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 2012, Tony Stewart

Prelude to The Dream

Once again I have spent another June evening watching the Prelude.  If you have never caught the Prelude to the Dream, well you are missing out on some fantastic racing.  This is my fourth year of watching the event.  It is a pay per view event, however proceeds go to the charity the event benefits each year.  This year it was Feed The Children.

The Prelude is held each year at Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio.  Eldora is owned by NASCAR driver Tony Stewart.  Each year Tony invites many of his fellow NASCAR drivers to compete in late-model cars on this dirt track in Ohio.  NASCAR car drivers are not the only ones who are invited each year either. Tony also invites drivers from NHRA and IRL.  I usually don’t compare the ball and stick sports to NASCAR because NASCAR, in my opinion, is different from ball and stick sports on many levels.  But this type of racing on dirt is like being at a minor league baseball game.  Drivers are racing for no points, but bragging rights.  This year was no different.

All the usual suspects were there this year–Clint Bowyer, Kasey Kahne, Kenny Schrader, Kenny Wallace and yes, even 5-time himself Jimmie Johnson.  This year’s drivers also included Danica Patrick.  I found this very intriguing.  This was going to be the first time she would race in this type of race car and on this type of racing service.  She didn’t do too bad for her first time on dirt.  In case you haven’t watched late-model dirt racing, you have to turn right to go left.  It felt like she was a fish out of water but at least she gave it a shot.  I still wonder why Dale Jr hasn’t tried his hand at this event.  I think they could really draw quite a crowd if Dale Jr. ran it one time.  Of course, they draw a crowd for this event becuase of the love Tony has for Eldora and this event.

I was not disappointed.  I thought it was quite funny when Tony took Darryl Waltrip around the track in his late-model car.  I swear I think DW was screaming like a little girl the whole time he was in the car.  It was pretty hilarious.   Tony knows what he was doing and I don’t believe he lifted once.  Talk about your E-ticket ride!  Another great moment prior to the race was Tony’s presentation to Dick Bergren.  He gave Dick a racing helmet he wore during his championship season last year.  In case you weren’t aware, last weekend was Dick’s last race as a report for Fox.  I will miss him.  He was one of the best!

Kasey Kahne and Clint Bowyer clearly had the best cars of the night.  They were going at pretty good until Clint got into the wall.  I thought Kasey Kahne was going to run away with the even after Clint was knocked out.  But even on the dirt track Kasey is snake bit.  He ran into a stranded Bobby Labonte.  I don’t know if Kasey saw him, but that was a nasty crash.  It was nasty enough to take off one of Kasey’s wheels.  I believe Kasey saw him, but due to the racing surface couldn’t stop in time.  This opened the door for Kyle Busch.  It was pretty much that way the rest of the race.  Tony was trying to get make his way towards the front, but didn’t have enough laps left.  Congratulations to Kyle Busch!

One of these days I would love to make the pilgrimage to Eldora to watch the event live.  I love watching dirt racing.  It brings me back to those Saturday nights in Amarillo when my family would head out to the dirt track.  It wasn’t a complete Saturday night until you go some of that mud in your hair that was flung from the cars on the race track.  I can still hear the sounds of the cars as the went around the track.  It brings me back to a time when I was carefree and had my future in front of me.

Thank you Tony Stewart!

Posted in NASCAR 2012

By The Time I Get To Phoenix…

Before I get to my post about this weekend, I want to wish all my fellow Texans “Happy Texas Independence Day!”

Now on to Phoenix.  I like watching all the activities of Speedweeks when it rolls around every year.  It means that the NASCAR season is upon us.  Preparing for the Daytona 500 is a different element.  Qualifying has two parts.  You have qualifying day where the front is determined.  the other drivers that day are then sorted out into two dual races which sets the field for the 500.  The 500 is the only race on the circuit that has this type of qualifying.  Teams can’t judge where their season will end up after the 500.  I mean look where Jimmie Johnson is now sitting.  You can’t tell me he won’t be challenging for the championship come fall. 

This week begins the real start of the season.  This is wear teams begin their normal routines fo race week.  The boys are in Phoenix this weekend.  This will be the 2nd race on the new configuration. Phoenix has over the last couple been a place where drivers who have had a long winless streak have won.  Last year it was Kasey Kahne in the fall race and Jeff Gordon in spring race.  Will Phoenix have the same result this year?  Will a driver who has not seen victory lane in a while win?  Or will it be a driver from Hendrick Motorsports?  From what I can tell HMS drivers have a pretty good record at PIR. Here is what I found regarding HMS current paddock of drivers.  Jimmie has 4 wins at PIR.  Jeff and Dale have 2 wins.  While Kasey has one.  From these numbers HMS is a strong team going into PIR. 

