Saturday, December 30, 2006

A dose of photography - Classic Oldsmobile


Image was taken by me with a Kodak EasyShare DX6490

- This is a Classic Oldsmobile that was on display back at the 2003 New England International Autoshow in Boston.

See Yeah!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

A dose of photography - 1932 Ford Three Window Coupe


Image taken by me with a Kodak EasyShare DX6490


Back View

- This is a 1932 Ford Three Window Coupe that was on display back at the 2003 Racearama -N- Tradeshow in W. Springfield, Mass.

See Yeah!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

My Take on Back in the Day with Dale Jr. On DVD


This hit show Back in the Day with Dale Jr features the only racing show in the 1960's and 1970's that covered NASCAR racing before the major networks did with a 30 minute in-dept show called Car and Track with Bud Lindemann, the combination of Car and Driver and the added commentary and prospective of one NASCAR's Most Popular Drivers Dale Earnhardt Jr. with some interest facts thrown in made the show interesting to watch.

As a huge NASCAR fan since the early 1990's, I had offen wondered what NASCAR Grand National racing back in the 60's and 70's was really like when Richard Petty, Bobby Allison, David Pearson and more battling it out for the victory in races such as the World 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway to the 1973 Daytona 500 to name a few. Back in the Day with Dale Jr. is the modern version of a classic television show.

The DVD itself, its good, having all of the 13 episodes on DVD with no commercials is perfect, that's really why you buy TV on DVD anyway and throw that in with the two extra features on this 2-disc set, a interesting interview with Dale Earnhardt Jr. and a 3 doors down music video, this DVD was already on my holiday shopping list for my father even before I got it.

Like he says, "Going Back in the Day". I would like to thank Lynn Maliszewski and John Lavallo of takeoutMarketing for providing me with this preview.

See Yeah!

Monday, December 18, 2006

What a Survivor Cook Islands Finale last night!

Before this season of Survivor (Cook Island) aired, I didn't know what to think after reading the press release and the previews of the show and that GM had pulled out along with the fact that the tribes would be divided up by race, but I kept an open mind and would wait and see how the season placed out.

Following last nights finale with a winner crowned, this season was one of the best yet, I enjoyed it. They didn't have a challenge were a car was the prise, but not bad. The role of having the tribes at the beginning broken up by race really didn't really come into play. Some stayed true to there original groups and others didn't.

Moving on past that. In a first in Survivor history, there was a jury of nine members and three finalists to vote for. In years past, having only two to choose from, mading who lesser of the two, having three could have made it better, but this season, viewers really didn't find out.

There was one point in the finale at the second to last tribecoucil that really caught my eye, one of the most important things to learn after 39 days is how to make fire with flit. Since Ozzy had won the final challenge and Yul had the idel and team decided to have a tiebreaker inforced, Wouldn't you know it, the tiebreaker was to create fire to burn thought rope. It was Becky and Sundra had to compete and it took over 90 minutes for Becky to make fire, keep in mind that after 1 hour, they changed to matches. If you don't know how to make fire with flit after 39 days, that not a Sole Survivor.

When it came right down to it, really there were only two finalists, Ozzy vs. Yul. And the winner, the Sole Survivor is Yul by a vote of 5-4. Thats a tough choose, I was happy to see either one win. One other thing, Ozzy won the fan vote for a new Mercury.

Good season, the preview for the next season's is interesting, but........

Check out my preview of Survivor: Cook Islands Here.

See Yeah!

Friday, December 15, 2006

A dose of photography - A Camaro Z28 Blown


Image taken by me with a Kodak EasyShare DX6490

- A Camaro Z28 on display at the 2006 World of Wheels in Boston back in January.

- I love digital photography, capturing that moment instantly to revisit for years to come.

See Yeah!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

TV Spotlight: American Chopper's future and the season's finale Eragon Bike

Its been a little while since I have featured one of my favorite weekly television shows "American Chopper" here, for the past couple of weeks, American Chopper has debuted two new choppers which include the Lugz Chopper that features a leather wrapped gas tank that looks like a boot pattern and the latest chopper, the Eragon Movie bike that features a dragon tale exhaust, both bikes are unique.

The big announcement made on last night's Season Finale was that the television show American Chopper is going to be moving from the Discovery Channel to TLC, which is another channel of Discovery and will make its debut on Thursday Nights starting on December 28th with a new episode on January 18th.

Photo Gallery:
(Images Credit: Orangecountychoppers.com)


Lugz Chopper


Eragon Movie Chopper

Thats the end of the fifth season by my count.
As a huge fan of American Chopper I would like to ask this question to Discovery: We have already purchase the Complete 1st, 2nd and 3rd Seasons (Series) on DVD that came out in 2005, When will the next sets of American Chopper Season (Series) 4 and 5 come out on DVD?

One note: The DVD sets for the UK are displayed in parts, the release dates for the next set of American Chopper is released on January 15, 2007.

Thats a wrap,
See Yeah!

Friday, December 8, 2006

Something for most people to think about entitled "Nice guys finish last."

Going of the beating path for a moment to a subject that makes most people think, early this morning, I received this on bulletins board on my MySpace Profile and I did just what it says at the bottom I reposted it. However it got me thinking about the very question below, do all girls appreciate nice guys?

Only the ladies in my case can answer this question and since I am considered a nice guy and thats what I hear from girls, then what do you say ladies, whats the answer...

But I didn't leave all of the guys out of this piece, read what is said below and do you consider yourself a nice guy. Now in all fairness, you have to have been told this by a girl to really say you are a nice guy, but this is only one mans opinion.

Now continue reading on down this piece and I will see you at the bottom....

Original Bulletin Board posting:
To every guy that regrets hurting her.
To every guy who knows which girl he wants.
To every guy that's said, "You're beautiful."
To every guy that was never too busy to drive across town to see her. (BIG ONE!!!)
To every guy that gives flowers and a card when she is sick.
To every guy who has given her flowers just because.
To every guy that said he would die for her.
To every guy that really would.
To every guy that did what she wanted to do.
To every guy that cried in front of her.
To every guy that she cried in front of.
To every guy that holds hands with her.
To every guy that hugs her when she's sad.
To every guy that hugs her for no reason at all.
To every guy who would give their jacket up.
To every guy that calls to make sure she got home safe.
To every guy that would sit and wait for her for hours just to be able to see her for ten
minutes.
To every guy that would give his seat up.
To every guy that JUST wants to cuddle.
To every guy that reassured her that she was beautiful no matter what.
To every guy that would slow dance with her under the stars with no music. (So cute)
To every guy who told his secrets to her.
To every guy that tried to show how much he cared through every word and every breath.
To every guy that thought maybe this could be the one.
To every guy that believed in her dreams.
To every guy that would have done anything so she could achieve them.
To every guy that never laughed at her when she told him her dreams.
To every guy that walked her to her car.
To every guy that wasn't just trying to play her.
To every guy that actually listened.
To every guy that gave his heart only to have it shoved back in his face.
To every guy that prays that she is happy even if you are not with her.
This one is for you...

Not all girls appreciate nice guys. There's not many left out there....

If you are a nice guy repost this: "Nice guys finish last."

If you are a girl that thinks every guy should try to encompass even a few of these repost this: "To all the nice guys"
End of Bulletin Board posting.

Well, Anythoughts? I would like to thanks to my college friend on MySpace for posting this on the MySpace Friends bulletin board and for making me think about it...what a way to say it.

Now before I go, I would like to say that I do know some nice guys who have finished first and in their words "I am living my dream", cool.

Until next time,
See Yeah!

Saturday, December 2, 2006

What was the biggest racing story of the 2006 Season?

There were so many different big racing stories of the season like:

Two come to mind in NASCAR with the first one coming in July with an announcement made by Chip Ganassi Racing that Juan Montoya will be coming to NASCAR in 2007 to drive his #42 Texaco Dodge in the Nextel Cup Series. Even bigger was that his debut would come in the season finale at Homestead after he had already made his ARCA and Busch Series debuts just weeks ago.

The other one in NASCAR reads simple as Jimmie Johnson is the 2006 NASCAR Nextel Cup Series Championship after a tight points race at the season finale in Homestead. What a victory for that entire team and for Jimmie Johnson and in doing so won 5-times in 2006 including winning both the Daytona 500 and the Brickyard 400. He will make a great champion.

How about in Formula 1 when Fernando Alonso began the youngest driver to win the World Championship for the second year in a row. Fernando Alonso did all of this by beating one of the best in F1 Michael Schumacher in both seasons.

The American LeMans made history twice as an Audi diesel-powered R10 TDI there way to victory in the 12 hours of Sebring and then backed that up with another historical victory in winning the 24 hours of LeMan a couple of months later. That huge in so many ways, it was the first diesel car in the world to win a major sports car race.

