Friday, November 25, 2011

NASCAR Fines Kurt Busch For Actions At Homestead-Miami Speedway

Earlier today, NASCAR dropped a $50k fine on Kurt Busch for “Angry Bird” in the NASCAR garage area a few laps into the Ford 400 at an SUV that was associated with the First Lady Michellle Obama (her people), and his actions towards ESPN media reporter Jerry Punch.
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Nov. 25, 2011) NASCAR has fined Kurt Busch $50,000 for his actions during the Nov. 20 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

NASCAR determined that Kurt Busch violated Section 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing – inappropriate hand gesture; abusive language) of the 2011 NASCAR Rule Book.

In issuing the penalty, NASCAR cited Kurt Busch’s “poor judgment in making an inappropriate hand gesture” when he drove his car into the garage early in the race after it experienced transmission problems. In addition, NASCAR said Kurt Busch showed “disrespect towards a media member,” an incident that followed similar inappropriate media confrontations earlier in the season. (NASCAR PR - NASCARmedia.com)
NASCAR, its about time you wake up to Kurt Busch’s actions that have been seen by all, all season long. And its not a secret fine, what a concept.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Photography: A 1970 Plymouth Road Runner that is nicknamed “The Hammer”.

(Photo Credit: Hot Rod and Barrett-Jackson.com)

This is one Dream car that I’ve never seen in person, but is one amazing ride that even I would love to own myself. It’s a 1970 Plymouth Road Runner that is named “The Hammer”. I first saw “The Hammer” on RIDES (TV Series) a few years ago when the guys at Pure Vision Design when the team was racing to debut this muscle car at the upcoming SEMA show in Las Vegas.

The car has an all aluminum 526 HEMI big block engine and was featured on RIDES, in Hot Rode Magazine, at SEMA and of course in the movies Fast & Furious 3 and 4.

Of course the is muscle car returned at the 2010 Barrett-Jackson in Orange County where it was hammered away for $175,000.

But I do have to say that “The Hammer” is also available in a 1/18 scale GMP Scale diecast as well. personally I’ve been looking to buy one of them, but just haven’t been able to get my hands on it since they go for so much money. I figure if I can’t own the real thing, then at least I could own it in diecast form and it woudl go right next to my 1/18 2008 Ford Mustang Roush Stage 3 diecast that signed by Jack Roush himself.

Photography: Tony Stewart’s Hearse, "the Smoke Deville" from Unique Whips.




(Photos were taken by me - Brian Vermette)

While I was looking though my digital photography collection, I came across those photos and I decided to share them here on ThinkingBrian.com. The photos above are Tony Stewart’s custom made Unique Hearse that is nicknamed “The Smoke Deville” that Tony Stewart had built years ago by Unique Autosports that was featured a SPEED Channel show called Unique Whips.

Back in 2008 at a Motorsports show called Speedway Expo in E. Springfield, Massachusetts, I saw this ride for the first time. I walked by this hearse a few times and on the final time by, the Unique Autosports crew had turned on the inside lights and damn, with the lights on this one just shines. The photos above don’t do this hearse full justice.

Of course I do own the two episodes that show them building it. I just bought them on Amazon and downloaded them to my notebook so I watch them whenever I want too. And I hope to have them on my Android device real soon.

Can you imagine driving around in a custom hearse? I could and would.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

NASCAR fans boo First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden at Ford 400, a silence response would have been a better choice.

Last Sunday before the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season finale, the Ford 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway, that saw Tony Stewart capture his 3rd Cup Series title by winning the race, made headlines before even the drop of the green flag. You see, (President Barack Obama’s wife) the first lady Michelle Obama and Vice-President Joe Biden’s wife, Dr. Jill Biden were in attendance to be the grand marshals of the race and when they were introduced and gave the command “Gentlemen, Start Your Engines”, they were booed by several NASCAR fans in the crowd.

You could hear the booing on the live ESPN telecast and it was disrespectful. The fact is, you just don’t boo the first lady, nor do you boo women in general. However, if you want to voice your displeasure of someone or in this case, you didn’t like the First Lady being at a NASCAR race and that would include me, then try being silent. I truly believe that a silence is a bigger response makes a statement than booing someone, besides you’re not being disrespectful and rude if your silent.

