The Ball Is In NASCAR’s Court


After the Talladega race last fall, NASCAR sent a strong message to the drivers as a results of the consequences that surrounded the finish of the race.  If you remember, Tony Stewart blocked/ran Reagan Smith down below the infamous YELLOW LINE.  Smith stayed in the gas, went below the yellow line, avoided sending the past Cup Champion into the catch fence, and blew by “THE SMOKER” for the apparent victory, right…..WRONG!!!  NASCAR penalized Smith sending him to the tail end of the lead lap for his descretion!!!!  The 2008 fall Talladega victory went to “THE SMOKER”!!

Fast forward , if you will, to last Sunday.  The last quarter of a lap plays out in much the same fashion as it did in the fall of 2008, with a few small differences!  Those small differences are; there is a huge hole in the catchfence, a few unfortunate spectators are injured by flying debris, a really fast Ford Fussion is now a shredded piece of junk over in the scap heap at Roush-Fenway Racing, and a young gun, Brad Keselowski, is the newest Cup victor! 

Now that the dust has settled from the race Sunday, what is NASCAR going to do about THE YELLOW LINE rule?  The message was sent by NASCAR last year….DO NOT GO BELOW THE YELLOW LINE!!!!  Keselowski followed the edict to a T! Repeatedly I say,the results was a really fast Ford ending up a shredded piece of junk!

So, you ask, what does NASCAR do about THE YELLOW LINE rule?

1. Do they flatten out the bank at Talladega Superspeedway and turn it into a “follow the leader race”? Boring, not gonna happen.

2. Should they put smaller holes in the restrictor plates between the carburator and the intake manifold to slow them down even further and pack them up tighter?  REALLY, REALLY, DANGEROUS!

3. Bruce Simmons over at Nascar Bits and Pieces ( has a great idea!  Just give them solar powered cars and they can race at 45 MPH all day!!!!  NOT EVEN!!!

4. It is race, let them race!!  From the end of turn 4 to the Start/Finish Line, it should be ANYTHING GOES!!  EXCUSE ME, EXCUSE ME, I AM COMIN’ THRU!!

What is your take on the restrictor plate racing and THE YELLOW LINE RULE??? 

Captainblowdri wants to know what you think!

By the way the picture is TLVW, aka ol Kylie Busch, climbing out of his Nationwide car after his aggressive move early in the race for the lead, put his car and one other in the garage for the rest of the afternoon in the Nationwide Series race at Las Vegas this year!!!

Excuse Me, Excuse Me, Comin’ Thru!!

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Sunday was a prime example of making a plan, sticking to it, and hoping it works!  There seems to be two schools of thought when it comes to Talladega.  The first school of thought is to get to the front quickly and stay there.  The hope is that you will stay in front and out of the way of  “THE BIG ONE’.  The other school of thought is to lay back at the back of the pack in order to avoid “THE BIG ONE”.  By staying at the very back of the pack, you could see “THE BIG ONE” starting to materialize and stay  out of the bent sheet metal!  That would be your hope, anyway!

Sunday there was a phenomena that took place that we have not seen happen at past races at either Daytona or Talladega.  Sunday, for some unexplained reason, when just two cars hooked they would absolutely blow by the entire freight train of cars and motor right up the lead!  Using Fox’s telemetry, the two car train was blowing by the long line with more that 10 MPH overtake!  That is unbelieveable, in light of the fact that EVERYONE is driving their cars  with their right foot BURIED on the floor!!

The lead changed 57 times among 27  drivers. That didn’t approach the record of 75 lead changes, but nonetheless, a very exciting race.  There was three versons of “THE BIG ONE”!  The first verson came on lap 7 taking out Jeff Gordon and several of the top 12 drivers.  There was also another “BIG ONE” in the latter stages of the race.

But the one that had/has everyone gasping and talking about what happened in the tri oval just prior to the Start/Finish line as the Checkered Flag was begining to wave.  It actually all started as the fright train of cars  went by the Start/Finish line with one to go and the White Flag waving.  The Carl Edwards  #99 AFLAC Ford, who was back in 9th place, made a move to the outside and Brad Keselowski driving the #09 Miccosukee Indian gaming resort Chevy, in only his second Cup race this season, latched onto Edward’s bumper for one last valiant try to charge to the front.  As the two “LONE WOLVES’ came out of turn two, “high wide and handsome” their combined effort gave them a huge run!  They systematically one by one blew by the pack of 10 nose to tail race cars going down the back stretch! 

