Kevin Harvick has a problem with…

"Why don't you have a car number with a 3 in it, Greg?
It makes no sense!!!"

The Cope Twins as Prince
--The Dillon Brothers

--The Cope Twins

--Ricky Rudd

--Greg Biffle

--Kyle Busch

--Joey Logano

--Anybody who asks him if he has hairplugs

--The doctor who overcharged him for his hairplugs

--Richard Childress

Nelson as the Apollo astronauts
--Mike Dillon

--People who need to be told who Mike Dillon is

--The band Nelson ("They look like the Cope Twins")

--Brad Teague

--People who need to be told who Brad Teague is

--Kevin Harvick ("Too whiny")

Exhausted Brett Bodine Wins at Martinsville for Pace Car Motorsports

More than 20 years after his first win, Nascar veteran Brett Bodine finally drove won again today, taking his Pace Car Motorsports Camaro into Victory Lane at Martinsville.
"I just…this was a tough one", a visibly fatigued Bodine said while slumped next to his car.  "You have to work hard for every win in this series…well, not my first one, but you get the point.  I felt like I was out there leading almost half the race…it was a real workout."
Bodine was barely able to talk post-race, overcome both by exhaustion and emotion.

"Remember Brett Bodine?  He's
back--in Pog-form!"
"Everybody…that helped…me get here…I can't help it!  I don't show much emotion.  This is winning for me", Bodine said while simultaneously crying and receiving intravenous fluids.  "Well, its literally like winning for me, because it is."
Pace Car Motorsports has been a stalwart in the sport, competing in virtually every race since Nascar began.  Wins, however have been few and far between.  In fact, the team had not been to Victory Lane since its dominating win in the 2008 Brickyard 400.
"This goes out to everyone who ever raced for this team, but especially Elmo Langley", Bodine said while pointing to the sky.  "Elmo, this is for you!  Because you're the reason I'm here today, AND the reason I won before!"
In addition to the win, Bodine also got the Most Laps Led bonus point, having been out front for seemingly the entire race.  Bodine, however, refused to consider Chase implications.
"Right now, everybody at Pace Car Motorsports, we're just gonna celebrate this one.", Bodine said.  "I gotta thank everyone who helped us out today--BK Racing, Carl Edwards, and all the rest of the field for putting so much debris out there."
In other news, runner-up Jeff Gordon was so infuriated by the loss that he parked his car on the start-finish line, refusing to move.

Martinsville "News" and Notes

--After a week of playing "Talladega Roulette", we go to the tiny Martinsville Speedway, which is more like a game of Blackjack--there's a strategy, there's ways to put yourself in a better position to win, but its still really something of a crapshoot.

Corey beats the "Cheeks" car
--Developmental driver Corey LaJoie was reprimanded for making insensitive comments about a turban-wearing fellow at an airport.  Seems that Corey thinks that anyone who looks somewhat-Muslim should be automatically cavity-searched.  Um, I'd be careful what you wish for, Corey--you DO drive a car that looks like a taxi-cab.

--No word yet on what drug got Todd Parrot suspended (and then fired) from RPM, but I'm guessing its something that allows him to pretend its still 1998.

--In further still RPM news, Aric Almirola will run a #41 car this week to honor Hall of Fame inductee (and former driver of a #41 car) Maurice Petty.  Enjoy it while you can, folks--its the last time you'll be rooting for the driver of the 41 car for a long, long time.

--Denny Hamlin will be running a Jordan Brand "Jumpman" logo on his KBM Truck Series Tundra this Saturday.  Its so nice to see Nascar taking advantage of Martinsville's proximity to DC by running a tribute to former Washington Wizard great Michael Jordan.

Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s Plan To Finish 2nd Works Perfectly

While Jamie McMurray was in Victory Lane, celebrating his win in the Camping World 500, Dale Earnhardt Jr. was in his pit stall, celebrating the success of his plan to finish in second place.
"Everything worked out perfectly", said a triumphant Dale Jr. upon exiting his car.  "With about 5 laps to go, I told my guys on the radio, 'I got a plan', and that was the truth.  I knew that I could position myself to get what I really wanted, which was to be the first runner up again.  That's what Nascar's all about!"
Image courtesy Nascar Outlaws
Earnhardt Jr. gave a number of reasons for wanting to finish second to the surrounding group of reporters.
"Well, first of all, I don't have to answer questions in the press room from Mark Ashenfelter, so that's a victory in itself.  I'd have to do a bunch of interviews tomorrow, and I really want to get the score of the (Washington Red)Skins game as soon as possible.  Besides, I'd much rather be consistent and run runner up than scare a bunch of people by finishing in first somewhere other than Michigan--how bizarre would THAT be for me?"
Despite seemingly being the only driver trying to finish second instead of first, Dale Jr. seemed very satisfied with his weekend in Talladega.
"On Friday I bent the laws of time and space by running in 0th place, then yesterday I got a really good BBQ pork sandwich.  And today, I come in second.  That just goes to show you what a man, a plan, and a burning desire to be second-best can do for you."

