Curtis Turner for 2016 HOF

Curtis Turner for 2016 HOF

Monday, February 28, 2011

Folding Spoiler Update, Poor TV Coverage, Phoenix Phibbing, and Other Assorted Things

More on the Fold-Away Spoiler
By NA$CAR’s own admission, the spoiler on the #15 truck at Daytona was made from sheet metal which was too thin. Now, if this truck went through inspection when it showed up at the track, why was it allowed to race with an illegal spoiler in the first place? Shouldn’t the NA$CAR inspectors have confiscated the illegal spoiler, put it on the table with the other illegal parts for display, had them run a legal spoiler, and then penalize them after the race as is their tradition? What does this say about the actual inspection process? The spoiler was fine until it folded under pressure and then suddenly became illegal? Or were the inspectors showing some favoritism because of who was driving the truck on the 10th anniversary? You have to wonder. If this sort of stuff is going on or being missed in the truck garage, what’s being missed or overlooked in the Cup and Busch Series garages?
Phoenix Phibbing
Despite the fact that PIR and the NA$CAR controlled media announcing that the Cup race was sold out, in radio interviews in the Phoenix area, both PIR and NA$CAR brass said that “there are still plenty of good seats available”. Are these people so ignorant that they don’t think the rest of the racing world will find out the truth about the seating? Or haven’t they heard about the internet or telephone?
In one radio interview, Mafia Mike was lobbed softball question after softball question. But then when asked about the date change, Mafia Mike didn’t answer the question and instead did a “bob and weave” saying the Phoenix fans were great, yada yada yada. He successfully evaded the question and the interviewer didn’t bother trying to get a real answer to the question.
Thanks to Terry, our man in the stands out west, as of Friday, the reserved camping area was ¾ empty, he was able to park right up front in General Parking, and the place looked pretty much like a ghost town with very little foot traffic in the souvenir hauler area.
Short Field at Phoenix
There were only 40 cars which showed up at Phoenix for the Busch Series race there and 9 out of the 40 cars that did show up were unsponsored. You can expect to see more of this at future races this season.
No Coverage Means No Sponsorship
If you watched the Cup Lite race on BSPN, you may have noticed that the majority of the coverage during the race and the post-race interviews went to the Buschwackers. Yeah, let’s interview the Buschwackers and the Queen of Hype because they “truly” represent the Busch Series. Oh wait, let’s interview Reed Sorenson so it doesn’t appear like we’re biased towards the Buschwackers. With the Buschwackers getting the bulk of the coverage during the Cup Lite races and getting the bulk of the post-race interviews, is it any wonder why there are no sponsors willing to step up and sponsor a Busch regular team? And how about BSPN cutting out early for college basketball rather than spend the 5 minutes left to interview some of the Busch regulars. Yeah, we can tell exactly what the home office of BSPN thinks of motorsports coverage. And we’re only half way through the TV contract with them. Can the Busch Series survive this sort of lack of decent coverage and poor exposure through the rest of the contract? God help us.
Anomalous Anomalies
After the 3 Daytona races were run and they were won by drivers who were ineligible for points, NA$CAR’s Minister of Propaganda stated that it was an anomaly and wouldn’t happen again. And yet at Phoenix, we see it happen again with the Truck and Busch Series races.
Where has God Gone?
Back when Jeff Gordon and some other drivers were first making headlines in the Cup Series, the first thing that came out of their mouth after a win was “I want to thank God today”. Then Jeffy and the rest quit thanking God all at the same time. This was also about the time that NA$CAR really started to boom coast to coast. Could it be that the Christian beliefs of these drivers was squashed by somebody pushing the PC agenda in order to put more butts in the seats? And why do that when every race starts off with an Invocation? A prayer which thanks God and asks for a safe race? If they’re going to put the kibosh on the drivers thanking God then why haven’t they eliminated the Invocation? I guess we’ll see what happens as Trevor Bayne progresses and see if he’s told to pipe down about his Christian beliefs.
Sandbagging During Practice
I wanted to make sure I wasn’t nuts about this but apparently I’m not alone. I got e-mails from Erin and a few other people over the weekend noticing the same thing. Drivers are sandbagging during practice in order to get a better qualifying order position. I had heard from a source before the Daytona 500 about a driver doing this but wanted to be sure it wasn’t just a coincidence or me being nuts. After all, I am mad, as in crazy. Then we have Jabber Jaws and his parrot joking about it during Cup practice. I don’t know if they were making fun of it as a rumor, unintentionally letting the cat out of the bag, or giving NA$CAR the finger and revealing it to the fans.
On the Ethanol Payroll?
Saturday, February 26th 2011, on Twitter, Kenny “You’re not a real race fan” Wallace said this:
Kenny Wallace
Ethanol has been in Gas for 30 yrs! The bad stuff you're hearing is a marketing gimmick from people with agendas. GO American Ethanol.
So obviously the “bad stuff” about ethanol eating seals and gaskets was a marketing gimmick from people with agendas and not from manufacturer safety bulletins and recalls warning consumers about ethanol eating the gaskets and seals and possibly causing fires and damage to their engines. The decrease in gas mileage that consumers are seeing and reporting in various forums is from people with an agenda. Anyone get the feeling Kenny’s on the pro-ethanol payroll?
More Restrictor Plate Rule Changes Coming?
After Robin Pemberton announced that there wouldn’t be any more rules changes at Daytona regarding the restrictor plates and then a different restrictor plate was issued and the cooling system was diddled with, he once again is saying they don’t have any plans right now to change the rules for Talladega but that they’re also still receiving team inputs. Expect the manufacturer(s) with the biggest problems with overheating and not having enough power because of the Daytona diddling to push for changes at Talladega.
Another Tim Richmond in the Works?
For those not familiar with Tim Richmond, he enjoyed chasing women and boozing away from the track but he managed to pull it together on race day and pull off some great wins. And unfortunately, his lifestyle led to his downfall and eventual death for AIDS. It seem that in a recent interview with Maxim magazine, Brian Vickers said he binge drinks to the point of blacking out and enjoys multiple female sex partners. The problem with binge drinking is it can affect your alcohol level up to 72 hours afterwards. In other words, you could still be under the influence of alcohol 3 days after you stopped drinking. Now, remember how many drivers said they wouldn’t be on the track with a driver who was under the influence back in 2009? How many times has Vickers shown up while still under the influence of his binge drinking? Not to mention the problems with multiple sex partners. Condoms aren’t 100% effective and as he blacks out, there‘s no guarantee he even uses one. And there was one thing in the article that really caused me to raise an eyebrow. “The doctors speculate that racing was a factor: Sitting in a car for long periods, 180 mph wrecks, turning lots of Gs—all these things may have contributed to his condition”. Now, if high G turns caused part of his problem, you have to wonder how many other drivers may have a heart condition and don’t know it.

