Wednesday, February 29, 2012

7 things to take away from Speedweeks 2012 including the Daytona 500: Danica Patrick, Hybrid racing, a blaze, a tweet picture, Biffle playing blocker and NASCAR vs. #48 team.

One word to best describe the 2012 NASCAR Speedweeks at Daytona is “vicious”! Glad there is only four restrictor plate races a year period. With that said, I can summarize Speedweeks 2012 in by these 7 things:

1. Danica Patrick. What a rollercoaster two weeks Danica had from grabbing the pole for the Nationwide Series race to getting wrecked in her Duel race with a hard hit to the inside wall, getting wrecked by her teammate Cole Whitt during the Nationwide race and getting caught up in a lap 2 wreck in the Daytona 500. But she did gain some experience by getting back out in the Daytona 500 to complete laps, the pole and now hopefully a return trip to Phoenix will be a good one for her.

2. Hybrid racing is here to stay throughout the 2012 restrictor plate season. During the off season, NASCAR said that they were trying to get rid of the two-car tandem racing and from what I saw in all of the racing, NASCAR has actually created hydrid racing – it was a mix of pack racing for most of the race and two-car tandem racing. It’s a mixed bag for sure with most fans saying they enjoyed, but not me. Sorry I’m just not a restrictor plate racing fan period.

3. Two first time winners are crowned at Daytona. In Friday night’s Truck race, it was rookie John King who would pick up his first Truck Series victory and in Saturday’s Nationwide Series race, a last lap crash results in, James Buescher capturing his first Nationwide Series victory. Both victories were a good moment after two vicious races.

4. Brad Keselowski gives fans on track pix during red flag of Daytona 500. The main stream media is a huge buzz over this one tweeted picture that Brad Keseloski took with his iPhone in his racecar during a red flag period in the Daytona 500. What some may not understand is, Brad took the picture and tweeted it during a red flag period, not under caution or green flag racing. And as I heard yesterday, thankfully NASCAR wouldn’t penalize Brad for taking the tweet and for now will allow drivers to have their cell phones in their racecars. I wonder how long that will last? But what a great picture, thanks Brad. (Photo Credit: Brad Keseloski's Twitter Account.

5. Racecar meets Jet-dry: Under caution, Juan Montoya’s racecar breaks something in the rear end and sends Montoya out of control and into a jet drying which resulted in a major blaze. But thankfully both Montoya and the jet dryer driver from Michigan walked away and was checked out and released from the care center.

However while some are quick to blame Montoya, I’m not going to. Montoya was following NASCAR rules under caution and was safety trying to caught up to the field when something broke on his car. Once that part broke, he was just a passenger along for the ride. But I would expect NASCAR to review its policy and see what they could do to prevent this freak accident from happening in the future.

6. The final two laps and Greg Biffle trying to win the Daytona 500. Since originally writing this article and publishing it, I have been thinking about it and I'll admit it, I though that Greg Biffle was blocking for his teammate Matt Kenseth to win the Daytona 500 by holding off Dale Earnhardt Jr. because Biffle wasn't making any moves in the final two laps, instead he just stayed his teammate. I'm not saying he wasn't trying to win the Daytona 500, but he didn't make any moves in the final laps to go for the win.

Since then, I have written article on my lifestream ThinkingBrian.com called "I'll admit, after the 2012 Daytona 500, I thought Greg Biffle was blocking for his teammate Matt Kenseth to win the 500...", so I conclude Biffle just couldn’t get their to win, but it would have been better if he had did something of a move a few times to try. And now I say goodbye to the Daytona 500, hello Phoenix and good racing.

7. NASCAR vs. the #48 Cup car of Jimmie Johnson. Yes once again, here were are and for life of me, fans are not getting the full story here as NASCAR is being NASCAR over penalizing the #48 Cup car over C-Posts that might have been raced several times last season with another six race suspension for Knaus, a car chief suspended, 100k fine, and 25 driver and 25 owner points being docked – As a result, Hendrick pays to appeal. I just hope that we don’t see another RCR vs. NASCAR in the appeals, what a nightmare that was.

With all that said, I’ll say it once and I’ll say it again…I’m just glad there are only four restrictor plate races a year period.

