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.”
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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.