Race Journal Online
est. October 4, 2006

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Quote of the Week
"I'm not real proud of last week, but I'm very proud of today."
-Brad Keselowski

Please refrain from posting links to the crash video at RJO or in the Forum.

By Carol Einarsson | 10/28/2014

Photo: Rusty Jarrett/HHP for Chevy Racing.

CHEERS to track chaplains. We love MRO, but when a track has (and utilizes) their own chaplain, we like that best.

CHEERS to little Miss Kenseth with her hands folded in prayer. That's good parenting right there!

CHEERS to a fantastic anthem!! Until today, I've weighed all marching band presentations the same. I don't know exactly what was different, but there was something in that presentation that was better than any other band we've heard. CHEERS to the UNC Marching Band, the Marching Tarheels.

CHEERS to the PERFECT amount of wind to keep every flag waving perfectly!!

CHEERS to old timey planes flying over, too.

CHEERS to DJ's advice from the booth. When he said there were two things most important, I was certain one would be patience. Nope. No patience required. Just use strategy and your front bumper! Yes, we do love Martinsville!

Comments: 14
Last Activity: 10/30/14
By Carol Einarsson | 10/21/2014

Photo: Brynn Anderson/AP forNASCAR.

CHEERS to Marty Smith. Just can't say this enough. The pieces he brings to us never disappoint, but that's not saying nearly enough. Just not disappointing isn't much of a compliment. Rather, his interviews and his stories consistently elevate the sport, the people in it, the network he represents, and journalism as a whole.

CHEERS to "What was my father like then?" Resting on his legacy and his last name... we appreciate the honesty we get from Dale Jr. that we don't often get from any other driver in the sport.

CHEERS to an acre of ploughed garlic being at least more appealing than a kidney stone.

CHEERS to the montages put together illustrating the pressure of it all. I'm not sold on the manufacturing of the pressure, but anything that includes the Matt Kenseth ambush of an unsuspecting Brad Keselowski is a feel-good video for me!

CHEERS to the piece Allen Bestwick did with David Hoots. Let's get this cleared up BEFORE the race so there isn't a mass outcry after the checkers when cars are strewn all about.

Comments: 18
Last Activity: 10/23/14
By Carol Einarsson | 10/20/2014

Photo: Carol Einarsson.

 The Chase for the Sprint Cup. It seems fans either love it or hate it, but to be honest, I've not yet met even one fan that loves it. I'm sure there's someone out there that does, and I'm sure of that for two reasons. First, because while I've often been certain that a particular driver couldn't possibly have any fans, I'll sometimes see one in the team colors. Second, because Matt Kenseth has fans.

You may remember that Matt Kenseth is the reason we HAVE a Chase. After winning the Championship in 2003 with just one win, over guys like Ryan Newman with his eight wins, NASCAR decided they had to do something to fix what appeared to be broken - a points system that had been in place since 1975.

Lots of tweaks have been made to the Chase (the Jamie McMurray system introduced in 2011 after Jamie won the three biggest races of the year - Daytona 500, Indy, and Charlotte, but didn't make the 2010 Chase; and the Jeff Gordon adjustment allowing for a thirteenth chaser, just to name two), and now this year's tiered elimination that seems designed more for TV ratings than competition.

Comments: 19
Last Activity: 10/20/14
By Mark Brune | 10/16/2014

Those letters probably don’t mean anything to a younger demographic, but, for me and many in my age group, they symbolize the very essence of what was great about NASCAR in the 90’s and went a long way towards making a fan out of me.

The Nashville Network used to broadcast the “slower” races, or the races which typically extended beyond 4 hours, back when the tracks did their own marketing and negotiated their own TV deals. They also used to broadcast myriad other racing series which helped to keep viewer interest in motorsports consistently high.

They boasted an elite group of broadcasters who are now considered among the best ever to grace the airways as well as a supporting cast who continue to provide excellent coverage even today. I’m sure to have forgotten some but I especially remember Ken Squier, Eli Gold, & Buddy Baker in the booth, and Glenn Jarrett, Steve Byrnes, Ralph Sheheen, Dick Berggren, and Larry McReynolds in the pits. (I don’t want to forget to mention ESPN here as an influence as well. Their broadcast team which included Bob Jenkins, Benny Parsons, Ned Jarrett, and Jerry Punch was peerless.) These guys weren’t just a bunch of pretty faces reading a script (or an advertisement) but deeply knowledgeable folks with a keen insight into racing and a talent for talking about it in ways that enhanced the race experience rather than distract the viewer from it.

Comments: 10
Last Activity: 10/18/14
By Carol Einarsson | 10/14/2014

Photo: Alan Marler/HHP for Chevy Racing.

JEERS to ESPN and ABC and football. That was simply ridiculous. There are a hundred options they could have used, but didn't. Why? Because they had football on every other channel, too! Granted, all we missed in the race were 15 caution-free laps led by Kyle Busch, and no lead changes, but we didn't get to see the anthem or the invocation.

CHEERS to Allen Bestwick, though, doing a fantastic job of catching us up on what we missed, and to showing the military appreciation from the fans, but it still stinks that we missed the anthem.

CHEERS that I didn't have to complain about a competition caution, because we could at least pretend that restart was the first green flag, and it's somehow better to rejoin a race in progress when you don't just jump into it during green-flag racing.

