Tuesday, July 31, 2007
A couple of years ago Dale Jr. won at Talladega and during his post-race interview on NBC, he said in the same context "S***", he was fined $10,000 and docked 25 driver/owner points. Fast Forward to Sonoma last month, on the first lap going into turn 11, Kyle Petty was doing a in-car race announcer and he was involved in an accident and TNT put up his in-car audio during an instant replay and he said "What the f*** was that!" and while I agree he shouldn't have been no penalty, TNT should have, but no penalty. Now we come to the present, last weekend at Indy, Stewart says "Thanks to all my fans for putting up with the Bull S*** each week." and this race was on ESPN...
Penalty: NASCAR announced Tuesday that Tony Stewart has been fined $25,000 and penalized 25 Nextel Cup Series driver championship points and Gibbs docked 25 owner points, as a result of using inappropriate language during a post-race televised interview following his victory Sunday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. (Read More...)
What, I still have an very hard-time understanding this one, the race was on cable namely ESPN and he just won the second biggest race on the season and this is his reward, please, this is wrong plan and simple... And yes I understand kids are watching, but still its a common word. Is it worth an appeal, most likely they won't waste there time.
I can defend and understand most of what NASCAR does including the Car of Tomorrow, but this NO. Tony Stewart didn't deserve this at all, he's a great racecar driver and a great personality in this sport period.
A couple of readers on autoracingsport.com commented and raised a couple of good points, NASCAR is being consistant in the penalities on this language issue and on Tony Stewarts radio show, he know that he was going to get fined/docked and he understands that. I see the point and I agree on those levels, but bull s*** and s*** is not that big at least to me.
Bottom Line, I don't agree with this now and when dale Jr. was fined/docked I didn't agree with it then... and there's another difference, dale Jr. language was on live on NBC and Stewarts was on ESPN (cable), there's a difference, but it appears not... Still don't agree with it, but ok. See Yeah!
Saturday, July 28, 2007
Leffler, who was on 50 lap fresher tires at the end of the race battled and in most cases bashed his way past a couple of drivers including Hornaday in the early laps and Reutimann in the closing laps. On the final caution flag, Reutimann let Leffler know he wasn't happy with his driving and I don't blame him one bit. Just one question, what does Jason Leffler get for giving Toyota there first manufacturers victory and was it worth it (In terms of who you had to go through to get it...)?
This one is huge for Toyota, to get there first manufacturers victory in the Busch Series just like the Truck Series has shown everyone that they can complete against the big 3 in Detriot.
The same can't be said for the Truck race, if anyone was up to watch this one, an opening battle between Hornaday and Skinner banging on each other in the early laps was all she wrote, Skinner would drop back and what victory for Hornaday, even more, a huge gain the points.
Thursday, July 26, 2007
Looking back at Mid-Ohio, Saturday’s Taped Delayed race for the ALMS was an interesting one and not for the Penske racing Porsche RS Spyder (LMP2) yet again beating up on the Audi TDI’s and winning another one nor the seeing a Corvette win in the GT1 class keeping in mind that there are only two Corvette’s arcing in this class against no one, but it was in the GT2-class and this beating of sorts between two Ferrari F430 GT’s, that stems back to Lime Rock Park in CT a couple of weeks ago when in this latest battle resulted in the coming together Tomas Enge in the Petersen Motorsports/White Lightning Racing Ferrari and the Mika Sola in the Risi Ferrari not only damaging those two Ferrari’s, but in the process taking out another Ferrari and a Porshe in the same class. The ALMS penalized both teams and going into the event at Mid-Ohio they were on notice to say the least.
At Mid-Ohio the two Ferrari’s again continued there battle with each other damaging both cars and ALMS handing down a two minute penalty (which should have been more…) to Salo for his revenge on the first hit by Enge and Enge receiving a 5 minute penalty. Now for Salo, his team battled back, but for Enge, his team had some words for him after his 45 minutes in the car, “Your Fired”, yeah, that’s right the immediate release during the race of Tomas Enge, the team warned him not to get into it with Salo again… Great call by that ream, this makes me think of Kurt Busch at Dover and what Penske (And NASCAR) should have done to Busch… Interesting, did anyone else make that same connection?
