Michael McDowell Now Free on Sunday for Parties and Weddings

Phil kinda looks like the lost Charlie's Angel, eh?

Despite a surprising top-10 finish in the Daytona 500, Phil Parsons Racing and driver Michael McDowell have withdrawn from the upcoming Subway Fresh Fit 500 at Phoenix.  Why would they be pulling out after such a winnings windfall?  Here's some possible reasons why:

--They have two Ford Fusions, and with as many cars as Carl Edwards has been wrecking, Roush Fenway is going to need all fifteen of them.

--The Truck Series is on hiatus for weeks, and Phil Parsons is DAMNED if he's going to voluntarily spend more time with Michael Waltrip.

--Michael lost his primary sponsor when he mistakenly thanked "Clove Radio" on Sunday.

--Their associate sponsor kicked 'em to the Mike Curb.

--No Label Watches is sponsoring David Reutimann.  And if you can't get No Label Watches as your sponsor, what's the point of even trying?

--Michael felt uncomfortable following in the #98 footsteps of John Andretti and Rich Bickle.

--Race Car Team Certain to Crash!  Owners Held Negligent.  There's a sale at Penney's!

--Phil is going to take the Daytona winnings, convert it to pennies, then swim around in it a la Scrooge McDuck.


Danica Patrick Announces Retirement From Nascar

Mere minutes after her 8th-place finish in the 55th Daytona 500, Danica Patrick shocked the racing world by announcing her retirement from Nascar racing.
"You know, when I came to Nascar, all I wanted to do was contend for a win, show that I belong, and I felt that I've done that today.  So it is with a heavy heart that I am officially retiring from Nascar competition, effective immediately", she said to the throng of media members.
"I figured it would take me months, maybe years to live up to my potential here in the GoDaddy Chevy", Patrick continued, "but we reached our goals so early on that I don't see anything else left to do."
Stewart-Haas Racing executives were said to be scrambling to find a driver to run the 10 car in next week's race at Phoenix.
"We gotta see if we can find someone who can fit in that tiny seat", Stewart-Haas co-owner Tony Stewart said in between milkshakes.  "Not only that, but we have to find someone who can be in GoDaddy commercials, tolerate loud kissing noises, and laugh awkwardly while piloting a fake airplane."
Danica was evasive when asked about her future plans outside of racing.
"Well, when I accomplished all my goals in IndyCar by winning a race and tolerating Michael Andretti for five years, I knew that Nascar was where I wanted to be.", Patrick added.  "I might just go into Formula One--its always been my goal to be the third-fastest car in last practice.  Or I could go into broadcasting like Carl Edwards--although I haven't wrecked nearly enough cars to do so yet."
When asked about the announcement, Patrick's boyfriend Ricky Stenhouse Jr. said, "Maybe now instead of being known as Danica's Boyfriend I'll go back to being known as The Guy Who's Not Matt Kenseth."

The Word from Daytona

ESPN's article has a very good recap of the situation, so I'll take down my recap.

Daytona "News" and Notes

--Finally, real racing is back!!!

--Nascar is the sport with the shortest offseason, but after watching the same prepackaged stories on RaceHub for the umpteenth time, it seems like the longest.

--You know you're missing Nascar when you start complaining instantly after the Duels--oh, wait, that's the jaded media.

--Fox is using a "zip-line" camera for the first time, a remote-operated camera mounted on cables suspended over the frontstretch.  The XFL--its the gift that keeps on giving.

--Is it just me, or is Matt Kenseth's orange rear bumper kind of weird?

--Danica Patrick and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. aren't Nascar's first couple--Elton Sawyer and Patty Moise were married and raced against each other, although it was in the Busch (now Nationwide) Series, and nobody cared.

--So according to Clint Bowyer, I could walk into a car dealership wearing a firesuit and be able to test-drive a race car.

--Which will be more--Carl Edwards sponsors, or Carl Edwards torn-up cars?

--Again, finally, real racing is back!!!

Spade Racing's 2013 Nascar Camping World Truck Series Preview

For reasons unbeknownst to anyone besides Brian France (and Brian's friends on the Selena Gomez fan site message board), the Truck Series schedule contains a nearly two-month break between its first and second races.  Ideas such as making the first race a non-points event, or moving the Las Vegas race from the fall to the spring, were all denounced as "Making too much sense".  So anyways, here's a look at this year's competitors, along with how they plan to spend their time off.

