Race Journal Online
est. October 4, 2006

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The Daly Planet


Quote of the Week
"On this day I do not mourn his death. I thank God he lived."
-Dale Earnhardt, Jr. 18-Feb 2015

By Carol Einarsson | 11/08/2010
It all started with monkeys. And chicks with chainsaws. And it didn稚 get one bit less interesting after that!

I知 not sure what the biggest story of the race was, but there are four that stand out among them (the monkeys, I知 afraid, fell to fifth on the highlight reel).

Kyle Busch Meltdown

Year after year we致e seen the self-destruction of this driver. I知 not sure we ever did get a definitive answer about his on-track spin. Was he pushed? Did he spin on his own? Either way, it produced adversity that he continues to show an inability to overcome. Year after year, we see a late-season meltdown from Kyle Busch, and this year his handlers worked overtime to try and recover him from his first attempt to give up on the rest of the season after his trouble in Kansas. It seemed to be working, but Sunday it crumbled again and he fell two spots in the points.

Comments: 33
Last Activity: 11/12/10
By Carol Einarsson | 11/02/2010
An excerpt:

CHEERS to the letter that Richard Childress has from Bill France. 的f you ever need something from my family, you show this letter, and they値l take care of it. Maybe he should have presented that at the end of race #26 and asked that the Chase be cancelled this year.

CHEERS to the green flag at Talladega being both the most exciting, but JEERS to the anxiety that will be ever present for the next three hours.

CHEERS to lap four and the first sign of the two-car break-away.

JEERS to Jeff Fuller behind the wall. First, Jeff Fuller痴 in the race? Second, if you池e going to start and park, why not at least drive in the back for at least one fuel and tire run. You致e already paid for it, so just stay out and see what it痴 like to race with the other back-markers, Jimmie Johnson and Denny Hamlin.

Comments: 21
Last Activity: 11/03/10
By Carol Einarsson | 10/29/2010

I don't think I've ever heard conflict resolution sound so good as what Kevin Harvick said about Jeff Burton, "A good teammate is someone who can push you from a competition standpoint to be better as a driver and get the most out of his car.

How can anyone still be surprised at any story that starts off with "George Gillett's financial difficulty..." He is the very essence of "financial difficulty"! I wonder if the Liverpool fans have stopped their death threats over what he did to their football club.

And doesn't anyone wonder why Ray Evernham would do any business with this guy at all in the first place? I hate to lay this all on his feet, but seriously, couldn't he at least have Googled the guy to find out about his past legal and financial catastrophes?


Comments: 11
Last Activity: 11/01/10
By Carol Einarsson | 10/28/2010

Dale Earnhardt won ten Cup races at Talladega, the last being in October, 2000.

From October, 2001 until April, 2003, Dale Earnhardt, Jr. won four Cup races in a row at this track. His streak was broken by his teammate at DEI, Michael Waltrip in September, 2003.

Between 1999 and 2005, Bobby Hamilton and Michael Waltrip were the only winners not named Earnhardt or Gordon.

Among active drivers, nobody has more starts at Talladega than Bill Elliott with 54 starts. The most of all time, though, was Dave Marcis with 61 starts.

Comments: 10
Last Activity: 11/01/10
By Carol Einarsson | 10/26/2010
JEERS to another DVR failure causing me to miss the pre-race festivities. I hope the anthem and invocation was good, but I guess I値l never know.

JEERS to Robby Gordon not qualifying, and then car-jacking the 7 car. That just feels wrong every time it happens.

CHEERS to Dale Jarrett who has obviously stepped up the competition and is no longer satisfied with being second in the 都mallest tie knot contest. There is now a tie for first, but Andy痴 knot looks like he痴 probably the most comfortable.

Comments: 29
Last Activity: 10/30/10
By Carol Einarsson | 10/25/2010

A couple of weeks ago, you might remember I was NASCAR. Now I am Wal-Mart.

Now of course I知 not at liberty to talk about sponsor deals that may or may not exist and have yet to be announced, so allow me to play with you a little game of 的 s恥ose

I s恥ose if I had a sponsorship deal with Jeff Gordon, I might have to keep quiet about it until the lawyers finished whatever it is those contract lawyers do. And besides, who doesn稚 like a secret well-kept until the big press conference when the sheet is pulled off the car in the big reveal?

Comments: 30
Last Activity: 10/29/10
By Carol Einarsson | 10/22/2010

I wonder what circumstances would have to exist for a driver to prevail in a lawsuit against a team, if the team was cited for negligence that could have resulted in harm to the driver. Kasey Kahne has brake failure twice in two races? Brake failure??
And I wonder how Aric Almirola feels about getting in that car knowing he may or may not stop when he wants to.
But wait, now there's more... Kasey was let go because they owed him back salary? The plot thickens. Some cars from RPM were repossessed by Roush for non-payment (though reportedly some were returned)? I wonder what will happen to AJ Allmendinger and Marcos Ambrose next year.


Comments: 19
Last Activity: 10/23/10
By Carol Einarsson | 10/21/2010

An excerpt:

There have been 123 Cup races at Martinsville where they started racing in 1949. That first race was a field of 15 drivers.

The last eight races at Martinsville have been won by the drivers that are first and second in points right now. Jimmie's won five of them and Denny's won the other three. Good luck to everyone else.

Up until 1970, the track was listed as exactly half a mile (.500 miles), but then was changed to be officially .525 miles. That lasted until 1984 when it was changed to be .526 miles.

From 1960-1974 Chevy failed to win a race at Martinsville. Since 1974, however, Chevy has won 54% of the Cup races here, with 39 victories in 72 races.

Comments: 0
Last Activity: None
By Carol Einarsson | 10/19/2010
CHEERS to Joe Gibbs whose invocations are always a blessing.

CHEERS to Danielle Peck, who may have been off-key at least once, and also may have taken some liberties (though admittedly, the country liberties we don稚 seem to mind as much), but mostly because of the company she keeps.

CHEERS to having all the MRO kids there what a great idea, and we only hope Jeff Byrd was able to see them one last time.

CHEERS to Hall of Fame Grand Marshals, and the microphone right in front of Ned, even! Perfect!!

CHEERS to Marty, DJ, and Andy again sitting in order of the size knot in their respective ties. Yes, it痴 an odd trend, but once you notice, you can稚 not check it week after week.

Comments: 27
Last Activity: 10/21/10
By Carol Einarsson | 10/15/2010
An excerpt:

We're 100% behind the efforts to find a cure for Juvenile Diabetes and applaud the 21 team for spreading the word. We also appreciate others who have contributed to this worthy cause of fighting diabetes, but I wonder whose idea it was at the Bag & Save grocery store to sell World's Finest Chocolate bars in order to raise money for the research foundation.
So Neil Goldberg. So many comments, so few in good taste. Let's take the high road, then, and wonder what may happen to the decisions that were made under his regime, one of which was to bring Marty Reid over from NHRA for the NASCAR broadcast lead position. Seriously, though... standing on a stool outside her window?? Really??

Comments: 23
Last Activity: 10/21/10
By Carol Einarsson | 10/14/2010
There are seven "Triple D" eateries in North Carolina. All of them are in Charlotte. Barbeque King Drive-In, Penguin Drive-In, Jake's Good Eats, Landmark Restaurant Diner, Dish, South 21 Drive-In, and Cabo Fish Taco.

David Reutimann has one Cup win at Charlotte. Kyle Busch has none.

Bill Elliott has started the most races at Charlotte, with 61. Mark Martin has the most of any full-time driver, with 51.

Comments: 9
Last Activity: 10/16/10
By Carol Einarsson | 10/12/2010

CHEERS to MRO and Jeff Hamilton for a great invocation.

JEERS to Kenny Loggins, and even as I say that, I cringe. I used to be a big KL fan. What happened? Did he just not age well?

CHEERS to Jamie McMurray on the pole and next to him in P2, Elliott Sadler!

CHEERS to Meg Whitman who knows how to give a command. I wonder if she was the highest bidder for the honor of doing so.

CHEERS to Marty, DJ, and Andy, who you might have thought were standing in the same places they always do just out of habit, but really, if you paid attention, you would have noticed they were standing left to right in order of the size knot in their respective ties.

Comments: 31
Last Activity: 10/14/10
By Carol Einarsson | 10/08/2010
I've tried to write this article many times since Sunday, each from a different angle. First, from Tony Stewart's point of view, as car owner for Ryan Newman. Second, from a fan's point of view with a slight conspiracy-theorist tone. And then one more time from what didn't materialize as anything other than a jumbled mess. But then I figured it out, inspired by a sign at the KCK Culver's which declares, "I Am Indy". Today, I am NASCAR.

I am NASCAR, and it's Saturday night at at Richmond. As my premier series gears up for the annual Chase to the Championship, I am watching anxiously to see who my top 12 will be. What twelve drivers will be the subject of sports broadcasts, and endless media events as the battle for the big trophy heats up? Who'll be landing in New York City for the Chase Media Day next week, as ambassadors for the sport?

Comments: 13
Last Activity: 10/09/10
By Carol Einarsson | 10/05/2010
JEERS to sound issues on ESPN2 for the prerace. I wonder if this is sabotage on Allen Bestwick.

CHEERS to Mayhem now being a satellite dish. Loving this guy! 添ou just made me loose.

JEERS to Betti O. singing the anthem. Why were her eyes closed? And what are rampons? Not the best, and maybe not Chase-worthy, either. Maybe that痴 why she didn稚 use her last name.

JEERS that someone in the media center called her the worst ever, because it gave me flashbacks to Saving Abel. Believe me, she was NOT the worst ever.

Comments: 33
Last Activity: 10/08/10
By Carol Einarsson | 10/04/2010
11:00 am tweet from Bobby Labonte:
Hey Fans. Today and Fontana we will park to save our resources for PHX, Martin, Tall. Look forward to the good runs ahead. Thanks4support!

3:30 pm - Race Results, Kansas Speedway
Fin Str  Car    Driver           Team       Lap  Pts Status
41  17   09  Bobby Labonte  Phoenix Constr  58   40  Trans

I struggled with this article for the sole reason that it痴 Bobby Labonte. It's no secret that I don稚 like saying bad things about Bobby Labonte. I am afforded the luxury that hard news reporters aren稚. I can pick and choose my stories, and I can opt out of telling one if I choose.

Comments: 18
Last Activity: 10/07/10
By Carol Einarsson | 10/03/2010
I learned that no matter the amount of coffee, I need more than 3.5 hours of sleep in a night.

I learned that even in Kansas, if you stop at the Kwik Shop for coffee at 8:30 AM, you are likely to be in line behind six or seven guys each with a case of beer under his arm.

I learned that at 8:30 AM, you are also not immune to Jehovah's Witnesses knocking on your car window even before you turn off the engine at Kwik Shop, offering you some reading material.

I learned, though, that for the rush of going through the tunnel in my own car rather than on that tram, it seemed as though the trade-off was worth it.

Comments: 2
Last Activity: 10/04/10
By Carol Einarsson | 10/02/2010
So I learned the importance of calling to confirm your hotel reservation at least the day before you arrive.

I also learned that even if you have the proper parking pass, if you don't arrive before the lot is full,  you may as well have no parking pass at all.

I learned that if you buy new jeans for the track because you aren't a jeans-kinda-girl, you should allow enough time to break them in so they don't stretch out and become (to your horror) two sizes too big when you haven't worn a belt or even had the presence of mind to wear the requisite plaid boxers.

I learned the value of a long sweater.

Comments: 2
Last Activity: 10/02/10
By Carol Einarsson | 09/30/2010
There have been just nine cup races at Kansas Speedway, and guys that currently race for Hendrick (directly or indirectly) have won seven of them.

Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson, Mark Martin, Tony Stewart, and Ryan Newman...who's missing on that list of Kansas winners?

In 2004, Joe Nemechek swept the weekend of Nationwide and Cup races here.

In 2007 the race was shortened by rain. And it was a LOT of rain. Greg Biffle won that race under questionable circumstances, out of fuel, and not keeping up with the pace car. He still maintains he wasn't out of fuel. And Darrell Waltrip still maintains he didn't blow up his engine on purpose after the All Star Race, too.

Comments: 0
Last Activity: None
By Carol Einarsson | 09/28/2010
An excerpt:

JEERS to a 1.3 second lead for Allmendinger taken away by a mysterious 斗oose cover on a caution light. And you couldn稚 pull your truck just a little closer to the wall? I bet that guy has a heck of a time at drive through banks and fast food windows.

JEERS to such large sections of grandstands empty and covered with banner ads that can稚 come close to covering the amount of empty seats. And it didn稚 even help to make the rest of the grandstands look full.  Looked like a very poor turnout at Dover.

CHEERS to David Reutimann holding onto that car to the extent that he did, but even bigger CHEERS that he looked like he was going back after Newman. Too bad he didn稚 make it because we壇 have liked to see that kinda fire finally come out of the ever-abused 00 car.

Comments: 35
Last Activity: 10/02/10
By Carol Einarsson | 09/24/2010
The furthest back a winner has started the race is 27th in 1995. Kyle Petty was that winner.

Dover was founded in 1683 by William Penn.

Jeremy Mayfield set a qualifying record at Dover in 2004 with a speed of 161.522 mph.

The most poles won by an active driver is a three-way tie with four poles each by Ryan Newman, Mark Martin, and Jeff Gordon

In 1971, there was a caution-free race at Dover. Bobby Allison won the race after starting on the outside pole.

Comments: 6
Last Activity: 09/28/10
By Carol Einarsson | 09/23/2010
So here I was about to post an article all about how weird it was that NASCAR was warning RCR about some measurements that were close to being out of tolerance. Last time it happened, I thought it was weird. This time it seemed weirder still. You're either legal or not legal. If you are going to keep a team's car and meet with the owner about it, there's something more to the story than being "close" to out of tolerance.

Then the hammer fell on the 33 team and they lose 150 points, suspensions all around, and all eyes in the garage are looking accusingly towards their car.

NASCAR's penalties speak for the governing body clearly enough.

Comments: 20
Last Activity: 09/27/10
By Carol Einarsson | 09/21/2010
CHEERS to 11 year old Anthony Gargiula with the nerve and confidence to sing the anthem at a venue such as this. Nice rendition, but I wonder if kids these days are being taught that 杜ake it your own shouldn稚 apply to the national anthem.

CHEERS to Jimmie taking an early lead on Jeff Gordon with a Chase baby appearance.

CHEERS that now we only have nine more times this year that we have to hear Marty say (insert race name here).is GREEN!

Comments: 43
Last Activity: 09/23/10
By Carol Einarsson | 09/17/2010
Denny Hamlin jumped nine spots in the points standings this week. He also has nine starts at Loudon. He has one win and six top-tens.

Jimmie Johnson gained five spots in the points this week. He's also raced more than five thousand miles at Loudon. In 17 starts, he has 3 wins and 12 top-tens.

Kevin Harvick lost two spots in the points with the reset. He also has tallied more than two million dollars in winnings. In 19 starts, he has one win and ten top-ten finishes.

Comments: 13
Last Activity: 09/21/10
By Carol Einarsson | 09/16/2010
Well here we are it痴 the start of NASCAR痴 Chase for the Championship already! To this point we致e heard 26 anthem performances at points-races (more if you ask Kyle Busch fans who will certainly include every anthem performed at any venue in any sport in North America, but I digress) and as promised, we致e put together a list of the best with the idea that these ten should be asked back to perform for the final ten races. Included with each suggestion is a link to the best that I could find on You Tube. In order of the final ten races, here are the Editor痴 Picks for the best presenters of our national anthem.

Comments: 6
Last Activity: 09/16/10
By Carol Einarsson | 09/14/2010
CHEERS to Texas Terry interviewed before the race. 展elcome back to the track. Even if it痴 a limited schedule, it痴 nice to see him again, and even better to have two Labontes in the field!

CHEERS to the entire Richmond crowd reciting the Pledge of Allegiance in unison! And Night Ranger with God Bless America, too! (Okay, a little off on that one, but we like that there wasn稚 any sensationalism, and just pure patriotism!)

CHEERS to Rick Jenkins, Fire Dept Chaplain, praying from the heart, without cue cards. Anyone else tear up during the prayer? Sorry, Coach, maybe it痴 9/11 that has us a little more emotional, but we have a new favorite.

Comments: 38
Last Activity: 09/17/10
By Carol Einarsson | 09/09/2010
The anthem will be sung Saturday night by Staff Major Sergeant Cynthia Seaman. As a note, though, Richmond had a national anthem contest and the winner, Ryan Corbin, will perform on Friday night.

The last time this race was run on 9/11 was 2004. Jeremy Mayfield won.

Jimmie Johnson has won two of the last three fall races at Richmond.

Dale Earnhardt, Jr. is a three-time Richmond winner. He's tied for most wins among active drivers with Jimmie Johnson and Tony Stewart. That record pales in comparison, though, to Richard Petty's 13 wins.

Comments: 10
Last Activity: 09/10/10
By Carol Einarsson | 09/07/2010

CHEERS to the piece on Mark Martin. 滴e brings ethics, he brings intensity, he brings commitment that very few people can match. And is there anyone that痴 more effectively taught Carl Edwards how to race? 哲o sir, that is not how I want to do it! Can we start over?

CHEERS to Ella痴 first words on camera. Who痴 gonna win the race tonight? 撤apa. No pressure, Jeff.

CHEERS to Joe Gibbs invocation. Can稚 he just do it every week? Please??

CHEERS to a track announcer with authority in his voice, but did he used to work for WWE? Next time, though, don稚 trample on the 鄭men of the invocation.

Comments: 25
Last Activity: 09/09/10
By Carol Einarsson | 09/02/2010
An excerpt:

In 1986, Morgan Shepherd, in an unsponsored, part-time ride with Jack Beebe, beat Dale Earnhardt, when the #3 just couldn't pass him. He later went on to claim the last win for the Wood Brothers who have more wins at Atlanta than any other organization.

Ryan Newman and Buddy Baker are tied for the most poles won at Atlanta, with seven each.

Joe Gibbs will be giving the invocation this week. If you have aspirations of ever doing that at a race, pay attention - Coach will show you how it's done.

Comments: 7
Last Activity: 09/03/10
By Carol Einarsson | 08/31/2010
An excerpt:

CHEERS to the 摘njoyIlliniois.com from Chicagoland, not just because we like the truck series, but because we like the name of the race and the state-sponsored website. Any attention is good attention when it reinforces that the state name doesn稚 end with -noise. And as long as I知 on the pronunciation soap box, maybe I should suggest a tourist website to a certain city in Iowa: SpendYourCoinInDesMoines.com.

CHEERS to Bollegraaf sponsoring Steve Park, though we wonder what exposure they hope to get that will increase their business. One of the services they offer, as listed on their website: 鄭dvice for a solution of your waste stream.

CHEERS to Mike Harmon, because we like seeing him in a race machine that痴 all in one piece. His name remains synonymous in my mind with that horrific wreck.

Comments: 35
Last Activity: 09/02/10
By Carol Einarsson | 08/24/2010
An excerpt:

CHEERS to Ruth Graham praying thanks that the rain held off, and that 鏑ord, we know you enjoy a good race It痴 good that God can multi-task or else the world would fall apart one August night every year.

CHEERS to the MRO children of drivers and crews for the best anthem all year. If that doesn稚 well up your eyes, there痴 just somethin wrong with you. And what a joy to see the crowd of little kids growing bigger again! Anyone else wondering why JPM didn稚 let his kids participate?

CHEERS to a FULL STADIUM of race fans. Where are your economy excuses now, NASCAR? It痴 not the economy, it痴 the racing. Put on a good show at a great track and you don稚 find yourselves making excuses for giant gaping empty stands. It痴 Bristol, baby!!

Comments: 38
Last Activity: 08/31/10
By Carol Einarsson | 08/23/2010
Ghost Plane?

Jack Roush says:

 的 filed my NTSB report today, which is a matter of public record. It speaks for itself. The reality of it -- on a trip arrival into Oshkosh, Wisconsin I was put in conflict with the flight plan of another airplane close to the ground, and I was unable to address the conflict and keep the airplane flying."

The NTSB report says:

"The pilot was flying to KOSH to attend the Experimental Aircraft Association痴 Airventure 2010 fly-in convention. Air traffic control (ATC) data indicated that the accident flight entered the Oshkosh area under visual flight rules and was cleared to land on runway 18R (8,002 feet by 150 feet, concrete).

Comments: 13
Last Activity: 08/25/10
By Carol Einarsson | 08/21/2010
CHEERS to Mike Rife for a great prayer, but Julie Roberts didn稚 seem quite sure what key she should be in. We池e also not a big fan of whining the national anthem. And yet by comparison to last week at Michigan, well

CHEERS to the Food City 500 the Food City 250, rather. C知on, it痴 Bristol, we all want more racing!

JEERS to missing Allen Bestwick, and our prayers for his family.

CHEERS to a career military man taking time to write, but comparing wartime deployment to life on the road with the Nationwide series? I dunno about that.

CHEERS to Elliott Sadler on the pole! Having his name in the news and the books will surely provide carry-over confidence to his full-time job. And what better way to prove to your boss that he痴 giving you crap for cars than to succeed in other equipment?

Comments: 22
Last Activity: 08/23/10
By Carol Einarsson | 08/19/2010
CHEERS to Bristol, and what was planned to be the first race of our Bristol Bonanza, actually being the second race! If you missed the modifieds, you missed a great race!

JEERS to SPEED not considering that everyone isn稚 watching the race in HD, so when there痴 a caption across the screen, they may want to move it just a little bit to the left. Example today: 笛enn Jo Cobb痴 Rookie Strip. I hope she痴 not on the pole!

CHEERS to Bud Beverly from Kingsport, TN, praying a great sponsor-free invocation!

CHEERS to Eddie Shelton, who we hope MIS will consider hiring for their next race.

Comments: 10
Last Activity: 08/20/10
By Carol Einarsson | 08/18/2010
So I sit down and turn on SPEED wondering what time the truck race comes on and remember that first is the Whelen Modified Tour. I致e never watched this series, but it痴 at Bristol, and what do I hear? It痴 Mike Joy and Dick Berggren, two of the most knowledgeable voices in racing, in the booth. And then I see another familiar face in the pits, Bob Dillner. This might be an okay thing to watch even if it痴 new to me. Then I see who痴 that? Ryan Newman?? Yes, there痴 a driver I know in the race, too? Well there痴 only one thing I can say about all that: There痴 a new addition to Bristol Bonanza Week!!  

CHEERS to hearing something new, 釘y the grace of God and 600 horsepower. Not a bad motto to live by.

Comments: 11
Last Activity: 08/20/10
By Carol Einarsson | 08/18/2010
What does the banking REALLY look like?
Thirty degrees is all?

What's so great about attending a Bristol race?
Just a little card trick

Why do they call it a cereal bowl?
You decide

Comments: 6
Last Activity: 08/24/10
By Carol Einarsson | 08/17/2010
CHEERS to Allen Bestwick, the best of ESPN, who regularly entertains us with phrases such as 適asey Kahne showed there壇 be no lame-duck let-down.

CHEERS to Kevin Harvick talking to us instead of the guys at the desk next to him. You can tell he痴 accustomed to remote pre-race interviews.

CHEERS to the 29 car in its Shell colors matching the colors of the grandstands at Michigan. I wonder if that痴 a good sign. At least it will make it look like he has more fans at the track today than anyone else!

CHEERS to honoring the Wood Brothers. We can稚 do that often enough, I say!

Comments: 25
Last Activity: 08/21/10
By Carol Einarsson | 08/16/2010
One of the things I致e always loved about NASCAR is that, despite where you live in the country, you feel a little bit more connected to the heart and soul of true American patriotism when you池e at (or watching) a race. Fans proudly fly flags of their favorite driver, but there are more American flags at a NASCAR race than I see at any other U.S. sporting event. Routinely the pre-race invocation includes prayers for our American servicemen that are fighting evil around the world. Three words, God, Family, and NASCAR are all underpinned with a patriotic message that this is the greatest of all countries, and we are blessed to be enjoying the fruits of it.

So when was that moment that someone decided to use the presentation of our national anthem as a marketing device? Who was it that began this madness? I don稚 know of a resource that lists the presenter of the anthem for each race going back in history, but I壇 like to know who the brain-trust was that thought, 滴ey, I know! Let痴 try to get new fans to watch the race by booking a big-name singer to perform the anthem. Surely if they like the singer, they値l A.) first find out he/she is singing the anthem, then B.) seek out the race broadcast in order to see their favorite singer perform this one song, and finally C.) stay tuned in to see the whole race, thus becoming a life-long fan of the sport and generating countless dollars of revenue in ticket and merchandise sales. We can sell it to the performers by promising national exposure to fans that will then, in turn, buy their newest CD.

Comments: 25
Last Activity: 08/19/10
By Carol Einarsson | 08/13/2010

Tommy Ellis, 1988 BGN Champ, was sentenced to prison for 18 months for tax evasion. 235 races, 22 wins, 108 top-tens, and a championship. Post-racing career: Car Wash Operator. If NASCAR is opposed to retirement programs (since drivers aren't employees), I wonder if they couldn't at least put together a pamphlet of how to invest wisely for retirement.

Wondering where ESPN's NASCAR Now show is this week? Pre-empted by Little League, of course. Just one more example of why SPEED is a better choice for your daily NASCAR news. Check out Race Hub with Steve Byrnes as the new host starting August 16th. Every Monday-Thursday at 7pm ET. And there's no Little League.


Comments: 6
Last Activity: 08/14/10
By Carol Einarsson | 08/12/2010

An excerpt:

Population in Brooklyn is about 1,200 and they have seven churches, five banks, three golf courses, two laundromats, and just one Home Party Consultant.

There are 24 restaurants, only four of which are fast-food. There are three Wal-Marts within twenty miles of Brooklyn.

The village was founded by Calvin Swain in June of 1832, and he called his settlement Swainsville. The town voted to change the name just four years later to Brooklyn. Ingrates.

Comments: 12
Last Activity: 08/13/10
By Carol Einarsson | 08/10/2010
CHEERS to 滴e didn稚 intentionally wreck us at Pocono, but it ended up that way. So there might be some of that coming from my side of it. The best part of that piece with Kurt Busch was the smile on Rusty痴 face when they cut back to the booth. He looked like a kid on Christmas morning!

CHEERS to the winner of the last August 8th Watkins Glen race being in today痴 field. That was 1993, and besides Mark Martin, only two other drivers in today痴 field were in that race: Jeff Gordon and Bobby Labonte.

CHEERS also to the way Mark Martin stands like a superhero in his GoDaddy firesuit.

CHEERS to an invocation without note cards, but JEERS to a sponsor mention in the prayer, and especially when that sponsor is a variant of the word 塗ell.

CHEERS to a reasonable anthem, but maybe pulling the mic off the mic stand prior to starting your song is a better idea.

Comments: 34
Last Activity: 08/13/10
By Carol Einarsson | 08/06/2010

When I think of a fourth driver at RCR and who would best mesh with Burton, Harvick, and Bowyer, I don't ever think of Paul Menard. I wonder how many in Earnhardt nation look at this as a promising move that gets RCR up to four teams so they'll be ready for Junior to move after his HMS contract is up.

I have to admit to being unfamiliar with Kentucky Speedway, and was quite excited at the idea of a new track in the series. But then I saw it. Mile and a half oval? Really? Why was I thinking it was a short track?

It seems the Australian press has all but moved Marcos back home. He's not ruling it out, but says his heart is in NASCAR. I guess this is the downside to having guys come from other series - they sometimes decide to leave. It's not often that a driver who came up through the stock car ranks decides, "Yeah, I'm just gonna go back to ARCA." First Dario and now (maybe) Marcos? If he leaves, I wonder if it will affect how easily fans attach to the next foreign driver to come our way.


Comments: 12
Last Activity: 08/06/10
By Carol Einarsson | 08/05/2010
Buck Baker won the first race at Watkins Glen in 1957. There wasn't another NASCAR race at the track, though, until 1964. They raced in '65, too, but then not again until 1986.

The last FORD win at the Glen was in 1996, their fourth in a row. Three of those wins ('93, '94, '95) were won by Mark Martin, who'd started all three times from the pole.

Kyle Petty won in 1992 from a second place starting spot.

Comments: 7
Last Activity: 08/05/10
By Carol Einarsson | 08/03/2010
CHEERS to the professor, even if he was a little mad. Any time we can get classical music tied to NASCAR, it痴 a good day.

JEERS to the ESPN2 starting grid scroll. Row 7: Kurt Busch, Kevin Busch. Apparently Kevin Harvick isn稚 in their race. I hope this third Busch brother is more even tempered than the other two.

CHEERS to the piece on Jamie McMurray. I remain convinced that the greatest singular ingredient to success in a race car is having a team owner that knows you can win.

CHEERS to Indy cutting ticket prices, but has anyone missing from the Brickyard cited ticket prices as the reason they didn稚 go?

Comments: 35
Last Activity: 08/05/10
By Carol Einarsson | 08/02/2010
If you致e followed NASCAR for a period of time, you know that there痴 much more to it than left turns. Competitors, teammates, feuds all are a part of it. But so are the friendships that make these men closer than brothers. And as a spectator of the sport, you learn whose voice means the most in a time of crisis. Darrell Waltrip on February 18th, 2001 was such a voice. 的 sure hope Dale痴 okay. There was a different tone to it, not as a color commentator, but as a dear friend. His voice conveyed more to us than a dispassionate announcer who maybe didn稚 know Dale Earnhardt on a deeper, personal level.

Other times, a friend痴 voice is silent, and maybe that痴 when we worry even more. When Elliott Sadler hit that wicked wall at Pocono, we listened for one voice only, that of his good friend Dale Jarrett. As Andy described the scene, we still didn稚 hear DJ. I think he was praying. Lots of race fans were.

Comments: 27
Last Activity: 08/07/10
By Carol Einarsson | 07/30/2010
There. The slogan is already written. Now let痴 think about how effective that would be.

I was pondering this last weekend with the realization that the driver who won both the Daytona 500 and the Brickyard 400, might not even get a chance to try for the Championship. While there may be some race fans that like the Chase, many (if not most) can likely give you at least half a dozen reasons why they don稚, and never has there been a better example of what痴 broken than if Jamie McMurray misses the Chase.

Comments: 34
Last Activity: 08/06/10
By Carol Einarsson | 07/30/2010

Okay, anyone can have a color changing car like Jeff Gordon used to have, where it changes depending on the angle from which you view it, but Jamie McMurray's color will be changing with the temperature under the hood! It's to illustrate how the scent of AXE Twist changes over time. That started me thinking, though... if it starts out smelling like citrus and changes to a woodsy smell, wouldn't everyone know how long ago you showered?

And if they can make a whole fragrance line to change that way, wouldn't it be smarter to change from citrus into a soap smell so that six hours into your day, you'd again smell like you just showered?
I'm still wondering what precipitated the departure of Jeff Dickerson from Kyle Busch's team, aren't you? Then again, maybe what we should wonder is what took him so long.


Comments: 23
Last Activity: 08/04/10
By Carol Einarsson | 07/29/2010
An excerpt:

Neil Bonnett once returned to the garage after practice at Pocono with blood splattered across his car, and deer antlers attached to the front end.

In the early 1960s, you could purchase stock in Pocono Raceway for just $5 per share. I should ask my mother if she thought to do that. Maybe she's forgotten.

The land that Pocono is built on is a former spinach farm, so it should be a favorite track to children everywhere! Let's pave over ALL the spinach farms!

David Pearson, at age 49, was the oldest pole-sitter at Pocono. Take THAT, Harry Gant!

Comments: 14
Last Activity: 07/30/10
By Carol Einarsson | 07/27/2010
CHEERS to Rick Hendrick with facial hair? That痴 gotta be making Chad crazy on a whole new level.

CHEERS to Steven Curtis Chapman invited to do the anthem! Simple but beautiful. In the Chase with that one!

CHEERS to ESPN痴 的t痴 not crazy, it痴 sports commercial with the 12 and 99 haulers. Very nice!!

CHEERS to Mari Hulman George and the tradition of Indy.

Comments: 25
Last Activity: 07/29/10
By Carol Einarsson | 07/26/2010
An excerpt:

Imagine a sports world where NASCAR was known as the highest demand event every single weekend; where every race was sold out; where you had to buy your tickets early or miss the race. Imagine people tuning in to see the spectacle, and at the end of the night, while there may have been new feuds born in the same race where old scores were settled, everyone walked away. TV ratings would be up, fan interest would be up, and everyone else would look on and wonder about this sport that has folks gladly bringing their own blankets and chairs to pay money and sit on the grass.

Comments: 15
Last Activity: 07/28/10
By Carol Einarsson | 07/23/2010
You may have noticed fewer articles lately (though after the bombshell of Tuesday's column, maybe you're thankful!), so here's a small update from our house...

First and foremost, my assistant turned 19 years old yesterday. I can't believe he's grown. Here in Nebraska, 19 is what 18 is to the rest of you. It's the age of official "adult". He's officially, in the eyes of the law, grown. I don't know what came over me today, but as I wished him happy birthday, the words that blurted out of my mouth before I had time to even think of the best words of wisdom to send him off to his adult life, were, "Happy birthday! Now don't do anything stupid, because now they'll try you as an adult." Uh.. thanks, Mom?

Comments: 5
Last Activity: 07/23/10
By Carol Einarsson | 07/22/2010

An excerpt:

Bill Elliott (at 46) is the oldest race winner for the Brickyard 400, so if you watch NASCAR Smarts on SPEED next week, don't be fooled into guessing "Harry Gant" when they ask the question.

Oh, and Jeff Gordon (at 23, half the age of Bill Elliott!) was the youngest, so don't guess Kyle Busch when they ask that other winning-age question.

Rick Mast won the very first pole at Indy.

The track restricts bringing in weapons OR ammunition, though one would wonder why you'd need ammo without an instrument for distribution.


Comments: 9
Last Activity: 07/23/10
By Carol Einarsson | 07/20/2010
By now you've likely seen "the incident" in the Nationwide race over the weekend. If not, check it out here before reading further; I'm sure you'll have an opinion!

I tried to see this from all three sides - Carl's, Brad's, and NASCAR's.

Right or wrong, I can see Carl's side. Here I am, and a guy tries to wreck me for the win. I hold onto my car and see him in front of me taking my win. No, not today. That's my win and I'd be there if you hadn't just tried to wreck me for it, so you can't have it that way. Bump. There it is.

Now I'm Brad, and I want to win. I just need to loosen up Carl Edwards so I can get around him. I bump him out of the way and drive off. Rubbin's racin', right? I'm going to win! Oh, wait. I underestimated him. He held onto his car and is still right here. Crap. I can't believe he wrecked me!

And I'm NASCAR. I've told them to "have at it, boys," so can I step in and squash it now? Well, yes I can, because I already had a little sit-down with them and put them on probation. And sitting them out of the Nationwide race for a week or two might be perfect because it's not the Cup series, and yet it will send a message to them and others like them, that while I'm trying to show leniency, I am still in charge of this place.

Comments: 52
Last Activity: 07/23/10
By Carol Einarsson | 07/15/2010

So often during the season, an off-week brings little news to write about, but wow, what a week!

Apologetic Rusty

Okay, first let's address Rusty's "comment". I missed it, but I read that it was a "one word comment" and it followed Kyle Busch saying that he doesn't care that people boo him, I'm guessing it was a two-syllable word that started with a bull and ended with a T. (Or, as I'm now told, started with a dumb and ended with an S.)

Now while I'm not a big fan of cursing on TV, I have to wonder who would ever be fooled into thinking Rusty's apology was sincere. 鄭t the end of Friday night痴 telecast, I made an unfortunate remark regarding Kyle Busch. There痴 no excuse and I certainly know better. I would like to take this opportunity to apologize to everyone including Kyle for my mistake. An unfortunate remark? I certainly know better? My mistake?

Comments: 8
Last Activity: 07/16/10
By Carol Einarsson | 07/13/2010
An excerpt:

CHEERS to every long-shot of the track showing a school bus circling counterclockwise out in the parking lot. Do they not have parking spaces for them, I wonder?

JEERS to a question of what other ways a driver can earn points in a race besides winning. That痴 your question? And on BP痴 birthday weekend, even? Y誕ll ought to be ashamed of that one. Cue the duck. And then smack him upside the head.

CHEERS to the Geek Squad 43 car that, as it goes past, looks a little like a police car. I wonder if the guys driving around him get that little bit of anxiety each time they see the black and white pattern. 徹h, crap! Am I speeding?

Comments: 21
Last Activity: 07/16/10
By Carol Einarsson | 07/12/2010

Last night on Wind Tunnel, co-host Chad Knaus had some ideas about how NASCAR should tweak the Chase. His suggestion is to simply shorten the season for everyone. Maybe 30 or 31 races on the schedule. Then after that, the Chase races (five or six of them) would finish out the year, and only the top 20 cars would be in those play-off races. His assertion is that way if you screw up, you致e done it to yourself (by taking out the wildcards of the back-markers, I suppose).

Comments: 15
Last Activity: 07/14/10
By Carol Einarsson | 07/09/2010

Seventeen races and counting without a Ford win this year.  I wonder who'll be the hero for Team Oval. (And you can vote in the pole in the right side bar -- see how close we come to a good prediction.)

Tony Stewart will have a "back to school" theme on his car this weekend from Office Depot. Among the items that will be on his car are listed, "a fun rendition of every parent's back-to-school shopping list, complete with pens, pencils, crayons, a laptop..." Okay, wait... a laptop? Every parent's back-to-school shopping list now includes a laptop?? Looks like I got out of the schooling business just in time!


Comments: 6
Last Activity: 07/09/10
By Carol Einarsson | 07/08/2010
An excerpt:

Three of the four HMS drivers have a Cup victory in Chicago. Jimmie Johnson is not one of them.

On the prohibited list, it seems Chicagoland is among the first to have exceptions: Coolers of any kind (unless required to store prescribed medication). With the increase in diabetics, bravo to allowing those folks to bring their meds from the coolers in their cars.

Planning a pool party at the track this weekend? Though not specifically stated, I知 pretty sure diving is prohibited. Pools can be no deeper than 13.

Comments: 4
Last Activity: 07/08/10
By Carol Einarsson | 07/06/2010
An excerpt:

CHEERS to better late than never, and lights at Daytona that will take us into the wee hours if need be.

CHEERS to that happy yellow car out front, even if he痴 being nudged from the back.

CHEERS to the 16 and 17 hooked up. I wonder if Mike Calinoff is chanting, 鉄tick with The Biff Stick with The Biff

CHEERS to limited interruptions, with picture in picture, and Super Bowl-quality ads from Coke.

CHEERS to plate racing temporarily erasing the memories of any old grudges. Y稚hink we値l see Truex and Jeff drafting side by side Joey and Kevin? Yeah, I don稚 think the temporary memory loss will be that complete.

Comments: 21
Last Activity: 07/09/10
By Carol Einarsson | 07/05/2010
fru-i-tion  - noun  attainment of anything desired; realization; accomplishment.

It was probably the biggest Nationwide race we値l see all year, and I wonder if the Friday night ratings on ESPN surpassed even the biggest Sunday race ratings they値l have all year. Surely you致e seen it, you致e read about it, and you have your own emotions about it. Here, then, are mine

Like every other Earnhardt fan, I hold that #3 in a special place. It somehow means more than any other driver/number combination. Maybe because the black #3 and Dale Earnhardt were one and the same. As an old married couple begins to look alike after so many years together, we couldn稚 see the #3 apart from seeing Dale Earnhardt, and whether he was in his firesuit or street clothes, when you saw the man, you saw the black #3. When he was gone, it was only the right thing to do for the black #3 to go with him.

Comments: 17
Last Activity: 07/07/10
By Carol Einarsson | 07/01/2010

Mark Martin has the most starts at Daytona without a win among all current drivers. However, not to worry, he still has 18 more Daytona losses until he will pass Dave Marcis for the record.

Goodyear has added a special patriotic message to the tires for this week's race, and in red, white, and blue the message "Support Our Troops" will appear opposite the Goodyear logo. Unfortunately at speed, nobody will see them, so we're hoping TNT and SPEED gives airtime to this promotion. 

The restrictor plates will be changed again, and this time they're increasing the openings by 3/64 of an inch so they'll be at 1 1/32" for this weekend only.

Saturday night's race may be the last race at Daytona as we know it, since the repaving is scheduled to begin after this race, and how that may change racing at the famed track is still a mystery.

Driver of the #36 car this Saturday night in the Coke Zero 400: Steve Park!


Comments: 8
Last Activity: 07/01/10
By Carol Einarsson | 06/29/2010
JEERS to the term 菟ush to the play-offs. Aside from how anyone feels about the Chase, if people aren稚 getting eliminated after each race, it痴 not play-offs.

CHEERS to Larry Mac痴 insight, 泥id Martin Truex mean Loudon in June, or did Martin Truex mean Loudon in September when the Chase is starting??

CHEERS to those views expressed by both Elliott Sadler and Jeff Burton. 泥o paybacks exist in racing? Of course they do! Sometimes it痴 the next lap, sometimes it could be the next race, it could be the next month. And 展e have drivers out here that have memories like elephants!

Comments: 24
Last Activity: 07/02/10
By Carol Einarsson | 06/28/2010
Watching Sunday痴 race from New Hampshire, I have to admit something I fell asleep. Not once, but multiple times. When I woke up on lap 100, I figured I壇 just back up and watch it on tape-delay, fast forwarding through the commercials. But then I fell asleep again. Eventually I got through the race, but I had to wonder, do we really need a race at New Hampshire? To make it worse we値l be back here in September! I値l have to remember to buy some No-Doz before then.

Comments: 10
Last Activity: 06/29/10
By Carol Einarsson | 06/25/2010
An excerpt:

Don't get me wrong, I like Randy LaJoie. And I think he's embraced the lessons learned from the Jeremy Mayfield debacle of denial. However, can we really applaud him owning up to his problems if he's saying it was an isolated incident? "I smoked marijuana once." And that just happened to be before he was going to be drug tested? And what are the chances that a person gets caught the first time? I would have had more respect for him if he'd just said, "Dude, I been smokin' weed for 30 years... I guess it's time to stop." But to claim, at his age, that he just smoked it once makes me wonder if he's next going to tell us that he never inhaled.

Comments: 10
Last Activity: 06/27/10
By Carol Einarsson | 06/24/2010
Rusty Wallace won the first race at NHIS, in 1993, from a 33rd starting spot, driving a Pontiac.

Ward Burton and brother Jeff Burton are both past winners, as are Kurt Busch and his brother Kyle Busch.

At yet another track, Jeff Gordon has won more money than anyone else despite not having the most success. He's racked up more than $3.5 million for his three wins. Kurt Busch, also with three wins, $2.2 million.

15 active drivers have won at New Hampshire, among them, Robby Gordon and Joe Nemechek.

Matt Kenseth has the average highest finish without a win among drivers that have raced more than one race at this track.

Bruton Smith purchased the track in 2007 from the Bahre family (for $340,000,000 cash), and renamed it New Hampshire Motor Speedway, though fans often still refer to it as NHIS. Or maybe that's just me.

Comments: 5
Last Activity: 06/27/10
By Carol Einarsson | 06/22/2010
CHEERS to all eyes on Marcos Ambrose, and we especially like being reminded of him panning for gold.

CHEERS to 的 do think reports of your demise are greatly exaggerated. Can稚 beat a good Mark Twain reference!

CHEERS to showing each pit reporter痴 span of pit stalls. Nice touch, and we壇 like it if all the networks would pick up on that.

CHEERS to the 83 team giving opportunities for some drivers that don稚 have jobs. First Casey Mears, and next up on the ovals will be Reed Sorenson. I have a feeling Reed will better understand the potential for audition rather than showing everyone how he can wreck his teammate.

Comments: 27
Last Activity: 06/25/10
By Carol Einarsson | 06/17/2010
The race at Sonoma is measured in kilometers, sort of. Even though it's the Toyota / Save Mart 350, it's actually 352.21 kilometers. About the only thing it can be measured in and come out with a whole number is laps, but I guess the Toyota / Save Mart 110 sounds like a shorter race. (Which now makes me wonder if it wouldn't make more people tune in!)

The elevation changes along the road course swing 160 feet, from 14 feet up to 174 feet.