As both Edwards and Keselowski rolled into turn 3 and 4 in first and second place,repectively, they drove their cars left side tires right down next to THE DONT’GO BELOW/OUT OF BOUNDS DOUBLE YELLOW LINES  that marks the inside of the race trackNow onto the short straight leading to the tri oval, where the Start/Finish is at Daytona, but not Talladega, Keselowski has a big run and makes a move to the outside to pass Edwards.  Edwards moves to block this attempt.  Keselowski quickly turns left to go around Edwards on the inside, and gets up to Edward’s left rear quarter panel .  “Cousin Carl” can see the flag man beginning to unfurl the Checkered Flag, reverses course, turns left to run Keselowski down below THE DOUBLE YELLOW LINE, thus keeping him from passing Edwards for the win!!  Edwards is thinking that he probably has got this win in his hip pocket now.  Remember the fall Talladega race with Reagan Smith and Tony Stewart?????  Tony ran Reagan Smith down BELOW THE YELLOW LINE and Smith passed him for the apparent win…..WRONG!!!

However, Sunday Edwards turned left to try to force Keselowski down below the yellow line and keep him from passing Edwards for the win.  Now Keselowski is going to be faced with two choices.  The first choice is to get out of the throttle and let Carl Edwards win this race.  the second choice becomes very risky, and that is, keep your foot “MATTED TO THE FLOOR” and take the results of what is about to happen, pleasant or not.

The choice, that the Young Mr.Keselowski took, was “keep ‘er gassed and hold your line”!!  The end results was his first Cup win at Talladega Superspeedway and one spectacular crash for Carl Edwards!



Now the question that begs to be asked, “What is NASCAR going to do now?”  After last fall’s race with the Tony Stewart and Reagan Smith controversey, it appears that there needs to be a tweaking or re-examination of the“Double Yellow Line” rule!  It is this reporter’s view that after the fall race at Talladega last year, you had to know that this result was going to happen soon!  A racer is a very competitive person and they will block the other cars, ESPECIALLY coming down to the Checkered Flag!!!  Unfortunately, there is occasionally going to be some crumbled up sheet metal when drivers block others at restrictor plate races! In this case a few spectators were injured from flying debris off of either the car or the catch fence.  That was extremely unfortunate!

 What are your thoughts on restrictor plate racing?  Is blocking fair?  How do you cambat someone who is blocking you? Is there a better way for NASCAR to patrol the blocking and bump drafting? 

Please participate in the poll below.  Also click on the comment button at  the bottom of this post, let me know what you think and why you think that!!

Dale Jr. Underpowered?

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Is Dale, Jr. underpowered?  Remember when he and Michael Waltrip were the dominators at the restrictor plate races?  Well there were good reasons why that was happening.   According to an article in,  by Jonathan Ingram, he chronicles the early days of DEI and their engine builders ability to utilize “the gray areas” of the intake manifold below the NASCAR issued restictor plate.

Ingram’s story begins at the height of the DEI dominance in 2004.  He was  instructed by the late Randy Horton, engine builder for Hendrick Motorsports who lost his life in the Martinsville crash of a Hendrick airplane, to look inside the manifold of a Childress manifold located in the Childress hauler.

“This is what the teams is doing,” Dorton pointed out.  Looking inside you could see a small rectangular island on the floor of the manifold.  It was designed to meet the block that NASCAR officials inserted into the manifold.  The block rule was in place for two reasons.  First the block confirmed  the area under the restrictror area was cler and second, the area at the bottom was flat, at least as far as NASCAR’s block test was concerned.

Dorton was revealing that Childress had found that “ever ellusive gray area” in rules concerning the restrictor plate area!  He was not suggesting that it was illegal, quite the contrary, he was copying that idea, because the little raised island in the manifold area helped create a better airflow underneath the restrictor plate, thus creating more horsepower!

Now to connect the dots, Richie Gilmore’s name needs to be added.  Richie Gilmore, who worked very closely with Dorton at Hendrick Motorsports, was hired  by Dale Earnhardt, Sr. to build his motors.   Gilmore’s job at Hendrick was, you guessed it, the carburator specialist, and Gilmore was acknowledged  thoughout NASCAR as a master at his craft.

