Sunday, February 18, 2018

Danica Patrick Dedicates Final Nascar Race to Her Creepiest Male Fans


Upon finishing her 191st and final Nascar start in today’s Daytona 500, the soon-to-be-retired Danica Patrick dedicated the race especially to her creepiest male fans.
courtesy Sports Illustrated
“I’d just like to dedicate this race to all the men who’ve followed me far too closely throughout my racing career”, Patrick said upon exiting her stock car for the final time.  “From when I started way back in IndyCar and had grown males holding up poster-board signs for me, to the guys who still want me to autograph my cheesecake shots from Maxim, they’ve really made things memorable for me.”
An emotional Patrick went on to thank several specific groups of fans who’ve forced her to hire personal security throughout her career.
“There’s the guys who sent shredded t-shirts to me after I went public with my relationship with Ricky (Stenhouse Jr., her ex-boyfriend), Danica said, becoming visibly wistful.  “There’s all those lengthy letters I get from prisons around the country.  And there’s that one guy out west who constantly bids on my firesuits when they come up for sale—hearing that he wants “only the sweatiest stuff” really meant a lot to me.”
Patrick endured criticism for her lack of success throughout her Nascar career, however she said that the support of her fans—and her creepiest male fans in particular—made it all worthwhile.
“Knowing that if someone yelled out ‘Danica sucks!’ in the crowd, that a guy in one of my t-shirts would make a frightening comment about ‘having a future with me’, meant that the strangest of the bunch always had my back”, Patrick said.  “I wanted to personally thank all of you for sending all those emails to GoDaddy wanting “really uncensored versions” of all my commercials.  It just won’t be the same without you.”
Patrick will finish up her racing career at the Indianapolis 500, where she’s expected to be heavily booed by IndyCar’s hardcore fans—all four of them.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

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


Returning for 2018, here is Spade Racing Writer/Webmaster/Janitor Mike Mackler’s Uncle Max, this year competing against a mystery Cup Series picker all season long.

So, this is how its gonna be, Mike.  You saw how well I did last year.  You saw how quickly I picked up on this whole Nascar thing.  You KNOW I’ve always been at least your second-favorite Uncle.  And yet you put me in a competition?  A competition about sports gambling?  My expertise against someone you won’t even reveal until the end of the season?!?
Well, I’d be glad to.
You see, I, Uncle Max, have never been afraid of competition.  Wether its competition against fellow assistant managers for a new iPad case, competing against family in the annual trivia contest, or racing people from red lights in my car even if they don’t realize they’re in a race, I thrive off competition.  And this year, 2018, I will prove to Spade Racing once and for all that I am the greatest picker in the history of this website!

Truck Series NextEra Energy 250—Grant Enfinger—nothing like locking yourself into the playoffs in week one, rendering the rest of the regular season relatively pointless.

Xfinity Series Power Shares QQQ 300—Elliott Sadler—#1 is #1 in the #1 race  of the year.

Cup Series Daytona 500MYSTERY PICKER PICKS Chase Elliott.  Favorite: Kurt Busch—Chase Elliott?  Yeah, right.  He’ll look great coming in second place again.  Next Favorite: Brad Keselowski—Bad Brad gets his win in early before the Fords start their whining.  Dark Horse: Daniel Suarez—Hey, it could happen.

Friday, February 9, 2018

2018 Spade Racing Nascar Xfinity Series Preview: Who Makes the Playoffs, and Where’s the Drama?


The Nascar Xfinity Series has been in an odd spot for some time now—while it can provide exciting on-track action, fans often grouse about the dominance of Cup drivers dipping down a level to boost their egos against inferior competition.  So why should you, the fan, care about the Xfinity Series?  Well, just take a look at who will be in this year’s playoffs—and look at the drama:

THE CHAMPION
20 Christopher Bell (JGR)—He’ll catch on quickly, win a few races, then use his superior JGR equipment and pit crew to fight through the playoffs, before tallying a win in the finale.  DRAMA: Will JGR jump the gun and move him up to Cup for 2019?  Daniel Suarez, your seat is getting warm.


THE ALMOST-CHAMPIONS
00 Cole Custer (SHR-Biagi)—Ol’ Double-C finally “gets it” and joins C-Bell as the only other multiple-race winner amongst Xfinity regulars.  DRAMA: Will SHR let Kurt Busch walk in order to start Custer’s First Stand in Cup?

