Friday, May 30, 2008

The complications of NASCAR and It's Contracts

There's always conjecture in the background of some conversations regarding the complications of sponsor contracts.  The most obvious example of these complications was the NEXTEL / AT&T battle. 

With that in mind, I had come across an interview of the about the man helming the new and upcoming series on NBC called Knight Rider.  (Yea, yea..  cool show, not cool show, should they remake it or let it be..  that's for a completely different blog realm)  The more interesting part was his note about how 6 years ago (When the contracts were probably simpler than they are today) he and a partner had developed a NASCAR pilot for NBC but that he had issues bringing it all together.  As he put it, "just trying to get all the rights to NASCAR and all the cars and all the owners and the drivers turned out to be a big problem (laughs)."

I'm guessing the contracts are so interwoven between teams, drivers, NASCAR and other entities that it must be a real bear to tackle any TV franchise to do with NASCAR... 

If you're interested in this new Knight Rider show, or the source of the quote, check out the Shadowy Flight Site.  A site dedicated to Knight Rider.

Loose in Turn 3 for May 30th, 2008

It’s Friday once again, and that means we're charging into the weekend too fast and too low and getting a wee bit “Loose in Turn Three” with your favorite blogging panel of myself, Tim Zaegel of DoYouNASCAR? and Charlie Turner from On Pit Row.

We refused to let go of the drama that was the Coca Cola 600 as we analyze the decisions of Tony Stewart and Greg Zipadelli on pit road late in the race. We will also examine the struggles of Dale Earnhardt Jr. to get into Victory Lane, and we also tackle NASCAR’s “great debate” … otherwise known as “Give and Take”.

So, sit back and buckle up tight. Three questions, three voices, and three different answers in Loose in Turn Three!

~~~~~

The question I ask this week has been raised in my mind because of a few incidents of late, the latest being Jeff Gordon and Kyle Busch where Busch got his panties in a bunch because Jeff Gordon kept racing him hard for position in the Coca-Cola 600. My question is whether drivers should get over the idea of people moving over for them because they think they're faster than they are:
(Image from SceneDaily.com)

Bruce: For some reason, I got the idea that racing meant racing.. not an endurance race with etiquette. In the classic car races where someone is driving a 50 year old car, sure, move over buddy, these cars are hard to repair, but in this level of racing in NASCAR, I don't get where some drivers expect to be given their spot and left to keep it. If you're slower than the cars coming up on ya, sure move over, it's stupid to hold them at bay but if you're competitive and all you're doing is stalking the guy in front of you waiting for their tires to wear down, I'm all for it. Basketball would be boring if the attitude was "Oh, excuse me, you have the ball, let me move aside for you..." NOT! Race 'em and make them earn it and make them work to keep their spot. Enough whining about it people, let's race.

Charlie: There is a difference between racing for position, blocking a pass attempt and clogging up the race track. Some drivers are more pissy about the being raced - or blocked - than others. My problem with the phenomenum in NASCAR is that this "unwritten set of laws" that usually be-fowl the new drivers is , well, unwritten. How exactly are you as a driver - whether the passer or passee - to know whose set of rules your are racing under? I say, get over it.

TZ: I think you guys are setting yourselves up for a Catch 22 situation here. Bruce, to your point, in the NBA, every basket of every second counts ... in NASCAR it doesn't matter where you're running at the halfway point, only at the end of the race. And, Charlie, to your comment about this being a phenom with the newer generation of drivers, to my recollection, I believe it was Mark Martin that laid the foundation for the whole "give and take" rule, and then Tony Stewart sort of enforced it from there on out. The fact of the matter is that it just boils down to smart racing. These are long races, and it makes no sense to have to use up everything under the hood for every position on the track on every lap, because if you do, there's not going to be anything left at the end of 500 - or, even 600 miles.

Tim Zaegel, DoYouNASCAR?:
Should the no. 20 team have called for two right-side tires on Tony Stewart's next-to-last stop at the Coca Cola 600?

Charlie Turner, On Pit Row:
Why Can’t Junior Finish?

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Driver Standings and Owners Points Bubble for 5/29

The Driver ranks for the top 12, we see Jimmie Johnson taking a hit from last weeks performance, and Matt Kenseth moved up 4 spots into 16th.

RANK +/- DRIVER POINTS BEHIND
1 -- Kyle Busch 1860 Leader
2 -- Jeff Burton 1766 -94
3 -- Dale Earnhardt Jr. 1721 -139
4 -- Denny Hamlin 1596 -264
5 -- Clint Bowyer 1578 -282
6 1 Carl Edwards 1538 -322
7 2 Kevin Harvick 1517 -343
8 -- Tony Stewart 1511 -349
9 -3 Jimmie Johnson 1493 -367
10 -- Jeff Gordon 1486 -374
11 -- Greg Biffle 1483 -377
12 2 Kasey Kahne 1454 -406
NASCAR Driver Points Standings


As far as owner points bubble goes, we're seeing the usual shuffle of one or two spots up and down for some, with 36th and above really being the only contention.

RANK +/- Car No Owner POINTS +/- 35th
30 -1 #7 Robby Gordon 980 47
31 1 #41 Chip Ganassi 969 36
32 -2 #00 Rob Kauffman 945 12
33 2 #22 Bill Davis 941 8
34 -- #01 Teresa Earnhardt 941 8
35 -2 #55 Michael Waltrip 933 0
36 -- #77 Roger Penske 930 -3
37 -- #96 Jeffrey Moorad 779 -154
38 -- #40 Felix Sabates 760 -173
39 1 #84 Dietrich Mateschitz 757 -176
40 -1 #70 Margaret Haas 737 -196
NASCAR Owner Points Standings

As you can see, Michael Waltrips No 55 Toyota has to outperform the 77 and other cars to retain his guaranteed starting spot and I think it will go back and forth between the 77 and 55 cars for a while.

Strangely, correct me if I'm wrong, but we don't see the penalties from the 66 or 70 car being reflected in the standings yet.. I was expecting to see the 66 car down here in around or near the bubble after the penalties.

(The 66 car is shown in 26th in owners points at the time of this post)

Dover Weekend TV Schedule

Here's the set aside times where we all head to the garage or extra room or sports bar to have our quality time with our beloved sport:

  • NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Dover | 8 p.m. ET Fri. | SPEED
  • NASCAR Nationwide Series Dover | 2:30 p.m. ET Sat. | ESPN2
  • NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Dover | 1:30 p.m. ET Sun. | FOX

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Penalties Across the Board

Over in the Nationwide side of the NASCAR fence in regards to the post race altercation at Lowe's,
  • Tony Eury Sr. was fined $1,000 and placed on probation until June 25,
  • JR Motorsports crew member Michael Sandlin will serve a one-race suspension from the Nationwide Series. He has been placed on probation until Oct. 15 and also has been fined $1,500
  • Jordan Allen, another JR Motorsports crew member, also has been placed on probation until Oct. 15 and fined $1,500.