(Listed in Numerical Order)

1 Dusty Davis (Accell Construction)--Plans to spend his time off figuring out how to say "Rick Ware Racing" correctly, and not like "Wick Ware Wacing".
3 Ty Dillon (Bass Pro Shops)--Plans to spend his time off trying to find an even more-obnoxious choice of headwear.
4 Jeb Burton (Arrowhead)--Plans to spend his time off figuring out if his sponsor--the electronic cigarette of the future--is made by the same people who make Dippin' Dots--the ice cream of the future.
5 Tim George Jr. (Applebee's)--Plans to spend his time off figuring how to tolerate people asking about getting thrown out of Applebee's.
6 Justin Lofton (Lofton Cattle)--Plans to spend his time off scrambling for a full-time ride once Robby Gordon's Stadium Truck series goes on "indefinite hiatus".
7 John Wes Townley (Zaxby's)--Plans to spend his time off bragging about beating drivers with half the funding of his in the ARCA season opener.
8 Max Gresham (Made In USA)--Plans to spend his time off trying to figure out what his sponsor is, what it actually does, and who the heck HE is.
9 Ron Hornaday Jr. (Smokey Mtn., Anderson's)--Plans to spend his time off continuing the disposal process of unsold Conseco Racing hats.
10 Jennifer Jo Cobb (Driven 2 Honor, Koma)--Plans to spend her time off working on a trade of middle-names with John Wes Townley.
13 Todd Bodine (Mattei)--Plans to spend his time off acting like a jerk.
14 Brennan Newberry (tba)--Plans to spend his time off looking for an obscure, vague sponsor, like "Companies Inc.", "NRG Unlimited", or "AARP Drive to End Hunger".
17 Timothy Peters (tba)--Plans to spend his time off smoking his way through that entire trailer full of Bailey's cigarettes.
18 Joey Coulter (Dollar General)--Plans to spend his time off trademarking his new nickname, JoCo.
19 Ross Chastain et al (Melon1, Cequent Group)--Plans to spend his (Ross's) time off spitting watermelon seeds at Dave Blaney.
29 Ryan Blaney (Cooper Standard)--Plans to spend his time off figuring out if being called "The Next Casey Atwood" is a compliment or not.
31 James Buescher (Rheem)--Plans to spend his time off Rheeming people.
32 Miguel Paludo (Duroline)--Plans to spend his time off convincing Duroline that sponsoring a series in the USA is the ticket to big sales in Brazil.
33 John King (Eastern Coal)--Plans to spend his time off making awkward, stilted commercials for Coal, just like Dale Jr.
39 Ryan Sieg (Pull-A-Part)--Plans to spend his time off pulling things apart.
54 Darrell Wallace Jr. (ToyotaCare)--Plans to spend his time off asking Joe Gibbs, "Seriously, is Kyle (Busch) ALWAYS like that?"
57 Norm Benning (RedPaintCo.)--Plans to spend his time off running eight laps down.
60 Dakoda Armstrong (WinField)--Plans to spend his time off getting the word "Dakoda" added to spell-check dictionaries everywhere.
62 Brendan Gaughan (South Point)--Plans to spend his time off avoiding Allen Iverson's calls.
77 German Quiroga (tba)--Plans to spend his time off becoming the most-famous German in Nascar since Klaus Graff.
81 David Starr (Chasco)--Plans to spend his time off filling the huge shoes of FilMar Racing.
84 Chris Fontaine (Glenden)--Plans to spend his time off figuring out how this team constantly shows up.
88 Matt Crafton (Menards, Slim Jim)--Plans to spend his time off snapping into various Slim Jims, oh yeah.
98 Johnny Sauter (Carolina Nut Co., Curb Records)--Plans to spend his time off listening to "Its a Small World" on an endless loop.
99 Bryan Silas (tba)--Plans to spend his time off calling Andy Hillenberg for more sponsorship.

