Monday, June 30, 2008
Thursday, June 26, 2008
This week: LENOX Industrial Tools 301
2007 winners: D. Hamlin (summer race); C. Bowyer (fall race)
The NASCAR schedule does not venture into the northeast save the two Loudon events. There is a good reason for this. New England sucks taint. The people who reside in New England all should be atomic donkey punched, then told that Dropkick Murphy's are a bunch of fags. Goddamn northeast. It's too damn cold, the entire region thinks they are entitled to cheer for Boston sports teams, Bill Simmons' articles are too fucking long, and the people sound ridiculous . The accent of your common northeastern sounds like a terrifying merger of Sean Patrick Flanery, Will Hunting and a guy with Down Syndrome. Everybody north of New York sounds like this tool:
It doesn't take Humpy Wheeler to see why the folks down Daytona-way would want to steer clear of the northeast at all costs. But, alas the infinite wisdom of NASCAR shines through, and the northeast has their own race. Clearly this is just meant to prevent hooliganism in the streets of Bean Town. (The four Boston stock car fans would unite and mobilize and terrorize the city. You know, in addition to the everyday band of Micks who traverse the back alleys of Southy.)
So, this is the kind of fan who will be filling the stands (or lingering by the vendors) at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Sunday. That should be a kick for those making the trip north from the normal states in the union. By the way, it looks like tickets are still available. Go figure.
The epicenter of Boston sports-hood is located at 4 Yawkey Way. That's where you will find the most absurd, nonsensical, fans in all of sports. Fucking Fenway Park and the fucking Red Sox. Ever since that team started winning (and that damn Jimmy Fallon-Drew Barrymore film came out) the "Nation" has reached stratospheric levels of gayness that is only surpassed by general ignorance towards baseball. These people are more interested in milling about the ballpark snack stands and talking to other "Nation"-members about god knows what, than actually watching baseball. Sure, the "Nation" travels well, but they don't watch the games or sit in their seats. They stand by hot dog carts and talk about how "wicked" Kevin Youkilis is, instead of actually watching the man bat. It's weird.
*What to know:Could be boring: This race (more so than every other NASCAR race) has the potential to be incredibly boring. The track is one-mile in length and has no real banking to speak off. It is like the Milwaukee Mile but without the beer that makes a boring event seem riveting. The track is not incredibly aero-sensitive and feels like a short track in that regard. But, the reason short tracks are interesting is because they are short and conducive to close racing. Loudon has enough space to take this out of the equation, opening the door for a 301-mile snooze fest.
The extra mile thing is lame: The sponsor for this weekend's event is a Lenox Industrial Tools. (A leading manufacturer of premium power tool accessories, torches, solder and band saw blades, according to their website.) This company is commented to"going the extra mile," which is apparently not just corporate jargon. For this race, an extra mile is being tacked on to the end of the normal 300-mile distance. Thus the Lenox Industrial Tools 301 is born. That is not to be confused with the annual Arrons 499 at Talladega or less-annual Save-a-Lot 47 contested at Bummblefuck Speedway in Schenectady.
*For the Gamblers
Kyle Busch is 6-1 to win.
We like the field at 35-1.
* 2008 Official Driver Standings
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
It's almost as lame as publishing the same article on the same day. That's exactly what happened yesterday as both released their not-so-highly anticipated mid-season"grade cards." Here's a handy chart to outline what these blokes think about the season of these IndyCar teams:
|Dreyer and Reinbold||C-||C|
Make note that "I" indicates incomplete and "n/a" means that Oreovicz forgot to give this team a review and grade. We know Coyne's team hasn't set the world ablaze, but come on Oreovicz, give 'em a grade.
Next week both Miller and Oreovicz will be releasing feature articles on a predetermined subject. We're thinking plastics.
With Dixon and Wheldon hitting the books, Target/Chip Ganassi gets an 'A'
MILLER: IndyCar’s Mid-Season Grades
Monday, June 23, 2008
Here's the "off the top of our head" list of drivers who have lost their lives since we've been cognizant of the great sport of motor racing:
Sadly another name can be added: Scott Kalitta.