Infineon Raceway now has girls. Natalie and Ashleigh are apparently the new face of the track, and sprinkle their interview answers with happy and sad face emoticons. Embracing their empty-headedness seems to be their strength, and Natalie will tell you because she's blonde, she's not smart enough to know how to put songs on her iPod. I'm not making this up.

The rumble strips at the track are painted blue and gold because track president Steve Page attended UC Berkeley, and those are the school colors. They're also the colors of Richard Gahr High School in Southern California, but I don't think Infineon cares about that.

Comments: 15
Last Activity: 06/21/10
By Carol Einarsson | 06/15/2010

CHEERS to the Irish Hills of Michigan being dotted with farm houses, away from the big city that is more closely identified with this race track.

CHEERS to the year of teammate feuds. When NASCAR said we were dropping the gloves, who knew we壇 see such infighting on teams?

CHEERS to Mike Helton interviewed. 的 want to be fair, but clear. Just hearing him say that to Lindsay is intimidating enough. Does anyone within the sound of his voice doubt his ability to be crystal clear? And you池e not necessarily putting an arm around their shoulder, but you池e not really hittin 粗m upside the head, either. 填hh not in that order.

CHEERS to advice from AJ痴 dad, 的f you want friends at the track, you bring 粗m with you.

CHEERS to highlights for Wally! Wow. I wonder if the boys all did each other痴 hair last night at the TNT Lake House.

Comments: 18
Last Activity: 06/17/10
By Carol Einarsson | 06/14/2010
Okay, I'm finally on board. I've connected it in my head, and call it a conspiracy or not, I had a revelation. I was explaining "The Chase" to a friend unfamiliar with the "why" in the NASCAR "play-off system", and suddenly it clicked.

10 races to go... 10 laps to go.

The idea of The Chase with ten races to go is to do what? To tighten up the field so that people won't stop watching the last part of the season when one guy is dominant.

The idea of a caution with ten laps to go is to do what? To tighten up the field so that people won't stop watching the last part of the race when one guy is dominant.

I've been a defender of the governing body for a long time, even when many (most?) fans have decried the coincidence of a ten-lap shootout at the end of every race.

Comments: 19
Last Activity: 06/15/10
By Carol Einarsson | 06/11/2010
An excerpt:

As of May 1st, the state of Michigan has banned smoking in public places. This means MIS is now officially smoke-free, too. Oddly, there will be "approved areas" for smokers to go, but wouldn't those also be public places? One of the places they can smoke is behind the grandstands. It'll be just like high school!

Jimmie Johnson has never won at Michigan. But he did win this week at Eldora, so that should count for something.

Harry Gant is the oldest race winner, so when they ask that question on NASCAR Smarts this week, feel free to shout out the answer.

Comments: 4
Last Activity: 06/12/10
By Carol Einarsson | 06/10/2010
An excerpt:

CHEERS to a change in format and Tony trying his best not to walk off with the trophy again. This time we池e in teams, with four children痴 hospitals benefiting.

CHEERS to a one-dollar bet between two-wheel superstars. It痴 Monster Energy vs. Red Bull. I hope Ricky wins because I just can稚, in good conscience, root for anything Red Bull-related.

CHEERS to ever-humble Ken Schrader pulling first to qualify.

CHEERS to Justin Allgaier who, though he痴 wearing a wedding ring, appears to be about 12 years old. That痴 probably one reason they call him 鏑ittle Gator. And

CHEERS to Roger Penske allowing his driver to go play with the other boys for charity.

CHEERS to qualifying being a way to get to know a guy, listing his age, his hometown, and his racing achievements.

Comments: 9
Last Activity: 06/11/10
By Carol Einarsson | 06/08/2010
Some tidbits to tantalize...

CHEERS to a strawberry-banana gel pack. I don稚 know what that is, but it sounds tasty even if you don稚 have an upset stomach. I wonder if it痴 anything like Gogurt, the portable yogurt. 的 maintain all yogurt is portable. Yes, that痴 still funny!

JEERS to a debris caution. Can we see it, or is it the invisible 鉄omeone has a two-second lead and has lapped 22 cars at Pocono kind of debris?

JEERS to Jamie in the wall. And not just that, but driving around Pocono with a NASCAR-style rumble seat!  Thank you, Mr. Ragan.

CHEERS to Wally making light of an ugly, 的 know about the wife wearin the uniform in the family part. I live it. I wonder who痴 wearin the lace underwear.

Comments: 32
Last Activity: 06/14/10
By Carol Einarsson | 06/07/2010
The wreck looked innocent enough from the outside of the cars, but from the inside it was quite a different story, apparently. There are always two sides to a wreck, typically with each driver seeing the other at fault. No news there. But what happened after the incident is what had jaws dropping, and eyes wide opened at the post-race interview.

Step aside, new Kyle Busch, 渡ew Joey Logano has our attention now.

I知 reminded of a Seinfeld episode where George痴 life turns around because he decides to do the opposite of every instinct he has. At the same time, inexplicably, Elaine痴 life is in a downward spiral. Jerry comments, 的 have two friends, you were up, he was down. Now he's up, you're down. You see how it all evens out for me?

And I wonder if Joe and JD Gibbs are looking at each other wondering if someone switched the water in the 20 and 18 haulers.

Comments: 61
Last Activity: 06/08/10
By Carol Einarsson | 06/03/2010
An excerpt:
If Terry Labonte would race just one more race and make it to lap 117, he'd have raced more than 10,000 laps at the track.

Pocono Raceway is often identified as being in Long Pond Pennsylvania, but while it's located at Long Pond Rd and Andretti Rd, it's actually in Blakeslee, PA.

The fan guide at Pocono specifically requests, "For your safety and as a courtesy to other guests, please watch all races from a seated position."

Comments: 7
Last Activity: 06/05/10
By Carol Einarsson | 06/01/2010
An excerpt:

CHEERS to the best description of bad tires ever! 的t痴 a dysfunctional family the left front isn稚 workin, and the right front doesn稚 like it. I wonder if the rear tires are just enablers.

CHEERS to Dick Berggren who thoroughly covered all of JJ痴 bad finishes all in the context of a question. 鼎rashed out of Talladega, crashed out of Darlington, spun last week, and now this I bet Jimmie thought he壇 never get to the question.

CHEERS to not just a finger in his chest, but EIGHT points at Kyle Busch from the Mayor. And CHEERS to Jeff Burton痴 obvious ambidextrous ability to point not just with one hand, but both! It痴 a right and another right and then a left! The right, then left! Another right, then a left, and again with a right. Finally a point to his own noggin and a declaration, 填se your head!! Yes, THAT was a post-race tirade like it oughtta be done!

Comments: 23
Last Activity: 06/05/10
By Carol Einarsson | 05/29/2010

Nico Rossberg apparently took his motorcoach to Istanbul so he didn't have to fight the traffic to and from the hotel, but says the transportation costs are too high and he won't do that again. Imagine a motorcoach lot at a NASCAR race where just one driver had the whole place to himself.

Jensen Button and his model girlfriend have split. He says the long-distance thing wasn't working, but others are saying he made the hard choice to put his driving first. Good call.

Lewis Hamilton is actually being scrutinized now for wearing earings while he practiced. Apparently the F1 rules prohibit any jewelry from being worn, for safety reasons.

Sebastian Vettel names his cars. Currently he's driving Randy Mandy after breaking up with Luscious Liz. In 2009 he was driving Kate's Dirty Sister. What do you suppose would happen if someone in NASCAR named their car Kate's Dirty Sister?

Comments: 2
Last Activity: 06/04/10
By Carol Einarsson | 05/28/2010
An excerpt:

I still haven't figured out what a vortex bottle of Miller Lite is. Last I knew, you could turn just about any bottle upside down and swirl it to make a vortex inside, but why you'd wanna do that with a bottle of beer escapes me. And with a bottle that color, could you even see the vortex you made??

I wonder if Dale Earnhardt ever even ate Wheaties.

Comments: 7
Last Activity: 05/29/10
By Carol Einarsson | 05/27/2010

An excerpt:

Charlotte is home to the infamous "levigation" that caused a 22-caution, 5-hour race in 2005, the longest race in 25 years.

Dale Jarrett, Buck Baker, Mario Andretti, and Richard Petty all have driving schools at CMS.

The track forbids entrance with any weapons, including "impact weapons". Can't anything pretty much be an impact weapon? Isn't a fist an impact weapon? I wonder if there will be periodic inspections in the grandstands to ensure that all hands have remained opened and unclenched.

Comments: 4
Last Activity: 06/07/10
By Carol Einarsson | 05/25/2010
JEERS to Casey Mears in the race. I知 all for allowing a substitute driver under the circumstances, but not for the All Star race. It痴 a non-points event, and it has to be an earned (or fan vote) position. Sorry for the team, but if the driver that earned it is out, thems the breaks.

JEERS to an All Star race without Humpy Wheeler痴 prediction. Just not right.

CHEERS to the 11 team winning the pit challenge and getting the prime pit stall for their driver.

CHEERS to Steve Byrnes doing the Peter Windsor thing. That was cool! And in NASCAR, the drivers don稚 hide in the port-a-potties!

CHEERS to Billy Mauldin痴 invocation, followed by The Wells. So often when we hear that song, it痴 not contemporary, and that was one fine performance of God Bless America! Never out of date.

Comments: 25
Last Activity: 05/27/10
By Carol Einarsson | 05/24/2010
Sunday on SPEED we watched history being made as the inaugural class of Hall of Famers were inducted. The stories we heard were inspiring and heart-warming. Some of them funny, some bittersweet. Overall, it was a fantastic presentation, and Winston Kelley is clearly the best man to be running the show over there at the best used car lot in North Carolina.

Here, then, are my top ten quotes from the day:

Comments: 5
Last Activity: 05/24/10
By Carol Einarsson | 05/21/2010
Sometimes it痴 good to step out of your comfort zone.

If you know me, you know this is not something I take lightly. If you know me well, your chin might have even just hit the floor upon reading that first sentence. But while I don稚 consider myself much of a movie reviewer, I agreed to give it a go. I知 glad I did.

Recently I was invited to the Hall of Fame for a premier screening of Racing Dreams, a documentary film directed by Academy-Award-nominee Marshall Curry. I wasn稚 able to attend, but was still privileged to view this film created by using more than 500 hours of footage, following three young racers at the beginning of their careers. It gives us a glimpse of what it might have been to watch Jeff Gordon when he was 11 years old.

Comments: 8
Last Activity: 05/22/10
By Carol Einarsson | 05/18/2010
CHEERS to Aric Almirola getting a trophy of his own! Even sweeter is that he beat JGR, the culprit in taking away his first trophy.

CHEERS to Tony jumping out of a plane, but as he says, 泥on稚 confuse bravery with stupidity.

CHEERS to the interview with Rick Hendrick making us realize how much of a politician he is.

JEERS to the driver of the truck Jeff Gordon was riding in did you have to hit the brakes that hard? I知 not sure Gordon痴 feet didn稚 leave the bed of the truck.

Comments: 28
Last Activity: 05/19/10
By Carol Einarsson | 05/17/2010
When news first broke on Thursday that Brian Vickers had been taken to the hospital, the wording of the announcement struck me odd. It said 途ecently diagnosed medical condition and the team did not reveal where he was hospitalized.[1]  It sounded serious from the beginning because a guy doesn稚 know on Wednesday night that he can稚 race on Sunday if he痴 just battling the flu or food poisoning. And a 杜edical condition told us that this was no small illness.

Then came the news that this otherwise healthy, 26-year-old athlete has blood clots. Blood clots? The kind that, if they let loose can shoot through his heart and kill him? Yeah, those kind. The kind that can cause a stroke. The kind that aren稚 supposed to be in the body of a 26-year-old unless there痴 something else that caused the condition.

But what could that be? My first thought was something close to home. Red Bull.

Comments: 14
Last Activity: 05/18/10
By Carol Einarsson | 05/14/2010
An excerpt:

Old Spice says it's a change in "marketing strategies" that has them leaving Tony Stewart. I wonder if they took their own advice: "Look at your man, now back to me, now look at your man, now back to me...." Maybe the man on a horse has a little more mass appeal than a race car driver talking with his mouth full of turkey?
Denny Hamlin says of his knee rehab, "Being told to sit on the couch to recover is tough to deal with." I wonder if I need knee surgery. Apparently I've already got the knee-surgery-recovery skills down pat!

Comments: 11
Last Activity: 05/16/10
By Carol Einarsson | 05/13/2010
An excerpt:

Twice a rookie has won the spring race at Dover. Jimmie Johnson in 2002, and Davey Allison in 1987.

On the list of prohibited items in the Dover grandstands are inflatables (which they are sure to tell you means "beach balls, etc"), and "items that obstruct views." When I think of what typically obstructs my view at a race track, it's usually a guy's head. How do you prohibit THAT?

The straightaways at Dover are 48 feet wide, and the turns are 58 feet wide. The COT is 78.5 inches wide, which means it shouldn't be a problem at all to have seven-wide racing on the straights, right?

Comments: 4
Last Activity: 05/15/10
By Carol Einarsson | 05/11/2010
An excerpt:

CHEERS to not just stories, but film of the first Southern 500, featuring the story of Johnny Mantz痴 truck tires serving him well so he didn稚 have to pit as many times as anyone else. And the last shall be first!

CHEERS to the irony of following the story of taking no tires in the whole race to seeing Michael McDowell in the wall with one blown out. Goodyear makes truck tires, too, don稚 they?

CHEERS to the way a crewman痴 left leg involuntarily flails about when he痴 under a car with a mallet, and CHEERS also to the involuntary way it retracts to protect the attachments when another guy痴 foot gets too close.

Comments: 24
Last Activity: 05/13/10
By Carol Einarsson | 05/10/2010

We池e about 30% into the season, so it seems like a good time for a mini-recap of three surprises so far this year. All three have the potential to upset the apple cart at the 48 team. Find out who they are...

Comments: 8
Last Activity: 05/10/10
By Carol Einarsson | 05/07/2010
An excerpt:

Doublemint Gum is going to sponsor the 18 at Darlington and Bristol. I wonder why they didn't opt, instead, to sponsor a double number like Denny's 11.  Or even Carl Edwards, since some say he has a split personality. (I'm not the only one that remembers the old Doublemint commercials, right?)
Terry Cook left Whitney Motorsports, saying he was uncomfortable with the direction the team was going. I wonder what direction that was. And if he was also the Team Manager, wouldn't he have been the one leading the direction in the first place? I wonder if he quit more because of struggles as Team Manager than as driver.

Comments: 8
Last Activity: 05/07/10
By Carol Einarsson | 05/06/2010
An excerpt:

If you're camping at Darlington, they would like you to know, "Golf carts, motorcycles, bicycles, ATVs and motor scooters are NOT  allowed on Raceway property. Please leave them at home." I don't know if leaving your golf cart or motorcycle at a friend's house is permissible or not. My suggestion is, if you leave your forbidden vehicle somewhere other than at home, just keep that to yourself. No sense inviting trouble.

Darlington is family-friendly, and the rules state that "Alcohol-impaired, belligerent, or obnoxious guests will be escorted from the facility  by track security." I'm especially intrigued by "obnoxious". Who makes that call? Isn't obnoxious a personality failure? Y'know, there's a lot of people who think Kyle Busch is obnoxious. Who do we call to report that?

Comments: 9
Last Activity: 05/07/10
By Carol Einarsson | 05/04/2010
An excerpt:

CHEERS to the way it sounded like Matt Yocum was greeting his friend as he arrived home. 滴ey, Kevin Harvick! On pit road, they池e looking for an air pressure change I wonder if Matt waves each time Kevin pits, and maybe Kevin gives him that head nod to say hi back.

JEERS to coming in with only 13 laps on the leader痴 tires. If he壇 stayed out, all those other cars would have stayed a lap down and would have had to pit, and they壇 stay a lap down, right? Okay, that痴 it. If I ever get tired of writing, I知 gonna go be a crew chief. Or should I do a Danica and say I致e decided not to move into the crew chief role?

CHEERS to the FOX truck finding the spring rubber that really brought out the caution so we didn稚 have to write a lengthy critical paragraph criticizing NASCAR痴 decision to wave a yellow for Flat Stanley痴 water bottle.

CHEERS to continued military involvement with team 39, but what is US Army Medicine, and how can putting it on a race car raise awareness if we don稚 know what it is?

Comments: 16
Last Activity: 05/05/10
By Carol Einarsson | 05/03/2010
Saturday night as I sat watching the race, my eyes would move between my computer screen and the TV. I couldn稚 help but notice a lack of anything on my page. Had I been paying attention?

Sometimes I am guilty of multi-tasking while watching and writing about the race. There is a general rule that the dingo is only allowed to go out on a caution commercial. Not just a caution, because sometimes there are forty different stories happening in the pits. And not just a commercial, since they can break out of it at any time if there痴 a wreck. Dance around by the back door all you want, Dukey-Dog, if it痴 not a caution-commercial, you池e gonna have to wait. But take heart, I don稚 do my own business unless the same circumstances exist.

Comments: 14
Last Activity: 05/06/10
By Carol Einarsson | 04/30/2010

An excerpt:

The Nationwide race this week is called the Bubba Burger 250. It doesn't seem too long ago when a name like that would have been forbidden by the governing body trying to distance themselves from all things redneck. And having never heard of Bubba Burgers, I did a little checking. They aren't a fast food place, as I expected. Turns out they're in your grocer's freezer. I wonder why Target carries them, and Walmart doesn't. I'd kind of expect the other way around on that one.

600 red balloons will be released to kick off the Coca-Cola 600 month of May at Charlotte Motor Speedway, so if you're in the area on Monday, look skyward around 1:30pm. I wonder if the fans that will be in attendance were pre-screened for latex allergy.



Comments: 14
Last Activity: 05/03/10
By Carol Einarsson | 04/29/2010
You can follow Richmond International Raceway at twitter.com/RIRInsider

The last ten races at RIR have had eight different winners. The only repeat winner in the last ten races is Jimmie Johnson, who won three times.

Dale Earnhardt, Jr. is also a three-time winner at Richmond, though his wins span ten years.

Joe Gibbs Racing won both races last year at Richmond, once with Kyle Busch, and once with Denny Hamlin.

Comments: 1
Last Activity: 04/30/10
By Carol Einarsson | 04/27/2010
CHEERS to 鄭ny lap of this race could be the one you remember for the rest of your life. If my assistant, The Stig, hadn稚 escaped a ticket over the weekend, that right there would have been the quote of the week.

CHEERS to the "She is the biggest, she is the baddest, she is the boldest, and she is the fastest!" It痴 Talladega!

CHEERS to the beauty of the two-car tango. It痴 just simply art in motion, and nothing has been a more welcomed change reinstated than that. And another thing we like about it is how often the two cars aren稚 teammates.

Comments: 18
Last Activity: 04/28/10
By Carol Einarsson | 04/26/2010
An excerpt:

The rule says that "a driver cannot advance his position" by going below the yellow line. Ask yourself this: How can the leader advance his position? He was in the lead when he dipped below that line, and he was pushed there by the guy who was in second place.


"48 is testing my patience; I can tell you that. It takes a lot to make me mad and I am pissed right now."

Comments: 18
Last Activity: 04/28/10
By Carol Einarsson | 04/23/2010
Okay, so a new radiator pan was not submitted for approval with NASCAR and four MWR cars failed post-race inspection. I wonder why, then, only two of the four teams (Papis and Ambrose) were docked drivers' points. I would think, running affiliated cars, they'd be even less culpable of the wrong-doing than the source, MWR. Not that I'm wishing they were, but why weren't Reutimann and Truex penalized with points deductions? And why were their crew chiefs each fined $50,000 less than those of Papis and Ambrose?
"A source requesting anonymity" at RCR has been quoted as saying that Kevin Harvick has burned all his bridges at the company. I wonder if anyone else sees that bridge fire as having been started at both sides of the bridge, and maybe Richard Childress burned his bridge with Kevin Harvick. And I wonder who needs whom more.
TUMS is sponsoring JPM at Talladega this weekend. I wonder if everyone in the field at every Talladega race shouldn't at least have an associate sponsorship with TUMS. And if he wins, will they throw handfuls of individual TUMS all around Victory Lane, or will they be in the rolls? Ouch!!

Comments: 9
Last Activity: 04/30/10
By Carol Einarsson | 04/22/2010
An excerpt:

Page 10 of the handbook actually lists a "Pass Out Policy". Apparently there are rules for this. If you're going to find a pass out policy at a racetrack, though, we're glad to know it's Talladega that's set the standard.

"Flagpoles or other similar objects are not permitted within 20 feet of an overhead electrical line." That makes sense, but I have to ask, what's a "similar object" to a flagpole? If you've got a 15-foot pole at the race track and you don't have a flag on it, what are you doing?

The fan texting service at Talladega gives directions with the number to text and instructions to use the body of the text message to list your "Need, Emergency or Issue, and Location." How many texts do you suppose they get on a weekend from campers that have been "over-served"?

Comments: 9
Last Activity: 04/23/10
By Carol Einarsson | 04/20/2010
CHEERS to starting the coverage with 撤lease rise and remove your hat. Open the show, get right to it. That痴 the way we like it! Too bad there's not a special code about ugly white sunglasses.

CHEERS to Charley Pride sticking around for a Monday race! How often does the arranged talent skip out if the Sunday race is scrapped? A simple and respectful anthem, and we liked it!

CHEERS to Joey with his hat over his heart. CHEERS to a fly-over, too, something else we sometimes have to sacrifice for a Monday race. Eddie Gossage is putting on a first-class show at Texas!!

CHEERS to a fashionable hat! Yes, if I had one like Kaylin Kenseth, I壇 be wearing it, too!

CHEERS to Hammond prepared for two consecutive days of appropriate Texas neckwear.  And neither day included an ascot.

Comments: 10
Last Activity: 04/20/10
By Carol Einarsson | 04/16/2010
I wonder who finally spoke up at the El Cajon City Council and said, "Really??" to the proposed plan to rename part of a street that was already named Johnson Avenue, to "Jimmie Johnson Avenue". Now they're considering a park or part of the Interstate instead. I vote for the park or else people might think on his stretch of road it's okay to do 190.
I read with delight the announcement that Marcos Ambrose will be honored with the Sportsmanship Award, and was prepared to make a snarky comment of comparison between the good sportsmanship of Ambrose and the opposite behavior of one Kyle Busch. Then, though, the PR went on to say that Shrub is a previous honoree. What? What kind of things are being measured for this "Sportsmanship" award? I guess it doesn't exactly say GOOD Sportsmanship, so maybe they're practicing "diversity in sportsmanship" and trying not to discriminate.

Comments: 13
Last Activity: 04/17/10
By Carol Einarsson | 04/15/2010
An excerpt:

If you're attending the race your fanny pack can be no larger than 14x14x14. No word on how large your fanny is allowed to be, though.

For just $300, you can purchase VIP parking for the whole 2010 season of racing at TMS.

The official track website has a section called 'friend finder' and one of the filters you can use to find people is by their status of approved, pending approval, banned, or disapproved. I wonder if people with low self-esteem go there to look for someone to disapprove just so they'll feel validated.

Comments: 7
Last Activity: 04/16/10
By Carol Einarsson | 04/13/2010
CHEERS to the March of Dimes on Denny痴 uniform, but with the way he痴 limping around, I can稚 be the only one that flashed back to the Seinfeld episode where Kramer went to the dentist and had the special shoes, right?

JEERS to talking about the race length in kilometers. We池e Americans, and everyone knows we池e not smart enough for the metric system, despite what they told me in fourth grade. 典his is important, children! Soon we値l be switching to the metric system. That was 1974.

CHEERS to AT&T being responsible for the 57th President of the United States, but I still like the commercial with the Willy Wonka song better, 滴appy fifth birthday, again. Rethink Possible. That one rivals the eBay toy boat commercial that might just be my all-time favorite.

Comments: 25
Last Activity: 04/14/10
By Carol Einarsson | 04/12/2010
Lots of opinions were voiced Saturday into the evening as the race wore on. It痴 too long, it痴 too late, it痴 too many miles to run at a track no more exciting than Phoenix on and on went the complaints.

But isn稚 the only reason we race on a Saturday instead of a Sunday, so we can have a night race? If we wanted it to start early and end early, we may as well race on Sunday. And if we have a night race anywhere other than the Eastern Time zone, it痴 going to be very late for that part of the country. If we are going to have Saturday night races, then, should they be restricted to only those eastern tracks?

釘ut it could end after dark, thus being a night race, and still have been a hundred miles shorter. That痴 one argument I heard. Maybe so, but think about what NASCAR is trying to get back to. Think about Saturday night racing at your local dirt track. Do you get home by 8:30? No, you don稚. A night race is more than just a race that ends after sunset.

Comments: 25
Last Activity: 04/13/10
By Carol Einarsson | 04/09/2010
An excerpt:

I wonder if ExtenZe picked a woman hero for their little PR deal just to annoy me after I said what I did last week. Yeah, I bet that痴 it.

I wonder if Ray Evernham is cursed. Dodge is all but gone, Jeremy Mayfield is ruined, and even a nice guy like Scott Riggs who was rookie of the year in the 2002 Busch Series is struggling to get a ride.
And speaking of Scott Riggs, did you know he quit and stayed home for a year rather than be a "start and park" driver because he felt it would be a dishonor to his fans? Makes you wanna send the guy five bucks for his race team, doesn't it?

Comments: 3
Last Activity: 04/09/10
By Carol Einarsson | 04/08/2010

An excerpt:

When you attend a race at PIR, you may bring "a soft-sided bag/cooler carried in any manner (handle, shoulder straps, belt, etc)" and it may contain ice. You may also bring one clear plastic bag, but that may NOT contain ice.

Scenes from the movie Taxi were filmed at PIR. Jeff Gordon made an appearance in the movie about a cabbie (Queen Latifah) that wanted to be a NASCAR driver.

Bobby Allison, AJ Foyt, and Richard Petty all have grandstands named after them. So does Jimmy Bryan, who was born in Phoenix in 1926, and won the 1958 Indy 500.

Comments: 13
Last Activity: 04/09/10
By Carol Einarsson | 04/06/2010

JEERS to realizing at 10:45 pm that Wow, it痴 Monday? That means tomorrow is Tuesday.  I should write something, huh?

CHEERS to the city of Kannapolis selling bricks to complete the Dale Earnhardt Memorial so fans can feel a part of it, but they池e selling them for $33 (or three for$88). Would have been nice if they壇 found a way to sell pieces of the memorial for $3.

CHEERS to everyman (and woman) that has been able to pull himself up by his bootstraps out of the life of addiction, to get clean and back on the right track. I wonder if Shane Hmiel is one of them now.

JEERS to bad Monday race ratings. Sure, we expected low numbers, but how could a Martinsville rain-delayed race get a lower score (2.1) than a rain-delayed Fontana race (2.3)?? Someone痴 calculator batteries must be dead.

Comments: 11
Last Activity: 04/07/10
By Carol Einarsson | 04/04/2010
Some things shouldn't ever change, and some things in NASCAR likely never will. One of those things is that we don't race on Easter Sunday. It's pretty safe to say most folks that have read this site for any length of time are certain what I celebrate this time every year, and the meaning it holds for me. Recently, though, a friend told me this story, and I knew instantly it was a story that should be shared.
This Easter will be 16 years since my mom passed away.

After the funeral, I was chatting to the lady who lives next door. She said she had spoken to Mom the day she was taken ill.  Mom had walked to the local shop for a few bits of shopping, and was sitting on the wall at the top of the drive, bags by her feet.

The neighbour had seen her and went to ask if she was okay. Mom said, "I'm fine, thanks. I was just sitting in the sunshine. We haven't seen much of it lately, and I didn't want to waste it."

She was taken ill a couple of hours later.

I always think of her when I'm in the sunshine.

As I listened to the words of my friend, I was moved. This woman who appreciated the most basic of God's gifts and didn't want to waste a bit of it can be such an example to those of us who rush through life busy with such things that, in the big picture, are meaningless really.

Comments: 2
Last Activity: 04/05/10
By Carol Einarsson | 04/02/2010
Apparently some teams only had half a shark-fin at Martinsville? I wonder if I知 the only one that didn稚 notice that. I saw some that appeared to be painted two colors, one for the deck lid, and one for the higher part, but evidently they can choose any length they wish between 17 and 25 except at Dega and Daytona where the 25 is required.

Yes, and I also wonder, has anyone that痴 opted to use the longest blade at every race considered asking ExtenZe for an associate sponsorship?

So Denny痴 had his surgery now and should be good to go by Phoenix. In the update I read, Dr. Bill Heisel said that tendons from a cadaver would be used. Morbid, yes, but still I wonder if the family of the 鍍endon donor knows that Denny Hamlin has a leg up thanks to their loved-one.

Comments: 7
Last Activity: 04/05/10
By Carol Einarsson | 03/30/2010
An excerpt:

CHEERS to driver bets, but bigger CHEERS to Scott Speed revealing that his wife beat Shrub in a push-up contest. Lost to a girl in push-ups? Nice.

JEERS to Sam Hornish being sick, and even more JEERS to choosing a relief driver that痴 actually in his own car in the race. If the 77 team knows Almirola is an S&P, why doesn稚 NASCAR?

CHEERS to Denny driving extra fast so he can get to Charlotte by 5pm for surgery. Wow. Where I知 from, preparing for surgery means not eating solid food after 8pm the night before. Since Denny was planning on Wednesday, I wonder how they値l get around that food thing. Surely he痴 eaten, right?

Comments: 51
Last Activity: 04/05/10
By Carol Einarsson | 03/29/2010
An excerpt:

Maybe some of the best rain-fill they've produced, FOX put together a montage of their top-ten finishes. Agree or disagree?

10. 2007 Texas, Burton passes Kenseth for the lead in his purple Prilosec car as wife Kim watches her husband become the first repeat winner at Texas.

9. 2001 Michigan, Ricky Rudd side by side with Jeff Gordon, chokes with turns to go, and hands the 100th HMS victory to Jeff Gordon.

Comments: 5
Last Activity: 04/03/10
By Carol Einarsson | 03/26/2010
An excerpt:
I dunno how I feel about the "ExtenZe Local Hero" program. Sure, it's nice to recognize excellence and heroism, but attaching what some consider a controversial product (simply because some of us remember a time when polite conversation didn't include such things as the length of a man's wedding vegetables) kind of precludes (we hope) the assignment of this award to a woman or child. I don't care if I leap off a ship into shark-infested waters to save a child from an oncoming freighter, I think I'd rather not be an ExtenZe Local Hero.

I wonder if it's hypocritical to complain about ExtenZe while also being willing to use the term "wedding vegetables".  Blame James May. I heard it from him.
One more thing about that same local hero I read about. He's Brian Harrison, a purple heart recipient, who saved his team as they exited a disabled Humvee. My question here is a simple one... what does it take to disable a Humvee? I thought they were just a step below a tank.

Comments: 9
Last Activity: 03/26/10
By Carol Einarsson | 03/25/2010
An excerpt:

In Richard Petty's 67 races (15 wins and 30 top-fives), he collected less than $370,000. Jeff Gordon (in less than half the number of races and less than half the wins) has so far amassed $3.4 million from Martinsville alone.
Red Byron only raced once at Martinsville, and he won. He collected his $1,500 for the day's work.
Martinsville offers "All You Can Eat" tickets in the South Terrace from 11am-1pm. Hamburgers, hot dogs, chips, and canned Pepsi are included. It's a good thing there will be plenty of Goody's Fast Relief available.

Comments: 2
Last Activity: 03/26/10
By Carol Einarsson | 03/23/2010
CHEERS to the 12 and 99 side by side. Green and Red. Dare I say they looked like mobile CHEERS and JEERS ?

JEERS to what looked to be the most dangerous moment and seemed to go unnoticed and unmentioned Did you see Montoya痴 car climb the driver痴 door of the 47? Looked to me like the only thing between Marcos head and JPM痴 tire was probably that window net.

CHEERS to the big orange mallet. I wonder if we all wouldn稚 be happier to deal with stress the same way. Probably pretty cheap to pick up a hunk of sheet metal from the salvage yard and keep it in the garage, I壇 think.

CHEERS to Vitamin Water trying to be manly, but the guy in a Snuggy who ends up in a suit Sorry, you池e still no Old Spice guy on a horse.

JEERS to 鼎alm down, take a couple deep breaths, everything痴 gonna be fine. Is there anything that fails to calm a person down more than the words, 鼎alm down.?

Comments: 39
Last Activity: 03/25/10
By Carol Einarsson | 03/22/2010
An excerpt:

Someone needs to ask the uncomfortable questions, here, to the drivers and the promoters of this (and others like this) event: Do the drivers you池e putting in these cars still have what it takes to drive at those kinds of speeds?

Nobody is interested in watching a parade. I understand that. The idea of racing is to race fast, not slow. I know that, too. But I also know that at least one man could have been killed Saturday night because these cars are not as safe as they could be. If you池e going to put retirees in race cars, they ought to at least have the same safety measures as the minor leagues, and in my opinion, they should have TWICE the amount of safety.

Comments: 21
Last Activity: 03/23/10
By Carol Einarsson | 03/19/2010
I wonder if Michael Waltrip called Merry Maids to get the shop all nice and clean before the track presidents for all 12 ISC racetracks came to visit. Seems all the execs got to learn how to change tires, jack the car, and at least hold a gas can.
I wonder why, in this day and age, news of Jeff Gordon having a son on the way feels different than when his daughter was born. And I wonder if some day we'll see if there is a racing gene - Bristol 2030 with a rookie class of Gordon, Johnson, Montoya, and Sadler. Of course they'll all be trying to beat Mark Martin.

NASCAR is going to meet with Edwards and Keselowski this weekend. It's expected they'll be "reminded" not to kill each other. I wonder how you warn two guys to stay away from each other on a half mile track. Do they draw straws for who's allowed at the front and who has to stay midpack?

Comments: 9
Last Activity: 03/22/10
By Carol Einarsson | 03/17/2010
An excerpt:

In the past eight years, 16 races, 50% of them have been won by a Busch brother.

April of 1991 at Bristol saw the most lead changes in the spring race with forty. Yes, FORTY lead changes!

Of full-time active drivers, nobody has more starts than Mark Martin at Bristol. He's raced in 42 races and scored 23 top-10s and nine poles.

Granted he's only raced twice at BMS, but Marcos Ambrose has the highest average finish of all active drivers with 6.5

Comments: 10
Last Activity: 03/19/10
By Carol Einarsson | 03/16/2010
It was the Spring race at Bristol, 2004. Interesting, I thought, to see clearly which drivers the author liked in 2004 and those she didn't -- or maybe those who she didn't on that particular day. Some of these will come back to you like it was just yesterday, while others might leave you (as they did me) wonderin'... what the heck did that mean?

On this particular day, March 30, 2004, there were 11 cautions for 85 laps; the margin of victory was .428 seconds; Ken Schrader finished sixth in his BAM #49 Schwan's car; and Ryan Newman sat on the pole.

Michael Waltrip was still with DEI (and finished in 10th); Johnny Sauter was in the #30 AOL car for RCR; Robby Gordon was driving for Childress, too; and we were all still wondering if DJ would ever drive that big brown truck.

Ricky Craven was in the Tide ride for Cal Wells; Kyle Petty was in the 45 for Adam; and Terry Labonte was still pondering whether or not Tony the Tiger's nose was blue enough on the #5 HMS Kellogg's car.

Jeremy Mayfield was driving for Ray Evernham; Hermie Sadler was in the race (and finished above such notables as Jeff Burton, Kasey Kahne, Ricky Rudd, and Bobby Labonte); and Geoff Bodine had added an "rey" back to his name.

Comments: 3
Last Activity: 03/17/10
By Carol Einarsson | 03/15/2010

Sometimes my assistant and I get to chatting late at night. Recently it was a "what do you think would happen if..." conversation spurred on by rewatching Michael McDowell's fantastic post-wreck interview on Speed Report.

"It's my fault - not her fault at all - and very unfortunate for her. I'm sure I'll catch a little bit of heck from this, but Danicamania crowd, I'm sorry. Okay? I'm sorry. Don't hate me. Junior nation, don't hate me. I love you guys. I love everybody. 100% my fault."

This was said not just to the reporter on hand, but straight into the camera.

Has there ever before been someone so completely apologetic to another driver, that driver's fans, the team owner, his fans, and the entire world all at once? I'm surprised he didn't take responsibility for her wreck at Daytona, too, and the bad haircut she got once when she was eight years old.

Comments: 7
Last Activity: 03/22/10
By Carol Einarsson | 03/14/2010
Last year I tried to incorporate Formula One into our menu of weekly articles, and I'm afraid the readership just isn't there. Unlike NASCAR at Fontana, I'm willing to admit that this might not be the target audience for that series. However, there was enough interest that I thought I'd share my picks for the season. It seems I found myself included in an F1 fantasy league of sorts, but rather than scoring week after week, it's a one-shot deal. Pick the top six in order of finish at season's end. You get one point for each position missed from your prediction. Low score wins. Wanna play?
Bookmark this page and feel free to use the comment section as a year-long forum for RJO F1 fans. It will age off this main page, but if you lose your bookmark, you can access it again from the top menu bar by clicking ARTICLES and then F1.
Since we're getting a late jump on this, if you'd like to play along, we'll count all entries dated in the comment section up until Saturday, March 20th, 6pm, so you'll have a free "sneak peek" at the season before you commit to your picks. We may not have much F1 coverage at the site this year, but we'll check in from time to time, and we'll see how well we did after Abu Dhabi in mid-November.

Comments: 16
Last Activity: 04/18/10
By Carol Einarsson | 03/12/2010
An excerpt:

As the plot thickens, now Jeremy Mayfield痴 former brother-in-law has also been suspended for substance abuse. Seems he was working as a spotter for David Gilliland, and failed his random test. First, I wonder why NASCAR wouldn稚 test him sooner, given that he claims to have seen Mayfield using meth. If you池e not a meth user, when痴 the last time you致e seen someone use it in front of you? Don稚 they kind of stick together that way?

Comments: 10
Last Activity: 03/15/10
By Carol Einarsson | 03/09/2010
CHEERS to JPM and Jamie both declining an interview. There痴 no better way to put something in the past than to refuse to keep talking about it to the press.

CHEERS to the Boy Scouts and the pine wood derby cars. Some of the questions for Jeff Gordon seemed planted by PR people (What do you think about the spoiler coming back?) but others seemed planted by race-fan dads (Why are four tires better than two?). Ouch!

JEERS to the Slice of Pizzi that just keeps getting worse week after week. Are they trying to make us beg for the gopher cartoons?

Comments: 61
Last Activity: 03/11/10
By Carol Einarsson | 03/08/2010
In the pit of his stomach, Carl Edwards feels it. He is now a changed man; you can be sure of it.

NASCAR wants racing to be racing again. They want to let the drivers have rivalries, and though unspoken, it seems NASCAR also wants drivers to have a little more freedom to settle differences on the track. The governing body has done everything to encourage this kind of situation. They have mandated the flying cars, and they have given license to the drivers to bump each other.

When Keselowski first went flying, I couldn稚 believe what I saw. Carl Edwards, more than 150 laps down (because of the 12 car) came back to square the deal.

Comments: 37
Last Activity: 03/16/10
By Carol Einarsson | 03/05/2010


An excerpt:

While we're talking about paint schemes, I wonder if they went out of their way to call Mark Martin's special scheme this week a "blue and black" scheme, intentionally avoiding the reverse of that which would make his car sound like a 3500-pound bruise.
NASCAR still isn't sure what happened with the caution lights last week, causing them to come on randomly. Remember that commercial a few years ago where the guy was flipping the light switch in his house and didn't know what it went to, and the garage door was opening and closing on top of his neighbor's car?

Comments: 10
Last Activity: 03/09/10
By Carol Einarsson | 03/04/2010

The fastest qualifying lap at AMS was set by Geoff Bodine at 197.478 mph in 1998. The fastest qualifying in IRL at AMS was 224.145 by Billy Boat in 1997. I tell you that just because who doesn't like saying the name Billy Boat? You just said it out loud, didn't you? It's okay, so did I.

From 1995-2000, three men dominated Atlanta. In eleven races, Dale Earnhardt won three times, Jeff Gordon won three times, and Bobby Labonte won four times. The only single-race winner in that time frame was Dale Jarrett in 1997. Bobby won three other times, as well.

In 2005 an F2 tornado damaged the speedway and knocked down the 50-foot scoreboard tower. There were no injuries, but the main backstretch grandstand originally built in 1960 had to be demolished and replaced.

AMS was featured in both Smokey and the Bandit II as well as Stroker Ace.


Comments: 6
Last Activity: 03/06/10
By Carol Einarsson | 03/02/2010
An excerpt:

CHEERS to the billboard over the tunnel that I think might say 鉄mith Paint, but that mostly what we see is a big S and a big P. As we hear that Aric Almirola has finished his day, we see that S&P sign? Subliminal, maybe? 

JEERS to 的 smelled grease about two laps ago. And Bobby done for the day. It痴 the worst smell in racing? When someone says something is the 努orst why am I always compelled to try and think of something to disprove that? Hmmm What could be worse? Maybe being a relief driver in August for a guy who got out of his car because the flu got the best of him? Do I win?

JEERS to seeing Mike Bliss in the wall. Gosh, I hope his jumpsuit didn稚 get dirty. I wonder if a driver against the wall like that when the field comes by feels the same as getting a ticket on a main road through town and three friends drive by and see you.

Comments: 14
Last Activity: 03/05/10
By Carol Einarsson | 03/01/2010
An excerpt:

ESPN acknowledges that they never intended to interview him. So how does that video of him walking away end up on TV that way?

Where was the cameraman? Confirmed is that he wasn稚 wandering around looking for controversial footage. Rather, he was with his reporter, Jerry Punch, set to interview the 2nd-5th place finishers who all park together after the race.

That痴 when it happened. Kyle Busch, sixteenth place finisher pulled up and parked with the second, third, fourth, and fifth place finishers. He then walked from there back to the garage.

Comments: 2
Last Activity: 03/03/10
By Carol Einarsson | 02/26/2010
An excerpt:

I wonder who the mastermind is behind the brilliant change at Bristol. No, we池e not going to resurface again to put it back the way it was; we池e simply going to make the appearance (though we know that you know that we know that you know it痴 all a guise) of adding safety to the track. We値l make the SAFER barriers bigger in the turns, and oh, wait, what痴 that? It takes away a racing line through the corners and may cause the cars to bump into each other and wreck a lot more? Oh, gosh, well some things just can稚 be helped, I s恥ose.

Comments: 10
Last Activity: 02/27/10
By Carol Einarsson | 02/25/2010

In twelve races at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, only three times has someone won whose name didn't start with the letters J or M.

The manufacturer battle has Ford ahead of Chevy, six wins to four. Dodge has one and Toyota has one.

The annual spring race in Vegas has been won once from each of the first three starting spots, by three different drivers.

Both Matt Kenseth and Jeff Gordon have won from starting positions that were the same as their car number. Gordon from 24th in 2001 and Kenseth from 17th in 2003.

Comments: 9
Last Activity: 02/27/10
By Carol Einarsson | 02/23/2010
JEERS to get us started, for the opening of the broadcast. The predictable Hollywood sign, the famous stars on Hollywood Blvd, the palm trees, surfers, and girls in bikinis playing Frisbee on the beach. Have y誕ll ever been to Fontana?

JEERS to a 都kiing accident that broke four of Floyd痴 ribs. What must that have looked like coming down the hill?

CHEERS to a baby still on the way. I was secretly hoping baby Sadler would show up first, so congrats again to Elliott and Amanda!

CHEERS to Styx. Anyone else think one of their guitar guys looks like a heavier Ward Burton? Okay, wait is it too late to take back the CHEERS ? They had their time, it痴 apparently past, and now they just look silly playing the keyboard backwards. And aside from that, what does this have to do with racing? I guess at least they池e not as old as the Stones.

CHEERS to just one more race broadcast full of Danica news before she heads back to open wheel racing. I知 reminded of the days of JZ when we壇 all be so happy for baseball season to have begun.

Comments: 30
Last Activity: 02/26/10
By Carol Einarsson | 02/20/2010

An excerpt:

Jeff Gordon won the first race at this track in 1997, and nobody's run a faster race since then. His average was 155.012mph

Nobody has more laps run at Auto Club Speedway than Jeff Burton with 4,731.

