Gillette is about to announce their 2011 Young Gun class….are you ready? I sure am! I am ready to show you this sneak peak into the new Young Gun commercial (in case you were wondering- I am also ready for the new NASCAR season to start already):
(or how on earth I didn’t pee my pants I am not sure).
Directly after the Victory Lap and Burnouts on Thursday was the After The Lap Q&A at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino. Which meant Misty and I had to jam! We left our prized burnout spot for the car before the smoke from Jeff Burton’s car had dissipated and started towards the Hard Rock. We had about half an hour and while we weren’t THAT far from the Hard Rock, traffic was backed up from the closing of Las Vegas Blvd for the Victory Lap and the lights at Las Vegas intersections? Are the longest lights I have ever experienced in my entire 30-something years of living. We get to the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino and basically RUN to into the Joint and grab two seats in the back near where the drivers would be entering. This event was FREE but space was limited and on a first come/first serve. So Las Vegas native Jamie Little was doing the emceeing/hosting of the event and the Chase drivers are announced- walk into the Joint from the back towards a little catwalk then onto the stage. I would have gotten some great pictures of them entering except someone was a little fogger happy at the Joint so all I got were shadowy people in a fog. I will spare you.
The drivers sat on directors chairs on-stage and were asked questions that were submitted on facebook, twitter, on video from the tracks, and even a couple from the audience. Tony Stewart and Jeff Gordon were seated next to each other much like at Family Feud the day before and they talked back and forth even when it wasn’t their turn to talk- it was funny. I would love to know what they were saying. Anyway, if you follow me on twitter you might have caught my tweet from the event: I am laughing my ass off at the after the lap q&a. These guys are funny as hell!! And I truly was…laughing my butt off. Best line of the night though? Came from Tony Stewart. Let me set it up:
Someone (Clint Bowyer I think?) brought up that the drivers were all changing from their suits into their firesuits in the same room from the Luncheon early in the day to the Victory Lap in the early afternoon. Apparently Kyle Busch was wearing bright green boxers. The other drivers found that to be uproariously funny and mentioned it several times throughout the evening. Anyway- after much talk of Kyle’s green boxers, Tony gets a hold of one of the microphones and states: I don’t know what you guys over there were doing (motioning towards the drivers on the other side of the stage from him) but you were spending WAY too much time looking at each other’s junk. I nearly fell out of my chair (and I hadn’t had anything to drink so don’t think I was drunk).
In between answering the questions we learned that Jeff Gordon is afraid of needles and doesn’t have any tattoos. And Clint Bowyer? The man is hilarious! Who knew? Not me but indeed Clint Bowyer is HILARIOUS! And we all know that Tony is a great storyteller and he had a couple to tell….needless to say that watching these guys interact with each other outside of the track was great!!
Now we wanted to go to the Stewies but we weren’t sure where they were. Originally we had heard they would be at The Hard Rock as well…but then someone else in the Q&A had mentioned they were going to be at the Rio. There was no way would have time to get all the way to the RIO Q&A and happen onto the Stewies being set up right there outside in the Joint Lobby. We take a prime spot for the taping. Last year by the time we got to the Stewies it was so full of people that we were stuck way up in the balcony and could barely see. We didn’t have that problem this time. And let me just say…poor Kyle Busch’s green underwear were brought up AGAIN on the radio. Here is Misty’s awesome video of the Jeff Gordon section of the Stewies:
(Video credit: Misty Bethany)
I also got some great shots during the Stewies:
(All photos credited to ME).
You can see who won in each Stewie catagory at the Stewies Site on Sirius XM’s website as well as listen / watch snippets of video from the event as well…
While I was pretty much on the go all day both Misty and I laughed our butts off at After The Lap and The Stewies. It was a great day!
The Thursday of NASCAR Champions Week in Vegas was a crazy, chaotic day that had us running all over town…literally. There was the luncheon at the Bellagio (which is a beautiful hotel by the way)…where Dale Earnhardt Jr won his umpteenth favorite driver award…and more importantly- Tony Stewart won the 2010 Home Depot Humanitarian of the Year award (and yes I nearly squealed like a school girl when I found out).
