Fill in the blank!
For me, I just yawn and move on. So the things that I’ve been thinking about since Sunday’s race have nothing to do with what happened in the race really.
Fill in the blank!
For me, I just yawn and move on. So the things that I’ve been thinking about since Sunday’s race have nothing to do with what happened in the race really.
I haven’t posted anything in a really long time and I apologize. My day job has taken over my life to the point where I’m working weekends and not getting home until late during the week.
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.
I was watching Kasey Kahne in victory lane at Bristol on Sunday. I listened to him talk and I couldn’t help but feel like something was different about him. He seems more manly. I’m not saying that he wasn’t manly before but he seemed more… something.
This is just. I can’t.
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.
Jimmie Johnson won the Daytona 500 and in the distance I could hear the sound of the saddest trombone sighing “waaah, waaah, waaaaaaah.”
For the second year in a row Kasey Kahne, driver of the No. 5 Farmers Insurance Chevrolet for Hendrick Motorsports, has won the title of the Hottest NASCAR Driver. Over 17,000 votes were cast in the final round, with Kasey clinching the title with 70% of the vote, leaving runner-up Clint Bowyer with 30%.
This past week was the Sprint Media Tour in Charlotte, which meant that the NASCAR media corps got to ask the same questions they always ask, hope someone gives an interesting answer (Tony Stewart stepped up), eat free food and get free stuff. So of course I’m annoyed I couldn’t go — because of the free food & swag, obviously — but what can you do.
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.
It seriously pains me to say this, er type this, but I’m not attending this year’s NASCAR Champion’s Week and Awards Ceremony in Las Vegas. I simply can’t afford it. I could go but then I’d have to not pay rent, or at least not pay all of it and I’ve heard that my landlord frowns on that kind of thing. So I’m stuck not going to one of my favorite events of the year.
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.
Nothing important changed after the race at Kansas yesterday. Brad Keselowski still leads the points standings by 7 points over Jimmie Johnson. Denny Hamlin is still third. Sooo yep, that’s about it.
I think Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s comments after yesterday’s race at Talladega were right-on:
I had this weird feeling while watching Brad Keselowski win yesterday’s race at Dover. It felt like the dudes in the booth calling the race weren’t all that excited by Brad’s win. I’m not saying they were rooting against him I just got this general feeling that there wasn’t a sense of “Oooh, this is interesting!” When it IS in fact interesting.
I watched the start of the SYLVANIA 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway at my boyfriend’s apartment. He doesn’t have cable (I know, insane!) but I do. Because I had my handy dandy iPhone, the Watch ESPN app I’d downloaded the day before and Apple TV, I was able to watch NASCAR Countdown and the first handful of laps on my boyfriend’s television. Technology is WONDERFUL and I highly recommend it.
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’ve decided to make a BOLD prediction about who will make it into the top 12 field of drivers for The Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. It’s going to be.. Are you ready for this?? It’s going to be the twelve drivers in the top-12 in points right now! haha.
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.”
I have to admit that I didn’t see the race yesterday. I know! I know. It really sucks to miss a race it feels like I’m missing an episode in a soap opera, even if nothing particularly huge happens you still feel like you need to see the story lines they use to set up other story lines to stay up to date.
“AHHHHHHH!!!! HE WON! HE WON! *jumping up and down* FINALLY!! YAY!! Now everyone can shut up.”
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.
I’m all apologies lately. I feel like I’m continually apologizing to you guys about being late and I hate that. I can say, with complete confidence, that I’m not going to be late anymore and I’ll be back on track posting stuff from here on out.
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 3,600 votes were cast in the final round of the 2012 Hottest NASCAR Driver Tournament. Kasey Kahne defeated Paul Menard for the title! With 99% of the vote going to Kasey it’s clear that you guys are all aboard Team Kahne.
Over 4,400 votes were cast in Round 4 and now we’re ready to reveal the two drivers that have made it to the Finals of the 2012 Hottest NASCAR Driver Tournament. Kasey Kahne faces Paul Menard for the title! Who is it going to be?!
Over 4,700 votes (whoa! that’s a record!) were cast in Round 3 and now we’re ready to reveal the four drivers that have made it in to Round 4 of the 2012 Hottest NASCAR Driver Tournament. It’s getting good now!
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.
Homestead-Miami Speedway might want to ask Texas Motor Speedway if they can borrow that “Tale of the Tape” graphic for this weekend’s season finale. I am SO looking forward to it. Who do you think will prevail? I have entirely selfish reasons for why I want Tony Stewart to win the Championship over Carl Edwards. I have yet to interview Carl and I’m thinking that there’ll be less people gathered around him during the media session in Las Vegas so I’ll have a better chance of finally talking to him. Hehe.
Congratulations to Kasey Kahne and the No. 4 Red Bull team! I’m really happy for them. They truly deserved a win especially if this is to be their last year as a team.
Overall it was a great weekend filled with first-time winners, with Ryan Blaney, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Dave Blaney’s son, winning his first race in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West, and Sam Hornish Jr. finally winning in the NASCAR Nationwide Series race. Lots of emotion, which I love, love, LOVE.
Which is exactly what I want to see from Carl or Tony next weekend. I want tears! (Sidenote: That’s also the name of a great song by Michelle Branch that has nothing to do with racing.)
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).
I flew into Kansas City, Missouri on Friday in the middle of the day. I knew that I was going to miss out on all of the top-12 driver press conferences, as well as Clint Bowyer’s big, non-surprise announcement that he was going to Michael Waltrip Racing next year in the #15 5-Hour Energy car. I knew all of that going in and it wasn’t a problem seeing as how the fact that I was going to the race weekend at Kansas Speedway at all was a big deal.
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.
Jimmie Johnson (right), driver of the No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet, signs a fan’s shoulder on pit road after qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway on Aug. 19 in Brooklyn, Mich. (Credit: Wesley Hitt/Getty Images for NASCAR)
So why is he retiring?
Patrick Carpentier of the No. 99 NAPA Auto Parts Toyota signs autographs for fans prior to the NAPA Auto Parts 200 at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve on Aug. 20 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. (Credit: Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images)
David Reutimann, driver of the No. 00 Aaron’s Dream Machine Toyota, signs autographs on pit road after qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway on Aug. 19 in Brooklyn, Mich. (Credit: Wesley Hitt/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Get this man a contract! Enough already!
Clint Bowyer, driver of the No. 33 Cheerios/Hamburger Helper Chevrolet, climbs in his car in the garage during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway on Aug. 19 in Brooklyn, Mich. (Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Dale Earnhardt Jr. (right), driver of the No. 88 National Guard/Amp Energy Chevrolet, signs autographs for fans after qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway on Aug. 19 in Brooklyn, Mich. (Credit: Wesley Hitt/Getty Images for NASCAR)
A fan takes a photo with Kasey Kahne (left), driver of the No. 4 Red Bull Toyota, during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway on Aug. 20 in Brooklyn, Mich. (Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Kyle Busch, driver of the No. 18 Interstate Batteries Toyota, celebrates after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway on Aug. 21 in Brooklyn, Mich. (Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images for NASCAR)
The race at Watkins Glen–the Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at the Glen to be exact–had it ALL. Let’s go through the list shall we?
– Close racing at the end where you had no idea who would come out with the win? CHECK!
– Crazy, gnarly crashes that thankfully left no one seriously hurt? CHECK!
– An emotional it’s-about-frggin-time first-time winner? CHECK! (Congrats to Marcos Ambrose & the No. 9 Stanley team!)
