Rain Delay Musings

Now that the Nascar race has experienced its scheduled rescheduling to 11am EST Monday on NBCSN, here’s some stray observations I, uh, observed during the rain delay:

—Nascar gets an hour-long pre-race, followed by extended interviews due to the rain delay.  IndyCar has perfect weather and what do they get—an infomercial for “Golden Country Hit Songs” (co-hosted by the “Crook” of “Crook & Chase”!)

—Jamie McMurray has some good number synergy: Car #1, kid in a power wheels #1, #1 Cam Newton Jersey, and Jamie’s #1 in the garage with cold sores.

—The weather forecast doesn’t look too good for tomorrow OR Tuesday, so Nascar might be forced to reschedule the race for the upcoming off-weekend—although given NBC’s wall-to-wall Olympics coverage, we might have to watch it on Bravo.

—Nothing says “I’m a white guy with money” like planning to go to Ireland to run an Ironman Triathlon.

—Is there a requirement that if you’re a Nascar driver you must have either kids or pets?  Can’t you just be a miserable loner like ME?

—Anybody else catch Landon Cassill’s vintage Camel Daytona hat?

—Oh well, we might not get a chance to watch it…again, but at least we’ll have a race tomorrow.  Unless it rains.  Again.

Pocono (and more!) “News” and Notes

Its a busy weekend o’ racing, and Spade Racing has you covered!

—First we have the ARCA series running at Pocono on late Friday afternoon.  In case you’re unfamiliar with the Pocono region of Pennsylvania, just imagine yuppies.  Lots and lots of yuppies on vacation.  Oh, and bitter hillbilly townies.

—Next we have the Truck Series on Saturday afternoon from Pocono.  Despite being a companion event there are NO Cup drivers entered in the race.  So if it winds up being boring, you’ll have to do what we used to do back in the old days and blame it on a Bodine.

—Saturday night is the Xfinity Series from Iowa Speedway.  With a split-crew it remains to be seen who will work the booth for NBCSN, but hopefully its somebody who can provide insight into why the HELL Brad Keselowski is running the race.

—Sunday morning you can wake up with the F1 German Grand Prix.  “Ooh, the Germans”.

—If you’re opposed to Nascar for some reason, IndyCar will be airing live Sunday afternoon from Mid-Ohio on CNBC.  Laugh all you want about racing airing on a business channel (that usually airs infomercials on the weekends), but with Target pulling out of the series, business WILL be the issue at hand.

—And finally, the Cup Series will be racing at Pocono on Sunday, promising an exciting mix of strategy, intrigue, and raw speed from The Tricky Triangle.  Unless it rains.

Nascar at the 2016 Summer Olympics

With The NBC Family of Networks about ready to shaft Nascar over to USA (motto: a bunch of shows your aunt watches, and rasslin) its time for Spade Racing to do the same.  So here’s a preview of Nascar Nation’s delegation to the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Organizing Group: Nascar Olympic Committee (“Don’t NOC us till you try us!”)
Opening Ceremonies Flag Bearer: Greg Sacks
Archery—Kyle Larson
Boxing—Marcos Ambrose
Fencing—Derek White
Modern Pentastarthlon—Mike Harmon
Ancient Pentathlon—Morgan Shepherd
Dennis—Tennis Setzer
Wrestling—any enemies of Brad Keselowski

ABOUT NASCAR NATION: Nascar Nation is a small, auto-nomous country located in North America.  Its capital city is Mooresville, and the country enjoys a benevolent dictatorship under King Brian the Chubby.  Its main exports are speed, exhilaration, and whiny posts on the internet.

Ex-Football Coach Impresses in Nascar Debut

Adding to an impressive resume that includes College Football and Super Bowl championships, Jimmy Johnson posted impressive results in his first-ever Nascar race today, the Brickyard 400.
“I got the call this morning, they really rolled out the welcome mat with my name on the pit wall and everything”, an exhausted but happy Jimmy Johnson said upon exiting his 48 Lowe’s Chevy.  “All I gotta say is, How Bout Them Lowe’s Boys?!?”
Johnson stunned the sports world today, not so much by running his first-ever Nascar race in one of their biggest events, but by willingly allowing his air to become slightly mussed by the required safety helmet.
“It was pretty hot in that car, but the crew really did their jobs keeping me cool under pressure”, Johnson said.  “Besides, its not like anything could be worse than working for Jerry Jones again.”
Johnson’s previous experience was limited to a conversation with former quarterback and team co-owner Dan Marino in 1998, one of only four conversations the two ever had during their tenures together with the Miami Dolphins.
“I’m just glad to be back in the thick of competition”, Johnson happily explained.  “These guys here in Nascar, they really know how to put on a show.  I just hope it was as exciting on tv as it was for me in-person!”

Meanwhile, Nascar driver Jimmie Johnson was seen en route to the Fox Sports Los Angeles studios to learn how to laugh at Terry Bradshaw’s “jokes”.

