Friday, May 20, 2022

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



None of my picks came through last weekend but I’m a celebratory mood—I successfully renegotiated my townhouse lease!  The landlord and I were in a standoff, and thankfully he blinked first.  So its just a modest rent increase (when that curbside trash pickup fee is factored in) for me for the next ten months.

Not only that, but guess what’s coming up in a couple weeks?  My annual trip to the shore!  I’ll be busting out my favorite BBQ recipes and bringing a 30-pack or two, just kicking back at my buddy’s beach block house.

(NOTE—no picks are made for non-points events)


Friday Night TRUCK SERIES SpeedyCash 200: Zane Smith—getting on a roll.


Saturday Afternoon XFINITY SERIES (2 wins) SRS Distribution 250: Tyler Reddick—maybe THIS will lead to his breakthrough Cup win.


Sunday CUP SERIES All Star Race: No official picks, but put me down for Chase Elliott just for fun.



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Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Spade Racing Opens a Box of 2021-22 Panini Prizm Nascar Cards, Pack 4 of 12


Join us (well, me) as we/I go through a box of 2022 Panini Prizm Nascar Cards.  Because there’s 12 cards per pack, each pack is split in two.


Pack 4 Part 2—Wheels, Deals, and Delivering Meals


FIRST LOOK: A pretty nice prismatic (or would that be “prizmatic”?) Denny Hamlin card.  Although the green background makes about as much sense as Denny’s constant pit road penalties.


TO THE BACK: I, for one, am glad to see Josh Berry parlay his partial schedule into a full-time Xfinity ride, rather than a full-time Cup ride with Rick Ware Racing *shudder*.


SAY WHAT: “Gotta deliver this overpriced burger to someone who doesn’t feel like getting in their car and driving for dinner”


RATING: 5 racing wheels out of 10


Monday, May 16, 2022

JOIN THE MOXOC FAN CLUB TODAY!


Are you a fan of NASCAR Cup rookie MOXOC (Mechanical Overlord eXpert Operational Cyborg), the sport’s first robot driver?

Then join the Official MOXOC Fan Club!


For just $19.95 plus $4.95 shipping and handling you’ll receive the following:

—Official Membership Identification Card

—Special Protective Advance Defense Department Detachment (SPAD3) Racing T-Shirt (please indicate size and blood type)

—MOXOC-branded web cam—keep it on at all times!

—Complimentary “MOXOC and Me” DNA kit

—10% off all items at the SPAD3 Racing Souvenir Trailer/Recruitment Station

Don’t delay—join today!


Visit SPAD3.com to enroll


Sunday, May 15, 2022

The Hero Card Project Part 4



Click here for Part 3


Some more Hero Cards have come in in the past three weeks.  Here’s what’s arrived from April 23rd through May 14th.

An autographed Timmy Hill card from his self-owned team

Five cards (and some autographs!) from PettyGMS

Four autographed cards from Venturini Motorsports (Corey's card
is ARCA-specific on the other side)


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Friday, May 13, 2022

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



Well MY stress level is at an all-time high.  I’ve reached that part of my townhouse’s lease negotiations where its a high-stakes (for me at least) game of chicken with the landlord.  Either we reach a compromise on the rent increase that’s fair to everyone or I have a month to find a new place to live.  There’s no way I would just agree to what was proposed—who the heck pays $49 a month for “curbside garbage pickup” anyways?  I even volunteered to take it to the dump myself to avoid paying it…but I guess he didn’t find it all that funny.


Saturday Night TRUCK SERIES Heart of America 200: Chandler Smith—who knew that American hearts had sponsorship money.


XFINITY SERIES (2 wins): off


Sunday CUP SERIES Advent Health 400: LAST RACE’S WINNER picks Joey Logano.  THE ROULETTE WHEEL picks 33rd in points BJ McLeod.  FAVORITE (1 win): William Byron—payback from last week.  NEXT FAVORITE (1 win): Kyle Larson—still a solid pick, even if he’s not as dominant as last year.  DARK HORSE (1 win): Tyler Reddick—he’s gotta break through sooner or later…right?


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Tuesday, May 10, 2022

Spade Racing Opens a Box of 2021-22 Panini Prizm Nascar Cards, Pack 4 of 12


Join us (well, me) as we/I go through a box of 2022 Panini Prizm Nascar Cards.  Because there’s 12 cards per pack, each pack is split in two.


Pack 4 Part 1—HMS, a Fact (I Guess?), and an IROC Guess


FIRST LOOK: Three Hendrick Motorsports-affiliated drivers.  That’s right, Mr. H is the co-owner of JR Motorsports.  So if JRM ever comes to Cup be sure to criticize them JUST AS MUCH as you bashed 23XI Racing.


TO THE BACK: The Pinty’s title is nice, but really?  Listing an iRacing race as an accomplishment?  That’s as bad as my attempts to understand Alex’s pre-race streams in French.


SAY WHAT: “Yep, that’s me in front of the IROC car.  Oh, you’re too young to remember IROC—it was a giant waste of time for all involved.”


