Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Spade Racing Opens a Box of 2022 Donruss Nascar Cards, Pack 6 of 24



Join us (well, me) as we/I go through a box of 2022 Donruss Nascar Cards.  New teams, new drivers, new subsets, and of course some corny commentary by me.


Pack 6—An Old “Rookie”, a Tough Cookie, and a Bad Look-y


FIRST LOOK:
On what planet is a late-30s B.J. McLeod considered a “Rated Rookie”?


TO THE BACK:
Here we see another reference to Chase Elliott’s road course exploits.  Dude loved by old-timers knows how to win on tracks that old-timers think are ruining the sport.


SAY WHAT:
“My belt has my name on it.  Huh, kinda odd now that I think about it.”


RATING: 8 Elliott family members out of 10


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Monday, June 27, 2022

SPAD3 RACING TESTING MYSTERIOUS NEW FUEL


Special Protective Advance Defense Department Detachment (SPAD3) Racing has turned some heads in the NASCAR world this year as the series’ newest team.  Today it was because of an announcement of a mysterious new racing fuel the team has been developing all year.

First test of the new fuel

“This new fuel is far more efficient than your standard fossil-based racing fuel” said team engineer Bart Williams.  “Race cars can get up to 12 miles a gallon on this stuff—and it has relatively few side-effects.”

“Look, everybody hates the smell of gasoline, right?”, said team public relations director Stacey Fox.  “Well, this fuel isn’t just clean-burning—its clean-SMELLING too.  You’ll barely even notice its there as you become docile and compliant.”

The team’s secretive yet robust research-and-development program has been working on several projects, most of which have yet to be revealed in full to the general public.

“We’re hoping to submit this racing fuel concept to NASCAR for approval by the end of the calendar year”, Williams said.  “Once they see this in action they’ll have no choice but to agree to it, as well as some other things we’re working on, like our weather-disruption device—no more rain delays!”

As to the contents, source, and methodology behind the fuel itself, that remains a closely-guarded trade secret.

“I’m not at liberty to discuss the source of this amazing new technology”, Fox said.  “But I’m sure that once the racing public catches wind of its benefits, nobody will care where it came from.”


Visit SPAD3.com to apply for a free sample!


Sunday, June 26, 2022

Nascar on NBC/USA—What to Look For



Today sees Nascar Cup & Xfinity coverage switch from Fox to NBC & USA for the rest of the season.  Here’s a few things to watch out for:


—Cable coverage switches from the now-defunct NBCSN to USA, aka That Channel You Used to Watch Wrestling On.  Nascar is expected to benefit from regular lead-ins of Law & Order reruns.


—Yeah, most of the races will be on cable, but really, who cares?  If the races were on NBC you’d just complain about super-short post-races anyways.


—We’re looking at the same four regulars in the booth this year, with Rick Allen on play-by-play, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Jeff Burton as driver analysts, and Steve LeTarte questioning everyone’s pit strategy.


—Kim Coon joins the pit reporter roster, so be prepared for lots of creepy online comments from old guys.


—Pre- and post-race coverage will feature the usual mix of an ex-NBA player, a former logistics provider pitchman, a philanthropist with a ponytail, and Marty Snider.


—Supplemental coverage will be on Peacock, but don’t worry—if you have Xfinity, you have Peacock at no extra charge.  You’re also probably currently waiting for a service tech to show up.


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Friday, June 24, 2022

UNCLE MAX vs. REPEAT WINNERS vs. THE ROULETTE WHEEL: Nashville



Well, I’m back.  I mean, in actually I got back from vacation last week, but there wasn’t much to write about beyond a random Truck Series race on dirt.

Who set up the rule that you must walk into a complete disaster at work as soon as you return from vacation?  Products aren’t where they belong, paperwork’s backed up, and I’ve spent the past few days trying to figure out what happened to two of our employees.  Its a disaster, I tells ya.

On the plus side I got a pretty nice tan at the beach, got some drinking done, and got to show off my grilling skills.  So I guess its a wash.  Which reminds me, I got a TON of laundry to do.


Friday Night TRUCK SERIES Rackley Roofing 200: John Hunter Nemechek—PLEASE get me that first Truck Series win, JHN.


