New Hampshire Race Picks: Uncle Max vs. 13th Place


Hey—you know what’s NOT fun?

No, it’s not getting picks wrong.  It’s not having air conditioning at your place of work during the summer.  The HVAC system went on the fritz on Tuesday, and we’ve barely had it be any cooler than the heat outside since.  According to my boss, the repair guys should be back this afternoon to fix things, and boy do I hope so!

You see, I don’t exactly do well in the heat.  As much as I like spending time at the beach, I also do that in early June, because even going into the ocean when it’s 95+ isn’t enough for me. I always thought I’d do best working in a cold storage warehouse, but I think that ship has sailed.


TRUCK SERIES (2 wins) off


Saturday Afternoon XFINITY SERIES (3 wins) SciAps 200: RILEY HERBST—revenge is a dish best served Terrible.


Sunday CUP SERIES USA Today 301: 13th Place Picks JUSTIN HALEY.  FAVORITE (1 win): RYAN BLANEY—back to back is a possibly for a non-HMS, non-Gibbs car when they’re not at intermediates.  NEXT FAVORITE: KYLE LARSON—best way to avoid crashing?  Winning.  DARK HORSE: KYLE BUSCH—do they serve lobster at Cheddars?



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Spade Racing Opens a Box of 2023 Panini PRIZM Cards, Pack 5 of 12



PACK 5: Cole Moore, the Nascar tour, and a word choice that’s poor


FIRST LOOK: Here we have our first autograph!  And…it’s someone I don’t know.  Oh well—from the looks of it he races for the Better Business Bureau.


TO THE BACK: Well, of course someone would appreciate winning somewhere.  Who’s shown up to a track, won, and been unhappy?  Well, besides Kyle Busch.


SAY WHAT?: “Oh, I get it.  Well, THIS widescreen is worth more than you card geeks will ever seen in your lifetimes.”


RATING: 4 associate sponsors out of 10




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NASCAR ROTY RANKINGS 1995: Ranking the Rookie of the Year Classes Through the Years



Ricky Craven
Join me as we take a look at every NASCAR Cup Rookie of the Year class from 1972 (the start of the modern era) through 2021, going from the worst to the first in terms of overall careers of each year’s rookie class.

1995

Winner: Ricky Craven (Larry Hedrick).  Runners Up: Robert Pressley (Leo Jackson), Randy LaJoie (Bill Davis), Davy Jones (Jasper).  Aborted Attempts: Steve Kinser, Mike Chase, Gary Bradberry, Terry Byers

How their careers turned out: Ricky Craven’s career is a story of “what might have been”, as injuries stymied what appeared to be a great racing talent.  The other three drivers in this class, however, saw far greater success in developmental series like the Busch Series and the IRL.

“Fun” “Fact” about the winner: Ricky’s famous 2003 Darlington win by a nose was the last win for Pontiac, the last win for a Tide-sponsored car, and the last time Kurt Busch appeared likable for a decade.

Ranking: #27 out of 50



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The Nascar Charter Crisis Explained



Lately you may have heard about the slow-moving and often contentious negotiations between Nascar and its team owners about renewing its charters.  Or you may actually have a life.  Well, for those of you with a fulfilling existence outside of racing, here’s a quick breakdown of the…well, breakdown.


Q: What are charters anyways?

A: Charters are guaranteed spots in the field for 36 different entries currently controlled by 14 different owners.  OK, OK—15, I’ll count JGR and 23XI separately.


Q: Why don’t they just call them “franchises”?

A: Fear of Bill France Sr. and Bill France Jr. climbing out of their graves to stalk the earth.


Q: What’s the biggest issue?

A: Nascar wants to keep them to a limited time period (concurrent with their tv rights deals) while team owners want to have them in perpetuity (concurrent with Kevin Harvick’s level of patience with Clint Bowyer).


Q: What’s the other big issue?

A: Teams want a bigger “slice of the pie” when it comes to media rights.  Currently Nascar “double-dips” with payouts to itself and ISC, tracks owned by the France family.  And we all know that Nascar drivers would NEVER double-dip on anything—isn’t that right, Kyle Busch?


Q: What’s the oddest thing to come out of the negotiations?

A: The France family wants to retain the right to purchase charters, because I guess they want a repeat of Vision Racing from IndyCar.


Q: Is this a case of Nascar showing a reluctance to adapt to the way much more successful series like Formula 1 operate, or just team owners seeking ways to gain even more control despite most of them showing they probably should be kept far away from the rule book?

A: Yes.


Q: Is there any chance of the team owners starting a CART-like breakaway series?

A: Not really, although teams could conceivably leave the sport entirely—but what would we do without Rick Ware Racing coming in 35th?


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Iowa Race Picks: Uncle Max vs. 13th Place



AND I’M BACK!

My annual beach vacation went splendidly.  Good food, good beers, good friends old and new, and not too bad of a sunburn.  Of course I’ve spent the past few days reacclimatizing myself to work, which is nevvvver fun.  Some people just can’t read detailed emailed instructions I guess.

