Nothing important changed after the race at Kansas yesterday. Brad Keselowski still leads the points standings by 7 points over Jimmie Johnson. Denny Hamlin is still third. Sooo yep, that’s about it.
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You have a dirty mind, my friend! I meant your arm! All for a good cause, of course.
Matt Kenseth’s sponsor for Talladega, Jeremiah Weed® flavored malt beverages, is offering free tattoos to race fans (adults!) this weekend at the race track. For every tattoo inked Jeremiah Weed is donating $100 to The Air Force Enlisted Village.
“We have some of the best fans in all of sports,” said Matt Kenseth, driver of the No. 17 Jeremiah Weed Ford Fusion. “They wear our numbers, fly our flags and sometimes even get tattoos to show their dedication. It’s incredible that Jeremiah Weed is doing all this for our fans and to support such a worthy cause as The Air Force Enlisted Village. I look forward to personally checking out the tattoos throughout the race weekend.”
On Saturday, Oct. 22 adults 21 and over will be able to sign up at the Jeremiah Weed event space in the Talladega fan zone to receive a free tattoo. A series of tattoos will be available for fans to choose from, including Matt Kenseth’s signature, a number 17, Jeremiah Weed logos and a Jeremiah Weed® Lightning Lemonade® can. The tattooing will occur at a local tattoo parlor approved by the Alabama State Health Board. Free transportation to and from the parlor will be also provided. For every tattoo inked, Jeremiah Weed will make a $100 donation to The Air Force Enlisted Village, a charity committed to providing safe, secure and dignified homes for indigent surviving spouses of retired Air Force personnel.
In other news…
– Joey Logano will be making his much anticipated appearance on the Travel Channel show “Man V. Food Nation” tonight at 9pm ET alongside the show’s host Adam Richman. Check your local listings for details. Do you think Joey can eat a three pound bacon double cheeseburger loaded with pulled pork and a meaty hot sauce over a pound of fries in ONLY 30 minutes??
– With everything that happened on Sunday I wasn’t in the mood to post photos from the NASCAR race weekend at Charlotte until now.
I know I REALLY need to write-up my weekend at Infineon, and I will, but I had to write about the NASCAR-themed episode of The Glades that aired yesterday on A&E. It included appearances from NASCAR drivers Carl Edwards, Brian Vickers, Tony Stewart and Joey Logano.
While I loved that NASCAR got some primetime attention, I’m not happy with how female fans were depicted (that and all the bad acting). First, why were there tons of women milling around the garage wearing the same outfit, all the same age and dress size? What’s up with the girls behind the fence jumping up and down, screaming incessantly, in tank tops being called “wafflebellies” with the hopes of being “wife’d”? (that’s an actual term people use??)
This whole thing drives me NUTS. The show made it seem like ALL of the female fans were groupies. And it wasn’t even necessary for the plot! Of course I know that there are many pit lizards out there (saw an inspired group of them at Infineon) but there are more women who purchase hot passes because they’re fans, and only that, not because they want to troll the garage for a husband. A woman shouldn’t have to walk into the garage with a guy to be considered a legitimate fan of the sport. We shouldn’t have to wear a burka to be taken seriously.
I’ll give them the storyline with the little girl who wants to be a racer when she grows up, but other than that all the episode did was create a false stereotype of female racing fans. Like I said before it wasn’t even integral to the plot, so why bother?
The whole episode is here, if you’re interested in watching.
(photo credit: A&E)
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).
Trevor Bayne continued his “Miss America Tour,” that’s what I like to call it (Because don’t you remember when winning Miss America was an actual big deal and they always did a TON of press afterward? Well I do and it’s the only thing I can compare it to), wherein he does various media interviews and appearances to celebrate winning the Daytona 500.
He was in San Francisco yesterday at Ghiradelli Square to scoop some ice cream and meet fans:
Bayne arrived in San Francisco late Tuesday afternoon and was driven from the airport under California Highway Patrol escort to Ghirardelli Square, where he walked the red carpet before assembling the very first Trevor Bayne Sundae, Sundae, Sundae, featuring rocky road, chocolate chip and chocolate ice cream, as well multiple toppings and all the fixins. The item is currently a feature on the Ghirardelli Square Ice Cream Parlor menu.
(credit: Getty Images)
I was there and it was freezing out. I’m from California and so anything under 60 degrees is not good. I had no gloves and I quickly lost feeling in my toes and my fingers. I’m not kidding. My cell phone lost battery power after 30 minutes and it was friggin’ cold so I didn’t stay for the WHOLE shindig, but I did get to see a bunch of foreign tourists ask everyone what the hell was the going on and watch their expression not change when people told them that the Daytona 500 winner was coming. I also got to see serious NASCAR fans cheer and go crazy for Trevor as he exited his Escalade. I watched Trevor happily recreate his triple-scoop sundae. I didn’t try the sundae myself but I did manage to get my numb fingers to grasp the cup that held a small single-scoop hot fudge sundae they were giving away for free to fans, even though I was FREEZING I couldn’t pass up free–delicious!–ice cream.
All in all it was a very cool and fun event. It was neat to see non-NASCAR fans stop to see what was going on and then once they were told who it was go “Oh! That’s the youngest person to win the Daytona 500!” That’s gotta be good for NASCAR, right?
Trevor was in Los Angeles today and he filmed an appearance for “The Ellen Degeneres Show” that will air tomorrow, Thursday, February 24. Check your local listings, of course. Ellen presented Trevor with a gift — a hula dancer dash board bobble head and a personalized ELLEN car sticker — which you can see in the photo below.
(credit: Michael Rozman/Warner Bros.)
Here’s one exchange between Ellen and Trevor about girls that’s pretty cute:
On winning the race…
Trevor: The Daytona 500, to me, has always meant a lot. I grew up wanting to win it as a kid but I didn’t know it meant this much to the rest of the world so to see these kind of fans and this crazy stuff going on, I love it.
Ellen: You must have girls all of a sudden going crazy over you because you’re adorable and now you’re getting all this attention. You getting proposals and stuff like that all ready?
Trevor: Well, I didn’t have a Valentine this year so I’m hoping for better things next year.
Ellen: You will. I think you’ll be okay.
In other news…
– Yesterday Michael Waltrip’s oldest daughter, Caitlin, gave birth to a baby boy named Bryson.
– Danica Patrick and Carl Edwards will make appearances on the inaugural sports awards show, Cartoon Network Hall of Game Awards. Danica will pick up the “She’s Got Game” Award (aka Best Female Athlete) and Carl is a presenter. The show, hosted by Jimmie Johnson’s friend Tony Hawk, airs on the Cartoon Network at 7 p.m. (ET) on Friday, February 25th.
Yesterday Jack Roush inadvertently announced that Greg Biffle, and his wife Nicole, are expecting their first child. Biffle wasn’t planning on having Roush share the news but there it was, along with a semi-confirmation that Carl Edwards and his wife are expecting their second child. It also turned out that the Biffles learned the sex of their baby yesterday and Greg announced via Twitter that they’re expecting a girl. Matt Kenseth and his wife are also expecting another child soon, but we already knew that.
Which leads me to more Biffle and Edwards news. Both drivers will appear on this weekend’s episode of “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” on ABC to demonstrate the dangers of texting & driving:
“Texting while driving is incredibly dangerous and I think it’s an extremely important message to get out to everyone right now but especially teenage drivers,” Biffle said. “While Carl and I had a lot of fun taping the segment for ‘Extreme Makeover: Home Edition,’ it is a very serious issue. Being a part of the show really opened my eyes to the dangers of texting while driving and I’m sure it will do the same for all of the viewers. Ford has a great program to educate teenagers about safe driving skills and you can get more information at www.drivingskillsforlife.com.“
The RFR teammates’ appearance is in support of the Brown family of Wellman, Texas who lost their daughter in a tragic auto accident involving texting and driving. Since the accident the family has dedicated their lives to communicating the dangers of this practice. Biffle and Edwards are joined by Justin Bieber and Emma Roberts on the show.
The show will air on Sunday, January 30, at 8 p.m. (ET). Check your local listings.
Greg Biffle and Carl Edwards pose with Leigh Anne Tuohy, a designer on “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.” Leigh Anne is also the mother that the movie “The Blind Side” was based on, ya know, the role that won Sandra Bullock an Oscar last year.
UPDATE: Right! Forgot to post this too. David Ragan doesn’t know how to make a baby.
He said it, not me. Thanks for the tips, Tara!!
