Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Which was the most interesting race to watch…Monaco Grand Prix, Indy 500 or The Coca-Cola 600?

What a question to lay out right off the bat, this just happened to be the WindTunnel question of week and it inspired me to go deeper on that very subject. When I look at this past Sunday’s triple elite header of three of the top races all season long that begun at 7:30am, east coast time and went all the way to 10:28PM, the first thing that comes to mind was that…perfect, three huge historical races and a large plain pizza.

I have to admit that the day started off for me at 10am, instead of 7:30am with watching Formula 1’s Monaco Grand Prix via taped delayed thanks to a DVR. I don’t know why, but I really like this race, maybe it’s the course, the layout is so tight, up and down and around even tighter city streets some coming very close to the marina or maybe it’s the history, what every the case, I look forward to a couple of races all season long and this one is number one followed by Canadian GP and of course USGP. With all that said, there is not really much to tell unlike last year with Michael Schumacher threading his way throw the field, this years was really unchallenging for the top 4 at least, because the top 4 starters including both Fernando Alonso on pole with his teammate Lewis Hamilton along side for McLaren-Mercedes, finished the same way. Fernando Alonso wins in Monaco, despite the fact that right from the start Hamilton fell into line right behind Alonso, there was no challenge for the lead, as for Ferrari, there was no challenge from Felipe Massa neither as he couldn't’t keep up and finished 69 seconds back.

I will say the I loved the camera shots from the front nose of the McLaren-Mercedes cars, interesting view points, it just goes to show the tightness of the course and I love the tunnel going under what I think is a hotel. You know, despite that showing, this would be a race I would want to take in, in person.

On the completely opposite side of the spectrum was the 91st running of the Indianapolis 500 and before I even get to the race, four days of qualifying is worthless, go to either a total one day pole and bump day or maybe two day.

Going on to the race, I would call it frustrating, because of the rain, but despite the rain, the shortened Indy 500 came away with running 166 laps, the first half of this one was ok with mostly the lead being swapped by Castroneves and Kanaan a couple of times, after the red flag, that second half up until the rain came again looked like a sprint race, incredible, Andretti-Green racing and Penske Racing were right there fighting it out, and at times it looked like either Marco Andretti or Tony Kanaan were going to win it, but the way this one ended with do you pit or not came down to fuel strategy and a great winner, none other than Dario Franchitti wins the 91st running of the Indianapolis 500, taking home $1,645,233, what a gamble, the call of the race to chance it all and stay out paid off. I have to say, it he had come in and the race did go the distance, I believe that Dario Franchitti would have won it no matter what or at least one of his teammates. Dario Franchitti drove on great race and was strong all day long. (Image from Indy500.com)

Marco’s crash with in the second half a couple minutes before the rains fell scared me, what a flip, but he walked away, what safety.

Finally, the one I had been looking forward to all day long the most, NASCAR Nextel Cup Series longest night, the Coca-Cola 600 in Charlotte. However if the All-Star race the week before had anything to say, this one was going to be rough. This was by far the most frustrating race all day long in the beginning. During the day time, I don’t know what some of these drivers were thinking, wreck after wreck, Jeff Gordon at one point nailed the wall, I think as many as 20 cars involved during the day, but when the sun went down, let the racing begin. Despite the tires, this one was all about taking 2, 4 or no tires, fuel or just plain stay out and all of that happened. At the end of 600 miles, it looked like Jimmie Johnson or Matt Kenseth with Dale Earnhardt Jr. in pursuit were going to win this one, but fuel would play a role, yes fuel mileage, most of the front runners had to pit, but a few stayed out for the gamble and wouldn’t you know it, a Hendrick driver once again shined thought with none other than Casey Mears winning the Coca-Cola 600. (Image from Racingone.com by Getty Images.)

My father said it the best, “He won it doing it honestly and cleanly” and I agree fully, he earned this hands-down. Congratulations to Casey Mears on picking up his first Nextel Cup victory and giving his sponsor National Guard a huge win too. You earned it.

If you thought that was surprising and interest, here’s the rest of the top 5 including J.J. Yeley in 2nd, Kyle Petty in 3rd picking up in first top 5 finish since I think 1997, Reed Sorenson in 4th and with the extra power, Brian Vickers in his Toyota both scored there first top 5 this season leading 78 laps.

