Friday, March 30, 2007


Here's the pole sitter and the following 9 drivers to round out the top 10 for Sunday's start.
Denny Hamlin
Jamie McMurray
Jeff Gordon
Ken Schrader
J.J. Yeley
Kevin Harvick
Tony Stewart
Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Carl Edwards
Johnny Sauter

Thursday, March 29, 2007


It seems there were a few issues with the new car design at Bristol that NASCAR is scrambling to resolve. (Of course, after a year of testing, I'm surprised this is happening.)

Several drivers encountered carbon monoxide issues in their cars, leaving them with side affects like headaches, and what not.

The protective foam in the right side door was overheating, melting and producing toxic fumes.

Some teams had spring failure. (IE: Greg Biffle, and why he is not getting a penalty for the rear quarter panel being too low after the race.)

Hamlin noted that the inside of the car was hotter than the other cars they're presently driving, which confuses me, seeing as how one of the benefits of the new design was purported to be less heat IN the car.

NASCAR will be adjusting their tolerances for different categories and having a meeting with the teams at Martinsville.

See the full story at ESPN. Link

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

KYLE BUSCH - Outburst or Observation - An OPINION

After the winning the Bristol race, Kyle Busch stated his mind and that is a refreshing perspective after hearing so many company line minded interviews. In Professional Bowling, we have rules that state unequivocally that participants will not say bad things about the lane conditions, bowling alley, etc.. I suspect other sports may have similar rules, or that players just want to keep sponsors and hosts happy by making everything rosy and bright.

You hear it all the time in pre-race interviews. There always seems to be 43 drivers who can win the race. I don’t think they’re going to disappoint their sponsors by saying their cars are crap, are they?

We know the language rules are not NASCAR rules, but then who is it on to delay the broadcast so things can be caught? NASCAR, to stipulate in their TV contracts? The stations broadcasting? The driver speaking? This is more or less a team effort between all three.

With NASCAR constantly capping the emotional outbursts that sometimes brings the fans into the sport, we need some excitement, but the excitement is being “fined” right out of the sport as behavior deemed inappropriate for NASCAR. This wave of oversight didn’t really become prevalent until the big time TV contracts came about, so who’s really behind that. Is NASCAR toeing the line for the media?

Busch gets paid well because he has talent that can expose the sponsor on a weekly schedule to the television audience. I think speaking his mind is his right unless it starts hurting the sponsor and or the sport. If anything, it made media. It’s a new car design. People will be adjusting all over the CUP series and we now have a better perspective on the drivers adjustment to the “flying brick”. Yes, Busch could have been more constructive, but every now and then, we still see shards of his youthful enthusiasm show through.


A quick poll at asked what folks thought of the COT debut at Bristol. I was surprised by the objectivity of this non-scientific poll:
54% said "It was too early to tell", while 31% "Didn't Like it."

AT&T is getting aggressive in trying to add it's logo to the 31 car, bringing a preliminary injunction against NASCAR to allow it to add it's logo to the 31 car now. It is no surprise that NASCAR / NEXTEL is saying no, just like it has from the very beginning, so this is nothing new. Yet with NEXTEL soon to become SPRINT or SPRINT NEXTEL, I'd think there might be some leniency and AT&T says there is no specific language in the contract about a company that has been bought by another. On another angle, it could just be a big media blitz for AT&T. (Hey, no media is bad media, right?) And I am also betting the 12 team is watching closely too.

In case you had not heard it, after Kyle Busch won the Bristol race, he got out and proclaimed that the new car design sucked.

In August of 1992, Bristol had it's first, all concrete NASCAR event. You can now have a piece of that history! Three versions of the collectible will be made available to fans. There is a piece of concrete in an acrylic case that will sell for $25, a 12”x14” framed piece that is $60 and the Concrete Showpiece, priced at $100. A portion of all sales of the concrete will benefit the Bristol chapter of Speedway Children’s Charities.
Anyone wishing to order a piece of Bristol history can call the Speedway World souvenir store at BMS at (423) 989-6960 beginning July 1, order online at, or visit the BMS souvenir store or any Speedway souvenir stand Aug. 22-25 during race week.

When NASCAR rolls into Martinsville for this weekend's Goody's Cool Orange 500 — and for the rest of the season — the top 35 teams will be guaranteed starting positions based on points from the week before.

Here's the top 12 in points after Bristol:
1 JEFF GORDON - 791 pts,
2 JEFF BURTON - 788,
6 KYLE BUSCH - 639,
7 MARK MARTIN - 629,
10 CARL EDWARDS - 598,

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Vickers and HIS NEW RIDE

It seems that Brain Vickers Toyota had a section of exhaust pipe that failed and separated, causing fumes and excessive heat to enter his driving compartment.

Brian Vickers is doing well and recovering from his 1st and 2nd degree burns on his feet and "bottom".


Monday, March 26, 2007

SHARPIE 500 - In retrospect - OPINION

It seems that the COT debuted well enough. They don't look great by themselves, but put them in a pack of cars in a short track circuit and you quickly forget the visual differences. I wasn't expecting to enjoy the race too much, but I surprised myself.

