Sunday, September 27, 2009

The 2009 Targa Trophy Rally in California

Over the past few months, I have been hearing and reading about a Targa Trophy rally in California. Now let’s be honest here, this is the type of event (among other automobile and NASCAR events) that I would like to attend and even though I was asked if I would like to attend as a member of the media, I just couldn’t. RaceDriven is a hobby turned part-time job that doesn’t allow me to travel, so pictures and details are next best thing.

First a little history, The Targa Trophy rally was started back in 2007 running San Diego. In 2008, the Targa Trophy rally was expanded to two events in Los Angeles and San Diego. Now in 2009, the Targa Trophy Rally has been expanded to three events in Orange County, San Diego and Los Angeles.

Luckily enough for all of car guys, Jonny Lieberman from Autoblog.com not only attended the event originally in a Hyundai Genesis Coupe 3.8 (which I will get into in a minute), but wrote up a very detailed article called "Autoblog runs the 2009 Targa Trophy Rally..." on his prospective of the event, namely being in it. In reading this article like some on the internet today, I felt like I was right there next to him in the car. He had an amazing adventure, but I do have to say, who takes a Hyundai Genesis Coupe to a rally event like this anyway.

Personally if I had access to a normal list of vehicles, my short list would include a Subaru Impreza STI, a Audi A4 or RS4, a Ford Mustang with a V8 under the hood, a Chevrolet Camaro, a Dodge Challenger R/T, you get it, something with a lot of power under the hood that could handle a wide range of areas that this course is made up of. And for the record, a Ferrari would be cool to drive in this rally, but I said normal list, not dream list.

Anyway, if this is your type of event that you enjoy, then you should take a few minutes to read the article that included a slow speed accident with a Porsche, abandoning his teammates to be the navigator in a Ferrari F430 with a guy to don’t know (by the way, if I was the third person in a car and had the opportunity to experience the event in a Ferrari or supercar, you bet you’re a** I would too) to getting the chance to once again pilot the Hyundai Genesis Coupe with an experience that was a hell of a lot better including laying a beautiful piece of rubber down and out running several cars in your own territory, what a drive.

By the way, during his leg in the Ferrari, oh my god, my heart sunk when he mentioned that a Porsche Carrera GT was totaled during the rally. I have a hard time looking at a totaled super car or muscle car damn!

Anyway continuing on in the rally, can you imagine being around a Lamborghini Gallardo, a Ferrari F430 Spyder, a BMW E39 M5, a E60 M5, a E92 M3, a Porsche Carrera GT just to name a few, damn! Congratulations to Jonny in not only completely such an event, but finishing sixth.

What an article and I have to say that I never would have thought that a Hyundai Genesis Couple would be a challenger in and among Ferrari’s, BMW’s Audi’s, Porsche’s and more, I guess I stand corrected, it’s not all about what’s under the hood, it’s how the car’s overall performance thought the entire rally that counts. So this is a rally, who won.

LA WINNERS

1. Malcolm Medina – Audi RS4
2. Valli Khan – Porche Cayanne Transsyberia
3. Adam Roth – Audi R8
4. Josh Conely – BMW M5
5. Elliott Grossman – BMW M5
6. Jeff Glucker- Hyundai Genesis
7. Wick Zimmerman – BMW M5

TRIPLE CROWN WINNERS

1. Malcolm Medina – RS4
2. Elliott Grossman BMW M5/Nissan GTR
3. Joe Callian – Subaru WRX STI
Now of course were words tell most of the story, but pictures are worth a thousand words and below you will see a gallery of photos from the event…enjoy.



(Photo Credit: The photos that are named “targatrophyla” are from Danielle Gano from Elle Communications and the photos that are named “autoblog” are from autoblog.com)

Visit http://www.targatrophy.com/ for more details.

Disclaimer: One thing, in the art of full disclosure, here at RaceDriven.com, I write on my passions and even though I received several photos and details of this event from a PR (I receive a lot of photos for articles which I love), I wrote this article because I wanted to. I am not obligated to write or post anything that I don’t want to. And I was NOT paid to write this, I will tell you if any article is a paid article. Just wanted to let my readers and others know that. Have a nice day.

There is no place in NASCAR for start and park cars.

Currently in 2009, in all three NASCAR national series (the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, the Nationwide Series and the Camping World Truck Series), one problem that continues to upset some NASCAR fans and makes the sport look bad is “start and park cars”.

Currently in all three national series especially in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and the Nationwide Series, teams are showing up to the racetrack unprepared to run the entire race. Some teams go so far as to show up without a crew, a crew chief, tires (they lease or buy their tires at the track from Goodyear), and/or equipment to run the entire race. In one Nationwide Series race I believe back at New Hampshire, a team was black flagged for not having a crew chief on top of the pit box, there was no crew chief, how does this get by.

Let me clarify something, currently in NASCAR, there are two types of start and park cars.

The first type are those teams that are attempting to run most or the entire season and while most of their schedule is filled with sponsorship there are those few races that are not filled. So in order to keep the team going (people employed), the team is forced to qualify for the race only to start the race and park the car for 43rd place money.

These are not the teams that I have a problem with. I can understand especially in this tough economy where companies are cutting back on sponsorship dollars that some teams have to do that. One team that is a perfect example is the #71 TRG team.

Take last weekend at New Hampshire Motor Speedway for example, the team originally was going to be another start and park car for the race because they just didn’t have enough money for that race. But because driver Bobby Labonte not only qualified the car 8th and a few New England companies including a Massachusetts insurance company stepped up to sponsor the car, they were able to get enough money especially for the engine lease and tires to run the entire race and they finished in the 22nd position.

In the #71’s case, they are a team running most or I believe the entire schedule and they just simply a few holes during the season where they don’t have sponsorship and in those cases, they are forced be a start and park car. The majority of time, they are running the entire race, so it is what it is.

However this brings me to the second type of “start and park” car where I do have a problem with. There is no place in NASCAR for these start and park cars and in essence are stealing from the sport, meaning they only take from the sport in the form of a pay check, and not give anything back.

These are the start and park teams that show up to the racetrack week in and week out or the majority of the time with no intension of running the entire race. They show without the necessary equipment to practice, qualify (which is taking a starting position away from a full funded team that in some cases like in the Cup Series with Scott Speed in Sonoma made a mistake during qualifying and didn’t make the field) and start the race and park the car while the other team like Morgan Shepherd (who typically runs the entire race) in the Nationwide Series goes home.

Let me put this into prospective, take two weeks ago for the NASCAR Nationwide Series race in Richmond, the 43rd position was worth $14,677 and the car didn’t even complete a lap. The results say out on lap 0. Four other cars came was in the bottom of the grid with around the same amount of money. The amount differs with sponsorship, but don’t ask me to explain it.

In the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Richmond, the final race to the chase race, the 43rd position team came away with $68,022 and it’s a team that normally is a start and park car.

This is an area that NASCAR really needs to look especially at in the inspection process. If a team comes to a NASCAR race, they should have to present the car, the crew chief, the crew (not pit crew because they fly in race morning), and all of the necessary to run the entire race. If you can’t present everything, you shouldn’t be allowed to practice or qualify that goes double for the crew chief and the same process before qualifying and the race, no crew chief, no race, no pay check.

