Indianapolis Sweepstakes "500" Winner Downplays Chances of Stock Car Race at Track

Mere hours after having finally won the prestigious Indianapolis Sweepstakes race, driver Ralph DePalma was asked if so-called "stock" cars could ever race at the track. Mr. DePalma replied in the negative. 
"Why, this fine track is perfect for the terrific speeds of over 100 miles per hour in our roadsters, but the common stock car? I think not!"
Mr. DePalma explained a number of reasons why production car racing would not be practical or feasible at Indianapolis. 
"For one, the track is too narrow for such lumbering vehicles as the Oldsmobile or the Mercury. To be able to navigate such turns requires a nimble auto, not a large fendered sedan. Furthermore, the '500' is the only race held here (at Indianapolis), as is tradition for the past several years. It would be folly to run a second or third race, lest it divide the fan base."
It should be noted that Mr. DePalma emphasized that he was not against stock-car racing as a sport. 
"There are fine stock-type racers I'm sure, especially in our southern states. I'm sure that there is reciprocal respect, and one would not be foolish enough to cause a row between supporters of each other's sport.

"Besides," Mr DePalma concluded, "I've heard great things about a young racer named Morgan Shepherd."

Richard Petty Announces Return to Nascar Racing

In a move that stunned the Nascar world, Richard Petty made his triumphant—and surprising—return to the Nascar Sprint Cup Series as a driver today, stepping back into the iconic 43 car for today’s Ford EcoBoost 400.
“Listen—when Jeff Gordon started the Winston Cup deal back in ’92, I knew the sport was in a good spot”, the 78-year-old legend said upon appearing in his STP firesuit.  “Now that he’s hanging it up after a great career, it’s time for me to take the wheel again.”
"Gotta make sure Kyle stays away"
Petty pointed out that his return also takes care of sponsorship concerns for the 2016 season.
“Thankfully we signed the lifetime deal with STP back in the 70’s”, Petty explained.  “Andy (Granatelli, longtime STP executive) knew that we’d have staying power when we did that deal.  And now we’re ready to go back, full-time, and dominate like we used to.”
When reminded that Petty went winless in his final years, Petty explained that technical innovations would make driving a breeze.
“Listen—all I ever heard was how many races guys like me, (David) Pearson, and the Flock Brothers could’ve won in these cars today.  Besides, we got a financing deal with the Medallion folks now—much better than having to rely on Maurice (Petty)’s ‘legal’ engines.”
While most of the field was simply surprised at Petty’s return, Aric Almirola, the usual driver of the 43 car, was bit more complex.
“They told me I’d be in the 9 car next year, and that’s a pretty low bar to clear”, Almirola said.  “Besides, it’s not like its the first time someone took me out of the car.”

Well, another season is almost in the books—but at Spade Racing Studios, we’re not taking time off!  Next week we’ll start our tribute to Spade Racing’s 100th anniversary with notable articles from the past 100 years.  Before you know it, Daytona will be here, and we’ll all be back to complaining about the season being too long.

Homestead “News” and Notes: Silly Season Preview Edition

Plenty of teams and drivers are making announcements about their plans for 2016.  With the Daytona 500 less than 100 days away (really!), here’s a look at all the recent moves:
Um, no Fox--that's the other BKR
—Good news for the Wood Brothers (or, as Morgan Shepherd called them, “The Woods Brothers”) who will go full-time in 2016 with Ryan Blaney.  So in a year they went from being an also-ran with Roush-Fenway to contending regularly for top-5s with Penske.  Wow, do we need any more signs that Roush-Fenway is on its way out?
—Yes, we do: Ortho/Scott’s is leaving the 16 team.  Apparently only contending on a hail-mary fuel call doesn’t please the sponsors.
—M&M’s has re-upped with Joe Gibbs Racing (believed to be through 2019), and Kyle Busch has signed a commiserate extension as well.  People knock Rowdy all the time (and with good reason), but I hear he’s helped raise M&M’s sales by 0.00000002%—double what David Gilliland did for them!

—While Ty Dillon remains in a state of flux as to his 2016 Cup plans, he HAS locked-in for a full Xfinity schedule next year.  This will likely make him the favorite to win the points championship through the best-way possible: Default.

