One of Danica Patrick's resolutions this year was to be less of a whiny baby while out on the race track. Of course, despite winning a race this year, she's still crying entirely too much. Not only that, she's crying AND confronting her problem drivers head on still (though she's learned to stop hitting them now). This time, she's picking on a driver who is closer to her size, Milka Duno.
Ahem. In the immortal words of Joey Styles: CATFIIIGHT!
So, in his battle between race-car vixend, who you got? Venezuelan beauty Milka Duno, with her four masters' degrees and litany of first wins for a woman and/or Hispanic woman in a variety of races, or All-American girl Danica, the Queen Bitch of the IRL with the incredibly annoying website?
I promised a certain editor-in-chief this blog on Sunday. So, why is it now that I'm only getting around to writing about the recap of last Sunday's NASCAR race? Is it laziness, hatred of the sport well, perhaps it's a little bit of the first. But mostly because Sunday's race was a lot of what we'd seen in the past month. Tony Stewart wins again (3 out of the last 4), Jeff Gordon comes close, but no cigar and Carl Edwards puts up decent numbers again.
Of course, there was a little tift between Juan and Kevin Harvick on the track, but it never got past a little shoving and in the end they realized neither one was to blame. But in the end, not really a big deal.
The big deals on the other hand come when we look at the overall picture and mention the driver carousel.
First, there are only four more races left until the Chase for the Championship begins. When it reaches that point the top twelve drivers will have their points set to an even 5000, plus ten points for every race run. Then, it's full out chaos theory until Homestead at the end of November and we find out which of those twelve had it in him to win the chase. So, when you're watching the races over the next four weeks pay attention to those guys who are in 9-15 in the point standings (don't worry the broadcasters will be sure to tell you a few billion times who exactly is on the bubble.. and if you're like most of the NASCAR fans that belong the Earnhardt Nation you already know that Junior has slipped back to 14 th after engine troubles and may once again not make the chase.
So, today the Busch series ventured north up into Canada to visit Montreal. The double dippers flew between Pocono and Montreal, some arrived on time for the European-style qualifying for the Busch Series event at the magnificent road course (really, breath-taking track). But then it got really boring.
It was about 70 laps of boring, change-the-channel, road-course racing, but then something must have snapped in Robby Gordon's head as he was spun about by Ambrose as he attempted and failed to pass for the lead. Just moments before the caution had been thrown due to a crash in the backfield. NASCAR said that Robby needed to restart 13th, but Robby disagreed. He believed that since he was in second when the caution flag was thrown -- he should still be in second. But NASCAR claimed that he wasn't going at a cautious speed when the flag came out he should be put at the tale end of the longest line -- 13th.
But Robby believed he should be in second so he ignored NASCAR and his crew chief telling him to get into the right position. The green flag fell for the rest of the field, but Robby received the dreaded black flag for not being in the right position at the restart. But that didn't stop Robby, who would immediately spin out Ambrose after the restart, and then continue on pretending like he was leading the race -- despite still receiving the black flag each time by. As Robby later stated "They said 'here's the rule book,'I play by their rules. I guess this was one of those [exceptions for rare instances]." Just a bit too bad NASCAR didn't agree with Robby. The only thing that would have made this better would be Tony Stewart and his gigantic foot in mouth disease to be involved in the whole situation.
But the real race for the win was behind Robby where Kevin Harvick and hometown favorite Patrick Carpentier battled it out for the actual win. Harvick would come away with the win -- but our story doesn't end there.
Instead it ends with not one, not two, but three burnouts. One by the guy who won the race, one by the runner-up and one by the guy who thought he won the race. Yes, probably the most burn-outs you'll ever see in a NASCAR race.
Also, probably the most amusing debacle that could have occurred in the final five laps for NASCAR's debut in Canada. Hell, it was probably the most crazy set of events to occur in the final five laps of a Busch series or Nextel Cup Series race in a long time.
