Monday, October 31, 2005

Edwards Is Feelin' Hoppy



Carl does the Atlanta sweep to give himself another week as a Chase contender.

I was happy with the race, not too crazy, but had enough good racing tomake it worth watching.  This race looked like a 2004 race in someways, with Jeff Gordon and Dale Jr. actually running at thefront.  It's good to see a guy run the high line all day and haveit pay off.  Surprisingly strong effort from Jamie McMurraytoday.  He just got better and better as the raceprogressed.  Need to get used to talking about him too, what is upwith this 97 to 28 rumor?  This week will be interesting.  Iheard that the reason Kurt Busch didn't co-host Wind Tunnel is becausehe was going to Michigan... hmm... Roush HQ is in Michigan.  I saysomething goes down this week. 

Smoke opens up the point lead a little more, up 43 on Johnson:

1. Stewart 6100
2. Johnson -43
3. Biffle -75
4. Edwards -107
    Newman -107
6. Martin -143
7. Kenseth -155
8. Wallace -257
9. Busch -260
10. Mayfield -310

Top 5 have a chance, bottom 5 are eliminated.  Biffle has to winat Texas to keep his chances alive, no other way around that.  Hewill certainly give it his best effort, no doubt about that.  Butwill it be enough....

- Very quietly, Brian Vickers has snuck up to 16th in the points. Busch is getting more hype, but Vickers pounds out top 15's every racewhen Busch will either get a top 5 or crash out trying.  To me,Vickers seems to be the new Terry Labonte in terms of the consistentfinishes.  I had my doubts about him, but he will get better andbetter each year.

- Am I the only person wondering why Kasey Kahne is 22nd in points?

Off to Texas next week for the inaugural Dickies 500.  This may bethe best possible way to race a mile and a half track, daylight intodark.  Make teams work for the W.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

No Subject

So as I'mhaving a perfectly good time today seeing the Panthers destroy theVikings, and the Roush Show at Atlanta, I get a call from a nice younglady that I like.  But come on... you really think I'm payingattention to what she says she did yesterday?  So I thought I wasbeing fair by saying "hey, let me call you when the game is over" Ireally fucked up.  Same problem I usually have I guess, I'm toohonest with people.  Sad thing is, I don't view it as aproblem.  I tell ya what's on my mind, how I feel, and if youdon't like it, tough.  If that makes me an asshole or a jackass,I'm sorry. 

I'll talk about the race later on tonight, I just don't feel like it right now.

New Year, Same Old Jack Sprague

ThrillingCTS race today (when isn't it thrilling at Atlanta?).  I'm puzzledby some people saying Sprague was protecting his line when he cutsright up the track to wreck Kyle Busch.  That's not protecting aline, that's trying to crash out the competition because you knowthey're better.  BIG difference.  And the ensuing 8-truckmassacre was completely ridiculous.  Great job by PrincessJack.  If protecting your line means cutting hard right directlytoward the competition, I didn't get the memo. 

Friday, October 28, 2005

Friday Notes

- Do I evenneed to say who won the pole?  Newman wins his 57286th pole inNextel Cup, but pretty damn impressive to win 6 in a row at one trackis dominant.  But Newman still doesn't turn them into racewins.  He won't win a championship until he does more ofthat.  Top 5 runs Edwards, Sadler, Martin, Blaney.

- Mr. Insignificant: Morgan Shephard.

- Chase drivers qualifying results:
Stewart: 10th
Johnson: 12th
Newman: 1st
Biffle: 16th (ding ding ding!  he matches his car number!)
Edwards: 2nd
Wallace: 35th
Martin: 4th
Busch: 30th
Kenseth: 23rd
Mayfield: 18th

- Why don't we run one of these Atlanta races at night?  Fix thisschedule, wouldn't it be much more fun to run a race during the day anda race at night at these tracks?  Instead of 2 Charlotte nightraces, return the UAW-GM 500 to the day and put one of the Atlantaraces at night.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Special Paint Schemes

You know you're obsessed with NASCAR when you make special paint schemes for your blog.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Woo!

Yay forBrian Cashman staying with the Yankees.  I really would have hatedto see him go, Cash is a great GM.  Larry Bowa as third-base coachis a good move I guess, but finding a good pitching coach and benchcoach.  I'm torn about the thought of Lou Pinella as benchcoach... Lou's a great manager and is a great mind, but I don't knowhow well he would mix with Torre.

Anyway, I was pretty shocked to see that Wimmer got the boot fromBDR.  I really think that Skinner will be there, that's theearliest reaction I have.  We'll see what comes out in the nextfew days.

BREAKING NEWS

This is why I do what I do.

