Charlotte Man Gets Rich Recycling Metal from Athenian Motorsports Dumpsters

Cal Green is a Charlotte-area race fan.  Before this year he was a working-class guy scraping by with a 9-to-5 job as a courier.  However, in just a few months he’s made enough money outside his normal job to pay off his truck, make a down payment on a well-appointed house, and still have enough cash left-over to buy Carolina Panthers season tickets.
How did he do it?  Was it a lucky day at the local casino?  A hot stock tip from a co-worker?  Inheritance from a long-lost rich uncle?  No, no, and no.  He got rich by simply emptying out dumpsters full of bent and torn sheet metal outside of the Athenian Motorsports race shop.
“I was delivering some contracts to Roush-Fenway Racing, and I had a few spare minutes to kill, so I went over to the old RPM shop next door”, Green said in an exclusive interview.  “I noticed a bunch of Zaxby’s logos out front, but when I went around back, wow—so much metal just sitting out there!  They didn’t seem to be doing anything with it, just throwing it out, so I loaded some into my truck.  The guys at the scrap metal place were happy to pay me for it.”
Green said that he has returned at least once a week since, and has never been disappointed.
“Every Monday, it’s full of twisted, shredded, and completely bent yellow sheet-metal”, Green explained.  “I’ve never been disappointed yet.  I’ve had to make multiple trips most weeks, not that I’m complaining!”
Athenian Motorsports, which fields entries in the Xfinity and Truck Series for John Wes Townley and Dylan Lupton, could not be reached for comment.

“Its not like its enough to quit my full-time job, but I’m glad to have a great second source of income”, Green concluded.  “I mean, I’m better off, but I’m still not as rich as these guys are—they can wreck a truck and a car every week, it seems.” 

Matt Kenseth wins Matt Kenseth-Type Race

The second Chase race of the season had its fair share of drama and surprises, and as is usual in these types of races, it was Matt Kenseth who wound up on top, winning a Matt Kenseth-type of race at New Hampshire.
“Really, we just go out there and run our own race, and with this JGR crew behind me, I know we have a real shot at a win”, Kenseth said upon exiting his car in victory lane.  “Typically its good enough to get us a top-10, maybe even a top-5, but when drivers start dropping like flies for whatever reason, we always seem to rise to the top.”
The Matt Kenseth Type Race, formerly known as a Terry Labonte Type Race, typically features another driver or two dominating the first 80-90% of the race, only to have that driver or drivers drop out due to odd reasons—in this case, a black flag on a restart (for Brad Keselowski) and running out of fuel (for Kevin Harvick).
“We didn’t think that the 4 could make it all the way on fuel”, Kenseth added, “so we just played our own game, playing it conservative with strategy.  That’s what we always do, but in cases like this, it really pays off.”
Harvick was unavailable for comment post-race, due to looking for another driver to push with his fist again.  Keselowski, meanwhile, called it an “entertainment” aspect that caused his penalty.

“Wait—he said it was for entertainment reasons?”, Kenseth asked upon hearing Keselowski’s comments.  “Yeah, that makes sense, because nothing’s more entertaining than a stoic Wisconsinite.”

New Hampshire “News” and Notes

—Time for one of only two races where the winner gets a really big lobster for a hard day’s work.

—Barring something bizarre, Jeff Gordon will overtake Ricky Rudd to become Nascar’s new “Iron Man”, making his 789th consecutive start.  Oddly enough all three Iron Men (Gordon, Rudd, and Terry Labonte) all raced for Hendrick Motorsports—well, I guess it’s not TOO odd, since Rick loves having people who work overtime, expecting nothing in return.

—Once Clint Bowyer is eliminated from the Chase, what will Nascar be able to do if his team cheats again?  Points deductions don’t REALLY matter that much, and any fines can be appealed until the team was bankrupt.  At Homestead, I’m expecting one of those gigantic engines Richard Petty used to run.

—Kudos to Brandon Jones on getting a full-time Xfinity ride in 2016 with RCR.  Now he just needs to find a way to get adopted by Richard Childress to get a Cup ride.

Peanutize Me!

In advance of the upcoming Peanuts movie, a website has been launched that allows you to “build” your own Peanuts character.  I tried to make one for Larry McReynolds:

…but the website didn’t load right for me, so enjoy the regular picture of him instead.

