Tim Flock Wins Championship; Jocko Flocko Storms Victory Lane

A controversial scene erupted in victory lane after today’s NASCAR stock car race at Orange Speedway, with season’s champion Tim Flock winning, then being attacked by former co-driver and longtime former business partner Jocko Flocko, a rhesus monkey.
File Photo
“What th—get this damned thing off of me!”, Flock was heard screaming as the primate scratched and clawed at his face.  “You’re the one who screwed up in ’53, go back to the past where you belong, you chimp!”
Flocko, who competed in a handful of races in 1953 with Flock, was let go by the team after costing the human Flock a win at Raleigh.  Since then, rumors have swirled about Flocko’s fragile mental state, as well as possible moneys owed to him by Flock, Flock’s team, and a number of suppliers.
“We had a deal, dummy!”, Flock yelled while getting himself into a boxing stance, squaring-off with the monkey.  “You signed the contract, you agreed to be paid in bananas, you took that position at the zoo and that was a violation of the legacy clause.  You have NO RIGHT to the team, NO RIGHT to the car, and NO RIGHT to be throwing rocks at our garage every night!  MOVE ON!”
Flocko was unavailable for comment, as he is a monkey, and unable to speak.  However, he has retained a Charlotte-area attorney to speak on his behalf.
“My client is not asking for anything more than what he is entitled to, by contract and by moral obligation”, the lawyer stated later that day.  “As a co-driver, he was due 50% of the driver’s winnings, but 25% of the owner’s winnings, which were deferred into an escrow account which would allow him to buy into the team itself in the future.  Mr. Flocko has much of his assets tied up this way, and without either releasing them—or allowing him to sell his interest—he is close to destitute.  He has already mortgaged his cage at the zoo, and is worried he might be on the street if no resolution is found.  Mr. Flock refused to answer our repeated telegrams and letters, so we had no choice but to reach him here at the track.”

The zoo was also unavailable for comment.

Your Guide to the Many Stock Car Racing Organizations of This Great Nation

Ahoy, fellow racing fans!  Now that we’ve finally licked those Nazis and Japs, we’re all geared-up for a much-more fun battle—on the race track!  Yessir, everybody from Dallas to Daytona is ready and rarin’ to go racin’ in their stock cars—so much so that the men in the suits have all started their own racing series!  How can anyone keep track of such goings-on?  With this handy-dandy guide, that’s how!

(Legend: Name, Acronym, Founder—Fun Fact)

Stock Type Auto Racing Series (STARS), “Bullet” Bill Owen—Three classes are available: Strictly Stock, Really Strictly Stock, and Seriously Guys Really Strictly Stock.

Handley Engines Presents Championship Auto Team Series, HEPCATS), Jim Lee Handley—One-beatnik-per-car rule to be strictly enforced.

Southern States Super Stock Series (SSSSS), Steve “Speed” Sherman—Special Super Speedway Surprise!

National Stock Car Racing Association (NSCRA), O. Bruton Smith—Even if it fails, Bruton’s a level-headed-enough man to avoid a petty war of words and lawsuits in the future.

National Championship Stock Car Circuit (NCSSC), “Bill” Big France—Little to no chance of succeeding—and when they fail, good luck on anybody letting this guy run a major racing series!

Rumored National Stock Car Series Would be Boon to Local Racers; White Guys

With prohibition over—and the need for so-called ‘moonshine runners’ having dropped—those fellows with their souped-up sedans are cooking up a scheme to run a new racing “series” throughout the south.  Such a national racing series for stock cars would be a huge benefit for the many local racers and the many local race fans, all of whom are white guys.
“It’s been nigh eight years since the War Against Northern Aggression, and we’ve been fixin’ to have something big happen ‘round here”, said local sports writer and racing/white-guy expert Allie “Cat” Perkins.  “With a major stock car series running all around the south, it would no doubt put plenty of deserving white guys to work, and give plenty of white guys something to watch and follow.”
Perkins continued that such a racing series would also help to heal the wounds many white guys still nurse from the war.
“The South was emasculated after the war—it seems that yankees don’t like it when you try to leave their country—and we’ve been down ever since”, Perkins explained.  “We don’t have major-league-caliber baseball, and our college football teams never get any national recognition.  Heck, our All-White Southern Boxing Champions can’t even get a date at Madison Square Garden.  We’ve needed something like this to cheer our white fellows up for too long!”
Perkins admitted that there are many obstacles to seeing the plan come to fruition, despite the best-laid plans of the many drivers, promoters, and all-around white guys.
“Well, you’d need a great number of drivers, for one, and you’d also need quite a few men to police the drivers, making sure they ain’t cheatin’”, Perkins said.  “Besides that, you’d also need a real strong leader, and the money behind him to make things really happen.  But if there’s one thing we have here in the American South, it’s white guys willing to make it happen—we’re willing to do the work to make our dreams a reality.

