The Hero Card Project: Introduction—SASE’s and FAQs

The stack--going in the
mail March 1st
Nascar’s unique in that there’s a pretty cool way to get a (relatively) free souvenir from virtually every team—the hero card.  For the uninitiated, Hero Cards are large, well, cards printed on, well, card stock, containing driver, car, and team information.  Big and glossy, they work great for autographs, or just to collect.
Example from 2020

Now normally I can get a good selection of Hero Cards from team race shops or at the track in the garage.  But with the whole pandemic going on, that’s a no-go.  So instead I’m mailing out a slew of Self-Addressed-Stamped-Envelopes (SASE’s) March 1st to every major and minor race team in the three national touring series.

Who’ll be the first to respond?  Who’ll have the best Hero Cards?  Who’ll send the most?  Will anyone still have outdated 2020 info?  And will anyone slip in a few goodies or even an autograph?  Stay tuned to find out!


Q: What’s a “Hero Card”?

A: A Hero Card is a glossy card-stock giveaway for a Nascar driver and/or race team.  Typically 8”x10” or smaller, teams use them as a form of advertising, a convenient way to give out autographs, and promotion for their sponsors.

Q: How do I get one?

A: Get an 8.5”x11” manilla envelope and put two “Forever” stamps on it (three if you’re requesting a large number of cards, i.e. from a four-car team), as well as your home address.  Then put it in another envelope and address it to the team you’re contacting.  Add two stamps to THAT one and drop it off at the post office.

Q: How do I get a team or driver’s address?

A: Your best source by far is a race team’s official website—some of them have specific addresses different from their race team headquarters (like a PO Box) for their Hero Card requests.

Q: How long does it take to hear back?

A: It varies wildly by team.  Some may take as little as a week, some may take a few months.  Obviously the COVID-19 situation (which has office staff spending less time at the race shop) can slow things down significantly.

Q: Are there any limits?

A: As a general rule teams limit requests to no more than two Hero Cards per driver—you can still ask for Hero Cards for every driver at, say, Stewart-Haas Racing, but you can’t ask for a dozen Hero Cards for Kevin Harvick.

Q: In normal times where else can I get Hero Cards?

A: Race shops (almost all of which are open to the public) usually have them available—no need to pay postage, but you’ll need to be in North Carolina.  Also, if you ever get pit or garage passes to a race, most teams will have Hero Cards available at their haulers.

Q: Do YOU have Hero Cards available?

A: Yes I do!  To request one, send a Self Addressed Stamped Envelope as stated above to the following address:

Spade Racing

3911 Concord Pike

Suite 7795

Wilmington DE 19803

Live Fast Motorsports Trying to Set Single Season Paint Scheme Record

Just three races into the 2021 Nascar Cup season we’ve seen two wild races and two first time winners.  A bit further back in the pack, however, new team Live Fast Motorsports is attempting to make a different kind of impact—running a different paint scheme in every single race this year.

We’ll be running our third different paint scheme for our third different sponsor this weekend at Homestead (Miami Speedway), which is a heck of a way to start the year”, said team spokesman Oliver Butters.  “We’re so grateful that we have so many fantastic companies willing to join our quest for history, cluttering up Jayski’s 2021 Paint Schemes page in the process.”

1/36th of this year's possible
diecast inventory (courtesy Jayski)

The team, co-owned by BJ McLeod and Matt Tifft, debuted this season rising from the ashes of GoFAS Racing.  While competing for wins would be a tall order for any new team, the Live Fast team has found a way to hopefully stand out from the crowd.

“There’s a lot of new teams this year—23XI Racing has Michael Jordan, Trackhouse Race Team has Pitbull—but we’re looking to make our mark by showing up every week with a different-colored car”, Butters said.  “And while we might not have a celebrity co-owner, BJ was quite a legend in his middle school gym class basketball games, and Matt’s been know to drop a bar or two—he’s a real man of the streets.”

Live Fast has been working with its various sponsors to help them achieve their goal of 36 different liveries in 2021.

