Monday, June 30, 2008

We knew Jamie McMurray was hot, but this?

This is a little old, and frankly we don't know how it slipped though our editorial eyes for this long. Apparently a group of NASCAR-fans (who happen to be cross dressers) have started a little site called ESPN The Magazine's Ryan McGee brought the story of this website and its founders' (the drag queen alter egos of Betty Jack DeVine and Bootsy Ramsbottom, not a joke) to the public. The most important feature of the site is the driver's power-ranking section, where the only requirements are being "bad sexy and wicked fast." Outstanding. Congratulations to McMurray for being atop the rankings.

Weekend recap

This is for those of you who, like us, spent the entirety of the weekend drinking beer and attempting to fight one of these guys.

- The IRL IndyCar Series took to the short track known as Richmond International Raceway, and everyone wrecked. Literally. Only eight cars finished on the lead lap and a mere dozen finished, period. Tony Kannan was able to prevail in the race that felt more like a figure-eight event than an Indy Car race. Jaime Camara was able to put in a good run, leading about 40-laps before finding the wall.

- The NHRA was in Norwalk, Ohio for the second annual Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals. (This marks the second anniversary of the NHRA's exodus from National Trail Raceway, tear.) Two rounds of qualifying were washed out. Pro winners were Doug Herbert (TF); Tony Pedregon (FC); Greg Anderson (PSC) and Hector Arana (PSB). For Arana, this was his first win in 149 career starts.

- It rained in the northeast, and when said rain happened, Kurt Busch happened to be leading the NASCAR race in NH. We saw exactly zero laps of this race, and were so un-enthused for the prospects of the event, we were not able to finish our world-famous race preview. Oh well. Big props to Patrick Carpentier for earning his first pole in NASCAR. He finished 31st.

-Misc. notes:

Bernie Ecclestone reportedly warned Max Mosley that a contingent of folks was looking to discredit him. This warning came a full two months before the Mosley Nazi-Sex tape surfaced. Does that mean that Bernie was not the cameraman as we reported?

Andretti Green Racing shook up their ALMS program by firing Bryan Herta and Christian Fittipaldi. According to's Marshall Pruett (again, no relation), Fittipaldi was just slow and Herta was a passenger on his sinking ship. It's a shame as Herta is one of the best development drivers and racers around. Pruett says he will no problem getting another sports car ride. We hope this is true.

The Cooper Tires Presents The Atlantic Championship (exhale) stumbled into French-Canada. Read about it. It was probably entertaining.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

LENOX Industrial Tools 301 preview

Each week Ridebuyer delves deep into the misunderstood, oft terrifying, world of American saloon-car racing known as NASCAR.

This week: LENOX Industrial Tools 301
TV: TNT 12:30pm EST (Sunday)
Location: New Hampshire Motor Speedway (Loudon, NH) Distance: 301 Laps/301 Miles
2007 winners: D. Hamlin (summer race); C. Bowyer (fall race)

*Lobsters, the Sox and arrogant New Englanders*

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.)

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.

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.

*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

Next race: Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola (Daytona, FL). Thus starts the part of the season where the schedule starts repeating itself. Great.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

One day, two dudes, two mid-season grade cards

If John Oreovicz and Robin Miller worked in an office together, they would call each other in the evening and coordinate what to wear the next day. Miller would want to wear that god-awful "Speedtv" inscribed sweatshirt.

While Oreovicz would want to live up to his profile shot on by dressing like a guy who lures children into his Buick with Dippin' Dots.

The two open-wheel reporting heavyweights would ultimately decide to wear Danica tee-shirts under their polo tops and vintage Roberto Guerrero mesh hats. Yeah, it's pretty lame.

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:

Andretti GreenB-
Rahal LettermanB-
Dreyer and ReinboldC-
Pacific CoastD
Dale Coynen/a

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

Death, destruction and the allure of racing cars

To follow motor racing for any length of time means you have seen someone, at some point, lose their life in competition. We've been witness to a host of fatalities over the years that serve as a reminder to the risks associated with an endeavor such as motor racing.

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:

Dale Earnhardt
Ayrton Senna
Greg Moore
Paul Dana

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.

This probably has some truth to it. That is, until someone actually dies while competing. That sucks the novelty right out of danger and destruction. The last time we checked, it's tough to impress high school girls with your drivers suit and helmet when you're dead. It's equally tough to convey to an outsider how great the sport is, when you've just seen a participant perish on the playing field. It makes you sick. It makes racing not fun.

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

Weekend recap

-By now everybody knows that Scott Kalitta was killed on Saturday in Englishtown while attempting to qualify for the Summer Nationals. Any host of cliches could be used to sum up an event like this, but that serves no purpose. Just known that it sucks hard on many different levels. RIP, bud.