They all violated section 12-4-A (actions detrimental to stock car racing), Eury violated 9-4A (the crew chief assumes responsibility for the actions of his or her team), while Sandlin and Allen both failed to follow a directive from a NASCAR official and had inappropriate contact with a NASCAR official during the post-race altercation. (In other words, they be busy dishing out opinion on the road!!)
NASCAR

~

Back on the SPRINT Cup side of things and the expected penalties for Haas CNC Racing, the escalated penalties were handed out in which many were surprised by:

The rules broken were 12-4-A (actions detrimental to stock car racing) and 20-3.1.3A (wing mounting locations were not as specified by the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Rule Book).

The penalties were:

  • Riggs has been penalized 150 driver points
  • No. 66 car owner Joe Custer has been penalized 150 owner points
  • Sauter has been penalized 150 driver points
  • No. 70 car owner Margaret Haas has been penalized 150 owner points
  • Both the crew chiefs and the car chiefs for the two cars -- Bootie Barker and Derick Jennings for the No. 66 and Dave Skog and Thomas Harris for the No. 70 -- have been suspended from the next six Sprint Cup Series events, suspended from NASCAR until July 9 and placed on NASCAR probation until Dec. 31;

Additionally, Barker and Skog each have been fined $100,000.

The penalty also includes NASCAR's confiscation of team 66 Serial Number HMS 12 06 415 race car and team 70 Serial Number HMS 04 08 507 race car.

NASCAR

~

I must digress on one issue, and that is when NASCAR said they would escalate COT penalties, I took it to mean each successive penalty would be more severe than the previous one - per team, not escalation across the board regardless of who was next.. wow.. it sucks to be Haas right now and this impacts their top 35 standings...

More on the top 35 later..

Is This Racing or Dancing?

Over on ESPN Lowe's Notebook, they made a note that Jeff Gordon was flipped off by Kyle Busch (Are we shocked?) after racing him hard for his fourth place finish in the Coca-Cola 600.

Gordon was racing hard because track position is important and you need to race for every single position, and strangely I agree.

I see two interesting aspects to this incident.

One: Isn't this racing? If you can race another person for a spot, why shouldn't you? It is what this competitive sport is about, right? And if you think you can go faster than the guy in front of you, you should try, right?

That's been my experience. That's why people sometimes overdrive their cars and get into the wall, or learn to slow down and go faster.

So what's this nonsense about racing someone hard and getting annoyed with it? Is this some form of a gentleman's sport like chess where you make a move and stay on your side of the table. It's not what I think racing is about. Race damn it, that's what I want to see.

The same gripe happened in the Nationwide race between Hamlin and Keselowski. Are some of the drivers becoming prima donna's in expecting others to let them go?


Two: Kyle Busch flipping someone off for racing hard? Isn't that the kettle calling the pot black? Ask Johnny Benson about Kyle's racing for position in closing laps. Kyle has no ground to stand on with his behavioral discrepancies.

Get a grip Kyle!


Source for my gripe: ESPN Lowe's Notebook

The FoxSports Fantasy League: A Review - Or A Warning


It's Friday morning, 4:45 AM, I click on my master link web page that I've created for myself to take me to the Fox Fantasy Auto Racing Page. From that page, I click on the link to access my team. Seems easy enough.

At the MSN FoxSports web page (The page where I had to create an account for this service 3x before anything worked), I put in my account and password (It's an angry password, so it's easy to remember) and then it takes me to the FOX Sports Registration Page yet again. That's the page you encounter when you first give them all your marketing info.. I mean sign up to play.

Yep - Every time I log in, it treats me as if I've never been to the site before, but I figured out a trick. After I've been brought to the registration page (Which btw, filling out again never helps me), I go back to the first page with my jump link and click on the link again and I finally get taken to the page where I can manage my team.

Whew! That was just for signing in and yes, I've tried it from different computers at home, and at work.. same problem.. Fox Sports or MSN Live ID.. not sure which, but it just doesn't like me because other guys in my league don't have the same problems, so I'm just "lucky" in a weird sort of way.

So did I mention it was 4:45 AM Friday morning and I was looking to "manage" my lineup for Sunday NIGHTS Coca Cola 600, but alas, I am locked out from that function because Fox Sports locked down the lineup change pretty dang early in my opinion!

When I get serious about a league, I put some time into it. Track practice and qualifying and other variables play into the choice of the line up pretty much right up to the green flag for me, or as close as possible to the green flag, and there are a few leagues out there that let you do that.. but I can't make any valid choices for the race in the Fox Fantasy league.. just some suppositions from past performances and hope for the best. Pff.

On top of that you can only pick any one driver four times and then he's unavailable to you after that.. so I use a driver 3x, then pick others. This way during the last few weeks, I still have power players to choose from if I'm not too much in a hole at this point.

Speaking of which, since I'm thinking about it I better go over and pick for Dover.. and sure enough, I am warned that the deadline for Sunday's race is Friday at 3:05pm.

This week, I'm reduced to Greg Biffle, Matt Kenseth, David Ragan and Martin Truex Jr. Three Fords and a Chevy..

I'm doomed in this league for sure.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Breaking An Ankle Can Be Bad All Around

When Larry Gunselman hit Dario Franchitti at Talladega when Franchitti came to rest at the bottom of the track, he didn't realize how much that would impact his career.

It looked dubious that Gunselman plowed into Franchitti when Gunselman should have been slowing down, and maybe he was, but it's all moot now.

Gunselman has been released from MSRP Motorsports and has had his track approval rating by NASCAR downgraded, if you will, so he is only approved to run on intermediate tracks and is no longer allowed (approved) on 1.5 mile tracks and shorter.

Source: ThatsRacin

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Hass CNC Racing - More Tidbits

As far as the Hass CNC debable with their cars being confiscated, Booty Barker made some interesting statements about the motivations behind their team getting turned in by the 'self policing' garage atmosphere.

As we know, someone in the garage alerted the NASCAR officials of the curious configuration of their cars, but Booty evidenced some suspicion as to why he was turned in, saying that he believes he knows who turned them in, suspecting that they were turned in because they were performing better and moving up in the top 35 in the owners standings.

Saying he knows who did it, he says he would never have done that himself. Ouch, 'As the Garage Turns' continues.

Source: ESPN Lowes Notebook

Monday, May 26, 2008

Coca-Cola 600 is A Wrap for Kahne

It was a long day for the race fan if you were watching both the Indy 500 and the Coca-Cola 600. Egads.. that's a lot of nap time if you sleep during the middle 2/3rds of a race.

In the Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe's the expected attrition came and went.

Dale Earnhardt Jr lost a tire while he was the fastest car on the track and got rammed by J.J. Yeley while he was slowing up in the outside wall, but still recovered to a decent finish of 5th.

The big one was Tony Stewart who had built a 5 second lead over the next car of Kasey Kahne but with 3 laps to go, lost his right front tire and Kasey Kahne adopted the lead to take the win for the Coca-Cola 600 in his No 9 Budweiser Dodge.

With Kahne winning this and the All-Star shoot out, this makes him the sixth driver ever to win both events.

