I haven’t missed a Fontana race in 5 years, so it really sucked when I realized I wouldn’t be able to go this year. All the action & drama that happened on Sunday made it that much worse, but then again there’s no guarantee that it would have happened had I gone so I’m using that to make me feel better about the whole thing.
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Carl Edwards, who is sponsored by Subway, won the Subway Fresh Fit 500 at Phoenix International Raceway yesterday which is wraps up his 70-race losing streak nicely.
On the day of the last race of the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season I had the opportunity to interview Ryan Newman (as you can see in the photo above). This was all thanks to his sponsor Quicken Loans who brought me down to Miami last month. It was a quick but really interesting conversation.
Thanks to the awesome people at Quicken Loans I’m giving away twenty, that’s 2-0, No. 39 Quicken Loans mini-diecasts! If you love Ryan Newman you’re gonna want to win one of these.
I was going to write a whole paragraph about how traveling sucked but I figured what’s the point. You guys have been there, you know what I was dealing with on my flights from San Francisco to Charlotte and then on to Miami. Although I have to say I have NEVER been on a flight so full of babies & toddlers as I did that Saturday. It was crazy and it made me vow that if I ever have kids I’m not flying anywhere with them until they’re adults.
Awesomely fabulous news! Thanks to the awesome folks at Quicken Loans I’m attending the final race in the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series schedule! This weekend’s race will be my first visit to Homestead-Miami Speedway and to Florida in general. I’m REALLY looking forward to it, especially since I didn’t think I was going to be able to attend any more NASCAR events this year.
In my travels on the internet I have come across photos of the weddings of some of NASCAR’s top drivers. I thought it would be a good idea to get them all together in one place since they’re all strewn about.
I think pretty much everyone in agreement that the finish to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series’ Finger Lakes 355 at Watkins Glen International was crazy, right? I scrolled through my Twitter feed and all it showed were a series of tweets that said “Wow.”
Ryan Newman announced the birth of his second daughter, Ashlyn Olivia, this morning via Twitter. Ashlyn joins big sister, Brooklyn.
So I didn’t watch the race live on Sunday. I watched it on Tivo on Monday. Figures that the one good race as of late is the one I didn’t get to watch as it happened. Still I got the gist, lots of pit road speeding penalties and Joey Logano put the moves on Mark Martin to get his first “real” win.
My recollection of Talladega includes Brad Keseolwski winning, Kurt Busch in his Talladega Nights themed “ME” car and Jimmie Johnson sitting in Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s pit box after his car clunked out of the race.
I was OK with not being in Las Vegas this year, which feels really odd to write but it’s true. I guess it’s because I know that I’ll be at more races this year, so it’s not the worst thing in the world if I miss one that I’d normally attend.
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.
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.
Ryan Newman had never heard of Inside the Actor’s Studio but he said he’d “go with it” when I interviewed him in Las Vegas earlier this month. He was very nice and “go with it” he did. I think he earns the distinction as the first driver to spell out his favorite curse word.
This post is really about everything that I forgot. It wasn’t until I started unpacking that I realized I’d forgotten my evening bag/clutch. This was important because there was no way I could carry everything I’d need for the Awards Ceremony without a bag and taking my regular purse would have been ridiculous.
Thursday was decidedly less cab filled than Wednesday. I walked next door to the Bellagio for the NASCAR NMPA Myers Brothers Awards Luncheon. My table, number 31 (my fave number because it’s my birthday), was the designated NASCAR Citizen Journalists Media Corps table. We were a couple tables behind the Joe Gibbs Racing table where JD Gibbs and Kyle Busch were seated.
I woke up ridiculously early Wednesday morning to catch my 6am flight to Las Vegas. I received media credentials to attend the 2011 Motorsports Marketing Forum presented by Sports Business Journal/Daily. I knew I wasn’t going to be able to get see the entire program for that day, but I wanted to get in as much as possible.
“It’s the most wonderful time of the year…”
When I sing that song I’m not thinking about Christmas. I don’t get nearly as excited about Christmas as I do about NASCAR’s Champion’s Week in Las Vegas. I enjoy Las Vegas. It’s got everything and you never have to leave your hotel to experience half of it.
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).
“Who’s That Girl?,” starring one of my heroes, Madonna, stuck in their brain. Louden was the uptight husband, that needed to loosen up, of the insanely rich chick in the movie that Madonna’s bad girl, Nikki, (but she’s really nice) character ends up with. Anyway, they said his name about a million times, so I guess it makes sense that I’d remember it. Loudon, New Hampshire is where New Hampshire Motor Speedway is located and it was the home of the 2nd race in the The Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, the Sylvania 300, on Sunday.
Tony Stewart claimed the first win in The Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup yesterday. I have to say that was a pretty satisfying race. I’m not going to lie I watched it from home and kind of dozed off halfway through it but the ending was great. I, mean, hello, Dale Earnhardt Jr. finished 4th. How can you not love that? Now the points standings are all jumbled up and it makes going to New Hampshire this week all the more thrilling. I feel like I’ve mentioned this a ton already (on Twitter for sure) but I’ll be at New Hampshire this week, I leave on Thursday, and I’m beyond excited. It’s so early on in The Chase and the Championship is still up on the air, I can’t wait to get there and see what happens next. Although, I’ve been checking the weather forecast and there’s supposed to be rain on Saturday but not on Sunday. So let’s hope it stays that way.
During the rain delay coverage on Sunday I left the house to do something and I was listening to Claire B. Lang on SiriusXM’s NASCAR channel. She mentioned how people had been asking her what was going to happen in The Chase, who was going to win, etc. I wondered why people do that? Like, what’s the point? Have you ever watched the Super Bowl and thought “I’m SO glad I knew that the Packers were going to win because Terry Bradshaw said so.” No one EVER thinks that. (I have no idea what Terry Bradshaw’s actual prediction was, it’s just an example) So why should I say that I think this person or that person is going to win? I’m not psychic and I don’t want to be. I like not knowing and watching it unfold. Of course there are people that I’d rather see win than other people but that’s a given. Maybe it’s just because I don’t like counting people out because people constantly count me out and I don’t like that.
In other news…
Regarding the Camping World Truck Series race:
– How do you feel about Austin Dillon’s new celebration practice of sliding on the infield grass? I’m not really a fan because it doesn’t look that fun. It looks like it kind of hurts.
– Actor/singer Tyrese Gibson’s performance of the National Anthem was WONDERFUL. It was subdued but totally on point. The fact that I’m mentioning it at all is saying something.
Regarding the Nationwide Series race:
– Uh, I got nothin’
Regarding the Sprint Cup Series race:
– I feel bad that the Geico Caveman had to wear all that makeup and stuff for a SECOND day just to give the command to start engines.
– Loved the exchange over the radio between Carl Edwards and his crew chief, Bob Osborne, when Carl said that the sun was coming out and Bob sang back to Carl “Here comes the sun!! bababa!” So funny.
Monday night Clint Bowyer was in one of my dreams. I have no idea why he would be but there he was confiding in me about his contract talks with Richard Childress Racing. I distinctly remember him being upset at not being able to seal the deal on a new contract and the number 4 was mentioned (don’t know what that means). I was telling him not to worry, that there were plenty of other teams that wanted him and would snap him up. I remember in the dream asking myself “Why are you telling him that?? You don’t know anything!” LOL
And then Tuesday morning there’s a report saying that Richard Petty Motorsports, who was reportedly interested in him if RCR wasn’t, is now reportedly NOT interested in him anymore. (That sentence alone is why silly season is so freakin’ silly). I remembered my dream and I felt bad that I gave the Clint Bowyer in my dream such bad advice.
I’m sure you guys have gone to sleep and had NASCAR drivers invade your dreams, please feel free to share what’s happened in yours so that I don’t feel like such a geek about mine (keep it PG!).
In other news…
– The top-12 drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, AKA The Chase drivers, were a bunch of busy little bees this week promoting themselves, NASCAR and The Chase for the Sprint Cup everywhere. I figured it was worthy of a photo spread. My favorites are the ones of Jimmie Johnson at the high school pep rally (Jimmie has to take that girl to the prom!) and Carl Edwards with the lobster (because he finally shaved off that goatee thingy, but now that it’s gone I kinda miss it).
And I’m not talking about on the track either. They might need to post security in the media centers for the next 10 races. A lot of interesting things happened Saturday night at the Wonderful Pistachios 400 at Richmond International Raceway post-race press conference. Sounded like a good time full of ripped up paper, tension, verbal jabs that made no sense and the comedic talents of Matt Kenseth.
I guess Snookie has that kind of effect on people.
Anyway… The only thing I can/want to say about the media and it’s questions that always sound the same is to quote one of my favorite movies from the 80s, “Heartburn,” starring my one of the greatest actresses of all time Meryl Streep (I love her!) and Jack Nicholson (He’s great too!). The movie is about a couple who get married, have a baby and then the husband cheats and the wife loses all trust she had for the husband but tries to carry on in the relationship. During that portion of the movie Jack’s character says to Meryl’s character “You can’t take it’s temperature every five minutes.” He was referring to their relationship, us ladies always want to know where we stand in our relationships especially if things don’t feel “right.” (If you’ve ever had to ask a guy “where is this going??” it’s probably not going anywhere good) Anyway… I love that line and I think that it applies to the media when they keep asking drivers how they feel about making The Chase, being in The Chase, still being in The Chase, why are you in The Chase, what does it feel like to be in The Chase… it NEVER ends. They do the same thing with other storylines, whatever it is they will ask the same question in various formats every week until there is a resolution. But I say, you can’t take it’s temperature every five minutes, dude! Nothing’s changed and when it does change, ask a question then.
Moving on… Congratulations to Kevin Harvick and the No. 29 Budweiser Chevrolet team! It had to have felt great considering the announcement he and his wife DeLana made earlier in the week about shuttering the racing side of Kevin Harvick Inc.
Richmond was a great, caution-filled race and I can only hope that we get more awesome action like that in the next 10 races. I love this time of year right before the first race in The Chase when everything feels possible. I hope we get to hold on to that feeling for more than two races.
Congratulations 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.
P.S. – Can Rascal Flatts sing the National Anthem at every NASCAR race, puhleze? Love them.
Above: This melts my heart. That kid had to be losing it (keeping it all inside of course)!
Below: Watch those hands Kasey!!!
– 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
Lots of caution flags made the LENOX Industrial Tools 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway very interesting. I dug it.
I was happy to see Ryan Newman score his first win of the season, even if it was just to see his adorable daughter, Brooklyn, celebrate with him in Victory Lane. How cute is she??! Were you as surprised as I was to see him get choked up like he did? People should not cry, because it just makes me cry! It was a great moment though. Love to see a physical reaction in response to what a win means to a person.
But enough about the race, here’s some news I JUST received: I’ll be a guest on the SiriusXM NASCAR Radio show “Manifold Destiny with Mojo Nixon” tonight! If you’ve got SiriusXM it’s channel 90 and I’ll be on at 8:30pm PST / 11:30 EST. Read that twice to make sure you’ve got it right. I met Mojo for the first time during the NASCAR race weekend at Infineon Raceway. He’s a riot, so it’ll be really interesting to see what goes down on the show tonight. If you’ve got a subscription I hope you’ll tune in!!
“Shift. Shifting now. Lots of shifting. Why do I have to keep shifting? Shifting is fun! I hate shifting this much!”
I am so over shifting!! I hate that word and I never want to hear it again. Some drivers hated it and some were totally okay with it because they would have been bored otherwise. That’s all fine and well, I’m just glad it’s over.
My favorite part of the race was the in-car cockpit view of the drivers in action. I loved that so much because you get to see what these guys are actually doing. This is how they do it and it’s fun to see the different techniques. So I appreciated that a lot. TNT’s coverage is off to a great start.
Now that Conan O’Brien is on TBS, which is a sister channel to TNT, I fully expect a Team Coco integration to at least ONE of the TNT Summer Series races. We need Conan at a race or at least a bunch of the drivers on his show. This needs to happen.
The image I created in my head of Richard Childress getting Kyle Busch in a headlock and beating him up far surpasses any actual image of the incident that you could show me (if one even exists). I can’t help but laugh at the whole thing. It’s just too much. Childress was fined $150,000 for the incident and put on probation by NASCAR. When they give fines I think they should be the same number as the person’s car number, so Childress should of been fined $180,000 for Kyle’s #18 truck. NASCAR should maintain a NASCAR theme at all times.