Some interesting observations:

Though he won the race, Kyle Busch thinks the new cars suck. I think he's just not used to having to be up on the wheel all day. I think he'll adapt.

These new cars will definitely show off who the real wheel men of the sport are as I expect drivers like Tony Stewart & Jeff Gordon will have a chance to show off their skills without aero dependencies. Tony Stewart would probably have lapped the whole field if he did not have mechanical issues.

On The Morning Drive on Sirius this morning, Ricky Rudd noted in an interview that repairing the cars after a little mishap takes longer. He got his nose messed up a bit and he said that what normally would have taken about 2 laps to fix, took about 20 laps to fix. I hope they can resolve the repair time issues because that would mean some folk who might have had a chance even after a wreck, may not even try to bother getting back in. Remember the taped up car Jr drove to victory at a restrictor plate race in recent memory?

We found out via Jeff Hammond that the splitter sticks out just a little too much and can cut down tires when a driver snugs his nose up to his competitors rear quarter panel. (Hmm, I wonder how many flats we're going to see in front of Robby Gordon?)

The safety features must be working. After getting t-boned on the right side, Dale Jarrett felt well enough to get out and let Kenseth know he wasn't happy about being taken out. Let's face it, he finally did not have to use a provisional, and then he gets a tow truck.

We also saw that Jeff Burton IS the man's man. He could have (Should he have?) moved Kyle Busch out of the way to win easily. He had 70 lap fresher tires. Instead, he raced him, making the first COT race a close finish. If Jeff Gordon was behind Busch, Gordon would have won, hands down, because A: he does move people to get the win, B: He's talented enough to be able to do it without wrecking folk. Instead, we were treated to a great finish.

And, despite having the COT out there, familiar faces were up front at the finish.

Sunday, March 25, 2007


Toyota is taking aggressive measures to improve its Nextel Cup teams. One of it's measures is in preparing a car from Waltrip Racing that they can use at a future 1.5-mile track.

Toyota is remaining patient, as they know it will take time to make a mark in NASCAR's premier series. They also hope sponsors like NAPA will remain patient as well. (Judging from the Sammy Hagar / NAPA ad, they just may be having a sense of humor about it.)

The Following are quotes from Lee White, general manager of Toyota Racing Development:
"Toyota is not a company that rolls heads easily....," he said. "Toyota is a company that honors its agreements and we have an agreement with our teams that is multiyear."

"Michael is not going to keep running the way he's demonstrated over five of 36 races. It's a little bit early in the program to be predicting someone's execution here."

I hope that's a reassuring tidbit for your Mikey fans!! It is for us in my household.


Sharpie 500 Notes from BRISTOL

Green, White Checkered Restart:
Kyle Busch wins, as Jeff Burton got around Jeff Gordon fro 2nd as Gordon spun his tires on the restart.

Even though Burton had the better car, he did not move Kyle out of the way to pass him even thogh he had 2 opportunities to do so and Kyle Busch wins the first COT race in this new ERA of NASCAR.

5, 31, 24, 29, 16, 66, 8, 07, 26 & 25 are the top 10 in this first COT race.
Highest finishing Dodge: David Stremme, in 13th.
Highest finishing Toyota: Brian Vickers, in 15th.
CHEVY gets it's 600th win,
Hendricks 200th win.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

ABC / ESPN Coverage - Nitpick by Bruce

Where do I start?Carl Edwards won the Busch event today, as he pulls up and stops at the finish line, ABC switches over to skiing coverage. I had taped the race, so if they switched over to ESPN, I missed it.

No back flip for us TV viewers. Thanks ABC.

There were a few other items that irked me about the ESPN / ABC coverage.

The show’s opening sequence of the Busch telecast were clips of Cup series scenes. It’s a Busch event, we should see teasers of, well, the Busch series, don’t you think?

The green flag flies for the start of the race. We can see in the back half of the pack, they’re going 3 and 4 wide to go around or avoid something that happened, but no one mentions it.

When Steven Wallace gets passed by Carl Edwards, then Ryan Newman slams the door on Wallace taking 2nd, ABC ponders if Ryan Newman can take advantage of the opening made by this pass for the lead. Uh, guys, it already happened.

Jon Wood has a pretty weird looking wreck. Yet every replay, instead of freeze framing it for us and pointing the car out to us, they just kept showing it and we keep missing it.

It’s an ABC telecast, but they keep referring to themselves as ESPN. Shouldn’t they call it ABC when they are televising on ABC?

I've been spoiled by Fox, NBC, Speed.. anyone else. I hope they come around.

Saturday's BUSCH RACE

Carl Edwards won the Busch event today, followed by Matt Kenseth, Kyle Busch, Ryan Newman, Clint Bowyer, Dale Jr., Greg Biffle, Kevin Harvick, Scott Wimmer & Mike Bliss rounding out the top 10.

It was a good finish in those last few laps, with Kenseth and Busch closing in on Edwards. Edwards wins the race, but ABC cuts away to skiing coverage and we don't see the customary back flip we've come accustomed to.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Bruce's OPINION - The COT

Along with making it harder for teams to acquire just any sponsor due to the exclusivity contracts popping up in NASCAR these days, I am also seeing is the deviation even further from the NASCAR fan being able to buy a car that looks like winning car their favorite driver put across the finish line first.

