Saturday, July 31, 2010

X Games 16: Tanner Foust in his Ford Fiesta wins in Rally Car Racing and SuperRally.

Tanner Foust in his Ford Fiesta practices earlier this week before X Games 16
Photos copyright ©2010 Drew Phillips / AOL via AutoBlog post

When I heard that this weekend was X Games 16, I instantly thought of the rally cars because last season’s racing at The Home Depot Center was incredible to watch on ESPN especially the amazing views of the rally car jumping over another rally car. And what is SuperRally?

Rally Cars:

Unlike the exciting rally car racing in 2009 which Kenny Brack won, for 2010, as the eliminations started, fans and drivers would see a completely new course at the L.A. Coliseum that while the course offered the same amazing views of the jump from last season, the new course would be a confusing nightmare for everyone, narrow and disappointing that included all right hand turns, and no imagination.

But even more, for the racing to really be determined by which driver actually knew the race track and could stay on the right course rather than pure driving skills is extremely disappointing to say the least.

And that was really noticed in the finals were it was Brian Deegan vs. Tanner Foust and Deegan would once again make a mistake and go the wrong way on course which is an automatic red flag giving the victory and the gold medal (who was already leading at the time) to Tanner Foust in his Ford Fiesta.

I hated to see this incredible racing end with a red flag because nobody really know the actual course, but congrats to Tanner Foust on winning the gold medal anyway, he was clearing the best in the field.

However at X Games 17, build a better course or at least return to The Home Depot Center where it was exciting to watch, not this.

Surviving the disappointing narrow course was the key to victory in these eliminations.

SuperRally:

Here is something different, instead of head to head races like in the rally cars, SuperRally is four cars racing at once on a different, more simple course in the L.A. Coliseum that consists of 4 laps except in the finals with 5 laps around the course including taking “the joker” jump at least once.

In the first few heats, the racing was more settled down and laid back with one car getting out to a good lead. Each time, the announcers will ask “will they take the jump or will they just go around?”, most of the time the drivers would go around considering the outside line around the jump is faster because of the tight corner out of the tunnel to get to the jump.

In the third heat, I felt bad for Travis Pastrana, he didn’t even get to turn a lap in the SuperRally because of engine troubles, that would have been interesting see Pastrana racing with these guys. But in the last chance qualifier, it was a heart breaker as Ken Block was leading, but as he came out of the tunnel, he slowed to a stop and ACP would pay the price too as he would get hit from behind and spun, nowhere to go as fourth place at the time Hubinette would go on to win the heat and get into the finals.

In the finals, it would be Foust vs. Verdier vs. Deegan vs. Hubinette. What a tight race, but did the flagger wave the checkered flag one lap early? Oh well, once you see the checkered flag, the race is over and Tanner Foust in his Ford Fiesta takes the victory and wins the gold medal. What a good race.

Final Lap:

I love watching motorsports and watching rally car racing is amazing to see and even though the course was confusing, a nightmare and terrible, the racing as interesting, but I really like the SuperRally racing with four wide start. Hopefully in X Games 17, they have a better course and bring back Rally Car Racing and SuperRally. Congrats to Tanner Foust on winning the gold medal in both Rally Car racing and SuperRally. Now if a network could only put rally car racing on television regularly, that would be great to see.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

AXE and Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing takes sponsorship to a new level with a color-changing hood from heat.

This Sunday in the Sunoco American Red Cross Pennsylvania 500 at Pocono Raceway, the 2010 Daytona 500 and Brickyard 400 winner Jamie McMurray’s #1 AXE Twist Chevrolet will have a first of its kind paint scheme with a color-changing hood of the car from the heat.

Basically to clarify, this is the first color-changing car from heat. Jamie’s car will change colors as the temperature of his car changes throughout the race. It won’t be dependent on the angle you are looking at it from.