After all that, what about question, what was the most interesting race to watch, you know despite the fact that I am a huge NASCAR fan and that it was the longest race, I would have to say it was the 91st running of the Indianapolis 500 wins and not by much nether. Well that’s it for this Memorial Day weekend racing in terms of the top elite on the longest day in Motorsports, Hope you had a Great weekend and don't forget to support our troops. It’s off to Dover next week with the Car of Tomorrow/2008 and FOX’s last NASCAR Nextel Cup Series race of the season, See Yeah!

Friday, May 25, 2007

Who should qualify for the NEXTEL All-Star Challenge?

Wow, its only two days before one of the biggest motorsports days of year and its really simple as to what I am talking about, Sunday… starting in the morning with Formula 1 racing in Monaco, followed by one of The Greatest Spectacle in Racing, the Indianapolis 500 and to rap things up, none other than a 600 mile NASCAR Nextel Cup Series race, the Coca-Cola 600.

Now I pose the question above, last weekends Nextel All-Star Challenge resulted in the Windtunnel question of the week, who should qualify for the All-Star race? I noticed that one of the past all-star race winners was not in the race, in 1996, Michael Waltrip won the all-star race and despite the fact that Michael Waltrip is driving for a different team namely his own, he won the all-star race 11 years ago and should have automatically been in the all-star race no questions asked.

In addition to past winners, any year, the field should also include drivers who have won a race the past year and that year as well, followed by past Nextel Cup Champions.

With all that said, what an all-star race and the yet again changed format, this time is was:
- First quarter: 20 laps / optional pit stop during five-lap caution period.
- Second quarter: 20 laps / ten minute "halftime" break to make adjustments; no inversion of the field.
- Third quarter: 20 laps / mandatory pit stop (or "stop and go") during five-lap caution period.
- Fourth quarter: 20 green flag laps. (Credit: Wikpedia)

Winner of each segments gets $75,000 and the winner of the final segment namely the All-Star winner receives 1 million dollars.

Not a bad format, it had its moments and so did these races. Looking back at the Nextel Open where the winner and runner up advantages to the All-Star race, the action was simple being first on lap one when Juan Montoya started a huge 6+ car wreck coming off of turn 2 as he was just too over something. I don’t know what that guy was thinking, he was at fault plain and simple and then after wrecking the #38, he pulls out back into traffic and clips another car, yeah, someone needs to have a long talk with that guy.

Before the final 5 laps of the open, Carl Edwards ran away with it all, but things went away with Truex Jr and Sauter chancing Edwards down and passing him with a split move and Martin Truex Jr. ended up holding of Johnny Sauter for the Nextel Open victory. The fan vote, Vote in Kenny, and they did, Kenny Wallace wins fan vote. I don’t know what to think of the fan vote, but….

The Nextel All-Star race with none other than yellow walls… yeah that says Nextel. There was one big story going into the All-Star race, NASCAR losses stay and AT&T’s logo goes on to the #31 Jeff Burton car. I for one still couldn’t understand what NASCAR-Nextel are complanting about, but congrads to AT&T, now hopefully it stays on period. What a way to treat a long time sponser, just because Cingular merges/gets buyed up by AT&T, they can’t put the new logo on, come on, not cool. Check out these pictures that ATTNews.us sent me via email and the paint scheme will stay the same.

Cingular, the new AT&T, they might just earn my business as I have Boost Mobile prepaid, if they only had one coverage map for every plan including the Prepaid wireless and there long distance wasn’t so weird. Does anyone use Cingular, the new AT&T prepaid wireless, how is it?

Moving on to the main event, the All-Star race, I will remember this race for tires vs track that doesn’t mix, hard to pass, three wide on the restart and mainly for two reasons, a sight that says look out as Kyle Busch wrecks brother Kurt Busch and on the radio blames brother for accident when making a pass though the grass and not giving enough room on entry, spins and collects his brother, that’s good. But the three wide pass on the restart for the final segment was it and it was all Kevin Harvick needed to hold off Johnson and win the Nextel All-Star Challenge. This race could have been better, but its not the drivers fault, they raced hard all night long and its not Johnson’s house this night, I wouldn’t beat against him in the 600.