A Look Back at Jeff Gordon’s Career…50 Years From Now

Just THINK how much of the race
TNT could ignore...

You’re watching The Nascar Network, your home for coverage of the Holographix Cup Series, the Electron Series, and the Soylent Green Truck Series!  We now return to your special presentation, available in 3-D, 4-D, Ultra-Super-Mega HD and 14 languages!

“Welcome back everybody and sentient objects.  We’re talking with Jeff Gordon’s daughter Ella, currently the President of the highly-successful Jeff Gordon Foundation—Ella, your father’s career, even after all these years, is just astounding—93 Cup wins, all those championships, and doing it all in a gasoline-powered car.”

“Well, he was and is a great man, and most-importantly he never forgot where he came from.”

“Boy, do I hear that.  Jeff had to WORK to get where he was in Nascar—I bet that if you were in the stands at a race back then, everybody would be cheering for him, talking nonstop about how hard he had to scrape for everything.”


“He’s not like all those rich kids in Nascar, like Paul Menard, or Austin Dillon III…those are the kinds of snobs you’d expect to grow up with everything—a go-kart, a private track—heck, they probably even had ponies!  And I for one I hate anyone that ever had a pony when they were growing up!”

“I had a pony!  

“…well, I didn’t really mean a pony, per se…”

“When I was a little girl in North Carolina, we all had ponies.  I had a pony, my brother had a pony, so what’s wrong with that?”

“Nothing! Nothing at all!  I was just merely expressing…”

And Now, an Announcement from Brian France

"Someone tell Mother Nature that Jeff
Burton might be here, but he's retired."
“Hello, and thank you for coming out today.  With this being my annual trip to a Nascar race outside of Florida, I thought it was time for a big announcement.  Yes, this is the only announcement, the only rule change, the only ANYTHING that will make all Nascar fans happy.”

“You’re getting rid of the Chase?”

“No, the Chase is staying—turns out there are plenty of fans who DO like it.”

“Oh, then you’re banning Cup drivers from the lower series then.”

“No, turns out people who go to Xfinity races don’t get all that excited about a Regan Smith vs. Chris Buescher battle.”

“Wait I got it—you’re lowering prices across the board for every track.”

“Nope—I don’t have much control over that.  You’d have to talk to Bruton or my sister about that.”

“Moving races back to network tv?”

“Nah—tv networks paid their money already.”

“Letting teams mess with the cars as much as they want?”

“People don’t exactly like a race with two cars on the lead lap.”

“Less commercials?!?”

“Getting warmer, but we’d have to go to PPV then.”

“Well then what the heck is it!?!”

“As of this moment, Sonic will be banned from airing any commercials with those two white guys sitting in their car.”


Phoenix “News” and Notes: Special Gambling Addict Edition

If you’re finishing laughing at the “offer” to Dale Jr. to drive in Formula 1, here’s the odds on drivers advancing to the “championship round” at Homestead:

JEFF GORDON—EVEN (Already advanced)  Only way he wouldn’t advance would be if he were to be injured sometime between now and next Sunday morning, in which case I don’t think ANYBODY knows how Nascar would handle it.
Chances of advancing: 1:1,000,000,000

KEVIN HARVICK—3:1  The best-bet to make it on account of his domination at Phoenix, whether running for a championship or running for what has been shown to be a mid-level car at RCR.

KYLE BUSCH—4:1  Odds would be higher if not for his propensity to choke in the Chase—has he finally overcome his past troubles, or is a meltdown waiting in the wings?  Well, M&M’s don’t melt…but they ARE a choking hazard.

MARTIN TRUEX JR.—8:1  Just think if Furniture Row broke the string of multi-car teams winning championships—they’d prove that all you need to succeed is millions of dollars, years of patience, and moxie.

CARL EDWARDS—10:1  Advance or not, it’s been a great first year at JGR for Carl.  His sponsor’s spokesman, not so much.

BRAD KESELOWSKI—15:1  Drama with the JGR crew means that Brad will be racing with a bullseye on his back.  Well, not literally—if that was true, he’d have to deal with a plaid car.

