All posts tagged Television

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carl edwards dons armour, dale jr. keeps his cool

Under ArmourThere’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.

adidasThings 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.

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

My prayers have been answered!

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

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

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

forget jimmie johnson, chandra is the one with style

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:


Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/Getty Images for NASCAR

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)

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)

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)

Photo Credit: Brad Barket / 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:



the real estate racer is hot

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

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

In other news…

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

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

the top 5 best nascar commercials of 2007

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.


my fantasy nascar broadcast team

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

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

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

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


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

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

Clint Bowyer, driver of the #07 Jack Daniel

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

Clint Bowyer, driver of the #07 Jack Daniel

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

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

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

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

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

a quick high and then a big lowe’s

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.

tearjerker: dale the movie

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.

nascar in primetime – pt. 1

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.

short note on ‘beyond the glory: matt kenseth’

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.

on carl’s mom and bad sportscasters

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.
:)

oh no pocono

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)


pocono_nemechek.jpg

little of your time

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).

why i won’t be writing about the all-star race

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.

crash into me

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)



the car of annoying

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. :)

v is for valli and vegas

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

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

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

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

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

And now on to the photos…

How hot is Rookie Aric Almirola?? That hot!

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

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

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

Yes folks, they’re that skinny!

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

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

true story

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.

new kids on the block

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)

Go Colts!

blowin’ up watermelons

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.”