The Sprint to Replace Sprint

The Taste of Victory
...and cancer

As you've most-likely heard, Sprint is doing to Nascar what it does to a majority of its calls in rural areas:  Dropping it.  While they'll hang around until 2015, speculation has already begun about who will replace them as the title sponsor of Nascar's premiere Cup Series sponsor.  Here's a few rumored possibilities:

Wal-Mart--the "white whale" of sponsorship is still out there, though it doesn't make much sense from Wal-Mart's point-of-view:  I mean really, how many people in the country are unaware of Wal-Mart?  Five?

T-Mobile--With Verizon already sponsoring the USAC Championship Trail--er, I mean, IndyCar--and AT&T likely still annoyed over how they were jettisoned from the sport years ago, T-Mobile is the only remaining major wireless company that could step-in and supplant Sprint.  There is one possible issue, though--with T-Mobile's main marketing color being bright pink, how will sponsors pay lip service to breast cancer "awareness" one month each year?

Blue Sky Studios--Since NBC chose to utilize its "activation costs" to sponsor the former Nationwide Series, Fox could do the same via its animation studio.  Could be worse--we COULD have Fox christen the Princess Productions Cup Series.

Dixie Products--See?  Because Dixie makes cups!  It would be the Dixie Cup!  Get it?  It's going to be mentioned as a joke in every story about this over the next two years!!!

Big Daddy's BBQ Sauce--heh, just kidding.

Picking a New Driver for 2015

As I stated earlier, my favorite driver Marcos Ambrose is no longer racing in Cup.  Now, through running this site, I don't really have as much of a "rooting interest" as I had before, but its still fun to have someone to cheer for.
Derrike, your my second choice,
Stay Sweet, Mike.
So who did I pick?
Well, because I'm intensely negative and quite pessimistic, I think it would make more sense to see who I WOULDN'T pick.  Here's that list, and a stupid reason why for each of them:

Now, I don't want to be known as a frontrunner, so that knocks out all the recent champions--Kevin Harvick, Brad Keselowski, Jimmie Johnson, and Tony Stewart.

I also would prefer to root for a driver who's closer to the start of their career than the end, so that eliminates Jeff Gordon, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Greg Biffle and Matt Kenseth.

I don't want to root for someone for the second time, so that nixes my favorite driver of the early part of this millennium, Ryan Newman.

I also would rather watch a Champ Car race from the late-90's than say that I'm supporting Michael Waltrip, so so-long to Clint Bowyer and Brian Vickers.

Legacy kids irritate me, so that means no chance for a slew of drivers: Casey Mears,  Austin Dillon, Paul Menard--well, pretty much anybody associated with RCR.

Furthermore, I have an intense dislike for the personalities of bullies, whiners, and whining-bullies, taking out Denny Hamlin (bully), Joey Logano (whiner), Carl Edwards (bully), Kyle Busch (whining-bully), Kurt Busch (whining-bully), Kasey Kahne (whiner), and Aric Almirola (whiner, though strangely only about Brian Scott).

Though I'm not a front-runner, I would prefer someone who has a chance to run up front more than once or twice a year.  That knocks-out Martin Truex Jr., Sam Hornish Jr., AJ Allmendinger, Trevor Bayne, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Danica Patrick, and everybody who gets wrecked by Danica Patrick (Front Row Motorsports, TBR, BK Racing, etc.)

By my calculations that leaves only two drivers--who, oddly enough, are teammates:  Jamie McMurray and Kyle Larson.  Both of them seem like real professionals and jam-up guys--how should I break the tie?

Well, the only way I know how to make ANY decision--who has less hair-gel on a regular basis?

Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you my NEW favorite driver for 2015:  KYLE LARSON!!!

The Third-Annual (currently unsponsored) Hoodie Awards

The 200 mph billboard

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?

The still unsponsored,
still unclaimed Hoodie trophy
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 Third 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.  Nor do charities (exception: DTEF) or obvious placeholders like Ford Ecoboost.  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

13 Casey Mears 1 (Geico)  Apparently that BBQ sauce recipe didn't include advice on how to find sponsorship partners.
The battle for the Hoodie rages on
(NOTE: This has nothing to do with
The Hoodie Awards)

27 Paul Menard 1 (Menards)  The king of sponsorship partners retains his crown.

41 Kurt Busch 1 (State Water Heaters)  Haas Automation doesn't count, although those CNC Machines are pretty sweet.

42 Kyle Larson 1 (Target)  Every non-bullseye logo on the hood was a sponsorship partner of Target.  Expect more, pay less, get exposure.

