Saturday, June 30, 2012

Austin Dillon's First Win Tainted By Post-Race Inspection Failure

It was an incredible feat to see Austin Dillon to bring the iconic black No. 3 Chevy across the finish line first in Friday night's NASCAR Nationwide race, in the Feed the Children 300 at Kentucky Speedway.

It was a dominant win.  No one could touch him in the closing laps.  But now that first win is tainted with his winning car having failed the post-race inspection.

Jim Utter was the first to report last night (That I saw) that the No. 3 car failed inspection because the rear end of the car measured too low.

This morning on NASCAR Now, Andy Petree indicated that the failure was unintentional and did not give the car any kind of performance issue.  That confuses me just a touch.  It's always been my belief that a lower back end of acar gets the spoiler more out of the wind, hence, slightly less drag.


I sincerely hope this is resolved to be discovered that this might have been an in-race parts failure.  To be honest, I expect nothing less.  Especially from this team.

But be it as it may, the dominant lead, Austin Dillon's first win, and now a post-race inspection failure will always be in the same sentence or fans minds.



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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Fascinating In-Car Cam Views from GoPro [Non-NASCAR]

I was checking out some videos over under the GoPro camera title and I came across some in-car and on-car camera videos from a Global RallyCross event that took place at Charlotte.

The cameras are pretty cool because they tend to eliminate the vibrations you might get from a camera mounted on a vehicle or what not.  Many, many people are starting to use these new tools.

In one case here in my neck of the woods, two bicyclists were bit by a car, but I believe they had one of these HERO cameras on their handlebars and got really good pictures of the idio... I mean driver.  Of course, the owner's mother reported the car "stolen" sometime after the hit-and-run.  Hmm.

But back on track...  check out this video from the RallyCross.  The volume is loud on the vid, so beware.  And once you get past the intro sections (Travis Pastrana was there) and into the racing, I was impressed/surprised how much beating and banging go into these races.  My first thought was wow, it's like some of those video games I've seen!!!

Anyhow, enjoy!  It's interesting to see.  -Bruce

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Matt Kenseth Leaves Roush Racing

Wow, if there was one thing I never saw coming, it would have been that Matt Kenseth leaving Roush-Fenway Racing.  Yet, my world was shaken.

And here when I saw a piece from a financial website of all places on Monday morning talking about Kenseth maybe leaving Roush Racing, I sneered at it.  Seriously?  Sure... and I didn't even bookmark it for reference.  That's how ludicrous it sounded.  And yet, they were on the mark before anyone said a word today.


Jack Roush announced today that after fourteen years of service, Matt Kenseth will be leaving Roush-Fenway racing at the end of the year.  In his place, Jack Roush will be putting Ricky Stenhouse Jr. in the car.  Stenhouse Jr. is the defending NASCAR Nationwide Series champ.

Jack thanked Matt for his years of loyal service in his announcement this morning and added that the timing right now will give the team plenty of time to line things up for the 2014 Sprint Cup season.

And all this while Kenseth leads in drivers points.


Where Is Kenseth Going?

That's the million dollar question and every single point, perspective or guess is just that, guesses at this point in time.  No official word has come out about any opportunity at this point in time and we will just have to wait and see.

Wow! Who'd a thunk?
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Monday, June 25, 2012

Pictures from Sonoma on A Sunday: Sprint Cup Race Day!

So Saturday was practice and such and then came Sunday at Sonoma Raceway for the Toyota/Savemart 350!

First up, the energy around the place from the fans and teams alike is a bit different.  Fans are more juiced about the coming storm and teams are digging in and making sure they're prepared for it and in some cases, ready to beat that storm!

I was running around on Sunday getting more crazy pictures.

They range from seeing the various templates used, to the procession of drivers heading into the drivers meeting, and getting snaps of the drivers as they came onto pit road after the lap around the track from driver intros.

I snapped a couple of the ladies about the track, a few racing pics and something sort of special from the pole-sitter.

On Friday, Ambrose and representatives from Stanley presented a $100,000 donation to the Ace Hardware Foundation and Children's Miracle Network Hospitals in Victory Lane at Sonoma.

If you take a look, you can see between all the sponsor stickers a very serious and heart-touching momento as Ambros is Racing for a Miracle.

On the side of his car are names. 

"The special paint scheme will include the names of the four "Honorary Crew Members," as well as one child from each U.S. state and Washington D.C. Each name featured on the car is a current or former Children's Miracle Network Hospitals patientwho has met their unique medical challenge with courage."

So please, take a moment a ponder the car.  And remember, if you feel like you want to help, don't be shy about sending even a single dollar.

Think about it... if everyone who watched the race on Sunday only contributed a single dollar each, that would be a quick few million.  So please, don't be shy.

Did I mention getting a few pics of a few ladies?  I think you might appreciate the few I snapped.  Your welcome!

Some NASCAR Sprint Cup Race Pictures from Sunday. (It's a Facebook album, but you don't need an account to view if you don't have one.)


About Children's Miracle Network Hospitals
Children's Miracle Network Hospitals® raises funds for 170 children's hospitals across the United States and Canada, which, in turn, use the money where it's needed the most. When a donation is given it stays in the community, helping local kids. Since 1983, Children's Miracle Network Hospitals has raised more than $4.4 billion, most of it $1 at a time. These donations have gone to support research and training, purchase equipment, and pay for uncompensated care, all in support of the mission to save and improve the lives of as many children as possible. Learn more at
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Petty press release.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Sonoma Raceway Saturday Sprint Cup Practice Pictures

I was tooling around at Sonoma Raceway on Saturday during the two practice sessions.  Almost everyone spent time on the track, except for the plain-wrap red No. 51 car of Kurt Busch.  Never saw the car on track and never saw Kurt.

Any how, I got some pics of our pole-sitter, and a few of the rest of the field.  I spent a chunk of time around turn 4... some good images came from there.

Check out the collective of pictures from Saturdays Cup Practice at Sonoma on my Facebook image album.  (It's public.  You don't need an FB account to see it.)


Could NASCAR's Weakness Turn Out To Be the TV Coverage?

I came across a fascinating article over on Frontstretch by Amy Henderson as she touched on how television coverage itself is part of the problem with TV ratings and sponsorships getting hard to find by teams.

I'm first going to recap and touch on her points, then I'm going to head off in my own direction looking at some what's and whys.  And can this be fixed?  Maybe.  Read on.


Amy makes some great points on the issue where she points out that the special coverage the top-ten teams get from the TV coverage hurts the other thirty teams.

She expounds on how fans she surveyed did note that though they might watch NASCAR, they do note that they may never see their favored driver unless they wreck.

And that's a great point.

Commenters also point out that it's not just TV but most media outside of TV also contribute to the problem.  But more on that later.

Amy correlates the idea that if fans aren't getting to see their drivers, then some may not tune in.  Also, with the mid-level to lesser teams getting no coverage, their sponsors aren't getting the air time they want.  This lack of TV coverage also makes their sponsorship dollars less valuable.  If that's the case, then why would sponsors be motivated to put their stickers on a car's hood or side panels?

