Sunday, March 18, 2012

RaceDriven.com turned 7 last week and now celebrates its 1000 posts with a looking back at the top 5 most popular posts.

Last Monday (March 12, 2012), RaceDriven.com turned 7 years old, and now just one week late, RD celebrates with its 1000th post. So with this amazing accomplishment, I take a look back at the top 5 most popular articles over the last 7 years.

1. American Chopper: The Build-Off - Paul Jr. Designs beats out Jesse James and OCC to win Build-Off.: There's no doubt about it, the TV Series American Chopper are some of my biggest posts here on RaceDriven.com. But this article itself was posted on Dec. 6th 2011 and it has over 10,000 page views.

2. TV Spotlight: American Chopper's Sr vs Jr. Production bikes and the Go Daddy bike. UPDATED: Another American Chopper article.

3. 800hp biodiesel 1965 Chevy Impala created on Pimp My Ride is worth a second look.: A dream ride in my book that I would love to own.

4. Kevin Harvick unveil 2011 Budweiser paint scheme, that's cool!: This one was unveiled and within minutes, the pictures was posted on Twitter and then I posted it here on RaceDriven.com.

5. 1970 Road Runner "The Hammer" hammered down at $175,000 at 2010 Barrett-Jackson Orange County.: One hell of a dream ride that was also the star of a movie.

Wild card: Photography: SEMA 2011: Justin Bieber’s Batman-Themed Cadillac CTS-V Coupe.: I couldn't resist posting this wild card considering I like watching Inside West Coast Customs on TV and I thought this modern ride was build just like I would love it myself if I had it built...all blacked out.

Well RaceDriven readers, that's 1000 posts in just over 7 years of blogging, what an adventure. Thanks to all of my readers for coming to RaceDriven.com and being a part of this incredible and challenging journey. See Yeah!

12 Hours of Sebring celebrates 60 years with exciting finish; No surprise, Audi wins in R18.

Shared link: 12 Hours of Sebring celebrates 60 years with exciting finish | Autoblog.com

"My Take" While the 12 Hours of Sebring is one of the biggest races of the 2012 Motorsports season, I couldn't really tell you what happened because the race was only televised on ESPN3.com and since I didn't want to sit in front of my notebook, I didn't watch the most of the race period. Of course that would be a different story if the WatchESPN app for Android worked, but Charter wasn't on the list. No surprise there. But thanks to the Autoblog.com, they posted a good detailed article with a lot of photos. Thanks Autoblog and congrats the Audi on winning the 12 hours of Sebring in a space ship looking R18.

(Photo by Rick Dole/Getty Images via Autoblog.com)

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

NASCAR: Tony Stewart, Jimmie Johnson and Dale Earnhardt Jr. were the headlines from the Kobalt Tools 400 at Las Vegas.

Last Sunday's Kobalt Tools 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, the third race of the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series wasn't much to write home about. However while the race didn't give us those moments for a highlight reel, there were three headlines or drivers' in this case that stood out to me during the course of this race.

1. Dale Earnhardt Jr.: Anyone surprised with that didn't watch the race. Dale Jr. lead basically from the drop of the green flag for a total of 70 laps on Sunday before a pit stop of four tires put him back in dirty air. For some reason or another, he just couldn't make his way up through the field to regain that top spot and ended up finishing in 10TH spot. Its another good run for Dale Jr.,

However it was the incident between Dale Jr. and Mark Martin during the race that have some screaming foul. Personally, its the exact same deal that happened to Dale Jr. back at Michigan when he and Mark Martin were teammates. Dale Jr. was running the high line and Mark Martin was trying to make the pass, but crowded him and one driver would end up in the wall. Dale Jr. was right to hold his line and in this case it was Martin who paid the price. Its unfortunate, but its something everyone is blowing up while these two just need to deal with themselves.

2. Jimmie Johnson: Despite the fact that the #48 Hendrick Motorsports team and Chad Knaus lost their first appeal yesterday in the fist round of the media circus, I don't think it's going to matter as Jimmie Johnson and the #48 team are showing why they are still the team to beat. Right now even with the 25 point penalty and finishing 42ND at Daytona, Johnson and his team have racked off a 4th place finish at Phoenix and a 2nd place finish last Sunday at Las Vegas. And now finds himself 23rd in points, -64 points behind leader Greg Biffle.

One writer asked, how many races before Jimmie Johnson is back in the top 10 in the point standings? My answer was before the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway in last May. But I wouldn't be surprised if it was sooner.

Personally this is entertaining to watch.

3. Tony Stewart: As a Tony Stewart fan myself, normally at this time of the year, Smoke is still warming up for the summer time where he starts to win races, with the exception of 2011 where he wanted until the chase to gets his five wins on the season.

But not in 2012, Tony Stewart is picking up where he left off in 2011 after winning the Cup Title by winning at Las Vegas just 3 races into the season. This win was key for Smoke considering he finished 2ND in Las Vegas last year and has rebound this time around.

