Sunday, January 31, 2010

Predictions: RaceDriven.com picks Mark Martin to win the 2010 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. will be a contender every week for victories and for the championship in 2010.

Once again, another season of NASCAR racing approaches and there is no preseason testing at Daytona and while I’m alright with it not at Daytona, I would like to see NASCAR put preseason testing out west at Phoenix, Las Vegas or even California Speedway to get all teams up to speed especially with new rule changes. The preseason testing also gets the fans attention, getting them revived up for the approaching season and that’s a good thing.

So with the 2010 Budweiser Shootout, the Duels at Daytona, the of course the approaching Daytona 500 coming in a week or two, today I’m rapping up my three-part series on predictions for 2010. In this edition, I predict who will win the championship and some key drivers who will make the Chase for the Sprint Cup in 2010.

First and for most, I realize that Jimmie Johnson is the four-time defending champion, but I want to be a little more bolder and simply say Mark Martin will win the 2010 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship after a tight championship battle between Martin, Jimmie Johnson and Tony Stewart.

The reason why I say Mark Martin and not Jimmie Johnson or Tony Stewart is simply experience, time to gel, a change in pace, logic and numbers. Mark Martin had 2009 to gel with his new team and they were championships contenders in the chase last year, so I have no doubt they will be contenders in 2010. Besides what is fun in predicting Jimmie Johnson for the second year in a row anyway.

Note, one year I predicted Kasey Kahne would win the championship after a strong regular season showing and the article received a lot of talk and comments online.

But I would like to say one thing, Jimmie Johnson is a true champion, he and the entire #48 team is the best in NASCAR hands down. There should be no doubt that this team will be contenders again in 2010 and I wouldn’t be surprised if Jimmie Johnson wins the championship, but I’m still for Mark Martin, it’s his time.

Second, who will make the 2010 Chase for the Sprint Cup? In no particular order, Mark Martin, Jimmie Johnson, Tony Stewart, Jeff Gordon, Clint Bowyer, Carl Edwards, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin, and Juan Montoya.

Most of the drivers on the list above are from last season’s chase and are the odds on favorites to make the chase again in 2010, however I have chosen once again chosen all six Hendrick Motorsports drivers, which including both Tony Stewart and Ryan Newman over at Stewart-Haas Racing, Tony Stewart is given, I don’t see him missing this, Ryan Newman is in the same equipment and Tony Stewart and he ran well in 2010. Besides, I’m not going to beat against Hendrick Motorsports. When it comes to Dale Earnhardt Jr., it’s a wait and see, but I have faith.

On the other hand, I left off Matt Kenseth, Kenseth just doesn’t have any luck right now, second, I normally would put Harvick in, however after last year and the fact that this is Kevin Harvick’s last year on his contract with RCR, I’m not feeling it. But I did put Bowyer in, I believe one RCR car will make the chase.

Wild Card drivers to watch that most likely will not make the chase, but will contend hard for it, first, Kasey Kahne. Kahne seems to be the odd man out of most lists, he will win in 2010 for the newly merged Richard Petty Motorsports (with former Yates Racing) with Roush-Fenway Racing, but I’m not sure what to think beyond that.

Will Jeff Gordon win in 2010? I have seen this question on some racing sites and heard it in the media, personally while I am not a Jeff Gordon fan, he is a champion and he will win again in 2010, but not the championship.

Finally, considering the ROY battle isn’t much, I’m going to skip that and say Joey Logano is a one to watch in 2010 and so is Michael Waltrip racing. Having a three-car headed up by Martin Truex Jr. will be huge in 2010.

Related articles:
1. Part 2 -- Predictions: Top 6 biggest NASCAR storylines to watch in 2010.
2. Part 1 -- Predictions: Who's going to be 2010's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series breakout star?
3. Top 3 most memorable NASCAR experiences

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Predictions: Top 6 biggest NASCAR storylines to watch in 2010.