And then of course there was that story coming out of NASCAR that kept making headlines with everybody commenting in and outside the NASCAR community, you know it, its simply NASCAR's Car Of Tomorrow. I wrote on this subject at least 3-4 times with its highs and lows of what this expenive car might do. All of NASCAR and beyond will be watching this one when this supercar makes it debut at Bristol next season.

With all that said, none of those stories make the biggest headline as in the Formula 1 when Michael Schumacher announced his retirement, the sports greatest driver of all time with 7 World Championships is going to step down at the end of the 2006 season. When fans think of Formula 1, one driver in most cases comes to mind, Michael Schumacher.

Thats it for the 2006 racing season, I can't wait until the 2007 season begins with the 24 Hours of Daytona and The Daytoan 500

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

My Take on the 2006 NASCAR Nextel Cup Series Championship and Season Comments.

What are you going to remember about the 2006 Nextel Cup season? Thats the burning question, for me, this racing fan, this writer, this blogger, this person who watched every race this season and for the most part wrote the good and bad about it all, I will remember this..season for its great racing, its couple of sleeper races, its rookie crop, its two demition derby namely at Talladega, its final chase top 10 and its first time champion.

Looking at the 2006 season, it was Darrell Waltrip who wrote, "It's always something", "Folks, it seems like there's some issue that we have to deal with every week other than the race itself.". I believe that statement to be true, whether it was the most talked about or talked down it in the garage area namely the Car Of Tomorrow or some fight, it was always something. Ironically, this year started off and ended with same name and team coming to mind...Jimmie Johnson, Jimmie Johnson and that #48 Lowe's Team from Hendrick Motorsports.

The #48 Team that made the most news for a team this season, they were at the center of a suspendition at the beginning of the season before the Daytona 500 when Knaus was thrown out of the speedway and even four races later when Knaus returned from his suspendition, to the final ten chase races when they started there come back four-five races in and finally, the crowning of the 2006 NASCAR Nexel Cup Series Champion, Jimmie Johnson. They did it all and made it.

Going beyond all of that and to what I said at the beginning of this piece, for the most part, I wrote all season long that racing was good to great, there were some races that were at total shocker, the fall race at Phoenix was one, it was a sleeper race with Kevin Harvick leading most of the laps and the points leader Jimmie Johnson once again coming home in second place..those were the only headlines there, but two races that I would like to forget, Talladega, those two race with my headline being.."Demotion Derby at Talladega.... for NASCAR" in two parts, its survival, period. Thats It, thats not entertainment and its not Richmond, Bristol or Martinsville racing, but what were they thinking. Thats all I have to say about that.

How about the good, The Daytona 500 would fall in to that category as well as the Bristol, Richmond, Martinsville, Atlanta, Atlanta races, were both highlights of the season, ofcourse the fall race was overcome with NBC's investigation followed by NASCAR's investigation into the debris caution that turned out to be Robby Gordon found guilty of throwing a piece of rollbar padding on to the track to cause a caution. How about the spring Richmond race with Dale Jr coming away with victory or Darlington on Mothers Day Weekend. One race that I will remember as being good was the fall Dover race when Jeff Burton battled Matt Kenseth for several laps for the lead in a clean fashion and finally grabing the lead and his what some say come back victory. That was interesting to see.

The headlines this season...Denny Hamlin's spin to win his first cup race at Pocono, Hamlin said that before that weekend, he had only raced Pocono on his video game, Hamlin had spin going into turn 2 down to the inside of the track only messing up the fron valence and he fought his way back up to the front to win. Another racing headline this season was, will it be Smoke's summer when he on the Pepsi 400 and he's one I bet most fans will remember, I wrote this after Chicago.."Jeff Gordon spins out Kenseth with four laps to go to win at Chicagoland." I don't need to explain that one and speeking of Chicagoland, the headline that made lots take notice of NASCAR, "Juan Montoya coming to NASCAR in 2007" and fans say that at the fianle in Homestead, when Montoya made the race, but end in a ball of fire.

One of the biggest things this past season will be "Who's in and who's out in the Chase for the Nextel Cup Championship." This one had 11 drivers going for ten spots and the headline wasn't won was in, but who was out..Tony Stewart, despite being the defending Nextel cup champion, he didn't get it and the talk came up with should there be a past champions spot or extending it to 11-12 drivers. the top 10 is for the best of the 43 drivers and yes there are more than 10.

The chase races themselves...really no one could runaway with the championship lead, bad luck come on with every chase race and every contender had at least two-three bad races. Some high notes were Rookie Denny Hamlin made the chase and finished 3th with Kevin Harvick finished 4rd & Dale Jr coming home in 5th spot. The points racing man himself Matt Kenseth finsihed 2nd.

The Champion, I have to say, Jimmie Johnson as the 2006 NASCAR Nextel Cup series champion was big and still is. He deserved it, he didn't points race, but instead he won races and over came lots of big problems including his victory in the Daytona 500 without his famous crew crief or winning the Brickyard 400, in total of five victories, with one Bud Pole, 13 top-five finishes, 24 top-10 finishes and more (Thanks Jayski for the Stats).

I know that this was just a sample of what happened this past season in Nextel Cup, but boy what a season and what a champion. What will happen next year with Toyota and the Car of Tomorrow making there debuts and what others things will make headline and who win be in the chase and fianlly who will be champion...think about it, 2007.

Finally, I leave you with this, thoughtout all of the good-great racing, the sleepers, the headlines on and off the track, the its always something beside the race itself, I am a NASCAR fan though and though and if I didn't enjoy it, I wouldn't sit down in front of my television for 3-4 hours on a Saturday or Sunday watching the Nextel Cup races, nor would I get up before dawn, get in the car with my father and go to the track twice a year, battle traffic in and out, park, walk 1 mile or more to the speedway, pay the ticket prices and sit in the grandstands for hours watching it and even more, I wouldn't spend all that time and money watching and buying collectibles/appeal, if I don't enjoy, and that goes for wroting on it. This is what I love period.

See Yeah next season...its the Daytona less than 81 days away.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

My Take: The Highs and Lows on the 2006 NEIAS in Boston.



A couple weeks ago back on voting day (Nov. 7th), I took in the 2006 New England International Autoshow in Boston, Mass.. I try to take in at least one autoshow per year for the pure entertainment of looking at cars and trying them out, you know, seeing what's new.

My impressions: The only lows to this autoshow was the ticket/parking prices. $10 a ticket ($8 with coupon) and $12 to park. $8 ticket fine, but $12 to park isn't, thats saying it lightly, even parking in a garage is cheaper by more than $7. The other downside, I was expecting to see Camp Jeep and a Chrysler Concept car, but no the both. For the vehicles, there were no real surprises.

The highs: Thinking back to the autoshow, there were a couple of vehicles I was looking to see, the Jeep Compass, Jeep Wrangler and Wrangler Unlimited, Dodge Caliber and Nitro. The published reviews are in most ways harsh, so heres mine.

Starting with the Dodge Caliber/Jeep Compass, these two vehicles are basically the same with some expections, but I liked them both. The interiers are fine, they are not cheap, there good for there price range, the Compass is a Jeep Lite and its not Trail Rated, but both vehicles were not build for that, rather for people who want either a AWD or 4WD vehicle to get them to and from home/work, that includes going on highways, main and backroads with all weather including snow. Simply put, they were built for light duty and thats what they do. I would consider buying either vehicle, the Caliber R/T AWD would be a good pick for me.

The Nitro is basically the Jeep Liberty (which my family owns one) and the only downside is 16 mpg (18 mpg with a better cold air intake). The Jeep Wrangler 2 & 4 dr, I like hard-top, and the overall design looks good with little change from last year. Again, the downsides was under 20 MPG and the price vs. options. Otherwise, the Chrysler Camp did a good job on them all.

Note to Chrysler Camp (DCX), work on the MPG.

One manufacturer that is getting more interesting in styling, is Mazda, with its Mazda3 and Mazda6, both gets high marks in style.

I was a little surpised on the 2007 Chevrolet Silverado and the Subaru WRX, why do both of these car companies continue to change the styling almost yearly. The Silverado's frontend is over kill, if you want to upgrade in style from a Silverado, look at GMC.

I was most impressed with the Chevrolet Corvette, it keeps getting better, front to back. any angle and in almost any color. The corvette is the only vehicle that can pull of most colors including yellow, orange and etc. Looks great in black.

For the highlights of this autoshow in photography, click here to check out the gallery.

All in all, I look forward to going back next year, but the difference between last year and this year, was the family was searching for a new or pre-owned vehicle. Camp Jeep and the love afair of wanting a Jeep sold my father on buying a Jeep Liberty and with the expection of the 18 MPG and the narrow tires, its great. On the other hand, maybe I will try the autoshow in Providence, RI.

Thanksgiving Edition: What a day!

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone, What a day, boy, this day went from having a good Thanksgiving Day Dinner with all of the fixings including Turkey, Stuffing, Mashed Potatoes, Cranberry Sauce, Rolls and etc.. to me putting my shoulder through a plate glass window. One piece of luck was I had my winter coat on and the glass went the other way. Wow, is my shoulder soar. Well, its fixed now.

