Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Was I correct in my predicting the final 2008 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series standings for the chase?

For the second year in a row, WindTunnel asked the question leading into the chase for the sprint cup, what will the final 2008 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series points standings be? So back in September, I put pen to paper or typed out on my word processor “My Take” and predicted just what the final 2008 Cup Series Standings would be, was I corrected or not and no when I wrong, I am not afraid to admit it.

The first column is my predictions and the second are the official top 12 chase standings:

1. Jimmie Johnson – Correct Pick: Jimmie Johnson three-peats, winning the 2008 NASCAR Sprint cup Series Championship.

2. Carl Edwards – Correct Pick.

3. Kyle Busch – Incorrect Pick, Kyle Busch’s season fell apart in the chase, finishing 10th.

4. Dale Earnhardt Jr. – Nope, Dale Jr. had a good first season with Hendrick Motorsports, but finished 12th.

5. Kevin Harvick – Incorrect Pick, Harvick rebounded with race finishes to finish 4th

6. Jeff Gordon – Incorrect Pick, no victories in 2008 and finished 7th

7. Tony Stewart – Incorrect Pick, left JGR at the end of 2008 to go to Stewart-Haas Racing, Smoke finished 9th.

8. Denny Hamlin – Correct Pick, enough said.

9. Jeff Burton – Incorrect Pick, Jeff Burton won the fall Charlotte 500 race and finished 6th.

10. Matt Kenseth – Incorrect Pick, Matt Kenseth got caught up in other drivers wrecks and mistakes and finished one spor down in 11th.

11. Greg Biffle – Incorrect Pick, came out in a big way by winning the first two chase races in New Hampshire and Dover, I completely underestimated Greg Biffle as he fought all chase long trying to caught Jimmie Johnson, Biffle finished a respectable 3rd spot.

12. Clint Bowyer – Incorrect Pick, Clint Bowyer won the 2008 NASCAR Nationwide Series Championship and finished 5th in the final chase standings, good job, good run.

Well, I got 3 out of 12 correct and in most cases I was off by one spot, of course close only counts in horse shoes, well let’s see how I do next season in 2009. Now I can’t wait until February 15, 2009 for the Daytona 500.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

How long has it been since you checked at your car insurance policy?

When it comes to auto insurance, most people fit into one of two categories, either you are currently in the market to buy a new or used vehicle or you current have a vehicle and have no plans of trading it in or getting rid of it.

First, for those of you who are planning on buying a new or used vehicle, most consumers will research that perfect vehicle in their price range online or in an automotive magazine by reading several crash test results, test drives, professional opinions, owners of the same vehicle’s comments, and more that could take several months, however in most cases, not too many consumers will take even a 1/4 of the time to research their auto insurance, does 30 minutes buying a auto insurance policy sound right to you?

Did you know that the make and model of your vehicle has a big factor in what your auto insurance premium will be (ex: PT Cruiser is less to insurance than a 4x4 or a sports car) and a consumer should do this all before they even visit a dealership lot or buys a car privately, when a consumer goes to buy a new or used vehicle, the consumer should not only have researched, but bought auto insurance for their next vehicle already.

Second, at this point, you must be reading this article and thinking I’m not even in the market for a new or used vehicle, so how does this even relate to me? Well, what most consumers don’t know is that they don’t have to be in the market of buying a new or used car to make changes on their current auto insurance policy or even change their agent or auto insurance companies. It really doesn’t take all that much time to save a little bit of money now a days by going online and researching just what consumers can save (depending upon if you are locked in a contract or not, most consumers are not locked in to a contract and can change at any time, however be sure to read your auto insurance policy first.)

This especially holds true if you are a Massachusetts resident as the state has decided to less regulate the car insurance rates this past April (2008), which ultimately gives Massachusetts residents more options when it comes to what companies residents can buy car insurance with and if you are a Massachusetts resident, you should start by visiting Mass.gov, click on Compare auto insurance rates, they have a full website setup which includes the agents they can go through or buy direct from which companies.

So where should you start (providing you live in the United States), the first website address should be your state’s official website, ex: Massachusetts is Mass.gov, Connecticut is CT.gov, California is Ca.gov, and etc., if you don’t know what yours is, go to your favorite search engine like Google.com and Yahoo.com and search for your state’s official website.

Next, once at your states website, see what tools they have to help you including what companies you can purchase auto insurance with (ex: for Massachusetts residents and some other states have this interesting regulations in place, some companies don’t business in Massachusetts and those few states) either directly from the company or through an agent and keep in mind that auto insurance requirements vary from state to state, then visit the insurance company websites themselves.

One of the best ways to research cheaper auto insurance is to visit a couple of independent sites looking for Free Car Insurance Quotes, again, this is where a good search engine is useful.

In researching, you need to keep in mind, for example, what coverage you are looking for, from your liability coverage, to the comprehensive and collision insurance coverage, uninsured motorist insurance and more, plus your make and model plays a big role here including the engine size.

The next item will be, what is your deductable: $250, $500 which is common and $1000 and then there is others factors as well including discounts. Discounts like airbags, car alarm, and do you have AAA, that will save a little bit.

Once you have your quotes, the next step is to take all of the researched information and the free quotes with numerous auto insurance companies and pick the best one that makes sense for you, if you are going through an agent, check there. And if you know anyone who has done this, it doesn’t hurt to ask.

Just remember, finding affordable car insurance doesn't mean giving up the best coverage to lower your premium, however, you might just be surprised at what you can save.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Contest Closed to the Win a BP $25 Gas Card Contest.

It's official, the win a BP $25 Gas Card Contest is over. A special thanks to M80 on behalf of BP for $25 BP Gift Cards.

- Racedriven.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Who does America want to be in The Biggest Loser 6 finale - Ed or Heba.

I've been watching the Biggest Loser not only all season long, but for years now and for the most part, its an interesting show to watch. Originally, this show has been more about weight loss than game play with some expections of course including one person gainning 17 pounds, however in the last couple of seasons, game play has taken over.

One thing I hate to hear in a reality show whether its Survivor, Big Brother, the Beauty and the Geek or The Biggest Loser just to name a few is that one contestent is safe, so they don't have to worry about anything and that is terrible to hear.

For this season, you have the blue team that has played alot of game play and everyone else in the house has just gone along with it, since day one, these three (Heba, Ed and vicky along with Vicky's husband before her blue teammate voted him out) have been together from the beginning and pretty much safe, well at least they lost weight, of course that you can't take away from them.

So it's always interesting to see contestants get shocked when a twist is revealed and this one carrys over from last season, America Votes for the final contestant to complete in the weight-in at the season finale next tuesday night and wouldn't you know it, its a husband and wife team and once again there's game play involved, Ed gains 2 pounds so his wife Heba can be in the finale, that's sad and he even tells America to vote for his wife. Personally I vote for Ed to be in the finale, let's see what he can do against Michelle and Vicky.

With that said, I want to see Michelle win it all period.

Vote at NBC.com - America's Vote. This should be interesting, the finale will have Michelle, Vicky and ??? (My vote is for Ed), who will win and be The Biggest Loser.

Update on The Biggest Loser Season Finale: Ed got 83% of America's Vote, I guess I wasn't alone after all in voting for Ed, his Heba, who didn't get in to the finale 3, won $100,000 and lost the most weight of everybody, however, wouldn't you know, Michelle won $250,000 and was the Biggest Loser, great job Michelle, she earned it and she looks good.

The next season returns in Jan with The Biggest Loser: Couples.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Jimmie Johnson three-peat tops highlights list of 2008 NASCAR Cup Series Season.

As I sit here reading some of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship week news coming out of New York that all leads up to the banquet on Friday night live on ESPN Classic, yeah who thought that up anyway, first putting it in New York and second televising it on ESPN Classic, does everyone have ESPN Classic, I bet, NO.

Anyway, over the past couple of weeks, I have been thinking over what in my opinion was a good 2008 Cup Series season despite a spit verdict with this new Car of Tomorrow at all racetracks, a unique and at times, safe and yet, a complete nightmare of a car, yeah that works right…. however in most ways, what a good season it was. I would sum up the 2008 season highlights with something for just about everyone.

How about one unique car and a good race, the Daytona 500 to start with? In some ways the COT does play host to some good racing after all and one race this season that was good was the Daytona 500, what a great way to start off the season, a race that always seems to go right down to the checkered flag and this time, it was a unlikely pairing battle between the JGR Toyota’s, that were on the bottom vs. two Penske Racing Dodge’s on the top, who knew that Kurt Busch would pushed his teammate Ryan Newman’s to his first Daytona 500 victory, let along who knew Newman would win this race? What a good victory for Ryan Newman and I can’t think of a nicer guy to win this wild one. (Read Daytona 500 Article…)

Thinking back towards Las Vegas, this one will go down in history as NASCAR getting really tough on COT penalties, I will never forget watching Carl Edwards win the Las Vegas 400 over second place Dale Earnhardt Jr. (I was hoping for Junior to win), and afterwards seeing the picture of him doing a backflip, while at the same time seeing the oil lip cover off which resulted in the second of what would be numorious penalties throughout the season and the start of the docked 150 driver/owner points, and in this case, the loss of 10 bonus points for the chase which didn’t make a huge difference, but made a statement.

The nightmare at the Atlanta 500 Spring race, what a combination NASCAR fans saw, junk tires that turned even the best cars into sliding nightmares, Carl Edwards blowing an engine while leading, Kyle Busch winning his first race with JGR and Toyota’s first Cup Series victory and Tony Stewart bashing Goodyear for their selected tire for the race, that about sums it up doesn’t it, now let’s forget about it.

