Sunday, January 29, 2012

#60 Michael Shank Racing Ford with A.J. Allmendinger, Ozz Negri, John Pew and Justin Wilson wins the 50th Rolex 24 at Daytona.

(Photo Credit: Daytona International Speedway Facebook Page)

What battle for the lead it was during the final 2.5 hours between the #60 Michael Shack Racing Ford driven at the time by A.J. Allmendinger and the #8 Starworks Motorsport Ford driven at the time by Allen McNish that was then turned over to Ryan Dalziel for the final two hours for the race. These two beat and bang on each other, swapping the lead between the two of them several times. But in the end, it was the #60 Michael Shack Racing driven by A.J. Allmendinger with co-drivers Ozz Negri, John Pew and Justin Wilson that captured the overall victory in the 50th (2012) Rolex 24 at Daytona. Hell of a job to Michael Shack Racing and the drivers. And also, great job to second place #8 Starworks Motorsport Ford with co-drivers Dalziel / Luhr / McNish / Popow / Potolicchio.

In GT, it was Andy Lally, John Potter, Richard Lietz and Rene Rast in the No. 44 Magnus Racing Porsche over the #67 TRG. 

What an interesting race, but just one question, a family member asked me why do they run the Rolex 24 at Daytona with really nobody in the grandstands? Personally I really didn't have an answer for him other than made for television. These 24 hour races don't normally have people in the grandstands, but instead fans attend these races using their campers/RV's. Of course the Rolex 24 at Daytona doesn't draw as many fans as the 12 hours of sebring and especially the 24 hours of LeMans. 

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

NASCAR changes policy and now will publicly disclose fines in 2012 - Fans and media cheer.

Earlier today, NASCAR issued a statement on how fines will be disclosed to the public beginning this season:
NASCAR will no longer issue fines that are undisclosed. We looked at this issue from every angle and gathered feedback from the industry. While there are always sensitivities related to sponsor relationships and other leagues may continue issuing disclosed and undisclosed fines, NASCAR has decided that all fines moving forward will be made public after the competitor or organization that has been penalized has been informed. (Read Statement at NASCAR.com)
As a NASCAR fan, I have seen this sport change over the years from its stars to its policies and while the "Boy's Have at it" policy hasn't changed that let's drivers wreck each other at will if they see fit, at least NASCAR is making the effect to make changes as needed in the sport and today's statement that NASCAR will now publicly disclose fines in 2012 is a good step forward.

Basically as one NASCAR fan commented on this article on NASCAR.com, "There is no secrets in the garage anyhow. It always gets out." And to that I give you the examples of Ryan Newman, Denny Hamlin and  Brad Keselowski, they are received secret fines.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Ford unveils the new 2013 NASCAR Ford Fusion during the NASCAR Media Tour.

Earlier today during the NASCAR Media Tour, Ford unveils there new 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series racecar that will debut at the 2013 Daytona 500. The new racecar does in fact look more similar to the street version than the 2012 NASCAR racecar. However the new racecar add more including four doors (decals), but not bad, they are getting better.


(Photo Credit: Ford Racing via Jayski.com)

(Photo Credit: Autoguide.com)

Related Articles:
- Dodge unveils their 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series racecar at Las Vegas and it does look more like the Dodge Charger street version. | RaceDriven.com

Saturday, January 21, 2012

A 1948 Tucker Torpedo, 1954 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing and a 1969 Dodge Charger General Lee stool the show at the 2012 Barrett-Jackson in Scottsdale.

Its Saturday night and here I am still watching the 2012 Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auction live on SPEED which is in Scottsdale, AZ. In watching this collector car auction like I do every year for the last several years, there is always those few special vehicles that have caught my attention and on this Saturday night, there were three collector cars that were jaw droppers to say the least.

(Photo Credit: Barrett-Jackson Official Website)

1. One top seller, a 1948 Tucker Torpedo from the 5000 series collection that hammered away for $2,260,000. What a work of art.

