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.
All posts tagged Kyle Petty28 Posts
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’m so happy I got to go to New Hampshire and Kansas over the past month or so. Getting to attend those races reminded me why I love writing this blog so much and how awesome it is to interact with you and hear your thoughts on my experiences. Your feedback means a lot to me so don’t hold back. Let’s just hope that someone reads this site, believes in what I’m doing and steps up to help it grow. I might create a quick link for you to click to Tweet brands that tells them to sponsor me. Ha! I seriously just thought of that while writing this and now I need to make it happen.
In other news…
– Today was the first ever Better Half Dash at Charlotte Motor Speedway, featuring the wives and girlfriends of NASCAR drivers, crew guys and personalities. The inaugural winner was Jacquelyn Butler, the girlfriend of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver David Ragan.
“That was crazy,” Butler said from the frontstretch victory celebration, which was complete with a trophy presentation, interviews and a champagne shower. “That was fun. I’m ready to go out and do it again next week.”
Better Half Dash Finishing Order
1. Jacquelyn Butler (David Ragan)
2. Trisha Mears (Casey Mears)
3. Ashley Allgaier (Justin Allgaier)
4. Patricia Driscoll (Kurt Busch)
5. Wendy Venturini (Speed Network)
6. Beth Baldwin (Tommy Baldwin)
7. Sabrina Simpson (Joey Logano)
8. Jami McDowell (Michael McDowell)
9. Michelle Gilliland (David Gilliland)
10. Kristen Yeley (J.J. Yeley)
11. Nan Zipadelli (Greg Zipadelli)
12. Angie Skinner (Mike Skinner)
13. Shannon Koch (Blake Koch)
14. Melanie Self (Motor Racing Outreach)
– Better Half Dash Honorary Starter Kelley Earnhardt is expecting her third child. It’s her first child with her husband & race car driver, L.W. Miller III (who you can see in that Richard Petty energy drink commercial). Kelley has two daughters, Karsyn & Kennedy, from her previous marriage to NASCAR crew chief, Jimmy Elledge.
“Obviously as a former race car driver, I would love to be participating with the other ladies in this event,” said Earnhardt, co-owner and general manager of JR Motorsports. “But with a baby on the way, I am thankful they found a home for me as the honorary starter to be a part of the fun.
“It is fulfilling to be doing something positive while raising awareness and funds for Motor Racing Outreach (MRO) and Speedway Children’s Charities. MRO is a staple to our sport and NASCAR family and SCC has done so much for our community.”
– Montgomery Lee, daughter of former NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Kyle Petty (and granddaughter of NASCAR legend Richard Petty) announced this week via Twitter that she and her country music artist husband, Randy Montana, are expecting their first child. The couple are expecting a daughter on February 29th of next year.
First, I must address the most amazing “Gentleman, Start Your Engines” ever PERFORMED on national television. That’s right, performed! Actors (and comedians) Kevin James and Adam Sandler were the Grand Marshals for the Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips 400 at Michigan International Speedway and the didn’t fail to deliver what I knew would be the most entertaining command to start engines since I don’t know when. (Off topic right now but this photo, left, is the best photo of Denny Hamlin I’ve seen in quite some time. Just sayin’)
Can we get Kevin James out to every race to do that little dance? Freaking hilarious. If you missed it, video of Sandler and James giving the command is below. They’re promoting their new movie “Grown Ups” which, of course, looks very funny.
My only question about this race is why didn’t Denny Hamlin pick up the giant fake tub of Heluva Good! Sour Cream dip that was sitting on top of his car in Victory Lane? That would of been great, especially if they’d had a giant bag of chips to go with it.
Associated Press reported that Jimmie and his wife Chandra are expecting their first child in July.
It’s funny how excited someone else’s pregnancy has made me, considering I don’t know them at all. But I’m super excited for them. This is exactly what we need, more babies on pit road! I’m not making a joke, I’m serious. After baby Edwards and baby Sadler arrive baby Johnson will be future NASCAR driver number 3 for 2010 (so far). Did someone spike the VitaminWater or what?
