Bud Shootout

Congratulations to Kurt Busch for winning the 2011 Bud Shootout. 

This was definitely an exciting, well as exciting as it can be with that few cars on the track.   I wasn’t sure what kind of factor the new racing surface would on the racing tonight.  All I can say that was definitely some fast racing out there on the track.  The average race speed from the first 25 laps was 196.857 mph.   Throughout all the interviews and coverage this week, the surface of the track was all the talk.  Many of drivers as well as commentators were saying it was going to be more like Talladega.  Drivers are just not going to be able to go as wide as they can at Talladega.  All I know, if the racing is this exciting with just 24 cars on the track, what is it going to be like with 43 cars?  I for one can’t wait until next Sunday.

As with restrictor plate racing there were a few incidents on the track.  The biggest one occurred early in the 50 lap segment.  Regan Smith got into Carl Edwards who then turned into Dale Jr.  This incident took out several cars for the evening.  Another crash with Kyle and Mark Martin pretty much ended Kyle’s night.  From what I could tell of the incident, neither one really did anything wrong.  Neither one seemed very upset about the crash.  Mark, as I knew he probably would, apologized for the incident.  He wasn’t sure what happened, but he was having a good time out on the track.  A similar incident occurred between Michael Waltrip and Tony Stewart.  It wasn’t anything, in my opinion, either one did, it was just a racing incident.

The last laps of any race at Daytona gets dicey.  The four cars on the lead pack (Newman, Hamlin, Kurt Busch, and McMurray) were all waiting for the last minute to make their moves for the lead.  It came down to Newman/Hamlin pairing and the Busch/McMurray pairing.  I was holding out hope that Newman would hold his line, but it wasn’t the case.  Out pulled Denny as the four pack headed toward the final turn.  Unfortunately, Denny went below the double yellow line as the checkers began flying.  This is a big no-no at Daytona.  This violation resulted in Kurt being named the winner of the Bud Shootout and Denny finishing 12th.  After the race was over, Denny said he had a choice to make either to crash into Newman or not.  He chose to not hit Newman. I sort of like his explanation since it was just the Bud Shootout.  I guess sometimes you have to make a decision and live with it.  He wasn’t too upset about it.  I mean it was just the Bud Shootout in his opinion.  I wonder if he would feel the same way next week?

I really don’t know what happened to Tony tonight.  He was racing up front during the first part of the race, but during the second segment not as competitive.  I wonder if he received some damage in the dust-up with he and Waltrip.  Either way, he never really got back up front to make a challenge for the win.  Tony paired up with Denny several times during the night, but Denny didn’t seem to be able to keep up with Tony.  That’s alright for Tony.  His teammate, Ryan Newman, finished 3rd tonight.  I for one am happy for Stewart Haas Racing.

Tomorrow is qualifying for the front row for the Daytona 500.  I would love to see a SHR front row with Tony in the P1 spot.  But who knows what kind of qualifying it will be tomorrow.  The rest of the field will be set on Thursday with the Gatorade Duels.  I won’t be able to be home to watch the races, but you can bet I will be listening to the race on NASCAR.com.

The Bud Shootout is just enough of a racing fix to get me through until Friday night when the trucks take the track for the start of the 2011 NASCAR season!

Saturday Night Racing

Congraulations to Kevin Harvick for winning back-to-back Bud Shootouts.  He did pretty good considering he didn’t turn a lap in his car up to the Bud Shoot due to his flu-like symptoms. Tony started 13th and if you watched the Bud Shootout Selction Show, you know that Tony doesn’t like the number 13.  Tony looked great all night and ran pretty much up front most of the night.  Hopefully they were able to get some good data for the Daytona 500 on Sunday.

It was a little strange not to see Jimmy Spencer on Speed’s Race Day.  From what I saw Jimmy Spencer will be hosting his own show on Speed.  Kyle Petty has taken over Jimmy’s spot on Race Day.  I like Kyle Petty as a broadcaster.  I am looking forward to see how he will fit in with John and Kenny.  Of course Kenny has enough energy and excitement to light up a small West Texas town. 

