All posts tagged Paul Menard

28 Posts
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superfun fontana photo extra & a catch-up

Clearly I have missed some races. I watched all of them just haven’t written about them yet. I didn’t go to Fontana yet again which really hurt my heart but I just couldn’t swing it this year.

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the new chase format means the networks have to create a lot of spiffy new graphics

I mean, A LOT of graphics! I think the theme of the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season will be ‘Explanation.’ Everybody is going to be explaining how the new qualifying system will work and how the new Chase format will work, so get ready for a bunch of segments dissecting the new formats and whether or not Jimmie Johnson will be able to adapt to them.

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if there had been a fist fight, richmond would have been a complete race

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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logano has funo at michigano

Yea, I don’t know. I’m just going with it. :)

Congratulations to Joey Logano and the No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil team on their win at Michigan this weekend.

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sonoma sunday: the best photos i’ve ever taken of addington, gustafson and logano

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.

paul menard got married

And he didn’t tell anyone.

UPDATE: Paul Menard married his longtime girlfriend, Jennifer Roster, on November 30, 2012. More details here.

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fight, fight, fight! jeff gordon won’t back down, neither will clint bowyer’s crew

I don’t know if you heard but there was a little incident at Phoenix International Raceway yesterday. It was so small that it caused #NASCAR to be a trend nationally on Twitter and for The Today Show to mention it this morning. Just a bunch of dudes getting in to a fist fight in the garage that’s all.

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fontana: it never rains in southern california, until it does

I woke up early Sunday morning to clear skies and no rain. When rain is a possibility during a race weekend I’ve taken the stance of not talking about it. At least not in the negative. You don’t know for sure what the weather is going to do, so why stand on negative side of the fence and go on an on about how it’s going to rain and we’re not going to get the race in, blah, blah, blah. I’d just rather not and deal with what’s actually happening.

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kasey kahne wins the 2012 hottest nascar driver tournament

Over 3,600 votes were cast in the final round of the 2012 Hottest NASCAR Driver Tournament. Kasey Kahne defeated Paul Menard for the title! With 99% of the vote going to Kasey it’s clear that you guys are all aboard Team Kahne. :)

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2012 hotttest nascar driver tournament: the finals

Over 4,400 votes were cast in Round 4 and now we’re ready to reveal the two drivers that have made it to the Finals of the 2012 Hottest NASCAR Driver Tournament. Kasey Kahne faces Paul Menard for the title! Who is it going to be?!

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2012 hottest nascar driver tournament: round four

Over 4,700 votes (whoa! that’s a record!) were cast in Round 3 and now we’re ready to reveal the four drivers that have made it in to Round 4 of the 2012 Hottest NASCAR Driver Tournament. It’s getting good now!

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2012 hottest nascar driver tournament: round three

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.

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2012 hottest nascar driver tournament: round two

Over 600 votes were cast and now we’re ready to reveal the drivers that have made it in to Round Two of the 2012 Hottest NASCAR Driver Tournament. Brian Vickers & Jeff Gordon were randomly seeded in to Round Two when the brackets were created, so that’s why they’re in. One of the closest results from the first round were between Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Jeff Burton. Burton snuck past Dale Jr by just 2%. David Gilliland did the same thing in getting past Juan Pablo Montoya.

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2012 hottest nascar driver tournament: round one

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.

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keselowski wins with one good ankle

Jimmie Johnson, driver of the No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet, at the Aug. 7 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event at Pocono Raceway. (Courtesy of Hendrick Motorsports)How much did you LOVE the racing between Jimmie Johnson and Kurt Busch? And how much did you ADORE their post-race face-to-face (with respectful distance) argument? Probably not as much as me! It was brilliant and just added to an already excellent race finish. Why don’t they turn up the mics and let them hover close to those guys when they’re arguing like that? I know there’s potential for foul language, but can’t they just risk it? I was straining to try and hear something. :)

Congratulations to Brad Keselowski! Maybe everybody should get injured more often? I mean, he won the race with one properly working ankle and Denny Hamlin won races after his knee issues. Crazy, but very cool.

