Saturday morning, with my iPod blasting The Civil Wars (don’t get me started, their song “To Whom It May Concern” perfectly explains the state of my love life right now), I headed to the track. Well, I should say that I was headed to Starbucks. Now here’s the weird thing about that area around Kansas Speedway which has everything from a full on mall to Target, Hooters, a movie theater, Chipotle, Red Lobster, the LIVESTRONG Sporting Park, a baseball field, and a bunch of other restaurants — there’s no standalone Starbucks. The only Starbucks is tucked inside Target and we all know that the Starbucks inside of any other store is not a REAL Starbucks. If I can’t use my Starbucks card there it’s not a real Starbucks.
All posts tagged Steve Wallace6 Posts
When I arrived at Steve Wallace’s hauler to interview him at Las Vegas Motor Speedway the day before his Nationwide Series race, I could tell he wasn’t having a very good day. He hadn’t said anything yet and he seemed like he’d rather not have to do an interview. As you’ll see in the interview below, the source of his annoyance reveals itself. At the end of the questioning I asked him what his goals are for this year and Steve said, “Definitely win some races, run good. We’re really plenty capable of it. We’ve just had a really shitty start to the year and haven’t had luck on our side. Our cars aren’t handling as good as they need to, so we’ve got a lot to fix.”
I will say, though, that as we went through the questions he seemed to relax and overall I dug his answers, especially what he’d like to hear God say when he gets to heaven.
For the record at Las Vegas he ended up finishing 16th, which isn’t super terrible, and the following race at Bristol he finished 11th (Better!), then 27th at Auto Club Speedway (Uh oh). So it looks like they’re still got their work cut out for them.
What is your favorite word? Dude
What is your least favorite word? Y’all
What turns you on? In what way? (Me: In whatever way you think. Think of it as, like, what makes you happy) What makes me happy. When my car’s fast. Today it’s not. I’m not happy today. Or yesterday. (Me: But you can work on that, right?) Yeah.
What turns you off? People with chips on their shoulders.
What sound or noise do you love? Engines
What sound or noise do you hate? Loud screeching noises, like nails on a chalkboard. Anything that squeals.
What is your favorite curse word? The F-bomb.
What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? Professional fisherman.
What profession would you not like to do? Aw shit, there’s a bunch of them. Anything that has to do with an office would not be good for me.
If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates? That I’m a badass, that’s about it.
Read more of my “Inside the Actor’s Studio” questionnaire interviews in the archives and read about how it all started with Tony Stewart.
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).
First, I must address the most amazing “Gentleman, Start Your Engines” ever PERFORMED on national television. That’s right, performed! Actors (and comedians) Kevin James and Adam Sandler were the Grand Marshals for the Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips 400 at Michigan International Speedway and the didn’t fail to deliver what I knew would be the most entertaining command to start engines since I don’t know when. (Off topic right now but this photo, left, is the best photo of Denny Hamlin I’ve seen in quite some time. Just sayin’)
Can we get Kevin James out to every race to do that little dance? Freaking hilarious. If you missed it, video of Sandler and James giving the command is below. They’re promoting their new movie “Grown Ups” which, of course, looks very funny.
My only question about this race is why didn’t Denny Hamlin pick up the giant fake tub of Heluva Good! Sour Cream dip that was sitting on top of his car in Victory Lane? That would of been great, especially if they’d had a giant bag of chips to go with it.
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)
I like to talk about things in chronological order but somehow I went a little out of order in my account of my Las Vegas weekend.
For example I have yet to talk about sitting on pit road during qualifying. I’ve been to a lot of races but I’ve never stayed out on pit road for qualifying. I usually hang out in the garage and try to snap photos of drivers jumping out of their car after they’ve finished their laps.
It’s just as good trackside, if not better, because the drivers are just sitting on the wall waiting for their turn to come around. If they’re not sitting, they’re standing next to their car just a few feet away from people like me.
When I think of that I can’t help but marvel at all of the access NASCAR fans have to their favorite drivers. I’ve always told people that it’s not a matter of if, it’s just a matter of when and where you’ll run into your guy. I think it’s crazy to ask these guys to do more in terms of reaching out to the fans. I mean, Sam Hornish Jr. was standing on pit road for like an hour all by himself, not many people were talking to him. Some fans eventually went up to him to take a photo with him, but for the most part he was just there completely available. That just doesn’t happen in the NFL, NBA or in MLB. If I could walk out on to the field at AT&T Park during practice Barry Zito would be mine, or at the very least I’d have enough photos with him to use for my Christmas card for the next 5 years. The San Francisco Giants should make that happen. Think about it Giants, just think about it.
So that was Friday. On Saturday I staked out the garage for photos like wrote about in my last post. For the Nationwide race I went out on to the track for driver introductions and then down to pit road for the anthem. I stood in between David Ragan and Brendan Gaughan’s cars. During the race I watched it from my seat in the media center.
At one point, I went out to the Neon Garage to get something to eat. I sat out there and watched the race on one of the two big screens that sit opposite each other inside the huge courtyard-like area. I ordered the yummiest $9 BBQ pulled pork nachos I’d ever tasted. They could easily cut that portion in half and sell it for $4 and it’d be just as good. Overall though, I highly recommend them!
At the end of the Sam’s Town 300, the top-3 finishers were brought into the media center to field questions, as per usual. Pit road speed seemed to be a problem for a lot of drivers that day and Brian Vickers and Carl Edwards seemed to think that the pace car hadn’t set the right speed before the race start, and that is what caused a lot of drivers to speed on pit road.
And that was Friday and Saturday. Next up: Sunday, Sunday, Sunday!
Tony Stewart prepares to qualify for the Shelby 527 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Friday, February 27, 2009 (photo credit: The Fast and the Fabulous)
(from left to right) Jason Keller, Mike Bliss and Steve Wallace chat before driver introductions for the Sam’s Town 300 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Saturday, February 28, 2009 (photo credit: The Fast and the Fabulous)
Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Scott Speed chat before driver introductions for the Sam’s Town 300 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Saturday, February 28, 2009 (photo credit: The Fast and the Fabulous)
The No. 62 South Point Hotel & Casino team lineup for the National Anthem Dale before the start of the Sam’s Town 300 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Saturday, February 28, 2009 (photo credit: The Fast and the Fabulous)