All posts tagged Rusty Wallace

18 Posts
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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.

kansas_sunday_featured

sunday: ‘hey baby, i’m in the garage’ and whatever that means

Sunday morning I got up super early so that I could get to Starbucks (a ‘real’ one that I scouted the night before) and beat any race day traffic that might rear it’s ugly head. I was delighted to find that there was no such traffic to fight and I even had time to take a couple pictures of the road I was on so you guys could see what I saw every morning. I did see a dead dear on the side of the road but I didn’t take a picture of that because it was sad (and gross). :(

junior says ‘fabulous,’ makes my day

Crew chief Alan Gustafson and driver Mark Martin celebrate the No. 5 team's win in Victory Lane on Sunday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. (Courtesy Hendrick Motorsports)ESPN on ABC’s Countdown pre-race show could have been oh, I dunno, about 45 minutes shorter than its scheduled full hour. I am an ESPN fan, truly, but I can’t take the pre-show anymore. The only useful things are the 5 second driver interviews and that’s about it.

There are no features, no special interviews, nothing. Why does it need to be an hour? I don’t wanna see a recap of the last race I saw it already. And if I didn’t see it on TV I caught up on it online. So there’s no need to rehash the whole thing. And please, for the love of God, stop asking Rusty Wallace his opinion on who can win the Championship. I’m sure he’s a very nice man, and obviously he has a lot of NASCAR knowledge but sometimes I don’t know where he’s coming from.

where in the world is teresa earnhardt?

Taylor Earnhardt, daughter of seven-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Dale Earnhardt, gets behind the wheel to drive her father's famous No. 3 GM Goodwrench Chevrolet at The Goodwood Festival of Speed at The Goodwood Estate on Friday in Chichester, England. (Photo Credit: Peter Fox/Getty Images for NASCAR)If you guessed England you’re correct! I know, how random right? Well it was all a part of a yearly event called Festival of Speed held this weekend at Goodwood Estate in West Sussex, England.

The three day event, hosted by none other than an actual Earl, the Earl of March to be exact, celebrates all forms of racing. This year the festival featured a 1.16-mile hill-climbing competition for all classes and types of race cars and motorcycles, plus a 2.5-kilometer course for historic rally cars.

preview carl edwards’ wedding invitations

Do you hear that noise? It’s the sound of a big creaking door shutting out my heart. Okay, I’m being a little bit dramatic but sometimes you have to be in order to drive a point home. I think I can honestly say without a doubt I would rather be in Phoenix at this moment, more than anywhere else in the world. If I think about everything that I’m missing… Well it just sucks.

little samantha mears has arrived

Casey Mears, driver of the No. 5 Pop-Tarts/CARQUEST Chevrolet, started from the outside pole position during Sunday's race at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway and finished 14th after leading twice. (Courtesy Hendrick Motorsports)The big newsy news of the day is that Casey Mears‘ first child was born yesterday. According to a post by Casey’s mom Carol on the Mears Gang message boards Samantha Mae Mears was born yesterday at at 12:42pm, weighing in at 8lbs. 7oz.

Congratulations to Casey and his girlfriend Trisha!

In other news…

– Do you ever wish that there was one place on the web were you could find all of the top headlines about racing? Well there’s no need to look any further than Alltop. It’s a site the pulls in website and blog feeds (including The Fast and the Fabulous!) from around the web in what they’re calling a “magazine rack” approach. It’s worth checking out.

– Here is a fun quote from Mike Skinner about Scott Speed who will make his Sprint Cup Series debut next year:

“He’s a really funny guy. He acts so goofy on the outside. But when he puts on that helmet and gets in that race car, he does a great job. He gives good feedback, and I think the kid’s got a bright future. Red Bull is really, really high on him. Heck, he’s already won in ARCA few times, he’s won in the truck series, he was second-fastest at the Charlotte test. I hope to be his friend for a long time and help him any way I can.”

– The Third Annual Jamie McMurray Foundation Golf Tournament will take place on Monday, October 13th in Mooresville, North Carolina. The Jamie McMurray Foundation raises money for austism awareness and research:

“It’s hard to believe the golf tournament is really next week,” said McMurray. “We’ve put a lot of work into this year’s tournament to make it nothing short of first class. There are a lot of people that made this event what it will be, but nothing would have been possible without the help of our sponsors. Crown Royal stepped up as the primary sponsor, along with Stanford Group, Coca-Cola, Aflac, Sprint, Motorsports Authentics and a ton of others. The list goes on and on, and it’s really those sponsors who have made this all possible.”

