Because I honestly don’t remember a whole lot. Anyway, the image gallery is going to be the best part of this post, so enjoy!
All posts tagged Kyle Busch171 Posts
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.
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.”
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.
Wow. Just. Wow.
You must watch this video of Kyle Busch dancing at the Kyle Busch Motorsports Christmas party. You won’t regret it.
The thing I love the most about interviewing wives & girlfriends of NASCAR drivers is that you get to see them through a different perspective. That different view, of seeing them as regular people, is my number one goal for this site (well, that and getting to do this full-time) and it’s the reason I was really excited to interview Kyle Busch‘s wife, Samantha. I sent Samantha a bunch of questions that she’s answered — awesomely — below. I really think you’ll dig this interview and maybe look at Kyle differently as a result.
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.
Good job, Clint Boywer, good job.
There are five races left in the Chase for the Sprint Cup Series Championship and I’m wondering exactly how much can change in that time.
I’m over Jeff Gordon’s mustache. And apparently the mustache is over itself too because it did NOTHING to help out Ella & Leo’s dad this weekend at Chicagoland Speedway. Just goes to show that you shouldn’t hang your hopes on facial hair.
I watched some of the Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond International Raceway from a bar known to be frequented by cops and firefighters in Oakland. I was there for something had nothing to do with racing OR cops/firefighters, it was a gathering of my boyfriend’s friends. Anyway, I couldn’t hear anything but I saw the red flag come out and some of the racing. The night was about Jeff Gordon fighting his way into the top-12 and ultimately in to The Chase, which meant that Kyle Busch had sit this Chase out.
"I think if you look at what their organization has accomplished, I think they’ve won three championships over there and just won a ton of races and are really competitive. Denny wins all of the time. Kyle wins all the time. I was just really interested to be a part of that group and go over there and see if I can contribute to that. At the end of the day you want to put yourself in the best position you can to win races and championships and I really felt like, starting next year, that was the place for me to do that."
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.
"We've got three weeks. Chill out."
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 have some super duper awesome news to share with you guys. Thanks to the wonderful people at 3M I get to go to the Sprint All-Star Race weekend in Charlotte! They’re paying for the trip and to make it more fun I get to bring my boyfriend. I’m really looking forward to sharing my passion for NASCAR with him, especially since it’ll be the first time he’s ever attended a NASCAR race. He’s also serving in an official capacity as my photographer.
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.
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.
Thursday was decidedly less cab filled than Wednesday. I walked next door to the Bellagio for the NASCAR NMPA Myers Brothers Awards Luncheon. My table, number 31 (my fave number because it’s my birthday), was the designated NASCAR Citizen Journalists Media Corps table. We were a couple tables behind the Joe Gibbs Racing table where JD Gibbs and Kyle Busch were seated.
I woke up ridiculously early Wednesday morning to catch my 6am flight to Las Vegas. I received media credentials to attend the 2011 Motorsports Marketing Forum presented by Sports Business Journal/Daily. I knew I wasn’t going to be able to get see the entire program for that day, but I wanted to get in as much as possible.
Here’s my round-up of fun/interesting quotes from some of today’s press conferences at Homestead-Miami Speedway:
Have you ever run three races in the same weekend?
“Never. Nice birthday present from Kyle (Busch).”
Earlier you were asked about your motivation for next year after this year, how expensive was that shopping trip with Chandra (Jimmie’s wife) yesterday?
“She did well. (Laughs) She can win trophies for her shopping skills. She is good at that.”
Carl Edwards (just after Jimmie made the comment above):
“I went to the outlet mall last night, so I feel for you, Jimmie. I’ve never been to a Coach bag store before. We got caught looking at little baby clothes at The Gap as well, but it was fun.”
Who is organizing the party if you win on Sunday?
“I don’t know what I’m gonna do. People are asking me who is organizing the party after this deal on Sunday. I don’t have a party organizer. Maybe Jimmie could be my party organizer. I knew when I went back to the motorhome, I think it was last year or the year before, and Nick Lachey and his entourage came out of Jimmie’s motorhome and they got in a limo and went somewhere, I thought, ‘That’s gonna be a party there.’ I don’t know what I’ll do. That might be one night you’d see the other side of me. That might be kind of fun. I need help with that, though, guys. You have to keep me in order.”
Is there someone that you would recommend others should follow on Twitter?
“No. There’s nobody on Twitter that you need to follow.”
Congratulations to the No. 14 Office Depot/Mobil 1 team for their victory at Texas. Tony Stewart and crew are definitely making things anxious for Carl Edwards. But because I’m greedy, I really wish that Matt Kenseth & Kevin Harvick could get in the mix somehow and stir things up so that everything will be nice and crazy for Homestead. That would be fun, no?
Of course, there was that whole Kyle Busch situation that was covered AT LENGTH over the weekend, so I’m not going to go into it very much only to say that I hated it when they would recount what happened on Friday with Kyle and Ron Hornaday. They made it seem like it wasn’t OBVIOUS that Hornaday got into Kyle on accident, he got loose and it was plain as day. I’m probably nitpicking about this but saying “they tried going 3-wide and it didn’t work” doesn’t quite explain the situation accurately enough for me. Oh and one more thing, did you think it was interesting that in KyBu’s apology letter he didn’t name Kevin Harvick Inc. by name? I thought that was interesting. Douchey and interesting.
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.
And I’m not talking about on the track either. They might need to post security in the media centers for the next 10 races. A lot of interesting things happened Saturday night at the Wonderful Pistachios 400 at Richmond International Raceway post-race press conference. Sounded like a good time full of ripped up paper, tension, verbal jabs that made no sense and the comedic talents of Matt Kenseth.
I guess Snookie has that kind of effect on people.
Anyway… The only thing I can/want to say about the media and it’s questions that always sound the same is to quote one of my favorite movies from the 80s, “Heartburn,” starring my one of the greatest actresses of all time Meryl Streep (I love her!) and Jack Nicholson (He’s great too!). The movie is about a couple who get married, have a baby and then the husband cheats and the wife loses all trust she had for the husband but tries to carry on in the relationship. During that portion of the movie Jack’s character says to Meryl’s character “You can’t take it’s temperature every five minutes.” He was referring to their relationship, us ladies always want to know where we stand in our relationships especially if things don’t feel “right.” (If you’ve ever had to ask a guy “where is this going??” it’s probably not going anywhere good) Anyway… I love that line and I think that it applies to the media when they keep asking drivers how they feel about making The Chase, being in The Chase, still being in The Chase, why are you in The Chase, what does it feel like to be in The Chase… it NEVER ends. They do the same thing with other storylines, whatever it is they will ask the same question in various formats every week until there is a resolution. But I say, you can’t take it’s temperature every five minutes, dude! Nothing’s changed and when it does change, ask a question then.
Moving on… Congratulations to Kevin Harvick and the No. 29 Budweiser Chevrolet team! It had to have felt great considering the announcement he and his wife DeLana made earlier in the week about shuttering the racing side of Kevin Harvick Inc.
Richmond was a great, caution-filled race and I can only hope that we get more awesome action like that in the next 10 races. I love this time of year right before the first race in The Chase when everything feels possible. I hope we get to hold on to that feeling for more than two races.
(Wait, now that I’ve written “’til tuesday” I can’t stop thinking about their song “voices carry.” Great, now that’s stuck in my head. hush, hush, keep it down now… voices carry!!! )
It’s crazy to think we’ll be watching a NASCAR race on Tuesday this week. I guess it’s what you have to do when Mother Nature won’t cooperate. It sucks because I was REALLY looking forward to seeing the outcome of the AdvoCare 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway today, because there’s SO much on the line. There’s the matter of the $3 million Sprint Summer Showdown, that if you hadn’t heard about until today’s rain delay coverage you’ll never be able to forget it now, and the $1 million that could go to the “Official Small Business of NASCAR, presented by Office Depot” should Tony Stewart or Greg Biffle win the race.
Then there’s all of the Chase implications and you’ve got one race with a ton of responsibility.
Anywhoo, since I can’t talk about the race I’ll talk about other sort of random things I came across this weekend:
– Harrison Burton, the 10-year-old son of NASCAR driver Jeff Burton, has taken up his father’s profession as a racecar driver. Harrison’s parents made it clear yesterday at Atlanta Motor Speedway that his decision to try his hand at racing was ALL his idea and not something that they wanted him to do.
“I was hoping he’d be a lawyer and I could hang out at the country club,” Kim Burton said laughing. “It’s hard watching your baby out there, but he loves it.”
Harrison races quarter midgets with the United States Auto Club (USAC) in an all-oval series for 5-16 year-olds, and he’s leading in points in a lot of divisions.
“I have a passion for racing, and I love it, but he doesn’t have to,” Jeff said. “If he ever wants to quit, we quit. If he wants to play lacrosse, we play lacrosse.”
At the press conference today, father and son shared the stage with Harrison donning a Caterpillar firesuit just like his dads. It’s too cute.
– Samantha Busch, wife of NASCAR driver Kyle Busch, has launched her own official website–samanthabusch.net. The site contains tons of photos, news and tips from everything from fitness to fashion.
– The following photo is just adorable. It’s too friggin’ adorable. That’s all I wanted to say.
This might become a regular thing. I scan through the press conference transcripts (I get Ford, Chevy & Toyota) and find the best quotes (at least, to me they’re the best).