Below is a couple things to think about on this Thanksgiving.

Title: A VW Touareg TDI towing a 747


(Credit: Autoblog.com article.)

When you are traveling on this thanksgiving, here's something to think about while you travel this thanksgiving, bet you haven't seen this. Check out the story behind this photo at Autoblog.com.

Title: Jimmie Johnson wins the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series Championship


(Jimmie Johnson celebrates his first Nextel Cup. Credit: Autostock on NASCAR.com)

With the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series Season ending last weekend at the finale in Homestead and the crowning of a new champion. Congraduation to Jimmie Johnson, he is the 2006 Nextel Cup Champion which capped off an incredible year for the #48 team including winning the Daytona 500 and the Brickyard 400. He and his team deserves it.

After the holidays, look for two new different columns including the "NASCAR Nextel Cup Series Championship and Season Comments" and back on November 7th (Voting Day), I took in the 2006 New England International Autoshow in Boston with my camera taking several photos along the way, both of those columns will be published sometime next week with a photo gallery of the vehicles at the autoshow.

See Yeah!
P.S. Don't forget that the Nextel Cup Series awards banquet is on Friday, December 1, 9:00PM ET on TNT and that the Daytona 500 is only 90 days away, plus the Barrett-Jackson Auction in Scottsdale is even less.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

2006 Motorsports Championship Edition

So who won what championship in the 2006 season..
First up is NASCAR, starting with the Craftsmen Truck Series, at the season finale on Friday night in Homestead, Todd Bodine scored his first Truck Series championship and brought home the first NASCAR championship for the Bodine family. For the NASCAR Busch Series, this season was no contest with Kevin Harvick clinching the 2006 Busch Series championship four races before the finale in Homestead in a huge domanating fashion.

Finally, the Nextel Cup Series and The Chase for the Nextel Cup Championship saw a shoot out down to the final laps this evening at the Homestead finale with Jimmie Johnson clinching the 2006 Nextel Cup Series Championship. The Unofficial Top 11 drivers in points were: 1. Jimmie Johnson 2. Matt Kenseth 3. Denny Hamlin 4. Kevin Harvick 5. Dale Earnhardt Jr. 6. Jeff Gordon 7. Jeff Burton 8. Kasey Kahne 9. Mark Martin 10. Kyle Busch and the million dollar bonus for 11th goes to Tony Stewart.

For all you NASCAR Nextel Cup Series fans, the 2007 Daytona 500 is just 91 days away.

In Formula One, Brazil played host to the season finale were it was Fernando Alonso becoming the yet again the youngest-ever champion for the second straight year. The 2006 Formula 1 Season will mark the end of Michael Schumacher's Formula 1 career and the youngest-ever champion Fernando Alonso taking the top spot going into the unknown (rules wise) 2007 Formula 1 Season.

Looking ahead to the two rivals in open wheel racing, the IRL Indy Car Series crowned Sam Hornish Jr. the 2006 IRL champion in a tie breaker for the most victories over Dan Wheldon back in September at the finale and in the Champ Car World Series, in no surprise here, Sebastien Bourdais clinched his 3rd consectutive Champ Car Championship down-under in Austrilia over Justin Wilson and A.J. Allmendinger.

In the Sports Cars two series, the Grand American Rolex Series, Jorg Bergmeister clinched his first daytona prototype championship and in the GT Series, it was Andy Lally and Marc Bunting in the #65 TRG Pontiac GTO.R. clinching the 2006 GT Championship.

In the American Lemans Series, the four champions were: In LMP1 was Allan McNish and Dindo Capello in the domanate winning Audi, LMP2 had Sascha Maassen and Lucas Luhr in a Penske Racing Porsche, GT1 had Oliver Gavin and Olivier Beretta in a Chevrolet Corvette and for GT2, Jorg Bergmeister in a Porsche 911 GT3 RSR.

Finally, (at least in what I covered/watched this season) the NHRA, three of the four points championship went down to the finale race with Top Fuel being rated as the come from behind victory in NHRA history as Tony Schumacher grabed the 2006 NHRA Top Fuel Championship, as he had to win the race and set a national ET record to win the championship over Doug Kalitta. In the Funny car Division, after beating Ron Capps in round 2 at the finale in Pomona, John Force clinched his record 14th NHRA Funny Car Championship over his teammate Robert Hight. In the Pro Stock Cars, Jason Line beat out his boss Greg Anderson for the 2006 Championship and in Pro Stock Motorcycles, Andrew Hines took the 2006 Championship.

Well, thats it for the 2006 Motorsports Season, Congraduations to all of the champions and from this race fan, See Yeah in 2007 in Daytona for the 24 hours of Daytona and the Daytona 500.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

NASCAR Busch Series Championship and Season Comment

Congraduation to Kevin Harvick for capturing his second Busch Series Championship in a huge domanating performance which included nine victories and what has got to be a record, a lead of 824 points over Carl Edwards. after the Ford 300 Finale, with that, the final top 10 standings had two busch series regulars including Paul Menard in 6th and Johnny Sauter in 8th and the rest were Cup regulars doing the double duty.

When it comes to my thoughts on the Busch Series or what its better know as "the cup lites" at least in 2006, I take the season for what it was with the Nextel Cup Regulars, the racing was interesting and good, I did watch most to all of the races and I also attended one of the races at New Hamphire International Speedway.

Two highs was watching David Gilliland pull away from the field in the closing laps at Kentucky to capture his first career victory which purpelled him up to a Nextel Cup ride with RYR and the next week at The Milwaukee Mile watching Paul Menard beat up on the Nextel Cup regulars again when he got his first career Busch Series victory. Back in July after I attended the race at NHIS, I wrote a piece called "The Statue of the NASCAR Busch Series".

I got to wonder with most of the Nextel Cup Series drivers that did double duty in 2006 saying that they will not run the 07 full-time schedule and some only running a part-time schedule, what will the Busch Series look like and how many cars next year.

Finally, two interesting things to think about that I will remember from this seasons finale in Homestead was:
1. Back with 36ish to go, Kenseth had a bad pitstop and said on the radio, I'm disappointed and I don't think my car will came in in time...he started in the top 10 and by 10 to go, he took the leader and won the Homestead race. WOW, what... and 2. Congraduation to Jason Leffler, at Homestead Leffler completed to Wallace Quad, he has hit or wrecked Rusty Wallace, Mike Wallace, Kenny Wallace and now Steven Wallace (Rustys Son), thats all of them, what an achevement and all in one season.

After all of that, all I can say is See Yeah! in 2007 at Daytona.

NASCAR Truck Series crowns champion and season wrap-up

What a season for the 2006 NASCAR Craftsmen Truck Series, after last nights finale in Homestead, the season has seen alot of its fair share in the good racing category including watching Johnny Benson grab the lead in the final laps at Michigan to take his first career victory and he followed that up that his season victory at the next race at The Milwaukee Mile which added to his five career victories of the season and put him in contendion for the championship. One of those victories was at New Hampshire, were I got the chance to see him win in person, he fought for the top spot most of the day with Todd Bodine, Matt Martin and others before driving away from the field in the closing laps.

Speeking of Martin Martin, just like in the Busch Series, Martin added to an already impressive stats by winning the season best of six victories, including capturing his first career truck series victory at the season opener in Daytona. In just about any race that Martin won this season, five of them, he made it look easy, but remember back to the second race of the season at California, he had to fight back and forth to hold off Todd Bodine for the win.


Todd Bodine celebrates winning the 2006 NASCAR Craftsmen Truck Series Championship.
(Photo taken by AP, published on NASCAR.com article)

Included in the highs was the championship battle with a two-way fight down to the finale in Homestead last night were Todd Bodine beat out Johnny Benson to capture not only his first Truck Series championship, but brought home the Bodine families first NASCAR championship. Todd won three races this season including one at hot one at Atlanta. The championship battle thsi season was tight, mostly do to both Benson and Bodine having good luck and bad luck mostly at the same races. It was rare to see one of them have a really good day and the other to see a bad day including crashing out or a drive shaft breaking apart.

I would have to say, most of the season was just that, a good season, one thing that does comes under the lows was one change of venue on the seasons schedule, seeing Richmond be replaced by Talladega was not the highlight of the season, Richmond had always been a race I look forward to seeing every year under the lights and I didn't enjoy the race at Talladaga. Come to think of it, I don't enjoy any race at Talladega, but thats beside the point.

In terms of the championship and the season, I would have been happy to see it go either way for the championship and hats of to all for a good season, until next year in Daytona, See Yeah!

Friday, November 17, 2006

A Followup: The Ferrari Panamerican 20000 receives the checkered flag.


(Credit: Photo by Diane Bondareff)

Earlier this morning, The Ferrari Panamerican 20000 that started back on August 29th in Brazil, ended their three-month tour with the crossing of the finish line at the New York Stock Exchange in New York City.

