Posted in What I know.

West, Texas

11713_4373154101624_1682736452_nI am at a loss.  As I watched the events unfolding in West, my heart began to hurt.  I began following Twitter and Facebook for any information on the explosion.  I did not grow up in Waco, but I lived in Waco from 1985-1995 and then again from 1997-1998.  I lived in near the community of Axtell, TX.  This community is about 15 minutes from West.  I remember going to West Fest during Labor Day weekend.  I also remember stopping and getting their famous kolaches on my way on day trips to the DFW area with my mom.  West is a close-knit community.  It is a small Texas town you wish you could live and raise your family in.  The townsfolk are some of the most friendliest people around and some of the most helpful.  This is why my heart is breaking right now for West.  Many of the people I went to high school with and others I know have friends and family affected by this horrific event.  I just don’t know what to do.  I feel so helpless.  My fondest memory of West was shopping for my junior prom dress with my mom.  There was a little shop dress in West called JoAnn’s Bridal.  They were a small shop, but I felt like a princess when I found the dress for my junior prom.  I am not one who likes to go shopping, but this is a memory I will cherish forever thanks to these lovely ladies.  When it came time to look for my wedding dress for my first wedding, I wanted to look for one at JoAnn’s.  Once again the ladies who assisted me were very friendly and patience.  I will never forget these two experiences I had with my mother.  I will cherish them forever.

I know the kind of people who live in West and they will persevere through this horrific.  The outpouring of love and support from not only surrounding communities, but from around the state and nation.  As a Texas I have never been so proud to see the outpouring of love and support from surrounding communities and other Texas cities. If you know us Texans were are a resilient people and West will rise above the darkness and despair and come into the light.  My thoughts and prayers are with those friends and families who have been touched by this horrific event.  God Bless.

Posted in What I know.

And The Winner Is…

After weeks of campaigning and voting, we have a winner for the Pocono 400!  CONGRATULATIONS TO SHAWN MCMILLAN for his winning submission of “Party in the Poconos 400”!  He took the lead in the voting and never looked back!  Thanks for all those who participated in the voting!  And I am sure Shawn is thankful for your votes as well.  But this is just only the beginning, there is another campaign being waged!  You, the fan, can choose what type of pierogi that will be served at The Party!

I will be the first to admit, I have no idea what a piergoi is or even eaten one.  So being the person I am, I consulted my ever faithful friend, the internet.  Thanks to Wikipedia, I now know what a pierogi is.

Pierogis are dumplings of unleavened dough, first boiled, then baked or fried usually in butter with onions, and traditionally stuffed with potato filling, sauerkraut, ground meat, cheese or fruit.  There are of central and eastern European provenance, and are usually semicircular, but are rectangular or triangular in some cuisines.

With that being said, here are your choices you can choose from in the pierogi contest! I have also included a picture of them in case you want to know what they look like.

  • Hot Honey Buffalo Wing–friend then shaken in a honey-hot sauce, served with blue cheese dressing
  • Loaded Potato Skin–fried and topped with cheese and bacon, served with sour cream
  • Sweet Cinnamon Sugar–fried and topped with whipped cream

pierogi

Wow!!  These all sound DELICIOUS!  I personally like the Loaded Potato Skin!  For one thing, it has bacon on it!  I mean BACON!!!  And as well all know, bacon makes EVERYTHING better!  The other two sound yummy too!  Either way, you need to get voting!  And just like with the race name, you get to decide the winner!  Just head on over to Walmart Race Driven 400 Facebook Page and make your voice heard!  Once again, you can vote once a day, every day until May 6!  Right now, Loaded Potato Skin has jumped out in the lead!  So if you like Hot Honey Buffalo Wing or Sweet Cinnamon Sugar, you better get voting!

Want to go to the Party, but lacking the necessary funds?  Don’t worry, you can get a ticket for only $25!  Yep, that’s it!  But you need to hurry, there are only a limited number of these specially priced tickets (courtesy of the folks at Walmart) available.  Tickets can be purchased online at Walmart.com!

 

 

Posted in NASCAR 2013, What I know.

