All posts tagged Michael Waltrip

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get married at auto club speedway

Wedding Bouquet from Paulas Flowers of Old Basing (Flickr photo by Christopher_Hawkens)This might be the greatest race weekend promotion EVER. Why? Because it’s right up my alley, I love a wedding. Actually I love any event, but weddings are awesome because there are so many details to plan and there are a million different ways you can personalize them. Oh and there’s that whole love thing, too.

I love that Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif. has taken full advantage of the new wedding craze of getting married on a perfectly numerically matched date. Last year it was all about getting hitched on 09/09/09, this year it’s 10/10/10 and next year it’ll be 11/11/11. Got it? Anyway, these types of dates have become super popular. And now for the NASCAR fans out there looking for a supercool and unique way to get married Auto Club Speedway has figured it all out for you.

You’ll have the opportunity to get married, or renew your vows, right on the start/finish line of ACS before the start of the Pepsi 400. If that wasn’t enough NASCAR driver Michael Waltrip will serve as your Best Man and Miss Sprint Cup will serve as your Maid of Honor, with ACS president Gillian Zucker doing the officiating.

There are three packages to choose from, all of the details are below. I’m totally planning on being at the Pepsi 400 this year, so I’m really looking forward to seeing all of the couples tie the knot. I know people are going to want to go really casual for this but I still think you should dress it up. Toss the big ballgown and go for a nice tea length dress. That would be super sweet.

Now if only “Say Yes to the Dress,” or “My Fair Wedding with David Tutera” would sponsor a car that weekend it’d be perfection! :)

The “LET’S GET HITCHED” Package
For the couple – $200

  • 2- Club Seat Tickets, the best seats in the house at Auto Club Speedway
  • 2- Pit Passes
  • 2- Cupcakes from world-renowned and L.A.-based Sprinkles Cupcakes
  • 1- Champagne Flute Gift Set embossed with the Auto Club Speedway logo and date of your special day
  • 1- Beautiful bridal bouquet & groom boutonniere set
  • 1- Commemorative Photo with Best Man Michael Waltrip & Maid of Honor Miss Sprint Cup
  • “First Lap of Love” in the Auto Club Speedway Wedding Tram around the track following the ceremony.

For each guest – $75

  • 1- Club Seat Ticket, the best seats in the house at Auto Club Speedway
  • 1- Pit Pass
  • 1- Cupcake from world-renowned and L.A.-based Sprinkles Cupcakes
  • 1- Pair of specially packaged wedding favor Lug Nuts to prove “you saw two nuts get married on 10/10/10.”

The “TIE THE KNOT” Package
For the couple- $500

  • 2- Club Seat Tickets, the best seats in the house at Auto Club Speedway
  • 2- Pit Passes
  • 1- Reserved table in the Wedding Hospitality Tent with food and beverage
  • 1- Champagne Flute Gift Set embossed with the Auto Club Speedway logo and date of your special day
  • 1- Beautiful bridal bouquet & groom boutonniere set
  • 1- Commemorative Photo with Best Man Michael Waltrip & Maid of Honor Miss Sprint Cup
  • “First Lap of Love” in the Auto Club Speedway Wedding Tram around the track following the ceremony.

For each guest – $225

  • 1- Club Seat Ticket, the best seats in the house at Auto Club Speedway
  • 1- Pit Pass
  • 1- Reserved seat in the Wedding Hospitality Tent with food and beverage
  • 1- Pair of specially packaged wedding favor Lug Nuts to prove “you saw two nuts get married on 10/10/10.”

The “WEDDING BELLS” Package
For the couple- $950

  • 2- Tickets for the wedding themed Terrace Suites with food and beverage and Pit Access
  • 1- Champagne Flute Gift Set embossed with the Auto Club Speedway logo and date of your special day
  • 1- Beautiful bridal bouquet & groom boutonniere set
  • 1- Commemorative Photo with Best Man Michael Waltrip & Maid of Honor Miss Sprint Cup
  • “First Lap of Love” in the Auto Club Speedway Wedding Tram around the track following the ceremony.

For each guest – $450

  • 1- Ticket for the wedding themed Terrace Suites with food and beverage and Pit Access
  • 1- Pair of specially packaged wedding favor Lug Nuts to prove “you saw two nuts get married on 10/10/10.”

For more information on the Auto Club Speedway 10/10/10 Wedding and Vow Renewal Packages call 800-944-RACE (7223).

(photo credit: Christopher_Hawkins/Flickr) The above photo is NOT a representation of the bouquet included in the ACS wedding packages)

is in-n-out burger the way to a nascar driver’s heart?

NHRA: POMONA WINTERNATIONALS FEB 14On Sunday, I was watching a bit of the O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Spring Nationals that took place in Houston, Texas. Melanie Troxel, whom I totally dig because she’s kick ass and we have the same birthday (August 31st), is sponsored by In-N-Out Burger in both Funny Car and Pro Mod. She’s leading the points standings in Pro Mod, by the way.

Anyway… The In-N-Out Burger connection got me thinking. First about how yummy their burgers are and then about how every time the NASCAR drivers are in California or Nevada they can’t NOT talk about how they all have to stop by In-N-Out at least once during their stay in the West. So I was thinking why isn’t In-N-Out Burger sponsoring like, ANYTHING in NASCAR? At least for the races at Infineon, Auto Club Speedway, Las Vegas and Phoenix?

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard Kurt Busch, Jimmie Johnson and Brian Vickers wax on and on about how they love In-N-Out.

And then I started thinking that maybe all those NASCAR groupies should forget about trying to dress all sexy in the garage & pits and just bring a bunch of In-N-Out burgers and fries (animal style, of course) with them instead. They do say that a way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, well there ya go. Nobody said you had to be the one doing the cooking.

In other news…

– ‘Fabulous’ reader Leila emailed me today and was all, “Wouldn’t Ron Malec be perfect for ABC’s next Bachelor? I would love to see it!” and I was like, “You’re totally right!” Ron would make an excellent Bachelor (as would Michael Waltrip) but I do know that as of the Sprint Cup Championship banquet last year he had a girlfriend. But still ABC should direct their attention to the world of NASCAR to look for their next Bachelor, for sure.

:)

sprint cup media tour madness (aka photos of drivers in long-sleeved shirts)

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)

(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)

champion’s week in vegas: the one where i had some drinks

SI_PartyThursday night was the Sports Illustrated party at Pure nightclub inside of Caesars Palace. Let me do a little foreshadowing of how this evening turned out. I walked to Pure from my hotel which is right next door to Caesars, but when I returned I took a cab.

Yea, it was that kind of night. When I arrived at the party I picked up my first of what would be at least 5 Cosmopolitans. I hung out and chatted with the people I knew, various PR people for sponsors and racetracks. It was after my second drink that I spotted ESPNs Marty Smith.

