• 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.

Kahne at Red Bull

Take a look at the #4 Red Bull Racing Toyota that has been prepared for Kasey Kahne.  http://twitpic.com/3fwkk3

I’m still not real sure what all this means, what I mean is Kasey signed with Hendricks to drive a Chevy in 2012 when Mark Martin vacates the #5 car. Red Bull is a Toyota team with a tremendous amount of Toyota support, so how did Red Bull get Toyota to sign off on the deal that was brokered buy Hendricks (a Chevy guy) (?). I can understand why Red Bull and Hendricks did it. I believe Red Bull will be switching to Chevy in 2012 or 2013 and if the top Chevy team (Hendricks) needs a favor you do it. But why would Toyota go along with it, Kasey and his cronies will be in perfect position to learn about what makes Toyotas so fast. There’s more to this story than meets the eye.

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..

Carl went too far……

I was a big fan of Carl Edwards not because of his talent on the track, as many of you already know I root for the underdog, the longshot  and Carl is usually not the underdog anyway I was a fan of Carl because of the way he handled himself, his personality, his appreciation to be a Cup driver. I guess I’m still a fan because I know everyone makes mistakes, I just didn’t expect it from Carl there are alot of other drivers that I’d expect it from. What am I talking about ??? If you watched the Cup race Sunday you know, if you didn’t watch then what you missed was Carl purposely wrecked Brad Keslowski, what made it so bad was Brad was traveling at about 190 mph when Carl basically gave him the pit maneuver (like the Cops do) turning Brad around and as most of you know when these new cars are going wide open and then get turned backwards the wing actually causes the car to take flight and that’s exactly what happened to Brad. I really hated to see it for Brad, he was running a solid 6th with not many laps to go. NASCAR did park Carl after the accident which was the right thing to do, we’ll find out tomorrow(Tuesday) if NASCAR is going to levy any additional penalties against Carl and the #99 team. I’m not sure what Carl deserves over this one, what do you think……??????

Take a Guess…..

Who do you think will be in EGR’s #1 Bass Pro Shops Chevy next season ? The seat of #1 Chevy that’s been piloted by Martin Truex jr. for the past 7 or 8 years is up for grabs and an announcement could be coming this week on who will replace Truex.  A few names have circulated the garage area the past few months and the conversation always end with Jamie McMurray getting the nod, which coincidently is where McMurray started his Cup career subbing for the injured Sterling Marlin.

My personal opinion is it won’t be Mac daddy(Jamie McMurray) in the drivers seat, I hope I don’t ruin his chances because I’m always wrong but I think Bobby Labonte will be the pilot of the EGR #1 Chevy. He seems like a better fit past champion, team leader, huge fan base, and a bit of an outdoorsmen which is something Bass Pro Shops wants. That might be the key because Bass Pro contract ends at the end of the 2010 and they have an eye on sponsoring #39 Ryan Newman who is an outdoorsmen and would be a great fit for Bass Pro unlike McMurray who is not an outdoorsmen, so if EGR does go with McMurray then it pretty much sends Bass Pro to the #39 if EGR goes with Labonte they have a chance of re-signing Bass Pro at the end of 2010. Really it all depends on how confident EGR is about sponsorship in 2011, Bass Pro has only purchased 23 races in 2010 so EGR will have to find a Primary sponsor for the #1 for the remaining 13 races, they have a slew of associate sponsors maybe they can convert one of them to the primary spot.

The Right Call…..

At the end of this past weekends Sprint Cup with 1 lap to go #34 John Andretti wreck causing his car to end up against the inside wall at the start finish line when John tried to move the car he only moved about 8 feet towards the racing line and couldn’t move any further, so NASCAR to preserve competition during these Chase races didn’t throw the cautions until the winner Deny Hamlin crossed the finished line which at that time the majority of the drivers were just coming out of turn 4. Although John was a sitting duck out there he does agree with NASCAR’s call as does most of the other drivers. Really the only ones that are complaining are the ones that would have complained had NASCAR thrown the caution.