I was a little surprised with this one and didn’t really know what to make of it. But if you really think about it for a moment, this is a new way of getting out the sponsor AXE Twist name, showing what the product does and it even gives ESPN in this case since they are broadcasting Sunday’s race in that they can use it for an extra tool. Clever and in today’s economy, it could work especially with so many bloggers picking it up.

Before:

After:

Images from Matter-Edelman

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Big Brother 12: Did Andrew just make a power move or guarantee his eviction out of house (cont')

Did Andrew just make a power move or guarantee his eviction out of the house? I've been watching Big Brother for years now and this was a desperate move that didn't need to be made. Kathy is Matt's target this week, not Brendan, Rachel or Andrew, Andrew was the pone. But leave it to a desperate houseguest to make a crazy move and instead of talking with everybody in the house and asking for there vote to stay to enshore his safety, he pulled the dumbest move of BB12 to date and said he is going after Rachel and Brendan. I even believe Andrew had Rachel and Brendan's vote, wow.

I can't imagine that the rest of the house is going to see this as anything but Andrew alled with Brendan and Rachel, oh brother. Of course Matt has a secret deal with Brendan and Rachel for this week, but then again everyone in the house has alliances, yes even Britney. I'm going to love this one. Good luck Andrew, he's gone, Kathy just got a gift. If I'm wrong, I'll be shocked and that's a good thing.

Top 6 NASCAR things learned from Indianapolis - The Brickyard 400 edition.

As the race to the chase continues, the latest stop on NASCAR schedule before the chase starts in New Hampshire in September, NASCAR finds themselves in hollow grounds, the famous Indianapolis Motor Speedway and across town at the Indianapolis Raceway Park (ORP) in Speedway, Indiana.

Over the course of last weekend, we all learned a few things, but what where the headlines from Indianapolis covering the Truck Series race, Nationwide Series race and the Cup Series race:

1. Jamie McMurray: After several bad seasons at Roush-Fenway Racing, McMurray has proven that joining Earnhardt-Ganassi racing was a good one, and that with the right people and equipment, he can be a contender on a weekly basis for race wins especially at the big events. So far in 2010, Jamie McMurray has already won the Daytona 500, finished 2nd at Talladega, Darlington and in the Coca-cola 600 at Charlotte and now he adds winner of the 2010 Brickyard 400 that those stats.

Some people are looking a Roush-Fenway Racing and saying what gives, why couldn’t McMurray have won with that organization, but I don’t look at it like that. I believe that McMurray is more of a small team type driver and with good equipment, good chemistry (with his car owner Chip Ganassi, his crew believes in him) and some good luck, he has the confines to win races and that’s what a driver with talent really needs. But I wouldn’t put down RFR, they have good equipment too, it just didn’t click.

Simply put, McMurray has what Jimmie Johnson has in terms of a good relationship with his crew chief and crew period.

2. Mark Martin is being disrespected especially over his 2011 plans and beyond. For months now, Mark Martin and Rick Hendrick have been saying that Mark Martin will be driving the #5 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet in 2011 and that Rick Hendrick will find a place for Kasey Kahne next season.

However it seems that everyone has an opinion on it and in this case has to continuously reminded and ask Mark Martin where he will be racing in 2011 with Kasey Kahne waiting in the wings and signed for 2012. Hendick will honor amrtin’s contract. Randy Pemberton has said that Martin will be leaving Hendrick and joining Red Bull and Ray Evernham has stated that he believes that Martin should do the right thing and give up the #5 ride to Kahne next season instead of 2012.

I believe that Mark Martin should do exactly what he has said all along, drive the #5 in 2011 and then Kahne will drive the #5 in 2012 as planed and that’s it. Personally I don’t understand what the problem here is, the plans are set, and why does this story have to be an ongoing thing?

As for Kahne, he knew that he would be in another ride for 2011 and then in the #5 in 2012 when he signed, that’s it. The story here is where is Kasey Kahne going in 2011? According to Marty Smith, he’s hearing that RPM is close to signing another driver for 2011 depending upon sponsorship, and that’s another option gone. But when Kahne has something, he will announce it.

