New Directions

Life has changed quite a bit since March 27 (the date of my last entry).  This blog as a way to relax and well, talk about NASCAR.  Along the way I have met some incredible people who share the same passion for the sport that I have.  I spent a few years religiously dedicated to posting here in The Park.  But as we all know life has a funny way of changing your life.  Since starting the blog back in April 2005, my husband and I have adopted two wonderful boys and I lost both my parents in 2011.  I have had the highest of highs and the lowest of lows over the past 7 years.  But I am on my way to bigger and better things.

I was finally able to watch “The Definitive” which profiled Tony Stewart.  I had DVRed it back on March 1, but didn’t get a chance to watch it until today.  See that’s how crazy my life has been over the past couple of months.  It reaffirmed why I love being a Tony Stewart fan.  I like the fact that he speaks his mind and makes no apologies about it.  You want to know what he thinks about something he will tell you.  He doesn’t give you some watered down, politically correct answer.  He isn’t afraid of mixing it up on the track either.  He has this swagger that just can’t be beat.  I learned today that he had 6 DNFs his 2002 championship season.  That’s right I said 6 AND he still won the championship that year.  Of course this is the same man who man handled last year’s chase to win his third championship.  I would love to sit down with him for an hour and just talk with him.  I don’t think I would even ask him about NASCAR.  I would love to visit with him about his passion for his dirt track and his other racing endeavors.  I think that is the heart of Tony Stewart.   I am not saying he doesn’t love to race in NASCAR, but from what I have seen and read, his dirt track racing seems to be where he has the most fun.  Of course, this is just from my perspective as a fan.  It’s clearly obvious when you watch him work and race during his Prelude To The Dream event he has ever year at Eldora Speedway.  In fact, 2012 Prelude is scheduled for Wednesday, June 6.  I have ordered it every year that it has been on pay-per-view.  Since it is close to my birthday (June 15), it is one of my birthday presents from my hubby.  Of course, I would love to attend the Prelude in person, perhaps maybe next year.  Either way, I love watching it from start to finish.  It is like watching Little League baseball.  There is no racing for points and all that other stuff.  It’s just for the pure joy of racing!  So if you haven’t ordered it, get thee to your cable company and hook yourself up.

Charlotte was not kind to Tony last week.  It just wasn’t his night.  This week Tony heads into Dover sitting in 9th place in the points with 2 wins under his belt.  I am hoping he can get back on track this week.  He has two wins at Dover.  In 2011, Dover wasn’t kind to him either.  In the first race he started 27th and finished 29th.  The fall race wasn’t much better…he started 28th and finished 25th.  But as we all know the summer is usually when Tony starts lighting it up on the track.  Qualifying is Saturday with the race scheduled for a 1:30 EST start on Sunday.   Good luck Tony!

Dover

On vacation still…this is coming from my new Dell laptop (Woo Hoo!!!). It’s red just like Tony’s car and I even have a red cordless mouse to go along with it.  I sent the Macbook to my mom’s house so she could have a computer.   Went to the zoo today with my mom, Postman and Little Smoke.  It was a blast.  It’s amazing to see a zoo through the eyes of a five year old.  The only bad part about the trip…THE FREAKIN’ HUMIDITY!  For the love of Pete, I took a shower this morning and yet it was like I had another one by the time we were through with the zoo. 

I had the race on once we got home from the zoo, but I was trying to transfer all my files from the old computer to the new one.  So it took some time to get things transferrred, but I have for the most part got everything transferred.  But I did watch the battle between Smoke and Jimmie.  I have to say that was some fun racing.  Now that’s the kind of racing I would love to see every week.  Of course Jimmie did just get passed Tony for the race win, but Tony leaves Dover with the points lead.  I am very proud of Tony at this point of the season.  He has in this race fan’s opinion brought Stewart Haas Racing to a whole never level.  I had to chuckle when Fox presented him with the trophy because he was the leader for their part of the season.  And what did Tony do with it…put his Coke bottle in it.  Classic Tony!  Tony was the only driver for Stewart Haas ending up in the top 10 this week.  Newman finished 8th and leaves Dover  5th in the standings and 173 points behind his boss. 

Dale Jr. finished 12th today.  Not bad for his first race without Tony Eury.  I don’t know if Mr. Hendrick had a come to Jesus talk with the whole #88 team, but if he did I think the #88 team is headed in the right dircetion.  I am not a fan of Dale Jr., but I hate to see any team struggle as he has struggled lately.  Only time will tell to see if the changes Mr. Hendrick has made will be effective.  Dale just needs to let the crew chief do his job while he does his.