Oh yeah to the mainstream media, NASCAR is a national sport that has millions of fans, try reporting on, on a weekly basis in positive way for a change.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Taylor Swift Beats Out Lady Gaga, Adele for AMA Artist of the Year.

(Shared Link: Taylor Beats Out Gaga, Adele for AMA Artist of the Year | Country Weekly)

My Take: It is crazy, but Taylor Swift’s music is amazing and heart filled to listen too, she deserves the award hands down. I believe that one of the songs that won her this award was “The Story of Us”. Personally I love the song and the music video for that matter.

A little nugget, country music tv stations like GAC and CMT didn’t play “The Story of Us” music video, MTV did.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

The only way I would play Zynga’s FarmVille game again is if I owned a copy of the game like I do with EA’s SimCity 4.

You see everyone, up until the end of last month (October 2011), I was one of millions of people worldwide that not logged onto Facebook either once or several times a day to play FarmVille over the few years.

FarmVille is a social game that you play with your friends online (Facebook) where you build and harvest a Farm trying to master crops and animals. In the game, you buy items to put on an open field that you develop into whatever farm you want. Think of FarmVille as an online farming version of EA Sports SimCity type game.

But you see that’s also the problem for me, the one biggest difference between FarmVille and a game like SimCity 4 is? FarmVille is a social game that while you can and will in most cases put real money, let along real time into, you (the user) don’t own a copy of the game like people can with games like SimCity 4.

Basically I hate the idea of putting in so much time, let along real money into something that I not only don’t own, but will one day come to an end and I wouldn’t be able to play no matter if I want to or not.

So I would suggest that Zynga create FarmVille and maybe even CityVille bundled together for purchase on DVD and buy it in the store and/or online like you can with The Sims, SimCity 4 and other cool games for PC, Nintendo Wii, xBox 360 or PS3. This would enable everyone who enjoys this game to be able to play Farmville whenever they want online or offline.

But the magic question is, how would Zynga continue to make money with people who bought a copy of the game? That’s easy, many games have downloadable packages of items and add-ons that you can buy or are free in some cases that include new buildings, animals, and more. They are called software updates.

The bottom line is, I’m not going to put my time and hard earned money into something especially a game if I don’t own a copy of the game for me to enjoy for a longtime to come period.

I own several games including the SimCIty games, Midtown Madness 1 & 2 as well as other games for my PC, let along my Nintendo Wii that I enjoy and that in my opinion is the only way to go. Besides if I own the game, I don’t have to deal with server errors including “out of sync”. So until them, I have other things to do.


(Photo taken by me on my Facebook FarmVille game which I took earlier this year.) Just a little explaination on what you see. The mansion and sitting area is on the upper leftside, the Winery and vineyard on the upper right. The matter horn (mountain) and waterfalls in the upper center, while I have a Spa below the mansion and tons of animals with barn below the winery. Cap that off on ground level with a crafting building and my aviator in the center with my dog.

Congrats to Tony Stewart on winning the Ford 400 and the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship.

(Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Oh man what a race, what a day. The Ford 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway not only lived up to the hype, but surpassed it with this tight points battle as it was a dead heat between Carl Edwards and Tony Stewart coming in to Homestead and it was a dead heat between the two down to the end.

The last 30 laps were heart pounding, but of course so was most of the race in watching Stewart carve his way through the field a few times after the team had to fix a big hole in the grill from what I would say was parts from Kurt Busch’s blown transmission.

But damn, what a drive for Tony Stewart, he drove from the back to the front a few times including a four wide pass to do the only thing he could do, win the race, to win the championship and that’s exactly what Tony Stewart and the entire #14 Office Depot/Mobil 1 Chevrolet Team did today.

Yes Stewart and Edwards tied in points with the tiebreaker of most wins goes to Tony Stewart.