Indianapolis “News” and Notes

—It was looking like just another dull race ahead for Nascar at the Brickyard, but then came the announcement.  A driver was making a comeback.  And not just any driver, but one that Nascar fans had been missing for far too long.  That’s right: Patrick Carpentier returns this weekend!
Anticipation is high for two of these racers
—In related news, it’s great to see Nascar teams giving local drivers a shot, if only for a race or two, in a Cup car lately: Last weekend with the 32 team putting Rowley, Massachusetts native Eddie MacDonald in the car, and this weekend with the 88 team putting Pittsboro, Indiana’s Jeff Gordon in the car.
—While it sucks not having the Xfinity Series at the more-exciting of the two Indianapolis racetracks, it’s hard to argue with the results on the business side of having the support series at IMS.  Just look at the blue-chippers coming on board for this weekend: JT Concrete, Lyndhurst Lawnmower, NiceTargets, and even Tredwear!
—Its nice to see Nascar continuing to honor its roots by holding a race on dirt that nobody can watch.
—The search for a title sponsor for the Cup Series continues, with Hisense (a maker of high-end tv’s) rumored to be the front-runner.  Meanwhile, will Sprint’s departure open the doors to more wireless phone companies sponsoring cars in Cup next year?  I really want to know, so I can prepare myself for seeing a bright-magenta T-Mobile car.

Vince Russo to Book Second New Hampshire Cup Race

Responding to widespread complaints (well, more widespread than usual) that the recent New Hampshire 301 was one of the dullest Nascar races in recent memory, Nascar Chairman Brian France has hired legendary pro wrestling booker Vince Russo to “shake things up” when the series returns to the circuit for the Chase for the Cup.
“Bro, we are gonna change Nascar as we know it”, Russo said at the press conference.  “The fans won’t know what hit ‘em, the drivers won’t know what hit ‘em, and those internet smart marks who think they know what’s going on?  They’re gonna love me, bro.”
Amongst the changes Russo is expected to implement:
—Shortening the race to 30 laps long, preceded by a two-hour long string of “vignettes” featuring drivers talking to each other using insider terms such as “tight”, “loose”, and “how does Brian Scott still have a ride?”.
—Asking NBC to re-introduce analyst Dale Jarrett as “That’s D-A-single-L, E-J-A-double, ah you know the rest”
—Replacing qualifying with a 10-minute scramble to reach the #1 starting spot, which will be placed high atop an American flag—The Pole on a Pole Match.
—Frequently showing series director David Hoots behind a desk, with only his hand and arm visible to the viewer.
—Running cars with six tires.

Russo is expected to be hired and fired at least a dozen times before the race itself, as per usual, and may scrap the plan at the last minute in “The Ultimate Swerve”.

Matt Kenseth Wins First Race of Season After Subbing In for Matt Kenzets

For the first time in years a substitute driver was able to drive his car into victory lane today, as Matt Kenseth posted his first win of the season in the 20 Dollar General Toyota, mere weeks after having taken over the ride from Matt Kenzets.
“Matt Kenzets may have won at Dover, but Matt Kenseth won today”, Kenseth said after exiting his car in victory lane.  “When I took over this ride at the 400 (in Daytona) I knew we had a car capable of winning right away—I mean, I saw what my predecessor did at Dover.”
Kenseth has earned a reputation as one of the best second-half of the season drivers in Nascar, while the driver he replaced, Kenzets, has posted consistent results in the first half.
“We really have a lot in common”, Kenseth said when referencing his predecessor.  “We’re both great racers, have rapier wits, and keep getting mistaken for robots.”

Kenseth was said to be donating part of his winnings to the Hendrick Motorsports Relief Fund.

BREAKING NEWS: Tom Brady to Drive the 88 for Dale Jr. if Needed at Indy

In a quick correction to a news story that broke late this morning, Hendrick Motorsports has explained that if Dale Earnhardt Jr. is unable to run the upcoming race at Indianapolis due to concussion-like symptoms, he will be replaced by Tom Brady. Previous reports that Jeff Gordon would be on standby to run the 88 car were, apparently, false.
"It is a great honor to take over such a famous ride", Brady said in a statement released exclusively to Spade Racing, "but I will not be daunted. It's just like when I took over as quarterback of the New England Patriots--I knew I was stepping into the shadows of Tony Eason and Scott Zolak."
Brady became available after deciding not to pursue his NFL suspension appeal to the Supreme Court.
"He wants to stay active until he's able to return in (the NFL's) week five, and he figures that driving is much more challenging than playing preseason football", said HMS owner Rick Hendrick. "We are glad to have someone with so much experience as a winner stepping into our car, and hopefully this will deflect some attention away from the fact that we have one win this season and a rookie leading us in the points."
Brady is reportedly en route to HMS as of this writing and will be welcomed by political ally Chase Elliott. Drew Henson is rumored to be Brady's backup should HE get injured, as he's not doing anything at the moment anyways.
The confusion over Jeff Gordon stepping into the 88 car apparently stemmed from Gordon's planned trip to HMS next week to figure out what the heck he does there now.

