Injuries. It is probably not the best topic on the eve of the start of NASCAR and the Daytona 500. Reality, however, may take the reigns.

As tough as it may be for some, perhaps even many, in the grandstands, the famed #3 is returning to “Cup” racing. The number may technically belong to Richard Childress but to all those who keep a fading and slanted “3” on their automobile windows it will always belong to Dale Earnhardt. The seven time Champion was killed while in the sport and in the car. It was a fatal injury that changed the way NASCAR races from that day forward.

It is not a matter of whether Austin Dillon, grandson of Richard Childress, can or even should drive the number. It is a matter of injury. The drivers, whatever the number, take a risk for their ride and for the show that the fans pay the money for. (more…)

Two weeks. What could happen…?

Apparently, a mishmashed medley of automotive mayhem.

It was only two weeks but in the scope there was a lot of racing, and a lot of driving, for us and for the top series around the world.

For us, it was a trek around a foreign country in a TDI (diesel) VW Golf. Foreign, but still within the language of the King’s English. The land of elves, faeries and leprechauns. Ireland. Left side driving, left side shifting and an added appreciation for driving skill were experiences taken away among the castles and landscapes. The roads are narrow, the cars are agile (most, anyway…) and the driving is on a different level than in the States. Imagine a VW Golf, a Ford Focus, a Chevy Cruze… a 3 series Bimmer… Now add 6 inches to each side. That is your lane at 60 mph. A vertical hedge with no shoulder is on the left. A truck on a blind curve is on your right coming at you. That is driving in Ireland, the UK and much of Europe. It may give a clue as to the European racing style.

And, to begin in Europe, pull up a pint as we catch up… (more…)

We thought the American Le Mans race opening the Baltimore Grand Prix was a smash and crash event…

However, the IndyCar folks showed them up a bit…

If you have ever driven city streets, any city, then you know why many people opt for SUV’s in an urban environment. Watching the races from Baltimore brought on the hope that the drivers had good lumbar support.

We’ve watched rally car races with less air time… (more…)

A.J. Allmendinger…

Remember him? There was much thrown about for a NASCAR suspension in July of 2012. A drug test showed signs of amphetamines which Allmendinger maintained came from Adderall which he took, he said, from a “friend of a friend”.

Adderall, by the way, is a drug used for ADHD and/or narcolepsy and is somewhat of a derivitive of amphetamines but is also a prescription controlled substance.

Yes… We all know he was suspended. We all know Roger Penske pulled him from the #22 which gave way for Joey Logano to be in it for 2013. We all know it was stupid to take a prescription medication from a “friend of a friend”…

However, A.J. Allmendinger did follow all the rules after the incident, went through the “Road to Recovery” program and was reinstated by NASCAR in September of 2012. By that time, Sam Hornish, Jr. had the wheel of the #22 and Allmendinger was on the search for a seat. (more…)

We’re on the weekend with wide open racing on tap setting the stage for Memorial Day weekend. For those who only tune in to racing on the occasional big event, the Indy 500 opening rounds are this weekend. Qualifying is set for both Saturday and Sunday with the green flag coming next weekend. On top of getting primed for open wheel Indianapolis, the NASCAR All Star is Saturday evening.

So far, the NASCAR season has been hot with rivalry, controversy and some raw nerves. Brad Keselowski and Denny Hamlin, Tony Stewart and Brad Keselowski, Kasey Kahne and Kyle Busch. Joe Gibbs, Matt Kenseth and NASCAR. Penske and NASCAR.

That almost begins to cover the range of friction leading up to Charlotte…

The All Star format sets out four opening heat races leading to the final showdown. There are no Cup points. This is a simple drive to win for a big payday. A really big payday. The overall winner opens the wallet to receive one million dollars. If that same driver wins all five segments there is an additional one million bucks thrown in. (more…)

Traveling the world without going anywhere. On a weekend on the edge of “Earth Day”, this seems largely appropriate.

It is racing across state, cultural and international lines through the convenience of a wide screen HDTV in the living room. The variety of the countryside and the racing is incredible.

Sports cars rattled the streets of Long Beach, CA., with American Le Mans. On the eastern side of the U.S., Grand-Am was at Road Atlanta. Formula 1 was racing near the Persian Gulf in Bahrain. NASCAR was in the open spaces of Kansas. The NHRA was chasing speed in Charlotte. IndyCar followed up back at Long beach.

That is just a highlight of some of the major series. Racing in the streets. Racing across the ocean. Racing in the wide, open spaces. The diversity of scenery and personalities presented in a blur of the background.

However, as we turn towards what is regarded as “Earth Day”, too many people still look at auto racing with prejudice and scorn. They only see burnt fuel and beer-topped fans. (more…)

IndyCar ran their championship race over the weekend of September 15th.

Did you know? We watched it and it was only then we saw it was the last race of the season. Granted, the NASCAR “Chase” seemed to cover most of the racing news but you would think there would be some kind of fanfare whipping up about the MAVTV 500 at Fontana to close the Indy season.

Honestly, we were flipping channels and came across it. By chance. The 2011 season ended in October. A mid-September closer for the series was a surprise. It simply slipped our radar.

We’ve said it before. The last race of the IndyCar season should be at Indianapolis. Close the championship with the Indy 500. After all, why put the biggest race of the season and the namesake of the series one third deep in the schedule? Everybody knows the Indy 500. Close the season there. Make it a big deal. Let the season build to the Indy finale. That would be big.

But no. Let’s quietly run it out while nobody is paying attention. (more…)