Two Thumbs Up for the Coast Guard
We don’t hear much about the Coast Guard or the job that they do. It runs the gamut between drug interdiction and counter-terrorism to wartime operations and rescuing boaters and ships at sea. For the job they do, they’re under-appreciated and underpaid. In a rather odd rescue on February 8th, they were involved in rescuing a snowmobiler from Lake Erie. Definitely a far cry from rescuing fishing boats taking on water off the coast of Washington state that we normally think of as a Coast Guard rescue. And the Navy talks about it not being a job but an adventure? To the men and women of the Coast Guard, my deepest appreciation for the job you do.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Highest Paid Drivers, Restrictor Plates, Media Attacks, and Other Junk in the Trunk

Tell Me Again Why They Can’t Help Sam Ard?
The plaque Sam's holding was recently sold on E-Bay to pay medical bills
After the recent release on Forbes of the 10 Highest Paid Drivers in NA$CAR and the 10 teams worth the most money, I have to ask why they can’t step up and help out Sam Ard and his wife Jo? I will give Dale Jr and Mr Happy a sprout because they have helped out. But how about the other 8 drivers? It cost about $200,000 a year to keep somebody with Sam’s afflictions alive and maintain a minimal lifestyle. Let’s face it, Sam isn’t going out for dinner every night or hitting the dance floor on the weekends. He’s not out drinking “sodas” and hunting palm trees or rear ending somebody while driving and texting. He’s bed-ridden and will be for the rest of his life. Considering these drivers spend that much on fuel for their multi-million dollar corporate jets every year and live in estates worth mega-millions, how hard would it be for the remaining 8 drivers to kick in $200,000 a piece? And considering the value of the race teams listed, how hard would it be for just one team owner to help out the Ards? And consider the positive press and PR they could get out of it for helping out one of the legends and doing what the France family and NA$CAR won’t do. That alone would be priceless for them. How much positive press could Ford get if one of their teams helped? But no, something that could be a really big “feel good” story with the high dollar drivers or team owners helping Sam out won’t happen and instead it’ll be left up to the long time, die-hard fans who remember Sam and his contributions to NASCAR to help out.
Restrictor Plates
I had a question that would probably require a massive number of e-mails, snail mails, and phone calls to NA$CAR to actually accomplish the desired results. The question is, “Could somebody please put a restrictor plate on DW’s mouth?”.
Media Attacking Each Other
After Trevor Bayne’s win, some members of the media cheered. Well, it seems that Faux King Brian’s army of Kool Aid drinkers find that to be unacceptable and say that anyone with a media credential shouldn’t be cheering or rooting for any driver. If that’s the case, how come they aren’t attacking Jabber Jaws, Larry Mac, Crusty, Drab Brad, and other network analyst and commentators for their weekly cheerleading sessions for Faux King Brian’s Chosen Ones, the drivers of the teams they own, and the sons or brothers they have who are on the track? After all, they also have media credentials. Is there some sort of double standard here within the ranks of the media? Using the Kool Aid Crowd’s own word, they deem this behavior as “unprofessional”. Isn’t that what I’ve been saying all along about the Booth Buffoons? And what’s hilarious about this is that one of them doing the attacking is the same guy who turned over Hambone Hamlin’s twitters to NA$CAR. Now there’s a real trustworthy journalist for you. First rule of journalism is to protect your source.
Closing the Barn Door After the Horse is Gone
Rather than black flagging the co-owner of Motormouth Motorsports before he crossed the finish line or DQ-ing him after the race for his truck being out of compliance with NA$CAR’s rules, the win still stands. However, the crew chief has been fined $25,000 and the team docked 25 points. For some reason, no fine was issued or points taken away from The Human Shill with the official excuse being that he’s not running for points in that series. Now keep an eye on this folks should we see other Truck Trash come over from the Cup Series and their trucks don’t meet the rules after a win. Will they receive the same treatment or will they be fined and docked points? And also, pay attention to what happens to a regular Truck Series driver whose winning truck doesn’t meet the rules and what’s done to him, his crew chief, and team owner. Guess we’ll have to wait and see.
Who’d Have Thunk It
Despite being the perennial back markers running just ahead of the start & parks, Front Row Motorsports driver David Gilliland managed to put a car into the Top 3 at Daytona. Over the winter, Bob Jenkins spent some money on cars and engines to make the team a little more competitive this year. You can call it what you want to. Luck of the Irish, the restrictor plate crapshoot, or whatever you want to, the fact that this underfunded underdog team came in 3rd can’t be refuted.
Daytona Opinions from the Fans
Terry from Delaware: What a joke. That is not a race; that was pirouhet (sic) choreographed dancing.

Russ from Virginia: My guess is that the afterglow of a shiny new winner wears off the slide will continue.
Unkle Phil: I was glad to see Trevor Bayne win in the Daytona 500, now maybe DW will shut the f*ck up about Dale Jr. and Jimmy Johnson; that is if he ever does shut-up. I was disappointed in the fact that there was not an interview with the Wood bros.; that was bull$hit as I have listened ever since I was a kid, prior to television, about the Woods bros. pit crew in the Indianapolis 500 of the radio.

Joe, Flash’s Cohort: Yeah I was screaming loud enough for the neighbors to hear but what the hay i don't care this doesn't happen but once in a great while. That kid has a lot of driving smart's not to have anymore experience than he does usually the rookies are the first one's to cause the wreck's. I thought for sure tantrum Tony or Junior was gonna nail him driving like nobody else was on the track and junior told one of the media after the race he didn't care he was going to drive like he wanted and everyone better get use to it and tantrum had nothing to say must have been pouting in the trailer.

Submariner Bill: That was a VERY satisfying outcome. Seeing a Woods Brothers car in victory lane, with that paint scheme on it... How sweet.

If I recall correctly, Michael Waltrip who turned not one but two cars causing big wrecks, and then in the interview blamed it on the cars he turned. Awesome. The crowd looked bigger than last year.