– Punches attempting to be thrown in the garage post-race? CHECK!
– Amazing post-race quotes from pissed off drivers? CHECK!
Loved this race, it was crazy, especially this quote from Boris Said about about his issues with Greg Biffle:
“It was crazy. I mean…the last lap; the No. 6 car (David Ragan) was getting into me a lot. I didn’t want to wreck him, but I had to stay on the track and he didn’t give me any room. We both collided. That is the only thing I feel bad about.
“I’m more upset with Greg Biffle. He is the most unprofessional little scaredy cat I’ve ever seen in my life. He wouldn’t even fight me like a man after. So, if someone texts me his address, I’ll go see him Wednesday at his house and show him what he really needs. He needs a…whooping and I’m going to give it to him. He was flipping me off, giving me the finger. Totally unprofessional. Two laps down. I mean he is a chump.
“I went over there to go talk to him. He wouldn’t even let me get out of the car. He comes over and throws a few little baby punches and then when I get out, he runs away and hides behind some big guys. But, he won’t hide from me long. I’ll find him. I won’t settle it out on the track. It’s not right to wreck cars, but, he’ll show up at a race with a black eye one of these days. I’ll see him somewhere.”
And to top it all off Watkins Glen International was left with a serious issue of getting safer barriers on their course before the next NASCAR race. It doesn’t make sense to not have them at all the tracks on the schedule. Why hasn’t this been done yet? Elliott Sadler is right.
I’m not one to begrudge people their happiness, but did you catch Kurt Busch making out with his girlfriend, Patricia Driscoll, in victory lane on Saturday? Was that really necessary? It just seemed like a bit much.
Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 22 Discount Tire/Ruby Tuesday Dodge, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series Zippo 200 at Watkins Glen International on Aug. 13 in Watkins Glen, N.Y. (Credit: Geoff Burke/Getty Images for NASCAR)
I love this man. Nooo, not Dale Jr. but Man vs. Food host Adam Richman. I LOVE that show and when I go on my NASCAR adventure next year I plan on bringing a list of all the places he’s visited on his show so that I can check them out too! The food always looks soo yummy & amazing.
Adam Richman (right), host of Man v. Food, talks with Dale Earnhardt Jr.(left), driver of the No. 88 National Guard/Amp Energy Chevrolet, on the grid during pre race ceremonies prior to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at the Glen at Watkins Glen International on Aug. 14 in Watkins Glen, N.Y. (Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Joey is supposed to film an food challenge for a Man v. Food Nation episode today (Wonder if that’s still happening) that’s set to air Oct. 19 at 9 p.m. ET on Travel Channel.
Joey Logano (left), driver of the No. 20 The Home Depot Toyota, and Adam Richman (right), host of Man v. Food pose in the garage area prior to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at the Glen at Watkins Glen International on Aug. 14 in Watkins Glen, N.Y. (Credit: Geoff Burke/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Congratulations to Paul Menard and the No. 27 NIBCO/Menards Chevy team! This season has definitely been the year of the first-time winner and I couldn’t love it more. My favorite part is waiting for the Victory Lane interview and hoping the guy cries. Well Paul didn’t cry but he ALMOST did! Tears or no tears, it was really cool to see a guy win something that clearly meant a lot to him and his family.
I have to thank ‘Fabulous’ reader Tara for sending me this screen capture of a Twitter convo between two spotters talking about Paul Menard’s girlfriend, Jen. Start at the bottom.
P.S. – Can Rascal Flatts sing the National Anthem at every NASCAR race, puhleze? Love them.
Above: This melts my heart. That kid had to be losing it (keeping it all inside of course)!
Below: Watch those hands Kasey!!!
– Take the 2011 ‘Fabulous’ Reader Survey and enter for your chance to win an awesome Goo Gone prize package. Contest & survey ends on August 10th, 2011. More info
– Help me raise money for My NASCAR Year 2012. More info
What a letdown. The racing was boring and tons of fans couldn’t even get to the track to see the boring race.
Kentucky Speedway apologized today and announced a ticket exchange offer. Meanwhile other tracks have offered up rants and comments about the weekend’s traffic debacle giving Kentucky Speedway crap for not figuring out how to deal with the traffic issue ahead of time. Just check out what Michigan International Speedway president Roger Curtis wrote today.
Here’s the statement NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France released yesterday:
“While NASCAR was thrilled by the incredible response to our inaugural NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race in Kentucky, we also are extremely disappointed by the traffic problems and inconveniences endured by fans who wanted to be part of our races at Kentucky Speedway. NASCAR will be in close communications with Kentucky Speedway and Speedway Motorsports Inc. to see that they work to resolve the issues. This situation cannot happen again.”
And now Indianapolis Motor Speedway has created a special offer for fans that had tickets to Kentucky’s inaugural NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race:
Fans who present a ticket from the Kentucky Sprint Cup race at the IMS gate will receive one free admission to Brickyard 400 practice Friday, July 29 or will be admitted to Brickyard 400 qualifying Saturday, July 30 for just $5.
Fans holding tickets from the July 9 race at Kentucky also can park for free Friday and Saturday at IMS Lots 1, 2 and 3, conveniently located on the south, west and north sides of the iconic facility. The regular price is $10 per day to park in those lots.
“As an urban track, we offer a fan experience inside a vibrant city that provides restaurants, nightlife, cultural activities and top-rated hotels in addition to the history and tradition of 100 years of racing at Indianapolis,” said Jeff Belskus, Indianapolis Motor Speedway Corporation president and CEO. “We have easy, efficient access to and from the track that allows our fans to participate in activities at the track and, in just a matter of minutes, enjoy all that the city of Indianapolis has to offer or be well on the road toward home or the hotel.”
So, I totally forgot to include these photos in my regular weekend write-ups. Luckily they work all by themselves.
On Saturday I forgot my cell phone at home, and my camera’s battery died, like, 15 minutes after I arrived at Infineon Raceway.
It was really weird to not have my cell phone or camera on me all day. It was annoying that I couldn’t take any photos or tweet out updates on the fly. I realized that those devices also served as security blankets. They were these things that proved I had “something to do” while I was in the garage. I wasn’t just wandering. I had to take pictures and constantly check my phone for updates–that gave me purpose. So without a purpose I felt like a nerd, just standing around. And I was worried that without the photos that I usually snapped throughout the day I wouldn’t have anything to remind me of what happened.
It was sunny everywhere in the Bay Area EXCEPT at the Golden Gate Bridge on Wednesday. It was the San Francisco cliche: totally foggy. I arrived at the the north side of the bridge to take part in the Cheerios Walk for a Healthy Heart event with NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Clint Bowyer (left). Over 100 fans showed up and received free commemorative t-shirts plus the opportunity to mingle with their fave driver.
There were three races yesterday. The Grand Prix of Monaco, the Indianapolis 500 and the Coca-Cola 600.
As much as I would LOVE to visit Monaco, I’m not going to pretend that I give a flying fig about Formula 1 racing. It’s interesting I’m sure, but I’ve found that men that follow it are particularly annoying to talk to about any other kind of racing and that has turned me off to it entirely. Yes, I’m basing my opinion of Formula 1 racing off of random encounters with douchebags, and I’m totally OK with that. I’m sure there a lot of really nice Formula 1 fans out there, so please don’t leave me any annoying comments. Anyway, I’ve watched some F1 races and it doesn’t really do much for me. (“Random Encounters with Douchebags” would make a great book and/or movie title, right? Story of my life)
On the other hand I do hope that Kimi Raikkonen will try his hand at NASCAR Sprint Cup Series racing at Infineon Raceway next month. Why? Because I’ll be there and new blood is always cool.
