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.