Then it was the Victory Lap and Burnouts down the Las Vegas Strip. Having attended this last year- Misty and I had the perfect spot for viewing (and pictures and video) the burnouts. Also? This year rocked because all top 12 drivers did burn outs- last year just Jimmie burned out- the rest just squirreled around the turn! Anyway, we staked out our spot early. Ok, really early, because we didn’t want to worry about it getting usurped. The weather this year was warmer than last year which was great because by the time they burned out last year I was frozen solid into a Popsicle. We were so cold that by the end of it last year we were both shaking uncontrollably. This year we were prepared with layers but didn’t need to worry. So without further ado…some pictures:
(All photos of the burnouts are credited to ME!)
And Misty with her arms of steel took this great video of the awesome burnouts:
(Video credit: Misty Bethany who is now the chief videographer for badgroove.com)
This post compliments the post written by Misty about Fan Fest.
NASCAR’s Champion’s Week festivities in Las Vegas started off on Wednesday with the Chasers for Charity Fan Fest at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Fans mingled around some of the cars (the 24, the 17, the 16, the 99 and the 48 were all present), sampled some tasty bundt cake (from Nothing Bundt Cakes- whom I have had the pleasure of having before as Misty’s birthday cake in July), mingled and waited for the drivers to arrive. This year’s fan fest was different than last year. Last year there was a roast- where fairly pricey tickets were sold to the Roast which was held in the Media Center or fans could sit in the neon garage and listen for free. This year the chase drivers were divided into two teams to play NASCAR Family Fued on the stage in the NEON garage. Anyone could watch. It was much much more fun for the fans who got to interact with the drivers by yelling out answers to help them. It was far more interactive for fans- who enjoyed the game show. Drivers walked together down the red carpet and up to the stage for family feud so of course I snapped some pictures:
Take note of Clint Bowyer in this picture. I will be mentioning him in a different post later…but you need to hold this image of Clint in your head for my story later.
You may have read in Misty’s post about the Family Feud…that Tony Stewart said something that tickled Jeff Gordon so much he was laughing hysterically (and this wouldn’t be the last time Tony cracked Jeff up over the week but more on that later). This actually happened several times during family feud and I would have LOVED to know what the heck was so damn funny Tony:
Not the best picture…the lighting was crappy by this point in the afternoon- but you get the picture. The best part of the Family Feud game was watching the drivers interact with each other off track. Family indeed!
All I can say is WOW. That was a race! Tony Stewart qualified for the race 11th…and finished the race 11th. It could have been better yes, but it could have been much much worse (just ask Jeff Gordon, Jeff Burton, and/or Kyle Busch- whom I will all talk about later in this post).
Via the team release Stewart said this about the team’s choice to come in for fresh tires during the late race caution that had the race going green with only two laps to go:
“Hindsight being 20-20, I probably should’ve stayed out, but we took a gamble and, really, what do we have to lose?” said Stewart, who now has 12 top-12 finishes in 18 career Sprint Cup appearances at the Texas track. “We really don’t have anything to lose. We’re eighth in points, so who cares? I’d rather take a chance on doing something to go forward than worry about losing spots and going backward.” — Team Release
However, I honestly think, the #14 Office Depot team had no option but to pit- having a majority of the field in front of him having fresher (more fresh?) tires from the pit stop before, where they elected to stay out. As it was Tony restarted 16th and worked his way up to 11th in 2 laps! So obviously the fresh rubber was working- he just ran out of time.
And while Greg Biffle seemed to rule most of the race at Texas Motor Speedway on Sunday, it would be Denny Hamlin edging out a hard charging Matt Kenseth for the win.
