Fun at The Knoxville Nationals


(Photo by Jim Hammack)

I have returned from six days of hard charging, dirt slinging, alcohol burning, sprint car racing!  For anyone who has been to the Knoxville Nationals, you can fully understand my feelings after returning!  Not only did I get to watch five days of the Knoxville Nationals (normally four days but we had a partial rain out), but I also went to Oskaloosa Tuesday evening for the 410 Wingless sprint car races.  What a great night of wingless sprint car races we witnessed!  That track is really conducive that style of racing.  You know what I am talking about, don’t you?  That’s the kinda of racing where they toss it into the turn, what I call backing it in and standing on the GAS!!!  COOL STUFF!

This was my sixth time to make the Knoxville Nationals.  For a sprint car race fan, these four nights at Knoxville are undoubtedly the absolute best sprint car races in the USA!  From the sprint car drivers and teams point of view, this is the single biggest payday in the entire year!  The winner of the Saturday night A Main won, are you ready—– a cool $150,000.00!!!!!!!!!  I don’t car how you cut it, that is a nice chunk of change to cart back home with the race car and the hauler!

The Knoxville weather was the typical summertime mid-western, humid, sticky, hot atmosphere.  On the first night of the Nat’ls, just as the cars to start their hot laps at 7:15 pm in preparation for the evenings racing, the heavens opened up and really poured!  The program of racing finally got started at 12:15am and ended at 3:00am!  That turned out to be a long night at the race track, but if you are a REDNECK at heart ( AND I WAS WORKING ON MY REDNECK!) it wasn’t bad!!!  After all, it was my first dose of dirt for this racing season!

The Knoxville race normally attracts “the best of the best” sprint car drivers and their teams.  It is the premiere sprint car race of the summer. Cars from all four corners of the USA, as well as some from Canada, Australia, and New Zealand participate in this event.  It is truly an international event for sprint cars!  The event is run as a four day event and drivers gather points each night.  Saturday’s event is a series of races culminating in the huge A Main event payday.

This year I think that the Sprint Car world witnessed a changing of the Guard.  Steve Kinser has long been “The King” of the Sprint Car world.  However, Donny Schotz claimed his 4th Knoxville Nationals in a row Sunday night!  Schotz has been a dominating force in that series now for the last four years.  Last year that domination just got a whole lot stronger!  In 2008 Tony Stewart bought Schotz’s race team and brought it  into his racing empire.  Now more than ever, Donny Schotz has been showing the rest of the boys the “fast way around the dirt”!

Once again I was very fortunate to have a brother and sister-in-law (Jim and Edie) bring their motorhome to Knoxville, and invite me to join them for the week. They made it possible for me to hit  Knoxville and enjoy two things that are an integral part of my life, family and good, good racing!!


Just Holdin’ My line!

Kyle Busch hits the wall after he was involved in...

TLVW once again is involved in wild finish at Daytona.  He also was involved in the “photo finish”  in 2007, when Jamie McMurray squeaked out a victory over Busch in the July Pepsi 400 by .005 of a second!  That is close!

For more on this exhilarating race join me at:

Well, there was more than just one “Big One”  Saturday night! Many of our picks got collected up in various forms in those high speed gatherings of drivers!

It is such a “handling ” track versus a speed track, that the drivers are on the edge continuously.  there is one song that fits this race, ” Stuck in the Middle with You”. The lyrics from that old Stealers Wheel song rang true!  “Clowns to left of me, jokers to the right, here I am stuck in the middle with you”!!!

Only Karen and Carolyn earned  single digits from the race!  The rest of us ate double digits for our choices for the Coke Zero 400!!  Yours truly gobbled up 39 points sending me right to the cellar!

With those big numbers that I ate, I am now in last place, and leading the race for  the “BOUDREAUAX’S BUTT PASTE AWARD”! Somebody help  me!

What did you think about the Coke Zero 400 Saturday night?  Exciting or not?  Was there anyone person to blame for that “Big Crash” at the end of the race? Sound off!

He Had Something For ‘Em!!

