2012 Nascar Summer Olympics

Rowan "Mr. Bean" Atkinson, disappointed that no one will tell him about the qualifying results for the F1 race.

With wall-to-wall Olympic coverage swarming your TV, you might wonder how Nascar can compete.  Well, besides NOT being on NBC, Nascar has the advantage of staging its first-ever athletics competition--the Nascar Summer Olympics (live from Loudon!).  Here's a look at the Event Calendar:

Marchery--Competition to see who can combine a lucky finish at Daytona, smart pit strategy at Phoenix, and a solid race at California to wind up in the top 10 in points in the month of March.

Bradminton--Brad Keselowski quizzes competitors on the truly difficult questions:  Can a sport built on sponsorship ever be "too commercial", Has the safety revolution removed the old-fashioned danger from the sport, and Can you spell his last name.

Basket-Tall--All of Nascar's drivers over 6 feet tall (all three of 'em) compete to reach the basket on the top shelf in Brian France's office (he thinks it has chocolate in it…or maybe some Ring Dings).

Foxing--Entrants have less than 24-hours to put on a Nascar on Fox-style broadcast, with only a TV camera, two microphones, and a Waltrip.

Diving--The fine art of obeying team orders without admitting to obeying team orders.  Athletes are judged on their ability to "Switch to Channel 2" and "Biffle".

Moodo--Two men enter.  One man exits.  And did we mention that one of the men is Kurt Busch in a terrible mood?

Modern Pentastar--If YOU can guess who Dodge goes with in 2013, YOU get to be one of the satellite teams.  (WARNING--Robby Gordon is NOT ALLOWED in this competition).

Synchronized Smiling--The famous "Hat Dance" done after each win is finally made into a competition.  Special Guest Judge:  Bill Broderick.
TaekwonJoe--In this game of speed and skill, you try to qualify your car, start the race, park with a "vibration", and cash your check.

Wallyball--Basically its normal volleyball, but the competitors must deal with the uninterested monotone droning of Wally Dallenbach Jr. as an analyst.  First contestant to fall asleep loses.

Waitlifting--Competitors do everything legal (and whatever illegal that they can get away with) to end some of Nascar's longest winless streaks.  This year's theme--Help Out Your Cousin.

100-Liter Hurdles--Contestants attempt to jump over all the bottles of sodas, energy drinks, and other liquids consumed by drivers in post-race interviews.

Menardathon--Some of the sport's best distance runners try to go 26.2 miles with really pointy sideburns.

Post-Race Burnout Most Exciting Part of Race

After a race at the Crown Royal presents the Curtiss Shaver 400 powered by Some Record Company at the Brickyard, all the fans and media alike could talk about was the exciting action on-track as Jimmie Johnson performed his post-race burnout.
"Man, that was one HECK of a burnout", said race fan Lyn Wood.  "I was glad I was able to get tickets here, and with lots of room to spread out!  It was a pretty long preliminary, but the burn-out was worth the price of admission."
"Days like this are what its all about", said race-winning crew chief Chad Knaus.  "To be able to do a burnout at such a historic track is what you compete for.  I didn't know if we'd hold onto the burnout, even with that huge lead, because you never know what's gonna happen when you spin your tires at Indy."
"RICK MEARS!", said Nascar announcer Allen Bestwick.  "What a burnout!  Rick Mears was his hero!  Rick Mears!  Rick Mears!"
This was Jimmie Johnson's fourth burnout at Indy, as well as the 10th consecutive burnout by a Chevy.  Johnson also continued the dominance of Rick Hendrick at the track, at least until points are taken away for failing post-burnout inspection.
"Seeing a burnout like this makes all the failure and enemies worthwhile", former IMS chairman Tony George said from his home.  "I knew when we brought stock cars here in the 90's, we could have great burnouts.  Its nice to see me proven right for once."

Brickyard "News" and Notes

--Hey, Allmendinger fans:  Don't take it so hard.  Just think of it as AJ running one less lap than Joe Nemechek.
--Jeremy Mayfield says that he chose to fight his own positive drug test because, "I wasn't going to sit there and be a puppet no more."  Yeah, because having spent most of your adult life schilling for corporate sponsors does NOT make you a puppet.
--I like to think I know all the drivers, but I've never even HEARD of the guy in the 49 car this weekend.  And what kind of name is "TBA" anyways?
--I saw Danica Patrick being interviewed by Katie Couric on ESPN a few days ago.  Given that Johanna Long gets about 1/1,000,000th of the attention that Danica gets, she should be interviewed by someone with 1/1,000,000th of the respect as Katie Couric, right?  But HOW do I get in contact with her?
--Nascar's TV ratings may be impacted by the Summer Olympics.  Because really, the Badminton and motorsports demographics are identical.