I'm not saying it's good or bad. It is what it is. In the 'golden' days, when a driver won, the car that Monday after the race would see increased sales. Hey, face it, the fan can say, see this new car - it just won last weekends race!

But as technology and safety concerns developed it's own momentum, I don't think we'll be able to rush out and buy a car with rear wing and front splitter options for us to drive anymore. That certain appeal has taken the side road of illusion and we are going to have to be satisfied with diecasts of these boxy looking beasts that no longer have the sleek look we've come to appreciate.

Then again, that sleek look created the faster cars that were hitting the walls harder.

I don't like the look. I hope someone decides to modify it a bit more to look a bit more curvy, but for now, this is what we have.

WHAT is the COT

Well, the Car of Tomorrow (COT), after a 5 year development to production to use design timeframe is making it's debut this weekend. The primary consideration for the redesign is safety innovations, followed by performance and competition equalizations & cost efficiency for the teams.

The COT will have one shape, regardelss of the make. That also means just one test template for NASCAR to deploy now. We no longer have different body types / shapes from the different manufacturers.

According to NASCAR, the car will have reduced aero dependence, a detachable rear wing, a more upright windshield, the air intake is now below the bumper & the front bumper is more box like for more increased drag.

More importantly, the safety features include: The drivers seat has been moved 4 inches further into the middle of the car, the roll cage moved 3 inches back & the car itself is 2 inches taller and 4 inches wider. This allows more crushability to be incorporated into the car & more space for the driver. The cars exhaust has been rerouted out the right side of the car, diverting heat away from the driver. The fuel cell is stronger, and smaller. 17 3/4 gallons, down from 22.

And that is the gist of the COT.


Well, yet again Michael Waltrip does not make the show. Neither did Ruetimann, but Dale Jarrett actually got in on time!! Can you believe that!

Jeff Gordon got the pole, followed by Kasey Kahne, Elliott Sadler, Tony Stewart & Jamie McMurray.

For the complete results, go


With all the exclusivity for sponsors that we are seeing, bewteen NASCAR and some companies could get out of hand as NASCAR looks to increase it's own purse strings while having the exclusive contracts limits the sponsors that can come on board.

Exclusivity helps the sponsors who pay money, IE: NEXTEL paid $700 million for it's 10 year stretch, so they sure can expect no competition in it's own race series BUT in the long run, how long can this go on before it starts to hurt the individual teams scrambling to get a sponsor?

What happens to Jeff Burton's team if AT&T can't advertise on his hood? Or Robby Gordon when... oh never mind, it's Robby Gordon. But do see that? It doesn't matter who it is because there are people out there that do like Robby and want to see him in the field, not doing spot interviews explaining why he's not on the track.

This is becoming a pricey sport, and if NACAR is not careful, the exclusivity is going to start hurting the teams trying to survive financially in this industry & hurting the teams, hurts us, the fans.

Thursday, March 22, 2007


Representatives of DEI aren't giving details, but are concerned as Kelley Elledge is in the hospital for surgery. An unidentified source indicated that a benign cyst was discovered on Elledge's pancreas last week.


Tidbits of BRISTOL History

April 9, 1972: Bobby Allison dominated the Southeastern 500, having led 458 laps en route to a four-lap win over Bobby Isaac.

April 2, 1978: Darrell Waltrip recovered from an early crash, leading the last 102 laps and beating Benny Parsons to win the Southeastern 500.

April 12, 1987: Dale Earnhardt wins a controversial Valleydale Meats 500, knocking Sterling Marlin out of the lead -- and the race -- to do so.

April 5, 1992: Starting from the pole, Alan Kulwicki wins the Food City 500 after a spirited battle with Dale Jarrett.

Monday, March 19, 2007


Mark Martin is closing out a 621 racing streak when he DOES NOT show up at Bristol next weekend. This being the 5th longest streak in NASCAR Cup history.

He is scheduled to miss Bristol, then Martinsville after that while the Rookie Regan Smith will fill in for him.

More power to you Mark. ( Maybe no one has noticed, but Mark has set up other obligations at other locations. I think that's to help him stick to his guns?? )

MWR Racing and a new PROJECT MANAGER

MWR has hired Derrick Finley, who previously had been crew chief for the #36 car (Jeremy Mayfield) at Bill Davis Racing.

Finley is going to be the project manager and part-time crew chief while the suspended David Hyder sits at home.


Sunoco is considering legal action against Shell to try and have Shell take down all their Kevin Harvick Banners at it's 15,000 gas stations. (Give it up Sunoco, anyone who's slapped money down on a car, can slap that driver on their product. OK, so Shell service stations might be a bit of a stretch, seeing as how the Shell lubricant is the technical sponsor. That's their gimme in this whole situation, the fuel division of Shell is not the sponsor.. funny huh, because that's all I see when I see that car...)

AT&T is mad at NASCAR and NEXTEL (Soon to be SPRINT) for not letting them change their brand name on the 31 car. (Come on people, it's a name change, not a new company... sort of. Show some security in your business model!)

This was just one in a few points made at the beginning of this article.

