Thursday, July 29, 2010

Right Sides Only

Pocono again, already? If we must endure two races at Pocono, and Michigan, must they both be scheduled just weeks after the first one? Give us a little time to forget the last snoozer. What? $50,000? For telling the truth? C'mon NASCAR, I suppose I have to take a drug test, too?

Just kidding. I'm an independent contractor. Just like the drivers that NASCAR is fining and drug testing. Guess they're only "independent" for insurance and IRS purposes. Oh, and to keep the unions out.

Zip It

It was learned this week that NASCAR has secretly fined Ryan Newman and Denny Hamlin for making disparaging remarks about NASCAR. One of them reportedly was clipped for fiddy Gs. NASCAR thinks it's okay because the major sports leagues routinely fine players and coaches for blasting umpires and referees. One big difference, you Daytona desk jockeys, those "big league" sports go public with the who, why, and how much.

Wheels of Fortune

Marcos Ambrose is leaving JTG Daughtery Racing at season's end. It's hard to believe that he didn't already have another ride lined up when he quit the #47 team. So, look for him in the RPM #9 next year. If RPM still exists, that is. With Kasey Kahne, Elliott Sadler, and probably Paul Menard leaving them, RPM may not recover, as they're also losing sponsors, Budweiser and Menards being the largest.

Paul Menard may take his never ending funds to RCR, or move up to the #9 car at RPM. Bobby Labonte brings his past champ's provisional to #47. HMS still hasn't found a one year ride for Kahne. Owner, Rick Hendrick recently said that it was Mark Martin's decision whether, to stay in the #5 next year, or let Kahne get in it. Way to apply the pressure, Rick.

To the Penthouse

Just one year ago RCR was on the brink of implosion. None of their three drivers made the Chase. Top gun, Kevin Harvick wanted to jump ship. Major sponsor, Shell-Pennzoil gave their notice. Oh, what a difference a year makes. Harvick leads the points, with two wins. Jeff Burton and Clint Bowyer are in the Chase, as of now. The big news is that Budweiser is bringing the bucks to Harvick's #29 car next year. The happy get happier.

Seven Lives Left

He's done it again. Eight years after landing upside down in a lake, Jack Rousch made a hard landing with his company jet in Wisconsin. Rousch is hospitalized in serious but stable condition. Get well quick, Jack. We want you back up there asap.

Clear All Around

Kyle Busch recently dumped his spotter, Jeff Dickerson. Dickerson had been spotting for Busch for several years. Jeff Gordon's #24 team snapped Dickerson up this week. Crew Chief, Steve Letarte seems to think that a great spotter will end Gordon's 49 race winless streak. Oh, that's all he needs? Junior, hear me out.

Pocono Passes

Denny Hamlin is going for a third straight win here.

PJ Jones is in the #7 for Robby Gordon this week. Could he be any worse?

Jeff Gordon and Hamlin both have four wins here. Bill Elliott has five.

The CW Trucks and ARCA cars have preliminary events at Pocono on Saturday. it's the first time for the trucks here.

Kahne gets in the #18 truck for KBM here. Kahne is undefeated in his two career truck starts.


  1. Gene,

    Long time no blog, LOL. Great insights as usual. I hate that Marcos is leaving JTG. That being said, I was hoping they might go with an up and coming driver, rather than Labonte.

  2. So what the hell is wrong with Newman saying the following?

    "It is a lottery, racing for a championship shouldn't be a lottery," Newman said. "Harvick deserves a lot of credit for doing what [he] did to win. From there on back, I don't know. It is not about someone's car handling or motor being better. The cars might as well all be kit cars for these two races."

  3. Newman's comment was on the "racing" at Talledega. Was he wrong in his assessment?

  4. Stork... what's up, bud?!

    Labonte's past champ's provisional, like B Elliott's, will allow them to race as long as they want to. Almost sad.

    Don't be a stranger.

  5. CR.... There is nothing untrue about that statement. Denny also told it like it was about the late cautions, and comparing NASCAR to show business.

    The drivers are only saying what the fans have been saying for years!

    I can see NASCAR's POV, too. Everyone has the right to free speech.... except at the company you work for.

  6. I think the attempt to keep it "hush, hush" angers me more than the fines. If you're going to fine someone, have the guts to say who you're taking to the wood shed!

  7. Yeah CR, that's what I was complaining about. The 'major' sports leagues name names.

  8. guess 'have at it boys' only means on-track action since they got fined for talking?

  9. Gene, you leave me with a conundrum as to who's the worst analyst! They're ALL bad! I'll be drinking Buds to Harvick next season, as I'm glad that the Bud will be on the #29 car next season! And one more question: WHY is Marcos leaving JTG-Daugherty Racing for RPM? RPM will be on the ash heap of NASCAR history in two years, tops. I second my thoughts to The Cat in the Hat getting well soon.

  10. Tez.... Yeah, wrecking other drivers on the last lap is fine, saying you meant to do it is fine. Pointing out that there was actually no debris to bring out a caution... not fine. lol

  11. Jon... it is a tough choice. I had to go with DW, but it looks like Rusty is running away with this one. Or, is everyone picking him to give me the finger again? LOL

    It does seem as though Marcos could do better than RPM. Anywhere he goes he'll be a major threat to win at least two races per year. I think something happened behind the scenes at JTG, and he's in a hurry to leave.