Now, if you’re starting to think that I’m a lush, you would be wrong. I don’t drink that often. There is no alcohol in my apartment, save for a couple bottles of wine that I’ve had for years, one of which I only have because it was given to me and it was free. I only drink in social situations, and if it’s free even better. And like I said before, I am shy, so what would take me like 20 minutes of talking up to do sober, took only 5 seconds with a little vodka in my bloodstream. And really, really, when am I going to get an opportunity like this to talk to people just as people and not when they’re technically “working.”

champion’s week in vegas: beginning at the end

2009 NASCAR Sprint Cup Awards Ceremony table centerpieceInstead of starting from the beginning, I’m going to start with the end and work my way backwards.

Friday was of course the 2009 NASCAR Sprint Cup Awards Ceremony at the Wynn in Las Vegas. I woke up that morning with a slight hangover from the previous night’s festivities. I spent the majority of the morning willing myself to feel normal and to not vomit even though vomiting probably would have made me feel better, but whatever. I went down to Carnegie Deli and got their chicken soup, which helped tremendously.

That morning I had to go over to the Wynn (I stayed at the Mirage Thursday and Friday, and Harrah’s on Wednesday) to pick up my ticket to the banquet. Passing through the lobby I caught sight of Ron Malec, car chief of the no. 48 Lowe’s team, taking pictures with his girlfriend.

Along with the ticket to the event that told me my table number for the night, I also got to pick up the wristband to get me into the after party and a mini replica of the Sprint Cup Championship trophy. It’s as cute and cool as you’d expect, and it also doubles as a paper weight.

michael waltrip should be the next ‘bachelor’

Michael Waltrip (credit: Getty Images for NASCAR)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.

:)

tallafreakindega: you can’t stop the drama

(Left to right) Richard Brickhouse, winner of the first race at Talladega in 1969, congratulates Jamie McMurray, driver of the No. 26 IRWIN Marathon Ford, after McMurray won the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AMP Energy 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on Sunday in Talladega, Ala. (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/Getty Images for NASCAR)Overall I think Talladega went down pretty much the same way it would have gone down had NASCAR not instituted the new rules, smaller restrictor plate and no bumping in the turns. Those guys were going to hold off until the end and then crap was going to hit the fan in the final laps. Because really, at Talladega if you’re 35th you’re still in it, it’s all about being there in the end and getting in a good line up to the front.

I wasn’t mad about the whole no touching each other in the corners rule because of the rule itself, but more anxious about the enforcement of that rule. As it is, Talladega is a race that I love but one that also makes me crazy with anxiety because I’m hoping that my driver doesn’t get caught up in the “big one.” I hold my breath during Talladega because you just never know.

So then you add in the fact that my driver, Dale Earnhardt Jr., could get caught on some lame rule NASCAR cooked up an hour before the race starts, you’re just tacking on another layer of panic for me to deal with for the ENTIRE race.

a memorial day weekend to remember

David Reutimann celebrates winning the Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe's Motor Speedway, his first career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victory. (Photo Credit: Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)So that was quite a memorable Memorial Day weekend. Early Sunday morning I caught the very end of the Monaco Grand Prix, the winner of which was Jenson Button. After hearing his name I couldn’t help but think of the movie “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” and how much I’ve always wanted to go to Monaco. Then I started thinking about how cool it would be to travel around the world to cover Formula 1 racing. I think that’s the one aspect of Formula 1 racing I like the best. I know men drool over the cars and all that but it just seems really boring to me. The cars are ginormous and the field always seems to be spread out. NASCAR just offers more… action. Anway, one thing I can say about Jenson is that his website is adorable. I love his logo! Someone make me a logo that cool.

The second race of the day was the Indianapolis 500. My hope was behind Marco Andretti and then on the very first lap he got screwed by Mario Moraes. It was at that very moment that I decided I would never ever try to pick someone to win a race ever again. So irritating. My heart broke for Marco. It’s one thing to lose it on the last lap, at least you were still in it, but to go through all of that preparation and not even get a chance really start anything. It’s just tough.

I know that Helio Castroneves’ win was emotional and it meant a lot because of his whole tax evasion aquittal, but it left me kinda cold? I’m happy for the guy, really, but I dunno, I just wanted to see something new. He’d already won the thing twice, give someone else a turn! Ha! That sounded like something you’d hear on an elementary school playground. Anywho, it was cool that Danica Patrick finished third. I think I understand her a little bit better after that pre-race piece ESPN on ABC did on her and her father. I think I understand her motives for keeping her feelings underwraps and trying to not be vulnerable.

A couple things I learned whilst watching the Indy500: 1.) Scott Dixon’s wife is pregnant! 2.) Ryan Hunter-Reay is engaged to marry to Robby Gordon’s sister, Beccy. The fact that I didn’t know either of these things show exactly how much attention I put towards IndyCar wives & girlfriends.

So after the Indy 500 show was over I changed the channel to FOX for NASCAR’s Coca-Cola 600 coverage. Little did I know that I wouldn’t find out who would win this notoriously long race a day later, with only a little over half of the race actually completed. It wasn’t NASCAR’s fault that they couldn’t run the full race, the weather just wasn’t cooperating, but it’s so annoying.

I’m happy for David Reutimann and Michael Waltrip Racing in general that they’ve received they’re first win, but I hate that it had to come under such lame circumstances.

Between yesterday and today I was witness to the world’s longest post-race show that included a stupid talking cartoon gopher (and his friends!) and fake grades for each race team that participates in NASCAR. You know those teams that they gave a C- to really deserved an F. They just wanted to be “nice” so that they could walk through the garage without getting dirty looks.

I couldn’t wait for them to just call the race already, I gave up on seeing a full race the moment they showed Carl Edwards walking around in jeans and a polo.

The only redeeming moment of the day came when Tony Stewart called the bald crew member from Reutimann’s team Billy Bad Butt. That was awesome and oh so very hilarious. I want to know why the guy felt the need to get in the middle of a conversation that Tony was having with David. Why don’t they have a microphone on Tony Stewart at all times?!


Jimmie Johnson, sporting a new haircut, jokes with Hendrick Motorsports teammate Jeff Gordon during practice for the Coca-Cola 600. Each driver has three wins in the historic race. (Photo Credit: Geoff Burke/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Dear Jimmie, What is going on with your hair these days? You have a super fashionable wife, can’t she take you to a proper salon in NYC and get your ‘do done? I mean, c’mon. Go talk to Sally Hershberger, she’s done great things for celebs like John Mayer, Roger Federer and Tom Cruise (to name a few!). She could really hook you up. :) XO – Valli

Jimmie Johnson, sporting a new haircut, jokes with Hendrick Motorsports teammate Jeff Gordon during practice for the Coca-Cola 600. Each driver has three wins in the historic race. (Photo Credit: Geoff Burke/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Team owner Jack Roush inspects spark plugs in the garage during practice for the Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe's Motor Speedway. (Photo Credit: Geoff Burke/Getty Images for NASCAR)

He would.