I said I wasn’t going to watch this new season of “The Bachelor” on ABC but I’ve crumbled and watched it anyway ONLY to see what happens for Emily Maynard, the young woman who was engaged to Ricky Hendrick, the son of NASCAR team owner Rick Hendrick, when he died in a tragic plane crash and went on to give birth to his daughter in the same year.
I feel like premise of “The Bachelor” is only good for the guy and the one woman he ultimately chooses in the end (if he actually chooses someone). Otherwise it’s a painful process that seems entirely unnecessary. Trust me, I understand why women go on that show because, being a single girl that’s just turned 30, I would jump at the chance to meet a ridiculously good looking guy that has a job, too. But I’d rather not know if he’s seeing other women at the same time, kissing them and taking them on special dates and whatnot. I’d rather be clueless and not be involved in his deliberation process, figuring out if he likes me over Lady #1, #2, or #3, etc.
As the last episode illustrated it’s hard to watch the guy you’re into do something special for someone else right in front of your face, which is what happened when Brad took Emily outside for a special mini-picnic in the backyard before the rose ceremony, meanwhile the other ladies saw this special gesture and one chick broke down in tears over it.
So here’s the thing, on the preview for next week’s show they’re taking the women to Las Vegas and they’re going to do a group date at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, where from the looks of it they’ll try their hand at racing cars.
CLEARLY, as it showed in the preview, this is going to be tough for Emily. I’m Team Emily all the way and I have a hard time understanding why they would include this activity in the show when HELLO, her deceased fiancee was a race car driver at one time and it was the business of his family.
I just don’t think it was necessary to go there–literally and figuratively. It’s a curious thing to me because in this last episode Brad apologized to Emily for even taking her on a private jet because he hadn’t thought about the connection to Ricky’s death (not that he knew about it at that point). So it’s weird to me that you would then take her on a date at a race track.
As I said before I’m Team Emily all the way, and I’m sure there are plenty of NASCAR fans out there that are too and are protective of her because of her story. I just hope she doesn’t get hurt and that this experience ends up being a positive one and not an exploitation of her life.
UPDATE: Emily spoke with People Magazine about the NASCAR date, where she had this to say:
“I know there has been a lot of talk and concern recently over the upcoming episode of The Bachelor with the NASCAR-themed group date,” she says. “Although I appreciate everyone’s concern, I ask that you reserve judgment until after you’ve seen the actual episode, because, as you’ll see, the experience actually helped me gain some closure.”
Ready your Tivo! NASCAR will be discussed on the upcoming season of “The Bachelor” on ABC. Brad Womack is back again to try and find a woman he’ll actually want to propose to this time around.
The connection to NASCAR comes from Emily Maynard, 24, the fiancee of the late Ricky Hendrick. Ricky, the son of NASCAR team owner Rick Hendrick, died in a plane crash in 2004 along with nine other people. Five days after the tragic accident Emily found out that she was pregnant with Ricky’s child. Their daughter, Josephine Riddick “Ricki” Hendrick was born in June of 2005.
Emily briefly dated Dale Earnhardt Jr. and has had some racing-related jobs like hosting the TV show “Three Wide Life” and a podcast called “Emily on the Scene” for the SPEED channel.
Now Emily is one of 30 bachelorettes on the 15th season of “The Bachelor” vying for the affection of 37-year-old “drinking establishment” owner Brad Womack. I already know the outcome of the show thanks to websites that have all the spoilers, but I won’t spoil it for you here. To be honest, I’d rather watch the new season of “Wipeout.” But if you really want to know just Google it.
I certainly wish Emily all the best. I can say one thing for sure, if you take a look at all the women on the show, Emily is by far the prettiest. I’m just sayin’.
The show starts on Monday, January 3rd at 8pm ET. Thanks to Tara S. for the tip!
It’s a new week and that means new guests on SPEED’s NASCAR Race Hub. This week you have the opportunity to submit your burning questions to NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Bobby Labonte. Use the form below. The deadline for submitting questions is tomorrow, Tuesday, October 19th at 4pm EST.
UPDATE: Question submission window has closed. Thank you!
I’m starting something new this week. SPEED’s TV show, NASCAR Race Hub is giving you the opportunity to interview their guests each week. All you have to do is submit your questions to me and I’ll pass ‘em along to the powers that be. They’ll get the questions answered — on video! — and I’ll post it here for you to view.
Really cool right? And this week you’ve got the chance to ask Kasey Kahne or AJ Allmendinger, ANYTHING you want.
So hurry up and submit your questions!!
UPDATE: Submissions are no longer being accepted for this week’s guests. As soon as I get the video of the questions being answered I’ll post it!
– Tonight SHOWTIME® is airing TOGETHER: The Hendrick Motorsports Story at 10:30 PM ET/PT. The documentary style film is narrated by everybody’s favorite couch jumping hottie, and Hendrick family friend, Tom Cruise.
– Carl Edwards will make his 200th Cup start with Roush Fenway Racing this weekend at Phoenix International Raceway. He’s just the fifth driver in the 23-year history of Roush Fenway to do so.
– Did you know that Dale Earnhardt Jr. opened another Whisky River location? Well he did and it’s in Jacksonville, Florida. Kelly Bires will be driving a special Whisky River Jacksonville paint scheme on the No. 88 for the Bashas’ Supermarkets 200 at PIR this weekend.
ESPN on ABC’s Countdown pre-race show could have been oh, I dunno, about 45 minutes shorter than its scheduled full hour. I am an ESPN fan, truly, but I can’t take the pre-show anymore. The only useful things are the 5 second driver interviews and that’s about it.
There are no features, no special interviews, nothing. Why does it need to be an hour? I don’t wanna see a recap of the last race I saw it already. And if I didn’t see it on TV I caught up on it online. So there’s no need to rehash the whole thing. And please, for the love of God, stop asking Rusty Wallace his opinion on who can win the Championship. I’m sure he’s a very nice man, and obviously he has a lot of NASCAR knowledge but sometimes I don’t know where he’s coming from.
Why is it that every time I see the Cheez-It logo I want some, like, immediately? That doesn’t happen with any other snack food.
Hats off to Mark Martin and the No. 5 Cheez-It/CARQUEST Chevrolet team for winning the Southern 500 presented by GoDaddy.com. They did a great job racking up their second win for the season. Hopefully they won’t fall off the edge of the earth and never win again. I don’t know why I just said that, that was kinda mean. I want Dale Earnhardt Jr. to win! Grrrrr! When is he going to win?! Gaaaah! The waiting is killing me. It almost feels like Ella Gordon is going to win a race before Dale does. Sheesh. Before everybody gets mad at me I say that with love.
In other news… One of my long held wishes has finally come true. I recently moved to Sonoma County here in California. I’m closer to Infineon Raceway now, but that’s not why I made the move. I did it to be closer to work and save money. In the process I finally got to sign up for DirecTV and I couldn’t be happier. I detest Comcast and I’m glad I finally had the option to switch over to DirecTV. Because of this lovely turn of events I get to watch the All-Star Race this weekend on SPEED. I finally have the SPEED channel!!!!
Also, I’m being a good NASCAR fan by supporting a company that supports NASCAR. So it’s a complete win-win situation.
I’m sure Mark Martin would congratulate me if he knew me.
An No. 33 crew member works on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series car after the 10th caution at lap 223 sent Clint Bowyer to the garage Saturday in the Southern 500 Presented by GoDaddy.com at Darlington Raceway. Bowyer’s streak of consecutive starts without a DNF ended at 83, one shy of tying Herman Beam’s nearly 50-year-old record. (Photo Credit: Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Mark Martin, driver of the No. 5 Cheez-It/CARQUEST Chevrolet, won Saturday’s race at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway after starting 12th. (Courtesy Hendrick Motorsports)
Seeking his first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series win at Darlington Raceway, Tony Stewart’s No. 14 is worse for wear after getting a trademark Darlington Stripe during practice. (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
Prettiest wedding dress t-shirt I’ve ever seen!
(Right to left) NASCAR President Mike Helton congratulates Brenda and Danny Barrett on their 15th anniversary on Saturday, where they were married, at Darlington Raceway. The Barretts drive the Official NASCAR Merchandise Trailer. (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Some things you should know:
– Clint Bowyer will appear on the March 24th episode of NBC’s “The Biggest Loser.” Isn’t it interesting that the guy that is sponsored by Hamburger Helper is guest starring on a non-reality-reality weight-loss game show? I don’t remember HH being billed as the healthiest thing you could make for dinner.
