• 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.

  • 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..

    Harvick Exploring NHRA Opportunitys

    Kevin HarvickBob Vandergriff jr.

    NASCAR racer and Daytona 500 winner Kevin Harvick and his wife, DeLana, have teamed with NHRA Drag Racing veteran Bob Vandergriff Jr. to explore the option of fielding a Top Fuel dragster in NHRA competition. The proposed Harvick-Vandergriff Motorsports will specialize in offering its sponsors marketing opportunities in NHRA, NASCAR Sprint Cup, Craftsman Truck, and the Nationwide Series.

    “I think we have a unique opportunity to provide unprecedented reach for companies looking to achieve their objectives through motorsports,” Vandergriff said. “As this deal evolves, we want to offer the companies aligned with Harvick-Vandergriff Motorsports the chance to use the best of NHRA and NASCAR through the same program. We’ll have the capabilities to provide something no other team can offer.

    “I’m extremely excited about this opportunity with Kevin and his wife, DeLana. Our ideas of how to market our motorsports programs and our long-term goals are the same.”

    This would be an unprecedented alignment of teams in the top two motorsports sanctions in the United States. Vandergriff also believes that having a team car to run alongside his championship-contending UPS dragster would be a huge advantage.

    “The response from the companies we’ve spoken to already has been tremendous,” Harvick said. “Everyone at Kevin Harvick Inc. and Richard Childress Racing has become extremely interested with what’s happening in the drag racing world through our friendship with Bob. The more we come to understand what is happening in the NHRA series, the more attractive it’s becoming as a whole.

    “It’s my belief that NHRA could provide a great marketplace for us to grow our business by providing unmatched opportunities for interested sponsors. We view this as something that would be a natural extension of our current Craftsman Truck and Nationwide Series programs. Bob’s a proven leader and innovator, and DeLana and I are happy to be here as his guests. The future looks very exciting.”

    Vandergriff and Harvick plan to begin assembling a race team and all of the necessary components and people within the next two months as they prepare for a 2009 debut. Announcements regarding the driver and sponsors will be forthcoming