Dean from Tenn.: Well another 500 has come and gone and I must say in my opinion it ranks up there with one of the worst. All of this 2 car pushing crap has got to go. Its bad enough when you've got Na$car, pit crews and such determining the outcome of a race, but now we how 2 car- hook ups. Please give me back the day when the best driver decided the outcome and not Na$car, crews, 2 car hook-ups and such. The only thing good about today's race was the Wood Bros. winning again, more so than Trevor, which he makes my point I've been saying for years. Here you have a totally inexperienced driver, but, put him in a good car, point him in the right direction and bingo, we have a winner.

As you can see, a variety of opinions and observations about the Daytona 500. These weren’t solicited by me either, so don’t think I went looking for strictly one-sided views.
Something to Ponder
If there really are 75 million NA$CAR fans and every single one of them tuned in to watch the Daytona 500, they still couldn’t match the NFL’s ratings of 111 million viewers for the Super Bowl.
Seating Figure Disparity
The seating capacity for Phoenix is 76,812 and yet the Arizona Republic newspaper said the track sold out the “50,000” seats. So if there’s 76,812 seats in the grandstands and they only sold 50,000, that means there’s a disparity of 26,812 seats. And I know for a fact that not all the seats were sold out. Tickets for the Cup race were being given away all the way back here to the East Coast. So that’s not a sell out.


Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Daytona Win, Sam Ard Selling Memories, Fox Commentators, and Miscellaneous Stuff

There’s a lot of stuff going on in the world outside of NA$CAR and it’s tough trying to keep up with all of it as I’m having to share my computer for the next few weeks so I may miss out on some stuff.
7 Decades of Winning
With the win by Trevor Bayne, the Wood Brothers have managed to get a win in each of the decades since their founding. That’s not an easy task for a one car team that’s running a part time schedule. It’s the typical American underdog/Cinderella story that folks like to see and hear about.
Unexpected Side Effects of Bayne’s Win
There may be an unexpected side effect to this that Faux King Brian didn’t count on and it may have an impact on some of the marketing. Because of Trevor’s Christian upbringing, he’s picked up a lot of followers who may not be too fond of some of the marketing/branding techniques and advertising (can you say Danica’s sponsor?) that is shown on race weekend programming. Sooo, who will Faux King Brian offend? A sponsor who uses cheap advertising to try to lure in pimple-faced 14 year olds boys hoping for a peek at some uncovered female bodies or a group who has some very powerful and influential pull on politicians and businesses? Tough choice there Bri-Bri. But we know you. You’ll go with the guaranteed money you get from the sponsor and not worry about offending the Christian fans who could really fill those half empty coffers you’ve got right now.
Sam Ard Selling Off More Precious Memories to Pay Bills

Sam's nurse steadying Sam's hand as he autographs some die-casts

Sam is having to sell off some plaques he got as being the winner of the Sportsman Series, autographed die-cast, and autographed pictures in order to pay his medical bills. While it seems that only the fans are stepping up to help Sam and his wife out, several promises made to me by some TV folks to mention on air Sam’s condition and his need for help were never delivered on during the Daytona broadcasts. I know they’ve got a job to do but how hard is it to take 30 seconds to mention that Sam needs help? As much as these announcers and commentators plug and shill for various products, teams, drivers, and one make of car, you’d think at least one of them could forego one shill or plug to mention Sam.
The Return to Wal-mart
I don’t know how many folks remember the first time NA$CAR tried marketing stuff through Wally World but it didn’t work out too well for them. The line of NA$CAR Mystery Meats didn’t sell too well, all of the products that had the official NA$CAR logo on them didn’t sell that well, and Faux King Brian is hoping and praying that all the old fans like me have left the building like Elvis so that the previous Wal-Mart debacle isn’t revealed. Oops! Too late. I let the cat out of the bag. Will NA$CAR be selling products made in America through the largest seller of Chinese made products in America or will they sell only Chinese made products just like their “host”? Quite the quandry for a company that bills itself as being an American sport.
Fox Commentators & Their Affect on Radio Ratings
Because of the way Jabber Jaws, his parrot, and the other Booth Buffoons like to ramble on and talk over each other, they’ve caused more and more race fans to hit the mute buttons on their TV’s and listen to MRN or PRN, depending on which one is carrying the race. This in turn is causing a rise in their ratings. Some fans have even quit watching the Focks broadcasts altogether and rely solely on MRN & PRN for their race coverage. Despite numerous fan complaints, we still find that we the consumers (race fans) aren’t being listened to by David Hill, Jabber Jaws, NA$CAR, or Focks. I guess the half-empty grandstands, lagging ratings, and falling souvenir sales didn’t get their attention last year. And how about Goopher the Gopher? According to Hill, he was supposed to be gone and what did we have spoiling some great shots during the Daytona 500? Besides the sponsored graphics cluttering up the screen? You got it. Goopher the Gopher.
What the NA$CAR Media Doesn’t Want You to Know
And that’s the numbers for the NFL and the Super Bowl. During the recently concluded 2010 season, the NFL had 207 million unique viewers. They had 111 million viewers for the Super Bowl and a rating/share of 47.9/71 which makes it the most viewed program in US history surpassing the previous record holder of the final episode of MASH, which had a total of 106 million viewers. Now, compare that to the all time high of NA$CAR’s 38 million viewers in 2006 and a rating/share of 11.3/23. Not even 25% of what the NFL pulled in. NA$CAR and Focks can beat their chest all they want to, they’re still a 5 lb spider monkey urinating in the corner compared to the 800 lb gorilla in the room that is the NFL. And while the ratings for the Daytona 500 were up versus last season (30 million viewers), don’t expect them to stay up. They just hit their high point of the season. Just where are those other 45 million fans at Faux King Brian and why weren‘t they watching NA$CAR‘s premiere race of the year?
Race Purse Disparity
3rd place David Gilliland won more money by himself that what was the entire race purse for the Friday night Truck Series race at Daytona. The total purse for the Truck Series race was $689,635. Gilliland won $818,171 and 4th place Bobby Labonte won $654,233, almost as much as what was in the Truck Series race purse. Is it any wonder why the Truck Series struggles year after year and why so many teams have folded up since Faux King Brian took over even though the Truck Series continues to provide the best racing NA$CAR has week after week? Hello? Is there anybody in the Ivory Towers paying attention?
Rules Have Unintended Consequences
In a somewhat unusual twist, a Busch Series regular won the biggest Cup race of the year and is going to massively affect NA$CAR’s marketing of the Chase for the Chumps. Since the play-off system was first put in place, Faux King Brian and his miscreants have tried to use the marketing of the Daytona 500 winner as a lure to get fans to watch the play-off races. Guess what? It won’t happen this year. The winner of the Daytona 500 is competing for the championship in the Busch Series as a Busch Series regular. It totally blows away one of the cornerstones of the marketing program. Imagine what will happen if Trevor Bayne wins the other highly marketed races used to hype the Chase for the Chumps? NA$CAR’s marketing plan will have its legs cut out from under it. It means they’ll have to market drivers who are 2nd best. The best of the best will not be competing for the chumpionship. Fans may like underdogs but they don’t like having to settle for 2nd best.
Phoenix Race Tickets Sales and Renewals Off
With the change in the race dates this season, ticket sales and renewals for the Phoenix race are off. And just like with the Daytona 500 where radio stations up and down the East Coast were giving away race tickets for the 500, NA$CAR/I$C is doing the same thing with Phoenix tickets. Last season, during the same weekend the Phoenix race is being run this year, there was snow which kept folks at home because they couldn’t get out of their driveways. This season, it’s looking like rain might wash out the weekend. Plus, as some fans had already planned to have the traditional race weekend off, they couldn’t change their vacation time or work schedules to allow them to be off this coming weekend. This is what happens when you have somebody who’s completely clueless in charge of NA$CAR.
Complaints About the Race Coverage and Commentators
Since complaining to David Hill obviously does little good I’d suggest complaining directly to the owner of Focks, Rupert Murdoch. Here’s the info I found and I can’t guarantee it’s current:

Rupert Murdoch
Chairman and Chief Executive
News Corporation
1211 Avenue of Americas
8th Floor
NY, NY 10036
Ph #: 212-852-7000

Maybe if the head honcho is made aware of the problems and complaints the fans have with the Focks race coverage and the highly biased and unprofessional commentary given every week, something can be done about it.
Sponsor Recognition
When I hear about a company that does good deeds for the troops and their families I like to recognize them. This week I’m recognizing Aarons. You’d expect to hear this out of the Human Shill but obviously as he’s “all about me”, you won’t. Every year Aarons goes to various VA hospitals around the country and donates TV’s, electronics, and furniture in an effort to help out the troops who are stuck in the VA hospitals and make their stays a little more pleasant. Plus they’re also doing a little something our tax dollars can’t be used for. So a hand salute to Aarons for helping out our wounded warriors.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Harlow and Joe Do Daytona

This short story has more to do with the dynamic duo's activities before the Daytona 500 than the actual race itself. It seems that Harlow (The Flash) and Joe made to a strip club in Daytona while they were there for the 1978 Daytona 500.
We decided to go to a strip club called Pandora's Box and this would be my first and last visit because I still feel badly to this day that any woman has to make a living this way.
The owner of the club had all of the girls hustling this cheap champagne which cost five bucks a bottle and wouldn't make good paint thinner so I bought one of the girls and myself a bottle of this thinner took one drink and ordered my usual miller. I started talking to this girl while she stood there with her “pup's” sticking straight out and causing me to keep forgetting what I was going to say. So, I took off my Wood Brother's jacket and told her to put it on, which she did, all the while the owner was giving me the evil eye but I had bought some of his “thinner” so I didn't care.
She was the typical stripper. She had a baby to support and of course the daddy had taken off just like a lot of wimps when it comes time to face the music. The next set started and out came some young girl who barely looked legal with a cowgirl outfit and cap busters. When the music started she was all over the stage and would pull out one of the cap buster's shoot it and a piece of her outfit would fly off. I was standing there with a “shazam” look on my face trying to figure out how she did this and still don't know.
I do know the Flash had the usual mule chewing briars grin on his face and would get his jollies every time a piece of her outfit flew off until she was down to nothing but a g string. We stayed until closing time and I never got the chance to ask Annie Oakley how she did this and neither did the Flash. Bobby Allison won the race driving for Bud Moore and this and the warm weather was well worth the trip. Joe

Never Ending Rules Changes, Safety Concerns, and Other Stuff

Daytona Rules Changes Seem Never Ending This Season
I asked when the insurance company would force NA$CAR to slow the cars down and every time the Cup and Busch Series cars got above the 200 MPH limit, a new set of rules and specs were issued. We were assured that after the grill changes nothing else would be done. Well, guess what? Both the Cup and Busch Series were made to run smaller restrictor plates. So all the testing the teams did over the off-season at Daytona was for nothing. About the only info that was useful was the tire wear info and I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if the tires were the next thing changed before Sunday’s race. And I also wouldn’t be a bit surprised if NA$CAR did something else to make the races even worse than what they’re going to be. Maybe have the teams carry an extra 1,000 lbs of ballast or a boat anchor to “improve the show”.
Safety Concerns
Something that has been mentioned since the introduction of the generic race vehicle has been the inability of the drivers to see out the rear of the car or to see through the car ahead of them leaving drivers to pretty much drive blind when they’re on the restrictor plate tracks. This is a major safety issue which seems to have fallen on deaf ears just like what the fans really want. For once, it would be nice if NA$CAR actually was pro-active with safety rather than their usual reactive. Like maybe using Lexan for the rear spoiler so the drivers can see who’s behind them or through the car ahead of them. They use it for the “glass” in the cars. So why not use it for the spoiler to give the drivers more visibility.
You’re Bias is Showing
During the coverage of the practice session in which Jr wrecked his car, it didn’t take long for someone to find a scapegoat. They placed blame on Robby Gordon. Last season, Robby was partially immune from criticism of anything happening on the track in close proximity to him because of the make of decals that were on the generic kit car he was driving. Now that he’s sporting Dodge decals on the generic machine, he’ll be the official scapegoat of anything that happens within 100 yards of him. Even if it’s 100 yards behind him, it’ll be Robby’s fault. Just watch.
Keeping the Records Straight
I’ve mentioned from time to time that NA$CAR needs to correct the record of Bobby Allison to show he has 85 wins and not 84. For some reason they steadfastly refuse to give him credit for a Winston Cup win he got driving a Mustang in 1971 at Bowman-Gray Stadium even though Bill France Sr. asked him to enter the race and run the Mustang.
Another bit of record-keeping NA$CAR refuses to acknowledge is the 1982 Sam Ard actually won 16 races. According to NA$CAR, they didn’t start keeping track of the Busch Series records until 1983. However, some recent records were turned up that showed Sam had 16 wins that season which means that his actual record is still intact and that Shrubbery still hasn’t broken it.
I think an unbiased, outside source needs to come in and correct the record books so that drivers get the credit they’re due and that history and any integrity that might possibly exists in the grout of the bathroom floor next to the mold and mildew of NA$CAR can be maintained.
Promises Promises