Team owner Jack Roush inspects spark plugs in the garage during practice for the Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. (Photo Credit: Geoff Burke/Getty Images for NASCAR)

A group of kids enjoy some Domino's pizza while waiting out the rain delay at Lowe's Motor Speedway. (Photo Credit: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Soooo adorable!!! I love this photo.

A group of kids enjoy some Domino’s pizza while waiting out the rain delay at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. (Photo Credit: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Team owner Michael Waltrip and winning crew chief Rodney Childers hug after the Coca-Cola 600 was called and Reutimann was declared the race winner. The win was the first in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series for Michael Waltrip Racing. (Photo Credit: Geoff Burke/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Team owner Michael Waltrip and winning crew chief Rodney Childers hug after the Coca-Cola 600 was called and Reutimann was declared the race winner. The win was the first in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series for Michael Waltrip Racing. (Photo Credit: Geoff Burke/Getty Images for NASCAR)

The Coca-Cola 600 was stopped just short of 3 p.m. ET to observe the National Moment of Remembrance. The cars lined up on the frontstretch and shut down the engines and crew members lined up the length of pit road to honor members of the military. (Photo Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images)

The Coca-Cola 600 was stopped just short of 3 p.m. ET to observe the National Moment of Remembrance. The cars lined up on the frontstretch and shut down the engines and crew members lined up the length of pit road to honor members of the military. (Photo Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images)

Olympic Gold Medalist and Dancing With the Stars winner Shawn Johnson learns how to change a tire before the Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe's Motor Speedway. (Photo Credit: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Olympic Gold Medalist and Dancing With the Stars winner Shawn Johnson learns how to change a tire before the Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. (Photo Credit: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images for NASCAR)

for the record, i voted for gilliland

The NASCAR Sprint Pit Crew Challenge Presented by Craftsman gets under way with the Opening Ceremony Thursday at Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte, N.C. (Photo Credit: John Harrelson/Getty Images for NASCAR)The NASCAR All-Star Race at Lowe’s Motor Speedway is tonight and I am prepared for the occasion because I bought Creamsicles. What does ice cream have to do with the All-Star race you ask? Absolutely nothing. I just like sweet stuff.

I should like AJ Allmendinger more than I do because he’s a local guy, well to me. Both he and Scott Speed grew up here in the Bay Area, and yet I’m not that intrigued by either of them. What’s wrong with me? I’m not saying that I dislike them; I just don’t feel “it” for them yet. I know that probably makes absolutely no sense but I don’t know another way to describe it.

I bring this up because it seems like everybody is voting for AJ to make it into the All-Star Race on the fan vote. I guess we’ll have to wait and see what happens.

Until then, check out these photos from the All-Star week that was:


In the shadows of the Charlotte skyline, NASCAR fans gather for NASCAR Rev'd Up in Uptown Charlotte to kick off NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race week on Wednesday. (Photo Credit: Chris Keane/Getty Images for Sprint)

In the shadows of the Charlotte skyline, NASCAR fans gather for NASCAR Rev’d Up in Uptown Charlotte to kick off NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race week on Wednesday. (Photo Credit: Chris Keane/Getty Images for Sprint)

O.A.R. thanks for the fans for coming out Wednesday in Uptown Charlotte for NASCAR Rev'd Up, kicking off NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race week. (Photo Credit: Chris Keane/Getty Images for Sprint)

O.A.R. thanks for the fans for coming out Wednesday in Uptown Charlotte for NASCAR Rev’d Up, kicking off NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race week. (Photo Credit: Chris Keane/Getty Images for Sprint)

Sprint welcomes NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Casey Mears to the stage Wednesday in Uptown Charlotte at NASCAR Rev'd Up, kicking off NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race week. (Photo Credit: Chris Keane/Getty Images for Sprint)

Sprint welcomes NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Casey Mears to the stage Wednesday in Uptown Charlotte at NASCAR Rev’d Up, kicking off NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race week. (Photo Credit: Chris Keane/Getty Images for Sprint)

Everfine/Atlantic recording group O.A.R. learn how to perform a pit stop from the defending champions of the NASCAR Sprint Pit Crew Challenge Presented by Craftsman, the No. 83 Red Bull Racing Toyota team, on Wednesday at Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte, N.C. (Photo Credit: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Everfine/Atlantic recording group O.A.R. learn how to perform a pit stop from the defending champions of the NASCAR Sprint Pit Crew Challenge Presented by Craftsman, the No. 83 Red Bull Racing Toyota team, on Wednesday at Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte, N.C. (Photo Credit: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images for NASCAR)

(Left to right) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers Brian Vickers and Michael Waltrip celebrate winning the Media Pit Crew Challenge after pushing their car across the finish line Wednesday at Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte, N.C. (Photo Credit: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images for NASCAR)

(Left to right) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers Brian Vickers and Michael Waltrip celebrate winning the Media Pit Crew Challenge after pushing their car across the finish line Wednesday at Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte, N.C. (Photo Credit: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images for NASCAR)

The winning Media Pit Crew Challenge team celebrates its victory on Wednesday at Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte, N.C. (Top, left to right) SPEEDs Rick Allen, FOXs Tony George, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Brian Vickers, SIRIUS NASCAR Radios Claire B. Lang, SPEED's Phil Parsons, Lugnut, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Michael Waltrip and Miss Sprint Cup Monica Palumbo; (Bottom left to right) O.A.R. drummer Chris Culos and SPEEDs Ray Dunlap. (Photo Credit: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images for NASCAR)

The winning Media Pit Crew Challenge team celebrates its victory on Wednesday at Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte, N.C. (Top, left to right) SPEED’s Rick Allen, FOX’s Tony George, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Brian Vickers, SIRIUS NASCAR Radio’s Claire B. Lang, SPEED’s Phil Parsons, Lugnut, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Michael Waltrip and Miss Sprint Cup Monica Palumbo; (Bottom left to right) O.A.R. drummer Chris Culos and SPEED’s Ray Dunlap. (Photo Credit: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Left to right) The No. 31 Richard Childress Racing Caterpillar team defeats the No. 43 Richard Petty Motorsports Air Force team in the NASCAR Sprint Pit Crew Challenge Presented by Craftsman Final Thursday at Time Warner Cable in Charlotte, N.C. (Photo Credit: John Harrelson/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Left to right) The No. 31 Richard Childress Racing Caterpillar team defeats the No. 43 Richard Petty Motorsports Air Force team in the NASCAR Sprint Pit Crew Challenge Presented by Craftsman Final Thursday at Time Warner Cable in Charlotte, N.C. (Photo Credit: John Harrelson/Getty Images for NASCAR)