One interesting comment, during the broadcast of the IRL IndyCar race, the announcers said that the Acura/Honda plants near by gave there employees 15,000 free tickets. However on WindTunnel, one call stated that he heard that number was 35,000 free tickets, unknown which one, maybe 15,000 per plant plus an extra 5,000.
In the words of Marc from Full Throttle, “What the hell was that!, that was my same reaction Marc… The Grand Prix of Europe at the Nurburgring in Germany, damn… the FIA updated the teams several times before the start of this race saying that race was 10 minutes, 5 minutes and so on away from the track, but despite that only one team started on intermediate tires, Markus Winklehock? Who? And what a move it was, once the race went green, a minute later the rains came down creating a river instead of a race track forcing everyone exept Winklehock to pit for race tires. What a mess… a seven plus car pile up in one of the corners, teams pitting for rain tires and a river instead of a racetrack… red flag, damn and Winklehock had a 36 second lead after starting last from pit road… I will say once the red flag withdrawn with the sun out, it was back to racing and fans say one battles for the lead in a while (with some describing this race as one of the best in years…) between Massa who lead and Alonso in second chasing down Massa from a six second gap and with five laps to go after several failed attempts passing Massa after getting together in what I call a racing incident to win the Grand Prix.
I have to say, seeing Massa’s reaction in the past-race to Alonso was interesting, Massa get over it, it was as clean as it was going to get…
Two very good races with two very different out comes and keep in mind, this is also the week (namely Thursday…) that McLaren answers charges in Paris in front of the FIA court over some Ferrari documents, what will the penalties be (if there is any…)
A day later...
Earlier this morning in Paris, McLaren answered charges at the FIA’s World Motor Sport Council and the ruling soon followed:
There's really not much to say about here, at least for now in Formula 1, the racing will continue to be a McLaren-Mercedes vs. Ferrari battle on the track and for the championship, as of now, both McLaren drivers are leading over the Ferrari camp in the championship with Hamilton out front.
(From Formula1.com:) “The WMSC is satisfied that Vodafone McLaren Mercedes was in possession of confidential Ferrari information and is therefore in breach of article 151c of the International Sporting Code. However, there is insufficient evidence that this information was used in such a way as to interfere improperly with the FIA Formula One World Championship. We therefore impose no penalty.
“But if it is found in the future that the Ferrari information has been used to the detriment of the championship, we reserve the right to invite Vodafone McLaren Mercedes back in front of the WMSC where it will face the possibility of exclusion from not only the 2007 championship but also the 2008 championship.
(From Formula1.com:) Ferrari: lack of McLaren penalty ‘incomprehensible’
Good Luck with this one and understand this, this one is not over by a long shot, all it takes is one piece of paper to say McLaren, see yeah in 2009... what an interesting twist that would be, not something I would want to see.
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
So what does this mean… effective immediately DEI is a now four car team going into the AllState 400 at the Brickyard with Paul Menard having a guarrented starting spot in the race and Regan Smith going from having a full-time Cup ride to driving in the Truck Series with a future unknown. Here’s the rest…
DEI with have a four car team with the #01 Army Chevy driven by Mark Martin/Aric Almirola, #1 Bass Pro Shop Chevy driven by Martin Truex Jr., the #8 Budweiser Chevy driven by Dale Earnhardt Jr., and the #15 Menards Chevy driven by Paul Menard with a the number 14 owner points. Along with that DEI receives all of Ginn Racings equipment including shop
In addition to NASCAR Nextel Cup Series competition, the company will continue to field entries in the NASCAR Busch Series, the NASCAR Busch East Series and will analyze its future involvement in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. In terms of the #13 owners points, they have been elimated. If I understand this one correctly, no one gets them. (Read More at DEI…)
I like said before, I never really thought that this merger wouldn’t happen, but it has and with Bobby Ginn as a partner, where does DEI go from here in terms of fill-in of Dale Jr. seat in 2008 once he leaves to go to Hendrick Motorsports? Could that driver be Regan Smith? Basically, the winners in all of this is Bobby Ginn becoming a part of DEI, the #01 having new equipment, DEI getting some much needed shop space that is five miles away including crew and some piece of equipment to save time on testing and now having a four car team. The losers in this merger, Regan Smith going from a full-time Cup ride that was to start at the Brickyerd to running in the Truck Series with an unknown future and the two drivers released along with the #13 owner points being elimated.