NASCAR’s Car of Tomorrow goes full-time in 2008:
I like this idea and support it, despite the fact that “it doesn’t have that wow factor” (by DW), namely its ugly, the safety features and one car for just about every track out weights the everything else. Yes, I would have liked to see NASCAR fix up the current car, but lets face it, the COT created better racing so far and better finishes, plus it hurts Jeff Gordon’s bump and run move, the front and rear bumps are the same height and a bump only purpells the car forward when hit. Plus, owners couldn’t afford the regular schedule, two different cars was going to bankrupt some owners, just too much money. Hopefully everyone sees the benefits of the COT including less cost that now needs to start show results.

Now all we have to do is make the car look a lot better and have each car make have there own marks on the cars besides decals – words and grill layout. Heard that the hood, roof and rear deck is stamped differently for each car? Unknown on that. Well that’s it here, See Yeah!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

TV Spotlight: The Network’s UpFronts and Series Finale Aftermath – Part Two

Two days later… Why is The CW calling last night’s episode of Veronica Mars a season finale? They said it on the show itself and on there website, that makes no since to me, is it cancelled or not? Well despite that, if it is cancelled, I will miss this one, its just interesting watch a beautiful women solve interesting case and in this season finale she did just that, but one could wonder on the ending, what’s the results. Mars charged…Veronica captured and who needs help next…that’s a way to end a series.

Finally Gilmore Girls on The CW, Its sad to see this one go, I’ve watched all of the episodes with the help of course of abc family channel because I came in only a couple of years ago, but what a show. This season was off from the very beginning with the whole Christopher-Lorelai storyline of them getting married, but despite that, this one finished the way it should have with the entire town celebrating Rory’s graduation from college and Lorelai finally getting back together with Luke with a kiss. What a perfect ending and it wasn’t over the top. Just one questions, how did Rory do with here writing on the road covering the candidates running for president? Of course do we even have to ask.

In the end, there goes another fall season with a lot of shows saying good bye even without a final good bye, next September will be a new fall season with a hole new list of shows coming our way. Well is about that time for the mid-season shows including One Tree Hill and its said that the show has fast forwarded to beyond college who’s together, who’s not, where is everyone now? See Yeah!

Monday, May 21, 2007

TV Spotlight: The Network’s UpFronts and Series Finale Aftermath – Part One

Last week in terms of television was a huge roller coaster ride, I would imagine not just for me. At the beginning of the week, meaning Monday, I was interested in seeing just what my 2007-2008 fall television schedule was going to look and I never could have imagine that by weeks end it would have been so disappointing and through in the last minute series finales when I was expecting only season finales, it hurt.

Let’s start simply with the Networks Upfront packages from New York City, I will get into the Series Finale’s later in this multi-part edition.

CBS started thinks off with a bang, naming canceling three of my four shows that are on my Tivo list including Close to Home. Basically the only show that remains on the fall schedule is Survivor. Survivor in China, that’s a huge first, but considering where they have been in the past, this one should be just as interesting. I just wonder what vehicle will be given away this time, I not much for a Ford Super Duty from last year, but neither was the original winner as he gave it away in hopes of getting further in the game and look where that got him.

Moving along to ABC’s UpFront, this one wasn’t as shocking as CBS, namely I was expecting What About Brian to cancelled despite the incredible Stacy Keibler being added to the show, good show none the less. When it comes to ABC, its Desperate Housewives all the way and if you haven’t seen the season finale yet as I just watched it as I type this, you are in for a shocker, Well Done.

Two down, next up was NBC, they announced earlier this year that Las Vegas would be back, but with less episodes and I just found out the Mary and Ed would not be back? What’s that about…anyway no more of The Apprentice as the Donald has said in a press release you can’t fire me, I quit and the only other show to be cancelled was Studio 60 On The Sunset Strip and I already know that was coming.

I know I am out of order a little bit in days, but its more of shockers, then anything else. Well that leave two networks to go…first up is FOX, nothing really big hear as they cancelled Drive, needed more time and so did The Wedding Bells. The O.C. was already out the door months ago even though I was huge fan and that was it. FOX renewed The Simpson’s, King of the Hill, and one of my favorites for sure, ‘Til Death, that’s a funny show. Well, now comes the network that got everyone’s attention including mine…

Welcome to The CW’s Upfront 2007-2008 Fall Schedule…I’ve got nothing renewed and I mean nothing. The only show that even got a gimmer of hope is One Tree Hill that is coming back for the Midseason. Damn, what are they doing to this network. Let me get this straight, the Gilmore Girls is gone (hearing that the girls just could not take the schedule anymore and they wanted a good send off), Veronica Mars is gone as of tomorrow night with a two hour season/series finale, don’t know how that will go, 7th Heaven: the cw reborn is gone too (not much there..) Reba which was a good show and I hope some network picks up was gone early on and that’s it. After the mid-season, I’m done with The CW and caring about any of there shows, just can’t anymore.