Kahne won, followed by
Greg Biffle,
Kyle Busch,
Jeff Gordon,
Dale Earnhardt Jr.,
Jeff Burton,
Matt Kenseth,
Elliott Sadler,
Carl Edwards and
David Reutimann to round out the top 10 spots for the marathon.

For more results see the Unofficial results | NASCAR

By the way: Scott Dixon won the Indy 500. Danica Patrick's race was ended when she was taken out in the pits with 29 laps to go when Ryan Briscoe pulled out of his pit stall hitting her car. (Oops) (Dallas News)

Image from NASCAR.com

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Ryan Newman Dover Charity Walk May 31

If you'd like to join Ryan Newman, his wife Krissie or their dog Mopar for a track walk, they will be taking laps (on foot) at Dover, the monster mile on May 31st.

This track walk is for raising funds for the Ryan Newman Foundation and other NASCAR related foundations.

The NASCAR Foundation Track Walks give fans the chance to experience some of the more famous tracks on the NASCAR circuit. While you're experiencing the different racing surfaces up close, you will also be benefit some worthy causes through this unique method of fundraising.

You have until May 28th to register.

To register for the Dover Track Walk, visit The NASCAR Foundation Track Walks Web Page

Haas CNC Gots Themselves Some Inspection Troubles

The 2 cars that Haas CNC Racing had qualified for the Coca-Cola 600 were both confiscated by NASCAR Saturday and removed from the track.

The scenario occurred because of issues NASCAR had with upper wing mounting points on both the No 66 (Scott Riggs) and 70 (Johnny Sauter) cars.

The discrepancy was brought to the attention of the NASCAR officials from some folks down in the garage area and the inspectors followed up on the issue.

Joe Custer is the teams' general manage and had no comments to offer yesterday since he had yet not been briefed by either Haas competition director Matt Borland, the 66 crew chief, Bootie Barker, or the 70's chief mechanic, Dave Skog.

Both teams went to their back up cars and struggled terribly in the ensuing practice sessions after the confiscation and they will be going to the back of the field for the start of the Coca-Cola 600.

NASCAR.com

Kentucky Speedway - Cup Dates or Not

With Kentucky Speedway being snatched up by Bruton Smith, I had conjectured what track is going to lose what date for the Cup series.

Jim Utter of ThatsRacing.com started justifying my concerns with a report that said that "NASCAR is expected to agree to a three-way swap of fall Sprint Cup Series race dates among Auto Club Speedway in California, Atlanta Motor Speedway and Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway beginning next season."

I thought, well of course, Bruton's been making noise about date swaps for track, pulling the Labor Day race from California due to struggling ticket sales that is partially blamed on the hot weather.. and I can attest to that one. I had tickets three years ago but when I saw what the weather was doing, I passed my tickets on to someone else who is more heat stroke resistant. I then sat at him in my 75 degree living room looking at 102 degree weather my buddy was enduring, under the direct sunlight.

The date swap would involve Atlanta having the Labor Day weekend, the Auto Club Speedway (California) date would be the first weekend in October (Talladega's present date spot) and Talladega would take Altanta's spot in the fourth weekend of October. It's sounding like a shell game!!

It was noted that NASCAR was expected to approve the date swaps, then later on in the article it was clarified that no deal is final until NASCAR and track owners have sanctioning agreements.

Well, at least Bruton isn't shutting down a track.. at least not yet.

After the above report I found an ESPN report that conflicted with any type of agreement that would allow Cup date moves in 2009, regardless of track ownership. Of course, Jerry Carroll, Kentucky's founder is already calling his lawyers and I'm not sure why - it's very early in the process and they were already out of a Cup date so there was not ground technically lost.

In one perspective, while NASCAR has been setting the 2009 schedule, no formal request was made for the hoped for changes, being that Bruton was not legally the track owner of Kentucky during the schedule formation time frame.

It's getting pretty tricky and we'll see as time goes on what comes of it.

Kyle Busch Wins.. again; Donny Lia Gets His First Win

The Nationwide Series at Lowe's
Whenever Kyle Busch is entered in a race, we might as well call it the KyBu Series and see who races for 2nd. He's that hot this year.

Kyle Busch won the Carquest Auto Parts 300 followed by Denny Hamlin, Brad Keselowski, Dale Earnhardt Jr and Brian Vickers.

Under the closing laps Keselowski and Hamlin got into the fender rubbing form of saying hi to each other under the last caution.

It's interesting to see that under the last caution, Keselowski bumped Hamlin then Hamlin came back and hit him harder. As Jr was quote to saying:
"Brad bumped him just a little bit under caution, and Denny knocked the fender off his car."

Hamlin had complained about Brad not giving him any racing room, but his main statement about the last altercation seemed more Kyle Busch-eske than anything else when he's quoted to saying:
"You throw a rock, I'm going to throw a concrete block back."

Oh brother... So Denny is going to auto escalate any event that's tossed his way.. I never expected that from him, but it is what it is.

In the end, the altercation oozed on over into pit road where the two teams came out for their WWE style altercation - well OK, a shoving match that required NASCAR officials to step in and break it up.. (SceneDaily)

Source: NASCAR

Results (Unofficial at the time of this post)

~

The Truck Series Race at Mansfield
Donny Lia got his first Truck Series victory at Mansfield Motorsports Park in the Ohio 250 NASCAR Craftsman Truck race but it is going to be 'not without commentary'.

Admittedly, I only saw the last lap of the race, but apparently the best lap? I tuned in to see three wide racing between 1st, 2nd and 3rd place drivers Lia, David Starr and Todd Bodine.

Lia winning gave himself his rookie win and his team, TRG Motorsports, who's in their first year, their first win but to win, Lia over drove his truck into the turns and set Starr sideways which got Lia the edge of using 8 instead of 4 tires going through the turn and Bodine was on the inside but did not have the momentum in the low line to give battle to Lia.

The 2nd place finisher, David Starr took the high road in a very mature post race interview saying that's truck racing and once Lia got him sideways and broke his front wheel traction, it diminished his chances to compete for the win. Meanwhile, Bodine was quick to point out the err of Lia's ways saying Lia drove into the turn to turn Starr and title it ridiculus but near the end of his interview seemed to take the "post critique" road and noted it was a good finish in the end.

See more over at NASCAR

Results (Unofficial)

Friday, May 23, 2008

Loose in Turn 3 for May 23rd, 2008

Welcome once again to yet another edition of “Loose in Turn Three.”

I’m joined by good friends and sometimes nemesis (or, at least on Friday’s), Charlie Turner and Tim Zaegel and this week we talk about some of the more current topics that you’ve probably found even yourselves debating over these last few days.

Over at On Pit Row, we decide what the most significant outcome was from last weekend’s All-Star Race, and over at Do You NASCAR, we’re going to re-hash the argument as to whether or not now is the time for Dale Earnhardt Jr. to bring JR Motorsports up into the Sprint Cup Series.

So, sit back and buckle up. Three questions, three voices, and three different answer … we’re about to get Loose in Turn Three!


