Day O’ Racing-2013 version

I have to say I love Memorial Day weekend.  To me it’s the start of summer, even though the official date isn’t until someone in June.  It also means my birthday is a few weeks away, but most of all it means I get to celebrate Day o’ Racing!  I have been somewhat unofficially declaring the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend Day O’ Racing!  I mean three races in one day–Monaco, Indy 500, and the Coke 600!  I usually don’t get up early on Sunday to watch Monaco, sorry boys, I like my sleep and as you know the Coke 600 is a marathon.  I need my rest!

I have been somewhat posting pretty religiously about Day O’ Racing since 2005. I started looking back on my posts and I have to say some of them are quite entertaining.  Back in 2006, Tony ended up hitting the wall and fracturing his right scapula. For the most part, Charlotte seems to get the best of Tony at times.  If you want to check out some blasts from the past, you can, just click on the year (2005, 2007, 2008, two posts from 2009(a), 2009(b)2010).  Sorry there really isn’t much from 2012 and nothing from 2011 (this was due in part to my father’s death on April 18 of that year).

I was excited for this year’s version of Day O’ Racing!  I love watching the Indy 500!  There is so much tradition surrounding this event, how can you not watch?  If there was only one race a year I watched growing up, it was the Indy 500!  In fact, I told my husband, this was at the top of my race bucket list, yes, even before the Daytona 500.  I love how the drivers are introduced, the playing of taps, and of course no Indy 500 would be complete without Jim Nabors singing “Back Home in Indiana”.  I don’t know if Indy will be the same once Jim Nabors is no longer able to sing at Indy.  I guess they could CGI him in.  I mean they can do all kinds of things with technology these days.  Any how, I was excited about this race!  For one, AJ Allmendinger!  I mean AJ had a rough 2012.  But I was glad to see he had been given a second chance with Roger Penske.  It was so exciting to see him lead laps and I thought how AWESOME it would be if he won the whole darn thing, but alas it wasn’t meant to be.  He had issues with his seat belt and had to pit under green. But as much as I would have loved to have seen AJ get the checkers, my heart was with Tony Kanaan!  That’s right, I cheer for another Tony on Day O’ Racing.  Indy 500 has been that elusive win for Mr. Kanaan.  Just like the Daytona 500 with some racers, the Indy 500 can be a cruel bitch!  But not this year, my friends!  After 12 years of trying, Tony got see those checkered flags fly for him!

Now I thought to myself, maybe this was a good sign for my other Tony!  I took some time to catch my breath and eat because the marathon was coming up later in the afternoon.  Just like with a marathon you have to pace yourself, and the Coke 600 is no different.  This is the longest race of the year for the competitors.  Of course, not everyone will make the complete 600 miles. As much as I like to say I watched the entire race, I didn’t.  There are parts of the race that can get kind of, shall we say, boring.  I have to say, the weirdest part of the race was when the cable dohickey thing broke and wreaked havoc with competitors as well as race fans.  NASCAR red flagged the race.  Normally under red flag conditions, teams cannot work on the cars.  They can look all they, but no touching is allowed until the yellow flag is back out.  However, NASCAR allowed teams to work on the cars for 15 minutes.  Plus the drivers were given their spots back when the caution came out.  I have to say kudos to NASCAR for making this decision since this was something beyond the competitors control.  I am glad no fans were seriously hurt and escaped with minor injuries.

But as with the Coke 600, teams need to adjust to the track conditions.  This is a race that starts in the daytime and finishes up in the night-time.  The teams who can make the best adjustments throughout the day usually find themselves at the front late in the race.  Kasey Kahne was poised to win another Coke 600, but a late yellow changed everything.  What do you do if you are Kasey?  If you stay out, the rest of the field comes in, you come in the field stays out.  Kasey stayed out and well, the majority of the field pitted.  Kasey still had a shot to win the race, but to me his restart wasn’t the best and especially on older tires.  As the drivers took the green, here comes The Closer–Kevin Harvick to the front!  Once he got out in front, it was over.  I don’t care if Kurt looked to be making a charge, Kevin had this race. Congratulations Kevin!

