Sunday, December 27, 2009

Man's Game, Random Excerpt

Trying to define a keeper is kind of like the old definition of porn, you can’t define it, but you know it when you see it. In fact, when out in public, it is a lot easier to define who is not a keeper. You have no doubt seen these losers and douchebags, they are everywhere. The guys who peaked the summer after twelfth grade, right before they went to work at dad’s used car lot.

Bars, casinos, and Japanese steak houses are some of their favorite habitats. You can notice them a mile away, the product induced fauxhawk hairdon’ts, the spray on tan, and general douchiness. The following is a list of deal breakers, run, don’t walk, away from….

Popped collars….Really? Elvis and Dracula get a pass on this one. Unless you’re taking one of those icons home to meet the parents, this is a deal breaker.

Bandanas…..Either on the head, doo rag style, or tied around an arm or leg. Doo rag style means that he likes the bald look. He just doesn’t want to finally cut his rapidly receding memories of the glory days, otherwise known as Seaside High, senior year. Bandanas tied around a wrist or knee? Okay, Bon Jovi it’s not 1988 anymore.

Sunglasses, at night, indoors..... Unless your name is Stevie Wonder, or you’ve been going hard since the afternoon, and haven’t made it back to your car, there is no logical excuse for sunglasses at night. Okay, Playa, we know you have some $400 shades. We also know that your mom probably got them for you for your last birthday, after you wore her down.

Extreme Hair-dos….The blow out, fauxhawk, oversculpted bed-head, razor cut designs, excessive (read any) greasiness, and Caucasian cornrows, or afros. Along with frosted tips, and highlights, including any unnatural colors. Parrots have blue and yellow plumage, not guys. Sure, they’re going for that cool vibe of, “Hey, look at me! I’m an irreverent, fun loving guy.” But, in reality it screams, “I’m a juvenile, and I hope some drunk chick thinks my hair is cool.”

Tattoos…..I’m not talking about the military insignia types. I’m speaking of the stars, Chinese lettering, tribal bands, cartoon characters, sports team logos, and that “full sleeve” nonsense (unless he was a Hell’s Angel doing twenty plus in Sing-Sing). On the other hand I guess you could make an argument for the dude’s life long commitment, through ink, as his one redeeming factor.

Facial piercings….Seriously, the guy with the hardware in his lips, nose, eyebrows, just may be the biggest mystery on this list. Are they that starved for attention and affection? Earrings on men aren’t that much better, either. Again, why? Oh, you’re a rebel.

Excessive jewelry….This dude looks like a shiny fishing lure trolling for trout. Bracelets, rings, and gold chains/ crucifixes worn outside of a pullover shirt. Unless you’re a credited cast member of ‘The Sopranos’, tone it down, Frankie.

Body spray…..the sickeningly sweet aroma of Axe body spray, that arrives thirty seconds before he does, is an early warning signal to females. Heed the warning, girls. If any man over 15 years old is still wearing this odious syrup they are beyond your help.

Other first sight flight cancellations…..

Leather pants. Unless his name’s Alice Cooper, and then you probably still don’t want him to meet your parents.

Bowtie…..This guy is more trouble than he’s worth. Quirky? No. More like crazy. Think of the coolest celebrity you know that wears a bow tie. I rest my case.

Painted nails….Attention whore. Keep moving.

Sandals/Flip flops…..Acceptable anywhere within two blocks of the beach. Also, maybe, your backyard or a park. No one wants to be subjected to a man’s bared toes and feet at a bar, restaurant, or anywhere else that civilized people gather. And, no, wearing jeans does not make them okay.

This is by no means a complete list of how to spot a loser a hundred feet away. And, there may be circumstances whereby a keeper will actually exhibit one of these traits. After all, Brad Pitt has highlighted hair, and Chris Rock wears an earring, but save yourself some time and trouble with this early detection guide.

***Another excerpt from a book I'm writing. All feedback is welcome and may be included.***


Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The End of the Year Awards

"Hello, and welcome to the first annual "End of the Year" awards, or 'Endies', live from Hanahan's Pub in beautiful uptown Hanahan, South Carolina. Your host is Gene Haddock, a reknown motorsports blogger with literally dozens of followers. Co-hosting is Mike Hanner, a private eye from Charlotte who may find it hard to keep his vow of sobriety since the show is coming from a bar. Also on hand, because union rules demand a three man booth, is CountryJag. We understand that CJ has not been heard from since being banned by Foxsports almost two years ago. Certainly he doesn't harbor any ill will towards the fine folks at Fox. This is Don Pardo speaking."

Gene: Hey, hey, welcome to the 'Endies', folks. And welcome to Hanahan's Pub, you guys in the audience. Little tip, just stick with the hot wings, don't be ordering off the menu, this ain't no five star joint. And, welcome to my co-hosts, CJ and Hanner. Long time no see, Jag. You too, Hanner.

Hanner: Yeah, well I haven't been out in the bars like you, lately.

CountryJag: Yes, me too. I've actually been severely depressed since being dissed by the fine folks at Fox.

Gene: Alright. Good times, boys! Let's get this candle lit! Our first 'Endie' goes out to the best "Junior" in the Cup Series 2009.

Hanner: Be nice. He saved my ass, you know.

Gene: I just read what's on the card.

CJ: Yeah, but you write it first.

Gene: The nominees are Dale Earnhadrt Jr with 5 top-10 finishes, Sam Hornish Jr with 7 top-10s, and Martin Truex Jr with 6 top-10 finishes. Let me open this up. Wow! Even though he had the least top-10 finishes and finished lower in the points than Truex, the winner is Dale Jr!

CJ: The results must be based on some sort of formula for tee shirt sales.

Gene: Or, like the Most Popular Driver, results don't factor into the equation at all.

Hanner: Hey, knock it off. He's a nice guy!

Gene: Little E couldn't be here to accept his award, so we'll give it to a friend of his to pass along. Dr V, could you see that Dale Jr gets his 'Endie'?

Gene: Okay, our next 'Endie' is for the "Most Overhyped Story in Racing". Our nominees are "Mayfields, Mother-in-Laws, and Meth". "The Emperor's New Clothes....the Brian France Story". And, finally, "The Girl who's Coming to Save NASCAR, Danica Patrick".

Oh, goody. I bet you like that Danica, huh Hanner?

Hanner: Hell no. It can't be a good thing when folks can't tell the difference between your date and a 12 year old. Now, where is that cocktail waitress?

CJ: Way to go Haddock, only took you 20 minutes to knock him off the wagon.

Gene: Ahem, and the 'Endie' winner is, Danica Patrick! Unfortunately Danica couldn't be here tonight, she's off branding, or marketing, or shooting a commercial or something. So, after we bought ten boxes of cookies in the parking lot, here to accept Danica's 'Endie' is a 12 year old Girl Scout.

CJ: Damn! If she was four inches shorter, she'd look just like Danica!

Hanner: I told you.

Gene: Okay folks, the owners have asked me to tell you that they do sell alcohol, and if I may add, this show will seem a lot better after a few pops. Right Hanner? Hanner? Where the hell did he go?

CJ: He's over there doing shots with the waitress.

Gene: Alright, this next 'Endie' is one of my favorites. The 2009 'Endie' for "Wrecker Without a Clue". The nominees are Brad Keselowski vs Justin Algaier. Brad Keselowski vs Kyle Busch. Brad Keselowski vs Carl Edwards. Brad Keselowski vs Jason Leffler. Brad Keselowski vs Anything that Moves. Brad Keselowski vs Denny Hamlin.

CJ: Gee, I wonder who wins this?

Gene: And the 'Endie' winner is....

{A Go Daddy Monte Carlo comes crashing through the front wall and ends up at the base of the stage. Smoke and carnage from broken chairs and tables are everywhere.}
Gene: . What the hell!!!
CJ:Damn! All three of them are in there and they don't look happy. Let's get the hell out of here, Hanner can take a punch.
"Thanks for watching the 2009 'End of the Year" awards here on El Ocho, ESPN 8. Goodnight and be sure to use our sponsor,, for all of your, your, well whatever they sell, those needs. This has been Don Pardo speaking."


Monday, November 30, 2009

Man's Game

If you’ve ever scoped out or one of those other internet dating sites, and, let’s be honest, who hasn’t, you will have noticed that every woman on there is looking for a man with a sense of humor. At least 90% of the men I know have a sense of humor. So they shouldn’t be that hard to find, girls.

The problem lies in what men think is funny, and what women think is funny. There’s that, and the fact that women don’t have a sense of humor. Men think that funny stuff is funny. The Three Stooges, Dave Chappelle, and other guys getting hit in the danglers. Stuff like that, we find hilarious.

Women think that Sex in the City, kids, and chicks on the radio are funny. No, none of those are funny. That is, unless the kid’s getting hit in the junk. Women think that a coincidence is funny. They will tell you a ten minute story about how she and a stranger both ordered the same salad at lunch, with no punchline or payoff. They think some bedheaded fratboy prancing back and forth telling that same salad story is hilarious. Hellllo, Dane Cook!

Men don’t mind laughing long and loud in public. To the point of obnoxiousness even. How many times have you been perturbed by a woman laughing in public? A sober woman? Not many, huh? Are little girls taught that it’s impolite to guffaw in public? Or, is it a learned habit by seeing what jackasses men who do it can be?

