Posted in NASCAR 2013

Party in the Poconos 400

Have you voted yet for which Pace Car will lead the field to the green at Party in the Poconos 400 on June 9, 2013 at Pocono Speedway?  If you haven’t, you ONLY have from today until Monday, May 27 to cast your vote!  Once May 28 is here, the decision is final! So drive on by and cast you vote and make your voice heard…zoom on over to Walmarturl.com/fandriven400.  You can vote once a day every day until May 27!  Here are your three choices!  Get busy for Fans of Design 1 & 2 because Design 3 is leading the competition!  I like all three designs, but I have to admit I am lovin’ Design 3!

pace car 1 pace car 2 pace car 3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you are in the Charlotte area this weekend and want to attend the Coca Cola 600, but budget is a little tight!  No problem…you can take advantage of the $99 Family Four Pack!  With this specially priced pack, you get 4 race tickets, 4 hot dogs, and 4 Cokes!  That’s not bad! Can’t make it to Charlotte this weekend?  You can still take advantage of this FANTASTIC bargain at other races throughout the season…Dover (June 2), Pocono (June 9), Michigan (June 16) and one of my favorite races Daytona (July 6)!

Have a safe and happy Memorial Day weekend!

Posted in NASCAR 2013

Pocono 400 and Vegas too

race driven

Before I visit Vegas, let’s take a quick visit to Pocono…

I have posted about a wonderful contest sponsored by Walmart and Pocono Speedway the past several weeks.  Fans would be given the opportunity to name the Pocono 400 race on June 9, 2013.  Fans were able to submit their names for the name via walmarturl.com/FanDriven.  Three finalists have been chosen and now it is your turn to help these NASCAR fans. Before you head on over to vote, here are the three finalists.

  1. Race More. Live Better–submitted by Carrie Conway Wilson
  2. Pocono for the People–submitted by Diane Martin Carroll
  3. Party in the Poconos–submitted by Shawn McMillan

As I mentioned, you can vote via walmarturl.com/FanDrivenYou are able to vote once a day, every day until April 8!  So head on over and help choose the name of the Pocono 400.  By the way, I have already voted today!

If you are thinking about heading to Pocono, you can take advantage of great offer.  You can purchase tickets for the race on June 9 for ONLY $25!  That’s right!  ONLY $25!  You better hurry though, there will only be 16,000 of these specially priced tickets. These tickets can be purchased at Walmart.com/NASCAR or through Pocono Raceway at poconoraceway.com/

Now back to Vegas…

If looked at the odds (shameless use of Vegas cliché), Jimmie Johnson had the best chance to win on Sunday.  After all he has won 4 times at Vegas.  To be honest early on I thought Jimmie was going to run away with the race.  But as we all know, you can lead the most laps and have the fastest car of the day and not win.  Clearly Kasey Kahne had the car to beat most of the race.  He was up front and racing for the win.

Several drivers were complaining their car was loose including Tony Stewart.  If you know Tony Stewart, if he is complaining about a loose race car, things aren’t going to great.  And that is what happened.  It went south for the #14 team early on.  He stayed pretty much mired back in 23/24 place most of the day.  However, he was able to get the lucky dog after the caution flew for Bobby Labonte’s spin.  I don’t think at that point in the race he had the car to win the race.  I just wanted him to have a decent finish.  And he ended up finishing 11th.  I know it had to be frustrating for him.  He has the third highest driver rating over the previous 8 races at Vegas. He was also the defending race champion.  But as you know Vegas can be cruel to her visitors.

Congratulations to Matt Kenseth and the #20 team!  I like Matt Kenseth and I am thankful he ended up in a great organization.  The #20 still holds a special place in my heart.  It was the ride for Tony Stewart until he left JGR to form Stewart Haas Racing.  I was none too thrilled when Joey Lagano took over his #20.  But when it was announced last year that Matt Kenseth would take over the #20 I was pumped.  Matt Kenseth is a great driver.  I knew he would get that #20 back to Victory Lane!  This was Matt’s third race in the #20.  The sure joy in his voice when he got those checkers was great!  And of course, this was a great way to spend your birthday…in Victory Lane!  I don’t think this will be the last visit to Victory Lane for the #20 this year.

