• NASCAR Birthdays

    Born in APRIL

    18 Geoff Bodine, Tyler Labonte, Kale Kahne, Melanie Self

    19 Robert Yates, Richard Yates, Jack Roush, Greg Erwin, Kevin Grubb, Al Unser Jr., Aaron Keuhn

    20 Frank Stoddard, James Barnwell, Ron Barfield, Adrian Fernandez, Dustin Skinner, James Barnwell

    21 Bruce Silver, Bill Ingle, Greg Zipadelli, Bob Varsha

    22 Raygan Swan, Stella Paysor, Wesley Gantt

    23 Brian Whitesell, Jason Keller, Phil Gould, Joe Keller, Skip Manning, Terry Glotzbach, P.J. Jones, Tommy Croft, Charles Gafrarar, William Shakespeare, Jacob Meetze

    24 Hermie Sadler, Harrill Hamrick, Stephanie Hillin, Amanda Lorenzen

    25 Alkie Cunningham

    26 Martha Oliver, Jimmy Kitchens, Eva Busch

    27 Shelly Bose, Jason Haynes, Jason Sheets

    28 Tyler Hmiel, Jeff Neuendorf

    29 Dale Earnhardt, Larry Frank, Angie Skinner, Chad Little, Jerry Schweitz, Alexandria Fennig

    30 Michael Waltrip, Elliott Sadler, Andy Hillenburg, Joe Millikan, Amelia Joy Smith, Chris Browning, Ashton Glover, Frank Kimmel

    Born in MAY

    1 Randy Dorton, Johnny Sauter, Jimmy Parrott

    2 Ed "Uncle Bud" Adamczyk, Kyle Busch

    3 Greg Ely

    4 Randy Tolsma, Bobby Burrell, Jennifer Eolin

    5 Larry Pollard, Bob Welborn

    6 Mike Borkowski, Tammy Jo Kirk, Jeff Hancock, Dean Mozingo

    7 Dave Steele, Danny O'Quinn Jr.

    8 Bobby Labonte, Nathan Buttke, Don Hume, Jay Stewart, Judy Childress

    9 Tim Fedewa, Scott Page

    10 Amelia Andretti, Andy Rueger

    11 Glenn Bobo, Tim Flock, NASCAR Hall of Fame

    12 Jabe Thomas, Debra Adamczyk

    13 Rich Bickle, Scott Eggleston, Bob Kennedy, Jim Spencer, Linda McReynolds, Kirk Almquist, Maggie Feeney Rossi

    14 Steve Letarte, Bill Brooks, Dave Munari, Danielle Del Corio, Scott Lynch

    15 Shane Hmiel, John Hubner

    16 Josh Walker

    17 Mike Shiplett, Craig Ferguson, Kevin Pennell

    18 Mike Motil

    19 Dario Franchitti, Jody Ridley, Danny Culler

    20 Tony Stewart, Steve Portenga, Dave Despain, Eric Norris

Times are a Changin….

I’ve always directed my support to the underdog, the guy that didn’t have a chance. I think in part because the reward is so great when they pull off the win and there is very little dis-appointment when they don’t run well. Believe it or not there was a time when Jimmie Johnson didn’t win, that’s when I was a Jimmie Johnson fan. Once Jimmie started to win I moved on. It’s not that I just pick a loser, I pick a driver or team that is capable of winning but just hasn’t got it together enough to put one in the win column.  I can’t stand to see the same group of guys fighting for the win every week. I love a close finish, I know this is going to sound crazy but I would rather see a close finish with my driver losing than my driver winning by 5 car lengths. What I love about racing is the “race”, the battle, the bumping and banging.

This season is starting to take shape and it looks like NASCAR’s efforts over the last couple of years to level the playing field is starting to pay off. At least judging by the point standings it is. Judging by the point standings it looks like it’s going to be an awesome season, we’ll see some first time winners, we’ll see some guys who haven’t won in a while, and the fans will get to witness some great finishes.

1. TONY STEWART 113

2. KURT BUSCH 113

3. CARL EDWARDS 106 

4. JUAN PABLO MONTOYA 106

5. RYAN NEWMAN 103 

6. PAUL MENARD 96 

7. MARTIN TRUEX JR. 95 

8. DENNY HAMLIN 95 

9. A J ALLMENDINGER 94 

10. DALE EARNHARDT JR. 91

Just take a look at the points, look at Menard, Truex ,Allmendinger and even Earnhardt these guys are getting it done. Now I smart enough to know this doesn’t  mean they’ll finish the season in these positions. But it may be an indication that the playing field is becoming more level and that these drivers and teams have stepped up their game.