Somehow, little boys learn that belching, peeing, farts, pain, and other low brow acts are funny. Once we grow up we don’t stray much from that formula. Well, except for adding sex and profanities to the list of what’s funny. Sure we get the cerebral humor, but we can’t help laughing at the low brow stuff also.

So when you girls say you want a man with a sense of humor, know what you’re going to get. Our humor is completely different from your humor. We like raunchy, physical, humor. You think four crows sitting around discussing shoes is cutting edge. That’s fine, just know that we are wired differently for comedy. Don’t ask for a sense of humor and expect it to match yours.

Funny to women…..
Dane Cook, Rita Rudner
Julia Roberts, Sandra Bullock,
Ziggy, Garfield
Those posters of kittens talking
Talking about another woman’s apparel

Funny to men……
Dimitri Martin, Chelsea Handler
Vince Vaughn, Larry David
South Park, Boondocks
Graffiti on bathroom walls
Laughing at another guy’s embarrassment

Women aren’t looking for a man with a real sense of humor, they are looking for a sensitive guy who laughs at what they laugh at. Big difference, ladies.

****This is from a book I'm writing to help women understand men. Any feedback is welcome and may also be included in the book.****

Monday, November 23, 2009

View From the Flagstand

So many mixed emotions once the last race of the season is in the books. On one hand I am so glad that it is over. On the other hand I can't wait for next year. Next year, when everything will be different (again). Jimmie Johnson won't win the title next year (again). Kyle Busch will cash in his potential chips (finally). The happiest, yet saddest words, the least believable, but most believable words to a sports fan, "Wait til Next Year!"

In less than three months the multi-hued, buzzing, packs of cars will be circling the asphalt cliffs of Daytona International Speedway. Everyone's personal favorite driver will still have a shot at the championship. The big surprises, and disappointments, of the season will have yet to reveal themselves, and every fan's hopes will be as high as a Dale Jr fan's are.

CHAMPIONSHIP FLAGS......Jimmie Johnson made history by winning his fourth straight NASCAR Cup Championship. Johnson has proven himself to be one of the best drivers of all time during this amazing streak. Perhaps, his crew chief, Chad Knaus is getting too much of the credit? After all JJ still has to drive the car, no matter how good it is. Kyle Busch won the Nationwide Series title, and the race, Saturday in Miami. Ron Hornaday won his fourth Camping World Truck Series title this year.

CHECKERED FLAG......Denny Hamlin closed stongly this year with the win in the season finale on Sunday at Miami. Hamlin wound up fifth in points. Hamlin won four races, a personal best, this year.

GREEN FLAGS.......Jeff Burton (2) and RCR teammate Kevin Harvick (3) continued their late season turnarounds. Kurt Busch was 4th in the race, and also 4th in the final point standidngs. Jeff Gordon (6) and his HMS teammate, Mark Martin (12) finished third and second, respectively, in the points to give owner, Rick Hendrick, another NASCAR first by having the top three for the year.

YELLOW FLAGS......Juan Pablo Montoya received a two lap penalty and caught most of the grief for he and Tony Stewart's on-track scuffle. It appeared that JPM had a tremendous run on Stewart coming off a turn. Stewart then pulled in front of Montoya. Instead of hitting the brakes, JPM hit Smoke. Tony, not accustomed to having his judgement questioned, then tried to push Montoya off the track, cutting Montoya's tire in the process. JPM, after repairs, returned to the fray and spun Stewart around.

RED FLAG.........The undramatic, last race of the season is NOT the Super Bowl, ABC! The actual race took 3 hours, 8 minutes to complete. How long was ABC on the air with their pre and post race coverage? Another six hours?

BLACK FLAG.......NASCAR Czar, Brian France. His press conference from Miami on Friday was an eye opener. His personal appearance was suspect, too. Unkempt, glassy eyed, puffy, and red faced. I've seen that look before (in the mirror), not good! He actually said that Johnson going for five in a row will be the most compelling story in NASCAR next year. I don't know if he believes it, but he said it.

BF, check out the souvineer sales. JJ is nowhere near the top, and he's your top story? He has no following. Even the Little E fans, who are quick to jump on a bandwagon nowadays, won't go near him, and he's a teammate!

We need rivalries, not milk-moustached robo-drivers!


Thursday, November 19, 2009

Right Sides Only

Nine long months ago we began this romance on the warm sands of Daytona Beach. Now, along the edge of the swampy Everglades, we welcome our newborn champion. A bouncing baby boy named JJ.

Nine months of this will wear on a relationship. NASCAR says it loves us, and we want to believe it, but it always ends the same. They don't listen to us, they don't respect us, they treat us as disposables, yet we always come back for more. Is this love, or dysfunction? Paging Dr. V.


DeWalt Tools pulls the plug on Matt Kenseth and his #17 RFR Ford after the race on Sunday. DeWalt has been with Kenseth since 2000 when he won the Cup Rookie of the Year Award. They were along for the ride during his Cup title winning season of 2003. They were a great sponsor with a large presence outside the track with their interactive displays for the fans.

Welcome to the 20th Century!

It's reported that NASCAR will race with fuel injection on their engines beginning in 2011. The four barrel carb that they've used since the early 1960s finally calls it quits. This of course, means there won't be any restrictor plates after next year. It will be interesting to see what brilliant plan NASCAR comes up with to slow the cars down.

Last Call for Alcohol

Casey Mears is looking for a Cup ride as Jack Daniels leaves RCR and the #07 team dries up. Mears is vying for the #09 ride at Phoenix Racing. Crown Royal leaves Jamie McMurray high and dry as the #26 Ford is history. With Jim Beam pulling the cork, Robby Gordon's self-owned #7 team may be done.


Homestead-Miami Speedway (H-MS)is the only track on the schedule that Jeff Gordon has not won a race on. Jeff's team, HMS, has also never won at H-MS! RCR has also never won at H-MS.


Big thanks to all of you guys/gals who actually read my wanderings week after week. We're almost to the finish line. One more RSO next week, to recap the season, then everyone gets a much needed break. I know I'm burnt out, and not looking forward to more of the same next year. But, I'm sure we will all be recharged when Speed Weeks roars around. Thanks to everyone for your input, and, hey, you lurkers, don't worry about hurting my feelings, go ahead and say what's on your minds. LOL


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

View From the Flagstand

Show of hands. How many of you actually thought Jimmie Johnson wouldn't dominate this week in Phoenix after his misfortune last week at Texas? Came back like a lost dog in a Disney movie. Okay, put your hands down.

Congratulations to all who have endured the last nine months of the NASCAR season....just to see JJ crowned "King of the Chase" once again. We wrap it up this Sunday in Homestead, then in less than three months the boys are back on track at Daytona. Amazing, two races in, "Meh". The other, "all right, drop the rag, let's roll"!

CHECKERED FLAG.....Jimmie Johnson dominated on Sunday leading 238 of the 312 laps at Phoenix. This after an early wreck last week had narrowed his points lead to 73 over Mark Martin. JJ's lead is back up to 108 now.

GREEN FLAGS......Martin Truex Jr won the pole and finished fifth. Jeff Burton (2nd) seems to have turned the corner on a bad season. Denny Hamlin (3rd) and Martin (4th) did all they could and never came close to Johnson. Kurt Busch (6th) led some laps and appears to be running better with the lame duck crew chief than they were before Pat Tryson gave his notice. Kevin Harvick won the Truck race on Friday and came home second in the NNS race on Saturday.

YELLOW FLAG.....Dale Earnhardt Jr caused the big one.... on a one mile track! Lil E lost it coming off turn four while in front of a pack of cars during a double file restart. He also didn't get enough of the blame for the othe non-debris caution. Again during a restart, Jr braked hard, and pulled down, but not out of the way of anyone behind him. The car in front of him (Juan Montoya, I think) didn't hit anyone, and there were several car lengths between Jr and JPM when Jr hit the brakes.

RED FLAG.....I'm taking reader's suggestions this week on the red flag. I'm tired of giving it to ABC, and, or NASCAR evry freakin' week! I don't know if I can take Jerry "Waterboard" Punch one more week.

BLACK FLAG.....Brad Keselowski. Just who does this kid think he is? Kyle Busch, or something? His talent has surprised me this year, I'd like to see what he could do in the #88 Cup car. But this guy thinks he's a veteran for some reason. He hasn't paid his dues....yet!


Thursday, November 12, 2009

Right Sides Only

With just two races to go, the Chase continues with this week's stop in Phoenix. Jimmie Johnson lost over half of his points lead to Mark Martin last week in Texas after an early wreck....thanks Reutimann!

Is it Drama Yet?

It may seem exciting now that Martin appears to be within striking distance of Johnson's points lead. Yeah, sure, you betcha, just be prepared for Jerry Punch to give the point totals----if the race ended now----at least once every three minutes.

I don't know anyone who likes to hear that over and over, so maybe ABC could put a small graphic in a corner of the screen showing their, and Jeff Gordon's, points they race. Other sports have been using it for's called a scoreboard! That way the fans know who is leading. Or, even who would win.....if the contest ended won't, though.

The Kevfecta? WTH!