As the unofficial kick-off of the 2010 NASCAR season approaches next weekend with the Budweiser Shootout at Daytona International Speedway, I wanted to continue with my three-part series of predictions for 2010. In this edition, it’s all about the top 10 biggest storylines to watch in all three of NASCAR’s national series (Sprint Cup Series, Nationwide Series & Camping World Truck Series).

1. Rule Changes: In 2010, NASCAR will replace the rear wing with the rear spoiler, a change that has been asked for since the first race for the COT. 2010 will also mark the year of Boy’s, have at it…giving the drivers more room to be them. Also double-file restarts will be the norm in all three series, I wonder how long this will last?

2. Danica Patrick: I spoke on Danica Patrick earlier this week and I will be interested in seeing what she can do behind the wheel of a NASCAR racecar. I’m giving her the benefit of the doubt, but by the time Homestead gets her in November, everybody will know if she can do it or not. The biggest thing for her is just get use the car, log laps, make races and finish races.

3. Track Attendance and TV rates – what the fans will do: 2010 will be a tell tale year for NASCAR, will fans buy tickets at the racetracks to watch NASCAR and will they watch the races, not to mention the practice and qualifying broadcasts on television. I see that most of the tracks have lowered ticket prices, $39 for a Cup Series ticket is a good deal. Fans should look for package deals at the track. As for TV ratings, NASCAR already has big ratings, but I believe it will all depend upon the TV broadcast themselves, namely TNT, FOX and ESPN, can they step up will a good broadcast…

4. Dale Earnhardt Jr. rebound: Can NASCAR’s most popular driver get back to victory lane and contend for the NASCAR Cup Series championship? I believe he will be running up front on 2010.

5. Sponsorship equals Survival: Many fans might not think of this, but it’s a reality that in NASCAR there isn’t as many sponsors as there once was. The Truck Series and the Nationwide Series has been the hardest hit, blank hoods, quarter panels isn’t a good sign, money equals racing, without it, you’re not racing period.

6. Richard Childress Racing rebound: I’m looking for the three-car team with an alliance to rebound in 2010 with at least one car making the chase. It’s not like RCR not to be contenders every week for the victory.

What do you think the biggest storylines in 2010 will be? I know that I left out the championships, but that’s in the third edition.

Related articles:
1. Part 3 -- Predictions: RaceDriven.com picks Mark Martin to win the 2010 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship.
2. Part 1 -- Predictions: Who's going to be 2010's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series breakout star?
3. Top 3 most memorable NASCAR experiences

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Danica Patrick and Nelson Piquet Jr. among the 2010 ARCA and NASCAR rookie class drivers.

The 2010 ARCA and NASCAR seasons does officially kick off for at least another two weeks at Daytona International Speedway, however the NASCAR off season has been in full swing with a number of announcements and today they kept coming especially when it comes to Danica Patrick and Nelson Piquet Jr.

Let’s start with Nelson Piquet, Jr., the Brazilian racecar driver that use to drive in Formula 1 for the Renault team, (you might remember him as the driver that was fired and admitted to crashing his F1 Renault back in 2008 at the night race in Singaport, more below) is now going to make his way to NASCAR starting in the ARCA Racing Series.

On his site, he says “NASCAR is hugely challenging and nobody has ever come in as an outsider before and gone on to win it, it will be the ultimate challenge. I will let you know more details on the exact programme soon.”

Now he is going to be starting his stock car career driving car the same way that a lot of NASCAR drivers do by racing in the ARCA Racing Series in the Lucas Oil Slick Mist 200 at Daytona International Speedway. He will be driving the #6 Toyota fielded by Eddie Sharp Racing.

"I'm very excited! I can't wait to reach 200mph side-by-side and rubbing paint!" Piquet said, "The plans for the season are coming together really well, and I am racing with two very strong teams. I can't wait to get out on track!"

"We are excited to have Nelson driving for us in Daytona this year," said Sharp. "He will represent ESR well, and we believe he will gain some good learning miles in a stockcar, especially racing at Daytona."

