Carl Long Announces Plans to Start & Park; Is Fined by Nascar

Veteran independent driver Carl Long has announced that he is forming a Nationwide Series team for 2014, one that will primarily start & park until adequate sponsorship can be found.  Nascar, in response, has immediately fined Carl Long $50,000 for Conduct Detrimental to Stock Car Racing.
How I imagine the ceiling in
Brian France's office looks
"We at Nascar support all our independent owner-drivers--all five of them--to the fullest", Nascar Chairman Brian France said.  "However, we can't have someone just coming out and SAYING that they're going to do what's best for their team and its employees.  We MUST maintain the illusion of competition for our TV partners."
Long has been previously fined by Nascar at the 2009 Sprint All-Star race weekend for having an engine 0.17 centimeters too large, and was fined at the final Cup race at Rockingham for violating the laws of physics.
"As a repeat offender, we had to enforce a zero-tolerance policy on Mr. Long", said France, who reportedly had been spending most of his time this week in his Daytona Beach office trying to throw pencils into the drop ceiling.  "At Nascar, we can not and will not tolerate such a blatant display of honesty.  Jeez, even saying 'The H Word' makes me feel sick."
Long could not be reached for questioning, as his team does not have a building yet.  However, he did release a brief statement through his website/message-board.
"We will appeal this fine from Nascar, as soon as someone can give me a ride to the R&D building in Concord (North Carolina)", Long said.  "With that being said, would all the Dodge weirdos PLEASE stop messaging me."

Santa Claus: Nascar Fan? A Spade Racing Investigation

"Marge, you know who I'm talking
about--he used to drive that blue car"
Its that time of year again, when we take some time to celebrate the birthday of that long-haired individualist, the son of the King, who changed the world for ever.  But in addition to honoring Kyle Petty, its also Christmas time.  We all know that Santa Claus delivers gifts to all the good girls and boys (well, the ones whose parents have money) every Christmas Eve--but is Santa a Nascar fan?

Well, I'm here to say YES, he is!

Just look at the evidence uncovered during a recent in-depth investigation (and by "in-depth", I mean stuff I found on Google)

Santa fulfills MY X-mas wish by
blowing up Michael Waltrip Racing
--Go to any Nascar race, and you'll find at least one guy with a huge white beard and a pot belly.  Chances are that its either Santa himself, one of his helpers, or your middle-school shop class teacher.
--Santa's distinctive facial hair is actually a tribute to legendary broadcaster/ranter Dave Despain.
--Santa has 8 (or 9) reindeer, having maintained one of the longest-lasting multi-racer teams in motorsports this side of J.D. Stacy.  And just like J.D., he doesn't pay his racers either.
--The REAL reason Santa wears red and white is because he got stuck with just as much Dale Jr. Budweiser merchandise as the rest of us.

So there you have it, irrefutable proof that Santa is a Nascar fan.  Be sure to check back in next year for my investigation into Satan being an IndyCar fanatic.

Mid-December "News" and Notes

So wealthy he sponsored himself!
--Despite the pleas of fans, angry comments online, and calls to simply retire the number, they went ahead and brought it back.  Personally, I am completely AGAINST sullying the legacy of Steve Grissom by running the sacred #41 for Kurt Busch.

--Jeremy Mayfield's foreclosed mansion will be set on fire soon for firefighter training.  When reached for comment, Mayfield replied, "I like meth".

--Sometimes sponsors come together in natural pairings:  Bass Pro Shops equipment lubricated with Mobil 1 oils.  Bush's Baked Beans served with food barbecued over Kingsford Charcoal.  Cheerios, made part of a complete breakfast with delicious Dow Chemicals.
Yeah, I'm still jealous of Jay

--In the Nationwide Series, James Buescher has left his father-in-law's team (Turner-Scott) to run for RAB Racing.  The team is said to have some major sponsorship announcements forthcoming, which is to say that they'll have a blank hood at Daytona.

--Johanna Long, meanwhile, is without a ride for 2014.  But if she's out of Nascar, who will people have to pointlessly compare to Danica Patrick?

--Speaking of Danica, thanks to Nascar's tv deal, virtually nobody saw the Sprint Cup Awards Ceremony.  Then again, considering that Jay Mohr was hosting, that could be a VERY good thing.

