Brickyard 400 Heat Races!!!


Story Lines:

1.  Historic Indianapolis Motor Speedway

2.  Tony Stewart unveils #14 Old Spice/Office Depot Chevy

3.  Goodyear tire wear

4.  Rusty Wallace sounds off on the Penske/Newman divorce

5.  Mc Murray possibly out of #26 Ford

6.  Truex deal with DEI not a “done deal”

It is late July and the NASCAR boys roll into the “historic” Indianapolis Motor Speedway.  These hallowed grounds are steeped with tradition of open wheeled racing from the past 100 years.  But for the last 15 years the names like Dale Earnhardt, Sr., Jeff Gordon, Dale Jarret, Kevin Harvick, Richard Petty, and Jimmie Johnson are inter-mixed with A.J. Foyt, Al Unser, Bobby Unser, Al Unser, Jr., Parnelli Jones, Mario Andretti, Billy Vukovich, Andy Granetelli, and Roger Penske!! 

The Indy 500 winner drinks the “celebrated” bottle of iced cold milk, while the Brickyard 400 winner “kisses the yard of bricks”!  That NASCAR tradition of kissing the bricks started in 1996 when Dale Jarret won his first Brickyard 400. After the race, his crew chief Todd Parrott, urged Dale to follow him.  Todd Parrott did not reveal to Dale Jarrett what it is they were to do, just trust and follow him.  With that, Todd Parrott assembled the entire team at the start/finish line and proceeded to kneel down and pay homage to this historic facility by kissing the yard of bricks!!!  Thus, a NASCAR tradition was born!!!!



Tony Stewart unveils his new sponsor and car number for next season’s debut with Stewart-Haas Racing.  Old Spice and Office Depot were displayed on his new Chevy.  Stewart pays homage to his childhood hero and racing legend by putting #14 on the car.  His hero is A.J. Foyt, Jr. and it apprears that he immulates A. J.’s personality, too!!!!!



The foremost story that unfolded today was the Goodyear tire wear.  Because of the “diamond cutting” in the track surface, the tires would only last 10-16 laps before the tread was gone and the chords would show.   NASCAR was forced to throw “competition yellows” about every 12-15 laps to preclude massive tire failures and the crumpling of sheet metal.  So in reality today we saw 10 heat races of about 12-16 laps, not a 400 mile race!! 



Now you ask, why did you put a picture of Tony Schumaker’s Top Fueler on this post???  Well with the way the race was run today, it appeared that I was at a NHRA event.  I saw repetitive short blast of speed with long intervals of 55 mph pace laps!!


NASCAR and Goodyear need to do their homework so as not to revisit this subpar showing!!  As Bill France, Jr. said many times,”it is about the show“.  Well today this reporter gives the show a low mark!!!  It was not a 400 mile race, rather it was 10  16 laps heat races staged on a 2 1/2 mile track.




1.   Tony Stewart leaves Joe Gibbs Racing:

2.    Newman (done deal) and possibly Truex to Stewart Haas Racing:

3.   Joey Logano thinks he is up to the #20 car: 

4.   Reutimann possibly to the #45: 

5.   DW thinks that Stewart can make the transition: 

6.   DEI possibly up for sale: 

7.   The JGR/Tony Stewart split:   

8.   Stewart/Haas Racing looking to be a 3 car team: 

9.   Silly Season 2009 Team Chart:  

10.  Kylie  wins seventh race:

11.  Two families remembered:


Kyle Busch, aka The Las Vegas Weasel, does it again!!!  Once again he is the dominate race car.  He led over 160 of the 267 laps of the race, bringing his total laps lead to slightly over 1000 so far!!!  If anyone is keeping score it is seven wins for ol Kylie,  and twelve wins for the entire rest of the 42 drivers so far.  If that isn’t DOMINANCE, then I don’t know what it is!!