“Keen Parts is one of our biggest supporters, and they have multiple races with us this year”, Butters explained.  “So we’re working with them to have a few different branding images on the hood.  From Keen to Corvette Parts to a possible tie-in with The Family Circus, there’s lots of great ways to change things up.”

Butters later explained that The Family Circus was created by Bil Keane, and that the Keane/Keen coincidence was, in fact, funny.

“This is the kind of thing that your average person won’t appreciate, but years down the line, they’ll see what we were trying to do”, Butters said.  “It might take a decade, but people will look at what Live Fast did in 2021 with all its sponsors like a Cristo art installation or that one weird Peter Max Dale Earnhardt car.”

Team co-owner BJ McLeod was unavailable for comment as he was busy greasing up his hair. 

Uncle Max vs. Repeat Winners: Homestead

Ugh.  Some months you just can’t catch a break

In the sports gambling world I’m winless in Nascar (sorry about that), although at least there haven’t been any repeat winners yet.  I lost big on the Super Bowl, none of my fantasy basketball teams are going great, and for the second straight year there might not be a work March Madness pool—and this time it won’t (hopefully) be because of a worldwide pandemic.

That’s because we have a major corporate visit coming up in early March, and to say its “all hands on deck” is an understatement.  Everybody on the management team is working overtime (including yours truly) and there’s been a crazy focus on us following EVERY SINGLE RULE.  So that means no on-site gambling, even if its just people tossing in five bucks to pick teams based on mascots they like.  I tell you, if it wasn’t for the moderate pay scale that keeps me in a reasonably-appointed town house, I wouldn’t be there.


Saturday Evening XFINITY SERIES Contender Boats 250: Austin Cindric—two wins in three races (and this one’s from the “pole”).

Sunday Afternoon CUP SERIES Dixie Vodka 400: Repeat Winner—Christopher BellFavorite: Joey Logano—I get the feeling its going to be Ford vs. Toyota all year long.  Next Favorite: Denny Hamlin—I get the feeling its going to be Toyota vs. Ford all year long.  Dark Horse: Ryan Blaney—yes, he qualifies as a dark horse pick.  Weird.

2020 Panini Nascar Chronicles Cards Unboxing PACK 5 of 24

Panini comes out every year with a “super premium” series of Nascar cards, chock full of memorabilia pieces, autographs, and rookie cards.  This year its the Chronicles Series.  Join me as we unbox, unwrap, and unpack six “Blaster Boxes” worth of cards!

PACK 5—Limited, Foot o’ Lead, and Astrologers Said

FIRST THING’S FIRST: Even MORE Dale Jr. in this pack, and again we get three youngsters and two veterans.  I don’t really understand the “Limited” tagline, nor do I get the rings of Saturn behind Clint Bowyer.  I mean, I know Titan is moon of Saturn, but wouldn’t an air dryer have been more appropriate.

TO THE BACK: An astrology analogy on this card.  My astrology report today read “SCORPIO: You will regret having taken a really blurry picture today”.

WHAT WERE THEY THINKING: “These black and white photos make me look old-timey, as does the speed in my usual car”.

FINAL SCORE: 5 racing flags out of 10.

52 Pickup Racing Presents: Ask The Crew Chief

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (Boogertown, North Carolina)

Earlier last week 52 Pickup Racing opened up its social media channels to questions for Mark Martinez, crew chief of the Monday Cigarettes race car.  Here’s three:

“Hi Mark—I know the performance of the car probably isn’t what you expected, but have there been any positives so far this year?” —Jeff Horn, Screen Printer (Rochester, New York)

“Well, there’s been a few bright spots this year, like avoiding DNFs (Did Not Finishes) and keeping the car out of the wall.  But we’re building steadily towards the future, and with a lot of hard work and a little luck, we can see a top-twenty-five finish on the horizon” —Mark

“What do you think T.B. Dee (driver of the Monday Cigarettes race car) can do to improve this year?” —Sam Tackett, Mortician (Hot Springs, Arkansas).