The No. 31 Richard Childress Racing Caterpillar team, including Jeff Burton's wife, Kim (right), who drove the car, celebrates winning the NASCAR Sprint Pit Crew Challenge Presented by Craftsman Thursday in Charlotte, N.C. at the Time Warner Cable Arena. (Photo Credit: Geoff Burke/Getty Images for NASCAR)

The No. 31 Richard Childress Racing Caterpillar team, including Jeff Burton’s wife, Kim (right), who drove the car, celebrates winning the NASCAR Sprint Pit Crew Challenge Presented by Craftsman Thursday in Charlotte, N.C. at the Time Warner Cable Arena. (Photo Credit: Geoff Burke/Getty Images for NASCAR)

it’s true, having fun can be tiring

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…

lasvegas_saturday_spa– 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)

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 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)

lasvegas_saturday_mtruexjr

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)

how to lose friends and alienate fans

daytona_greenflagThe Brian Vickers/Dale Earnhardt Jr. incident has been and will continue to be well documented by others so I’m not even going to get into it. Well I will say this; I don’t think that Dale intended to spin Brian out. I think it was an accident and I’m not just saying that because I like Dale. I actually like both of them. I just don’t think Dale would do that knowing there’s an entire field of cars behind him that could be involved. He’s always been pretty honest about his on-track exploits so whatevah.

My Daytona highlights:

– FOX NASCAR racing analysts Mike Joy, Larry McReynolds and Darrell Waltrip laugh every time the Digger graphic comes up. I find it funny that they find it so funny.

– All of the NASCAR kids and babies on pit road during the invocation and National Anthem made my entire reproductive system want to explode from their cuteness. How adorable was Macey Waltrip helping her dad get settled into his car?

Julianne Hough was supposed to sing the National Anthem but she came down with the flu and couldn’t travel. In her place they were able to secure singer/songwriter Gavin DeGraw who gave the most pitiful anthem performance ever. I like Gavin DeGraw in general but this was definitely not one of his best performances.

Keith Urban performed a lot on Sunday. He performed acoustically at a press conference for the media (lucky nerds!) and then for everyone else with his full band behind him before the start of the race. Apparently Keith brought his wife, a little known Australian actress named Nicole Kidman, with him. If that doesn’t blow your mind enough Nicole’s ex-husband Tom Cruise was on hand to lead the field to the green flag in the pace car. I guess we should just call it a Days of Thunder reunion party. Side note: I have yet to watch Days of Thunder all the way through, but I have been on the ride at Great America.

Overall the Daytona 500 was a big ol’ anticlimactic mess for me. I mean, Matt Kenseth is cool and all but races that end with a red flag are just no good. It left me feeling gypped and bored with leftover 5-layer dip.

Oh, one more thing, speaking of Mr. Kenseth he’ll be in San Francisco this Wednesday for all of you Bay Area NASCAR fans:

Fans can see the winner of Sunday’s Daytona 500 this Wednesday at Willie Mays Plaza at AT&T Park at 12:30 p.m. during a fan rally and press conference. Matt Kenseth will be on-hand after taking a Victory Tour through the Streets of San Francisco on a motorized cable car. This marks the first time a Daytona 500 winner has visited SF. The day signals the Official Countdown to the Toyota/Save Mart 350 NASCAR race at Infineon Raceway in June.

Photo fun time!


Some might say Jeff Gordon, driver of the No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet, may have had a couple of good luck charms Thursday at NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Gatorade Duel 1. Wife Ingrid Vandebosch and daughter Ella Sophia hang out with the four-time NASCAR champion the grid prior to the race at Daytona International Speedway that he won. (Photo Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Some might say Jeff Gordon, driver of the No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet, may have had a couple of good luck charms Thursday at NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Gatorade Duel 1. Wife Ingrid Vandebosch and daughter Ella Sophia hang out with the four-time NASCAR champion the grid prior to the race at Daytona International Speedway that he won. (Photo Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Three-time Daytona 500 winner Jeff Gordon signs autographs for fans during the final NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practice on Saturday for the Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway. (Photo Credit: Geoff Burke/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Don’t tap on the glass, they hate that. :)

Three-time Daytona 500 winner Jeff Gordon signs autographs for fans during the final NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practice on Saturday for the Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway. (Photo Credit: Geoff Burke/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Country star Keith Urban performs a pre-race concert prior to the Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway. (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Country star Keith Urban performs a pre-race concert prior to the Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway. (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Matt Kenseth celebrates winning the 51st running of the Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway. Kenseth became the 33rd different driver to win

Matt Kenseth celebrates winning the 51st running of the Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway. Kenseth became the 33rd different driver to win “The Great American Race.” (Photo Credit: Geoff Burke/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Steve and Christine Deuker meet NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Ryan Newman (center) on Saturday at Daytona International Speedway. The Deukers honored Newman and their son, who passed away in 2001, by buying a brick from the NASCAR Hall of Fame. (Photo Credit: Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Steve and Christine Deuker meet NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Ryan Newman (center) on Saturday at Daytona International Speedway. The Deukers honored Newman and their son, who passed away in 2001, by buying a brick from the NASCAR Hall of Fame. (Photo Credit: Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Tom Cruise climbs into the pace car for some practice laps around Daytona International Speedway. Cruise led the Daytona 500 to the green flag in the pace car. (Photo Credit: Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Tom Cruise climbs into the pace car for some practice laps around Daytona International Speedway. Cruise led the Daytona 500 to the green flag in the pace car. (Photo Credit: Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Tony Stewart reads a Valentine's Day card before getting into his car for the final NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practice for the Daytona 500 on Saturday at Daytona International Speedway. (Photo Credit: Sam Greenwood/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww.

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Tony Stewart reads a Valentine’s Day card before getting into his car for the final NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practice for the Daytona 500 on Saturday at Daytona International Speedway. (Photo Credit: Sam Greenwood/Getty Images for NASCAR)

the top 5 best nascar commercials of 2008

It’s that time of year again for my list of the best NASCAR-related commercials:

5.) Kasey Kahne Can Dance (Allstate): I can’t help but feel a wee bit embarrassed for Kasey Kahne when I watch this commercial. Not because he can’t dance but just because it’s so funny and such a perfect next step in the Allstate girls’ saga.

4.) Jeff Burton on Teamwork (Holiday Inn): One line sums up how funny this commercial is: “How come you don’t have a mullet?”

3.) Team Tylenol Tackles Your Questions (Tylenol): If I’m being honest Kevin Harvick owns this spot and I love it. I have yet to get tired of his expression after Elliott Sadler looks at him like he’s crazy. Brilliant.

2.) The One With The Talking Bird (Napa): Once again Michael Waltrip is in on the joke regarding his racing performance as of late and makes one of the best commercials of the year with the help of a bird who never forgets.

