• 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

The Grapevine….

Hearing that Denny Hamlin will miss at least the next 4 races after a hard crash into the inside retaining wall at California’s Fontana Speedway. The speculation from insiders at JGR is that former Sprint Cup Series driver Elliot Sadler will take over driving duties for Deny Hamlin in Deny’s #11 Fed Ex Toyota.

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.

    Logano’s Dad

    I’m not sure why I missed this one, I forgot all about it but I would still be interested in hearing other opinions. During last Saturdays Nationwide race Greg Biffle ran Joey Logano up the track forcing Logano to scrape the wall. Biffle was paying Logano back for an earlier incident where Logano slid up the track pinching Biffle. It was racing crappola. I don’t think Logano pinched Biffle intentionally but I know Biffle pinched Logano on purpose. But either way nothing serious just racing crappola that goes on between drivers every race sometimes we know about it sometimes we don’t. 

    Anyway after the race Logano’s dad was running down pit road on his way to Victory Lane when he saw Biffles car coming down pit road so he veered in front of Biffles car and gave him a sarcastic thumbs up letting Biffle know he wasn’t happy with his ontrack behavior. It was really nothing he didn’t jump out in front of a speeding car, there was nothing unsafe about it, there was no other confrontation it was really nothing a non-incident. But when NASCAR saw it they thought differently, NASCAR takes a very dim view of family members interacting with team member negatively in other words, family members can’t screw with anyone when they are holding Hot Pass so NASCAR yanked his NASCAR Credentials but they did issue him a one day pass so he could attend the next days Cup Race. NASCAR was to decide what type of sanctions to put on Loganos dad this week. What’s your thought on family members interacting with competitors and the punishments they should get when they cross the line??