The last laps of last night’s race at Richmond were chock full of WTF moments I’m not quite sure where to begin.
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Sunday morning I woke up ridiculously early so that I could get to the track in time to get a ride in the pace car with Brett Bodine. This was my second time getting to ride around the Sonoma Raceway track but it had been long enough since the first time I’d done it to not remember what it felt like. Let me tell you this, Brett Bodine doesn’t lay off the gas pedal just because you’re not a race car driver. That guy went flat out and it was insane.
When I got to the Cup garage at Sonoma Raceway on Saturday the inspections process was in full-swing for qualifying.
Kristen attempted to explain to me how NASCAR started using lasers this year at one of the inspection stations to measure the car. It’s kinda neat how it’s able to find the center of the car. It’s all completely computerized.
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.
Since I’m not in Las Vegas (*sniffle*) for NASCAR’s Champion’s Week festivities all I can do is post photos. Above is what I’ve got so far from Tuesday and Wednesday. I’ll post everything else on Saturday.
All I can say about Jimmie Johnson winning yesterday at Martinsville is this: No. Just, nooooo.
We’ve seen this movie before and I don’t want to see it again. We’ve seen the 4 sequels, too. I’m over it and I want to see something new.
I had this weird feeling while watching Brad Keselowski win yesterday’s race at Dover. It felt like the dudes in the booth calling the race weren’t all that excited by Brad’s win. I’m not saying they were rooting against him I just got this general feeling that there wasn’t a sense of “Oooh, this is interesting!” When it IS in fact interesting.
I watched 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'm not going to say he's lying. I'm just going to say maybe he's stretching the truth a little bit. I think there's maybe a little bit more to it than that. Again, these are all opinions, right? We all have one and they all stink."
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.”
So I didn’t watch the race live on Sunday. I watched it on Tivo on Monday. Figures that the one good race as of late is the one I didn’t get to watch as it happened. Still I got the gist, lots of pit road speeding penalties and Joey Logano put the moves on Mark Martin to get his first “real” win.
Hmm, what happened at Texas? Oh that’s right, NOTHING.
There was some good racing in terms of Greg Biffle snatching the win away from Jimmie Johnson, but other than that it was snoozeville.
Over 1,700 votes were cast in Round 2 and now we’re ready to reveal the drivers that have made it in to Round 3 of the 2012 Hottest NASCAR Driver Tournament. Sadly, last year’s winner of the Hottest Driver Tourney has been eliminated from the competition. Clint Bowyer handily defeated reigning champ Tony Stewart.
Where the hell have I been?? It feels like forever ago since I’ve written anything but there’s a totally awesome reason why: I met a guy! Yep, I went on a coffee date and the guy, his name is Jack, turned out to be pretty amazing, so amazing that we spent the next four days together. So, needless to say, I like him A LOT and he likes me A LOT. I wasn’t expecting it and it’s been the best thing ever. However, it’s totally thrown my whole schedule out of whack. I always had a ton of time to myself, pretty much any time I wasn’t working was my time to work on this site or do whatever. But now that I’m with Jack that’s pretty much all I want to do–be with him–so I’ve been prepping the 2012 Hottest NASCAR Driver tournament in bits and pieces, in small chunks of time, over the last few days and now I’m FINALLY ready to launch it.
The race at Watkins Glen–the Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at the Glen to be exact–had it ALL. Let’s go through the list shall we?
– Close racing at the end where you had no idea who would come out with the win? CHECK!
– Crazy, gnarly crashes that thankfully left no one seriously hurt? CHECK!
– An emotional it’s-about-frggin-time first-time winner? CHECK! (Congrats to Marcos Ambrose & the No. 9 Stanley team!)
– Punches attempting to be thrown in the garage post-race? CHECK!
– Amazing post-race quotes from pissed off drivers? CHECK!
Loved this race, it was crazy, especially this quote from Boris Said about about his issues with Greg Biffle:
“It was crazy. I mean…the last lap; the No. 6 car (David Ragan) was getting into me a lot. I didn’t want to wreck him, but I had to stay on the track and he didn’t give me any room. We both collided. That is the only thing I feel bad about.
“I’m more upset with Greg Biffle. He is the most unprofessional little scaredy cat I’ve ever seen in my life. He wouldn’t even fight me like a man after. So, if someone texts me his address, I’ll go see him Wednesday at his house and show him what he really needs. He needs a…whooping and I’m going to give it to him. He was flipping me off, giving me the finger. Totally unprofessional. Two laps down. I mean he is a chump.
“I went over there to go talk to him. He wouldn’t even let me get out of the car. He comes over and throws a few little baby punches and then when I get out, he runs away and hides behind some big guys. But, he won’t hide from me long. I’ll find him. I won’t settle it out on the track. It’s not right to wreck cars, but, he’ll show up at a race with a black eye one of these days. I’ll see him somewhere.”
And to top it all off Watkins Glen International was left with a serious issue of getting safer barriers on their course before the next NASCAR race. It doesn’t make sense to not have them at all the tracks on the schedule. Why hasn’t this been done yet? Elliott Sadler is right.
I’m not one to begrudge people their happiness, but did you catch Kurt Busch making out with his girlfriend, Patricia Driscoll, in victory lane on Saturday? Was that really necessary? It just seemed like a bit much.
Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 22 Discount Tire/Ruby Tuesday Dodge, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series Zippo 200 at Watkins Glen International on Aug. 13 in Watkins Glen, N.Y. (Credit: Geoff Burke/Getty Images for NASCAR)
I love this man. Nooo, not Dale Jr. but Man vs. Food host Adam Richman. I LOVE that show and when I go on my NASCAR adventure next year I plan on bringing a list of all the places he’s visited on his show so that I can check them out too! The food always looks soo yummy & amazing.
Adam Richman (right), host of Man v. Food, talks with Dale Earnhardt Jr.(left), driver of the No. 88 National Guard/Amp Energy Chevrolet, on the grid during pre race ceremonies prior to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at the Glen at Watkins Glen International on Aug. 14 in Watkins Glen, N.Y. (Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Joey is supposed to film an food challenge for a Man v. Food Nation episode today (Wonder if that’s still happening) that’s set to air Oct. 19 at 9 p.m. ET on Travel Channel.