Joining McMurray for an afternoon of golf are his fellow Roush Fenway Racing teammates Matt Kenseth, Greg Biffle and David Ragan, along with Denny Hamlin, Rusty Wallace, Elliott Sadler, Reed Sorenson and others.

“I really can’t thank those guys enough for taking time out of their schedules to come out and support our foundation and help raise money for such a great cause.”

The JMF was formed in May 2006, and since has provided more than $200,000 to Autism Speaks and other autistic foundations throughout the United States.

bid on kasey’s truck and watch carl teach

Here’s a rundown of various bits of information I’ve been meaning to share with you all:

– All of the women out there with their Allstate Safe Driver checks might wanna put them towards bidding on a one-of-a-kind Kasey Kahne Signature Edition Dodge Hemi Truck. After all it is considerably cheaper than sponsorship and all of the proceeds of the auction will go to the Kasey Kahne Foundation. Oh and if getting the truck wasn’t enough, you’ll also get the opportunity to meet Kasey himself at Talladega. The auction is open now and ends on August 18th.
Kasey Kahne

The signature Kasey Kahne Dodge Ram has an estimated value of over $60,000, and bidding will begin at just $25,000 through eBay Giving Works. The custom truck features the legendary 5.7-liter Hemi V-8 motor and many of the best names in the automotive accessory business. The add-on features are just as impressive, with a MOPAR appearance package; drop kit, custom dual exhaust, high performance wheels and tires and a custom-designed audio system.

Visit www.ebay.com/kaseykahnetruck to see photos, learn more details, and to pre-qualify to bid.

As if winning this one-of-a-kind truck wasn’t special enough, the winning bidder will also be rewarded with a complete Dodge Racing experience, which entails four Hot Passes to the October NASCAR race at Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama and a meet & greet session with Kasey Kahne!!

– So remember when I told you that Carl Edwards used to be a substitute teacher back in his hometown of Columbia, Missouri? Well I guess Carl wanted to keep his teaching skills sharp and headed over to ESPN The Magazine to give the staff a lesson in NASCAR. He takes a fun jab at Clint Bowyer.

– Before Carl visited the folks at ESPN he was in New York on the Fox and Friends show (I’ll try to not hold this against him), where he ran into former New York City mayor Rudy Guiliani:


Carl Edwards and former New York City mayor Rudy Guiliani

Carl Edwards, driver of the No. 99 Office Depot Ford, bumped into former New York City mayor Rudy Guiliani on the set of Fox and Friends on August 7th in the Big Apple when both were guests on the national morning show program. Edwards, who was a substitute teacher in Missouri before his NASCAR career took off, spoke about Office Depot’s “Back To School” initiatives and his belief in the importance of education on the show.

– Maybe you’ve noticed the promo widget on this website for the movie is called “The Number 2 Car.” It’s a documentary about Rusty Wallace — a year following him on and off the track. You can watch the whole thing online for free! Go to SnagFilms.com

listen up! i’ll be ‘on pit row’ tomorrow

Here is some very, very cool news: Tomorrow (Tuesday, July 22) I’ll be a guest on the ON PIT ROW radio show. I’ll be a part of their “around the NASCAR net” segment and I’ll be discussing some of the current headlines in NASCAR. Now you’ll all get to hear what I sound like and hopefully that won’t be a bad thing.

You can listen to the live broadcast online tomorrow at OnPitRow.com from 5pm – 7pm EST (or 2pm – 4pm PST).

In other news…
Wednesday, July 16, 2008 -- Los Angeles, Calif -- 2008 ESPY Awards -- IndyCar Series driver Danica Patrick (Photo Credit: Rich Arden/ESPN)
– Did you not get enough of Brendan Fraser at Chicagoland? Well then you have to check out the awesome photos (and video) from the great people at Kodak. Their flickr account has some great shots too.

– So I didn’t watch the ESPYs but I did check out some of the photos from the red carpet. I was hoping for more racing related stuff but all I could find was this one of IndyCar’s Danica Patrick. Cute dress and all but I’m not sure how I feel about her hair.