That is one hell of a win for Tony Stewart and Stewart-Haas Racing. And with that, Tony Stewart wins the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship, his 3rd Cup Series Championship.

- 2002 Winston Cup, 2005 Nextel Cup and 2011 Sprint Cup now as an driver/owner).

Notebook:
* Tony Stewart won 5 chase races (Chicagoland, New Hampshire, Martinsville, Texas and Homestead), that’s the way you do it.

* This was one of the best championship battles since 1992 when Alan Kulwicki narrowly won the championship over Bill Elliott and Davey Allison and even 1979.

* “Wins mattered in 2011” - Kenny Wallace, well said.

* I know that I will get blasted for this next comment by some considering I’m not a Carl Edwards fan, but I want to tip my hat to Carl Edwards for a good season, he did everything he could to win this championship. He had a good run for sure. And so did Roush-Fenway Racing.

* And don’t get all over Jimmie Johnson, he is the 5-time NASCAR Cup Series Champion and I have a feeling that he will be back next season for number 6.

Well ladies and gentlemen, that’s all for the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season, until tomorrow, good night.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

NASCAR: Brad Keselowski holds off Ricky Stenhouse and Carl Edwards to win the Ford 300 at Homestead, what a way to finish out 2011.

(Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)

Damn, that was one hell of a finish to the 2011 NASCAR Nationwide Series with Brad Keselowski holding off a hard charging and sliding Ricky Stenhouse and Carl Edwards to win one wild Ford 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

I really thought that Carl Edwards was going to move Brad Keselowski out of the way at one point with 2 laps to go. But out of nowhere, comes Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (the new 2011 NASCAR Nationwide Series Drivers Championship) to pass Edwards and challenge Keselowski for the victory.

And of course with Carl Edwards finishing 2nd, congrats to the #60 Roush-Fenway Racing Ford on winning the 2011 NASCAR Nationwide Series Owners Championship. Well I have to say that that is cool because I am a fan of Jack Roush (I’ve meant Jack Roush up here in Massachusetts back in 2009 at a local car show) and Roush-Fenway Racing.

Just one thing, ESPN needs to cover the race, not just the championship points standings during a race. ESPN could have just put a points chart under the ticker on screen.

Congrats to Ricky Stenhouse Jr. for winning the 2011 NASCAR Nationwide Series Drivers Championship.

(Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Well ladies and gentlemen, that’s all folks for the 2011 NASCAR Nationwide Series as Ricky Stenhouse Jr. is the 2011 NASCAR Nationwide Series Drivers Championship and the #60 Roush-Fenway Racing Ford won the Owners Championship. Roush-Fenway Racing sure did one hell of a job in 2011 and they all earned the two championships that they won today.

* Congrats to Ricky Stenhouse Jr. for winning the 2011 NASCAR Nationwide Series Drivers Championship, he earned it.

* Ricky Stenhouse Jr. won 2 races in 2011, both at Iowa Speedway including that wild finish at Iowa where Ricky Stenhouse Jr. came off of turn 4 and half way to the finish line, he blow an engine, but Edwards who could see nor control his car, nailed Stenhouse Jr. across the line for the race win.

* Congrats to the #60 Roush-Fenway Racing Ford wins the 2011 NASCAR Nationwide Series Owners Championship.

* Hats off to Elliott Sadler for a good year and finishing in 2nd spot in points.

* Congrats to Timmy Hill on winning the 2011 NASCAR Nationwide Series Rookie of the Year, last year it was Ricky Stenhouse Jr. that won ROTY.

* Yes I finally came around 2/3rds though this season, I give NASCAR credit on changing the Nationwide Series championship contenders requirement, its cool to just see all Nationwide Series drivers racing for a Drivers Championship.

* But keep one thing in mind, it made NASCAR look pretty bad when during the first 33 laps of this race when the big discussion on Twitter was about has the several Start & Park drivers listed themselves as OUT yet so he could clinch the championship. Keep in mind that this statement has nothing to do with Stenhouse Jr., I’m just making a point.

