However, on race day for NASCAR Sprint Cup, it is as unwelcome as a Bud hat in a Miller campsite…
The entire season blew the storm of the Chase into Richmond with wildcards and points on the line. That storm was put off as another storm blew in and kept the race in the garage for almost two hours. NASCAR and RIR staff kept things tight as the rain moved out. After all, the plan was to run under the lights. The weather was watched and the decision was held. Jet dryers and utility vehicles did a number on the track to dry it out but even then they ran the first few laps under caution.
Finally they went green on a green track with any rubber from qualifying and the Nationwide race the day before thrown to the inner wall. The crowd braved the rain to watch Jeff Gordon blow by pole sitter Dale Earnhardt, Jr. and Dale, Jr. to regain the lead shortly after. (more…)
Tires. Generally you think about your tires when the number on your inspection sticker and the number on your calendar matches up. It is then you take a quick look at the treads and think they will sneak by one more time or you realize they would hardly be safe hanging from a tree. If the latter is the case, you then mumble some profanity and begin the search for the best deal. Internet, newspaper, friends… Ads and questions… Buy three get one free… all weather or performance… tread life… Do you want the replacement warranty?
Race drivers don’t have most of these worries. The tires they get are sanctioned so they aren’t shopping the net for the best deal. They do, however, find themselves at some facility testing those very tires that are issued for race day. In some ways you could equate this to comparison shopping as the drivers are out all day with tire stats instead of doing fun stuff at home. (more…)
One MWR engine remained to run in front for most of the STP 400 in Kansas only to have the power of sunlight pull the rug. Clint Bowyer and Mark Martin both started in the top 10 off the grid. Both suffered engine trouble leaving Martin Truex, Jr. to battle for the MWR banner.
The #56 NAPA Toyota ran well, hugging the wall for fast laps. That was until the sun came out from the clouds and track conditions changed just enough to loosen the Truex car and allow a hard charging Denny Hamlin to get the lead with 30 to go. Truex gave it a couple of dives on the inside of Hamlin in the last few but could not hold the line and get by. (more…)
Speed week is well under way. The ROLEX 24 ran a couple of weeks ago. The Gatorade Duel is run and done and the field is set for the upcoming Daytona 500. It’s a new season and again it is time to go through your NASCAR fan gear and see what needs to go out the door so you won’t look like a fashion loser on race day.
Most noteable is Jamie McMurray and his move to the #1 Bass Pro Shops ride with Earnhardt Ganassai. Roush-Fenway came up against a four team NASCAR ruling and the #26 program was cut.
So… Where is Martin Truex, Jr.? He is behind the wheel with the new #56 team of Michael Waltrip Racing, which is also running David Reutimann’s #00 and a #151 driven by Waltrip.
So… Where is the #55 that Waltrip drove last year? That number is now under the banner of Prism Motorsports with Michael McDowell handling the driving. Prism also handles the #66 Toyota with Dave Blaney.
And the #26 that was McMurray’s ride …? Latitude 43 Motorsports has Boris Said and the #26 with Window World Cares sponsorship. Window World Cares is also sponsoring the #34 Ford with John Andretti being backed by Front Row Motorsports with Yates racing.
TRG Motorsports is running the Sprint Cup Series again in 2010. Last year a few drivers drove the #71, including Mike Wallace and David Gilliland. TRG has been running in the Camping World Series Trucks and comes to NASCAR from Grand-Am where they have a very successful Porsche program. For 2010, Bobby Labonte is taking the TaxSlayer.com Chevy through the early season.
David Gilliland is driving the BAM Racing #49 on track with Warner Music Nashville / Larry the Cable Guy. Perhaps Gilliland can “Git-R-Done” in the #49… (Apologies, but it had to be done)
Mike Wallace is starting the season in the really high numbers… #198, with K-Automotive Motorsports. The #198 is not the only triple digit entry. Waltrip has the aforementioned #151, Todd Bodine will be in the #127, Reed Sorenson is in the #132, Casey Mears will be trying to get the #190 qualified for 2010 races…
Now, there probably won’t be a rush to Goodwill with last year’s gear as there aren’t many of the stereotypical, high profile drivers shifting rides. Jamie McMurray and Martin Truex, Jr. fans… Well, sorry. You had your fun with Dale Jr. fans a couple of years ago. Bite the bullet and get new gear or get really talented with a Sharpie real quick.
Oh… Wait… You might want to check on sponsors for your favorites this year. For instance, Mark Martin, on the pole for the Daytona 500, has Go Daddy on his car…
Watch the Daytona 500, check the driver list at nascar.com, see who is driving what and who is paying their bills and find out if you need to buy a new hat. Either way, or whoever you shout for, the race, my friends, is ON!