My ARCA Adventure

"Oh come on--the tape blends in FINE!"

This past Sunday my awesome dad and I skipped Nascar's dullest race of the year to take in the ARCA Series' Barbera's AutoLand 150 at New Jersey Motorsports Park.  All-in-all it was a pretty cool experience--here's some stray observations:

Me and the lovely Miss Duno
--Months ago I VERY briefly met Danica Patrick, and my first reaction was, "Wow, she's REALLY short".  Sunday I met Milka Duno, and my first reaction was, "Wow, now THOSE are curves!"

--The most-famous person there was Bill Elliott, who was there to coach/mentor his son Chase, a Hendrick development driver.  While I got a picture with Bill, I sadly forgot to tell him that Bill Elliott's FastTracks was the my favorite Game Boy game.

--Speaking of Chase, he looks really really young.  Conversely, 78-year-old James Hylton doesn't look a day over 90.

--I met Frank Kimmel, who seemed very nice and very down-to-earth.  Upon meeting him I thought, "Wow--NINE championships between us!"

"Got this cigar from Carl Haas!"
--My dad got Justin Boston to admit that he's not REALLY from Baltimore--he's from Towson (home of Mel Kiper Jr. and Elaine Benes).  This would be like a guy from Jacksonville claiming that he's actually from Daytona Beach.

--The backmarkers in this series are a pretty-motley group.  There was a medical doctor, a guy who resembled a serial killer, a driver who couldn't afford rain tires, and a driver who asked me if there was a shortcut back to Ohio that didn't involve driving through Philadelphia.

--Special points go to the unidentified driver making his ARCA debut, wearing uniform patches that were literally stapled to his fire suit.

All-in-all, a great day and a great race.  Yeah, I missed a popular win in Nascar, but I'm still boycotting "Smurfs 2"--any movie with Christina Ricci and Katy Perry that isn't Rated-R is abhorrent.

A Police Stop I'd Like to See

Indiana State Police Trooper: "OK, license and registration, please?………Hmmm…Anthony Stewart…do you have any idea how fast you were going?"

Tony Stewart: "Um, it was kinda hard to tell, I just finished running the race over at the Speedway".

Trooper: "Yeah, sure you were…*SNIFF SNIFF*…hmmm, you been drinkin' today, Mr. Stewart?"

Stewart: "No, that's just stale champagne from victory lane."

"Staring contest, Danica, until you
finish better than David Gilliland"
Trooper: "Oh REALLY?  So you won today and left the track right away?"

Stewart: "Oh I wish.  Truth is my guy Ryan Newman won, I co-own his team."

Trooper: "Yeah, right…what are the chances of a lame-duck driver winning?"

Stewart: "No, seriously, Ryan won today--he won from the pole, even!"

Trooper: "Wait a minute--isn't Newman the guy you're firing at the end of the season?"

Stewart: "Um, yeah, unfortunately we need the ride for Kevin Harvick."

Trooper: "But don't you have a THIRD team, Mr. Stewart?"

Stewart: "Um…yeah.  We do."

Trooper: "And where did THAT car finish today?"

Stewart: "…….thirtieth."

Trooper: "So let me get this straight--you have a driver who won today, won one of the biggest races of the year, and you're getting rid of him and keeping someone who finished THIRTIETH?!?"

Stewart: "Yeah, kinda weird how that worked out, huh?"

Trooper: "Um, Mr. Stewart--are you SURE you haven't been drinking?"

Indianapolis "News" and Notes

PROGRAMMING NOTE:  Weather-permitting, I'll be attending this Sunday's ARCA race with my awesome dad, which means that I'll be missing Nascar's most-boring race of the year.

--Congratulations, Nascar:  You successfully put on a Truck Series race on dirt that I couldn't watch.  EVERYTHING Nascar does should conform to MY schedule!  That's why I want to see RaceHub on at 4:30am every morning!

--Still no news on a possible sponsor for Dale Earnhardt Jr.  If this goes on any longer, he MIGHT have to start starting-and-parking to make ends meet.