Sunday, March 18, 2007


NASCAR is testing 8 different cars on the dynometer to see if there was any measurable power loss after the 500 mile race at Atlanta.

KOBALT 500 Results, Atlanta

Jimmie Johnson WINS..
Stewart, Kenseth, Burton, Montoya, Bowyer, Edwards, Truex Jr., Sorenson, Martin round out the top 10.

See for preliminary results.

ATLANTA 500 Updates & Recaps

will be here:

Ryan Newman won the pole, but will be starting at the back of the field after an engine change.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

BUSCH Series Nicorette 300 Notes

Once again, Jeff Burton crossed the finish line first in this Busch event, but no other cars were facing the wrong way crossing the line. It was a good race to watch.
Kevin Harvick finished 2nd.
Near the end, Kyle Busch was put to the end of the longest line for too few lug nuts leaving pit road, but in the last 20 laps, made it back up to finish 3rd.
Carl Edwards came in fourth, followed by Casey Mears, Clint Boyer, Kasey Kahne, Juan Montoya, Matt Kenseth & Tony Stewart rounding out the top 10. (Stewart was sent to the back of the longest line when he pitted when the pits were closed.)

Check here for the unoficial results.

Friday, March 16, 2007


AT&T is suing NASCAR for the right to change their name from Cingular, and continue to stay on as the sponsor of the 31 car.

It seems that AT&T has been trying for months to get the permission from NASCAR to put their logo out there, but to no avail.

More to follow folks as it develops.


Ryan Newman won the pole for Sunday's CUP event at Atlanta, by over 1 1/2 mph over the next contender.

Toyota drivers Blaney, Vickers & Reutimann made the show.
Dale Jarret used his 4th of 6 provisionals AGAIN.
Michael Waltrip & Jeremy Mayfield did not make the show, .. again.


Why is it, I can go to the NEW NASCAR website, but I cannot find the finishing order of the truck race. It's an hour after the race, and the only results on their website is from CA.

Let's see, Ah, I found the truck results on

Mike Skinner won tonights race. followed by Todd Bodine, Matt Crafton, Rick Crawford, Clint Bowyer as the top 5.

You can see the rest of the results HERE


Mark Martin is making his 621st consecutive start this weekend.
That's 621 starts, no sick days. He's an impressive person indeed.
And the oldest to hold the top spot in points for more than a week!!

You go Mark, and make the decision that is right for you, not us or the media!!


I was reading an article that got my goat stirred up.

Who's better, F1 or NASCAR drivers.

I thought it would be interesting to read but then I got to the part that Michael Schumacher was fairly condescending in his reply. "It's more about tactics than driving skill. " I was holding it together because I am the proponent of "both sides of the coin", until I hit this debris:

When was the last time a former full-time NASCAR driver won a race on the F1 circuit? Then they alluded to Montoya's victory in Mexico. That's about where I snapped as that comparison is about as short sighted as Washington State politicians talking out their backside about NASCAR.

Why would NASCAR drivers go to another league, or type of car when they have it made pretty good where they are at?

Then they use the NASCAR side of the coin to push more points about F1. This was not a "Head 2 Head" column, but a NASCAR bashing with some after thought tossed in.

So 2 things. This brought out the NASCAR fan in me BIG TIME...
& Here's my response to their article that I sent in:

This was not a head 2 head case. You used both sides to illuminate F1's aspects from your perspective. You then point to Montoya's win in the Busch (training ground) series for CUP as some form of validation and you ignore most details that go into operating a CUP car in NASCAR. I don't mind "both sides of the Coin", because it makes great conversation, but you need to present both sides fairly. Do F1 drivers deal with 110+ degree heat for 3+ hours an event? Do they have to muscle the car through the race all day? Are F1 teams forced to qualify to make sure they are in the show? They are driving technologically advanced cars, and there's tons of tech to keep the car on the track.. How hard can that be? (See what I mean?)
Both sides have their own strengths and focuses. You said the only commonality is the 4 wheels. After that, where do they compare? Thanks for your time. I'm off to weigh the advantages of apples to oranges now.

It turns out the form I was filling out in rage was an email question form and it may be selected to be posted on their illustrious website. Arg.


If ATLANTA Qualifying is rained out,
they go by top 35 in points (During the first 5 races of the year, that would be the top 35 from last year),
then last years' winners,
then past champions (Hey, Jarrett doesn't have to use another provisional this week!),
then points order for who ever is left.

Thursday, March 15, 2007


Things to know about Atlanta:

Carl Edwards swept the two races at Atlanta in 2005. He is the only repeat winner in the last 10 races at AMS.

Also, Edwards has scored top-10 finishes in four of his five Atlanta races.

Ryan Newman leads all active drivers with six poles at Atlanta. All of his poles came in the six races between March 2003 and October 2005.

Last year's winner, Kasey Kahne, won the race from the pole. It was the 14th time that has happened at Atlanta.

Will there ever be another "King"

Richard Petty is known as 'The King'. He's got records that will never be broken. He holds SEVEN championships, matched only by Dale Earnhardt. He's won 200 races in his career, winning the Daytona 500 seven times. He's won 27 races in one season; a record # of poles (127) & 700 top ten finishes. All in 1,185 starts.