A picture is worth a thousand words, because no words can possibly describe Michael McDowell’s wreck at Texas, what a hit which was taking by Foxsports.com/Larry Papke - Associated Press.

Father’s day 2008 at Michigan Speedway will be remembered to as this…

“The 2008 season for Dale Earnhardt Jr. has been huge, it’s been Juniors best start to a season in his Cup Series career so far which includes Dale Jr. winning the first two events right out of the gate – The Budweiser Shootout and the first Gatorade Duel race, along with a 9th place finish at Daytona, a second at Las Vegas, a total of 7 Top 5’s and 11 top 10’s leading into Sunday’s Michigan 400, but you know, Sunday was just that race that ended with the headline saying “Dale Jr. wins in dramatic-fashion at Michigan” and those words are priceless for JR Nation including my father (on father’s day) and I who watched the race together… perfect. Neither one of us needed a seat in the closing laps for this one, what a victory.” – Me (Brian Vermette)

…following the June 15th race weekend. (Read More…)

No, the Brickyard 400 wasn’t a highlight of the season, however Kansas was, not for Jimmie Johnson winning the race, but for the award Carl Edwards won, best video game move on the racetrack of the year.

What Regan Smith, Tony Stewart at Talladega, did NASCAR really get the call at the end of the race correct? Belive it or not, there were two calls at the end of this race, first who won and second, where to place second…first I understand NASCAR’s position on the yellow line rule and why Tony Stewart was awarded the victory, a driver can’t go below to yellow line to advance their position, ok fine, I wish they did this better, but the fact is Tony won this race, however, placing Regan Smith back in 18th was the wrong call, he should have been second period. You know this race will be remembered for not only the finish, but also for Carl Edwards with his spotter creating a giant wreck that took out two of his teammates and several more drivers and it was the race that cost Edwards a shot at the championship.

However by far, there were three major events this season that will ring out for years to come in NASCAR depending up who your favorite driver is in NASCAR, if its Dale Jr., Kyle Busch or Jimmie Johnson, then you are in luck, the first is what is called a two-part incident taken place at the Spring race and the fall race at Richmond International Speedway, yeah, you know this by now.

First at the spring race at Richmond, Kyle Busch taking out or spinning out Dale Earnhardt Jr. while leading, that set off Dale Jr. fans (JR Nation) and started the bad boy imagine of Kyle Busch, if Busch wasn’t known before, he was and is now, fans couldn’t get past this. (Read More…)

Fast forward to Richmond in the fall, the last race to the chase and Dale Jr. gets into turn 1 hard, spinning out Kyle Busch, sending him into the outside and then inside wall, nice touch, but I still believe that Dale Jr. didn’t hit him on purpose, but still cool to see.

And Jimmie Johnson three-peat (The 2008 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion), what a perfect way to end the season, just one thing, I am not predicting a four in a row for Johnson, however that would be a first and it’s something to think about, but I wonder who will contend for the 2009 Sprint Cup Series Championship next year, how about who will win the 2009 Daytona 500? February is coming.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Win a BP $25 Gas Card Contest

Update: Contest Closed

I’m sure most of us have seen the every changing gas prices daily over the past several months including hitting $4 for a gallon for gasoline at one point this year, so thanks to M80 on behalf of BP.

I am running a automotive photography contest with each winner receiving one $25 BP Gift Cards. I love photography and while I am out and about, I like to take a couple of automotive photos of cars that look cool, where ever its safe and publish them on my blog whether it’s at an auto show, local car show or in just in a parking lot. People have some of the most interesting vehicles and I love seeing them, so to enter the “Wins a $25 BP Gas card Automotive Photography Contest”, just submit a photo or two taken by you (the submitter) of a car, vehicle, something interesting or cool while you are out and about in the United States (for example a Smart car, a Dodge Challenger HEMI, a Camaro, even your own car) and include a brief description including what it is and where you found it, (please follow the rules below in submitting) for a chance to a chance to win a $25 BP Gift card. I will publish the winning entries with first name only and description on my blog.

To enter the contest all you have to do is:

- Submit an automotive photo of a car with a brief description. The photo must be taken by submitted person (you).
- Photo must be send via email to racedriven@gmail.com as either an attachment or in body, at least 640x480 and no larger than 1024x68 in either .jpg and .gif format, file must be no larger than 100kb, please keep them smaller.
- Please include your mailing address (Your address will not be shared with anyone outside of Racedriven.com)- Subject line “Automotive Photography Contest”.
- I will email you if you have won a $25 BP Gift card to confirm your mailing address.- Only one entry per shipping address, per email address per person.
- Contest is open to United States residents only.
- Contest starts Thursday, November 6, 2008
- Contest ends once all of the $25 BP Gift cards are gone or on Thursday, December 18, 2008.
- Any questions, please email me at racedriven@gmail.com

The winning photos will be published on Racedriven.com with the brief description, thank you.

Be sure to check out the Amoco Ultimate Photo Contest on CarDomain.com.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Johnny Benson and Clint Bowyer each win first NASCAR national championship in a tight points battle despite not having a chase format.

As all three NASCAR national series seasons have come to a close at the triple header finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway last weekend, one question in particular comes to mind, does NASCAR really need to add a new unique chase format to either or both the Nationwide Series and the Truck Series?

Before I get into each series and how it ended, in my opinion, the chase format in the Cup Series was started for two reasons, first as a result of Matt Kenseth in 2003 winning the championship with basically one victory that season and a runaway points standings. Second was in light of the new sponsor Nextel, of course now Sprint. Personally, I believe that the chase format should only be unique to the NASCAR Cup Series, because that the elite series and they should have a different way of determining their champion then the rest of the NASCAR national series.

With that said, the Nationwide Series points battle in past seasons has been nothing to really write about in terms of going down to the wire, however for 2008, that wasn’t the case, one driver/team didn’t dominate the races and win the series championship a couple of races before the finale (like Kevin Harvick did a couple years ago or like Carl Edwards did last season), instead NASCAR fans were treated, saw two (Cup Series Regular) drivers and teams battling all season long for that covered driver’s championship and of course a whole new race for the owners championship as the Nationwide Series has been know for.

You had to be impressed with both Clint Bowyer, a more consistent driver vs. the hard charging Carl Edwards, a driver that goes out and puts it all on the line without wrecking people and wins races. I enjoyed the driver’s championship chase this year, the chase is suppose to go down to the final laps in the last race of the season and where it wasn’t decided until the checked flag flew because Carl Edwards did everything he could do including winning the race, but to his surprise, Clint Bowyer finished 5th, of course that was enough for Clint Bowyer to capture his first Nationwide Series title by just 21 points over Edwards.

Bottom line, Carl Edwards did everything he could going down to finale race in Miami including winning the last race, but Clint Bowyer did it just that little bit better with the finishes. If NASCAR wants to make a change, then how about adding 10 bonus points per victory all season long, that way it’s not just consistent finishes that win championships, but victories that wins a championship.

Clint Bowyer: Carl gave us a hell of a run for our money right there at the end, he did, you knew it was coming. He was going for it and then, when Carl Edwards goes for it he goes for it. Just really proud of you know, all the guys, they did an extremely good job. BB&T backed us, Camping World, everybody that’s involved with this, Snap-on and Richard for giving me the opportunity. It means so much to be able to come out and compete at this level and to be able to win a championship it’s really cool.

Carl Edwards: Definitely it’s frustrating to not win the championship, I mean that’s what we set out to do this season. But I believe that I understand the spots of where we lost it, things that I did that cost us some points, and I think over the last, I don’t know, 10 or 15 races, we have executed and performed at a really high level. If we can continue that going into next season, then it might almost be worth it, you know, to have learned what we learned this season even though it cost us a championship. But yeah so it is frustrating but trust me there’s no shame in trying your hardest and giving it all you’ve got and getting beat. You know you’ve just got to keep going.

Bowyer reflected on his humble beginnings as he savored his victory.

Bowyer: It’s just incredible. I mean, it makes you think back to how it all started, you know working in a body shop in Kansas and trying to figure out what was the next move. You’re out of money, your parents gave up, you know, three retirements to get you to where you’re at and you know it was kind of the end of the road and out of nowhere my cell phone rings and it was Richard. You know it’s just unbelievable to think back how my career started with a race in Nashville and then winning my first race in the Nationwide Series at Nashville, and you know very proud to be able to do this for Richard. Kind of feels like giving back for taking a chance on me, and you know it finally paid off for him. – Quotes from Nationwide.com
However, while the Nationwide Series had a good battle for the championship down to the wire in Miami, the Truck Series had just a three-point difference between leader Johnny Benson and second place Ron Hornaday Jr. going into the finale and this is not the first time in the series history that the Truck Series has had the best points battle neither.

What a battle all season long, so many times in watching the 2008 Truck Series season, I though boy this points battle should have changed, but it didn’t, what racing luck both teams had, case in point, Phoenix, the second to last race of the 2008 season, Ron Hornaday Jr., racing hard into turn 3 underneath Kyle Busch all to lead a lap, losses the his truck and hits the wall, the points standings should have been spread out, but no, Johnny Benson crashed too later in the race, as a matter of fact, Hornaday gained a couple of points on Benson because that #33 team fixed that truck right the first time.

In watching the finale in Miami on television, you couldn’t help but notice that whoever finished in front of the other one was going to win the championship. This title could have gone either way, first it was Johnny Benson’s, then during the middle to the final laps of the race, it was Ron Hornaday Jr. up by a couple of points, however it all came down to that final caution flag and whether to take four tires or just rightside tires. Two factors here, first Hornaday took 4 tires which I though and still believe was the right call for the final laps, they though it out on the line and let the chips fall where it may.

