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This is what I was up to last weekend.  All taken by me. Click on photo to be taken to original in my flickr.

Well I promised you an update after I watched the Stewart HotPass channel I dvr’d while babysitting (interesting side note? you can not switch the audio on a dvr’s hotpass broadcast). I still do NOT understand why they came in when they did when they seemingly knew that it would be a green-white-checker finish. They didn’t seem to be worried about fuel. It makes not one iota of sense to me. Of course that probably makes me a “couch crew chief” (you know..much like an armchair quarterback…its much easier for me to call the play since I am not actually in the situation and know nothing other than what I have garnered from watching races for years).

Also…I am 90% sure I will be in attending the Pepsi 500 in August. I have tickets lined up for Sunday and friday…(no nw tickets because I am a cheap bastard as my friend often likes to tell me). I am addicted to the oval racing. Which is why I picked Fontana and not Infineon. Plus it gives me longer to save up fun money to spend while there- might as well do my part to help the economy right??

As you all know I love Tony Stewart. Well I keep meaning to mention that if you too are a Stewart fan the homedepotracing.com site has some great wallpapers for your computer desktop. They usually post new ones weekly (generally a day or so after the race). I am currently using one from Daytona at work and one from Vegas at home…I love them and tend to download one or two a week. Below is a small example of their wallpaper from Texas Motor speedway. I picked this one because I think it is funny. Click on the picture to see all the wallpapers homedepotracing.com has to offer this week.

So today saw the first race of the season at Texas Motor Speedway. It also saw me watching the race with my 13 day old nephew Matthew. I did much more watching than he did. Mostly he slept (and ate and needed changing). My sister in law needed to go to the store and my brother wanted to get the yard work done before waste pick up tomorrow morning…so I got called over on my first official babysitting job. They actually wanted me yesterday for that reason but I was off chasing buffalo (seriously…and will explain about that tomorrow). I was disappointed yesterday to have missed my first babysitting opportunity and was excited to be called to action today. He will definitely be my little buddy…but it would be so cool if he were my race buddy!

Anyway on to race talk. I must admit I was surprised to see Jeff Gordon stuggle as he did. It is almost as if Jeff and Jimmie have swapped. Now Jeff is struggling and Jimmie is taking names. I also must say that I was pleased to see Elliott Sadler racing this week as well and was pleased to know that he seems to be feeling better (must be due to “Team Tylenol”) I haven’t had time to review the HotPass (thank goodness for DVRs as brother had directv too…but not hotpass since he isn’t a big nascar fan) but I really question the strategy of Team Home Depot to pit during that last caution (you know the one brought out by Martin Truex Jr and he blown engine). As I mentioned, pit stops and pit crews have always fascinated me….so I really like to pay attention to who decides to pit when and stuff…and it just did NOT make sense. Maybe if there were 15 laps to go I can see coming in for fresh rubber and a splash…but unless they were damn sure they did NOT have the gas to make it…they should not have come in. I don’t know the reasoning behind it…and as I mentioned I was distracted a bit during the race (I missed the first caution for diaper doody- as well as some other parts of the race for more diaper doody) so maybe that was the case. This is the second weekend in a row that I think poor pit strategy really knocked them down. Last weekend it was pitting off sequence that threw them off. I honestly think that the only reason that they came in 7th is because of the Hamlin/Bowyer incident on that last lap or the 20 car may have ended up even further back in the field.

Any thoughts?

So the Jeff Gordon Foundation is giving away “Jeff Gordon’s Corvette” How do you enter? Well you puchase up a raffle ticket for $100 (for more information click on the link). The money raised goes to the Jeff Gordon Foundation. When I saw this…it excited me. I tried to talk BFM into going halfsies with me on a ticket. It would give us a 1 in 5000 chance of winning. Its better than the lottery. I even promised her she could maintain main custody of the car, with the stipulation that if we won I get to drive it when I am in town and if she comes up to visit me in a car…she has to bring the vette with her. I don’t think she thought I was serious.

Anyway…why did it excite me? Well I have ALWAYS had a thing for cars. Always. My mom likes to tell the story about how when I was two we were walking through a parking lot (my parents and me) and I looked up at them and said “That truck has wheels like Grandpa’s truck.” She looked at my dad who looked at the truck and said “Well yeah actually it does.” It was the same make and model as his only a different color. I was TWO YEARS OLD people (and thus probably eye level with tires at the time). Of course in the next breath my mom will tell you that when I was about the same age one weekend I had been out in the garage”hepping” (toddlerese for helping) my dad sand a wooden trunk (that he eventually painted yellow and added some peanuts characters to and made into my toybox). My dad had given me some sandpaper and let me “hep” Well the next day my mom was in the garage doing laundry and I was suppose to be napping but apparently I toddled out to the garage to “hep” some more, found the sandpaper and “hepped” by sanding the right rear quarter panel of my parents three day old bright red Pontiac sunfire hatchback. When she said “What are you doing?!” I looked up at her swelling with toddler pride and said “I hepping momma! Hepping!” So I have always been attracted to cars (is it any wonder that I love racing)?

I know I have mentioned my affinity for some classic cars…especially the Chevy Nomad. But what I wouldn’t give to have a ‘Vette. I would pretty much take any year any model any color. I love to look at them. When I was at the Chevy dealership when I was buying my HHR I spent a lot of time wandering around the showroom while they worked on my financing. There was a pair of corvettes on the showroom floor. Both were ragtops (given my choice I would rather not have a ragtop) with the tops down and had these luscious leather seats. It was all I could do to keep myself from hopping in over the door and licking the steering wheels. (Oh come on now…you have to remember those commercials where the people where rushing down the VW dealership and licking the cars to claim them??? I looked for the video on the internet but couldn’t find it). Honestly I was probably a lot like Tony Stewart in the new Armorall Commercial only I can’t stand that still that long…well that and I don’t actually already own a corvette (but if I did…I too would wash it as lovingly as he does in the beginning). Oh and I can’t remember the last time I had a slurpee. Anyway…I am digressing…so if you have a spare $100 around…and want my a corvette…you should enter the raffle for the Jeff Gordon Foundation..the money goes to a good cause and you might just be zooming around in my a corvette.