Well, welcome to the NASCAR mix, Earnhardt-Ginn Racing, isn't that what this merger should be called.
Those owner points being elimated could help another team namely the 36th in points the Wood Brothers, that raises another question, but not for DEI-Ginn Racing, but for the Wood Brothers, now that it looks like the #21 is in the top 35 in points, will Bill Elliott continue to pilot the #21 keeping in mind that Elliot’s job was to get the #21 in the top 35 and also keeping in mind that Ken Schrader (former driver) has signed on with BAM Racing?
Hearing from NASCARNow about a Robert Yates Racing merger with Newman-Hass Racing, what? See Yeah!
Thursday, July 19, 2007
I had first say a photo of this chopper a couple weeks ago when the IRL rolled into Iowa for there first race at the Iowa Speedway that was designed by Rusty Wallace. I had heard Paul Jr. say that this was the first E85 chopper they built, but I remember back to the Liberty Bike, that bike was to be an alternative fuels namely E85 or just Ethonal too. The company that was building the carb was to be built it to run on gasoline and Ethonal... I don't remember if they did or not.
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
Ginn Racing has just signed Aric Almirola to share the driving duties in the #01 with Mark Martin effective immediately and his first Cup ride is at Watkins Glen. Almirola will also have to finish his part-time Busch schedule with Gibbs racing. All this in turn moves Regan Smith over to the #14 ride giving Smith a full-time Cup ride starting at Indianapolis. With all of this shakeup, two drivers namely Marlin and Nemechek were released and now looking for work.
Continuing on with Ginn Racing news, they are currently in talks with DEI, yes Dale Earnhardt Inc. about a merger, the two problems in these talks are who is going to run the organization and NASCAR only allows four Cup teams per organization, DEI already has three and Ginn Racing now has two, so what could happen is DEI runs everything with DEI/RCR motors, Ginn brings over the #01 (Martin/Almirola) and #14 (Smith) and DEI keeps the #1(Truex Jr.) and #15 (Menard), that’s four teams and no need to hire another driver. Interesting merger idea and most think that it will happen before Indy, but who knows, DEI-Ginn Racing, interesting ring to it don’t you think.
One note, if that merger happens, it could mean that the #8 will be free and it could go to Dale Jr., just thought, I through that in to the mix for the people over at DEI.
Ginn Racing is talking to several teams about merger.
Looking towards Indy, Terry Labonte is doing just that as it was announced that he would be driving at Indianapolis and Watkins Glen subbing for Michael Waltrip in the #55 NAPA Toyota. Specking of teams, John Andretti will also be at Indy (awaiting a sponsor..) in a new team with the number 08, E&M Motorsports is owned by NASCAR veteran John Carter.
So what about Marlin and Nemechek, no news has come out about Nemechek, but Marlin could return to Morgan-McClure Racing in a possible second car, again there’s that word again sponsor.
I will have to say that that is only the tip of the ice burg in news being announced and rumored on before Indianapolis in two weeks and with Indy looming, the ESPN/ABC Nextel Cup TV package also looms, from here on out both the Busch Series (as they have all season long…) and the Cup series races will be either on ESPN/ABC, I can’t wait to see what’s next on how there coverage looks.
Finally, just wanted to put a cap on last weekend’s Cup race at Chicagoland, what a race and what a move by Tony Stewart, grabbing the victory and climbing the fence for all of the fans in the stands to see, could this be another push for the championship, I wouldn’t count SMOKE out, all he has to do is get into the top 12. See Yeah!
Credit: Used these sources for press releases to write this piece. Autoracingsport.com, Jayski.com, NASCAR.com
Sunday, July 15, 2007
Not to take anything away from the winner Scott Dixon of this race, but the bigger issue of this one was during the final laps of this race, oh, the entire race, there could have been a duel between at least three to five cars for the victory if the lap traffic wasn’t there. Think about it, how many times in past IRL races has this happened, too many.
To me, the IRL needs to add of all things a NASCAR rule being with 10 laps to go, all of the one or more lap down cars move behind the lead lap cars so that the lead cars can race for the victory. I have really never noticed this problem as much I did today.