So here we go:
– Tony Stewart’s press conferences are always entertaining. You only need to glance at the transcript to see how Tony’s feeling that day. If the answers are really short, someone’s not that happy. So when Tony was asked REPEATEDLY but in different ways, about what Danica’s schedule will be in the Cup Series next year, he was expectedly annoyed:
ANY THOUGHTS ABOUT DANICA PATRICK RUNNING IN A CUP CAR AT THE DAYTONA 500 NEXT YEAR?
“We’re worried about other stuff right now. We’re working on her schedule and when we have a schedule, we’ll let you guys know what those races are going to be. But right now, we have a lot of things to work on.”
WHEN DO YOU HAVE TO START THINKING ABOUT PERSONNEL?
“A month ago. You don’t make decisions like this and not already start that process.”
HOW FAR ALONG THAT ROAD ARE YOU?
“We’ll let you guys know. We’re working on it, guys. We’ve got a lot of stuff to do. There’s a lot of stuff not done yet; there’s a lot of stuff that has to be done and we’re in that process. We are in the middle of getting it all done.”
WILL THE DECISION ON WHICH RACES DANICA PATRICK RUN NEXT YEAR IN CUP BE A SPONSOR DECISION OR WHAT WILL IT BE BASED ON?
“When we have that we’ll let you know. When we have the schedule, we’ll let you know. We don’t have it set yet. We’ll figure it out.”
I GUESS WHAT I’M ASKING IS…
“I know what you’re asking. I don’t have an answer to your question. When we have the schedule done, we will let you know.”
Dear Fellow Media People: TONY WILL LET YOU KNOW!! LOL
– And now Clint Bowyer who expressed his displeasure with media for interfering with his contract negotiations. You tell ‘em, Clint!
ARE YOU SURPRISED TO BE THIS LATE IN THE SEASON STILL DEALING WITH STUFF FOR NEXT YEAR, STILL HAVING STUFF UP IN THE AIR AND DO YOU FEEL LIKE THINGS ARE CLOSER TO A RESOLUTION RIGHT NOW?
“You know, were just working on it. It takes time, those deals, you can’t just say YES, let’s do it. It takes time to put the sponsorships together, it takes time to have meetings, and it takes time to do all that. You have got to be patient. Unfortunately, the media gets a hold of it and it makes it even worse. Speculations, guesses, you guys need to stop and think sometimes about the situation and the detriment that it can cause to the situation. I think that is important, I think it’s good to be positive, it is good to give opinion but when it starts to show detriment to a situation one way or another, I think it is a problem.”
ARE YOU GETTING A LOT OF PHONE CALLS FROM OTHER OWNERS, OR DO THEY REALIZE YOU ARE NOT GOING ANYWHERE AND LEAVING YOU ALONE?
“Man, I tell ya. I have been busy. We have two things. Obviously the future, we have to take care of that, just like I said last week. Then the Chase, the chase is item number one. I want to be in this chase. I think my team deserves to be in this Chase and we have a shot at it. We can make this happen. You have to stay 100 percent focused on that. The biggest thing is you have to work hard on keeping your team focused. A lot of rumors and things going on, it is hilarious, they call it silly season for a reason. Good God, I heard rumors that I needed helicopters, it is pretty amazing. You don’t know me very well lady!”
– Dale Earnhardt Jr. was asked about making The Chase and how important it was to him. This was the best part because when Junior curses it tickles me.
“The Chase stuff, the points and everything sort of takes care of itself. You try to do the best you can throughout the year to put yourself in the best position there, but, I miss the Chase, I’ll probably catch a lot of s*** about it. It will save me a lot of s*** if I make the Chase so that is probably the only thing personally that I have to worry about.”
– Kevin Harvick was asked if he anticipated any happening between Elliott Sadler & Kyle Busch last night during the Nationwide race considering the skirmish the two had during the Truck race on Wednesday:
“First off, I do not have any reason to talk to Kyle. I was not even involved in any portion of the incident. Second off, hopefully he went back and watched the race. The first thing that happened was he shoved him (Sadler) up the racetrack and he got mad because Elliott (Sadler) ran in the back of him, and then he drove over the front of him and wrecked himself. It is just old Kyle I guess showed up last week and really laid into the fact that he was kind of pouting because he was getting his butt whipped. Keeps running his mouth he might get it whipped off the track.”
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)
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
It just so happens that I’ve either ran into or received a bunch of info about fashion & accessories that relate to racing, enough to warrant an entire post dedicated to the subject. So here ya go!
– When I was at Infineon Raceway for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Toyota/Save Mart 350 last month I wandered around the area behind the grandstand where the majority of vendors had their wares on display. One such vendor was Harveys, the makers of “The Original Seatbeltbag™.” All of their products are made from real seatbelts that you find in your car.
Their display caught my attention because it was the ONLY one selling stuff specifically for women, and they had the cutest little Airstream trailer as their stockroom. So I asked if I could take some pictures of their big variety of bags. They’ve got something for every occasion, just check out their website. I especially loved the clutches and the tote bag made from recycled materials. But I really thought the black clutch wallet would be PERFECT for Champion’s Week in Las Vegas. You can carry a bunch of stuff in it and it’s just really well made. They’re pricey ($78 for the wallet and $228 for the Treecycle Carriage Satchel that could be my next laptop bag) but they’re going to last you for a REALLY long time. Plus Harvey’s offers a Bag Spa — just send them your worn down bag and they’ll make her look all special and fabulous again (there’s a small fee but it’s worth it).
– The creators — a husband & wife team from Florida — of Motor Munchkins emailed me last month about their line of racing inspired kids clothing. They’re just launched their website and they’ve got some really cute stuff. I especially love the “Look, Mom! No Hands!” and “I (heart) boobs & karting” (see below) shirts & onesies. Definitely check out their site and let them know what you think.
– Ever wonder how you could keep your favorite driver CLOSE to your heart? Ya know, without getting arrested? Well, Pit Pass Gifts creates custom NASCAR jewelry using actual remnants from the track. They’ve turned pieces of sheet metal from the cars of drivers like Matt Kenseth, Dale Earnhardt Jr, Kyle Busch and Jimmie Johnson to create unique necklaces. Check out the Pit Pass Gifts eBay site for more information.
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.”
Congratulations to David Ragan and the No. 6 UPS team on winning the COKE ZERO 400 at Daytona! It’s been a long time coming! And if there was ever a driver that NEEDED to win right now it was David Ragan. I loved his post-race interview where the TNT reporter (can’t remember who it was, Matt Yocum?) tried EVERYTHING to try and get some sort emotional reaction from David and nothing happened. It was kind of anti-climactic. We love an emotional winner, and you’d think a first-timer would have brought something to the party.
Oh welly, David doesn’t need to cry for me to know that it means a lot. I’m happy for the guy.
Must talk about the sight of Andy Lally driving all by his lonesome during the race. Having a “partner” is the only way you’re going to do anything at Daytona these days and Andy didn’t have anybody for a while there. It brought me right back to junior high school P.E. class and dreading having to be picked for someone’s team (for some dumb activity that all the boys always took WAY too seriously). Ugh, it made me sad for him. I understand why guys didn’t want to work with him because they didn’t know what he was capable of, but still it was hard to watch. It’s the nature of the beast, though.
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.
When I arrived at Infineon Raceway on Friday I was late. It was only 9am but it was late. The garage opened at 7am and that’s when people showed up, so the media lot was full when I arrived. I was stuck in lot 1 which is next to the helipad. It’s not a big deal (there’s an awesome shuttle that takes you right to the media center no matter where you’re parked) but it’s funny to me how 9am can be considered late for anything. Anyway, Friday was the day of press conferences for the top-12 drivers.
The image I created in my head of Richard Childress getting Kyle Busch in a headlock and beating him up far surpasses any actual image of the incident that you could show me (if one even exists). I can’t help but laugh at the whole thing. It’s just too much. Childress was fined $150,000 for the incident and put on probation by NASCAR. When they give fines I think they should be the same number as the person’s car number, so Childress should of been fined $180,000 for Kyle’s #18 truck. NASCAR should maintain a NASCAR theme at all times.
Ya know what’s annoying? Yesterday’s race was Brad Keselowski’s second NASCAR Sprint Cup Series win, his first with Penske, and the commentators didn’t bring that up until he crossed the finish line. I find that annoying because I would like that information up front–with laps to go–so that I can get all emotional and worried for the guy. They do it for Dale Earnhardt Jr. ALL the time. They’ve got that “Races since last win” graphic queued up, always ready to go.
I feel like we didn’t get to really appreciate the fullness of the moment for Brad because nobody talked about the significance of it all that much. Kinda lame.
While I certainly don’t dislike the Fox broadcast team, I am REALLY excited about TNT’s coverage because I’m looking for a change of pace. It’ll be good to get a different perspective, until we get another perspective when ESPN/ABC takes over later this year.
My only question right now is: Can it be time for Infineon’s race now?? Please! I’ll be there and I cannot wait for that race weekend. I know it’s going to be superfun, but let’s hope this ridiculously cold & rainy weather we’ve been having doesn’t last through that weekend. I’m ordering perfect weather; not too hot, not too cold, but just right.
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!
They should use Trevor’s story for an episode of “House.” They still don’t know what the illness is/was.