“There’s plenty of little things that T.B. can do—hit his marks in the turns more regularly, be more alert on restarts, but the most-important thing he can do is easy—go faster.  And that’s why I’m here—to tell him that repeatedly.” —Mike

“Mark, did you have a talk with T.B. about not spinning the tires when leaving the pit stall?  I mean, those tires are pretty (darn) expensive.” —Bobby Messenger, Day Trader and 52 Pickup Racing co-owner (Charlotte, North Caorlina).

“Yes, Bobby, its being taken care of.” —Mark

QUOTES: “Mark Martinez is a real asset to the team.  I mean, who else is going to remind me every single lap to go fast?” —T.B. Dee, driver of the 52 Pickup Racing Monday Cigarettes race car.

“The 52 Pickup Racing race car has shown…improvement and there is…hope for the future.” —“Chito” Segui, Racing Prospectus.

ABOUT 52 PICKUP RACING: 52 Pickup Racing is NASCAR Cup’s newest race team.  Based out of Boogertown North Carolina, the team employs up-and-coming driver T.B. Dee and will be holding a bake sale outside its partially-completed race shop on Friday from 10am-2pm—mention this press release and get a free double-chocolate chip cookie with any other purchase!

For more information please visit the 52 Pickup Racing website at

For all media inquiries please contact Moxoc Media at moxoc(at)

For Hero Card Requests, please send a self-addressed stamped envelope to the address below:

52 Pickup Racing

Attn: Hero Card Request

3911 Concord Pike

PO Box 7795

Wilmington DE 19803

Penske Removes “Team” from team name after Daytona 500

In order to better reflect the team’s goals after a wild, disappointing Daytona 500, Penske’s Nascar operations have officially removed the “Team” from their name (formerly “Team Penske”) as of Tuesday morning.

“This is a great day for this operation”, said team owner and rugged individualist Roger Penske.  “We will still work to put the four—er, I mean, three—best cars on the track every weekend.  But once the cars are ON the track, its every driver for themselves.  Four—I mean, three—men enter, one man exits…if he’s lucky.”

In order to remove the "TEAM"s from their
haulers they used their Penske file.

“I suggested the change at our team Zoom call on Monday, Mike”, said driver Brad Keselowski, knocked out of a prime chance to win at the Daytona 500.  “If its all about the individual here, we need to get rid of the ‘Team’ aspect.  After all—there’s no I in team, but there is one in ‘Win’.  In fact, there’s an I in ‘Hendrick’, too, now that I think about it.”

Fellow Penske driver Joey Logano, who was also involved in the intrateam drama on the final lap, seemed ambivalent towards the change.

“Penske, Team Penske, it doesn’t really matter to me.”, Logano said.  “All I know is that I’ll be here for a very long time, just like Sam Hornish or David Stremme.  Those are the names that built this group into the behemoth it is today, not some ARCA reject from Michigan.  By the way, why don’t people like me?”

Roger Penske added that he considered changing the organization’s name back to “Penske Racing South”, but he didn’t want to deal with a four-hour long phone call to Rusty Wallace to reacquire the rights to the name.

“The only thing that’s constant in racing is change”, Penske added, saying that “Keselowski, Logano, (Ryan) Blaney, DiBenn—no, just those other three guys—are going to do battle on the track every single weekend, and whoever comes out on top will get the ultimate prize—a one year contract extension.”

Uncle Max vs. Repeat Winners: Daytona Road Course

Wow—what a Daytona 500, huh?  No, seriously, I’m asking because I couldn’t stay up to catch the ending!

For those who don’t know I’m an assistant manager in the retail field on the east coast.  That means that whenever there’s a rain delay at a Sunday race, I tend to miss the finish.  I’ve looked into moving my schedule around but, well, its either working Sundays or working Mondays, and I love having my fall Sundays available to give my remote control a workout.

Anyways, it was a winless weekend all around for me, but at least Repeat Winners just barely missed out on a win.  And with McDriver defending his “title” this weekend, I got a chance to get off to a quick start!

Friday Night TRUCK SERIES BrakeBest 159: Sheldon Creed—kind of an arbitrary race distance there, ISC.