But these records were set in a different era of NASCAR when the good 'ol boys backed each other up, or threw each other around to resolve differences. And that was how it was.

I don't see the breaking of Petty's records for the mere reason that NASCAR is always on the ball, answering to sponsors and making sure that parity is part of the process, making competition fair to all, and taking action to make sure that the integrity of the sport is maintained.

When drivers try to resolve issues amongst themselves (At least on TV), they get fined and put on probation. When the lug nut bolts are found to be hollow to give a slight weight advantage, the teams (driver, crew chief, car owner), are docked points or fined or if severe enough, (and usualy the severe incidents are warranted), suspended from competition.

But the biggest change made was the bringing about of the "Chase for the Cup". This was already in the pipeline when, to point to one incident, Matt Kenseth won his championship in 2003. He won that season on consistency, not wins. He only won one race that year. NASCAR has tried to eliminate consistency as a chance contender and instigated the "Chase". Additionally, they've modified the allotted points for winning this year too, to emphasize winning.

The Chase for the Cup is designed to give the top 'x' contenders, (Originally it was 10, but this year, it's 12, or 27.9% of the field) the opportunity to compete against themselves as their points are reset to such a degree that only the top 12 contenders have a chance to win the Championship. It answers the need for more exciting television to some degree.

Old school fans are being left behind as some old tracks aren't cutting it in attendance and new formats and coverage are coming on strong to capitalize on new demographics.

NASCAR is a victim of it's own growth, propagating the need for all the penalties to appease the big time sponsors they are attracting. It's the price of growth and we can either adapt to it, or find ourselves disappointed in skewed expectations.

In the end, I don't think we will ever see another Richard Petty dominate the scene like he did.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007


Going into Atlanta, Toyota is 10 for 22 attempts at making races.

Dave Blaney, who's made the last three races, hasn't finished yet due to one issue or another.

And with NASCAR's top 35 in points, guaranteed starting spots, the Toyota teams are facing an uphill battle.


Former NASCAR chairman Bill France Jr. was admitted to Halifax Medical Center Wednesday evening where he was under the care of his personal physicians.

Today (Thursday) it's been revealed he has a virus.

ABC News to air NASCAR documentaries

ABC News Primetime was at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway this past weekend to begin filming a documentary series that is expected to air this summer.

Michael Bicks, with more than 20 years with ABC News, will be the executive producer of what's being called NASCAR in Primetime. Bicks has served as a producer on 20/20, Primetime Live and Last Days on Earth.

"This is the first time NASCAR has let a news organization do this, and that's important because they've maintained editorial control in the past," Bicks said. "With this, they're letting somebody else have editorial control, and we're honored they'd let us do it."

(There will be more to follow. This is a preliminary post.)

YOUNG GUNS and Reality TV

ABC will be airing a reality TV show where the Gillette Young Gun drivers will be teaching different celeberties how to drive a race car.

The Gillette Young Guns are Kurt Busch, Kasey Kahne, Carl Edwards, Jamie McMurray, Ryan Newman & Jimmie Johnson.

The celeberties are going to be: John Elway, Tony Hawk, William Shatner, Laird Hamilton and his wife, Gabby Reese, WWE champion John Cena, John Salley, Serena Williams, Bill Cowher, and Jewel and her boyfriend & rodeo king Ty Murray.

This oughta' be interesting!

PENALTIES, Pit Selection and Wins

I think that the minor to mid-range penalties should have more impact than they do now and I think NASCAR has shown it will not tolerate blatant attempts to skirt the system. .

I don't mean more impact in regards to the points & fines. That's all fine for someone's (NASCAR?) koffers, but let's hit the race teams where it can hurt the most and get their attention. In the advantage department.

I think when someone gets caught with an infraction that does seem intentional, they should be dinged with pit selection modification, back of the line starts, and even take the win away. In modern time, I don't think I've seen a winner, who doesn't pass the post race inspection, ever get the win taken away.

What's your thoughts?


Benny's second wife, Terri, is looking for memorabilia from his racing career to display at a wine-tasting room at Rendezvous Ridge. That's Benny's winery in Wilkesboro, NC.

See the article for more details:

Monday, March 12, 2007


Jeff Burton won the Busch event on Saturday as he left Kyle Busch sliding backwards over the finish line for 2nd!

Everyone figured some things out from Saturday and made Sunday a pretty good event.

Jimmie Johnson three-peated at Las Vegas last weekend to win the CUP event.

Spins & tension filled the air but all in all, I think the game WAS IN THE DRIVERS HANDS as they had to employ their much coveted talents to take their cars across the finish line.

With all that behind them, we have 51 entries for next weekends event at Atlanta Motorspeedway.

The media is still spinning all about, wondering about Mark Martins' plans as he still leads the standings. There is a lot of speculation from EVERYONE except Mark Martin. He's taken his shot and seen it stolen (a paraphrase only) from him. I don't think he wants to be in that situation again. At least Ginn Racing has shown that with the right driver, they are viable. And Mark Martin, being in a good enough car, shows he does still have it and is seeming to like being in a Chevy!!

