Wednesday, February 28, 2007

TV Spotlight: American Chopper's Flowjet Chopper


Flow Chopper 3
Originally uploaded by Ella Lumpkins.
This is a picture of Orange County Chopper's lastest bike, the Flowjet Chopper that features raised chrome flames on the gas tank and the flowjet logo carved into the rear fender.

I have my favorites in choppers that OCC has created, but this one or a similer one should go into production. This chopper reminds me of the first cody project bike that was green with flake and raised chrome strips.

See Yeah!

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Fuel for thoughts with NASCAR in California

Thoughts on California Speedway's Spring race...

Unleaded Fuel, Ethanol or Hydrogen:
With the second race of the 2007 Nextel Cup Series in the books, another thing for teams to deal with has emerged, this past weekend at California Speedway marked the first race using Unleaded Racing Fuel. Both the Busch and the Truck Series are already using this fuel, for Cup teams, it’s a huge change. Consider the fact that leaded fuel gives a little extra lubracation and that unleaded fuel doesn’t.

At the California race, NASCAR fans saw a couple of brown engines that may have been because of the change in fuels. For any race at California Speedway, its already the most stressfull race on engines on the schedule today. Now this leaves use wondering about the next stop in 2 weeks in Las Vegas.

GM has come out and said that they would like NASCAR to switch over to Ethanol fuel instead. That idea to me is unproven only because ethanol is going in to its first year in the IRL Indy Car Series and I would like to see what that does before hand.

One more fuel to throw in ring, the only way to develop Hydrogen is to race it, word has it that theres going to be a hydrogen racing series, NASCAR should consider looking in on this fuel as well.

Trucks, Busch and Cup Series:
When it comes to these three races, I was only really interested in the Truck race and the Cup race. Lets be honest, the truck most of the time put on a great show all thow the final restart bothered me with Martin getting hit from behind spinning into the infield from the lead.

One thing about the Busch races this season has been whoever wins on Saturday, wins also on Sunday. That record now stands at 2 for 2 with Harvick at Daytona and Kenseth at California.

When it came to the Nextel Cup Series race, you have to take California Speedway for what its worth, the racing 9 times out of 10 is long and drawn out with green flag runs based on fuel mileage with its phantom caution flag or two for debris. Its simple to describe, the first 200+ laps are survival just to get to the end, followed by moments of pleasure, in this case, after the red flag would give NASCAR fans there pleasure. A few laps of who wants it more racing that sometimes results in 100th of a second finishes.

Yellow Dashlight comes on at time of caution:
Now, there was one moment during the Cup race that had me speechless, when the #00 of David Reutimann hit the wall hard and FOX showed the on board camera, David was out of it..the problem he was the response to get to him, NASCAR responses have gotten better in resent years, but they need to get better. NASCAR needs to model its safety after the IRL Indy Car’s and Champ Car World Series. There should be a light on the dash instantly telling drivers the caution is out, lift now. ARCA has it and so does other series, that’s next for NASCAR.

Update on David Reutimann, he is ok and cleared to race, thank god.

See Yeah!
Don’t forget, Busch Series racing from Mexico City

Saturday, February 24, 2007

You Tube: 2007 Jeep Patriot on and off-road.



Found this You Tube on Chryslerweblog.com, interesting 8 min video on someone driving a new 2007 Jeep Patriot both on-road and off-road.

See Yeah!

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Was this one of the greatest Daytona 500’s, how about Speedweeks?


Photo Credit: Motorsport.com

One writer said that this was one of the best Daytona 500’s in history, was it? Well lets look at not only that question, but was it one of the most memorable Speedweeks of all time.

So what really stoodout during those 10 days…Starting with the Budweiser Shootout, Tony Stewart showing pure power and rocking to the front for an exciting victory in his quest to make history.

