Easter Celebration and Thanksgiving

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It is Easter weekend and NASCAR for the most part has the weekend off, except the Nationswide series race Saturday afternoon in Nashville.  So with that having been said, I thought that I would write a different kind of article!!

This weekend  is all about family.  Unfortunately I will not be with my family for Easter.  I am heading out to Honolulu Saturday evening at 5 p.m.  I know that it sounds very glamourous, but trust me the all night flight back is anything but glamorous!  I would much rather be at home than out in Honolulu for this weekend.

 

First and foremost, I would like to take time to acknowledge and thank Karen, my wife, for allowing, and in fact, encouraging me to be myself.  She has sacrificed many things to let me go to Daytona, to take time to write on this web site, to go spend time with my mom, my children and my grandchildren.  Never once has she complained!!  She has been there in the good times, the bad times, the bad times this time around, and soon to be the fantasically great times again!!  She has kept me grounded when I was aloof.  She has cheered me up when I was down.  She kept me postiive when I felt the weight of the world on my shoulders!!  She has taken better care of me than anyone would have!!  Lord know that I have not given her the acknowledgement and recognition that she deserves!!!!!!!!   

Thank you very much for all that you do for me, Karen!  You are my very best friend  for life, but most importantly, YOU WERE AND ARE THE LOVE OF MY LIFE!!

 

To my two sons, Jason and Jeremy, you are the legacy that I will leave behind for all to see.   I want to thank the both of you for putting up with my absenteeism and for attempting to understand me, as difficult as it was at times.  I am sure that I felt short of your expectations, but I honestly tried to the best of my ability to be a loving father, and set a good example for you to follow.  I love both of you more than you will probably ever know!

To my wonderful step-son, Mark Reardon back in Atlanta, thank you very much for accepting me back into the fold! Also I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for letting me take your Mother about as far away from you as possible!  She misses you more than you probably know, also!!!!!

So for all who read this article, it is my wishes that you take some time out at your Easter dinner table let the people that you love and treasure know beyond any doubt that you really do love them unconditionally!! 

HAPPY EASTER TO ALL!!!

TO ALL OF MY EXTENDED FAMILY I LOVE YOU AND MISS.  THANKS FOR ALLOWING ME TO BE ME!!

 

DEI/EGR #8 Chevy FINISHED!!!

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The  former DEI #8, now EGR#8  Chevy is off the track most likely for good!! The team has laid off 40-50 personnel.  The latest news out from Earnhardt Ganassi Racing is that the #8 EGR Chevy is without sponsorship, and therefore they suspended the operations for that team!  This was once the “hallmark” team of DEI!!!!  The #8 was the pride of a “BIG E”!!!  The #8 held special meaning to the Earnhardt family.  That was the number that Ralph Earnhardt, Dale Sr’s father, raced for many years and won a championship.  The #8 team was what Dale Earnhardt, Sr. built DEI all around.  This team was going to be his (Dale , Sr.’s) centerpiece for Dale Earnhardt Inc.!!!!  Now it is just a memory!!

It appears that DEI is crumbling into ruins, kind of like the Roman Empire did mor than a thousand years ago!!!  The reasons behind this failure belong to just one person, Mrs.Theresa Earnhardt.  First Theresa refused to come up with a new contract to keep Dale, Jr. racing for DEI in the #8 Budweiser Chevy.  Because of that decision, the next domino fell really fast and very hard.  Budweiser left DEI and took their HUGE dollars over to the #9 GEM Dodge.  That deal alone caused DEI  a huge financial hardship, which will be shown to be the pivotal decision in the ultimate collapse of DEI!!!  It is this reporter’s opinion that Theresa Earnhardt has made some really incredibly stupid decisions since her late husbands untimely death!!  But by far the biggest blunder of all was allowing her stepson, Dale Earnhardt, Jr. to walk away from the empire that Dale, Sr. had built!!!  Because once Jr. walked away from DEI, the dominoes just started to fall sequentially and nothing could be done to stop the uncontrolled fall in the abyss!!!

There are many rumors in the mill around the garage area related to this story.  One is that because of the #8 operations being suspended, that might allow Martin Truex, Jr. to become a free agent soon.  If that happens, what will become of the EGR #42 team?  Ultimately, what is that organization’s long term future in NASCAR anyway?