Saturday, March 10, 2007

BUSCH - Sam's Town 300 News

After many yellow flags on the newly configured Las Vegas Motorspeedway, on very hard compounded Goodyear tires, the last lap proved most exciting as Jeff Burton closed up 4 car lengths to get to the outside of Kyle Busch and on the front stretch they banged and bumped to the finish line, with Burton winning and Kyle Busch taking 2nd sideways as he spun down the front stretch before slamming into the wall! That moment was pretty exciting to watch.

Though Kyle looked angry getting out of his car, it must have been at himself. He gave Burton a congratulatory handshake (After Burton went looking for him prior to pulling in the winners circle) and in post race interviews, he said it was a good finish and he just didn't have the equipment at the end to seal the deal. In fact, it looked like he got loose as Burton passed him for the win, but amid all the bumping, it was hard to see at first.

The issues we saw were:
The new banking. (The track was rebuilt to increase the banking in the turns, allowing cars more speed and the potential for more side by side racing.)
The harder compund Goodyear tires. (Race teams had been pushing their cars / tires to the edge of wearing through the tire, causing blow outs. A harder compound, in theory, makes it harder to wear down to that point, as opposed to a softer compound that gets stickier, gets better grip on the track, but as a result, wears out faster.)
The new banking seem to have created a scenario where when cars are too close together, the aerodynamics of a car are disturbed to the point of the down force exhuded on the car is interrupted and the inside car gets loose and spins.

Amid all the disgruntlement of the drivers about the track / tire combination, we were served a pretty good finish! Lucky, or by design? Tomorrows race will tell.

Here are the top 10 finishers from todays race:
J Burton, Kyle Busch, T Stewart, Kurt Busch, D Stremme, C Edwards, K Harvick,
B Labonte, Huffman & Ambrose.


And I am not liking it at ALL.

It's hard to find anything outright like you used to be able to and I'm sure it's just an adjustment phase I am going through, but man, stuff just isn't there anymore in plain site with all the new fangled media and ads and what not.

I think once I find things (Like BUSCH qualifying results - that I had to get from another website) I should bookmark the dang thing. When I think I am on the right track to something, I get redirected to CUP info or the previous weeks' info. urg, arg.

(Of course, it may just be me and my inability to deal with change.. who knows)


In the BUSCH Series, the top 5 qualifiers are:
Kurt Busch,

CUP Series: The qualifying results for the UAW-DaimlerChrysler 400,
1 Kasey Kahne 9 Dodge 184.856 mph
2 David Stremme 40 Dodge 184.193 mph
3 Elliott Sadler 19 Dodge 183.874 mph
4 Juan Pablo Montoya 42 Dodge 183.188 mph
5 Jeff Burton 31 Chevrolet 182.976 mph
6 Scott Riggs 10 Dodge 182.865 mph
7 Reed Sorenson 41 Dodge 182.822 mph
8 Sterling Marlin 14 Chevrolet 182.525 mph
9 Joe Nemechek 13 Chevrolet 182.266 mph
10 Kurt Busch 2 Dodge 182.020 mph
11 Dave Blaney 22 Toyota 181.775 mph
12 Kyle Busch 5 Chevrolet 181.763 mph
13 Carl Edwards 99 Ford 181.568 mph
14 Mark Martin 01 Chevrolet 181.494 mph
15 Kenny Wallace 78 Chevrolet 181.379 mph
16 Clint Bowyer 07 Chevrolet 181.293 mph
17 Denny Hamlin 11 Chevrolet 181.074 mph
18 Greg Biffle 16 Ford 181.032 mph
19 Paul Menard 15 Chevrolet 180.953 mph
20 Kevin Harvick 29 Chevrolet 180.905 mph
21 David Gilliland 38 Ford 180.892 mph
22 Kyle Petty 45 Dodge 180.886 mph
23 Jimmie Johnson 48 Chevrolet 180.820 mph
24 J.J. Yeley 18 Chevrolet 180.802 mph
25 Tony Stewart 20 Chevrolet 180.596 mph
26 Martin Truex Jr. 1 Chevrolet 180.542 mph
27 Tony Raines 96 Chevrolet 180.487 mph
28 Dale Earnhardt Jr. 8 Chevrolet 180.410 mph
29 Jeff Green 66 Chevrolet 180.307 mph
30 Ward Burton 4 Chevrolet 180.258 mph
31 Aric Almirola 80 Chevrolet 180.174 mph
32 Johnny Sauter 70 Chevrolet 180.156 mph
33 Jamie McMurray 26 Ford 180.090 mph
34 Casey Mears 25 Chevrolet 180.060 mph
35 David Ragan 6 Ford 179.826 mph
35 A.J. Allmendinger 84 Toyota 179.964 mph (DNQ)
36 Jeff Gordon 24 Chevrolet 179.635 mph
37 Matt Kenseth 17 Ford 179.462 mph
37 Mike Bliss 49 Dodge 179.778 mph (DNQ)
38 Robby Gordon 7 Ford 179.342 mph
39 Ryan Newman 12 Dodge 179.217 mph
40 Ricky Rudd 88 Ford 179.051 mph
41 Dale Jarrett 44 Toyota 176.869 mph
41 John Andretti 37 Dodge 179.223 mph (DNQ)
42 Jon Wood 21 Ford 175.873 mph
43 Bobby Labonte 43 Dodge N/A
44 Brian Vickers 83 Toyota 179.004 mph (DNQ)
45 David Reutimann 00 Toyota 178.571 mph (DNQ)
46 Jeremy Mayfield 36 Toyota 177.258 mph (DNQ)
48 Brandon Whitt 72 Chevrolet 176.523 mph (DNQ)
50 Kevin Lepage 34 Dodge 175.393 mph (DNQ)
51 Michael Waltrip 55 Toyota 173.422 mph (DNQ)
53 Ken Schrader 47 Ford N/A (DNQ)