What a way to cap off a good, yet frustrating at times season. Hopefully Ricky Stenhouse Jr. gets a sponsor and will be able to run full-time in the Nationwide Series next season in 2012 at RFR.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Congrats to Austin Dillion for winning the 2011 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Championship.

(Photo Credit: RCR via Email) Note: I replaced the previous photo of the entire field coming to the green with this championship photo. The previous photo was the only one I could find last night when I was writing on Dillion winning the championship. And this photo is perfect for this article.

That’s all she wrote, the Ford 200 at Homestead-Miami Speedway was called due to rain and even though Johnny Sauter did everything he could by leading the most laps and winning the race. Austin Dillion (who was 10th) has just won his first Camping World Truck Series Championship. That is cool to see, he deserves it.

But I do have to give it to Johnny Sauter, he did do everything he could to win the championship today and he was even holding off the hard charging Cup Series drivers of Denny Hamlin and Kevin Harvick. And also good job to James Bouescher as well, he was in the hunt.

* Austin Dillion wins the 2011 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Drivers Championship by 6 points.

* Joey Coulter wins the 2011 Rookie of the Year in the Truck Series.

* The #2 Kevin Harvick Inc. wins the 2011 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Owners Championship. BTW: This truck wll now be owned by RCR, but what a good 10 years for KHI.

What a good season in the Truck Series and I can’t wait until next season.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Grand-Am: Chevrolet Unveils 2012 Corvette Daytona Prototype and will debut in Grand-Am Rolex 24 in January..

Will debut in GRAND-AM Road Racing Series Rolex 24 in January.

Yesterday (Tuesday) at Daytona International Speedway, Chevrolet unveiled their 2012 Chevrolet Corvette Daytona Prototype that will make its debut at the 50th anniversary of the Grand-American Road Racing Series in the Rolex 24 at Daytona next January 2012.


(Photo Credit: Autoblog.com via Chevrolet)

Four teams will campaign the Corvette Daytona Prototype in 2012: No. 90 Spirit of Daytona Racing; No. 10 SunTrust Racing; No. 99 GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing, and the Nos. 5 and 9 Action Express Racing teams.

In looking at this Daytona Prototype, I have to say with what Chevrolet had to work with including putting a few different design looks like the rear split windows and the taillights onto the racecar from what I can imagine what are from the new Corvette C7, they did a good job. Its good to see a manufacturer get so heavily involved in Motorsports like GM does. To me at least, some Motorsports still do offer “Win on Sunday, Sell on Monday”.

Now let’s just hope that these Chevrolet Daytona Prototype can go head to head with the Ganassi gang in there BMW’s and win straight up. Besides not too many fans really want to see the continued dominance of the Ganassi racecars.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

My Insight: 3 points now separate Carl Edwards and Tony Stewart heading into the season finale in Homestead for the 2011 NASCAR Chase for the Championship. It’s a dead heat for the championship on Sunday.

Well NASCAR fans, the jury is still out on whether or not you got what you wanted when comes to the 2011 Chase for the Sprint Cup Championship, however I have to imagine that NASCAR got what they wanted for sure.

Following last Sunday’s Kobalt Tools 500 at the newly redesigned and improved Phoenix International Raceway, we saw a good race for the most part. It was Tony Stewart that dominated this race while Carl Edwards was right behind him for the most part. But it would come down to a late race pit stop that would take Stewart out of the contendion for the victory when they simply over adjusted, but instead of Edwards capitalizing, it would be Kasey Kahne jumping to the lead with around 14 laps to go and never looking back to capture his first victory since 2009.

Edwards would have to settle for second and Tony Stewart would come home in 3rd place. But no points where gained and no points where lost for that matter.

So here we are, after the Phoenix race which mathematically eliminated 3rd through 12th in the Cup Series point standings, it’s now down to 2 drivers, Carl Edwards vs. Tony Stewart, separated by only 3 points heading into the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway this Sunday.

Insight:
In what I’ve been hearing and reading, several fans are happy to see that NASCAR will have a “Peoples Championship” sort of speak no matter who wins the championships on Sunday. Even more, fans are excited that Jimmie Johnson is out of the chase. For some, it’s not that they don’t like Jimmie Johnson, but rather the fact that they want to see someone else win the championship this season.