Ya know what’s annoying? Yesterday’s race was Brad Keselowski’s second NASCAR Sprint Cup Series win, his first with Penske, and the commentators didn’t bring that up until he crossed the finish line. I find that annoying because I would like that information up front–with laps to go–so that I can get all emotional and worried for the guy. They do it for Dale Earnhardt Jr. ALL the time. They’ve got that “Races since last win” graphic queued up, always ready to go.
I feel like we didn’t get to really appreciate the fullness of the moment for Brad because nobody talked about the significance of it all that much. Kinda lame.
While I certainly don’t dislike the Fox broadcast team, I am REALLY excited about TNT’s coverage because I’m looking for a change of pace. It’ll be good to get a different perspective, until we get another perspective when ESPN/ABC takes over later this year.
My only question right now is: Can it be time for Infineon’s race now?? Please! I’ll be there and I cannot wait for that race weekend. I know it’s going to be superfun, but let’s hope this ridiculously cold & rainy weather we’ve been having doesn’t last through that weekend. I’m ordering perfect weather; not too hot, not too cold, but just right.
There were three races yesterday. The Grand Prix of Monaco, the Indianapolis 500 and the Coca-Cola 600.
As much as I would LOVE to visit Monaco, I’m not going to pretend that I give a flying fig about Formula 1 racing. It’s interesting I’m sure, but I’ve found that men that follow it are particularly annoying to talk to about any other kind of racing and that has turned me off to it entirely. Yes, I’m basing my opinion of Formula 1 racing off of random encounters with douchebags, and I’m totally OK with that. I’m sure there a lot of really nice Formula 1 fans out there, so please don’t leave me any annoying comments. Anyway, I’ve watched some F1 races and it doesn’t really do much for me. (“Random Encounters with Douchebags” would make a great book and/or movie title, right? Story of my life)
On the other hand I do hope that Kimi Raikkonen will try his hand at NASCAR Sprint Cup Series racing at Infineon Raceway next month. Why? Because I’ll be there and new blood is always cool.
So on to the Coca-Cola 600. I’m happy for Kevin Harvick and the No. 29 Budweiser team for winning the race. I just wish it could have been Dale Earnhardt Jr. instead.
I thought they would have thrown a caution on that last crash, and I find it curious that they didn’t. NASCAR really isn’t helping themselves or Dale Earnhardt Jr. in being inconsistent in their use of the yellow flag. It seems weird to me that there wouldn’t have been any debris on the track after all the contact that happened.
Whatever, we move on to the next race!
They should use Trevor’s story for an episode of “House.” They still don’t know what the illness is/was.
Ryan Newman and Juan Pablo Montoya failed to bring what Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch delivered.
O. M. G.
The SHOWTIME® Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway was the greatest NASCAR race I have seen in quite some time. It was Ah-mazing!
First, congratulations to Regan Smith on winning his first Sprint Cup Series race (and congrats to Furniture Row Racing for winning their first race as an organization). He was emotional and his team was ridiculously happy. It was the perfect finish and I LOVED it. A first-time winner is the greatest thing. It was great to see him be congratulated by Carl Edwards, Greg Biffle and Brad Keselowski.
But of course before all of that you had the driver’s moms, as usual, giving the command to start engines. How adorable was Jimmie & Chandra Johnson’s baby daughter, Genevieve, clapping during the National Anthem? That was too cute.
Then there was the race with David Ragan peeling back Brian Vickers car like it was a can of sardines, poor Clint Bowyer crashing out, and the most amazing series of events with Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch.
I think that Kevin Harvick should walk around with a speaker hanging out of his pocket playing the song “I Won’t Back Down” by Tom Petty on a loop. It’s his theme song. He is no joke.
I know that fighting is frowned upon and all that but I loved it. When Kevin punched Kyle’s helmet/face and then Kyle pushed his car into his Kevin’s it was all TOO much for my brain to process. It was wonderful. I felt like a high school kid in the quad yelling “Fight! Fight! Fight!”
Does NASCAR really need to take action? I’m in a “Ah, whatever, let it gooo” kind of mood. They’re adults, they know what they did was wrong. Let’s not forget that sports are entertainment, they serve no other purpose than that (Yes, they can be inspiring and all that but still), and Saturday night’s race was PURE entertainment from beginning to end. So, NASCAR should send Harvick and Busch a “Thank You” card, some flowers & maybe some candy.
Here’s video of the last laps:
Thursday evening in Fontana, after I checked into my hotel just down the street from the race track, I discovered I forgot my cell phone charger at home. So I went to a Best Buy down the street to get another one. Then in the morning I woke up and found that I had left the pouch that holds all of my cords, USB drives and–most importantly–my digital recorder that still had a bunch of interviews on it from Las Vegas that I had yet to transcribe. I made a silent prayer that it was somewhere safe and then headed back to Best Buy to buy another one ’cause I had interviews to do that day.
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).
When it was clear that Tony Stewart was the winner of the first annual Hottest Driver Tournament I was happy. Not because I’m a fan of his, or that I have some “thing” for him, which I don’t. Nope, it was purely for the fact that I knew I would definitely be able to present him with the award. If Dale Earnhardt Jr. had won this thing I doubt I would have had the opportunity to give him the award, let alone do it in person.
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)
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)
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)
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) 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) 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)
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)
(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)
I’m having too much fun with this contest. I was right when I thought things would get much more interesting in Round Two and the results of last week’s voting have set up Round Three to be extra intriguing. Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Casey Mears just barely made it through in the closest match-up results so far. Dale Jr. beat Scott Speed by just 8 votes! I’m really, really surprised that it wasn’t a closer contest between Carl Edwards and Kasey Kahne.
Here’s what happened in Round Two:
Jamie McMurray (75%) defeated Kyle Busch (25%)
Joey Logano (55%) defeated David Gilliland (45%)
Clint Bowyer (56%) defeated Bobby Labonte (44%)
Travis Kvapil (62%) defeated Kurt Busch (38%)
Kasey Kahne (75%) defeated Carl Edwards (25%)
Casey Mears (51%) defeated Kevin Harvick (49%)
Elliott Sadler (70%) defeated Reed Sorenson (30%)
Jeff Gordon (52%) defeated Marcos Ambrose (48%)
Ryan Newman (83%) defeated Juan Pablo Montoya (17%)
Dale Earnhardt Jr. (51%) defeated Scott Speed (49%)
Tony Stewart (86%) defeated Sam Hornish Jr. (14%)
Matt Kenseth (65%) defeated AJ Allmendinger (35%)
Regan Smith (77%) defeated Robby Gordon (23%)
Martin Truex Jr. (88%) defeated Greg Biffle (12%)
Paul Menard (64%) defeated Brad Keselowski (36%)
Denny Hamlin (58%) defeated Mark Martin (42%)
This updates the brackets, which you can see below (click it to see it larger).
So let’s get to it! Here are the match-ups for Round Three! You can vote as many times as you want each day until
voting ends on Saturday, January 22nd.
UPDATE: I’ve extended voting through Sunday, January 23rd until 9am, because of a snafu with the voting form. // Voting for Round Three is over! Check out Round Four!
|Jamie McMurray||Joey Logano|
|Clint Bowyer||Travis Kvapil|
|Ryan Newman||Dale Earnhardt Jr.|
|Tony Stewart||Kasey Kahne|
|Casey Mears||Elliott Sadler|
|Martin Truex Jr.||Jeff Gordon|
|Paul Menard||Matt Kenseth|
|Regan Smith||Denny Hamlin|
Voting for Round Three is over! Check out Round Four!
It’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).
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|
|David Gilliland||Joey Logano|
|Clint Bowyer||Bobby Labonte|
|Kurt Busch||Travis Kvapil|
|Ryan Newman||Juan Pablo Montoya|
|Dale Earnhardt Jr.||Scott Speed|
|Sam Hornish Jr.||Tony Stewart|
|Carl Edwards||Kasey Kahne|
|Kevin Harvick||Casey Mears|
|Elliott Sadler||Reed Sorenson|
|Greg Biffle||Martin Truex Jr.|
|Jeff Gordon||Marcos Ambrose|
|Brad Keselowski||Paul Menard|
|AJ Allmendinger||Matt Kenseth|
|Robby Gordon||Regan Smith|
|Mark Martin||Denny Hamlin|
UPDATE: Round Two voting has ended. Stay tuned for the results and Round Three!
This year’s crop of racing-related commercials found drivers singing, professing their love of love and playing poker with Big Foot. Here is my list of the best commercials of 2010:
Tony Stewart Burger King Employee
My absolute favorite commercial of the year because it was real. Tony really did work at a Burger King and the result was really funny. I know it would be copying but I really think Lowe’s should put Jimmie Johnson to work in one of their stores. He’d be great at selling appliances, dontcha think?
The Sponsifier program was a big hit this year and it’s gotta be because their commercials were hilarious. I will never be able to get the line “I want Kyle Busch in a pink car and a pink suit” out of my mind or Joey Logano’s chainmail outfit and that look of utter disgust on his face.
Gillette Young Guns & Big Foot
Because Big Foot is a sore loser. I find that idea to be really funny.
Mario Andretti Honda
How adorable is Mario Andretti? Like, really adorable. All because he says “I’m hungry.” I love it.
Coca-Cola Drivers Sing it Out
People who can’t sing (or aren’t known for singing) and then unexpectedly start singing is a recipe for hilarity.
Honorable Mention: Gillette Young Guns Wedding
Because I just like Clint Bowyer in this one. We need more commercials with Clint flexing his funny bone in 2011!
2010 was the year of the baby in NASCAR. People were giving birth all over the place and because of this I can’t keep all of them straight. So I’ve compiled a list of the babies that were welcomed into the world this year and the ones that are on the way continuing the baby blitz into 2011.
Wyatt Herman Fritts Sadler
Parents: Amanda & Elliott Sadler
Born: February 15, 2010
Parents: Kate & Carl Edwards
Born: February 24, 2010
(Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Genevieve Marie Johnson
Parents: Chandra & Jimmie Johnson
Born: July 7, 2010
(Credit: Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Manuela Montoya Freydell
Parents: Connie Freydell & Juan Pablo Montoya
Born: July 19, 2010
Brooklyn Sage Newman
Parents: Krissie & Ryan Newman
Born: November 18, 2010
(Credit: Ryan Newman (facebook) – Photo by Karen Will Rogers Photography)
Carter Scott McMurray
Parents: Christy & Jamie McMurray
Born: November 25, 2010
Eliza Jo Hornish
Parents: Crystal & Sam Hornish Jr.
Born: December 28, 2010
Arriving in the new year will be…
– A girl for Cortney & Johnny Sauter. The couple’s daughter is expected to join her big brother, Penn, in April of 2011.
– A sibling for Katie & Matt Kenseth’s daughter, Kaylin, due in early 2011.
– (From what you guys have told me) A sibling for Kate & Carl Edwards daughter, Anne.
No, I’m not talking about Brett Favre’s penis.
While AJ Allmendinger’s crashy-crash on the last lap of the AMP Energy Juice 500 at Talladega was indeed a gnarly crash it didn’t add up to a “big one.” I choose to believe it’s because the usual ginormous crashes that take out large chunks of the field were talked up so much that that is why one didn’t happen. So I think next year we should all act like Talladega is just like Michigan and not say boo about anything “big.”
How excited are you that Denny Hamlin is only 14 measly points behind Jimmie Johnson going to Texas this week? And Kevin Harvick is right there, just 38 points behind. This is awesomeness and I’m afraid to talk about it for fear that it won’t stay awesome. So I’m leaving it at that. This is great, this is interesting, this is fun and it’s what we need.
On another note in regards to Jimmie. Don’t you think he looks like Elvis when he’s not wearing a hat? That hair and that beard, I just keep thinking about Elvis when I look at him.
Krissie Newman (L) and DeLana Harvick pose on the grid prior to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AMP Energy Juice 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on October 31, 2010 in Talladega, Alabama. (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Yea, that’s the whole story. You could have made a drinking game out of the words “loose” and “sideways” and you would of been drunk within the first 10 minutes of the race.
I loved it to much. It was dramatic and people were racing each other and trying not to lose control. I loooooved it. It was hard to watch, which means that it was an awesome race ‘cause I had no idea what was going to happen. It’s amazing there weren’t more wrecks.
How cute was the spat between Ryan Newman and Kasey Kahne? Gosh, I wish I was there. I would have loved to have been in that garage when they rolled in together. I don’t know why I find it so cute to see Kasey angry. Ha!
