Posted in NASCAR 2013

Daytona and Other Musings

Beginning on Valentine’s Day with Media Day through yesterday’s Daytona 500, I can say it has been an interesting Speedweeks 2013.  I wasn’t sure what to expect.  This was probably the first time in a long time I followed everything that was NASCAR during Speedweeks.  I found craving anything NASCAR.  I came across several NASCAR events over on ESPN Classic.  I loved watching previous Daytona 500s.  It was fun to see the cars, the drivers, and yes, the racing.  Coverage of the sport has come so far since some of those 500s.  despite what Daytona 500 I was watching, they all ended the same way, the winner experiencing the biggest joy of their racing career.  It was awesome to see!

I had waited all winter to see the Daytona 500.  I had settled in with my snacks and media setup.  After some delays with NASCAR.com, I was able to get my Raceview set up.  This was going to be a historic Daytona 500.  A week ago Sunday, Danica Patrick because the first women to win the pole at Daytona. This was the first points race of the season with the new Gen 6 car.  it was just going to be one of those days.  I was hoping Tony Stewart would get his first Daytona 500 victory.  The day before he had won the Nationwide race tying Dale Earnhardt Sr with 7 wins in Nationwide races at Daytona.  It was a very subdued celebration for Tony due to the chaos of the crash.  I am still processing all that happened on Saturday.  Much has been said about the crash that occurred on Saturday.  I just remember seeing Kyle Larson’s car and wondering where the front part of his car was.  Then we all knew.  His engine and one of the front tires was in the catch fence.  His other front tire and what seemed to be part of the axle (I think that is what was still attached) landed several rows into the grandstands.  Even though parts of debris landed in the stands, the catch fence did it’s job.  It kept Kyle’s car from entering the grandstands.  It was just so surreal.

I was hoping for more of the same from Tony Stewart on Sunday.  The Daytona 500 has been so elusive for Mr. Stewart.  For some reason he has the car to beat on Saturday, but he seems to be snake bit on Sunday.  The race started out great.  It seemed everyone was minding their Ps and Qs.  But around lap 35 that all changed. From what I could tell from the replays, Kyle Busch got into the back of Kasey Kahne.  Kasey ended up spinning in front of the field.  It looked like Tony was going to make it through, but next thing I know Kevin Harvick gets into Tony.  Another Daytona 500 gone!  Let’s just say this was NOT A HAPPY TONY STEWART FAN!  I don’t normally throw electronic equipment, but in the air my iPad went.  I had to restrain from saying some very choice adult words due to my children in the room.  But none the less Tony’s day was done more or less.  I have to give major props to his crew for getting him back out on the track to get those precious points.  As we all know, EVERY SINGLE POINT counts in Cup.  What was even cooler, was Tony was helping his crew out on the repairs.  (Photo courtesy of Stewart-Haas Racing Twitter Account)

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Even though Tony was knocked out early in the 500, his Stewart Haas Racing teammates had a much better day.  Ryan Newman finished 5th and Danica finished 8th.  All in all the SHR team had a good Speedweeks.  Thanks to Newman’s finish in the top 5, everyone can get a Bloomin’ Onion at Outback!  Of course once race does not make a season.  There are still 35 races left in the season.

I can’t even describe what I felt on Saturday while watching the Nationwide race.  On one hand I was excited for Tony’s victory and on the other I was concerned with the drivers and the fans.  When I first saw the crash happen I didn’t know Kyle Larson’s car had ended up into the catch fence.  All I saw was half of his car and wondering where the rest of the car ended up.  I had never seen anything like that before.  Then we all knew.  The rest of his car ended up in the stands as well as the catch fence.  Tony Stewart is a class act.  I know as much as he wanted to celebrate his victory and revel in tying Dale Earnhardt Sr, he was more concerned about the fans in the grandstands.  I also have to give major props to ESPN in staying with the story despite the fact they were bumping up against the North Carolina and North Carolina State basketball game.  But the biggest props goes to SPEED television and their crew.  They did an excellent job in reporting this fluid story.  NASCAR does everything in its power to protect everyone at the track from fans, to crew members, and to drivers.  Even with all the safety devices and procedures in place, NASCAR is still a dangerous sport.  Drivers know this.  The catch fence did its major job, preventing a race car going at close to 200 mph from entering the grandstands.  Yes, parts of the car did end up in the stands, but this could have been so much worse.  The engine and one of the tires remained in the catch fence.  Thoughts and prayers are with those fans who were injured.  I am hoping for a speedy recovery for them.

