Alive and Kicking!

That is what is has been of late for me.  I really haven’t had any desire to write.  I don’t know what it is.  It’s not that I don’t have anything to write about, but I just haven’t felt the desire to do it.  There was at one time where I couldn’t wait to post something in The Park.  I would spend hours developing posts and thinking about how to entertain my readers.  Well, now, I just don’t know.

There’s been lots to talk about around NASCAR since I last posted something back in April (yes April…April 18th to be exact).  I believe that is the longest I have gone between posts. 

  • All Star Weekend–I am thrilled that NASCAR now has a Hall of Fame.  I still not had a chance to watch the induction ceremony (have it on DVR).  I have no disagreement with the first class of the Hall of Fame.  I think the 2nd class will be harder to pick.  There are so many drivers who deserve to be in the Hall.  I can’t wait to see who gets in.  The All-Star race was interesting.  I still don’t why Kyle as to be such a toot.  I couldn’t tell that Denny did anything wrong.  I think Kyle just drove his car into hard and well, there was Denny.  I know Kyle wants to win, but sometimes you just can’t win them all.  Patience is virtue and well, it may take a little longer for Kyle to get that word into his vocabulary.  Speaking of JGR cars, what was up with Joey?  His drive towards the front took out most of the field including Tony.  Once again patience is the theme of the night.  Of course, I wasn’t driving towards one million dollars.  As I told Postman, I would run him up into the wall for a cool million.  Next to the race, I love watching the Pit Crew Challenge.  This the time for guys over the wall to shine.  This is their night to shine.  Little Smoke loved watching it as well especially when Tony’s team was on display.  Congratulations to Denny Hamlin’s crew!
  • Lawsuits–Jeremy Mayfield’s case against NASCAR was dismissed as well as the Kentucky track’s lawsuit.
  • Can’t We All Just Get Along–Thank you Jeff Gordon.  I hate to say it, but I was rather excited that you were giving it to Jimmie.  You were racing him hard.  I don’t like Jimmie.  I never have.  I am not saying he can’t drive his race car.   He just isn’t the kind of racer that I like.  I think Jeff wants to win.  He has been right there in several races and it seems like he is just snakebit.  I still would choose Jeff over Jimmie though.  Of course Hendrick doesn’t want his two star drivers at each other, but I still think if it came down to a win for Jeff and the only car in his way was the #48…watch out!  As for the Denny and Kyle feud–I really don’t care.  Let them fight out on the track. 
  • Junior–I don’t know.  I have ideas about why he isn’t performing up to the expectations of his fan base.  There are times I wonder if he truly wants to be a racer.  I see interviews with him and to be honest, it’s depressing.  I have to say I saw him interviewed shortly after the induction ceremony and it was the first time he looked happy to be interviewed.  Other times it seems forced.  One of those things, “well, guess I have to do this interview because it’s part of my job” thing.  I truly thought once he left DEI and drove for HMS he would have more success than he has since coming to HMS.  He is getting the best equipment money can buy.  He has at his disposable the best technology and resources any driver dreams of having, but just because it looks good on paper doesn’t mean it is the best in implementation. 
  • Wing vs Spoiler–I haven’t noticed anything different.  I do know the racing has been better this year than last year.
  • Day ‘o Racing–that’s right folks…Sunday is the annual “Day o’ Racing”.  Indianapolis 500 in the morning/afternoon…Coke 600 in evening.  This equals 1100 hundred miles of some of the best racers going for all the marbles.  Even though I usually just spend the day sitting in front of my tv watching all the racing action, I am celebrating this “Day o’ Racing” with some of my friends this year.  Luckily, they understand when the only thing that will be shown on the television on Sunday is racing.  I have another television of course, but who wants to watch tv on 32 inch, non-HD tv in a cramped bedroom?