So for me it looks like it’s going to be a great season. Publically I’m behind Allmendinger but just between you and me I’d love to see Menard and Vickers in Victory Lane this season.

I’m not sure if it’s time to eat my words yet, because as some of you may know I’ve been very critical of the decisions NASCAR has made over the last couple of years but it would appear the steps they have taken has leveled the playing field a little.

Good thing I’m not an Owner….

I just don’t see Kasey Kahne as the hottest free agent unless he’s the only driver in a in a contract year. I’d bet Happy Harvick would be a better choice. Either way there’s one guy that will benefit from kahne departure and that’s A.J. Allmendinger, he’s been hanging on by a thread. Petty Enterprises has dug deep in their pockets to keep A.J. on the track because they’ve had full sponsorship for their other cars but not A.J.s, now what Petty needs to do is move A.J. to the #9 and release Elliot Sadler and bring in a m`entor type for A.J..

NASCAR’s Race Weekend Report

Pepsi 500

California Race Results…Top 10

1)  #48 Jimmie Johnson
2)  #24 Jeff Gordon
3)  #42 Juan Pablo Montoya
4)   #5 Mark Martin
5)  #14 Tony Stewart
6)  #99 Carl Edwards
7)   #6 David Ragan
8)   #2 Kurt Busch
9)  #33 Clint Bowyer   
10) #29 Kevin Harvick

 

Chase Points after California

1) #48-Jimmie Johnson [5 wins], 5728, finished 1st
2) #5-Mark Martin [5 wins], 5716, -12, 4th
3) #42-Juan Montoya 5670, -58, 3rd
4) #14-Tony Stewart [4 wins], 5644 -84, 5th
5) #24-Jeff Gordon [1 win], 5623 -105, 2nd
6) #2-Kurt Busch [1 win], 5607, -121, 8th
7) #16-Greg Biffle 5540, -188, 20th
8) #99-Carl Edwards 5536, -192, 6th
9) #11-Denny Hamlin [2 wins], 5509, -219, 37th
10) #39-Ryan Newman 5505, -223, 15th
11) #9-Kasey Kahne [2 wins], 5422, -306, 34th
12) #83-Brian Vickers [1 win], 5377, -351,2 9th

For the Entire Results and Points California Results and Driver Standings

 

 

#5 and #48 taken back to the R & D Center AGAIN

NASCAR takes the #48 and the #5 cars back to their R & D Center in Concord N.C. for the third consecutive week for closer inspection. The winning car and the engines of the top two finishing cars always are taken to the R&D Center. But Martin finished seventh last week at Kansas and Johnson was ninth, but both cars again were taken the R&D Center. Both cars were cleared after inspections in Concord. Martin finished fourth Sunday, but NASCAR officials again elected to take the #5 Chevy back to the R&D Center for additional tests.

 

Kyle Feeling ill

Kyle Busch was sick this past weekend and elected to be replaced after starting the Nationwide and Sprint Cup races. He started both of the races this weekends races to be able to keep the points earned by his cars. After starting the Nationwide race he was replaced by Deny Hamlin who ended up finishing the day by kissing the wall. Sunday Kyle was replaced by start and park driver David Gilliland but not before Kyle had drove his M & M Toyota from the back of the field to about 20th position pitting on lap 61 to make the switch, Gilland who will be driving a fourth Gibbs car for an undetermined amount of races starting this weekend didn’t do to bad Sunday, without running any practice laps Gilliland managed to bring home a top 25 finishing 24th.

 

RPM Ford Program to start

Richard Petty Motorsports has had a Ford in its possession ready to race since after New Hampshire. Most likely AJ Allmendinger will be driving a Fusion at Lowe’s Motor Speedway next weekend or the week after that. Once the #44 car flips over to Ford, it will remain a Fusion the rest of the season. In addition to Allmendinger, Elliott Sadler is expected to drive a Roush-prepared Ford with a Yates engine at Talladega. Whether or not RPM’s proposed merger with Yates Racing goes through, team owner George Gillett has said his team will run Ford’s next season.

