The Fireworks Are Coming!!

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(photo by Leon Hammack)

Nearly halftime at NASCAR as the boys visit Daytona for the second time this season.  For my analysis of the first half of this season join me at:

This is the third of the four “wild card” races for our fantasy league.  These 160 laps Saturday night under the lights will be just one big “Saturday Night Shootout”!! The double file restarts will also add to the excitement of the pack of 43 bumble bees swarming around the 2 1/2 high banks of Daytona!

The 13 of us have picked 8 different drivers to win, that means there just might be some shifting in the standings when the night is over and the fireworks have subsided.  In light of his lack of performance this season, Dale, Jr. is longer the overwhelming favorite of the fantasy league to win at Daytona.  However, he is still one of the favorites picked  by 3 have picked to win the 2009 Coke Zero 400.  The other favorite, picked by 3 as well, is none other thanTLVW (ol Kylie).

So Saturday night it will be time to light the candle. twist the wick, press the loud pedal, pull the belts tight, and let the big dog eat!!!

Logano Scores First Win!

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(photo by Leon Hammack)

The Lennox Industrial Tools 301 is now in the record books.  Like last year’s June race, the weather played a very significant roll in the outcome of the race!  Like last year when the “Blue Duece” driven by Kurt Busch, aka ELB (Ears Laid Back) waited for the race to be called because of the rain, the #20 Home Depot Toyota driven by Joey “Sliced Bread” Logano, too, waited for the race to be called.

For the full story join me at my new web site:

As I have stated previously, now that I have the new web site up and running this web site will be directed more towards our NASCAR fantasy league interaction.


As I was watching the replay of the big accident at Louden on the restart at lap 174, several thoughts occurred to me.  While it is a given that TLVW can drive the wheels off of anything that he straps himself into, it appears that his “patience tank” is completely empty!  As long as he is out front of the pack, it never comes into play with this driver.

However on Sunday, with ol Kylie stuck back in mid pack for the restart, the driver of the #18 M&M’s Toyota was the instigator of the “The Big One” at Louden!  As the green flag flew for the restart on lap 174, Dale Jr. in the #88 National Guard Chevy, spun his tires as he hammered the “loud pedal”.  That backed up a couple of rows of cars, but TLVW gassed it up big, stuck his nose into a spot that maybe only a fly or gnat could fit into, and tried to make it three wide prior to the start/finish line!  As that small hole closed back up, ol Kylie got into the #1 TomTom Chevy of Martin Truex, Jr.’s left quarter panel turning him hard right, and sending him head-on into the outside retaining wall.  Ol Kylie’s impatience resulted in collecting several drivers, thoroughly blocking the racetrack!

I think that I have just figured out why TLVW continuously sticks his nose into places that you know that won’t work on the race track.  I think his near vision is grossly impaired!!  Probably if he were to go to an opthamologist to get a thorough eye examination and glasses, he will see that his nose just won’t fit into some of  those tight spots he insists on getting into.

What is your take?

Kyle, Guitar Smashing, Retrospective Thoughts

Getty Images

(photo by Getty Images)


Just some after thoughts on ol Kylie’s guitar smashing celebration at Nashville last week.  In the days following that unprecedented guitar smashing in the post victory celebration, there were mixed reviews.  However, most of the journalists that cover NASCAR, both in print and video, were appalled at THE WEASEL’s smashing of the custom built and painted “Les Paul” Gibson guitar.  That trophy from Nashville has become one of the most prized and coveted trophies on the NASCAR tour!  

Smashing that guitar in Nashville is like launching a loogie at Whistler’s Mother in the Musee d’Orsay museum!  Nobody really gets hurt by that act, but it sure tells the rest of the people to go directly to HELL!

 That is the message that ol Kylie Busch, aka THE LAS VEGAS WEASEL,  seems to be sending to the entire racing world!! 

TLVW seems to revel in the fact that he is alienating a large segment of the race fans.  Is he trying to be the “cowboy in the black hat”??  There is no doubt that this talented 24 year old can WHELL a race car around any facility in this country!  But such behavior  is not only childish, but is idiotic by any standard!

What is your take?

Reminder to me:  Never lend a guitar to Kyle Busch, he is very hard on the instrument!

Has Kyle Gone To Far?