Photo Gallery, Tour Information and My Previous Post:
- Finish Line at the New York Stock Exchange Gallery
- Ferrari Panamerican 20000 Info
- Shifting Gears on the Ferrari Panamerican 20000 (Previous Post)

(Credit for the information and links: Erin Caldwell - Edelman)

See Yeah!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

When do you say, its over?

That title begs the question in two different Motorsports Series, When do you say, its over for the championship.

In the NHRA, this past weekend in Pomona was the season finale and along with that, two divisions still had points championships still yet to be crowned, the first one was in the Funny Car division with a three-way fight beteen John Force, Force's teammate Robert Hight and Ron Capps. This championship came down to if John Force won two rounds, then he would became champion. In round 2, the biggest matchup was John force vs. Ron Capps, if John wins, he clinches and he did just that, he clinched the 2006 NHRA Funny Car Championship, his 14th NHRA Funny Car Championship. With the championship already decided, it was time to race and would you have know it, John Force ended up winning the event.

In the Top Fuel Division, the same outcome for the points leader Doug Kalitta would be challeging one with second in points Tony Schumacher coming hard. For Tony Schumacher to win the championship in a come from behind fashion, he had to win the event and set a national ET record. Believe or not, Kalitta went out in round 2 and that ment that Tony Schumacher still was in the championship fight. All he had to do was win all of the racing (event) and set a national ET record...and in one of the biggest come back victories in history, Tony schumacher won the 2006 NHRA Top Fuel Championship with a record pass of 4.428 at 327.98 mph.

For the second year in a row, the NHRA series has had there championships go down to the finale and in two cases, down to the winner takes all. Next year, the NHRA will adopt a NASCAR style 8 race championship showdown. (Read more on the NHRA Showdown..)

Now in NASCAR, coming out of Phoenix following yet another domanating performance by Kevin Harvick as he swept both of the 2006 Nextel Cup Phoenix races with Jimmie Johnson finishing in 2nd place yet again, the points championship has a more open picture, there are still five contenders mathamatically in the hunt for the 2006 Nextel Cup Championship with the points leader Jimmie Johnson having a 63 point lead over Matt Kenseth. Kevin Harvick and Denny Hamlin in 3rd and 4th are tied with 90 points back and in fifth is Dale Earnhardt Jr. with 115 points behind.

Now thinking about the idea of any of the five contenders could win the championship in homestead, it makes me wonder why some are giving the championship away to the points leader Jimmie Johnson before the checkered flag has flown. Looking back at the NHRA's Top Fuel Championship battle that had a come from behind championship winner, we might not all be so quick to say that the Chase for the Nextel Cup Championship is over.

Looking ahead to next weekend in Homestead, if Jimmie Johnson can finish 12th or better, then he will become the 2006 Nextel Cup Champion regardless of what the other contenders do, and that will cap off an already winning season for the #48 team.

See Yeah! - Championship Edition next week after Homestead.

Thursday, November 9, 2006

NASCAR: A fews words on Texas and Phoenix Nextel Cup Races.

Here we are just past mid-week and its just a few days before the final Nextel Cup Series races of the season sprint to the finish, but before Phoenix enters, I must put a period on last weekends cup race in Texas.

I would summary the Texas cup race with one bold statement: Pure Domanation, Payback and a legend's last race.

Pure Domanation: For the second week in a row and many times this season, the class of the field at Texas was the man they call SMOKE, Tony Stewart was in simple terms, on rails for most of this race. he had the entire field covered. What a good race and a victory. "Space available for Hardware". Can he win again in Phoenix...

Payback: I think we all know what I am talking about, but here its it, in the closing laps, going through turn 3 & 4, Kevin Harvick hit or came close to the #10 Scott Riggs sending him into the wall, after the on track incident, Kevin Harvick and his wife, Delana, were walking back in the garage area near the fuel pumps and then, Kevin was shoved by a #10 crewman sending Kevin and DeLana Harvick along with a NASCAR Offical to the ground. The Harvicks were uninjured, but the NASCAR Offical did suffer a sprained ankel.

After a NASCAR Investigation, the results were the #10 crewman was suspended indefinitely and fined $10,000.

What a move from behind, there were better ways to tell Harvick just what you thought of his driving without shoving him, whats next...come to think it, I don't want to guess.


(Credit: Motorsport.com) Caption at the bottom reads: Terry Labonte and his son Justin driving a replica of Terry's first race car lead the field on a pace lap just before the Dickies 500 last Sunday.

A Legend's last race: The Dickies 500 at Texas also marked the final Nextel Cup Series race for Texas Terry Labonte also known as the "Iron Man" and the Ice Man" in what was an incredible career including 849 career starts, 2 championships and 22 wins in the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series. He will be missed.

Looking ahead to Phoenix, five drivers left in the chase for the Nextel Cup within 106 points of leader Jimmie Johnson.

See Yeah!

Wednesday, November 8, 2006

Review of Hooked On Driving with David Ray DVD


Hooked on Driving with David Ray is basically a 50 minute DVD that provides helpful tips and in-the-driving-seat examples that can prepare any level driver for the track.



This DVD is not just for the person (including me) who has never considered joining a car club and taking there own street car to a local track day, but is also for the automotive enthusiant who does want to see just what there car is capable of, then this DVD has some great tips on just how to get started doing so, including starting off with the technical inspection of your own car and all the way up to just how you should drive on the racetrack.

Like it says, "Getting on track". I would like to thank Erin Caldwell from Edelman for providing me with this preview.

See Yeah!

Thursday, November 2, 2006

Highlights from SEMA Show 2006.

Wow, for a lot of car enthusiants and beyond, this week marks one of the biggest shows for the aftermarket, the SEMA Show in Las Vegas. I am always amazed with just what some of these manufacturers, designers, and builders can come up with in how to transform a stock vehicle or plain sheet metal into something of a work of art. Some of the vehicles photos that I saw on alot of blogs and websites that covered this huge event were out there and for the most part I was impressed.

The two of these vehicles that most impressed me was Chip Foose's Hemisfear, a hotrod that Chip has been working on for years and what a combination of colors - black and what looks to be gray/carbin fiber look and the other, oldly enough, its the Edelbrock 1932 Ford Roadster, simply put, the TV Show "RIDES" had an episode dedicated to the building and unveiling of this read and if you look really close on the photo, under the hood is an image of the american flag and I believe it says the words "Made in America".

Photo Gallary:
Click on photos for a bigger image.


(Credit: Sportruck.com)
Chip Foose's Hemisfear


(Credit: Sportruck.com)
Edelbrock's 1932 Ford Roadster, this roadster "Made in America" was featured on TLC's show "RIDES".


(Credit: Sportruck.com)
A diesel-powered 2007 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon Unlimited


(Credit: RSportscars.com)
2006 Cadillac EcoJet Concept - Jay Leno, GM Advanced Design Studio Create a Bio-Diesel Supercar.


(Credit: Cardomain Blog)
A deep metallic green 1967 Ford Mustang Fastback with a ROUSH 427 IR crate engine putting out 552 horsepower. Previous Post with Press Release.


(Credit: Autoblog)
Inspiration by Dale Earnhardt Jr's own "Big Red", all-new "Big Red Silverado with an off-road package, an #8 in the front grill and Dale Jr. signature on the both sides of the truck.

Here are a couple of blogs and sites that are covering this years SEMA Show with posting photos, check them out.
- Autoblog.com
- Sportruck.com
- CarDomain Blog
- RSportscars.com
From a reader:
- SEMA Show Insider by Car Crazy Central
More...
- MustangDepot of Las Vegas

See Yeah!

Wednesday, November 1, 2006

Robby Gordon penalized for causing Atlanta caution with 30 laps to go.

Here we are again as NASCAR has handed down another penalty just days following a Nextel Cup race. After a two-day investigation including re-inspecting Gordon's #7 Chevrolet and watching some of NBC's race footage, NASCAR announced earlier today that they have two clear views of roll-bar padding came from Gordon's car to cause a debris caution with 30 laps to go that helped Gordon in getting the lucky dog and hurt chase contender Jeff Burton.

The penalty, for Robby Gordon himself was a fine of $15,000, a loss of 50 driver and 50 owner points and put on probation until the end of the year. In addition, Gordon's crew chief Greg Erwin has been fined $10,000 due to violations of Sections 12-A and 12-4-N -- and 9-4-A (crew chief assumes responsibility for the actions of his/her driver, car owner and team members). Erwin also has been placed on probation until Dec. 31. (Read more...) ('06 Cup Series penalties..)

My Thoughts: These penalties are some what in line with what NASCAR has handed-out in years past to drivers, but the penilty doesn't fit the crime, he got off to easy, what about $25,000 fine, loss of 50-100 driver and 50-100 owners points and disqualified from the race resulting in 43rd place points and money, that would make drivers think twice.