This is just an abbreviated list and is only meant to show what folks should already know: Motor racing is different than most other sports. We watched many of these guys die on television. They died in front of an audience. They died in the name of competition and entertainment. People die racing cars. People don't die playing baseball or basketball. That's just the nature of the beast.
Some claim the inherent dangers of motor racing are the allure of the sport. Danger draws people to compete and danger draws spectators.
Motor racing (as with any sport) is a distraction for fans. It is meant to be fun. People watch races on television and attend events because motor sports are entertaining. If your job sucks, your wife is fat, your kid is a fuck-up and your house is a piece of shit, you can always watch a motor race on TV, down a six-pack on a Sunday afternoon and be more content with your self-being than you were three hours previous.
That all can be tossed out the window when someone is killed at a racetrack.
Last weekend in Englishtown, New Jersey, Kalitta lost his life behind the wheel of a Funny Car.
As with most deaths (excluding the few and far between Field of Dreams-esque reincarnations), there will be no bringing Kalitta back. Which, from what we understand, is quite a shame. From the outpouring of remembrance-themed writings, video tributes and firsthand recollections of his life, Scott Kalitta sounded like a real racers-racer. We did not know him, nor have any direct connection to people who did. In person, we maybe saw Kalitta race three times. Doesn't matter. When the inherent fun of something is taken away, no matter how distant the victim (in this case) seems, it spoils that activity and makes people rethink why they like something.
There is an old sports saying that goes something like:
A bad day at the ballpark, beats a good day almost anywhere else.
(Ed- We're sure to be fucking this up. Apologies to the old men who sit in parks across the nation spewing these meaningless sayings to anyone unlucky enough to be within earshot).
This is completely not applicable to motor racing. A "bad day" at the racetrack is worse than a bad day anywhere else. A bad ballpark day for a player is 0-4 at the dish and a few errors. A bad ballpark day for a fan is a spilling a beer and getting the trots from an $11 cheesesteak.
A bad day at the race track is what happened last Saturday in New Jersey.
Many clichés get tossed about when drivers are killed. "They died doing what they loved" is our favorite because it -like all good clichés- is completely true. Kalitta was somewhat fortunate in that sense. But that probably holds little solace for his friends and family at this point. Not to mention the fans who poured into Englishtown for a weekend fun and excitement, who left feeling sick and punched in the balls.
When reduced to its core, motor racing is about having fun. Sure, at its highest levels, racing is big fucking business. Millions of dollars are thrown around, sponsors need to be pleased, payroll needs to be made, but even at the pinnacle of the sport, owners, crew guys and drivers are there because it's a bloody hoot. Guys like Roger Penske, Don Prudhomme and Richard Childress got into the sport because they had a passion for racing. You wouldn't have that sort of passion without it being a little fun.
So, when the fun stops, and a huge dose of reality sets in, it takes people back. You reevaluate why you enjoy motor racing and what you gain from the sport. You think about other sports not dealing with this sort of thing.
You always return to motor racing. It's like malt liquor. It is just too good not to have in your life. You conclude you love motor racing because it's fucking sweet and you enjoy the hillbilly stigma attached to telling people you follow the sport. And there is no other place you would want to spend a weekend than at a motoring circuit. Period.
It's this passion that makes racing-types different. We are able to mourn the loss of a racers-racer, make safety changes in hopes that Kalitta will be the last to lose his life, but damn well know he wont be.
Danger, part of the allure? Maybe, but if that's the only reason you follow the sport, you are not truly a fan. You don't have a clue. You are like those kids in high school who dress in black and end up shooting-up chemistry class. You suck.
Anyway, before we start to ramble further-
Cheers to you, Scott Kalitta. Enjoy the great smoky burnout in the sky.
*all photos from nhra.com
TF: Tony Schumacher
FC: Tim Wilkerson
PS: Greg Anderson
PSB: Chip Ellis
Somber champs Schumacher, Wilk, Anderson, Ellis crowned in E-Town
- The Sprint Cup Series did its bi-annual road course thing, as Kyle Busch bested the best of the road race "aces" to take his first twisty track victory. David Gilliland impressed the hell out of many people by running an honest second, Jeff Gordon rounded out the top-three. Marcos Ambrose had a bloody good run going with the Wood Brothers' entry only to have contact and an subsequent mechanical cock-up to ruin an otherwise sterling Cup debut.