The next day with qualifying touched off one of the most historical and controversy weeks and we still had not even got to the Duels yet. On one side you had the rookie David Gilland on the pole with his RYR teammate Ricky Rudd alongside and one the flipside you had the start of some historical announcements of penalties following a couple of cheaters. By far with Tuesday and Wednesday announcements had to be the ejections and penalties. We all know this by now, the #17, and all three Evernham Motorsports cars, plus Michael Waltrip racing’s #55 getting nailed everyway they could and still Waltrip was aloud to race in the Duels.

Going further…the Duel 150’s with the first duel standing out with at one point you had Mikey getting into his former teammate Dale Jr and spinning him out, to the memorable ending of Tony Stewart winning with Dale Jr fighting his way backup thought the field to finish 2nd. The race had to the transfer spots with Michael Waltrip racing getting all three cars in the 500. In the second Duel as a little bit of a sleeper with Jeff Gordon winning round two and the two Redbull racing Toyotas going home. Even with the Duels over, the controversy wasn’t, anyother call by NASCAR with the #24 being about an inch low and only receiving a 42nd starting spot. In what was normally a black and white call, now turned into a new one with no points lost.

Moving thought to Friday night, one good Truck Race with a thrilling and controversy finish, three wide going across the finish line with Jack Sprague edging out Johnny Benson and Travis Kvapil. One thing that came out after this race was no call on Benson for passing below the yellow line at the line.

Finally after Saturday nights continuing effects of 2006 with Kevin Harvick to victory lane, it was time for the 49th Daytona 500. This 500 was what most restrictor plate racing is, a chess match going between three lanes all day long, trying to make it to the front, making a couple of pitstops and trying to just survive the day without getting hit, yet some found surviving wasn’t an option, nevertheless, by the end of the 500, Dale Jr, Tony Stewart, Kurt Busch among others were out and now others had a chance to win what to some ways there first 500. I take to the end after the red flag, now this is what racing is all about, winning and surviving, down the backstraightaway Harvick gets a shot from him rocking him up alongside the leader Martin coming out of four with the finishline in front and Kyle Busch making yet again another dum move as he has done all day long, now sideways causing a huge wreck behind them, pause tape…Harvick in front of Martin by a bumper when Busch spun, no caution, and unpause with Harvick inching out Martin at the line for the victory..winning the Daytona 500 and alots of fans including me feeling bad because Martin didn’t win and Bowyer coming across he finish line on his roof going into the grass on fire.

I bring you back to the question that some writers have already answered, was this 500 one of the best ever/great? Answer…no, it wasn’t one the best, nor great, but for what restrictor plate racing is..I was entertained and it was good, as for Speedways as a hole, wow, that was great, you had controversy at every turn. At the end of day, its like I said in my column last week “Its always something in NASCAR…”. I got to ask two things, 1. would NASCAR do the same if there is a wreck coming out of turn 4 at Fontana or will they throw the caution.. and 2,. What will top this?

I am just happy to finally have the 2007 NASCAR season underway…its Fontana, its anyother Drafting race, stop your both right..See Yeah!

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Its always something in NASCAR...

When I first red that statement made by DW on his site, it got me thinking about just that question, 9 times out of 10, it is always something that over shadows a cup race, whether it happens before, during or after. The first thing that comes to mind was with Robby Gordon back at the fall race in Atlanta, him causing a caution.

Now here we are again, another Daytona 500 and for the second year in a row, a crew chief has made history by being caught working beyond the gray area sort of speck. Some call it cheating and others call it getting an edge, but to NASCAR, it’s a rule breaker, in this case for expecially for one of them, its cheating.

After some pre and post qualifying inspections, there were three penalties handed down on Tuesday with one still very up in the air, all four were basically for one thing, getting an aero advantage, as a result, crew chief Robbie Reiser for Matt Kenseth was suspended for 4 races and the #17 was docked 50 driver/owner points, and a three shot deal for Evernham Motorsports, first crew chief Kenny Francis for Kasey Kahne, suspended for four races, #9 was docked 50 driver/owner points and for both crew chiefs of the #10 and #19 were suspended for two races and each car was docked 25 owner/driver points.

Can someone explain to me why four teams, who were guaranteed a starting spot in the 500 would risk doing this to gain such a small advantage since the starting spots up front are in the Duel 150’s…all I can say is what a shot and these were not as huge as last years #48 penalties.