Finally, what I have been avoiding to discuss…the #14 team.  Wow what a difference a year makes.  This time last year, Tony was 2nd in the standings heading into Charlotte (Dover was after Charlotte last year) coming off a win at the All-Star race.  Now…he is sitting in 14th place, just two spots outside the Top 12.  There is still quite a bit of racing and we are entering the part of the year Tony traditional starts lighting it up, but if he has more bad luck, I don’t know…we will just have to watch and see what happens.   Happy belated birthday Mr. Stewart!

Have a great and safe Memorial Weekend!  If you see a veteran or a soldier…tell them “THANK YOU”~

Texas

I have been incognito of late.  It has been a rough ride the last couple of weeks, but I am still hangin’ around.

I have been enduring the wrath of Mother Nature again.  What’s up with her?  It has been raining non-stop in Raiderland, well it seems like it has, for the past several days.  I believe I saw Noah in Home Depot the other day purchasing lumber.  I hope not.  Now she has taken her wrath to my beloved Texas Motor Speedway.  I was all set to watch the Nationwide race today and lo and behold…there’s a delay because of weather!  I guess she and the race gods are having some kind of “issue”.  Whatever the “issue” she needs to get over herself and move it on out of Texas.  I may not be at the race, but I don’t appreciate her taking things out on my fellow race fans out there in Ft. Worth!  But luckily TMS does have lights and Eddie Gossage will do everything in his power to get the race underway for everyone.  Go get ’em Eddie!

I was absolutely, positively, undeniably THRILLED that Tony will be starting on the pole Sunday.  Not only will he be on the pole Sunday, he will be making his 400th Cup start on Sunday as well.  I wish I was there watching him take the green flag and leading the pack on Sunday, but alas…I am here in Raiderland.   But I will be watching tomorrow…do you hear that Mother Nature?  There will be racing tomorrow!!!!!

The big news this week in NASCAR is the announcement Kasey Kahne will be ending his time in the #9 at the end of 2010 to head on over to driver for Hendrick Motor Sports.  That’s all we know at the moment.  We don’t know how Kasey will fit into the HMS family, but if history has shown Mr. Hendrick will take care of things for Kasey.  If I was a driver and Mr. Hendrick said, “hey, why don’t you come on over and be a part of our team?”  I would need to have my head checked if I said no.  Mr. Hendrick knows what it takes to build a championship team.  But what the driver and team do with all the resources is another matter.  Some think one team will be moved over to Stewart Haas racing–who is considered to a somewhat satellite team of HMS.  Whatever Mr. Hendrick decides it will be the best for HMS and Kasey.  I am going to be watching this closely.  Will Stewart Haas Racing be playing a role in all of this?  I think so…how?  I am not sure.  It’s still too early…it’s only April and we have quite a bit of racing left in 2010.  I can’t wait and see what happens.

Update…Mother Nature must be REALLY pissed.  Nationwide race postponed until tomorrow.  Looks like a doubleheader tomorrow at TMS.   We will get to see the Cup race first and then the Nationwide race.  That is if Mother Nature gets over her issues with NASCAR!

Hot Atlanta

Congratulations to Kurt Busch for his victory today.

I am proud of the #14 team today. They started out at the back of the pack after changing engines after the last practice yesterday. He, and the #39 team, were experiencing drive train issues so it is better to be safe than sorry. Tony finished 13th. I would have liked better for Tony, but after having a tough day with the car, I will take a 13th finish.  Ryan Newman finished 17th.

Tires seemed to be the issue of the day (outside the whole Carl/Brad incident).  Several drivers, including Ryan Newman and Mark Martin had blown tires.  I can’t remember whose tire they showed, but it was shredded to pieces.  Were some of the teams too aggressive on their setup for yesterday’s race?  Perhaps, but you should be able to depend on one’s tires during a race especially if they were specifically tested at the track. I guess Goodyear needs to go back and do some more testing before the boys return to Atlanta in the fall.

