Jack Sprague Joins Victory Celebration

Shortly after hearing his name uttered by Mike Joy on the Fox telecast, former Haas CNC Racing driver Jack Sprague joined Kurt Busch's Victory celebration at Martinsville.
Sprague's Glamor Shot
"Woo!  We've been waiting for this for years!", an excited Sprague yelled into an open microphone.  "When Gene (Haas, team owner) started this thing back in 2003, I knew we were on to something big.  Now, after 11 years of hard work, we've finally won one for Gene!"
Sprague, who enthusiastically congratulated Busch--who was heard to mutter "Who the hell was that?" to a PR flak--said that it was no problem at all to come on such short notice to the out-of-the-way track.
"Oh, I'm still keeping up with the series, even though I'm on a bit of a hiatus right now", Sprague said to Fox reporter Jeff Hammond, who was interviewing runner-up Jimmie Johnson at the time.  "I mean, it's like I told Jeff Green and John Andretti--when you join Haas CNC Racing, you're a member forever.  Even a name change, an address change, and a security guard refusing to let you in to work on cars doesn't change that."
Sprague, who last ran in a national touring series race in 2008, was quickly escorted out of the improvised Victory Lane celebrations by on-track security.
"Oh, this must be because the Truck (Series) race is coming up next, right?"  Sprague said to the armed guards.  "Hey, I know all about the Truck Series--I'd better go up to the TV booth, maybe the Speed Channel guys could use some help broadcasting today!  I hope Gene doesn't mind me leaving early, but I'll see him again to discuss my ideas for the new F1 chassis."
In other news, Brad Keselowski challenged Busch to a fight over their on-track skirmish today, with former Penske driver David Stremme adding, "Yeah!"

Martinsville "News" and Notes

--Though Sunday looks fine, we're otherwise looking at ANOTHER soggy weekend for Nascar.  Jeez, what did we DO to anger Mother Nature so much?  Well, other than the whole 3-miles-to-the-gallon cars thing.

--After briefly appearing on the entry list, the #77 of Randy Humphrey has been removed.  Considering how close Martinsville is to the team's headquarters, this could very well mean the end of the "team", as well as start-and-parking at the Cup level (for now).

--It's the 30th anniversary of Hendrick Motorsports' first Cup win, which means the legitimate possibility of another awkward tv interview with Geoff(rey) Bodine.

--This was originally brought up by someone else on a message board, but it bares repeating--anybody else find it odd that three of the first five Nationwide Series races were sponsored by health advocacy groups?

--Turns out that the real reason Denny Hamlin had to step out of the car at Fontana was a sliver of metal that had lodged itself in his eye.  Um, OUCH.

--Circle Sport (the 33 car) is running David Stremme this weekend.  Um, OUCH.

Aric Almirola vs. Brian Scott: The Tale O' The Tape

Aric Almirola vs. Brian Scott: The Tale O' The Tape
After Sunday's wreck between Aric Almirola and Brian Scott, Aric had some choice words for his fellow racer:
And it wasn't even the first time--check this out from 2011 (WARNING: Contains Marty Reid):

With a potential inane rivalry brewing, I think its time to take a look at The Tale O' The Tape!

Aric Almirola: The Cuban Missile
Brian Scott: The Hot Potato

How He Got His Ride
Aric Almirola: Nascar's Drive for Diversity Program
Brian Scott: Won the Genetic Lottery

Notable Teammates
Aric Almirola: The finest driver to come out of Australia
Brian Scott: The finest driver to come out of Georgetown's basketball program

I REALLY hope he was issued a
"I Hunt White-Tails Year-Round"
foam ballcap.

Truck Series Wins
Aric Almirola: Two
Brian Scott: Two

Nationwide Series Wins
Aric Almirola: One, but it still haunts him to this DAY that he stepped out of that car because the DAMN SPONSOR was MORE INTERESTED in PR than watching someone FINALLY LIVE OUT HIS DREAM!
Brian Scott: Zero

Aric Almirola: Various pork products
Brian Scott: Someplace in Idaho (aka Wisconsin's Psycho Cousin)

Biggest Recent Success
Aric Almirola: Third place at Bristol
Brian Scott: Finally married his baby's mama

Most Annoying Part of Their Job
Aric Almirola: Having to talk to Kyle Petty on a regular basis
Brian Scott: Wearing Day-Glo Orange and STILL getting shot at

Man He Replaced
Aric Almirola: Reed Sorenson
Brian Scott: No one (…nobody ever REALLY replaces Timmy Hill)