AAA to sponsor Mark Martin in 2006

The AAA SBC and Board of Directors have approved an agreement withRoush Racing to become the primary sponsor of Roush's No. 6 Ford Fusioncar, which will be driven by Mark Martin during NASCAR's 2006 Nextel Cupracing series.


NASCAR, the commonly used name of the National Association of Stock CarRacing, is the governing body of one of the fastest growing and mostpopular professional sports in America with NASCAR races having becomea staple of network television sports coverage. In 2002, Fox, NBC andTurner Broadcasting signed a six-year agreement with NASCAR worth $2.8billion for rights to broadcast races. Beside the fact that NASCARNextel Cup Series races continually draw higher television ratings thanthe PGA, NBA, MLB and the NHL, NASCAR fans represent a sizable andinfluential demographic group. Annual sales of NASCAR-licensedmerchandise top $1.13 billion, and more than 900 sponsors now spendmore than $400 million annually on motorsports.


The national office is currently coordinating with Roush Racing and GMRMarketing, a marketing firm retained by AAA to develop and execute apromotion strategy for AAAs involvement in motorsports, to make apublic announcement of the partnership on Thursday, October 27 prior tothe October 30 race at the Atlanta Motor Speedway. In addition toissuing a news release and a rendering of the No. 6 car, Roush isseeking to arrange several-visibility interviews about the partnership.Roush and GMR have primary responsibility for day-to-day publicrelations activities involving the sponsorship and will coordinatetheir activities with the national office Public Relations department.

- from an AAA memo

here is a computer image of the car:


Looks I was right (again) as someone from the 99 comes aboard the6.  I like the paint scheme, but it kinda looks like the Kraftpaint schemes in the Bud Shootout.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

2006 Paint Schemes

The Sunday Hauler is where I get my new paint scheme info, they have some of the 2006 schemes on their site right now:

#16 Greg Biffle:
http://www.thesundayhauler.com/store/greg_biffle_national_guard2006.html

#17 Matt Kenseth:
http://www.thesundayhauler.com/store/matt_kenseth_dewalt2006.html

#22 Scott Wimmer:
http://www.thesundayhauler.com/store/scott_wimmer_caterpillar2006.html

#48 Jimmie Johnson (ran at Charlotte):
http://www.thesundayhauler.com/store/jimmie_johnson_lowes2006.html

#99 Carl Edwards:
http://www.thesundayhauler.com/store/carl_edwards_office_depot2006.html

What To Do With My Stuff?

I've neverreally had to deal with buying a whole new set of stuff when a driverswitches teams.  I had some Exide stuff for Burton, but it wasstill 99 and I wore it through the CITGO years and the unsponsoredseason.  Mark Martin had Valvoline for so long, but it wasn't likeI was about to buy something with Viagra on it when I way 15 yearsold.  But my 17 and 97 stuff hasn't changed at all, neither has my16 gear.  The big question, though, is what to do with my 97stuff?  Kurt will be in the 2 next year and I will get that gear,but is my 97 stuff still any good with McMurray coming?  Theshirts, probably not.  But like I've done before, I can cover upthe Kurt Busch on the hats, provided they're still the same sponsors,which by all indications it will be, and I've been hearing that CrownRoyal will be stepping up for more races.  I saved myself a ton ofmoney on a Pennzoil Busch hat by getting an old Steve Park hat andcovering up the 1 with an American flag and getting a 9 from the craftstore.  Total cost? $6.

I'm surprised that more teams don't do special Halloween paintschemes.  The only team that does each year is the 38, andM&M's are a popular item at Halloween.


I think the Dude would appreciate the diecast pic.

My latest purchase:

Team Caliber 1:24 Platinum car, $10 at the Team Caliber Tent Sale.

This weekend marks the end of the 2005 IROC weekend, and all MarkMartin has to do to clinch the championship is start the race, accoringto everything I've seen about the IROC point system.  It will beMartin's 5th IROC championship, but because of the Earnhardt fans hewon't be voted the best all-time driver, which is a damn shame. Mark will have more championships and race wins than anyone else inIROC history.  So, here is a salute to Mark's IROC career.





Monday, October 24, 2005

Driver X Show Review

I made it apoint to really pay attention to the show tonight, and I must say, Iwas very impressed.  When I first heard about the idea of the GongShow being a reality show, I knew it would be something very cool tosee.  I was doubly excited to know that Discovery Channel would beproducing it.  I went to the session at Martinsville and got tosee the drivers on the track for myself.  So naturally I'm curiousto see how it comes out on the show.