And now for the “DRAMA DRAMA DRAMA” portion of this post. WOW. How can people say this sport isn’t exciting?? All this drama and Tony wasn’t even involved believe it or not:
First drama one: Kyle Busch gets held for two laps additional laps (after being held one lap for a pit road speeding penalty) for giving a NASCAR official the finger. Now personally I think that the 2 laps was a bit excessive for flipping off an official. I mean, seriously? That totally put him out of contention for even coming close to winning the race. You can’t tell me that it wasn’t because he was caught doing this accidentally by ESPN, who flipped over to Busch’s in-car camera right as Kyle expressed his displeasure with the call, live as it was happening. Now I hear that NASCAR is considering even MORE penalties for Kyle’s heat-of-the-moment gesticulation! Really? Think about this, I flipped someone off this morning…and you know what granted while I do this sometimes in fun or jest sometimes I am really pissed off and it’s the only thing I can do to express myself. Kyle is right- it kind of is trampling on his freedom of speech or um…gesture. Yes, I have already debated this stand with my father who is of the feeling that it was incredibly unprofessional and immature for Kyle to do. While I do see that point- he was already punished for it by being held two laps in race so do we really need to trample on it further? Because if we do the consequences may backfire as drivers refuse to express themselves at all. And no one wants to see that. It is the drivers and their personalities that MAKE this sport!
Ok…now onto drama number two: The Jeff vs Jeff battle on the backstretch. For those that missed that little gem you can check out this video recap of the incident (you will also see dramas one and three mentioned as well). Unfortunately ESPN didn’t catch the whole on-track altercation as they were distracted by Martin Truex Jr, who was gracefully spinning through the grass causing his third caution of the day. From what I saw, it looked like Jeff Burton intentionally spun Jeff Gordon under the yellow. Gordon’s car hit the outside wall hard, pretty much destroying the car. It was a hard impact- you could see pieces of car and what looked like SAFER barrier flying after the impact. Burton’s car came to rest further down the track at the inside retaining wall. Gordon was pissed. You could tell by the video of him in his car that he was pissed. He then walked down the banking and towards Burton’s car which was parked against the inside wall. Next thing you know Gordon is shoving Burton and the two go fist-a-cuffs for a bit, with some NASCAR officials jumping in between the two of them. That was some EXCITEMENT right there! Now from what I have heard and seen of it I think that there was some sort of incident on track, possibly even before the yellow flew between Gordon and Burton and Burton took out Gordon in a fit of frustration. I hate to say this but I LIKE it when the drivers go toe-to-toe out of the car when they are pissed off. As I have mentioned before I do not advocate using (stock cars or otherwise) cars to retaliate- but get into a good, old-fashion shoving match there against the infield wall and I am all about that! It shows that this sport is intense when you have two respected drivers getting in each other’s face after an on-track incident. Good for Jeff Gordon for sticking up for what he believes was right, that Jeff Burton wrecked him and under caution no less. Bravo.
And for the final drama of the race- After the above mentioned wreck, it was decided to have Jeff Gordon’s pit crew pit Jimmie Johnson’s 48 car while the 48 pit crew packed up the 24 group’s pit box. Ouch. However, whomever made that call- made a wise one. Jimmie’s crew seemed to be falling apart at the seams all day, after repeated poor pit stops- including one four tire stop in the 16+ second mark. Yeah I am sure there are some majorly bruised egos on the 48 pit crew…but one bad pit stop I can see…but FOUR bad ones? Really? You are a four-time champion’s pit crew…your driver is contending for his record breaking fifth consecutive cup title. Yes I am sure you are all under immense pressure…but FOUR? Really?? Jeff’s over-the-wall crew stepped in under what I am assume was Chad’s call and they did not just step in…but they stepped UP and were able to pit Jimmie with decent times. That is what I call GOOD teamwork. Just this afternoon Hendrick Motorsports announced that the 24 pit crew will be going over-the-wall for Jimmie Johnson for the last two races of the season. This is good for Jimmie who I understand is in title contention- but wow- why punish Jeff because his pit crew is ON IT! I mean his pit crew has been in the running for the fastest pit crew for most of the year! It seems like they are punishing Jeff Gordon for having a good pit crew. Hopefully the 48 crew can figure out where the disconnect was and get it ironed out for the next two races for Jeff.