Mr. Coors Light, an Idea Whose Time has Come

Its not like I could do worse than him

An Open Letter to The Good People at MillerCoors:

     Hello to some of my favorite brewers in America (well, besides Paul Molitor).  As sponsors of the Nascar Pole Award, through your Coors Light brand, I'm sure you're ecstatic with the exposure you're getting through Daytona pole winner Danica Patrick.  Danica is the first woman to win the Coors Light Pole Award, but that means that there's a change that needs to be made.
     You MUST introduce a MISTER Coors Light to go along with Miss Coors Light.
     Women presenting various awards to drivers is a tradition as old as Nascar itself.  From the beauty queens of the 60's to the various Miss Winstons of the 80's to the Miss Sprint Cups of today, women have long been used to promote products in motorsports.  But these made sense since virtually every winner was a man.*  Now we have a woman capable of winning major awards--shouldn't a man be giving her those trophies?
     Who should become Mr. Coors Light?  Well, instead of going the male-model route (which didn't exactly work with David Stremme), I'd suggest going with an enthusiastic race fan and long-time consumer of your product.
     That's right--Me!
     As the first-ever Mr. Coors Light, I will be glad to promote your product nationwide at all sorts of different venues--bars, liquor stores, race tracks, you name it.  I'll communicate with fans, posing in a skin-tight firesuit for pictures while giving out coupons for discounted 30-packs.  And you don't have to worry about me bringing the "snark" to the Mr. Coors Light Official Blog--thankfully I have no qualms about completely selling out to corporate America.
     So there you have it--a great idea for a great step forward with a great candidate for the job.  I await your reply.

*--Yes, Danica has won before, but that was in the IndyCar Series, where the most-visible product-placement in Victory Lane is a hideous Firestone mascot who is most-adept at scaring small children.

Mike Mackler

Sprint Unlimited "News" and Notes

--The Sprint Unlimited is Nascar's version of the Pro Bowl--people get excited for it, but we don't know why.

--This year's format was voted on by fans, and will feature a 30 lap first segment, 25 lap second segment, and 20 lap final segment.  Personally I'd like to request a recount.

--The starting lineup will be voted on by fans in attendance.  My money's on "Its too freaking cold out here".

--19 cars are entered in tonight's race.  Here's hoping that "Front Row" Joe Nemechek will be able to drive the pace car, then pull it in to the garage--just like in points racing.

--This race was previously known as the Budweiser Shootout.  Before that, the Bud Shootout.  Before that, the Busch Clash.  And before that, Uncle Billy's Racing & Waffles.

Spade Racing 2013 Nationwide Series Preview: Its about time

Time is the one constant in our lives.  You, me, your second-cousin Fred, Daryl Harr--we're all subject to time.  Especially the Nationwide Series' drivers.  Here's a preview!

Championship Time:  Teams with legitimate shots at the Driver's Championship
3 Austin Dillon--Advocare, Bass Pro Shops.  This is Austin's last chance to win the Nationwide Championship.  Well, last chance until five years from now when RCR collapses and he's forced back to the lower series.
6 Trevor Bayne--Cargill, Valvoline, Ford.  After running part-time in both the Cup and Nationwide Series last year, Trevor gets a shot at a championship in 2013, followed by a shot at running an unsponsored, underfunded Cup car for RPM in 2014.
7 Regan Smith--TaxSlayer, Hellman's/Unilever.  Regan goes from an underfunded Cup team to a top-funded Nationwide team, aka "Doing an Elliott Sadler".  No word on if Regan plans to become insufferable in post-race interviews.
11 Elliott Sadler--OneMain Financial.  Elliott goes from playing second-fiddle to the Dillon Bros. at RCR to playing fifth-fiddle at JGR.
12 Sam Hornish, Jr.--Alliance Truck Parts, Wurth.  Sideways Sam had an impromptu chance at a Cup ride last year, but didn't impress enough to keep Joey Logano from getting his ride.  Now if only he can find an intermediary to give Joey those "energy pills"…
20 Brian Vickers--Dollar General.  Brian Vickers continues his fight back to a full-time Cup ride after an impressive part-time schedule last year.  To be fair, simply going an entire race without spinning would be impressive compared to how Brian Scott raced.
30 Nelson Piquet Jr.--Sponsors Unknown.  I wonder if Turner-Scott execs will try to pitch Nelson to sponsors by pointing out, "He can't walk down the street in South America!"
31 Justin Allgaier--Brandt.  Due to a lack of available Cup rides, the Little Gator has been stuck in Nationwide for the past few years.  He's becoming this generation's Randy LaJoie (well, without the pot).