Amazingly enough in 2010, Nelson Piquet, Jr. will not be along in following the ARCA path as IRL IndyCar Series driver Danica Patrick has made her own headlines last December when she announced that she will be racing in the ARCA Series race at Daytona and running 12 races in the NASCAR Nationwide Series for JR Motorsports. Today, it was announced that GoDaddy.com will sponsor Danica in 10 of her 12 2010 NASCAR Nationwide Series races in the #7 stockcar and just what 12 races she will be entered into.

Danica Patrick’s 2010 NASCAR Nationwide Series schedule is:

2/13 Daytona International Speedway (TBD)
2/20 Auto Club Speedway
2/27 Las Vegas Motor Speedway
6/26 New Hampshire Motor Speedway
7/9 Chicagoland Speedway
8/14 Michigan International Speedway
9/25 Dover International Speedway
10/9 Auto Club Speedway
10/15 Charlotte Motor Speedway
10/23 Gateway International Raceway
11/6 Texas Motor Speedway
11/13 Phoenix International Speedway
11/20 Homestead-Miami Speedway

“I’m thrilled to announce our 2010 Nationwide Series schedule,” said Patrick. “Like I’ve said before, we just want to be smart and calculative about this process. The tracks we’ve selected not only compliment the IndyCar schedule, but will give me quality seat time at a variety of facilities.”

(From JR Motorsports via Dover PR) While Patrick’s participation in the Daytona race is to be determined, JR Motorsports will still field two cars for the Nationwide Series season opener. Due to sponsorship reallocation for the upcoming season, Dale Earnhardt Jr. will drive the No. 88 Hellmann’s Chevrolet in place of Kelly Bires in what is the first of two scheduled races for the JRM co-owner. Bires will return to the seat of the No. 88 Chevy the following week at Auto Club Speedway and could be called upon to drive the No. 7 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet at Daytona should Patrick not compete in that event.

“We want to give Danica the best opportunity to compete at Daytona, and that includes making sure she is 100 percent comfortable in that driver’s seat,” Kelley Earnhardt said. “The Nationwide race there is perhaps the most competitive race of the year. Once the ARCA race is complete, we will get with Danica and make a decision based on the best interests of her, the team, and our sponsor Go Daddy. I’m extremely pleased with the working relationship between Danica and (crew chief) Tony Eury Jr. They are communicating well and working extremely hard in preparing for this season.”

How will Nelson Piquet, Jr. and Danica Patrick racing 2010 in ARCA and NASCAR?

I have to say that the Nelson Piquet, Jr. story caught me off guard a little considering the last story I read on him was him getting no charges against him because he told on his former Formula 1 team after he was ordered by his team to crash his Formula 1 Renault racecar at Singaport in 2008 to bring out a caution (which he did crash his racecar) to help his teammate Alonso who went on to win that race, which was Alonso’s first win of 2008.

I remember saying to a racing fan that I believe that back in 2008, that would be the last time we will hear from Nelson Piquet, Jr., no race team is going to want a driver that will crash a racecar because he was ordered too. I believe we all make chooses in our lives and that was a stupid one that could have been a lot worse. Another driver could have been injured as well, not to mention the ethical reasons and safety reasons. It’s something that you don’t do period.

So I’m amazed to see that he is now going to racing in the ARCA Series race at Daytona and is trying to race in NASCAR in 2010, of course who he will drive for in NASCAR is still yet to be announced. I guess this will be a wait and see type deal, but I for one at this moment am not in favor of him in NASCAR even though I believe in second chances.

With that said, 2010 will focus on Danica Patrick as one of the biggest stories of 2010 for sure, NASCAR fans have been hearing about her for years now of her wanting to make the jump to NASCAR and so far I have read both good comments on this jump as well as bad. Kyle Petty said that she is just a marketing machine. That in my opinion has yet to be seen.

I am going to be one of those NASCAR fans who will be watching just what Danica Patrick can do in stock car in NASCAR. I’m going to give her the benefit of the doubt, but at the same time, I believe that NASCAR fans as well as everybody else will see exactly what Danica Patrick can do in NASCAR by her final race of 2010 in Homestead. That’s when we all will know if she has a future in NASCAR or not.