– This is not at all racing related except that I wish that it was. Former NFL quarterback and The Bachelor bachelor Jesse Palmer is an on-air talent guy for ESPN’s show College Football Live and he’s so freaking hot. I really think ESPN should institute some sort of broadcaster exchange program. Maybe we could swap Rusty Wallace with Jesse for a weekend or two?? I’m just sayin’ it could be fun.

:)

liz clarke interview: the death of dale earnhardt

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

Me: I know you have that history with Dale Earnhardt, and I know covering his death must have been horrible. I know in the book you wrote that his death changed you in a lot of ways, so how did it change you exactly? And how did it change the way you cover the sport? Did it change the way you cover the sport?

Liz: Oh, that’s hard. Let me first say, I’m certainly I’m not remotely unique. I think I speak for honestly millions of people when I say his death changed me and affected me. I don’t at all pretend to say my loss or my grief was any greater than other fans or certainly his own crew and own family. But, ya know, there was no personality quite like him and the circumstance, just the notion that he could have been killed was impossible to accept. To your question itself, I just was inconsolably sad and it wasn’t just when I went to the race track that I felt the loss. I just felt like the most charismatic, complex, fun, entertaining person had been taken away. Whether I covered a race and he spoke to me or not or he made some joke aside, or if I just saw him from across the garage, I mean, everybody watched that black car, everybody watched him when he got in the car.  Ya know and he made you feel differently about yourself, he really did and I think every driver would tell you that. I mean he’d aggravate you or compliment you. I think sometimes when he ran you really hard that was his way of complimenting you.

There was one time they had built the track in Dallas, that awful first year of that race, and I was working for the Dallas Morning News and I was taking one of our metro columnists for a walk around the garage. He had never been to a race and I was trying to explain, ya know here’s the order that they park the cars and here’s what this means, be really careful ‘cause they’ll come in with their engines off and you won’t hear ‘em, ya know a lot of basics when you’re sort of showing somebody around. Earnhardt came around the corner in the car; he was in a practice session so they were in and out and in and out. And he whipped his car, hand to God, about two inches from my foot. Swung it right toward me, the guy next to me almost fainted. And I said, “Oh, he’s just saying hello.” And he was grinning and that was totally him. I’m not sure I talked to Dale that day but that’s the kind of stuff he would do. He’d do stuff like that to Schrader, Mark Martin. It was just his little way. It’s an aside, but the notion that he was gone; it was just a hole of blackness. This profound hole, it was like the sun was gone. It was just something so integral to way you saw the world was gone. I still feel that way, I still feel that way. I know Rusty Wallace feels that way, we’ve talked about it. It’s not something people talk about in racing too much. But I don’t think seven years has lessened it at all.

Me: Why do you think NASCAR was so slow, I guess is the word, to put in those mandatory safety features until after Dale Earnhardt’s death, especially the HANS device, especially after all of those incidents?

Liz: That’s really a shameful chapter in NASCAR’s history, and of course it’s easy to say in hindsight. From the day NASCAR started it was very clear that drivers were independent contractors. And what NASCAR meant by that is if you’re hurt we don’t owe you disability. You don’t work for us; you’re your own boss.  And you can come play in our sport but we’re not responsible for you, we have no liability for you and it was a really smart posture to take. And they really, I think for business reasons, wanted to hold on to that as long as they could. Therefore, ya know, with every rule you make about how you stay safe, if something goes wrong with that then you’re technically liable. I mean, on the HANS device I can sort of empathize with NASCAR’s choice to not make that mandatory because there were several drivers who felt very, very strongly that it would keep them from being able to get out of a burning car. And the prospect of being trapped in a burning car understandably is the worst scenario for a race car driver and the fuel cell solved a lot of that. But still drivers would say flat out if it’s a choice of breaking my neck and burning up I want to break my neck. There were drivers who didn’t want to do it and made clear they wouldn’t want to do it. Earnhardt would have been chief among them. He wouldn’t even wear a closed face helmet, again not because he was being a tough guy, but he really thought peripheral vision was his best safety device. And he felt a closed-face helmet limited his peripheral vision. So he had very personal, very strongly felt views about his safety and that that’s what kept him safe. A lot of drivers felt the HANS device was not a deal they wanted.