– Carl Edwards was in New York this week to film a commercial for Claritin. During the shoot he was interviewed by Beth Stern (radio host Howard Stern’s wife) for a segment on the celebrity news TV show “Extra.” Is anyone else bored by the fact that Carl and other drivers are so boring when they talk about stuff like doing commercials? It should be fun right? But like really fun, not implied fun. It’s the same line over and over with them, “It’s really kind of fun.” Wow, definitely sounds like it. I guess I believe you? I dunno.
– Infineon Raceway gave $5,000 to the North Vallejo Little League on Thursday. Jerks broke into the league’s concessions and storage building and stole all of the uniforms, equipment and $600 worth of candy last week. The nutjobs also decided to break computers and trophies and ransack the building before leaving. Vallejo, where this burglary occurred, is the hometown of Jeff Gordon. The good news is that so far the league has received more than $13,000 from San Francisco Bay Area companies and organizations like the San Francisco Police Officers Associations and the Oakland A’s. “With these checks we really should be able to get back to business,” said the league’s President Tony Hodges. “I feel grateful. We are in a bankrupt city in a disadvantaged area. I appreciate everything that everyone has done for us to help these disadvantaged kids.”
– Jeff Burton made an appearance on the soap opera “General Hospital” and all I really want to know is if he asked them why no one ever says “Bye” before hanging up the phone. I mean, really, what’s up with that?
– Tony Stewart will be meeting fans and signing autographs as a part of the 5th Annual “Mark Martin Fan Appreciation Days” event in Batesville, Arkansas on Thursday, April 9th from 3 to 5pm CST. For more information go to http://www.markmartinfordmercury.com
– Some news for the IndyCar fans out there: Versus will air more than 130 hours of IndyCar Series coverage throughout the season with a minimum of seven hours each week the network airs a race, the most ever during a race week.
“IndyCar fans have been asking for significantly more coverage of the sport and with our new partnership with VERSUS we have responded to our fans in a way that we think they will love,” said Charlie Morgan, president and chief operating officer for IMS Productions. “With the new VERSUS schedule it will be a weekend of IndyCar programming with Qualifying coverage, expanded race day coverage, and race encores. With so many great drivers, teams and sponsors, the time is right for expanded programming.”
The network will air 12 live IndyCar Series events in 2009 beginning with live coverage of the season-opener from St. Petersburg on April 5. Each of VERSUS’ race telecasts will last a minimum of three hours and will include extended pre-race coverage. VERSUS will also air one-hour preview shows at 6 p.m. ET the day before each race which will feature qualification highlights and all of the relevant IndyCar Series stories of that weekend.
And since I’m on the topic of IndyCar I have this message to send out to all of you: If anyone is interested in paying for me to fly down to Long Beach for the 35th annual Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach’s Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race drop me an email will ya? I would die for the chance to hang out with Keanu Reeves and Luke Wilson and give them the opportunity to realize that I am their future wife. So really you’d be doing them a favor as well.
Tonight is supposed to be the premiere of NASCAR Wives a new reality show on TLC starring Delana Harvick, Shana Mayfield, Angie Skinner and Kelley Earnhardt. The one-hour special will air at 10PM EST, following the completely pointless 2009 Miss America Pageant. NASCAR Wives will return as a series to TLC in late Spring 2009. I say “supposed to” because when I look at the TV listings in my area I see no mention of NASCAR Wives. Whatever, I’m sure it’ll come on eventually.
So here’s why I’m talking about this, my awesome friend, and former colleague, Susan Young is a freelance TV writer for publications like People magazine and Film.com. You should check out her blog SueTube, too. Sue had the opportunity to interview some of the NASCAR Wives and asked me if I had any questions I’d want her to ask them.
My favorite thing to ask people is if they Google themselves and go online in general to see what people are saying about them. Here’s the what the ladies had to say:
QUESTION: There’s been so much interest in NASCAR wives, like, online. Do you ever Google yourself and read all those rumors that are going on about you?
KELLEY EARNHARDT: You learn not to Google yourself.
SHANA MAYFIELD: I have and I quit pretty fast.
QUESTION: What’s the most outrageous thing you’ve read on there?
SHANA MAYFIELD: Well, the funniest thing was, you know, I gained a little weight which was — you know, happens. I got an email from one of the sites that I was pregnant and when am I due. So I quit that real fast. You just kind of laugh at it. At least you’re
getting some kind of response and people are acknowledging that you’re around, so –
QUESTION: And do you have any NASCAR sites that you like going to?
ANGIE SKINNER: NASCAR.com. I mean, you know, I think the big joke with us is when you want to know what the rumor is about your husband or their race team, you go to jayski.com. It’s kind of like the rumor mill. Sometimes it’s got what’s really happening. But those are probably the two sites that most people go to for
So the only question I have after watching the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard this weekend is this: If you know that the Brickyard is notorious for being really hard on tires and you have a new car that puts more weight on the right side tires why wouldn’t you schedule a testing session there??
Someone’s oversight was our craptastic and yet intriguing race. I’m sure everyone probably thought the race was boring but I thought it was fun (and Dale Jr. agreed with me, not in the exact same way, but still). It kept me watching, waiting for someone’s tire to blow. It never got old watching the pit stops and waiting for the shots of the used up tires to pop up. It made pit stops that much more important because at the end whoever got out of there first was pretty much sure to lead the race and ultimately win it.
And that’s what happened for Jimmie Johnson and the fact that it was he who won and not Kyle Busch pretty much left me on cloud nine. I was all set for a one woman riot if Kyle won again.
The thing that bugged me the most about the race came at the end when I had to wade through SportsCenter in order to get to some short interview clips and a shot of Jimmie & his team kissing the bricks. ESPN did a good job before the race with their taped interviews with Jeff Gordon and Richard Childress, but they missed the mark with their post race coverage.
I’m sorry but I don’t care about baseball scores or Brett Favre’s stilted comeback, at least not when it’s RIGHT after the NASCAR Cup race and I want to hear from the drivers and I want to see if the drivers faces are covered in rubber and dust like everybody said they would be.
But yea, I didn’t get that. I didn’t have enough patience to sit and wait and see if they would have more different coverage later on in the show. I just hope they don’t do this with every race.
Hendrick Motorsports teammate Jeff Gordon congratulates Jimmie Johnson on his Allstate 400 at the Brickyard victory. (Photo Credit: John Harrelson/Getty Images for NASCAR)
(L-R): Crew chief Chad Knaus, Jimmie Johnson, Chandra Johnson and owner Rick Hendrick kiss the yard of bricks after winning the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard. (Photo Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Isn’t she cuuute?!
Six-year-old Lucille Nace of Farmerville, Ohio gets an autograph from Scott Riggs prior to practice for the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard. (Photo Credit: Geoff Burke/Getty Images for NASCAR)
A view of a Goodyear tire with excessive wear after a competition caution during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Allstate 400 at the Brickyard at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 27, 2008 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Introducing “sexy” Tony!
Tony Stewart is all smiles in the garage after unveiling his new car number and sponsors at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Whoa. So the rumors are true. Casey Mears is leaving Hendrick Motorsports at the end of this season. As per usual with these types of things there are no hard feelings from Casey or team owner Rick Hendrick. Mhmm.
“We’ve put a ton of emphasis on the No. 5 program,” said Rick Hendrick, owner of Hendrick Motorsports. “It’s been a total team effort, and Casey has worked as hard as anyone to help us improve. We’ve tested more than we ever have, but the results just haven’t come.
“None of us, Casey included, have been satisfied with the situation this season. But he’s confident there are other options out there for him in 2009, and we feel like Hendrick Motorsports will have some opportunities, too.”
Mears will finish the 2008 Sprint Cup campaign in Hendrick’s No. 5 Chevrolets.
“I know the effort has been there, but we haven’t had the finishes to show for it,” Mears said. “I’ve never tested this much or put more energy into racing. But for whatever reason, we just haven’t been able to make it click. It’s certainly not for lack of dedication on anyone’s part.
“I’ll talk to people about opportunities and get my 2009 plans wrapped up soon, but I’m also focused on the next 20 races and finishing 2008 on a positive note. We ran well the second half last year, and I know we can do it again. I want to close this season the right way.”
I hate to see this because I like Casey and I liked him with Hendrick but I guess ya gotta do what ya gotta do. I would really love to know the real, real reasons for this move and change. I’m sure it was based on performance but Hendrick is known for being this powerhouse race team, so you have to think if you can’t make it happen there what else can you do?
In other news…
– Greg Biffle is staying with Roush Fenway Racing. He has signed a three-year extension with the company, extending the relationship that began in 1998.
“I’m extremely happy and relieved to have this contract complete,” said Biffle. “I have a team that can contend for the championship this season and for future seasons as well. 3M has been an incredible partner for several years now and having them on board made the decision even easier. All the elements are in place: the resources of Ford and Roush Fenway, the excellent team, the outstanding cars and having a great primary sponsor like 3M for the next few years.”