48 Jimmie Johnson 1 (Lowe's)  Steady, consistent, and dull--this describes both the paint schemes AND the driver.

78 Martin Truex Jr. (Furniture Row)  Anonymous sponsor for an anonymous driver (well, in 2014 at least).

11 Denny Hamlin 2 (FedEx, SportClips)  If SportClips gives you hair like Denny has, I think I'm gonna pass.

20 Matt Kenseth 2 (Dollar General, Home Depot/Husky Tools)  Au revoir to longtime sponsor Home Depot, who leaves to become the source of Haas F1 sponsorship rumors.

55 Brian Vickers 2 (Aaron's, Treatmyclot)  I still think that the clot-sponsored car should've been red.

"You'd BETTER keep those Shell
logos small, or there'll be Ultra93
HELL to pay!"
10 Danica Patrick 3 (GoDaddy, Aspen Dental, Florida Lottery)  Much like playing the lottery, driving a GoDaddy sponsored car has been pretty disappointing.

22 Joey Logano 3 (Pennzoil/Shell, AAA Insurance, Auto Trader)  Pennzoil Platinum is nice, but I'm still waiting on SuperFlo Tungsten or Wolf's Head Tin.

31 Ryan Newman 3 (Caterpillar, QuickenLoans, Kwikset)  Ryan would've needed a Kwikset lock to keep Brian France from killing him if he'd won the championship with no wins.

5 Kasey Kahne 4 (Farmers, Great Clips, Pepsi, Time Warner Cable)  The only thing louder than the Great Clips scheme was the criticism of Kasey's driving abilities.

14 Tony Stewart/substitutes 4 (Bass Pro Shops, Mobil 1, Rush Truck Centers, Code 3 Associates)  Fun fact:  Code 3's slogan ("Riders on the storm") resulted in Tony Stewart having The Doors stuck in his head all April.

24 Jeff Gordon 4 (DTEF, Axalta, Pepsi Real Sugar, Panasonic)  3M joins this bunch next year to participate in the "Let's Ask Jeff About Retirement Every Day" Tour.

38 David Gilliland 4 (Love's Travel Stops, MDS, Pete Store, CleanHarbors)  In THIS David's case, he won once, but Goliath's been kicking tail every since.

88 Dale Earnhardt Jr. 4 (National Guard, Diet Mtn Dew/Kickstart, Nationwide, Kelley Blue Book)  Nationwide prepares for a name change in 2015, going from Nationwide Insurance to Nationwide INsurance.

2 Brad Keselowski 5 (Miller Lite, Redd's, Detroit Genuine, Wurth, Alliance)  Penske went old-school this past year, echoing the past with a retro Miller Lite scheme and recalling a time when something from Detroit was desirable.
In Austin's case, it's more along the
lines of "Respectful and Consistent
Boy Buggies"

3 Austin Dillon 5 (Dow, Cheerio's, American Ethanol, Bass Pro Shops, Bad Boy Buggies)  Dow promoted several of its products on the 3 car, including Great Stuff, Mycogen Seeds, and SuperCheerios (not fit for human consumption).

4 Kevin Harvick 5 (Budweiser, Jimmy John's, Outback Steakhouse, Mobil 1, Hunt Brothers Pizza)  Harv loses the only championship that doesn't matter.

7 Michael Annett 5 (Pilot/Flying J, Cypress HQ, Allstate Peterbilt, Golden Corral, Accell Construction)  …and the mystery of why Pilot has stuck by Michael Annett for what seems like a decade rages on.

9 Marcos Ambrose 5 (DeWalt, Stanley, Twisted Tea, Black & Decker, Mac Tools)  The RPM #9 team lost its driver, its major sponsors, and its best chances of winning on a road course.  Yep, it'll be fiiiine.

15 Clint Bowyer 5 (5-Hour Energy, AAA Insurance, Peak, Charter, Willie's Duck Diner)  Still surprised that Benadryl or Cortaid hasn't appeared on this car.

23 Alex Bowman 5 (Dr. Pepper, Dip Your Car, Dustless Blasting, Borla Exhaust, Dumb & Dumber To)  From what I heard, the performance of this car was a pretty good allegory to the quality of Dumb & Dumber To.
I'm pretty sure that dog(e) is made
of butter

98 Josh Wise 5 (Dogecoin/Reddit, Provident Metals/Zombucks, Trench Shoring, Vapor Station, Ambient Edge)  Much sponsor.  Wow.