Congratulations to Tony Stewart and the No. 14 Office Depot/Old Spice team. I decided that I would only be happy if someone who hadn’t won a race this year won, so I’m totally good with Tony’s trip to Victory Lane.
Annnd another set of congrats to Jamie McMurray and the No. 88 Hellmann’s/BJ’s team for their win in the Nationwide Series on Saturday. That was super huge and awesome for JR Motorsports. I’m so glad Jamie got to win with that team.
So the place where I normally get pictures has no pictures from this weekend yet. I hope it’s yet. As soon as new pictures are available I’ll post ‘em.
The starting field of drivers poses during pre-race ceremonies before the start of Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Emory Healthcare 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. (Credit: Geoff Burke/Getty Images for NASCAR)
This is a special photo combo post for the Bristol weekend and the Nationwide race in Montreal.
The Montreal race was absolutely awesome. I loved that last lap. I wanted any of those guys to win, Boris Said, Jacques Villeneuve, or Max Papis. But Boris was able to pull out the win over Max. Such a great crazy finish. I, for one, would love to see what would happen if there was a Sprint Cup race at Montreal.
I was disappointed that Boris’ son, with his little blonde mop top, wasn’t on hand to watch his dad win. That would have been such a cute victory lane celebration.
Oh and how kind of freaky was it to watch Jacques breathing so hard in his car during the red flag? I seriously thought he was going to pass out at some point. I’ve never seen anyone breathing like that in a race car. Crazy. But he seemed totally fine after the race, must of been the adrenaline on that last lap.
Carl Edwards (R), driver of the Aflac Ford, stands on the grid with his wife Kate (L) as he hold his daughter Anne prior to the start of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series IRWIN Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 21, 2010 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Race car drivers Jacques Villeneuve (L) of Canada and his compatriot Patrick Carpentier arrive to sign autographs in preparation for the NAPA Auto Parts 200 Nationwide Series NASCAR race in Montreal, August 27, 2010. The race will take place on Sunday. (REUTERS/Shaun Best)
He’s coming back! Yay!
NASCAR driver Brian Vickers speaks to the media prior to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series IRWIN Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 21, 2010 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo by Jason Smith/Getty Images)
Ryan Newman (L), driver of the Wix Filters Chevrolet, stands with his wife Krissie on the grid prior to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series IRWIN Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 21, 2010 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Jimmie Johnson (L), driver of the Lowe’s Chevrolet, kisses his wife Chandra on the grid prior to the start of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series IRWIN Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 21, 2010 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images for NASCAR)
I love this photo. Kasey looks like he has zero interest in signing autographs.
Kasey Kahne, driver of the Budweiser Ford, walks away from fans in the garage area prior to practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series IRWIN Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 20, 2010 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo by Todd Warshaw/Getty Images)
Scott Speed (R), driver of the Red Bull Toyota, stands with his wife Amanda on the grid during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series IRWIN Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 20, 2010 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo by John Harrelson/Getty Images)
It’s funny when you don’t realize you want something so bad until there’s a chance it can actually happen. For me that was the possibility of AJ Allmendinger getting his first win at Watkins Glen yesterday. He was chargin’, running up front with those guys and it really seemed like it could of been his day.
Well, he didn’t win, Mr. Juan Pablo Montoya did, but I had a lot of fun cheering for AJ. I don’t have anything against Juan Pablo, but during the race when I was imagining who would have a better, more fun, reaction to winning in Victory Lane AJ won hands down. You know he would be waaaaaay more excited and happy and thankful if he’d won that race than Juan was. I love a first-time win, what can I say?
Anyway, congrats to Juan Pablo and the No. 42 Target Chevy team. And bonus congrats to crew chief Brian Pattie for his first Sprint Cup Series win, it was sweet to see his emotions post-race.
Even though I’ve never been to Watkins Glen I think it’s beautiful there. From what I can see on TV it looks fabulous and I really, really wanna go to the next race there. Hopefully that’ll happen next year. Watkins Glen is right up there with Bristol, Daytona and Talladega as the tracks that I want to visit the most.
I know the drivers might not agree but I really wish there were more road course races in the Sprint Cup Series schedule. I love ‘em. It jumbles everything, in terms of the race itself and the points standings. I guess as a Dale Earnhardt Jr. fan I shouldn’t wish for that but I have confidence in my driver no matter what, and one day that guy will prevail at a road course.
Denny Hamlin, driver of the FedEx Freight Toyota, stands on the grid with girlfriend Jordan Fish prior to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at Watkins Glen International on August 8, 2010 in Watkins Glen, New York. (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
Driver Jamie McMurray of Earnhardt Ganassi Racing sits on the steps of the Sprint Cup Series hauler on Friday before practice for the Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at the Glen at Watkins Glen, New York
Ryan Newman, driver of the US Army Chevrolet, and his wife Krissie, stand on the grid prior to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at Watkins Glen International on August 8, 2010 in Watkins Glen, New York. (Photo by Todd Warshaw/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Boris Said, driver of the Red Bull Toyota, stands on the grid with his family during the National Anthem prior to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at Watkins Glen International on August 8, 2010 in Watkins Glen, New York. (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
(left to right) Clint Bowyer, Tony Stewart, Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon, Jeff Burton, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Elliott Sadler hang out together before driver introductions for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at Watkins Glen International.
Juan Pablo Montoya clowns around with Tony Stewart prior to the start of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at Watkins Glen International.
Mobil 1 driver Sam Hornish Jr. holds his daughter, Addison, before climbing into the car during qualifying for Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at the Glen at Watkins Glen International, Watkins Glen, NY.
Marcos Ambrose (47) celebrates winning the Zippo 200 at Watkins Glen International in Watkins Glen, NY.
Martin Truex Jr.’s (56) helmet sits on his car during qualifying for the Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at The Glen race at Watkins Glen International in Watkins Glen, NY.
Bo Bice looks on during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at Watkins Glen International on August 7, 2010 in Watkins Glen, New York. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Max Papis, driver of the GEICO Toyota, looks on during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at Watkins Glen International on August 7, 2010 in Watkins Glen, New York. (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images for NASCAR)
A.J. Allmendinger (L), driver of the Insignia HDTV Ford, stands on the grid during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at Watkins Glen International on August 7, 2010 in Watkins Glen, New York. (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images for NASCAR)
I’m kidding! Calm down Roush Fenway Racing supporters. I was just making a funny.
But seriously, super huge congratulations to Jamie McMurray for winning the Brickyard 400 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway yesterday. Kudos to him and his team for winning a race that further cements a place for him in NASCARs history.
Now, can I talk about Victory Lane or Winner’s Circle at Indy? It’s really lame. It seems like a complete afterthought, like they finished making the hugh jass pagoda and then were all, “Ohh, where are we gonna do Victory Lane? Let’s wedge it over there since we made the stage for the anthem and the command to start engines needlessly large and round.”
It makes me feel squished and I’m not even there. It’s so awkward, why not just do everything on the track? Ok, just had to get that off of my chest it makes me mental every year for the Indy 500 and the Brickyard.
And speaking of Victory Lane how cute was Jamie when he kissed his wife’s stomach? Christy McMurray is pregnant with their first child who is due to arrive in December. So adorable. I’m going out on a limb and calling a set of twins for them. I have no proof, obviously, other than I think someone should have twins.
Jamie McMurray, winner of the Brickyard 400 kisses his wife Christy after kissing the bricks at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, on July 25, 2010. (UPI /Edwin Joseph Locke Photo via Newscom)
The pit crew for Jamie McMurray’s No. 1 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet runs down pit road to celebrate their win at the Brickyard 400 race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, IN.
Jamie McMurray, driver of the Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Boats Chevrolet, and his team kiss the bricks after McMurray won the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 25, 2010 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images for NASCAR)
The beard is back and he brought along a friend this time. I dunno if I like this trend.
Team owner Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the Amp Energy Chevrolet with team owner Rick Hendrick before the Brickyard 400 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, on July 25, 2010, in Indianapolis on July 25, 2010. (UPI/Thomas E. Hayden Photo via Newscom)
(R-L) Dallas Clark of the NFL’s Indianapolis Colts poses with brother Dan Clark in the flag stand before the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 25, 2010 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Travis Kvapil, driver of the Long John Silver’s Ford, stands by his car during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 25, 2010 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by John Harrelson/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Ryan Newman, driver of the Haas Automation Chevrolet, stands with his wife Krissie Newman on the grid before the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 25, 2010 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by John Harrelson/Getty Images for NASCAR)
So, if ESPN has Carl joining them after every race in the studio, do they really need Rusty to stick around?
Carl Edwards, driver of the Aflac Ford, reaches in his car during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 24, 2010 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Jason Smith/Getty Images)
(R) David Stremme, driver of the Air Guard/gtwgps.com Chevrolet, looks on from pit road during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 24, 2010 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Jason Smith/Getty Images)
Fans hold up signs outside the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 24, 2010 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by John Harrelson/Getty Images for NASCAR)
County music star Luke Bryan walks around in the garage area during the final practice session for the Brickyard 400 race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, IN.
(L-R) Jimmie Johnson, driver of the Lowe’s Chevrolet, poses with singer Jack Johnson in the garage during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 23, 2010 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Jason Smith/Getty Images)
If you’ve been living under a rock, or maybe you don’t watch ESPN, you might not know that the 2010 FIFA World Cup has kicked off in South Africa. This soccer thing is a big freaking deal and the USA has a team. Of course we all want the US to do well, but interestingly enough so does Dale Earnhardt Jr. Dale is a soccer fan. I had no idea, but he really is and he’s working with adidas an their “Every Team Needs a Fan” campaign.
To answer Melody’s question from my previous post, I was in Tony Stewart’s hauler for all of 5 minutes. It was luxuriously air conditioned and I didn’t see the back lounge area. Plus Tony wasn’t there he was out practicing but it was very cool to be inside a hauler for any reason and any amount of time.
Sunday was of course the Coca-Cola 600 and on my drive in to the track I couldn’t get over the amount of tailgating that was going on seemingly EVERYWHERE. Every blade of grass surrounding the track was filled with trucks, tents and people with barbecues. Even the parking lots of commercial office buildings had groups of people crowded together. It was so neat to see. There’s tailgating at the California races but nothing to the degree of what I saw outside of Charlotte Motor Speedway. It’s something that you have to witness for yourself.
I got to the track in time to attend a tweetup organized by SBNation’s Jeff Gluck. I went to meet up with ‘Fabulous’ readers Tara S. and Penni. It was really cool finally getting to meet them in person. I seriously adore the women that read my blog, you guys are the bestest! This is the perfect time to thank you all for the sweet comments about my interview with Tony Stewart. I really appreciate the encouragement.
As I alluded to in the title of this post, the Coca-Cola 600 was really all about Bradley Cooper and his hotness visiting a NASCAR race for the first time. He was there with three of his other cast-mates to promote their new movie “The A-Team.” I thought Brendan Fraser’s presence at Chicagoland a couple of years ago was a big deal but Bradley really brought out the ladies. Media and PR people alike make it a point to be in the media center for the cast’s press conference. As soon as Bradley walked into the media center people were requesting to have their photo taken with him (as you can see at right, that’s not me, unfortunately), which he happily obliged.
Saturday at Charlotte Motor Speedway was the day of the Nationwide Series race, the TECH-NET Auto Service 300 powered by CARQUEST. It was also the day that I forgot to put my sunscreen on and got a nice little tan.
The two days that hold the Sprint Cup Series qualifying and Nationwide Series races are always my favorite days during any race weekend. It’s because there’s always, like, 50% less people running around the garage. I know it’s silly but I love feeling like I have the garage all to myself. And practice is always the best time to get pictures of the cars as they exit and enter the track.
On this particular day I witnessed something that has been going on forever but I only discovered it last weekend. I’m not sure what the process is but some cars come off the track and before going to their garage stall to make adjustments they stop at some designated area near or in the garage and the guys from Goodyear check out their tires. There’s also a crew member from their team checking stuff and taking notes.
Dear Talladega Superspeedway,
I love you. I just do. You make me crazy and mental and while I always feel like I need a brown paper bag to breathe in just to make it through one lap, I still freaking love you!