Dodge Unveils Model for 2017 Xfinity Series Season: The 2012 Dodge Challenger

Fresh off the heels of Chevrolet’s reveal of its 2017 entry in the Xfinity Series, competitor Dodge has unveiled its own make and model for next year in Nascar’s top feeder series—the 2012 Dodge Challenger.
“You’re all used to seeing a car like this on the track”, said Will Korn, spokesman and chief stockboy for Big Al’s Used Mopar Parts, as a Mike Harmon-owned Dodge was rolled onto the hotel meeting room floor.  “But I think you’re all looking to see what we have to offer for next year”, Korn continued as he placed a large tablecloth over the car.
“And now, I give you the future of Dodge’s Nascar efforts—the 2012 Dodge Challenger race car!”, and with that exclamation, Korn pulled the cloth over the car, revealing the same car that had just been rolled in.  “This car will take Dodge Motorsports into the new era of stock car racing, and anybody who wants a good deal on a gently-used rocker arm can see me after this press conference for a deal you just can’t pass up!
“Are there any questions?”, Korn asked to the empty Atlantic Meeting Room A at the Country Lodge in Daytona Beach, Florida.  “None?  Well, I can see that you’re all behind us going forward into the 2017 season.  There’s no lack of focus on this year though—all we need is a few “big ones” and one of our drivers could, theoretically, make the first-ever Xfinity Series Chase!”

Korn then pushed the car out of the meeting room back to a waiting trailer, remarking that the room needed to be cleared immediately for the Country Lodge World Famous $5.99 Salad Bar.

BREAKING NEWS: Dale Earnhardt Jr. Leaves Race to Help Fan with Burnt Truck File Claim

Nascar fans were stunned this evening as Dale Earnhardt Jr., the sport’s most-popular driver, exited today’s race early in order to help a fan whose truck had caught fire in the parking lot file an insurance claim.
“At the office, people call me Bossman, and at the track, fans call me JOON-yah, but first and foremost I’m a driver for Nationwide Insurance”, Earnhardt Jr. told a gathering crowd of fans near where he’d parked his Sprint Cup Series car.  “And that means working for Nationwide wherever they need me.  Because ‘Nationwide is On Your Side’ is more than a marketing slogan—it’s a promise.”
Upon discovering that Earnhardt Jr. was the closest Nationwide employee to the fire, he was almost-immediately dispatched to the scene.
“Looks like some pretty serious damage here, but I don’t think its a total loss”, Earnhardt Jr. told the truck’s owner while pecking at a tablet.  “It’s a good thing you have total coverage—heck, if you were with Geico, Casey Mears probably wouldn’t even have come out here, and HE’S sixteen laps down.”
The truck’s owner was unavailable for comment but was seen making arrangements with Earnhardt Jr. via a Nationwide insurance app to get a rental car that night in order to get home.

“Alright, looks like you’re all set here”, Earnhardt Jr. told the driver after sealing the deal with a strong, firm handshake.  “Might as well go back to the race until the rental car guys get here.  Oh, I gotta get back too, need those points!”

Kentucky “News” and Notes

—If I see one more commercial with George Hamilton playing creepy Col. Sanders, I’m leaving.  Well, not really leaving, but I’ll complain a lot!

—Bubba Wallace Jr. was fined $15,000 for a tweet that compared Nascar officials to Muppets.  Jeez—first they screw up the Chicago race, now this?  Muppets and Nascar do NOT mix, folks.

—Ryan Newman says that his plans for 2017 are up in the air, which is code for “I’m trying to forge a birth certificate to say that I’m Richard Childress’s long-lost third grandson.”

—John Wes Townley is sitting out another race (this time in the Truck Series) due to a possible concussion.  It’s pretty bad when guys who do the lamest attempts at pro-wrestling moves still get hurt.

How I Imagine NBC does Sunday Night Football

I’m a football fan, but my job keeps me from staying up late on Sunday nights, so I rarely get to see NBC’s coverage
He's no Bill Weber
of Sunday Night Football.  Based on this weekend’s Nascar coverage, here’s how I’m guessing it goes.

Announcer: Giants with the ball on their own 31, first and ten, down by a touchdown in the second quarter…run up the middle, stopped cold by the Ravens’ D.  2nd and 11.  *COMMERCIAL (for erectile disfunction drug)*.  Manning over the middle…CAUGHT but brought down, just short of the first down.  *COMMERCIAL (creepy George Hamilton KFC ad)*.  Handoff stuffed at the line…this one’s gonna require a measurement, we’ll come back from commercial if we get a decision. *COMMERCIAL (for next week’s NBC Sunday Night Football game)*.  It’s fourth-down, looks like Giants are going for it here…trying to draw the defense off-sides, there’s the time-out call.  We go NFL Nonstop. *COMMERCIAL on half the screen for fast food place nowhere near you as team huddles aimlessly*.  You saw it there on NFL Nonstop—coaching staff has decided to have the PUNTER attempt the punt here…wait, we have a flag…looks like the kicking team jumped there.  *COMMERCIAL for America’s Got Talent*  Giants backed up a bit there, HERE’S THE PUNT (punt goes out of bounds fifty yards away) you saw it live.  Ravens will take the ball at their own thir—*SIGNAL GOES OUT*