Saturday Evening XFINITY SERIES Super Start 188: AJ Allmendinger—maybe I should be picking Cindric?  Aaaah…

Sunday Afternoon CUP SERIES O’Reilly 253: Repeat Winner—Michael McDowell.  Favorite: Chase Elliott—last week 2nd, this week 1st, next week 0th.  Next Favorite: Martin Truex Jr.—due to a clerical error the Daytona Road Course is NOT one of his home tracks.  Dark Horse: Cole Custer—if McDowell DOES win this race I’m lighting myself on fire.

2020 Panini Nascar Chronicles Cards Unboxing PACK 4 of 24

Panini comes out every year with a “super premium” series of Nascar cards, chock full of memorabilia pieces, autographs, and rookie cards.  This year its the Chronicles Series.  Join me as we unbox, unwrap, and unpack six “Blaster Boxes” worth of cards!

PACK 4—A Firesuit, Green Loot, and Words Made Moot

FIRST THING’S FIRST: Jackpot!  A Bubba Wallace firesuit swatch highlights this pack, as does a green variant “Pedal to the Metal” Ryan Blaney card.  We also get Dale Jr. in his lime green look, which combined with two red-themed cards, gives this set a Christmas-y feel.

TO THE BACK: I don’t really know what’s worse—a backmarker team called “Premium” or a journeymen being said to be on the “Ascension”.

WHAT WERE THEY THINKING: “Make sure the reflection in my shades is just right.”

FINAL SCORE: 8 uniform patches out of 10

52 Pickup Racing Begins Social Media Presence Expansion

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (Boogertown, North Carolina)

Now more than ever, social media is an important facet of a business’s marketing plan, be it a corner store or a NASCAR Cup race team.  That’s why 52 Pickup Racing has brought in a specialist to increase the new team’s social media presence for 2021.

“I might not be as young as some of the other social media gurus in the sport, but I know how to get a race team’s name out”, said social media consultant David McLemore, “and it goes far beyond the usual suspects.

“That’s why as of this week, we now have active profiles on MySpace, Friendster, and  I’m working hard to make sure we can reach race fans no matter where they are.”

“Social Media really is the wave of the future”, said Hal Schwenk, one of the fifty-two co-owners of 52 Pickup Racing.  “And I don’t know too much about it myself, but David seems to be pretty on the ball.  Just today he showed me how to set up a profile on Google+.”

“Everybody has a Twitter handle, a Facebook page, an Instagram account—but how does that differentiate yourself from the competition?”, McLemore explained.  “You need to reach people who aren’t necessarily on those platforms.  For instance, as of a few hours ago, 52 Pickup Racing is the only race team with a profile on JDate!”

McLemore also said he will be running the teams’ new social media accounts for the foreseeable future, and can be reached via AOL Instant Messenger at user name “xXstaindfanDLXx”

QUOTES: “Social Media can make or a break a race team’s marketing plan.  I learned that the hard way” —T.B. Dee, driver of the 52 Pickup Racing Monday Cigarettes race car.

“Go search us out online—just don’t go searching for our driver’s comments on Denmark—I swear, there’s nothing worth seeing.” —Hal Schwenk, co-owner of 52 Pickup Racing.

ABOUT 52 PICKUP RACING: 52 Pickup Racing is NASCAR Cup’s newest race team.  Based out of Boogertown North Carolina, the team employs up-and-coming driver T.B. Dee and is proud to announce that its race shop now has indoor plumbing.

For more information please visit the 52 Pickup Racing website at

For all media inquiries please contact Moxoc Media at moxoc(at)

For Hero Card Requests, please send a self-addressed stamped envelope to the address below:

52 Pickup Racing

Attn: Hero Card Request

3911 Concord Pike

PO Box 7795

Wilmington DE 19803

Derrike Cope’s Daytona Return Expected to Produce Record-Breaking Ratings, Says Derrike Cope

After more than two years out of the driver’s seat, 1990 Daytona 500 Champion Derrike Cope returns to the site of his greatest glory today driving the #15 car for Rick Ware Racing.  The surprise comeback from the seasoned veteran is expected to produce a spike in television ratings, according to Derrike Cope.