The talk was about how the Gen-6 car was going to perform on the first of the 1.5 mile tracks.  Several drivers complained of the car being loose.  Was it the car itself?  I know that many crew chiefs couldn’t have missed the mark.  Was it the track?  The drivers in pre-race interviews said they thought the track was going to be hot and slick and well fast.   It seemed track position was important in this race as well. Once a car got out in front, he was gone.  Many drivers received penalties for speeding and/or uncontrolled equipment.  Kyle Busch got tagged for speeding early on in the race.   He finished 4th.  I am not a huge fan of Mr. Busch, but that man can wheel a race car.

Few other tidbits…

  • Thank you NASCAR.  I, along with many other fans, have had issues with Raceview.  I sent an email last week to voice my concerns and politely asking for a refund.  This week, I received an email from NASCAR.com stating I had been refunded $9.95.  That is equivalent to a monthly charge for Raceview.  I know it may not seem like a lot, but it for me it went a long way.  And…I was able to log in to Raceview!  I did have some issues, but I don’t think it was on NASCAr.com’s end, but mine.  My internet access was sporadic during the day.
  • I so want to go to a race in Vegas!  My buddy over at http://www.badgroove.com/ makes an annual pilgrimage to Vegas every year.  Every time she goes, she has a blast along with her friend Misty.  One of these days, I will make the pilgrimage to Vegas!  I can’t wait to read her post about her Vegas vacation.
  • The “what the heck what were they thinking” moment of the race came when NASCAR threw a caution when Marcos Ambrose spun his car.  His car started spinning and Marcos was able to get it back going right and headed back onto the track.  No other cars in sight.  I don’t get it.  Of well…that is NASCAR.
  • Denny Hamlin was fined $25,000 by NASCAR this past week for his comments about the Gen-6 car after the Phoenix race. He is refusing to pay the fine. I read what he said on ESPN.com and to be honest I didn’t see anything disparaging about his comments. It wasn’t like he got out of his car and said the car sucked ala Kyle Busch.  But NASCAR has worked tirelessly on the Gen-6 car.  I can understand their point of view too.  Here is what I found on ESPN.com, you can judge for yourself.

“I don’t want to be the pessimist, but it did not race as good as our Gen-5 cars,” Hamlin told reporters after the race won by Carl Edwards. “This is more like what the Generation 5 was at the beginning. The teams hadn’t figured out how to get the aero balance right.  “Right now, you just run single-file and you cannot get around the guy in front of you. You would have placed me in 20th place with 30 [laps] to go, I would have stayed there — I wouldn’t have moved up. It’s just one of those things where track position is everything.”

  • My youngest is still continuing to amaze me with his continuing fascination with NASCAR.  I was listening to Tony on the scanner on Sunday.  With his PBJ sandwich in hand, he climbed up on my lap and put in the earplug and started listening.  Check him out…chase with pbj

This week the boys are headed out to Bristol for some short track racing!  Once again a new test for the Gen-6 car.  Have a great week everyone!

Posted in NASCAR 2009, Tony Stewart

Pocono

I was able to catch most of the race on Sunday.  We got home from our little tour around Texas about 50 laps into the race.  I have to say I do like the double file restarts.  I don’t know if it made that big of a difference at the 2.5 mile track, but I can’t wait until the boys return to Bristol, Martinsville and Talladega.  I have never like the lapped cars sitting in the front of the lead lap cars especially when the leaders are sitting 3 or 4 rows back.  It can get quite confusing at times, plus the leaders don’t have to negotiate around cars that don’t have a snowball’s chance to be a factor in the race.   Plus the lapped cars can create more issues at the beginning of restarts.  But for now I like them.

Now on to the best part of the weekend.  Congratulations to Tony Stewart for getting his first win of the season (technically it’s his 2nd one), but as we all know it’s the points races that matter.  This is the first win by Stewart Haas Racing and I am sure this is not going to be the last.  I didn’t realize it until I read one of my favorite blogs, Tony won his first race at the 14th stop of this year’s season.  Coincidence…I think not.  Tony earned the pole by virtue of owner’s points due to the rainout of qualifying on Friday.  But his luck would be short lived when he crashed in practice and had to go to a backup car.  This meant instead of starting first, he would be delegated to the 43rd spot.  Of course it didn’t take long before Smoke was leading the race.  As it always seems to fall Pocono came down to a little gas mileage.  Kudos to Tony’s crew for taking advantage of the money stop and getting Tony out in front of Carl.  And here is where Tony and Darian rolled the dice.  I was holding my breath hoping and praying that Tony was saving enough gas to get him to the checkered flag.  It was sweet to see that #14 cross the finish line in first.  It was cool to see Tony’s dad get excited about his son’s victory and how touching to see him congratulate him in Victory Lane.   What a great early Father’s Day present.