Here are some other tidbits from Daytona.

  • Danica Patrick was the belle of the ball in Daytona. Yes, she receives quite a bit of media attention.  But look at what she accomplished during this Speedweeks:  winning the pole for the 500, lead a lap during the 500, raced in the lead pack most of the day, and briefly had a shot to win.  She finished 8th in the 500.  That is the best finish int he 500 since Janet Guthrie in 1980.  She finished 11th.
  • Congrats to J.J. Yeley for his top ten finish yesterday.  This means Kids Eat Free at Golden Corral today!  With two kids I was going to take advantage of it today, but with blizzard conditions out here in Raiderland, looks like grilled cheese sandwiches tonight.
  • Little Keelan Harvick is such a cutie!  He was Daddy’s little good luck charm for the Spring Unlimited & the Dual race.  Unfortunately that was it for little Keelan.  Daddy was collected in the early crash that took at Tony.  Even though Kevin didn’t make history, I think he will be a force this season.
  • Not a fan of Rusty Wallace.  While watching the pre-race show for the Nationwide race, he stated he didn’t understand why Dale Jr. was racing in the Nationwide race.  Wasn’t the goal for Junior to win a Cup championship and shouldn’t that be his focus?  Rusty also asked was is it his duty to help build the Nationwide Series or win the championship.  He just didn’t understand why he was doing all this stuff.  Seriously?  Why is he calling out just Junior?  Why not call out Tony Stewart?  I mean Tony was racing in Nationwide on Saturday.  He also own a Cup team.  He also has Tony Stewart Racing and Eldora Raceway.  Plus he races at other tracks when he is not racing in Cup.  Seriously Rusty…ugh!
  • To borrow from a Mac Davis song (Happiness is Lubbock, Texas)…hey Carl, what is the best view of Daytona?  In your rearview mirror.  Man Daytona wasn’t kind to Carl.  He was involved in 5 crashes (4 during Speedweeks and one during testing in January).

And finally the “Fan Driven 400” at Pocono Speedway!  Today is the deadline for submitting idea for the name of the June 9, 2013 race at Pocono.  You can submit your idea at walmarturl.com/FanDriven.  Three submissions will be chosen and fans can vote from March 11 to April 8.  additional information about other ways to be involved in the “Fan Driven 400” check out my post at https://trixiestrailerpark.wordpress.com/2013/02/17/fan-driven-400/.  Good luck! 

Posted in NASCAR 2013

Danica Patrick

I was going to rehash all the stories I had read on the internet and watched on tv the last couple of days. Honestly I kept deleting everything I had written. Even with this post, I am having a hard time writing about the story. But on the eve of the Budweiser Duels, here goes, my take on this historical even in sports history.

I have heard so much talk about Danica since she decided to come over to NASCAR from Indy Car.  There has already been quite a lot of hoopla surrounding her arrival both good and bad.  But you cannot argue with the historical significance of what she accomplished on Sunday.  Title IX has been law since 1972.  I was only two years old when this went into effect.  Growing up I lived next door to three boys.  Of the three, two were very rambunctious and into sports.  We all played football, basketball, and baseball together.  It didn’t matter that I was a girl to them (well, at least until I hit puberty).  I was good at all the sports. I held my own with this boys.  And to blunt, I could throw a football better than most of the boys on the block.  However, I was somewhat limited to the sports I could participate in at school.  It wasn’t because I was a girl, it was because my school didn’t have many offerings for girls.  In junior high, it was basketball and track.  In high school it was the same thing.  But either way I was given the opportunity to play sports.  I did play soccer and softball through other sports programs offered.

