Tony Stewart Furious with Drivers for Being On-Track with Him

While it was Kevin "Happy" Harvick who won tonight's race, three-time champion Tony Stewart was anything but happy, expressing his anger with most of the field for being on the track with him.
"I don't get it--we're out there, running for a top-10 finish, and these other guys stay out there racing with us!  That's just totally unacceptable.  I mean, does everybody have to be within inches around me--we have the whole track, fellas!"
Stewart, who had complained earlier about drivers blocking, expressed his disgust with Kurt Busch by bumping him on the cool-down lap.  However, he had even more anger for various other drivers.
"Matt Kenseth, he's out there running next to us--what's up with that?  He's nothing but a spoiled little middle-aged man from Wisconsin, who's team owners have bought him everything he's ever needed."
Stewart continued by shouting, "And just wait till I see Landon Cassill--I can guarantee you that the next time he's running on the same lap as me, I'm going to get into him every chance I get, EVERY chance I get."
To his credit, Stewart did have a few compliments to hand out.
"I just wanted to give some kudos to Mike Bliss, who had the fair decency to get out of our way early on.  Its nice to see that there's some REAL drivers out there."

The Michael Waltrip Fan Cruise--It Exists

Yes, good old Mikey confirmed it on Trackside (after his insanely awkward comment about being divorced)--there is, in actually, an actual Michael Waltrip Fan Cruise.  The hair gelled hellion will hit the high seas later this year--but why the heck would anyone (well, besides Michael Waltrip) want to go?  Why, the fun activities, of course!  Just take a look…

--Punching Lake Speed:  A frame-by-frame analysis

--How to flip your car while intoxicated and NOT get arrested

--Guest lecture: Why I Hate Mark Martin, by Dr. Darrell Waltrip

--From Country Time to Spam, how to win funding from food-like manufacturers

--Get your picture taken with Clint Bowyer!!!('s cardboard cutout)

--Interactive slide-show of Martin Truex's favorite New Jersey Townships (Edison!  Penns Grove!  Ocean!)

--How Moses Parted the Red Sea, a first-person account by Mark Martin

--Limbo for tall, gangly middle-aged men

--Enhance Your Lisp for TV!

Jeremy Mayfield Found with Missing Three Grams from Matt Kenseth's Car

Quickly solving a mystery that had befuddled Joe Gibbs Racing, Toyota Racing Development, and the state of Wisconsin, former Nascar driver Jeremy Mayfield was found in possession of the missing three-gram connecting rod from Kenseth's race-winning car from Sunday.
"Do the meth--I mean, math"
"We were reviewing our security footage to see which employee missed the rod", said TRD General Manager Glen Olden, "when we noticed a delivery truck backing up to our loading dock.  We didn't recognize the Mail Every Type Hurried logo, so we dug deeper.
"We noticed a middle-aged white male with a K-Mart/Little Caesar's t-shirt jumping out of the truck, accompanied by two of the biggest pugs I'd ever seen.  He quickly entered and exited our engine department, then drove off."
Nascar President Mike Helton has yet to say if Kenseth, JGR and TRD will still be fined and docked points for the infraction.
"Yes, it wasn't their fault, but TRD is responsible for their own security systems.  We hold all our teams to the same level, and JGR will receive the same scrutiny that Hendrick Motorsports did last year--a hefty fine, a major points docking, numerous suspensions--followed by an appeals meeting where we'll basically say, 'Ah, lets forget it'."
When reached at his North Carolina home, Mayfield was defiant despite being informed of the security footage.
"Oh, come on--like I would drive all the way to California just to get three grams of something.  Three grams of something that wouldn't have been what I THOUGHT it would be, I might add.  Not three grams of that beautiful elixir that helps me forget the horrors of walking in on Ray and Erin."  Mayfield then began sobbing.

