First off I like seeing that the NASCAR race at Dover fully embraces the name of the race: The Autism Speaks 400. It’s not just a race sponsor- many drivers ran special Autism awareness puzzle piece decals on their cars for the race, and Denny Hamlin even ran a special FEDEX Autism awareness paint scheme! I love to see that, but what I loved seeing the most? They had special suite seating for families with autistic children, complete with special toys and a place to get away from the overstimulation that a race track can bring. LOVE THIS! This was the best picture I could find of Denny’s special paint scheme- it’s hard to tell from this picture but the entirely of the blue on the car is comprised of puzzle pieces with names on them- very cool: (more…)
Over my life, my racing fandom has wavered between NASCAR, IRL and even NHRA for awhile before I settled back on NASCAR in the late 90s. I know I have mentioned this here before (usually right around this time of year) but I started off as a mostly IRL fan (technically it was before the inception of what is now called IRL- back then it was called CART and if anyone mentions that I am showing my age- I will sock you in the eye) likely because that was the premier racing series that the track closest to my home ran at the that time. I remember watching many an Indy500 “bubble day” with bated breath wondering who was going to make the field and who was going to go home sad. I knew the words to “Back Home Again In Indiana” before my own state song. I have no trouble sitting down and watching an IRL race, and did so with even more glee than usual on Sunday – all because Kurt Busch was running the double. As I listened to the Indy500 pre race show as I flitted about the house before settling into watch some racing, I said after the pre-race interview with Kurt “If he doesn’t crash the Indy car I have no doubt he will do it.” Little did I know what exactly he would do that could in the Indy500 side of the double. I mean- technically it was his first time in a IRL race. And racing is different than testing, and qualifying and all that. When Kurt tied Tony’s best Indy double finish…I was IMPRESSED! I was so disappointed for him when he suffered an engine failure in Charlotte. I HOPE that doesn’t dissuade him from attempting this again! I love the double and would actually LOVE to see more drivers attempt it- it adds something to the Indy 500 to me as well as the Coca-Cola 600.
That said- let’s talk Coca-Cola 600. It’s the longest race of the NASCAR season- I know that there has been talk that it’s too long- but I think there needs to be at least one 600 mile race in the season. In a time when the trend is to want to shorten races in general- I think it’s important to have a long race to showcase the endurance of the drivers, team and equipment. I think of it as the endurance race of NASCAR. (more…)
What do I have in common with Tony Stewart? That is easy- I also drove 500 miles on Monday. Of course his drive took far less time than mine did, but in my favor- Tony didn’t get to take potty breaks. I was an hour and a half into my drive when the Duck Commander 500 started and well- lets just say I still had about two and a half hours left in my drive when it ended. (more…)
(Here are links to Celebrating A NASCAR Sprint Cup Champion…Vegas Style Part One and Celebrating Part Two)
First off I wanted to let you know that you can see all of our pictures from Champions Week over in our Sprint Cup Champion’s Week 2013 flickr set (all pictures no commentary) so I hope you enjoy those.
Here are my favorite (often times silly and possibly only funny to us) “outtake” moments from this year’s NASCAR Champion’s Week celebration:
1. That the only part of Tony Stewart Live that Misty and I managed to catch (since Tuesday was my travel day) was Jimmie Johnson saying that Chad Knaus was aging in dog years and he didn’t know how much more he had in him. (For those not in the know- Misty’s favorite driver is Jeff Gordon- but Chad is her favorite crew chief). Okay- well maybe only I (Amy) found that hilarious- am pretty sure Misty didn’t find it too funny but don’t worry- she gets me back in this department with outtake 3. Needless to say “aging in dog years” became the catchphrase of the week.
2. That time Robin Leach (yes he of the Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous fame) photobombed Misty’s picture of Jimmie Johnson, Joey Logano and Matt Kenseth during The Victory Lap (and all three of the drivers were smiling- not an easy thing to catch):
Misty and I have been attending NASCAR’s Sprint Cup Champion’s Week celebrations since they started having them in Vegas. I can NOT encourage you to go enough if you can at all swing it! Attend Champion’s Week! Seriously. It’s one of my favorite events of the year!
The fan events usually start with Fan Fest- which is usually held on Wednesday. They started out having fan fest at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in the infield. I loved it there because I enjoyed being at the track when it was “quiet” and I loved watching the fighters from Nellis Air Force Base fly around as we waiting for the red carpet event. Eventually they moved it out to the Fremont Street Experience – since the speedway is off strip quite a ways. Unfortunately it’s usually cold under the awning that covers over Fremont Street and this year was no exception. I was certain there would be less fans- because it was COLD and I mean COLD. I must have momentarily forgotten the tenacity of my fellow NASCAR fans (after all I was out there in the cold wasn’t I? And my driver wasn’t even there). Here are some of the sights from Fan Fest this season: (more…)
On Sunday November 17th, 2013 Jimmie Johnson was crowned NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion for the the 6th time in 8 years.
I KNOW I am not in the majority here but I think what Jimmie and the 48 team has managed to do is historic- possibly bordering on- wait for it: legend-ary. We are witnessing one of the greats in NASCAR- and I am interested to see just how many championships Jimmie can amass. Yes I am a diehard Stewart fan- but I can appreciate what Jimmie and Chad and the rest of the Lowes racing team is doing. They obviously have a little something more than the rest of the field. I don’t know if it’s more dedication, more drive, more talent, better engineering, the fact that their crew chief openly admits he has no life outside of work. Whatever they have- they have just a wee little bit more- and have had it six times now. Misty mentioned that she didn’t understand why Jimmie and team are so widely despised. I told her “Haters just hating on success…they are just jealous.”
Of course you can be dang sure if he was running up against Tony Stewart for that championship I would have been all sour grapes about number 6- that is just the way I am- and I freely admit that. (more…)
As I mentioned I was gone to Phoenix last weekend- for the race and other fun with Misty. It’s a trip we’ve made at least once a year since…what? 2009? Anyway- this year’s annual 1700+ mile road trip was fun as it always is. I drove 500 miles from here (central coast of California) to Vegas and spent the night with Misty and Ronald her adorable dachshund puppy. Now what you need to know about Ronald is that he is an excited pee-er. So when he is excited he pees and luckily for me he finds me very exciting. So when I am about 20 minutes out or so- Misty usually tries to take him for a walk hoping to alleviate any possible peeing (on me) marathons when I get there. Anyway, I turn into Misty’s neighborhood to see Misty and little Ronald walking up one of the nearby streets. I stopped and said hello and little Ronnie of course wanted to race the car- let me tell you he put his little legs and heart into trying- but he is a mini-doxie and as the shortest legs I have ever seen on a puppy. I beat them to her house so I was waiting for her to turn the corner and as I watched Misty (the ardent Jeff Gordon fan) walk up her little street I noticed something. Let me show you a picture and see if you notice it too:
I am going to be the first to admit I was a little distracted during the race in Texas for multiple reasons but mainly I had been running around on Saturday trying to get all the stuff I needed done and taken care of because I am heading off for Phoenix Wednesday so during commercials I was doing exciting things like laundry.
And wouldn’t you know it the one day that I decide to forgo listening to the scanner that the 14 has a fairly decent run! (more…)