The Second-Annual (currently unsponsored) Hoodie Awards

WARNING: Trophy may not
actually exist
Thanks to the invention of graphical wraps for stock cars, special paint schemes aren't so special anymore.  Instead of freaking out about Burger King replacing Mom N' Pops on Dale Earnhardt Sr.'s lower quarter-panel, anybody can be a sponsor for a single race.  On the plus side, it makes it easier to promote a company.  On the negative side, it means we fans have to listen to announcers whine about how hard it is to follow the cars.

But who's the most prolific at putting different sponsors on their cars?

That's where I come in.  Using the indispensable Jayski Paint Schemes page, I went through to count the number of different sponsors on each car's hoods.  The team with the most will then become the Second Annual Hoodie Award Winner.

Just a few ground rules:
--Sponsors owned by the same company (like Stanley & DeWalt, or Kingsford & Clorox) count as separate sponsors.  But if its the same company with a different product (like 3M & 3M Filtrete), that counts as the same sponsor.
--Slight variations on a primary sponsor don't count--there has to be a change to the paint scheme noticeable to someone besides a die-cast geek.
--"Sponsorship partners", where a product sold by the sponsor is put on the hood, don't count either, since the company is a partner, not a sponsor.  Sorry, Paul Menard fans.
--Team owners who put their own company on the hood also don't count--so Medallion Financial (owned by RPM honcho Andrew Murstein) and Taco Bell (franchised by Front Row owner Bob Jenkins) don't count.  A special exception was made for, since they sponsor so many teams.  Same goes for blank hoods (aka the Michael McDowell Special).
--Modern iterations of the "Special Paint Scheme" don't count either--so movie cars, tv show cars, etc. aren't counted towards the final total, unless they are the legitimate sponsor of the car for that race.

Listed in order from least sponsors to most

10 Danica Patrick: 1  GoDaddy  Next year GoDaddy's joined by Aspen Dental, which will force Danica to fake-smile a LOT more.
Still can't believe this car
passed inspection
21 Trevor Bayne: 1  Motorcraft  Ironic that one of the oldest sponsors (Ford Motor Company) sponsors a driver who's a one-race wonder--kinda like if GE sponsored a Rockwell reunion tour.
27 Paul Menard: 1  Menards  The King of Sponsorship Partners retains his crown in 2013.
48 Jimmie Johnson: 1  Lowe's  One sponsor, one driver, one team, and more color variations than a hippie's acid-trip.
56 Martin Truex Jr.: 1  Napa  How happy do you think Martin is that he no longer has to do lame commercials with Michael Waltrip?
78 Kurt Busch: 1  Wonder Bread  Team owner Barney Visser owns Furniture Row, who sponsored the car in all but one race.  Because nothing goes together like a new mattress and white bread.
42 Juan Pablo Montoya: 1 Target  Next year Kyle Larson takes over for the Prince of Sponsorship Partners.

Next year:  Grady's Apple Ale
2 Brad Keselowski: 2  Miller Lite, Redd's Apple Ale  A new sponsor (rumored to be Alliance Auto Parts) joins Miller in 2014.  Look for Brad to welcome his new partner with a half-hour long philosophical interview.
11 Denny Hamlin: 2  FedEx, SportClips  A perfect combination for those who like to mail their hair trimmings worldwide.
13 Casey Mears: 2  Geico, Valvoline NextGen  Next Gen:  Recycled Oil.  Geico:  Recycled commercials.
22 Joey Logano: 2  Shell/Pennzoil, AAA  "Hello, Triple-A?  Yeah, I need some roadside assistance--some big fat guy is trying to beat me up!"
93 Travis Kvapil: 2  Dr. Pepper, Dominion Raceway  One of the team's owners is a Burger King franchisee, so "Having it YOUR way" means getting virtually nothing from your main sponsor.

20 Matt Kenseth: 2.5  Dollar General, Husky Tools/Home Depot  Husky Tools is wholly owned by Home Depot, so while they were treated as separate sponsors, they're really the same company.  Why no, I DON'T have a girlfriend--how did you guess?