(Photo Credit: Barrett-Jackson Official Website)

2. 1954 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing (one of 146 in 1954) with 4,149 Original Miles, a rare car and it crossed the block and sold for $2 Million Dollars and in my opinion, it was well worth it. This car to me is considered priceless. It is the ride.

(Photo Credit: Barrett-Jackson Official Website)

3. A 1969 Dodge Charger (General Lee #1) sold for $110K. Considering the fact that I'm not only a huge fan of the television show "The Dukes of Hazzard" and one of the collector cars that I would love to own before I die is a 1969 Dodge Charger, it should be no surprise that this ride got my full attention.

After all that the 2012 Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auction brought for hammer prices and amazing rides, I just have one question, how will 2013 top this one? 

A quick note on the 1965 Shelby GT350 Fastback that sold for $350,000 at the 2012 Barrett-Jackson in Scottsdale.


(Photo Credit: Barrett-Jackson Official Website)

One of the collector cars that crossed the auction block earlier tonight at the Barrett-Jackson really caught my attention was a barn find or garage find in this case, a 1965 Shelby GT350 Fastback that sat in a garage for over three decades undriven.

In my opinion, this Shelby is a classic, its original and you just don't find a classic car like this anymore. But it also begs the question, what would you do with this 1965 Shelby GT350?

Well I thought about that and personally I thought that $200,000 would be well worth it, but I have to say that I was shocked to see that a bidder paid $350k for this ride.

As for what I would do with the ride, well an option would of course be to have a full restoration done to it, but actually I would take this Shelby and just have it repainted white with blue strips like it was when it was in the showrooms, how some maintenance done, register it and drive it to car shows and Sunday drives. Its better left as much original as possible. Of course I love resto-modes, but this ride would be one that I would touch in that way, it would be a waste.

$82K takes home this 1940 Ford Deluxe Coupe at the 2012 Barrett-Jackson in Scottsdale. I love this custom ride.

(Photo Credit: Barrett-Jackson.com Official Website)

So some of my readers may be asking, why would he write about this collector car, a 1940 Ford Deluxe Coupe Custom that went across the block and sold for $82k on a Saturday afternoon? Well that's easy, as a car enthusiast, I have a list of collector cars including custom ride that I would love to own one day before I died and this particular collector car is on my wish list. Yes, someday I would love to own a 1940 Ford Coupe.

However there is one more part to this story. Back in January 2009 at the World of Wheels in Boston, Massachusetts, I stood in line for 6 hours to get Chip Foose's autography. I received a picture with Chip, an autographed discast that I bought just a few hours before and a signed sketch that he did in front of me of what looks to be a 1940 Ford Deluxe Coupe. The signed sketch was incredible, but the experience of meeting Chip Foose was perfect. He ended up signing autographs for over 6.5 hours straight and I couldn't thank him enough for those autographs and his time.

And yes Chip Foose is a really nice guy in person.

Friday, January 20, 2012

A jaw dropping $325k buys this 1962 Chevrolet Corvette convertible at the 2012 Barrett-Jackson in Scottsdale.

(Photo Credit: Barrett-Jackson Official Website)

My jaw just dropped with after that 1962 Chevy Corvette custom crossed the block and sold for $325k and its only Friday night. What a buy, you can't get no better than that pure custom. But I bet they will. And here I though nothing would get this crowds attention other than charity cars when it comes to high dollar bids.

A 2010 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 with serial #00001 hammered away for $185k at the 2012 Barrett-Jackson in Scottsdale.

(Photo Credit: Barrett-Jackson Official website)

Moments ago at the 2012 Barrett-Jackson in Scottsdale, this (pictured above) 2010 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 with a serial #00001 and 3600 miles on it (list price for $121k), crossed the auction block and sold for $185k. Damn, this will be a collectors dream in years to come, hell its my dream now.

Now this is Corvette is a supercar that I would drive regularly and I would pick this Corvette over a Ferrari any day.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

A 1987 Buick GNX 2 door hardtop hammered down for $66k at the 2012 Barrett-Jackson in Scottsdale.

