Friday, February 27, 2009

DIGGER, Stay In The Fraking Hole, Here In Turn Two

Tight In Turn 2 is kicking it back in gear. It may not be the weekly thing we had last year, but when something is burning our butts, it's gonna show up here! Today, I'm dragging Digger over the coals, because frankly, I'm insulted by FOX if they think I like this crap. It's not as bad as say, ABC heading off to America's Funniest Videos with just a few laps to go, but if they keep hitting me up with this cartoon puke, it will soon overtake that infamous moment in television history.

Let's hit Turn Two now, shall we?:

FOX is interesting. The group that telecasts the sporting events likes animated characters to boost up their sporting events. When FOX took over Soccer, a soccer fan said the telecast got all glitzed up and it hasn't been the same since.

Now with Digger seeming to get more air time, I am forced to suffer through these bits of cartoon FOX is shoving down our throats. Why? It's one thing when FOX has their football robot in the lower left corner. That's fine. It doesn't get out there and dance around on screen during the plays or when someone gets hurt. Digger, on the other hand tends to show up during racing scenes and accidents when they make Digger do cute things while race cars are wrecking. Digger trivializes the moment and the announcers have to jump in on the bandwagon and boost the gopher. Gads, I hope they're getting hazard pay, or stupid pay or whatever pay for doing that extra bit.

Digger is the name of the damn camera under the track. It has no purpose, no story, no redeeming feature or a place in this sports telecast except to show some pretty neat undercarriage shots when the cars do get that low. I'll give it that.

But what has me wondering is if FOX is worried about their ratings.

We have a ton more coverage of Digger. Yet from what I can tell, not a lot of people really like it. In fact I'm 2 for 2 in changing my channel to the Sci-Fi Channel and watching that rather than the rest of the pre-race show. Cripes, The Sci-Fi Channel should thank FOX. Digger makes them look good.

Now I've said this before, from both angles: FOX Looks like they're adding glitzy cute girls to their promo shots at the front of the show in mock victory lap scenes. I've never found it to be a good thing when a show adds a hottie to the cast. It usually means something bad is happening with the ratings. On the flip side, I am not technically complaining about having to see the girls on my TV screen.

Back on Track:

Personally, I'd like to see the actual tech behind the Digger 'Cam. If it's what I suspect it to be, it can be pretty cool. But FOX, leave us alone. Put your cheap Caddyshack mimic on the Cartoon Network and let us watch NASCAR, for real. If we need cartoon violence, we'll just replay Jimmy Spencer popping Kurt Busch in his car. OR watch wrestling on the Sci-Fi Channel.

Charlie from On Pit Row Has this to say about the issue:

I had fun during the race telecast from Auto Club Speedway, watching the race, while monitoring things on Twitter. There were a ton of negative - and often humorous - Tweets about Digger. I didn't see much positive. In fact, I don't remember anything pro-gopher.

I wonder if the producer of Fox' NASCAR broadcast was around, or is a disiple of, the original Tracy Ullmann Show. That's where, many moons ago, a little annimated short called the Simpsons got it's start. Maybe Digger will move on to bigger and better things. We can hope, at least.

Charlie Turner


Since Charlie was so nice to participate here, we chatted a little bit over on his site about Dale Earnhardt Jr and if he's in trouble already, this early in the season. See what we have to say over on On Pit Row.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Las Vegas Motor Speedway Tidbits

Here are some tidbits about Las Vegas Motor Speedway

Some History
• The first ever NASCAR race was a NASCAR Camping World Series, West. That was won by Ken Schrader on Nov. 2, 1996.
• The first NASCAR Sprint Cup race was held on March 1, 1998. Mark Martin won that one.
• The first NASCAR Nationwide Series race was on March 16, 1997, won by Jeff Green.
• The first NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race was won by Jack Sprague on Nov. 3, 1996.