The worst average finish at the track is 37.3 by Derrike Cope, but the whole top ten of worst finishes reads like a who's who of start-and-parks.

In the Nationwide Series, three times a driver has won back-to-back races, but at the Cup level it's never been done.

Matt Kenseth won at this track last February when he started from 24th. He's also won from a 25th starting spot (2007), so don't look for him to be too upset that he's not starting closer to the front.


Comments: 2
Last Activity: 02/20/10
By Carol Einarsson | 02/18/2010

An excerpt:

Am I the only one that's never heard of Handy Manny?
Hamburger Helper is the new sponsor of the Most Popular Driver voting. I wonder if they'll be any more successful than their predecessors in getting their name married to the award.
I wonder if there's any chance that DIS will listen to the drivers and not repave that race track.
Let's all be honest here... If Dario couldn't do it, what makes Danica think she can?

Comments: 13
Last Activity: 02/21/10
By Carol Einarsson | 02/16/2010

Comments: 25
Last Activity: 02/17/10
By Carol Einarsson | 02/09/2010
CHEERS to the new and improved RACE DAY built by the Home Depot! Kyle Petty as the middle man is perfect, and guarantees increased viewership. And we like the fuller head of hair on Herman, courtesy of his new transplant.

CHEERS to Hershey痴 milk and milkshakes. I wonder how much extra chocolate milk they致e sold in the past week.

CHEERS to the Clydesdales at the track. Who doesn稚 love that? Especially since they池e at Daytona even before their new Super Bowl ad premiers. You saw 粗m here first!

Comments: 47
Last Activity: 02/15/10
By Carol Einarsson | 02/05/2010
An excerpt:

CHEERS and Prayers to Lynda Petty. On World Cancer Day, it was announced that she is fighting Central Nervous System Lymphoma. I hope she痴 feeling the prayer support from the NASCAR community and that someone is showing her the messages of support. One writer aptly called her 典he First Lady of NASCAR, bar none. Michael Waltrip told Elliott Sadler, 展hen I lived there, she kept the King from kicking me out for almost a year. RP is optimistic, as all should be, but prayer is important.

CHEERS to Mike Joy pointing out one car was unharmed in the wreck: Derrike Cope. Undamaged because it痴 so far been undriven, but still.

JEERS to Juan Pablo痴 sunglasses. If you missed them, picture white 3D glasses that you get at the theater, and that痴 what they looked like. And despite it being dark outside, he had them atop his head like he was going to use them again as soon as he was off stage.

Comments: 16
Last Activity: 02/08/10
By Carol Einarsson | 02/02/2010
CHEERS to a new 田hief appellate officer for the NASCAR court of appeals. Clearly the former servers of the position needed replacing, and we can only hope the new guy (John Middlebrook, GM exec) has a better head on his shoulders than the bozos that upheld the decision against Carl Long last year.

CHEERS to the cut in purses for NASCAR races. Do the drivers risk personal injury and death, even, to entertain us with races? Yes. But do they do it for the money? No. Sure, it痴 nice to be paid well in whatever your chosen field, but ask any guy out there and I bet they壇 do it for the trophy and covered expenses. I think 10% is a lot less than it could be cut and there wouldn稚 likely be any drivers complaining.

JEERS to El Cajon痴 塗onor of their native son, four-time champ Jimmie Johnson. They named a street after him, but the street was ALREADY named Johnson Avenue!

Comments: 22
Last Activity: 02/05/10
By Carol Einarsson | 01/28/2010
Well now it seems NASCAR is in the middle of another lawsuit and this one has the potential to blow the sombrero off the ill-conceived "Drive for Diversity" program.
It seems a certain blue-eyed, blond Puerto Rican racer named Michael Rodriguez is suing NASCAR and its program for violating his civil rights when they excluded him from the program built around encouraging minority participation.
Michael says he was referred to as "the poster boy for the Ku-Klux-Klan," and if that happened, we agree it was a wrong choice of words. However, can he really sue for a violation of civil rights when the whole program is built around excluding fair-skinned folks?

Comments: 18
Last Activity: 02/04/10
By Carol Einarsson | 01/26/2010
CHEERS to the spoiler. Okay, I know I wasn't exactly rallying around this change before, but I'm finally catching the excitement, especially when I hear that there's going to be a full-field test at Charlotte in March! Are they selling tickets? Will SPEED televise it??

CHEERS to the bigger opening in the restrictor plate, but am I the only one that wonders how much difference 1/64th of an inch can make? Let's just go crazy and have those openings be a whole inch instead of 63/64ths!

JEERS to an injury for Denny Hamlin, and we can't help appreciate the irony that when some teams restrict extra-curricular racing activities of drivers for fear they'll get hurt, something as innocent as basketball (and last year, Frisbee) can affect a whole season. He's reportedly not having surgery on it until after the season? I wonder how many times over the course of 38 races (shootout and dual included) Denny will wince when he pushes that clutch pedal.

Comments: 14
Last Activity: 02/04/10
By Carol Einarsson | 01/19/2010
An excerpt:

CHEERS to Robert Yates being recognized by the NMPA, but JEERS to another team being swallowed by "the blob". More and more it seems there are now just five teams: Hendrick, Roush, Childress, Gibbs, and the blob of teams that used to be Petty, Evernham, DEI, Ganassi, and now Yates. Yes, it's Team PEDGY! Okay, maybe since we now have such a catchy name for them, I should say CHEERS instead.

JEERS to the change from wings to spoilers. I know I'm in the minority, but I've never minded the wings. And when I think about a reactionary measure to answer the horrific wrecks we've seen lately, I can't point to the wing as being at fault, so why change it?

Comments: 47
Last Activity: 01/28/10
By Carol Einarsson | 01/13/2010

If you follow RJO on Twitter or know me on Facebook, you've likely already heard  the news. Monday afternoon, we had to say goodbye to our beloved Sugar. Despite  recent issues she'd had, we were remarkably unprepared for the loss.

It's taken me some time to put into words what Sugar meant to us because I feel so strongly that she was placed into our lives with intent and design.

Comments: 31
Last Activity: 02/04/10
By Carol Einarsson | 01/05/2010
An excerpt:

CHEERS to the final tally of $1.8 million donated by the NASCAR Foundation. And CHEERS to all of the race fans that together contributed more than 10,000 hours of volunteer work. This should have been bigger news.

CHEERS to JJ, AJ, and JPM in the Rolex 24 at Daytona race along with Paul Menard, Jamie McMurray, and Bobby Labonte. CHEERS , also, to the first feeling that the off-season will be over before we know it. Thirty-three cars will be testing at 典he Roar Before the Rolex 24.

Comments: 18
Last Activity: 02/04/10
By Carol Einarsson | 01/01/2010

Comments: 0
Last Activity: None
By Carol Einarsson | 12/29/2009
Wondering what to write this week, I faxed a simple request to the North Pole. 滴ey, Santa, What壇 you get the drivers for Christmas? Being a loyal reader, the jolly one helped out by providing details of his deposits! He was in a bit of a rush, though, what with packing for his post-Christmas vacation to Aruba, so I only got the first page, which had only the Chase drivers on it.

CHEERS to Carl Edwards getting a new Frisbee. Seems when he broke his ankle at the last outing, nobody thought to pick up the disk and bring it home, so poor Carl痴 been Frisbee-free since his untimely accident.

Comments: 6
Last Activity: 01/01/10
By Carol Einarsson | 12/24/2009
So the rules are finally set for the Bud Shootout, and while some of it makes sense, some doesn稚, and overall lemme just go on record as saying I don稚 like it.

When I was a kid in grade school, the teachers used to tell us that each year was a clean slate. What happened in fourth grade stayed in fourth grade, and come September of that year, fifth grade was a new beginning. Such is the case in every other sport, too. There is the end of one season, the winner is crowned, and while the team gets to carry the pride and the title of champion throughout the following season, he doesn稚 get any perks from it to use after the fresh start of a new year.

Next year, though, in February, the base of the field for the Shootout will be the same 12 guys that were best in the previous season. I don稚 like that. I think it痴 more of the same, I think after ten races we池e kind of done seeing those 12 together. Mix it up, start it fresh, and come up with a better idea.

Comments: 28
Last Activity: 02/04/10
By Carol Einarsson | 12/22/2009
An excerpt:

JEERS to the appointment of Marty Reid to replace Dr. Jerry Punch. Now before you jump to the conclusion that I致e lost my mind, I知 not JEERing that Punch was moved, but that Reid is the replacement. Yes, he痴 an experienced commentator, but when you think of NASCAR broadcasters, is his name even in your top 50? He痴 done IndyCar, NHRA, Formula One, USAC, motorcycle, off-road, and sports car racing events. He is not a NASCAR loyalist; not a die-hard NASCAR fan; and that is what we need in the booth.

CHEERS to ESPN, however, finally recognizing the strength they have in Jerry Punch, Pit Reporter. Long overdue, and unfortunately because of ESPN痴 bad call a couple of years ago, this will now feel to Dr. Punch like a demotion, but race fans everywhere will appreciate him back in the pits, and race coverage will benefit.

Comments: 30
Last Activity: 01/02/10
By Carol Einarsson | 12/18/2009

Here are ten things I think about Danica Patrick coming to NASCAR:

10. Danica will be good for NASCAR because there will be new interest. Maybe interest like what a bearded lady at a circus brings, or maybe more like the interest in the "window ladies" of Amsterdam's red light district.

9. Her move will be good for the financial health of JR Motorsports, and might result in more merchandise money to Dale, Jr. than he makes in race winnings at his driver job.

8. She will move the focus of the TV cameras away from the Cup drivers and back onto a Nationwide driver, even if it is just the one.

Comments: 19
Last Activity: 12/20/09
By Carol Einarsson | 12/15/2009
An excerpt:

JEERS to more lay-offs this year, and sponsor pull-outs leaving more crewmen unemployed. CHEERS , though, to Richard Childress keeping the 07 crew employed at least till after Christmas. They may fold in January if it doesn稚 come together, but at least they aren稚 getting pink slips in their RCR Christmas card.

CHEERS to Steve Addington signing on to be Kurt Busch痴 crew chief. Yes, we think it痴 an insane move that only a glutton for punishment would make, but we have to look at the other side of it and think that Addington might possibly be the world痴 biggest optimist. Besides, when he does better with Kurt than he did with Kyle, there will be one more piece of proof that Shrub isn稚 all he痴 made out to be. The brothers Busch are this decade痴 Bodines. I wonder how Christmas dinner will go in Las Vegas this year.

CHEERS to the Ronald McDonald House charities and raising awareness of the good that they do. JEERS , though to Scene Daily using the phrase 斗eading by example and 迭ay Evernham in the same sentence. And a side note, can you believe Ray J. is 18 years old now?

Comments: 34
Last Activity: 12/16/09
By Carol Einarsson | 12/11/2009

An Excerpt:

I like that you love radio-controlled airplanes and building them in your shop.

I like that you are sarcastic and that your humor is so evident in the Juicy Fruit commercial you did. "Hey, don't look at me, I'm not your puppet!"

I like that you sometimes tweet in Spanish.

Comments: 12
Last Activity: 12/18/09
By Carol Einarsson | 12/08/2009
An excerpt:

CHEERS to introducing Jeff Gordon as 滴e also has won four championships Was Jeff Gordon just introduced with a tone of 塗e痴 almost as good as Jimmie Johnson?

CHEERS to 鄭rlene, I still remember how I felt 26 years ago when we first met. It was a little funny feeling down here, kinda like butterflies. I remember it because I still get that today. You致e been the best thing that ever happened to me. And a choked up Mark Martin is the best kind. I bet every wife in the audience was jealous at that moment.

JEERS to not arranging for Cale to be there and pop onstage to surprise Jimmie. That would have been a fantastic follow-up! Maybe he could just walk out, approach Jimmie, smack him upside the head with a look of disgust, and walk off. How perfect would that have been?

Comments: 16
Last Activity: 12/11/09
By Carol Einarsson | 12/03/2009
Best Moment - The announcement of double-file restarts. There's enough belly-aching over changes that NASCAR makes from year to year, from both the drivers and the fans, but this was a winning move by the governing body. In addition to moving the lapped-down cars out of the way of those that are racing for top positions, the (finally) end to what has aggravated a certain writer for years, was a welcomed change. No more will we have race restarts with an arrow pointing to the leader seven cars back from the front and wondering who really is restarting the race when that's the leader's privilege, yet there are six rows of cars ahead of him. Sure, the drivers have grumbled, but that's only because the decision made them have to work harder to get out front again. Is that really such a bad thing?

Comments: 20
Last Activity: 12/05/09
By Carol Einarsson | 12/01/2009
An excerpt:

CHEERS to the best comment I read online all week, in response to someone痴 trash talking of Nebraska, 滴e痴 picking on the whole state? No one is from here? Only the best damned NASCAR website comes from Nebraska!!! So there you have it. If someone tweets it, it痴 true!

CHEERS to Michael Waltrip finishing the 10K in less than an hour. 58:27 to be exact.

CHEERS to Kenny Wallace痴 open admission this week that maybe the Bosley Hair transplants and dye job have made him look younger.

Comments: 28
Last Activity: 12/04/09
By Carol Einarsson | 11/26/2009
An excerpt:

So I thought about what to post at RJO for Thanksgiving. I thought about just a Thanksgiving banner, or maybe an inspiring word or two. Then I thought about what I'm thankful for and wondered, can I come up with 100 things for which to be thankful this year? Here, then, is my list of those things for which I give thanks this year. I hope you, too, have a hundred.

The new squirt bottle I have to impress a stream of water into the dog's face when he puts his nose near the cat food.

The funniest thing I witnessed this year, and even when I think of it now, I laugh out loud. It's good to be thankful for humor, even when your friend puts a microphone in his eye.

Santa Claus. The real one. The one that picked up and hugged my son on his fourth birthday, July 22, 1995, outside HyVee in Omaha, Nebraska.

Comments: 8
Last Activity: 12/01/09
By Carol Einarsson | 11/25/2009
An excerpt:

CHEERS to Tony Stewart and Juan Pablo Montoya. Yes, both left the track without comment, because really, what more needed saying? JPM was clearly mad at Tony, and Tony was quoted as saying over his radio that he deserved what Juan Pablo gave back to him.

In a time where some are calling the champion 砺anilla, Tony Stewart and Juan Pablo Montoya can best be described as 途ocky road, and NASCAR needs racers like them both.

Comments: 17
Last Activity: 12/01/09
By Carol Einarsson | 11/24/2009
An excerpt:

CHEERS to seeing Mark Martin choked up over fan appreciation. 的 don稚 know how I致e earned it. There are people who play humble for the media, but then there are rare men like Mark Martin that epitomize humble in such a way that makes him not just a sports hero, but a role model for all the rest of us. 典his is the best year of my life. I知 still that kid from Arkansas

CHEERS to a substitute tire changer for Kevin Harvick. Amid all those yellow crewmen, he looked like a ninja!

JEERS to Dr. Jerry Punch, also, assigning ownership of the 34 car to 釘rad Jenkins. I think he痴 Bob痴 little-known brother and silent partner.

Comments: 19
Last Activity: 11/24/09
By Carol Einarsson | 11/20/2009
Turner Sports and NASCAR.com are back
with a great promotion for
Race Journal Online readers,
and the prizes are aplenty!

Tell us why you want TRACKPASS,
and it might be yours for a year!

Comments: 22
Last Activity: 12/07/09
By Carol Einarsson | 11/18/2009
An excerpt:

Bobby Allison will be the Honorary Starter at the Ford 400 on Sunday. Most people don't know that he is a Miami native.

The Grand Marshal for the race, however, will be the one, the only, the dirty man we all love, Mike Rowe!

In 2003, the track was reconfigured to change the turns from mostly-flat to variable-banking. Many credit that change with greatly improving the racing at Homestead.

Comments: 16
Last Activity: 11/20/09
By Carol Einarsson | 11/17/2009
An excerpt:

CHEERS to David Reutimann going on TV every chance he could this week, and even calling Jimmie Johnson thirteen times to check on him after last week because he felt so bad that people blamed Hornish for Reut痴 mistake.

JEERS to the injuries that were sustained by the 88 crew because from the descriptions I read, it sounds like they couldn稚 have been wearing seat belts.

CHEERS to the best pit road sign in the series, and a great shot of it, inadvertently, while we were watching the miscue in the #2 pit. Did you see the sign behind him for the 00 pit? A red stop sign that says: STOP BEAK.

Comments: 28
Last Activity: 11/19/09
By Carol Einarsson | 11/11/2009

An excerpt:

Five times a driver has won at least two in a row at Phoenix. Only one driver has won three in a row, and that's Jimmie Johnson.

Up until 2007, there were three drivers (DJ, Mark Martin, and Schrader) who had started each of the 22 Cup races at PIR, but on that Veteran's Day race, Martin was on hiatus, Schrader was probably racing in three other places on the same day, and Dale Jarrett failed to qualify.

The national anthem will be performed by Brian McKnight whose talent I first came to appreciate when he was on Celebrity Apprentice. Did you know he plays nine musical instruments? I can hum.

Comments: 11
Last Activity: 11/12/09
By Carol Einarsson | 11/10/2009
An excerpt:

JEERS to highlights from last week showing JJ as 殿voiding the wreck even as they showed the video and played his spotter saying the wreck was behind him. Can you really be said to have avoided something that was behind you?

CHEERS to a quote from Denny Hamlin, 的 respect Jeff Gordon. Times are changing, though. Everyone痴 voice should be heard, not just guys that have been here the longest.

JEERS to Ryan still being sore, but since we know he痴 all right, maybe it痴 finally okay to ask the question: With news that the roll cage was pressing on his helmet, aren稚 we all glad that Ryan doesn稚 have a neck?

Comments: 62
Last Activity: 11/15/09
By Carol Einarsson | 11/05/2009

An excerpt:

Before the F1 news that Toyota was pulling out, I wonder how many people knew the president of Toyota was named Toyoda.

I wonder how many $20 fan contributions it takes for a car to run one race, as Terry Labonte's "Fan Car" will do at Homestead.

In addition to lowering ticket prices at MIS, it seems the fine folks at Michigan International Speedway are hoping to increase comfort for fans by widening the seats from 18 inches to 20 inches in some places and even 22 inches in others. Now I won't wonder what they'll call the more "spacious seats" in turn three, but I had to wonder if the musical group Queen was consulted.

Comments: 31
Last Activity: 11/09/09
By Carol Einarsson | 11/04/2009
An excerpt:

Last year痴 November race at Texas had its lowest attendance on record, and while it痴 expected to be about the same this year, it will still have a showing of more fans than any other Chase race.

More than 88 million dollars has been awarded in purse money for the 17 races held at Texas. On Sunday the purse will exceed $7.3 million.

Only one sponsor (Office Depot) has been to victory lane more than once at Texas.

This will be the fifth fall race at Texas, but the last sponsored by Dickies, the first (and only) sponsor of the November race.

Comments: 17
Last Activity: 11/06/09
By Carol Einarsson | 11/03/2009
JEERS to parking guys during practice for actually practicing? No two-car breakaways allowed. What next, no drafting? NASCAR says it can be dangerous. News flash!! Racing can be dangerous, and especially at a place like Talladega.

CHEERS to what everyone is describing as the smell of a thousand campfires at Talladega. And with that extra hour of uh sleep?... I知 sure the infield is in rare form today.

JEERS to 添ou are in control of your own actions. Then why would the guy being pushed get penalized as much as the guy pushing? How do you control the guy behind you?

Comments: 52
Last Activity: 11/06/09
By Carol Einarsson | 10/31/2009

Remember when you were a kid and you had unexplained pains? The doctor would say they were growing pains.

Or when you were a young adult and would encounter situations that you were only just learning to deal with, sometimes making the right decision and sometimes not so much? Some would call that growing pains.

In addition to the physical, growing pains are also defined as "difficulties attending any new project or any rapid development of an existing project." Welcome to my world.

Comments: 11
Last Activity: 11/02/09
By Carol Einarsson | 10/30/2009

An excerpt:

As we at RJO often contemplate What Would Mark Martin Do? I wonder if Mark Martin is spending his time right now wondering what Alan Kulwicki would do. It was 17 years ago, but with four races left in the season, AK overcame a 144-point deficit to win the championship.

I wonder where the nickname "Jangles" originated and if it's only something Krissie Newman's husband calls her or if others do, too.

I wonder if Denny Hamlin's house was up for sale before his car got stolen. And I wonder if those that stole it did so with tactical knowledge gained by posing as prospective buyers.

Comments: 12
Last Activity: 10/30/09
By Carol Einarsson | 10/28/2009
Richard Brickhouse won the first race at Talladega, in September of 1969. It was the 44th race of the season that year. Brickhouse was a replacement driver from the previous day's race asked to help fill in because of the Richard-Petty led Professional Drivers Association's strike against the speedway and its high-speed banking.
That win at the inaugural Talladega race was also the first win for Richard Childress as a car owner.
The average race speed in 1969 was 153 mph. The average race speed in the fall of 2008 was 140 mph.

Comments: 20
Last Activity: 10/29/09
By Carol Einarsson | 10/27/2009
An excerpt:

CHEERS to Mountain Heart, a group I致e never heard of, but just seeing one guy singing and the others standing by told us that it was about to get good right here in a minute, and sure enough, it did.

CHEERS to the disclaimer in the Sprint mobile commercial, 泥o not try this in your jet.
Yeah, that痴 probably worse than texting while driving.

JEERS to Kasey in the wall, and DJ again pointing that finger? Hmmm I wonder what痴 going on there. Junior gets the free pass after his splitter put a tire down on the Bud car. I wonder where NASCAR draws the line at 澱ringing out a caution.

Comments: 64
Last Activity: 10/30/09
By Carol Einarsson | 10/23/2009
An excerpt:

NASCAR has announced a new advertising campaign with 90-second ads in movie theaters. If they're so interested in attracting the movie-going crowd to become race fans, I wonder what they were thinking when they so heartily endorsed Talladega Nights.

I wonder if Rick Hendrick would let Junior take the 88 if he moved to RCR. And I wonder if Richard Childress' support and encouragement of Dale, Jr. will have the same effect that Dale Earnhardt was able to have on Michael Waltrip. Could it be there's just nobody at Hendrick that believes in Junior?

Comments: 17
Last Activity: 10/25/09
By Carol Einarsson | 10/20/2009
An excerpt:

CHEERS to the 71 bouncing off the wall but not slowing down. Just keep going no matter what. We like that attitude.

JEERS to what initially looked like a car driving twice the speed of everyone else on the track. Turns out he was only driving twice the speed of the 88. Seeing Junior take it to the garage reminds me of suing a doctor for malpractice, but then going back to him for medical care. Can that team really help fix the car they set up as crap to begin with?

JEERS to Denny saying that Mike and the guys provided him a race winning car it just wasn稚 put together. Apparently that痴 the important part.

CHEERS to Chad Knaus wearing his intensity on his sleeve. I wonder if he has an ulcer yet.

Comments: 29
Last Activity: 10/26/09
By Carol Einarsson | 10/16/2009
Kevin Harvick said there were enough cars testing at Rockingham that they could have had a race. I wonder how many people would come out to watch if NASCAR revised the testing rules to just make them into exhibition events. Anyone who wants to run, can, the winner gets a dollar and a trophy, and fans can watch in the stands for ten bucks. Proceeds go to Speedway Children's Charities.

I wonder if Jeff Burton has considered mediating between Richard Childress and Kevin Harvick. I also wonder if there's any hope for Kevin to remain at RCR beyond 2010. The "new book" statement pretty much said it all, but I hate to give up hope. Well, unless Tony has a car waiting for him over there at Stewart-Haas.

I wonder who was first to smack Russell Van Richmond upside the head for his "I'm a France, we own this city" comment. But I also wonder where he ever (cough cough cousin Brian cough) got the idea that he was above the law.

Comments: 22
Last Activity: 10/18/09
By Carol Einarsson | 10/14/2009
Kasey Kahne has won three of the last seven races here, though only one in October. In those three races, there were 36 cautions, but we can't say for sure how many pieces of debris there may not have been.

In 2004-05 Jimmie Johnson won four races in a row, sweeping both seasons at Lowe's Motor Speedway.

40 years ago in October of '69, Donnie Allison won in Charlotte in a Ford and the total purse was just over $94,000.

Comments: 6
Last Activity: 10/15/09
By Carol Einarsson | 10/13/2009
An excerpt:

CHEERS to starting with an interview with Mark Martin, but whose idea was it to put him squarely in front of that giant Target banner?

CHEERS to the girlfriend next to sick Kyle Busch. Love is one thing, but catching germs is quite another, and even if I love you, I値l just be over here if you need me, not standing too close.

JEERS to driving way too fast on the California roadways. If Jimmie Johnson grew up 塗alf an hour away from Fontana, then someone should have his license suspended for that kinda speed on the freeway.

Comments: 26
Last Activity: 10/17/09
By Carol Einarsson | 10/10/2009

Following is a list of things I learned on Twitter this week:

Kenny Wallace plays Cornhole. And if you don't know what that is, don't feel bad; I didn't either, and I even live in Nebraska! WeCreateBuzz enlightened me.

Denny Hamlin spent Wednesday driving around in a FedEx truck delivering race tickets to fans. I'm not sure if he got to drive or just ride along.

Danica Patrick can parallel park. And she impressed herself with her success. That should be qualification enough to succeed in NASCAR, right?

Comments: 6
Last Activity: 10/12/09
By Carol Einarsson | 10/09/2009

An excerpt:

1pm Eastern. That's that new time for most races. California races will start two hours later, though, which gives us time for a nap before... and during... the race. I wonder if the change in starting time will be the new excuse for why the "Hollywood" race fans aren't attending.
There's a media event to go skeet shooting with Kurt Busch. I wonder if it's best to limit that to media that have only ever said kind things about the elder Busch.
I wonder what makes anyone think Danica can even drive a stock car. Was she at least as successful in open wheel racing as Juan Pablo Montoya? I didn't think so. On top of that, what success can she possibly find in a series that is her part-time second job, something to which she can't commit to 100%? Sounds like an expensive exercise in race car demolition to me.

Comments: 19
Last Activity: 10/12/09
By Carol Einarsson | 10/06/2009
An excerpt:

CHEERS to the F-15s and the sound of those jets being the one sound that痴 even better than a full field of stock cars passing by.

JEERS to a four car wreck collecting Bobby. Max, David Ragan, Menard, and Michael Waltrip, too. We池e not even to lap ten. At this rate, the start-and-parks are gonna end up in the top 20.

CHEERS to Junior leading a lap, but JEERS that it痴 such an infrequent thing lately that they don稚 even show the crowd reaction or up the sound of the elation in the stands. Is the elation still there, I wonder?

Comments: 26
Last Activity: 10/07/09
By Carol Einarsson | 10/06/2009
Love moving into a suite at a hotel and not getting housekeeping. Just give us toilet paper each day and don稚 bother me.

Sunday is sleep-in day. Nice.

Saw Rutledge, he wore his matching shoes! Kyle Petty looked at us, tilted his head in pity and said, 典hat痴 just sad. I think he痴 jealous.

People are looking at the 渡ew kid in the work room. Yeah, that would be me.

Comments: 13
Last Activity: 10/11/09
By Carol Einarsson | 10/04/2009
It happened in the media center at the post-race press conference. I知 sure it wasn稚 the first time, either.

Someone asked Tony Stewart a question that Tony apparently didn稚 like. The question was asked about his feelings on the points system and losing the lead he had. Given that the points system has been in place now for so many years, Tony was a little irritated / annoyed / perplexed / annoyed / baffled / annoyed (pick one). Trying to save a fellow journalist from Tony痴 tirade, someone jumped in and said that Jeff Gordon is the one who brought it up first, because he was just here.

Comments: 10
Last Activity: 10/05/09
By Carol Einarsson | 10/03/2009
Same as Friday - Random observations recorded on my notepad.

They have a canine explosive detection team at Kansas. I wonder what kind of canine explosives they're expecting.

Allen Bestwick chatting from a stage near the media center to the folks on the fan walk had a great analogy about the COT. He's a baseball guy, y'know, and he says if the major leagues decided to go with a square baseball instead of a round one, eventually the teams will adapt and learn to throw and hit a square ball.

Brian in the Kansas media center is very, very  helpful! Thanks Brian!

The ESPN TV people bring about 225 people every week to each track and use 11 tractor trailer rigs.

Comments: 9
Last Activity: 10/05/09
By Carol Einarsson | 10/02/2009
Following is simply this: A list of notes I wrote during the day on Friday from Kansas.

"It would suck to fall off of this." - The assistant, while riding on the trolley to the media center.

$5 for a chicken sandwich, and it surely wasn't anywhere close to a foot long.

Met Sprint Girl Monica Palumbo, the assistant didn't want his pic taken with her, though, because he has a girl friend. Really?

Comments: 12
Last Activity: 10/05/09
By PR | 10/01/2009
Since its inception, NASCAR has been a sport of statistics.  From lap times to RPMs, the numbers behind the speed have captivated millions and provided a quantifiable measuring stick for evaluating racing greatness.

However as the Chase heads to Lowe痴 Motor Speedway on Oct. 17, multiple teams will be running pink paint schemes to recognize some drastically scarier Breast Cancer Awareness Month statistics...

Comments: 6
Last Activity: 10/03/09
By Carol Einarsson | 09/29/2009
An excerpt:

CHEERS to Chad coming down off the pit box to explain the importance of hitting every lug nut to the crew. I can稚 imagine a race situation and hearing 都tern Chad talking to you about something so obvious. And we know how important those lug nuts are to Chad.

CHEERS to Shannon Spake still climbing the box to talk to a crew chief. And to the specially-designed suit she has to allow room for growing twins!

JEERS to Elliott痴 Geek Squad car smashed up because other guys couldn稚 keep their cars straight.

JEERS to more trouble for Sam Hornish, too. Does it seem as though the non-Chasers are trying to get TV time for their sponsors?

Comments: 54
Last Activity: 10/06/09
By Carol Einarsson | 09/26/2009
One night a couple of years ago, I was getting off work. It was about 1:00am, and after putting everything away at my desk, I grabbed my purse and stood up with keys in hand. With one last glance, I noticed I壇 left my notebook out. How did I miss that? I had to stop and put my purse down again and put the notebook away in my drawer. I remember being aggravated by this stupid little inconvenience because I was ready to go. It took three seconds, but at that time of night, even a three-second delay was an annoyance. I regathered my stuff and was out the door headed home.

Approaching the first intersection, I was happy to see the light was green. I壇 be home in no time. But then my peace was shattered.

I was maybe 150 feet from the intersection, and a speeding car with headlights off blasted through the intersection from my left, running a red light at about 60mph. It literally took my breath away.

It was so close. I was so close.

Comments: 7
Last Activity: 09/28/09
By Carol Einarsson | 09/24/2009
An excerpt:

New affiliate sponsor on Martin Truex痴 car: Vaseline Men Lotion. Vaseline Men Lotion?? A hundred ideas flood my mind and darn if there isn稚 a single pleasant one.

I wonder if broken-footed tire changer Clint Pittman wishes he壇 have just been playing Frisbee that day. And I wonder if Denny Hamlin will sign his cast.

I wonder if all of the people that opposed allowing hard liquor into NASCAR are quietly satisfied at not just Jack Daniels, but also Jim Beam, saying goodbye to their NASCAR affiliations after this year.

Comments: 32
Last Activity: 09/28/09
By Carol Einarsson | 09/22/2009
An excerpt:

CHEERS to the friendship and mentorship between Mark Martin and Juan Pablo. We like those kinds of relationships in the sport, and are reminded of guys like Dale Jarrett and Elliott Sadler.

JEERS to the surprise in Dave痴 voice as he痴 still standing next to Darian Grubb, 展ow! They池e still thinkin WIN, guys! How tempting is it to give Dave a little shove off that ladder?

JEERS to another caution, this time for a spun AJ with a 3400-pound can of baked beans in his trunk. CHEERS , though, to backing up and showing us why the baked beans were angry in the first place.

Comments: 27
Last Activity: 09/23/09
By Carol Einarsson | 09/18/2009
I wonder if Carl Edwards knows it痴 Substitute Teacher Appreciation Week and if he feels like he痴 missing out.

I wonder how many other Pay-Per-View subscribers felt cheated to put out thirty bucks and not get to see Tony climb the fence at Eldora after he won.

The dominoes are starting to fall, and standing in line seems to be Casey Mears, Jamie McMurray, Elliott Sadler, and Bobby Labonte. I wonder if anyone would choose a ride at Earnhardt-Ganassi if they had an opportunity with RCR, even given their troubled past year.

Comments: 23
Last Activity: 09/20/09
By Carol Einarsson | 09/15/2009
An excerpt:

JEERS to Matt Kenseth痴 pit miss. This is just no way to watch a Daytona 500 winner痴 season end. First time missing the Chase, and a season declined. Robbie, where are you??

CHEERS to Mark Martin痴 potential to not just leave Richmond as the points leader, but being a threat to win the Championship finally. Is it too early to get our hopes up? Dare we consider that it could finally happen?

CHEERS to 展e値l have good wicks and bad wicks. Now lemme say, I like Juan Pablo. I like him quite a bit. But am I the only one that sometimes has flashbacks to I Love Lucy episodes?

Comments: 47
Last Activity: 09/18/09
By Carol Einarsson | 09/10/2009
An excerpt:

CHEERS to over 500 wins, and over 20 championships represented in the field of drivers. I wonder if they値l sell those photos for charity as well. They surely ought to.

CHEERS to Kenny Wallace reminding them that the cone is missing. And was it blowing across the track just now or being pulled to safety on a tether? Probably a tether, but it sure looked like it was running to safety.

CHEERS to the golden car of Clint Bowyer still being on the shiny side of things.

Comments: 16
Last Activity: 09/16/09
By Carol Einarsson | 09/08/2009
An excerpt:

JEERS to the frightening voice of the announcer. If anyone wasn稚 standing, that guy was gonna come grab you by the shirt collar and put you on your feet, which I guess isn稚 such a bad thing.

CHEERS to a night race, and how in the dark of a race car, Junior痴 gloves make it look like a skeleton is driving. Spooky, but cool.

JEERS to having to back up the 48 to the garage, but CHEERS to the way it looked like he was trying to escape the crewman that was chasing him on foot.

Comments: 36
Last Activity: 09/10/09
By Carol Einarsson | 09/03/2009
An excerpt:

I wish I could shake the nature to root against those that would replace a favorite driver, but while I'm sure Erik Darnell is a nice enough guy, I'm secretly hoping his engine blows, his tires go flat, and he ends up not even qualifying for the races in which he's entered.
Could I be a little more fair and a little more politically correct? Probably. But could I be more disappointed to see a driver kicked out of his ride? Not since Kyle Petty got ousted from his own family business.

Comments: 30
Last Activity: 09/08/09
By Carol Einarsson | 09/01/2009
An excerpt:

CHEERS to rain gear, but what痴 it say for all of Rain-X痴 claims that they also have windshield wipers?

CHEERS to Dave痴 reaction echoing our own, 鉄cuba divers? Yikes!! What kind of wreck would have to happen for a race car to fly into the river? And would that be a local yellow, or a full-course caution, I wonder. It痴 not like the car would be in the way of anyone else.

JEERS to a spinning Earnhardt. I wonder if a wrecking Wallace was anywhere nearby.

Comments: 25
Last Activity: 09/03/09
By Carol Einarsson | 08/28/2009
Wednesday night Ray Evernham and Erin Crocker got married. The article I read said it was a happy ending, but I can't help but wonder how the family Ray left behind feels about it. Is it really happy for Ray Jay?

Dick Berggren is stepping down from his position at our favorite racing magazine. I hope he's not done broadcasting, too. Even so, what will it be like to hear Matt Yocum throw to Dr. Berggren without the preface of "...and the Editor of Speedway Illustrated,..."

Kyle Busch gave his victory flag to a "young Kyle Busch fan", he says. Okay, so she looked like she was only two or three years younger than him, but still. Turning over a new leaf? Michael Waltrip says he thinks Shrub is in counseling now. I still think the Marty Smith interview was his turning point.

Comments: 13
Last Activity: 09/16/09
By Carol Einarsson | 08/25/2009
An excerpt:

CHEERS to the best Bristol motto ever, 添ou can only be patient for so long And what is that time frame, I wonder, five laps?

JEERS to the problem being with Tony痴 helmet. That痴 a complicated thing to have to change without a lot of cockpit room, and so many things attached to it, not the least of which is Tony痴 head.

CHEERS to the sparks that the rotors make after departure from the car, as they skid along the track. That is some kinda cool-lookin debris right there! Now if we could make ALL debris do that, we壇 never have to question NASCAR about their cautions.

Comments: 26
Last Activity: 08/26/09
By Carol Einarsson | 08/22/2009
An excerpt:

CHEERS to Chase Austin in a series where he belongs. The Nationwide Series is not the Cup Series, and if you expect all of the drivers are going to be as predictable as they are in the highest league, you池e gonna walk away with a wrecked car.

JEERS to scrambling cameras, though, stalking a hot-headed driver looking for what, a Tony-Stewart-esque media encounter? Not smart.

CHEERS to Peyton Sellers out of the care center, 展e were just trying to be a rookie tonight. Well, you池e out early with a smashed car, so we値l call it a success.

CHEERS to Carl Edwards thinking as he痴 speaking, 的 think he痴 gonna take the top and I知 best on the bottom And the very next moment we could hear his realization that this wasn稚 a private cell-phone call with DJ. Doh!!

Comments: 8
Last Activity: 08/27/09
By Carol Einarsson | 08/21/2009
So here it is, in honor of RJO's Bristol Bonanza 2009, we're having a contest sponsored by ESPN and Bristol Motor Speedway. The prize is a $25 gift card to use at the NASCAR.com Superstore!

The contest will run from now until 11:59pm Saturday night, August 22nd, 2009. And that's Central Time, by the way. It's simple -- just answer the trivia questions and the one with the most right answers wins. (Tip: You might wanna check out NASCAR.com for the answers!) In the event of a tie, a random draw will happen among all of those with the correct answers.

REVISION: You do not have to include the link, just your answers!

Comments: 12
Last Activity: 08/26/09
By Carol Einarsson | 08/19/2009
An excerpt:

CHEERS to saying that Jason Struck was pulling down to give Busch the high line Did it look to anyone else like he was doing that because the 10 truck was blocking that high line?

JEERS to not being able to add fuel AND tires on one pit stop. Sure, it sounds like a novel idea, but yet they still have invisible debris cautions.

CHEERS to an exhaust system that you can use not just on your own camper, but on your neighbor痴 camper, too!

Comments: 9
Last Activity: 08/21/09
By Carol Einarsson | 08/19/2009
Get ready for race week at Bristol with this special all-video reminder of why we love the August night race!

An excerpt:

The best-looking winning car in Victory Lane was in 1995.

The most memorable racing quote ever came from Dale Earnhardt at Bristol in 1999.

Comments: 10
Last Activity: 08/22/09
By Carol Einarsson | 08/18/2009
An excerpt:

CHEERS to Kurt Busch, the in-race reporter. Now the question is whether or not he can think of big words to misuse during cautions in the race car.

JEERS to asking your crew chief, 泥id you try to kill me? I think that wins for the best description ever of loose. There痴 loose, there痴 wicked loose, and then there痴 杜y crew chief tried to kill me loose.

JEERS to a tire problem putting Robby Gordon in the wall. I wonder if he痴 ever considered changing his number from 7 to something a little luckier maybe 13?

Breaking News: Brian Vickers has re-signed with Red Bull ... finally!

Comments: 35
Last Activity: 08/21/09
By Carol Einarsson | 08/13/2009
An excerpt:

But turn nine? Really? We'll let wrecks continue race after race at a high-speed track like Talladega and not "fix" it, but one wreck happens in turn nine at Watkins Glen, and change must happen and it must happen now? Is it because Jeff Gordon was involved? I'm pretty sure it isn't because Sam Hornish was involved, or else this same uproar would have followed last year's race.

Comments: 24
Last Activity: 08/14/09
By Carol Einarsson | 08/11/2009
CHEERS to showcasing Max Papis. Seeing him on Trackside this week immediately warmed our hearts to him and made us want to see more of him on the track.

CHEERS to Reed Sorenson痴 crew chief who told him no fewer than five times to take it to the garage. So I wonder if they値l be taking the car to the garage.

JEERS to Vince, the inept pit reporter, asking Frank Kerr if the car was chewing up fuel. 添ou池e not, of course, using fuel now, as we池e under a red flag. Nice observation.

Comments: 35
Last Activity: 08/14/09
By Carol Einarsson | 08/06/2009

An excerpt:

A driver who is looking for a ride can buy into a car in a race-by-race lease agreement. He has to pay the team half of his winnings in the race. If he wrecks the car and it痴 his fault, he has to pay 75% of his winnings.

The driver has to have entered at least 80% of the races in the current (or previous) year to be eligible, and he has to have completed at least 75% of the laps (都tart and park drivers are not eligible, nor are driver-owners).

Entry-level sponsors can buy a hood sponsorship for a set price, so in addition to the driver's financial contribution, the cost would be further offset by any sponsorship. That sponsorship could also be sold on a weekly basis.

Comments: 6
Last Activity: 08/06/09
By Carol Einarsson | 08/04/2009
An excerpt:

CHEERS to letting Greg work on his car from time to time. Maybe if they壇 let him work on it in the garage, he wouldn稚 use the outside wall to adjust it on the track.

JEERS to being away at commercial when Stremme had about enough of Robby. CHEERS , though, to putting BOTH cars five laps down. Did Punch just say what I think he did? 典he 12 car for aggressive driving; the 7 car in the penalty box for attempting to be aggressive.  That痴 the best penalty ever given! 鄭ttempting to be aggressive.

Comments: 56
Last Activity: 08/13/09
By Carol Einarsson | 08/04/2009
An excerpt:

CHEERS to the irony of Rusty Wallace asking a driver how he sets his speed so he doesn稚 get a ticket on pit road.

CHEERS to Jerry Punch and his story of Benny Parsons not pitting because the crew was having ice cream, and Richard Childress having two pieces of fried chicken on a pit stop.

Comments: 6
Last Activity: 08/04/09
By Carol Einarsson | 08/03/2009
An excerpt:

If you've ever loved a car, you'll understand. Mike Joy told the story of his father's car during the Barrett Jackson auction. I think he壇 understand. Richard Hammond, whose affection for Oliver is memorable to all Top Gear fans, would understand. David Ragan who ran a VIN to find his dad痴 old 1966 Corvette and buy it back for him for Father痴 Day would understand.

Comments: 14
Last Activity: 08/13/09
By Carol Einarsson | 07/31/2009
An excerpt:

Was anyone wondering what happened to Derrike Cope at Indy? His website says we were probably all wondering, but I know I wasn稚. And I don稚 think I know anyone that was. Well, in case you were, apparently he wasn稚 running well enough to qualify.

Comments: 15
Last Activity: 08/01/09
By Carol Einarsson | 07/28/2009
An excerpt:

CHEERS to pointing out that all the Hendrick cars are in the top ten, but JEERS to not pointing out especially that Jimmie Johnson is fourth after starting 16th. That graphic would have been all the more impressive if it had included the starting positions of those four Hendrick drivers.

CHEERS to Juan Pablo Montoya being the best example of how to give a post-race interview despite the greatest adversity. No fewer than 15 microphones in his face and he graciously says, 的t is what it is. I think today I just became a fan. 徹nce it happens, you can稚 change it.

Comments: 36
Last Activity: 08/01/09
By Carol Einarsson | 07/27/2009
An excerpt:

Imagine their horror, then, when they heard Brad Daugherty telling the world that Juan Pablo had dominated the race so far, and "I don't see that changing in the last 45 laps..." He may as well have said, "That's it, folks, you can just turn off your TVs now and take the family to the zoo, because there's nothing more to see here." I can't imagine a more amateur mistake for a broadcaster to make than that. (And given how quickly we know that door is opened from NASCAR control into the TV broadcast booth, I bet the chairs hadn't yet stopped rolling across the floor by the time someone was asking Brad if he could please try to never ever again say something like that to the TV audience.)

