Friday, November 15, 2019

Spade Racing Picks: Uncle Max vs. Mystery Picker—Homestead


BACK TO BACK, BABY!!!
Mystery Picker, I gotta hand it to ya.  You took advantage of MY pick, Chase Elliott, wrecking and nearly pulled off a major upset at Phoenix.  Unfortunately for you, your pick of Kyle Busch came home second, handing ME my second straight picking championship over you.
Now we have the little matter of the Championship Weekend, to be followed by the big reveal—we’ll finally all know who Mystery Picker is!!!

CUP SERIES Ford EcoBoost 400: Mystery Picker (2 wins) picks Paul Menard.  Favorite (4 wins): Denny Hamlin—maybe Mystery Picker really WAS Paul Menard (or Ryan Blaney) all along.  Next Favorite (3 wins): Martin Truex Jr.—two championships in three years?  Impressive.  Dark Horse: Aric Almirola—quasi-hometown win.

XFINITY SERIES Ford EcoBoost 300 (8 wins): Christopher Bell—a fitting way to end his (full-time) Xfinity run.

TRUCK SERIES Ford EcoBoost 200 (8 wins): Ross Chastain—championship despite missing the first few races?  How Rowdy of him.

Sunday, November 10, 2019

BEER: Bottle or Can? Nascar Edition


Last night was the official premiere of Beer Can: A Love Story, a short film about the never-ending debate about beer being served in bottles or cans.  I had a small role in the movie (I hope to show you my clip as it gets wider release), but it got me to thinking—how do Nascar Cup’s stars enjoy THEIR beer?  Well, here’s my best guesses:

Kurt Busch—bottles
That time Brad Keselowski became the first
person to ever get drunk off of Miller Lite

Brad Keselowski—cans

Austin Dillon—bottles on weeknights, cans on weekends

Kevin Harvick—cans

Ryan Newman—(blocked me from getting an answer)

Daniel Hemric—shotguns cans

Chase Elliott—cans in private, bottles in public

Aric Alimorla—bottles although he prefers draft

Denny Hamlin—bottles

Ryan Blaney—cans although he prefers draft

Ty Dillon—tall boy cans

Clint Bowyer—keg-stands and makes sure everyone’s watching

Ricky Stenhouse Jr.—bottles which he breaks immediately after finishing

Kyle Busch—bottles; peels labels off as he drinks

Erik Jones—cans

Paul Menard—bottles

Joey Logano—bottles

William Byron—bottles, light beer only

Corey Lajoie—home-brews

Chris Buescher—pony-bottles

Michael McDowell—cans; one a night so he can serve as designated driver

Matt Tifft—cans (get well soon!)

David Ragan—cans BUT gave up beer for 2020 (except on special occasions)
"I don't have to actually DRINK it, right?"

Daniel Suarez—cans; gets irritated when people call it “cerveza” in the US

Kyle Larson—bottles of hard cider

Bubba Wallace—party ball

Ryan Preece—cider in bottles (pronounces it “ci-DAH”)

Jimmie Johnson—bottles of ultra-light beer, half of which he pours over his head

Alex Bowman—bottles, but hates it when they spray in his face

Matt DiBennedetto—cans, makes a big deal about it too

Landon Cassill—microbrews only

Friday, November 8, 2019

Spade Racing Picks: Uncle Max vs. Mystery Picker—ISM (Phoenix)


Well played Mystery—well played.
I come home from vacation and see that you had the right pick for Texas.  And so you stave off elimination for another week.  Am I mad?  No way—because I *LOVE* competition.
Whether its competing with other assistant managers to get my area ready for the holidays, a spirited battle for the top seed in fantasy football, or racing someone on the highway (even if they don’t know I’m racing them), I live for competition.  So give it your best shot, Mystery!

(EDITOR’S NOTE: In the event of a win by Mystery Picker, a tiebreaker will be on standby for Homestead)

CUP SERIES Bluegreen Vacations 500: Mystery Picker (2 wins) picks Kyle Busch.  Favorite (4 wins): Chase Elliott—with Mystery Picker going safe, its time to be a little bit daring.  Next Favorite (3 wins): Joey Logano—something something OVERCOMING DRAMA.  Dark Horse: Alex Bowman—a home track win will be like a splash in the face.

XFINITY SERIES Diamond Desert 200 (8 wins): Christopher Bell—C.Bell keeps the train rolling into Homestead.

TRUCK SERIES Lucas Oil 150 (8 wins): Ross Chastain—a watermelon grows in Avondale.

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

ELIMINATORS—Spade Racing’s Elimination Race Breakdown

After a late race at Texas, we get a late race at Phoenix.  And that’s where the similarities end—Texas is a freaking disaster most of the time, while Phoenix has the good kinds of disasters, like mayhem and side-by-side racing.  Here’s how the remaining eight Playoff drivers look as they head to Arizona:

Gimme all your stage points, don't give up
until we're good...
CLINCHED: Martin Truex Jr. and Kevin Harvick.  Two of the safest bets this year are locked into the Homestead finale.  With virtually no chance for Truex-like ADVERSITY or Harvick-like DRAMA, Rick Allen will have to dig deep for something to ram into the ground.

