Victories in Vegas
Hendrick Motorsports and Roush Fenway Racing have won 10 of the 12 Cup events in Las Vegas. Sterling Marlin in 2002 for Chip Ganassi Racing, and Kyle Busch last year for Joe Gibbs Racing are the only streak busters, so far. Busch is the only winner here to start on the pole.
Have a Seat
Vegas, with just one Cup race a year, seats 142,000, and at least 100,000 will be filled on Sunday. Fontana, with two races per year, seats 92,000, and, even though NASCAR estimated last week's crowd at 72,000, other, unbiased, estimates were as low as 45,000. Oh, yeah, one of NASCAR's spin offs owns Fontana.
The Suitcase is Packed
"Suitcase" Jake Elder passed away this week at the age of 73. Elder started in NASCAR in 1959, and was a garage fixture for the next 40 years. He led David Pearson to back-to-back titles in the late 1960s, and also was chief for Dale Earnhardt and Darrell Waltrip among many others. Elder was a no-nonsense type man, and "Suitcase" would leave a team in a huff if anyone questioned his methods on anything. Winners like Elder would never get a chance in today's politically correct, sponsor approved, media driven, NASCAR.
Parking a Start and Parker?
NASCAR seized Dave Blaney's Prism Motorsports racer after last week's race in Fontana. Blaney started 5th, led a few laps, then (as usual) parked it when it was time for his first pit stop. Blaney's car was, allegedly, the random car to be inspected after the race. Then NASCAR decided to tear it down, effectively leaving Blaney with just his backup car to drive in Vegas.
The real reason is that Prism got greedy. After "earning" FIVE MILLION dollars last year, they decided to field two start and park teams this season. Last week three cars failed to qualify while Prism had their two cars solidly in the field. This tear down is NASCAR's way of telling Prism that they'll let them know when they can bring more than one S&P car to the track.
Eighteen drivers have completed every lap in the two races this year. However, only four have top-10s in both.... RFR's Greg Biffle and Matt Kenseth, and RCR's Clint Bowyer, and Kevin Harvick. It would be no surprise to see those four in the top-10 in Vegas.
Turn on the Telly
Our friends in the United Kingdom can now get their NASCAR fix on TV again. Jamie, check out the action on Open Access Three.
Turn Off the Telly
Kim Kardashian will give the starting command on Sunday. Tell me again, what is she famous for? In other 'never was' news, former race announcer Bill Weber is now performing a magic act (true, even I couldn't make this up). I'm thinking retirement homes for his Nana, and such. Talk about a tough job market. I did like the way NBC made him disappear, though.