Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Spade Racing Opens a Box of Panini PRIZM Cards, Part 4 of 12



Pack 4: A Driver from the Past, the Skill of Mast, and a Refractory Blast


FIRST LOOK: Mark Martin—arguably the best driver to never with a championship, dominator of the Busch Series, one of the most-consistent and versatile drivers the Cup Series ever saw.  Oh, and, uh, LOL Viagra or something.


TO THE BACK: So pole positions are the true test?  Well then, give guys like Rick Mast and Loy Allen Jr. a slot in the Hall of Fame, pronto!


SAY WHAT: “Help!  This isn’t a card!  I’m really stuck in this holographic maze!”


RATING: 7 Special Paint Schemes out of 10


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Monday, January 23, 2023

Track “Facts”: Knoxville



Nascar races on all sorts of tracks, from short to long, oval to road course, concrete to asphalt.  Here’s a weekly look at all the tracks of Nascar’s National Touring Series.


KNOXVILLE RACEWAY


0.5 mile dirt oval


Opened (for weekly racing) 1954


Lights?  Yes


Series: Trucks


Nicknames: Sprint Car Capital of the World, The Track with the Late Start Time for Trucks


THREE FUN FACTS:

1. Knoxville Raceway’s Nascar history is quite brief (only since 2021) but the track’s is MUCH longer, stretching back to its introduction in 1878 as a horse racing track.  Yes, this track was opened in the 19th-century, making it almost as old as Morgan Shepherd.


2. This track is located in Knoxville, Iowa, not to be confused with Knoxville, Tennessee, where their mayor is a guy who used to pretend to be a burn victim on national TV.


3. The Truck Series moved here in an attempt to reconnect with the sport’s roo—ok, ok, you got me—they came here to spite Tony Stewart for starting the SRX Series.



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Sunday, January 22, 2023

April 2nd, 2063: Nascar Debuting at Monaco Street Circuit



While Formula 1 is still the undisputed champion of motorsports worldwide, they’ll have a new competitor in the rear-view mirror, as Nascar has inked a deal to replace F1 on the historic Monaco Street Circuit starting next season.

“We’re not going to abandon our roots in the United States, but we feel that Monaco is the perfect place to put down international stakes”, said a Nascar spokesvision.  “We will proudly race at Monaco for our annual “Clash” non-points event starting next season, combining the excitement of Nascar with the glitz and glamour of Monte Carlo.”

Nascar has moved its pre-season Clash event to several unique locations since 2022, including the LA Coliseum, the Streets of New Jersey, and the ill-fated “Hover Track” above Dallas.  But this will be the first time the race has been held overseas.

“We’ve seen plenty of great on-track action with our four street courses in America—why not export that action overseas?” the spokesvision said.  “Once F1 decided to abandon Monaco again, we worked quickly to take their place.  After all, our experts say there’s at least a decade left before sea levels rise to the racing surface.”

The race will see the debut of the all-new “19th-Gen Car”, whose smaller size is expected to take well to the tight Monaco circuit.

“We wouldn’t have done this if we didn’t think we could fit a stock car onto our streets”, a Monaco Automotive Club spokesman said in a prepared statement.  “We feel there could be the chance of as many as five passes in a 75-lap race—more than double what we normally see here for F1!”


IN OTHER NEWS: Spade Racing Acquired by No One

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Tuesday, January 17, 2023

Spade Racing Opens a Box of Panini PRIZM Cards, Part 3 of 12



Pack 3: A Promoter of Hair, a Drive Always There, and a Ride to Share




FIRST LOOK: Toni promotes Hairclub, but she already has a pretty impressive head of hair on her.  Kind of defeats the purpose, doesn’t it?  Why not sponsor someone like Todd Bodine or Larry McReynolds?


TO THE BACK: Its pretty cool that McDriver was driven to succeed at a young age.  If they made the movie of his life, would young Michael have delivered a monologue like “I’m going to work my way up the ladder of a dying race series, then burst onto the Nascar scene by torpedoing the wall!”


SAY WHAT: “Need a ride?  I got one.  Seriously, come drive my Cup car, we got open dates”.


RATING: 8 Sets of Tires out of 10



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Monday, January 16, 2023

Track “Facts”: Darlington



Nascar races on all sorts of tracks, from short to long, oval to road course, concrete to asphalt.  Here’s a weekly look at all the tracks of Nascar’s National Touring Series.