I don’t know how many folks remember a tune of that name but having been a musician in my youth it was a song I was familiar with. It seems that during an interview last year with a female reporter from MRN that Kyle “Shrubbery” Busch made a promise to once again help out Sam Ard when he officially broke his record. Now don’t get me wrong here folks. I know what he did when he tied Sam’s record. He made a $100,000 donation to help Sam and Jo Ard out and it was very much appreciated by them and by a lot of race fans whose opinions of Shrubbery aren’t exactly that great. However, if he’s going to make a promise to help the Ard’s out a second time, then he needs to step up and do it. Let the fans know he’s a man of his word.
Tim Kohuth Sentenced
Tom Kohuth, who was the shop chief with Ultra Motorsports when I had a chance to work with them and first started writing for, was sentenced to a minimum of 9-½ years in jail after a plea agreement on 2nd degree murder charges back in September of last year. This info seems to have been kept very low key. He was driving under the influence when the rollback he was driving crossed a media and hit another vehicle killing the driver. If Tim’s name might sound familiar, he’s part of the reason why Kenny Schrader give us 1-½ thumbs up. My thanks to Ray Dunlap from Speed TV for the info.
Another Interesting Point on Ethanol
Floyd brought this one to my attention. Since ethanol has reduced our gas mileage it means we have to fill up more often. And since we have to fill up more often, we’re helping to fill up the state and federal coffers more often through taxes placed on gasoline by both state and federal governments. Is it any wonder the states aren’t complaining about the reduced gas mileage and why E-15 is being pushed? Less mileage, more fill-ups, more tax revenue.
More on Fuel Injection
My buddy and fellow military veteran Richard was listening to Sirius 128 when they had someone on talking about the pending move to fuel injection. And the interviewee said something that is very, very true when you really look at it. Since the cars will all have to have NA$CAR’s password code to run the fuel injection system and use NA$CAR’s software to run the engines, NA$CAR has effectively created a spec series engine for the cars. It won’t matter what make the car engine is, they’ll all be running the same program which makes them all equal just like a true spec series engine. Just when the snail’s pace towards returning some branding to the cars was happening, we get NA$CAR making something else on the car just like the old IROC cars. You can bet the Big 3 won’t be happy when they figure that one out especially as they want the current, state-of-the-art technology to be used and not the antiquated technology NA$CAR keeps using.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Thank You, What's Ahead, Rose Colored Glasses, and More

Many Thanks

I want to send out a big THANK YOU to FW Rogers and William Horrall for their donations in helping out Sam and Jo Ard. These 2 fans really came through for the Ards at a time when they can really use the help. Their donations are more than what NA$CAR, the NA$CAR Foundation, and the France family have contributed in helping Sam out. So my thanks and the thanks of Sam and Jo Ard once again to FW Rogers and William Horrall for stepping forward and helping out one of the legends who helped build the sport.
If any fans still want to contribute during the year, you can either go to Sam’s web site and donate through there or you can send it directly to
Sam Ard
1237 Bass Road
Pamplico SC 29583
What’s Ahead on Focks This Season
I don’t know how many folks watched the pre-race stuff on Speed or the Shootout on Focks, but here are some good examples of what we get to look forward to from the Focks Booth Bozos:
DW Calls Kurt Bush, Harvick

DW Says they are at "Dover" twice

Jamie McMurray wrecked the car he raced there last year (I thought that car was in Daytona USA)