In other news…
– AJ Allmendinger went go-karting with Jamie McMurray down in Florida last week during the annual Daytona KartWeek By Cometic Gasket events at Daytona International Speedway. This was the third straight year that Jamie participated in the event and AJ’s first time.
DirecTV has some serious splainin’ to do. It all seemed to start on Saturday morning. I was watching TV and every now and again the screen would go black for a second and then the picture would come back. I didn’t think that much of it until Sunday when I was home all day and was all set to watch the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Price Chopper 400 presented by Kraft Foods that I noticed this problem hadn’t gone away.
The problem, which could get worse and then clear up just as suddenly, seemed to only affect local channels, and after I spoke to DirecTV I found out that it was only happening to people in the San Francisco Bay Area (including fellow NASCAR blogger Amy!). So I could watch ESPN and another cable & premium channels just fine, but ABC was not behaving. I tried to watch the race with the one of the HotPass channels but that was annoying because I wasn’t in the mood to have to listen to MRN.
So I dealt with it even though it gave me a headache from all the skipping and flickering of the screen.
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.
Just in time for the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona tomorrow the Coke Zero people are launching a new ad. It’s another hilarious commercial showing the Coca-Cola brand managers attempting to persuade the Coca-Cola drivers to do something really not well thought out, like, at all.
I love it.
The first part of this video is a behind-the-scenes, making of the commercial feature and then the actual finished commercial is shown at the end.
And for your viewing pleasure I give you the old Coke Zero ad that I love just as much. It never gets old! Enjoy the track for longer than the other drivers. Ha!
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!
Some things I think you should know:
– Congratulations to ESPN/ABC pit reporter Brienne Pedigo and her husband, actor Tyler Christopher of ABC’s General Hospital. The couple is expecting their first child in October! You might have already known that but it’s the first I’d heard of it. Anywhoo, In an effort to help Brienne out in her job as her pregnancy progresses ESPN thought of everything:
To assist her in performing her duties through ABC’s five-race schedule of IndyCar Series events, ESPN worked with manufacturer Impact to produce a special firesuit for her to wear as she works the pits during the races. The suit is equipped with a stretch gusset in the back so that it can be expanded as her pregnancy progresses.
Look for Brienne tomorrow during ABC’s coverage of the Indy 500. Okay, to give you more information than you really need, Tyler Christoper plays Nikolas Cassadine on General Hospital and before he married Brienne, he was married to Desperate Housewives actress Eva Longoria who is now married to professional basketball player Tony Parker. Whew.
– World champion gymnast and Dancing With The Stars winner Shawn Johnson will be the Honorary Race Official for the Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway tomorrow. She’s already started the weekend off by riding along with Coca-Cola Racing Family member Kyle Petty. It looks like Shawn was able to show Kyle some dance moves. I think that if Carl Edwards wins the race tomorrow Shawn should run out to his car and do a back flip with him.
– Eddie Bell, a firefighter and small business owner from Tulsa, Oklahoma is the winner of the Office Depot “At The Speed of Smart” sweepstakes. As a result of his win Eddie had the awesome the opportunity to go on a $14,000 shopping spree with none other than the 2009 All-Star Race winner Tony Stewart. From the looks of things Eddie and Tony got on really well. Eddie will also receive a VIP race experience for the Coca-Cola 600 this weekend.
“I am so excited about being the Office Depot ‘At The Speed of Smart’ sweepstakes winner,” said Bell, a lifelong NASCAR® fan who deems himself the “motor-head” of his family. “In my role as district fire chief and as a small business owner of a residential construction company, having a store that carries everything from paper clips to laptop computers is very convenient. I found out about the sweepstakes during one of my weekly trips to Office Depot, and the fact that Tony Stewart is my favorite NASCAR® driver makes winning this sweepstakes very special.”
“I was absolutely thrilled to help Eddie do some damage behind the wheel of an Office Depot shopping cart,” Stewart said. “As someone who gives back to his community every day through his job as a firefighter, Eddie is a very deserving winner and I think he’s going to have a great race weekend experience.”