--Ryan Newman is running a "Smurfs 2" paint scheme this weekend.  Yes, really.  This makes sense, since he and Smurfette voice-artist Katy Perry have about the same cup size.

--I'm guessing that last week's winner Brian Vickers will spend this off-weekend figuring out how he could win a race and still not be guaranteed a ride for next season.

--Considering how dirty those bricks must be, I'm hoping the crews have enough sense to use dental dams.

The Worldwide Leader in Lame Duck Motorsports Coverage

"There--THAT should keep Bill Weber out!"

Even though ESPN lost the rights to Nascar telecasts from 2015-forward, they're still going full-on ahead with their coverage of the Nascar Sprint Cup Series.  Here's a look at the innovations Disney's profitable subsidiary has in the works for THIS season:

--Side-by-Side Commercial Coverage:  ESPN keeps YOU in the action with commercials airing beside live coverage of the race!  This ensures that every caution, wreck, and green-flag pit stop will happen during the two minutes of local commercials they have to show unobstructed.

--Boomer Blockage:  We've all made the mistake of tuning in a few minutes too early and catching something that vaguely resembles NFL Countdown.  Now, with patent-pending technology, ESPN makes sure that nobody has to stare at Chris Berman's huge combed-over head while waiting for Allan Bestwick's introduction.  (Please note that Chris Berman's voice cannot be muted as of yet).
"If Rusty Wallace still has that time
machine, I'd like to use it to go back
to 1999"

--Kid Rock:  Last year, ESPN hired Kid Rock to provide spoken-word passages on each Chase race.  This year, we're bringing the Rock to YOU!  10 lucky fans will earn a day of Kid Rock at the venue of their choice (their house, Martinsville, their job, etc.).  Have Kid Rock do your laundry!  Have Kid Rock drink himself into a stupor!  Have Kid Rock tell you meandering stories about Detroit!  The choice is yours!

--Deuce Redux:  Relive your youth with custom-graphics packages in the style of the old "X-TREEM" ESPN2!  Yes, for once, you can see how bRaD kESeLowSKi is doing, with his name displayed against a splash of teal and purple.  Its like 1997 all over again!  (Well, except that Bobby Labonte isn't a legitimate competitor).

Spade Racing Presents: SummerSlam II: The SummerSlammening

Sorry that they couldn't make this "In Your House"

Think the Cup series has an off-week this week?  Oh no--its time for pro-wrestling, Nascar-style!  Or, perhaps, Nascar, pro-wrestling-style, I haven't worked out all the kinks yet.  Anyways, here's the lineup for the mega-event (Card subject to change).

Never forget...
Mike "Naked Car" Bliss vs. Michael "The Guy From The Wreck At Texas" McDowell:  Estimated match time is two seconds.
Elliott Sadler Invitational:  Elliott Sadler welcomes all comers in the continuing grudge match of himself versus vastly more-talented drivers.

The Rookies (Danica Patrick & Ricky Stenhouse Jr.) vs. The Whoppers (David Reutimann & Travis Kvapil):  The Nascar world has been electrified by the rumored friction between The Rookies after a number of wrecks.  And by "electrified", I mean it feels like being shocked with an electric dog collar.
Kurt "The Outlaw" Busch & Kyle "Rowdy" Busch vs. Ryan "The Ogre" Newman:  This handicap match features Nascar's latest fiery feud as two of the sport's wiriest superstars take on a mountain of a man.
Tony "Smoke" Stewart vs. Michael "Speed-Puncher" Waltrip:  In actuality, this match will mimic the way they run their teams, as their business partners will do all the fighting, while these two take most of the credit.