19 Mike Bliss: 3  G-Oil, MediaMaster, GPI  ...and they have so much to show for it!
24 Jeff Gordon: 3  AARP, Axalta/Cromax Pro, Pepsi MAX  AARP Drive to End Hunger retains its How Does This Sponsor Make Sense award.
30 Too Many Drivers: 3  Widox Wax, Lean1, Genny Light  Next season:  Twice the cars, all the 30th-place finishes.
That reminds me--I gotta wax my

38 David Gilliland: 3  Dockside Logistics, EZPawn, Love's Travel Stops  A great combination for anybody who's driving long-distance to sell their boat fast.
40 Landon Cassill: 3  Interstate Moving Services, Moon Shine, Pirate Oilfield  "ARRR, we be frackin'!"
55 Mark Vicktrip: 3  Aaron's, Toyota Camry, Jet Edge  Aaron's takes over full-time next season, assuming that Brian Vickers makes all his weekly payments on-time for the car.
83 David Reutimann: 3  Dr. Pepper, VooDoo BBQ, Horizon  I get the feeling that Dr. Pepper doesn't even realize that they're sponsoring BK Racing.
95 Reed Sorenson, etc.: 3, JTS, DishTV  Next year Michael McDowell takes longtime sponsor Black Paint with him to this car.

7 Dave Blaney: 4  SANY, Florida Lottery, Ultra Race Wheels, Go Pro  At least next year they'll only have one-and-a-half sponsors with Pilot/Flying J.  WHY they stick with Michael Annett?  The world may never know.
Can you get this at The Pete Store?
9 Marcos Ambrose: 4  Stanley, DeWalt, Bostich, Mac Tools  Dull Pointless Fact:  All four of these companies are owned by StanleyBlack&Decker.
18 Kyle Busch: 4  M&M's, Interstate Batteries, Snickers, Doublemint  It'll be tough for anyone to top Rowdy's synergy of Likable Sponsor, Unlikable Driver.
35 Josh Wise: 4  MDS, The Pete Store, Carson-Newman University, Blockbuster  That reminds me, I have some Petes I need to exchange.
88 Dale Earnhardt Jr.: 4  National Guard, Diet Mtn Dew, Time Warner Cable, Amp  Junior The Cable Guy?  ("Git 'Er 2nd Place!")

5 Kasey Kahne: 5  Farmers Insurance, Great Clips, Quaker State, Time Warner Cable, Pepsi MAX  Next year Great Clips steps up for many more races, looking to recapture the glory days of NBS 24/7.
A more-accurate Bondo scheme
14 Tony Stewart & Co.: 5  Bass Pro Shops, Mobil 1, Rush Truck Centers, GoDaddy, Code 3 Associates  I still don't know what Rush Truck Centers are--I imagine they're travel stops for long-haul spazzes.
16 Greg Biffle: 5  3M, Sherwin-Williams, Bondo, Fastenal, Meguiar's  3M owns most of the other sponsors on the 16 car (ACE Bandage, Filtrete, etc.).  3M:  Its like Dupont, but with much less intermarrying!
29 Kevin Harvick: 5  Budweiser, Jimmy John's, Rheem, Bell Helicopter, Bad Boy Buggies  But what about Good Boy Buggies, Kevin?
32 Timmy Hill & the Hillettes: 5  U.S. Chrome, OXY Water, Federated Auto Parts, C&J Energy,  They couldn't have run Timmy full-time--he would've completely dominated the rest of the field!

15 Clint Bowyer: 6  5-Hour Energy, Peak, Toyota Camry, KFC (I ate the bones), Gander Mtn. (Secure your firearms), Napa Filters  Apparently eating the bones makes your arm itch.
No affiliation with the old MTV show

36 J.J. Yeley: 6  UME, Golden Corral, Arrive Alive Delaware, IMCA, Accell, Nascar Day  If J.J. Yeley was MY designated driver, I'd be drinking a LOT more.
39 Ryan Newman: 6  Quicken Loans, Outback Steakhouse, State Water Heaters, Aspen Dental, Code 3 Associates, Wix Filters  Aspen Dental made sense for Ryan--after all, Aspen is known for its (Widow's) Peaks.

87 Joe Nemechek: 6  Maddie's Place Rocks, Royal Teak, The Counselor, The Wolverine, Belle Tire, ATI  If the movies were combined, and it was about a Wolverine who acted as his own legal counsel, I'd have actually gone to see it.
98 Michael McDowell: 6  K-Love,, Victory Junction, Hyde Park, The Bobby Bones Show, Ambient Edge  Six different sponsors wanted the Phil Parsons experience this year?  Seems kinda low.