1.) Taste Infringement (Coke Zero): I love this commercial for a couple reasons, like it has a bunch of drivers in it who all do a good job of acting and the Coke Zero guys have the best zingers, I especially love the one at the end with Tony Stewart. Ah, it’s a classic.

who knew a parking spot could mean so much?

Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California (photo credit: The Fast and the Fabulous)Okay… So here’s the first of several posts on what happened while I was at the Auto Club Speedway for Labor Day Weekend:

On Friday I got to the track and picked up my credentials and I found out that I got two things I’ve never had before. The first was a Victory Lane sticker and the second was a reserved parking spot in the media parking area. This may seem really insignificant but it seriously made my weekend. The parking spot alone was awesomeness. Why? Because it meant that I got to drive in between the driver & VIP bus lot and the garage area and park right next to the Nationwide Series garage, and all of that made my walk to and from the media center super short. It’s the small things people!

I got into the media center and grabbed a copy of the driver media availability schedule. I had to plan my day and the first thing I had to do was find out how the haulers were situated and whose hauler was where. I think it was funny/interesting that Carl Edwards and Kyle Busch were set up right next to each other in the garage after the incident at Bristol the weekend before. It’s not like it really matters seeing as how they’re never really in the garage for that long at any given time, and when they are they’re busy with their teams and their cars. So ya know getting into a fist fight is probably the last thing on their minds even though it would be the greatest thing in the world to see from my perspective. :)

But I digress. There was time before all of the press meet-ups were scheduled so I enjoyed some pastry in the media lounge while listening to Sam Hornish Jr. and Regan Smith talk about being rookies in the Cup Series over the loudspeaker. Because I couldn’t see them or hear the questions that were being asked I got to play a fun game of “Guess Whose Voice That Is” in my head.

After the top two rookies had their press conference there was another press gathering for Michael Waltrip Racing and Affliction Clothing. Affliction sponsored the No. 00 car that was being run that weekend by Mike Skinner. In promotion of this they had a group of Mixed Martial Arts fighters on hand (and a butt load of what I’m assuming were their girlfriends and such) to take photos and talk about the upcoming MMA fights. I got to see Michael Waltrip, who seems to me these days like a gentle giant, well, a gentle giant in designer jeans. I wanted to snap a photo of them but I couldn’t without it being incredibly obvious that I was trying to take a shot of his butt.

Auto Club Speedway implemented a bunch of misting stations in time for the race weekend. It was such a brilliant idea and I’m glad they did it ’cause it made standing around in that insane heat so much more bearable. Actually it was pretty windy too and that helped, although I have a serious tan and sunburn on my back. I remember taking a shower on Monday morning and at the very top of my back, just beneath my neck, it was all sore from sunburn.

The highlight of Friday morning was of course meeting Travis Kvapil and interviewing him in his hauler. I tried to catch Kasey Kahne’s session but it was totally pointless because there were cars in the garage revving their engines and I couldn’t hear anything.

I caught sight of Clint Bowyer sitting outside of his hauler during his specified media time but nobody was crowed around him. I debated going over and talking to him, but of course I didn’t. First, I found it highly odd that someone like him would just be left alone like that with nary a writer in site and I didn’t want to look like a doink asking if I could talk to him only to find out it had been moved to another time or it was earlier or something. Plus after reading a transcript of a press conference he’d had, the one I’d missed apparently, he had some really short answers and he kind of strikes me as someone who’s not that interested in talking. So I don’t regret not going up to him.

For lunch I went to the Panasonic tent in the infield where they were hosting a special BBQ for the gathered media. As soon as I walked in I was greeted with a pink lei placed around my neck and a free USB drive. The place was decked out in what I’m calling “Tiki BBQ Chic” decor. There was a bar in the middle serving soft drinks and water and outside in the back was the aforementioned BBQ. Of course they were promoting Panasonic goods including the largest plasma TV screen in the world. It is 100 inches wide. It was crazy big and of course I would love to have that sucker on my wall. They were showing off a video game on it and I wanted to go and try it but the power went out and I left.

:)


Clint Bowyer hangs out outside of his hauler at the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif. on Friday, August 29, 2008 (photo credit: The Fast and the Fabulous)

Clint Bowyer hangs out outside of his hauler at the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif. on Friday, August 29, 2008 (photo credit: The Fast and the Fabulous)

Kasey Kahne

Kasey Kahne chats with the media at the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif. on Friday, August 29, 2008 (photo credit: The Fast and the Fabulous)

Jeff Gordon's No. 24 Car

That’s me in the reflection!

Jeff Gordon’s No. 24 Chevrolet is rolled out to pit road before a practice session at the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif. on Friday, August 29, 2008 (photo credit: The Fast and the Fabulous)

Travis Kvapil's No. 28 Car

Travis Kvapil’s No. 28 Hitachi “Inspire the Dream” Ford Fusion gets pushed out to pit road before a practice session at the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif. on Friday, August 29, 2008 (photo credit: The Fast and the Fabulous)

Panasonic Tent

The big screen tv inside the Panasonic tent at the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif. on Friday, August 29, 2008 (photo credit: The Fast and the Fabulous)

missing the goo goo dolls

I had fun being on “On Pit Row” yesterday. More fun than I anticipated and I really don’t know what I was worried about my voice. I think I sounded good. I know bringing up Michael Waltrip’s possible divorce might not have been in good taste, but I can’t help the fact that I want to know. And it is a big story, considering the fact that the man proposed to her in victory lane, everybody knows them and she’s listed as the owner of some of his cars. So yea I’m curious. :)

It’s true too that I could care less which team this guy or that guy is going to in a general sense. I feel like it’s all really important when things are said and done, what’s the point of speculating on something that makes no difference to me? There are certain topics that are interesting like Tony Stewart co-owning Haas CNC or just the idea that Teresa Earnhardt would take on partners. Those are definitely conversation starters. But where Ryan Newman is going isn’t something I think about.

The “On Pit Row” experience got me thinking though and I’ve got an idea I want to try out. Once I figure out how to do it I’ll let you know what it is. How’s that for being vague?

In other news…

– I’m sad, deeply sad that I’m not going to Indy this week and not for the reasons that you might think. The Goo Goo Dolls are performing at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Saturday in the infield on Turn 10 of the road course. I looove them. Johnny Rzeznik. *sigh*

– If you’re a lucky person and you’re going to the Allstate 400 at The Brickyard or you just happen to live in the area you can meet Kurt Busch at Scotty’s Brewhouse (located at 3905 East 96th Street in Indianapolis, IN) from 6pm to 7pm on Friday. He’ll be serving Miller Lites of course.

– During the week off, Ryan Newman went to his hometown of South Bend, Indiana where they named a road in his honor. To visit Newman Way you must travel the half-mile stretch of highway near the South Bend Regional Airport.

Casey Mears will participate in a Q&A session with other Chevrolet drivers during Chevrolet’s annual Fan Day at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. He’ll also sign autographs and drive Chevrolet winners around the track in the official Chevy pace car.

