Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Should consumers be researching Cheap Gas Prices online before leaving the house?

Right now in the United States, not to mention in Canada, consumers are see the raising costs of just about everything that helps us live from the raising prices in food (cost to fuel our bodies), the raising cost of energy for heating and cooling our homes, but the biggest hit has to come from the record high gas prices and diesel prices at the pumps and with no end in sight, what are we all to do.

I’ve been looking up gas prices online for months now, just seeing what the differences are from day to day and month to month, with the help of my father who has given up the use of his Jeep Liberty for my more fuel friendly Nissan Altima to go to work, on April 11th about one station here in Massachusetts that he had to fill up at, back on April 10th, for regular gas at a station, the price was $3.11, the next day, the gas price jumped 8 cents to $3.19 a gallon for the same gas. Now when you fast forward to yesterday (April 29th) at that very same gas station, the new price was $3.54 for a gallon of gas. What a jump, that’s 43 cent jump in 19 days, like I said, what are consumers to do?

Well besides buying a more fuel friendly vehicle, the normal maintenance, checking your tire pressures, removing junk from your car’s trunk, the only thing consumers can do is shop around for cheap gas prices. Before you leave the house, chances are you know exactly where you are going, work comes to mind and whether your commute is 10 minutes, 30 minutes, 45 minutes, 1 hour or more one way from your house, you are going to pass several gas stations along the way to your destination. Now it’s your job to find that next price just like you do when you shop for food with weekly circulars, if you know that you are going to have to fill up, checking the gas prices online can save you money, (just be aware they change not only daily, but change from area to area) it could save or cost you 8 cents a gallon, 10 cents a gallon if you are not careful. So where do you go:

First try Gas Price on MapQuest, they have prices all over the United States for all 3 grades of Gasoline, Diesel, E85, Bio-Diesel and more, just type in you city, state or zip code and find the best price, chances are they have it. This is the site I used to find yesterday’s gas price for the station listed above. Another one to try is GasBuddy.com, keep in mind this is done by Gasbuddy and spotters which in my area includes my father.

Do keep in mind that not only gas prices change daily, but they are also different from area to area, for example, gas prices in the center of my town is $3.56 a gallon, chances are it is higher than the stations a quarter mile away, taken one station as the next town over which is $3.54 a gallon, each different towns, so check that out, you’ll be surprised.

Promotion: Check out the Kevin Harvick Shell Bobblehead at your local Shell Stations now. Comments.

- Racedriven

What did you think about Big Brother 9: Til Death Do You Part and Adam being crowned the winner?

Well that’s it for Big Brother 9, what a good season this was. I read on a couple of blogs where fans were asking if this was the worst season of Big Brother ever and my response is simply this, no way, Like I said, this was a good season, Big Brother had a good group of characters, the twist of having the 16 houseguests compete as couples was a first in BB history and it was good for a little while.

Now the couples were: Ryan & Allison, Shelia & Adam, James & Chelsia, Matt & Natalie, Amanda & Alex, Parker & Jen and here’s where it got tricky, Jacob and Sharon were the first evicted couple and Neil left due to personal issues, so Joshuah choose Sharon as his partner, so the final couple was Joshuah & Sharon. The couple’s twist which had them play as couples, compete in challenges as couples, vote as couples and interestedly enough, be evicted as couples that gave an interesting element, it forced the houseguests to work together with their partners and if they couldn’t or one of the two in the couples couldn’t get along with the other houseguests, then they were evicted.

I would say there was a huge turning point in the game and boy most houseguests were thrilled to see this come with the once ‘til death do you part twist was no more and each one was on their own, playing as individuals. This new twist would not only save Ryan from being evicted, but in turn he would win him Head of Household, what a power. However with Ryan being saved and Allison being evicted, this would be the week were I believe Ryan made the biggest mistake in the game, Ryan knowing that the POV would be played had to put up another houseguest and some wanted Matt up to backdoor him and Ryan decided to lie to Joshuah, Sharon, Chelisa and I think James instead of just saying he wanted to keep Matt, at the POV meeting, Ryan made his choose to say Matt… in turn I think it cost Ryan with those very jury members.

The other turning point in the game was for Adam came when Chelisa was evicted, in her exit piece, she called out Adam, I believe that Adam by this point was playing a strategy game only, but after this, it set Adam off with winning HOH’s and POV, you know really playing the game.
One move by Big Brother set me off and my headline “Big Brother 9: America’s vote denied by house as James is evicted and voted back in?” says it all. The america’s vote is a way to get the fans involved and for this season it was bring an evicted houseguest back into the house and America choose Alex… well Big Brother decided to let the house decide that and that move was the biggest disappointment in the game, which would lead to the evictions of many. The house voted James back in instead of Big Brother just having Alex return, what a mistake. James wins HOH and promises not to put up Natalie and Matt, but at the POV meeting, puts up Matt and backdoors him. That move put most against James, once James kept winning POV, that’s were Natalie set out to get everyone in that alliance out, James wins POV and Chelisa, Joshuah and then James get evicted one by one.