**(or yellow, or black, or silver…heck anything except for green and blue although if that’s all that was offered…I would take it.)

This one is about the qualifying crash at TMS today.

Since we have some new peeps playing along I thought I would do some basic questions. Since I love INSIDE THE ACTORS STUDIO I thought I would use the Bernard Pivot questions asked by James Lipton. Since we only usually ask five questions feel free to just answer the five questions you like best…or answer all 10 for extra brownie points.

(thanks to wikipedia for the questions)

  1. What is your favorite word? esoteric
  2. What is your least favorite word? no
  3. What turns you on creatively, spiritually or emotionally? Music
  4. What turns you off creatively, spiritually or emotionally? Being told what to do, say or think.
  5. What sound or noise do you love? Its a tie between the roar of an engine on a sunday afternoon and the ocean.
  6. What sound or noise do you hate? Silence
  7. What is your favorite curse word? Well I try not to curse so much anymore…so I have been making up curse word replacements…so my favorite one of those is BALTAZAR GETTY! (Don’t ask me why because I have no idea). When really frustrated though I still do occasionally throw out an fbomb every now and then.
  8. What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? I would like to write for nascar.com or like publication either online or print.
  9. What profession would you not like to do? Anything in the healthcare field because I am not cut out for that.
  10. If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates? Welcome. So Glad you could join us.

The Friday Fill-In #66  is in the extended entry.


is up over at J’s. This one is 40 Odd Questions.

I am going to start this post by telling you I have no feelings for Ryan Newman as a driver. Honestly, I have never really paid him that much attention- besides to perhaps make fun of his name in a grand SEINFELDian joke and snicker. That being said a week or two ago I stumbled across HELLO NEWMAN on YahooSport’s NASCAR page. It’s a regular weekly column written by Ryan Newman. I find it rather interesting. So you might want to check that out.

Anyway- I am using this as a rather long segue into my topic of pit crews because this week’s HELLO NEWAN is called IN THE PITS and it is actually written by Ryan’s rear tire carrier Trent Cherry- that gives a brief look to readers about what it is like to be part of a pit crew. It’s a fascinating read (or it was to me…but maybe I am a freak). My favorite quote from Mr. Cherry’s article was this:

My job is the rear-tire carrier. We’re not that cool. We’re like the guys who can grab rebounds – role players. The changers – the guys who put on a take off the lug nuts – are the cool guys.

That being said- I have always been fascinated by pit crews and pit stops as long as I can remember (remember I have been a race fan since I was knee high to a grasshopper). It amazes me that it takes them 13 – 15 seconds to get a full tank of gas and four tires (and sometimes a window tear off, grill cleaning, and driver hydration) when it takes me four hours to get my oil changed, my tires rotated, and an outside only carwash (and yes I do realize it doesn’t really take them four hours to do it but I can be darn sure it took them longer than 15 seconds to do it).

Pit stops to me always seemed like a synchronized dance of sorts. Everyone has a part and knows exactly where they are suppose to be when. One person trips up and it can cause other members to trip up. I remember the first race I ever attended was an Indy car race in the 90s- before they split into champ and IRL. My dad laid out a ton of money and got him and I really cool seats right off of turn 11 at Laguna Seca. He wanted to sit there because it was the bottom of the hill and you could see the cars coming all the way down the hill (this was before they built suites above the garages so now the view isn’t as spectacular). Anyway I loved the seats for a completely different reason. I could watch the pit stops! It gave me a healthy respect and fascination with the crew members- second only to the time we got to spend walking around the paddock area in the morning watching the crews buzz in and out of their areas working on this and that.

When I was younger I wanted to BE on a pit crew because how exciting would that be? Of course I wasn’t sure where I wanted to be…the Jackman looked pretty important…if you can’t get the car up off the ground you can’t get tires on it right? But I didn’t have the upper body strength for that. Same for tire carriers. Changer looked fun…plus you get to play with that air wrench thingy….but that always seemed like on of the more stressful jobs on the crew and frankly I am not that graceful. I decided gasman wasn’t where I should be because well- frankly-gas can start fires and fire scares the freaking daylights out of me (you should see me on BACKDRAFT at Universal Studios…I bruised my friend’s arm trying to get the hell outta there when they start exploding the stuff). As you can tell…this really doesn’t leave much room for me. Spotters fascinated me. Only problem with being a spotter? Is they are usually perched high up somewhere…and I am afraid of heights (although If I had to chose between gasman and spotter…I would probably choose spotter because I think I could get over my fear of heights much faster than I could get over my fear of fire). Spotters still fascinate me to this day and it is one of the few redeeming qualities about DirecTV NASCAR HOTPASS (I have a whole other post about this in the works) is being able to hear driver/crew chatter (I tend to turn it to team radio only because the announcers tend to bug the crap outta me because they talk over the most important radio chatter). I couldn’t be crew chief really so I would probably be stuck being one of the note takers or something (I always did take meticulous notes in school).

Anyway, I also found another interesting and recent article about pit crew on the Daily Dose called ONE FOR THE BOYS. If, like me, you are fascinated by pit crews you may want to check it out.