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!
Saturday’s Nationwide Series 5-hour ENERGY 200 was more entertaining than Sunday’s Sprint Cup Series FedEx 400 Benefiting Autism Speaks because, ya know, stuff happened.
Not that you ever want to see anyone get hurt, but Saturday had some crazy crashes and all of the drivers walked away totally OK. Although crew guy, Glen Wheeler, for the No. 33 Kevin Harvick Inc. team did sustain an injury to his left leg and was held at a hospital overnight for his injury. It’s crazy that the debris that hit him came from the car he works on. I couldn’t believe Clint Bowyer’s crash. That was insane. When incidents like that happen at Dover they’re always insane. Hopefully Mr. Wheeler will be A-OK.
Sunday was cool and all, who doesn’t love babies in Victory Lane? But it was one of those races where if you talked to me five minutes after it was over and asked me what happened, I wouldn’t be able to tell you. Sometimes it’s like that and then sometimes it’s like last week at Darlington and you can’t stop talking about it. Nevertheless, congratulations to Matt Kenseth and the No. 17 WileyX team. I think that was the second WileyX sponsored race for the No. 17 Roush Fenway Racing team, so that’s pretty good for their second time out!
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:
I was this close to feeling bad for Denny Hamlin for not sweeping the races at Richmond this past weekend until I came across the program from last year’s Awards Ceremony banquet. The program included photos of each winner of every race in 2010. Denny won EIGHT of them. You’re not going to find any sympathy over here, Denny.
But I do like The Denny (that’s what I call him) and his new Toyota Sponsifier commercial is my favorite out of the three featuring him, Kyle Busch and Joey Logano. Why is it my favorite? Because I love the little kid that tells him he drives like his mom, and I love the silly smile Denny makes after the kid says that AND I love that when Denny smiles like that I instantly think he looks like that actor on NBC’s “30 Rock,” Jack McBrayer (he was in “Talladega Nights: The Legend of Ricky Bobby,” too). Here’s a side-by-side comparison shot:
Tina Fey should get Denny to do a cameo on “30 Rock” as Kenneth Purcell’s brother. I’m just sayin’.
In other news… Elliott Sadler announced that he and his wife, Amanda, are expecting a child this year. The couple are already parents to a son, Wyatt, who was born last year.
So, first thing’s first, who stayed up late last night, or got up super early, to watch the Royal Wedding? I didn’t do either of those things, I just Tivo’d it and fast-forwarded to the good parts this morning. All I wanted to see was her dress and I was very disappointed. It was boring and it kinda looked like the dress my aunt wore in her first wedding back in the 80s. But I’m totally off topic with all of this because this isn’t a Royal Wedding style blog now is it?
I feel like I’m behind on a lot of stuff that went down this week and last, so here’s what I’ve got.
– Scott & Amanda Speed announced this week via Twitter that they found out they’re expecting a baby girl this year. This is the couple’s first child together.
– The No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil crew took part in a tailgating cook-off and grocery bagging challenge at a local Kroger store in the Richmond, Virginia area this week. The event promoted a special program that Shell & Kroger created together to help people save money on gas.
Every time race fans in the greater Richmond area make a purchase at Kroger with their Kroger Plus Card, they not only save money on their grocery bill but also earn Fuel Points that can be redeemed at the pump for savings on fuel. Kroger customers now have the opportunity to instantly redeem 100 Fuel Points to earn a 10 cent per gallon savings, or up to 1,000 Fuel Points per visit to save up to $1 per gallon at participating Shell stations. This offer is valid up to 35 gallons of fuel per purchase.
– Elliott Sadler headed up to Canada to promote the Nationwide Series race, the NAPA Auto Parts 200 presented by Dodge, that will take place at Circuit Gilles Villenuve in Montreal this August. And his birthday was coming up, so they got him a cake! Awww.
– Kyle Busch saved the day by stopping some fake robbers from stealing the $1 million purse for the NASCAR Sprint Cup All-Star Race in Charlotte.
– Rachel Gilbert, a 100-year-old woman from Laconia, New Hampshire, took a spin around New Hampshire Motor speedway in the track’s pace car to celebrate her centennial birthday. This was such a cool thing, I love the photo of her sitting in the car looking over the steering wheel (see below).
Here’s more on what Rachel received for her major milestone birthday:
As part of this ultimate birthday celebration Gilbert and her family will receive suite passes overlooking “The Magic Mile,” where they will enjoy every lap of the LENOX Industrial Tools 301.
Gilbert will also have the opportunity to rub elbows with the stars of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series during the Sunday morning drivers’ meeting.
The longtime race fan was surprised with this once in a lifetime opportunity from her family and Gappens. When told she would be riding around the speedway in the pace car, she was ready to leave for Loudon immediately.
Included in her birthday package was a race car cake, an official LENOX Industrial Tools 301 hat, NHMS jacket and birthday card. Her favorite driver Carl Edwards even signed and sent an official crew shirt and birthday wishes.
“My mom has always been a major race fan. She doesn’t miss a race on TV,” says daughter Marie Anne Mills.
Marie also had the opportunity to ride around the track with Gilbert. “I was more nervous than she was,” she said. “This was so wonderful.”
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.
Sunday at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California started out with the customary trip to THE Starbucks. I call it “THE Starbucks” because it’s the one everybody goes to during the race weekend, and by everybody I mean literally everybody. It could be groups of fans apart of some racing package deal or pit crew members, PR people, and NASCAR drivers. I always see someone. On Saturday morning it was Michael Waltrip and Michael Waltrip Racing general manager Ty Norris. Sunday I chatted about the weather with a pit crew guy that recognized me from the garage.
Saturday in Fontana started out with Nationwide Series qualifying. Heather and I hung out in the media bull pen area and watched as the cars came through. It was pretty routine so this is a good time to talk about the children I saw in the garage that weekend. There were TONS of them. The new NASCAR rule allowing kids in the garage has made a big impact because I’ve never seen so many little boys and girls getting photos and autographs.
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!
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).
I’m sad I missed the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Media Tour in Charlotte this week. But, if I’m being honest, it’s only because I just read this article about all the swag the media received, that I missed out on. There were cupcakes and cookies and wine!
Anyway, here are photos from the week. It’s one of my favorite things to post photos of the teams wearing those annoying long sleeve shirts. I don’t know why I hate them so much but they just look wrong. I say this every year and no one listens to me.
It’s just like bridesmaid dresses: it’s really hard to pick on dress type that works on every body type. Which is why brides have started letting their maids pick a fit that suits them individually and then just going with the same color and/or print for the group. I think NASCAR teams should adopt this same principle. Some teams have, but definitely not the majority.
NASCAR Nationwide Series driver Elliott Sadler, (second from left) speaks with the media, as drivers (left to right) Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Jason Leffler, and Aric Almirola look on, during the NASCAR Sprint Media Tour hosted by Charlotte Motor Speedway, held at Hilton University on Tuesday in Charlotte, N.C.(Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Michael Waltrip’s familiar No. 15 NAPA car is on display during the NASCAR Sprint Media Tour hosted by Charlotte Motor Speedway, held at Hilton University on Tuesday in Charlotte, N.C. (Credit: Harold Hinson/HHP)
(Left to right) Bobby Hutchens, director of competition for Stewart-Haas Racing; Tony Gibson, crew chief of the No. 39 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series car; Ryan Newman, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver; Tony Stewart, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series owner and driver; and Darian Grubb, crew chief of the No. 14 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series car, pose for a picture during the 2011 Sprint Cup Media Tour hosted by Charlotte Motor Speedway on Monday at Stewart-Haas Racing in Kannapolis, N.C. (Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Regan Smith stands in front of his No. 78 Furniture Row ride during the Sprint Media Tour hosted byCharlotte Motor Speedway on Wednesday in Charlotte, N.C. (Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)
(center) NASCAR Hall of Famer Richard Petty stands between his two NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers AJ Allmendinger (left) and the newest addition to Richard Petty Motorsports Marcos Ambrose during the Sprint Media Tour hosted byCharlotte Motor Speedway on Wednesday in Charlotte, N.C. (Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Team owner Jack Roush (center) poses with drivers (left to right) Carl Edwards, Matt Kenseth, Greg Biffle and David Ragan, during the NASCAR Sprint Media Tour hosted by Charlotte Motor Speedway, held at the Roush-Fenway hanger of Concord Regional Airport, on Thursday in Concord, N.C. (Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)
(Left to right) Brian Vickers, driver of the No. 83 Red Bull Toyota, speaks with Kasey Kahne, driver of the No. 4 Red Bull Toyota, during the NASCAR Sprint Media Tour hosted by Charlotte Motor Speedway, held at Hilton University on Tuesday in Charlotte, N.C.(Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)
(Left to right) Richard Childress, team owner; Clint Bowyer, driver of the No. 33 Cheerios Chevrolet; Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 29 Budweiser Chevrolet; Jeff Burton, driver of the No. 22 Caterpillar Chevrolet, and Paul Menard, driver of the No. 27 Menard’s Chevrolet, pose for the media during the NASCAR Sprint Media Tour hosted by Charlotte Motor Speedway, held at Richard Childress Racing on Tuesday in Welcome, N.C.(Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)
(Left to right) Five-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson, four-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Jeff Gordon, owner Rick Hendrick and NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers Mark Martin and Dale Earnhardt Jr. pose for a team picture Wednesday at Hendrick Motorsports Media Day during the Sprint Media Tour hosted by Charlotte Motor Speedway.(Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)
(Left to right) Sam Hornish Jr., driver of the No. 12 Alliance Truck Parts Dodge in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, speaks to the media as NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teammates Brad Keselowski, driver of the No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge, and Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Dodge, look on during the NASCAR Sprint Media Tour hosted by Charlotte Motor Speedway, held at Penske Racing on Monday in Mooresville, N.C.(Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Team owner Joe Gibbs (third from right) poses with J.D. Gibbs (third from left), Joe Gibbs Racing President, Joey Logano (left), driver of the No. 20 Home Depot Toyota, Kyle Busch (second from left), driver of the No. 18 M&M’s Toyota, Denny Hamlin (second from right), driver of the No. FedEx Toyota, and NASCAR Nationwide Series driver Brian Scott (right), during the NASCAR Sprint Media Tour hosted by Charlotte Motor Speedway, held at Joe Gibbs Racing, on Thursday in Huntersville, N.C. (Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)
J.D. Gibbs, president of JGR, on hiring Tony Stewart: “For 1997, we wanted to form a second team. We asked all the guys to write down the name of the driver they wanted the most and put it in a hat. There was one name on every piece of paper. That was Tony Stewart.”