1 Elliott Sadler (JRM)—The wily veteran leads regulars with the most top-fives and top-tens and he points’ himself through to the final round, where a poor race dooms his championship chances yet again.  DRAMA: Will he EVER win a championship?

19 Brandon Jones (JGR)—Running JGR equipment does wonders for Jones’ advancing career, and he finishes the season as the odds-on favorite for the 2019 title…if Christopher Bell moves on.  DRAMA: What did Rowdy say to him after Jones moved him out of the way for the win?


THE CONTENDERS:
7 Justin “Thunder” Allgaier (JRM)—Its a better year than the past few for The Little Gator, but he’ll still need pit strategy to get to victory lane.  DRAMA: Is it time to go back to dirt racing full-time?

21 Daniel Hemric (RCR)—Hemric continues his growth with RCR despite being shut out of victory lane.  DRAMA: Can Hemric make “the leap” in RCR equipment?

16 Ryan Reed (RFR)—Reed continues his mastery of plate-racing “strategy”, but is more impressive in finally keeping his DNF’s down…until the playoffs heat up.  DRAMA: Does Reed make the move to Cup with Front Row Racing?

2 Matt Tifft (RCR)—Its a tough year adjusting to RCR Chevy’s, although he shows some promise in non-companion races.  DRAMA: Is 2019 “the year” for Tifft and RCR?


THE LONGSHOTS:
11 Ryan Truex (Kaulig)—This single-car team gets a feel-good win at one of the Iowa races, but otherwise limps into the playoffs and is eliminated.  DRAMA: Is RCR equipment holding Kaulig Racing back?

9 Tyler Reddick (JRM)—The year is as varied as the multiple paint schemes on this JR Motorsports car, but brighter days are on the horizon.  DRAMA: Did he REALLY race Allgaier too hard in the playoffs?

24 Kaz Grala (JGL)—Kaz posts three strong finishes on the road courses and is steady enough on other tracks to make the playoffs on points.  DRAMA: Who will offer Kaz a better ride?

5 Michael Annett (JRM)—Annett barely makes it into the playoffs, and is quickly eliminated.  DRAMA: Is it finally time for JRM to move on with another driver?


JUSSSSST MISSED IT
23 Spencer Gallagher (GMS)—Gallagher overcomes a slow start with some solid runs, but is edged out by Annett by a few points.  DRAMA: Does GMS move up to Cup next year?

39 Ryan Sieg (RSS)—Nascar’s Official Underdog posts another solid year, albeit one that again sees him on the outside of contention.  DRAMA: How long can one guy keep his independent team together?

4 Ross Chastain (JDM)—The Watermelon Man has another year in which a tenth-place finish counts as a victory.  DRAMA: Is it time for Ross to move back to the Truck Series?

51 Jeremy Clements (JCR)—Last year’s feel-good story can’t conjure any magic, although he makes it through another year which is a victory in itself.  DRAMA: If offered a ride with a mid-level team, would Jeremy take it?

01 Vinnie Miller (JDM)—Its a long year of adapting to the Xfinity Series for JD Motorsports’ new driver.  DRAMA: Will JDM make it through the full season with all four cars?


THE INTERLOPERS
18 Rowdy, Preece, and the boys (JGR)—Joe Gibbs and Kyle Busch continue their assault on the Xfinity Series record books, but Ryan Preece manages to find victory lane again.  DRAMA: Is it time Ryan Preece got a full-time ride for JGR?

22 Penske All-Star Car—Both BKes and JoLo find victory lane as this car goes through more paint schemes than, well, something that would go through a lot of paint schemes.  DRAMA: Why do people blame Rowdy, but not the Penske guys?

3 RCR All-Star Car—Austin Dillon finds victory lane and Ty manages to contend.  DRAMA: Where’s Brendan Gaughan?

42 John Kyle Larsonchek (Ganassi)—Kyle Larson gets a win or two, while John Hunter Nemechek looks strong in every race he’s entered in.  DRAMA: Will JHN finally get a full-time Xfinity ride next year?

60 Roush Driver Development Team—Ty Majeski, Austin Cindric, and Chase Briscoe find its hard to compete when you’re constantly being taken out of the car.  DRAMA: Will Austin Cindric return to Penske next year for a full-time Xfinity ride?