As for the ARCA race at Daytona, I’m having a hard time trying to imagine why anybody would want to send a rookie in general and not just Danica Patrick or Nelson Piquet, Jr. into a race known to be a nail bitter, a dog fight and one of the toughest races all season long and that’s putting it loosely. It’s a giant chess match that not even the Cup Series, Nationwide Series or the Truck Series can duplicate and would want them too. ARCA at Daytona, damn!

But every year rookies seem to flock to the race and while some make it to the end of the race to finish in the top 5, top 10, most don’t. Basically I don’t expect to see much of Nelson Piquet, Jr after the ARCA race at Daytona, but I do expect to see a lot more of Danica Patrick all season long and I might just make the trip to New Hampshire Motor Speedway in June to watch Danica live in person race on the “Magic Mile”. This should be an interesting racing season to say the least.

What’s your thoughts?

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Davey Allison’s Daytona 500 winning stock car sold for $125,000 at 2010 Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale.

In a cross-series between RaceDriven.com and my Speed, Entertainment & Blogging Blog ThinkingBrian.com, today I’m continuing with my 2010 Barrett-Jackson Car Auction series.



1. Davey Allison’s #28 Texaco Havoline 1992 Ford Thunderbird racecar that won the 1992 Daytona 500, owned and built by Robert Yates Racing. The racecar also won the 1991 Daytona Pole and Spring Talladega race.



2. 1993 Dale Earnhardt Chevrolet Monte Carlo Wheaties race car. According to the sheet on BJ, it’s a #3 Dale Earnhardt Sr. original Wheaties race car. One of 2, the only other Wheaties car is located in RCR museum in North Carolina. The race car was built as a Chevy Lumina, but changed over to a Monte Carlo and later changed from black paint scheme to the Wheaties colors to promote the upcoming Winston Select in Charlotte. This Wheaties car sold for $100,000.

What would you do with them? I think they’re perfect to display out in a heated garage type office. You can look at it every day and enjoy it. But I will say that I was surprised that the Davey Allison stock car above didn’t go for more considering he won the Daytona 500 in that racecar and had several things with the car. Whoever purchased the #28 racecar got a good deal hands-down.

Photo Credit: Barrett-Jackson.com

Related Articles:
1. Beach Boys' 1971 Plymouth Hemi Cuda Re-creation finally sold for $81,400 at 2010 Barrett-Jackson in Scottsdale.
2. Top 5 best vehicles all time of the Barrett-Jackson Car Auction?

Ford Mustang pace car sold for $300,000 at 2010 Barrett-Jackson auction to benefit JDRF.

New Ford Mustang will be first Ford to pace the Daytona 500 in 40 years

In a cross-series between RaceDriven.com and my second blog ThinkingBrian.com, it is once again time for car enthusiasts to dream and for some, go in search of that perfect dream car at the 2010 Barrett-Jackson Car auction. I have to say that I’m more interested in American muscle & classic cars like Chevrolet Corvette’s, Ford Mustangs, Chevy Camaros & Novas, Plymouth Hemi Cuda’s and more. But I just have to wonder, what will they sell for?

On Saturday night, the 2011 Ford Mustang that will pace the 2010 Daytona 500 was auctioned off charity at the 2010 Barrett-Jackson in Scottsdale to benefit the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

According to the press release that I received via email, Ford Motor Company unveiled the new one off 2011 Ford Mustang GT Glass Roof Coupe at the 2010 Barrett-Jackson in Scottsdale earlier tonight. The winner of the auction will be able to watch their pace car pace the field for the 2010 Daytona 500 coming up next month (February 14th). The Mustang GT adorned in a unique paint design created specifically for the race. The proceeds from the sale will be donated to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) to further research for a cure to type 1 diabetes.

In addition to the Daytona 500 paint scheme, the Mustang features a Ford Racing suspension, unique painted wheels and special interior treatment and is powered by a new-for 2011 5.0L V8 rated at 412 hp with 25 mpg highway.

I have to say that I like the look of this Mustang, but of course I prefer a black Mustang for myself. I can’t wait for the Daytona 500 next month, Tim McGraw will be performing and it will be the final Daytona 500 with the rear wing. Of course Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Tony Stewart will be favorites to win.