Personally as a NASCAR fan as well as a Tony Stewart, Dale Jr. and Jimmie Johnson fan, it’s a mixed bag for me for sure. But as much as I don’t care for the chase itself, it’s like playing god in some ways, this seasons chase has shaped up to be something historical as this is the closes point battle in recent history. And I have to say that that is due in part to the new 1 point per position points system that NASCAR introduced at the beginning of 2011.

At the same time, sure I would like to see both Jimmie Johnson and Dale Jr. in the hunt as well, but I have to admit that even I do want to see a new Cup Series Champion this season and that is going to happen. So Jimmie Johnson being out of it is alright, but he will be back next season. I think this is going to make Johnson and the #48 team stronger for sure in 2012.

Now though, the talk should turn to two drivers battling it out for the championship, Carl Edwards who is leading by 3 points over second place Tony Stewart. This is a dead heat heading into Homestead and that’s cool for sure. However from my point of view, I want to see Tony Stewart pickup his 3rd Cup Series championship this season over Carl Edwards. In my own opinion, I really don’t want to see Edwards win it and that is because I’m NOT a fan of Edwards.

I’m not a fan of Edwards because of the way he drivers on the racetrack, especially the way he handled himself with Brad Keselowski last season. Keselowski didn’t deserve what he got and NASCAR should have handled the incidents better including taking away the victory from him at Gateway in the Nationwide race. But it is what it is and I blame NASCAR for that.

So I’m rooting for Tony Stewart all the way on Sunday to win the championship.

But I will say that Edwards learned well from his teammate Matt Kenseth in how to points race and he has earned his spot in this chase and I mean that. Edwards is consistent, something NASCAR could learn from as they aren’t.

Bottom line, it’s a dead heat, Carl Edwards nor Tony Stewart have any type of advantage heading into the season finale, sure Edwards has a 3 point lead, but Smoke wins in the tie breaker if it comes up. No driver has an advantage here. Both drivers have won at Homestead in the past and will have good cars on Sunday.

I would say that qualifying will play a big role in Sunday’s race. Last year Denny Hamlin screwed himself over by wrecking early in the race and playing ketchup after starting in the back. I look for Carl Edwards to go out and run their normal race and get what they can get.

While I look for Tony Stewart to keep doing what he is doing and go out and dominate the race, leading the most laps and letting the chips fall where they may. I truly believe that this one will go down to the last lap for the championship. Oh yeah, the only clinch deal for these drivers is win the race and in most cases, they will win the championship.

But hopefully the other Ford drivers as well as Chevrolet drivers (that goes for the other drivers too) will stay out of this and let these two race for it man to man.

And all I can stay from a bloggers stand point is, let the best man win.

But personally, Go Tony Stewart.

Oh Yeah one more thing, you can agree with me or disagree with me, but stop with the nasty comments already, I don’t care to listen to it, this is my opinion and I’m entitled to my opinion. And I know that Carl Edwards fans will read this article and all I got to them (especially the one Tumblr) is, this is my opinion, you stand behind your driver and I will stand behind my driver and let the chips fall where they may. See Yeah!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Photography: SEMA 2011: Justin Bieber’s Batman-Themed Cadillac CTS-V Coupe.

Earlier this year, the guys over at West Coast Customs built Justin Bieber his latest ride, a brand new Batman-Themed Cadillac CTS-V Coupe that is completely blacked out. The ride features black leather and swade custom seats with a strip of purple stitching, suicide doors and a matt black finish. The vehicle appeared on the season finale of Inside West Coast Customs. Out of all of the rides customized on this season’s show, this was the best in my opinion.

Personally, I like sleeper cars, something that people wouldn’t normally take a second look at as well as blackout cars and this one fits into that category perfectly. This is definitively a dream garage type vehicle.

Now the ride along with several others includes a few from their hit show Inside West Coast Customs where showcased earlier this week at SEMA 2011 in Las Vegas.