98 SHR All-Star Car (SHR-Biagi)—Kevin Harvick shows speed in the few races he runs, as per usual.  DRAMA: Will this entire team shut down once Cole Custer moves to Cup?

Friday, February 2, 2018

2018 Spade Racing Nascar Cup Series Regular Season Preview and 2023 Predictions—because previews for one year are for wimps!


After an offseason of change, Nascar is finally gearing up for its 2018 season.  With a number of drivers retiring, moving on to new places, and changing sponsors, who will step up to victory lane?  Well, here’s some answers and a look to the future:

Car #, Driver, Top sponsor(s)

MULTIPLE RACE WINNERS
18--Kyle Busch (M&M's, Interstate Batteries): The Rowdy One continues his assault on the Nascar record books—and this THIS series, it actually matters.  Where will he be in five years:  A two-time champion constantly threatening retirement.

11--Denny Hamlin (FedEx): The sneaky-great career continues.  Will this be the year he finally breaks through for the championship?  Mmmmaybe.  Where will he be in five years:  The first driver since Mark Martin to have a successful part-time Cup schedule.
Discount Tire steps up to sponsor
Brad Keselowski in Cup for 10 races

78--Martin Truex Jr. (Bass Pro Shops, 5-Hour Energy): Is it Toyota’s aero and engine dominance, or simply the fact that they have the highest-concentration of talent?  Yes.  Where will he be in five years:  Contentedly settled into the old Matt Kenseth “always a threat to win” role, still awkward when being interviewed by Michael Waltrip.

2--Brad Keselowski (Miller Lite, Discount Tire): Ford’s great white (colored car) hope makes the best of an outdated aero package.  Where will he be in five years:  Still winning races while preparing to restart BKR with an eye on Cup.

48--Jimmie Johnson (Lowe’s): Jimmie’s the first Chevy driver to adjust to the new Camaro, but it still might be a while until he finds victory lane.  Where will he be in five years:  Preparing for his first year out of the driver’s seat replacing Dale Jr. at NBC.

No more red 42 car...
SINGLE RACE WINNERS
42--Kyle Larson (Credit One, DCSolar): Kyle tries to get used to a new car model, while fans try to get used to him not running a red car.  Where will he be in five years:  The new driver of the Hendrick Motorsports 48 car.

14--Clint Bowyer (Rush Truck Centers, Mobil 1): The good ol boy finally finds his way back to victory lane.  Where will he be in five years:  Occupying the Kasey Kahne spot of “what happened to his career?”.

22--Joey Logano (Pennzoil/Shell, AAA): JoLo rediscovers his touch, but only collects a single checkered flag.  Where will he be in five years:  Coming off a narrow loss of his elusive first championship.

9--Chase Elliott (Napa, 3M): I’ll call it now—Chase finishes second a few times early, wins the All-Star race, then wins the 600 in dramatic fashion.  Where will he be in five years:  Coming off a narrow win of his elusive first championship.

4--Kevin Harvick (Busch Beer, Jimmy Johns): Harv has a tough start to the year before getting into the swing of things as the weather heats-up.  Where will he be in five years:  Preparing for his final year as a full-time Cup driver for the newly-renamed Stewart-Haas-Harvick Racing team.

12--Ryan Blaney (a bunch of Penske associate sponsors, Menards): Ryan Blaney, appropriately, wins the Jeremy Mayfield Memorial Guy Who Leads the Points Early for Some Reason Award.  Where will he be in five years:  Moving to a rejuvenated Ganassi Racing team for a chance to be “The Man”.

17--Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (Fastenal, Fifth Third Bank): The “leader” of the Roush brigade continues his success on plate tracks.  Where will he be in five years:  Running mid-pack for the most-part, but getting his name out there as a part-time broadcaster.
New look, new car, new driver

88--Alex Bowman (Nationwide, Axalta): The first first-time winner, and the first first-time winner conspiracy theory subject of 2018.  Where will he be in five years:  Having been controversially forced-out at HMS a few years back, currently preparing for a strong second year at Stewart-Haas-Havick Racing.

SNEAKING INTO THE PLAYOFFS WITHOUT A WIN
31--Ryan Newman (CAT, Grainger): He won’t impress much, but then you’ll look up around Darlington and realize he’s locked himself in on points.  Where will he be in five years:  Retired and serving as a driver coach for up-and-comers like Buddy Baker before him.