2009 Daytona 500 119 

(photo by Leon Hammack)


Jimmie Johnson put on driving clinic today for the other 42 drivers to behold.  The #48 Hendrick Motorsports Lowe’s Chevy was the dominant race car, without a doubt.  Johnson lead 298 of the 400 laps in The Autism Speaks 400 at Dover International Speedway.

With 38 laps to go in the race, the #48 Lowe’s Chevy came off of pit road with a sub par pit stop and exited the pits in 9th place.  It was looking like the fastest and most dominant car of the race had just beaten itself, and broken ol DW’s ( Darrell Waltrip) first rule of racing.  Up to this point in the race it was Jimmie Johnson’s race to loose, and quite frankly it had looked like the #48 team had done just that!

When the green flag flew, Johnson started picking off the cars one by one until there was only the #14 Office Depot Chevy of Tony (THE SMOKER) Stewart and the #16 3M Ford of Greg Biffle left in front of him.  Johnson got by The Bif with ten laps to go, leaving only THE SMOKER’S #14 Office Depot Chevy in the way of gaining his second victory of the 2009 season.  With two laps remaining, Johnson made the power move to the outside by driving it deep into the turn and motoring around Stewart to the victory!

Getty Images
(getty images)

With this victory Johnson is establishing himself in a very good position to become the one and only person in NASCAR to win four Cup championships in a row.  It appears that the #48 Lowe’s teams has finally started to hit their stride, that can only spell TROUBLE for the other 42 competitors!

The combination of Tony Stewart’s 2nd place finish and Jeff Gordon’s 26th place finish, gives us a new points leader.  It is the #14 Office Depot Stewart-Haas Chevy of “THE SMOKER”!  It is the first time that an owner-driver has held the points lead since Alan Kulwicki in 1992.


With 13 races completed, the Cup Series is half way to the point where the Chase begins.  The top 12 are starting to shape up for the Chase.

Here are some questions that need answers:

1. Does the #88 AMP/ National Guard Chevy make it into the Chase?

2. Will the #48 Lowe’s Chevy make it four championships in a row?

3. Will the #24 Dupont Chevy make their “Drive For Five” a success?

4. Will the #14 Office Depot win the championship for Stewart-Haas Racing?

5. Can “the old man”, Mark Martin, win his first championship?

What are your thoughts?  As always, I encourage you to leave a comment and express your views for all to see!

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!!!!

The Texas Preview

2009 Daytona 500 085 

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!!! 


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 change is coming!



A change is coming, a change is coming!!  We have been hearing this on the political campaign trail for oh so long!  Well, this is my 100th post since the birth of this site and change is also coming here as well!!!  My tech people( aka Jason) have added a few new features/widgets to the sidebar that I/we feel will add value to this publication.


You will notice that I have added a NASCAR Race Countdown feature.  This will countdown to the next week’s race.  Also it wll list a few interesting items associated with that race (closely look at the background, it’s AMP!!).  The second new addition is the NASCAR Standings widget, which will keep us all up to date of the NASCAR standings.  Lastly, I have added a quotes widget.  It will post various quotes that I feel might be appropriate each week!  I will also, from time to time, have a poll on my web site so that you can cast your vote on certain items that are of interest.  This should make for, maybe, some intersting interaction and discussions!!


So as you can see this off season I have had my best people (Jason) working  diligently to try to make this site both informative and very user friendly!!!  That is ultimately my goal.


So as you can see, 2009  has brought/is bringing many changes to us, not only in Washington D.C., and in NASCAR, but to my web site as well!  I will not enumerate the changes in D.C., since we have been saturated with the campaign for about the last two years nightly.    


I tried to publish all the known changes in the Cup Series on my last post.  I am now going to try to update you on the changes to the Nationwide Series and Camping World Truck Series !

