Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Video: A road trip to the Race Track featuring NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon.

As the Coke Zero 400 at the Daytona International Speedway is coming up this Saturday night, Pepsi has gotten in on this upcoming race with a new video with the Pepsi Max truck driver driving cross country with NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon. Pepsi seemed to have a lot of fun with this video including who is going to drive, does Jeff Gordon actually know how to change a tire to donuts in a big rig. Have a look.



What do you think?  

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

2011 NASCAR Silly Season: What about Carl Edwards to JGR and Joey Logano to RFR – The moves would help both drivers in there future success in the Cup Series. UPDATE

As the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season nears the half way point, this is the time of the year that rumors and speculation begins to ramp up on who is going to go where in 2012 and beyond.

However unlike in past seasons where major drivers have made big moves like in 2007 where Dale Earnhardt Jr., joined Hendrick Motorsports for 2008, in 2008, Tony Stewart on the move to his own team, Stewart-Haas Racing for 2009.

Or even more, in 2009, where Jamie McMurray which ended up at EGR for 2010 and of course last year (2010), where Kasey Kahne that right now is at Red Bull Racing, but signed a deal with Hendrick Motorsports for the #5 ride in 2012.

For 2012, no big named drivers look to be making any big moves for there future. I mean, Clint Bowyer says him staying at RCR is his number 1 choice. I haven’t heard too much in the way of Ryan Newman, it looks like Stewart-Haas Racing will be his home for another few years as well as Juan Montoya, he looks to be re-signing with EGR.

Of course when it comes to Montoya, I don’t believe another Cup Series car owner really wants him besides Chip Ganassi. Otherwise, if Ganassi doesn’t re-sign Montoya, I don’t see him staying in NASCAR and that maybe for the best.

So that really leave Mark Martin as a wild card as he has to leave Hendrick because Kahne is taking over his seat, but I have no idea where Martin will go other than maybe owning or driving for the new owners of the former Red Bull NASCAR team. Or he could go full-time Nationwide or Truck racing for Turner Motorsports.

And Brian Vickers, just leave him with a giant question mark as there are no fourth seat rides available and unless EGR decides to open there door, I see him returning to the Nationwide Series or Truck Series. I know one thing, Vickers, wouldn’t be going to Stewart-Haas Racing.

So that leaves Carl Edwards and Joey Logano and while it appears that both drivers will be re-signing with there current race teams, personally and this is my opinion, I believe that Carl Edwards would actually be better joining Joe Gibbs Racing and either driving a fourth car or the #20 Toyota.

And Joey Logano would be better signing with Roush-Fenway Racing and driving the #99 Ford. Both drivers are at the heights of their NASCAR careers and need to really make a move now to be on solid footing for 2012 and beyond to be championship contenders.

Now I’m sure that Edwards can win at RFR, as so far in 2011, they are the strongest team and favorites to contend for the Cup Series Championship right now.

However as much as Logano owes Joe Gibbs a lot for his NASCAR career, he needs to find a new ride. He is simply not getting what he needs at Joe Gibbs Racing period. He has been in the #20 Home Depot Toyota since 2009 and has one win to show for it. And I was there at NHMS for his first Cup Series win sitting in the grandstands.

I know Logano and Zippy are working hard to make things happen, but I truly believe a change in teams would really help and to me since RCR is most likely full unless Bowyer leaves, Hendrick is full period, that only leave Roush-Fenway Racing and they have a talent of working with up and coming drivers to get them to winning races.

As for a ride at RFR, well either Carl Edwards would leave to JGR or David Regan would leave in order for Logano to find a home there. The questions is would Joey Logano even consider leaving JGR at the end of the 2011 season?

But as much as that sounds good, namely Edwards to JGR and Logano to RFR, that is highly unlikely to happen and most of the drivers will stay where they are.

But in the case of Edwards, he has set a dead line of Sept. 18th to finish his contracts up. So we don’t have too long to wait, but I think Edwards is looking for something at RFR and while its most likely not money, it is something that takes time to work out the details.


Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images for NASCAR

UPDATE - 7/4/2011: Last night on WindTunnel, Mark Martin said he has no interest in ownership of a race team. I really don't know where NASCAR will see Martin in 2012 and beyond. I can only imagine that Martin will be driving for a few more years and than joining or staying at a race team in a non-driving role such as a consultant role. I personally would like to see Mark Martin driving for a few more years at least, he can get it done on the race track for sure.

But if I had to guess where Martin would be in 2012, I would say him helping Red Bull or another team get either back to or into a winning way by driving for 2-3 years and then working with the team after that and help them continue that effect. Sky seems to be the limit right now for him. I could even see the Nationwide Series or Truck Series as an option.

Monday, June 27, 2011

The First Promo of SPEED's The Car Show With Adam Carolla.

Below is a promo from SPEED's upcoming new show called The Car Show with Adam Carolla.


 In watching The Car Show promos below, I have to wonder, is what I'm watching just a spin off of sorts of Top Gear UK and the more tamed Top Gear USA?

What do you think?

Sunday, June 19, 2011

NASCAR should have TNT’s RaceBuddy available online during all Cup Series races for free with full race TV broadcast and multi-cameras.

Welcome readers, while I was watching the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Heluva Good 400 race at Michigan Speedway on TNT earlier today, I found two things to be interesting.

1. You see in watching the Cup Series race on TNT, I found the race boring. Now I don’t put much of this on NASCAR as such as its just a fact that some races are simply boring and most Michigan races are included on that list.

It seemed to me that it was a cross between long green flag runs that strung the entire field with minimum passing opportunities as passing is what key element to a good race. And unfortunately for TNT broadcast crew and I’m talking about the three in the announcement booth, there broadcast was hard to listen too.


2. However, during the Michigan Cup Series race, today was the first time that I logged on to TNT’s RaceBuddy on NASCAR.com since it was made available and I can see what many NASCAR fans are raving about.

The several enhanced cameras, leaderboard and chat on the right side is a great way to enhance a viewer watching the race either from at home or anywhere were they have a computer and an internet connections.

I truly believe that the TNT RaceBuddy was the only good part of the race especially when I clicked my notebooks mute button and me clicking the mute button says a lot especially considering the audio was from the three announcers in the booth about 3-5 seconds behind the actual TV broadcast itself. And yes I did try to mute the TV as well, I needed to know what was going on during the race.

In wake of all of this, I believe and hope that NASCAR really sees that while the TV broadcasts are very important to having for the fans to watch, the fact is in this every changing world and considering more households are ditching cable and satellite television and resorting to just there internet connections, online broadcasts of especially the full races themselves are vital to keeping the fans engaged and watching NASCAR in general not only here in the United States of America, but internationally as well.

And for me personally, the RaceBuddy is a great start. Of course, the technology is in place already, just look at ESPN3.com as a concept. But keep in mind in order to view ESPN3.com, your cable or I believe satellite company must subscribe to it in order for you to use it.
That actually needs to be free for all.

So what do NASCAR fans think of the TNT RaceBuddy and how do you watch NASCAR races?

Full Disclaimer: My opinion on TNT’s RaceBuddy in this article is all of my own and no one has asked me to write this article, nor paid me anything to do so. When I see something that I like, I tend to blog on it.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

2012 Brickyard 400: Grand-Am Series and NASCAR both on the road course? Not Exactly, But…

Welcome readers, after last season’s Brickyard 400 that let’s be honest was an ok race that also had low attendance (keep in mind, that’s low attendance for Indy, not for a track such as Homestead mind you), I began to think about the future of the Brickyard 400.

Since I don’t want to see NASCAR leave the Brickyard, something else needed to change and after that race I thought that maybe the Cup Series should race on the infield road course instead of the oval.

Well that idea went nowhere as the chase was on the horizon.

But fast forward to today as SPEED.com’s Robin Miller reported that the GRAND-AM Rolex Series will be racing at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 2012 on the Brickyard 400 race weekend either on Friday or Saturday for a three-hour race on the infield road course. Now at this moment, this is only a report (rumor/speculation) and nothing is official.