3. The Brickyard 400 is losing some of its desire. I’m not sure what it is about the Brickyard 400, but attention is down, I believe that again NASCAR fans either don’t have the money to buy tickets, there too pricy and/or tire gate in 2008 was the enough for fans to not bother. However I heard numbers of 115,000 in attendance and for this day in age, that’s good. Anything over 85-90,000 for attendance is good.

But what about making the Brickyard 400 a road course race? It might be different enough to work and put some excitement back into this big event. They would of course use the MotoGP infield course and have the Grand-Am Series join them for a double header weekend.

4. Ron Hornaday Jr. wins at ORP and is still in the Truck Series championship hunt. We are just past halfway in the season and already some are saying this is a 2-3 driver race for the championship, however there are still 13 races I believe to go, that is more than enough time for a driver in 4th, 5th or 6th to race there was back into this championship. In the same right, never count out Ron Hornaday Jr and at this point, I’m picking him to win the Truck Series championship in 2010.

5. Aric Almirola has found his place in NASCAR as a driver. The only good thing from last Saturday night’s Nationwide race was Aric Almirola finishing 3rd in the #88 JR Motorsports Chevrolet. I’ve been impressed with Almirola in both the Truck Series and now the Nationwide Series this season. Hopefully JR Motorsports will pick him up in 2011 to drive the #88 ride. If he gets it, he will be a contender for the championship if it’s a Nationwide driver only championship.

6. Carl Edwards/ Brad Keselowski feud: During this year or so long feud between Edwards and Keselowski, NASCAR has stayed out of it somewhat with only calling a meeting every incident, but most thought that after Atlanta this was over, but clearing no after last weekend at Gateway.

Fans, drivers, media, teams, the NASCAR community all looked to NASCAR to see what they were going to do about the “over the line” incident and NASCAR’s response wasn’t anything and promoted as Lee Spencer put it “Let’s play the feud”.

However after Gateway and ORP’s Nationwide Series races, I have come to a few the conclusions.

First, NASCAR doesn’t know the difference between “Boy’s, Have at it” and “unacceptable racing” especially when it comes to Carl Edwards. They need to look at this and address it a little bit better. For example, tell us where the line is and probation means nothing in my eyes when it comes to NASCAR.

This incident, meaning Carl Edwards wrecking Brad Keselowski to win the race was “unacceptable” period and Carl Edwards needs to parked for one race period.

Second, ESPN knows how to take a storyline to far, namely this feud.

The Final lap: The Truck Series race at ORP on Friday night was a good one from SPEED’s telecast of the race to the racing action on the track and it was good to see Ron Hornaday Jr. and the #33 team back in victory lane. It’s a tough series to win in and every win is cool to watch.

The Brickyard 400 was exciting at times as well to watch despite the fact that one driver lead a lot of laps, however races in 2010 has shown that the finishes are unpredictable and the Brickyard 400 lived up to that fact. Congrats to Jamie McMurray and the #1 EGR team, that was one amazing victory and for the second week, it should fans that underdogs can win and when they do, it’s sweet to watch.

But and this is a big but, I am seriously considering not watching the Nationwide Series races anymore, enough with the Edwards/Keselowski feud, enough with the ESPN telecasts and enough with the Cup Series drivers winning all but one race this season. The races are not interesting to me anymore. And no Edwards wrecking another driver to win a race isn’t exciting to watch either. I know this is a hot topic and that NASCAR is working on, but enough and simply that includes writing about it unless something good happens.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

IRL IndyCar Series officials screws Helio Castroneves out of win and hands it to Scott Dixon.

Wow, the IRL IndyCar Series race in Edmonton, Canada just wrapped up. It was a day of Penske Racing domanating the race with Will Power leading the most laps. However after the final pit stop, it was Helio Castroneves on red tires that took the lead on the restart from his teammate Will Power on black tires and really was suppose to set sail. But a late race caution would make life interesting especially for the Penske racing teammates.