Did you see Carl Edwards‘ finish line crash with Ricky Stenhouse in Iowa during the Nationwide Series race? More craziness. Never seen anything like that before, but it seemed like a fitting end to a race that saw those two getting into each other and Ricky didn’t appreciate it at all. The two had history from ORP last week and now this new wrinkle. During the post-race coverage they showed Carl talking to Ricky’s crew chief, Mike Kelly. You could clearly hear Mike say to Carl “Well, you tell him that. He thinks you hate him.” Finally some actual truthful feelings. Whenever the guys talk on camera you don’t always feel like you’re getting to true thoughts, and this time we got some via Ricky’s crew chief.

Michael Annett, driver of the No. 62 Northland Motor Oils Toyota signs autographs for young fans during qualifying for the NASCAR Nationwide Series U.S. Cellular 250 at Iowa Speedway on Aug. 6 in Newton, Iowa. (Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Michael Annett, driver of the No. 62 Northland Motor Oils Toyota signs autographs for young fans during qualifying for the NASCAR Nationwide Series U.S. Cellular 250 at Iowa Speedway on Aug. 6 in Newton, Iowa. (Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Jason Leffler (right), driver of the No. 38 Great Clips Toyota, speaks with crew chief Eddie Pardue (left) in the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Nationwide Series U.S. Cellular 250 at Iowa Speedway on Aug. 5 in Newton, Iowa. (Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Jason Leffler (right), driver of the No. 38 Great Clips Toyota, speaks with crew chief Eddie Pardue (left) in the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Nationwide Series U.S. Cellular 250 at Iowa Speedway on Aug. 5 in Newton, Iowa. (Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Ricky Stenhouse Jr., driver of the No. 6 RickyvsTrevor.com Ford crosses the finish line to win, ahead of Carl Edwards, driver of the No. 60 Fastenal Ford, after colliding on the final lap during the NASCAR Nationwide Series U.S. Cellular 250 at Iowa Speedway on Aug. 6 in Newton, Iowa. (Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Ricky Stenhouse Jr., driver of the No. 6 RickyvsTrevor.com Ford crosses the finish line to win, ahead of Carl Edwards, driver of the No. 60 Fastenal Ford, after colliding on the final lap during the NASCAR Nationwide Series U.S. Cellular 250 at Iowa Speedway on Aug. 6 in Newton, Iowa. (Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (center), driver of the No. 6 RickyvsTrevor.com Ford, celebrates with crew members in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series U.S. Cellular 250 at Iowa Speedway on Aug. 6 in Newton, Iowa. (Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (center), driver of the No. 6 RickyvsTrevor.com Ford, celebrates with crew members in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series U.S. Cellular 250 at Iowa Speedway on Aug. 6 in Newton, Iowa. (Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Paul Menard, driver of the No. 27 CertainTeed/Menards Chevrolet, signs autographs during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Good Sam RV Insurance 500 at Pocono Raceway on Aug. 5 in Long Pond, Pa. Menard won the Brickyard 400 a week ago at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. (Credit: Geoff Burke/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Paul Menard, driver of the No. 27 CertainTeed/Menards Chevrolet, signs autographs during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Good Sam RV Insurance 500 at Pocono Raceway on Aug. 5 in Long Pond, Pa. Menard won the Brickyard 400 a week ago at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. (Credit: Geoff Burke/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 29 Budweiser Chevrolet, looks under his car during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Good Sam RV Insurance 500 at Pocono Raceway on Aug. 5 in Long Pond, Pa. (Credit: Nick Laham/Getty Images)

Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 29 Budweiser Chevrolet, looks under his car during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Good Sam RV Insurance 500 at Pocono Raceway on Aug. 5 in Long Pond, Pa. (Credit: Nick Laham/Getty Images)

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series five time champion Jimmie Johnson poses with NHL Washington Capitals defenseman Josh Erskine in the No. 48 hauler during pre-race for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Good Sam RV Insurance 500 at Pocono Raceway on Aug. 7 in Long Pond, Pa. (Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images for NASCAR)

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series five time champion Jimmie Johnson poses with NHL Washington Capitals defenseman Josh Erskine in the No. 48 hauler during pre-race for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Good Sam RV Insurance 500 at Pocono Raceway on Aug. 7 in Long Pond, Pa. (Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Singer Lance Bass, member of the boy band NSYNC, stands by the Sprint Summer Showdown car during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Good Sam RV Insurance 500 at Pocono Raceway on Aug. 7 in Long Pond, Pa. (Credit: Geoff Burke/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Singer Lance Bass, member of the boy band NSYNC, stands by the Sprint Summer Showdown car during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Good Sam RV Insurance 500 at Pocono Raceway on Aug. 7 in Long Pond, Pa. (Credit: Geoff Burke/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Brad Keselowski, driver of the No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Good Sam RV Insurance 500 at Pocono Raceway on Aug. 7 in Long Pond, Pa. (Credit: Geoff Burke/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Brad Keselowski, driver of the No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Good Sam RV Insurance 500 at Pocono Raceway on Aug. 7 in Long Pond, Pa. (Credit: Geoff Burke/Getty Images for NASCAR)