With Kasey Kahne winning the All-Star race, does that vindicate the process of the fan vote for that event?

Bruce: With Kasey Kahne winning the All-Star race, it more than vindicates the process known as the fan vote. It's also good for the sport that the wild card fan vote actually did win. It means the fans are actually onto something as opposed to the last few years then only the popular driver was not someone who was even competitive. (Not sayin' anything bad about Kenny or Kenny or who ever else got it in previous years.) With that being said, had Gibbs not tossed out experimental motors in their cars, Kahne wouldn't have even been a blip on the radar screen of finishes.. Kyle would probably had lapped everyone at the rate he was going.

Charlie: Yeah, I think it does this time. Kind of makes the fans look smart. Then Kasey and his crew chief did the rest. The real validation will be if Kahne can win the 600 the weekend. It looks like he has a chance.

Tim: I don’t see how it wouldn’t. I mean, to me, Kahne was a guy that should have been in an All-Star race anyway, and I think that’s what the vote is really all about. In most other major sports, the majority of the All-Stars are selected by the fans, whereas NASCAR has only one … I think they’ve got a good system going with the makeup of the All-Star field.

Photo courtesy of paddocktalk.com

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Stuff for a Thursday: Castroneves and NASCAR and Bruton Buys Another Track

Is it Friday yet?


In response to some notes around the media world, Helio Castroneves was being conjectured about as far as his pondering NASCAR.

For the moment, he's focused on trying to win his THIRD Indy 500 this weekend, but he does have the connections, being that he drives for Penske and his contract is due up at the end of this year......   but  Castroneves said in a recent article "I'm thinking about how I can win for a third time and somebody wants to write about NASCAR?" he said. "Come on."

Hmm, sounds like a denial to me, and as we've all come to learn, a denial is just a contractual obligation to look committed and then all bets are off...  but heck, I think I actually believe him!
Source:  IndyStar.com

~

It must be nice to have a BIG savings account.  At least for Bruton Smith.

It was announced today that Speedway Motorsports Inc. has agreed to purchase the 1.5-mile Kentucky Speedway in Sparta, Ky.   That's big.  Big as in like Microsoft buying out the competition big.

Kentucky has been in the middle of a legal spat trying to get a Cup date, trying everything from cajoling to lawsuits and slanderous suggestions, but to no avail.  Now that Bruton is on the scene, things in my opinion, are going to change big time, but don't ask me which way.  It could be the Microsoft way - buy the little competition and keep them squashed and absorbed.

OR,

Some track somewhere is going to be losing another Cup date.  (Whose done that in the past?  Oh...)

Now the speculations begin anew with this track venture of his.

To date, Kentucky has hosted the NASCAR Nationwide Series, Craftsman Truck, ARCA RE/MAX Series and IRL IndyCar Series races.
       

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

TV Broadcast Schedule for 5/24-25/08

Here's the dates and times to set your schedule by gang!!

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Charlotte | 5 p.m. ET Sun. | FOX
NASCAR Nationwide Series Charlotte | 7 p.m. ET Sat. | ESPN2
NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Mansfield | 12:30 p.m. ET Sat. | SPEED

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Stop Crabbing the Cars

So I was not losing my mind after all!

In the last few events, some of the cars looked like they were pointing South while headed West! Especially the 77 car in the All-Star event. Sheesh, it was crabbed so bad, it was distracting and at what point is it even a car like machine??

Sprint series director John Darby has said enough is enough, and is said to be putting out a memo saying such.

It's at the point where some of the cars were even difficult to push up on the inspection scales.

ThatsRacin

Humpy Wheeler Retiring

Wow, didn't see this coming.

H.A. Wheeler will be president for one final weekend of Lowe's Motorspeedway this weekend and according to sources noted in the Thatsracing post I'm reading, he's working on a book deal and looking possibly at more episodes of the The Humpy Show on Speed.

This will culminate over 40 years of involvement in the racing community.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Jr Advancing Jr Motorsports; Labonte Nearing A Decision

Dale Earnhardt Jr. said Friday that his JR Motorsports team could move from the Nationwide Series up to the Sprint Cup level as soon as 2009 if the right opportunity presented itself.

He knows that the first year is going to be tough, as most new teams discover.

He notes that it's now almost as expensive to run in the Nationwide series as in Cup and with the Nationwide Series going to a COT, it would be pretty expensive to switch over so in a nutshell, the costs being the same, he might as well just move up to Cup with his shop.

Source:  SceneDaily
~

Bobby Labonte is no longer pondering over his contract with Petty Enterprises.

Before the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pit Crew Challenge, Labonte said he is likely within two or three weeks of having final answers concerning his driving career beyond this season.

"We're trying to get things squared away at Pettys, like I've always said," Labonte said. "But obviously we have to get that done. In a couple of weeks, three weeks maybe, we'll have a lot more answers. …  Right now, I'm pretty much at ease.
Source:  SceneDaily


Kyle Busch to Retire at 30, Go F-1 Driving

Kyle Busch has been noted to saying that he is planning on retiring by the age of 30 and driving a Formula One car at that time.  He's scheduled to test an F-1 car later this year for Toyota.

Despite his statement, he says that in Formula One, the racing isn't all that great and, "They get stuck in line, the aero takes over everything and Toyota is not necessarily one of those companies at the moment that's like Ferrari or McLaren, or like Renault was a couple of years ago.

E-yup..  true to form as always.

Source:  Cup Scene

The Fan Vote Makes A Winner

Tonights Sprint All-Star race was one by the guy was voted in by the fan-vote, Kasey Kahne.  The first Dodge to win the All-Star race.

The Showdown saw a few cars hit the wall in the early laps, but after all was said and done, A.J. Allmendinger won that event followed by a crooked Sam Hornish to qualify themselves into the All-Star event.  (Not crooked as in sly, I mean crooked as in how much yaw the car visibly has going down the straight aways.)

Kyle Busch won the first segment.  He shot out of the gate and made everyone look slow, but his luck would go south as his motor went south later on in the evening.

In the second 25 lap segment, Carl Edwards won that segment..

Greg Biffle won the 3rd segment.  Near the end of the 4th segment, Kasey Kahne stepped up past Greg Biffle and won the race.

Amazing.

The finish of the 4th segment, Greg Biffle finished 2nd, Matt Kenseth, Jimmie Johnson and Tony Stewart rounded out the top 5 finishers.

Unofficial Results


Friday, May 16, 2008

Today is NASCAR Day

Today is NASCAR day.  Last year, NASCAR fans of all types contributed over $1 million to the cause in just under 12 hours.  Can we do better this year?

The telethon phone number is 1-888-MAY16TH  or  1-888-629-1684 or go Check out The NASCAR Foundation for more ways to donate today,.. or any other day.


Loose in Turn 3 for May 16th, 2008

Yup, TGIF and we're still Loose In Turn Three; three topics, three voices, and three opinions.

Seasoned Drivers and When is it Their Time?