Kevin Harvick’s amazing pass just before the finish line to take the win away from Jamie McMurray was one for the highlight reel. This win was HUGE for Kevin since he hadn’t won anything in the Sprint Cup Series in 3 years. I’m still shocked it’s been that long. I loved how his wife, DeLana, couldn’t watch the last lap. I don’t blame her, you’re such a nerve-wracking track! I’m so happy for them. We always expect such great races from you and you never fail to deliver.
Yes, I wish you could of gathered up some of that Native American burial ground mojo and used it to help Dale Earnhardt Jr. get the win instead but I’m okay with how things turned out. He’s still in the top-12 in points.
Oh! Before I forget, thank you for throwing another wrench in the relationship between Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson. I know I shouldn’t get excited when one person is mad at another person but it’s so freaking fun to watch Jeff Gordon get so pissed off. I wonder why it fascinates me so. I can’t get enough. I’m loving this season so far.
I can’t wait to see you again at Halloween! *JUAD* (that means I’m jumping up and down)
Sooo freaking close!
Kevin Harvick beats Jamie McMurray to the finish line by .011 seconds, the eighth-closest margin since the advent of electronic scoring in 1993, to win the Aaron’s 499 at Talladega Superspeedway. (Credit: Todd Warshaw/Getty Images)
Good for you, Ryan Newman. It was awesome to see him in victory lane after such a long drought. I loved his post-race interview and the one comment that stuck out the most for me was when he said that, when Tony Stewart came to congratulate him, he told Tony he loved him and that Tony said he loved him too. Isn’t that sweet? Men who are friends, openly declaring their love for each other without being all weird about it. Isn’t that cool? That was fun.
Here’s the video of it, in case you missed it:
Photo fun time!
John Wes Townley inspects the damage on his No. 21 Zaxby’s Chevrolet after an accident in practice. Clint Bowyer will take over driving duties in the No. 21 for the Bashas’ Supermarkets 200.(Credit: Christian Peterson/Getty Images)
Thanks to Mother Nature there was little to no racing today. Everything, and seriously, everything has been postponed to Monday.
The Goody’s Fast Pain Relief 500 at Martinsville Speedway has been moved to Monday where hopefully it’ll get started and run in it’s entirety. IndyCar had a race in the streets of St. Petersburg, Florida but that got rained out too and is supposed to take place tomorrow. And if that wasn’t enough, the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals at Charlotte Motor Speedway had to move too, to Monday, because of rain.
Rain is not the friend of motorsports that’s for sure.
I must apologize for my lameness in not updating this site for two weeks. Trust me, I really, really wanted to but I’ve had stuff to deal with. Everything is settled for now so I’m back and will be writing as usual from now on.
Here are photos from the weekend, so far, at Martinsville:
David Gilliland cranks his engines before Friday’s practice for the Goody’s Fast Pain Relief 500 at Martinsville Speedway. (Credit: John Harrelson/Getty Images for NASCAR)
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)
After the Myers Brothers Awards Ceremony, I left the Venetian and headed back to my room so that I could change out of my “business casual” dress and into clothes that were much warmer. It was so cold in Vegas. I wished it would get into the 70s but it never got close. Friday night, the night of the awards ceremony it was in the low 50s with freeze warnings in effect.
So I changed my clothes and tried to walk quickly to the monorail at Harrah’s/Imperial Palace station so that I could get to the MGM Grand as fast as possible because that’s where the start/finish line was for the Victory Lap. I wanted to see the top-12 drivers doing burnouts, but it wasn’t to be. I missed the whole thing. What I did see, from the windows of the monorail, was the traffic that was backed up for at least a mile next to the Strip. That was kinda neat.
Thursday, December 3rd was a big day full of events. However, my first event of the day had nothing to do with NASCAR but everything to do with moving from my $40 room at Harrah’s to my awesome not that much more expensive room at the Mirage. I loved my room at the Mirage so much that I took pictures of it. Which, I think, is saying something. For one, it had an iPod docking station & player so I could listen to my playlists while I got ready. The overall room design was modern & contemporary cool, complete with large flat screen TV with HD channels.
Anyway, after I got all checked in at the Mirage and waded through all of the authentic cowboys in town for the 2009 Wrangler National Rodeo Finals, I made my way over to the Venetian across the street for the NASCAR NMPA Myers Brothers Awards Ceremony.
Before the ceremony the top-12 drivers were available in an adjacent ballroom for Q&A sessions with media. I only had one question that I had any interest in asking any of the drivers and that was “Do you have any big plans for the off-season?”
Everyone was already engaged with media from various outlets: print, online, and TV. So I did a quick lap around taking pictures, and then chatted with ESPN PR.
And now my final, FINAL, post about the Pepsi 500 weekend at Auto Club Speedway!
Before driver introductions got started I met Heather, who is a friend of David Gilliland and his family, she’s also a Kasey Kahne fan. She reads my blog and we tweeted our locations and met up in the garage. We had a grrreat time hanging around, waiting to see which garage exit Kasey would use to go out to the driver intros stage. Because, really, you can never have enough Kasey Kahne photos.
There was no way I was going out to driver intros; it was a packed madhouse out there. I waited and then went out to pit road for the National Anthem. And I just so happened to stand near Kasey Kahne’s car ’cause it was near the exit I like.
A lot of attention that Auto Club Speedway gets is usually about their attendance numbers. Sometimes people call into question whether or not they should have two races since they never can seem to sell out the place.
I think everybody should get over it and move on. I think it would be an absolute shame to take their races away. Maybe they don’t need two, but you have to stay in the Southern California market. You just have to. Nobody else, except maybe the Daytona 500, gets the amount of celebrities out to their races the way Auto Club Speedway does. Of course it’d be really sad if they didn’t considering their proximity to Hollywood and all.
It is my duty as a sports blogger to have an opinion on everything and to make bold predictions. Normally I’m against this, everything doesn’t need to be said, but I thought it could be fun to make predictions about the outcome of The Chase, predictions that even I don’t take that seriously. Enjoy!
(in the order of the current points standings)
|1.) Mark Martin – I have believe that Mark Martin will win the Championship, unless something happens that makes it so that he doesn’t.|
|2.) Jimmie Johnson – Jimmie will definitely not win the Championship for a 4th straight year, because that would just be greedy and show-offy.|
|3.) Denny Hamlin – Denny will continue to be my sentimental fave for the year, and also my favorite Cribs episode featuring a NASCAR driver. Oh! He’ll also continue to get on people’s nerves.|
|4.) Juan Pablo Montoya – JPM will be frustrated.|
|5.) Kurt Busch – Hmm… Kurt will be all “Whatever” and I’ll be all “Whatever” and then he’ll be all, “Yeah, whatever.” He’s also writing for the Chicago Tribune’s Players Only blog on a weekly basis for the remainder of the season.|
|6.) Tony Stewart – Tony will get close to the Championship but won’t be able to seal the deal. He’ll continue to “mentor” young female drivers.|
|7.) Ryan Newman – He’s in the Chase? Oh, right, right. Ryan will win at least one race before the year is over.|
|8.) Brian Vickers – Bri Bri will be a threat for the Championship. He’ll continue to be supercute and will write a diary for Maxim.com. No really, he’s supposed to do that.|
|9.) Greg Biffle – Biffle’s eyes will pierce through you like lasers. They really do. His stare is intense. Yeah, he’s not winning this thing.|
|10.) Jeff Gordon – Jeff will hopefully *fingers crossed* impregnate his wife a second time and make the second cutest kid ever! I’d like to think he’d win the Sprint Cup but that’d mean I’d have to be mean to Mark Martin.|
|11.) Carl Edwards – Oh, Carly. Well, his Frisbee foot will heal just in time for him to not win the Championship. He’ll continue to confound female NASCAR fans everywhere with his supreme polite gorgeousness.|
|12.) Kasey Kahne – Kasey will pick himself up and dust himself off and start all over again tomorrow at Dover. He’ll improve his position. Kasey will also continue to confound me with his ability to be absolutely adorable without even trying. Look at that photo, c’mon!|
Congratulations to the twelve men that made it into the 2009 Chase for the Sprint Cup. It’s an interesting little group. I can’t believe the entirety of Stewart-Haas Racing made it in especially since I didn’t think they’d win a single race this year. Brian Vickers proved it really isn’t over til it’s over and made the Chase for the first time. I’m so excited for the No. 83 team.
I think it’s going to be a very fun Chase, at least I hope it is. It better be crazy at New Hampshire next weekend.
Here’s a little known fact about me. I get seriously nervous driving to the racetrack on the first day of a NASCAR race weekend. I mean, I get butterflies and super anxious. I’ve learned that this is a good thing, because if I wasn’t worried about it then it means it’s no big deal and it doesn’t mean anything to me. If I’m nervous about it I’m doing something right.
So that was me on Friday morning driving the super short 30 minutes to Infineon Raceway from my new home in Sonoma County. I moved to the city of Cotati just to be closer to my day job and cut down on my commute expenses but in the process I received the huge bonus of saving my sanity by not having to sit in excruciating traffic leaving the track each day. It’s a beautiful thing.
When I arrived at the track I picked up my credentials and then headed straight to the media center to grab the necessary schedules. I had to park up top next to the helipad and I made the wrong decision to just walk down the hills to the garage instead of waiting for the shuttle. Luckily for me this super nice man offered me a ride in his golf cart. It was great to not have to walk the whole way, but that ride down the hill in a super open vehicle was frightening. The entire time I was mentally and physically bracing myself for the possibility of being catapulted out of it at any moment. Super fun.
For the last few weeks I’ve been watching the races with the DirecTV HotPass driver channels. As I’ve said before it’s an awesome feature and I like it a lot. I’d love it if I could mute the commentary and just listen to in-car audio and vice versa, but whatever.
I’ve been meaning to talk about the gloves Dale Earnhardt Jr. wears while driving the No. 88. They’re black with a skeleton print. Every time I see them I think of the Cobra Kai gang from “The Karate Kid” movie. I am a child of the 80′s after all. Of course I rooted for Daniel-san to kick the butt of the evil jerks from the rival dojo but I couldn’t help but think that the leader of the Cobra Kai, Johnny, was super hot. Girls always like the bad guy, what can I say? Hehe. I’d also like to note that the actor who played Johnny is still a hottie to this very day (look up William Zabka).
Anyway, now you know the thoughts that run through my mind when I see Dale’s gloves. I have no idea where his inspiration for said gloves came from but I really dig ‘em. hehe. I wonder if Dale could get Mr. Miyagi to work with him this year.
Congratulations to Mark Martin for winning the Life Lock 400 at Michigan International Speedway! He and his team did an excellent job of being in the exactly the right place at exactly the right time. It’s all about being there at the end to take advantage of any and all opportunities that might come your way.
I don’t understand why TNT cut their coverage short when they had like 20 more minutes left to broadcast. Post-race interviews are always my favorite. Jimmie Johnson seemed a little ticked after the race. That was cool. I would pay money to see Jimmie fight with someone. Not physically but just have a really heated argument. It’d be fun. He’s always so relaxed and cool. Seeing him highly irritated would be refreshing.
Photos after the jump!!
Some things of interest:
– Athena Barber, Clint Bowyer’s ex-girlfriend, has joined 3 Wide Life as a correspondent and contributor for the nationally syndicated motorsports focused television show. “This is really exciting,” said Barber. “3 Wide Life focuses on the core of racing and I could not be happier to be a part of it. Racing is my life, and this gives me the opportunity to be around something that I love. Plus I get to share it with the fans and racers across the country.” In her first episode she interviews Robby Gordon. Check your local listings for show air dates.
– For the first time ever Infineon Raceway will host the Toyota/Save Mart 350 on Father’s Day. Recently some of NASCAR’s Chevy drivers shared their thoughts on Father’s Day and what their dads have meant to them:
“Racing is a family sport and it’s been very good to our family. My dad has been the biggest part of it since Day One when I was racing in motocross when I was four or five years old. He was the one who kept it all together. He instilled in me that hard work pays off and that you get out of it what you put in it, and that holds true for just about anything you do.”
- Clint Bowyer, No. 33 Cheerios/Hamburger Helper Chevrolet
“When you’re young, you take for granted all the things your father does. But, when you are a father, you think, ‘Wow, you do a lot.’ You have to really understand what being a father is all about to understand what Father’s Day really means. I don’t like being away from my kids on Father’s Day, but this is what I do, and they’ll take care of me some other weekend.”
- Jeff Burton, No. 31 Caterpillar Chevrolet
“Being a father makes me really appreciate my father that much more. … I also get to have some fun because I’ve got my daughter and my wife making Father’s Day cards and stuff. It’s cool and it’s only going to get better.”
