The Old Man Prevails!

An exhausting victory 

(photo by Getty Images)


Once again the Michigan race was determined by fuel consumption/gas mileage.  The final laps were very dramatic.  In fact it was the last 10 laps that made the race very interesting.  The #48 Lowe’s Chevy dominated the race all day long.  but the last 10 laps were a nail bitter!  It came down, once again, who got the best fuel mileage in the final fuel run. 


It appeared that both #16 3M Ford driven Biffle and # 48 Lowe’s Chevy driven by Johnson choose to race each other hard til the bitter end, and consequently, they ran each other out of gas!  First the #48 Lowe’s Chevy coughed, sputtered, and ran out of that precious commodity that powers those 800  horses, as he crossed the start/finish line with the white flag flying.  The heir apparent for Johnson’s lack of good gas mileage appeared to be the #16 3M Roush-Fenway Ford.  But that was short-lived, as he too ran out of petro motoring down the back stretch.  With Biffle running out of fuel, the victory was handed to the #5 Kellogg’s/Carquest Chevy!

At a time when most race car drivers have been retired for quite some time, this 50 year old is making a move to the front.   He obviously got re-energized from his two years of part time racing, now Martin  is making a serious charge for his first Cup championship.  Martin’s re-awakening has prompted me to pose this poll question below. 

For more NASCAR news and information join me at:


For now, I am still working on my redneck!

The Old Man Tames The Lady In Black

2009 Daytona 500 133

The “Senior Citizen” of the NASCAR Sprint cup circuit has just tamed “the lady too tough to tame”, logged his second victory of the 2009 season, and the 37th win of his career.  Mark Martin has come alive this 2009 season!  What is the reason?  Could it be the two seasons of running a partial schedule? Could it be pairing up with a new owner and championship caliber race team?  The following might shed some light on the answer!

Jim Pedley, managing editor of the web site Racin Today ( has written a very good article on the recruitment of Mark Martin by Rick Hendrick.  It all started long before the announcement of his being paired up with the #5 Kelloggs team.

The recruitment began when  Rick Hendrick was talking to equally deep thinker, Jay Frye, then employed with Bobby Ginn Racing, whom Martin was driving a partial season for.  These days Jay Frye is the source behind Red Bull Racing’s rise to prominence.  Frye told Hendrick that Martin would rally love to drive one of Hendrick’s Nationwide, then Busch Series, cars at some point in time.

In response to Frye’s statement, Hendrick said, “I would love Mark to drive  one.”  So the deal was for Martin to drive two or three that first year Martin drove for Bobby Ginn Racing.  The first of those races was to be Darlington.

So off to Darlington in 2007 where Martin finihed in second place.  That alone was not what made Rick Hendrick decide to go full steam after Mark Martin. It was Mark Martin being Mark Martin!

Hendrick stated,”I was listening in on the radio, and Mark was complimenting the crew and telling them what an honor it was to drive for the crew.  I told him that he ought to be a car salesman!”  Hendrick continued,”but he was so sincere, he pumped the crew up, with virtually no practice, and Martin finished second.  Martin was running down the leader and got out of the car apologizing to the crew for letting them down, and for winning the race.”  Hendrick went on to say,”I have never heard that before! I mean, the guy had worked hard all day, and is telling the crew that he (Martin) had let the crew down!”

That led to another Nationwide start and another one, and ultimately to a friendship that racing seems to foster.

Then last year Martin won a Nationwide race at Las Vegas for Hendrick Motorsports.  After that Hendrick told Martin that he would put him in Cup car in a New York minute ,IF HE WOULD RUN THE WHOLE SEASON.  The phrase, “the whole season” was the sticking point!

A year later at Richmond, the two were talking and the point came up again.  That sticking point of running the entire year surfaced, yet again.  Rick Hendrick told Martin that he would love to put him the #5 car IF HE WOULD RACE THE ENTIRE SEASON.  Martin lobbied for a partial season.   Hendrick told him he couldn’t do a partial schedule.  Martin told Hendrick that he wished he could race a full schedule, but he had promised his family not to run a full schedule.   THE HOOK WAS SET!

Some time had passed before Rick Hendrick’s phone rang.  It was none other that Mark Martin calling to let Rick Hendrick know that Martin had a discussion with his wife, Arlene.  Martin had called Hendrick to tell him that before he died, he wanted a shot at driving for Mr. Hendrick and his guys!


Last Saturday night was more evidence that Mark Martin is rejuvenated and is a force to contend with this season!


Saturday Night Is Alright For Fightin’

2009 Daytona 500 133

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’”

Viva Las Vegas!

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      (nationwide series insider)



The NASCAR boys returned to Las Vegas last weekend and the ghost of ELVIS PRESLEY resonnated hauntingly throughout the weekend!  There were loud engines and show girls abounding!!  What a strange combination, but leave it up to Las Vegas to make it work!!