Bristol Baby

Bristol started out great.  I was ready to watch an exciting short track race with the Gen-6 car.  I was anxious to see how it would perform on this type of track.  The top qualifiers had a qualifying speed of under 15 seconds.  But alas, Bristol is always unpredictable.  And for this Tony Stewart fan, Bristol was just a long day of watching other drivers contend for the win.  Tony had a left rear going flat.  He was trying to nurse it around and get to the bottom.  Unfortunately he was not able to do so and BOOM, tire let go and into the wall he went.  All I could think of was that Geico commercial, “Someone help me, I have a flat tttiirrreee!!”

  And that was pretty much it for Tony for the day.  All he could do was log laps around Bristol.  I have to say, that has to be the most boring thing to do for a racer.  He finished 31st.

I have to say there was some good racing going on at Bristol.  As mentioned in my previous post about Bristol, Kyle Busch is a monster when it comes to this track.  Sunday was no different.  When he received a speeding penalty during his pit stop under the 2nd caution of the day, he started 32nd.  For most drivers, they would spend most of the day mired in the pack.  However, this is Kyle Busch.  He managed to move his way up through the field and to make a long story short, he finished 2nd.  I am telling you, if you have to place a bet with some of your hard-earned money, I would put it on Kyle at Bristol.  I think I would also like to put my money on Kasey Kahne as well.  He ran up front all day long. Speaking of Kasey, he has been moving up the power rankings of late. He finished with a 36th place finish at Daytona and then a 19th place finish at Phoenix. Last week he finished 2nd at Vegas and this week, he finished 1st.  Congratulations to Kasey!

Now back to Tony…

It has been a rough start for Tony this 2013.  He is in 24th spot, 85 points behind points leader Brad Keselowski.  He has had only one top 10 finish and that was at Phoenix.  This is the 2nd race of season where he was out of it early.  Daytona was just a disaster and he finished 41st.  Vegas was a struggle all day for him and he did finish 11th.  And now his latest race…a 31st place finish.  I am not worried though.  Tony has a history of starting off slow, catching fire in the summer and finishing strong.  I mean just take a look at his 2011 campaign.  He had not won a race in the first 26 races and was on the verge of not making the Chase.  And well, we all know he caught fire and scorched the Chase to win his 3rd championship.  So for now, I am not on the ledge or drinking the crazy kool-aid.  Maybe his luck will turn around this week at Auto Club.  He is the defending race champion.

Speaking of Auto Club Speedway, you can purchase a Walmart Family Track Pack for only $99!  You can purchase the pack online via Walmart.com.  If you are headed out to Auto Club this weekend, you might want to checkout some of the Walmart stores in the area.  You can experience Race Time at Walmart which brings NASCAR to life for race fans.  You can see real show cars, experience racing simulations, sample products, and perhaps meet some NASCAR drivers.  There are several WalMarts hosting this experience this weekend in and around Auto Club.  I am not familiar with the area, but here is what I found out for you guys–enjoy!

  1. 3/21/13     10:00-4:00 @ Walmart on 4001 Hallmark Pkwy, San Bernardino CA
  2. 3/21/13     11:30-5:30 @ Walmart on 2050 W Redlands Blvd, Redlands CA
  3. 3/22/13     10:00-4:00 @ Walmart on 3943 Grand Ave, Chino CA
  4. 3/22/13     11:30-5:30 @ Walmart on 17251 Foothill Blvd, Fontana CA
  5. 3/23/13      8:00-2:00 @ Walmart on 1610 S Riverside Ave, Rialto CA
  6. 3/23/13      9:30-3:30 @ Walmart on 12549 Foothill Blvd, Rancho Cucamonga CA