Joey Logano (left), driver of the No. 20 The Home Depot Toyota, and Adam Richman (right), host of Man v. Food pose in the garage area prior to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at the Glen at Watkins Glen International on Aug. 14 in Watkins Glen, N.Y. (Credit: Geoff Burke/Getty Images for NASCAR)
So, I totally forgot to include these photos in my regular weekend write-ups. Luckily they work all by themselves.
There’s a bunch of stuff to give you the rundown on today! But here’s a housekeeping note: My Richard Petty Driving Experience Race Ride contest ends on May 31st, so submit your entry now. Two lucky winners will get to ride shotgun in a NASCAR racecar around Bristol Motor Speedway in August.
In other news…
– Angela and Amber Cope, the twin nieces of Daytona 500 winner Derrike Cope will attempt to make their NASCAR Nationwide Series debut at Iowa Speedway this weekend. They’re attempting to make NASCAR history in becoming the first set of twins to ever compete in a Nationwide Series race. Qualifying for the NASCAR Nationwide Series John Deere Dealers 250 presented by Pioneer will air on ESPN2 at 4:40pm EST on Saturday, with the race taking place on Sunday at 2pm EST on ABC.
– IndyCar driver Helio Castroneves surprised a bunch of customers at a Shell station in Indianapolis yesterday. Helio showed up unannounced and filled their tanks up with Shell gasoline. He also got to talk to them about the Shell V-Power Fuel My Passion program. Of course!
The Fuel My Passion sweepstakes allow vehicle enthusiasts who submit photos of themselves with their rides holding the two-fingered ‘V sign’ for V-Power the chance to win great prizes, including free gasoline for up to five years. For more information, please visit www.shell.us/fuelmypassion.
– This past Saturday Window World, the primary sponsor of John Andretti’s #43 Indianapolis 500 entry, unveiled “The Stinger” — a 2011 concept show car as a tribute to the 1911 Marmon Wasp and the 100 years of Indianpolis 500 history. “The Stinger” will be on display in the MotoGP garage area near Gasoline Alley at Indianapolis Motor Speedway through the Indianapolis 500 weekend.
“The Stinger” is also raising money for charities through Window World Cares:
To further support the 100th anniversary of the Indianapolis 500, the Window World Cares foundation has invited each of the race’s former starters to autograph the car as it sits on display at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. For each signature, Window World Cares will make a donation of support.
Since its creation in 2008, Window World Cares is responsible for raising more than $1.6 million for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and is also a sponsor of the Veterans Airlift Command.
– Martin Truex Jr. and his longtime girlfriend Sherry Pollex hosted The 2nd Annual Catwalk for a Cause Fashion Show yesterday. MTJ Motorsports was transformed into a fashionista’s paradise with many of NASCAR’s familiar faces on hand for the event that raised money for the Martin Truex Jr. Foundation. The fashion show featured apparel from Lavendar Boutique, a women’s designer boutique in Mooresville, NC owned by Sherry Pollex. There are photos here and here. I was able to spot DeLana Harvick, Krissie Newman, Larry McReynolds, Dale Earnhardt Jr’s mom Brenda Jackson, Miss Sprint Cup Monica Palumbo, Max Papis, amongst others.
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.
Here we are in Round Five of the 2011 Hottest Driver Tournament and we’re down to just four drivers! It was a close one between Elliott Sadler and Martin Truex Jr. but Martin won out by just 36 votes!
Here’s what happened in Round Four:
Jamie McMurray (56%) defeated Clint Bowyer (44%)
Tony Stewart (88%) defeated Ryan Newman (12%)
Martin Truex Jr. (51%) defeated Elliott Sadler (49%)
Matt Kenseth (66%) defeated Regan Smith (34%)
This updates the brackets, which you can see below (click it to see it larger).
So let’s get to it! Here are the match-ups for Round Five! You can vote as many times as you want each day until voting ends on Saturday, February 5th.
UPDATE: Voting has ended, stay tuned for the Finals!
|Jamie McMurray||Tony Stewart|
|Martin Truex Jr.||Matt Kenseth|
The 2011 NASCAR racing season is fast approaching and that means I’ve finally got new photos to share with you guys from the Preseason Thunder testing that occurred last week at Daytona International Speedway. It was our first chance to catch some drivers wearing their new sponsor’s firesuits, a time to welcome back Brian Vickers (yay!) and an opportunity to see new driver/crew chief pairings (Gustafson & Gordon = Too much hotness for one team, I’m just sayin’).
I’m excited about the year to come, as I always am, and I know that I have at least ONE very cool, super awesome, off-line deal coming up that involves you guys! So stay tuned for that announcement.
Remember to check out ‘Fabulous’ News for press releases and random photos throughout the week. I’ll have a wrap-up of the media tour taking place now posted later on in the week.
But for now enjoy these photos!
Brad Keselowski recorded the fastest lap of the day at 45.316 seconds Saturday at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla. during Preseason Thunder testing.(Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images for NASCAR)
(Left to right) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Red Bull Racing teammates Kasey Kahne and Brian Vickers talk as they sign autographs for fans in the garage area during Preseason Thunder testing on Friday at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla. (Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images for NASCAR)
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Martin Truex Jr. laughs during a Preseason Thunder Fan Fest Q&A Thursday at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla. Truex turned the second-fastest lap of the first day of testing with a 195.776 mph circuit. (Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images for NASCAR)
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Marcos Ambrose smiles in the garage Saturday at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla. during Preseason Thunder testing.(Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images for NASCAR)
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Carl Edwards signs autographs for young fans during the Preseason Thunder Fan Fest following testing Thursday at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla. (Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR)
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Brian Vickers signs autographs in the Sprint FanZone Thursday during Preseason Thunder testing at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla. (Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Dale Earnhardt Jr. smiles during a break on Thursday at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach Fla. (Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR)
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Tony Stewart looks on as his crew makes adjustments to the No. 14 Office Depot Chevrolet Saturday at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla. during Preseason Thunder testing.(Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images for NASCAR)
A new look Kevin Harvick participates in testing Thursday at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla. (Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Jeff Gordon works with Ormond Beach, Fla. native Alan Gustafson in the Garage Thursday at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla. (Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Joey Logano who was third fastest with a lap time of 45.757 seconds signs autographs for fans during Preseason Thunder Fan Fest on Friday at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla.(Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Clint Bowyer signs autographs for fans during Preseason Thunder on Friday at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla. (Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images for NASCAR)
I’m having too much fun with this contest. I was right when I thought things would get much more interesting in Round Two and the results of last week’s voting have set up Round Three to be extra intriguing. Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Casey Mears just barely made it through in the closest match-up results so far. Dale Jr. beat Scott Speed by just 8 votes! I’m really, really surprised that it wasn’t a closer contest between Carl Edwards and Kasey Kahne.
