Race Journal Online
est. October 4, 2006

"I believe anybody who tells you he is unbiased is a liar. Being human gives you bias, and you can't avoid that. The best you can ever hope to be is fair."
-David Poole

Click to read David Poole tribute


2016 Champion
Jimmie Johnson




2016 Race Winners

Denny Hamlin (2)
Jimmie Johnson (2)
Brad Keselowski (4)
Kevin Harvick (2)
Kyle Busch (4)
Carl Edwards (2)
Matt Kenseth (2)
Martin Truex (2)
Kurt Busch
Joey Logano
Tony Stewart
Chris Buescher
Kyle Larson





Please keep
Karen and Bryson Byrnes
in your daily prayers.
#ByrnesStrong

"When Steve and I were done talking, I felt happier."
-Kenny Wallace, summing it up perfectly for every person who ever met Steve Byrnes.



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


 

By Carol Einarsson | 09/09/2016
 



CHEERS to All Things Throwback! Best race of the season, and one to save on the DVR, I'm certain! I only recently deleted last year's race for space, and I'm not sure I don't regret doing so.

CHEERS to five sticks of gum. I know this is only year two, so it might be premature to say this, but every single year, this gets better! No detail is too small, and we just can't express enough appreciation for the creativity of every person involved. 

CHEERS to Bill Elliott standing with his boy. That's just nice to see. I bet he sure is enjoying this season of life, maybe even more than when he was driving.

CHEERS to the longest invocation EVER!  Give an old pastor a microphone and a congregation on a Sunday afternoon, and ... that was just heart-felt!  And if you missed church on Sunday, well, you just may have made up for it.

Comments: 8
Last Activity: 09/10/16
 
By Carol Einarsson | 08/30/2016
 
CHEERS to the invocation and anthem on the "right" side of the hour. Thank you, NBC! 

CHEERS to Owen Larson, AGAIN removing his own hat at the appropriate time. Proper training starts young and no matter the sun, four minutes hatless won't harm a toddler. 

CHEERS to the US ARMY Chorus Quartet who looked and sounded great. Still seems to be mixing issues in the booth, but you could tell that left on their own, they sounded fantastic! 

CHEERS to the giant American flag held by fans, and look -- Denny's daughter almost looked self-conscious about the camera on her during the anthem. Do you think she knows she's an Internet sensation? 

CHEERS to the NBC production team this week, "Rockets red glare, the bombs bursting in air" (on screen we see rockets and "bombs"); "Flag was still there" (perfect flag shot!); and for "Land of the free and the home of the brave", there's the fly-over by those beautiful machines piloted by the brave to keep our land free! 

Comments: 10
Last Activity: 09/01/16
 
By Carol Einarsson | 08/24/2016
 



Saturday

CHEERS to rain passed just in time!

CHEERS to the Bryan Clauson tributes by his broken-hearted friends. And for his family to be there for it makes it all the more special.

CHEERS to the race on cable so we can watch the pre-race if we want to and not be hijacked to local news.

CHEERS to Billy Mauldin's invocation. No sponsors, no crap - just praying to God in the name of Jesus Christ. Sure, we missed it being Joe Gibbs or Darrell Waltrip or Michael McDowell, but with the MRO kids singing the anthem, the MRO preacher was a great choice!

Comments: 8
Last Activity: 09/13/16
 
By Carol Einarsson | 08/09/2016
 



CHEERS to reportedly sold out, and actually looking sold out. Granted, they only have about 30,000 seats to fill there, but to actually sell out ANY NASCAR race these days, well, good on you, Watkins Glen!  It must be all the Boris Said fans.

CHEERS to David Fife because every time he does the invocation, I wonder if he ever learned to do a proper Don Knotts impression, but JEERS to including Cheez Its in your prayer. What, there aren't enough signs around the track?

CHEERS to former United States Marine, JW Cortes. I wonder what it cost Kaplan University for him to wear that shirt. The anthem was slow, but respectable.

CHEERS to the all-time BEST-timed rockets red glare! Okay, there was no red glare, but the BOOM! of the rockets was the best EVER!! And CHEERS to the C130 Hercules and that sound!


Comments: 18
Last Activity: 08/13/16
 
By Carol Einarsson | 08/03/2016
 



CHEERS to a Monday morning race because it affords a lovely Sunday afternoon nap, and because the races seem cleaner and quicker on Mondays as if they've all texted one another with the agreement to just play nice so they can go home.

CHEERS to a nice (and funny!) interview with Matt DiBenedetto. Watch for that slide job going into turn one where he passes 33 cars. Yeah, it's been a rough patch since Bristol, but gosh he is a nice young man!