I don't think the Nextel Cup Series race at Pocono will be able to have quite the level of crazy in it tomorrow, but it still should be a good race. Pre-show starts at 1pm EST, which means that the race most likely starts at around 2:45pm EST on ESPN.
The risk takers who bet that Jr would dress up and even shave for today's press conference would have won a large sum of money. But no one actually bothered to vote.
Dale did as we all expected and announced that "his new boss is Rick Hendrick." And Rick did as we all expected and announced that June-Bug would be replacing Kyle Busch in the stables at Hendrick Motorsports. Now, Junior's so called "red army" should apparently be all up in arms over the fact that Junior will now be teammates with one of their most hated drivers -- Jeff Gordon. Will this sway the fans when Junior starts to work with Jeff? When they help each other out in drafting? Maybe. Or perhaps bloggers and press alike might be making mountains out of mole hills. I think they'll adjust, because stronger than hatred is their love for Dale Junior. Hendrick now has three, arguably, of the most popular drivers in NASCAR with Dale Junior, Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson. His powerhouse of a team just got even stronger. Which is great news for them, but bad news for my Rousch boys who just seem to be struggling this year.
Now Junior, I hope realizes that by joining Hendrick he'll no longer be able to blame his lack of winning championships on a bad team -- but he alone will be the sole reason for failure. Time to step up big boy, let's hope that pair you've recently grown are big enough to help you step-up and start being a grown-up.
There's no announcement yet for what number Junior will take on at Hendrick -- any favorites from you all? Remember the number 8 is owned by DEI. I think Jr needs a nice high number -- like 72 -- just to make it harder on his fans. Either way, they're sure to follow him no matter where he goes or what number he drives -- just like you're sure to see tons of Raiders fans dressing up like spikey vikings at whatever game they go to. It's a sure thing.
No word yet where Kyle'll be going, but it seems his leaving Hendrick was as a result of a mutual agreement that occurred during contract discussions.
While there was no room at the Inn for a certain baby Jesus, there has been room made at the Inn for one Dale Earnhardt, Jr., despite Hendrick claiming weeks earlier that there would be no room for Jr at Hendrick Motor Sports. But it is expected tomorrow at the press conference airing at 11am EST live from JR Motorsports that Dale will announce that he is signing with Hendrick Motorsports, squashing any and all hopes that DEI might have had left.
Now, those of you who follow motorsports and do math (I know it's a rare combination), might note at the moment that Hendrick has 4 signed drivers and cannot add on a 5th car. So, who goes? For those who don't keep track Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson, Casey Mears and Kyle Busch all currently race for Hendrick. Now, most of you would probably assume automatically that the supposed weakest link, Casey Mears, would be the driver receiving the boot. But, NOT SO, according the word around the garage. Word on the street has it that Busch, whose contract is up in 2008, has asked to be let out of his contract early.
Now, for an up and coming driver, this type of decision has to baffle the mind. Hendrick is clearly the superior team this year and there really is no stopping Hendrick at this point in the season. Could he be wanting to leave to race with big brother Kurt? Does he feel unloved at Hendrick or has he just received a secret, under the table, exploding offer from another team that he just can't turn down?
Who knows. The drama will all unfold tomorrow and I promise to keep you, our readers (all three of you ;P ) apprised of the situation. We'll know tomorrow, just as surely race car drivers turn left. But we are now accepting bets as to how many people think Jr. will bother dressing up for this press conference and how many people think he'll once again dress up as a redneck. Odds-on-favorite is that he'll sport traditional redneck fashion.
Another night race turned into another Sunday race as rain once again created a postponement last night. But the tires hit the track today and burned up some Sunday rubber instead.