Bell, who has been a firefighter in Tulsa for the past 30 years, regularly watches NASCAR® race broadcasts at home but this weekend’s Coca-Cola 600 (Sunday, May 24, 5 p.m. EST, FOX) will be only the second NASCAR® race he has attended in person. During the race weekend, Bell will also receive a special on-track ride-a-long experience with Stewart in the driver’s seat.
– And since I’m already talking about Tony, did you know that you can win the firesuit he wore for the All-Star Race last weekend? As I write this the auction ends in less than 19 hours. 100% of the proceeds raised from the auction will benefit Victory Junction through The NASCAR Foundation. What I want to know is: Do they clean the firesuit and then have Tony sign it? Or is it better to have it just used and not cleaned?? I’m not sure which is better. I’m thinking if you’re like a hardcore fan you would want it as is, but that might be kinda grody. If anyone knows for sure how it’s delivered I’m curious about the details.
– For the record, the only person I want to see win the Indy 500 tomorrow is Marco Andretti. It would be soooooooooo friggin’ cool! He came so close in 2006 and I’m a big fan of family stories. I wanna see grown men cry!
Everything is bigger in Texas and that includes photo ops. Before we do this thing called the Samsung 500 we must first take a moment to look back at the promotional opportunities that were:
Note to self: Purchase Foreigner’s greatest hits CD. I just saw them on some show on A&E and they performed “Cold As Ice” and I realized how much I really like that song.
Foreigner chief songwriter /guitarist/keyboardist and founding member Mick Jones and lead singer Kelly Hansen reflect on the experience after taking a ride in a Team Texas stock car at Texas Motor Speedway Monday, March 30, 2009. The band is headlining the AMDRO Fire Ant Bait Pre-Race Show beginning at 11:35 a.m. CT, prior to the start of the Samsung 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Sunday, April 5th at Texas Motor Speedway. (Photo By Tom Pennington/Getty Images for the Texas Motor Speedway)
Nice socks, Kyle!
Kyle Petty tees off during the AutoTrader.com Gears & Greens Charity Golf Classic on April 2, 2009 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images for Texas Motor Speedway)
NASCAR driver Denny Hamlin and Dallas Cowboys tight end Jason Witten make contact while racing around the track at SpeedZone in Dallas, Texas on Wednesday, April 1, 2009. The pair were racing to raise awareness for the March of Dimes and the 2009 March for Babies. (Photo By Tom Pennington/Getty Images for the Texas Motor Speedway)
Notice how Jason Witten is speaking to a million members of the media and over in the right-hand side Denny Hamlin is speaking to three dudes. I just thought that was funny.
Dallas Cowboys tight end Jason Witten (center) talks with the media after racing NASCAR driver Denny Hamlin around the track at SpeedZone in Dallas, Texas Wednesday, April 1, 2009. The pair were racing to raise awareness for the March of Dimes and the 2009 March for Babies. (Photo By Tom Pennington/Getty Images for the Texas Motor Speedway)
In honor of being inducted into the Texas Motorsports Hall of Fame Bobby Labonte got to take an awkward looking photo with Kyle Busch.
NASCAR driver Kyle Busch and driver Bobby Labonte unveil a throw-back paint scheme on the #18 Interstate Batteries Toyota Camry during the Texas Motorsports Hall of Fame Banquet held Wednesday, April 1, 2009 at The Speedway Club at Texas Motor Speedway. The paint scheme is the same scheme that Labonte drove during his 2000 Championship year. (Photo By Tom Pennington/Getty Images for the Texas Motor Speedway)
In addition to signing motor oil, Sam Hornish Jr. also signed tires and changed oil.
NASCAR driver Sam Hornish Jr. signs an autograph for a race fan at Mobil 1 Lube Express in Grand Prairie Tuesday, March 31, 2009. Race fans received a pair of tickets to the Samsung 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway with each oil change. (Photo By Tom Pennington/Getty Images for the Texas Motor Speedway)
So here are the things that have been rolling around in my head ever since my last blog post, which feels like an eternity ago and I apologize for that. That being said I’m not sure if it’s going to get any better at least until the season truly starts up again.