Larry MacReynolds "McMurray won the Brickyard 400 at Charlotte last year"
Yeah, they’re real professional broadcasters alrighty. These sort of mistakes make Benny Parson’s “McMary” look great in comparison. Not to mention the fact that the green flag for the Shootout hadn’t even dropped and good old Jabber Jaws was already shilling and cheerleading for his favorite make of car and drivers.
And one thing that has been missing the last couple of years was the vote on the dreaded and accursed 3 B’s. After the fans voted to end it a couple of years ago, Jabber Jaws said there was some irregularities with the voting and hasn’t run a vote since. Just like Faux King Brian and NA$CAR, Jabber Jaws ignores what the fans have to say and want.
Double Secret Probation Coming?
You can bet that some sort of fine is coming for Shrubbery for this remark about the Shootout:
"It sucked," Busch said. "You're watching four cars and then you have another two there and another two there. To me, it sucked."
Now, will it be the traditional actions detrimental or will it be a double secret probation fine like with Twitter?
Rose Colored Glasses and the Kool Aid Brigade
I’m sure by now folks took in what Larry Mac had to say at Charlotte during the Magical Media Tour about only reporting positive things. It reminds me of a directive that Josef Goebbels, Hitler’s propaganda minister, issued regarding photography and movie footage. Everything would be shot in such a way that it appeared that the German Army was on the attack. Even in the last days of the Third Reich, they were still following the directive. It didn’t save them or change the outcome of the war. This goes back to what I’ve said before about those not learning the lessons of history are doomed to repeat their mistakes. Trying to control the message the media is sending out isn’t going to change things. Fans will still notice the grandstands, poor quality of the broadcast, races that are boring, and the smoke and mirrors being used. You can’t polish a turd, plain and simple.
The media has a job to do. They’re supposed to ask who, what, when, where, why, and how in order to keep the race fans posted on what’s going on and let them make their own decisions. When the fans want to know why the TV ratings are falling, it’s the media’s job to find out the facts and report them. When the fans want to know why the grandstands are half-full/half-empty, it’s the media’s job to ask and even report that the grandstands are half-full/half-empty. When the media reports on a decision from the Ivory Towers of Daytona and the fans reply that it’s a stupid or unpopular decision, it’s the media’s job to report the fan reaction. So to say that everything is just peachy keen and nothing’s wrong as Faux King Brian and company keep re-arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic even though it’s sinking, they’re deceiving themselves and doing a disservice to the fans thinking that if they too drink the Kool Aid and put on the rose colored glasses that everything will be fine.
Shootout Practice Speeds
Drivers were hitting over 203 mph during practice for the Shootout, which is faster than what they were doing during testing. The big question is, will NA$CAR go to a smaller restrictor plate before the 500? Naw, they'll tinker with the cooling system instead. I’m sure the insurance company who wrote the policy for the race is asking that same question too. Will they make a last minute change on the restrictor plate despite comments to the contrary?
Mayfield Apology
I got a few e-mails about this asking why would Jeremy Mayfield apologize to the Wicked Witch of the East. In simple terms, he’s got a much bigger fish to fry. An oversized sewer trout called NA$CAR. By issuing the apology, he’s cutting away some dead wood so he and his legal team can better concentrate on the much bigger task that’s coming up in the appeals courts.
Twitter, Media, and Daytona
For those of you not on Twitter, a lot of media folks have been busy sending out messages on Twitter during Media Week at Daytona and the practice sessions for the Shootout. A lot of them say basically the same thing and you can clearly identify the Kool Aid drinkers among the media members in Daytona. One good thing was Kenny “You’re Not a Real Race Fan” Wallace sending out a Twitter saying what time he’d be on Speed for the position selection show for the Shootout. That allowed me and countless others to change channels so we didn’t have to see and hear him. Obviously he hasn’t figured it out yet that he’s one of the reasons why folks aren’t watching any Speed TV shows that he’s on after the way he has insulted the intelligence of numerous fans.
Ford Wants to Run the Mustang in 2013
Ford has requested to run the Mustang in the Cup Series as their car of choice in 2013 replacing the current generic bodied car with the Fusion decals. Ford is pressing for identifiable bodylines to give some definitive branding back to their model of car. No word yet on what GM and Chrysler will do. In last February’s meeting between the Big 3 and Faux King Brian, the Big 3 clearly laid down the law regarding identifiable bodylines and branding. All 3 were tired of the generic looking race vehicle that looks the same no matter what “make” it’s supposed to be. If Faux King Brian doesn’t get off his duff and return the bodylines and incorporate current technology, he may find himself with only one manufacturer in NA$CAR. The one who originally developed the generic car in the first place because they didn’t want to spend the R&D money on building their own cars.
Not Quite a Paul Harvey Moment
Jabber Jaws was going on Saturday night during the first segment of the Shootout that they were going 203, 204, 206 MPH. Well why was the average speed only 194? Something’s wrong with the math there. Maybe Jabber Jaws couldn’t get his shoes off to count properly?
Jabber Jaws was talking about how the cars look more like racecars, but not really saying they look like their street counterparts. He mentioned that Ford has petitioned NASCAR to run the Mustang, but failed to state that Ford wants it to resemble the street version, not the Car of Sorrow with the words Mustang on it. He mentioned that Dodge is looking at the Challenger and GM should campaign the Camaro. Again, no mention of what the manufacturer’s wanting the cars to have street credibility.
Jabber Jaws and Jimmy Spencer talked about how the E15 has less mileage, but provides more horsepower. Everything I have read indicates that besides lower mileage, it also produces less power. On corn ethanol, one study I read stated it takes roughly twice the amount of energy to produce ethanol than ethanol provides. What is not mentioned is the octane rating of the E15, which would be the contributing factor for any increase in power. E-15 means 15% ethanol. Normal racing fuel runs at 100 octane or higher. And I’ve been trying to find info on just what octane the fuel that’s being run actually is because we could be looking at another case of smoke and mirrors. If they’re using a 120 octane race fuel to make up for the power loss of the ethanol, then it could be yet another in a long line of NA$CAR’s stretching the truth.
Another thing has to do with the last minute rule changing before the 500 is run. Because of the two car racing fiasco we had during the Shootout, NA$CAR changed the openings of the grills from 50-100 square inches smaller. But they didn’t say which makes were getting the largest openings and who got the smallest. Jimmy Spencer may have unintentionally let the cat out of the bag when he said the engines of the Japanese manufacturer’s cars ran hot. That means they’ll have the largest opening. As the new Ford and Chevy engines run cool, they’ll have the smallest opening. Could we already be seeing the deck being stacked this season against both Ford and Chevy?

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Sam Ard's Birthday, Daytona Repaving, Media Surprise, More Ethanol Stuff

Sam Ard’s Birthday Approaching
I know times are tough right now for everybody and I know I‘m going on about the situation with Sam Ard. Like Sam, my grandmother had Alzheimer’s and luckily she passed before it had reached the point where she required constant care. Seeing what was happening to her was definitely sad. She was a strong-willed, hard-headed, out-spoken woman who had taken care of herself most of her life. Although I was appreciative of her neighbors and my relatives who were taking care of her, it was a heartbreaker to see her like that.

So if you could please send Sam Ard a birthday card with a $25 Walmart card in it, you’d definitely brighten both his and his wife’s day as they’re trying to make it on Social Security, which is no easy feat. If you can’t send the Walmart card, just send a birthday card. They’ll appreciate it just the same. Sam’s birthday is on Valentine’s Day so if you want to send him a card, here’s the address:

Sam Ard
1237 Bass Rd.
Pamplico, SC 29583

Daytona Track Repaving - The Lost Section

It seems that although they repaved the tri-oval part of the track, they did nothing to the road course section. From what I heard from some folks who were there, some of whom were racing on it, the road course section is in really bad shape and they wonder why it too wasn’t repaved. I guess that’s what happens when you spend millions of dollars on an infield amusement park and zoo instead of what‘s really their bread and butter. The track itself.

Growth Energy & The Switch to Ethanol by NASCAR
I’ve been doing some research on Growth Energy. I’ve been going through their Form 990’s that they have to file with the IRS. The PR release from NA$CAR is a bit misleading. Growth Energy isn’t an advocacy group. Growth Energy itself holds the 501c6 status, which is for trade groups not environmental and research efforts. It turns out the trade group is specific to Midwest ethanol sources, and cuts out support for the Virginias-and-Carolinas biomass-to-cellulose-ethanol programs that were investigated when big tobacco started moving overseas. Two of the paid consultants are former Army General Wesley Clark and former Iowa Congressman Jim Nussle.