Comments: 47
Last Activity: 07/31/09
By Carol Einarsson | 07/26/2009

We Don't Need No Stinkin' Bricks - Thoughts on moving the restart line at Indy.

Show Me the Money - Brian Vickers a free agent?

Twitter Me This! - Kenny Wallace makes an insightful remark

Did We Test Enough? - Goodyear afraid of jet dryers?

Comments: 8
Last Activity: 07/26/09
By Richard D Fox | 07/24/2009
ワdvzljk a Budapest 駸 a Hungaroringen!

The Hungaroring circuit was built outside the national capitol of Budapest thanks to Bernie Ecclestone's desire to expand Formula One into what he saw as a vast untapped market behind the Iron Curtain.  While Bernie's preference was for a race in the Soviet Union, preferably in Moscow, a combination of factors led to the decision to instead build a track in the (then) relatively-open state of Hungary. 

Construction of the track started in October 1985, and the first race was held there in late March 1986, with the F1 "circus" making its first appearance there in August of that year. The track, despite criticisms, has remained a late-July/early-August staple of the schedule ever since, and last April, the track's contract was extended through 2016.  While widely criticized by many fans, the track is unlikely to ever be removed from the schedule, as the race is promoted by Bernie Ecclestone's company, Formula One Management, which holds the commercial rights to Formula One and is thus able to decide which tracks host Grands Prix--a situation similar to the connection between NASCAR and the International Speedway Corporation.

Comments: 25
Last Activity: 07/30/09
By Carol Einarsson | 07/24/2009
I wonder what UPS will do if Roush kicks David Ragan out of the fold. We like Jamie McMurray and think he痴 a great guy, but David Ragan had a nightmarish rookie year and basically had to step it up or be kicked out. He stepped it up in a big way and his reward is that he痴 still gonna be kicked out?

Big news that DeWalt is leaving Roush and Matt Kenseth. I wonder if they致e changed gears over there and stopped working on a sponsor package for Jamie McMurray and begun scrambling to make sure Kenseth has funding for next year.

Comments: 23
Last Activity: 07/27/09
By Mom | 07/22/2009

To the Best Assistant Ever!

Comments: 7
Last Activity: 07/22/09
By Carol Einarsson | 07/21/2009
Reports are abundant that Kevin Harvick wants out, and I'm not sure how I feel about that, but it's a range of emotion that stretches all the way back to his arrival at Richard Childress Racing.
He'd been hand-picked by Dale Earnhardt to be his eventual successor, but nobody (certainly not Dale himself) knew how soon that would happen. But when it did, he was embraced. The number was changed, but while the 29 was the official number, a small 3 has adorned the car ever since. Even through team swaps years ago, that car has still been understood to be Dale's old car. Change the number, change the team, change the sponsor, change the driver... it's all okay; it's still Dale's old car, and Chocolate Myers will attest to that as well.

Comments: 17
Last Activity: 07/23/09
By NASCAR Press Release | 07/17/2009

An excerpt:

Nearly 30 Web Sites Given Access, Tools To Cover NASCAR

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (July 17, 2009) The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) today announced the members of the newly-formed 哲ASCAR Citizen Journalists Media Corps. This group of new media consists of a range of professional and amateur experience covering NASCAR. One common theme is that each site is dedicated to providing information about NASCAR to a growing readership.

After a lengthy review process, which included evaluating independent Web sites on professionalism, reporting and commentary, and use of social networking tools, 28 sites were invited to be part of the new media corps. In addition, NASCAR Public Relations has launched a page on Delicious.com (http://delicious.com/NASCARSays) that provides links to each of the Citizen Journalists web sites.

Comments: 24
Last Activity: 07/24/09
By Carol Einarsson | 07/16/2009
Now that Jeremy has again tested positive for meth, and this from the test that he was reportedly trying to avoid, the Internet is abuzz with opinion. In case you missed the AP article, it's here.And to read Jeremy's rebuttal on Sirius with Buddy Baker, click here.

The long and short of it:
  • Marty Smith has a timeline of the alleged avoidance of the drug test.
  • Mayfield says he didn't avoid anything.
  • NASCAR says he's again positive and has an affidavit from his step mother that she's witnessed him using.
  • Mayfield says his stepmother shot and killed his father and she's a liar.
  • Mayfield also says that if Brian France is calling him a drug user, it's the pot calling the kettle black.
  • The last employee resigned from Mayfield Motorsports and Jeremy says he's done racing.

What do you say?

Comments: 51
Last Activity: 07/27/09
By Carol Einarsson | 07/14/2009
An excerpt:

JEERS to the Goodyear blimp graphic where Goodyear claims to boost your fuel mileage. With the blimp bumping the fuel gage from empty to full, I couldn稚 help but wonder if that isn稚 an infringement of Sunoco痴 place as the official fuel of NASCAR.

CHEERS to catching Kyle with a french fry in his mouth. I wonder if Ralph used to be a waiter. 滴ow is everything? 溺rgphga..

JEERS to Burton getting the short end of the stick again! I think Richard Childress must need to go big game hunting here pretty soon and make it an extended trip!

Comments: 45
Last Activity: 07/24/09
By Carol Einarsson | 07/13/2009
CHEERS to the Nurburgring! Jackie Stewart called it 鍍he green hell, but BBC enthusiasts will remember Sabine Schmitz痴 laps in a Ford Transit around The Ring on Top Gear.

JEERS to Mark Webber seeming so nonchalant about the pole position. 添eah, it痴 fine. It痴 a good position to start the race. It痴 his first pole, even! I think Peter Windsor was more excited than Weber was.

CHEERS , though, to Ruben Barrichello smiling and happy about the outside pole.

JEERS to my tendency to keep reaching for the remote thinking I can fast forward through the commercials. After all, it痴 two in the afternoon, and this is Formula One.

Comments: 7
Last Activity: 07/14/09
By Richard D Fox | 07/09/2009
An excerpt:

The best summary of this weekend's race came from Bob Varsha's introduction to the race broadcast on Speed a year or two back.  I don't remember the precise start of the quote, but I'll do my best to repeat it; the important part starts with "find," and THAT part, I remember word-for-word:  "Lying in the mountains between Cologne and Frankfurt, you'll find the world's greatest race track, and today... we're at the one they built next to it."

Comments: 5
Last Activity: 07/09/09
By Carol Einarsson | 07/07/2009
An excerpt:

CHEERS to 溺y reaction time is not what it was 25 years ago, but what I do with that reaction time is better. I have as much fire and desire every day that I go to the race track as any 20 year old.

JEERS to the overhead shot that was our first realization that they didn稚 sell any tickets at all on the backstretch.

CHEERS to 添our butt never lies. I値l second guess my crew chief. I値l second guess the tire guy. I値l second guess everybody, but I won稚 second guess my butt. We especially liked the silence that followed that declaration because we imagined that in the booth, thumbs were on mute buttons to cover the laughter.

JEERS to Stremme nearly hitting a crewman in the pit behind his own, but CHEERS to a Goodyear body shield.

Comments: 58
Last Activity: 07/12/09
By Carol Einarsson | 07/02/2009
An excerpt:

I wonder if followers of Juan Pablo Montoya's twitter wish they'd paid more attention in Spanish class. And I also wonder if I'm the only one that copies and pastes his tweets into an online translator to see what he said.

Daytona has a new texting service where fans can text an emergency directly to their "command center". I wonder what happens in the hot summer sun on the 4th of July when guys with phones have had a few too many beers. If they're not dialing 911, I can't imagine it's against the law.

I wonder what's worse for a reputation: Jeremy Mayfield, had he gone to rehab and come back as a driver who admitted his human condition but overcame the problem, or Jeremy Mayfield, accused meth user who got out of his suspension on a technicality that he didn't get to pick the lab for his second specimen to be tested.

Comments: 50
Last Activity: 07/11/09
By Carol Einarsson | 06/30/2009
An excerpt:

CHEERS to seeing 斗ittle Jimmie Johnson! And that was before he knew not to put the trophy in front of his face. It was nice to see those highlights, and especially with the accompanying race footage that had been called by Ralph Sheheen all those years ago.

CHEERS to the booth improvement at TNT. Ralph Sheheen has worked long and hard in the business and it痴 nice to see him get that recognition. One nice side benefit is that his voice is (at least for me) so tied to lower series that inherently have more excitement, so just hearing him calling the race makes it feel more exciting already!

CHEERS to Jeff Burton, 展e値l go build some more stuff and come back... Nine races is an eternity in this sport. Is there a more level-headed guy in the sport than Jeff Burton? 展e致e wrecked  here on single-file restarts, too; let痴 be clear about that.

Comments: 46
Last Activity: 07/05/09
By Carol Einarsson | 06/25/2009
An excerpt:

Watching NASCAR Smarts brings me the same kind of joy I used to feel watching the old "expert panel" on our favorite Monday Night Show back before it was split up and reorganized. (I enjoy the new TWIN, but in a different way than when Kenny and Johnny were sharing the desk.) Did that show provide serious insight into the weekly race and provide highly-technical details of mechanical issues? No. But was it an hour of fun with NASCAR personalities that made us feel we were in on the joke? Absolutely! Fans of that old show likely still recall the video of Michael Waltrip, Johnny Benson, and Ken Schrader skipping down pit road holding hands.

Comments: 27
Last Activity: 06/29/09
By Carol Einarsson | 06/23/2009
An excerpt:

CHEERS to 笛ust save us three laps.. THREE? I知 siding with Wally over Larry Mac. That seems an awful lot on a track like this, even with the downhill part.

CHEERS to physics!! The 18 hits Hornish, and as Hornish spins, he hits the 18. We love immediate justice like that.

CHEERS to Boris either not hearing or ignoring Frankie痴 pleading to conserve fuel. 的 think he thinks if you get up next to somebody really close and just root 粗m outta the way, they値l carry you down the straightaway.

Comments: 29
Last Activity: 06/24/09
By Carol Einarsson | 06/22/2009
CHEERS to The Stig at the last race at Silverstone! What a surprising treat that was!

CHEERS to the wheels of change, and 典heir ace, Jenson Button has all but replaced Lewis Hamilton in British hearts As happy as I am for Jenson, part of me feels kinda bad for ol Lewis, a victim of his team痴 inability to think outside the box.

CHEERS to Silverstone, but why they池e abandoning it when it is packed even on Saturday is a mystery to anyone with a clue about good business practice.

JEERS to an F1 split, and Ecclestone running his multi-billion dollar business into the ground. Say goodnight, Bernie.

Comments: 8
Last Activity: 06/23/09
By Mike Deutsch | 06/20/2009
It goes without saying that, while I think water/sand barrels are superior to tractor tires as barriers, I definitely think tires are a better barrier than nothing!

Race tracks, like many businesses, generally maintain their physical plants in such a manner as to promote maximum productivity and profitability. A track will prefer to, say, widen pit road or add suites for sponsors, before replacing fencing or other on-track barriers. This attitude is abetted, in some aspects, by the "release policy," which basically leaves it up to the competitor to determine if the facility is safe enough for him/her to race. From the competitor's standpoint, however, if he/she doesn't sign the release, they don't race, and they don't get paid. So they sign, accept the risks that may or may not be evident to them, and unload the car.

Comments: 4
Last Activity: 07/15/09
By Carol Einarsson | 06/19/2009
An excerpt:

Off topic, I know, but I wonder if the makers of Aciphex ever said that word out loud before deciding that was the perfect name for their product. If you池e like me and spend more time listening to TV than watching it, you致e probably looked up with a 展hat壇 he say?! only to see that it痴 not spelled the way it sounds.

David Gilliland will be driving the Dreyer's Ice Cream Toyota in Saturday's race. An ice-cream man in the race? I wonder if they put a string in the car for him to pull and make happy music. I think that would be the best way to announce his arrival on pit road.

Comments: 21
Last Activity: 06/27/09
By Richard D. Fox | 06/18/2009
An excerpt

Add in the fact that the field is closer than I've ever seen it, from the front to the back, the jumbling of the grid by the new rules that have seen perennial back-markers at the pointy end of the grid, and the unbeatable superteams struggling just to score points, drivers seemingly having decided to throw caution to the wind now that they all have a genuine shot at the podium, and cars that are not glued to the pavement by their downforce any more, but instead are a bit twitchy and unbalanced, and you've got a recipe for a fun way to spend a couple of hours before the Cup race--particularly since, presumably, everyone will be in a road-racing mode this weekend, anyway.

Comments: 3
Last Activity: 06/18/09
By Carol Einarsson | 06/16/2009
An excerpt:

CHEERS to Tony with a shout-out to Johnny; why nobody at TNT did that on the pre-race, I have no idea. Rather disappointing, really.

CHEERS to all the guys finally realizing that their number one sponsor needs more help. It痴 great to talk about 3M and Aflac, but to tell people to drive a Ford and to remind fans that Ford gets good fuel mileage is probably long overdue, but good to finally hear.

JEERS to the impact that the COT may have on GM. If the cars looked even remotely like the product they池e selling, perhaps it would be a better platform for their advertising dollars.

Comments: 36
Last Activity: 06/20/09
By Carol Einarsson | 06/15/2009
It's been a month since the relaunch and a lot has happened in those 30 days! The All-Star Race and Carl Long's suspension, Jeremy Mayfield's expulsion, Tony Stewart and David Reutimann both enjoying first victories in different ways, Dale Jr losing his Crew Chief cousin, and a rule change to allow double-file restarts.

But a lot has happened around here, too! We're continuing to grow in readership and in features. We have widgets, we have easy-to-find archives, we have a site moderator helping out, and we're working on new features all the time that will be coming soon.

Comments: 11
Last Activity: 06/19/09
By Carol Einarsson | 06/13/2009
An excerpt:

This awning that I had been stressing about was apparently not up to code.  How it became "out" of code, I don't know, presuming it was ever "in" code at the time it was built. Evidently the difference was between a 2x4 and a 2x6. Thankfully they didn't slap me with a $200,000 fine for those two inches or kick me out of my house for 12 weekends, so I consider myself quite fortunate.

Comments: 2
Last Activity: 06/14/09
By Carol Einarsson | 06/12/2009

An excerpt:

I wonder if Kurt Busch knows he's the only driver to win at Michigan in either of the top two series since 1998 and not have an "e" in his name. Obscure, yes, but now you know. And in case you were wondering, the e-less winner prior was Mark Martin.

I wonder if Roger Penske has considered a Saturn IROC series. Wouldn't that be a fantastic marriage? Quick, call the Signore brothers!

Comments: 32
Last Activity: 06/16/09
By Carol Einarsson | 06/10/2009
An excerpt:

He is a racer to the core, born into the genetic need for speed. He痴 an upstanding family man, a good role model, a great spokesman, and in need of a sponsor.

Sponsorship of Johnny is good for business. He痴 a proven winner with legions of loyal fans that will buy your product, hire your service, subscribe to your website, or patronize your business in whatever other way applies. And they値l tell their friends to do the same.

Comments: 12
Last Activity: 06/15/09
By Carol Einarsson | 06/09/2009
An excerpt:

CHEERS to tools of the trade: Crayola Crayons. We have to appreciate, though, the old-school ways of grabbing the wire.

JEERS to the fastest car in practice apparently being used up before the race.

CHEERS to Ryan Newman, and then Jamie McMurray, and then Elliott Sadler each taking turns in the lead before they pit. And speaking of Elliott, did anyone else get the feeling during Trackside on Friday night that Miss Amanda might be expecting?

Comments: 30
Last Activity: 06/12/09
By Carol Einarsson | 06/08/2009
An excerpt:

CHEERS to the back side of the Red Bull pit sign where the bull is lying on his back with his feet up in the air like a dead bull rather than a Red Bull.

JEERS to the stand-off that痴 happening right now in Formula One. Was nothing at all learned from Indy? I know we池e in the U.S., but surely they at least heard about it, right?

CHEERS , though, to Vettel ignoring the order. He may still let Mark finish ahead, but he痴 not about to let it look like a whoopin. (Is there such a thing as a whoopin in Formula One?)

Comments: 7
Last Activity: 06/09/09
By Carol Einarsson | 06/07/2009
An excerpt:

Opponents of the double-file restart say that it only gives NASCAR more power to control the outcome because it puts the power in their hands and their hands only who will get a lap back and when, by virtue of the Lucky Dog. Gone are the days, they say, when anyone can race his way back onto the lead lap.

Comments: 9
Last Activity: 06/11/09
By Carol Einarsson | 06/05/2009
I致e intentionally waited on this subject because I was so hopeful (expectant, even) that the appeals board would bring some sense to the Carl Long matter. After all, Buddy Baker is on that board this year, and surely a level-headed guy like Buddy would be able to see the right thing to do and even if the others didn稚, Buddy could influence them towards good sense. My hopes (and the hopes of Carl Long and his family and team) have now officially been shattered.

Comments: 31
Last Activity: 06/07/09
By Carol Einarsson | 06/04/2009
An excerpt:

Dale Earnhardt raced guys the way they could handle. He wasn稚 aggressive towards guys that he knew couldn稚 control a loose race car (made loose, of course, by him). If he were, there wouldn稚 have been any rookies left. Rather, he raced them as much as he knew they could manage. And when all was said and done, he had the respect of his peers. He had the friendship of his peers. Sure, they壇 get mad at him (滴ave you ever heard him say he means to spin ANYbody out? Terry Labonte), but they壇 also forgive him and laugh about it later. Terry Labonte had a smile on his face even that night in Bristol after the infamous wreck in 1999.

Comments: 66
Last Activity: 06/08/09
By Carol Einarsson | 06/02/2009
An excerpt:

CHEERS to Reed taking the lead and not just under caution. He loosened up the leader and drove on by. What痴 gotten into Reed? Whatever it is,we like it!

JEERS to one tire blowing Tony Raines car all to pieces. Not such a good year after all, is it?

CHEERS to Jamie McMurray whose comedic talent is probably the most underrated of all, upon getting the lucky dog, 土es, yes, 10-4. And I think back to his banquet speech of years ago, and I don稚 think even HE appreciates how funny he is. He痴 either comedy genius or just a goofball. I think it痴 the former.

Comments: 43
Last Activity: 06/04/09
By Carol Einarsson | 05/29/2009

An excerpt:

Rick Hendrick doesn't want to lay blame on the shoulders of any one person, yet it seems only one person has been replaced. Tony Eury, Jr. is out as crew chief for the sport's most popular driver, and given how we know Dale Earnhardt, Jr. feels about his cousin, this surely will be a transition he will struggle to embrace. Does he want to succeed? Surely he does. But it seems more than anything else, he wants to succeed with his cousin by his side.

Comments: 21
Last Activity: 06/05/09
By Carol Einarsson | 05/28/2009
Did you wake up one day to find that the NASCAR widget you had on your site had vanished? Me too! Our friends over at One Bad Wheel.com had made some great widgets that were popular among racing website owners for their convenience and content. Sadly, though, the owner of the site closed up shop to pursue other interests, and widgets all around the globe were lost.  Now there's a solution!

Comments: 13
Last Activity: 05/29/09
By Carol Einarsson | 05/27/2009
CHEERS to the Celtic Force Pipers! Can稚 get enough of Amazing Grace on bagpipes, and I bet they could be heard all the way to downtown Charlotte!

CHEERS to the 21 gun salute. Seven guns, three shots. I値l never forget.

Comments: 46
Last Activity: 06/02/09
By Carol Einarsson | 05/25/2009

CHEERS to my favorite F1 track for the beauty of its home, the tight turns of the streets, and of course, that fantastic tunnel!

CHEERS to Peter Windsor痴 warm memories of his father bringing him to the track as a boy.

Comments: 9
Last Activity: 05/29/09
Concord, N.C., May 22, 2009 Ladies and gentlemen, start your grills!  Coca-Cola ignited the summer BBQ season Memorial Day weekend by firing up the nation痴 longest grill at the site of NASCAR痴 longest race, the Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe痴 Motor Speedway.

Requiring more than 7,000 pounds of Kingsfordョ Charcoal, the monster-sized ring of fire measured an astonishing 1,320 feet and would span more than four football fields in length if stretched end to end.  The colossal grill was used to cook up a feast for fans attending the 鼎oca-Cola Quarter-Mile Cookout on Friday, May 22.

Comments: 4
Last Activity: 05/24/09
By Carol Einarsson | 05/22/2009
I wonder if anyone in the Mayfield camp has considered that if he files a lawsuit against NASCAR or Aegis Sciences Corp, he no longer gets to enjoy their silence on the matter and the exact drug for which he tested positive will become a matter of public record in their defense.

In NASCAR痴 investigation of declining TV ratings, I wonder if anyone is looking at the length of the broadcast. Or the gopher cartoons.

Comments: 18
Last Activity: 05/24/09
By Carol Einarsson | 05/19/2009
CHEERS to SPEED. The week of TV they致e provided has been a treat to NASCAR fans with hour after hour of original programming from the extra editions of NASCAR Smarts (my favorite of which had a panel of Rutt, Kyle Petty, Schrader, and Kenny Wallace), to all of the My All Star Win programs that were a look back to some of our best racing memories. They致e long been our favorite channel for NASCAR programming, and this week has proven why.

CHEERS to 25 years of All Star racing, but JEERS to an All Star race without Humpy Wheeler.

Comments: 60
Last Activity: 05/25/09
By Carol Einarsson | 05/15/2009

Welcome to RJO 2.0!

How do you like the new place? I know, it's a big change, isn't it? It's been a long time coming, and I couldn't be more pleased with the outcome! I'm excited to introduce our new webmaster, but more on that in a minute.

Comments: 34
Last Activity: 06/01/09
By Carol Einarsson | 05/12/2009
CHEERS to all the mothers at the track and the effects they have on their sons, no matter how grown. Even Denny Hamlin was smiling!

CHEERS to the dads at the track, too, in the form of past Darlington winners, especially the much appreciated Ned sighting!

CHEERS to Billy Currington because the anthem at the Southern 500 should always have that kinda drawl to it.

CHEERS to 350 gallons of paint to get the wall striped red and white. I especially like that Mike Joy referenced the origin being Winston.

CHEERS to "Sons, start your engines!" We love the Mother's Day race at Darlington for so many reasons! We like moms at the track, we like night racing, we like Darlington, we like history, but especially we like thumbing our nose to NASCAR who mistakenly thought assigning a Mother's Day Weekend race to Darlington would bury her once and for all.

Comments: 26
Last Activity: 05/21/09
By Carol Einarsson | 05/11/2009

CHEERS to Jenson Button on the pole AGAIN! And the joy of his father was shared by all.

CHEERS to the Acura commercial for the American Le Mans Series. The testing round for the next generation of Acura automobiles.

CHEERS to Giancarlo, happy to talk to Peter. And we like Peter's encouragement that at least he's starting in a place to avoid the first turn wreck. He said it so certain that it was inevitable.

JEERS to showing the guy going off for a bathroom break as he appears to be... um.. de-wedging himself?

JEERS to the dismay in Peter Windsor's voice at the presence of all the greats at the back of the grid.

Comments: 12
Last Activity: 05/13/09
By Carol Einarsson | 05/09/2009
mothers Pictures, Images and Photos

This warmed my heart today:

"A mother's influence is so great that we model it even when we don't realize it, and we return to itoften to the surprise of others. And so, mothers, don't ever forget the permanence of your imprint. The kids may seem ungrateful, they may act irresponsible, they may even ignore your reminders and forget your advice these days. But believe this: They cannot erase your influence. Hats off to every one of you!"

-Chuck Swindoll

Comments: 3
Last Activity: 05/13/09
By Carol Einarsson | 05/09/2009
From Jim Hunter, "Jeremy Mayfield... has been indefinitely suspended from NASCAR for violating the sanctioning body's substance abuse policy."

Also suspended were Tony Martin, crewmember on the #34 Cup team, and Ben Williams crewmember on the #16 Nationwide team.

Alcohol was ruled out as the substance.

Comments: 51
Last Activity: 05/13/09
By Carol Einarsson | 05/07/2009

Both NASCAR and F1 fans are shocked today at the news from yesterday. Two men who likely never met and lived entirely different lives are both announced dead.

One of them is the eldest son of Formula One boss Max Mosley. Alexander Mosley was a successful mathematician who had recently opened a restaurant in London. He was found dead from a drug overdose in his three-million dollar home.

The other is Kevin Grubb, former Nationwide Series driver whose career was derailed by substance abuse. He was found dead, alone in a motel room outside of Richmond, Virginia. His cause of death has not been released, but he was just 31 years old.

Two hurting families, two tragic losses that could have been avoided. It doesn't matter if a family is worth millions or scraping to get by, the pain of losing a loved one this way cuts just as deeply.

Comments: 14
Last Activity: 05/10/09
By Carol Einarsson | 05/05/2009
CHEERS to SPEED always being there when we need them. From televising all the fun stuff we want to see like bus races and the legends race and the poker tournament and the bobsled races, to bailing out FOX when they choose baseball over NASCAR. And of course...

JEERS to FOX dumping NASCAR for baseball. What happened to the practice of moving the end of whatever sport is being broadcast to another channel like they've done to race fans in the past? And they mentioned it on FOX, but they couldn't even put up a scroll in case someone was tuning in at 6:01? I was already on SPEED when they told me to stay put, but what about fans that weren't?

David's Cookies Mother's Day 2009

Comments: 51
Last Activity: 05/07/09
By Carol Einarsson | 04/29/2009

It's hard to say what David Poole meant to me. Honestly I'd never thought of it until I saw the headline that he was gone. I think it's safe to say that many years ago, I knew that when I "grew up", I wanted to be David Poole. His name was everywhere. He was the motorsports authority in journalism. He was known, and he was respected.

And now he's gone.

Why do we wait until times like these to say the best things we know about people? I wish I knew the answer.

When I started writing about the world of NASCAR so many years ago, it wasn't long until I knew the name David Poole. He and Monte Dutton together were the go-to guys of NASCAR news. There weren't many (any?) women really writing about NASCAR at the time, and while I remember the first time I ever had a link posted on Jayski's site, I recall that I was the only female name on the list. What I remember even more, though, is that I was on a list with David Poole. There was his name, and there was mine, almost as if we were given equal credibility (don't worry, I know that's laughable and I knew it then, too). It was thrilling.

Comments: 15
Last Activity: 05/03/09
By Carol Einarsson | 04/28/2009
CHEERS to the Colonel at Talladega doing the chicken dance with a few of his world-record-setting closest friends (and then Hammond tying that to "At Talladega you have to have the right dance partner.")

CHEERS to Jeff Sauls' invocation. Here, more than anywhere else, we pray for a safe race.

CHEERS to Miss America Katie Stam, but I'm still wondering if she let Kyle Petty try on that crown. And let me take a minute to CHEER Carrie Prejean, Miss California. Speak the truth and don't let them break you.

CHEERS to the gigantic flag at Talladega that I think is the biggest US Flag at any race track.

David's Cookies - Can one desire too much of a good thing?

Comments: 71
Last Activity: 05/03/09
By Carol Einarsson | 04/27/2009

CHEERS to the cool flag display made up of other, smaller flags. What an excellent example of using what you have. They have wind, so they use it to make aerial art.

CHEERS to two BILLION dollars invested to get to the front row at Bahrain. Who says the economy is weak?

CHEERS to Peter Windsor in the shade, and still needing a drink! And then finding himself a visor, even.

CHEERS to a shout-out to the U.S. Navy!! No, we don't mind at all if you pick up the satellite. We appreciate all you do!

F1 Marketing Group, Inc.

Comments: 9
Last Activity: 04/28/09
By Carol Einarsson | 04/23/2009
I wonder if having a Toyota Hybrid as a pace car only draws attention to the fuel being used in auto racing. "Yeah, but look how much we saved on the pace car!" It's conservation, NASCAR-style!

I wonder what happened to Blaney over at Phil Parsons' team. Seems he's out and Michael McDowell is in at Talladega. Granted, the team is 41st in points, but can we really blame the driver at this stage of the (new team) game?

TUMS will be sponsoring Juan Pablo Montoya this weekend. I wonder if anyone at the ad agency was on the ball enough to put together a highlight reel of all of his tantrums and outbursts and then show him relaxing at the end of the day with a TUMS to settle his heartburn.

I wonder why people keep pestering Junior about the #8, baiting him with questions like "Does it make you sad?" "How does Grandma feel about it?" Oh good grief, people. He left; the rift is over; stop trying to rally it all up again. It wasn't very pretty the first time 'round.

Comments: 25
Last Activity: 04/26/09
By Carol Einarsson | 04/22/2009
CHEERS to the first night race of the year!

CHEERS to taking DW to the Grand Canyon (even though I think its about a three hour drive from Phoenix, about as long as it takes to drive to Hollywood from Fontana during rush hour) for his echoed boogity, but if I'm not mistaken, wouldn't a real echo sound more like Boogity oogity oogity?

CHEERS to the true measure of life not being in the quantity, but in the quality of life. And everyone said amen.

JEERS to hat hair and being too chatty during the invocation.

CHEERS to a reasonably-presented anthem, and bombs bursting in air at exactly the right time. And the F-16s were on time, too, unless we were tricked by pre-taped TV segments.

CHEERS to a command to start that probably gave that guy a hernia.

Comments: 34
Last Activity: 04/26/09
By Carol Einarsson | 04/20/2009

CHEERS to Mark Webber's galoshes!

JEERS to the rain in China because it's so heavy that it seems pointless. A little rain, a little tire strategy, a little slippery here or there is one thing, but what is the point of driving around under the safety car like this?

CHEERS to Kovalainen who's just completed a lap in the season! Hooray!! And his fastest lap, too!

CHEERS to Adrian Sutil not hitting Nelson Piquet, but rather, going off through the grass. And it looks like he's faster in the grass than they are on the track!

JEERS to asking drivers, amid the downpour, if it's a good time to take away the safety car.

Comments: 6
Last Activity: 04/21/09
By Carol Einarsson | 04/18/2009
Because the impending announcement has taken longer than expected, there are many questions about what is coming down the road and what might be going away...

Fear not, we are NOT jumping ship from NASCAR. Yes, there are new F1 widgets in the right side column, and yes there is a new F1 column posted each Monday that follows a Formula One race. We are, however, still following NASCAR.

I apologize for the gap in columns this week, but I believe I'm battling a relapse and have been trying to balance everything so I don't end up back in the world of pneumonia.

The lack of columns, the addition of F1, and the removal of the NASCAR widgets is all coincidental. As was pointed out in the comment section, the NASCAR updates were failing to update, so they've been removed. They may return in a week or two, or at least we might have something similar.

Stay tuned for more announcements as they come. Until then, there may be times over the weekends where the site might be unavailable due to maintenance.

Comments: 9
Last Activity: 04/23/09
By Carol Einarsson | 04/14/2009
Did you ever walk into a room and hear the last part of a conversation that was so intriguing, you wished you'd arrived sooner? I had that feeling not too long ago, but I was fifteen years late in my arrival, not just a few minutes.

As you may or may not know, I've spent the better part of forever hating open-wheel racing. I couldn't stand the high-pitched whine of the engines, and despite the love my dear assistant possessed for F1 racing, he'd be banished to his own room if he wanted to watch that annoying sound on TV.

When did things change? I don't know. I think it might have been at the moment that Katherine Legge ran her car into the wall at the Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona and I heard David Hobbs say something that has now become a common catchphrase in our family, "Oh dear! The queen is not amused, Katherine." The queen might not have been amused, but I certainly was! When I realized that I could watch open-wheel racing and hear that same biting British commentary that seemed to poke fun and point out the silliest of behaviours all the while enjoying the sport of speed, I was hooked.

Comments: 18
Last Activity: 04/30/09
By Carol Einarsson | 04/09/2009
The site might be unavailable for some periods of time this weekend for some site maintenance. No need to worry; we'll be back shortly. -Carol

Comments: 1
Last Activity: 04/09/09
By Carol Einarsson | 04/09/2009
The Resurrection Pictures, Images and Photos
Have a blessed and happy Easter!

Comments: 4
Last Activity: 04/10/09
By Carol Einarsson | 04/07/2009

CHEERS to Texas. Not just the track, but the whole state. The only state to enter the U.S. by treaty, a former independent nation, and producer of more wool than any other U.S. state, we love Texas!

CHEERS to Carl at a loss for words and distracted in his thoughts because of the outfit worn by Jeff Hammond.

CHEERS to Reut on the pole, but JEERS to replaying Michael McDowell's misfortune in the 00 last year, over and over and over again.

Interstate Batteries.com

Comments: 46
Last Activity: 04/14/09
By Carol Einarsson | 04/06/2009

First, a little unfinished business from last week:

CHEERS to the FIA stewards kicking Hamilton out of last week's race all together after finding he was "economical with the truth" (as described by Bob Varsha) when asked if he'd lured Trulli into passing him under the safety car. I don't understand it for a moment if it happened as they say. It seems Lewis merely asked his team if he should let Jarno have his spot back, perhaps unsure if he himself has illegally passed under the safety car. He was told he should, so he did. Then when asked by the stewards if the team had discussed it, Hamilton denied doing so. Of course, the FIA has access to everything and it wasn't a matter of if, but when, they'd find the radio tapes to contradict Hamilton. Why couldn't they simply say they had given Jarno his place back because they were unsure when the safety car came out? Why is that a big deal to admit? Oh the trouble we find ourselves in when we allow greed to get hold.

Comments: 16
Last Activity: 04/13/09
By Carol Einarsson | 04/04/2009
The other day I wrote an article to preview the race at Texas, and I noted that the race would begin at 1:16pm. I emphasized the start time in bold because it was such a strange start time, I thought. Not 1:00 or 1:15 or 1:30. 1:16pm. Odd. There were ideas among the readers as to what that meant. Some thought it might be based on this being the 16th race at Texas. But one reader had initially thought it was some kind of hidden meaning that I was trying to convey. Maybe a hunch that driver #16, Greg Biffle, would win or maybe some other hidden message, because he'd been trained to look for things like that in my columns. I sensed he was almost disappointed that there was nothing to find between the lines.

Knowing that God often uses these same tactics when reminding me of life lessons, though, I wondered what I'd find if I looked up Scripture for 1:16. Yes, it might seem like just an arbitrary number, the start time of a NASCAR race, but into my head jumped the book of John. Not any other book, not any of the other Gospels, but John. What might be found in God's word in the book of John, chapter 1, verse 16?

Comments: 6
Last Activity: 04/05/09
By Carol Einarsson | 04/03/2009
Sunday's race will be the 17th Cup race at Texas. The green flag is scheduled to drop at 1:16 pm. Yes, 1:16 pm.

The first race at Texas was in 1997, and qualifying was rained out.

There have been just 139 cautions at Texas in Cup races for a total of 714 caution laps.

Jeff Burton won the first race at Texas in April of 1997, and in 2007 he passed Matt Kenseth on the final lap to win his second race at Texas.

Rain seems to be lucky for Jeff Burton, and both of his wins came when qualifying was rained out.

Carl Edwards posted the fastest race speed in 2005 with a speed of 151mph. He also swept both races at Texas in 2008 and is the only three-time winner at the track.

The record for cautions at Texas is 12, and it happened three times.

In sixteen races, Ford has won nine times. Chevy has won five times, Dodge has won twice, and Toyota has never won at Texas.

David's Cookies Online - Click Here

Comments: 22
Last Activity: 04/04/09
By Carol Einarsson | 04/02/2009
I like that two and a half years ago when he was named as the second driver at MWR, a lot of people wondered about the choice and might not have even known who he was, but now everyone knows the name (and how to spell it!)

I like that David likes Dairy Queen. You have to appreciate a guy who knows good soft-serve ice cream.

I like that he drives the 00 because that was his dad's number, and I like that when it was his dad's number, it was actually B-00 for "Buzzie's 00", and everyone called it the "boo car".

I like that he has dogs. Miniature Dachshunds, but still, they're dogs.

I like that he is a third-generation racer because the best racing stories are those that run down family lines.

I like that he has a new nickname at MWR: "The Franchise." They've even put it on the side of his car.

OmahaSteaks.com, Inc.

Comments: 9
Last Activity: 04/03/09
By Carol Einarsson | 03/31/2009
CHEERS to prayers for hope, REAL hope, not the artificial hope promised by men.

CHEERS to the anthem which is always a treat when performed by a military group. See, that's how it's supposed to be.

CHEERS to Zippy's new wife, and to Tony Stewart putting that in my head every time I see the poor man standing next to Joey.

JEERS to hair cut too short somehow making a wife look six inches taller.

JEERS to rained-out qualifying, but CHEERS to beautiful blue skies for race day!

JEERS to one man fulfilling his brother's prophesy. DW says he doesn't think the race will make it to lap 40 without a caution, and next thing y'know, little brother's in the fence.

Comments: 29
Last Activity: 04/03/09
By Carol Einarsson | 03/30/2009

Welcome to the first edition of CJF1 2009. I've decided this year I'll commit to a season of Formula One weekly recap articles to be posted on Mondays. If you're an F1 fan, spread the word and tell your friends! If you're not yet a fan, check it out; I think you'll enjoy it. If you like NASCAR for the racing, F1 has that. If you like NASCAR for the personalities, F1 has that, too. If you like side by side racing at crazy fast speeds, you'll like F1. Don't listen to what they've told you in the past... it's all changed! If you want to rediscover why you fell in love with racing to begin with, check out F1. It's a 2.5 hour race broadcast, no more no less, and at the end you'll be smiling! So without further ado...

CHEERS to whatever legalities exist that quickly slapped the FIA upside its collective head when it thought two weeks before the season began was a good time to do away with the points system. I wonder how an organization like FOTA would fly in NASCAR.

JEERS to the FIA asking Bridgestone to tweak the compounds to increase the variances between the different tires. When the governing body starts making requests like that, can any good come of it?

Comments: 13
Last Activity: 04/01/09
By Carol Einarsson | 03/23/2009
I know it's Bristol, my favorite track.

I know it's the place of Dale Earnhardt's first win.

I know there were a hundred things on which I wanted to comment.

But I'm sick. It's an upper respiratory infection, a sore throat, a nasty hacking cough, and an overall weakness all about. I'm probably sleeping as you read this now.

I have the race recorded and might (but no promises) be able to post the CHEERS and JEERS later in the week, maybe Wednesday or Thursday. We'll have to see how it goes.

My apologies to all.

Comments: 42
Last Activity: 03/29/09
By Carol Einarsson | 03/21/2009

CHEERS to a fantastic way to spend a Saturday afternoon, and to ESPN for embracing the "old schoolness" of it all with their own retro opening shots.

CHEERS to Bobby Allison in the pace car, and David Pearson with the command to start engines since he couldn't be in the race himself.

CHEERS to the highlights of all the winners in their past Bristol victories.

CHEERS to Harry Gant who hasn't changed a bit and still looks as handsome as ever next to his #33

CHEERS to showing Terry Labonte in my favorite victory ever, with the smashed car across the line, though I wish they'd shown it pulling into Victory Lane, as well.

CHEERS to Sterling talking about who might be the favorite to win because until that moment I hadn't even considered that after all the fun we're about to have, someone's gonna win! How do you pick someone to root for from a field such as this?

Comments: 15
Last Activity: 03/24/09
By Carol Einarsson | 03/19/2009

Formula One:
The FIA has changed the rules in Formula One beginning this year, placing premium value on wins over anything else. The Champion will be crowned based not on the points accumulated or the consistency of podium finishes, but on wins alone. If this system had been in place last year, Felipe Massa would be World Champion and Louis Hamilton would be just a mere second-place finisher for the second year in a row.

What might this mean in F1 racing? For starters, it might mean better racing. If winning is all that matters, maybe we'll see a little more aggression in passing (or at least aggressively attempting to get close enough to pass), and a little less willingness for teammates to help each other.

Or maybe the whole thing will blow up in their faces, figuratively speaking, and we'll see an all-time high of teammates gifting wins away. No more will gifting a podium finish to a teammate suffice if doing so will only help him in the event of a points tie at the season's end. I wonder if we might now be likely to see the leader of the race pull over with some imagined engine trouble as his teammate is allowed past to notch one more win on the competition.

Comments: 23
Last Activity: 03/21/09
By Carol Einarsson | 03/17/2009
I sometimes come up with creative ways to fill an off weekend spot on Tuesday. Other times I wait on an inspiration and find that before I know it, it's Monday night and I've still got nothin'.

This week I had a hint of an idea (thanks, Josh!) that never came to fruition in the form of a column. I'd considered writing my own imaginary ideas of how drivers spent their off weekend (Kurt Busch, for example, spent the weekend driving in reverse around his neighborhood to practice his victory laps).

So here we are on Tuesday wondering what's new at Race Journal Online. "She's not just going to leave that tired old column up there for another week, is she?"

I considered sharing an article I wrote on krill. Yes, krill. Those tiny little creatures that sustain a good amount of life on earth and are so plentiful that we wonder how anything else has room to be in the ocean. Maybe I'll finish that and use it later in the week. (Now there's something to look forward to!)

Comments: 38
Last Activity: 03/20/09
By Carol Einarsson | 03/13/2009
I thought this would be over by now, and maybe if we weren't headed into an off weekend, it would have been. But people are still talking about it and it seems at least once a day someone asks me what I think about it, and I find myself getting all fired up all over again. I figure that's my clue that it's time to get this rant off my chest.

By now you've heard the name Jimmy Watts and recognize him as the unfortunate soul who was caught between what he was told to do and what NASCAR thought was a good idea. He was suspended for the remainder of the race after he ran out to retrieve a tire last week at Atlanta, and has subsequently been suspended for four more races.

Let me start at the beginning of my anger about this. The man was doing what he was told. He is a fireman in Charlotte and understands the order of command on a team. The commander gives the orders, and the only way the team is strong is if those orders are followed. He was told to get the tire. He got the tire.

Comments: 28
Last Activity: 03/19/09
By Carol Einarsson | 03/10/2009

CHEERS to an eight-year streak broken, and Mark Martin on the pole. Or should we say, "50-year-old Mark Martin."

CHEERS to skipping most of the pre-race. I can continue to complain about the length of it and the Digger hype, or I can save the aggravation and spend that time each week doing something more productive. I've chosen the latter.

CHEERS to Bobby Labonte at the door. I hope they took the long route to school.

CHEERS to "Holy cow, lookit all that!" and Will, "I was already kinda popular, but this made me, whew, BIG popular!"

JEERS to having to wear a jacket at the track. This is supposed to be HOTlanta!

CHEERS to DW's statistic from 1995. 3hrs, 3mins, 3secs, in car #3. You don't need to stay at a Holiday Inn Express, Darrell!


Comments: 65
Last Activity: 03/16/09
By Carol Einarsson | 03/08/2009
(A random article unrelated to auto racing, but ready to be digested by curious readers.)

They're tiny, but important.

One krill weighs between one and two grams, so we'll settle on 1.5g per creature.

That means there are about 19 in one ounce.

A single blue whale consumes 3.5 tons of krill daily. That's 7,000 pounds, or 2.128 million krill. That's just one blue whale.

There are believed to be between 12,000 and 16,000 blue whales in existence. That means if we measure only the blue whale consumption of krill, there are roughly 30 BILLION (29.792 billion) krill eaten every day.

But krill don't exist to feed only the blue whale. They are also a regular part of the diet of many other species of whales as well as manta rays, whale sharks, seals, penguins, squid, fish, and a few bird species.

In addition to sea predators, krill are also commercially fished and used as dietary supplements for the treatment of cardiovascular disease, stroke prevention, diabetes, high cholesterol, and other human ailments.

Comments: 0
Last Activity: None
By Carol Einarsson | 03/03/2009
CHEERS to Elvis' BBB. I don't know why I was amused by that, but I was.

CHEERS to Kurt Busch and the man he has become. I don't know how much of it is thanks to married life, life with Penske, or just waiting on the age of maturity to settle in. Maybe it's a combination of all three, but now it's all come together like an old family recipe, and it's a heart-warming thing to see Kurt Busch all grown up.

JEERS , as always, to the Digger cartoon. How long before FOX compiles them all together and just buys a half-hour block for an infomercial? Let's put this back in perspective. We have a camera in the track, someone makes a reference to the gopher cam, someone else decides to have a contest to name said gopher, and now there are hats and shirts and key chains and plush and die cast and mugs all for sale? It's a camera, in the ground, taking pictures of the race.