GOOD BARRING DISASTER: none

GOOD BARRING A BAD DAY OR A “WIN AND YOU’RE IN”: Kyle Busch and Joey Logano.  Rowdy (22 points to the good) and JoLo (20 to the good) need to have decent runs and hope that none of the other four drivers post a win.  If one of the other drivers DOES win, however, these two will have to fight each other for the final spot—and if Denny Hamlin knocks out Joey Logano via a win, lord help us.

ON THE BUBBLE BUT IN CONTROL: none

ON THE BUBBLE AND NEEDING HELP: none

NEEDS HELP: Denny Hamlin, Ryan Blaney, and Kyle Larson.  Hamlin (-20), Blaney (-23) and Larson (-23) will likely be in “win now” mode at Phoenix, but could sneak their way in if Busch or Logano DNF.  Luckily we should know the answer to the final four by Sunday evening—unless someone fails inspection (please, don’t ANYONE in the Playoffs fail inspection).


NEEDS A WIN: Chase Elliott.  78 points in the hole means that Chase Elliott needs to win his way in or go home after Phoenix.  Well, he was probably planning on going home anyways—its a figure of speech, people.

Sunday, November 3, 2019

Joey Logano vs. Denny Hamlin: Spade Racing’s Tale O’ The Tape


Last weekend saw Joey Logano and Denny Hamlin get into post-race pit road scrap, thus giving people something to talk about all week.  But what if these two actually went at it mano a mano?  Well, here’s the Spade Racing Tale O’ The Tape!

HOMETOWN
Denny Hamlin: Middle of nowhere Virginia
Joey Logano: Middle of Middletown Connecticut
Advantage: Hamlin—hard to be intimidated by someone from “The Nutmeg State”

FAMILY BACKGROUND
Denny Hamlin: Fabrication, metal works, trailer design
Joey Logano: “Waste management”
Advantage: Logano—he might not be strong, but he knows a guy who knows a guy

DISADVANTAGES
Denny Hamlin: Chronic back issues, also lingering shoulder problems
Joey Logano: Eminently punchable face
Advantage: Hamlin—I don’t even MIND Joey and I want to smack him sometimes

FIGHTING TECHNIQUE
Denny Hamlin: Fight for everything never giving up an inch (exception: Tony Stewart)
Joey Logano: Push someone in the shoulder and run away
Advantage: Logano—speaking from experience, this works

FAMOUS FRIENDS
Denny Hamlin: Michael Jordan
Joey Logano: Brad Keselowski
Advantage: Hamlin—nobody wants to fight a man with Charles Oakley a few calls away

TEAMMATES
Denny Hamlin: Two scrawny guys and a dude from Jersey
Joey Logano: Son of a racer, son of a racer, and a son of a billionaire
Advantage: Logano—everyone wants to punch Brad’s teeth in until you realize you have to sacrifice your fist

USEFULNESS OF SPONSOR
Denny Hamlin: Maybe you could mail someone a knockout?
Joey Logano: Coat the floor with oil
Advantage: Logano—slip sliding away

Friday, November 1, 2019

Spade Racing Picks: Uncle Max vs. Mystery Picker—Texas


EDITOR’S NOTE: Uncle Max texted me his picks earlier today from his vacation.  Its also worth noting that unless Mystery Picker wins this weekend, Uncle Max will clinch the season championship and force Mystery Picker to reveal themselves at the end of the year.

CUP SERIES AAA Texas 500: Mystery Picker (1 win) picks Kevin Harvick.  Favorite (4 wins): Martin Truex Jr.—if Truex has an off weekend and Rowdy wins….  Next Favorite (3 wins): Denny Hamlin—will we get another post-race Logano impression?  Dark Horse: Brad Keselowski—yeah yeah, well he’s out of the Playoffs so he’s a Dark Horse.

XFINITY SERIES O’Reilly Auto Parts 300 (7 wins): Christopher Bell—C.Bell gets back on track.

Monday, October 28, 2019

Denny Hamlin Apologizes Profusely After Visit from “Advisors”


Martin Truex Jr.’s dominant day (and post-race interview) were overshadowed by a post-race fight between Denny Hamlin and Joey Logano.  Hamlin, who was defiant in his initial post-fracas interview, struck a contrite tone today, flanked by two large men referred to as his new “advisors”.
The "Advisors"
“I would just like to apologize for everything that happened yesterday”, a nervous-sounding Hamlin said earlier today, sporting what appeared to be heavily-bandaged thumbs.  “I was wrong to criticize a member of the Logano family, and I’ll never do it again—I swear.”
The large men beside Hamlin—both of whom spoke with thick New York accents—quickly spoke up on Denny’s behalf.
“Yeah, we all make mistakes, don’t we Denny?” one of them said as Hamlin vigorously shook his head in agreement.  “I’ve seen a lot of people make mistakes once—but they never EVER make them again.”
“Yeah, that’s for sure”, the other man said while filing his nails.  “I seen it everywhere I’ve worked—casinos, liquor distribution, gentlemen’s clubs—heck, even waste management.  But everyone always learns the same thing—don’t EVER go against the family.”
Hamlin continued to apologize, also stating that he hoped to “…get his car back from the impound lot” by this weekend’s race at Texas.

(Editor’s note: I tried to ask either of the two men what their business was in Nascar, but they simply handed me a stereo, said it fell off a truck, and told me to keep my mouth shut.)