Jimmie Johnson Can’t Figure Out How He Won; Chad Knaus Credits “The Plan”

A befuddled Jimmie Johnson emerged victorious at Martinsville Speedway today, honestly unsure of how he was able to win today’s Cup Series race.
“Um, I don’t really know how we made this happen”, Johnson mentioned earnestly to the assembled media.  “I mean, we ran out of gas on that weird caution when (Carl) Edwards wrecked, shouldn’t I have been a lap down, or at least dropped back to the tail end of the longest line for not maintaining the proper speed?  I dunno, maybe I shouldn’t ask so many questions, but it’s weird, y’know?”
Johnson’s win puts him in the “Championship 4” at the finale in Homestead, though he admitted he will have trouble putting a possible championship in perspective.
“We’re always trying to win a championship, and you never want to look at gift horse in the mouth, but really, how do we put THIS into perspective?”, Johnson asked aloud.  “I mean, when we look back on this, if we manage to win it all, what will we say, ‘Boy, we really got lucky there, I think, at Martinsville, THAT was the moment that propelled us to a record-typing fifth championship?’  I guess these things happen.”
However, in a marked difference in demeanor, Johnson’s crew chief Chad Knaus seemed to be calmly satisfied in his team’s effort, giving credit to “The Plan”.
“The Plan is correct.  The Plan is sound.  The Plan rules all.”, Knaus said almost robotically in the post-race media session.  “Nascar tried to deviate from The Plan.  Nascar didn’t know the power of The Plan.  Now Nascar knows.  Now The Plan will be followed to its finality.”
Klaus refused to say what, exactly, “The Plan” is, although he appeared to have issues explaining what it was himself.
“The Plan is bigger than all of us.  The Plan is not to be explained.  The Plan is not to be known”, Knaus said, adding, “Only in the end times of Homestead will The Plan be completely revealed to all.”

Meanwhile, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. was seen arguing with his crew chief over his “JGR-like strategy” to stay near the back all day.

Martinsville BINGO

“News” and Notes takes a hiatus during the Chase—instead, here’s a fun game you can play at home while watching the race on tv.  In honor of Douglas Ladd’s great idea, here’s Spade Racing’s BINGO!

Nascar Hell In A/The Cell

As we approach Halloween, we can be sure of two things: 1.) I won’t get invited to a Halloween party, and 2.) It’s almost time for the WWE to host their annual “Hell In A Cell” match, or, 2a.) “Hell In The Cell”, depending on your preference.  Thankfully WWE has hooked up with Nascar to put forth this event:

(Card Subject to Change)

“Rapid” Ryan Reed vs. “Choo-Choo” Charlie Kimball—Insulin on a Pole Match

Miles the Monster vs. Milo The Moose—Dover vs. New Hampshire showdown for Dullest Race of the Year
Paul Menard “Burns” and “Meow” Ryan Newman vs. “Bullseye” Kyle Larson and “Number One” Jamie McMurray—“Best of the Rest” Tag Team Match
Greg “The Biff” Biffle vs. “Panama” Jack Roush—Winner gets to decide when the other leaves the sport

Title Matches:
Nascar Six-Man Tag Team Title Match—Jimmie “Jam” Johnson, Alex “Substitute Driver” Bowman, and Kasey “I’m Still Here” Kahne (with Dale Earnhardt Jr.) vs. “Concrete” Carl Edwards, “Chin Fuzz” Denny Hamlin, and Matt “Even I Don’t Know Who Will Sponsor My Car with DeWalt Next Year” Kenseth (with Erik Jones)
Nascar Tag Team Title Match—The Penske Posse (Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano) vs. The SHuRe Things (Kurt Busch and Tony Stewart)
Nascar Rookie of the Year Title Match—Chase “I Blame Myself” Elliott vs. Ryan “Forever 21” Blaney vs. Chris “Rain Man” Buescher (loser has to drive home with Brian Scott)
Main Event Triple-Threat Match:

Nascar Championship Title Match—Kevin “The Closer” Harvick vs. Kyle “Rowdy” Busch vs. Martin “Bad Luck” Truex Jr.


“Whew!, there wasn’t a big one!”, multiple race fans were heard to exclaim after the finish of today’s Hellman’s 500 in Talladega.  “I don’t know how they did it—you saw the wad of cars back there!”
Race fans then added, “And look who was up there—I mean, Brian Scott?  BRIAN SCOTT?!?  And behind him was Denny Hamlin!  I can’t believe it, they didn’t wreck!  We didn’t have a ‘big one’ all day!”
Talladega typically produces at least one “big one” every race as a byproduct of restrictor plate racing, which bunches cars up in large backs mere inches apart from each other.  The lack of such left fans stunned, but relieved.
“I can’t believe it.  I really can’t believe it.  That was some of the best driving I’ve seen in years, especially for this place.  Wow, just…wow.”

Fans were expected to returning to complaining about the lack of on-track action by Tuesday.