As a young girl growing up in the 1980s I didn’t have many female sports figures I could follow or point to for inspiration.  All the ones I grew up knowing and following were men.  The only time I can remember watching women participate sports was on Wide World of Sports, Wimbledon, or the Olympics.  I believe the only women’s basketball I ever saw was when the NCAA tournament rolled around in March.  That was it.  I knew there were women who were participating in sports, but there wasn’t they didn’t receive the exposure they do today.

As a young girl, I went to the local dirt track on Saturday nights with my father.  I so wanted to be a race car driver.  I wanted to get out there on that dirt track and race with those guys.   There were no women I knew of at the time that raced.  But as I know now that wasn’t true.  Women have been a part of NASCAR since it’s inception from Sara Christian (first female driver in NASCAR) to Louise Smith to Janet Guthrie (she also competed in Indy Series) to Shawna Robinson and now Danica Patrick.  Each of these women and the many others who have been part of NASCAR have laid the groundwork for Danica.  And whether you like it or not, she is laying the groundwork for the next generation of female racers who want to race in NASCAR.

Of all the side stories that came out of qualifying this past Sunday the one I enjoyed the most was about Ella Gordon, daughter of Jeff Gordon.  I found the story on USA Today written by Jeff Gluck http://www.usatoday.com/story/gameon/2013/02/17/danica-patrick-daytona-500-pole-jeff-gordon/1926541/).  Danica took a picture with 5-year old Ella Gordon after winning the pole on Sunday.  According to her father, Ella didn’t realize girls could grow up to be race car drivers until Patrick came along.  Now Ella can grow up knowing women do race in NASCAR thanks to Danica.  Who knows 20 years from now we may Miss Ella Gordon and other young ladies competing in NASCAR.

And folks that is the significance of this accomplishment.

Don’t forget…

  • Fan Driven 400–Don’t forget you can become part of NASCAR history too!  You can submit your idea for naming the June 9, 2013 race at Pocono.  You have until Monday, February 25 to get your idea submitted online at walmarurl.com/FanDriven.  For more additional information about how you can participate your participate in the “Fan Driven 400” go to https://trixiestrailerpark.wordpress.com/2013/02/17/fan-driven-400/
  • Budweiser Duels are on tomorrow, February 21!  This is the first time in awhile I be home to watch them.  Several drivers are already “in” the 500 due to speeds set on Sunday.  These include Danica Patrick, Jeff Gordon, Trevor Bayne, Ryan Newman, Tony Stewart, Kasey Kahne, Brad Keselowski, Clint Bowyer, Jimmie Johnson, Greg Biffle, Denny Hamlin, Ricky Stenhouse, and Kurt Busch.
  • All the points racing action begins Friday with the Camping World Trucks Series, then Saturday with the Nationwide Series, and finally the Daytona 500!  It has definitely been a very long off-season!
Posted in NASCAR 2013

Media Day 2013

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 trophy 2013Sprint 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). IMG_1622 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.

Posted in NASCAR 2013

NASCAR 2013

It has been awhile since I have posted.  It’s been crazy the last several months, but I am hoping things have settled down enough for me to get back in the groove of my blog.

I am excited about the 2013 season.  We are still about 24 days away from the start of the Daytona 500, but there has been quite a bit of goings on during the off-season.  I think the biggest is the new Generation 6 car.  Teams tested these cars early in January.  I was able to catch a couple of hours of the testing sessions and I have to say I really like the look of the cars.  They are better looking than the COT.  But the big question remains, how will the new car affect the racing?  Will we see more exciting racing than we have had over the last couple of years.  Don’t get me wrong, there has been some exciting racing, but at times, I have been able to get a decent afternoon nap during some of the races.  But until there is a few races under the drivers’ belts, we cannot judge whether the racing is better or worse.  That will be the big topic for the rest of the season I believe.