So on to the Coca-Cola 600. I’m happy for Kevin Harvick and the No. 29 Budweiser team for winning the race. I just wish it could have been Dale Earnhardt Jr. instead.
I thought they would have thrown a caution on that last crash, and I find it curious that they didn’t. NASCAR really isn’t helping themselves or Dale Earnhardt Jr. in being inconsistent in their use of the yellow flag. It seems weird to me that there wouldn’t have been any debris on the track after all the contact that happened.
Whatever, we move on to the next race!
Yea, I said it!
The most interesting thing about the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race was the the driver & crew introductions. I’m not even kidding.
Seriously, did ANYTHING happen during that race? I really think everybody saying, “Ooooh, there’s no points at stake, anything can happen!!! the gloves are really gonna come off! Squee!!!” really made it lame. It was just boring. And come to think about it, why would no points at stake and a million dollars be that much more of a motivation for them? Winning the Championship is a far, far bigger deal than the All-Star race will ever be, so I’m not expecting anyone to go above and beyond to win it.
It’s not good when a race ends and I’m just indifferent, like it didn’t even happen.
Also, I find it really interesting how NASCAR drivers can get away with acting like they need a million dollars. Ok, throw in some Nationwide Series or Truck Series guys, or even better, the dudes in the K&N Pro Series, and you’d see a REAL dash for cash. Carl Edwards could ALREADY afford to put his kids through college, this race wasn’t going to be the difference between them going or not.
Anyhoo… here are some photos!
– This might be old news to some, but I just realized I’d never posted it here. David Stremme is poised to return to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series with the newly formed Inception Motorsports, but he’s also embarking on a new adventure as a husband! David proposed to his girlfriend, Ashley Deihl, during Thanksgiving last year and the couple plan to wed later this year.
– Do you love Kasey Kahne? I mean, really, who doesn’t? Do you adore Brian Vickers? Well put your face on their cars for the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 29th. Well, not your face-face, but an image of your face. In fact you can put any–or as many–photos as you want on the No. 4 or the No. 83. Just send your pictures to [email protected] or upload them at www.redbullracingusa.com/shutterspeed by May 22nd.
– It’s time again for the “Official Small Business of NASCAR, Courtesy of Office Depot” sweepstakes. It’s my favorite NASCAR contest and if you’re a small business owner you simply MUST participate! The national FREE advertising you’d receive as a result of just being a finalist is priceless in my mind, but there’s also the small matter of $1 million that could be yours too!
Office Depot (NYSE: ODP), celebrating 25 years as a leading global provider of office supplies and services, is teaming up with 3M® and NASCAR® stars Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Office Depot/Mobil 1 Chevrolet, and Greg Biffle, driver of the No. 16 3M Ford, to offer the exciting possibility of a $1 million payday for one small business owner through the “Official Small Business of NASCAR, Courtesy of Office Depot” sweepstakes.
The sweepstakes runs from now through May 28 and small business owners can enter online and – new this year – via their SmartPhone at OfficeDepotRacing.com. Two small business owners will be randomly selected as finalists, earning them a $10,000 small business makeover from Office Depot* and a VIP race weekend experience for two – not to mention a chance at the $1 million prize! Plus, as an extra reward to small business owners who participate, Office Depot is giving away one $1,000 Office Depot gift card every day during the sweepstakes entry period.
Get all of the deets, and info on all of the other goodies you can win even if you’re not the ultimate winner, at OfficeDepotRacing.com.
– Dale Earnhardt Jr. unveiled the world’s largest HD TV screen today, which happens to live at Charlotte Motor Speedway. He tested out the ginormous screen with an iRacing.com simulator.
For its operational debut, Smith and Earnhardt Jr. used an oversized remote to power on the 200 foot-wide, 80 foot-tall HDTV, created by Panasonic, to reveal a highlight video of past racing action
at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
“Charlotte sets the standard for the rest of the tracks,” said Earnhardt Jr. “They always do things first and do things the biggest and look, here we are today with another first from them. Charlotte holds a special place in a lot of drivers’ hearts, mine included and the big TV makes this place even more special.
“The Coca-Cola 600 is one of the best events we have all year long. Now fans can get a ticket to the race and have the experience of the live event with the comfort of their own TV at home with this big TV,” Earnhardt Jr. continued. “This place just keeps getting better.”
– INDYCAR had an unveiling of their own today. The 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series concept cars–one model for ovals and another for road/street courses–made their debut at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway where they will be on display throughout the 100th anniversary Indianapolis 500 on May 29th. These cars look… different, so it’ll be really interesting to see what the manufacturers come up with in terms of changes to the body kits. These mockups look like something out of a “Batman” or “Transformers” movie.
A rolling chassis – dubbed the IndyCar Safety Cell – will be the universal feature of the next generation car, with bodywork open to development and sale by any approved manufacturer. Three engine companies–Honda, Chevrolet and Lotus–committed for 2012 will augment the IndyCar Safety Cell and aero kit programs, creating its own buzz.
“The idea behind these is to show two totally different-looking vehicles that underneath are the same chassis,” Cotman said. “There is a lot of room for aerodynamic kit development and that’s what this platform is about – allowing people the freedom to design as they wish, dream as they wish and come up with a superior product than others. That’s what drives competition.
“So will these be exactly what Dallara’s kits are going to look like on road courses and ovals next year? No.”
Ryan Newman and Juan Pablo Montoya failed to bring what Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch delivered.
O. M. G.
The SHOWTIME® Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway was the greatest NASCAR race I have seen in quite some time. It was Ah-mazing!
First, congratulations to Regan Smith on winning his first Sprint Cup Series race (and congrats to Furniture Row Racing for winning their first race as an organization). He was emotional and his team was ridiculously happy. It was the perfect finish and I LOVED it. A first-time winner is the greatest thing. It was great to see him be congratulated by Carl Edwards, Greg Biffle and Brad Keselowski.
But of course before all of that you had the driver’s moms, as usual, giving the command to start engines. How adorable was Jimmie & Chandra Johnson’s baby daughter, Genevieve, clapping during the National Anthem? That was too cute.
Then there was the race with David Ragan peeling back Brian Vickers car like it was a can of sardines, poor Clint Bowyer crashing out, and the most amazing series of events with Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch.
I think that Kevin Harvick should walk around with a speaker hanging out of his pocket playing the song “I Won’t Back Down” by Tom Petty on a loop. It’s his theme song. He is no joke.
I know that fighting is frowned upon and all that but I loved it. When Kevin punched Kyle’s helmet/face and then Kyle pushed his car into his Kevin’s it was all TOO much for my brain to process. It was wonderful. I felt like a high school kid in the quad yelling “Fight! Fight! Fight!”
Does NASCAR really need to take action? I’m in a “Ah, whatever, let it gooo” kind of mood. They’re adults, they know what they did was wrong. Let’s not forget that sports are entertainment, they serve no other purpose than that (Yes, they can be inspiring and all that but still), and Saturday night’s race was PURE entertainment from beginning to end. So, NASCAR should send Harvick and Busch a “Thank You” card, some flowers & maybe some candy.
Here’s video of the last laps:
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.
Here is my “impromptu” interview with Kasey Kahne that took place at Auto Club Speedway a couple weeks ago. When we got to his least favorite word Kasey said, “I don’t know, these are really tough. This is the hardest interview I’ve had in a long time.” We left that question, went through the rest and came back to it at the end. Also, of note, when he said “Nice” for his first answer he drew out the “ce” sound, so it sounded more like “Nighssss.”
