Sunday, August 28, 2016

Slap On The Wrists

Once again NASCAR's crack team of inspectors has detected something illegal on a car... after a race. Brad Keselowski's Penske Racing Ford was found to be not up to specified tolerances via laser technology... after the race. This, of course, will merit some sort of NASCAR "penalty" against the #2 car at an upcoming event. To help some of you 'fans' out, I am publishing the "punishments" per minor penalty as NASCAR has them noted in their "rule book".

Chapter IX, Section 43.43 Penalties per minor infractions:

1-10 Infractions: Hand written notes to all inspectors saying you're sorry.

11-20 Infractions: Team members will have to take their seats at the next drivers meeting after everyone else is seated.

21-30 Infractions: Team hauler has to wait after the race until all other transporters have exited the track.

31-40 Infractions: Driver won't be 'interviewed' during Mikey's pre-race pit walk. Seems counterproductive, I know.

41-50 Infractions: Driver's motor coach will be parked alongside entry gate and driver will be forced to sign autographs, in full uniform, through the fence all weekend when not in the car.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Much Ado Over The Carl

Social media is always good for a laugh. Where else can you hear the thoughts of so many self professed experts? And, NASCAR fans are just as opinionated as any of the other know-it-alls. So, once again, at long last, Spinout returns to set them straight.

First... the matter of Carl Edwards 'moving' teammate Kyle Busch out of the way, and taking the win at Richmond on Sunday. While I didn't care for the maneuver, if that's what it takes to win (in a supposedly faster car) then whatevs.

This 'hit and pass' move resulted in plenty of dumb comments on the web....
Dumb: Kyle would have done the same thing.
Dumber: Kyle will get him back in the future.

Think about it and let us know just how many times Kyle Busch has "done the same thing"... on the last lap, for the win? Take your time, we've got all day.

Next... name the times that Kyle Busch has "got someone back" at a later date? Once the race is over, he's focused on the next race... not payback like some other weak minded competitors. There are plenty of other drivers that have wrecked Kyle, some on purpose, and I can't recall him ever keeping a 'hit list'.

Finally, what is the BFD about Mrs Kyle Busch lip syncing the "S" word? How petty can the haters be? No one cares. Or, are we all gonna hope and pray that the "new" Samantha Busch grows up, and meets everyone's earthly expectations?

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Wells Report to Change the NFL?

The Wells Report on the Miami Dolphins bullying scandal finally came out last Friday. Most of the findings were no surprise.... Richie Incognito is an asshole.... young, testosterone fueled males in a closed environment can be cruel to each other... Martin was a victim afraid to stand up to his peers.

I use the word 'scandal' very loosely in this case. Doesn't a scandal usually involve some laws being broken? This whole ordeal boils down to grown men calling other grown men names, and making disparaging remarks about one's family. Scandal? Hardly.

Many observers think that professional football players should act like business professionals. They are comparing a pro football team to a banking or real estate office. Some say since these guys are professional football players they should be held to the same standards as other professionals. Okay, but you can't go halfway on this.

If players are to be held to professional standards in the locker room, make sure they meet those standards elsewhere. Trash talking, name calling, and cursing during games? Heaven forbid, that would never fly at Delta Airlines. Throwing punches between teammates EVERY day during training camp? The professionals at IBM would never copy that behavior. Cutting their hair and hazing first year co-workers? I'm thinking that is a no-no at OK Magazine.

These are only a few examples of the difference between the NFL and our everyday workplaces. You can't bury Incognito while ignoring all the other non-professional, violent actions occurring in the NFL on a daily basis.

In no way is this meant to excuse Incognito for being a jerk. He is not the first player to act like this, though. The NFL needs to send a clear message, and Martin's upcoming lawsuit will send one even clearer.

Daytona 500 Props

One of the interesting things about the Super Bowl earlier this month were the number of proposition bets you could wager, on almost anything. If you had bet that the first score of that game would be a safety, you would have cashed in a 40-1 jackpot.

With an eye toward the prop bets on the NFL's big game, I decided to set my own prop bets for NASCAR's big race... the Daytona 500.

