The Right Stuff!!

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THIS WEEK’S STORY LINES

1.   JIMMIE JOHNSON WINS THIRD CHASE IN A ROW:

2.   CARL EDWARDS WINS AT HOMESTEAD:

3.   DEI-GANASSI NAMED EARNHARDT-GANASSI RACING:

4.   EARNHARADT-GANASSI RACING RUNS CHEVYS IN ’09: (espn)

5.   STEWART MOVES OVER TO STEWART-HAAS RACING:

6.   CREW CHIEFS NAMED FOR STEWART-HAAS RACING: (TSC/SHR PR)

7.   NASCAR BANS ALL TESTING IN 2009: (winstonsalemjournal)

8.   CALE YARBOROUGH ABSENT FROM HOMESTEAD: (orlando sentinal)

 

The 2008 NASCAR racing season has come to close.  The running of the Ford 400 at Homestead-Miami Raceway has ended with excitement and a place in the record books of NASCAR.  The winner of the race, Carl Edwards, won it in a dominating fashion, however that was only one half of the story.  Edwards attained his ninth win of the season, the most of any driver this year.  He also led the most laps enroute to the win.  Unfortunately, “Cousin Carl” couldn’t overcome the 141 point disadvantage in this last race.  He did, however cut a significant amount of points off from Jimmie Jonhson’s lead!  Edward’s surge over the last four races was short of a miracle in the NASCAR ranks!!

 

The real story of the weekend was Jimmie Johson’s third consecutive championship!.  That feat had only been accompolished once in NASCAR’s 60 year history.  Johnson got himself in the history books along side Cale Yarborough as the only other driver to score three championships in a row.  The consecutive championships won by these two individuals were exactly 30 years apart!!

 

COMMENTARY

At last, you say, I can finally figure out the title, the picture, and their relationship to NASCAR!!  Well let me tie them together anyway for you.   A few years ago Tom Wolfe wrote a book titled “The Right Stuff”.  It was a book chronicaling the beginnings of supersonic flight in the 1940’s and 1950’s, the brave adventerous pioneering pilots involved, and the teamwork that it took to overcome the dauting tasks that was before them.  There were heros, rivalries, brilliant people, and hard partiers, but the common theme was TEAMWORK!!  Everyone would sacrifice whatever it took to accompolish the goals given them.  You might remember or recognize some of those men, Chuck Yeager, Scott Crossfield, Bob Hoover, Neil Armstrong, John Glen, Buzz Aldrin, Deke Slayton, and James Lovell just to mention a few names.  They all hold their place in aviation history.

 

Racing has its men that have “The Right Stuff” also.  Try on a few of these names on for size, Lee Petty, Richard Petty, Fireball Roberts, David Pearson, Cale Yarborough, Marvin Paunch, Buddy Baker, Benny Parsons, Bobby Allison, Ned Jarrett, Darrell Waltrip, and last but not forgotten Dale Earnhardt, Sr (in the staute above).  These men were just some of the brave pioneers of NASCAR.  They, too, were heros, rivals, hard partiers, and yes they were brilliant in their own way!  They were focused on accompolishing the dauting tasks of winning races and being better than their competitors day in and day out!  They realized that it took TEAMWORK to succeed!!! 

 

 Well add one more name to the history books.  What Jimmie Johnson and the #48 Lowes HMS Chevy accompolished in the last three years has cemented their place in the NASCAR history books!!  That whole team sacrificed everything to be the best when the going got tough!!  Winning three consecutive championships put them in the same sentence as Cale Yarborough.  Until Sunday there was only one driver and team that could lay claim to three championships in a row. 

MOVE OVER CALE, HERE COMES JIMMIE!!!

One To Go At The Line!

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THIS WEEEK’S STORY LINES:

1.   AIR FORCE LEAVES WOOD BROS. FOR GEM #10: (jayski.com)

2.   DEI-GANASSI MERGE OPERATIONS:(espn.com) (gannassiracing)(AP)

3.   BB&T SPONSOR #33 RCR CHEVY IN ’09: ( RCR pr)

4.   RED BULL TEAMS SWAP DRIVERS FOR LAST RACE: (redbullracing pr)

5.   BRIAN FRANCE’S TAKE ON SWITCH TO ESPN2 FOR FINAL MINS. OF PHX RACE: (jayski)

6.   KESELOWSKI TO RACE @ HOMESTEAD

7.   AAA SPONSORS HORNISH IN ’09: (penske racing pr)

8.   FURNITURE ROW RACING RUNS A LIMITED SCHEDULE IN ’09:(furniturerowracing)

No I haven’t completely gone off the deep end!  There really is a corelation between the NYC Naked Cowboy and NASCAR.  How can that be, you say??  Well folks, take a closer look at that picture.  He is standing all alone on the island in the middle of Times Square in New York City for everyone to see!!  He is unique and has no peers!  He is vunerable yet he journeys on with total disregard to personal security!!!  That, my friends, is just exactly what the new NASCAR Sprint Cup Champion is!!  He is unique, has no peers, extremely vunerable, yet he sojourns on with total disregard for his own personal safety!  And in December, he will in fact be on a stage for all to see at the NASCAR Banquet at the Waldorf-Astoria!!!