Intercontinental Championship--Marcos "Thunder from Down Under" Ambrose vs. Kevin "The Bakersfield Basher" Harvick:  Marcos hasn't been the same since his manager, "The Parrott" left him for another wrestler, The Cuban Missile.  But will he be able to use Keelan against him?
"Alcohol, fast cars, the Hogans...
what could go wrong?"
Money In the Bank Account Championship--Jeff "The Non-Crazy Warrior" Gordon vs. Paul "The Billionaire Boy" Menard:  These two financial titans put their fortunes on the line in a rematch from last week's tussle in New Hampshire.  Jeff earned his through such duplicitous methods as working his way up the ladder and racing throughout his early years, while Paul earned HIS money the old-fashioned way--his daddy worked for it.
Tag-Team Championship--The Hendrick Hustlers (Kasey Kahne & Dale Earnhardt Jr.) vs. The Gibbs Goliaths (Matt Kenseth & Denny Hamlin):  Questions abound in this match-up, like will Denny be healthy enough to compete, and will Dale Jr. care enough to show up?
World Championship--Brad "Crash" Keselowski vs. Jimmie "Five-Time" Johnson:  Its a match made in heaven as the reigning titleholder squares off with the most-dominant driver of the past ten years!  Unfortunately, they don't have anything to really fight about, so we'll just tell Brad that Jimmie said that he looked like a tv star--Mr. Ed.

David Reutimann Throws Remote Control at TV Set

Shortly after Brian Vickers drove his Aaron's "Dream Machine" to a win at New Hampshire, former driver David Reutimann reacted by throwing his remote control at his television.
"Oh come on, ANYBODY could've won that race!", Reutimann said to nobody in particular in his basement rumpus room.  "It took 'em YEARS to get another win in that car, I'd have made the Chase with a BUNCH of wins by now!"
That TV had 1 day left till retirement
Reutimann, who has been running part-time in the Truck Series this season, continued to rant at his 19 inch Zenith with a newly-cracked screen.
"Oh come on, look at them try to get that dumb stuffed dog on the roof", Reutimann said, commenting on the victory lane celebrations.  "When I won, there were NO problems in victory lane.  NONE!  I lived through the sports-drink battles in victory lane!  I got the battle scars to prove it!"
Reutimann, after being fired by Michael Waltrip Racing in 2010, ran last season for the underfunded TBR race car.  Since then he has spent most of his free time calling various Aaron's stores and asking if their refrigerators are running.
"I made that Aaron's car what it is!", Reutimann sobbed as he fell to his knees.  "I should've been in that victory lane!  Me!  ME!!!"
When last checked, Reutimann's family was said to be consoling him by pointing out that he can grow a better beard than Kyle Busch.

New Hampshire "News" and Notes

--Well, its official:  Ryan Newman is NOT returning to Stewart-Haas Racing in 2014.  At least he has plenty of options…and by "options", of course I mean "teams that may or may not be money-laundering schemes".

--In related news, Kevin Harvick is (as was reported much earlier) going to Stewart-Haas Racing, taking Newman's old ride and bringing at least one sponsor (Budweiser) with him.  The #39 will become the #4 next year, thus honoring the great legacy of Phil Parsons and Mike Skinner.

--Now that Harvick's move is official, the next domino to fall should be Austin Dillon ascending to the #29 (or #3) ride for Richard Childress Racing.  No word on who will be the primary sponsor, but look for a combination of Jimmy John's, Rheem, and Incredibly Stupid Cowboy Hats.

--Perhaps its a coincidence, but Tony Stewart's car will feature an all-black paint scheme this weekend.  Smoke might be in mourning that he will have no competition for the Heaviest Driver at SHR in 2014.

--And in other news, Jack Roush says that he is "scaling back" his involvement in Roush-Fenway Racing, devoting more time to dusting and collating his Mark Martin Team Caliber diecast collection.

Morgan Shepherd, 71 Years Young

"Kyle Petty used to have hair this long"

This Sunday, Morgan Shepherd is entered to run in the New Hampshire Sprint Cup race.  With 43 cars going for 43 slots, this essentially locks him into the field.  This means that on Sunday, Morgan will set the record for Oldest Sprint Cup Series competitor, at 71 years old.  Just how old is Morgan?  Well, here's a list of people, places, and things younger than Morgan Shepherd:

--Every track on the Cup, Nationwide and Truck Series schedule except Indianapolis.
Young Morgan

--NASCAR, IndyCar, Formula 1 and NHRA.

--The combined ages of the Cup roster for Richard Petty Motorsports (Aric Almirola and Marcos Ambrose).

