All posts tagged Max Siegel

5 Posts
richmond_featured

richmond revelations: could denny hamlin be jack mcbrayer’s long lost brother?

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:

Denny Hamlin vs Jack McBrayer

Denny Hamlin (left) vs. Jack McBrayer (right)


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.

Carl Edwards, driver of the No. 99 Scotts EZ Seed Ford, stands in the garage during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Crown Royal Presents The Matthew and Daniel Hansen 400 at Richmond International Raceway on Apr. 29 in Richmond, Va. (Credit: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

Carl Edwards, driver of the No. 99 Scotts EZ Seed Ford, stands in the garage during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Crown Royal Presents The Matthew and Daniel Hansen 400 at Richmond International Raceway on Apr. 29 in Richmond, Va. (Credit: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

(L-R) Lt. Gen. Benjamin C. Freakley, commander of the U.S. Army Accessions Command, Revolution Racing CEO Max Siegel, Darrell Wallace Jr and NASCAR Vice President of Public Affairs and Multicultural Development announce a partnership between the U.S. Army and Revolution Racing. (Credit: John Harrelson/Getty Images for NASCAR)

(L-R) Lt. Gen. Benjamin C. Freakley, commander of the U.S. Army Accessions Command, Revolution Racing CEO Max Siegel, Darrell Wallace Jr and NASCAR Vice President of Public Affairs and Multicultural Development announce a partnership between the U.S. Army and Revolution Racing. (Credit: John Harrelson/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Ryan Truex gets advice from older brother Martin before the start of the the BUBBA Burger 250 at Richmond International Raceway. Truex ended up posting his first career top-10 finish. (Credit: Todd Warshaw/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Ryan Truex gets advice from older brother Martin before the start of the the BUBBA Burger 250 at Richmond International Raceway. Truex ended up posting his first career top-10 finish. (Credit: Todd Warshaw/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Travis Pastrana signs autographs for fans during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Crown Royal Presents The Matthew and Daniel Hansen 400 at Richmond International Raceway on Apr. 29 in Richmond, Va. (Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images)

Travis Pastrana signs autographs for fans during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Crown Royal Presents The Matthew and Daniel Hansen 400 at Richmond International Raceway on Apr. 29 in Richmond, Va. (Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images)

Denny Hamlin celebrates winning the BUBBA Burger 250 at Richmond International Raceway, his second NASCAR Nationwide Series victory at his home track. (Credit: Todd Warshaw/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Denny Hamlin celebrates winning the BUBBA Burger 250 at Richmond International Raceway, his second NASCAR Nationwide Series victory at his home track. (Credit: Todd Warshaw/Getty Images for NASCAR)

A young Denny Hamlin fan watches the hometown favorite race during the Crown Royal presents the Matthew and Daniel Hansen 400 at Richmond International Raceway. (Credit: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images for NASCAR)

A young Denny Hamlin fan watches the hometown favorite race during the Crown Royal presents the Matthew and Daniel Hansen 400 at Richmond International Raceway. (Credit: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the No. 88 National Guard/Amp Energy Chevrolet, signs autographs in the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Crown Royal Presents The Matthew and Daniel Hansen 400 at Richmond International Raceway on Apr. 29 in Richmond, Va. (Credit: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the No. 88 National Guard/Amp Energy Chevrolet, signs autographs in the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Crown Royal Presents The Matthew and Daniel Hansen 400 at Richmond International Raceway on Apr. 29 in Richmond, Va. (Credit: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

Kyle Busch salutes the fans after winning the Crown Royal presents the Matthew and Daniel Hansen 400 at Richmond International Raceway. (Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Kyle Busch salutes the fans after winning the Crown Royal presents the Matthew and Daniel Hansen 400 at Richmond International Raceway. (Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR)

the pepsi 500 celebrity round-up

Jamie McMurray (left) and AJ Allmendinger (right) talk after leaving the drivers meeting for the Pepsi 500 at the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif. on Sunday, August 31, 2008 (photo credit: The Fast and the Fabulous)Sunday, August 31st was the Pepsi 500 at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California, but it was also my 28th birthday. I still can’t believe I’m 28. I sometimes wish they had a version of Tivo for our lives but oh well. Until that day comes I have my mom. She called me while I was at the track to wish me a happy birthday and to tell me about everything that happened on the day of my birth.