Busch breaks slump, earns first road-course win in Sprint Cup
- The Nationwide fellows took to the Milwaukee Mile where "Hot" Carl Edwards (complete with new crew chief) was victorious. It had been 36 races since his last N'wide win, despite winning the championship last year. The second coming of Christ in a stockcar finished p2.
Change sparks Edwards to victory at Milwaukee Mile
- The IndyCar Series was in water-logged Iowa for the Iowa Corn Indy 250. Dan Wheldon (the birthday boy!) won. Big 'hataboy to rookie-Hideki Mutoh for a career best second. A bigger 'hataboy to Marco Andretti for not wrecking anyone. A.J. Foyt IV had a solid p5 effort.
INDYCAR: Birthday Boy Wheldon Wins at Iowa
- It was a Ferrari one-two at the French GP (Massa, Raikkonen). Jarno Trulli finished third. Well done, Toyota. Massa leads the title race by two points over Robert Kubica. The Speedtv broadcast of this race was tape-delayed on Fox Sunday afternoon. David Hobbs+network TV= outstanding.
Ferrari's Massa wins French GP
- The Grand-Am Series had a romp through the Ohio countryside at Mid Ohio. Defending DP-champs Jon Fogarty and Alex Gurney got their first wins of the year for Bob Stallings' team. We didn't watch the race, but understand it was raining. Farnbacher Loles Racing took GT honors (drivers Leh Keen and Eric Lux). Read about it yourself.
Gurney, Fogarty Shine in Mid-Ohio Rain for First Victory of 2008
Farnbacher Loles Racing - Mid-Ohio Win!
Thursday, June 19, 2008
This week: The Toyota/Save Mart 350
Location: Infineon Raceway (Sonoma, CA)
Distance: 350 k/110 laps
2007 winner: J. Montoya
Infineon (formally known as Sears Point) is located in Sonoma, which is the epicenter of the American-wine world. (The irony of perhaps the biggest beer-swilling, unrefined sport in the world invading wine and cheese country is noted. Here.) As counter intuitive as it seems, a few big names on the NASCAR scene are involved in the wine world. Jeff Gordon has his own wine label. Gordon Wine options include a Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, whatever the hell that means. Richard Childress has a full blown wine empire with his own winery, extensive bottle options, and impressive collection of jams and jellies ($8.95 for the options to the left). Though more known for his exploits in the Indy Car and Formula 1 worlds, 1967 Daytona 500 winner Mario Andretti has quite the wine conglomerate himself. Like any self-respecting (we mean stereotypical) Italian-American, Mario has a full list of wine-pasta pairings for visitors to his Napa vineyards. We recommend the the Estate Reserve Chardonnay with a full bowl of macaroni noodle-o's. Bada. Bing.
View Larger Map
*What to know:
Qualify to win: You can't win this race without starting near the front. The crack team at Jayski told us that the winner of this event has started from inside the top-10 78% of the time. That would equate to 15 of 19 Infineon races. Sure, one year ago Juan Montoya won this event from the 32rd starting position, but that was a fuel mileage thing. He should have run out of gas with about three laps to go, but didn't. It was weird. That is called an outlier. This year's winner will come from inside the top-10 qualifiers.
Roadies: Whenever NASCAR does the road course thing, a host of "road racing aces" are employed to show their stuff. Often times, a team will make a one-off appearance at these events with the hopes their hot shoe can pull off a miracle and beat the likes of Jeff Gordon and Tony Stewart. This never happens. So don't expect Brian Simo to win on Sunday. The other side of deal is when a full time team sits their normal driver for the weekend and brings in an "ace" to fill his spot. These teams can win. They have the experience of racing every weekend with the Car of Tomorrow and their crew should be polished in the pits. Add a fuckin' quick driver to that equation and good things can happen. Example (though the Wood Brother's race almost every weekend in Cup, you get the point): Marcos Ambros takes over the Wood Brothers Racing #21 this weekend. Good team + good driver= good results.