But think about it for a moment, the Grand-Am Series possible coming to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway to run a three-hour race on the infield road course on the Brickyard 400 race weekend is actually just what many NASCAR fans including me have been looking for and it’s a possible way to make the Brickyard 400 more exciting for the fans.

Can you imagine a better way for NASCAR to change the Brickyard 400 than having a Brickyard road course doubleheader?

The way I see it is the Grand-Am Series would race on Saturday in a three-hour endurance race and then on Sunday, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series would take center stage and run the Brickyard 400 on the infield road course as well.

Keep in mind of three key points:
1. NASCAR running on the infield road course would make for a completely different race.

2. It would please some NASCAR fans including me who believe that there needs to be a third road course on the Cup Series schedule. And if possible one in the Chase itself…

3. Making the Brickyard 400 a road course race would add that three road course the schedule, BUT more importantly it wouldn’t add to another Cup date to the already heavy NASCAR Cup Series schedule.

Amazingly enough, this entire concept isn’t an overblown idea and NASCAR should really consider it. Beside, it might boost ticket sales.

So can you imagine, finally the NASCAR Cup Series schedule might have three road courses in three different parts of the United States with one in Sonoma, one in Watkins Glen and one at the Brickyard, wow that has a good ring to it.

What does everybody think, should the Brickyard 400 be a road course race? Would fans support a third road course race?

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

NASCAR: Cale Yarborough, Darrell Waltrip, Dale Inman, Richie Evans, and Glenn Wood are the 2012 class of the NASCAR Hall of Fame.


Welcome readers, for the third class, today at the NASCAR Hall of Fame, it was announced that Cale Yarborough, Darrell Waltrip, Dale Inman, Richie Evans and Glenn Wood would be the 2012 NASCAR Hall of Fame Inductees. I believe that each year, this process is going to get harder and harder as we go along, but I have to say that unlike the 2011 class, I’m not as surprised as I thought I would be except for one.

So without further delay, here we go, here is the 2012 class of the NASCAR Hall of Fame and what a class it is including well deserved and overdue.

1. Cale Yarborough, Driver (1957-1988), winner of three consecutive NASCAR Sprint Cup titles, 1976-78, 83 Cup wins and 4-Time Daytona 500 winner. Simply put well deserved and overdue. I thought Cale should have gone in 2011, but you know the biggest deal here is at least he got in and that’s what’s going to happen with everybody.

2. Darrell Waltrip, winner of 84 races, three NASCAR Sprint Cup championships, 1989 Daytona 500 winner and TV Broadcaster. I added him to my list a few times already, but I often wondered if Waltrip would get in now because Waltrip is still so involved in the sport as a TV Broadcaster, but great to see Waltrip get in.

But for those who don’t believe he should be in either right now or in general, Darrell Waltrip isn’t just a TV broadcaster, Waltrip is a three-time Cup Series Champion, Daytona 500 winner, a personality that is unmatched by anyone else in NASCAR and I can’t wait to see Waltrip up on stage in January.

3. Dale Inman, Crew Chief (1958-1992) 193 Cup wins, 8 Cup titles and won 27 races in 1967 (with the same racecar). Finally, the first crew chief gets into the NASCAR Hall of Fame and in my opinion, Dale Inman is the best crew chief in NASCAR as he was at the helm of one of the best drivers in NASCAR, Richard Petty. It must have been interesting being a crew chief back then and being a part of 193 Cup wins and 8 Cup Titles. Of course Inman also was crew chief for Terry Labonte in 1984 when they won the Cup Series Champion together.

4. Richie Evans, nine-time NASCAR Modified champion including eight consecutively from 1978-85. I had actually choose Richie Evans as my picks for the 2011 Class, but it’s great to see that the voting panel choose a driver that was a Cup Series driver. Evans getting in says a lot of the sport.