34 David Ragan: 7  CSX (I brake for trains), Farm Rich,, Peanut Patch, Dockside Logistics,
Make it happen!
Love's Travel Stops, Detail Doctor
  Until they run a Chessie System special paint scheme, its just wasted money, guys.
99 Carl Edwards: 7  Fastenal, Aflac, Cheez-It, Frosted Flakes, UPS, Subway, Geek Squad  Carl doesn't look ANYTHING like a Geek.  Or a Duck.  But he DOES looks like a tiger who wears a red bandana around his neck.

Well, this is kinda close...

17 Ricky Stenhouse Jr.: 8  Best Buy, Fifth Third Bank, Zest, Nationwide Insurance, Ford EcoBoost, Fastenal, NOS, Valvoline NextGen  "I won Nationwide last season"--yeah, but you still have to wait in line to get your deposit--HEY, don't take my pen!
31 Jeff Burton: 8  Caterpillar, Sleep Innovations, FXI, Kwikset, Cheerios, Airgas, American Ethanol, Utility Trailers  Here's hoping NBC will sponsor Jeff in a few races next season, including a retro XFL New York-New Jersey Hitmen paint scheme.

I'll just take the cash equivalent
33 Little Joe's Big Roster: 10  Honey Nut Cheerios, Boot Barn, Shore Lodge, Canadian Tires, Dow Mycogen, American Ethanol, Bicycle Cards, Justin Workboots, ERC/TMone, KCI  Just goes to show that even the smallest team can win an award--well, actually, they didn't really win anything, so I guess its all pointless.
43 Aric Almirola: 10  Smithfield, Eckrich, Farmland, Gwaltney, STP, US Air Force, Rain Eater, Go Bowling, JaniKing, Transportation Impact  Last year's winner takes a step-back, as Smithfield (and its various subsidiary brands) took a larger role on the car this season.  I'd be annoyed, but anytime bacon comes to the forefront, I'm for it.
47 Bobby Labonte & The Dinger: 10  Kingsford, Clorox, Scott, House Autry, Charter, Bush's Baked Beans, Pine-Sol, Glad, Kroger, Wounded Warrior Project  A regular contender, they resorted to pretty desperate measures late in the season--for the last time guys, I DON'T want your car!  And tell Brad to stop hitting me with his fork!
51 Not Kurt Busch: 10  Brandt, Target, Shooters, SEM, Got Clams?, Tag Heuer,, Guy Roofing, Dallas (, Bruce Lowrie Chevy  Demerits for no smiley-face on the hood this year.

1 Jamie McMurray: 14  Cessna, McDonalds, Lexar, LiftMaster, Linksys, E-Z-GO, Advil, Hellman's, Banana Boat, Parade, Bad Boy Buggies, Bass Pro Shops, Bell Helicopter, Race with Insulin  Wow--it wasn't even close--and that doesn't include Auburn being on the hood courtesy Cessna!  Jamie, be sure to stop by my apartment sometime soon to claim your award.  Fine, its OK if you send Felix Sabates.
Gene Chizik was in Victory Lane
to help mop up the confetti.

Spade Racing Movie Previews: Its The Holiday Season

We've crossed over from pre-Christmas (formerly known as "Thanksgiving") to The Christmas Season (formerly known as "December").  Hollywood knows that most of us will be eager to leave our family-packed homes and get to the movies in the upcoming weeks.  Here's a look at the movies with a Nascar-bent:

"Get back in there, tire!"
Catching Fire:  Paul Menard's Sideburns retell the harrowing tale of his tire exploding on pit road at Homestead.

Out of the Furnace:  Tony Stewart's custom-made iron tibia works great, but there's just one problem--it hates Kurt Busch.

Tyler Perry's A Madea Christmas:  Studio executives are still annoyed that Mr. Perry refused to re-title this incisive observation of the early days of USAC Stock Car racing.
Anchorman 2:  John Roberts leads fans on an epic quest to find the most-mysterious treasure of all:  Fox Sports 2.

American Hustle:  Dodge/Mopar fans attempt to bring the marque back into Nascar, despite the public's overarching and overbearing indifference.

Saving Mr. Banks:  An anthropomorphic Daytona International Speedway explains how its kept Nascar from simply lowering its banking to reduce the dependance on restrictor plates.