There’s also a tradition in all forms of racing that every fatal accident is a freak accident. That there’s nothing to be learned from it in terms of the race car or the track or the rules of the sport, whether that’s racing back to the caution. It doesn’t really warrant further study because it was a freak deal; it’s not going to happen again. It was only because this part on the car failed, or the weird convergence of events, it’s just a way of rationalizing it away and therefore no drivers or driver’s family really have to wonder “is this safe?” It’s sort of a way of coping and a way of doing business and those were really entrenched that you don’t make wholesale changes after one guy dies and then another guy dies and then Earnhardt was the fourth in 11 months, I’m pretty sure.

Me: So do you think the whole idea of a drivers association, kind of like the NBA has and the NFL has, could ever happen in NASCAR?

Liz: I don’t think it will ever happen in NASCAR and I regret that. I think there’s a lot of use for the drivers on certain occasions speaking as one, having a representative. And they’ll tell you that that happens now that it’s ad hoc. They go in and speak to Mike Helton and Robin on matters of concern and I know that does happen. But I just like level playing fields and in NASCAR for all the bravery the drivers have, they’re not represented in the decision making, to me, to the extent they should be. I would love to see a drivers association with somebody like Jeff Burton be the head of it for the first couple years. He’s just so well spoken and reasoned and really smart about what’s in NASCAR’s interest, what’s in the driver’s interest, he’s not emotional. And I know there are other guys, I mean, Mark Martin would be perfect for that. It’s really only rarely have drivers sought that. It’s been a long time, it’s been seven years since I’ve even heard it discussed.

rusty’s out and I couldn’t be any happier

My prayers have been answered!

ESPN announced today that they’re moving Rusty Wallace from race commentator to NASCAR Countdown lead analyst. Dale Jarrett will replace Rusty in the booth, to call the races with Dr. Jerry Punch and Andy Petree.

What that really means is that we won’t have to suffer through anymore of Rusty’s inane comments and regurgitations of points made by others. This is such a relief, just the other day I was thinking about how annoying it would be to have to sit through another half season of Rusty and his lame observations.

And to make this so much better Allen Bestwick will take over as the host of NASCAR Countdown from Suzy Kolber. Suhweet. I like Suzy, I really do, but she just wasn’t making it for me in the world of NASCAR. I love Bestwick, he knows his stuff and he sounds like it too.

the real estate racer is hot

Due to the Writers Guild strike in Hollywood Rusty Wallace will not be able to continue his NASCAR race coverage duties… Hold on, someone is handing me a note.

You mean he actually writes that stuff himself? Huh? Oh, he just says whatever comes to mind? Damn. Oh well, I must correct myself, it looks like Rusty will still be on air this weekend. Grr… I won’t get to watch new episodes of “House” but I have to watch Rusty Wallace repeat things that other people just said?? What kind of world are we living in? I mean really.

In other news…

– I’m on my way to Las Vegas for the Blog World & New Media Expo. There’s heavy fog in the San Francisco Bay Area so my flight is late, that still can’t dampen my spirit. I’m sooo excited to be spending three nights in Vegas, and hopefully meeting other cool bloggers.

– I was sent an email alerting me to a video about a guy that races cars in his spare time. It was sent to me by the nice folks at IntoTheBox.tv — they cover the wacky real estate market in New York — check it out below or click this link. My first and lasting thought about this video was “Wow, he’s hot… hmm, is he single? I don’t see a ring!” hehe.

until the wheels fall off

Now it’s just getting ridiculous. All of the things that can go wrong for Dale Jr. do go wrong for him it seems lately. Sunday I went to the Bridge School Benefit in Mountain View, Calif. John Mayer was performing so I had to skip watching the race live and rely on Tivo to catch the action of the race at Atlanta for me. I left the show immediately following Mayer’s performance to make sure I had enough time to zip through my recording of the race. Tivo makes it so tempting to skip everything and just get to the end but I wanted to make sure I caught all the accidents & incidents as they happened.

I was so excited, I mean there were only 3 laps left and he was this freaking close to winning it and then the wheel falls off?? Ugh. So lame. And poor Martin Truex Jr. getting caught behind Denny Hamlin and his watered down gas issue. This season is really starting to bug me. And if that’s not enough I tried to watch the Busch race on Saturday and I had to be subjected to Rusty Wallace. Why can’t they let Allen Bestwick do the Busch races??

Ya know I seriously contemplated creating a petition to get Rusty off the air, but I don’t know… is that mean?