Goodyear Has a Bad Day

The well-worn racing surface at Auto Club Speedway, combined with very aggressive car setups, resulted in a very high number of tire blowouts in today's Auto Club 400.  To make things simpler, here's who DIDN'T have any tire issues today:

--Kyle Busch

--Kyle Larson

"Oh the humanity!"
--Joe Nemechek

--Dave Blaney

--JJ Yeley

--Denny Hamlin

--Denny Hamlin's ambulance driver

--Shane Huffman

--Danny O'Quinn

--Mindy Kaling

--Gonzo the Great

--Brian Scott's dad

California "News" and Notes

--As much as people complain about ESPN & TNT's coverage, its the one that's staying with Nascar that wrapped its broadcasters in toilet paper.

--Paul Menard's wife (NAME REDACTED) gave birth to a healthy (GENDER WITHHELD) at an undisclosed location.

--Sure, Brooke Werner is stepping down as Miss Sprint Cup.  But what about them finally hiring ME as Mister Sprint Cup?  They'll need a guy for when Danica Patrick wins…um, nevermind.

--Anybody else find it odd that Brian Vickers is running a blood clot awareness paint scheme this weekend that isn't red?

--Yeah, Fords dominated at Bristol, but success at Bristol doesn't have much to do with engines or aerodynamics.  Ford will have to go back to being the only one of Nascar's manufacturers that isn't being sued by the government.

--Smokey Mountain Herbal Snuff is becoming a sponsor of Brendan Gaughan and Brian Scott.  Smokey Mountain--the choice snuff of legacy kids!

The Nascar Fantasy League--Where Producers Meet Swimmers

"Any day you can be on the receiving end of Tom Cruise's overacting is a good day"
In Brian France's never-ending quest for mainstream appeal, the un-navigatable labyrinth that is Nascar.com is hosting a celebrity fantasy league this season.  Sadly, I didn't know about this till now, so here's a belated look at the roster of celebrities who may or may not actually know who Steve Grissom is:

MUCH better-looking than Drew Pearson
Alyssa Milano--The exceedingly-attractive actress is the "commissioner" of the league, which I guess means that she hosts the initial draft and goes on a power-trip once a week.
Chances She Knows About Nascar--Pretty good.  Alyssa owns "Touch", a brand of women's team-branded clothing, and was seen at the Nascar Awards Banquet this past offseason.  Jay Mohr made fun of her appearance after the banquet, this continuing his agreement to not be funny on-stage.

Tyler Clary--Apparently he's a pretty-famous swimmer, which means a lifetime of saying, "No, I'm not Michael Phelps".
Chances He Knows About Nascar--Decent.  His Nascar.com bio lists him as a "long-time motorsports enthusiast", so he's probably been to a few races, telling people, "No, I'm Not Ian Thorpe".

Allen Covert--The poor man's Kevin James, Allen Covert is probably best-known for being a longtime friend of Adam Sandler, running their production company Mediocre Comedies With Heart Films.
Chances He Knows About Nascar--Low.  Considering that kissing up to That Other-Other Guy From Remote Control is his meal-ticket, I doubt he has much time to do anything fun.

Johny Hendricks--A UFC fighter, so somebody that Fox Sports 1 will likely cram down our collective throats.
Chances He Knows About Nascar--Medium.  UFC takes an insane amount of training and dedication, so much so that you can't waste time spelling your first name correctly.

Dhani Jones--A former NFL Linebacker, who played for my personal favorite team, the New York Giants (which means he was extremely overrated).
Chances He Knows About Nascar--Kinda Low.  Dhani was well-known during his playing days as a very-cerebral man, and one of the few true intellectuals in sports.  In other words, I'm guessing he's an IndyCar snob.

Michael Rooker--Ladies and Gentlemen: Rowdy Burns.
Chances He Knows About Nascar--Surprisingly Low.  Because when you've already starred in one of the greatest movies ever made about anything, your whole life is downhill from there.

"Priceless" because nobody will
pay for it
Kal Penn--"Kumar" from "Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle", White House PR Man, dramatic AND comedic actor…so what the hell is he doing here?
Chances He Knows About Nascar--Pretty High.  On the plus side, Kal has worked with Nascar in the past (manning their Twitter feed).  On the minus side, he's the only celeb here who's ever had the unfortunately experience of meeting me.