Pro winners:

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

Toyota/Save Mart 350 preview

Each week Ridebuyer delves deep into the misunderstood, oft terrifying, world of American saloon-car racing known as NASCAR.

This week: The Toyota/Save Mart 350
TV: TNT 3:30pm EST (Sunday)
Location: Infineon Raceway (Sonoma, CA)
Distance: 350 k/110 laps
2007 winner: J. Montoya

*Right turns, wine country and the mentality of a San Franciscan*

The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series has a 36-race schedule. Of those events, only two are contested on non-oval tracks (this race and the Watkins Glen event in August). The series has an aversion to road racing as, - and, this is for you math types- only 5% of the schedule consists of tracks where left and right turns are needed. The rest of the schedule is the typical mix of short and intermediate ovals with the infrequent super speedway added to the fray. Neither road race event finds itself in the "Chase for the Cup." Road course's inclusion in the schedule is really nothing more than a hokey afterthought. The reason? 3000+ pound stock cars, on narrow tires, utilizing circa-1972 suspension technology, motoring around road courses is only occasionally fun (like twice a season, occasionally). Even Dale Earnhardt Jr. hates road races and everybody loves that guy, so he must be right. Right? Road racing is a different beast than oval racing. Road racing takes a different skill set. The be quick on a road course, you must be agile and show some finesse. Well, a stock car is about as agile as Pacman (excuse me, Adam) Jones at Scores. It would be easier to push a wheelbarrow full of overweight housewives around an autocross course than drive a stock car at Infineon or The Glen.

While road racing is certainly not the forte of either NASCAR cars or most drivers, the on-track product is damn entertaining. It's like watching an NFL-team play baseball. It is not pretty, nor textbook in any sense of the term, but you can't help becoming enthralled. Watching professionals struggle at, well, their professions, is high entertainment.

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.

A loafer-lightening hike south from Infineon Raceway will take you to the stronghold of flamboyance and shitty sports teams known as San Francisco. Race fans choosing to stay in San Fran. could be in for a rude, alternative awakening should they venture too far from the safety of their Residence Inn. Three wrong turns will place you in the heart of The Castro, or the biggest culture shock for any NASCAR fan since the Rock Hudson rumors were confirmed. When not at the track, we advise to stay locked in your hotel rooms, or be prepared to see an incredibly clean neighborhood where everyone treats you with respect and kindness. The horror.

View Larger Map

*What to know:

Track position: On a road course you can make an unscheduled pit stop under green and not drop a lap. The only thing you've done is blow it on track position which is damn near impossible to make up without a caution flag to bring you back to the end of the pack. Without a yellow, a driver could wind up spending his day circulating Infineon all by his lonesome, unable to catch the pack, but the pack can't catch him either to lap him. Track position is king, don't expect anyone to give it up for four tires late in the race. You just can't make the time lost up.

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:

Jeff Gordon: Five wins in 15 starts at Infineon. Again, for the math types, he wins 1/3 of the races he starts in Sonoma. Damn. His last win there came in 2006, and last year he went from starting 41st to finish seventh. Gordon has always been a strong road racer with a career average finish of 11th on the twisty tracks. He starts fifth this weekend at has 3/1 odds in Vegas to win.

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.

Robby Gordon: The full time owner-driver also happens to be a road racing ace. He starts eighth on Sunday, in his sponsor-less Dodge. He won this race in 2003 and has nine top-five finishes in Cup cars on road courses. He will either win the race, or wreck. Either one will be fun to watch.

*Dark Horse:

Marcos Ambrose: This will be Ambrose's first start in the Sprint Cup Series. He is the highest qualified rookie (starts seventh), and is one of the best road racers in the world. The Tasmanian was a legend in the Australian V8 SuperCar Series before he ever thought of NASCAR. Aside from being road race-stud, his car is officially named the Little Debbie Honey Buns Ford. Awesome.

*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.
Next race: Lenox Industrial Tools 301 (Loudon, NH). It's good the team's transport drivers only have a quick drive from northern California to New Hampshire for next week.

Stolen from the Blogosphere

The guys over at Kissing Suzy Kolber have strayed away from their normal NFL-centric posts to make generalizations about the highway manners of American drivers.

KSK's Worst Drivers In America By Make is a scientific examination into the driving styles seen over a 10-mile stretch of the Capitol Beltway in Washington, DC.

The worst drivers? Those piloting cars produced by the Bavarian Motor Works:
Beamer drivers are, bar none, the most selfish, pushy, assholic drivers on the American road. Every BMW driver I’ve encountered seems genuinely offended that they have to share the road with me. They tailgate with almost a 100% frequency. And they are constantly, CONSTANTLY, trying to show off their Beamer’s speed and handling. Hey fuckhead, you’re not on the fucking Nürburgring. Take off the fucking driving gloves and find an embankment to crash into.
Yeah, but the new M3 is a beast. So, take that.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Fun with Ebay

Was that thing in MASH?