Finally I look at the jury questions after Natalie, Sharon, and Shelia were evicted, nobody should be judged on what they plan of doing with the $500,000 if they win. Most likely the winner will pay down debt, buy a new vehicle, help their parents, maybe a charity or whatever, they shouldn’t be judged on that period.

During the jury questioning, I wasn’t surprised with Joshuah at all after his display in the house, as far as Shelia goes, she won one HOH that was handed to her (stupid move by Natalie, never give away an HOH, it’s safety in the game), I believe Adam got her as far as he could period, she did nothing and shouldn’t be bitter about anything. As for Sharon and Chelisa, I expected that. I was surprised with James, Matt and Natalie, no real hard feelings.

In the end, I’m happy to see Adam win Big Brother 9, he earned it and you can’t say he didn’t play or win, two HOH’s and at least one POV, plus good strategy. Well, for full details of what I through throughout the season, check out my previous pieces on Big Brother 9 which includes: Big Brother 9: ‘Til Death Do You Part – My Take on the first 18 days and what might happen next., Revealed: Big Brother 9 ‘til death do you part turns to individuals as Allison is evicted?, Big Brother 9: America’s vote denied by house as James is evicted and voted back in?, Payback for Matt’s backdoor eviction continues with evicting Chelsia in Big Brother 9, who’s next for Natalie?, And the award for best dramatic moment goes to Joshuah in Big Brother 9 as the final six is determined. And finally what I thought before the finale Who will win Big Brother 9 - Ryan or Adam?.

In closing, good season of Big Brother, but: 1) no couples twist next season, 2) when the fans vote to put an evicted HOH in, put them in and 3) a four hour Big brother after dark from 11PM to 3am would work better. I can’t wait until Big Brother 10 on July 13. Comments.

- Racedriven

Monday, April 28, 2008

Third time’s a charm for Ashley Force as she grabs her first career NHRA Funny Car victory.

A picture is worth a thousand words and for this Motorsports fan who is also a John Force Racing fan that has been watching John Force for years, this picture of Ashley Force beating her father John Force (who was going for his 1000 career round win on Sunday) on Sunday to grab her first career NHRA Funny Car victory in the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Southern Nationals is amazing. What a great job by Ashley Force who had been to the finals two previous times already this season back at Gainesville and last time out in Houston, now finds herself as the points leader by -59 points, what a victory.


(Photo Credit: Auto Imagery)

- Racedriven

Sunday, April 27, 2008

What do you think about restrictor plate racing at Talladega and Daytona in NASCAR?

Let me state the obvious, I am not a restrictor plate racing fan and while I don’t hate it, I don't like it too much neither. The good news is that it is only run four times a year, I would describe it as a giant chess match and with the giant chess match, there is always the fear of "The Big One" that is caused half the time by aggressive driving or just that one stupid move. I do enjoy watching both the Daytona 500 and the Pepsi 400, you have to have a handling racecar to win Daytona and there is more control there. So far in 2008, I would rate the Daytona 500 in the top 3 best races of the season, along with Phoenix and Bristol.

However as for Talladega, that's a completely different story, at times it’s hard to watch a race at Talladega whether it’s the Nationwide Series or Cup Series. There’s really no control and if you have red my blog before, the headline most likely says "Demotion Derby at Talladega.... for NASCAR", its survival, period. That’s it, that’s not like watching a race at Richmond, Bristol Martinsville or Atlanta, but it is the art of restrictor plate racing.



Caption: Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AMP Energy 500 I have to admit with the COT was one exciting race, however with that excitement the also received "The Big One" twice, the first time is pictured above with a simple case of four-five wide in the corners and no where to go and the second wreck happened on the last lap that had the race end under caution with another victory for Kyle Busch. Like I said, I did enjoy this race, it's a start and it wasn't boring. (Photo Credit: Motorsport.com)

- Racedriven

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Who will win Big Brother 9 - Ryan or Adam?

Well it all come down to this, Big Brother 9 started off back in February with the first ever winter edition of Big Brother with 16 houseguests by pairing them off into couples and it started with two by two they were nominated together, completed in challenges as couples, voted as couples and finally evicted as couples.

What a way to go out and then to see the game suddenly change in a heartbeat from couples to individual was heaven, but during all this time of seeing each one of the houseguests being evicted, if you were to ask me who the final two would be, I would have never guessed these two would be the final 2 and completing for the $500,000 grand prize.