(Image Credit: GTSpirit.com) Be sure to click over to GTSpirit.com to see 10 different images of this ride including the rendering.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Guest Post: Five Frequently Asked Question About Car Insurance

Car insurance can be a very confusing subject for a lot of people. And unfortunately, the only time many of us think about insurance is when we really need it. By educating yourself about car insurance you can be sure you're making wise decisions when it comes time to make a purchase, and know exactly what your coverage is if and when you do get into an accident.

Let's take a look 5 of the most frequently asked questions about auto insurance. Read on, because some of the answers may surprise you.

Question 1: What can happen if I decide not to purchase car insurance and still drive my car?

Answer: Almost all states have very strict laws regarding the responsibility of drivers to purchase car insurance. If you ignore these laws, you risk losing your driver's license, having your car taken away, and also open yourself up to expensive law suits should someone be injured. It's a wise move to cover yourself by purchasing car insurance.

Question 2: Does my driving record affect how much I will have to pay for insurance?

Answer: Your driving record will affect how much your insurance premium will be. Insurance companies typically look back around 5 years, consulting with the registry of Motor Vehicles in your state. Any past accidents or moving violations you've had will show up on your record. Statistics show that drivers with these sorts of issues tend to be a greater risk.

Question 3: Are there minimum requirements for car insurance?

Answer: Every state requires you to carry some sort of liability auto insurance. A substitute for that would be to prove financial responsibility, but this is only accepted in a few states. As far as financial requirements, the minimums vary widely depending upon where you live, so you'll have to check your own state's insurance commissioner. By driving into another state, you automatically get that state's minimum coverage.

Question 4: I have insurance, but what if someone else is driving my car, are they covered?

Answer: Yes, in almost every case, and it does get a bit tricky. If someone has your permission to drive your car, and you have reason to believe that they can operate it safely, they should be covered. Here is the tricky part. Everyone in your household must be listed on your insurance policy if they have a license, in order to be covered when driving your car. Even this differs from policy to policy, so be sure to check with your agent to know what your specific policy covers.

Question 5: What other coverage do I need besides liability?

Answer: Again, each state has specific requirements, so to know for sure you'll need to do some research for your living area. However, if you have a loan on the vehicle, most lenders will require you to carry full coverage auto insurance, which is the addition of collision and comprehensive insurance. These types of insurance cover the cost of repairing the car so the lender can get its money back if the car is totaled. Once again, talking to your insurance representative can answer many of the more specific questions you have regarding the details of your policy

Bonus Question - Do all states have financial responsibility laws?

The answer is yes. All states require you to prove financial responsibility to be able to operate a motor vehicle. Just what that proof is differs from state to state, but everyone would agree that the easiest way to offer such proof is to purchase car insurance. Car insurance protects you in many different ways, and every responsible driver should have an up to date insurance policy.

As you can see, unraveling the mysteries of auto insurance can be quite a task. Do your research before shopping for quotes so you can be better prepared to make a wise purchasing decision. It will also help you "talk insurance" with your agent when the time comes.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Fan Insight: Winners & Losers of NASCAR AAA Texas 500 at Texas – Tony Stewart wins, Carl Edwards still points leader while NASCAR parked Kyle Busch and fans saw a boring race.

(Photo by John Harrelson/Getty Images for NASCAR)

As the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season heads down the final stretch of the season, here is my final thoughts on yesterday’s AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway:

Notebook:
1. Finally NASCAR wakes up and instead of taking the punishment from the NASCAR community (fans, drivers, teams, owners and etc.), NASCAR parks Kyle Busch for the rest of the Texas Motor Speedway weekend after he blatantly retaliated on Camping World Truck Series driver Ron Hornaday during the early stages of the race.

This was way overdue for Kyle Busch and he deserved it. Of course I would love to have seen Busch be suspended for the rest of the 2011 NASCAR season and that includes just staying home and no access to racetracks, but at least NASCAR parked him for the rest of the weekend.

But it was cool seeing Kyle Busch on the pit box watching his #18 M&M’s Toyota go around the racetrack without him driving it. He looked bored at times, perfect, I hope he finally got the message.

