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This will be the first time since NASCAR’s Championship Week Celebration was in Vegas that I will not be attending.  There is a personal reason I am not attending, but even without that I had not planned to attend this year but instead going to Disneyland this year (postponed Disneyland too for that personal reason).  Mostly because it seems that After The Lap which was always my favorite part of the weekend- has turned more into a concert and less of a driver Q&A. Based on what I see from the schedule of events there aren’t many events for Champions week where all the drivers are together- which kind of bums me out. This year, After The Lap, starts much later, is located in the middle of the Las Vegas Strip and according to everything is scheduled to run a full three hours.  I have also heard that the fees on tickets for the event now cost more then the tickets to the event- so there is that. This part disappoints me greatly. Don’t let me disuade you from going. After The Lap is held at The Cosmo on Wednesday Nov 29th at 8:00 PM: Tickets for After The Lap.

There are improvements to the week long festivities especially over recent years when it was quite obvious to this fan that SPRINT’s support of the series was waning. Last year’s event was minimum and paltry. One of my favorite new events that is part of the champion festivities is that the championship drivers are having scheduled autograph sessions which I think is a great idea. However- you can only attend one of the autograph sessions (although if you a stealthy pair of fans you could have one fan sign up for two tickets to one session and the other friend sign up for another session) so you are limited to the four drivers in the session you sign up for.  A majority of these sessions have already reached their cap for this year unfortunately but there are a few sessions with tickets left so I wouldn’t wait much longer to sign up for one- at Driver Autograph Sessions (best I can tell these are free but you need tickets).

Dale Jr Fans will be especially treated to an event just to celebrate him (I assume that he won Most Popular Driver again). There appear to be tickets left for this event but be warned- these tickets appear to range in price from $188 to over $400 a ticket (YOWZER) tickets to appear to come with a drink voucher (Still YOWZER). This will be held at the Cosmo on Tuesday Nov 28th.  Dale Jr Appreci88tion Event.

There are some other free events- including a the victory lap and fan headquarters at THE PARK (which is located outside of New York, New York)…but if you are going to champion’s week be prepared to shell out some dough to see your favorite drivers (unless you happen to be lucky enough to bump into them in their hotel). For more information on NASCAR Champion’s Week in Vegas visit: Champion’s Week at NASCAR.COM

While watching the beginning of the Kansas race I thought the big thing I would have to discuss was Chase Elliot clipping Michael McDowell as Elliot was leaving his pit and McDowell was entering his. Honestly I am surprised that doesn’t happen more often. I think that really that’s his crew chief Alan Gustafson was not on the ball watching for other cars as Chase was leaving his pitstall.

However the story ended up being the big wreck involving Danica Patrick, Joey Logano and Aric Almirola looked absolutely brutal and to be honest the more I have watched it between the replays that evening and re-watching again during this writing-the worse it looked. All three drivers involved hard hits…however if you were to show me the footage and say one of these three drivers gets injured in this wreck which would you think it would be. I would have picked Aric every time. Why? Because not only was the initial impact hard but the fact that the rear of car went airborne and then slammed back down (rewatch it at speed and you will see what I mean about that slam down on the rear) I would be incredibly surprised if that was NOT what caused Almirola’s T5 compression fracture. These cars are safe…and funny thing was is I was just touting the day before the new increased metal around the “driver cocoon” as we call it in my house. But increasing rigidity of the space around the driver to prevent movement of car parts into their area will not keep drivers completely safe- as seen by the injuries suffered by Almirola.  I mean the car gets semi airborne and then slams onto the ground- the normal safety equipment (I am thinking things like hans and whatnot) all did their jobs no doubt and protected all three of the involved drivers from suffering from more serious injuries. But much like your regular passenger car- the safety equipment will do it’s job if engaged properly but it won’t prevent every injury- there is no possible way. Aric’s injury also serves as a reminder that auto racing in whatever form you enjoy it in comes with inherent risks. (more…)

(Photo Source: Charlotte Bray for Skirts & Scuffs)

I have to say that so far I am admittedly impressed with Stewart-Haas this season. Yes I know that we are only two races into the season and all but all four cars seem strong so far for the most part.  Oh and no I haven’t forgotten that they switched manufacturers in the off season. To me this makes their showing early in the season even more impressive.  While it was regrettable that Kevin Harvick dominated, and I mean DOMINATED the majority of the race from the pole only to be foiled by his own hand (or foot in this case) with a pit road speeding penalty after a late race caution when many drivers took the wave around, it’s Harvick’s performance that you can judge the team by. He has been a strong teammate since joining Stewart-Haas Racing and while I know that it can make for a boring race when one car is so dominate the way Harvick’s was- it’s a pretty damn good indicator to me that the move from Chevy to Ford is not the learning curve or difficult transition that many thought it would be.  This has always been the little team that could since it’s inception in 2009 and look at them charge up that hill. (more…)

(photo source: Tony Stewart Official Store Facebook Page)

Started: 15th

Finished: 21st, 2 laps down.

Points: 26th (420 points, which is 93 points ahead of 31st place Regan Smith which I am being told means we are locked into the top 30 meaning we are locked into the chase. Oh and we are 2 points behind 25th place Aric Almirola).

I have to start off by saying it says something about the quality of the national broadcast coverage when someone who was watching the race asks me on Facebook what happened to Tony and why did he finish 21st, two laps down.  I watched the national broadcast so I know her pain- he was rarely mentioned during the broadcast even when he was on the lead lap but it wasn’t really mentioned when he went a lap down and it definitely wasn’t mentioned when he lost his second lap.  The only reason I really knew what was happening was because I was using the Scanner part of the NASCAR Mobile ap and watching twitter while I was watching the race and honestly the radio – especially Tony’s part was staticy and kind of hard to decipher at times. You’d think they would have mentioned a bit more about Tony considering he was in the top ten during the first practice and topped the chart during the second practice – not to mention finished 7th in the June race at Michigan. It was disappointing. (more…)

Lionel Racing Collectables is giving their die-cast customers a change to won an ultimate piece of the 2014 NASCAR Championship.  For the first time- Lionel pre-made two 2014 championship die-cast to have on hand DURING the post race celebration! That is right these were signed right there in victory lane at Homestead-Miami Speedway and of course I have the pictures to prove it:

2014 NASCAR Nationwide Series Champ Chase Elliot

2014 NASCAR Nationwide Series Champ Chase Elliot holds his vi2014 Champion Die-Cast in victory lane in Homestead-Miami. (Photo Credit: Lionel Racing/Tommy Grassmann/CIA)

2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Champ Kevin Harvick

2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Champ Kevin Harvick signs his 2014 Champion Die Cast in victory lane at Homestead-Miami. (Photo Credit: Lionel Racing/Don Grassmann/CIA Photo)

These die-casts were NOT just used as props for the hat dance picture celebration though!  They were autographed and will be boxed up and randomly shipped to one lucky fan purchasing a Chase Elliot Championship die-cast and one purchasing a Kevin Harvick Championship die-cast.  What a great treat for any die hard fan!  Purchase your Championship die-cast from Lionel Racing Collectables today! You never know- you might just get a little piece of the victory celebration!