• There have been 11 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
• Five drivers have participated in all 11 races:
Jeff Burton, Jeff Gordon, Dale Jarrett, Bobby Labonte and Mark Martin.
• Eight drivers have poles, led by Dale Jarrett (Who won the inaugural pole), Kasey Kahne and Bobby Labonte (two each).
• Seven different drivers have won here. Jimmie Johnson has three.
• Only four of the 11 races have been won from a top-10 starting position and none have been won from the pole.
• Four of the 11 races have been won from a starting position outside the top 20.
• The deepest in the field that a race winner has started was 25th, by Matt Kenseth in 2004.
• There has been one green-white-checkered finish at Las Vegas: 2006 (270/267).
• Qualifying has never been canceled at Las Vegas.
• Matt Kenseth has a 9.0 average finish in nine Las Vegas races, the best of any driver with more than three starts. He has been running at the finish in all nine of those races and has finished on the lead lap in eight. Kenseth has also led 438 laps at Las Vegas – 179 more than any other driver.
• Roush Fenway Racing had five drivers finish in the top 10 in the inaugural Las Vegas 400 in 1998. In five of the 11 races, the winner at Las Vegas was driving for Roush at the time: Mark Martin (1998), Jeff Burton (1999 and 2000) and Matt Kenseth (2003 and 2004).

Driver Rating at Las Vegas
Jimmie Johnson - 112.0
Jeff Gordon - 111.4
Kyle Busch - 109.8
Matt Kenseth - 107.8
Greg Biffle - 100.2
Mark Martin - 96.8
Jeff Burton - 95.4
Tony Stewart - 92.9
Carl Edwards - 92.3
Kurt Busch - 89.9
Note: These Driver Ratings are compiled from only the last 4 races, from 2005-2008 races, since the inception of Loop Data.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Can Kenseth Get His Own Three-Peat?

After winning the first two races of the season, Matt Kenseth joined an exclusive list. Before Matt, a driver won the first two races only four times. The most recent was 1997 when Jeff Gordon won the Daytona 500 and at Rockingham.

Right now, no driver has ever won the first three races of the season.

Among the previous four, only Gordon won the championship in the season that he opened with two consecutive wins.

Kenseth like Vegas. He might have a shot at this 3-peat! He has two wins at Las Vegas (2003-2004) and has led 438 laps there, more than any other driver.

Since 2005, at Las Vegas, Kenseth has a Driver Rating of 107.8, with an Average Running Position of 10.8 and 90 Fastest Laps Run. All those rank in the top five in the series.

Source: NASCAR Media.

Jack Does Take His Hat Off!

I guess we found out when Jack does actually take the hat off!!!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

CA Grand Marshalls

Emmy-nominated actor Hugh Laurie, the brutally honest doctor who combines an unconventional approach to his cases with flawless instincts in FOX's hit medical drama, "House" will serve as Grand Marshal for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Auto Club 500 at Auto Club Speedway on Feb. 22.

As Grand Marshal, Laurie’s role at one of the largest single-day sporting events in California, will be to give the command of “Gentlemen, Start Your Engines,” to the 43-car field of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event televised on FOX.

He better do a good job at it!


Multi-platinum singer/songwriter and country superstar Billy Ray Cyrus, whose new studio album “Back to Tennessee” hits stores on March 31, will serve as Grand Marshal for the Stater Bros. 300 NASCAR Nationwide series race as well as perform the National Anthem prior to the start of the San Bernardino County 200 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series event, both scheduled for February 21 at Auto Club Speedway.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

NASCAR Teleconference - Matt Kenseth and Jack Roush

Matt Kenseth joined the media from New York City, in the middle of his media tour for the Daytona 500 champ and Jack from Roush Fenway Racing in Concord.

On Matt Kenseth returning to NYC as a champion. Last time in '03 he was doing it as a series champ and he said he's having a lot of fun with the 500 victory tour except for the fact that he's doing this teleconference from outside his room in the Waldorf because they turned their keys off. (Waldorf? Dudes, the economy is in the tank! Waldorf?)

He said it's also very humbling when your friends and peers call to congratulate.

Jack Roush said it's pretty different than he expected to be a Daytona 500 winning car owner. He reflected on his coming into NASCAR and how surprised he was at the pomp and circumstance about the enshrinement of the car in the Daytona 500 Experience, since it's quite the emotional event.

This is his 22nd effort at the Daytona trophy and he had just put it out of his mind at this point, well that is until last weekend.