Now I realize that some teams like I pointed out above the #71 isn’t going to be running ever race, but if cars are showing up without everything to run the entire race, go home.

If NASCAR does this, this might create a problem with not having enough cars (43 in the Nationwide Series and Cup Series and 36 trucks in the Track Series) on the starting grid.

Well it might create a smaller field, however 43 is just a number that NASCAR came up with years ago that can be in each race, sometimes NASCAR increases the number in some races in some series.

I personally don’t see an issue here, I would rather have a 39 cars starting field in a race (including the Daytona 500) that are there to run the entire race, are up to speed, and are giving something back to the sport, then 43+ cars where some are there to just start and park for money. There is no such thing as easy money, so enough is enough with start and parks week in and week out or in the majority of races especially when you have fully funded teams going home or teams that are there to run the entire race.

What do you think?

Friday, September 25, 2009

Who does this? 227,000 text messages, 662,258 text messages in one month?

I'm sure in everybodies life, they do things that are pointless or in this case, something to break a record and this includes me too, however who does this?

Can you imagine spending an entire month doing nothing but sending and receiving text messages in order to break a record? I sure can't, but underneath the category of "I have to try this", two people online have published videos of them showing there cell phone bills including how many text messages they have done in that one month.

The first video below shows a reporter interviewing a person that has send and receive 227,000 text messages in one month. One day this guy received a big package that had thousands of pages in it and it was his T-Mobile cell phone bill that totaled over $26,000. Now of course he didn't have to pay it because he had an unlimited plan, but 227,000 text messages in one month.



The second one (click here to see the video) is even more outragious with another guy using his iPhone, send and received 662,258 text messages in one month as well. (Thanks Mashable for the tip) His cell phone from I believe AT&T came in several boxes and included over 12,000 pages. So let's do the math, if that month was 30 days, he would have to have send and received over 22,075 per day for 30 days.

I have to ask, who does this? So what does everyone think, waste of time, its a record, you got to break it?

I believe that people want to break records, but there are somethings that just shouldn't be attempted at all and this is one of them. I have a prepaid cell phone with Verizon and couldn't imagine even thinking about doing this nor want to, of course I would have an unlimited plan to even think about it. All I have to say is, this is a waste of time, a waste of the Cell Phone Companies resources and customers wonder why cell phone companies charge so much, people like these taking advantage of the system, but thats not the only reason for high prices for cell companies.

The other thing that struck me as odd, is the number pages that each person received. Did you know cell phone companies charge for a paper bill? Check your month statement/bill, it might just have a charge (under $2.00 per month).

Cell Phone companies, have you considered going paperless especially for this? According the video, the cell bill that came in had almost 13,000 pages to it. The 227,000 text message guy got over thousands of pages, do I need to go, save a tree.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Four contenders make their mark in first Chase for the Sprint Cup race in New Hampshire.


In front of a sold out crowd at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, the first chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race lived up to all of the hype as Sunday’s Sylvania 300 showed survival was the key to not only victory, but a much needed top 10 finish.

It’s amazing to see what a few changes can do for a race. For example, a racetrack adding some banking to the corners and NASCAR creating this ugly, yet cost effective COT car normally isn’t the recipe for a good race however for some reason while it hasn’t worked on tracks above 1.3 miles in length, it has worked for tracks like Phoenix and Darlington.

The same can be said for last Sunday’s Cup Series race at New Hampshire which for the fourth time in two years, fans saw one hell of a race. Now this isn’t Bristol nor Richmond or Martinsville, but the race ended up being exciting nonetheless and the race also showed what I have been thinking all season long, drivers are just being more aggressive on the track, partly due to economy and the sponsors, remember the old saying, “Your only as good as your last race”, well this last race for some key drivers proved to show they are here to race for it.

Sunday was two races within a race. First was for the 12 chase drivers to mount a charge to take the top spot in the points to contend for the championship. I believe that there are three, maybe five drivers that are championship contenders at this point. On Sunday, Mark Martin came out firing on all eight cylinders, leading when it counted, at the end by holding off a hard charging Denny Hamlin and a chase new comer Juan Montoya who lead the most laps Sunday to win the Sylvania 300. With the victory, Mark Martin (who is the sentimental favorite to win the championship this season) adds to his points lead with 35 points over Jimmie Johnson and Denny Hamlin.

Right now, those three drivers that I believe are real championship contenders are Mark Martin, Jimmie Johnson and Tony Stewart, they all have their stuff together. For smoke, after winning the regular season and despite his 14th place finish on Sunday, he is still in this. Right below those top 3 is Denny Hamlin. Two wins on the season including last weekend at Richmond, he is almost there, a silent contender, he hasn’t made a lot of noise this season, but yet has 10 top 5’s and 15 top 10’s so far. Right below Hamlin is a wild card, meaning I have no idea what he is going to do nor can he keep it up, yeah Juan Montoya.

The rest of the top 12 hasn’t been there all season long, let along on Sunday, so it will be a surprise when someone outside of those five comes on strong.

The second race was for the rest of the field, the non-chase drivers that some call second class citizens. I don’t believe in the whole “second class citizens” phase, all 43 drivers that show up to race the entire race and not start and park are important, somebody needs to tell the media and especially ESPN/ABC that they are all here to race, including for the victory period.

Two non-chase drivers who on Sunday sent a message to the rest of the field that “hay while I’m not in the chase, I am still a contender for race wins” is Kyle Busch and Dale Earnhardt Jr. Yeah, I can’t believe it that I have pin pointed these two drivers neither, but impressive runs and standing out among the chase contenders is big in my book and Kyle Busch’s 5th place finish and Dale Jr’s running in the top 5-10 both stood out to me.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. ran up in the top 5 and top 10 some of the day and was on his way to a top 5 or top 10 finish when a late-race incident (lap 283 I believe) with David Reutimann sent junior spinning into the wall and out of the race. I can understand Dale Jr’s reaction after the crash, David Reutimann over drove the corner, washed up the track into Dale Jr. and sent Dale Jr. into the wall.

However while a top 5 finish for Kyle Busch was big, his #18 car failed post race inspection, his left front was found to be too low, as a result, according to NASCAR PR, “Crew chief Steve Addington has been fined $25,000 and placed on NASCAR probation until Dec. 31. Driver Kyle Busch and car owner Joe Gibbs have been penalized 25 championship driver and 25 championship owner points, respectively.”
For everybody who just looked at that, that penalty isn’t a big deal, he’s not in the chase, so it doesn’t mean much and he still keeps the 5th place finish.

Of course there were two topics that caught my eye throughout the past week:

1. Last week Marty Smith wrote an article called “Is racing for free dedicated enough?” that details that the Richard Petty Motorsports driver Reed Sorenson is racing the remainder of the season for no salary. "The decision I made was to keep racing. The reason I did that is I thought it would help me find a job next year," Sorenson said. "And any race car driver that has the choice to sit at home or race is probably going to choose to race, unless they're at the end of their career.”

This is hard to read, yet imagine happening to anyone especially a driver. While I can understand why he is doing this and keep in mind he is keeping him crew working with a pay check, I can’t believe an owner would put a driver in this position. I don’t know the whole story here, but the car has sponsorship, so I don’t get it and you wonder why drivers want out of their contracts.