However none of these would compare to the shocking and historical announcement of penalties handed down on Wednesday by NASCAR to Michael Waltrip’s #55 Toyota, my mouth dropped and I was stunned when NASCAR said the following… VP of Competition Bobby Kennedy and crew chief David Hyder were both ejected from Speedweeks/Daytona Speedway and suspended indefinitely, plus Hyder was fined $100k. They were not done, the Waltrip’s were docked 100 driver/owner points and disallowed his qualifying time. Waltrip will still be able to try and make the field for todays (Thursday’s) Duel 150. Oh yeah, the penalties were because of an illegal substance found in the engine. Remember this, he’s now 100 points down and we have not even started the 500, he would have to make the race and finish somewhere in the mid-20’s to break even, this all is not the way MWR and Toyota envisioned making there Nextel Cup debut.

I have to say, by far, this is the biggest penalty handed down to this day that I can remember in all of the year I have been watching NASCAR racing and I have been here since somewhere around 1990-1991, that’s basically since Jeff Gordon made his Cup debut at Atlanta in 1992. I’m speechless and thinking how does one go to these lengths and think they are not going to get caught and risk ejection.

At the end of day (keep in mind that this is taking place just after qualifying and we still have the Duel’s and 500 to go) all any of use wants is to have an equal field and watch great racing period, is this what people are going to remember the most when they think of the 2007 Daytona 500, I may have to make this a series - each race edition...anything else...at least the 2007 Budweiser Shootout was entertaining to watch and won by the man they call SMOKE, Tony Stewart. See Yeah!

Saturday, February 10, 2007

TV Spotlight: American Chopper's Sr vs Jr. Production bikes and the Go Daddy bike. UPDATED

Please note: This article is on Sr. vs. Jr. production bikes build back in 2007, however if your looking for the new series American Chopper: Senior vs. Junior (August 2010), Click here to read that article.

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 three new choppers. The first two bikes is from the episode "Sr. vs. Jr." in building there next production bike, Paul Sr's is an Old School bike that features all off the shelve parts. Paul Jr's is a Web Themed bike like the Black Widow bike that features a custom 3D flowjet front and rear fender and a simple black and red paint scheme. The latest chopper, the Go Daddy.com bike that features a lime green and yellow paint scheme on an Indy Car Danica Patrick themed racing bike, both bikes are unique.

My opinion, for the Sr vs Jr, I would purchased Paul Jr's Web Themed bike, I like the simple web theme, including the fact that the Black Widow is one of my favorite bikes next to the Jet Bike, Firebike, Lincoln bike and Shelby Bike. On Paul Sr's, my father likes this one with its simple paint scheme and all off the shelve parts. As for the Godaddy.com bike, in metal form with no paint, this bike was great, live the arceing theme, but that lime type green and yellow with ornage wheels paint job doesn't work for me. Black would have been better wioth a couple of others colors here and there would have been better.


Paul Sr's Old School Themed Production Bike.


Paul Jr's Web Themed Production Bike


Godaddy.com Bike unveiled at the Maxim Party.

Enjoy these three new bikes, the next one is the flowjet bike...See Yeah!

Friday, February 9, 2007

You Tube: The making of Kevin Harvick's #29 Shell Chevrolet


Credit: Edelman PR - Erin Caldwell

This is a You Tube Video released by Shell shows the painting and detailing of Kevin Harvick's new #29 Shell Chevrolet for the 2007 NASCAR Nextel Cup Series season.

Good video, but I wish it was twice as long with a little bit more detail, but all in all, not bad.

See Yeah!


Thursday, February 8, 2007

My Take: A preview of the 2007 NASCAR Nextel Cup Series Season – Part Three

With just 9 days before the Daytona 500 and in my look ahead to the 2007 Nextel Cup Series Season, we come to my Final Thoughts on this subject.

2007 Predictions:
There are five drivers that stand out in my opinion and they are my picks of who to watch in 2007, these are should be no surprise considering they all finished inside the top 11 in points last season.