One final note about Texas- two fans were hurt during the race when a brake pad flew through the eighth story window of the Speedway club in the first turn. From what I was able to find out, it doesn’t seem like the injuries were life-threatening, thank goodness. I wish them a speedy recovery- no one wants to see anyone get hurt at a race!
Next race: Phoenix
Bristol- I like you. I really really do. But damn- why did you have to be so mean to Tony on Saturday night? Tony qualified strong- a 4th place starting position. And at the begining of the race he was doing so well. He even led for a lap or two (five points right there). I was optimistic at the beginning!
Then it all went to hell in a hand basket. First David Ragan spun. Tony slowed up on his sponsors advice as to not hit Ragan who was sitting in the middle of the track and sliding ever so slowly towards the infield. Ragan looked like a sitting duck. I was worried that it could get ugly for Ragan. Apparently he was not the one I needed to be worrying about as Stewart ended up with the worse of that deal when Tony Raines smacked him in the right rear as Stewart was slowing to avoid Ragan. It looked ugly- parts sticking out from the car. It took him two trips to pit road for the crew to fix up the damage but Stewart was able to stay on the lead lap- he was 25 or 26 but still on the lead lap (I am pretty sure that he was the last car on the lead lap actually).
Understandably the car wasn’t handling as well as it was pre-accident…and what might have even been a salvageable evening for Stewart turned to crap when Stewart smacked the wall pretty hard because the car was looser than a caboose. Then he had a tire start to go down and was forced to pit under green- and lost three laps changing only right side tires (Bristol is that small and the race leaders were running that fast). He would not come up any farther and unfortunately finished 27th- 6 laps down. Stewart would lose two positions in the points standing and is now 6th behind points leader Kevin Harvick. Race winner was Kyle Busch who completed the first ever trifecta- winning three series events in a single weekend.
Notes About Bristol:
- When Tony got the 4th starting position in qualifying, the StewartHaasRacing twitter account claimed it was his second consecutive STEWART POLE…that being the highest qualifying position not required to do after qualifying media.
- Speaking of media…what does Jeff Gluck have against Tony Stewart anyway? He made a snide twitter comment after Tony’s first incident at Bristol “Fortunately for Tony Stewart, he won’t have to visit the media center tonight. Fortunate for the media, too.” He always has something rude to say about Tony. It riles me up.
- Best National Anthem of the season so far. I am just saying…maybe they should get away from the weird acts and go for the kids more often.
- Pre hell in a handbasket radio was interesting. Tony instructed them to calm him down if he got riled up during the race during his pre-race peptalk.
- After the contact with Ragan but before he had a tire come apart on him Tony got riled up about something and Darian told him to “chill out.” That cracked me up because when I am ramped up and someone says that to me? It just riles me up more.
- Post hell in a handbasket radio was pretty depressing. Stewart didn’t say hardly anything. Neither did Darian…mostly it was his spotter Bob saying things like “Clear.” And “The x car has a hole if you need it.”
Next weekend is an off weekend for the Cup Drivers.
You may have noticed that lately Kyle Busch has been driving the Pretzel M&M car (it’s the blue one). I will tell you this? I LOVE the Pretzel M&M’s- and if it hadn’t been for Kyle and that car I probably would have never discovered them because I am not a big M&M eater in general- so that is your marketing money at work right there M&M/Mars! The Pretzel M&M’s are my new favorite candy and if you come to me bearing a baggie of Pretzel M&M’s* I will love you forever and probably do nearly anything you wanted. Every time I see the Pretzel M&M car I want a baggie. It’s like the crack of candy with its tons of chocolatey, crunchy, salty goodness.