Nationwide Series:

1.   Larry Foyt to drive the #56 MacHill Motorsports entry

2.   Verizon to sponsor the #12 Penske Dodge driver by Justin Allgaier(Penske PR)

3.   Michael Annett full season in the Germain Racing #12 Toyota  (AnnettPR)

3.   Paul Menard drives 16 races in the #98 Yates Ford (Yates PR)

4.   Fastenal sponsors the #2 RCR Chevy driven by Bowyer and Truex

5.   Scott Speed runs some races for Michael Waltrip Racing (

6.   Ruetimann runs four races for Braun racing( Bruan Racing)

7.   Stewart (The Smoker) attempts Daytona in HMS #80 Chevy (HMS PR)

8.   Kerry Earnhardt to run #8 EGR(DEI) in Daytona

9.   Joe Nemechek (Front Row Joe) in NEMCO #78 Chevy

10.  Michael Mc Dowell drives the JTG/Daughtery entry(scenedaily)

11.  Kyle Busch(TLVW)  18 races for JGR (



Truck Series:

1.   Ricky Carmichael drives KHI #4 Monster Energy Chevy (KHI PR)

2.   Max Papis six races for Germain Racing

3.   Kyle Busch(TLVW) in #51 Ballew Racing Toyota (scenedaily)

4.   Mike Wallace drives #71 TRG truck

5.   Johnny Benson moves to #1 Red Horse Racing


As is my tradition, I will tie in the picture to my post.  The picture is the 1959 Chevy that Junior Johnson won the 1960 Daytona 500.  That is when, as the story goes, Junior discovered a thing later called “the draft“!!!  His Chevy was so much slower than all the other cars, running by itself.   But when he was out on the track with other cars he could “suck” up  behind them, then pull out and sling-shot past them effortlessly!!!  The next year “change” came to Daytona when everyone  figured out how to “draft”!!!!


As always, I looked it up so that you wouldn’t have!


Petty’s Legacy-Kyle



Kyle Petty doesn’t have a Sprint Cup ride so far this season, and he certainly won’t be a part of the Petty- Gillette merger plans for 2009!  Nevertheless, the legacy that Kyle Petty leaves behind is just as monumental as the one that his father, “King Richard” Petty leaves!


Kyle Petty’s legacy is born out of tragedy, not triumph!  His son, Adam, died May 12, 2000 (Mother’s Day weekend) from injuries sustained in a crash during practice at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.  Kyle Petty refers to his son’s death as “Adam’s accident”.  Adam was just two months short of his 20th birthday, and was a very young and energetic teenager.  As a driver, Adam was to take the Petty banner into the 21st century under the tutorship of Kyle and his grandfather, “King Richard”.


From that devastaing loss of his son came The Victory Junction Gang Camp, which Kyle and his wife Pattie established in Adam’s memory!  Through this camp, which serves children  ages 6-16, Kyle and Pattie have welcomed thousands of children into their extended family.  In actuality, the core of this idea came from Adam prior to his untimely death.  According to Pattie, it was Adam who had discussed the idea of helping out terminally ill children.  This idea from a teenager, obviously a well grounded young man!


For reasons too many to list, Victory junction, as a concept, has resonated throughout the NASCAR community and now throughout the corporations sponsoring the NASCAR teams!  The focused commitment of  Kyle and Pattie Petty is a powerful magnet, one that attracts support from NASCAR’s top stars.  Tony Stewart stages a race at his race track, the famed Eldora Speedway, in support of Victory Junction.  That race, Prelude to the Dream, is the who’s who of racing.  Stewart invites the stars of NASCAR, NHRA, and dirt track legends to race each other with all the proceeds going to TheVictory Junction Gang Camp.  This year Stewart donated ONE MILLION DOLLARS  to Victory Junction!  The Jimmie Johnson Foundation donated $600,00.00 for a bowling alley at the camp.  Mike Helton, NASCAR president, auctioned off his prized Harley for Victory Junction.


Kyle had announced that another Victory Junction Camp will be built in Kansas City to compliment the facility built in Randelman, N.C.  Even though the economy is slowing, Kyle is still committed to building that facility.  He further boosts that he committed to establishing facilities throughout the USA! 


For Kyle, his tenure at Petty Enterprises ended with close of the 2008 season and the merger of Boston Ventures with Petty Enterprises.  He will, however, be remembered for what he has accompolished off the track more than his racing prowess.  While his father excelled in the racing game and IS NASCAR, Kyle has excelled as a human being and humanitarian!!  The vision of his son, Adam, and the drive and desire to make Adam’s dream a reality, is very impressive. 