“Hey, do you think we could get some colored boys to build the grandstands?”

Organized Race of Top Moonshine Runners Doesn’t Happen Yesterday

All of the south was not abuzz as some of the most-successful moonshine runners you’d ever have the pleasure to not see didn’t have one of the first organized races in the history of bootlegging—which isn’t real.
“Them dang cars was tearing it up out there, well, they woulda been if they’d-a really been there, that is”, said non-witness Clete Weaver.  “Ah mean just to see fellers coming down from all round the country, just to see who was fastest in their hot rod, it’ud really have been something—but it wasn’t.”
Moonshine runners have long impressed those around the southern US with their amazing abilities to haul illegal alcohol to cities for illegal distribution, though they have never actually done any of that, leaving such activities as a completely fictitious exercise.
“M’yeah, there were some pretty fast hillbillies out there, but it didn’t happen, see?”, said Chicago-based waste management tycoon Dave “Big Gun” Altobeli, who was not in the area scouting possible getaway drivers for his completely legal business activities.  “I’m visiting some family down south, see, and it’s totally square, on the up-and-up, you can see, see?”
Cars of all sorts of makes and models were not brought to the out-of-the-way dirt track to race each other for little more than a small prize purse and pride, and as such those drivers were unable to celebrate afterwards with a hearty swig of the alcohol of their choice.

“We ain’t seen this much excitement around here since the boys got back from the war”, said track proprietor and race non-promoter Buck Johnson.  “Yep, starin’ at a race track, watchin’ those boys tear it up out there, really somethin’—the kind of thing you could probably build a sport around, even.  Too bad it was all imaginary.”

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.

Martinsville “News” and Notes

—After a highly-controversial finish to last week’s race, the Chase rolls on with all eyes on possible payback at Nascar’s smallest track.  Unless it rains.

—A piece of the 2015 Silly Season puzzle fell into place the other day, as Justin Allgaier was signed to drive the JRM Xfinity #7 car next year and beyond.  With Allgaier taking Brandt with him, it makes me wonder why Harry Scott is giving up a stable sponsor and an inexpensive driver for one season at the big time?  Oh, right, he can sell his “charter”.

—Speaking of 2016, Nascar released their 2016 schedules for the Sprint Cup and Xfinity Series this week, with no major changes and locked-in races for five years.  It should be noted that the “locked-in” refers to these tracks getting guarantees on hosting these races, not the actual dates themselves.  After all, there’s always at least a schedule adjustment for Easter, and the occasionally moving of Atlanta to a worse weekend.

—Surprisingly there’s no Cup drivers entered in tomorrow’s Truck Series race besides David Gilliland.  Here’s hoping Kyle Busch has hired someone to block him from instinctively getting into the truck Saturday afternoon.

A Commercial I’d Like to See

Are you tired of hatches that open up at the drop of a hat?  Safety escapes that fly open when you least expect it?
Hi, Bill Skift here for PlexSeal, the revolutionary new liquid rubber adhesive that stops rouge hatches fast!
PlexSeal goes on easy and seals tight for a waterproof, airproof, and Talladegaproof bond that won’t break—no matter how many laps you take.
We installed a faulty hatch on the hood of Denny Hamlin’s race car then tried to bind it with tape—within a single lap the hatch was blown open again.  But with PlexSeal, the hatch stayed down till the end of the race.
“Hi, I’m Nascar driver Denny Hamlin, and PlexSeal is the adhesive that gets results.”
Proper-working latches can cost up to $500!  But we’re offering PlexSeal to you for only $19.95.  But wait!  We’ll DOUBLE your order—that’s two cans of PlexSeal for just $19.95
But that’s not all!  Call in the next 15 minutes and you’ll get a trial size can of PlexShot, the only adhesive strong enough to repair an ACL tear!