For drivers, crew members, owners, everybody, respect is a two-way street, you treat people with respect to get respect, this isn’t respecting somebody and yet this same team has a merger (Richard Petty Motorsports) with Yates Racing...I wonder about this organization, and remember we had the Elliott Sadler lawsuit before the season began.

2. Speaking of Richard Petty Motorsports, Kasey Kahne had a blown engine last Sunday at New Hampshire. ABC (ESPN) speculated that this was due to the merger and getting rid of the Engine shop for RPM. They should applause to the fans and to RPM for saying that, that was uncalled for.
Now is Kasey Kahne that is 161 points out, out of the championship hunt? No, no one is, yes it’s a tall order, but anything can happen in the next several races and he could be right back into this. Ask me after race 5 who is in and who is completely out.

Well next up is chase race two, Dover, what a race that should be and I would say that Jimmie Johnson, Tony Stewart and Mark Martin will be the odds on favorites to win, but I wonder if Roush-Fenway Racing will be in the hunt?

(Photo Credit: Gregg Ellman/Pool-Getty Images)

Thursday, September 17, 2009

I wonder what Tony Stewart, Erik Estrada and Carrott Top talking about, BK or Kevin Harvick giving the “V” sign?

When I first saw these three photos below at this time last week, my first thoughts were I wonder what the conversation is between Tony Stewart, Erik Estrada and Carrott Top? The second thing is, why is Kevin Harvick standing there making a “V” sign?

Tony Stewart shares some laughs with actor, Erik Estrada and comedian/actor, Carrot Top, during a break behind the scenes of Burger King Corp.’s ad shoot, “The Tony Stewart School of Endorsements.” (Photos furnished by Matter-Edelman)

Kevin Harvick giving the “V” sign (symbolizing Shell V-Power®) and a quick note about a contest his sponsor, Shell, is running right now called The Shell V-Power "Fuel My Passion" Contest and Sweepstakes that is for those who are passionate about their ride and would be willing to share their "love stories" through a brief description of why they are passionate about their vehicle. You can visit www.shell.us/fuelmypassion for more details. (Photos furnished by Matter-Edelman)
Yeah you would think I have a little too much time on my hands, but I just like to ponder something’s for a while, whether it’s NASCAR’s Chase for the Sprint Cup, why Richard Petty Motorsports is merging/acquiring Yates Racing to who is going to win the Sprint Cup Series Championship this season?

What do you think?

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Best season in Big Brother history? Big Brother 11?

One of the most searched phases when it comes to Big Brother is “Best season in Big Brother history”. Big Brother is in its 11 season so far and it’s been a pretty good run and I hope it continues. Some of the seasons have been so so, while others have been off the charts with twists, surprises, action, drama and more, you know the stuff that makes it memorable.

Looking back over the 11 seasons, there had been those few that have stood out, for example, season 8, that one had the father vs. daughter finale with America’s Player Eric voting the way American wanted and doing what America asked. Season 7 was All-Stars. The All-Stars had Dr. Will and Mike boogie playing everyone in the house and acting so cool about it. And of course the controversial season 9, 'Til Death Do You Part, what a winter season, so much drama just for being couples and because of everything that said on the air which saw Adam win the $500,000.

Let’s not forget some classic moments, one of the best had to be back in season 3 when Marcellas had POV and chose not to save himself, he was evicted that week. Over 11 seasons, I really couldn’t choose the best season, however season 11 would rank in the top 5 for sure. This season had so many twists and turns and yet could be followed.

CBS did a pretty good job in choosing who would be among the 12 houseguests to compete. One thing I loved is that they were complete strangers. Right from the first day, Big Brother unveiled a huge twist in that each houseguest would play the game as part of a high school clique, but also as individuals. The popular clique was Jordon, Laura and Braden. The Athletes were Natalie, Jeff and Russell, the Brains were Ronnie, Michelle and Chima and finally the off-beats were Lydia, Casey and Kevin.

One way to even the playing field could have been having the high school cliques combine into four cliques with one member from each category. So that would be a popular mixed with an Athlete, a Brain and an Off-beat. That would have made it a little more interesting, than BB fans would have seen who goes where and forms an alliance with whom.

Unfortunately unlike the high school cliques which was part of the game and was pretty good, I didn’t care for the 13th houseguest at all which out of four past houseguests, was last season’s Jessie coming back for a second try. That put an unfair advantage for the Athletes as if they are ready didn’t have that advantage.

The third twist, the Coup D’etat. The Coup D’etat power holder when the power is used can overthrow the current HOH, replacing one or both of the HOH nominations with their own nominations on the spot at the time of eviction (before the votes are cast). This was a game changing power that America voted to give one houseguest and overwhelmingly was given to Jeff. During Chima’s HOH reign, Jeff used the Coup D’etat power, removed Lydia and Russell, replaced them with Natalie and Jessie.

Amazing enough, this power ended up having some good in it, it actually saved one persons game (Jeff), set another houseguest off which lead to that HG being expelled (Chima), set the stage for the 13th houseguest to be evicted (Jessie) and started a huge power shift, so I guess it wasn’t all that bad. And I think this wasn’t the first time this power existed in Big Brother history.

One moment in this game that was so stupid, Day 40, the night after Jessie got evicted. OMG three women sitting at the dining room table tossing and crying as if he was hit by a Mac truck (thanks Kevin for the words).

I will remember each houseguest in a different way, I really didn’t get the chance to see what Braden or Laura could do in the game. Both of them got evicted because of their mouths. Everything you say in this game affects you. Braden got evicted by one vote because he said something bad to Lydia.

Ronnie, oh boy this guy played this game like Kaysar did in season 6, he played all of his cards too early, played everybody and for that he got evicted. One thing, he should have nominated Russell, the chance to get him evicted was there and he didn’t take it.

How about Casey wearing a banana suit the same week he got evicted, he actually walked out in the suit, what a guy. His strategy was to lay low, not say too much, but Natalie went to the HOH Jessie and that was that.

To me, what I call the 13th houseguest Jessie got what he deserved and evicted because Jeff used the Coup D’etat and his alliance didn’t have the votes to save him. Although I will admit, over the winter, somebody taught this guy how to play Big Brother, but left out one key point, don’t play god in the HOH room, he did that both seasons and got evicted for it.

Let’s fast forward past Chima as she walks out the door and go straight to Lydia’s game. Lydia played the game pretty good. She stayed in for a while, however if see would have not gone off on everyone including Jeff and Jordon, she would have stayed in the house for at least another week. Natalie should thank her, Lydia’s outbursts and eviction is what saved her (Natalie).

Russell played a hard game. He played a lot of people, but he looked at several past houseguests and took points from each of their games, but acting like a jerk and fighting with HG’s shouldn’t really be in the cards, what is he Mike Boogie or Dr. Will. Russell just got to too many houseguests, getting in to fights with several of them from Jeff the first week to Chima, Lydia, Ronnie, there is a good list here which put that huge target on his back including with Jeff that got him evicted.