I'm a pretty big fan of some of the older drivers. For a while, I had almost every single diecast of Kenny Schrader, but as the young guns come in with their hyper successful seasons, the "veterans" not only get over shadowed, but the era (and technology) where they made their mark has come and gone. It's awesome to see Mark Martin in good equipment. It's great to see Jeff Burton having consistent performances, but Kenny Schrader can't buy good luck or a good team if it were free. I don't want to see him retire from Cup competition, but is it time? And if he does, will he actually do it right, like Rusty Wallace has, stepped out and stayed out, or will he keep popping back in like Sterling Marlin or Terry Labonte? No diss on those guys, just examples. You know who I do miss: The 'give it back as fast as he got it' guy, Ricky Rudd.

TZ from Do You NASCAR: Their time is when they decide that it's there time. I mean, it all just depends on what's important to that particular driver. I don't think that just because a driver isn't out there competing for wins anymore that it means they HAVE to get out, but that individual has to be okay with the fact that they're likely to later be remembered in a different fashion. While guys like Rusty Wallace and potentially Mark Martin will always be remembered by 95% of the fans as great drivers, a very large portion of NASCAR's fanbase are likely to forget that Bill Elliott was ever "Awesome Bill from Dawsonville", because all they've seen of him is what he's done (or hasn't done) in these last few years. John Elway said when he retired, "It's better to retire a year too early than a year too late." It's something that a lot of these guys should think about when they decide to run a 12-24 race schedule.

Charlie of On Pit Row: If a driver wants to drive - the financial rewards are substantial, if you remember the kind of bucks that Joe Nemechek and Sterling Marlin demanded from Bobby Ginn when they were let go – and
someone wants to hire them, I don't care if they run forever. I like having those guys around. If they aren't competing for wins, so what. But if one of them happens to catch lightning in a bottle, as Kyle Petty nearly did last year somewhere, it would be the best story of the year. I like underdogs. The kids will have their chances. Let the old dog's race.

Feel free to chime in and make this a four, five or six way conversation. The more opinions, the merrier I say!


To follow the rest of our three-way conversation, check out the following:

As a Team Owner, What 3 Drivers and Manufacturer Do You Start Your Team With?
http://benchracing.onpitrow.com/

Are the Dominating Seasons by Kyle Busch & Carl Edwards an Official Changing of the Guard?
http://doyounascar.com/

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Standings After Darlington

So what's happened to the standings after Darlington last weekend? Let's take a peek, shall we?

Newman and Kahne fell out of the top 12 and the biggest downward slide in the top 12 was accomplished.. maybe accomplished is not the right word, was Kevin Harvick who slid 4 spots down into 9th.

The biggest climber was Jeff Gordon, 3 spots into 10th.

RANK +/- DRIVER POINTS BEHIND
1 -- Kyle Busch 1690 Leader
2 -- Jeff Burton 1611 -79
3 -- Dale Earnhardt Jr. 1556 -134
4 2 Denny Hamlin 1500 -190
5 -1 Clint Bowyer 1490 -200
6 1 Jimmie Johnson 1442 -248
7 3 Carl Edwards 1400 -290
8 -- Tony Stewart 1397 -293
9 -4 Kevin Harvick 1396 -294
10 3 Jeff Gordon 1326 -364
11 -2 Greg Biffle 1308 -382
12 2 David Ragan 1266 -424


As far as Owners Points go:

The No 22 car and No 77 car swapped spots around the 35th spot, so the No 22 car from Bill Davis Racing is now in the top 35 by 18 points.

RANK +/- Car Owner

30 1 #00 Rob Kauffman 878 54
31 1 #44 Michael Waltrip 873 49
32 -2 #41 Chip Ganassi 872 48
33 -- #55 Michael Waltrip 851 27
34 -- #01 Teresa Earnhardt 835 11
35 1 #22 Bill Davis 824 0
36 -1 #77 Roger Penske 806 -18
37 1 #96 Jeffrey Moorad 730 -94
38 1 #40 Felix Sabates 690 -134
39 -2 #70 Margaret Haas 679 -145
40 -- #84 Dietrich Mateschitz 654 -170

A Few Changes for Some

Over at JR Motorsports, Steve Crisp has stepped down as director to pursue non-racing interests. (What? There's something other than racing??)

Stepping into his shows is Gus Larkin. Hopefully, they fit!
SceneDaily
~

Hall of Fame Racing and competition director Philippe Lopez have parted ways the other day, as reported in SceneDaily.

Talk about a Slap in The Face

So you're a rookie in the Nationwide Series.. you get to participate in time trials or tests at Lowe's and on Tuesday, you are in the top three of the speed charts for both sessions, yet out of the six hundred and sixty words written up about the Nationwide Series tests and who ranked where in each session, you aren't mentioned once.

Needless to say it's more warranted to talk about the Cup drivers as much as possible in this article but not too much on the guys struggling to not only succeed in the Nationwide Series, but to also try to get themselves some good old fashion notoriety.

Such is the case for the driver of the Nationwide Gillett Evernham Motorsports No. 19 car, Chase Miller, who ranked 3rd in the afternoon session and 2nd in the evening session of speed charts.

Poor Chase Miller. He's going to have to make a name for himself some other way..

So be it. Good luck Chase, chasing your fame!! (Did I just actually say that?)

See the reporting negligence over on NASCAR dot Com.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

News for a Wednesday May 14 2008

Schrader Qualifying An RCR Car for the Coca-Cola 600
Ken Schrader will attempt to qualify Richard Childress Racing's No. 33 Camping World Chevrolet for the May 24 Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe's Motor Speedway.
Source: FoxSports
~

Remember Hearing about Ricky Carmichael?
The 15-time off-road motorcycle champion is cutting his teeth in NASCAR's minor leagues, competing in the Camping World Series East division, with an eye toward reaching the Cup series one day.

Carmichael, 28, drives for a team owned by Cup driver Ken Schrader and had his series debut at the series' season opener April 19 at Greenville-Pickens (S.C.) Speedway. He finished a respectable fifth in a Chevrolet after starting 11th.

His next race is the U.S. Cellular 200 on Sunday at Iowa Speedway near Des Moines, a track designed by former Cup champion Rusty Wallace.
Source: L.A. Times
~



Tuesday, May 13, 2008

News for a Tuesday May 13 2008

Chrissy Wallace and Joey Lagano Makes Autograph Appearance
As part of its National Tourism Weed celebration, the Cabarrus County Convention & Visitors Bureau (CCVB) will host two of NASCAR's brightest shooting stars, Joey Logano and Chrissy Wallace, for an autograph event at the Cabarrus County Visitor Center at I-85 Exit 60 on Friday, May 16, 2008, from 11am to 1pm. Local author Anita Rich will also be present for a book signing, and copies of her new book, NASCAR Portraits, will be available for purchase.
Source :  ThatsRacin

Some lucky folk will have the opportunity to get some signatures that might just be worth something somewhere down the road!
~

Reutimann Steps Aside for Jarrett for All Star Race
Michael Waltrip Racing's David Reutimann will return to the team's No. 00 Toyota this weekend, but he says that doesn't really signify anything but a change in logos.