Kyle Busch came within 2 laps of winning all three NASCAR races at Texas last weekend, and he's geared up to try it again in Phoenix. This week, Kevin Harvick will also give it a go, as he's entered in all three national series races at the one-mile track. Harvick and Busch have both won Cup races at Phoenix. Busch (2005) joins Tony Stewart (1999) as the only rookie winners there.

A Patriot Missle

After winning last week at Texas in the "Operation Homefront" Dodge, Kurt Busch and the Miller Lite team have decided to name that winning car "Patriot". Go here and check them out, or to make a donation.

EGR in the News

Turns out that Earnhardt Ganassi Racing will not be switching to Toyota next year after all. They are sticking with Chevy, and using RCR engines again in 2010. Meanwhile Aric Amirola has filed a breach-of-contract suit against EGR in a N.C. Superior Court.

Coffee and Rain-X

Too bad we're not racing in Seattle this week. Martin Truex Jr's #1 EGR Chevy will be sponsored by Rain-X and Starbucks. Starbucks makes it NASCAR debut by featuring a new instant coffee called 'VIA Ready Brew'.

I can't imagine buying Starbucks instant. As it is, I'm not a fan of their shops with the pretentious, pony tailed, poly-sci majors schlepping coffeee anyway. Oh! Maybe that will make folks buy the instant at the grocery store. Speaking of coffee....what is the deal with Dunkin Donuts coffee? Is it supposed to taste that bitter? All the time?


After the Talladega race one of NASCAR 's suited flunkies said that ABC was disparaging the 'action' on the track. Brian France jumped in and said that maybe ABC doesn't know how to telecast a non-stick and ball sport. While admitting that he did not watch the race on ABC, BF still had opinions on what ABC should be doing to increase ratings.

What a laugh! NASCAR's top execs are so clueless that they think it's the network's job to make their product exciting!


Monday, November 9, 2009

View From the Flagstand

The fat lady was waiting in the wings Sunday in Texas, but Jimmie Johnson not only didn't clinch the title, he lost hundreds of points to his rivals. With two races to go, Mark Martin is only 73 points behind in second. Fellow HMS teammate, Jeff Gordon is 112 back in third.

Sunday's Texas race winner, Kurt Busch is fourth overall, but still too far back with just Phoenix and Miami left to decide this year's champ. While NASCAR and ABC are loving this unexpected tightening up of the Chase race, don't look for JJ to stumble two races in a row.

CHECKERED FLAGS.......Kurt Busch stretched the fuel mileage as others were running out at the end. It was not a cheap win though as Kurt had one of the strongest cars all day and led 89 laps. Kyle Busch won the NNS race on Saturday and the CWTS race on Friday at Texas. He led 232 of 334 laps in the SCS race on Sunday before running out of gas two laps from the end while holding a comfortable lead over brother Kurt.

GREEN FLAGS.....Gas mileage skewed some of the top finishes, but Martin (4th) was near the front all day, and collected as many points as he could. Matt Kenseth (3rd), and Denny Hamlin (2nd) had much needed good runs. Marcos Ambrose hung out in the top-5 most of the day before having to pit for gas and settling for 15th.

YELLOW FLAG.....David Reutimann tapped Sam Hornish into our points leader, Johnson, on lap three to ruin his day. LAP 3! We know you had a fast car, Rooty, but there were still 331 laps to get to the front....and you still didn't. Calm down, son.

RED FLAG.....NASCAR throws a debris caution near the end of 116 races in a row, and this one they don't? Why?
A....They didn't expect Jr to run out of gas.
B.....They expected Kyle to run out of gas.
C.....With JJ already cooked, they didn't want any of his rivals to get taken out during a restart.
D.....ABC told them that 5 hours was already long enough for a 500 mile race.
E......Reader's choice.

BLACK FLAG......Jimmie Johnson/ABC...Why no interview with the champ while he sat behind the wall for over an hour? Whose idea was it not to do an interview, JJ's or ABC's? This flag also goes out to those fans whining about an 11th place finisher, who sits 13th in the points, not hanging around to do interviews after the race.


Sunday, November 8, 2009

The Kylefecta in Real Time

A Sunday without any distractions, so I’m going to log my thoughts on the Texas race live as it plays out. I’m watching the Dolphins vs Pats game on CBS and the pre-race show on ABC while I wait for the green flag.

This piece will not be objective, fair, or balanced. I’m down with Kyle pulling off the trifecta, or Kylefecta as it is now known. LOL.

Since they’re racing in Texas I’m drinking Dr Pepper. Speedy was right….it does NOT mix with ANY alcoholic beverage. I’ll try and leave the profanities out, but I can’t promise that. Go Kyle!

3:00….ZZ Top concert on front stretch. Why do all their songs sound the same on TV?
3:03….First Monday Night Football promo of raceday.
3:04….TD Miami! ‘Wildcat’ Ronnie Brown throws to a wide open TE.

3:05….I love that Southwest Airlines commercial with the baggage handlers. “Bags are my life.”
3:06….Brad Daugherty gets something to eat. Those ribs DO look good.
3:12…*&$#! Randy Moss. Is it unpatriotic to hate the N.E. Patriots?

3:21….Race intro. Comparing the Chasers to bullriders? Pulleeze! “Cowboy up” and "Ain’t their first rodeo” in the same sentence? Pulleeze!
3:23….60 year old rock stars give the command to start your engines. Lame.
3:34…Green flag….finally!

3:36….YES!!! JJ loses it! Turn two, the Rattlesnake! Lap 3. Looks like Sam lost it and got into Jimmie. Upon further review, Reutimann tapped Hornish and sent him into Johnson.
3:44…Re-start, lap 19.
3:45…Kyle in third. Do I hear the theme from ‘Jaws’?

3:47….Split screen and timer on JJ’s repairs.
3:48….Carl Edwards, via radio, says that maybe the 48’s wreck will “teach the media” a lesson. What a clown.
3:49…Kurt leading, baby bruh in second.

3:51….Commercial with the man-made ‘meteors’. Druid from Verizon. Question, Why do some of them go into the ocean? Not sure I want a wireless service that sends messages where no one will see them.
3:53….Why no interview with JJ yet? He’s not Kyle, so it’s OK for him to dodge the media?
4:02…MNF promo.

4:06….Kurt +4 seconds ahead of Kyle.
4:07…Green flag pit stops begin. Lap 53.
4:09….Debris caution will come out as soon as everyone makes their pitstop?

4:11…Kyle 1st after stops. Surprise no debris!
4:20…Kyle still leading. JJ still in garage. NY Giants vs Chargers on CBS. Panthers @ Saints on Fox. I hear remotes clicking all over the country.
4:23….Keselowski won’t let the leader go by. Races Kyle hard. Give it up punk. Finally! BK pulls up 8 lanes out of Kurt’s way now, and waves him by like a matador. LOL!

4:25…Is Denny Hamlin even in this race? Oops, there goes Sudden Sam around again. The Texas Rattlesnake again! Who doesn’t love Brad Daugherty?
4:27….Great hand held camera shot straight down pit wall of all the crewmen ready to jump. New director in the truck?
4:28….12.2 seconds!! The M&Ms boys are smokin’. Just heard Hamlin’s name, one hour in.

4:39….Kyle still leading. Yawn.
4:41…I wish someone would call the SPCA on Bush’s Beans for dressing up that Goldie in their commercial. Ugh!
4:45….JJ back on track. Ugh.

4:46…Tim Brewer finally shows what the 48 crew did to JJ’s car. Go back to sleep, Tim.
4:50….Points update! If it ended now! But it won’t, right?
4:54….Jerry Punch trying to jinx Kyle? First to win three in one weekend at one track. No spit, Sherlock. We know!

4:59….Looking dark on TV in Texas. JJ 117 laps down. Punch does another Kylefecta promo.
5:00….Green flag stops again.
5:05….M&Ms crew, all stops in the 12 second range!

5:06….Punch is blathering something about Dale Jr. Yawn!
5:07…Kyle is a half a straightaway from lapping Jeff G. Don’t worry NASCAR won’t let that happen.
5:08….Dead man talking…Billy Mays for the ‘Tool Bandit’. Who doesn’t want to hold all their scissors, nails, and sharp tools right beside their jugular?

5:12…Debris caution…right as Kyle caught Gordon to put him a lap down. Hmmmmm! Who didn’t see that coming?
5:21….Kurt takes the lead on the restart.
5:22….99, 42, and 24, all Chasers, in the big one. JPM got loose, hit Carl. Jeff just lost it.

5:27…Is JPM blaming Kyle for his wreck? WTF?!
5:32….Restart. Kurt leading Kyle and Rooty.
5:43…Kurt still way out front. Yawn. Oh, let’s see the JJ wreck again…. For the sixteenth time!

5:45….Sorenson pancakes the right side. Mmmmm, pancakes! Where was I? Oh yeah, yellow is out.
5:46….The Candy Crew are still busting out the 12 sec stops!
5:51….Kyle, via radio, tells his crew, “We’re gonna win it.” Cocky or confident? I don’t care! Either one is good.

5:54….Restart. Kyle out in front of big bruh. I’d love for this to go green for the 120 laps that are left. NASCAR will NOT let that happen though.
5:56….Punch just gave points scenario for JJ by saying, “If the entire field wrecked right now.” Glad I don’t have a loaded gun lying around.
6:00….CMA Awards Wednesday on ABC. Really? I would have never known if not for the 11 commercials. Just let me know when Pickler’s onscreen.

