Sunday, October 30, 2011

NASCAR: Tony Stewart fights back, holds off Jimmie Johnson to win a wild Tums Fast Relief 500 at Martinsville.

(Photo by John Harrelson/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Damn, this one especially from where I was sitting here at home was a wild one for sure. When NASCAR dropped the green flag, all of the drivers that were actually running the entire race must have said, “I’m going to give it everything and nobody is going to get in my way no matter what” as the word “wreckfest” was used several times during the race. Can you say 18 cautions.

Notebook:
1. Tony Stewart had a good car earlier on, but fell back outside the top 20. However when it came to 100 laps to go, there was Tony Stewart making his way up through the field, picking them off one by one. And after a late race restart caused by Brian Vickers yet again, Smoke passed a hard charging Jimmie Johnson to win the race.

2. Brian Vickers was one name that was in the headlines all race long and not in a good way. It seems Brian Vickers had a very busy day with him driving way too far over his head and was either getting into other drivers or other drivers including Matt Kenseth were getting into him and wrecking him. In the closing laps, Vickers had a hand or brought out several cautions. NASCAR should be talking to Vickers, but oh wait, NASCAR doesn’t do that anymore.

3. Carl Edwards may have dodged a bullet during this race in finishing 9th (pure luck there), but this way of driving isn’t going to win championships and last week at Talladega of riding around in the back neither isn’t going to win you a championship. Tony Stewart has Carl Edwards number.

4. Speaking of the 2011 Chase for the Sprint Cup Championship, once again, there has been a big shack up in the points and while Carl Edwards still leads, its Tony Stewart that has closed the gap with this victory to just 8 points back with 3 races to go (Texas, Phoenix and Homestead), this ones not over yet.

1. Carl Edwards Leader
2. Tony Stewart -8
3. Kevin Harvick -21
4. Brad Keselowski -27
5. Matt Kenseth -36
—- 5 driver race for championship —-
6. Jimmie Johnson -43
7. Kyle Busch -57
8. Kurt Busch -58
9. Dale Earnhardt Jr. -73
10. Jeff Gordon -76
11. Denny Hamlin -80
12. Ryan Newman -89

I added Matt Kenseth to the drivers still in this one because Kenseth is a favorite to win at the next race at Texas.

5. NASCAR, this is what “Boy’s Have at it” is and if this is what you want every race to be about, then you can have it. Personally, its time for you as the officials and governing body to step up, man up and take control of your out of control drivers period.

Next is “No Limits” Texas Motor Speedway, oh brother another 1.5 miler, damn, we need more 1 mile tracks and under starting with Iowa Speedway NASCAR.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Why I’m a fan of the WWE and WWE Superstar John Cena and what keeps me watching the WWE for the last 11 years or so.

Earlier today, a WWE fan asked on Tumblr, “Okay I want to know what makes you people like Cena so much?” And even though I did care for the way the question was phased, I decided to answer. However instead of just answering that question, I’ve decided to take this one step further and answer the covered question, why am I a fan of John Cena and watch the WWE every week?

For everyone out there, the answer is going to different. However for me, this is the way I look at it.

First, why an I a WWE fan?
When it comes to being a WWE fan where I watch the action especially WWE Monday Night Raw every week. That’s simple, because it is what it is, the WWE doesn’t claim to anything but sports entertainment, wrestling, rivalries, friendships, Divas, Superstars, amazing matches and a soap opera. It’s entertaining to me and that’s what draws me in.

It’s sort of like me being a fan of a reality shows, but just that the WWE is nothing more than controlled chaos in a huge way.

Second, why am I a fan of WWE Superstar and 10 time WWE champion John Cena?
Well, actually, I’ve been a John Cena fan since it all started when Cena made his wrestling debut back on June 2002 on WWE Smackdown in an open challenge match against Kurt Angle. It was during that match that I started to become a fan of his. At that moment I don’t know if it was the fact that he was an underdog or what.

But I was impressed with his stage presence, his attitude both inside and outside of the ring, his ability and talent to wrestle in the ring. You actually have to have some amazing raw talent not only to wrestle, but to be entertaining to watch and John Cena has that.

Personally I could careless that some love it, while others hate it. It’s the nature of the beast and the WWE with all of their writers bring out the good, the bad and the ugly in each of there wrestlers and fans catch on to what they what when they’re a fan of his or not.

Simply put, he’s entertaining to watch wrestle and at the same time, here what he has to say. And, he’s there wrestling every week and that’s cool. And that includes the movies he’s in too.

Bottom line:
Over the years of watching the WWE, I have been or now am a fan of The Rock, Stone Cold Steve Austin, Triple H, the Undertaker, The Big Show, Hulk Hogan, Kelly Kelly, Stacy Keibler, Torrie Wilson and even now with Randy Orton. They all have one thing in common, they are entertaining and have a presence that you wouldn’t believe especially Randy Orton.