 
The driver opened the season in the No. 00 and then moved to the No. 44 after five races when teammate Dale Jarrett retired from NASCAR Sprint Cup Series points racing. Jarrett had already agreed, however, to return to the No. 44 for one final race – this weekend's NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race at Lowe's Motor Speedway. So Reutimann will shift back to the No. 00, and Michael McDowell, who has been driving the car since the sixth race of the season, will be sidelined for the weekend's non-points event.
Source:  SceneDaily

As I reported back on March 20th, Jarrett will be driving one lucky fan around the track 'in the truck' after they won a contest.. lucky turd!  First paragraph of this post.
~

Kyle Loving Being Hated Apparently
Kyle Busch is NASCAR's most hated driver. And he loves it.

Viciously booed during pre-race introductions, Busch soaked up the venom by encouraging Saturday night's crowd at Darlington Raceway to keep it coming. And when he heard a member of Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s crew jeer him as he passed by on the parade lap, Busch smugly flipped him the bird.

This kid doesn't need to be popular, not as long as he's winning races.
Source:  ESPN

As long as he's winning races, he's fine with the 'tude and seems to be egging it on but he needs to be careful.  After winning at Darlington, the beer cans flew and sooner or later he's probably going to motivate someone to get even stupider than the already ignorant debris throwing behavior out there.






Petty Announces Replacements for his Absence

While Kyle Petty is away from the car for various personal and professional reasons, Chad McCumbee and Terry Labonte will be filling in for him in the 45 Dodge.

McCumbee will drive at Dover and Chicago while T Labonte will be driving for the 5 races between those.

Terry and Bobby will, for a short time, be teammates for the 2nd time in their careers. 

Source and more info:  NASCAR

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Kyle Wins Another Race

When you're good, well, you're good.

It was Kyle Busch's race to lose despite various snafu's that kept coming at him, he kept coming back from the back to take the lead.  In the end, Kyle Busch in his special Indiana Jones paint scheme won the Dodge Challenger 500, followed by Carl Edwards, Jeff Gordon, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and David Ragan rounded out the top 5 finishers.

The race started out rough for Elliott Sadler and Tony Stewart as Sadler went low to give Stewart room and instead got loose and got up into Stewart taking them both into the wall.  By virtue of that little fender wall kissing netted Stewart a 21st finish and Sadler a 42nd place finish.

Earnhardt had the better car for the first part of the race, but he couldn't keep at the front as the race ran on.  Heck, in the first 10 laps, I think I counted 6 people in the wall and it just went on from there.

It was a fun race to watch indeed.

Cup Series Results

The race jumbled up the point standings a bit, but the top 3 stayed as they were, Kyle Busch, Jeff Burton and Dale Earnhardt Jr are up in the top 3.  More to follow in my midweek report on the 'official' standings.

For more on the race, check out NASCAR.


Friday, May 9, 2008

NASCAR Day is May 16th, 2008

NASCAR day is coming up on May 16th.  A chance where NASCAR fans can make a difference.

Last year, NASCAR day collected the generous donations of over $1 million in 12 hours.

Wow...  Let's see what we can do this year!


Tracks in Google Earth

Traveling The Globe From Your Desk
Ever wanted to look up things in Google Earth that's related to our beloved sport? I found a few resources for doing that and they're kind of cool, depending on how much elbow grease the author of the utility put into it.

Post has been moved to my new site at NBaP, NASCAR Tracks in Google Earth.

Loose in Turn 3 for May 9th, 2008

Welcome once again to "Loose in Turn 3". Here we go once again, chartering our mini-debates and hoping for more opinions on the subjects from everyone else.

This week talk has pretty much centered around the big wreck last weekend between Kyle Busch and Dale Earnhardt Jr, but we're here to remind you that there are still other things going on in the world of racing, as we cover such topics as the string of bad luck that's fallen on the lap of Denny Hamlin, NASCAR's supposed limitation on car owners to own no more than four race teams beginning in 2010, and we discuss the identity of the Nationwide Series. So, be sure to check out the other sites to get spun up, and hope you enjoy the read!

Denny Hamlin is having the Worse Luck in the World

Bruce: This is more a pity statement than a question, but do you remember anyone having the kind of crap luck that Denny Hamlin has been having this year? I think he was pretty gracious in his attitude that god just doesn't think he should win.. but wow.. amazing composure compared to Kyle Busch and his responses when he's taken out by some form of misfortune, that's for sure.

TZ: Oy vey. Ya know, I came into the season thinking that Hamlin might be one of the more overrated drivers in the sport, but here I am in 2009 wanting to consider picking him for the win nearly every week. He's proven to me without a shadow of a doubt that he's got the potential to be one of the most talented drivers in NASCAR, and he's put on quite a run this year ever since California. There's been a few hiccups along the way - the fuel pump at Bristol and the tire at Richmond - but, that's part of the package. Denny will be just fine.

Charlie: Hamlin unlucky? He probably lost that tire Saturday night because of an overly agressive camber set-up on his car. Something radical was likely done to make that #11 handle half a second a lap better than the field's next best cars all night. It wasn't luck. If I had to give the "Unluckiest Driver of 2008" award to anyone, it would be Jeff Gordon, not Hamlin. Hamlin has a win. Gordon could have had three.

-Charlie of On Pit Row
Should NASCAR drop the "ruse" of team owners only being allowed four Cup teams?

-Tim of DoYouNASCAR?
Do you think that the Nationwide Series will ever truly develop its own identity, and if so, what will it be?


Thursday, May 8, 2008

What's On Tap For TV from Darlington

Wondering where to go on the tube this weekend for your NASCAR fix?


NASCAR Sprint Cup Series  Darlington | 7 p.m ET Saturday | FOX
NASCAR Nationwide Series Darlington | 7 p.m. Friday | ESPN2


Info courtesy of NASAR.com
(Courtesy is a nice word for stole, copied, reformatted, pasted, posted...  etc., etc..  just in case you didn't know.)

Boo on Bobby Rahal - He Watched the Speed Racer Movie Preview

Yea, these guys aren't the serious movie going types I'm sure, since they spend their entire waking life in a car.. but I thought this was an interesting take on some race car drivers take on the movie:

Bobby & Graham Rahal were given the honors of being given a preview showing of Speed Racer the Movie. Bobby is a former Indy 500 winner and race team co-owner with David Letterman, while son Graham recently won the IRL Honda Grand Prix.

I liked their takes on the flick that ranged from:

Graham: Well, I certainly never watched Speed Racer, and maybe that's why I was so bored with the movie because I couldn't follow the plot. Of course, I understood the family story line and the Racer X stuff and all that, but the rest of it? What a mess.

So this may bode ill for non Speed Racer fans.


Bobby: I suspect you would have to be a religious Speed Racer fan to make much sense of it, but even still, this is a movie that I imagine mostly kids will enjoy, not their parents who grew up on the cartoon. The kids might like the racing scenes. Personally, the computer animation graphics assaulted my senses.

