It is has now begun…NASCAR 2013! Today is the ever popular Media Day in NASCAR. This is the first chance we get to see and hear all the drivers in one place. I love this day! I am sure by the end of the day the drivers are tired of hearing the same questions from all the media guys. Some guys are better at Media Day than others. I can’t wait to see what Mr. Tony Stewart has to say! I wonder if any of the media guys will ask Danica about Ricky? Who knows what we will see throughout the day?
Sprint Unlimited (aka Bud Shootout)–This year the fans were able to vote for how the Sprint Unlimited would play out. This included segment duration, pit stops, driver elimination and yes, even the driver line-up. The race segment durations are as follows: 1st segment-30 lap, 2nd segment-25 laps and 3rd segment-20 laps. Voting for the pit stop options will close after the green flag drops for the first segment. The choices will be 4 tires, 2 tires, or no stop at all after the end of the first segment. Fans have until the green flag of the segment to vote how many drivers will be eliminated, your choices, 0, 2, 4 or 6. The other interesting part of this is how will the race lineup be determined. This too is fan driven. Only the fans that are attending the race on Saturday will have the luxury of setting the starting grid. This should be interesting! Man sucks to be a crew chief during this race, but hey, that’s why they get paid the big bucks. They will definitely earn some come Saturday night. Here’s a picture of the trophy the winner of the race will receive on Saturday. (Photo courtesy of Mike Bagley’s Twitter feed).
I feel overwhelmed by all the ways I can get my information from Media Day–internet, Facebook, Twitter, ESPN, and NASCAR.com. I have all my electronic equipment on to help me out, iPhone, iPad, computer and yes even my television. I am so glad I am able to keep up with all of this today. The last couple of years I was at work and wasn’t able to get involved as much as I am today. I am hoping to get some fun stuff out of the whole media day coverage so I can share with you fine people out there. Today helps me to get pumped up for the NASCAR season. It’s like back to school day for all of us in NASCAR nation. The disadvantage of watching Media Day in various formats, you get to see the same answers to some of the questions. All in all I enjoyed the day.
I tried to take notes so I could share with those what they missed today. I have to admit I was interested in seeing Kurt Busch. He is now at Furniture Row Racing which is based out of Denver, Colorado. It isn’t a powerhouse team like HMS or Roush, but I think with Kurt driving for them, they might be able to get some wins under their belts this year and perhaps make the Chase. Speaking of Kurt, if you didn’t get a chance to watch “The Kurt Busch Special” you missed an opportunity to get to know Kurt. I have never been a Kurt fan. He is very talented, but I have had some issues with his behavior on and off the racetrack. But I have to admit no matter what he does the media will scrutinize him more than I think other drivers.
The big elephant in the room today was probably the whole Danicky or Stanica or DanRicky romance. This would be Danica Patrick and Ricky Stenhouse for those who have been living in a cave for the past several weeks. Questions were asked and from what I saw they both handled the questions in a professional manner. Of course, I wasn’t too interested in what Ricky got her for Valentine’s Day and vice versa. It is no different from my point of view when two co-workers begin to date one another. Hopefully every time we see them on the track close to one another the broadcasters won’t keep bringing up their relationship. But admit it, we all are curious to see if what would happen if they broke up. What makes matters even fun is they are both going for the “Rookie of the Year” title.
I definitely had to multitask today (doing laundry and enjoying Media Day). At one point in the day I had Sirius NASCAR Radio, NASCAR. com, and ESPN playing all at the same time. Man it is a good thing I am not ADHD or I would have blow some kind of gasket. I wanted to make sure I wasn’t missing anyone I wanted to see or hear. I think I like both Sirius and NASCAR.com’s coverage. It seemed more conversational than the ESPN coverage. All were of course very informing and entertaining. I got a chance to see Tony Stewart not once but twice today. My youngest loves Tony Stewart and he too was enjoying some of media day. Frankly he was building a race track with his Geotrax on the floor during most of it, but when Tony was on he stopped to watch. He is DEFINITELY my son!
Here are a couple of tidbits from today.
- Mark Martin has been in every Sprint Unlimited (formerly Shootout or whatever it has been called over the years) since 1982 with exception of last year.
- Michael Waltrip will run the #23 (instead of #30) for Swan Racing in the Daytona 500 in honor of the 26 victims of Sandy Hook Elementary. All I have to say is very classy.
- It seemed as if Danica Patrick was more relaxed this year then in previous Media Days. I remember watching her during her first Media Day. She seems like an old pro now. This will be her first full season in Cup this year. There will be a definite learning curve, but hey, who hasn’t had to navigate a learning curve during their first year in Cup.
- Talk turned did turn to the new car–Generation 6. I am excited to see this new car. I was not a fan of the COT. I think the racing suffered because of it in my opinion. I think it will improve the racing we have seen over the last few years. But until the drivers can get some real racing in the cars, we can only predict what will happen with this new car.
- Kevin Harvick will be in his final season with Richard Childress Racing. He will move over to Stewart Haas Racing beginning in 2014. It will be interesting to see how his season will be knowing he is considered a lame duck.
- Will the iconic #3 return to the track next year in Cup? I think enough time has elapsed since the passing of Dale Earnhardt Sr. It will be 12 years on February 18. I think the fans will be at peace with the decision if the #3 returns.
That’s about it from me today. If you want more notes and news from today, check out Facebook, Twitter, or NASCAR.com. I am sure you will find what you are looking for with regards to the season.