Ol Kylie Busch ( aka The Las Vegas Weasel, hereafter referred to as TLVW), finally pulled off a victory in front of the hometown folks in SIN CITY!!!  It was not his typical ” take no prisoners approach”!  TLVW  started out the weekend by posting fast time and winning the Coors Pole Award.  But becaused his team had to replace the engine, TLVW had to start at the back of the 43 car field.   The #18 M&M’s Toyota methodically worked his way thru the field so as to place himself in a position to race for the win.  TLVW really didn’t show his face till the last fifty laps.  But, sure enough there he was as the Checkers fell, out in front and bringing home the win!!!

There were a number of engine failures at  Las Vegas Sunday.  Most notably was the the winner of the first two races of the season, Rousch -Fenway Racing’s #17 Ford of Matt Kenseth.  His engine starting going sour at the drop fo the green flag, and finally went up in smoke on lap #7!  Following that engine death, there were a few more, most notably Roush-Fenway Racing’s #6 Ford of David Ragan, Hendrick Motorsports #5 Chevy of Mark Martin, and a few more along the way!  Since the re-configuration of the track, it appears that there is a greater toll on the engines.  The higher banking allows the drivers to run at greater speeds and keep the motors wound up in the 8500-9400 RPM band longer.  That really never allows the engine to “breathe easy” for any length of time!!



This reporter is still recovering from 5 days at LVMS!!  The  LVMS always puts on some great dirt racing during the NASCAR weekend!!  In addition to the Saturday Nationwide Series race and the Sunday  NASCAR Cup race, Weds. night at the dirt track the USAC midgets and wingless sprint cars put on one whale of a show.  There were race cars from all over the U.S. for this event!!  If that wasn’t enough, on Thurs. night The World of Outlaws put on a great show of 410 c.u. dirt slinging, high flying , all out haulin’ the mail sprint car racing!!!! 

But back to NASCAR, the racing at the LVMS is always very exciting, this race was no exception! There were a number of yellow flags early in the race, but as usual there seems to be a long green flag run in the middle of the race.  And, towards the end of the race, there appeared another round of yellow flags as the drivers feel the urgency of  ” GOTTA GO“!!  Las Vegas is one of my favorite tracks, along with Daytona, Talladega, and Atlanta.  These tracks seem to put on very close, exciting, and action packed races!  The fans walk away from these venues feeling that they got every dime’s worth of their money!!!  

Speaking of Atlanta, that is next up on the schedule!  It should be another great action packed weekend of high stakes racing!!


2009 Season Predictions


It is 13 days til the green flag drops for start of “The Great American Race”, the Daytona 500.  The pundits are gathering to express their predictions for the 2009 season!  As the season unfolds, there are numerous thoughts on this reporter’s mind that must be resolved.


First of all, Tony Stewart (The Smoker)(two time champion) and Ryan Newman (2008 Daytona 500 winner) have left their prospective teams and joined forces in the newly formed Stewart-Haas Racing with Hendrick motors.  Will either one, or both of these drivers have any impact on the 2009 season??

Secondly, will any of the Hendrick drivers be a driving force in the 2009 season?  Can Jimmie Johnson and the #48 Lowe’s team make it four championships in a row?  That feat has NEVER been accompolished in the 60 year history of NASCAR!  How ’bout Jeff Gordon’s “drive for 5”?  Can he pull it off or is his prowess over?  Can Dale Jr have a break through year and finally shut up all those “nay sayers” !!!  Can Jr close the deal?????  Now that Mark Martin is in the #5 car, can he finish his career at the top of the podium??

Next to be discussed is the Joe Gibbs boys.  Kyle Busch (The Las Vegas Weasel) sputtered when the going got tough!  Can he actually perform at the end of the season like he did up until the Chase started???  Can Denny Hamlin crank up the intesity and be more consistant throughout the entire season?  And new kid on the block, Joey Logano (Sliced Bread) how will he fit in at JGR?  Did they rush him into Cup too fast?  Can this 18 year old phenom be really that good?  Can Logano stand the pressure involved in this level of  performance?

Richard Childress Racing started a fourth team for the 2009 season.  But, because of sponsorship concerns Mears was put into the #06 Jack Daniels Chevy.  General Mills was concerned that Mears wouldn’t fit into their profile, since last season he was driving the Kelloggs #5 HMS Chevy.  So Mears tgets into the #07 with a top 35 points from 2008.  That moved Clint Bowyer into the newly formed #33 General Mills Chevy with NO points to start the 2009 season.  Bowyer must “race into the big show”!!!  Can Jeff Burton finish in the top ten consistantly?  Kevin Harvick needs to step up his game, at least one more notch, in order to put pressure on the other frontrunners in 2009.