What is your favorite word? Nice
What is your least favorite word? Retard
What turns you on? Girls
What turns you off? Negative people.
What sound or noise do you love? Music
What sound or noise do you hate? Screaming. I hate screaming.
What is your favorite curse word? Fuck
What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? I’d like to be a golfer. Actually, I’d like to be a bull rider.
What profession would you not like to do? I really wouldn’t want to be a garbage man.
If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates? Hi.
Read more of my “Inside the Actor’s Studio” questionnaire interviews in the archives and read about how it all started with Tony Stewart.
Thursday evening in Fontana, after I checked into my hotel just down the street from the race track, I discovered I forgot my cell phone charger at home. So I went to a Best Buy down the street to get another one. Then in the morning I woke up and found that I had left the pouch that holds all of my cords, USB drives and–most importantly–my digital recorder that still had a bunch of interviews on it from Las Vegas that I had yet to transcribe. I made a silent prayer that it was somewhere safe and then headed back to Best Buy to buy another one ’cause I had interviews to do that day.
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).
Repaved Daytona International Speedway = Racing INSANITY!
It was nerve-wracking to watch but still superfun!
Congratulations to Trevor Bayne and Wood Brothers Racing. What an amazing finish! I was flabbergasted at that finish, but NOT because of Trevor Bayne. I’m happy for the kid and all that, and for the Wood Brothers, but I’m going to be honest, I was more stoked for David Gilliland. When I saw Carl Edwards had hooked up with David I start screaming at the television. I really, really, really wanted David to get up there and contend for the win, but I was totally satisfied with his 3rd place finish. He’s 2nd in points right now, and I know that’s only after one race but it’s a really great start!
I know it’s not Festivus, but I’d like to air some grievances. Ok, there’s really only one and it’s about the post-race coverage from Fox Sports. They didn’t interview David Gilliland post-race, but they did interview David Ragan who finished 14th. I understand why they talked to Ragan ’cause he made a small mistake that ended up possibly costing him the race (I say possibly because there’s no way to know for sure that had he not been black flagged he would of won), BUT if you only have limited time wouldn’t you automatically go to the top-3?! Ugh.
Anyway, I understand that directing and coordinating a live broadcast is hard and for the most part they get it right but it’s still really annoying when they mess up.
I’m EXTRA excited for Phoenix. I’ve decided not to attend that race, I’m still really looking forward to watching what happens. I’m still going to Las Vegas for sure and I CANNOT wait to get there.
Back to Trevor Bayne really quick, he’ll be at Ghiradelli Square tomorrow (Tuesday, February 22) in San Francisco at 5:30pm to create the “Trevor Bayne Sundae, Sundae, Sundae” and then he’ll be in Los Angeles on Wednesday at a free fan event at L.A. Live in Downtown Los Angeles (800 W. Olympic Blvd.) at noon.
Kasey Kahne signs autographs for fans in the garage Wednesday at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla. (Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Michael Waltrip celebrates in victory lane with his No.15 crew after winning the 2011 NextEra Energy Resources 250 at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla. (Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Tony Stewart celebrates with his crew in victory lane after winning the Drive4COPD 300 Saturday at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla. (Credit: Tom Pennington/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Danica Patrick talks to Dale Earnhardt Jr. about the No.7 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet in the Garage during practice at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla. (Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Brad Paisley entertains the crowd during the pre-race show before the Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla. (Credit: Tom Pennington/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Not a very good command at all. But I love the Transformers race cars.
Honorary Grand Marshals Michael Bay, Josh Duhamel and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley give the command to start the engines for the Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla. (Credit: Brandon Goodman/Getty Images for NASCAR)
The Baltimore Raven’s Ray Rice visits the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series garage and takes a look in the No. 42 Target Chevrolet Wednesday at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla. (Credit: Motorsports Images and Archives)
National Anthem singer Patty Loveless shows her support for Drive4COPD Saturday at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla. (Credit: Tom Pennington/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Martina McBride sings the National Anthem before the Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla. (Credit: ISC Archives/Getty Images)
Dierks Bentley performs during the Daytona 500 pre-race show Sunday at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla. (Credit: Cliff Hawkins/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Great moment–I held up 3 fingers too even though I wasn’t there!
The fans salute Dale Earnhardt on lap 3 by holding up three fingers during the Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway at Daytona Beach, Fla. (Credit: Todd Warshaw/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Carl Edwards and David Ragan congratulate Trevor Bayne in victory lane after the 53rd Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla. (Credit: Matthew Stockman/Getty Images for NASCAR)
How excited are you that tomorrow is the Budweiser Shootout? I, for one, am thrilled. The season is starting again and for this website, and me personally, a lot more stories to share with you guys. I’m planning on road tripping it to Phoenix and Las Vegas later on this month. I’m really looking forward to getting back to the one place in the world that I know ALWAYS makes me happy, NASCAR races of course.
I’m also super excited to crown the first ever Hottest Driver Tournament winner on Sunday. It’s between Tony Stewart and Matt Kenseth. Be sure to cast your vote now because voting ends Saturday night (at midnight).
In other news…
– The latest issue of ESPN The Magazine, on newsstands today, focuses on speed. Not Scott Speed, but just speed in general. It features articles on how to survive a crash, Hendrick Motorsports pit crew combine and spotlights Ricky Carmichael and Kevin Harvick.
– Jimmie Johnson will be the subject of a segment on HBO’s Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel. The show airs Tuesday, Februay 15th. I’m looking forward to this as Real Sports is one of my FAVE shows.
– Rock band Good Charlotte is set to perform live before the start of the Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway on March 27th. I’m totally looking forward to the performance and hopefully the band’s lead singer Joel Madden will bring his wife, Nicole Richie, along for support. Auto Club Speedway has special ticket packages available for starting at just $55. For an additional $25 you can have access to an all-you-can-eat buffet. Check out ‘Fabulous’ News for more news like this.
– Michael Waltrip has been doing a lot of media interviews in support of his new book, “In the Blink of an Eye: Dale, Daytona, and the Day that Changed Everything.”
While talking with the New York Times Michael revealed that he had never watched the 2001 Daytona 500, the race that he won and took the life of his team owner at the time, Dale Earnhardt. That is until this past July. Michael’s sister Connie tapes all of his races, and he came across the DVD — decorated with hearts and stars and the words “2001 Daytona 500 Winner!” that she’d written on it before Dale’s death had been announced — and watched it for the very first time, commercials and all.
Michael hadn’t been able to talk about the 2001 Daytona 500 for many years but in watching the entire race and then writing a book about that day in Daytona he was able to deal with his feels and find peace with everything that happened.
Andrew Giangola has a review of Michael’s book here, and I was told that Mikey’s book will debut at No. 11 on the New York Times’ Bestseller list when it makes it’s debut on February 20th, the same day as the 2011 Daytona 500.
– Yesterday was NASCAR Media Day down at Daytona International Speedway. The whole thing reminds me of a combination of the first day at school and picture day all wrapped up into one. The drivers spend what looks to me like all day walking around in their new firesuits answering all sorts of questions from the media from all over the place, taking new photos and shooting video spots. I really need to experience that whole thing for myself one day. Anyway, here are photos:
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Juan Pablo Montoya answers questions from the local media Thursday at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla. during media day.