Good 'ol Jack isn't Jack if he isn't taking a shot at NASCAR when he said he was surprised they called the race on rain because the call came hours earlier than he expected. Bruce says: I have to disagree with that one myself. I was watching the radar and had they waited, it would have been an easy 90 minutes before it even stopped raining and who knows how long to dry the track.

Jack said that the good thing about the Daytona winning car enshrinement process is that with the standardization of the COT, it doesn't impact the team as much to have the car taken away.

Winning the 500 does not take any pressure off any other event for the team. It might put a little spring in everyone's step but everyone still needs to perform, regardless. This is only one race.

Source: NASCAR Media

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Matt Kenseth's Rain Win and What I Thought About The Show

Last night I woke up with the flu. I had been feeling not quite right so I got up at around 4 am. I tuned into the Daytona Nationwide race repeat again and then from about 5 a.m. on SPEED had nothing but Daytona coverage.

I was fine with that. I'm laid out on the couch passing out here and there. I finally got to the FOX pre-race show and it was OK... nothing new.. well, not too much new.

They're using the same theme song from last year that annoyed my wife a lot. But I have to wonder if they're worried about their TV ratings.

Did you notice the mock victory lane celebrations in the show opening and the driver is surrounded by four really nice looking young girls in tight tee-shirts and short shorts? It's getting cheap about the lot... though I am not complaining.

Then there was the line that DW tossed out there about Chris Myers:
Chris is from Hollywood Fl., lives in Hollywood, CA; works in the Hollywood Hotel and works with Hollywood Hammond.
I bet he thought he was funny. I didn't. Someone said that exact thing on SIRIUS Satellite Radio a few weeks ago. Bad move DW... if you're using writers, they need to be fired. If you did that, you need writers.

But when they got to the animated schtick of Digger and friends, I lost it. They wasted my time with that stupidity and I just left the show.

I like the premise that they named the techonology they use to film from under the track surface as Digger. Cute. But giving it a comic book and cartoon that we have to suffer through just put me over the edge. I left and didn't come back until the green flag. Now maybe my patience is a little thin because I'm sick but I've had it with Digger. Cute, but intolerable. Don't shove that crap down my throat. Let me go find it for myself. UPDATE: See What The Digger Camera Looks Like.

As I wrap up this article, they're under a rain delay with 48 laps to go. If anyone has looked at and seen the radar, they've got at least an hour of rain and it looks heavy at times. Give it up folks. It looks like Matt Kenseth has this one in the bag. The wet paper bag.

Ah, just as I finished that paragraph, the race was called. There is some sense. Now I don't have to sit around in the rain delay.

I hate a non-racing win, but it is what it is. Right gang?

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Did Jason Leffler Get The Harsh Stick?

Jason Leffler.  He's a great racer.  Gets his nose in there and takes the chances necessary to win...  if only.  Instead, he gets his nose in there and things just happen that some don't like.

Do you know what one of my memories of Leffler is?  When he managed (Not intentionally) to take out the entire DEI entourage in the summer Daytona race really endeared him to many.  Actually, it may have made him many fans to take out Teresa's team in one fell swoop.  LOL.

Did he do something intentional today in the Nationwide Daytona race?  I can't tell.  The replays just didn't seem to show me anything concrete yet NASCAR seems to think he did and held him in-check for 5 laps.  Wow... there's no coming back from 5 laps, that's for sure.

Me, I think they need yet one more rule for the system: Be penalized by the number of cars you take out or involve in your antics.  Yes, I'm evil yet practical.  The driver will decide how many laps he's held!

Your take?  Did Jason Leffler do a bad thing, or was it just a racing incident?

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Should the Top-35 Rule Be Modified? Maybe Top-25?

I'm watching the Gatorade Duels and Gatorade's new stupid ad.  The recap ad sucks the most as everything is out of context, so it makes even less sense.  The G ads make me need my B.  As in Budweiser or Amp!!  Who the H*** do they think they are marketing to?  Have NASCAR fans become bee-bop dance fans?  I think Gatorade has seriously goofed in who ever or what ever yahoo they hired to spin their product.


While I was watching the Duels, I came across an interesting article on how NASCAR is reevaluating the Top-35 owners points rule.