And how on earth did I get stuck on that tangent of too much information? By wanting to tell you about the M&M’s Most Colorful Fans contest. This contest is actually the perfect pairing because as many of you know, NASCAR fans are a varied, colorful, loving, devoted breed of people (as demonstrated in my favorite NASCAR book THE WEEKEND STARTS ON WEDNESDAY- pick up a copy- you know you want it!) and M&M’s being the colorful candy they are want to recognize the most colorful NASCAR fan.
This is the third year M&M has run this particular contest…and entering is easy. Enter your favorite NASCAR themed photo (fan – ha that is a funny typo so I am leaving it…enter your fan- not your photo…good luck with figuring out how to upload a fan!) that showcases your love of the sport/your favorite driver and/or team by uploading it to NASCAR.com/mostcolorfulfans between now and September 6th! Just by uploading a picture you get a fifteen percent off a one-time purchase at the NASCAR.COM Superstore, including free shipping so you are already a winner! Other fans vote on their favorite photo and you could win one of the weekly $500 gift cards if you are chosen! There is also an instant win game were you could win a $50.00 gift card. Three finalist will be chosen to vie for the title of M&M Most Colorful fan.
The NASCAR fan deemed most colorful will win a trip to the NASCAR Hall of Fame, $10,000 and a yearlong featured display within the Hall of Fame! Awesome prize right? Just watch this video about last year’s winner:
I bet you could sneak in a trip to your favorite race team’s shop while in Charlotte at the Hall of Fame if you won. If I won you know I would be like “yah yah that’s fine…now where is Stewart-Haas Racing again?”
*No M&M’s were consumed during the writing of this post-pretzel or otherwise…and that is a shame!
First I am actually going to start with the Pit Crew Challenge…I LOVE the Pit Crew Challenge. LOVE IT! I love it so much I purposely stayed off of Twitter because I KNEW it was a delayed broadcast on SpeedTV and I wanted to watch it without knowing who the winner was. Each run I would pick a team and root for them…loud enough for Roxy to go nap in her “safe place” while I watched. The best part of this year’s Pit Crew Challenge was watching Tony Gibson’s show of excitement when Ryan Newman’s US Army pit crew bested the 48 pit crew. All three Stewart-Haas pit crews did extremely well and should be proud! Denny Hamlin’s pit crew ended up winning the Pit Crew Challenge!
I watched the Showdown and the All-Star race. And for the most part I thought the Showdown was a wee bit more exciting than the All-Star race…not that it wasn’t exciting. I love that the Pit Crews get to be a part of the driver introductions for the All-Star race. And what do I love even more? That a lot of the crews bring out goodies for the fans at Driver Intros to toss into the crowd. I saw hats, shirts, I couldn’t tell what Kyle was giving away– but it would make sense if it was M&Ms…Tony Stewart even bent down and handed a fan his full Coke bottle. Those are the kind of things fans love – trust me- I know. I am a fan…and I would love catching a hat, tshirt or even a bag of M&Ms (who doesn’t love M&Ms). I also LOVE that Kyle and his pit crew BOW during their introduction. I LOVE THAT!
The race format is confusing to my parents- but not to me. However I wasn’t not going to watch with them (hello 52 in Flat Screen with SpeedTV in HD- it made it worth explaining the format several times). I did let loose with some curse words when Tony ended up getting collected in the late race accident. I was impressed he was able to finish as well as he did (Tony came in 5th) because the car seemed pretty damaged to me. Of course a lot of the field ended up involved in that last incident.
Congrats to Kurt who brought home the cool million dollars.
NOTES ABOUT THE ALL-STAR RACE:
- As much as I like Kyle Busch…I still don’t understand what the problem was between him and Denny. I didn’t see the offense. I saw Denny defending his position not cutting Kyle off. Of course I only saw what the TV showed…
- Can ANYONE explain to me why Ryan Newman was positioned 8th on that last restart? It didn’t make any sense to me.
- Did not Taylor Gibbs give the best invocation? That was adorable!
- *How can I not reference the song you KNOW is running through your head when you think of the All-Star race.