Getty Images
(photo by Getty Images)
Just when I thought that I might even be more positive about that “poor misguided soul” from Las Vegas, ol Kylie does something again that is so outlandish and asinine that I was completely dumbfounded!  Yes he can drive the wheels of any car that he gets into.  Yes he has become a very dominating race car driver in NASCAR.  Likewise, TLVW (The Las Vegas Weasel) is also arrogant, pouting, and very childish in his behavior!  But I believe that what THE WEASEL did last night, after dominating the Nationwide Series at Nashville takes the cake, period!  It leaves me asking the question, just what does ol Kylie have between those dumbo ears and behind that Alfred E. Neuman face of his?  Anyone have a clue?
Saturday night after winning and dominating in the Nationwide Series at Nashville, ol Kylie is presented the custom $2000.00 hand painted “Les Paul Signature” Gibson guitar, that for nine years has become the much coveted trademark trophy for winning the Nashville race.  What happened next was just mind blowing.
TLVWtook that custom Gibson guitar and smashed it on the ground into hundreds of pieces!  Does Busch think that he is part of the British rock band THE WHODoes he think he is Roger Daltrey or Pete Townshend with his “guitar destruction” fete at Nashville?  He even had the poor misguided thought to compare himself , afterwards in an interview, to those two from THE WHO, as well as KISS and Ozzy Osburne???  I am missing something here!  Kyle is a race car driver, pure and simple,  not a ROCK STAR!!!  REALLY C’MON KYLE!
Between TLVW’s pouting, rants, avoiding interviews, and infantile arrogance, this outlandish behavior is inexplicable by most who observed it!  Between his often aggressive driving style, and now his over- the- top celebrations, what will we see next from this poor misguided soul?  It is starting to look like a soap opera….As The Race Wheel Turns!
What do you think, is Kyle over the top or just good entertainment?

Birthday Boy Wins at Richmond!


Saturday night at Richmond was a runaway with the Joe Gibbs Racing #18 Combos Toyota.  With that win at Richmond, ol Kylie, aka TLVW(The Las Vegas Weasel)  became the youngest driver, 24 years old, to gain 15 victories at the Cup level.  He also become only the second driver in Cup history to win on his birthday!  The only other driver to accompolish this feat is none other than Cale Yarborough.  Cale did that twice in his career, 1977 at North Wilksboro Speedway and in 1983 at Atlanta!

Not only did TLVW win Saturday night at the Cup, race, but he also smoked the field on Friday night in the Nationwide Series!  If that doesn’t make you think that just maybe TLVW and his crew are back on track for another run at the Cup championship, TLVW beat Denny Hamlin at Hamlin’s own charity race earlier in the week!!!  It is quite evident that TLVW can really wheel a race car around the track, that really pains me to admit that fact!!  But the facts are the facts, plain and simple and he is poised to make a huge run to the front!

The race at Lowes Motor Speedway over Memorial Day weekend will mark the 1/3 mark in the  2009 Cup season.  It looks like it has been  fairly even matched, with no one driver dominating in the wins column.  But there are some drivers who are very consistent in their finishes, most notably Jeff Gordon.  Is this his year to complete “the drive for five”?

Could this be the year for the Busch brothers?  Could Kurt Busch win his second championship and the first for  Penske Racing?  You might be saying that Penske driver Rusty Wallace won a championship in 1989 for Penske.  Rusty’s 1989 championship was with Raynmond Beadle as the owner of the #27 Pontiac.  You might remember Raymond Beadle from his NHRA days as the driver of the funny car BLUE MAX.

Could TLVW win his first Cup championship?  Ol Kylie seems to bet getting his “race on” these days!  If the driver and the team can keep their focus and not succumb to the pressures of  The Chase, it might be their year.

With almost one third of the season under their belts, it would appear that the top twelve are shaping up.  What are your thoughts on just how The Chase is looking?  Who has the best chance to win the Cup Championship?  Will we see a “fourpeat” by Johnson?  Or will this year be a first time cup champion?

Sound off, what are your thoughts on the 2009 Season so far?

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!!!!

Back To Back Bushwacked!!

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      (foxsports) (AMS pit notes)





      (middle tenn. racing news)


This is the second time in as many years, that the Busch Brothers, ol Kylie aka TLVW and Kurt aka EARS LAID BACK (ELB), have won successive races at the Cup level.  To say that the “Blue Duece” was thoroughly dominating at Atlanta Sunday, was a huge understatement!  Kurt Busch led 235 of the 330 laps of the race!! 

In the off season, NASCAR granted Dodge a new engine and some modifications on their nose cone.  It appears that the new nose and the new Dodge engine are paying dividends for Penske Racing.  FYI, Penske is the only Dodge team currently using the new Dodge engine, Richard Petty Motorsports is still using the old engine. 

The #24 National Guard Chevy of Jeff Gordon ran up front all afternoon, as well.  But in the end neither he, nor Carl Edwards, Kevin Harvick, and Brian Vickers had anything for “The Blue Duece”!