And that's a great point that puts the glue in the association between TV coverage and possible sponsor problems for some teams.

The article shows that

"Primary sponsorship of a decent mid-level team is around $15 million for the season."

And that for that $15M to be cost effective, sponsors need to see about four minutes of total coverage.  That's looking at how much a TV ad can cost, per what a sponsor puts in and hopes to get.

And if you wonder how it's calculated, I've seen where teams of people are hired by companies to watch for and time a sponsor's amount of air-time exposure.  It's that important.

And when sponsors don't see their product out there, then what?  What's their bottom line motivations for sponsoring someone who isn't in the favored group of media darlings?  None, to be honest.  And then we start having problems with teams getting those financial backers.

Heck, we've seen winning truck teams take a dive and even good performing mid-level teams close shop.

She then compared how the TV coverage of yesteryear had fans feel like they knew many of the drivers in the field.  How many drivers can you say, you feel like that about today?


Items Not Addressed in the Article


With that said, it's a bit more convoluted of a relationship than I've put out here, but this is the gist of the situation.

But how does this get fixed?  And what about that point where all media cater to the top-tier names?

On the point about media catering to the top-tier names, it's another economical equation for print media... the mainstream drivers have a large percentage of fans and that percentage are who buy the print editions.

I am in NO WAY discounting or discrediting the fans of the mid-level or lower ranked teams.  But a print org has to consider, will the 10 fans of Bobby Labonte outweigh the 100 fans of Dale Earnhardt Jr.?

Sadly it's the same kind of economics that go into TV ratings and advertisers backing TV shows.  Ill-rated shows lose sponsors and get cancelled because NOT ENOUGH people are watching.

It's the same form of economics.

Again, with no discredit to folks who are fans of the bottom 25 drivers in the standings.

On the web-based media, it's not so much the economic balance as it is the web traffic.  But web traffic is like money.  And those 10 Bobby Labonte fans versus the 100 Dale Jr. fans tends to get the coveted web traffic.

Hence, the seemingly one-sided amount of coverage.  And yes, myself and many others on the web are guilty of this form of coverage.

(Man, I'm starting to feel guilty as I write this!)


So Can The TV Coverage be fixed?

Well, sort of.

We first go back to the infamous TV ratings and who is watching a telecast.  Yep, those same 100 fans are weighting the scales here too.  But if you think about those mere four minutes per team to give sponsors their monies worth seems somewhat doable.

There's thirty-six races in a season.  In an optimal piece of coverage, for this example, they're three hours long.  180 minutes.  If all 43 teams got themselves 4 minutes a piece, all by themselves, that adds up to 172 minutes of time.

Though this straight up math doesn't look good, lets' take into account that most camera work doesn't always show single car action, but multiple car coverage.

But let's not forget something... the pre-race coverage and maybe even the web coverage of a race.

When we have a few teams accounting for the majority of the field, those smaller teams definitely have an uphill battle.

And as I crunched the numbers, it wasn't looking good in my optimal example.  But then I thought, hey, the networks have the ticker going by.  Why not picture in a picture, showing the smaller teams and giving them screen time?  Sure, screen real estate is a valuable commodity, but it can be mustered up. 

It's just one suggestion/fix, but the networks need to consider how to give all the teams the exposure they need.

If you think about it, if a sponsor knew they'd get TV time each race, would the start-and-parks start getting sponsors also.  (Hey!  I just realized that as cars drop out of a race, the race to screen time ratio would get slightly easier to deliver that time needed on screen.)


So therein lies a fascinating issue that touches on the unique relationship between NASCAR, TV, and the media and the fans.  Cover the popular to get the expected demographic numbers and lose some numbers.  But over the long haul, is that best for everyone?

Kudos to Amy's article and I suggest you head on over to Frontstretch and check out what she has to say...  chime in here or over there.


Thursday, June 21, 2012

Events This Weekend at Sonoma's NASCAR Weekend ['Toyota/Save Mart 350']

If you're wondering what might be happening at Sonoma this weekend for NASCAR's Toyota/Save Mart 350 on Sunday, here's the low down on a few things:

On Thursday, it's the NASCAR Hauler Parade.

With more than 40 NASCAR Haulers making the procession, this unique parade starts off in Sacramento at 2 p.m., crosses the Tower Bridge and takes a lap around the State Capitol. Then they head south on Hwy. 80 and will show up at Sonoma raceway at approximately 4 p.m..

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Meet NASCAR Legends

Marvin Panch and Donnie Allison will have a Q&A and autograph session in the Wine Country Winner's Circle.  Look for that to start at 1:30 p.m.

Trackside Live at the SPEED Stage

Drop by the SPEED Stage, located in the main paddock, for one of their many shows.  I got on TV last year, maybe you can too!

And there are interactive games, & prizes and the possibilities of getting an autograph from Kristen Voda, Kyle Petty or Rutledge Wood!



Pick-n-Pull Racing to Stop Hunger 200 Qualifying - 1:50 p.m.                                  
Toyota/Save Mart 350 Qualifying - 3:40 p.m.

NASCAR Driver Autograph Session – 5:30-6:15  Greg Biffle and Bobby Labonte will be at the Ticket Pit Stop behind the main grandstand on Friday from 5:30 p.m. - 6:15 p.m.  The autograph session is FREE and open to all race fans.

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Toyota/Save Mart 350 Practice – 9:30 a.m.

Toyota/Save Mart 350 Final Practice - 10:45 a.m.     

Pick-n-Pull Racing to Stop Hunger 200 (64 laps) - 12:45 p.m.                                  
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Jimmie Johnson Q&A Session – 9:25 a.m.:  A special Q&A session inside Turn 11 on Sunday morning near the Sunoco station at Turn 11 no earlier than 8:15 a.m.

World Touring Car Championship Demonstartion Laps – 9:50 a.m.

eBay Motors Charity Auction – 10 a.m.:  Bid on the opportunity to take a parade lap around the road course during pre-race ceremonies with your favorite NASCAR driver including Tony Stewart, Jeff Gordon and Carl Edwards.

All proceeds benefit Speedway Children's Charities.

Pre-Race NASCAR Legends Q&A Session with Donnie Allison and Marvin Panch – 10:20 a.m.

Patriot Jet Team Air Show – 10:50 a.m. (25 minutes)

Toyota/Save Mart 350 Pre-Race Show and Driver Introductions – 11:30 a.m.

Toyota/Save Mart 350 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Race (110 laps) – noon


Other Things To Keep Your Eye Out For

Post-Race Track Walk:  30 minutes after the checkered flag falls on Sunday.  The walk will feature specially-painted lug nuts dropped around the road course, which are redeemable for a prize at the Ticket Pit Stop located behind the Main Grandstand.

Around The Paddock
Ride the Ferris Wheel:  Take a ride on the ferris wheel for just $2. All proceeds benefit Speedway Children's Charities.

Gourmet Food Trucks

The raceway, along with on-site caterer Levy Restaurants, will host more than 15 Bay Area gourmet food trucks during race weekend, giving fans a chance to sample a variety of local cuisine while enjoying the races.