"Championship" Time:  Teams with a legitimate shot to win the Owner's Championship with multiple drivers
5 Kasey Kahne, Brad Sweet, Jimmie Johnson--Great Clips.  Just think--if these guys win it all, they'll be the most-successful people with $5 hair cuts since Bill Gates.
18 Matt Kenseth, Darrell Wallace Jr., Denny Hamlin, Michael McDowell--Reser's, Interstate Batteries, Pizza Ranch.  The defending Owner's Championship team tries to repeat without Joey Logano.  I get the feeling that Brian France completely forgot about the separate Owner's Championship last year, then had to run out to a trophy store to get something on Saturday morning.
22 Brad Keselowski, Ryan Blaney, Joey Logano--Discount Tire, Hertz.  The combination of these three drivers seems to portent a Nationwide Series juggernaut.  Then you realize that being a Nationwide Series juggernaut is kind of like being a 22-year-old dominating high school basketball.
33 Ty Dillon, Paul Menard, Kevin Harvick, Max Papis--Hunt Brothers Pizza, Menards.  No word on if this team will be sharp like Paul Menard's sideburns, or recede like Kevin Harvick's hairline.
54 Kyle Busch (and someone else?)--Monster Energy.  Kyle's on the books for 25 races in the Nationwide Series, where he's always a threat to win.  Will they put someone in the car for the rest of the schedule, or will they let Kyle focus on winning a Nationwide Champ--oh, right, he can't do that anymore.

Time to Step Up:  Drivers who are threats for the top-10 in points, if anybody still cared about the top-10 in points
2 Brian Scott--Shore Lodge.  Apparently the Scotts are some of the most-powerful people in the state of Idaho.  Not powerful enough to get their son some driving lessons, but still…
43 Michael Annett--Flying J/Pilot.  If I suddenly become omnipotent, able to figure out the great mysteries of the universe, one of the first things I'd want to know is why Pilot/Flying J has sponsored Michael Annett all these years.
60 Travis Pastrana--Early-90's Neon Colors.  For all that people complain about Danica Patrick being hyped, at least she's had more success than Pastranathon has.  Oh, and she doesn't date anybody named Lyn-Z.
77 Parker Kligerman--Toyota.  After being shoved out of a ride at BKR in the Truck Series by Ryan Blaney, Parker moves up to Nationwide, where he'll get shoved out of a ride at KBM by Darrell Wallace Jr.

Time is Money:  Drivers who'd need more money, resources, and support to have a serious shot at the top
01 Mike Wallace--Sponsors Unknown.  After previously running a "Cowboys vs. Aliens" car, maybe Mike can find sponsorship from other Harrison Ford movies.  I'd like to see a paint scheme honoring the special edition DVD release of "Morning Glory".
4 Danny Efland, Daryl Harr--Sponsors Unknown.  What did the guy say when he was tired of hearing about land rights?  "Eff Land!"  Oh, Harr dee Harr Harr.
14 Eric McClure--Hefty/Reynolds Wrap.  When the most-memorable moment of your career is a vicious wreck, you might want to think about another career.  Just ask Michael McDowell.
39 Jeffrey Earnhardt--Sponsors Unknown.  To avenge his father Kerry, Jeffrey's entire life is leading up to the moment he can punch Terry Bradshaw in the face.
44 Hal Martin--American Custom Yachts.  Yep, that's how you reach your target market--yachts for Nascar fans.
50 TJ Bell--Sponsors Unknown.  Fun fact--I met TJ at an event at the Dover Mall about 9 years ago.  Sadly, that remains a highlight of HIS career.
51 Jeremy Clements, Ty Dillon--Sponsors Unknown.  Well, if Jeremy is running well enough, maybe they'll keep Ty out of the car--NAH.
52 Joey Gase--Sponsors Unknown.  It took awhile, but its nice to finally see some Gase in Nascar.
70 Johanna Long--Foretravel Motorcoach.  No word on if Johanna will have to share her ride with Derrike Cope again this year.  Because really, who could POSSIBLY look good next to Derrike Cope?
87 Joe Nemechek--Blank Blue Paint.  Joe returns for a full Nationwide Schedule, funding it by making steam shoot out of Bruton Smith's ears.
99 Alex Bowman--Sponsors Unknown.  Very little is known about Alex, though I'm guessing that he's going to whine MUCH less than Kenny Wallace.