3--Austin Dillon (Dow, American Ethanol): See above.  Where will he be in five years:  Coming off the best-year of his career, with people wondering if it was him finally “getting it”, or RCR-Germain finally getting outside help to turn around their team.

41--Kurt Busch (Haas, Monster): A year of drama—is he getting crummy equipment so he’ll leave?—still results in a playoff berth…barely.  Where will he be in five years:  Happily retired for a few years, waiting to see if he’ll get inducted to the Hall of Fame.

JUST MISSING THE PLAYOFFS
1--Jamie McMurray (McDonalds, Cessna): He tries to point himself in, but comes up a position or two short at Indy.  Where will he be in five years:  Prepping for retirement and serving as Ganassi’s Nascar team driver coach.
Lord Byron's scheme

24--William Byron (Liberty U, Axalta): Byron contends for a number of races, barely misses the final Playoff spot, and yet still has people calling his rookie year a “disappointment”.  Where will he be in five years:  Still smarting from his near-miss championship a few years back, but determined to win one—and become the first-ever Nascar racer with a doctorate from Liberty U.

20--Erik Jones (DeWalt, Reser's): A tough year adjusting to JGR equipment sees a late-season surge fall short—followed by a win in a Playoff race.  Where will he be in five years:  Dueling with Kyle Busch frequently on the track but glad to not come with even a tenth of the controversy.

DISAPPOINTMENTS
Slightly different look for Suarez
19--Daniel Suarez (Arris, Stanley): People will question if he really “belongs” in Cup, ignoring the fact that he comes with solid sponsorship.  Where will he be in five years:  Forced-out at JGR, Suarez moves to Roush Fenway Racing to prove that his fuel mileage win wasn’t just a fluke.

13--Ty Dillon (Geico, Twisted Tea): A year of improvement still falls short, as Pop-Pop makes plans to absorb the 13 team into RCR ownership.  Where will he be in five years:  Still running for RCR-Germain Racing and finally posting some wins in Cup.

47--AJ Allmendinger (ClickList, et al): Two disappointing runs of his own doing at each road course race show that JTG-D might have maxed-out on performance…until they switch to an HMS alliance.  Quietly retiring from Nascar in order to focus on sports car racing.

10--Aric Almirola (Smithfield): The most-disappointing of the major team drivers, they openly start testing set-ups for the Playoff-bound teams mid-year.  Where will he be in five years:  AA came on like wildfire in 2019, but unable to replicate that year, he’s fallen back into the middle of the pack.

BACK OF THE PACK
21--Paul Menard (Menards, Motorcraft): Well, its about time we find out just how good Ryan Blaney was…and just how lucky Paul Menard is.  Where will he be in five years:  Retired from full-time racing, but still running Xfinity and late-model races in the midwest.

6--Trevor Bayne (Advocare, Performance Plus): Chris Buescher to the 6 car in 2019, anybody?  Where will he be in five years:  Out of big-time racing, but still running local tracks from time-to-time.
Sponsor for only a few races, but seems
to have been designated the "main scheme"

43--Bubba Wallace Jr. (ClickNClose, STP): Nothing short of a hail mary pit strategy call will help this team in major rebuilding mode.  Where will he be in five years:  The surprise choice to replace Alex Bowman in the 88 car has a Terry Labonte-style career renaissance in HMS equipment.

37--Chris Buescher (Kroger, etc.): Ryan Reed to the 37 car in 2019, anybody?  Where will he be in five years:  Trying to lead Roush Fenway back to glory with a less-fluky Cup win under his belt.

38—David Ragan (1000Bulbs, Shriners): The numbers don’t lie, even if the drivers change—this team is still well behind the best AND the rest.  Where will he be in five years:  Running part-time for a mid-level Xfinity Series team.

34—Michael McDowell (Love's, K-Love): Focus on the positives, like road course strategy and plate track roulette.  Where will he be in five years:  Running sports-cars again as well as serving as an occasional road course ringer.

95—Kasey Kahne (Procore): Kasey falls into the Clint Bowyer “I’m Stuck Here” role and never sniffs the front of the pack.  Where will he be in five years:  Running sprint cars again for his own team.