DARLINGTON RACEWAY


1.366 mile asphalt egg-shaped oval (well, kinda)


Opened 1950


Lights?  Yes


Series: Cup, Xfinity, Trucks


Nicknames: The Lady in Black, The Track Too Tough to Tame, A Tradition of Heritage


THREE FUN FACTS:

1. Darlington got its (not-quite) egg shape in an attempt to avoid building over a minnow pond.  You’ll probably hear this an average of 3.5 times over a televised race weekend.


2. In 1997 the track’s layout was flipped, with the old frontstretch becoming the new backstretch and vice versa.  This might sound odd, but it STILL made more sense than taking away their Labor Day Weekend race date a few years later.


3. In recent years Darlington has instituted a popular “Throwback Weekend”, something beloved by most fans and disliked by the bitterest people on the planet (so, basically, most racing forum denizens).


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Sunday, January 15, 2023

February 15th 2053: Nascar’s Approves First-Ever Cyborg Driver



Next week’s Daytona 500 will be an historic one, as for the first-time ever, a cyborg driver will pilot a car in the field.

“I’m proud to be representing not just my team, but cyborgs everywhere”, said driver TKMW “Tony” 115609.  “I’m out to prove that even if you have a partially cybertronic brain, you can still go out and race in Nascar.”

“Tony” is the latest in a long-line of drivers with artificial enhancements to attempt to race in Nascar.

“Our leadership committee has looked into this for a long time”, said a Nascar spokes-hologram.  “We noticed how after the NFL allowed cyborg football players in 2038, they were overwhelmed to the point that last year was ‘The Metallic Year’.  That’s why we will only approve drivers with artificial organs, not indestructible legs or arms.

“And yes, I know that doesn’t allow a driver to have a literal ‘lead foot’, so no need to point that out, guys.”

“Tony” will be racing the #98 Ford FestivaMax race car this season with some very appropriate sponsors.

“NeuroTex Brain Preservers have been with me throughout my racing career, and I’m glad to see them step up to the Cup Series”, TKMW “Tony” 115609 said.  “Nobody wants their flesh to rot next to an overheated motherboard.  And I’ll be running several races with LushPro Artificial Livers—don’t go drinking without one!”

“Tony” will debut in next Sunday’s Daytona 500, available on VisionX Holographic Media, Teknik MentalView, DriverZ In-Car Experience, and Fox.


IN OTHER NEWS: Nascar Reluctantly Allows Expansion to Ten-Car Teams


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Tuesday, January 10, 2023

Spade Racing Opens a Box of Panini PRIZM Cards, Part 2 of 12


Pack 2: A Driver to Remember, A Reality Bender, and a Career Ender




FIRST LOOK: Oh Quin Houff.  Cup was never meant for a driver as wonderful as you.  And even though you lacked talent, experience, sponsorship, results, and the second N in your first name, you did Derrike Cope proud.


TO THE BACK: Wow—now THAT is a trippy-looking background.  I’m guessing that’s how it would look if you smoked whatever adhesive is used to keep the Coke bottle attached to Suarez’s hand.


SAY WHAT: “Who knew that a money laundering scheme and playing both sides against the middle was a bad career move?”


RATING: 7 Stage Breaks out of 10


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Monday, January 9, 2023

Track “Facts”: Martinsville




Nascar races on all sorts of tracks, from short to long, oval to road course, concrete to asphalt.  Here’s a weekly look at all the tracks of Nascar’s National Touring Series.


MARTINSVILLE SPEEDWAY


0.526 mile asphalt and concrete short track


Opened 1947


Lights?  Yes


Series: Cup, Xfinity, Trucks


Nicknames: The Paperclip, Half Mile of Mayhem, The Smooth Track with the Rough Crowd


THREE FUN FACTS:

1. Unlike most tracks that give out a trophy to race winners, Martinsville gives out grandfather clocks, decreasing in size from a full-size model for the Cup Series winner to a miniature for Xfinity and Truck Series winners.  I’m guessing if they had an ARCA race there they’d get a grandfather wristwatch.


2. Martinsville is the only track in Nascar with a hybrid racing surface, with concrete covering most of the turns.  This is a phenomenon only seen outside of racing in 7-Eleven parking lots.


3. Martinsville is also well-known for their famous hot dogs, which would be like if, say, Lambeau Field was famous for its delicious mustard, or if Augusta National was renowned for having really well-balanced sodas.

