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The 2018 Monster Energy NASCAR All-Star race is upon us already. It seems like the season just started and we are already onto what use to be one of my favorite weeks of the year- the All-Star race.  I always loved the pageantry that came with the race. Plus there is the fact that it’s not a points race, it’s a let it all hang out because there is million dollars on the line race. Over the recent years though, the race for me has started to lose a little of it’s viewing luster.

For me it started when they stopped the pit crew competition. It was always a favorite of mine. I enjoyed watching the teams in their bracket like competition, a lot of time the drivers were there cheering their team members on.  It showcased that NASCAR is a team sport.  Then there is the fact that the format never seems to be the same two years in a row.  I can honestly tell you that I didn’t even know much about the format this season so I decided to investigate it.

The format will be a four stage race: Lap 30, Lap 50, Lap 70 and Lap 80 and that they are making it so that each stage can go into overtime- which I hope is something that is just for the All-Star race- because that seems like it would just drag out your standard 400 mile race.

The biggest difference I found for the All-Star race this year is the package the cars will be running. The cars will have a six inch spoiler that will have a 12 inch “ear” extension on each side (I don’t know about you but I am picturing bunny ears) and a splitter configuration from back in 2014 and there is talk that this is just a testing ground for a major package change for next year.  From what I read the hope is there will be more side-by-side racing with record number passes for the lead kind of thing. I guess we will find out soon enough.  But there was a reason we moved away from the 2014 splitter and ducting package from back in 2014.

I guess we will find out what happens with the package.

I hope the race has the sparks that NASCAR is looking for. I’ll be watching. Will you? Who do you have your money on? Who do you think will get the fan vote? I have been voting since it opened (but I won’t tell you for who).

I guess since the last superbowl is officially in the books and the foosball season is over- we can now officially state it’s the beginning of the NASCAR race season. Thank goodness.

The Daytona 500 is 12 days away.  Anybody have any thoughts about it right out of the gate?

I am seriously considering getting back into the NASCAR fantasy game playing.  I have dabbled with it on and off with variety of different NASCAR fantasy leagues. The ones that seem to hold me best don’t have me going in and changing my driving team on a weekly basis…but that said- I am thinking of trying the new NASCAR.COM Fantasy league. The format seems simplified this year  all you do is pick five drivers for the race as well as a sixth “garaged” driver. Best part this year is that you can dump one of you existing drivers and switch to your garaged driver live during the race as long as you do it before the beginning of the final stage of that race.

You can sign up for their new fantasy league season starting now at NASCAR.COM/fantasy and you can set your driver roster for the Daytona 500 as soon as the official driver entry list is announced next week.

Anyone else going to play?  Even if you aren’t going to play tell me, who are you all thinking of putting down as your must have six driver roster (five active and one garaged) for the 500- tell me now before cars hit the track.

Have a NASCAR fan in your life and struggling to find the perfect gift? Let me give you a few suggestions!

  1. Memorabilia (the gift of Christmas Past): Do you know your fan’s favorite driver? Maybe get them some memorabilia! You can check their driver’s website because if they have their own shop sometimes you can fine unique or autographed memorabilia that way. Or check the Fanatics NASCAR shop and get everything from socks to jackets to license plate frames. Us NASCAR fans love to rep our favorite drivers. Help your favorite fan support their driver with the gift of merchandise!
  2. Donate to their driver’s foundation (the gift of Christmas Present): Many drivers have charitable foundations that support organizations near and dear to the driver’s heart. These organizations are as diverse as the drivers are and support a wide variety of needs on our community now!  For instance The Kyle Busch Foundation focuses on empowering children, families and communities to overcome hardship, The Jimmie Johnson foundation focuses on supporting K-12 public education, and Ryan Newman supports his Rescue Ranch.
  3. Race Tickets (the gift of Christmas Future): Give the gift of race tickets! NASCAR races are likely your favorite NASCAR fan’s happy place. Go large and get them some tickets!  Check the nearest track (or their favorite track)’s website and speak with the box office about purchasing tickets or giftcards that can be used for tickets if tickets are not yet available. I find that when I am going to a track I have never been to before my favorite way to buy tickets is to talk to the box office- the ticketing agents can work with you to get you the best tickets in your price range and may have suggestions for visiting their track if you never have been there before. Better yet go with your favorite race fan TO the race! If your not a fan yet you might find out at the track that NASCAR is much more that just driving in circles! If you want to go really big make it a destination race- remember that Vegas will have a second race this coming year – the usual Spring race in March and the new Fall chase race!
  4. Books! Who doesn’t love books? Do you have a NASCAR fan who is a bookworm on your list? (Maybe that is just me). If so check out my NASCAR Reading list for suggestions of books your motorsports loving fan may enjoy!

