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"You can't take these for granted. You can't take wins for granted; you can't take championships for granted. They're so difficult; they're so hard to achieve. You have to cherish each one of them. " -Chad Knaus, six-time championship crew chief
Some of you may know I'm a Doctor Who fan. For those who aren't, or are unfamiliar with the BBC series, The Doctor can travel anywhere in space and time (and usually does so to save our world or another from some form of nefarious aliens) in his time machine known as the TARDIS (Time And Relative Dimension In Space). Here's your first tie-in, but not the last or most significant - TARDIS is a six letter acronym like NASCAR. See, now you want to keep reading, don't you?
So recently, someone asked me if I could go anywhere in space and time, where would it be? Pondering that possibility, some ideas came to mind that I'd never before considered. Given that I have no "space" desires except perhaps the moon, my list covers Bible times to NASCAR.
Here we are, then, the first week of the off-season. It doesn't usually feel like it's really over until after the banquet, but this year, I'm feeling it right away. So many other things I enjoy in life that sometimes get put on the back burner between February and November are suddenly on the calendar. What? There's more to life than racing? Why yes there is! I'm glad you asked!
I'm developing a new column that will be called "More to Life". You may or may not find it listed on Jayski's page because it may or may not be race-related on any given week. If you come here looking only for technical race-only commentary (and I have no idea why you'd have any reasonable expectation of that), this column may not be for you. See, in case this has escaped you (and I know it has for a few), my interest in NASCAR has never really been of a technical nature. I don't write about valve springs or wedge or chassis adjustments too much of the time. Rather, what I like about NASCAR has always been from a human-interest story point of view. I like the players and the side stories. I like the humor and the rivalry and the families.
CHEERS to Kaylin and Evie's dads standing next to each other on stage being friendly because when all is said and done, they really are just Kaylin and Evie's dads.
CHEERS to Chad's observation about Jimmie's competitiveness that he won't even be able to allow his daughters to win at "HORSE".
CHEERS to reminding everyone about the triathlon that Jimmie competed in. I wonder when the last time was that Donovan McNabb did THAT.
JEERS to "Do you have to be a world-class athlete to drive a race car? No." Hmmm... This followed Brad Daugherty's assertion that McNabb was wrong. Try not to agree with him, then, and we might value your opinion just a little more.
CHEERS to "There are your Chasers, all thirteen of them - a unique number in itself." Uh... isn't EVERY number unique? I think that's the whole point of the numbering system, actually.
CHEERS to ESPN's piece about how drivers choose numbers, and also showing how NASCAR fans count (and how we teach our children to count). Special thanks, also, for explaining how some of us still count Rusty, Dale, Sterling, Terry.... My assistant can attest to this.
CHEERS to a little girl running into the arms of her military dad upon his return. We never tire of seeing family reunions.
CHEERS to Veterans everywhere, for so many sacrifices made on our behalf, our parents behalf, and our grandparents behalf. And CHEERS to all of those civilians who ensured our veterans could visit their memorial and feel honored even in the midst of their president seeking to deny them that right and that honor.
Photo: Chris Graythen /Getty Imagesfor Texas Motor Speedway.
CHEERS to Nicole Briscoe and best wishes for a happy, healthy delivery of baby Briscoe. And CHEERS to Allen Bestwick for a classy "public" send-off. We're even saying CHEERS to Brad Daugherty's "You're pregnant?!" because it reminds us of a picture we recently saw of a mother-to-be in progressive stages of pregnancy and the advice of when it's okay to ask a woman if she's pregnant. The answer: when she's crowning. I may give the second-string booth a bad time (not saying it's unwarranted), but I'll always remember the moment I first admired Nicole Briscoe, and that was when she held it together, speaking as a broadcaster, but carrying the weight of being a driver's wife, and delivering the news of Dan Wheldon's loss.
CHEERS to the Boy Scouts Pledge of Allegiance and how well they took direction to project!
CHEERS to a special prayer for Marcy Scott's friends and family included in the invocation.
CHEERS to back-to-back marching band anthems!! This week, we have (per my request, I'm sure) a local group, from Texas Christian University. And dare I say, I think they were even better than last week's band!
CHEERS to the WATCH ESPN app and an iPad Mini. No, I wasn't "exactly" watching the race while I drove home from church, but I may have had the app opened on my passenger seat. Imagine my glee when I looked over and saw Junior Johnson next to me! What a great surprise that was!
CHEERS to the invocation by Mike Hatfield. He used the word "autumn" which is my favorite season, and my favorite word for the season. "Fall" just sounds lazy.
CHEERS to the NC State University Marching Band, but... we're in Virginia, right? I'm glad they made the trip, because they were stellar, but I'm still wondering why race tracks don't call upon their local marching bands. Did I mention the NCSU Marching Band was stellar? Indeed they were!!
JEERS to anyone, especially a man who sits in the broadcast booth, being "astonished" that Kyle Busch had a bad weekend at Kansas and couldn't recover from what happened on Friday and Saturday. Astonished at another Chase meltdown? Really??
