Posted in NASCAR 2014

2014 Season

I can believe the start of the 2014 season is upon us.  There are so many story lines that have come out of the off-season.  It has been one of the busiest off-seasons I have seen in a few years.   Here are some story lines coming into the 2014 season.

The Chase–new changes are here! 16 drivers, a win gets you in the Chase if you are in the top 30 in points, eliminator rounds in the last 10 races and a 4 car shoot out at Miami.  Not sure what to think about the changes, I will just have to wait and see

Qualifying–You will have three rounds at 1.25 miles or longer and 2 rounds at tracks less 1.25 miles.  Round 1 = 25 minutes to post qualifying time-after which the 24 registering the fastest will advance to 2nd round. Those not advancing to Round 2 will be sorted based on 1st round times in descending order. Round 2 = 10 minutes to qualify, 12 fastest in this round will move onto the final round, those not advancing will earn positions 13-24 based on time.  Final round = 5 minutes, fastest times from this session will determine 1-12 positions.  There will be a 5-minute break between each round where teams can make adjustments.  They will not be allowed to jack the vehicle or raise the hood and once the car enters the garage, it will no longer be permitted to return to the track for additional qualifying attempts. Of course is you are at tracks 1.25 or less, drivers will only have two rounds to get things done.  Did you get all that?

Jimmie Johnson–Will he or won’t he get to that magic mountain of 7 championships this season?  I haven’t heard much chatter about it, but it is still early in the season.  But I am sure somewhere down the line, it will be mentioned.

Stewart Haas Racing–I think this is the team that you need to watch our for in 2014 (of course I am a little biased).  SHR went from a three-car team to a four car team.  SHR added new drivers Kevin Harvick (who replaced the departing Ryan Newman who is now in over at Richard Childress Racing) and Kurt Busch driving the #41.  Danica Patrick will be starting her 2nd year in Cup.  But all eyes I think will be on Smoke, aka, Tony Stewart.  More about my thoughts on Tony later.

Dale Earnhardt Jr.:  I am interested to see how Dale Jr. will fare this year.  It was announced that his crew chief, Steve Letarte, will be leaving at the end of the season to join NBC when they take over the final part of the NASCAR season next year.  I am sure the good folks over at Hendrick Motor Sports have started looking at who will replace Letarte.  Letarte has done good things for Junior since becoming his crew chief.  I don’t cringe every time Dale is interviewed.  He looks more relaxed and upbeat.  Steve Letarte will be missed, but I am looking forward to him in the broadcast booth next year.

The #3–It is time.  It has been 13  years since the death of Dale Earnhardt Sr.  Richard Childress has been very respectful about bringing back this iconic and revered number iconic back to the Cup level.  Dale Sr.’s legacy to me is more than just the number.  That’s what I focus on when I look back at his career.  Is Richard Petty’s legacy diminished because someone else drives the #43?  I know there are some small faction who would like to not see the #3 back on the track and that is ok.  But I am excited to see it back on the track and I think Mr. Dillon will do the #3 proud.  Note to those crazy loons who wear the aluminum hats–there is no conspiracy with the #3.  Are you kidding me?  You know how many people you would have to involve to pull off that kind of thing?  You guys need to stop drinking that “special Kool-aid”.  If you really want to scream NASCAR is on the take and fixed, how come Junior hasn’t won a championship or for that matter multiple championships?  RCR has always had fast cars at the restrictor plate tracks.  So take your aluminum hats and black helicopters and go back to figuring out something more important, like why do hot dog packages come in packs of 10 and buns in packs of 8!

Sprint Unlimited–I liked the racing even after the 9 car crash that took out some of the major players in the race.  There was side by side racing.  Denny clearly had the car to beat it seemed.  He won all three segments and stood in victory lane for the first time in the Unlimited since he won the thing back in his rookie year.  Of course, the weirdest part of the night was when the pace car caught fire!  You heard me, the pace car caught fire!  I mean two years it was a jet dryer up in flames!  At one point, I was waiting for the mayhem guy from the All State commercials to pop out!

Thank goodness this race occurred AFTER Valentine’s Day.  It looked like Danica Patrick was going to make it thorough the big crash, but only to be hit by her boyfriend Ricky Stenhouse Jr.  It never saw her.  I would have loved to been a fly on the wall in that trailer home to hear the conversation.

I’m telling ya, it had to be the full moon that was hovering over the race track.  That would explain so much!