– I was listening to a few clips of Jamie McMurray talking about his love for kart racing. He mentions in one of ‘em that he doesn’t like to golf because it hurts his knees and back. I know that’s not huge news but I thought it might be interesting to McMurray superfans.
– The 2009 Sprint Sound & Speed event in Nashville, Tennessee is taking place today and tomorrow. Photos from last year’s festival were posted this week and frankly any photos of Dale Earnhardt Jr. from any point in time are totally fine with me. See below.
– Clint Bowyer filmed a commercial with the Hamburger Helper hand at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California this week. That guy has all the fun doesn’t he?
– Keith Urban, super talented hottie and Nicole Kidman’s hubby, will perform at the Daytona 500 Pre-Race Show this year.
– David Stremme, who is coming back to the Sprint Cup Series this year with Penske Racing, spends time with his girlfriend playing Guitar Hero.
– As grand marshal for the Fiesta Bowl Tony Stewart attended the 38th Annual Fort McDowell Fiesta Bowl Parade presented by Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation. Stewart sat atop a Corvette convertible and waved to fans along the 1.9 mile parade route while two Chevrolets decked out in the branding of his new primary co-sponsors for the 2009 Sprint Cup season, Office Depot and Old Spice, rolled along beside him.
“That was like driver introductions at Indianapolis times 10,” said Tony, in reference to the pre-race activities for NASCAR’s annual race at the prestigious Indianapolis Motor Speedway. “This is a huge event and I’m just honored to be a part of it. It’s pretty cool to sort of venture outside our box a little bit and take in a game of this magnitude. With the racing season being what it is, getting away to see a college football game is kind of tough. When the Fiesta Bowl Committee called and asked if I was interested in being their grand marshal, I said, ‘As long as I get a ticket and a field pass to the game, I’m in.”
NASCAR driver Clint Bowyer gets a helping hand as he tapes a commercial for his new NASCAR Sprint Cup Series sponsor General Mills’ “Hamburger Helper” at Auto Club Speedway on Wednesday. Bowyer will debut his new ride in Southern California at the West Coast Premiere of NASCAR Feb. 20-22, hoping to end up in Gatorade Victory Lane following the Auto Club 500 on Sunday, Feb. 22. The new commercial spot is scheduled to begin running in February. (Photo Credit: Auto Club Speedway)
Joey Logano and brakeman Kenneth Stout, who led with only Todd Bodine left to go, watch the TV at the finish line as the eventual champion makes his final run. (Photo Credit: Todd Bissonette)
Country music star Jason Michael Carroll and NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Kyle Petty pose for a picture during the 2008 edition of Sprint Sound and Speed Presented by SunTrust. Both are scheduled to be back at the event this year on Jan. 9-10. (Photo Credit: Sprint Sound and Speed)
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Taylor Swift pose for a picture during the 2008 edition of Sprint Sound and Speed in Nashville. Earnhardt Jr. is scheduled to participate in this year’s event on January 9-10. (Photo Credit: Sprint Sound and Speed)
This was such a great year for The Fast and the Fabulous. When I look back at the 2008 NASCAR racing season I smile, grin and laugh. I have had so much fun and I would be lying if I said that I didn’t want more! But before 2009 arrives I thought it would be fun to remember the highlights of the year that was:
– Pole Position: There was no way I would have had access to all of the opportunities that came my way this year without my association with NASCAR Pole Position magazine. They really started my year off right and I am so thankful that they asked me to be a part of their publication.
– Flying solo: In attending five races in three different states this year I set a new personal record for myself. This fact alone is just super cool. I’m so proud of myself for following my passion and not caring that I did all of this traveling on my own. To be honest traveling alone is really fun, you always get to do the stuff that you want to and you never have to compromise.