I am interested to see how Danica Patrick will do this season.  She will be entering her first full season in the Cup series.  There will be a learning curve that is for sure.  She was part-time in the Cup series last year.  She struggled during the races she participated, but I think she learned quite a bit during those races.  I am sure there isn’t a driver out there on the circuit that didn’t have a learning curve.  This season however will be tough.  She will have to race in all 36 races.  I am curious to know how she will do.  And that note, she is dating Ricky Stenhouse her rival for Rookie of the Year honors.  I really don’t care who is dating who.  People date other people in the workplace, what makes this any different?  I just hope the media doesn’t make a bigger deal out of this than it should be.

Predictions?  I really don’t have any.  As from years past, one cannot predicate who will win the championship.  It’s all about getting into the Chase and making the most of the opportunity–just ask the last two champions, Brad Keselowski and Tony Stewart.  Will Clint Bowyer suffer the “2nd Place” Jinx?  In 2010, Denny Hamlin finished 2nd to Jimmie Johnson.  The following year there were high hopes for Denny Hamlin to take the championship, but he struggled during the year and finished 9th in points.  Carl Edwards finished in 2nd to Tony Stewart in 2011.  He ended in a tie with Tony and due to tie-breaking rules, he lost the championship.  Carl struggled in 2012 and finished 15th and out of the Chase.  Will Clint Bowyer suffer the same fate after finishing 2nd to Brad K. in 2012?

I am pumped about the trucks coming to Eldora in July.  I love to watch dirt track racing.  If you have followed this site regularly you know my father took me to watch the races at the local dirt track in Amarillo.  It is was here I developed my love of racing.  This is going to be such an exciting race.  I have always stated the Truck series is some of the most exciting racing on the circuit.  I think it is because the races aren’t as long as the Nationwide and Cup series races.  So basically the drivers have to be up on the wheel when the green flag drops.  So who knows what kind of racing we will get on dirt…either way it will be exciting!

As I do every year I post my NASCAR warning.  This was originally a post I did some several years to warn others around me about how I will be the next 9 months (February-November).  It has somewhat become a ritual for me.  When I worked I would have the sign hanging in my office as a warning to my co-workers.  So here it is…if you are a NASCAR junkie like me, feel free to share it with others.  This way they will know what the next 9 months will be like.

Attention to all of my family, friends, co-workers, and complete strangers, NASCAR season is upon us.  I will NOT be available for family functions, outings, or get-togethers on Sundays.  If there is an event on said Sunday, you will have to understand they must be held prior to the start of the race or after the race.  If you must schedule things during the race be aware I may not attend your function or request that I have access to a television set.  This also applies to races that are held occasionally on Saturday nights.  If you wish to spend time with me, you must understand the topic of conversation will be predominately about the upcoming race, the previous Sunday’s race, Tony Stewart, or anything in general about NASCAR.  This is the time of the year all projects are put aside unless they involve a NASCAR related event.  Please don’t be offended if I ignore you on Sundays or the occasional Saturday…it’s nothing personal…IT’S NASCAR!!!

Posted in NASCAR 2012

Daytona 500-The Final Report

This was the weirdest Daytona 500 I have ever seen.  It was filled with a lot of firsts in the 54 year history of the race.

First of all the race that was scheduled to start on Sunday at 12:00, was delayed by rain and postponed until Monday.  This would be the first time in the history of the 500 it would be postponed due to rain.  Monday brought even a further delay for the race.  Instead of starting it at the 12:00 (EST) as announced on Sunday, NASCAR moved the start time to 7:00 pm (EST).  I have to give some props to NASCAR for moving the race time to an evening start time.  This would give track officials to get the track ready and to keep fans from having to sit for hours in the stands waiting for the race to start.  This would mean the 500 would be run in prime time under  the lights–a first for the 500.

