Monday, June 26, 2006

The Highlight Reel and a look ahead to the USGP -- June 26

I have decided to shake things up this week and try something a little different...since there was so many different series in action, a highlight reel was needed to so just what happened in three days.

For NASCAR racing cross-country this past weekend with the Truck Series and Busch Series in Milwakee - Johnny Benson wins two in a row in the Truck race and for the Busch Series, for the second straight week, a Busch regular, Paul Menard beats the Nextel Cup drivers to take his 1st career victory.

From there it was off to Sonoma on Sunday were the Nextel Cup Series turn left and right resulting in Jeff Gordon winning and Terry Labonte in the #96 DLP Chevy taking 3rd place.

For open-wheel racing, Sam Hornish lead over 200 laps to capture anyother victory for Penske Racing and in Cleveland, for the second straight week, A.J. Allmendinger goes 2 for 2 in victories for Forsythe Racing.

Also on Sunday, the Canadian GP was simply domanated by Fernando Alonso winning yet again...

But for what the highlight reel is all about, the Grand-American Road Racing Series saw Fernandez and Haberfeld Score First Career Rolex Series Win at Mid-Ohio and a SPECTACULAR CRASH in the GT class with the No. 21 Matt Connolly Motorsports BMW M3 got hit by the No. 64 TRG/iRise Pontiac GTO.R resulting in the BMW M5 taking a wild ride into the grass, hitting a bump and going up in the air and flipping end over end landing on his roof with the 3rd place Porshe passing by cars and winning the race.

Thats it for this past weekends racing.

WindTunnel Question of the week: Have Michelin, IMS, and Formula One done enough to regain your interest in the USGP (United States Grand Prix)?

What exactly have they done, if this is in reference to refunding tickets, thats a start, but to alot of people thats not enough..as for me, like last year, I will watch the USGP next week on television.

This will be interesting to see, will the grand stands and infield sellout? Will there be a full race with all drivers? I believe there will be a sellout or close to it and hopefully the race will shine...predictions...it will come down to Fernando Alonso vs. Michael Schumacher, anyone other than that will be a complete surprise.

USGP Coverage on SPEED
Friday: Practive Live - 11:00A ET
Saturday: Practice Live - 10:00A ET
Qualifying Live - 1:00P ET
Pre-Race Special - 8:00P ET
Sunday: USGP Live - 12:30P ET

See Yeah!

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Should all major American racing series make the transition to alternative fuels?

I have been thinking about this question for a month or so now since a WindTunnel on SPEED question of the week caught my interest, it was put "Should all major American racing series make the transition to ethanol?", because of the IRL Indy Car Series will be running ethanol in 2007, but I think that this question should go alot further then just ethanol.

With Audi's impressive and history making victories at both the 12 hours of Sebring and the historical and one of the toughtest races in the world, the 24 hours of LeMans in there two Audi R10 TDI 5.5L twin-turbo diesels becoming the first diesel car in the world to win a major sports car race, the idea of using alternative fuel in all major American racing series such as Diesel which gets better fuel economy and more horsepower/torque, ethanol which does give basically the same amount of power compared to gasoline and is renewable is a great idea instead of using gasoline, plan and simple.

There is a couple of things to remember, whatever fuel that is used in Motorsports, is trucked or piped in to the speedway a head of time and is held in tanks until needed. Motorsports has the technology to use alternative fuels because everything is there, unlike street use.

Thinking about it, this option is a good idea because it free's up a large amount of gasoline for consumers to use in there cars, face it, for the next 10-20 years or so until a better fuel can be found and developed including hydrogen, gasoline is the main fuel for street use all over the United States and beyond.

One that note, I will say one thing, diesel vehicles are starting to make a come back, but with stricter government standards, automakers still have to continue finding a cleaner way to run these vehicles and in 2007, Jeep will introduce one new cleaner diesel in the Jeep Grand Cherokee, but stop making the Jeep Liberty CRD (Diesel), that still leaves gasoline.

That's my thoughts - simply put, alternative fuels (Diesel, ethanol, Hydrogen and etc.) should be used in all major American racing series and gasoline should be used for consumers to drive there cars everyday on the street for now.

What's your thoughts?

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

NAPA Filters celebrates 40 Years: 1966-2006

Press Release from NAPA site: NAPA Filters is celebrating its 40 th Anniversary by paying tribute to the reason they've succeeded in business for so long—loyal NAPA Filters fans. The NAPA Filters FANNIVERSARY celebration gives consumers a chance to win a slew of collectibles and prizes awarded every day for 40 days, plus a race weekend trip to Homestead, Florida .