(Photo Credit: Barrett-Jackson.com Official website)

So some of my readers may be asking, why would he write about this muscle car, a 1987 Buick GNX with 25k original miles that went across the block and sold for $66k on a Thursday night? Well that's easy, as a car enthusiast, I have a list of collector cars including muscle cars that I would love to own one day before I died and this particular muscle car is high on my wish list. Yes, someday I would love to own a 1987 Buick GNX or more so the Grand National.

My father showed me one of these at a car show several years ago and I love it. What is better than all black, fast muscle car that could be used as a daily driver if desired. But I do have to say, as much as I would want to keep it stock, part of me would actually have the car upgraded to a turbo-charged diesel engine or even a hydrogen powered car after several years of driving it and create one hell of a ride that looks stock on the outside and interior, but under the hood its all pure power.

Brad Keselowski's Talladega 2010 winning NASCAR Nationwide Series racecar sells for $250k at the 2012 Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale for charity.

(Photo Credit: Barrett-Jackson.com official website)

Welcome readers, its January and that can only mean one thing for us car enthusiasts, its time for the 2012 Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auction in Scottsdale, AZ. And while I'm not going to be their, I do have a great seat for the action, right in front of my television set and I'm tuned in to SPEED Channel.

One auction vehicle that rolled across the auction block that got my attention earlier tonight was Brad Keselowski's Talladega 2010 winning racecar from Penske Racing that hammered away for $250k, plus an additional $350k from 2 other people being donated to the charity with ALL PROCEEDS TO BENEFIT PARALYZED VETERANS OF AMERICA.

I do love it when NASCAR invades the Barrett-Jackson especially with racecars being auctioned off for charity.

10 NASCAR drivers fans should watch during the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season after off season changes.

After a two month active off season that featured several announcements and changes, last week, NASCAR teams were hard at work at Daytona International Speedway for NASCAR’s Winter Testing. SPEEDtv.com and SPEED TV televised the 3 day event live and in watching most of the coverage, this was the first time for fans and media to see most of the off season changes at work.

1. A.J. Allmendinger: In 2012, I truly believe that this is just about AJDinger’s last chance to find success in NASCAR’s elite series, but I really do like what I have seen so far with testing with A.J. Allendinger driving the #22 Shell-Pennzoil Dodge for Penske Racing. I believe that this is the year for him to break out and win his first Cup Series race. He has the talent, the equipment, the people and a good teammate in Brad Keselowski, so let’s see what he can do.

2. Jeff Burton: Burton hasn’t been very successful in the Cup Series in the last few years now, but he does have a new winning crew chief joining him in 2012, Drew Blickensdefer. And RCR is going back down to a 3-car team in 2012 with the removal of the #33 team due to lack of sponsorship. I look for good things out of RCR and Jeff Burton in 2012.

3. Dale Earnhardt Jr.: In 2011, Dale Jr. had a successful season of rebuilding and despite going winless, Dale Jr. and the #88 team did make the chase and finish 7th in the final point standings. But what will 2012 bring, hopefully victory lane and making the chase again.

4. Joey Logano: Logano has had a tough go in the Cup Series so far over the last few seasons now despite one victory in New Hampshire back in 2009 (a race I was in attendance for), but with a new season comes renewed effected to win and a new crew chief with Jason Ratcliff. I look for Logano to be a consistent top 15 driver.

5. David Reutimann: After MWR released Reutimann at the end of last season, Reutimann was able to pick up a new Cup Series ride with TBR that as of now is just for 2012 and several races. Sponsorship seems to be a keep sticking point. I’ll be interested to see what Reutimann can do with TBR in 2012.

6. David Ragan: After being released from Roush-Fenway Racing at the end of last season, Ragan was able to land a ride at Front Row Motorsports in 2012. But honestly I would say the goal here would be for Ragan to make all the 36 races, finishes races, finish inside the top 25 in points, gain experience and stay clean. Other than that, Ragan is a question mark.