6:08….NASCAR Super Store…. Office nerd in #18 shirt tells other nerd, “Stay outta the fast lane, bro.”
6:12…Kyle still leading Kurt. 88 laps to go. Martin up to 3rd. Don’t like the looks of that.
6:17…I may have to watch ‘Extreme Home Makeover’ tonight for the first time ever. Pickler in tight tee shirt. What a talent!

6:24…Green flag stop for Kyle with 65 laps to go. Has not gone that far on fuel all day. I predict he will this time. Won’t matter, as NASCAR will throw a debris caution with under 20 to go.
6:26….Kurt falls to 4th by staying out an extra lap or two on old tires. Won’t matter. See above.
6:29….Kyle thinks some lug nuts are loose. KRISTEN!

6:36….That right front tire did NOT look good!
6:47….Green flag stops for gas!
6:50…15 laps to go….still no debris! Will NASCAR screw Kyle?

6:52….Come on Kyle! Win one on mileage for the new crew chief!
6:55…Jr is out of gas with 7 to go. He’s stalling on pit road! Could bring out the yellow!
6:56…Rooty is out of gas! Jr is dead in the water. A 3,400 pound piece of debris on pit road. He’s moving now. Damn! No caution.

6:57…Kyle is out of gas!!!!Double damn!!! Why, why, oh why did they try and make it so far?
6:58…White flag for Kurt. Kyle is dead in the water now.
6:59…Kurt wins a million bucks for a lucky fan, as he wins the race.
7:01….The Kylefecta implodes two laps from the end.

That’s all folks. Unbelievable finish.


Thursday, November 5, 2009

Right Sides Only

We are counting down the races until Jimmie Johnson's coronation in Miami later this month. We hit Texas this weekend then Phoenix, Miami, and beyond! Settle down Lightyear.

Just three more races until we get that ten week break to forget all that we deem wrong with NASCAR. In three months we'll be jonesing for Speed Weeks in Daytona to begin, and will have forgotten the Chase, the Dega Debacle, and JJ winning another title.

Petty Blue

Even though I'm far from a Petty fan, there is something about seeing the Petty Blue colors streaking along the high banks. Those colors bring back great memories from an innocent time when NASCAR seemed so fair and competitive.

RPM's #44, driven by AJ Allmendinger, will sport the legendary sky blue for this season's final three races. The car switches from Dodge to Ford and the rear panels will state...."Ford in Petty Blue". Awesome.

Toyotas R Us

Look for Earnhardt Ganassi Racing to switch from Chevrolets to Toyotas once this season ends. They have been using RCR engines, and will switch to JGR supplied Toyota engines next year. EGR wanted more support from Chevy, and they just can't afford to do that at this time. With Toyota bleeding red, and pulling out of Formula One, Chip shouldn't get his hopes up too high about this new marriage.

Marcia, Marcia, Marcia

Surely the biggest story at Speed Weeks 2010 will be the stock car debut of the driving debutant, Danica Patrick. Litle Miss Can't be Wrong will be driving a JR Motorsports (HMS) Chevy in the Daytona ARCA race. Then, also in a JRM entry, will be competing in the NASCAR Nationwide Series race there on the day before the Daytona 500.

NASCAR will insist that she pass some sort of rookie test to be allowed in the NNS race. Riiiight! Her rookie test will consist of increasing ticket sales and TV ratings. That is if NASCAR has half a brain. And, that is open to debate.

Saving and/or Creating Jobs

The Administration released a report last week on all the jobs that it has supposedly created or saved. While these numbers are speculative at best, outright fabrication at worse, the Obama team reportedly wants to put thousands out of work by forcing Dodge and Chevy to get out of NASCAR.

This would 'save' a $250 million drop in the bucket, while trillions are still being poured out of the other end. Who did not see this coming? Most of NASCAR Nation did not, will not, drink the Kool-Aid so the Administration says, "Screw 'em."


Tuesday, November 3, 2009

View From the Flagstand

Remember back in the day when your parents told you to leave your bedroom door open, and that they better see daylight in between you and your sweetie? It didn't work then, and, after Sunday's debacle, NASCAR is finding that it works no better now.

Shortly before the start of Sunday's plate race at Talladega NASCAR told the drivers that they better see daylight in between the front and back bumpers of the cars through the turns. It turned out to be easier said than done.

CHECKERED FLAG......Jamie McMurray led the most laps and happened to be out front when all hell broke loose behind him, TWICE, in the closing laps. It was McMurray's first win since July of 2007, and comes at a great time, as he is searching for a ride for next year.

GREEN FLAGS.....Greg Biffle earned his first top five finish at Talladega when he came home in 4th place. Michael Waltrip used the same strategy as our champion and finished 7th. Elliott Sadler ended up in 9th after driving through some wrecks. Bobby Labonte was 10th, and said the car was a total loss after hitting the wall on the last lap 'big one'.

YELLOW FLAGS.....Way too many drivers were taken out by what this race has become. Ryan Newman and Mark Martin both joined the Talladega Frequent Flyer Club on Sunday. Kevin Harvick led the second most laps, and has nothing to show for it after getting caught up in both of the big wrecks.

RED FLAG.....NASCAR, again. They are in a tough spot. Trying to make the races safe, yet interesting, all the while hoping that the Jimmie and Chad Show doesn't drive off fans for good. There is nothing wrong with NASCAR ignoring the hundreds of ideas from the fans....most of us don't have a clue about what goes on behind the scenes.

The time is long past due for NASCAR to start including competitors, current and former, to the thought processes. If NASCAR wanted to restore any of their credibility they would hire a panel of ex-racers, car owners, and engineers, with input from current drivers, and let them come up with solutions to the problems inherent to restrictor plate racing. Then they could go on to the smaller stuff.

BLACK FLAG.....Brad Keselowski. In the last two races at Taladega, on the final lap of both, somehow, BK has hit the car in front of him to cause an ugly, airborne wreck.


Monday, November 2, 2009

Talladega Rant

The good news is that we aren't talking about Jimmie Johnson dominating another Chase race. No, we're talking about NASCAR trying to have an IROC or radio controlled race at it's biggest track.

In a feeble attempt to improve safety, NASCAR told the drivers to not touch each other through the turns at Talladega. Of course they waited until an hour before race time to reitterate this message. So, all the hours of testing, shop prep, set up, and practice were all for nought. Gee, that sounds safer already.

Six months ago Carl Edwards' car got turned around, became airborne, and almost went through the catch fence at Talladega. Some fans were injured by flying debris in the front stretch grandstand. Bump drafting did not cause that horiffic wreck......blocking did!

NASCAR has had six months to study that wreck, and others, and try to reduce them. Did they outlaw blocking? No! Instead, for some reason, they tell the drivers that touching another car in the turns will not be permitted. Zero tolerance! Uh, except for Brad Keselowski bumping Kurt Busch exiting turn four and causing the big one. That one was okay, I guess, because they were in overtime.

After finally being cut out of his car---after the #39 Chevy imitated a flapjack----Ryan Newman blasted NASCAR's out of touch edicts. Rightly claiming that there are several ways to keep the cars on the ground, but NASCAR doesn't care enough to ask the right people. Newman also stated that NASCAR doesn't respect today's drivers enough to let them race each other.

Even Dale Earnhardt Jr spoke out, telling the TV reporters that blocking is the cause of all the 'big ones', not bump drafting. Jeff Burton, Mark Martin, and Jeff Gordon also let the public know that they were not happy with this style of racing at Talladega either. Bobby Labonte called the finish a joke.

Perhaps most telling about their supposed 'safety' concerns about bump drafting was Elliott Sadler's report on what NASCAR said in the driver's meeting. Sadler says that the drivers were told in that meeting that NASCAR did not want to see two cars lock up, and pull away from the pack. That doesn't sound like a safety issue. More of a, "we like to keep them all bunched up for the big one," issue.

You see, even though ESPN pays NASCAR millions of dollars to telecast it's races, unless there's a 'big one', NASCAR won't even get ten seconds on SportsCenter the night of the race. So, NASCAR and their TV partners conspire to keep the cars close during the races. Whether that be by the mystery debris, their backwoods timing system on pit road, giving all the cars the same horsepower on it's two largest tracks, or changing rules before, during, and after the races.

The 'big ones' will never be stopped at the restrictor plate tracks, but there are dozens of inexpensive ways to keep the cars on the ground. While also allowing quicker throttle response to let the cars get away from each other, and maybe then have three or four smaller drafts instead of the one giant 40 car draft we have now. Evidently NASCAR doesn't want that, though.


Thursday, October 29, 2009

Right Sides Only

This week we go from NASCAR's smallest track at Matinsville to it's largest one in Talladega. See, this is the kind of Wildcard they throw into the Chase to make it more exciting. Right? Goosebumps, yet?

Ratings Killer

Look for NASCAR to realy shake up the Chase format during the offseason. Their TV ratings have went Tango Uniform this year. Jimmie Johnson's dominance is only hurting as several long time fans have said, "Enough!"

Since it seems as no one can work hard enough, or spend enough, to beat the 48 team, look for NASCAR to bring some kind of 'luck of the draw' element to the Chase or the Race for the Chase. Something that will allow something totaly random to factor into the competition.

He hasn't driven one lately.