Allmendinger's Adventures Through the Looking Glass (and what they found there)

Upon having his "B" Sample come back positive, AJ Allmendinger was suspended indefinitely from both Nascar competition and Nascar follow-the-leader at Indy.  To get to the bottom of this, The Dinger has ordered an exhaustive series of tests on anything in his home or motor coach that may have caused the positive test.  The independent lab retained for these services found lots to test…and some other things as well:

--One Gross of "Waltrip's Choice" Pomade

--Membership Card, Ted Musgrave Fan Club

--Mike Skinner Voo Doo Doll

--10,000 Shares of "Championship Auto Racing Teams" Stock

--Tara Ragan

--A bunch of old Best Buy Gift Cards for some reason

Obsessive Commercial Disorder

If you watch Nascar, you've probably seen this year's crop of Aaron's commercials, featuring Michael Waltrip and Mark Martin.  The second half of the Sprint Cup season will bring a second batch of ads--here's a preview!

The Michael Waltrip Ad:  "Its been quite a year for this Aaron's Dream Machine.  Mark Martin's shown some real speed, but its been interesting having him around the shop.  I've never seen someone so meticulous!  He spends hours making sure his seat is perfectly aligned!  He wipes down his windshield exactly 32 times every day.  He says that if he doesn't, his house will burn down!  Boy, its great to have Mark on the team, but does he REALLY need to flick the lightswitches seven times every time he leaves a room?"

The Mark Martin Ad:  "Running the Aaron's Dream Machine for Michael Waltrip has been QUITE an experience.  Its been great running a fast car for a fast team, but Michael and I, well, we're really an odd couple.  I mean, he leaves garbage in the team hauler!  He thinks its weird that I scrub the floor boards of my cars with a brillo pad every night--who doesn't?  And he makes fun of me for ending every conversation with 'OK, got it, good'.  I mean, how does he even quiet the voices, the demon voices that make us go crazy, OK got it, good?"

The Brian Vickers Ad:  "Hi--remember me?  Nah, I don't either.  Go shop at A-rods, or whatever the heck this place is called."

The Cope/RCR Feuds: A Comparison

This past Saturday Kevin Harvick had a Nationwide Series win stymied by a car more than 30 laps down.  Who was it?  None other than Amber Cope.  Now, if you're like me (and you probably aren't), this brought back memories of Derrike Cope's shocking win over Dale Earnhardt Sr. in the 1990 Daytona 500.  Lets take a look at the eerie coincidences:

--Both involved members of the Cope family (though the elder member was obviously the one who got all the looks).

--Both involved drivers for Richard Childress Racing (Dale "The Intimidator" Earnhardt and Kevin "Skinny Li'l Head" Harvick).

--Both RCR cars had 3's on them (Earnhardt had the 3 made famous by himself, while Harvick had the 33 made famous by Robert Pressley).

--Both involved pissy comments by said RCR drivers after the race--Dale Sr. saying that Derrike "Got lucky today", while Happy said "she doesn't deserve to be out there" (unlike millionaire Cup drivers dropping down to Nationwide for extra cash).

--Both Copes retaliated after said comments (Amber bashing Harvick on Twitter, Derrike calling Dale Sr. a "…big meanie" to his bathroom mirror).

The Nine Types of Nascar Writers (or, my Tribute to Matt Groening's Life in Hell)

Note--due to illness, I missed the race today.  So here's something a little less time-sensitive.

The Citizen Reporter
Been Writing Since: His fiancee's publisher-father read his blog.
Trademarks: Relentlessly positive, in awe of everyone, jokes constantly about being fired.
Secret Dream: To have another writer acknowledge him.
Secret Fear: Fired and forced to go back to job at Verizon.

The Grizzled Old-Timer
Been Writing Since: He gave Tiny Lund a ride home from the train station.
Trademarks: Cool stories, constant name-dropping, lots of alcohol-fueled anecdotes.
Secret Dream: Being named curator of the Nascar Hall of Fame.
Secret Fear: The newspaper closed down years ago and this is all a fever dream.

The Being From Another Sport
Been Writing Since: The Atlanta Thrashers moved.
Trademarks: Metaphors, labored explanations, seething contempt.
Secret Dream: Becoming the beat writer for the Carolina Panthers.
Secret Fear: Forced to miss Super Bowl to cover 24 Hours of Daytona.

The Bitter Old-Timer
Been Writing Since: That jackass Bobby Allison won that damn race at 'Dega.
Trademarks: Angry at everything, loathes change, despises Jeff Gordon.
Secret Dream: For the firm but loving hand of death to take him soon.
Secret Fear: Being called "Nascar's Phil Mushnick".