– Do you want to question Jimmie Johnson about his season or about his hair (seriously, what’s going on there?)?? Well here’s your chance:

Starting today (Monday, July 21), The Jimmie Johnson Foundation and Richmond International Raceway Cares are auctioning off the opportunity to pose questions to Johnson on The Final Round with McElroy on Sports Radio 910 from 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. EST. Proceeds from the auction will benefit both charitable foundations and the winning donation is tax deductible.

For those who would like to bid on this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, please visit www.sportsradio910.com. The winner will be awarded with a seat next to Johnson, driver of the #48 Chevrolet, where he or she will be able to ask questions. The winner also receives two tickets to the Chevy Rock & Roll 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Richmond International Raceway on Saturday, September 6. The auction closes on Monday, July 28, at 7:00 p.m. EST.


Trevor Hoffman, the all-time saves leader in Major League Baseball, was a guest of Mike Wallace at Saturday night’s race at Gateway International Raceway. Hoffman (far left) and his San Diego Padres teammates were in town for a series against the St. Louis Cardinals. Joining Hoffman on Wallace’s pit box were Chase Headley, Kevin Jarvis and Trevor's son Quinn. (Photo Credit: Padraic Major for NASCAR)

Trevor Hoffman, the all-time saves leader in Major League Baseball, was a guest of Mike Wallace at Saturday night’s race at Gateway International Raceway. Hoffman (far left) and his San Diego Padres teammates were in town for a series against the St. Louis Cardinals. Joining Hoffman on Wallace’s pit box were Chase Headley, Kevin Jarvis and Trevor’s son Quinn. (Photo Credit: Padraic Major for NASCAR)

Landon Cassill (L), a native of Cedar Rapids, Ia., and Carl Edwards, who is from Columbia, Mo., lead fans on a charity track walk Saturday at Gateway. Proceeds from the event went to the American Red Cross and its outreach to Midwest flood victims. (Photo Credit: Padraic Major for NASCAR)

Landon Cassill (L), a native of Cedar Rapids, Ia., and Carl Edwards, who is from Columbia, Mo., lead fans on a charity track walk Saturday at Gateway. Proceeds from the event went to the American Red Cross and its outreach to Midwest flood victims. (Photo Credit: Padraic Major for NASCAR)

if only i knew what he was thinking

Michael McDowell gets ready to roll out for a practice session at Chicagoland Speedway on Friday, July 11, 2008 (photo credit: The Fast and the Fabulous)After the fun ESPN tour I headed into the Sprint Cup garage. I walked down one row and then another and stopped at the stall for the No. 55 NAPA Auto Parts Toyota. I took photos and then noticed Michael Waltrip walking towards me. As he passed by he smiled and said “Hello” to me and the guy taking photos next to me. He got into the car and strapped himself in.

Here’s the thing, I knew that the practice sessions were set to start soon, but I didn’t realize exactly how soon. So here I am walking down the garage right in front of the car stalls stopping at each one to take a photo. I started to see a pattern that all of the drivers seemed to be in their cars with their helmets on all at the same time. It didn’t dawn on me that they were minutes from racing out of the garage and onto the track until I got to the end of the row and noticed that nobody else was as close to the stalls as I was and drivers were looking at me as I took their photos like “What are you doing? Who are you? Don’t you know I’m about to run you over?!” It wasn’t that serious, but it was really, really, eerie.

I mean, really eerie. It’s this extreme calm before the storm. They were all just sitting there waiting for the go ahead. As soon as I caught on that they would be racing out at any moment I decided to walk faster and get to a corner where I could get a good view of the cars as they pulled out and stay well out of everyone’s way.

Once practice was over it was time for the drivers & crew chiefs meeting before the start of the Nationwide Series race. First I must say that I love the way the infield area of Chicagoland is laid out. The media center is smack dab in the center of everything and it’s closed off so the fans, even those with pit passes, are kept well away from it. The Sprint Cup garage is to the left and the Nationwide garage is to the right, and the tent for the drivers meeting was behind it.

So back to the drivers meeting, I went to tent area and stood with the security stationed outside of it to keep the fans at bay. Since it was the Nationwide race after all there weren’t that many people waiting with me, maybe like 3 or 4? If that, I’m not entirely sure but I know it wasn’t anything near all of the people that were there the next day for the Sprint Cup drivers meeting. They had to put up steel barriers for that one. But I digress. So I’m standing there and drivers start to trickle in. I snapped Tony Stewart, Brian Vickers and Matt Kenseth.
Clint Bowyer walks to the Dollar General 300 drivers and crew chiefs meeting at Chicagoland Speedway on Friday, July 11, 2008 (photo credit: The Fast and the Fabulous
And then there was Clint.

Clint Bowyer walks up, all alone and I hold up my camera to take a photo and he looks in my direction. Now, I had no idea if he was actually looking at me or just in my general vicinity. I had no idea what expression he was making and honestly I didn’t want to know. I feel totally fine about taking pictures of people if they’re not looking at me while I’m doing it. Plus he’s seen me directly taking shots of him at Las Vegas and Infineon and now Chicagoland. So I didn’t dare look up from my camera for fear that he might be frowning or something. I don’t know. He went into the tent and that was that.

Later on I looked at the photo in its full size and I cracked up because he is in fact staring straight at me with this weird expression that looks kinda like he’s pissed. But I love this photo. It’s my most favorite photo to date. :) The look on his face is priceless; he’s like “What??” Hmm. Note to self: No more photos of Clint Bowyer, at least for the next race. Or at least not when he’s looking.


Sprint Cup cars roll out to the track for a practice session at Chicagoland Speedway on Friday, July 11, 2008 (photo credit: The Fast and the Fabulous)

Sprint Cup cars roll out to the track for a practice session at Chicagoland Speedway on Friday, July 11, 2008 (photo credit: The Fast and the Fabulous)

Tony Stewart heads into the drivers meeting before the Dollar General 300 at Chicagoland Speedway on Friday, July 11, 2008 (photo credit: The Fast and the Fabulous)

Tony Stewart heads into the drivers meeting before the Dollar General 300 at Chicagoland Speedway on Friday, July 11, 2008 (photo credit: The Fast and the Fabulous)

David Ragan (far left), Carl Edwards and Matt Kenseth leave the drivers meeting before the Dollar General 300 on Friday, July 11, 2008 (photo credit: The Fast and the Fabulous)

David Ragan (far left), Carl Edwards and Matt Kenseth leave the drivers meeting before the Dollar General 300 on Friday, July 11, 2008 (photo credit: The Fast and the Fabulous)

fate is a cruel mistress

Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s car waits to go out on to the track for practice at Infineon Raceway (Photo Credit: The Fast and the Fabulous)The NASCAR experience started on Thursday. I was driving through the city I live in — Concord, California — with a friend of mine on our way to get Starbucks. There were haulers for Juan Pablo Montoya’s team at a Holiday Inn down one street and haulers for Michael Waltrip at the Crown Plaza Hotel down another. It’s really not that interesting but it gave me that extra kick of excitement about this weekend. NASCAR really was coming!