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

Can I be the Stig?

The crack-team of automotive snoops over at Jalopnik have been all over the whole "Top Gear USA" thing. (For those who don't know, the original Top Gear is the easily the best show for motoring types on television. For more information about the British TG and all its awesomeness, check out the link on the right bar of your screen.)

The cast of the TG USA has been officially announced and the NBC program will be hosted by Adam Carolla, Tanner Foust and Eric Stromer. You should know the first two presenters (Carolla=comedian, Foust=rally driver), but Stromer is more of an unknown (he worked on HGTV on some home makeover program).

Let us hope the program doesn't suck, but there is no way it will ever live up to the expectations set forth by die hard US-fans of the original. Why? Adam Carolla is not Jeremy Clarkson. That's why.

Weekend recap

What you missed while trying to figure out if you will be able to listen to both MLB and NFL games on your XM. The answer? Probably. Maybe. Eventually.

- 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

Hornaday thinks Busch is chickenshit

Kyle Busch is predisposed to wrecking people. This is really not groundbreaking news, but it seems his track-actions could be leading to the inevitable ass-whooping, which would be groundbreaking news. (Groundbreaking in the sense that it's fuckin' sweet.)

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 for disabling the embed feature on their video clips. Fuck that.

TRUCKS: Hornaday Post-Race Interview on SPEED

Thursday, June 12, 2008

LifeLock 400 preview

Each week Ridebuyer delves deep into the misunderstood, oft terrifying, world of American saloon-car racing known as NASCAR.

This week: The LifeLock 400
TV: TNT 12:30pm EST (Sunday)
Location: Michigan International Speedway (Brooklyn, MI)
Distance: 400 miles/200 laps
2007 winners: C. Edwards (spring race); Ku. Busch (fall race)

*The American auto industry and stench of hot dog water*

The last American-made car was purchased in 1992. It was a Chrysler LeBaron, brand new. It was powered by a 2.5 L four-cylinder engine and featured a three-speed automatic transmission. The car was a total shitbox. I know this because it was purchased at McMahon's Chrysler in Whitehouse, Ohio by my father. The air conditioning never worked, the transmission slipped, ominous noises emanated from every corner and the damned thing leaked oil. That car sucked. No one ever had sex in a 1992 Chrysler LeBaron; not me, not you, not John fucking Holmes. This car marked the official end of the American automobile industry. Since '92, no passenger car produced by the so-called Detroit Three was purchased in this country. Not one. Now, everybody feels the pain.

This had reverberating impacts across the nation. Workers lost jobs, towns boarded up, crime ran rampant, economies crumbled and Michael Moore became famous. All because the cars produced in factories across our nation were no match for their overseas counterparts. Despite their size, people had sex in Honda Civics and Toyota Corollas. It was possible, I've seen it.

No location felt the brunt of despair more than Michigan, the state built on the shoulders of American auto workers. Detroit became a state of marshal law, with any remaining auto-execs forced to attempt river passage into Windsor, Ontario and the possibility of brighter days. The 1992 LeBaron was not the only cause for the collapse, but it was the final straw. There would be no recovering for the Detroit Three. Sure, cars still get made in factories across Michigan, and boardrooms hold meetings about warranties and employee pricing options, but does anyone (aside from pickup truck buyers) care? Nope. If you want a car that is inexpensive, gets reasonable fuel mileage, and wont shit the bed after 60,000 miles, you have to buy a foreign car. No exceptions.

NASCAR, once a bastion for all things USA, going to the derelict home of the car business, is like Buckner returning to Shea. Sure, the Irish Hills are not exactly downtown Detroit, but you get the idea. Further insult will be added when Kyle Busch's Toyota rolls into victory lane. RIP American car industry, y'all had a good run.

Aside from Michigan not having an economy to speak of, the following generalizations can be made about the Wolverine State.

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.)

View Larger Map

*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.

*Who to watch:

Ryan Newman: Two wins and four top-fives, plus Dodge-power makes Newman a weekend favorite. 2004 was the last time Newman broke into the top-five at MIS (he won the spring race that year), but he finished 10th at the California Speedway (sister-track to MIS) earlier this year. Grab life by the horns, baby.

Matt Kenseth: A model of consistency at MIS, Kenseth has an average finish of 9.7 in 17 career Cup starts. He has two MIS victories and is slowly building momentum this year with four straight top-20 finishes. He may not be the fastest off the hauler, but will get quick as the weekend grinds on, and will be competitive on Sunday.