 



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Sunday, January 8, 2023

February 1st, 2048: Electronic Drug Sponsors Finally Allowed in Nascar



After numerous legal challenges and a multi-month standoff with one of the sport’s biggest teams, Nascar has finally relented and will allow electronic drug companies to sponsor cars in its four national touring series this season.

“This has not been an easy path, but we’re proud to say we’ve reached our destination”, said Joe Beeson, Chief Marketing Officer for Teknik, the world’s leading electronic drug.  “We will have our logos displayed across the number 31 Chevrolet Caprice race car this year, and it will no doubt help us promote our safe form of electronic enjoyment to consenting adults.”

So-called “e-drugs” have been a lightning rod of controversy since they boomed in popularity several years ago after the Antarctic War.  Radio, television, and holographic media have all banned their advertisement, limiting their promotional activities to the sports world.

“This isn’t about controversy, this is about freedom”, explained team owner Bonnie Milan.  “We just want to make adults 21 and older aware that they can use Teknik responsibly to take themselves on brief, mind-altering mental vacations—and watch the 31 Chevy tear up the track at Daytona, Bristol, and the New Jersey Street Course.”

“We’ve already seen great returns since our major promotional blitz began two years ago”, CMO Beeson said.  “From our sponsorship of Major League Parkour to obtaining naming rights to Teknik Field, home of the Nashville Orioles, we’re showing the world that if you can’t compete as a major leaguer, you can at least party like one, all within the confines of your own brain.”

Nascar clarified that any teams with e-drug sponsorship will be forced to devote at least 20% of the paint scheme to responsible electric-tripping messages, as well as not allowing its drivers to talk in commercials.


IN OTHER NEWS: Kevin Harvick’s “Hair” Celebrates 50th Birthday

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Tuesday, January 3, 2023

Spade Racing Opens a Box of Panini PRIZM Cards, Part 1 of 12



Pack 1: A Racing Debt, The Next Annett, and a Typical Set


FIRST LOOK: We kick things off with a look at Kyle Larson’s 2022 car.  Do you think Kyle ever just calls up Mr. H to thank him for rescuing his career?  Or does Mr. H call Kyle to thank HIM for taking his team to the next level?  Nah—they probably just text.


TO THE BACK: Its great to have big goals, as Sammy Smith does, but its better to have people to support those goals.  Particularly people who happen to own a major trucking firm that does lots of business with a massive truck stop company.  


SAY WHAT: “Yeah, I appear a lot in this set of cards too.  But I can’t figure out why I’m on this refracting French flag.”


RATING: 5 Hot Laps out of 10




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Monday, January 2, 2023

Musically Declined: Stock Car Racing’s Entertainers of the Year, Hard Charger


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: Hard Charger by Larry Alderman


The Star: Dale Earnhardt


The Clip: 



The Review: Arguably the best-known song on the album finishes things off.  Dale Sr. gets points for giving it all, even if his voice is unusually nasally here.  Funny to think how when this album was released he was more of a one-year wonder journeyman than the guy who would challenge Richard Petty to be the best of all time.


The Verdict: Pretty decent, and a fine way to finish things off.

Sunday, January 1, 2023

January 19th, 2043: Morgan Shepherd Announces Retirement



101-year-old former Nascar driver Morgan Shepherd has seen it all—the rise, fall, rise, fall, and rise of the sport, seven generations of cars, and even the launch of the ill-fated “flying car” series—but, as of today, he’s finally seen the end of his lengthy career.

“I woke up today and thought, ‘today is the day’, Shepherd said from his rural North Carolina home.  “I accomplished everything I wanted to do in Nascar—I won a Sportsman Division Championship, won some Cup Series races, even owned my own race team.  But its time to face facts—my time in this great sport is passed.

Shepherd’s announcement comes 28 years after his last national touring series start, and 23 years after his race team’s last start.

“It takes a long time for a man to make a decision of this magnitude”, Shepherd said, “and for me, that took over two decades.  I wanted to make sure that I wouldn’t decide one day when I was 92 years old that I wanted to race again.  I had to make sure I got it out of my system.”

Although Shepherd’s active career may officially be over, don’t expect him to completely walk away from the race track just yet.

“The Nascar folks put on a great party for my 100th birthday last year”, Shepherd said, “and I still have a lot of friends—well, sons of friends—in the sport.  I’m sure I’ll strap on the ol’ roller skates at some point and see how the tenth-generation car is doing, or see if anyone needs a hand driving the solar pace car.”


IN OTHER NEWS: Clyde Elliott Changes Name Back to Chase—“What Was I Thinking?”


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