Nascar Chairman Brian France Furious with ISC Board Member Brian France for Lack of SAFER Barrier at California

"Yeah?  Well at least I'm not Tony George!"

Brian France, the current chairman and main decision-maker for the Nascar sanctioning body, has angrily called out International Speedway Corporation (ISC) for not having adequate SAFER Barriers at California's Auto Club Speedway.  Driver Denny Hamlin was seriously injured upon hitting a concrete wall at the track, an accident France said would have been prevented if ISC's board-members--specifically Brian France--had acted sooner.
Brian France, enemy
of Brian France
"The fact that our premiere racing series is competing on a track without 100% SAFER Barrier coverage is unacceptable", France sternly told reporters assembled at Nascar's Daytona Beach headquarters.  "I've been talking with some of our fans, and its obviously who's at fault here--ISC Board-Member Brian France."
"I mean come on--have you SEEN how much that guy is worth?", France angrily asked about France.  "No wonder he gets to sit on the board of a race-track company despite not having much of any track-management experience.  Oh sure, he managed Tucson Raceway Park.  Come on--I could've managed Tucson Raceway Park!"
Chairman France continued to berate Chair-Member France, at one point holding up the publicity photo of France from the ISC Corporate website.
"Look at this guy--the gelled-up hair.  The bullfrog chin.  That simpering smirk.  You make me SICK."  France then tore the picture in two.
"Listen--I'm just as big a Nascar fan as the rest of you fans.  And as long as I'm chairman of Nascar, I'm going to make sure that chair-members such as Mr. France are held accountable for their lack of action."
France then added, "See, this is why I never sold my Speedway Motorsports Inc. stock".

BREAKING NEWS: Tony Stewart Suspended for Next Week's Race

After his actions post-race at Auto Club Speedway, Nascar has announced that driver/owner Tony Stewart has been barred from Nascar competition for the following week.
"Mr. Stewart's actions were, in a word, not acceptable", said Nascar Chairman/Ke$ha fan Brian France.  "We hold all of our drivers to the highest standards, and we will have no problem keeping Tony out of ALL of Nascar's on-track activities next week."
"What the hell do you think I was mad about?" said an obviously irate Tony Stewart while walking to his hauler.  "The dumb little son of a (female dog) runs us straight into the infield, he wants to (female dog) about everybody else, he's the one who drives like a little (cat), I'm gonna bust his (donkey).  I mean come on--he was driving like ME out there, and I'm a totally hypocritical (donkey)!"
Stewart's suspension is not the first one meted out in recent years by Nascar.  Driver Brad Keselowski was suspended for eight weeks after appearing drunk on camera after last year's race at Homestead.  Similarly, a number of drivers have been preemptively suspended for the week before the Brickyard in anticipation of putting on an incredibly dull race.
"Tony will have to sit at home and think about what he's done", France added.  "Nascar will not tolerate a driver cursing up a storm OR attacking another driver half his size.  Well, come to think of it, Tony might be three-times Joey (Logano)'s size after he gets through with his Easter candy."
France also said that Nascar will be investigating allegations that Joe Gibbs Racing helped Kyle Busch win today's race by changing all the calendars to read "SATURDAY".

California "News" and Notes

--We've seen how the Gen6 car races on a plate track, a flat track, an intermediate track, and a short track, but now we get to see how it does on a BORING track.

--According to BK Racing, the REAL reason why Landon Cassill left the team was that he didn't want to share the 83 & 93 cars with two other drivers.  So instead he shares a ride with ONE other driver at Circle Sport, or Hillman, or LJ Racing, or whatever the heck they're calling the 33 team this year.

--Joe Nemechek is running (or attempting to run) full races this year.  I'm not sure what his sponsor makes or provides, but I can be sure that there's a place, someone named Maddie is involved, and it rocks.

--Carl Long returns to the driver's seat this weekend in the Nationwide Series race.  Now I'm imagining Brian France attempting to shake him down for the fine money.

--It was nice of ISC to name this track (and race, too) after Otto Klubb, famed German racer of the 1950's.