Hmm, is this a note from someone who doesn't go to movies much and was taken by surprise?

But the line that really got me came from Bobby Rahal:

Bobby: Only highlight for me was that there was nothing about NASCAR in it.

Grr.. I am sure he's just joking.. really.. it must be a joke.. isn't it? Now I'm waiting for the "It was taken out of context" public retraction!


Source: ESPN

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

After Richmond: Drivers Standings, Owner Points

After the race at Richmond, and the BIG ONE, believe it or not, there was some mixing up at the front of the standings.

Drivers Standings
The biggest mover, with his win, was Clint Bowyer, moving up 3 spots. Bobby Labonte moved up 4 spots into 18th with his Richmond run. Travis Kvapil moved up 4 spots into 19th and despite a miserable start to the race, Jeff Gordon crept up into 13th.

The biggest loser of the night was Kurt Busch, slipping 4 spots down into 24th spot.

RANK +/- DRIVER POINTS BEHIND
1 1 Kyle Busch 1495 Leader
2 -1 Jeff Burton 1477 -18
3 -- Dale Earnhardt Jr. 1391 -104
4 3 Clint Bowyer 1372 -123
5 1 Kevin Harvick 1350 -145
6 -2 Denny Hamlin 1349 -146
7 -2 Jimmie Johnson 1318 -177
8 1 Tony Stewart 1297 -198
9 -1 Greg Biffle 1269 -226
10 -- Carl Edwards 1230 -265
11 -- Ryan Newman 1212 -283
12 1 Kasey Kahne 1162 -333


Owners Points
As far as Owners Points go, it's pretty interesting, like bugs skittering around the sugar and there's an ever growing gap between 36th and 37th..

RANK +/- DRIVER POINTS BEHIND
30 -1 David Reutimann 861 206
31 1 Reed Sorenson 805 150
32 -1 Michael Waltrip 760 105
33 1 Regan Smith* 759 104
34 -1 Sam Hornish Jr.* 757 102
35 1 Dave Blaney 655 0
36 -1 J.J. Yeley 612 -43
37 -- Jeremy Mayfield 490 -165
38 -- Dario Franchitti* 483 -172
39 1 Joe Nemechek 473 -182
40 3 Kyle Petty 445 -210


Driver Standings
Owners Standings

Earnhardt and Busch have put it behind Them.... But

Kyle Busch and Dale Earnhardt Jr. celebrated Cinco de Mayo yesterday at Lowe's Motor Speedway with a long, hot day of testing.

While Earnhardt was trying to keep his nose to the grindstone, Busch was front-and-center, not dodging the media but stating his case about his tangle with Earnhardt at Richmond on Saturday night and taking all questions.

Earnhardt did note that he couldn't do much criticizing of Busch for Saturday night's run-in, while the two were dicing for the lead and the win in the final miles, because he'd knocked Busch out at Kansas City last fall, when Busch was making a strong run at NASCAR's Cup championship. That incident probably cost Busch any shot at the title.

I think the pot calling the kettle black is a poetic statement that Kyle Busch made to some angry fans: " there were just a couple of fans yelling derogatory comments. It's nothing new to me anyway; I'm used to it I told them 'Grow up. That's racing.' We're racing hard, and there's a lot worse in this world than someone getting spun out in a race."

Source: Winston Salem Journal

Bruce Thoughts: (Yet Again) Yea Kyle, grow up. Do you even have a shred of remorse for taking out the guy who had the race won if it weren't for your interfering strained effort at taking a shot for a spot you weren't going to get? At least I'm subtle about my opinions.

To clarify, I don't hate the guy, just how he's going about things. He calls people out to the cameras rather consistently: Dale Jr's crew member that came over to this pit , Kyle Said "It's not all about him". About Steven Wallace, to the reporters he said something about boys racing with men. Yet when he gets the brunt of bad luck, he snips at the media on his heels.

I'd like to see him take on more the Denny Hamlin approach. Approachable, eloquent, composed.

In time, he'll be the total package, and hopefully, he'll be driving this way when that day comes about. On the other hand, maybe it's that fiery snappy attitude that makes him the driver he is. Oh I hate seeing both sides sometimes..

Mikey Thinks Stupid Things Make you Madder and SMI Sees Flat Ticket Sales

Waltrip Getting Frustrated?
Despite the run-in that Waltrip and Mears had last weekend, they have seemed to have gotten over it.

If you recall, Casey Mears had a moment wrecked, collecting Michael Waltrip. Waltrip in turn, used his car to try and drive through Casey's car down the front stretch. NASCAR didn't think that was cool, and he was parked for the rest of the race for that lunacy. (But how do I really feel?)

Waltrip said:

"It was just an accident and Casey's a good dude," Waltrip said. "I know he didn't do it on purpose and sometimes when somebody does something that I viewed as being pretty stupid, that will make you madder than if someone did something on purpose.

"It was unfortunate for me that I got wrecked and as soon as he came off the wall he was just right there in front of me and I lost my cool for a split second and ran into the back of him."

Split second? Somebody does something pretty stupid? I think Mikey is losing it, but that's just me. He needs to back away from one aspect of the sport or another or he'll solidy lock up the "Kyle Petty" syndrome, if some of you don't already think he has!

Source: Fox Sports

On top of the above, it seems that there will be no further penalties in store for the boy, despite a history of drivers getting some pretty good fines for the same behavior in previous years.

Kathy's Pit Stop makes a good presentation of the issue for further reading.

Flat Ticket Sales

Maybe "stupid" will sell more tickets. Or at least that's what I think SMI might hope, since they've announced that ticket sales for the first part of the year has been lackluster... Despite Vegas being a near sell out, they still didn't have to put up temp bleachers to handle over flow.

Inclement weather doesn't help the other tracks either, with patrons leery to purchase tickets with possible bad weather and marathon track visits like the one at CA in store for them.

Of course, for some reason which I suspect is not the one he professes, the potential of moving one of the Atlanta dates, Wheeler said moving the October race to Labor Day in a swap with Auto Club (California) Speedway is still a possibility. (I wonder what he has up his sleeve, and no, I never trust track promoters afters what's happened over the last few years with other tracks.)

Source: Scene Daily.





NASCAR Fuel Factoids and Darrel Waltrip Racing Experience

The Fuel Of NASCAR
Did you know that if Cup teams had to pay for their gas, the special Sunoco 260 GTX unleaded fuel to fill their cars would cost $6.25 a gallon? Or that it costs around $1,200 to fill up a NASCAR hauler for a road trip? Or that it cost Carl Edwards around $2,000 for a round trip to the races in his private plane?

As it stands, Sunoco provides the fuel to the teams for any sanctioned tests, practice or races for all three top divisions.

If you're worried about how much gas NASCAR uses during this price glut, they use less than 175,000 gallons per year on the Sprint Cup Series, compared to the 366 million gallons that Americans average in daily usage. Yikes.