Her:  Patty Moise spends the entire two-hour long runtime explaining how to pronounce her last name.

Lone Survivor:  Martin Truex Jr. begins his plans to take Furniture Row Racing to the top of the sport.  Spoiler Alert--it involves dropping a nuclear bomb on North Carolina.

The Spade Racing 2013-14 Offseason Preview

With another year of racing in the books, we've officially entered the "Jayski only posts about two pieces of actual news a week" portion of the calendar.  With that being said, I'll still be providing "quality" "news" roughly once a week leading up to Daytona Speedweeks.

Be sure to check out my personal "hub" website, Mack of Spades--now redesigned and much-less ugly!

Also, if you haven't yet, check out my other websites, Nascar Nicknames and Race Shop Reviews.

Commercials Immediately After the Race's server

"Hey Jimmie Johnson fans!  Your driver just won his 6th Sprint Cup Championship!  Go on to and attempt to navigate our impossible website!  If you find our shop, you'll find all sorts of great merchandise, and even those bizarre championship ring hats the 48 crew was wearing!  Be sure to enter code 'SIXPACK' for a free Brian France bobble-chin!  Order today!"

"Hey Denny Hamlin fans!  Your driver just won his first Cup race of the season!  A terrible, injurious year finally comes to a close with a surprise win--remember it with special 'I Survived 2013' t-shirts, hats, and commemorative back-braces!  Be one of our first 100 customers and you could win a day with Elliott Sadler OR JJ Yeley!  Order today!"

It STILL has the COT wing
"Hey Bobby Labonte fans!  Your driver just had his best race of the season by not racing!  Celebrate it with ALL
Bobby Labonte merchandise 95% off!  That's right, remember all the highlights of the past three years--that decent run at Daytona, that Fan Vote win at the All-Star race--with the Kingsford and Clorox merchandise you love!  Order today!"

"Hey Tony Raines fan!  Could you come by the shop tomorrow?  We think you left your cellphone here."

Homestead-Miami "News" and Notes, Championship Edition

--Its the final race of the year, and its Jimmie Johnson's championship to lose.  And if he wins, it'll be the fans' championship to endlessly whine about.

--Matt Kenseth enters Homestead with a small but realistic shot at the title.  To win it, however, he'll have to hope for some bad luck to befall the 48 team.  Y'know, like the kind that befell his own team last week.

--Kevin Harvick comes into the finale with a mathematical--but not realistic--chance at the championship.  Kevin's probably being realistic, and already focusing on a 2014 of stifling his anger at Kurt Busch.

--On the Nationwide side, Austin Dillon comes in with an eight-point lead over Sam Hornish Jr.  I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that Nascar does NOT want a winless champion, so I'm guessing that they'll let Austin go through inspection with that experimental V-56 engine.

--If Austin hangs on to the points lead, he'll become the first winless champion of a major Nascar touring series…sorta.  You see, David Green won the 1994 Busch Series championship with only a single win--the infamous race where Mark Martin pulled into Victory Lane a lap too early.  So basically, we were one screw-up away from this not really being a big deal at all.

--In the Nationwide Owners Championship, nobody cares.

--Finally, Matt Crafton will clinch the Camping World Truck Series championship tonight by simply starting the race.  Never before will there be such focus on simply taking the green flag…well, there were a few races in the late-90's when it looked like Dave Marcis' car would break down on the pace lap, but still...

ChaserMania: Mayhem in (...well, Near) Miami


With Nascar's season ready to finish up, its time for a few all-out brawls LIVE on Pay Per View!  Here's the lineup:
(Card Subject to Change)

Grudge Matches:
David "Beak" Reutimann vs. Travis "Bad Luck" Kvapil (Whopper Match--loser gets flame-broiled).

Juan Pablo "JPM" Montoya vs. Bobby "Mr. 2000" Labonte (Loser Leaves Town--Winner will get to run a partial schedule for MWR in 2014.  Special Guest Referee: Ken Schrader.

"The Exes", Kevin Harvick & Jeff Burton, vs. "The Big Faces", Austin & Ty Dillon.

Title Matches:
Rookie of the Year Championship Belt
Ricky "Loverboy" Stenhouse Jr. vs. "The Spinner" Danica Patrick (Winner gets both the belt AND Timmy Hill).