The food trucks will line the hillside above Turn 9 of the road course, with fare from wood-fired pizza to ice cream to hand-rolled sushi.

Toyota Fan Zone

Located in the Turn 10 island where you can play on the remote-control race track and enter for a chance to win your own R/C car.

Check out the Toyota/Save Mart 350 Camry pace car and enter to win an autographed hood. Joey Logano (No. 20 The Home Depot Toyota) will appear at the display at 8:20 a.m. on Sunday.

Sprint Experience

Located in the heart of the main paddock, is the place to be. Meet Miss Sprint Cup, see the actual NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship trophy and experience the custom fan interactive zone.

Toyota PitPass

Toyota's interactive racing experience will be on-site all weekend in the main paddock.

Raceway Girls

Be sure and check out the popular Raceway Girls during race weekend, including Mariah, the star of monthly videos "Inside Track" and "Raceway Minute" on

Movies in 50 Acres

The raceway has partnered with Santa Rosa's Starry Movie Nights to bring an inflatable 15' x 25' screen to the 50 Acres campground on Friday and Saturday nights during race weekend.  Movies will be broadcast in high definition and will begin at approximately 8:30 p.m. each night. 


Club 7 is located above Turn 7 and will be open Saturday and Sunday. New for 2012, Club 7 will feature Kinder's BBQ. Below is a list of appearances throughout the weekend. For more information, visit

10:15 a.m. – Raceway Girls
10:45 a.m.- Miss Sprint Cup
12:45 p.m. – NASCAR driver Reagan Smith
1 p.m. – NASCAR Driver Juan Pablo Montoya

8:55 a.m. - NASCAR Driver Kevin Harvick
9: 15 a.m. – Grand Marshal Tony La Russa
9:45 a.m. – NASCAR legends Donnie Allison and Marvin Panch

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Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The Sonoma NASCAR Hauler Parade This Week

Hey gang, for anyone living in, near or around the region of Sonoma, you need to get ready for the NASCAR Hauler parade.

What will happen is that the hauler parade will hit up Sacramento on Thursday, June 21st, 2012, making their way over the Tower Bridge and around the CA state capital.

It begins at 2 p.m. at their staging area and then will

    Cross Tower Bridge and drive up Capitol Mall.
    Right turn on 9th Street.
    Left turn on N Street.
    Left turn on 16th Street.
    Left turn on L Street.
    Haulers will then be directed to the freeway and head South on Hwy. 80 to the raceway in Sonoma, where they will be parked in the garage for the race weekend.

in PDF format:  PARADE MAP


Where you really might want to be is at L and 11th streets.  That's where the real action will be.

First up, there's a great view there... of the haulers.  I need to mention that because at this intersection will also be the

  • Sonoma Raceway display
  • the popular Raceway Girls,
  • Miss Sprint Cup representatives Kristen Beat and Kim Coon and
  • tickets for the big race.


  • Toyota/Save Mart 350 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
  • June 22-24
  • 2011 POLE WINNER: Joey Logano
  • 2011 WINNER: Kurt Busch
  • NOTABLE Events:
    • Pick-n-Pull Racing to Stop Hunger 200 NASCAR Pro Series West race on Saturday.
    • 25-minute air show by Discovery Bay's Patriots Jet Team during pre-event ceremonies on Sunday.
  • INFORMATION: 800-870-RACE (7223), or


Now I've never seen one and I'm not likely to catch this one myself, but man, if anyone reading this gets pictures, I'd love to see them and post them!

 on Facebook .
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'Quicken Loans 400' Post Race Interview with Dale Earnhardt Jr. & Steve Letarte

The following are excerpts & quotes from a post-race interview after the Quicken Loans 400 from Michigan International Speedway!

~ ~ ~

The interview is from race winner Dale Earnhardt Jr. who drove the No. 88 Diet Mountain Dew The Dark Knight Rises National Guard Chevrolet for Hendrick Motorsports to victory..  He is joined by his crew chief, Steve Letarte.

In the interview, Dale Earnhardt Jr. touches on this being his 19th win, on the challenges the team faced with the tire change-up late in the race weekend, & on his peers being happy for the team.

He also touches on comparing this win to his last win four years ago, on his trust and faith in his crew chief, on how they won the race, on Rick Hendrick, on how late they might have partied that night, and there's general overtone, that no matter what the question, you get the feeling this team is not just running races, but planning, plotting and seeing a plan come together slowly but surely, with this win validating that plan, and validating the team as a whole.

Dale Jr. touches on the faith of his fans and oh, yea, Steve Letarte pipes in, touching on knowing his driver still has the urge to win, and a few other points!

The Interview with Dale Jr.:

On his 19th Sprint Cup Win

DALE EARNHARDT, JR.:  We had some tough things to overcome this weekend with the tire issues and they made some changes and ... I wasn't very confident after the practice last night.  Steve felt pretty good.  ... I was a little nervous when the race started, the car was not quite where I needed it to be.  We were not in too big of trouble.

I worry whether he (Steve Letarte) knows exactly where I'm at or what I need with the car... But I guess he knows me well enough, because he made the right calls, and the thing took off flying.

Then, he made some pit strategy choices that put us toward the front to where the car could respond, and if we had a fast car it was going to happen, and it did.

From there on, did everything we had to to keep ourselves in the top five to stay in the clean air, because it was definitely difficult in traffic, especially from 10th on back.

He did a great job putting the car toward the front and the car responded when we got there.  I was running around behind people and learning about what my car was capable of doing, and pushed my car a little bit harder each time we ran around the corner and found where the car was comfortable and fast, and just tried to maintain a good pace.  I was worried about tire issues and stuff like that, even late in the race because our car kind of started turning better, and I was thinking, man, I'm going to work the right rear a little harder.

I saved a little in my pocket in the last 50 laps and ran only as hard as I thought I needed to, and at the end of the race, this thing was a rocket and I couldn't slow it down, it was so fast.


STEVE LETARTE:  Yeah, it's been an eventful weekend.  I think it really started back in Pocono.  We had some concepts and some ideas in the race car we took there and it showed speed so we were excited to get here.

We were pretty comfortable with our car on Thursday and on Friday we were disappointed to see the tire trouble because we thought we had good speed but understood the situation and what needed to be done.

I can't say enough about our guys.  It was a long day yesterday and they left with as much energy as they came in with and were ready to go this morning.  The engineers put a tremendous car together and Hendrick engines stuck together.  We went over our laps, for sure, in practice; and to be able to run 200 strong laps today was a total team effort.

We had to make adjustments on our car today, we made them early and then worked really hard on our pit strategy.  Just kind of all worked out.  It was great.

= = =

On the new tire combo on race day:

DALE EARNHARDT, JR.:  The car was a real handful, especially being around other cars, -- when they change the tire, it takes away a ton of mechanical grip.

So the car really relies a lot on the aero grip from that point on, and when you get around other people, you lose that.  So when you have no mechanical and no aero, the car is a real tricky thing to get through the corner.

