• 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

Fast Facts ….Sunday’s Race at Talladega

  • Johnson wins at Talladega: #48-Jimmie Johnson won the Aaron’s 499 Sprint Cup Series race at Talladega Superspeedway for his 1st win of 2011, and the 54th of his career. Johnson, #33-Bowyer, and #24-Gordon came across the finish line 3 wide, with Johnson .002 seconds ahead of Bowyer and .039 second ahead of Gordon. The finish ties Ricky Craven’s 2003 Darlington win as the closest finish since electronic timing was implemented.
    #88-Earnhardt, Jr. finished 4th, #29-Harvick, #99-Edwards, #16-Biffle, #5-Martin, #34-Gilliland, and #20-Logano.
    There were 88 lead changes among 26 drivers; 6 cautions for 24 yellow flag laps.
    The attendance is listed as 115,000, down from last years 123,500.
    **Scheduled Race Re-Air: SPEED, Wednesday, April 20 at 12:00pm/et

  • Race Fast Facts – Talladega:
    Jimmie Johnson won the 42nd Annual Aaron’s 499 , his 54th victory in 335 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
    This is his first victory and fifth top-10 finish in 2011.
    This is his second victory and ninth top-10 finish in 19 races at Talladega Superspeedway.
    Clint Bowyer (second) posted his fifth top-10 finish in 11 races at Talladega Superspeedway. It is his fourth top-10 finish in 2011.
    Jeff Gordon (third) posted his 18th top-10 finish in 37 races at Talladega Superspeedway.
    Andy Lally (19th) was the highest finishing rookie.
    Carl Edwards leads the point standings by 5 points over Jimmie Johnson.
    The margin of victory of 0.002 ties the closest margin of victory (Darlington – 3/16/2003) since the advent of electronic scoring in 1993.
    The 88 lead changes ties the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series all-time record of lead changes set at Talladega (4/25/2010).

  • Two records tied at Talladega: Sunday’s Aaron’s 499 at Talladega Superspeedway tied two Sprint Cup Series records – number of lead changes and closest margin of victory. There were 88 lead changes at the start/finish line, tying an all-time NASCAR record set in last season’s April event at Talladega. The final lead change occurred on the last lap – eight of the last 12 Talladega races featured a last-lap lead change. Jimmie Johnson edged Clint Bowyer by .002 seconds, which matches the closest margin of victory since the inception of electronic scoring in May 1993. That mark was originally set at Darlington Raceway on March 16, 2003, with Ricky Craven beating Kurt Busch. Since 1993, every race at Talladega finishing under green – 29 in all – has had a MOV under .400 seconds. Passing numbers – for the lead and otherwise – also were high. There were 159 green flag passes for the lead all around the race track, with a total of 11,025 green flag passes throughout the field.

  • How easily they forget…..

    Yesterday (Thurs. Dec. 3rd) was the NASCAR Partners Awards Day. It’s where NASCAR sponsor and partners hand out various performance based awards.  Sometimes I think it’s more about their favorite drivers than performance.

    Here’s the List of Thursdays Award Winners

    * Buddy Shuman Award Dale Inman
    * NASCAR Home Depot Humanitarian Award Michigan International Speedway
    * NMPA Myers Brothers Award Barney Hall
    * Chex Cereals Most Popular Driver Award Dale Earnhardt Jr.
    * Raybestos Rookie of the Year Award Joey Logano
    * DirecTV Crew Chief of the Year Award Darian Grubb
    * Dow Automotive Strategic Call of the Race Award Jimmie Johnson
    * Moog Chassis Parts Problem Solver of the Year Award Drew Blickensderfer
    * MAHLE Clevite Engine Builder of the Year Award Hendrick Motorsports
    * Mechanix Wear Most Valuable Pit Award #42 team
    * Mobil 1 Command Performance Award Juan Pablo Montoya
    * O’Reilly Parts People, Services and Performance Award Denny Hamlin
    * Goodyear Gatorback Fastest Lap Award Jimmie Johnson
    * Tissot Pit Road Precision Award #16 team
    * WIX Filters Lap Leader Award Tony Stewart
    * Coors Light Pole Award Mark Martin
    * Sunoco Diamond Performance Award Jimmie Johnson
    * Goodyear Award Jimmie Johnson
    * Championship Sponsor Award Lowe’s
    * Champion Crew Chief Award Chad Knaus

    There’s a few here that I think they missed the mark on or they have very short memories. Here’s the mistakes I think they made, I really think most of you will agree.

    * Dow Automotive Strategic Call of the Race Award Jimmie Johnson
    This one to me is a No Brainer-Should have Been  David Ruetimann I beleive it was the Coke 600 the call was to stay out instead of pit then the race was called for rain and David got his 1st Cup Victory.

    * Moog Chassis Parts Problem Solver of the Year Award Drew Blickensderfer
    Again this ones a No Brainer, I’d have to say Frank Kerr of the #83 Red Bull Team deserved this one. Remember during the Pep Boys 500 in Atlanta when Brian Vickers broke an axle, 99%of the time teams don’t even pull a wheel off on pit road they just take it to the garage to replace the axle but Kerr had the team do it there on Pit Road and luckily they were able to fish out both pieces on the axle and slide a new one in that decision allowed Vickers to make the Chase. That’s solving a Problem!!!!

