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.)

Sunday, October 27, 2019

Kyle Busch Stays in his F***ing Motorhome


In response to a recent comment by KBM Truck Series driver Todd Gilliland, driver and team owner Kyle Busch stayed in his freaking motorhome on Saturday.
“Todd had a good point”, Busch said from his friggin motorhome on Saturday evening.  “It looked like it was going to rain, so I decided to stay here for the night with my family.  Much more comfortable than hobnobbing on pit road.”
Gilliland appeared to be commenting on Busch’s criticism of his lack of success when he screamed for Kyle to stay in his fecking motorhome during his cool-down lap on Saturday.  However, Gilliland himself disputed this characterizing.
“He’s staying in his flurking motorhome because it might rain?  Good, good!  He actually said that, right?”, a nervous Gilliland told the assembled media in his post-race press conference.  “He’ll no doubt appreciate my looking out for his welfare—I mean, rain’s in the forecast, lots of traffic on pit road, nowhere to really go in the greater Martinsville area, I’m really just looking out for him.”
Gilliland’s first Truck Series win came despite nearly two years in top-flight equipment, prompting Busch’s criticism of his performance—or so it seemed.
“When Mr. Busch called my performance a 2 out of 10, he was just complimenting me”, Gilliland explained.  “He meant that out of the top-ten drivers in the series, I was easily one of the top two of them.  He’s always looking out for me, and me for him—that’s why I wanted to make sure he stayed in his forking motorhome.”
Gilliland said he would visit Busch in his fudging motorhome this morning to discuss his plans for next season.

Friday, October 25, 2019

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


Before I head out on my weeklong vacation (last one of the year!) I’d like to ask this simple question—what the heck was Garrett Smithley thinking on Saturday?!?  He ruined my C.Bell pick in the Xfinity Series race!  And this isn’t the first time this has happened.
I suggest a system similar to the one we have at MY job for safety violations:
First—Verbal warning, must clean up mess
Second—Written warning, must review training procedures, loses spot in break room seating “pecking order”
Third—Reported to corporate, may result in termination, if not the employee is required to supply donuts to the next all-staff meeting
Fourth—Automatic termination, all contents of locker available to all

CUP SERIES First Data 500: Mystery Picker (1 win) picks Jimmie Johnson.  Favorite (4 wins): Kyle Busch—I’ll keep picking Rowdy till he comes through—or I get tired of it.  Next Favorite (3 wins): Chase Elliott—about the only place a Chevy can win (but I got the right one).  Dark Horse: Matt DiBennedetto—why not?

TRUCK SERIES Hall of Fame 200 (8 wins): Harrison Burton—about time he starts showing why he’s getting the 20 Xfinity ride next year (well, besides connections and sponsorship).

Monday, October 21, 2019

Opening a Sealed Box of 2019 Donruss Racing Cards PACK 22


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 22 OF 24: RP, Bobby, and Smiley

OVERVIEW: Another nice mixture—even if we get some repeats—of the past, present, and future.  We also get the full range of facial expressions, from Daneil Suarez looking like the happiest man in the garage to Bobby Labonte looking like he’s about to be audited.

SPECIAL SPECIAL: I don’t know why, but Donruss chose a picture of Brad Keselowski for his RACE KINGS card where it looks like he’s dancing a jig.

IN FOCUS: So you’re doing a card on Richard Petty.  And you’re mentioning how much he smiled when at the track.  Why the HECK would you choose a picture where he’s NOT SMILING?!?

SPOTLIGHT: Derek Kruas is NEXT IN LINE as his derring-do against Kevin Harvick is promoted.  Also, is it just me or is every driver in the K&N West Series sponsored by Napa?