Now for what I am sure will be the talk of all the NASCAR radio shows tomorrow on Sirius as well as everywhere else. Prior to the start of the season NASCAR told the boys to “have it”. There was quite some debate around this topic. How far would the leash be released before NASCAR would pull it back and say that’s enough boys?  Well, today will test this whole idea of “have it boys”.  Early on in the race, Brad K. clipped Carl which sent Carl up the track and into Joey Lagano.  This wreck pretty much ended Carl’s day.  Brad had minimal damage and was able to continue on with his day.  It looked like he was going to have a good finish. However late in the race Carl let Brad K. know how he felt about the earlier incident.  When Carl was interviewed after the first initial incident, he played it off as if it wasn’t a big deal.  Well, I guess it was a bigger deal for him than we all thought. I know this is going to set a firestorm of debate between all NASCAR fans.

The boys are off next weekend so this will give everyone a chance to spend some quality time with friends and family who are feeling neglected because of NASCAR. Heck, be daring and watch some other kind of television on Sunday. Have a great week everyone!

Tony Interview

Last week in Vegas one of my blogger buddies had the wonderful opportunity to interview Tony Stewart.  Man what a thrill that must have been.  I would have been a nervous wreck, but she did a great job and brought back with her a great interview.  Prior to her interview she put out a call for questions that we might want to ask Tony if we were interviewing him.  Wow..this was a hard request for me, but I wanted to give a least one question for her.  I know Tony is a racer who respects the history of his sport and so I thought this is where I want my question to go.  I mentioned this opportunity to Postman and told him what question I submitted and he thought he would be a good question.  So without further ado…my question and Tony’s answer.

Amy: If you could go back in time, what decade would you be a racer in?

Tony: Oh man. I would say….probably the sixties and seventies. It was a pretty cool era in the sport because there wasn’t all the technology involved. It was really about car owners that sat there with a piece of paper and came up and drew ideas. There weren’t the computers to create the ideas for them. Just racing was a lot simpler then. I mean guys would race Indy and run Daytona. To get to race with someone like AJ Foyt and Mario Andretti and guys like that would be pretty cool.

It sounded like he was intrigued by the questions.  Of course as a die-hard Tony fan, he answer did not surprise me.  AJ Foyt is his racing idol.  I would have loved to have seen Tony race against AJ and Mario.  Wow…what a race that would have been.

If you want to see the entire interview, hop on over to Amy’s Bad Groove.

Thanks Amy for a little more insight to our favorite driver and also for using my question.

BK Toys

Update…on Monday I posted about the new Tony cars at Burger King and how I was unable to acquire one.

Wonderful news…I went to get a sausage croissant sandwich this morning and there it was…the Tony cars. And yes, I did purchase one and it now sits in my office for everyone to see. I know it sound a little crazy, but I am sure I am not the only Tony Stewart fan who is scouring the Burger Kings across this country looking for the Tony cars.

BK Kids Meal toys

Have you seen them–the Tony Cars at Burger King???? They are the toys now being featured with their kids meals.

I went to one of our local BKs here in Raiderland and let me tell you I was one upset Tony fan. They did not have any of the cars. All I got with my meal, besides the food, was some stinkin’ Crayola fun book! Now what am I supposed to do with that–have fun? I think not people. I guess it will just go where of kids meal toys go to die–in my son’s toy box. I am going to check another location to see if they are up to speed (no pun intended) with the newest toys. What do these people around here think this Tony fan will do, just sit around and wait? I think not. I have lots of people in other cities who can be on the look out for Tony toys. I will have them!

SHAMELESS PROMOTON PLUG!!!! PLEASE KEEP VOTING FOR MY CAR Viva Las Vegas. Remember you have until March 15 to vote for this round. Thank you for your support!

Daytona

I have to say, I was most definitely surprised how Daytona unfolded.  I didn’t get to watch much of the race due to the fact I was spending some quality time with some wonderful friends and family in New Mexico.  However, I was able to listen in on Channel 128 on my Sirius radio throughout the day. 