Spade Racing's Spring Movie Preview

Ah, Spring:  When a race can be postponed by rain OR snow.  In case one is, here's some Nascar-centric movies at the multiplex:

G.I. Joe: Retaliation--Joe Nemechek's back, and he's RUNNING THE WHOLE RACE (all the way to 34th!).

The Host--Speed Channel morphs into Fox Sports One, and desperately tries to find someone willing to host their new 10-minute weekly edition of Nascar Race Hub.

The Place Beyond the Pines--Bruton Smith reveals the spot in the woods where he hid all the good Bristol racing in 2012.

Mental--Joey Logano flips out and finally tells Denny Hamlin the REAL reason why he hates him (hint:  it involves not replacing the toilet-paper at the JGR office bathroom).

Welcome to the Punch--Denny Hamlin's response to "Mental".

Trance--A random sampling of Nascar fans react to seeing three-straight hours of green-flag racing at Fontana.

Oblivion--We boldly go exploring for Gary Bradberry's career.

The Iceman--Just two hours straight of Terry Labonte staring at the audience.

Fast & Furious 6--An angry Mark Martin fan tries to get a refund for all his "Salute to You" merchandise.

Joey Logano Unveils New "Hulk Logano" Persona Post-Race

Nascar fans were surprised post-race when Joey Logano, running over to "talk" with Denny Hamlin, revealed his new persona in the subsequent interview:  Hulk Logano.
"Well you know something Mean Jeff (Hammond)", Logano yelled into the Fox Sports microphone, "I come out here now, in the red and yellow, brother, and I gotta show that Hamlin that he can't push around the Hulkster, dude.  That was for all the little Loganomaniacs out there, you gotta say your prayers, take your vitamins, and eat your Pennzoil, brother!"
Logano had previously earned a reputation as not backing down, taking on drivers such as Kevin Harvick, a former high school wrestler, and Ryan Newman, who weighs about 400 lbs. more than Logano.
"You know, Mean Jeff, Hulk Logano doesn't back down from nobody, brother", as he attempted several times to tear open his firesuit during the interview.  "When I took on Kevin 'The Hammer' Harvick, and when I verbally bodyslammed Newman The Giant, I put this sport on notice, brother.  Because when we pull into Homesteadmania, I'm gonna be the one going for the gold, dude!"
Logano said that, in the upcoming week, he plans to shave most of his hair, grow a different-colored fu manchu mustache, and star in a movie called "Driver With Muscles".
"Loganomania is runnin' wild brother!  'Cause what 'cha gonna do!  What 'cha gonna do, brother, when a 140 lb. guy from Connecticut runs wild on YOU?!?"
Denny Hamlin refused to confirm or deny that he'd been approached by Slim Jim to do commercials.

Back from Charlotte: Stray Observations

I spent most of this week in the Charlotte/Mooresville area visiting race shops for my OTHER website,  Here's a few things that I saw, noticed, and observed:

--Nascar's the only sport where you can see a competitor at another team's headquarters begging for equipment, in this case, Morgan Shepherd at Hendrick looking for used tires.  I'm guessing that the Kansas City Royals GM doesn't go to the Bronx to see if the Yankees have any bats he can buy on the cheap.
--Danica Patrick really IS that tiny in person.
--My experience at RPM was a lot like The Box Factory: "This room is the most popular room on the tour."  "But its just like every other room."  "Yes, but this room ha--oh wait, we took that out.  Yes, this room is just like every other room."
--Visit Roush Fenway Racing for a hologram of Greg Biffle that will terrify and astound you!
--Looking for cheaply-priced Bass Pro Shops merchandise?  Go to EGR!
--Take a look around Charlotte Motor Speedway if you want to be so surrounded by the name and face of Bruton Smith that you'll want to scream.

Las Vegas "News" and Notes

--A heads-up:  There most likely won't be a post-race recap this week, as I'll be down in Charlotte doing research (read: being a tourist) for my OTHER website,  The next article you see here will, most likely, be the "News" and Notes entry for Bristol.

--Denny Hamlin went to his friend/golfing buddy Michael Jordan for advice on how to fight his $25,000 fine.  Michael's advice?  "Republicans buy Gen-6 cars too".

--As reported here earlier, Speed Channel will officially transition to Fox Sports 1 later this year.  All five viewers of the original Speedvision are said to be furious.