2010 Daytona 500 Champion Jamie McMurray poses during media day Thursday at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla. (Credit: Todd Warshaw/Getty Images for NASCAR)
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Jimmie Johnson poses for photos Thursday at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla. during media day. (Credit: Todd Warshaw/Getty Images for NASCAR)
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Kasey Kahne reads liners for MRN during media day Thursday at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla.(Credit: Todd Warshaw/Getty Images for NASCAR)
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Greg Biffle talks with Pete Pistone and Mike Bagley from The Morning Drive on Sirius during media day Thursday at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla. (Credit: Todd Warshaw/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.
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|
Awww, man! The only NASCAR drivers included in the Gillette Young Guns “Class of 2011″ are Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch. Nothing against them, of course. I’m just sad that Kasey Kahne, Clint Bowyer and Carl Edwards aren’t included.
Still, I think Denny and Kyle do a good job of representing NASCAR.
Here’s the video introducing the new Young Guns and after that is a behind the scenes video with Denny and Kyle.
Meet Kyle Busch:
Meet Denny Hamlin:
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)
No, I’m not talking about Brett Favre’s penis.
While AJ Allmendinger’s crashy-crash on the last lap of the AMP Energy Juice 500 at Talladega was indeed a gnarly crash it didn’t add up to a “big one.” I choose to believe it’s because the usual ginormous crashes that take out large chunks of the field were talked up so much that that is why one didn’t happen. So I think next year we should all act like Talladega is just like Michigan and not say boo about anything “big.”
How excited are you that Denny Hamlin is only 14 measly points behind Jimmie Johnson going to Texas this week? And Kevin Harvick is right there, just 38 points behind. This is awesomeness and I’m afraid to talk about it for fear that it won’t stay awesome. So I’m leaving it at that. This is great, this is interesting, this is fun and it’s what we need.
On another note in regards to Jimmie. Don’t you think he looks like Elvis when he’s not wearing a hat? That hair and that beard, I just keep thinking about Elvis when I look at him.
Krissie Newman (L) and DeLana Harvick pose on the grid prior to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AMP Energy Juice 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on October 31, 2010 in Talladega, Alabama. (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)
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?
I’m starting something new this week. SPEED’s TV show, NASCAR Race Hub is giving you the opportunity to interview their guests each week. All you have to do is submit your questions to me and I’ll pass ‘em along to the powers that be. They’ll get the questions answered — on video! — and I’ll post it here for you to view.
Really cool right? And this week you’ve got the chance to ask Kasey Kahne or AJ Allmendinger, ANYTHING you want.
So hurry up and submit your questions!!
UPDATE: Submissions are no longer being accepted for this week’s guests. As soon as I get the video of the questions being answered I’ll post it!
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.
Yea, that’s the whole story. You could have made a drinking game out of the words “loose” and “sideways” and you would of been drunk within the first 10 minutes of the race.
I loved it to much. It was dramatic and people were racing each other and trying not to lose control. I loooooved it. It was hard to watch, which means that it was an awesome race ‘cause I had no idea what was going to happen. It’s amazing there weren’t more wrecks.
How cute was the spat between Ryan Newman and Kasey Kahne? Gosh, I wish I was there. I would have loved to have been in that garage when they rolled in together. I don’t know why I find it so cute to see Kasey angry. Ha!
Congratulations to Tony Stewart and the No. 14 Office Depot/Old Spice team. I decided that I would only be happy if someone who hadn’t won a race this year won, so I’m totally good with Tony’s trip to Victory Lane.
Annnd another set of congrats to Jamie McMurray and the No. 88 Hellmann’s/BJ’s team for their win in the Nationwide Series on Saturday. That was super huge and awesome for JR Motorsports. I’m so glad Jamie got to win with that team.
So the place where I normally get pictures has no pictures from this weekend yet. I hope it’s yet. As soon as new pictures are available I’ll post ‘em.
The starting field of drivers poses during pre-race ceremonies before the start of Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Emory Healthcare 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. (Credit: Geoff Burke/Getty Images for NASCAR)
This is a special photo combo post for the Bristol weekend and the Nationwide race in Montreal.
The Montreal race was absolutely awesome. I loved that last lap. I wanted any of those guys to win, Boris Said, Jacques Villeneuve, or Max Papis. But Boris was able to pull out the win over Max. Such a great crazy finish. I, for one, would love to see what would happen if there was a Sprint Cup race at Montreal.
I was disappointed that Boris’ son, with his little blonde mop top, wasn’t on hand to watch his dad win. That would have been such a cute victory lane celebration.
Oh and how kind of freaky was it to watch Jacques breathing so hard in his car during the red flag? I seriously thought he was going to pass out at some point. I’ve never seen anyone breathing like that in a race car. Crazy. But he seemed totally fine after the race, must of been the adrenaline on that last lap.
Carl Edwards (R), driver of the Aflac Ford, stands on the grid with his wife Kate (L) as he hold his daughter Anne prior to the start of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series IRWIN Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 21, 2010 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Race car drivers Jacques Villeneuve (L) of Canada and his compatriot Patrick Carpentier arrive to sign autographs in preparation for the NAPA Auto Parts 200 Nationwide Series NASCAR race in Montreal, August 27, 2010. The race will take place on Sunday. (REUTERS/Shaun Best)
He’s coming back! Yay!
NASCAR driver Brian Vickers speaks to the media prior to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series IRWIN Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 21, 2010 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo by Jason Smith/Getty Images)
Ryan Newman (L), driver of the Wix Filters Chevrolet, stands with his wife Krissie on the grid prior to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series IRWIN Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 21, 2010 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Jimmie Johnson (L), driver of the Lowe’s Chevrolet, kisses his wife Chandra on the grid prior to the start of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series IRWIN Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 21, 2010 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images for NASCAR)
I love this photo. Kasey looks like he has zero interest in signing autographs.
Kasey Kahne, driver of the Budweiser Ford, walks away from fans in the garage area prior to practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series IRWIN Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 20, 2010 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo by Todd Warshaw/Getty Images)
Scott Speed (R), driver of the Red Bull Toyota, stands with his wife Amanda on the grid during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series IRWIN Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 20, 2010 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo by John Harrelson/Getty Images)
Everyday, at least that’s what it feels like, I get press releases or newsy items about teams, sponsors, charities and drivers in the world of racing. I probably get around to posting like 10% of it. It’s not because it’s bad or uninteresting it’s just that I don’t have time to post ‘em all. So that’s why I created a new sub-section here for The Fast and the Fabulous called ‘Fabulous’ News. It’s where you, your friends and PR people can post any kind of newsy news and press releases for everyone to read.
This way you don’t have to wait for me to post ‘em. They still have to be approved before they’re shown on the site but they won’t go through my filter so it’s still a lot better than languishing in my email box.
Of course, if something piques my interest I’ll still highlight it here in the main area of The Fast and the Fabulous.
I didn’t attend the premiere of “Racing Dreams”, the movie I told you all to go see ASAP, but there are photos from the event in Charlotte in May and the film’s debut at the Tribeca Film Festival last year where it won Best Documentary Film. I know this is late but better late than never I always say. Plus it’s another opportunity for me to remind you guys to figure out a way to see this awesome film.
And I’ll be honest about the fact that I also enjoy getting to look at photos of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, who was a producer on the film. I think I’m going to add meeting him to my list of things to do before I die. I’m serious. Have you seen his arms? Holy… Okay, I’m stopping. If you’re an AJ Allmendinger fan you’ll enjoy these pics too, he’s wearing a suit! And there’s bonus Kasey Kahne.
Go see “Racing Dreams”! And if the film isn’t showing in your area why not tell your local theater they should carry it.