Jeff. The Coup D’etat winner, a move that saved his game, changed the power in the house and of course made the target bigger on his back. I have to say that I wanted him to win, but something got to him and even though getting Russell evicted was a good move, it ended his game because he trusted Natalie and Kevin. I still think Jeff played a good game. America voted to give Jeff $25,000, their favorite houseguest.

I never could really figure out Michelle’s game at all. She either forgot conversations or just lied point blank to people. She had a hand in getting Russell out too. Michelle won at least 3 Power of Veto’s and one HOH, she was a strong competitor and the strongest women in the house.

Kevin, I agree with one blogger, I didn’t even know he was in house until about the final five, that shows how much work he did. He did get Jeff evicted by breaking a deal with him (Jeff), of course this is Big Brother, just about everybody including Jeff and Jordon have broken deals with another houseguest at one point or another in this game. Kevin has won HOH and a Power of Veto. In the end, Kevin made it to the final 3, but Jordon won her second HOH and evicted him.

Natalie, the 24 year old (not 18, that lie cosseted her big time with the jury) that in my eyes got carried through the game by first Jessie thanks to the clique twist and the 13th houseguest, then Chima and later by carried by Kevin. She is a lot like the guy who won Survivor season 1. She throw competitions, made deals and in the end throw the final HOH comp and basically said you have to take me to the finals. She won one HOH when it counted, but nothing else. Natalie played the dirtiest game in history, she bet Russell and Ronnie by a mile.

Jordon is America’s sweet heart she paired herself up with Jeff throughout the game. What a cute couple they make. She won one HOH (I should mention that in the final round a HOH competition, Jeff through it to give her the HOH, good strategy by Jeff, so he could play the following week) and she has won a POV (straight up). And most importantly, she won the final HOH, told Natalie to the final 2 and by a vote of 5-2 (Russell and Kevin voted for Natalie) including the 7th jury America, Jordon won Big Brother 11. Put of the final 4, she would be the one I wanted to win, if not her then Michelle or Kevin.

In the end, I have to say that having the two hour live finale is the perfect way for Big Brother to end the season finale. I like the fact that everything is live from the 3rd part of the final HOH to the jury asking the questions, although somebody should have clued Kevin in a on a few things including Natalie’s age lie.

Congratulations to Jordon for winning Big Brother 11, hats off to you, you deserve it, it wasn’t the best strategy, but you won two HOH’s, a POV, and stayed true to Jeff.

Disclaimer: As you read this, please keep this in mind, I’m not bashing anybodies personal life or life outside the house, this article strictly talks about each HG’s game play, think of it as characters in a movie or TV Series.

Past Articles on Big Brother 11:
- Big Brother 11: My Take on the first 30 days – Part One.
- Big Brother 11: My Take on the first 33 days – Part Two
- Big Brother 11: My Take on the first 33 days – Part Three
- Big Brother 11 heating up - Coup D’etat, Jessie, Chima & Lydia being evicted, what’s next?
- Jordon, Michelle, Kevin and Natalie are the final four in Big Brother 11.
- Kevin, Jordon and Natalie are the final three in Big Brother 11.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Taylor Swift wins at VMA’s and performs on The View.

Welcome back ladies and gentlemen, Taylor Swift and her fans including myself have a lot to celebrate from the VMA’s, the CMA nominations, her first appearance on The View to her selling more than 10 million albums and that doesn’t even include the 20 million paid song downloads, more than any artist in country music history and the re-release of “Fearless” in a platinum version CD/DVD combination.

2009 MTV Video Music Awards (VMA’s)

Last Sunday night was a rollercoaster ride for Taylor Swift and it all took place at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards (VMA’s for short). Now let me state the obvious, the VMA’s isn’t my thing, I don’t watch MTV or there award shows and with the exception of Katy Perry and a few other artists, I am a country music fan. But I did watch the VMA’s last year and this time for one reason, because I’m a Taylor Swift fan.

The night started out with her winning Best Female Video for “You Belong with Me”. What a shocker, she bet out Lady GaGa, Kelly Clarkson, Pink, Katy Perry and the amazing Beyonce.

However during her acceptance speech, Kanye West came up on stage, grabbed the microphone from Swift and said “Taylor, I'm really happy for you, and I'm gonna let you finish, but,” and West then declared that BeyoncĂ©, who had also been listed as a nominee in the category for Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It), "had one of the best videos of all time." (Quotes in this paragraph from USA Today Article)

An acceptance speech is a time for the winner of the award to knowledge everyone that made that happen for him/her, not for a person who doesn’t agreed with the award winner to come up and voice his/her displeasure. For West to get on stage and say that was completely disrespectful. I watched the VMA’s on television and my first words where “WTF is wrong with him, what a jerk.”

After West’s outburst, Taylor was taken backstage after that, she didn’t get the chance to thank everyone involved including the fans.

15 minutes later, Taylor performed “You Belong with Me” starting in the subway and moving up to street level and dancing on a Taxi in the street. Cool performance, it was a little different from what she normally does, however that was the VMA’s, not the ACM’s.

The night ended with Beyonce winning Video of the Year, however instead of doing her acceptance speech, she called country music star Taylor Swift back out to have a second chance at her acceptance speech where she thanked everybody involved in the song, video and of course the fans.

I will say that besides watching Taylor Swift win big and her performance, the night had two other good points as well. First, the night started off with a tribute to Michael Jackson. Now I’m not really a Michael Jackson fan, however I respect his music, it’s interesting, cool to listen to and different from anything else. His performances were incredible years ago it’s sort of reminds me of Beyonce’s performances.

Second had to Beyonce’s performance, that was incredible to watch. I had never watched her performance before nor sing, that was a welcome treat.

Tuesday's on “The View”


Earlier today, Taylor made her first appearance on ABC’s The View, first appearance…really, where she talked about her appearance on the VMA’s including Kanye West’s interruption and after being asked about living at home, she announced that she bought a Condo. Following the short sit down interview, Taylor performed two songs, first “Fifteen" and then “You Belong with Me”.

According to an AP report from a “The View” statement, after Taylor Swift said “He has not personally reached out or anything but if he wanted to say hi (I would),” on The View”, West called her and the two spoke. After the show he spoke personally to the country music superstar via telephone and has apologized to the 19-year-old singer. She has accepted Mr. West's apology. The contents of the phone call are to remain private," it read.

When it comes to Kanye West and his outburst/interruption, West first apologized on his blog, then again on “The Jay Leno Show” which I recorded, but haven’t watched yet and then according to statement above, he apologized for a third time. I believe it to be over and done with, he’s a jerk and that’s it.

CMA Nominations

Last week, the CMA nominations were announced on Good Morning and CMT where Taylor was nominated for four awards including Entertainer of the Year. Taylor is the youngest artist history to be nominated for the award and is the first solo female artist since Faith Hill in 2000.

She has been nominated for Best Music Video for “Love Story”, Album of the Year for “Fearless”, Female Vocalist and Entertainer of the Year. Also, congratulations to Carrie Underwood for being nominated for Female Vocalist, Best Musical Event and Song of the Year for the song “I Told You So” as well as to The Raconteurs featuring Ricky Skaggs and Ashley Monroe, they are nominated for Musical Event for their song “Old Enough”.

