Tony Stewart. One guy crashes up and the rest of racing gets shaken up. At Watkins Glen, Max Papis was yanked away from his Grand-Am ride to pilot the #14 of Stewart. At Michigan, Austin Dillon was pulled away from his Nationwide duties to drive the #14.

At the center is a focus on non-traditional NASCAR racing. Stewart crashed while racing sprint cars on dirt. The next two weeks had drivers taking attention away from road course racing to drive the #14 and one of those (Papis) was taken from one road course to another. Dillon took attention away from his #1 points position in the NASCAR Nationwide Series and the race at Mid-Ohio (road course) to drive for Stewart at Michigan.

Dirt tracks and road courses. Dillon had earlier won the Camping World Series truck race at Eldora which is a dirt tack owned by Tony Stewart. Timing may not have suited Dillon as he stepped away from Mid-Ohio and his first in points position to drive for Stewart but it was an opportunity not to be skipped.

Even if he did have to start at Mid-Ohio in the back for missing qualifying…

Even if he’ll eventually be competing against Stewart as he moves to his own Cup ride, likely to be #3…

(Yes – The #3. He’s in it for Nationwide and will likely have it again. Sorry, Dale Sr. fans… No use boo-hooing so you might as well start pulling out some cheers…)

And even if his grandfather (Richard Childress) is losing Kevin Harvick to Stewart-Haas in 2014… (more…)

You would think the folks from MUFON should be getting calls from Southside Virginia as the area just east of Danville and a rock throw from the North Carolina line was occupied by “greys” and UFOs. The UFOs, or “Unidentified Fast Objects”, were hypothetically occupied and operated by NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide series drivers. The “greys”, in this particular context, were often seen moving about in the larger groups of UFOs…

An invasion it may have been but it was not extraterrestrial. For several years, NASCAR teams descend on Virginia International Raceway and take over the rolling, countryside road course to test their ability to build cars that can, amazing as it may sound, turn right as well as left. This visit to VIR has become somewhat of a tradition as the season winds close to the road courses of Sonoma and Watkins Glen. NASCAR rules and regs do not allow teams to test set-ups at “sanctioned” tracks (as in the ones they will be racing on) except on specified times and days associated with the race schedule at that venue. However, there is no such rule concerning testing at a facility that is, in many ways, very similar to the sanctioned and scheduled  raceways.

Open the gates and man the flag stations, we’re making right turns in 750 horsepower machines that have the handling characteristics of a lead-lined brick. (more…)