Long-Haired Weirdo Invades Victory Lane

A feel-good moment at Michigan International Speedway, the first-ever win in the Cup Series by Kyle Larson, was marred somewhat by the random appearance by a long-haired weirdo in victory lane.
The strange man was later seen giving
an impromptu concert to an empty room
“We don’t really understand what went wrong—we rolled the 42 car into victory lane, and all of a sudden some older gentleman with a ponytail runs over trying to get to the driver and the owners.”, an unidentified security guard said of the situation.  “He kept talking some nonsense about how he used to drive the car, and how ‘his grandpappy made the 42 famous’, we don’t know what got into him but I’m guessing its more than a few Coors Lights.”
Larson scored his first Cup Series win in convincing fashion over fellow “young gun” Chase Elliott.  He appeared to be both relieved and happy to finally win in the Cup Series, although he was immediately bewildered by the presence of the bespectacled hippie-like man in the suit and tie.
“Its…its really been a heck of the ride to get here to victory lane”, Larson said upon collecting himself, “but I really have no idea what’s going on here.  First, that guy who looks like an art teacher comes up talking about how ‘incredible’ this is, then I start getting all these phone calls in Spanish from Texas.  And my PR guy said there’s some guy trying to send me a telegram from something called NEMCO, whatever THAT is.”

The strange man in victory lane was gone almost as soon as he had arrived and was not available for comment, although he was overheard saying that, as far as his motive, there was “…nothing mello about it”. 

Michigan “News” and Notes

—Welcome to Michigan weekend!  Or, as most fans consider it now, “Darlington Throwback Weekend-Eve.”

—Remember that we have a busy day of racing on Saturday, with Trucks from Michigan, Xfinity from Road America, then IndyCar from Texas.  It goes to show you how the “racing gods” view the two major American racing series that Nascar can have one of the worst weather weekends in Bristol history and still get all 500 laps in, while IndyCar can have Texas get rained-out and wind up postponing it…due to drivers’ previous commitments to another race NOT in their own series.

—Aspen Dental is back on the 10 car again this weekend, which is kind of an odd relationship when you consider that Danica Patrick doesn’t usually have the “girl smiley” look, usually its more of a “simmering rage” appearance, similar to my own “powerlessly stressed” palor.

—In a rare positive sign for Nascar’s business-aspect OneMain Financial did a 180 and will return (albeit for less races) to JRM in 2017 with Elliott Sadler.  That means that JRM should be running THREE full-time drivers (Sadler, Justin Allgaier, William Byron) for the Xfinity championship, with a possible fourth car for Cup driver ego-boosting.

—Speaking of William Byron, anyone else surprised at what happened with him?  No, not that he’s going to Hendrick next year, but that Kyle Busch DIDN’T immediately fire him from his Truck Series ride?

My Trip to Bristol: Wet, Wild, Wet

^^^The start of the race (from my iPhone)^^^
A panorama of the track pre-pre-race
Pre-race, post-fireworks

Pre-pre-pre-race, the calm before the storm
The famous vertical Bristol neon sign, about the only shot I was able to get during the long, wet rain delay

Man Shames Nascar, Bristol by Leaving Race Early

"The weather didn't cooperate--I'm gonna
go write something pissy online!"

Ryan Kynlyn of Glenelg, Maryland committed a mortal sin in the eyes of Nascar fans today, leaving the grounds of Bristol Motor Speedway in order to make it home by the end of the weekend.  By selfishly focusing on such trivialities as “work” and “life”, he shamed the names of both Bristol AND Nascar Nation.
“Bristol always does the most for its fans, whether it means spending millions to create the unique slogan ‘It’s Bristol, Baby’, or employing dozens of employees to throw their nonexistent weight around, so to hear about a fan leaving early after a weather delay is stunning”, said Bristol Motor Speedway spokesperson Christina Marsh.  “For a so-called fan to leave early, rather than readjusting their whole week on the chance that we could get the race in the next day is beyond our comprehension.”
Bruton's bounty
“Nascar fans are some of the most-loyal in the world”, Marsh explained, “and we are the most-loyal to them.  So why this Nascar fan couldn’t get a nearby hotel room at nearly double the normal rate, or wait at the track while our part-time security guards bossed them around the grounds, I just don’t get it.  We are as loyal as possible to Nascar, and would NEVER stray.  By the way, tickets are still available to the upcoming Battle at Bristol football game.”
Those who had sat next to Kynlyn during the 38 laps of green-flag racing on Saturday Night heard him murmuring about “a six-hour drive home without traffic”, as well as “really needing to avoid calling out sick for work” on Monday morning, all of which are known to be non-valid reasons to leave any race early.
“Nascar fans are the greatest in the world!” said track chairman O. Bruton Smith from the Bruton Smith Tower on Bruton Smith Blvd. in Charlotte.  “…and Bristol fans are the greatest in the greatest ever!  This guy must not be a real fan!  I’m putting a bounty on the head of this so-called ‘fan’, anybody who brings him to me will get a cash prize AND win a date with Miss Z-Max!”