:)

Maybe it should be an all encompassing make NASCAR toss out their deal with ESPN petition?

Anywhoo… In other news…

– Next week I travel to my favorite place Las Vegas for the Blog World & New Media Expo. I am beyond excited. Is anyone else planning on attending? Any of my fellow sports bloggers?? Anyone? Anyone?


Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images

You be the judge, is this Kasey Kahne or Carl Edwards? The caption I have says it’s Kasey, but the uniform says Office Depot — which leads me to believe it’s Carl… What do you think?

Photo by Marc Serota/Getty Images

Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #8 Budweiser Chevrolet, stands in the garage, during practice for the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series Pepboys Auto 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on October 27, 2007 in Hampton, Georgia. (Photo by Marc Serota/Getty Images)

my fantasy nascar broadcast team

I have never been this frustrated with caution flags. Martinsville was un-real. I hated the way it ended. I was really hoping that Ryan Newman would be able to pass up Jimmie Johnson, but again a win for him was thwarted by the Hendrick powerhouse and those friggin’ cautions. Jimmie Johnson celebrates after winning at Martinsville Speedway. (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/Getty Images for NASCAR)

I could say how disappointed I was to know that engine problems are what screwed Dale Earnhardt Jr. for the millionth time, but really what’s the point? I don’t think I’ve ever looked forward to the end of a NASCAR season as much as I have this one. I just want to get to Daytona (in person!) and see Dale in his No. 88 Hendrick Motorsports Chevy and let the winning begin! I’m so done with this season it’s crazy. I say that but at the same time I hold out the hope that he’ll still win a race before this year is over.

Is it just me or did they make the pre-race show shorter?? I’m not sure ’cause I only caught the last 10 minutes, which — thankfully — only consisted of the national anthem and the call to start the engines.

I was excited to read that Rusty Wallace was getting the axe but apparently it’s not actually going to happen. I started thinking about my fantasy race coverage crew. It goes like this, Allen Bestwick and Wally Dallenbach would do the pre-race stuff. The pre-race show would feature actual semi-in-depth interviews that were taped during the week before the race. Ya know kinda like how they do with the NFL. Darrell Waltrip, Larry McReynolds and Mike Joy would call the race (as they do now on FOX) and the pit reporters would be Dave Burns, Steve Byrnes, Dick Berggren and Matt Yocum. Ah, if only! What do you think? Good? No good?


Mike Skinner, driver of the #5 Toyota Tundra Toyota, kisses his wife, Angela after winning the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Kroger 200 at Martinsville Speedway on October 20, 2007 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo by Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Mike Skinner, driver of the #5 Toyota Tundra Toyota, kisses his wife, Angela after winning the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Kroger 200 at Martinsville Speedway on October 20, 2007 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo by Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Clint Bowyer, driver of the #07 Jack Daniel

Clint Bowyer, driver of the #07 Jack Daniel’s Chevrolet, watches during qualifying for the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series Subway 500 at Martinsville Speedway on October 19, 2007 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Clint Bowyer, driver of the #07 Jack Daniel

Clint Bowyer, driver of the #07 Jack Daniel’s Chevrolet, drives in the garage area, during practice for the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series Subway 500 at Martinsville Speedway on October 19, 2007 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

Denny Hamlin is all smiles during qualifying for the Subway 500 at Martinsville Speedway (Photo Credit: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

Denny Hamlin is all smiles during qualifying for the Subway 500 at Martinsville Speedway (Photo Credit: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 DuPont Chevrolet, walks in the garage area, during practice for the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series Subway 500 at Martinsville Speedway on October 19, 2007 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 DuPont Chevrolet, walks in the garage area, during practice for the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series Subway 500 at Martinsville Speedway on October 19, 2007 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

tallafreakindega

Sunday’s race at Talladega was everything you’d expect from a race at Talladega, three-wide side-by-side racing and of course the “big one” (for those of you not in the know, the “big one” is the big crash the wipes out a bunch of cars at once). The moment Dale Earnhardt Jr. took the lead I was so hopeful that he would be able to hold on to the lead and finally win one this season. And then his engine blew up which seemed to signal the beginning of the end for the DEI-RCR engines. I was in utter disbelief and I still am because that race was his, it was right there and then poof!