Oh a high note, Tony scored his first top 10 finish since Phoenix!  Maybe they have figured things out.  This Gen 6 car has all of SHR befuzzled and bemused!  I know Tony likes to win, but he was glad to take this type of finish after all the struggles over the past couple of months.  Maybe Tony can take this positive upswing into Dover this weekend!

Other tidbits..

  • Can’t believe we are half way through the first 26 races.  Right now, Jimmie Johnson is leading the points and has 2 wins.  Here is the rest of the Top 10 [Edwards (1 win), Kenseth (3 wins), Bowyer (0 wins), Kahne (1 win), Dale Jr. (0 wins), Harvick (2 wins), Menard (0 wins), Truex (0 wins), Keselowski (1 win)].  It looks like the 2 wild cars will go to Kyle Busch (sitting 11th and has 2 wins) and Eric Almirola sitting in 12th spot.
  • If some drivers don’t step it up the might find themselves out of the Chase this year.  Some of these drivers include Greg Biffle (13th), Jeff Gordon (15th), Kurt Busch (18th) and Tony Stewart (20th).  None of these drivers has a win so far this season.
  • Even though David Ragan has a win, he is outside the top 20.  He is currently sitting 27th.
  • Denny Hamlin is sitting right now at 24th.  He would still have to get into the top 20 to even have a shot to make the Chase.

My final thoughts…

I haven’t been a big Kurt Busch fan over the years.  I don’t discount his talent.  Just like his brother, he can drive the wheels off his car.  Kurt was the first driver to win a championship under the Chase format back in 2004.  But some of Kurt’s backlash is his own doing.  But I think he is having a good year even though he doesn’t have a win as of yet.  He has been thisclose, but has been able to seal the deal.  So far Kurt has shown some promise with the Furniture Row Racing team this year.  I believe Kurt will get the elusive win this year.  Maybe this is what Kurt needs.  Sometimes you have to take a step back to realizee how lucky you are to race in one of the premiere racing divisions.

Tony needs some good Mojo right now…so here’s my shameless gratuitous picture of Tony!

2011 championship

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!

Sprint Unlimited

Finally, the NASCAR season has begun.  Cars are out on the track and not just testing or practicing, they are racing!  The Sprint Unlimited began back in 1979 as the Busch Clash and then to the Bud Shootout in 1998.  No matter what it is called it is the start of the NASCAR season for us in NASCAR nation.  This was the first race in which we would see how the Generation 6 car would respond to race conditions.  In order to be eligible for the race, drivers had to have won a pole in 2012.  Unfortunately this left out the NASCAR champion, Brad Keselowski and runner-up Clint Bowyer.  If you didn’t win a pole last year, you had to been a past winner of the race as well to be eligible.  This left the field with only 19 drivers for the race even though 22 drivers were eligible.  Three drivers who did not race was AJ Allmendinger, Bill Elliot, and Ken Schrader.  This race was also fan driven (no pun intended).  Fans got to decided the length of each race segment (we chose 30/25/20), the number of tires to used during the pit stop after the first segment (we chose 4 tires) and if any drivers would be eliminated after the second segment (we chose none).  And finally those fans who were attending the race we able to set the starting lineup by choosing from 3 choices and we chose the number of poles each driver won from 2012.  With all that being said, the Sprint Unlimited started out with a bang and then a whimper.