*Who to watch:
Kasey Kahne: Historically awful at road courses. Like, really bad. He has never had a top-10 on a road course, yet somehow is starting from the pole this weekend. Momentum is something that Kahne has. Two wins this season, with two straight top-three runs to boot. Dodge appears to be fast at Sonoma, with four of the top-six starters all grabbing life by the horns. If Kahne doesn't toss the thing into the sand trap on lap-one, he should be a factor.
*For those heading to the track:
Pertinent tailgating information is here. Be warned: No alcohol may be brought into the facility. Beer is available for purchase at several locations throughout the raceway. Hopefully you knew this before heading to the track. Holy shit, that's lame. Since you can't byo, maybe you should pass on booze altogether (?!) and hit up the karting facility at Infineon. You can pretend to be Tony Stewart, only without the beard or gut. Or with the beard and gut, you know, depending on body size and lifestyle choices.
|3||Dale Earnhardt Jr.|
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
Our love of strangely elongated, military-type transporters is only surpassed by our feelings for smoke-filled burnouts. This gives us the best of both.
We can't say with any degree of certainty what this thing is, but the the allure of 10-second 1/4 mile passes makes up for any ambiguity.
The beast also happens to be powered by the venerable Ford Windsor. Sound of growing half erection.
Bid early; bid often.
*ONE OF A KIND* Mail Jeep/Gasser/Ratrod
Monday, June 16, 2008
- The 24 heures du Mans at Circuit de la Sarthe (just typing in all that French makes us feel strangely feminine and frog-like) was faithfully contested on Speedtv this weekend. Class winners are as follows:
LMP 1: Audi Sport North America (Allan McNish, Rinaldo Capello, Tom Kristensen)
LMP 2: Van Merksteijn Motorsport Equipe Verschuur (Peter van Merksteijn, Jeroen Bleekemolen, Jos Verstappen)
GT 1: Aston Martin Racing (David Brabham, Antonio García, Darren Turner)
GT 2: Risi Competizione (Gianmaria Bruni, Mika Salo, Jaime Melo).
The much hyped Team Peugeot Total-entries finished second and third overall, unable to keep Audi-pace during the rain.
LE MANS: Audi, Aston, Risi The Big Winners At Le Mans
-Fuel mileage played a large role in Dale Earnhardt's victory in Michigan on Sunday. Like, a really huge role, as pretty much no one expected him to have enough gas to survive the green-white-checkered finish. So, Chevy won in Michigan for the first time since 2001, and Junior won for the first time in 76 races (proving us wrong on both fronts, damn).
Sweet relief: Dale Jr. claims first win in 76 races
-The second coming of Christ in a stock car-Joey Logano-won in his third outing in the Nationwide Series at Kentucky (though if you ask the folks at Deadspin, he won at Dover). It looks like Christ will get to make a few Cup starts because of his success. Good for him.
Logano makes Nationwide history with Kentucky triumph
- The Truck Series put on the most entertaining race of the weekend (as per norm). Erik Darnell won by about an inch over Johnny Benson. Then Ron Hornaday tried to beat Kyle Busch's ass. Good stuff.
Darnell wins by inches in photo finish at Michigan
Sunday, June 15, 2008
Ron Hornaday is the latest to set his sights upon the younger-Busch, after Kyle ran him over (twice) in Saturday's Truck Series event in Michigan.
Also, a big thumbs down to speedtv.com for disabling the embed feature on their video clips. Fuck that.
TRUCKS: Hornaday Post-Race Interview on SPEED
Thursday, June 12, 2008
1) Residents of MI have no concept of the rules, regulations, and common courtesies associated with operating an automobile. None.
2) As outlined in HBO's phenomenal documentary The Rivalry, the entire state of Michigan smells "like hot-dog water."
3) People in Michigan are still very upset about the outcome of the Toledo War. (This is not a joke.)
*What to know:
Start anywhere: Winning at MIS only has one prerequisite: you must start from the inside the top-30. The last two winners at MIS started from 12th and 15th respectively (C. Edwards and Ku. Busch). In fact, starting on the pole has recently proved detrimental, as both '07 bell-enders finished outside the top-25. The track is so wide and multi-grooved, that well handling cars should have no problem going from back to front and vice versa. Consider 2000, where Tony Stewart won this race from the 28th starting position. You just gotta be in it to win it.