KURT BUSCH—15:1  Though not necessarily a favorite, a championship would show if Kurt has truly changed his ways, or will morph back into the old Kurt, aka The Most Insufferable Champion Possible.

JOEY LOGANO—50:1  Joey’s only shot to make it is to win.  It’s a longshot for sure (especially with his teammate also needing a great run), but if he defied the odds, we’d all get to see what happens with a cheesehead explodes.

When Lincoln Returned to Nascar (sorta)

A frequent complaint amongst Nascar fans is the lack of diversity in the manufacturers—you have Ford, Chevy & Toyota, but nobody else.  And while there’s rumors from time-to-time about a fourth company entering the sport—Dodge is the usual suspect—the sheer cost involved to develop, produce, and support a racing platform keeps newcomers away.  But what if a race team decided to run a different make, one essentially new to Nascar, ON ITS OWN?
It happened…well, almost, in 1996.
Back in the mid-90’s Ford was significantly lagging behind Chevrolet in results on the track (Pontiac was there, but wouldn’t see a renaissance until Joe Gibbs Racing signed-on).  Meanwhile, former Ford Racing executive Michael Kranefuss had formed a race team with longtime motorsports investor Carl Haas, fielding the mostly-unsuccessful 37 KH Racing Ford for John Andretti.  With Ford not looking to make any changes to its Thunderbird chassis, Kranefuss took matters into his own hands.
Early in 1996, work began on adapting a Lincoln Mark VIII body onto a standard Ford chassis.  Originally said to be done with Ford Motor Company’s blessing—they owned Lincoln, after all—the car took to the track in a test session at Charlotte Motor Speedway.  Though not blindingly-fast, the car put up respectable times for a first-ever run, and word began to spread that Andretti would pilot the KH Racing Lincoln Mark VIII at the upcoming Winston Open non-points race.
Yeah, about that.
Nascar’s official reason for not approving the car was a valid one—they wanted more wind tunnel testing, and needed serial numbers on all “stock” parts.  Ford Motor Company seemed to have changed its mind on the project, refusing to release the pertinent information or pay for additional wind tunnel time.  It seemed they wanted to focus THEIR efforts on making the Thunderbird competitive again, and didn’t want Lincoln to have a “racing image” in the first place—both valid reasons.
Suddenly, KH Racing had a white elephant on their hands.
The project’s failure, while mostly out of their own control, seemed to doom the small team as an independent entity.  Late in the 1996 season the team and Cale Yarborough Motorsports swapped drivers, with Jeremy Mayfield moving to KH Racing.  Andretti would go on to win the 1997 Pepsi 400, while Mayfield would only see success after the team was bought-out by Penske Racing South, morphing into the #12 Penske-Kranefuss Ford in 1998.

In an odd post-script, 1998 was also the first year that Ford finally replaced its aging Thurderbird body in Nascar.  The new model?  The Ford Taurus—the first four-door body in Nascar, and hardly a look with a “racing image”.

BREAKING NEWS: Man Caught Shooting Pin Into Joey Logano’s Tire

In what’s believed to be a first, a mysterious man was caught shooting pins from a pea-shooter into the tires of Joey Logano early in today’s race.  The man’s identity remains a mystery, other than the fact that he looks somewhat like Matt Kenseth.
“We don’t know who he is”, Brian France said upon being awakened from his daily nap, “but we’ll get to the bottom of this.  This isn’t ‘The Great Push-Cart War’, although that WAS a great book.  We don’t know much about this guy, other than that he REALLY looks like Matt Kenseth.”
When asked if the assailant could be Matt Kenseth, France responded angrily.
“What?  Come on, there’s no way it could be Matt Kenseth—he was banned from the track today!”, France yelled.  “Besides, we got a hold of this guy’s hard card—it clearly says ‘NOT MATT KENSETH’, so it’s not him, ok?”
France promised a thorough investigation into who the mystery man is, putting it ahead of all other projects.

“We won’t rest until we find out who this was”, France said.  “We’ll just have to put off our other projects like figuring out why we keep re-upping with Goodyear when their tires keep blowing at the drop of a hat.”