“Derrike Cope is a name that has recognition across all demographics”, said Derrike Cope.  “There’s no reason not to expect TV ratings to more than double what Nascar got for last year’s Daytona 500, thanks to what I call The Cope Factor.”

Cope continued that “With The Cope Factor, everybody will be talking about the Daytona 500 tomorrow, no matter where Derrike Cope finishes.  It’ll be a real ‘water cooler moment’—at least it would be if people weren’t working from home.  Maybe more of a ‘filtered water pitcher moment’.”

The two-time Cup Series race winner expects that the two-time Cup Series race winner will be deluged by media attention in the hours following the race.

“The pandemic has limited the media that normally would besiege a driver of Derrike Cope’s stature”, said Derrike Cope, “but there’ll likely be plenty of online interview requests via Zoom.  And don’t be surprised if you see Cope on Sunday Night’s SportsCenter discussing the major upswing in attention he’s brought to the sport.”

Cope indicated that Cope is taking the presumptive crush of attention and fans in stride.

“Its normal for a driver like Derrike Cope to attract a lot of attention, especially from the ladies”, Cope said.  “But as a married man I think he’ll be looked at more aspirationally as the apex of husband material.”

Cope said that Cope is attempting to put together a deal to run at the site of his second Cup win, Dover, for all fifty fans that are likely to show up at the track that day.

Uncle Max vs. Repeat Winners: Daytona

Click here for Uncle Max's 2021 Preview

The 2021 Nascar season is finally here!  In case you missed my 2021 preview piece, this year I’m going up against repeat winners.  I don’t have that much experience with “repeats”—I greatly prefer ok new tv over great old tv, I never had to repeat a grade in school, and I almost always bet against the defending champions the following year.  Speaking of which…

I cleaned up big on the Super Bowl!  I won’t reveal how much money I made by placing my bet on Tom Brady and the Bucs, but suffice to say I can get a little extra cheese on my burgers for the next few weeks.

Without any further ado, here’s the first set of pics for the year:

Thursday Night TRUCK SERIES NextEra Energy 250: Austin Hill—the best way to start on a championship run.

Saturday Evening XFINITY SERIES Beef 300: Daniel Hemric—no better way to make a first impression at a new team.

Sunday Afternoon CUP SERIES Daytona 500: Last Year’s Winner—Chase Elliott.  Favorite: Kyle Busch—the rebound starts now.  Next Favorite: Kurt Busch—he has won here before, after all.  Dark Horse: Ryan Newman—heh, bet you thought I’d pick Bubba.

ESPN On Hand to Film Documentary Mini-Series “The First Dance” at Daytona with 23XI Racing

Following in the successful ten-part miniseries “The Last Dance” last year—which focused on Michael Jordan’s final season with the Chicago Bulls—ESPN has film crews on hand at Daytona International Speedway to capture footage for the documentary’s sequel, “The First Dance”, focusing on Jordan’s new Nascar team, 23XI Racing.

“We’ve seen what the Jordan Brand means for sports fans, long after MJ last stepped off a basketball court”, said ESPN Films executive John Burger.  “We have little doubt that his legions of fans will want to see the nuts-and-bolts of his management team setting up a Nascar Cup operation.

“And I mean that quite literally”, Burger explained.  “There’s really LOTS of lug nuts involved in this sport, its really quite amazing.”

Following in “The Last Dance”’s footsteps, the documentary series will intersperse in-race footage and “fly on the wall” coverage with commentary from ESPN personalities and 23XI team members.

“I’ve already been interviewed twice by the crew”, said team engineer Guy Potlay.  “I mean, there’s not much to go over beyond trying to ‘dial-in’ the car for different tracks, but I like to think I communicated to them some interesting information—like that time I got the vending machine in our race shop’s lobby working again, and that time (team co-owner) Denny Hamlin asked me if I’d parked in his parking spot—I hadn’t, by the way.”

23XI Racing driver Bubba Wallace appeared unfazed by the added attention to the team.