But I wouldn’t count out the Roush drivers either.  Ford has shown how strong they are already in the season.  Matt Kenseth not only won his dual race, but the Dayton 500.  Carl Edwards and Greg Biffle qualified for the front row last week.  Greg finished 2nd and Carl finished 8th. 

As we know, I will be strongly cheering for my driver Tony Stewart.  He has not won at PIR since 1999.  He has 8 Top 5s and 11 top 10s.  I am hoping he has a good showing at PIR this week.  I was unhappy with his finish at Daytona 500 after winning his dual race and starting the 500 3rd. 

But what we know about NASCAR, each race is different and sometimes it can be a crap shoot on who is going to win.

One more thing from Daytona and this will be it.  I was planning on writing a post about the influence of social media on the sport.  The impact of social media came to the forefront on Monday night.  After Juan Pablo’s car crashed into the jet dryer Brad Keselowski  from his car snapped a picture with his phone and sent it out via Twitter.  Now this was the first time something like this occurred. During the fire delay we saw Brad tweeting from his phone while other drivers gathered around him.  During this time, the number of followers for Brad increased dramatically.  I wasn’t one of the people who joined up on Monday, I had already been following him.  But I found myself following all the action during this delay via Twitter.  Normally during a delay I have been known to flip back and forth between the delay and another program.  But Monday night I found myself glued to the television.  I also found myself becoming part of the conversation.  Some people think Brad should not have been doing this.  I didn’t have a problem with it.  He wasn’t driving his car AND tweeting.  It was only after his car was stopped that he took to his phone.  NASCAR even issued publicly Brad had not committed a violation with his tweeting on Monday.  I loved it.  Brad let us view NASCAR from an insider’s view.  A view many of us never get to experience.  Thank you Brad!  I will hold off my post on social media until next week.

Happy Race Weekend everyone!  Go Tony–bring home that win!

Posted in NASCAR 2010, Tony Stewart

Texas

I have been incognito of late.  It has been a rough ride the last couple of weeks, but I am still hangin’ around.

I have been enduring the wrath of Mother Nature again.  What’s up with her?  It has been raining non-stop in Raiderland, well it seems like it has, for the past several days.  I believe I saw Noah in Home Depot the other day purchasing lumber.  I hope not.  Now she has taken her wrath to my beloved Texas Motor Speedway.  I was all set to watch the Nationwide race today and lo and behold…there’s a delay because of weather!  I guess she and the race gods are having some kind of “issue”.  Whatever the “issue” she needs to get over herself and move it on out of Texas.  I may not be at the race, but I don’t appreciate her taking things out on my fellow race fans out there in Ft. Worth!  But luckily TMS does have lights and Eddie Gossage will do everything in his power to get the race underway for everyone.  Go get ’em Eddie!

I was absolutely, positively, undeniably THRILLED that Tony will be starting on the pole Sunday.  Not only will he be on the pole Sunday, he will be making his 400th Cup start on Sunday as well.  I wish I was there watching him take the green flag and leading the pack on Sunday, but alas…I am here in Raiderland.   But I will be watching tomorrow…do you hear that Mother Nature?  There will be racing tomorrow!!!!!

The big news this week in NASCAR is the announcement Kasey Kahne will be ending his time in the #9 at the end of 2010 to head on over to driver for Hendrick Motor Sports.  That’s all we know at the moment.  We don’t know how Kasey will fit into the HMS family, but if history has shown Mr. Hendrick will take care of things for Kasey.  If I was a driver and Mr. Hendrick said, “hey, why don’t you come on over and be a part of our team?”  I would need to have my head checked if I said no.  Mr. Hendrick knows what it takes to build a championship team.  But what the driver and team do with all the resources is another matter.  Some think one team will be moved over to Stewart Haas racing–who is considered to a somewhat satellite team of HMS.  Whatever Mr. Hendrick decides it will be the best for HMS and Kasey.  I am going to be watching this closely.  Will Stewart Haas Racing be playing a role in all of this?  I think so…how?  I am not sure.  It’s still too early…it’s only April and we have quite a bit of racing left in 2010.  I can’t wait and see what happens.