Second, Scott Speed played a role in this one too. I bring this up for two reasons, one because it’s true, he is driving a Toyota and that was his teammate. Speed on the restart, spun his tires and blocked Hornaday for chasing down Benson, passing him and possibly winning the championship, however one thing to keep in mind, even if Hornaday had passed Benson with a couple laps to go. He would have still had to pass one more truck to win the championship, but for what it’s worth, great battle all season long, and to see Benson and Hornaday battle right down to the checkered flag was perfect, I was hoping for Ron Hornaday Jr. and the KHI #33 crew to win the championship, but Johnny Benson did a great job and I congratulate him, he won the championship by 7 points over Ron Hornaday Jr., so does the Truck Series really need a chase format now, no thanks, however I would like to suggest same thing I suggested for the Nationwide Series, add 10 bonus points per victory all season long, that way it’s not just consistent finishes that win championships, but victories that wins a championship.



Johnny Benson (23) and Ron Hornaday Jr. race side-by-side during the Ford 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Benson finished seventh and Hornaday finished eighth, giving Benson his first series title. That’s what I am going to remember about the Truck Series Chmapionship in 2008 going down to final lap in Miami.(Photo Credit: Geoff Burke/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Friday, November 14, 2008

The ever-changing NASCAR: DEI/Ganassi merger, new testing policy and the end of an era for some.

As NASCAR gears up for their season finale, the NASCAR championship weekend in Homestead, FL, that includes the crowning of all three National Series Championships which for the most part are all up for grabs, there seems to be a theme growing throughout the garage area, entitled ever-changing economy and what NASCAR and teams/organizations are going to do to survive to race in 2009.

With that said, a domino fell, as on Wednesday, Dale Earnhardt Inc and Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates announced in a statement:

Two of motorsports’ biggest names – Earnhardt and Ganassi – will launch a four-car team beginning in 2009 through the combination of the motorsports operations of Dale Earnhardt, Inc. (DEI) and Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates, Inc. (CGRFS). NASCAR stars Martin Truex Jr. and Juan Pablo Montoya will drive the Nos. 1 and 42 respectively and future star Aric Almirola will be behind the wheel of the No. 8. The driver of the No. 41 will be named in the near future.

“In this ultra-competitive era of NASCAR, it is necessary to build and sustain the strongest team possible and our combining with thepeople and equipment at Dale Earnhardt Inc. will help create a strong four-carprogram for years to come,” said Chip Ganassi. “This is a win-win for both organizations as well as all of our partners.”

“Having a partner like Chip who is heavily involved on the competition side of the business is an ideal situation for DEI,” Teresa Earnhardt said. “He has a long history of managing championship teams in the IndyCar and Rolex Grand-Am Series and I share his passion and goals of winning races and ultimately championships in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. I think this is a case where we are stronger together than we are apart.” Details of the new four-car operation will be announced at a future date. – Ganassi Racing website.
This one took me by surprise and in a sense that my first thoughts were, DEI is gone, personally, since Dale Jr. left DEI, they really haven’t made an impact on me, however it still was Dale Earnhardt’s company, now with this merger, DEI is gone and it’s now Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates.

It seems to be a sign of the things to come in NASCAR. I remember Felix Sabates saying on NASCAR Now earlier this year that NASCAR should have a 36-car field on the Cup Series in 2010. You know, I thought the idea was over blown and not something NASCAR should consider in the first place, why make it harder for already struggling teams to make the race and besides, it’s not NASCAR’s job to do that, it will be the teams who creates that number (up to 43) and this merger removes three-cars in sense.

Word is, they will be running a four-car Chevrolet team. This is where I began thinking as well, in a shaky economy, why wouldn’t Chevrolet just release DEI from their contract and let this new 4-car race team run Dodge’s instead.

Chevrolet already has a 4-car Hendrick Motorsports, 2-car Stewart-Haas Racing and 4-car Richard-Childress Racing, so why not cut back their, besides, those are your best teams anyway. Now the only problem besides the 5-year Chevrolet contract for DEI is that RCR and DEI have combined their engine program into one, however Ganassi Racing has a Dodge engine department and using that might be better..

However as an even more changing economy, NASCAR has done a complete 180 in there testing policy, it was originally discussed that NASCAR would give every organization 24 days of testing, but earlier today, NASCAR made this statement:

In an effort to help teams manage costs, NASCAR is suspending testing for its three national and two regional racing series for the 2009 season.

Testing for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, the NASCAR Nationwide Series,the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, as well as the NASCAR Camping World East and West Regional Touring Series at tracks hosting any of those events are included in the 2009 policy.

NASCAR reached this decision followingseveral months of discussion with the teams regarding testing, coupled with the current economic conditions. The suspension of testing should save the industry millions of dollars.

"This is a significant move during an unusual time for all of us," said NASCAR President Mike Helton in making the announcement.“NASCAR has routinely adjusted its test policy over the years to reflect current conditions. This is another example of that.” – NASCAR PR
Surprised, but not, this really changes what NASCAR teams can do, there is no testing allowed at most racetracks in the United States, as a result, I would imagine that this would say a few million dollars, but mark this, teams will find a way to test. Rockingham Speedway and the half-mile test track that looks like Martinsville comes to mind, VIR road course and some test tracks including Chevrolet’s, Ford’s, Dodge’s and Toyota’s test tracks will be used , plus don’t be surprised to see maybe Roush or Hendrick build a new track just to test. Look at the track list for all 5 racing series, Hickory, Greenville-Pickens Speedway, Kentucky, Nashville are all on the list of not allowed to test at.

And as the NASCAR Championship Weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway begins to plays out, take some time and first check out what will bring the field in the Ford 400 to the green flag, a 2010 Ford Fusion hybrid and remember that for some, it is truly the end of an era.

Last season at this time, the drivers, teams, owners, media and the fans were all talking about Dale Earnhardt Jr’s final race in the #8 Budweiser DEI Chevrolet, for this season it’s Tony Stewart as Stewart will leaving Joe Gibbs Racing to join the newly formed Stewart-Haas Racing which will field Chevrolets. With this move, Ryan Newman will leave Penske Racing to join him in the second car.

Like I said earlier this year, this a good move, not only for Chevrolet because they get there star back, but because Stewart wants to be an owner. I believe he will not only be a winning car owner, but winning driver and 3-time champion. What’s Next…

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

No excuse for ABC to switch from NASCAR in Phoenix to America’s Funniest Home Videos.

On Monday, ESPN explained the decision to switch the remainder of the live telecast of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race in Phoenix in the Eastern and Central time zones of the US at 7:30pm from ABC to ESPN2 for other programming:

"After two red flags, rain in Phoenix and 4 1/2 hours on ABC, we were still 34 minutes from the end of the telecast as it turned out. We told fans in the East and Central from the second red flag on that the race was moving to ESPN2. ABC's entertainment viewers and NASCAR fans were both well served in a tough spot, and we are fortunate to have ESPN2 among our networks to serve the fans." - ESPN

What a statement made by ESPN after last Sunday night’s Cup Series race in Phoenix, so now, instead of the big story of the night being a good race and the chase for the championship, it’s now going to be why would ESPN switch from the live Cup Series race to America’s Funniest Home Videos that headlined kicking it in the crib, garage door dove and doggy go round, well at least the episode was new, by the way, kicking in the crib won.

Yeah I don’t think that made a difference to NASCAR fans either, can imagine, as NASCAR fan watching the race #34, which was also a chase race #9 In Phoenix that had already run late due to rain and wind, not to mention having a good battle upfront for the lead, to hear the announcer say at the bottom of the hour, you would have to turn your television to ESPN2 to caught the remainder (last 34 laps) of the Cup Series, oh wait that happened, believe me, it didn’t go well in this house neither, well at least this was the first time right, nope not even close. And here I thought that what FOX did earlier this April which ironically was here at Phoenix, a good 1 mile track that produces good racing and yet…

In my opinion, there is no reason why ABC should have switched the race to ESPN2 for America’s Funniest Home Videos, I just don’t get it, just one question, now I have digital cable and most people due, however, can you imagine watching this race with 34 laps to go, Jimmie Johnson leading, Jeff Gordon his teammate had a blown engine, the #26 and #2 breathing down knocking on your back bumper and not having ESPN2 on your television??? Sorry ESPN, you cut a classic duel in the desert for America’s Funniest Home Video and yet even though I have ESPN2, no luck here, this was not the right call at all period.

So, first, does this beat out FOX switching from the Boston Red Sox game I might add was due to a lengthy rain delay to the NASCAR Cup Series race earlier this April with ironically was at Phoenix International Raceway? Of course FOX switched from Baseball to NASCAR if that makes any difference, which it doesn’t, however FOX had a no win deal when it came to FOX in Boston, ABC/ESPN did have a win lose deal here and they lost.

So anyway, second, I mean second, what was the second biggest story coming out Phoenix on that evening/night? In being a NASCAR fan, one of the best racetracks on the schedule in my opinion besides Richmond and Bristol is Phoenix which I heard was a sellout crowd, good to hear in this economy, which I might add, turned out to be a good race depending upon what you classify as a good race.

If a good race to you is lots of side-by-side racing, lots of passing which is what racing is in the first place throughout the field, the drama following the #24 Jeff Gordon’s engine blowing up and that it might affect the points leader Jimmie Johnson, then it a good race, however if a good race is centered upon the number of lead changes, passing in the top 3 perhaps, then maybe you had a problem with the race considering Jimmie Johnson started on the pole and changed the lead around with Kurt Busch and Jamie McMurray, before leading the most laps, dominating, winning the race and making huge statement in the championship, then it might not have been a good race, personally it was your classic duel in the desert, but nothing is going to top the spring race at Phoenix which Jimmie Johnson won in a late race drama of fuel mileage.