But the delay was just the beginning…lap 2…Elliott turns Jimmie Johnson and well, the melee ensued.  Lap 2 people…this is a 200 lap race.  This wreck dashed the hopes of Trevor Bayne to be a repeat winner.  There has been a repeat winner in 10 years.  This crash also ruined the debut of Danica Patrick.  She became the third women in NASCAR history to start the Daytona 500.  Janet Guthrie was the first when she started back in 1977 and then again in 1980.  Followed by Shawna Robinson in 2002.  Jimmie took quite a hit during this crash.  It was interesting to see how Jimmie prepared himself for impact.  I always assumed the drivers put themselves in crash position, but how they did it was a mysterious.  I am still on the fence about seeing what drivers go through during their crashes.

After another early caution the drivers seemed to settle into the race.  Unlike the last couple of years, the drivers did not pair up in the two-car tango.  I wasn’t a big fan of the two-car tandem because it took away some of the fun that I enjoyed about the race.  I loved to see who was going to pair up with who during the race.  I liked the pack racing.  It made for some exciting racing.  It kept you on the edge of your set.  Pack racing does have a higher chance of big crashes, but I think it allows the drivers to be in control of their fate.  I think last night was a little bit of a hybrid–not quite two car tandem and full pack racing.  There were times when two drivers would hook up in the pack to make their way to the front.  Either way it was fun to watch.

Just when you thought this was going to be a normal race (well…after all the delays), you were wrong.  After coming back from commercial after David Stremme brought out the caution, I see a Juan Pablo’s wrecked car in the infield and Juan climbing out of his destroyed car.  Juan Pablo was coming around to catch up with the rest of the pack after his pitstop.  After something apparently broke on his car, he slammed into a safety truck.  Next thing you see is the huge fire back in turn 3.  The jet dryer on the back of the safety truck began to leak 200 gallons of jet/diesel fuel and caught fire.  Yes, I said fire!  It was one of the craziest sights I had seen during a NASCAR race.  Major props to the track and safety workers in battling the fire and getting the track ready for the final 40 laps of the race.  I had to giggle when I saw them bringing out several boxes of Tide detergent.  But that wasn’t the funniest sight to see during this delay.  It was the fact that Brad Keslowski was tweeting from his phone during the entire delay. Once again another first for NASCAR.  Both the driver of the safety truck and Juan Pablo walked away from the accident.  After an almost 2 hour delay, the boys and girl got back in their cars and started racing.

I have to admit the racing after this delay was anticlimactic.  I was hoping there would have been more door to door, edge of your seat racing, but from my recliner it didn’t happen.  It may have been the fact that I was tired, sick and wanted this race to end. I thought Biffle and Junior were going to make a run at Kenseth, but Matt had a fast car and I don’t think they were going to catch him.  Matt Kenseth took his 2nd Daytona 500 win in the last 3 years.  It was 11:55 pm (CST) on my clock when Matt took the checkered.  I, along with NASCAR Nation, were very grateful the “hostage crisis” known as the Daytona 500 was over.

Other tidbits from the race

  • Tony Stewart who won his dual race on Thursday, however this didn’t translate over to last night.  He finished 16th after a late race crash.  His 14th attempt to win the Daytona 500 wasn’t in the cards last night.  He has won everything at Daytona.  This is the one race that has eluded him.
  • Martin Truex won the midway bonus.  That is a cool $200,ooo for Mr. Truex
  • Danica finished 38th
  • Only one Hendrick car survived the race–Dale finished 2nd.  Jimmie crashed on lap 2, Jeff lost an engine, and Kasey got caught up in a late race crash.  Looks like Mr. Hendrick will be writing some checks for some sheet metal.
  • Possible penalties and fines ahead for Chad Knaus after Jimmie’s car failed inspection due to an illegal C-post on the #48?
  • Congratulations to Kevin and Delana Harvick on the announcement they are expecting a boy later this year.
  • Congratulations to Ryan and Krissie Newman and big sis Brooklyn on the announcment they are expecting a little girl.
  • Condolescences and prayers to the Chris Myers and his family as they deal with the loss of their son Christopher.

Well…this closes out 2012 Speedweeks.  The boys are headed to Phoenix this week and I for one can’t wait to see what will happen next.