One thing I always love to see in a show is a great opening. Driver X delivers on this front, hey, Roush is the dominant team inNASCAR.  The presentation was also something I thought was verycool, better than that crap NBC uses that makes the drivers look likethey're in a toilet seat.  It was nice getting the back story onJack, his plane crash, and how it changed him.  I had no idea thatthe drivers both working for Roush and the potentials would be interviewed to that extent.  I didn'tknow the potential guys would be profiled like that either.

- Was it just me, or does Michael Pickens look like a vampire or something?  It made me uncomfortable to see him on the TV.

- Very sad to hear what happened to Bud Kaeding, you just can't everimagine something like that happening when you're going for the jobinterview of a lifetime.

- Something seemed fishy about the guys getting a call when the cameras just so happen to be there talking to them.

- Christi Passmore, are you kidding me?  Was she filling some sortof quota?  She doesn't deserve to be there.  Top 10 inARCA... woo... there are about 3 cars that actually run well every weekin the series.  I would be interested to see if the Cup teamdevelopment drivers were in those races she finished well.

Overall, it's nice to see a side of the racing business that normallyisn't talked about or even known about.  Look out for theMartinsville footage, if you see a guy wearing a black Roush Racing hatand a black shirt in the stands, that would be me.

Roush Racing: Driver X

Don't miss the debut of Roush Racing: Driver X tonight at 8 EST on Discovery Channel!

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Eh, Even If Gordon Wins... I Love Martinsville



Jeff sweeps Martinsville, good for him... it's been great having himout of victory lane for this long.  Stewart leads the majority ofthe laps, but didn't seem to be as fast on the last run as the rest ofthe day.  Same thing happened to him in the spring.  Thesecautions are out of control, I nearly fell asleep today... seemed likethe teams could never get a good run in.  Roush needs better shorttrack cars.  It was downright sad to watch today having to use pitstrategy to make up for sorry setups.  I believe Denny Hamlincould have very well won the race if he didn't have the flat tireearlier in the day.  I'll go to the driver change stuff in aminute, but let's discuss the post-race festivities.  Smoke callsBiffle an idiot... hahahaha... being a Biffle fan, it did tick me off abit, but I like Smoke and he's just saying what's on his mind. Once again, you put a microphone in front of them 5 minutes after therace is over, you're gonna get stuff like that.  But on top ofthat, I'm pretty sure it will be a topic of discussion all week. I promise you, it won't mean anything at Atlanta.  It would bebetter for everyone if they brush it off and keep on going instead oftrying to make something out of nothing. 

Denny is doing so well with the 11 team, that if Bobby were to leavethe 18, I think Yeley should go there.  I've always liked JJ, it'sjust taking him a long time to get used to the stock cars.  Factof the matter is, you don't win the USAC Triple Crown without having aton of talent.  Last time I checked, the only other guy to do itwas Stewart.  Interesting about Rudd going to the 42, I think thatcertainly seems more plausible than most of the other scenarios I'veheard that send McMurray and Busch to their new homes.  Snack onthis one a bit... Bobby Labonte to HOF Racing... Texas driver, Texasowners, Texas-based sponsor, and they'll be using Gibbs equipment......

So, we have four races left in the 2nd annual Chase for the Nextel Cup.  Points look like this:

1. Stewart 5957
2. Johnson -15
3. Newman -63
4. Biffle -83
5. Edwards -149
6. Wallace -166
7. Martin -170
8. Busch -172
    Kenseth -172
10. Mayfield -216

So, looks like I was right about Mayfield faltering, look at CarlEdwards staying tough there.  If he gets a top 3 finish at Atlanta(his average finish in 2 races there is 2nd) that could be quite astory going to Texas.  Way I see it, there are the top 4 guys witha legitimate chance, then 5th-8th need a miracle (I've eliminatedMayfield)... but look how close it is between those guys.  Newmanneeds to make up about 16 points a race, Biffle needs to make up about21.  We'll see what Halloween hijinx Atlanta has in store nextSunday.

And just because I liked it... more Hooters girls:

 

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Decisions, Decisions....

So... today,I figured I'd go somewhere to watch the Truck race because out of the88 channels I have, NTC doesn't want SPEED to be one of them.  So, where doI go?  There were only two choices on this:

Quaker Steak & Lube, where I know one of the waitresses,

or


Hooters, where, well... I don't think I need to say why...

I went to Hooters, got a good table positioned directly in front of a TV with the race on.

So, what was I watching?  Would it be:


Ricky Craven dominate,

or


Yeah... the scenery is always nice.

I did watch the race when it was on, but seemed like there were a lotof cautions.  I'm glad Ricky finally got a Truck win, but overallthis season has been a downer for Ricky and the 99 team.  TeammateTodd Kluever was 2nd, a 1-2 sweep just like Jon Wood and Carl Edwardsback in '03, which I personally saw and got to enjoy.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Friday Notes

Making this one brief, big night ahead.