Foreigners invade: For the first time in the history of stock car racing at MIS, a foreign marque has a better than average shot at winning. A Toyota victory in the backyard of Ford, General Motors, et al would be a major slap in the face to NASCAR's old guard. Clearly Joe Gibbs Racing is the front runner to field a winning car on Sunday. (Both Denny Hamlin and Tony Stewart have career-average MIS finishes inside the top 15. Only points-leader Kyle Busch has had limited success in Brooklyn.) Red Bull Racing has even looked racy of late, plus Brian Vickers and Dave Blaney both scored top-10's in the second MIS event last season. At this point in the season, a Toyota win (regardless of the track) should shock no one. MIS is not an exception.
Chevrolet sucks: The last time a Chevy pulled into victory lane at MIS? 2001. June 10th, to be more specific. Since that race, 13 Cup events have been contested at MIS, with Ford claiming six wins and Dodge taking seven. Don't bet on Hendrick Motorsports to break out of their slump this weekend. Sorry, Junior-Nation. Roush-Fenway and Penske will be the only hope for flag-wavers.
1) Kyle Busch
2) Jeff Burton
3) Dale Earnhardt Jr.
4) Carl Edwards
5) Denny Hamlin
6) Jimmie Johnson
7) Greg Biffle
8) Jeff Gordon
9) Kasey Kahne
10) Kevin Harvick
11) Clint Bowyer
12) Tony Stewart
Next race: Toyota/Save Mart 350. Wait, you mean, we have to turn left... and right? I just can't comprehend the situation.
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
The latest off-track motoring story to gain the dubious honor of relevance across the nation is the business of America's number one racing series potentially employing bigots. This story has all the makings of a Lifetime movie. Marginalized double minorities, oppressive southern-fried males, exposed cocks and rhyming diatribes are all gold in the eyes of editors, producers and whoever the fuck else calls the shots in the nation's newsrooms. Brace for the recourse, as you have no idea what will come spewing from Pandora's Box if this lawsuit gets nasty. And all signs say it will. (Don't believe us? Check out the filed-complaint. This stuff makes Sean Salisbury texted-cock pictures seem downright palatable.)
Regardless of the outcome, this complaint will set American motor racing back at least a decade in terms of public opinion. And not just stock car racing.
How many people in the country believe that the terms NASCAR and motor racing are synonymous? A lot.
Consider the following:
A fan of, let us say, sports car racing, is posted up at a bar sucking down 7 & 7's with a buddy. The conversation turns to racing and the two have a quite a lively debate about the pros and cons of multi-class road racing, when an attractive young lady overhears and approaches.
"How can you watch cars going around in circles for hours?" The lass fires.
Attempting to respond, our sporty car fan says, "well, it's not really circles, in fact..."
"You're all a bunch of racist fucking rednecks!" Her volume increases a few octaves.
It is of little consequence that our heroes are discussing marques like Porsche and Ferrari, or that the two themselves drive Mazdas, live in the suburbs and are college educated.
What, under normal circumstances, could have been a legitimate chance to have a Seagram's Seven-induced hookup fizzled into two men vainly attempting to keep a drink from being hurled at them.
In America, all forms of motorsports are just NASCAR. The general public sees no difference between the 3500-pound stockers that circulate tracks like Talladega and Daytona, and 1500-pound Indy Cars that tear around proper motoring circuits like Mid-Ohio and Sonoma. Motor racing means NASCAR, and NASCAR is for rednecks. Simple as that.
Now, thanks to allegations that everyone thinks are at least partly true, NASCAR is for racists and sexists. Thus, motor racing in general is for racists and sexists, no matter the series.
Thank you, NASCAR. Once again you have made it difficult for general racing fans to enjoy a great sport without being ridiculed and labeled a card-carrying KKK'er. Fucking sweet.
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
Monday, June 9, 2008
- The IndyCar Series was deep in the heart of Texas (okay, greater-Dallas) for the Bombardier Learjet 550K. Scott Dixon won (third of the season), taking advantage of a late caution caused by Ryan Hunter-Reay getting into to Marco Andretti. Enrique Bernoldi crashed with 15 laps to go, which pretty much took fuel consumption out of the equation. This screwed Vitor Meira who stopped just before the yellow while whilst leading. Despite the numbers of oval newbies, there were no catastrophic accidents. Good. For. Them.