Saturday Afternoon XFINITY SERIES Tennessee Lottery 250 (4 wins): AJ Allmendinger—The Powerball, The Mega Ball, The Dinger Ball?


Sunday CUP SERIES Ally 400: LAST RACE’S WINNER picks Daniel Suarez.  THE ROULETTE WHEEL picks 29th in points Todd Gilliland.  FAVORITE (1 win): Kyle Larson—keeping on track as we switch to the 2nd half of the season.  NEXT FAVORITE (1 win): Chase Elliott—could we have an intra-team battle for the regular season title?  DARK HORSE (2 wins): Austin Cindric—reaching Cope-level already.


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Tuesday, June 21, 2022

Spade Racing Opens a Box of 2022 Donruss Nascar Cards, Pack 5 of 24



Join us (well, me) as we/I go through a box of 2022 Donruss Nascar Cards.  New teams, new drivers, new subsets, and of course some corny commentary by me.


Pack 5—Double Chase, Daytona Ace, and a Different Place


FIRST LOOK:
Its not too out of the ordinary to get two different cards of the same driver in the same pack, but these two use THE SAME EXACT PICTURE.  Come on, Panini/Donruss—make your free-throws.


TO THE BACK:
While its great that Bubba’s mastered plate racing, becoming an expert at, oh, I dunno, types of tracks that hold more than four races a year might be more helpful.


SAY WHAT:
“Ugh, lemme guess—this couple is going to tell me about the great out-of-the-way Mexican restaurant near the track.  Don’t they know that I prefer Asian Fusion for dinner?”


RATING: 5 caution laps out of 10


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Monday, June 20, 2022

Musically Declined: Stock Car Racing’s Entertainers of the Year, Wizard of the Wheel


Stock Car Racing and Country Music—two pillars of culture in the Southern United States.  And the two have mingled throughout the years.  So put on your racing shoes, make sure they match your cowboy hat, and settle in for a look back at some of Nascar’s biggest stars turned Nashville wannabes!


The Song: Wizard of the Wheel by Kelly Delaney & Carbaugh Mann


The Star: Dick Brooks


The Clip: 



The Review: Um, Dick?  You might’ve wanted to request a redo on these lyrics.  You rush through the first few words of every verse to fit the meter, and mention racing toy cars “till the veins stood out (your) neck”.  And if you were a real wizard of the wheel, couldn’t you have magically made the Junie Donlavey cars faster?


The Verdict: Utterly forgettable (if not for the lyrics).


Tuesday, June 14, 2022

Spade Racing Opens a Box of 2022 Donruss Nascar Cards, Pack 4 of 24


(By the way, Uncle Max’s pick for the Knoxville Truck Series race is Stewart Friesen)


Join us (well, me) as we/I go through a box of 2022 Donruss Nascar Cards.  New teams, new drivers, new subsets, and of course some corny commentary by me.


Pack 4—Action Packed, History Hacked, and a Future Whacked


FIRST LOOK:
I’m a big fan of the comic book-style graphics on the Action Packed subset this year.  But I which they’d gone whole-hog with it.  Maybe have Austin blowing off Kevin Harvick with a “POW!” effect.


TO THE BACK:
A nice reminder that Motorsports is one of the only sports where immortality can occur pretty much at random.  Its not like one year the Lions will luck into a Super Bowl championship.


SAY WHAT:
“My carefully crafted underdog story is ruined!  Now I’ll have to be even whinier!”


RATING: 3 pit road speeding penalties out of 10


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Monday, June 13, 2022

SPAD3 RACING DENIES RUMORS THAT ITS MECHANICS ARE ALIENS


Special Protective Advance Defense Department Detachment (SPAD3) Racing has taken the extraordinary step of categorically denying any rumors or hearsay that its mechanics are extra-terrestrial aliens.

One of the team's completely
human mechanics

“I can honestly say that all our mechanics, from the car chief to the road crew to the ‘boys back at the shop’, are all human beings”, team principal Kent Simms said in a prepared statement.  “I don’t know where these rumors came from—Jayski, Reddit, or maybe just some jealous members of other teams—but our entire team is comprised solely of humans.

“Well, except for our driver MOXOC”, Simms added, “he’s a robot.”

Simms said he had no idea why the rumors were spreading so fast.