Tony Stewart–It has been a long off-season for us Tony fans.  I mean, we haven’t seen our driver in a car since August.  I for one am pumped to see Tony back in his #14!  He seems very upbeat about getting the 2014 season underway.  That was clearly evident on Saturday night.  He looked great out there.  It was if he had never been gone.  But my excitement was short-lived thanks to that 9-car pile up courtesy of Matt Kenseth. Saw this quote on Twitter from Tony, “I’ve waited for 7 months to race, I damn sure wasn’t going to sit there and ride around.”.  Now that’s the Tony I love!  I am hoping 2014 is the year of #14.  I want to see him win the Daytona 500 this year.  Of course if he does all those crazy conspiracy loons will come out of the lead line caves screaming CONSPIRACY!  But you know what, let them cry all they want.  Just like Dale Sr., he has won everything he can at Daytona.  He knows how to get around the place.  But that just goes to show you how tough winning the Daytona 500 can be.  Some of NASCAR’s best drivers, have never one a the 500.

Hope that has caught you up to speed for Daytona.  Now here are a few house keeping things I need to take care of.  If you are in Raiderland or listening outside the boundaries of Raiderland, check at That Dang Ol’ Show.  You can listen to the show on Monday nights from 6:00-8:00 pm on The Red Dirt Rebel (105.3).  If the wind is blowing just right and the sun is setting in the west, you might just hear me call in and talk a little racing.  Plus, you might learn a thing or two in the process.

And finally….since there are only 5 days until Daytona (February 23, 2014)…I need to put the disclaimer out there for everyone.

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!

SMOKE YUMMO.CHARLOTTE COKE 600.2010

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 2009, Tony Stewart

Duelin’

That’s right it’s duelin’ day at Daytona!!!  I am so pumped.  This means the big race is just days away.  I said it…DAYS, not MONTHS.  Unfortunately for me I will be working, but that’s ok.  This would not be the first time I have missed the duels.  I will however be listening via the internet through NASCAR.com.  I am considerate of my co-workers (who tolerate this whole NASCAR thing of mine) so I will be consider and wear my earphones.  Of course I am more interested in the first duel since Tony will be racing his way to the front of that dual.  Postman will be Tivoing the first race.  I don’t usually tivo races, but I just want to see Tony in his new ride so I can get used to looking for a red car instead of an orange car.

I am trying to participate in a couple of fantasy games this year.  I am going to give my best shot to top the charts, but you never can tell.  Some weeks I am right on the money and others well, it would have been better to just draw the name out of hat.  One of them that intrigues me the most is over at On Pit Row entitled “One and Done”. Basically you pick one driver each week and once that drive has been picked you cannot use the driver again for the whole season. This is tough because you need to make wise choices and consider the track each week. I am still on the fence about who I want for Sunday’s race. I know at this point, I am holding on to Tony as long as I can. I have a couple of tracks I would like Tony for my pick. I am also participating in another league with someone who presides over the local OMNC chapter. I already have my team members and now it is just a matter of who will drive for me on Sunday and who will sit out this week. I have my lineup, but with the duals today I may have to make some changes.

I purchased this last night.

cart-racing

Yeppers, I now own NASCAR Kart Racing game for the Wii.  I have to say it didn’t take me as long as I thought it would to get the hang of things.  Of course I do have the steering wheel controller which for me makes it a little easier to steer the car.  I didn’t do to bad on my first go around.  Just like with any of these games you get to be your favorite driver.  There are several drivers including Tony Stewart.  You can also unlock “two mystery drivers”.  You can definitely tell one of the “mystery drivers” by just his shadow.  If you can get to this level, you will be “the King” of the game.  I really like the fact you get to partner up with one other driver for your team and you also have two rivals who try to take you out.  I teamed up with a Kyle and Jimmie at one point, but for the most part I stuck with Kevin Harvick.  Oh…I don’t think I have to mention which driver I chose.  I did get to race on Talladega, but there were other unique tracks.  You can also your own sort of debris at other drivers to gain an advantage (i.e. oil can’s and dynamite).  Postman and I played for a little bit.  He did beat me on a couple of times, but don’t worry folks it won’t take me long.  Definitely work purchasing if you have the Wii.

I haven’t really decided on who I think will win the championship this year.  I don’t know if Jimmie will win his fourth title in a row, but he is going to give his best shot.  I think the others are just biting at the bit to get their hands on that trophy.  I will have to say I am very excited about this season.  Before things get going for the 2009 NASCAR season, I have to post a disclaimer for all of you non-NASCAR people. 

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!!!

tony-stewart-14-background1