On a late race restart, Helio Castroneves stayed low to hold his line and defend his position, Will Power went to the outside as the teammates went into turn 1 and 2. Will Power slid wide and Scott Dixon muscled his way to the inside and top second away from Will Power.

This is were the nightmare began, the IndyCar Series officials decided to penalize Helio Castroneves for blocking with a drive threw penalty. Helio instead continued on and finished the race. But with that call, the officals handed Scott Dixon and Target/Chip Ganassi the victory. I would have thought that a driver would have questioned this one, but Scott Dixon got out of his car and was thrilled to be back in victory lane.

I really don't know what Helio Castroneves was suppose to do differently here, I think it was a loss/loss situation for Helio Castroneves.

Simply put, I don't know what the officials were thinking here by making this call on Helio Castroneves for blocking, but this was a empty victory in my eyes for sure for Scott Dixon, Dixon didn't earn it. I hope the IndyCar Series officials are proud of themselves for screwing the Penske Racing driver with there inconsistent calls, they are worse than NASCAR hands down. Now I wonder what's next for the officials and there terrible calls. Good luck IRL fans, you are going to need it.

Posted via email from TMBLG

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Caption: Kyle Busch needs a Chevrolet truck to pull out his Toyota rental car at Indy.

This is funny on so many levels, on Friday, Kyle Busch was asked about getting his rental car stuck, he said (paraphrasing from what he said) it seems that either on Thursday or Friday (yesterday), Kyle Busch was driving his Toyota rental car at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in the drivers lot looking for his motor coach. He ended up driving by it and was looking for a place to turn around. He saw the gravel trap and thought that it looked packed down enough to turn his Toyota around in. However he quickly realized that it wasn't and he was stuck in the kitty litter.


But if that wasn't enough, a few drivers showed up including Kevin Harvick, Harvick (in the yellow Shell hat below) started taking some pictures and them towed his Toyota out of the sand with a Chevrolet truck. I'm always amazed to see what some of these drivers end up getting themselves into and this is a good one.


The lesson learned here, the kitty litter is no place for a car and of course don't send a Toyota to do a Chevrolet's job, that's why chevrolet's are built like a rock.

Hat tip and image credit: From the Marbles

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Edwards/Keselowski feud: NASCAR gets it wrong and penalizes both Edwards and Keselowski after Nationwide Gateway race, anyone surprised?

Photo Credit: Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

After the last several days of working on RaceDriven.com, it’s so good to get back into the swing of things and get back writing. But who would have known that my first article back would be on NASCAR penalizing both Carl Edwards and Brad Keselowski after Gateway race.

But before I get into my thoughts behind why I think NASCAR not only sent the wrong message, but may have shot themselves in the foot as well. I take you back to the latest episode in this Edwards/Keselowski Feud last Saturday night in the Missouri-Illinois Dodge Dealers 250 at Gateway International Raceway (NASCAR Nationwide Series race).

The 250 mile race got off to a boring start, of course this was too be expected, however it wasn’t until the late stages of the race that things started to heat up especially up front for the lead. I was surprised just how interesting the race was getting for the lead between Carl Edwards and Brad Keselowski racing door to door for several laps. So it was a little hard for me to even think of what was about to happen next.

But the lap in question was the final lap. Carl Edwards and Brad Keselowski came off of turn 4 to get the white flag, Edwards was on the high side, while Keselowski was on the bottom. In the middle of turn 1 & 2, Keselowski washed up the racetrack into Edwards, but Keselowski let Edwards gather it back up and they ended up racing door to door down into turn 3. Keselowski ended up taking the lead off turn 4 in a great battle, but then it happened.

Off turn 4, Carl Edwards know that Brad Keselowski had this race won (by the way, Keselowski led the most laps) and Edwards snapped once again as Keselowski opened up the topside for Edwards, giving him room, Edwards once again drilled Keselowski in the right rear (which takes no driving skills or brains to do) and turned Brad Keselowski around into the outside wall.