One thing I don't understand is why the crew chief got fined and put on probation for, I read the the rule book wording, but he wasn't driving the car or caused the caution with debris, that I don't understand. Nevertheless, whats done is done, hopefully other drivers will see this and not try it. Thats it.

Monday, October 30, 2006

It was Montoya in Memphis and the man they call SMOKE Tony Stewart in Atlanta that shined this past weekend

Here we are again as another racing weekend comes to an end and what as interesting racing weekend at that, I don't know who made the schedule for this past weekend, but they really need to look at it again in the future. The schedule had the Busch Series race on at the same time as the IROC series followed by the Truck Series at Atlanta. Then Sunday's race started at 3pm, I hate late starts to racing including on a Sunday that we had to turn our clocks back an hour on and that goes for any race weekend, at least Atlanta has lightning, but other tracks don't.

But lets look at the good side of this weekend, first things first, Saturday under the sun in both Memphis and Atlanta had its moments...

The focus on Saturday, at least in my eyes, was on Juan Montoya making his Busch Series debut at the 1 mile Memphis Speedway and also in Atlanta, at the always spot on IROC Series race of who would be the 2006 IROC champion.

With all of the media and fan attention in Memphis on Montoya, Montoya first outen was basically the same as his ARCA debut, they both had there moments, in Memphis, with starting and running in the bottom half of the top 10, Montoya stayed out of trouble until he made an on track error, at least in his eyes when he spin mid-way thur the race, but just like at his ARCA debut in Talladega, he recovered and climbed back up into the lead group to finish in the 11th position. For Montoya, it was announced yesterday that the next race is going to be next week in Texas for the 300 miler. It has also been talked about and in one case reported that Montoya may run the remaining Busch Series races this season and that NASCAR has approved him to run in the Nextel Cup Series finale at Homestead in a couple of weeks if both Montoya and Ganassi wanted to. Like I said, no confirmed reports, but would hate to think of Montoya having to make his Nextel Cup debut on the 2.5 miler Superspeedway in Daytona next febuary.

One does have to wonder if with all of the attention from both Media and Fans that Montoya got in his Busch Series debut, what will the open wheel/IRL champion Sam Hornish Jr. receive when he makes his Busch series debut at Phoenix in two weeks. Hornish will drive the #39 for Penske Racing, the same car that both Ryan Newman and Kurt Busch have driven in select races all year long.

As for Atlanta, the racing in all three series were spot on with great racing all around, but this weekend would belong to the man they call SMOKE, Tony Stewart...for Saturday's IROC race, it was Martin Truex Jr. once again making a late race pass to win the IROC race and SMOKE would come up capturing the 2006 IROC Championship. But the weekend was not over for SMOKE as the next evening would prove that SMOKE will be a contender in the 2007 Chase, Tony Stewart delivered an impressive performance all race long battling for the top stop with Jeff Gordon, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and a couple of other chase contenders and after a late race caution, which was one of many, SMOKE grabed the lead from Dale Jr. and never looked back as he capped off an impressive win in the Bass Pro Shop 500 with his trademark climbing the fence to the starters stand.

(Photo Credit: Joe Sebo / The Associated Press / Thatsracin.com)

Did anyone see that trophy for the Nextel Cup winner, its huge, a big bear...the big question after the race and even during the race was in the announcers booth, who ever wins the race, how is the winner going to get it home.

What about the Chase for the Nextel Cup, the picture of who is in and who is out is a little clearer within the top 5, maybe the top 6 still in the hunt.

Points Standings wise, Matt kenseth comes out of Atlanta with the leader, Jimmie Johnson 2nd -26 back, Denny Hamlin grabs 3rd -65 back, Dale Jr. closes to 4th tied with Jeff Burton -84 points back and Kevin Harvick in 6th -121 points back. Rightnow its just the top 6, 7 thur 10 is more than a race out. Three races to go, next week at Texas, then off to Phoenix and finally
the finale showdown under the Florida sun at Homestead with that varable banking coming into play.

Before I leave the 500 in Atlanta, there was a big story that cae out during the race on two of many of the cautions that was thrown for debre on track, one in which had some video of a piece of rollbar padding came from around Robby Gordon's car, but the video could not tell if Gordon just hit it or it came out from his car.

The next action was from the NBC TV booth trying to find more video of this...WindTunnel on SPEED desided to ask to the question: Should the TV networks do their own investigating or leave it to NASCAR? I have to agree with Dave Despain, I believe that its the TV's job to find the reason for the caution and if its debre, find it and put it on TV and if they can't find it, tell us so.

Finally, How about next weekend at Texas, Texas will mark the final Nextel Cup race for Terry Labonte, what a career for the two-time Nextel Cup Champion.

Thats it for me here.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

NASCAR's Car of Tomorrow with one photo of the COT that says Wait a minute.

(Photo: Getty Images/Rusty Jarrett/Speedtv.com)

Going beyond the Nextel Cup racing from Atlanta and the Chase for the Nextel Cup Series, NASCAR fans were shocked on friday when Hendrick Motorsports and Chevrolet unveiled the all new Chevrolet Impala SS that was shown off in the #48 Lowe's Chevy colors for Jimmie Johnson. Chevrolet will now run the Monte Carlo SS on the current car for 2007 and 2008 and the Impala SS on the COT starting at Bristol next year. There is also talk about Dodge doing the same with the Dodge Avenger, no confirmation...we will all know when Dodge makes there announcement.

Now in all fairness, I have writen about the COT a couple times before, but with all of the talk going around and some drivers and teams coming out publically and saying what they think of the Car of Tomorrow including this article on NASCAR.com and another article on Motorsport.com, this issue deserves at least one more blast from me. Now my readers know what I already think of the COT, its ugly, its also begining to remind me of an IROC (granded I like the look of the IROC cars for only 12 of them) or TRAC car crossed with an Grand-american Rolex car. Its rear spoiler and front spliter is not what NASCAR's fans are use to seeing on track, but all NASCAR fans really want or at least me is a racecar that looks similer to the street verison with the safety and technology features of the COT, thats it. Its an R/T racecar model of the street verison.

My Closing Statement: To everyone in the NASCAR community, for NASCAR to really understand were its drivers, teams, owners, and fans are coming from on this COT issue, NASCAR will have to see this car in action starting at Bristol in order to fully understand just what we all are talking about, I will say that the 2007 Nextel Cup Season will be one for the record books and beyond, it will be a season of testing this COT in race format to see it all unfold...we are all going to have to live with it, unless the heads of NASCAR say otherwise, but I will say that after Bristol, things will start to be come clearer with every passing COT involved race, its NASCAR's show,

Now what about cost, safety and how do we get it to look better and create better/safer racing?

Thats all

Racedriven.com previous articles on the COT:
1. January - "NASCAR: Car of Tomorrow in 2007?"
2. Late August - "NASCAR's Car Of Tomorrow final version coming at you"
3. Late October - "Half-way home in the Chase for the Nextel Cup and more on the COT"

Thats it for me, any thoughts?

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Shifting Gears: Ferrari Panamerican 20000, two Unique Whips Nissans and Allmendinger to Toyota.

Let's Shift Gears:

Shell's long time technical partnership with Ferrari is about to get longer - 20,000 miles longer. The Ferrari Panamerican 20,000 mile Tour which includes two all new Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano, will continue on a three-month tour that started from Brazil in August and will be rolling into Las Vegas, NV on there way to the conclution in New York on November 17th. During is tour, these Ferrari's will pass through Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Dallas, New Orleans, on down to Miami and up Washington, Chicago, Toronto and finally down to New York.(Read more...)
(Credit: Erin Caldwell - Edelman)

"Unique Whips Crew Executes Hot New Designs for Marc Ecko-Nissan Project".
I look at these two Nissans and I try to really see what they were going for, but the first thing that I thought when I say this photo above was "What were they thinking? (Read more...)
(Credit for photo: SPEEDtv.com article)

What a headline over at NASCAR.com,
"Allmendinger inks Cup deal with Red Bull". (Read more..),

Update, hears more of a headline...Speedtv.com is reporting that that Forsythe Racing has released A.J. Allmendinger and he will not race in the finale at Mexico City in November and replaced him with Buddy Rice.

My Take on this entire A.J. Allmendinger - NASCAR and Champ Car connection...
These two headlines have caught me off guard completely, I didn't know what to make of A.J. Allmendinger coming to NASCAR in 2007 for Red Bull Racing considering that he has only made a couple of starts in the Craftsmen Truck Series for Bill Davis Racing. A.J. Allmendinger history has been in champ car racing and his career has been headlined when him had been released from RuSport after the Milwaukee race and then stepped into the Forsythe Racing's second ride at Portland and not only won his first race out for Forsythe Racing, but has won a total of five races this season and now sits 2nd in points. This story on Speedtv.com gets even more out there, the story also says that Forsythe Racing may run a third car for another driver at the finale, what I don't understand, is why Forsythe Racing doesn't just run three cars with the 1st car with Paul Tracy, 2nd car with A.J. Allmendinger and the third car with Buddy Rice....