Posted in NASCAR 2012

Hello NASCAR!!!

For those of you who know me on a personal level, you know 2011 was a very tough year for me.  I lost my father in April 2011 and then I lost my mother to leukemia on Christmas Eve 2011.  She was diagnosed on December 19 and by Christmas Eve she had lost her battle with to this vicious monster.  She fought this monster with everything she had, but in the it just wouldn’t let go.  I miss both my parents every day.  I love you guys!  This was the one reason I lost sight of myself and The Park.  But I am back with some renewed sense of purpose and maybe, just maybe, getting back into The Park will help me with my healing.

Welcome back all you NASCAR fans!  The off-season is over and it is time to get to business. In case you missed it, we have two races down and one more to go.  I didn’t catch much of last night’s truck race, but I did get home in time to see the finish!  And man, let me tell you, business definitely picked up for the sheet metal fabricators.  It took three green-white-checkers to get our winner.  There was total truck carnage and our winner was John King.  Who?  I repeat John King.  It was his first start and win!  That’s right Mr. John King is a rookie.  That was some crazy stuff!

The Nationwide was sort of a repeat of last nights truck race.  I have to congratulate Danica Patrick on winning the pole for today’s race.  I know there are those out there who think Danica shouldn’t be in NASCAR for whatever reason.  That is their opinion and I respect that.  But for me, I am excited about watching her run with the boys.  I think those out there who do not think she belongs, give her a chance.  She is now in NASCAR full-time.  She will go through growing pains.  But I think she has the support and guidance needed to succeed in NASCAR.  I mean after all who wouldn’t want a 3-time champion mentoring you.

With that being, said, I once again missed most of the race.  I was spending time with my two fellas.  Sometimes my life as a mother takes over my life as a NASCAR fan.  Tony was going to try to win 5 Nationwide races in a row today.  He is that good.  I just wish that success on Saturday would play over into Sunday.  I know there is another Tony fan who shares my sentiment.  But just like the truck race, sheet metal didn’t stand a chance.  It was a crazy finish.  And another first time winner received the checkered flag.  Fellow Texas, James Buescher, who was sitting 11th before all the carnage, came across the start/finish line as the winner.

I am pumped about tomorrow.  This will be the 14th attempt the #14 will try to win the Daytona 500.  I told my co-workers yesterday that if Tony won the Daytona 500 I would probably have some kind of coronary.    He has looked during Speedweeks (both on and off the track).  I listened to the race on Thursday and his post race interviews.  He has that championship feel about him just like he did in the last ten races of 2011.  With that being said, Tony is going to have to fend off quite a field of competitors.  If Tony can’t win, I would love to see someone who hasn’t won this race.  I think we need to watch out for Kasey Kahne and most definitely Carl Edwards. Carl came thisclose to winning it all last year.  He wants that championship and believe you me it is one to watch.   But as we all know the Daytona 500 is unpredictable.  Just look back at last year’s race…who had Trevor Bayne in their Daytona 500 pool?  Certainly not me.

As I close out Saturday and look forward to tomorrow….I am leave you with my annual NASCAR disclaimer.

Attention to all of my family, friends, co-workers and complete strangers, NASCAR season is upon us.  I will NOT be available for family functions, outings, or get-togethers on Sundays.  If there is an event on said Sunday, you will have to understand they must be held prior to the start of the race or after the race.  If you must schedule things during the raced be aware I may not attend your function or request that I have access to a television set.  This also applies to races that are held occasionally on Saturday nights.  If you wish to spend time with me, you must understand the topic of conversation will be predominately about the upcoming race, the previous Sunday’s race, Tony Stewart, or anything in general about NASCAR.  This is the time of the year all projects are put aside unless they involve a NASCAR related event.  Please don’t be offended if I ignore you on Sunday or the occasional Saturday…it’s nothing personal…IT’S NASCAR!