From this point on, this is one of the best parts of the game namely watching the jury members question each of these two houseguests for all of their dirty deeds in the game and to listen to each of them in why they should win. When you look at the route that each of these two houseguests has taken from the very beginning and who they have had a hand in evicting, what a comparison, but who should win?

First things first, when it came down to the final four, if Sharon would have made it to the final two, I have no doubt that the jury would have voted for Sharon hands down, she really didn’t screw with anyone in the house, she played a non-win game and friends with just about everyone. So it was only fitting that Ryan didn’t change the nominations and Adam voted to evict Sharon. That’s a little sad to see.

However you know that would only leave us with the final three and after seeing Adam threw the first HOH comp and then win the second HOH comp, I knew that the final HOH comp wouldn’t really make that much difference, but it was more of who would chose to evict who and when Ryan won the final HOH, I wasn’t surprises none the least that he chose to take Adam to the final two as they promised each other, in turn finally evicting Shelia, thank you.
So who will win Big Brother 9: ‘Til Death Do You Part, Ryan or Adam?

Personally predicting who the jury will choose to award the grand prize to is completely up in the air for me, on one hand you Ryan, who up till he was saved when the surprise eviction changed from a couple going home to just one individual going home, that was the turning for him. From there, Ryan won a couple of HOH’s, but also made a couple of HG’s mad at him including James, Joshuah, and Chelia and they are on the jury, that could spell trouble, also how will Sharon vote since see knows that Ryan was in an alliance with Adam. One thing Ryan has going for him is a lot of HOH wins and POV victories, he played the game period.

And on the other side you have Adam who finally came alive in this game just after Chelia left by winning a 2 HOH’s and a couple of POV’s, but who in the jury house might vote for him, there’s your question as Adam a lot of the time never really did anything early on.

Yet believe it or not I am picking Adam to win Big Brother 9, why??? Simply put he has pissed off less jury members and the ones that Ryan had pissed off, might just choose the lesser of the two evels and award Adam as the winner. Good Luck to both, let the best man win, personally I could care less which one wins, however one thing to consider and I know this is a long shot, the house didn’t like Ryan’s girlfriend Jen that could go against Ryan too. Comments.

- Racedriven

Did NASCAR just hand #44 Peyton Sellers and Andy Santerre Motorsports the stiffest penalty in NASCAR’s modern era?

Earlier today, NASCAR stripped #44 Peyton Sellers of his victory from last weekend’s NASCAR Camping World East Series race at Greenville-Pickens Speedway, dropping him to 30th place in the official race finishing order, suspended the crew chief for the next three races and putting the crew chief on probation until the end of the year for:
Sellers’ car was determined to be in violation of Sections 12-4-A (actions detrimental to stock car racing); 12-4-Q (car, car parts, components and/or equipment used do not conform to NASCAR rules); and 20C-12.3 C(7) (Shock absorber base valves will not be permitted: Right rear shock absorber had a base valve installed) of the 2008 NASCAR rule book. As a result, the original runner-up Austin Dillon, has been declared the race winner. (Credit: NASCARmedia.com Press Release)
This penalty doesn’t even begin to compare to any of the other penalties that NASCAR has handed down in any of their series whether it’s in the NASCAR touring series or in their top three series (Truck Series, Nationwide Series and Cup Series) as a matter of fact, I can’t remember the last time NASCAR had stripped a driver of their victory before in the modern era, at least not in their top three series.

When you consider the other penalties that NASCAR has handed down this year alone to mainly it’s NASCAR Cup Series drivers and teams, there’s only been one penalty which happens to be one of the stiffest in the last several years this season after the Las Vegas Cup Series race when NASCAR found the oil lid cover off of the #99 Carl Edwards Roush-Fenway Racing Ford during post-race inspection where he got docked 100 driver points, 100 owner points, the crew chief was fined $100k, suspended for 6 races and probation, plus the twist, if the #99 makes the chase, they will not get the 10 bonus points for winning Las Vegas…

So when you compare Carl Edwards penalty to #44 Peyton Sellers Andy Santerre Motorsports penalty of stripping Sellers of his victory in turn putting him in 30th position with 30th points (-107 points difference) and money ($3k instead of over $8800), plus suspending his crew chief for three races and putting him on probation, basically I found Sellers penalty worse than Edwards penalty hands down, why???

While Edwards was docked points and lost his crew chief for six races and also lost the 10 bonus points in the chase, to me, that still doesn’t even compare to Sellers penalty because despite everything handed to Edwards, he still kept the victory and victories are huge to any driver, plus Sellers was docked 107 points and fined several thousand dollars and that is huge to an Touring Series team.