One more thing, don't get me wrong, I am happy to see Buddy Rice get his shot in Champ Car and I hope he wins too, but what a way for Forsythe Racing to look ahead at 2007, but not to cover his winningest driver in 2006.

See Yeah!

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Schumacher's last F1 race, champion crowned and Massa wins from pole all from the Brazilian GP.

As far as Formula 1 racing goes, I have not been a fan for that long (meaning watching every event and even getting up to watch them live on TV), I started watching F1 sometime before the first United States Grand Prix, so when the question came up last Sunday night on WindTunnel, who is the greatest Formula 1 driver in history, I really had no one to compare to the 7-time champion Michael Schumacher too. But from the way the comments went on WindTunnel, most F1 fans would say the Schumacher is the greatest of all time. He was willing to what it took to win.

This question was asked just hours after the 7-time champion competed in his last formula 1 race of his career for Ferrari, but just like in most of the races this year, Michael Schumacher didn't go quiety, but for Schumacher who was chancing his 8th world championship, Michael had a hard task to over come with his rival Alonso having a 10 point lead and for Schumacher to win, he must have won the race..Alonso would have had to finish outside the points to create the tie an the tie breaker would have come down to victories this season.


(Credit: Motorsport.com/xpb.cc

But during the sundays race, it was not to be, not the championship and not the victory. It would have been interesting to see Schumacher win in his final race and at least have a chance at the championship, but between Alonso running in the top 4 and finsihing in the second position and Schumachers bad luck with trying to pass another competitor, creating a flat tire, he just missed out, but in my opinion, that didn't stop Schumacher from showing that he is still the greatest driver out there when he had to make up all most a lap on the entire field, he kept setting fast lap after fast lap and driveing like he stole that car an d ended up finshing 4th, what a finish to an amazing career. We will miss Michael Schumacher in Formula 1, despite whether you liked or hated him, he was impressive to watch in pure domanating fashion.

As for the crowning of a champion, for Fernando Alonso, he showed the entire world that he is one of the best Formula one drivers on track today, to be one of the best, you must beat the best and he did just that, for the second straight year, Fernando Alonso became yet again the youngest driver to every win the World Championship in F1 history and he did it by beating Michael Schumacher. In my book, in 2007, Fernando Alonso will be the one to beat in F1, hands-down.

So after teh checkered flag dropped, it was Ferrari finishing 1-4 with Massa picking up the victory from pole and Renault picking up the 2006 World Championship with Fernando Alonso and the 2006 Constructors Championship, what a way to end the 2006 F1 season, next year, Fernando Alonso will be racing for McLaren-Mercedes, what will that be like.

Well thats it for Formula 1

See Yeah!

Monday, October 23, 2006

Getting back to life in general

For me, I don't normally write on my personal life and I have a standing rule on blogging about work and that rule on blogging about work will alway stand (unless my boss says otherwise), but I have decided to go a little more outside the box. One thing that I have recently thought of, what is all of my high school friends up to? When I left high school and went off in the other direction to college, I lost touch with many if not all of them with in a year of graduation and didn't know what to expect now.

The last couple of days have been crazy for me, I recently found one of my high school friends online, so I decided to sign up for the ever most popular MySpace. Now I already have a ton of work to do, as many of my readers may or may not know, I have been looking for a full-time job for some time now and if there are any employers in Massachusetts, RI or CT interested in a hard working, check out http://www.briandesign.net/, my professional portfolio, but while search for work and trying to get a bigger portfolio/work history, I began testing my writing skills in blogging and for the past 19 months+, it has been great and loving it, at times it is interesting coming up with articles/columns week after week, but I am working it all out and this blog racedriven is the results. Perfect. I am still working on the main traffic (hits) to the site, if people don't know about this blog, then I have not done one of my jobs - marketing. So between those two things, other things have taken a backseat. You learn by trial and error and a college education.

Speeking of pieces, what a weekend in Motorsports action including Alonso winning back to back World Championships in formula 1 and the greatest driver in f1 history, Michael Schumacher's finale race, the Brazilian Grand Prix and he didn't go quitely, plus Jimmie Johnson winning at Martinsville while the points leader Jeff Burton had engine problems.

I'm getting off course here, Back to my MySpace page, after one friend was found, then I soon found five more of them hinding out here and there and they soon noticed that I was in the same place that I have been for most of my life including all thoughout high school. I also recently found, that I am the long single man of the group and that everyone is married or soon to be. Now I really feel like that show "What about Brian", but it doesn't bother me, I have no plans in that area, career first, than dating...thats just me. The myspace craze is still in and dispite the off attention it gets, its a good place to get high school and college updates and hookup with old friends. Its all that simple.

Wow, and its only Monday Night/early Tuesday Morning.

I am now working on a all new personal, yet professional website over at briandesign.net, is it that time already to give it a face lift or make a new version (v4.0 or something), every 12 to 18 months. Well thats it for now.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

What's up in the NASCAR Busch Series?

First things first, congratulate to both Kevin Harvick for clinching the 2006 NASCAR Busch Series Championship and to Dave Blaney for (surviving) winning the John Deere 250 last Friday night at Charlotte (Lowe's) Motor Speedway.

In two weeks, the Busch Series will be once again be in action in Memphis and in the Nextel Cup rookie in training Juan Montoya will make his Busch Series debut.

Press Release from CGR: Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates (CGRFS) announced today Juan Pablo Montoya will make his NASCAR debut on October 28 in the NASCAR Busch Series race at Memphis (Tenn.) Motorsports Park. Montoya will pilot the No. 42 Texaco/Havoline Dodge in his third stock car race since joining the organization.

Montoya competed in his first stock car event in the ARCA RE/MAX Series at Talladega Superspeedway on October 6, where he grabbed the outside pole on his way to finishing third. He ran in the ARCA Series finale at Iowa Speedway on Sunday where he started third and finished 24th. He led 12 laps before making contact with another competitor that sent him behind the wall for repairs.

Montoya tested a NEXTEL Cup car at the Memphis track last week, and is currently participating in his first official NASCAR sanctioned test at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

The Memphis Busch race is scheduled to start at 2:10 p.m. ET on Saturday, October 28 with live race coverage beginning at 2 p.m. ET on NBC (TV) and MRN (Radio).

After a pure domanes by Kevin Harvick this season in the Busch Series and the number of Nextel Cup drivers doing double duty, what will the 2007 season bring for fans going beyond just the new television package including now that most of the Nextel Cup drivers will not be doing double duty anymore because the Cup car is going to the COT. Hopefully the Busch Series will create a totally new image that seperates them for the Cup Series starting with lower costs, new crate cars and beyond. Any thoughts?

Check Out my article on the "Status of the Busch Series" wrote back in the year..

See Yeah!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Half-way home in the Chase for the Nextel Cup and more on the COT

With just five races to go in the Chase for the Nextel Cup, Last Saturday night's 500 miler at Charlotte (Lowe's) Motor Speedway showed that no driver is out of this championship yet even if you are 200 points out.

For Kasey Kahne, last Saturday night showed that he is still the one to beat on 1.5 milers and bigger and that he is not out of this championship by no means. With that for the second straight week, Kahne, who has finished 2nd at Talladega and won last Saturday nights Charlotte race has brought himself to just over one race out in the championship.

On the flip side of that was Jeff Gordon who had troubles during the race and yet again finishing well down in the standings, now finds himself 10th -216 points out of the lead, but still in the hunt. But surprisingly, No one driver has yet taken off with this championship points lead and it appears that no one will.

For all ten of these drivers, the championship chase is not over, one bad finish for the points leader like what happened last week at Talladega and one good finish or even a victory by another chaser could result in as much as 156 point swing. Its still too early for anyone to say that they are out of this championship hunt, but if Jeff Burton continues with top 5-10 finishes for the remainder five races, only to top 5 in points will have any shot.

Point Standings and finishing position in last Saturday night's race in Charlotte:
1. Jeff Burton Leader and finished 3rd
2. Matt Kenseth -45 -- 14th
3. Kevin Harvick -89 -- 18th
4. Mark Martin -102 -- 30th
5. Dale Earnhardt Jr. -106 -- 4th
6. Denny Hamlin -137 -- 28th
7. Jimmie Johnson -146 -- 2nd
8. Kasey Kahne -160 -- Winner
9. Kyle Busch -195 -- 6th
10. Jeff Gordon -216 -- 24th


(Credit: Turner Sports New Media/NASCAR.com)

More on Car of Tomorrow: Going beyond the Chase and looking toward 2007, the Car of Tomorrow continues to make noise with another test session this time down at Homestead Motor Speedway. This test has 56 COT cars testing between Monday and Wednesday. Most of the Nextel Cup teams have COT's already made and now there is talk about several teams asking NASCAR to consider debuting the COT superspeedway program, a little early at the spring Talladega race instead of the fall Talladega race. It seems that with the repaving of the Talladega superspeedway, it has made the track very different from its sister track Daytona and that now teams must build all new cars for just that one race.