5. Glen Wood, as driver, laid foundation for Wood Brothers' future team success, Driver/Owner (1953-1964), 4 Cup wins as a driver, 98 Cup wins.

But I will say that Cale Yarborough was a no brainer for 2012, I really didn’t know what to expect from the voting panel this time around, but all five picks were excellent including the surprise of Glenn Wood.

As for 2013, I would have to say that H. Clay Earles, Raymond Parks, and Cotton Owens are all favorites for next year, but I do hope that some would consider Leonard Wood as well as he helped revolutionize pit stops as a contender next year. The NASCAR Hall of Fame isn’t just for the Cup Series, it’s for all of NASCAR and the 2012 class sure did show it.

But like this year told us, nobody is a lock.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

F1: Should Jenson Button be allowed to keep his Canadian GP victory? What penalty will Button receive for two under investigations?

At this moment, following the finish of the Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal, Canada, I’m speechless and left scratching my head as to what really just happened.

Basically if you missed the Canadian GP, you missed 4 hours of a weird day of racing that featured several laps of racing including Jenson Button squeezing teammate Lewis Hamilton into the outside wall, Hamilton retires and Button receives a pass through penalty, but I don't know exactly what the pass through was for...some said the incident, while other said it was for a safety car issue, I don't know..

A two-hour or so rain-delay and then a weird race to the checkered flag. And during that period, it was Vettel out front for Red Bull. Meanwhile, the rest of the drivers were driving as hard as they could to get everything they could while teams make several pit stops for the correct type of tires to deal with the every changing track conditions and weather conditions.

- Michael Schumacher put on a show during the second half of the race by driving all the way up to the 2nd spot, but unfortunate he would end up getting passed by Jenson Button and Mark Webber to finish in the 4th spot.

- Sebastian Vettel would basically dominate most of the race all day long, making no mistakes, but in the end, his tire choice and getting heavy pressure on the final lap from Jenson Button would make a mistake and slide off line and would end up losing the lead and finishing 2nd for a Red Bull 2-3 finish.

But the Canadian GP would end up being all about Jenson Button and his wild race, but with two investigations for incidents involving Jenson Button during the race, I’m how Jenson Button will come out of this one.

Let me explain why Jenson Button has a question mark on his victory at the Canadian GP…
In the early stages of the race before the rain-delay, Jenson Button was battling for position with teammate Lewis Hamliton. On the front straightaway, Hamilton had a run on Button to the inside, But Button would squeeze Hamilton into the outside/pit wall which would end Hamilton’s day.

I don’t know why Hamilton wouldn’t back out, but I place blame mostly on Button for the incident. Button would as a result get a drive through penalty and Stewarts would investigate the incident after the race. Penalty I would assume coming soon.

The second incident was between Jenson Button and another former F1 Champion, Fernando Alonso which Button made contact with Alonso and Alonso would end up beached on a curb and forced to retire. I don’t know if Button received a drive through penalty or just, but Stewarts said they would investigate incident after the race. Penalty I would assume is forth coming.

So the magic question is, what penalty will be handed down by the FIA/Formula 1 officials and will Button still be able to keep the win?

Personally, in some ways, Jenson Button’s victory was a hollow one in some ways because of his aggressive and dangerous at times driving that forced two drivers to retire early.

But I will say that on the flip side, I hate watching Sebastian Vettel dominate these races and win the majority of them, its boring. So when another driver comes up and challenges and manages to pass Vettel for position and win the race, its exciting. But again problem is, Button retired two drivers for avoidable contact, so it’s a double-edged sword.

Thoughts, should Jenson Button be allowed to keep the Canadian GP victory and be stripped? And would the FIA/Formula 1 really strip him of the victory or just hand him a fine, points and grid position penalty?



Full Disclosure: This article was originally published on Brian Vermette's former blog called BVinsight, however once RaceDriven.com was re-launched and rebrand, BVinsight was renamed BVDaily with 33 of 44 articles being published here on RaceDriven due to subject.

NASCAR: Could the IRL IndyCars Series’ Firestone Twin 275s at Texas format help make NASCAR’s Cup Series Pocono or Texas races more exciting?