If you blow the penalty up to the NASCAR Cup Series level using Edwards, Johnson, Newman for example, he would have been docked 159 points and fined at least $100k+, plus stripped of his victory, yeah like I said, stiffest penalty in NASCAR’s Modern Era.

Just one question, what does a shock absorber base value do on a racecar and what advantages does it give a racecar against others who don’t have it?

And I will leave it at that… Comments.

- Racedriven

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

From the Boston Red Sox at Fenway to NASCAR in Phoenix – what happened last Saturday Night on FOX?

Now let me state the obvious, as you may have noticed, I am a huge NASCAR fan and I blog about it regularly, the word diehard can be used to describe me and when there is a NASCAR (Cup Series mainly) race on, chances are I am either watching it live or at least recording it on my DVR, however what you may not know about me is that I live up here in New England, to be more specific, Massachusetts and I am also a sports fan who enjoys not only watching Football and my favorite team the New England Patriots, but baseball as well and my favorite team just so happens to be the Boston Red Sox which my friend and family got me into watching since I was in high school and granted I don’t watch every game nor do I know the roster or stats by heart, but nonetheless I am a sports fan who enjoys it.

Now I was excited when these two sports came together a couple years ago, first with Dale Jr. running the MLB paint schemes and then with Roush and the Fenway Group joining forces, it was cool see.

With that said, I never would have imagined that the two would come together in such a way as it did last Saturday Night. Basically, the Boston Red Sox vs. there huge rivals the New York Yankees game which is also good to watch went into a rain delay for a couple of hours, the game was televised on FOX and once the game was ready to resume, it was already into the pre-race coverage for the NASCAR Race in Phoenix. At this point, I didn’t care if FOX televised the preshow or not, it was the timing that would become the issue, more importantly when FOX made the switch.

I mean, there it is with the game being televised on both FOX and FX and while NASCAR fans were waiting for the NASCAR coverage, the baseball fans were watching the Red Sox lead the Yankees by 4-3 in the top of the 9th inning with one out at Fenway, the pitch was thrown and… damn the pictures gone and all of the viewers and fans find themselves in Phoenix looking at Ryan Newman let the pack of 42 other drivers coming at you into turn 3, so what happened, did the Sox win… I turned over to the Red Sox game on FX just in time to see the manager and players celebrating the victory over the Yankees.

So what’s the big deal, it’s the way FOX switched from the baseball game to the NASCAR race in Phoenix and keep in mind that NASCAR had pushed back the race 15 minutes to around 8:53pm to help FOX, in the end, the baseball fans didn’t get to see the last two pitches thrown and the Red sox win, nor did the NASCAR fans see the green flag being waved at Phoenix for the Subway 500. So no one got what they want to see, so now the question is, what’s with the last second switch?

At this point, I will say that I have to give it to FOX for at least trying to show the entire game and show the entire race, however there is two better ways to make the switch, first since FOX has to show the entire race, tell the baseball fans that due to the 2hr+ delay, the game has been moved to FX and now we join the Cup Series race in Phoenix 2 minutes before the start or second, if all else fails, show it in a split screen or side-by-side view of the last pitches and the start of the race.

Bottom Line, there’s not really to much to say here, no fans likes to be shut out like that, this shouldn’t have happened this way with a last second switch from the baseball game to the NASCAR, however while I give credit to FOX for trying to get the entire game in and the start of the race in at the same time, one group of fans were going to get hurt and yes I wanted to see if the Red Sox was going to win, nonetheless, the switch some have been made a minute or two before the green flag and that’s it.

So now that the Red Sox game was over and the Red Sox had beating the Yankees 4-3, the Cup Series race in Phoenix was on and what an exciting race it was, it was worth the wait, I don’t know about the races at the 1.5 mile tracks right now, but the Phoenix race was great, lots of passing, side-by-side racing and no lack of contenders going for the victory. At times during the race, Dale Earnhardt Jr. was leading with his past in the rear view mirror to say the least with the #8 Mark Martin stocking him every which way. I had mixed feelings about this if the #8 won, on one hand any times Mark Martin wins is huge, however it’s the #8 DEI winning and this Junior fan still hasn’t forgotten, would I have been cool with it, yeah I would have, past is the past.

But you know, in the late stages of the race, Jimmie Johnson was coming in a hurry, he was one if not the fastest car on track and then the splash for gas for most of the field. Normally a fuel mileage race wouldn’t be interesting, however this was at Phoenix and you could hear Chad Knaus on the radio saying back it way down, give me two seconds a lap, give three seconds a lap, back it way down and in turn three and four, just put it in neutral and coast and what a victory it was for Jimmie Johnson and the #48 Hendrick Motorsports team.