Call now!

Talladega Fans Tell Logano, Nascar They’re Number One

A confusing end to a bizarre race left Nascar’s most-popular driver, Dale Earnhardt Jr., lose the race—and his chance to advance in the Chase—on what was essentially a judgement call.  Fans didn’t seem to mind, however, quickly showing Logano and the Nascar officials what they felt about them, with a single finger raised in appreciation.
"That's right kids, he's number one"
“It was great to see all those fans telling me I was number one”, Logano said upon exiting his car in Victory Lane.  “To be able to sweep the whole round in the Chase, man, it feels like we picked up tens of thousands of fans today.”
Nascar had instituted a new rule earlier this week limiting the race to a single Green-White-Checker finish.  After a strange “false-start” restart on the first attempt, the second attempt at the only restart attempt saw another wreck happen shortly after going green.  Nascar then waited until an apparently arbitrary moment to throw the yellow flag.
“Nascar definitely made the right call there, and the fans obviously knew it”, Logano told reporters.  “Heck—they were even throwing me some beers to try and celebrate early before we got to Victory Lane!”
Logano thanked the crowd before leaving for further interviews in the media center.

“Thank you everybody for telling me I’m number one, it’s really flattering.  Just like all those Kenseth fans who told me last week that I was number one—thank you!”

Talladega “News” and Notes

—Here’s how to play “Talladega Roulette”: Go to your local casino and find the roulette wheel.  Whatever number it lands on, the driver corresponding to that spot in the points is your pick to win the race (so if the ball lands on 5, the driver in fifth place in points would win).  0 means it’s someone outside the top-36, and 00 means it’s a part-timer.  Oh, and if you win anything, I’m entitled to half.

—Justin Allgaier is rumored to go to JR Motorsports next year.  Is he bringing Brandt?  If not, it doesn’t make much sense from JRM’s standpoint, but if he is, then it REALLY doesn’t make any sense from Harry Scott’s standpoint…oh, unless he’s planning to sell his “charter” for big bucks.

—Last week’s last laps battle was thrilling, but remember: Yellow Car on Yellow Car violence MUST END.

—Monster will be splitting the 2016 season with Haas CNC on Kurt Busch’s Cup car.  It has yet to be announced who will sponsor Kyle Busch in Xfinity next year, but here’s hoping it’s “Nobody”.  Please.  I’m begging you.

—Some people might object to Michael Waltrip stepping back into the car for a few plate races each year, but hey—any chance to keep him out of the booth is good by me.  That’s why I’d like to see him race the first half-or-so of the Cup schedule every year.

Nascar Cancels Truck Race Due to Lack of Cup Drivers

Nascar chose not to gamble on
the number of ARCA fans Bobby
Gerhart would attract to the race
In a late-breaking announcement straight from Nascar headquarters in Daytona Beach, Nascar chairman Brian France has cancelled the upcoming Fred’s 250 Camping World Truck Series race due to a lack of Sprint Cup drives entered in the race.
“We cannot have an event like this without any top-name Cup drivers”, France said at an impromptu press conference.  “We were talking to Kyle Busch about possibly entering another truck, or maybe Austin Dillon running for GMS Racing, but none of those deals is going to happen.  So with no Cup drivers, nobody will be watching, and if nobody is watching, why have a race in the first place.”
France apologized to the Truck teams that had spent weeks preparing for one of the series’ marquee events.
“We were under the impression that we’d have a former Cup champion racing, but when we realized it was BRIAN Keselowski, we had to pull the plug.  Obviously we’re sorry to all the full-time Truck Series teams, but hey—you should’ve hired a Cup driver to run a part time schedule.

“And no, Timmy Hill doesn’t count”, France added before any questions could be asked.

No Post Race for Kansas

...I was in New York visiting family, so I missed this one.