Please note on 3/1/2012, I have updated my thoughts on #6 including changing the title and adding a link to some insight on why I think this way.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

2012 NASCAR: Tony Stewart and Matt Kenseth win Gatorade Duel races at Daytona while Kenny Wallace, Michael Waltrip and more DNQ for the Daytona 500.

(Photo Credit: Photo by Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR)

With single-car qualifying last Sunday and the Duels at Daytona in the record books, we now know the 43 starters for the 2012 Daytona 500 and we also know who is out of the Daytona 500 as well.

In the Duel #1, it was Tony Stewart beating Dale Earnhardt Jr. to win the first Duel race, while three separate wrecks would claim several drivers including sending Juan Montoya, Danica Patrick and more to a backup call. And Michael Waltrip will miss the 500 after wrecking off turn 2 going from the apron to the main racing grove. Damn what a hard hit Danica Patrick took on the back straightaway, when she got send flying into the inside wall. She did get out and wall away. I guess her open wheel experience helped her as she took her hands off the steering wheel just before the crash.

But in Duel #2, it was Matt Kenseth in a late race charge to win the second duel in what was a boring race until two laps to go. Interesting seeing the teammates of Greg Biffle and Matt Kenseth slice and dice for the lead, but I know that once Kenseth was left out to dry by Biffle early on, Kenseth wouldn’t run with him late in the race. Plus Kenseth really wanted that win and a tip of the hat to Jimmie Johnson, who pushing Kenseth up to the front to contend for the victory.

DNQ: 09-Kenny Wallace 40-Michael Waltrip 97-Bill Elliott 37-Mike Wallace 23-Robert Richardson and 49-JJ. Yeley

Final thoughts: Very interesting set of 150 mile qualifying races at Daytona with the first race being action packed, while the second race being well boring until the final two laps. But at the end of the day, this was a happy day for some, while others it was the end of chasing Daytona 2012 including fan favorites Kenny Wallace and Michael Waltrip. Both drivers will have to watch from the side lines at the racetrack. Now its time for Sunday’s Daytona 500, let’s go racing.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Preview: Off season movers and shakers and top 10 contenders.

After a very busy off season and with the official kick off to the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season, The Daytona 500 is just days away. NASCAR fans and media are still trying to get use to all of the names and faces that moved around during the off season as well as who are the top 10 contenders to watch in 2012.

The biggest movers and shakers was lead by Kurt Busch. Busch found himself out of a ride after being released by Penske Racing. But in 2012, he will go back to basics and move to a single car team, the #51 James Finch Chevrolet that has Hendrick Motorsports support.

The vacant #22 Shell-Pennzoil Penske Racing Dodge was rumored to be going to several drivers, however it would be A.J. Allmendinger who went from RPM and the #43 to Penske Racing and the #22 Dodge. 2012 does mark as sort of a make it or break it season for the dinger. But personally I think he will rise to the challenge and win his first Cup Series race later this season.

That left the #43 RPM Ford open and it would be a Nationwide regular to be called up to the elite series, Aric Almirola.

Michael Waltrip Racing make headlines not only during the end of the 2011 season, but during the off season as well as they would release David Reutimann, change the #00 to the #15 and add the former RCR driver, Clint Bowyer and 5-hour energy to the seat in a multi-year deal. MWR would also give Mark Martin what he wanted in a part-time 25-race schedule driving the #55 Aaron’s Dream Machine along with Michael Waltrip himself and a few other drivers filling in the remaining races.

But the biggest mover had to be the long awaited driver Kasey Kahne finally joining Hendrick Motorsports to pilot the flagship #5 Chevrolet. Kahne brings his long time crew chief with him.

And of course it isn’t just drivers that are on the move as two big named crew chiefs found new roles as well. Darian Grubb moves for SHR to be Denny Hamlin’s crew chief and Steve Addington takes on a new driver, Tony Stewart at SHR. This should be two very interesting pairings. Addington has his work cut out for him with Stewart, but they have already been jelling after a 2nd place finish in the Shootout.