F1 Marketing Group, Inc.

Comments: 111
Last Activity: 03/09/09
By Carol Einarsson | 02/24/2009
CHEERS to the spot on Drew Blick-ens-der-fer. "I'm all about racing. I even married Ron Hornaday's daughter...Hammond, I'm comin' for you!... What if I don't really want Hammond's job?" We can't be alone in our instant liking of this young man.

CHEERS to the illustrator in the story of the Cat in the Hat, Jack Roush. Much more enjoyable than the digger cartoon.

CHEERS to the font used for the 2009 points standing that looked less formal and like chalk on a chalkboard. Did I just CHEER a font? Yes, I did. And that might be the highlight of racing in California, I'm afraid.

CHEERS to the way Just for Men makes everyone's hair the same color so we can see who's using it, but if DW gets any greyer, he's gonna be blond!

CHEERS to AJ's dancing spot. It's good he's already married.

David's Cookies - Can one desire too much of a good thing?

Comments: 98
Last Activity: 03/02/09
By Carol Einarsson | 02/20/2009
I wonder how long this curse will follow Jeremy Mayfield. First he loses a jack man after loaning him out to Kirk Shelmerdine, and now he's lost a tire carrier to a dirty drug test. Maybe he should start racing in the truck series where they only allow five crew members over the wall. Either that, or he could do the Morgan Shepherd trick and pit his own car by himself.

How 'bout that Raybestos Rookie of the Race last week claiming the title with a blazing 35th place finish. I wonder who would ever have predicted that Scott Speed would ever lead Logano in that rookie competition.

I wonder if we really need to have NASCAR drivers on soap operas. Sure, Jeff Burton had a good time on General Hospital, but seriously?

Denny Hamlin is going to buy four tickets to every race this season (though we wonder how he'll get his hands on seats for the Bristol night race), and give them to race fans. I wonder if maybe instead of four tickets to California, if he might want to buy four thousand or so. And then maybe other drivers would do the same, and before you know it, the place might be half-filled.

Comments: 66
Last Activity: 02/24/09
By Carol Einarsson | 02/17/2009

CHEERS to the anniversary of the fight. We never tire of seeing that footage, never tire of hearing the story, and never ever tire of hearing those words broadcast, "And there's a fight!" because we know it all started right then.

CHEERS to the slo-mo camera on the pit stop showing the lug nuts coming off and hovering in midair. VERY cool!

JEERS to reports of rain in the area, showing the cars covered with water drops on them, and Weather.com reporting a 60% chance of precip for today with steady showers for tonight.

JEERS to cartoons during what should have been Daytona 500 coverage.

CHEERS to marketing, but JEERS to the over-hype of Digger. A cartoon, a music video, a comic book... we guess the upside is that there are people employed to do this, and employed people is a good thing.

Comments: 93
Last Activity: 02/21/09
By Carol Einarsson | 02/10/2009

CHEERS to that familiar sound of engines at Daytona combined with the reflection of lights on brand new paint schemes and a whole field of drivers that aren't yet mad at each other.

CHEERS to a guy with a last name of Bentley giving the command to start engines.

JEERS to the change in format for the Bud Shootout. Some changes are necessary in our sport to improve safety and keep up with changing technology, but messing with the format of the Bud Shootout should be off limits.

JEERS to the graphics gone wrong and Bobby Labonte of all people, looking like he had white hair.

CHEERS to the starting line-up from back to front, the way it ought to be.
Valentine's Day Cookies

Comments: 39
Last Activity: 02/16/09
By Carol Einarsson | 02/03/2009

CHEERS to Martha Earnhardt, and get well wishes, too! It's not often that she's in the news but this week she made two stories. First is the cookbook project with Jeff Gordon's mom, but more serious is the spill she took and her broken leg. We're prayin' for you!

CHEERS to James Hylton not just on the entry list for the 500, but also in the ARCA race. As a bonus, now he's got buddy Boris Said as a teammate.

CHEERS to an admirable positive outlook from Sterling Marlin. He's a two-time Daytona 500 winner, and yet he doesn't have a ride for the 2009 race. In his laid-back drawl, he says, "Everything has to end sometime. Nothing goes on forever." At least we'll get to see him part time this year, sharing a ride with Schrader.

JEERS to an associate sponsor for Derrike Cope. First, can't they at least sponsor a guy who wants to race more than three laps a week? And second, I wonder if they worked it into the contracts that the price of their funding is based upon the number of laps completed. However, having said that, his new sponsor has a label promotion to raise awareness for the U.S. Wounded Soldiers Foundation, and if you'd like to help that worthy cause, you can do so here.

Comments: 33
Last Activity: 02/08/09
By Carol Einarsson | 01/27/2009

CHEERS to NASCAR sticking to their plan of only four cars to a team owner. Mike Helton says, "We haven't changed our minds on this. In fact, it's probably stronger than it's ever been." I wonder how Mr. Helton describes "stronger". Maybe Jack Roush could loan him a dictionary.

CHEERS to Terry Labonte in the Daytona 500 for Phil Parsons' team. I know some disagree, but whenever I know Terry's at track, there's a little bit more joy in my heart for racing.

JEERS to something that I wish I'd thought of on my own, but didn't. A friend pointed out that the environment now created by NASCAR is that teams are testing (and at VERY high speeds in excess of 215 mph) at tracks that have no SAFER barriers. This is NASCAR's doing, by banning testing, but it's the team owner's decision to put their drivers in that kind of danger just to gain a competitive edge. Newsflash: There's no competitive edge when your driver's in the hospital.

Comments: 28
Last Activity: 02/02/09
By Carol Einarsson | 01/19/2009
CHEERS to Richard Petty's negotiations to keep Petty in the name of the newly-merged company, but even more so to keep alcohol sponsorship off the 43 and 44 cars. Good on the King! And who wouldn't like a racing company with the name RPM?

JEERS to Elliott Sadler's missing passport! Yikes! Just days before his wedding and honeymoon, he's on the naughty list with the feds and can't get a passport because his was reported stolen?

CHEERS to NASCAR drivers (from HMS) on Kellogg's Pop Tarts! I don't know that we'll be able to find them in Nebraska, but we'll surely keep an eye out. I don't know that the brown-sugar-cinnamon is my favorite, but we'll give it a go to support our favorite sport. Take that toaster strudels!

Interstate Batteries.com

Comments: 37
Last Activity: 01/25/09
By Carol Einarsson | 01/15/2009
Monday nights on BBC America, there is a most delightful show on called Top Gear. Many of you are already familiar with it, but if you're not, I encourage you to check it out. I sometimes feel like I came late to the movie, so on occasion, I'll go to YouTube and look for program segments from past episodes that I've missed. It was there that I saw an ad for Richard Hammond's book, "On the Edge: My Story." It was an amusing ad, but honestly, even if it hadn't been, I'd still have wanted to read it.

In September of 2006, Richard Hammond was driving a jet car for a segment on the show. The idea was not to see how fast he could go (in fact, they never told him the speed he was going so as to prevent him from trying to reach a specific velocity). Rather, it was to enjoy the car and to describe the feeling he had of going that fast. They would tell him after the fact what his speed had been. They had the car and the track until 5:30pm on the assigned day, and had filmed all they really needed, but there was daylight left and like little kids wanting to wring every nanosecond out of playtime before dinner, they decided to make one more go of it. It would be on that last pass that a tire blew and sent Hammond careening out of control and landing on his roof -- well, not his roof, but his roll bar -- after lifting his crash helmet and filling his nose and mouth with earth.

Comments: 10
Last Activity: 01/19/09
By Carol Einarsson | 01/13/2009
CHEERS to Tommy Baldwin Racing and the rumored employment of Dave Blaney! They plan to compete full time in a Toyota, and we can't wait to start rooting for Blaney again! The car number may be #36, which is perfect because one thing we like most about Blaney is that he is spoken so highly of by Ken Schrader, former driver of the same number.

JEERS to Ray Evernham's continued affiliation with ESPN. He's been freed not to have to speak about the mess at GEM or PettyGEM or GEMPetty or whatever they've decided (IF they've decided) to call it, and nobody is allowed to ask him questions about it. If he's involved, he should have to speak. But if he's involved, he shouldn't be part of a supposedly unbiased broadcast team. He's got an interest in it and he has special rules that apply only to him. That's just one more indication of the amateurish running of ESPN.

CHEERS to what may be a ride for Bobby Labonte. We have mixed feelings about the #8, though. We imagine we'll have to be getting over that soon, what with the whole organization being quite separate from Teresa Earnhardt, now. After all, Felix Sabates is still involved, and we have such deep respect for him, that maybe we'll start calling it Felix's team.

F1 Marketing Group, Inc.

Comments: 28
Last Activity: 01/17/09
By Carol Einarsson | 01/06/2009
Much was made about the special edition of Sporting News, heralding the 60 most beautiful people, but with every list there is the inevitable void of at least one person that a fan thinks should have been included. I haven't included the original list because I haven't found it anywhere else online, so I figure the publishers prefer you buy the issue. Here, however, are some additions to "the list". While surely not complete (because it is, in fact, another list with the certain inevitable void...), it's at least an addendum of my own opinion with at least one reason for each that I think could have merited inclusion.

Regan Smith - He's patient when people mispronounce his name. No, it's not Ray-guhn, it's REEgan.

Paul Menard - He has strong family ties. Everyone thinks that's beautiful, don't they?

Greg Biffle - His love and adoration of Benny is what touches my heart in the same way that I admired Dale Earnhardt for his love of Neil Bonnett.

Comments: 26
Last Activity: 01/14/09
By Carol Einarsson | 12/30/2008

CHEERS to Lou Cicconi, Jr, a name we'd never heard before, but who graciously forgave Tony Stewart wrecking him at the Rumble in Ft. Wayne, describing Tony's attack as "a hit with love." Maybe Tony can keep that phrase in mind for his post-race interviews next year.

JEERS to Clint Bowyer's new plane. I know he's giddy about it, and happy that it was made in Kansas and all, but despite his life of auto racing, I don't like the words from the press release that say "With a cruising speed greater than 520mph -- 50mph faster than its nearest competitor -- the Premier IA is the only light jet in the world that satisfies Bowyer's need for speed." I would just feel better if they were boasting about the quality of his ejector seat and parachute, too.

Comments: 5
Last Activity: 01/12/09
By Carol Einarsson | 12/23/2008

And may God's blessings shower your family this season and always.
Merry Christmas!

Comments: 0
Last Activity: None
By Carol Einarsson | 12/16/2008

So here it is Tuesday again. Usually I have something planned, but not this week. There's no news other than my recent realization that just as our 43rd President is preparing to move out of his role, so NASCAR is also losing the famed #43 as we've known it to be related to King Richard Petty and his family business. I thought that was an interesting intersect.

Mostly I've been busy planning for the season. Christmas is coming very quickly, and each year I wonder what to get the assistant. He's 17 years old, now, and honestly, I have no idea. If you've successfully gifted a 17 year old, I'm open to ideas that the young men in your lives have enjoyed.

And my mom will be 75 on Christmas Eve. I'm planning a cake wrapped in fondant, and I'm considering three options. First was to use a food coloring pen and write on the fondant all of the significant happenings of 1933, with an ending of, "... and YOU were born!"

Comments: 0
Last Activity: None
By Carol Einarsson | 12/11/2008

"In over 15 years of racing in the Sprint Cup Series, I can't remember a time when the sport's landscape looks as it does today. Saying that, Petty Enterprises and I had serious and very sincere discussions about what was best for myself and everyone involved at Petty Enterprises moving forward. These discussions culminated with us agreeing that moving in a separate direction will be the greatest way to reach our end goals. It was by no means an easy decision. I am, and will always be, very appreciative of what Richard Petty and the Petty family, every employee of Petty Enterprises and members of Boston Ventures did to invest in bettering my career the past three seasons."
-Bobby Labonte
F1 Marketing Group, Inc.

Comments: 0
Last Activity: None
By Carol Einarsson | 12/09/2008
CHEERS to Jerry Punch as host because I've never liked someone hosting that wasn't part of the family.

JEERS , though, to the return of that weird woman's voice that introduces people. There just has to be someone else they can get to do that.

CHEERS to Greg Biffle's polite-yet-pained smile at a lame joke about Superman wearing Jimmie Johnson pajamas.

CHEERS to Chad, but it's sad not to see Bruna on his arm.

CHEERS to John Pinette. At first I was put off that we were opening the banquet that way, but what a treat to see Denny Hamlin smiling, as well as Mike Helton. And God hid the turnip? Yeah, we might have actually laughed out loud at that one.

Comments: 0
Last Activity: None
By Carol Einarsson | 12/09/2008
Currently Google has been running offensive ads that I am working to stop. I do not condone these ads, but I have placement spots in too many places on the site to grab them all and remove them. I thought I had the problem fixed, but apparently I do not. I will be able to work on this not before 1:00am Central time tonight. If at any time you see an offensive ad on my site, please RIGHT CLICK the ad, copy the link, and email it to me immediately. Please accept my apologies for not realizing this was a possibility and for not being smart enough to be able to block them sooner. -Carol

Comments: 0
Last Activity: None
By Carol Einarsson | 12/05/2008
I wonder how many of the 472 employees known to have been laid off from race teams since the end of the year have found new jobs. Wouldn't it be something if they just divided up and started two new race teams? Laid Off Racing now seeking sponsorship!

Having said that, though, let's give three CHEERS to Humpy Wheeler who has initiated a task force of sorts to try and find jobs for those that are displaced, even soliciting other industries and showcasing the skills that might be brought to them from the world of motorsports. I wonder if we should file this under "all things happen for good" because maybe Humpy's own lay off was the catalyst.

F1 Marketing Group, Inc.

Comments: 0
Last Activity: None
By Carol Einarsson | 12/04/2008

I like that you have an affection for animals and have a foundation that benefits them.

And I like that the foundation organizes the transport of 40 puppies a month from kill shelters in the South to a no-kill shelter in New York to save their lives and give them homes. When I think of puppies with new homes, I think of children with big smiles.

Comments: 0
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By Carol Einarsson | 12/02/2008
One of my favorite things to do at the end of race season is to reflect back on my own list of highlights. They are my own collection of "best" memories for the year in no particular order. Some are amusing, some are bittersweet, and some are "aggravatin'", but they're all part of 2008.

Junior gets his first Hendrick win, and we see on his face the triumphant joy that has been absent for too long.

John Roberts' unwavering dedication to "Stick with The Biff!" on the weekly fantasy picks.

All the TV guys speculating about Jimmie Johnson's dry spell and lack of wins early in the season. As they wondered what might be wrong over at the 48 team, race fans who paid attention to the Chad Knaus winning strategy of 2006 and 2007 knew there wasn't anything wrong.

F1 Marketing Group, Inc.

Comments: 0
Last Activity: None
By Carol Einarsson | 11/30/2008

It seems that we always hear during the time of year, how rushed everyone is. So much to be done, so little time. Shopping, decorating, planning... but the days are short, the dark comes early, and oh the snow!

Contrary to most years, I find I have extra time this season. Maybe the economy has me shopping less, the weather has me decorating sparsely, and well, I've never been much of a planner. So I've had some time to "decorate" here at Race Journal Online.

First off, "What's with all the new ads?" I'm glad you asked! We are happy to have some new affiliates on board, and I wanted to mention them by name and explain a bit of history. First and foremost, I want to let all readers know that the merchandisers we do business with are hand-picked. The ads you see in the right margin and at the page-breaks of some articles are businesses that I have personally chosen as reputable, economical, and/or my personal favorites.

Comments: 0
Last Activity: None
By Carol Einarsson | 11/28/2008
I wonder if anyone else thinks it's weird for Tony Stewart to be nominated for a Stewie Award. I mean, it was weird enough that he won his own event at Eldora, but this is kind of like bringing out your own caution. If you haven't voted, don't worry; there's still time at sirius.com/stewieawards and there's some memorable audio clips there, too.

I wonder if there was ever worse timing than last week when I posted an article titled "NASCAR Killed My Happy Place" at the same time they were reviewing my site for potential to put a NASCAR Superstore ad in the margin. Doh!

HMS is suing DEI. Or rather, HMS Holdings is suing what used to be DEI. It seems DEI is more than 10 days late on a payment they owed for a contract termination between Ginn and HMS for engines. I wonder if that $1.5 million was something overlooked by the merger team at Ganassi.

Personalized Christmas Gifts

Comments: 0
Last Activity: None
By Carol Einarsson | 11/27/2008
Thanksgiving Pictures, Images and Photos

The Pilgrims made seven times more graves than huts.
No Americans have been more impoverished than these who,
nevertheless, set aside a day of thanksgiving.

-H.U. Westermayer

Comments: 0
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By Carol Einarsson | 11/25/2008
Much is being written this week about how the economy is affecting the world of NASCAR. Lay-offs, mergers, more lay-offs, missing sponsors, and missing fans. That led me to consider a way to help. If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the problem, right? Here, then, is a list of some sponsors that might be a good fit for some drivers. And the best part is that NASCAR hasn't yet scooped them up as official partners!

Regan Smith - Out of Bounds Snowboards based in Killington, VT

Ryan Newman - Engineers Edge in Monroe, GA

Clint Bowyer - Swap-bot.com, the easiest way to create and join swaps on the Internet

Kurt Busch - Snow Angels, a volunteer group in Calgary that removes snow for senior citizens

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By Carol Einarsson | 11/20/2008
Maybe it's the coming holidays, maybe it's the empty-nest feeling, maybe it's the sad state of... well... everything, lately. Whatever it is, yours truly is in a funk; darned near a full-blown depression kind of funk.

Whatever the problems were in society, whatever the economic woes, it seemed that there was a happy distraction of NASCAR. It was a fun escape from every day life, and from the real worries that bog people down in what we sometimes call our "real" life. I guess you could say that NASCAR is my "happy place".

And now I flash to a Seinfeld episode where George's two worlds were about to collide. His "Relationship George" was about to cross the barrier into his "Independent George" life, and his fear was that Relationship George would kill Independent George. That fear and anxiety that he felt are familiar to me at this moment when I feel that the outside world with all of the attached anxiety is dangerously close to killing my happy place.
Personalized Christmas Gifts

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By Carol Einarsson | 11/18/2008
CHEERS to Johnny Benson, 2008 CTS Champion! Way to go, JB!! Nice guys finish FIRST, and we can only hope this success quiets that talk of retiring!

CHEERS to the past champions at the track, among them Bobby Allison and Ned Jarrett. Always nice to see them both. And though we see these two a little more often than Bobby and Ned, it was also nice to see Terry Labonte and DJ down in that crowd. One question, though, why isn't Cale there??

CHEERS to Carl Edwards' continued positive outlook, and despite everyone saying that today we'll see history made, and literally every media person having already given this championship to Jimmie, Carl still knows there's a chance, and he's not rolling over and quitting yet. Win the race, lead the most laps, and Jimmie gets taken out by bad luck in the back, and all the hype is for naught.

CHEERS to Brad talking about the success at Hendrick, "Guys don't wanna leave. They've got great resources, they've got great leadership, and they've got a great boss, why would you wanna leave?" ... and then passing it to Ray Evernham.
Personalized Christmas Gifts

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By Carol Einarsson | 11/11/2008

CHEERS to the dual interviews of Jack Roush and Rick Hendrick. We liked the weaving between the two, and the contrasts, as well.

JEERS to Jerry Punch's back-handed slam of his boothmates, "Many so-called 詁xperts' -- including you two -- have said..." Nice. Many so-called 訶octors' -- including Jerry Punch -- have said...

CHEERS to start #829 for Kyle Petty, and maybe his last with the family business. If this is his last, I'm afraid it will be the last I root for Petty Enterprises.

JEERS to weather changing just at the moment of the green flag, and suddenly it looks like a hurricane in Phoenix.

CHEERS to Jimmie on the pole without rain putting him there.

CHEERS to Jamie McMurray's turn of fortune, running well the past two months, but today starting on the front row. And even bigger CHEERS for his engagement! And now he's doing his teammates proud by keeping the points leader from leading a lap.

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By Carol Einarsson | 11/11/2008
Happy Veterans Day Pictures, Images and Photos

It always feels somehow wrong when people say "Happy Veterans Day". I don't exactly know what's happy about it. When I think of Veterans Day, I think of so many that have given so much so that we can live the lives we do. Can I say I've fought for the freedoms I enjoy? No, I cannot. But can I sleep at night knowing there are brave men and women that have given everything so that I can rest peacefully? Absolutely!

If you're a veteran, THANK YOU! Thank you for the sacrifices you've made for our country. If you're a family member of a veteran, thank you, too! For the wives, the children, the parents, and the friends of veterans that have made sacrifices so that these brave ones can serve, we are also eternally grateful.

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By Carol Einarsson | 11/06/2008
History was made this week, as witnessed by millions. Two men vying for only one position that would leave one victorious and one in defeat. The anticipation leading up to the day of decision was watched globally, and as the world watched, we saw the first man of color emerge victorious.

That man, of course, is Lewis Hamilton.

Bob Varsha put it very eloquently when he wondered if we should mention it at all when referring to the newly-crowned Formula One World Champion, because we like to think we're a color-blind society. On the other hand, how can we not mention it as such a positive milestone for the sport?

Lewis Hamilton has been a racer all of his life, and when he blasted onto the F1 scene last year as a rookie, people expected he'd act like, well, a ROOKIE. He'd know his place in the team, he'd know how to pull over and let his teammate pass, and he'd be maybe just a little less sure of himself than a veteran racer, perhaps even a little slower.

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By Carol Einarsson | 11/04/2008
CHEERS to actual qualifying in the absence of rain. What a nice change that is!

CHEERS to Carl and Biff and Burton all saying that it's not over. Even when it looks like it is, if you give up hope, you've beaten yourself.

JEERS to bad decisions being made at Petty Enterprises and the 45 car not even in the field.

CHEERS to Carl Edwards, "I don't know how tight this shot is right now, but I might not even be wearing pants."

JEERS to Jamie telling Carl, "We're watching history in the making..." It's only history in the making if Jimmie's already got it sewn up. Maybe he does, but is that really a nice thing to say to Carl Edwards in an interview?

JEERS to Diane Sawyer's interruption. There's just something wrong with ever hearing her say, "And now back to NASCAR!"

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By Carol Einarsson | 10/31/2008


Wow. Larry McClure's been indicted in what seems to be something pretty big. 115 years in jail is the number of the day. Innocent until proven guilty, certainly, but the accusations sound pretty bad at this point. First Gene Haas and now Larry McClure? Toss in Helio, and I'd imagine racing outsiders are wondering what's up with racing and tax problems. Y'know, though, I'd rather have team owners in trouble than drivers, and I'll take tax evasion over drug addictions any day of the week. I bet NASCAR's public relations department would, too.

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By Carol Einarsson | 10/28/2008
CHEERS to Atlanta, one of my favorite sentimental tracks. If only the final race was still held here, it would be even better.

JEERS to the way Brad is shouting in the booth. He's doing that, why?? We're seven minutes into the pre-race, watching replays of last week, and the man is yelling.

CHEERS to "Bobby Labonte, synonymous with Atlanta", but JEERS to "Slow on the speed charts..." Yeah, you didn't have to mention that.

CHEERS to the spot on Jeff Gordon for its historical content, the ever appreciated picture of "the wall" and all those guys sitting there as old school as you get. I think that might be my new laptop wall paper if I can find a copy of it.

CHEERS to a sky-writing plane with a GO 24 over the track. Wow. I wonder what that cost and if it was for hire, or just a fan with his own plane.

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By Carol Einarsson | 10/21/2008
CHEERS to Johnny's truck win yesterday on his way to a championship! Go, Johnny, go!!

JEERS to the ninth rained out qualifying of the year. Oh, and did it rain on Saturday? No, of course not. So was there any real reason to not just move qualifying? No, of course not.

CHEERS to "Racin' at Martinsville is kinda like being head of the daycare." I think that's one for the quote books!

CHEERS to the train, the famous hot dogs, the paper clip, and all the history that we love about Martinsville!

CHEERS to the best kind of anthem, one performed by a group that doesn't care about recognition for themselves.

CHEERS to Robert Hankins! Not just for the great command to start engines, but for those duties that are so much more important. We love recognizing a national hero!

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By Carol Einarsson | 10/20/2008
Nobody knows the exact date, but sometime in late 1995, I started posting a comment each week on a bulletin board online. I would give my take on some key points of the race, and I used a format of CHEERS and JEERS. The bulletin board was on Prodigy, back when it was its own dial-up subscriber-only service. I don't know how many people participated on that auto racing board, but two of them were Ron Felix and his lovely wife Connie.

When Prodigy (as we knew it) was closing down and terminating their bulletin boards to reformat their service and keep up with the times, one person said to me, "I hope you'll keep doing your CHEERS and JEERS because I really like them!" That person was Connie Felix.

I'm not sure what amount of time passed between the bulletin board and the birth of Ron Felix's site, Insider Racing News, but it didn't seem long. He asked me to write on his site and I was honored to do so.

I still remember the first time I saw my name listed on Jayski's site. It was a thrill! (And honestly, when I look to see if my link has been posted by Jayski, it's still a thrill!)

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By Carol Einarsson | 10/19/2008
I like that you won the first ever Crew Chief of the Year award, and you did it in your rookie season, too! Almost like you did such a good job they knew they had to start an award for that.

I like that when you were still just a kid, you were crew chief for your own dad at local tracks. That also means you've got a really cool dad, and we like him, too.

I like that you have "moved up through the ranks" in a way that gives hope to a lot of guys just starting out on race teams -- or crew chiefing for their dads somewhere in the Midwest.

I like what you learned in 2004 -- winning the most races you'd ever won in a season doesn't necessarily get you a championship. I like it not from a race-fan point of view, but I appreciate that you learned what the rules are and you adapted to play NASCAR's new game.

And I like what you learned in 2006, that it's not how many races you win, but when you win them. That's what's likely to get you a third straight championship this year.

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By Carol Einarsson | 10/14/2008

JEERS to changing channels from SPEED to ABC only to find out there's no NASCAR on. Oh, goodie - it's football. It's a good thing ABC made a big point of carrying all the Chase races and making sure on their commercials to even tell us they'd all be "LIVE". The irony is that one of the teams holding up coverage from Charlotte is the UNC Tar Heels. Seriously, what other sport spends 8 minutes deciding if the game should be extended by two seconds? Stupid football.

JEERS to KETV in Omaha, Nebraska and their decision to then dump the scheduled NASCAR programming so they could show highlights of other football and air news instead. Excuse me?! If you're in the area and missed the pre-race, you can voice your displeasure at 402-345-7777. And be sure to catch all your local news on WOWT in Omaha.

CHEERS to Dale Jarrett not wearing a pink ribbon. There are people that have to wear ribbons to show that they support a cause, and then there are people whose actions and character have already made clear what causes they support. DJ was supporting the Susan G Komen Foundation before anyone else even knew what it was.

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By Carol Einarsson | 10/11/2008
I wonder how Lowe's Corporation made it rain on qualifying day.

I wonder if NASCAR has ever considered changing the rained-out rules so that the points leader can still get the pole, but that first pit box would go into a lottery for the Chase drivers. That prime pit location has a lot more benefit that I think should have to be earned rather than gifted with a rain shower.

I wonder what would make Carl Edwards pick a fight with a guy that has it all within his power to wreck the remainder of his season. So he called you a pansy; get over it. And I wonder how Aflac feels about photos (at FoxSports.com) of their duck and company name emblazoned on the back of their driver assaulting someone.

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By Carol Einarsson | 10/07/2008
CHEERS to Talladega. Sometimes I think it's my favorite race. Maybe because it's the first place I ever saw a race live or maybe because of the potential it has to shake up everything in the points. But yet, because it scares me, it can only ever be my second (or maybe third) favorite.

JEERS to Jamie Little asking Carl Edwards, "Why should your fans look at you as a potential champion?" What?? Where does she think she is, a beauty pageant? What a stupid question.

JEERS to Casey Mears not married yet, even as he waits "any minute now" for his child to be born. He's not a kid that made a mistake; he's a grown man.

CHEERS to Dale Jarrett interviewing Dale Jr., and reflecting in montage on the days we watched Junior wrestle through some tough decisions to come out on the other side with the smiles we'd missed for so long.

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By Carol Einarsson | 10/02/2008

Y'know, when I hear rumors here and there, sometimes I give them credibility and sometimes I don't. But when I hear that Rusty wants to come back as a driver and none other than his brother Kenny is writing an article for SPEED about this "rumor", I have to wonder when we'll see Rusty in his fire-suit.

I wonder if there could be a better pick for MWR than Bootie Barker. Bootie knows Michael's temperament, and he's no pushover. I think he might be the best fit of anyone for Michael's team.

I wonder what's next for AJ Allmendinger. Red Bull used to have my respect. Brian Vickers speaks so highly of them and the freedom they give their drivers and the support he has from Red Bull, but what they've done to AJ seems contrary to any goodness they've done for Brian. Fine, you don't want to renew a guy's contract? Let him at least finish the year. What good does it do to put Skinner and Scott Speed in that car for the rest of the season? And let's put a rookie in at the best time of year for him to screw up the Championship hopes of the Chasers.

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By Carol Einarsson | 09/30/2008
CHEERS to Kansas Speedway surrounded by all the shopping and hotels that have sprung up, including a brand new Country Inns & Suites right across the street!

JEERS to the weirdness of JPM having the pole and then NOT having the pole. "It wasn't a little over, it was WAY over." I wonder if John Darby has any appreciation for things like that the way Gary Nelson would have.

CHEERS to delivering the pace car in a chopper. I'm not sure why, but it was still cool.

CHEERS to hearing the other Chasers talking about the threat that Kevin Harvick is. I'm not sure there's anything better than for a driver to have that kind of acknowledgement from his fellow competitors. Good thing Ricky Rudd wasn't there.

CHEERS to Jeff Burton's Coke Zero being at eye-level during his whole pre-race interview. And he never had to take a single sip.

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By Carol Einarsson | 09/23/2008
CHEERS to the best autographs ever, and the guy on Trackside passing his prosthetic leg around!

CHEERS to the signs at RaceDay, Race fans for McCain and the anti-18 signs. What a nice combination.

CHEERS to Bobby Labonte interviewed about the new drug policy and saying that you shouldn't be putting anything in your mouth that's not good for you anyway.

CHEERS , I guess, to the flashbacks of Dover and seeing the way Matt Kenseth hit those covered tires. What a hit that was.

CHEERS to the Jack Daniels Billiards event. I wish we could have seen the whole thing. Her-mie! Her-mie! Her-mie!

JEERS to shared pits, but CHEERS to Schrader being one sharing because you won't find a more considerate driver.

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By Carol Einarsson | 09/22/2008

When the first smoke came out of the 18 car and we heard Kyle Busch's radio reports that he was blowing up, I was shocked. This was the week that he just had to have a strong finish, both for the points and to rebuild the lost momentum of last week. But that smoke kept coming -- billowing, even, on pit road. It was as good as over. Did I feel a little joy? Yeah, I'll admit that I did. I can't even tell you why; maybe just a feeling that for all the ugliness that has surrounded him in his career thus-far, I don't think he is yet capable of representing the sport. But all of that is neither here nor there; it's just my opinion.

The bigger question is why this happened.

When he was ready to talk to the media, he answered a question with a telling answer, "This is the same thing that happened two years ago, and where'd we finish? Last."

That started me thinking... two years ago? Yes, two years ago. Two years ago when he was with a different team, with a different owner, with a different car manufacturer. About the only thing that is the same is the driver. Could it be driver error that's responsible?

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By Carol Einarsson | 09/16/2008
CHEERS to the final stretch, but another rained-out qualifying? We want the chasers mixed equally through the field so there's some drama.

CHEERS to Chad McCumbee in the #45 car. I'm happier when Kyle Petty isn't racing at New Hampshire.

CHEERS to Delana back at the track! We missed her!

CHEERS to a great anthem and a nice welcome for the Canadian race fans.

CHEERS to Joe and JD spotted together, but as the booth is talking about how NOT lame duck Tony is, and how the team's behind him, we see both Gibbs in the 18 pit. Hmmm...

JEERS to wasting all that fuel driving around when it's not time for the green flag yet.

JEERS to smoke from Smoke. That's not a good thing to see in the first ten laps.

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By Carol Einarsson | 09/13/2008

The Secret Word this week was Tony Stewart (and I allowed for mention of "Tony" or "Stewart"), in honor of his second place finish and his over-televised issues after the race. I figured if Tony couldn't win, at least the readers of RJO could! Congrats to all!


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By Carol Einarsson | 09/09/2008
CHEERS to the creative individual with the sign held up at Trackside that said "Let's Go 43" and a picture of a bee and a picture of a lab. That's no blab. And CHEERS to Trackside's 250th show!

CHEERS to Craig Monahan reminding us what's important. Just one more reason we love firemen.

JEERS , though, to the irony that he thanked NASCAR for televising the National Anthem on a week when they chose not to. Why did ESPN treat this Sunday race like a Monday race and cut everything short? Well, unless my time spent watching Race Day on SPEED caused me to miss the Countdown to Green, in which case, I plead Emily Litella.

CHEERS to Tony teaching Joey! Very cool!!! I don't think a sponsor has ever before been "handed off" like that.

JEERS to hurricanes wreaking havoc with races, but CHEERS to what sounded like NASCAR's resolve to NOT use Thanksgiving weekend. I read that they were prepared to race as late as Wednesday to avoid interfering with the holiday.

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By Carol Einarsson | 09/04/2008
I read that Kurt Busch gave a motivational speech to the Arizona Wildcats at the University of Arizona in Tucson. A motivational speech by Kurt Busch. I wonder how many misplaced syllables escaped his mouth during that speech.

I wonder why they didn't put the Day of Reckoning paint scheme on the car at Bristol instead of California. Wouldn't a movie about fighting have looked so much better on a smashed-up Bristol car?

I was reading about the recent tire test at Kansas and I wondered if it wouldn't be a grand idea to keep the tire tests and drivers the same, but to also require rookies to tire test as well. It wouldn't provide the same kind of feedback for Goodyear, but it would sure be a nice opportunity for rookies to be tutored by the more experienced drivers at a track where they may have little or no experience.

I can't say this often enough, but I wonder what "probation" really means in NASCAR. The dictionary defines it as "the testing of a person's conduct or character; the period of such testing; or the conditional release of a prisoner." Seems to me it's the conduct that got them in trouble, that's already been tested, and unless there are a couple of prison cells inside the NASCAR trailer - and we're not saying there isn't - maybe NASCAR needs a new term.

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By Carol Einarsson | 09/02/2008
CHEERS to reminding us (as though we could have forgotten) that a six-race "probation" will expire just in time for Martinsville!

CHEERS to the wind revealing that four-time champ's hairline. Yikes.

CHEERS to replaying Kasey in Victory Lane wearing a firesuit emblazoned with "Snuggle".

JEERS to the empty seats at California, but still enough early drunks to yell during the anthem.

CHEERS to a dad comforting his little girl in case she's afraid of the fireworks and airplane noises.

CHEERS to Drew Carey, but JEERS to his command to start. He did know he had a microphone and didn't have to scream loud enough to be heard in the grandstands, right?

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By Carol Einarsson | 09/01/2008

Yes, it's back! It's the Secret Word Contest! Simple as this: I've picked a Secret Word and if you use that word in a comment on Tuesday's CHEERS and JEERS column, you win a prize.

The prize bucket is overflowing, and we simply have to start awarding a LOT of prizes!!

Good luck to all!

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By Carol Einarsson | 08/28/2008

I like that you have a calming effect on Tony Stewart.

I like that when Dale, Jr. hid his concussion, you were disappointed not as the president of NASCAR, but as a father-figure that has known him since he was a boy.

I like that your souped-up golf cart even has a CD player.

I like that your first job in racing was cooking and selling hot dogs and hamburgers at Bristol when you were a teenager and the track was brand new.

I like that there doesn't seem to be anything bad that people say about you.

Despite the tears that puddle in my eyes each time I see a replay of your announcement, I like that it was you and not anyone else that told us "We've lost Dale Earnhardt." You shouldered it and announced to the world that we had lost Dale even though it was such a personal blow to you.

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By Carol Einarsson | 08/26/2008
CHEERS to Race Day at a time when I can watch it. What a great show!

CHEERS to Bill Elliott's post-qualifying quote, "When I show up and I'm the oldest, I feel old. But see, Schrader's here, and he's old, so I feel like a young kid!"

CHEERS to Jeff Burton, "We're a group of people who feel we have something to prove to the world." What a great summation of Richard Childress Racing. And when that's the whole team's theme, it can only lead to continued success.

CHEERS to "It's the biggest day of the year not because it's Bristol, but because it's Kenny's birthday!" What a great day to have a birthday! I think they should have called Duff, though, and maybe he'd have made a cake shaped like the track.

JEERS to making excuses for Denny, giving him a chance to redeem himself, and then hearing him not change his tune one bit. "I'm the team leader..." Maybe that's the problem at the #11 team.

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By Carol Einarsson | 08/25/2008
Not sure if this should be a CHEERS or a JEERS -- Who was Casey Mears hugging on before the race? She was visibly very pregnant. Is there news to tell?

Earlier this season, Casey announced that he and his girlfriend are expecting a baby girl, reportedly due in October. There hasn't been much press around it, likely because there is a stigma about the unmarried having babies, and especially in a family sport like NASCAR. I think the backlash in sponsorship has already begun for Casey, but apparently that kind of scandal doesn't bother the folks at Jack Daniels.

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By Carol Einarsson | 08/22/2008
CHEERS to the overhead shot by SPEED showing all the Cup drivers in a sprint to get to their Nationwide cars, and calling the foot race like any other race. I think David Ragan won the gold, and he even cleared the hurdle. Here comes Carl on the outside to make it two-wide with Bowyer, and blocking Sadler!

CHEERS to the best race weekend of the year. Sure, we love Speed Weeks at Daytona, especially after our winter withdrawals, but night racing at Bristol in August is just magic!

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By Carol Einarsson | 08/20/2008
CHEERS to "We are set to go racing at Bristol." Yes, indeed we are!! This is part-one of the three-part 2008 Bristol Bonanza! We'll lead off with the Craftsman Truck Series, with part two being the Nationwide Series, and the finale posted on Tuesday with the Sprint Cup Series. It's Bristol, baby!!

CHEERS to anticipating the possibility of Johnny going four-for-four!

CHEERS to Jamie Wolfe, local singing sensation from Charlotte. Too bad the only camera angle was through a fence.

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By Carol Einarsson | 08/19/2008
CHEERS to a black Mustang GT for your first car! Nice, Elliott!

CHEERS to Stanley Tools putting up a MILLION BUCKS for the Children's Miracle Network if Elliott Sadler wins. And CHEERS to Dave Burns nearly making Elliott's Coca-Cola come out his nose.

CHEERS to Rusty's passion about how fuel mileage "Makes me SICK as a driver, man!"

JEERS to the Countdown to Green which has become more of a "what happened the last two weeks" than a real countdown to today's race. Right now we're (again) revisiting the Indy tire fiasco. CHEERS , though, to Andy's field trip to Goodyear and the piece he did.

CHEERS to Mike Skinner in the field! I wish I could be more optimistic about a strong finish for him, but it's still nice to have him around.

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By Carol Einarsson | 08/14/2008

I like that you have a calming effect on Tony Stewart.

I like that when Dale, Jr. hid his concussion, you were disappointed not as the president of NASCAR, but as a father-figure that has known him since he was a boy.

I like that your souped-up golf cart even has a CD player.

I like that your first job in racing was cooking and selling hot dogs and hamburgers at Bristol when you were a teenager and the track was brand new.

I like that there doesn't seem to be anything bad that people say about you.

Despite the tears that puddle in my eyes each time I see a replay of your announcement, I like that it was you and not anyone else that told us "We've lost Dale Earnhardt." You shouldered it and announced to the world that we had lost Dale even though it was such a personal blow to you.

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By Carol Einarsson | 08/12/2008

CHEERS first and foremost to Johnny Benson! Three wins in a row in the truck series, and leading the points! Way to go, Johnny!

CHEERS to The Real Deal with Steve Park, whose first win was at Watkins Glen. And about his 2001 Darlington wreck memories, "God does a good job of protecting you in situations like that." Even though Steve's got a great attitude about life and the future, I still find myself a little teary-eyed watching him and knowing the hardship he's faced. But like every good story, there's a happy ending, and we hear he's getting married in December! We love news like that!

JEERS to a weird race name. Centurion Boats at The Glen sounds more like a boating event than an auto race.

JEERS to weather costing Boris another chance to qualify, but CHEERS to a ride with Petty!!

JEERS to the presentation of our National Anthem. From the bad singing to the constant fireworks throughout, that was one strange deal. CHEERS to the flyover, though.

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By Carol Einarsson | 08/05/2008
CHEERS to Trenton, Indy, and the Milwaukee Mile all present at Pocono. I hope the tires don't fall apart in turn two.

CHEERS to Carl being caught off guard by learning his crew chief is running an "experiment."

CHEERS to Clarke Louis. He's performed the anthem for us before, hasn't he? Very nice.

JEERS to rained out practice and qualifying, but CHEERS to sunshine on Sunday... or at least only partly cloudy.

CHEERS to temps in the low 70s in August. And I bet they don't have tornados there, either.

JEERS to the first competition yellow. After last week, I think that leaves a sour taste in everyone's mouth.

CHEERS to a good command that could have been made better only by eliminating the first half.

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By Carol Einarsson | 07/31/2008
Ryan Newman gets down and dirty on this week's Alltel Racing Podcast, talking about where it all began for him as a driver- dirt track racing. As the 2008 Daytona 500 Champion returned to his home state of Indiana this weekend for the Brickyard, he discussed the impact that dirt track racing has had on his career. "As a driver, when you it make it to the top level, you have had dirt track experience," said Newman who plans to race a late model dirt car in Charlotte this fall. Newman says, Newman tells listeners that if he were in charge of NASCAR he would add Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio to the Cup Series because it's more enjoyable for both the drivers and the fans. To hear more of Newman's podcast visit alltelracing.com.

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By Carol Einarsson | 07/31/2008
Quick question: Do you think Ryan Newman is a done deal to race with Tony at Stewart Haas next year?

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By Carol Einarsson | 07/29/2008
CHEERS to Robin Miller's Indy rundown. If you missed it on RaceDay, you missed Miller taking us around town and telling us stories ranging from Spencer's bakery bill to Herman staying at the Gateway Motel; from Jeff Gordon buying a used car for his girlfriend, to DW being chased out of Raceway Park in Claremont in the back of a police car; from Kelly's Pub and Tony's first anger management class -- Tony's lifetime record with Dan Drinan: 0-26 -- to AJ dressed up like Barney the dinosaur; and to top it off, looking for a size 41 hat to fit Chip Ganassi's big buffalo head. It was the best historical recap ever.

JEERS to Juan Pablo Montoya who, when asked if he thought he'd be kissing the bricks, said that he'd like to win, but he probably won't be kissing any bricks. And I flash back to Orange Juice at the Indy 500 and that other knucklehead, Emerson Fitipaldi.

CHEERS to any interview with Richard Childress, but...

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By Carol Einarsson | 07/23/2008

Welcome to EA Sports NASCAR '09 for XBox360

Jeff Gordon is our host; our mentor, as he likes to say. He introduces each section of the game with valuable information, and his movement is realistic and authentic for the first few seconds. After that, though, his mouth starts looking a little too much like a Japanese monster film and his words are out of sync with his lips.

As a mentor, though, his presence is sometimes a little much. Fans of Jeff Gordon will no doubt be fans of NASCAR '09. Those that aren't especially fans may be turned off of the whole game because there's no way to opt out of Jeff's instructive videos. Fan or not of Gordon, there is a most helpful button that is also ever-present, and it's the Ask Jeff Gordon button. If you're stuck, Jeff tells you where to go. In a nice way, I mean.

Other narration included is Rusty Wallace. Man, this is one annoying presence in the game. Pick any track, man, and you'll have the joy of hearing Rusty narrate a lap around the track, complete with his own memories, man, and the only thing missing is his overuse of the word "hotrod". Trust me, though, he makes up for it overusing other words instead, man.