JEERS to the "pre-race" really being a "last week debrief." Pardon me for just noticing, but I don't usually watch the B-List Booth crew. Is it always this way?
CHEERS to Nik and Lijana Wallenda, perfecting the craft of high-wire walking like no other family likely ever will.
CHEERS to Ned Jarrett and Morgan Shepherd, both with birthdays on Saturday.
ERNIE IRVAN’S SON ANNOUNCE RACING PLANS – Former NASCAR driver Ernie Irvan announced Friday at Charlotte Motor Speedway that his son Jared would race fulltime next year in the PASS Super Late Model Series. Jared, 15, will race a Super Late Model car owned and prepared by the family. The team will have full sponsorship from Auramist, a misting fan company.
“We now have a reason to come to the race track,” said Ernie. “(Jared) learned a lot running the Summer Shootout (Legends Car series at Charlotte Motor Speedway) and that speaks a lot for itself. There have been a lot of great guys that run the Super Late Model series. We are kind of following in Ryan Blaney’s footsteps. And obviously, Kyle Busch ran that series a lot. Ross Kenseth, Matt’s son, he runs that series a lot. We are really excited about going down that path. We hope to move into the K&N Series in a year or two.”
So I guess NASCAR has reached the goal of being like the NFL. We've had drug abusers, drunk drivers, grand theft, race fixing, and now a wife-beater. Welcome to mainstream sports, race fans.
In case you hadn't heard, Travis Kvapil was arrested for wife-beating and false imprisonment. Granted he's not the biggest name in the sport, but he's still a driver in the highest level of stock car racing this country has to offer. His name will not likely be used in any news story without being prefaced with a two-word description, "NASCAR driver."
We've officially arrived. NASCAR is now newsworthy for all the wrong reasons.
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TV Times are only estimates
Sprint Cup 2014 Schedule Saturday night races in red
Feb 23 Daytona FOX 1pm
Mar 02 Phoenix FOX 3pm
Mar 09 Las Vegas FOX 3pm
Mar 16 Bristol FOX 1pm
Mar 24 Fontana FOX 3pm
Mar 30 Martinsvl FOX 1pm
Apr 06 Texas FOX 7:30pm
Apr 12 Darlington FOX 1pm
Apr 20 OFF (Easter)
Apr 26 Richmond FOX 7:30pm
May 04 Talladega FOX 1pm
May 10 Kansas FOX 7:00pm
May 17 All Star SPEED 7:30p
May 25 Charlotte FOX 6:00pm
Jun 01 Dover FOX 1pm
Jun 08 Pocono TNT 1pm
Jun 15 Michigan TNT 1pm
Jun 22 Sonoma TNT 3pm
Jun 28 Kentucky TNT 7:30pm
Jul 05 Daytona TNT 7:30pm
Jul 13 New Hampshr TNT 1pm
Jul 21 OFF
Jul 27 Indianapolis ESPN 1pm
Aug 03 Pocono ESPN 1pm
Aug 10 WatGlen ESPN 1pm
Aug 17 Michigan ESPN 1pm
Aug 23 Bristol ABC 7:30pm
Aug 31 Atlanta ESPN 7:30pm
Sep 06 Richmond ABC 7:30pm
Sep 14 Chicago ESPN 2pm
Sep 21 New Hampshr ESPN 2pm
Sep 28 Dover ESPN 2pm
Oct 05 Kansas ESPN 2pm
Oct 11 Charlotte ABC 7:30pm
Oct 19 Talladega ESPN 2pm
Oct 26 Martinsvl ESPN 1:30pm
Nov 02 Texas ESPN 3pm
Nov 09 Phoenix ESPN 3pm
Nov 16 Homestead ESPN 3pm
When I was a little girl, growing up in Southern California, my grandma would come visit from Indiana for three months a year to get away from the Indiana winters. Oh, the stories I could tell and the memories I have of Grandma's annual visits. But one of my fondest memories is of Grandma's penchant for See's Candy. There are few stores outside of the west coast, so I remember going to the candy store to order something special with my mom, to be shipped to Indiana. Whether it was Mother's Day, Grandma's birthday, or if it had just been awhile, my mom would kindly send candy to her mother-in-law half way across the country.
When she came to visit, there'd be a box waiting for her in the top drawer of the dresser in the spare room where she'd stay, and very rarely, she'd share a piece with me. I think the rarity of the occasion made it all the more special.
It wasn't until I moved to Nebraska that I really missed seeing See's Candy stores. Nuts & Chews. That was the special mix we'd always get in the box. And the square lollypops? There's nothing like them anywhere else. Caramel and chocolate and vanilla. If you've never had See's Candy, you should try a box. I promise you'll be glad you did. I recommend the Nuts & Chews, of course, so that's the picture I've posted for you. Click it and you'll see more. Great for gifts, but even better to order your own box. And if you hide it in the top dresser drawer, I won't tell anyone where it is. -Carol