As the day started I had high hopes for Tony.  Afater all he came thisclose to winning his dual race and won his third Nationwide race in a row on Saturday.  Tony has won pretty much everything you can at Daytona except for the elusive 500.  But it just wasn’t meant to be this year.  Tony had a rough go of it on Sunday.  I wish had been able to see what had happened to his car and why he ended up 22nd after starting in 6th.  It was also a rough night for the other Stewart Haas Racing team as well.  Ryan Newman finished 34th.  But I have to remember this is race #1.  There’s quite a bit of racing before the Chase begins. 

I was so excited about Jamie McMurray winning his first Daytona 500.  He was essentially let go last season from the #26 over at Roush Racing.  This was due to the fact Roush needed to get to the four race team limit and well Jamie was at the short end of the stick.  Jamie ended up back with his former team at Ganassi-Earhardt to drive the #1.  Was Jamie’s win a surprsie to everyone?  To me no.  The #1 has always run good at restrictor plate races.  Let’s just say it was a pleasant surprise.

Since I didn’t get to post on Monday because I was on the road and didn’t have my computer, I am going to hit the highlights of Speed Weeks.

1. Danica Patrick–she did a pretty good job in both the ARCA and Nationwide races.  She is still learning the ropes with this type of car.  I like the fact that she didn’t come in and say “Here I am” .  I am going to go out in win “x” number of races and compete for the title.  Nope…she understands how hard the car is to drive and she repsects the drivers who are already in the sport.  She is asking questions and taking advice from her crew chief, owner, and fellow drivers.  I can see myself becoming a fan of hers.  What I hope doesn’t happen is that because the media is pulling an all out blitz covering her, that it turns off fans.  I think that is part of the reason I am not a fan of Junior.

2.  Pothole–I hated the fact the 500 was delayed for something such as a pothole, but these things happen.  If you live anywhere where their is cold wet weather, you know what I am talking about.  Crack in the driving surface, it rains, water gets in the crack, temperatures drop below 32 degrees, water freezes, makes crack bigger, 43 cars driving over it at high rates of speed, the track is bound to say enough.  I do applaud NASCAR for trying to get the race in on Sunday.  They were doing everything they could to fix the pothole and get back to racing.  The cool thing about the delay for me was I was able to get back from White Sands, NM in time to see the finish of the 500. 

3.  Green White Checker–I was a little skeptical when NASCAR announced the new rule change.  At first I was thinking WTF, but once I sat down and got off the ledge, I began to understand why they did what they.  I am glad they set a limit on the number of greeh white checkers that can occur.  I think 3 is just right.  I hate having races finish under the yellow flag.  In my opinion, let the boys race for win.

4.  Have at boys–I am loving the fact that NASCAR is allowing the drivers to take care of business on the track.  In my opinion NASCAR was getting too anal about things.  Let these boys race.  If a driver is continously beatin’ and bangin’ and wrecking other drivers, the drivers will take care of it.  Trust me just ask JPM when he tangled with Smoke.

5.  Baby Boom-Congratuatlations to Elliot Sadler and his wife on the birth of their son Wyatt.  I haven’t seen anything on Carl’s little girl arrival yet, but I am sure it will be any day now.

6.  Matt Kenseth–Matt’s crew was fired yesterday.  I found this rather odd.  I would have thought if you were having doubts about the crew chief you would have taken care of that in the off season.  But I am not Jack Roush and I am not championship NASCAR driver.  So I don’t even want to begin to speculate why this was done after the first race of the season.  Talk about a complete 360 though.  This time last Matt and his crew chief were celebrating their first Daytona 500 win.  Sometimes NASCAR can be a humbling sport.  All I know Jack isn’t afraid to fire or make changes, just ask Kurt Busch.

And finally….today, 9 years ago, the sport of NASCAR lost its beacon–Dale Earnhardt Sr.  I still miss seeing the #3 out there on the track.  I did, however, see a little bit of Earnhardt Sr., in the move the his son made in the last laps of the 500 on Sunday.  I am not a fan of Junior, but I have to give him his kudos for that hell of move he made to get to the front of the pack.  We still miss The Intimidator.  Rest in Peace #3.