2. Seeing Tony Stewart pickup his 4th win of the chase at Texas was great. Last week he said that he wasn’t going to make it easy on point leader Carl Edwards and he didn’t. But Edwards is sticking in there with another good finish (2nd place) and now has a 3 point lead. Borrowing a miracle or a bad run for both Edwards and Stewart, this is a two-man race because Kevin Harvick is -33 behind and Matt Kenseth is -38 points behind.

3. Jimmie Johnson is just about out of this one for the Sprint Cup Championship despite the fact that I would have loved to see six straight NASCAR Sprint Cup Championships. Personally over the last few years, I’ve become a fan of Jimmie Johnson, he’s a talented driver and NOT vanilla (my yogurt is vanilla, not him.)

4. I have to give it to Kasey Kahne and his #4 guys, he is making the final days of Red Bull NASCAR racing team look good. Could it be that all that team needed was a veteran driver with a good crew chief combination to be successful? I truly believe so.

5. Despite all of the hype and even with Kyle Busch being parked, the AAA Texas 500 was boring as hell. Tip to ESPN, as a NASCAR fans and a racing fan, can you please show more than just the chase drivers and the ones racing upfront and go back in pack a little bit and show some racing back there. Same goes for the talk.

6. On the losing end, not much to say about Joe Gibbs Racing this weekend except for Denny Hamlin as he was the only driver to finish on the lead lap and in the 10th spot. Joey Logano had a bad day with a blown engine and Michael McDowell (who replaced Kyle Busch) in the #18, finished 33rd, 3 laps down. I do have to say one thing, while I’m NOT a fan of Kyle Busch and got what he deserved, I do fell for his #18 team, the crew chief, pit crew, and people back at the show that work on this car didn’t deserve what they got this weekend at all.

Now with two races to go in the Chase for the Championship, who will win next weekend at the newly repaved and redesigned Phoenix International Raceway? I would guess that Tony Stewart, Jimmie Johnson and Carl Edwards will be in the hunt as well as Jeff Gordon who won there in the spring.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

My Take: NASCAR parks Kyle Busch for rest of NASCAR Texas weekend after on-track incident.

NASCAR has parked Kyle Busch for the remainder of the Texas Motor Speedway weekend that includes today’s Nationwide Series race as well as tomorrow’s Sprint Cup Series race after a blatant retaliation move on Ron Hornaday Jr. in last night’s in the Truck Series race. Personally NASCAR needed to wake up and suspend (park in this case) Kyle Busch, his reckless driving is very dangerous and needed to handle in the right way. I’m thrilled with this result, but I wonder what’s next?

Friday, November 4, 2011

NASCAR: Michael Waltrip Racing hires Mark Martin and extends Aaron’s through 2013 in the #00; Reutimann out. UPDATE

Update - 11/23/2011: MWR announced that Mark Martin and Michael Waltrip will honor the sponsor (Aaron’s which was founded back in 1955) by driving the #55 in 2012 and 2013. (Read NASCAR.com article)

Original Article:
Last month, the first domino fell at MWR as Michael Waltrip Racing announced that they had signed Clint Bowyer to drive the #15 Toyota with 5-hour energy starting in 2012.

But then came the second domino earlier this week as after a few days of rumors and speculations, MWR announced that they will be parting ways with David Reutimann at the end of the season (2011). This would leave an open seat, the #00 at MWR.

Now the third, but not last domino has fallen as MWR announced earlier today at Texas Motor Speedway that they have hired Mark Martin and extended the Aaron’s sponsorship through 2013.

The deal will give Mark Martin what he has been looking for, a part time ride in the Cup Series for the next two years as Martin will share the #00 Aaron’s Dream Machie with car owner Michael Waltrip. MWR plans to run a combination of drivers and sponsor partners to fill the remaining races when Martin and Waltrip are not behind the wheel.