SCORE: 7 contingency decals out of 10

Sunday, October 20, 2019

Toyota to Withdraw from Nascar Due to Complains on Facebook Post


In a move that has shocked the Nascar world, Toyota Racing Development has announced that as of the end of the year they will no longer be involved in stock car racing.  The decision comes after a string of complaints posted to a Toyota Racing Facebook post earlier this week.
"WhAt AbOuT jEfFrEy EaRnHaRdT?"
“The will of the people must be honored”, said TRD spokesman Herman Blanche.  “We only realize now the amount of anger our mere presence in Nascar has caused the sport’s many fans, and will retreat from the sport effective the end of this season.”
The post in question—one in which three Toyota Camry’s were seen dueling for position with the caption, “Ready for Kansas?  We are!” prompted vitriol from a number of Facebook users, who took to the sponsored post’s comments section to register their disgust.
“Toyota in the sport is KILLING nascar!”, one user said, continuing with “This is why i don’t watch anymore!!!1!”  Another user said “I will NEVER support a company that sends money overseas—bring back Dodge to Nascar!”
The decision has already caused a major shakeup at Joe Gibbs Racing, Toyota’s lead team.  A team executive was said to be frantically making phone calls to Chevrolet and Ford, as well as “a kind of a ‘Hail Mary’” email to a former Pontiac Motorsports marketing director.
“When we joined this sport over a decade ago, we were in it for the long haul”, Blanche said.  “But the complaints of a dozen or so people on a corporate social media post speaks volumes.  We’ll be pulling out our equipment, sponsorship, technical support, and millions of dollars as soon as possible.”
When word of the decision reached those who complained on said Facebook post, most celebrated while others wondered if this weekend’s race was on ESPN or TNN.

Friday, October 18, 2019

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


Fantasy Football?  Doing great—leading my division after a less-than-stellar start.
Baseball?  Got a nice bet on the Nationals to win it all.
Work?  Gearing up for the holiday with a rare late-October vacation in the offing.
Nascar?  Sure, I haven’t had a win for longer than I’d like, but I’m closer than ever to clinching a second-straight win over Mystery Picker!  And then the identity will be revealed to all!
(Editor’s Note: Due to contractual obligations, Mystery Picker will not be revealed until the final weekend of the season at Homestead).

CUP SERIES Hollywood Casino 400: Mystery Picker (1 win) picks Ryan Newman.  Favorite (4 wins): Kyle Busch—best way to avoid Martinsville and Phoenix drama?  Win at Kansas.  Next Favorite (3 wins): Kevin Harvick—will they celebrate with some slightly-aged Harvick Beer?  Dark Horse: Jimmie Johnson—still makes more sense than Mystery’s pick.

XFINITY SERIES Kansas Lottery 300 (7 wins): Christopher Bell—in which the “Big Three” stake their claim to the championship by all finishing in the top five.

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

ELIMINATORS—Spade Racing’s Elimination Race Breakdown

Cards take a break this week for a new, currently-ongoing series here as we take a look at who’s where with a Playoff round finale coming up.
Every girl's crazy 'bout an ad-vanced man

The last elimination race was the Charlotte Roval, a track unilke any other.  Now we have Kansas, a track exactly like about six others.  Thankfully we have plenty—well, some…um, well, a small sampling of Playoff drama.  With that in mind, here’s where the twelve Playoff drivers stand:

CLINCHED: Ryan Blaney and Kyle Larson.  RB & KLar—not just the name of a cheesy crime show coming this fall, but also the only two drivers who are locked themselves in with wins.

GOOD BARRING DISASTER: Denny Hamlin, Martin Truex Jr., Kyle Busch, Kevin Harvick.  This foursome, in addition to being a good choice for the final four, would need something bizarre to happen to not advance on Sunday.  Sorry, NBC, but you’re not getting much drama this year.

GOOD BARRING A BAD DAY OR A “WIN AND YOU’RE IN”: Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano—Keselowski (20 points above the cutoff) and Logano (18 points) are in to the next round with two caveats—they probably can’t afford a DNF and one of them could fall out if someone “pulls a Jeremy Mayfield” and wins their way in (hopefully without the decade of controversy to follow).