--The combined ages of the Busch brothers (Kurt & Kyle).

--The American operations of Toyota.

--Team owners Rick Hendrick, Chip Ganassi and Barney Visser.

--Three living Nascar Hall of Famers:  Darrell Waltrip, Rusty Wallace, and Dale Jarrett.

--The states of Alaska and Hawaii.

Stay young, Morgan!

BREAKING NEWS: Dale Earnhardt Jr. FAILS Post-Twitter-Race Inspection

After a weekend of controversy concerning inspection, one of Nascar's biggest-stars was caught post-race today, as Dale Earnhardt Jr. had his Twitter-race win taken away after failing inspection.
"After putting the 88 team through post-Twitter-race inspection, we've determined that they did not configure to our stringent templates and regulations", said Miss Sprint Cup Kim Coons, the official Twitter-race Steward.  "We work hard to provide an even playing field for our fans, and we will NOT tolerate anybody breaking the rules to win.  And for the hundredth time, no, I'm NOT the Miss Sprint Cup who posed nude."
EXCLUSIVE: Inside JR Motorsports
While officials were evasive in discussing what violations took place, a Spade Racing Investigation revealed the ugly truth:  Dale Earnhardt Jr. had a thousand monkeys chained to a thousand laptops, typing out the votes in the 60-second timeframe of the race.
"If you look at the rulebook, it EXPLICITLY forbids using multiple primates to win races", an unidentified source told Spade Racing in an exclusive interview.  "Reportedly, the race officials first learned of the duplicity when they received a vote for Dale Jr. with hashtag '#KYLEBUSCHISTHEBLURST'.  Really, that's a dead giveaway."
Kyle Busch, who finished a close second in the Twitter-race, is expected to be given the trophy and winner's share of the purse in a private ceremony tomorrow morning.  Dale Earnhardt Jr, meanwhile, vowed to fight the disqualification via appeal.
"We at JR Motorsports will fight this with every resource we have", Dale Jr. said in an official statement.  "There is NO WAY we are going to give up my first win since Michigan last year without a fight."

Daytona "News" and Notes

--So is it still cheating if almost half the field does it?  Yes.  Yes it is.

--Back to Daytona, back to restrictor plates, back to anybody with a car having a shot to win.  Well, besides Josh Wise.

--Plenty of teams will be running special patriotic paint schemes this weekend, so if you see a team that isn't?  They're commies!  (I'm looking at you, Paul Menard).

--Even though Toyota isn't an American-owned company, they plan to get into the spirit of the Fourth by providing a spectacular explosion-and-smoke show from one of their engines.

--Over/Under on number of Larry Mac "JOO-ly"'s we hear on Saturday night: 4.5.

--Only two more races left for Fox Sports 1--I mean, Speed--I mean, TNT.

"I Feel Like a Phoenix…Rising Up From Arizona!"

With James Finch whining again about how much money he's spending on his mostly-unsponsored race team, it looks like Phoenix Racing will shut down after Indy…UNLESS they find a buyer.  While the chances of James changing his mind are, well, good, he could still need some help in locating a new owner.  Here's some people who could fit the bill:

Zydrunas Ilgauskas:  Well, if one former injury-plagued Cleveland Cavaliers center can own a team, why not another?

Jews & Nascar, working together!
Jennifer Jo Cobb:  Its all part of a sting--we put her in charge, leave the hauler out at night, then BAM!-Mike Garvey gets caught red-handed!

Ted Turner:  He ruined animation, old movies, pro wrestling, baseball, and tv news, so why not Nascar as well?

John Wes Townley's Dad:  So this way John Wes Townley can move up to spinning out and finishing 35th in Cup.  (And yes, John Wes Townley's dad has a name:  John Wes Townley's Dad!).

Brad Keselowski:  Well, to be fair, Haas CNC Racing had fewer wins than Phoenix Racing does now when they got Tony Stewart to buy in.

A Former Team Owner:  Tim Beverley!  Raymond Beadle!  A Stavola Brother or Two!  Felix Sabat--oh, wait, he still owns a team.