Elliott Sadler will be in the #19 Stanley Tools Ford this weekend. RPM will be getting a head start on their merger with Yates by putting E Sad in a Ford for this restrictor plate race. Evidently this is just a test session to collect data for next year's Daytona where RPM will have four Fords entered.

Was that his name?

Steve Addington is out as Kyle Busch's crew chief after the race Sunday in Talladega. Addington was paid a lot of money to listen to Busch complain. In return he got to call himself a crew chief. A title that he will never hold again in the Cup series. Did he ever make a pit call that won a race for Kyle? Magic 8-Ball says, NO!

While it would have been interesting for Busch to take one of Dale Jr's old crew chiefs and turn him into a winner, JGR has already announced the new chief. Dave Rogers comes over from the JGR #20 NNS car where he won the Owner's Championship last year while using four different drivers. About the same amount of personalities that Kyle has, so Rogers should be perfect.


Bobby Labonte has met with Robby Gordon Motorsports. I would like to say that it wasn't concerning a ride for Labonte next season, but I can't. It's bad enough that Robby Gordon is out there running 36th every week, but why would a champion like Bobby want to become a ham and egger also? RGM would like to have a second car next year, and Bobby has a past champion's provisional that they could use.

Labonte left a sweet ride at JGR a few years back and began a shamefull slide into pity and obscurity when he went to Petty Enterprises. From there he dug farther down until he found himself at Hall of Fame Racing. Now RGM? Bobby, you are the only thing Hall of Fame worthy at HOF Racing. If you can't get a ride with a team that has won a race in the last three years....retire. Please!


Monday, October 26, 2009

View From The Flagstand

With just four races remaining in the Chase, all of Jimmie Johnson's closest competitiors lost ground to the current, and future, champ Sunday in Martinsville. That's the bad news. The good news is that at least he didn't win. Or is it? He didn't win, yet still padded his points lead.

CHECKERED FLAG.....The Commonwealth of Virginia's own Denny Hamlin won at Martinsville, Virginia's tight half-mile roller rink for the second time in his career. He led a race high 206 laps, including the last 138. Some people (me) thought that Hamlin would fall to pieces after a disastrous start to his Chase efforts. Yesterday, he and his crew kept their cool through several restarts at the end of the race and earned a tough win.

GREEN FLAGS.....Juan Pablo Montoya was back on the podium with his hard fought third place finish. Kyle Busch overcame a lot of adversity to score a 4th on Sunday and a 2nd on Saturday in the NNS race in Memphis. Jamie McMurray (6th) and Kevin Harvick (10) broke into the top-10 for a rare visit Sunday. Bobby Labonte qualified 8th and hung around the top-10 most of the day, and finally came home in 13th. A lot tougher than a 13th at most tracks these days.

YELLOW FLAGS.....The following drivers all were involved in at least one crash, most of them more than that. Scott Speed (31), Kasey Kahne (32), David Stremme (33), AJ Allmendinger (34), and Sam Hornish (35). None of these guys has ever been a contender at Martinsville, and it doesn't look like they will be for a long while.

RED FLAG.....Carl Edwards on his on track tete-a-tete with rival Kyle Busch, "I don't know what his problem is. I got into him, he hit me back, then I hit him back, so we're even." Maybe you shouldn't have dropped out of that community college, Carl. You admit you hit him first, AND now you're even?

BLACK FLAG......NASCAR'S dumb ass rule about freezing the field the instant a caution comes out. This would also do away with other dumb ass rules for the lucky dog and the wave around. Twice now in the last month, there has been a wrecked car sitting at the finish line on the last lap. Twice now, NASCAR has waited too long to throw the caution.

In the previous instance, they showed the yellow when the leader was exiting turn four. Yesterday they threw the caution and checkered flag simultaneously as Hamlin hit the finish line. That meant that Hamlin raced back to the line but no one else could, as the field should have been frozen as soon as the yellow was displayed. Check the replay out and see if Busch passed Jeff Gordon for position before, or after, the yellow flew. It was close, and Gordon may have backed off for the caution.


Thursday, October 22, 2009

Right Sides Only©

The Jimmie and Chad Show heads to a NASCAR legacy track this weekend. Martinsville Speedway has seen 'em come and go for sixty years of short track, slam bam, excitement. This flat, paper clip is where feuds used to be it's where Chase points are counted.

Ho Hum

In the last 31 Chase races, Jimmie Johnson has 11 wins, 21 top-5s, and 27 top-10s. He also has not finished lower than 15th in that 3+ years. That is how Chase championships are won. Why don't any of the other teams try this formula? Juan Pablo Montoya's team tried to, this year. Made the Chase, and lasted all of four races.

He has now hit everything but the lottery

Michael Waltrip, once again, showed off those razor sharp reflexes Wednesday night. Seems Mikey missed the entrance to the ol' Crystal Pistol Saloon. No spotter, I guess. Then, like the pro he is, pulls a Uwee. Like most of his route changes on the track, this one ended with contact.

A motorcycle just happened to be in the way of Mikey's u-turn. The cyclist was transported to an area medical center, and is okay. Waltrip was given a field sobriety test and passed. Finally all the years of training pay off. Waltrip only showed a .06 blood alcohol level on the Breathalyzer. Under North Carolina's .08 limit. Not bad for 7:30 in the evening, Mikey.

In a related note, Waltrip's sponsor this week at Martinsville is NAPA Adaptive One Brake Pads which feature 'stop on a dime' braking power. I wonder if there's time to change the slogan to 'stop on a Harley' braking power?

Who's the bad guy, and who's the good guy?

JGR teammates, Kyle Busch and Joey Logano will be the guest hosts of Monday Night RAW this Monday night in Buffalo. It will be a live pro wrestling show in which the guest hosts usually have some interactions with the wrestlers. Will Kyle turn against the upstart Logano? Is Ric Flair coaching Kyle? Tune in at 9pm et on USA Network to find out.

More Kyle, Really?

This weekend Busch competes on two NASCAR tracks that he has yet to win on, Martinsville on Sunday and Memphis Motorsports Park on Saturday. The #18 Toyota will feature a Halloween paint scheme this weekend at Martinsville.

The new American Formula One team, US F1 wants Busch to be their driver in 2011, after his JGR contract is up in 2010. A lot of smoke being blown in search of a sponsor. This team would take Danica Patrick if she brung the noise.

Don't sing it, bring it!

2007 F1 Champ, Kimi Raikkonen is being dropped by Ferrari and has no racing plans for the future. When asked if he would consider NASCAR Kimi said, "I could race there if I wanted, but I'm not one of the biggest fans of NASCAR."

Seems he would like the F1 like qualities of NASCAR, where one car gets out front and no one can pass him.


Tuesday, October 20, 2009

View From The Flagstand

This week's view from Charlotte was wet, and cold. Not the greatest weather in the world to sit outside, at night, just to watch a rerun of a show you didn't like the first three times you saw it.

Yes, Saturday night's win at LMS by Jimmie Johnson showed even the densest among us the two foot high letters that were written on the wall. This is where the season may as well be over, and it is for a lot of teams and fans.

CHECKERED FLAGS......Jimmie Johnson has won the last three Sprint Cup championships, and with his latest win on Saturday, they may as well engrave the trophy in his name now. Kyle Busch won the Nationwide race on Friday and finished 8th on the Cup side.

GREEN FLAGS.......Plenty of non-Chasers made the top-10 at LMS. Among them Matt Kenseth in second was either strong, or surprising. Others who made a rare visit to Toptenville were Clint Bowyer (6), Casey Mears (7), and Martin Truex Jr (9).

YELLOW FLAGS.....Numerous Chasers lost the tenuous hope that they carried into Saturday night's race. Juan Pablo Montoya saw his string of top-5s in the Chase come crashing to an end...literally. Denny Hamlin looked to have a car to contend with after leading early. Alas, the Virginian's race, and Chase, hopes were dashed. Carl Edwards, Brian Vickers, and Greg Biffle also had their fates revealed during the 500 miles at Charlotte. Not good.

RED FLAG.......Should there be a night race in North Carolina in mid-October? Temps in the forties, rain, and wind all weekend were not conductive to a memorable time at the old racetrack. There were plenty of empty seats in attendance, that just makes it seem colder.

BLACK FLAG......The Chase. Let's see if Jimmie can win a real championship. You know, like Cale Yarborough or Darrell Waltrip racing EVERY week of the season. Not just for ten races at the end of the year. What a joke!


Saturday, October 17, 2009

ARCA Pics From The Rock

Here are some random photos from the ARCA American 200 at Rockingham Speedway on October 11, 2009

.......................................................................Alli Owens

.....................................................................Brett Moffitt

...................................This dude came all the way from France, Michel Disdier

........................................................... Early end for Bryan Silas ....................................................... King of ARCA, Frank Kimmel

.................................................... Humpy Wheeler and Justin Marks
...................................Alli Owens says hello to her number one fan in Alabama

..................................................... David Ragan's brother, Adam

................................................ Alli Owens in the Venturi MoSpo Chevy

....................................................... Race winner, Parker Kligerman

.....................................................2009 ARCA Champ, Justin Lofton
................................................. Ken Schrader and fan from Hanahan, SC

Friday, October 16, 2009

Right Sides Only©

The boys are back in town. After a two week western swing, the NASCAR Chase continues at the home of most of the teams, Charlotte, NC. This 500 miler under the lights will be the halfway point in the Chase.