Some final thoughts both NASCAR-related and Non-NASCAR-related…

  • Joey vs Denny–The feud between these two has escalated again after Bristol.  Denny took issue with Joey cutting him off on the race track.  And well, Denny clipped him and spun him out.  From this fan’s point of view, I thought it was just a racing deal.  From what I could remember (I have slept since Sunday), Joey just got out of the groove and ended up in front of Denny.  That’s it.  After the race, Joey went to confront Denny about the incident and well, pushing and shoving ensued with the crews.  As always the media was RIGHT there to capture the events.  I did like one of Denny’s quotes after being asked what Joey said to him in the car window, “He (Joey) said he was coming for me.  I usually don’t see him, so it’s usually not a factor”.  I chuckled a bit on this statement.  With that being said, I am not a fan of Denny Hamlin.  Never have been.  I think he lets the distractions get to the best of him.  A couple of years ago, he had the car to beat in the championship and well, I think all the distractions that come with it, got the better of him and he lost the championship to Jimmie. He can drive the car, don’t get me wrong, I just think he is not the kind of driver I can get behind.  I am anxious to see if Joey will get back at Denny later on in the season.  If it were me, I would wait and then strike!  I’m just sayin’!
  • Commercials–There have been a couple of commercials this year that have made me chuckle.  I like the one where some of the drivers are campaigning for themselves to put them on your fantasy team.  My favorite in this commercial, Kyle Busch.  Just too funny!  Also the Coca Cola road trip commercial with Tony Stewart.  Best part:  Joey giving directions to Tony!  And at the very end, you here that typically statement on a long road trip, “Are We There Yet?” uttered by Greg Biffle (I think).    Don’t get me wrong I have always like the commercials from Budweiser, but the I am played out with the one where the guy raises the horse and then sees him years later pulling the Budweiser wagon.  I swear, they show this commercial on every single commercial break!  Fox–I would prefer more racing than commercials.  I know you have to pay the bills and all that, but sometimes I feel like I get ten laps of racing and ten minutes of commercials.
  • Duck Dynasty–if you haven’t heard of this show or let alone seen it, you have been just living in a cave in my opinion.  This has got to be the funniest show on television at the moment.  These guys take redneck living to a whole new level!  I mean you might be a redneck if you use an old camping trailer to build a new duck blind!
  • Bon Jovi–I was lucky enough to attend the Bon Jovi concert here in Raiderland.  I have been a fan of them since I could remember.  They put on an AWESOME concert!  And I have to admit this was only the 2nd rock concert I have attended.  I am more of country concert person.  Rock concerts are definitely different than your country ones with the exception of Garth Brooks.  He is able to combine both the aspects of a rock concert and a country concert into one.
  • Karate Kid–I love this movie.  I saw it in a movie theatre back in the day with my junior high Spanish club.  I have been a fan of Ralph Macchio ever since.  Pat Morita as Mr. Miyagi ROCKS!  But come on CMT, how many times a week do you need to show this movie?  My hubby told me I didn’t have to stop and watch, but…how can you not?  Oh well, as long as you continue to show the movie, I will be there watching!  Wax On, Wax Off!!

Don’t forget…voting is still open through April 8 for you to choose the name of the Pocono 500.  You can head on over at walmarturl.com/FanDriven to cast your vote.  You can only vote once day, every day until April 8.  Looks like “Party in the Poconos 400” has taken the early lead, followed by “Race More. Live Better 400” and “Pocono for the People 400”.  Better hurry, not much time to cast your vote!

Posted in NASCAR 2012, What I know.

Bristol, Chad, Sirius, Peyton and Payton

There has been quite some debate on whether the racing has change since the reconfiguration of Bristol Motor Speedway.  I have to say it, I really like the old way of racing at Bristol.  I am not a fan of crashing out another driver.  I do like the beatin’ and bangin’, door to door kind of racing.  I like the bump and run unless bumper takes out the bumpee.  I don’t mind the bumper moving the driver up the track to get around him.  But I don’t want to see the other driver put into the wall.  I like the drama the old racing at Bristol brought.   I guess that is what I liked about the old style racing.  Bristol was always high on my bucket list of tracks I want to see a NASCAR race.  It was probably at number three behind Daytona and Talladega.  But for the last couple of years, Bristol has moved down on the list.  The drama that we know as Bristol is not as dramatic as in previous. I don’t know if it is a combination of the new configuration and the new car design.  Who knows, but I do not look forward to Bristol as I used to.