I like this idea too, its at least $150,000 per car plus labor to build and for some of these car owners, triple to five times that amount. Don't forget the backup car as well. I hate to say this, but a couple of weeks ago, Jeff Gordon made the comment that he would rather wait until 2008 and just run the COT and I still agree with that.

Just added (Oct. 18th at 10:10pm): I just read Darrell Waltrip's column on allwaltrip.com and he has an interesting look at the COT, does anyone remember The Team Racing Auto Circuit, or TRAC, the racing series that was going to take on NASCAR, those cars look a little like NASCAR's COT. Look at the photo below of the Mustangs, Camaros, Firebirds and Corvettes with splitter noses and wings on the back and then look above at the #26 Ford Fusion Nextel Cup COT, interesting, I do see it, its similer...thanks DW.


Team Racing Auto Circuit unveiled three cars at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway in April 2002 (Las Vegas Review-Journal) Photo also from allwaltrip.com

See Yeah!

Saturday, October 14, 2006

"Reactor" Mustang To Light Up ROUSH Performance SEMA Show Booth


A deep metallic green 1967 Ford Mustang Fastback with a ROUSH 427 IR crate engine putting out 552 horsepower. I really can't tell what this muscle car looks like from this sketch, but looking about some of the other mustangs that Ringbrothers have built, this is going to be sick. (Sick is a term that means incredible like Joe Rogan Sick fish Cuda). Can't wait until SEMA in November to see photos of all those creations.

Roush Performance Press Release: LIVONIA, Mich. (October 11, 2006) – ROUSH Performance, a leader in Ford Mustang upgrades, will showcase a very unique Mustang in their booth during the 2006 SEMA Show in Las Vegas. Dubbed "Reactor," this 1967 Ford Mustang Fastback took more than 2000 hours to build.

The gorgeous deep metallic green vehicle is owned by Doug Hoppe of Sioux Center, Iowa who commissioned the Ringbrothers to rebuild the car with one simple objective – to contend for the 2007 Good Guys Street Machine of the Year award.

"The Reactor is a car build that we are really proud of, and I know that Doug (Hoppe) is thrilled with how it turned out," said Mike Ring, Ringbrothers co-owner. "We did all we could with the car, and are very excited to debut it to the world in the ROUSH Performance booth at the SEMA Show."

Among the myriad of modifications to the "Reactor," some of the most subtle are those that make the biggest difference in the overall appearance. This would include changes such as splitting the rear window glass, removing the drip rails and door handles, and adding several hand-made carbon fiber parts such as the deck lid, hood, front fascia, front and rear bumpers and tail light panel. The interior of the vehicle was designed in a sleek, European style.

On opening the hood, the first thing noticeable is the ROUSH 427 IR crate engine, a work of art itself. Generating 552 horsepower and 535 lb.-ft. torque, this engine has forged pistons, rods and cranks in a race-ready block. As with all the ROUSH Performance crate engines, this was hot tested with multiple pulls on a dyno to document the horsepower and comes with a 2-year/24,000 mile warranty, the best in the industry.

"The ‘Reactor’ represents the type of vehicle that we are seeing more and more of our crate engines being used in," said Todd Andrews, ROUSH Performance’s performance engines sales and marketing manager. "More of the very high-end specialty builders recognize the craftsmanship to our engines and they are quickly becoming the first choice among this group. We are thrilled to be part of this Mustang and honored to have it displayed in our SEMA booth."

Following the SEMA Show, the "Reactor" will go on tour visiting several Good Guys events across the country, and other indoor shows such as the 2007 Detroit Autorama. *For those who are interested in the details about all that went into building this Mustang can read about it in Scott Killeen’s "Build Book," due in February. This book features approximately 300 pages detailing each step of build process from concept through completion, all in full color.

The "Reactor," along with a variety of ROUSH Performance vehicles, high-performance parts and crate engines, will be on display throughout the SEMA Show in the ROUSH Performance booth which is located at 24701.

The Ringbrothers, comprised of Mike and Jim Ring, specialize in turning old Mustangs into works of art. Often armed with nothing but a vision and a few tools, the Spring Green, Wis., company uses their skill, imagination and experience to turn a classic car into a one-of-a-kind Mustang. For more information, visit online at http://www.ringbrothers.com/ or telephone (608) 588-7399.

Based in Livonia, Mich., "The Art of Performance Engineering" takes place at Roush Performance. In addition to the Stage 1, Stage 2 and Stage 3 Ford Mustang and F-150 styling, handling and performance upgrades, a complete line of performance parts and crate engines are offered. For more information see your local ROUSH dealer, visit http://www.roushperformance.com/ or telephone toll-free (800) 59-ROUSH.

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Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Yaffe verus Perewitz on Discovery's Biker Build Off

Lets all take a minute to look at two pieces of art in the form of custom choppers. On earlier tonight's Discovery Channel's Biker Biuld Off, two big named bike builds went head to head in a 10 day build off that ended with a long ride to sturgis bike show and a winner.


Dave Perewitz from Bridgewater, Mass.
(Thats 24 coats of paint right there)


A Paul Yaffe Original from Phoenix, Arizona

And the winner is..Dave Perewitz...What's your vote?
My vote goes to the King of Flames Dave Perewitz with his chopper, I have always loved his choppers hands-down.

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Monday, October 9, 2006

Shifting Gears: F1 in Japan, Nextel Cup in Talladega and NHRA in Virginia

You talk about the championship fight, two of there three series has one on there hands in one way or anyother. This past weekend had just about everything including a blown engine, wrecking a teammate to win and lots of rain.

First up was early this morning's Formula 1 race in Suzuka Japan for the Japanese Grand Prix, going in, the championship was tied between Alonso and Schumacher, but after this race, the championship would once again take a huge right turn when with 17 laps to go, Michael Schumacher's Ferrari engine let go in a huge cloud of smoke, giving a already closing Alonso the lead and the victory.

Now with the final race in two weeks in Brazil, the championship fight is on Alonso's side with a 10 point lead over Schumacher. One way to look at it for Schumacher fans going in to the season finale is that Michael Schumacher must win the race and Alonso scores no points resulting in a tie with the tie breaker being the number of victories giving Schumacher the championship. Like I said, thats one way to go, its all in Alonso's hands, he scores points, he could drive off with his second straight championship, anything can happen.

Simply put, NHRA drivers, teams, fans and more are going to have to wait another week for these championships to resume with another race postponed by rain until next weekend.


(Credit: Photo from NASCAR.com/CIA Stock Photo)

Finally, the huge bang with the Chase to the Nextel Cup Championship, enter Talladega and the fear of "The Big One". With that said...two big one's happened from this fans stand point and this race was not for the weak at heart, the championship took a big hit with some of the contenders ending up having problems either on pitroad or having gotten into the big one that happen going into turn 1 and 2 on lap 137 with 10 cars involved.

Going beyond that I take you to the final lap going down the backstraight into turn 3 with Dale Jr leading and teammates Jimmie Johnson and Brian Vickers in 2nd and 3rd getting a run with the almost pass for the lead happening and then a outragis movewhen Vickers hooked Johnson that sent him into Dale Jr. sending them spinning and giving Brian Vickers his first career victory in a unpleasing fashion (to say the least) to everyone.

The headline is "Brian Vickers wrecks teammate to win at Talladega", this was not the way that anyone should get there first career victory and I am thinking black flag instead. Finally...I am reminded that this is restrictor plate racing and I agree they should bulldose the banking and reconfig the track with less banking and lets go racing. Bottom line, its a "Demotion Derby" plain and simple.

The championship...No Results or Standings as of Sunday late night, Jeff burton still leads the points, but who knows how much. Wait until afternoon on Monday. (NASCAR.com)

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Wednesday, October 4, 2006

Which championship fight is more exciting - Formula 1, NHRA or NASCAR

With all of the close championships in Motorsports that are going on rightnow, it was only fitting that last Sunday night's WindTunnel on SPEED would get in on the subject too with there question of the week. But after hereing a comment in the late stages of the show, I decided to add a little bit more to it, so the question is:

Which championship fight is more exciting - Alonso vs Schumacher in Formula 1, Force vs Capps in NHRA's Funny Car or The Chase for the Nextel Cup Championship in NASCAR.

The idea of picking on over anyother is not the easiest thing for a Motorsports fan to do, but what is really going on in each series...

In Formula 1, on Sunday before WindTunnel, in an article I touched on this championship battle and the Chinese Grand Prix that resulted in a tie in the championship between Alonso and Schumacher. Basically, this fight will come down to the line with just two races to go. Read more...

Mean time in the NHRA, each of the four top series has a big battle going on among the top runners, but the most talked about and watched for that matter has been in Funny Cars with John Force, Ron Capps and Robert Hight battling it out with Force leading Capps by just 1 point and Force's teammate Hight who has been on a teir as of late winning two of the last three event closing the gap up to just 35 points back. Last years championship came down to the final race with Gary Scelzi winning over John Force. This year, the three way fight will likely yet again go down to the final event in Pomona.