It’s my opinion NASCAR did make the right call, it’s really simple drivers have spotters to let them know what’s happening on the track ahead of them, NASCAR knew John wasn’t injured. These are Chase races there aren’t any do over, there isn’t  any “we’ll get’em next week” this is it. I’m not saying throw caution to the wind but for the sake of the Championship NASCAR must try and let the race be decided by the drivers. Had this been earlier in the race or a non-chase race then I believe NASCAR would have thrown the caution. I think NASCAR used common sense and good judgment, the biggest problem I see is in February when we get to Daytona the same situation will happen except this time NASCAR will throw the caution and people will be bringing up Martinsville not understanding that there is a huge difference between Race #1 and Race #31.

I’m the first one to cry foul when NASCAR gets it wrong but NASCAR got it right this time.

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.

More Danica and Reply’s to Damon and Paul

**Please forgive Grammar and Sentence structure

In some sports I don’t deny that kind of ridiculous negotiating takes place where one guy says 10 mil then the team comes back with a $1.00 and they go back and forth almost endlessly because usually that kind of ridiculous negotiating reflects the parties true interest. In other sports the team owners are thought of differently than NASCAR team owners drivers don’t see the need to fleece someone that’s going to help them win, drivers understand there are limited dollars, sponsors pay, x amount of money, if the driver gets to greedy the engine program may suffer and make him look bad running in the back or even worse not qualifying. Sponsor pay a fixed amount, it’s up to the team owner to spread it out in a way he can remain competitive.

I’ve been very fortunate over the last 3 years I’ve works with several teams and their sponsors activations and venue marketing so I got to see how things work. Usually the dollar amount isn’t what’s negotiated, the things that are negotiated are the perks (cars,motorcoaches,travel), public appearances, branding, and commercials. The times I’ve been privey to contracts (which isn’t that much) the dollar amount is what it is, sponsor pay a fixed amount the team owner spreads it around the program to be competitive. but that’s not to say a big sponsor won’t comes along and want a specific driver giving that driver a little more bargaining power. I guess I just don’t think Danicas there yet.

Because of my marketing background I’m bias, I believe good marketing makes good drivers so I have to agree with Pauls comment she’s a star because of the marketing, she’s been fortunate her teams owners and sponsors are committed to the IRL so what ever driver they pay for they’ve got to get their moneys worth and to get their moneys worth they’ve got to market her. There have been other women IRL drivers in the same talent class as Danica but the difference is they wanted to be the one with the women driver to compliment their program instead the mindset with Danicas group which is the team and sponsors program compliment Danica which is good for the program at the end of the day. But because of my marketing background    I’m bias, I believe good marketing makes good drivers. Now that Danica’s got the opportunity she needs to raise the bar but is she committed?? Good drivers race on off weekends and in the off season. Look at Kyle Busch and Carl Edwards and actually many others they race whenever they can. Danica takes off to Cancun on off weeks which in IRL they’re are many off weeks.

Thanks Paul and Damon

Although we may disagree from time to time, I appreciate your opinion and comments because that’s why we’re here to voice them.

No Excuse

Update: Juan Pablo Montoya response to the issue of walking off NASCAR Set before finishing all the interviews,

See Earlier Post titled-  Juan Pablo “I don’t work Past Five” Montoya

Video of incident- Montoya’s interview (Judge for yourself)

 

Question posed to Montoya:
EXPLAIN EXACTLY WHAT HAPPENED LAST THURSDAY WITH THE TV HOOKUP TO CALIFORNIA AND HAS THAT ALL BEEN SETTLED NOW?

 

Montoya’s Reply:
“Yeah, it was simple. It was a deal we did with NASCAR from four to five and I told them this was the last interview and it was five minutes until five o’clock and I finished the interview and they plugged somebody else without telling them I was done and that was it. NASCAR made an honest mistake and it was a misunderstanding. That was it.”