Matt Kenseth's Watch Wins at Kansas

After a video review by Nascar's competition directors, the REAL winner of today's race has been revealed to be Matt Kenseth's Watch, not Matt Kenseth as previously thought.
"We analyzed the video, and saw that it was Matt's watch that crossed the finish-line first in the 17 car--er, I mean 20 car.  Dang, its tough getting used to that!", said Nascar Director of Competition and Debris Cautions David Hoots.  "With that being said, the win will officially be credited to Matt Kenseth's Watch, while Matt Kenseth The Person will be credited with 2nd place."
"Wooooo!  We did it!", the exuberant watch said upon climbing out of the winning Toyota Camry.  "You know, I've really been running in Matt's shadow for years now, and he's a great racer AND a true champion--but today belongs to me, Matt Kenseth's Watch!"  Kasey Kahne, who had been relegated to third place, then came over to shake the watch's minute hand.
"We're so proud to see such a valued member of our team get a victory", team owner Joe Gibbs said in Victory Lane.  "From helping Matt know if he's going to catch the early SportsCenter, to helping Matt know if he's going to catch the late SportsCenter, Matt Kenseth's Watch has done us a real service over the years."
Gibbs added that the watch would be getting a diecast "race run" car, pleasing both current diecast collectors.  He also said that a run of t-shirts, bearing the "Watch Out for Watch!" slogan, would be available by Tuesday evening.
"Believe me, I don't like coming in second", Matt Kenseth The Person said on pit road, "but if I had to come in second, I'm glad its to one of my best friends.  I just hope that Brad Keselowski's TV Panel wasn't hurt too badly today."

Kansas "News" and Notes

--First off, thoughts go out to anybody affected by the terrorist attacks in Boston or the industrial explosion in Texas.

--I think we could ALL use a good laugh, and we're gonna get one--Sam Hornish Jr. is running Cup this weekend.

--How much sense does it make to have one Nationwide Series race in four weeks?  About as much sense as it makes to have zero Camping World Truck Series races in four weeks.

--The Penske crew-members suspended after Texas will be able to participate this weekend while the penalty is under appeal.  I'm guessing that the 2 team was given a "Remember when you squealed on Hendrick?" inspection, while the 22 car was given a "We really, really don't like your driver very much" inspection.

--So, am I the only one who saw that commercial for the Michael Waltrip Celebrity Cruise, or am I imagining horrible things again?

Matt Kenseth Wins Coveted Twelfth-Place Finish

The stars were shining bright deep in the heart of Texas tonight, as Matt Kenseth fought an ill-handling car to finish in 12th place, signaling that the Dollar General/Husky Tools driver is ready to compete.
"You know, there's really no feeling like this, coming in twelfth place at a track like this", an ebullient Kenseth exclaimed in 12th-Place Circle.  "You can do a lot in this sport--commercials, interviews, Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue spreads--but until you go out here and PROVE that you can finish 12th, you're nothing."
Kenseth, when reminded that he had won earlier this season (at Las Vegas), explained why his twelfth-place finish was even more important.
"C'mon, you saw all the coverage last week for the twelfth-place driver--that's what announces to the world, 'I have arrived!' in Nascar", Kenseth told a phalanx of reporters, including a very-confused looking Brant James.  "Championships and wins are nice, but its showing that you have the POSSIBILITY to get championships and wins in the future that is even MORE important.  Well, that and looking good."
Kenseth said that he hopes the twelfth-place win distracts from his recent racy Husky Tools ads.
"Hey, sex sells", Kenseth said while firing off twin water guns in the traditional 12th-Place Circle celebration.  "And if I have to lick a socket wrench while wearing a leather bikini on the Husky Tools calendar, so be it.  Oh, by the way, I'm October this year."

Texas: The News of Notes

--First off, for those of you just joining us, I am Michael.  I take care of the place while the master is away.

--Thankfully Texas Motor Speedway has lights, so they have to finish the race.  There is no escape.  It will be dark soon.  There is no escape.

--Nobody getting fined after California OR Martinsville?  Mike Helton--Your Power FAILS you!

--You just know that Joey Logano is dreading that phone call from Roger Penske: "You have caused enough trouble.  I think perhaps your service to us is at its end now!"

--There could be a bunch of Green-White-Checkers in the final four laps.  Ten miles?  Might as well be ten THOUSAND miles!

--Jimmie Johnson's really annoyed with all the criticism he's getting after Martinsville--he went on Twitter to ask "Why don't you guys leave us alone?"