– The interviews: The interviews I obtained this year were truly monumental for this blog. If there had been only one I would have said the same thing. Having the opportunity to ask all of these great people questions was something I will not forget. It’s not like I’m planning to not do interviews anymore, but you never forget your firsts! So here’s a special thank you to Michelle Gilliland, David Gilliland, Travis Kvapil, Paul Menard, Liz Clarke, Dale Jarrett and Kyle Petty. Here’s a bit of insider info, I interviewed Shana Mayfield (Jeremy Mayfield’s wife) earlier this year but I shelved the transcription of our conversation, not for any particular reason. She was super nice and very cool. I’m planning on posting the interview eventually. If there’s one thing I learned this year it’s that long conversations equal a super long transcription process.
– Clint Bowyer: He is the subject the greatest photo I have ever taken during a race weekend. As you can see in the photo to the right that is Mr. Bowyer look straight at me like I’m an alien. I love this photo because his expression is priceless. It was one of many cool moments I had during my time at the Chicagoland Speedway in July.
– Carl Edwards: It was a big year for Carl; he got engaged, brawled with Kevin Harvick and gunned for not one but two Championship titles. He came up short on the Championship front but it’s no small feat to place second in two series at the same time. My teensy, weensy encounters, at Chicagoland and the Auto Club Speedway, with Mr. Edwards were perfect examples of what a great ambassador for the sport of NASCAR he is and display his insanely likeable persona.
– Dale Earnhardt Jr.: I think my post, “fate finally throws me a bone,” is my favorite one for the year. It summed up a lot of feelings and explains where I’m coming from to anyone who doesn’t know me personally. The experience itself was definitely the highlight of my year. I’m hoping for 2009 to bring more experiences like that one, for sure.
– Celebrity: I saw a lot of stars and a couple so-called celebrities this year. I’m still highly pissed and irritated that Heidi & Spencer from MTV’s The Hills were at the Pepsi 500. Gag me. On the other side of the celeb spectrum, ya know the side where people actually ARE celebrities for having actual talent; I was star struck when I was in the same place as actor, and major hottie, Brendan Fraser. I think they should have him as the Grand Marshal of at least one race per year. It’s funny though, no matter what actor, musician or TV personality showed up at the races I was always much more interested in the NASCAR drivers.
– What I sound like: Thanks to invites from a couple really cool radio shows you got the chance to hear me talk about NASCAR. I had such a great time spending time On Pit Row with Steve and Charlie and hanging out in the Treehouse Fort with Matt and Tuffy.
– Twitter racing: When I watched races on my TV at home I kept my cell phone by my side at all times, not because I was waiting for the phone to ring or needed to check my email, nope I kept it with me so I could post Tweets about the race as it was happening. It became such a fun thing to exchange opinions, impressions and laughs with my fellow NASCAR fans. I invite you to follow me, so you can be in on the conversations next year!
– It’s the life: I think I’ve talked before about moments where you say to yourself “how did I get here?” Well I asked myself that question about 50 times when I toured the ESPN mobile production studios while I was at Chicagoland Speedway. I learned a lot, it takes a lot of work to put a broadcast together and rear springs are way heavier than I’d thought.
‘Cause he just tells it like it is.
Hello! Today has been insane let me tell ya, but the one awesome thing has been writing up this final post of my interview with Kyle Petty. Again, this interview was done last week during Kyle’s promotion of Prostate Cancer Awareness Week.
Me: In regards to Prostate Cancer Awareness, a lot of the readers of my website are women, what’s the most important thing that they can do for their husband or father to help them to go out there and see a doctor about this?
Petty: When had our STAY ON TRACK for Better Prostate Health booth set up at Michigan I was surprised at the amount of women who came through and would bring their husbands, or would say “My father had prostate cancer, it runs in our family and I’m trying to get my brothers to go and I really appreciate you guys speaking up on it.”
I think prostate cancer for so many people and especially guys, guys just are afraid to go be checked. And just like I said before, as my father uses the example of putting together a pit crew for his prostate cancer, I think so many guys will baby their car, change the oil, do everything they can with their car and their lawnmower, and their fishing boat or whatever it may be but they disregard their body.