Vanilla Ice--No, seriously, Vanilla Ice.
Chances He Knows About Nascar--Below Average.  Again, I'm being serious here--Vanilla Ice.

Florida/Georgia Line--The music duo put out the irritating crossover hit "Cruise" last year, thus overcoming country music's inherent prejudice against white guys from the south.
Chances They Knows About Nascar--Good.  Although anytime you have two guys running the same fantasy team, it usually ends with a gun fight (I've been in some pretty intense leagues in my day).

Drew Ryniewicz--She appeared on "X-Factor" in season one.  Well, that's what the bio says, I'll just have to take their word for it.
Chances She Knows About Nascar--Low.  Although it would be great if she did know her way around the sport, if only to see how Jayski misspells her name once she wins.

Spade Racing Presents: The Start-and-Park Glossary

An anonymous Start-and-
Parker takes revenge on
their biggest enemy
Fans new to the sport might not know what a "Start-and-Park" team is.  Well, it's a team that purposefully pulls its car out of the race early-on to conserve tires, engines, etc., because the difference in prize money between last place and, say, 25th place is too small.  Teams that do this still have to give the Nascar officials a "real" reason why the car had to be parked.  Here's a quick rundown of the most-common reasons given, and what they mean:

Vibration--the car chief's nephew shook up all the cans of Diet Dr Thunder in the truck, and now we need to pay for a car-seat shampooing.

Handling--sexual harassment lawsuit (turns out that not every receptionist lets you play "hands at ten and two" with her).

Transmission--"cutting back" on the budget meant eliminating flu shots, now everyone needs generic-brand tussin.

Ignition--at least Dale Jr. was nice enough to agree to not press charges, as long as we fix the damage we did to his camper when we tried to hot-wire it.

Rear-end--turns out that trying the 500-alarm chili on a dare for $10 was NOT a good business idea.

Electrical--guys who make those Amish wood-burning stoves stiffed us on the sponsorship checks again.

"Quit laughing, guys, I'm serious!"
Overheating--Jimmy Spencer visited the shop last we--oh, sorry, that's "Overeating".

Suspension--When you ask Brian France, "How many chins do you have?", the answer is usually "$10,000 fine and indefinite probation".

Brakes--Foot to the floor, foot went THROUGH the floor, and we didn't appreciate your Flintstones jokes.

Engine--Wrong foot to the floor.

Too slow--"I may not be a smart man, but I know what love is.  Specifically, its trying to hold on to the bottom rung of a sport that's long since forgotten you."

Crash--driver to be fired on Monday. 

Bristol "News" and Notes: Rick Mast Pun Edition

Painting done in the Dutch Mast-er
--When they removed Rick Mast from a wrecked race car, they had to perform a Mast-ectomy.

--If he went on a crash diet, he could've gone from full-weight to Half-Mast.

--He wanted to donate some of his winnings to build a hospital, but the builders never provided the Mast ER plan.

--Too bad he never opened up his food-themed travel agency, Mast-ications.

--I hear that his longtime pit crew members were nicknamed The Masty Boys.

--Rick wasn't particularly successful in Cup, but he was universally known as a good guy--a champion of the everyman, if you will.  So he deserved to get a Mast Champion's Provisional.

--He had a brief cameo in a Broadway musical, but its hard to get your hands on this Original Mast Recording.

Bristol Nationwide Series Theme Music--Themed on a Variation

Nothing says "Badass" like Sugar Ray

Following in the footsteps of Major League Baseball, Bristol Motor Speedway ripped off pro-wrestling years ago by giving Cup drivers their own "theme music" when they're introduced to the crowd.  But what about the Nationwide Series drivers?  Here's what THEY could choose:

01 Landon Cassill--If I Built a Fortress (Sting)

2 Brian Scott--Rocky Mountain Way (The James Gang)

3 Ty Dillon--One Headlight (Jakob Dylan)

Former Armour spokesman Jimmy Spencer
4 Jeffrey Earnhardt--Little Red Corvette (Prince)