The official NASCAR Hall of Fame announced it's inaugural class earlier this week as part of the race week festivities. Instead of putting the five best drivers in the first class----like baseball did with it's players----NASCAR's first class will nave the France family as 40% of the inductees. Yeah, that doesn't make the sport look like a bunch of hayshakers and carnies.

Bill France Sr deserved to go in first. He took NASCAR from nothing into a high profile major league sport. Bill Jr did a lot for the sport also, but I doubt that even one fan ever bought a ticket to see him on Sunday. The drivers are the straw that stirs the drink here....not an executive.

Lesa France Kennedy (Brian's sister) was recently named the most powerful woman in sports by Forbes Magazine. She is the CEO of International Speedway Corporation. I guess we'll see Lesa in the Hall of Fame next year.

Lots of different sponsors and paint schemes for Saturday night's race. Almost half the field will be sporting something different on their wrappers. October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month and several cars will be rocking pink in support of this and the Susan G Komen for the Cure.

Among those going pink are...Kyle Busch in the M&Ms Toyota #18, Bobby Labonte's #96 AskMen Ford, Bill Elliott and his #21 Ford, Elliott Sadler in the Stanley Tools #19 Dodge, and Mike Waltrip in the #55 NAPA Toyota.

Lowes Motor Speeday held their first race on October, 16, 1960. It was won by the Woods Brothers. They will make their 100th start at Lowes on Saturday. Maybe after the entire France family gets in, the greatest driver the Woods ever had, David Pearson,will make the Hall of Fame.

Check the replays out folks, Da Biff never touched Joey. He carried him high going into the turn, definitely not his normal line. Free advice to time someone gets you in that situation, tap your brakes. Or, turn left, not right!

Since 2000, four drivers have scored their first Cup win at LMS. How many can you name?


Wednesday, October 14, 2009

View From The Flagstand

Jimmie Johnson continued his dominaton at Auto Club Speedway, and in the Chase, on Sunday. He led just over half of the 250 laps in the Pepsi 500.

There were a reported 70,000 fans in attendance at Fontana on Sunday. It seems to go down every race there.

CHECKERED FLAG......Jimmie Johnson could have led a lot more laps. He constantly gave up his lead on pit stops under caution. Not really a bad thing, as his crew knew he had the car, and they just wanted to make sure all servicing was complete each time. If JJ wins this week in Charlotte, the Chase will be over, and NASCAR's TV ratings will sink faster than the President's approval ratings.

GREEN FLAGS....Jeff Gordon (2), and Mark Martin (4) completed the HMS exotic trifecta box finish. Juan Montoya was third, and now has five top-four finishes in this year's Chase. David Ragan (7) makes this list for the first time this year.

YELLOW FLAGS....Dale Earnhardt Jr had his fans wishfully imagining a possible top-10 finish until his team pitted him on the next to last caution. This, in turn, led to him being in the right position to be a major player in the last caution. Denny Hamlin found out the hard way that Montoya doesn't give an inch. You're either clear, or your not, Den.

RED FLAG.....Tom Logano. Joey's dad had his NASCAR credentials taken as a result of his actions after Saturday's NNS race. This was not Tom's first run in with NASCAR personel. He has a bit of a temper, and a bit of a track record.

Greg Biffle told his team, via radio, that he would wreck Joey Logano. Biffle then raced Logano high and hard into a turn, Joey bounced off the wall, then touched Biffle. Biffle never touched Joey to send him into the wall. He came very close, but never touched him.

NASCAR knows that almost every driver out there has threatened, by radio, to wreck a fellow competitior. Kind of hard to punish just one of them. On the other hand, Tom Logano has a history of irratic behavior, temper tantrums, and death threats against others.

BLACK FLAG......The phantom debris cautions. At least half of Sunday's eight yellow flags were for debris, or a restart wreck after a debris caution. Kudos to Kasey Kahne for speaking out about the phantom debris flags. NASCAR claims that there was debris on the backstretch apron to bring out the last debris yellow. Um, okay...but if that 'debris' was so dangerous, why wait until all the cars had made their green flag pit stops before throwing the caution?


Tuesday, October 13, 2009

75 Year Old Superman

Seventy-five year old ARCA driver, James Hylton was involved in a violent, fiery, wreck during Sunday's American 200 at Rockingham Speedway. Hylton was taken to an area hospital where he was treated and released with no major injuries.

The top pic is of Hylton during pre-race ceremonies at the frontstretch stage. The other pics were taken during the race. The race was red flagged while emergency workers had to cut his steering wheel off to extricate Hylton from his wrecked car.

Hylton says he will race again and plans to attend ARCA's post season award's ceremony in December.


Thursday, October 8, 2009

Right Sides Only©

Race four of the NASCAR Chase finds us in Fontana, California for the Pepsi 500. Do they make Double Caffeine Pepsi?

It might be interesting to see how moving this race from the Labor Day holiday to the Chase will affect ticket sales. Surely, having to be at work the following day, instead of it being a holiday, should increase sales. No?

Could NASCAR be *this* close to giving up on Auto Club Speedway? Moving this race to the Chase won't help attendance. By giving the Labor Day date to Atlanta, NASCAR helped that track to sell out.

Previous plans to increase the degree of banking in Fontana's turns, and narrow some parts of the track have been put on hold. Why? Why isn't NASCAR in a hurry to dump more cash down this money pit? Are they really making more money from TV and movie shoots at the track than from their version of 'racing'?

NASCAR listened to the fans and will start races at 1 pm/et next year. Hey, it works great for the NFL. Five western races will start at 3 pm/et, and night races will all start at 7:30 pm/et. The lone exception is the Coca Cola 600 which keeps it's 5:45 pm/et start. Indy is moving it's 500 start up next year, but couldn't the 600 have moved back 45 minutes, to help any drivers looking to double dip?

A movie (infomercial) on HMS airs this Sunday before the race on ABC. "Together" celebrates the 25th anniversary of Hendrick Motorsports. The narrator is Cole Trickle.

GoDaddy would like Danica Patrick to run a limited NNS/ARCA schedule next year. She has met with Stewart/Haas Racing, and Mike Waltrip has thrown his team into the mix. But JR Motorsports, which already has GoDaddy funding, appears to be the front runner. When she and Jr finally go public, ratings will skyrocket. Even more so if she joins his race team.

Carl Edwards is one of six 'coverboys' on ESPN The Magazine's "Body Issue" out this week. Anyone? Anyone at all?

I'll be in Rockingham this weekend, covering the ARCA finale. Look for interviews, pics, and live race updates at, and on facebook.


Tuesday, October 6, 2009

View From The Flagstand

Try as we may to focus this week's View back on the race at Kansas, we can't help but wonder how Fontana is the next race. Which leads us to mumble WTF, and try to guess why NASCAR thought either track belongs in the Chase, let alone with back to back 'races'.

Oh, yeah. NASCAR's shell company owns both tracks.

Now, where were we? Kansas? Righto, Kansas.

CHECKERED FLAG....Goes to the race winner, Tony Stewart. Stewart took "Right Sides Only" during the last, dubious, caution in Kansas, and held off Jeff Gordon at the end. Stewart appears to be gaining some momentum for a drive towards title number three.

GREEN FLAGS....Gordon was strong all day, don't know how he managed not to lead a single lap. Greg Biffle led the most laps and ended up third after that dubious caution. Juan Montoya (4th) has now finished in the top-4 in all three Chase races this year. Brad Keselowski started third, raced up front, led a lap, and settled for a 13th place finish. More on him later.

YELLOW FLAGS....Brian Vickers (37th) finds himself 12th in the Chase, 250 points out of first. Dale Earnhardt Jr (36th) led 40 laps early, and had his Nation all fired up. Then they came back to Earth as Jr had his usual problems on pit road before finally blowing his engine. With not a stepmother in sight.

RED FLAG.... The tracks scheduled for the last ten Chase races. Five intermediate, cookie cutter, tracks. Half the schedule! According to a recent poll of well informed NASCAR fans, a road race in Sonoma is prefered by 75% of Chase watchers.

BLACK FLAG....NASCAR! The sanctioning body actually told Keselowski's team that he should not race so hard against Montoya at one point. Why? Because Montoya is in the Chase and BK, the rookie, is not. Ridiculous! Does the NFL tell the Raiders not to play so hard against the Colts because the Colts are a playoff team? Hell no! They don't need to, after all it is the Raiders, but you get my drift. I think the NFL has actually threatened to impose penalties in the past on teams for 'coasting' at the end of the year.


Thursday, October 1, 2009

Right Sides Only ©

NASCAR's Chase continues with race three from Kansas Speedway this week. This would be the ideal time for any pretenders to the throne to step their game up and try to derail the three car HMS express of Jimmie Johnson, Mark Martin, and Jeff Gordon. Don't hold your breath.

The Chase/playoff style format was contrived by NASCAR to try and maintain TV ratings during the fall when the NFL crushes everything that goes up against them. So far this Chase season, ratings are at an all time low. Also, more and more aluminum was visible in the bleachers last week at Dover as that race wore on, and on.