(DNQ) - bumped from starting grid by other teams owner points, provisional, etc.
Ken Schrader was bumped in his Woods brothers ride for Jon Wood, their son so he can get in on points. Kenny crashed while qualifying.
Bobby Labonte blew a tire in his qualifying run.
Dale Jarret, once again, in on Champions Provisional.

Friday, March 9, 2007


If I heard right on The Morning Drive on SIRIUS this morning, I think NASCAR is backing away from the Washington State venture that has garnered so much attention in the last few weeks.

And on another note, Illinois had on the table a proposition for NASCAR license plates, but it too is encountering road blocks.


Former Richmonder & American Idol contestant Elliott Yamin will be at Richmond for two performances at Richmond International Raceway during the May 4-5 NASCAR weekend.

Yamin will sing the National Anthem prior to the Circuit City 250 Presented by FUNAI NASCAR Busch series race (Friday, May 4) and will deliver his rendition of “God Bless America” before the Crown Royal Presents the Jim Stewart 400 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series race.

He's also scheduled to make some fan hospitality appearances throughout the weekend.

Thursday, March 8, 2007


It seems that Tony thought the old configuration of the Las Vegas track was getting better with each year that had gone by, but track owners said they were responding to fans opinions.

"They screwed up a really nice track" is what Tony has to say,
while Las Vegas general manager Chris Powell says the new 20 degree banking will promote more side by side racing and Tony said that in testing, he didn't see that with the cars that were there when he tested. (The track was at a 12 degree banking).

Bruce note:
I personally hope this reconfiguration works out because I really enjoyed the track as it was. If the proprieters expectations are met, then it would be worth it, and the racing will be exciting to watch, as opposed to the appreciation of how hard a team has to work at getting the set up right through the years and experience.

We as a spectator want more heart pounding action, and we put the racing into the hands of aerodynamics and drafting. Yet with Goodyear going to harder tires and the COT coming around the corner, we probably would have seen this transition without changing a track.

And unfortunately, Bristol is reconfiguring also after this months race. What's next folks, a high banked Martinsville?

Well, we'll see how it turns out after the weekend comes and goes. Is it more exciting, or just the same 'ol results, as teams who lock into the track make quick work of everyone else and the racing is spread out anyway.

Wednesday, March 7, 2007


NASCAR is at the newly reconfigured Las Vegas Motorspeedway this weekend.
It promises more speed and more racing lines from the added banking, a better fan experience from the rebuilt infield and they are already sold out, so hopefully, it's all true.

AND when they hit Bristol in late March, when they're done there, Bristol is going to "reconfigure" their track surface!!

Jeff Gordon has had 2 top 10 finishes and is looking for his third this season.

Media says that DEI and Dale Jr are coming along just fine with talks and expectations are that sometime in May they should be done.

Supposedly, everyone at Ganassi (The drivers) have settled down and everythig is hunky dorry at the shop. (Well yea, Montoya won & only has to see Pruett at the road courses. How can it not be ok? The next road course event will tell us if Pruett really is ok with everything.)

Darlington gets another race (Not NASCAR) on it's Mother's Day weekend racing events. The Silver Crown series.

Kenny Schrader will not be driving the 21 car, but will be driving the Woods Brothers No. 47 car. Jon Wood will be in the 21 car & Schrader is also entered in the Western Allstars Late Model races at the Las Vegas Dirt Classic.

TOYOTA: Team Red Bull is 1 for 4 in successful attempts at a CUP race so far. MWR isn't doing much better. BDR is plugging along ok, once they get past these crap penalties and motor woes.

The Washington State controversy goes on and on with the various Bulletin Boards around the web. Some say there is support, but you don't see it because they're out there, too busy working, and those who are voicing their opinions, well, aren't working. (That doesn't sound too far off from the remarks that Seaquist made about fans).

When the "wants and don't wants" run out of fuel, they start bashing the location picked by ISC.
Then others are confused thinking ISC is NASCAR, and it's not.
Another common thread I've seen is to add another race to an already established track and drop this NW idea.

My take: Major businesses just don't up and do things without a lot of research into the potential. Maybe you watch a tv ad, get swayed by something and go out and buy the product. (Face it, if advertising didn't work, it wouldn't be there.) They've conducted and seen their studies (I'm assuming) and their eyes are set on 2 new markets, New York and Washington. They have their reasons that the majority of us just don't even get or are aware of and I'm sure they are doing what they think is right. (Heck, it took me 6 months of research to buy my last new vehicle. I refuse to be an impulse buyer!)