BREAKING NEWS: Joe Gibbs Racing Signs Last-Minute Alliance with Reed Sorenson

Nascar fans were stunned at the start of today’s Hellman’s 500 from Talladega when drivers Kyle Busch, Carl Edwards, and Matt Kenseth dropped to the back of the field voluntarily.  However, Spade Racing investigators have revealed that this was part of a larger strategic alliance with the only other car to drop back early, Reed Sorenson.
Denny Hamlin reportedly missed the meeting
to catch a really good rerun of "The Fresh
Prince of Bel-Air" on TV Land
“Reed has what it takes to win this thing—you saw how fast he was in qualifying”, Busch was overheard saying in an early-morning team meeting.  “He has was it takes to win—no, not RYAN Reed, we want a guy who can actually race without spinning out.”
“We gotta drop to the back—it’s the only way that makes sense!”, Kenseth retorted, adding, “Look—I’m losing most of my sponsorship next year when Dollar General leaves.  These big-time marketing guys, they don’t want to see a driver who goes out there running for the lead on every lap, they want someone who’s cautious and cunning, and that’s what we’re going to do by hooking up with Sorenson.”
Sorenson, running for the low-budget 55 team, surprised fans by advancing into the second round of qualifying for today’s race.  His car seemed to pass through post-qualifying inspection without issue, leading some to wonder what he could legally have in the car that would allow him to run with teams who spend more than triple what his team does.  His drop to the back at the start of the race has made many in Nascar—specifically the Gibbs team—think that he must have a game-changing strategic plan.

“Hey, I got no problem dropping to the back—I do this every year here”, Carl Edwards said.

Talladega BINGO

“News” and Notes takes a hiatus during the Chase—instead, here’s a fun game you can play at home while watching the race on tv.  In honor of Douglas Ladd’s great idea, here’s Spade Racing’s BINGO!

Steve Letarte Excited Over Spring Rubber Adjustment

NBC Sports broadcaster and former Nascar crew chief Steve Letarte expressed an amazing amount of pure, unforced excitement recently over a sprint rubber adjustment during the Cup race.
Steve Letarte--French for "Steve The Tarte"
“Look—they’re packing-in the new spring rubber!”, Letarte said to an audience of millions, “this could be the kind of move that could win or lose a race, they have to get that car working better, and this just might do it!”
Letarte has frequently shown the kind of enthusiasm for track-bar adjustments, tire air pressure changes, and splitter repairs most broadcasters reserve for game-winning touchdowns, buzzer-beater three-point-shots, and last-lap passes for the win in Nascar itself.
“This—THIS, is huge, guys”, Letarte told his fellow broadcasters, who appeared to be more focused on the race at hand than the spring rubber insertion, done to improve on-track performance by a small amount.  “Can they make this car run better than it did before?!?  Not only do they have to improve this car’s handling, but they need to make sure they’re not going to fall too far back with this longer-than-usual pitstop!”
Letarte has been the target of criticism from some fans for his fast-talking style and oddly-placed emphasis on the seemingly-mundane.  However, Letarte defended himself in a post-race discussion.

“Look, as the former crew chief, I’m there to provide the technical analysis of the race”, Letarte said.  “We have Rick (Allen) to call the race, Jeff (Burton) to provide the driver’s perspective, and I’m there to point how the stupendousness of a pit stop made a lap earlier than the rest of the field.  For anyone who listens—really listens—to our broadcasts, they know that a spring rubber not only can make the difference between a 12th and a 15th place finish, but can also have an impact on a driver’s career comparable to winning multiple gold medals in the Olympics.”

Kevin Harvick Disappointed to Find Out About Special Free Bloomin’ Onion Promotion

Shortly after winning today’s Cup race at Kansas driver Kevin Harvick was surprised and disappointed when informed that, regardless of how he had finished today, fans would receive a free Bloomin’ Onion on Monday no matter what.
Means more to Kevin than pizza
“We’re just glad to get our fans a Bloomin’ Onion tomorrow with our win, we need a top-ten to do it but we wanted to make—what?” Harvick said in victory lane, only to be interrupted by a member of the Stewart-Haas Racing PR team.  “The fans get the Bloomin’ Onion no matter what?  Really?  Well, OK, then, that’s good too, I guess.”
The visibly dejected Harvick was then forced to make it through his post-race interview and other media obligations in an obviously sour mood.
“Getting into the next round of the Chase, that’s key, you know”, Harvick mumbled.  “We just gotta keep plugging away, going for it, whatever.”
Harvick was apparently unaware of the promotion, which was announced early on during the race’s telecast on NBC.  The announcement shocked fans who were already stunned to see a Cup race on a Sunday afternoon on network tv.
“So I won that thing for nothing, really?”, Harvick was heard asking a member of his crew.  “‘I believe that we will win’?  More like ‘I believe that we just wasted our time here’”.

Harvick apparently was informed later on that his mid-week visit with Rutledge Wood was a part of the promotion, infuriating him further.