Other notes from this past weekend

  • The boys on to Michigan.  If Junior doesn’t pull away with a victory it will mean he has gone a full year without a victory.  I guess all the broadcasters will be making note of this fact a little bit more.  Oh well…
  • I have been listening to the “talk” about Danica Patrick coming over to race in NASCAR.  I think she has the skill set, but I don’t if she can  take on all that is NASCAR.  I don’t know how the fans are over there in IRL, but here in NASCAR we can get a little passionate about a sport.  Time will tell. 
  • Kyle Busch smashing his guitar trophy after the Naitonwide race.  My opinion…it’s his trophy, he earned it and he can do what he likes.  I like Kyle Busch.  He has put a little spice back into NASCAR.
  • I guess TNT did okay on the broadcast.  I didn’t really pay attention all that much because after touring Texas for a week you have quite a few things to unpack and wash.
Posted in What I know.

The Bermuda Triangle

Thank goodness…no more races at the Bermuda Triangle..oops Pocono. 

I am not a fan of this track.  It’s too long of a race and it’s just a weird racetrack.  And for some reason there is always a threat of bad weather.  But after last week’s race, I was looking forward to some racing.  Sunday’s looked very familiar (Jimmie Johnson and Mark Martin were on the front row again for the second week in a row) and I thought for a moment perhaps I had had a nightmare and we were all watching the Indy race.  But alas the boys were definitely at Pocono.  Unfortunately Saturday’s practice sessions were rained out. 

Even though NASCAR was going to throw a compeotion yellow at lap 20, the first caution happened rather qucikly.  The boys didn’t even get a chance to finish a complete lap befor Joe Nemecek spins Kevin Harvick.  This put Harvick deep in the pack and he was going to have to fight his way to the front.  As with Pocono, when you have your “oops” moment will depend if you can recover for a decent finish.  Shortly after Kevin went spinning, Kurt Busch decided to try it for himself on Lap 7.   By the way, Kevin finished 4th, but Kurt wasn’t able to recover and finished 38th.

Weather tends to play havoc at Pocono.  Just ask Ryan Newman last year during the spring shortened race.  And this time rain did force soem fo the teams to show their cards.  SEveral teams decided to come in and get tires and gas while others chose to gamble with the impending weather and gambled.  Those who gambled included the spring’s winer Kasey Kahne and Mark Martin.  Carl Edwards, Jimmie Johnson and Tony Stewart chose to come down pit road to get gas and tires.  The race is red flagged on Lap 131 due to rain showers.  After a 41 minute rain delay the boys were back on the track with Kasey Kahne leading the way.  There was still a threat of rain in the area, however it never played a factor after the rain delay.

I have to say it was interesting to see who was going to try and play the gas mileage game.  Who was going to blink?  Unfortunately both Kasey and Mark decided to go in for gas because they were not going to make it on fuel.  Once this happened Carl Edwards inherited the lead.  And he too was playing the mileage game, his crew chief was telling him to conserve fuel.   Unfortunately, the points leader ran out of gas and was unable to refire once he hit pit road.  He finished 36th.  Of course this is better than the finish in the spring where he finished dead last.  Yikes!

Congrats to Carl for his 4th victory this season.

Tony Stewart had a decent day.  He came away with a 2nd place finish after starting 20th.  Kudos also go to David Ragan with his 5th place finish.  Some other surprises…Jamie McMurray (9th), Travis Kvapil (16th), Chad McCumbee (17th), and Tony Raines (18th), and how about Bill Elliott finishing in the top 20 with a 20th place finish.

Now the boys are headed to the final road race of the year at Watkins Glen.  I am crossing all my fingers and toes this week hoping for a victory for Tony Stewart.  If you told me at the beginning of the year that Tony would not have win by Watkins Glen I would have called you crazy, but it’s true.  The same would be said for Jeff Gordon.  It’s not for lacking of trying on the part of the two drivers, it’s just one of those things in racing. 

One more thing…in case you missed it NASCAR made history on Saturday.  The boys in the Nationwide Series raced in the rain up in Montreal.  It was interesting to watch them drive in the rain with the rain tires and windshield wipers.  I am still a little bit confused about why some didn’t install the wipers.  I know when I am behind someone in traffic during a rain storm, I get their back splash.  But I guess there was enough visabilitiy for them.  Unfortunately the race was eventually called due to the rain.  Congrats to Ron Fellows!

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!