– On Sunday’s episode of Outside the Lines on ESPN the show will take a look at how our crap economy is affecting NASCAR and the teams that run in its series. We all know that it takes a lot of money to contend for a race, let alone a Championship, but these days just fielding a team at all requires serious positive cash flow.
“We are committed to getting through this year, but I got to be able to see into ’09 something a little more positive than I see today. I think we’ll make it, but the economy and the struggles the other teams are seeing are the same as ours. It is a tough, tough world out there right now in NASCAR.” – Doug Yates, owner of Yates Racing
Outside the Lines will air on Sunday, June 29th on ESPN at 9:30 a.m. ET; and on ESPNEWS at noon. Check your local listings.
There’s still time to enter the contest to win a copy of the NASCAR DVD set “Full Throttle Adrenaline.” Deadline to enter is Friday, July 4, 2008. The contest is over!
– Are you new here? Yes? No? Either way you should fill out “The Fast and the Fabulous” reader survey, I wanna know what you think of me and the blog. Tell me the truth, I can take it.
– I fiddled around with the layout of the site a bit. I’ve included a new feature in the top right-hand side that shows off some of my favorite posts that I think you should read if you haven’t already.
– Have you ever left a comment here and wondered what that little blue box next to your name was? Well it’s a Gravatar. You can sign up for one at Gravatar.com and the next time you leave a comment the photo/image you registered will be displayed. The great thing is you sign up for this thing once and if you login or leave a comment on any site that uses Gravatars your image shows up every time.
And so begins the television coverage of NASCAR from the fine folks at TNT. I really wish NASCAR could just be on one channel. One. Uno. But what can ya do right?
So TNT excitedly announced their new RaceBuddy feature on NASCAR.com, I didn’t bother to check it out — at least not yet — but the image that kept jumping to mind every time they mentioned it during Sunday’s race was the doll My Buddy from the 80s. I keep singing the theme song to myself “My Buddy, My Buddy, My Buddy, My Buddy and Meeeeeee!” and then I followed it up with “Kid Sister, Kid Sister, Kid Sister, Kid Sister and Meeeeeeee!” Bonus points to you if you remember My Buddy and Kid Sister and triple quadruple points if you actually had one!
Brad Keselowski, how can you not be happy for this guy? He raced his butt off and got his first NASCAR Nationwide Series win ever and I couldn’t be more excited for him and the Navy team. You could see the genuine relief and happiness in his eyes after the race. It was just so cool that his mom and dad were there. Those are my absolutely favorite moments in sports in general. Getting to see the family that has been with these guys from the beginning and getting to see them sharing that moment when they have their first taste of success, that’s pretty awesome. It’s another one of the million reasons why I’m so anxious for the Olympics to start.
Furthermore, didn’t it suck that Dale Earnhardt Jr. wasn’t there to be with his team for their first win? He didn’t even get to see it live on TV. DirecTV had a blackout and so for the last ten laps he had a friend relay the information to him online. Crazy.
Ok, so the Cup race at Pocono. Speaking of Dale Jr. what was up with him during his post race interview? I know that he’s not a super talkative guy after the races in general but that was less that usual. I’m sure it had to do with the heat, and it seems like all of the guys were feeling the affects of it after the race, except for Jimmie Johson who said he was totally fine. Right.
Kasey Kahne won another race and that’s great for him. I’m still miffed about the lack of attention that the Yates Racing guys have received. I want them to get a friggin’ top 5 finish so bad just so the media will have to talk about them for longer than 10 seconds.
In other news…
– Speaking of Yates Racing, both of their drivers will be here in the Bay Area tomorrow for testing at Infineon. I will be there too, taking pictures of whatever I can see. Hopefully something will be going on while I’m there, I won’t be able to stay the whole day.
– David Ragan will be on an episode of “Lawrence of America” on the Travel Channel tomorrow (June 10th) at 11pm EST. Check your local listings. “It was fun filming the show with Lawrence last fall,” said Ragan. “I think he learned a lot and it will be a great way to hopefully introduce the sport to some new fans to the sport. We had a good time at the go-kart track, but next time we’ll go the big track and see how he does.”
– There’s still plenty of time to enter the contest for a free copy of the NASCAR Full Throttle Adrenaline DVD set.
– I don’t know what it is about Brian Vickers but every time I hear him speak I’m surprised by his southern accent. It’s like I forget that he has one every time I see him. It’s cute though, I like accents. There’s no big point to this, I’m just over sharing.
Brian Vickers finished second in the Pocono 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Pocono Raceway, moving up two spots to 17th in driver standings (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Mark Martin qualified third-fastest for Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Pocono Raceway, where he’s finished second six times. (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Fellow Ford drivers, Jamie McMurray and David Gilliland, talk about their cars during a break in Saturday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practice at Pocono Raceway (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/Getty Images)
Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Elliott Sadler share a laugh in the garage during Friday’s practice at Pocono Raceway (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR)
It’s 5:35PM PST and I’m watching a baseball game? This is very wrong and I’m pissed. I could give a rat’s ass about the Red Sox and the Yankees right now. I’m tuning in for NASCAR, not this crap. The baseball game had a rain delay and they ran over the allotted time for the game, that’s great move it on over to FX. Why the hell are they still showing it on Fox???
If this was a NASCAR race and we were in a rain delay you know they would of moved everybody over to FX already, none of this, “oh the rain’s stopped so lets show you the rest of the game even though it’s interfering with our other scheduled live event.” Jeez!
They keep saying that they’ll get us to the green flag, but that doesn’t work for me, I wanted the whole pre-show. This just doesn’t make any sense and I’m sincerely annoyed. Grr!
There’s a new rivalry in town and it’s not what you’d expect. No, it’s not Hendrick Motorsports vs. Everybody or Tony Stewart vs. Everybody. No, this is between Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Carl Edwards. Dale signed a kinda big deal with adidas last year and Carl is promoting Under Armour.
Under Armour is shelling out big bucks for a Super Bowl ad, in which Carl appears with other notable professional athletes like the New York Giants’ Brandon Jacobs and the Cubs’ Alfonso Soriano, to promote its brand new performance trainers (aka sneakers). This is a big deal because with this new non-cleat shoe UA will now battle the big boys like Nike and Dale’s sponsor adidas in the footwear market. “I am really looking forward seeing the commercial. I’m going to the Super Bowl and I hope that they show the commercials at the game,” said Carl. “The scale of the production was huge and I’m looking forward to seeing the end product.” Apparently news of the purchase of this huge Super Bowl ad caused the company’s stock price to fall down, way down.
Things look much cooler, literally, for Dale and the folks at adidas. The Daytona 500 will serve as the debut for Dale’s three stripes, the symbol of adidas apparel, on his new race suit that also incorporates ClimaCool technology.
With extreme temperatures in the car, ClimaCool will lower Dale Jr.’s body temperature and combat fatigue, allowing him to be more alert and responsive in those final laps.
Two days prior to the debut of the three stripes on the track, Dale Jr.’s exclusive adidas fan gear will go on sale at The Sports Authority available first in Daytona. Dale Jr.’s official adidas fan apparel line, which includes a variety of men and women’s clothing such as t-shirts, jackets, hats and jerseys, will be available at The Sports Authority in Daytona on February 15 in conjunction with Speed Week. The fan collection features the same adidas ClimaCool technology that allows Dale Jr. to stay cool on the track.
My prayers have been answered!
ESPN announced today that they’re moving Rusty Wallace from race commentator to NASCAR Countdown lead analyst. Dale Jarrett will replace Rusty in the booth, to call the races with Dr. Jerry Punch and Andy Petree.
What that really means is that we won’t have to suffer through anymore of Rusty’s inane comments and regurgitations of points made by others. This is such a relief, just the other day I was thinking about how annoying it would be to have to sit through another half season of Rusty and his lame observations.
And to make this so much better Allen Bestwick will take over as the host of NASCAR Countdown from Suzy Kolber. Suhweet. I like Suzy, I really do, but she just wasn’t making it for me in the world of NASCAR. I love Bestwick, he knows his stuff and he sounds like it too.