16 Greg Biffle 6 (3M, Sherwin-Williams, Ortho, Bondo, Fastenal, Meguiar's)  Biffle 3M16 says I just lost my sponsor!

18 Kyle Busch 6 (M&M's, Interstate Batteries, Banfield Pet Hospitals, Snickers, Skittles, Doublemint)  Every one of these brands besides Interstate is owned by Mars Inc.--and yes, it IS creepy that a food company owns a pet hospital chain.

34 David Ragan 6 (CSX, Pete Store, Farm Rich, DockSide Logistics, MDS, Plimpton & Hills)  You brake for trains, I brake for team owner-owned businesses.

83 Ryan Truex/JJ Yeley 6 (Borla Exhaust, Dumb & Dumber To, Zak, Dip Your Car, Painter's Ice Cream, VooDooBBQ)  It's pretty bad when a crappy movie sequel is the most-reputable sponsor you've had all year.

99 Carl Edwards 6 (Aflac, Fastenal, Subway, UPS, Cheez-It, Kellogg's)  But what of Aflac?  What of the duck?!?
"Is that Zest you're wearing?"
"My woman likes me in reasonably-
priced scented soap"

17 Ricky Stennhouse Jr. 7 (Nationwide, Cargill, Eco Power, Zest, FifthThirdBank, Fastenal, NOS)  A good chunk of the "empty space" will be taken by Fastenal in 2015, finally pairing a popular driver's boyfriend with a bolt-supply company.

1 Jamie McMurray 8 (McDonald's, Cessna, LiftMaster, Wemo, Lexar, Cushman, Bass Pro Shops, Bell Helicopter)  Last year's champ comes back strong, but might be a Big Mac or Airplane short.

33 Ty Dillon/Brian Scott/CircleSportSmogasbord 8 (Charter, Amiga, Realtree, Thunder Coal, MediaCast, Shore Lodge/Whitetail, NBS, Mace)  If NBS isn't followed by 24/7, I don't care.

36 Reed Sorenson 8 (FlasR, Accell Construction, ZingZang, American Muscle, Golden Corral, Theme Park Connection, Arrive Alive DE, Red Rocks Cafe)  Anytime your hauler is blank, that's a bad sign.

43 Aric Almirola 9 (Smithfield, Farmland, Gwaltney, Eckrich, Nathan's, STP, Go Bowling, U.S. Air Force, Fresh From Florida)  Waffle House doesn't count, since it was a partnership sponsor--they put STP in every dish.

Soak up the glory, AJ
47 AJ Allmendinger 9 (Clorox, Kingsford, Glad, Hungry Jack, Bush's Beans, Charter, Miller/Freightliner, Kroger, Scott Products)  The surprise Chaser with a surprisingly low number of sponsors (seemed like more like 50 or so).

66 Joe Nemechek and the Toyota All-Stars 9 (X8 Energy Gum, Testoril, MyAFIBStory, Royal Teak, Landcastle Title, Kansas Farm Bureau Insurance, Dustin Johnson, Blue DEF, Friedman Law Firm)  Thankfully no dancebelt sponsorships here.

40 Landon Cassill 10 (CRC Chemical, Carsforsale, Harvey Gulf, NBS, Thunder Coal, Atlantic Plumbing, GF Gallery Furniture, Square HD, Snap Fitness, Nabi)  …although there's no proof that Nabi ever sponsored a race, or even existed.

51 Justin Allgaier 10 (Brandt, VisitDallas, Auto-Owners Insurance, Collision Cure, Hendrickcars, Sherwin-Williams, AccuDoc Solutions, SEM, Plan B Sales, Carcoon)  Finally, a cure for collisions!!!

Your winner!!!
26 Cole Whitt 12 (Speed Stick Gear, Tapout/Fuelxx, Uponor, Bad Boy Mowers, Rinnai, Moen, Iowa Chop House, Standard Plumbing Supply, Bully Hill, Toyota of Scranton, Scorpion, ScorpD)  All the plumbing sponsors make sense, since this team seemed to go through contract agreements like water.

32 multiple drivers 15 (Forever Hip, 24-7 E-Cigs, CorvetteParts/Keen Parts, C&J Energy Services, Leaf Filter, U.S. Chrome, ReallyCheapFloors, RedBuck, SkuttleTight, Genny Light, Tryandrozene, 7-11, Crusader Staffing, SK Hand Tools, Ask More Get More)  Multiple drivers, multiple sponsors, and the single winner of the 2014 Hoodie Award!!!