 

Restricting the Restrictor Plate

NASCAR will reduce the size of the restrictor plate and allow teams an optional change as a way to slow the cars and try to keep them from getting airborne at Talladega. Sprint Cup Series Director John Darby said Friday at Auto Club Speedway that the restrictor plate will be reduced 1/64 of an inch. The new size will be 59/64 of an inch. Darby estimates it will shave 12 horsepower off the engines. Teams also have been given an option on side wickers, something they hadn’t been allowed to use before at Talladega. Darby said that teams “will be able to add the same little side wicker to the end plate (on the rear wing) much like they do at the downforce tracks. If you look at all the cars in the garage right now on that end plate, all the way out on the back edge they’ve got a little half by half piece of aluminum. That’s eight inches long. It helps in yaw or when the cars are turned. It kind of settles the back of the car down a little bit.

 

Latest on Danica:

Danica’s a hot commodity with team onwers right now. It’s become increasingly more difficult for car owners to find good commited sponsor these days. What Danica lacks in talent is made up for by her marketability. What makes her even more attractive is she already has a relationship with godaddy.com as well as other motorsports sponsors, which in some respects (I hate to say) makes her good for NASCAR because some IRL sponsors may follow her which will be good for the team and teammates because more relationships are built. One thing we talked about last week was Danica’s paycheck they’re were false rumors saying she wanted 1 million per race that turned out to be poppycock, insiders say she’ll make somewhere between $20,000 and $40,000 per race.

 

Ford’s New Engine

Ford will delay the debut of its new Sprint Cup engine, Doug Hervey, who oversees Ford’s North American racing operations, said Saturday. The engine was scheduled to have debuted next week at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. Instead, Ford will debut the restrictor-plate version of the engine at Talladega in three weeks. As for the non-restrictor-plate engine, it likely will debut at Texas or Homestead. I wonder if this will have an effect on RPM’s date to switch to a Ford which was slated for A.J. Almemdinger to run a Ford at Lowes.

Sponsors aren’t Racers

 

  Red Bull is a perfect example why sponsors should not own race teams. Red Bull is probably the best at what they do, make and market energy drinks. But that’s it.
  They have no business making decisions on the drivers of there race teams. That should be Jaye Fryes job he’s the professional they hired to manage there NASCAR race teams. The big wheel(owner) in Austria made the decision to let A.J. Almendinger go and put Scott Speed in the drivers seat. It was a huge set back for the team, they had just started to turn the corner with A.J. he was qualifying well and had gotten into the top 35 which guarantees the team a starting spot. They were finally going to be able to run competitively and bam in one stupid decision the team was setback two years but thats only if all goes well and Scott Speed steps up his game which hasn’t happened yet.
  I was completely against the swap, I think A.J.’s the drive to be successful in NASCAR in the same breathe I think it just might have been the best thing to happen to A.J., he’s with an owner(Richard Petty Motorsports) that see’s his talent, he’s with an owner that wants to win as bad as he does, and he’s with an owner that has experience in the sport. Those combinations along with A.J.’s attitude is recipe for success.
   I really don’t think Scott Speed will be in Cup to long. Other than Red Bull teams can’t go a season and only run 4 or 5 races and right now thats all your going to get with Scott Speed unless you put someone in the car to get them back in the top 35 and then put Scott in to see if he can hold it there. But Scott is not going to get the car into the top 35.

Good Job Kasey but……..

    I like the fact that Kasey was pick by the fan vote to be in the race and then to win it that’s even a sweeter victory for all the fans, team and driver. But it was a pretty dull All-Star Race, TV stations  are going to have to really search for some good film clips. It was just un-eventful. I think what happened was is when a driver would get his car out in front in clean air he was gone so the the best racing to watch was between 2nd and 3rd, well in a race where 2nd and 3rd just don’t matter the best racing was pointless. The format was in my opinion crappy at best. I don’t know whos idea it was to run that format but my guess is their not running around this morning claiming it was their idea. What was the thought process behind 4- 25 lap segments how can you even think that would be a good format ?? I just don’t get that.

   The Showdown did have a little excitement but just a little, enough to  get the fans pumped up for the All Star Race.  A.J. Almendinger surprised us all and this time I don’t mean with his hot wife he actually surprised us on the track. So I was really happy for him, you know when you see guys constantly struggle week after week after week its really cool when you see them have a little success in my opinion its way better than seeing Jimmy Johnson, Jeff G., Tony, Deny, Carl or any of the other driver that we constantly see in victory lane have success. The two drivers I wanted to see advance from the showdown to the All-Star race were #6 David Reagan and #83 Brian Vickers so early on I thought my picks were solid. But that changed and I willsay again I was glad to see A.J. win the showdown. Thats the great thing about the Showdown it’s a race made up of the drivers that haven’t had any success so no matter what the outcome everybody is usually happy with the winners(the drivers that advance).