CHEERS to interviewing Jeb, too. Worse things could happen to a rookie than having an uncle with a motor coach at the track!

JEERS to the phrase "concussion-like symptoms". Why can't we just call it what it is anymore? I guess it's not any worse than "flu-like symptoms", though that's just a euphemism for "puking his brains out in the bus."

Comments: 3
Last Activity: 08/04/16
 
By Carol Einarsson | 07/26/2016
 


Honestly, I don't remember what happened the week of the Brickyard. Was that a week when I failed to record it? Or did time just get away from me and I couldn't write it up? I know I saw the first part (to lap 25) and I saw the last part (from 35 to go until the end), but not the bulk of the race. I had nothing to publish. My assistant wryly said, "You got the good stuff.. you didn't miss anything in the middle." He said I should publish it anyway. And I thought about it, but never really got to it. The more time that passed, the more the memory faded, so the less I'm able to write based solely on my memory-jogging notes that I take during the race. Then it occurred to me, maybe you'd like to see what a mess those notes are that I write. It wouldn't take me any time at all to just copy/paste it here. Maybe you'd be amused at the raw notes that I dress up for Tuesdays. Here, then, without any corrections for capitalization or anything else, really, are those notes. It's what I tap out on my keyboard while I'm watching a race live. Probably doesn't need saying, but the "ch" is a CHEERS and a "j" is JEERS . This is the Brickyard column as far as it got...

CHEERS to the "four letters" for Tony

Comments: 1
Last Activity: 08/09/16
 
By Carol Einarsson | 07/19/2016
 



JEERS to me for no column last week. Not only didn't I write about the race, or record the race, I didn't see one bit of the race. I understand that Martin Truex got screwed by NASCAR, though, and having seen just that smidgen of the race, I agree. I've seen guys all year (and last year, too) pulling up that way, something we all know NASCAR said was no longer allowed a couple years ago, but then they stopped enforcing it. Now suddenly it's enforced?? Did he pass on the left? Yes, but once you stop enforcing something, as NASCAR had, I think you have to make it a rule again before you randomly start penalizing guys. It would be like black flagging a guy for throwing a water bottle out of the car. Rules clearly state you cannot throw anything out of the car, but they do, we watch them, NASCAR watches them, and nobody is penalized. I hope Martin's team has told him not to throw any water bottles out, too. But last week was a busy one, and it just didn't get done. I checked for a Monday morning replay, but evidently NBC isn't so much into that like FOX was. By now it's online in full-race video, but now it's so late that it's pretty unlikely (okay, not even remotely likely) that I'll watch and write about it.

JEERS to Kyle Busch's facial hair experiment. Didn't he used to have a sponsorship with Pedigree? I wonder if they make mange medicine. Seriously, that's the kinda thing you do in the off season, or at the very least, when there's an off-weekend and you have two weeks until you have a TV camera in your face. (Unless you're Tony Stewart and need a mere five-minutes notice to produce a full-face of hair.)

Comments: 15
Last Activity: 07/23/16
 
By Carol Einarsson | 07/12/2016
 



Comments: 0
Last Activity: None
 
By Carol Einarsson | 07/05/2016
 



CHEERS to driver introductions. We love seeing driver dads with kids hanging off their hips and sitting atop their shoulders. And we're pretty sure the kids love that, too!
 
JEERS to Daytona Rising, a $400 million investment to basically reduce the number of seats at the speedway so it doesn't look as empty. And there's the added built-in excuse that with all the "neighborhoods" they built below the grandstand, that when the seats are empty, it's because race fans are visiting with each other down there. Right. And they're shopping at Fontana.
 
JEERS to the sync being off with NBC's sound. It's tempting to excuse it as their first race of the season, but it's not like it's their first day doing a live sporting event, right? 
 
CHEERS to the possibility of Junior tying his dad for plate wins. It's always hard being the offspring of one so wildly successful in his profession, so for Junior to catch ANY of his dad's records would surely be a special day. I'm reminded of how competitive they were together, each claiming to be just a hair taller than the other. I think if Junior tied the old man's record and he were here to see it, we'd see a mix of ornery dismissive smirk, and a father bursting with pride.  


Comments: 12
Last Activity: 07/09/16
 
By Carol Einarsson | 06/28/2016
 



CHEERS to Bryson Byrnes in his dad's old studio, with a giant pic of joy behind him in Steve's smile, naming Chris Osborne as the recipient of the second annual Byrnsie Award. Look out, Mike Joy, the kid's comin' for your job!