Team owner Joe Gibbs (center) speaks about the 20th anniversary of Joe Gibbs Racing, as (left to right) JGR President J.D. Gibbs, former JGR drivers Tony Stewart and Bobby Labonte, JGR senior vice president of racing operations Jimmy Makar and Interstate Batteries CEO Norm Miller look on during the NASCAR Sprint Media Tour hosted by Charlotte Motor Speedway, held at Joe Gibbs Racing, on Thursday in Huntersville, N.C. (Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)
The No. 21 Motorcraft Ford proudly displays the new American Ethanol sponsorship around the fuel hole during the NASCAR Sprint Media Tour hosted by Charlotte Motor Speedway, held at the Roush-Fenway hanger of Concord Regional Airport, on Thursday in Concord, N.C. (Credit: Harold Hinson/HHP)
(Left to right) Juan Pablo Montoya, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver, team owners Chip Ganassi and Felix Sabates and Jamie McMurray, defending Daytona 500 champion, pose for a picture during the Earnhardt Ganassi Racing stop on the 2011 Sprint Media Tour hosted by Charlotte Motor Speedway on Monday at the Hilton Charlotte University Place in Charlotte, N.C.(Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Kyle Busch drives the No. 18 M&M’s Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing. He married his longtime girlfriend Samantha Sarcinella on New Year’s Eve last year and the word from Kyle (via Twitter) is that their wedding will be featured on The Style Network in March of this year.
I interviewed Kyle during Champion’s Week in Las Vegas last year and some of his responses kinda surprised me, especially the profession other than his own that he’d like to attempt.
What is your favorite word? Well, I have a favorite saying, but not a word. “It doesn’t surprise me”
What is your least favorite word? Second
What turns you on? I mean, is that like, I gotta get context there. *laughter* (Me: Whatever you think) Hmm, racing. That’s easy.
What turns you off? People that aren’t true to themselves.
What sound or noise do you love? The roar of an engine
What sound or noise do you hate? The skid of tires
What is your favorite curse word? Uh, hold on. What’s that one? Oh, I can’t say that one. Uhm, “fudge.”
What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? Crew chief. Something still in racing.
What profession would you not like to do? A 9-to-5 corporate desk job.
If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates? I’d like for him to tell me that I did a great job while living his path for me.
Read more of my “Inside the Actor’s Studio” questionnaire interviews in the archives and read about how it all started with Tony Stewart.
It’s time for Round Two! But first let’s find out what happened in Round One.
Kyle Busch (68%) defeated Jeff Burton (32%)
Juan Pablo Montoya (62%) defeated Brian Vickers (38%)
Tony Stewart (97%) defeated David Reutimann (3%)
Paul Menard (71%) defeated Jimmie Johnson (29%)
Casey Mears (73%) defeated David Ragan (27%)
Regan Smith (86%) defeated Kevin Conway (14%)
This updates the brackets, which you can see below (click it to see it larger).
And now, I think this is when things are going to get even MORE interesting. Round Two is the largest group, it’ll be fun to see who makes it into Round Three. I was going to let Round Two last for two weeks but I have decided to run it for just a week. Votes poured in for Round One and I can only expect it to get crazier for this one, so I’m trying to contain it. Plus I’m highly impatient and two weeks sound like forever to find out the results.
So let’s get to it! Here are the match-ups for Round Two! You can vote as many times as you want each day until voting ends on Saturday, January 15th.
UPDATE: Round Two voting has ended. Stay tuned for the results and Round Three!
|Jamie McMurray||Kyle Busch|
|David Gilliland||Joey Logano|
|Clint Bowyer||Bobby Labonte|
|Kurt Busch||Travis Kvapil|
|Ryan Newman||Juan Pablo Montoya|
|Dale Earnhardt Jr.||Scott Speed|
|Sam Hornish Jr.||Tony Stewart|
|Carl Edwards||Kasey Kahne|
|Kevin Harvick||Casey Mears|
|Elliott Sadler||Reed Sorenson|
|Greg Biffle||Martin Truex Jr.|
|Jeff Gordon||Marcos Ambrose|
|Brad Keselowski||Paul Menard|
|AJ Allmendinger||Matt Kenseth|
|Robby Gordon||Regan Smith|
|Mark Martin||Denny Hamlin|
UPDATE: Round Two voting has ended. Stay tuned for the results and Round Three!
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:
Who is the hottest, cutest, most-handsome driver in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series? I know who I think is the hottest, most-adorable driver in the series but if I just tell you what I think it’s boring and the fun only lasts for a few hours, or a day, tops. So instead I thought it would be way more fun if everyone voted!
I’ve randomly seeded 38 drivers into a single-elimination tournament. There will be six rounds of action before we crown a winner and each round will last at least one week.
The second round will go on for two weeks because there are so many match-ups I want to make sure there’s enough time to get as many votes in as possible. You can vote as many times as you want and I strongly encourage you to do so every day. And as the rounds wind down be on the lookout for the opportunity to win a prize!
Download a copy of the 2011 Hottest Driver Tournament brackets!
Without further adieu here are the match-ups for Round One!
|Kyle Busch||Jeff Burton|
|Brian Vickers||Juan Pablo Montoya|
|David Reutimann||Tony Stewart|
|David Ragan||Casey Mears|
|Paul Menard||Jimmie Johnson|
|Kevin Conway||Regan Smith|
Round One Voting Has Ended! Vote in Round Two! CLICK HERE
This year’s crop of racing-related commercials found drivers singing, professing their love of love and playing poker with Big Foot. Here is my list of the best commercials of 2010:
Tony Stewart Burger King Employee
My absolute favorite commercial of the year because it was real. Tony really did work at a Burger King and the result was really funny. I know it would be copying but I really think Lowe’s should put Jimmie Johnson to work in one of their stores. He’d be great at selling appliances, dontcha think?
The Sponsifier program was a big hit this year and it’s gotta be because their commercials were hilarious. I will never be able to get the line “I want Kyle Busch in a pink car and a pink suit” out of my mind or Joey Logano’s chainmail outfit and that look of utter disgust on his face.
Gillette Young Guns & Big Foot
Because Big Foot is a sore loser. I find that idea to be really funny.
Mario Andretti Honda
How adorable is Mario Andretti? Like, really adorable. All because he says “I’m hungry.” I love it.
Coca-Cola Drivers Sing it Out
People who can’t sing (or aren’t known for singing) and then unexpectedly start singing is a recipe for hilarity.
Honorable Mention: Gillette Young Guns Wedding
Because I just like Clint Bowyer in this one. We need more commercials with Clint flexing his funny bone in 2011!
Christmas is fast approaching and I thought I’d share with you some ideas I had for great gifts for NASCAR fans.
– Let’s start things off with two Tony Stewart-related gifts. First is the 2011 calendar I gave you guys a preview of last month that features exclusive photos of Tony. I love calendars, I think they make great presents because they last all year with something new to stare at (and daydream about) each month. The second gift is the 2010 “Teddy B. Caring Bear” from the Office Depot Foundation. A portion of the proceeds of the sale of the bear will go to children and families in need around the world. Teddy B. Caring was made by Gund (so you know he’s well made), costs only $9.99 and can be found at Office Depot stores.
“Working with the Office Depot Foundation on its National Backpack Program is one of the most important and rewarding things I do,” Stewart said. “It’s amazing to see the look on a child’s face when they receive a new backpack and are able to head back to school with an extra boost of confidence. Every child deserves that, and I would like to encourage everyone to consider giving a Teddy B. Caring bear as a gift this holiday season in support of the great work the Office Depot Foundation does all year long.”
Performance Racing Network gathered some NASCAR drivers holiday memories, thoughts, etc:
“I think I was five years old at Christmas, and walked out and under the tree there was a motorcycle sitting there for me. That’s what started racing for me, so that would probably be the most memorable. It really started everything. We’ve got some footage that’s absolutely hilarious of me riding that day. My parents took me out to an area to ride and I could ride a bicycle at the time, but my dad was holding the back fender and trying to show me how to twist the throttle and ride off. I can’t believe I was on a bike that young, but it’s pretty funny to see it.”