Disappointing Year Championship Belt
Denny "Air" Hamlin vs. Marcos "Vegemite" Ambrose (NOTE: To compensate for his injured back, Denny will be carried to the ring by the FedEx guy of his choice).

Midwestern Championship Belt
Paul Menard"burns" vs. Brad "Krash" Keselowski (Packer on a Pole match--once reached, Lynn Dickey becomes a legal weapon).

InterContinental Tire Championship Belt
Jeff "The Old Man" Gordon vs. Clint "Itchy" Bowyer
SPECIAL INTERVIEW SESSION:  Wally Dallenbach Jr. sits down with Dale Earnhardt Jr. to see who can be more disinterested.

Tag Team Championship Belt
"The Busch Brothers", Kurt & Kyle (accompanied by manager Samantha), vs. "The Roushkateers", Carl Edwards & Greg Biffle (accompanied by manager Some Guy From The Red Sox).

World Sprint Cup Championship Belt
Matt "The Wisconsin Warrior" Kenseth vs. Jimmie "That's J-I-double-M-I-E) Johnson

Jimmie Johnson Takes 'Em To School

Click here for a goodbye to a winning combination

"Jimmie, I understand what its like to have people constantly misspell your name."
"OK--but who are you?"

OK, class here's today's lesson:

I am Jimmie Johnson.

That's J-I-M-M-I-E Johnson.

My first name is six letters long, NOT five.

I am NOT Jimmy Johnson.  I am J-I-M-M-I-E Johnson.

Jimmy, sans hairpiece
When you talk about Jimmy in Nascar, you're not talking about me, a five-time champion.  You're talking about a big fat guy with a toupee.

When you talk about Jimmy Johnson in sports, you're not talking bout me.  You're talking about a football coach who does embarrassing commercials now.

Again, that's Jimmie Johnson.  J-I-M-M-I-E Johnson.  Not Jimmy.  Jimmie.

Next week: Kenseth, NOT Kenseths.

Michael McDowell Begins "Last Date With The 98" Farewell Tour

Merchandise for sale at Jamesways and Ames everywhere
Bringing a bittersweet end to his four-year stint with Phil Parsons Racing (formerly HP Racing), Michael McDowell rolled into Phoenix International Raceway with a heavy heart, announcing the start of his "Last Date With The 98" Farewell Tour.
"We've had some good times here at Phil Parsons Racing (formerly Prism Motorsports), but all good things must come to an end", McDowell told an assembled room of empty chairs.  "I've really enjoyed my tenure here at PPR, even though it took me till about a month ago to realize that it wasn't the same team as the old Cal Wells Tide car."
Commemorative Last Date with the 98
McDowell's highlights at Phil Parsons Racing (formerly MSRP Racing) include a 9th-place finish in this year's Daytona 500.  McDowell called the top-ten in The Great American Race "…like a win for us.  So much like a win, in fact, that we took the following few races off just to celebrate.  Man, those chicken salad sandwiches Phil brought to the race shop that Tuesday were pretty good."
McDowell acknowledged that his departure was mostly due to an inability to reach an agreement with the team's primary sponsor, Black Paint Inc.  However, he refused to make excuses for the team's recent disappointing behavior.
"Sure, I wish we were running better", McDowell answered to a question apparently called out in his own mind.  "but I still think both myself and this team have some impressive 32nd-place finishes ahead of them.  We just both needed a change of scenery."
McDowell takes over the #95 Levine Family Racing car in 2014, with solid backing from Red Paint Co., but has said that he's currently focused solely on finishing out the 2013 season for Phil Parsons Racing (formerly Phil's House of Racing & Foundry).
"Finishing strong is what the 'Last Date With The 98' is all about", McDowell said.  "And if we're able to siphon some gas out of one of the other team's haulers, we'll be there to run next week."

Silly Season Recap--Part II

22 Joey Logano--Other than AutoZone joining as an associate sponsor, nothing changes (although it would be nice if Joey's VOICE finally changed).

24 Jeff Gordon--Jeff and his sponsors come back again, while his crew chief continues to be criticized by fans incessantly.