Here’s more from my interview with Kyle Petty. You should note that we spoke last week and so when he mentions “this week” he’s really talking about last week.
Me: I know that you were on a Fitness TV show talking about your fitness regimen and health being a race car driver. It’s not something that people talk a lot about with NASCAR in terms of being an athlete. So how important is that to a race car driver to be physically fit and healthy and to have strength in the car?
Petty: Incredibly important. I think most people assume that if you play stick and ball sports you’re naturally an athlete, you’re in the best shape that you can be in and that’s the way it is. I think you’ve got to be in shape to drive a car at 180 or 190 miles an hour or to make split second decisions that can almost in some instances be life and death decisions. So when you look at it like that from your mental sharpness to your physical sharpness and that goes hand in hand. You hear so much about exercise and how that stabilizes and what that does to your mental well being and your attitudes, I think exercise is important.
This morning I interviewed Kyle Petty, part-time driver of the No. 45 Wells Fargo Marathon PVA Dodge Charger, son to Richard Petty and grandson to Lee Petty. The name Petty is synonymous with NASCAR and I don’t think there’s anyone on the planet that doesn’t know who they are or what they’re famous for — there’s been a Petty racing in every NASCAR season since the sport’s inception in 1949. So speaking with Kyle was an honor, to say the least.
In this first post Kyle talks about Prostate Cancer Awareness Week (which is this week) and how this subject hits home with him and his family. Stay tuned for subsequent posts that will cover things like the importance of physical fitness for race car drivers, his impending musical performance at Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s charity concert in October and what the future holds for his racing career.
Me: Tell me why Prostate Cancer Awareness Week means so much to you.
Kyle Petty: Because it runs in our family. My grandfather in the later years of his life was diagnosed with it. My father went through prostate cancer in the early to mid 90s. So obviously at my age and with my family history I am in a high risk category. And we do so much; we have a camp in North Carolina called the Victory Junction Gang Camp which is a camp for children with chronic and life threatening illnesses. We see so many diseases that are preventable and treatable, once they are diagnosed, that obviously being this close to [it] myself it’s important for me to understand what prostate cancer is all about.
I was fortunate to be asked to help with this. Early in the year in June we did a thing in Michigan International Speedway and had a booth, STAY ON TRACK for Better Prostate Health. Had a great time, had a great turn out up there with people at the racetrack who came out and wanted to know more about it. We asked them to take the “Kyle Petty Prostate Inspection Pledge,” to go to the website — www.pcaw.com — to get the manual STAY ON TRACK, a manual for better prostate health. It really explains everything about prostate cancer from symptoms to being diagnosed, and once you’re diagnosed the process you go through.
Obviously we’re in a sport where team work is important, and my father kind of approached it like a pit crew and put together a pit crew of a medical oncologist, a radiation oncologist, a urologist. Basically we looked at it like a pit crew, like a team that was trying to attack the problem and figure out the best way around it just like they would from the race shop side.
This isn’t something that you just talk about. This is something that’s obviously touched my life on a couple of different occasions and it has the potential to be apart of my life for years to come. So to get the awareness out there, to be able to talk to race fans and get race fans involved in it, and have an understanding with the race fans of what this is all about and get them behind it is important.
Happy Thursday everyone! It’s a great day for me because tomorrow I’m flying to Las Vegas for the Blog World & New Media Expo. I had a great time last year and I’m looking forward to sitting in on the sports blogging sessions. The big news this year, at least for me, is that Mike Shinoda of Linkin Park will be a keynote speaker along with Tim Ferriss, writer of the book “The 4-Hour Work Week.” I know I’m going to get a lot out of this weekend. Vegas baby, Vegas!
In other news…
– This morning I got to interview Kyle Petty! He was made available to me because he has been busy promoting Prostate Cancer Awareness Week and the STAY ON TRACK for Better Prostate Health prostate cancer awareness program sponsored by the Prostate Cancer Education Council and sanofi-aventis. I plan on posting the first part our discussion today. Check back later on today or subscribe to my RSS feed to read it as soon as it goes online.