    * Mechanix Wear Most Valuable Pit Award #42 team
    This one should go to the #83 Team for the broken axle repair at Atlanta’s Pep Boys 500. That repair allowed Vickers to make the Chase. (Explanation under the above Moog Chassis Parts Problem Solver of the Year Award)

    * Tissot Pit Road Precision Award #16 team
    This one Again should go to the #83 Team for the broken axle repair at Atlanta’s Pep Boys 500. That repair allowed Vickers to make the Chase. (Explanation under the above Moog Chassis Parts Problem Solver of the Year Award)
    This is an amazing repair to be done on Pit Road, Luck has to be on your side because first of all when the axle breaks it usually breaks into a few pieces because of that usually you have to remove the gears from the rear end to get all the pieces.  So o.k. you get lucky and it’s only 2 pieces, you still have to get those 2 out and then slide the axle in place and get it to seat right but really where all the difficulty comes in is because your on pit road with the pace car coming around in about 30 seconds, so hurry get it in and tires back on to get him back out so he can come around and get 4 fresh tires , fuel and any other adjustments. Tough call to attempt on pit road and even tougher to get it done!!!!

    Who to Thank….

    I’m not sure which driver to thank David Reutimann or Sam Hornish maybe I should thank both. Thanks to them the Chase is back on. It was just a miracle that Jimmy Johnson wrecks on LAP 3  and it took his team over a hundred laps to get the car back on the track. The #48 team rebuilt the front and back half of the car in under an hour and a half a tremendous amount of work. But because of that crash we still have a contest Mark and Jeff have a chance. This weeks Phoenix race is going to be a nail biter for the #5 and #24 teams because Jimmy historically runs well at Phoenix but as we watched last weekend anything can happen. But again thanks to David and Sam we still don’t know who the Champ is going to be.

    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.

    DAM !!!!!

    UNOFFICIAL Sprint Cup CHASE Standings
    [after Talladega, Chase race 7 of 10; Season race 33 of 36]:

    pos, car#, driver, points, behind, [wins]

    1) #48-Jimmie Johnson [6 wins], 6248,
    2) #5-Mark Martin [5 wins], 6064, -184
    3) #24-Jeff Gordon [1 win], 6056, -192
    4) #42-Juan Montoya, 6009, -239
    5) #14-Tony Stewart [4 wins], 5969, -279
    6) #2-Kurt Busch [1 win], 5936, -312
    7) #16-Greg Biffle, 5908, -340
    8} #39-Ryan Newman, 5846, -402
    9) #9-Kasey Kahne [2 wins], 5834, -414
    10) #99-Carl Edwards, 5811, -437
    11) #11-Denny Hamlin [3 wins], 5800, -448
    12) #83-Brian Vickers [1 win], 5692, –556

    It looks like Johnson’s going to get his 4th Sprint Cup Championship, it’ s not a lock yet but it’s gone from drivers needing to consistently perform well to beat him to Johnson has to have some bad luck. If Johnson has a DNF and Martin wins then there’s a chance Martin could win the Championship but it would be a slim chance because let’s say Johnson does have a DNF the #48 team usually rebounds well and he’ll probably win the next one. Johnson needs a DNF then a 20th place finish followed up by a 15th place finish while Martin posts top 5 in the next three events. But back to reality because one thing that won’t happen is for Johnson to run poorly in the last 3 races. Just not gonna happen.

    This is from Jayskis

    If #5-Martin wins the final three Sprint Cup races [Texas, Phoenix & Homestead] and leads the most laps, he would score 585 points [195×3] for a total of 6649 points. #48-Johnson has 6248, so Johnson needs to score 402 points in the final three race, IF Martin were to win all three. Which is an average of 134 points a race for the three remaining races. Finishing 10th is 134 points. So Johnson needs to finish 10th or better in the three remaining races [or total 402 points], and nothing Martin or any other driver can do to overtake Johnson.

    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.

    My Lowes Picks

    Tonight’s (Saturday Oct 17th) Sprint Cup Race at

    Lowe’s Motor Speedway,  Charlotte, N.C.

    The NASCAR Banking 500,  Presented by Bank of America

     

    The Green Flag drops at approx. 7:41 pm EST

     

    1.  Mark Martin

    2. Tony Stewart

    3. Jimmie Johnson

    4. Brian Vickers

    5. Ryan Newman

     

    6th thru 10th

    Jeff Gordon

    David Gilliland

    Brad Keselowski

    Kyle Busch

    Kasey Kahne

    Montoya’s Mulligan

    Is this week going to be the week when Montoya uses his mulligan ?? I hope so because I’m not a fan of Montoya. To be quite honest I’m surprised he’s even in the chase and that he’s keeping the momentum going. 8 weeks ago I would have bet good money that he won’t make the chase, 4 weeks ago I would have bet that he’d be out of picture by the time we got to the 4th chase race I just didn’t think the team had it in them and didn’t think Montoya had the talent to be the champion. I still don’t think he’ll be the Champion and again I’m not a Montoya fan or even a Chip Gnassi fan but I am a Theresa Earnhardt and Felix Sabates fan so I’m torn because I would so much like to see Theresa and Felix be in the class of champion car owners.

    Montoya has never really run well at Lowes except for his last race there which was earlier this season where he finished with his first top 10 at Lowes, in his five career starts at Lowes he’s finished 28th, 37th, 30th, 34th, and this seasons spring race he finished 8th so he’s not usually a threat at Lowes. To be honest we could really question the strength of his top 10 that day last May because if you remember right the leaders had just pitted and then the race was called due to rain so really if the race wasn’t shortened Montoya would have probably had a 20th place finish. Tonight will tell if the 8th place finish in this seasons spring race was a fluke due to rain or a sign that he’s figuring Lowes out. To my dismay he’s been running fantastic, true champion form but usually every driver has at least one mulligan during the chase and if I’m picking which one will be Montoya’s it this one tonight.

    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.