Its kind of fitting that he does it with his new crew chief Steve Addington. Of course his former crew chief Darin Grubb won last weekend at Phoenix with his new driver Denny Hamlin. I have to say its great to see both crew chiefs winning already in the season. This should be a cool rivalry (at least in the media's eyes) to watch play out for the rest of the 2012 NASCAR season.

Now that Las Vegas is behind us for yet another year, its off to Thunder Valley and the day race at Bristol Motor Speedway.Personally any race at Bristol Motor Speedway needs to be under the lights. I hate this race being in the daytime and so early in the year. It just doesn't pack the grandstands and add the same excitement that the August night race. But its still a short track race and it still should be good.

And Brian Vickers will be in the #55 Toyota at Bristol, does the words "oh brother" or "fireworks" come to mind? I'll leave it at that.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

5 things to take away from the Subway Fresh Fit 500 at Phoenix including Denny Hamlin, NASCAR, and Jimmie Johnson all rebound while “You Can’t Fix Stupid”.

After last week’s Daytona 500, I said on ThinkingBrian.com (my lifestream) "goodbye Daytona, hello to the real start of the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season at Phoenix" and I was dead on with that one. The Subway Fresh Fit 500 at Phoenix International Raceway was one hell of a race to watch and fans saw the return of some good old fashion short track racing on the 1 mile unique track.

But in watching the Phoenix Cup race, I noticed a theme if you will, the word “rebound” seemed to come up pretty often as well as “EFI”. So here are 5 things to take away from the race.

1. “You can’t fix stupid!” What a great saying because it’s so true and unfortunately for Jeff Gordon who asked his spotter to ask the #42-Juan Montoya’s spotter if this is really how the #42 is going to race him and the spotter responded back with I’m standing right next to him and I’ll try, but “You can’t fix stupid”. (Not exact quote, except “You can’t fix stupid” part)

2. NASCAR rebounds. Last Sunday-Monday-Tuesday’s Daytona 500 was a complete nightmare for so many from a two-hours red flag for Montoya hitting the jet dryer, several wrecks, the #48 penalty and more, but the Subway 500 was a complete 180 degree turn around where fans saw the return of good old fashion short track racing and a good battle for the victory. Believe me when I say it, I was entertained and the grandstands were 80-90% full and that’s a good sign.

3. Denny Hamlin rebounds from a hard hitting 2011. I mean what can you say, after 2011, JGR made changes within the #11-Denny Hamlin including bring on a new crew chief in Darin Grubb. This combination so far is working well after a good speedweeks at Daytona and now a victory at Phoenix.

4. Jimmie Johnson rebounds. Jimmie Johnson came in with somewhere around negative 23 points in the Cup point standings because of a 42nd place finish at Daytona and that still pending 25 point penalty form the C-Post deal at Daytona. But on Sunday, Johnson rebounds to finish 4th after running well all day long. But I will stress to say that Johnson does have a long road back to the top 10 in points.

5. EFI. This new Electronic Fuel Injection or EFI for short is still a work in progress and while some teams have figured it out, others including the #14-Tony Stewart haven’t after Smoke found out that when he shut the engine off to save fuel, he couldn’t turn the engine back on. I believe it was the kill switch and it needed a reboot is what the explanation was. It’s a work in progress ladies and gentlemen.

Now all that is left to say is, NASCAR teams leave Phoenix in the rearview mirror and travel about 400 miles up to Las Vegas for next Sunday’s Kobalt Tools 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway…

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Why Jimmie Johnson's #48 Cup car Daytona penalty may not be as cut and dry as NASCAR thinks.

Every since not only February 17th, when NASCAR announced that they had found the C-Posts on the #48-Jimmie Johnson's Lowe's Chevrolet Impala SS illegal and made the team replace them. But earlier this week when NASCAR handed down there standard penalties for COT infractions (crew chief gets six race suspension, probation, 100k fine and docked 25 driver and 25 owner points), I have have been thinking about the illegal parts and whether or not the #48 Hendrick Motorsports team can win there appeal.

I mean let's think about it for a moment:
- NASCAR didn't eject Knaus right after they found the illegal parts. In previous infractions at Daytona, NASCAR has ejected the crew chief at least three different times, but nothing this time.
- NASCAR made there ruling on based on just a visual inspection, not a template inspection too.
- NASCAR didn't impound the racecar and make the team go to a backup. Of course the #48 hadn't even been presented for inspection yet. The racecar was just in the garage area.
- Rick Hendrick's comments that this is the same racecar that Jimmie Johnson raced several times last season including when he won the Spring Talladega Cup Series race and that the car had just been repainted.

In looking at everything, I think that once the appeals board hears the appeal, I believe that besides the media circus that will be happening outside of the building especially if Hendrick has to appeal all the way up the chair like RCR did with the #33 car after New Hampshire in 2010, I see either these penalties being cut in half or thrown out completely. Cut in half seems more likely, but you never know. Just a thought.

Related Articles:
- Why isn't anyone talking about Rick Hendrick defending the #48 car penalty and that this is the 2011 Talladega win car that is being penalized | ThinkingBrian.com