2020 Donruss Panini Nascar Cards Unboxing PACK 11



Continuing a tradition of limited esteem, Spade Racing bought, unboxed, and unpacked a sealed box of 2020 Donruss (Panini) Nascar trading cards.  Join us as we go through each eight-card pack to find the good, the bad, and the downright weird.

PACK 11—Hailie, Jamie, and Meaty
Some real talent in this group—a legit “Rated Rookie in Hailie Deegan, champs in Rowdy and Truex, and a driver of the moment in Ryan Newman times two.  Note that both of Newman’s cars have Oscar Mayer sponsorship in this pack, making it the most meat-based selection I’ve found so far.

FIRST THING’S FIRST: While it makes sense that subsets would have the top drivers, there’s not much “Retro” about Kyle Busch, although his constant whining fits in well with vintage Darrell Waltrip.

SECOND LOOK: A Hailie Deegan rookie card!  Here’s hoping this is someday coveted by serious collectors and not just creepy old guys.

TO THE BACK: Matt Tifft gives some props to Front Row Motorsports.  Obviously this was designed (and likely printed) before he retired due to health issues, but at least its not disturbingly ironic like “I plant to be here for a long time” or “I can’t see anyone taking my ride, unless its a guy with three names”.


FINAL SCORE: 7 rookie points out of 10

Nascar Again Proves to be Immortal After Not Dying Dozens of Times


In a show of resilience both inspiring and terrifying, Nascar has shown itself to be an unkillable, immortal entity after surviving what “fans” have dubbed “The Death of Nascar” over a hundred times.

“I cannot be killed, only wounded.  I cannot be ended, only paused.  I cannot perish, I can only survive.”, Nascar said in a loud, booming voice from his ancestral home in Daytona Beach, Florida.  “That which does not kill me only makes me stronger—although, to be fair, it might result in some short-term losses.”

Observers of the sport have repeatedly cited numerous events and decisions as the sport’s death knell, despite having been proven time and again that the stock car sanctioning body is as unstoppable as the four ancient elements.  A recent week filled with controversy, recriminations by longtime supporters, and questions about the organization’s decision making have failed yet again to destroy the sport.

“I have survived the deaths of numerous drivers.  I have survived the implementation of The Chase.  I have survived the career of Buckshot Jones.  I can—and WILL—survive this”, Nascar said confidently.  However, the entity had strong words for those who claim that the recent banning of the Confederate flag will finally “kill” the sport.

“You cannot destroy me!”, Nascar said defiantly.  “You’ll either come crawling back or wither away like all those who have doubted me.  I’ve outlasted all other challengers in my seventy-plus years.  Title sponsors have come and gone.  Manufacturers, drivers, super teams—all have cycled in and out while I have remained.  To doubt me is to doubt the world around you.”

The sport’s inability to perish is expected to be questioned yet again the next time Nascar makes a decision that you don’t agree with.

Nascar for Newbies Part 2--The History

Hello, and welcome to the wonderful world of Nascar!  If you’re a new fan of stock car racing, this is the place for you!  In this ten-part series we’ll take a look at what you should and could know about America’s #1 auto racing organization.  Let’s get started! 


2. THE HISTORY—from 1948 to today and how we got here.


The Pre-History: Obviously people have been racing cars since they were invented, but Nascar can trace its specific roots back to the days of moonshine running.  Those transporting illegal/untaxed alcohol would supe-up their sedans in order to outrun the law.  People being competitive by nature, moonshine runners began to develop reputations as skilled drivers and started racing each other on off-days to see who had the fastest hot rod.  From these humble (and, well, illegal) beginnings Nascar grew.


The Founding (1948): Nascar was officially founded in Daytona Beach, Florida in 1948.  At the time there were a number of competing stock car racing series of varying degrees of legitimacy, and local racing impresario “Big” Bill France Sr. sought to bring unity to the nascent sport by forming a single national organization under his control and ownership.  Other smaller series soon fell by the wayside and soon Nascar was essentially unchallenged as the premiere stock car racing series in America. 


The Grand National Era (1949-1971): France Sr. ruled the sport with an iron fist (although he might have preferred the term “benevolent dictator”) through its early decades.  Early champions such as Tim Flock, Lee Petty, and Ned Jarrett raced on a number of different tracks—some paved, some dirt—all throughout the country, although concentrated in the South.  The highest-level of competition was dubbed the “Grand National Series” and consisted of up to a hundred races held throughout the year.  Unsurprisingly many of the sport’s best drivers limited themselves to the “big money” races, such as Darlington’s Southern 500 and the Daytona 500.


