Denny Hamlin questions the wisdom of the almighty NASCAR!

The NASCAR machine is indeed far-reaching. But seriously, fining a driver for speaking his mind? For an organization that prides itself in being all about the fans and competition this blogger thinks fining Denny Hamlin is one big bone-headed response, not to mention a seriously bad public relations move.

The issue now is they can’t put the genie back in the bottle, and back down. With Denny Hamlin appealing the $25,000 fine this stalemate can’t end well for anyone. NASCAR clearly over-reacted, and if they aren’t careful they will tarnish their brand at a time when the economy is recovering and new fans are being attracted to the sport.

Click here to read more details.

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Even NASCAR can’t mess with Mother Nature!

NASCAR changes rules all the time — ever tweaking for safety and fan engagement. However, even the all-powerful NASCAR can’t circumvent the laws of nature — human or physics. As my mind meanders back to the season’s debut weekend at Daytona that fact is what stands out.

The laws of physics tells us that cars traveling close to 200 mph with improved aerodynamics have a 100% chance of busting apart when they crash. Yet when they do indeed crash we act surprised, and of course, NASCAR goes into inspection and investigation mode. Raising catchfences and doing track safety improvements are crucial. Fan and driver safety is paramount. But even NASCAR can’t prevent the inevitable crashes. Thankfully no one died. Thoughts and prayers to those fans still in the hospital.

Click here for Video & Recap

In addition to lacking power over the laws of physics, likewise NASCAR is powerless over the actions of humans, specifically in the area of stupidity. It is important to note though NASCAR can yank a driver out of contention when their humanness bites them in the butt. Thus is the saga of Jeremy (wait for it …) Clements. Now you can say say “who?” Jeremy is a lesser known, well at least until his ignorance made news …  driver in the Nationwide Series who used a racial slur in earshot of a NASCAR PR staffer during an interview with an MTV blogger. Perhaps Jeremy will learn something during his specially-designed NASCAR program that he must complete before being permitted to return.

Here’s a story about driver reactions. Click here.

Well what NASCAR lacks in omniscience it makes up in responsible reactions. Hail, Hail, NASCAR!

Texas Story Lines: Chase race of the crew chiefs

When I think about my expectations for the AAA Texas 500, and for that matter, the two other races that will complete this Sprint Cup season, it comes down to one thing: the crew chiefs. This is undoubtedly the Jimmie vs. Brad show. I don’t believe that something drastic can happen to these top dogs that would allow Clint Bowyer or Kasey Kahne to truly contend for the championship. Jimmie Johnson’s equipment and team in general are a tad stronger and better financed than Brad Keselowski, but not enough to tip the scales. NASCAR has pretty much evened up the competition as far as equipment goes (but don’t tell that to Joe Gibbs Racing!)

Jimmie Johnson  has proven himself and  so has Brad Keselowski. This 28-year-old has the maturity and driving talent of a seasoned pro. So it will come down to the crew chiefs in my humble opinion.

Hmm. Chad Knaus vs. Paul Wolfe. What do you think?
Bio of Paul Wolfe: Click here.

The slightly older Chad Knaus bio. Click here.
Enjoy the race!

Monster Mile-ing the Chase: Round 3

Dover International Speedway is my home track and an awesome place to see a race. It is a high-banked, concrete short-track that gobbles up drivers who aren’t wearing their “big boy pants,” as Jimmie Johnson would say.

This race is all about the whole package — the driver, the car and the entire crew. Drivers who are okay about slipping around do well here. A tricky pit road entrance can mess up a driver’s good run though. The crews who can keep up with the track changes and not make mistakes may ultimately make the difference.

So what’s my prediction? Denny Hamlin, Kyle Busch and a dark horse — perhaps Martin Truex, Jr. are going to factor greatly. So you may have noticed that I have not mentioned Jimmie Johnson yet. Well that’s a no-brainer. Dover and 5-Time go together.

My fantasy picks were: Jimmie Johnson; Martin Truex, Jr.; Joey Logano; and Sam Hornish, Jr.

Enjoy the race!!

Desperado time for Ryan Newman and the wildcard guys

The old Eagles song keeps playing in my head as I ponder my final picks for today’s NASCAR Sprint Cup race. Check out my pre-qualifying fantasy pondering here.

The Magic Mile will be either majestic or disastrous for drivers digging for their first win. Considering the fact that this is a short race on a flat track that runs like a short track (weird, I know!) this is sure to be one crazy race.

Look for Ryan Newman, Carl Edwards, and Jeff Gordon to make some chancy moves. It is go-time for these drivers if they expect to make the Chase.

Hold on tight and enjoy the race!

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!!

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.

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