Welcome Ladies and Gentlemen, as not only a NASCAR fan, but a racing fan, I watched two completely different races this past weekend.

1. On one hand, last (Saturday) night, the Texas Motor Speedway and the IRL IZOD IndyCar Series recreated an old format to add some excitement to what is normally a long 550k IndyCar race in hopes to sell more tickets.

I don’t know about them selling more tickets part, but from watching the Firestone Twin 275s at home on TV, the format itself was actually a good idea. I found that having two heat races did add some drama and excitement to the racing.

Of course while the racing was good, the blind draw and wasting time between race 1 and race 2 was terrible and painful to watch on television. That blind draw will have to go for sure to make it fair for all of the drivers.

Maybe taking the results from race 1 and inverting the top 6 or 10 or 12 would make the process better. And also giving a 10 minute break between the races would work too. Then turn them loose and let them go racing.

By the way, Dario Franchitti win race 1 and Will Power win race 2.

2. On the other hand, the 5-hour energy 500 at Pocono Raceway for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series was a completely different race (won by Jeff Gordon), it was a long “endurance” 500 mile race on the tricky triangle and while that might be exciting for some, it isn’t exciting for others including me.

Sure the double-file restarts do bunch up the field and add some excitement again for a few laps, but once they get strung out, the long, boring race returns and that’s not fun. And not even the TV broadcasters in the booth really know what to do at times or what to say for that matter.

As a matter of fact, for whatever the reason, NASCAR has a several of these long races on the schedule and four of them are at Pocono Raceway and Texas Motor Speedway.

So after watching the Firestone Twin 275s and the Pocono 500, as well as the Texas 500 earlier this year, I thought that NASCAR could benefit from a change in formats and those two heat races might make the racing at either Pocono or Texas better.

Now I don’t know if Pocono would be willing to give the format a shot, but I do know that Eddie Gossage, promoter at TMS would consider giving something else a shot if he felt it would give more excitement to a race and sell more tickets.

Personally as a NASCAR fan, I’m putting it out there and would like to see f NASCAR would consider the new format for one race maybe in 2012, it could be interesting and entertaining for sure.

So I wonder, would NASCAR ever consider it? And would fans support a change in format given that this is still a points race and keep in mind that both race together count as one points race.



Full Disclosure: This article was originally published on Brian Vermette's former blog called BVinsight, however once RaceDriven.com was re-launched and rebrand, BVinsight was renamed BVDaily with 33 of 44 articles being published here on RaceDriven due to subject.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

NASCAR: Brad Keselowski stretches fuel to win, Dale Earnhardt Jr. finishes 2nd as NASCAR talks Childress-Busch Altercation – STP 400 at Kansas.

When NASCAR invades any given town for a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race weekend, you know the excitement and the action are going to be high. But nobody especially this fan/blogger could have expected this one.

Yesterday, I blogged 2011 NASCAR Truck: Joey Coulter schools Kyle Busch on final turn pass to finish 5th at Kansas; Childress-Busch Altercation?, basically the title says it all.

Unfortunately, today NASCAR spoke to the media and issued this press release afterwards:

"NASCAR has reviewed the incident involving Richard Childress and Kyle Busch after the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race Saturday at Kansas Speedway. We have met with all parties involved and have determined what happened yesterday is unacceptable and will not be tolerated by NASCAR.

Richard Childress’s actions were not appropriate and fell far short of the standard we expect of owners in this sport. We have met with Childress this morning and made our position very clear to him. Further, we expect he will make it clear to all in his organization to ensure this situation does not escalate any further. We will announce our actions regarding this incident Monday.

Kyle Busch remains on probation with NASCAR and we continue to watch his actions carefully. However, we have determined that Kyle’s involvement in this incident does not violate his probation and no further action is required." – Statement from NASCAR Media
I’m going to wait until NASCAR hands down the penalty to Richard Childress before I have something to say (Monday or Tuesday normally). And believe me it, its time for NASCAR to make changes.