The early Winston Cup Era (1972-1991): In 1972 big changes came to Nascar.  The year before, RJ Reynolds, barred from advertising on American television, brought money and marketing savvy to Nascar through their Winston brand, renaming the premiere series The Winston Cup Series, so named for the championship trophy.  In 1972 the series became more of a true touring schedule, with all dirt track races, all mid-week races, and most shorter-races cancelled, bringing the schedule to under thirty races a year, one per weekend.  France’s son, Bill France Jr., stepped into the fore as the sport began to grow beyond its southern roots, although the sport’s biggest stars of the 1970s (Richard Petty, David Pearson, Cale Yarborough) and 1980s (Dale Earnhardt Sr., Darrell Waltrip, Bill Elliott) still hailed from the southern states.  In 1979 a major milestone was achieved as the sport’s biggest race—the Daytona 500—was aired live on network TV for the first time ever, ending with a spectacular fight between rivals Yarborough and the Allison brothers, Bobby and Donnie.  As the eighties marched on the sport began to gain additional exposure through the proliferation of cable TV, particularly through the growing ESPN network.


The later Winston Cup Era (1992-2003): The final race of 1992 saw a momentous championship battle between former champion Bill Elliott, fan favorite Davey Allison, and independent northerner Alan Kulwicki.  Elliott would win the race, but Kulwicki would win the championship in an event that saw the retirement of the legendary Richard Petty and debut of a then-unknown Jeff Gordon.  The mid-90’s would see Gordon eclipse Dale Earnhardt Sr. as the sport’s brightest star, with Gordon’s good looks and media savvy bringing Nascar to a new national fanbase.  After battling Earnhardt for on-track dominance (and off-track popularity), the sport appeared ready to take off with a new national television contract for 2001.  In the first race of this new media deal, Dale Earnhardt Sr. was tragically killed on the final lap of the Daytona 500.  What followed was a level of attention and media coverage never seen before in the sport, as Nascar quickly boomed to true major-league status.


The Nextel/Sprint Cup Era (2004-2016): Winston bowed out of the sport after 2003, with telecommunications company Nextel stepping in as the Cup Series title sponsor.  Meanwhile, Bill France Jr.’s leadership passed on to his son, Brian France, who began to take the sport in new directions.  Not only were race dates transferred outside of the sport’s traditional southern base, but Brian France would institute a new “playoff”-based season format, meant to keep fan interest throughout the increasingly lengthening season.  Turn-Of-The-Millennium stars like Gordon and Tony Stewart gave way to the dominance of Gordon’s teammate Jimmie Johnson, who would win a record five Cup Series championships in a row.  Whether it was due to fan annoyance at the new playoff format, Johnson’s dominance, oversaturation of the market due to too many races, the arrival of foreign make Toyota, or simply people moving on to something else, the Nascar boom eroded and the sport began to shrink in terms of popularity, money, and prestige.


The Monster/modern Cup Era (2017-present): Sprint (which had bought out Nextel) left the sport after 2016, and Monster Energy stepped in as Cup Series sponsor for three years.  With fan and sponsor interest continuing to decline, Nascar introduced a new “Nascar Cup Series” branding for 2020, with four companies (Geico, Coca-Cola, Busch Beer, Xfinity) sponsoring various parts of the series.  Furthermore, the media-shy Jim France (brother of Bill Jr., uncle of Brian) took over for Brian France as head of the sport after Brian’s issues with substance abuse.  With racetracks lowering capacity and further changes made to appeal to a broader fanbase, time will tell if this is an era of further shrinking, or an era of rebounding towards the future.


Uncle Max vs. Last Year’s Winners: Pocono Doubleheader



Uncle Max here!  I gotta keep it short--we're so busy at work.  But make sure that if you're new to Nascar (like I was a few years ago), click HERE for my nephew's handy beginners' guide to the sport.


TRUCK SERIES Pocono Organics/Farm Aid 150 (1 win)—Brett Moffitt—come on, Mustache Man, get me into plural win territory here.


Sunday Morning XFINITY SERIES Pocono Green 225 (2 wins) Harrison Burton—former winner here in the ARCA Series.


Saturday CUP SERIES Pocono Organics 325.  LAST YEAR’S WINNER (2 wins) Kyle Busch.  FAVORITE: (2 win) Denny Hamlin—two out of three ain’t bad.  NEXT FAVORITE: (1 win) Joey Logano—the Penske posse keeps on winning.  DARK HORSE: (0 wins) Chris Buescher—he HAS won here before, after all.


Sunday CUP SERIES Pocono 350.  LAST YEAR’S WINNER (2 wins) Denny Hamlin.  FAVORITE: (2 win) Kyle Busch—might as well flip-flop with Last Year’s Winner.  NEXT FAVORITE: (1 win) Brad Keselowski—putting all my eggs in two baskets.  DARK HORSE: (0 wins) Matt DiBenedetto—‘bout time for that 100th Cup Series win.


Nascar for Newbies Part 1--The Very Basics

Hello, and welcome to the wonderful world of Nascar!  If you’re a new fan of stock car racing, this is the place for you!  In this ten-part series we’ll take a look at what you should and could know about America’s #1 auto racing organization.  Let’s get started! 