I like how the TV Squad put it, the good, bad and ugly. Check out the TV Squad, they got great insight, they kept me up to date on each of these Upfronts, what a total disappointment all the way around, this will be talked about all summer and into the fall. Well, See Yeah for the Series finales in Part Two.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

New PR Shots of the Camaro Convertible Concept and Beat Concept, plus thoughts on NYIAS and Hydrogen

Last week, Chevrolet released some new PR shots of two concepts that were on display at last months New York Auto Show, the Chevrolet Camaro Convertible Concept and the Chevy Beat Concept. Both of these look good, but are two completely different vehicles from each other, one being a legend reborn sports car and the other is a new small car concept.

Since last month's New York Auto Show, I have been thinking of just what was the winners and the losers of the show.

For Chevrolet, they unveiled three new concepts and while the Chevy Grove and Trax didn’t interest me much, this 2007 Chevy Beat Concept looks very interesting in two ways, one being that if its anything like a Scion xb meaning good mph with lots of upgrades for more horsepower, torque and look plus the size of the front seats could be a domestic two-door version of the 2006 Scion xB and second is it looks like the 06 Chevy WTCC Ultra Concept and that’s interesting…looks good if its good enough room for me upfront like the first Scion xB.

As for the Camaro Convertible Concept, its great as always.

Going beyond Chevrolet at the NYIAS, the widely mixed thoughts was on the new 2008 Subaru Impreza’s including the WRX. I had commented previously on the current model as just being ugly and that I had preferred the 2005 version 2-1. The 2008 version looks similar to the current Toyota Camary front end for some reason, buts its better and I wouldn’t mind considering the wagon version too.

One interesting, but not surprising model was the 2008 Jeep Liberty that similar to the Dodge Nitro, no surprise there, however unlike the Nitro, the Jeep Liberty has a new panoramic sunroofs that has a good look to it.

Now what about a loser, Ford you do so much, yet this concept for some reason just doesn’t appeal to me at all, the Ford Flex. I have no idea what exactly they were thinking, but of course some people including suburban families may find this interesting, but just no me.

Now leaving the NYIAS and the new PR shots behind, I close this Auto industry thoughts with something that I have been waiting to see for a long time in general, so many of us go to the gasoline pumps more then once a week to fill up and look up at the prices and just are shocked, it was 5 cents less at the beginning of the week. All of that got me interested and writing on hydrogen. This past week, Chevrolet drove a Sequel 300 miles on public roads without refueling in Upstate New York. I had heard that this vehicle may be in production in 5 years. The United States needs to put the structer in place for hydrogen so this can be available for consumers and in the manufacturers camp, they could build both hydrogen vehicles and gasoline-hydrogen vehicle (that runs on both gasoline and hydrogen, like E85 vehicles.) ...more here.

Well think about it, See Yeah!

Credit for the images: Check out the Chevrolet Sequel 300-Mile Zero Emissions Fuel Cell Drive Gallery, Jalopnik Beat Concept and Camaro Conv. Concept and the 2007 NYIAS at KickingTires.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

On one side we have Dale Jr docked 100 points for what? And other side BDR docked 50 points for unlicensed driver.

I need to think about this, I will repost this one later.

One day later...
Here it is, two completely different penalties handed down by NASCAR this week that has the entire garage area and most fans buzzing and most saying what? More than that, they are both compared and in turn what’s the difference. Like I said, they are for two different series and two different types of rules violations.

First up is the Dale Earnhardt Jr’s penalty which was handed down on Tuesday that docked Dale Jr. and DEI 100 driver/owner points, and his crew chief, Tony Eury Jr., was fined $100,000 and suspended for six races including this weekends Nextel All-Star race for an illegal rear wing mounting part at Darlington Raceway.

Basically this is the first major rules violation on the Car of Tomorrow and NASCAR is making there statement.