But at the same time, I’m not a fan of several wrestlers for several different reasons and that list includes Alberto Del Rio, Christan, The Miz and R Truth, Dolph Ziggler, MArk Henry all the way down to Vince McMahon himself. However when it comes to Vince McMahon, that really has to do with his on-screen character as does every one else.

In watching the WWE over the last 11 years, yes that would actually be since I was in college when a friend suggested to me to check out wrestling, of course he was actually taking about WCW at that time, not the WWE, but I found the WWE to be more entertaining, for the most part I like what I see, it’s entertaining and that’s what keeps me coming back.

The same goes for several TV shows including Survivor, Big Brother, the Biggest Loser, iCarly to NASCAR and racing in general, as long as its entertaining to me, I’ll keep watching it, but once its not, I’ll move on and I’ve done that too.

I wonder if that answered the question? I guess it would for some people, but basically its entertainment plan and simple.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

It’s official: Formula 1 will have a second United States Grand Prix in 2013 in New Jersey…say what, where, why?

Last Tuesday’s news press conference in New Jersey where Formula 1 officials and the Governor of New Jersey announced that they will be playing host to a second F1 United States Grand Prix race in 2013 that includes a 10-year agreement caught me off guard and also left me with several questions.

Let me example, every since several years ago when Formula 1 and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway parted ways after the tire gate and some disappointing attendance numbers. I have been waiting and hoping that Formula 1, one day would finally realize that the United States is a big market and they should be in it and return to the states.

Well that hope came true when on May 25, 2010, Formula 1 officials and a promoter announced that F1 would be returning to the U.S. in 2012 in Austin Texas and that a purpose built racetrack that is called “Circuit of The Americas” would be constructed between then and what will be the inaugural date of November 18, 2012 of the USGP.

That announcement was huge and I can’t wait until the end of 2012 to see the USGP play out live on television, hopefully live on SPEED.

However when last Tuesday’s announcement was made, that left me not only scratching my head, but asking a few questions like:

1. Can the United States really support two United States Grand Prix’s?

2. Why put a second USGP on a temporary street course in New Jersey?

Well, I sure hope that the private funding can support both of these races, but only at the end of 2014 will we know if two grand prix’s can really be supported in terms of getting fans to come out or not. Well at least one is in Texas, while the other is in the northeast just below New York City.

But I don’t understand why Formula 1 (F1) officials choose New Jersey for the location of the second USGP and having it on a temporary street course when there are a lot of worthy road courses throughout the United States including the famous Watkins Glen in upstate New York.

 Yes, I said temporary street circuit. According to a SPEEDtv.com article, the 3.2 Mile street circuit in New Jersey will run along the Hudson river through the towns of Weehawken and West New York and then climb uphill before looping back around in front of the ferry terminal. The temp circuit will also feature one hairpin turn, speeds of up to 200 miles per hour and several other 90-degree turns.

The new street circuit with the New York City (Manhattan) skyline in the distance (backdrop) sort of reminds me of the Monaco Grand Prix (Monte Carlo) which is one the same type course along the water front, I wonder if that includes F1 fans will also see not much of passing and more single file.

I guess I could see having New York City, the big Apple right across the bridge could be a good thing, but even with that, I just don’t see this one working out too well and considering the promoters for these two events are already taking pop shots at each other, I have to wonder how long before the United States is back down to one USGP. ..

However, I am a fair person and as such I guess that also be fair and give the New Jersey one a chance and see how a second USGP will fair in this great country, the United States of America.

But what are everyone else’s thoughts? I will be interested in seeing how fans react to the news on forums and social media. But again, it does leave me scratching my head and asking why…

Monday, October 17, 2011

Goodbye Dan Wheldon, you will be missed.

Yesterday afternoon after a lap 11 (15-car pile up) serious crash in turns 1 & 2 of the IZOD IndyCar Series season finale at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, the sport lost a great driver, Dan Wheldon. (Read details over at ESPN - Dan Wheldon’s death stuns racing world)

There are no words to express my sorrow over the loss of Dan Wheldon, he was a good racecar driver, a fan favorite and he will be missed. My thoughts and prayers go out to Dan’s wife, friends and family.

But the best quote I’ve heard on the loss of Dan Wheldon was this one: “Many people ask me why I sign off ‘til we meet again.’ It’s because goodbye is so final. Goodbye, Dan Wheldon.” - Marty Reid, ESPN announcer.

And he couldn’t be more right. Goodbye Dan Wheldon, thank you for the memories.