It was a good ending to the race, on one hand you had Jimmie Johnson going for his first victory of the season and in this day in age, victories are hard to come by in the Cup Series and on the other hand you had Clint bowyer saving gas in second, but at the same time the drivers who had stopped were charging hard, you had a race on your hands period. Would it be Johnson, Bowyer or Hamlin winning, good to see it was Johnson this time in victory lane. Comments.

- Racedriven

What a performance of Picture to Burn by Taylor Swift as she takes top honors at the 2008 CMT Music Awards.

A picture is worth a thousand words and for this country music fan who enjoys listening to music from Reba and Carrie Underwood to Sugarland, Trace Atkins and the newest star Taylor Swift, last Monday night’s CMT Music Awards was one of the best shows yet. I really didn’t know how the whole two host father daughter team of Bill Ray Cyrus and Miley Cyrus would work, but I have to say combined with the comedy and there duet performance during the show was entertaining.

I could believe just how many country music stars came out for one event and yet Snoop Dog doesn’t come to mind and yet he was a presenter. Really this show is all about the performances and the awards that are voted on by the fans and while I loved seeing Carrie Underwood close the show with All-American Girl along with Sugarland come away with Duo Video of the Year for “Stay”, Rascal Flatts winning Group video of the Year with “Take me there” and Trace Atkins win in Male Video of the Year category for “I Got my Game on” I like that song, but the highlight of the night had to be Taylor Swift.

I noticed in the voting process a couple weeks before the show that Taylor Swift was up for a good number of categories, but after last year with Taylor winning breakthough video of the year which see passed on to her friend Kelly Pickler this year, I wasn’t surprised to see her video “Our Song” win for Female Video of the Year, however I was stunted by Taylor Swift’s performance of “Picture to Burn”, she has a killer video and in her the performance, she really brought that that video of picture to Burn to life, and then to see her win for Video of the year was incredible boy, she was speckles, great job.

Like I said in the beginning, a picture is worth a thousand words and this picture taken during her performance describes it all, congrats to Taylor Swift, now I can’t wait to buy her next CD and to see something about Taylor and Carrie Underwood co-writing a song together, that will be big.

Photo Credit: Scott Gries/Getty Images

- Racedriven

Monday, April 14, 2008

A dose of photography - Could a Nomad be in Chevrolet’s future too, but what should it look like?

For the past four years, I have been seeing this Chevrolet Nomad Concept Car on the auto show circuit at both the Boston show and the Providence show and while the vehicle has gotten my father’s attention, meaning he likes it, personally it’s not a real Nomad to me. A Chevrolet Nomad would be a good added edition to the Chevrolet lineup as a modern version of the famous car from 1955-1957, a two-door station wagon which would include a large bench backseat with lots of room behind the backseat for whatever you buy or haul around.

This version pictured below reminds me of a Pontiac Solstice Coupe or its sister version the Saturn Sky. Personally if Chevrolet really wanted to make the Chevy Nomad as a throwback to the classic 1955 version, then they could use the new Pontiac G8 rear wheel drive platform to produce this car and while that might sell, I’m not much for a rear wheel drive car as I live in New England where five months out of the year it’s winter. Maybe it’s possible for an all-wheel drive v6 version Chevy Nomad??? How about an all-wheel-drive v6 version of the Pontiac G8??? Comments.


Image was taken by me with a Kodak EasyShare DX6490.

- Racedriven

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Oh yeah! Disney/Pixar announces Toy Story 3 in 2010 and Cars 2 in 2012.

This is big news for me as I love animated movies and while there is no official word on when or if there will be sequels for the Incredibles or Monsters Inc., however Disney/Pixars have announced in a press release that two of my favorite movies will each have another installment…


Credit: Disney/Pixar

First up is Toy Story 3 that is slated for June 2010, it is rumored that the store line might be that Buzz lightyear is recalled. This should be a good edition to my DVD collection as I already own the first two DVD’s.


Credit: Disney/Pixar

The second one, Cars 2, I love this movie, I purchased the Cars DVD the day it was released. There is word on who will be back or what the story line will be, I’m interested in seeing if the King Richard Petty and Darrell Waltrip, along with Paul Newman will all be in this movie… Darrell Cartrip, cool. Comments.

Credit: Cinematical and PRNewswire.com

- Racedriven

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Should the NASCAR All-Star Race be moved to a non-Cup racetrack like Iowa Speedway?

So here we are again, 38 days away from the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race at Lowe’s Motor Speedway and if SPEED counting down every weekend starting in Daytona saying x number of days before the all-star race wasn’t enough, now Lowe’s Motor Speedway has announced that they will be painting the walls (formerly Nextel yellow), now Sprint yellow, oh brother.

While I don’t really care about the walls, the do think about the All-Star location and date, where should this race really be? In my opinion, the all-star really does count as a Cup Series race, it packs in fans from all over, so guess what, it’s a Sprint Cup Series race.