When I got to the track on Friday the temperature was in the 80s. It was definitely warm, hot even but not unbearable. That changed of course as the temps hit 107 at the end of the day when I left. Yes, I left at like 5-o-clock whilst qualifying was still going on but I have very good reasons. For one, I was literally melting, even in the shade. Second, and most important, my camera/video camera’s battery died and I didn’t have my charger with me. And third it was friggin’ hot! Since you have to wear pants in the garage area you’re totally screwed when it’s hot outside. So there I am in jeans so jealous of the fans in the paddock area behind the grandstands ’cause they’re in dresses and shorts.

Ok, so on to the good stuff. The top-12 drivers were available to the media outside of their haulers at various times before and after qualifying practice. There was only ONE driver that I wanted to see the most and that was, of course, Dale Earnhardt Jr. Dale’s media meet-up was scheduled for 2pm, the first one after the practice session. Before the practice session, I went saw Kyle Busch, Jeff Burton, Clint Bowyer, Kasey Kahne, and Kevin Harvick. While watching Clint answer questions I decided to try out my video skills. To be sure, they haven’t changed much from my experiment at the testing sessions last week (as evidenced in my earlier post). Anyway, I taped Kasey, Clint and Kevin, with various levels of pretty good sound.

It amazes me that anyone can hear anyone when those cars are grumbling in the garage. This was the first time I had ever attended one of the top-12 media press sessions before. So I wasn’t sure what to expect. The writers gather around the hauler doors before the scheduled time. It’s obvious that the majority of people know each other, which is incredibly intimidating to me since I’m the newbie. The PR reps are the gatekeepers and they’re not taking any crap from anyone. Kasey Kahne’s rep totally laid the smack down on some photographer who asked if he could get an autograph from him. It’s forbidden for media to ask the drivers for autographs, not to mention stupid. Why would you need an autograph when you’re there? I mean look at where you are!

OK, so picture it… You’re me and your computer is Clint Bowyer. That’s how close I was to him. I could have asked a question but I didn’t. For one, I had nothing prepared and two the questions I would want to ask would have nothing to do with the race this weekend.

Oh! I should say that I was given a cold garage pass. I wasn’t super worried about that, as I’ve found in the past that having a cold pass isn’t the worst thing in the world and I could still access a lot of things. So I wasn’t worried. Well not until practice began and the garage went hot. Dale Jr.’s press conference was the first one after practice ended and I was afraid they wouldn’t turn off the “hot” lights until it was too late.

And that’s exactly what happened. I wasn’t able to get back into the garage until after his session was over. I was so frustrated. I couldn’t believe it, out of all of the drivers, he’s the one I was looking forward to hearing from the most and then I couldn’t get in.

My consolation prize was seeing him walk past me as I sat on the ground outside the media center. He had just excited the men’s bathroom and quickly made his way through the fans that were looking for his signature.

One thing about the media center bathrooms, that is the place to be if you want to catch a driver. Jeff Gordon, Clint Bowyer, Jack Roush and Carl Edwards all made stops at the men’s room and really that’s the only time I have ever wished I was a guy. Haha.


Kyle Busch meets with the media at Infineon Raceway (photo credit: The Fast and the Fabulous)

This photo is kinda eerie ’cause it seems like Kyle Busch is looking right at me, as if to say “What the hell are you doing?” Frrrreeaaaky.

Kasey Kahne speaks with the media at Infineon Raceway (photo credit: The Fast and the Fabulous)

Kasey Kahne speaks with the media at Infineon Raceway (photo credit: The Fast and the Fabulous)

Kasey Kahne's jeans and shoes (photo credit: The Fast and the Fabulous)

I looked down and happened to notice how cool Kasey’s shoes were, so I snapped a photo. I figured the Kasey Kahne fans out there would appreciate this. :)

Kevin Harvick speaks with the media at Infineon Raceway (photo credit: The Fast and the Fabulous)

Kevin Harvick speaks with the media at Infineon Raceway (photo credit: The Fast and the Fabulous)

Clint Bowyer speaks with the media at Infineon Raceway (photo credit: The Fast and the Fabulous)

Clint Bowyer speaks with the media at Infineon Raceway (photo credit: The Fast and the Fabulous)

the all-star race and why i won’t be watching

NASCAR All-Star RaceI still don’t have the SPEED channel and therefore won’t be able to watch the NASCAR All-Star event. Yes, I know it’s shameful and sad but for as many reasons that I have to justify the cost of having the channel I really don’t want to pay all that extra dough to move up to the channel plan I would need just to get one extra channel. I say bring on a la carte pricing!

Anyway, as soon as I move I’ll be sure to get DirecTV and I can avoid using those price gougers at Comcast.

So, yeah no All-Star festivities for me this weekend but I did vote for the drivers I want to see in the All-Star race on Sunday night. The All-Star Fan Vote has been going on since April and you have until this Saturday at 7pm to submit your vote. You can do it online by going to NASCAR.com or by texting the word “NASCAR” to 7777 on your Sprint phone. I highly recommend voting for Travis Kvapil, David Gilliland, Kasey Kahne, Michael Waltrip or J.J. Yeley. Since these guys are amongst the drivers that don’t have a spot locked in, they’ll have to either race their way in from the Sprint Showdown or be voted in by the Fan Vote.

In other All-Star news…

Dale Jarrett will be at Lowe’s Motor Speedway for the last All-Star race of his career. They’re making the occasion extra special by introducing Dale last during driver introductions and instead of sitting in the back of a Toyota Tundra, like the other drivers, to wave to the fans around the track he’ll be driving (finally!) the UPS Big Brown Truck. Sounds like it’ll be a really cool send off.

– The first ever NASCAR Day telethon is set for tomorrow at the Sam Bass Gallery in Concord, North Carolina. Various Sprint Cup drivers including Casey Mears and Brian Vickers will be on hand to field calls for donations. Call 1-888-MAY16TH (1-888-629-1684). SIRIUS Satellite Radio will be broadcasting from the telethon all day starting at 7 a.m. and SPEED will be cutting in and out throughout the day as well.

– On Sunday the rear panel for Carl Edwards’ No. 99 Office Depot Ford will carry a super cool message from the winner of the Harlequin & Office Depot “Say Yes to a Winning Proposal” contest. I’m soooo excited to find out who the lucky couple is and I hope someone produces some kick butt reaction photos of the soon-to-be bride. They’re unveiling the winning proposal tomorrow, so I’ll see what I can see, but be on the lookout for Carl’s car on Saturday.