“Its strange—a few days ago, nobody was asking these questions, then right after one of our team members disappears, nothing but rumors”, Kent explained.  “But I can honestly say that the team member who left the team did so on his own volition.  And once we finished debriefing and deprogramming him, he said he wanted to leave the sport behind and left without further comment.”

The team has said they will be vigilant in shooting down any more spurious rumors.

“Innuendo like this just distracts from our larger goals”, said SPAD3 Racing PR director Stacey Fox.  “I mean, once you have a crazy rumor like aliens being in NASCAR out there, people stop wondering why your team hauler doesn’t show up on radar tracking.  So we’ll fight for our reputations every single day if we have to.”

Fox later said that any unsubstantiated rumors about the team employing a clone of Elvis Presley would also be false.


Visit SPAD3.com for REAL news about the team.


Sunday, June 12, 2022

3 in Their Third: A Monthly Spade Racing Series—June Report



Two years ago there were six rookie drivers.  Last year four of them returned for their sophomore seasons.  This year the three best are back once again for their third seasons in Cup—and just like over the past two years, we’ll be ranking them here at Spade Racing.

Just like in years past we’ll be utilizing the PRETTY grade—Performance Relative to Equating Team’s Typical Year—as a way to properly rank someone from a top-flight team like Joe Gibbs Racing against someone from a top-flight slumping team like Stewart-Haas Racing against someone from a mid-level operation like RCR.

Here’s where our three guys stack up heading into Sonoma:


1.) Christopher Bell (Joe Gibbs Racing).  2022 Best Race Finish: 3rd (COTA).  PRETTY Grade: B+.  C.Bell to the lead!  Five straight top-ten finishes will do that.  And believe it or not, Bell is ahead of Denny Hamlin in the points standings.  Now all he needs is a win to punch his Playoff ticket…and, preferably, a better paint scheme than that weird purple Yahoo one.


2.) Tyler Reddick (Richard Childress Racing).  2022 Best Race Finish: 2nd (Bristol Dirt, Darlington). PRETTY Grade: A.  Two second-place finishes, one of which was a near miss, and Tyler drops in the standings?  Well, two 30th place finishes at non-plate tracks will do that.  But he’s still beating Austin Dillon in the points AND the headwear department.


3.) Cole Custer (Stewart-Haas Racing).  2022 Best Race Finish: 11th (Auto Club).  PRETTY Grade: D-.  Chase Briscoe has a race win.  Aric Almirola and Kevin Harvick are in the top-sixteen in points.  And Cole is 27th without a single top-ten race finish.  Maybe its COLE who should be retiring instead of Double-A.



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Friday, June 10, 2022

UNCLE MAX vs. REPEAT WINNERS vs. THE ROULETTE WHEEL: Sonoma



Editor’s Note: Uncle Max is still on his annual shore house vacation.  He texted me his picks Thursday morning.  Here they are…


Saturday Night TRUCK SERIES DoorDash 250: Zane Smith—maybe ZANE is the one to finally get me a Truck Series win (…this week instead of last week).


XFINITY SERIES (4 wins) off


Sunday CUP SERIES Toyota/SaveMart 350: LAST RACE’S WINNER picks Joey Logano.  THE ROULETTE WHEEL picks 5th in points Martin Truex Jr..  FAVORITE (1 win): AJ Allmendinger—bit a limb, but not on this track.  NEXT FAVORITE (1 win): Kyle Busch—redemption after last week’s loss (for him AND me).  DARK HORSE (1 win): Daniel Suarez—he’s like Bubba Wallace but with far less media coverage.


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Tuesday, June 7, 2022

Spade Racing Opens a Box of 2022 Donruss Nascar Cards, Pack 3 of 24



Join us (well, me) as we/I go through a box of 2022 Donruss Nascar Cards.  New teams, new drivers, new subsets, and of course some corny commentary by me.


Pack 3—Race Kings, New Jersey Things, and Why The Caged Driver Sings


FIRST LOOK:
There’s a LOT of star power in this pack, and Martin Truex provides 25% of it.  The “Race Kings” series is one of the many subsets, but here in Optic form it just looks like one of those puffy decals you’d get for 50 cents.