Two companies are operating with names similar to American Ethanol (a la standard stock scam and con-man practices) and the one Growth Energy claims as a business partner is missing a LOT of contact info! I wonder why?

I am Surprised by Some of the Media
Some of the lamestream media has actually surprised me over the off-season with articles regarding the changes to the Shoot-out, the points system, and even the play-off system. And they’re pointing out things I have over the last 7 years, like the dumbing down of NA$CAR and how the continuous changes are driving fans away. When the lamestream media starts to turn on NA$CAR, that’s when you know they’re in big trouble.  

Daytona 500 & First Half of the Season Coverage

I don’t know how many of you read the Daly Planet article about how David Hill said the coverage will be but if you thought the coverage in the past was bad, it’ll be worse this season.

"What this sport is all about is the driver. Everything else in NASCAR is an afterthought. People follow the sport because the drivers are heroes because that’s what the fans want to hear, superheroes that can do things that only very, very few people can or will. Anyone can be a crew chief. Anyone can be a tire changer. Anyone with the technical ability. Just think about what it takes to drive a car 200 miles an hour. ee sports: Mountain climbing, bullfighting and auto racing. All the rest of the games."

First off, he got it wrong about this being a sport and I refer once again to the sworn affidavit from NA$CAR’s VP of Racing Operations who said that “NA$CAR is family oriented sports entertainment”. Where he did get it right is that everything else is an afterthought. The marketing takes precedence over the actual racing. The promotion of drivers takes precedence over the racing. So the racing isn’t important but serves as a backdrop to marketing NA$CAR’s sponsors and promoting the drivers into cult hero status. Anyone can be a crew chief? Then let’s see Mr. Hill get on top of Dale Jr’s pit box and see how long he last. Anyone can be a tire changer? Then let’s see Mr. Hill sling those tires around and try to do it in under 14 seconds. I don’t know what it takes to drive at 200 mph but I do know what it takes to drive at 160 mph. Which is more dangerous? 200 mph on an enclosed banked race track with only 42 other cars competing or 160 mph on the German Autobahn with thousands of cars? And not everyone who’s technically oriented can be a crew chief, mechanic, or tire changer. Ryan Newman, who has an engineering degree, can’t exactly get out there and sling tires around or handle a dump can. He might be able to do some mechanical work in the garage though. And as NA$CAR is sports entertainment, that means it’s a game and not a sport.

"Fox is going to concentrate on the driver, too. Right across the board. We’re putting the emphasis back where it belongs on the driver. We probably haven’t utilized Darrell (Waltrip’s) inner knowledge enough. Darrell is the only one on our (announcing) team, in reality who is a champion. He understands the motivation and what goes on. I don’t know. Is it instinct or is it skill? This is something that I’ve talked to the Alain Prosts about and the Jackie Stewarts. What is it? There’s something that drives them. What we’re going to be doing at Fox and what we’re going to be doing at SPEED is telling stories of drivers.

So it’s going to be a lot like last season where they only show the usual Chosen Ones and Jabber Jaw’s favorites, plus whoever ponies up the most mention money that doesn’t fall into those categories. It’ll also mean more in-car camera shots. That means they’ll be so locked into promoting the chosen drivers, using the in-car cameras and gimmick shots, and cluttering the screens up with graphics that we’ll more than likely miss the wrecks, the beating and banging at Martinsville and Darlington, and some of the pit road action. And if you weren’t happy about the amount of jaw-jacking Jabber Jaws did before, Mike Joy and Larry Mac aren’t going to be able to get a word in edge-wise with this new “coverage”. On the plus side that should mean less Moe Ron Myers and Hollywood Hambone.   
Appearance is Reality
That is a term used by Vince McMahon of the WWE and later by Mafia Mike of NA$CAR. And it definitely applies to the new points system, especially when the play-offs start. By making it appear close, the master marketing genius in Daytona thinks people will be fooled into believing that the points race will be close. Unfortunately for him, the fans who have been following the sport for a while and don’t have an attention deficit already know it’s nothing more than smoke and mirrors. The same smoke and mirrors that have been used since the play-off system was implemented, continued when the generic car was introduced, and still continues to this day in an attempt to fool the fans. Unfortunately, the only person being fooled is the head fool himself.

Continuing Promise 2011

The USNS Comfort, a Navy medical ship, will be undertaking a 4 month mission of providing humanitarian assistance and training to a number of Caribbean island nations and countries in Central and South America. Both the Comfort and her sister ship the USNS Mercy have been used in a number of humanitarian missions as well as for their designed mission of providing medical support to combat operations. The Comfort’s 4 month mission starts in April and will be made up of both military and volunteer civilian personnel. So to the crewmembers of the Comfort and the volunteers of Continuing Promise 2011, my thanks for doing what others are unwilling to do.


Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Time for Somebody to Lend a Helping Hand

There’s an old saying about charity beginning at home. And that’s what needs to be happening right now in NASCAR. We’ve got some racing greats who gave their all for the sport of stock car racing who are having some hard times getting medical care, paying the doctors’ bills, and meeting their everyday needs.
Recently, we found out that former racing great Fred Lorenzen was living in a nursing home as a result of his Alzheimer’s and that he was forgetting things, is beginning to forget names, was getting injured from falls at home, and that he pretty much wasn’t able to take care of himself. This is a far cry from the Golden Boy who wheeled his #28 Holman-Moody Ford around the track and winning. Fred gave his all for stock car racing and for the NASCAR under Bill France Sr. And how is Fred and his family being repaid by the France family for the sacrifices he made? They’re not. The Frances continue to hide behind the “independent contractor” clause. Despite the fact that NASCAR has a multi-million dollar charity which could easily assist Fred, it doesn’t. There are also a number of drivers who have charities who could step up and help Fred out. But they don’t.
Two time Busch Series champion Sam Ard was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson‘s Diseases several years ago. Sam and his wife Jo had to sell off Sam’s trophies, Martinsville clocks, championship rings, and other valuable memorabilia to try to keep up with the staggering medical bills of both Sam’s diseases and Jo’s blindness. The Old Timers Racing Club, through their Medical Hardship Fund, has been holding the Legends Helping Legends Fundraisers to assist drivers like Sam and other racing folks from the glory days of NASCAR. I attend them and was at the one they held for Sam. Racing greats like Rex White, Ned Jarrett, Bobby Allison, and others turned out to sign autographs for the fundraising event. All of those drivers, who like Sam, have no sort of medical help or pension fund to fall back on because of NASCAR’s continued hiding behind the “independent contractors” clause.
Both Mr. Happy and Dale Jr. stepped up and made donations to Sam’s care. Mr. Happy donated a van which was used in one of the Shell commercials he was in. The shocker was when Kyle Busch donated $100,000 to help with Sam’s care. Still, this is only 3 high profile drivers out of a how many? And where is NASCAR and the Frances in all of this? Neither the Frances, NASCAR, nor their “foundation” have donated a penny. There was a fundraiser at Richmond which raised $36,000 to help the Ard family out which had some fancy PR spin put on it to make it appear it was NASCAR making the donations but it wasn’t. For a supposed charity which pulls in untold millions and only donates $9 million to various charities, all of which benefit NASCAR and/or the France family either directly or indirectly, not to donate to former greats like Sam who helped put NASCAR on the map is almost criminal. All it takes is adding one sentence to the charter or rules to make it happen.
And what about all the high profile drivers who were shocked by Busch’s donation? What happened to the one-upmanship that drivers of old use to engage in? Drivers not wanting to be bested by their competitors? We didn’t see any of Busch’s vocal rivals step up and match his donation or try to beat it. Only Mr happy and Dale Jr. stepped up.
And what about Sam’s current condition? This is from a friend of the Ard family:
Sam is now a totally bed-ridden invalid. He is cared for at home by his wife 24/7. His request was and still is not to be placed in a nursing home.