With that said, I do believe that in an age where Cup dates are already at a premium, the idea of rotating this race around should be an option, however that’s not what I had in mind. I would like to see NASCAR move the All-Star race from Lowe’s Motor Speedway to either another racetrack that only has one date or possibly one that has no cup date. The non-cup series date tracks is the best idea, it gives another racetrack that’s not on the Cup Series schedule a Cup date without adding another date to an already busy schedule instead of having the All-Star race where it is which in gives Lowe’s Motor Speedway 3 Cup Series dates.

So then, where should the All-Star race be?
I thought about so many different racetracks, however the location should be limited to either the mid-West or East Coast as this is a short race and we don’t want to add even more distance to the schedule.

So first, this would be my choice and the weekend should include a Nationwide or Truck Series race the night before… I’m think the state of art short-track in the mid-west, yes I am talking about Iowa Speedway, Rusty Wallace’s signature track… why not, they don’t have a cup series date, its short track racing at its finest under the lights, what could be better.

Second wouldn’t be my first choose and I wouldn’t know how fans would accept it as the race is for the fans, Kentucky Speedway. It would be a long shot there. Now why didn’t I choose some of the other notables like Las Vegas (It’s too far away) or Richmond (Already has two races on the schedule).

When should the All-Star race be?
This is an option here, I mean, the May date is nice, however it’s during a prime part of the season and another racetrack track like Atlanta, Bristol, Martinsville would benefit more in the middle of May, so what about putting it in the middle of the Chase for the Cup championship. It would be a break for the drivers and yet the fans would still get a cool race.

The second date that comes to mind is Labor day weekend, now I got your attention, I’m sorry but Labor Day weekend would be cool, racing at California Speedway sucks on Labor Day Weekend, so this weekend would be perfect for either the Southern 500 at Darlington (There only race of the season) or the All-Star race. I would also accept the Atlanta 500 in this spot if it means we still would race twice at Atlanta.

Oh by the way:
A couple of comments, subjects I’ve read about centering around Texas… First Ganassi Racing, hearing Chip speck like that is outragious, just do it Chip, talk is cheap, make real changes in your teams. Right now, your teams are not running good, maybe it’s time to put Dario in the Truck series or Nationwide Series for the rest of year to get more track time and more experience, he has none. Look at where each of your three teams performances, where are they lagging???

Edwards vs. Johnson??? That’s the best people can come up, yes Edward’s has won three races, but docked 100 points and 10 bonus points in the chase, there is also several other contenders in play, talk to me about championship after Indianapolis in late July, not before, don’t count out Gordon, Earnhardt Jr., Kenseth, Biffle, Burton, Stewart, the entire top 12, do I really need to go on, next subject.

With NASCAR continuing to make an example out of those teams who fall outside the rule book, it should be no surprise that NASCAR has handed down a penalty for the #12 Ryan Newman Penske Racing Dodge that I have to admit is dead on after his car failed post-race inspection from this past Sunday’s Texas 500 race, the penalty was 25 driver points, 25 owner points and crew chief was fined $25,000 and placed on probation until Dec 31st., like I said dead on, NASCAR is consistent. Comments.

- Racedriven

Who does America want to be in The Biggest Loser finale - Roger or Mark.

This is something a little bit different, here I’m usually blogging on Big Brother, American Chopper or even a little bit on Survivor, however since I’ve been watching the biggest loser for years now and I like the Couples twist this season in the game, this caught my eye, this season has been a season of first's, it’s all about one pound, the extras, like trips that included going down under Australia and one team going to Las Vegas, one player having a second chance by winning their way back in to the game by losing the most weight which for the guys was Mark and for the girls was Ali, but you know, I love it when all of these shows ask for America to get involved by voting something, whether its voting a favorite player back in or voting for a challenge, it’s cool to see just what America thinks, I mean where the one’s watching the show.

Well this season, now America has a vote and it’s big, America gets to choose either Roger or Mark into the finale at a chance to complete for a $250,000 prise. Personally, I had been voting for Dan or Roger to win the entire game and while Dan will be at the finale hopefully like in seasons past completing for the voted off prise, I want to see Roger, who has lost the most weight in The Biggest Loser history – 144 pounds.

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

Update after last night's Biggest Loser Finale: American voted Roger in as Ali became the first woman to win The Biggest Loser at last night's season finale.

- Racedriven

Saturday, April 5, 2008

One year later for NASCAR's COT – Safety put to the test in Jeff Gordon’s and Michael McDowell’s wrecks.