NOTES:

– Take the 2011 ‘Fabulous’ Reader Survey and enter for your chance to win an awesome Goo Gone prize package. Contest & survey ends on August 10th, 2011. More info

– Help me raise money for My NASCAR Year 2012. More info

Paul Menard, driver of the No. 27 NIBCO/Menards Chevrolet, celebrates on the bricks after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 31 in Indianapolis, Ind. (Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

brick kissing in the usa: menard loses his victory virginity

Paul Menard, driver of the #27 NIBCO/Menards Chevrolet, poses as he kisses the bricks after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 31, 2011 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images for NASCAR) photoCongratulations to Paul Menard and the No. 27 NIBCO/Menards Chevy team! This season has definitely been the year of the first-time winner and I couldn’t love it more. My favorite part is waiting for the Victory Lane interview and hoping the guy cries. Well Paul didn’t cry but he ALMOST did! Tears or no tears, it was really cool to see a guy win something that clearly meant a lot to him and his family.

I have to thank ‘Fabulous’ reader Tara for sending me this screen capture of a Twitter convo between two spotters talking about Paul Menard’s girlfriend, Jen. Start at the bottom.


Twitter conversation

Funny stuff… :)

P.S. – Can Rascal Flatts sing the National Anthem at every NASCAR race, puhleze? :) Love them.

Trevor Bayne (left), driver of the No. 21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Tire & Auto Center Ford, signs autographs for fans before practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 29 in Indianapolis, Ind. (Credit: John Harrelson/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Trevor Bayne (left), driver of the No. 21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Tire & Auto Center Ford, signs autographs for fans before practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 29 in Indianapolis, Ind. (Credit: John Harrelson/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Kurt Busch (left), driver of the No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Dodge, talks with his brother, Kyle Busch (right), driver of the No. 18 M&M's Toyota, during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 29 in Indianapolis, Ind. (Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Kurt Busch (left), driver of the No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Dodge, talks with his brother, Kyle Busch (right), driver of the No. 18 M&M's Toyota, during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 29 in Indianapolis, Ind. (Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Ryan Newman, driver of the No. 39 Haas Automation Chevrolet, inspects his helmet during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 29 in Indianapolis, Ind. (Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Ryan Newman, driver of the No. 39 Haas Automation Chevrolet, inspects his helmet during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 29 in Indianapolis, Ind. (Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR)

The starting lineup of drivers pose with the staff from Lucas Oil Raceway during pre-race activities for the NASCAR Nationwide Series Kroger 200 at Lucas Oil Raceway on July 30 in Indianapolis, Ind. (Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)

The starting lineup of drivers pose with the staff from Lucas Oil Raceway during pre-race activities for the NASCAR Nationwide Series Kroger 200 at Lucas Oil Raceway on July 30 in Indianapolis, Ind. (Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)

A view from inside the largest 2011 NASCAR Sprint Sup Series autograph session at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 30 in Indianapolis, Ind. (Credit: Getty Images for NASCAR)

A view from inside the largest 2011 NASCAR Sprint Sup Series autograph session at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 30 in Indianapolis, Ind. (Credit: Getty Images for NASCAR)

Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the No. 88 AMP Energy/National Guard Chevrolet, signs an autograph for a race fan at the largest 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series autograph session held at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 30 in Indianapolis, Ind. (Credit: Getty Images for NASCAR)

Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the No. 88 AMP Energy/National Guard Chevrolet, signs an autograph for a race fan at the largest 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series autograph session held at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 30 in Indianapolis, Ind. (Credit: Getty Images for NASCAR)

Above: This melts my heart. That kid had to be losing it (keeping it all inside of course)! :)

Below: Watch those hands Kasey!!! :)

