Sunday, June 23, 2019

Brick by Brick—The Career of Darrell Waltrip as told in Mega Bloks

Darrell Waltrip is about to ease into retirement from the Fox Sports booth.  And while his broadcast career, like his driving career, likely went on a bit too long, its impossible to underestimate his impact on the sport of Nascar as a driver, commentator, and overall personality.  But I’ll try to capture the essence of Jaws…through a cheaply made Lego knockoff project!
You gotta start somewhere, and DW started
racing local tracks, earning attention both
good and bad for his braggadocios trash-talking.
Along those lines, trying to put this together
had ME trash talking my own meagre motor skills.

Progress!  DW ran his first Nascar race in 1972
in a car formerly driven by Mario Andretti.
I wound up yelling at this set with the fervor of
Marco Andretti.

DW's DiGard years were successful on the track,
but fractious off the track due to the team's
notorious difficulty in paying people on time.
Thankfully my eBay purchase of this...thing went
smoothly and I didn't have to buy my way out of
the purchase agreement.

1975 was a big year for DW as he notched his first
Cup Series win AND signed to drive with his first
major team in DiGard.  2019's been a big year for me
as my girlfriend broke up with me and I decided to devote
four hours to THIS project.  Connected?  You be the judge.

The underside of the partially-completed car shows the
importance of having a solid foundation.  DW had that
at Junior Johnson & Associates with team owner
Junior Johnson and Associates Jeff Hammond and
solid sponsorship.  I have no associates, so there's that.
As this, uh, collectable starts to change, so
was DW in the mid-80's, as being born-again
into the Christian faith changed his priorities
drastically.  I went to Sunday School briefly
and earned the nickname "motor mouth".

Despite winning three championships it took DW's
famous 1989 Daytona 500 win for his career to be
"complete", just like this car is starting to look.
I think my life became complete when my dad
and I booed DW for pimping Toyota.

Adding these decals is a slow, steady process--
just like the slide at the end of DW's career and
my continuing journey into irrelevance.

Much like DW in 2001, seeing this finished is a breath of fresh air.
Much like DW in 2019, looking at it now makes me think it might have
been a waste of time.  But then again, you can't change the past,
and you can't change Darrell Waltrip's impact on the sport.

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Spade Racing Picks: Uncle Max vs. Mystery Picker—Sonoma/Gateway

Editor’s note: Uncle Max is currently wrapping up his vacation (said he comes back Sunday)—here’s the picks he texted to me:

CUP SERIES Toyota SaveMart 350: Mystery Picker picks Paul Menard.  Favorite (4 wins): Kyle Busch—what happened to Mystery—did (s)he suffer a head injury while I’ve been getting sunburnt?  Next Favorite (1 win): Joey Logano—bracketing the off-week.  Dark Horse: Chase Elliott—from the road-racing hotbed of Northern Georgia.

TRUCK SERIES CarShield 200 (7 wins): Austin Hill—comeback after a week of controversy.

Monday, June 17, 2019

Opening a Sealed Box of 2019 Donruss Racing Cards PACK 12

Recently I got a sealed box of 2019 Donruss Racing Cards—24 packs, 8 cards per pack.  Join me as I go through the entire case, pack-by-pack, to see what awaited me. (Click any picture to enlarge)

PACK 12 OF 24: A Driver Who’s Happy, some Timing that’s Crappy, and Junior Looks Snappy

OVERVIEW: Ryan Reed gets a card here, this despite the fact that his career appears to be over (as is his sponsor’s involvement in Nascar).  Ryan Blaney, meanwhile, gets a card that’s limited to 199 for…some reason, it isn’t really made clear.

SPECIAL SPECIAL: So they call Kevin Harvick “Happy” on a card where he looks depressed as anything.  Then on the back they talk about his smiley-face pltboard.  But that’s not pictured on the front.  Maybe you discontinue the nicknames in 2020, Donruss.

IN FOCUS: So Chase Elliott likes “Wedding Crashers”, that’s cool.  But why does he get a “Binge-Watch” logo on a 1980’s TV?  How do you binge-watch a movie?  Is Chase like John Hinckley and “Taxi Driver”?

SPOTLIGHT: Dale Jr. looks dapper in his RACE KINGS card, although his posture leaves a little bit to be desired.

SCORE: 5 hero cards out of 10

Thursday, June 13, 2019

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

Editor’s note: Uncle Max is on vacation—he texted me his picks a few hours ago (Thursday afternoon):

XFINITY SERIES Circuit City 250 (6 wins): Justin Allgaier—surprise!  No, not that Allgaier is my pick over the “young three”, but that Circuit City is still a thing.

TRUCK SERIES M&M’s 200 (6 wins): Brett Moffitt—hey, does Iowa still have that weird Pizza Ranch victory lane?

Sunday, June 9, 2019

Race Shop Reviews: Updated and Relaunched TODAY!

Bored with the rain delay?

Not interested in F1?

Afraid that the Women’s World Cup will make you drowsy?

Well then—check out my OTHER website—Race Shop Reviews, the world’s #1 source for Nascar race shop information!  Last week I took my annual tour of the race shops of Nascar and compiled the latest information to share with you, the fan.

But that’s not all!

For the first time ever, I’m NOW ON YOUTUBE!  That’s right, catch short, informative videos of the best race shops on my YouTube channel.  Click here for the whole playlist, or click on each individual video on each individual page.

Check it out today, and subscribe to my YouTube channel please!

Friday, June 7, 2019

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

Editor’s note: Uncle Max is on vacation—he texted me his picks a few minutes ago (Friday afternoon):

CUP SERIES FireKeepers Casino 400: Mystery Picker picks Ryan Blaney.  Favorite (4 wins): Kyle Busch—Mystery has his train, I have mine.  Next Favorite (1 win): Kevin Harvick—snaps the winless streak in Ford’s backyard.  Dark Horse: Kyle Larson—snaps the winless streak in Chevy’s backyard.

XFINITY SERIES LTi Printing 250 (6 wins): Christopher Bell—heats up as we enter the “meat” of the schedule.

TRUCK SERIES SpeedyCash 400(k) (6 wins): Johnny Sauter—still money on the 1.5-milers.

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Opening a Sealed Box of 2019 Donruss Racing Cards PACK 11

Recently I got a sealed box of 2019 Donruss Racing Cards—24 packs, 8 cards per pack.  Join me as I go through the entire case, pack-by-pack, to see what awaited me. (Click any picture to enlarge)

PACK 11 OF 24: Awesome Bill, a Way to Shill, and the Little Blue Pill

OVERVIEW: We split things almost down the middle here with five retired drivers and three relatively young racers.  Its only fitting that Danica and DW wind up in the same pack, isn’t it?

SPECIAL SPECIAL: Let’s take Mark martin’s OPTIC card to consider how good of a way these cards are to promote sponsors—even those no longer involved in the sport.  So this way kids everywhere will want to ask their parents what Viagra is.

IN FOCUS: John Hunter Nemechek’s back-of-the-card story shows that he was as interested in racing as a child as most kids are in trigonometry.

SPOTLIGHT: Here we see DW when he was actually someone who was respected—respected, I tells ya!—by race fans.  Selling your soul to Toyota and using more hair dye than 1980’s Bob Barker will change the public’s perception of you.

SCORE: 4 grandstands out of 10