As for my picks, well, they haven’t been all that great over the past few weeks.  So, much like most Nascar teams will be doing after the Olympic break, I’m hoping to get on a hot streak coming off of some time off.  Here goes!


TRUCK SERIES (2 wins) off


Saturday Afternoon XFINITY SERIES (3 wins) HyVee Perks 250: JUSTIN ALLGAIER—home state win for “Thunder”.


Sunday CUP SERIES Iowa Corn 350: 13th Place Picks BRAD KESELOWSKI.  FAVORITE (1 win): CHRISTOPHER BELL—I mean, he DID win here in the last Xfinity Series race in 2019.  NEXT FAVORITE: WILLIAM BYRON—similarly, he won here in Xfinity in 2017.  DARK HORSE: CHRIS BUESCHER—and HE won here in 2015.



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Spade Racing Opens a Box of 2023 Panini PRIZM Cards, Pack 4 of 12




PACK 4: Make me feel old, breaking the mold, and a pot of gold


FIRST LOOK: Seeing young Kurt Busch here (back when everybody hated him) makes me feel pretty old, since twenty years have passed and now pretty much everyone at least tolerates his attitude.


TO THE BACK: Daniel Suarez did not have the standard resume for a Nascar Cup driver, so let’s all root for him, unless you LIKE every driver looking and sounding the same.


SAY WHAT?: “Just like the end of Diabolik!”


RATING: 4 scuff tires out of 10




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NASCAR ROTY RANKINGS 1994: Ranking the Rookie of the Year Classes Through the Years



Join me as we take a look at every NASCAR Cup Rookie of the Year class from 1972 (the start of the modern era) through 2021, going from the worst to the first in terms of overall careers of each year’s rookie class.

1994

Jeff Burton

Winner: Jeff Burton (Stavola).  Runners Up: Steve Grissom (Diamond Ridge), Joe Nemechek (Larry Hedrick), John Andretti (Hagan/Petty), Mike Wallace (Donlavey), Ward Burton (AG Dillard), Jeremy Mayfield (Cale Yarborough), Loy Allen Jr. (Tri-Star), Billy Standridge (Johnson-Standridge).  Aborted Attempts: Curtis Markham, Rick Carelli, T. W. Taylor

How their careers turned out: And here we have it—the biggest rookie class in Cup history!  In terms of success, here’s how I’d rank them: Jeff Burton (nearly a champion, lots of race wins), Jeremy Mayfield (championship contender, pissed off Rusty Wallace AND Ray Evernham), Ward Burton (Daytona 500 winner, a few other wins), John Andretti (two-time Cup race winner, Mr. Versatile), Mike Wallace (got beat up at a concert, stupid online comments), Loy Allen Jr. (bunch of pole positions and nothing else), Billy Standridge (may or may not have actually existed).

“Fun” “Fact” about the winner: Experts believe it was roughly 2005 when Jeff had his crash that caused his voice to go up three octaves whenever he’s excited.

Ranking: #16 out of 50



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Spade Racing presents The Hero Card Project 2024 Part 5




CLICK HERE FOR PART 4


On March 15th, I mailed out to every major, mid-major, and minor Nascar team in the three touring series for Hero Cards, the free glossy card-stock giveaways provided by race teams.  Last week I posted my first responses, but I got so many this past week I wanted to post what else I’ve received!  See what came in below, and click here to learn more about collecting Hero Cards  

An autographed Corey Lajoie card from Spire Motorsports

Five cards from Truck Series team Reaume Brothers Racing

Two cards from MBM Motorsports

An autographed card from REV Racing

Two cards from Truck Series team FRE




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Sonoma Race Picks: Uncle Max vs. 13th Place



EDITOR’S NOTE: Uncle Max is still on vacation.  Here are his texted picks.


TRUCK SERIES (2 wins) off


Saturday Evening XFINITY SERIES (3 wins) Zip Buy Now Pay Later 250: AJ Allmendinger—win now, team merges out of existence later. 


Sunday CUP SERIES Toyota/SaveMart 350: 13th Place Picks CHASE ELLIOTT.  FAVORITE (1 win): DANIEL SUAREZ—even though he doesn’t drive a Toyota (or a SaveMart).  NEXT FAVORITE: MARTIN TRUEX JR.—does wine go well with New Jersey tap water?  DARK HORSE: AJ ALLMENDINGER—any Cup win for the Kaulig crew counts as an upset.



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Spade Racing Opens a Box of 2023 Panini PRIZM Cards, Pack 3 of 12



PACK 3: Harvick x2, getting his due, and red white n blue


FIRST LOOK: Double the Harvick, double the red fire suits, double the subsets.  Happy had a great career, but I don’t know if anything about it was fractal or kaleidoscopic.


TO THE BACK: Mark’s always been humble, and I agree with him in terms of order-of-induction.  I still think there should’ve been opening Hall classes of ten each for the first three years—then maybe Jocko Flocko could’ve made it in.


SAY WHAT?: “Nice paint scheme, huh?  Just one of the 47 Mobil 1 has had in the past 24 years”.


RATING: 7 stage points out of 10




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