Carl Edwards made a joke of a pass and went on to win the race, while Brad Keselowski came back across the racetrack in front of oncoming traffic and got nailed several times.

Amazingly enough as Brad Keselowski was getting helped out of his completely totaled racecar among several other wrecked racecars, Carl Edwards was in victory lane celebrating his stole victory and justified his actions by saying "I couldn't let him take it from me," Edwards said. "Had to do what I had to do."

"The deal is he'll eventually learn he can't run into my car over and over and put me in bad situations," Edwards said. "In every situation, there's an aggressor and there's someone who reacts. "I was not the aggressor in this situation."

I couldn’t believe that he justified that move, that’s not racing, that’s not “Boy’s, have at it”, that line was crossed a long time ago by Edwards. That entire ending made me sick, it was ridiculous to once again see Carl Edwards say Keselowski deserved it, of course he meant to wreck him, but he didn’t mean for the aftermath to happen.

I am so sick and tired of hearing Edwards say he meant to wreck him, but he didn’t mean for the aftermath. That’s not going to fly anymore, what did Edwards expect on a racetrack over a 1 mile in length, one car wreck, not going to happen. Edwards wrecked Brad Keselowski at Atlanta before, what were you expecting at those speeds then…same thing here, a tight front straightaway, nowhere for anybody to go, get real.

Now of course I looked towards NASCAR, I mean Carl Edwards has shown this pattern for a while now and if NASCAR doesn’t teach Carl Edwards that this is wrong, he’s going to kill somebody. I’m sure he is a nice guy in his personal life and around the track, but when he straps into a racecar, the competitive side of him comes out and it’s getting dangerous. Now I believe it’s not going to be if Carl Edwards wrecks somebody, but WHEN. He will do it again and this year.

But I will say one thing, Brad Keselowski does drive aggressively, but he doesn’t wreck people, he doesn’t drill other drivers in the rear quarter and push. Keselowski will race you hard and that’s what ita all about, but Keselowski doesn’t deserve this at all, he has paid for having a hand in Edwards wrecking at Memphis last year awhile ago, this is uncalled for.

As for a penalty, honestly as much as I believe Carl Edwards should be parked for one race, but with NASCAR’s past actions, I was thinking a two race probation once again, but nope.

NASCAR has penalized the No. 60 team and the No. 22 driver for rule violations committed during last Saturday’s NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Gateway International Raceway.

The penalties come as a result of violating Section 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing/ aggressive driving) of the 2010 NASCAR Rule Book.

Carl Edwards, driver of the No. 60, has been penalized with the loss of 60 NASCAR Nationwide Series championship driver points, fined $25,000 and placed on NASCAR probation until Dec. 31. Car owner Jack Roush has been penalized with the loss of 60 series championship owner points.

Brad Keselowski, driver of the No. 22, has been placed on NASCAR probation until Dec. 31.

Yes, NASCAR penalized both drivers and once again gives Edwards a slap on the wrist for endangering another driver, while Brad Keselowski gets probation for the rest of the year for just racing. This penalty basically says Brad Keselowski if you hit Edwards, you will be penalized, even though Brad Keselowski was just racing. While Carl Edwards losses some of the points he gained on Brad Keselowski after wrecking him, Edwards gets another slap on the wrist.

I believe that this Edwards/Keselowski feud will come to ahead and it’s going to be bad. And most will look at NASCAR and say you had a chance to make it right, but choose nothing. The message here should have been Edwards you’re out, parked for one race, we will not accept this, but it’s just another slap on the wrist. Of course I am happy to see Edwards had to give up some of the points he gained by wrecking Keselowski, at least that something.

This should be interesting…NASCAR this isn't a game, this isn't racing, this isn't "Boy's, Have at it", this is serious, look at everything again, Carl Edwards needs the same wakeup call you gave to Kevin Harvick years ago after a Truck race, park Edwards for a race.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

NASCAR’s Best and Worst from Chicago and Iowa: David Reutimann and Austin Dillion win big while the Nationwide race was boring in an survival weekend.