Well I will leave you with three questions, first what’s next for Taylor? Second, will she win next month at the CMA Awards in Nashville? Three, where is the fan voted award or awards? When it comes to the fan voted awards, I’m not talking about entertainer of the year, but what about best music video?

Congratulations Taylor Swift, you earned and if anybody is wondering about her passing the 10 million mark on albums and 20 million mark on song downloads, I own 3 albums including her self-titles “Taylor Swift”, the Beautiful Eye’s CD and her latest “Fearless” CD, not to mention just about every single song she has come out that is not on an album, and I bet you I am not along. I can also say the same for Carrie Underwood.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Ladies and Gentlemen, here is the 2009 NASCAR Chase to the Sprint Cup contenders, but who will win?

(Top photo of the 12 chase contenders was taken by Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR and the bottom right photo of Brian Vickers out racing Kyle Busch to make it into the chase was taken by Chris Graythen/Getty Images via NASCAR PR, both at the Chevy Rock & Roll 400 at Richmond International Raceway.)

Ladies and gentlemen, last night at the famous ¾ mile short track, Richmond International Raceway played host to the final race to the chase race where NASCAR fans saw Denny Hamlin dominate and win at his home racetrack and Brian Vickers “race” his way into the chase by 8 points.

In watching last night’s race, I couldn’t help but notice that Matt Kenseth just didn’t have the car to get into the chase, so it was very clear that the #12 chase spot would be between Brian Vickers and Kyle Busch. I said to one NASCAR fan last night, I can’t believe it that I am routing for Brian Vickers to get into the chase. Be honest now, I bet you that if you are not a Vickers or Kyle Busch fan, you were cheering for Vickers to get into the chase too?

At this point, I am happy to see the race to the chase over, but I am sad to see that the 2009 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season only has 10 races to go in the season before we put another season in the record books and that summer is over.

Well Ladies and Gentlemen, meet the 2009 NASCAR Chase to the Sprint Cup Contenders, 12 of the best drivers in NASCAR this season, but who will win and what would the final 2008 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series points standings be? Did I (Brian Vermette) pick the top 12 at the beginning of the season correctly?

Well here is my list from February of who I picked to make the chase, the ones in bold I got correct. In no particular order, Jimmie Johnson, Mark Martin, Jeff Gordon, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Carl Edwards, Greg Biffle, Jeff Burton, Denny Hamlin, Tony Stewart, Kyle Busch, Kevin Harvick and Ryan Newman. That’s 8 out 12 picked correctly, not bad considering Kevin Harvick, Jeff Burton and Dale Jr. were not even contenders this season and Kyle Busch missed the chase by 8 points.

Who will win and what would the final 2008 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series point standings be?

1. At the beginning of the season, I picked #48-Jimmie Johnson to win his fourth consecutive NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship and I am going to stand behind that. Jimmie Johnson, his crew chief Chad Knaus, the #48 Crew and Rick Hendrick as the owner creates the perfect storm for this team to win the 2009 championship, but he is seeded in the 3rd position.

2. #14-Tony Stewart, not too many media or fans choose Smoke to win races or for that matter be in the chase in his first year as a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series owner, but I did. I believe Smoke will contend for the championship and after watching the first 26 races, it would surprise me to see him win the championship that would be cool to see especially for this Tony Stewart (and Dale Earnhardt Jr. fan.)

However I believe that Tony Stewart has been chipped, he won the 26-race regular season (the points leader), but doesn’t receive any bonus points for doing so. Last month I asked the question Should the NASCAR Points System and the Chase for the Sprint Cup be updated?, in the article I said NASCAR should award 20 bonus points to the winner of the 26-race regular season.

3. #5-Mark “The Kid” Martin. I like Mark Martin’s chances of winning his first Cup Series championship this season. He comes into the chase as a sentimental favorite (including mine), four wins and is (as ESPN puts it) seeded first. If Martin and the #5 team can get consistent for the next 10 races, he will be a contender for sure.

4. #11-Denny Hamlin. Hamlin comes into the chase with two wins on the season and is seeded 4th in points. Hamlin is the only Joe Gibbs racing driver in the 2009 chase and I have to imagine that JGR will pull out all of the stops to get Denny Hamlin up in the points and into victory lane.

5. #24-Jeff Gordon. Sorry Gordon fans, but I don’t see a drive for five this season. Jeff Gordon comes into the chase in the 6th position, for the #24 team, survival and good finishes should be the key to victory for this team.

6. #9-Kasey Kahne. Kahne is a lot like Tony Stewart in past seasons, he is a second half driver. Kahne comes into the chase with two victories (Infineon and Atlanta), is the only RPM driver in the chase and seeded 5th coming into the chase.)

7. #99-Carl Edwards. Edwards has been starting to come on as of late in the finishes category, but has been running well all season long, however with no victories so far this season, it is going to be a tough road for him and Roush-Fenway Racing to get win the 2009 Sprint Cup Series championship.

8. #2-Kurt Busch. Kurt comes into the chase in the 7th position, however even with one victory on the season from Atlanta earlier this spring, his finishes are all over the board and finding consistency for the final 10 races is going to be a challenge. Going into the chase, it was announced that the crew chief Pat Tryson is leaving the team at the end of the season to will assume same role with Martin Truex Jr. and MWR in 2010.

9-12. When it comes to 9th position through the 12th spot, it is really a tossup. Going by the numbers in the first 26-races and comparing them to the top 8 contenders above, this is what I believe is going to happen. 9th will be #39-Ryan Newman, 10th #16-Greg Biffle, 11th #42-Juan Montoya and finally in the 12th spot will be #83-Brian Vickers. For Vickers, he got one lucky victory this season, several poles, but no consistency period.

This should be a good chase for the Sprint Cup over the next 10 weeks, but for the ESPN/ABC, NASCAR, the media and the fans, there are going to be three races going on at the same time over the next 10 weeks. One race will be for the chase contenders, the second race is for top 35 in points, but the third is going to be for victories, top 5’s and top 10’s among the non-chase drivers, remember to cover those too.

Next up is the Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway live on ABC at 1PM-2PM and in this race one year ago, it was Greg Biffle coming out of nowhere to win the race. The rest of the 10 race chase is: Sept. 27 at Dover (1 mile); Oct. 4 at Kansas (1.5 miles); Oct. 11 at Auto Club Speedway in Southern California (2 miles); Oct. 17 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway (1.5 miles); Oct. 25 at Martinsville (.526 mile); Nov. 1 at Talladega (2.66 miles); Nov. 8 at Texas (1.5 miles); Nov. 15 at Phoenix (1 mile); Nov. 22 at Homestead (1.5 miles).

What do you think?

Saturday, September 12, 2009

What is Labor Day Weekend to NASCAR fans? Darlington, California, Atlanta or somewhere else.

Welcome back ladies and gentlemen, as I watch the final race to the chase race at Richmond, I was just thinking about last weekend, Labor Day weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway and what Labor Day weekend means in terms of NASCAR.

As a NASCAR fan, Labor Day Weekend several years ago meant to me the fourth most famous race of the NASCAR Cup Series season, one that was worth looking forward to, the famous Southern 500 at the “track too tough to tame” or “the lady in black”, Darlington Raceway.