In NASCAR’s eye’s, safety is #1 and for years now, if something happens on track, NASCAR, drivers and the teams are the first to respond with how to fix it and make it safer if it were to happen again. One of the reasons why NASCAR created the COT was to address the ever growing problems with safety, they wanted a new car that put safety at the forefront of the sport and after the two crashes that happened so far this season, the COT has held up well.

When it comes to the safety of the Car of (Tomorrow) Today being put to the test, two wrecks come to mind, the first one happened towards the late stages of the Las Vegas 400, Jeff Gordon came off of turn 2 and lost the car due to a wreck and slowing car in front of him and in turn hit the inside wall that didn’t have a SAFER Barrier on it and the wreck tore apart the front end, however Gordon did walk away. That crash sparked more in safety with why wasn’t there a safer barrier there, but the car did its job.

The second wreck came yesterday afternoon at Texas Motor Speedway when during qualifying, Michael McDowell in the #00 on his second qualifying lap went into turn 1 and lost the rear end and the car went head on in to the outside wall with SAFER Barrier and sent his car flipping down the track and once the car finally came to rest, moments later Michael McDowell climbed out and walked to away. Safety, both wrecks showed the front end and/or the rear end completely destroyed, but the drivers cockpit was fully in tacked (together) and for all that, I have to give credit to NASCAR and the smart people involved in creating a safer COT Cup car and the SAFER Barrier. Something to note, in both cases, both of these cars including Jeff Gordon's Las Vegas wrecked car and Michael McDowell's Texas wreck cars were taken back to the NASCAR R&D Center in N.C.. Not surprising at all, it would surprise more if they didn't. It is standard practice.

The photo on right is Michael McDowell's #00 Cup car following his vicoius crash, what's left. (Photo Credit: Foxsports.com/Larry Papke - Associated Press )

With that said, David Poole has writen on Michael McDowell's wreck and had something very interesting to say including this quote: "Let's be clear about this. Dale Earnhardt saved Michael McDowell's life Friday." Do I agree with Poole's comments, yes, one thing that struck me about McDowell's wreck, it reminded me alot of Dale Earnhardt's wreck at the 2001 Daytona 500 that killed him, however thankfully this time, it had different results.

Now as the seventh race of the 2008 Cup Series season sets to go green in Texas, three safety issues should be addressed by NASCAR, first, one issue that crew chiefs have noticed is that during a pit stop, when a crew member goes to clean the front grill opening below the bumper, their hands while cleaning can get stunk between the cables that adjust the front splitter height anywhere from 4-6 inches. The solution could be to remove the cables and move the front grill out like on the Chevrolet Corvette pictured below or like on the old cup cars and adjust through springs and shocks.


Image was taken by me with a Kodak EasyShare DX6490

The second issue is at the racetracks themselves, tracks need to line the inside walls with safer barriers even where they think a car can’t go and adjust the openings for the safety vehicles, because more than likely, the cars will find a way to get in those spots.

And the third issue, the tires. This isn’t me bashing Goodyear, I could, but that would solve nothing, instead, I would like to hear and see what Goodyear plans to do about the tire issues. I noticed that during the 12 hours of Sebring, Michelin, who supplies tires to Audi, Peugeot, Acura, Porsche, Corvette and Ferrari, brought 5 different compounds (including one rain tire) to the track for the race for their teams… maybe Goodyear should supply a soft compound and a hard compound for teams to use during the race, that would make for an interesting race.

What about adding small groves to the tires to add more grip, Formula One uses them and their faster than a Cup car. Basically above are suggestions from this racing fan, not a tire specialized. Now I will leave you with this:

(From my previous post called “What is the biggest story to start the 2008 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season?”: The COT isn’t anything like the Nationwide car nor last year’s Cup Series car, it needs a totally different tire, nothing like what we have now, I like Ray Evernham’s suggestion on NASCAR Now, he said maybe it’s time for the COT to have a wider right side tire or a different size tire… Think about this, the Modified Tour Car that run at New Hampshire Motor Speedway among other tracks, run a wider right side tire and it looks like it works.
The Ray Evernham suggestion, the drivers, the teams, and the owners, they know what they are talking about, NASCAR and Goodyear need to listen to them. Comments.

If you enjoyed part two of One year later for NASCAR's COT, be sure to check out part one called “One year later for NASCAR's COT – Is it any better and what is the future?

- Racedriven

Thursday, April 3, 2008

First NBC is creating the American version of Top Gear and now the remake of Knight Rider?