7. Denny Hamlin: After a 2nd place finish in points in 2010, 2011 is a season that both JGR and Denny Hamlin will want to forget despite making the chase. However in 2012, Hamlin will be joined by a new crew chief (last season’s championship winning crew chief) Darian Grubb. This will be an interesting combo for sure and maybe a victory or two along with making the chase are in the cards???

8-9. Michael Waltrip Racing comes into the 2012 NASCAR season with two new drivers, Mark Martin and Clint Bowyer. Both drivers bring experience and victories with them.

- Mark Martin: After running full-time for the last few seasons, Martin now finds himself back to where he wants to be, running a 25 race part-time schedule for MWR in the #55 Toyota. This will be hard for me to follow in some ways, Mark Martin in Toyota, oh brother. But I do believe that Mark Martin can give MWR the help and guidance they need to contend for wins on a regular basis, which could result in wins???

- Clint Bowyer: After being unsuccessful in getting a sponsorship at RCR, Bowyer was able to land a ride at MWR in the #15 5-hour energy Toyota.

10. Kasey Kahne: In 2012, I truly believe that this will be Kasey Kahne’s season to win races and make the chase. Kahne with his longtime crew chief, are finally joining Hendrick Motorsports in the flagship ride, the #5.

I like to be optimistic when it comes to a New Year and new season especially in NASCAR. I’m really looking for 2012 to be a banner year in NASCAR for several drivers, but right now, it’s all about the Daytona 500 in last February to kick off a new season. Let’s go racin’.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Predictions: Top 10 biggest NASCAR storylines to watch in 2012.

As the start of the 2012 NASCAR season approaches towards the end of next month (February 2012) with the Budweiser Shootout at Daytona International Speedway followed by the 2012 Daytona 500.

Today I want to share my thoughts and insight with my readers with my predictions for the upcoming 2012 NASCAR season including mainly the Sprint Cup Series. Here are the top 10 storylines to watch in 2012.
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1. Another “Boy’s Have at it” moment will force NASCAR to finally change the rules package in the sport and wake up at the same time. During the 2012 NASCAR season, it is a safe beat that their will be another “Boy’s Have at it” moment so long as NASCAR drivers know that there is little penalty by NASCAR. And finally that moment will lead to a reaction that NASCAR will make changes to the current rules in the sport regarding where a hard line will be and what the penalty will be.

Letting the drivers run the sport without much in the form of penalties isn’t the way to run such an amazing sport of NASCAR, I predict that changes will have to be made to restore NASCAR credibility with everyone including the fans, teams and sponsors.

2. Rule Changes: In 2012, NASCAR will be making changes at both Talladega and Daytona superspeedway races in hopes of getting rid of the two-car tandem drafting racing that fans have seen throughout the 2011 NASCAR season including the boring Coke Zero 400 at Daytona last July.
Will the new changes work? You will see a difference at the July Daytona race, but not before and I’m being optimistic.

3. Track Attendance and TV rates will have a slight increase at many tracks and on some networks:  In 2012, I believe NASCAR fans will continue watching NASCAR grow again by watching races on TV and attending races again. I also believe that attendance at several racetrack will be very strong, while others will just show a lot of empty seats, it will all depend upon the market and quality of the racing, plus the average ticket prices. One thing I can say is fans continue to attend and sell out many concerts in 2011, so that should be a good sign that NASCAR fans will once again come out and attend races so long as they get their money’s worth. …

4. Dale Earnhardt Jr. rebound: Last season (2011) was a good season for Dale Jr. and while he didn’t win a race in 2011, he still made the chase and finished 7th in the final point standings. So in 2012, I believe the #88 will continue to be running up front and contending for wins and make the chase again.

5. Having sponsorship is going to be the key to survival in NASCAR: Many fans might not think of this, but it’s a reality that in NASCAR that there isn’t as many sponsors as there once was especially in the Cup Series. As of now, Red Bull is gone, Best Buy has cut back on sponsorship and moved to the #17 Matt Kenseth RFR Ford Fusion and many other sponsors will followed suit. But the magic question is, since the Cup Series is struggling, what will the Camping World Truck Series and Nationwide Series see for sponsorship in 2012?