Consumers who register online or in person can win:

- 40 tickets in pairs of two for a race weekend at Homestead , FL
- 40 prizes per day for 40 days with winners drawn from ALL entries (mail in and online registrations)
- 40 weekly FANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION Backyard BBQ prize packages awarded every week for six weeks of the promotion
- 1 instant winner per day selected from online registrations for the 40 days of the promotion

Daily and instant winners can win NAPA Filters 40 th Anniversary tumblers, caps, T-shirts and coolers. The Backyard Celebration BBQ prize package awarded to weekly winners includes NAPA Filters 40th Anniversary chef hat and apron, portable gas grill, 40th Anniversary branded BBQ utensils and $50 gift certificate from Omaha Steaks. ks.

There are two ways to get into the drawings. Pick up entry blanks at participating NAPA Auto Parts stores and NAPA Car Care Centers , OR register online (limited to 30 daily online entries). When you stop by in person, you can also take advantage of special NAPA Filters rebates.

For online registration and additional information about NAPA Filters' 40 th FANNIVERSARY, go to www.napafilters.com.

Also, we should mention during this 40 day promotion there are special rebates offered at store level and at the NAPA Car Care Centers for NAPA Filters.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

OCC Sunoco Bike donated to Victory Junction Camp and will be given away to benefit the children's camp

As a NASCAR and OCC/American Chopper fan, I liked the look of this bike which was a first for OCC to build.

Press Release from Victory Junction Gang Camp Website: Sunoco®, the Official Fuel of NASCAR, has teamed with Orange County Choppers (OCC) to create a racing-inspired custom motorcycle to be given away in order to fuel hope for thousands of children. The custom bike was donated by Sunoco to the Victory Junction Gang Camp (VJGC) and will be given away to benefit the children's camp.

This bike, which resembles a vintage board-track racer, is a first for OCC, who to date, have built over 450 custom motorcycles. The motorcycle reflects Sunoco's checkered royal blue and yellow colors, as well as other key references to its motorsports history.

The bike will be showcased across the country, along the 2006 Kyle Petty Charity Ride starting July 22 through July 30. In addition to the ride, The Discovery Channel's “American Chopper” will feature the bike build and other highlights including the Teutul's visit to the Victory Junction Gang Camp and Lowe's Motor Speedway and the Petty's trip to the OCC shop. These two episodes are scheduled to air 9 AND 10 pm on June 19 ET/PT.

Click here to donate and get entered to win or visit your local Sunoco retail location. (One entry per person per day.) A minimum donation of $10 must be made to be entered into the sweepstakes. The sweepstakes will run from June 16th through September 8th. **Donations will only be counted as entries after June 16, 2006.
Victory Junction Gang Camp and Sunoco websites.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Happy Father's Day

To all of the dad's out there, Happy Father's Day... To my dad, Happy Father's Day dad..

To those dad's who are Motorsports fans, Audi TDI has just won the 24 hours of LeMan, Johnny Benson wins the Michigan Truck race and in the biggest upset in Busch Series history, David Gilliland beats out Nextel Cup drivers to win at Kentucky.

Enjoy your day.., this is Brian Vermette...See Yeah!

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Denny Hamlin gets 1st career cup victory in Pocono

Pocono is not really know for its great racing, but for its long green flag runs and fuel economy races, but this past weekend's Pocono 500 was a different story with a little of everything.

Not ever turning a lap until Friday's first practice session except for logging many virtual laps on the computer, the impressive rookie Denny Hamlin not only grabbed the pole, but had an impressive showing in the race his first time out. With starting on the pole and leading laps early on, the #11 car blow out a left rear tire going into the tunnel turn (turn 2), one of hardest turns in NASCAR as described by many and spun to the inside hitting only the curbing. After his team fixed the damage left rear, on the restart, he started in the back (40th or so), Hamlin's car began to return back to the way it was before the spin...perfect.

Its rare for anyone, let along a rookie to have a perfect car anywhere, but at Pocono, his car was just that..by 40 laps to go in the race, Hamlin was a little over 10 seconds behind the leader Greg Biffle (who had brake problems early on and battled his way back) and was faster by 4/10th of a second a lap, thats about 25 laps to to catch the leader and with a couple of cautions and a lightning fast car, he did just that.