The type of racing at Bristol wasn’t the only topic coming out of Bristol.  If you saw the race on Sunday, you noticed there were several empty seats.  I remember when Bristol was the hottest ticket around.  You couldn’t just walk up to the ticket office the day of the race and purchase tickets for the Cup race.  They had sell outs and if there were empty seats you couldn’t tell.  But on Sunday you could tell there fewer butts in the seats.  Part of that may be due to the type of racing.  I am sure the economy has something to do with as well.  Not matter what the case it was strange to see that many empty seats at Bristol.  This fact did not go unnoticed by Bruton Smith.  He is going to look into putting Bristol back the way it was before they change things back in 2007.  According to article on ESPN.com, Bruton did not give permission for the progressive banking that is currently at Bristol.  Apparently the engineer gave the go ahead for the progressive banking without mentioning it to Bruton.  however all this took place, I want the old style of racing back.

The penalties handed down by NASCAR was overturned by the chief appellate officer John Middlebrook on Tuesday.  The only remnants of the punishment was the fine that was levied against Chad Knaus.  No suspensions and not points were lost.  Since the 25 points were given back to Jimmie he has moved up to 11th in points.   Should the penalties be upheld?  I don’t know any more. Mr. Hendrick must have felt his appeal would be heard and the penalties would be overturned.  I am sure Mr. Middlebrook listened to all the evidence presented at the hearing on Tuesday.  I am also sure Mr. Middlebrook did not come to his decision lightly.  However, I just wonder what he saw differently than the three panel committee that upheld NASCAR penalties?  I can’t even begin to stand in the shoes of Mr. Middlebrook.  I do not think I would want to be in his position either.  Whatever he saw on Tuesday to overturn things (with the exception of the fine), there are those of us in NASCAR Nation that find this all suspect.  Perhaps NASCAR may look at how the appeals process is designed.  Who knows?  All we can do is accept how things have been handed down and move on.

Thank you, thank you, and thank you for streaming Sirius NASCAR radio!!!  I hated the fact that I could not listen to my NASCAR radio while at work.  I do have a radio where I could take my unit from my car and put in the radio at work.  But due to the fact you must have your receiver pointed a certain direction, there was no way to list at work.  So I was thrilled beyond belief when it was announced yesterday that NASCAR radio would be streaming online beginning today!

Non-NASCAR news…In case you have been living under a rock, Manning Watch 2012 is over.  Peyton Manning signed with the Denver Broncos this week for a cool $96 million over 5 years.  I am sad that Indianapolis could not find a way to keep Peyton.  But I am absolutely thrilled in is playing for a team I have been a fan of for a while.  So long Tebow….welcome to New York.  Since Peyton is now in Denver, Tebow was traded to the Jets.  Not a fan of Tebow.  He seems like a man with a good head on his shoulders, but as an NFL Quarterback, not so much.

From one Peyton to another…Sean Payton was suspended for a year without pay for the whole Bounty Gate brouhaha down in New Orleans.  NFL laid the hammer down this week.  Yes, other teams probably had some kind of bounty system.  But unfortunately you got your hand caught in the cookie jar after being told by the NFL to stop doing it and then lying about it.  When you get caught doing something wrong after being told not to do it and then lie about, don’t get whiney about things when you get the hammer thrown at you.  Case in point…SMU.  You broke the rules, you get punished, you continue to break the rules while on probation, and when you get the death penalty you shouldn’t be surprised.  It’s what I always stress to my children, if you get caught doing something wrong, TELL THE TRUTH!  Do not try to lie about things.  Yes, you may get punished, but the punishment may be more severe if you lie about it all.  There will be more fallout from all of this.  If Commissioner Goodell was trying to send a message to the teams, I hope they got the message.

Well…the boys are headed to California this weekend.  I am not excited about this weekend’s race.  It is not one of my favorite tracks, but that isn’t going to keep me from watching.  Go Tony!

Posted in What I know.