JEERS to makeup overdone. When you have THAT kind of shadow on your face, you may have overdone the mascara.

CHEERS to Sherry Pollex for her strength and her example to others. Behind every man...  We just love everything about this couple!

CHEERS to Denny driving in San Francisco with Larry McReynolds riding shotgun, but JEERS to the obvious rip-off of Jerry Seinfeld's web series Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee. That said, we love when Larry makes a joke, because it's so infrequent -- "There's STILL no line!"

Comments: 13
Last Activity: 07/01/16
 
By Carol Einarsson | 06/15/2016
 



So I was away from home Sunday, and watching the race elsewhere. As it happened, by the time church was over, we were about 40 laps into the race. No worries, I thought, I have it recording on my DVR at home.

I watched what I could of the race, making some notes, writing some snarky comments here and there, all with the intent of rewatching at home and filling in the gaps. I had maybe half the race written, still missing the first part of it, and having not written anything about the finish. I could complete it Monday morning or afternoon, not unusual for me, and still be on schedule.

Comments: 7
Last Activity: 06/18/16
 
By Carol Einarsson | 06/08/2016
 
JEERS to rain on Sunday and racing on Monday. If history holds true, this should be an "efficient" race. There's always a different feel to a Monday race, as it's apparent that drivers want to just get it done and go home.

CHEERS to a magnificent flag waving as I think all flags ought! I'd say the way that one is waving, it rivals Talladega's in beauty.

JEERS to no anthem or invocation. I understand it's hard to hold over talent, but if it was performed yesterday, it's on tape and can be replayed today before the race.


Comments: 11
Last Activity: 07/01/16
 
By Dave Clark | 06/06/2016
 
In this day of social media, the common man has greater access and opportunity to share his thoughts and opinions with the world. From a computer, phone, or tablet, a person can thrust his wisdom or mental vomit upon a wide-scale audience. Suddenly, people who know nothing but think they know something have a platform, and they are using it to its fullest capacity. In this society, we are lightning fast to point out the faults of others, while at the same time, we expect grace anytime we stumble.
 
Following the Coca Cola 600 last week, I was perusing Twitter, Facebook and the web for reactions to the race. What I found was a whole lot of hate being spread around. Hate for the race itself, the winning driver and the TV coverage. It’s the latter that I want to address here. Let me be perfectly upfront here -- I am a broadcaster. For the past 29 years I have made my living in broadcast media. Yes, I am standing up for my fellow broadcasters, because it’s HARDER THAN YOU THINK!

Comments: 7
Last Activity: 06/08/16
 
By Carol Einarsson | 05/31/2016
 
CHEERS to the military presence at the track. I know much has been written this week to correct those who think Memorial Day and Veterans Day are to honor the same set of people, but they are different. However, this morning in church, our pastor asked any who have served, to stand. And with them standing, we prayed for the families of those who had lost loved ones. As he explained, those who are still among us and have served, are representatives for those who didn't come home. I think that's a wonderful way to tie them together. How many of those who are still among us, at one time in their service, may have been responsible for carrying a wounded brother out of the bloody situation that ultimately took his life? I think all those who served consider it an honor to stand as representatives for those who didn't make it home. 
 
CHEERS to the greatest day in racing, but JEERS to me missing the first 2/3 of it. How did I forget about Monaco?? 
 
CHEERS to Mark Martin in the pace car, but JEERS to no camera and microphone in that car so we could talk to him before the race. I didn't even hear FOX mention his presence at all! Poor form, FOX. (Disclaimer: I didn't see any but the last couple of minutes of the pre-race, so if they had a spot on him before the race, I stand corrected.)
 

Comments: 10
Last Activity: 06/03/16
 
By Carol Einarsson | 05/24/2016
 
SPRINT SHOWDOWN: 

CHEERS to a nice shout-out to Len Wood, NASCAR's Thomas Edison. I think that museum might well be on my racing bucket list. What a very nice thing to have them racing full time this year, and we're looking forward to Ryan Blaney's first win, taking the Wood Bros back to Victory Lane! 

CHEERS to Kyle Larson, Trevor Bayne, Chase Elliott, and Ryan Blaney for the great group of Young Guns 2.0, and racing well enough to get TV time. It seems week after week, we're watching these four, and it's refreshing! Someone asked me recently when the last time we had a rookie class the likes of Elliott and Blaney, and I honestly couldn't remember when. 

CHEERS to Michael McDowell not hitting anything, but more importantly, keeping that car moving through the grass! Get stuck there, and you'll be waiting for the wrecker -- or a row boat. Not to mention, if you do get a wrecker, you're gonna have to get out of your car and stand in that swampy grass! 