- Smoke on the pole - top 5 run Rudd, Rusty, Newman, and an impressiveDenny Hamlin.  Denny's definitely drove himself into the 11 nextyear.

- Mr. Insignificant is: Wayne Anderson.

- Bobby Labonte now has Ganassi rumored to be his new team, just showsthat having a bad reason will make rumors crop up, no matter howunlikely.

- Ryan Moore was released from his DEI contract stemming from thealtercation that ocurred at Lime Rock Speedway in the Busch NorthSeries.  This kid is too talented for someone not to give him ashot next year.

- Good for DW getting in the Truck race, which will be his final(again) race in NASCAR.  He'll have to put on a show if he is toget a good finish... qualified 30th.

- That's all I have time for!

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Something Else I'm Mad About

NASCAR nowhas a monopoly on the merchandise from each of the teams, which reallyworries me.  Together with SMI, "ISC" has purchased not onlyAction, but Team Caliber as well.  This is going to bring abouthuge changes in the way fans buy their hats, shirts, die-casts,etc.  Soon to be gone are the merchandise trailers that travelfrom track-to-track every week.  To me, that was always one of thebest parts of the race weekend, going to the trailers and walkingaround between them, because there were so many and every major driverwas represented in some fashion.  Now with this MotorsportsAuthentics deal, these trailers will be gone.  From what I've seenon the subject, there will be shops of some sort opening up at eachtrack instead.  This is great, if you happen to be a Jeff Gordonor Dale Jr. fan, but any other driver?  Psshh.  Good luckgetting your hands on a Kurt Busch hat or Robby Gordon diecast or aJeremy Mayfield shirt.  This hurts all fans except those that likeGordo or Dale Jesus.  The company will cut production on everyother drivers' stuff so they can sell a Jeff Gordon boxer briefcollection.  Outside of Jimmie Johnson, who's gonna buythat?  The one good thing I like about the deal is that it shouldbring more NASCAR merchandise into more retail stores.  Hopefully,it will put them on par with the number of NFL jerseys and MLB hatsthat are sold in many stores.  If done right, this could be agreat deal, but how often does NASCAR do something that benefits thefans?

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Wish You Were Here

As of rightnow, it's not looking good for me to attend the Martinsville raceSunday.  As much as I'd love to be there, I don't think I can takea weekend off from school and things going on around here to go. It really makes me sad I can't go, because I just love the place somuch.  However, I'm already putting together plans for nextspring's race.  There are so many things I love aboutMartinsville: the buildup to the race all week, it was always the talkof the school "you goin to the race Sunday?".  Qualifying day toget all your shopping done, Saturday's happy hour and the Truck race(which has grown exponentially... from the stand being barely full in1998 to being completely filled by 2004), and nothing is like raceday.  The people, the hot dogs, the beer, and everyone therehaving a genuine great time.  Time to stop typing before I get tomisty-eyed....

Monday, October 17, 2005

The Silliest Season

I'mbeginning to think NASCAR should just declare every driver a free agentright now.  Green to 0?  Labonte to the 43?  Newsom tothe 8? (heh).  Mike Bliss should to back and make a statement inthe Trucks, and it looks like he will by rejoining the Xpressteam.  So Haas CNC wants Jeff Green, for reasons unknown.  Jayski pops up today and says the Bobby Labonte could begoing to the 43 (!) and the two Gibbs Busch drivers might both make itto Cup next year.  This is borderline ridiculous.  Beyondridiculous.  I really do think Labonte is looking for a change,I've even heard to talks junk about Stewart.  I think he would bea good fit in the 43, but certainly it is an unknown situation. Maybe Labonte is due some good luck and bringing the 43 and the Pettysback to respectability is something that would appeal to a lot ofdrivers.  We know Sterling Marlin is headed to MB2 nextyear.  Casey Mears is certainly running better, right when he isgoing to be shuffled to the new 39 team at Ganassi to do some R&Dwork for the other three cars next year.

Martinsville is Sunday, for the Subway 500.  I have a certainaffinity for the place, I lived 20 minutes away from the place for mostof my life.  Martinsville is so crowded, but the people are sonice, it's one of the last remaining tracks where you get true Southernhospitality when you're there.  Heck I've seen so many laps at theplace, I could coach guys on how to get around the place.  I wantto hold on to this track as long as I can, and every true race fanshould feel the same.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Glad That's Over

Everyonecame out of Charlotte with all their limbs attached, and we haveourselves a points race now.  Whats-his-name won at Charlotteagain which doesn't really surprise me.  I'm just curious as towhy they decided to use Brian Vicker's paint scheme on the car for therace and for next year.  Roush puts 4 cars in the top 10 (nice jobguys) and Mark has a puncher's chance for the Championship.