Here’s what happened in Round Two:
Jamie McMurray (75%) defeated Kyle Busch (25%)
Joey Logano (55%) defeated David Gilliland (45%)
Clint Bowyer (56%) defeated Bobby Labonte (44%)
Travis Kvapil (62%) defeated Kurt Busch (38%)
Kasey Kahne (75%) defeated Carl Edwards (25%)
Casey Mears (51%) defeated Kevin Harvick (49%)
Elliott Sadler (70%) defeated Reed Sorenson (30%)
Jeff Gordon (52%) defeated Marcos Ambrose (48%)
Ryan Newman (83%) defeated Juan Pablo Montoya (17%)
Dale Earnhardt Jr. (51%) defeated Scott Speed (49%)
Tony Stewart (86%) defeated Sam Hornish Jr. (14%)
Matt Kenseth (65%) defeated AJ Allmendinger (35%)
Regan Smith (77%) defeated Robby Gordon (23%)
Martin Truex Jr. (88%) defeated Greg Biffle (12%)
Paul Menard (64%) defeated Brad Keselowski (36%)
Denny Hamlin (58%) defeated Mark Martin (42%)
This updates the brackets, which you can see below (click it to see it larger).
So let’s get to it! Here are the match-ups for Round Three! You can vote as many times as you want each day until
voting ends on Saturday, January 22nd.
UPDATE: I’ve extended voting through Sunday, January 23rd until 9am, because of a snafu with the voting form. // Voting for Round Three is over! Check out Round Four!
|Jamie McMurray||Joey Logano|
|Clint Bowyer||Travis Kvapil|
|Ryan Newman||Dale Earnhardt Jr.|
|Tony Stewart||Kasey Kahne|
|Casey Mears||Elliott Sadler|
|Martin Truex Jr.||Jeff Gordon|
|Paul Menard||Matt Kenseth|
|Regan Smith||Denny Hamlin|
Voting for Round Three is over! Check out Round Four!
Sunday at Auto Club Speedway was a big day, not just for the Pepsi Max 400, but for all of the couples that were getting married and renewing their vows on the track. I was so excited about the whole thing and totally looking forward to seeing how it would all go down.
I missed the Carfax 400 at Michigan International Speedway on Sunday because I was busy driving two of my nephews (ages 9 and 11) from their home in Los Angeles to my mom’s house in the SF Bay Area. I love my nephews more than words can say but spending 7 hours in a car with them is not something I really want to do again. Who knew that doing word search puzzles could be a competitive thing??
Anyway, I did catch some of the race action from SIRIUS Satellite Radio’s coverage with MRN, but the boys were more interested in hearing music from Drake and, amazingly enough, Katy Perry’s song “California Gurls.”
In between pop music stints I did learn that Kevin Harvick won and that Dale Earnhardt Jr. dropped a couple curse words while being interviewed by ESPN’s Marty Smith.
So this post is going to be super duper photo heavy. Enjoy!
Delana Harvick takes a photo of her husband, Kevin Harvick (29), after he wins the Carfax 400 race at the Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, MI.
Don’t you just want to eat him up? So adorable! I’m talking about the baby, not Tony.
Tony Stewart, driver of the Office Depot / Old Spice Chevrolet talks with Gavin Grubb, son of Stewart’s crew chief Darian Grubb,during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series CARFAX 400 at Michigan International Speedway on August 15, 2010 in Brooklyn, Michigan. (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Jack Roush during the Carfax 400 race at the Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, MI.
Martin Truex Jr. (L), driver of the NAPA Toyota, and Sherry Pollex, stand on the grid during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series CARFAX 400 at Michigan International Speedway on August 15, 2010 in Brooklyn, Michigan. (Photo by Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Clint Bowyer, driver of the Cheerios / Hamburger Helper Chevrolet and guest stand on the grid for the National Anthem during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series CARFAX 400 at Michigan International Speedway on August 15, 2010 in Brooklyn, Michigan. (Photo by Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Jamie McMurray, driver of the Philips Norelco Chevrolet, talks with his wife Christy grid during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series CARFAX 400 at Michigan International Speedway on August 15, 2010 in Brooklyn, Michigan. (Photo by Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Greg Biffle, driver of the 3M Ford, stands on the grid with his wife Nicole for the playing of the National Anthem during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series CARFAX 400 at Michigan International Speedway on August 15, 2010 in Brooklyn, Michigan. (Photo by Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Nationwide driver Brad Keselowski celebrates with his mother after winning the Car Fax 250 at the Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Michigan.
Joey Logano (20) and girlfriend, Sabrina Simpson, before the start of the Carfax 250 race at the Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, MI.
Carl Edwards stands with his wife, Kate, and mother, Nancy Sterling, during pre-race ceremonies for the Carfax 250 race at the Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, MI.
I didn’t interview Martin Truex Jr. in person this past weekend at Infineon Raceway, but he was able to answer the questions and email ‘em to me. He’s got some very fun and interesting answers.
What is your favorite word? Sweet
What is your least favorite word? Uber
What turns you on? Fishing
What turns you off? An obnoxious person
What sound or noise do you love? A V-8 engine
What sound or noise do you hate? A 4-cylinder with no muffler
What is your favorite curse word? Shit
What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? Pitcher for the Philadelphia Phillies
What profession would you not like to do? A clammer
If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates? Your granddad is waiting to meet you.
Read more of my “Inside the Actor’s Studio” questionnaire interviews in the archives and read about how it all started with Tony Stewart.
I guess I was the only person who wasn’t surprised to see Joey Logano sticking up for himself on pit road this weekend at Pocono. He had a similar, albeit less obviously confrontational, show of anger last year at Infineon in the Camping World West Series race when he sideswiped Patrick Long with his car on his way to the garage.
So if I had to pick a theme song for Joey it would be Britney Spears’ classic “Oops, I Did it Again,” because he’s “not that innocent.” Don’t let the big, cheesy “aw shucks” grin fool ya. The kid knows how to be pissed off.
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)
2009 turned out to be Michael Waltrip’s last year as a full-time Sprint Cup Series driver. It’s bittersweet because on the one hand he’s making room for a young driver — Martin Truex Jr. — to grow in the sport, but on the other hand Michael won’t be competing every week.
