Track “Facts”: Chicago

EDITOR'S NOTE: This was the only Track "Facts" entry that wasn't posted last year.  So here it is!



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.


CHICAGO STREET COURSE


2.2 mile asphalt temporary street course


Debuted 2023


Lights?  No


Series: Cup


Nicknames: n/a


THREE FUN FACTS:

1. The Chicago street course was first attempted in the virtual world of iRacing.  I’m disappointed that more sports don’t adopt video game innovations, like basketball players shooting flaming shots after making three in a row, or Bo Jackson being untacklible.


2. The Chicago street course is only 2.2 miles long, which could be due to the fact that it replaced Road America, a 4 mile-plus road course in the middle of nowhere (sorry, cheeseheads).


3. This circuit returned Nascar to the greater Chicago area, thankfully no longer at the now shuttered Chicagoland Speedway, aka That Place With The Muppet Boycott.



www.spaderacing.com updated four times weekly


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Visit the store https://www.cafepress.com/spaderacing


Buy the book 100 Stock Car Racing What Ifs Unauthorized


Does this track have lights?


A MOXOC Media production

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Indianapolis Race Picks: Uncle Max vs. 13th Place



EDITOR’S NOTE: Spade Racing will continue to update through the “Olympic Break”, even if Uncle Max says he’s too busy cleaning up from a flood in his townhouse to write about his picks this weekend


Friday Evening TRUCK SERIES (4 wins) TSport 200: SAMMY SMITH—reminder that this race is being held at Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park, and that “LOIRP” is a great name for a video game character.


Saturday Afternoon XFINITY SERIES (4 wins) Pennzoil 250: COLE CUSTER—two in a row for the Cole-powered engine.  Sorry if that sounds weird.


Sunday CUP SERIES Brickyard 400: 13th Place Picks KYLE LARSON.  FAVORITE (1 win): RYAN BLANEY—two in a row…again.  NEXT FAVORITE: BRAD KESELOWSKI—kinda like when Ricky Rudd won in his own car but not.  DARK HORSE: JOSH BERRY—too bad the Wood Brothers can’t count this as a win.


www.spaderacing.com updated four times weekly


www.facebook.com/spaderacing


www.twitter.com/spaderacing


Visit the store https://www.cafepress.com/spaderacing


Buy the book 100 Stock Car Racing What Ifs Unauthorized


Does this track have lights?


A MOXOC Media production

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Spade Racing Opens a Box of 2023 Panini PRIZM Cards, Pack 9 of 12




PACK 9: Yellow Ryan, Kevin’s flyin’, and Zane’s tryin’



FIRST LOOK: Bit of an odd choice for a Ryan Newman photo, don’t you think?  They should’ve picked something that really highlighted his hair plugs and/or conspiracy theories.



TO THE BACK: Always nice to get a reminder of just how fantastic Kevin Harvick was in his prime, even if he did have to put up with multiple years as Danica’s teammate.


SAY WHAT?: “Check it out, my Ken Schrader impression”.


RATING: 7 lug nuts out of 10




www.spaderacing.com updated four times weekly


www.facebook.com/spaderacing


www.twitter.com/spaderacing


Visit the store https://www.cafepress.com/spaderacing


Buy the book 100 Stock Car Racing What Ifs Unauthorized


Does this track have lights?


A MOXOC Media production

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NASCAR ROTY RANKINGS 1999: Ranking the Rookie of the Year Classes Through the Years



Tony Stewart
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.

1999

Winner: Tony Stewart (JGR).  Runners Up: Elliott Sadler (Wood Bros), Buckshot Jones (Buckshot).  Aborted Attempts: Stanton Barrett, Dan Pardus, Mike Harmon

How their careers turned out: Debuting in-between Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson, I feel that Tony Stewart’s career is strangely underrated.  He won tons of races to go along with three championships DESPITE starting his career in the IRL.  Meanwhile, while Elliott Sadler certainly wasn’t a slouch, Buckshot Jones, well, was.

“Fun” “Fact” about the winner: “Smoke” is currently second in Spade Racing’s annual Slickest Hair Rankings, behind longtime dominator BJ McLeod.

Ranking: #6 out of 50



www.spaderacing.com updated four times weekly


www.facebook.com/spaderacing


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Visit the store https://www.cafepress.com/spaderacing


Buy the book 100 Stock Car Racing What Ifs Unauthorized


Does this track have lights?


A MOXOC Media production

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Hulk Hogan’s “Real American Beer” Sponsors Xfinity Car, Seeks Creative Control


This is a parody


Yesterday saw SS Greenlight Racing’s 14 car co-sponsored by “Real American Beer”—a new beer developed and promoted by former pro wrestling star Hulk Hogan.  After the race, Hogan seemed to be happy with the experience, although seeking assurances before going any further with the sponsorship.