Photo Credit: John Sommers
Getty Images via NASCARmedia


It’s has been a very long week up here in Massachusetts with the heat and humid weather, but watching racing on television is a heat relieve for sure. What a busy weekend NASCAR fans had with all three national series in action from the Nationwide Series and Cup series racing at Chicagoland Speedway while the Truck Series was at the short-track in Iowa.

Best:
1. The biggest moment of the weekend came earlier today at Iowa Speedway when Austin Dillion dominated the Truck Series race leading the most laps and pickup his first career Truck Series victory. Interesting, for the second time in two weeks, the #3 found victory. Of course the first one was last week at Daytona when Dale Earnhardt Jr. drove the #3 Wrangler to victory at Daytona.

2. In what could only be described as a long drawn out and boring race, the Lifelock 400 at Chicagoland Speedway showed two shiny spots:

First would be David Reutimann picking up his second career victory. That was a feel good moment for sure especially after 400 boring mile race. The victory in the eyes of some takes David Reutimann off the list of only career victory coming in a rain shortened race. Of course in my eyes, a win is a win even in a rain shortened race. And this victory is a huge boost for everybody at Michael Waltrip Racing, MWR needed and deserved it.

Second, the blue oval continues their run back to the top with Carl Edwards picking up a second place finish. I know that the entire Ford camp has been scratching their heads over what’s wrong, well there is nothing wrong with them, it’s just that everybody has picked up there game and getting a top 5 or top 10 finish let along a victory is a hard thing to do in these unpredictable races.

Worst:
This honor simply for another time goes to the Nationwide Series race on Friday night at Chicagoland Speedway, what a boring, long drawn out and terrible race. This race should serve as a wakeup call for NASCAR, NASCAR fans have had enough with this racing and where are the Nationwide Series regulars, it’s all Cup series drivers winning and racing for the championship.

Next week, look for me to talk about this issue along with the chase and schedules, what a nightmare.

Final lap:
First, at Chicagoland, NASCAR fans saw the final race of the season for TNT and TNT’s RaceBuddy. I have to say with a few exceptions, the TNT crew did a B+ job on their 6 summer series races. For the most part I enjoyed what I saw. I look forward to seeing TNT back next season with most of crew. TNT will even end there 6 races on a positive note as the TV ratings were up from last year and the Daytona Wide Open coverage was hit with me.

Second, next weekend is an off weekend for the Cup Series, I suggest everybody takes some time and relax and comeback fresh for the Brickyard 400, it should be a good race. Hopefully by that time, the media will have forgotten about the Mark Martin rumor and leave him alone on and just focus on the racing, that’s what it’s all about. And hopefully NASCAR will gives fans a shot at the all 3 national 2011 schedules, NASCAR needs to remember that it’s the fans that buy the tickets, so they should get some say in the schedule too.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Best and Worst moments from Daytona: Simply put Dale Jr. drives #3 back into victory lane while Firecracker 400 lives up to its name.

As I sit here on a 90 degree day up here in Massachusetts and just finished watching the ESPN roundtable, let me start off with my normal NASCAR restrictor plate racing view:

“I’m not a huge restrictor plate racing fan period, as a matter of fact, while I don’t hate restrictor plate racing, I don’t like the racing neither and I’m glad we only run these races four times a year.

Simply put, restrictor plate racing in my eyes is a heart-stopping, yet hard to watch at times (or form) of racing especially in NASCAR. I would describe it as a giant chess match and at the same time, a game of survival. Drivers don’t win one of these races, they survival these types of races you just came in first in the game of survival. (It’s like winning CBS’s reality show Survivor”, you outwit, outplayed, and outlast your competitors, of course in this day that could describe most racing at this level.)

Of course when you talk about restrictor plate racing, you always have the fear of “the Big One”, however now a days, the big one can happen at any race during just about any time that is caused most of the time by aggressive driving or just one stupid move.”