Then we were thrown into a deal where we had about an hour to figure it out...  but we only had 25 laps on our motor.  Our motor tuner would not let us run more than that,

I was desperate in that last practice to get something to work and when it ended, I still wasn't really sure if we were where we needed to be, and I woke up this morning just antsy not knowing how this was going to play out.

We had done so well up to this point, cognizant of the Top-10s and the laps we have ran and how steady we have been all year and I just want to keep that going each weekend.  I felt like we might be getting ready to have a difficult race.

we'll probably have to tire test here again and figure out something a little bit better than this, because this definitely ain't the answer.

...I would I have hated to see anything happen to anybody or even myself with a tire failure or something like that at this speed.

= = =

On his peers thinking they could win the championship And being happy for them:

DALE EARNHARDT, JR.:  I guess it means I'm an all-right dude.  (Laughter) When people are happy for you, they want to see you do good.

I feel like we are getting stronger.  One of the things that we did last year throughout the season was kind of maintain, and -- even though I was happy as hell to be with Steve and be able to run well and be competitive, I was a little disheartened that I didn't progress through the year really.

This year, we have gotten faster throughout the year.  We started off pretty quick and we have gotten quicker, and quicker, especially these last couple weeks.  So that's been a thrill for me.

I don't know really where we stand in the competition level and what-have-you, where we are, as far as being a threat to win the title.  I think that's a great compliment from Matt (Kenseth).  ...We just kind of kept our nose to the grindstone to try to win a race.  We'll just try to keep doing that and win the next race and see what happens.

= = =

On Looking Back at his last win four years ago, compared to today:

DALE EARNHARDT, JR.:  I was so nervous in the last few laps of that race four years ago, and today, this was the worst -- that's the worst feeling riding around there with 15 laps to go wondering what's going to happen or how you were going to lose (laughing).

I was just thinking, man, those laps could not go by fast enough.  I was like -- I've got a big lead, I'm going to take it easy -- no, I want to run it hard, get it over with. 

I kept thinking about Steve and the team and how hard we have worked and how we deserved to win, and how we should win, and was hoping it would happen for everybody.  You know, that was -- but that race four years ago was a fuel mileage race, and today we just whooped them really good.  So that felt good.

= = =

Dale Jr. On Steve Letarte:

DALE EARNHARDT, JR.:  It has.  We have been doing some great things.  He's hard to compliment, because he doesn't take it very well.  But him and that team, they can have all the credit -- my engineers and Steve sit in that lounge every weekend and make the car go.  ...They make it whatever I want it to do.  If I ask them, you know, this is my problem and this is where we are hurting, they get together and they fix it.

That's amazing to me. wouldn't have mattered who was driving it today.  That car was going to be the fastest thing out there and going to win the race.

Steve is just really sharp.  He called a great race.  I trust in him to do that every week, and I know he will. can see how this team is as good as it is just by being in the shop and watching him sort of dictate and move pieces around like on a chessboard.  He's really sharp.

= = =

Steve Letarte on Dale Jr.:

STEVE LETARTE:  I ...never in a moment or a day did I ever question his desire to drive.

We sat down kind of when the whole deal came together.  We spent some time that off-season.  We went to Vegas for the banquet and a couple other things and I laid out what I thought would be a good plan to approach the season, no different than I would for any of the other years.  And he was completely on board, gave his opinion on things which were great.  Any time you can get an opinion of a veteran driver, a guy that's won that many races, that only makes your team stronger.  We went to New Smyrna to make laps, and from day forward, we have been all steam ahead.

One thing I can say, we have had bad runs, good runs, disagreements, agreements, but from the day we started working together, I hope he's never questioned my desire to improve the team and to run well and I never have questioned his desire and where he stands as far as the team and what our goals are when we came in here.

You know, that's hard.  It's a long season.  There are weeks you are cranky to come to the racetrack.  There are weeks they change the tire on you after you've worked two days, and you know, what else possibly could happen, and I could say, you know, it's not always been peaches and cream.  We have had disagreements.  That's great.  That's healthy disagreements.  But I can say really the devotion and desire was never questioned by me at all.

= = =

What this win means to them:

DALE EARNHARDT, JR.:  Yeah, there's a lot of things.  We're in the All-Star Race next year, so we don't have to grind it out in the shootout.

We are back on the Winner's Circle Program which is a big deal, to the company, as far as income and revenue.  ...I've never had bonus points for the Chase (chuckling).  So that's neat.

... I don't want to get too far ahead of myself.  We have to go to Sonoma and figure out how to get around there and how to get my first top-ten at that place.  We have a lot to accomplish this year.

I got moved into that shop a year and a half ago, and that shop's got all the trophies and got all the wins with Jimmie and Jeff, and they are used to success.  So it feels good to be able to bring those guys what they deserve, all the employees will get bonuses or what have you from this win.  So the whole company sort of gets to enjoy the effect of this.

We have got this victory bell that I get to take around for the first time since we built it.

STEVE LETARTE:  That's right.

DALE EARNHARDT, JR.:  And ring the hell out of it... I'm going to ring that damn thing as hard as I can.  (Laughter).

So it's a big deal for me.  But I like seeing... on everybody else's face. 

It's so awesome to see how many other people it affects and how many people are affected by that kind of what happened today.

STEVE LETARTE:  The only thing I would say is what today does is solidifies decisions like last week, makes them a lot easier one way or the other.

You know, we had confidence in one another to make that decision because we knew the goal.  We had discussed the goal.  We know what the goal was.  The goal was to get as many points as we could to get out of there, and that's every week to, run as good as we possibly can.

...When you're down seven or eight runs in the ninth inning, bunts are not going to work.  You have to start putting guys on base.  This proves to us that our strategy is correct.

If you bring fast enough race cars, you don't have to get out of your comfort zone too far and you don't have to get super crazy with your pit strategy.  We say it all the time, you just need to put in hard work, hard work every Sunday and this helps us understand that we are not crazy; that our goals and what we have been trying to do has been working.

= = =

Q.  What did Rick say?  And secondly, Tony Stewart said it's not a national holiday?

DALE EARNHARDT, JR.:  I do.  For me it is.  (Laughter) I'm sure his running second for me won't be a holiday, either.

It feels good to win, and I'll enjoy it, and in a day or two, I'll be thirsty for the next one.

...I told him that I had to thank him for sticking with me and getting me back to victory lane and he went through hell and high water to make it happen and he should enjoy, enjoy the win.

= = =

Did Dale Jr. think about his dad as the laps wound down?

DALE EARNHARDT, JR.:  No, sir, as much as that would be a good story, I had not really thought about much even being Father's Day and I wished a lot of opportunities to wish everybody a happy Father's Day.  It just slipped my mind pretty much.  But it is Father's Day.

So I'm happy for that fact due to the circumstances and it makes it mean a little bit more to have won on Father's Day, and you know, get the opportunity to just come here and sit down and wish everybody a happy Father's Day after it slipping my mind all day long and missing it through all of the other interviews I've had to do.