- Jeff Gordon, No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet
“Hopefully (Father’s Day in Sonoma) it will inspire me to go out and win and wish my dad a happy Father’s Day from Victory Lane. My parents sacrificed everything to get me and my brother our starts, and racing has been a big part of my family.”
- Jimmie Johnson, No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet
“(My best Father’s Day racing memory) would have to be the Michigan race. We won the race in 2004 on Father’s Day weekend and I told him on the radio, ‘There’s your Father’s Day present,’ and he said, ‘That’s all I wanted.’”
- Ryan Newman, No. 39 Haas Automation/U.S. Army Chevrolet
“(My father, Nelson) never pressured me to be the best racecar driver in the world, but he did want me to be the best racecar driver that I could be. He never compared me to anybody else. He expected that what I could do was what I could do. He never said that because this guy over here could do something, that I should be able to do it, too. He pushed me hard, but he was fair about it. That’s probably why you see so much fire in me today, because he always wanted me to be the best that I could be.”
- Tony Stewart, No. 14 Office Depot/Old Spice Chevrolet
“My dad means a lot to me and he’s really done a lot for me over the years and really stuck behind me and what I’ve been trying to do in racing. He’s had a long career in racing himself, and he understands how difficult it can be and how fun it is when things go well. It’s so nice to having him at the racetrack, and I look forward to having him at the track on Father’s Day.”
– Casey Mears, No. 07 Jack Daniel’s Chevrolet
There’s still time to enter to win a Talladega Pepsi Throwback prize pack. Enter now! Contest ends Friday, June 19th, 2009.
That was the goal right?
So about that whole All-Star Race thing that was on Saturday.
I loved it! If NASCAR hadn’t brought back the 10-lap shootout at the end it wouldn’t have been nearly as awesome as it was.
It’s kinda weird how happy I was for Tony Stewart to win the thing, when I’m not really a Tony fan. I just think it’s great for Stewart-Haas Racing and it just goes to show that his two-car race team will be a force to be reckoned with, and it’s just a matter of minutes before he or Ryan Newman win a race that has points on the line.
I think that I had more things to say about the All-Star Race but because I’ve waited insanely long to write them down I’ve lost them. Hmmm.
Let’s think about this, what happened at the race? Dale didn’t win. Tony did. Jeff Gordon wrecked.
Oh! What was up with Joey Logano winning the fan vote to get into the All-Star race? He wasn’t on the radar, like, at all! I did not see that one coming. mind = blown. Where are Joey Logano’s fans? Where are you people? It’s not that I think he doesn’t have any, or that he shouldn’t, I just don’t understand it. He’s been around for 5 seconds and he’s getting voted into the All-Star race?
Denied!!! I guess the vote for A.J. t-shirt campaign just wasn’t enough.
AJ Allmendinger is all smiles after posting the quickest time during NASCAR Sprint Showdown practice at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. (Photo Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images)
Jeff Gordon battled Kyle Busch and Ryan Newman three-wide during the 10-lap shootout before spinning and hitting the wall, ending his night eight laps short of the finish. (Photo Credit: John Harrelson/Getty Images)
Raybestos Rookie of the Year candidate Joey Logano was announced as in the top 10 in votes for the Sprint All-Star Vote. Logano needs to finish in the top two in the Sprint Showdown or win the Fan Vote to make the All-Star Race. (Photo Credit: Drew Hallowell/Getty Images for NASCAR)
The crew members of Tony Stewart’s No. 14 Office Depot Chevrolet climb the fence to salute the fans after winning the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. (Photo Credit: Drew Hallowell/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Congratulations to Jeff Gordon for winning the Samsung 500 last weekend at Texas Motor Speedway!
It was exactly what I was waiting for and I’m so glad he’s got a win under him to break that insanely long losing streak he was on. The curious thing is that I think Jeff’s daughter Ella, who will turn two this June, is more popular than he is these days. What did all the fans (okay, maybe it was just the women) want to see when he got into victory lane? Ella of course. What did we get? No Ella! What is up with that? So now Jeff has to win again with Ella on hand so that we’ll all get to see her in victory lane with her daddy. I might collapse from the insane cuteness of it all but it’d be worth it.
During the race I listened to Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s radio using NASCAR.com’s TrackPass RaceView. I have to admit that I did doze off at one point, and then awoke to hear Dale saying something about how the orange Gatorade gets really sweet as the race wears on and he thinks they should add more water to it. To which I said to myself “What?”
In other news…
– My guest post on the NASCAR This Week site is up and you should definitely check it out. They chose a bunch of NASCAR bloggers to fill in for Monte Dutton while he was off this week on furlough.
NASCAR driver Ryan Newman (left) fishes with country music artist Josh Turner during Aaron’s Fish & Fun at the Races at Texas Motor Speedway on April 4, 2009 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images for Texas Motor Speedway)
(Left to right) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Brian Vickers talks about his No. 83 Red Bull Toyota with New Orleans Saints running back Reggie Bush before Sunday’s Samsung 500 at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)
The complete Foreigner set list from someone who was actually there:
Cold As Ice
Feels Like The First Time
Juke Box Hero
I Want To Know What Love Is
Lead vocalist Kelly Hansen of the band Foreigner performs during the AMDRO Fire Ant Bait Pre-Race Show prior to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Samsung 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 5, 2009 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images for Texas Motor Speedway)
I’m surprised Jimmie Johnson didn’t come over with one of his Kobalt tools and try to finish the job for Jeff.
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 DuPont Chevrolet, adds his name to the Wall of Champions after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Samsung 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 5, 2009 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo by Jason Smith/Getty Images for Texas Motor Speedway)
Kyle Busch (R), driver of the #18 Snickers Toyota, poses with his girlfriend Samantha Sarcinella in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series O’Reilly 300 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 4, 2009 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for Texas Motor Speedway)
Racing and all that is all good but here’s what I really want to talk about: Dale Earnhart Jr.’s ex-girlfriend is on the current season of America’s Next Top Model. Her name is Kortnie, she’s 24 and she’s from Houston, Texas.
As a rule (the season pass never leaves my Tivo!) I watch every cycle of ANTM, and I thought it was really interesting that Tyra Banks (the creator/host of the show) called Kortnie out on the fact that she had indeed dated someone “famous” at one point in time. They even showed a photo of Kortnie in victory lane with Dale. What that has to do with whether or not she can actually model I have no idea, but whatever. The thing that I take issue with is that they’re categorizing Kortnie as a plus size model. If she’s plus size then we’re all screwed. She has big boobs and is a bit hippy, but other than that she can’t be bigger than a size 8 at the MOST, and I think that’s even going to far. I’m rooting for Kortnie, because she is a striking girl and because I think it’s absurd to put her in the plus size category.
In other news…
– Congratulations to Kurt Busch for winning the Kobalt Tools 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Sunday. Wasn’t that fun? I thought it was a great race at the end. I can’t believe that I was actually pulling for Jeff Gordon and Kurt Busch to win something. I’m usually against them, but these past couple years my outlook has changed. It’s a really weird feeling.
– Nationwide Series driver Burney Lamar and his supermodel wife Niki Taylor welcomed a new addition to their family last week. Their daughter, Ciel Taylor Lamar, was born on Wednesday, March 4th at 11:30am in Nashville, Tennessee weighing in at 7 pounds, 8 ounces. This is the first child for Lamar and the third for Taylor who is the mother to twin 14-year-old boys Jake and Hunter (from her first marriage).
Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge, and his wife Eva participate in pre-race activities on pit road before the start of Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Kobalt Tools 500 at the Atlanta Motor Speedway. (Photo Credit: Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Ryan Newman, driver of the No. 39 Haas Automation Chevrolet shares a laugh with his car owner and driver of the No. 14 Office Depot/Old Spice Chevrolet, Tony Stewart, prior to Sunday’s start of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Kobalt Tools 500 at the Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Ga. (Photo Credit: Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)
The 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)
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)
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)
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)
Upon hearing the news that David Gilliland might be the odd man out at Yates Racing I became deeply pissed off.
I know that this is yet another result of the economy but that doesn’t make it suck less, actually it makes it suck worse. Because you know that if everything was ok, he’d definitely have his ride.
I seriously hope that David gets something together in time for the Daytona 500. It was nice to see that he posted a message to his fans on his website to let them know that he’s not giving up. I would expect nothing less. And I’m sure he knows that his fans are not giving up on him either. If I had it my way he’d be in the No. 38 sponsored by Starbucks and that’d be that.
In other news…
– Elliott Sadler got married yesterday, but he may not be able to go on his honeymoon. Elliott spoke with the media last week and apparently he’s having passport troubles:
I’ve had a pretty interesting week. Y’all haven’t asked me the good question yet. The wedding is Saturday. If I have two minutes, I’ve got to tell you something. We’re planning this honeymoon to go out of the United States, so I need a passport. Well, my passport was out of date, so I sent it in to get reinstated, but somehow my passport has been reported lost or stolen. So they’ve got a red flag up on security on my passport, so here I am three days before the wedding, we’re supposed to leave Sunday and fly out of the country on our honeymoon, and I don’t have a passport and don’t know if I’m going to get one. So actually the questions you guys are giving me today are pretty easy to the questions I think my wife is going to ask me Sunday if I’m not allowed to go on the honeymoon.
– Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing might be pared down to just two cars this year. Gag me.
– Out of all of the famous people that Dale Earnhardt Jr. has met, were there any that he was surprised to learn were racing fans? On a recent news conference he sort of answered the question, but the quote that stuck out to me was this one regarding Dave Grohl, lead singer for the Foo Fighters. Said Dale, “In 2000 I sent Dave Grohl from the Foo Fighters a guitar, and he got the guitar two days before my dad was killed, so he played the guitar after he found out about the whole story, he played it on a couple shows the next several months, and then he called me, left me a couple messages, and I was too scared to call him back. I regret that one.”
– The dude in the music video for the Toby Keith song “God Love Her” looks just like Kevin Harvick, except with long hair. I’m just sayin’.
Tony Stewart chats with members of the media during the NASCAR Preseason Thunder Fanfest at Daytona International Speedway. (Photo Credit: Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)
“I kind of relish the underdog role,” said NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series driver Brad Keselowski during a news conference Saturday at the Preseason Thunder Fan Fest at Daytona International Speedway. “It’s inspiring to me. It drives me to prove that we can do it.” (Photo Credit: Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR
(Right to left) Carl Edwards signs an autograph for a fan during NASCAR Preseason Thunder Daytona Fan Fest Friday at Daytona International Speedway. (Photo Credit: Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)
NASCAR Sprint Cup driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. talked about everything from barbeque ribs and driver Brad Keselowski to racing in Talladega and what he names his cars in a news conference Saturday at Preseason Thunder Fan Fest at Daytona International Speedway. (Photo Credit: Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Doesn’t Denny look a lot thinner now? I dunno, he looks cute though. He’s growing on me.
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Denny Hamlin shares a laugh during a news conference at the Sprint Sound and Speed Fan Festival Presented by SunTrust Saturday at the Nashville Municipal Auditorium. (Photo Credit: Steve Green/Getty Images for NASCAR)
NASCAR Sprint Cup driver of the No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet Jeff Gordon thought a fan just wanted to whisper something in his ear, but what he got was a kiss on the cheek on Saturday at the Preseason Thunder Fan Fest at Daytona International Speedway. (Photo Credit: Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Defending Daytona 500 champion Ryan Newman starts the game between the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Philadelphia Flyers with Lightning mascot Thunderbug saying ‘Let’s Play Hockey’ at the St. Pete Times Forum on January 15, 2009 in Tampa, Fla. (Photo Credit: Scott Audette/NHLI via Getty Images)
So I was listening to the NASCAR channel on Sirius XM the other day and Bobby Labonte was a guest. He was asked how he felt about leaving Petty Enterprises and his prospects for the future. It was funny/annoying how all of the conversations started with the same thought about how crappy the economy is and then ended with the same question of “Has anyone from this particular race team approached you about joining their organization??” It’s ridiculous.
Honestly, all Bobby needs to tell me is whether or not he wants to race anymore, the rest is obvious. Of course he’s going to keep his options open. Of course things are tough for everybody right now because of the recession.
So about the economy and it’s affect on NASCAR. I’m sick of hearing about it. I know that it’s what’s going on, I know that it’s important and all of that, but that doesn’t mean it’s not incredibly depressing. I find myself trying to be extra optimistic about it all because I can’t bear to imagine what life would be like without NASCAR. Did you hear about the Arena Football League? They’re closing down for a year, with the full intention of coming back in 2010. Ew.