“Yeah, I was one of those kids that was trying to wake up my parents and say ‘Alright it’s Christmas now’, ‘No, no, no, go back to bed.’ So, I definitely was antsy at times, but now they’re the ones that have to wake me up on Christmas morning. I say, ‘Alright’ and I just kinda walk there with my cap on and I’m like, ‘Alright, let’s get this over with, I want to get to the food.’”
Friday, December 3rd was the day of the 2010 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards Ceremony & Banquet at the Wynn Las Vegas.
NASCAR After The Lap started off mostly like last year, with hostess Jamie Little asking the drivers questions submitted by fans. There were a few new wrinkles like some of the fans asking the questions in person, and the drivers walking in through the crowd with Jimmie Johnson making his grand entrance in his No 48 Lowe’s Chevy.
Thursday was filled with events including the NMPA Myers Brothers Awards Luncheon, the Victory Lap and After The Lap at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino.
I arrived in Las Vegas on Wednesday morning-ish. I checked in at my hotel, ARIA Hotel & Casino at CityCenter. I am giving this hotel two thumbs up because when I opened the door to my room (that unlocked after only having to wave my room key in front of the keypad above the door handle) music began to play and the curtains pulled back on their own revealing floor to ceiling windows facing a skyline of mountains.
As the campaign to prove that Jimmie Johnson isn’t vanilla rolls on, I thought it would be fun to assign an ice cream flavor to each of the drivers in The Chase for the Sprint Cup Series Championship.
I don’t know why Jimmie would mind being vanilla, I mean, it’s a classic and reliable flavor (how do you mess up vanilla??). It’s a trusty, go-to flavor, and doesn’t that make sense for him since we rely on him to win all the time? I’m just sayin’.
1.) Jimmie Johnson – Ben & Jerry’s New York Super Fudge Chunk: He has a house in New York and this is as far away from Vanilla as possible. Happy, Jimmie??
2.) Denny Hamlin – Ben & Jerry’s Neapolitan Dynamite: Because Denny is the only one that sort of reminds me of Napoleon Dynamite.
3.) Kevin Harvick – Ben & Jerry’s Chubby Hubby: He’s not chubby, but he is a hubby.
4.) Jeff Gordon – Rocky Road: It’s been one for, like, the past 2 or 3 years, right?
5.) Kyle Busch – Pistachio: I’m not a fan of Pistachio
6.) Carl Edwards – Vanilla frozen yogurt: Carl is all about eating healthy (Subway!), and staying ab-tacular, so this is all he can have.
7.) Tony Stewart – Ben & Jerry’s Chunky Monkey: He had a monkey once.
8.) Matt Kenseth – Ben & Jerry’s Imagine Whirled Peace: He never gets into fights, ok there was that time with Jeff Gordon, but overall Kenseth is Switzerland.
9.) Kurt Busch – Rum Raisin: Alcohol, there’s no such thing as beer ice cream.
10.) Jeff Burton – Ben & Jerry’s Stephen Colbert’s AmeriCone Dream: This happens to be my favorite Ben & Jerry’s flavor and it’s also the only flavor that is remotely related to politics, and ya know Jeff Burton will be a politician somewhere, someday. Just go with me on this OK?
11.) Greg Biffle – Ben & Jerry’s Phish Food: Can’t you imagine Biffle relaxin’ with some of this yummy chocolately, caramely, marshmallowy, fudge fishy goodness?
12. ) Clint Bowyer – Ben & Jerry’s Maple Blondie: He’s blonde, duh.
Saturday morning at Auto Club Speedway found me inside the Nationwide Series garage watching as drivers qualified for the CampingWorld.com 300. Driver after driver made their qualifying run and I stood by in the media bullpen area where they keep the top-3 cars. Cars shuffle in and out (and drive by) as the numbers on the pylon change order.
There weren’t a lot of fans milling around in the garage and only a handful actually stuck around to watch drivers get out of their cars and maybe ask them for an autograph. I noticed David Reutimann, in regular dude clothes, standing with the guys from Michael Waltrip Racing. He had on a hat and sunglasses but I still couldn’t get over the fact that people didn’t notice him. I guess it was good for him to not be bothered, seeing as how he’d just come off the weekend before and his infamous incident with Kyle Busch.
As qualifying progressed I watched as Carl Edwards got out of his car, spoke with various members of the media, signed autographs for fans, met with a large group of employees from his sponsor, Copart, took pictures with them, and then went off to the media center. All of that took place in the space of like 10 minutes. Now that’s multi-tasking.
I’m finally writing again! I have so much stuff to post for you guys, please bear with me while I get everything up. There are new Inside the Actor’s Studio interviews coming too. I’m in Las Vegas this weekend for Blog World & New Media Expo, but I’m planning on getting a lot of writing done as well. So stay tuned…
Last Thursday I drove seven and half hours down to Southern California for the start of my Auto Club Speedway/Pepsi Max 400 race weekend.
As I was driving I tried to think of new & interesting questions for Tony Stewart. Tony was having an autograph session at the Office Depot in Rancho Cucamonga that day and he had an open media session before he starting signing things for fans. Yet again I found myself having a hard time thinking of more questions for Tony. I really loved how well my first interview went with him that I didn’t want to ruin it by asking more questions and having it be lame.
Here’s how I feel about the David Reutimann/Kyle Busch incident: Boys will be boys.
I love the idea of throwing that dumb cliche back in the face of people who like to use it to explain away bad behavior.
But seriously, I don’t really care. Reutimann was pissed and he decided to take action. The fact that Kyle is in The Chase is totally irrelevant. Everyone is trying to do the best they can no matter what, if they’re in the top-12 or not. That’s why I hate that Chase commercial where the drivers talk about all the stuff they have to compete against to win the Championship. Never once do they mention the fact that they still have to deal with 42 other drivers, not just 11 other guys contending for the Championship. That’s why winning the Sprint Cup is a big deal. The guys not in the Chase shouldn’t be expected to roll over, on the contrary, they should be getting in the way.
It’ll mean more for the the guy that ultimately wins the thing.
Congratulations to Greg Biffle and the No. 16 3M team! I’m so glad the standings within The Chase are still up in the air. Hopefully we can keep it that way for at least a few more races!
Jeff Burton, driver of the Caterpilliar Chevrolet, stands on pit road with his wife Kim prior to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Price Chopper 400 on October 3, 2010 in Kansas City, Kansas. (Photo by Christa Thomas/Getty Images for NASCAR)
While I’m not sure who I “want” to win the Championship this year, I can tell you who I think will win it and who I’m sure definitely will not.
I’ve had a feeling for some time now that Denny Hamlin would claim the 2010 Sprint Cup Series Championship, I’m not entirely sure why I feel that way but it just seems like the right thing. I think this kid is determined and it seems like it’s his time.
Now, on to who I think definitely will not win the Championship and that would be Jimmie Johnson. Not because he’s not capable, a duh he’s won 4 in a row, but because everyone else in the Chase wants it more. I think there has to be something to seeing Jimmie win it every year and I think these guys are psyched and pumped to make sure he doesn’t win a 5th. I just think the other guys want and NEED this Championship more than Jimmie does and therefore they’re going to do everything within their power to make sure they’re tops this year.
Clint Bowyer, driver of the Cheerios/Hamburger Helper Chevrolet, stands in the garage during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Air Guard 400 at Richmond International Raceway on September 10, 2010 in Richmond, Virginia. (Photo by Jerry Markland/Getty Images)
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.
Red Bull Racing has selected Mattias Ekström to handle the road course at Infineon Raceway next week in the No. 83 Red Bull Racing Toyota:
“First of all, I’d like to express my sincere thanks — to Red Bull for inviting a Swede with zero NASCAR experience to compete in the United States and to Audi for the possibility and approval that enable me to fulfill this dream,” said Ekström, 31.
I, too, would like to express my sincerest thanks to Red Bull for inviting a cute Swedish dude to race in NASCAR for the first time ever. Can you say, “fresh meat?” It’s perfect timing since I’ll be at Infineon next week for the Toyota/SaveMart 350. Can wait to see Mattias in action. Zero NASCAR experience and his first race is at Infineon. I love it.
That’s Mattias (left) with Casey Mears, sporting his wedding ring. I forgot Casey got married!
In other news…
– The 2010 Gillette Fusion ProGlide Prelude to the Dream was held last night and drivers from all kinds of racing disciplines were on hand, including Travis Pastrana who is famous for his motocross & supercross & general extreme sport background. I really, really wish Travis would try his hand at NASCAR. It would be a good time for sure. That guy is funny and super talented.
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.
The Monday after attending the inaugural induction ceremony at the NASCAR Hall of Fame I had already earmarked as being a “day off” meaning that I wasn’t going to do anything except watch daytime television and go to the mall. This made sense because when I arrived I had two straight days of events to attend. I deserved it, plus I actually needed stuff from the mall.
Oh! I forgot to say that on Sunday night I had dinner with Jessica, Kells and Margaret. Margaret & Jessica I knew because they read this blog and are super active on Twitter, it was an absolute no-brainer that I was going to meet them while I was out in Charlotte. They’re awesome women and we had a fun time laughing it up at The Cheesecake Factory.