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By Carol Einarsson | 07/23/2008
This is a new spot at RJO where I'll post press releases that are emailed to me. They aren't scheduled, but rather just pop in from time to time. Kasey Kahne on Live with Regis and Kelly NASCAR driver Kasey Kahne will be making a pit stop in New York City before he heads to Indianapolis for the Allstateォ 400 at the Brickyard ォ, one of the most prestigious races of the year. Kahne will appear during the Friday, July 25 episode of "Live with Regis and Kelly." Kasey will chat with Kelly Ripa and guest co-host David Duchovny about the Allstate 400 and his involvement with the Allstate Teen Safe Driving Pit Stop program. Be sure to tune in; check your local affiliates for air times.

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By Carol Einarsson | 07/23/2008
Jamie McMurray Moonlights as Cab Driver to Give Indianapolis Race Fans Rides Home Indianapolis, July 23, 2008 -- Before Jamie McMurray hits the backstretch at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, he will grab the wheel of a taxi for the makers of Crown Royal Canadian whisky to ensure adults have a safe ride home from Indianapolis-area hot spots on Thursday, July 24. The Crown Royal "Safe Rides Home" designated-driver program provides adult consumers free, safe rides home via a fleet of eight replica purple and gold No. 26 Ford Fusion cars. McMurray will kickoff the program from the corner of Jackson Place and South Meridian on Thursday, July 24, with safe rides home made available from 6 -- 11 p.m. Rides also will be offered on Friday, July 25 at the corner of Broad Ripple Avenue and Guilford Street from 10 p.m. -- 1 a.m.

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By Carol Einarsson | 07/22/2008
CHEERS to Peter Windsor overall, running around the paddock (which isn't the garage area when you're watching F1), "To be precise, and you can never be precise with these weather forecasts, but they're predicting 10% chance of rain." That means 10% chance of a really amusing race. Don't get me wrong, I like F1 racing, but F1 racing in the RAIN is just a whole different kind of fun.

JEERS to making those poor grid girls wear such inappropriate footwear for their job. Sure, they're in dresses and looking like they're about to go to a cocktail party, but to make them wear heels like that and stand around on the pavement holding flags is just unkind.

CHEERS to a three-way tie for the championship at the halfway point of the season. And no, there's no "resetting" of the points.

CHEERS to Bridgestone who makes the best commercials for tires. No blimps, no bloated white marshmallow-man-wannabe, just racing and impressing us with what they do -- make cars go fast and stick to the road.

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By Carol Einarsson | 07/22/2008

Seventeen years ago today I went to the hospital in the middle of the night. It wasn't altogether unexpected, it just wasn't expected for another few weeks. But the time had come, and off we went to welcome a certain assistant into the world.

July 22, 1991 was a day that changed my life forever.

And now, seventeen years later, I can't believe how fast the time has passed.

Happy Birthday, Matt, but you'll always be Colby to me.

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By Carol Einarsson | 07/20/2008
You probably don't know this about me, but I play billiards online. Pretty much every day. I play via the Nintendo Wi-Fi network with Clubhouse Games, and it's a game similar to 9-ball that I play. To understand what I've learned about life lately, you have to know some of the basics of 9-ball.

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By Carol Einarsson | 07/15/2008
CHEERS to Wendy winning the school bus race! What do I win for calling that one?

CHEERS to Tony and Coach appearing together on the pre-race show to prove that it wasn't about unhappiness, and that there is no animosity, and that Joe Gibbs is one class act!

JEERS to a 20% chance of rain, especially after those pictures we saw on The Weather Channel from yesterday!

CHEERS to Matt Yocum reminding us that today is Benny's birthday. "Man oh man."

CHEERS to King Richard Petty celebrating 50 years in NASCAR. And 50 years of marriage, too!

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By Carol Einarsson | 07/12/2008

Formula 1 Logo . . . . . . . Indy Racing League . . . . . . . wipeout

From the world of Formula One, and the ever disturbing story of Max Mosley, I find the headlines amusing for the suit he's now filed against the tabloid, News of the World. In one breath he's denying that the nazi tryst took place at all, and yet, oddly, he's suing them for invasion of privacy. Hmmm... One might wonder if it didn't happen, why he's not suing them for liable instead. And we might further wonder, if it didn't happen, how could that privacy have been invaded?

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By Carol Einarsson | 07/10/2008

Racing is about money. Yes, it's about the competition, but it's mostly about money, especially when you're talking about the team-ownership level. With the announcement of the Gibbs/Tony split, I started wondering about the money at Joe Gibbs Racing, and I wished we could create a parallel universe with the current situation on one side and the "what might have been had we stayed with Chevrolet" on the other.

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By | 07/09/2008
Press Note:

Online auction supports Newman charity: Race fans anxious to get their hands on the hottest racing gear from Ryan Newman and the No. 12 Alltel Dodge team now have the chance to place a winning bid while helping a good cause at the same time.

Beginning today, fans can support the Ryan Newman Foundation by bidding on authentic racing memorabilia autographed by the 2008 Daytona 500 champion through the Fan Center at www.alltelracing.com.

Net proceeds from each weekly auction will benefit Newman's charity, which promotes companion animal welfare and conservation of the great outdoors.

Press Release:

Alltel Wireless supports Ryan Newman Foundation with online charity auction

Autographed memorabilia from Daytona 500 champion available online at alltelracing.com

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- Race fans anxious to get their hands on the hottest memorabilia from Ryan Newman and the No. 12 Alltel Dodge team now have the chance to place a winning bid, courtesy of Alltel Wireless, America's largest network. Beginning today, fans can support the Ryan Newman Foundation by participating in an online auction and bidding on authentic racing items from the 2008 Daytona 500 champion at www.alltelracing.com.

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By Carol Einarsson | 07/08/2008
CHEERS to Elliott Sadler and his betrothed Amanda, already with a date set for January 17th, 2009. Congratulations, Elliott!!

CHEERS to Rutledge's parade, and Kyle Petty jumping over the fireworks, a feat so dangerous that the replay flashed the caution, "Do Not Attempt!"

CHEERS to the RaceDay recap of the first half including wins and wrecks and controversies and goodbyes. All the stories of the first half, and the wonder of what's to come.

JEERS to the change in sponsorship of the July Daytona race. Purists still call it the Firecracker 400, but those that came later to the sport have always associated this race with Pepsi. So another era has come quietly to an end, with the handoff of sponsorship to Pepsi's biggest rival. That's just not right.

CHEERS to Aaron's never missing an opportunity to capitalize on their racing sponsorship. Now they're comparing your credit to the wrecked Aaron's car.

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By Carol Einarsson | 07/06/2008
Okay, here's the plan: Each week following the race, I'll open the contest for Quote of the Week. I'll already have chosen my QOTW, and whoever comes closest to it will win a prize. If nobody is exact (or what I deem to be "close enough") then a winner will be chosen randomly (sorta). I'll choose either a random number between one and the number of comments submitted, or I might choose one that I think would be the second best QOTW. If you are submitting more than one entry, please use separate comment boxes.

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By Our Founding Fathers | 07/04/2008
Pledge of Allegiance

From a speech made by Capt. John S. McCain (Sen-R)
Watch video here.

As you may know, I spent five and a half years as a prisoner of war during the Vietnam War. In the early years of our imprisonment, the NVA kept us in solitary confinement or two or three to a cell. In 1971 the NVA moved us from these conditions of isolation into large rooms with as many as 30 to 40 men to a room. This was, as you can imagine, a wonderful change and was a direct result of the efforts of millions of Americans on behalf of a few hundred POWs 10,000 miles from home.

One of the men who moved into my room was a young man named Mike Christian.

Mike came from a small town near Selma, Alabama. He didn't wear a pair of shoes until he was 13 years old. At 17, he enlisted in the US Navy. He later earned a commission by going to Officer Training School. Then he became a Naval Flight Officer and was shot down and captured in 1967. Mike had a keen and deep appreciation of the opportunities this country, and our military, provide for people who want to work and want to succeed.

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By Carol Einarsson | 07/01/2008
UPDATE: I know I mentioned that if I could watch the race replay from New Hampshire that I'd still write a column, but I've made a decision today and that won't be happening. It's already Daytona day, I still have a ton of storm clean-up to do, fridge restocking, and things that have been put off for a week. Sorry. - July 5, 2008
If you checked in last night, you already know that I missed the race. If you missed the reason why, you can Check it out HERE. But it was suggested that we open an article anyway and let the readers write the column, and that's a fine idea. Before you take it away, though, and even without seeing the race, I have just a few of my own:

CHEERS to Kurt Busch coming out of the shadow of his bad-boy little brother. Who'd have expected me to ever say that?

CHEERS to Michael Waltrip not just using strategy to come in second, but pulling in a bigger paycheck for his second place finish than the winner did.

CHEERS to Elliott Sadler for a top five!

CHEERS to Casey Mears with a nice seventh place after starting 24th. He's going to bring a lot of talent to a race team that's lucky enough to sign him for next year.

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By Carol Einarsson | 06/30/2008

It's 3:30pm on Monday, and I just now got Internet back. What a weekend it's been, and we are glad to be alive. We still have no power in half our house (the important half), but we are thankful to have the hallway light and two electrical outlets.

When I returned home Friday evening after the storm, I was happy to see the front tree still standing. Unfortunately, the neighbor has a tree in the rear of his yard that either broke or shed heavy debris enough to take out one of the electrical wires that comes into my house, as well as taking down my cable line. My friend in the digital age came this morning and fixed the cable, but the power company is still working to restore electricity. At this time, there are still 24,000 homes without power.

The storm was like nothing I've ever experienced. When I was sheltered from it, and knowing that Colby was sheltered, too, I wasn't afraid. Nobody had used the word tornado, and while 90mph winds were pretty frightening, in this part of the country unless we hear "tornado", we don't really fear the same way.

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By Carol Einarsson | 06/27/2008

I like that you race for Joe Gibbs Racing, my favorite owner in the series.

I like that your foundation supports cystic fibrosis, because I don't hear a lot of other drivers or athletes supporting that group.

I like that in 2006, your first full season, you finished in third place in the Cup Series.

I like that in that same year, you ran a full Busch schedule and you finished fourth!

I like that in just 95 races, you've led more than 2,000 laps.

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By Carol Einarsson | 06/24/2008
CHEERS to Raymond Parks and Kyle Petty's interview of him. I don't know that anyone else could have made that piece as special as Kyle did, having heard about Raymond Parks from his father and grandfather, as the team to beat. And not only was he the car owner for Bill France, he was a pioneer in handicapped-accessible race cars. War hero and racing hero, and maybe the first great that was driven out by the high-price of racing. I didn't know the name before the interview, but now I'll never forget the man.

CHEERS to Camping World stepping up -- or at least being the first one to jump at the chance to cover that black car of Robby Gordon that was fastest in practice and got all that TV time. See, now, had someone made that decision earlier, they could have had all that extra advertising.

CHEERS to "He's Mr. Dallenbach; I'm Mr. Petty." And "You look different on TV."

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By Carol Einarsson | 06/23/2008
I wish I'd been a race fan long enough to write some good "Remember When?" columns, but I haven't. I can't write about guys that built the foundation of the sport, or even guys that raced in the 70's and 80's (unless they are guys that were still racing in the 90's). But today I had a "remember when?" thought when I pondered the rumors about Mark Martin replacing Casey Mears and making one more stab at the Championship that has eluded him despite the mountain of achievements that make up his career. The thought I had was, "Remember when Mark Martin retired?"

Yeah, yeah, I know, he didn't retire. And I was a big defender of that at the time. Mark himself never said he was retiring. It was the media that said that for him. He just wanted to back off the crazy-long schedule, and do a little less. But on the heels of all the other guys that may have said similar things as a euphemism for their own retirement, nobody took his words at face value.

Turns out, it doesn't matter what the media said, Mark Martin held true to his plan. He's working part-time, racing when he wants to, and not racing when he doesn't want to.

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By Carol Einarsson | 06/17/2008

CHEERS to all the people at SPEED involved in getting Elliott Sadler's dad to the track Friday night to surprise Elliott. And Momma came too. What a great moment. Happy Father's Day, Herman!

CHEERS to the Pride of NASCAR visiting the Irvan family farm. August 20th, 1994. Seeing that car covered was one of the saddest things I ever saw. Seeing Ernie win at Michigan in 1997 was one of the happiest.

CHEERS to Larry Mac pointing out that some of the extra heat is coming from the unleaded fuel.

CHEERS to reminiscing Richard's 1000th start and the command to start engines. And KP, what do you remember? "I remember they didn't say Daddy and KYLE start your engines!"

CHEERS to Larry's best fatherly advice, "No matter what you do, whether it's playing a violin driving a race car or digging a ditch, try to dig the best ditch that you possibly can. Just give it 100%. That's the legacy that my dad passed to me and that's what I'm trying to pass on to my three kids."

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By Carol Einarsson | 06/15/2008

It's no secret that my favorite part of NASCAR is the people. I love the speed and the sounds and the competition of racing, but what keeps me hooked is the people and relationships in the sport. There isn't any other sport that I've seen where the players are so open with details of their lives. No other sport is really a family like NASCAR truly is.

If you follow other sports, can you name (without looking it up), the names of the players' wives and kids? Can you recall more than two stories that you know about how the players met their wives? Can you name their parents? If you follow NASCAR you can.

So when I started thinking about Father's Day, I had no shortage of sentimental thoughts drawn from the world of NASCAR,...

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By Carol Einarsson | 06/15/2008

MySpace Countdowns

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By Carol Einarsson | 06/14/2008

My Father

It's no secret that my favorite part of NASCAR is the people. I love the speed and the sounds and the competition of racing, but what keeps me hooked is the people and relationships in the sport. There isn't any other sport that I've seen where the players are so open with details of their lives. No other sport is really a family like NASCAR truly is.

If you follow other sports, can you name (without looking it up), the names of the players' wives and kids? Can you recall more than two stories that you know about how the players met their wives? Can you name their parents? If you follow NASCAR you can.

So when I started thinking about Father's Day, I had no shortage of sentimental thoughts drawn from the world of NASCAR, but as I think about those dad stories, so many of them are bittersweet. Bob Costas once said that there is no more defining moment in the life of a man than the day he loses his father. Truer words were never spoken, but I think the opposite is true -- and even more emotionally impacting: There is no more defining moment in the life of a father than the day he loses his son.

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By Carol Einarsson | 06/10/2008

CHEERS to the Pride of NASCAR, and the ever-engaging Bobby Allison interviewed by one with whom he shares a bond -- the love of Davey Allison.

CHEERS to videotape without which Bobby wouldn't have the benefit of seeing the 1-2 finish of the Daytona 500 with his son.

CHEERS to Hueytown! It's worth the trip from Talladega if you're ever in the area.

CHEERS to the subtle background music, pickin' on a guitar, and if you didn't pay close attention you'd miss it: Sweet Home Alabama.

CHEERS to "And Bobby Allison has stopped by his brother to help!"

JEERS to how that video of Davey makes me cry as if it were 1993 all over again. How can it possibly have been fifteen [corrected] years ago when we heard that awful news?

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By Carol Einarsson | 06/06/2008

Several months ago when FOX SupPORTS announced their joining with Autism Speaks to raise money for research and awareness, I remember feeling proud to be a viewer of a network that has stepped out to help an organization that is near and dear to so many. There are well-known cases of autism in the NASCAR world, from Hermie Sadler's daughter to Jamie McMurray's niece. But there are many other NASCAR (and non-NASCAR)families quietly affected by this condition that medicine so far has no answer for.

I have to confess that when I used to see the puzzle pieces, and I'd hear about Elliott's niece, I'd feel a certain amount of sympathy, but that's where it ended. It wasn't until a friend of mine confided that his son had been diagnosed that I really felt the impact of this on families and parents. It was that conversation that moved me to get involved. It might be a small thing that I can do, but I contacted Autism Speaks and signed a contract giving me permission to use their logo on my website.

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By Carol Einarsson | 06/05/2008
CHEERS to twenty Cup drivers getting together on a Wednesday night at a dirt track to drive for kids to go to camp. Yes, it's a testament to the character of these men, and a testament to the efforts of Tony Stewart, but how this must swell the heart of Kyle and Pattie Petty.

CHEERS to a goal to write to a million-dollar check to Kyle and Pattie for the camp in Kansas City.

CHEERS to Red Farmer racing like he's a kid, and a race winner this year already. Take that, AARP!

JEERS to whatever problems caused Matt Yocum's sound to be muffled that way.

CHEERS to 18,000 people packed into Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio.

CHEERS to "They crank their engines, and their brains pop out of gear." I've always been a fan of Kyle Petty on the track, but I might be an even bigger fan of Kyle Petty in the booth.

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By Carol Einarsson | 06/03/2008
CHEERS to the lead-in to the pre-race show filled with outtakes from the whole season.

CHEERS to the Drive for Autism golf outing, and especially Dick Berggren with his QUIET sign.

CHEERS to all the extra fun Jeff Hammond had this year. And he never missed his seat even once.

CHEERS to reflecting on the history of Darrell Waltrip, bad boy, but JEERS to trying to draw a parallel between him and anyone else in this generation of racing.

CHEERS to "When he'd go down Interstate 77 in Charlotte, they'd boo him!" Oh, Buddy, we miss you so much!

CHEERS to Elliott sneaking around the Sunoco station. I had no idea he was a Boris fan.

CHEERS to Darrell in his Carnac hat, "Do you think I look intelligent?... I think I look charming."

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By Carol Einarsson | 05/29/2008
So Bootie's off on vacation again. Just from what he WAS able to say, oh how I wonder what the whole story is that he's keeping mum about. And I wonder how that same car was able to pass inspection - TWICE - on Thursday without problem.

Three points separate Michael Waltrip from being in the top 35 and having to qualify on time. I wonder how many things the 55 team could have done just slightly differently that would have cost them three points. And I wonder how many things the 77 team in 36th spot could have done differently to have gained those three points.

With news about how mad Juan Pablo is about the crew chief revolving door at his team, I started wonderin'.... y'think he curses in English or Spanish? And do y'think he starts out in English and then switches mid-rant into Spanish like Ricky Ricardo?

David Coulthard is coming to Dover for a visit! I wonder if they'll let him sit in one of the Red Bull fendered cars. And I wonder what he'll think about their red rear wheels. Maybe he'll go back to his F1 friends and see about getting those cool rims on his own car.

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By Carol Einarsson | 05/27/2008

CHEERS to the last race at Charlotte under the leadership of Humpy Wheeler. Will it ever be fun again? And CHEERS to Jeff Hammond telling Humpy he's always welcome in their house.

JEERS to fouling up the Pledge of Allegiance on Memorial Day. Yikes.

CHEERS to Amazing Grace on bagpipes. I can't imagine how loud that must have been in person.

CHEERS to the 21 gun salute that I never noticed was followed by a command to cease fire. Good thing they told em that.

CHEERS to taps, and the solemn mood it evokes as we remember those lost.

CHEERS to Darryl Worley, but someone couldn't tell him what song he was supposed to be singing? And if you can't sing it straight on Memorial Day weekend, you should have just declined the invitation.

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By Carol Einarsson | 05/26/2008

I keep seeing signs around town from local businesses wishing passersby a Happy Memorial Day. People in the grocery store or at the bank or any other public place seem eager to wish me a Happy Memorial Day. With each new wish, my heart grows heavier because I don't know when Memorial Day got to be "happy" in the first place.

I read in the news about every day life in other parts of the world. A girl in the Middle East was killed for wearing blue jeans. A mother mourns the loss of her son that was killed for drinking. In China, women try to hide from the government if they become pregnant and already have children because forced abortions are status quo. All over the world, people hide in basements just to read their Bibles because doing so is punishable with prison or death.

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By Matt Einarsson | 05/23/2008
This weekend marks one of the all-time great sporting event weekends, with the Indy 500, the Coca Cola 600 and the Grand Prix of Monaco.

All on Sunday!

First on at 7:30am on SPEED is the Grand Prix of Monaco, Formula 1's premier event. No other race has the historical importance that Monte Carlo provides. It is the number one sporting event worldwide, and with three competitive teams this season, anything can happen. Nothing else even comes close.

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By Carol Einarsson | 05/20/2008
CHEERS to the All Star Race and Humpy's big show! It's racing and it's the circus, all at one track. And no elephants were harmed in the making of this race.

CHEERS to replaying the best finishes ever, from DW's mysteriously blown engine, to Earnhardt's grassy dominance over Bill Elliot, to Rusty making a hero of Darrell Waltrip but never choking on that million dollars.

CHEERS to AJ Allmendinger using his "smokin' hot" wife to try and get votes, as well as promising to wreck who we want "And we all know who that probably is."

CHEERS to Elliott's campaign, though, that the best reason to vote for him is so we don't have to see Carpentier run "nekkid".

CHEERS to Ric Flair's answer to Hermie's question, "If you're driving one of these cars on the last lap and you're in second place, what do you do?" -- "I look out for Kyle Busch!"

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By Carol Einarsson | 05/17/2008
The fireworks are crackling in the sky, the Victory Lane trio is dissecting the key moments of the race, and the fans are still standing in their seats. It was quite a night with some twists and turns, but what surprised you most?

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By Carol Einarsson | 05/16/2008
I wonder what it cost NASCAR to pay to use the Richard Petty Driving Experience cars for their burn-out competition. And isn't it funny that it's the King's cars that they're using to do something the King never did?

Anyone else worried, after looking at the TV ratings, what NASCAR might do next year? The TV ratings are up among men ages 25-54, but down among men 18-34. That seems to mean that their concerted effort to reclaim those lost old-school race fans has paid off, but they've lost their most desirable demographic group in the process.

I wonder if anyone else sees the irony of the Nintendo Wii sponsorship of the Target Race Team for the big race weekend. Here we have athletes in top condition sweating out the heat and endurance of two of the longest races, sponsored by a company largely responsible for the increased population of couch potatoes worldwide.

Jeff Gordon wants to win the All Star Race to break the record for wins. He's tied with Dale Earnhardt, but I wonder if anyone's reminded him that he's never won this race in an even-numbered year.

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By Carol Einarsson | 05/13/2008
CHEERS to Moms at the track. This is one of my favorite races of the year for many reasons, not the least of which is the success that Darlington has made of what NASCAR tried to hammer in as the last nail in the coffin for the Lady in Black. Take THAT, governing body!

CHEERS to Mrs. Busch showing up even knowing that she'd be in the presence of her booed son. That couldn't have been easy. Then again, I'm sure this isn't the first uncomfortable moment the poor woman has had to endure thanks to the antics of her son(s).

CHEERS to the May 10th memories for DW, and family pictures of the whole Waltrip family.

CHEERS to "I shill because I care." I know some folks think that selling and sports broadcasting should be miles apart, and that the job of broadcasting is to report on the game rather than draw any attention to themselves, but c'mon, Digger's cute, and there wouldn't be a line of merchandise without the fan demand in the first place. It's not really any different than T-Shirts that say FOX, ESPN, TNT, or SPEED, is it?

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By Carol Einarsson | 05/11/2008

I thought about what to write for today, but as I was pondering, I received an email that is the embodiment of what it is to be a mom. I don't know who wrote it, but if you're a mom, I know you'll appreciate it. Happy Mother's Day!

Author unknown

We had this great 10-year-old cat named Jack who just recently died.

Jack was a great cat, and the kids would carry him around and sit on him and nothing ever bothered him. He used to hang out and nap all day long on the mat in our bathroom.

We have three kids, and at the time of this story, they were 4 years old, 3 years old, and 1 year old. The middle one is Eli.

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By Carol Einarsson | 05/10/2008
Short and sweet - who outperformed your expectations or underperformed your hopes?

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By Mary Beth Voelker | 05/08/2008
nascar kyle busch

People keep griping about Kyle Busch's attitude. Well, what sort of attitude do you expect him to have after the way fans have treated him for the past six years?

If Kyle Busch has a chip on his shoulder and a tendency to get defensive it's no wonder. People have been booing at him for as long as he's been in NASCAR -- just because he had the wrong last name and drove for the wrong owner. If his name was Kyle Smith and he'd started with Gibbs instead of Hendrick he'd be everyone's darling for his talent, his humor, and his sense of fun. Instead, he's been chained to a load of undeserved baggage from the start.

Kyle knows that nothing he has ever done has made any difference in the booing -- it started before people even knew who he was as an individual and has continued no matter what. He makes a mistake and wrecks, people boo. He makes a daring pass and wins, people boo. He gives the purse from his first Cup win to the hurricane victims, people still boo. If you treated a dog that way -- beating him for obedience and defiance alike -- you'd create a vicious and untrustworthy biter.

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By Carol Einarsson | 05/06/2008
CHEERS to the National Anthem performed in a way that made me feel patriotic and like I was at a July 4th parade.

CHEERS to THE BEST filmed fly-over ever. I don't know if it was the best flyover or if it was just the best camera angle ever, but it was magnificent!

CHEERS to Dan Lowry livin' the dream. He's got the race, he's giving the command (and probably could have done so without benefit of the microphone), and his name will forever be tied to this race in the history books.

CHEERS to Emmys all around!

CHEERS to Denny on the pole at his home track. It's always fun to show off for your friends. And eat home-cooked meals at home, too.

CHEERS to Michael Waltrip and Jeff Gordon starting side by side.

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By Carol Einarsson | 05/03/2008
Some will say Kyle Busch got loose. Others think that was a convenient way to wreck the leader. There's no denying that any ground he's made up in the PR department has now been lost. What do you think?

(Until Bill fixes what I just broke, click on the "continue reading" link to vote.)

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By Carol Einarsson | 05/02/2008

I noticed you've edited your comment on Ms. Renshaw. Any particular reason you removed a certain descriptive phrase? I don't know anything about either racer, nor am I connected with either. I'm just curious. For as outspoken as you are in your columns, I was surprised that it had changed between this morning when I first saw it and lunchtime.

(For those readers who didn't notice the first comment I posted at 4:35 am, I'd originally used the phrase, "no-talent vehicular-manslaughterer Deborah Renshaw." After sleeping for three hours, I awoke to put the beast out and then reread my post. I removed three words, among them the harshest that you may have noticed are no longer included in comment #3 in the CHEERS and JEERS section.)

Hmmm... Well, I don't really know. Except it's maybe the dead-horse philosophy. I've made it quite known to anyone that was reading my stuff around that time that I think she should have been charged with vehicular manslaughter. Her actions (or inactions) were about as negligent as it gets. There was just no excuse whatsoever. So her spotter claimed he couldn't see. There were other teams that had spotters in the same position as hers, and yet those drivers managed to slow down and yield to the flashing caution lights.

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By Carol Einarsson | 04/30/2008

I like that your racing career includes everything from quarter midgets to the Indy 500, and from ARCA to Cup, with everything else in between!

I like that you seem to be a genuinely happy guy, with one of those smiles that comes easy and often.

I like that you were an IROC test driver.

I like that you have a big family, with four kids whose initials are A, B, C, and D.

I like that you were responsible for providing all the cars for the ESPN movie "3", and that you and your team found and/or built more than sixty race cars for the film.

I like that your nickname is Indiana Andy.

I like that when you first moved to Charlotte, you found a place to stay - sleeping in Ken Schrader's shop.

I like that your first Cup start happened in the first full year of Cup racing that I watched as a new race fan.

I like that you've driven the #28 car, even if only while testing for RYR.

I like that you're an A-Feature winner at Eldora.

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By Carol Einarsson | 04/29/2008
CHEERS to the best nickname change ever, calling Jimmy Spencer "Senior Excitement", but JEERS to Jimmy taking leave of his senses and suggesting that DEI might be a place for Tony to be able to race and share in ownership.

CHEERS to DW up on stage with Toby Lightman and looking like he's having the time of his life. Y'know, I wonder if there's any greater blessing than to enjoy your life as much as Darrell Waltrip enjoys his.

JEERS to Kevin Lepage. Yes, I know this is the Cup column, but that was one of the dumbest things I ever saw anyone do in a race car. Behind every successful man is a good woman, and why he ignored her advice is anyone's guess. However, CHEERS to Kevin Lepage being man enough to apologize to the drivers, the fans, the owners, and NASCAR upon reviewing the tape.

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By Carol Einarsson | 04/25/2008
How 'bout those rumors swirling around Smoke? When Gibbs made the move to Toyota, JD made sure to tell us that he had talked it over with all the drivers and they wouldn't have made the change if everyone in the family wasn't good with it. I wonder if Tony was trying to play nice, but now misses Chevy too much to continue.

And I wonder if he's a package deal. I can't hardly imagine Tony in any other color than Home Depot orange (it's bolder than eggplant, y'know), and without Zippy?

I wonder where Bobby Labonte will end up next year. My money's against a Childress jump. Maybe he'll stay with Petty after all.

They're narrowing the holes again for the restrictor plates. I wonder what a race at Talladega would look like if they just got out and pushed their cars. It would probably be too fast for NASCAR and they'd announce that the next race the cars would be pushed with the emergency brake on.

Tums instant dissolve powder. Am I the only one that thinks of that and imagines Pixie Stix in the pharmacy aisle?

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By Carol Einarsson | 04/22/2008

JEERS to racing in Mexico. You may as well know that's my mindset from the beginning. The reasons are many, but even if we leave out the safety factors and the cost of the trip, let's look at this trip as one that puts an off weekend in the Cup schedule that could be better placed after a longer stretch of races than three.

JEERS to the announcers forbidden from straying from the NASCAR party line and pretending they don't all have armed guards outside their hotel rooms.

CHEERS to Adrian Fernandez still awake.

JEERS to Rusty mangling the question that was asked, "...against NASCAR's best drivers and a veteran road course specialist..." I wonder which "one" Rusty was talking about.

JEERS to not playing the visitor's anthem first, and while past years have found us all quite impressed with the performance of our anthem by a Mexican singer doing a better job than some of our own well-known American singers, this year we think the performance might have been better rehearsed.

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By Carol Einarsson | 04/20/2008

Helio thinks she was a lap down.

Her critics say it doesn't count because it was a fuel-mileage race.

What do YOU think?

Share your thoughts here.

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By Carol Einarsson | 04/15/2008
CHEERS to Chris Myers, "It's so hot that Toyota called Jack Roush just to get the cold shoulder." Yeah, he's cheesy a good amount of the time, but that was funny.

JEERS to Jimmy Spencer being so sour on Robby Gordon that he concedes that the time has come that we can assign the nickname "Mr Excitement" to someone else -- so long as it's not Robby Gordon.

JEERS to what I knew would happen last week when they said we were going to have a "double header"... yeah, baseball instead of pre-race. Like it's our fault it rained in Boston? And not only that, but they're actually on TWO channels, and NASCAR is not on at all. Tell me that makes sense.

JEERS to the Monster commercial that made me cry. I can't explain why, but seeing the disappointment on the stork's face was just terrible.

JEERS to FOX. Y'know, I've sung their praises for quite awhile, and I still think they are giving us the best overall broadcast compared to the others, but they dropped the proverbial ball by not dropping the literal ball on Saturday. We didn't get to see the invocation, we didn't hear the anthem, we didn't get to see Larry Mac wave the green flag, and we're stuck watching a stupid baseball game that FOX is airing on TWO of their channels, with NASCAR fans left in the dark. Does racing mean nothing to them? Yeah, way to spend the investment, boys.

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By Carol Einarsson | 04/14/2008
There were 21 winners and I only received 17 addresses in email. Please keep in mind that if you've previously emailed me your address for a prior prize, I don't have it because it's locked up in my dead computer.

Consider this the
LAst Call

Prizes are bundled and ready for the courier (recipients are listed below). Have you emailed me your address from the April Fool's game?

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By Carol Einarsson | 04/10/2008
When this past weekend found me using pen and paper to record my observations, I realized that I have my own brand of shorthand that I use. Sure, there are the typical abbreviations that everyone uses when writing quickly, but when I once again reverted to all the driver nicknames I use, I thought it might be fun to compile a list to share with others.

RoGo is Robby Gordon. I can't just write Gordon because of Jeff (he's JG), and now that y'all know the name I use for Robby, I can sometime use the phrase "RoGo is a no-go" when he crashes.

KK is Kasey Kahne, of course, but I find it interesting that he could also be KaKa. Sounding that out, though, we might want to continue sans the vowels in that one.

I usually use TS for Tony which always amuses me because TS always makes me think of TS Elliot, and I can't imagine Smoke has much in common with him. The alternative, though, sounds a little like a disgusting cannibal goulash: ToStew (toe stew). Eeew.

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By Carol Einarsson | 04/08/2008
JEERS to Toshiba and Windows Vista. And I'd include Rent-A-Center, except I really can't complain that they're closed on Sundays (it would be nice if more businesses were), and they did a bang-up job of making things right and sending me home on Monday with a computer that works - no questions asked. That was great service.

And now for the REAL column:

CHEERS to Mike Joy, first and foremost, for allowing just three seconds to elapse between the time Michael McDowell's car came to rest after the horrific wreck, and the time he told us that he was moving around.

JEERS to the inconsistent stories coming out of Petty Enterprises. We have Kyle outta the car and saying it wasn't his idea. Loomis, on the other hand, is saying it was. And then Kyle says he'd entertain driving for a different race team? My take is that Kyle is on record as saying that he'd be willing to get out of the car if that's what it took to help the team. I've heard him say it, and chances are you have too. And Loomis has heard him say it. I think Robbie decided this was the week and rested on the fact that Kyle has been saying that for years. Kyle, however, didn't realize that his blanket statement was going to be used for a specific weekend. And I think the most telling quote of all is that Kyle is willing to drive elsewhere. That just screams of hurt feelings.

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By Carol Einarsson | 04/07/2008
Yeah, it didn't take me long to come up with that title.

Here's the scoop: I'm on a rented computer that I had to get from Rent-A-Center (sorry, Mikey, Aaron's won't do rent/lease unless you're in it to BUY, and I'm really not).

Last Tuesday was the day of doom. It was the day that my computer officially failed to charge. We conserved what we could, but slowly the life slipped away. I've needed a new motherboard for awhile, but denial is a place I know well, and as it turned out, it didn't just get better on its own. Bummer.

So the motherboard is on its way, and hopefully should arrive by Wednesday, and I get it installed on Thursday, Lord willing.

Meanwhile, I rented a computer (Toshiba with Vista) on Saturday, and it worked for about two hours. Before I went to bed Saturday night, it was demanding a Windows repair disk. That's pretty nervy, if you ask me. The darn thing was a homeless laptop and I tried to give it a good home at least for a month, and now it's demanding things of me?!

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By Carol Einarsson | 04/02/2008
April Fools 3

It's April 2nd now, and well, the blue slip arrived on my desk. Turns out the job offer was just an April Fool's joke on me. Or I made it up because April 1st landed on a Tuesday so I knew I had an opportunity. I tried to hint with the announcement header at the top of the page.

So then, the following all win prizes for seeing through the April Fools prank:

Bill B
Sr Race Fan

But the following will ALSO win prizes because I've never done anything like this before, and frankly, I felt guilty that some people believed me:

Stewart fan 2
3 Killer B's

And finally, one more person will also win a prize because he was so indecisive he couldn't decide which side of the fence to jump off on:


If your name is on this list, email me at CheersJeers@hotmail.com with the words APRIL FOOLS in the subject line, and give me your full name and address. Prizes will be mailed out on Monday!

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By Carol Einarsson | 04/01/2008

CHEERS to Martinsville, a parking lot with two light posts, around which 43 cars are racing.

CHEERS to Virginia Tech's presentation of the National Anthem.

CHEERS to Jeff Hammond starting the race, but he wasn't scheduled to -- I wonder what happened.

CHEERS to Jamie McMurray making the race at a critical time when some folks were writing articles that his whole career could slip away with the missing of one race.

CHEERS to the best Digger cam ever!

CHEERS to Schrader!! He's got himself a new Toyota, sponsorship from Microsoft, and a whole new start.

CHEERS to "Not in front of his brother, but spun out BY his brother!" Uh oh. I smell trouble in the Busch family.

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By Carol Einarsson | 03/31/2008
Thunderstorm Pictures, Images and Photos

I'm sure you've heard the one about the dyslexic agnostic insomniac who stayed up all night wondering if there was a dog, right? For some reason, that joke always comes to mind when I realize parallels between my dog's behavior and my own lack of faith.

Currently it's 4:42am and I'm awake. I shouldn't be awake, but I am. And so is the dingo. Why? Because it's late March. I went to bed at a respectable 12:30, but was awakened by the strange sounds of Duke trying to break into the litter box area behind the bathroom door and under the baby-gate that is there to prevent his indulgence in kitty-box crunchies.

You're probably wondering where I'm going with this, but let me explain...

Duke loves me. He loves me in a little bit of a psychotic way, though. When I come home he is beside himself even if my time away consists of running out to my car to get something and returning in through the front door. When I am away, he will curl up with my pillow just to breathe the scent of me. If I've been gone more than an hour, when I return home, he will attempt to sit on my lap -- all 100 pounds of him. When I walk from room to room, he follows. He adores me. In fact, and here we go with our parallel -- he worships me.

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By Carol Einarsson | 03/27/2008
Of today's active drivers, nobody has more top-10 finishes at Martinsville than Jeff Gordon (24). Not a surprising stat. But did you know that in second place on that list is Ken Schrader (18)? And third place is Kyle Petty (15)?

If Dale Earnhardt, Jr. can win here, he will join Buddy Baker and Richard Petty in the little-known class of "sons who won where Daddy won first".

Jeff Gordon also leads active drivers in number of Martinsville wins with seven. Jimmie Johnson has four, and Tony Stewart has just two. In comparison, the King has 15 and ol' DW has 11. Statistically, Richard Petty won 22% of the races he entered in Martinsville, Darrell won 21% of his races, and Jeff Gordon has won 23% of the races he's run at the track.

Nobody has more poles at the track than Darrell Waltrip (8), and again, Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers with six poles -- 20% of the races he's been in at Martinsville, he's started in P1.

Harry Gant and Richard Petty hold two interesting records at Martinsville: oldest winner and youngest winner. Handsome Harry won in 1991 at 51 years old; The King won at just 22 years old.

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By Carol Einarsson | 03/25/2008

CHEERS to racing from Nashville. We like tracks that remind us of old school. And while we're at it, CHEERS to cameras at the ARCA practice at Rockingham!

JEERS to waking up late for the race. Being sick hasn't been very much fun, but the napping's been terrific!

JEERS to the first caution on just lap 10, but there's something amusing about the caution and a guy named Brett Rowe. Sounds a little like Scooby, doesn't it? "Rut row, Brett Rowe."

CHEERS to Carl giving Rusty reports on Stephen's looseness. And being nervous about the camera in his face. Good thing he brushed his teeth.

JEERS to Brad not paying one bit of attention to the broadcast.

CHEERS to revisiting Bobby Hamilton's win at Nashville, and hearing words of reflective wisdom from a son.

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By Carol Einarsson | 03/21/2008
10. The dog sleeps all day long.

9. Coughing during a breathing treatment makes the steam flow out the other end of the mouthpiece like a steam locomotive.

8. A spacer on an inhaler makes it way easier. Why didn't I know about those before?

7. Paying a co-pay for every follow-up visit just seems unfair.

6. Watching game shows from the couch all day is just as much fun as when I was a kid.

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By Carol Einarsson | 03/18/2008
CHEERS to Dale Jarrett. Let me just start today by saying that. For no specific reason, but yet for every specific reason. And thank you to FOX for all the nice tribute time recognizing DJ's career.

CHEERS to the ever-loyal card-holders at Bristol who know their craft better than any other large group of people at any event. Thank you, season ticket holders, for speaking for us all: Thanks, Dale!

CHEERS to Mountain Dew, Junior Johnson, Jeff Hammond, and everyone at FOX who were able to surprise Darrell Waltrip with a gift of his #11 undefeated Mountain Dew car. Not a replica, but the real deal. And CHEERS to DW climbing in without hesitation, suit and all.

CHEERS to Danielle Peck, even if the only shot of her was through a fence. Singing the anthem with the accent we like best. And rather than sing the last word during the flyover, waiting for the boom to finish.

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By Carol Einarsson | 03/11/2008
CHEERS to Jason Michael Carroll's presentation of our National Anthem. That was simply beautiful.

CHEERS to hearing the driver's opinions of each other and who's cool -- and the ultra-cool Kyle Petty making the list.

JEERS to the tires. Let's just say that up front. After what we heard during practice, Goodyear's going to have to answer to quite a few by the end of the day, we suspect.

JEERS to struggling right into the wall, but we hope Macy's car handles better.

CHEERS to "That green dot's getting smaller and smaller."

CHEERS to the Jimmie Johnson Kobalt Tools ad that could be overplayed to the point of two showings in each break, and I'd still enjoy every moment of it.

CHEERS to Rick Wilson, a driver I fondly remember whenever I see Snickers on a car.

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By Carol Einarsson | 03/08/2008
I have occasion to spend quite a bit of time on the phone, and if there is one thing that has always put me on edge, it's those women that call me "Sweetheart" or "Honey", as a term of endearment. I don't know why it grates on my nerves, but grate it does. And when you have one woman that calls you Sweetie, she is not likely to be the kind to use that only once in a conversation.

I've pondered ways to prevent this from happening, occasionally interjecting politely that my name is Carol. It's all to no avail, however, because to anyone that is comfortable enough to call a stranger Sweetie, a subtle correction like that will be as effective as trying to use a toothpick to rotisserie a turkey.

Sometimes I'm so annoyed by this practice which I consider to be an emotional intrusion that I even pray that God will give me words to gently correct those that verbally hug me against my will this way. And in a loving parental way, God sometimes says no. Today I learned why.

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By Carol Einarsson | 03/07/2008
The first Atlanta race was in 1960, and Fireball Roberts won in a Pontiac. In fact, three of the first five races were won by Pontiacs, and all five of those races were run within a fourteen-month period.

In the nine years from 1970-79, the list of winners is a roster of the greatest racers in the sport's history: Allison, Petty, Foyt, Pearson, Yarborough, Baker, Marcis, Waltrip, and Bonnett. In 21 races, those nine names collectively claimed every trophy.

No current driver has more Atlanta wins than Bobby Labonte, but he's tied for third with Richard Petty for all-time Atlanta wins. Topping that list is Dale Earnhardt with nine wins, and Cale Yarborough has won seven times.

Two drivers are tied for the most poles, and coincidentally, one of the two is credited with teaching the other. Buddy Baker and Ryan Newman each have seven Atlanta poles.

Atlanta Motor Speedway has a 2.5 mile road course in the infield.

The track used to be named Atlanta International Raceway, but was renamed when Bruton purchased it in 1990.

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By Carol Einarsson | 03/04/2008
CHEERS to DW "not tryin' to start anything" and pointing out that Mark Martin's starting right behind Carl Edwards.

CHEERS to "Digger" the now-named gopher.

CHEERS to Darrell, the showgirl. Wow.

CHEERS to "I'm Jake; I'm kind of a big shot." And to Kyle Busch answering kids' questions.

JEERS to green. It's good to have associate sponsors that get their own scheme now and again, but Jeff Gordon should have something in his contract that his uniform always be blue.

CHEERS to wanting to meet Albert Einstein, Abe Lincoln, and Bill France, Sr.

JEERS to Las Vegas wind. It's big, it's cold, and it's gritty. And it makes it hard for the feather hats to stay on.

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By Carol Einarsson | 03/03/2008
I couldn't resist. I tried to resist, but I couldn't. Here, then, for your amusement and/or disgust, an email I received this evening:

I cannot wait to see what you write about Jeff Gordon tomorrow. I figure it will be something about him "whining about the lack of safer barriers at the gap where he hit". Or maybe it will be how dastardly he was for sliding up into Kenseth, even though he said he messed up. It is just amazing what you can find to diss Mr. Gordon for in your reports. It is kind of sad, but is now understood.
-Ellen S

No, what's truly amazing is that you are writing to me to complain about something I didn't even write, but that you think I might have written based upon your hate. And I should care what you think... why??? Please, find a life and get some kind of constructive hobby.

I apologize for this automatic reply to your email. To control spam, I now allow incoming messages only from senders I have approved beforehand. If you would like to be added to my list of approved senders, please fill out the short request form (see link below). Once I approve you, I will receive your original message in my inbox. You do not need to resend your message. I apologize for this one-time inconvenience.

