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est. October 4, 2006

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Announcement:

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"I can't believe Matt doesn't trust me like that!"
-Jeff Gordon


By Carol Einarsson | 03/31/2015
 


CHEERS to returning to the southeast and people all bundled up again. Come on, now, it's nearly April!

JEERS to sound trouble for the chaplain, but CHEERS to Mike Hatfield and a nice blessing on the day. We ask in the name of Christ of the cross, Amen!

CHEERS to the Training and Doctrine Command Band Herald Trumpets for an outstanding presentation of the anthem, but who named the band?? It's not even an acronym. TDCBHT?

JEERS to not knowing which way to face during the anthem. Unless Ingrid was looking at a flag sticking out of her husband's ear, that was weird.

Comments: 4
Last Activity: 03/31/15
 
By Carol Einarsson | 03/24/2015
 


CHEERS to all the guys back at all the shops who manage to make salt-resistant engines for the California race. All that salty beach air has to be a challenge for them.

CHEERS to the crews at the track, too, trying to work in the garages as celebrities meander about. That's what you have to put up with if you're going to race in Hollywood, I suppose.

CHEERS to giving the state the best PR: "California freeways are known for their snarled, backed-up traffic and high-speed chases." Nothing says "Go visit California!" quite like snarled traffic and high-speed chases!

CHEERS to March, Blood Clot Awareness Month. I guess at least we have eight days remaining to be aware. Seriously, though, prayers for Brian Vickers.

Comments: 17
Last Activity: 03/25/15
 
By Carol Einarsson | 03/17/2015
 

Photo: Eddie Laub/Race Journal Online.


CHEERS to the interview with Ned Yost. Yeah... we all still miss him, and I can't imagine how much harder it is for his closest friends.

CHEERS to an interview with Kurt Busch, but have we ever seen an interview like that outside in the bright sun, just standing in a parking lot? Did that seem odd to anyone else?

CHEERS to Kurt recognizing his biggest mistake, "The wrong woman to date." Boom. That was fantastic!

JEERS to my disappointment when he was introduced at the track. I expected more fan support than it sounds like he got, but maybe it was more than we think, because what there was, was an absence of booing fans.

Comments: 7
Last Activity: 03/18/15
 
By Eddie Laub | 03/16/2015
 
There's been a lot of talk recently about NASCAR losing its longtime fan base. Even around here at RJO, many have expressed a similar sentiment - longtime fans being done with the sport. There are multiple reasons why, and most are pretty valid reasons. I have resisted the urge to be “done.” Today I figured out a bit why. Allow me to tell a little story:

Back in November 1988, my family packed up and headed to Phoenix International Raceway.  As a family, it was our first trip to a big time NASCAR race, and it was also happened to be the Winston Cup Series’ first foray into Phoenix. I was a sophomore in high school, and I was hooked on NASCAR. My mom, my dad, my little sister, and our barely-a-bun-in-the-oven other little sister all headed to the Valley of the Sun to enjoy a weekend of NASCAR. 

I can still remember the first moment the track came into view over the horizon.  The back of the media tower was the first thing that could be seen. I was giddy with excitement as I tried to figure out: was that the track? Or not? It had to be! It had to be! IT WAS! There it is!! 

Comments: 10
Last Activity: 03/17/15
 
By Eddie Laub | 03/15/2015
 

Photo: Eddie Laub/Race Journal Online.


Today is 3/14/15, and if you haven’t heard- that means it is Pi Day.  I expected pie to be served in the media center, and I was disappointed.   No apple pie, no lemon meringue pie, no pi shaped pie. I did get a pretzel though. 

Interesting tidbit: Do you know what the high dollar XFINITY teams do after qualifying at Phoenix?   They get ready for California.  Immediately after qualifying is over, they load the backup Phoenix cars into unmarked trailers and ship them home. All the Roush cars go in one, the Gibbs cars into another, etc.  Meanwhile, they load California cars into the haulers and get them ready to head west.  Gone are the days of the California car being the backup for Phoenix, and vice versa.  

For the record:  as much as I love being a mechanic, and as much as I love racing, I’m not sure I could combine the two- at least not at this level.  I would love to work on a racecar again, but at this level there are so many people walking around all day long getting in your way.  It boggles my mind to see how often, and flagrantly, spectators can get in the way of work going on.  It’s like working retail two days before Christmas, but a whole lot dirtier and messier- and everyone has a camera. 

Comments: 1
Last Activity: 03/15/15
 
By Eddie Laub | 03/14/2015
 

Photo: Eddie Laub/Race Journal Online.


