Posted in What I know.

Can’t We All Just Get Along?

Short tracks are my favorite tracks on the circuit.  You get 43 cars in a small arena fighting for the same real estate.  When you hear “going three wide” on a short track, it usually isn’t a good thing.  Short tracks make for some exciting racing, but it also can create some angry and/or hurt feelings during and after the race.  Saturday night was no different at Richmond.  It seemed the fireworks had already started on Friday night after the Nationwide race.  Nelson Piquet Jr kicked Brian Scott, as we say in our household, in the peanuts.  Then members of the RCR Nationwide crew were involved in an altercation outside the track.  Before I get into all “love fest”, I want to talk about the race

Matt Kenseth team’s came into Richmond after receiving severe penalties from NASCAR.  With these penalties, he lost the credit for his pole win.  So with that, Matt Kenseth rolled into Richmond and won the pole!  Up through roughly lap 253, the only two drivers who lead laps was Matt Kenseth and Clint Bowyer.  In fact at one point early on in the race five of the first 6 spots were held by Toyotas.  Kyle took the lead roughly around 253.  It looked like the Toyotas had everything dialed in to the Toyota Owners 400.  The first non-Toyota to lead during the race was Kurt Busch after the 6th caution on lap 203.  It was fun to watch the Busch brothers race at times.  They are very competitive races and want to win and Saturday was no different.  The Busch brothers are aggressive drivers.  I have seen Kyle do things with his car that leave you thinking, “Did I just see that?”  Kyle is having a good year and Kurt is having a decent year, well compared to where he was last year.  I have called both brothers out on this site for their behavior both on and off the track, but I always have given them props for their driving talents.  BUT…I was none too pleased with Kurt after Saturday night (and to be honest there were others at Richmond who were none too pleased either).

Tony was entering the race mired way down in the points and no top ten finish since the 2nd race of the season at Phoenix.  I was hoping this would a chance for Tony to get back on track as the summer stretch approaches.  He tends to get “HOT” this time of year.  So even though, he is in his worst 8 race start of his career, this Tony fan was hoping for a good result on Saturday.  To my surprise, he was mired in the 20s for a third of the race.  Every time there was a caution, I would track where he was when the yellow flag flew and what position he restarted.  Around lap 171, he reached position 17th!  I was excited.  Perhaps if he managed to get to 17th, he could get in the top 15.  After the 5th caution of the night, Tony restarted 13th!  Wow!  I can’t believe how pumped I was for Tony to be up in 13th position.  I thought maybe as the night when the #14 team had gotten something figured out with his car.  He continued to race in these positions until the proverbial black cat hit.  Tony caused a crash.  He got loose and got into Jimmie.  This put him back down to 24th.  He did come over the radio and took 100% responsibility for the crash.  At this point I thought, this evening is over.  Yes, it was at lap 328 and there was still some racing left, but with the troubles this team has had over the last several weeks I wasn’t optimistic.  I have learned you never can count out Tony Stewart.  Tony was up to 5th for the restart after the final caution of the night.  I couldn’t believe it Tony had a shot at the victory! Restarts can be tricky and this one was going to be no different. It was crazy!  All I saw were cars moving every which way to get their best shot at the win.  And like he is known to do, here comes Kevin Harvick.  With the front-runners bearing down, I really did have hope that Tony would have the chance to win.  Unfortunately it wasn’t meant to be thanks to Kurt Busch.  From my viewpoint, it looked like Kurt took Tony out of the groove causing Tony to get loose.  Tony was on his way to the best finish he has had since Phoenix.  Tony finished 18th.   Tony was not happy with Kurt and made no bones about it after the race was over.  Of course, Kurt said he didn’t know what the 14 was upset about.  Really Kurt?  Of course, Tony wasn’t the only who was not happy with Mr. Busch.  I believe Matt K. was upset with him as well.  Oh by the way, Tony left without comment.

Congratulations Kevin Harvick!