I was anticipating a good race even with just 19 drivers in the mix.  The Gen 6 car was untested in race conditions.  Everything was looking good for segment one Tony was moving through the field and heading to the front.  Matt Kenseth was in the lead.  Tony saw a chance to move down the track through a window of an opening and boom.  Tony didn’t quite clear Marcos Ambrose and this set off a 7 car crash which pretty much took out most of the field. Tony was able to save his car, but took out most of the competition the rest of the night.  I guess that’s one way to win the race.  All kidding aside Tony was able to win the first segment.  I thought this was a good sign.  After coming down for the mandatory pit stop after the first segment, Tony, I believe, came out of the pits third with future teammate Kevin Harvick coming out first.  Segment two wasn’t much to talk about.  There was a dicey moment when Joey Lagano’s car got loose and bumped Tony who in turned got into Dale Jr.  But other than that, it was pretty much dominated by Kevin Harvick.  As we headed towards the end of the last segment, I thought the drivers would turn things up.  I mean this was Daytona and this was a non-points paying event and well, as I mentioned this was racing at Daytona.  Tony tried to make a move on Kevin with a few laps left, but Kevin came down in front of Tony.  I thought those two were going to the front.  Greg Biffle then started to make his move and Kevin moved back up the track to get in front of him.  This caused Tony to lose the momentum he had gained.  Then it was over with Kevin Harvick as the winner.

I have to say I thought the race was anticlimactic.  I had planned all week for this race.  I carved out my time for Saturday.  I had my little media area prepped for the race.  I was even going to send the kiddos away for about 4 hours so I could enjoy the race.  But just like racing, a yellow flag was thrown because of debris.  We got a last-minute birthday party invite that would run close to the start of the race.  I got home but missed all the pre-race stuff and the first laps.  Just as I hunkered down for the race, it was over.  Well, at least for me it was when half the field was taken out.  Tony was very aggressive early, perhaps too aggressive.  It is what I like about Tony, but dang it Mr. Stewart…ugh!  He didn’t mean to come down and take out half the field.  It was just a racing deal.  Tony did take responsibility for the crash.

Sunday is qualifying for the Daytona 500 where the first two positions will be determined.  On the one hand Tony heads out first for qualifying, but on the other it might not bode well for him on winning the pole.  Of course if he isn’t on the front row I am ok with that.  He will still have a chance to get on row two come Thursday with the Budweiser Duels (formerly the Gatorade Duels).  For where you start isn’t as important where you end up.  This is Daytona…anything can happen.

If you haven’t noticed has redesigned their site.  I have to say I am not all that thrilled about the change.  For one it seems to take a long time to load up, of course this could be caused by my internet provider.  It has been somewhat daunting to navigate around the site.  For example, I wanted to find out the results of last night’s race and well frankly I couldn’t find them.  I didn’t spend all that much time trying to find them, but it should be that difficult.  I am also a Raceview subscriber.  The site was having difficulty with the Raceview last night.  I didn’t use my Raceview last night because of the message I saw on Twitter. did offer a way for you to view it last night while they were working on fixing things.  I am sure it will be fixed come Sunday if not before.

Some final thoughts…

  • I love social media.  Yeppers…I love Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.  It’s fun and entertaining. If you aren’t on Twitter get on it…open an account…follow people.  If you love NASCAR, I highly recommend The Orange Cone.  Yes, it is an inanimate object, but some of the funniest stuff comes from his feed.  If you are on Twitter, check him out @TheOrangeCone.
  • NASCAR Commercials are funny.  There are three commercials that sort of introduces the new car.  You see the cars sitting in regular car showrooms.  My favorite is the Clint Bowyer one.  AT the end when the salesman says I will get the keys, Clint utters… “She don’t take keys”.  Brad K. is using his phone to take pictures of him in front of the Ford and Jimmie utters “I love new car smell” in his commercial.  NASCAR commercials just make you giggle at times.
  • Tony had an awesome car last night.  He posted some of the best speeds yesterday in the last practice.  This bodes well for today, the duels and next weekend.  I want Tony to win the Daytona 500.  But the Daytona 500 is tough to win.  It took Dale Sr. 20 tries and some drivers have tried, but never won.  Hoping this is Tony’s year!
  • I was able to help out a fellow Tony fan.  I managed to find a copy of NASCAR Illustrated with Tony Stewart on the front.  I mentioned this to her and well, she was a little sad because as a NASCAR Illustrated subscriber she got the one with Denny Hamlin on the front.  This is where I was determined to get her a copy of one with Tony on it.  I accomplished this feat and she is now the proud owner of a NASCAR Illustrated with Tony on the cover.  That’s what it is all about my friends.  NASCAR Nation is not just a bunch of people who love NASCAR, it is a family.