My first intention was to post a bunch of photos from the NASCAR Champions Week in New York. But the majority of the photos are basically Jimmie Johnson around the city — Hey there’s Jimmie and Chad Knaus hanging off a light post! — and who really wants to see that? Exactly. So I picked just the photos that featured Jimmie’s wife Chandra. Why? Because the woman is always so stylish and put together. She looked great the entire week and in every photo so I wanted to give her props for making the best of her situation. I’m sure she adores her husband and is incredibly proud of him, but I bet that whole going to New York and having to plan your wardrobe and probably buy new stuff just for the occasion is so tiring… Wait, what was I talking about? Who am I kidding, she’s so friggin lucky. Gah. Ok… Without further adieu the photos:
Chandra and Jimmie Johnson pose for a photo at the 2007 Champion’s Dinner at the Waldorf=Astoria. (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/Getty Images for NASCAR)
New York Stock Exchange Chief Financial Officer Nelson Chai (left) talks with Chandra and Jimmie Johnson during their tour of the New York Stock Exchange. (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Jimmie and Chandra Johnson pose for a photo in Times Square. (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/Getty Images for NASCAR)
2007 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson and wife Chandra smile for the cameras on the yellow carpet at the Waldorf=Astoria for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Awards Ceremony. (Photo Credit: Brad Barket / Getty Images for NASCAR)
In other news…
– The Aussie take on Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s trip to Australia.
– The Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals are being televised for the first time ever, but there’s one little catch. It’s going to televised on Pay-Per-View with a suggested price of $24.95. 250 drivers will spend 4 days trying to qualify their 800-hp midgets for this race so I guess it’s worth the cost. Notable NASCAR Cup drivers participating this year include Tony Stewart, Kasey Kahne and JJ Yeley. Check out the commercial below:
Due to the Writers Guild strike in Hollywood Rusty Wallace will not be able to continue his NASCAR race coverage duties… Hold on, someone is handing me a note.
You mean he actually writes that stuff himself? Huh? Oh, he just says whatever comes to mind? Damn. Oh well, I must correct myself, it looks like Rusty will still be on air this weekend. Grr… I won’t get to watch new episodes of “House” but I have to watch Rusty Wallace repeat things that other people just said?? What kind of world are we living in? I mean really.
In other news…
– I’m on my way to Las Vegas for the Blog World & New Media Expo. There’s heavy fog in the San Francisco Bay Area so my flight is late, that still can’t dampen my spirit. I’m sooo excited to be spending three nights in Vegas, and hopefully meeting other cool bloggers.
– I was sent an email alerting me to a video about a guy that races cars in his spare time. It was sent to me by the nice folks at IntoTheBox.tv — they cover the wacky real estate market in New York — check it out below or click this link. My first and lasting thought about this video was “Wow, he’s hot… hmm, is he single? I don’t see a ring!” hehe.
As the NASCAR season winds down I got to thinking about commercials. More specifically, which ones were my favorite and now, without further adieu, I give you my list of the top 5 2007 NASCAR commercials. From fifth to first:
5.) Dale Jr. & The Desert Mutants (Budweiser) — This is by far Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s best commercial acting job to date. He’s funny and I don’t know why he doesn’t give in and host Saturday Night Live, he couldn’t be worse than LeBron James was awhile ago. I’m just sayin’. View video below or click here.
4.) Toyota Pit Pass (Toyota) — It seems like every year NASCAR and those that cover it are trying to figure out more ways to get the fans close to the action. This Toyota commercial seems to take that idea to the extreme by allowing fans to ride along with their favorite drivers, or should I say hover above their favorite drivers, going 180 mph. It’s funny (sad?)because it seems like this could actually happen one day when NASCAR exhausts all other options for fan integration. View the video below or click here.
3.) Dale Jarrett & his dad Ned (UPS) — I like Dale Jarrett in general and the series of “Race The Truck” commercials have been great, but this is my hands down favorite from this year. Dale’s dad Ned makes a cameo in this UPS commercial posing as his son and hilarity ensues. View the video “Imposter” at UPSRacing.com
2.) Michael Waltrip’s Fan Letters (NAPA Auto Parts) — Michael Waltrip is such a character and I love him for it. I love this commercial because they were able to take their lemons and make some seriously funny lemonade! He hasn’t had the best season, that’s a huge understatement, and to have the ability to make fun of yourself in spite of that is awesome. View the video below or click here.
1.) Lauren Wallace (Geico) — My favorite line from this commercial is “I didn’t say I wouldn’t go fishing with the man.” Cracks me up every time. This ad is the best because of so many things but for the most part it’s the direction, which reminds me of a Wes Anderson movie (Check out The Royal Tenenbaums or Rushmore) and of course the star is Lauren himself. This kid should totally get his own show, I mean the Geico cavemen have their own sitcom, why not Lauren? View the video below or click here.
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)
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.
I tivo’d CMT’s premiere of DALE: The Movie and I finally got to watch it this past weekend. As we all know I’m planning on spending all of next year following NASCAR around the country. Putting this project together is no easy feat and I think about it every single day. One way or another it’s going to happen, but every now and again I get discouraged.
I came away from watching DALE with this super peaceful feeling like anything was possible and that this was really going to happen for me. I felt good. Which I know isn’t the normal response you’d think you’d have after watching a documentary about the life of a NASCAR legend who died way too soon. It was truly touching and very honest. I think you get a good sense of Dale Earnhardt and the man that he was. I liked the fact that there were interviews with people from pretty much every part of his life. It was very emotional to me, and I loved how they framed the movie around his Daytona 500 win.
All in all it’s a great piece of filmmaking and I encourage anyone that hasn’t seen it yet to do so. I believe that you can take something useful away from anyone’s story. My mom always told me when I was in school to read everything even if, at first glance, it had nothing to do with me. So if I learned one thing from Dale Earnhardt’s story it was that you should never stop working towards your dreams. Never, ever stop. Sometimes it takes a lot longer to get there than you think it should but you have to keep trying.
Oh and one more thing… after seeing this documentary my mind is still boggled over why Teresa Earnhardt couldn’t give up the 8 to Dale Jr. It’s just sad and just plain wrong. Forget about the money, it should be about family and that’s why he should get to keep the number. But whatever, what’s done is done and I’ll leave it at that. I know a number isn’t everything, and that Dale Jr. has a ton of talent to take him far.
Wednesday night I stayed up past my bedtime (my workday bedtime) and watched NASCAR in Primetime on ABC.
Today I read a review of the show from the New York Times and I think the reviewer got it right — this documentary isn’t covering any new territory. But it’s still entertaining nevertheless.
I dig the fact that it follows lesser known teams — in the first episode we saw Johnny Sauter’s team struggle at Atlanta — and that you get to hear & see real fans talk about why they love NASCAR. That kid with the Carl Edwards hat on was so cute, and very knowledgeable about the drivers.
Oh and who knew Mark Martin was so freaking buff?? Jenkies Batman… I think he’s better looking now than when he was younger, and the same goes for Dale Jarrett. They’re total hotties as older gentlemen. Plus it’s not like they’re that old. Ah I’m rambling.
So overall I dig the fact that this documentary is even on TV at all, but at the same time I was hoping there’d be more to it. Something we haven’t seen before, or some other angle. I dunno… Maybe I’m asking for too much.
A couple weekends ago I caught some of the Fox Sports Net series Beyond the Glory, it’s like Behind the Music but for sports. This particular installment was about Matt Kenseth. The content of the show was good, it talked about the year he won the Cup Championship and then the year following and Matt’s quest to prove that he could win races.
The thing that got me about this show was the voice over guy. His tone was terrible. He made everything sound so dark and depressing. Get this guy some Prozac. Jeez. I think they were going for some sort of edgy effect but it ended up just sounding completely uninspired and lame. Matt deserved better.
Where to begin… First I guess I’ll express my surprise that it had been over a year since Carl Edwards had won a Cup race. I didn’t realize it had been that long, so good for him. The fun thing about Carl Edwards is his mom. She’s at all of his races and she’s the only NASCAR driver’s mom that I can spot instantly. Like if I saw her at the grocery store I’d be like “hey there’s Carl Edwards’ mom!” If it’s anybody else’s mom I have no clue, their son would have to be standing next to them for me to put it together. I don’t know what it is about her but she stands out. I think it’s her hair. She’s got great hair. Or, duh, it could just be that she’s always there. I dunno though… Some of those guys’ girlfriends and wives are always there and I wouldn’t be able to pick them out of a crowd. It could just depend on who it is.
Ok, I totally went off on a weird tangent there.
In other news…
– I’ve been watching “Fast Cars & Superstars” (on ABC) here and there. I have it Tivo’d so I can watch it whenever. I like the fact that they’ve done this show period, because it proves that there’s so much more to NASCAR than just turning a wheel. While it doesn’t go into the whole strategy part of it, I think people get a sense of the skill involved.