Top 10 unofficial
1. Stewart 5777
    Johnson 5777
3. Biffle -11
4. Newman -17
5. Martin -51
6. Edwards -54
7. Wallace -92
8. Mayfield -115
9. Kenseth -124
10. Busch -142

And Kurt makes up 80 points, even better.  The race was just sadto watch.  It was just a game of who would blow their tires beforeeveryone else and then everyone pits and we play again.  I heardthem say tonight they're talking about variable banking at thetrack?  Why not just make it the way it was before they did thatlevigating shit to it.  I don't know why everyone that has even alittle bit of power in NASCAR is so obsessed with fixing things thataren't broke.  Instead of making a mockery of a great track andforcing the best teams in the sport to reduce the number of teams theyown, why not do something beneficial?  NASCAR is too concernedwith making money to line their own pockets, and this greed will bitethem in the ass.  It won't be anytime soon, but this sport willnot survive with Brian France at the helm.  Please, go run a LosAngeles NFL team.

Anyway....

- Clint Bowyer officially became the new driver of the 07 for nextyear.  Anyone wanna bet he drives the car before the year is out?

- Chip Ganassi now may be willing to release McMurray to Roush nextyear as long as he has someone to drive the 42.  Please let himmake the mistake of signing Blaney so we don't have these lame-ducksituations.  It's been bad enough this year and I hate to imaginewhat would be like next year.  That's a year of two drivers'careers that will be pretty much wasted, along with the crews.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Friday Was Quite A Day

I don't evenknow where to start Friday.  I went to the 2nd annual Six PfamilyPfling for Mark Martin at the Roush Museum in Concord.  My guesswould be about 60-70 of us there, and we talked for a while and got tomeet the faces behind the message board names.  I noticed therewere people camped outside the place, and I wasn't sure why.  Thatwill come into play a little later.  So after a while, Mark comesin and we're all so excited and yelling.  Then Mark tells us "howabout we make it 2 in a row tomorrow?"  As you can imagine, wescream even louder.  Then come to find out there are 20 tickets tohis autograph session that will be given away... the same tickets thepeople outside have been camped out for... and we're gonna get thefirst 20.  And I got lucky!  Yours truly was 1 of the 20lucky people that got the tickets.  I got to meet Mark, get somestuff signed, and it was right at the beginning of the session so hewas in a great mood.  It was just unreal because I had no idea hewould be there.  I'm glad I got to do this before he retires fromCup.

I think Ryan Newman should run in the Busch Series full-time next yearand try to win all 35 races.  It was depressing watching the Buschrace, and I didn't even watch the whole thing.  Tomorrow: biggerscars + less spoiler = bigger messes.  If the Cup race follows theBusch race pattern we're gonna have 10 cars on the lead lap andeveryone else will be wrecked.  They'll end up showing the footageof the crashes on Fox News and CNN becauses it will look like a planecrash by the end of the night.  I wish I was joking....

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Thursday Notes

Guess it's Thursday notes this week with the race on Saturday night :)

- Elliott Sadler wins his 2nd pole in 3 races at Charlotte, I canfaintly hear the cars at the apartment, which is awesome. Tomorrow should be my day to get in trouble.  Top 5 goes Sadler,Newman, Johnson, Stewart, Labonte.

- Mr. Insignificant for the day would be Stanton Barrett, who didn't even post a qualifying time, along with P.J. Jones.

- Kinda sad to see Boris not make it in the race, I'm sure he wouldhave made some great saves after spinning out Saturday night.

- Congrats to David Reutimann, who makes his Cup debut driving the 00 State Fair Chevy for Michael Waltrip Racing.

- Anyone besides me wish Casey Mears would be forced to wear a pink drivers' suit to go along with his pink car?

- Latest in the garage is that Clint Bowyer will replace Dave Blaney inthe 07 next year.  Hopefully, if true, this will shut up thesection of fans who think Dave Blaney will ever do something inNASCAR.  Also see that if true, Clint will continue to drive the#2 AC-Delco Chevy in Busch and do double duty.  That would make 3guys doing it, along with Reed Sorenson and Carl Edwards.

- The 2006 Rookie class is shaping up to be a monster.  MartinTruex in the 1, Clint Bowyer in the 07, Reed Sorenson in the 41, andeither J.J. Yeley or Denny Hamlin in the 11.


Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Almost Mobbed By Busch Haulers

So as I wasdriving up 85 to get on Speedway Blvd. today to get some yummy TacoBell I encountered seeing several Busch Series haulers on the way tothe track today.  The closest I got to one would be the 11 of PaulMenard, which went right past me as I was stopped at the redlight.  I wish I was wearing my sunglasses, that sucker isBRIGHT.  I don't see the need them to put headlights on thatthing.  After I left the Bell I saw the 12 and 40 haulers fromFitzBradshaw.  Part of me wast just expecting them to wreck, giventhe propensity of the cars inside to do the same.  Until you seethem up close and in person, it is hard to really appreciate the sizeof a team hauler.  They are truly a rolling garage and billboardrolled together.  In fact, the haulers' design is surpassed onlyby its functionality.  I've had inside access to a hauler before,albeit it was several years ago.  For those that can remember, BobBrevak was a driver that bounced from the Truck Series to ARCA and Ibelieve the Winston West Series.  As is true now, the Truck Serieshaulers had to park somewhere outside the track to make run for the Cuphaulers.  I'm not sure how his team ended up 20 miles south of thetrack, but they landed at a motel a one-minute drive from myhouse.  My dad took me over there and we got to meet Bob and theteam.  They were first-class people through and through.  Igot to see the backup Truck inside the hauler, toured the cab, and hungout in the lounge inside just talking to him.  I got a fewautographs and left that day a Bob Brevak fan.  I'm not sure whatBob is up to now, I've seen the team make occaisional starts in theTrucks.  I was awestruck by them then, I can only imagine whatthey are like today.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Sad But True


Haven't Got In Trouble.... Yet

I hope yallforgive me for not being in the best of moods, but I'm still mad overthe ALDS Game 5 last night.  Yanks got screwed out of it forsure.  What makes me more worried is knowing Steinbrenner maycompletely destruct the team, when there only has to be some changes tomake it a contender again.  Better defense at 1B and the OF wouldbe big, so would signing pitchers in their prime or a little before,and not in their 40's.  Hopefully next year RJ will be dominantafter having a year to adjust to pitching in New York.  Time topull for the underdog Astros to do something, they have Clemens andPettitte, who I still love watching.

So it looks like Ricky Rudd will hang it up after this year.  It'sreally too bad he didn't announce sooner (if its true) because I thinkeveryone would love to see a Rudd retirement tour.  But the greatthing about Ricky is that he is too humble to toot his own horn. More vets are being rumored for the 21 next year, Andretti (GULP) andKen Schrader.  Part of me loves to think what Ken could dothere.  Either way, they would keep the seat warm for the heir tothe family car Jon Wood to take the wheel in '07.

I swear if I saw Brian France in person, I'd hit him in the mouth andsteal his wallet.  This bullshit about limiting teams, changingpoint systems, all aimed at screwing Roush Racing.  I fail to seehow limiting the number of teams improves competition.  So what ifRoush can have a 5-car comglomerate that runs well every week?  Heshould be credited for building such an outstanding organization, notpenalized because he has built something so great.  Same goes toRick Hendrick and his 4-car team.  Next year, Ganassi will go to 4cars.  Personally, seeing more teams like this makes for bettercompetition than seeing a bunch of teams like the 4 and the 32 outthere.  If a new owner wants to come in, tell him to pony up the$$$ to make it happen.  I can tell you right now exactly what willhappen: Roush "sells" two of his teams, presumably to the WoodBrothers, or possibly one to WB and one to Yates.  Then, they havea 9-car alliance representing Ford Racing.  Everyone else will setup teams or make alliances with teams, and you'll have two three-carteams working as one sharing information.  Does that sound anybetter?  Would that make it more advantageous for new owners tocome in?  No, and furthermore, HELL no.  It would be evenharder for someone to come in under that system and compete, becausesingle-car teams will still struggle under that format.  Teams aresmarter than NASCAR and will always find a way around the rules they'regiven.

Sunday, October 9, 2005

Score One For Mark!

Rememberthose Roush guys?  How sudden everyone forgets they're thedominant organization in NASCAR, and today reaffirmed it.  Markand the 6 crew took a gamble for track position and it paid off, asMark got out front and then never left, even through pit stops. Kenseth led early but had a vibration, I was listening on the radio andthe tire specialist said nothing was wrong with the tires.  In anyevent, Kenseth never reclaimed the lead and never got higher than5th.  The Biff finishes 2nd again for the weekend, I'm stillpuzzled as to how he "whines" in an interview.  Go look at JeffGordon for Whining 101.  Anyway, Stewart put distance betweeneveryone since Newman didn't have a good day at all.