1. THE VERY BASICS—in which we take a look at what this thing called Nascar really is.


What is Nascar?  Nascar is an auto racing series based in the United States.


What does Nascar stand for?  National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing.


Who owns Nascar?  The France family.  Specifically, Jim France (son of founder “Big” Bill France Sr. and brother of Bill France Jr.).  He took over from his embattled nephew Brian France.


What’s the point of all this?  First off, nice unintentional pun there.  Drivers try to accrue as many points as they can by finishing as good as they can throughout the season.  Obviously the best way to do this is by winning, but you can also earn points through good finishes in the in-race stages.

Nascar's season format simplified


How does the season work?  Simply put, if you’re a full-time driver and you get a win in the first 26 races (OR you’re otherwise in the top-16 in points), you make the Playoffs.  The Playoffs are a four-stage ten-race elimination phase where you want to finish as high as you can—again, if you win, you advance to the next round.


What are the levels of Nascar racing?  The easiest way to describe it is to compare it to major and minor league baseball:

Nascar Cup Series—Major Leagues (the highest point)

Xfinity Series—AAA baseball (second-highest)

Truck Series—AA baseball or international leagues (third-highest)

ARCA Series—A baseball (various series grouped at the fourth-highest)

Weekly Racing Series—Rookie/independent baseball (lowest/entry level)


Who owns what?  As stated above, the France family owns Nascar itself, while also owning about 2/3rds of the tracks Nascar competes on through its ISC subsidiary.  A good portion of the remaining tracks are owned by SMI, controlled by the Smith family headed by O. Bruton Smith.  A handful of tracks (Dover/Nashville, Pocono, and Indianapolis) are owned by others.  The cars themselves are owned by team owners with a limit of four cars per team.


So what exactly is a “stock car”?  In its earliest days, Nascar was all about racing the kinds of cars you’d be able to buy off a lot—hence “Win on Sunday, Sell on Monday”—with limited modifications.  As years went by safety and competitive balance concerns have made stock cars much less “stock”, although they still superficially resemble the kinds of cars you’d see on the highway.


Who makes the cars themselves?  Well, the teams themselves usually make the literal race cars you see on-track.  But the three manufacturers involved in Nascar today are Ford, Chevrolet, and Toyota, running Mustangs, Camaros, and Camrys respectively in the Cup Series.


What are “Stages”?  During races drivers can earn extra points by finishing in the top-ten of either of the first two stages of the race.  Races are broken into three stages, with the first two stages ending with a caution-flag break period.


Ah yes, caution flags.  What do the flags mean?  Here you go—and fun fact, these flags are pretty much universal throughout worldwide racing:

Green flag—racing has begun or caution period has ended.  “Normal” racing is said to be “green flag conditions” even though it isn’t waved continuously.  The race start typically features a dignitary waving the green flag.

Yellow flag—race is under caution—slow down and line up behind the pace/safety car.  Waved when there is some sort of hazard on the track—typically a crashed/disabled race car, debris on the racing surface, or inclement weather.

Red flag—race has been stopped.  Waved when there is either a hazard on-track blocking cars from coming through or severe inclement weather.

Green-and-white checkered flag—Stage 1 or Stage 2 has ended (note that this flag is unique to Nascar).

White flag—one lap to go.  Note that when the yellow or green flag is displayed in a “point” (i.e. wrapped around its stick) this means one lap to go till green flag racing.

Checkered flag (black and white)—race has ended.

Blue flag with yellow (or orange) diagonal stripe—move over.  Typically displayed when a lapped car is blocking the progress of a lead-lap car.

Black flag—report to the pits immediately.  This is usually due to excessive damage or a serious penalty.

Black flag with white X—car has been disqualified.  Only used when a car ignores the black flag for a number of laps.


What about pit stops?  What about them?


Well, can you describe to me what they’re all about?  Gladly!  Drivers have to stop several times a race due to tire wear and to refuel their cars.  These pit stops are made in pit stalls on pit road.  Drivers have to maintain pit road speed, but the pit stops themselves are made incredibly fast.  Pit crew members—formerly team mechanics, now usually athletes from other sports—change tires, fuel the car, fix damage, and make adjustments in a highly-choreographed sequence, typically in under fifteen seconds.  Drivers can pick up (or lose) spots on the race track via a fast or slow pit stop.


Alright, I think I got the basics of the races.  What about the tracks themselves?  The majority of race tracks Nascar races on are asphalt ovals, ranging in size from just over a half mile long to just over two-and-a-half miles long.  Two races are held on road courses (with various twists and turns) while a third is held on a “Roval”—a road course inside of an oval track.  Three tracks (Dover, Bristol, and Nashville) have concrete surfaces, while Martinsville has both—concrete in the turns but asphalt elsewhere.


Alright I think I’m good to go—where can I watch races?  Races are almost always held (well, when we’re not in the middle of a pandemic) on Saturday night or Sunday afternoon.  The first half of the season is aired on Fox and FS1, while the second half airs on NBC and NBCSN.