Points leader Dixon wins IndyCar Series race at Texas
- NASCAR's big-three found themselves all competing on different tracks. Cup was in Pocono (which you read about on RB'ers Deadspin link. You did, right?), where Kasey Kahne won from the pole. Point leader Kyle Busch tried to emulate Big Brown by finishing dead last. Props to Bobby Labonte for finishing 11th. He says his pit crew deserves the credit. Of course they do. Red Bull Racing also looked pretty damn racy.
Kahne overcomes pit snafu to dominate Pocono race
-The Nationwide race was in Nashville, where Brad Keselowski took his first career win. Other notables were Kyle Busch (20th) and Joey Lagano (31st).
Keselowski gets first career victory with late-race pass
- The Craftsman Truck Series was with the IndyCar-guys in Texas. Ron Hornaday held off Kyle Busch for his first win at TMS. This was the first leg of Busch's weekend trifecta and yielded the best result. For those scoring at home, his average finish in three NASCAR-starts this weekend was about 21st.
Hornaday holds off Busch for long-awaited Texas win
- F1 was in Canada were Robert Kubica (!?) won. This was his first win, the first for BMW Sauber, and their first one-two finish with Nick Heidfeld p2. David Coulthard rounded out the podium. Lewis Hamilton (the pole sitter), plowed into the back of Kimi Raikkonen when he stopped on pit lane behind Kubica beacuse the light was red. That ended the day for both. Hamilton is now sorry. Kubica is now the points leader. What a day for Poles everywhere.
F1: Maiden Win for Kubica, BMW in Canada
-The Route 66 NHRA Nationals saw the following pro-winners:
Top Fuel: Tony Schumacher
Funny Car: Tony Pedregon (after having a rather spectacular fire in qualifying)
Pro Stock: Kurt Johnson
Pro Stock Bike: Chris Rivas (first career win)
T. Ped completes turnaround; Shoe, K.J. extend leads; Rivas nabs his first
Grand-Am was upstate to have a 6-hour go at Watkins Glen. Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas won in Daytona Prototype.
In GT, it was Jeff Segal, Emil Assentato and Nick Longhi in their SpeedSource Mazda that found victory lane. (First win for the trio, second of the season of the team.)
GRAND-AM: Pruett, Rojas Win The Glen
Saturday, June 7, 2008
Rumor has it this car was last driven in an enduro at Watkins Glen. The co-drivers were Bo Duke and some drunk guy.
Sound of rim shot.
Thursday, June 5, 2008
This week: The Pocono 500
TV: TNT 12:30pm EST (Sunday)
Location: Pocono Raceway (Long Pond, PA)
Distance: 500 miles/200 laps
2007 winners: G. Gordon (spring race); Ku. Busch (fall race)
*Title sponsors, honeymoons and triangle tracks*
The proliferation of sponsors in NASCAR racing has been the largest change the sport has seen over the past 20-years. It's hard to fathom that stock car racing has now infiltrated the boardrooms of suit-and-tie America, to become parts of "marketing strategies" and "target demographics" and untold numbers of other business buzzwords. NASCAR has largely embraced this evolution as a product of changing times, making some people involved in the sport ungodly rich while pushing others out. There is no room for the little guy anymore, as he has been savagely beaten and anally raped by the sport he helped build. Times change, it happens. Tough shit.
One of the many outcomes that big business forced upon NASCAR was this thing with individual race naming rights. It is tough to pinpoint when this practice really took a turn for the absurd. The 1975 schedule featured the L.A. Times 500, and the Champion 400, neither of which sound overtly retarded. 1981 was the first year for the Wrangler SanforSet 400 at Richmond (whatever the hell SanforSet is), now, that does sound pretty gay. So, for the sake of making this point, we will say between 1981 and 2008 dumbass sponsor-laden race names became the norm. (This season has set the bar to a new level with such gems as Crown Royal Presents the Dan Lowry 400, The Goody's Cool Orange 500, and the current trump, The Best Buy 400 Benefiting Student Clubs for Autism Speaks.)