Racing Memories

I love the sport of racing. I have been watching all kinds of racing since I could remember. I think it all started with my dad. He had a good friend of his that raced at the local dirt track in Amarillo. My father would help him out on the weekends on his pit crew. As a result I spent many a Saturday night during the spring and summer at the dirt track.  My parents pretty much let me have fun at the track.  I remember hanging out with my buddies behind the bleachers just being kids.  I also remember sitting in the stands watching my dad’s friend, Bobby Gray, drive his modified around the dirt track.  I still can hear the track announcer, telling everyone how great the cheeseburgers were down in the concession stand.  He would also say, “All you race fans need to go get a cheeseburger, cheeseburger!”  And man…they were good. The memories of those days are so vivid.  There was the souvenir stand where you could buy a button with your favorite driver on it.  I proudly wore my #77 Bobby Gray button.  If you have ever been to a dirt track, you know you don’t leave the track without some of that dirt on you especially if the track was a little muddy.  The best part I think about it all was the racing.  These are guys who had other careers during the week, but on Saturday night, they were stars.  Just like now, I had my favorite driver and the driver I loved to hate.  After the races were over, we could go down in the pit area to see all the cars and drivers.  It was one of the best times in my life.  Here is a picture of my favorite driver (circa 1980).  Unfortunately my dad, Claude Crews, and his friend are not longer with us.  My dad is the man with the brown shirt over the white t-shirt behind Bobby.

That’s why today brought  back so many fond memories of that time.  I was headed to one of our local Walmarts and what do I see in the parking lot…race cars!  I think I was more excited to see them in the parking lot then my two boys.  Of course we had to stop and take a gander at our local racers.  They looked different from the ones my father worked on and saw race at the dirt track so long ago, but the feelings were the same.  These are guys who love to race and it showed.  My oldest son had a ball just going around taking pictures of the cars.  My youngest who loves cars was a little shy, but once he got to sit in the car, it was all over with it.

Every Sunday we all watch the big boys race, but the passion and pure love of racing can be seen in these local drivers.  If you can’t get to a NASCAR event, support your local tracks.  I can guarantee that you will see some great racing action!

Posted in What I know.

Hello again

It has been an interesting three weeks for me.  I have made so many visits to the doctors offices, I just didn’t have the energy to write here in the Park.  I figured once I turned 40 last year it was time to get things checked out.  And boy did I.  I saw several doctors and had various tests run.  I have to say all have turned out negative.  The one I was worried about the most (the stress test and echocardigram) turned out good.  I have two more and I am done for the year, I hope.  And just when I thought I was done with the medical community, I end up with a nasty respiratory infection which resulted in the loss of my voice.  I know those around me have been teasing me about this fact.  For me, it has been frustrating since my job requires me to talk with people.  But I do have some really good medication and on the way to recovery. 

I have been watching NASCAR.  I just haven’t felt the desire to write about it.  I can’t explain why.  I am working on a little project related to NASCAR.  I am keeping it close to the vest right now.  It’s something I have wanted to research for awhile and am hoping to parlay into something.  So for now, I am quietly doing my research and putting things into place.  Hopefully it comes out the way I want it to. 

I have to say I was thrilled to see Kevin make a last lap pass on Jimmie last week at California.  That is what I like to see in NASCAR.  Makes it all worth watching the race.  I did kind of find it a little funny that Kevin had a big “JJ” on his hood.  I also have to give Kevin props too.  I have seen Kevin move people out of the way to get the win.  Prior to California, the boys were at Bristol.  I do not find racing at Bristol as exciting as I use to.  I guess I liked the beatin’ and bangin’ and movin’ people out of the way.  I guess I am just odd in my way of thinking.  I tend to like Martinsville more now than before.  Of course I do like short track racing over the mile and halfs. 

Next week, the boys travel to my home state of Texas.  Wish I was headed out that way next weekend, but with our family getting ready to move to another house and other expenses, it is not going to be possible.  I am crossing my fingers and saving the green to possibly make the trip in November.  In the mean time, I will be watching the racing next weekend.  For those who have never been to a night race at TMS…I love it.  The trucks race at night and they always have great racing action at those events.  I am hoping it is the same way next Saturday!

Other non-NASCAR notes…baseball season has begun!  The Texas Rangers are the defending American League champions!!!