Meanwhile, NASCAR Top Gun, Brian France continues to fiddle, and thinks that his new clothes are poppin'. When asked about declining interest in his product France casually replied, "The Chase has the right storylines, the right things going on..." Storylines? You may want to hire some new writers, B.

Kevin Harvick will be in the Reese's Cup Chevy #29 at Kansas. Bright orange car, candy, Halloween must be coming. Scott Speed will try to race a Cup car at Kansas for the first time this week. Last year Speed won an ARCA race, and finished 8th in a Truck Series race at Kansas, on the same day.

David Gilliland will be in a JGR Toyota for three Cup races later this year. The #02 will carry Farm Bureau Insurance sponsorship for Gilliland. Paul Menard says he's not interested in taking daddy's money to RCR and driving the #07 Chevy. Well, RPM is in the Chase, and RCR is not.

Principal RPM owner, George "Speedy" Gillett is attempting to unload his vast pro sports holdings, including the Montreal Canadiens, FC Liverpool, and Richard Petty Motorsports. The Molsons (yeah, those Molsons) of Canada are lined up to buy the Habs. Gillett has a Saudi Prince on the hook to buy the soccer team in England, and also is trying to foist RPM on the sheik.

Prince Fasil of the Saudi royal family is reportedly going to pay up to 650 million bucks for the soccer team and part, or all, of RPM. Some of the fallout from this deal may include the Richard Petty Driving Experience coming to the middle east, and a stock car facility being built in Saudi Arabia for exhibition races. Think global, race local.

A recent poll of well informed NASCAR fans showed that 57% of them think that Dale Earnhardt Jr will make the Chase next year. While a rational 42% said, no, he won't.


Tuesday, September 29, 2009

View From The Flagstand

Race two of NASCAR's Chase is over and with Jimmie Johnson's HMS team flexing their muscles at Dover on Sunday it just became a lot more familar. You have to go back to 2006 to find the last time JJ finished lower than 15th in a Chase race.

After the high banks of Dover, we'll be on the sweeping Kansas prarie, and racetrack, this weekend for round three. This race should shake out the three or four title contenders from the pretenders.

CHECKERED FLAG.....Jimmie Johnson won the pole, won the race, and led the most laps at the Monster Mile on Sunday. No one has ever won the fall race in Dover and went on to win the championship that year.

GREEN FLAGS........HMS cars finished first, second (Mark Martin), and sixth (Jeff Gordon). the other HMS car did recieve five or six 'Lucky Dog' passes. No? It just seemed like it? Matt Kenseth in third, got his first top-5 since February. RPM drivers AJ Allmendinger and Kasey Kahne finished 7th and 8th.

YELLOW FLAGS.......The Dover 'Big One'. Joey Logano, Robby Gordon, Reed Sorenson, and Martin Truex Jr were all involved in a major wreck early in the race. ESPN's lone Sports Center highlight of the race was Logano's seven barrel rolls.

RED FLAG.......Joe Gibbs Racing. In addition to Logano's thrill show, Kyle Busch seemed to relish in swiping the wall multiple times. JGR's lone Chase entrant, Denny Hamlin, was their highest finisher at 22. While Logano has the Rookie of the Year award sewn up, it looks like JGR's fourth Cup championship will have to wait at least another year.

BLACK FLAG......I hate to pile on ABC/ESPN every week but they must not care. I wasn't kidding about their SC highlights. Less than 10 seconds devoted to a sport that THEY are airing! Sunday night's SC showed Logano's flips and Johnson taking the checkered flag. Then back to the riveting NFL highlights of Detroit beating Washington, Denver vs Oakland, and the WNBA playoff highlights.


Friday, September 25, 2009

Right Sides Only ©

Week two of NASCAR's Chase for the Championship rolls into Dover and hits the highbanks of the Monster Mile Sunday. Mark Martin won the first race of the playoffs last week in Loudon and kept his grip on the top spot in the points.

That race in Loudon was somewhat exciting and entertaining. So, why were the TV ratings for it the lowest of any Chase race....ever! That's six years! Just as I predicted after the ratings bump at Richmond, the NFL steamrolls anything head-to-head on Sunday afternoons. ABC/Disney/ESPN/Pixar/Proctor and Gamble (?) air NCAA football on Saturday nights, so don't expect them to ask NASCAR to schedule more Chase races for those nights.

Martin Truex Jr is buying 100 tickets to the race at Dover this Sunday and giving them away to fans. The strange part is that he's giving them to ex-season ticket holders. What, Chad and Muffy went with the home sauna/dry cleaner addition instead of renewing their Dover suite seats? No worries, Truex comes through with a personal bailout.

In a surprise to no one, Danica Patrick signed a three year contract to remain with Andretti Green Racing and the IRL. Maybe she kept visiting SHR headquarters just to see Tony Stewart socially?

Brian Vickers becomes the youngest driver ever to make 200 starts in the Cup series when he gets the green this Sunday. Something called 'Vaseline MEN Lotion' will be Truex's primary sponsor on Sunday. Too bad I vowed not to make any jokes about Carl Edwards.

The #18 of Kyle Busch was found to be too low in post race inspection last week in Loudon. Busch was fined 25 points. A spokesman for JGR claimed that a spring broke during the race and caused the problem. Wouldn't NASCAR take that into consideration?

National Guard drivers, Jeff Gordon and Dale Earnhardt Jr, visited Arlington National Cementary earlier this week and placed a wreath at the tomb of the unknown soldier. Both drivers and Rick Hendrick all said they were very moved by the ceremony. Our quote of the week comes from Gordon afterwards......

"The peace, the security that we feel in the safety of our country is because of the men and women here at Arlington."


Monday, September 21, 2009

View From The Flagstand

After the past few races in the heat of Dixie, this week's view was as refreshing as a cold Dr Pepper on a hot day. Lots of hard racing in Loudon on Sunday made it hard to fall asleep for once.

The first Chase race is in the books and we have nine to go. Up next week is another one mile track, Dover. Dover is more of a superspeedway type one miler, where as Loudon is a short track style, one mile, flat track. Night and day.

CHECKERED FLAG.......Mark Martin stood up to all challenges on Sunday and earned the win. He's made the Chase, received a contract extension, and won a race all in the last week. The AARP should be so proud. Any room left on the bandwagon?

GREEN FLAGS......Juan Montoya won the pole, led the most laps, and then finished 3rd. Denny Hamlin capitalized on a Montoya miscue at the end to take 2nd place. Kurt Busch (6th), and Ryan Newman (7th) both had strong Chase runs. Kyle Busch won the Truck Series race on Saturday, then somehow, came home 5th on Sunday. A rare Elliott Sadler sighting in the top-10 (8th) earns him his first Green Flag since February.

YELLOW FLAGS......Tony Stewart (14th), Jeff Gordon (15th), and Carl Edwards (17th). While all three of these Chasers were strong at some point of the race, their finishes didn't show it.

RED FLAG......Kasey Kahne lost his engine before lap 50 was complete. Not a great way to start his Chase. His team, RPM, has no engine department now after announcing that they're switching to Ford next season. RPM is crumbling from the inside. Last week a longtime VP was fired by the owner, the engine dept either quit or got fired, one of their drivers has been racing for no salary for weeks, and they accepted a merger (takeover) as a way to save money next year.

BLACK FLAG......Kevin Harvick displayed strange behavior during the Truck race on Saturday, to say the least. Harvick, who was in third place, demanded that his employee (2nd place Ron Hornaday) pull over and let Harvick run down leader Kyle Busch and win the race. Hornaday is in a points race and would like to keep every spot that he EARNS. If you can't even pass the second place truck, what makes you think you can catch and pass the leader, Kev? The whole situation made Harvick look like a spoiled brat. Probably not far from the truth.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Right Sides Only

The Chase! Ten races. Twelve drivers. Forty points. That's the separation from the points leader to twelfth position. The NASCAR playoffs start this weekend in Loudon, NH. In this special Chase edition of RSO, I'll give a short cap on all twelve drivers and what I think of their championship chances.

The points have been reseeded with Mark Martin's four wins vaulting him into the points lead. It's a very slim margin from first back to the four guys tied for 9th. Forty points is only seven or eight spots on the track. With double file restarts that's one bad restart, one missed turn, or one balky air gun in the pits.

1....Mark Martin. A popular choice to win it all. Look for a lot of old Bud, AMP, and National Guard tee shirts on Marky Mark's bandwagon. I'll admit, I never thought he would make the Chase or even win more than once this season. Has he been showing his hand all year? Probably yes. Look for some other teams to juice it now, and the #5 team won't be able to keep up. Guarantee.....Martin will give his standard "we gave it everything we had" speech.

2....Tony Stewart. Smoke has really limped into the Chase. Mostly bad finishes over the last month or so. Has HMS already started giving Stewart-Haas second line equipment? Probably yes. Stewart is a late season terror though, and you can never count him out. Guarantee....Top four in the final points standings which is more than a new team should even dream about.

3......Jimmie Johnson. Three time defending champion. Actually ran up front most of the year instead of waiting for the Chase....again. Will JJ, and Chad Knaus, make it four in a row? Probably yes. Another team would have to bring it very strong, make JJ race them for it, and have a lot of luck to keep the #48 team away from the head table at the banquet this year. Guarantee....Top two, hell, here's your champ.