Now I must commend ol Kylie on just how he pulled off the win last night.  Jimmie Johnson passed ol Kylie with about 20 to go and it looked like Johnson was going to sail on to his second victory fo the season.  But there was a caution flag and a restart with just two laps to go.  Johnson brought the field down really slow to the green flag, much slower than ol Kylie liked, so he just pushed Johnson all the way down to turn #1!!!  Then proceeded to work the outside line as they passed the start finish line with one to go. Ol Kylie drove it deep into turn #1 on the high line and it stuck!!!!  As the two exited the turn, Kylie was slightly ahead heading down to the final turn of the race.  Again Kylie ran high and inched ahead of Johnson thru turn #4  and got to the start/finish line ahead of Johnson to record the victory!!


It was announced on Wednesday that Tony Stewart is leaving Joe Gibbs Racing to partner with Haas/CNC Racing to be called Stewart Haas Racing.  The terms of the deal were not disclosed, but sources close to the deal indicate that Stewart is putting up very little of his own money!  The rumor in the garage area is that Ryan Newman is leaving Penske and following Stewart.  Some say that it is a done deal, and will be announced at Indy in two weeks!!  There is also talk that Tony is eagerly looking to make his new team a 3 car powerhouse!!!  The talk is that quite possibly Martin Truex, Jr. may be in that equation!!!!  Tony has a tall oreder to turn the Haas/CNC team into Stewart Haas!!  There are many key things needed to be put into place before that team is a contender!!!  However, ol DW thinks that Tony has the wherewithall to make it happen.


This last weekend was a milestone/anniversary for two of the storied families of NASCARNASCAR celebrated “THE KING”, Richard Petty’s 50th anniversay in NASCAR.  It was on July 12, 1959 that he first sat in the seat of his race car!  His father, Lee Petty, entered Richard in a race at Columbia Speedway in Columbia, S.C. one Saturday night.  The rest is history!!!  THE KING raced in 1,185 NASCAR events.  Petty won 200 races, seven championships (’64,’67,’71,’72,’74,’75,’79), seven Daytona 500’s, and 27 victories in one season in 1967!!!!  Long live the King!!!!!


The other milestone/anniversay was not so joyous.  This involves the Bobby Allison family.  On the morning of July 12, 1993 Davey Allison boarded his newly acquired Hughes 269 HS helicopter to fly to Talladega Superspeedway to watch old family friend and Alabama Gang member Neil Bonnet and his son David test a car for David’s Busch Series debut.  Davey stopped to pick up another old family friend and fellow Alalbama Gang member,  the legendary racer Red Farmer.  Allison was attempting to land his helicopter inside a fenced-in area of the track infield when the craft nosed up and then crashed!  Neil Bonnett was able to free the semi-conscious Red Farmer from the wreckage, but was unable to to reach Davey Allison.  Paramedics arrrived and freed Allison, who was alive but suffered serious head injuries.  Davey Allison passed away the following morning, July 13, 1993.  Only a year earlier Bobby Allison and his wife had suffered thru the death of their other younger son, Clifford, in a Busch Series practice accident.  Davey Allison was only 31 years old and had a very promising NASCAR career ahead of him!!!




Fourth of July


Today’s Story Lines:

1. History of the Firecracker 250/400/Pepsi400/Coke Zero 400:

2.  Interesting Stats:

3.  Kylie rolls up another victory:


The “second” event at The Daytona International Speedway was originally scheduled and ran as a USAC open-wheel event.  It was ran in April of 1959 and was a crashed filled event.  After the race USAC permanently cancelled the event, NASCAR quickly stepped in to take that date! 


On July 4th, 1959 NASCAR launched  the second stock car event staged at the newly finished Daytona International Speedway.  Originally staged as a 100 lap/250 mile race called “The Firecracker 250”.  The first winner was none other than Glen “Fireball” Roberts!  In 1963 the race was lengthened from 100 laps/250 miles, to 160 laps/400 miles.  From its inception  until 1996 the race started at 10-11 am to combat the summer heat and humidity in Daytona!  In 1997 ISC installed lights and ran “The Pepsi 400” at night.  It was the largest “lights” project ever accompolished, and added a new twist to the way NASCAR ran its races!!


Back in July of 1984, there was a set of events that happened simultaneously.  The first sitting President, Ronald W. Reagan, gave the commamd to start engines from Air Force One on his way to see the Pepsi 400.  As it turned out that day, the President of the United States awarded “The King”, Richard Petty the trophy for the victory—- his 200th and last victory of his career!!! 