The “Bermuda Triangle”

The first race at Pocono this season is in the books.  Pocono is different than the other tracks the drivers go to on the circuit.  You have three turns that are completely different from each other.  And to boot, it is 2.5 miles around the thing.  This can make for a long and at times boring race.  I wasn’t worried about missing part of the race today with my weekly yard chores. I finished the yard work and came in to enjoy the air conditioning and lo and behold Mother Nature struck at Pocono.  This isn’t unusual for Pocono.  Sometimes it could be raining on one part of the track and dry on the next.  I mean afterall it is 2.5 miles around the dang place (oh yea I did mention that before).

Congratulations to Denny Hamlin.  This marks Denny’s 4th win at Pocono in nine starts.  I would have to say Denny knows how to get around the “Triangle”.  From what I saw of the last 80 laps, it was clear who the class of the field was at Pocono.  Even with late race strategies, Denny made his way to the front of the pact along with his teammates Kyle and Joey.  At one point it looked like the JGR team was going to have three cars in the top 5 along with a former JGR driver.  But that wasn’t the case…apparently Kevin Harvick had other ideas about the ending.  Kevin, in his typical Harvick fashion, laid a bumper to Joey and well…that’s where Joey went around.  It looked he was going to keep it from spinning, but the #20 was just too much for Joey.  The fireworks didn’t end there.  Joey definitely wanted to confront Mr. Harvick about his actions.  I have to say good for you Joey.  There are times I wonder what Harvick is thinking behind that wheel.  From what I could see from the replay, this spin did not have to happen.  Of course I wasn’t behind the wheel of the #29 so who am I to say what could or could not have been done to avoid the #29 laying the bumper to the #20.  This is not the first time Harvick has done this and as I can assume it will probably won’t be the last.  Either way, it was good to see Joey stand up and take it to Harvick.  

Quote of the weekend from Joey Lagano…”I don’t know what his problem is with me but it’s probably not his fault.  His wife wears the fire suit in the family and tells him what to do.”

What was the deal with the big crash?  That looked like a crash you see at Talladega not Pocono.  When Kasey came back across the track, you knew it was going to pretty.  Mark and Greg pretty much had nowhere to go.  From the what I could tell, it looked like Kasey was trying to make a move around his teammate and AJ through a block.  A block that pushed Kasey all the way to the grass.  Grass + NASCAR car at high speed = not a good outcome (excluding the “Pass and the Grass” move).  I guess it itsn’t the year for the word teammate. 

Tony finished 3rd.  Tony needed this finish.  He hasn’t exactly been lighting it up on the race track lately.  He has moved up to 13th in the standings.  Next week is Michigan and then on to Sonoma for some road racing at Sonoma.  Tony definitely  can make up some ground and perhaps get back into the top 12 in standings.  I loved his post race interview with TNT.  He wasn’t too upset about his finish considering he won the race last year (his first in the SHR #14).  I also have to chuckle at his beard.  Perhaps Denny, along with Tony’s teammate Ryan, should have used their pull as Gillette Young Guns get Tony a new stash of razors.  And can I just say…NO TO THE MULLETT!  That’s right…JUST SAY NO!  Neither Kyle or Ryan can pull that look off…and to be honest can anyone really pull of that look?

Saturday Night Racing

Congraulations to Kevin Harvick for winning back-to-back Bud Shootouts.  He did pretty good considering he didn’t turn a lap in his car up to the Bud Shoot due to his flu-like symptoms. Tony started 13th and if you watched the Bud Shootout Selction Show, you know that Tony doesn’t like the number 13.  Tony looked great all night and ran pretty much up front most of the night.  Hopefully they were able to get some good data for the Daytona 500 on Sunday.