Top 10 in points looks like this:
1. Stewart 5684
2. Newman -75
3. Biffle -88
4. Wallace -90
5. Johnson -92
6. Edwards -95
7. Martin -113
8. Kenseth -116
9. Mayfield -157
10. Busch -224

Not really surprised to see Mayfield in 9th, I don't see how that teamhas made the Chase for 2 years.  When you think of top 10 teams,do you think of the 19?  Neither do I.

Charlotte next week, and I'm downright giddy to see what kind of trouble I can get in to.

Developing Story

Per Jayski,the 12 of Ryan Newman still hasn't passed pre-race inspection... theleft rear quarter panel is too high, team has failed twice and will goto the back of the line so they can have more time to get itfixed.  Newman is already going to the back of the field forchanging transmissions.  Well, they might not even be in the fieldtoday.

Saturday, October 8, 2005

Saturday Roundup

Matt Kensethcontinues to do his Ryan Newman impersonation on qualifying day,snagging his 2nd pole of the year and setting a new Kansas trackrecord.  Now, this is a whopping 3rd career pole for Matt, and thelast time he won the pole he turned the Sharpie 500 into the race forsecond place 500.  Filling out the top 5 are Elliott Sadler, JeffGordon, Scott Wimmer, and Carl Edwards.  I'd look for Kenseth tohave a dominant car, seeing how he blistered the field at Chicago, butwatch for Carl Edwards too.  He was charging hard until hesuffered a flat tire and smacked the wall.

Great Busch race today, Kansas is really starting to come into its ownas far as being a track with action and passing.  Biffle made anabsolute sick save on the white flag lap, he is one of the few guysthat could have done that.  But congrats to that team, it wastheir first win.  They've only had about 15 drivers in that carsince it began last year.

Updating a bit on the news about Roush Racing, Jamie McMurray shouldmove to the 97 in 2007.  So next year, it will be a looong yearfor him and Kurt Busch as well.  Expect both of them to get thelast pick as far as equipment goes.  But from what I've heard, theprimary reason Jamie goes to the 97 is because of sponsorship. Busch is a high-profile driver, and Newell/Diageo don't want to startfrom scratch with someone like Todd Kluever.  My prediction isthat World Financial Group steps up to the plate for Todd and the6.  I think WFG will be his full-time Busch sponsor next year, butdon't hold me to it if it doesn't happen.

Yet again, NASCAR is out to screw Roush Racing with this "limiting" ofteams that can be owned.  If a new guy wants in and is willing topay to play, that's what will happen.  Contrary to what BrianFrance thinks, more teams like PPI dilutes competition.

Carolina travels to Arizona to play the Cardinals at 4, should be awin, but this team is too inconsistent right now.  With ChrisGamble out, I'm not sure what we'll do with Boldin andFitzgerald.  Well, this year the cardiac cats are back.... thegame is never over until 00:00.

Friday, October 7, 2005

Friday Notes

- As I writethis, Martin Truex Jr. leads Busch Pole qualifying.  Looking atwho is left, I'll be shocked if he loses it.  Look for Truex tostart first, and some great runs by Jon Wood and Regan Smith, who arecurrently 2nd and 3rd respectively.

- Roush Racing looks like they're back to their dominating ways basedoff of their practice runs today.  I believe every driver took aturn being near the top.  Top 5 from Happy Hour are ElliottSadler, Carl Edwards, Matt Kenseth, Jeff Gordon, and Kurt Busch.

- Mr. Insignificant for the day is Eric McClure, who comes in 49th fastest.

- Jack Sprague and Xpress (#16 CTS team) are parting ways, effectiveimmediately.  This combo hasn't worked as well as everyone wouldhave believed, a team that won back-to-back championships in 2002-03and a 3-time series champion.  Xpress will put Bobby Labonte inthe truck for Martinsville, Sprague is rumored to be taking over the#60 Toyota.  If that happens, what a raw deal for ChadChaffin.  First he is the odd man out at BHR because he didn'thave someone paying his way, then he gets replaced by Todd Bodine inthe #30 truck.  Chad's a very good Truck driver and deserves astable team.

Major Update: Haveheard that Jack Roush announced Todd Kluever will drive the #6 in 2007,succeeding Mark Martin, who will return in 2006.  Hmm, does thismean Jamie McMurray will get out of his deal to drive the 97 in2006?  That's the only thing I can come up with.

Text Messaging Practice Speeds

One of theneat things about having Alltel is you can sign up to receive textmessages on race weekend that show top 5 practice speeds, top 5qualifying speeds, and instant race results.  This comes in handyin case a busy college guy like me is out somewhere and can't catcheverything.  Like today, I get to see practice times before I evenget back to the apartment for the day.  Maybe I won't switch toNextel when my contract is up after all.