Other tidbits…

  • I believe the penalties handed down to Matt Kenseth by NASCAR were harsh.  I know NASCAR are hard asses when it comes to fuel, engines and tires.  But in this case, this was a clear oversight on the people at TRD.  In fact Clint Bowyer’s engines from Richmond and Daytona had rods too close for comfort so TRD pulled them out of use.  Because of TRD’s oversight, JGR suffered the brunt of the penalties.  JGR is appealing the penalties.  Joe Gibbs said he was appealing on the severity of the penalties.  It will be interesting to see how all this shakes out.
  • Can Denny Hamlin make a run for The Chase this year?  He has been sidelined since his wreck at California.with a back injury.  It will be a long road for him.  He will have to rattle off some wins along the way, but there are those who think he can do it.  He begins his journey this week at Talladega.  He has been given the clear the start the race which will allow him to receive the driver points.  Then Brian Vickers will take over the car for the rest of the race.  He is targeting the race at Darlington (May 11) to be his first full race since California.
  • Speaking of Brian Vickers, I am glad he has been given the chance to show what he can do in a Cup car.  Like Denny, Brian knows what it is like to see someone else to drive you car.  During the 2010 season Brian had to step away from his ride due to illness.  He did not return to competition until 2011 season.  He has had a rough time the last couple of years, but I think he is back on track with his career.  He is now running full-time for JGR’s Nationwide program as well as driving for MWR.  Keep on plugging away Brian.
  • Favorite term I hear uttered during the broadcast…”roll bar motel”!  Thanks for making me almost spit Coke-Cola all over the floor Mike Joy!

Some final thoughts…I am returning to work as of tomorrow, May 1.  I was planning to start grad school and being a stay-at-home mom.  Unfortunately, grad school cost money and I don’t get a salary as a stay-at-home mom (even though it is one of the hardest jobs around), so I am headed back to the work force.  It may seem weird, but I really like working.  I like being a mom and being around for my kiddos, but being there is something I get from working in an office.  I am nervous, but excited all at the same time.  Luckily, I am returning to the same employer, Texas Tech University, however it will be in a different capacity.  What does this mean for The Park?  Absolutely nothing.  I just will have to do some of my posts late at night or very early in the morning.  Thanks for riding along with them over the years!

Posted in NASCAR 2013

Fan Driven 400

I have had an interesting last several days.  First and foremost, I am glad to have some decent internet connection back.  All I have had since the last post was my iPhone.  But I am back on so here goes…

race driven

Just a reminder…TODAY IS THE LAST DAY to pick the name for the Pocono 400 race at Pocono Raceway on June 9, 2013.  I wanted to get a jump on things with the reminder, but as I mentioned above, internet has been crap (guess that’s what I get for living out in the sticks).  So zoom on over to walmarturl.com/FanDriven and cast your vote. Reminder, you can vote once a day, every day until April 8. In case you forgot, here are the top three finalists!

  • Race More.Live Better–submitted by Carrie Conway Wilson
  • Pocono for the People–submitted by Diane Martin Carroll
  • Party in the Poconos–submitted by Shawn McMillan

Looks Party in the Poconos has taken the commanding lead, but there is still time for you fans of Carrie and Diane so get online at vote!  TODAY IS THE LAST DAY!!

Got plans for the summer?  If not, you might want to head to the Poconos for the Fan Driven 400 (name to be determined by the fans) at Pocono Raceway on June 9, 2013.  Most tracks have 4 turns, but not the track at Pocono.  There are only 3 turns.  Yep, 3 turns people!   Thanks to the folks at Walmart, you can get $25 tickets for this race!  That’s what I just said $25 DOLLARS!  But you’ve got to get your rear in gear and get tickets.  There are only a limited amount at this price!  Tickets can be purchased online at Walmart or at Pocono Raceway!

Can’t make it to Pocono?  You can take advantage of the Walmart Family Track Pack!  You can get a 4 tickets, 4 Cokes, and 4 hot dogs for ONLY $99!.  That’s quite a deal people!  This means I could take my family of four to select races throughout the year!  One of the races is the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race in Charlotte on May 18!  So how do you take advantage of this special deal?  Head on over to walmart.com/NASCAR to purchase your Family Track Pack!