I’m sure anyone who saw me on my cell phone standing in the garage with tears streaking my face were probably wondering what was wrong, but everything was totally right.

For the majority of the morning I spent my time stationed in front of a moving mister in the garage. It was situated next to the final inspection station teams had to pass through before parking themselves on pit road. This particular inspection took a look at the distance between the tires from the left and right and between the front and the back. It’s obvious if a team doesn’t pass muster, they just have to go back through it again, but I think they need to implement some sort of horn or a big flashing sign that says they didn’t pass. A little theater couldn’t hurt. :)

This inspection area also happened to be right next to the drivers meeting room and I wanted to get a good spot for photos. Well they started blocking it off and I got shuffled into the crowd. Yet another reason why I love the Nationwide Series ’cause they don’t bother with blocking anything off. But whatever, I caught sight of all of the VIPs on hand for the race.

Max Siegel, the president of global operations for Dale Earnhardt Inc. pushed past the crowd along with actor Blair Underwood, who is on a really great show on ABC that everyone should watch this season called Dirty Sexy Money. It’s really good, trust me.

Tom from MySpace was at the race! Tom Anderson, who is on the cover this month’s issue of Fast Company, started MySpace and if you sign up for the social networking site he’s your first “friend.” Anyway, he was there, looking shorter than I’d expected with a skinny blonde chick on his arm.

Drew Carey was walking around like the mayor of the garage looking far older than I’d imagined. I saw American Idol alum Bo Bice, who sang the nation anthem, walking around but I didn’t realize it was him until later. He’s way shorter than I’d thought, but I guess that’s how it goes with people that you’ve only seen on TV.

Actually, maybe that doesn’t apply if you’re an athlete because I saw Olympic swimmer Jason Lezak and he’s definitely 6’4″ like it says he is on the USA Swimming website.

Now, I begrudgingly, and I do mean begrudgingly, have to report that Heidi Montag and Spencer Pratt, so-called stars of the MTV reality show The Hills, were in attendance. I don’t like them. I felt sorry for Jamie McMurray having to show them around and speak to them. Although there was a moment of sweet justice when they were introduced to the crowd and they were summarily booed. It was brilliant.

Ok, so back to the drivers meeting. I stayed on the crowded side for a bit but decided to take a chance and head on over to the other side where there was a second exit. I was sure some slick drivers might decide to sneak out undetected. The only people on that side of the garage were team PR people. It was a good idea because I ended up walking right behind Jamie McMurray and A.J. Allmendinger.


The No. 84 Red Bull Toyota goes through inspection at the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif. on Sunday, August 31, 2008 (photo credit: The Fast and the Fabulous)

The No. 84 Red Bull Toyota goes through inspection at the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif. on Sunday, August 31, 2008 (photo credit: The Fast and the Fabulous)

Drew Carey

The Price is Right host and comedian Drew Carey walks through the garage at the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif. on Sunday, August 31, 2008 (photo credit: The Fast and the Fabulous)

Spencer Pratt and Heidi Montag

Spencer Pratt and Heidi Montag from the MTV reality show “The Hills” take a tour through the garage at the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif. on Sunday, August 31, 2008 (photo credit: The Fast and the Fabulous)

Jason Lezak

Olympic gold medalist Jason Lezak heads into the drivers meeting at the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif. on Sunday, August 31, 2008 (photo credit: The Fast and the Fabulous)

Tom Anderson

MySpace president Tom Anderson (center) drinks something and checks out the inspection process at the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif. on Sunday, August 31, 2008 (photo credit: The Fast and the Fabulous)

dei is not for sale. oh really?

