I haven’t been doing such a good blogger of late.  I have been stuck in the back of the pack, on pit road or in the garage.  But to be honest I have been trying to get some things in my life back on track and get some focus into my life.  I have come to the conclusion I need to get back to what I love to do here in The Park…talk about NASCAR.

I have to say I was somewhat excited about Jeff Gordon finally breaking his winless streak, the longest of his career at what I consider my home track Texas Motor Speedway.  TMS was one of two tracks Jeff had not conquered, the other being Homestead, but after last Sunday, Homestead is the last track standing.  I think his fellow teammate, Jimmie Johnson, had other ideas.  I think if the race had lasted a few more laps, Jimmie would have caught his teammate. 

I have been researching some things and I really want to post something about Dale Jr, but I want to wait a few more weeks before making this post.  I will say up front that I am not a fan of Dale Jr, but I was a little saddened by the apparent demise of the #8 team he made famous.  It is going to be strange not to see the #8 racing on Sundays.  The team was suspended indefinitely due to lack of sponsorship.  The economic times have been tough for all teams in NASCAR.  Many have had to tighten their belts and make decisions they  might not have made if it wasn’t for the economy.  I am sure there are those in Earnhardt Nation who are just sitting back and saying “We told you so.”  Do I think DEI, or EGR as it is now known, will slowly fall to the wayside?  I am not sure.  EGR isn’t the only team who has had to park a team due to lack of sponsorship.

I am a fan of Kyle Busch.  I wasn’t when he first came into NASCAR.  I thought he was punk and needed to be taken back behind the woodshed, but he has earned my respect and has won me over.  I believe Kyle Busch is exactly what NASCAR has needed.  He is a breath of fresh air.  He does have smart ass mouth on him and he isn’t afraid to speak his plus he is a damn good driver.  I have read he is being compared to a Dale Earnhardt Sr. when he first came into NASCAR.  I know that seems like blasphemy in NASCAR, but why can’t we compare him to Dale Sr.?  Aren’t other sport superstars compared to each other in the other major sports?  Will Kyle accomplish the things Dale Sr. did during his tenure in NASCAR?  I don’t know.  Dale Sr. raced during a different time in NASCAR.  But from this NASCAR fan’s point of view, it’s going to be a blast to see him try.

It looks like Stewart Haas Racing is headed in the right direction.  Tony has started out with several great runs.  He has 2 Top 5s and 5 Top 10s and is sitting 5th in the points.  He doesn’t have a win as of yet, but it is only a matter of time.  Ryan got off to a slow start (and I am sure he was thrilled to just get of Daytona), but they have slowly found something and are headed in the right direction.  He’s only 92 points behind 12th place Jeff Burton in the standings.  He moved up one spot last week to 17th.  I figure with a few more good runs, Newman can get into the Top 12.  And isn’t that where you want to be after Richmond?

I am hoping to make a more concerted effort to post more NASCAR stuff with a little of my messy and confusing life mixed in.

Tidbits after Texas

Ryan Newman was docked 25 points for having a right rear quarter panel too high after post race inspection. Penske was docked 25 owner points and Newman’s crew chief, Roy, McCauley, was fined $25,000 and put on probation until Deember 31. This dropped loss of points dropped Newman from 8th in points to 10th in points.

What’s happening over at Petty Enterprises? In my opinion, I think the sport has grown so much and it is leaving Petty behind. Can Petty Enterprises catch up with all the other teams and be competitive? I am sure of it, but it will take a few years to get back to their glory days. I am sure Kyle still has the competitive fire in him, but he is not the future of Petty and to be honest neither is Labonte. Petty needs to look towards the future with younger drivers to remain a competitive force in NASCAR. I think they need to be aggressive in attracting up and coming drivers to bring their team back to a level competitive they are used to. It sounds like they are headed in the right direction, however. I hope Petty does become competitive again. NASCAR isn’t NASCAR without Petty Enterprises.

Jeremy Mayfield is out of the #70 and look is back in the #70…Johnny Sauter. Funny how that all worked. Jeremy is now back looking for a job. Once again, this is a race fan’s opinion here, but sometimes you have to keep the dirty laundry at home. I am sure Jeremy thought what he was doing was the right thing to do, but sometimes you have to keep the company’s business just that…the company’s business.

Another DEI engine has problems…surprised? Not really.

What happened to #88? He put down a great qualifying run, but on race day it was up and down. But he is still in the top 12 though along with teammate Jimmie Johnson.

One more thing, I have to say I enjoy listening to Ray Evernham every Tuesday on Sirius Speedway. He has some insight into the spot that I enjoy listening about. Plus he is funny as all get out. If you have Sirius radio tune in to Sirius Speedway I believe it’s 2-6 in my time zone (Central). I only get to listen to a fraction of the show on the way home, but DAMN, it’s the funniest stuff out there. I swear there are days I barely make it home. I know the drivers around think I am losing it, but I don’t care.

Have a great day!

Flippin’ and Jayhawks

As mentioned earlier I have been trying to get over this crud I have.  I think I am on the way to recovery, but the cough keeps hanging around.

I have to admit it, the race on Sunday was a typically Texas race.  The cars get spread out and there are very few cautions.  With that being said, I enjoyed the race.  I still hurts not to be sitting in the crowd with everyone else.  Once you go to a race, you need to keep going.  It’s like a drug.  I am working on attending the November race.  It is going to take some careful planning and to be honest scheming, but hopefully I will be watching the race in November in the stands instead of at home.

Congratulations to Carl Edwards!  He was one of the drivers I had picked on my fantasy team.  I mean he drives for Roush-Fenway and they seem to have Texas figured out.  Carl is the 2nd repeat winner at Texas.  Carl won the inaguaral Fall race back in 2005.  I was at that race and that was a close one that went down to the remaining few laps.  Roush may have Texas figured out, but Jeff Gordon still struggles with Texas.  He still has yet to Victory Lane.  Sunday was no different for Mr. Gordon.  He finished 43rd which in itself is a rarity for Gordon.  As I understand he has only one other time he finished dead last.  That’s not bad for a driver. 

I heard there were some complaints about the new car at TMS.  Just a reminder to these drivers who feel the car wasn’t doing what it needed to do, this is the FIRST time the COT as run at Texas.  You weren’t able to test the car because NASCAR would give TMS a testing date.  So basically there was no data for you go by.  I am sure you pulled in some data from all your research and design folks or the wind tunnel etc, but it’s a little different in real time circumstances.  I am sure the data you got from this weekend will be analzed by those who know what they are doing and I am also pretty sure the fall race will be somewhat better for you.

The boys are headed out to Phoenix this weekend for some Saturday night racing!  I love night racing!

CONGRATULATIONS TO THE KANSAS JAYHAWKS!!!  I went to bed last night with about 2 1/2 minutes left in the game and Memphis had a handle on the game.  But wait, that wasn’t the case.  Kansas clawed their way back into the game and with a last second 3-point shot by Chalmers, the game was headed into overtime.  Kansas dominated, in my opinion, the overtime period.  Memphis missed 4 out of 5 free throws late in the game.  As my old basketball coach pounded into my little brain, games are won and lost at the free throw line.  For one, there are basically a free shot.  You have no one guarding you or pressuring you to shoot the ball. You relax and focus on the shot.  It’s just you and ball.  Memphis doesn’t have anything to hang their head down about…you don’t win 38 games in a season and call it a failure.  You beat some quality teams out there…heck, you tore up Texas.   Even though they were representing my home state, I got a little excited when the lost.  That’s my Red Raider blood talking there.  Once again congrats Jayhawks!