Kyle Busch: Leading the points and being quick everywhere is a good way to make the "Who to watch" list every week. Like last weekend Busch is attempting the Truck/Nationwide/Cup trifecta this weekend, but has an easier go of it, as Truck and Cup are both at MIS. He has not had any Cup-luck at MIS with only two top-10s and a shitty finishing average, but will be quick regardless. If victory does somehow elude him, he will blame the car and act like a bitch, which is always entertaining. Looking forward to it, Kyle.

*Dark Horse:

Reed Sorenson: Dodge is going to fast this weekend. Sorenson drives a Dodge. In 2006, Sorenson scored a top-five at MIS. That is his highlight at MIS, but it's good enough for him to saddle-up this week. Enjoy the view from the horse.

*For those heading to the track: Pertinent tailgating information is here. Cooler regulations are pretty stringent (6x6x12 is fucking small). Our advice, drink in the car on the way to the track. You could pound 17 beers and still function better than 80% of Michigan drivers. Our cocktail of the race is a Gentleman Jack and water. Two or three of 'em babies will make you rowdy enough to confront Bill Engvall (this weekend's Grand Marshal) and tell him his show is a piece of shit.

*Series points:

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

NASCAR, racists, and nappy heads

Few motor racing stories have the ability to infiltrate the pages or airwaves of the mainstream media. Almost nothing that happens on an actual racing circuit (save a fiery wreck or broad winning) has the legs to demand more than a few lines of copy here or there. That is, unless, the story deals with drugs, sex or something equally tantalizing. And if Jason Whitlock is commenting on this story, you know it has hit the big time.

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


Reports are going a bit crazy about the health of the beloved actor, racing driving, racing owner and philanthropist, Paul Newman. Some are saying the 83-year old is on his last leg. His agent says that is a complete farce. Regardless of Newman's condition, his achievements in the realm of motorsports is only surpassed by his goodwill.

Aside from finishing 2nd in the 24 Hours of Le Mans (1979), owning NHLR (IndyCar team), multiple wins in SCCA competition (we saw him in the Runoffs a few years back where he was real quick in GT1), Newman has also given millions of dollars to charity (mainly through his Newman's Own food products, which makes the best salsa we've ever had).

Basically, Paul Newman has had a more interesting, productive, and rewarding life than most. Hopefully he sticks around for a bit longer.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Sharon Stone, the World Champ, and a Stingray

Our good friends at News of the World have premiered a new motor racing column scribed by Michelle Tomlin. It is from the most recent "Vroom at the Top" that we learn of the latest purchase of F1-champ (and serial club-grinder) Kimi Raikkonen. The 1974 (gross, gas crisis) Corvette Stingray was purchased at auction in Monaco. The kicker? the £160,000 (approximately $19 million) Chevy was purchased from the Sharon Stone collection. Maybe that new hotrod will help you bag the microphone wielding young lady.

Weekend recap

What you missed while watching Big Brown shit the bed, reading about Jim McKay, and contemplating suicide while in a heat-induced stupor.

- 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

Fun with Ebay

If anyone is looking for a nice, lightly used, '03 Mini Cooper S race car, this could be for you. Minor body work is probably needed, plus some other new parts and bits (only little things like a chassis, though) and this could be ready for your next club race.

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

Pocono 500 preview

Each week Ridebuyer delves deep into the misunderstood, oft terrifying, world of American saloon-car racing known as NASCAR.

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.

*Dark Horse:

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.

*Series points:


Next race: LifeLock 400. If you watch this race, there is a 50/50 chance you'll get your identity stolen.

The only thing funnier than wrecking a Porsche is wrecking a Porsche Carrera GT

The good folks at Jalopnik have obtained (by way of The Sun) the following photos of the aftermath of Anthony Hamilton's (Lewis' father and manager) Porsche Carrera GT jaunt. By jaunt, we obviously mean horribly embarrassing wreck.

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

A somewhat interesting fact about two somewhat attractive women

ESPN has a NASCAR program entitled NASCAR Now. Largely uninspired and with way too much Rusty Wallace, NN is not exactly TiVo worthy. That is, unless, you are the kind of fellow who is interested in attractive television presenters (no, not you Ryan Burr).

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

Have confidence in your pervert

Max Mosley- the most prominent Nazi-sex loving motor racing administrator we can think of-will keep his position atop the FIA. The results of the"extraordinary general assembly" meeting of FIA-members are in, and... Yes, Mosley got the "confidence" vote, meaning his position is likely safe until his term expires in October of 2009. That position is, of course, bent over an chaise lounger, whilst taking a flogging by a Chelsea hooker dressed like an extra from Hogan's Heroes.

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

Weekend recap

What you missed you while watching a Kimbo Slice fight and asking, "why is this on CBS? And what the hell is Gus Johnson doing there?"

-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's Marshall Pruett.

Le Mans: Pruett’s Official Test Day Blog