I’ve always liked Mikey because he’s so freaking funny. There isn’t another driver around right now (ok, maybe Kenny Wallace) that is as charismatic and entertaining as Michael Waltrip. I always want to hear him talk, about anything.
So now that Mikey will have more time on his hands next year, he’s only running a part-time schedule, I figured it might be a good idea to give him a couple suggestions on what he could do to fill up the rest of his days.
1.) Dancing with the Stars: Fans that follow MW55 on Twitter have already sent this idea to him, but I don’t know what his reaction has been. I really think he should be in the next group of stars to learn ballroom dancing on ABC’s hit show. I have no idea what Mikey is like on the dance floor but I think that he could win over America with his charm and that would help him to go far in the competition. Besides, IndyCar was represented by Helio Castroneves, and now it’s time that NASCAR was in the mix. Oooh! What if Darrell Waltrip did it too? That’d be hilarious AND awesome.
2.) The Bachelor: It would be the greatest season of The Bachelor EVER if Michael Waltrip was doing the choosing! Oh my gosh, I would pay money to watch the show if it happened, and this is from a woman who hasn’t watched a full season of The Bachelor in, like, years. Mostly because it just doesn’t seem realistic, they never stay together. But what’s more realistic than a 46-year-old, divorced (I’m assuming it’s official at this point), part-time NASCAR driver with two children?? Are you kidding me? Again, I would PAY to watch this show. Picture this: 25 women in firesuits taking laps around a racetrack in order to earn a one-on-one date with Mikey. I could just see them all having to learn lines for an Aaron’s commercial, who ever delivers the pitch best wins alone time with him! Seriously, ABC really needs to make this happen.
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)
Sunday’s Checker O’Reilly Auto Parts 500 presented by Pennzoil at Phoenix International Raceway was boring and I’m not saying that because Jimmie Johnson won. I’m saying it because it was boring, and the drama that involved Dale Earnhardt Jr. did not help things, like, at all.
Or maybe I thought it was boring because I was too caught up in trying on the dress I bought for the Sprint Cup Awards Ceremony. On Saturday, I went dress shopping with my mom and missed all of the Denny Hamlin/Brad Keselowski hullabaloo from the Nationwide race. On Sunday, I bought my dress, after starting with 10 contenders I found “the one” half an hour before the race started, and I really, really like it. I have to be honest, until I leave for Vegas this is all I’m going to be thinking about. I’m over Jimmie, and I’ve made peace with Dale’s season (Is it 2010 yet??!). I’m all about Champion’s Week; I’m counting down the days!
In other news…
– It’s safe to search the site again. There were issues with the Google Custom Search getting hijacked, but I’ve updated the code and the coast is clear.
And now, Phoenix photo fun time after the jump!
I think I’ve twittered about being tired a lot in the very recent past. I’m sure people are wondering why I’ve been so tired considering the fact that all I’ve been doing is going to work as usual and attending NASCAR races in between.
Going to a NASCAR race is not like going to the movies or playing mini golf. It’s an all day thing and it involves a lot of walking, standing, and more walking. Plus I tend to get to the track early because I’m paranoid about missing out on something. Take Friday (qualifying day) for example, I got up at like 7am, to get to the track by 8. I was there until 6 and then I had to sit in ridiculous traffic for another hour and a half. I got back to Starbucks (my home away from home) at like 7:30pm.
So I’m still catching up on regular sleep and my normal schedule. It’s weird. I have a bunch of stuff to talk about so let me start with Saturday.
I walked the Sprint Cup garage to find the best place to stand to take photos of the cars as they exited the track during both practice sessions. I found the best spot across from Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s hauler. Cars passed by right in front of me, so close that it seemed like they were going run right over my toes. It was perfect.
Now I know that the type of race fans that read blogs like this one aren’t the fans that need to know the tiny piece of information I’m about to share with you. It’s really the casual fans that come to like one race a year that need to heed the advice I am giving. Look around you!!! I cannot tell you how many people I saw just walking around, lolly gagging, in a “hot” garage. Cars are constantly coming in and out, and these people have no idea where they’re walking.
To illustrate my point perfectly there was a woman who walked right in front of Michael Waltrip and his #55 NAPA Auto Parts Toyota as he entered the garage. She was so freaked out that she tried to run out of the way but her fright got the best of her and she fell right in front of his car. Michael stopped of course, not close to her at all, and the security guy that had been directing traffic helped her out of the way. I know she was embarrassed. I felt bad for her but at the same time it was pretty comical.
In other news…
– Las Vegas Motor Speedway has a spa. Yes, my friends, a spa. It’s not for you and me, it’s for the drivers and their families. While the guys are out on the track their wives can relax and get manicures, pedicures, facials and massages. So you’re telling me that these people get to bypass the insane traffic in their helicopters and then once they’re here they get to have a mani/pedi too?! So not fair.
Bobby Labonte helps to push his car back to the garage during Sprint Cup Series practice at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Saturday, February 28, 2009. (photo credit: The Fast and the Fabulous)
Elliott Sadler navigates his way through the garage during Sprint Cup Series practice at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Saturday, February 28, 2009. (photo credit: The Fast and the Fabulous)
Martin Truex Jr. navigates his way through the garage during Sprint Cup Series practice at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Saturday, February 28, 2009. (photo credit: The Fast and the Fabulous)
The difference between the crowd gathered for the Nationwide Series drivers meeting and the one assembled for the Sprint Cup Series was like night and day. Friday it was me standing with the security guards but on Saturday I had to contend with a big crowd, a fence and those damn TV crews.
I made sure I was there early, like half an hour before it was all supposed to begin. Matt Kenseth arrived first with a Sirius satellite radio DJ in tow. Matt was very punctual on Saturday, he was also first at driver intros. So as per usual I tried to take as many photos as possible. My attempts at getting shots of guys and their shoes were foiled by guys from TNT filming people right in front of me.
In the drivers meeting they go over what’s going to happen before, during and after the race and what the rules are, or if there’s going to be a competition caution, etc. There’s a lot of stating the obvious, but it’s something you have to do. I couldn’t help but wonder though what it would be like if someone raised their hand at the end and said “So, what do I do if I win the race? Where do I go?” That’d be fun.