– How nice was it to see Michael Waltrip back in a Cup race? And he finished 10th no less! That was very cool. I’m happy for him. It feels like his whole season has been marred by his little off track accident and the Daytona 500 shenanigans, which is really sad. I’d like to see his team be successful. I know they can be it’ll just take some time. But I just miss the old funny & slaphappy Mikey that we used to see every week.
– Casey Mears. He’s a guy that’s steadily moving up the points standings every week. At one point this year, a few weeks ago I believe, he was in 34th place and now he’s up to 19th. Ya never know, if they keep this up we could see Casey in the Chase this year. That’d be very, very cool.
– Please tell me I’m not the only person who dislikes Marc Fein and Bill Weber? I’d trade both of them in for Mike Joy and Allen Bestwick any day. They’re sooo annoying. I don’t understand Weber, it seems like he’s yelling all the time. He’s just too loud. And Fein seems like he’s not listening to people ’cause his comments after they make a point never seem to match up. Ugh. Luckily we only have 4 more races of them until we’re on to the ESPN/ABC coverage.
– The topic of Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s move to Hendrick Motorsports is starting to annoy even me. And I’m a big Dale Jr. fan. Maybe it’s because they seemed to extend the pre-race show for an extra hour and filled it with an interview of Junior and Rick Hendrick that shed absolutely NO new light on the situation. I’d rather they talk about Mikey Waltrip making it back into a race, or the Red Bull boys managing to qualify every week after a slow start to the season. Or why Juan Pablo Montoya seems to have stalled (which is totally fine by me) or what’s going on with Jeremy Mayfield (where the heck is he??).
– In case you’re thirsty for more speculation on the ramifications of Junior’s move to Hendrick, then you should check out this article “Is Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s big move good for NASCAR?” on Slate.com by John Swansburg. He digs my blog, so I’m giving him props. But really it’s a good article and you should read it.
I have to take back what I said about everybody loving rain delays. I don’t think I like them anymore. Especially in a broadcast that has Bill Weber as the lead announcer. And who the heck is that Marc Fein guy?? I’m not impressed, yet.
The only good thing about this switch to TNT coverage was that we got Wally Dallenbach back, and surprisingly Larry McReynolds from FOX. But I miss Darrell Waltrip desperately… Can we set up a campaign, petition, something, to get him on every single NASCAR broadcast no matter what network it’s on?? We need our DW fix.
There’s more random speculation about what team Dale Earnhardt Jr. will join next year. Lately people seem to think that he’ll go to a smaller operation like Ginn Racing. If he’s going to go that route then why not just start his own team? In theory I think it’d be very cool. It’s such a romantic thought to imagine him starting his own team, and being highly competitive straight out the box. Wouldn’t that be so much fun to watch? I’d love it. I don’t know how realistic that is, obviously it takes a tremendous amount of work (hello, Michael Waltrip) to get things going and then to be successful (win) seems to be another thing entirely.
And now for a super cute photo… This is Joe Nemechek and his son, John Hunter Nemechek, signing autographs at Pocono this past weekend. (photo credit: GinnRacing.com)
Since I didn’t get to watch the All-Star race festivities this weekend I don’t have much new to say, but I wanted to post something. So I give you this press release about the band Hinder. They’ve been tapped to cover the song “Born To Be Wild” for the new NASCAR on TNT theme song. Check it out below.
In other news…
My mind is racing with this incredibly great idea I came up with on Saturday. It involves me doing more blogging (we’re talking everyday, multiple times a day) and getting out to the races every weekend. I’m doing research on how I can make this happen and I’ll keep ya updated on what I find.
Hinder Remakes Rock Classic “Born To Be Wild” for TNT’s 2007 NASCAR Coverage
Exclusive premiere of full-length music video to debut on NASCAR.COM on June 6
Turner Network Television (TNT) announced today that they have teamed with multi-platinum rockers Hinder to remake Steppenwolf’s classic hit single “Born to be Wild” as the network’s beat-driven anthem to promote its 2007 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series coverage. The song will serve as the primary musical bed for all six of TNT’s races, as well as for the network’s multiplatform marketing campaign surrounding its exclusive race coverage. To accompany Hinder’s cover of the rock-and-roll classic, the network is also producing a full-length music video of the song for the band that will debut exclusively on the Turner-operated Web site NASCAR.COM on June 6.
“When we were considering which music would anchor our NASCAR on TNT promos, we wanted to find a song that we thought would immediately resonate with NASCAR fans, and a band whose sound exemplified the muscle and energy of NASCAR,” said Craig Barry, Turner Sports VP/Creative Director. “Hinder is a true rock band on the rise. They have the sound and cross-over appeal that we were looking for to help us promote the high-energy and excitement of NASCAR on TNT.”
Hinder gained much attention with their 2006 ballad “Lips of an Angel,” the bands breakthrough single from their first album titled Extreme Behavior. In addition to topping the Billboard Pop 100 chart, the single climbed as high as the third spot on both Billboard’s Hot 100 and Mainstream Rock charts. The band is once again rising on the charts with their follow-up single, “Better than Me.”
From the full-length, hard-driving music video, Turner will produce several shorter spots in 30, 60 and/or 90-second lengths, as well as a three-minute version cut with NASCAR action highlights to serve as the feature NASCAR on TNT on-air promo. In addition, NASCAR.COM’s 24/7 Live host Riki Rachtman, formerly of MTV’s Headbanger’s Ball, will host a 15-minute behind-the-scenes look at the making of the video exclusively for the Web site. The spots will begin running on the network on June 6.
Previous musical pairings with TNT for its sports programming include Jay-Z (NBA), Fort Minor (2006 NBA Playoffs), Pharrell (2006 NBA All-Star Game), The Rolling Stones (NASCAR) and Fatty Koo (2005 NBA Playoffs).
To say that I’m miffed about that fact that the NASCAR Nextel Cup All-Star race is only being shown on the SPEED channel is a serious understatement.
I’m mad, annoyed, irritated. Obviously I don’t have the SPEED channel and therefore won’t be able to watch the festivities this weekend.
You’re probably thinking to yourself “Well if you’re such a big racing fan you should already subscribe to SPEED,” This is true but because cable costs an arm and a leg these days I’m not in any hurry to sign up and drive my cable costs up.
I just want it to go down for the record that I’m mad about this and I find it very stupid to put any All-Star anything on a premium cable channel. It should be on FOX or ABC, some channel that I could see for free with just rabbit ears on my TV.
It’s funny to me that Jeff Gordon is the current points leader for the Nextel Cup Series and yet nobody is talking about him, well some are but only to say that he’s probably not going to win the race this weekend at Texas.
That’s totally fine with me, I don’t want him to win, there are other people that need to win a race right now.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. needs to win one to keep his charge up the points standings going and to give his contract negotiations with DEI an extra sense of urgency. Not that it really needs it but DEI needs a slap in the face to realize that they need to just end all this damn suspense and just sign him, give him his majority stake and call it a day.
I’m sooo tired of all the media coverage surrounding the contract talks with Dale Jr., I rank it right up there with all the hype about Juan Pablo Montoya joining NASCAR. Big whoop.
In other news…
Because it’s Friday the 13th here’s a video of NASCAR crashes I found on YouTube. (Need something to blog about? YouTube baby! it’s gold!)
I’m posting this because:
1) Who doesn’t love crashes?
2) I dig Chris Daughtry (an American Idol alum, that’s his song “Crashed” playing in the background)
3) Because I have nothing else to talk about (but you still love me)
Even though Kyle Busch won, Sunday’s race at Bristol was great. I loved that it ended in a green, white, and checkered; you didn’t know who was going to win it until the very last lap.
There were other reasons to happy with this race:
– A.J. Allmendinger finally got to race in the NEXTEL Cup Series! He finished in 40th after starting in the 43rd position. So he wasn’t exactly a contender but at least he got to participate, and in that really pathetic sense he won! But really, I am happy that his Red Bull team got to compete. Now if Michael Waltrip can get his act together maybe we can get all of the Toyota teams on the track at the same time.
– Everybody can stop talking about that damn Car of Tomorrow. Bristol was the debut for the new, somewhat ugly car that ups safety and headroom for the drivers. I don’t know about you but I don’t like that “wing” they’ve added to the back of the car, it just looks odd and out of place. I can appreciate the value of adding safety features for the benefit of the drivers but anything else is over my head. I can’t really have an opinion about its effect on the competition since I’m not the one who has to drive it every weekend. But I can say this: Please, no more montages, specials, cut-away cars about the Car of Tomorrow. We got it! We know what it is, what’s different, what’s good, what’s bad, we’re over it! Move on!