You know in watching this race, a few notes, I found it a little ironically that last week at Texas Motor Speedway, David Gilliland got in it on the racetrack with Montoya and that one ended with Gilliland pulling a dangerous move turning down on Montoya and wrecking him and of course himself in the process and then fast forward to Phoenix, Gilliland found himself getting jacked up by Scott Speed.

What a sight to see, a photo is worth a thousand words, check that one out, however if you are reading this with no images, then imagine if you will, once the smoke cleared, Gilliland in his #38 was jacked up in the air sitting with his rear end on top of the #84 Red Bull of Scott Speed hood, does anybody got wings...

Finally, specking of the chase for the championship, this one is about over depending upon what Jimmie Johnson does, this is his third championship and all he has to do is go get it finishing better then 35th, last year at Homestead, he was points racing, but if he knows he has this championship, I think he is going to go for the victory too and that has been Jimmie Johnson in this seasons chase and if he three-peats, that would be perfect in my eyes period and he’s earned and so has his entire #48 Hendrick Motorsports crew.

(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Win a BP $25 Gas Card Automotive Photography Contest

Update: this contest has closed.

I’m sure most of us have seen the every changing gas prices daily over the past several months including hitting $4 for a gallon for gasoline at one point this year, so thanks to M80 on behalf of BP, I am running an automotive photography contest with each winner receiving one $25 BP Gift Cards.

I love photography and while I am out and about, I like to take a couple of automotive photos of cars that look cool, where ever its safe and publish them on my blog whether it’s at an auto show, local car show or in just in a parking lot. People have some of the most interesting vehicles and I love seeing them, so to enter the “Wins a $25 BP Gas card Automotive Photography Contest”, just submit a photo or two taken by you (the submitter) of a car, vehicle, something interesting or cool while you are out and about in the United States (for example a Smart car, a Dodge Challenger HEMI, a Camaro, even your own car) and include a brief description including what it is and where you found it, (please follow the rules below in submitting) for a chance to a chance to win a $25 BP Gift card. I will publish the winning entries with first name only and description on my blog.

To enter the contest all you have to do is:

- Submit an automotive photo of a car with a brief description. The photo must be taken by submitted person (you).
- Photo must be send via email to racedriven@gmail.com as either an attachment or in body, at least 640x480 and no larger than 1024x68 in either .jpg and .gif format, file must be no larger than 100kb, please keep them smaller.
- Please include your mailing address (Your address will not be shared with anyone outside of Racedriven.com)
- Subject line “Automotive Photography Contest”.

- I will email you if you have won a $25 BP Gift card to confirm your mailing address.
- Only one entry per shipping address, per email address per person.
- Contest is open to United States residents only.
- Contest starts Thursday, November 6, 2008
- Contest ends once all of the $25 BP Gift cards are gone or on Thursday, December 18, 2008.
- Any questions, please email me at racedriven@gmail.com

The winning photos will be published on Racedriven.com with the brief description, thank you. Be sure to check out the Amoco Ultimate Photo Contest on CarDomain.com.

- Racedriven

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

What about merging the NASCAR Nationwide Series and the NASCAR Truck Series?

Even with the good addition of Camping World coming on-board as the title sponsor in the truck series for the next seven-years beginning in 2009 replacing the longtime series sponsor Craftsman, which had been the sole title sponsor since the inception of the NASCAR Truck Series in 1995, and the fact that the truck series has some of the best races all season long, is short, action packed and to the point, there is some huge problems in keeping the series as is right now.

You have the manufacturers, Dodge is pulling back support and so is Ford, I don’t know to what how much, but its big do to the economy, not to mention that truck sales are so far down right now. Another point is smaller fields at a lot of races in 2008 and then there’s sponsors, case in point there, even the points leader #23-Johnny Benson hasn’t had sponsorship in a couple of races this season and he’s winning and on television regularly, so…

Now look at the Nationwide Series, there are having the same problems there too, from sponsorships with sponsors would rather sponsor Cup drivers than up and coming drivers, to NASCAR trying to introduce the new Nationwide Series COT car in 2010, some of these teams are not going to be able to pay for it, not to mention the schedule, it doesn’t fit the neither series either with 25 races for the Truck Series and 35 races for the Nationwide Series.

How? It would call for merging both the Nationwide Series with the Truck Series, using the Truck Series rules, tire usage and so on, since manufacturer truck sales are down, it would use a much safer Nationwide COT car, in turn it would create more sponsorship opportunities, a 43+ car field weekly (no way of knowing fully), a better, filler schedule with a completely different car/vehicle from the cup Series so the nationwide Series isn’t called the Cup Lite’s, more drivers, however it will also force some drivers, teams, and owners out of the series.

The point is, while I personally love watching the Truck Series most of the time and sometimes the Nationwide Series races on television, there does need to be change here and yes even merging both series might be a good idea, I’m just thinking more on-track competition week on and week out…hopefully, there are good changes on the horizon in NASCAR, but just remember, NASCAR has lived on for well over 50 years now and they have done well so far, I’m here watching, you’re here watch, I’m writing on it, covering it and other are too, they must be doing right, but you can always make it better in small increments.

What would you do with the Nationwide Series and Truck Series?


Carl Edwards (No. 60) and Kevin Harvick lead the field to green at the start of the NASCAR Nationwide Series O'Reilly Challenge Saturday at Texas Motor Speedway. (Photo Credit: Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR via NASCAR PR)

- Racedriven

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Qualifying in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series makes all the difference.

As I sit here watching final practice (or for some, Happy Hour which is normally not happy nor an hour long) for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series which is in final preparation for tomorrow’s 500 mile race at Texas Motor Speedway, one discussion not only in the media, but with NASCAR fans that has been widely talked about is NASCAR’s current qualifying policy.

Over the past several years, NASCAR has tweaked there Cup Series qualifying policy a few times including recently breaking up the qualifying into two sessions, first the top 35 cars will qualify and then second, the go or go home drivers (the drivers that must qualify on speed due to the fact that they are not in the top 35 in points) which gives the must qualify on speed drivers all a fighting chance in the same weather and track conditions to make the 43 car starting field for the big race.

The current policy is working pretty well, of course I don’t care much for watching single car qualifying, but at least it’s fair for all drivers, two laps to get the best speed, fastest speeds and top 35 status makes the field.

However for the past several years, NASCAR hasn’t experienced canceling qualifying due to rain on a regular basis, as a matter of fact, in 2006 NASCAR only canceled qualify twice, first at Bristol and then at Atlanta, in 2007, it bumped up three times of qualifying canceled, first at Texas, then Daytona and Watkins Glen, in 2007, NASCAR only canceled qualify three times, first at Texas, then Daytona and Watkins Glen.

One note, Watkins Glen is a road course which has had their qualifying canceled in the last three years, that’s an interesting thing to know.

But here’s where the new problem comes in, so far in 2008 (as of Texas Motor Speedway), NASCAR due to its current qualifying policy has been forced to cancel qualifying due to rain a total of 10 times, which includes California, Bristol, Michigan, Chicago, Watkins Glen, Richmond, New Hampshire, Charlotte, Martinsville and Atlanta. 10 times, that a series record, not a record NASCAR would ever want to achieve.

So with more than 43 cars on just about any given weekend showing up to attempt to make qualifying lap, what is NASCAR to do to ensure that each driver/team at least has a fighting chance to make the field and not have to turn around and go home because qualifying was canceled due to rain or something else? Well, in my opinion, there are two options…

Keep in mind, there must be more than 43 drivers/teams attempting to qualify, and weather and schedule permitting at the racetrack…

1. Hold qualifying on the next day for the entire field, this option takes around 2 to 3 hours to complete which would fall mostly on Saturday. The downside is that the next day schedule doesn’t normally have that must open room on the schedule.

2. Hold qualifying on the next day for only the go or go home drivers, the cars that are required to qualify on speed. This option would set the field by owner’s points for not only the top 35, but for the entire 43 car starting lineup. There really isn’t as big of a downside here, it would only take 30 minutes, plus a practice session before the qualifying and the field is set by owner’s points.

In my opinion, while I would like to see the first option happen with all drivers/teams attempt to qualify, it may not be possible for that to happen due to the next day schedule, so instead the second option is better, first it takes less time for qualifying to be held along with a practice session before qualifying if it wasn’t held the previous day and most importantly, it allows the go or go home drivers (the must qualify on speed cars because they don’t have a golden pass) to at least make an attempt. Every drivers/team has a chance to make the race period.

Either way that NASCAR goes would be better for those teams that are outside of the top 35 in points, just remember, NASCAR has always been open on having an driver/team come in to any given race whether it’s the Daytona 500 that draws 50 cars sometimes, the Brickyard 400, Bristol 500 or another race and be able to attempt to make the field, that’s racing, any (eligible) driver/team who can go racing, should be able to go racing in all of NASCAR’s three national series and that shouldn’t change just because NASCAR is getting bigger every year.

In 2009, NASCAR should add this to their qualifying policy and in the current shaky economy, more sponsors and owners would find this appealing considering that NASCAR is a sponsorship driven sport.

- Racedriven

Sunday, October 26, 2008

What a weekend from Taylor Swift at the World Series to the NASCAR Cup Series in Atlanta and all points in between.

In a simple word, column, this weekend I decided to write a simple column on this past weekend this time around, let me know what you think, I believe it really gives my readers a better look at everything though my eyes and that’s what writing is all about...Saying what a weekend seems to be an understand in this day in age depending upon who you are, it seems that on any given weekend you can do, see or watch just about anything and this weekend was not difference.