Kurt Busch walked into the drivers meeting with none other than pop singer Gavin DeGraw. I didn’t know who was singing the anthem until I saw him arrive. I have lukewarm feelings about Mr. DeGraw. I want to like him, he has a nice voice, but his music always leaves me wanting something more. Anywho, I ended up seeing him a lot after that. I almost bumped into him coming out of the bathroom in the media center; he was pacing around warming up his vocal cords.
After the drivers meeting came driver intros. I trekked out onto the grass and proceeded to get my socks and shoes totally soaked by the soggy field. I decided to stake out the opposite side of the stage that no one was on because it was the best angle to get great photos. Of course security had to come over and rain on my parade and told me I had to go to either the front of the stage or the other side. They had to keep that area clear. Dagnabit!
Okay, so let’s talk about that tribute to Richard Petty and his 50 years of NASCAR racing. It’s amazing it’s been that long. I thought it was such a great idea to have all the drivers wear, what has become his signature accessory, the cowboy hat. However, it was clear that he should be the only person wearing those suckers. The King is the only person who looks good in them as far as I’m concerned.
Check out the photo below. Who’s missing from it? In spite of what they were saying at the time all 43 drivers weren’t there to take this photo. Robby Gordon, Tony Stewart and Carl Edwards all showed up later just in time for the actual driver introductions. Oh and someone else is missing from the photo too but I can’t remember who it is. Any guesses?
43 drivers starting the LifeLock.com 400 pose with Richard Petty, who was celebrating his 50th anniversary in NASCAR. (Photo Credit: Geoff Burke/Getty Images for NASCAR)
He’s always got a smile on his face!
Richard Petty stands behind the stage before his tribute begins at Chicagoland Speedway on Saturday July 12, 2008. (photo credit: The Fast and the Fabulous)
Robby Gordon walks with Richard Childress to the drivers meeting at Chicagoland Speedway on Saturday July 12, 2008. (photo credit: The Fast and the Fabulous)
Dale Earnhardt Jr. walks to the drivers meeting at Chicagoland Speedway on Saturday July 12, 2008. (photo credit: The Fast and the Fabulous)
Singer Gavin DeGraw (left) walks to the drivers meeting with Kurt Busch at Chicagoland Speedway on Saturday July 12, 2008. (photo credit: The Fast and the Fabulous)
David Gilliland walks to the drivers meeting at Chicagoland Speedway on Saturday July 12, 2008. (photo credit: The Fast and the Fabulous)
Jeff Gordon walks to the drivers meeting at Chicagoland Speedway on Saturday July 12, 2008. (photo credit: The Fast and the Fabulous)
Martin Truex Jr. walks to the drivers meeting at Chicagoland Speedway on Saturday July 12, 2008. (photo credit: The Fast and the Fabulous)
Yes, the Coke Zero 400 powered by Coca-Cola at Daytona International Speedway was a good race. It was intriguing and crazy right down to the last lap, but of course I hated how it ended.
Why, why, why did he have to win again?? WHY?? If the rest of the season plays out like this I don’t know what I’m going to do. It’s sooo boring if the same person keeps winning. Yes, he’s talented and all that, yes, I get it. I can appreciate that fact but it’s so freaking boring to watch. I don’t want to hear the same person in victory lane each week. Even if it was Dale Earnhardt Jr. I promise you I would be bored with that too. It wouldn’t be painful to watch of course but it would be boring.
The coolest thing was seeing David Gilliland running up front. That was truly awesome; I only wonder what could have happened had his pit stop not gone so bad. And see that’s what I’m looking for people, I’m not just out to see Dale Jr. win I wanna see a variety of drivers win. It helps to keep things interesting. If it ever comes to a time when NASCAR only has 4 major teams running several cars, shutting out all of the small teams, then I don’t know if I could watch anymore.
Kevin Harvick (R), driver of the #29 Reese’s Chevrolet, stands with wife, DeLana (L), prior to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway on July 5, 2008 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Uh, yea, my thoughts exactly.
Tony Eury Jr., crew chief for Dale Earnhardt Jr., #88 National Guard/AMP Energy Chevrolet reacts to race action during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway on July 5, 2008 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Does he smile like ever?
Sprint Cup driver Paul Menard earned his first pole Friday at Daytona International Speedway for Saturday’s Coke Zero 400 Powered by Coca-Cola (Photo Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Martin Truex Jr. chats with Kevin Costner, who performed a pre-race concert with his band Modern West. (Photo Credit: Geoff Burke/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Today has been hectic for moi. I officially moved into my new apartment and I’m so tired I could… well… go to sleep.
As far as NASCAR goes, here’s what I know:
I’m off to put a bedskirt on. Oh! But one more thing, I was thinking about this the other night. So crew chief Jimmy Elledge was fired from Chip Ganassi Racing, but he’s married to Kelley Earnhardt Elledge who basically runs anything that her brother, Dale Earnhardt Jr., is doing, so do you think he’ll get a job over at JR Motorsports?
Here are some photos from the testing sessions at Pocono this week:
They’re installing my dish tomorrow! Yay!
Clint Bowyer waits to get in his car during NASCAR Sprint Cup Series testing at Pocono Raceway. (Photo Credit: Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)
David Gilliland turned the fastest lap of the day on Tuesday (54.742 seconds) during NASCAR Sprint Cup Series testing at Pocono Raceway. (Photo Credit: Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Marcos Ambrose helps his No. 47 crew by working on his tires on Wednesday during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series test at Pocono Raceway. (Photo Credit: Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)
They’ve got great genes in that Labonte family.
Two-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Terry Labonte tests the No. 45 Petty Enterprises Dodge during NASCAR Sprint Cup Series testing at Pocono Raceway on Wednesday (Photo Credit: Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Dario Franchitti reviews data during NASCAR Sprint Cup Series testing at Pocono Raceway. (Photo Credit: Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Martin Truex Jr. meets the media during NASCAR Sprint Cup Series testing at Pocono Raceway on Wednesday (Photo Credit: Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)
I don’t know what is up with Jimmie’s hair but let’s just hope he’s “in between styles” right now.
Jimmie Johnson talks with the media during NASCAR Sprint Cup Series testing at Pocono Raceway. (Photo Credit: Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)
It’s no secret that I don’t like Kyle Busch. While I respect his talent and I can appreciate his drive for winning, I still find him to be the most annoying and obnoxious driver on the Sprint Cup circuit to date. Even when he wins he can’t help but complain or take a jab at someone. I think it all stems from insecurity and immaturity but whatever, maybe he’ll grow out of that.