“Oh, its nothing I’m not used to”, Wallace said after leaving a brief interview session in the garage with the ESPN crew.  “Heck, Facebook did a series on me a few years back.  Its pretty much the same, except the ESPN guys haven’t asked to watch me play the drums.”

Burger, the ESPN executive running point on “The First Dance”, said that they’ll be checking in with the 23XI Racing crew throughout the 2021 Nascar Cup season.

“From the first lap at Daytona to the last lap at Phoenix, we’ll be there to capture the heartache and happiness that comes with building a race team from the ground up”, Burger said.  “And I’ve instructed all my cameramen to make sure they get dramatic panning shots of every race track we go to.  When this premieres in 22 years I want to make sure the viewers know what its like to be at a Nascar race in the COVID-19 age.”

Michael Jordan was unable to be reached for comment for this story, although rumor has it that he’s already filmed b-roll footage of him laughing at an iPad.

52 Pickup Racing Driver T.B. Interviewed by Local Newspaper

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (Boogertown, North Carolina)

The following are excepts from an interview performed by Steve Voigt of the Boogertown Bugle newspaper.

Steve Voight, reporter: “Thanks for taking the time to sit down with me today.  So what exactly do you do?”

T.B. Dee, driver: “Well, I drive the race car.  Of course there’s lots more to the job than just that—there’s testing, sponsorship obligations, putting up ‘No Trespassing’ signs on our race shop—but driving is really what I do”

SV: “OK, but what do you REALLY do?”

TBD: “Um, I just said, I’m a driver.  I drive the race car.”

SV: “Uh-huh, and that’s your job?”

TBD: “Yes, that’s what I’ve done since I was a little kid.”

SV: “You’ve done what since you were a little kid.”

TBD: “I said I drive race cars.  I can’t really put it any plainer than that.”

SV: “And what do you do NOW?”

TBD: “I. DRIVE. RACE CARS.  I did it then, I do it now, I hope I’ll be doing it for years to come.”

SV: “Oh don’t we all.  Now what do you see yourself doing in, say, a few weeks.”

TBD: “Is this a joke?  I drive race cars!  I do it then, now, in the future I hope.  Why do you keep asking me this?”

SV: “Asking you what?”

TBD: “What I do for a living?!?”

SV: “And what is that?”

TBD: “That’s it—unless you can help me pave the parking lot, get out!”

QUOTES: “T.B. Dee seems like a nice enough guy, I just wish I knew what he did.” —Steve Voigt, Boogertown Bugle.

“Get back here Voigt—we need someone else to mix the asphalt” —Bob Habenicht, co-owner of 52 Pickup Racing.

ABOUT 52 PICKUP RACING: 52 Pickup Racing is NASCAR Cup’s newest race team.  Based out of Boogertown North Carolina, the team employs up-and-coming driver T.B. Dee and is asking all employees park on the street until the hot mix has cured and been sealcoated.

For more information please visit the 52 Pickup Racing website at

For all media inquiries please contact Moxoc Media at moxoc(at)

For Hero Card Requests, please send a self-addressed stamped envelope to the address below:

52 Pickup Racing

Attn: Hero Card Request

3911 Concord Pike

PO Box 7795

Wilmington DE 19803

Uncle Max 2021 Preview: Wins on Repeat

Hello, loyal Spade Racing readers, gambling aficionados, and Russian hit bots looking to redirect my nephew to a weight loss site!
  The 2021 Nascar season is almost here, and its time to look ahead at what I have in store for this year’s challenge—but first, a quick look back:

Last Season: I took it on the chin against “Last Year’s Winners”, who will NOT be returning to fight me again.  And while I’d like to think its because my nephew is taking pity on his ol’ uncle, I know the real reason is because trying to match up Last Year’s Winners to this year’s revamped schedule would be like putting a square peg in a multi-dimensional infinitely-sided round hole.