    I did expect to see more from Dale jr. , I really thought he’d be more of a threat. I thought since Hendricks cars have always ran well at Lowes and Dale is the Hendrick driver thats riding the wave right now I thought he’d be more of a threat. I also think everybody even the haters thought Kyle Busch would have been a threat if not win he’d take out the leader in the battle. I think we all can agree if Kyles engine would have held up there probably would have been a little more excitement. 

    Sam Hornish might have been the most exciting driver to watch. He did extremely well, given his lack of experience. I don’t think anybody expected it from him.  He did show he’s got a lot to learn but he also showed he’s got alot of talent. You could tell he’s probably struggling a little trying to learn how to drive a heavier car, stock cars are a little more than twice the weight of an Indycar.  Stock Cars are 3450 lbs.  compared to an Indycar at 1500 lbs. thats a huge difference at 180 MPH with 42 others cars all fighting for the same lane.  But he did do well despite the learning curve.

   My hope now is NASCAR does something immediately to eliminate the cars from getting out in front in clean air  and checking out. I know thats a pipe dream, unrealistic or just stupid but my worry is that the Coca Cola 600 is going to be a huge bore. I love to watch racing my TV is on the Speed Channel the majority of the time because I’ll watch any race anytime even when I’m not watching its on in the background it drives my family crazy. But once a year I even struggle during the 600, it’s a long “Son of a B____”  you sit on your A$$ for a good 6 hrs.. So if you’ve got leaders that just check out its going to be one LLoonngg day. Thats what worries me. I know the drivers would hate it but maybe NASCAR should think of restrictor plates to keep the cars bunched up. That might increase the chances of having a better race, atleast for the fans. You get nore side by side stuff, more lead changes.

 

   Congrts to Kaseys fans, if your a Kasey Kahne fan and you actually voted for him the victory has to be soooo sweet for those fans.

Not a Minute too Late…..

Red Bull Racing has decided to temporarly replace A.J. Allmendinger with Mike Skinner in the #84 Toyota Camry. Jay Frye the teams V.P. and General Mgr. said “AJ’s our guy and he’s a talented driver, but there’s a lot being asked of him. In order for him to be successful, we have to get this team pointed in the right direction. We hope we can do that with the help of a veteran driver.” Mike Skinner’s history with Red Bull Racing Team dates back to 2006 when he served as a test driver for the team. Skinner’s history with Allmendinger also dates back to 2006, when he mentored teammate Allmendinger during the rookie’s part-time ride with Bill Davis Racing NCTS team. Frye hopes with the help of Skinner, that RBRT will have the program turned around and the ride returned to Allmendinger in no time. AJ Allmendinger, #84 Red Bull Driver said: “Let’s not kid ourselves; I’m a racer and I want to be racing, but I get the big picture here and obviously we need to improve our program. Do I want to be out of the car? No. But, I know Skinner can help both me and my team. All I can say is he better be prepared for me to eat, drink, and sleep with him. Ok, well maybe not the sleeping part, but I’m ready to attach myself to him and learn everything I can.” Substitute #84 Driver and Bill Davis Racing- Truck Series Driver Mike Skinner said “The first time I ever met AJ, I took an immediate liking to him. He’s not just a great personality; he also has a remarkable amount of talent. He took on a huge challenge jumping into stock cars last year, and I’m glad I can be the one to help him and his team figure out where the glitches are in their program. This is a positive thing for AJ as a learning experience, for the Red Bull Racing Team to get back on track, and for me to have the opportunity to help another Toyota team that has great equipment and potential.” said Skinner.

This just might help the team Mike Skinner over the last 3 or 4 years has been the guy teams call on when their program gets in trouble, Mike is a great qualifyer he’s probably one of the only guys who has repeatedly stepped into a car with little or no seat time and managed to get the car in the show while pointing out the problem spots so the team can make instant changes that are seen on the track before the end of the weekend. I truly beleive they made the right decision and are going with the right driver. It would appear when a team hires a temporary driver the only thing that driver is concerned with is himself and his next ride. But what you get with Mike Skinner is dedication, knowledge, and loyalty he’s not concerned with fame and fortune his concern is doing a good job and helping the team. Mike Skinner is old school racer and he knows if the teams is taken care of then the driver will be but the team has to come first and everything else will fall into place.