(L-R) Producer Dwayne Johnson, racer Annabeth Barnes, racer Brandon Warren, racer Joshua Hobson and producer Dany Garcia attend the premiere of ‘Racing Dreams’ during the 2009 Tribeca Film Festival at SVA Theater on April 25, 2009 in New York City. (Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for Tribeca Film Festival)
The Coke Zero 400 was fun? I guess that’s the right word to describe a night that was full of crashy-crashes that seemed to take out, like, the entire field of cars. Only 17 out of 43 cars completed all 166 laps of the race. And that’s why Daytona will always be one of my absolute favorite tracks.
Congratulations to Kevin Harvick and the #29 crew for pulling out the win. I’m happy for them but I was actually hoping Clint Bowyer would be the Richard Childress Racing driver to run away with it. I guess it just wasn’t meant to be for Clint just yet.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. finished 4th which catapulted him into the top-12 in the points standings. Now all he needs to do is just STAY THERE. Seriously, please, just stay RIGHT WHERE YOU ARE.
I’d like to remind you guys that my Wiley X sunglasses contest is still going on, you’ve got until July 9th to submit your entry! The prize is worth $150! I think this is the most expensive thing I’ve ever given away on this site.
Photo fun time after the jump!!
Drew Blickensderfer waits for practice to begin for the Nationwide Series Subway Jalapeno 250 powered by Coca-Cola race at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, FL. (photo: ZumaPress)
This is just a great photo.
Kasey Kahne, driver of the Budweiser Ford, stands on the grid during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway on July 2, 2010 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Sam Hornish Jr. (R), driver of the Mobil 1 Dodge, kisses his daughter Addison after qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway on July 2, 2010 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
Darius Rucker performs on stage during the concert held prior to the the Coke Zero 400 race of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series held in the Daytona International circuit in Florida, USA on 03 July 2010.
Juan Pablo Montoya kisses his daughter while waiting for the start of qualifying for the NASCAR Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida on July 2, 2010. (UPI Photo/Martin Fried Photo via Newscom)
Carl Edwards, driver of the SUBWAY Ford, holds an umbrella on the grid as as rain cancels qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway on July 2, 2010 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Tony Stewart prepares for the Coke Zero 400 race at the Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, FL.
Professional tennis player John Isner sits on the pit box of Matt Kenseth, driver of the Jeremiah Weed Ford, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway on July 3, 2010 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
Members of Jimmie Johnson’s team rush Mark Martin to safety after a turn 4 wreck during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida on July 3, 2010. (UPI Photo/Martin Fried Photo via Newscom)
Kevin Harvick driver of the Shell/Penzoil Chevrolet celebrates with his wife Delana (L) his victory in the Coke Zero 400 held in the Daytona International Speedway in Florida, USA on 03 July 2010.
I know I’ve used that title before but I love it.
Friday at Infineon Raceway was day one of the Toyota/SaveMart 350 festivities. It was a pretty big day for me because it held actual things for me to do. My usual shtick is to just show up and let things happen but this time I setup interviews with drivers. Since things went so well with Tony Stewart and the Inside The Actor’s Studio questions I decided to make it my “thing” for now and to get as many drivers to answer the same questions.
On my schedule for the day were one-on-one’s with David Reutimann, Regan Smith, AJ Allmendinger and Elliott Sadler. I’ll write about each of those experiences in separate posts. Stay tuned for those.
Back in the media center I sat in on press conferences for Jeff Burton, Mark Martin, Carl Edwards, Tony Stewart, Greg Biffle, and a little bit of Denny Hamlin.
Tony Stewart’s presser was, of course, by far the most entertaining of the bunch. His session was after practice and he wasn’t very happy with his car. I think that Southwest airlines should use his press conferences as the basis for one of their “Wanna Get Away???” commercials. I had this uncontrollable urge, every time someone asked something cringe-worthy to look down and start playing with my cell phone. There are always a few questions that bug Tony and after sitting in on a few of his pressers I’ve learned that Tony is a lot better when you ask him questions that are very real to him. He laid it out pretty plainly that he only cares about racing. He wasn’t in the mood to get all theoretical or philosophical about racing after having a crappy practice session. It wasn’t helping that people were asking the same questions they’ve asked year after year, my favorite being “Should there be a road course race in The Chase?” That was the one that really bugged him and got him to eventually say that he had no interest in giving his opinion on such things, he just wanted to race.
If you’ve been living under a rock, or maybe you don’t watch ESPN, you might not know that the 2010 FIFA World Cup has kicked off in South Africa. This soccer thing is a big freaking deal and the USA has a team. Of course we all want the US to do well, but interestingly enough so does Dale Earnhardt Jr. Dale is a soccer fan. I had no idea, but he really is and he’s working with adidas an their “Every Team Needs a Fan” campaign.
Saturday at Charlotte Motor Speedway was the day of the Nationwide Series race, the TECH-NET Auto Service 300 powered by CARQUEST. It was also the day that I forgot to put my sunscreen on and got a nice little tan.
The two days that hold the Sprint Cup Series qualifying and Nationwide Series races are always my favorite days during any race weekend. It’s because there’s always, like, 50% less people running around the garage. I know it’s silly but I love feeling like I have the garage all to myself. And practice is always the best time to get pictures of the cars as they exit and enter the track.
On this particular day I witnessed something that has been going on forever but I only discovered it last weekend. I’m not sure what the process is but some cars come off the track and before going to their garage stall to make adjustments they stop at some designated area near or in the garage and the guys from Goodyear check out their tires. There’s also a crew member from their team checking stuff and taking notes.
I know I should talk about Dover and the Autism Speaks 400 presented by Hershey’s Milk & Milkshakes but I’m way too excited about a new development!
I’m going to attend the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race this weekend and the Coca-Cola 600 the following weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway. This means I’ll be spending 10 days in Charlotte, NC and I get to attend the first ever NASCAR Hall of Fame induction ceremony!
Feel free to join me in a quick dance of joy. *dance*
I’m sure I’ll have a ton of stories to share and I’m planning on writing while I’m there so there will be no delay, at least not a long one anyway.
And since photos are always a good thing here are some from last weekend’s races at Dover. Super huge congratulations to Aric Almirola who won the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Dover 200! It was his first win in the truck series.
Aric Almirola celebrates his first NASCAR Camping World Truck Series win in Victory Lane at Dover International Speedway. He called the win “a dream come true.” (Credit: Geoff Burke/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Yesterday’s Crown Royal Presents the Heath Calhoun 400 was a rousing success because Tony Stewart had a new blonde girlfriend with him on pit road during the pre-race ceremonies. It’s not everyday Tony has a woman with him on pit road. Actually it’s been quite awhile since we last saw him with his arm around anyone. So yes, I’m that friggin’ nosey.
I wonder if Tony knows that there are thousands of women out there that think he should get married and have babies already. And I’m sure half of those women think that he should do all of that with them. I, for one, think that he would make some cute kids so he should get crackin’.
There is soo much going on in this photo that it’s making my head hurt.
(Left to right) Anheuser-Busch Sports Marketing Manager Brian Dunlap shakes hands with Darrell Waltrip, who also raced this paint scheme at one point during his career. Kasey Kahne will drive the No. 9 Ford at Richmond International Raceway this weekend. (Credit: Harold Hinson)
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)
Here’s some fabulous news: The bands Switchfoot (pictured left) and Parachute, two bands I adore, are headlining this year’s “NASCAR Rev’d Up” event that celebrates the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race. It’s taking place in uptown Charlotte on May 20th from 4-10pm. Oh and the concert is FREE! The All-Star Race is on Saturday, May 22nd at Charlotte Motor Speedway and will air on SPEED. Here’s hoping I get to go this year! I don’t think I can tell you how badly I want to go to the All-Star race, it’s ridiculous.