No predictions here on this fight, but I have been trying to watch these events a much as possible for not only the simple reason of I am getting to like it, drag racing, but I have been a fan of John Force and John Force racing since before I meet him at Racearama in 1996, when I got his autography, he was so full of life them, and he still is today. He can get the the job down, no doubt and these John Force Racing teams are the best in Funny Car.

Finally, the Chase for the Nextel Cup Championship in NASCAR with a 10-race 10 driver championship battle that if you have been keeping tabs on, no one is yet out of this. Really it is to early to predict a winner, but that has never stopped me with my early top driver finishing order prediction that I created just after the first chase race at New Hampshire. I predicted Kasey Kahne would win the championship because of his results on the final 9 races to go and those tracks over Kevin Harvick, but rightnow, its his teammate Jeff Burton not only returning to his winning ways when he won at Dover, but has taking an early points lead of 69 points over the very impressive rookie Denny Hamlin and 1 more point back over Mark Martin. The top three are only seperated by 70 points with just 7 races to go and unpredictable Talladega Superspeedway is up next were "The Big One" might appear.

My final 10 driver finishing order predictions..Read Here

In the past and now I have no love lost for Talladgea racing, but I try to keep an open mind, its only 2 races a year. With three races to go, the chase picture might look a lot clearer to some, but who knows. I hope in away I am wrong with my prediction of the top finishing order, because I am a Dale Earnhardt Jr. fan and he is down, but not out by any means. The #8 Budweiser Chevy is a championship caliber team,...its all about the results, like its said..you don't have to win a race in the final 10 races to win the championship.

With all that said...he's my answer, it's The Chase For the Nextel Cup Championship in NASCAR and if that was a surprise to you, then you are not a repeat reader of Racedriven.com, I have a big NASCAR fan since the early 90's..and I'm still here. However I will say that the NHRA Funny Car Championship has gotten interesting too,, but since I go to NASCAR events at New Hampshire,its still number 1. Check out all three of these championships, its all there.

A couple of things that caught my eye from the Nextel cup race last weekend in Kansas, Congrads to Tony Stewart on winning the race in a no fuel move to win, but speecking of fuel, the quote of the week had to come in the closing laps when a NBC pit reporter said.."The fuel is in the tank in the trunk of the car" said after Jeff Gordon's fuel pump gave out and he was behind the wall, I'm out..

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Sunday, October 1, 2006

F1: Alonso and Schumacher tied in championship after Shanghai

With now just 2 races to go in the 2006 Formula 1 World Championship after this mornings Chinese Grand Prix made what was once a run away championship for Alonso with a lead of 20 points over second place, now, the tables have turned once more and with some bad luck on the side of Alonso, it not only let Schumacher back in to the championship, but finds the duo tied in the championship after a wet and "not boring" Shanghai Grand Prix.

(Credit for photo: Motorsport.com/xpb.cc.)

The Chinese Grand Prix from the stand point of F1 race, was not bad, the wet race track made for some good racing. This race was shaping up to be yet another run away victory for Alonso, but after the first pitstop, Alonso dropped his 15+ second lead down to nothing. The debut during the race was who would pit for dry tires. After that the Renault teammates tried to play caught up to Schumacher and it ended up being career victory #91 for Michael Schumacher with Alonso closing about 2 seconds a lap, but ran out of time and having to settle for second place. A Renault 2-3 finish.

Anyway formula one fans look at this championship, this world championship will go down to the line between these two. Some buzz is that Formula 1 wants Schumacher to win this championship as Schumacher will retire at seasons end, who knows, its a rumor and nothing more, but for the both of them, its a sprint to the finish, everyone should just let these two drivers fight it out to the end. Let the best driver win.

Keep one thing in mind going into next weekend race, last years Japanese Grand Prix was one of the best races in recent years, the my headline says it all "From Last to First, Raikkonen wins an incredible Japanese Grand Prix ".

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Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Youtube: Paul Ireson Debuts Custom Mini Truck

A reader of Racedriven just sent this along to me: A Youtube video that was just released this afternoon of the design and development of a powerful, custom-built mini truck with a power-to-weight ratio comparable to a Formula One car built by Paul Ireson that team up with Shell V-Power.



Photo Gallery of this unique mini-truck

This unique mini truck:
- Interior resembling a cockpit
- Two Honda V-Tec B-16A2 Motors, re-sleeved to 2.0 liter (instead of 1.6), decked and balanced
- T3/T4 master power turbo on custom-made turbo header - Direct injection wet nitrous system

This was my first Youtube video added to my blog, interesting results...
with a unique vehicle.
Thanks reader,
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Sunday, September 24, 2006

My Take: How to update the NASCAR Points System

One of the biggest questions in NASCAR is how to update the current points system used in all three of NASCAR's top racing series including the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series. The idea of completely rebuilding the points system is not needed at all. This 35 year+ old system is just fine with a couple of needed tweeks to still give drivers the chance of winning the championship even if they have a couple of bad races. The current system rewards drivers on consistance, not victories, the points system needs to do both.

One other problem, at any given NASCAR race is after a wreck happens, those drivers involves enter back in the race to pick up a couple of positions for the points in turn making a giant mess for the leaders to get through and sometimes resulting in more wrecks, case in point, Talladega.

So after taking in to account all of these factors and a couple more and using the current 2006 points system as a model, this is what I have come up with.

Here we go.....

This points system would still be used through the entire 36-race schedule including the Chase for the Nextel Cup Championship.

The winner of each NASCAR race receives 170 points. The runner-up in each event scores 150. From there, the point total declines in five-point increments for places three through five, points awarded drop four points per driver for positions six through 10 and three-point increments separate drivers' points for finishers in 11th through 32nd.

The 33rd to 43rd or last-place driver, gets 42 points each.
(Hopefully this keeps wrecked cars off the track and if a driver has a bad race, they don't loss as much.)

Bonus Points:
5 - leading a lap
5 - leading the most laps
20 - winning a race
20 - winning the 26-race points standings going into the 10-race chase.
(Instead of a 5 point lead over 2nd place in the chase, it would be 20 point lead.)

The winner of a race would receive 20 bonus points. If the winner lead the most laps than 5 more bonus points for a total of 25 points.

As for reseting the points for the 10-race chase, that would basically stay the same with one change. The points leader after the final 26-race (Richmond Race in 2006) would receive 20 more points over second place, which is the same for winning a NASCAR race.

Comments?

Friday, September 22, 2006

What will the year-end finishing order be for the ten drivers in NASCAR's Chase for the Nextel Cup.

Originally Posted on Tues. Sept. 19, 2006 at 12:33PM
Revised, after a couple of comments on my Foxsports Blog "Racedriven Overdrive", I wanted to restate something on this list. I pick Kasey Kahne as my "dark horse" to win the championship. He will have to go through Kevin Harvick who is on a tear and is the points leader as of now (Friday Afternoon).

1. 9 Kasey Kahne "dark horse" to win
2. 29 Kevin Harvick "current points leader"
3, 24 Jeff Gordon
4. 11 Denny Hamlin
5. 17 Matt Kenseth
6. 8 Dale Earnhardt Jr. "My favorite driver"
7. 6 Mark Martin
8. 31 Jeff Burton
9. 48 Jimmie Johnson
10. 5 Kyle Busch

Why? Starting at the top, When it comes to the final 9 racetracks, Kasey Kahne has the upper hand, he runs good/has won on Atlanta, Charoltte, Texas, Kansas, Dover and I will even through in Talladega, he just have to finish good in the remainder of the tracks. Kevin Harvick has been on a tear as of late, the question is will it continue. Jeff Gordon has millions in front of him, so he will take off. Denny Hamlin is a wild card, with some good finishes and very impressive, he's the rookie, no one knows just what this kid can do. Matt Kenseth shows top 10 results. Dale Earnhardt Jr. has a good team to do it, but still is having a little trouble finishing, but sometimes he doesn't, not to mention a huge fan base including me behind him. Mark Martin and Jeff Burton are in this, but are having trouble finishing. Jimmie Johnson has lost his wind in his sail and Kyle Busch, well, who knows, its a 146 points back.

Remember two things:
1. Don't count out anyone in this chase.
2. I am a Dale Earnhardt Jr. fan and I want him to win the championship, the list above including picking Kasey Kahne to win, is based on the final 9-races left in the chase for the championship.

This was a difficult list to make with just 9-races to go, what does everyone think?


Credit: Photo was taking by Mike of 8racingfan.com.


Kevin Harvick in the #29 second in line congrads on winning the 300 at NHIS. All around great race. By the way, this photo was taking from a seat in turn 1-2 at Sunday's NHIS Nextel Cup Series race. Hopefully some time next year, I will be able to do the same.

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