My favorite saying is “shut up!” It’s the thing I say when someone says or does something that amazes, stupefies or shocks me. It’s interesting, I’m saying, “shut up” when what I really want is for that person to continue and tell me more. Anyway, I was muttering “shut up!!!” to myself all day long as I came across various bits of news.

Let’s review:

– There’s a report out that Teresa Earnhardt has been courting potential investors for Dale Earnhardt Inc. I knew this would throw Dale Earnhardt fans into a tizzy. From a financial standpoint I can understand why the would do this, but at the same time it’s kind of irritating because she wouldn’t give Dale Earnhardt Jr. half of his father’s company. DEI president Max Siegel is saying that they don’t have plans to sell the company at this time. Mmmhmmm.

– The Navy is set to announce (tomorrow) his plans to leave Joe Gibbs Racing and start his own team, taking over at Haas-CNC Racing. I guess this isn’t surprising, since people have been talking about it for a while now. It would be nice if one of these so-called rumors would actually not come true for once.

Actor Brendan Fraser will serve as the Grand Marshal for the LifeLock.com 400 at Chicagoland Speedway on Saturday, July 12, 2008– Okay, so here’s the best piece of news today. Actor Brendan Fraser will be on hand for the Lifelock.com 400 at Chicagoland this weekend. He’ll be there to promote his upcoming movie The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor (they’re really wringing the life out of that franchise, aren’t they?). Ryan Newman’s No. 12 Kodak Dodge Charger will carry a special paint scheme for the movie and Fraser will also serve as Grand Marshal for the race. He’ll be signing autographs, along with Ryan, at the No. 12 souvenir trailer at 1:30 p.m. CT. on Saturday.

Uhm, okay, I have sort of a small, tiny, wee crush on Mr. Fraser and I’m so disgustingly excited at the prospect of seeing him in person. Dare I ask a question at the press conference on Saturday? I’m not sure of what I should ask, it needs to be clever and smart and fabulous. If you can think of something let me know!

liz clarke interview: the media and nascar

:: This is part three in a series of four posts (to see all of the posts on one page, click here) ::

Me: Anyway, is it getting harder to get interviews with the drivers, to get time with them now that there’s so much attention?

Liz: Sure, yea, and I feel like everybody would tell you that.

Me: So how do you do it? Is it a matter of just being persistent and contacting the PR people?

Liz: Well, I can’t give you the date but over the last couple of years NASCAR kind of, I think, tried to preempt a lot of the requests for one-on-one interviews by organizing group sessions for everybody in the top 10. It’s probably a deal they worked out with the drivers, who I’m sure were getting tired of a million interview requests. So they convinced the drivers, if you’re in the top ten you must be available to the media every race for a twenty minute window, or whatever it is. And in a way I think that makes a lot of sense. It does kind of let them fulfill their obligation and probably takes care of 80% of the reporters needs.

So that I can see the wisdom of and then if you’re working on something special and you need a one-on-one these days you go to the PR person and sort of state your case. My impression is the decisions are made on how significant is your publication to them. I mean, I worked at USA Today and covered racing. People were very eager to talk to me at USA Today. I’ve worked at papers of all different sizes and I benefited even when I worked at the Charlotte Observer. I mean that’s a huge advantage in racing because that’s the paper of record, really. So, as a reporter I don’t like the reality that the decisions probably are based on your circulation size or influence or your hometown. I’m sure each driver is attentive to the paper in their market. That all makes sense, I have no gripe with that, but I guess the reality is simply that yes, there’s a crush of media covering this sport: print, way more broadcast than before and drivers are really tapped thin.