And yet again, Jeff Gordon's year just keeps getting better and better. Last year for Jeff Gordon's team, nothing seemed to be going right. DNFs knocked him out of multiple races and usually came within the final laps of a race Gordon had been leading for the majority of the race. But today, not even a car who was overheating and spewing steam could stop Jeff from being the first to see the checkered flag today. This probably pisses a lot of people off, because Jeff has about as many 'haters' as he does fans. But hate or love, Jeff Gordon is probably one of the most talented drivers in the sport today as his win count keeps climbing and he proves why he's already such a legend at age 35. He's well on his way to earning his 5th championship and the first one for Jeff since Nextel took over as the title sponsor.
But as much as Jeff is on a hot streak, reminiscent of Tony Stewart's in 2005, there is one man whose announcement this past week is probably one of the best things for the sport in years and years. And that'd be Dale Earnhardt Jr. His announcement that he is leaving DEI and seeking a contract with another team next year, has been the talk of NASCAR and non-NASCAR fans alike. People who never watch NASCAR are suddenly talking about what a cold frosty bitch Teresa Earnhardt is (and cold and frosty aren't good here, only good when describing a nice cold Budweiser). This will bring some great attention to the sport, probably drive up Junior's net worth even higher and boost his popularity ratings even higher than they already are. People are left wondering which team Junior will go decide to race for next year, as almost all of them are more than willing to sign him because unlike Teresa they know he's money in the bank.
So, this year's driver carousel promises that it might be even more exiting than the 12 driver field of the Chase for the Championship. Bring it on.
p.s. Happy Mother's day to all those moms who are reading this to get their sports fix on. ;D
Say goodbye to DEI as Dale Earnhardt Inc will be officially losing its biggest star and money-maker, along with probably its most powerful sponsorship as the namesake's son will be leaving his father's racing team after a frosty relationship with his step-mommy dearest and if she really is losing her Step-Son as the teams start, she might very well find her team having to find a new star or forever shut its doors with a lack of profitability.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. will be officially saying goodbye to DEI and racing full time next year for his own team JR Motorsports in partnership with Hendrick Motorsports sources from inside DEI and Hendrick have reported.
The press conference will be televised nationally (most likey on SPEED) will take place at 11am ET tomorrow (Thursday) from JR Motorsports headquarters.
So, will JR survive? Yes. The kid has bank, he will have sponsors galore, being the most popular NASCAR driver has its perks, and as much as I hate to admit it.. he has talent in the driving arena too. If his team is partnering in part with Hendrick Motorsports, he will really have a leg up in running his own team in the Nextel Series.
Will DEI survive? That remains to be seen. In losing Jr, they don't only lose their most talented driver, but they will also be losing Budweiser as a sponsor along with a few others who are rumored to be following Jr if he leaves DEI for greener pastures. While Martin Truex Jr. is a talented driver.. he isn't really talented enough to support an entire team, at least yet. Furthermore, his contract is up at the end of 2008, but there are rumors that his 2008 year is an option year. Thus he could be following his teammate and also go race for JR Motorsports. Additionally, DEI has struggled over the past few years, not only with bad luck on the driving front, but a lot of engine failures and just an inability to put a car out there that can consistently win races and put DEI in any sort of hopes to win a championship.
So, I'll let you all chew on that. And I'll bring you more tomorrow after the press conference and we get official details.
This post will be full of a bunch of random shit, why? I don't have it in me to bitch or ramble about any of these things for more than a sentence or two.
1) Congratulations to Jeff Gordon - Well done on passing Dale Earnhardt on the all-time wins list for NASCAR, moving you up into sixth place. Just a single week after you tied him. Jeff is having an awesome season -- as is evident by the over-usage of him in our NASCAR fantasy team. But you have to pick the guy when he's on a hot streak. And even though people have every right to dislike you and be upset, I agree, that it's just trashy of fans to throw beer cans at you. It adds to the awful reputation of redneck hickdom that NASCAR fans have developed. Yes, it was Dale Earnhardt's birthday. But what will the image people left with on that day? Was it someone they liked or hated breaking Dale's record? No. It was the image of fans throwing beer cans and toilet paper on the track. I tell you the only reason Dale Earnhardt would be upset about Jeff breaking his record on Sunday, would be if Jeff hadn't beaten his record when he could. It is racing. You don't get to take into consideration when you're going whose birthday it is, who is your friend, because in the end.. Race hard, drive fast and turn left. Plus, does throwing beer cans on the track really show the world that you're upset? No, it shows them that you're a hick and you probably just proved them right.
