Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Nascar K&N Pro Series Racing vs. Cup Racing: A Spade Racing Comparison

On Saturday I attended the Nascar K&N Pro Series East race at New Jersey Motorsports Park (NJMP).  Wondering what a regional developmental series race is like compared to big-time racing?  Glad you asked!

THERE’S MORE ACCESS—There’s a “fan walk” for fans before opening ceremonies—Cup races usually have this as an add-on, but the K&N Pro Series provides this to all fans for no additional charge.  Fans also have much easier access to the drivers themselves for autographs and pictures, although this is because…

YOU WON’T KNOW ANY DRIVERS—Unless you have a personal connection to one of the drivers—or you’re the hardest of hardcore fans—you’ll have difficultly recognizing any of the drivers in the race. Unlike, say, ARCA, the K&N Pro Series is populated almost solely by young up-and-coming drivers.  While there’s a chance you’ll know a driver, it’ll likely only be a second-generation legacy kid with a famous father.

LOWER PRICES, LESS SELECTION—Similar to minor league baseball, the K&N Pro Series is a lower-cost alternative for race fans.  Tickets themselves were reasonably priced while premium add-ons (indoor seating, food/drink included, etc.) wouldn’t break most banks.  One downside to this, however, is that there’s far fewer spending options—don’t expect to find driver/team concession trailers, as most of these drivers have no merchandise to speak of.

TOUGH TO FOLLOW—New Jersey Motorsports Park is a road course, and the lack of TV coverage made this race particularly difficult to follow.  There was no camera feed to show, and no scoreboard on-site to track the leaders.  One silver lining, however, was not being bombarded by constant ads.

LESS OF A HASSLE, BUT STILL A HASSLE—There’s far less fans at K&N Pro Series races, which means less trouble getting in and out of the track.  However, as usual, all it takes is one jerk to ruin it—the woman who was in charge of directing traffic through the gates was obnoxious and rude.

LESS DRIVERS—There were only 17 cars entered in Saturday’s race—one withdrew prior to arrival and another withdrew the day of the race.  With only 15 cars on the track, action could get a bit thin, although this was likely exacerbated by the road-course format.

In summary, if you like your racing to be close to the roots of the sport, with less bells-and-whistles and more drivers with potential to be future stars, get yourself to your nearest K&N Pro Series race.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Nascar Pick Challenge: Uncle Max vs. Mystery Picker—Iowa Off-Week

Editor’s Note: Its a busy week around Spade Racing, as I will be covering the Nascar K&N Pro Series East race at New Jersey Motorsports Park on Saturday.  Meanwhile, Uncle Max just sent me his picks for the Iowa races:

Truck Series M&Ms 200 (3 wins)—Noah Gragson: Leading a charge of young guns this weekend

Xfinity Series Enogen 250 (2 wins)—Cole Custer: Back to no Cup drivers (which is to say, entertaining).

Sunday, June 10, 2018

The Nascar Workout

Unless you’re unenlightened, you probably know that most Nascar drivers are in amazing physical shape to deal with the rigors of the sport.  But we’re not here today to talk about how drivers get into shape—we’re here to show you how you can get into shape by being like a Nascar driver!
Using the Nascar Workout you can become as physically fit as a stock car racer in no time!  Small stature!  Powerful physique!  Crippling back pain!  And it’s all possible with The Nascar Workout patented program.  Just take a look at this sample seven-day schedule:

Sunday: Spend a morning pretending to like corporate toadies.  Sit in a 140 degree metal box for four straight hours to achieve peak weight loss and dehydration.  Get a microphone shoved in your face immediately after exiting.

Monday: RECOVERY DAY—lay in bed for 18 hours wondering what you’re going to do if your sponsor abandons you.

Tuesday: Hour of autographing diecast cars to work out your forearms and shoulders.  Simulated “team meeting” to provide inner-zen.

Wednesday: Media tour simulation—provides fine motor skill training by attaching and removing tiny microphone to your collar.  Finish it off by sitting in an uncomfortable director’s chair waiting to be interviewed by Parker Kligerman for Nascar America (no, this isn’t a simulation—Parker Kligerman will actually interview YOU!)

Thursday: RECOVERY DAY—simulated private jet travel.  Build inner confidence and interpersonal skills by simulating sitting on a plane for five hours with six guys who have the same schedule you do but make 1/10th of your salary.

Friday: Core body workout via practice run simulation—getting in and out of a car with no windows does wonders for your abs.

Saturday: Guest Broadcaster Roleplaying—build self-discipline and inner peace through mediation in order to not punch Michael Waltrip lookalike who constantly elbows you.