When this reporter reflects on the Petty family and and their contributions to NASCAR  the two men stand out head and shoulders above all their peers for very different reasons.  For Richard Petty, there are no comparisons in his accompolishments of winning races.  He accumulated 200 wins over his storied career.  His closest competitor is “The Siver Fox” David Pearson at 105 victories.


On a different stage, Kyle Petty has become a huge fund raiser for many charities, and the founder of The Victory Junction Gang Camp.  He and his wife have brought to fruition Adam’s dream and it has flourished bigger than anyone could have dreamed.  The Victory Junction Gang camp invites these children to attend camp for one week at no charge.  These children are around other children who also suffer from some of the same afflictions and enjoy one week of fun and laughter.  They are able to, at least temporarily, forget about the seriousness of problems and just have fun!!


Kyle Petty’s fetes may just out  live anything that his father did on the race track!  As you can tell, this reporter is a huge fan of, and contributor to, The Victory Junction Gang Camp.  After having two grandaughters that lived only a few hours, I have made a commitment to donate each year to this wonderful organization so that children will have a chance to be children.  If you need more information on The Victory Junction Gang Camp go to the link, .


For those of you who are trying to tie the picture to the post, once again I will help you.  That picture was taken by yours truly at The California Speedway.  It is Adam Petty’s Busch Series car being pushed out on the pit road.



Lowe’s Results






3.  PICTURES OF HARVICK AND EDWARDS:( captainthunderracing)


5.  PETTY AND GANASSI MERGER? GEM TO TOYOTA? (winston-salem journal)

6.  ARMY IS OFFICIALLY # 39 SPONSOR: (jayski team scheme)


For about half of the teams Saturday night, the Sun has set on their chances of winning the Sprint Cup championship for 2008!!!  It would appear at this juncture of the Chase that it is down to quite possibly four teams only.  Quite honestly, it is Jimmie Johnson’s championship to loose.  Jeff Burton has really been performing quite well during the first half fof the Chase.  He has been flying under the radar very nicely so far.  But, his win at Lowe’s Motor Speedway Saturday night has jumped him up into second place in Chase standings!!!  Burton must now be considered one of the remaining favorites.  “Cousin Carl” has hit upon some hard times in the last two races.  His adventures at Talladega not only landed his team a poor finish, but apparently he got to “visit the hood of the #33 KHI Nationwide car”!!!  (Check out the link in the #4 of story lines!!)  Meanwhile, “The Bif” is still performing at a very steady pace.


This reporter still has “MAJOR HEARTBURN” with the way NASCAR handled the finish of the Talladega race!!  The rule states,” you can not advance your postion by going below the yellow line or you will be penalized”( RULE #1).”  It also states,”you can not force someone below the yellow line or you might be penalized“(RULE #2).  It also states that if you can see the CHECKERED FLAG WAVING the rules do not apply (RULE # 3). 

First and foremost, if what Tony Stewart did does not constitute forcing a competitor below the yellow  line then I don’t know what does!!  There is no arguing the fact that Regan Smith was below the yellow line, ‘ cause  both of Stewart’s left side tires were down below the yellow line and Regan Smith had a fender on Stewart’s left quarter panel (RULE #1)!!!!  So this reporter’s point is that if you are going to penalized Smith for passsing below the yellow line, you must also penalize Stewart for forcing him down there ( RULE #2)!!!!  If you are going to apply the first two rules, you must apply them fairly and consistently.  With those thoughts in mind, it would appear to this reporter that Paul Menard should be declared the winner!!!  Now if you are going to not penalize Stewart for driving below the yellow line and thusly forcing Smith below the yellow line because they can see the “CHECKERED FLAG WAVING”(RULE #3), THEN OBVIOUSLY REGAN SMITH WINS THE RACE!!!

Therein lies the crux of this reporter’s heartburn!!!!  Thank God I have an abundant supply of Prilosec in the medicine cabinet!!!  I also have a large tube of, you guessed it, “BOUDREAUX’S BUTT PASTE”!!

Sweet Home Alabama!














Yes we all have heard the song from Lynard Skynard, but you might have forgotten the lyrics.  So I will refresh your memory:

Big wheels keep on turnin’, carryin’ me home to see my kin.

Singin’ songs about the Southland, I miss my family once again and I think it’s a sin.