NASCAR hits Texas Motor Speedway this weekend!  I wish I could make the trip since I live only about 6 hours away and I have buddies in the DFW who would probably let me crash on their floor for the weekend.  I have been to TMS and there is ALWAYS something I forget to take with me.  Luckily there is a Walmart on the way to the track!  They have a great array of items for your tailgating needs.  To those newbies out there who are attending your first race this weekend and you want to blend in with all of us other veterans, you can pick up some NASCAR gear at Walmart at too.  I found some Tony Stewart at one of my local Walmarts. These are the items I purchased.  My youngest son, who loves Tony, loved the giant magnet.  It is now prominently displayed on our refrigerator with all the other Tony magnets we have on the fridge.  The other two items are mine…a new sticker for my car and a cup for the beverage of my choice.  Of course if you aren’t a Tony fan, you can pick up your driver’s stuff too.  I found some Kasey Kahne, Jeff Gordon and yes, even some Dale Earnhardt Jr. items.  As we all know his stuff is soooo hard to find (wink, wink).  tony stewart stuff

Some final thoughts…

  • Congratulations to Jimmie Johnson on his win at Martinsville yesterday.  I wasn’t surprised by his win.  Yesterday marked his 8th victory at the track.  Man, that’s a lot of grandfather clocks around his house.  I wonder if he has them set to where they go off at different times of the day.  That would be too funny if he did.
  • I wish Denny Hamlin a speedy recovery.  It had to be one of the most difficult things to sit atop the pit box and watch someone else drive your car.  Granted, Mark Martin is no slouch when it comes to driving a car, but still, it had to eat at him.  Brian Vickers will take over duties in the #11 this week at Texas
  • Danica had a good run at Martinsville.  She finished 12th.  Not bad for her first time at The Paperclip and having to start in the back due to an engine change.
  • I like watching races on Fox.  It’s been a challenge this year since our local Fox affiliate is in dispute with Dish, but we got it go on however.  Towards the end of the race, it sounded like there was some exciting racing, but I wouldn’t know because they kept showing Jimmie Johnson’s car.  I know Clint was trying to catch, but you and I know he wasn’t going to.  We all knew Jimmie was going to win, so why not show the close racing?  Oh well…
  • I am a mom of two boys, very messy boys, but I love them.  I spent most of yesterday cleaning their rooms.  This is the sole reason I missed majority of the race.  If you are raising and/or raised boys, you know my pain.  And don’t even get me started on cleaning their bathroom.  I love men and everything about them, but boys and men are just SMELLY!
  • I hope everyone had a good Easter weekend. Mine was spent with watching “The Ten Commandments”. It is an Easter tradition in my house started with my mom when I was probably my oldest son’s age (he’s nine). Every year we would watch this classic movie. I lost my mom in December 2011 to leukemia so this was the second Easter without her. But…this year was different. My oldest watched with me. At first, I wasn’t sure he would like it. I mean this movie is from 1956. It isn’t on the cutting edge of special effects and sometimes I think the acting is overdone, but I still watch. I was pleasantly surprised, he loved it! And he asked lots of questions about the movie! And one more thing, he watched all of it despite the fact it was way past his bedtime. Thanks mom!

Sorry for the lack of race coverage for the last couple of posts, it has just been one of those things where life takes over and you have to do what you got to do.  I am however, back in the swing of things.  Hope everyone has a great and wonderful week!  And to all of NASCAR Nation…WELCOME TO TEXAS YA’LL!

Posted in NASCAR 2013

California or Bust

Sorry for the lateness of the post.  I have been dealing with some life stuff and just now getting back on track.

I wish I could post more about the race at AutoClub Speedway, but I can’t.  In fact, the rare occasion I take time away from NASCAR, I miss all the action.  I saw Denny’s crash and it was painful to watch.  As we know now, Denny injured his back (compression fracture) and will be out at least 6 weeks.  That’s minimum 5 races since the drivers are off this weekend due to Easter.  Mark Martin has been tagged to substitute for Denny. I can’t even begin to know the kind of pain Denny is in right now.  But once you injured your back, it dogs you the rest of your life.  I just watched the replay and that was some fun racing in last few laps.  Denny and Joey are racing for the win and then boom, there comes Kyle Busch on the outside lane and took the win from both of them.  You know Kyle was watching it all go down with Joey and Denny and he just wanted for the right moment.  Congratulations to Kyle!

