I hate the fact that I haven’t spent much time on my blog.  For years, I loved writing in this space.  It was a way for me to write about NASCAR and other things that tickled my fancy.  But as with anything over the past 5 years, other things have taken over my life.

When I started this blog back in April 7, 2005 (can’t believe it’s been that long ago), my life was little bit less complicated.  During the past almost 11 years, I adopted 2 boys (they are now 12 & 7), lost both parents (April 2011/December 2011) and been through a transformation of sorts.  Writing became secondary to events that occurred in my life.  For the most part, I am still following NASCAR with the same passion as I always have, but I just haven’t had the time to write about it here in The Park.  Trust me when I say, I have talked about NASCAR with others whether they wanted to hear about it or not.  When you are friends with me, it pretty much comes with the territory.

Before I get into things (and for those new to The Park), I am an opinionated and passionate NASCAR fan.  I don’t always agree with decisions, rules, and policies by NASCAR–and I will voice my opinions.  I am very frank about which drivers like and don’t like.  It doesn’t mean I can’t respect and appreciate their talent.  It’s just I like certain drivers.  It’s nothing personal.  For those who know me, I have never been the biggest fan of Jimmie Johnson.  Do I cheer when he has a bad day?  Yes.  Do I want to see him hurt in a crash? No.  But it doesn’t mean, I cannot appreciate his skill and talent out there on the racetrack.  I have seen him take a piece of crap, dented, damaged, ready for the junk yard car and take it to victory lane.  He isn’t a 6 time NASCAR champion for nothing.  I mean he won the whole kit and caboodle 5 times in a row.   Say what you want, he did something no other driver has ever done.  And I have to admire it.

I was not surprised last year when Jeff Gordon announced his retirement.  At the time of his announcement he was 43 years old (he turned 44 August 4, 2015). He had been racing since 1992.  He really didn’t have anything else to prove to ANYONE. He made 2015 exciting.  I was so excited when he won in Martinsville to punch his ticket to the 2015 Championship round.  I really wanted him to win it all in last year.  I wanted him to go out on top of the NASCAR world.  But it wasn’t meant to be.  He finished 3rd in the final standings for 2015.   We call still enjoy Jeff, but he will be in the booth calling the races for Fox.  I am excited about him being in the booth.  He will add a fresh perspective, in my opinion, the booth has needed for some time.

imagesNow this brings me to Tony Stewart.  Tony Stewart announced 2016 would be his last year. This too didn’t surprise me after the last few years.  It has been at times painful to watch Tony go through everything he has gone through.  After he announced his retirement, I was sad, but yet pumped.  If you are any kind of Tony Stewart, you know when he is on a mission, watch out.  That’s what I kept telling everyone.  Tony was going to be one to watch in 2016.  Unfortunately, before he could even get started, he had another setback.  He injured his back during on an off-season, non-race related accident. I was devastated along with Smoke Nation.  He won’t have a chance to get that elusive Daytona 500 win.  I am hoping he will be back so he can challenge for his last championship.  Either way, I will be excited to see him back racing.

Since Tony will be retiring at the end of 2016, I am a fan in need of a driver.  I have been contemplating this decision since Tony announced his retirement.  I like Kyle Busch.  I have been critical of some of his actions, but as I recall Tony wasn’t always a choir boy.  I am also looking at Chase Elliott.  My youngest told me go with Chase.  I think it has to do with the fact his is also named Chase.  I like Kevin Harvick.  This would keep my fandom with SHR.  I just don’t know.  Some suggested Earnhardt would welcome me, thank you, but no.  Here’s what I am looking for, if you have any suggestions, let me know.

Passionate and loyal NASCAR fan looking for… a driver who isn’t afraid to mix up on the race track.  Must be competitive week and week out.   One who isn’t afraid to speak their mind, no matter what may others think.  Must have a winning attitude and be Tony Stewartesque! Willing to accept a DNF every now and then. If you are that driver, I am your fan!

Well, that’s about it for now.  Here’s looking to an exciting 2016 NASCAR season!



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