Again congrats to Scott Dixon on picking up his second straight victory. Looking ahead to next weekend, I will be interested in seeing the first IRL race at Mid-Ohio, the Champ Cars have raced there in the past and did put on a good show, again I will be interested in seeing the pass on this track too.
Thursday, July 12, 2007
Well, looking at just the race coverage itself without the on-screen commercials differently had its advantages as it was explained with Jeff Gordon before the race started, putting the running order at the bottom with a couple of ads/logos was a better than just the standard look, the screen wasn’t over lapped by graphics and you could see the cars always in frame correctly compared to a lot of time when the cameras focused in a car, it would run in to the graphics up top, so a better layout in general.. All coverages should consider doing that either with the running order on top or below.
As for the overall concept, the 3 full commercials per hour and the rest of the commercials on-screen is a little different than ESPN’s side-by-side coverage they use for most of there IRL races and that the TNT concept wasn’t bad most of the time with being able to still watch the commercials, but be kept in touch with what’s going on on-track including the running order. I did notice one downside, while the commercials were playing, a couple of cases, the green flag had waved or there was a caution on track and they didn’t cut to the audio, everything isn’t going to be perfect, but overall not bad.
Final thoughts, the Pepsi 400 turned out to be one of the best races all season long including most in part to the final five laps of the race and what a finish… for the coverage, I was able to watch the coverage on two different television sets, one being my fathers 4:3 standard digital television which wasn’t bad, it’s the best your going to get with a standard 4:3 layout and I got to watch it on my 16:9 widescreen LCD, now I don’t have high-def coming from my cable company, so in my case the picture is just expanded from a standard 4:3 and fillout to 16:9 widescreen which believe it or not I love watching, it’s a better picture and it’s a cool layout, every race is better than a 4:3, maybe I should try high-def if I only had a 1080p instead of a 720p.
Like I said, not bad for the launch, it was a success, but needs some modifications and I hope they use it again, it’s a better improvement over the standard races are shown now.
Memo: To all of the networks who broadcast races including Nextel Cup, look at this concept and use it for your broadcasts in terms of putting a widescreen effect with the picture either above or below the running order, the coverage would be just better.
Wednesday, July 11, 2007
Looking at Thursday nights eviction, the nominations are Carol and Amber that were put up by the current HOH Kail. Now we know that Daniele won the Power of Veto and choose not to use it, so the nominations stand. In terms of who’s evicted first, I really don’t see Amber being evicted (this week), she has too many friends rightnow, but things change quickly.
This America’s Player is interesting… did he complete the first task… And the drama award goes to America's Player Eric for his completely non-truth childhood story that he told to America's pick Kail. What's Next, Believe it or not, the next task is who to vote out - Amber or Carol?
Two houseguests I would like to see gone are Joe and Jen, they both are exposed and need to go and after seeing Jen loss it and start crying after seeing her Big Brother photo on the wall, the other houseguests are quickly seeing it too.
Let’s talk live feed, for those of you who are into watching live feed like I am, I really had two chooses and really after my problems with the Realplayer feed two years ago with fish, computer and live feed freezing, the chose was simple, I ended up going with the Big Brother 8 After Dark on Showtime Too, all I really had to do was call my cable cable and make one switch in the package and I’m in for the next three months. The Shotoo feed for me is on live at midnight to 3am, so I put it on my dvr and enjoy it when I want to and no computer needed, its like watching a movie.
The one downside is there are a couple of commercials during the feed, showtime ads for there other movies or new TV shows, yeah something like 30 seconds, that’s what a remote control fast forward button is for. They need a couple more hours, maybe either 7-11 big brother time or at least 8pm to midnight big brother time.
Well, now let the stradagy, lying and backstabbing begin, oh wait it started on day 1. See Yeah!
Tuesday, July 10, 2007
The top honors goes to John Force and John Force racing from Bristol, John Foce finally broke though the slum season that they have had so far and not only won rounds, but picked up his first victory of the season over Crez Petrogon. What perfect way to go even after Ashley DQ’ed and Hight lost in the first round.
This down honor goes to the IRL that raced in Watkins Glen and it’s not for the race that was won by Scott Dixon again, but rather for the pit road incident between Sam Hornish Sr. and Jr. and Tony Kanaan which gained a lot of news on several news programs and blogs with the headline at Autoblog reading “My dad can beat up your IRL driver”.