Speaking of the points lead I am hoping I am still ahead in my fantasy league “One and Done”.  I had a points lead of 9 points (I believe if my Math was correct) and I picked Ryan Newman.  Ryan gave me a great finish today, but I won’t know things until later this week as to whether or not Ryan keep me atop the standings.

Race 3: Kansas

Splash of gas and four tires…

  • Congrautions to Jimmy Johnson. Watch out, he’s making his move.  Will he threepeat?
  • That was some gutsy move by Carl in the last lap of the race. If he could have controlled it, I think he would have beaten Jimmie.
  • Way to go Biffle. Nice 3rd place finish. So far that is 2 wins and a Top 5 over the first three races. It does suck the other two guys contending are right up there with you.
  • Kyle Busch–yikes! I guess the NASCAR gods are striking back!
  • Mucho kudos to Jeff Gordon. He told the ESPN prerace folks he was feeling the worse he had ever felt before race in his career. He finished 4th. Not bad I must say.
  • I hate to say it, I am getting close to resigning to the fact Tony will not be a factor in the Chase
  • I see Paul Menard is leaving DEI and headed to Yates Racing. Good luck with that!
  • A.J. Allmendinger is out at Red Bull and raced his last race for them at Kansas. Mike Skinner and Scott Speed will share duties in the #84 the rest of the season. Speed will most likely be the driver of the #84 next year.
  • I can’t really say anyone is completely out of it yet, I mean it is Talladega on Sunday.  One big one and you can take out half the field.  So pull the belts tight and hang on, it’s going to be a bumpy ride!

4th Down and inches to go…

  • Cowboys lost to the Redskins.  The Redskins beat the Cowboys.  Cowboys only rushed for 11 times the entire game.  Are you freakin’ kiddin’ me?  No wonder we didn’t win.
  • TO is at it again.  I knew it was only going to be a matter of time before he voiced his concerns about not getting the ball.  Whatever TO.  You weren’t the only one not getting the ball on Sunday. 
  • I am currently particiapting in a contest where you pick the winner of the NFL games every week.  It really sucked this weekend.  I mean come on, Cleveland vs Cincinnati.  You might as well have flipped a coin on that one.  Of course, I picked Cinncinnati. 
  • Texas Tech is currently sitting 7th in the AP poll and 8th in the USA Today Poll.  Not bad.  Of course there were a couple of upsets this weekend to help them climb to that spot.  The only bad thing it was a bye week for us.  We open Big 12 Conference play this weekend against Kansas State at Manhattan.  I hope we go in and show the pollsters we earned that ranking.  Wreck ‘Em Tech!!!!
  • OSU beat USC, however that was Oregon State not Ohio State that did the deed.  ‘Bama took it to Georgia (41-30); Ole Miss beat #4 Florida (31-30); and unranked Michigan over #9 Wisconsin (27-25).
  • Oklahoma is currently #1 in both the AP and USA Today polls.  The Red Raiders play the Sooners November 22 in Norman.   I am sure One Lugnut Short is in Sooner heaven right now.

One final note from The Park…I will be traveling to Chicago tomorrw for a conference.  I am looking forward to getting away for a few days.  I won’t have my computer with me during my litte jaunt to the Windy City, So this looks to be the last post for the week.  Have a great week!

Race 2: Dover

That’s two in a row for The Biff. So far my darkhorse has been kicking some NASCAR tail. I have to say I enjoyed the last part of the race with Carl, Matt and Greg battling for the win. That was some of the best racing I have seen in a long time. And I thought Mark Martin was going to be part of the fray as well. I am glad Greg Biffle won. I have always liked him as a driver. Well, what does this week have in store for The Biff? Let’s look…

  • 2007 Kansas winner-he won this race on fumes and a little bit of controversy, but he won nonetheless.
  • He has 1 win, 3 Top 5s, and 3 top 10s with an average finishing spot of 11.
  • In 2005, the year he finished only second to Tony Stewart in the final standings, he came away with a 2nd place finish at Kansas.
  • Over the last 6 races, he has 2 wins, 4 tops 5s, and 4 top 10s.  The only driver who has done better over the last 6 races…Carl Edwards
  • Tied with Jimmie Johnson for 2nd and only 10 points behind teammate Carl Edwards.

If you had to pick someone to win at Kansas, Greg Biffle would be a safe bet.  I am still going to stand behind him to give both Carl and Jimmie a run for their money. 