“It was a great race, brother”, said Hogan (real name Terry Bollea) yesterday evening.  “But you have to look at where your money is going, brother, and you have to have some sort of guarantee that things are going the way you need them to.  I mean, what kind of assurance do I have, brother, than the Hulk Hogan name is being used the right way?”

Hogan continued, “that’s why I’m asking for creative control, brother, before I sign on for any more races.  I need to make sure that if there’s a job that must be done, it isn’t me doing it, brother.”

Upon being informed that, despite what yahoos claim online, Nascar is not a predetermined exhibition, Hogan seemed unfazed.

“That doesn’t matter, brother—what matters is giving the fans what they want”, Hogan explained.  “And what the fans want, brother, is more Hulk Hogan—maybe with some Brian Knobbs and Jimmy Hart thrown in.  And if a fan comes to a race and doesn’t see the Hulk Hogan sponsored car at least in the top-ten, brother, whatchagonnado when they turn the channel on you—by which I mean me, brother.”

Hogan has not ruled out moving his sponsorship to another series if necessary.

“We’ve had some talks so far, brother, but that’s all they are—talks”, Hogan cautioned.  “But I’m not against moving Real American Beer to IndyCar and forming a New World Organization of racing, brother.”

Driver Mason Massey was unavailable for comment, although former meat salesman Eric Bischoff was willing to spend the next two hours defending Hogan’s business acumen.


www.spaderacing.com updated four times weekly


www.facebook.com/spaderacing


www.twitter.com/spaderacing


Visit the store https://www.cafepress.com/spaderacing


Buy the book 100 Stock Car Racing What Ifs Unauthorized


Does this track have lights?


A MOXOC Media production

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Pocono Race Picks: Uncle Max vs. 13th Place


The heat is on!  And I don’t mean that figuratively—I mean it’s really hot outside here (and most of the country for that matter).  Here’s some of my ways to keep cool at work:

—Find the air conditioning duct, then find an excuse to stand under it.

—A fresh can or bottle of soda from the vending machine applied to the forehead is an instant chill.

—Take early shifts or the night run.  Can’t get hot if it’s dark out!

—Pack your own lunch—salami and cheese on rye is a lot more refreshing than hot fast food.


Friday Evening TRUCK SERIES (3 wins) CRC 175: COREY HEIM—more Heim Team in the old Dover “we don’t have lights but really want a Friday race” time slot.


Saturday Afternoon XFINITY SERIES (3 wins) Pocono Mountains 225: COLE CUSTER—his first win this year could be his last in th—ok, ok, he probably has this ride for life.


Sunday CUP SERIES Great American Getaway 400: 13th Place Picks BUBBA WALLACE.  FAVORITE (1 win): TYLER REDDICK—its shaping up to be a Toyota type of weekend in Cup.  NEXT FAVORITE: DENNY HAMLIN—and it’s always great to see a driver with that old school trophy.  DARK HORSE: ERIK JONES—the darkest of horses, but hey—fuel mileage could be a thing.


www.spaderacing.com updated four times weekly


www.facebook.com/spaderacing


www.twitter.com/spaderacing


Visit the store https://www.cafepress.com/spaderacing


Buy the book 100 Stock Car Racing What Ifs Unauthorized


Does this track have lights?


A MOXOC Media production

www.moxoc.com

Spade Racing Opens a Box of 2023 Panini PRIZM Cards, Pack 8 of 12



PACK 8: Signed, ‘nined, and the grind 


FIRST LOOK: A nice autograph from Sam Mayer here, who is starting to drift from “Nascar prospect” to “Nascar Xfinity Series veteran”.  All he needs next is Randy LaJoie’s old beard.


TO THE BACK: I have no clue why these numbered card subsets all end in 9’s.


SAY WHAT?: “Its tough running my own team, but at least my firesuit looks great against the American flag”.


RATING: 8 rounds of wedge out of 10



www.spaderacing.com updated four times weekly


www.facebook.com/spaderacing


www.twitter.com/spaderacing


Visit the store https://www.cafepress.com/spaderacing


Buy the book 100 Stock Car Racing What Ifs Unauthorized


Does this track have lights?


A MOXOC Media production

www.moxoc.com

NASCAR ROTY RANKINGS 1998: Ranking the Rookie of the Year Classes Through the Years



Kenny Irwin in his rookie year
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.

1998

Winner: Kenny Irwin Jr. (RYR).  Runners Up: Kevin Lepage (LJ/AER/Roush), Jerry Nadeau (Elliott-Marino/Melling), Steve Park (DEI).  Aborted Attempts: none

How their careers turned out: This class is really a case of “what might have been”—winner Kenny Irwin Jr. was a poor fit at Robert Yates Racing, and was just adjusting to his new home at Team Sabco when he was killed at New Hampshire.  Both Jerry Nadeau and Steve Park won races in Cup, only to have their promising careers cut short by what were ultimately career-ending injuries.  And maybe we’d look back on Kevin Lepage more-fondly had he not swerved in front of the entire field at Talladega.