= = =

On the victory party running late?
STEVE LETARTE:  Not one day, I can assure you.  (Laughter).

DALE EARNHARDT, JR.:  I'll probably lead by example, but I'll probably just see what everybody else does and just kind of jump in the pool if the water is warm.  ...I don't want to get carried away.  We have a great thing going.  We want to be sharp and I want to be sharp when we go to the next race.  We have a tough one at Sonoma and we have a got like a chip on our shoulders to go there and run well because of struggles I've had at that place.

We will enjoy this and I cannot wait to go home and see my family and my friends.  I know that they are dying for me to get there.  So we'll have some fun tonight and you know, Steve will probably get home a little too late for this evening, but it's whatever.  We have got a couple of days off.
I have a promotion to shoot with Clean Coal on Wednesday so I need to get my ship righted somewhere around Tuesday morning to be sharp for them guys.  That will be that.

...We have a conference meeting on Tuesday with all of the drivers and crew chiefs and that will be a thrill since we won, but we have got to start talking about the next race.  We need to keep our eye on the goal...

= = = 

Q.  Are you more relieved or excited?
STEVE LETARTE:  Excited.  I think a little bit of both.  I think if it would have happened last year it might have been relief, because I don't know if we had the speed last year.  We had some good runs and we had some good cars, but we had some consistency, but nothing like this year.

I'm a true believer in statistics, and I don't think it's luck.  I think you make your own luck.  You get bad breaks along the way, but if you have a strong enough race team, and strong enough cars, then even the bad luck can't hold you down forever, and I think this year, we have earned this win.
...When you start to have winning cars, and then you finally win, it's excitement.  I don't think it's relief.  Because now you have winning cars and you know that the hard work is paying off.

DALE EARNHARDT, JR.:  I would say the same thing.  I thought it would be all relief but it was no relief at all; it was excitement.

= = =

Q.  ...At what point did you feel the fans?
DALE EARNHARDT, JR.:  I would imagine they were into it, I came off of turn four for the checkered and they were pretty excited all the way down the front straightaway.  And I felt good for them because they had -- my fans had went through a lot to stay dedicated and they stayed loyal...

...I felt the fan base.  I felt the excitement and the emotion from them immediately, almost immediately.  As soon as I got out of the car, that was my initial thoughts was about how many people were in their living rooms screaming at the top of their lungs and running out in the yard or whatever they do (Laughter).

I just wish I could see it all at once.  That was the one thing I kept thinking about.

= = =

Q.  I believe out in victory lane, NASCAR president Mike Helton said, "I think Dale Junior declared today that he's the guy to beat this year for the Championship."  I know you already talked about contending, but what does it mean to hear that from him?

DALE EARNHARDT, JR.:  Mike's an awesome dude.  You know, between him and Rick, it doesn't come any better when it comes to having it all together and being a sharp person.  I trust him all the time for guidance and advice and leadership, because he's so awesome at it.

So it means a lot coming from him to say that.  I hope we can prove him correct and we'll just keep working.

= ~ = ~ = ~ =

The man asking the questions was Kerry Tharp, transcript excerpts were from "Fast as fast ass FastScripts by ASAP Sports ..."


Monday, June 18, 2012

Dale Earnhardt Jr. Wins Michigan While Sporting 'The Dark Knight Rises' Motif!

Dale Earnhardt Jr. won the Quicken Loans 400 at Michigan International Speedway while sporting The Dark Knight Rises movie special paint scheme motif!  And to think, I was starting to think special paint schemes were a curse!


Junior Nation fans, your dedication to your man has paid off, as you knew it would some day.  Dale Earnhardt Jr. finally put an 'x' in the win column of the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup season, and he won in style, the old fashion way.

Dale Jr. put his Dark Knight Rises car out in front around lap 70, and stayed at the front until winning the race in a dominant fashion, leaving 2nd place driver Tony Stewart in his dust.  He did not win from a fuel mileage gamble.  He did not win from a rain delay.  This was an honest to god, old fashioned WIN.  And his fans are pretty damn happy to see it done this way.  Period.

And after having to tackle the newly repaved Michigan International Speedway and tackling tire changes from Goodyear during the weekend were also hurdles that the No. 88 Chevy team had to tackle.


For over the last four years people have been doubting whether Dale Jr. could put his car in victory lane again.  There were the doubters.  You can't blame the doubters, it has been one heck of a drought, but the more faithful are feeling pretty good these days.


Tony Stewart, Matt Kenseth, Greg Biffle and Jimmie Johnson rounded out the top-5.  (Johnson came from the back of the field after an engine change to accomplish this top-5 finish.)  Pole sitter Marcos Ambrose pulled it in, in 9th.

This finish kept Dale Earnhardt Jr. 2nd in the points standings, with now 4 points behind leader Matt Kenseth and 17 points in front of Greg Biffle.  Our chase wild-card contenders, at the moment, include Kyle Busch and Ryan Newman.

Kurt Busch's day, having returned from his one-weekend suspension, was full of spins off of turn 2 and he finished 30th.

Accidents and issues and other scenarios claimed Kyle Busch, Kasey Kahne, Denny Hamlin, Joey Logano, Tony Raines, J.J. Yeley, Michael McDowell, Mike Bliss, Joe Nemechek, Scott Riggs, Josh Wise*, Trevor Bayne, David Stremme & Stacy Compton.


For the Batman movie (The Dark Knight Rises) fans, I have a bit more information on a tour that the batmobile is making around the country.  It spend the weekend at the track in Michigan, helping support the Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s special paint scheme for the weekend.  It's called The Tumblr Tour and you can see more about the tour at Dale Jr wins & More on The Dark Knight Tumblr Tour.  For anyone following my Facebook page, where I tend to play a little more with sharing things and images, you've probably already seen this info!


Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Phoenix Racing Will Move Forward with Kurt Busch

Over on their Facebook page, via their Twitter feed, it was announced that Phoenix Racing will be moving forward and continue to work with Kurt Busch.  A surprise to some, and an expected hope for others, depending on what side of the fan fence you're on.

I think the two entities make a good combo.  Kurt Busch was already on the outs and got lucky to land a ride in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series for the 2012 season.  And it's good for Phoenix Racing to have someone with the wheel talent, in one of their cars.

The posts went like this:

We have met with Kurt. At the end of the day, we are racers so we're going racing with Kurt and the #51 Phoenix Chevrolet.

We know adjustments have to be made but how we fix that is between Kurt and myself.

We're going to go to the track, work hard, race hard and work on trying to attract a sponsor - and we're going to do that together.

The commentary was less benign on the various posts, ranging from negative to ...  um, well, no Kurt fan chimed in while I was looking at their Facebook page.

So we'll see Kurt Busch at Michigan and we'll go from there.  Maybe this time around, what, the third time, will be a charm!

And this isn't the first driver to have issues... and work their way through them.  So hold out some hope, if you're a fan.  Or just bite your tongue, be patient, and see what comes of Kurt.

(Maybe Phoenix Racing should start a cuss jar for Kurt!!!  They could feed many starving children and make this a win-win situation for all.)