2) Well done Dale Jr. We'll even ignore the rumors that you've been offered a majority ownership of DEI (though now we're hearing rumors of DEI discussing merging with Robert Yates Racing.) But anyone who knows me, knows my dislike of Jr had been almost as strong as my hatred of Tony Stewart. But lately Junior you've been acting like a man. Debunking myths that your father hated Jeff Gordon, encouraging your fans not to throw things at Gordon if and when he beat your father's record (which he did on Saturday). And even commenting on how much you appreciated his tribute to your father. Well done. You're growing up, not acting like an immature little brat on the track.. and the only reason you piss me off lately.. is because I don't want to like you, but most of the time you are earning my respect.
3) KFC Series, The Fried Chicken League, The Colonel Sanders Cup - In other words KFC has emerged as one of the leaders in winning the title sponsorship for the Busch Series as Anheiser Busch will end their 25 year relationship with NASCAR. Subway also remains a leading contender. And according to nascar.com others also still showing interest include dark horse candidate Dish Network, Checkers/Rally's, Domino's Pizza, Burger King, Arby's and McDonald's. Dish Network being a dark horse because of NASCAR's strong relationship with DirectTV.
4) Tony not having fun - Race announcers this week were sure to over exaggerate and point out the two times that the caution for debris actually helped Tony Stewart over other racers, but that didn't mean that Smoke wasn't still pissed off leaving the track Sunday night, because he was. Tony once again was spun out during the race, this time during the green-white checkered flag attempt (the race ended on a yellow). He was left frustrated as he was bumped and spun into the wall. And then was hit by another driver probably seeking retaliation for the Busch Series Race (something Tony pretended not to understand). Tell you what Tony, you need to do a lot more charity work to work off your shitty Karma points lately. Being a hypocrite I don't think helps you in that area.
5) There isn't really a 5.. so, let's make one up. If you like all the hard racing lately, go check out the NHL playoffs. (No, I'm not getting paid), but there have been some excellent games as of yet. Better quality than I expected. So, enjoy some hard hits, great saves and amazing goals.
Is that a foot in your mouth or is that just Tony Stewart?
So, Tony Stewart shot off his big mouth again. Is anyone honestly surprised? Tony Stewart has a repeated history of shooting off his mouth. Hell, that's probably why Sirius radio decided to give the asshole his own show. Now, all these thoughts of Tony Stewart have nothing to do with me being indoctrinated by 'big brother Bill France' and his train of thought. So, let's look at his argument a little bit.
Tony decided to declare on Monday (after he lost.. only getting 2nd place. He refused to talk to the press after the race, because he claims he didn't want to diss the officials in an angry tone). The real reason? Tony's a sore loser. There would be no conspiracy theories being thrown out there by Tony if he'd won. But Tony doesn't like it when other drivers win. He hates it a lot, he hates it more than any other driver out there today.
Tony believes that NASCAR shouldn't be able to throw cautions when there is debris on the track. Instead, it seems tony wants to let the drivers keep driving around until someone blows a tire, flies into the wall and causes a lot more damage that could have been avoided. Because that would mean that NASCAR officials couldn't conspire against Tony to fix the race so another guy wins.