I am looking forward to the Duals on Thursday.  Unfortunately I will be at work, but it won’t keep me from listening.  I will be checking them out on NASCAR.com.  I would love to see Tony win his dual so that he can start near the front on Sunday.  I am hoping for a Tony win on Sunday.  He has won pretty much everything you can at Daytona except the Daytona 500.  From the way he ran in the Bud Shootout, the other drivers better watchout.

2010 Bud Shooout

I caught a little bit of the Media Day festivities today on NASCAR.com.  I know most people think it would be boring to hear the drivers being asked the same questions by the media people, but I find it quite interesting.  This is a great place to see the drivers before the racing gets going.  The lineup has been set for the 2010 Bud Shootout.  Many of the drivers will have to use a backup car and start at the back of the pack due to a crash in the first Bud Shootout practice today.  But without further adieu….

  1. Carl Edwards
  2. Kevin Harvick
  3. Brian Vickers
  4. Ryan Newman
  5. Greg Biffle
  6. Mark Martin
  7. Jeff Burton
  8. Matt Kenseth
  9. Jamie McMurray
  10. John Andretti
  11. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
  12. Bobby Labonte
  13. Tony Stewart
  14. Ken Schrader
  15. Michael Waltrip
  16. Jimmie Johnson
  17. Kyle Busch
  18. Derrike Cope
  19. Kasey Kahne
  20. Juan Pablo Montoya
  21. Joey Lagano
  22. Kurt Busch
  23. Jeff Gordon
  24. Denny Hamlin

Just a few notes from today…I guess NASCAR has baby fever this season.  Both Carl Edwards and Elliott Sadler will become fathers in a few weeks.  Carl and his wife are expecting a little girl, while Elliot and his wife are expecting a little boy.  Congratulations also go out to Jimmie and his wife who will be expecting their first child sometime this summer.  And of course not to be outdone, Jeff announced today at media day that he and Ingrid are expecting their second child this year.  Congrats to all the drivers and their families for their newest additions.

I felt a little bad for Joey Lagano who couldn’t choose his spot in the Bud Shootout due to the fact he is not 21 years of age.  I hope Kevin Harvick gets to feeling better so he can do some racing tomorrow night.  Maybe Kevin should let Gil Martin pick his spot in the shootout every year. 

I did catch Danica’s interview with the NASCAR.com guys today.  I have to say she did a very good job considering this is her first NASCAR media day.  I am a little bit intrigued to see how she will do in the ARCA race and in the Nationwide races this year. 

Well…that’s about it for today.  I am like a cat in nip….it’s NASCAR season baby!!!!

Let’s Go Racin’ Boys!

9194824Did you hear it last night?  You know that sound that start with a low rumbling and turns into the most beautiful sound in the world…a NASCAR engine.  To hear those most famous words in motersports, “Gentlemen state your engines”, to see those 28 cars coming out of Turn 4 racing towards the green flag and DW saying in the background, “Boogity, Boogity, Boogity, let’s go racin’ boys”…I was in my own little heaven last night.

It has been a long off season for us NASCAR fans especially since there was a ban a testing.  Perhaps this is why I have been a little extra cranky since November.  No NASCAR makes Trixie a little cranky, but that’s all over folks, NASCAR season is here!  

If last night’s race is any indication of how the Daytona 500 will be next Sunday, it’s going to be awesome.  I have to say I was very excited to watch the Bud Shootout this year.  For one, this would be the first time any of us would see the #14 out on the track racing with the other boys.  It was a little strange to see “Lagano” beside the #20, but once the race got going I settled in.  Of course it didn’t take long before there was some action on the track.  The first casualties of the night…Lagano and Speed.  Strange how that works out.  All I have to say is…”Welcome to NASCAR!”