Talladega "News" and Notes

--Its time for the true "Wild Card" of the Chase.  Unless, of course, all 13 Chasers are involved in the same wreck, in which case its more like a hand where everyone folds.

--Todd Parrot was suspended by both Nascar and Richard Petty Motorsports for a violation of the sport's substance abuse policy.  As a fan of RPM's teams, I can confidently say that whatever he's taking, it's sure not performance ENHANCING.

--Elliott Sadler steps into the #55 car post-Talladega, subbing in for a sidelined Brian Vickers.  Here's hoping that Elliott can pick up where he left off in Cup, by running near the back of the field for a finish around 25th place.

--Martin Truex Jr. has signed with Last Resort--I mean, Furniture Row Racing for 2014.  With Silly Season almost over, that leaves Jeff Burton and (possibly) Mark Martin as the odd men out of competitive rides for next year.  Well, them and Greg Sacks, of course.

--Brendan Gaughan has announced that he will return to the Nationwide Series next season with RCR.  If you're keeping score at home, that means two legacy kids and the owner's grandson will be driving in Nationwide for RCR in 2014.

ESPN "30 for 30"'s I'd Like to See

30 for 30: Cope-ing with Sexiness

ESPN's excellent "30 for 30" documentary series has produced some excellent programming over the past few years (well, and that dud about the Washington state Little League team), but only one (Tim Richmond: To the Limit) has focused on Nascar.  How about we get some more before ESPN loses its Nascar coverage and pretends the sport doesn't exist?  Here's what I'D like to see:
(NOTE: Going by the original 30 for 30 rules that all events had to happen in the "ESPN Era", so post 1979, and can't be anything that's already been examined in detail, like the 1979 Daytona 500 or the 1992 season finale)

Dale's Defeat--I'd love to see a look at Dale Earnhardt's disastrous 1981 season, arguably the worst season for a defending Winston Cup champion in the sport's history.  Furthermore, we'd finally have a true biography of J.D. Stacy, the man who came in, ran off Dale Freakin' Earnhardt, sponsored about 7 cars, went "broke", and left.

Keep on Truckin'--The story of the start of the Nascar Craftsman/Camping World Truck Series would be pretty enlightening.  They could shine a light on the off-road racers (like Jim Smith) who apparently conceived of the idea, as well as the motley crew who raced that first, strange season.

Tire Wars--Every time someone mentions, "Hey, Goodyear tires SUCK, they should get someone else to compete with them", I wished they knew the story of the late-80's and early-90's "tire wars" between Goodyear and Hoosier.  Record speeds, constant blowouts, possible collusion, and, sadly, death all pockmark this cautionary tale.

Strange Bruton--Just think about it--sit SMI president O. Bruton Smith down in a chair, ask him a few leading questions, and roll the tape.  Eventually we'll hear how Bill France Jr. sent CIA operatives after his car dealership, or how he invented Z-Max, All-Star Races, and asphalt.

R.I.P. Commitment Cone (c.1992-2013)

The Nascar community mourns one of its all-time greats tonight, as the Commitment Cone was felled by an errant pit-road entry by the 55 car of Brian Vickers.
"We're in a state of mourning, so we'd rather not comment right now", said Nascar president Mike Helton.  "However, I can feel comfortable saying that we're all dejected and depressed by the loss of our beloved Commitment Cone.  Though he wasn't a racer, he was a part of the racing community, and we're missing him already."
Memorial candles available
for purchase at
Born Commitment Rhodes Cohn sometime around 1992, much of the Cone's early life remains a mystery.  He first came to prominence, however, during his early days on a construction crew in North Carolina.
"We work with literally dozens of cones, but with Commitment, you could tell there was something special about him", Crew Foreman Al Fox said in an interview about the Cone a few years ago.  "From the moment he stepped onto the highway, he just seemed to have 'It', that certain intangible that kept cars from driving into gigantic potholes."
The Cone's big break came in 2004, when he joined the Nascar circuit full-time.  Though there was initial criticism of the "Cone of Tomorrow", Commitment showed it belonged through valor and steadfast courage.
"It takes a lot of guts to race these cars, but it takes something more to just stand out there at the pit road entry", said driver and personal friend of the cone Timmy Hill.  "This is truly a tragedy for myself and the entire racing community, and we'll be in mourning in Port Tobacco (Maryland) for the following week."
Vickers was unavailable for comment, as he was being tended to in the infield care center for shock.  However, sources said that he appeared to be chanting, "My arm itched, it was hot in there".
In related news, winning-driver Brad Keselowski's jack was said to be in serious but stable condition.  Additionally, Kasey Kahne's chances at winning the Chase remained on life support.

Charlotte "News" and Notes

--A reminder:  This weekend's race is on Saturday Night.  This is the only Chase race (for now) that avoids going head-on against the NFL (the #1, 2, and 3 sport in America).  Instead, they'll go up against college football (the #4, 5, and 6 sport in America).