It has been draining physically, emotionally, and financially. They are in desperate need of help at this time.

As you can see, Sam’s condition isn’t improving and the physical, mental, emotional, and financial drain on the family is still there. I know the toll it can take as I’m taking care of someone who was has been suffering with a seizure disorder for over 3 years.
Right now, Jo spends app. $300.00 a month for items which the VA does not provide. She struggles and juggles to make ends meet each month on his social security check. Any help would be appreciated, even gift cards to places like Walmart and grocery stores. There is a hole in her roof which she can't afford to have repaired. She is in need of a cooking stove, washer and dryer as theirs are about shot. 

If this isn’t the perfect opportunity for Lowe’s or Home Depot to step up and help them out, I don’t know what is.

And how much did the Frances pay towards Bobby Allison's medical bills from his terrifying crash at Pocono that nearly took his life? Zip. It took Bobby over 20 years to pay those medical bills off. It would've taken the France family one check to pay off Bobby's medical bills. But no, they preferred to hide behind the "independent contractor" clause.

So, here’s what I’d like to see happen. I know the folks from NASCAR are reading this along with some team PR and marketing people. Get off your duffs. Set up a charity to help out drivers and other folks who were in the racing business who need medical assistance or help with their medical bills or their medical care. NASCAR, ISC, and SMI could have a “Sam Ard Day” at one of their tracks and take the ticket money and donate it to help Sam out. Or they could take 10% of their ticket sales for all NASCAR events and donate it to the Racing Legends Medical Hardship Fund since it already exists. You team PR and marketing people, hit your drivers, team owners, and sponsors up for donations and services that they can provide to help these ailing former greats. Home Depot and Lowe’s could donate materials and personnel to help make houses wheelchair accessible or makes repairs that are sorely needed or donate things like washers, dryers, stoves, ovens, or fridges. The Big 3 could donate vans that are configured to transport a wheelchair-bound person. UPS and FedEx could ship medical supplies and medications to these ailing folks for free. Drivers could donate 10% of their race earnings or souvenir sales for the year to help out. If a driver got the testicular fortitude, he could donate his entire race winnings to help out. Team owners could pass the hat in their shops for donations or make their own donations separate from that of the teams and drivers. The ones who own vehicle dealerships could even help out by doing what I suggested the Big 3 do. Or they could modify a vehicle to be donated.
And how about some of you TV network people? How about donating some airtime to promote fundraisers like the Legends Helping Legends Fundraiser events? Or even send a camera crew out there to cover them? Speed’s got the personnel to do it and it’s just up the road in Mooresville. Or blocking off a day and instead of showing those fluff and reality shows that few people watch, how about running a telethon to raise funds? This would be the perfect event to put the Motormouth Brothers to work. Have them shill for the fundraisers like they do for everyone else that owns or sponsors them. You could get some current drivers in there to help out or answer the phones and get some former greats like Buddy Baker, Rex White, Junior Johnson, and others to tell some stories about the good old days of racing and get their opinions on the current state of the sport. Get Wanda Lund on there to talk about some of her recipes and some of her stories about her husband Tiny and some of the other racing greats. It could be a fundraiser and a history lesson in one.
And why should the current day drivers and crewmembers get involved with something like this? Because if it wasn’t for the likes of Sam Ard, Suitcase Jake, Rex White, James Hylton, and others, there wouldn’t be a NASCAR or a job for them. These folks pioneered the way for them to be able to do what they do today. They kept NASCAR from going under when it looked like it was going to fold several times. Think about James Hylton. He got his start as a crewmember on Rex White’s team before he became a racer and was the 1966 ROY. Rex was a pioneer of using jackscrews and using camber to turn the cars. He wasn’t just a racer, he was also a mechanical genius. Rex got his start turning wrenches for Frankie Schneider. Suitcase Jake was probably one of the most famous names in the garage outside of the drivers because of his mechanical and crew chief abilities and for his moving from team to team.
Think about today’s drivers. How many of them have come up through the ranks of being a mechanic first? How many crew chiefs started out working for free on somebody’s car as part of a volunteer crew? Or how about some of the great practical jokes that were played like those done by Curtis Turner, Joe Weatherly, and Tiny Lund? These are the things which took a regional racing series and turned it into a national brand name. These are the people who worked 2-3 jobs and sacrificed so much to be able to have a racing career. If not for these folks, today’s drivers would still be running in some lower level racing series trying to scrape together a couple of bucks to buy tires, parts, or gasoline to run their next race. Just like these racing pioneers had to do. So maybe it’s time for these big buck, high profile racing folks to remember these former greats and help them out since the sanctioning body that they sacrificed everything for won’t. After all, these drivers, team owners, and crewmembers wouldn’t be where they are today if it wasn’t for the likes of Sam Ard, James Hylton, Rex White, Suitcase Jake, Junior Johnson, and others too numerous to name from the history of the sport.