A Salute to My Favorite Driver, Marcos Ambrose

The Ford EcoBoost 400 marked the final race of the 2014 season, the final race (for the near future) on ESPN, and the final race for Marcos Ambrose.  Marcos has returned to his native Australia next year to run V-8 Supercars for Roger Penske.

I've followed Nascar off-and-on (more "on" than "off") since 1993, and in that time I've had three favorite drivers: Kyle Petty, Ryan Newman, and Marcos Ambrose.  Kyle was an easy, if misguided choice--he won the first race I ever saw in person…which turned out to be the LAST race he ever won.  Ryan Newman was more along the lines of "Huh--this guy looks like he's gonna win some races".
Marcos, however, was (at least to me) a more personal choice.  I met him when he was starting out in the Truck Series, running the old yellow-and-green Team Australia truck part-time.  He was incredibly nice, very professional, and gracious.  But what was more, he was an OUTSIDER.
Despite what old-school fans might make you believe, there are few true "Outsiders" in Nascar.  Just think about it--when Jeff Gordon entered the sport, he was treated more-or-less like a hostile invading nation, just because he was from California by way of Indiana.  Marcos was a true outsider--he wasn't from the USA (much less the South) and came up a completely different way than anyone else in the sport.  As someone who doesn't fit the mold of the typical Nascar fan, it was easy to see why he'd become my favorite driver.
When Marcos went full-time to RPM--a team, if you'll remember, that was essentially left for dead the year before--I picked him up as my official favorite driver.  Not to go all "failed journalist" on you, but obviously I wasn't as intense about my fandom as I could've been, or this website would be nothing more than a fanboy's rants.  But it was great seeing such a unique outsider, working together with a group of investors lead by my first favorite driver's father, rebuilding a team from near-bankruptcy to a race-winning outfit.
Marcos accomplished a lot in his (comparatively) short Nascar stay.  He won a pair of races at Watkins Glen and was a dark-horse threat for the top-10 in points each year.  Obviously, there's a lot he didn't accomplish--other than a brief surge with Todd Parrott as his crew chief, he never was a real threat to win on an oval, and unfortunately the two most-memorable moments of his to casual fans were likely punching Casey Mears and stalling out at Sears Point.
Even with an uneven four years in Cup with RPM, however, I can honestly say that I'm happy that I picked such a professional, hard-charging driver as my "favorite".  And while I'll have a new favorite next year, just like before, it'll never be the same.

Good luck Marcos.

Black Friday Deals, Nascar Style!

Also a great Steely Day song
Today is the busiest shopping day of the year, as "Black Friday" sales will have people far and wide visiting their favorite stores.  Not to be left out, Nascar has quite a few deals of their own--here's a sampling:

Roush-Fenway Racing--Like-new 2014 Ford Fusion (superspeedway package), barely used, $5 million.

Nascar Marketing--Be the warm-up comedian for the 2014 Awards Banquet!  Host following you is GUARANTEED to make you look good.  $199.99+free glares from Danica.

North Carolina Board of Revenue--Swan Racing, $24.99 OBO.

Carl Edwards Fan Club--All Aflac, Kelloggs & Fastenal merchandise 90% off!  Sure to be a valuable* collectors' item!  (*--your value may vary).

International Speedway Corp.--Own a piece of Daytona history with the soon-to-be removed backstretch grandstand!  Available for the low low price of just $9.99!!! (plus $500,000 shipping and handling).

Mr. Excitement Properties--Limited-edition race-used hairpieces.  $49.99 ($69.99 for low-numbers).

Nascar Images--Backstock blowout sale!  Own the Stacy Compton, Steve Grissom, or Bobby Hamilton Jr. picture of your dreams!  Any 10 for $1.99, plus order by 10pm and receive a free random shot of a stack of tires!

Lionel Collectables--50% off all 2014 diecast cars.  Not doing anything for you?  OK, 2 for 1.  Oh, here, just take a box and leave.

BK Racing--Cole Whitt!  He drives!  He signs autographs!  He hasn't been paid in months!  $499.99!

Off-season Preview

Well, it's that time of the year again, when Nascar fans go from complaining about the Chase to complaining about the awards banquet.  Here at Spade Racing HQ, it's a time of change as well.  Here's what's coming up this off-season:
Jay Brent was unable
to cover Milka Duno's
last race of the season,
as the press box was
within 500 yards of the

--About one article per-week, unless something huge happens (like Timmy Hill finally going through puberty).

--The Hoodie Awards, the only award given out by Spade Racing, although no team has yet to claim it.

--Come January, previews for the 2015 seasons for Cup, Xfinity (formerly Nationwide), Trucks, and Formula E.