New Track Surface Team Test for Michigan International Speedway Repave!

A new week, a newly repaved track! 

On Thursday, June 14th, teams will have an opportunity to check out the newly repaved Michigan International Raceway!  It will be a one-day test, with two test sessions.  One from 8-11 a.m. ET and again from 1-4 p.m. ET  The intent is to give teams the chance to figure out the new track surface.

If anything, I'm suspecting more records broken and faster qualifying speeds for the Quicken Loans 400, which could lead to harder hits on the wall.  (Here's hoping we don't have to see that tested, but, well, *it happens.)


The repaving of Michigan took place back in November, and was the fourth time it was repaved.  Before the repave, a laser survey of the racetrack was taken where they collected more than 100 million data points.  This allowed the engineers to replicate all points of the original pavement, but with all the dips and bumps smoothed out.  Or as they put it, "... making MIS as smooth as silk."

The $7 million project was done by Ajax Paving Industries, from Troy, Mich..  They've done track repaves before, which include the Chrysler Corp. oval in Chelsea, Mich., the Ford Romeo Test Track for Ford Motor Co., (a five-mile, steep-banked oval) and they did the repave on Phoenix International Raceway.

Back in April, Hoosier Tire tested there and there was generally a good response to what they saw, and made note of how the speeds were faster.

I can't wait to see what the teams will have to say about it.

- -

Monday, June 11, 2012

Kurt Busch's Future? It's Up to Him... But Then Again, It Always Has Been

When Kurt Busch landed a ride for 2012, I felt he got pretty lucky with that one, considering there was no room at any "inn" in the Sprint Cup garage.  But James Finch stepped up and gave Kurt a chance.  That was pretty decent of the man and it made Kurt fans pretty happy.  I also presume at a reasonable pay-cut, but still, it was a chance.

And yet, Kurt Busch can't seem to help himself.

As one marketing guru said, If Kurt has a publicity agent, he's not listening to them.  And if he is really serious about staying in the sport, he may wish to consider hiring a "body man" or "body checker." (I can't recall the exact term used)

That's a person who shadows a celebrity EVERYWHERE, and the moment the celebrity starts to go south with word or deed, the hired "image guard" scruffs the celeb and hustles him out of earshot of range of the cameras or microphones.

Gads, Kurt definitely needs one of those, and to be honest, having used to be a bouncer, I CAN DO THAT for him!  It would be kind of fun, but I'd probably be pretty busy.

James Finch as publicly said that if Kurt moves forward with the team, it will be a race-by-race basis.  So we'll see what's going on and go from there.

Will Kurt stay in Cup?  I bet he does.  Finch has a big heart.

I'm not even questioning his staying in the Nationwide Series... I presume that's a no-brainer.  For now.


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The 'Pocono 400' Winners, Losers and Speeding Loops That Weren't Broken

The Pocono 400 saw many changes this time around.  The track was repaved, leading to track qualifying records; The race is shorter (Thank god!) and apparently there was an issue with speeding during the race.  Oops.


First up, congrats to Joey Logano for winning the Pocono 400!  For a moment I thought Mark Martin had the race in hand, but the double-nickel car could not quite hold off Logano in the closing laps and that was all she wrote!

Logano won, Mark Martin came in 2nd, Tony Stewart: 3rd; Jimmie Johnson: 4th and Denny Hamlin rounded out the top-5 finishers.

The new points leader, Matt Kenseth finished 7th; Dale Earnhardt Jr. finished 8th; Greg Biffle: 24th; Kevin Harvick: 14th; Martin Truex Jr finished 20th.

Ryan Newman ended the day in 12th.

Top 35 Bubble

If my estimations are correct, or close to it, the No. 10 car (Tommy Baldwin), driven by Dave Blaney, finished 25th, and moved the team out of 34th and into 32nd in the Owner Points and the No. 36 car (Allan Heinke) that was driven by Tony Raines, is now sitting in the cat bird seat, in 35th.

As nerve wracking as that sounds, right now, it's not.  They will be 55 points in front of the 36th place car, the No. 33 (Richard Childress) that was driven by Stephen Leicht, but who had brake problems Sunday.


Pocono's New Track Surface

I think that the new track surface made the racing marginally more entertaining to watch.  But overall, it felt and looked like the same place, where cars would dive in low and fast and slide up into their fellow competitors and what not.

The new track surface made speeds faster and with faster speeds, made the hits harder.  Kasey Kahne, AJ Allmendinger, and others all met the wall doing faster speeds.  AJ said it was the hardest hit he's ever taken when he graced the wall with the paint from his No. 22 car.


Speeding Loops Were Not Broken!

The big news of the day was speeding down on pit road.  Wow.  Twenty-two different speeding penalties were handed out Sunday and twenty of them were for exiting pit road.  The big attention getter was when Jimmie Johnson was serving his first penalty with a drive-through when he got nabbed again for exiting pit road too fast.

Of those "speeding tickets" given out, Travis Kvapil was nailed four times; David Reutimann: three times (one was for entering pit road too fast); &  Johnson, Brad Keselowski, & AJ Allmendinger were each nabbed twice.

The fans and media were all on fire, lobbing blame on something being wrong with the system itself and were calling for NASCAR to red flag the race and fix the issue.  (The Twitter lot are pretty quick to lob fault.  They seem faster at lobbing fault than online Wall Street trader hobbyists!)  I had chimed in, but if you follow me on Twitter, I was being glib, or humorous about it.

The TNT broadcast team (a refreshing change, who took over from Fox) went to work and found out that one of the timing loops at the end of pit road had been moved when the track was repaved and reconfigured.  Last year, the last timing loop/segment on pit road was 56 feet long and yesterday, it was 83 feet long.

So nothing was wrong, it was just different.  And no one from any of the race teams took note of this, if that was something that was to be able to be taken note of.

I guess next time a track is newly reconfigured, teams will be keeping an eye on these things



Thursday, June 7, 2012

Twitter Goes Live with #NASCAR Association

As you all may be aware, Twitter and NASCAR officially joined forces as NASCAR saw fit to actually take advantage of that hashtag that many use when posting thoughts to Twitter, #NASCAR.

Now, when you post to Twitter using that hash, there will be software out there that looks for relevant tweets containing the hash and will pull them into a streaming consciousness, much like The Matrix...  but maybe better!  I'm assuming not all tweets will be pulled into the fray and that's not a bad thing, considering how freely some fans think with their keyboards, but I'm hoping this actually does turn into something cool that we can all take a part in and feel like we are.

So keep your eye out for the new page that came out today,, it looks cool. 

It's pretty awesome, now that NASCAR has bought back its own digital rights from TURNER and is developing these online entities.  It kind of makes me wonder why Turner sat on its laurels all these years and did so little over all the time it had.  (That's not a bad thing, I'm just asking/talking out loud.)  Though I must admit, maybe it was Brad's picture tweet from Daytona that may have sparked this beast!

Here is the press release with more details, though I think the twitter page (see link above) speaks for itself!