Update…Mother Nature must be REALLY pissed.  Nationwide race postponed until tomorrow.  Looks like a doubleheader tomorrow at TMS.   We will get to see the Cup race first and then the Nationwide race.  That is if Mother Nature gets over her issues with NASCAR!

Posted in NASCAR 2009, Tony Stewart

Fireworks!

I can’t believe I haven’t been here in The Park for a few weeks.  It has been somewhat crazy in my life.  I am still adjusting to a new little one in the house, but it has been fun. 

I have been watching quite a bit of NASCAR lately that I haven’t ignored.  There has been some greating racing over the last few weeks and last night was no exception.  I didn’t get a heck of a lot of race watching in because we had some friends over for the 4th.  As we all racing at Daytona doesn’t disappoint the fans.  Because there was a rainout of qualifying and by virtue of the rules, Tony was once again sitting in the cat bird’s seat at the start of the race.  But Daytona is one of those tracks where starting up front doesn’t necessarily give you an advantage. However, it doesn’t hurt.  From the part of the race I did get to watch Tony had everything dialed last night.  After shooting off fireworks outside with friends, family and a few neighbors, I came back in to watch some more fireworks. Tony was clearly headed for his second win of the season in my book, but with a late caution and the laps winding down it looks like it wasn’t going to be easy.  With the double file restarts that put Kyle Busch on the outside of Tony on the front row.  As the green flag dropped they were off.   Klye go around Tony and took the lead and the white flag, but this IS Daytona.  It ain’t over until the checkered flag is flown and the car in lead crosses the finish line.  Tony got behind Kyle in order to make his move.  As Tony moved out from behind the #18, Kyle went to block and that’s when this went crazy.  Kyle clipped Tony’s front bumper and well, into the wall went Kyle as Tony crossed the finish line victorious.  Unfortunately, Kyle got the worse end of it courtesy of Kasey’s #9 and a few other cars.   I was so excited and yes that was me and the rest of the Smoke fans cheering.  Congratulations Tony!

For those out there who may think Tony took Kyle out for the victory are just plain wrong.  It was racing.  We all knew something was going to happen.  Would I have been upset if it was Tony hitting the wall?  I am sure I would have been, but I would hope after seeing the footage I would have seen it was just a racing deal.  I hope that I would have had the objectivity to see that it was racing deal if the tables were turned.  Even in the post race interview with TNT, Tony seemed bothered by the end of the race.  TNT of course didn’t show much post race coverage, but I wonder what Kyle was thinking about the results.  I would hope he would understand like Tony it was racing.  That’s it…racing!  When you have two passionate racers like Tony and Kyle challenging for the win they would understand how things work.  Now matter what they put on a good show.

Now for the last couple of weeks…

  • I loved how the road race turned out.  I would have loved Tony to have one, but I was happy for Kasey.  I mean when you hold off one of the better road racers towards the end, you deserve the win. 
  • Congratulations to Joey Lagano for his first NASCAR win last week at New Hampshire.  I know there are those who think it wasn’t fair to get your first win on a rain shortened race, but who cares.  A win is  a win.  I am sure Joey would have like to continue the race and caputre the win a different way, but Mother Nature had other ideas.   Isn’t part of racing out thinking the other teams?  The leaders had the same opportunity to start out, but they chose to pit.  It’s not like Zippy hasn’t seen a few of these situations before.  I mean he has two championships under his belt.  Besides, Joey would have had to pit if the race had continued.  I thought it was very classy of Tony to come over and congratulate Joey and Zippy. 
  • Doube file restarts have brought a little excitement back into the racing and are going to start playing into some teams’ strategies if they have already.  I still want to see how the double file restarts would fair in trucks.  The trucks already put on some of the best racing around.  Can you imagine what double file restarts would do?
  • Jeremy Mayfield…this is going to get messier before things all settle out.  As I have said before this is going to be interesting to see if NASCAR’s drug policy stands up to scruntiny.  I haven’t said too much about the whole Jeremy saga in The Park, but the only thing that bothers is the fact he didn’t tell NASCAR about the prescription he was taking prior to the drug test.  If anything that can come out of all is that NASCAR can step and reexam it’s drug policies and procedures, then so be it.

I hope to get back on track with things here in The Park now that I have a handle on things on the home front.  I hope everyone had a great 4th of July.

Posted in NASCAR 2008

A Sunday Drive

I have to admit I wasn’t looking forward to the Pocono race.  I am not a big fan of this race.  I guess because it can somtimes turn into a snoozefest, but yesterday wasn’t the case.  This race had a little bit of everything for everyone.