I know that NASCAR isn’t the AFL (Thank God), but it’s just one of those things that makes you pause and think about it for a minute.
In other news…
– Chevrolet is welcoming Tony Stewart back into the fold by giving away 30 trips to the 2009 Daytona 500 in February along with the opportunity to meet Tony and Ryan Newman. You can also enter to win Tony’s Chevy Silverado. Go to chevy.com/tony for all of the contest details.
Would you like to go to France? I know, so would I! Well now you have a chance to win a trip to the 24 Hours at LeMans event! Just enter the Amooco Ultimate Contest powered by CarDomain.com and you could win an amazing trip abroad. Now, even if you don’t win the grand prize you could still win free gas and who doesn’t love free gas??
Check out the details:
BP has teamed up with CarDomain.com for the Amoco Ultimate Contest. Car enthusiasts will be encouraged to upload photos of their own vehicles to the site, while CarDomain visitors can vote for the most impressive cars. Prizes will be awarded to winners on a weekly and monthly basis. One winner will be awarded the grand prize at the conclusion of the contest.
* One Grand Prize winner receives a trip to the 24 Hours at LeMans event in France
* Two winners receive trips to an American LeMans Series race
* Monthly winners of a $1,000 BP gift card
* Weekly winners of a $250 BP gift card
Check out the Amoco Ultimate Contest!
In addition to the amazing contest listed above, the lovely people from BP/Amoco have given me 3 (three) $25 gas cards to give away to a few of my awesome readers. Enter to win today! My contest ends October 31, 2008.
In other news…
– Here’s an opportunity to win face time with Carl Edwards, I mean, the Gillette Young Guns, yeah that’s what I meant:
With the Chase in full swing, crew chiefs Bob Osborne and Mike Ford will be focusing on the most precise details to give Carl Edwards and Denny Hamlin every advantage possible on the track. But these two crew chiefs won’t just be assisting their respective teams, they’ll also be helping out NASCAR fans who enter the new Gillette Young Guns TimeShaver Challenge that rewards weekly prizes and a chance to race with the Young Guns to those aligned with the driver who shaves the most off his pit road time each week. Fans can be paired with a driver by purchasing a Gillette Fusion razor or visiting http://www.gilletteyoungguns.com.
In addition to weekly group prizes, the “TimeShaver Challenge” will provide 10 grand prize winners the chance to travel to Charlotte, N.C., and compete in a customized driving school led by the Gillette Young Guns, which include Clint Bowyer, Kurt Busch, Carl Edwards, Denny Hamlin, Kasey Kahne and 2008 Daytona 500 Champion Ryan Newman.
First, in regards to the race at Kansas this past weekend, I have to talk about Pay The Fan and fantasy racing in general. I’m in the Chase for the PTF Cup and I think that it makes the races more interesting. While watching the race I found that I kept asking myself which drivers I had picked, and wondering if I made the right decision. I know that I could of easily gotten up and went over to the computer and double-checked, but it’s much more fun to wait until Monday to review my picks. I find that I’m always surprised by some of my choices.
At any rate my Group A driver is of course going to be Dale Earnhardt Jr. for this weekend’s race at Talladega and he better come through with something since this is one and only time I can use him during the Chase.
About the race, it was so awesome at the end. I loved Carl Edwards’ ballsy move in the last lap to gun it and try to bounce off the wall to victory over Jimmie Johnson. Carl said he’d tried that move in a video game and it worked, but apparently in real life not so much. It was great though. If Dale Jr. doesn’t win the Championship I would be fine if Carl walked away with it. To be honest I really don’t want to see Jimmie win another Championship. It would be boring. I know it would be cool in the grand scheme of things, the whole three-peat thing, but I just want to see someone new.
I think that the luck that Kyle Busch has been having in these past three races is really, really, really sad considering the year he’s had. As much as I didn’t want to think about it I figured he’d run off with the Championship with no problems. I feel sorry for him; I really do because I don’t think it’s fair. He wins 8 races and then nothing? But I must say that he’s still a tool for being so jerky in his post race interview on Sunday.
I get it, he’s frustrated and mad and whatever. I totally get it believe me I do. I know first-hand what it feels like to have horrible stuff happen to you and then have to talk to people about it. I still managed to not sound like a ho though. It is possible to have a graceful attitude even when the chips are down.
During green flag pit stops Kyle Busch and Mike Bliss tangled, leaving Busch’s car smoking as he pulled it into the garage on lap 155. (Photo Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Steve Letarte, crew chief for the No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet, talks with his driver, Jeff Gordon, during practice Friday at Kansas Speedway. Gordon, who qualified 13th, was able to practice and qualify despite not feeling well all day. (Photo Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Ryan Newman, driver of the No. 12 alltel Dodge, talks to Clint Bowyer, driver of the No. 07 Jack Daniel’s Chevrolet, in the garages of Kansas Speedway during Friday’s practice. Both drivers will start in the middle of the pack on Sunday for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Camping World RV 400 (Newman at 15th and Bowyer at 24th). (Photo Credit: Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
Star of the film “Hairspray” and national anthem singer for Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Camping World RV 400 Elijah Kelley reacts to the roar of the 43 race cars starting their engine within feet of him on pit road. (Photo Credit: Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)
So apparently Ryan Newman is set to be announced as the second driver for Stewart Haas Racing. The official announcement is supposed to happen tomorrow. This is yet another one of NASCAR’s worst kept secrets. I really want someone to send me a NASCAR secret so that I can blab it to everyone.
In other news…
– I’m going to the Pepsi 500!!! I’ve got media credentials again and I’m super excited about attending this Labor Day race weekend at the Auto Club Speedway in Southern California. The Sprint Cup race falls on my birthday (August 31st) and do you know what the greatest present would be? Well, besides winning the lottery, the best present would be if one of my guys would win the race. So I’m putting David Gilliland, Travis Kvapil, Clint Bowyer, and Dale Earnhardt Jr. on notice.
– And now for some random photos that I haven’t had the chance to post before today:
Oakland A’s pitcher Brad Ziegler gets a ride to his game on Wednesday from former IndyCar driver Davey Hamilton in a two-seat IndyCar. Hamilton drove the pair to the Oakland Coliseum from downtown Oakland, the drive was a promotional event in advance of the PEAK Antifreeze & Motor Oil Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma County at Infineon Raceway, August 22-24, 2008.
(photo credit: Chucke Walkden)
Motocross star Travis Pastrana took in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Pocono back in June of this year. He recently won the gold medal for Rally Car racing at the Summer X Games in Los Angeles.
Travis Pastrana in Pocono, June ’08, (c) David Vaughn (Courtesy of Red Bull Racing Team)
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)
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)
On Saturday morning I got the chance to sleep in a bit before heading to the racetrack. Things weren’t really starting up until 3 in the afternoon, but I still ended up leaving my hotel at 11. I didn’t want to get stuck in some crap parking spot.
My first order of business at the track was to head back over to the grandstands so that I could try a Wisconsin cheese curd for the very first time. A guy that I’d met a couple months ago is from Illinois and he swore that cheese curds were the best thing ever and that California cheese paled in comparison, so I had to try them. However, I found out they were only serving them in the deep fried format, not fresh. I figured I’d still get the essence of it so I bought ‘em anyway. They were really tasty! It’s similar to eating fried mozzarella but a lot lighter. They’ve got a very mild cheddar flavor.
I sat next to the fountain in front of the main gates eating my cheese curds, people watching. After awhile I headed back to the infield.
Brendan Fraser was the Grand Marshal for the Sprint Cup race and a press conference was scheduled for him and Ryan Newman at 3pm. So of course I was there in the media center waiting for them to arrive at 2:45. I stood in the back of the room next to all the video cameras. Brendan is funny and cool and relaxed. His personality from the minute he walked through the door was so obvious. He was similar to his character in the movie Bedazzled with Elizabeth Hurley, or even in The Mummy. He’s not arrogant or stuck-up. He was totally down to earth and it was clear that was the case when he said that the NASCAR fans he’d met that day were the nicest people.
As I predicted the gathered media had zero quality questions for Brendan. I still couldn’t think of anything myself which irked me later on in the day when I finally thought of one. There was a great moment at the end of the conference when the moderator asked if there were anymore questions and the room was silent. So Brendan made cricket noises. Funny stuff. All told I think it lasted maybe 10 or 15 minutes.
Ok, so I made a beeline for the exit and rushed to wait outside. Apparently that was everybody else’s move too. The majority of the media swarmed Ryan Newman and asked him questions about his future and his chances for the weekend. Meanwhile Brendan was standing next to Ryan’s mob being interviewed by a local news crew. I stood there in front of him and snapped photos. He’s so adorable, and tall, and cute. *sigh* And as everyone found out later on in the day he gave one of the best “Gentlemen, start your engines” I’ve ever heard. He’s right up there with Matthew McConaughey in my book.
So get this as I’ve said before there are rules for the media about getting autographs and such. You’re not allowed to ask the drivers for them and by extension you would think that would include photos too. Well this one group of local tv people didn’t get that memo. They snapped photos of each other with Brendan Fraser after they interviewed him and then later that night they stopped Jimmie Johnson as he was leaving the media center to get a photo with him too. I just had to shake my head.
The second funny/cool thing Brendan did was after his interview. Ryan was still in the middle of the media mob and I had moved over to that group to try and get a shot of him too. A few seconds later I looked up and over the crowd and I see Brendan snapping photos of Ryan the same way I was. I stepped back and watched as he walked around the mob snapping photos of them and then turned his back to them and started to take photos of himself in front of Ryan and the reporters. The man could not be anymore likeable, it’s disgusting.
Ryan Newman answers questions outside the media center at Chicagoland Speedway on Saturday, July 12, 2008 (photo credit: The Fast and the Fabulous)
Brendan Fraser takes pictures of himself and Ryan Newman outside the media center at Chicagoland Speedway on Saturday, July 12, 2008 (photo credit: The Fast and the Fabulous)
My favorite saying is “shut up!” It’s the thing I say when someone says or does something that amazes, stupefies or shocks me. It’s interesting, I’m saying, “shut up” when what I really want is for that person to continue and tell me more. Anyway, I was muttering “shut up!!!” to myself all day long as I came across various bits of news.
– There’s a report out that Teresa Earnhardt has been courting potential investors for Dale Earnhardt Inc. I knew this would throw Dale Earnhardt fans into a tizzy. From a financial standpoint I can understand why the would do this, but at the same time it’s kind of irritating because she wouldn’t give Dale Earnhardt Jr. half of his father’s company. DEI president Max Siegel is saying that they don’t have plans to sell the company at this time. Mmmhmmm.
– The Navy is set to announce (tomorrow) his plans to leave Joe Gibbs Racing and start his own team, taking over at Haas-CNC Racing. I guess this isn’t surprising, since people have been talking about it for a while now. It would be nice if one of these so-called rumors would actually not come true for once.
– Okay, so here’s the best piece of news today. Actor Brendan Fraser will be on hand for the Lifelock.com 400 at Chicagoland this weekend. He’ll be there to promote his upcoming movie The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor (they’re really wringing the life out of that franchise, aren’t they?). Ryan Newman’s No. 12 Kodak Dodge Charger will carry a special paint scheme for the movie and Fraser will also serve as Grand Marshal for the race. He’ll be signing autographs, along with Ryan, at the No. 12 souvenir trailer at 1:30 p.m. CT. on Saturday.
Uhm, okay, I have sort of a small, tiny, wee crush on Mr. Fraser and I’m so disgustingly excited at the prospect of seeing him in person. Dare I ask a question at the press conference on Saturday? I’m not sure of what I should ask, it needs to be clever and smart and fabulous. If you can think of something let me know!
A few weeks ago I was given a copy of a new NASCAR DVD set entitled “Full Throttle Adrenaline Volumes 1 & 2″ to check out. I have to say that it’s a really cool and interesting set.
The first disc is hosted by Fox Sports pit road reporter Steve Byrnes who takes you through a bunch of classic race finishes and crashes. There were moments that I hadn’t seen before like the time when Michael Waltrip had a truly gnarly crash into the side of a wall that basically peeled his car a part like a banana. It also shows the moment when Michael proposed to his wife Buffy in victory lane. There’s commentary from drivers like Ricky Craven and Kurt Busch recounting their super close finish at Darlington back in 2003.