(Photo Credit: IndyCar Images)

Saturday, October 15, 2011

NASCAR: Matt Kenseth wins the Bank of America 500 at Charlotte while Jimmie Johnson crashes out late in the race.

Matt Kensth picks up his third win of 2011 at Charlotte in the Bank of America 500 over Kyle Busch and Carl Edwards. But unfortunitely several chase drivers found trouble including Jimmie Johnson who crashed hard late in the race and finished outside the top 30. Damn that is terrible for Johnson, but he will rebound.

Now Carl Edwards is the points leader with a 5 point gap over second Kevin Harvick and 7 point gap over 3rd place Matt Kensth. This should be interesting.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Garth Tander and Nick Percat win a Thrilling Bathurst 1000 endorse race on Mount Panorama in Australia.

Welcome readers, up until the past few weeks ago when Speed (Channel) here in the United States started advertising on TV that they were sending Darrell Waltrip and Mike Joy to Australia to cover the famous Bathurst 1000, I actually had never heard of that endorse race nor Mount Panorama before.

But I had not only heard of the Australian V8 Supercars, but I have watched a few of the races on TV here and there including Surfer’s Paradise. However I have to say that the Bathurst 1000, which is a 1000km (161 lap) race caught my attention especially for the first time after seeing that long Mount Panorama racetrack that also is a mountain road that is carved into the mountain itself. Damn what a sight.

Of course you talk about sights, the video of Darrell Waltrip heading out on to the racetrack in one of the Holden racecars riding shotgun with a legend in the driver’s seat was priceless. I have never seen Darrell Waltrip freak out in a racecar before, although the cork screw and the downhill run is pretty hair raising and that’s just on TV, I wonder what it’s like heading down at full speed in person.

Anyway, what a 6 hour endorse race that one was and while the announcers in the booth did say that we would see some good action in the final 50 laps, that was one hell of a final run for the checkers. 6 hours and baby it all came down to two drivers racing for everything they had in the end, separated by just mere car lengths.

So with just over 10 laps to go, and after some wild crashes including one fire (thankfully the driver walked way and is ok) and several cautions, the #888 Team Vodafone of Craig Lowndes (a 5-time winner of this race) in his Holden was over 5 seconds behind leader Garth Tander in his Holden, but over the next several laps, Lowndes closed down that gap to within a car length or two by 2 laps to go, I really thought that Lowndes was going to pass Tander and go on to collect yet another victory.

But in the final two laps, the #2 Toll Holden of Garth Tander did some amazing driving in holding off the 5-time winner and by a margin of victory of .29 seconds at the line, held on to win the Bathurst 1000. What an impressive last 20 laps, especially in the last five, my heart was racing as Lowndes closed down on the leader every lap, but he just couldn’t make the pass. However both drivers did a hell of a job in racing each other and should both be proud of themselves, it was anybodies race.

Hopefully SPEED with televise the Bathurst 1000 next year too. 6.5 hours of racing and it comes down to a .29 second margin of victory, you can’t get any better than that.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Clint Bowyer and 5-Hour Energy join Michael Waltrip Racing in 2012.

(Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)

After months of speculation and rumors on just where Clint Bowyer would be racing in 2012, early today at Kansas Speedway, one of the worst kept secrets in NASCAR was unveiled as Michael Waltrip announced that Clint Bowyer and sponsor 5-hour energy will be joining Michael Waltrip Racing in 2012.

Clint Bowyer will drive the team #15 Toyota with 5-hour ENERGY as the primary sponsor for the next three NASCAR Sprint Cup seasons beginning at the 2012 Daytona 500. (Read Press Release on MWR website)

Personally as much as fans have heard bad comments from both Clint Bowyer and Michael Waltrip as racers in the past about each other, those comments were said in the heat of a battle.

So I believe that this could be a good match for Clint Bowyer, 5-Hour Energy and Michael Waltrip with MWR, especially 5-hour energy as they have come into a bigger market for there product with a good driver. The Nationwide Series and Steve Wallace is one thing, but being in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series with Clint Bowyer is a completely different ball game.

Hopefully Bowyer can shed some light on what MWR can do better to improve there cars and teams to evolve them into a winning organization. I would say that Clint Bowyer could make the chase in 2012 if everything goes well starting at the 2012 Daytona 500. This should be interesting and its a fresh start for Bowyer.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Photo: Amber Heard on NBC’s The Playboy Club - A good send off.

(Source: The Best Damn Days…, I believe this is a PR photo)

I just couldn’t resist posting this photo of Amber Heard on “The Playboy Club”. I guess you can say posting this photo is a good send off. But I should mention that according to Wikipedia, “NBC is continuing to film through October 10, 2011, with the hope of selling the series to another network.” Hopefully NBC puts the show on USA Network or another cable network where it belongs.