Yesterday’s race was the first broadcast for TNT.  TNT will broadcast the next 6 races up to the Brickyard where ESPN will take over the rest of the season.  Now I didn’t have any expectations for TNT.  I am not a fan of their broadcast, but you have to bear the good with the bad sometimes in life.  I have to admit I do like their Pride of NASCAR Series.  Yesterday’s installment was Bobby Allison.  It was a nice segment.  There were some audio issues during the race, but all in all not a bad broadcast.  One sticking point, I think they over did it a little with promos for The Bill Engvall Show, Saving Grace and my favorite of the TNT shows The Closer.  I am sure Fox does quite a few promos for their shows, but for some reason it felt like ever single time they went to commercial there was a promo. 

Now onto the race…

Kasey Kahne was the man to beat yesterday.  He had the fast car and it showed even in the face of adversity.  Around lap 70ish, Kasey made a pit stop to get 2-tires.  I guess they didn’t let the crew guys in on this because they thought it was for 4 tires.  Kasey took off with only 3 lugnuts on and had to come back around to the pits.  This mistake put him back in the pack.  Luckily it was early on in the race so he had some time to make up the ground he had gained early on.  And sure enough there he was around lap 97, in about 7th place. That right they my friends tells you what a good car Mr. Kahne had.  Congratulations to Kasey Kahne for winning his second race in his last 3 races and he did it from the pole.  As I recall in 2006, Kasey liked to start on the pole and go to victory lane.  I think if it weren’t for a early crash last week at Dover Kasey would have been a contender. 

Kyle Busch the points leader took a big hit yesterday in the standings with his 43rd place finish.  Sunday was the third leg of his “Bermuda Triangle” trek to three different race tracks.  He made history by doing this trifecta, however it didn’t yield any wins.  His best finish in the three races was at Texas with a 2nd place finish in the truck race Friday night.  Yesterday’s mishap I don’t believe was a result of all that traveling, I just think it was one  of those too many cars not enough real estate things.  We can’t also forget Kyle was also at Eldora Wednesday night for The Prelude.  I am sure Kyle is catching up on all that sleep he missed over the weekend.  I for one I’m tired just thinking about all that mileage.  Of course he got to travel with style…it’s not like he had to fly Southwest Airlines to all the destinations.

Now there were lots of drivers who had fantastic days, Brian Vickers (2nd), Bobby Labonte (11th), A.J. Allmendinger (12th).  Kudos to both Kurt Busch and Kevin Harvick for their finishes of 8th and 13th respectively.  Kurt spun and had damaged to his splitter, but was able to come back and race his way to a top ten finish.  Same thing for Kevin, he had to start the race at the back of the pack right before the race started due to a battery change.    Greg Biffle looked like he was going to have a great day at Pocono (just like Tony), but he too got nailed for a late speeding penalty which ultimately ruined his good run.  He did however finish 15th which was way better than Smoke.

Now a few words about Smoke.  Once again,  Tony had a car that could win the race.  In fact he was up front leading everyone for a time and I thought this might be the race he would see his first win of the season.  But alas, it was not to be on Sunday.  He was nailed with a late speeding penalty and ended up back in the pack.  He finished 35th.  Guess who finished in front of Tony?  The #19.  Perhaps that was why Tony got caught speeding, he saw Elliott coming and wanted to get way ahead of him–just kidding to all you Sadler fans out there.  UGH!  What does this Stewart fan have to do to get the mojo workin’ for Smoke?  Maybe he just wanted to have his first win of the season in Michigan this week.  I mean talk about a great birthday present!  How ’bout Smoke?  Win one for Trixie!

 

Posted in NASCAR 2008

Day O’ Racing

I hope everyone enjoyed the Day O’ Racing.  

The day started out with the Indy 500.  It was nice to see Jim Nabors back this year singing the traditional “Back Home in Indiana”.  He was sick last year and was unable to make the festivities.  

Congratulations to Scott Dixon for winning his first Indy 500 and doing it from the pole.  Say what you want about Danica Patrick, but she isn’t afraid to let you know how it is going to be.  After getting crashed into along pit road by Scott Briscoe with 29 laps to go.  She got out of the car and headed towards Briscoe’s pit.  Luckily for Briscoe, Danica was directed away before she got to his pit stall.  It would have been interesting to see what she would have done and said once she got there.  In the words of Danica…“Probably best I didn’t get down there anyway.”