Cool shirt I saw today

Newshirt from Team Caliber, I'll have to see if it's just an online thingor if they have it at their store.  It combines two things Ienjoy, Roush Racing and poker.  I happen to have a picture of it.  Only $12, I'm so getting that shirt.

Thursday, October 6, 2005

The Case Against Jimmie Johnson

I'm notgoing to hide the fact I don't like Jimmie Johnson, that's all there isto it. Quite frankly, the guy has not proven much to me besidesthe fact he can drive Jeff Gordon's cars and he benefits from a topthree team and top three pit crew. His Busch Series days wereless than stellar. And don't use the Tony Stewart arguement,Stewart was running the IRL schedule at the same time he ran inBusch. Anyway, Johnson had a stellar ONE win. And that wasa fuel mileage win. The team? The #92 Herzog-Jackson team,which began winning more than once every other year once Todd Bodinestepped in the car. According to Rick Hendrick, Jeff Gordon "saw"something. Maybe it was his unibrow. But Johnson has hadthe privilege of being side by side with the 24 team since day one, andwe all know how much effort Hendrick has put into that team. Soit wasn't surprising to see him win races early. Johnson becamean instant championship contender back in 2002. So, what has hedone since? He has been beat by Roush drivers the next two years,and it may very happen this year, either by Roush, Stewart, or Penske(sorry Jeremy). Johnson has also shown an increased penchant fortrying his best to demolish his competition, specifically atTalladega. Last Sunday's race was his third consecutive racethere he was the instigator for a major crash that took out top 5 carsand this year Championship-contending cars. And the way Jimmiepresents himself? I can't see anything but someone who feelsentitled to being great instead of earning it. Let's hope karmacomes around by Homestead and he falls short once again.

The Case Against Jimmie Johnson

I'm notgoing to hide the fact I don't like Jimmie Johnson, that's all there isto it. Quite frankly, the guy has not proven much to me besidesthe fact he can drive Jeff Gordon's cars and he benefits from a topthree team and top three pit crew. His Busch Series days wereless than stellar. And don't use the Tony Stewart arguement,Stewart was running the IRL schedule at the same time he ran inBusch. Anyway, Johnson had a stellar ONE win. And that wasa fuel mileage win. The team? The #92 Herzog-Jackson team,which began winning more than once every other year once Todd Bodinestepped in the car. According to Rick Hendrick, Jeff Gordon "saw"something. Maybe it was his unibrow. But Johnson has hadthe privilege of being side by side with the 24 team since day one, andwe all know how much effort Hendrick has put into that team. Soit wasn't surprising to see him win races early. Johnson becamean instant championship contender back in 2002. So, what has hedone since? He has been beat by Roush drivers the next two years,and it may very happen this year, either by Roush, Stewart, or Penske(sorry Jeremy). Johnson has also shown an increased penchant fortrying his best to demolish his competition, specifically atTalladega. Last Sunday's race was his third consecutive racethere he was the instigator for a major crash that took out top 5 carsand this year Championship-contending cars. And the way Jimmiepresents himself? I can't see anything but someone who feelsentitled to being great instead of earning it. Let's hope karmacomes around by Homestead and he falls short once again.

The Case Against Jimmie Johnson

I'm notgoing to hide the fact I don't like Jimmie Johnson, that's all there isto it. Quite frankly, the guy has not proven much to me besidesthe fact he can drive Jeff Gordon's cars and he benefits from a topthree team and top three pit crew. His Busch Series days wereless than stellar. And don't use the Tony Stewart arguement,Stewart was running the IRL schedule at the same time he ran inBusch. Anyway, Johnson had a stellar ONE win. And that wasa fuel mileage win. The team? The #92 Herzog-Jackson team,which began winning more than once every other year once Todd Bodinestepped in the car. According to Rick Hendrick, Jeff Gordon "saw"something. Maybe it was his unibrow. But Johnson has hadthe privilege of being side by side with the 24 team since day one, andwe all know how much effort Hendrick has put into that team. Soit wasn't surprising to see him win races early. Johnson becamean instant championship contender back in 2002. So, what has hedone since? He has been beat by Roush drivers the next two years,and it may very happen this year, either by Roush, Stewart, or Penske(sorry Jeremy). Johnson has also shown an increased penchant fortrying his best to demolish his competition, specifically atTalladega. Last Sunday's race was his third consecutive racethere he was the instigator for a major crash that took out top 5 carsand this year Championship-contending cars. And the way Jimmiepresents himself? I can't see anything but someone who feelsentitled to being great instead of earning it. Let's hope karmacomes around by Homestead and he falls short once again.