– Dale Earnhardt Jr. finished in 7th place after starting in the 31st position. This is such a huge boost for his team and for my sanity. Hopefully they can keep this momentum going into Martinsville this weekend and continue his move up in the points standings.
– While watching some of the Busch race coverage at Bristol I couldn’t shake the feeling that it was extremely weird to have Brent Musburger covering NASCAR. He does basketball, football, heck even golf, but NASCAR? Uhm, no. It just doesn’t seem right to me. It’s not that he’s bad at it so much as it’s just not what he’s known for. It’s like if they moved Dick Vitale from covering college basketball to women’s gymnastics. Ok, maybe it’s not that severe, but you get my point.
– Here’s another reason why my nickname of “Teddy Bear” for Casey Mears is on point:
Roger Mears, father of Casey Mears, drives his son’s motor coach from race to race during the NASCAR season and is a familiar face at the track. However, the former off-road racer won’t be so easy to find this weekend in Martinsville. Roger Mears, who celebrated his 60th birthday last Saturday, will be at the Barrett-Jackson auction — also known as the “World’s Greatest Collector Car Event” — in Palm Beach, Fla., from March 28 to April 1. The younger Mears, driver of the No. 25 National Guard/GMAC Chevrolet for Hendrick Motorsports, arranged for his father to attend the event as a birthday present and even slipped a blank check in with the ticket. “I still don’t know what to say,” said Roger Mears, who rarely misses SPEED Channel’s Barrett-Jackson Car Search program and plans to make the trip south with his brother, open-wheel legend Rick Mears. “It’s a pretty amazing thing to do for your dad. I was speechless.”
Isn’t that sweet? Good job Casey.
This is my long overdue post about Las Vegas. This post is already so old that tomorrow is qualifying for this weekend’s race at Atlana. Geesh! I apologize, there has been a lot going on lately but now I will entertain you with my thoughts on the race in Vegas.
– First off, Monday was Casey Mears’ (left) birthday. He turned 29 and received a lousy gift from Robby Gordon in the form of a crash that took him out of the race at Vegas on Sunday for a little while. He ended up finishing in a very unhappy 40th place. (photo credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images for NASCAR)
– Overall, I kinda felt like the race at Las Vegas was boring. I know there were a bunch of crashes but it still didn’t seem very exciting. Maybe it had to do with the fact that Jimmie Johnson won for the third straight time at the track. It’s just boring when the same people win. I just want a newbie (or semi-newbie) to win one finally! Ya hear that Clint Bowyer? J.J. Yeley??
– There was a lot of star power at this race in the form of Mark Wahlberg (promoting his new flick “Shooter”), MTV VJ Vanessa Minnillo, singer Nick Lachey (who is dating Vanessa), Magic Johnson and the wrestler Goldberg. The only person I ever saw on camera during the race was Mark Wahlberg who mentioned something about wanting to do a movie about racing. I’ll totally take you up on that one Mark! Great idea. He’d make a hot race car driver.
– This point has nothing to do with the Cup race at Vegas, but everything to do with the Busch Series race on Saturday. I don’t like ESPN’s coverage of the races because the only guy in the booth that really knows anything is Rusty Wallace (former Cup driver). The other guys in the booths are asking him questions like, “What’s that?” “What does that do??” OK, so I’m exaggerating but it comes close. And to be fair, it’s not all of the guys on the ESPN team, certainly not the pit road reporters, but it’s enough to make me wonder how they got their jobs.
And now on to the photos…
How hot is Rookie Aric Almirola?? That hot!
Aric Almirola walks in the garage area on Friday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Former wrestler Bill Goldberg jokes around with Roush Racing crew member Dave “Mule” Nichols at Las Vegas Motor Speedway as NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series driver Greg Biffle (left) and crew chief Pat Tryson look on. (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Dale Earnhardt Jr. talks with Magic Johnson at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Sunday. (Photo Credit: John Harrleson/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Yes folks, they’re that skinny!
Left to right: Jimmie Johnson, Chandra Johnson, Vanessa Minnillo and Nick Lachey celebrate Johnson’s win at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. (Photo Credit: John Harrelson/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Mark Wahlberg talks to the media on Sunday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. (Photo Credit: Harry How/Getty Images)
I realized something tonight while I was trying to get to sleep. I figured out one of the reasons why I’m a Dale Earnhardt Jr. fan.
I didn’t become a true NASCAR fan until the year of Dale Earnhardt Sr.’s death. His death was incredibly tragic and because of that fact it called attention to the sport of racing. A while after the accident occurred MTV aired the documentary “True Life: I’m a Race Car Driver” that featured Matt Kenseth, Tony Stewart and Dale Earnhardt Jr.
There were a lot of things that I learned by watching the documentary, just about the sport in general, the different driver personalities, but the most intriguing thing was to see the relationship between Dale Earnhardt and his son.
I think because of the fractured relationship I have with my own father, I have this obsession with watching the wonderful relationship other people have with their fathers. I think it is the sweetest thing in the world to see a father who truly cares about and believes in his children. I saw all of that in Dale Earnhardt.
And so after his death I wanted to watch Dale Jr. and see how he would respond to losing his father that he obviously respected and loved deeply.
Over the past 6 years (I still can’t believe it’s been that long) I’ve seen a young man grow, learn and mature. I will always be a fan of his because from all outward appearances he has grown into the man that I’m sure his father had always hoped he would be.
I have to let you in on something that severely hurts my heart every time I think about it. Maybe by writing about it it won’t hurt as much.
I could have gone to the NASCAR Preseason Thunder testing at Las Vegas Motor Speedway earlier this week, but for reasons I won’t go into here I wasn’t able to attend.
This makes me severely depressed. I mean, what could be better than spending three days in Vegas with Dale Earnhardt Jr.?, I mean, with all those NASCAR drivers and their teams? Right, yeah, that’s what I meant.
But I’m moving on and I’m looking forward to the season ahead. There are a bunch of new faces to watch this year, for example, Ricky Carmichael and A.J. Allmendinger.
Ricky comes from the world of motocross and A. J. is from Champ Car. Carmichael is only 27 but yet his name is synonymous with motocross (and local Morgan Hill company Fox Racing). He won’t be in the Nextel Cup series anytime soon though, he’ll work his way up from the bottom, starting with super-late-model and Arca races. Which I think is the totally right way to go. I don’t like the idea of people being able to just jump into Nextel Cup races straight outta the gate.
That’s like a famous pro football player switching to baseball and being the starting picture for a major league team. Ridiculous. They should go down to some minor league team, learn and prove themselves.
But apparently Allmendinger is good enough to roll right on into Cup racing. He’ll be apart of Team Red Bull in a Toyota Camry ride.
In other news…
Oh how I wish I had DirecTV right now. DirecTV is launching a new premium service called HotPass that will allow you to watch ONLY your favorite driver during a NASCAR race.
Each channel has its own announcers dedicated to that driver, real-time stats and six different cameras. At any given time, two of those angles are shown — along with the network feed — on a triple-split screen.
NASCAR’s entire 37-race season costs $99 for DirecTV subscribers. And starting in 2008, everything will be available in high definition.
”It’s the home-team channel for your driver,” said Chris Long, the executive producer for HotPass. ”You’re going to hear driver audio. You’ll have the ability to listen (to the team), or you can listen to the announcers.”
The access is amazing, but I wonder how much longer it’ll be before we’re watching our fave drivers 24/7, while their showering or eating dinner. Read more about this by clicking here.
Jimmie Johnson poses with two young fans on Jimmie Johnson Day in San Diego on Wednesday, January 31, 2007 at the San Diego Hall of Champions. (Photo Credit: Kent Horner/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Kyle Busch, left, talks with Dale Earnhardt Jr., right, during NASCAR Preseason Thunder testing. (Photo Credit: Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images for NASCAR)
AJ Allmendinger takes a break during NASCAR Preseason Thunder testing at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. (Photo Credit: Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Dale Jarrett talks with the media during NASCAR Preseason Thunder at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. (Photo Credit: Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images for NASCAR)
I’m watching NASCAR Drivers: Non-Stop on ESPN2 right now. The show follows Clint Bowyer, J.J. Yeley, Casey Mears, David Gilliland and Jeremy Mayfield , amongst others, on and off the race track. The footage is from last year’s race season. It’s great! Take my word for it.
What’s better than seeing Jeremy Mayfield sitting at home completely frustrated that he’s not out there racing with everyone else? Ever since he was ousted from Evernham in August I was dying to know what he was doing with himself and this show answered all of my questions. Besides watching the races he spent time bowling with his wife, building a new massive house and, as i’ve noted in the title, he spent some time blowing up watermelons.