RATING: 7 angry IROC fans out of 10


Monday, May 9, 2022

Musically Declined: NASCAR Goes Country, Big Daddy


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: Big Daddy by John D. Loudermilk


The Star: Bobby Allison


The Clip: 



The Review: “Big Daddy’s Alabammy bound”.  Oh.  We get it.  Because Bobby’s from Alabama (sorta).  Bobby seems to be trying his best to keep up with the great instrumentation but falls short—maybe if he was as passionate about music as he was about hating Darrell Waltrip.


The Verdict: Pretty bad, even by gimmicky country music standards.


Sunday, May 8, 2022

Wacky Racing—Cartoon Network in Nascar




Click here for my look at another Turner property’s Nascar adventure—WCW


The mid-90’s saw Nascar go mainstream in the US, bringing a number of strange crossovers with pop culture.  Perhaps none was as strange as Cartoon Network coming on board as a sponsor for several different teams over the years.  Using the brand name “Wacky Racing” (after the “Wacky Races” cartoon), the Turner-owned network sponsored several drivers through the years with…little success.  Let’s take a look back:


Click on each year to see the primary Cartoon Network paint scheme for that season


1996: Team Wacky Racing debuted on board the Diamond Ridge Motorsports 29 car, with Fred Flintstone emblazoned on the hood.  Even driving his foot-powered car Fred might’ve outrun the 29, which struggled with a slew of different drivers throughout the season—Steve Grisson, Greg Sacks, Butch Leitzinger, Chad Little, Robert Pressley, and Jeff Green.  The car might’ve been Flintstones-themed, but the cast of drivers seemed more like The Simpsons.


1997 also saw the first Cartoon
Network "Special Paint Scheme", with
Tom & Jerry on the hood and Dexter
 on the quarter panels at Phoenix.
Researching this has me reevaluating
 how I spend my free time
1997: Cartoon Network returned to the 29 machine, but while they only used two drivers (Pressley and Green), the team continued to struggle.  Having Scooby Doo as the main theme for the paint scheme was pretty cool, but Cartoon Network would pull its sponsorship due to lack of performance.  Sadly, the Diamond Ridge folks couldn’t blame Old Man Withers for meddling with their cars.


1998: Turner wound up moving its sponsorship to Melling Racing, and while the 9 car had won the 1989 Winston Cup Championship, it had struggled mightily since Bill Elliott’s departure.  Any hope of stability with journeyman Lake “Michael Waltrip punched me” Speed ended when Speed was injured twice, forcing his retirement.  Speed was replaced at first by Butch Gilliland, then on a permanent basis by Jerry Nadeau.  Wacky Racing also began running a rotating series of paint schemes, so while the primary red car had Huckleberry Hound on the hood, you could’ve wound up seeing longtime mental health sufferer Droopy Dog on the track.


A Sprint/RadioShack/Cartoon Network
cross-promotional special paint scheme.
Back when cell phones seemed futuristic 
1999: Foretelling the current age of multiple sponsors (and multiple paint schemes), Turner chose to spread their sponsorship across multiple properties.  So while Cartoon Network used their space to promote their own original cartoon Dexter’s Laboratory, other paint schemes were used to advertise the Atlanta Braves, Dinner & a Movie, and even Nascar stalwart WCW.  On the driving front, Wacky Racing appeared to be heading in the right direction with the improving Jerry Nadeau posting a top ten and a top five.  Unfortunately for Melling Racing, Nadeau left to replace Ernie Irvan at MB2, prompting a return by Steve Grissom, then a stint by Rich Bickle, before Stacy Compton took over the ride full-time.  At the end of the year Compton would stay, but the Turner properties would depart, replace by Kodiak chewing tobacco, of all things—although I guess a baseball-chaw mashup would’ve made sense.


2000: Wacky Racing continued its odd tradition of partnering with one great teams in transition, moving to Galaxy Motorsports.  The successor to RahMoc, the team now had its iconic #75…and not much else.  Strangely, this struggling team would be the lone Cartoon Network-supported entry to use a single driver all year, with journeyman Wally Dallenbach Jr. behind the wheel.  Various sponsors were used—both Turner-owned and non-Turner-owned, with the primary Cartoon Network scheme promoting another original show in the Powerpuff Girls.  After this season the disastrous merger of AOL and Cartoon Network corporate parent Time Warner would see Wacky Racing come to an end, although the new AOL TimeWarner would sponsor Jeff Green in 2002, thus proving that even with different owners and different brands, they still didn’t know how to pick a driver.



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Thursday, May 5, 2022

UNCLE MAX vs. REPEAT WINNERS vs. THE ROULETTE WHEEL: Darlington (and throwback scheme)


Now that inventory is done, I thought it would be a fun idea for your ol’ buddy Uncle Max to take advantage of Throwback Weekend by looking back at my high school yearbook.  Let’s see my accomplishments:

*irritating laugh intensifies*

VARSITY FOOTBALL (MANAGER) 3,4—I knew I didn’t have the body to take a pounding on the field, but I did have the brain to help things out on the sideline.  I mean, you can win without a running game, you can win without a passing game, but you CAN’T win without properly laid-out uniforms!