First up is Tony Stewart, even after missing the chase last season by just a little bit, he still was the most talked about during most of the chase when he won a couple of races including a coaster on zero fuel at Kansas. On the opposite side, Kasey Kahne who had six victories and if he can back that up this season with his domanation on 1.5 and larger tracks and the way the new chase format is layed out, he could be champion. I did choose Kahne to win last years chase for the Nextel cup and I choose him again because of his victories.

This ones going to be tough, last years Nextel Cup Champion Jimmie Johnson, it has been at least a decade since a driver has won back to back championships, but that #48 team is on, no question, there ready. Here’s a little stats on champions, the last time a driver has won back to back championships was the late great Dale Earnhardt with a total of 3 times, the latest back in 1993-94, one more thing, the last driver to go back to back to back in championships was Cale Yarborough in 1976-77-78. Keep that in mind.

Kevin Harvick, as a matter of fact, any driver out of the RCR camp is ready, last year most thought that Harvick would have been the champion and this year is no different, can he back it up…one thing RCR is going to have to over come is getting the COT to pass inspection and just right on the track, but of course ever team has that problem too.

Finally, to win a championship, you have to have just about a dream season with everything on and off the track going right and if DEI can get his contracts signed and the entire team is still there, then my favorite driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. is ready to make another run for the championship. In 2006, the #8 team over came a lot to finish fifth in points and they are by far a championship caliber team, there ready.

How about the 2007 Rookie crop, I choose three stand out drivers who are totally different from each other in terms of where they are and background, first up is the man that made an impact at the end of last season, Juan Montoya, he would be one to watch, two things to watch for is how he handles the long schedules and if he can bring Ganassi Racing back to victory lane. One the complete opposite site, Paul Menard, who is running the 15 car for DEI, he would be one to watch as he has won a Busch race beating out a couple of cup regulars. Finally, a dark horse if you will, from the truck series, driving for a new team Michael Waltrip racing, David Reutimann, I say dark horse because he has three large factors, one and two are that his is running with a new manufacturer and race team, both first year start ups and two, not too many cup starts on his resume, but Reutimann has impressed me including when he was on Michael Waltrip’s mini series TV show on ESPN2, he can adapt to many different things and get a new car in testing to work correctly and bring it up to speed, he’s one to watch.

How many cars will attempt to make the Daytona 500? Each week?
The 500 could see almost 60 cars, I got that number from BP and as for each race, 48 sounds about right.

Final Thoughts on Toyota:
Basically there is really three groups of people on the subject of Toyota coming to NASCAR, first Hate It, second, Love It and third is wait and see, for me, I fit into the third group of wait and see, simply because it could make the sport as well as the big 3 stronger, sponsorship dollars, more drama, and beyond. But on the otherside, NASCAR is an American Sport and Toyota is not an American Company and what could happen if you bring in a foreign company, there’s a question mark. That’s why its an unknown, They could rise above everyone else or just slide right in. I’m just keeping an opening mind.

Final Thoughts:
Like I said at the beginning, 9 days before the Daytona 500, the superbowl of NASCAR, I can’t wait. At the end of 2007, if you remember 2007 for anything in pacific, it’s the year of so much Change, Toyota, the COT, Juan Montoya, new teams, Silly Season in very high swing and a bunch of really big unknowns. Get really, its almost time to go green…See Yeah!

Check out Part One and Part Two of this three part series.

Sunday, February 4, 2007

A dose of photography - This racing fans view from the grandstands.


Image was taken by me with a Kodak EasyShare DX6490

Its been a long and slow writing week for RaceDriven.com, but I just wanted to put this image up for those readers who are ready for the 2007 NASCAR Nextel Cup Series Season to start up, I captured this image when I was at New Hampshire International Speedway last July (2006) for the Busch Series race, hopefully this deason it will be the Cup race.
The Preseason testing is over and now there are back at Daytona for Saturday nights Budweiser Shootout, Thursday's Duel 125's and the superbowl of NASCAR, the Daytona 500.… See Yeah!