NASCAR Press Release:

Twitter 'flipped the switch' late yesterday and went live for the first time with its NASCAR hashtag product in preparation for Sunday's Pocono 400 Presented by #NASCAR. The first of its kind with any sports league or organization, this new product will create an enhanced live event experience on Twitter at showcases the best Tweets and photos from NASCAR insiders in an effort to bring the behind-the-scenes story to life for fans during NASCAR race weekends. The page includes Tweets from drivers, pit crew members, families, media, NASCAR representatives and other industry constituencies like race tracks and sponsors. Fans also have an opportunity to see their Tweets featured.

Using a combination of sophisticated algorithmic signals and Twitter's editorial curation, features the highest quality, most engaging content about the race and NASCAR. Behind-the-scenes photos, exclusive content and innovative and original Tweets will likely have the best chance of being featured on this new live event page.

"Twitter brings fans closer to the sports and moments they're most passionate about," said Jack Dorsey, co-founder and executive chairman at Twitter. "The innovation of the NASCAR organization, the spirit of the fans, and the personalities of the drivers all shine on Twitter, making NASCAR a natural partner for us. will offer fans an all-access pass to the race weekend action as it unfolds on the track, in the pit, in the garage and in the stands."

While currently up-and-running, will be most active on race day before, after and in conjunction with the Pocono 400 Presented by #NASCAR from Pocono Raceway (TNT, 1 p.m. ET).

In support of this new NASCAR event page, NASCAR's broadcast television partner will be engaging with audiences via Twitter as an integral part of TNT's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series coverage throughout the summer. As part of an evolving relationship between Twitter and Turner Sports, will be thoroughly integrated into the race broadcast via innovative graphics and with TNT's on-air team displaying some of the most relevant and engaging Tweets on a touch-screen TV.

"Throughout Turner's 30-year partnership with NASCAR, we have consistently striven to be innovative," said Jeff Behnke, Turner Sports senior vice president and executive producer. "This new relationship with Twitter is going to allow Turner Sports to engage the viewers in several new and creative ways, therefore making social media a key component of our six-race series this summer."

Built to support the live race broadcast, this new experience gives fans a complementary insider's view of the action as it unfolds on the track and on Twitter. During a race, when fans click on #NASCAR, search for #NASCAR on or visit, they'll reach a new Twitter experience where they will see the most relevant Tweets from their favorite NASCAR drivers, NASCAR families, teams, commentators, celebrities and other racing fans and personalities.

"This is an exciting weekend for the NASCAR industry," said Marc Jenkins, NASCAR vice president of digital media. "We are pleased to be able to partner with Twitter and bring a great cutting-edge digital experience to our fans. This is a great extension of our strategy of innovation in the digital space to enhance the fan experience with our sport. Reflective of the strength of NASCAR's fan base and the sport's cutting-edge use of social media and Twitter in particular, the sanctioning body is pleased that Twitter partnered with NASCAR to launch this product and we look forward to a long and healthy relationship coming out of this weekend's launch in Pocono."


Wednesday, June 6, 2012

2012 Prelude to the Dream - Images

The old-school dirt upon which professional stock car racing was built played host to today’s racing stars in the Prelude To The Dream last night at Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio. 

The eighth annual dirt Late Model race featured more than 25 world renowned drivers as they battled for dirt supremacy. 

The event was presented live to the entire nation on HBO Pay-Per-View with net proceeds from the telecast supporting Feed The Children, a U.S.-based charity that domestically has helped more than 365,000 families since 2009 through its Americans Feeding Americans Caravan.

Kyle Busch won the event and if you head on over to my Facebook photo album, you can catch several images from the event!  (It's a public album and you don't need to have a FB account to view it.)


Did You Know that All Professional Athletes Have Media Obligations?

First, I want to say something before moving forward:  When Kurt Busch got behind the wheel of the No. 51 Cup car, I was rooting for that team.  A small team with talent behind the wheel, can go quite far these days.  So I was pulling for good finishes for that team.


In the wake of Kurt Busch's repeat offense with his verbal tirade with Bob Pockrass, I see that there's all kinds of fallout coming from Kurt's rant.

For one, as it stands now, Cup team owner James Finch is saying to the media that he has not taken any calls from Kurt, will talk with him next week, and sends a message, saying to quit wrecking cars and play nice.


And today I'm hearing that there's some kind of backlash about Bob Pockrass asking Kurt the question.


Now if you follow me on Twitter or have seen some of my commentary in other locations, you know I can have some fun with the questions asked by the media.

But in the long run, I do jest.  That's because sports personalities are REQUIRED to make themselves available to the media.  It's a necessary evil in some regards, but in others, it feeds the fuel that is the passion for the sport by fans.

Most athletes in most athletic endeavors are required.  All sports have their sponsors, they have the event hosts and they have a performance requirement.  These kinds of interviews help all involved.

When I was a card-carrying professional bowler, I had been sent to media training and the rules were pretty specific about the athlete's requirements.  Top finishers from the week after a tournament ended, were to report to the media room and/or be available when asked questions.  In NASCAR, it is the same.  It's a bit of price to pay for those 7-digit incomes, Learjet or helicopter transits and what not.  And there's no getting around it.

There's a majority of fans out there that want to hear from the athletes right after an event, or an event within the event.  Long-time fans understand what just happened in most cases, but the core of fandom, they have inquiring minds.

And the athletes have a certain responsibility and it's not a surprise.


So yes, top performing athletes have media obligations.  They know it, and 99% of then adhere to them.

The few times they don't are times like when the new Tony Stewart* might wave off a reporter when he just gets out of a car and he's steaming.

And you'd think, that after all this time, that Jimmy Spencer had knocked some sense into Kurt way back in 2003 when he broke Kurt's nose.  Oh well... I wonder if Kurt can still fit in a Legends car???

*Stewart defended Busch's perspective on his SIRIUS XM talk show, saying that reporters focus too much on controversial issues and he also said he liked Kurt's answer.  But to play devil's advocate, again, it's what the majority of fans want.  It's when the fire is lit under a few drivers that the sport gets its notoriety... it's this kind of "news" that makes gossip rags sell millions in copy every week.  So, it's necessary because, sadly, it sells.


Finch has also been noted to saying that if they do move forward together, it will be on a race-by-race basis.

A Few Notes: GREG BIFFLE TV Appearance & Pocono Testing

A few notes for a Wednesday, including a Greg Biffle TV appearance, and a two-day test at Pocono!

Greg Biffle is going to show up in a non-NASCAR TV spot today (June 6th, 2012) on a series called American Restoration, that airs on the History Channel.

In the episode, Greg has a 1970s Montesa motorcycle that is in need of some restoration!

WHEN:  Wednesday, June 6 at 10 p.m. ET;  WHERE:  HISTORY Channel


With this upcoming Pocono 400, keep in mind that the track has been resurfaced.  And to prepare for that, there will be a two-day test session starting today (Wed, 6-6-12) and running into Thursday.

"Wednesday and Thursday, June 6-7. On Wednesday, teams will be on track from noon to 4 p.m. ET, and Thursday from 9 a.m. to noon, and again from 1 to 3:30 p.m."