ON THE BUBBLE BUT IN CONTROL: none

ON THE BUBBLE AND NEEDING HELP: none

NEEDS HELP: none

NEEDS A WIN: Alex Bowman, Chase Elliott, Clint Bowyer, William Byron.  While Bowman’s in the best shape of these four if BKes or JoLo implodes, all of them realistically need to win in order to advance.  And considering how Chevys have run this year on intermediate tracks, Bowyer might be the actual favorite of this quartet to race his way in.

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Alex Bowman Still Thinking of Comeback for Bubba Wallace


Weeks after being splashed in the face on pit road, Alex Bowman confirmed that he is still thinking of a proper comeback for the assailant, Bubba Wallace.
“Splashing water in someone’s face, that’s a pretty big sign of disrespect”, Bowman said in an interview from Talladega.  “So its something I’ve been mulling over ever since.  I don’t want to go off half-cocked and say something dumb like ‘I’m rubber and you’re glue’ or ‘yer mom’”.
Bowman said he’s thinking of a number of ways, but is concentrating on a verbal taunt.
“I was thinking I sneak up behind him when he’s being interviewed and shake his hand, real friendly like”, Bowman said, looking thoughtful.  “Then, I say, ‘You got the splash, but I’ll get the crash.’  Only problem is it kinda sounds like I’m going to wreck myself, so I have to work on that one.”
Bowman has also considered more unorthodox methods of revenge.
“Maybe I sign him up for a bunch of calling lists so he’s getting bugged day and night by people wanting to sell him new windows”, Bowman said.  “Or here’s something I was thinking about this morning—I plant some kudzu in his yard so he’ll have to deal with that weed for the rest of the time he owns his house.  Then again, I’m guessing he has someone do his landscaping work, so scratch that one.”
The original incident—one that Wallace said was prompted by weeks of rough driving—has seen a renewed focus on Wallace, including a recent interview on “The Dale Jr. Download”.  Bowman, however, has received far less attention.
“I’m OK with sort of fading into the background”, Bowman said.  “If the price I pay for biding my time until I have a foolproof retort is a lack of focus on my race team, that’s fine.”
“By the way”, Bowman added, “we still don’t have a primary sponsor for next year.  I can’t figure out why.”

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Spade Racing Picks: Uncle Max vs. Mystery Picker—Talladega PLUS pictures of Uncle Max at Dover


I had a great time in the pits and garage at Dover!  It was a really awesome time and, really, there were only two downsides—I wound up having to work about 60 hours this week to make up for my weekend off, and my nephew didn’t do the best of jobs with his pictures of me.  Well, enjoy below! (picks below pics).
Me standing behind one of the Budweiser Clydesdales on display outside the track.
My nephew Mike wouldn't stop making "Horsepower" jokes so I suggested we enter the track early.
Me giving my approval to one of the many many MANY stacks of tires in the garage.
Richard Childress wasn't very happy when I asked him POLITELY to throw the Xfinity race so my pick would come in.
My nephew's thumb blocks me talking to the Rick Ware Racing crew.
I jokingly asked if they needed a driver.  They not-jokingly asked if I had $5,000 handy.
I got cropped out of this shot with Matt DeBen...DiBennet...DuBonn...the 95 car driver.
Making my mark on Nascar.
Jeez, you bump into ONE CAR because you want a picture with it and suddenly they're having engine problems?!?
Our view from pit road.
Amazing enough to make me forget about my stagnating career, broken-down car, and high-rent townhouse.

CUP SERIES 1000 Bulbs: Mystery Picker (1 win) picks Kyle Busch.  Favorite (4 wins): Clint Bowyer—heck, I could pick Landon Cassill here and it would make about as much sense.  Next Favorite (3 wins): Aric Almirola—no better time to win your first race of the season than in the playoffs.  Dark Horse: Paul Menard—chance to go out a winner.