Related Articles:
1. Beach Boys' 1971 Plymouth Hemi Cuda Re-creation finally sold for $81,400 at 2010 Barrett-Jackson in Scottsdale.
2. Top 5 best vehicles all time of the Barrett-Jackson Car Auction?

Friday, January 22, 2010

NASCAR emphasize back to basics racing in 2010.

Yesterday on the final day of the NASCAR Media Tour or Charlotte Media Tour, NASCAR officials unveiled several rules changes and adjustments for the 2010 NASCAR racing season. The new rule changes and adjustments are meant to put the racing back into the driver’s hands.

∙ The first major change is that the rear wing will be replaced with the old rear spoiler, the change will take effect sometime in 2010 after a NASCAR test at Charlotte Motor Speedway that is scheduled for March 23-24, 2010.

I’ve been waiting for the old rear spoiler to return since the COT debuted, but I did try and at least give it a change. One thing NASCAR fails to understand is that NASCAR is stock car racing, “Race (or win) on Sunday, Sell on Monday”, it’s a stock appearing car that you can buy on the showroom floor. The rear wing, let along the COT isn’t a stock appearing car (or item) and that’s not what most fans want to see.

The COT is a prototype car, NASCAR could have said that, but it’s called a four door sedan. Now it’s sort of like Danica Patrick, it’s a wait and see type deal, neither Danica nor the new “old” rear spoiler has been proven. But I’m looking forward to seeing both in action.

∙ NASCAR will stop policing the bump-drafting at Daytona International Speedway and Talladega Superspeedway however the yellow-line rule will stay in effect.

NASCAR fans have seen bump drafting at superspeedways for decades now, it’s nothing new. At the same time, it doesn’t matter what NASCAR does at the superspeedways, there will always be wrecks, flipping cars and more, its superspeedway (high speed) racing, of course that’s short of stop racing at Daytona or Talladega period which I can live with at Talladega, but not at Daytona.

However I love the fact that NASCAR kept the yellow-line rule. Its drivers like Jeff Gordon and Kyle Busch especially that will go below the yellow line to make a pass and make the other drivers above the yellow-line move up to complete the pass. Nobody needs an example for Kyle Busch, just watch him drive at Atlanta Motor Speedway in the Truck race, below the line or the 2009 NASCAR All-Star race, but for Jeff Gordon…

It was the Daytona 500 years ago, Rusty Wallace was leading and Jeff Gordon went below the line to make the pass heading into turn 1, Wallace had pull up to let Gordon in. I believe you will find the year to be between 1997-1999, I believe Jeff Gordon might have won that race. The point, it’s either pass or a wreck, removing the yellow-line rule would create more wrecks, and with asphalt almost all the way around, there’s a lot of room for passing.

∙ NASCAR will use a larger restrictor plate (63/64th of an inch) at Daytona and Talladega.

∙ The Camping World Truck Series and the Nationwide Series will implement a limit of 15 crew members for each team at every race. The number includes the driver, crew chief and spotter. Both series will have double-file restarts all year long, standard pit stops with four tires and fuel on the pit stops. NASCAR unveiled a new fuel dump can that eliminates the need for a catch can.

It’s nice to see that the Truck Series will have double-file restarts and standard pit stops, 2009 sure did need both. But what about bring the new fuel can to the Cup Series that would save teams money.

It was kind of funny hearing “We will put it back in the hands of the drivers and we will say, ‘Boys, have at it, and have a good time,’” NASCAR Vice President of Competition Robin Pemberton said. (Quote from SceneDaily.com article)

But, I how just wonder far things will go before NASCAR changes things once again.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Speedlinking: Testing new rear spoiler on COT, Roush on TV coverage and what about Kahne and Harvick in 2011?