Well I heard Mr. Young sing about her.

Well I heard ol Neil put her down.

Well I hope Neil Young wil remember a Southern man don’t need him around, anymore!

Sweet home Alabama, where the skies are so blue.

Sweet home Alabama, Lord I comin’ home to you.

Here I come, Alabama.


I know, once again you are wondering just how does Lynard Skynard, those Jacksonville, FL wild boys,  all fit with NASCAR and racing????  How can this guy tie those two widely divergent thoughts into a common theme???  Well, here I go sports fans!!!


Twice a year NASCAR comes to Talladega, Alabama for a game of HIGH SPEED, HIGH STAKES, CRAP SHOOT STYLE racing!!!!  With this track being the longest race track on the circuit, you drive it with loud pedal flat on the mat.  So you really do want make sure that  ” the big wheels keep on turnin'” as the first lyric of the song goes!  Historically, this race did carry some of the drivers back to see their kin.  There was the ” Alabama Gang” consisting of Bobby and Donnie Allison, Neil Bonnet, and the ageless Red Farmer.   So when NASCAR goes to Talladega, Lynard Skynard and Talladega really become one, and we sing about her!!!  Thank God for those “WILD EYED SOUTHERN BOYS of Lynard Skynard, God rest in peace the soles of those departed!!!!!


Tony Stewart was declared the winner yesterday in a very controversial finish.  The yellow line on the inside of the race tracks only come into play at two tracks, Daytona and Talladega.  At these two tracks the rules state that you cannot go below the yellow line to better your position.  You also cannot force someone below the yellow line.  Either of the previously mentioned offenses could get you a penalty.  This reporter will have more to say in my commentary following the column!


There are a few historical facts that warrant mentioning at this time.  The first race was held on Sept. 14, 1969.  The first winner was Richard Brickhouse.  Now you are saying Richard Who????  Well, when Big Bill France opened the track up for the first race many of the drivers felt that it wasn’t safe to drive that fast there yet.  So, they elected Richard Petty to be the spokesman to go to Mr. France and state their position.  To make a long story short, most of the big names loaded up their cars and went home.  Big Bill in return ran the race anyway with whatever drivers there were, many were what was later called the Busch/Nationwide Series drivers, one notable driver who raced that day was a man named Richard Childress!!   The fastest lap time ever recorded in a stock car is held be “Awesome Bill from Dawsonville”, Bill Elliott.  That speed is 212.8 mph!!!  Another interseting fact to mention is that roof flaps came about from a horrific Rusty Wallace crash at Talladega.  Finally the last piece of information to talk about is the beginnings of the restrictor plates.  That resulted from a nasty crash involving Bobby Allison.  He got turned around in the tri oval and got up into the catch fense, tore out about 100 feet of the fence and almost got up into the grandstands!!



I have viewed the end of the race several times and have formed my own opinion.  It appears that Regan Smith tried to go by Stewart on the outside and Tony moved up to block him.  Then Smith moved down to the bottom to try to get around Stewart, and in fact had a fender on Tony.  Tony moved left to block him again, running Smith down below the yellow line.  Keeping in mind the rules of Daytona and Talladega, Smith had three options.  First option be a nice guy and get out of the gas, let Tony win, and loose a few more spots.  That runs counter to any racer!!!!  Second hold your line and wreck Stewart, yourself, and possibly those immediately behind you.  Again, that just doesn’t sound like a great option!  Or the last option; stay in the gas, even though you were forced to go below the yellow line, and race Stewart to the finish line.  To me that is the only decision to make!!!!  But NASCAR  didin’t see it that way.  Stewart is declared the winner and Smith is penalizied to the last place on the lead lap!!!  It is this reporter’s opinion that NASCAR has just sent the message to the drivers that may warrant more horrific wrecks!!! 


Last night Greg Bifle stated on NASCAR NOW, that because of that ruling, he has decied that if he is put in the position that Regan Smith was in, he will hold his line and wreck whomever is in front of him!!!  It will make for a really spectacular finish!!!

If I were a driver I would write a nice letter to the other car owners, apologizing for the cars that I am going wreck!!!  I would also tell them to send the bill to Brian France and NASCAR!!!!!