In watching last weekend’s racing on Labor Day weekend on television from Atlanta Motor Speedway, I began to think about what Labor Day weekend was years ago, the roar of the engines on one of the famous tracks, Darlington. Now Labor Day weekend’s racing is more of at least racing in the south, although I am not from the south, I’m from New England – Massachusetts.

Back in 2004 when NASCAR moved the famous Labor Day weekend race from Darlington to California Speedway that really set a lot of NASCAR fans off including me. At that point, there was no Southern 500 anymore on the NASCAR schedule, that race at California Speedway was just another race and a boring race at that. I know that NASCAR is a business, but removing one of the most historical races from the schedule partly due to money was just hard to understand.

For 2009, three racetracks with the approval of NASCAR decided to make a huge change (at least the way I understand it and remember it), the California Speedway, the Atlanta Motor Speedway and the Talladega Superspeedway swapped dates. California Speedway got themselves a fall race in the chase, Talladega Speedway received a November date, but Atlanta Motor Speedway in my opinion came out of the swap with the best date, Labor Day Weekend.

I had mixed thoughts on NASCAR once again moving the Labor Day race to Atlanta, but considering Darlington will not be in my opinion an option again for Labor Day again, one because Mothers Day weekend has worked out for them. And the other that NASCAR can’t make as much money off the date at Darlington. The concept of Atlanta getting the famous date, but not the famous name worked for and hopefully better racing.

In watching the racing on last Sunday night, it kind of bothered me that the race itself wouldn’t end until sometime after 11pm on the east coast. Keep in mind, several people had to go to work the next morning regardless of the fact that Monday was Labor Day, so those fans couldn’t watch the race at all, my brother in-law was one of them.

Earlier that day before the race, I actually spent the day at a family cookout at my sisters. My new brother in-law cooked on the grill (of course my sister prepared the food ahead of time), we had chicken or Pork with vegetables on a stick (you pick) and corn on the cob. What a BBQ.

While at the BBQ, my sister in-law brought with her, her two dogs. Damn, I wish I had that kind of energy. These two were chasing each other around the yard and playing hard in a oval track look and then switching it up into a figure 8 track and then into a road course type track. At one point during it, there looked to be more action between these two dogs then in the past night’s Nationwide Series race that was funny, I wish I had some photos.

Anyway, for the Labor Day Classic 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway, what a good Labor Day race under the lights. The racing was much better than in years past at California Speedway hands down. I thought for sure that Kevin Harvick would finally break though to victory lane for his first victory since the 2007 Daytona 500, but it wasn’t meant to be. Kasey Kahne just had the better car at the end of that run, passed Harvick to claim his second victory of the season and Richard Petty would once again go to victory lane.

So after that race, do NASCAR fans like the idea that NASCAR now races at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Labor Day Weekend?

For this NASCAR fans, like I said above, since the Southern 500 at Darlington will not in my opinion return to Labor Day Weekend and California Speedway races are boring, this is a good start, it worked, but where should the race be besides Darlington Raceway? I don’t know on that second question.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Kevin, Jordon and Natalie are the final three in Big Brother 11.

What a season of Big Brother this has been and now here we are final three, Kevin, Natalie and Jordon. Who is going to win the final 3-part HOH and who is the HOH winner going to take to the final two?

I’ve been thinking about which houseguest could win in the final two, but all of the power is in jury house and there are some questionable votes in there, not to mention only six jury members, who is the seventh going to be?

All this time I have thinking that if Natalie goes to the final two, she is a lock to win, however in looking at the jury house that so far contains Jessie, Lydia, Russell, Jeff and now Michelle, I’m thinking I am wrong and that Natalie is going to have to settle for second if she makes it to the final two at all.

Keep in mind, I don’t think Jeff, Michelle or Russell would vote to give Natalie the $500,000 and call her the winner. They believe the same thing; she floated through this game with first Jessie and then Kevin. She has won one HOH and still screwed Kevin, lied about just about everything even when didn’t have too, that includes her age and the so-called marriage proposal which I am not touching with a ten foot poll. Remember I am discussing each houseguest’s game in the house, not their personal lives and I could care less anyway.

Let’s look at this in simple math, first we don’t know who is going to be the final vote in the jury house, I’m thinking that the fans are going to be in for Chima since she was asked to leave, but that could change to another houseguest or something weird.

With that said, let’s go with what I am 80% sure of…Kevin vs. Natalie. In looking at who played this game better, who got evicted who and who did something in this game, I would say Kevin would win, why?

First things first, Natalie has only won one HOH, but she didn’t get her hands dirty as in getting someone evicted, remember Kevin did that with evicting Michelle. Jessie would vote for Natalie, Lydia would be undecided or vote for Kevin. Meanwhile Jeff, Jordon and Russell would vote for Kevin and Michelle might vote for Kevin only because she doesn’t want to see Natalie win.

It’s interesting that I am thinking 4 votes for Kevin and 2-3 for Natalie to win.

Second would be Jordon vs. Kevin. I thinking that 7th votes will come into play, Jeff, Russell and Michelle would vote for Jordon, while Jessie, Lydia and maybe Natalie would vote for Kevin. When it comes to Natalie, it all comes down to who won HOH, Jordon did and took Kevin, then yes, Natalie would vote for Kevin, but if Kevin won and took Jordon, then Natalie could vote for Jordon.

Third would be a very unlikely pairing, but not to out of the question, Jordon vs. Natalie. I believe that Jordon would win, but the 7th vote will come into play, but again it’s all on who wins the HOH. Russell, Jeff and Michelle would vote for Jordon, while Jessie and Lydia would vote for Natalie. Here’s the kicker, if Natalie won HOH and took Jordon, Kevin might vote for Jordon, if it’s the other way around then Kevin would vote for Natalie.

Personally after watching this entire season, I am hoping that of the final three, Jordon wins. Jordon could use the money to begin with, especially for her family and second she played a good game. She has one HOH which she got Lydia evicted and one POV that same week.

If it can’t be Jordon, then I would choose Kevin to win Big Brother 11. I can’t stand Natalie at all and at least Kevin has won HOH’s and POVs, well I really don’t need to discuss Natalie do I, but I do believe that she thinks she is Dr. Will, but she in no way is Dr. Will, her game is just lying period.

Who is the final two going to be and what do you think of the three pairings with who will win?

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Marcos Ambrose: Watkins Glen International vs. Montreal - NASCAR Nationwide Series races.

Welcome back ladies and gentlemen, there is so much going on in NASCAR right now as the Labor Day approaches, but today I want to discuss the NASCAR Nationwide Series driver Marcos Ambrose and what happened to him at both Watkins Glen and Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal.

Watkins Glen -- Three weeks ago I asked a question about the final laps of the Watkins Glen Nationwide Series race, Was Ambrose’s move on Busch in the NASCAR Nationwide Series Watkins Glen race aggressive or a bad move?

The responses was pretty good, when it comes to comments, whether I agree or disagree with them, as long as they are clean and add something to the conversation, I love to read them and accept them for all of my readers read them as well. Here are a few of the comments I received…

Dave said... “Kyle Busch is certainly a good driver, he performs well on all sorts of tracks, he will continue to improve as he matures and if he ever reaches the road racing skill level of drivers like Ambrose, Ron Fellows, Boris Said, Scott Pruett, he too will pounce on unsuspecting road course rookies like he was pounced on. I'm surprised at the complaining, just like a road racer has to learn about ridiculous oval techniques like the "bump and run" the hard way, the round track guys will learn the road race moves the hard way. They should watch the Speed World Challenge and old Trans Am races, the DTM series in Germany, or Ambrose's old stomping ground, the V8 supercar series in Austrailia, they might learn something.”