Anyway, back to Monday. I went to the mall with no expectations of any NASCAR related sightings but ending up spying Joey Logano shopping with his girlfriend. They were really cute. And no, I didn’t follow them. It was an interesting moment because I realized that if I lived in Charlotte moments like that would probably happen more often. Just something to think about.
On Tuesday my plan for the day was to check out the NASCAR Hall of Fame. I had taken a cursory walkthrough before the induction ceremony on Sunday and I really wanted to take some time to really experience everything it had to offer.
A Sprint Cup Series off-weekend is a hard thing to deal with. It’s pretty sad how hard it is for me to figure out things to do to fill up the time. I’m sure the drivers and teams adore them but I find them to be intolerable and cruel. Ok, ok, it’s not THAT serious but still, I miss NASCAR when it’s gone.
The good news was that it wasn’t really gone, gone. There was still a Truck race on Friday and a Nationwide Series race on Saturday. I didn’t see the Truck race although I heard that some dude named Kyle Busch won it. I did catch the majority of the Nationwide race but I fell asleep during the last 20 laps or so. I woke up to that guy KyBu talking again and I was going to scream because I thought he’d won but he hadn’t, so I was happy. Thank you, Kevin Harvick, for making sure my weekend wasn’t ruined.
Here’s something you should know: I’m NOT working for Z-Line Designs. I can’t/won’t go into details, but I wanted to explain why I haven’t said anything about them since I announced I was going to work for them.
Driver of the #32 Dollar General Toyota, Reed Sorenson, watches scoring in the garage area during practice Friday while he prepares for the Nashville 300. (Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)
So I know everybody is putting a lot of thought into Carl Edwards actions this weekend at Atlanta. Was he justified in bumping Brad “I Have No Friends” Keselowski into flight or should he have found him after the race and gently slapped him across the face with a white glove?
I’m in two minds about it, but I know for sure that it was fun to watch. I’m glad Brad was OK after the wreck (and we should never take the strides they’ve made in keeping the drivers safe for granted), but we know that Carl didn’t intend for him to flip around like that.
Now let’s talk about the other disaster in this race. Dale Earnhardt Jr. gets the pole and then proceeds to lead not a single lap in the ENTIRE race. How is this possible? Holy crap, I love you Dale. I really, really, really do, but what the heck?
Big shout out and congrats to David Gilliland for putting on a great show on Sunday! He led laps and ran up front a whole heck of a lot. Good things are coming for that No. 38 Charter Air Transport / Taco Bell team! It’s so nice when you support a driver and they do good things to remind you why you pull for them in the first place. Seriously, I cannot WAIT till David wins a Sprint Cup race. It’s going to be AH-MAY-ZING.
Fellow Toyota drivers Kyle Busch and Brian Vickers talk in the garage during Friday’s practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Kobalt Tools 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway.(Credit: Tom Whitmore/Getty Images for NASCAR)
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.
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)
Apparently there’s something in the water of the NASCAR garage because everybody is either procreating or getting married these days, which is further proof that I need to get my butt to a NASCAR race ASAP!
Kyle Busch proposed to his longtime girlfriend Samantha Sarcinella at Daytona Thursday night and she said yes. She’s on Twitter now too, so go follow her. Let’s hope she posts the wedding day details!
Photo from @KyleBusch
In other news…
– Did you know that Nicole Manske married IndyCar driver Ryan Briscoe this past December? I know, I’m a lamer and didn’t. Anywho, I extend my belated congratulations to the couple and follow it up with another “Did you know?” fact. Nicole — who is now going by her married name Briscoe — and Danica Patrick are both from Roscoe, IL and went to the same high school, although a few years separate them. Cool right? And now, Nicole is married to a guy that races against Danica in IndyCar. Fun stuff.
The photo below is from an interview Nicole did with Danica on ESPN last week.
– On Thursday night Jimmie Johnson hit up the Jose Cuervo Platino Penthouse and Hotel 944 Party sponsored by Jose Cuervo and GUINNESS in Miami, Florida with longtime friend Nick Lachey. Also in attendance was Nick’s brother Drew Lachey and former Miss Teen USA Vanessa Minillo (Nick’s girlfriend). The group ran into rapper Snoop Dogg as you can see for yourself in the photo below. I have to wonder what Jimmie’s rapper name would be but I can’t think of anything good. Ideas??
NASCAR driver Jimmie Johnson, rapper Snoop Dogg and singer/TV personality Nick Lachey attend the Hotel 944 Party sponsored by Jose Cuervo and GUINNESS at Eden Roc Renaissance Miami Beach on February 04, 2010 in Miami Beach, Florida. (Photo by: Vallery Jean /Getty for Jose Cuervo)
NASCAR driver Jimmie Johnson, singer/TV personality Drew Lachey and singer/TV personality Nick Lachey attend the Hotel 944 Party sponsored by Jose Cuervo and GUINNESS at Eden Roc Renaissance Miami Beach on February 04, 2010 in Miami Beach, Florida. (Photo by: Vallery Jean /Getty for Jose Cuervo)
Actress/TV personality Vanessa Minillo attends the Hotel 944 Party sponsored by Jose Cuervo and GUINNESS at Eden Roc Renaissance Miami Beach on February 04, 2010 in Miami Beach, Florida. (Photo by: Getty for Jose Cuervo)
Last week Kyle Busch was back in his hometown of Las Vegas to promote the upcoming NASCAR race weekend February 26-28 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. He stopped by his old day job, HobbyTown USA, to race RC cars with local fans. There were photos and I felt compelled to post them. I also think it’s fun to know what kind of job Kyle used to have before he became a famous racecar driver.
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Kyle Busch says hi to Bandolero driver Austin Blair Tuesday in Las Vegas at HobbyTown USA — a store where used to work. Busch was in his hometown to promote the Feb. 26-28 NASCAR Weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. (Credit: John Bisci / Las Vegas Motor Speedway)
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Kyle Busch is at the controls of his RC car Tuesday in Las Vegas at HobbyTown USA — a store where used to work. Busch was in his hometown to promote the Feb. 26-28 NASCAR Weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.(Credit: John Bisci / Las Vegas Motor Speedway)
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Kyle Busch talks with fellow RC racer Edwin Flores Tuesday in Las Vegas at HobbyTown USA — a store where used to work. Busch was in his hometown to promote the Feb. 26-28 NASCAR Weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.(Credit: John Bisci / Las Vegas Motor Speedway)
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)
Gather ’round for I have news…
– So I Googled myself the other day, as I often do when I’m bored, and found out that I’ve been chosen as one of 101 Women Bloggers to Watch in 2010 by WE Magazine for Women. Check it out! It’s super cool. I’m totally honored to be on the list!
– A new book written by NASCAR’s Andrew Giangola titled “The Weekend Starts on Wednesday: True Stories of Remarkable NASCAR Fans” will be hitting store bookshelves on February 10th and I highly recommend it. It’s all about you and me, the fans of NASCAR. I got to read a couple chapters before it was complete and I think this is a book you’re going to want to pick up. There are stories that will make you laugh and others that will touch your heart. Plus, Tony Stewart wrote the foreword and Kyle Busch wrote the afterword. You can pre-order the book right now over at Amazon.com. And check out this article Texas Motor Speedway posted today about the book, highlighting some of the stories that took place at TMS, along with an excerpt.
– And speaking of Tony Stewart. I have yet another fantabulous photo of him to share with you courtesy of Office Depot. I am loving Tony’s partnership with Office Depot because they keep making him take all these photos in suits where he looks all snazzy and slick. Like, George Clooney slick. It’s cool, he’s making getting organized sexy.
Anywhoo, enjoy the picture and then check out Office Depot’s Facebook page where you can find tips from Tony on how to get organized for 2010 AND get a 10% discount coupon on qualifying organization products and services at Office Depot. Don’t delay; the coupon is only valid through January 16th!
– For my day job I work for a company called Lowepro, a product design company that builds protective gear for photography equipment and portable electronics. They recently launched a new camera sling bag that is absolutely awesome. I used the Passport Sling™ last year at Infineon and Auto Club Speedway and it is the PERFECT bag for carrying all of my raceday gear. So I wrote up a testimonial and they’ve included it on the Passport Sling™ series page on the Lowepro website. It’s pretty neat, if I do say so myself.
It’s only been days since Danica Patrick announced her deal with JR Motorsports to run part-time in the Nationwide series and I’m already done.
The only thing I’d like to read about less would be the latest skank to come out and say she slept with Tiger Woods. (Why would you admit that you slept with a married man? I don’t understand that at all)
It’s kind of hard for me to reconcile my feelings about all of the hubbub surrounding Danica. On the one hand as a female, I’m all for supporting another woman, but I think it should be noted that just because she is a woman doesn’t mean that I’m going to run out and by any and all Danica gear for that same reason.
I support all people, male or female, in their pursuit of their dreams. If you want to be a race car driver and you want to be the best all the better for you, go for it.
The pool of contenders for the best NASCAR commercial of 2009 was pretty small. There weren’t a lot that stood out as particularly funny and that’s why I only have 3 standouts. Perhaps another way the crap economy has affected the sport.
3.) Verizon V Cast Babies – This one is just cute all around. You think the guys are talking about actual cars but it turns out they’ve figured out how to supe up their baby daughter’s walkers.