After the tests fans will probably be hearing through various media outlets from Jeff Gordon, Jeff Burton, AJ Allmendinger, Denny Hamlin, Carl Edwards, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Director John Darby & NASCAR Vice President of Competition Robin Pemberton, as they're scheduled for press conferences throughout the two-day test.


Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Kurt Busch's Suspension is David Reutimann's Good Fortune

David Reutimann has been hired by the No. 51 team to take the place of Kurt Busch this weekend during the Sprint Cup Race at Pocono while Kurt sits out the weekend to think about his verbal attack skills.

But wait, doesn't David Reutimann keep Danica's seat warm when she's not driving the No. 10 car???

Yes, usually, he does.  But for this weekend at Pocono, Tommy Baldwin said he wanted to help out another small team, so he let Reutimann drive the No. 51 car and he'll be letting Dave Blaney keep Danica's seat warm.  Though, as pointed out, Blaney's car is not sponsored and they're not sure if it will run the distance.

On Kurt's Shaky Ground

As far as team owner (No. 51) James Finch and Kurt Busch are now concerned, it's been said that any future associations they will have is now going to be on a race-by-race basis.

Good job Kurt.

Kurt's getting good at getting fired these days, and I have to admit, though we've seen Kurt at his worse a few times, I was starting to think that it's just a moment here and there.

But these few moments of anger and lashing out that the public has become aware of, apparently are not his only fits of "rage."

On SIRIUS XM this morning, I was listening to the morning drive and they were addressing how Kurt has had his repeated "fits" with media over the last year and that these two instances are not his only altercations.

I was rather shocked to hear this laundry list of issues or altercations or what ever you might call them, as they were presented.  As one reader a while back once said, both Busch brothers seem to have this particular "frustration" gene and they had to get/learn it from somewhere.

Whatever the case, if Kurt's not careful, he might be looking at the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series from the outside.

Now as far as his sponsor in the Nationwide Series, Monster Energy likes edgey.  One or two moments in the spotlight might go over to some degree.  But edgy or not, a business/corporation is that Monster Energy is.  At some point, if this continues, I would not be surprised if they step in and change things up.  They stepped up to back Kyle, but Kyle has toned it down.  Kurt, has not.

We'll see!


on Twitter & Facebook
- -

Monday, June 4, 2012

KURT BUSCH Suspended For A Bit, Probation Extended

So when you're on probation for verbally accosting a reporter and you verbally accost a reporter again, you get your probation extended and a 1-week suspension.

That's what has happened to Kurt Busch (KuBu) today, after his unprovoked verbal assault on a reporter last Saturday.

Kurt Busch has been suspended until June 13th, and his probation has been extended so he can enjoy more opportunities like this one, until December 31.  (I presume, that's 2012... for now.)  Which means he'll miss the excitement that is Pocono.

To be honest, I always thought that screwing up while on probation had more of an impact, but I guess in this case, it didn't.

Well, that's it for now.  Until two weeks from now when KuBu verbally assaults another reporter.

You know, I think the man has an issue.  Sure, we all get upset.  But seriously, is he that comfortable with the cameras around?  Or does he have some bipolar or ADHD issue that forces his hand?  I don't mean that in a glib fashion, it's an honest inquiry.

The one thing that is good for a team is exposure, and when the media may very well never want to approach you because you have a sharp tongue, it very well could hurt KuBu's team to not get any exposure.

I know if someone told me I would have to go ask him a question after blowing up on the track, I'd gear up with boxing pads all around!  (Actually, I plan on being at Sonoma... I might just take pics of Kurt with a telephoto and stay out of word's reach!)


"Kurt Busch violated Section 12-1 (Actions detrimental to stock car racing; violation of probation; verbal abuse to a media member) of the 2012 NASCAR Rule Book. Kurt Busch had previously been placed on NASCAR probation May 15 for his actions during the May 12 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event at Darlington Raceway. That probation was originally scheduled to end July 25 but has now been extended through the end of this year."


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- -

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Is There Any Doubt That Kurt Busch Has An Anger Management Issue?

While driving Kyle Busch's No. 54 Monster Energy Toyota during the Nationwide 5-Hour Energy 200 race on Saturday at Dover, Kurt Busch (KuBu) and Justin Allgaier had traded some paint chips.

In the video below, they look like the drivers had had their words, figured out where they stand, and probably moved on...

  NASCAR Hosted Video

But after the above linked bit took place, Busch was quizzed by lingering reporters from other venues, like Sporting News, radio reporters and such.

Bob Pockrass then found himself on the receiving end of Kurt Busch's "Punch mode" and with so many unkind words, could not seem to address a pretty good question, which was how Busch is affected in his driving on-track while being on probation.

And as you can see in the above link, he addresses being on probation because he can't even pick his nose right.  (Well, that's his opinion.)

Instead of addressing the obvious and GOOD question, this is what Pockrass got instead:


Learned Thy Lesson?

Kurt Busch was released from his premium ride at Penske Racing for his out-lash at Jerry Punch last season at Homestead.  And got himself a few rides for this season, and with every chance he had, made it clear that now he can return to the fun of racing.

Yet here Kurt was, evidencing the same "verbal skills" that lost him the ride many coveted.

NASCAR had words with Kurt on Sunday morning, and it's being said that they're considering if they should take any actions for his verbal lashing Saturday.

I'd be...  well, surprised if they don't.  But I've been surprised before like when they allowed Carl Edwards to send Brad Keselowski flying at 180mph with no serious repercussions, so anything is possible.


Regardless of opinions and such, what happens with Kurt and KBM?  I would be hard-pressed to see his brother letting him go.  I mean, the apple does not fall far from the tree, so I would presume he understands, considering his own, parallel past in the sport.

But I wonder what Monster Energy will do?  They have a cool minded rep and probably enjoy this, to some extent.  They were the ones that jumped on board backing his ride after his Punch incident.  So I would again, be surprised if they did anything... this time.

But we have a long season to go and there's plenty of opportunity for Kurt Busch to test his sponsor's patience.

Here's hoping Kurt Busch doesn't come after me for talking about this!


BTW:  Congrats to Joey Logano for the win on Saturday and Todd Bodine, for his win on Friday in the rain shortened Truck series race.  Bodine broke a 37-race win drought with that one.



Saturday, June 2, 2012

Taylor Earnhardt, Dale Earnhardt's Youngest, Got Married Recently

The youngest daughter to Dale Earnhardt Sr., Taylor Earnhardt, got married Saturday, May 26th, 2012, according to Middle Georgia's The Telegraph.

For those who don't know, Taylor is the only child that Dale Sr. and Teresa Earnhardt had together.  What surprised me was the bio that accompanied the press release.

She's a professional rodeo competitor, the director of Equestrian Development for DEI.  I did not realize that DEI had investments in other forms of horse power!  I guess if I cared and looked...

Taylor's husband, Brandon Putnam, is also a rodeo professional and owns a grading and trucking company.  Very cool.

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