Kasey Kahne, driver of the No. 4 Red Bull Toyota, signs an autograph for a race fan at the largest 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series autograph session held at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 30 in Indianapolis, Ind. (Credit: Getty Images for NASCAR)

Kasey Kahne, driver of the No. 4 Red Bull Toyota, signs an autograph for a race fan at the largest 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series autograph session held at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 30 in Indianapolis, Ind. (Credit: Getty Images for NASCAR)

Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 29 Budweiser Chevrolet autographs a tire for a race fan at the largest 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series autograph session held at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 30 in Indianapolis, Ind. (Credit: Getty Images for NASCAR)

Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 29 Budweiser Chevrolet autographs a tire for a race fan at the largest 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series autograph session held at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 30 in Indianapolis, Ind. (Credit: Getty Images for NASCAR)

Kasey Kahne (right), driver of the No. 4 Red Bull Toyota, poses with American soccer goalkeeper Hope Solo (left) prior to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 31 in Indianapolis, Ind. (Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Kasey Kahne (right), driver of the No. 4 Red Bull Toyota, poses with American soccer goalkeeper Hope Solo (left) prior to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 31 in Indianapolis, Ind. (Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Singer Reba McEntire performs on stage prior to the start of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 31 in Indianapolis, Ind. (Credit: Geoff Burke/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Singer Reba McEntire performs on stage prior to the start of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 31 in Indianapolis, Ind. (Credit: Geoff Burke/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Joe Don Rooney (left), Gary LeVox (middle) and Jay DeMarcus (right) of Rascal Flatts perform prior to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 31 in Indianapolis, Ind. (Credit: Geoff Burke/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Joe Don Rooney (left), Gary LeVox (middle) and Jay DeMarcus (right) of Rascal Flatts perform prior to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 31 in Indianapolis, Ind. (Credit: Geoff Burke/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Paul Menard, driver of the No. 27 NIBCO/Menards Chevrolet, celebrates on the bricks after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 31 in Indianapolis, Ind. (Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Paul Menard, driver of the No. 27 NIBCO/Menards Chevrolet, celebrates on the bricks after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 31 in Indianapolis, Ind. (Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images)


NOTES:

– Take the 2011 ‘Fabulous’ Reader Survey and enter for your chance to win an awesome Goo Gone prize package. Contest & survey ends on August 10th, 2011. More info

– Help me raise money for My NASCAR Year 2012. More info

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why kyle busch put his wedding on tv, keselowski’s ‘recovery’ program

Friday morning in Las Vegas started with me arriving at the track just in time to interview J.J. Yeley at his hauler. But I found out that he had been asked to drive the No. 27 car for Baker Curb Racing in the Nationwide Series race. So he was participating in their practice session and wouldn’t be available till later in the day (We did end up connecting later in the day and I got some great answers from him).

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sprint media tour: i missed out on swag, damnit

I’m sad I missed the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Media Tour in Charlotte this week. But, if I’m being honest, it’s only because I just read this article about all the swag the media received, that I missed out on. There were cupcakes and cookies and wine!

Anyway, here are photos from the week. It’s one of my favorite things to post photos of the teams wearing those annoying long sleeve shirts. I don’t know why I hate them so much but they just look wrong. I say this every year and no one listens to me.

It’s just like bridesmaid dresses: it’s really hard to pick on dress type that works on every body type. Which is why brides have started letting their maids pick a fit that suits them individually and then just going with the same color and/or print for the group. I think NASCAR teams should adopt this same principle. Some teams have, but definitely not the majority.

:)


NASCAR Nationwide Series driver Elliott Sadler, (second from left) speaks with the media, as drivers (left to right) Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Jason Leffler, and Aric Almirola look on, during the NASCAR Sprint Media Tour hosted by Charlotte Motor Speedway, held at Hilton University on Tuesday in Charlotte, N.C.(Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)
NASCAR Nationwide Series driver Elliott Sadler, (second from left) speaks with the media, as drivers (left to right) Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Jason Leffler, and Aric Almirola look on, during the NASCAR Sprint Media Tour hosted by Charlotte Motor Speedway, held at Hilton University on Tuesday in Charlotte, N.C.(Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Michael Waltrip's familiar No. 15 NAPA car is on display during the NASCAR Sprint Media Tour hosted by Charlotte Motor Speedway, held at Hilton University on Tuesday in Charlotte, N.C. (Credit: Harold Hinson/HHP)
Michael Waltrip’s familiar No. 15 NAPA car is on display during the NASCAR Sprint Media Tour hosted by Charlotte Motor Speedway, held at Hilton University on Tuesday in Charlotte, N.C. (Credit: Harold Hinson/HHP)