Anyway, today in the STP 400 at Kansas Speedway, this was one of those races that you normally wouldn’t write home about, at least not until you get to the last 40 laps or so of the race as fuel mileage would once again on these cookie cutter 1.5 mile race tracks would come into play.

I was impressed with Brad Keselowski in those final laps, he was saving fuel by pushing in the clutch, coasting and other methods like a veteran driver would. It reminded me of watching Carl Edwards or Jimmie Johnson would save fuel. And in the end, even with Dale Earnhardt Jr. coming on for the lead, Brad Keselowski stretched the fuel to win the STP 400 at Kansas.

This was Brad Keselowski 2nd career victory and he earned it. of course the FOX broadcast crew had to say that his first victory was a controversial one at Talladega in 2009.

Just for the record, there was no controversy about this win or his first win at Talladega, Brad Keselowski did exactly what Tony Stewart and Jeff Gordon said to do, hold your line and don’t cross the yellow line period. NASCAR said the same thing too. Edwards made the mistake and that’s it.

Hats off to Brad Keselowski, hell of a win and good job to Dale Jr. with the #88 team, that was a good 2nd place finish, you did all you could do to win that one.

On SPEED’s Facebook page, the question was asked, “What’s your opinion of “Fuel Mileage” races?

Here’s my response: I hate fuel mileage races and today's wasn't that entertaining for most of it. However when it comes to the end of the race and a driver I route for is either leading or in position and coming, it is a heart pounding situation. In another words, fuel mileages races are a lot like restrictor plate races, boring most of the day, followed by heart pounding last 5 minutes. Prefer fuel mileage races...

Saturday, June 4, 2011

2011 NASCAR Truck: Joey Coulter schools Kyle Busch on final turn pass to finish 5th at Kansas; Childress-Busch Altercation?

(Photo by Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Earlier today at Kansas Speedway, the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (formerly the Craftsmen Truck Series and SuperTruck Series), celebrated their 400th race.

In the O'Reilly Auto Parts 250 at Kansas would be all about the hometown driver Clint Bowyer driving the #2 KHI as he would dominate and win the race over second place Johnny Sauter and third place Todd Bodine.

However to me, I’m not much on talking about the Cup Series drivers that invade both the Nationwide Series and the Truck Series, so instead I like to spotlight (if you will) the in this case, Truck Series regular drivers.

For this race, I want to spotlight Joey Coulter: In the closing laps, Joey Coulter driving the #22 RCR Chevrolet was racing Kyle Busch hard for position. It was clean, heard racing and on the final lap. Coulter made a move down the back straightaway on Busch heading into turn 3 for position. Coulter would squeeze Busch off turn 4 and beat Busch back to the finish line for a 5th place finish.

In watching the incident, Coulter could have given the driver on the outside a little more room, however since I’ve seen Kyle Busch not only do this move, but race even worse, I really didn’t see anything wrong with it.

As a matter of fact, I found it funny to watch and despite the fact that I picked Kyle Busch in my WindTunnel fantasy picks, I cheered for Joey Coulter. Coulter earned that 5th place spot and should be happy with his performance.

But and with Kyle Busch, there’s always seems to be a but, on the cool down lap, Busch would give Coulter a few hits as he wasn’t happy with that last lap pass.


Even more, Ray Dunlap is reporting on twitter where he said: "Hot news from the track. Grandpa Childress put a whipping on Kyle Busch in the Truck garage. Look for big sun glasses on kubu sun." (Note, Dunlap meant KyBu, not KuBu -- KuBu is Kurt Busch, KyBu is Kyle Busch).

Multi-sources are reporting the same thing and now NASCAR is confirming that they are looking into rumors of the altercation. However since details are sketchy, I’m going to stop here as I’ve learned not to read much into reports.

Full Disclosure: This article was originally published on Brian Vermette's former blog called BVinsight, however once RaceDriven.com was re-launched and rebrand, BVinsight was renamed BVDaily with 33 of 44 articles being published here on RaceDriven due to subject.