Question to Montoya:
DO YOU THINK THE VIDEO THING KIND OF PORTRAYED YOU WRONG BECAUSE YOU’RE VERY GOOD TO THE MEDIA HERE AND THE VIDEOS WERE SENT AROUND THE WORLD OF YOU, DOES THAT BOTHER YOU?

 

Montoya’s Reply:
“Not really. It really doesn’t. NASCAR knows what happened. I know what happened. The team knows what happened. I don’t care. If they like me good, if they don’t. I can’t help that everybody here likes me, can I? Come on. Like they say crap happens I guess.”      (From General Motors PR Dept)

 

Comments From Blogpile:

My take is he a has a terrible attitude, big deal another interview, if he had been doing interviews for the last 2 or 3 hours I could understand but he said they had a deal to do interviews from 4 to 5, ONE hour and you can’t do another interview for the FANS. His warped thinking has warped my thinking I used to not care about drivers coming from other series’ to jump on the NASCAR bandwagon and get some of the NASCAR money but now no way stay in your current series NASCAR doesn’t need you. Drivers from other series don’t have appreciation on how and who made NASCAR what it is today ,“THE FANS” did it, what made NASCAR successful was the way drivers appreciate the fans, the drivers are humble, appreciative they care about what the fans think. Why do you think in a decade where auto racing viewership was on the rise NASCAR benefited and other racing series’ went under, it’s simple the drivers and their relationship with the fans. But Montoya attitude will ruin the NASCAR it will spread like cancer as driver migrate to NASCAR from the other failing series.  I know mistakes are made, I could understand if Montoya would have come out and said I just didn’t feel I could do another interview but to say “I don’t care” what people think; that just seems cold to me and even though many NASCAR drivers wouldn’t care they would have a little bit better way to say it.

NASCAR just doesn’t need drivers from other series’ there’s a huge stock car driver pool of driver that are humble and appreciative.

View the video and read his comments and judge for yourself.

Juan Pablo “I don’t work Past Five” Montoya

When drivers are competitive or in this case make the Chase they are bombarded with requests for interviews from various media outlets. So in order to facilitate all the requests and not have the driver going from location to location taking an entire day.  What NASCAR and the top media outlets have done is co-op the feed, the driver goes to one location like the media center for that weeks race and there’s one or two camera’s set up and the media outlets each get a turn to interview the driver and the feed is beamed to a satellite and then bounced to the station, each reporter getting their turn then the stations edit out their reporters interview and run the spot on their respective networks or stations. The reporters don’t even have to be at the track the same way they beam the drivers feed to the station they beam the reporters feed to the track. It’s really really a convenience to all concerned but mainly the driver because what makes a driver money is popularity, popular driver get sponsors and fans, so when a driver can talk to media outlets from around the country without having to leave the track it’s a huge convenience for them.

Anyway onward to the point of the post, during one of Montoya’s scheduled media tours from the media center at New Hampshire Inter’l Speedway after a handful of interviews he had one more but Montoya looks down at his watch and says 5:01 that’s it I’m done and in the background you can hear from who I’m guessing was someone from NASCAR PR begging him to finish and do the last interview and he’s says coldly without care “NOPE“ and walks off. Those present at the Media event said Montoya had been complaining on how hard it was and how long it was taking. Boo Hoo

Have NASCAR drivers in general forgotten who put NASCAR on the map ? Or is it just Montoya since he’s NEVER been competitive he’s never been a sought after interview , it might not be rudeness it may be ignorance.

When a NASCAR driver refuses an interview he’s slapping fans in the face because we spend our money on their products and at the races. We get so very little chance to hear from them so when we see our local news guy get shut out  it’s not the news guy that gets shut out it’s us the fans. We as fans only have one way to retaliate that’s through the drivers sponsors Montoilets I’m mean Montoya his sponsor is Target so it’s just as easy to shop at Wal-Mart. I don’t know about you but I support sponsors that sponsor NASCAR and its drivers but Target is one I won’t be supporting and you know it’s not just because he was tired and didn’t want to do anymore interviews it’s because of his attitude.

 

Here’s the Video judge for yourself   Montoya’s  interview