Looks like the one driver who looked to win it all isn’t going to unless, he pulls it out of his arse.  Before Louden Kyle Busch was one of the three favorites to run away with the championship, but not everyhting looks good on paper.  Yes he has won 8 races this year, but sometimes being the best in the regular season doesn’t always preclude you to being the best during the playoffs.  All one has to do is look at the New England Patriots last year.  Perfect until the Super Bowl where they suffered their only loss of the 2007 season.  Kyle went from 1st to 12 in two races with a 34th place at Louden and Sunday’s 43rd place finish.  I don’t know if he can muster that good of a run over the next 8 races to make his way up to the top spot.  He would have to light it up and pray those ahead of him crash and burn.  It just doesn’t look good.  He is going to have leap over several drivers who are having some of their best runs over the last 6 races.  If Kyle is resigned to the fact that he is not going to win the championship, all the other drivers better watch out.  I mean when you have nothing to lose…

I was lucky enough yesterday to help one of my fellow NASCAR fans.  It was rather nice to visit with someone who gets it.  I don’t always have that around me especially in the workplace.  Even though he is a Junior fan (fyi–I am not a big Junior fan), I will still continue to help him.  After helping him figure out hsi plan to graduation in a year or so, we sat and talked NASCAR for about 15 minutes.  it was great. I was telling one of my co-workers (who is not into NASCAR), the NASCAR family accepts everyone.  We don’t care who you cheer for, we just want you to cheer. 

Non-NASCAR notes from this past weekend…

  • Miami opened it up on New England.  I thought it was a typo on my phone when I was reading all the scores, but it wasn’t.  Can I just say I did my little happy dance on Sunday.
  • Dallas kicked some Packer butt on Sunday night.  The Boys have opened up the season 3-0.  But they did this last year, looked good at the beginning and then fizzled out.  Let’s hope we can keeping kicking some butt all the way to the Super Bowl
  • What’s up with Indy?  Ugh…
  • My Red Raiders just went to town on UMASS…56-14.  We are 4-0 heading in our Big 12 opener with Kansas on October 4.  I won’t get to watch my Red Raiders.  I will be on a plane heading back from Chicago, but you can catch them on ABC that day, beginning at 2:00 pm
  • Goodbye Yankee Stadium and thanks for the memories.  I don’t consider myself a Yankees fan, but I hate to see a historical landmark such as Yankee Stadium fade off into the sunset. 
  • Will the Cubs go all the way to the World Series?  Let me put it this way…I went to a conference in Indianopolis back in October 2006…who went on to win the Superbowl that year?  That would be the Colts.  Where am I headed next weekend for a conference?…Chicago.  You can draw your own conclusions.

I hope everyone has a great week..one more note, my thoughts and prayers go out to some good friends of mine who suffered a loss.  Hang in there guys and remember, Postman and I love ya!

Don’t Go To The Concession Stand

That’s right folks!  You don’t want to go to the concession stand because you might miss something.  That is what could be said of today’s race.  

The race wasn’t even in it’s 20 lap and BAM…it was a gigantic meet and greet coming out of Turn 2.  From what I could tell of the numerous replays Fox showed over and over, Sadler came down while passing the #40 and was clipped by the #38.  Next thing we all know, Elliott decided to make his own demolition derby.  Tony had no where to go but into the side of the #19 car along with several other cars.  I know it looked like Denny didn’t slow down, but to be honest going at those speeds that car probably couldn’t get whoaed up in time.  Of course, I saw other cars running around Denny able to whoa up, but I wasn’t driving his car.  For me the race was pretty much a wash.  Tony did come back into the race about a 100 or so laps down, but none the less back on the track.   Tony finished 41st and fell three spots in the standings to 11th.  Oh in case we are keeping score this year, this is the 2nd time Sadler has been involved in a crash that has taken out Stewart. On a lighter note the hood on Sadler’s car was pretty much intact for him.  He was planning to auction off the hood to his car from today’s race to raise money for autism.  

The race for me was pretty much a snoozefest and it wasn’t because Tony was just driving around the track, I really thought it was a snoozefest.  In fact I did take a nap some time during the race.  The race was pretty much dominated by three different drivers–Greg Biffle, Carl Edwards, and Kyle Busch not necessarily in that order with several green flag runs.  Congratulations to Kyle Busch for his 4th win of the season.  Carl finished 2nd with Carl’s teammate finishing 3rd after having voltage issues.

In case anyone wasn’t aware Dale Jr. has gone 74 races without a win.  Of course this statistic didn’t escape the Fox broadcast.  This little tidbit was flashed on the screen at 1:41 pm Central Daylight Savings Time.

One last thing..

Little Smoke was busy playing in the house today because it was way too hot for him to be outside (it reached over the century mark today).  He decided to build a race car using some interesting items sitting around the house.  Please notice the “paint scheme”.  He is such a wonderful little boy who is very creative and will tell you that Tony Stewart is his favorite driver…just ask.  Apologies to my dad who just happends to be a Junior, but there will be no Junior fan in this household. He was so excited when Fox was interviewing Tony before the race.  He stopped what he was doing to watch.   Looks like this #20 faired better today.