I am listening to the scanner on NASCAR.com and chatting, we I look up and see a red car leading the pack.  That’s right…#14 was leading the charge.  The #14 looked might pretty with all those other cars following in behind Tony.  I was pumped.  But as well all know this is Daytona and the lead can change in the blink of an eye.  And this was certainly the case last night.  There was definitely some three wide driving, beating and banging…my kind of NASCAR.  There were are some g

ood saves…Denny Hamlin comes to mind.  There was a loud roar last night in case you didn’t hear it…that was all those Junior fans shouting out at once when Junior took the lead, but it wasn’t meant to be.  During the second segment, Junior crashed and yes…that was me you heard cheering as he drove his mangled car to the pits.  (Note…I am one of those people who really doesn’t like Junior…liked his father, but I have never really cared for Junior..there I said it.) .  

We all know Daytona racing doesn’t get exciting until the last 10-15 laps and last night didn’t disappoint us race fans.  I think we all need to remind Jeff Gordan, you can’t go four wide into a turn at Daytona and expect to come out unscathed.   All I have to say is, too many cars, not enough real estate.  This late crash was going to set up a race to the finish.  And if just like an action pa

cked movie, there was one last twist to the story…a late crash with a few laps left put the Shootout into overtime.  That’s right…it was green white checker time baby.  At to quote, Peyton Manning from those Oreo commercials…”it was on like Donkey Kong”.

harvickfront2

It was crazy.  I truly thought Jamie was going to hold off the pack, but in the blink of an eye, out shot Kevin Harvick.  There was also that red #14 nipping at the heels. It was everything we as race fans wanted…a FANTASTIC finish.  Congratulations to Kevin Harvick for winning the 2009 Bud Shootout! And where was that #14 when all the smoke cleared (no pun intended), that would be third!   

Here are the rest of the results from last night.

  1. Kevin Harvick
  2. Jamie McMurray
  3. Tony Stewart
  4. Jeff Gordon
  5. A.J. Allmendinger
  6. Kasey Kahne
  7. Carl Edwards 
  8. Matt Kenseth
  9. Kurt Busch
  10. Kyle Busch
  11. Brian Vickers
  12. Paul Menard
  13. Denny Hamlin
  14. Jimmie Johnson
  15. Casey Mears
  16. David Stremme
  17. Greg Biffle
  18. Dale Earnhardt, Jr.
  19. Bobby Labonte
  20. David Reutiman
  21. Elliott Sadler
  22. Michael Waltrip
  23. Reed Sorenson
  24. Jeff Burton
  25. Scott Speed
  26. David Ragan
  27. Robby Gordon
  28. Joey Lagano

Last night’s race was a great start to the NASCAR season.  Today is qualifying for the Daytona 500.  I will be watching to see if that #14 will be heading towards that front row.

Bud Shootout Lineup

I didn’t get to watch the Bud Shootout Pole draw show last night on Speed.  I was having dinner with some good friends of mine at Carino’s.  Unfortunately, the only good thing about the evening was good company and the dessert.  But that’s another post…let’s get to the racing.

Congratulations to Paul Menard for getting the pole.  With the Shootout, it’s pretty much the luck of the draw when it comes to getting the pole, but nonetheless, he will be sitting with the best spot on the track come Saturday night.  I truly wish I could be there today to watch practice.  Yea, it’s practice, but it has been a very long off season for this NASCAR.  I am ready to go racing!

In fact, I just purchased two more Stewart shirts and a decal for my car.  And…I will be getting two new Tony cars–OOPS MAKE THAT THREE, including a #14 diecast.  These were my Christmas presents from Postman.  Damn he sure does know how to treat this NASCAR fan!  You rock Postman!

I did get to listen to quite a bit of the media day stuff yesterday on NASCAR.com.   It was difficult for me because I was trying to work and get my NASCAR on at the same time.  For me it’s like trying to chew gum and walk at the same time.  However, I did get to hear Mark Martin and Tony Stewart.  I think everyone better watch our for Mr. Martin.  He is defintely renergized and he will be a force to reckon with during the 2009 season.  And don’t forget he will have that Hendrick power behind him.  As for Tony, he is excited about this year too.  Like Mark Martin I am pumped and very excited about this year.  I think Tony is reenergized and will be in the winner’s circle this year.  Watch out Jimmie!