The Top 10 contenders to watch in the 2012; (In no particular order)
1. Jimmie Johnson: The five-time Cup Champion is looking to rebound in 2012. Of course Johnson finished 6th in the final 2011 point standings. Predictions: 3 wins, making the chase and a top 3 finish in the final point standings
2. Tony Stewart: Stewart is looking to follow up from his 2011 Cup title and 5 wins and with another good season. But he will have to do it with his new crew chief Steve Addington. Prediction: Making the chase, 2 wins in the chase and a top 10 finish in the final point standings.
3. Kevin Harvick: Over the last few seasons, Harvick has been a huge threat for the Cup title as he has finished 3rd in the final standings in last two seasons now. But in 2012, he has a new crew chief and a good team behind him. Prediction: Making the chase, a few wins and another top 5 finish in the final point standings.
4. Kasey Kahne: Despite the fact that Kahne hasn’t made the chase in a while, he is now driving for Hendrick Motorsports driving the #5 Chevrolet and comes with his long time crew chief. But after winning a race for the now bought up Red Bull Racing team, he is poised to win races and make the chase in 2012.
5. Denny Hamlin: Coming off of a bad 2011 season not only for Hamlin, but all 3 JGR cars, 2012 comes with new engines, a new championship winning crew chief in Darian Grubb and no curse. I see Hamlin winning 2 races and making the chase in 2012.
6. Dale Earnhardt Jr.: Junior comes off an impressive 2011 season after making chase and contending for wins several times. And in 2012, I believe Junior will continue with his success by again making the chase and winning at least 2 races this season.
7. Brad Keselowski: 2011 was a very impressive season for bad Brad after winning 3 races, making the chase and finishing 5th in the final points standings and in 2012, I see him building on that by winning races, making the chase and contending for the Cup title.
8. Jeff Gordon: It’s the drive for 5, what else can you say.
9. Matt Kenseth: The quite one that is the best chance Roush-Fenway Racing has to win the championship this season and the most consistent. I never really know what to think of Kenseth, he isn’t on the radar, but by the end of the season, Kenseth will be a contender for the Cup title just like he was in 2011.
10. Kyle Busch: The most outspoken one. 2011 showed that Busch needs to change after even NASCAR decided they had enough with him and parked him at the fall Texas race because of a dangerous incident between him and Hornaday Jr. in the Friday night Truck race. As for 2012 and after winning last Saturday Night’s Budweiser Shootout, it would be a good year for Busch if could just stay out of trouble.
Next, the 2012 Daytona 500 on February 26th, 2012.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

The VW dog and Best Buy commercials are my winners for best 2012 Superbowl game day commercials.

Earlier this week, I posted two Superbowl game day commercials. The first one was "The Dog Strikes Back: VW Commercial", which was a preview to the big game and the other one was the 2011 Superbowl commercial winner, "The Force: VW Commercial".

Well after watching all of the game day commercials, I liked two of them the best:

1. "The Dog Strikes Back: VW Commercial"


This commercial is funny to watch, but its also could be inspiring for some people to get up off the couch (including me) and exercise and diet, get fit and run for our dreams. Yeah I know, a little much, but its still funny and it works for me.

2. "Phone Innovators: Official 2012 Best Buy Game Day Commercial"


I liked the Best Buy commercial from the poking fun at Airlines vs. Alex Baldwin over Words with Friends, I invented instagram and more. Of course that is a little surprising to me considering my feelings on Best Buy aren't all that good and I'm putting it loosely. I've just had a few bad experiences with them, of course that was with the Geek Squad and warranty service. But in this case, Best Buy actually came up with a good commercial and since I still do shop their when needed, I posted the game day ad here.

Now, what's next!?

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Will any of the 2012 Superbowl game day commercials beat last years best "The Force" Volkswagen Commercial

Earlier today I thought I would have a little bit of fun ahead of game day this coming Sunday, I published the latest Volkswagen Commercial, "The Dog Strikes Back in latest 2012 Volkswagen Game Day Commercial...but what's with the bar scene?". However I wonder after last years Volkswagen hit commercial called "The Force" (posted below) that was really cute and the best one, can anyone beat that commercial during the 2012 game day?

The Force: Volkswagen Commercial


By the way advertisers, not all commercials have to be terrible, take a hit, the above VW "The force" commercial is funny to watch and might sell cars.

The Dog Strikes Back in latest 2012 Volkswagen Game Day Commercial...but what's with he bar scene?



A pretty funny Volkswagen commercial with the dog getting fit, but the extension with the bar scene has a lot to be desired. Frankly, VW should have just stayed with the normal version of the dog getting fit to chase the more slimmer VW down the street.

By the way, Go New England Patriots.

Note: Besure to check out my latest project ThinkingBrian.com v3.0: My Lifestream for more of my insight.