The 24/7 Lunatic
Been Writing Since: Wally Dallenbach Jr. brought Hayes Modems to the sport.
Trademarks: Excruciating detail, breaks stories no one cares about, thorough reporting in late-December.
Secret Dream: Scooping the "big shots" on the Jeff Gordon-to-NEMCO deal.
Secret Fear: Still a virgin at age 58.

The Fake Insider
Been Writing Since: The guy who works at the front desk of Joe Gibbs Racing told him that Bobby Labonte was an alien.
Trademarks: Frequently quoting "unnamed sources", bizarre rumors, anonymous tips.
Secret Dream: Being invited to the big EGR Family Fun Day.
Secret Fear: Being scooped on the Jeff Gordon-to-NEMCO deal.

The PR Hack
Been Writing Since: The rich, smooth flavor of Winston was sponsoring this great sport.
Trademarks: Adverbs and adjectives galore, pithy biographies, all stories look the same.
Secret Dream: Speechwriter for Michael Waltrip.
Secret Fear: Sold soul for way under cost.

The Internet Blogger
Been Writing Since: DSL came along/couldn't find friends into Nascar.
Trademarks: Typos, typos, typos.
Secret Dream: Getting chat question answered by Jeff Hammond.
Secret Fear: Never receiving a single cent for voluminous rants.

The Mike Mackler
Been Writing Since: His parents told him he should write.
Trademarks: Suspiciously short articles, low self-esteem, pointless lists.
Secret Dream: Getting paid to be a smart-ass.
Secret Fear: Getting paid to be a smart-ass.

New Hampshire "News" and Notes SPECIAL EDITION

To celebrate the final week of tolerating Wally Dallenbach Jr. announcing Nascar, here's a look at the commercials we've heard SO MUCH that our EARS ARE ABOUT TO BLEED.

When you rely on other websites for Nascar humor, you get bored.
When you get bored, you get tired.
When you get tired, you need a pick-me-up.
When you need a pick-me-up, you buy an energy drink from the back of a pick-up truck.
And when you buy an energy drink from the back of a pick-up truck, you test positive for a banned stimulant.
Don't test positive for a banned stimulant--choose Spade Racing.

Kurt and Kyle Busch for KFC:
Mashed Potatoes and Gravy, Kyle.
No, Mac and Cheese, Kurt.
Mashed POTATOES and GRAVY, Rowdy.
Mashed Potatoes and Gravy, you Nationwide Series owner who can't turn a profit!
Mac and Cheese, Mr. I-ruined-the-Busch-name-forever!

Fans are constantly clamoring for a new racetrack, specifically either a short-track or road course.  Where could it be built?
"How are things on the West Coast?" --Portland or Seattle could work.
"Rocky Mountain HIIIIIIIGH, Rocky-Rocky Mountain HIIII-iiiigh"  --Denver's a possibility.
"Alllll my exes live in Texas" --They could have a dirt race on the Austin F1 track.
"Born on the Bayou.  BOIN ON DA BAAAAYOU" --New Orleans could host the Bounty 400.
"I'm BACK, back in the New York groove" --Yeah, right.

Substance Abuse in Nascar: A Brief History

AJ Allmendinger's recent suspension is merely one in a long line of punishments handed out by Nascar for violations of its substance abuse policy.  Here's a look back at some of the more noticeable infractions:

1953: Tim Flock is docked points and money for having too much monkey in his car.

1961-1965: Curtis Turner fails hundreds of drug tests by testing positive for unionjuana.

1973: Buddy Baker accidentally tries "shrooms", and thus is kept out of his favorite race at the time, the Moonbeam-Starlight 50,000,000.

1979: Dave Marcis narrowly avoids being banned for life after Bill France Jr. catches him smoking a Camel cigarette in the Dover garage.

1984: Richard Petty is successful in overturning his son Kyle's suspension, explaining, "Naw, he's ALWAYS like that."

1988: Tim Richmond is banned from Nascar after testing positive for Sudafed.  No, seriously--SUDAFED.

1995: Jeff Gordon is quietly reprimanded after being caught driving under the influence of a gold-digging trophy wife.

2000: Jimmy Spencer overdoses on scrapple.