4.....Denny Hamlin. One of the strongest teams going into the Chase. Has been pretty solid all year. Will the #11 guys benefit from teammate, Kyle Busch, not being in the Chase? Probably yes. Guarantee.....Denny will have that sour, confused look on his mug a few times in the next ten weeks.

5.....Kasey Kahne. Kasey also has a head of steam entering the Chase. This team just doesn't have the resources that the teams ahead of it does. Will being a lame duck Dodge team hurt Kahne's chances? Probably yes. Guarantee.....Kahne will win at least one race in the Chase.

6.....Jeff Gordon. Has been runing good as of late. You can not count this team out either. Gordon needs to show that he still has the fire in his belly to contend, though. This could be his last real shot to prove he's still Big Daddy. Will the #24 team fall short in the title hunt? Probably yes. Guarantee....Will be racing Martin for second place honors at HMS.

7......Kurt Busch. The Chase begins on a great track for Busch. Too bad it's great for about half the other Chasers, too. Now would be a great time for Dodge to show what they can do for their flagship team. I just don't see it. Add in their lame duck crew chief, and these guys are in survival mode. Will they finish out of the top ten in points? Probably yes. Guarantee.....Second best Dodge in final points standings.

8....Brian Vickers. Hard nosed driver, raced his way into the Chase. Hard nosed is not the way to win a title, though. You have to throw in a little smarts too. Will Vickers lead the most laps in one of the final ten races, yet not win the race? Probably yes. Guarantee.....take 'probably' out of that last sentence.

9....Carl Edwards. Won the most races last year. No wins this year. Yet, his car owner, Jack Roush, is not crying about it to NASCAR. What gives? Is Roush laying in the weeds with something special just for the Chase? Probably yes. Guarantee.....Will finish in the top five in points.

10......Ryan Newman. Talk about flying under the radar. No wins here either. If HMS has already cut Tony off the good stuff, I doubt Ryan will be much better in the Chase. Does Newman consider this season a success just by making the Chase? Probably yes. Guarantee....Will not win a Chase race this year.

11.....Juan Pablo Montoya. 'Raced' his way into the Chase. Finally another team copies the #48's recipe for making the Chase. Top ten finishes whenever possible and you'll make it. JPM says he's not changing that recipe now, either. Is that sound stategy? Probably yes. Guarantee....This will not lead to dozens of other teams stealing this recipe.

12....Greg Biffle. Another of the four teams without a win making the Chase. Da Biff started last year's Chase with two straight wins and finished third in points at year's end. No lightning in the area. Will Roush treat Biffle like a stepchild, compared to Edwards? Probably yes. Guarantee....Biffle will win a Chase race.


Monday, September 14, 2009

View From The Flagstand

The view from Richmond cleared up and revealed the twelve finalists into NASCAR's convoluted Chase/playoff format. Regular readers know that I'm no fan of the Chase, and that still hasn't changed. Where else could a driver with ONE top five finish make the playoffs, but another driver with FOUR wins doesn't?

I know, I know, they all play by the same rules, NASCAR rewards consistency, yada, yada, yada. I might be impressed if the championship goes down to the wire; not the race for 12th place. If the driver who wins the title this year is the same guy that most of us think will, can we just rename it 'The Chase for Second Place'?

CHECKERED FLAG............Local boy, Denny Hamlin won at his home track, finally. He's been running strong as we go into the Chase. JGR only having one car in the Chase should help him get better equipment, but don't look for him to win the title this year.

GREEN FLAGS........Kurt Busch (2), Jeff Gordon (3), and Mark Martin (4) all had strong runs and solidified their Chase dreams. Brian Vickers (7) kept Kyle Busch (5) in his sights all night and raced into the Chase. Sam Hornish finished 7th after spinning through the infield. I bet Sam leads the league in top-10 finishes after bringing out at least one caution during a race.

YELLOW FLAGS.........Matt Kenseth was the only driver to fall out of the top 12 in points, and thus miss the Chase, at Richmond. Tony Stewart finished 17th. He has had bad runs in 3 of his last four races. Not the way to enter the Chase for the points leader. Carl Edwards had problems all night after winning the NNS race the previous night.

BLACK FLAG.......ABC/ESPN.......Matt Kenseth was the driver who was in, then fell out of the Chase. So, who is the very first driver's face that they stick a microphone in? No, not Matt. Maybe Hamlin, the winner? No, not him. ABC thought they would get a good sound bite, or maybe even a tirade, at the very least a little tantrum by rushing Kyle Busch as he climbed from his car. Congrats to Kyle for not coming through for them.

RED FLAG.........Stop it Kyle. Please don't turn into Robo/Corporate/Driver. We already have 42 of them out there.

P.S. Poll results to make the Chase:
Kyle Busch 80%
Matt Kenseth 10%
Brian Vickers 10%

One person voted for Vickers. You know who you are.


Thursday, September 10, 2009

Right Sides Only ©

The battle tested warriors of NASCAR march into the capitol city of Richmond Saturday night. After a high speed shootout in Atlanta, the stars and cars of the Sprint Cup Series face off for a final showdown before the Chase begins.

This must be the drama that NASCAR envisioned when they came up with this Chase business. Only 122 points separate fifth place from fourteenth. Eleven drivers are still mathematicaly alive for the final eight spots in the twelve car Chase.

NASCAR's TV ratings have improved for the last four races, and that trend is sure to continue on Saturday night at Richmond. That's the good news. They start going head-to-head against the NFL on the following Sunday. That's the not so good news.

Richard Petty Motorsports driver, Kasey Kahne won last week at Atlanta in a Dodge. Next year RPM will be racing Fords as they merge with Yates Racing. Reed Sorenson is already looking for a job for next year. Paul Menard, and his dad, will be one of the four RPM cars next season, along with Kahne, AJ Allmendinger, and Elliott Sadler.

Jamie McMurray and his #26 team was supposed to go to Yates next year also as RFR cuts to the NASCAR four team limit. With no sponsorship in place, McMurray will soon join Sorenson in the unemployment line.

Jeremy Mayfield finally filed that wrongfull death lawsuit against his step mother, Lisa Mayfield, this week. He's seeking $10,000 in damages. No, I didn't leave any zeroes out.

The end of an era? Morgan Shepherd had to lay off all but two of his employees last week. His status is day-to-day. Kenny Wallace will make his 800th NASCAR start at Richmond on Friday night. Kelly Bires is the early leader in the JR Motorsports derby to drive the #88 in the NNS next season.

Benny Gordon will have a drive a special 9/11 tribute car in the NNS race Friday night. I used to pull for Benny at Summerville Speedway back in the 90s. He's a talented driver who won't back down. Look for the "Always Remember" #72 in the NNS race this week.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

View From The Flagstand

The view from the flagstand was excellent this week in Atlanta. We thought that maybe the twelve driver field for the Chase would be sorted out a little in the A.T.L. But, the standings are closer now for the final transfers than they were last week.

As of now, Brian Vickers and Kyle Busch are on the outside looking in. They are the only two drivers with a chance of joining the party. They will have to go for the win, lead some laps, and hope for some bad luck for their rivals Saturday night in Richmond.

CHECKERED FLAGS........Kasey Kahne benefited from a late caution flag to overtake, leader, Kevin Harvick. Then it was time for some cold Buds in Hotlanta. Harvick wound up second, and also dominated the NNS race at Atlanta on Saturday night.

GREEN FLAGS........Juan Pablo Montoya finished third, and David Reutimann was fourth. Ride swappers, Bobby Labonte (18) and David Gilliland (19) both were better than expected. So were David Stremme (14), Paul Menard (15), and Robby Gordon (16). Probably the first, and last, time those three will get a green flag from me.

YELLOW FLAGS.......Kyle Busch led a lot of laps early, then couldn't close the deal. He was as high as sixth in points at one point during the race, but ended up losing a spot and falling to 14th. With just one regular season race to go, he won't be able to depend on his talent to make the Chase. Kurt Busch was also strong early, hanging aroung the top-5. He kissed the wall and finished 38th. Jimmie Johnson may have had the car to beat, but problems dropped him to 36th.

RED FLAG.......Bobby Labonte may have been jobbed by his race team. His team, HOFR is in bed with Yates Racing, who are, in turn a puppet for RFR. Bobby thought it strange that his car didn't have sponsorship for seven the end of the season. Also, strange that a driver can drive in seven races without losing his standings as a rookie driver....for future runs at the ROY award. Nothing against Labonte's replacement, (future ROY contender) Erik Darnell (who finished 30th)'s not his fault he drives for Beezlebub in a hat.

BLACK FLAG......Tony Stewart, who not only isn't exactly peaking as the Chase looms, is reportedly this close to bringing Danica Patrick to NASCAR. Why? Money! There can be no other reason. A handfull of open wheel aces have tried to drive the taxi cabs in the last few years. Other than Scott Speed, in ARCA and the Truck Series, none have come close to a win. And, all are far more talented than Danica.

WHITE FLAG......I'm no big Carl Edwards fan (no, really) but the story that aired during the pre-race about the young girl with cancer was a real tear jerker. Carl's sponsor, AFLAC, had a contest for youth cancer patients to design the paint scheme for Carl's #99 that he would drive at Atlanta. The winner was Carl's guest and she even got to ride around the track with him as part of the pre-race introductions. So for getting me all choked up, Carl gets the white flag of truce. Which means no more jokes about him until season's end.