There's a few flaws here in Tony's argument. 1) NASCAR most likely would want to fix the race to let smoke win over Gordon. Smoke's probably the more popular driver. A lot of people hate Jeff Gordon because of a false impression of how Earnhardt viewed Gordon. 2) NASCAR has always tried to put a drivers safety first and whenever they do call the caution, it's for a good reason and to prevent accidents, not to interfere with the racing and the race outcome itself. In example, the 2007 Daytona 500. Despite the fact there was an accident in the backfield, NASCAR did not throw the caution flag and let time markers decide the outcome of the race. Instead, they waited until after the leaders had raced it out on that final lap before throwing the caution in order to create the most fair outcome to the race. There was no risk to cause further accidents with the accident in the backfield and the leaders not going to go spinning down into it on the track. 3) If NASCAR wanted to fix races to get more fans to watch, Dale Earnhardt Jr. would have won a lot more races. Jr is the most popular driver in NASCAR and all outlooks for the future right now point to that fact not changing.
Tony likes to shout off his hypocritical mouth. Despite the fact if this conspiracy existed lots would argue those cautions have probably helped Tony in the past and he would have never called out this conspiracy during those races he lost.
So, now Tony admits that he has damaged the sport and has disappointed his peers in shooting his mouth off. Again, is anyone surprised? This happens a lot with Tony. He says something stupid and he apologizes. Please note that almost everyone will forgive his hypocritical ass.
"To be honest, the group that I spoke with this morning is a group of peers that I trust. If they tell me the stuff is out there, I believe them," he said. "I should have went to them instead of just saying it out in public. That's frustration that's been building up for weeks with me with all these debris cautions."
But the thing I would like to most point out here, is the fact that NASCAR did not punish Tony for his remarks (which any of the other big sports leagues do and will continue to punish athletes and coaches for speaking out against the officiating). Yes, he did receive a penalty, but only because he refused to talk with the press after the race last weekend (the top 3 finishers are obligated to do so according to NASCARs rules). So, in NASCAR free speech is still allowed. As long as it is family friendly (as Juan Montoya learned that his middle finger is worthy of a blur and a fine).
And will we see this happen again with Tony Stewart? Yes. Why? He won't get punished for it and the sore loser has his own radio show on satellite radio. He'll continue to do it again and again. And why Tony does a lot of charity work, it really doesn't make up for his behavior around racing (on and off the track). I wish he would have stuck by his claims that he'll retire when he has enough money to live off of for the rest of his life.
Juan Pablo Montoya probably didnt endear himself to NASCAR fans (or the FCC) last week when he flipped them the bird on live national television. That little accidental slip of the finger (he claims he thought he was flipping off his documentary crew) is going to cost Pablo $10,000 for conduct detrimental to stock car racing. In addition, hes on probation until December 31st.
Theres no word yet on whether or not Dean Wormer is going to try to throw the rest of Delta House off campus. Since its probation, and not double secret probation, I think Bluto, Otter, Boon, D-Day, and Pinto can rest easy for now. The fundraising toga party will be this Friday at Delta House.
Music provided by Otis Day and the Knights. Folk-singing pussies are not invited.
Well, I figured I should do another one of these. Mostly because I've been really slacking on blogging lately. Blame Ron. (Just kidding, blame Rich.)
- In a nice tribute to the victims at Virginia Tech, for the next three weeks all cars in the Busch and Nextel Cup series will display a VT logo.
- Furthermore, NASCAR has dedicated the entire weekend of racing to the victims of the Virginia Tech tragedy.
- Night Racing begins this week in Phoenix. Jeff Gordon is on the poll as the boys hop back into the Car of Tomorrow to see how it does as the sun sets over the desert and the lights turn on.
- Junior and Kasey Kahne continue with a disappointing start to their seasons. At this rate, those boys won't be finding their way into the expanded chase field this year.
And I told you, mini update. Jimmie and Gordon are having an amazing start to their season. Juan Pablo in making a rookie mistake fails to piss off Tony Stewart, mostly because the lug sees himself in Juan. So, enjoy the racing this weekend and prepare yourself for more ranting against the Car of Tomorrow (or Car of Today) as the Drivers will most likely rant against it, again. Change is never an easy thing.