5 Kevin Harvick--Armour Hot Dogs Song

6 Trevor Bayne--We Like to Party ('cause he's "Mr. Six")

7 Regan Smith--Tax Man (The Beatles)

9 Chase Elliott--I'm Sorry (Buckcherry)

10 Blake Koch--I'd Like to Teach The World to Smile

11 Elliott Sadler--Money (Pink Floyd)

14 Eric McClure--anything from "Hefty Fine"

16 Ryan Reed--Metal Machine Music (Lou Reed)

17 Tanner Berryhill--Blueberry Hill (Fats Domino)

19 Mike Bliss--8-10 seconds of silence

20 Matt Kenseth--theme from "Daytona USA"

22 Ryan Blaney--Substitute (The Who)

23 Josh Reaume--something on the North Texas (bag)Pipes

24 Jason White--Happiness is a Warm Gun (The Beatles)
From the mountains of Newark, NJ

28 Mike Wallace--ticking clock from "60 Minutes"

29 Kelly Admiraal--Canadian national anthem

31 Dylan Kwasniewski--New Kid in Town (The Eagles)

33 Cale Conley--background music from a Rolling Rock commercial

39 Ryan Sieg--remix of Mike Bliss's theme

40 Josh Wise--Tap the Bottle (Young Black Teenagers)

42 Kyle Larson--Double Vision (Foreigner…or Bad Company)

43 Dakoda Armstrong--Fresh (Kool & The Gang)

44 Will Kimmell III--something from Andrew W.K and/or Steev Mike

Clearly I remember, picking on the boy
46 Matt Dibenedetto--score from "Days of Thunder"

51 Jeremy Clements--Jeremy (Pearl Jam)

52 Joey Gase--Joey (Concrete Blondes)

54 Kyle Busch--I Hate Myself (Joan Jett)

55 Jamie Dick--My Ding-a-Ling (Chuck Berry)

60 Chris Buescher--Who Are You (The Who)

62 Brendan Gaughan--The Gambler (Kenny Rogers)

67 Tommy Joe Martins--Tommy Joey (Concrete Blondes)

70 Derrike Cope--I'm Too Sexy (Right Said Fred)

74 Mike Harmon--Evil Woman (ELO)

76 Willie Allen--Jean Genie (David Bowie)

87 Joe Nemechek--Song #2 (Blur)

99 James Buescher--The Heat is On (Glenn Frey)

Brad Keselowski Wins With Rubina

Using strategy, horsepower, and good timing, Brad Keselowski was able to challenge Dale Earnhardt Jr. for the lead.  But it was a single person who helped him win: Rubina.
"We added Rubina in to our Framily plan earlier this week, and we're already seeing the results", Keselowski said after spraying a can of Miller Lite in his own eyes.  "I'd kiss her right now, if my eyes didn't feel like they were on fire."
Rubina (on right)
Rubina was present in Victory Lane, escorted there by Brad Keselowski's aunt.
"Wait a minute--are the bills separate?"  Rubina asked amid a shower of confetti.
Team owner Roger Penske was coy when asked what exactly Rubina does for the team.
"Look--its not important what she does, who she is, or even what her last name is", Penske said while wearing a "I Got A Hole-In-One" baseball cap.  "What's important is that we're in the Chase, and now we can spend the next 23 races screwing around."
Other drivers were more-understanding of their loss to Keselowski upon hearing of Rubina's influence.
"Wait--they had Rubina?", Dale Jr. said upon exiting his car.  "Jeez, no wonder we lost.  All we could get is Sketchy Jeff--though I still agree with him that our team needs 'More Beard'".
"You know, I race for a top-flight team, my family is wealthy beyond your wildest dreams, but there's one thing I won't have--Rubina", third-place finisher Paul Menard said on pit lane.  "Do you know if we could get her for next week's race?  I mean, I'm all ears--I don't have anywhere I have to be this evening."

Las Vegas "News" and Notes

--Kurt Busch has made it official: He WILL be attempting the Indy 500/Coke 600 "Double" on Memorial Day Sunday.  This will give Kurt the chance to piss off TWO fan-bases in a single day.

--Speaking of Indy, they've announced that their qualifying procedures have been completely overhauled.  Just another case of IndyCar ripping off Nascar by instituting unnecessary rules changes that no one understands.
The Labontes in more-succesful
(and garish) times

--Have you seen the new Mobil 1 "Smoke Is The Bandit" video?  If you have, yes, that IS Ricky Craven and Hermie Sadler portraying two wooden posts.

--Jeff Burton makes his 2014 debut this weekend, but the rest of his season is up in the air.  It seems like with Ken Schrader's retirement, all the aging drivers have moved "up" a notch:
     Terry Labonte--verge of retirement
     Bobby Labonte--runs occasional races
     Jeff Burton--appears to have a shot at a top-20 when he does race

--For the first time in what seems like years, Danica Patrick will run a Cup race in a car NOT sponsored by GoDaddy.  The new sponsor is Aspen Dental, which makes sense, since every dentist I know has a younger second wife and a big, expensive car.