The article goes on to mention how the 35th spot in owners points has become a marketable commodity.  The bubble spot gives a team a guaranteed starting spot in the next race, or the first 6 races of the next season.  The spot has a lot of focus from the media, including myself so it has some notoriety in the coverage.  IE:  How often would we have read about Kyle Petty or Sam Hornish Jr. without the bubble spot?

As far as the top-35 rule goes, it's based on owners points for the car.  But owners points can differ a bit from drivers points.  A team can get a minimal number of points for just trying to qualify but I don't think these meager scraps make a car competitive in the owner points standings.

So what do they have in mind for rule changes?  Not sure yet.  They have vowed to look it over.

Me?  I don't know what to say.  Don't change the owners points.  Let that just keep on rolling along so we can have the owners standings race for the year end owners championship.

Car points are fine, but it's the driver that got the car there.  Do we keep the top-35 points with the car / owner, or give it to the driver and let the driver position in standings determine the top-35.  But then if a driver switches teams, then what?  If the top-35 points start "guarantee" stays with the driver, this would make the driver himself more marketable to the teams.  It would give them pause in the idea of letting a driver go. 

It could minimize the musical cars that starts up, unless the driver drops out of the top 35.  But if their driver falls out of the top 35, who would be available to actually get themselves back into the top-35?  This process I am tossing around would actually force a team to dig in and get more behind their driver than just up and toss him because of some bad luck or a few bad days.

Yes, teams are the ones that get the drivers there, but it is a team sport and if they are behind their driver, then the rewards are going to be the same.

Heck, you know what?  Let's make this whole process even more interesting.  Let's make the guaranteed starting spot go with the driver points.  Then, let's raise it from the top-35 to the top-25.  Now qualifying will be more interesting!

Yes, the top-35 rule gets a name driver in the field no matter what.  But they're going to have the points to support themselves in the process, so I'm not sure that would be a valid concern any more.  If a driver doesn't make it, guess what?  Who ever doesn't make it, the entire team HAS to be required to stick it out during the whole weekend in an autograph or fan event tent.  So no matter what happens, the fans still win.
Right now, 81% of the 43 car field has got it on easy street for getting into the next race.  How's that a competition?

Anyone else have any ideas we can pitch to the NASCAR CEO's?

John Wes Townley Approved For Daytona

John Wes Townley's performance in the ARCA Daytona race on February 7th helped NASCAR make a decision. That decision is to approve John to be able to drive at Daytona in the Nationwide event.

John steps back into his car and is ready to compete on Saturday.

His stand in (Wouldn't that be a sit-in?), Travis Kvapil, is available to anyone needing a driver for the weekend folks!!

Source: ARCA,

For The Consummate Jason Keller Fan

So how does Jason Keller feel about headed to Daytona in this new 2009 racing season?  Check out a few quotes:

Jason Keller's Race Outlook

 "Usually by now you've done some testing, know where you stand and can make adjustments.  Without the testing it is tough to determine how fast you are and where you stand compared to other teams.  We've made a lot of changes since the end of last season and all of our numbers from the wind tunnel look better than ever.  As a team we've made a lot of improvements to the cars and I have a lot of confidence in my Crew Chief Todd Gordon and the entire crew on the No. 27 Kroger Racing Ford Fusion.  We head into this race with a very positive attitude and we're looking to leave Daytona one step in the right direction of our ultimate goal; competing for a championship this season."


Jason Keller on the Entire Team Being on the Same Page

 "As a veteran of this series I realize the importance of having the support of a great sponsor that understands what it takes to be successful on and off the track and after working closely with the folks at Kimberly-Clark this off-season I know that we have that.  Everyone involved with our team is on the same page and we've made great strides in improving our cars this off-season in an effort to improve our performance on the track and we're ready to reap the rewards of our entire team's efforts and compete for a championship."


It's the same tale told as anyone else this year.  No testing has made this a grab bag of a guessing game going into the gates of Daytona.  Jason has been an icon of the sport to me for some time now and I enjoy watching him apply his skills to the wheel.

Good luck this year Jason.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Check Out The Fantasy League Over -On Pit Row-

There's a new fantasy game in town and it's called One and Done, NASCAR Fantasy game from

It's simple. Pick a driver each week (They break the season into 13,13 and 10 race games). You can only take a driver once, in any of the segments / games.