Dale, Sr. being a great friend and employee of Richard Childress, was most probably privy to the RCR “find“!  The same year Earnhardt, Sr. won his one and only Daytona 500, he hired Richie Gilmore to build engines at DEI.  Once Gilmore came over to DEI one could assume that he could use the knowledge that learned from Randy Dorton at Hendrick Motorsports above the restrictor plate and combine it with the knowledge he gained from Earnhardt,Sr.  and Childress Racing below the restrictor plate in the manifold floor.

By the ttime 2001 came around, Gilmore’s expertise above and below the restrictor had paid off tremendously for DEI.  The #15 car driven by Waltrip and the #8 car driven by Dale, Jr. were in a class all by themselves.  Because of a damaged air dam after contact in the pits with Kenny Schrader, Dale, Sr. was struggling to keep himself in third place and looking like he was protecting his two drivers, who were leading the race on that fatal day.  But if the truth be known, The Intimadator, wasn’t just protecting his drivers, it was all the car could give him that day!

When Dale, Jr returned to Daytona in July 2011, he was the class of the entire field.  He could and did, effortlessly drive by anyone and everyone in the field!  The #8 had the horsepower edge that night and for the next three years!  Richie Gilmore’s expertise was paying huge dividends for DEI.    

For the plate races over the next three seasons, DEI had the field covered.  Waltrip and Earnhardt,Jr. won the next 6 out of 7 races at Talladega.  Dale,Jr. would have won the seventh race had it not been for a late race caution flag.  Jeff Gordon was leading and was having a handful fighting off Dale, Jr. for the win.    During that run of horsepower, the tally was Dale,Jr. 5, Waltrip1, and Jeff Gordon 1!

Considering that the DEI effort was a joint effort by Richard Childress, Andy Petree, and Dale Earnhardt,Sr. to share wind tunnel testing time through an agreement known a RAD.  The agreement worked remarkably well!  It wasn’t aerodynamic information alone that lead to DEI’s dominance, IT WAS HORSEPOWER!!!


Is A Bankruptcy Imminent?


Is Chrysler imminently close to a chapter 11 filing?  What affect will there be on the Dodge teams?  Will that have a domino affect on those race teams scrambling to align themselves with either a GM or Toyota factory sponsorship? 

There are several reports that the bankruptcy filling for Chysler is as close as possibly next week.  The New York Times is reporting that the government has started drawing up documents for the Chapter 11 filing.  In earlier negotiations, the federal government gave Chrysler until April 30th to devise a restructure plan.

On a similar note, GM has announced that it will shut down many of its North American plants for “several weeks” in the summer.  This does not bode well for General Motors.  It appears that just possibly GM may be heading down the very same Chapter 11 road!!   It appears that GM may be feeling the pressure from many sides, including the federal government to file for reorganization.  The U.S. government has given General Motors until May 31st the have its plan ready to go.

It is also been leaked to the presss today, that General Motors will eliminate the Pontiac brand.  That announcement looks like will be forth coming as soon as Monday.  That would give GM time to talk to their Pontiac dealerships to discuss the future, or lack thereof!

Neither the Chrysler nor the possible GM chapter 11 filing is going to be good for NASCAR.  The filing of chapter 11 by Chrysler will be felt to a far lesser degree than a possible chapter 11 filing by General Motors.  Nonetheless, in either of these instances, the NASCAR community will be forced to scramble quickly to realign themselves with the surviving auto manufacturers and keep their sponsors intact!

There is an interesting article in The Wall Street Journal today about Fiat’s position in both the bidding war or lack thereof for Chrysler.  It also lays out Fiat’s interest in GM’s Opel division.  The plot thickens with regards to Chrysler’s future!


Just how is all this going to play out at NASCAR?  One would think that both Penske Racing and Richard Petty Motorsports are huddling at their perspective headquarters trying to desperately get a “backup operations plan”!

For Roger Penske, it is reported that he owns the largest Toyota dealerships in the US.  So maybe the obvious isn’t so obvious, but it seems logical that quite possibly the Penske organizationhas already gotten some of the wheels greased with Toyota!!  You think?