Kurt (ELB) was even more dominating in the Cup race, than ol Kylie (TLVW) was in Saturday’s Truck race.  TLVW  showed those boys the fastest way around AMS on Saturday.  On the last restart, TLVW  was leading them to the green, but only had two gears 1st and 4th left in the trannie.  So he dropped back as far as 9th with 8 laps to go.  But he roared back to the lead with 3 laps remaining and won the race!!



This just in from the definition of tough!  Saturday evening Martin Truex, Jr. was taken to the hospital with lower back and abdominal pains.  Around 10pm Saturday evening, he passed a kidney stone, and by 1pm Sunday he was sitting in his race car ready to go 500 miles!!  He was not allowed to take any pain medication and race.  Now that is TOUGH!!!!

NASCAR has finally come up with a policy for the restart zone at all the race tracks.  They have been toying with the idea for the first four races of the season.  Now they are going to double the speed on pit road,convert that to feet, and that is the restart zone.  For instance, if the pit road speed is 55 MPH, then the restart zone would be 110 feet prior to the start/finish line. 

What is wrong with what has worked for 60 years??  The leader sets the pace and GASSES WHEN HE IS READY!!

Lastly, NASCAR is looking closely at “start and park”.  This reporter is holding out on judgement on this subject pending further evidence and discussions.  However, your opinion is invited!




Here is another poll that I encourage you all to weigh in on.









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 Daytona 500

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This week’s story lines:

1.  Matt Kenseth wins the 2009 Daytona 500:

2.  Dale Sr. will be remembered on 2/18/09:(EGR PR)

3.  Gilliland to drive the TRG #71 car for the four races:(TRG PR) 

4.  David Starr to drive the Blackjack Racing #51 at Calif:

5.  Kyle Petty not happy about merger:(st.petetimes)

6.  Rusty Wallace, Inc. considering Cup move with RCR help:   (

7.  DirectTV Hot Pass free:(

8.  Is Dale, Jr. running out of time for championship?(espn)


Sunday February 15th marked the 51st running of The Great American Race, better know as the Daytona500.  With a testing ban at all NASCAR sanctioned tracks, the teams did little to no testing at all this winter.  So when the haulers pulled through the tunnel prior to the Bud Shootout, about ten days ago, it was the race teams first glance at “the world center of speed” since the race in July of 2008.

The races of Speedweeks 2009 were very exciting.  The Bud Shootout had a new format for getting into the race,which put a different twist on that race.  It has become a manufacturer’s race now.  Nonetheless, it was an exciting “shootout” Kevin Harvick taking home all the marbles!

The Duel 150’s were very exciting and really action packed races with Jeff Gordon winning the first race and (TLVW) Kyle Busch winning the second duel.  Both of those races were action packed and very tight racing!

On Friday, The Camping World Truck race lit the night sky at Daytona.  It was a very action packed 250 mile race.  There was many lead changes and of course the impatient drivers making risky moves!  But that is the hallmark of this series, which serves to increase the use of the “rollbacks” and tow trucks at the track! 

On Saturday the Nationwide Series was main attraction at Daytona.  It sounds repetitive, but the Nationwide boys also put on one whale of a race.  There was lots of side-by-side racing throughout the entire pack, not just the front runners!  The final results was that Tony Stewart(The Smoker), won the race in the #80 Hendrick Motorsports Chevy.  This new affiliation occurs because of  The Smoker’s new team, Stewart-Haas Racing, buys their cars and engines from Rick Hendrick.

On Sunday, under threatening skies, THE GREAT AMERICAN RACE takes center stage at Daytona.  With the threat of rain in the back of all the race teams minds, the green flag drops and the drivers strategy is that they need to race hard immediately.  The reason for that mind set is that the race may be called officially over once they complete the half way mark.  So the race pace and moves were furious and risky!! The racing was two wide, three wide, and sometimes momentarily four wide!!!  The drivers were racing every lap like it was the last one!   The drivers were really trying to get to the front by the halfway point, just in case the rains arrived. 

It reminded me of an old song by Steeler’s Wheel.  The lyrics go something like this “clowns to the left of me  jokers to the right, here I am stuck in the middle with you”!!!!!  The rains came and went intermittenly thoughoutthe race, but it finally cut loose and the race was called with Matt Kenseth in the lead and delcared the winner.