Welcome to one of my favor types of articles to write called Speedlinking. Speedlinking is a lot like re-tweeting, sharing links to articles that I found interesting and giving credit to the writers/bloggers that wrote the articles. So here we go:

1. Drivers give new spoiler positive reviews after first test at Texas (SceneDaily.com) – I’m one of those NASCAR fans that is in favor of having a rear spoiler on the back of a COT rather than a rear wing. I believe it will help with the racing and drivers are warming up to the idea. It also works on overall look of the COT too. I wonder if replacing the front splitter is next? I have mixed thoughts on the splitter.

2. Kahne, Harvick reveal exactly nothing about 2011 plans (From the Marble - NASCAR blog) – For Kevin Harvick and Kasey Kahne, 2010 is the final year on their contracts, so it doesn’t surprise me that the talk has already begun about what they are going to do in 2011, but I think it’s too soon. Both drivers need to see results this season like making the chase to make a decision...talk to me after Richmond in September to where I think they will go in 2011.

3. Five major stories that could highlight NASCAR this decade (Special to CBSSports.com) – I believe in 2010, everyone will know if Danica Patrick is good for NASCAR or not. Dale Jr. is ready to go in 2010, let’s see what they can do and will fans tune in and watch... The fans tuning in seem to be the question.

4. Roush wants more out of TV coverage, less criticism (NASCAR.com) – Two comments, 1. TV Coverage needs to be better in 2010, ESPN I’m talking to you mainly. 2. I do have a problem with California Speedway, it should only have one Cup Series race each year and a 400 mile race, try February.

5. Carnival of Wheels: Resurrected! (The Garage Blog) -- Over at The Garage Blog, Gary has decided to reintroduce the Carnival of Wheels. I like the COW because it’s a lot like speedlinking, it showcases good article written by bloggers/writers. I’ve been featured in the past and in this new article highlight Speedlinking. It’s great to see the COW back again and I wish Gary well, do it when you can even once a month.

Thank you for taking the time to check out my latest speedlinking posting and I hope you found something useful. And as always, I love feedback.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Would NASCAR fans be in favor of timed races instead of just number of laps?

Or a time cap?

Ladies and gentlemen, I ask you this question “would NASCAR fans be in favor of timed races instead of just number of laps or a time cap” after reading an ESPN press release from earlier today that said “ESPN will air 14 NASCAR Sprint Cup race telecasts in 2010, including nine of the 10 races in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. ABC will air three prime time Saturday night races. For the past three seasons, ESPN has aired six races, with 11 on ABC.”

Basically instead of ESPN airing live telecasts of 11 races on ABC including all 10 chase races, in 2010 they will only air three primetime races on ABC (which is Bristol in August, Richmond in September and Charlotte in October) which puts the rest of the races on ESPN.

The move is a surprise to me on a number of levels, one being that NASCAR has been trying to move all of its NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races to regular network television like FOX, NBC and ABC so everybody can watch them. But now it looks like NASCAR is moving away from doing this in favor cable networks like TNT and ESPN.

Obviously this is going effect NASCAR fans in one way or another including one of the biggest advantages of having more races on ESPN is if the race runs long, there is a better chance they will air it on ESPN instead of making viewers move from ABC to another ESPN channel. For example we all remember ABC making viewers move to ESPN2 so they could air America’s Funniest Home Videos back in November 2008. (Read article here). Or just finishing the race and moving on to other programming without airing most of the interviews.

Of course one disadvantage would be with fans that don’t have cable or satellite television and depend upon regular network television like FOX, NBC and ABC to watch their races. Looking ahead, this will have a big impact on NASCAR particularly in the already down television ratings, but I personally will not see much of a difference and neither will most NASCAR viewers.

However this move does leave me to ask this question, “Would NASCAR fans be in favor of timed races instead of just by number of laps?” considering it almost looks like NASCAR maybe going in this direction for the television networks. Keep in mind that right now, NASCAR only has the history of the race to predict the time and so does the networks.

As to the answer of that question, I wouldn’t be surprised if NASCAR makes this move in the future considering NASCAR races tend to go into the night as they say. The move might be a good one, but the only way to find out is to introduce it in stages, one race at a time. Time races are nothing new in Motorsports, Grand-Am has them, the ALMS and in some ways, the IRL IndyCar Series does too, but in time allowed for the race.