Texas “News” and Notes

—Hey Nascar—you can set as many team haulers on fire as you want, but it won’t distract people from thinking that you botched this whole Kenseth thing.

—Here’s a pretty simple solution: If you’re racing for position, punting another driver is allowed.  If you’re NOT racing for position (so if you’re not scored on the same lap), punting another driver will result in an automatic parking for the following race.  Wouldn’t this solve, well, EVERYTHING?

—One more thing on Matt Kenseth—his move away from Roush-Fenway seemed like a fantastic decision, and it was.  But now that he’s on the same team as Kyle Busch, I think he’s seeing a certain double-standard emerge.

—Jeff Gordon is the only driver already locked-in for Homestead, which means that he has the very-rare opportunity to retire from the sport on the top of his game, without hanging on too long (Darrell Waltrip), running for a crappy start-up team (Dale Jarrett), exploiting his past-champion’s provisional part-time (the Labontes), or annoying the hell out of everybody (Rusty Wallace).

Two Perspectives: Before and After

"Thank GOD we have some drama going into the race this year again...and the Cowboys suck."

Joey Logano, after spinning out Matt Kenseth at Kansas: “Yes!  This will finally earn me the respect of my dad!”
Joey Logano, after being wrecked at Martinsville: “What th—oh no, my dad’s gonna be REALLY mad at me…”

General fans, after Talladega: “Whew—at least nobody got wrecked TOO bad today.”
General fans, after Martinsville: “All right—someone got wrecked BAD!”

Joe Gibbs, five minutes prior to the Martinsville wreck: “Man, the Redskins suck.”
Joe Gibbs, five minutes after the Martinsville wreck: “Why do they put Jay Glazer in those Subway ads?”

Danica Patrick, midrace at Martinsville: “That stupid 38 car—I’ll show him the meaning of respect!”
Danica Patrick, postrace: “What do you MEAN someone else exacted revenge?  That’s not fair!”

Media, externally: “This is completely unprofessional and not real racing—fans who like this should be ashamed of themselves!”
Media, internally: “THIS stern lecture to those rednecks will surely get me that baseball job of my dreams!”

Brian France, post-Kansas: “That was quintessential Nascar”
Brian France, mid-Martinsville: “Brees threw for ANOTHER touchdown?  Jeez—why did I take the under on this game?”

Matt Kenseth, post-Kansas: “I’m gonna teach Logano a lesson.”

Matt Kenseth, post-Martinsville: “My tire went.”

Kenseth Punts Logano; Jeff Burton Injured Jumping on High Horse

Jeff Gordon winning in his final season
and clinching a berth in the finale
was NOT the top story
The Nascar world was stunned as Matt Kenseth punted rival driver Joey Logano into the wall late in today’s race at Martinsville.  Thankfully neither driver was injured, although broadcaster Jeff Burton suffered a sprained ankle jumping onto his high horse in the booth.
“Ouch, dang, barely got on the saddle there”, Burton was heard muttering shortly after the wreck happened.  “Nascar’s gotta get a handle on this.  We can’t have guys just intentionally wrecking people out there.  That’s not what Nascar is about and that’s not the way real professionals race.”
Burton, a former driver, ignored the crowd’s cheers upon Logano being shoved into the wall by the lapped, damaged car of Kenseth.  While it appeared that Kenseth WAS in the wrong, Burton found it necessary to blame seemingly everybody.
“Nascar wanted this when they came up with the Chase Grid, but this is too much”, Burton explained after being handed a microphone with a longer cord to reach his lofty perch.  “We all want drama, we all want action, but we don’t want this, it’s not real racing.  Anybody got an icepack for my ankle?”
While lauded for his diction and ability to explain on-track action, Burton found it necessary to climb precariously onto his high horse, where he was joined soon-after by Tom Logano.
“Ithinkthatwasintentionalguys”, Steve Letarte quickly explained.  “Imeanyeahsomethingcouldhavebreakedbutitsaprettyobviousmovethere.”

In a related story, team owner Joe Gibbs was also unavailable as he was permanently perched on his high horse.