This reporter, along with his sidekick Jim,  arrived at Daytona for the four action packed days of racing starting with the Duel 150’s and culminating THE GREAT AMERICAN RACE, the Daytona 500.  There is something magical about Daytona that you must experience if you are a race fan!  There are only two venues that stand head and shoulders above the rest, Indianapolis and Daytona.  Having been to both venues several times, the atmosphere is charged with electricity and a great anticipation resonates throught the grandstands prior to the races there.  However, it is this reporter’s opinion, that Daytona has now far exceeded the gala at Indy( you can thank Tony George for singel-handedly mortally wounding open wheel racing)!!!  Tony George’s arrogance played right into the hands of NASCAR and allowed them to really grow their brand starting with the 1996 season, that was the first year of the IRL/CART split!


P.S.   There is candle light vigil at DEI headquarters tonight to honor Dale Earnhardt, Sr.  It was eight years ago the he lost his life on the last lap of the 2001 Daytona 500.  He was in third place behind the eventual winner Michael Waltrip , and in second was his son Dale Jr.  Both of those cars were out of his stable at Dale Earnhardt, Inc.  This repoter is reasonably sure that THE INTIMIDATOR is quite proud of the way his son has handled himself since that tragic day, February 18, 2001!!


Bud Shootout Changes


I have been saying how “change is coming, change is coming”!!  Well, here is one more change to digest this season.  The Bud Shootout format has completely changed for 2009.  In the past, the Bud Shootout was defined as the winners of the previous seasons races and the past winners of the Bud Shootout.  Well NASCAR, in their infinite wisdom, has decided that the new format is going to pit the top six in OWNER’S POINTS from each manufacturer plus a wild card car from each manufacturer.  That is a total of 28 cars racing for the money.

Another change to the Bud Shootout is to increase the race length from 70 laps to 75 laps.  That is, the first segment will consist of a 25 lap race with a 10 minute break.  In that break crews can do all the things that can be accompolished in a regular pit stop.  However, no springs, shocks, nor rear end changes  are allowed.  Then a restart and a 50 lap race to the checkered flag!!  Starting positions for the Bud Shootout will be determined by a blind draw as usual.


The drivers in the 2009 Bud Shootout are:


#48 Jimmie Johnson

#29 Kevin Harvick

#07 Casey Mears

#31 Jeff Burton

#24 Jeff Gordon

#88 Dale Earnhardt, Jr.

#14 Tony (The Smoker) Stewart  (Chevy Wild Card)



#9 Kasey Kahne

#12 David Stremme

#2 Kurt Busch

#19 Elliott Sadler

#7 Robby Gordon (Dodge for Shootout)

#44 A.J. Allmendinger (Dodge Wild Card)



#99 Carl Edwards

#16 Greg Bifle

#17 Matt Kenseth

#6 David Ragan

#22 Jamie McMurray

#98 Paul Menard ( Ford Wild Card)



#11 Denny Hamlin

#20 Joey Logano (formally The Smoker’s ride)

#18 Kyle Busch (TLVW) (the las vegas weasel)

#00 David Reutimann (#44 points)

#83 Brian Vickers

#55 Michael Waltrip ( Toyota Wild Card)


Past Winners:

2008 Dale Earnhardt, Jr. …………$215,000.00

2007 Tony Stewart………………….$215,000.00

2006 Denny Hamlin…………………$213,380.00

2005 Jimmie Johnson……………..$219,945.00

2004 Dale Jarrett…………………….$213,000.00

2003 Dale Earnhardt, Jr……………$205,000.00

2002 Tony Stewart…………………..$200,955.00

2001 Tony Stewart…………………..$202,722.00

2000 Dale Jarrett…………………….$115,000.00


Interesting Facts:

Five times has the winner of the Bud Shootout gone on to win the Daytona 500, Dale Jarrett (1996 & 2000), Jeff Gordon (1997), Bill Elliott (1987), and Bobby Allison (1982).  Dale Earnhardt, Jr. finished second in the 2004 Bud Shootout, won the Daytona 500 the following week (2004).

There were seven drivers who won the Daytona 500 that did not compete in the Bud Shootout the week before.  Those  drivers are Michael Waltrip (2001,2003), Ward Burton (2002),Dale Earnhardt, Sr. (1998), Sterling Marlin (19940, Dale Jarrett (1993), Derrrike Cope (1990) and Richard Petty (1979).  Drivers who did not compete in the Bud Shootout the week before the Daytona 500 have won three of the last four Daytona 500’s!


It is this reporter’s opinion that the change in format rewards only the manufacturer, not the driver for his hard work the previous season!  It is a change that appears to be ill conceived!!  The Bud Shootout, like The All Star Race, was a race for the drivers and the fans.  On first look, the new format for the Bud Shootout appears to be first and foremost a “manufacturer’s race”.  NASCAR needs to come to their senses and change this format back to its origins for the 2010 season!! 

 Your comments on this format change is invited!!!!