As for a time cap, that would be something I would definitely think about considering I wouldn’t like to see NASCAR races stopped before the scheduled distance unless the race was taking way to long and NASCAR fans show up at the race track to see all of the laps of the race.

What do you think?

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Speedlinking: Top 10 Best-Selling Cars of 2009, Inside NASCAR, Media Changes, and Netflix.

Over the course of a day or a week, I visit several websites, blogs, forums and other sites to read articles on what is going on in the world recently. Everybody wants to be kept informed on the latest news, information, opinions and beyond and that is where speedlinking comes in.

In today’s edition of speedlinking, I will highlight five articles I have read over the past few days that I would like to share with you, my readers.

1. Top 10 Best-Selling Cars of 2009: For yet another year, the Ford F-Series tops the list of best-selling cars of the year, but in looking at this entire list, I can’t help but notice that trucks and SUVs are still very well represented even in this age of fuel efficient vehicles, what does that tell you?

The list: 1. Ford F-Series, 2. Toyota Camry, 3. Chevrolet Silverado, 4. Toyota Corolla, 5. Honda Accord, 6. Honda Civic, 7. Nissan Altima, 8. Honda CR-V, 9. Ford Fusion, 10. Dodge Ram, 11. Ford Escape, 12. Chevrolet Impala, 13. Chevrolet Malibu, 14. Ford Focus, 15. Toyota RAV4, 16. Toyota Prius, 17. Hyundai Sonata, 18. GMC Sierra, 19. Toyota Tacoma, 20. Chevrolet Cobalt.

Is anybody really surprised about most of these cars being on this list?

2. Inside NASCAR: According to the article, Showtime's new weekly “Inside NASCAR” show will be available via the Internet and mobile phone in addition airing on Showtime, Showtime On Demand and Showtime's website, sho.com, which will run for 38 weeks a year on the premium channel.

I’m more surprised that NASCAR is on Showtime period not just considering the shows, but considering it’s a paid channel. Don’t you think NASCAR fans pay for enough. I wonder if a NASCAR channel would be a better option?

3. Surprising Changes Signal NASCAR’s New Media Direction: First I would like to say it’s a sad day and I wish all of the reporters and everyone layoff yesterday the best of luck in finding new work, hoping covering NASCAR. Second, what will the NASCAR media look like in 2010? Is bloggers including the CJMC play a bigger role in covering the sport from the track to Charlotte? Will you watch RaceHub and NASCAR now more after this? How do you get your NASCAR coverage?

4. 28 Days Later: Say Goodbye to the Netflix New Release Rental: “Now should you wish to rent a Warner Bros. flick you’ll have to wait out a 28-day holding period after the film’s initial DVD release date.”

How does this help Netflix? I have Netflix right now and I believe this move is completely uncalled for. It’s a slap in the face to Netflix customers including my family and it affects everybody including NASCAR and Automobile enthusiasts. Let me state this fact, I rent new DVD releases first the week it comes out, than if I want them I will buy them. If I buy it first, why would I rent it later. Give us a break. The only positive thing is that there will be more WB selections in the on-demand to customers to watch.

5. Finally as you possibly read this article ”Woody: Jerry Carroll Deserves Some Credit.” Think about this, does Kentucky Speedway deserve a Cup Series date or not? Will they get one either by SMI moving dates or by NASCAR giving them one? I will answer this question in another article next week.

So what are you thinking about the five articles above, anything stick out to you?

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Predictions: Who's going to be 2010's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series breakout star?

Its 2010 and with the Budweiser Shootout at Daytona International Speedway just 30 days away (February 6th), it’s time for a new series of articles called “Predictions” that will focus on you guessed it, predictions for the upcoming 2010 NASCAR season.

Over at “From the Marbles, A NASCAR Blog”, the writer Jay asks a question to his readers, “Who's going to be 2010's breakout star?” So in this edition of predictions, I will answer that very question as we will discuss the upcoming 2010 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series with breakout stars.