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Nascar Pick Challenge: Uncle Max vs. Mystery Picker—Michigan/Texas

You know, there’s nothing like getting a new car to throw you off your game.  I mentioned a while back that I got a sweet deal on a new sedan, and while its great to not have to worry about power steering fluid anymore, its strange having to “recalibrate” all my routines.  I mean, before it was easy to know where to reach for my bottled water—now, its a few inches off.  And the keys dangle down jussssst enough that I can feel them scraping against my knee.  Not that I’m afraid of change, however—I was the one who suggested that we go to a 4-day, 10-hour-a-day workweek at work for all our hourly employees.  And someday, they’ll realize that its a change worth making.

Truck Series Rattlesnake 400k (2 wins)—Johnny Sauter: no Cup interlopers?  Go with the veteran on the big track.

Xfinity Series LTi Printing 250 (2 wins)—Kyle Busch: CHALK!  AGAIN!!!

Cup Series FireKeepers Casino 400—MYSTERY PICKER (4 wins) PICKS Kyle Larson.  Favorite (2 wins): Kevin Harvick—oh yeah, Mystery Picker?  Well lets see you break through domination.  Next Favorite Kyle Busch (2 wins)—see previous entry.  Dark Horse: Alex Bowman—a pretty strong track for the ol’ 88 car.

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Spade Racing Movie Previews: Summer Blockbuster Season

Its that time of the year again—temperatures are rising, the storm clouds are gathering, and everyone’s celebrating mother nature by hiding out in their local multiplex movie theater.  Here’s a look at the upcoming motion pictures with Nascar themes:

Hereditary—watch as Chase Elliott wrecks half the field in pursuit of his first win—then watch as his fans explain how its OK if he does it, but Kyle Busch needs to be banned from the sport for tapping someone one time.

Ocean’s 8—Dale Earnhardt Jr. reveals the real reason why he never raced the 8 car again—the last time he did, he had “Caribbean Queen” stuck in his head.

Won’t You Be My Neighbor?—What’s it like to live in one of the Charlotte Motor Speedway condos?  Its time to find out!!! (SPOILER ALERT: its pretty boring 49 weeks out of the year)

Tag—A member of Nascar’s Driver Council has their annual meeting with the sport’s rising stars, explaining how body sprays such as Axe and Tag are highly flammable and, typically, act as Pit Lizard Repellant.

Jurassic World—Morgan Shepherd vs. Derrike Cope in a thrilling battle for 38th place!

Uncle Drew—Former Xfinity Series substitute driver Drew Herring tries to figure out what happened to himself.

The First Purge—Tony Stewart gets thrown out of the Nascar Hall of Fame before his induction.

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Nascar on Fox Season Finale Rumors

Fox is mere weeks away from wrapping up their 2018 coverage of the Nascar Cup and Xfinity Series.  Here’s some rumors on how they plan to end things this season:
What a stunner in the final episode
of IndyCar on ABC!!!

—Darrell Waltrip finally catches the One-Armed Man who framed him for killing objectivity and professionalism in broadcasting (presented by Toyota).

—Jeff Gordon leaves in a helicopter, looking down at white rocks arranged in the infield by Larry McReynolds that spell out “LET ME BACK IN THE BOOTH”.

—Michael Waltrip wakes up in bed next to Buffy, realizing that the past twenty years have all been a bad dream—he’s still a happily married also-ran who is disliked by hardcore fans and ignored by others.

—In a shocking reveal, it turns out that the entire season was imagined by Chris Myers staring at a snow globe containing the Hollywood Hotel.

—Mike Joy sits at a restaurant while Journey plays in the background (NOTE: this is how most people picture Mike Joy during the offseason).

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Nascar Pick Challenge: Uncle Max vs. Mystery Picker—Pocono

Well I’m glad that my Cup pick came through on Sunday night (and that Mystery Picker wound up in DFL 40th place!) but Memorial Day weekend wound up being kind of a downer overall for me.
First, we had rain.  Lots of rain.  More than enough to ruin the BBQ I was supposed to go to.  Then My one day of work—Sunday—we had our roof leaking.  And guess who had to mop it up every half hour when the buckets overflowed?  Monday was a waste as well, as my plans to get together with some old coworkers for Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals fell apart because apparently one of them got food poisoning over the weekend.  This is as good a time as any to remind you that the less you know the person running the cookout, the more well-done you should have them cook your burgers.

Xfinity Series Pocono Green 250 (1 win)—Kyle Busch: CHALK!

Cup Series Pocono 400—MYSTERY PICKER (4 wins) PICKS Aric Almirola.  Favorite (2 wins): Denny Hamlin—just too tough to pick against the Pocono master.  Next Favorite: Martin Truex Jr. (1 win)—yep, its still the Toyotas (and SHR Fords) dominating.  Dark Horse: Ricky Stenhouse Jr.—for the record I’d have picked AA if Mystery Picker hadn’t.