So tell me NASCAR fans- what gift are you hoping for this season?

Martin Truex Jr.

Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 19, 2017 in Homestead, Florida.

Attention all #NASCAR Drivers:

Apply within for the job of new favorite NASCAR Driver.

About The Position:

I find myself staunchly in the middle of the dreaded “off-season” for us NASCAR fans, pondering what will be in the 2017 NASCAR season. There are lots of changes afoot- including an awesome new series sponsor in  MONSTER ENERGY.  I am finding myself unable to concentrate on any of that because I find I am faltering since I am now without a favorite NASCAR driver. I haven’t been in this position in many years and it’s unsettling.  So I decided that I am currently taking applications for the position of a new “Favorite NASCAR Driver.” If you are a #NASCAR driver looking for a new fan- please read on to see if this position is a good fit for you!

What You’ll Need For This Position:

This position is NOT an easy one to fill so please make sure that you fit the qualifications before applying:

  • Fiery passion to win.
  • Talent to back up that passion.
  • Competitive
  • Tender heart that may not always show.
  • Wear that passion and heart on your sleeve

Helpful but not required skills:

  • Championships in other series.
  • Lacking a filter and saying the first thing that pops into your head while speaking with the media is acceptable as is using terms like “dart with no feather.”
  • Willingness to wreck own mother (or other family members) to win championship.
  • Tenuous relationship with NASCAR beat media okay.

What’s In It For You:

I offer an exclusive benefits package including but not limited to:

  • A cheering section of at least one- possibly more.
  • Blog posts written about you.
  • All channels of your social media followed.
  • Merchandise sales.
  • May drive in other series while active in MONSTER ENERGY NASCAR CUP SERIES.

Please Note:

Fitting with the right  NASCAR driver is a process that has to develop organically so a trial run might be necessary before position becomes permanent.

Position may or may not include additional responsibility of being included in the Race Fan’s workgroup of favorite racers. Previous “Favorite NASCAR Driver” holder currently holds court in this exclusive group but retirement from #NASCAR forced him to leave the position of “Favorite NASCAR Driver”.

How To Apply:

Email cover letter and resume/cv to:  badgruv@netzero.com.

 

(photo source: Zimbio.com/Robert Laberge/Getty Images North America)

Oh that All-Star race. But I am getting a bit ahead of myself. Let’s start at the beginning, shall we?

Thanks to an uncooperative mother nature and a dog that gets me up at the crack of dawn ever morning I was able to watch the entire Sprint Showdown live.  Originally scheduled to run Friday evening the Showdown was postponed along with all other ontrack activities at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Friday.  I usually miss at least a couple of the Showdown segments being on the west coast because of work – so it was actually a nice treat to get get to watch the entire showdown start-to-finish.  In my opinion the racing in the showdown was good exciting racing- exactly what you would expect from drivers racing for the chance to race for million bucks.  That last transfer race between Chase Elliott and Kyle Larson was just good hard aggressive racing that fans want to see at any race! The showdown transfer winners ended up being Trevor Bayne, Greg Biffle and Kyle Larson.  Ironically enough the fan vote winner was Chase Elliott and second place fan vote was Danica Patrick both of which also transferred into the All-Star race.  Matt DiBurrito ended up being third in the fan vote for those keeping track. (more…)

If you are like me, some NASCAR races are a traditional viewing event and I am always looking for yummy yet easy to prepare dishes. Or maybe you are heading to a race or NASCAR viewing party and looking for some great tailgating recipes to take along with you. Well look no further than AllRecipes.com.

They have a special section dedicated to NASCAR fans! There are collections of recipe ideas put together by fans for specific races even- which I think is the most awesome part of the NASCAR on Fox specific section of AllRecipies.com. For instance here is one collection for the race this weekend in Fontana at Autoclub Speedway. There are also some for people with special diets like Low-Carb & Loving It Las Vegas Race Day Party collection. Some even contain some very interesting looking adult beverages if you are in the market. I would definitely suggest going through some of these NASCAR Race inspired collections and picking up some new recipes.

This one for  Mini Philly Cheesesteaks by Chef John looks both yummy and easy to prepare and is one of their more popular ones in the NASCAR category: (more…)

There seems to be some confusion over some of the new rules when it comes to the charters and who get’s starting positions and how that all works. Plus I have also heard mumbling of people who don’t seem to understand how NASCAR’s new “Overtime” rule changes the previous GWC rule.  Here is an overview of some of the new stuff to the best of my understanding: (more…)