It’s Here!!!!

Today is Media Day!!!  I will be listening to things on NASCAR.com this morning.  I know the points racing season doesn’t “officially” start until the Daytona 500, but for me it starts today!  I have been looking foward to the season starting.  I will be watching tonight on Speed to see the draw for the Bud Shootout.  Then Saturday we have front row qualifying for the 500 and the Bud Shootout!  I am pumped about the 2010 season.  I think Jimmie betta watch out.  The rest of the field is coming to get ya!  As I have done for the last two years, here is the warning I post to warn all my friends and family about the next nine months.

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!!!

Three Weeks

Three weeks from today is the 2010 Daytona 500 and the start of the 2010 NASCAR season. I have to say I am pumped about this year. I have a decision or “resolution” (I don’t belive in them and I don’t make them) to pay more attention to The Park. So far I have been doing a better job than the last several months. I changed the theme of things for now. I am still tweaking things, but I need to take care of the home front for now.

Back to NASCAR….I see that Denny Hamlin will be racing this year with a torn ACL. Man…that’s going to be tough on the knee throughout the season. I have had a knee injury before, granted it wasn’t a torn ACL, but it was very, very difficult to drive a standard with a bum knee. But Denny will have surgery at the end of the 2010 season.

The Daytona 500 may still be three weeks away, but there is racing in the next few weeks. The Rolex 24 at Daytona is next weekend. For me, it means the NASCAR season is just around the corner. I have to say I like watching this event. I don’t know a lot of the non-NASCAR drivers, but its definitely fun to watch. Then next up…is the Bud Shootout on February 6. That’s when the boys getting to hit the track for racing since Homestead. Normally qualifying for the front row for the 500 is on the Sunday following the Shootout, but due to the Super Bowl being held that day, front row qualifying will be held on Saturday–the same day as the Shootout. Then on Thursday, February 11…it’s on! The Gatorade Duels where the rest of the field for the 500 is set.

How sweet that the Daytona 500 will be held on Valentine’s Day. But like last year I will be away from the television set and won’t be able to see the Daytona, but I will have my Sirius radio tuned into Channel 128—NASCAR radio. Why? I will be in Ruidoso, New Mexico spending time with my family and my wonderful friends. They understand to some extent my passion for NASCAR and how tough this is for me. But I know what’s important in life and NASCAR will just have to take a back seat for a weekend.

Final note…congratulations to the Indianapolis Colts and New Orleans Saints. It’s going to be an interesting Super Bowl this year. I do want to thank the Saints for beating the Vikings and that old guy. As a Cowboys fan, I was a little pissed off at the Vikings for that final touchdown last week. Guess the Vikings will be watching the Super Bowl just like me…at home with friends and family. Maybe now that old guy will FINALLY retire (but I ain’t holdin’ my breath). I will be rooting for the Indianapolis Colts. I am pumped. I just wished it had been the Colts and the Cowboys, but at least one of my teams is in the Super Bowl.

Bumper Cars

NASCAR announced on Thursday the bump drafting rules at Talladega and Daytona have been eliminated.  Watching the fall Talladega wasn’t much fun for me.  I like a little bump drafting with my racing. 

I am not advocating going out there and playing bumper cars and using your car as a weapon, but you need to allow the drivers to have the freedom to take care of things themselves.  There are a couple of drivers that need to be taken out back to the woodshed.  I am a little tired of the drivers not saying what they feel for fear they would get called on the carpet for it or have to retract their words days later.  I guess that’s why I like Tony Stewart.  He has never been afraid to say how he feels about things.  He is that passionate about his sport and his racing.  That’s part the appeal of Kyle Busch to me as well.  Some drivers are a little  too vanilla for me. They say all the right things to everyone.  I know some people like that, but it’s boring to me.  Drivers shouldn’t be afraid to step out of their cars right after an incident and so how they feel.  Isn’t that the reason the pit reporters are RIGHT there with the microphone?

