All posts tagged Ryan Newman

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my end to the pepsi 500

Jimmie Johnson, driver of the No. 48 Lowe's Chevrolet, pulls into Victory Lane on Sunday, October 11, 2009 at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, CA (photo credit: The Fast and the Fabulous)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.

give auto club speedway a break

Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, CA (photo credit: The Fast and the Fabulous)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.

my supercool predictions for ‘the chase’

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)

Mark Martin (Photo Credit: Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR) 1.) Mark Martin – I have believe that Mark Martin will win the Championship, unless something happens that makes it so that he doesn’t.
Jimmie Johnson (Photo Credit: Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR) 2.) Jimmie Johnson – Jimmie will definitely not win the Championship for a 4th straight year, because that would just be greedy and show-offy.
predictions_dhamlin 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.
Juan Pablo Montoya (Photo Credit: Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR) 4.) Juan Pablo Montoya – JPM will be frustrated.
Kurt Busch (Photo Credit: Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR) 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.
Tony Stewart (Photo Credit: Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR) 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.
Ryan Newman (Photo Credit: Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR) 7.) Ryan Newman – He’s in the Chase? Oh, right, right. Ryan will win at least one race before the year is over.
Brian Vickers (Photo Credit: Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR) 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.
Greg Biffle (Photo Credit: Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR) 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.
Jeff Gordon (Photo Credit: Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR) 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.
Carl Edwards (Photo Credit: Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR) 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.
Kasey Kahne (Photo Credit: Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR) 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!

the chase is set and it better not suck

Denny Hamlin celebrates winning the Chevy Rock & Roll 400 at Richmond International Raceway, his second victory of the season. (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/Getty Images for NASCAR)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.

mark martin just wants to k.i.s.s.

Infineon Raceway - Friday, June 19, 2009 (photo credit: The Fast and the Fabulous)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.

dale jr. channels cobra kai

Dale Earnhardt Jr. wheels his car around Dover in his skeleton gloves (photo credit: Getty Images for NASCAR)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).
dalejr_gloves_ck
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!!

bowyer’s ex joins 3 wide life

Athena Barber interviews Robby Gordon for an upcoming episode of 3 Wide LifeSome 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.

watched the all-star race and now i want a palm pre

Tony Stewart celebrates winning the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race, his first victory as a team owner. Stewart joined Geoffrey Bodine (1994) as the only two driver/owners to win the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race. (Photo Credit: Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)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?


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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

gordon wins, but we really wanted ella

Jeff Gordon drove his No. 24 DuPont/National Guard GED Plus Chevrolet to Victory Lane during Sunday's race at Texas Motor Speedway, marking his first win at the racetrack. (Courtesy Hendrick Motorsports)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)

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)

(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)

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)

The complete Foreigner set list from someone who was actually there:
Double Vision
Head Games
Cold As Ice
Feels Like The First Time
Urgent
Juke Box Hero
I Want To Know What Love Is
Hot Blooded

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)

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)

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)

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)

dale jr.’s ex could be america’s next top model

Photo Credit: Frank Ockenfels / The CW - © 2009 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.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)

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)

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)

how to lose friends and alienate fans

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

My Daytona highlights:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photo fun time!


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww.

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

you’re not giving gilliland a ride? what, are you crazy?

David Gilliland at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in March 2008 (photo credit: Valli Hilaire/The Fast and the Fabulous)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)

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

“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)

(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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

can we ride this out?

Auto Club Speedway PylonSo 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…

– So here’s a quick reading assignment. Read this and then read this. In short, the guy from Slate.com is wrong and David Poole is right.

– 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.

giving it away: free gas!

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.

we’re not in kansas anymore, but it was fun

Carl Edwards, driver of the No. 99 Office Depot Ford, battled throughout the race with Jimmie Johnson, driver of the No. 48 Lowe's Chevrolet for the lead. Both wanted a win -- Johnson for his first at Kansas Speedway, Edwards for his hometown crowd. (Photo Credit: John Harrelson/Getty Images for NASCAR)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)

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)

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)

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

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)

no such thing as a nascar secret

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 (photo credit: Chucke Walkden)

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)

Travis Pastrana in Pocono, June '08, (c) David Vaughn (Courtesy of Red Bull Racing Team)

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)

missing the goo goo dolls

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

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

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

In other news…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

encino man at forty

Deep fried Wisconsin cheese curds (photo credit: The Fast and the Fabulous)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.
Actor Brendan Fraser at Chicagoland Speedway on Saturday, July 12, 2008 (photo credit: The Fast and the Fabulous)
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)

Ryan Newman answers questions outside the media center at Chicagoland Speedway on Saturday, July 12, 2008 (photo credit: The Fast and the Fabulous)

Actor Brendan Fraser at Chicagoland Speedway on Saturday, July 12, 2008 (photo credit: The Fast and the Fabulous)

Actor Brendan Fraser 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)

dei is not for sale. oh really?

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

Let’s review:

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

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

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

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

giving it away: full throttle adrenaline

NASCAR Collection: Full Throttle Adrenaline Volumes 1 & 2A 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.