The Offseason: I’ve been chugging along at work as usual—another Christmas shopping season is behind us (just as crazy, but not as busy), as is another post-Christmas return season.  Why is it that people will try to return ANYTHING to any store, even if its obviously something we don’t sell?  I swear, if one more old lady tries to bring back a radial tire…

The Pandemic: COVID-19 restrictions have been hard on all of us, especially retail workers like me.  There’s nothing like having to wear a mask when you’re trying to explain where something is to a customer who’s hard of hearing.  Its been getting rough at work with layoffs and closures, but I haven’t been affected—yet.  *knocks on particle board desk*

The 2021 Challenge: So this year I’ll be going up against a pretty simple opponent—Repeat Winners.  Whoever wins the previous points-paying race will be my challenger the following week.  So, for instance, Repeat’s first pick will be Chase Elliott.  I’ll be able to pick anyone I’d like EXCEPT the repeat winner, of course, and will still be making three picks a week for Cup—Favorite, Next Favorite, and Dark Horse (a dark horse pick being an unpopular “reach” of a pick with decent odds).  If the previous week’s winner isn’t entered in the following week’s race due to injury, suspension, or the flukiness of their win (aka The Justin Haley Rule), the previous week’s runner up will be selected.

With that out of the way, here’s the official Uncle Max 2021 Nascar Picks:

Truck Series Regular Season Champion: John Hunter Nemechek

Xfinity Series Regular Season Champion: Austin Cindric

Cup Series Regular Season Champion: Kevin Harvick

Cup Series Bounce Back Drivers: Kyle Busch, Ryan Blaney

Cup Series Breakthrough Driver: Christopher Bell

Cup Series Disappointment Drivers: Matt DiBennedetto, Aric Almirola

Three Easy Predictions:

—Kevin Harvick and the four Joe Gibbs Racing drivers will dominate Cup throughout the regular season

—Kyle Larson will run consistently in the top-ten

—Austin Cindric will dominate the Xfinity Series at a level not seen in decades

Three Bold Predictions:

—All four JGR drivers will have multiple regular season wins

—Team Penske will have a quiet season (likely due to focus on the Next-Gen car in 2022)

—Kyle Busch will win his 100th Xfinity Series race, then hold himself to his promise to retire from that series

Three Wild Predictions:

—Austin Dillon will contend for a Cup championship

—Both Roush Fenway Racing cars will qualify for the Playoffs

—Either Trackhouse or Spire will win a race at Daytona or Talladega

2020 Panini Nascar Chronicles Cards Unboxing PACK 3 of 24

Panini comes out every year with a “super premium” series of Nascar cards, chock full of memorabilia pieces, autographs, and rookie cards.  This year its the Chronicles Series.  Join me as we unbox, unwrap, and unpack six “Blaster Boxes” worth of cards!

PACK 3—Busch, a Youth Push, and “Last Card” (SHHHH)

FIRST THING’S FIRST: Both ends of the experience spectrum here, with two multiple-time Cup champions and three young guns.  Note the classic “Score” look for Christopher Bell, which would’ve been a nice throwback had they not made it look like he was standing upright on a banked racetrack—maybe he had those Michael Jackson “lean” shoes on?

TO THE BACK: Just think—with Jimmie Johnson retiring, this will be your last chance to see him on a card.  Well, even though they still make cards for Dale Jr., Danica, Dale Jarrett, Richard Petty—just ignore that fact.

WHAT WERE THEY THINKING: “Take the damn picture—I’m about to fall over and my ankles feel like they’re on fire!”

FINAL SCORE: 6 windshield tear-offs out of 10

Spade Racing Presents The Sophomores: A Monthly Series


Last year Spade Racing took a look at the six drivers competing for Rookie of the Year.  This year we continue to look at that vaunted class (sans John Hunter Nemechek) as they strive to establish themselves while avoiding the “sophomore slump”.  Returning for 2021 is 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 pre-season:

1. Cole Custer (Stewart Haas Racing). 2020 points finish: 16th.  PRETTY grade prediction: B+.  Cole Custer easily won the Rookie of the Year Award in 2020 on the back of his breakthrough race win and an otherwise solid season.  This year he’ll have to see if he beat out Chase Briscoe to be the #2 driver at SHR behind Kevin Harvick.  Oh, and there’s another guy there, Eric-something.