Lastly, I would like to give you some interesting statistics for the July race at Daytona:

First winner/last winner:

1959     Glen “Fireball” Roberts      Pontiac        $7,050.00      140.581 mph

2007     Jamie McMurray               Ford          $302,500.00      138.983 mph

Most Wins in July at Daytona:

David Pearson………5

Cale Yarborough…..4

Richard Petty………..3

Jeff Gordon…………..3

First Time Winners:

A.J. Foyt

Jimmy Spencer

John Andretti

Greg Bifle


The race this evening was fairly tame until about 50 laps to go.  Then the hands on the steering wheel started to get a little twitchy, “the get loud pedal” started to get a little itchy, the monkey got tight, and the voices started to unite in the pale moonlight!!!!  The wreckin’ commenced!!!!!


Throughout the entire race there was one constant, Dale Jr. ran in the top three.  It appeared that he was the car to beat this evening.  But there was a Las Vegas Weasel laying low!!  Early in the race ol Kylie was a player, but got just about turned backwards and faded to the very back of the line, all the way to 37th place!  He slowly but steadily manipulated his way through the pack and emerged the leader with about 10 laps to go.  Then another caution that led to a two lap shootout, the dreaded Green/White/Checkered!!!  As the White flag flew, one lap to go, there was a big crash just behind the leaders that ended the race.  But there was one plroblem, there were five rows of two, side-by side racing at that time.  Now NASCAR must go to the video and decide who was leading at the precise time that the Caution flag was thrown.  After some review by the NASCAR Officials, it was determined that the #18 Interstate Batteries Toyota was slightly ahead of the #99 Ford Fusion driven by Carl Edwards.


This was Kyle Busch’s sixth Sprint Cup victory of the season.  Joe Gibbs Racing in general, and Kyle Busch specifically, has thoroughly dominated NASCAR racing this season!!  Does any team have something for Joe Gibbs Racing???







Louden Fuel Prices!!


Story lines for this week:

1.  Gas costs about $100,000.00 per gallon!!:

2.  Aric Almirola is the new driver for the #8 DEI Chevy for 2009:

3.  Kurt Busch wins at Louden:

4.  Mark Martin may be the new driver for the #5 Hendrick Chevy:

5.  Rain determines the outcome at Louden:

6. Tony Stewart may be announcing his partnership in Haas/CNC at Indianapolis:


I know you are saying, “what does the price of fuel have to do with the NASCAR race last Sunday”??  Well, go ask a few of the competitors who pitted when the rains came to New Hampshire and they will tell you it was about $100,000.00 a gallon!!!!!  That was the difference that their pit stop made in the their prize money!!!  And you think that $4.25 a gallon is high!!!!!!!!!!!


This reporter can’t wait for this Saturday night at “The World’s Center for Speed, Daytona”!!  I think that the National Guard/Amp/Moutanin Dew #88 might have something for ’em!!!  I am not alone either, there are eight (8) out of twelve of us who also think that Dale Earnhardt, Jr. has something for them as well!!!  Go #88!!!!

DEI announced earlier this week that Aric Almirola will be taking over the steering wheel of the #8 DEI Chevy in 2009.  That leaves Mark Martin to move over to the #5 Hendrick Chevy to make “one more run at the NASCAR championship” in 2009.


And my post would not be comlete without something about “The World’s Greatest Driver”, Tony Stewart!  The rumor is that his people have been scurrying about for sponsorship for his proposed buy-in of Haas/ CNC Racing.  It is rumored that Office Depot is now going to move with him to that organization from the Rousch Racing #99 Ford Fusion!  That leaves Joe Gibbs Racing without a driver for the #20 car, which will most probably be piloted by Joey Lagano in 2009.

Thought provoking questions!

Who do you think has the best chance to pull off a victory at Daytona???  Where do you think Tony Stewart will wind up?  How about Mark Martin, where wil he be?  Is Joey Lagano good enough to drive the #20 JGR ride?  Where will Casey Mears end up?  Dario Franchitti is out of a ride.  What is his future?  Your comments and suggestions are encouraged!!!