Kansas BINGO

“News” and Notes takes a hiatus during the Chase—instead, here’s a fun game you can play at home while watching the race on tv.  In honor of Douglas Ladd’s great idea, here’s Spade Racing’s BINGO!

Spade Racing Movie Previews: Autumn Edition

With the weather turing a bit cooler, the leaves falling off the trees, people getting way too excited over college football, it’s obviously fall.  Hollywood is joining in with some excellent distractions for any of those dreary, 50-degree days, and here’s some with a Nascar-theme to them:

The Accountant—Nascar executives try to convince the bean-counters at Fortune 500 companies that sponsoring their series is anything but a gigantic waste of money.

Max Steel—Tony Stewart decides to go out in a blaze of glory and anger, attempting to wreck every single driver at Homestead with his solid-metal car.

Priceless—Comparing what Matt Kenseth said about Kyle Busch to what he says now that he’s a teammate of his?  Priceless.

Jack Reacher: Never Go Back—Jack Roush tries to reach back into his past to revitalize his race team, but after a meeting with Ted Musgrave, he discovers its true—he can never go back.

Keeping Up with the Joneses—A dozen Nascar journalists compete in a “Cannonball Run”-style race to interview Buckshot Jones for a “Where Are They Now?” column.

31—Mike Skinner’s Cup carer is documented in this horror movie.

Denny Hamlin Sacrifices Engine to Motro, God of Racing

Denny Hamlin’s #11 FedEx Toyota had a great start to today’s race, running at or near the front for most of the first 2/3rds of the race.  However, he was soon felled by an ancient ritual done to satisfy Motro, the ancient God of Racing, also known as a “blown engine”.
“Our number came up on the dark roulette wheel of fate, and it was up to us to make the sacrifice”, Hamlin said upon stepping out of his smoking car.  “Motro gives and Motro takes away, and today, we were the ones taken away from.  But we know the deal, so we do so humbly and gratefully.”
Motro will usually be offered a sacrificial racing engine roughly once a week, having claimed the engine of Jamie McMurray last week at Dover.  Hamlin had avoided the dark roulette of fate for over two years.
“There’s really only three things that allow us to race—the fans, the sponsors, and Motro.  Without Motro’s guidance none of this”, Hamlin said, gesturing around the garage, “would be here.  We make this sacrifice hoping that it will be enough and that we may win next weekend at Kansas.”

In a related story, several other Chase drivers were seen cursing Motro upon exiting the infield care center. 

Charlotte BINGO

“News” and Notes takes a hiatus during the Chase—instead, here’s a fun game you can play at home while watching the race on tv.  In honor of Douglas Ladd’s great idea, here’s Spade Racing’s BINGO!

My Trip to Dover

The view from our seats in Turn 2

The skies pre-race...threatening but thankfully temporary

Jamie Mac's engine blows

Dover to Host Outdoor Poker Tournament at Track

Hot of the heels of the “Battle at Bristol” football game and the recent announcement of an LPGA event coming to Indianapolis’s Brickyard Crossing golf course, Dover International Speedway has announced that they, too, will be joining the recent multi-purpose craze by hosting an outdoor poker tournament on the track in 2017.
“We constantly look at ways to better-utilize our facilities here, and we’ve been looking for something to add to our Nascar slate ever since that IndyCar race nobody came to”, said Dover International Speedway spokesperson Julia Anna.  “With gambling legal in the casino on-site, poker was a natural addition to our schedule.  Oh, and please stop calling us ‘Dover Downs’, we haven’t used that name for the Nascar track in decades.”
The poker tables will be laid-out along the front stretch, allowing fans full-view of the entire tournament.  Reportedly the final table, featuring the last six remaining players, will be located on the start-finish line itself, giving the winning player the chance to claim the victory at the same spot as Derrike Cope and Jody Ridley did the same.
“Our main grandstands are capable of holding upwards of 50,000 fans, so we’re looking to break the current record by a mile—a MONSTER mile, if you will”, said Anna.  “Delawareans love their sports, be it upper-level lower-level college football at the University of Delaware, or embarrassingly lower-level football at Delaware State, so we know that we’ll have a healthy turnout for this event.  Oh, and please stop calling us ‘Dover Downs’, we haven’t used that name for the Nascar track in decades.”
Nicknames have already been suggested by on-site gamblers for the event, such as “The Diamond State Duke-Out”, “Hey, What’s A Guy Gotta Do To Get a Drink Here?”, and “How Many Horse Racing Dates They Down To Here Now Anyways?”.
“Just think—for the first time that we can remember, people will get to experience the excitement of outdoor poker, seeing as players study their cards intently and, occasionally, raise the stakes to a reasonable amount”, Anna explained.  “Just imagine sitting in the Richard Petty Grandstands and watching as a professional poker player works on an inside straight.

“Oh,” Anna concluded, “and please stop calling us ‘Dover Downs’, we haven’t used that name for the Nascar track in decades.”