Race Journal Online
est. October 4, 2006

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2016 Champion
Jimmie Johnson

2016 Race Winners

Denny Hamlin (2)
Jimmie Johnson (2)
Brad Keselowski (4)
Kevin Harvick (2)
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Carl Edwards (2)
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Chris Buescher
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The Daly Planet

Quote of the Week
"My work here is done."
-Carol Einarsson


By Carol Einarsson | 10/29/2016
When I was 30 years old, I had a paper route. It was something I could do and take my beloved assistant with me, and as a single, home-schooling mom, that was my priority. I was thankful for the job because I've always known God would provide. He doesn't typically drop a check in the mail, but He has been faithful to always provide suitable jobs for me where I could take Colby with me. It's for that reason that I have, historically, had a very difficult time leaving any job. It always seemed to me that to quit something was to say to God, "Thanks, but what You've provided isn't good enough..." 

Over the years in that season of my life, my jobs always overlapped. I usually maintained three or four part-time jobs, and they'd come and go, but I always had a new one before I lost an old one. God knew my tendency to hold on when He wanted me to let go, and He was apparently willing to work with me. But there was one time He insisted that I trust Him, and that's when it was time to let go of the paper route.

Living in an apartment at the time, our route was our complex of about two dozen buildings, an adjacent complex, and some condos down the street. Most of it was walking. It was hot in the summer, and cold and miserable in the winter. And that's when it finally got to be too much. 

Comments: 26
Last Activity: 06/29/17
By Carol Einarsson | 10/16/2016
Saturday night there was an informal reception of sorts at the Hollywood Casino Turn Two sports bar. NASCAR had a private area reserved for their execs and invited media. We were among the latter. When we arrived, we were unsure where the group was, so as we waited for the host to find out where we should go, Dave turned and asked someone who was leaving, and appeared to have been in the same group. "Excuse me, do you know where the NASCAR group is?" As I turn to look, he's asking Rusty Wallace for directions. Yes, really. And without a second thought, Rusty told us where it was. "Thanks, Rusty!"

The reception was lovely, though I felt a bit out of place. Even still, our new best friend with NASCAR told us to get a plate. We did, and there was a seat available next to Mike Helton, so what's a girl to do? Yup, we'll sit there! I have to say, I'm not easily star-struck, and I'm not sure that's what it was, but it was surreal. I've been in a room with him before at the media center, and it was just different this time. The relaxed, non-business nature of it... I'm just hangin' with Helton at a sports bar in Kansas. How ridiculous life is sometimes.

Comments: 3
Last Activity: 10/17/16
By Carol Einarsson | 10/15/2016

Last night we left and went out for shakes at Spangles, a great burger place in Topeka. It's 50s all the way, with a giant Elvis statue, and in May they also had a Marilyn Monroe statue, but now Marilyn is gone. She'd been atop a table, and we wondered if she'd somehow been toppled.

We all just stood up for the invocation and the national anthem. A media center of  39 reporters stood in a room where not a single person outside would have noticed if we hadn't. Yet men removed their caps, and all stood in silence for both the prayer and anthem. It was a beautiful thing. 

Comments: 3
Last Activity: 10/31/16
By Carol Einarsson | 10/14/2016
Sorry about last week.. We were prepared for a Saturday night race, but not so much on Sunday. Some kind of plague is wreaking havoc at the RJO Main Office, and sneezing and coughing are rivaling the sounds of race car engines. But we press on, and we're in Kansas this weekend! Should be 70 today, but so far it's fog and drizzle. And someone reported some rain that isn't officially happening because nobody's willing to report it as such. Still cool outside, and we're even willingly drinking the infamous coffee.

Again this time, we're staying in Topeka, a lovely place about 45 minutes from the track (and a $3 toll) because someone (okay, ME) is being picky, persnickity, and maybe a little immature about the formerly-favored hotel that's right across the street from the track. They changed managers and though I was promised one thing in the spring, she went back on what she said, denied having said it, and then was a little rude to this customer about my accommodations. So to complete the severing of my nose to prove a point to my face, naturally I stopped staying there. Yes, I was staying for free, so it's to their benefit that I stay elsewhere on race weekend, but the girl at the Topeka hotel had a great smile that got even bigger when I told her how we prefer driving in from Topeka versus staying across the street from the track because the hotel staff is far superior. I hope she tells her manager. And the manager at Kansas City West, too.

Comments: 3
Last Activity: 10/14/16
By Carol Einarsson | 10/14/2016
 My thoughts are muddled right now because of a combination of exhaustion, cold medicine, and emotion. I learned earlier today about the tragic loss of someone I once met. But it was more than just a 20 second conversation with the person in line behind you at the grocery store. It was a race weekend, and she sat directly across from me in the Media Center at Kansas Speedway. It was her first time ever in a media center, her first race coverage. She was what anyone would conservatively call "giddy". She wasn't just bubbly like champagne, she was a bottle of champagne that had been well-shaken!  With an eager hand extended, she introduced herself to anyone who even inadvertently made eye contact. Name, media affiliation, a big smile, and too much information.

She was just overcome with the goodness of life, and her excitement at covering the race, meeting the drivers, and all that this is -- and it made me remember my first time here. I wasn't nearly as confident as she was. I was (and still am, really) a hermit that's sitting among the social people. I don't introduce myself to others unless they purposely approach. But she was open about her intent - she was here to network and meet people. She was here to get her brand out and to be remembered.

