AJ Allmendinger to bring in his own experts for Sample B

Not unexpectedly AJ has opted to get the Sample B tested from his Kentucky random drug test that was flagged by NASCAR. This week the unknown suspense was vaguely named as a stimulant.

The latest on this story is that AJ will bring in his own medical and testing personnel as well as his lawyer to oversee the process. This nuance will push Sample B testing into next week.

Sam Hornish, Jr., will be the wheelman for the No. 22 this weekend at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

Here are more details on this evolving story. Click here.
Here is some background on the NASCAR policy and process with drug testing. Click here.
Here is a draft of the actual policy that the Charlotte Observer posted. Click here. 

On a personal note I am hoping that AJ is okay, not using, and will be back soon! He is a driver with so much promise.

Late driver switch due to failed drug test: AJ Allmendinger out, Sam Hornish, Jr. in

OK so drama unfolded prior to dropping the green flag for the Coke Zero 400. With bearly two hours notice Sam Hornish, Jr. was flown from Charlotte to Daytona to race the No. 22 car after NASCAR announced that AJ Allmendinger failed his drug test in Kentucky.

Stay tuned for more news that will surely take some interesting twists and turns. Click here for the announcement.

Tighten your belts race fans. I think if last night’s Nationwide race is any indication, we are in for an exciting night. Enjoy the race!!

Rights & Lefts? Road racing in Sonoma

As I review my pre-race fantasy predictions, I realize I am at my perennial crossroads when it comes to road-racing: do you go with strong road-racing skills or strong equipment or both? Right now, I’m thinking both.

My huge dilemma right now is choosing between two very decent road-racers with almost exact records: Clint Bowyer with an average finish of 11.2 and Juan Pablo Montoya with an impressive 9.0. Normally this would be a non-brainer, you go with Juan, former Indy 500 champion and Formula 1 racer extraordinaire. The man knows how to turn left and right, save fuel and pass in the corners. However, track position is key here and Juan hasn’t had a stellar season. Juan starts in 12 and Clint starts in 6th. Hmm.

I’m thinking Juan is a very low risk. He has to get a win to even be in contention for the Chase, so he edges out Clint in the more motivated category. OK. Juan it is; I think ….

Curious where I started my fantasy pick pondering? Check out this week’s NASCAR Fantasy Fusion column. Click Here.

Enjoy the race, and those rare left and right turn combinations!

And now for something completely different? Or is it more of the same? A continuation of the Kurt Busch saga …

When we met last Kurt Busch was relegated to the NASCAR version of time-out — booted out of the car for being completely rude with a media rep and an extension of his probation. Now it appears as though his bad behavior may get him a sponsor. Yup, that’s right –  rewarded for being bad. Any two year old knows something is weird when that happens.

Anyway so who is the potential sponsor — the Jerry Springer Show. Hmm. Somehow this makes sense all of a sudden. Check out the story here and stay tuned!

Anger Management – NASCAR style: The Kurt Busch Danica Patrick/Sam Hornish Saga

Hmm. Like we needed more drama when we get to Dover International Speedway! Seriously?! I think the Monster Mile creates its own unique set of interesting twists and turns, quite literally, not sure if we need anymore. But alas Kurt Busch hasn’t reached his epiphany yet in knowing how to control his behavior and Danica Patrick has continued an interesting rivalry with Sam Hornish.

The two plot lines played out last Saturday at NASCAR’s Nationwide Race. Kurt got rightfully punished by an extended NASCAR probation until December 31. Bad news for Kurt Busch who doesn’t have a written contract, but good news for David Reutimann who will be driving the No. 51 car at Pocono Raceway this weekend. Here’s a story on Kurt’s probation. Click here. Stay tuned for more Kurt news after his “come to Jesus” meeting with Phoenix Racing owner James Finch.

The Danica/Sam story dates way back to go-kart days when Sam was 16 and Danica was 13. Danica dive-bombed Sam to try to take the lead and they wrecked during the championship race. Imagine that. Here is a story on the origination of this unfolding saga. Click here. We’ll just have to wait to se how that one goes. Here’s some video on the Danica/Sam tango at Dover.

Geez. and my family still thinks that racing is boring because they think the cars just go around and around. Racing is an amazing sport plus there are all these fascinating sagas that unfold almost every day!

Enjoy the next segment to the 2012 racing season, and of course, the next episode to the many story lines that are yet to come!

Fed Ex 400 – Monster Mile day of pit stall showdowns & fast racing

Dover International Speedway is my favorite NASCAR track, and not just because it is my home track. It is a premier short-track with all the fixins’: banked corners; high speeds; and a challenging pit road, as well as great family activities all weekend long. If you haven’t been here you need to put it on your punch list. To learn more here is a link to Dover’s Monster Mile crash course. 

So what’s in store for fans at today’s Sprint Cup race? Well at a minimum a day of fast, fast racing and more than a bit of serious finesse from the drivers. Here is my track overview and predictions on race standouts for today. Click here.