And now for some random fabulousness:
– I interviewed Washington Post sportswriter Liz Clarke a little while ago and I would love it if you’d read our conversation. I only point it out because I’m really proud of it and I think you could get something out of it. I’m just sayin’.
– If you’re new to my blog or are a regular reader please take a second to fill out my reader survey. It’s nothing fancy and I’m not selling the information I receive, so it’s all just for my knowledge. I’ll be your best friend, ok, not really but you know what I mean.
– My mom will be mad at me if I don’t mention the fact that on Sunday while we were watching the race we saw a commercial for Domino’s promoting some special NASCAR deal. We called our local Domino’s restaurant and the manager had no idea there was such a deal available. He’d never heard of it apparently and then my mother proceeded to ask him what kind of manager he was and then he hung up on her. Yep, that’s my mom. Anyway, we ended up getting pizza from Round Table, where, I might add the guy went out of his way to find a coupon for us to use since we didn’t have any. Good job picking up the slack Round Table!
– Do you read The Onion? Well you should because they’re hilarious and they write the funniest stuff. They decided to make fun of Carl Edwards and his backflip tradition. Ya gotta check this out… Carl Edwards Does Mournful ‘Did Not Finish’ Backflip (Onion Sports)
– If this doesn’t work I don’t know what will. In an attempt to secure a sponsor for the Yates Racing No. 28 car driven by Travis Kvapil they’re running a special “11 Million” paint scheme at Bristol this weekend. The “11 Million” stands for the average number of people that watch the race coverage on FOX each day. Of course it goes without saying, if I had the money I’d totally sponsor this team. Can’t you just imagine “The Fast and the Fabulous” Ford zooming around the race track? hehe. Maybe Travis and the guys at Yates are glad I don’t have the money.
The 2008 NASCAR TV season is already off to a great start with an average of more than 11 million people per race day watching the No. 28 Yates Racing Ford during FOX’s coverage. This three-race average doesn’t include the 33.5 million viewers that watched the Daytona 500. With TV ratings up, and the No. 28 team still looking for sponsorship, it only makes sense to highlight one of the many benefits of a primary sponsorship with Yates Racing and the No. 28 team by placing “11 Million” on the hood of the Ford Fusion. Driver Travis Kvapil thinks it’s a unique approach to attracting sponsorship and hopes that he can get his No. 28 “11 Million” Ford to the number one position this Sunday at Bristol.
“I think it’s pretty creative,” said Kvapil. “When you stop and think about it, that’s a lot of eyeballs watching you every weekend, and this is just a fraction of the coverage that we get each week. I can’t imagine what the number would be if you added up all the media coverage along with the practice, qualifying, pre-race and post-race shows. That’s huge.”
Sponsorship opportunities are available; please contact Kevin Thomas with Yates Racing at 704-706-2120.
– Speaking of Yates Racing, be on the lookout for my interview with Michelle Gilliland, wife of David Gilliland who drives the No. 38 FreeCreditReport.com Ford. I should be posting it in the next few days.
I’m posting this because I think Connie Montoya’s dress is super cute! That is all.
(Left to right) Felix Sabates, NASCAR CFO R. Todd Wilson, Chip Ganassi, NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France, Connie Montoya, Juan Pablo Montoya, Kyle Petty and NASCAR Foundation Executive Director Sandy Marshall traveled to Colombia to raise awareness for the Montoyas Formula Smiles program and Petty’s Victory Junction Gang Camp. (Photo Credit: Special to NASCAR)
Scott Speed is one colorful dude.
Guenther Steiner (R), the technical director for Red Bull Racing Team, talks with Red Bull Racer, Scott Speed (L) a few hours before his first NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race. (Photo Credit: Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Martin Truex Jr. qualified third for Sunday’s Kobalt Tools 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. (Photo Credit: Marc Serota / Getty Images for NASCAR)
After the track was dried, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series got in a final practice. In his quest for three consecutive Atlanta wins, Jimmie Johnson turned the eighth-fastest lap. (Photo Credit: Marc Serota / Getty Images for NASCAR)
Now it’s just getting ridiculous. All of the things that can go wrong for Dale Jr. do go wrong for him it seems lately. Sunday I went to the Bridge School Benefit in Mountain View, Calif. John Mayer was performing so I had to skip watching the race live and rely on Tivo to catch the action of the race at Atlanta for me. I left the show immediately following Mayer’s performance to make sure I had enough time to zip through my recording of the race. Tivo makes it so tempting to skip everything and just get to the end but I wanted to make sure I caught all the accidents & incidents as they happened.
I was so excited, I mean there were only 3 laps left and he was this freaking close to winning it and then the wheel falls off?? Ugh. So lame. And poor Martin Truex Jr. getting caught behind Denny Hamlin and his watered down gas issue. This season is really starting to bug me. And if that’s not enough I tried to watch the Busch race on Saturday and I had to be subjected to Rusty Wallace. Why can’t they let Allen Bestwick do the Busch races??
Ya know I seriously contemplated creating a petition to get Rusty off the air, but I don’t know… is that mean?
Maybe it should be an all encompassing make NASCAR toss out their deal with ESPN petition?
Anywhoo… In other news…
– Next week I travel to my favorite place Las Vegas for the Blog World & New Media Expo. I am beyond excited. Is anyone else planning on attending? Any of my fellow sports bloggers?? Anyone? Anyone?
You be the judge, is this Kasey Kahne or Carl Edwards? The caption I have says it’s Kasey, but the uniform says Office Depot — which leads me to believe it’s Carl… What do you think?
Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #8 Budweiser Chevrolet, stands in the garage, during practice for the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series Pepboys Auto 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on October 27, 2007 in Hampton, Georgia. (Photo by Marc Serota/Getty Images)
I don’t have much to say in regards to the race at California this past weekend. It didn’t seem to be that interesting, either that or my lack of excitement about the race could be the result of being back at work, after having 4 luxurious days off.
I have thoughts about the third episode of NASCAR in Primetime which I finally watched (thanks to Tivo) on Friday. The fan commentary that they feature on the show is just ok. It’s more relevant to me when they talk about fan things, like the camping area at Talladega. I know that I shouldn’t be, but I’m shocked that women are showing their boobs to random strangers for plastic beads. It looked like a weird mash-up of Mardi Gras and Woodstock.