However before the weekend, what headline did I read on Wednesday afternoon from NASCAR PR but Vickers and the #83 Red Bull Team got caught shaving weight? Why doesn’t this surprise me, with the current Cup Series COT and no gray area to work with, NASCAR may be finding more and more teams trying to find that edge to make their cars just a little bit faster, even by a faction of a second, however isn’t there a safety issue with using downgraded sheet metal in the doors and fenders?

This is one area of NASCAR and building these cars that I am still trying to understand, but is it really worth a few faction of a second on the racetrack and at the same time worth risking getting penalized by NASCAR? Not in my opinion, I hate to say this, but I liked what Chad Knaus did at Sonoma last year, the bubble over both front tires like what you would find on a 1970 Plymouth Superbird, at least that creative, this sheet metal bit wasn’t.

So as a result, Brian Vickers and the #83 Red Bull racing team got hit with what now seems to the normal COT penalty of being docked 150 driver and 150 owner points, the crew chief was fined $100,000 and was indefinitely suspended after NASCAR officials determined during a random post-race inspection at Martinsville that the sheet metal did not meet the minimum thickness specifications. (Penalty details from NASCAR PR)

Anyway, starting on Friday for the Cup series at Atlanta, it was basically just what NASCAR fans have seen a total of 10 times this season, rain, rain, rain and no practice or qualifying for the Cup guys, which means once again fans are out of luck and so are go or go home drivers and for Joey Logano, that meant he wouldn’t get the chance to qualify yet again in the #02 Home Depot Toyota. Interesting note on him, according to J.D. Gibbs, the rumors on Logano not going full-time cup racing next season is false. I would be very surprised to see Logano not run full-time in the #20 Home Depot Toyota next season.

In watching the Atlanta action on television, it’s always interesting and yet sometimes you just want to click the mute button and it’s was no different during the Truck Series, Nationwide Series and Cup Series broadcasts, but would somebody please tell me why Memphis has a Nationwide Series event at Memphis or why NASCAR doesn’t create double header weekends at Memphis, Kentucky, Nashville, Gateway and The Milwaukee Mile for the Nationwide series and the Truck Series, this is ridicious for the fans.

Anyway, Memphis for the Nationwide Series was once again a nightmare and yet what gives with Bobby Hamilton Jr., does he get alone with any driver in NASCAR? Let’s just leave Saturday for the Nationwide Series at Memphis with Carl Edwards wins, Kenny Wallace gets a much needed 4rd place finish, good job Kenny and Bobby Hamilton Jr. can’t get along with any driver in NASCAR including Landon Castle period, oh yeah, is NASCAR going to fine him for his wife giving the bird to Castle on television, then again, don’t count on it, while Atlanta for the Truck Series was Ryan Newman wins as KHI gets a 1-2 finish, you see, that #2 KHI truck does run right, that’s all I am going to say about that.

The highlight on Saturday night was at the World Series, now let me just say that it takes something special for me to tune in to the World Series when the Boston Red Sox isn’t in it, however seeing the Rays vs. the Phillies works for me, plus it’s the World Series after all, enough said right, well game 3 had one huge draw for me as a country music fan and once the rains cleared, yeah Taylor Swift singing the National Anthem was perfect, I loved it, 2-3 minutes of heaven and now I am just waiting to buy her latest CD “Fearless” in a couple of weeks before the CMA’s in Nashville.

But you know, leave it to me to top an interesting weekend off with one of my passions in life, watching Motorsports on television, more so, NASCAR racing, last weekend it was racing at Martinsville, a tight half mile that produces good hard racing and yeah tires were an issue for some like Kyle Busch just to name one driver, while on the flip side, I was thrilled to see Dale Jr. back running up front finishing 2nd, but the man was Jimmie Johnson, who dominated and won that 500 lapper, so when it comes to this weekend’s 500 miles at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Jimmie Johnson would be the first one who comes to mind.

However the story line was tires today, so I really don’t know what to say about the COT, the tires for this track, nor the racing at Atlanta this year, but damn, I will say that while the racing was better than the Spring race, it WASN’T because of the tires, these drivers really know how to hang on to these cars turn after turn, lap after lap and all that made a driver like superman was 4 doctor feel goods – that’s Darrell Waltrip’s term (4 doctor feel goods are 4 free tires).

Tires, Tires, tires, damn enough with the tires already, whoever had 4 free tires was superman today at Atlanta, so leave it to Jimmie Johnson to make a show out of it after going a lap down early because of a pitroad speeding penalty under green when the crew chief Chad Knaus made a late race call to give 4 fresh tires to Jimmie Johnson, can you say superman, damn the closing laps were a good one to watch, Johnson was coming in a hurry, passing Gordon, Hamlin, Kenseth, Dale Jr. and more, but while Johnson couldn’t caught the race winner Carl Edwards in the end, hats off to Jimmie Johnson in what should have been a bad day, that #48 team turned it around and in my opinion, their second place finish was not only a victory in my eyes, but that’s what championship are made of with just 3 races to go.

By the way, great to see former WWE Champion John Cena recovering nicely as he was in attendence at the Cup Series race at Atlanta and in victory lane with Carl Edwards.

I will have more on the chase for the championships in all three series later this weekend, so until then, see yeah! (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images via Yahoo! Sports)

- Racedriven

What a weekend: IRL IndyCar Series racing down under for no points on the Streets of Surfers Paradise.

Yeah, you read it correct, the season is over, Scott Dixon and his #9 Ganassi Racing team has won the 2008 IRL IndyCar Series Championship and yet there is one more race to go. I was a little surprised with this one being added to the schedule like this and yet maybe not. I have never really been one who enjoys watching indycars race on the Streets of Surfers Paradise, however then again with so many teams and no points on the line, this could be a fun race, can you say no points racing, all out, new teammates, this could be go after all.

It’s always a good sign to see just how many teams would fly over 30 hours to Australia for a non-points event, but what a turn out, the entry list is a who’s who in indycar racing from Dan Wheldon back racing for Panther Racing, Dario Franchitti in Wheldon’s old ride at Ganassi racing, Buddy rice in at Dreyer & Reinbold Racing and from the former Champ car World Series and CART, Bruno Junqueira and Alex Tagliani, however no Paul Tracy, that’s a sad, he won at surfers paradise back in 1995-1996, I was looking forward to watching Tracy race again this season, only two races all season long, first at the finale CCWS race at Long Beach and then again Rexall Edmonton Indy in Edmonton, hopefully he will have a full-time ride somewhere either in NASCAR or the IRL IndyCar Series next season (2009). Good start.

So the question now is, will the IRL IndyCar Series be returning to Surfers Paradise in 2009? The thing about temporary street course’s are, the racing is a fine art, hitting your marks within an inch or two of wall while trying to running all out lap after lap, at the same time defending your position and trying to overtake the car in the front of you. Normally these street courses don’t have such good racing, however every now and then they do, it’s all in what you consider good racing.

That means you have to have passing and for the race itself, while I only caught the second half of the race due to DVR problems, it wasn’t bad to watch on television.

Originally I was more concerned about the course itself, I mean it looks like they didn’t change the course from last year or the year before, however some of the corners were interesting at times along with the curbing, but who knows.

So will they, I’m sure the winner Ryan Briscoe would think so and maybe even second place Scott Dixon, however I would expect to see Australia back on the 2009 schedule, but after that, who knows with this economy, the travel costs alone have got to be huge for 20+ teams to go down there with all of their equipment, back cars and people, still it could work. Comments.

- Racedriven

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Carroll Shelby’s first racecar and three Boyd Coddington rides among the vehicles at Barrett-Jackson in Las Vegas.

It’s been months since I have watched a car auction on television and that would have been back in mid-January watching the Barrett-Jackson from Scottsdale. In watching that auction, I had always wondered why Barrett-Jackson would host there most promising auction in Scottsdale, when Las Vegas is only a little over 200 miles away and you can have most of it in doors in a casino.

With that said, my answer somewhat was answered this past weekend with the famous Barrett-Jackson car auction in the city that never sleeps, Las Vegas, what an interesting combination. I really didn’t know exactly what to expect for rides nor hammer prices.

There were five cars going across the auction block on Saturday night that really got my attention, first up was the 2006 Ford Mustang Custom “FunkMasterFlex”, it was being auctioned off by Ford with the check being written to charity. I’ve always had a place in my heart for Ford Mustangs, it’s a car that gets my attention just about every time I see one from a 1965 Ford Mustang that would caught my eye even a block away, a 1968 Ford Mustang Fastback GT that appeared in the movie Bullett, what a great movie and that car chase, Bullett going after a black 1969 Dodge Charger, away to a 2008 Ford Mustang right off the showroom floor, especially in a black Roush edition (must be black, it’s the only way to go) or even better a Shelby GT500 KR, nice car…fast.

The Mustang going across the auction block hammered for $300,000, nice touch was little girl on stage.

However the next three vehicle were build by the late, great hotrod builder Boyd Coddington, I remember the day earlier this February when I was surfing Autoblog.com and in the breaking news column read Boyd Coddington dies at age 63, I was completely shocked, two of my favorite cars he built was a 1936 Delahaye Street Rod named “Whatthehaye” that sold at Barrett-Jackson years ago as well as a 1957 Chevy 2 door hardtop named “Chezoom” that sold too at Barrett-Jackson for a tick over $300,000, so when these next three cars came across the block, I was very interested in seeing just what the Las Vegas crowd would pay for one these Boyd Coddington creations.