Hamlin blow by Biffle in the late stages of the race and despite a late race caution, he pulled away on the restart yet again to pickup his 1st career NASCAR Nextel Cup Series victory.

The best car won this race, hands down and that was a team effort all the way.

Final Thought: The last caution that brought out the red flag came out when Jeff Gordon lost his front brakes going into turn 1, lost control hitting the grass first, then going up and hitting the outside wall on the drivers side...he walked away, thank god, a testimate to the safety, from the roll cage to the hans device to the safer walls, all needed to keep drivers safe and mandated by NASCAR.

Next week is Michigan for the Nextel Cup and the 24 hours of LeMan's that's live on SPEED starting Saturday morning.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Can anyone stop Fernando Alonso in Formula 1

I have published this article on both this site and at Racedriven Weblog on FoxSports Blogs..

If the first 8 races of the season is any clue, NO!, well...we have seen stranger things happen in Formula One before, there is only one or two drivers in the lineup that come to mind who might have an outside chance of becoming a contender and challenging him for a multi-victories, let along the championship, Michael Schumacher/Ferrari with 2 victories this season and maybe Raikkonen/McLaren.

But for Fernando Alonso, After winning an impressive champion last year and becoming the youngest champion in Formula 1 history, Alonso aims for a second straight championship and with eight formula one races in the books, Alonso is well on his way with five victories in Bahrain, Australian, Spanish, Monaco and earlier today's British Grand Prix along with a couple of second place finishes to boot.

The headline on Formula1.com for earlier today's British Grand Prix reads "Alonso cruises to first British win", that headlines doesn't even begin to describe that grand prix, let along the 06 season, in the British GP, Alonso lead from pole to checkered flag with no one coming anywhere close to challenging him for position at all, it was a fight for third-fourth on back..

So, will Fernando Alonso be challenged at all this season for the championship or does he have the winning formula for the 2006 Formula One championship, with 10 races in the 2006 Formula One Season left, it is still too earlier to just award him the championship and don't count out the rest of the top 5 in points,

Top 5 Points (After British GP)
F.Alonso - 74
M.Schumacher - 51
K.Raikkonen - 33
G.Fisichella - 32
J.Montoya - 26

One Note: It was brought up in the CBS broadcast (which was taped delayed again...) reminding us that Alonso has signed a multi-year contract for 2007 and beyond to go drive for McLaren and with McLaren's performance...one must think..but I will say, he will continue his winning formula next year and for years to come in just about any ride (Ferrari or McLaren), its not just the car or driver, its the entire team's (car, crew, crew chief, owner and etc) communications and chemistry that makes a championship caliber team, along with some luck.

See Yeah!

Tuesday, June 6, 2006

My Take on a comment about the IRL and Champ Car

I have taking a break from writing weekin and weekout on NASCAR to put my take on something.

While I was going through Tapscott's Behind the Wheel blog's weekly Carnival of Cars, I came across a comment left that read - What is your thoughts on the 90th running of the "Indy 500". Can Penske be stopped? Will Marco win one this year? Will Danica? Reunification of the IRL and Champ Cars?

Here's My Take:
Indy 500?
Here's my article on it entitled "Sam Hornish Jr edges out Marco Andretti for the Indy 500 victory"

Can Penske be stopped? Yes and No, So far this season for the IRL Indy Car Series, its been all about two-three teams, Penske Racing, Ganassi Racing and a distant Andretti-Green Racing...Penske Racing has shown its winning ways, but so has Ganassi Racing, don't forget about the hard-charging Andretti team with good finishes, so if anyone can stop then, it will be Ganassi with 2 victories and Andretti with good finishes.

Will Marco win one this season? Yes, I believe Marco was the best car out there at this past weekends Watkins Glen race, until he got taken out late in the race. He's a rookie driver with pure racing in him and he's not afraid to push his car to that limit and really entertaining to watch.

Will Danica? You have got me there...thats unknown, I can't say yes or no

Reunification of the IRL and Champ Car? At least bothsides are still taking and any type of unification would be a step in the right direction...just coming together for the best of both series for the Indianapolis 500 would be great, not only for fans, but for the Indy 500 race itself.

I have one to add, thoughts on the Champ Car World Series 2006 Season so far? I have stopped watching the Champ Car's or the Sebastien Bourdais show...he's just about won the Championship, after he has won all four races this season. Its not just that, the races are boring period...I am looking forward to a couple of races later this season here and there, but who knows.

That's it for me, See Yeah! next week