There are some fantastic prizes with this fantasy league. First place is a Dale Jarrett Racing Adventure, for each segment! Despite the prizes, the league is free and sign up takes under a minute.

So go on over and check it out at!

I'm signing up, but I'm probably gonna kick your butt!!! See ya there!

UPDATE: 2/10/09: If some of you headed over there, you might have found some technical difficulties in signing up.

The site is now up and running... so come on over so I can kick your ***!!!!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

500 Front Row Set

Martin Truex Jr. and Mark Martin are on the front row of the Daytona 500.

In both of these x-DEI drivers cases, the change would appear to have done them well.

Truex didn't leave DEI. DEI merged with Ganassi, now EGR, I can't help but think this helped boost Truex to the pole position. (His 2nd in this race) Yet, DEI always had a grip on restrictor racing and maybe this was a boost for Ganassi.

With Mark Martin having left DEI for the Hendrick stable, this too looks like Martin is benefiting from the change as this is his first career front row start.

All good moves for both it would seem. BTW: Ryan Newman made an impressive appearance, being third in the qualifying sprints. It looks like Bill Elliott may be locked into the race also, per the FOX telecast.

Image cr: Getty Images for NASCAR

Is It Time To Run The Gatorade Duels On The Weekend?

As I watch the qualifying run for the Daytona 500, presently Martin Truex (pole) and Mark Martin on the front row as I write this.

I realize that if I want to watch the Gatorade Duels live, I need to figure out something out work wise so I can do this.

With NASCAR changing the practice rules, the drivers had a lot of time to make public appearances in the preceding weeks, I have to wonder if it's time to change the race schedule also?

What I mean by that is rather than having the qualifying runs today, should they have had them last weekend? In this way, we get our racing back on TV a week earlier. But more importantly, could they run the Gatorade Duels on a Saturday so we don't have to either play hooky, take a long lunch, or risk watching the streamed event at work?

I know I'm bucking tradition, but NASCAR is already doing that as they change the rules and cars and what not. I think it's time they think of the viewing audience for this one. I also think they should think of their precious advertisers return on the their dollar. I'd think it would be higher on a weekend than it would be during the week.

I'd like the Duels on a weekend. What do you think?

Saturday, February 7, 2009

The 2009 Budweiser Shootout Observations - Kevin Harvick Wins

The Budweiser Shootout started out with a bit of a fizzle as the broadcast was a little blotchy on my end of my Comcast cable transmission in the Bay Area.

Dierks Bentley's song seemed to not be connected with FOX so we experienced what felt like someone at the track was holding up their cell phone so we can catch the experience.

The track itself seemed to be having issues as the National Anthem was cutting in and out.

During the Anthem, I believe we got a sample of Scott Speed's attitude as he had a sort of mocking attitude to the snaggy Anthem transmission that got caught on camera. Nice start so far.

I think Scott Speed will be the new wildcard this year, if what I've read in the past is any indicator of things to come.

Ahh... the Shootout starts and we have NASCAR racing back on our TV's for the 2009 season.

The first caution involved Logano, Speed, Ragan, R. Gordon. There was a lot of checking up that seemed a bit dangerous as cars started to accordian a bit for a few laps before this incident.

Ad Opinion:
The Kasey Kahne GPS ad was pretty funny, and one of my perennial favorites, the Mikey fan asking Michael Waltrip to sign his simulated wrecked diecasts.

I can't mock that too much as I've done that with a Ryan Newman diecast from '01, '02. I towed an Alltel diecast behind my truck. These things handle as well as the real cars! After one sharp turn, I had myself my Ryan Newman superspeedway raced diecast. (He used to get caught up in everything at the superspeedways. I was frustrated.)

New Rules, An Opinion:
I get the new rules NASCAR have dispatched on the sport. They want all the manufacturers represented. And by setting the rule to the top "x" of cars for each manufacturer gets some folk in the race that shouldn't be. Then of course, NASCAR recognized a slight shortcoming and had to add a gimme type of rule to allow Tony Stewart to be in the race.

I still sit in shock watching last years Daytona 500 winner, Ryan Newman, sitting on the sidelines watching the race while some new drivers that shouldn't even be near this race are in it.