It was a little strange not to see Jimmy Spencer on Speed’s Race Day.  From what I saw Jimmy Spencer will be hosting his own show on Speed.  Kyle Petty has taken over Jimmy’s spot on Race Day.  I like Kyle Petty as a broadcaster.  I am looking forward to see how he will fit in with John and Kenny.  Of course Kenny has enough energy and excitement to light up a small West Texas town. 

I am looking forward to the Duals on Thursday.  Unfortunately I will be at work, but it won’t keep me from listening.  I will be checking them out on  I would love to see Tony win his dual so that he can start near the front on Sunday.  I am hoping for a Tony win on Sunday.  He has won pretty much everything you can at Daytona except the Daytona 500.  From the way he ran in the Bud Shootout, the other drivers better watchout.

Back and sort of better than a few weeks ago

Sorry for not posting in a long time, but I was having internet issues.  My only access somewhat has been at work before I get going or during the lunch hour.  I did get some things done during this down time, but the laundry still is fighting the good fight. 

You would think the off week would one for all of us to recover and get ready for the push towards the Chase and the Chase itself.  But alas, the whole did he or didn’t he thing took center stage again.  Yes…the whole Jeremy Mayfield is still around.  I know this story has more sides to it than a Rubik’s cube, but I am so tired of it all.   There are more interesting stories to talk about this year.  Take for instance…Mark Martin.  He now has 4 wins this season.  Who would have thought he would have more wins than his teammates, Jimmie (2), Jeff(1)  and Junior (0), combined.  He has a renewed motivation that he didn’t have towards the end of his tenure with Roush.  He clearly is having a blast!

What about Juan Pablo?  He is having a good year.  He is 9th in points even though he has no wins, he has 9 top tens.  Not bad for a driver on a team that really hasn’t been going anywhere this year.  At first I didn’t like JPM, but I think he has realized that in order to have a good season you have to finish races.  You can’t always go out and race balls to wall all the time.  You need to be there at the end.

Silly season is among us now.  Kevin Harvick may want out of his contract at the end of the 2009 season, but still has one year left on his contract with RCR.  His sponsor, Shell’s contract ends this year.  Richard Childress states Kevin will not be let out of his contract.  Gee…isn’t that what owners usually say?  As I recall Tony was supposed to be finishing out his contract with Gibbs this year and we all know how that ended up don’t we?  Do I think Kevin Harvick will end up at Stewart Haas Racing?  I don’t see why SHR could run a third car and perhaps Kevin needs a new team.  I mean he has been running the #29 since 2001 when Dale Sr. died.  Plus Tony has driven for Kevin in the Nationwide for Kevin Harvick Incorporated and they are great friends.  But as I can attest working for and with your good friends don’t always work out.  But if the success they have had in Nationwide can be translated to a team for SHR watch out. 

Of all the race weekends I am looking forward to the most this year is coming up on Sunday.  Tony comes into the Brickyard in the points lead.  He is driving the #14 which just happens to be his idol’s, AJ Foyt’s number, and he is part owner of the team he is driving for.  How wonderful if Tony could get this victory at The Brickyard this weekend?  It might be a little sweeter than his first victory back in 2005.  Watch out everyone!  I hope the tires will last longer than they did in last year’s race.  From what I can tell, this tire Goodyear is bringing this year has been thoroughly tested and should be ready to go for the race on Sunday.  Here’s hoping.

One more thing…love the double file restarts!

Some non-NASCAR items…I have made the leap into fantasy football.  I have joined the same league as Postman.  My goal for the season try to outdo Postman and if a kick a little tail on the other teams icing on the cake.  My QB is Eli Manning.  I would rather have Peyton, but I can’t go wrong with Eli.  Wish me luck!