The days of riding to a race track in a pickup truck with Earnhardt are gone, I’m afraid. Every so often I’m sure somebody can pull that off and I still think it’s the stick and ball sport, or big league sport where that is possible. It is probably just a matter of persistence and making a case that you’re working on a story that really requires this kind of one-on-one time or this kind of access. I still feel they treat the request as fairly as any sport, if not more fairly, but it’s just tough.

Me: So in terms of that, what is the biggest change you’ve seen or changes that you’ve seen in how NASCAR is reported in the media over the years? I know it’s getting bigger, but is it getting better?

Liz: Well, that’s a really hard question and a really good question. I guess this, well it certainly isn’t really unique to NASCAR but it really strikes me, the whole notion of the 24 news cycle.  So that is ESPN.com, NASCAR.com, the whole blogosphere, individual paper’s websites. But if say, Dale Jr.’s year of deciding whether to leave DEI or not, if that had happened ten years ago, ya know, there would have been one tenth the coverage or even a smaller percentage because you’d only write it once a day, not once every two hours. The poor guy and I think he was embarrassed. He was worried that fans were getting sick of him and sick of this whole issue, and he spoke about that, and I empathize. Every incremental twitch that Max Siegel made was on NASCAR.com or ESPN.com, and then it was responded to, and then it’s just this mountain of coverage. In a story like that I’m not sure if it’s better because it’s so redundant and incremental. But then again there’s an appetite for it. Websites are really good about responding to what fans care about, as are bloggers. So their barometer in a lot of way is more true than newspapers, they’re very connected to what people are talking about and arguing about and caring about. But it’s just the constant, constant unending stuff.

drive like a wuss and win

It’s funny how your mind has to switch gears quickly while watching a NASCAR race. One minute I’m hoping that Dale Earnhardt Jr can still make a play for the win and then all of a sudden I have to ditch that thought and hope that Denny Hamlin can hold off Jeff Gordon.

It’s weird. I don’t dislike Jeff Gordon but I don’t want him to win. It’s so boring to me when it happens. And now there’s this mini documentary on his racing life (24 x 24: Wide Open With Jeff Gordon) they’re showing on Saturday before the Pepsi 400. I want to watch, but I don’t. I want to watch it because I’m a race fan and I’m curious about drivers’ lives on and off the track. But on the other hand I don’t like him that much and I feel like if I watch it I’m giving in to him somehow. Does that make sense at all? Probably not, but whatever.

If you’re unlike me and need more Jeff Gordon in your life then you should watch “Live with Regis & Kelly” on Monday, July 9th. He’ll be co-hosting the show with Kelly Ripa, filling in for Regis Philbin. I think we can expect some baby talk, not from Kelly, but Jeff as I’m sure he’ll expound on the joys of first-time fatherhood. After watching Saturday Night Live’s spoof of Kelly (they totally hit the nail on the head), I can’t take 5 seconds of that show. Too bad Jeff couldn’t have co-hosted with Regis instead.

And now for some photo goodness from this weekend’s race at New Hampshire.


loudon_hendrickcrewchiefs.jpg

uhm… Can the #48 team of Jimmie Johnson keep their interim crew chief Ron Malec (left) even when Chad Knaus comes back?? He’s hot! Next thought: Is he single?

Interim crew chief Jeff Meendering, of the #24 DuPont Chevrolet driven by Jeff Gordon, talks with interim crew chief Ron Malec, #48 Lowe’s Chevrolet, driven by Jimmie Johnson, prior to the start of the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series Lenox Industrial Tools 300 at New Hampshire International Speedway on July 1, 2007 in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

loudon_hamlingordon.jpg

Denny Hamlin beats Jeff Gordon to the finish line to win at New Hampshire International Speedway. (Photo Credit: Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

loudon_dalejrmaxs.jpg

President of global operations for Dale Earnhardt Inc., Max Siegel, stands on pit road with Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #8 Budweiser Chevrolet, prior to the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series Lenox Industrial Tools 300 at New Hampshire International Speedway on July 1, 2007 in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)