With that said, here’s the best and the worst moments from Daytona…

Best:


1. Dale Earnhardt Jr. winning Friday night’s Nationwide Series race in the #3 Wrangler Jeans Blue and Yellow Chevrolet was absolutely one incredible moment to see especially considering I’m a Dale Jr. fan (JR Nation). And I completely understand why Dale Jr. doesn’t want to run the #3 again and I fully support. Thank you Dale Jr. for running it, it worth it and I say that as I look at a #3 Dale Earnhardt flag on my wall.

And the race wasn’t fixed, get a life.

2. Dodge and Ford bring out the new Nationwide COT cars as pony cars. For everybody was is complaining about NASCAR not having stock cars on-track, this is as close as you’re going to get period and you know what, I like them, good job Ford and Dodge, way to listen to the fans.

3. Kasey Kahne continuing on with a good second place finish in the 400, the Ford camp is looking for consistency. I know they have the cars, now they just need to keep cars going. And of course Kevin Harvick won.

Worst:
1. Seeing Chevrolet bring the Impala SS and Toyota bring the Camry was a slap in the face to NASCAR fans, what a joke. Chevrolet you should have used the Camaro, how are you going to sell cars if you don’t put them in the front of fans? Toyota, why not Scion tC, it’s a two-door sports car or even the Corolla, it would have been better than doing nothing at all. And that's how I feel.

2. Dale Jr’s comments following the Firecracker 400, I don’t get it, he survives enough to get a 4th place finish and he dumps on his crew, come on, even Mark Martin didn’t do that and he had the same setup. The team made a mistake, you win as a team, and you lose as a team. Drivers, stop dumping on your crew, they are your life line period.

3. It's the Firecracker 400 at Daytona and it's “The Big One” that took out half the field during the late stages of the Firecracker 400. It’s not good to have over half the field damaged and in the garage.

Bottom line: Two thing, first I saw the video of Richard Petty and A.J. Allmendinger (so-called fight) in the garage after A.J. got wrecked, it’s no big deal. Petty was just trying to claim A.J. down and A.J. was hot period, it happens, but there’s nothing to it and it’s a non-story, give it up.

And second, I support the idea of inducting Raymond Parks into the second class of the NASCAR Hall of Fame.

Photo Credit(s): Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR and Chris Graythen/Getty Images

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Thursday, July 1, 2010

Who should follow in the footsteps of Earnhardt, Petty, Johnson and France Sr. & Jr. into 2011 NASCAR Hall of Fame? Thinking Pearson, Waltrip, Petty...

Last (Thursday) night on SPEED, NASCAR unveiled the 25 nominees to be considered for induction into the second class of the NASCAR Hall Of Fame. I believe that in every year from here on out, it will get tougher and tougher to pick the next five NASCAR legends to be inducted into the Hall of Fame.

When you look back at the first class, the top 3 or 4 were givens, that would be Dale Earnhardt, Richard Petty and Bill France Sr. & Jr., after those four, we added a NASCAR pioneer Junior Johnson who did everything from driving, mechanic to team owner.

I have to admit this past May when NASCAR finally joined most major sports including MLB and NFL in opening a Hall of Fame, that put NASCAR in a whole new league with honoring NASCAR’s legends and history.

So now in looking at the 2011 Hall of Fame 25 nominees for second class, I have to say what a tough list to choice from as was last year as only 5 new names were added. Of course everybody has their own suggestions, but I will say that I was a little surprised that one or two names where left off the list for the second year in a row.

I mean one name that was mentioned in the media and among a few drivers and crew chiefs before the 25 names were announced was Smokey Yunick, Yunick was a mechanic, builder, and crew chief. The second name that should be on this list in the next few years should be legendary crew chief Harry Hyde.