So…here’s your lineup for the 2009 Budshoot.

  1. Paul Menard
  2. Elliott Sadler
  3. Reed Sorenson
  4. Scott Speed
  5. Denny Hamlin
  6. Tony Stewart (Watch out Boys!!!  Here Kitty Kitty!!!)
  7. Brian Vickers
  8. Bobby Labonte
  9. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
  10. Kyl Busch
  11. Carl Edwards
  12. Kurt Busch
  13. Robby Gordon
  14. Kasey Kahne
  15. Jamie McMurray
  16. David Ragan
  17. Michael Waltrip
  18. A.J. Allmendinger
  19. Joey Logano
  20. David Stremme
  21. Jimmie Johnson
  22. David Reutimann
  23. Jeff Burton
  24. Casey Mears
  25. Matt Kenseth
  26. Greg Biffle
  27. Kevin Harvick
  28. Jeff Gordon

Bud Shootout

Don’t forget to watch the Bud Shootout Selection tonight on Speed.  I will probably have to Tivo the whole thing.  I have made other plans and I don’t know if I will be home in time to watch, but I am pumped.  It’s finally here….NASCAR!!!   I know most people think it really gets started next week wtih Daytona, but for me it starts today.  It has been a long off season and I am ready to go racing.  I don’t have all my new gear yet.  I am still searching my usual sites for things to purchase, but don’t worry, I won’t be without things for very long.

Gettin’ Closer

I can’t believe it…we are thisclose to the Daytona 500.   I am ready to get the 2009 season underway.  I want my NASCAR racing.  Of course, the first NASCAR racing will take place on February 7 with the Bud Shootout.  And I thought it was going to be a “Smoke”-free event, but not any more my fellow Smoke friends.  It was announced today the field has been expanded from 24 to 28 cars.  That’s right…there can be 7 cars from each manufacturer.  So that means Tony will be representing the Chevrolet camp as well in the #14.  Woo Hoo!!!

This isn’t the only change that has occurred during the off season.  The merger between Gillete-Evernham and Petty Enterprises was finalized, but not without some controversy.  I still don’t know what happened with the #19 situation.  First Sadler was in, then out and replaced by Allmendinger and then back in.  Was this all much ado about nothing?  At this point I don’t really care.  Just get everything done so we can move on with other items in the news.  Bobby Labonte left Petty and now is in the Hall of Fame Racing/Yates #96 for the 2009 season.  I am glad Bobby has found him a ride for the season.  I think he has some racing left in him…and after all he is a Texas boy.

We also had the DEI-Ganassi merger as well.  And I read that Max Siegal left DEI to head up NASCAR’s Drive for Diversity program.  I haven’t seen much on the DEI front, but I am sure they are busy working away over there.

Let’s see who else has made changes for the 2009 season.

  • Clint Bowyer is now in the #33 and Casey Mears who came over from HMS to be the driver in #07.  In my opinion, they should have left Clint in his car and put Casey in the new car.  I don’t see Casey as a Jack Daniels driver.
  • Mark Martin is back full time in the #5 vacated by Casey Mears.  Will this be the year he will get that elusive championship?  He will definitely have a pretty good shot over at HMS.
  • Tony Stewart and Ryan Newman will definitely be worth watching this year.  They may struggle a little, but it’s going to be fun to watch.
  • David Stremme is now with Penske driving the #12.
  • Joey Lagano will take over the #20 for JGR.  I just can’t see anyone else in the #20 right now.  It is still a little new to think I will have to look for that #14 red Office Depot car on the track.

I know there have been some more driver/team/sponsor changes, but there are just too many for me to keep up with.  I guess we will all need a program guide to get everyone straight.  

I am a little pumped for this year.  I am hoping Tony will prove to those naysayers out there driver/owners can be competitive and win.  Tony is very passionate and wants to win.  He will prove that he made the right decision by leaving his established life at JGR to venture out on his own.  If his success with Eldora Speedway is any indication, watch out boys!