Thanks!  No problem—there’ll be plenty of more detail to come, but you’re caught up on the basics.

2020 Donruss Panini Nascar Cards Unboxing PACK 10



Continuing a tradition of limited esteem, Spade Racing bought, unboxed, and unpacked a sealed box of 2020 Donruss (Panini) Nascar trading cards.  Join us as we go through each eight-card pack to find the good, the bad, and the downright weird.

PACK 10—The last, the fast, and an aging blast
A few “what could have been” in this pack—what if Michael McDowell had hooked up with a better team?  What if Reed Sorenson hadn’t been let go from his Nationwide ride?  What if Carl Edwards didn’t disappear into the wilds of Missouri?  What if Ryan Preece had paid more than $5 for his haircut?

FIRST THING’S FIRST: Pretty impressive—the last card of a numbered series in Jimmie Johnson’s final year as a full-time Cup driver.  No idea why it looks like Jimmie has a mouthful of chaw.

SECOND LOOK: Well apparently Kyle Larson went through a rapid aging machine as he looks 50-something in this portrait.  “Back in MY day we had sponsors we couldn’t trust to be legit—and we were GRATEFUL!!!”.

TO THE BACK: Brittney Zamora says she wants a job in a race car.  Hopefully that means a long and fruitful racing career and not doing daily instructions at a racing experience for yahoos like me.


FINAL SCORE: 5 firesuit patches out of 10

Racing World Stunned by Satisfied Race Fan


The world of Nascar and motorsports at large were flabbergasted today to learn that a race fan thoroughly enjoyed last weekend’s Cup race.

“I thought it was a good, solid race”, said race fan Herman Blanche of Springfield, Pennsylvania.  “I’ll admit that I haven’t been able to catch every single Cup race this year, but I made some time today, and I liked what I saw.”

Blanche’s positive reaction to a Nascar event stands in stark contrast to the majority of race fans’ online complaints, which tend to criticize Nascar for such failings as predictable racing, inability to pass the leader, late start times, and lack of fans at the track.  But none of these theoretical issues bothered him at all.

“Its great to see some live sports considering everything that’s going on right now”, Blanche said.  “I was a really big Dale (Earnhardt) Jr. fan, and I used to go to every race I could up in Pocono.  Now I kinda root for Martin Truex Jr., although really I just like to see some good on-track action.”

Blanche’s positive remarks also contained more-specific kudos for the sport.

“What I like best is how there’s almost always something going on on the track”, Blanche said.  “Sure, the leader might’ve checked-out, but there’s almost always a good battle somewhere in the top-ten.  And thankfully there’s some good ‘new blood’ in the sport—I really like what I’m hearing and seeing about this Tyler Reddick kid.”

Blanche said that he plans to catch as many races as he can for the rest of the season.

“I kinda fell ‘off the wagon’ with Nascar a year or two ago because my job had me working Sundays”, Blanche said.  “But now with a relatively free schedule, I hope I can catch every race I can.

“Unless baseball finally comes back—I can’t wait to see how the Phillies screw things up this year by pouring all their money into Bryce Harper.”

Uncle Max vs. Last Year’s Winners: Talladega


Well, its nice to have my first day off in weeks to savor a Cup Series win!  Sure, I had the right driver for the wrong race in Xfinity, and sure I nearly forgot to pick one of the Xfinity Series races in the first place, but Cup is what matters most, and I’ve pulled even with Last Year’s Winners!

As someone who’s still relatively new to Nascar, I don’t really get why so many fans want to display the rebel flag in the infield.  I mean, its been decades since my last history class, but didn’t we fight a war with the Confederacy?  And last time I checked, the enemy’s colors are NOT welcome in our home stadium.  And the last time I checked was that time I lost a bet and had to wear a rival’s jersey to a football game—lets just say that fans aren’t very tolerant after a few dozen beers.


TRUCK SERIES (1 win)—off.


XFINITY SERIES Unhinged 300 (2 wins) Austin Cindric—about as close to a shot in the dark as you can get.


CUP SERIES Geico 500.  LAST YEAR’S WINNER (2 wins) Chase Elliott.  FAVORITE: (2 win) Denny Hamlin—back to back, the FedEx man delivers.  NEXT FAVORITE: (1 win) Kevin Harvick—no better sponsor for a winner at Talladega than a beer sponsor.  DARK HORSE: (0 wins) Tyler Reddick—rookie breakthrough.


2020 Donruss Panini Nascar Cards Unboxing PACK 20



Continuing a tradition of limited esteem, Spade Racing bought, unboxed, and unpacked a sealed box of 2020 Donruss (Panini) Nascar trading cards.  Join us as we go through each eight-card pack to find the good, the bad, and the downright weird.