So at this point I’m sure any and every Dale Jr. fan is just counting down the days until he makes his debut with Hendrick Motorsports next year. All of the Hendrick cars did well at Talladega, except for Kyle Busch who’s crappy outlook on things before the race are — I’m sure of it — what helped lead to his involvement in the wreck that took him out.

Oddly enough I was actually happy with Jeff Gordon’s win, I’m usually more interested in seeing a fresh face win, but he made it interesting at the end between him and Jimmie Johnson. For that I am appreciative.

The thing I was most excited about was seeing Michael Waltrip on the pole and running up front. I miss that guy, he’s a great character and NASCAR needs guys like him. He keeps it fun and interesting. It looks like things are looking up for Michael Waltrip Racing and I look forward to seeing that team win a race.

I didn’t watch the race live because I was out checking out apartments for my upcoming move. I caught the entire race on Tivo and I am almost tempted to make this the standard for the rest of the races this season. Why? Because it’s so nice to be able to bypass all the lame commentary by the ESPN on ABC crew. I put being able to skip over Rusty Wallace’s comments above being able to skip commercials, and that’s seriously saying something, especially when I’m beginning to tire of the seeing the same Allstate girls ads over and over.

In other news…

I’m still on the hunt for sponsors for my 2008 NASCAR project and I sent a letter to American Airlines to see if they’d be interested. I got a phone call from them last week and I was told that they don’t sponsor “dangerous sports” because they don’t want to be associated with things where people can crash. I just thought that was kind of funny but at the same time it makes sense, I guess, to not want people to associate crashing with planes.


Photo by Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR

Ella is a little cutie, and I love her itty bitty sandals.

Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Dupont/Pepsi Chevrolet, holds his daughter Ella Sophia, as his wife Ingrid looks on, in victory lane after Gordon won the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series UAW-Ford 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on October 7, 2007 in Talladega, Alabama. (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Jeff Gordon (right) celebrates inside Victory Lane with daughter Ella (center) and team owner Rick Hendrick (left) after winning the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series race at Talladega Superspeedway on Oct. 7. (Hendrick Motorsports/Autostock)

Photo by John Harrelson/Getty Images for NASCAR

Crew members of the #48 Lowe’s Chevrolet, driven by Jimmie Johnson, congratulate the crew members of the #24 Dupont/Pepsi Chevrolet, driven by teammate Jeff Gordon, after winning the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series UAW-Ford 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on October 7, 2007 in Talladega, Alabama. (Photo by John Harrelson/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images for NASCAR

All the hoopla and then in the end nothing really happened.

Jacques Villeneuve was the center of media attention after qualifying for Sunday’s UAW-Ford 500 at Talladega Superspeedway. Villeneuve qualified 6th. (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Photo Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR

Crew Chief Tony Eury, Jr. talks to his driver Dale Earnhardt, Jr. before practice at Talladega Superspeedway. (Photo Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)

nascar on abc bites the big one. the end.

Anger is such a great motivator, so good that it has spurred me on to write this post this morning instead of waiting until later in the day. So Fast and Fabulous fans, you have a certain day job to thank for this wonderful Monday morning race rehash.

I was happy to see Carl Edwards win yesterday, but not nearly as happy as I would have been had Dale Earnhardt Jr. been able to take it away from him. Oh well, there’s always next week. It still amazes me that Carl can do those flips so well, it’s not like he’s a 5 foot gymnast. He’s like 6 feet tallk and built. *sigh* Uhm… where was I? Oh yea, so Carl won and that was cool, yet another not-exactly-expected win for this year’s Chase.

Please tell me I’m not the only won that’s tired of the ABC/ESPN race coverage? Seriously? Please! I don’t know what it is, but they just don’t compare to the Fox crew. The commenting is just so herky-jerky and lame. I’m not digging it all. I’m sure Rusty Wallace is a very nice person, but I can’t take it. I just can’t take it! Oh look — I’m not the only one! Oh and what was up with that montage of Dale Jr. fans talking about how they’d follow him wherever? I think we can file that in the “duh” file, ya know that’s why they’re his fans, because they LIKE HIM! gah!

Last night when I was trying to go to bed I was thinking about reasons why it may be hard for people to understand the appeal of NASCAR. I think it has something to do with the fact that in other sports like football, baseball or basketball it’s easy to see the emotions on the players’ faces and in their physical demeanor. In NASCAR we can’t see anything, the drivers are enclosed in their cars so it’s not until they get out of their car at the end do we really know how much it all meant to them or everything they were trying to do to win. You can hear it over the radio but still, when you’re watching on TV you don’t always get that.