“Fun” “Fact” about the winner: Irwin was the first developmental driver for Brad Daugherty’s Liberty Racing Truck Series team, thus setting in motion the chain of events that led to Brad poking people with a giant novelty fork on ESPN.

Ranking: #35 out of 50



www.spaderacing.com updated four times weekly


www.facebook.com/spaderacing


www.twitter.com/spaderacing


Visit the store https://www.cafepress.com/spaderacing


Buy the book 100 Stock Car Racing What Ifs Unauthorized


Does this track have lights?


A MOXOC Media production

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Nascar’s Whiners Relieved by Introduction of Electric Prototype

This is a parody

The whiners of Nascar—one of the most-vocal segments of the sport’s fanbase—reacted in jubilation at yesterday’s introduction of a new electric race car prototype.

“It’s been so long since I had something new to complain about”, said Deon McEldowney of Greensboro, North Carolina.  “I mean of course I was online complaining about racing on the streets of Chicago—they have a crime problem there, you know—and not running at Rockingham, but that was so last year.  Now I have something new to give as a reason why I’ll stop watching Nascar in the near future.”

Nascar’s whiniest fans, who are typically found in the comments of public Facebook posts or Twitter/X threads, gladly changed over their usual griping to the new subject immediately upon the prototype’s introduction.

“Well it’s about time we got something new!” said Brooke Parsons of Spokane, Washington.  “I mean yeah it’s funny to mock Bubba Wallace and low tv ratings, but we needed something different, y’know?  And with this prototype being unveiled, it’s time to blame it for everything wrong with the sport.  Fans, start your whinging!”

Despite the prototype being just that—a prototype—and no concrete plans being in place for its future use, whiny fans are using it as a chance to finally refresh their long list of complaints with the sport.

“I know they said that Nascar Cup will always use internal combustion engines, but come on—this is a great chance to grumble about something new!” said one fan known only as “DeeSuper” in a comment on a message board.  “Now we have something else to blame the death of Nascar on—Jeff Gordon’s dominance, Winston leaving, too many tv commercials, too many races on cable, too many races on streaming services, not racing at North Wilkesboro, racing the All-Star race at North Wilkesboro and it being boring, and the electric car!  This is a new golden age for those of us who think Nascar’s golden age ended in 2001.”



www.spaderacing.com updated four times weekly


www.facebook.com/spaderacing


www.twitter.com/spaderacing


Visit the store https://www.cafepress.com/spaderacing


Buy the book 100 Stock Car Racing What Ifs Unauthorized


Does this track have lights?


A MOXOC Media production

www.moxoc.com

Chicago Race Picks: Uncle Max vs. 13th Place



I gotta keep it short this week, as I’m going in to work today for our Fourth of July “Sidewalk Sale”.  Yeah, its never fun working on a holiday, and yeah, its never fun missing a BBQ, but on the plus side I’m getting double-overtime pay, not to mention earning some brownie points with the bosses.  Oh, and just so you know, you don’t need to actually be on the sidewalk to have a sidewalk sale.


TRUCK SERIES (3 wins) off


Saturday Afternoon XFINITY SERIES (3 wins) The Loop 110: KYLE LARSON—maybe its just me, but I don’t associate 17 with Hendrick (sorry DW).


Sunday CUP SERIES Grant Park 165: 13th Place Picks JUSTIN HALEY.  FAVORITE (1 win): KYLE LARSON—after a year’s delay, it’s time for a helluva race.  Unless it rains again.  NEXT FAVORITE: AJ ALLMENDINGER—could this be the “last hurrah” for Kaulig before a merger with Trackhouse?  Eh, possibly.  DARK HORSE: SHANE VAN GISBERGEN—back-to-back wins, hopefully with actual racing this time.



www.spaderacing.com updated four times weekly


www.facebook.com/spaderacing


www.twitter.com/spaderacing


Visit the store https://www.cafepress.com/spaderacing


Buy the book 100 Stock Car Racing What Ifs Unauthorized


Does this track have lights?


A MOXOC Media production

www.moxoc.com

Spade Racing Opens a Box of 2023 Panini PRIZM Cards, Pack 7 of 12



PACK 7: Son of a Gun, a popularity run, and getting your hair done


FIRST LOOK: Its 2024 and STP Son of a Gun protectant is STILL USING a picture nearly identical to this on their products.


TO THE BACK: ...and look how happy Bill is to be so popular here!


SAY WHAT?: “It took me four hours to fashion my hair into a Nascar-approved helmet.”


RATING: 7 pit stalls out of 10


www.spaderacing.com updated four times weekly


www.facebook.com/spaderacing


www.twitter.com/spaderacing


Visit the store https://www.cafepress.com/spaderacing


Buy the book 100 Stock Car Racing What Ifs Unauthorized


Does this track have lights?


A MOXOC Media production

www.moxoc.com