Previously I wrote about California Speedway’s marketing attempts to get more butts in the seat for the race this weekend. Their party at Hollywood club Avalon did get attention, but I don’t know if it was the kind they wanted? There were a couple mentions in some celebrity gossip blogs. The mentions were about the pop/r&b singer Rihanna. You know her, or at the least her song “Shut up & Drive” that ESPN loved to play all the freaking time. Anyway, she was the only celeb of note because she was the only one that the Associated Press took the time to photograph coming down the red carpet and she was the only one that garnered these small mentions in the blogs IDon’tLikeUThatWay and PerezHilton.com.
I’ve heard that NASCAR drivers besides Jeff Gordon attended this party but I have yet to see any photographic evidence suggesting proving that to be true. Next year California Speedway should step up their celebrity quotient for the party, because from what I can see they managed only D-list celebs, if you can even call them that.
In other news…
– I know this will surprise you, but Kurt Busch, and his wife Eva, got a new dog. A black & tan Norwich terrier named Lola. The only reason I’m posting this is because the dog is adorable.
– Dale Earnhardt Jr. gives the best quotes:
What do people expect me to say when they keep asking me about the point standings? I check the standings right after each race and then I forget about it. I know we’re a long way back (from 12th-place Kevin Harvick), and even though we have a mathematical chance to get into the Chase, we’re going to worry about things within our own control.
– For all you soap opera fans get your Tivos ready — Jamie McMurray will be on an episode of “Passions” airing September 26th on NBC. Jamie filmed his scene last week in L.A.
When the lights were up and the cameras were rolling, it only took McMurray one shot to nail his lines.
We only had to take the shot one time, which is typically how they shoot those soap operas. They practice once and take once. I guess when your show is on five days a week you really have to be quick in learning the lines and making sure you don’t mess up. Overall I had a great time and really enjoyed meeting the entire cast and crew of “Passions.”
And now for photo fun time…
Robby Gordon prepares for practice at California Speedway. (Photo Credit: Robert Laberge/Getty Images)
Martin Truex Jr. waits for practice to start at California Speedway. (Photo Credit: Robert Laberge/Getty Images)
Kyle Busch takes a break during practice at California Speedway. (Photo Credit: Harry How/Getty Images)
Jimmie Johnson receives a hug from wife Chandra in victory lane at California Speedway. (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/Getty Images for NASCAR)
an angel loses its… ah, nevermind.
Much to my dismay Martin Truex Jr. wasn’t able to skip past Kurt Busch for the win today. Dale Earnhardt Jr. managed to jump up to 13th in the points with his 12th place finish but he’s still a ways back in the points. Which, for the record, sucks a big one. Ugh.
Even though I only got to listen to the last 30 laps or so of the race (and at work no less) I still had fun listening to Dale Jr.’s scanner chatter. This exchange between Junior, Tony Eury Jr. and spotter Steve Hmiel was very funny (synopsis courtesy of Jade Gurss):
The Bud car started each run after a pit stop with very loose handling characteristics, and then would eventually get tighter as the run went along. Sometimes the transition between the two conditions was an abrupt one. Dale Jr. spoke with Tony Jr. during a late caution period on lap 189.
Dale Jr: “I was (expeletive) wreckin! What place are we in?”
Eury Jr: “12th. The 83 (B. Vickers) is your next spot.”
Dale Jr: “I’m gonna tell ya, I was spinnin’-out looooooooooose! I don’t know why – maybe it’s that spring we put in the right front, but it’s loose loose loose the first six laps or so, and then I go into the next corner and all of a sudden, it’s tight! (to spotter Hmiel) “I know the 07 (C. Bowyer) is mad at me, but I didn’t hit him! He was loose on his own! Tell his spotter!”
Hmiel: “I know, I told him.”
Dale Jr: “I’m not sure I believe ya. I mean, I was on the brakes too.”
Eury Jr: (laughing) “Lemme tell ya, my wife will be proud of me. She always gets on me and says I can never make you loose…”
Dale Jr: “I’m so loose, I should be fast…”
Hmiel: “Boy, that 17 (M. Kenseth) cleaned the 24′s (J. Gordon) clock!”
Dale Jr: “Well, he had it comin.’”
Hmiel: “Yeah, that’s the truth. And I’d take a lie detector test on that.”
In other news…
– People have commented on my blog and expressed their dislike of Teresa Earnhardt for being stingy with the No. 8, but I have to say one thing: If you’re going to call the woman an expletive at least spell her name right. I love you guys but lets make sure we get it right the first time.
– All of the photos that I have access to from the extra-long race weekend were pretty boring and pedestrian — I didn’t think anyone wanted photos of drivers talking to each other — except for this one of Clint Bowyer and his girlfriend Athena Barber. They’re so cute together.
(Getty Images for NASCAR)
This is completely and truly a blog about motor sports but I feel like I’m not being true to myself when I don’t write about everything that’s exciting me at the moment.
So that being said, I must tell you about this amazingly talented singer, Sara Bareilles (pronounced bar-rell-is). She is awesome! I bought her CD “Little Voice” on Friday and I am so deeply hooked. She’s a little bit like Fiona Apple, Charlotte Martin or even Alicia Keys, but she’s different from them. She’s not a copycat she’s totally unique and you should check out her songs. I’ve had her CD on this entire weekend, I even drove around on Sunday just because I wanted to belt out the lyrics (I do all my best singing in the car). I’m a big fan of great lyrics in addition to great melodies, and this CD has it all. I like to think that music comes into your life when it does for a reason, and this music has been super inspirational to me. Not in a spiritual-ohm kind of way, but in a girls-kick-butt-and-never-doubt-yourself kind of way.
Ok… so now on to the race at Chicagoland. I’ll be completely honest with you, Tony Stewart was not on my short list of people I’d like to see win this race. After seeing that very nice pre-race piece on Clint Bowyer I would have liked it very much to see him in victory lane, but again it was not to be. At least he moved up in the points standings. Speaking of the pre-race interview with Clint, I was so glad they did something like that for once this year. It seems like it’s been forever since they’ve interviewed a current driver away from the track and talked a bit about his life before he was in the Cup series.
And despite his lack of power steering (and because of Jamie McMurrays bad luck) Dale Earnhardt Jr. was able to keep his 12th place spot in the points standings.