As many of you might or might not know, I am a Tony Stewart fan.  l love his attitude and his approach to racing.  Sometimes it can be difficult to be a Tony fan.  Despite the highs and lows, I still am a fan.  Sunday was no different.  I didn’t get to see the race live, but thanks to Speed I was able to DVR the race.  I fast-forwarded it to the Joey Lagano and Tony incident.  On the With 12 laps to go and on the last restart, Tony started third with a chance to win the race.  He was behind Joey on the restart. Tony made a move and Joey went down to black Tony.  From the replay, I couldn’t tell Joey did anything wrong.  It looked like racing to me.  I am no blind to know Tony has been known to block to prevent other drivers from passing him.  The only thing that I can think of that made Tony upset with Joey was early on in the restart.  But from the recliner it was hard to tell.  Whatever it was Tony was angry with Joey and made no bones about after the race.  Tony is old school.  He went down to confront Joey and fisticuffs commenced.  All I could think of when I saw the replay was when AJ Foyt got into with on Arie Luyendyk at TMS after an Indy race.  All I know is Tony will not forget what happened at AutoClub.

Got plans for the summer?  If not, you might want to head to the Poconos for the Fan Driven 400 (name to be determined by the fans) at Pocono Raceway on June 9, 2013.  Most tracks have 4 turns, but not the track at Pocono.  There are only 3 turns.  Yep, 3 turns people!   Thanks to the folks at Walmart, you can get $25 tickets for this race!  That’s what I just said $25 DOLLARS!  But you’ve got to get your rear in gear and get tickets.  There are only a limited amount at this price!  Tickets can be purchased online at Walmart or at Pocono Raceway!

As I mentioned above the Fan Driven 400 is not the name of the race.  You, the fan, get to decide the name.  You have until April 8 to vote for your favorite for the Fan Driven 400.  So zoom on over to walmarturl.com/FanDriven and cast your vote.  Reminder, you can vote once a day, every day until April 8.  I like the three finalists.  They submitted some creative ideas but what about the names that almost made the finals?

  • “Deer Please Don’t Run on the Track 400”!  If you live in Texas, this could happen to you quite a bit, especially during deer season.
  • “Light Beer in Plastic Cups 400”  Hello…there could have been so many tie-ins with this name.  I mean there are already beer sponsors and all we would have need was those red Solo cups.  And of course, you would have to bring in Toby Keith. It’s all about marketing people!
  • “I hope Brad wins! 400”  Ok…I guess.  How funny would that have been if Carl Edwards would have won?
  • “What Turn 4? 400”  I wonder how close this name was to making the final 3?  No offense to one of the finalists, but this one should have made the finalists list.  I mean have you seen Pocono.  Where is Turn 4?  There isn’t one.  How fun would this have been?
  • “The P-Town Funk Race”.  P-Town Funk sounds like some band from the 1970s.  I love me some funk music!  Bring me some of the P-Town Funk people!  Bring it!!

Can’t make it to Pocono?  You can take advantage of the Walmart Family Track Pack!  You can get a 4 tickets, 4 Cokes, and 4 hot dogs for ONLY $99!.  That’s quite a deal people!  This means I could take my family of four to select races throughout the year!  One of the races is the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race in Charlotte on May 18!  So how do you take advantage of this special deal?  Head on over to walmart.com/NASCAR to purchase your Family Track Pack!

lug nut

I was trying to do some organizing and purging of stuff this past weekend and came across my favorite sports souvenir–a lugnut.  The last time I was at Texas Motor Speedway, I found it laying on the ground.  I can’t recall whose pit area I found it, but let me tell ya, I wasn’t going to let it just lie there for some other NASCAR fan to collect.  It was a nice pretty yellow at one point, but now not so much.  Either way, I love my souvenir.  In fact it is better than the Tony Stewart tire I have in my storage unit.

I hope everyone has a Happy Easter!  I don’t have much planned this weekend.  I usually just take time to think about the importance of this weekend.  One of thing I do every single year during Easter is watch the 1956 movie “The Ten Commandments” with Charlton Heston.  It was one of the movies my mom and I would watch every single year together.  I lost my mom in 2011 due to leukemia.  She fought the good fight, but this type of leukemia was brutal.  This will be the second year I will not be able to watch this movie with her.  But I know she will be with me on Saturday as I sit down to watch!  I love you and miss you everyday mom!

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 2013

Pocono 400 and Vegas too

race driven

Before I visit Vegas, let’s take a quick visit to Pocono…

I have posted about a wonderful contest sponsored by Walmart and Pocono Speedway the past several weeks.  Fans would be given the opportunity to name the Pocono 400 race on June 9, 2013.  Fans were able to submit their names for the name via walmarturl.com/FanDriven.  Three finalists have been chosen and now it is your turn to help these NASCAR fans. Before you head on over to vote, here are the three finalists.