2.) Tony Stewart School of Endorsements (Burger King) – The ad that launched Estrada Sunglasses! Very, very awesome and definitely the coolest commercial in the bunch. When people see my Estrada sunglasses they’re jealous, as they should be.
1.) Gillette Young Guns – This commercial wins top honors for one reason and one reason only: Kyle Busch on the phone interrupting Clint Bowyer while he delivers his lines. So funny. It, inexplicably, tickles me every time.
Jimmie Johnson’s new nickname is “Superman” which is totally fitting because he reminds me of Clark Kent. Jimmie’s got the whole mild-mannered thing down pat.
Congrats to Jimmie and the No. 48 Lowe’s team. They did an amazing job in picking up their 4th straight Sprint Cup Championship.
I kept going back and forth over whether or not I would write about the whole “you should respect Jimmie” and “the garage respects him, now the fans need to” lines people have been repeating lately.
Jimmie Johnson is rolling right along to his 4th straight Sprint Cup Championship, Ron Hornaday Jr. will pick up his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series trophy soon, and Kyle Busch will be this year’s NASCAR Nationwide Series champion, but there are other 2009 NASCAR Champions besides those guys.
Five other NASCAR drivers attended the 2009 NASCAR Touring Series Awards Gala to receive their awards & make their speeches this past Saturday. It was the end to a week of Champion’s Week activities in Charlotte, NC.
Your 2009 Touring Series champions:
– Ryan Truex (yes, Martin Truex Jr.’s little brother) – NASCAR Camping World Series East
– Jason Bowles – NASCAR Camping World Series West
– Donny Lia – NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour
– George Brunnhoelzl III – NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour
– Andrew Ranger – NASCAR Canadian Tire Series presented by Mobil 1
Oh, one side note: Dear Ryan and Jason, puhleese have someone make a website for you. Call me, I know people who can help you. This is important for linking purposes (and your career). Thank you, Valli
NASCAR Canadian Tire Series Champion Andrew Ranger leads NASCAR Camping World Series West Champion Jason Bowles in the NASCAR Toyota Champions/Media Go-Kart Showdown presented by Sirius XM Radio. (Photo Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Donny Lia gives his championship speech. (Photo Credit: Chris Keane/Getty Images for NASCAR)
NASCAR’s George Silbermann presents the NASCAR championship ring to Ryan Truex. (Photo Credit: Chris Keane/Getty Images for NASCAR)
George Brunnhoelzl III (left) presents his father, George Jr. with a matching championship ring. (Photo Credit: Chris Keane/Getty Images for NASCAR)
NASCAR’s George Silbermann presents the NASCAR championship ring to Andrew Ranger. (Photo Credit: Chris Keane/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Before the start of the Dickies 500 on Sunday I was thinking about what had to happen in order for Jimmie Johnson to lose some momentum in The Chase. Of course, I didn’t think any of it would happen. So when Jimmie’s accident occurred I was, uhm, sort of pleasantly surprised.
We needed that to make things a little more interesting. The guy still has a ton of points on Mark Martin but at least it gives hope a chance to shine. And, if I’m being honest, it was pretty cool getting to see the 48 team pull together and get that car back into shape to run in the race again. I’m never against seeing Ron Malec in action. (hehe) I have to give it Chad Knaus though, that guy is one cool customer. He was pissed of course that they ran into trouble, but his voice is always even. He doesn’t freak out, and you can’t afford to freak out in a situation like that, which is why Jimmie and the Lowe’s team are 3-time Sprint Cup Champions.
Watching Kurt Busch do his victory lap around Texas Motor Speedway in reverse with his tongue sticking out made me realize who he reminds me of, and no, it’s not Michael Jordan. No, I was thinking more along the lines of the character Pete Campbell from the awesome TV show Mad Men. Pete, played by Vincent Kartheiser, is kind of a punk. He whines when he doesn’t get his way and always thinks he should be treated better than he perceives he’s being treated. It’s funny. Watch Mad Men, it’s awesome. The latest season is over, but that’s what Netflix is for.
That being said it was cool to see Kurt so excited about winning and all that.
Uhm… There’s this one driver, I think his name is Dale Earnhardt Jr. or something, who doesn’t seem to be able to catch a break this season. I’m at the point, well I’ve been here for some time now, where I want to just say to him “Dale, (yes, in this scenario I know him and we’re BFFs) I think you should just park it and call it a season, this is lame. I know you’re doing your best but you need to tell whatever gods are in charge of luck to kiss your butt.”
He was running really well and then of course something happens and finishes crappy. And his finish has nothing to do with his overall performance. They were kicking butt and then it falls off. Ugh.
And now ladies and gentlemen, a photo bonanza!
So I’m finally wrapping up my posts about the Pepsi 500. It’s only a week overdue, but whatever.
Sunday was of course the Pepsi 500 and the morning was left open to do whatever made my little heart happy.
That weekend had been a celebration of Dale Earnhardt Jr’s birthday, which was October 10th, and Hendrick Motorsports 25th Anniversary. So it was only fitting that there was a Hendrick Motorsports hospitality tent, dubbed the “Party Zone,” where fans who bought tickets could eat, drink, be merry and ask Hendrick drivers, Dale Jr. and Jeff Gordon, questions before the start of the day’s race.
Auto Club Speedway picked one fan that purchased one of the special Dale Jr. Birthday ticket packages to meet Dale himself on Sunday morning. The Speedway let me go along for the ride. Well, sorta. I met Stan (photographed at right), the lucky fan who was going to meet Dale and present him with special No. 88 cupcakes from Sprinkles. Stan was a very nice guy, who had been a fan of Dale Earnhardt Sr. and transferred his loyalty over to Dale Jr.
I rode with Stan over to the hospitality tent where we parted ways and I went inside to wait for the Q&A session to begin, and Stan went on to meet Dale just before he took the stage.
I don’t know how their meeting went down, but I’m sure it was cool.
It was while I was standing around watching some country music cover band perform that Erin, a very cool woman who reads this very blog, came up and introduced herself. It was soo nice of her to say hello. Even though I have traffic numbers from Google that tell me people come to my site everyday it still amazes me when I meet a real person who reads my blog and likes it.
I stuck around long enough to watch Dale take to the stage and watch people lose their minds over his very presence. He seemed kinda groggy. It was like 9am PST but back east that’s 6am, so I could understand why he might not be all bright and shiny.
After all that I went back over to the infield to go to the Drivers Meeting. I decided I was going to take pictures of drivers but that devolved into just standing outside of the meeting room and not taking pictures. At that point it just seemed like I’d taken pictures before and what was the point?
It was there that I met Shari and Steve (photographed at left), a couple from Phelan, California who were on the lookout for Tony Stewart. I let them know that Tony was in the driver’s meeting room already and that he had to come out on our side of the building (there are two exits) because his PR guy was standing nearby. They had a Home Depot jacket that they wanted to get Tony to sign, they’d gotten Greg Zipadelli to sign it the day before. As the drivers meeting let out they were able to get Tony’s autograph.
Shari & Steve were super nice people and I was totally glad I could help them out in a little way. It’s actually my favorite thing to do at a track, help people stalk their fave drivers. Ok, not “stalk” but get their autograph or a photo, especially kids. At Infineon this year there was a group of little boys who were waiting near the garage with their mother to get autographs. Security had moved them behind a fence but next to the bathrooms. I saw Kyle Busch sprint to the men’s room just behind them but the kids hadn’t noticed. So of course I took it upon myself to tell them Kyle was nearby and to be on the lookout when he left the bathroom. It’s fun to help people check something off their list, or finish a really cool story they’ll tell their friends later.
So if you see me at a track and you wanna know where so and so driver is I might be able to help you out!
I swear you guys, I’m trying to write-up my weekend at the Pepsi 500 as fast as possible, but between flying to Vegas and feeling sickly, I’m going as fast as I can. So bear with me, ’cause I want you to read this stuff!
Saturday at Auto Club Speedway was qualifying for the Nationwide Series race the Copart 300 that was taking place in the afternoon.
For qualifying I took the same tack I used for the Pepsi 500 quals and stood in the garage in the area where the top 3 cars would park. I used the opportunity to take a bunch of photos.
The two races at Atlanta last weekend or as I like to call them “The Two Races Dale Earnhardt Jr. Had an Actual Chance of Winning,” were good stuff. What would have made them great of course would have been if Dale Jr. had gone and actually won one of them. But it was not to be.
This might be mean but my favorite part of the race came when Kurt Busch spun out, hitting Reed Sorenson in the process and had to take his Miller Lite Dodge to the garage. Luckily they had the camera on him when he got out of his car and pounded its roof. He was highly pissed and it was television magic.
I have so much to tell you and I’m late on all of it! Grr. Last weekend I went to the Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma and then there was this whole Miss Universe pageant where Miss USA wore a NASCAR-inspired outfit. I have a lot to discuss, but first my thoughts on Bristol.
Bristol was basically like Britney Spears‘ supposed “comeback” performance at the MTV Video Music Awards a couple years back. Everybody was all excited leading up to it and then it happened and it was a complete FAIL.
Bristol was friggin’ boring. Well not entirely but still a vast majority of it. So much so that I was actually sad I couldn’t take a nap to get through it.