– Are you interested in winning free gas? Well check out this awesome promotion from Shell-Pennzoil:
Shell is bringing new meaning to the “No. 29.” Through September 28, the company will highlight the No. 29 Shell-Pennzoil car and offer customers the chance to win free Shell gasoline through the “Shell $2,900 Every Day Giveaway” promotion. At participating stations, customers will receive a scratch-and-match game card with any fuel purchase.
Building off the stop gunky build-up theme, consumers need to scratch off the gunk on the valves to see what they have won. Plus, the game cards will feature online codes for more chances to win Shell fuel every 29 minutes and thousands of other prizes, including No. 29 Shell-Pennzoil merchandise autographed by Kevin Harvick and a limited edition 105th Anniversary Harley-Davidson(r) Motorcycle, XL Sportster 1200C. Consumers may also write in for a free game card. And in Maryland, New Jersey and Virginia only, Shell customers will have the chance to participate in the “Get a Free Race Cup” promotion while supplies last. There will be three different racing cups to collect.
– There’s still time to enter to win one of five Kevin Harvick autographed “Americans for a Gunk-Free Nation” hats! The contest ends on September 30th, 2008. Enter today!
– I love Martha Stewart and I have for pretty much all of my life. She’s the reason I had the confidence to make my sister’s three-tier wedding cake ten years ago. Anywho, yesterday she devoted a show to bloggers and blogging, and now she’s running a little contest where she’ll pick some blogs to feature on her site, The Martha Blog. Of course I put myself in the running. Go check it out!
– Ok, so get this, remember when I told you that fate finally threw me a bone and got me close to Dale Earnhardt Jr. well there’s a photo to go with it. I came across it when I was checking out the NASCAR blog over at AOL’s FanHouse. So take a look below and you’ll see that I’m right there on the left-hand side looking pissed off almost straight at the camera. I really wasn’t, but it was insanely hot and that’s my “it’s seriously freaking hot and I’m serious about that” face.
I’m glad that Kasey Kahne won the Coca-Cola 600. It’s a great boost for him and his team and Gillett Evernham Motorsports (GEM — truly, truly outrageous!). I didn’t think it was going to happen since Tony Stewart had that commanding lead at the end, but his misfortune was Kasey’s good luck.
About the photo of Kasey to the left: I seriously challenge him to take a horrible picture! He’s not even trying for gosh sakes.
I have to give NASCAR kudos for all of the pre-race festivities involving the troops. I got all teary-eyed when the trumpeter played Taps and I got chills from the bagpipes playing “Amazing Grace.”
But here’s where I got irked during the pre-race show. During the Gas ‘N Go segment where Darrell Waltrip and Jeff Hammond answer quick fire questions asked by Chris Myers. They failed to include a question about the swapping of the deck chairs on the titanic that has been Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates.
Why oh why did they not talk about Jimmy Elledge’s firing, after he had been moved from Reed Sorenson’s team over to the crew chief position for Juan Pablo Montoya? That’s interesting. That’s something about which I’m actually curious to know DW’s opinion. What I’m not concerned with is the obvious fact that there’s no way that NBA star Yao Ming could fit into a race car.
Ya know, for a moment there when I heard about the crew chief swap at Gnassi and Juan Pablo’s frustrations that I actually felt for the guy, but then I read this exchange between him and Associated Press writer Jenna Fryer and I all of that went out the window:
Q: They call last weekend the biggest weekend in racing. Monaco, Indianapolis and the Coca-Cola 600 — of all three, which do you think is the biggest?
JPM: Um, the one I’m in.
Q: Do you mean the one you are in now (NASCAR), or the one you are in that particular year?
JPM: Both. I don’t know. As a show for the fans, the best one is this one. As far as tradition, the other ones have a lot of tradition. In Europe, the Monaco Grand Prix is a big deal. I think it’s such a big deal because it’s the only street course Formula One does. The other races you can actually see cars hitting walls and screwing up. I guess people like that.