As in the picture above, it just might be that some of these NASCAR race team’s futures are going to go up in SMOKE!

What is your take on the affects of the impending Chrysler collapse?



Crew Chief Swaps!


The rumors and the rumblings are starting to get into high gear.  It always seems that when certain teams are under performing, the rumor mill cranks up.  There were reports on Jayski ( that there has been meetings at Hendrick Motorsports regarding the crew chiefs of the #5 team and the #88 team switching assignments.  This follows some of the news media  calling for Tony Eury, Jr.’s head!  This follows the #88 team’s under performance so far in the 2009 season.  Dale Earnhardt, Jr. has repeatedly defended his crew chief/cousin’s performance or lack thereof!  But the truth is the truth, the #88 AMP/National Guard Chevy is mired somewhere back in mid-pack as far as the standings go.

However, it is a fact that the Hendrick Motorsports #88 AMP/National Guard Chevy has lacked performance in this season up this date.  Likewise, the # 5 Kelloggs Chevy has been sub par with the lone exception of the victory last week in Phoenix.  So it would not be a stretch of the imagination that quite possibly there might be a change looming for both of these race teams.  One sure way to eliminate those nasty rumors is to run up front and not make those, sometimes, bonehead mistakes that have played a part in both teams under performances in 2009.

An update to this leak of information comes from “a high-up”at Hendrick Motorsports.  This person, who was not identified, stated flatly, “there is not a shred of truth to that idea”.  That idea being the crew chief swaps.

There will no doubt be more on this subject, unless the #88 AMP/National Guard Chevy picks up their performance!


On the other hand, RCR has announced that there will be an entire crew change between the #29 Shell/Penzoil Chevy and the #07 Jack Daniels Chevy.  The drivers, however will remain with their perspective race cars at Richard Childress Racing( RCR PR).


Lastly, Hall of Fame Racing/Yates Racing has announced that Bobby Labonte will receive a new crew chief.  Ben Leslie has been hired to replace Todd Parrott as the #96 Ford.

So here are not even one third of the way through the 2009 NASCAR season and the changes are beginning!

What is your thoughts on “The Silly Season” already beginning???

Bump Drafting 101

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This Sunday will be NASCAR’s second installation of full throttle restrictor plate, bump drafting, 185 MPH three to five wide place swapping, hope he doesn’t make a mistake, high stakes racing from Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama.  The four restrictor plate races , two each from Daytona and Talladega are  always very exciting from the fan’s point of view.

From the picture above, you can see that the COT has made bump drafting a little less hazardous in 2009.  In the old cars, the front and rear bumpers did not match up at all in height.  The old cars had a very aerodynamically designed front end, very tapered and low slung.  The rear ends of the older cars had their rear bumpers a little higher above the ground than the COT cars.  So if someone was trying to bump draft, the back car’s front bumper would actually get underneath the rear end bumper of the leading car and lift up the cars rear end off the ground.  That would, at times, lead to some very unpleasant results!  With the old cars a bump draft almost always lifted the leading car’s rear end off the ground, causing havoc! As the lead car, you only wanted a bump draft when you were going perfectly straight!  If you weren’t going perfectly straight when the bump draft occurs, the front car risked being turned sideways at 190 MPH!  That would cause that driver to be ALL  HAIR, TEETH, AND EYEBALLS!!

Now both the front end bumpers and the rear end bumpers are all most equal in height.  That allows the two car’s bumpers to more closely aligned and allow for bump drafting with far less consequences for the lead car!

Everyone  remembers the “Big One” that  Carl Edwards caused at Talladega last year.  That was crash was caused because Carl Edwards tried to push or bump draft with Greg Bifle going into the turn.  Even tough the bumpers are more closely aligned with the COT, bump drafting in the turn will still turn the lead car around.  That is exactly what happened to “The Bif”!  Thereafter, all hell broke loose!!!

Now having explained the basic aerodynamics of drafting, you could now see how teammates, or any two cars, could hook- up and push or propel themselves to the front of the pack.  With two cars hooked-up in line drafting and powering their way forward, together they only punch a hole in the air the size of one car with more horsepower than a single car.  That would allow them to march to the front.   Conversely, side-by-side racing would be much slower because of the huge hole in the air that the two cars would produce and also creating significantly more dynamic and static drag on the cars to try to overcome.