2. Christopher Bell (Joe Gibbs Racing).  2020 points finish: 20th.  PRETTY grade prediction: C+.  After a rough rookie year with a disintegrating Leavine Family Racing organization, C.Bell gets a massive upgrade in equipment by moving to JGR…albeit in the 20 car that’s struggled for years.  Personally I see this as being a possible break-out year for him, but then again I’m also the guy who thought that curly shoelaces were cool.

3. Tyler Reddick (Richard Childress Racing).  2020 points finish: 19th.  PRETTY grade prediction: B+.  Reddick eked out ahead of Christopher Bell in the points last year, but while Bell moves onto a top-flight team, Reddick is stuck with RCR.  HOWEVER, RCR improved by leaps and bounds in 2020.  Here’s just hoping that he doesn’t lose his ride to Ty Dillon at some point.  Please.

4. Brennan Poole (Premium Motorsports).  2020 points finish: 31st.  PRETTY grade prediction: B+.  “The Bull” did the best with what he had in 2020, posting a top-ten finish at a plate race and falling just one race short of a full-season—all worth goals to surpass in 2021.  Plus he’ll get to tell people for years how he “beat Kyle Larson in the Cup Series points standings”.

5. Quin Houff (StarCom Racing).  2020 points finish: 32nd.  PRETTY grade prediction: D.  The lowest driver in the standings to attempt every single race.  Finishing behind several drivers who didn’t run the full season.  Sparking a debate about being relegated.  I’d like to say 2021 is a “nowhere to go but up season”, but unfortunately I think its more-likely that Quin just stays where he is.

(n/a) John Hunter Nemechek (n/a).  2020 points finish: 27th.  PRETTY grade prediction: (n/a).  John Hunter had a decent rookie year in lower-level equipment, but has decided to return to the Truck Series with KBM.  Good luck to him, and thanks for allowing Anthony Alfredo to be slaughtered in the Rookie of the Year race.

52 Pickup Racing Presents: Ask The Team Owner

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (Boogertown, North Carolina)

Earlier last week 52 Pickup Racing opened up its social media channels to questions for Jim Bilbrey, one of the team’s fifty-two co-owners.  Here’s three:

“Hey Jim!  I’m interested in starting a career in motorsports.  How do I get started?” —Leo Anderson, College Student (Aberdeen, South Dakota)

“Well, Leo, NASCAR is not an easy sport to get involved in.  But if you’re willing to work hard, put in some long hours, and work for a wage that will put you firmly below the poverty line, we might just have a job available for you here” —Jim

“Hello—I’ve been following your press releases since your team was announced.  Have you decided on if you’re going to run a Ford, Chevy, or Toyota yet?” —Brady Gomez, Retail Assistant Manager (St. Louis, Missouri)

“Thanks for your interest Brady.  Its hard to say what we’re running, what with the Chevy engine, Toyota chassis, and Ford sheet metal.  I guess you could call it a Foryovy.” —Jim

“I’m taking a trip to visit my in-laws in North Carolina next month and want to visit some of the race shops.  Is yours open for fan tours?” —Davis Glenn, Banker (San Bernadino, California)

“We appreciate your interest Davis, but our race shop is currently not open to fans.  Maybe if the Boogertown building inspector worked more that two days a week we could get a permit sometime this century.” —Jim

QUOTES: “We really appreciate all the interest we get from fans.  Why just last week someone approached me at the mall!  Granted, he just wanted to know where Cinnabon was, but its a start.” —T.B. Dee, driver of the 52 Pickup Racing Monday Cigarettes race car.

“There’s been lots of ups and downs so far, but with 52 Pickup Racing, there’s really nowhere to go but up.” —Bill Nekpir, Motorsports Today

ABOUT 52 PICKUP RACING: 52 Pickup Racing is NASCAR Cup’s newest race team.  Based out of Boogertown North Carolina, the team employs up-and-coming driver T.B. Dee and is considering starting new entries in such series as Xfinity, Trucks, Soap Box, or Pinewood Derby. 

For more information please visit the 52 Pickup Racing website at

For all media inquiries please contact Moxoc Media at moxoc(at)

Hero cards available next week!