I’m a little stuck now…

BBC America air(ed) Top Gear on Monday nights. I don’t know what to do with Monday now…

It is out now that host Jeremy Clarkson has been “sacked” by the BBC. It is the result of a “fracas” which, apparently, involved some verbal and physical confrontations aimed at one of the “Top Gear” producers. There was a cancellation of the remaining episodes in the current season, an immediate suspension of Clarkson, an investigation and the the final report and result.

Clarkson himself did, from what accounts can be put together, the right things (mostly) in the aftermath of the “fracas”. He called and acknowledged the incident. He made apologies. He cooperated and kept his mouth off of commenting on the investigation, mostly. He did make some colorful comments at a fund raiser he was already booked into. People laughed. Money was raised.

Now that the BBC has taken the step of pulling Clarkson what happens? Co-hosts James May and Richard Hammond have not talked much, either. The common thread from the two is that the show is a package with all three and the question of making “Top Gear” with them and without Clarkson is a grey area neither has put a foot in. It is Clarkson that opens the show and welcomes the audience. He is the engine that has driven it with May and Hammond being the fuel and the spark.

As for the BBC… They have pulled the rug from their own gold mine. The show generates a bazillion dollars (pounds, if you like) and is aired with licensing all over the world. It is quite possibly the most watched TV show out there and certainly so for the BBC. Obviously they had to do some kind of thing but was that thing necessarily shooting themselves to make a point. Yes, Jeremy Clarkson certainly earned himself sanctions and or fines, community service and a giant helping of humble pie. He could have been forced to do the next season from the driver’s seat of a Morris Marina. There were, fans believe, other options available to address the seriousness of Clarkson’s actions.

Now the future of “Top Gear” hangs in the balance. The show could go on with May and Hammond and perhaps a new somebody. Fans, and Hammond and May, know it will not be close to what it was. The playful tension that makes the show work would be forever warped and likely broken.

Let’s also examine the money again. Not only is the cash flow to the BBC put down a hole but also the cash flow for the many people involved in making the show. Clarkson, May and Hammond have enough bank to be quite fine but what of the camera crews, logistics personnel, producers (including the one with the swollen lip), assistants, back stage crew, and all the others who made their living making sure those three idiots went to air?

What will become of the crew that maintain the Stig….? And what of him…? Will he put out in front of a Vauxhall dealership waving at passing potential customers…?

Jeremy Clarkson screwed up. It is possible, even with all the political correctness and fairness in the workplace considered, that the BBC has screwed up also.

Will there be a “Top Gear” going forward? Can there be any combination of personalities that will generate the devotion and following that has made the show what it is… or was…? Have you seen American “Top Gear”?

Uh…….. Yeah…. It is like “American Idol” doing a Beatles show… It isn’t necessarily bad it just suffers from the same thing that happens whenever American TV tries to do “British” TV… Americans.

Face it, “The Office” was unwatchable if you had ever seen the British original…

Can the BBC ride this out with millions of outraged fans instead of dealing with one “Jeremy C;arkson”?

How hard can it be…?


Where is…?

There seems to be a balance of events and personalities in motor racing this week. Replacements have been replaced while in other areas a vacuum has been created. With that we’ll simply look at where things are…

Where is Kurt Busch? He is back in the Stewart-Haas #41 for his first race of the season. Busch has been out while Regan Smith has been filling the seat. A “racas” with Busch and his former lady acquaintance led to courts and speculations and suspensions. The courts and speculations still float about while the suspension has been lifted with a lack of actual criminal charges while Busch maintains his faith in the truth and his team.

Where is Regan Smith? He is back and, one would assume, focused on his task of racing the #7 in the Xfinity series. He finished his ride in the #41 with 3 consecutive top-20 finishes.

Where is Kyle Busch? Still recovering from his leg injuries suffered in the Xfinity series Daytona opener.

Where is Kevin Harvick? Out in front. The defending champion is top of the points with and early season win and on pole for the start in Phoenix.

Where is Joey Logano? Off the points lead he held for the first 2 races after his win of the Daytona 500. He did, however, win the Xfinity race at Phoenix.

Formula 1 has started their season in Australia…

Where is Lewis Hamilton? Winning, again… He won in Australia.

Where is Nico Rosberg? Right behind Hamilton…

Where is Sebastion Vettel? Not in a Red Bull car… Vettel is in a Ferrari for 2015 and finished 3rd in the season opener.

Where is Fernando Alonso? Not in Australia. Not in a Ferrari. Alonso is now with McLaren-Honda but, somewhat similar to Kyle Busch of NASCAR, is recovering from a pre-season crash. He has said he will be on track for the next race in Malaysia but that is still on the desk of medical advisers and race officials.

These brief insights into the most watched racing series of the United States and Europe may be overshadowed by a question on the minds of automotive enthusiasts the world over.

Where is Jeremy Clarkson? Clarkson apparently had a “racas” with a producer after a day of filming allegedly over a lack of proper food for the crew. Harsh words and a reported instance of striking the producer have left Clarkson at odds with the BBC backers of the popular “Top Gear” motoring show. The BBC has suspended Clarkson and pulled the remaining “Top Gear” shows of the current season while an investigation is in ongoing. The future of the show could be in the garage. However, there is an enormous amount of revenue from the show that also hangs in the balance along with the jobs of the crew behind the scenes which must also be substantial.

We will get Kyle Busch back into NASCAR. We’ll get Fernando Alonso back into F1. We already have Kurt Busch back in the #41 for Phoenix and he allegedly hit a woman. What of Jeremy Clarkson and the future of “Top Gear”?

He allegedly only hit a producer…. How hard can it be?