(Left to right) Bobby Hutchens, director of competition for Stewart-Haas Racing; Tony Gibson, crew chief of the No. 39 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series car; Ryan Newman, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver; Tony Stewart, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series owner and driver; and Darian Grubb, crew chief of the No. 14 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series car, pose for a picture during the 2011 Sprint Cup Media Tour hosted by Charlotte Motor Speedway on Monday at Stewart-Haas Racing in Kannapolis, N.C. (Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)

(Left to right) Bobby Hutchens, director of competition for Stewart-Haas Racing; Tony Gibson, crew chief of the No. 39 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series car; Ryan Newman, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver; Tony Stewart, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series owner and driver; and Darian Grubb, crew chief of the No. 14 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series car, pose for a picture during the 2011 Sprint Cup Media Tour hosted by Charlotte Motor Speedway on Monday at Stewart-Haas Racing in Kannapolis, N.C. (Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Regan Smith stands in front of his No. 78 Furniture Row ride during the Sprint Media Tour hosted byCharlotte Motor Speedway on Wednesday in Charlotte, N.C. (Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Regan Smith stands in front of his No. 78 Furniture Row ride during the Sprint Media Tour hosted byCharlotte Motor Speedway on Wednesday in Charlotte, N.C. (Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)

(Center) NASCAR Hall of Famer Richard Petty stands between his two NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers AJ Allmendinger (left) and the newest addition to Richard Petty Motorsports Marcos Ambrose during the Sprint Media Tour hosted byCharlotte Motor Speedway on Wednesday in Charlotte, N.C. (Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)
(center) NASCAR Hall of Famer Richard Petty stands between his two NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers AJ Allmendinger (left) and the newest addition to Richard Petty Motorsports Marcos Ambrose during the Sprint Media Tour hosted byCharlotte Motor Speedway on Wednesday in Charlotte, N.C. (Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Team owner Jack Roush (center) poses with drivers (left to right) Carl Edwards, Matt Kenseth, Greg Biffle and David Ragan, during the NASCAR Sprint Media Tour hosted by Charlotte Motor Speedway, held at the Roush-Fenway hanger of Concord Regional Airport, on Thursday in Concord, N.C. (Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Team owner Jack Roush (center) poses with drivers (left to right) Carl Edwards, Matt Kenseth, Greg Biffle and David Ragan, during the NASCAR Sprint Media Tour hosted by Charlotte Motor Speedway, held at the Roush-Fenway hanger of Concord Regional Airport, on Thursday in Concord, N.C. (Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)

(Left to right) Brian Vickers, driver of the No. 83 Red Bull Toyota, speaks with Kasey Kahne, driver of the No. 4 Red Bull Toyota, during the NASCAR Sprint Media Tour hosted by Charlotte Motor Speedway, held at Hilton University on Tuesday in Charlotte, N.C.(Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)
(Left to right) Brian Vickers, driver of the No. 83 Red Bull Toyota, speaks with Kasey Kahne, driver of the No. 4 Red Bull Toyota, during the NASCAR Sprint Media Tour hosted by Charlotte Motor Speedway, held at Hilton University on Tuesday in Charlotte, N.C.(Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)

(Left to right) Richard Childress, team owner; Clint Bowyer, driver of the No. 33 Cheerios Chevrolet; Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 29 Budweiser Chevrolet; Jeff Burton, driver of the No. 22 Caterpillar Chevrolet, and Paul Menard, driver of the No. 27 Menard's Chevrolet, pose for the media during the NASCAR Sprint Media Tour hosted by Charlotte Motor Speedway, held at Richard Childress Racing on Tuesday in Welcome, N.C.(Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)
(Left to right) Richard Childress, team owner; Clint Bowyer, driver of the No. 33 Cheerios Chevrolet; Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 29 Budweiser Chevrolet; Jeff Burton, driver of the No. 22 Caterpillar Chevrolet, and Paul Menard, driver of the No. 27 Menard’s Chevrolet, pose for the media during the NASCAR Sprint Media Tour hosted by Charlotte Motor Speedway, held at Richard Childress Racing on Tuesday in Welcome, N.C.(Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)

