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The Daly Planet

I Was Just Wonderin'...

Dale Earnhardt Jr: Good for NASCAR, Good for America!
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By Carol Einarsson | 07/20/2012
Category: I Was Just Wonderin'...

With so much criticism for every TV network covering NASCAR, I wonder why nobody's gone and tapped on Buddy Baker's shoulder and asked him to please come back.

So the military sponsorships shall continue! I read the press release, and it seems a lot of attention was put on Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s National Guard car. He didn't even have to go to Washington, nor did his fans have to call in or vote, but the power of Dale Earnhardt, Jr. was still enough to prevail over the U.S. Government. Yes, my friends, that is good news for our country.

Since test results take time, I doubt there'll be a mediafest outside Aegis on Tuesday, but I couldn't help but imagine the same scene that existed when Chad's second appeal was being heard. Something about media sitting around with laptops eating deep fried cupcakes while scientists look at urine... yeah, that's just weird.

Isn't it funny, the contrast this week? It seems the Wounded Warrior Project surprised Sgt Chuck Wesson, paralyzed after a hit-and-run accident, with a brand new hand-cycle when what he thought he was doing is merely getting a tour of the Front Row Motorsports facility in Statesville. In the article by the Statesville Record & Landmark, it's also mentioned that last fall, David Ragan (who was Sgt Wesson's personal tour guide around the shop) organized a quail hunt for a group of six wounded veterans, donating the use of his land and giving his time to the group. I don't recall hearing about that, or seeing any self-promoting headlines about it either, but what a nice thing.

And that team that Michael Andretti has been thinking of starting in NASCAR next year might include Kurt Busch. Now granted, I haven't watched a lot of IndyCar, but I know enough about Michael Andretti that I've a good feeling if his driver ever spoke to him like Kurt spoke to The Captain, Michael might respond a little more like Jimmy Spencer than Roger Penske.

Ryan and Krissie welcomed baby #2 this week, and Kevin and DeLana's first is now a week old. But the best driver's child pic this week had to be what Elliott Sadler posted with this caption, "Austyn following in her brother's footsteps... Never too early to start."  Looks to me like he's fighting an ill-handling cart into the turn, and she looks terrified that he's gonna wreck them both!

Have you ever seen a photograph and you couldn't close your eyes fast enough because it was already burned into your brain and you couldn't erase it? Yeah, don't say you haven't been warned.  It's the story of Jimmie Johnson and Kasey Kahne in their mini-triathlon. Oh, and a lady on a powder-blue beach cruiser.

And finally, in this off-weekend that happens every year, my assistant is annoyed because the off weekend always falls on his birthday week. This year is no different, but since many of you are long-time readers, I had to share the following:

Many years ago, my life changed forever. God brought into this world a baby boy that would try my patience, grow my heart, strengthen my resolve, and shape my character. There have been tears and trials, but they don't compare to the great joy and laughter he's brought to my life. More times than I can count, he's been the sole reason I carry on, learning more lessons about life and myself than I ever could have learned in his absence. On Sunday, he'll be 21 years old. And yet...he'll forever be my boy, and always the best assistant I ever had.



07/19/2012 7:19 pm (1)
Help, Carol! I can't remember your Assistant's name even though I read everything he wrote for you and with you! Getting his take on things was truly eye-opening for us senior readers.

Please wish him a Happy Birthday from all his fans on this site - and thank you for the way you raised your son. You did good!
07/19/2012 7:43 pm (2)
Congrats to all of the new parents! The pic of Elliott's kiddo's is too cute!

Oh my... that pic of JJ and KK... lol I am not even going to comment. ;)

Happy Birthday to your son(assistant)! Hope he has an amazingly wonderful day!
07/19/2012 10:06 pm (3)
SRF, The assistant's name is Colby, but these days he goes by Matt. He's still Colby to me and forevermore shall be. And thank you for your kind words.

highbanks, The pic I was referring to was the banner pic at the top of the page. Way too much there that we didn't need to see. (shudder!)

07/20/2012 1:36 am (4)
Kasey looks like some sort of freak of nature. Slim and well toned on the top, skeleton on the bottom. That picture has way too many details in it.