Let’s Go Racin’ Boys!

9194824Did you hear it last night?  You know that sound that start with a low rumbling and turns into the most beautiful sound in the world…a NASCAR engine.  To hear those most famous words in motersports, “Gentlemen state your engines”, to see those 28 cars coming out of Turn 4 racing towards the green flag and DW saying in the background, “Boogity, Boogity, Boogity, let’s go racin’ boys”…I was in my own little heaven last night.

It has been a long off season for us NASCAR fans especially since there was a ban a testing.  Perhaps this is why I have been a little extra cranky since November.  No NASCAR makes Trixie a little cranky, but that’s all over folks, NASCAR season is here!  

If last night’s race is any indication of how the Daytona 500 will be next Sunday, it’s going to be awesome.  I have to say I was very excited to watch the Bud Shootout this year.  For one, this would be the first time any of us would see the #14 out on the track racing with the other boys.  It was a little strange to see “Lagano” beside the #20, but once the race got going I settled in.  Of course it didn’t take long before there was some action on the track.  The first casualties of the night…Lagano and Speed.  Strange how that works out.  All I have to say is…”Welcome to NASCAR!”

I am listening to the scanner on and chatting, we I look up and see a red car leading the pack.  That’s right…#14 was leading the charge.  The #14 looked might pretty with all those other cars following in behind Tony.  I was pumped.  But as well all know this is Daytona and the lead can change in the blink of an eye.  And this was certainly the case last night.  There was definitely some three wide driving, beating and banging…my kind of NASCAR.  There were are some g

ood saves…Denny Hamlin comes to mind.  There was a loud roar last night in case you didn’t hear it…that was all those Junior fans shouting out at once when Junior took the lead, but it wasn’t meant to be.  During the second segment, Junior crashed and yes…that was me you heard cheering as he drove his mangled car to the pits.  (Note…I am one of those people who really doesn’t like Junior…liked his father, but I have never really cared for Junior..there I said it.) .  

We all know Daytona racing doesn’t get exciting until the last 10-15 laps and last night didn’t disappoint us race fans.  I think we all need to remind Jeff Gordan, you can’t go four wide into a turn at Daytona and expect to come out unscathed.   All I have to say is, too many cars, not enough real estate.  This late crash was going to set up a race to the finish.  And if just like an action pa

cked movie, there was one last twist to the story…a late crash with a few laps left put the Shootout into overtime.  That’s right…it was green white checker time baby.  At to quote, Peyton Manning from those Oreo commercials…”it was on like Donkey Kong”.


It was crazy.  I truly thought Jamie was going to hold off the pack, but in the blink of an eye, out shot Kevin Harvick.  There was also that red #14 nipping at the heels. It was everything we as race fans wanted…a FANTASTIC finish.  Congratulations to Kevin Harvick for winning the 2009 Bud Shootout! And where was that #14 when all the smoke cleared (no pun intended), that would be third!   

Here are the rest of the results from last night.

  1. Kevin Harvick
  2. Jamie McMurray
  3. Tony Stewart
  4. Jeff Gordon
  5. A.J. Allmendinger
  6. Kasey Kahne
  7. Carl Edwards 
  8. Matt Kenseth
  9. Kurt Busch
  10. Kyle Busch
  11. Brian Vickers
  12. Paul Menard
  13. Denny Hamlin
  14. Jimmie Johnson
  15. Casey Mears
  16. David Stremme
  17. Greg Biffle
  18. Dale Earnhardt, Jr.
  19. Bobby Labonte
  20. David Reutiman
  21. Elliott Sadler
  22. Michael Waltrip
  23. Reed Sorenson
  24. Jeff Burton
  25. Scott Speed
  26. David Ragan
  27. Robby Gordon
  28. Joey Lagano

Last night’s race was a great start to the NASCAR season.  Today is qualifying for the Daytona 500.  I will be watching to see if that #14 will be heading towards that front row.