Recent Posts

Bailing On The Auto Bailout, Loving Las Vegas, And Other Post-Vacation Thoughts

For the last two weekends, I have been in Las Vegas. The first weekend, I was there with my girlfriend and a couple of friends to take in the wonders of Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The second weekend, I was there for bowling -- but that is a horror story for another publication. The good news is, the sunburn that I started at LVMS (and finished poolside during a short trip to the Los Angeles area) is turning into a nice tan, _and _I managed to make it home with a couple of Ben Franklins still in my pocket! In short, life has been good. This was my first time to visit Bruton Smith’s track in the Nevada desert and, I must say, it was a wonderful experience.

Read More »

Bruton Smith: Dissin’ On South Florida, Homestead-Miami Speedway, and President Obama

Speedway Motorsports, Inc. President and CEO Bruton Smith seems to have adopted the “best defense is a good offense” philosophy last Friday while entertaining reporters at his Atlanta Motor Speedway. Smith, undoubtedly aware that the upcoming Sprint Cup race at the Hampton, GA 1 ½ mile motorsports facility would be embarrassingly under-attended, instead took shots at southern Floridians, Homestead-Miami Speedway, and the President of the United States. Lamenting on chronic lackluster attendance at his Infineon Raceway at Sonoma, CA, Smith suggested that traffic concerns were a major contributor to the road course being unable to improve ticket sales year-to-year.

Read More »

NASCAR News for Thursday, March 12, 2009

Tryson Wins Crew Chief Award for Kobalt Tools 500 Pat Tryson, crew chief of the No. 2 Miller Light Dodge driven by Kurt Busch, was awarded the WYPALL Wipers Crew Chief of the race following Sunday’s Kobalt Tools 500. The race was dominated all afternoon by the blue deuce who …

Read More »

It’s Not A Sport, It’s A Business: The Start And Park Phenomenon Threatening NASCAR’s Future

At Fontana just a few short weeks ago, millions of NASCAR fans everywhere breathed a sigh of relief. After offseason talk there wouldn’t be enough teams to fill the field in each of its top three divisions, the Cup, Nationwide, and Truck Series divisions all had enough cars to fill an entry list for the second race of the season. But beneath the surface, all was not as healthy as it seemed. While Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson, and Carl Edwards were there to win the race per usual, the reasons some cars and drivers showed up were far different than what you’d want to believe as a race fan. These teams – nestled within the middle and back of NASCAR’s starting fields -- were there not to compete, but to turn a healthy profit, all while padding the sport’s bottom line in the process.

Read More »

Don’t Jump, It’s Not Worth It! NASCAR’s Biggest Names Stumbling Along The Ledge On Off Weekend

The Sprint Cup Series is off this week, giving some teams a much-needed break. Not so much from the cross-country grind that is the first month of the season... but rather, to the stop the bleeding instead. For some teams, the first few races have gone like Rocky’s first few rounds with Clubber Lang: taking a beating is admirable, but after awhile, you wish for somebody to intervene and throw in the towel on your behalf. Mercifully, one of the few off weekends has come at just the right time to put a stop to the brutality for some of the biggest names in the sport. Heading into Atlanta this past Sunday, David Reutimann, Bobby Labonte, and Michael Waltrip were the apple of everyone’s eye – faces and names we haven’t seen atop the standings in awhile. Or ever.

Read More »

Top Ten Reasons To Run Into The Infield Grass During A Race

*10.* Owwww! Those lugnuts hurt when they hit you in the hiney! *9.* To avoid a non-attentive Dale Earnhardt, Jr. *8.* Instead of "Drop and give me 20!" Coach Kerr says, "Sprint to the frontstretch and back!" after a subpar stop. *7.* Because those Goodyears seem to do some craaaaazy things at the racetrack.

Read More »

Did You Notice? DNFs Are A Good Thing, NASCAR Needs A Senior Tour, And Menard’s Mediocrity?

*Did You Notice? …* Crew member Jimmy Watts’ penalty does not include a monetary fine … and I’m fine with that. A lot has been written about the pure idiocy of Watts running off pit road and onto the race track in order to catch a runaway tire that drifted out of Marcos Ambrose’s pit. But before you start screaming about how his bonehead move ruined your favorite driver’s shot at the win, let’s go ahead and put ourselves in his shoes for a minute. Or can we? No one can understand the sheer intensity of a green flag pit stop, a 15-second pressure-packed moment in which one mistake can ruin your team’s chance to visit Victory Lane. In the case of Ambrose, you had a team overachieving to the tune of three top 22 finishes to start their first full season on the Cup circuit. You had a driver running reasonably well, whose chances at a fourth solid finish suddenly got put in jeopardy the second that tire started rolling out of his pit box.

Read More »

Mirror Driving: Substitute Drivers, Runaway Tires, And Are The Buschs The Best Siblings Ever?

*Both NASCAR and a crewman from the No. 47 team, Jimmy Watts, took a lot of flack for the yellow flag that flew in the midst of a pit cycle as a result of the crewman chasing a tire, causing several good cars to be trapped a lap or more down. But was either one really wrong in their decision?* Vito: I think his cousin is that guy who ran up to Kenseth's car at Watkins Glen under a red flag and asked for an autograph. At least he had that BMX helmet on. Beth: It was just plain dangerous, and Watts didn't think. All he saw was a tire rolling out of control. NASCAR had no choice but to throw that caution.

Read More »

Full Throttle – A Chance to See the Stars of Yesteryear One More Time – In Person, Not on TV

Bristol Motor Speedway has been the hottest ticket on the Cup circuit for a long time. With the downturn in the economy, for the first time in more than 25 years there are tickets available for a Cup race at the fastest half mile in the world. And in a …

Read More »

Beyond The Cockpit: David Ragan Talks UPS, Getting Aggressive, And Roush’s Future

_Much is expected of David Ragan in 2009 after having a breakthrough season in Sprint Cup in 2008. Coming within a Richmond wreck of making his first ever Chase for the Championship, the sophomore driver ended up 13th in the final standings, earning him a big-money reward in the form of new, top-tier sponsor UPS backing his No. 6 Ford Fusion._ _So far, it's been a rough start for the duo, as the third-year driver sits 22nd in the Sprint Cup standings with as many DNFs as top 10 finishes (1). But in sitting down with our own Doug Turnbull at Atlanta, it's obvious the tough luck hasn't been bothering the 23-year-old young talent, who dished out mature, well-thought out opinions from everything to start and park teams to whether Roush Fenway Racing will actually follow through and contract from five to four cars in 2010._

Read More »