27 Paul Menard--Did you REALLY expect ANYTHING to change?

29 (or 3) Austin Dillon--Austin is widely expected to run for Rookie of the Year in Kevin Harvick's old ride, which is also widely expected to transition to the #3.  Sponsorship remains up in the air, though Cheerios is likely to join (gotta love a sponsor you feed with a spoon!).

30 ???--Who cares.

Newman's 2014 CAT look.
People love cats.
31 Ryan Newman--Rocketman comes over with Caterpillar and Quicken Loans splitting virtuality the entire schedule.  No word on the status of the Smurfs.

32 ???--No news here yet, besides Ken Schrader announcing his retirement from Cup racing at the end of 2013.  Fans were shocked that he chose to retire now, and not in 2006.

33 ???--The Falk/Hillman duo may or may not return in 2014.

34 David Ragan--This year's most-surprising race-winner comes back next season as-is, though sponsorship stays undecided (read: Taco Bell).

35 Josh Wise--Even Josh is starting to wonder how he stays in this ride.

38 David Gilliland--David Ragan's pushing partner returns for 2014.

41 Kurt Busch--The biggest (and most-surprising) change for 2014 has Kurt Busch moving to a brand-new Stewart-Haas Racing team, sponsored "in-house" by Haas Automation.  Look for Kurt to stay here for good…well, until a ride opens up at Hendrick.

42 Kyle Larson--The young phenom moves up to challenge for Rookie of the Year.  Target remains, allowing Kyle to continue the great tradition of Jimmy Spencer and Reed Sorenson.

43 Aric Alimrola--No big changes in store for the driver with the oddest first-name in the sport.
They should make this glow in the dark

47 AJ Allmendinger--The Dinger takes over for Bobby Labonte, whose future remains up in the air (though I'm guessing that air smells like a Past Champion's Provisional).  All the food and bleach sponsors come back.

48 Jimmie Johnson--No big changes here, though it would be nice if "Kobalt" Tools actually learned how to spell.

51 ???--Probably the best-ride available has been rumored for Justin Allgaier.  Nobody can figure out why this team is STILL called Phoenix Racing.

55 Brian Vickers--Vickers takes over for Mark Vicktrip in 2014, with Aaron's staying on-board for the entire season.

56 ??? (part-time)--The former Napa team is scaling back to part-time.  Michael Waltrip is expected to run at the plate tracks, with Jeff Burton rumored for a number of other races.  And thus, a team with a long history of, um…"success?", begins to wind down.

78 Martin Truex Jr.--The pride of Jersey moves over to Colorado's #1 racing team.

83 & 93 Reuty & Kvapil?--BK Racing may or may not return with its dynamic duo next year.  Though if they don't, expect far fewer cautions.

87 Joe Nemechek--No changes, although running a majority of the race lengths in 2013 may have aged Joe terribly.

88 Dale Earnhardt Jr.--National Guard and Mtn Dew/Amp return to sponsor about two-thirds of the schedule between them.  The rest of the schedule may or may not be picked up by the Mystery Sponsor that still hasn't been announced.

95 Michael McDowell--McDowell takes a bold step sideways.

98 ???--The driver remains unknown, though sponsor Black Paint is expected to return.

99 Carl Edwards--No changes here, with the slew of sponsors expected to come back.  No word on if Carl will continue to do commercials for sandwich shops with sideline reporters.

Silly Season Recap--Part I

With the actual 2013 Sprint Cup season almost over with, the 2013 Silly Season is also almost over with.  Since most of you don't have the kind of time I have to pore over data (…because you have lives), I've filtered it down into two easy-to-read articles:

1 Jamie McMurray--No changes, other than no longer mentioning his winless streak.

2 Brad Keselowski--Miller Lite stays, but for 12 less races.  Oddly enough, this was requested by the TEAM, not the sponsor.  Rumor has Alliance Auto Parts stepping up from Nationwide, thus putting Sam Hornish Jr. out of work.

Harvick's 2014 car, carrying on the
great tradition of Kevin Lepage
4 Kevin Harvick--This is the old #39, with Harv stepping in for Ryan Newman.  Budweiser and Jimmy Johns come over from RCR as well, though due to an unbreakable contract clause, Keelan Harvick will remain at RCR through at least 2015.

5 Kasey Kahne--No big changes, other than Great Clips stepping up to sponsor 10 races next year, as well as continuing to support the stock car career of Brad Sweet for some reason.