First up was a black 1932 Highboy Roadster that sold for $120,000, second car was a 1957 Pink Cadillac Series 62 Custom, I remember all three was his American Hotrod television show, this pink caddy was not what I expected, however it was for Reese’s to promote a new candy bar that Elvis liked, the hammer price…$105,000.

Finally the third hotrod if you will, a 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air Custom, I remember the grill along was not your normal 57 chevy grill, just a little bit different that made the car standout, the car itself was built for O’Reilly Autoparts, the red was just right, however the however price was only $127,000, Boyd Coddington thought outside the box, building some nice hotrods including what I mentioned above and a nice guy, wish I could have meet him.

But you know, one name in racing and performance comes to mind next, Carroll Shelby, what a treat, his first racecar, a 1949 MG TC Roadster Racecar that he won in, that was the first car like it I had seen and what a sight, dark green of all colors, cool look, it’s always cool to see what racers drove years ago and this one was one for the ages, it hammered down for $285,000, now keep in mind, not too many people at the Barrett-Jackson are going to buy this car, the Cobra is something you can drive on the street, you can’t with this, but what a sight.

I wonder if Barrett-Jackson would ever consider moving the Scottsdale auction to Las Vegas? Might just be a good fit…

- Racedriven

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Scott Speed vs. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. - Justin Allgaier wins the Toledo 200 and the 2008 ARCA Series Championship.

Last Sunday’s Toledo 200, the finale for the 2008 ARCA RE/MAX Series seemed to have left many racing fans scratching their heads and saying what happened and it is no different for this racing fan, even a week later, I am still trying to figure this one out.

This race was all about the four drivers going for the 2008 ARCA RE/MAX Series Championship, first the former F1 driver turned stock car racer and Dover winner in the Truck Series earlier this season and the points leader Scott Speed, followed closely by #99 Ricky Stenhouse Jr., the 9-time ARCA Series champion Frank Kimmel who has been the only champion in this decade, he won the championship in 1998 and then won the in 2000 through 2007 championships and Justin Allgaier who was 110 points put of the leader.

Shocked during the early laps is an understatement, what were Scott Speed and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. thinking??? First Stenhouse Jr., in the early laps, I’m sitting their watch this race unfold on television and from the drop of the green flag, I was wondering if this race was going to be as wild and unpredictable as last year’s fall race here with Michael McDowell winning, however in watching Scott Speed in third that was closely stocked by Stenhouse Jr. in four, I noted that Stenhouse Jr. was inpatient, yes he was faster than Speed, but even at Toledo where passing is at a premium, you can still make a pass without beating the back bumper off the car in front of you, but even that was too good for Stenhouse Jr.

He tried several laps of just about turning Speed sideways before he just clearly ran over him, wrecking Speed into the turn 3-4 outside wall, what a joke and ARCA was no better, they just warned him. So I’m thinking, I can’t believe this driver is going to win the championship and that same thing was going though Scott Speed’s mind, but instead I trying to fix the car, he went back out, waited for Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and turned the tables on him, wrecking Stenhouse Jr., and costing Stenhouse Jr. and himself (Speed) any shot at the championship, there both not ready for racing outside of ARCA.

For the record, Stenhouse Jr. said he had brake problems, no way, I don’t buy that for a second, he wrecked Speed and got exactly what he deserved right back, to get wrecked and not win the championship. As for Speed, I understand what he was thinking, but he cost himself the championship too, what about just letting Stenhouse Jr. pass him in the earlier laps and catching him later in the race??? That would have been a good option, I guess that comes with experience…

I guess this was the opening that Frank Kimmel and Justin Allgaier needed to possibly win the championship, rookie against veteran, cool and that’s what it was… Allgaier was 110 points out of first going in and after starting in ninth spot, he made a late race pass with 12 laps to go to win the Toledo 200 and the 2008 ARCA RE/MAX Series Championship, Allgaier became the first driver to win the championship in this decade other than Frank Kimmel.

Seeing what happened on the racetrack at Toledo makes me wonder about Scott Speed racing in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series not only the rest of the 2008 season, but full-time in the 2009 Cup Series season, what is he going to do when he gets around Cup Series champions, let along chase contenders and the rest of the field for that matter? I guess Martinsville and the rest of the 2008 season will be interesting to watch when it comes to Speed, how he handles himself, the Cup Series drivers are going to eat him alive.

However even after everything, I got to congratulate Justin Allgaier on winning the 2008 ARCA RE/MAX Series national championship, to win against Frank Kimmel is huge in itself, he did a great job, now he is signed with Penske Racing and is running at least one more race in the Nationwide series this season and part-time next season, he will be one to watch for sure.

- Racedriven

Sunday, October 12, 2008

5 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series chase races down, 5 chase races to go.

I’ve been pretty shocked by the turn of events in the first five chase races, not with Carl Edwards vs. Jimmie Johnson, I mean Edwards has been running good all season long and Johnson normally seems to come on, making statement after statement at this time of the year, he’s a lot like his teammate and owner Jeff Gordon, when the money is on the line, he steps up and goes for it, no, I have been surprised with Greg Biffle and Kyle Busch.

When I created my list of what the top 12 might look like in my eyes after Homestead, I choose to put Kyle Busch in the third spot in the chase and Greg Biffle in the 11th, so imagine my surprise when I see Greg Biffle win the first two chase races, finished in the top 5 at Kansas and etc., while Kyle Busch is holding down at the bottom of the list, it’s a complete opposite from what I predicted, 3rd, 11th and yet, a welcome treat to watch.

When I look back at the first two chase races in New Hampshire and Dover, those two races not only added some much needed excitement, but where two of the best races all season long.

Starting in New Hampshire with the first chase race is a good for NASCAR, New Hampshire Motor Speedway is a technical racetrack, it’s not a place that just any driver can go out and run flat out fast laps, it’s a one mile flat track with real passing, so it shouldn’t have been a giant surprise to see the racing that we did after the late June race, but surprise, surprise, the key to only getting to victory lane, but just finishing in the top 5 or even top 10 was survival. There were a couple of those standout drivers that just caught my eye, from Kyle Busch’s troubles with a broken sway bar (I believe) that had him finishing 34th, to Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Jeff Burton racing hard with each other for a top 5 position.

However as much as that was surprising, nothing compared to seeing Biffle passing Jimmie Johnson for the lead in the final laps to win. Greg Biffle wins the New Hampshire 300. (Read full New Hampshire article here…)

Next up was Dover, yet another chase that surprised this NASCAR fan, the phase “heaven and a nightmare all in one lap”, considering I am a Dale Jr. fan, you can figure out just what lap I meant by that, however even with that going on, it was great to see that the battle for the victory would come right down to the final 40 laps of this one and all between three to five drivers that at one point, you could put under a blanket, what a battle and the top 3 cars were all Roush-Fenway Racing with Carl Edwards on two tires, that was a gamble that didn’t pay off, but it’s those calls that might just win you races as well, Matt Kenseth and Greg Biffle coming on strong.

The battle of Greg Biffle first going around Edwards was cool, even Mark Martin the #8 DEI Chevy got in the mix and the points leader Jimmie Johnson, but this race belonged to Greg Biffle once again as he doubled up on victories while Kyle Busch would double down with yet another bad finish, engine issues. (Read full Dover article here…)

So from there it was on to Kansas and Talladega, yeah, two races that are completely different, one being a 1.5 miler and the other is a high speed, flat out restrictor plate racetrack that is heart-stopping, yet hard to watch at times races. For Kansas, it wasn’t the exactly what I expected to see, but interesting none the less, it was a race of mistakes by the drivers and teams, not NASCAR, but nothing would have prepared me for the finish of the race on the last lap.

It takes something special to impress me, that’s why I am not only a Motorsports and Car enthusiant, but a huge NASCAR fan and that finish at Kansas was putting it all on the line for a victory. You had the leader Jimmie Johnson closing in on his first chase race victory, while second place Carl Edwards closing fast on Johnson, white flag one to go, and into turn 3, Edwards makes a video game move and throws his #99 Ford into turn 3 under the leader Johnson and goes straight up in front of the leader, hits the wall and tries to keep as much speed as possible, but just doesn’t have it, Jimmie Johnson dodges Edwards and comes down to win at Kansas, but like I said in my Kansas article, I have to give it to Edwards for making that move, he wanted that victory and was willing to race hard for it and not points race it.

However with every good race must come a race that makes you say, what was that and unlike the spring Talladega Cup Series race that I called a good race and enjoyed, this one on the other hand was a complete nightmare, can you say “The Big One”, ok, can you say at least two Big One’s and it wasn’t even over there, here comes the end of the race and guess what, the yellow-line rule would pick the winner, Regan Smith crosses the finish line first after being forced below the yellow-line by Stewart and had to race for the lead down below the yellow line and no victory, Tony Stewart wins his first race of 2008 or did he? Most media said NASCAR made the correct call, while others including fans said wrong call, personally, right call and then wrong call, what bothered me was the fact that NASCAR put him in 18th place on the final standings, that’s where they went wrong. (Read full Talladega article here…)

With Talladega Superspeedway in the rear view mirror, drivers set their sights on Lowe’s Motor Speedway, in a race that could be described as Kansas earlier this year without the dive move finish, a race that took its toll on several championship contenders including Carl Edwards having ignition troubles that put him 16 laps down, Dale Earnhardt Jr. blowing a right front tire in the middle of turn 2 just one lap before pitting, Matt Kenseth crashing hard on the front straightway, Jeff Gordon slapping the wall twice and Tony Stewart’s late race pit penalty, a championship contender dark horse emerged after a late race call for fuel only that kept him out front, Jeff Burton takes the checkered flag to win the Bank of America 500 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway and second in points, only 69 back from leader Jimmie Johnson.