Richard Petty vs. Danica Patrick: The King vs. Miss Thing

As you've no-doubt heard, a major war of words has sprung up in Nascar these past few weeks.  But enough about the big Parker Kligerman-Paul Menard battle--let's focus on Richard Petty and Danica Patrick.  The whole thing started when The King made the unfortunate mistake of speaking his mind, saying that she's only win a race if the other 42 drivers stayed home.  He then compounded that by committing the unforgivable sin of telling the truth, explaining that she is a great driver, but not a great racer.  Tony Stewart (Danica's team-owner/beneficiary) then challenged Petty to race Danica one-on-one in identically prepared cars, a challenge which Petty accepted.  Unfortunately for those who care only about drama (…and Brant James), the "war of words" has somewhat died down as legitimately great racing has reached the forefront.  So before everybody forgets and moves on to the big Danica-Justin Allgaier brouhaha, here's the definitive 

Tale O' The Tape:
The ONLY way to replace
a King
Achievements in Racing
Richard Petty: 7 Cup championships, 200 Cup wins, first-ballot Hall of Famer
Danica Patrick: Won an IndyCar race against half-a-field on fuel mileage

Longtime Sponsor
Richard Petty: STP, which scams people into thinking it will help them improve gas mileage
Danica Patrick: GoDaddy, which scams people into thinking "exclusive online footage" means "boobs"

Trademark attire
Richard Petty: Charlie One Horse cowboy hat, wraparound sunglasses, huge belt-buckle, cowboy boots
Danica Patrick: Scowl

Richard Petty: Bobby Allison, David Pearson, Darrell Waltrip
Danica Patrick: David Ragan, David Gilliland, Jay Mohr

ESPN's View
Two female superstars
Richard Petty: Voted one of the top-100 athletes of the 20th century
Danica Patrick: "Let's cram her down the viewer's throat"

Crimes Against The Sport
Richard Petty: Is the reason we have a Past Champion's Provisional
Danica Patrick: Is the reason we have the Cope twins

Crimes Against Fans
Richard Petty: That one guy said that his cousin met him back in '82 and he only signed five of his autograph books
Danica Patrick: Refuses to do post-race interviews at a rate not seen since, well, Kurt Busch

Relationship to Kyle Petty
Richard Petty: Father, and one-half of the most-awkward, complicated relationship in sports
Danica Patrick: Adversary, and one-half of the most-strained comedy duo in sports

References by Brad Daugherty
Richard Petty: Brad wore #43 in his NBA career to honor The King
Danica Patrick: Brad said if she was actually trying to succeed in Cup, she'd have run in the K&N East Series first

Cup Wins In The Past 25 Years (as a driver)
Richard Petty: 0
Danica Patrick: 0

Kevin Harvick: "I Beat RCR--I've Never Been This Happy"

Kevin Harvick, in only his 2nd race with Stewart-Haas Racing, posted a dominating win at Phoenix International Raceway.  However, he was most-happy to have beaten the cars of Richard Childress Racing, exclaiming his joy in Victory Lane.
Harvick after one of the four most-
important restarts of his career today
"I beat RCR--I've never been this happy!", Harvick said upon exiting his car with a custom-made "4>3" ballcap.  "Well, really *WE* did it--this whole SHR crew showed what a driver can do when he actually has a team behind him!"
Harvick was sure to work his sponsors into his post-race victory speech.
"I just gotta thank Jimmy John's--we were Freaky Fast, but more importantly, we were Freaky FastER than those guys from Welcome, North Carolina", Harvick said, stomping his foot on an Austin Dillon diecast car.  "Anytime you can beat one of those damn legacy kids, that you can pull that spoon out of their mouths, that makes it all worthwhile to put up with Kurt Busch every day."
Harvick left his longtime home at RCR after last season, claiming that the team was putting most of its resources into team-owner Richard Childress's grandsons, Austin and Ty Dillon.
"We beat that punk Austin today", said Dillon, grabbing the microphone from the post-race interviewer.  "We beat those other two guys.  Hell, if Ty and his giant face were in this race we'd have beat him too!  Vengeance is mine!"
The win by Harvick capped off a solid weekend for 3/4ths of the SHR team.
"Everybody at SHR has done their best to help me exact my revenge against those two Dillon boys, and we've shown the world a valuable lesson--sports has no place for legacy boys.  Just legacy girls."