--Come February, massive complaints about our two-word coverage of Formula E.

Be sure to check-out Spade Racing's OFFICIAL Facebook page for updates.

Enjoy the offseason!

Harvick, Edwards Do Dual Burnouts After Race

"We don't have to pretend to care about
baseball anymore!"
After 13 years of racing Cup, Kevin Harvick finally was able to celebrate a Sprint Cup Championship with a spectacular burnout--one that was only rivaled by Carl Edwards smoking his tires leaving Roush-Fenway Racing for Joe Gibbs Racing.
"This was a big deal for us, we've been waiting so long to make this happen.", Harvick said upon exiting his car.  "It took a lot of hard work to make this accomplishment a reality, and it's just a relief to feel what it feels like to be a champion."
"This was a big deal for me, I've been waiting so long to make this happen.", Edwards said upon exiting his team.  "It took a lot of hard work to make this accomplishment a reality, and it's just a relief to feel what it feels like to have a realistic shot at a championship."
Harvick said that he plans to enjoy the offseason, visiting sponsors and celebrating with his family.  Edwards said that he plans to enjoy the offseason, celebrating with his family and trying to figure out what Arris is.
"This is what it's all about", Harvick exclaimed, "We're gonna drink some beers and celebrate tonight!"
"This is what it's all about", Edwards exclaimed, "We're gonna eat some Stanley hand-tools and celebrate tonight!"
In a related story, Brian France remains MIA.

Homestead "News" and Notes

--Well, we're finally at the end of the season, which means it's time to go from complaining that the season's too long to complaining that the off-season is too long

--Four drivers can win the championship Sunday. 39 drivers can wreck the championship Sunday. Yeah, that makes sense

--Matt Crafton basically just needs to avoid a disaster to clinch the first back-to-back championships in Truck Series history. Because anytime you can do something that Mike Skinner and Jack Sprague haven't done, it's a good thing

--In Nationwide Series Owners' Points Championship rules, nobody cares

--Speaking of which, Nationwide Insurance bows out as a series sponsor this weekend the way they always wanted to--with Milka Duno running in Joe Nemechek's car.

15 Minutes Could Waste 15% Of Your Day

"Huh…15 minutes could save you 15% on auto insurance with SpadeCo."
"Everybody knows that"
"Well, did you know that…"
"Sam Hornish Jr. will have
steady sponsorship from
someone other than
Ford EcoBoost...oh boy..."

…it's a good thing that Kevin Harvick's last name isn't Oveur?
"OK young man, please introduce yourself to the class"
"Hello, I'm Keelan Oveur"
"Quick, call 911!"

…Denny Hamlin would make a great safety video instructor?
"So always wear proper eye protection…otherwise you could get a sliver of metal that flies in there, causing a massive sinus infection, which would require you to miss work, and if you're like me, cause the world to automatically assume you've done something illegal."

…Ryan Newman has never had a bad day since 2005?
"Hey Ryan, how was your day?"
"Well, I got ticketed for speeding, got a hole in my shoe, spent my whole lunch-hour in boring meetings, then got stuck in traffic on the way home.  BUT, I didn't have to work with Rusty Wallace, so it was a pretty good day!"

…Joey Logano will feel quite uncomfortable around the other three contenders?
"Um, hi Kevin…sorry about talking about your wife and the firesuit thing.  Hi Denny…sorry about trying to start a fight with you.  Hi Ryan…sorry about trying to start a fight with YOU…"

Ryan Newman Makes Chase, Puns Fly in Post-Race

Newman post-race
Last week saw a flurry of flying fists after the race was finished.  This week, it was the puns that were flying at Phoenix, as Ryan Newman muscled-by Kyle Larson to sneak into the Chase.
"Well, I had to HIT THE TARGET, but I guess we were the CAT to beat today!", a relieved and witty Newman said post-race.  "Kyle Larson, I hated to CHIP him like that, but he has a bright future ahead for him--after all, he's THE ANSWER TO LIFE, THE UNIVERSE AND EVERYTHING."
Newman continued his torrid pace on the track with a torrid pace off the track.
"You're not always going to have a diamond like this race handed to you--sometimes you have to MINE for it.  And I hope no one says that what I did to Kyle (Larson) was uncalled for--that's a bunch of BULL(SEYE).
Newman refused to apologize in any way for making the Chase finale without a win, instead making it with a bon mot.
"It was a THIRTY-ONE-DERFUL race today by this team, we were just so QUICK-EN out of the pits.  I look forward to running for the championship next week against Denny, Joey and Kevin--we'll just see if they (RC)R ready to duke it out for the win.