VARSITY TRACK & FIELD 3—After two years on the JV squad I was ready to step up to the big time in the shot put.  Unfortunately my mind was ready but my arm was not, and I spent my whole senior year learning how to write with a seriously torn shoulder muscle.  Let that be a lesson to you kids out there—trying to impress a cute girl isn’t worth injuring yourself, even if she IS the athletic trainer.

STUDENT COUNCIL 2—As I remember it nobody from my homeroom wanted to run, so I was “volunteered”.  There’s nothing like spending an hour every month listening to whiny teenagers complain about school lunches.

VOTED “MOST LIKELY TO HIT IT BIG IN VEGAS”—Yup, I was running March Madness pools even in my younger days.  Thankfully I knew how to keep my nose clean!  And yes, I already checked—the statue of limitations has passed.


Friday Night TRUCK SERIES Dead On Tools 200: Ben Rhodes—two in a row to get me on the board in the Trucks.


Saturday Afternoon XFINITY SERIES Mahindra 200 (1 win): Justin Allgaier—two in a row to help me forget that I didn’t pick The Gator last weekend.


Sunday CUP SERIES Goodyear 400: LAST RACE’S WINNER picks Chase Elliott.  THE ROULETTE WHEEL picks 16th in points Tyler Reddick.  FAVORITE (1 win): Ross Chastain—upgraded to “Favorite” status whether Teresa likes it or not.  NEXT FAVORITE (1 win): Martin Truex Jr.—getting back on track at a rare non-home-track.  DARK HORSE (1 win): Bubba Wallace—no throwback needed (but maybe a little pit strategy).


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Tuesday, May 3, 2022

Spade Racing Opens a Box of 2021-22 Panini Prizm Nascar Cards, Pack 3 of 12


Join us (well, me) as we/I go through a box of 2022 Panini Prizm Nascar Cards.  Because there’s 12 cards per pack, each pack is split in two.



Pack 3 Part 2—Repeats AGAIN—yes, AGAIN—and a Mystery Man


FIRST LOOK: Three cards that showed up in Pack 1?  Come on, Panini—you gotta work some Hallie Deegan variants in there to break up the repeats!


TO THE BACK: Boy, I sure am glad they referred to Dover as “The Delaware Track”—I thought it was in Dover, New Jersey!


SAY WHAT: “Who Am I?”


RATING: 3 Tires out of 10


Monday, May 2, 2022

SPAD3 RACING ENJOYS MUCH-IMPROVED RELATIONSHIP WITH MEDIA


After a rough start, Special Protective Advance Defense Department Detachment (SPAD3) Racing’s relationship with the motorsports media has significantly improved over the past few weeks, which the team credits to an increased focus on a new media relations program.

Cover of the team's 2022 media guide

“We admit that we came on a little too strong in the beginning”, said Stacey Fox, SPAD3 Racing’s media relations coordinator.  “But by presenting ourselves as who we really are—a simple race team trying to make it in this sport—we’ve found that we’ve been able to make the media much more compliant.”

“I am a supporter of SPAD3 Racing”, said longtime motorsports journalist Bob Wellington in a low, monotone voice.  “I completely support whatever this team does going forward in pursuit of their ultimate goals.  Victory is assured—dissent will not be tolerated.”

“I am a supporter of SPAD3 Racing”, agreed NASCAR radio personality Mara Tisch, whilst staring blankly into the middle distance.  “I completely support whatever this team does going forward in pursuit of their ultimate goals.  Victory is assured—dissent will not be tolerated.”

“You see?  Everyone’s in agreement”, Fox said.  “And if anyone doesn’t agree, we’d be glad to take them on a tour of our race shop—just make sure you budget at least 18 hours that day.”

For more information, visit the team’s official website at SPAD3.com.


Sunday, May 1, 2022

3 in Their Third: A Monthly Spade Racing Series—May 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 Dover:


1.) Tyler Reddick (Richard Childress Racing).  2022 Best Race Finish: 2nd (Bristol Dirt). PRETTY Grade: A.  Tyler came thisclose to posting his first Cup win at Bristol, and if not for a last-place finish at Talladega last weekend, would be on the outer edges of the championship hunt.  Time will tell what it will take for Reddick to make “the leap”, which could be something as small as a stroke of luck, something big like a major new sponsor, or something obvious like moving to a different race team.


2.) Christopher Bell (Joe Gibbs Racing).  2022 Best Race Finish: 3rd (COTA).  PRETTY Grade: B.  C.Bell is actually ahead of Tyler Reddick by a single point in the standings.  However, Tyler gets the slight edge due to the better PRETTY grade and the better best race finish.  Bell will likely need to notch a win to make the Playoffs and make this season more than just the year he reminded everyone that Yahoo still exists.


3.) Cole Custer (Stewart-Haas Racing).  2022 Best Race Finish: 11th (Auto Club).  PRETTY Grade: D-.  Aric Almirola, Kevin Harvick, and Chase Briscoe are 10th, 11th, and 12th in the points standings respectively.  Cole is 26th.  Yeah, might be time for him to “take a management position” with the team so we can watch Riley Herbst DNF in the Cup Series for a change.


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