As my wife puts it, (A live fan perspective) That's f****ing bull**** with all these new rules. It should be the driver, not the car that gets in this race. Oh, wait, she's not a fan anymore after all the new rules that pop up every year.

In-Race Opinion:
Is it me, or was the track excessively bumpy tonight? Or has it just been that long since we've seen a race? Nah, these cars ARE much more jumpier than they used to be. I don't remember so many near accidents in a race, as they've been having every lap it seems.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. said that after a few laps the cars got real loose. It seemed that way throughout the field.

Meanwhile, David Stremme in Ryans old No. 12 Dodge seems to be in it a lot as Stremme takes out Greg Biffle with 3 laps to go. If this race is any indicator, this driver placement of Stremme may not pan out as well as I had hoped for him. This was the third altercation for Stremme tonight.

By virtue of a multi car wreck in the last lap of the race, Kevin Harvick gets himself past Jamie McMurray just before the yellow flag as Jeff Gordon got into the 07 car that took the rest of the field out.

Congratulations to Kevin Harvick, being in the right spot at the end of the race.

Image credit:
Jerry Markland of Getty Images

Friday, February 6, 2009

Extraneous Budweiser Shootout Tidbits

Here's some Budweiser Shootout Tidbits for you:

91 drivers have participated in the Budweiser Shootout;
42 of those drivers have participated in two or less; 28 in only one.

There have been as few as seven drivers in one race, (1981) and a high of 23 in 2008.
(Which will be broken this year)

• Whose competed the most times in the Budweiser Shootout?:
  • Bill Elliott (23)
  • Mark Martin (21)
  • Rusty Wallace (19)
  • Ken Schrader (18)
  • Geoffrey Bodine (16)
  • Ricky Rudd (16)

• Whose competed in the most consecutive number of Shootouts?
Mark Martin has appeared in 20 straight events from 1989-2008.
Unfortunately, Mark will not compete in this year’s race.
With that, the active lead will be taken over by Jeff Gordon with 16 (including this year’s event).

• How many multiple winners have there been?
There have been seven multiple winners in the Budweiser Shootout:
  • Tony Stewart has won three of the last eight Budweiser Shootouts (2001, 2002 and 2007).
  • Dale Earnhardt won six of the 23 races between 1979 and 2001. His six victories came in 12 appearances.
  • Dale Jarrett won in 1996, 2000 and 2004.
  • The other multiple winners: Neil Bonnett (1983 and 1984), Ken Schrader (1989 and 1990), Jeff Gordon (1994 and 1997) and Dale Earnhardt Jr. (2003 and 2008).
  • Bonnett, Schrader and Stewart are the only drivers to win back-to-back races.

• Who won the Shootout in their first appearance in the race?
  • Buddy Baker (1979),
  • Dale Earnhardt (1980),
  • Jeff Gordon (1994),
  • Dale Jarrett (1996) and
  • Denny Hamlin (2006)

• How often has the winner gone on to win the Daytona 500?:
  • Bobby Allison (1982)
  • Bill Elliott (1987)
  • Dale Jarrett (1996 and 2000)
  • Jeff Gordon (1997)

• Do you know how many drivers won from the pole?
  • Darrell Waltrip (1981),
  • Bill Elliott (1987) and
  • Ken Schrader (1989).

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Budweiser Shootout Manufacturer Win Stats

Budweiser Shootout Manufacturer Recap

Manu: Victories, Last Victory, Driver
Chevrolet 17 2008 – Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Ford 7 2004 – Dale Jarrett
Buick 2 1982 – Bobby Allison
Oldsmobile 2 1980 – Dale Earnhardt
Pontiac 2 2002 – Tony Stewart
I bet Tony wants to change that stat!)

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Some Bits and Pieces About the Budweiser Shootout

By the Numbers: Budweiser Shootout at Daytona

.08 seconds
Is the margin of victory Dale Earnhardt beat Sterling Marlin by in 1995. The closest margin in Budweiser Shootout history

1 lap.
The # of laps led, by Rusty Wallace (1998), Neil Bonnett (1983-84), Dale Earnhardt (1980) and Dale Jarrett (2004) in the Budweiser Shootouts they won

The average finish in the Budweiser Shootout by Dale Earnhardt, best by any driver with multiple starts

The # of Drivers who have won the event in their first appearance
(Buddy Baker, 1979; Dale Earnhardt, 1980; Jeff Gordon, 1994; Dale Jarrett, 1996; Denny Hamlin, 2006)

The number of lead changes in 2001, the highest number since race began in 1979

The starting position of Dale Earnhardt Jr. in 2003, the lowest starting position of a Budweiser Shootout race-winner

Is the largest number of participants in the Shootout ever, in 2008.
That number will be broken this year with 28 cars competing.