PACK 20—Bobby, Mikey, and Jimmie (and two cards from Penske and one from Ganassi)
No idea why Michael Waltrip is looking so pleased with himself here, but its really the only ding against this pretty solid pack.  Four champions across five cards and two other solid race winners.  It also seems like Bobby Allison is exceeding Mustachioed Dale Jarrett in the Repeat Legends in this Box file.

FIRST THING’S FIRST: Here we see Brad K pointing to himself.  Here’s hoping it was to make a point in a very 1910’s kind of way.  “I say, old chap, that I could lick any fellow in this garage on the track!”

SECOND LOOK: This is a great time to admire one of my favorite quirks in 2019’s paint schemes—the way the McDonalds logo cuts into the white stripes of the 42 scheme.

TO THE BACK: Two top tens at Daytona are nothing to sneeze at, especially for Jimmie, who seemed destined to smack the wall for far too long.


FINAL SCORE: 7 shifter knobs out of 10

2020 Donruss Panini Nascar Cards Unboxing PACK 9



Continuing a tradition of limited esteem, Spade Racing bought, unboxed, and unpacked a sealed box of 2020 Donruss (Panini) Nascar trading cards.  Join us as we go through each eight-card pack to find the good, the bad, and the downright weird.

PACK 9—Three of 43 and Panini on Panini
Not one, not two, but three Bubba Wallace cards here—two of which have him in the exact same post.  The young guns get some love in this pack with a single retired driver (Kenseth), a welcome change from the Dale Jarrett & Danica onslaught so far.

FIRST THING’S FIRST: Bubba Wallace gets the portrait treatment whilst doing the Bill Clinton lip-bite for some reason.  “I did not splash water in that driver’s face, Mr. Bowman”.
SECOND LOOK: This is as good a time as any to remind you that I took pottery as my art elective instead of photography in high school.

TO THE BACK: Panini doing a card on a Panini-sponsored driver?  How very Nascar on Fox of them.

FINAL SCORE: 5 synergistic marketing plans out of 10

Spade Racing: THE ROOKIES—Mid-June Rakings


New for 2020, Spade Racing will take a monthly look at the heralded Cup Series rookie class to determine who’s hot and who’s not.  The PRETTY grade: Performance Relative to Equating Team’s Typical Year (its pretty much how well each driver is doing considering their equipment).  Here’s how things look going into Homestead:


1. Tyler Reddick (Richard Childress Racing).  Best race finish: 7th (Darlington).  PRETTY grade: A-.  Reddick continues to impress in mid-level equipment, and has surprisingly emerged as the rookie with a best shot to nab a non-fluke win.  Now if he could just decide on a single sponsor…


2. Cole Custer (Stewart Haas Racing). Best race finish: 9th (Phoenix).  PRETTY grade: C+.  Since returning from the COVID-19 suspension of the season, Cole seems to be settling towards the middle of the pack.  It remains to be seen if he’ll be successful like teammate Kevin Harvick or just whiny like Aric Almirola.


3. John Hunter Nemechek (Front Row Motorsports).  Best race finish: 9th (Darlington).  PRETTY grade: B+.  Its been a pretty (no pun intended) surprising start to JHN’s rookie year.  Despite running for a mid-level (at best) team, he’s posted four finishes in the top-15—even more impressive, only ONE of them was on a superspeedway!


^4. Christopher Bell (Leavine Family Racing).  Best race finish: 9th (Charlotte & Bristol).  PRETTY grade: C+.  C.Bell has rebounded quite nicely after a rough start to the year, posting two top tens as part of four top-twenties since Nascar returned to the track.  I guess its hard to judge a PRETTY grade since the 95 seems to be a brand-new team this year with the JGR-alliance—then again, JGR also provided engines to Milka Duno at one point.


v5. Brennan Poole (Premium Motorsports).  Best race finish: 16th (Daytona).  PRETTY grade: C+.  Since his surprising run at Daytona Poole has been unable to crack the top-20, but let’s be real—if he’s still racing in the same car by the end of the season it’ll be a success story.


6. Quin Houff (StarCom Racing).  Best race finish: 26th (Darlington).  PRETTY grade: C-.  No top-twenties yet for the mysterious Quin with one N.  Then again, racing for StarCom means that “rolling chicane” might be the best he could hope for.


2020 Donruss Panini Nascar Cards Unboxing PACK 8



Continuing a tradition of limited esteem, Spade Racing bought, unboxed, and unpacked a sealed box of 2020 Donruss (Panini) Nascar trading cards.  Join us as we go through each eight-card pack to find the good, the bad, and the downright weird.

PACK 8—Fords of the Roush Hoards and Untowards
Four Roush drivers in this pack—three of them have pictures from that time as well.  Two other Ford drivers too as we get yet another mustachioed Dale Jarrett card.  And Rusty—don’t smile at me like that.

FIRST THING’S FIRST: Jimmie Johnson’s Elite.  I don’t think anyone would deny that.  But the “stacked” Ally logo, with the partial logo to the right, and the tool chest to the left, makes it look like Jimmie Johnson’s Adventures with Max Headroom.