One of the biggest reasons why I love football is of course for the physicality of it all. I love seeing a guy get knocked or catch a sweet touchdown pass. In NASCAR it’s just isn’t as obvious, but of course that doesn’t mean that it’s not there, you just have to look for it. And that’s what I’m always looking for. I want to see the emotion, the importance of it all. Before the race the drivers are always the saying the same thing but it’s not until they’re in the heat of the battle that the claws come out. Which is why I was excited to see Kyle Petty (one of the coolest “good guys” if there ever was one) get pissed and try to smack Denny Hamlin around after Denny wrecked him. That was good to see. I need to know that you still want it, that you really do care about all this, and that even though your team is kinda lame you’re still striving to stay in this game. I know that that’s a given that they race because they love it and want to be the best but I like to be reminded.

a big bowl of bristol

I hope everyone had a fabulous weekend.

I gotta thank everyone that has left comments and/or emailed me regarding my last post about my plans for next year. I really appreciate it. It’s very encouraging to me and it lets me know that I’m on the right path with this. It’s my favorite thing to think about these days. I relish the thought of getting to be at the track every week and possibly getting to meet all the people that read my blog. Wouldn’t that be cool?

Ah, ok, so enough of that — for now — I have to talk about Bristol and how boring the race was. I’m not afraid to admit that I did in fact fall asleep during this race. I woke up in time to find out that Carl Edwards had won and that Dale Earnhardt Jr. finished 5th. It sucks that we can’t enjoy that 5th place finish more because of this whole Chase stuff.

More than anything I want that guy in the Chase but it won’t be the end of the world if he doesn’t make it. I want that guy to win a friggin’ race. Gah! I am happy that Clint Bowyer looks to be set for the Chase and I really want him to succeed — and win a race too! Those two guys are so due for one it’s ridiculous.

I think someone needs to sit down with the folks at ESPN and talk to them about their race coverage. It’s getting to the point now where I don’t even want to watch the pre-race show. I mute them! They’re killin’ me! Too much stuff is repeated. I couldn’t believe they actually had analysis on Junior’s motives for not wanting people to talk smack about his step-mother. Could it just be that he’s a nice guy? And that people calling her names isn’t going to change anything?

I usually long for Darrell Waltrip after Fox’s NASCAR coverage is over, but I’m going through some serious DW withdrawal right now. There’s nobody like him and Rusty Wallace makes me roll my eyes like fifty-million times throughout the race. Maybe he’s just trying to hard, I dunno.

And now for some photo fun:


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A sky diver holds an American flag as he descends into Bristol Motor Speedway prior to the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series Sharpie 500 on August 25, 2007 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

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Do you think Jack is happy??

(Photo by John Harrelson/Getty Images for NASCAR)

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Hendrick Motorsports teammates Jimmie Johnson (left) and Casey Mears (right) talk out on pit road prior to the start of the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway on Aug. 25. (Hendrick Motorsports/Autostock)

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Finally a sponsor that matches the driver…

Kyle Busch, driver of the No. 5 Hot Shot Chevrolet, out on pit road during NASCAR Busch Series driver introductions at Bristol Motor Speedway on Aug. 24. (Hendrick Motorsports/Autostock)

sabotage: not just a beastie boys song

Dale Earnhardt Jr. (left) talks with Ryan Newman after practice at Watkins Glen International. (Photo Credit: John Harrelson/Getty Images for NASCAR)First, I want to say that I still have one pair of tickets to the NASCAR Sharp AQUOS 500 at California Speedway, courtesy of Kodak, available to giveaway. Email me and they’re yours. Winners have been selected.

Watkins Glen was… something. That’s really the best way to describe it. It wasn’t fun for Dale Earnhardt Jr. which is incredibly annoying to me. I could not believe it when they said his engine blew up. I didn’t think that DEI could be trying to sabotage Dale on his way out, but after this weekend I can’t rule it out entirely. I mean this is just too messed up for words. I don’t know if I can take another Chase without Dale in it. The world will not be right. So I’m not counting him out yet until it’s all over, said and done. A lot of things could happen between now and when the Chase is locked in. Right? Right.