Basically after an on track contact between Hornish and Kanaan that was a racing deal and after the race Kanaan cut off Hornish going into the pits making contact, a talk between Hornish Jr. and Kanaan started, but then Hornish’s father went were he shouldn’t have gone and shoved Kanaan and then someone else shoved Hornish’s father to the ground. Personally, the father shouldn’t have gotten involved at all, there wasn’t going to be a fight, so everyone should blame it on Hornish’s father, he started it. (The fight that is.)
Continuing on with the IRL from Watkins Glen, Tuesday the IRL handed down penalties to the teams, drivers and other involved and if you think NASCAR is bad on there penalties, what do you read into this one… Penske Racing and Andretti Green Racing fined $25,000 each, Hornish Jr. and Kanaan fined an undisclosed amount, Hornish Sr. suspended from pit road for one race and who ever took Sr. down, his IRL pass has been suspended indefinitely. (Read More...) What a joke… who knows what it should have been.
Let’s not forget about NASCAR here, I’m talking Busch Series on Saturday morning for the race, NASCAR wrong call on Kyle Busch’s pass though the grass to win. Yeah right, what a stupid call, then they said well he wasn’t speeding and then said we can’t monitor his speed on the grass… do you know what balck flag is, tale end of the longest line.
(Image Credit: RacingOne.com with Getty Images)
This honor has to go to one good race, even more towards the last 5 laps in the Pepsi 400 at Daytona last Saturday night, what a race, a race that left me wanting more after Jamie McMurrany broke his 60 something winless streck and pulled out a victory by 5/1000th of a second over Kyle busch. Great victory McMurray, one huge highlight and thank Carl Edwards for pushing him.
What a way to go, action and pure entertainment every where you turned in Motorsports, John Force breaking into victory lane to the fight between Hornish Sr. and Tony Kanaan to one hell of a race at daytona with one really close finish, now that’s racin.
I end this one with the words from Kevin at the beginning of the Pepsi 400:
God Bless America
God Bless NASCAR
Gentlemen start your engines!
Saturday, July 7, 2007
Earlier today, NASCAR held themselves a press conference to make the announcement, in 2008 the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series will now become the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and which of course included a brand new logo and some called the The SprintSpeed Million for fans. I will say the new logo looks good, its like a racetrack going around the outside of the name. For the NASCAR press release and to see the logo. (Read more...)
Let’s be honest, in the last 60 years NASCAR has only changed its title sponsor three times for this series, so what are fans going to think, NASCAR and Sprint think that after there research that most will be fine with it.
Thoughts for me are simple, this is not really a big deal as they might think. Fans know that this was going to happen sooner or later and life in the sport will go on, but from this time on, lets keep it the Sprint Cup Series for at least the next six years before we even have to think of a new name. I will say that it might throw a couple of people off here and there, but for the most part it works.
Basically NASCAR fans got use to the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series after it change back in 2004 and we will get use to the Sprint Cup Series, besides this is small compared to other things in the sport today.
Bottom Line, I’m cool with it, of course the only really big draw back for fans included is that now everyone has to buy new clothing, collectibles, hats and more with the Sprint Cup Series logo on it… maybe not, I still have a licence plate with Winston Cup Series on it, well I was going to have to buy a couple of new Dale Jr. items anyway now that he’s going to Hendrick, so I will combined that.
What about the Busch Series, new name anytime soon? Oh yeah, not a bad Busch Series race early this morning neither, congrats to Kyle Busch for holding off Harvick, just one problem Kyle, your car failed post-race inspection yet again, this time with the shocks and now we wait.
Friday, July 6, 2007
The Frontdoor - Welcome to Big Brother 8 everyone.
Before I get to this one, what a house and one of the houseguests said it the best, its alice in wonderland theme, small doors, mushrooms, the décor, damn interesting look.
For this year’s first story line or theme, it pegs on six houseguests, sharing the house with what is in most cases your enemy, I had first heard about this last week on one of the BB sites, its normal, but what a relationship between each one.