Denny Hamlin on Win with Injured Knee: “Ow”

Denny Hamlin came back from an early-race spin to win at today’s Chase race at Chicagoland Speedway.  Also battling back from a torn ACL, Hamlin explained his feelings post-race as “Ow”.
“Ow.”, Hamlin reiterated. “This was a great win for this FedEx Ground Toyota team today, and my knee really hurts.  This goes to show you what you can do with a fast car, a great pit crew, and mind-numbingly excruciating knee pain.”
Hamlin sat in his car well after pulling into victory lane, and admitted debating on what to do next.
“Well, I can just sit here and stay with a dull throbbing, or I could climb out and deal with enough sharp pain to make me possibly pass-out,” Hamlin said.  “Of course, the sooner I get out of this car, the sooner I can get some medical care.  It’s the old pulling-off-the-band-aid problem.”
When asked how he was able to charge through the field with such relative ease, Hamlin again referenced his knee injury.

“Heck—you try banging your injured knee against solid metal for three-plus hours”, Hamlin said, noticeably wincing.  “If someone could just knock me out—punch me in the face, hit me over the head with a mallet, whatever—maybe then I’ll get some relief.”

Chicago(land) “News” and Notes—Special Chase Preview Edition

Since everybody in the media is making out their “Chase Grids”, why not me?  Oh, right, because I’m not a member of the media.  Well, here they are anyways:

(Eliminated in the Challenger Round)
16. Paul Menard—Even finding out that daddy will sponsor your car for another winless year isn’t enough to inspire this team to advance.
Cue "Jeff needs one of these to have a
good restart" jokes
15. Jeff Gordon—Jeff’s “This Tour Has No Nickname” Retirement Tour continues to disappoint—although to be fair, it’s still better than damn near anybody’s voluntary retirement tour (Darrell Waltrip, I’m looking in your direction).
14. Clint Bowyer—Clint goes out early, thus allowing him to join in commentary for a few Xfinity Series races, and see if there’s a way to avoid going to RPM next year.
13. Martin Truex Jr.—The Mayetta Missile barely misses advancing onward.  Rioting in suburban Denver ensues.

(Eliminated in the Contender Round)
12. Kyle Busch—Three weeks of “The New Kyle Busch” stories, followed by a wreck in the Contender Round setting him back in the points, followed by him losing his composure.  I’ll be on the edge of my seat to see who he blames for this one!
11. Carl Edwards—“Yeah, but I’m still proud of everything we did with this brand-new race team.  And this gives me more time to pontificate on how Leigh Diffey says things funny.  Haha—dramer!”
10. Kevin Harvick—It’s a stunner!  It’s an upset!  It’s still a better season than most defending champions have!
9. Jamie McMurray—Jamie takes Aric Almirola’s role at Talladega, with the announcers noting that he could’ve advanced with just a few more cautions and a leprechaun on his side.

(Eliminated in the Eliminator Round)
He'd still be a better Awards
Banquet host than Jay Mohr
8. Dale Earnhardt Jr.—Dale Jr. wins ‘Dega, then gets wrecked by someone at Martinsville.  Who wrecks him?  You guessed it—Frank Stallone.
7. Kurt Busch—Honestly, Kurt could DNF every single Chase race, and it’s still better than where he was in February.
6. Denny Hamlin—At least it’ll give him extra time to get that bionic knee implant.
5. Brad Keselowski—Brad barely misses advancing to the final round, leading to a cryptic, wordy interview that confuses everyone.

(Championship Round)
4. Ryan Newman—Everybody’s favorite winless wonder puts the fear of God into Nascar management again.
3. Matt Kenseth—After nine Matt Kenseth-Like races, it turns out you need to be more than consistent to win the championship.
2. Joey Logano—Not yet, Joey.

1. Your 2015 Sprint Cup Champion, Jimmie Johnson—The Six-Pack becomes Lucky Number Seven, and Dale Sr. fans everywhere announce that they’re not watching Nascar again.  Then they’ll pack the stands at Daytona in 2016.

Smithfield’s Aric Almirola Finishes 4th In Nascar Racing Presented by Smithfield

You dropped the BALL, Aric
It was a valiant effort by Aric Almirola in the 43 Smithfield/Waffle House Ford tonight, but it wasn’t enough for the Richard Petty-owned team to make its way into the Chase, finishing just 19 points out after tonight’s Nascar race, presented by Smithfield.
“It was great to watch the 43 crew go to work all night long, bringing that car from the back of the pack up to the top-five”, said NBCSN broadcaster Jeff Burton.  “It’s unfortunate that they didn’t make the Chase, but mark my words—this Smithfield car could play the spoiler a time or two over the next ten weeks.”
“Seeing the race from up here in the press box, and from the overhead shots presented by Smithfield, it was obvious that the Smithfield team just needed another caution or two to win this thing”, said fellow broadcaster Steve LeTarte.  “It’s just a shame that this great underdog team was unable to overcome whatshisname who won the race.”