In other news…
– As we all now know, Kasey Kahne will be leaving Richard Petty Motorsports after this year, although not sure where he’ll be in 2011, but he’ll be joining Hendrick Motorsports for sure in 2012. I think that’s a great place for Kasey to seriously take root while at the same time spreading his wings and racking up some wins.
And since we’re on the subject of Kasey, he was in San Francisco yesterday hanging out with the San Francisco Giant’s center-fielder Aaron Rowand. Kasey tried his hand at batting practice and got some tips from Rowand on his swing.
(photo credit: Mike Doran)
– Natalie Sather, who races for Sellers Racing in the NASCAR Whelen All American Series, was a guest on The Tyra Banks Show last week. Yes, I’m late in posting this, but still better late than never right? Plus they always show reruns of Tyra so you should be able to catch it again at some point. Natalie, who was a former Drive for Diversity driver and is featured in Andrew Giangola’s book The Weekend Starts on Wednesday, was given a makeover by Tyra Banks herself. It was definitely a fun and memorable moment for the young, up-and-coming driver:
“Getting all ‘dolled up’ is something I don’t do very often, let alone on national television,” she said. “I was asked to appear on the show since I am a female in a male-dominated sport, and most of the time I find myself wearing jeans and a t-shirt, hair in a pony, with no makeup. I have been known to say, ‘I am the girliest tomboy you will ever meet.’ But, on the same note, as much as I like to be girly, I do struggle with it. Going on the Tyra show gave me some great tips on makeup, and fashion. I would have preferred to discuss racing, how Peyton Sellers and H.C. Sellers, my crew chief, are helping me, working on the cars, and competing against guys. But let’s be honest: what girl doesn’t like to get a makeover!”
This is the perfect time to give you an update on the Gillette 500. As the proud team captain for these guys it is with happy-happy-joy-joy that I tell you that Team Denny & Kasey are currently ranked first in The Great American Shave! With 28 days left in the race you can still join the team and submit a shave everyday, plus a chance to win a hometown visit from one of the Young Guns.
In other news…
– Kasey Kahne spent some time with Richmond International Raceway President Doug Fritz and SPEED TV’s Hermie Sadler in a special paintball event on Wednesday.
It was while I was watching Bridget Jones’ Diary for the 500th time that I realized that Mark Darcy, a character played by the Oscar nominated actor Colin Firth, looks a lot like NASCAR’s most popular driver Dale Earnhardt Jr.
The eyes, the lips, the general skin tone and coloring are all very similar. See for yourself.
And then when I was watching the Oscars on Sunday night I thought that Jake Gyllenhaal, who is starring in the upcoming Prince of Persia film and whom I really, really hope will be at a race that I am at sometime this year, looks kinda similar to Red Bull Racing driver Brian Vickers.
Maybe it’s the beard and the eyebrows?
Oh! I would like to take this moment to say that I am loving Clint Bowyer’s hair these days. It seems, to me at least, to be reminiscent of Mark-Paul Gosselaar’s look circa 1991 on the TV show Saved by the Bell. Clint, please don’t cut your hair.
I’m not joking, I really like it.
(Left to right) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers Clint Bowyer and Marcos Ambrose answer questions in the James H. Hunter Media Center Tuesday during a Goodyear Tire test at Darlington Raceway in Darlington, S.C. (Credit: MotorRacingNetwork.com)
Here’s my comparison of Kasey Kahne to Twilight hottie Robert Pattinson, again, because who wouldn’t want to look at these two guys?
– The following photo is quite possibly the greatest photo of Clint Bowyer ever taken to date. Love it!
Clint Bowyer gathers his concentration before heading out on track at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Friday for practice. (Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)
– This photo (below) of me with a cardboard Denny Hamlin was taken in 2008 at Infineon Raceway.
So, I’ve decided that I want Liev Schreiber, the awesome writer/director/actor that did the voiceover for the 24/7 Jimmie Johnson: Race to Daytona series, to narrate my life. It’d be awesome, just imagine this: “Valli stopped by Starbucks for her usual — a Grande Cinnamon Dolce Latte — on her way to work, as she does everyday. The cordial staff has her drink ready by the time it’s her turn at the counter.” It’d be riveting stuff.
Did you see the second episode where Chad Knaus cooks dinner for himself? I think he was making pasta or something. Anyway, my eyes nearly bugged out of my head when I saw that he has a faucet over his STOVE! I need that kitchen. That was so cool.
I’m sad the series has come to an end. I wish they were with Jimmie, Chad and the rest of the 48 team for the rest of the season. It’d be fun. They could of videotaped Chandra giving birth! Missed opportunities, people.
In other news…
– I’ve decided that David Reutimann looks like Dax Shepard’s long lost brother. Dax is an actor that got his “big break” by playing pranks on people in the first season of Ashton Kutcher’s series Punk’d. Now he does movies. What do you think??
– A Gillette 500 update! Team Denny Hamlin / Kasey Kahne are in second place. This is not good people, we need to be number one!!! So sign up and log your shaves. And if you’ve already signed up, continue to log your shaves! You gotta do it every day. By doing it EVERY DAY you increase your chances of winning a hometown visit by one of the guys! Shave your underarms, legs, whatever! Goooo Team Densey!!!
Also, since you’re here, check out Kasey and Denny in the “Book Club Crashers” commercial. It made me snort-laugh, which is saying something.
The Auto Club 500 was, uhm, a race that happened last weekend. I don’t have too much to say about it because to be perfectly honest with you I’ve had a bunch of other stuff on my mind; stuff that I hope to get to tell you about very soon.
And really, not that much happened in the race, I mean, aside from Carl Edwards still calling his soon to be born baby daughter “it” (which I’m sure is just a symptom of being a first time parent and the reality hasn’t set in yet), Ella Gordon continuing to be one of the most adorable kids on the planet, and Kevin Harvick giving the greatest post-race quote in NASCAR history — everything else was just “eh.”
I won’t be at Las Vegas this weekend, which sucks, but I know there’ll be more races in my future. More to come about that later.
So without further adieu I give you photo fun time from Auto Club Speedway:
During Friday’s qualifying Kasey Kahne, driver of the No. 9 Budweiser Ford, listens to crew chief Kenny Francis at Auto Club Speedway. Kahne will start Sunday’s Auto Club 500 in fourth position. (Credit: Todd Warshaw/Getty Images)
There were a ton of great commercials making their debut during the Daytona 500 this year. I guess everybody is starting to spend money again, which I fully endorse. The Coca-Cola guys singing about buying the world a Coke was good, Kasey Kahne’s incredible pit stop for Budweiser was cute but the most AMAZING commercial was for Toyota’s new Sponsifier promotion that allows fans to create a car design for the Toyota driver of their choice. I laughed every time it played, even when I knew what they were going to say. It’s sooo funny.
Joey Logano’s expression is priceless, as is Kyle Busch coming to terms with his pink kittens/pony/baby seal car.
And then of course from the internets, I found the other commercial. The one below features Denny Hamlin and a super funny cameo by David Reutimann. Now I understand why they were all Twittering about loving love.