  12. I think NASCAR wanted the drivers to stay on the down low so fans wouldn't figure out what they said and whole heartedly cheer with them like they did when Kyle said the COT sucked and when Tony likened the sport to pro wrestling...

    so Happy is our new Bud man eh? Bad Brad v Happy schilling the suds - hmmmm - gotta say neither will see beer like Jr could.

    In San Diego with family this weekend, ya'all enjoy your Sun afternoon nappy-poo.

  13. KLV... Was NASCAR going for big laughs when they claimed that the public turned on the COT when Kyle said it "sucks" after winning the first race in one? I am under the impression that 99% of the fans believe the exact opposite of ANYTHING Kyle says. Does NASCAR really believe that their fans are that gullible? Of course they do.

    True on Jr... but Delana will look so awesome in her Bud uni. lol

    Have fun in the sunny south.

  14. I'm not touching no mouse.....

    Maybe it's time for The Cat in the Hat to slow down a little with his flying.

    Guess I won't miss a thing at the beach with the Cup boys at Pocono. Have a great week everyone.

  15. Moseby... have a great time at the beach. Drink some of those little umbrella drinks for me.

  16. I too am amazed at how NASCAR handled the Newman-Hamlin deal. It sounds like another not very well thought out deal by the weaker of the France family. I guess they have the gestapo spotters following on Twitter now too.

    I thought the object of a fine was to deter others from doing the same thing. How does fining someone $50,000 and not telling anyone ,who or why, help?

    Did they think Hamlin would go around to every driver in the garage and say, "trust me guys, you don't want to do what I did."

    This goes in line with several of their "not very well thought out" knee-jerk reactions.

    I just can't wait for the new Chase format to be revealed and all the backlash that's going to come with it. It's not going to be pretty because they are going to divide so many factions who are currently watching.

    NASCAR should be out handing stuff out at schools and creating the next generation of audiences. Do you think some guy in North Dakota is going to start watching NASCAR "now" because there is a new format to the Chase that makes it similar to other sports with brackets declaring a winner?

  17. Gene, I think RPM will be a three-car team next season. I see them shuttering the #19 team after ESad leaves. Strangely enough, I think a three-car team WOULD work for a season before it all falls apart. You'd have Marcos in the #9, AJ in the #43, and Paul in the #98.

  18. Gene,

    It is a puzzle how NASCAR handles things. Why not put your dirty laundry out for everyone to see? Was there some kind of in-house memo sent out to all the drivers / teams / owners stating what is expected? I see where Tony Stewart, who has been reprimanded in the past, has turned into a company man.

    What is the France family so worried about? I see where the major NASCAR owners had a private meeting at the HMS headquarters this past week and haven't really heard anything coming out of that. Is there dissension in the ranks? Is there a tipping point that's not too far off? Is NASCAR truly the goose that lays the golden eggs or is there something better?

    Too many questions and all's quiet on the NASCAR front...

  19. BTW, looks like you're gettin' the finger again! lol

  20. Fireball... great stuff, brother. Agree with every word. NASCAR becomes more clueless every day... hard to believe.

    They should be trying to get young demographics, and not with something as inane as Digger! A friend told me that NASCAR doesn't have any new console video games this year. I don't know because I don't play them, but, if true, that is ridiculous.

    They are losing old fans every day with their off-track actions!

  21. Jon.... I've heard that if Menard doesn't get the #9 ride he will take his pop's money elsewhere. And that if he does get the #9 car, Marcos will end up in te #19 Stanley Tools car for RPM.

  22. Dwindy... I guess we can't use logic to try and figure out NASCAR's actions.

    The owners don't have any leverage... NASCAR is the only game in town, and they own 2/3 of the tracks.

    The finger... again! That's what I get for placing Rusty in the middle...LOL

  23. Cool LIVE TRAFFIC FEED! I've only used sitemeter and I didn't like it.

  24. Nice roll Gene

    Yeah, Newman spilled the beans but the same thing happens in other sports. They get hammered. At least we will not have to worry about the Boys dropping a Curtis Turner Black Ball on someone. Just too much money.

    If RPM goes away it will be mostly due to the economy and Gillet's management style but they have three slot cars that can run top 15 every week. That is how tough it is.

    Nascar's real problem is that the Boyz have tried to fix something that was not broken and the harder they try the worse it gets. Newman spelled out what the drivers and alot of us have known for along time.

    Publicly the Boyz say that the plate/aero package is used for reasons of safety but the reality is that they do not want a blowout at Daytona and the plate easily accomplishes this while the whole world knows that a bunch of iron is going to get torn up.

    They are afraid of their own shadow. Keep it simple stupid and a real race might break out. When was the last time we have seen a real race ?

    The "Package" has changed racing from an art to an act. Way to go Newman, just remember to keep your mouth shut when you cash the checks.

    I love Pocono. It is a beautiful area and the drivers love the track. Instead of empty stands we can see trees and stuff. When watching a race there it is the track that I pay attention to more than the cars. Ask Kasey and AJ ...

    Enjoy the race and the weekend

  25. Hey Rick! What's up, bro?

    Great insights on racing, as usual. NASCAR, and the networks, want the cars all glommed together so we get the plate races. No one car can dominate, no three or four car breakaways. Just the same ol' mob, every time. Ho hum.

    Pocono is a beautiful area. I hope to make it up there one day.