1... Which type car will lead the 1st lap: Chevy 2-1, Toyota 3-1, Ford 4-1

2... First caution occurring in first 10 laps. Odds, 5-1

3... Over/Under 80 laps, on the "big one" happening: Odds, 1-1

4... Make of car to finish last: Ford 2-1, Chevy 2-1, Toyota 4-1

5... Winning car manufacturer: Chevy 1-1, Toyota 2-1, Ford 3-1

6... Dale Jr finishes in top five: Odds, 4-1

7... Winning team: HMS 7-1, JGR 10-1, RCR 12-1, PR 15-1, SHR 15-1, RFR 20-1, CGR 25-1, Others 35-1

8... Over/Under 2.5 on number of debris cautions: Odds, 1-1

9... Caution in the last ten laps: Odds, 1-1

10.. Red flag will appear: Odds, 1-2

11.. There will be a green, white, checkered: Odds, 1-2

12.. DW will be "overwhelmed" by all the well wishes from the fans over the last two weeks. Odds, 1-10

There you have them, the prop bets for the 2014 Daytona 500. Jump right in and make your bets, or name some you would like to see.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

2012 From the Flagstand

As usual, we skip January and lead off with February, when racing roared back to life at Daytona. After three long, cold, months of waiting for the boys to bring back the noise, it took all of three laps of DW and Larry Mac to douse those flames of anticipation. Luckily JPM had earned his fire-starting badge and reignited them. Matt Kenseth finally won 2012’s Daytona 500, three or four days after it was scheduled to end, barely keeping the 500 in the month of February. Kurt meltdowns: 1.

Which left only a couple of days before our four March races. Smoke won two of them, way out west. Four races into the year and each of NASCAR’s four manufacturers (Ford, Toyota, Chevrolet, and Dodge) had a race win. Kurt meltdowns: 2

The first day of April found Clint Bowyer and Jeff Gordon slamming fenders with each other at Martinsville. Meh, they both seem pretty level-headed, I’m sure they won’t carry a grudge. Sniffles the Hamster scored his second win of the young year. Teammate, Kyle Busch, secured the first of what is sure to be many wins this year. Kurt meltdowns: 2.

At Talladega in May we saw Smoke lecturing fellow drivers on his special ‘no blocking allowed’ rule that he would begin enforcing immediately. Maybe we can get a demonstration of exactly what you’re talking about, Tone? Tone? It took eleven races before JJ won his first this season. Uh oh, could be a long year for the multi-timer. Kurt meltdowns: 3

In June five different drivers found victory lane. Joey Logano somehow followed the sliced bread crumbs to the winner’s circle at Pocono. Even more surprising was Dale Jr winning for the first time since 2008. Every time Jr wins a race, Obama wins an election. Thanks, Junebug. Kurt meltdowns: 1.

During July’s 1,118 miles of racing we somehow had 63 laps of cautions. So… my daily commute has a higher accident to miles driven ratio? And, it’s interactive… and free. JJ and Smoke won their third races of the year, and Kasey Kahne earned his second of the season. Kurt meltdowns: 2.

August found Jeff Gordon winning a race, finally. Did he really need his GPS to find victory lane? “Turn left. Turn left. Go five tenths of a mile and your destination is on the left.” Marcos Ambrose also made his yearly visit to VL at a non-oval track. Kurt meltdowns:1

 September saw the Hamster and Kez winning four of its five races. Oh yeah, the Chase started…. In Chicago? Kyle “points raced” himself right out of the Chase at Richmond. Strangely, he still has the same crew chief. Kurt meltdowns: 0.

We returned to Talladega in October and Smoke showed everyone what happens to blockers. Twenty-two other cars suffered collateral damage, but everyone agreed his demonstration was spot on. As the month wound down it looked like JJ might sail on to his sixth championship, as his lone challenger turned out to be, Keselowski, the new kid on the block (with the haircut to prove it). Kurt meltdowns: 1.

November signaled the end of Hendrick’s title reign of terror (yes that includes Tony) as Keselowski gave Dodge its first championship since Lee Iacocca was running the show. Google him, kids. I’m old. In other news, the title clinching race will be Dodge’s last one for the foreseeable future. Kurt meltdowns:0… but he can’t be happy that his old team just won the title, can he?

With appologies to Dave Barry

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Chaser's Bar

The NASCAR season is now down to its ten race playoff dash. The twelve driver Chase field for the championship was set Saturday night in Richmond. That 400 lapper was rain delayed a couple of times, Clint Bowyer won, and Jeff Gordon willed his way to the final wild-card spot in the Chase with a stirring second place run.