The most laps led in the Shootout by a non-winning driver. Greg Biffle (2005) Ain't that a wonderful stat to have?

The most laps ever led in the Shootout... Dale Earnhardt Jr. (2008)

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

NASCAR 2009 TV Season Outline Announced

NASCAR released an outline of telecast strategies that are going to be shared across the digital domain known as TV. So it's time to set your recording times or snack times, depending how you approach your NASCAR race viewing! Here's how the TV schedule is looking right now as announced by NASCAR:

First up:
The non-points Budweiser Shootout at Daytona at 8:10 p.m. (ET) on Feb. 7 at Daytona International Speedway. (FOX)

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
Cup points races will be spread across FOX, TNT, ESPN or ABC networks, with America's Funniest Videos alloted to the last 30 minutes of each race on ABC! (Please tell me you know I'm joking, right?)

SPEED gets in on the act when they broadcast the non-points events –
the Gatorade Duel at Daytona (2 p.m. ET on Feb. 12) and the
NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race (7:30 p.m. ET on May 16 at Lowe's Motor Speedway).

FOX has the first 13 NASCAR Sprint Cup points races, starting with the
Daytona 500 (Feb. 15, 2 p.m. TV start time; green flag 3:20 p.m. ET) and their telecast reign
ends on May 31 with the race at Dover International Speedway at 2 p.m. (ET).

TNT takes over with the next six races starting with
The Pocono 500 at 2 p.m. (ET) on June 7 at Pocono Raceway and ending with
Chicagoland Speedway's 400, July 11 at 8 p.m. (ET).

ESPN / ABC will broadcast the final 17 NASCAR Sprint Cup events.
ESPN starts with the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard at 2 p.m. (ET) on July 26 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and ends with the
Sept. 6 event at Atlanta Motor Speedway (7:30 p.m. ET).

ABC completes the season with 11 broadcasts, or 11 chances to get it right starting with the 26th race of the season,
Richmond International Raceway on Sept. 12 at 7:30 p.m. (ET).
ABC also will air the entire 10-race Chase where it culminates with the final race of the season with the Ford 400 on Nov. 22 at 3:15 p.m. (ET) at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

Nationwide Series
The 2009 NASCAR Nationwide Series season will be broadcast on ABC, ESPN and ESPN2.
ABC will broadcast four events, ESPN will broadcast five and ESPN2 will broadcast 26.
ESPN2 opens with the Camping World 300 at 1:15 p.m. (ET) on Feb. 14 at Daytona.
New to the 2009 NASCAR Nationwide Series schedule is a race at Iowa Speedway, held on Aug. 1 at 4:30 p.m. (ET) on ESPN.
ESPN2 will also present the airing of the season-finale Ford 300 on Nov. 21 at Homestead-Miami (4:30 p.m. ET).

Camping World Truck Series
The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will be on SPEED beginning with the season-opening
NextEra Energy Resources 250 on Feb. 13 at 8 p.m. (ET) at Daytona.
The season-finale Ford 200 on Nov. 20 at Homestead-Miami begins at 8 p.m. (ET).
Allin all, SPEED will broadcast 23 of the 25 races.

FOX will broadcast two Truck Series events, with the first being at the Auto Club Speedway on Feb. 21 at 3 p.m. (ET).
FOX also will broadcast the NCWTS Kroger 250 at Martinsville Speedway on March 28 at 2 p.m. (ET).

There ya have it gang. TV contracts spelled out. Now will ABC really have learned their lessons from last year or do they stick with their contractual obligations yet again, hoping a race doesn't run over on their watch? Like that ever happens!?

Any bets on how rain delays / field set by weather we might see this year? I hope it's less than last year, that's my guess!!