Having tried to explain some of the basics of drafting and looking at the above picture, just remember that one picture is truly worth a thousand words!!

#1 Bass Pro Chevy??

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I’ve been conferring with my buddy”Spence” and there is speculation that the former DEI #1 now EGR#1 Bass Pro Chevy may be gone at season’s end!  Now that DEI or Earnhardt-Ganassi has parked the #8 Chevy for lack of sponsorship, it is quite possible that at season’s end Bass Pro  moves it’s sponsorhsip to another team!!  That seemed to be what Jimmy Spencer was alluding to Saturday afternoon on Speed!  He seemed to think that Pro Bass had another home at the end of the season with another team.  Hmmmmm!

Let’s see just where that might be!  Tony Stewart’s USAC midgets and sprint cars are sponsored byBass Pro .  Could that be a possibility for the #39 Stewart-Haas Chevy driven by Ryan Newman???  It seems that this could be the future home Bass Pro .

Still another possibility would be for Martin Truex, Jr. to take the Bass Pro sponsorship and move to another team for the 2010 season.  It is this reporter’s opinion that Truex is destined to leave EGR, mainly for his own career survivability!!!  Truex needs to UNHITCH his wagon from a crumbling organization ASAP???

It appears that Theresa has been successful at destroying  the empire that her husband, Dale Earnhardt,Sr., worked so very hard to build!!!  Thersea has handed over the day-to-day operations of this organization to Chip Ganassi.  It is this reporter’s opinion that she will fold the DEI operations and pull competely out of NASCAR racing all together, more than likely at the end of the 2009 season!!

Saturday Night Is Alright For Fightin’

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It has 16 years since a driver 50 years old won a Cup race!  Back on March 20,1993 Morgan Shepherd won his last Cup race at the Atlanta Motor Speedway.  Saturday nightg Mark Martin won the Subway Fresh Fit 312.   It was Martin’s first win in 97 races, Kansas Speedway in 2005.  The Hendrick Motorsports #5 Kellogg’s Chevy not only won the race, but also led the most laps-157  leading the race 5 different times!!

The Saturday night race was somewhat typical of a day into night race.  There is usually a car that dominate the day portion, a car that dominate in the transition period and a car that dominates the night part of the race.  The first part of the race Mark Martin really dominated everyone.  During the sun-dark transition period, Kurt Busch was the hot rod to beat.  However, when the chips were on the line, Martin’s team resurrected  themselves by tuning all night on that car, which allowed it to get back to the front of the pack. 

Even though Martin is 50 yerars old, he is as physically fit as any of the “young bucks” he races against!!!  Additionally, we do know that NOTHING will make you feel younger than winning a Cup race when people thought that you were way past your prime!!!!!! 



Next week is Talladega Superspeedway!!!  Off in the distance I can faintly hear, Lynard Skynard tuning up!!!!  Need I say any more????? 

Talladega is one of captainblowdri’s three most favorite tracks, the other two tracks are Daytona International Speeedway and Atlanta Motor Speedway.  As a spectator, the racing at Talladega, Daytona, and Atlanta keeps you on the edge of your seat or recliner throughout the entire race.  There is just some unique  quality to those tracks that are not at the other tracks that NASCAR  races.

Talladega has a destinctive start-finish line placement.  Unlike Daytona with the start-finish line in the middle of the tri oval, Talladega put the start finish line after the the tri oval near the pit road exit point.  That adds to the excitement running for the checkered flag!!  This race reminds me of 43 bees swarming trying to find the hive!!  But there is always one bee that gets in a hury and causes the rest to get all balled up!!!  Therein…..THE BIG ONE!!!!!

So let’s get out our restrictor plate, dust it off, bolt it on, and LET’S GO RACIN’ BOYS!!!!

As  always, I looked it up  so that you wouldn’t have to!!! Continue reading “Saturday Night Is Alright For Fightin’”

The Dinger ???

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Richard Petty Motorsports has just announced that the team has secured sponsorship up to Richmond in Sept. for the 2009 season.  Additionally RPM has announced that they have signed “The Dinger” through the end of the 2010 season!