TO THE BACK:
Is it required by law that Truex must be mentioned as being from New Jersey in every instance?  I mean, I’m from Elizabeth originally and you don’t hear ME crowing about it.


SAY WHAT:
“Wow, that’s odd—I just had a vision of the future where I’m stuck running IndyCar due to my contract.  Weird.”


RATING: 8 pit road hats out of 10



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Monday, June 6, 2022

Musically Declined: Stock Car Racing’s Entertainers of the Year, Moderation/The People Who Love Me


Stock Car Racing and Country Music—two pillars of culture in the Southern United States.  And the two have mingled throughout the years.  So put on your racing shoes, make sure they match your cowboy hat, and settle in for a look back at some of Nascar’s biggest stars turned Nashville wannabes!


The Song: Moderation by J.Barlow & The People Who Love Me by Mark Morrell


The Stars: Ned Jarrett and Kyle Petty


The Clip: 



The Review: Gentleman Ned kicks things off with a spoken-word introduction called “Moderation” for some strange reason.  Then we kick things off properly with one of the few Nascar drivers with a modicum of musical talent, Kyle Petty.  I don’t know if he’s singing in a falsetto or if he just went through a very late puberty after this song was released.  Oh, and Kyle—I think people were far more worried about you getting beat up for your long hair.


The Verdict: Kinda repetitive but a decent song.


Sunday, June 5, 2022

Spade Racing Presents: The World Wide Technology Cup Series Debut Drinking Game



As is tradition around here, here’s a fun drinking game for anyone watching Nascar Cup Series’ first visit to World Wide Technology Raceway (aka “Gateway!”)


Remember, DRINK RESPONSIBLY


SIP Whenever…

—any focus on Rusty, Russ, Kenny, or Bubba Wallace happens

—Denny Hamlin gets caught speeding on pit road

—Ricky Stenhouse Jr. causes a caution

—someone mentions how the track is NEAR St. Louis but IN Illinois

—The St. Louis Cardinals baseball team is mentioned


DRINK Whenever…

—Mike Joy seems irritated

—the track’s layout is compared to Darlington

—the race goes into Overtime for legitimate reasons

—someone curses on the radio

—The St. Louis Blues hockey team is mentioned


FINISH Your Bottle/Can/Glass Whenever…

—a RWR car is on the lead lap in Stage 2 or 3

—there’s a confrontation on pit road

—Clint Bowyer makes a salient point

—The St. Louis Cardinals football team is mentioned


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Thursday, June 2, 2022

UNCLE MAX vs. REPEAT WINNERS vs. THE ROULETTE WHEEL: WWT/Portland



Editor’s Note: Uncle Max is currently on his annual shore house vacation.  He texted me his picks a few hours ago.  Here they are…


Saturday Early Afternoon TRUCK SERIES Toyota 200: Zane Smith—maybe ZANE is the one to finally get me a Truck Series win.


Saturday Late Afternoon XFINITY SERIES (3 wins) POA 147: AJ Allmendinger—when in doubt on a road course, pick the Dinger.


Sunday CUP SERIES Enjoy Illinois 300: LAST RACE’S WINNER picks Denny Hamlin.  THE ROULETTE WHEEL picks 7th in points William Byron.  FAVORITE (1 win): Kyle Busch—is it about time for Toyota to pick up the pace?  NEXT FAVORITE (1 win): Ross Chastain—melon in hand.  DARK HORSE (1 win): Bubba Wallace—Wallaces are always great in the greater St. Louis area.



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Tuesday, May 31, 2022

Spade Racing Opens a Box of 2022 Donruss Nascar Cards, Pack 2 of 24



Join us (well, me) as we/I go through a box of 2022 Donruss Nascar Cards.  New teams, new drivers, new subsets, and of course some corny commentary by me.


Pack 2—Deegan, Bowman, and an Old Man


FIRST LOOK:
If there’s been a running theme over the past three or four sets from Panini & Donruss, its “Hailie Deegan”.  She might wind up having more individual rookie cards than laps led in the Truck Series.


TO THE BACK:
Pretty vague, guys.  You didn’t even include “running the sim rig for HMS”, “wasting time at TBR”, or “throwing out all of Jimmie’s old protein shakes from the hauler”.


SAY WHAT:
“I finally won the Daytona 500!  I should probably retire on top…nahhhh, what’s the worst that could happen!”