TRUCK SERIES Sugarlands Shine 250 (8 wins): Brett Moffitt—here’s hoping his team sticks around for next season.

Sunday, October 6, 2019

Busch Beer Honors Censored Diecast Cars with Harvick Scheme


In a nod to the 1990s and many fans’ childhoods, Busch Beer’s Dover paint scheme pays tribute to the many “censored” alcohol and tobacco diecast cars of the past with today’s “All-Harvick” paint scheme.
Mike Helton returns from a hike
through the mountains of Delaware
“We remember what it was like to search the local toy store for a 1/64th diecast of your favorite driver, only to find that the sponsors were removed or altered due to being adults-only products”, an Anheuser-Busch spokesman said in a recent press-release.  “Therefore, in keeping with our recent spate of throwback looks, this weekend we honor those dummied-up model cars and kids-sized t-shirts of our youth.”
The scheme replaces all instances of the word “BUSCH” with “HARVICK”.  The team has gone all-out with the program, putting their crew members in “HARVICK” uniforms and even redoing the back end of their hauler.
“This really takes me back to my youth”, Harvick said from the track.  “I remember getting a Rusty Wallace ‘FORD MOTORSPORTS’ matchbox car for my birthday one year, and there was a kid at my school who always wore a Harry Gant t-shirt with just a blank green hood on the front.  Those designers were really artists in those days.”
Such censorship is still occasionally seen today, although some deny it.
“That’s nice of Kevin to run that scheme this weekend, but we really don’t do that much here”, said driver Brad Keselowski.  “After all, ‘BLUE DEUCE’ is one of our proudest sponsors, and we look to support ‘BLUE DEUCE’ anyway we can, mostly by putting their logos on all of our merchandise.”

Harvick later said that they chose to run the scheme at Dover due to Busch’s remarkably low market penetration in the area, which the company blames on the more than 1,200 microbreweries in the state.

Friday, October 4, 2019

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


BIG NEWS!!!  My nephew Mike, the writer of this site, surprised me with an early birthday gift—he’s taking me to the Xfinity Series race at Dover on Saturday!  And we won’t just be there in the stands—we got pit passes!!!  Hope to have plenty of pictures and stories from the weekend, but I gotta go now—working overtime so I can take off on Saturday!

CUP SERIES Drydene 400: Mystery Picker (1 win) picks Martin Truex Jr.  Favorite (4 wins): Chase Elliott—unlike last week THIS pick will park his car in victory lane.  Next Favorite (3 wins): Denny Hamlin—didn’t FedEx used to sponsor this race?  Dark Horse: Jimmie Johnson—used to own this place, now he’s the rarest of the rare—a Delaware tourist.

XFINITY SERIES Use Your Melon 200 (7 wins): Christopher Bell—using my own melon to make this incredibly dull pick.

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Opening a Sealed Box of 2019 Donruss Racing Cards PACK 23


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 23 OF 24: Joey Says Hello, DW’s Mellow, and Sooo Much Yellow

OVERVIEW: Yellow is the theme of this pack, supporting my belief that it just might be the most-overused color in Nascar.  We also get a particularly chill-looking Darrell Waltrip, perhaps due to finally getting a check from DiGard that cleared.

SPECIAL SPECIAL: I have no idea what Austin Dillon is trying to do in that picture, but it simultaneously looks realistic AND fake.

IN FOCUS: Joey Logano’s CONTENDERS card (which, unfortunately, came out blurry on the back) serves as a reminder of just how young he is while also reminds us just how long he’s been racing in Cup.

SPOTLIGHT: Ryan Newman’s OPTIC card tells a bit of a white lie when saying that “Talladega tests the skills and endurance of every racer.”  Well then why do guys like Lennie Pond and Bobby Hillin gets wins there and never win again?