Kansas “News” and Notes—Special Jumbo Edition

—In other sports (especially football) when you’re looking past an average opponent to a big-time matchup the following week, the earlier game is called a “trap game”.  Well, Kansas is a “trap race” if there ever was one.
I also think this is the first time the phrase
"Skin and Bones" has ever been associated
with Mike Harmon.
—It’s strange to see Jennifer Jo Cobb running an Xfinity race just a few days after getting married, but it’s even stranger to see the prime #88 ride going to someone as obscure as this “Kevin Harvicke” guy Jayski is talking about.
—After two weeks with hideous plaid paint schemes, Kyle Larson will run a red-and-white pinstriped scheme on Sunday, making his car look like a giant candy-cane.  Well, it’s a step-up.
—Sonic will be on the hood this weekend for Sam Hornish Jr.  Here’s hoping we get a commercial with Sam where he kills off those two annoying guys in the car.
Never forget
—Johnny Sauter is moving to GMS Racing—they of Allegiant Air—in 2016 with the dreaded “sponsorship to be announced” tag.  No word yet on why he left ThorSport Racing, although he might have been feeling jealous of Matt Crafton’s 22 different sponsors on the hood each year.
—Speaking of aviation, US Airways finally folds tonight after over 70 years of service.  See, you stop sponsoring Greg Sacks, and THIS is what happens, people.

—With Kansas adding restart lines for this weekend’s races, it’s good to see that it wasn’t just Charlotte doing it.  And by “Charlotte doing it”, I of course mean “Bruton Smith doing it to piss off Nascar”.

Two Lowe’s Sponsored Cars Cause Confusion in Post-Race Interviews

For the first time in recent memory, two different cars had two different sponsors with almost identical names—the 48 car with Lowe’s Home Improvement Centers, and the 9 car with Lowe’s Food Stores.  This caused more than a little mayhem for the media in post-race interviews.
“Well, uh, we haven’t really been that good all year, so it didn’t really change much”, Sam Hornish Jr. said when asked how being out of the Chase affected his performance this year.  “And I care about the workers at Lowe’s, but why are so many PR flaks asking me about them?”
“Look, we JUST re-upped our contract, I’m not going anywhere next year”, Jimmie Johnson angrily responded to questions about if he’d lose his ride after the 2015 season.  “Our sponsorship is rock-solid, our team isn’t sinking, we’re good to go, so leave us alone!”
The confusion stems from the better-known Lowe’s (the hardware chain) being started by the father of the supermarket’s founder.  Customers seem to have avoided any confusion, though the media appeared to have problems telling the two apart.

“What do you mean ‘go BACK to IndyCar’?” Johnson was heard saying.  “Well, at least you’re not asking me about football again.”

Why’d They Postpone This Race So Quickly? Because of the XFL

Tonight’s race has been postponed to tomorrow (green flag around 12:30pm EST on NBCSN) due to rain. While having a race postponed due to weather isn’t that odd (especially THIS season), having one postponed so quickly IS rather out-of-the-ordinary.  Think about it—how many times have you seen it pouring rain behind a pit reporter interviewing some obscure driver but they still haven’t officially postponed anything?
An XFL game at Solider Field--and you
thought Nascar had bad attendance

The answer involves Jennifer Lopez, a failed football league, and the halcyon days of 2001.

In 2001, wrestling impresario Vince McMahon was flush with cash from the late-90’s wrestling boom.  With his closest competitor WCW a very distant second in the ratings, McMahon had his sights set on another all-American tv tradition: football.  First, he was approached about buying the Canadian Football League’s Toronto Argonauts.  McMahon countered with a proposal to buy the entire CFL.  When the CFL brass turned this down out-of-hand, McMahon decided to start his OWN football league.  He quickly found interested partners—NBC was still smarting from the loss of NFL coverage in 1998, and was willing to gamble with pro football in primetime on Saturday nights.
The league started off with decent ratings in week one.  However, when fans saw the sloppy and dull on-field product, those ratings began to tank, to the disappointment of McMahon and the anger of NBC.
Week two’s ratings were less than half that of week one’s.  Those who DID tune in got to see a barn-burner of a game, as the Los Angeles Xtreme outlasted the visiting Chicago Enforcers in double-overtime.  You’d think that NBC would be happy about having such an exciting nail biter of a game as a followup.
Nope, they were furious.
JLo, before the world got
sick of her
Well, more specifically, Lorne Michaels was furious.  Lorne was and is the creator and executive producer of NBC’s venerable Saturday Night Live tv show (as well as many other programs, most of which air on NBC).  That night SNL had the red-hot (in terms of popularity, that is) Jennifer Lopez as host and musical guest.  When people tuned-in to their local NBC affiliate at 11:30pm to see one of the most-popular entertainers at the time hosting one of the most-popular tv shows of all-time, instead they got a seemingly never-ending football game between two teams most had never heard of.  And its worth noting that even if you WERE watching from the beginning, you missed a chunk of the game due to a transformer failing at the LA Coliseum.
Shortly afterwards rules were adjusted for the rapidly declining league to ensure that games would end by 11:30pm.  Not that it mattered much, since the XFL went belly-up once NBC cut their losses mere days after the first—and only—championship.