Tony Stewart and Greg Biffle spent some quality time together this week while helping to build a KaBOOM! playground (in one day!) for Elon Homes for Children in Charlotte. Think they talked about swapping rides next year??


Tony Stewart, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver of the #20 Home Depot Racing car & two-time Series Champion and Greg Biffle, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver of the #16 3M Racing car help build a build a racing-themed playground in just one day at Elon Homes for Children (Photo Credit: CIA for KaBOOM)

Tony Stewart, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver of the #20 Home Depot Racing car & two-time Series Champion and Greg Biffle, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver of the #16 3M Racing car help build a build a racing-themed playground in just one day at Elon Homes for Children (Photo Credit: CIA for KaBOOM)

giving it away: 50 years of the great american race

Daytona 500: 50 Years of the Great American RaceOk, so I’m really excited about this. I was given a copy of the new 2-disc DVD set Daytona 500: 50 Years of the “Great American Race.”

I watched it last night and it gives you some really cool insight into the history, legacy and champions of the Daytona 500, NASCAR’s biggest and most significant race as we all know. The first disc is an interactive experience that allows you to watch this year’s Daytona 500 from the driver’s perspective. It’s pretty trippy to feel like you’re in the car with them. The featured drivers include Kasey Kahne, Tony Stewart, Denny Hamlin, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and of course the race winner Ryan Newman. You get to hear the team radio communications and you also have the option of switching to the broadcast coverage as well.

The second disc gives you a round table discussion (or square table as Michael Waltrip put it) with past Daytona 500 winners like David Pearson, Junior Johnson and Mario Andretti to name a few. The conversation is great and full of little interesting anecdotes, plus great footage from the archives of the race’s history. Oh and I just want to say that it’s pretty uncanny how much IndyCar driver Marco Andretti looks like his grandfather Mario when he was in his twenties. But I digress. The second disc also features some interviews with drivers from today including Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson and Kevin Harvick.

I highly recommend this DVD set to anyone that is a serious NASCAR fan. It’s a cool way to experience the race all over again. This DVD set is available for purchase online and you can also win a copy of the set from me! I was given an extra copy to give away to one of my awesome readers! Click here to enter the contest. The contest is over! Thanks!

The 50th running of the Daytona 500 is one of NASCAR®’s most unforgettable and highly-anticipated milestone events. Already the most prestigious race in motorsports, this landmark running is sure to be remembered and cherished by millions of race fans. On April 15, join A&E Home Video and NASCAR® Collections to celebrate the golden anniversary of “The Great American Race™” with DAYTONA 500: THE 50TH ANNIVERSARY, a highly-collectible 2-DVD set that puts fans in the driver’s seat like never before! Available just weeks after the 50th Daytona® 500 (February 17), this is THE official NASCAR® collectible of this historic race.

As part of DAYTONA® 500: THE 50TH ANNIVERSARY, the 2008 Daytona 500 will be presented in the ground-breaking “My Race” Interactive DVD format. This innovative user experience allows fans to choose the view of the race from six different driver perspectives plus the main broadcast feed, along with driver and announcer audio feeds — putting them right in the middle of the action. The second disc features the great stories and heroes that have defined the Daytona 500 through two exclusive NASCAR® programs: “A Sports Century” features a dynamic roundtable discussion of the moments and personalities that defined Daytona with a host and panel of NASCAR® experts including Richard Petty and Jeff Gordon, while “The Top 50 Daytona® 500 Moments” is the definitive telling of the story of NASCAR®’s Greatest single greatest event. Additional DVD extras include official NASCAR® PC wallpapers and time-lapse screensavers.

With a history of legend-defining and myth-making spectaculars, the Daytona® 500 winners circle has embraced NASCAR® heroes including: Richard Petty, Mario Andretti, Jeff Gordon, and Dale Earnhardt Senior and Junior. And DAYTONA® 500: THE 50TH ANNIVERSARY, an unprecedented and revolutionary DVD release, only adds to the legend of NASCAR®’s biggest race of the year.

mistakes are not hot

Michael Waltrip Pit BoardSo it is Michael Waltrip Racing that came into possession of the missing sway bar from Roush Fenway Racing.

Great.

Michael Waltrip is saying the whole thing was a “mistake” but I don’t think it really matters. A mistake or not, this makes you and your team look bad. If it really was a mistake it’s unfortunate, especially after what happened last year with the jet fuel debacle. I can’t wait to hear what Darrell Waltrip is going to say about all of this during tomorrow’s Cup race coverage.

I truly like Mikey and I want his teams to do well, but this just makes it harder — not impossible — but harder. When you like a driver you don’t want there to be any reason for anyone to be able to say something negative about them or to harbor doubts about their team’s character.

intellectual espionage could be really hot if ya know what i mean

So I was listening to my Sirius Satellite radio this morning and I had it tuned to the NASCAR channel. They kept talking about how they had an exclusive story that was breaking and of course I was like “What the hell is it already???!!” Turns out it was just the Jack Roush vs. Toyota saga that’s been going on for some weeks now. After reading an old article online it doesn’t seem like much new has happened except that Roush is complaining about it louder today?? No, actually more details came out today about the piece that was stolen, how he found out about it and how he got it back.

Apparently Toyota stole a sway bar and Roush is calling it “intellectual espionage.” That sounds kinda sexy actually. They should make that into a movie starring Carl Edwards as Agent Double 9. I could totally see him seducing women (even though that has nothing to do with the story) and then fighting those evil sway bar stealers from Toyota.

You’d think if Roush was really mad about this he would just say which team it was. I seriously hope it’s not Michael Waltrip Racing. Please, oh please, don’t let it be them, they totally don’t need that hanging over their teams. Not after last year, eek.

In other news…

Chrissy Wallace, daughter of Mike, prepares to practice for the Kroger 250 at Martinsville Speedway. Wallace is expected to make her NASCAR national series debut on Saturday. (Photo Credit: John Harrelson/Getty Images for NASCAR)Chrissy Wallace, the 19-year-old daughter of Mike Wallace, is attempting to qualify for the Kroger 250 at Martinsville that’s set for tomorrow. If she makes it in she’ll be the 9th woman to ever compete in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. Her dad will serve as her spotter if she makes it in the field:

“Obviously, this is a big opportunity for me. I have to thank the Germains, Mike Hillman and Toyota for putting this deal together,” she said. “Our goal is to go out there and run a smart race and finish.”

Her father is happy to be going along for the ride.

“When I got the call from Chrissy after the test, It was very nice. She just wanted to tell me ‘thank you,’” said Wallace. “She said everything I told her on the radio made her run faster and she said she realized I really did know what I was talking about.

“She asked me to spot for her. I don’t even need to say it, I’m sure, but yes, I’m very proud.”

Go Chrissy!

(photo credit: John Harrelson/Getty Images for NASCAR)