The second disc is my favorite. It features interviews with various crew chiefs, owners and drivers like Dale Earnhardt Jr., Casey Mears, Ryan Newman and Boris Said. They talk a little bit about their lives away from the track. You get to see Ryan’s classic car collection and Boris’ adorable blond & curly haired son. I think seeing a driver out of their element is a great way to get perspective on what they’re like as just regular dudes.
The discs also have extras like a trip to the NASCAR Research and Development Center in Charlotte and an in depth look at Elliott Sadler’s crazy crash at Talladega in 2003.
I was given three extra copies of this awesome DVD set to giveaway.
Enter the contest today! The contest ends on July 4, 2008.
It was a super sweet moment seeing the group of NASCAR moms standing the track telling their son’s to start their engines.
With that said though it sucks that Kurt and Kyle Busch’s mom had to take on the fans booing her son. It’s one thing to boo Kyle but not when his mom is being honored for Mother’s Day. That’s really lame.
Kurt (left) and Kyle (right) help their mother Gaye (center) off of the stage before the Dodge Challenger 500 at Darlington Raceway (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Brian and Ramona Vickers leave the stage before the Dodge Challenger 500 at Darlington Raceway (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Ryan Newman and his mother Diane take part in driver introductions before the Dodge Challenger 500 at Darlington Raceway (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Everytime I see Kasey’s mom, Tammy, I’m always in awe of the fact that she looks like she could be his sister and I don’t mean that in an Eddie Haskell kind of way either. She looks great.
Tammy Kahne and her son Kasey wave to the Darlington Raceway crowd before the Dodge Challenger 500 (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Elliott Sadler follows his mother Bell off of the stage before the Dodge Challenger 500 at Darlington Raceway (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Reed and mother Becky Sorenson salute the crowd before the Dodge Challenger 500 at Darlington Raceway (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Tony Stewart and his mother, Pam Boas, wave to the Darlington Raceway crowd during driver introductions for the Dodge Challenger 500 (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Dale Jr’s mom, Brenda, wins for best outfit, I would totally go out and buy this entire ensemble. And I’m not just saying that ’cause she’s the mother of my favorite driver. Seriously, it’s a great look.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. follows his mother, Brenda Jackson, off of the stage before the Dodge Challenger 500 at Darlington Raceway (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Carol Mears follows her son Casey off of the stage before the Dodge Challenger 500 at Darlington Raceway (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Carol Bickford and her son, Jeff Gordon, waves at the crowd at Darlington Raceway, where Gordon has won seven NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR)
The winner of the Wave the Green Flag contest, Betty Easley, received an all-expense-paid travel package to the Dodge Challenger 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Darlington Raceway over Mother’s Day weekend (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR)
And so here are a lot of the things I’ve been meaning to post this week.
– Jeff Gordon escorted his wife, Ingrid Vandebosch to the Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute Gala on Monday night. The theme of the night was “Superheroes” and I think Ingrid was trying to channel Zorro with her flamenco inspired dress. It was good enough to make the “good” part of Jezebel’s “The Good, The Bad & The Ugly” list for the night.
– In case you hadn’t heard this Sunday is Mother’s Day and as is customary some of the NASCAR drivers’ moms will be in attendance at the Dodge Challenger 500 at Darlington Raceway on Saturday. The mothers will be introduced with their sons during driver introductions and will also give the guys the go ahead to start their engines.
Casey Mears’ mom, Carol, will be there this weekend and he had this to say about her: “My mom is a great lady. She has been there for me and my racing career since the beginning. She still does a lot for me and my company, Casey Mears Inc. She’s just always there and is honestly one of the best people I know.
“It’s cool what Darlington does for all of the mothers on Mother’s Day weekend. I know that it gives my mom a good perspective of what I do each weekend with walking across the stage and waving to the fans — what I see and hear every race day. I know that every year she wears heels and every year she is so nervous and worried that she’s going to fall. She doesn’t really like the steps much.”
– Brian Vickers’ mom Ramona will also be at Darlington tomorrow and she had this to say about Brian:
“All you want is for your child to be successful, and every mother wants their child to be happy,” Ramona Vickers said. “I’m so proud of Brian — his actions, what he says, how he drives. I supported him in whatever he chose to do, and he chose NASCAR.”
There have been times where a mother’s instinct kicks in.
“He’s made us nervous a little bit,” she said, “but as you progress in your career, there’s a little more protection as far as safety. I’m more worried about who’s around him (in traffic), but I think he’s sometimes safer in the race car as he is out on the streets. I feel confident that the team is on its game with safety.”
– Kurt Busch is set it unveil the new Kurt Busch Superdome at the Victory Junction Gang Camp on Tuesday, May 20th at 2 p.m.:
The project was announced in May 2006, with Kurt announcing the donation of the initial $1 million in support of the project. The facility will provide opportunities for indoor sports in a climate-controlled environment. “It’ll be like seeing a dream come true to finally get the doors open and see all the kids enjoying themselves,” said Kurt. “It’s been a labor of love for all of the people involved and I’m so proud and grateful to have the opportunity to make a contribution in this manner to the Petty camp.” Officials are still ironing out all the final details. Several entertainment and sports figures are expected to attend including members of the Carolina Panthers and Ryan Newman, 2008 Daytona 500 Champion, Kurt’s teammate at Penske Racing.
– And since we’re on the subject of Penske Racing, wanna meet Ryan Newman? He will be at the Alltel Store in Concord, North Carolina (6140 Bayfield Parkway) from 6-8 p.m. on May 14th, 2008. There will be a chance to get autographs from Ryan and win prizes too!
Newman will be part of a webcast from the store at 7:30 p.m. ET, which will be broadcast on www.alltelracing.com. Fans can submit questions for Newman through the Alltel Racing web site.
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.
Anytime a non-Cup regular wins a Nationwide Series race it’s a good thing in my book. Congratulations to Scott Wimmer and his team for winning the Pepsi 300 at Nashville Speedway on Saturday.
I really wish they wouldn’t even let Cup regulars into the Nationwide races in the first place. I think it would allow for more unknowns to show their stuff, everybody always says the Nationwide series is like the minor leagues in baseball right? Well you don’t see Barry Zito or A-Rod spending time with the San Jose Giants or the Charleston RiverDogs. The same should be true for NASCAR. I think it would give people more time to develop their skills and actually give drivers a job that’ll last, instead of having to compete with Cup dudes that have more experience.
Ok, so about the subject of the post. Poor Jamie McMurray, Associated Press writer Jenna Fryer wrote an article about him (Outside the top 35, NASCAR driver Jamie McMurray in danger of derailing once promising career) and his points standings woes that makes it seem like the end is very, very near for Jamie.
It can only mean something is off with McMurray, and it’s something only he can fix. Until he gets his head back in the game, he doesn’t stand a chance at saving his season.
While I recognize the obvious issues and the reality that he needs to put some really good runs together, It still feels a little bit premature to say he’s done for. But then again rides, good rides, are hard to come by these days and there isn’t a lot of room for error. Jamie seems to think his current status is a product of bad luck:
“There are a lot of expectations for myself and the No. 26 IRWIN Industrial Tools team heading into Martinsville this weekend. We know we are outside the top 35 and right now, the only goal we have is to get ourselves back into the top 35. We’ve had a really rough start to the season, and honestly, it’s hard to pinpoint one exact reason — we’ve just had a lot of bad luck. We’ve spent a lot of time over the last week and a half looking at what we need to do avoid the bad luck that has followed us around since the start of the season.
“I’m really glad the next race is Martinsville. Last year, I qualified second in the spring race, and I think ninth in the second race. Martinsville is one of my favorite tracks, so to know that I have to qualify my way in, I’m glad that it’s at Martinsville.
I just hope Jamie and his team can get it (whatever “it” is exactly) together and get back into the top 35.
In other news…
– On Thursday Ryan Newman will be at the grand opening of an Alltel store in Lynchburg, VA. He’ll be taking pictures, signing autographs and giving away stuff. (3919 Wards Road, Lynchburg, VA — 6pm to 8pm ET)
– Dale Earnhardt Jr. is on one of the ten covers that make up ESPN The Magazine’s tenth anniversary issue. I bought the magazine this past weekend and I have to say that I think it’s one of the best photos ever taken of Dale Jr. He’s looks reeeeally good in that Armani suit. The magazine has two sides, with five covers on each and Dale’s is about 4 pages into the LeBron James side.
– Another Dale Jr. tidbit, he’s going to be featured on MTV Cribs again but this time they cover the western town he built on his land, Whiskey River. Jade Gurss has a photo gallery from the shoot (Jade’s Blog). Exact air dates of this latest Cribs episode are still to be determined.
What can I say about the Daytona 500? I’m serious… What can I say about it? I’m stoked that Ryan Newman won, I’m pretty sure that no one was expecting that. I know everyone is saying that Hendrick Motorsports got off to a bad start for the year, which is kinda true but 1.) It’s one race and 2.) Dale Earnhardt Jr. finished 9th so that’s a win as far as I’m concerned. hehe.
I’m shocked that I’m about to say this, I really, truly am shocked, but Kurt Busch is kinda growing on me. I know! I can’t believe I just said that. I still don’t dig his little brother Kyle, but Kurt showed some real maturity on Sunday and I have to give him props for that. He could have tried to go after the glory for himself but he didn’t, he helped his teammate instead. I so totally respect that. This is freaking me out I have to stop talking about it.
In other news…
How great was it to have Fox back covering NASCAR? Getting to watch the race with Darrell Waltrip, Mike Joy and Larry McReynolds is seriously like coming home. No, it’s like coming home with a Grande Cinnamon Dolce Latte (with whip cream!) from Starbucks, lounging on the couch with a big blanket and fresh baked chocolate chip cookies. It’s that good.
I’ve been reading the book “One Helluva Ride: How NASCAR Swept the Nation” by Washington Post writer Liz Clarke. I’m this close to finishing and I have to say that this was the perfect time to read it. The Daytona 500 brings up memories of the past, NASCAR’s beginning and it’s heroes. “One Helluva Ride” is the perfect companion. I wanted to get out of the house yesterday, so I took the book with me to Starbucks. Once I got to the parts about Dale Earnhardt’s death in 2001 I was crying — I’m sure the people around me were like “What’s her deal??” At any rate, I hope to get the chance to speak with Liz and ask her some questions. More on that later.
Actress Amy Smart was a guest of Kyle Busch, who ran the second Gatorade Duel 150 race at Daytona International Speedway. (Photo Credit: Matthew Stockman / Getty Images for NASCAR)
Teammates Tony Stewart and Kyle Busch chat prior to the 50th running of the Daytona 500 (Photo Credit: Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Carl Edwards scans other drivers on his radio during Gatorade Duel practice. (Photo Credit: Robert Laberge/Getty Images for NASCAR)
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.
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)
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’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)
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)
Seriously, where? I don’t know. I had like 4 days off from “work” and I’m not quite sure what I did with those days exactly. You really can never get enough sleep. I’m already dreading waking up tomorrow morning.
Anyway… I wanted to pass on some sort of racing-related stuff and something that has absolutely nothing to do with racing at all.
First — Take a minute and sign this petition to help save a dog named Buckshot. He’s being abused by his owners in South Carolina and he needs your help to get him out of the very sick and twisted household he lives in. I was alerted to Buckshot’s plight by Ryan Newman’s PR rep — Ryan and his wife Krissie are known for their involvement in helping rescue animals.
Second — I also manage the fan site JohnMayerFans.com and I have the awesome opportunity to help give away tickets to the Dave Barnes & Matt Wertz “Two Birds / One Stone” tour that’s going on right now. I’ve been meaning to write about how much I’m obsessed with Matt Wertz right now. I urge you to check out his CD “Twentythree Places” and the song “Everything’s Right.” His voice is awesome and if you love (or even just like) John Mayer you’re going to dig Matt and Dave.
Third — NASCAR unveiled the new NASCAR Nationwide Series logo. I just think that this series needs it’s own name, like the current Nextel Cup Series, has “cup” — Nationwide needs something like “bucket” … yea that’s it! The NASCAR Nationwide Bucket Series. That way you’d have something to differentiate the two series even if there’s no sponsor involved.
Tonight’s race at Lowe’s Motor Speedway could have been so freaking cool had Ryan Newman been able to keep his car stable. It seriously broke my heart to see him spin out like that.