(Left to right) Five-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson, four-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Jeff Gordon, owner Rick Hendrick and NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers Mark Martin and Dale Earnhardt Jr. pose for a team picture Wednesday at Hendrick Motorsports Media Day during the Sprint Media Tour hosted by Charlotte Motor Speedway.(Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)
(Left to right) Five-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson, four-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Jeff Gordon, owner Rick Hendrick and NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers Mark Martin and Dale Earnhardt Jr. pose for a team picture Wednesday at Hendrick Motorsports Media Day during the Sprint Media Tour hosted by Charlotte Motor Speedway.(Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)

(Left to right) Sam Hornish Jr., driver of the No. 12 Alliance Truck Parts Dodge in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, speaks to the media as NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teammates Brad Keselowski, driver of the No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge, and Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Dodge, look on during the NASCAR Sprint Media Tour hosted by Charlotte Motor Speedway, held at Penske Racing on Monday in Mooresville, N.C.(Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)
(Left to right) Sam Hornish Jr., driver of the No. 12 Alliance Truck Parts Dodge in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, speaks to the media as NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teammates Brad Keselowski, driver of the No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge, and Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Dodge, look on during the NASCAR Sprint Media Tour hosted by Charlotte Motor Speedway, held at Penske Racing on Monday in Mooresville, N.C.(Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Team owner Joe Gibbs (third from right) poses with J.D. Gibbs (third from left), Joe Gibbs Racing President, Joey Logano (left), driver of the No. 20 Home Depot Toyota, Kyle Busch (second from left), driver of the No. 18 M&M's Toyota, Denny Hamlin (second from right), driver of the No. FedEx Toyota, and NASCAR Nationwide Series driver Brian Scott (right), during the NASCAR Sprint Media Tour hosted by Charlotte Motor Speedway, held at Joe Gibbs Racing, on Thursday in Huntersville, N.C. (Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Team owner Joe Gibbs (third from right) poses with J.D. Gibbs (third from left), Joe Gibbs Racing President, Joey Logano (left), driver of the No. 20 Home Depot Toyota, Kyle Busch (second from left), driver of the No. 18 M&M’s Toyota, Denny Hamlin (second from right), driver of the No. FedEx Toyota, and NASCAR Nationwide Series driver Brian Scott (right), during the NASCAR Sprint Media Tour hosted by Charlotte Motor Speedway, held at Joe Gibbs Racing, on Thursday in Huntersville, N.C. (Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Team owner Joe Gibbs (center) speaks about the 20th anniversary of Joe Gibbs Racing, as (left to right) JGR President J.D. Gibbs, former JGR drivers Tony Stewart and Bobby Labonte, JGR senior vice president of racing operations Jimmy Makar and Interstate Batteries CEO Norm Miller look on during the NASCAR Sprint Media Tour hosted by Charlotte Motor Speedway, held at Joe Gibbs Racing, on Thursday in Huntersville, N.C. (Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)

J.D. Gibbs, president of JGR, on hiring Tony Stewart: “For 1997, we wanted to form a second team. We asked all the guys to write down the name of the driver they wanted the most and put it in a hat. There was one name on every piece of paper. That was Tony Stewart.”

Team owner Joe Gibbs (center) speaks about the 20th anniversary of Joe Gibbs Racing, as (left to right) JGR President J.D. Gibbs, former JGR drivers Tony Stewart and Bobby Labonte, JGR senior vice president of racing operations Jimmy Makar and Interstate Batteries CEO Norm Miller look on during the NASCAR Sprint Media Tour hosted by Charlotte Motor Speedway, held at Joe Gibbs Racing, on Thursday in Huntersville, N.C. (Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)

The No. 21 Motorcraft Ford proudly displays the new American Ethanol sponsorship around the fuel hole during the NASCAR Sprint Media Tour hosted by Charlotte Motor Speedway, held at the Roush-Fenway hanger of Concord Regional Airport, on Thursday in Concord, N.C. (Credit: Harold Hinson/HHP)
The No. 21 Motorcraft Ford proudly displays the new American Ethanol sponsorship around the fuel hole during the NASCAR Sprint Media Tour hosted by Charlotte Motor Speedway, held at the Roush-Fenway hanger of Concord Regional Airport, on Thursday in Concord, N.C. (Credit: Harold Hinson/HHP)