    NASCAR Drivers Upset Over Lack of Drug Testing

    Sprint Cup drivers Kevin Harvick, Tony Stewart, Jimmie Johnson and Kasey Kahne say they never have undergone a drug test as NASCAR competitors. “In the 10 years that I’ve raced, I’ve never been drug-tested,” Harvick said. “To me, that’s not a proper drug policy for a professional sport. We haven’t made any headway whatsoever on the drug-testing policy.” Harvick and Stewart were reacting to an ESPN The Magazine story this week in which former driver Aaron Fike said he competed in Craftsman Truck Series races while he was on heroin. “I have been in a race with him and I know for a fact that he’s not the only one,” Harvick said. “There’s another driver that was suspended that I can almost guarantee you was in the race car while he was under the influence, and that pisses me off. I’m sure I’ll be blasted for saying what I feel, but I don’t want to be on a race track with people like that. It’s irresponsible more than anything.” All four Cup drivers said they are in favor of regular testing.
    “I would love it,” Stewart said. “I’ve never been asked to take one yet. I think it should be mandatory to have random drug testing. I think it’s a great idea. The Fike situation shows that as an organization, we’re not doing a good job of seeing this before it happens.” NASCAR’s substance-abuse policy includes the right to test any driver at any time, but officials only do so if they believe a competitor might have a problem. “The responsibility here rests across the board — with the drivers and competitors, owners, teams and NASCAR,” said Kerry Tharp, NASCAR’s director of communication. “We test an individual when we have reasonable suspicion. A positive test results in severe consequences and is a career-changing moment for that person. NASCAR’s policy is also supported by the various policies that the teams have in place that are required under the driver/owner agreements. No system is flawless, but we believe our zero tolerant policy that is in place has served the sport well.”
    Fike was arrested last year in Ohio for possession of heroin.
    “I had a long talk with NASCAR about this last year,” Harvick said. “It almost seems like it fell on deaf ears. They were more mad that I had a reaction to the situation than they were about trying to move forward. They heard what I said, but my name’s not Jeff Gordon. I’m disappointed that we have to react and answer all these questions again.”
    Tharp said NASCAR officials always take it seriously when drivers come to them with questions or complaints. “Let me assure you that no issue or conversation that we have with a driver, owner or team member ever falls on deaf ears,” Tharp said. “Now, they might not always come out of the meeting with the answer they’re looking for, but we listen.” Harvick wants to see NASCAR test drivers and crew members several times a year. “I’m sure I’ll have to do it for speaking my mind,” Harvick said. “But if I have to pee in a cup 15 times a year, I’m happy to do it. The bad part is it isn’t fair to the 95 percent of his garage that is clean. But I want everybody in the world to know our sport is clean. I want fans and sponsors to know this garage is clean.” Harvick and his wife, DeLana, own truck series and Nationwide Series teams at Kevin Harvick Inc. Harvick does not conduct drug tests for his employees. “I don’t right now and maybe we need to change the way we look at it, too,” he said. “But in the end, it’s the responsibility of [NASCAR] to make sure all the drivers are clean.” Harvick said Fike drove a couple of races for KHI several years ago. “There was no reason to think something was wrong,” Harvick said. “I don’t know about drugs, to tell you the truth. But I want to know about the guy racing next to me and not have to wonder if he was out the night before and isn’t clean.”
    Kahne said he had suspicions about Fike. “I definitely wondered about Aaron, so I’m sure others did,” Kahne said. “When he said he did heroin before a race, that’s incredible that no one knew. As much money as there is in this sport, I think we should take a little more effort to make sure every driver is clean.” Harvick believes NASCAR should have changed its substance-abuse policy long ago. “You can tell I’m a little bit frustrated about the situation,” he said. “As someone who respects the sport and respects my sponsors, I’m upset that I have to answer questions about Aaron Fike. It really ticks me off, because every driver in this garage should be taking random drug tests.” Harvick believes NASCAR needs to do a better job of staying ahead of the curve. “It’s just like the safety thing back in 2001,” he said. “We didn’t react until that situation happened [with Dale Earnhardt’s death]. With drug-testing, there’s no reason in the world today not to be proactive. “This is about forward thinking about how the drivers are perceived from a public standpoint. If I’m a fan, I don’t want to think, ‘Are they really clean?’ This always has been perceived as a clean sport. Let’s not let that change now, because it is. But let’s prove it.”

    Kyle won’t make Kansas Truck Race

    Hearing that Kyle Busch won’t be able to make the Craftsmen Truck Series race in Kansas. The team looked at every possible scenario in which Busch could drive his Nationwide car at Talladega, Ala., and still make it to Kansas. But it appears the ending time of the Nationwide race and the start time of the truck race leaves no time for travel. So Busch will give up his points lead in the truck series. We’re also hearing that either Johnny Sauter or David Green will drive the #51 at Kansas, sources close to the team say it will most likely be David Green.

    Aaron Fike admits using heroin on race days

     Suspended NASCAR driver Aaron Fike now admits that he not only secretly struggled with drug addiction for years but also shot up heroin on some race days. In his first in-depth interview since being arrested for heroin possession last summer, the 25-year-old said he had been using heroin for eight months and suffered from a dependency on painkillers for six years before that. In the weeks prior to his arrest, his once-a-week experiment with heroin had become a daily routine, including the days he was competing in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. NASCAR officials, when informed of Fike’s admission, said the league has kept an eye on the more proactive random drug testing policies recently ramped up by the “Big Four” major league sports but point to the list of recent suspensions as proof that the current policy is working. “No system is perfect,” said Jim Hunter, NASCAR vice president of corporate communications. “Our current policy has served us extremely well. We do have discussions from time to time regarding possible alternatives, so I wouldn’t rule those out. But I think what our policy has allowed us to do up to this certain point in time, it has served us well.” Fike said he hopes that his admissions will force NASCAR officials to rethink their current drug testing policy. Fike has returned to USAC’s Midget series, where he is tested upon arrival at the track. He is currently serving a two-year probation and continues rehabilitation and counseling. Later this month he will launch http://www.onthewinningtrack.com as part of his court-agreed youth drug education program. He has also talked briefly with NASCAR officials about beginning the arduous reinstatement process, but realizes that his once-promising stock car career may be over.

    The Garage Area Comment: My only comment is it’s Sad.