SECOND LOOK: Here we see Ricky Stenhouse Jr., either wondering if his whirlwind relationship with Danica Patrick really happened or was just a dream, or how he’s going to explain how he wrecked THIS time.

TO THE BACK: Here we learn that last year Kurt Busch passed Benny Parsons on the all-time top-ten race finish list.  A fun fact inexplicably called an illusion.

FINAL SCORE: 5 water bottles out of 10

Bubba Wallace to Run White Surrender Flag of the Confederacy


In response to criticism over his decision to run a “Black Lives Matter” paint scheme at Martinsville, Bubba Wallace has announced that, in the interest of fairness, he will run a car with the eternal symbol of the Confederate States of America—the white flag of surrender.
Click to enlarge
“Many people have come out to criticize my decision to promote racial equality and reconciliation”, Wallace said in a prepared statement.  “However, this apparently is a bridge too far for some bitter white folks who cling onto a war from 160 years ago.  Therefore, I will be running a special ‘white flag’ paint scheme at an upcoming race to honor what the Confederacy is best known for—losing.”
Wallace has been outspoken in the past few weeks, having worn a “Black Lives Matter” t-shirt at Atlanta and expressing to interviewer/golf-enthusiast Don Lemon that Confederate battle flags should be banned from the race track.
“I feel like my mission to create a more-inclusive atmosphere for fans of all races and creeds has left out an important demographic—hillbillies with so little going on in their lives that they’re forced to take pride in a war their heroes lost.  Well, don’t worry—bring the white surrender flag and we’ll all know that you stand for the same thing the South stood for in 1865—unconditional surrender.”
Nascar has long tried to rectify its patriotic image with its tendency to attract fans who support a long-ago insurrection that killed countless American soldiers.  Wallace hopes his upcoming special paint scheme will help to change that.
“Look—if you’re willing to admit that you love the idea of owning people more than you love your country, that’s fine”, Wallace said.  “Just be open about it.  Wave that white flag.  It’ll show that you value a false ‘lost cause’ over the United States, our military, and your own dignity.
“Oh, by the way, don’t bother making any ‘Bubba surrendered the lead lap!’ jokes”, Wallace concluded.  “You’d be off the pace too if your team was still digging out from a year of Brian Scott.”


(NOTE: this is a PARODY)

Uncle Max vs. Last Year’s Winners: Martinsville/Homestead Doubleshot


As my nephew relayed to you last week, I’ve been busy at work getting things cleaned up.  And I mean REALLY clean.  The corporate big-wigs gave out some pretty sweet overtime to us to make sure every surface, floor, bathroom, break room, nook, cranny, and shelf is completely disinfected.
You really have no idea how long your building’s been there till you clean our areas you didn’t even know your store had.  I’m guessing this place used to be a grocery store, because I found a stack of promotional signage for produce tucked away in the back—thankfully no produce itself, and unfortunately no extra S&H GreenStamps like they advertised.

Here’s the picks for all of this week’s races:

Wednesday CUP SERIES Blue Emu 500.  LAST YEAR’S WINNER (2 wins) Brad Keselowski.  FAVORITE: (1 win) Kyle Busch—time to reclaim The Bow from Chase.  NEXT FAVORITE: (1 win) Joey Logano—can’t be booed after winning if there’s no one in the stands.  DARK HORSE: (0 wins) Matt Kenseth—what a story…if it actually happens.

Saturday Afternoon XFINITY SERIES Hooters 250 (2 wins) Brandon Jones—proving his worth beyond plate tracks.

Saturday Evening TRUCK SERIES Baptist Health 200 (1 win) Austin Hill—two years in a row.

Sunday Morning XFINITY SERIES Contender Boats 250 (2 wins) Harrison Burton—to the youthful go the spoils.


Sunday CUP SERIES Dixie Vodka 400.  LAST YEAR’S WINNER (2 wins) Kyle Busch.  FAVORITE: (1 win) Denny Hamlin—I get the feeling we’ll see a JGR car in victory lane no matter what.  NEXT FAVORITE: (1 win) Martin Truex Jr.—see above.  DARK HORSE: (0 wins) Austin Dillon—some Chevy power and a little fuel mileage luck.

Everybody’s Mad At Joey Logano—But Why?


These days it seems like everyone in Nascar is mad at Joey Logano—and they are.  But why?  Here’s a case-by-case basis of why each driver in today’s race is angry at the driver of the 22 car.

(in order of starting position)

Chase Elliott—wonders why a grown man with his own life is still going by “Joey”.

Aric Almirola—saw Joey talking to Brain Scott once.
"Everybody hates me.  All I have left
is my successful career, millions in
earnings, a loving family, a solid
contract, a job people would kill
for, legions of fans, and that
10% coupon off Penske Truck Rental"

Joey Logano—no problem!

Kyle Busch—feels that Joey in encroaching on his birthright to be an insufferable prick who wins a lot.