(Left to right) Juan Pablo Montoya, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver, team owners Chip Ganassi and Felix Sabates and Jamie McMurray, defending Daytona 500 champion, pose for a picture during the Earnhardt Ganassi Racing stop on the 2011 Sprint Media Tour hosted by Charlotte Motor Speedway on Monday at the Hilton Charlotte University Place in Charlotte, N.C.(Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)
(Left to right) Juan Pablo Montoya, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver, team owners Chip Ganassi and Felix Sabates and Jamie McMurray, defending Daytona 500 champion, pose for a picture during the Earnhardt Ganassi Racing stop on the 2011 Sprint Media Tour hosted by Charlotte Motor Speedway on Monday at the Hilton Charlotte University Place in Charlotte, N.C.(Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)

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2011 hottest driver tournament: round three

Hottest Driver LogoI’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).

2011 Hottest Driver Tournament Brackets - Round Three

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
Jamie McMurray Versus Joey Logano
Clint Bowyer Travis Kvapil
Clint Bowyer Versus Travis Kvapil
Ryan Newman Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Ryan Newman Versus Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Tony Stewart Kasey Kahne
Tony Stewart Versus Kasey Kahne
Casey Mears Elliott Sadler
Casey Mears Versus Elliott Sadler
Martin Truex Jr. Jeff Gordon
Martin Truex Jr. Versus Jeff Gordon
Paul Menard Matt Kenseth
Paul Menard Versus Matt Kenseth
Regan Smith Denny Hamlin
Regan Smith Versus Denny Hamlin


Voting for Round Three is over! Check out Round Four!

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2011 hottest driver tournament: round two

Hottest Driver LogoIt’s time for Round Two! But first let’s find out what happened in Round One.

Kyle Busch (68%) defeated Jeff Burton (32%)
Juan Pablo Montoya (62%) defeated Brian Vickers (38%)
Tony Stewart (97%) defeated David Reutimann (3%)
Paul Menard (71%) defeated Jimmie Johnson (29%)
Casey Mears (73%) defeated David Ragan (27%)
Regan Smith (86%) defeated Kevin Conway (14%)

This updates the brackets, which you can see below (click it to see it larger).

2011 Hottest Driver Tournament Brackets - Round Two

And now, I think this is when things are going to get even MORE interesting. Round Two is the largest group, it’ll be fun to see who makes it into Round Three. I was going to let Round Two last for two weeks but I have decided to run it for just a week. Votes poured in for Round One and I can only expect it to get crazier for this one, so I’m trying to contain it. Plus I’m highly impatient and two weeks sound like forever to find out the results.

So let’s get to it! Here are the match-ups for Round Two! You can vote as many times as you want each day until voting ends on Saturday, January 15th.

UPDATE: Round Two voting has ended. Stay tuned for the results and Round Three!

Jamie McMurray Kyle Busch
Jamie McMurray Versus Kyle Busch
David Gilliland Joey Logano
David Gilliland Versus Joey Logano
Clint Bowyer Bobby Labonte
Clint Bowyer Versus Bobby Labonte
Kurt Busch Travis Kvapil
Kurt Busch Versus Travis Kvapil
Ryan Newman Juan Pablo Montoya
Ryan Newman Versus Juan Pablo Montoya
Dale Earnhardt Jr. Scott Speed
Dale Earnhardt Jr. Versus Scott Speed
Sam Hornish Jr. Tony Stewart
Sam Hornish Jr. Versus Tony Stewart
Carl Edwards Kasey Kahne
Carl Edwards Versus Kasey Kahne
Kevin Harvick Casey Mears
Kevin Harvick Versus Casey Mears
Elliott Sadler Reed Sorenson
Elliott Sadler Versus Reed Sorenson
Greg Biffle Martin Truex Jr.
Greg Biffle Versus Martin Truex Jr.
Jeff Gordon Marcos Ambrose
Jeff Gordon Versus Marcos Ambrose
Brad Keselowski Paul Menard
Brad Keselowski Versus Paul Menard
AJ Allmendinger Matt Kenseth
AJ Allmendinger Versus Matt Kenseth
Robby Gordon Regan Smith
Robby Gordon Versus Regan Smith
Mark Martin Denny Hamlin
Mark Martin Versus Denny Hamlin


UPDATE: Round Two voting has ended. Stay tuned for the results and Round Three!