It’s Friday the 13th.  As I sit here in the Phoenix International Raceway media center pondering the relevance of a day that really holds no importance to those who aren’t superstitious (but know that I'm not eating peanuts in the garage area!) the day has me remembering back when the one yearly PIR race usually fell right about Halloween.  When my family would come to the races, we would often see folks walking around in costumes, kids dressed as their favorite drivers, or if we were really lucky: we would see scare pranks going on among the teams.  There’s not much funnier sight than to watch a race team use a remote-controlled plastic rat to scare the bodily fluids out of inebriated ladies on pit road.  That’s good stuff right there.

I know this isn’t the right column, but Cheers to PIR for making the Friday morning photographers meeting at 10:30am, instead of 8am like last year.  My wife and son appreciate that too. Leaving home at 7am is just so much easier than leaving at 4:30am.

On the tram ride to the infield and the media center earlier, I sat next to a Jeff Gordon crew member.  Just after he sat down, he whipped out his phone.  Not sure if he was trying to avoid conversation, or if he was tweeting how he gets to sits next to an official RJO Photographer!

Comments: 2
Last Activity: 03/14/15
 
By Carol Einarsson | 03/13/2015
 
So what have we learned this week in NASCAR?

Well, we learned that although Patricia Driscoll apparently feels called to litter the world with litigation, she doesn't always win. In fact, she really isn't much more than a bully. 

We've also seen recaps this week of all the trouble Kurt Busch has been in that earned him various NASCAR suspensions. Now while I agree most were warranted, this last one is an example of NASCAR making a really bad call, in a knee-jerk reaction, to try and head off any bad publicity that might make it appear as if the governing body turns a blind eye to domestic violence. However, while it doesn't even come close to undoing their bad call, they were 100% correct in lifting Kurt's suspension so quickly.


Comments: 10
Last Activity: 03/13/15
 
By Carol Einarsson | 03/10/2015
 

Photo: Jared C Tilton/Getty ImagesforNASCAR.


CHEERS to Jeff Gordon winning the pole at Las Vegas. Of course, then he got too close to Danica (and by "too close", I mean "on the same track with") and now he's starting in the back, with a car he's yet to take a single lap in this weekend. Then again, whenever I think of Jeff Gordon in a back-up car, I think All Star Race, 2001, and apparently, so does Jeff Gordon. Did you hear his subtle reference? "And who knows? We might even be able to pull off a miracle."

CHEERS to Chris Meyers' assessment of brothers Waltrip: "One is maturing, the other's annoying." Okay, that was pretty funny. And all humor has at least a little truth to it.

JEERS to the teaser, though, for what's to come on the pre-race, because in that blur, I know I saw a red-headed comedian that tops them all in "annoying."

CHEERS to Brian Vickers' return!! Never give up. No matter what. Fix your eyes on your goal, and just keep pressing on. That's Brian Vickers.

Comments: 10
Last Activity: 03/11/15
 
By Carol Einarsson | 03/03/2015
 


CHEERS to playing taps and the military presence at Atlanta.

JEERS to rain, but let's put a positive spin on it, CHEERS that it's not the Sunday snow that was originally forecast.

CHEERS to Jeff Gordon's nose tape stuff. It's exactly the same color as his skin, so you don't see it… Unless the camera's in his face when he's putting it on.

CHEERS to a fine invocation, and the lovely anthem.

JEERS to the ridiculous timing for qualifying at Atlanta, likely thanks to the televised process, that left so many top names without a chance to even make a lap. Here's the (very obvious) thing: If the plan is to televise qualifying for the fans, but the schedule is so tight that the fans don't actually see qualifying because the drivers can't get through inspection in time, then what service have you exactly provided FOR THE FANS? When televised qualifying affects the starting position of drivers on Sunday, it's time to rethink what's most important to show the fans. And do we blame NASCAR or the TV partners? Or both?

Comments: 17
Last Activity: 03/10/15
 
By Carol Einarsson | 02/27/2015
 




So here I am, contemplating how that sudden temperature drop in hell must have affected all concerned, because I'm about to write something quite surprising... in defense of Kurt Busch. Yes, really. 

Here's the thing: this has "fishy" written all over it to me, and I'll tell you why. 

In the interest of full disclosure, the plaintiff in this matter against Kurt Busch, former girlfriend Patricia Driscoll, also threatened litigation against me for defamation of character among other things. I'd written that her position with the Armed Forces Foundation was the only reason they had any sponsorship affiliation with the then-unsponsored driver who'd been relegated to the back of the field with an under-funded race team after his hot-headed temper lost him his job with a top team. My assertion is that without her, that organization would not have sought out Kurt Busch with a sponsorship offer. She took offense, threatened to sue, and demanded that I remove the article. Naturally, I refused. Curiously, I never again heard from her or her attorneys. But during the course of that threat, I sought advice from other people in the media, and words like "crazy" were used to describe Ms. Driscoll. "Ignore her," I was told. So I did. 


Comments: 24
Last Activity: 03/08/15
 

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