In 2009, the breakout star had to be the former IRL, CART and Formula 1 driver Juan Montoya. Montoya shocked a lot of people including me when he made the chase, was a contender for the Cup Series Championship for a lot of the chase and was on the verge of winning the Brickyard 400 if it wasn’t for a pit stop speeding penalty as well as almost winning at New Hampshire last September. I would expect to see Montoya come out of the game as a contender in 2010 as he leads Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing into the new series.

So who will be the 2010 breakout star? The answer depends upon who you ask, however using numbers and logic, here is the top 3.

1. The 2009 NASCAR Cup Series Rookie of the Year Joey Logano. Despite being moved up to the Cup Series one year early, Logano showed a lot of talent throughout the 2009 season including a surprise victory at New Hampshire last June which I attended. Logano ended up finishing 20th in Cup Series points.

2. 2009 saw many surprise victories and one of the biggest victories had to at Talladega in the Aaron’s 499 with Brad Keselowski driving the #09 into victory lane. Keselowski showed a lot of talent not only the Cup Series with running up front driving both for Hendick and the #09 in Cup, but finished 3rd in points in the Nationwide Series and was a contender all season long for the championship. Not to mention, he is fun to watch in both series.

Of course this prediction all centers around Roger Penske and Penske Racing getting on their game. NASCAR is a team sport and the #12 needs to get on its game, because they have a good talented driver, but without Penske as a whole coming together, it’s not going to do them any good.

3. 2009 was the first full season for road course driver turned oval driver Marcos Ambrose. Ambrose ended up with 4 top 5’s and 7 top 10’s including a third place finish in the Sharpie 500. JTG Daugherty Racing with MWR alliance has the #47 running well, Ambrose is a driver to watch for sure in 2010.

However there are two drivers that I hadn’t mentioned that some would say should be on this list, one being David Reutimann and the two being Jamie McMurray. I honestly didn’t put David Reutimann up because he is already here, he’s a contender, he’s just one that is quietly learning the COT and running up front, he is a one to watching in 2010.

As for Jamie McMurray, I realize that McMurray is in a new ride over at EGR, but I really don’t see that making a giant different in 2010, especially considering their veteran driver if you will is Juan Montoya. It seems to take McMurray a while to get adapted to a new ride, sometime more than a season.

Well that’s my take everybody, now it’s your turn, who do you think is going to be the 2010 NASCAR Cup Series breakout driver?

Related articles:


1. Part 3 -- Predictions: RaceDriven.com picks Mark Martin to win the 2010 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship.
2. Part 2 -- Predictions: Top 6 biggest NASCAR storylines to watch in 2010.
3. Top 3 most memorable NASCAR experiences

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Do you have any NASCAR, Motorsports and/or Automotive New Years Resolutions?

Welcome ladies and gentlemen to the New Year, 2010 is here and specking of 2010, do you have any NASCAR, Motorsports and/or Automotive New Year’s Resolutions?

Every year we all make New Year’s resolutions, I know I do and normally they are something like I want to loss 20 lbs or stop biting my nails or whatever, but I’m not talking about that, I’m thinking more along the lines of are you going to attend more races in 2010 or get a new car?

I know that when I look ahead at 2010, there are actually quite a few things that I know I want to do. First, I want to buy a used car by the end of the year. Right now I’m a part-time blogger here on RaceDriven.com, building a new blog called ThinkingBrian.com and working online while living at home, but having a car and getting a full-time job is something I need in 2010.

On the entertainment front, I would love to attend one NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race or at least one NASCAR Modified Tour race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway either in late June or September. However I might not attend do to I would like to attend my first motorsports event at Lime Rock Park in Connecticut. I’m an hour and a half or so away and that would be something new to take in. I would include watching more NASCAR on television, but there is only so much NASCAR coverage a person can watch in a single day, let along in a single month or season and I’m at my limit.

And to top it off, I’m already in the process of upgrading RaceDriven.com with a new layout, design, look and now only discussing NASCAR, Motorsports and The Auto Industry. This upgrade is actually for my reader to enhance the site experience and to read the content better.

So what is your New Year’s Resolutions when it comes to NASCAR, Motorsports and/or the Auto Industry?