The red flags aside, this Daytona 500 was awesome. Actually I take that back. I didn’t mind the red flags. For one, I was at home sitting on my comfortable couch with snacks, and two, they got to interview the drivers which I always love. We should of been glad it was something fixable and not RAIN. Thank you.
I am so incredibly happy for Jamie McMurray. That was such an amazing ending to a crazy, long race. He leads just two laps and takes his place in history as a Daytona 500 winner in his first race with Earnhardt Ganassi Racing! Talk about redemption. From odd man out to freaking Daytona 500 winner. I love it, those are the best stories. And as if all of that wasn’t good enough, he was emotional in Victory Lane. I’m all for real, true emotion and it didn’t get any better than Jamie’s tears and his hugging of the Harley J. Earl Daytona 500 Trophy.
And then Dale Earnhardt Jr. *sigh* I love that guy. He kicked butt and drove from tenth to finish second. I’m so proud! I know he was disappointed that he came so close but he has nothing to feel bad about, he proved that he’s a racer and that he wants to win just as much as the next guy. BTW, I loved his interview with Marty Smith on ESPN, they showed it during the Nationwide race on Saturday. He doesn’t have to explain or justify himself to anyone!
I think it was in his interview with Jeff Hammond on FOX that he talked about marriage and how maybe it wasn’t for him and he wondered if fans could handle him having children without being married. I would like to go on record as saying that Dale has my permission to procreate with whomever he wants in wedlock or not. Again, he should live his life on his terms and everybody else can suck it.
Photos after the jump!
Did you know that Denny Hamlin and Kasey Kahne are teammates? Yep, they’ve joined forces for a very special Gillette Young Guns promotion called The Gillette 500 – “The Great American Shave.” It’s a challenge to see whose team, competing against the other two-man teams of Kyle Busch & Joey Logano and Carl Edwards & Clint Bowyer, will be able to log the most shaves before April 30th.
You know what the best part is? I’m the team captain for Denny & Kasey! Hehe. So it’s officially on and I am asking you to get your boyfriend, your father, your grandfather and basically ANY dude that you know to go to Gillette500.com, join Denny & Kasey’s team and log their shaves, using the Gillette Fusion MVP™ razor of course, everyday!
And ladies don’t fret, you can sign up for a team too. In addition to joining a team (Denny & Kasey, Denny & Kasey!!!!) you’re also entering for a chance to win a sweet hometown visit from one of the Gillette Young Guns!
Check out this new video featuring Denny & Kasey helping this poor dude out with his sensitive skin:
Aren’t they adorable? And of course they know the guy’s name, they’re NASCAR drivers, they know everything. I love it. They’re like skin whisperers.
And there will be more webisodes in the future, so stay tuned.
The team captains for the two other teams are a couple of awesome ladies that I know and love but it’s too bad I have to take them down! Tallglassofmilk, of Answer This, is the captain for Carl & Clint and Summer is the captain for Kyle & Joey, check out Summer’s blog.
It’s all about Team Densey!!! (yes, that’s Denny & Kasey combined)
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)
Associated Press reported that Jimmie and his wife Chandra are expecting their first child in July.
It’s funny how excited someone else’s pregnancy has made me, considering I don’t know them at all. But I’m super excited for them. This is exactly what we need, more babies on pit road! I’m not making a joke, I’m serious. After baby Edwards and baby Sadler arrive baby Johnson will be future NASCAR driver number 3 for 2010 (so far). Did someone spike the VitaminWater or what?
In other news…
– AJ Allmendinger went go-karting with Jamie McMurray down in Florida last week during the annual Daytona KartWeek By Cometic Gasket events at Daytona International Speedway. This was the third straight year that Jamie participated in the event and AJ’s first time.
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.
Instead of starting from the beginning, I’m going to start with the end and work my way backwards.
Friday was of course the 2009 NASCAR Sprint Cup Awards Ceremony at the Wynn in Las Vegas. I woke up that morning with a slight hangover from the previous night’s festivities. I spent the majority of the morning willing myself to feel normal and to not vomit even though vomiting probably would have made me feel better, but whatever. I went down to Carnegie Deli and got their chicken soup, which helped tremendously.
That morning I had to go over to the Wynn (I stayed at the Mirage Thursday and Friday, and Harrah’s on Wednesday) to pick up my ticket to the banquet. Passing through the lobby I caught sight of Ron Malec, car chief of the no. 48 Lowe’s team, taking pictures with his girlfriend.
Along with the ticket to the event that told me my table number for the night, I also got to pick up the wristband to get me into the after party and a mini replica of the Sprint Cup Championship trophy. It’s as cute and cool as you’d expect, and it also doubles as a paper weight.
– 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.
And now my final, FINAL, post about the Pepsi 500 weekend at Auto Club Speedway!
Before driver introductions got started I met Heather, who is a friend of David Gilliland and his family, she’s also a Kasey Kahne fan. She reads my blog and we tweeted our locations and met up in the garage. We had a grrreat time hanging around, waiting to see which garage exit Kasey would use to go out to the driver intros stage. Because, really, you can never have enough Kasey Kahne photos.
There was no way I was going out to driver intros; it was a packed madhouse out there. I waited and then went out to pit road for the National Anthem. And I just so happened to stand near Kasey Kahne’s car ’cause it was near the exit I like.
DirecTV has some serious splainin’ to do. It all seemed to start on Saturday morning. I was watching TV and every now and again the screen would go black for a second and then the picture would come back. I didn’t think that much of it until Sunday when I was home all day and was all set to watch the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Price Chopper 400 presented by Kraft Foods that I noticed this problem hadn’t gone away.
The problem, which could get worse and then clear up just as suddenly, seemed to only affect local channels, and after I spoke to DirecTV I found out that it was only happening to people in the San Francisco Bay Area (including fellow NASCAR blogger Amy!). So I could watch ESPN and another cable & premium channels just fine, but ABC was not behaving. I tried to watch the race with the one of the HotPass channels but that was annoying because I wasn’t in the mood to have to listen to MRN.
So I dealt with it even though it gave me a headache from all the skipping and flickering of the screen.
I distinctly remember watching the AAA 400 pre-race show on Sunday and thinking that there was no way there would be another gnarly crash like the ones they were showing from past races at Dover because when something is hyped up that means the race will be boring as heck.
In this case, I was very, very wrong! Poor Joey Logano, his accident on the 31st lap was absolutely insane. I couldn’t believe he flipped that way and that much. It was neat, but I was oh so glad that he — and everyone else involved — were OK. I can’t even begin to imagine what that must feel like and from his reaction it wasn’t anything good.
Okay, so I said that the race wasn’t boring, but that was just for the first 31 laps. After that it headed down Snoozeville Road. Jimmie Johnson dominated the race and won it, and that is just not good. As I’ve said a billion times before, I don’t dislike Jimmie. I just find it highly annoying if he keeps winning all the time. It’s the same show over and over. Bleh.
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!|
ESPN on ABC’s Countdown pre-race show could have been oh, I dunno, about 45 minutes shorter than its scheduled full hour. I am an ESPN fan, truly, but I can’t take the pre-show anymore. The only useful things are the 5 second driver interviews and that’s about it.
There are no features, no special interviews, nothing. Why does it need to be an hour? I don’t wanna see a recap of the last race I saw it already. And if I didn’t see it on TV I caught up on it online. So there’s no need to rehash the whole thing. And please, for the love of God, stop asking Rusty Wallace his opinion on who can win the Championship. I’m sure he’s a very nice man, and obviously he has a lot of NASCAR knowledge but sometimes I don’t know where he’s coming from.