However, when it comes to picking these five names, most people will find that two names should be a lock, of course they would be David Pearson and Darrell Waltrip, both would be perfect for the second class just by their records in NASCAR. But the last three, those will be discussed at length. Here are the 25 nominees:

• Bobby Allison, 1983 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion and winner of 84 races
• Buck Baker, the first driver to win consecutive NASCAR Sprint Cup championships
• Red Byron, first NASCAR Sprint Cup champion, in 1949
• Richard Childress, 11-time car owner champion in NASCAR's three national series
• Richie Evans, nine-time NASCAR Modified champion including eight consecutively from 1978-85
• Tim Flock, two-time NASCAR Sprint Cup champion
• Rick Hendrick, 11-time car owner champion in NASCAR's three national series
• Ned Jarrett, two-time NASCAR Sprint Cup champion and TV Broadcaster
• Bud Moore, 63 wins and two NASCAR Sprint Cup titles as a car owner
• Raymond Parks, NASCAR's first champion car owner
• Benny Parsons, 1973 NASCAR Sprint Cup champion and TV Broadcaster
• David Pearson, 105 victories and three NASCAR Sprint Cup championships
• Lee Petty, winner of the first Daytona 500 and first three-time series champion
• Glenn “Fireball” Roberts, won 33 NASCAR Sprint Cup races, including the 1962 Daytona 500
• Herb Thomas, first two-time NASCAR Sprint Cup champion, 1951 and '53
• Curtis Turner, first to win Daytona 500, Southern 500, Coca-Cola 600 in same year
• Darrell Waltrip, winner of 84 races, three NASCAR Sprint Cup championships and TV Broadcaster
• Joe Weatherly, two-time NASCAR Sprint Cup champion
• Glen Wood, as driver, laid foundation for Wood Brothers' future team success
• Cale Yarborough, winner of three consecutive NASCAR Sprint Cup titles, 1976-78

Five new nominees for 2011:

• Jerry Cook, six-time NASCAR Modified champion
• Fred Lorenzen, 26 Cup wins, won Daytona 500 and World 600 in 1965
• Jack Ingram, 31 Nationwide wins, 5-time Nationwide Champion
• Dale Inman, Crew Chief (1958-1992) 193 Cup wins, 8 Cup titles and won 27 races in 1967
• T. Wayne Robertson, Executive Sports Marketing, Aligned NASCAR with R.J. Reynolds to create Winston Cup Series, Oversaw creation of the NASCAR All-Star race

Here is my top 5 list

1. David Pearson: The Silver Fox was one of the best drivers just about every time he came to the racetrack. Pearson is a three-time NASCAR champion (Those were his only three full seasons), has 105 wins that’s spans from 1960 to the 1980 Darlington 500 and is most famous for his 1976 Daytona 500 when he was battling Richard Petty on the final lap as they slammed into each other which ended with Petty and Pearson both wrecked in the grass, but Pearson was able to limp across the finish line for the victory.

2. Darrell Waltrip: Winner of 84 races, three NASCAR Cup Series championships and TV broadcaster

3. Lee Petty: Winner of the first Daytona 500 and first three-time series champion

4. Dale Inman: Crew Chief (1958-1992) 193 Cup wins, 8 Cup titles and won 27 races in 1967

5. Richie Evans: Nine-time NASCAR Modified champion including eight consecutively from 1978-85

If you wanted a 6th legend, you might want to consider Raymond Parks. Parks was one of the driving forces behind NASCAR and owned the first championship car. He is one of the reasons why NASCAR exists today.

One note, for the third class, I would say that Bobby Allison and T. Wayne Robertson will be among the front runners. In T. Wayne Robertson case, you don’t have to be a driver, crew chief or owner to have made an impact in the sport of NASCAR. And sponsorship is huge in NASCAR and so is the All-Star race.

So what does everybody think, I know that by the end of this fourth of July weekend and the Firecracker 400 at Daytona International Speedway, mostly everybody around will weigh in on who should be the first five names to be second class, but I want to know what everybody thinks including my readers, who would you choose and why?

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