Comments: 23
Last Activity: 10/16/14
By Carol Einarsson | 10/08/2014

Photo: Carol Einarsson for Race Journal Online.

CHEERS to beautiful weather (by some accounts) for race day! Saturday was better than Sunday, in my opinion, but at least it wasn't raining.

JEERS to the invocation being inaudible on pit road. I'm assuming it's that way everywhere and not just Kansas, which  makes it all the nicer to see individual prayer huddles at some cars.

CHEERS to the KC Flight Team for a nice fly over against a perfect blue sky.

JEERS to the presentation of the anthem which was just.... bad.

CHEERS I guess to Ned Yost giving the command from afar. And whoever's idea it was to sing Take Me Out to the Ball Game, JEERS to you. It was lame.

Comments: 15
Last Activity: 10/13/14
By Carol Einarsson | 10/05/2014
Yes, I'm in Kansas... so what's up with the lack of coverage from the track?

I've been asking myself that same thing. Usually I have all kinds of things to write about, and I do so every day. So what's different this time? I wish I had an answer. I didn't even make it to the track on Friday, which is very unusual for me. Yeah, it was raining (and by some reports, cold, though I disagree with that. The temperature was perfect both Friday and Saturday), but there were plenty of things I could have been doing. Instead, I stayed at my hotel and watched a baseball game on TV. Baltimore was playing Detroit, and though I hadn't watched a baseball game for probably two decades, I evidently picked a good one to watch. Honestly, I only stuck to the channel while surfing because I remembered Mike Rowe said he'd be there with his parents, and they were likely to show him on camera and plug his new show. He was right. But aside from that, the game was amazing! I may be a Baltimore Orioles fan now, despite having grown up in Southern California. And that's how I spent my NASCAR Friday.

Comments: 4
Last Activity: 10/07/14
By Carol Einarsson | 09/29/2014

Photo: Patrick Smith/Getty Imagesfor NASCAR.

JEERS to "The track with the nickname, 'The Monster.'" No, that's not its nickname. It's called The Monster Mile. You don't say of Darlington, "The Track Too Tough," do you?

JEERS to the wardrobe team that picked that suit for Brad Daugherty. Wow.

CHEERS to DJ, "Pressure makes drivers do irrational things." Flashback to the race that my assistant and I will always refer to as "Desperate DJ."

CHEERS to Dan Schaefer, his tie, and his invocation.

CHEERS to the USO Show Troupe. The kids at Bristol have some real competition here. That was simply fantastic!! And the raising of the flag while it was being sung was the icing on the cake!  Bring on the Bandit Flight Team, too! The whole thing was perfect.

Comments: 8
Last Activity: 10/03/14
By Carol Einarsson | 09/23/2014

Photo: Jonathan Ferrey/Getty ImagesforNASCAR.

JEERS to ESPN putting the anthem and invocation on the "Countdown" side of the hour. It's literally three minutes that is a perfectly nice start to the actual race coverage. It's not like (nor ever has been) the green flag falls at the top of the hour. Invocation, anthem, and command to start are all technically "pre-race", but so are the pace laps. It all belongs after coverage starts for the race. And yes, ESPN did once ask me, "What difference does it make?" Well, the difference is that some people like to see it, and if it's on the pre-race show that everyone doesn't care to watch, they'll miss it. But even more importantly, for night races when some local markets don't carry the pre-race when it's on ABC, there isn't even an option to see it at all. However, it is for this reason alone that I record the pre-race even if I don't exactly watch it.

CHEERS to a very nice invocation by Graham Siemon of Crossway Christian Church. That hand thing he had going on, though... just another good reason to pray with your eyes closed.

CHEERS   to a speedway contest winner singing the anthem and not a big-headed  recording star trying to sell a new CD.  Whitney Doucet did a perfectly nice presentation, and likely knows a thing or two about NASCAR, as well!

Comments: 8
Last Activity: 09/23/14
By Carol Einarsson | 09/16/2014

Photo: Paul J Bergstrom/AP forNASCAR.

CHEERS to Glenn Spoolstra for his invocation.

JEERS to trying to use the track sound system for TV. The echo completely ruined the anthem, though it seemed the fans at the track quite enjoyed it. And that's quite a ring he's wearing!

CHEERS to Hooligans flying overhead.

CHEERS to the look on a driver's face after kissing his girlfriend. Did you see what I saw? It's the little amusements that make up for the lack of quality racing on the track.

CHEERS to Kyle Busch's fire hood that makes him look like he's about to go SCUBA diving rather than racing.

Comments: 21
Last Activity: 09/21/14

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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 1:30pm
Apr 12 Darlington FOX 7pm
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

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The Challenger Round
Sep 14 Chicago ESPN 2pm
Sep 21 New Hampshr ESPN 2pm
Sep 28 Dover ESPN 2pm

The Contender Round
Oct 05 Kansas ESPN 2pm
Oct 11 Charlotte ABC 7:30pm
Oct 19 Talladega ESPN 2pm

The Eliminator Round
Oct 26 Martinsvl ESPN 1:30pm
Nov 02 Texas ESPN 3pm
Nov 09 Phoenix ESPN 3pm

The Championship
Nov 16 Homestead ESPN 3pm

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