Happy Birthday Matt/Colby
07/20/2012 7:19 am (5)
There are three types of triathlons -- Sprint, International, and IronmanŽ.

The type of triathlon Messrs. Johnson, Kahne, Sweet, and Smith (ESPN's Marty) participated was a sprint triathlon.

Sprint -- Swim between 350-750m (may be in a pool), 20-25km cycling route, and a 5km run. There is no set distance but this range is recognised by most promoters -- I am considering one.

International -- 1.5km, 40km, and 10km. Recognised by International Triathlon Union competitions, including the Olympic Games. The Long Distance variant recognised by the ITU is either double or triple this distance.

IronmanŽ (also called long distance; the term is trademarked) -- 3.86km, 180km, 42.195km (run a full marathon!). A half-IronmanŽ is half of each distance. INDYCAR driver Tony Kanaan did this distance the week before the tragic INDYCAR race meet at Las Vegas and a few weeks later had fellow drivers to a half-IronmanŽ in Miami for a benefit.

As for Kurt Busch and Michael Andretti, Mario's dream was to race factory cars for Ferrari. As Dodge and Ferrari are part of Fiat, it would be another generation. Could Kurt also use the one off-week to race Denver next year in NHRA? Maybe a tough racer is what Kurt needs to be controlled.

Big Jeers to Betty McCollum (DFL-MN). So we know where the sponsorship money would go if we pulled it from NASCAR, INDYCAR, and the Peacock and Eye's Bucking Bovines -- and it's not pretty.

Cheers to Colby :-)
07/20/2012 7:36 am (6)
I wouldn't get too smug about military sponsorships continuing on NASCAR (and other sports enterprises) forever. This is the third time that the measure has been proposed, and although it lost all three times, the margin is steadily decreasing. No, I don't think the military should exit NASCAR; if their partnerships there weren't attracting enough recruits, they would have done so on their own long ago. But there is a growing segment of this country that is pretty much done all things military. All they need to do is swing a few more votes (like after the next election, maybe), and that could be that.

Of course, on what the military will do to attract the recruits that they won't be getting after they drop sports sponsorships, the proponents of the bill remain silent.

So, on Career Day, we have: a guy sitting with a laptop eating deep-fried cupcakes; and a guy looking at urine. Which college app would you like to grab on the way out?

Buffed and chiseled on top; spindly on bottom -- sounds like the Mark Martin conditioning program to me.

Michael Andretti and Kurt Busch. I dunno. Could be awesome, or could be a mushroom cloud. As a reporter Carol, you've got to be praying for this one. Either way, a lot of ink would be spilled covering their union!

Happy B-day to the assistant formerly known as Colby, and many more!
07/20/2012 8:01 am (7)
Happy birthday to the assistant, he has had some great insights over time. Having three boys of my own, well, they 40, 39, & 37, but still boys to me. There are trials & tribulations w/the growing up experience, but I wouldn't give any of them up.
Yeah, Michael Andretti & Kurt Busch HAHA. We have watched & attended Indy car races( back when John Andretti was still in it) & have seen Michael in action. Kurt may want to take a deep breath before going off the deep end. There could also be Mario to contend with.
07/20/2012 12:42 pm (8)
I see another 'hold my watch' incident if this rumor comes true. Only it will be the owner smacking his own driver.
Greg in Dallas
07/20/2012 2:01 pm (9)
While thoughts of Kurt Busch driving for Michael Andretti pose some... interesting scenarios, they also make me think of another famous owner/driver. Imagine Kurt spouting off to car owner A.J. Foyt the way he did to Roger Penske. Ouch.
07/21/2012 9:08 am (10)
@ Greg:

Kurt driving for AJ - LOL! There'd be a damaged Kurt at some point, for sure.

@ giluvracing:

Apropos of the military, we spend 10 times as much on ours as the next highest country (which is China). I'd have no issue with scaling that back some - we don't need to be fighting everywhere in the world to protect our own borders. And scaling back the expense of our military in no way reflects on the valor or bravery of the men in it.

The "buff on top, spindly on the bottom" observation says a lot about how much effort it takes to steer a Cup car, even with power steering assist. It's not a poor choice of exercise program that produced that result.

Mr. O
07/21/2012 7:14 pm (11)
Where do we send money to help AJ start a team?

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