Qualifying for the Daytona 500 has taken a turn for the strange. Most of the drivers, if they understood the point of it, were not pleased with it.

I’m not going to even try to explain it. There were groups that had a limited time to roll laps and get times. Drivers tried to play the system with some kind of “who’s on first” strategy.

I think it is supposed to be more fun to watch. It wasn’t. It was kind of like the hype and expectation for the “50 Shades Of Grey” movie which was released the same weekend as Daytona 500 qualifying. From what I’ve read the movie was less than expected…

So was Daytona qualifying…

I don’t know exactly how but Jeff Gordon is on the pole. Jimmie Johnson is beside him. The rest of the field race in during the Budweiser Duels later this week. There should be a little more to watch for the “Duels”.

Until then, ponder this…  How many shades of grey are there on the track at Daytona from pit road to the checkered flag…? Hmmmmmmm….?



It’s hard to say which generated more heat.
Was it the ABC network not getting the race on air until lap 27?
Was it the antics of Brad Keselowski post race bouncing on competitors’ cars on the exit?
First… ABC… Really??
Baylor & Texas Christian…? I’m sure it means something that Baylor is ranked #4 on polls but for NASCAR fans tuning in for racing it meant very little. They didn’t care. The comments on the ABC Facebook page were less than kind and understanding.
Throw in that ABC had one race, just one, on the schedule from the sister network of ESPN which was also covered up with college football and it makes it extra silly. Granted, it’s the finish that counts and perhaps that also applies to the football game. However, if you have just one event, and it’s pivotal in the sense of equating to the “playoffs” and it is “do or die” for the CHASE contendors wouldn’t there be some sense of urgency and precedence?
They kicked the start of the Bank of America 500 to ESPN3, which they say is available in 95 million homes. Of course, most of them that do have it only have it because they are subscribed to some “sports” package because they like “ball” sports and NASCAR doesn’t fit their “game”. So ESPN3 having the start is irrelevant.
Split screen… I know it’s available. The very network of ABC promotes “NASCAR NONSTOP” (not “NONSTART”, which they did) and airs the race side by side with sponsor commercials. From the couch, the obvious question was “why not show both on the split screen?”.
Too obvious? Too simple?”
ESPN (partner, sister, brother, whatever with ABC) has the remainder of the CHASE and the season.
…if they can manage to get them to air on time. 2015 is a non-issue as ABC/ESPN doesn’t have the deal.
Brad Keselowski. Kevin Harvick had crossed for the win and the race should be over but Keselowski brought the office home with a tag on Hamlin, and Stewart and brought Kenseth along between haulers. The tension of The CHASE is high but is it enough to bang cars after the checkered has waved?
For the driver of the #2 on this occasion, apparently, it was. How much of this tension is carried to Talladega by the ones who caught the tag of the #2 is yet to be seen. One week may not be long enough for the tempers to cool.
We’ll see…

You have a penny in your pocket? How much is it worth?

If you are Joe Gibbs Racing, Matt Kenseth or the Crew Chief, Jason Ratcliff, it could be worth $200,000.00.

If you haven’t heard, NASCAR did a routine inspection on the engine from Kenseth’s Kansas winning #20 Toyota and found a piston connecting rod was illegally light. In total, all eight rods together were well within the requirements. However, separately, they all varied in weight with one of them falling about 2.7 grams light.

2.7 grams is, give or take a notch. what a United States penny weighs… (more…)

OK – We thought about it.

The toss-up…  Ignore the morons or poke’em with a stick…

Well, it appears we chose the stick.

In response to some announced picketing at Kansas Speedway by some nuts from Westboro who are apparently upset over some comments by Brad Keselowski we think the Speedway could change their race imaging ever so slightly.

Back at Phoenix, Keselowski apparently said something about NASCAR and the acceptance of an openly gay driver or some such. Essentially, if they can drive and compete, who cares?

“I can’t speak for the fans, I can only speak for myself, but in this garage, if you can win, people will want to be a part of what you can do…”

These morons at Westboro, allegedly, stated some plan to picket at Kansas with comments about God and Keselowski…

Two things, race fans. These Westboro people do these things and picket and shout and whatever and try to get a physical response in which they use as evidence in lawsuits to fund their silly operation. Do NOT give them a response. They roll audio and video and use any physical confrontation as an excuse to claim injury in a lawsuit. So Do Not approach them.

However, it would be fun if Kansas Speedway altered the STP 400 imaging just a little bit. Of course, there is no time to print up a bunch of fan flags or banners or something. But wouldn’t it be fun to watch thousands of fans walking by these nuts waving the Rainbow STP 400 logo…

Texas and the NRA 500…

A late race caution allowed Kyle Busch to make a run for the win following a quick pit. Martin Truex, Jr. was on the lead before that caution and ran to the 2nd spot. NASCAR inspections may cause a later issue for Truex as it was determined the nose of the #56 was a tad low.

That wasn’t the only inspection issue. NASCAR officials had issues with the #2 and #22 of Keselowski and Logano. The rear-end housings of the two Fords were pulled for inspection and Logano was put at the back of the field as the #22 wasn’t ready ready for the grid quick enough. Keselowski was outspoken and upset about all sorts of “issues” in the garage but his team was able to re-assemble the #2 and have it out in time.

Logano was still able to cross the finish in 5th despite the issues and the rear of the field start. Keselowski was in 9th.

Carl Edwards and Greg Biffle filled out the top 5 in thr 3rd and 4th slots. Jimmie Johnson held his points lead with a 6th place finish. Aric Almirola was 7th. Brian Vickers, driving Denny Hamlin’s #11 Toyota, put in at 8th and Ryan Newman rounded out the top 10. (more…)