Now it’s 2015.  The XFL is long gone, NBC has the NFL again (on Sunday nights), and has since gained, lost, and gained again coverage of Nascar.  If this was a Sunday afternoon race, or a Saturday night race on Fox, I’m sure we’d see the broadcast crew desperately stalling for time.  But because this is one of the few races airing on Saturday night on NBC, the plug was pulled before the scheduled green flag.

And all because of a controversy 14 years ago.

Charlotte “News” and Notes

—Jimmie Johnson being eliminated from the Chase in the first round should, in theory, be enough to convince “fans” that the sport isn’t rigged in his favor.  Y’know, in addition to the sport losing popularity during his run on top, the many fines and penalties levied towards the 48 team, the relative ease of keeping a single committed sponsor happy, and the simple fact that if the sport WERE rigged in his favor, he’d have eight championships by now.

—With that being said, I figured that Jimmie Johnson being eliminated would be the most-surprising thing to happen all week.  Then I saw Ryan Blaney attempt a Cup race…and it DIDN’T RAIN.

—Kudos to Shannon Koch (wife of Blake) on winning the annual “Better Half Dash” race, although to be fair, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. didn’t enter.

—Some more troubling news on the sponsorship front, with ABIn-Bev scaling back its sponsorship of Kevin Harvick to just 12 races in 2016.  Furthermore, they are moving from their flagship Budweiser brand to their less-popular Busch brand of canned water.

My Trip to Dover

This past Saturday I was at Dover International Speedway as a guest/sponsor of Derrike Cope Racing.  Here’s some pics!

Kasey Kahne's (still) throwback
scheme in the garage

15 Reasons Why Bubba Wallace is Racing This Car
Danica's car in the pits, going pink
for Breast Cancer Awareness
Pretty cool pit-board for Ryan Reed, in
the style of his "bullseye" patch on
his firesuit where he is to be
injected with insulin
Matt Kenseth in the garage
Cale Conley's car, post-wreck
Pretty weird to see Jeff Gordon's car,
knowing it's the last time it'll
be in Dover with him in it

Stanton Barrett's car, pre-wreck


Fun fact: Nathan's has a qualifying event
for their 4th of July Eating Contest
at Dover the morning of the fall race

Pretty cool "vent cover" on
Dakoda Armstrong's car

The biggest tangible issue the 54 team
had that day--his pit board pole
was bending over

Joey Gase's car, unharmed from his hauler's fire

The 70 car going through inspection

On the track!

In the pits (I was up on the "war wagon")

The legendary Timmy Hill

Dale Jr's car being worked-on in the garage

Rico Abreu getting ready for the K&N East Series race

A perma-tribute car in the K&N race

Paint on the back of Morgan Shepherd's car

Air Force pilots crossing the crossover bridge

Denny Hamlin testing the seat in his Xfinity car

Denny & Rico

"Look Smithers--Garbo is coming!"

Glenn Jarrett

HiSense (sponsor of the race) had a huge
contingent there, almost all of them from
China.  Morgan Shepherd let a few of
the ladies in the group sit in his car.

Kelli Stavast and Ty Dillon

Random guy with a REALLY random diecast car

Chase Elliott leaving the drivers' meeting

Eric McClure in the drivers' meeting, just days
after being released from the hospital

Daniel Suarez & Chris Buescher leaving the drivers' meeting

Mike Harmon

Mike Massaro

The wall

Parade laps, part 1

The ageless Morgan Shepherd clowning
around on his bicycle

Parade laps, part 2

My logo!

Where a chunk of seats have been removed

My logo! (Post-Race)

The 70 car post-race
Miles watches over the start-finish line

Victory Lane set up for the K&N East Series race

A wall post-scrape

The 88 Xfinity car wrecking in front of me

Stanton Barrett's car gets chopped-up