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By Carol Einarsson | 02/28/2008

The name "Las Vegas" means "The Meadows" in Spanish.

Only six drivers have won a Cup race as Las Vegas, and nine out of ten races have been won by Hendrick or Roush. And Sterling stands alone with a win for Chip Ganassi.

Jimmie Johnson has won the last three years in a row, but in the last five then-Busch races, five different winners have visited Victory Lane and all of them are current Cup drivers.

Friday night you can find Kenny Wallace at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in "The Joint" at 8:30pm.

If the ten races that have been held at Las Vegas Motor Speedway were a season unto themselves, Mark Martin would be the Champion, having scored more points there than any other driver.

When the track first opened, the race was simply called the Las Vegas 400. In year three it was the CarsDirect.com 400, but for the past seven years, UAW Daimler Chrysler has been the title sponsor.

The population of Las Vegas is about 475,000. The track has seating for more than 20% of them.

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By Carol Einarsson | 02/26/2008
CHEERS to a little sunshine, finally, in California. It's looking like they might get that double-header in after all.

JEERS to rumors of Bobby going to Childress. Sure, we like the idea of Bobby in the equipment that RCR can provide, but wasn't he instrumental in the movement of Petty's whole operation to the Charlotte area? And he was just on Trackside talking about how happy he is where he's at right now.

CHEERS to Mike Joy helping make Larry Mac presentable for TV.

JEERS to the passage of time, and someone in my own household seeing ZZ Top on TV and asking, "Who's ever even heard of them?"

CHEERS to Kurt Busch playing mind-games and spooking Martin Truex with the notion that he could be the meat in a Busch-Stewart sandwich.

CHEERS to Mike Joy at "an undisclosed location in Orange County" lovin' life. "And I didn't buy one!"

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By Carol Einarsson | 02/21/2008
I just wonder if SPEED will send a camera crew with Smoke to see the horrifying event of Tony dipped in wax.

Thomas Kinkade and NASCAR? I wonder how much wall space I'm going to need to clear.

With NASCAR's new policy of giving drivers a little more freedom to be themselves and with the now infamous "what happens in the trailer stays in the trailer", I wonder if NASCAR has considered a room addition to their truck. Call it a "meeting room" if you will, but it would at least be protected from view of the media. And maybe they could put padding on the walls and remove all pointy objects.

And speaking of that particular confrontation, I wonder if Joe Gibbs was secretly happy inside, feeling so needed by the team so soon after his move back from football.

So I'm reading again that they're going to make Junior Johnson's life story into a movie, but every time I read that again (which seems to be every couple of years), I wonder how many times they're going to do that. I know there's already at least once that's been done, and maybe even twice.

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By Carol Einarsson | 02/21/2008
Over the last five races at Fontana, Matt Kenseth has scored the most points, but if you look at the last 10 races, Jimmie Johnson has outscored the field. They both won a race last year at this track.

Jeff Gordon won the first pole race at California Speedway in 1997 with a speed of 155mph, five miles an hour faster than the second quickest pole race speed (also set by him in 1999).

Eight of the fifteen races in Fontana have been won by a Ford, six by Chevy, and one race went to a Dodge when Kasey Kahne won in 2006.

Six races have been won by Hendrick, and five by Roush.

The purse for the first Fontana race was a mere $1.6 million and is expected to be more than six million this year. What a difference 11 years makes.

If qualifying is rained out, all three MWR cars will still make the field. What a difference just one year makes.

Tony Stewart has never won at California, just one of four tracks he's failed to win.

Kyle Busch is the youngest winner at Fontana (2005) and his win was also the longest race, 508 miles, thanks to 11 cautions.

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By Carol Einarsson | 02/19/2008

Two comments I couldn't leave unsaid from Saturday's race.

CHEERS to flagman Kevin Moss. I don't know if it was a different angle, the different colored flags, or what made his waving stand out, but I don't think I've ever seen a flagman wave with such perfection. Sure, the over-under pattern of most flagmen is nice, but the style of Moss is just mesmerizing to watch.

JEERS from the Saturday race to Greg Biffle's radio comment after putting not just one, but two cars (David Gilliland and Mark Green) nose first into the wall, at race speed, he's heard to say on his radio, "Guess they weren't as tight as they thought." Nice.

And now for Sunday, the 50th Running of the Daytona 500:

CHEERS to the race flags for the weekend being almost elegant in both color and texture. They looked to be silk and the jewel-tones of each one was fitting for the historical commemoration of this race.

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By Carol Einarsson | 02/17/2008
The Daytona 500 is oft referred to as the Super Bowl of NASCAR, and in the spirit of the biggest race of the year also come the biggest commercials of the year. I like to think that more than trying to imprint their sponsor name on our collective consumer mind, the ads exist merely to reward our loyalty by showing our drivers in amusing ways, because certainly we'd still be supporting them even without the super-sized expense of a fleet of new commercials.

Here, then, is a sampling of the new ads. Which one was your favorite?

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By Carol Einarsson | 02/14/2008

CHEERS to Tony's new Home Depot commercial, "Got any car paint?"

CHEERS to Rutledge flying with the Air Force. He's living a dream.

CHEERS to Joe Gibbs and the grandchildren running through the race shop. Oh it's so good to have him back!!

CHEERS to Hermie interviewing Elliott, reminiscent of Glenn Jarrett interviewing DJ.

CHEERS to parents Joe and Andrea Nemechek who have taught their children well, with hands placed over their hearts during the anthem.

Duel One:

CHEERS to Darrell Waltrip's retro 88 Gatorade car and DW in the flagstand. I'd hoped he was inside that car and going to pace the field for a parade lap, but I guess waving the flag is a pretty big thrill for him, too.

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By Carol Einarsson | 02/12/2008

CHEERS to the end of the off-season and the roar of engines from Daytona Beach that can be heard clear across the country on a Saturday night in February!

JEERS to that funky shooting thing they made Kasey do. I don't remember Junior ever having to do a hokey thing like that for the shootout.

CHEERS to gifting a restrictor plate to Myers to cut down on air flow. They're BACK!! And thankfully, Hammond shaved. We aren't sure we liked that goatee thing.

CHEERS to Tony Stewart and Kurt Busch, both so eager to contribute to The NASCAR Foundation that they got into their first little tiff of the season earlier than has ever before been achieved! And we especially like the rumor that Tony allegedly threw a punch at Kurt IN THE TRAILER!! As Hermie Sadler pointed out, that's not a good place for a brawl --"If Tony punches and Kurt ducks, the next thing you know, Tony's got Mike Helton up side the head!" With that kind of charitable donation, Kyle Petty could build a third camp!

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By Mary Beth Voelker | 02/07/2008

The new NASCAR season is about to start and the pre-season buzz shows that the naysayers among fans and sportswriters alike haven't missed a beat. For a lot of them the glass isn't just half-empty, its bone-dry and Brian France is engaged in a nefarious scheme to blow up the water tower as well.

I get very tired of all the complaining about what's wrong with NASCAR. But today, let's ask, "What's right with NASCAR?" The answer is, "Plenty!"

Depth of Competition

NASCAR carries a depth of competition in the Cup series that ought to be the envy of every other sport in existence. There are at least 20 drivers who have a legitimate chance of contending for the win at least once during the season, and a handful of dark horses who could pull off a surprise if circumstances line up right. In most racing series (and other group-competition sports as well), there are only a handful of legitimate contenders at best.


A great variety of colorful and interesting drivers from countless racing and geographic backgrounds give a wide variety of fans drivers they can identify with/enjoy. Those who label anyone who isn't an obnoxious jerk as a "corporate robot" may not agree, but there are plenty of personalities that spice up the field. The "3 Killer B's" I root for -- Kyle Busch, Greg Biffle, and Kurt Busch -- are certainly more jalapeno than vanilla as are Tony Stewart, Kevin Harvick, and Robby Gordon. And if your tastes don't run towards hot-heads and hard chargers you can find thoughtful, serious Jeff Burton; cool and calculating Kenseth or Johnson; geeky (and hilariously witty), Ryan Newman; funny guys JJ Yeley and AJ Allmendinger; country boy Elliott Sadler, and, of course, the superstars, Jeff Gordon and Dale Jr.

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By Carol Einarsson | 02/01/2008

The assistant and I have a box of cards from the game Would You Rather...? and though we don't play the actual game, we often will pick up a card and simply ask a question. One of my recent favorites, "Would you rather share your home with six 90-year-old men and six 90-year-old women -- OR -- with two ostriches? Such a question always leads to some pretty in-depth conversations as to why each of us chose one over the other.

So let's put this into a NASCAR context and maybe the same thing will happen.

The question is, would you rather be the president of the company where you currently work, or be a driver that made the NASCAR race every week, but never wins?

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By Carol Einarsson | 01/29/2008

CHEERS to so much racing to watch that it feels almost like summer. Well, except that Tuesday's forecast is a balmy 15 degrees.

JEERS to me apparently too naive or just too dense to read between the lines and know that 360 OTC was a hangover pill. I read that only now, and wonder if that's just disparaging media because they didn't pony up the money, or if the real use of the pill was hidden at the announcement of the "vitamin" so as not to stir controversy.

CHEERS to the Hendrick Museum undergoing renovations... I wonder if they're adding an entire wing for Junior. Oh, it's good to be back on the payroll.

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By Carol Einarsson | 01/28/2008
Monday night, six p.m. That was the magical time for TV at my house for years. My weekend of race viewing wasn't complete until after seeing three more viewpoints of Sunday's events. I had to see what my favorite "expert panel" had to say about the strategies, the mishaps, and the disagreements that unfolded at the track. The expert panel, of course, was Ken Schrader, Johnny Benson, and Michael Waltrip. And the leader of the bunch was Allen Bestwick. Together, these four served up the most entertaining hour on TV. When my friend in the digital age moved SPEED up to a premium channel, I subscribed to the whole package just to get the one channel, and it was for the sole reason of not missing my favorite show, one I always referred to as "The Big Show".

That changed when a certain exec landed himself a job at SPEED and decided to let his personal dislike for Allen Bestwick rule over any measure of professionalism he might have ever possessed (emphasis on the word "might").

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By Carol Einarsson | 01/25/2008
When I read the story about the annual media tour and the reports from DEI that it has been made to look as if Dale Earnhardt's youngest son never even existed, a chill went through me. I just don't understand.

When I think of DEI, I still think of the man whose name it bears. I can see the face of Dale Earnhardt in my mind, wearing sunglasses and smiling behind that brushy mustache of his. I see the neck-pinching of his friends, the shoving of media away from the car window when his namesake son won his first race and the proud dad wanted to stick his head in and share his pride with the man we all call Junior. And another picture that flashes through my mind when I think of Dale and the empire he built is that of his cherished wife by his side. She complemented him like a big red bow atop a tough and rugged muscle car.

I never imagined a time when I would think of DEI and not cheer for someone on the team. Just by virtue of association with the team that Dale built, I knew I'd always be behind DEI - to do anything else would be, in my mind, a rejection of the admiration I had for the man behind it.

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By Carol Einarsson | 01/22/2008
CHEERS to Tony Stewart doing everything he could, including a last minute offer to include the diamond ring off his own hand, to up the bidding on his race-run car auctioned for the Darrell Gwynn Foundation at Barrett Jackson.

JEERS to Stephen Wallace already wrecking at Daytona. And he didn't even hit a car. Rather, he hit a fence post. But lest anyone think he's really not ready to drive a top level car, young Stephen began by telling an interviewer, "I hate it..." Yeah, Stephen, so does your dad.

CHEERS to NASCAR's rule change that tires must be hand-rolled to the pit wall instead of rolled off on their own (to often be caught and/or guided by pit road officials). This should serve to also slow the stops a little bit more, but we worry about enforcement and the conspiracy theorists saying that the 24 team let go of the tire when it was still 3/4" from the wall and yet wasn't penalized, a clear indication that NASCAR plays favorites.

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By Carol Einarsson | 01/17/2008
I like that you are even-tempered. Even when you're frustrated, you can be trusted not to go after a guy after the race or in the pits. You have an admirable sense of self-control.

I like that when you won at Texas and put the hat on, you looked natural and not goofy.

I like that you understate the importance of your leadership. When Kevin Harvick was nearly in a fight and you walked up to make sure there was no trouble, you later told the media that Kevin had himself under control and you minimized the effect of your intervention so as to promote your teammate.

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By Carol Einarsson | 01/15/2008

CHEERS to giving free qualifying tickets to blood donors at Daytona, but I wonder who gets to pick up all those little band-aids and cotton balls that people take off and leave on the ground.

JEERS to breaking up a championship-winning team and firing and/or moving crew guys elsewhere. It was enough that the 48 team won a second championship in as many years, but apparently that's not good enough to keep your job.

CHEERS to Kirk Shelmerdine again in the employ of Richard Childress, and testing Daytona cars for him.

CHEERS to Joe Gibbs' second retirement from football! I know it's probably disheartening for him to have had the year he did, but this frees up his Sundays a bit and even if they won't let him talk on the radio, I bet we get to see him at the track a lot more often. And with Kyle Busch joining the group, we think he'll be busy.

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By Carol Einarsson | 01/07/2008
Race Journal Online has learned through a reliably unreliable source that some drivers have made some New Years' resolutions for 2008. We took some hasty notes when the informant called, and hope we heard him right. This is what we think he said:

"I won't push people around."
- Kasey Kahne

"I won't leave a race track until my team does."
- Kyle Busch

"I won't fill my pockets with heavy nuts and bolts."
- Stephen Wallace

"I'll wreck the whole field to finally win the Daytona 500."
-- Mark Martin

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By Carol Einarsson | 01/05/2008

I bet you're saying to yourself, "Carol Einarsson isn't a member of the Writer's Guild, is she?"

Hibernation is a funny thing. A lot of people think it means months of sleep, but really when bears do it, they're not in a constant sleep, but rather, on again-off again sleep waking up but remaining drowsy enough that they don't care to even get out of bed. Almost like they wake up, look at the clock, and think, "Hmm... I don't have to work today, there's really no reason I have to get up... maybe I'll just roll over and take a nap."

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By Carol Einarsson | 01/04/2008
Congratulations Mr.O

For winning our contest for best recycling idea for old Cup cars, suggesting that they be given to Stephen Wallace for practice, Mr.O has won a huge prize package from one of our sponsors,
Omaha Steaks!

Thanks to even more generosity, the prize package was increased to a value of more than $200!!

Mr.O will receive The American Celebration Assortment including:
4 (5 oz.) Filet Mignons
4 (5 oz.) Top Sirloins
4 (4 oz.) Boneless Pork Chops
2 (4.5 oz.) Stuffed Sole with Scallops and Crab
8 (3 oz.) Gourmet Franks
10 (4 oz.) Omaha Steaks Burgers
10 Potatoes au Gratin
and even a cutlery set and a cookbook!

Thanks to all who participated!

But wait -- there's more! No, not the Ginsu knives, but a special offer for Race Journal Online readers...

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By Carol Einarsson | 12/28/2007
All the suggestions have been considered, and the top ten have been selected for the poll. Voting will be opened until January 3rd at 8pm Central time. The suggestion with the most votes will win a prize package from Race Journal Online valued at more than $50!

Good luck to everyone!

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By Carol Einarsson | 12/21/2007
With the mandated Car of Tomorrow now in place, all the race shops are selling off their "old" Cup cars at bargain prices.

I considered a top ten list for ways to use an old Cup car, but something tells me all the great readers at RJO would have even better ideas. So was hatched the newest contest.

Post your best ideas on how to use an old Cup car (for example, carpooling kids to school), and we'll select the best (most creative and/or amusing) for a poll to take place next week.

Whichever suggestion gets the most votes in the poll wins! Your prize will be bigger than any that we've yet awarded, valued at more than $50!

So get those creative juices flowing, and enter as many times as you wish. Please put each suggestion in its own comment box.

Good luck!

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By Carol Einarsson | 12/18/2007
CHEERS to Jimmie Johnson avoiding a post-race injury this year and able to attend (and compete in) the Nations Cup. CHEERS , also, to Michael Schumacher for winning it!

CHEERS to David Coulthard entertaining a move to NASCAR after his F1 days are over. I know a lot of folks don't like the influx of these drivers into NASCAR, but just think -- if enough of them come, maybe we'll eventually get Bob Varsha and David Hobbs in the booth! And can't you imagine Peter Windsor walking around the garage the way he does, pointing at someone he sees in the distance, beckoning his cameraman, and tracking down his next victim?

CHEERS to Camping World stepping up to sponsor the NASCAR East and NASCAR West divisions of racing. Minimum driver age is 16, and if we could just get a regularly scheduled TV deal for this series, I think we'd find racing like we used to see in the Busch Series. (Yeah, Nationwide - I know. But it's still Busch to me. In fact, it's even still BGN to me!)

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By Carol Einarsson | 12/12/2007

Car fires, run-over crew members, injured jackmen, and dehydrated drivers are just some of the cases that call for a doctor's attention. NASCAR has increased safety a thousand fold in just the past 15 years, but as humans are not indestructible and accidents happen, we will continue to need the services of good doctors.

Enter Jerry Punch, M.D., a graduate of Wake Forest School of Medicine. He is credited with saving countless lives in the emergency room, and no fewer than two lives on the race track.

One of those drivers was Rusty Wallace who had crashed a Busch car and Dr. Jerry Punch was first to his car. Rusty wasn't breathing, and the doctor revived him. The other driver was Don Marmor, and though surviving thanks, in part, to Jerry Punch, he never returned to racing.

If you have been a fan since "the old days" of ESPN coverage, you likely remember well that when there was a nasty wreck on the track, the guy outside the care center giving us updates was Dr. Jerry Punch.

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By Carol Einarsson | 12/11/2007
CHEERS that we're healthy and warm with a roof over our head, that we're safe and that we haven't lost power like hundreds of thousands of others in parts of the country.

JEERS to COX Communications for whatever wacky reason they have THIS time for my loss of Internet that prevented a real column to be posted. If anyone sees Digital Max, kick him in the shins, will ya?

Stay tuned...

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By Carol Einarsson | 12/06/2007
Jimmie Johnson is the Champion. He's got the trophy and the money and the honor of the title. There are lots of folks, though, that are still pondering the "what if's" of the season, mostly, "What if NASCAR hadn't reconfigured the points and created The Chase?" How might things be different?

The other day I started thinking of all kinds of other "what if's" and pondering how many different paths the season could have taken. Like a squirrel running up a tree and choosing one branch over another, we can wonder what might have been if someone had made a single different choice, or if one critical moment had gone a slightly different way.

For instance, what if Michael Waltrip's team hadn't been found to have a "substance" in their fuel at Daytona? Might the season have gone entirely differently for him and his three Toyotas if not for the scandal that enveloped his race team at the onset of the season?

What if Mark Martin had won that race? What would the celebration have been like? Might we have seen another pit-road salute from all the teams? We can only imagine.

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By Carol Einarsson | 12/04/2007
JEERS to the banquet on ESPN Classic. I don't know whose idea it was, but it was a bad decision. All we hear is how much the fans matter to NASCAR, but ESPN effectively locked out a large percentage of them from the year end celebration. That's how you thank fans for enduring your coverage?

JEERS to whatever exec made the decision to have Dr. Punch host the gig instead of Jay Mohr. All I could hear when the broadcast began was blah blah blah blah. And the faces in the crowd, already glazed over, seemed to be hearing the same thing.

CHEERS to the NASCAR banquet being sponsored by Volkswagen. Yeah, that makes sense.

JEERS to David Spade as the "featured entertainment". Not only is he largely unfunny, but they didn't even have enough sense to keep the cameras off of the stone-faced unlaughing audience.

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By Carol Einarsson | 11/30/2007
One of my favorite things about the programming that Bill has set up here is to read the referrer counters. It's a report that I can look at to see what path led people to our site. As you might imagine, most hits come from one of three places: either someone manually typing in RaceJournalOnline.com; someone clicking on their saved link on a favorites list; or via our good friend Jayski.

But the real fun is found further down the list of referrers.

Some of the search terms that lead a reader to the site are pretty predictable. Last week, for example, we saw traffic that resulted from such Google searches as "Cheers and Jeers NASCAR 2007" and "NASCAR Cheers and Jeers".

Other search terms leave me scratching my head wondering why someone would type in a particular string of words. Such examples are recent searches like, "Jimmy Spencer toupee" and while that brought the seeker to the site, there were two more searches for "Jimmy Spencer hairpiece" that also hit the site. Curious. I don't remember ever writing an article about that topic, but then I start wondering if I mentioned it in passing. And I wonder if the article they landed on was the same one that a couple of hits found last week after searching for "wife big mouth".

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By Carol Einarsson | 11/27/2007
CHEERS to another season in the bag, and looking forward to next season. Just 81 days left. I wonder if Elliott's found anything in the woods yet.

JEERS to the live banquet being not even on ESPN, but on ESPN Classic. No HD Classic here, and just knowing we're going to have to suffer through the coverage that they offer makes me almost dread watching.

CHEERS to TNT for expanding their no-break race coverage to Daytona in July. We actually feel comfort in thinking about race coverage on TNT.

JEERS to the Goodyear tire test at LVMS being closed to the public. I wonder if it has anything to do with the first visit of the COT to the track.

CHEERS to the 24 team for winning the championship -- the 2007 Checkers/Rally's Double Drive-Thru Challenge Championship, that is. Not only is it the longest-titled championship, but at least the team won something they can brag about for the year.

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By Carol Einarsson | 11/25/2007
It's that time of year when we put together lists of highlights and reflect on the season past. My list is the 2007 Story of the Year. Now by virtue of definition, a list cannot be just one, but the order of the list is subjective. In no particular order...

Hendrick Domination
It was early in the season when it became apparent that Rick Hendrick would win another title this year. But it was late in the season when it became apparent that the Hendrick driver we most expected to win the title wasn't going to win it after all. Jeff dominated the first 26 and Jimmie dominated the remaining 10. Two drivers whose cars are prepared just feet away from each other, and nobody else came close to touching Hendrick.

Junior's Split
The signs were there for some time that Junior's career would not be a long marriage with the company that bears his father's name. It's a very sad story if you ask me, because it's the story of a broken family more than it is of broken business. But whenever I think about how sad of a day that first press conference was, I think quickly about Dale Earnhardt, Jr. trying to control his grin as he said the words leading up to "And my new boss is..." This was not just a major story, but when in sports history has the player ever had a conference to announce his new team? In every other sport, and even in this one, it's the team that announces their new driver. It was just that big.

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By Carol Einarsson | 11/20/2007
CHEERS to the opening montage on Race Day, especially all of the memories of when Atlanta was the last race of the year.

JEERS to the mom anxiety I feel when Jimmy Spencer starts waving his hands around when he's talking - he's got an opened Sharpie in his hand! Someone's gonna get permanent ink on their shirt if he doesn't put that down.

CHEERS to the tropical shirts for the SPEED crew, and the "beach bums" looking quite relaxed. They've certainly earned their vacation. Will I miss ESPN on Sundays? Not likely. But our friends at SPEED will surely leave a weekend void.

CHEERS to seeing the taped stickers inside the 24 & 48 cars.

CHEERS to Dillner's "Just one more day" essay. Very nice, Bob!

CHEERS to revisiting the last race in 2004 when Kurt Busch lost a tire and still won the title. One of the nicest things was hearing Wally Dallenbach's voice from the NBC broadcast. Ah, those were the days.

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By Carol Einarsson | 11/19/2007
You all know the story of Goldilocks and the three bears, right? The first bowl of porridge was too hot. The second was too cold. But that third bowl of porridge, well, it was just right.

Enter baby bear, Brian France. He's now saying that there's been so much change lately and NASCAR knows the fans don't like it so much, so he's pretty much called a moratorium on change. Some fans (including yours truly) think it's too little too late.

Whether it's all of the changes lately, including (but not limited to) the mess at ESPN, or whether it's a natural progression of a growing sport that is bound to plateau every now and again, there are signs of exhaustion among the participants.

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By Carol Einarsson | 11/15/2007
November 14th, 1999 was the first NASCAR Cup race at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Tony Stewart won, followed by his teammate Bobby Labonte, in a race that had just one caution. Oh, and they were both in Pontiacs.

In that first race, Kyle Petty finished 7th, right in front of Dale Earnhardt who finished 8th.

In that first race, the highest finishing Hendrick car was 9th. Can you guess which driver it was?

In eight races at Homestead, there have been just five different winners. Tony got the first two, Biffle got the last three, and in the middle were Bill Elliott, Kurt Busch, and Bobby Labonte.

Back in 1999, the race was named the Pennzoil 400 Presented by K-Mart, but in 2002 when the schedule was rearranged and Homestead became the last race of the season, the name was also changed to the Ford 400 and Ford Championship Weekend was born.

Two races have been won from the pole, two races have been won from the outside pole, two races have been won from lucky seventh starting spot, and that accounts for six of eight races.

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By Carol Einarsson | 11/13/2007

CHEERS to just two to go. I don't remember ever feeling this way before, almost looking forward to the end of the season, and I don't know why this year is different. Can it be that, even as a race fan, I'm admitting that the season is too long?

JEERS to the woman talking on the phone during the "moment of silence".

CHEERS to heads bowed in prayer.

CHEERS to Dr. Jesse McGuire, Sr. for the second best (still behind front-runner Julienne Irwin) anthem of the year. I'm afraid he bumped the Bristol kids to third.

CHEERS to Larry Mondry with four clear and distinct words. And the quad screen that followed was nice, too, combining the cars, the fans, and the track complete with cactus.

JEERS to Rusty's "encouragement", this week for Clint Bowyer. "Miracles can happen, man, and I know you need one today if you're gonna win this thing, buddy."

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By Carol Einarsson | 11/12/2007
There's not a lot that can make me root for Jeff Gordon.

So why was I watching Sunday's race and feeling uncomfortable? Why was I watching Jeff Gordon languish back in the pack with a feeling of injustice? I just can't get around the fact that before The Chase, there was no way anyone was going to catch Jeff Gordon for the title. It was his. He dominated the year and just never missed. He was clearly running like a Champion. He was golden, and his year seemed to be playing out as among the best in his life. The first part of it spent in anticipation of his first child being born, and the second part spent basking in fatherhood. All the while he was at the top of his game and winning races and running more consistently than most guys can even dream of running. His season was going to be capped off with a Championship trophy, which would prove to be the icing on the cake as he told and retold the story of the magical year to his little girl and maybe to her children, too.

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By Carol Einarsson | 11/08/2007

In the fall of 1988, Phoenix International Raceway held their first NASCAR-sanctioned race, and it was won by Alan Kulwicki with his Zerex sponsorship. It was Alan's first win.

Pontiac claimed two victories, Chevy has eight, and Ford has twelve. However, don't be misled -- Chevy has six of the last seven!

Both Dale Earnhardt and Dale Earnhardt, Jr. have won at Phoenix, and Junior is tied for the most wins (two) with Jeff Burton, Kevin Harvick, and Davey Allison.

Ryan Newman holds track record for fastest qualifying speed at 135.854mph. The slowest qualifying was the first race and pole-sitter Geoff Bodine qualified with a 123.203.

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By Carol Einarsson | 11/06/2007
CHEERS to the guy with a dry-erase board as his sign in the background of Race Day. First he drew perfectly-sized little girl hair to frame John Roberts' head and then his next sign declared JR Rocks! The board probably wasn't big enough to draw anything around Jimmy Spencer's head.

CHEERS to Elliott with a new crew chief, and starting his hunting season facial hair already.

CHEERS to praying before every race, but JEERS to the practice of prepared written invocations read on TV.

CHEERS to a Texas band making the anthem sound as it should.

CHEERS to a proud father holding his little girl, but JEERS to Bruton who said he'll pay the fine if Jeff Gordon gets out of his car after the race and punches a guy.

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By Carol Einarsson | 11/05/2007
News all over the Internet seems to be nothing but doom and gloom for Jeff Gordon. Articles about his fifth title "slipping away" abound.

The poor guy has slipped out of first in points one week and they've written him off. However, his biggest competition at this point seems to be unstoppable. Jimmie Johnson has now won nine races this season, and three of them in The Chase - three in a row, even!

All we ever hear from Hendrick is that the 24 and 48 have the same garage, the same information, and the same guys working on all the cars. Is that really a good idea when they are battling each other for the title?

Is Jeff Gordon giving this away to his own competition?

Will his season of dominance fall apart in the final act? Will he forever be cursed by Brian France's Chase format?

Or can he still win his fifth title this year?

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By Carol Einarsson | 11/01/2007

The first race at Texas was in 1997, and qualifying was rained out.

The most laps ever led by a winner was 278 by Tony Stewart in the 2006 fall race. The fewest laps led by a winner was 37 by Mark Martin in 1998. (Well, except Jeff Burton who won earlier this year by leading just the last lap. - Thanks, Stew!)

In 2005 Texas Motor Speedway was finally awarded the fall date, sometimes referred to in honor of the man who lost so much in the frenzied lawsuit, as the Francis Ferko 500.

There have been just 116 cautions at Texas in Cup races for a total of 609 caution laps.

Jeff Burton won the first race at Texas in April of 1997. He also won the most recent race there in July. He's the only two-time Cup winner.

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By Carol Einarsson | 10/31/2007

If you're old enough to remember Emily Litella from the old Saturday Night Live skits, then you might relate to what happened to me on Monday afternoon.

Emily Litella was a character created by the late, great Gilda Radner. She would offer commentary on the news, but she was always just a little bit off. If the news story was about busting school children, she would go on and on and on about how horrible that is to put children in jail. The food is bad, the neighborhood is bad, they're away from their friends...etc. She'd have quite the rant prepared, and she would convey it with the passion and conviction of someone that had given the topic great thought.

She would be interrupted by one of the news anchors who would gently explain that the story wasn't about busting school children, but it was about BUSSING school children. Emily would get a look on her face as she tried to process this new information. And then, with a hint of embarrassment, she would say, "Oh. Never mind."

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By Carol Einarsson | 10/30/2007

CHEERS to ESPN doing what they do best, and putting together an amazing tribute to Alan Kulwicki. (And by default, Benny Parsons, too.) Fifteen years later, his Championship remains so fresh in my mind, as does the sadness of his truck leaving the track after the tragic crash. Even this many years later, for so many to still be in tears is a testament to how greatly he was loved, and how immensely he is still missed.

JEERS to ESPN doing what they do worst, replaying one clip over and over and over again. This week it's the "what was your best costume" piece, and Carl Edwards' story played during the Busch race, during Cup practice, and then again on Sunday.

CHEERS to awareness by Jeff Gordon that either this will be the first time he's cheered, or the first time the command to start engines is booed. Let's hope for the best.

JEERS to Mike Massaro saying that Tony's wearing orange and black for Halloween. Uh, Mike? Those would be his sponsor colors. CHEERS to Tony, though, as "Mid-70s-fat-Elvis".

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By Carol Einarsson | 10/29/2007

-- Follow-up to be posted Wednesday --

When the caution flew with a handful of laps to go, most teams were relieved to be able to come into the pits for fuel. Lots of guys were nervously trying to conserve, unsure if they'd make it, others were sure they wouldn't make it. But when that caution came out for Johnny Sauter, it was a welcomed relief for everyone else.

Everyone, that is, except the 11 team. They stayed out, presumably with enough fuel to make it to the end, and enough courage that their tires would last.

But I sat stunned at what came next. The field was piling up as if fog suddenly rolled in on I-80 on a holiday weekend, but still, NASCAR threw the green flag.

And the cars piled up. They tried to avoid it, and some managed to escape. For others, though, the day was over.

The leader that was supposed to take the green was out of gas. And for reasons known only to himself, Denny Hamlin stayed in the pack. He didn't pull down to the inside even though he had room to do so. At one point it even looked like he thought about it but then changed his mind. Maybe he was in denial about what was happening.

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By Carol Einarsson | 10/25/2007

July 31st, 1960 was the date that Atlanta International Raceway hosted its first NASCAR race, and the inaugural winner was Fireball Roberts. He was just 31 years old and it was one of two wins he'd have that year racing just nine of the 44 scheduled races.

The pole speed for that first race was 133 miles per hour, 60mph slower than Jimmie Johnson's 193mph pole speed in March of this year.

Current drivers with more than one win at Atlanta include Tony Stewart, Ricky Rudd, Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon, Carl Edwards, and Bobby Labonte; four chase drivers among them.

Ford has 29 victories, Chevy has 33, and in case you were wondering, Buick has four.

The highest purse was $5.2 million in 2006; the lowest was $29,000 in 1961.

What do Rusty Wallace, Jeff Gordon, and Scott Wimmer have in common? Think on that a bit and we'll tell you a little later.

In 2001, Bobby Labonte set the record for winning from the furthest starting spot back in the field when he took the green flag from position 39. He bested the old record of a driver winning from 37th spot that had been set two years earlier by a guy named Bobby Labonte. It's all about personal best.

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By Carol Einarsson | 10/23/2007

CHEERS to the F1 race and podium activities concluding just before the green flag at Martinsville.

CHEERS to an outstanding anthem presentation, the third best of the season behind Julienne Irwin and the kids at Bristol.

CHEERS to a reasonable command that would have been better without the blah blah blah before it.

JEERS to calling the pit reporters "four of the best in the business." With all due respect, you have only TWO of the best in the business. And for what it's worth, your entire broadcast would be better if the two of them (Allen and Dave) were in the booth.

CHEERS to Mark Armstrong giving the perfect example of why they call him Hollywood.

JEERS to introducing Brett Bodine the same way as the other drivers that are actually in the race, listing his past racing achievements. He's driving the PACE CAR!

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By Carol Einarsson | 10/22/2007
CHEERS to 17 races in 17 countries. And the first three-way battle for the title in a generation.

CHEERS to The Brazilian Grand Prix settled nicely between Race Day and the start of the Cup race. The last half hour might be tricky, but we're determined to watch both!

CHEERS to the sea of red -- Ferrari red -- in the stands.

CHEERS to Peter Windsor whose approach to pre-race interviews in the garage is matched by none.

CHEERS to interviewing Mark Webber who started out holding an umbrella as shade from the heat, but then we suddenly saw his right hand come into view and the umbrella stayed where it was. For just a moment there, it was like a freakish magic show.

CHEERS to the tact of Pedro De La Rosa, the little-mentioned third McLaren driver, when asked which teammate he was rooting for, "We should never forget that our enemy is Kimi Raikkonen."

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By Carol Einarsson | 10/21/2007
Thanks to all that participated in this weekend's scavenger hunt contest!

We have six winners and they are (in order of solving)

Mr. O
Bill B

The answer was "Don't Feed Trolls", based upon some timely advice offered by our friend eddo.

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By Carol Einarsson | 10/18/2007
September 25th, 1949 in Martinsville, Virginia, fifteen cars set to race a hundred miles. That's how it all began. And Red Byron won that first race, the second-to-last win of his career.

If Dale Earnhardt, Jr. can win here, he will join Buddy Baker and Richard Petty in the little-known class of "sons who won where Daddy won first".

The last time a Ford won at Martinsville was way back in 2002. Eight of the last ten have been won by a Chevy, and of those eight, seven of them have been won by either Jeff Gordon or Jimmie Johnson.

When I was a new fan, I always found it odd that Mark Martin hadn't dominated this track. The headline possibilities are endless. But he's won just twice at Martinsville, and the most recent win was 15 years ago.

And speaking of fifteen, that's how many races Richard Petty won at this track, the shortest on the Cup circuit.

The first race in 1949 was the smallest field to race, just 15 cars. In 1958 and 1959 the largest field raced, with 47 cars.

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By Carol Einarsson | 10/16/2007
CHEERS to a simple anthem that was a little quirky, but still inspiring.

CHEERS to a contest winner giving the command without a lot of "on behalf of...blah blah blah..."

CHEERS to the pink cars bringing awareness to breast cancer research. Ever since Dale Jarrett first mentioned Susan G. Komen, I've been impressed with the level of interest from NASCAR drivers.

JEERS to whatever that wacky music was playing at the track. I don't remember ever hearing that kind of elevator music at the track that was loud enough to be picked up by TV.

JEERS to a wrecked Domino's car on the first lap. Maybe he was in a rush to deliver in less than 30 minutes.

CHEERS to Junior going half-way to Concord to make that pass, but uh, isn't he already IN Concord?

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By Carol Einarsson | 10/15/2007

We're half-way through The Chase, and the pack of 12 is spreading out. Gordon still has the lead and is showing no signs of weakening. Jimmie Johnson is still in second, but in five races has lost 88 points to Jeff. And then there's Clint Bowyer. Quiet and unassuming, least likely to be labeled aggressive, and yet he hides in the shadows ready to pounce.

Those are the top three.

Nearly 200 points out of the lead is Tony Stewart, and 42 points behind him is Carl Edwards. Another 60 points back is Kyle Busch followed by his big brother Kurt who is more than 300 points out of first.

That's fourth through seventh.

The final five spots are between 328 and 442 points out of first and here lies Kevin Harvick, Denny Hamlin, Jeff Burton, Martin Truex, and Matt Kenseth. Three of those five made a trip to New York this past week to hang out with Regis and Kelly, and despite having five more races to go, they might have already experienced the most fun they'll have in New York this year.

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By Carol Einarsson | 10/12/2007

I wonder what I'll do with all of my M&Ms stuff after this year. I was sort of okay with the transference from Elliott Sadler to David Gilliland, but I'm pretty sure I won't be caught dead carrying my M&M's lunch bag around after the sponsorship switches to Kyle Busch.

So 3M is going to sponsor Biffle next year? I wonder how they can afford it, frankly. Did you know that if you invested in 1,000 shares of 3M stock in 2002, by now you'd have lost more than $29,000?

And while we're talking racing stock, did you know that if you'd invested in Lowe's in October, 2005 with a thousand shares, you'd have lost over $32,000 in just two years.

David Reutimann in the UPS ride, eh? I dunno... he's amusing enough, but I wonder if he'll be able to carry the commercials on his own. Maybe DJ in his limited schedule will be able to help out. Or maybe, on his last day of work for UPS, DJ and Ned can abscond with the race truck and hit the highway on a nationwide tour of race cities.

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By Carol Einarsson | 10/11/2007

Before corporate sponsorship took over the naming of the track, Lowe's Motor Speedway was the original "CMS", or Charlotte Motor Speedway. Purists still refer to it that way.

Jimmie Johnson is just one more win away from tying for the most wins with Darrell Waltrip and Bobby Allison at six wins each.

The purse this year, almost $5.2 million is a little more than $100,000 more than last year, which averages about an extra $2500 per spot. I hope that's not enough incentive to lure Derrike Cope back.

And for a little bit of perspective, in 1960, the purse for the first race was a shade under $79,000 for the 600-mile race with a field of 60 cars.

In 2005, Elliott Sadler set the track qualifying record at 193.216 mph.

Jimmie Johnson is fond of saying that Lowe's is HIS house. Did you know, though, that when you go to the main website for Lowe's Motor Speedway, two of the four headlines are about Dale Earnhardt, Jr.? It seems maybe Jimmie's lost his pants AND his house to his future teammate. Nevertheless, Jimmie still holds a cool record at the track, coming from the furthest back to win after starting 37th in 2003.

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By Carol Einarsson | 10/09/2007
CHEERS to being in sweet home, Alabama. Now hold your breath for the next three hours.

JEERS to the way Brad and Rusty argue at the desk because there's a look on each one of their faces that seems to tell us that it's not all in good fun. They seem to genuinely dislike one another and it's just uncomfortable to watch.

JEERS to messing up not his last name, but now she can't even say "Jacques"? No worries, I'll just call him Jean. Good grief. When I think of all the female reporters that would add something to the broadcast, I just can't understand the placement of Suzy Kolber.

JEERS to nobody getting a better fire suit for Jacques. He looks like a homeless driver or something with his plain white baggy suit. What is that, a hand-me-down from Jimmy Spencer?

CHEERS to Michael Waltrip's pre-race interview, "You don't understand how close I got 10 times to tellin' them I'd let someone else drive, and they said nope, you're our guy." And that's why we shop at NAPA.

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By Carol Einarsson | 10/06/2007

The storms in Kansas on Sunday were well-documented thanks to the race coverage (or rain coverage as the case may be) on TV. What you might have missed, however, was the fantastic storm that blew through Kansas City on Tuesday afternoon. It stretched across many hundreds of miles from southwest to northeast, and to drive home from Kansas to Omaha there was just no way to avoid it. The extra night we spent in glorious comfort on our sleep number beds was to cost us the inconvenience of having to drive home through a severe storm.

To fully appreciate this storm, you need two things: a scuba mask and a jar of Vaseline. Take the Vaseline, at least half the jar, and generously smear it all around the mask. Then put it on and run quickly around your living room without breaking a toe. (You can sit in your car for the full effect, but please don't drive. Friends don't let friends drive with Vaseline masks.)

The sky didn't look tornadic, so we were pretty sure that it was only bringing rain with some gaps of impressive wind. The fear was that with such limited visibility and so much water on the road, should I need to stop quickly, I would risk losing control. I slowed as much as I could, but even still the conditions were frightening. Oddly enough, there were still cars flying by me like I was an old lady doing 30mph on The Autobahn.

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By Carol Einarsson | 10/05/2007

The first race at Talladega was in 1969 and there was just one race that year. Richard Brickhouse won, but the next year when there were two races, Pete Hamilton swept them both.

Ten races have been won by members of the famed Alabama Gang, the last of which was 1992 when Davey won in the spring race.

And speaking of the Alabama Gang, it was Bobby Allison's trip through the catch-fence that was the catalyst for the restrictor plates to slow the cars down.

In 1988 at Talladega, Ken Schrader won his first race, and it was Buddy Baker's final race.

The fastest average speed in the fall race was posted by Dale Earnhardt, Jr. in 2002 at 183.665 mph, and just three years later, Dale Jarrett won with an average speed of nearly 40 mph slower, at 143.818.

In the three top series, Mark Martin holds the record for fastest race speed in two of them. 188+ mph in Cup, 1997 and 138+ mph in Trucks, 2006. Even better, though, is that the fastest qualifying speed in any of the three series ever at the track was 192.455, and it happened in a Busch car piloted by none other than Ken Schrader!

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By Carol Einarsson | 10/04/2007
Some surprising things I learned in Kansas...

1. I learned that there is virtually NO steel anywhere at the race track. It's aluminum or nothing. And if you think you can get a promotional magnet to stick to the side of a souvenir trailer, you're mistaken. You can, however, leave said magnets sitting on the front ledge of the mobile-markets and watch other shopping race fans scoop them up.

2. I learned that driver uniforms hide lots of things, among them the stick legs of a certain elder(ly) semi-retired driver who, in person, looks like someone's aged grandfather that should be anywhere but in a race car. And related to this, I also learned that just because a guy works out and is in great shape doesn't mean he has done even one leg press to build lower-body muscle.

3. If you're looking to stay where race teams, NASCAR officials, Goodyear Racing, and a lot of other race-related folks stay in Kansas, I learned that the place to be is the Radisson in Lenexa. Great location; only 10 minutes from the track; sleep number beds; grocery, fast food, and even Shoe Carnival! located nearby; and elevator entries that make a nice display area for promotional magnets advertising a certain website.

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By Carol Einarsson | 10/02/2007
CHEERS to good weather at Kansas despite all the talk about rain. Sure, it's a little windy, but at least it's not rotating wind. Yet.

CHEERS to "There's four or five of us fighting for the floor. Just a place to lay down, man."

CHEERS to the wind at Kansas and what it does to Brent Musberger's hair.

CHEERS to Carl Edwards still smiling after the hit he took on Saturday.

CHEERS to Who Knows Him Better, and the wife winning! How many light bulbs must Jimmie have at home that he's always having to change them?

JEERS , though, to those gigantic bug-eyed shades that Jimmie's wearing lately.

CHEERS to Gavin DeGraw's presentation of the anthem. And amazing how quiet it was while he sang. He's no Julienne Irwin, but we like the simple performances.

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By Carol Einarsson | 10/01/2007
Well at least we'll have something to talk about in the off season.

I can't remember the last time we had this level of controversy that didn't include either Jeff Gordon or Dale Earnhardt, Jr., but Greg Biffle is in the spotlight now for all the wrong reasons and the poor guy looks like he wants to climb under a rock.