Wasn’t it nice to have a NASCAR Sprint Cup race on Sunday for once? Just kidding. Although, I was this close to losing it when they stopped the race because of rain. I don’t think I could of handled another race being postponed. I’m putting Mother Nature on notice, if she messes up another race this year I’m never speaking to her again.
I was happy for Brian Vickers and his first win of the season. It was nice to see a new face in Victory Lane this year. Leading up to this race it seemed like momentum was on his side for a victory. I would like to thank Jimmie Johnson for pointing out during his post-race interview the fact that Brian’s first career win a few years ago at Talladega, was kinda tarnished since he spun out Jimmie and Dale Jr. in the process. But whatever, this win was clean and totally deserved. (I swear I’m turning into a driver because I don’t forget stuff that went down like years ago!)
Since I never wrote up my thoughts on the Coke Zero 400 last week I’m doing a double-double this weekend and including them with my write up of last night’s LifeLock.com 400 at Chicagoland.
First the Coke Zero 400, I felt that Tony Stewart did nothing wrong to Kyle Busch in the last lap. Apparently when Kyle ends up wrecked it’s whiney time, but when he does it to someone else he’s just racing. Whatever, dude. I do not understand Kyle’s logic, seriously.
With Tony’s win, Burger King definitely got their money’s worth for their sponsorship of his No. 14 right out of the gate. If they don’t do more next year, I think that would be a mistake. But I still think the BK King is creepy.
Now, I should say that I wasn’t all that thrilled that Tony won. I really wanted Denny Hamlin to win, and this weekend too. I’ve never been a Denny fan but he’s really growing on me. I’m not sure why. Well, maybe it had to do with seeing his episode of Cribs on CMT awhile back. He had this piece of paper in his bathroom that read: “I Can, I Will.” I guess it struck a cord with me that he even thought enough to post an affirmation like that, and then to let it be filmed. So I want the guy to win something, that and I want to hang out on the little beach he has in his backyard. It just seemed so relaxing.
Ever since Nationwide became a series title sponsor they’ve been working on giving fans more information and access to drivers.
They’ve been posting some great candid photos of drivers and crew members on their Flickr account as a part of their behind the scenes Twitter coverage of races. A couple of my faves are below. Make sure you follow the Nationwide Series on Twitter (@nationwide).
I really, really, really wish I was in Daytona right now. I just had to get that out of my head for the record. I just realized that I haven’t written anything about win at New Hampshire. Hmm. It’s not entirely on purpse. I don’t dislike the kid, I just didn’t want the race to end that way. It was just boring and annoying. I’m not blaming anyone, obviously it was the weather. It was a good race until it had to end. Dale Earnhardt Jr. was doing so well, right? He’s making great progress but then, for whatever reason, something happens and he doesn’t get the chance to let it show.
In other news…
– Office Depot has launched a new photo contest for fans of Tony Stewart and the No. 14 Office Depot/Old Spice Chevrolet. From now until my birthday, August 31st (which is a total coincidence, most contests end of my birthday), you can upload photos of the creative ways you’ve incorporated the No. 14 into your life. I have a feeling they’re going to receive some verrrrry interesting entries.
Here’s a little known fact about me. I get seriously nervous driving to the racetrack on the first day of a NASCAR race weekend. I mean, I get butterflies and super anxious. I’ve learned that this is a good thing, because if I wasn’t worried about it then it means it’s no big deal and it doesn’t mean anything to me. If I’m nervous about it I’m doing something right.
So that was me on Friday morning driving the super short 30 minutes to Infineon Raceway from my new home in Sonoma County. I moved to the city of Cotati just to be closer to my day job and cut down on my commute expenses but in the process I received the huge bonus of saving my sanity by not having to sit in excruciating traffic leaving the track each day. It’s a beautiful thing.
When I arrived at the track I picked up my credentials and then headed straight to the media center to grab the necessary schedules. I had to park up top next to the helipad and I made the wrong decision to just walk down the hills to the garage instead of waiting for the shuttle. Luckily for me this super nice man offered me a ride in his golf cart. It was great to not have to walk the whole way, but that ride down the hill in a super open vehicle was frightening. The entire time I was mentally and physically bracing myself for the possibility of being catapulted out of it at any moment. Super fun.
Let’s see if I can put into words how excited I am about the upcoming Toyota/Save Mart 350 race weekend at Infineon Raceway.
Mmm. Okay, yea I can’t. This weekend means a lot to me for reasons I can’t specifically describe to you in this post. Let’s just say that I need this opportunity, now more than ever, to be immersed in the world of NASCAR and to think of nothing else for three whole days. NASCAR is my escape. It’s funny, this weekend I watched “Into The Wild,” a film based on the true story of one man who got rid of all material possessions except for a backpack and clothes and headed to Alaska to be with nature. I also read the Vanity Fair article about Johnny Depp (on newsstands now) and learned all about how he escapes (in short, he owns islands in the Caribbean and big boat). After taking all of that in I realized that I use this blog and NASCAR as my escape from all of the trappings of “the real world.” This blog isn’t work, it’s fun.
For the last few weeks I’ve been watching the races with the DirecTV HotPass driver channels. As I’ve said before it’s an awesome feature and I like it a lot. I’d love it if I could mute the commentary and just listen to in-car audio and vice versa, but whatever.
I’ve been meaning to talk about the gloves Dale Earnhardt Jr. wears while driving the No. 88. They’re black with a skeleton print. Every time I see them I think of the Cobra Kai gang from “The Karate Kid” movie. I am a child of the 80′s after all. Of course I rooted for Daniel-san to kick the butt of the evil jerks from the rival dojo but I couldn’t help but think that the leader of the Cobra Kai, Johnny, was super hot. Girls always like the bad guy, what can I say? Hehe. I’d also like to note that the actor who played Johnny is still a hottie to this very day (look up William Zabka).
Anyway, now you know the thoughts that run through my mind when I see Dale’s gloves. I have no idea where his inspiration for said gloves came from but I really dig ‘em. hehe. I wonder if Dale could get Mr. Miyagi to work with him this year.
Congratulations to Mark Martin for winning the Life Lock 400 at Michigan International Speedway! He and his team did an excellent job of being in the exactly the right place at exactly the right time. It’s all about being there at the end to take advantage of any and all opportunities that might come your way.
I don’t understand why TNT cut their coverage short when they had like 20 more minutes left to broadcast. Post-race interviews are always my favorite. Jimmie Johnson seemed a little ticked after the race. That was cool. I would pay money to see Jimmie fight with someone. Not physically but just have a really heated argument. It’d be fun. He’s always so relaxed and cool. Seeing him highly irritated would be refreshing.
Photos after the jump!!
When Tony Stewart announced his plans to be a NASCAR Sprint Cup driver and owner I was skeptical. I had no idea what would happen but I can tell you that I definitely wasn’t thinking he would be leading in the points standings and winning races. Yea, I thought things would be “interesting” which is code for “not winning.” I didn’t think he would stink up the place but I certainly wasn’t expecting him to contend for the Championship like he is now.
His success is great though. I’m happy that Tony is leading and that he won this weekend’s race at Pocono. I know I’ve talked smack about Tony in the past, and I totally stand by it, but there’s something about him that I do like. I couldn’t tell you what it is right now but there’s something.
And because I’m a sucker for emotional things I love, love, loved it when TNT showed Tony’s dad in the pits. I loved seeing him wipe away tears as he watched his son drive into Victory Lane for the first time as a driver/owner. That’s a very sweet moment and those are the things that add that personal, sentimental touch to this sometimes impersonal, corporate sponsorship driven sport.
On Saturday I watched the Nationwide race at Nashville. No, I’m not going to talk about Kyle Busch’s ill-conceived plan for breaking up the race’s trophy into pieces to share with his team. (I basically agree with what Kyle Petty said about it during Sunday’s broadcast.) I want to talk about Brad Keselowski. Is it just me or does Brad seem a lot more mature and manly this year? He seems a lot less goofy (and I mean that in a really nice way!) and more sure of himself. Does winning a race make your voice change? Hmm, if so, maybe there’s hope for Joey Logano.
I kid, I kid. Photos after the jump!
Tony Eury Jr. is out as Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s crew chief. Is there anyone out there that didn’t see that coming?
Now, I know the thing to do right now is to speculate on something that is entirely impossible to speculate on. Will this help Dale or will it hurt him? All I know is that I don’t think it could get worse. He’s not in the top 12 in points, and he’s only won one race in the past hundred or something races.
All we can do is shut up and watch what happens. This does put the focus totally on Dale because if a year goes by and nothing’s changed then people are really going to think he’s not so talented. That’s not a fun thing to think about. I personally don’t think that’ll happen. I know Dale is a talented driver and I know that he has it in him to be right up there with his Hendrick Motorsports teammates.
I wish the No. 88 team all of the best, and I can’t say that any more emphatically. I want them to do their absolute best, just like I want everyone to do their best (even Kyle Busch *cringe*). That’s what competition is all about. Everybody should be bringin’ it every single week.
It saddens me that it wasn’t better with Tony and Dale. They’re cousins, they’re family, and they’re close. That’s a super tough situation, something I don’t think people can really understand unless they’re in that same scenario themselves. Breaking up with your cousin can’t be fun or easy. I think loyalty matters to Dale and this decision has to weigh heavy on his heart. If it was easy, I think he would have initiated it himself a long, long time ago.
Oh there I go, speculating again.