Part Time:  These drivers will only compete in a few select races, making you say, "Oh, I didn't know that (INSERT DRIVER HERE) was running this weekend", before returning to your nap
1 Kurt Busch--Guy Roofing.  Looks like Kurt was able to talk, curse, and swear his way into a super-speedway schedule with Phoenix Racing.
8 Scott Lagasse Jr, Corey LaJoie--Boy Scouts of America, HybridLight.  So how is it a hybrid light?  What, does it combine light and darkness somehow?
15 Driver Unknown--Sponsor Unknown.  Can Rick Ware finally field a team capable of winning?  Spoiler Alert--No.
21 Driver Unknown--Sponsor Unknown.  Richard Childress may or may not run this team in 2013.  It mostly depends on if he can find someone to fill the shoes of Johnny Sauter.
23 Robert Richardson Jr, Scott Riggs--Sponsor Unknown.  I don't know what the "R3" in "R3 Motorsports stands for, but I'm guessing its "Reading, Righting, and Recking".
29 Kenny Wallace--Sponsor Unknown.  Well, at least we'll know that ESPN has a few races where they can fill time during a rain delay.
32 Jeb Burton--Sponsor Unknown.  Jeb's restarting his career with a top-notch team (Turner-Scott Motorsports), but can he succeed without the support of the State?
53 Andrew Ranger--Waste Management.  Alright, the garbage truck returns to Nascar!
66 Steven Wallace--Richard Tocado Companies.  Alright, the human chicane returns to Nascar!
88 Dale Earnhardt Jr--TaxSlayer/Great Clips.  Dale might wind up sharing this ride with Danica Patrick, but if they really want a marketing dream-team, they should REALLY recruit Stuart Kirby.
98 Kevin Swindell--Sponsor Unknown.  The open-wheel standout had some impressive runs last year, but I'm just hoping that he returns with that cool black-and-gold Shelby paint scheme.

Time To Go:  These guys will likely run a few laps, then pull into the garage to cash their checks.
10 Jeff Green--If you don't talk to your team owner about Past Champions Provisional Abuse, who will?
19 Mike Bliss--TriStar?  More like GoldStar.
40 Eric Darnell--This team is called "The Motorsports Group".  As opposed to a race team called The Frisbee Jugglers Group.
41 Driven Unknown--Who will dare to stand in the long shadow of Steve Grissom?
89 Morgan Shepherd--I miss Morgan's old sponsor, Cater's Royal Disposeall.  Sounds like an insult--"Yeah, that Kurt Busch, he's a real Carter's Royal Disposeall!"

Juan Pablo Montoya Runs Into Superdome Power Transformer

AGAIN Fox doesn't have the shot

Electricity to half of the Superdome was knocked out during tonight's Super Bowl, as Nascar driver Juan Pablo Montoya's Chevy SS slammed into an external power transformer early in the third quarter.
"I can't believe this is happening again" Montoya was heard yelling over his in-car radio.  "This is the LAST TIME I do a promotional appearance for Target in the middle of a city street--what is this, Driven?"
Montoya, arguably best-known for having run into a jet-dryer while under caution in last season's Daytona 500, was shaken up but unharmed in the wreck.
"You know, rear end failure isn't just something that happens to Tony Stewart in his firesuit at Watkins Glen--its a serious problem", Montoya continued.  "The next time I feel the slightest vibration, I'll do what Joe Nemechek does and pull right into the garage."
"The guy, he ran right into the, uh, transformer box", NFL on CBS commentator Shannon Sharpe said on the telecast.  "The guy, um, I think he's Spanish, he's one of those, those racing guys, he's got the bullseye on HIS car, but it, uh, ran right into the target!"
"We're obviously very sorry that one of our drivers has brought irrevocable damage to one of the nation's premiere events", Nascar President Mike Helton said.  "However, we feel that with a lot of work, a lot of time, and a little luck, we can all recover from Danica's Super Bowl commercial."