Pocono Raceway is different. The track has two NASCAR events per season, The Pocono 500 and The Pennsylvania 500. Simple, to the point, not gay. The term "old school" is now a cliche, but we'll use 'er anyway. Pocono is old school. It is owned and operated by the Mattioli family (probabily in the mob), and is one of the last tracks not to owned by a mega conglomerate. It may not have all of the features of newer facilities, but when did race tracks need to start looking like hotels? They are supposed to be dirty. Check out the track's history in this open letter from the Mattioli family to fans.
*What to know:
The Poconos happen to be quite the honeymoon destination. If anyone can answer "why?" they should contact us immediately. The Poconos seem more like a stronghold of sleaze-balls than any place you would want to take a significant other. Maybe this why NASCAR has found a home in Northern PA. Regardless, there could be a good number of lovers in attendance of Sunday's race, so be warned. The stands at Pocono could begin to resemble a failed screen test for Caligula. If you happen to find yourself on the flip side of that coin, and you are in search of a lover, you might want to try Meet Me at the Races, the dating site exclusively for NASCAR fans. If you are like us and are cruel bastards, you might want to go to MMatR, create a bogus profile, and plan a Pocono meet-up with some 50 year-old broad from Gatlinburg, then never show up. If love does find you while in Long Pond, PA, there is only one place to seal the deal (no, not under the 'G' grandstands). The Champagne Towers by Cleopatra room at the Caesars Pocono Resort. You can make sweet love to your new track-bunny while atop a 7-foot champagne glass whirlpool. This is not a joke. Let us hope that lass you're trying to birddog is not one of the larger variety, as she could displace much of the water and ruin the rose-laced carpet below. (Note: if you find a girl at a NASCAR race, chances are, she is huge and would flood the shit out of your room. But you know this.)
View Larger Map
*Who to watch:
Denny Hamlin: Young-Denny has amassed a damn impressive record at the giant triangle in the heart of sleaze country. His lowest finish in four attempts has been sixth. He has two wins, two poles and third to round things out. For those attempting to calculate averages in your head, stop. The number you're looking for is 2.8. Hamlin has an average finish of 2.8!? Jesus. He is ninth in points right now, and is looking to rebound from finishing 43rd in Dover last week. Rebound he will.
Tony Stewart: Teammate to the guy above, Stewart has had a real blowjob of a season to date. He has no wins, finished 41st last weekend, and should have won both the Daytona 500 and Coca-Cola 600. One would think his luck should take an upswing, and Pocono is a good place for that to happen. He has one win, and posts an average finish of about 12th at PR. He is also coming off of a win this past week at his annual "Prelude to the Dream" event at his dirt track. He beat the likes of Jimmie Johnson, Kyle Busch, Robby Gordan, and pretty much every other Cup driver.
Carl Edwards: "Hot" Carl is sitting forth in points and has found victory lane in the past at PR (what more do you really need to win one of these?). He has three wins this year, and has been the fastest Ford pretty much every week. His Roush-Fenway team has established itself as the only real contender to battle with Gibbs and Childress.
Elliot Sadler: Sometimes you just get a feeling about a guy. The last time we had this feeling, we successfully predicted Keith Byars would win the Heisman in 1984... Wait. Um, just watch for him. He has something to prove after wrecking half of the field in Dover.
*For those heading to the track:
Pertinent tailgating information is here. Most tracks that allow coolers have the size restriction of 16x16x16, Pocono knocks two inches off that and says nothing over 14x14x14. Our advice, buy a few beers from the vendors when you get there to make up for the inequity (come on, it's a family-owned track, don't be a tight ass). The forecast for this weekend does not look great, so maybe bring a poncho and prepare to sweat your balls off as temps will be in the high 80's.
1 KYLE BUSCH
2 JEFF BURTON
3 DALE EARNHARDT, JR
4 CARL EDWARDS
5 GREG BIFFLE
6 JEFF GORDON
7 JIMMIE JOHNSON
8 CLINT BOWYER
9 DENNY HAMLIN
10 KEVIN HARVICK
11 TONY STEWART
12 KASEY KAHNE
Next race: LifeLock 400. If you watch this race, there is a 50/50 chance you'll get your identity stolen.