All this comes as sources in the garage area leaked that there was great interest in the availability of one A. J. Almendinger as a driver.  It would appear that the management of RPM decided to lock “The Dinger” in to a contract so that other teams couldn’t snag him out from under their feet!!

For RPM, it appears that they have a young driver with a huge amount of talent in the #44 Dodge.  “The Dinger” has exhibited moments of excellence.  Most recently he finished third in the rain shortened  2009 Daytona 500.  He is firmly sitting in 20th place in the 2009 Cup standings, which locks him into the races each week.  So A.J. appears  to becoming more comfortable in the NASCAR ranks, and seems to have finally figured out just how to manhandle these massively heavy race cars!

Sill, this reporter must question “The Dinger” hitching his wagon to RPM.  This an organization of the merged Gillette-Evernham Racing and Petty Enterprises.  Both of these organizations were weaker than their counter parts in 2008.  The questions now would be, is this merged organization equal to the task of being a first tier team???  Can RPM win races???  What affect will the either merger of Chrysler with Fiat, or the bankruptcy of Chysler have on the NASCAR Dodge teams?

What is your take on this subject?  Please participate in the poll below.


Flying High??


We are approaching the one quarter point of the 2009 season and some teams are flying high, and some are still in the holding pattern waiting for their approach clearance!! 

It is no surprise that two of Hendrick Motorsports teams are first and second in the standings.  The teams of Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson have performed up to their early season’s expectations.  The #24 Dupont Chevy finally broke their winless streak of 47 races by winning at Texas!  Even without that victory, Jeff Gordon has been finishing in the top 5 ,week in and week out, in the early part of the 2009 season.  The Lowe’s # 48 Chevy is just now starting to hit on all 8 cylinders, hey look out they are coming on strong!! 

The two Joe Gibbs Racing cars, #11 FedEx Toyota driven by Denny Hamlin and the #18 M&M’s Toyota driven by TLVW, aka ol Kylie Busch are steadily plotting their course pointing towards the front, as well.

Two of “The Roushcateers” are holding up their end for the Ford’s.  The #99 Scott’s Ford piloted by “Cousin” Carl Edwards has been very consitent in scoring top 10 finishes so far this season.  The #17 DeWalt Ford Fusion of Matt Kenseth also has been a force.  After Kenseth’s red-hot start of back-to-back victories, he has settled down into a steady performer.

There are a couple of suprises at this juncture of the season.  The #14 Stewart-Haas Chevy  driven by Tony Stewart, aka “THE SMOKER” is sitting in 5th place in the satndings!  Even though it is THE SMOKER  driving this car, it is a new team in essence!  This reporter didn’t figure this team “to be in hunt” at  all this season!

Additionally, there is great surprise that the Richard Childress Racing #33 General Mills Chevy driven by Clint Bowyer, is anywhere near the top of the standings!!  This team is truly a brand new, startup team!! 

Still another surprise, as compared to where he finished last year, is the Penske Racing #2 Miller Lite Dodge of Ears Laid Back, aka Kurt Busch.

The Michael Waltrip Racing #00 Aaron’s Dream Machine piloted by David Reutimann has come from nowhere to  land firmly in 11th place.  That is quite a leap from last years position of thirty-something!!

Missing from the top twelve is the most popular driver of NASCAR, none other than Dale Earnhardt, Jr.  What is happening to the Hendrick Motorsports #88 AMP/Natonal Guard Chevy???  What seems to be going on with that team?  Does anybody have a clue??

For those teams “flying high”, they really must stay focused knowing that they have a target drawn on their backs by the teams stuck in that holding pattern I alluded to in the beginning of this article.  For those teams still in the holding pattern, it is time to exit the holding pattern and make that perfect landing beginning at Phoenix this weekend!!  They can not afford to stall out now! 

As always it is time to tie the picture together with the article.  If you haven’t figured it out, the F-15 Eagle “is flying high”!  The picture was taken at the March race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.  For those of you who have never been to LVMS, the track is located about a mile to the northwest of Nellis AFB.  So while you are at LVMS, you get a great air show from all the fighters that transit through the air base.   Also, the USAF Thunderbirds precision demonstration team winters there, too.  So you also get a glimpse of the boys doing their practice show in preparation for their annul tour!! 

We live in fame and die in flame!!!   GO USAF!!!!