RATING: 7 Monster Energy cans (labels out!) out of 10



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Monday, May 30, 2022

SPAD3 RACING RACE SHOP REMAINS CLOSED TO FANS


Special Protective Advance Defense Department Detachment (SPAD3) Racing has been turning heads already in its first NASCAR Cup season, but while there’s more attention than ever on the team, it cautioned fans that its race shop is still not open to the public.

The SPAD3 Racing
race shop

“We really wish we could open things up for a fan walk or a retina scan—like other teams do”, said team principal Kent Simms, “—but we’re really just not set up yet to have members of the public visit the shop.”

SPAD3 RACING Chief Brand Officer Chris McCaffrey went on to explain the team’s reasoning behind not allowing the race shop to accept visitors.

“First of all, we’re in an office park that already has pretty high security regulations for the various national security outfits nearby”, said McCaffrey.  “We also have our own rigorous security measures to keep any spies from other teams or nations from stealing our intellectual property.  And besides, its Northern Virginia—nobody REALLY wants to deal with that traffic.”

McCaffrey said she hopes that the team will be able to offer a “virtual shop tour” online in the coming months.

“We’ve seen a lot of interest in our team, and we want to keep our fans happy”, McCaffrey said.  “For instance, did you know that our pit crew practices two hours each and every morning?  And did you know that we use the latest CNC machine technology to manufacture most of our race car parts?  And did you know that I can disarm a missile launcher in less than fifteen seconds?  These are the kinds of things people want to know about.”

Visit SPAD3.com for more information, or Race Shop Reviews to learn about race shops that HAVE been open to the public in the past.


Sunday, May 29, 2022

Kimi Raikkonen on Cup Series Debut: “Bwoah”



F1 champion and vodka enthusiast Kimi Raikkonen will be making his Nascar Cup Series debut for Trackhouse Racing’s Project91 open entry at Watkins Glen this summer.  When reached for comment, Raikkonen commented that the opportunity was “bwoah”.

"Bwoah"

“Bwoah.  It is a race”, Raikkonen opined about his once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to drive a competitive Nascar Cup car.  “I will be running it.”

Raikkonen is returning to Nascar, where he made one-off appearances in the Truck and Xfinity Series in 2011.  But he’ll be forced to lean on both his experience and his teammates to compete against the sport’s best at The Glen.

“Bwoah—I did it before”, Raikkonen explained, “and now I’ll do it again.  The other drivers can help me if they want.  I don’t really care.”

Raikkonen—nicknamed “The Iceman” for his cool under pressure—will likely bring massive international attention to Watkins Glen—ironically a former Formula 1 track.

“Bwoah—Watkins Glen, its a track.  Its in New York I think”, Raikkonen expounded.  “There’s history there, I guess.”

When asked if there was anything he was looking forward to for his Nascar Cup debut, Raikkonen said “bwoah—as long as they let me have the drink”.


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Friday, May 27, 2022

UNCLE MAX vs. REPEAT WINNERS vs. THE ROULETTE WHEEL: Charlotte



Woo!  It’s getaway day for me!  As of the time this is posted I’ll be sitting in hours of traffic on my way to my buddy’s beach house.  My car will be stocked full of meat for the BBQ, beer for the guys, and Gas-X for the mornings after.  And just for fun my picks for this Sunday’s racing extravaganza are Charles LeClerc in Monaco and Scott Dixon in the Indy 500.


Friday Night TRUCK SERIES NC Education Lottery 200: John Hunter Nemechek—going with a repeat winner (from last year) to get me off the schneid.


Saturday Afternoon XFINITY SERIES (3 wins) Alsco 300: Ty Gibbs—an unpopular win, but likely a popular pick.


Sunday CUP SERIES Coca-Cola 600: LAST RACE’S WINNER picks Kurt Busch.  THE ROULETTE WHEEL picks 11th in points Kevin Harvick.  FAVORITE (1 win): Alex Bowman—reasserting the dominance of the 48 car here (Ally Motor Speedway?).  NEXT FAVORITE (1 win): Austin Dillon—even if it means having to see him wear a cowboy hat.  DARK HORSE (1 win): Harrison Burton—the elusive milestone win for the Wood Brothers.


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