Jeremy will be back this year in the #36 360 OTC Toyota Camry for Bill Davis Racing.
The show also confirmed my feelings about Clint Bowyer. I once compared him to Pittsburgh Steeler quarterback Ben Roethlisberger at the suggestion of sports writer John Dugan. But I think that Clint really bares a striking resemblance to actor Steve Martin. What do you think?
Also on ESPN2 today is Michael Waltrip Racing: A New Era. Here’s some info from the show’s press release:
Michael Waltrip Racing: A New Era is an 11-episode, documentary television series that chronicles Michael Waltrip Racing and Toyota’s new partnership in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series.
In the premiere episode, Waltrip breaks ground at his new fabrication shop and announces to his staff that ESPN2 will document all of the exciting developments for the new race team. He also visits Toyota Racing Development to see the new Toyota Camry stock car and Toyota executives explain why the company is partnering with the team and entering NASCAR NEXTEL Cup racing.
“This show was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for me to build a race team and give the fans an inside look into everything that goes into it,” said Waltrip, a two-time Daytona 500 winner. “From hiring the crew, to applying information about rules and competition, and seeing how it all comes together — that’s what this story is about.”
I finally watched the NASCAR Awards Ceremony last night. I Tivo’d it on Friday, when it originally aired.
All of my worst fears came to life. Jay Mohr, part-time comedian/part-time actor, was the host and Bill Weber, NASCAR on NBC host, was the announcer. Yea I don’t get that either. Why they needed two people to do the job of one I will never know.
Jay Mohr. Jay, why do you do it? Why do you host the Awards Ceremony when you know that all of your jokes, no matter how funny they are, will always bomb? I don’t know what it is but those people do not want to laugh. Maybe it’s just because there aren’t a lot of people in the audience that it just seems like his jokes are falling flat. For Jay’s sake I hope that’s it but really I’m thinking it’s because NASCAR peeps aren’t really used to being roasted at their own shindig.
The funniest moment of the night was courtesy of Kyle Busch. Because he finished tenth in the standings he was the first from the top ten drivers to give their speech. When he went to thank his girlfriend Erica for her support over the year, he used his brother’s wife’s name, Eva, instead. Needless to say every driver after that ribbed Kyle by making it a point to use the correct name of their significant others.
The awkward moment of the night was brought to us by Jewel. Like I predicted she didn’t sing any songs that had to do with racing or winning or feelings about winning. No, instead she sang “Stephenville, TX” and “Foolish Games.”
Here are some sample lyrics from “Stephenville, TX:”
Housewives told to recapture their youth
By wearing floral print and suede
Fixing their hairdos with PC, chemical-free hairspray
Martha Stewart taught ‘em to make on TV
I was raised a farm girl
Now, I’m too far from home, all alone on the road
Trying to figure out who I am now that the stardust has turned to sand
And the sand has turned to stone — I’m the star making machine
So I think you can understand why I was cringing all the way through the song (and then through “Foolish Games”, where she sings about a love gone awry). I love the song and Jewel in general but not so much at a stock car racing awards ceremony. I mean this is like Mariah Carey singing “Vision of Love” before a NHL hockey match. It just doesn’t work for me.
In terms of the fashions on display I was very disappointed. There wasn’t much to look at, all of the ladies seemed to opt for black, except for Kevin Harvick’s wife, Delana who wore a green Vera Wang gown. You can’t go wrong with Vera.
You’ve gotta check out the video of the “yellow” carpet at the event. The correspondent asks the women who they’re wearing and you get some interesting answers. I recognized two designers Vera Wang and Ungaro, the other ones I have no idea. You have to remember these women don’t have stylists like Hollywood A-listers do. Yes they have a ton of money but they’re not spending all their time shopping on Rodeo Drive.
From left to right, Chandra and NASCAR driver Jimmie Johnson, joined by actors Jay Mohr and Nikki Cox arrive at the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Year-end Awards Ceremony, Friday, Dec. 1, 2006, in New York. (AP Photo/Dima Gavrysh)
Jewel performs at the NASCAR Nextel Cup Championship Cup Series Awards Ceremony at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York, Friday, Dec. 1, 2006. (AP Photo/Henny Ray Abrams)
Mark Martin, left, jokes with host Jay Mohr after accepting his award for finishing ninth in the NASCAR Nextel Cup Championship Cup Series at the awards ceremony at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York, Friday, Dec. 1, 2006. (AP Photo/Henny Ray Abrams)
NASCAR‘s annual Champions Week is under way in New York. There are a bunch of festivities set up and I wish I was there. But the next best thing, ok, the tolerable next best thing, is watching it all on TV.
So I’m going to make sure I set my Tivo to tape Good Morning America tomorrow morning at 8:50am to watch the top ten NEXTEL Cup Series drivers drive their stock cars through Times Square. According to the press release this is a “moment not to be missed.” Mmm right. Let me see, they’re in their cars driving less than the speed limit in Times Square. Big whoop. I’m sorry but that’s kinda boring.
But of course I’ll still watch it ’cause I’m addicted.
Friday is the big day, the day of the Awards Ceremony at the Waldorf=Astoria. The SPEED channel is broadcasting a live Awards Ceremony pre-show called “NASCAR Takes Manhattan” at 7pm EST. The Awards Ceremony will air on TNT at 9pm EST and then again on NBC on Sunday (Dec. 3) at 2pm EST. (check your local listings for exact times and channels)
Jewel is the musical guest this year who will hopefully sing a song that has something to do with what it feels like to win a championship. I doubt it though. I love Jewel, don’t get me wrong, but I don’t know if “Good Day” or “Again and Again” are appropriate songs for men who drive race cars for a living. Those songs are more apt for say, uhm, I dunno, that new Cameron Diaz/Kate Winslet movie, The Holiday. They’re chick flick songs.
At any rate, it’ll be fun to watch.
You may have heard of a lil’ reality show called Driving Force on A&E. I’ve got a season pass for it on my Tivo and I try to watch it whenever I can. It’s one of those shows I have to be in the right mood for because, well, I just do.
The father is John Force, a drag racing superstar. He is so funny, and loud and just completely honest. He’s the first to admit that maybe he’s made some mistakes in his life, in his marriage in particular, and he’s aware of them. He kind of just talks and talks and then deals with whatever damage his words have caused later.
Overall I think he’s a great guy. His heart really seems to be in the right place, especially when it comes to his daughters, Ashley, 23, Brittany, 19, and Courtney, 17. He’s interested in them, in their lives, and he’s proud of ‘em too — even if he’d kill to have a son.
It’s a very cool show that gives great insight into the day-to-day life of a family whose world centers around racing. Oh! And they also have the best TV theme song ever because they use the Wolfmother song “Woman.” I love that song right now. Check out a clip from Driving Force below.
I’ll be honest; I missed the Pepsi 400 this past Saturday night because I went to an Il Divo concert. I missed out on my favorite sport to watch four men in shiny suits sing in languages I don’t understand to a bunch of middle-aged married women. They sounded great, and I did get the tickets for free, so I really can’t complain. (Side note: if you’re single and looking for a man, don’t go to an Il Divo concert, it’ll do you no good unless you’re into gay men)
I Tivo’d the race to watch on Sunday morning, but it’s not the same. Some leftovers are good the next day, not so much when it comes to racing. I tried to start from the beginning and just watch it as it happened, but it was just so easy to skip to the end. Racing must be watched live. It’s too easy to speed through the green flag runs and get to the crashes. It’s too easy to fast forward through Chris Myers‘ inane banter with Jeff Hammond; you have to suffer through it in order to enjoy the entire show. It feels like cheating if you don’t.
This weekend the race at Chicagoland Speedway begins the NBC/TNT, ending FOX/FX, coverage of NASCAR. I’m sad that I won’t hear Darrell Waltrip (aka DW) yell “Boogity, Boogity, Boogity!, Let’s go racin’!” at the beginning of each race and Larry McReynolds was really growing on me this year. I used to enjoy NBC’s telecast because of Allen Bestwick as the play-by-play announcer, but then something really weird and annoying happened. They moved Bestwick down to the pits as a reporter and moved Bill Weber into the booth with ex-drivers turned analysts Wally Dallenbach and Benny Parsons. I don’t like Weber, he doesn’t strike me as being very confident. I think Bestwick held his own against Benny Parsons in terms of knowledge of the sport, and he’s got a great voice. Speaking of Benny, he kind of irks me too. I tend to not agree with his opinions of NASCAR’s latest rulings, whereas with DW I’m usually in agreement. But on the bright side I always enjoy Dallenbach, he’s much more relaxed.