 

It is very obvious that the last man standing for this year’s Chase will be Jimmie Johnson.  He has but one race left before he marches into NASCAR history. All the #48 Lowes Chevy has to do is finish 35th or better and he has the 2008 Championship lock, stock, and barrell!!  In the 60 years of NASCAR racing there has been only one individual to win three consecutive championships in a row, that being “the Timmonsville, S.C. Tornado”, William Caleb (Cale) Yarborough.  That feat was accompolished in the period of 1976-1978 with the car owner and crew chief, Junior Johnson!

 

 

 

COMMENTARY

 

This reporter has been following many forms of racing, Indy Car, NHRA, local short tracks dirt and paved, as well as NASCAR for more than 45 years.  What the entire #48 Lowes HMS Chevy team is about to accompolish is of historic proportions!  It is a dynasty pure and simple, similar to the NY Yankees in baseball.  You might remember those days with “the Mick” Mickey Mantle (my boyhood hero), Yogi Bera, Whitey Ford, Elston Howard,”Moose” Skowron, Roger Maris, and Bobby Richardson.  The Boston Celtics with “Big” Bill Russell, Bob Cousey, K.C. Jones, and Sam Jones were equally a huge dynasty in the NBA.  These two sports franchises stand head and shoulders above all the rest in “stick and ball” sports!!  They are what legends are made from!  So observe this weekends event, soak this up, because it may not come our way again for another 30 years!!!

 

The one thing that we, as fans, learned this season was a reinteration of the old story of “The Hare and The Tortise”  Just because somebody starts off the season fast and dominates for 2/3’s of the season, doesn’t necessarily mean that they are going be there in the end!!!  Ol Kyle Busch started off “smokin”hot”, but completely fell apart in the Chase!  It was bound to happen, a team just absolutely cannot dominate all 36 races in the season, PERIOD!!!  Somewhere, someplace, somehow, mistakes and bad luck will come to haunt you!!  It happened just as the Chase started for the #18 M&M’s JGR Toyota this year.  Will ol Kylie, aka TLVW, be a factor next season, you better bet on it!  That team will be better next year than they were this year, if for no other reason than “SPERIENCE”(a DWism for experience)!!!

 

This off season will be a time of great turmoil and upheaval in the garage.  It started this week with the announcement of the DEI-Ganassi “merger”.  The sponsorhip dollars are tight and the teams are feeling the pinch.  There are still rumblings in the garage of Petty and GEM looking to merge.  There are even Penske merger rumors!!!   The possibilites are truely endless!!!!

 

GOD SPEED, JIMMIE JOHNSON!

 

Stay tuned, ’cause God knows it is going to get interesting!!!!

 

 

T is for………

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THIS WEEK’S STORY LINES:

1.  EDWARDS WINS @ TEXAS:

2.  KYLE BUSCH DONATES $100,000 TO SAM ARD (espn.com)

3.  HORNISH BACK TO INDY CARS IN ’09? (yahoo sports)

4.  GILLIAND PARKS MONTOYA-NASCAR PARKS GILLILAND!(scenedaily)

5.  BRUTON SMITH REAFFIRMS DESIRE TO BUY NASCAR: (espn.com)

 

Most of the year T is for Talladega, but Sunday T was for Texas!!!  T was also for toughness, for teeth-clinching tussles, for high speed tangles, for two and three wide racing, and for tempers flaring!!!  But the REAL T was for thinning the points lead in the Chase!! 

“Cousin Carl” defied all the odds in fuel mileage logic!!  He and crew chief Bob Osborne turned a “mistake” in not pitting into a stretching of fuel mileage far beyond what was supposedly feasible!!  The theory of the fastest car wins the race definitely was proven totally wrong!!  For the last ten laps, Edward’s crew chief had to continually tell Carl to slow down, get out of the throttle, let it roll thru the corner!  It is a concept that is hard to understand, slow down to win the race!!!  Because the Office Depot #99 Ford did not stop when everyone else did, he inherited a huge lead and lots of track position!!!  So he slowed way down.  Lower RPM’s means less fuel burn per lap, thus allowing them to stretch their fuel out to 69 laps and win the race!!!

 

 

COMMENTARY

Ol Kylie Busch, aka The Las Vegas Weasel, won the Nationwide race in Texas on Saturday.  That win tied ol Kylie and Sam Ard with 10 victories in the Nationwide in one season.  That is quite a feat!  Last year Kevin Harvick came up one victory short of bypassing Mr. Ard’s accompolishments.  It is very possible that TLVW  may surpass Sam Ard’s record, with two races left this season!

Sam Ard had a brilliant but shortened racing career.  Back in 1984 he suffered head injuries in a racing crash that ended his career. In Sam’s days of racing, there were no “BIG PAYDAYS”. He raced because he was a RACER!!!!  Over the years, the Ard family has run across some extremely hard times.  Sam suffers from Alzheimers and is confined to a wheel chair. The family has used all of their funds just trying to care for Sam.  A few weeks ago Kevin Harvick bought and donated the “Shell Van” from the commercials to help the family’s transportation needs.  It appears that their automobile just recently “died”!!  

On hearing of the Ard family’s struggles, ol Kylie donates $100,000 to the Ard family to help.  Once again the NASCAR family comes to the rescue!!  As hard as this reporter has been on ol Kylie, I am very impressed that he appears to have a kind heart.