--RPM has said that, while Michael Annett recovers from his injuries suffered at Daytona, the team will be running the Reed Option.

--You'd figure that if Clint Bowyer really DID have all those powers he demonstrates in those new commercials, he'd be in commercials with someone a little more famous than Jim Furyk.

--Hope you're ready for a slew of lame gambling metaphors.

ESPN Records Record-Low Ratings Without Jeremy Clements

Johnny, you're doing the nWo Wolfpac thing wrong

In news that could adversely affect Nascar's attempts to extend its Nationwide Series broadcast deal with ESPN, the sports giant reported record-low ratings for its recent coverage of the Dollar General 200 at Phoenix.  Network executives pinned the drop-off in ratings squarely on the absence of superstar driver Jeremy Clements.
"We would never have put this race on television if we'd know that Jeremy wouldn't be running", said ESPN spokesperson Ella Donald.  "This would be like the Yankees and Red Sox both pulling out of Major League Baseball, combined with the Miami Heat folding, and the Lakers dropping down to the D-League."
Clements, who was suspended for uttering a racial slur before the season-opening Daytona race, was credited with bringing in the coveted 18-79 age range, appealing to a broad-spectrum of fans who enjoy seeing an unsponsored car soar to two top-10s in a single season.
"There's no way that I was going to watch that race without having Jeremy in it, and I work for the network televising it!", Donald explained.  "Our rating was something like a 0.00001, worse than a 2am re-airing of SportsCentury: Chris Hoiles on ESPN Classic."
As required by contract, ESPN will still air next week's Nationwide race at Las Vegas, though they are taking precautions in case Clements is not reinstated by Nascar.
"We've considered putting the race on ESPN Deportes, or airing it tape-delayed on ESPNEWS", Donald added.  "Or we might just see if we could get Jeremy in the broadcast booth.  I know that I'd like to hear the perspective of someone who's been all the way to 15th-place in the points standings."
Jeremy Clements was unavailable for comment on this story, as the crowd of supporters outside his race shop was too thick to penetrate.

Jimmie Johnson Surprises Self by Almost Showing Emotion

Moments after a thrilling door-to-door battle with Denny Hamlin, Jimmie Johnson nearly shocked the world--and himself--by showing emotion in his post-race interview.
"Well, that was close", Johnson said as he walked away from the Fox crew.  "I almost raised by voice a bit--even almost shouted there.  Strange, that's never happened before."
Johnson, renowned for his cool demeanor and even keel, said that the battle with Hamlin for second "…had my heart beating every-other-second.  I really had the adrenaline flowing, although that might have just been indigestion."
Crew Chief Chad Knaus was seen trying to calm down the five-time champ after the nearly-explosive interview.
"You know, an excited Jimmie is not a winning Jimmie, I assume", Knaus told reporters.  "We're going to get him back to the shop, give him some camomile tea, some lightly-toasted white bread, but no butter--he's not ready for that kind of excitement in this state."
"Anytime you have a race like that, it reminds you why you got into racing."  Johnson added.  "But that's no excuse to shout, yell, pump your fist, or sweat.  We have to always keep our emotions in check if we want to appeal to the fans."

Phoenix "News" and Notes

--I'm guessing that most everybody in the Nascar world had the same reaction to Jeremy Clements' suspension: "Who's Jerry Clemens?"

--Be sure to catch Mike Bliss's #19 car in the Nationwide Series--it has the "Blank Template" paint scheme.

--The latest Goodyear commercial has fine print "Professional Drivers on a Closed Course" on the bottom of the screen during obvious Nascar footage.  Um, did ANYONE think that drivers were unpaid amateurs on open courses?

--Smithfield will be using the same basic Petty-Blue paint scheme for all 25 of its races this year.  The other 10 races they're expected to use Spade Racing Hoody Award-Winning Red.

--While the new provisional system is likely to get rid of most start-and-parks (that's good!), the new cars are likely to bring back field-fillers (that's bad!), which means that Shawna Robinson might come out of retirement (that's terrifying!).

--David Stremme is back running for Swan Racing--NBS 24/7 fans rejoice!