I watched qualifying at the track yesterday and Jimmie Johnson’s car was not only fast, but looked the smoothest. The car looked vacuumed to the track. Mark Martin was, of course, the fastest, but I’m not sure if Jimmie Johnson’s crew may put him over the top. But it sure will be interesting.

Enjoy and the race and let me know what you think about the racing at Dover.

Talladega Flashback: the Good, the Bad & the Snarky!

Well we all know that Talladega Superspeedway is anything, but boring. We expect the inevitable “big one,” the flaring tempers, blown engines, overheating radiators, diverse racing styles like “pack tendem,” but really last weekend was over the top.

The racing was definitely “good,” with an exciting finish to the Sprint Cup race. Way to go Brad Keselowski for the win with a push from Kyle Busch no less, and the second win this season for Bred. This race was also the “bad” for Jimmie Johnson, Tony Stewart, Ryan Newman and Kevin Harvick. Here is a nice recap if you missed it. Click here

The “bad” actually started on Saturday during the Nationwide race when Eric McClure got caught in the “big one” and needed to be cut out of his car and airlifted to the hospital. Fortunately it was just an overnight stay, but he suffered a concussion and internal bruising. So glad he is okay. Here is video of the crash. Click here. Jeff Green will be subing for Eric this weekend at Darlington.

Okay so for the snarky, 2012 Sprint Cup champ Tony Stewart gave an awesome post race press conference, delivering a dry and completely sarcastic monologue which is hysterical. I saw it while exercising in the gym. Even with the sound down it was hysterical. I nearly fell off the treadmill. Here’s the transcript. This is what happens when Smoke gets snarky. Click here.

Though not as funny as Tony Stewart’s shenanigans, Kurt Busch drove the Ricky Bobby Talladega Nights “Me” car and carried the gag through the race with movie script lines and a stuffed animal (cougar) in the car. Interesting. Oh and yeah he ended up doing an amazing lateral slide and finished in 20th. Click here to view the story and paint scheme.

All in all a very interesting race weekend, and I’m thinking Darlington isn’t going to be a walk in the park either!

Hoping for a safe, full race at Talladega!

Although I am definitely a short-track racing fan, there’s something about Talladega Superspeedway. It is  my favorite “pick and pray” track. I pick my drivers and pray that they don’t get caught up in the big one, and it all comes down to the final laps. Qualifying and practice doesn’t matter at all.

Yesterday at the Nationwide Series race we saw clearly how horrific the big one can be as Eric McClure wrecked hard and was airlifted to the hospital. Thankfully he is okay. Kudos to the track emergency personnel who practice weekly for just this type of incident for their quick response and for the safety crew who got the track buttoned up and ready to go green in just under 20 minutes.

In the end Joey Logano pulled off an exciting win splits seconds in front of Kyle Busch. If you missed the race, check out these links:

Eric McClure’s hard lick. Click here and for video here.

Joey Logano’s win. Click here.

Yesterday’s race also demonstrated the morphed style of racing — pack-tandem! Scary. So far today’s race has been a bit tempered. Hopefully the weather is done with. I think we’ll have enough issues with keeping the engines cooled and dealing with typical Dega racing. Good luck to all the drivers and the fans who will be peeking through their fingers at the end of today’s race.

Enjoy!

Top dogs at Martinsville? Well there will be 50,000 of then this weekend!

It is hard to talk about Martinsville Speedway without talking about this famous track hot dog. I must admit I took a peek when I was watching the race a few years back, but never had one. The “don’t eat red meat” thing got in the way. But if I did ….

Though I can’t comment on its taste what I think is really cool about it is the respect for tradition. It will be served exactly as it always has — on waxed paper — and at a nominal cost $2! And don’t go messing with tradition. I remember when they tried in 2004 and you’d think the track front office was suggesting that fans sell their souls to the devil. Yup, didn’t go over big, so they can to revert their decision to switch vendors before it actually happened. Just the mere mention frenzied the fans. Gotta love it!

So what’s in this hot dog? Well ..  cole slaw, chili, fresh onions and a few other secret ingredients. Hmm. Guess they aren’t tellin’!

Click here for the scoop on this fan favorite. And if you are at the race, have a hot dog for me!

It’s Bristol Baby: Peeking through my fingers like a horror movie!

Bristol Motor Speedway is a great track for the uninitiated. If an infrequent or new NASCAR fan watches a Bristol race and doesn’t get it at the end, well then I think it is time to call the doctor because we need to check for a pulse!

This .533 mile track is famous for major calamities or “big ones” as they are commonly known in the sport, which collect multiple cards. Sorta like the one that has already happened at Turn 1. Click here to check out the video.

At Bristol the cars whip around the track at a 15 second clip and the last six races here had a margin of victory under one second. Oh, did I mention that despite the fast paced action it is possible to drive through the field from the back to  become a contender?

Yup, Bristol races are history-making and breath-taking. Did you know that Bristol is the fourth largest sports venue in the United States, and the eighth largest in the world, housing up to 165,000 people? Check out this cool wikipedia entry.

Enjoy the race and embrace the fact that if you are sitting at the edge of your seat, peeking through your fingers to watch the race — you are not alone!

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