Cathii said...” Personally I think Kyle Busch needs to learn about real racing. Racing has nothing to do with pouting and complaining about coming second... Ambrose cut his teeth in the Australia V8 Super Cars, a series where a move such as that is the bread and butter of any good race driver. It amused me when Busch said he wouldn't have done it cause he 'would have wrecked'... Maybe that's because he only knows how to turn left.”

Darren said... “Kyle Busch is just a sore looser. He is obviously a great driver but should learn how to be gratious in defeat because you can't win them all. Whenever he wins he is all smiles which is understandable but if he doesn't he carries on like a spoilt little boy. The move was as clean as you will see no contact whatsoever in fact there was miles of room between them. Kyle could have easily braked a little earlier and still made the corner. Marcos has always been a tough but fair racer as he proved in his V8 days. Pull your head in Busch you were beaten fair and square by someone who can turn right as well. That's the kind of racing i want to see anyway, if we are going to get drivers complaining about overtaking then lets just qualify and call that the race result. Don't you get it Kyle overtaking is what you have to do to win or is only OK if your the one doing it. Well done Marcos you make me proud to be an Aussie and i think Kyle Busch needs to take a leaf out of Carl Edwards' book he got overtaken also but with a little contact but he wasn't rubbing panels on the victory lap or wearing his bottom lip as a chest plate afterwards he saw for what it was a racing move where both cars can continue and finish the race. Carl you are a gentleman and Marcos your a legend in this proud Aussies eyes.
As for this NASCAR fan, I stand behind what I said three weeks ago: personally the way I see it is, Marcos Ambrose is not the first driver to make this move at Watkins Glen going into the interloop nor for that matter, turn 1 and it will not be the last time neither. A few years ago, Robby Gordon made an even more aggressive move in a Busch Series race on Kurt Busch, but in that case, Kurt Busch won the race.

While the move was an aggressive move, a dive bomb move, it wasn't a bad move to make for position and so long as Ambrose didn't make contact (which he didn't make contact with Busch), then the move isn't bad. These dive bomb moves especially at Watkins Glen will be happening for years to come.

Thank you to everyone for commenting, as for the results, after surfing the internet, most NASCAR fans and the people who watched the race and commented say that it was an aggressive move, but not a bad move.

Montreal -- Once again for the second time in the NASCAR Nationwide Series for the NAPA Auto Parts 200 at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal Canada, the series made history by racing in the rain. The drivers, teams, owners and NASCAR found themselves with a long day of exciting racing, several cautions flags and racing the rain to complete the 76 lap race, but would come up short, so NASCAR elected to run the final 16 laps in the rain.

However all of that would change once NASCAR elected to have the teams switch over to a rain setup with windshield wipers, rear lights, defoggers and rain tires, the racing changed into what looked to be a free for all. Drivers trying to make passes that would never slick in the dry, let along the rain, drivers driving way to far over their heads and taking out a several cars (ex: Steven Wallace) and just a bunch of caution flags that ended up taking forever to finish.

Through it all though, this Nationwide Series race would come down to the final turn of the final lap when Marcos Ambrose would make that one mistake by hitting the curb in just the wrong way and that move would allow Carl Edwards to slip by and take the victory, winning the NAPA Auto Parts 200. I have to say that even my father (who was in the other room) was shocked, he wanted to see Marcos Ambrose win this one.

Marcos Ambrose said: “I might have mistaken the last corner, last lap and lost the race because of it. Disappointing but you have to take the lumps as they come. I’m racing up against some pretty awesome drivers and some great equipment. You know we led a lot of laps and just starting to get annoyed with this track to be quite honest with you. Its three years in a row that I have seemed to given it away. Just took forever this race. I mean I must of had five or six restarts off the front there and didn’t manage to mess up any of them but it’s just disappointing, I just feel bad for my guys that I let them down and congratulations for Carl for winning the race and he put me under pressure there at the end and I made a mistake.“

Carl Edwards said: “We drove into turn 10 which is what you call the 180 degree hair pin there. I drove in a little bit deeper than him, braked a little later and I caught him and that surprised me, I didn’t think I would catch him in that corner but I had the benefit of watching his car and being able to go just a little farther than him, that’s all I was going to do. He was kind of out there blind, feeling the track and once I got him we came off of turn 10 and he was spinning his tires and I thought, I might have him here and then he got in front me, I spun my tires a little bit or something and I thought well there’s nobody who brakes harder in this sport than him, brakes later, so I thought I don’t know what I can do here in this last corner and low and behold he just hit the inside curb a little too hard and piled into the second curb and just opened the door. I just saw it all materialize there, that was an amazing gift.” – Quotes from Nationwide.com
I believe Marcos Ambrose will win in Montreal, how many times can you be denied, don’t answer that, but seriously, Ambrose is too good of a racecar driver and he will be in victory lane again not only in the Nationwide Series, but in the Cup Series, maybe even at Bristol Motor Speedway.

Was running the final 16 laps of the Montreal NASCAR Nationwide Series race in the rain the right decision? Simply put, YES. The fans in Montreal paid good money to see the entire race and if NASCAR can get in all 76 laps in one day before darkness even if it means having the teams switch over to rain tires, then they do it. It doesn’t surprise me at all that NASCAR did run in the rain, that is what they are setup for, that’s what gives the fans the show that they paid for period.

In the end, according to NASCAR, the Montreal race made history in two separate categories, first for racing in the rain and second for the putting on the longest race in Nationwide history set at 3 hours, 49 minutes, 19 seconds.

Here is something to powder, the Nationwide Series race in Montreal took almost 3 hours and 50 minutes, NASCAR can run the entire Daytona 500 in that time period with time to spare, for example, the 2008 Daytona 500 (who by Ryan Newman) took 3 hours, 16 minutes, 30 seconds with 7 cautions for 23 laps and if that doesn’t do it for you, the 2008 Coca-Cola 600 (won by Kasey Kahne), NASCAR’s longest race took 4 hours, 25 minute, 9 seconds with 11 cautions for 50 laps.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Jordon, Michelle, Kevin and Natalie are the final four in Big Brother 11.

Welcome back ladies and gentlemen, here we are, Big Brother 11 is finally coming down to the end and after Russell and Jeff were evicted, Big Brother fans find themselves looking at the final four. One question, did anybody really expect to see these final four? I know Big Brother’s slogan is “expect the unexpected”, but damn, these four…

Well let’s start with Natalie, the women who final did something and won HOH when it counted the most, this week. In my eyes, Natalie is a 24 year old that has been carried through the game by first Jessie thanks to the clique twist and the 13th houseguest. However when America voted to give Jeff the Coup D’etat which thankfully got Jessie evicted, it was Kevin’s turn to carry her.