  1. Race More. Live Better–submitted by Carrie Conway Wilson
  2. Pocono for the People–submitted by Diane Martin Carroll
  3. Party in the Poconos–submitted by Shawn McMillan

As I mentioned, you can vote via walmarturl.com/FanDrivenYou are able to vote once a day, every day until April 8!  So head on over and help choose the name of the Pocono 400.  By the way, I have already voted today!

If you are thinking about heading to Pocono, you can take advantage of great offer.  You can purchase tickets for the race on June 9 for ONLY $25!  That’s right!  ONLY $25!  You better hurry though, there will only be 16,000 of these specially priced tickets. These tickets can be purchased at Walmart.com/NASCAR or through Pocono Raceway at poconoraceway.com/

Now back to Vegas…

If looked at the odds (shameless use of Vegas cliché), Jimmie Johnson had the best chance to win on Sunday.  After all he has won 4 times at Vegas.  To be honest early on I thought Jimmie was going to run away with the race.  But as we all know, you can lead the most laps and have the fastest car of the day and not win.  Clearly Kasey Kahne had the car to beat most of the race.  He was up front and racing for the win.

Several drivers were complaining their car was loose including Tony Stewart.  If you know Tony Stewart, if he is complaining about a loose race car, things aren’t going to great.  And that is what happened.  It went south for the #14 team early on.  He stayed pretty much mired back in 23/24 place most of the day.  However, he was able to get the lucky dog after the caution flew for Bobby Labonte’s spin.  I don’t think at that point in the race he had the car to win the race.  I just wanted him to have a decent finish.  And he ended up finishing 11th.  I know it had to be frustrating for him.  He has the third highest driver rating over the previous 8 races at Vegas. He was also the defending race champion.  But as you know Vegas can be cruel to her visitors.

Congratulations to Matt Kenseth and the #20 team!  I like Matt Kenseth and I am thankful he ended up in a great organization.  The #20 still holds a special place in my heart.  It was the ride for Tony Stewart until he left JGR to form Stewart Haas Racing.  I was none too thrilled when Joey Lagano took over his #20.  But when it was announced last year that Matt Kenseth would take over the #20 I was pumped.  Matt Kenseth is a great driver.  I knew he would get that #20 back to Victory Lane!  This was Matt’s third race in the #20.  The sure joy in his voice when he got those checkers was great!  And of course, this was a great way to spend your birthday…in Victory Lane!  I don’t think this will be the last visit to Victory Lane for the #20 this year.

The talk was about how the Gen-6 car was going to perform on the first of the 1.5 mile tracks.  Several drivers complained of the car being loose.  Was it the car itself?  I know that many crew chiefs couldn’t have missed the mark.  Was it the track?  The drivers in pre-race interviews said they thought the track was going to be hot and slick and well fast.   It seemed track position was important in this race as well. Once a car got out in front, he was gone.  Many drivers received penalties for speeding and/or uncontrolled equipment.  Kyle Busch got tagged for speeding early on in the race.   He finished 4th.  I am not a huge fan of Mr. Busch, but that man can wheel a race car.

Few other tidbits…

  • Thank you NASCAR.  I, along with many other fans, have had issues with Raceview.  I sent an email last week to voice my concerns and politely asking for a refund.  This week, I received an email from NASCAR.com stating I had been refunded $9.95.  That is equivalent to a monthly charge for Raceview.  I know it may not seem like a lot, but it for me it went a long way.  And…I was able to log in to Raceview!  I did have some issues, but I don’t think it was on NASCAr.com’s end, but mine.  My internet access was sporadic during the day.
  • I so want to go to a race in Vegas!  My buddy over at http://www.badgroove.com/ makes an annual pilgrimage to Vegas every year.  Every time she goes, she has a blast along with her friend Misty.  One of these days, I will make the pilgrimage to Vegas!  I can’t wait to read her post about her Vegas vacation.
  • The “what the heck what were they thinking” moment of the race came when NASCAR threw a caution when Marcos Ambrose spun his car.  His car started spinning and Marcos was able to get it back going right and headed back onto the track.  No other cars in sight.  I don’t get it.  Of well…that is NASCAR.
  • Denny Hamlin was fined $25,000 by NASCAR this past week for his comments about the Gen-6 car after the Phoenix race. He is refusing to pay the fine. I read what he said on ESPN.com and to be honest I didn’t see anything disparaging about his comments. It wasn’t like he got out of his car and said the car sucked ala Kyle Busch.  But NASCAR has worked tirelessly on the Gen-6 car.  I can understand their point of view too.  Here is what I found on ESPN.com, you can judge for yourself.