According to NASCAR’s memo sent out to all teams that “Outllined penalties for specific infractions on the Car of Tomorrow and specifically listed fines of $100,000, points deductions and suspension.” And its in the 2007 NASCAR rulebook: Rule 20 - 3.1.3b of the Nextel Cup rule book, governing the “car of tomorrow,” states “The NASCAR-approved upper and lower rear wing mounting brackets must not be modified to obtain a rear wing angle of less than zero (0) degrees or more than 16 degrees.” (from FullThrottle)

There’s not much to say after that expect… In my opinion, this penalty is too heavy, I expected a penalty from NASCAR, but this, no way. NASCAR has said in the past that they take each violation into account differently, I believe that this was NOT intentional and that DEI just forgot to remove the testing rear wing mounts before the car was shipped to Darlington. I will be interest in seeing if the appeal has any effect. Bottom Line, there still should be penalty, but not as heavy, maybe a little more than half.

Finally the Bill Davis Racing penalty which is really simple, NASCAR fined BDR and Johnny Benson $10,000 and docked 50 driver/owner points for going to a test session at Lowe’s with an unlicensed driver. I believe the penalty should have been more, an unlicensed driver and the fact they that driver crashed the truck, wow…words can’t describe this one, you need a license to driver a motor vehicle on the road and you need a NASCAR license to race, its that simple.

One more thing, the WindTunnel special on the bold question: “Wonder Boy” Jeff Gordon or “The Intimidator” Dale Earnhardt Who’s Better? There is no need for this question at all, racers from two different times and Gordon only has four championships compared to Earnhardt’s seven championships, come see me when Gordon has seven too. Dale Earnhardt is the better hands-down.

What a week, now its All-Star race time. See Yeah!

NAPA Filters' NPS Extreme Machine Sweepstakes begins May 1, 2007 - Press Release

Click for a chance to Win a Yamaha Power Sport Vehicle.

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Each selected entrant must comply with the Official Rules in order to be confirmed the winner of a prize.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Team Trans-Am wins Bullrun Season 1 on Spiketv.

You know the old saying, long time viewer, first time posting and on this television show "Bullrun" that statement is true. Let’s be honest here, in the beginning, the only reason why I started watching the show was because former wrestler and car guy Bill Goldberg was the host, I really didn't get into this series all that much, but one by one as teams were eliminated and a combination of the stages and the challenges got harder, the show got more interesting. I began watching a couple of teams more and more being the american muscle being the Trans-Am, Charger and F-150 to put names out there. The show reminds me of Survivor and Big Brother which I watch regular, they did a good job, the challenges at times were a little over the top, but if there is another race, I'll watch it...

In watching this entire series, there were a few key moments that really changed the game. First had to be only a few weeks in to the season when Team F-150 took out a video camera and recorded Team Honda and Team Lotus speeding on the highway right by them. This move got everyone’s attention and really sent Team Lotus off on Team F-150 for the rest of the season.

The second, three weeks ago, it was all about Team Lotus and the impact they were about to make, exposing the loophole the game. Team Lotus created “Operation Poison Arrow”, this poison arrow came about to get another team out of the game as a team is eliminated because they have the slowest time, so Team Lotus took their deer sweet time in getting to the checkpoint, that created a huge time gap and Team Lotus would automatically be in the challenge, of course they would have to win the challenge and they did giving the losing team the worst time of the game Team Olds.

That isn’t right, but it’s the game, however for Team Lotus, they still had to beat Team Olds and that’s where “Operation Poison Arrow” failed, due to poor navigating skills in the dark, losing time everywhere and Team Olds picking up the time bonus, Team Lotus went home.

Third, last week’s episode, one thing I didn't understand was after the Charger ran in the challenge and came up with a bad time due to a problem with the carb, what was next…and team olds had no brakes, so a deal could have been made with in exchange for brake fluid, they would let the Charger run again. I could see both sides of it, Team Olds had a bad time (second edition of Team Lotus's killer arrow as I call it) and they had a chance to get a lot of time back or get working brakes to really run the last race with being able to win because they are the best. Of course Team Charger went home.

This also put created a time issue once again in the final leg which I get to in a moment. Finally Bullrun had the final three and it was now all down to this, first a run to the first checkpoint, get the best time in the challenge and race to the border, best time wins Bullrun Season 1.

The final three looked like this, first, Team Trans-Am (the strongest team out there), second, Team F-150 (Right there in every leg) and third, Team Olds (The spoiler that could make this harder for everyone).