According to The Sun report, Mr. Hamilton was attempting to show-off to some onlookers, when the back end stepped around, sending the $643,600 Porsche backwards through a fence. The kicker? The car was borrowed.
Billy Joel is rather jealous.
More dusty, gross, bush-flattening photos.
Wednesday, June 4, 2008
Nicole Manske is the sometime-host of the program (some might recognize her from co-anchoring with Bob Varsha on The Speed Report), and has a rather interesting factoid from her past. Manske is from Roscoe, Illinois and graduated from Hononegah Community High School where she was a cheerleader with one Danica Patrick. (The other notable HCHS alum is figure staking god and icon of all things homosexual, Scott Hamilton.)
The Erin Andrews of NASCAR was also a semifinalist in the 1998 Miss Tenn USA pageant. A real jack-of-all-trades, that Manske.
If anyone wants to see an interview of Manske from inside Rick Mears' old motor coach, this video is for you.
More Manske pictures.
Kudos to the folks at The Big Lead for breaking this story... Months ago. Many months ago.
Tuesday, June 3, 2008
Well done, Max.
It's worth noting that one FIA-member club that voted "no-confidence" was the American Automobile Association (AAA). It makes us feel safe that the people who dispatch tow trucks and give seniors discounts at Golden Corrals are firmly against Nazi-themed orgies. Rest easy Gold Card members.
Max Mosley wins vote of confidence
Monday, June 2, 2008
-The IndyCar Series took to the flatter than a 14 year-old Milwaukee Mile, where Ryan Briscoe grabbed his maiden victory, just ahead of Indy-500 winner Scott Dixon. The big early- weekend news was Marco Andretti and Graham Rahal qualifying on the front row. Neither drivers contended, with Andretti losing the handle and Rahal wrecking whist attempting to lap Darren Manning. Briscoe and Dixon had to navigate a rather large smozzle in the waning laps, as Andretti, Ed Carpenter and Vitor Meira wrecked directly in front of the leaders. Meira got airborne, Briscoe and Dixon avoided, race ended.
The Way It Is/ Briscoe scores Penske's 300th win
-NASCAR's big three touring divisions were in Dover, Delaware. F1 ex-pat Scott Speed took his first victory in the Truck Series. That makes three first time winners in as many weeks. How about that?
Speed outruns Sprague, Hornaday for first victory
-The Nationwide event was delayed for too damn long on Saturday (three hours) because of rain, and Joe Gibbs Racing won again. (Denny Hamlin, this time.) That is the eight straight Nationwide win for a full-time Gibbs driver. (However, not all of those wins came in JGR cars, if that makes sense.) The second coming of Christ in a stock car, Joey Lagano, finished sixth.
Hamlin wins in Dover to give JGR ninth '08 victory
- The Cup race had a "big one" on lap-17. Involved drivers included Tony Stewart, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kevin Harvick... The wreck yielded the quote of the weekend, coming from Stewart, "I take 100 percent responsibility -- it's my fault for being anywhere close to Elliott [Sadler], if I'm within half a lap of him, I expect that to happen." After the wreck, nothing really happened, like nothing. Stewart's teammate Kyle Busch won. Say goodbye to the Fox television crew until next year's Daytona 500. Say hello to TNT.
Good pit stops help Busch pull away to easy victory
- The NHRA was in Topeka (said in the tone and diction of the Billy Crudup character from Almost Famous) where Hillary Will continued the streak of ladies winning things, as she took Top Fuel honors. John Force won Funny Car. Ron Krisher took Pro Stock.
Will gets first Top Fuel win, Force his first since crash; Krisher wins in PS
-Testing at Le Mans was in full swing this weekend. Peugeot logged the quickest time with Pedro Lamy at the helm. Their sister car (#7 Peugeot 908 Hdi-FAP driven by Marc Gene) joined the ranks of Mercedes and Porsche by taking flight at the famed French circuit. Enjoy.
Check out the well written and humorous Le Mans testing blog scribed by Speedtv.com's Marshall Pruett.
Le Mans: Pruett’s Official Test Day Blog