“I don’t want to be the pessimist, but it did not race as good as our Gen-5 cars,” Hamlin told reporters after the race won by Carl Edwards. “This is more like what the Generation 5 was at the beginning. The teams hadn’t figured out how to get the aero balance right.  “Right now, you just run single-file and you cannot get around the guy in front of you. You would have placed me in 20th place with 30 [laps] to go, I would have stayed there — I wouldn’t have moved up. It’s just one of those things where track position is everything.”

  • My youngest is still continuing to amaze me with his continuing fascination with NASCAR.  I was listening to Tony on the scanner on Sunday.  With his PBJ sandwich in hand, he climbed up on my lap and put in the earplug and started listening.  Check him out…chase with pbj

This week the boys are headed out to Bristol for some short track racing!  Once again a new test for the Gen-6 car.  Have a great week everyone!

Posted in NASCAR 2012

Tony, Toys, and Tattoos

I have been trying to decide what to write about today.  I didn’t get a chance to write about the Phoenix race.  It was crazy busy last week at work and at home.  Monday after the Phoenix race I couldn’t move the left shoulder and my neck.  It hurt to even type things.  By the time things settled down, it was Thursday.  I would like to congratulate Denny Hamlin on his win at Phoenix.

Now on to Vegas.  I didn’t watch the watch.  I was out taking care of some things on a personal level and to be frank when your husband offers to hang out with the kids to let me have some “me” time, I jump at the chance.  I did follow things on Twitter.  By the time I got home from my “me” time, the race was at halfway.  At more importantly, I got to see the #14 cross the finish line and take the checkered flag.  I was wondering if it was going to happen with all the late cautions.  I know Amy over at Bad Groove was on edge.  But Tony held off long enough to get the victory.  This is the first win for Tony at Vegas.  He now only needs wins at Kentucky and Darlington to have at least one win at all the Cup tracks on the circuit.  This was also the first win for Tony’s new crew chief Steve Addington.

I was hope they would get their win before Hamlin and Grubb, but it wasn’t the case.  Some still think Tony made a mistake in firing Grubb.  I know the last thing we remember about last season was Tony’s incredible run in the Chase, so I can understand people’s viewpoints on this.  But you have to remember Tony struggled throughout the summer and was thisclose to being out of the Chase.  All I have to say to those who are skeptical about Tony’s decision…how do you like him now????

Other news

  • The 6 race suspension for Chad Knaus and Ron Malec was upheld today by the National Stock Car Appeals Panel.  Mr. Hendrick did not agree with the decision from today.  He is going to make one last appeal to John Middlebrook who is the chief appellate officer of the National Stock Car Appeals Panel.  Until he is able to hear arguments, Chad will be at Bristol this weekend.
  • My indoctrination of my sons into NASCAR.  I have been trying to get both my sons to sit and watch racing with me.  Both my sons like Tony Stewart…because, well, their mamma’s favorite driver is Tony.  I bought my youngest his first Tony Stewart car last weekend.  He hasn’t stopped playing with it since.  I also bought him an old #22 Kurt Busch hauler too.  He loves putting Tony’s car in the #22 hauler.  Hey…I will do what it takes to get them into NASCAR.  I even told them they could choose their favorite driver.  They seem to like the M&M car for the obvious reasons, but this momma is working hard to keep them cheering for Tony.

  • I got a new tattoo today. This isn’t my first tattoo.  I got one back in 2000 in honor of my 30th birthday.  I was planning to get one in honor of turning 40, but didn’t get around to things until today. I debated back and forth on what to get…I mean after all this thing was going to be a permanent part of me.  I was going to get a checkered flag with just my nickname “Trixie”, but I decided on the following.

Posted in NASCAR 2010

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!