Wait a minute, right now I am having a hard time trying to imagine just what the American version of Top Gear is going to look like, I mean I am a huge fan of the UK Top Gear that is airs weekly on BBC America, the show has three hosts and it works, but its more comedy than anything else. These three guys are not afraid to tell you what they really think of the vehicles they are test driving and that would including test driving the Chevrolet Corvette that in their minds is a good track car, but not a daily driver and the Shelby GT500 which didn’t impress them much because of the Suspension, it just wasn’t there. In the end they pointed out that the Roush Mustang that Jeremy Clarkson test drove, he would rather purchase that as it was better overall. The point is, NBC isn’t going to be able to duplicate this, I mean they are not going to be able to really voice their opinions on these cars, it would be interesting to watch, however I don’t see it.

Like I said, I am having a hard time trying to imagine just what Top Gear is going to look like when it is premiered and now they announce in there (month early) Upfront that a remake of Knight Rider in a weekly series is on the fall schedule. Wow, I mean I a huge fan of Knight rider and while I loved the look of the car in the remake movie let along the original KITT and the Knight Rider 2000 KITT, the movie wasn’t all that bad, but not good neither and here I thought that after a pair of KITT’s where auctioned off this past weekend at the Barrett-Jackson Car Auction in Palm Beach for $300,000 and I might add that that price includes the rights to the last 2009 Shelby GT500KR #1576, that was the end. Needless to say, I will check it out, at least they seem to be using the same cast as the movie and a bold Mustang, could make that perfect combination…

Staying with NBC’s upfront announcement, they not only introduced there fall schedule, but a look at the 52 week schedule which showed that a couple of my favorites were renewed after all including American Gladiators, The Biggest Loser, Lipstick Jungle, and The Celebrity Apprentice (which was good, however I would have rather seen Trace Atkins win last season then Piers Morgan, at least his charity the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund received $250,000 and that’s what it’s all about.) (Read more of the Upfront…)

Well I like the 52 week schedule, it tells me or gives me an idea of just what to expect not only next Fall, but both next Winter and Summer. Comments.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

And the award for best dramatic moment goes to Joshuah in Big Brother 9 as the final six is determined.

Well another week down in the Big Brother house and yet another evicted houseguest, what can you say as the outgoing HOH Natalie continues her payback against those who had a hand in Matt’s backdoor eviction and for Natalie, last week she had a hand in getting Chelsia evicted while Adam was HOH and this week, she had to settle for Joshuah being evicted after James for the third straight time won the POV even with the entire house against him and it will most likely continue to be that way until he losses both HOH and POV in the same week.

However you have to give it to Joshuah, he tried just about everything to get another week in the house including, well he won the award for most dramatic moments as he attempted to sway Adam’s vote as he on cue cried in to Adam, what a moment, but it backfired and Adam along with Ryan and Shelia all voted to evict Joshuah, leaving James as the sole vote to evict Sharon.
With Joshuah finally out of the house and now on the jury, the game once again shifts towards another Head of household and I couldn’t believe it as for the second time, Adam is HOH, the bigger question here that is almost asked every week, who will he nominate for eviction? Thinking of course James and maybe either Shelia or Sharon…

Looking past all of what has happened so far, let’s now look at the remaining houseguests, who are the players and who are not…

Adam: This guy, who needs to learn manners, is the spoiler in this game, the other HGs are under estimating what Adam can do, and his game play is good. He is the current HOH for second time and he hasn’t really mad anyone mad, however that will change this week. Don’t count him out, final three.

Sharon: Knows the game, but now doesn’t have her partner Josh who she somewhat carried throughout the game, however she is a target this week and I wouldn’t be surprised to see her on the block. Survival is possible, because she has girl power behind her, yes there is a girl’s alliance.

Shelia: At this point, I am really surprised she is still in the house, she has pissed off just about everyone in the house and would be very surprised to see her in the final four, unless others can win against her, jury votes, in that case, maybe one HG could bring her to the finals, she would be so lucky as she has no game.

James: The strongest player in the house with the second chance, the other HGs shouldn’t have voted him back in and now they are regretting it. He can and will win challenges, this week, since he isn’t HOH, he will be up on the block and wouldn’t be surprised if he wins POV, however if he doesn’t, he will go home. I could see him as a possible final two player.

Ryan: Very surprised to see still in the house next to Shelia, he has aligned himself with Natalie as it seems to be. Currently not a target and not a gambler neither. Where’s the game play?
Natalie: You could be very well looking at a final two player, the second strongest player in the house, most of time is think game play, she plays everything out in her head, but her downfall is she talks to much, she tells all and something’s she shouldn’t. I wouldn’t predict victory her for anyone including Natalie because I really don’t know what the Jury will do… bottom line, she is a combination of Sharon and James, Strategy in one hand and strong player in challenges in the other hand.

Well it’s still too early to predict the final two and I am convinced that there is one more twist in this game still to come, just one question for Big Brother, can you show the sequester house and the three jury members… Matt, Chelsia, and now Joshuah, there has to be something there including a DVD each week. Comments.

- Racedriven