It’s still too earlier to pick one clear favorite right now, because all it takes is one bad race and your back to square one in the points, for Johnson, this is his championship, however don’t count out Greg Biffle, Carl Edwards and the dark horse Jeff Burton to be contenders in the final five chase races, Martinsville, Atlanta, Texas, Phoenix and the Ford 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway for the finale.

- Racedriven

Saturday, October 11, 2008

How we got rid of our junk car.

This subject seems to have a new meaning to me, earlier this year, we had to make a tough decision of what to do with our 1995 Nissan Altima after a few estimates came in on how much it would cost to fix the car, with over 130,000 miles on it, some interesting rust underneath, sitting for a while in the driveway, a repair bill that just started at $1500-$2000, not covering damage to the undercarrage with rust and a lack of use, we made the decision to junk the car and save for another used car that has less miles and works.

So if you find yourself in this position, you have several options available to you, however there are really only two that we had to look at, first donate the car to charity, this option carries a small tax deduction and free pickup or second, take the car to a junk car for recycling, meaning getting little cash for the vehicle, but that is big with the every rising cost of gasoline, fuel and all of those bills.

So we decided to go with the junkyard option, that’s finding a junkyard to either drive the car too or pickup and get cash for the car. Believe it or not, this is where calling around to several local junkyards for pricing using commercials on television, the phone book and some research on the internet will come in handy and it did.

Without saying any junkyards by name, we started out by calling one that advertised on television regularly with a commercial. In calling around, that first junkyard offered $100, they didn’t want the make or model, just drive it in and that’s it. If you live in Central Massachusetts, you know exactly what commercial I am talking about and the commercial is really terrible, but caught our eye nonetheless.

With one offer in, here’s where taking five minutes paid off, second one, now we were up to $200, that works, just different location, third, fourth call, now we are up to $220, now don’t expect this to happen all of the time, it all depends upon the year, make, model and miles, however after a couple of calls, I thought of a place nearby and checked it out online, bingo, called, $250 offer, if we drive the car to the junkyard with all of the paperwork or have it privately towed, $200 if they have to pick it up.

Remember at this point, distance is also a factor because you not only have to drive or privately tow the vehicle, but have another car follow you to bring you back, that’s double the gas, sure we could have gotten $300 or maybe more at a further out location that was up to a hour out, but it might have cost us a half of tank of gas to get up and back total for both vehicles, so that’s what we did, $250 check in hand.

Believe it or not, as they are taking the plates off and filling out the paperwork, I was talking to a guy in the yard that was buying bumpers, frontends and even more parts, he asks me about the vehicle and how much I was getting for the vehicle, then he shocked me by saying “bring the car down the street and I will give you $350”, damn, two minutes too late and that was it, oh well, my thoughts after that was maybe putting it up on craigslist or something if I get in this position again, however time is money too.

Basically, to a consumer, donating the unwanted or junk car to charity would be a good option and that does take a little research online and/or using the phonebook, find a REAL charity and have them pick it up, however if you are junking a car by a junkyard like we did, call around, would you rather have $100 for your car or $250 dollars and all it took was five minutes of work and four or five local calls, what a lesson there. Personally, I can’t get over it, $150 more somewhere else, just for five minutes of work and just think, others have taken their car there and sold it for only a $100, damn that must have hurt.

- Racedriven

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Did NASCAR get the call at the end of the Talladega Cup Series race right?

There are 36 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races a year not counting the Budweiser Shootout and the Sprint Showdown, each with its own twist from the short-tracks of Martinsville and Bristol, to the intermediate tracks of Charlotte and Atlanta, however four times a year, NASCAR visits two racetracks that are complete wild cards and while Daytona has some control, at Talladega Superspeedway, it’s a complete wild card that is so unpredictable, yet so heart-stopping for everyone and yet at the same time, I don’t like, however even more when you facter in the chase, it becomes an all out, get what you can get race that sometimes equals a wreckfest.

And at this past Sunday’s Amp Energy 500, guess what, the race ended in controversy, well, that’s NASCAR, so now the question that everyone will be asking even though this weekend’s Charlotte 500 miler, Did NASCAR get the call at the end of the race right?

I’ve read several articles written by both the media and fans and the reaction seems to be mixed, most fans and even sometimes the media wants to see the underdog win even if the other driver is the outspoken Tony Stewart which was trying the break a long winless streak, nonetheless, interesting comments, I found that David Poole and Jimmy Spencer, said NASCAR got it correct, while other fans and media members (mainly fans) said NASCAR got it wrong including a poll on ESPN.com.

So, in my opinion, Did NASCAR made the right call? One thing to remember is that there are two calls here, not just one, the first is who won the race and second, where do you place Regan Smith if he didn’t win…

Here’s the way I saw it: White flag is out, one lap to go at Talladega Superspeedway, fans have seen a wreckfest of race today that included at least two “Big Ones” that have taken out half the field including championship contenders Carl Edwards, Greg Biffle, Matt Kenseth, Jeff Gordon and NASCARs Most Popular driver and my favorite driver Dale Earnhardt Jr., the race had been a reminder that restrictor plate racing is heart-stopping and yet too hard to watch at times.

The leaders are coming out of turn 4 on to the tri-oval, this is where one-two-three drivers are going to make their move for the victory, a driver doesn’t have to completely pass the leader, but only has to have a nose out front in at the start/finish line in order to win the race, the leader Tony Stewart is coming though the tri-oval with second place Regan Smith and third place Paul Menard right behind him. Experience is everything in this position to winning at Talladega and nether second or third place DEI drivers have any.

Smith makes a move to outside, Stewart blocks, Smith comedown, I believe Smith got a nose to the inside and when Stewart moved down, Smith had two options, one, what Jeff Gordon said on WindTunnel, just stand your ground and if he comes across your nose, then he comes across and most likely he would spin or second, do what he did and go below the yellow-line to miss him and race him, there was no room to move back up before the finish line.

Coming down through the tri-oval, Smith below the yellow line, Stewart above, at the line, it’s Regan Smith, wait, call in the tower, Tony Stewart is your winner today, you can’t go below the yellow to advance your position. Smith needed to come back up above the yellow line before the start finish line and then try and make the pass on Tony Stewart for the victory and didn’t do it.

So NASCAR got the first call correct, Tony Stewart is the winner of the Amp Energy 500 at Talladega,, congrats to Tony Stewart, I know he wanted that one bad, he had been on the other side of those calls and this time he was on the opposite side, great job smoke.

However in the same call, NASCAR penalized Regan Smith to 18th spot, that’s where NASCAR got the call wrong. Regan Smith did get pushed down below the yellow line, he made the right move here and had to go with it, but two things, first Smith had to get back above the yellow line before the start/finish line and then make the pass, second, Smith didn’t get the chance to give the position back to Stewart, there was no time, the finish line was right there, so Smith should have been scored second period, not 18th and that’s it.

Following that, NASCAR issued a rule clarification regarding passing at Daytona and Talladega (Read more at NASCAR.com)

And on that, the chase points standings has a bigger picture, however with six races to go including is weekend’s at Charlotte, it’s still at least a five driver race for the 2008 Sprint Cup Series Championship that currently reads:
1. Jimmie Johnson
2. Carl Edwards -72
3. Greg Biffle -77
4. Jeff Burton -99

And now it's time to move on…to Charlotte for the 500.

- Racedriven

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Jimmie Johnson, Carl Edwards and NASCAR make headlines at Kansas Speedway.

Heading into Kansas Speedway, the track had already made noise by announcing that they are going to ask for a second cup date after they just got approved for a hotel and casino, would they get it?

Looking at the race itself, a race that was once a boring thing to watch, not any more, in NASCAR, it is said that with all new tracks or new surfaces, it will get better with age, Richmond did, Bristol shore did and guess what, Kansas did as well, interesting third chase race, it was better than Texas earlier this year, however that’s not saying much, but amazingly enough, there was two, three-groves including running up to wall to work with which does make the race better for passing, passing the key to good race at any racetrack, if drivers can’t pass a car, you have a parade, or Formula 1 for the most part.

However nothing would have prepared me for the final 5 laps of this one, a race that shaped up to have a classic duel between Carl Edwards and the leader Jimmie Johnson, I watched this one with a lot of interest, as the laps kept clicking down, you could tell Carl was closing fast, however he needed another couple of laps to make that clear, or did he…

What a move by Carl Edwards on the final lap, going into turn 3, if anyone was thinking that these drivers where holding back, that proves they weren’t, I could hear my father routing on Johnson in this one, and then Edwards just through his car into the corner, like in a racing game, but he just couldn’t hold it and straight up into the wall, I heard Edwards after the race saying that he was trying a move that was in a video game, he knew it would hit the wall, but just not that hard and lost so much speed, what a move, I will not forget that one, Johnson sees him and misses him, goes low and my father is saying go Jimmie go, come Johnson you got him, Edwards even after that move still had momentum that might have won the race, but good job by Jimmie Johnson, what a close victory and his crew chief was shocked too.

I have to hand it to Carl though, what move, he wanted that victory period, but he didn’t want to take out Johnson to get it, Carl should have nothing to feel bad, that move is what racing is all about, going for the victory plain and simple, that’s what it is all about, worth every bit and you knew neither one is holding back, you can’t to win a championship now a days.