Lastly, can the Roush/Fenway drivers keep the pressure up on thall the rest of the contenders?  Carl Edwards is the franchise driver of the Roush/Fenway stable.  It would appear that he has the hunger and the ability to “dethrone” the 3 time Champ, Jimmie Johnson!  Greg Bifle really came alive in the early part of the Chase last season, is the fire still burning????  Matt Kenseth is probably the most consistant steady driver in that stable, but can he step it up???  David Ragan is the newest and youngest of the Roush/Fenway drivers and had some sparks of brilliance in 2008. 


So my question to all of you is this.  Having read this article and using all your worldly racing knowledge, consulting your psychic, reading your tea leaves, possibly picking straws, when the checkered flags falls at Homestead, who will reign as the 2009 NASCAR Sprint Cup Champion?????




GO #88

A Total Team Effort!








5.  WOOD BROS. AND HALL OF FAME RACING MERGE? (winston salem journal)


7.  LATEST ON GM-CHRYSLER MERGER: (winston salem journal)


9.  MAX PAPIS AND GERMAIN RACING ’09 CUP SEASON: (serius speedway)(jayski#13 team pic)

10. TESTING RULES TO CHANGE IN ’09: (winston salem journal)


12. NASCAR NIXES GEM’S MOVE TO TOYOTA: (winston salem journal)


14. MAYFIELD TO BUY INTO BILLY BALLEW TRUCK TEAM: (serius radio interview)



Rain cancels qualifying for the 10th time this season.  For the third week in a row, Jimmie Johnson lined up on the pole.  The rain outs gives the #48 Lowes Chevy a couple of important advantages.  The first advantage is obvious, he sits on the pole for the race.  The second advantage, and possibly even more importantly, is he gets to pick first in the pit selections!!!  That is a big plus when it comes to getting into your pit box!!

The race was a typical Atlanta race, high speed and action all day long. But a late yellow flag gives Carl Edwards the opportunity to pass the leader, Denny Hammlin on the restart.   Carl Edwards wins for the seventh time this season, and the 14th in his short career.  Unfortunately, the #48 Lowes Chevy pits to get “Four Fresh Goodyears” and slices his way through the field to finish second, “truly raining on Edward’s parade”!!!  Edwards only gained slightly in the points column on Jimmie Johnson, however he did move into second place in the Chase!



I know once again you are wondering how can this reporter tie in a horse drinking out of a watering hole at Cental Park in NYC and a NASCAR race in Atlanta????  Get ready ’cause I am gettin’ ready to ‘splain!!!


If you look again at the picture, you will see this is a one horse operation.  He is “in the pits” replenishing himself getting ready to go back out and make some money for it’s owner.  Unfortunately, he his having to resupply his “consumables” ( think fuel and tires) all by himself!!  He is losing valueable time (think track position) not having a team (think pit crew) helping him!!!  If there were a few more people to put the horse back into a revenue position, he would make more money for his owner (think win the race/Chase)!!! 


So again how does this fit into the NASCAR picture??  Well, Sunday in Atlanta we saw the #48 Lowes team get penalized for speeding on pit row.  That put Johnson a lap down to the field, but that didn’t get the team down.  The team stayed focused and worked hard as a team unit.  When the yellow flags fell in the very last part of the race, the team made a couple of bold decisions that put them back in the “hunt”!  With bold decisions and fortitude the Lowes #48 team put themselves in a position to finish second place!  That voided the chance for Carl Edwards to make large gains on them in the Chase points.


This reporter can only echo what Brad Daughtery (ABC/ESPN) said two weeks ago after Johnson’s win at Lowe’s Motor Speedway.  Brad then stated so boldly, “print the hats and the T-shirts ’cause Jimmie Johnson will be the THREE-TIME WORLD CHAMPION“!!!   There is something about this race team that comes to life in final 10 races of the season.  It is like the Vince Lombardi days with the Packers.  Everyone knew that Bart Starr was going to give the ball to Taylor and Hornug and you just had to try to stop them!!  You also knew that it would take eveything you had plus some to do that !!!!!!


So what we are about to witness hasn’t not happened in NASCAR since 1976-78.  In those three years a very brash young man from Timmonsville, South Carolina, named William Caleb (Cale) Yarborough drove for “a good ol boy” from Wilkes County, N.C.  That “good ol boy” from N.C. was none other than Robert Glen Johnson, Jr., better known to the racing world as Junior Johnson, a legend in his own right as a driver!!!  For those three years that duo of driver and owner was the most dominate force NASCAR! 


Fast forward 32 years and we have a team equally as dominating now!!!  Print the T-shirts, print the hats, and raise the flag it is a done deal!!!