Phoenix "News" and Notes

--To be fair, that wasn't the first time that two guys influenced by beer (companies) wound up in an argument with an AARP member.

--Last week's race at Texas started with 400 miles of dullness, followed by 100 miles of drama.  Would shortening the total race distance just get rid of the dullness, or would the drama suffer too?  I dunno, but it couldn't hurt to try!

--The oddity of this round of the Chase (so far) has been having both races won by drivers who have already been eliminated.  It wasn't surprising that they both race for Hendrick Motorsports--that's pretty much par for the course.  As is Nascar messing with something and getting terrible results.

--Roush Fenway Racing has made some significant front-office changes headed into the offseason.  This as opposed to, you know, trying to make changes headed into the ACTUAL season.

--Nice to know that Hendrick is paying its crew members' fines.  I'm guessing they'll just have to work a little "voluntary overtime" to pay them back.

Spade Racing presents Nascar Survivor Series

Nascar's Chase Grid format is all about survival.  Unfortunately, it tends to come off as manufactured as pro-wrestling.  To make the best out of a bad situation, let's get ready to wrap up the season with a Nascar Pay-Per-View blowout, Survivor Series-style!

Dark Match
Brian Keselowski vs. Brad Keselowski--Brother-vs.-Brother match with special guest referee Bob Keselowski

Sunday Night Tepidity
Dale Earnhardt Jr. vs. Brad Keselowski--Mentor vs. Student Showdown
Carl Edwards vs. Brad Keselowski--The Old Battle Rages Anew

Main Event Matches
Matt Kenseth vs. Brad Keselowski--Trailer Lot Brawl
Kyle Busch vs. Brad Keselowski--Winner gets a lifetime supply of Skittlebrau
Michael McDowell vs. Brad Keselowski--(Brad cut ahead of Michael in the line for the bathroom)
Kevin Harvick vs. Brad Keselowski--Battle of the Beers
Jeff Gordon vs. Brad Keselowski--with Kevin Harvick as the Special Enforcer

Kyle Busch "Does The Double" of Texas Cup Race and New York Marathon

Fulfilling what he called "another personal goal of (his)", Nascar driver Kyle Busch was able to "Do The Double", running in the AAA Texas 500 as well as the New York Marathon on the same day.
Kyle pre-race with Tony Stewart
"When I came into Nascar, I knew I wanted to win in anything I could", said a noticeably winded Busch post-Nascar-race, "and that meant winning in Cup, Nationwide, Trucks, K&N Pro Series, Slim Jim All Pro, Winter Heat, and yes, even marathons.  Even though I couldn't finish in first today up in New York, I'm proud of the effort we put in to at least get a decent finish."
Busch deflected criticism that running more than one race a weekend (or day, for that matter) detracted from his focus on the Sprint Cup Series.
"Hey, I'm here to race, and to learn as much about every track as I can", Busch said.  "So if in the future, Nascar decides to run a race on the streets of New York City, and I'm the only one who knows how to get the fastest lane for a restart on the Verrazano Bridge, well, you'll know why!"
Busch had driver Parker Kligerman on standby in Texas in case he was not able to fly-in in time for the start of the Cup race.  Furthermore, he had runner Steve Clayton, the "Greg Sacks of marathons", on hand to relieve him in New York if he needed to leave early.
"As far as I'm concerned, it's all about competing", Busch stated shortly before leaving Texas Motor Speedway to compete in a unicycle race in Duluth.  "Be it at the top level of the sport, to the bottom level, or to another sport completely, I'll be there."
Marathon officials noted that they were unable to interview Busch, as he did not win the race.

Latest and Greatest

Here's hoping one of the Chevy truck teams manages to run this paint scheme Friday night.

Smart-alek in a Candy Store

Any chance to bring up the worst-named candy bar of all time is a good chance

Halloween is fast-approaching, which means two things:  1.) ESPN is officially switching over to ESPNBA, and 2.) lots of candy for the kids.  Here's a handy Nascar conversion chart:

King-Size Reese's Peanut Butter Cups: Joey Logano--because huge name-brand candy is about as rare as a driver actually dominating in the regular season AND the Chase.

Big "mystery bag": Kevin Harvick--could be a bunch of fun-size Snickers, could be expired jelly beans, could be those plastic spider-ring things nobody wants--just as much variety as a 2014 Kevin Harvick race.

Sugar Daddy: Brad Keselowski--tastes great, one less filling once you bite into it.  And now, I don't mean "Sugar Daddy" like in a relationship, since that would OBVIOUSLY be Ray Evernham.