 I am looking forward to seeing Denny H. and Brad K. mix it up on the track in 2010.  There needs to be some rivalries in the sport.  I am a Red Raider to the core.  I bleed red and black, and I detest those Longhorns from the University of Texas.  Every time Postman or I see a little kid with a Longhorn shirt we want to cry child abuse.  Seriously though is there a true rivalry in NASCAR?  Perhaps with the drivers being given a little bit more freedom to race we might see a new rivalry emerge in 2010.

Just one final note and to quote a line from “Days of Thunder”…No, no, he didn’t slam you, he didn’t bump you, he didn’t nudge you… he *rubbed* you. And rubbin, son, is racin’.

NASCAR 2010

It has been awhile since I have posted anything of substance here in The Park.  This has been in part to my little affection for Facebook, but I found I really do miss The Park.  I didn’t think I would because it was becoming something I felt I had to do.  But then I realized it was a place I could escape and talk NASCAR.  I don’t have many people around who have the same passion I have about NASCAR.  In fact many don’t even understand and when I try to explain, well, it’s like trying to explain quantum physics to a 6 year old. 

By the end of the 2009 season I was drained.  I hate to say it, but I grew tired and even at times complacent with NASCAR.  I guess after the Chase began and it was inevitable Jimmie was going to win his 4th championship I found other things to bide my time on Sunday afternoons like football.  I don’t think I really watched a whole Chase race in 2009.   But the off season has allowed me to get rejuvenated for NASCAR.  I have my new 2010 Tony Stewart calendar up in my office.  I have perusing the bookstores and the local Walmarts looking for my preseason magazines in order to prepare for the 2010 season.  I have already warned my family and friends that NASCAR season is just around the corner. 

I have high hopes for the 2010 season.  I am interested to see how the new rear spoiler will perform versus the previous wing on the car.  I wasn’t aware that Tony was in my home state of Texas doing a tire test at TMS with the new wing on the car.  It doesn’t look too bad.  I hope it does what the drivers and NASCAR hope it does.  I hope it brings some more exciting racing.  Racing was exciting last year, but I am always looking for more. 

I think this 2010 season will be one to watch.  I am looking to see if Jimmie can be dethroned as NASCAR champion.  I am not diminishing his run as champion and what he has accomplished the last four years, but I would like to see the #14 standing atop at the end of the season as NASCAR season.  The only other driver that I would be ok with is Mark Martin.  He had an amazing 2009 season.  I think it surprised a lot of NASCAR fans.  It was as if he had been rejuvenuted and he was a 50 year old man driving aorund, but a 24 year old.  He definitely raised the stakes for everyone last year and he has set the bar high for the 2010 season.

There has been much discussion over the offseason about Danica Patrick’s foray into NASCAR.  At this point I am not swayed either way.  I think she has the skill set to race in NASCAR , but how she will fair is another story.  I am looking forward to seeing her out there racing against the boys.  Part of me wants to see her and Kyle Busch tangle and watch it all unfold.  She isn’t afraid to go over and tell a driver how it is and neither is he.

I love the double file restarts in Cup and Nationwide.  It definitely made the restarts fun to watch.  Now you the Truck series will have double file restarts.  Truck racing is crazy as it is and now you have double file restarts….wow…let the racing begin!

And finally….Dale Jr.  If you have been to The Park you know I am NOT a Dale Jr. fan.  He will be heading into his thrid year wtih HMS and he hasn’t performed up the expectations as everyone wanted.  There were times Dale Jr. was racing his heart out and having great days only to end up in the crapper.  I think removing Tony Jr. was a move that needed to be made.   Perhaps now that he will have a full year with Lance McGrew will help him get back to where his fans, owner, and Junior himself want him to be.  I have to say there were times during interviews he sounded like he didn’t want to be at the track or even racaing.  But we all get like that at our jobs.  We begin to question why we chose the career we did and if we should continue.  Perhaps this off season he has had a chance to step back and see where he wants to go and he will get back on track (no pun intended). 

Well…that’s about it for now.  I am so pumped for the season to begin.  How ’bout you?