Comments: 7
Last Activity: 05/26/16
 
By Dave Clark | 05/22/2016
 

Saturday night’s NASCAR All Star race seemed to have everything: great racing, a spectacular crash where no one was injured, and a down-to-the-wire finish.  Great, right?  Not so much.   Over-shadowing what should have been a terrific night for the drivers, the fans and NASCAR in general was the incredible confusion over the special format rules.  

Interestingly enough, I remember hearing ESPN's Bob Pockrass talking about the new format in the media center during the Kansas race.  I also remember thinking to myself, "Well, now that's confusing."  Apparently, I'm a prophet. The drivers were confused, the crew chiefs were confused, the FOX TV team was confused, and as a viewer, I was confused.  NASCAR, by its very nature, is controlled chaos at 185 miles an hour.  Add in mass confusion about the rules of engagement and what you have is a big ol’ mess. 


Comments: 6
Last Activity: 05/24/16
 
By Carol Einarsson | 05/17/2016
 
CHEERS to a very nice invocation and a great anthem! Tom Dixon did a fine job, and paired well with "bluegrass day" at church! Yes, we had a fiddle, a harmonica, and a bunch of bluegrass-hymn-singing guys in plaid flannel this morning. What a great day to watch a race!

CHEERS to that monster jump by Kevin Harvick -- WOW!!  It was like he was the only one that saw the green flag, OR the only one with an extra cylinder in his car! THAT's the way to start a race right there!

JEERS to still no full-coverage of SAFER barriers at Dover.  WHY???

CHEERS to 36 laps in, and Harvick SIX SECONDS ahead of second place!

JEERS to a competition yellow. They're professional drivers and teams, and can manage their own pit stops without NASCAR mandating a caution period.

Comments: 7
Last Activity: 05/18/16
 
By Carol Einarsson | 05/11/2016
 

CHEERS to revisiting Kansas. I'm never sure when my last visit here will be, but I've learned never say never.

JEERS to whatever FOX had going on that caused a delay in TV coverage. When the pre-race is on FOX Business, even those in the Media Center don't see it.

CHEERS to Martin Truex on the pole! He's fast, he's got a great pit box, and he's overdue. Maybe Kansas will be kind.

CHEERS to a painted "restart zone" on the wall, but JEERS that it seems to mean nothing.

JEERS to no ponytail in Kansas, but at least she was wearing bright pink, so there was no missing her if you were wandering pit road.

JEERS to a debris caution when there hasn't even been a wreck. But when the leader is four seconds out front in less than 25 laps, I imagine some raised eyebrows showing concern up in the control tower.
 

Comments: 6
Last Activity: 05/14/16
 
By Dave Clark | 05/08/2016
 
I had the unexpected pleasure of spending a few minutes with racing’s undisputed king, Richard Petty. Because of a miscommunication, I had no idea I would actually be asking questions. I believed it was more of a photo-op. Much to my delight, the fan-favorite and seven-time champion, was amiable and an easy interview.

As we chatted, I was struck by the paradox that is NASCAR. I asked for The King's thoughts on the changes in the sport over the past 20 years.  Petty quickly replied, "You have to be aggressive, you can't go back to running the cars we had 20 years ago.” He went on about the new innovations in car design, refined electronics and the like. I followed up by asking his thoughts on the new aero package that all the drivers seem to love. Given his previous reply, I was a bit surprised by his answer. "They didn't go far enough for me. I think they should do away with all of it...that's the way I came up, I guess."

Comments: 3
Last Activity: 05/10/16
 
By Carol Einarsson | 05/03/2016
 


CHEERS to NASCAR coming to its senses, with the help of Tony Stewart. If there's one place we don't want nervous drivers wondering how many lugs are tight, or even installed, it's Talladega.

CHEERS to Michael Waltrip in the race, sparing a grid walk.

CHEERS to Mark Wakefield for a lovely invocation. No sponsors, but even more,
CHEERS to the 313th United States Army Band for a proper anthem!!

CHEERS to the Hurcules out of Maxwell Air Force Base which, in my mind, is one of the greatest productions in aviation for no other reason than it looks like a million tons of steel and no explanation for how it remains up in the air.

Comments: 11
Last Activity: 05/03/16
 

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Apr 03 1pm FOX Martinsville
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Sep 18 2pm NBCSN Chicago
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Oct 23 2pm NBCSN Talladega

Round of 8

Oct 30 1pm NBCSN Martinsvl
Nov 06 2pm NBC Texas
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Championship 4

Nov 20 2pm NBC Homestead








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