In the media center after the race, Jimmie Johnson told the press, "There's your winner right there," as he pointed to Clint Bowyer. He's made it clear since he climbed out of his third place car that he disagrees with the call that NASCAR made in declaring Greg Biffle the winner despite his inability to keep up with the pace car on the last lap.

And now it's not NASCAR, but Greg Biffle that is facing the media, and I don't remember the last time I saw a guy so ill-at-ease in front of a camera. NASCAR made a call and named Biffle the winner, and then effectively threw him to the media wolves to defend their call.

I don't think for a minute that he is the rightful owner of the win at Kansas, but yet as I watch him trying to explain NASCAR's call, I start to feel the same level of nausea as he appears to be feeling himself.

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By Carol Einarsson | 10/01/2007

Well at least we'll have something to talk about in the off season, because I'm pretty sure this controversy isn't going away anytime soon. In the center of it all is Greg Biffle who -- since NASCAR's call that gave him the win -- looks like he wants to climb under a rock.

There's a consensus of confusion among the drivers and among the most vocal is Jimmie Johnson. Sure, he's in it for himself and the extra points he'd get for finishing second rather than third, but his point is echoed by every other driver I saw interviewed. NASCAR made a call to give the win to a guy that couldn't keep up to the pace car and nobody knows why.

"There's your winner right there," Jimmie declares as he points to Clint Bowyer in the media center. And as a fan of Clint Bowyer, I can't be the only one that would like to shake Jimmie's hand for speaking up that way. Clint is about the last guy in the series that would ever complain about a perceived injustice thrown his way by NASCAR. Take it as it comes, go with the flow, and go home happy with a second place finish.

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By Carol Einarsson | 09/30/2007
The rules say the winner is the guy that finishes first. And the rules also say that to win, you have to finish the race. Furthermore, the rules say that a guy has to maintain pace-car speed and finish the race under his own power. "To finish first, you must first finish," remember?

Even in the booth they were questioning if the 16 team wasn't celebrating a little early because Biffle hadn't yet crossed the finish line.

And then he failed to finish.

As his team started running toward the car, the officials were waving them off in what appeared to be an attempt to tell them the win wasn't official. "No, no..." You could see it in their body language. It seems that even at that point, the NASCAR officials didn't believe that Biffle had won.

The car had to be pushed to Victory Lane, but it wasn't after a 40-second burnout or a jubilant victory lap. It was pushed because it was out of fuel just as it was out of fuel when Biffle pulled it onto the apron and watched car after car pass him at pace-car speed.

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By Carol Einarsson | 09/27/2007

I sometimes wonder what it's like for the poor people of Kansas. One little movie, and they will never live down the reputation of tornados, munchkins, water-soluble witches, and a little dog named Toto.

But this week the traveling NASCAR road show will venture into Tornado Alley and wonder what the weather will be like THIS year. Last year I think it was pretty mild, but the year before found the locals in shorts and t-shirts, and the Charlotte folk in parkas and gloves. We tried not to tease them too much. This year the forecast calls for a high of 82 and a low of 54.

2007 is only the seventh year NASCAR has been racing at Kansas Speedway. The first race was won by Jeff Gordon. It was the year we lost Dale Earnhardt, and the year of 9/11. It was also the year of the now-famous quote, "I met Rusty Wallace, Mark Martin smiled at me, and Jeff Gordon won!" It was the perfect weekend for a then-ten-year-old assistant.

In the first six races at Kansas, each of the "big three" manufacturers has won, though with four wins, Chevy is still the favorite. And among this year's chasers, only two have claimed a Cup victory at Kansas: Jeff Gordon and Tony Stewart (though Jeff Burton and Kevin Harvick both have Busch Series victories at the track).

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By Carol Einarsson | 09/25/2007
CHEERS to Julienne Irwin!! It was a fantastic presentation! Eighth grade, did I mention that already? And two of the proudest parents you'll find anywhere, rightfully so. It was nothing short of PERFECT!!

CHEERS to Bob Nardelli giving the command with a little assistance from the crowd. It never seems to work very well, but we like that whole hand-raising thing he did like a preacher inviting his people to get up on their feet.

CHEERS to Dave Burns highlighting all the jobs of the crewmen and how they prepare.

JEERS to getting his doors blowed off. Given that the car doesn't even have doors, I can imagine that might be a real problem for Juan Pablo. Rusty did used to race in this same series, didn't he?

JEERS to an early wreck for Johnny Sauter. What exactly is the purpose of that grass?

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By Carol Einarsson | 09/24/2007
John Force was in a nightmare accident on Sunday after what looked like a blown tire. He then collected Kenny Bernstein, and the two of them hit the wall with incredible force. Uh, no pun intended. The 14-time Funny Car Champ was doing 315 miles per hour, and Bernstein was just shy of that. I guess the good news is that Force won the race, as did his daughter Ashley. But Ashley withdrew from her final to go with her dad to the hospital.

The latest news is that he didn't suffer as many injuries as first reported. We first heard he had two broken legs, a broken arm, and a concussion, but a number of sources are now listing his injuries as a broken left ankle, a nasty gash on his right knee cut to the bone, a dislocated and broken left wrist, and some fractures to fingers on his right hand. Enough damage that it seems unlikely he'll be using his legs anytime soon and his arms will probably be doing little more than hugging his family. Doctors say he'll make a full recovery. His fans hope that's true, though some of his fans hope this will be enough to hasten his retirement.

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By Carol Einarsson | 09/22/2007
I'm not sure when it began, but somewhere along the way we realized that all of our pets had their own theme song. I think Conrad was the first one to have her own. I would often sing to her, "Conrad Kitty, she's so pretty, Conrad is the pretty kitty cat..." I think she liked it.
Long before she had her own theme song, though, she came into my life as a temporary pet. A friend was moving and was trying to skirt the rules of his new apartment complex. They allowed cats, but only in the "pet section" of the complex. Not wanting to give up the floor-plan he had his heart set on, he figured he'd find a temporary place for Conrad to live until he got settled. And that's how Conrad adopted me.

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By Carol Einarsson | 09/21/2007
The first sponsor shoe to drop over at MWR is the pizza/burger combo. No more Burger King and no more Domino's. When that happens, I wonder if people on the team go out of their way to avoid the former sponsors like some race fans do. McDonalds and Pizza Hut are calling!

And speaking of MWR, Michael's hired a guy with a PhD in aerospace engineering. Gee, I wonder what he'd rather have on board, a creepy king or a rocket scientist!

I read that the ratings for Chase race #1 were down this year from last. I wonder if anyone is stopping to consider that it might not be a reflection on NASCAR as much as a reflection on ESPN's coverage.

I wonder how Jimmie Johnson feels being dropped from Levi's because Junior's bringing Wrangler to the team.

I wonder what Allstate was thinking when they agreed to share one driver with another sponsor, when that other sponsor is a beer company. Get hit by a drunk driver? No worries - you're in good hands! Yikes!

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By Carol Einarsson | 09/20/2007
The first race of The Chase is behind us now and we're headed to Dover. As much as this is supposed to be the pinnacle of the season, the part we all look forward to, the culmination of months of hard work by drivers and crew alike, I have to admit to feeling a little down about it. I guess you could say I'm Dover down.

The Chase might be the climax of the season, but it's also the beginning of the end. Just nine more races until we crown a champion, but that also means just nine more races until the off season. Sure, there will be the banquet, and there might be news of snow mobile races, but for the most part, we won't get to see much at all of our favorite drivers.

But this isn't supposed to be a sob story; it's supposed to be a preview of the weekend, so let's get to it!

The first race at Dover (Downs) was in 1969, and King Richard took the win with an average speed of 115.772 mph. It was a 300-mile race for the first two years before it changed to 500 miles in 1971. It took Richard Petty until 1984 to win the 500-miler at Dover. And speaking of the Petty family, Dover in 1995 is Kyle Petty's most recent win. Other notable winners include Benny Parsons, Neil Bonnett, and Derrike Cope. Of course Yarborough, Pearson, Allison, and Waltrip have had their victories at Dover as well.

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By Carol Einarsson | 09/18/2007
CHEERS to Boris in the race in quite the twisted ironic way. The last two times he was in, he was kicked out in the rain by others that wouldn't have otherwise made the race. This time he's out, but gets in because of someone else getting (literally) kicked out of the track.

CHEERS to Canada. Let me just say that first. However, why do we sing the Canadian National Anthem only at New Hampshire? There are no Canadian participants in the race. Yes, there are Canadian race fans at the race, but it's never been protocol to sing the anthem of various countries that are represented among the fans. I'm sure there are Canadian fans at lots of different tracks. And I'm sure there are race fans at New Hampshire from other countries besides the U.S. and Canada. I say we sing 'em all, or we sing only our own.

CHEERS to Bowyer and Truex on the front row. And the first two rows being Chasers.

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By Carol Einarsson | 09/15/2007
Welcome to a new semi-regular column at Race Journal Online. Since we primarily focus on NASCAR Nextel Cup, I wanted a regular place for news from other racing series. I never would have imagined, though, the tragedy that would mark the first edition of this new feature.

Colin McRae
It's never a good day when I open up my mailbox and see a racer's name. It just seems that's the way I always find out about a loss in the motorsports world.

Today it was Colin McRae.

He was one of two favorites that my race-loving son followed in World Rally Championship racing. The other was Richard Burns. Burns, you might remember, died less than two years ago at the age of 34 from a brain tumor.

And now Colin McRae has perished in a helicopter crash. Among the passengers in the copter piloted by McRae was his young son Johnny, just five years old. He leaves behind a wife, Alison, and a nine-year-old daughter Hollie.

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By Carol Einarsson | 09/13/2007
Now that Doug's taking over, I wonder if that doesn't make that whole Yates-Newman-Haas-Other-Guy merger the shortest business deal ever in NASCAR.

The whole Ganassi arrangement gives me a bad feeling. Here I was just starting to like Floyd, but now he's dumping Stremme pretty much unless he can find his own sponsor. If Stremme were to find his own sponsor, though, I wonder if he'd really want to return to Ganassi.

Lots of folks are up in arms about "the foreigners" in NASCAR. I wonder if any of those that complain have bothered to ask themselves what's worse, a foreign-born talented racer or someone that NASCAR chooses to promote based solely on gender or race and regardless of ability.

Did you follow that crew-chief penalty for Steve Lane? After the 40 car hit a crewman on the 15 team, the team scorer for the 40 got someone else to do his job so he could go help the team that was now one man down. And for that, NASCAR fined Stremme's crew chief. They weren't mad that he left, they were mad that he didn't ask permission. I wonder if NASCAR shouldn't write a new rule to cover that. It could mandate that any movement of positions during the race must be requested by raising one's hand and waiting to be recognized by NASCAR.

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By Carol Einarsson | 09/10/2007

CHEERS to Richard Childress standing in for Kevin Harvick who declined an interview, and making sure Allen knew it wasn't anything personal.

CHEERS to the recap of Junior's season. One of the top things I'm looking forward to next year is seeing Junior smile. It seems like it's been so long since we've seen him happy.

CHEERS to the spot-on impression Steve Byrnes did of Kenny Wallace with that wacky arm thing and the "Earnhardt!!" call.

CHEERS to no Musberger on ABC, but who invited Fred Willard to Speed?

JEERS to Hearst-Argyle Television holding local channels and viewers hostage in a fight demanding more money from Cox Communications in our (and five other) markets. If the two companies can't agree on a fair price by September 30th, Hearst-Argyle will then yank the local channel from the line-up completely. The same local channel that is scheduled to broadcast the last races of the season.

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By Carol Einarsson | 09/09/2007

Jimmie's come out of his "slow summer slump" and has won two races in a row. Can his momentum be slowed?

Jeff Gordon seems to have been forgotten in the media lately, but only because he's been locked in. Don't forget he's been dominant all season long, and maybe has used the past couple of weeks as a bit of a break.

Tony's always strong at the end of the season. Can he repeat last year's dominance of the final ten races when he's actually part of The Chase?

Carl's had two wins this season, but seems to be hitting his stride ever since Tom shaved.

Kurt Busch is another two-time winner, and seems to be a lot more settled this year more than any other. He's focused and not distracted by the negative publicity that has bogged him down in the past.

Denny Hamlin has just one win, but he was second in the regular-season points before they were reset. Is he ready to win The Cup?

Martin Truex seems to be immune from the power problems that have plagued his more-famous teammate. Now that he's the sole representative of DEI in The Chase, will all forces get behind him and boost him to the top?

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By Carol Einarsson | 09/05/2007
I remember at least a year ago, watching Tradin' Paint back when it was Michael Waltrip's show. It seemed all Michael had to do was mention "the T word" and the crowd would erupt in booing and the like. It was constant. And it was shocking.

Sure, I know that at the core of NASCAR there are the foundation fans who helped get the series to where it is today, and that a large number of those foundation fans are the most patriotic people you can find. Die-hard MADE IN THE USA kinds of folks. The mere mention of a foreign company making cars for NASCAR is about equal to suggesting that you embrace Japan for their actions at Pearl Harbor. Never mind the number of US jobs that are created by Toyota. "The money might be made here, but it doesn't stay here!" they'll tell you.

But it's easy to boo Michael Waltrip. These "fans" have only too much ammunition to throw into their never-ending criticism, it seems. And Michael has never been one to turn on the fans. After all, what driver would?

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By Carol Einarsson | 09/04/2007
JEERS to all the heat complaints. I bet someone uses that as the excuse du jour for why the stands aren't filled. Oddly enough, while they keep saying 114 and 117 degrees, Weather.com says it's 96.

CHEERS to DJ at the kidney desk, but who had to go and call Brent Musberger to lead?

CHEERS to both Rusty and DJ in shock at the lunacy of the basketball player sitting next to them.

JEERS to race fans even in the Champion's home town of El Cajon, calling him the Nextel's Cup Champion.

CHEERS to the way Kevin Harvick and Dave Burns were standing in such a way that Dave's red-sleeved arm looked like it was Kevin's, and then when they moved, the arm separated. Creepy and cool at the same time.

CHEERS to Kevin's assessment, "There's more empty seats than full ones. It's just a little disappointing to see how bad the crowd is."

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By Carol Einarsson | 09/02/2007
This was too big and too perfect to put at the bottom of the page without a comments section.

If You Build It, They Will Come - Unless It's Southern California

"I don't think it's a great race track. I'm sorry. I don't think we see great races at Michigan, and they built a copy of it out here in California and expect you to have great races here. You're not gonna have it.

"I think we come into this market expecting to be a big player in this market. We are not a big player in this market. Let's be honest with ourselves, people. Maybe there's not enough NASCAR fans in Southern California to hold two events here.

"We can sit here and we can look at the mouse, and we can look at USC, and we can look at all the things that are goin' on here. If we're gonna bill ourselves as the most exciting, fastest growing sport in America, by God, we oughtta sell out everywhere we go. And if we don't sell out places like this, then we should go somewhere where we do sell out places.

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By Mary Beth Voelker | 08/31/2007
ESPN seems to have mistaken the meaning of the word "coverage" to mean burying the race under layers of blather, favoritism, highlights from other events, pre-taped "features", and trick camera angles. Here's a thought for you, ESPN -- instead of "covering" the race, how about "presenting" it?

A lot of people complain that the Fox announcers try to make themselves into the show instead of showing the race. And yes, DW needs to be reined in at times, but at least his stories and trains of thought are triggered by and reasonably relevant to the events as they happen. And even TNT's drama queen Bill Weber -- who hypes everything until one becomes embarrassed to listen to him -- is at least over dramatizing what is actually happening.

ESPN, it's time to shape up! Here's what we want from you, clear and direct:

Show us what is happening on the track. If nothing is happening at the front, find a part of the field where something is happening. We want to know when drivers move from the back to the front. We want to know when drivers move from the front to the back.

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By Bill Graham | 08/29/2007
On the morning of January 25th, 1984 Richard Allen Graham was born at Tyndall Air Force Base Hospital in Panama City, Florida. His father was in "A" school at Great Lakes Naval Station north of Chicago, Illinois at the time. He would hear the news later that day. It would be three long months before BTFN Graham was able to see his son in person for the first time. A few pictures and descriptions of events in letters would be all he had.

At 3:40pm on August 25th, 2007, Damien Ke Koa Graham was born at the NAS Jacksonville Naval Hospital. His father, AE5 Richard A. Graham, is currently stationed aboard the U.S.S. Enterprise, currently on duty in the Persian Gulf. It will be three long months before he gets to see his son in person.

The stories behind my son's and grandson's births are very similar, but a lot has changed in 23 years. While I had to be content with hearing the news second hand over the phone, my son got constant delivery room updates via emailed pictures from a camera phone. Once she got moved to the post-partem unit, his wife got set up with a hospital supplied laptop and webcam to keep him updated. Missing the birth and first months of his son's life is still a huge sacrifice Richard is making for service to his country, but at least progress is being made. For that I am thankful.

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By Carol Einarsson | 08/28/2007

CHEERS to highlighting the golden years at Bristol, and two of the best finishes ever -- Terry Labonte and Dale Earnhardt.

CHEERS to a three-on-one interview with Junior Johnson because it seemed like the job could have been done easily enough by one guy, but there were probably two of the three that begged to go, too. Who wouldn't wanna go hang out with Junior for a few hours?

JEERS to whoever advised Kurt Busch that the gelled-up hair was a good look for him.

CHEERS to DJ's camera presence, and when he visits the pre-race booth his TV skill gives more of a feel of a visiting commentator rather than just a driver.

CHEERS to Jeff Burton's Bristol assessment, "Your brain is smashed up against your skull."

JEERS to "One driver that still calls Teresa Earnhardt her owner, Martin Truex, Jr." That's probably news to a lot of people, mostly Martin's parents.

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By Carol Einarsson | 08/25/2007
CHEERS to the second race of the best week in racing, and knowing that even after tonight's excitement, we'll have another one to go!

CHEERS to DJ in the race even if we're a little sad that with the same UPS scheme on his car for the Busch Series, it almost seemed like his participation Friday night was a safety net for a sponsor who was expecting him to miss the field for Saturday night's race.

JEERS to nobody testing the camera shot from the fence to make sure the fine print on the wall would actually show up as "Sharpie" and not merely "arpie".

JEERS to the one downside of the new surface at Bristol, an overdose of on-air talent telling us that they're passing, they're two wide, they're racing side-by-side, there's two grooves, they can choose a lane... we get it already!

CHEERS to the Busch drivers able to make it 14 laps further than the trucks did before the first caution.

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By Carol Einarsson | 08/23/2007

CHEERS to three night races from Bristol in just four days. And all of this just 28 hours after the checkered flag fell in Michigan.

CHEERS to the Ray Report, and Ray Dunlap subjecting himself to that kind of lasting video proof, inside a Nashville recording studio, singing his heart out.

CHEERS to newlywed Brendan Gaughan and his lovely bride Tatum, and more interviews for Brendan than ever before. And even now when I see him, I remember the visor he used to wear and how his hair would stick out the top in a squirrel-like way.

CHEERS to Krista having to get out of the way for the trucks that are ready to run over her set.

JEERS to loss of time. Today must be Friday because the trucks are racing, and yesterday must have been Sunday because we watched the Cup race. So if yesterday was Sunday, and today is Friday, where'd the rest of the week go? Another mystery of Bristol, I guess.

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By Carol Einarsson | 08/21/2007

From Sunday:

CHEERS to giving Kenny time to talk about his move out of the Furniture Row car, but what a sobering comment that being outside the top 35 is something that tears teams and families apart. And as much as I hate to do this...

JEERS to a poor choice of words, "Junior Johnson who's not around any more..." Good grief! I wonder if Junior felt his own pulse when he heard that news.

JEERS to what seems to be a contingency program at ESPN where I wonder if the talent gets an extra twenty bucks every time they say "back in the saddle again."

From Monday:

JEERS to the rain. And to not letting the drivers go home if they wanted to. It was obvious from the get go that no racing was happening, but NASCAR put it off for hours, and ESPN tried to salvage some ratings.

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By Carol Einarsson | 08/20/2007
Sunday was rained out, and it's looking like Monday will be, too. (ESPN is currently on the air and SPEED's Race Day has wrapped up, but we're hearing there's a 2.5 hour window before the next nasty storm. Didn't they say yesterday it takes them two hours to dry the track?) The forecast for Tuesday calls for more rain, but how long should NASCAR stay in Michigan? What are the other options?

We're up against a Saturday night race which shortens the available window, and it's possible at this point that there could be a Cup race Wednesday morning in Michigan, and a Truck race Wednesday night in Bristol.

What about the idea of November in Michigan? Robin Pemberton half-joked that "We'd have to pack different clothes." But Wendy Venturini pointed out that November in Michigan has an average temperature of 39 degrees, and an average snowfall of 2.5". Besides the horror of a possible Kurt Busch win, it seems quite impractical.

Our favorite assistant suggests maybe scrapping the whole thing, and assigning points with the average finishing position for each driver.

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By Carol Einarsson | 08/18/2007
By now this might be considered old news, but for some reason it's still bothering me. I keep replaying in my head that fan last week that jumped the fence and climbed over the railing to approach Matt Kenseth's car with a hat and a Sharpie, and a few things cause me concern.

Sure, at the time we were amused at the liquid courage of that fan to do that, and even though we heard Matt's laughter and saw Robbie Reiser laughing so hard we worried he'd tip off the cart, we soon reverted back to our usual suspecting selves, worried about the ever-present dangers in our society. We stopped laughing and became quite concerned about "what could have happened."

Of course, it DIDN'T happen, so worrying about something that doesn't exist is about the most unproductive use of human emotion that's possible. Living in fear of "what if?" will get you ulcers, high blood pressure, and a few dozen phobias in the meantime.

What a shame that we have to fear strangers even at a venue where we all feel more like family than just a randomly assembled cross-section of Americans (with some Canadians thrown in for good measure). But I think we all know that had it not been Matt Kenseth, but rather someone like Jeff Gordon who actually has "anti-fan" clubs, we all might have gasped at the sight of shirtless man at the window with his head and hands inside the car that way.

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By Mary Beth Voelker | 08/17/2007

Am I crazy?

I'm a Kyle Busch fan. I'm delighted that Kyle chose to go to Gibbs. I think it's the perfect fit for him. But there's bittersweet tinge to the joy when I see a nice guy like J.J. Yeley lose his ride. I don't root for him, but he comes across as such a good guy I just have to wish him well.

So I was thinking, where should Yeley go? And I had this crazy idea...

We know now that Teresa Earnhardt intends to keep the 8. And while the majority of Junior's fans will adjust to the idea of a new number and focus on supporting their driver of choice, I think there is a fringe faction who are die-hard old-school Earnhardt fans that will make it hard on any driver who goes into the 8. So any driver hired for that ride knows he's going to have it rough for a while.

But, here's my crazy idea: J.J. Yeley, new driver of the DEI #8

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By Carol Einarsson | 08/14/2007
JEERS to NASCAR for not accepting that sometimes change can't wait. With the Busch race not starting until 3pm on Saturday, why not qualify for positions 36-43? Lock in the ones that are resting on their guaranteed spot, but at least give the other guys a chance.

CHEERS to Bill Elliott for graciously stepping out for Boris.

JEERS to what seems like a freaky connection between Scott Pruett being spun on the last lap of a road course, and Dario Franchitti flying through the air in an Indy car. So far that pair is two-for-two. Next time Pruett spins on a road course final lap, Dario should just pull into his pit.

CHEERS to the Canadian National Anthem being played first because there are two Canadians in the field, but...

JEERS to the presentation of our own National Anthem paling in comparison. These days we hope the performer knows at least the melody OR the words, but this guy apparently knew neither.

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By Carol Einarsson | 08/13/2007
Let's see if they're gonna fight!

Reminiscent of the infamous call when Cale and the Allisons met up on the backstretch of Daytona so long ago, race fans on Sunday heard Rusty Wallace in downright gleeful anticipation.

Two drivers, helmets unremoved, a safety worker unwilling to get in the middle, but prepared to medically treat whatever the outcome might be, officials attempting to break it up, and finally, Jeff Burton bringing his reason (though later downplaying his role and trying to send a message to NASCAR that Kevin Harvick was exercising his own self-control and didn't really need his teammate's help).

But did they "fight"? Was there a single punch thrown? Or didn't it look like a few harsh words and some shoving? There for a moment while Kevin was holding Juan's hand, I thought they were going to erupt into a sissy hand-slapping fest.

The question now is how NASCAR saw the event. Think back to the 2006 Bristol spring race and an apologetic Matt Kenseth approaching Jeff Gordon. Quite to his surprise, Gordon double-handed shoved him nearly to the point of Matt's lost balance.

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By Carol Einarsson | 08/09/2007
I don't know about anyone else, but it sure sounds like Ray Evernham SOLD his Dodge team rather than took on a partner like he claimed. He even gave up having his name first on the listing, and it seems to be for more reasons than just the better acronym of GEM vs. EGM. I wonder if this is the first sign of him giving up the whole owner thing. And I wonder if he's more likely to go the way of Felix Sabates or Bobby Ginn. And I wonder how worried the employees are about this time.

And how 'bout Chevy losing Joe Gibbs and Tony Stewart to Toyota? Seems like there's a few teams that have the right idea -- let Michael Waltrip Racing take the heat for the break-in year, and then move in on the second year and reap the benefits.

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By Carol Einarsson | 08/07/2007

CHEERS to NASCAR's call to park Robby Gordon. If you read his comments on his website, it's almost believable except for one glaring question -- if he was trying only to preserve the outcome of the race pending the hearing of his protest, why did he wreck Marcos Ambrose?

JEERS to Bobby Ginn. Again. 121 guys out of jobs. And in August when they have little chance of finding a team in need of their help. Empty promises from a guy that never should have been in racing to begin with.

CHEERS to Kenny Wallace saying out loud that Ginn Racing didn't merge, they shut down and DEI bought the points.

CHEERS to finally showing Reed's successful pitch. And a nice interview with him, too. To anyone that wants to explain away Kyle Busch's bad behavior by attributing it to his youth, take a look at Reed Sorenson.

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By Carol Einarsson | 08/05/2007
Robby needs to leave NASCAR, and then sue them for the money he's wasted attempting to compete in a sport where they simply don't want him. At the end of that race, either the yellow flag came out before Robby passed Ambrose, and they both should have been sent to the back (Robby for passing under yellow, and Ambrose for spinning him out afterwards)... or, Robby was in the lead when the yellow came out, Ambrose should have been penalized for spinning him out under caution, and Robby should have (probably) won the race.

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By Carol Einarsson | 08/03/2007
I read with interest the quandary that Kevin Harvick is in. The events as they appear to me seem to have happened in the following order:

1. Kevin and his good friend (and part-time Busch-series driver) Tony Stewart got together when they were racing hard.

2. Tony went on to win, and Kevin ended up seventh after dropping back following the get-together.

3. Kevin pulls alongside Tony during his victory lap, and slams the side of his car so hard that it moves Tony. And not in a good way.

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By Carol Einarsson | 08/02/2007
Simple question. With the recent debut of ESPN's Cup coverage, and after six weeks on TNT, lots of comparisons are being drawn. But there's more NASCAR on TV than just the Sunday race. ESPN has their NASCAR Now show, and of course, SPEED has a whole line-up of NASCAR shows from Trackside to Race Day (Built by The Home Depot) to Inside Nextel Cup. So who do you think does NASCAR best?

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By Carol Einarsson | 07/31/2007
CHEERS to Hermie Sadler's lap for Race Day, referring again and again to the "Brickyard 400" which is what this race will always be.

CHEERS to Mugs and Buns, and Robin Miller with Jimmy Spencer. That's a nice combination.

CHEERS to Reed Sorenson on the pole at Indy! You know how there are defining moments when you first like a driver? My Reed Sorenson moment came last week on Trackside when Larry Mac was picking on Reed for his first pitch blunder and asked him, "Did you have your eyes closed?" And a dejected answer, "No."

JEERS to an overplay of Back in the Saddle Again. Yeah, it would have been a nice amusing song to start off the return to ESPN after the old-new TV deal, but at this point, before their first official broadcast, we're already sick of it.

CHEERS to reminding everyone that it was Todd Parrott and DJ's win that started what has now become such a tradition of kissing the bricks.

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By Carol Einarsson | 07/27/2007
I wonder if NASCAR still wants to be like the NFL. Just when you thought the thugs er, players, couldn't get any worse than wife beating, drunk driving, and drugs, now they're killing dogs. Nice.

After all the "merges" are said and done, I wonder if there will be any more than ten teams left fielding cars.

And I wonder what's so "merged" rather than "purchased" between DEI and Ginn. Should we call them "mergchased"?

Speaking of Ginn, am I the last to know about all the legal problems this guy's dealt with in his little real estate business, claims of fraud and trumped up promises that never came to fruition? Sounds a lot like how he ran a race team.

And isn't it ironic that it's Rick Hendrick holding an unenforceable contract with Ginn over engines now that they'll be running Childress instead?

I wonder how Michael Waltrip feels about Hyder working for his friend Schrader and if the two drivers ever talk about him.

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By Carol Einarsson | 07/24/2007

For a GREAT "Article within an article", check out rdfox's comment number 9, a CHEERS and JEERS on the F1 race from Germany this past Sunday!

JEERS to having to accept there simply won't get to be a Chicago CHEERS and JEERS .

CHEERS to 66 hours of broadcasting from ESPN leading up to The Brickyard. I guess that's one good thing about having so many networks with their fingers in the pie -- each time we switch, the new one has to show how capable they are and how much more committed to race fans, by having an extreme week of programming.

JEERS to hearing Carl Edwards got hurt at I-80 Speedway, but I do believe that's the first time we've ever had a Cup driver at an Omaha Hospital. Y'know, if Carl wanted to come visit, he didn't have to get hurt to do it.

CHEERS to the respect that all the other drivers have for Sterling Marlin. From Kyle Petty saying that he wishes they'd have let Sterling go two months ago so he could ask him to drive his car while he was in the broadcast booth to Kenny Wallace trying to get him a job with Furniture Row (driving, that is, not selling couches).

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By Carol Einarsson | 07/19/2007
Originally published February 7, 2004, but timeless in its truth about all that I like about Kyle Petty!

I like that there's so much to like about Kyle Petty that as I start to write, I find that I don't know where to start.

I like that smile, of course.

I like that he prays with his kids every night.

I like that he has a heart for charity, and does things not just for the Victory Junction Gang Camp, but also for Make-A-Wish, Boy Scouts, and the Racing Wives Auxiliary.

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By Carol Einarsson | 07/19/2007

"Oooh! A Toaster! And a new blender! Wow, look honey, it's a waffle iron!"

You recognize the context of that quote, don't you? It's the required "pretend you're thrilled" exclamation that follows the opening of wedding gifts. After all, what celebrates the union of two that have pledged to love one another forever like a chrome four-slot toaster?

This week something special is happening. Someone that is special to all of us is getting married. It is, of course, NASCAR wedding season, and it pretty much lasts one weekend -- the off weekend in July.

This Saturday, Jayski is getting married!

If you think back to when you first read CHEERS and JEERS, chances are, you found the link at Jayski.com, the grand-daddy of all racing websites. It was built by one guy who wanted to find racing news in a time when it was hard to come by. And he built it for other race fans that wanted to read the same news and commentaries.

But there is another side to the coin.

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By Matt Einarsson | 07/18/2007
Martin Truex - Don't expect the same next year.

Am I the only one who knows Martin Truex, Jr. is only running well because Teresa Earnhardt has pulled the funding from Dale, Jr. and given it to Martin? Why the media doesn't say this, I don't know.

I'm still shocked Jimmy Spencer hasn't said anything on Race Day. Next year Martin Truex will be running 20th every week just like he did in 2006 and most of this year.

Now don't get me wrong, Truex is a great driver, and he's shown that. You don't win a Cup race and back-to-back Busch championships without a lot of talent. However, there are only a handful of guys that can run well with the worst car on the track. He needs to get out of DEI and get to a good team before he's too old to make that move.

RCR seems like a good match for Truex, and with that fourth car next year, it's a perfect time.

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By Carol Einarsson | 07/17/2007
Sunday found Tony climbing the fence in Chicago, something we haven't seen in quite some time. As the checkers fell, his fans anticipated what has become his tradition despite having mimicked it from Helio Castroneves. That got me thinking about the post-victory celebrations that come to mind when I think of certain drivers.

There were one-time celebrations like Dale Earnhardt pulling a fan up on his door with him in Victory Lane, or Junior winning in July 2001 at Daytona and sharing his rooftop with Michael Waltrip, or a victorious Bobby Labonte stopping in front of his brother's pit when Terry had to sit out the race...these are all memories that exemplify why we are race fans.

But there are some that have become somewhat of a tradition. We expect certain things from different drivers. We know Tony will climb the fence, and we know Carl will do a back-flip. We know Matt Kenseth won't stop before sliding in the grass straight off the front stretch.

We've seen Kurt Busch's first snow angel on a weekend when it snowed at Bristol, and we later saw him try to slide in the grass on a subsequent win, and nearly break his neck.

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By Carol Einarsson | 07/16/2007

Don't you hate it when someone abandons a website? Yeah, me, too. But alas, I'm back! The dingo is home after an adventure that involved being boarded at the vet, a diagnosis of allergies, expressed anal glands, weeping and gnashing of teeth,... and he's back to chasing the cat. Did you know that there is an enzyme in dog saliva that has the power to change the color of said dog's fur? Apparently so! And it also seems that having full anal glands can make a dog kinda cranky. Who knew? Oh, and did you know that vets prescribe Benedryl for allergies in dingos the same way pediatricians prescribe it for kids? And is it bad that I'm hoping it has the same effect, and we'll soon be hearing the contented snore of a beast on the couch?

Oh, and the assistant is still out of town. I wonder if he knows the fun he's missing!

And that's just last week's fun.

This week began on Sunday by revisiting troubles past. Remember three or four years ago when I would occasionally have trouble with the ol' VCR? Yeah, those were the days. Folks would remind me of the virtues of TiVO, and for whatever reason (a stubborn desire to prove my intellect over a defiant video recorder, perhaps), I persisted.

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By Carol Einarsson | 07/10/2007

CHEERS to coming back to Daytona and Lake Lloyd. Anyone who thinks it would be a good idea to move the first race of the season at Daytona to be the last race of the season has clearly been drink--- er, rather... dropping a soda in his car and trying to pick it up while he drove erratically. The only way Daytona should be the end of the season is if it's also the beginning and the middle as it is now.

JEERS to the new Suspended Crew Chief rule prohibiting punished crew chiefs from being anywhere near the track, including the stands, the parking lots, the surrounding hills,...etc. Can anyone say "Constitutional Rights"?

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By Matt Einarsson | 07/09/2007
A lot of people have said Chevy is the only good manufacturer and that couldn't be further from the truth. Chevy is not the greatness here, it's the teams!

Look at the teams that Chevy has -- Hendrick, Gibbs, and RCR. Those are the top teams in the sport right now and except for RCR, Hendrick and Gibbs have always been dominant teams.

Now consider the other manufacturers. Ford really just has Roush, and they haven't been dominant since 2005 (though Jamie McMurray's win Saturday night will go down in my memory as one of my favorite wins ever!) They also have Robert Yates Racing, and RYR hasn't been any good since '04. Then there's Robby Gordon, but he's still building his team.

Dodge has two secondary teams with Evernham and Ganassi both of which are mid-packers at best and Penske is an average top-15 team with one good driver and one average driver (you can decide which is which) both in only average cars.

And Toyota? We'll get to that a little later.

The bottom line is that there are three top-tier teams and they all drive for the same manufacturer: Chevy. You could give Chevy cars to Yates and they would still be in the back. Give Fords to Hendrick and they win the championship. It's not the cars, it's the teams.

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By Carol Einarsson | 07/06/2007
Please join me in welcoming Matt Einarsson aboard. You know him as my assistant, but here are some other things you may not know. In the coming week, we'll be showcasing a few articles written by him, and there will surely be more to follow.

Who is your favorite driver?

I can't choose just one. I like a lot of guys for a lot of reasons. Whether it's Elliott Sadler, Jamie McMurray, Jeff Gordon, Denny Hamlin, Tony Stewart, Jeff Burton, Jimmie Johnson, Matt Kenseth, or Dale Earnhardt, Jr., my reasons for liking different drivers has changed over the years. I can admire someone who is a talented driver, and I can also admire a guy that's cool with a good attitude and a positive nature.

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By Carol Einarsson | 07/03/2007
JEERS to overlapping pre-race coverage on TNT. We're SPEED fans, and I don't know if they're measuring the ratings over there, but I'd be interested in knowing how many Race Day fans only tune in to TNT after John, Jimmy, and Kenny are done with their little show.

CHEERS to the great Gentleman Ned Jarrett on the golf course at 74. It's always a pleasure to see Ned. And thankfully Weber was able to resist asking about Fireball Roberts.

CHEERS to Ralph Sheheen almost able to hide his disgust that these young drivers didn't know names such as Ted Williams and Bill Buckner.

CHEERS to Dave Blaney on the pole! I vote we quick slap restrictor plates on all the cars and watch Dave lead every lap to win.

JEERS to some kind of wacky pre-race, but at least they showed the flyover this week.

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By Carol Einarsson | 07/01/2007
So I'm driving down the street the other day and there is this fly on my side window. Hanging on, facing into the wind, and seemingly with me for the duration of my drive. But annoyingly, he's at eye level right next to me. And he's not a particularly handsome fly either. So I start swerving as if I'm warming up my tires, trying to disturb the air enough that he'll pop off the window. And then I wonder... if I were to get pulled over for this kind of erratic driving, would I be able to explain to the police officer that NASCAR fans see things differently?

I wonder what would happen if the assistant and I went out to I-80 sometime around 7pm and started waving a yellow flag on the shoulder of the road. What if it were a red flag? Or better yet, can we black-flag a driver?? And I wonder if holding up a blue flag with a yellow stripe might work better on the interstate than flashing your lights at a slow car.

I wonder what's with all of the suicidal animals at race tracks lately! Three weeks ago in Montreal a marmot about perished, but stopped short of being flattened on TV, only (I later learned) he was smooshed a short time later by someone else. Then two weeks ago in Indy, a pigeon just standing on the track in Indy vanished before he even had time to think about the car, and then in Michigan another bird was sent to eternity by Regan Smith. We won't even mention the depressed bunny that was waiting for me on the road home last night before mercifully changing his mind as my truck did a brake-induced nose pitch trying to avoid his furry little butt!

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By Carol Einarsson | 06/26/2007

JEERS to those knuckleheads in Northern California that thought Blondie was Bob Costas; the SHAME!! But on the other hand, CHEERS to thinking he sold tacos.

CHEERS to The Pride of NASCAR and Junior Johnson. And I like Marty Snider, but I thought this was going to be Kyle Petty's little deal.

CHEERS to Wally giving us the grand tour of Benny's big car.

JEERS to cheaters in the race in the very same cars they cheated with. And then sending them to the back, but not the VERY back, in 41st and 42nd.

JEERS to having to work sick. I hope Larry Mac's feeling better than he's sounding.

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By Carol Einarsson | 06/26/2007
The announcement has been made; the penalties were expected. Each crew chief fined $100,000 and banished for six weeks; each driver loses 100 points; Hendrick and Gordon as car owners each lose 100 points.

Oh, and the crew chiefs are each on probation until December 31st, 2007, NASCAR's way of saying, "Not just until the end of the race season, but we'd better not catch you cheating over the holidays, either!" I wonder what would happen if one of them was caught looking under the Christmas Tree before Christmas. Or what would happen if one of them strolled through the kitchen before Thanksgiving dinner and swiped a couple of black olives? Would Mike Helton's voice echo through their home, "I SAW that!"

But back to the issue at hand. Do you think the penalty fit the crime? How about for Chad Knaus, a repeat offender?

Does it matter if the area that was manipulated was outside the template, and considered (at least by those offending crew chiefs) as a "grey area"?

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By Mary Beth Voelker | 06/25/2007

Recent weeks have seen the driver bashers out in force against Dale, Jr. for "joining the enemy", against the Hendrick drivers for being Hendrick drivers, against Kurt Busch for pulling his boneheaded stunt on pit road, against Tony for saying Tony-like things, against Kyle Busch for existing, against Buschwhackers for winning too much, against rookies for wrecking too much, against Carl Edwards for smiling too much,...

The one thing that unites these bashers is the belief that NASCAR would be better off if the driver being bashed would go away.

This is nonsense. NASCAR needs them all. The variety of personalities and styles are all good for the sport.

The hard chargers -- Aggressive guys who drive it in there all the way.
Every race is to be won, every lap is like they're qualifying, they'll drive it sideways, and now and then they'll drive overtop of or through someone who won't get out of the way. You always get 110%. When it works you get a great finish and when it doesn't the highlight reel is spectacular. They are good for the sport because they are exciting.

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By Carol Einarsson | 06/24/2007
So rookie Aric Almirola qualifies a car, wins the pole, and is in third place some 60 laps in. It's the weekend of his dreams, and is shaping up to be his first Busch Series win. I imagine maybe he was even allowing himself to dream a little bit about the post-race celebration, as every rookie that anticipates his first win.

Enter Buschwhacker Denny Hamlin.

I don't know what knuckleheads parked their cars on the helipad, but thanks to them, Denny's copter couldn't land. There he was, from overhead, watching the race start without him, with the rightful driver in the car. But I guess that's okay because as it turns out, Stephen Wallace isn't feeling so well. And if Denny had replaced a sick driver, we'd all completely understand.

But that didn't happen.

Hey, Aric, you'll have to come in the pits. We're "relieving" you. Yeah, yeah, we know you're not sick. We know you feel fine. We know you practiced the car, set up the car, won the pole, and are having a terrific race. But we're relieving you anyhow.

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By Carol Einarsson | 06/23/2007
Sure, they say the numbers are measured a little different from network to cable, but with the Michigan race getting 4.5 on FOX last year, and only 3.3 on TNT, I wonder if NASCAR is rethinking that whole "let's put the races back on cable TV after we made a big proclamation in 2001 that network TV would be better for the sport." And we haven't even begun on ESPN yet.

Since Adidas is reportedly signing a personal endorsement deal with Dale Jr., I wondered if any other big name companies like that have signed endorsements with athletes that can't actually use their product in their respective sport.

Given that Brett Bodine is so involved in the development of the COT, I wonder why we don't see a COT pacing the field under cautions. Sure, they put a wing on the pace car, but that's hardly the same.

I read that Junior's going to host a big Elvis event in August at Graceland. Sure, we always hear him say that he likes all kinds of music, but I can't help but imagine that Chevy commercial where he's ripping around the corners to Sweet Home Alabama. What might it have been like with the music of Love Me Tender? Maybe Junior can get Adidas to make him some blue suede racing shoes.

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By Carol Einarsson | 06/22/2007
With the weekend upon us that will find Terry Labonte in the NAPA 55 Toyota, I thought this was an appropriate time to share something originally written back in January of 2004. It's every bit as true today as ever.

I like that, while it's not as big or as widely publicized as Kyle Petty's charity ride, Terry has his own ride around Texas for charity.

I like that because he's generally quiet, when he does say something, we always listen more closely. And then we often smile.

I like the way he looks at a Tiger's nose and says, "Bluer."

I like the commercials he did so long ago, competing with his little brother, too.

I like that Terry is so admired by that same little brother that when he was injured on the sidelines, a victorious Bobby stopped in front of Terry's pit to wave.

I like that little fluffy thing on a leash that he calls a dog.

I like that Terry Labonte is a man that every driver in the garage area respects.

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By Carol Einarsson | 06/19/2007

CHEERS to revisiting Kyle's Hendrick observations, "If they've got a direct connection to Heaven, and they're getting information from people that I can't get information from -- obviously -- then I can't race against that."

CHEERS to JJ Yeley on the pole! One thing I like about him is that even when it's not Father's Day, when we see him walking around before the race, it's usually his hip that his daughter is sitting on.

JEERS to Jimmy Spencer's tirade, "Terry Labonte, what is wrong with YOU?!" Oh, shut up, windbag. He's playing the game that NASCAR created to help a friend who is stuck because of a different game that NASCAR created. If they hadn't locked out the new teams, the past champions wouldn't so easily be lured back.

CHEERS to Chip Ganassi's teams for putting Dad's names on the right side of the cars! I wish more teams would have done that.

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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

The Chase

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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