Comments: 3
Last Activity: 10/15/16
By Carol Einarsson | 10/04/2016

CHEERS to Carter McMurray! Wow, is he a natural or what? "Yeah, our car's fast..." I love him!

CHEERS to the military presence at Dover. It's one of the best parts of the race!

CHEERS to Hazel waving her little hand on a parade lap with Dad and brother Carter. How cute was that?

CHEERS to a Kyle Busch photo bomb. For a moment there, he was almost likable. 

JEERS to a cadaver knee?! What? Holy Crap!!  I did a Google search and yes, that's a real thing! I guess I always thought any sort of knee replacement was done with fake parts. And Krista said it so casually like, of course it's a cadaver knee! 

Comments: 15
Last Activity: 10/07/16
By Carol Einarsson | 09/27/2016

CHEERS to reading something this week that made me chuckle again, "Hilton Bill Weber Hotel". Yeah, possibly one of the best memories of NASCAR in New Hampshire, the infamous melt-down that had TV execs getting out of bed in the middle of the night and flying to New England to "manage" a certain situation.

CHEERS to NBC Sports for the American flag patches on the pit reporters' firesuits. I wish NASCAR would follow suit and include them on drivers' suits. It saddens me to think of all the reasons they won't, though. Can I just say CHEERS to NBC Sports again?

CHEERS to Tony Stewart for his Simpson fire suit, too. I remember a time (before the assertion that NASCAR killed Superman) when EVERYone was in a Simpson fire suit. With a Simpson helmet. And Simpson underwear. And Simpson belts... And yes, Bill Simpson has since sold the company, but there is still a nostalgic warm spot for the man who's life has been spent trying to save lives in race cars. 

Comments: 13
Last Activity: 10/02/16
By Carol Einarsson | 09/20/2016

CHEERS to the intro song for Tony, most appropriate. Having not been paying 100% attention to the order and who they were up to, as soon as I heard "Bad to the Bone" start to play, I knew it was Tony. I don't know if that's a good thing, but it was certainly the most appropriate pick of the day.

JEERS to boos from the crowd for the whole front row. I don't know how NASCAR can fix this (or if  they should even try, given their propensity for over-working the dough and interfering in every last detail of what was once an organic sport), but when your top two drivers are hated by the fans -- the very fans that carry your sport -- how do you continue to thrive? I tried to make the case against myself that the people booing Kyle Busch were Brad Keselowski fans, and those booing Brad must be Kyle Busch fans, but if that were the case, we'd at least have heard a modicum of applause for each driver. Yet, we didn't. You just can't expect to carry on with business as usual if the fans hate your "stars".

CHEERS to Michael McDowell for a great invocation! I was starting to wonder if he'd get a turn at that this season, so it was nice to see. No sponsors, just praying to Jesus. Did Coach Gibbs get his turn yet?

Comments: 10
Last Activity: 09/22/16
By Carol Einarsson | 09/13/2016

JEERS to stitches for Miss Ashlyn, but nobody said why!

CHEERS to whomever had a nice, long chat with Kevin Harvick, because clearly SOMEone did.

CHEERS to Lt Col Ed Hamlin for a lovely invocation, and the US National Marine Corps Band for the anthem as it was meant to sound.

CHEERS to Pete Larson for the command to start. You know how those groups can go, but to have one guy out front with a microphone, and all the rest thinking they'll be heard, too -- that worked out as perfectly as when Andy muted Barney's microphone for the church chorus.

CHEERS to full stands!  Fullish, at least!

Comments: 6
Last Activity: 09/14/16
By Carol Einarsson | 09/13/2016

Yes, there was a race at Richmond Saturday night. And it was a defining race as drivers were either in or out of the 2016 Chase, but let's get to the worst part of the night, because it may have been a stick of dynamite that was ignited on the track, but it was a stick of dynamite already being carried around in the pocket of Ryan Newman, waiting for just the right moment.

It was one of the most shocking moments of Live TV I've ever witnessed. And while I take notes and write this column "live" as the race is broadcast, this last part has me two days removed. It's Monday and I'm still consumed with troubling thoughts about what we saw Saturday night -- what we HEARD Saturday night -- in the very upsetting words Ryan Newman chose to use. I won't transcribe it verbatim, but if you saw it, you likely watched wide-eyed, almost in horror. Did he say that? Did I hear that right?

Comments: 9
Last Activity: 09/13/16

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Saturday night races in red

Feb 21 1pm FOX Daytona
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Mar 06 3pm FOX Las Vegas
Mar 13 3pm FOX Phoenix
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Mar 29 1pm FS1 Martinsvl
Mar 27 OFF (Easter)

Apr 03 1pm FOX Martinsville
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May 01 1pm FOX Talladega
May 07 7pm FS1 Kansas
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Jul 02 7pm NBC Daytona
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Aug 07 2pm NBCSN WatGlen
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Sep 04 6pm NBC Darlington
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The Chase

Round of 16

Sep 18 2pm NBCSN Chicago
Sep 25 2pm NBCSN New Hampshr
Oct 02 2pm NBCSN Dover

Round of 12

Oct 08 7pm NBC Charlotte
Oct 16 2pm NBC Kansas
Oct 23 2pm NBCSN Talladega

Round of 8

Oct 30 1pm NBCSN Martinsvl
Nov 06 2pm NBC Texas
Nov 13 2pm NBC Phoenix

Championship 4

Nov 20 2pm NBC Homestead

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