--The End?

The 1987 Winston All-Star Race Poster--Yes, "THAT" Poster

1987's Winston All-Star Race is widely considered to be the edition that put the event "on the map".  It introduced the last-chance shootout race, was the first aired on network TV, and had Dale Earnhardt Sr.'s famous "Pass in the Grass" on Bill Elliott.  But this isn't about the race.

Its about something more interesting, more strange, and more mysterious than that.

In the early days of The Winston, a publicity photo would be put out featuring every driver competing in the race (so every winning driver from the past season-and-a-third and past champion).  The photo was usually turned into a poster sold at the track.  Now, why the heck would we care about a poster for a race held over 15 years ago?
Click for full-sized zoom

Because this is THAT poster.

Take a look at this zoomed-in shot--what's that behind Neil Bonnett's ear?  

What makes it even more intriguing is that the driver who seems to be displaying his, um, "stick-shift", is none other than Tim Richmond, a notorious prankster and playboy.

Censored for your protection?
Search online for "1987 Winston Poster" and you'll see auction listings touting its rare status.  You'll see it listed as an "uncensored" version, and stories about how most of the original posters were recalled.  And as you'll see here, there was, indeed, a "censored" version put out.  

But was there anything that actually needed to be censored?

The poster is old enough to have pre-dated the "everybody knows the story behind everything" internet age, but is young enough that there's arguments on internet message boards about what Tim was actually holding.

The most detailed (or most fabricated) story comes from Yahoo's Answers site--you can take a look for yourself  but here's the most-important part:

"At the point this picture was taken, the HIV had already been doing a number on Tim and at times, he needed a cain (sic) to walk.  His hand is resting on a cain (sic), not his privates."

Obviously, there's no real way to verify this story.  There's also two major problems with it:  1.) It falls into the "Well my cousin knew a guy who knew all the drivers and he told me…" category, which has spawned such rumors as "Teresa Earnhardt slept with Jeff Gordon" and "My wife had an affair with Rusty Wallace" (note--I've actually heard both of these).  Also, 2.) How much weight do you want to put into the words of someone who can't spell the word CANE correctly?

Personally, the cane story makes the most sense, especially when you consider how he's holding whatever he's holding.  But what can't be denied is that this poster is a collection of some of the best in Nascar from the 70's through the 90's.  Sadly, far too many of these drivers met untimely ends.  Going left-to-right, top row first, here's what's happened to each of the drivers in this poster:

Morgan Shepherd: Semi-retired
Tim Richmond: Deceased, complications from AIDS, 1989
Bobby Allison: Retired, frequent contributor to Nascar Media productions, Hall of Famer
Darrell Waltrip: Retired, Nascar on Fox commentator, Hall of Famer
Harry Gant: Retired, rancher
Ricky Rudd: Retired, stay-at-home dad
Kyle Petty: Retired, Speed Channel/TNT commentator, Philanthropist
Davey Allison: Deceased, helicopter crash, 1993
Benny Parsons: Deceased, lung cancer, 2007 (after a high-profile career as a tv commentator for numerous networks)
Geoff(ery) Bodine: Retired, only member of this photo to have an honorary gold medal from the Winter Olympics
Buddy Baker: Retired, worked as a TV commentator for CBS & TNN
Bobby Hillin, Jr.: Retired, runs his own excavation business in Texas
Rusty Wallace: Retired, Nascar on ESPN commentator, Hall of Famer
Cale Yarborough: Retired, car dealership owner, Hall of Famer
Greg Sacks: Retired, co-owner of Grand Touring (GT) Vodka
Neil Bonnett: Deceased, practice crash at Daytona, 1994
Terry Labonte: Semi-retired
Dale Earnhardt (Sr.): Deceased, crash in the Daytona 500, 2001, Hall of Famer
Bill Elliott: Semi-retired
Richard Petty: Retired, co-owner of Richard Petty Motorsports, Hall of Famer

Regardless of what Tim's holding in that poster, this poster holds one heck of a collection of talent.