A few things that tickled me about the race this weekend:

1.) Juan Pablo Montoya as the in-race reporter. Yea, I knew that wasn’t going to work out well from the get-go. He’s a punk and even before the race started he couldn’t talk or give any insight because he was too busy whining about his steering wheel. Ok, I’m sure he had real concerns, but I just thought it was funny that the first chance they try to talk to him he’s pissed.

2.) The tussle between Juan Pablo and Kevin Harvick was classic. I loved it. I don’t care if Harvick was overreacting — he is a hot-head so I’m not shocked that he got into a shoving match over something that wasn’t even really JPM’s fault. It was highly funny and Harvick outdid himself at the end of the race when he said that he wanted to kick Montoya’s a**. It’s a shame he’s going to get fined for that. I dunno how I feel about the whole fining thing for saying a “bad” word. I’m ok with the money part, but the docking of points is a bit much. And I do agree with Rusty Wallace that instead of that money going to the points fund, they should give it to charity. That’d be a far better use of that money.

3) Ok… so what was up with that fool who decided to try and get Matt Kenseth’s autograph during the red flag? That was very bold of him and yet so very stupid. Although it would have been better had Matt actually signed his hat for him. I wonder if NASCAR would have fined him for that? I guess you wouldn’t want to encourage that kind of behavior.

4.) Seeing Jeff Gordon frustrated was a highlight. It is sad that he lost the entire race with one mistake, but after seeing Junior fall out of the race with his engine issues I wasn’t that sympathetic. I guess the thing I appreciated about seeing Gordon pissed after the race was that those were real, true emotions and he had no one to blame except himself, and he knew it. Plus I also liked the fact that he didn’t put on that happy face racers are always famous for doing, putting some happy spin on top of the fact they lost. But there was no getting away from this one, this was a hard loss.

v is for valli and vegas

This is my long overdue post about Las Vegas. This post is already so old that tomorrow is qualifying for this weekend’s race at Atlana. Geesh! I apologize, there has been a lot going on lately but now I will entertain you with my thoughts on the race in Vegas.

– First off, Monday was Casey Mears’ (left) birthday. He turned 29 and received a lousy gift from Robby Gordon in the form of a crash that took him out of the race at Vegas on Sunday for a little while. He ended up finishing in a very unhappy 40th place. (photo credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images for NASCAR)

– Overall, I kinda felt like the race at Las Vegas was boring. I know there were a bunch of crashes but it still didn’t seem very exciting. Maybe it had to do with the fact that Jimmie Johnson won for the third straight time at the track. It’s just boring when the same people win. I just want a newbie (or semi-newbie) to win one finally! Ya hear that Clint Bowyer? J.J. Yeley??

– There was a lot of star power at this race in the form of Mark Wahlberg (promoting his new flick “Shooter”), MTV VJ Vanessa Minnillo, singer Nick Lachey (who is dating Vanessa), Magic Johnson and the wrestler Goldberg. The only person I ever saw on camera during the race was Mark Wahlberg who mentioned something about wanting to do a movie about racing. I’ll totally take you up on that one Mark! Great idea. He’d make a hot race car driver.

– This point has nothing to do with the Cup race at Vegas, but everything to do with the Busch Series race on Saturday. I don’t like ESPN’s coverage of the races because the only guy in the booth that really knows anything is Rusty Wallace (former Cup driver). The other guys in the booths are asking him questions like, “What’s that?” “What does that do??” OK, so I’m exaggerating but it comes close. And to be fair, it’s not all of the guys on the ESPN team, certainly not the pit road reporters, but it’s enough to make me wonder how they got their jobs.

And now on to the photos…

How hot is Rookie Aric Almirola?? That hot!

Aric Almirola walks in the garage area on Friday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Former wrestler Bill Goldberg jokes around with Roush Racing crew member Dave “Mule” Nichols at Las Vegas Motor Speedway as NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series driver Greg Biffle (left) and crew chief Pat Tryson look on. (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Dale Earnhardt Jr. talks with Magic Johnson at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Sunday. (Photo Credit: John Harrleson/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Yes folks, they’re that skinny!

Left to right: Jimmie Johnson, Chandra Johnson, Vanessa Minnillo and Nick Lachey celebrate Johnson’s win at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. (Photo Credit: John Harrelson/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Mark Wahlberg talks to the media on Sunday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. (Photo Credit: Harry How/Getty Images)