I know that Thanksgiving isn’t until November but I must say that I am very thankful for the fact that TNT’s coverage of NASCAR is now over! Woo-hoo! I love Larry Mac, Kyle Petty and Wally Dallenbach but I can’t take more of Marc Fein and Bill Weber. Weber’s attempts at sarcasm never seem to work out quite right. ESPN/ABC will be with us for the rest of the season and I feel like I can handle Brent Musberger — even though it still feels slightly weird for him to be calling NASCAR and not Basketball.
My wish for 2008 is that NASCAR will stick to one channel for the entire season. Imagine that? Not having to double check the schedule to figure out what channel the race will be on this weekend. I’d pick Fox only because that’s where Darrell Waltrip is and I just love that man, he makes the races that much more fun to watch. His passion is infectious and I don’t think NASCAR could ever dream up a better ambassador (if you will) for the sport.
Chicagoland eye candy to follow:
The kid cannot take a bad photo to save his life.
Kasey Kahne takes a break during practice at Chicagoland Speedway. (Photo Credit: Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Was that booing I heard when Hanson got ready to sing the national anthem? That was totally unjustified. I’m not ashamed to say that I own some of their CDs.
(L-R) American pop rock band The Hanson Brothers, Zachary, Jordan (aka Taylor) and Isaac Hanson, sing the National Anthem before the start of the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series USG Sheetrock 400 at Chicagoland Speedway on July 15, 2007 in Joliet, Illinois. (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Dale Earnhardt Jr. (left) and Martin Truex Jr. following qualifying at Chicagoland Speedway. (Photo Credit: Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Casey Mears, driver of the #25 National Guard/GMAC Chevrolet, looks on after he qualified first for the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series USG Sheetrock 400 at Chicagoland Speedway on July 13, 2007 in Joliet, Illinois. (Photo Credit: Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Oh and don’t forget to take my survey!! I’m not too proud to beg.
This week has been a rollercoaster of emotions for NASCAR fans. First you have the great high — the victory for Martin Truex Jr. at Dover, his first-ever Cup win.
And then the great low of losing Bill France Jr. the former chairman of NASCAR. After his father (NASCAR’s founder) died, France took charge of his family’s business and grew NASCAR to be the national, ever-growing and highly profitable sport we know today. You have to respect someone who took risks and was dedicated to seeing this league grow. I don’t know the complete history of the France family (of course I’m learning more and more every day) but you’d have to think that building this sport/company must have been a fun ride.
In other news…
– In what I think is the most current issue of ESPN The Magazine they have an article about the new ABC show “Fast Cars & Superstars.” The show comes on tonight and features various celebrities attempting to race stock cars. Carl Edwards, Jimmie Johnson, and Kurt Busch serve as coaches. Serena Williams, Jon Cena, Tony Hawk are some of the celebs participating. This should be fun to watch. I like seeing people realize that it really is harder than you think to “drive around in circles all day.”
– I never got around to writing about Dover. There really isn’t much for me to say about it since I didn’t get to watch it live. A note to Mother Nature: Please stop raining on NASCAR! Some of us have jobs and can’t stay at home on Monday to watch the race.
– At any rate I was very happy to see that Martin Truex Jr. won Dover. I always knew he could do it, and it bothers me to see headlines saying things like “Truex shows DEI’s more than just Junior” because everybody knew that there was more to DEI than just Junior. I don’t remember saying that, do you remember saying that??
And now for some photo goodness:
Ryan Newman carries a piece of his car after a wreck during the Nextel Prelude to the Dream on June 6, 2007 at Eldora Speedway in New Weston, Ohio. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images for Eldora Speedway)
Carl Edwards #99 leads Jeff Gordon #24 on the pace lap prior to the start of the Nextel Prelude to the Dream on June 6, 2007 at Eldora Speedway in New Weston, Ohio. (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for Eldora Speedway)
Aric Almirola gets ready to drive during the Nextel Prelude to the Dream on June 6, 2007 at Eldora Speedway in New Weston, Ohio. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images for Eldora Speedway)
Martin Truex Jr. sprays champagne on the trophy for winning the Autism Speaks 400 Presented by Visa at the Monster Mile, Dover International Speedway. (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland / Getty Images for NASCAR)
AJ Allmendinger takes a break during practice at Dover International Speedway. (Photo Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)
This is my long overdue follow-up post to my initial comments about the Coca-Cola 600 last weekend. I am still so excited that Casey Mears has finally won his first Nextel Cup series race even though he’s apart of Hendrick “We Win Everything, Suckers!” Motorsports.
So there are couple things I must point out… first off, in this photo of Casey, in victory lane with his teammate Jimmie Johnson, he looks to be on the verge of tears. It’s gotta be one of THE best photos this year.
The photo below proves how much of an emotional win this was for the #25 National Guard/GMAC Chevrolet team; one guy (on the far right) is actually doing a cartwheel! A cartwheel people, I haven’t done one of those since I was in elementary school and I’m a girl. Anyway, it’s still cute… in a way.
(Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/Getty Images for NASCAR)
It’s amazing to me what a difference one race can make. People make it seem like Casey Mears didn’t exist before this race. You can have all the potential in the world but until you deliver on it you’re not really anybody. I’m not saying I agree with this but I know that evidence speaks volumes and that’s what some people focus on.
I always knew that Casey had it in him; it was just a matter of time. The same goes for Clint Bowyer, J.J. Yeley and Martin Truex Jr. They need to figure out a winning recipe ASAP.
Ya know how some people can go so long without doing “it” that they feel like they’ve become a virgin again? Well I think that might be happening to my guy Dale Earnhardt Jr. I’m just sayin’. He hasn’t won a race in what feels like FOREVER (Actually it was last year at Richmond in May).
So besides the whole awesomeness that was Mears’ win at Charlotte I was very happy for Team Red Bull. They managed to pull out a top-5 finish after it seemed like everybody and Jesus was out to get them. I wouldn’t even want to drive my regular street car without power steering, but Brian Vickers managed to do it at over 180 mph.
It was crappy that AJ Allmendinger was taken out of the race so early in that crash with Jeff Gordon, but at least Brian was able to pull something together. This is great for Toyota. Vickers was able to lead more laps in that one race than all of the Toyota teams put together so far this season.
And now for the fun stuff, photos of hot dudes:
Actor Chris Evans races fellow “Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer” cast members in a race simulator at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images for NASCAR)
WWE star Jon Cena (left) meets with NASCAR Busch Series Director Joe Balash. (Photo Credit: David Griffin/NASCAR Scene)