No one has ever eaten one of these
things a second time
Unknown brand of chocolate: Ryan Newman--no one knows how it got there, no one knows why it's still there, and no one knows what will happen once it's unwrapped.

Butterfinger Christmas Tree: Dale Jr.--you know you want it, even though it's at a bit of an inopportune time.
Toothpaste, religious literature, or anything that ISN'T candy: Josh Wise--specifically Josh Wise in a non-Dogecoin car.

That giant orange marshmallow peanut: Clint Bowyer--just as stale as his career.

Candy corn: BK Racing Drivers--below-average quality and likely received for free.

Unwrapped Twix: Milka Duno--so enticing, but beware: You may get wrecked.

Candy/Caramel Apple: Matt Kenseth--something sweet (JGR power) around something dull (Kenseth).

Dale Earnhardt Jr. Beats Kyle Fowler for Win

This may or may not be
Kyle Fowler
Despite missing the Chase, Dale Earnhardt Jr. was able to pull out a positive today at Martinsville, beating Kyle Fowler for a hard-earned win.
"This was a big win for me, my crew, and the whole Hendrick team.  I was just so lucky to be able to beat that 32 car of Kyle Fowler today", Dale Junior said upon exiting his car.  "We've been wanting to win that big Grandfather Clock for a long time, and to be able to win the battle over Kyle Fowler, man, that just says a lot."
"I don't really know why he (Fowler) was gunning for us all day", Dale Jr. said post-race.  "I noticed he had that Corvette Parts thing on his hood, maybe he had a problem with Kerry (Earnhardt), or maybe he just hates beards.  I dunno, but I know that I'll have someone new to battle every week as I put him eight laps down."
Fowler did not make himself available for post-race interviews, although technically he could have and no media members recognized him.  Furthermore, most of the assembled media were still trying to figure out how Ryan Newman was second in points.
"Anytime you win a race, it's tough, but winning here, at this old, historic track--over someone nobody had ever heard of--really makes it special.  We are gonna DRINK…a lotta beer tonight so we can try to forget that a car owned by Frankie Stoddard nearly knocked us out of the race."

Martinsville "News" and Notes

--And then there were EIGHT.  And by that, I mean eight fans left in the world who haven't complained about this year's Chase format.

--Last week's nuttiness in qualifying shows that at a plate track, ANYBODY has a shot to make the race.  The time is just about right in 2015 for a Phil Barkdoll comeback!

--In a pretty cool move, Martinsville will have Junior Johnson driving the pace car this Sunday.  Martinsville is great about remembering the sport's long-ago past, what with the rural setting, legendary grand marshals, and allowing Norm Benning to remain relevant.

--Speaking of Norm Benning, the Truck Series runs on Saturday.  The Nationwide Series remains on its brief hiatus while Elliott Sadler tries to figure out who to blame for not winning the championship.

--The #44 team has made a name change, from Xxxtreme Motorsports to Team Xtreme Racing.  Team Xtreme--66% less X's, still completely pointless.

A Nascar Nationwide Series Championship Speech I'd Like to See

"In the tradition of Jack Ingram, in the tradition of Larry Pearson of the Pearson family, of Sam Ard, of Joe Nemechek-- the man whose career will never die. As the real young gun Rob Moroso, upstairs tonight. From the Chuck Bowns, to the Johnny Bensons, to the...(grimaces in a thinly veiled look of disgust) Kyle Busches, I accept this Nationwide title. ... Wait a second. Of Brad Keselowski. Of the start and parker himself, Jeff Green. This is it tonight, guys. God, that's beautiful. And Carl Edwards, and they can all kiss my tail light decals! (throws down the Nationwide drivers' championship trophy) Because! I am not the man who accepts a torch to be handed down to me from an organization that died-- RIP-- seven years ago. I am the man who ignites the new flame of the sport of mid-level stock car racing!  Tonight, before about 500 fans as witness, I declare myself, as the new Nascar Xfinity Sries Champion of the world! We have set out to change the face of national support series. So tonight, let the new era begin: the era of the sport of racing on Fox Sports 1 & NBCSN, the era of the NXS."