After the Indy 500 was over, I didn’t have to wait much longer for the festivities to begin for the Coke 600.  I always get chills during the prerace festivities on Memorial Day weekend.  I loved the bagpipes playing amazing grace and the ultimate salute to our members of the military, the 21-gun salute and the playing of Taps.  I wish the people on pit lane would put their hands over the hears when the Pledge of Allegiance and the Star Spangled Banner is played.  It just bothers me a little bit.

Now onto the race…

The race started out with Kyle Busch leading the field to the green just as he did last Saturday night.  Early on Kyle Busch began having alternator issues, but as we all know this is a long race and anything can happen.  First part of the race was pretty much uneventful.  I have to give driving props to Juan Pablo.  He spun out without hitting anyone and right across the Circle K logo “I Love This Place”.  I just had to chuckle when I saw this.  I felt bad for Brian Vickers.  He had a great running car, but you just can’t run a race car on three tires.  His tire bouncing all over the place reminded me of that McDonalds commercial with Larry Bird and Michael Jordan shooting hoops…Vickers tire when off the track, off #38’s hood, off the catch fence, over the infield wall, onto the camper roof…nothing but net!  I thought someone was going to have a great souvenir, but the NASCAR people came to take it away.  Party poopers!

The next part of the race begin to fall into place.  Nothing really exciting happened.  Kyle was still having voltage problems but still making his way around the track and staying somewhat competitive.  Sorry for all you Dale Jr. fans (well sort of).  I can’t say that I was upset by this chain of events.  Dale Jr. cut a tire and ended up scraping the wall.  I don’t know if JJ Yeley’s spotter let him know about Dale Jr…but dude…you had to have seen Jr. up against the wall.  Oh yea…it was mentioned that this was probably going to ruin Junior’s chance to get a win.  During this caution, Kyle came in to get his battery switched out.

Once again…Jimmie was making his way through the field and he eventually got to the front of the pack.  This didn’t surprise me one bit, because Jimmie has a way of rising to the top, but just like his teammate it wouldn’t be Jimmie’s night.  Jimmie’s engine decided it had had enough racing for the evening.  With about 50 to go Jimmie’s night was over.  Once again the face of the race changed again.

Well…guess who was in position to lead the race?  That’s right Tony Stewart.  I held my breathe though.  With the way things were working out, I was hoping Tony could pull it through to the end.  He came into the pits around lap 13 to top off with gas so he could make it to the end of the race.  And just like Junior and Jimmie, it wasn’t going to be Smoke’s night.  Damn tires!  I guess that bitch Karma came back to bite Tony is butt.  I think I said every kind of “not so lady-like” words at the television set.  With this set back, this gave the lead to none other than last week’s winner Kasey Kahne.  With his victory, Kasey became only the 6th driver to win both the All-Star Race and the Coke 600 in the same year.  Oh by the way…Kasey broke his 52 race winless streak tonight as well!  And Junior STILL hasn’t won.

With all the problems and struggles tonight, Kyle finished 3rd, Jeff Gordon finished 4th, and Junior finished 5th.  Where did Tony finish?  18th.  Ugh!  I have to give a high five to Elliott Sadler (8th), David Reutiman (10th), Bobby Labonte (11th), David Ragan (12th) and former Indy 500 winner Sam Hornish (13th).  Way to go guys!

Thanks for the memories Humpy! You may be stepping down, but your impact on NASCAR will be felt for years to come.

One more thing…

There were couple of commercials that I have to say made me laugh.  I love the Holiday Inn commercial where Jeff Burton is asked questions by random people.  My favorite question, “How come you don’t have a mullet?”  The look on his face when asked the question is hilarious.  The latest Vitamin Water commercial with Carl Edwards was funny.  Gotta love Ralph Macchio.  I am going to assume this was paying homage to his most role as the Karate Kid.  But of course these commercials don’t even come close to this one by Budweiser.

This commercial does remind me of the first race I went to at TMS. I don’t recall who was on stage at the time performing during the prerace show, but when soldiers were walking out to prepare for other prerace festivites, everyone in the stands stood up and cheered for them including myself. As we continue to move throughout the rest of the night and tomorrow, remember the real reason for Memorial Day. If you see a soldier or know a veteran, stop and say “Thank You”. I would like to say thank you to my Uncle Cecil, Uncle Junior, Uncle Bill, Uncle Chris, my cousin Joe, my father-in-law, and my father. Thank you for serving honorably for our country. I love you all.