Q: Which victory did you prefer, Monaco or Indy?
JPM: Don’t put me in that position.
JPM: I am not going to answer that. You know what the answer is, so don’t ask it.
Q: I don’t know the answer. That’s why I asked the question.
JPM: Next question.
Q: I’ve got nothing else.
Why is this guy such a tool?? Okay, I actually do feel for him in terms of the crew chief situation and everything, but I still maintain that he’s got an icky, egotastic attitude.
Yao Ming (L) talks with Kyle Petty (R) prior to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coca-Cola 600 on May 25, 2008 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway in Concord, North Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Joey Logano addresses the media during a news conference to celebrate his 18th birthday. Logano will make his NASCAR Nationwide Series debut next week at Dover International Speedway. (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Denny Hamlin, driver of the #20 Z-Line Designs Toyota (L), and Brad Keselowski, driver of the #88 NAVY Chevrolet, speak to the media in a press conference following the NASCAR Nationwide Series CARQUEST Auto Parts 300 on May 24, 2008 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway in Concord, North Carolina. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Travis Kvapil, driver of the #28 Lumber Liquidators Ford, sits in his car during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coca-Cola 600 on May 22, 2008 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway in Concord, North Carolina. (Photo by Todd Warshaw/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Charity starts in the blog. Isn’t that what they always say? So here are a couple pieces of information on some worthy causes that you — the motorsports fan — can support.
– The first is from the Wings fo Life Charity Auction that is auctioning off a bunch of autographed goodies from various Red Bull stars:
Only a few more days remain to bid on a two-wheel ride with Travis Pastrana, a day of drifting with Rhys Millen or sitting shotgun with Brian Vickers. All are Red Bull athletes, and all will give the highest bidder the experience of a lifetime.
The first Wings for Life Charity Auction on Ebay ends March 30. Among the items up for bid include a Formula One car and Dakar Rally-winning KTM bike. It doesn’t end there, so visit http://members.ebay.at/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewUserPage&userid=wingsforlifefoundation.
The Wings for Life Spinal Cord Research Foundation is a privately funded, non-profit organization that promotes research worldwide to find a putative cure for Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) Paralysis. Visit wingsforlife.com.
– On the NASCAR front, the route for the 14th annual motorcycle ride founded by Kyle Petty was announced yesterday. The event takes place this year on July 13 through the 20th.
Riders, start your engines! The Chick-fil-A Kyle Petty Charity Ride Across America has announced the route for its 14th annual motorcycle ride, to take place July 13-20, 2008. NASCAR driver and Charity Ride founder Kyle Petty will lead a field of more than 250 riders as they wind their way from the Midwest to the Deep South in an effort to raise awareness of and funds for Victory Junction Gang Camp and other children’s charities.
Riders will depart from Traverse City, Mich., on July 13, making overnight stops in Elkhart Lake, Wis.; Lombard, Ill.; Lexington, Ky.; White Sulfur Springs, W.Va.; Charlotte, N.C.; and Peachtree City, Ga., before reaching Savannah, Ga., their final destination, on July 19.
Since the Charity Ride’s inception in 1995, 5,700 participants have logged more than 7.2 million cumulative motorcycle miles and donated more than $10.5 million to Victory Junction Gang Camp and other charities that support chronically ill children. Petty and his wife, Pattie, founded the Victory Junction Gang Camp in Randleman, N.C., in 2004. The year-round camp serves children, ages 7 to 15, with a variety of health issues that would typically prevent them from attending camp. The camp operates solely on the donations of corporations, organizations and individuals. The Pettys recently announced the opening of a second Victory Junction Gang Camp in Wyandotte County, Kan.
“Pattie and I are constantly amazed and inspired by the dedication of our riders, sponsors and fans,” said Petty. “These companies and individuals are truly committed to bettering the lives of deserving children and their families. We’re looking forward to another great event – and more incredible results!”
– Don’t forget! NASCAR Day is on Friday, May 16th. Get your pins today!