Kyle Busch Gets Prime Exposure by Skipping Interviews

Joe Gibbs Racing has expressed pride in how driver Kyle Busch was able to gain positive exposure for his sponsors, his team, and his sport by stomping away from his car post-race without doing interviews.
I want YOU to leave me alone
"We really couldn't be happier with the way Kyle handled himself post-race" team manager J.D. Gibbs said.  "To see a multi-millionaire who didn't have things go his way sulk down pit road, refusing all requests to do interviews, it really shows what kind of a driver--and man--Kyle Busch is.
"We know that Kyle could've done what every other driver did and do respectful post-race interviews, but Kyle's obviously a very special guy", Gibbs continued.  "Seeing him walk down pit road head lowered in anger really gets maximum exposure for the big M&M's logo on the back of his firesuit.  And who doesn't love a rebel?  A whiny, ungrateful rebel?"
Busch previously gained positive exposure for his sponsors today by refusing to do interviews after his early-race wreck.
"We're really glad when our driver doesn't stay around us while the work on the car", an unidentified member of Busch's crew said.  "I mean, sure, some guys like a driver to stay there to give moral support, but it's so much better when the face of the team runs to the team hauler to throw a pointless temper tantrum."
Busch was one of two drivers who refused to do interviews, as Michael Waltrip immediately left the track via helicopter in order to dance on tv.

The Milkapolypse Is Upon Us

We're all a little
worried about Jay
by Jay Brent, special for Spade Racing

Many years ago, before the dawn of the modern age, it was written in stone of a great ending coming.  This cataclysmic event would mean the end of life as we know it, the end of normalcy, the end of…everything.
The stone--this…stone of truth--was destroyed by the unwise ones, thinking that by crushing the message, they had crushed their fate.  However, it did not alter anything, as man's destiny can never be changed.
And so the truth was passed down from generation to generation, those entrusted with it doomed to a life of knowing how the world would one day end, unable to share warning with the world, lest be seen as a fool.  Last night, upon arriving in Talladega, Alabama, I, Jay Brent, while under the influence of the magical night sky and King Cobra, was shared this truth by an infield shaman known only as Chief.  And now, I must share this truth with you.
It was foretold that, on October 18, 2014 AD, a great many trucks would descend upon this Native American burial ground.  However, one of them would be piloted by a Venezuelan, a woman with ample sponsorship and multiple college degrees.
This would would bring about chaos, disaster, and the end of organized racing as we know it.
This Saturday, the truth, the fate, the end is upon us.
This Saturday is The Milkapolypse.

Brad Keselowski: Image Enhancement Camp

I loves me some Blue Deuce brand beer!

With his cocksure attitude, willingness to ruffle the feathers of the sport's elite, and wild on-track racing style, Brad Keselowski has done a great job of winning--AND making enemies.  With Talladega, Nascar's most-dangerous track, next on the schedule, Brad needs help before the hatred reaches Robby Gordon-like proportions.  Here's some things Bad Brad can do to become much more likable (or, at least, avoid being flipped upside down at 200 mph on Sunday):

--Deflect blame by pointing out that he's following the grand tradition of the driver of the Penske #2 car being an insufferable jerk.

--Do what all millionaires do when they want to improve their images:  Go pink and talk about awareness (whatever THAT means).

--Get me a date with Miss Coors Light.  Sure, this won't really help matters--but it won't hurt, either.

--Let Brian Keselowski out of the basement.

--Appeal to old-school fans by moving to old-school methods of social media, like MySpace and Friendster.

--Point out that, no matter what he does on the track, he's not NEARLY as creepy as his teammate.

Brad Keselowski vs. Matt Kenseth: Tale O' The Tape

Tonight's race started with some fireworks (which hung heavy over the track) and ended with some metaphorical fireworks (which metaphorically hung heavy over the track).  The shocking battle between Matt Kenseth and Brad Keselowski has us wondering--who would REALLY win in this fight?  Here's the Spade Racing Tale O' The Tape:

Fighting Out Of:
Matt Kenseth--Wisconsin, the thinking man's Vermont
Brad Keselowski--Michigan, the poor man's Indiana

Fighting Style:
Matt Kenseth--Once every 10 years or so
Brad Keselowski--Walk away from everyone between the haulers

Sense of Humor:
Matt Kenseth--Confirmed by media, still unseen
Brad Keselowski--Rumored by Twitter fans, still dense

Help of Teammates in Fight:
Matt Kenseth--Had Denny Hamlin ready to throw down
Brad Keselowski--Had Joey Logano avoiding argument with Danica

Tonight's Sponsor
Matt Kenseth--Dollar General
Brad Keselowski--Detroit Specific

Wrestler He Most Resembles
Matt Kenseth--Ken Shamrock
Brad Keselowski--Spike Dudley

Connection to Carl Edwards
Matt Kenseth--Hates Him
Brad Keselowski--Hates Him