Almirola was unavailable for comment, as he was reportedly blaming things on Brian Scott.

Richmond News & Notes

--Saturday night is the last chance to make the Chase! ...unless it rains. 

--Clint Bowyer's future remains in flux, with no announcement on where he's going in 2016. Right now the best-bet seems to be either RPM or HScott, although The Motorsports Group isn't giving up just yet. 

--Denny Hamlin has another injury from playing basketball. Some people say he shouldn't be allowed to play basketball, but come on--he's sponsored by Jordan Brand. That would be like telling Joey Logano not to fill up his car, or telling Kurt Busch not to program CNC machines, or telling Trevor Bayne to not annoy his friends about vitamins. 

--Menards is going to sponsor Paul Menard again next year. No, that wasn't a joke--it was an actual piece of NEWS. 

Historic Record-Setting Night

There was plenty of history at Nascar’s oldest super speedway this past Sunday--from the traditional Labor Day weekend date to the plethora of throwback paint schemes.  But there were also a number of historic records set:

18—Most cautions in a Cup race at Darlington

1—Most times calling Darlington “Martinsville”

65,985—Most people wanting to punch Rutledge Wood in a single night

15 inches—Width of Kelli Stavast’s bellbottoms (post-1979 record)

178—Most utterances of the word “Playoffs” in a Nascar broadcast

4—Most appearances in a Nascar telecast by “Mean” Joe Greene”

Carl Edwards Wins In Loy Allen Jr. Tribute Car

A lengthy race marred with cautions came to an end right before midnight, with Carl Edwards winning the Southern 500 in a Loy Allen Jr. tribute paint scheme.
Seven championships between these two
“It was great to do this for the whole Arris team, everybody at JGR, but especially for Loy”, an exhausted Edwards said from victory lane.  “When I took this ride with Joe Gibbs Racing, I knew I wanted to honor ol’ Loy, and that’s what we do most of the races, with this orange-and-white 19 car.”
Edwards said that while a number of teams ran special throwback paint schemes this weekend, he wasn’t tempted to waiver from his “perma-tribute” to the former Daytona 500 pole winner.
“We could’ve run a Jeremy Mayfield tribute, but I already pay tribute to drug use by doing Tyler Walker’s backflip”, Edwards continued.  “Sure there’s plenty of drivers we could honor, famous cars we could emulate, but why mess with perfection?  Loy Allen Jr. is perfection.”
Allen Jr. was unable to be reached for comment, but Edwards wanted it to be known how much admiration he has for the former Hooters-sponsored driver.

“Wherever you are, Loy, this is for you”, Edwards said directly into the camera.  “And we’ll see if they’ll let us put Hoosier tires on the car next time.”

Retro Darlington “News” and Notes

(In a preview of a possible project for the offseason, here’s a look back at Spade Racing’s illustrious 100-year-history, this week focusing on our coverage of Darlington, The Track Too Tough To Tame)

Headlines Through The Years:

1950: Race Track Built Next to World-Famous Minnow Pond

1966: Jarrett Wins By 14 Laps—Will No One Tweak The Rules to Improve On-Track Action?

1976: Waltrip Finishes 2nd—Will We EVER Get Tired of Him?

1985: Winston Gives $1,000,000 to One Man; Gives Cancer to 1,000,000

1993: Bold New “Purvis Era” Gets Off to Rocky Start

2003: Record Ticket Sales Reported at California Speedway

2011: Denver Invades Nascar!

Spade Racing Motion Picture Previews: Late Summer Edition

With the temperatures about to drop (hopefully), and an exciting football season around the corner (hopefully), there’s precious few days left for Hollywood to lure Americans to the movies.  Here’s a look at some of the upcoming movies with a Nascar-bent:

The Transporter Refueled—a Nascar team transporter is low on gas.  The driver refuels it at a truck stop.  The truck leaves.  True story.

Before We Go—Nascar manages to go another year without addressing the fact that its restart policies are virtually unenforceable.

The Visit—Boris Said goes back to his car dealership with the coolest summer vacation story in the world.

90 Minutes in Heaven—My recounting of spending an hour and a half in a stuck elevator with Kelli Stavast.

Everest—Robert Kaufmann climbs the highest mountain in the world, figuring that it’s still easier than trying to make money with Michael Waltrip.