--Speaking of college football, Bristol Motor Speedway will be hosting a Virginia Tech-Tennessee game in 2016.  Currently its a non-conference matchup, although with the way college football is going, they could both be members of the National Athletic Conference Presented by Nike.

--Darlington, meanwhile, will reach back into its past.  No, not by bringing back their Labor Day race.  Instead, they'll bring back their freezing-cold early-spring date.  Only now, it'll be at NIGHT!

--Germain Racing will enter a technical alliance with RCR in 2014.  Casey Mears' career has finally come full-circle.  Well, not totally full-circle until Williams Travel Centers comes back.

-Ryan Reed has signed to drive full-time in the Nationwide Series for Roush Fenway Racing in 2014.  Diabetics--they're the new Brazilians!

Spade Racing Motion Picture Previews: Oscar Bait

Its that time of the year when Hollywood rolls out its "prestige" pictures, hoping that a sensitive think-piece will help people forget all those Ashton Kutcher movies.  Here's a few with a racing angle:

The Fifth Estate--Jack Roush spends two hours complaining about how Nascar forced him to sell the #26 team, ruining all his plans for the big Kevin Lepage comeback.

12 Years a Slave--When Michael Waltrip's personal assistant is informed that he's only worked for him for three years, he simply responds, "It FEELS like 12 years when you're giving Mikey his daily sponge bath".

Escape Plan--Brian Vickers tries to find a way out of his MWR contract to pursue his dreams of racing for a team that doesn't cheat (so basically the Wood Bros. or Leavine Family Racing).

All is Lost--Jimmy Elledge deals with the failure to get his autobiography published: Most Elledgeable Bachelor.

Bad Grandpa--Mark Martin tricks the Nascar world into forgetting that he hasn't won a race in almost three years.

About Time--Nascar tries to run a race postponed by weather at a time that fans can actually watch (note: this is a fantasy film).

Last Vegas--The Busch Brothers get themselves thrown out of their local dirt track one last time for old time's sake.

Transcript of Kurt Busch & Jeff Gordon's Post-Race Discussion

Jeff Gordon (walking up to the 78 car): "Hey, Kurt, did you catch the pre-race today?"

Kurt Busch (taking off helmet as he exits his car): "No, why?"

You can play as the Fork by tapping the
turbo button three times at this screen
JG: "It was really weird.  Brad Daugherty had this giant novelty fork on the air for about five minutes."

KB: "Wait--what?"

JG: "Yeah, he had it for that dumb 'Stick a Fork In 'Em' thing they do, but they he wouldn't put it away."

KB: "What the heck can you do with a giant novelty fork once the segment's over?"

JG: "Well, he kept pointing it at the camera, then he pretended to hit Ray Evernham with it.  And he kept 'strumming' it like a guitar for some reason."

KB: "Jeez.  I mean, I know that ESPN's losing the rights to the sport after 2014, but they might want to reconsider how they produce their pre-races if THAT'S what happened."

JG: "Yeah, and now I can't stop thinking about the giant fork.  Like, where'd they get it from?  Did Brad get it himself, or did someone in production get it for him?  And how'd they get it out here to Kansas--I mean, how do you take one of those on a plane?"

KB: "Good questions, Jeff.  I'll be sure to blame the media in my post-race interview."

Kansas "News" and Notes: Tire'd Edition

Goodyear is rolling out (pun!) its latest version of the "multi-zone" tire this weekend, after it debuted to rave, well, tepid, well, non-negative reviews at Atlanta.  Here's some features of the new tire:

Image Courtesy MRN
(and possibly LifeSavers)
--Allows drivers to get up to 5% better gas mileage, saving them about 0.001 gallons per race.

--Will last up to 80 laps at maximum stress levels, or a full season for start-and-park teams.

--Design and appearance continues the long-standing tradition of racing tires looking nothing like regular street tires.

--New Armor-Shield technology makes them impervious to criticism from Tony Stewart.

--No, the chemicals used to make the tires can NOT be turned into meth, Jeremy.

--Has a refreshing minty taste.

--Still won't work in the rain.

Stick a Fork in THIS, Rusty


Following in the footsteps of ESPN, I've decided to decide who is no longer a realistic contender for the Chase (…and fire Marty Reid).  Here's my rundown…

Ryan Newman:  Yes, there's plenty to look forward to in 2014, but really--what are the chances of winning anything this year for this teenage actress?

Clint Bowyer:  Its tough to know the truth about what happened, but we can be sure that you will NOT see them holding the Sprint Cup Trophy.  Besides, what exactly is a "Racking" dealer, anyway?

Junior:  Look, this is not a popularity contest.  I don't care HOW popular that movie was.

Carl Edwards:  Even though ANYTHING could conceivably happen between now and Homestead, this guy has no real shot at the Championship, mostly because he's a British insurance salesman.

Joey Logano & Kasey Kahne:  They're too far back in points.