Looking back at the final run to the border, you knew that Team Olds still had braking issues and instead of making a deal with Team Charger, they decided to leave it for another day, well the day came in the final leg to the first checkpoint. Team Olds made a 2 hour pit stop to fix their brakes, this really messed up one team from winner and when in the last challenge, Team Olds won over Team F-150, I know it was over for the big ford, but they made up lots of time, but it was down to Team Olds and the fast Team Trans-Am, in the end despite the F150's better time getting there, the best team overall won this series, great job to the father-daughter team, Team Trans-Am.

Note: Rewrote and updated article in May 2009, if you enjoyed this article on the first season of Bullrun, you might want to check out “From 12 Teams to One, Team Shelby wins Bullrun 2.” I wonder if there will be a season 3 of Bullrun?

Monday, May 14, 2007

My Take: Dale Jr’s announcement on leaving DEI at the end of season and his options.

This one his hit me with a little bit of shocking and disappointing as I am a Dale Earnhardt Jr. fan. So here it is, last Thursday morning at his JR Motorsports shop, Dale Jr made a statement and answered questions as he announced that after a year of talks with DEI about a new contract, he has decided to explore other options and he is a free agent.

I watched this press conference live on SPEED that morning and at first I was disappointed, but after thinking about it, I am also excited to see Jr. move on to another team and put himself into a position to once again win races and win a championship. For right now, DEI just doesn’t work for him right now.

So what is Dale Jr’s options for 2008 and beyond, I have been reading and listening to all of the talk on this and his options are simple as he laid out during his announcement.1. Drive for a Top Tier Team, hopefully under the Chevrolet banner.2. Drive for a Second Tier Team hopefully under the Chevrolet banner.3. Last option, Start his own Cup team under JR Motorsports with Chevrolet and lease engines.

Basically Dale Jr’s options are:
Hendrick Motorsports which unless Hendrick makes room for him by removing one of his current drivers is not really an option. RCR that has room and is where Dale Earnhardt Sr. raced and won six of his seven championship. Gibbs racing where he could either take over the #18 car which is a long shot or go to a fourth team. And Ginn Racing has come out and said that they are interest in him and they do have room for him. Outside of Chevrolet, Roush is full with five teams and they need to subtract down to four for the 2009 season. Penske Racing has also spoke that he would like to talk to Dale Jr. about driving for him as well, a Dodge team. And maybe Ray Everham Motorsports too

One Day later...Fuel for thought
After watching WindTunnel last night in hearing Ed Hinton's comments, "Jr. will go to Hendrick Motorsports, Ginn racing is somewhat of a satelite to Hendrick, so maybe one of the younger Hendrick drivers sent out to Ginn on maybe the promise of more money and a higher profile." This quote may come true, think about it..

So bottom line in my opinion, Dale Jr. proving he will stay with Chevrolet brand, he will go to Hendrick Motorsports in either the #5 or #25 car or to Richard Childress Racing to drive a fourth car with a different number and maybe Budweiser as sponser or VISA possible. I don't see the #8 number coming along or maybe even Budweiser...if no Budweiser, a third outcome would be Gibbs Racing in either #18 or a fourth ride (Gibbs: Budweiser could be a deal breaker). In the last resort column, I don't see it, but his own team at JR Motorsports with leasing Hendrick Engines considering JR Motorsports builds SPEED's RaceDay track car and they are powered by Hendrick Engines.

Finally this is what I think on the subject, but don’t expect Dale Jr. to make an announcement for several weeks, look towards July or August and just let him think about for a while.

One note: Someone said something about next season's paint schemes for diecasts needing to be submitted by around July deadline to be available for Daytona?

Well that’s it for me… See Yeah!

Sunday, May 6, 2007

Just a few words on the Crown Royal 400 at Richmond after being postponed.

So the Crown Royal 400 at Richmond for the Nextel Cup Series just finished up a couple minutes ago with Jimmie Johnson winning with his Hendrick Teammates dominated this race thought, I did notice something with the Hendrick cars including Johnson's, his right front tire is cambered in/out - meaning the top of the tire is leaned in so much with the bottom only looking like the inside is touching at all...interesting.

Nevertheless, by the end of this race, most of these cars looked like they just finished a Demo Derby.

Should NASCAR make the COT permanent in 2008? Simply put, YES, still I would like to see NASCAR add a couple more races to the COT schedule this year including the fall Charlotte, Atlanta and Homestead races to show everyone just what this car is going to be like.