These are just the cool factoids from the article. I wasn't sure you'd want to read about how millionaires are cutting back on their jet travel to save money and all, but if you're interested in more on the issue, check out the article at NASCAR.com


It Ain't Wally World, but Ya Just Can't Help But Wonder at First
Belle Island Village -- along with three-time Cup Champion and FOX Sports analyst Darrell Waltrip and fellow motor sports veteran Jeff Hammond -- announced key components of the Darrell Waltrip Racing Experience, scheduled to open in fall 2008 at Belle Island's themed development, located in the heart of Pigeon Forge, Tenn.. The new $5 million, 27,000-square-foot racing-themed attraction promises to place visitors in the driver's seat with diverse and highly interactive components to showcase the racing experience from all vantage points of today's motorspeedway.

For the details, go on over to my favorite place, NASCAR.com

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Driver Appearances

Have you ever wondered when your favorite driver may show up for a public appearance?  There's one site that has a lot of info in regards to driver appearances that helps with trying to skittle around the web to everyone's different websites.

It's called Driver Appearances..  duh, who'd a thunk.

Go check it out.  If anyone else has other sites to suggest, feel free to leave a comment.. I'll pass it through as soon as I can when I moderate it.  (Gotta love moderation..  Gotta love spammers...)

-Bruce

For the Ryan Newman Fan - May 14th Appearance

For the consummate Ryan Newman fan, (Or geologically located fan) you might be interested to know that Ryan Newman is going to be signing autographs for fans and answering their questions in a webcast from the North Carolina Alltel Store. This is what I've heard so far:


Wednesday May 14th, 2008

Alltel Store 6140 Bayfield Parkway, Concord, NC

Autograph Signing from 6-7:30

Webcast from 7:30-8


(A shout out to Anjanee for emailing me and letting me know! Thanks.)


Saturday, May 3, 2008

The Big One At Richmond and Kyle Busch needs Security

Wacky night at the races gang.

The big one happened at Richmond on lap 226 as J.J. Yeley gets into the wall and the incident collected 11 cars in the process. Most notably, Patrick Carpentier should be called pat Car-PUNT-ier as he got hit pretty hard at least 4 times that I saw in the wreck,

Michael Waltrip got parked for the rest of the race after he and Casey Mears got together on lap 354 and Waltrip throttled his car into Mears down the front stretch in retaliation. With that said, Waltrip was at least 2 laps down when he tangled fenders with a lead lap car.

Denny Hamlin had won the pole and led 381 laps of the race and managed to come in 24th because of a slow tire leak and a 2 lap penalty for focing the yellow flag just before the race's end.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. took the lead over when Hamlin fell off the pace.

Kyle Busch and Dale Earnhardt Jr. got together, Dale Jr. getting the worse of it coming in 15th, Kyle coming in 2nd. You do the math. It was just a racing deal.

After all was said and done, Clint Bowyer survived the evening's events to be in the right place and time to win the race.

Bowyer was followed by Kyle Busch, Mark Martin, Tony Stewart, Martin Truex Jr. and Ryan Newman were the top 6 finishers of the evening.

After the race, during an interview of Dale Earnhardt Jr., they asked him if Kyle was going to need security and he said it was just a racing deal, but he may still need security leaving the track.

Cup Series Results
NASCAR Article on Race
Image from NASCAR.com

Talladega Speedway Ain't That Big

I've been playing with Google Earth.

We all know that Talladega is the largest track on the NASCAR circuit. But when you compare it to the Hyundai Test Center near California City, in California it doesn't look all that big anymore.

The images are captured from Google Earth, from the same altitude, which is my rough estimate of equal scale. The altitude chosen is ~20,000 feet, more or less.

I'm guessing NASCAR would want 2 restrictor plates per car on that track! Anyone want to be a test driver?

Denny Hamlin Wins Nationwide Race, Kyle Not Using His Head

The Lipton Tea 250 at Richmond
I hope everyone was able to catch the race on whatever network they had it on last night.  I tuned into Speed Channel and caught the fun there.

The Nationwide race at Richmond came down to the last few laps, a few guys staying out in the late race caution (Harvick, Edwards and Bliss) while the rest of the line came in and got tires.  This spelled doom for Kevin Harvick who led most of the laps at the back end of the race, though he did hold on to 2nd while Denny Hamlin took full advantage of his four fresh tires and just charged through the field's front runners who did not get tires for his hometown win!  Not a surprise really.

As Harvick was noted in regards to not getting tires:  "Damned if you do, damned if you don't."  (I'm pretty sure he said damned.)

Denny won, Kevin Harvick came in 2nd, Kyle Busch 3rd, David Ragan 4th and Steve Wallace 5th.

See all the details over on NASCAR at these links
Nationwide Results
Nationwide Standings


Kyle Busch and Steven Wallace
In those last few laps, Kyle Busch and Steven Wallace had a few "competitive" paint exchanges which then ended with Kyle going over to chat with Steven in his car on pit row after the race.  What we the viewers say was Kyle bend over to say something, and Steven reaching out and grabbing Kyle by the helmet.

In the after race interviews, Kyle was noted to dispensing the following bits of wisdom about the on-track altercation: 
"He's a boy trying to play it in a man's sport,"
"If you grab the bull, you're going to get the horns,"

(Well, he did go for your helmet.  Does that kind of count as horns?  And I must take issue with the "man's sport" comment coming from the one who has had more hissey fits than anyone I can remember of late, but then again, it's too easy, so I'm letting it go this time.  Oh.. oops, maybe I didn't let it go.)

Steven's interview cracked me up.  He was asked what Kyle said to him.  He said no, he didn't hear him.  "I just reached out and grabbed his helmet to rattle his cage."  LOL..  IS THAT CLASSIC WALLACE behavior or what?  Rusty - Ya done well.

Steven also said in reply to Busch's statements "If he's going to say stuff like that, he can come and say it to my face,".

In the booth someone commented to Rusty he's going to have some fines / bills to pay and Rusty more or less said, he's staying out of this and letting Steven handle it.

Why I say Kyle is Not Using His Head
Kyle Busch is not using his head and it has NOTHING to do with the racing.  It's Richmond.  It's a short track.  If it weren't for these two, we wouldn't of had anything exciting to chat about.  Thanks boys.

No, what I am referring to is the fact that
  • A:  He's starting something with the son of Rubber Head.   Do you not think some of Rusty's scrappin' ways have not rubbed off on Rusty Jr?
  • B:  Steven was mugged by THREE men in July of 2007 for his watch.  They fled the scene, WITHOUT his watch!  (Quick write up here)

I remember seeing that black eye on Steve last year, and if he can fend off 3 guys..  I do not think Kyle Busch is going to even be noticed by Steven if Kyle tries to open up a can of whoop-ass on him.  That would be a bad, bad day for the Busch family.  (Hey Kyle, remember Kurt and Jimmy Spencer?  True, it was different, but I think Jimmy saved Kurt by popping him in the car and walking away rather than going toe to toe.)


NASCAR write up on race and Busch / Wallace dance.