Michael Waltrips really sucked this year. He was caught cheating at the Daytona 500 and fined $100,000 and docked 100 driver points, he hasnt qualified for a race yet this season, and his team (Dale Jarrett and David Reutimann) has also struggled to even get in the field for races. Pretty much everything that can go wrong for Waltrip has gone wrong, except that he hasnt crashed into a tree at 2 AM yet.
Oh wait, nevermind.
I hate to be a jingoist and say that you get what you pay for when you sell your soul to Japanese interlopers on the last purely American-powered motor sport, but yeah, your team sucks, your cars suck, and you probably just got away with drunk driving and rolling your Land Cruiser. A professional race car driver overcorrects and wrecks his vehicle sober? Yeah, and Chris Henry is a Boy Scout.
That's right, folks. You're seeing this right, but it's not going to be a long one. Here's why.
1. Yesterday's race was a NASCAR Busch Series race.
2. There's not much typing I'm doing with a possibly dislocated elbow/torn elbow ligaments.
3. I don't think you want to hear about me moaning about the pain.
Anyways, to get to the chase. Yesterday's Busch Series race was from my birth city, Mexico City. In fact, Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez was over 100 thousand strong in the stands. So, what did you get from that race. A Colombian winning the race by fucking up the white boy. As us Spaniards say, "Ganar es ganar." (For you non-Latin folks, "A win is a win.")
If you've been under a rock, Juan Pablo Montoya got a NASCAR win by fucking up Scott Pruett's (who happens to be his teammate) chance at a win. Of course, let's not blame the Colombian. Pruett knew that his buddy was an agressive racer. Pruett is also one of the most gun shy racers that Ganassi has on his roster, too. Scott braked wide. Juan Pablo braked tigther, and that made Scott spin out. In other words, vintage Montoya.
While Jaime might disagree with me, Montoya wasn't going to wait for Scott's gun shy nature to put them both behind. Juan Pablo wins in Mexico City, and the Mexican crowd will take it as a win for La Raza.
I was going to write a blog about NASCAR's first race using unleaded fuel or how yet another driver, Matt Kenseth, swept both races this weekend. Or if I was really desperate and if I liked the guy, I could even write about Junior's common problem of being in a big points hole with the start of the season.
But instead, today's blog is dedicated to the five things NASCAR is doing to make their races and the sport in general more lame, boring or just fucking annoying. The list is not sorted or ranked in any particular order.
1) The pre-race concerts being televised. I honestly have never had the pleasure of attending a race, with none in close proximity, so I can't say whether they've always had them and just not televised them. But enough is enough. We can forgive you one pre-race concert with the Daytona 500... but are you seriously going to start airing a pre-race concert every single fucking time? We don't tune in to watch two hours of pre-race and a music concert. We tune in for you to drop the fucking green flag and let's go racing. If we wanted to listen to music we'd tune into MTV and VH1 between the hours of 1am and 6am.
2) Repeating tracks Yes, we understand there are some tracks that you have been going to over and over again. But do us a favor and get rid of the repeats and bring in new courses. Spread out the love, even to tracks where you don't own a controlling share. You'll still make plenty of money in merchandising, selling ear plugs, etc. Spread the love out to more states and cities and grow your fan base even larger by letting those in states who have never lived near a track have one in driving distance.
3) The lack of road courses! And bring on the road courses! Why we love going hard, fast and left.. we as fans do love the occasional break and love to see it when the guys go right! Give us more road courses to break up the season.
4) A break between races TWO fucking weeks into the season. Even sitcoms wait three or four weeks before bringing in the first break, but with NASCAR we only get two races before you already schedule a break. That's just really obnoxious.
5) Darrel Waltrip -- Okay, he is the most fucking annoying thing about NASCAR. Boogity, Boogity, Boogity go fuck yourself. We are sick of your annoying intro and cannot wait for ESPN to take over the coverage because you're so damn annoying. And your ability to call a race is like Michael Irvin's ability to call a football game -- just because you've participated in the sport doesn't mean you'll make a good announcer. Do us a favor, find a new hobby.