I would also like to see the COT in the Nextel AllStar Challenge at Charlotte in a couple of weeks too, but that's little notice for everyone.

I am beginning to like this Car of Tomorrow for its good racing and making these cars just a little harder to drive despite the fact that it is ugly. I will say that that rear wing is really strong, even after backing into the wall for several cars today, they still looked straight.

Well I'm out for now, can't wait for this Saturday night under the lights at Darlington with the Car of Tomorrow (COT), See Yeah!

Friday, May 4, 2007

John Schneider's "General Lee" sells on ebay for 9.9 Million Dollars.


Image from ebay auction page.

That title says it all...So hear it is, a couple of days ago I was surfing around blogs, websites and more looking for those daily news stories and rumors looking for the next interesting topic as if I didn't have enough to talk with NASCAR and all, but on one of my new hot spots, the Cardomain blog that got the story for this CNN story, there it is a story about John Schneider's "General Lee" that he had showed off including on a recent show on televison that cover the Dukes of Hazzard event at Bristol last year and he is now selling it on ebay.

That day, it still had 2+ days out, the bidding was for pre-approveled bidders and at 2.9 million (I think), so I grabed a couple of photos and left, considering the Dukes of Hazzard is one of my favorite shows and I have all the seasons on DVD.

Fast forward to today and I find out it sold for 9.9 Million Dollars on ebay and that it missed the record of 11 million dollars, wow, what price for a modified 1969 Dodge Charger with a 426 HEMI. That's cool.

So let me get this straight, John Schneider's "General Lee" sold for $9.9 Million on ebay motors and Carroll Shelby's personal Cobra sold for 5 Million dollars at this past January's Barrett-Jackson...damn, I wonder if Carroll Shelby would have sold his Cobra on ebay, what would that had made, $11 Million might have been broken.

Bottom Line, that's one fine ride for a premium price, whoever purchased that, enjoy that one...but will that person or group (the owner) drive it? What love to know the answer, its got a HEMI, burn some tires and have fun. Well at least John Schneider still has the General Lee he did a stunt for..See Yeah!

Update: Days later, buyer backed out.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Finally someone has gotten NASCARs attention on the subject of phantom cautions.

For the last couple of years now, NASCAR fans have been talking about what is commonly referred to as phantom cautions and even some drivers including Kyle Petty and Matt Kenseth have commented too on these phantom cautions only they called them entertainment cautions, including Kyle Petty saying “If it helps for better racing, then the more the better and that its all about entertaining the fans”, but despite those comments, until now, NASCAR has not really had any reaction.

Fast forward to last Tuesday's comments made by Tony Stewart on his weekly satellite radio show in which Stewart had a lot to say about debris cautions including using the words “god, wrestling and the integrity of the sport” and the difference is, NASCAR had a reaction, a huge reaction so much that a 6am Friday morning meeting at Talladega was mandatory, following that meeting with a trip to the media center were the media say a completely different Tony Stewart.

Nevertheless I have to say I wouldn’t want to have heard what Stewart had to say just following the phoenix race if he was that frustrated, it was better that he went home to cool off, however he still spoke out and granted it wasn’t the best way to do so, but I will say I applaud Tony Stewart in specking out and it may have opened NASCAR’s eye’s up at least a little bit.

When it comes to entertainment or phantom cautions, there’s no need for them, debris cautions are a fact of racing in terms of safety for the drivers and the fans and this race fan has no problem with them so long as they are justified, not fake. If you want cautions, well try a competition caution either halfway or with 50 miles to go, at least everyone knows.

In the WindTunnel question of the week:
Do you think:

1. Phantom cautions for debris are fine, as long as they make the racing more exciting

2. Phantom cautions are a bogus manipulation of the competition and thus harmful to the integrity of the sport.

My answer is simple, “2”, Phantom cautions are a bogus manipulation of the competition and thus harmful to the integrity of the sport, plus they also contribute to the downfall in ratings and track attendance.

One final comment, if I didn’t enjoy watching NASCAR racing and have a passion for it, then I would not spend 3 to 4 hours on a Saturday night or Sunday doing so, nor spend my hard earned money on collectibles, apparel or tickets to the events and despite all the this, I still have the passion for it. That’s it and hopefully after all of this NASCAR has a clear understanding of just where the fans sit on this subject and where the changes need to be made, now what’s next…See Yeah!