that she’s always there. I dunno though… Some of those guys’ girlfriends and wives are always there and I wouldn’t be able to pick them out of a crowd. It could just depend on who it is.

Ok, I totally went off on a weird tangent there.

In other news…

– I’ve been watching “Fast Cars & Superstars” (on ABC) here and there. I have it Tivo’d so I can watch it whenever. I like the fact that they’ve done this show period, because it proves that there’s so much more to NASCAR than just turning a wheel. While it doesn’t go into the whole strategy part of it, I think people get a sense of the skill involved.

– How nice was it to see Michael Waltrip back in a Cup race? And he finished 10th no less! That was very cool. I’m happy for him. It feels like his whole season has been marred by his little off track accident and the Daytona 500 shenanigans, which is really sad. I’d like to see his team be successful. I know they can be it’ll just take some time. But I just miss the old funny & slaphappy Mikey that we used to see every week.

Casey Mears. He’s a guy that’s steadily moving up the points standings every week. At one point this year, a few weeks ago I believe, he was in 34th place and now he’s up to 19th. Ya never know, if they keep this up we could see Casey in the Chase this year. That’d be very, very cool.

– Please tell me I’m not the only person who dislikes Marc Fein and Bill Weber? I’d trade both of them in for Mike Joy and Allen Bestwick any day. They’re sooo annoying. I don’t understand Weber, it seems like he’s yelling all the time. He’s just too loud. And Fein seems like he’s not listening to people ’cause his comments after they make a point never seem to match up. Ugh. Luckily we only have 4 more races of them until we’re on to the ESPN/ABC coverage.

– The topic of Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s move to Hendrick Motorsports is starting to annoy even me. And I’m a big Dale Jr. fan. Maybe it’s because they seemed to extend the pre-race show for an extra hour and filled it with an interview of Junior and Rick Hendrick that shed absolutely NO new light on the situation. I’d rather they talk about Mikey Waltrip making it back into a race, or the Red Bull boys managing to qualify every week after a slow start to the season. Or why Juan Pablo Montoya seems to have stalled (which is totally fine by me) or what’s going on with Jeremy Mayfield (where the heck is he??).

– In case you’re thirsty for more speculation on the ramifications of Junior’s move to Hendrick, then you should check out this article “Is Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s big move good for NASCAR?” on Slate.com by John Swansburg. He digs my blog, so I’m giving him props. But really it’s a good article and you should read it.
:)