Clint Bowyer—Joey keeps testing his facade of being an affable good-ol-boy who likes everybody.

Brad Keselowski—keeps taking his pens at the weekly Team Penske meetings—even though they CLEARLY have Discount Tire logos on them.

Ryan Blaney—Joey keeps making “Menards/M’nards” jokes in the Team Penske group text.

Alex Bowman—was ok with him till Joey asked what its like to drive a sponsored car with no sponsor this year.

Kevin Harvick—people are still making that damn firesuit joke almost twenty years later.

Denny Hamlin—hatred that burns with a thousand suns…although to be fair Joey DID nearly break his back.

Martin Truex Jr.—ruined the good name of Connecticut, one Martin’s 18 adopted home states.

Kurt Busch—thinks Joey walks around like he’s hot stuff just because he’s only changed teams once.

Chris Buescher—Joey addressed his Christmas card to him as to “Chris Beu—Boo—Buer—the Kroger guy.”

Erik Jones—hey—you’d be mad at him too if you went into the Phoenix garage toilet after what Joey did in there.

Jimmie Johnson—calls Jimmie “old man”, which would be fine except he’s been doing it since 2005.

Austin Dillon—keeps pressing that spot on his hair in driver intros and making robot noises.

Ryan Newman—keeps pulling his hair in driver intros and making ripping noises.

John Hunter Nemechek—Joey always calls him “back row Billy”, which doesn’t even make sense.

Matt Kenseth—self-explanatory.

William Byron—refers to his sponsor Liberty University as “Lu”.

Matt DiBenedetto—calls the area where Team Penske works on Wood Bros. chassis as “Siberia”.

Bubba Wallace—wondered aloud in a media session why if World Wide Technology is really World Wide, they don’t sponsor a Formula 1 team.

Tyler Reddick—Joey keeps asking him how J.J.’s doing.

Corey LaJoie—he threw away Corey’s letter to Roger Penske.

Joey Gase—keeps parking in his drivers’ lot parking space, even though its further away.

Christopher Bell—Joey called him “Ding Dong”.  Fifteen times.  In a ten-minute meeting.

Ty Dillon—asked him if he drivers for “Jermaine”, why doesn’t Tito show up?

Ryan Preece—eh, New Englanders tend to hate other New Englanders.

JJ Yeley—Joey reminds him about his run in the 18 Cup car.  A LOT.

Cole Custer—its a dislike passed-down from his mentor Tony Stewart (who REALLY hated doing that commercial).

Josh Bilicki—Joey keeps calling him James.

Brennan Poole—Joey keeps calling him Brandon.

Garrett Smithley—he asked for some spare change to put air in his tires and Joey gave him a dime and two pennies.

Quin Hoff—sent him a text once that ended with “Good Luck Quit!”, although this could’ve been spell-check error.

Michael McDowell—Joey LOVES to go to Pilot/FlyingJ reststops.

Daniel Suarez—Joey’s constantly pronouncing the H in “Hola”.

Timmy Hill—ALL SHALL FALL BEFORE THE MIGHTY WRATH OF PORT TOBACCO MARYLAND.

BJ McLeod—when he got his new Cup car number, Joey immediately asked if he’d be the next Larry Gunselman.

Reed Sorenson—Joey constantly asks him how he lost his Turner ride AND Dollar General.

Uncle Max vs. Last Year’s Winners: Atlanta


Editor’s Note: Uncle Max said he’s been working overtime (literally) disinfecting his place of employment.  He texted me his picks a few hours ago.

TRUCK SERIES VetTix 200: (1 win) Kyle Busch—natch.

XFINITY SERIES EchoPark 250: (2 wins) Ross Chastain—a watermelon grows in Hampton.

CUP SERIES Folds of Honor 500.  LAST YEAR’S WINNER (2 wins) Brad Keselowski  FAVORITE: (1 win) Martin Truex Jr.—doesn’t even have to be a “home track”.  NEXT FAVORITE: (1 win) Kyle Busch—feelin’ like a sweep-y weekend.  DARK HORSE: (0 wins) Jimmie Johnson—followed by cries of “FIX!”.

THE INELIGIBLES: Nascar Hall of Famer Retirements—Who Hung On Too Long?

The following Hall of Famers were ineligible for my "Who Hung On Too Long?" series:

Dale Earnhardt Sr.
DRIVING ACCOMPLISHMENTS: “The Intimidator”.  Seven-time Cup Series champion (tied for most all-time).  76 Cup Series race wins.  1998 Daytona 500 champion.  1995 Brickyard 400 Champion.  Won every “Crown Jewel” race in Cup (Daytona 500, Brickyard 400, World 600, Southern 500).
WHY HE’S INELIGIBLE FOR THIS: Dale tragically passed away at the finish of the 2001 Daytona 500.  Considering he finished second in the final point standings the year before (something attributed to neck and shoulder surgery the previous year) he could’ve gone on to continue his career renaissance into the new millennium.