I would have preferred it if Clint Bowyer took the win tonight over Jeff Gordon but it wasn’t meant to be. Clint is still within striking distance and I hope to God that he can really make this Chase interesting. If Jeff wants his 5th Championship he’s going to have to fight for it.
Oh and just in case anyone wasn’t sure, the ESPN on ABC coverage still SUCKS! Why must they repeat things that someone else just said?? Or repeat the things that they themselves just said? I watched the race with my mom who is becoming a bit of a NASCAR fan by default and she was even getting irritated by the stupid questions and pointless repetition of obvious points.
I’m this close to creating a petition that would beg NASCAR to only allow DW, Larry Mac and Mike Joy to cover the Cup races from 2008 onward. And they can have Allen Bestwick and Wally Dallenbach anchor the show.
Do you miss Miss Winston? I don’t — I was satisfied when her position was eliminated. Which is why I’m irked at the fact that California Speedway feels the need to recruit Umbrella Girls for this weekend’s race in Fontana. Check out the video of the girls over at the AOL NASCAR Fanhouse, if you’re first reaction isn’t to gag then I just don’t know you anymore.
The problem that I have with this is that we don’t need them. They bring nothing to the event except T&A, and while I’m sure men will find that appealing in general, overall it doesn’t add any excitement to the races. I seriously doubt that knowing that these “models” will be at the race would make someone buy a ticket for the first time. Especially in a place like southern California where it’s not hard to find a lot of people that are either models or aspiring actresses or women that are just trying to look like one of the two.
California Speedway’s other marketing ploy is a celeb-filled party they’re throwing at a club called Avalon in Hollywood tonight. While I don’t know that this will automatically translate into more butts in the seats for the race weekend, it could help with buzz — maybe, possibly, sorta.
All I know is that the last time I was in L.A. for my youngest nephew’s birthday party, one of the parents in attendance told my mom (after my mom told her about my blog) that she’d never met a NASCAR fan before. I wasn’t sure what to make of that. I mean I know NASCAR isn’t the most popular or talked about sport in our country but I’d put it on the same level as hockey. I know the major players, the general lay of the land, but I don’t follow it. But there’s no way I could ever say that I’d never met a hockey fan.
In other news…
– IndyCar driver Helio Castroneves has been added to the cast of ABC’s Dancing with the Stars. The new season starts September 24th.
– You can still get free tickets to this weekend’s race at the California Speedway, check out the details from Kodak:
As part of a promotion for its KODAK EASYSHARE All-in-One printers, Kodak is giving race fans something to “thINK” about.
To celebrate the winning entry in the company’s “Ink Ryan’s Ride” contest, Kodak will unveil a never-before-seen, custom-designed paint scheme for Ryan Newman’s No. 12 KODAK Dodge. The winning design was selected from over 3,000 contest entries, which were judged by driver Ryan Newman, NBA alum and TV co-host John Salley from “Best Damn Sports Show Period,” and online votes. After its unveiling, Newman will drive the newly inked car in the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series Sharp AQUOS® 500 race on Sunday, Sept. 2, 2007, at the California Speedway.
As further promotion of KODAK EASYSHARE All-in-One Printers, the first 75 fans to bring an old printer to the unveiling will receive two free tickets to the Sharp AQUOS 500 race, complements of Kodak, along with a coupon for dollars off a new KODAK Printer. All old printers will be sent to an electronics recycling center.
All attendees will receive a picture of the newly designed No. 12 KODAK DODGE, printed on the new KODAK Printer.
The Kodak Theatre
Hollywood and Highland Center Awards Walk
6801 Hollywood Boulevard
Hollywood, CA. 90028
Saturday, September 1, 2007
11:00 a.m.– 3:00 p.m.
– Carl Edwards is always up to something, good that is, and tomorrow he’ll be at the Rancho Cucamonga Office Depot store for a backpack donation event:
Edwards will participate in his second Office Depot Foundation backpack donation event of 2007. He will be at the Office Depot store at 8160 Day Creek Boulevard in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif. on Thursday, August 30 from 5:00-7:00 PM. An autograph session will immediately follow the backpack donation. Fans wishing to participate may pick up a wristband starting at 7:00 AM at the store. Only the first 200 people will receive wristbands.
– Ok, I’m officially sad that I’m not going to be at the race this weekend. The band 30 Seconds to Mars will be performing in the California FanZone on Sunday (at 1:45pm, the show is free with admission to the race) and I have to miss it! Gah. They’re a great band you should definitely make a point to check them out if you’re going to be there. Tell the lead singer, Jared Leto, I said “Hi” and feel free to give him my phone number.
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.
How cool is this? Thanks to the wonderful people at Kodak I get to give away five (5) pairs of tickets to the NASCAR Sharp AQUOS 500 race on September 2, 2007 at California Speedway in Fontana, California.
The first five readers that email me ([email protected]) with the text “Kodak Rocks” in the subject line will receive a pair tickets to the Labor Day weekend race courtesy of Kodak.
The deadline to enter is Tuesday, August 21st. Winners have been selected.
If you’re not one of the lucky winners of this amazingly awesome contest fear not because you have a second chance at picking up free tickets. Kodak is also going to give away 75 pairs of tickets to the NASCAR Sharp AQUOS 500 race on September 2, 2007 at California Speedway. The first 75 fans to bring an old inkjet printer to the Hollywood & Highland Center’s Awards Walk on Saturday, September 1 from 11 am to 3 pm will receive 2 tickets to the race! All printers will be sent to an electronics recycling center. Ryan Newman’s No. 12 Kodak Dodge will be on display with the winning paint scheme from our “Ink Ryan’s Ride” contest (http://www.thinklikeryan.com).
How much do we love Kodak right about now? The funny thing is, I can’t even go to this race because it’s my birthday that weekend (Well, August 31st to be exact — if you want to buy me a present mosey on over to my wish lists on Amazon.com) and I’m going to be in Las Vegas! Gah! Oh well… I’m sure the winners of these tickets will have a great time on my behalf.
Are you shocked? I’m not. There are worse things he could do.
And now I give you some things that you might want to know:
– If you’re a San Francisco Bay Area IndyCar fan you’ll be happy to know that Fior d’Italia Restaurant is giving $25 gift certificates to the first 40,000 fans that enter Infineon Raceway for the Motorola Indy 300, presented by Jackson Rancheria Casino & Hotel on Sunday, August 26. So make sure you get there early!
– NASCAR driver Ryan Newman will be a guest on the “Best Damn Sports Show Period” live from Lowe’s Motor Speedway on August 7th to announce the finalist for Kodak’s “Ink Ryan’s Ride” contest.
– Walk the track with Kurt & Kyle Busch, Jeff Gordon and Ernie Irvan at Pocono Raceway on Saturday:
Kurt will join brother Kyle and four-time Cup champ Jeff Gordon in Saturday’s LAPS Walk with Ernie Irvan at Pocono Raceway. Irvan, Gordon and the Busch Brothers will unite with NASCAR fans, Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) survivors, and the Pennsylvania Army National Guard for a walk on the racetrack to raise awareness and needed funding to conquer TBI in America. The LAPS Walk festivities will kick off at 2:15 with a Q&A session and presentation to the top fundraiser of a signed helmet to recognize his/her outstanding effort for TBI awareness and prevention. Following the Q&A session, all participants, including Irvan and Kurt & Eva, will move down to the track where they will be joined by members of the National Guard for the opening ceremonies and a walk on the racetrack. For more information, please visit www.lapswalk.org or call the Brain Injury Association at 800.772.4323.
– I find this quote from Jimmie Johnson to be very interesting indeed. It’s about the resetting of the points once the Chase kicks in for the final ten races of the season.
It certainly looks like I’ll be a big beneficiary of it (resetting the points) and with the way that it is, I’ll take that forgiveness the way the point system is structured right now and try to capitalize on it. But when you look at Jeff’s (Gordon) point situation and how strong he has been, deep down inside there is still a part of me that says, ‘Man, the guy’s had a great year and deserves to be the champion and have it re-racked with everybody on top of him again probably isn’t fair.’ But it’s the way it is. The Chase does a lot of positive things for our sport. I’m in a position where I could capitalize on a tough summer. So you deal with the situation, as it exists. Just falling back on the way racing has always been and the way we’ve all raced through the season and had every point add up to equal a champion, if Jeff doesn’t win the championship I’m sure he’ll have a lot of heartburn over it. And I think us racers, deep down inside, might not think that it’s exactly right. But it’s different racing today than it was years back.
– Greg Biffle will be running a special “Dog the Bounty Hunter” paint scheme on his No. 16 Ford Fusion at Pocono. Uhm, yea, I’ve got nothing.
– All I can say about this is that I hope either A.J. Allmendinger or Brian Vickers can make it into this race or else this visit will be kinda awkward and embarrassing. I got my fingers crossed for ‘em!
Two members of the New York Red Bulls, the MLS team that plays its home matches at Giants Stadium, will make the 90-mile journey from East Rutherford, N.J., to Pocono Raceway to absorb the sights and sounds of NASCAR racing.
Midfielder Joe Vide and midfielder/forward Clint Mathis will get a true taste of what stock-car racing is all about. They’ll hang out on the grid and in the pits, and the fleet-footed duo will meet Red Bull Racing’s two drivers for lunch Sunday morning.
This week has been a rollercoaster of emotions for NASCAR fans. First you have the great high — the victory for Martin Truex Jr. at Dover, his first-ever Cup win.
And then the great low of losing Bill France Jr. the former chairman of NASCAR. After his father (NASCAR’s founder) died, France took charge of his family’s business and grew NASCAR to be the national, ever-growing and highly profitable sport we know today. You have to respect someone who took risks and was dedicated to seeing this league grow. I don’t know the complete history of the France family (of course I’m learning more and more every day) but you’d have to think that building this sport/company must have been a fun ride.
In other news…
– In what I think is the most current issue of ESPN The Magazine they have an article about the new ABC show “Fast Cars & Superstars.” The show comes on tonight and features various celebrities attempting to race stock cars. Carl Edwards, Jimmie Johnson, and Kurt Busch serve as coaches. Serena Williams, Jon Cena, Tony Hawk are some of the celebs participating. This should be fun to watch. I like seeing people realize that it really is harder than you think to “drive around in circles all day.”
– I never got around to writing about Dover. There really isn’t much for me to say about it since I didn’t get to watch it live. A note to Mother Nature: Please stop raining on NASCAR! Some of us have jobs and can’t stay at home on Monday to watch the race.
– At any rate I was very happy to see that Martin Truex Jr. won Dover. I always knew he could do it, and it bothers me to see headlines saying things like “Truex shows DEI’s more than just Junior” because everybody knew that there was more to DEI than just Junior. I don’t remember saying that, do you remember saying that??
And now for some photo goodness:
Ryan Newman carries a piece of his car after a wreck during the Nextel Prelude to the Dream on June 6, 2007 at Eldora Speedway in New Weston, Ohio. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images for Eldora Speedway)
Carl Edwards #99 leads Jeff Gordon #24 on the pace lap prior to the start of the Nextel Prelude to the Dream on June 6, 2007 at Eldora Speedway in New Weston, Ohio. (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for Eldora Speedway)
Aric Almirola gets ready to drive during the Nextel Prelude to the Dream on June 6, 2007 at Eldora Speedway in New Weston, Ohio. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images for Eldora Speedway)
Martin Truex Jr. sprays champagne on the trophy for winning the Autism Speaks 400 Presented by Visa at the Monster Mile, Dover International Speedway. (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland / Getty Images for NASCAR)
AJ Allmendinger takes a break during practice at Dover International Speedway. (Photo Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)
I’m so sad that I missed the Busch brothers wreck each other at the All-Star race last weekend. Sounds like it was a good time. Although I don’t yet believe that all is well between the Busch brothers — at least I don’t want to believe that it is — we’ll see what happens on Sunday. I would like to see more proof that Kyle Busch is a little punk with an attitude problem. I doubt Kyle will fail me on this one, but ya never know, he did do the right thing last weekend by hiding from the media after the accident with his brother and not saying anything until he could put a good script together.
In other news…
Ryan Newman is on the pole for the Coca-Cola 600 this weekend! And I couldn’t be any happier! If I had found out that it was Jeff Gordon again I would of had to gauge my eyes out with a blunt object. Ok, maybe it’s not that serious but it was nice to see something good happen for Newman this year. He’s been pretty under the radar and pretty far outside of the Championship talks.