7 & 36 ??? --The TBR cars remain open (as does the sponsorship situation) for 2014.

9 Marcos Ambrose--No big changes, though Twisted Tea joins as an associate sponsor.  I'm surprised that DeWalt allowed it, given their "Don't Drink & Drill" campaign.

10 Danica Patrick--No big changes here (beyond Aspen Dental sponsoring two races).  Because any time you have a top-flight race team with top-flight sponsorship running around 22nd place each week, you leave that alone.

11 Denny Hamlin--Everybody returns as usual next year, unless Denny finally gets that robotic back implant.

13 Casey Mears--Germain Racing moves over to Chevy and the RCR sinking ship--I mean, race team.

14 Tony Stewart--Smoke should be returning in time for Daytona Speedweeks with the usual cast of sponsors.  Here's hoping Johnny Morris doesn't make him deliver Bass Pro Shops orders again.

15 Clint Bowyer--No big changes here, though I'm sure they're itching to make some.
Timmy Hill's still wondering why
HE didn't get this sponsorship

16 Greg Biffle--Things stay the same for The Biff, though personally, I would be shaken to my core if Jimmie Johnson repeatedly told me, "I was inside of you".

17 Ricky Stenhouse Jr.--Nationwide Insurance joins Best Buy, Zest & Fifth Third Bank at The 'House.

18 Kyle Busch--No changes planned here, with the natural pairing of candy and automotive batteries staying strong.

20 Matt Kenseth--No changes for them, though Home Depot might replace its Husky Tools sponsorship with Big-Boned Lumber or Pleasingly-Plump Piping.

21 Trevor Bayne (part-time)--Motorcraft returns to sponsor approximately 12 races in 2014.  Meanwhile, Trevor remains at only half the stature of Derrike Cope.

Part II tomorrow

Jimmie vs. Matt: Tale O' The Tape

Upon leaving today's race at Texas (aka The Other Marathon), we're down to a two-man race for the championship.  With only two races to go, lets take a look at the Tale of the Tape between these two superstars.

Jimmie Johnson: Hendrick Motorsports (former home of Wally Dallenbach)
Matt Kenseth: Joe Gibbs Racing (former home of JJ Yeley)

Adding to what Larry McReynolds said
earlier today: Deciding between the
48 & the 20 is " deciding between
the red and black on a roulette wheel"
--and the 29 is the 0 & 00.
JJ: Lowe's (a good place to get lost in)
MK: Home Depot (another good place to get lost in) and Dollar General (a good place to find styrofoam coolers)

Crew Chiefs
JJ: Chad Kanus (cheated, conspired, makes a mean bean dip)
MK: Jason Ratcliff (relatively new to the Cup Series, bean dip is a little too tangy)

JJ: Five (but if it wasn't for the Chase…conspiracy theorists would have much less to whine about)
MK: One (which led to the Chase being implemented, thus denying us thrilling 200-point leads going into Homestead)

JJ: n/a
MK: droll, dry (kinda like an emcee at a comedy club)

Fanbase Consists Of
JJ: Younger siblings of Jeff Gordon fans (and a few Casey Mears transplants)
MK: Wisconsinites who are OK with not watching football (aka Communists)

Texas "News" and Notes

--Every time a race goes green at Texas, it guarantees that it'll be better than the worst "race" in Texas history (CART's Firestone Firehawk 600).

--The duel between Matt Kenseth and Jimmie Johnson moves on to Texas, with both drivers tied at the top of the standings.  Its the battle between The Guy Who's Dull But People Think Is Exciting, and The Guy Who's Exciting But People Think Is Dull.

--Meanwhile, Jeff Gordon refuses to go down without a fight, staying in contention, albeit as a long-shot, with last week's win at Martinsville.  I'd like to go back about 18 years and tell my past-self that one day, Jeff Gordon will be considered a popular underdog.

--Martin Truex Jr. will be moving to the Furniture Row Racing car in 2014.  The announcement was finally made official today, after which Fox Sports 1 cut-and-pasted Truex's head onto Kurt Busch's graphic.  Um, FS1 graphics department?  You MIGHT want to airbrush out that "Sprint Cup Champion" patch too.

--I'd be much more excited about the "Lionel Racing Golden Ticket" promotion if it was actually run by Lionel Richie (with his hit, "Diecast On The Ceiling").

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.