As Natalie now is the HOH, she now can get the blood on her hand, meaning get somebody evicted. I have to say, as of now, if I was in the jury house, Natalie would the last houseguest I would vote for to win Big Brother – she hasn’t done anything in the Big Brother house except lie and cause trouble.

Kevin, I agree with one blogger, I didn’t even know he was in house until about two weeks ago, shows how much work he has down, but he did evict Jeff after breaking a deal with him, of course this is Big Brother, just about everybody including Jeff and Jordon have broken deals with another houseguest at one point or another in this game. Kevin has won HOH and a Power of Veto. If Kevin were to take Natalie to the final two, he would lose, although Kevin has done more in the game then Natalie.

Jordon: Jordon is America’s sweet heart that has paired herself up with Jeff throughout the game. What a cute couple they make. So far in Big Brother, she has one HOH (I should mention that in the final round a HOH competition, Jeff through it to give her the HOH, good strategy by Jeff, so he could play the following week) and she has won a POV (straight up).

Michelle, I have yet to be able to figure out Michelle. To date, Michelle has won 3 Power of Veto’s and one HOH. The HOH was very short-lived because Chima was evicted/asked to leave/expelled, the point is, she’s gone and Big Brother decided to hold another HOH a few days early. At this point in the game, Thursday night after eviction and HOH competition, if she makes it to the final three, she has a very good chance of winning HOH and going to the final two, but winning is another story.

With Natalie as the HOH, I have to imagine that Kevin isn’t going home this week considering Natalie will nominate Jordon and Michelle, however it is possible… (if I got this correct) considering if Michelle or Jordon wins POV, then Kevin would have to go up on the block and either Michelle or Jordon would have the lone vote to evict who they want too. I would imagine that would be Kevin, cross your fingers this might just happen. The other thing is, what is behind the door with the question mark on it and how is it going to effect the game?

Any predictions, which houseguest is going to be evicted on Tuesday and what roll if any will the question mark play this week? Not knowing who wins POV, I am hoping Michelle wins POV and evicts Kevin. As for the question mark, that could spell disaster for Michelle, she might just be getting evicted this week. Not the week for a mystery power that no one except the HOH knows about, but that’s Big Brother.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Carrie Underwood goes for three with “Play On”.

I’ve been a Carrie Underwood fan since I first heard her debut CD Some Hearts back in either late 2005 or early 2006 (The CD was released in Nov. 2005). I first heard it in my father’s car after I noticed it in the console and asked not only who was the artist, but could I listen to it. I remember listening to the entire CD and couldn’t put it away.

So it should be no surprise that since I am not only a huge fan of hers, but own both her first CD “Some Hearts” and her second CD “Carnival Ride”, that I would be excited about her third CD coming out in a few months. Well this Carrie Underwood fan was thrilled to learn yesterday (August 31) that her new album would be called “Play On”. (Read press release)

Her third album “Play On” will be released on November 3rd which is one week before Carrie co-hosts the 2009 CMA Awards on Wednesday, November 11 live on ABC along side Brad Paisley for the second year in a row.

The art work for "Play On" was also released which is pictured above.

A while back, Carrie released a remake song if you will called “Home Sweet Home” (pictured on the left), I was able to pick it up as a MP3 download on one of the services and the art work cover for the single was amazing. It was her on what looks to be beach, I had always thought that she would use that cover for her third album, but I do have to say that the cover above does look interesting.

So to all of the Carrie Underwood fans who is reading this article, what are your favorite tracks of hers? Trying to come up with just one of my favorite Carrie tracks is almost impossible, so I have created a Top 10 list of favorite tracks I listen to regularly (In no particular order):

1. Flat on the Floor
2. Get out of this town
3. Some Hearts
4. All American Girl
5. I Ain’t in Checotah Anymore
6. I Told You So
7. Jesus, Take the wheel
8. Before He Cheats
9. Don’t forget to remember me
10. Just a Dream

I have a feeling that her third album will sell very well.

Penske Racing has two raising stars in NASCAR with Justin Allgaier and now Brad Keselowski in 2010.

In 2008 Penske Racing signed the 2008 ARCA RE/MAX Series Champion Justin Allgaier to drive a few races in the Nationwide Series later that year and full-time in the Nationwide Series in 2009 where he is currently 6th in Nationwide points, 3 top 5’s and 10 top 10’s in 25 starts.

Earlier today, Brad Keselowski and Penske Racing put the rumors and speculation on Brad’s future to rest when Penske Racing announced that Brad would be joining Penske Racing in 2010. According to the Penske Racing press release, Brad Keselowski, 25, will compete for the team full-time, beginning with the 2010 season. He will drive the No. 12 Penske Dodge in the Sprint Cup Series and also will run a full-season schedule in the Nationwide Series.

"We are very excited to welcome Brad to the Penske Racing family," said Roger Penske. "Brad has shown terrific success on track the past several years and has quickly established himself as one of the top young stars in racing. He comes from an impressive family background in motorsports. He is a proven winner and a welcome addition to our team."

"Penske Racing is one of the top teams in all of motorsports and I am honored to join Roger Penske's organization and compete for wins with his Cup and Nationwide Series teams," said Keselowski. "This is a great opportunity for me to continue competing in the Nationwide Series and to run my first full season in the Cup Series with a strong and experienced team."
Last week in a five wide article, I wrote on Brad’s options including whether or not Penske Racing or EGR was a good option:

“Personally the idea of Brad going to Penske Racing doesn’t sound too good to me, yes Penske is big, but that’s in IndyCars, not NASCAR. Brad needs a veteran driver to coach him a little bit like Mark Martin, Jeff Burton, Tony Stewart or Ryan Newman, but at Penske while they have the resources, they lack that “professor” driver. The only options I see is one, run part-time in Cup while running full-time in Nationwide, two, Stewart-Haas Racing, three, Harvick leaves RCR and Brad into the #29 Shell-Pennzoil Chevy.

In my eyes, the same that I said for Penske is the same for Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing (EGR), yes the #1 car is open, but no real help. I hope if Brad goes to Penske which is still unconfirmed, he gets the time he needs to succeed.”
While I do stand behind what I said above, I still do wish Brad the best of luck in his new full-time ride at Penske Racing, I believe so long as Penske gets him the time he needs to succeed (within reason of course), he will do well in the #12 Verizon Wireless Dodge Charger.

Brad is a very talented racecar driver and even though I would prefer to see him racing under the Chevrolet banner and Hendrick Motorsports banner, I can understand why he choose to join Penske Racing.

Wow, for the first time since Rusty Wallace retired back in 2005, I will be watching a Penske Dodge in Cup Series race, of course when it comes to the NASCAR Nationwide Series, I already watch a Penske Dodge with driver Justin Allgaier.

One question, what is going to happen to David Stremme, considering he has another year on his contract? I wonder if Stremme’s actions at Pocono Raceway with Robby Gordon a few weeks played any role at all in replacing him or will Stremme in a Penske Dodge next season either in Nationwide Series or Cup Series. If Stremme is gone from Penske Racing, will Rusty Wallace (RWI) put a third car in the Nationwide Series next season?

With every announcement comes more questions, however one question that for the second time in a few months that has been answered is Richard Childress Racing saying that Kevin Harvick and Shell-Pennzoil will be back in 2010 at RCR.