Danica Patrick Wins 12th Place Alarm Clock at Martinsville

In a solid, impressive run for the Chevy, Danica Patrick came home in 12th place in today's STP Gas Booster 500, earning her the coveted 12th Place Alarm Clock.
"Any time you come here to Martinsville, you know you're going for that alarm clock", said a happy Patrick in 12th-Place Lane.  "All the boys back at the shop gave me a really stout car today, and I was just glad to bring it home in 12th."  Patrick was then congratulated by her crew chief, Andy Reid.
"I'm so proud of you!", the walrus-looking crew chief said.  Turning to the camera, he explained "We've kept our goals small and manageable this year, so winning the alarm clock is really just a bonus for us.  *COUGH*  Time's yours."
Patrick joins an exclusive list of luminaries of the sport, including Derrike Cope, who holds a record four alarm clocks for his string of 12th-place finishes at the track nicknamed "The Paperclip".
"From Brett Bodine to Jeff Green, from Casey Mears to Steve Park, the list of drivers who've won this alarm clock is pretty impressive", Patrick said.  "I can only hope that I can have as successful a career as Ron Bouchard."
In a related story, Dale Earnhardt Jr. won his fit career 24th place Wrist Watch.

Martinsville "News" and Notes

--Mark Martin is subbing in for the ailing Denny Hamlin this week at Martinsville.  I'm guessing that JGR Nationwide driver Brian Texas will be in the 11 next week.

--I wanted to insult Joey Logano, but I was told by him to call 811 before I dig.

--Ricky Stenhouse Jr. runs the Fifth Third Bank paint scheme this week for the first time.  Their slogan is "The Curious Bank", as in, "Its curious that he's banking a solid start to his first rookie season, and he's best-known for who he's dating".

--Here's a conundrum for ya: Clint Bowyer does the most commercials, but seems to run the most races with "sponsors" instead of sponsors.

--Frank Beamer is the honorary pace car driver on Sunday, and in the time it takes him to drive around the half-mile track a dozen times, the ACC's membership will change three times.

--Jeffrey Earnhardt will be in one of the JR Motorsports Nationwide cars at Richmond, in what will become the Most Overblown Story so far this season.

Tony vs. Joey: Tale of the Tape

You GOTTA tell me the secret to
getting everyone to hate you!

Tony Stewart, Nascar's most-passionate driver, is now in a war of words, shoves, and water bottles with Joey Logano.  Apparently the Curse of the Penske 22 has gotten a hold of Logano, who has started picking fights with numerous members of Nascar's elite.  Before this explodes into an all-out brawl, here's a breakdown of the matchup…

Team Owner(s)
Tony Stewart--Himself and Gene Haas, a convicted felon.
Joey Logano--Roger Penske, of the Penske File Fame.

Tony Stewart--Bass Pro Shops, Mobil 1, a truck center that is apparently in a rush.
Joey Logano--Auto Club, Pennzoil/Shell (I am required by Nascar to put Shell after Pennzoil).

Old Nickname
Tony Stewart--The rocket that is also apparently in a rush
Joey Logano--Sliced Bread (from Randy LaJoie, a man known to get the munchies).

Current Nickname
Tony Stewart--Smoke (…on the watttterrrrr)
Joey Logano--Joey-Joe-Joe Junior…Shabadoo?

Looks Like
Tony Stewart--Your Dad's friend who wanted to take you to a strip club when you turned 18.
Joey Logano--"He's that guy you used to know who works at a Kinney Shoes and won't leave you alone".

Body Type
Tony Stewart--Middle-aged Nascar driver.
Joey Logano--Guy who's been to one too many Motocross events.

Takes Out His Aggression On...
Tony Stewart--…cameramen, reporters, other drivers, cars, etc.
Joey Logano--…Twitter.

Thing They Stole From Joe Gibbs Racing
Tony Stewart--Nascar-themed M&M's vending machine.
Joey Logano--Commemorative Super Bowl XXVI Jeff Bostic jersey.

Nascar Record In Sights
Tony Stewart--Most wins by a driver-owner not named Petty.
Joey Logano--Enemies made in a single-season (currently held by Rusty Wallace for every season he raced).