 

What is your take on this news???

 

Penske…..DUDE after thoughts!

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While having lunch at Ninfa’s Mexican Cafe at The Galleria Mall in suburban Houston, I had some further thoughts about the previous post regarding the Busch-Penske DUDE radio exchange!!  I can’t help thinking that the real ELB, (Ears Laid Back) Kurt Busch, has resurfaced at Penske.  It was only a matter of time that the tantrums, tirades and tongue lashing resumed from ELB!!

The thought of having that kind of conversation between an employee anad employer is eye-opening, astonishing, appaulling, and extremely hilarious!!  Can you imagine, say for instance, one of Warren Buffett’s employees responding to him like that????  I am trying to imagine how the conversation would go!!!!

Mr. Buffett telling one of his employees,” to just hang in there and things will get better”.  The response from the employee after arguing with the boss, would go something like this.

 “Dude you gotta be kidding me, oh ok DUDE you win”.

  I am sure that Mr. Buffett would be taken aback!!!  “Excuse me did you call me DUDE???”, obviously would be Mr. Buffett’s reply?  Warren Buffett, who has been called the ORACLE of OMAHA.  But a DUDE, now that is very interesting?????

How about The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff calling his boss, the Secretary of Defense, Hillary Clinton… DUDE, when responding to her queries!!!!!!!!!!!  That is mind boggling!  Maybe she would be a DUDETTE!!!!

Can you see Jeff Gordon arguing with Rick Hendrick over the radio and ending the conversation with 10-4 DUDE!!!!  That would be most amusing and very disrespectful to say the least!

 

Now for the last and ultimate comparison, and my correlation to the picture above!  Do you think that Dale Earnhardt, Sr. had that kind of radio exchanges with his boss, Richard Childress????  This reporter thinks that DUDE was just not in THE INTIMADATOR’S vocabulary!! He most likely used four letter words, but DUDE most assuredly was not one of the words that he used!!!

 

What is your take on this subject?

Roger Penske’s new nickname?????

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Roger Penske has been called many names in his racing and business career.  But the iconic race car owner is more likely to be called “The Captain”.  Penske owns Indy Cars, two NASCAR teams, Grand Am race cars, and is THE CAR to beat in the Indy Car circuit.  His teams have won numerous Indianapolis 500’s and Indy Car championships with great driver the likes of  Al Unser, Sr., Rick Mears, Danny Sullivan, Emerson Fittipaldi, as well as Al Unser, Jr.!  Penske is also a very astute business man as well.  His holdings are numerous including Detroit Diesel, Penske Truck Rentals, former owner of the California Speedway, Michigan International Speedway, Nazareth Speedway just to name a few businesses.  So as you can his influence is felt throughout the businees world, and is a very respected entrepreneur.  Roger Penske’s wealth has been estimated to be near ONE BILLION DOLLARS!!!!!

Well, there is a new 21st century name that his ace driver, Kurt Busch has hung on Mr. Penske.!!  When things weren’t going so sterling for the Penske #2 Miller Lite Dodge during the later stages at Martinsville  the radios got smoking hot!! 

Kurt Busch (aka Ears Laid Back (ELB), lashed out at his team with this comment, “that was a stupid adjustment.  I hope that we are really proud of ourselves.  That was excellent.  Our day is shot!” 

“Do your best, we will be fine”, responded Penske. 

 “It is the most frustrating thing  in the world to think that you think that we are better than we are.”, shot back Busch. 

“If you didn’t blow yourself up, we’d be a lot better.  You made a change, it didn’t work.   All we hear is a bunch of stuff on the radio.  Let’s get serious here, OK?  You understand?”, radioed Penske in a rare show of anger. 

The driver of the #2 Miller Lite Dodge came back with this most eloquent response, “10-4, DUDE,10-4!”  I am sure that that frequency went  eerily silent!!!!  ELB just called his boss, Roger Penske, The Captain, ……..DUDE!!!!!!!!!! 

Is this a sign that the Busch brothers arrogant characteristics have creeped back into ELB’s habit patterns????  Could the Penske-Busch marriage be in need of counseling?  There was this sense that maybe Roger Penske had succeeded in grooming the 2004 Cup champion to be a grown-up!!!  It appears to this reporter that, quite possibly, Kurt may be succeeding in getting his employer to look for another chauffeur for his BLUE DUECE!! 