SCORE: 6 fender rubs out of 10

Sunday, September 29, 2019

Spade Racing’s Silly Season So Far Recap Q&A


What was expected to be a comparatively quiet offseason has turned into quite an active one—and we’re not even into the offseason yet!  In case you’ve been confused by the dribs and drabs of information that’s leaked out so far, here’s an article to catch you up:

Is Christopher Bell FINALLY moving up to the Cup Series next year?  Yes he is.  He’ll be driving Leavine Family Racing’s 95 car, which will have an “enhanced” alliance with Joe Gibbs Racing and TRD (so basically they’ll be like Furniture Row Racing).  Rheem will join Procore as a major sponsor.
Matty D will be in a Ford next year

So what’s happening to Matt DiBenedetto?  The darling of the internet fanbase found himself out of a ride briefly due to Joe Gibbs Racing essentially having five drivers for four cars.  However, in a surprise move, Matty D has been hired to drive the Wood Brothers 21 car next season.

WHAT?  How’d that happen?  Paul Menard announced his retirement and, when informing Wood Brothers’ management of his decision, apparently put in a good word for Matty D.

So what’s the catch?  Oddly enough there doesn’t seem to be one—Menards will be returning as a major sponsor and the alliance with Team Penske will be continuing.

Impressive.  OK, so what’s this late-breaking news about Roush Fenway Racing?  This past week RFR stunned the Nascar world by announcing that Chris Buescher—who drove for the team in the Xfinity Series—will be returning to drive the 17 car next year.

So where does that leave Ricky Stenhouse Jr.?  Without a ride (currently) for 2020.

Did the arrival of Ryan Newman show them how poorly the team was doing with Stenhouse as their “lead driver”, or did Newman just do his usual “great first year with a new team” move and make the ride seem better than it was?  Yes.

Hmm, well, what about Buescher’s old ride at JTG-D?  The 37 car is now the top open ride for next year.  Meanwhile, Ryan Preece is assumed to be returning to the 47 car.
Tyler Reddick is all but confirmed for
the 8 Cup car next year

Who could wind up in the 37?  Stenhouse is a possibility assuming he doesn’t have an overriding deal with Ford.  Otherwise Daniel Hemric could slide into the ride.

Doesn’t Hemric race the 8 car for RCR?  Well, he did.  Hemric was informed that he won’t be retained for 2020.

Who’ll be in the 8 car next year then?  Tyler Reddick is all but confirmed and is expected to bring some of his Xfinity Series sponsors along with him.

OK, so two of the Xfinity Series “Big 3” are moving up next year.  What about Cole Custer?  Stay with me because this one’s a little tricky:  Stewart-Haas Racing (who’s CEO is Cole’s dad) is rumored to be signing GoFAS Racing (the 32 car) as a “satellite team” similar to JGR with Leavine Family Racing.  Cole Custer would likely drive the 32 with heavy SHR support UNLESS they chose to let go of either Clint Bowyer or Daniel Suarez.

Why would Bowyer or Suarez be let go?  Both are in contract years (although Suarez apparently has a “roll over” option) and both have had less-than-stellar years.  Also, Bowyer’s car frequently lacks sponsorship.

OK, ok—so if Custer gets the 32 car, where would Corey LaJoie go?  LaJoie’s been rumored for the 38 car at Front Row Motorsports.

Why’s that?  David Ragan announced his retirement from full-time racing effective the end of the year.

I think I got it all now.  Anybody NOT making any big changes?  Hendrick Motorsports isn’t expected to make any major driver changes, and sponsorship is relatively locked-in except for the 88 which is losing Nationwide.  Team Penske is expected to return with the same lineup of drivers and sponsors.  No driver changes have been announced or expected for the single car teams of Germain Racing and RPM.


Wait, did you leave off Ganassi?  Yeah, because while Kyle Larson is locked-in for next year, Kurt Busch (again) is in a contract year (again) but is expected to return (again) with sponsor Monster (again).