My Guess: If they get the green light on this thing, this means the track will probably be taking a date away from another track. With the advent of waning sales at CA Speedway, and ISC owning that track, I bet that's who's going to lose a date. They're both on the west coast, and a track in the SW and NW gives fans at both ends of the coast equal opportunity to see a race. I'm just hoping it's not another 2 miler. They are too big for in-person events as you loose the cars in the back stretch and you're forced to the "Jumbotron" to see anything of imortance when it occurs on the other 70% of the track you can't see well at all.

Gotta go.. see everyone later.

Tuesday, March 6, 2007


There are 54 noted entries for this weekends race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway


The appeals by both Roush Fenway & Evernham teams have been heard, and denied. What NASCAR set in motion back at Daytona, was set in stone.


For the Pepsi 400 at Daytona, we're going to see a new (test) way of advertising that allows all but 4 minutes an hour of race broadcast, while the commercials run in the lower right corner of your screen.

Hmm, I think I've seen this on some future vision in a sci fi movie. Pretty soon we'll be watching commercials and being interrupted by programming.

Monday, March 5, 2007

NASCAR drivers and their SIMULATIONS

This article I’ve linked to talks about some of the racers using racing simulations to help get better acquainted with a track they are either going to for the first time or need to work out some concerned kinks at any other track.

The program they use is called out in the article and I am surprised, being that EA Sports has the virtual world of legal rights locked up and no driver can say on the air they use some other platform to practice with, but there it is. I’ve also run in some of the leagues they note. The game, which most call a simulation, can be very intense, and you do need specific in-depth skills and knowledge to be any good at the sim or you find yourself lapped pretty fast.

The reason the other folk use the older program is because it’s pretty superior to any other NASCAR sim out there to date and the realism in physics and engineering are incredible. The market for such a sim is small, and other companies don’t want to put the investment time/money into the product for the limited return they see. Understandable from a company point of view. Sacrilegious from a players point of view though.

In addition, the product mentioned became part of an uproar in late 2005 when the original creators came back after years of letting everyone modify and tinker the code to make it better, and clamped down the legal hounds on everyone, forcing an interesting distinction of supporters and non-supporters, though I think that has settled down … I think. The claim was the original source code for the networking was all the creators were trying to protect, though in my opinion, it seemed a lot more expansive on the issue.

And if you are interested in the 2003 game, make sure you buy it from reputable sources on E-bay. The last thing you need is to fork over a chunk of change and find the license # is being used already out there online! Even if you don’t go online to compete against humans, (And get the usual grumpiness you really see on tv!), the AI can give you a pretty fair challenge.

And don’t freak about the cost of the simulator. That is a way specialized set up. You can get by just fine with good graphics card and a fair steering wheel / pedal combo add-on.

One question the article throws out there is whether the skills you develop for the game can be translated to the track. NO. If one has a propensity for racing already, they’ll be good at the game. If one doesn’t have the muster for what it takes to race, and you’re good at the game, it probably won’t translate. I’ve seen it attempted, and I’ve had my own experience, so that’s my limited experience on that point.

And if someone out there thinks they are good at racing because they have a sports car, or drive fast (IE: On a freeway, going straight, with no one rubbing your fenders to move you out of the way), give me a break. A CUP car is a beast you haven’t even begun to understand.

Sunday, March 4, 2007

Telcel-Motorola Mexico 200

Jaun Pablo Montoya wins the race after a few late race yellows.

Montoya had fuel filler issues mid race, and went back to 19th, and worked his way up through the field. Part of that was spinning his own team mate, Scott Pruett, out of his way.

Denny Hamlin (Last years winner) came in 2nd,
Boris Said 3rd,
Carl Edwards 4th,
Scott Pruett 5th.

An after-race interview of Scott Pruett - A quick quote of his interview:
"No good, nasty, dirty driving. So disappointing."
I'm thinking team mates aren't happy right now, but that's the fun of it...
Later everyone.

For a recap of this Sunday's race is here:

Will BUSCH return to Mexico next year?

So before the race even runs, there's already noise in the media about the issue of returning to this track / country in 2008.

There are many folks in the garage that don't like the logistical hurdles required to get to the track.

The Busch Series had a 3 yr contract / experiment in place to see how this goes.

NASCAR says this event is part of a long term strategy as they continue to grow in the Mexico market.

I guess we'll see what happens.


Ok, it's not really a rant, but on his SIRIUS Satellite show, Stewart beleives any man who is a man, should own a copy of Smokey and the Bandit, and he owns a '79 Pontiac Trans Am Firebird, with CB radio. (It is a cool car. I own one.. but it's only a 1/18 scale version)

That's my interesting tidbit for the day.

Saturday, March 3, 2007


Scott Pruett in the 41 Dodge won the pole for Sunday's Busch race, followed by
Carlos Contreras (#22 Dodge), Montoya (#42 Dodge) & Jorge Goeters (#27 Ford)


It's been announced on that the UAW-DaimlerChrysler 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway is a sellout.

Now lets see if the newly reconfigured track is a hit with the fans!