Something of interest, AJ Allmendinger, a good driver, groomed by Red Bull racing was told last week that his services will no longer will be needed next season, interesting to note just what he said after the Kansas race, finishing 9th, don’t run your mouth. It’s not good move for Red Bull to groom a driver that is the best driver in your stable, yes better than Brian Vickers, that’s not saying much neither, however AJ Allmendinger would have been better to keep and sure enough, yeaterday, it was announced that AJ Allmendinger is out effective immediately, replaced by Mike Skinner at Talladega and Charlotte, followed by Scott Speed at the remaining races on the schedule straight into Homestead.

Good move, bad move? It’s a bad move for Red Bull, but it is what it is, is Scott Speed ready for cup, who knows.

So will Kansas Speedway get their second date? I really have no problem with it, however where is the date going to come from, first there is no more open weekends, second they really can’t take it from SMI tracks, so that leaves just leaves ISC tracks, one track comes to mind, California Speedway (or Auto Club Speedway of California), that is the only track I can think of, we need two road courses, so Watkins Glen is out and no way to taking a date from Martinsville, so that seems to be the only logical choose. I will say that NASCAR will award them a second date.

One word that every NASCAR fan will now think of, Talladega, next week, need I say more?


(Photo Credit: Matthew Stockman/Getty Images via NASCAR PR)

- Racedriven

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Contest Closed for the win a Autographed Kevin Harvick Hat Contest.

Update: It's official, the win an Autographed Kevin Harvick Hat contest is over, all of the hats are gone. I have already emailed all of the wins and congrates to those winners, the hats are on the way. A special thanks to the Edelman PR and Shell for the autographed hats.

- Racedriven.

I’m sure that most of us have seen the Shell’s commercials where Kevin Harvick, driver of the #29 Shell-Pennzoil RCR Chevrolet Impala SS, hates engine gunk. So if you were watching the NASCAR Countdown on ESPN from Watkins Glen on ESPN last month, you may have noticed that Kevin Harvick wasn’t wearing his normal hat, but was sporting a new hat during his interview with ESPN.

The hat he was wearing during his interview that is pictured on the right is the first step in joining Shell's Americans for a Gunk-Free Nation (AGFN) campaign. AGFN is focused on protecting the nation's engines by living gunk-free.

So in support of the AGFN campaign, Edelmen PR and Shell has sent Racedriven.com and 8racingfan.com a couple of Americans for a Gunk-Free Nation hats autographed by Kevin Harvick to give away and if you are interested, all you have to do is enter the contest by following the instructions below:

Racedriven.com and 8racingfan.com present, “Win an Autographed Kevin Harvick Hat”

- Send an email to racedriven@gmail.com
- Please use “Autographed Kevin Harvick contest” in the subject line.
- Also, please include your mailing address. Your address will not be shared with anyone outside of Racedriven.com and 8racingfan.com.
- We will email you if you have won 1 of 5 hats to confirm your mailing address.
- Only one entry per shipping address, per email address per person.
- Contest is open to United States residents only.

- Contest starts Saturday, September 6, 2008
- Contest ends Tuesday, September 30, 2008.
- Two Winners will be drawn weekly until hats are gone.

To learn more about Americans for a Gunk-Free Nation, please check out the live a Gunk-Free Nation website. Good Luck everyone.

- Racedriven

Sunday, September 28, 2008

2009 Dodge Challenger: Which Model and Color Would You Choose?

What do you think, if you had the money, which model and color would you purchase? The V-6 engine, the 5.7L HEMI or what could be the highly collectable 6.1L HEMI. The colors are, black, TorRed or Silver.

Personally after watching both videos and the SPEED Test Drive of this car, if I were in the market to purchase one of these today, I would buy a 2009 Dodge Challenger, equiped with the 5.7L HEMI, exterior color of Black and a dark Interior, why??? You buy it for the HEMI and name, but I still am going to drive it regularly and in order to do that, it would be on regular fuel and decent fuel economy, I want the balance between Horsepower and Fuel Economy.)

Before you choose, here are a couple of videos:

The first one is a preview of this past weekend's SPEED Test Drive of the 2008-2009 Dodge Challenger SRT-8, the show was very interesting to watch, Jay Leno drove his own 2008 Dodge Challenger SRT, the first edition, number 4, Tommy Kendal drove two 2009 Dodge Challengers SRT-8, nice cars, I would love to see what the automatic could do personally.

The second video is from Edmunds.com test drive.



SPEED's Test Drive of the 2008-2009 Dodge Challenger SRT-8.




Dodge Challenger SRT8 - Exclusive Performance Test

- Racedriven

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Greg Biffle doubles up as Kyle Busch doubles down in 2nd NASCAR Sprint Cup chase race at Dover.

What a way to start the chase, first, fans saw a good race at New Hampshire, that added some much needed excitement to the chase and revealed not only a surprise chase contender in Greg Biffle, but yielded a dominate driver, Kyle Busch to 34th position, so how do you top that one, you enter the concrete high-banked 1 mile Dover speedway, which delivered one exciting race.

I would best describe a race at Dover as “heaven and a nightmare all in one lap” and that’s what came out of my mouth, I couldn’t believe it, it all came down to the final 40 laps and normally at Dover, you don’t see more than two cars racing that close together, fighting for the victory, so imagine this race fans surprise, when with 40 laps to go, there was not only two cars racing for the lead, but 5 cars all under a blanket, racing for the victory, you had Greg Biffle, Carl Edwards, Matt Kenseth, Mark Martin and Jimmie Johnson all battle for the lead. I thought for a moment there, Biffle and Kenseth with 10 to go were going to wreck each other, but they saved it and even more so, Greg Biffle pulled off another victory and now continues to climb the point standings latter with winning the first.

However with ever success story at Dover, you had the drivers in the chase that just struggled, from Dale Earnhardt Jr. having to settle for 24th position, which isn’t as bad as many might think including in the points, but even more, the hype going into this race with a must win for Kyle Busch, well he missed by only 42 spots, finishing 43rd, blown engine…no comment.

Well, listen to this, all I’ve got to say is this, don’t count out any chase contender just yet, yes not even Kyle Busch with over 210 points out, racing this year in particular seems to high one minute and low the next and that holds true when racing this Car of Tomorrow car, wait under 5 races to go, before you begin to write a drivers off. Now it’s off to Kansas, oh by the way, Greg Biffle is the defending race winner and for you Tony Stewart fans, Tony got a huge chase victory here back in 2006, both Biffle and Stewart received their victories after they didn’t make the chase, who will win in Kansas?

Greg Biffle edges out teammates Matt Kenseth and Carl Edwards to win second chase race at Dover. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

- Racedriven

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Survival was the key to victory for Ron Hornaday Jr. and Greg Biffle at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

When you look at both races at New Hampshire, I can’t believe that I didn’t go on Saturday, as a race fan, you hate to miss a race at home track and New Hampshire is my home track, but no money equals no go and that hurts, however what a Truck Series race on Saturday and the same can said for the first chase race on Sunday, yes even on television via ESPN on ABC.

I believe that while survival describes the Cup Series race on Sunday, it doesn’t describe Saturday’s Truck race, that one was a slugger, from the battle for the lead between Ron Hornaday Jr. and Johnny Benson, to what I describe as terrible driving of David Starr, he was all over the place and he ended up wrecking three trucks including #30-Todd Bodine, #9-David Reutimann and the #81-Donny Lia and he did it in the same place, turn 1-2, at least it was good to see Ron Hornaday Jr. beat the tough week he had and come out and win the race.

However when it comes to this truck series race, even though the checkered flag has flown, the race isn’t over, it wasn’t over when a huge fight broke out on pitroad between David Starr’s team, the #30 and the #9 all got into it, it wasn’t over when NASCAR dropped the so-called hammer on the three teams and it still isn’t over despite what NASCAR thinks, there is still more. David Starr wrecked three trucks, took no responsibility and should have been penalized more than just $10,000 fine and probation until Dec. 31st, well at least it’s a start when comes to the suspended crew chief and crew members. (Read More on the penalties...)

Two Questions:
1. Should NASCAR merge the Truck Series and the Nationwide Series using the current car and using the rules from the Truck Series?

2. Why is David Starr still racing the Truck Series?

If that wasn’t enough, we still had a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race to run, the first chase race. If you are a Big Brother reality show fan, you know the old saying “expect the unexpected”, well that same saying should hold true in NASCAR as well, wow, just like having the final race to the chase race at Richmond is always exciting, having the first chase race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway this time around is just as exciting, from the wild weather to the side-by-side racing through the corners and down the straightaways, the racing at NHMS added excitement and a huge shackup in the point standings.

Surprise and survival was the key to not only winning the race, but just getting a top 10, top 15 finish and some had it and other didn’t. Surprisingly enough, Kyle Busch had troubles, no shock there, when I was up there in June, he struggled too, what a sight to see, sorry Kyle, at least I am honest. However it was good seeing Dale Earnhardt Jr. racing for the lead, leading laps, but one thing that sent me off was the one set of tires, I am truly stunned that a set of tires can send a car off that loose, that bad, that sucked and I was thrilled that Eury Jr. didn’t make any changes, I don’t think he made a change after that pit stop and wow, the car is back to life.

But at the end of the race, the same drivers, the teams were up front, namely Jimmie Johnson and Carl Edwards, however wait, wait a minute, did John Roberts finally pick a winner in the fantasy pick on NASCAR Raceday…Greg Biffle, where did he come from, I have to admit I didn’t give him credit, Biffle was the surprise on Sunday, great job Greg, I was wrong, now let’s see how he does in the rest of the chase. Now it’s off to Dover, can’t wait.


NASCAR driver Greg Biffle spins out on the front straight after winning the Sylvania 300 auto race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, N.H., Sunday, Sept. 14, 2008. (AP Photo/Sandy Macys)

- Racedriven