Bottom line, money equals racing and without sponsorship, you’re not racing period.

6. Hendrick Motorsports rebound and be the organization to once again beat: I’m looking at Hendrick Motorsports with its four elite drivers (#5-Kasey Kahne, #24-Jeff Gordon, #48-Jimmie Johnson and #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr.) to dominate the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season and win the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship – Just one question, which driver will win the champion in 2012?

7. The Nationwide Series will see more Nationwide Series regulars win races in 2012. Yes you read that correctly, more Nationwide only drivers will win more races in 2012 and there is a reason for that.

First, we have a good crop of Nationwide only drivers in 2012.

Second, several Cup Series drivers aren’t running in the Nationwide Series in 2012. Carl Edwards will be in the booth as far as I know, Brad Keselowski is sharing the driving duties of the #22, Kyle Busch will be limited due to JGR and sponsors request.

And other drivers are running the series full-time without running Cup.

8. These 10 drivers will make the chase for the championship. In no particular order: Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon, Kasey Kahne, Tony Stewart, Matt Kenseth, Kevin Harvick, Brad Keselowski, Denny Hamlin, and Kyle Busch.

But look for Ryan Newman, Carl Edwards, Clint Bowyer, Greg Biffle and Jamie McMurray to contend for the two wild card spots. BTW: I believe that Carl Edwards will have a Denny Hamlin 2011 type season as he is the runner up in the 2011 Cup Series point standings.

9. Kasey Kahne and Austin Dillion will be the Breakout star of 2012 in the Cup Series. Kasey Kahen is due and he is driving for Hendrick Motorsports, need I say more. And Austin Dillion is making his Nationwide Series full-season debut in the #3 Bass Pro Shop RCR Chevrolet Impala SS, I see him contending for wins for sure.

10. Stewart-Haas Racing will find success again in 2012: In 2011, Stewart-Haas Racing had a banner season with Ryan Newman winning a race and making the chase and of course Tony Stewart not only making the chase, but winning 5 races enroute to capturing his third Cup Series title after wining at Homestead and a tiebreaker. In 2012, SHR enters with Tony Stewart having a new crew chief (Steve Addington), Ryan Newman and Danica Patrick, along with Zippy coming on-board as Patrick's crew chief and working with all three teams.

So, how will Danica Patrick do in her 10 race season? Will Stewart contend and repeat as Cup Champion and how will Ryan Newman do? Hendrick Motorsports and Stewart-Haas Racing is the teams to watch in 2012 for competing for the Cup Series Championships and race wins.

Hopefully the 2012 NASCAR season will be less frustrating and more entertaining then both the 2010 and 2011 NASCAR seasons.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Adam Carolla from The Car Show, legendary racecar driver Michael Andretti and American Chopper's Paul Teutel Sr. among others to be on the upcoming season of The Celebrity Apprentice, say what???

(Photo Credit: Autoblog.com via Andrew H. Walker / Getty)

Interesting, I just read (over at Autoblog.com under report) that SPEED Channel might be cancelling the Car Show with Adam Carolla. I watched The Car Show on SPEED and while it was a little weird and it reminded me of Top Gear, it wasn't that bad.

But what really caught my attention was that Adam Carolla, Michael Andretti, American Choppers own villain Paul Teutel Sr. among others will be on the upcoming season of NBC's The Celebrity Apprentice. I will say that I've been watching both The Apprentice and The Celebrity Apprentice for years now especially with John Rich and Trace Adkins being on the show and I actually for the most part enjoy the show. But this season, what I'm really looking forward to is hopefully seeing and hearing Donald Trump say those magical words to Paul Sr. "Your Fired!", its so worth it. I like Sr. vs. Jr. American Chopper, but only because Paul Jr Designs is on it.