Martin will drive in 25 races starting at the 2012 Daytona 500. While Michael Waltrip will drive the 5 races including the three other restrictor plate races and the Kentucky Cup race in 2012 and 2013. (Read PR)

Personally I have mixed feelings on this announcement. Sure its a good for MWR to continue to improve on there Cup Series program with the addition of Clint Bowyer and especially Mark Martin. And I was really hoping that Mark Martin would find a ride for the next few seasons in NASCAR that he truly wanted.

However there are two downsides or sticking points for me, one Mark Martin will be driving a Toyota, instead of a Chevrolet, Ford or Dodge. I’m a Toyota fan and wouldn’t own a Toyota and that includes Scion period. Of course I should note that if VW was in NASCAR, I wouldn’t have a problem with them.

And second, this move puts David Reutimann out of a ride as of now for 2012. I believe that Reutimann is a talented driver and in the right equipment and good people around him, he can be a contender for race wins. MWR, why couldn’t they part ways with Martin Truex Jr. instead of David Reutimann, things aren’t working with him neither, why not make a change there instead. Truex Jr. doesn’t seem to be able to put things together in the #56 over the last few years.

I guess time will tell what will happen at MWR, but with the addition of Bowyer and Martin, this is a step in the right direction.

NASCAR: Stewart-Haas Racing and Danica Patrick unveils the #10 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet and 2012 schedule which includes 2012 Daytona 500.

Earlier today at Texas Motor Speedway, Stewart-Haas Racing with Tony Stewart and driver Danica Patrick unveiled Patrick’s 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series schedule and her 2012 #10 Godaddy.com Chevrolet Impala SS.

Three things caught my eye from this announcement.

1. The 10-race schedule, 2 of which will be chosen at a later date are all races that would make even get the attention of a veteran driver and this schedule starts off with the 2012 Daytona 500 in late February. This is a bold move for sure as this is NASCAR’s superbowl race.

Follow the Daytona 500 up with Darlington, Bristol, Atlanta, Chicagoland, Dover, Texas and Phoenix and you have one helleva race schedule.

May 12:     Darlington (S.C.) Raceway
Aug. 25:     Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway
Sept. 2:      Atlanta Motor Speedway
Sept. 16:    Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Ill.
Sept. 30:    Dover (Del.) International Speedway
Nov. 4:      Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth
Nov. 11:    Phoenix International Raceway

But one thing, since the Nationwide Series is running at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway next August anyway, why not include the Brickyard 400 as well as teh July race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway for the other two dates. Both add major value and would complete the scope of racetracks.

2. Unlike what some NASCAR fans might think, there is something in the number of the racecar, whether its the #5 for Hendrick Motorsports, the #6 for Roush-Fenway Racing, to the #14 and #39 for Stewart-Haas Racing, those are all important numbers for those teams and seeing Danica Patrick chose the number 10 for her Sprint Cup Series debut doesn’t surprise me. She drove the #10 back in her early days of racing.

But the all green paint scheme, damn at least you’ll never miss her on the track.

(Source: NASCARmedia)

3. What is Tony Stewart and SHR going to do about the other 26 races? Keep in mind that MWR has just signed Mark Martin to a two year deal, so who would (with a sponsor of course) be willing to run the #10 for 26 races in 2012? I truly believe that SHR needs to run this car full time especially if you are going to have owners points for Danica Patrick to not have to qualify on speed for all of her 10 races.

Personally 2012 will be an interesting learning curve for Danica Patrick with her full-time Nationwide Series schedule and her 10 races in the Cup Series. I just have to wonder just how she is going to do especially in the Cup Series with Boy’s Have at it, those drivers are out of control at times, of course NASCAR made them that way.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Photography: SEMA 2011: The Hot Wheels Chevrolet Camaro Concept revealed at SEMA.



(Photo Credit/Source: General Motors Facebook Page)

Damn, personally I don’t really care much for stock vehicles anymore and would prefer seeing some type of customization to a ride (Paint, Wheels, New Hood or something). But when you cross a muscle car (Chevy Camaro in this case) with my childhood favorite (hot wheels), now that really gets me interested. And even with the green paint, this Camaro looks cool.

But for the record, unless I’m showing a vehicle at a show and shine, I actually love sleepers and blacked out cars more. Something that catches other car guys off guard.