So you have Dick and Daniele which are Father/Daughter that have no spoken in over two years and the reveal was quiet on this one, neither one really said to much. The next one was enemies from middle school, Carole & Jessica there are old friends turned bad. But the finally one, oh boy, I was shocked when I was watching this one unfold. Joe & Dustin, Once Julie said that the 11 houseguests were not along and that those three had enemies from the past, Joe completely went off and told everyone in the house and at house all of the shorted details and purely exposed himself in terms of just what kind of a person he really is. He ruined his ex-boyfriends life by turning all of there friends against him and during this I said, that’s it for him, he’s going home soon.
The other storyline was a first for this series, America’s Player, which is Eric and his job is to do what America tells him to do each episode and if he does it including who to evict to who to makeout with and for each five tasks he completes, he gets $10,000. I have to see just how this one plays out, America could screw him up badly and how long before someone finds outs… He will most likely stay in the house for a couple of weeks and who knows after that.
Finally the show itself, 14 houseguests and one by one being voted out until we have a winner for the $500,000 prize. The Head of Household challenge revealed that most really didn’t want it and that’s good stradagy for those players, why draw attention to yourself, none the less with the final decision being made by the three enemy houseguest and the HOH is Kail.
Predictions, now I have only watched the TV show last night and no feed or postings as of now so here we go… America’s Player will play out for a good five weeks before something big happens, I will say this one will not last, no offence, but having America choose your path does have some advantages, but more disadvantages, but it could work. Joe will be voted something bad by many and will be evicted very shortly and the father/daughter enemies will team up for a little while before something or someone being Dick or Daniele turns to evict the other one.
Bottom Line, no sure if the feed is worth it, I have had problems with it in the past so that’s out and the Big Brother After Dark is possible on Showtime too, or maybe I will just read up dates on Bigbrotheraccess.com regularly, now that’s a plan. See Yeah!
Wednesday, July 4, 2007
I have to say driving up was a lot better on Saturday than once thought it would be and so was parking. This time around we got there somewhat early and grabbed a parking spot down by the entrance which means that we would have to walk what I would say a good mile just to get the tickets and then a good mile down in back for collectibles and we all now that’s one hot items after another.
Finally one can rest and just in time for the Nextel Cup Series Final Practice (11:30am) and with scanner in hand, that’s fun. I mostly listened to Dale Jr’s radio and boy he wasn’t happy with his car during that practice session, it just kept going tighter and tighter in the corners.
Specking of the Car of Tomorrow, this was my first time to see the COT in person and in action and you know it is interesting, but ugle, the rear wing to me isn’t even the problem, but I can’t say the same for the frontend, that spliter and the weird look is just not what you want to see. I will say walking around the speedway, I really didn’t see the COT showcar anywhere for me to take a close up view of it and pictures weren’t all that possible neither.
The main reason for going up on Saturday was to watch the Modifieds in action, but this one just had a bad flavor to it, they just couldn’t stop wrecking and one driver just dominated what green flag laps they had. If that wasn’t enough, NASCAR cut the race by 15 laps because it was so-called getting to close to the Busch Series race. It left me wanted me in action.
Now the opposite can be said for the Busch Series race, the opening introduction had to campers out front on track and there was also the 10 minute wait after that, but once this sprint race got underway, it wasn’t bad. There were cautions and even a red flag, but for me I, after 4 hours of sitting in the grandstands under the hot sun, I was cooked. I ended up watch and listening to race from under the grandstands for about 100 laps just to cool off including during Eric in the #0 Hefty crash sending him along the turn 3-4 riding the safer barrer walls and coming back down on all four.
In the end, the battle for the victory was heating up, but Carl Edwards just couldn’t do anything with Kevin Harvick with the laps remaining and Harvick won leading most of the laps, what a performance by Kevin Harck and his first Busch Series New Hampshire victory from what the track said. That’s hard to believe considering how domanate he was last year and in years past.
I even managed to buy a new CFS 1/24 diecast on my way out of none other than Mark Martin’s #01 U.S. Army Car of Tomorrow and what a look that has. My father bought the MA version of Tony Raines #96 COT, boy what a difference between manufacturers. Luckly for me, after a long day I got home just in time for the Truck Series race on television and to rewatch the Busch Series race that I so called Tivoed.
What a day and I’m now getting over the sunburn, I can’t wait til NASCAR returns in September, I might just be taking in my first Cup series race on that Sunday, now that’s cool. See Yeah!