Kynlyn was unavailable for comment, as he was last seen sitting in endless traffic on I-81.

Bristol “News” and Notes—Super Early Edition

—No post-race recap this weekend, since I will (most-likely) be at the race on Saturday night!

—It’s great to see Tide returning to Nascar, where they’ve sponsored such luminaries as Scott Pruett and Bobby Hamilton Jr.

—Remember that the Truck Series race is TONIGHT—not any other day or time when people could actually, y’know, watch it or anything.

—If Alon Day ran at Bristol as well in the Xfinity Series, would he be known as Alon Night?

—Oh, and anyone else find it odd that Bass Pro Shops is aligning with the National Ringworm Association for this race?

Brad Keselowski Ruins Life by Pissing Off Guy from New Jersey

The face of anger
The Nascar world and the greater society at large sent out its condolences to Brad Keselowski shortly after the finish of the Cheez It 355 at The Glen, after Keselowski made the mistake of a lifetime by pissing-off a guy from New Jersey, Martin Truex Jr.
“Oh, boy, he’s done it now”, a random fan was heard saying upon seeing Keselowski dump Truex in the final turn at Watkins Glen.  “I mean, Keselowski has that way about him, and he’s ticked off plenty of people in Nascar before, but never anybody from New Jersey.  Oh boy, this is gonna be bad for Brad, that’s for sure.”
Truex appeared to take the moral high road by happily listening to Keselowski post-race, but that only made people more-frightful for the future.
“Oh no, he’s smiling?  That means he’s just planning something REALLY bad”, another fan was overheard saying idly as they watched the post-race “confrontation” on tv.  “Brad, what are you doing?  This isn’t Denny Hamlin or Jeff Gordon—Truex is from JERSEY!”
Though Truex claimed in the post-race interview that he had already cleared the air with Keselowski, most experts on the Garden State knew that this isn’t over—it’s just beginning.

“He told me it was his fault, and I told him I agreed with that”, Truex said while smiling a malevolent, vengeful smile.  He was later heard to remark that maybe Keselowski had his steering impaired by the gigantic chip on his shoulder.

Watkins Glen “News” and Notes: Special Nascar Attitude Era Edition

(not my vid, but pretty dang cool)

In honor of Nascar airing on USA Network this week, here’s a fond look back at the WWF/E’s “Attitude Era” on the same network—in both cases, fans tend to remember EVERYTHING as being better in the late-90’s.

—“Good evening and welcome to a sold out Watkins Glen International Raceway for Sunday Afternoon Heat!  Hello Jim Spade here with Jerry ‘The Spade’ Lawler and the entire Nascar universe is STILL stunned at what happened last week on Monday Afternoon Raw!”  “That’s right J.S.!  We’ve seen lots of crazy stuff this year, but Chris Buescher?  With an upset win over Brad Keselowski?  This HAS to be one of the biggest surprises of the year—and possibly the decade!”

—“Well there is plenty of action on tap for you this weekend as in just about an hour, in this very track, we will see Kyle Busch answer the challenge laid down to him by that crafty veteran, Kevin Harvick.”

—“That’s right, J.S., and it doesn’t stop there, because we have a tag-team match between the Penske Duo of Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano and the Ganassi Boys, Kyle Larson and Jamie McMurray—and with Larson and McMurray, they’ve been on a losing streak, if they want to turn things around before we go into Chaseamania, they’ll have to start doing it here TONIGHT!

—“Meanwhile we can confirm that Boris Said is in the building tonight, and we will be conducting an exclusive interview with A.J. Allmendinger on what THIS track means to him.  And by the way, no IndyCar on the other channel to give away our results, so keep it here TONIGHT!”

Post Race Coverage

By the time Nascar finally called today’s rain/fog delayed race, some of you were probably far away from a TV.  Here’s the post-race comments from the top-three finishers today:

Winner—Chris Buescher: “Wow, this is amazing.  Um, well, first off, it’s B-U-E-S-C-H-E-R, I’m from Prosper, Texas, and our team is owned by Bob Jenkins the restauranteur, not the former ESPN broadcaster.  Well, its not too often that I see most of the media want to talk to me—in fact, its usually DURING a rain delay!  I’m just kidding, guys, but feel free to make your way up to Statesville, North Carolina to visit us tomorrow.”

Runner-Up—Brad Keselowski: “Well, Bob, you have to consider the risks involved in this sport.  I mean, you always hope for a 38 race season with nothing but sun-filled weekends, but that just doesn’t happen.  In fact, if it NEVER rained on a race day, wouldn’t we appreciate it all a bit less?  You need the bitter to appreciate the taste of the sweet.  Oh, and, uh, thanks to all the sponsors.”

Third-Place—Regan Smith: “HAHAHA, WE BEAT TY DILLON!  I told him I’d ruin his Nascar career and this is just step one!  Ty, you put the wrong guy in the wall that day at Watkins Glen—vengeance is MINE!!!!!!!”