This not the first time that  ELB  went off on a tirade.  Kurt had sharpened his tongue several times and aimed it  directlt towards Jack Roush, when ELB worked there.  That led, in the end, to his early departure from Roush Racing.  Could this be inklings of things to come from the Penske team? 

This reporter can’t wait for the next interview, either at the next Indy Car race or at Phoenix, with Roger Penske……THE DUDE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

The Texas Gunslinger……HE’S BACK!!!!!

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THAT’S RIGHT……..HE’S BAAAAAAACK!!!!!

It took 17 tries for Jeff Gordon to put this notch in his belt, but he finally won a race at Texas!!!  Now there is just one more track left that he has failed to secure a victory, Homestead-Miami.   I think that it was Will Rogers who said ,”the rumors of my demise are very premature”!!!  The same could be said about Jeff Gordon, the rumors of his demise is very premature!!  It has been 47 races since the  Hendrick Motorsports #24 Dupont Chevy visitied victory lane, that is more than one full year of racing!!!!!  Despite being very consistent and leading the points  this season, he had not taken his ride into victory lane until this Sunday at Texas Motor Speedway.   Sunday Jeff got his Cowboy Hat and Six Shooters, look out Dallas/Ft. Worth there is a new Sheriff in town!!! 

This victory has put Jeff Gordon just one victory behind Cale Yarborough, voted one of  THE 50 GREATEST  DRIVERS OF NASCAR!!!!!  That is quite a fete, but Jeff Gordon’s career is far from over.  Let be known that he is securing his place in the NASCAR history books.  Having four Cup Championships to his credit, his drive for FIVE is alive and well in 2009!!! 

Speaking from the “HE’S BACK” category, the Stewart-Haas #14 OfficeDepot/Old Spice Chevy has emerged as a contender for the Chase.  As  much as this reporter hates to admit it, Tony Stewart has put his mark on the old Haas-CNC team and has taken it to a new level (read my previous article)!!  Stewart raced his Chevy very hard putting it in fourth place at the end of the day.  He ran all day long in the top 10 and mostly in the top 5 with the other ‘BIG DOGS’, very impressive!!

Now the question of the week. 

WHAT IS GOING ON IN THE #88 TEAM???? 

DOES ANYONE HAVE A CLUE?????????????

The Texas Preview

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Well folks it pains me to write this article, but I think that it is time.! After last weeks finishes of both of the Stewart-Haas Racings cars, #14 and #39, it would appear that they may have their “growing pains” under control.  The Stewart-Haas #14 Office Depot/Old Spice had a very good run at Daytona, but the next few races weren’t so hot!!  A 26th place finish at Las Vegas and a  17th place finish at Bristol were less than sterling for his team.  However, Tony’s finish at Martinsville,a 3rd place,  might just be a needed boost to the team right in the nick of time to mount a springtime charge! 

The Texas Motor Speedway is a high speed horsepower race track.  Since Stewart-Haas Racing gets their race engines from Hendrick Motorsports, they (Stewart-Haas Racing) might fare very well there.  Stewart seems to run very well overall at Texas and could be there at the end challenging for a win!   

The #14 Stewart-Haas Chevy presently sits in 7th place in the early stages of the season.  That position is far higher than where this reporter thought that the team would be at this stage of the season!!  Even though this wasn’t a true start-up team, it has been largely restructured under Stewart’s leadership.  Stewart brought into his organization many new and talented faces.  When that kind of overhaul and change occurs, it ususually takes time to become cohesive and gel into a championship caliber organization!  However, for Stewart-Haas Racing, it has happened in a very short  time.  It would appear that Tony Stewart is a good student, as well as a good race car driver.  He worked 10 years for the master who knew how to get the most out of the people in his organization, that would be none other than the president of JGR– Joe Gibbs!!  Gibbs has always said that “YOU WIN WITH PEOPLE”!!!!  Maybe Tony has learned a very valuable lesson from his mentor and former boss!!

Having stated my case, this reporter is picking the #14 Office Depot/Old Spice Stewart-Haas Chevy to win the Sunday Samsung 500 at Texas!!! 

THE QUALITY OF YOUR LIFE DEPENDS ON THE JOURNEY YOU TAKE!