Michael Waltrip on Top 10 Finish: "Aaron's Aaron's Toyota Aaron's"

One of the many surprises at the end of the Coke Zero 400 was part-time driver/full-time owner Michael Waltrip coming home in 7th place.  An elated Waltrip shouted "WOOO!!! AARON'S!" over the radio upon finishing the race unscathed.
"Aaron's Aaron's Toyota Aaron's", Waltrip said to reporters upon exiting the car.  "Aaron's Napa Aaron's Aaron's N-n-n-n-Napa Know How Aaron's."
"Aaron's Aaron's Ken Butler Aaron's 5-Hour Energy Aaron's", Waltrip continued.  "Aaron's Aaron's Aaron's AAA Aaron's Christmas in July Aaron's!!!"
When asked for his take on the rather uneventful three-quarters of the event, Waltrip explained, "Well, Aaron's Aaron's Aaron's these cats Aaron's Lucky Dog at Aaron's."
Waltrip completed his post-race interview with, "Aaron's Aaron's Aaron's Aaron's my life is a lie Aaron's Aaron's Aaron's."
David Reutimann, who came home a surprising 10th place, gestured towards Waltrip and wondered aloud, "THIS guy was in charge of my career for five years?", then was asked about Danica Patrick for an hour.

*by "exclusive", I mean, "what I think he might have said"

AJ Allmendinger Explains: "I Can Only Listen to Train While High"

from Turn 5 Public Relations and DingerRaceCo

At 6pm today, I, AJ Allmendinger, was suspended indefinitely from tonight's Coke Zero 400.  I have only one single excuse:  If it wasn't for drugs, there would have been no way to survive "rock" band Train's pre-race concert.
Typically, when Nascar does one of these pre-race concerts, you can hear the music throughout the facility.  I've tried listening to Train's, um, "music", before without the aid of any mind-altering drugs.  Sadly, the last time I did so sober, I wound up so despondent that I drank a quart of bourbon, then attempted to drive my car, resulting in a DUI.
Since then I've worked with a sports psychologist to improve my tolerance for Train, and thought I was making progress.  Then, their latest album came out.  And while I love Eric McClure as much as the next guy, the lyric "Hefty bag of hope" made me want to ram my head into a wall until I lost consciousness.
I know that drug use is against the rules in Nascar, and for that I apologize.  But without my "medicine", I would have posed an even bigger threat to my competitors during the race, trying to pilot a stock car at 200mph while "Hey Soul Sister" ran through my head.
I only ask that I be given the chance to run the rest of the season without terrible FM-friendly music before the race.  With that guarantee, I can prove to the public that I can race sober, all the way to a 17th place finish.

--AJ Allmendinger

Daytona "News" and Notes

--Denny Hamlin missed practice on Thursday with a sore back.  While its unfortunate that he was injured, its about time people learn the terrible dangers of Alaskan mushing.
--The new crew chief of the #92 Camping World Truck Series Chevy is named "Kevin Starland".  Here's hoping that when he radios in his command, he uses a Vocal Band.
--If the military loses its Nascar outlet for recruiting, its back to "yvaN eht nioJ".
--Is Matt Kenseth's "lame duck" season a lost cause?  Of course not.  Remember--its KENseth, not KANTseth.
--Don't worry, only two more weeks of Wall Dallenbach.

Spade Racing Network Charity Auctions

Our fine Connecticut colleagues over at ESPN are doing their annual "V Foundation" auctions, giving fans chances at memorabilia, tickets, and once-in-a-lifetime experiences.  Here at Spade Racing Network TV, we've decided to rip-off…er, I mean, pay homage, to this endeavor with some auctions of our own.  All proceeds will go to the "DC Foundation" to fund the annual Spade Racing/Derrike Cope All-Nude Calendar.

AUTHENTIC RACE-USED STERLING MARLIN HAIRPIECE--Here's your chance to own a hair piece of history.  You'll receive one of the many "sandy-blonde" toupees used by Sterling Marlin during his sterling racing career.  Buyer pays for shipping and initial cleaning fee.

DREAM DATE WITH TONY STEWART--Yes, Nascar's most-eligible bachelor will escort you to a dinner at the restaurant of your choice (Burger King and/or Outback Steakhouse strongly preferred).  While the ideal winner for this experience would be a female, males are invited to bid, so long as they can provide enough Schlitz.

ANTI-EXPERIENCE WITH JIMMY SPENCER--This highly-requested experience is perfect for any race-fan.  The winner will be guaranteed to NEVER meet, talk to, or otherwise interact with Jimmy Spencer.  Winning bidder must confirm that they do not live in the Charlotte-area (or Berwick, Pennsylvania).  Important Note--due to high-volume of requests, the Kurt Busch Anti-Experience is no longer available.

USED #43 RPM "PAINT SCHEME" WRAP--"The King" Richard Petty gives you the opportunity to buy one of the 38 unique car wraps placed on his #43 Ford Fusion this year.  You can use said wrap as a makeshift tarp, compact-car cover, or as a really-random "man cave" decoration.  Supplies are NOT very limited.

TOYOTA RACING DEVELOPMENT RACE-BLOWN ENGINE--Yes, the same pieces of machinery that are destroying Kyle Busch's season can now be yours.  Buyer must arrange pick-up, transfer, and removal of "install engine into whiner's car" stickers before receipt.