I've believed all along that the champion will come from among those drivers who have more than one regular season win. I'll narrow it down even more to just the four that will have a legitimate shot at the hardware.

Denny Hamlin is the top seed in the playoffs with his four wins already. Jimmie Johnson, Tony Stewart, and Brad Keselowski, all with three wins, start the Chase just three points out of first. The 2012 champ will be among this group. Look for Stewart to have another shot at the Cup, as he battles Johnson until last call. Don't be surprised if JGR engineering leaves Hamlin out to dry. Keselowski is a smooth combination of talent and smarts with a bright future. He will make some noise over the next ten weeks.


Kasey Kahne, Greg Biffle, and Clint Bowyer all bring their two wins into the Chase, while Matt Kenseth has been close to the top of the standings all season long. Kahne has long been a master on the mile and a half tracks, and has improved on all tracks now. Biffle and Kenseth are both capable of winning a couple of Chase races. Bowyer could string together a few top five finishes.


Jeff Gordon and Martin Truex Jr have put together some solid runs of late. Either could win a Chase race, but don't look for them to be among the final top five in points. Dale Earnhardt Jr has been among the points leaders all year, but has slipped a little during the late summer grind. He is due for more Chase bad luck. Kevin Harvick is winless in 2012, that will be hard to change in this field.


Hendrick Motorsports, with all four cars in the Chase, would seem to have the best chance of taking home the title. Roush Fenway Racing and Michael Waltrip Racing both have two teams in the playoff hunt.


Hamlin and Keselowski are on their own in the Chase. Although, Hamlin may find help from his two non-Chase teammates, Kyle Busch and Joey Logano, easier than Keselowski does from Sam Hornish, his teammate. Stewart and Harvick also have no teammates inside the final twelve.


Kasey Kahne will be in the hunt when the Chasers roll into Miami two months from now.


Is it time to start another title streak? Yes, it is. Jimmie Johnson and his Lowes' team prove last year was a fluke by storming to the Sprint Cup title once again.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

View From the Flagstand: Hamlin Hammers Bristol

Hello, excitement, so nice of you to show up at Bristol once again. 

After a few years of falling ticket sales and rather tepid racing, Bristol Motor Speedway tinkered with the track surface hoping to bring the magic back to what was once the toughest ticket in NASCAR. For several years the annual night race at BMS was THE one event that every NASCAR fan considered the holy grail. A must-see, bucket list, type of spectacle.

The jury is still out as to whether or not changing the banking on the track led to 2012's best oval race last Saturday night. Whatever the cause, we witnessed 13 caution flags, 22 lead changes, and tight racing throughout the night. The fans also returned, as they believed BMS owner, Bruton Smith, was going to put on a good show. They were well rewarded for their faith, with a great show.


Denny Hamlin had a strong Toyota throughout the night, and he pulled away to win by a little over one second over runner-up, Jimmie Johnson. Hamlin's JGR teammate, Joey Logano, led the most laps and came home 8th after winning the Nationwide race on Friday.


In addition to Johnson, his HMS teammates, Jeff Gordon (3), Kasey Kahne (9), and Dale Earnhardt Jr (12) had decent runs. Brian Vickers (4), Clint Bowyer (7), and Martin Truex Jr (11) repped MWR well. Marcos Ambrose had a nice 5th place finish.


Where to begin? The 'old' Bristol was on display several times, as drivers ran out of patience, room, and luck all night long. Tony Stewart dotted the exclamation point when he won the gold medal for two-handed, helmet throwing. He bounced his headgear off the grille of Matt Kenseth's car after their failed attempt at synchronized spinning.


Danica Patrick somehow was running 19th, on the lead lap, when Regan Smith turned her car head-on into the inside retaining wall with less than 100 laps left. She still may not have a clue as to proper NASCAR etiquette, but she deserved a better finish than what she got.


I'm not a big fan of NASCAR's policy concerning rained out qualifying. In event of qualifying being cancelled the field is determined by practice speeds. Different teams have different agendas during practice. Some are checking fuel mileage. Some are checking tires. Not all of them are striving to put up the fastest speed of the session.