Posted in NASCAR 2011

Vegas and other things

Sorry for not posting after the Vegas race.  I had everything ready to go, but I have been dealing with quite a few health issues (some mine, some my son’s) so they have taken priority for me.  I made my first visit ever to a cardiologist.  It was a little scary especially since I am only 40.  I am now on medication and have to go back in two weeks for a stress test and other tests.  I am treading the treadmill thing.  Treadmills and I have this understanding, I don’t get on them.  That’s pretty much it.  One of my co-workers told me I should stop watching NASCAR with all the chest pains I have been experiencing.  He is always kidding me about NASCAR.  I told him watching NASCAR is good for my soul.  But enough about me, let’s get to talking about racing

Vegas was just disappointing for this Stewart fan.  Vegas is one of two tracks Tony does not have a victory.  Sunday looked promising until a late caution and pit road mistake pretty much cost him a victory.  I have to give credit to the #14 team for finishing 2nd, but for Tony this was one that is a bitter pill to swallow.  He clearly had the car to win the race.  But as we all know the best car doesn’t always win the race.  He was heartbreaking to watch his post race interview with Fox.  I wonder how they decided who was going to interview Tony.  I mean Tony has been known to speak his mind (both good and bad) when stepping out of the car.  But there was Matt Youcum right there asking Tony the tough question.  Clearly, you could see Tony was upset with the result.  I am glad it was a short interview and with someone who really understands Tony. 

Other tidbits from Vegas

  • Of there was some action off the track as well.  Apparently Robby Gordon and Kevin Conway had their own little meeting in the garage.  This resulted in Robby getting put on probation immediately.  I mean if you are going to get in a fight, Vegas is the place to be.  Did anyone notice if Don King was hanging out in the garage?  Sorry, I couldn’t resist.
  • Congratulations to Mark “The Kid” Martin for winning the Nationwide race.  So he got the win when Brad K. blew a tire.  But sometimes racing is about being in the right place at the right time.  Who hasn’t taken advantage of mistakes and bad breaks of other drivers to snag a victory?  Also this is the first win for Turner Motorsports.  It’s nice to see the smaller teams (well, compared to Hendrick/Roush) win. 
  • It was 50 years ago on March 4, 1961 that Wendell Scott became the first African-American to start a NASCAR race. 
  • Danica Patrick finished 4th in the Nationwide race.  This was highest finish by a woman in a NASCAR event.  She was also the first woman to lead  lap at Daytona.  I am still not sure where I stand on Danica’s presence in NASCAR.  From what I have seen she has improved from this year to last, well at least in the first couple of races.  Until she is able to commit to NASCAR full-time, I am holding my opinion.

There is no Cup race tomorrw.  The boys are off until next Sunday where they will head to Bristol for some short track racing.  However, you can catch some  Camping World Truck racing at Darlington today.  I love to watch the trucks.  Lots of racing action!

What will I do tomorrow?  I am not sure yet.  Right now I am watching “Cars” for the millionth time (well, at least it feels that way) with my little foster son.  He can sit at watch this movie and be entertained through the entire movie.  Not bad for a 2 year-old.  I still find this movie very funny.  They definitely nailed Daryl Waltrip’s personality!  Speaking of Waltrip (not Daryl, but Michael).  I am almost finished with Michael’s book, “In The Blink of An Eye: Dale, Daytona, and the Day that Changed Everything”.  I have enjoyed the book.  You know what is weird, while I am reading the book, all I can hear is Michael’s voice in my head.  It’s as if he is narrating the book for me.  I have found the book very intriguing and now understand a little bit more about that day back in 2001.

This is the 2nd year for Toyota’s Sponsafy program.  You can pick a driver, decorate your car and win a cool prize.  If you have seen the site, or been over there check it out.  I have one already out there entitled “Pink Bubblegum”. I know it isn’t too spectacular, but it is what I wanted to design. I am in the middle of working on a second one with a Texas theme. So in the mean time, if you want to stop and look, vote for me. You can also vote for others too! Vote early and vote often as they say.

Have a great day!

Well, I hope everyone has