Bobby Allison
DRIVING ACCOMPLISHMENTS: 1983 Cup Series champion.  84 Cup Series wins.  Three-time Daytona 500 champion.  Four-time Southern 500 winner.  Leader of “The Alabama Gang”.
WHY HE’S INELIGIBLE FOR THIS: Bobby raced and won into a relatively advanced age until a horrible wreck at Pocono ended his driving career in 1988.  He’d won that year’s Daytona 500 and finished in the top-ten in points the previous two years, so the question of how long he’d remained a contender will remain a mystery.

Lee Petty
DRIVING ACCOMPLISHMENTS: Three-time Nascar Cup champion.  54 Cup Series wins.  Inaugural Daytona 500 champion.  Founder of Petty Enterprises (formerly Lee Petty Engineering).
WHY HE’S INELIGIBLE FOR THIS: Lee was involved in a vicious wreck in a qualifying race for the 1961 Daytona 500.  Other than a handful of appearances over the next three years, Lee chose to enter a quiet retirement, despite having won the race before his wreck.

Herb Thomas
DRIVING ACCOMPLISHMENTS: Two-time Nascar Cup champion—the first to win multiple Cup championships.  48 Cup Series wins.  Highest winning percentage in Cup (minimum 100 starts).  Three-time Southern 500 winner.  Three-time season wins leader.
WHY HE’S INELIGIBLE FOR THIS: Thomas was injured in a crash late in the 1956 season (a year in which he’d already clinched second-place in the season-ending points standings).  He’d made two starts the following year and make a one-race comeback in 1962 but otherwise was completely retired after his wreck.

Tim Flock
DRIVING ACCOMPLISHMENTS: Two-time Cup Series champion.  39 Cup Series wins.  Leader of the Flock family of racers.  Two-time season-long race wins leader.  Highest winning percentage of any full-time driver.
WHY HE’S INELIGIBLE FOR THIS: Flock departed team owner Carl Kiekhaefer due to stomach ulcers (believed to be caused by internal team strife) early in the 1956 season—just one year after he won his second championship.  He would then run a very limited schedule until being banned from the sport in 1961 for his support of a drivers’ union.

Fireball Roberts
DRIVING ACCOMPLISHMENTS: One of Nascar’s first “superstar” drivers.  33 Cup Series wins.  1962 Daytona 500 champion.  Two-time Southern 500 winner.
WHY HE’S INELIGIBLE FOR THIS: Roberts was still competitive when he was killed due to complications from a fiery wreck at the 1964 World 600 (it should be noted that this was an ironic coincidence—“Fireball” had been his nickname since his youth as a baseball pitcher).

Wendell Scott
DRIVING ACCOMPLISHMENTS: First African-American to drive in Nascar.  One-time Cup Series winner.  Finished a best of sixth in season-long points.
WHY HE’S INELIGIBLE FOR THIS: Although he was no doubt primarily inducted for his trailblazing accomplishments as an African-American in a deeply southern sport, Scott was a talented driver in his own right, racing primarily in his own equipment as an independent (owner-drivers with little-to-no factory backing).  Scott was seriously injured in a 1973 wreck at Talladega and only ran one more race later that year before retiring.

Joe Weatherly
DRIVING ACCOMPLISHMENTS: Two-time Nascar Cup Series champion.  25 Cup Series wins.  Led the Cup Series in wins for two seasons.  Considered the “Clown Prince of Racing” with his outsized personality and penchant for pranks.
WHY HE’S INELIGIBLE FOR THIS: Weatherly, as the sport’s reigning champion, was killed in a crash at Riverside Raceway early in the 1964 season.

Red Byron
DRIVING ACCOMPLISHMENTS: Inaugural Cup Series champion.  Two Cup Series wins.  Inaugural Daytona Beach Course winner.
WHY HE’S INELIGIBLE FOR THIS: Health issues stemming from his service in World War II forced Byron out of driving after the 1951 season, a year in which he only ran five Cup races.  After a run developing teams in sports car racing Byron would die in 1960 of a heart attack.

Davey Allison
DRIVING ACCOMPLISHMENTS: 19 Cup Series wins.  1992 Daytona 500 champion.  Leader of the second generation of “The Alabama Gang”.
WHY HE’S INELIGIBLE FOR THIS: One year after narrowly losing the 1992 championship to Alan Kulwicki, Allison was fifth in points when he was tragically killed in a helicopter crash.  Cut down in the prime of his life and racing career, who knows how many more wins Allison could have accomplished.

Alan Kulwicki
DRIVING ACCOMPLISHMENTS: 1992 Cup Series champion.  Five Cup Series wins.  Last true owner-driver to win a championship (without outside investment or partners).
WHY HE’S INELIGIBLE FOR THIS: Kulwicki had posted two top-five finishes six races into the 1993 season when he was killed in a plane crash near Bristol Motor Speedway, cutting short his championship defense.