Friday, August 5, 2011

Chief of the Forty Eight turns Four-Oh

Happy birthday, Chad!!  Our favorite crew chief has hit the ol' milestone - the Big Four-Oh, everybody! Not bad, 5 championships before you hit 40. I hope the post-40 years treat him just as well! Sounds like it's going well so far, if the prank he pulled on Rutledge Wood on Trackside today is any indicator (Carl Edwards knows a guy in Decatur...har har...I miss that ad). Rutledge thought he was going to get Chad at his motorhome like he gets everybody else, but just as "you can't BS a BS-er" (my dad's favorite saying), you can't prank a prankster. The look on Rutledge's face when Chad comes out of the motorhome is priceless! I'll try to find the video, but I don't want to spoil for anybody who recorded it right now, so I'm gonna leave you hanging about what happened, sorry.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

It just writes itself...

Well, not quite, but with Jimmie on Twitter, I don't even have to do the work anymore. In fact, I'm just gonna post a link because I don't want to steal Jimmie's picture (suuuure, that's the reason...not because I'm lazy or anything!).

Chad Knaus IS...Goldmember!

I love that this has 1,933 views, but only one person has commented on it (and it was NOT me!). There's not much you can really say to that, is there? ...Well, actually, I can think of one thing: if Chad is Goldmember, does that make Jimmie Beyonce? >:D

Edit: We have a development in the plot, everybody!

"Parties over, Chad found Chad"

("Parties" being JJ's spelling, not mine.)

Sunday, July 31, 2011

You gotta know when to hold 'em

Just when you think I'm a goner, here I am, back for more! I can't say I'll consistently update again, but every once in a while I feel the need to pop off about something or other, so I probably won't be able to let this completely die out.

Anyway...all year long, I haven't been able to believe what I've been hearing.  To put it simply, I guess there's been a lot of speculation that Jimmie and Chad's relationship is on the rocks (wow...and they wonder why NASCAR appeals to can't get this kind of bromance drama in chick flicks, let me tell you). One article I read wondered if they might split at the end of the year if things don't go swimmingly.

Can I just say that I'm glad Rick Hendrick is smarter than the media?  I don't care if they do end up having an awful year (which I don't think they will); you don't just dismantle a team for having a bad year when they've won the championship 5 TIMES BEFORE THAT. IN A ROW. For example: while some of Junior Nation might not agree with me, I think Mr. Hendrick has handled the 88 team's situation quite gracefully. He's had patience and waited to see how the team would mesh, and when he hasn't got the results he wanted, he's made a change. The key word here is PATIENCE. You can't make a long-term decision based on a short period of time. You need a good sampling of races in order to see a pattern. The 48 has quite a pattern. Are you going to mess with that based on one (possibly) less than stellar season? Or are you going to look at the 5 other years and make a decision based on that? That's what I thought.

That said, I know they've been snippier than usual this year, but honestly, I'd be a little weirded out if they weren't. There's no way you can be that close to anyone, no matter what kind of relationship it is, and not get sick of each other at some point. I have three friends who I've known since 3rd grade, and trust me, there have been multiple times where we all didn't want to see each other's faces for a while. What do you do then? You take a break, you re-focus, you re-group. You have some milk and cookies, if need be. It's happened before.  And you know what? That makes me even more confident that they can work it out...this ain't their first rodeo, and they know how to deal with that kind of stress. These guys are nothing if not professional, and I don't think a bit of high school-style smack talk is going to break them.

In another fear-mongering move, the media has also been throwing this ominous prediction around: "This can't last forever." You're right. It can't. As much as I'd like them to just keep reeling in those Cups until they retire, I know it's more likely that they won't (but, of course, who would've guessed they'd win 4 more in 2006?). If the time does come when a change seems necessary (and I repeat, that is not now), I trust Mr. Hendrick to make the right move. There's no point thinking about "what ifs." You just go on the information you have and hope for the best. I hope the near future gives Mr. Hendrick all kinds of information that persuades him to keep them together until one or both retire, but like I said, I don't think that's a decision anybody, especially the media, needs to think about at any point during this season.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Drive for Five is DONE!!

Well, NASCAR fans, you wanted excitement - you got it! The 48 team will win it any way you want it. Repeat, you say? Easy. Never-been-done-before threepeat? Oh, we're just getting warmed up. You want it old-school? Sure, we can pull out another Cup under the old championship format. More down-to-the-wire action? Oh. Hell. Yeah.

I could do the usual thing of recapping what a great yet stressful year it's been and how exciting the Chase was, but what I really want to do, on this the day of the 48's fifth championship, is to gloat. Specifically, I would like to extend my index finger (INDEX finger...I'm not that mean...or related to Kyle Busch) and jump up and down in a non-orderly fashion yelling, "WHERE'S YOUR DRIVE FOR FIVE NOW?!?!" all in the general direction of one Jeff Gordon. So if you'll excuse me.

...Ahhh, much better. Yessir, if there was one thing that REALLY kept me on the edge of my seat all year and had me hoping to gosh that Jimmie would win the championship, it was incentive of beating Jeff Gordon to the Drive for Five and rubbing the fact that we did it all in a row right in his face. I've never been a Gordon fan, but I really caught the bug earlier in the year when Jimmie and Jeff were having a bit of a back-and-forth, and ever since then it's been my deepest, darkest hope that Jimmie would give him the ultimate touché at the end of the year. Well, mission accomplished.  Thank you, boys. You have no idea how much I appreciate this.

Girly moment: did you see Chad on the stage after the race holding Jimmie's daughter? Was that cute or what?! I have to admit I was watching that more than the Cup proceedings at that moment. I'm so glad Genevieve got to be there for one of Jimmie's wins, too!

Now that we're on a warmer and fuzzier track, thanks for another fun year of racing, guys. I honestly don't know what I used to do before this (and hockey). Congratulations on the championship, and thanks especially for winning at Las Vegas this spring while I was there to see it. Just know that I'll remember these years just as long as you boys do, and I've enjoyed the heck out of being a part of history. Here's to five more years (at least) just like these!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Hit the Road, Jack(man)

:cue creepy horror music...wait, is that redundant?:  I know I haven't updated in eons, but you KNOW I couldn't just sit here and zip my lip about the pit crew change.

Predictably, I'm going to defend Chad's decision. Yes, I think he did the right thing. The crew hasn't been up to snuff all year, and they've had plenty of chances to pick it up, but they haven't. I think that's the main reason I support this: it wasn't just an off-day for them; it was the final straw in a whole hay bale of screw-ups that broke the camel's back.

I also like that they're making changes now instead of waiting until the season's over just so they wouldn't hurt anybody's feelings. If improvement is not an option at this point, and you've got a championship on the line, you need to do what you have to do to ensure a win. It's not like they're taking a risk - the 24 crew has (obviously) been working together all year and have proven themselves to be fast. Now, if Chad had decided to just switch a few of the 48 crew guys out for some new ones at this point in the season, you bet I'd be questioning the heck out of that move, but here you've got a whole crew of guys who are used to working together on a daily basis. No prob. Does it look desperate? Maybe a little. But hey, if they've got a weakness, and it's this late in the season, I'd rather they try something drastic to fix it than just sit back and watch the championship slip away.

Now, as for this "win and lose as a group" stuff... I think there are two qualities that set Hendrick apart from the rest: their relaxed, positive attitude and the frank, business-like environment at the shop and the track. I am a firm believer in the power of working in a positive atmosphere; nobody benefits from added stress. If I had the choice between working at Penske or Hendrick, I know which one I'd choose, and it wouldn't be just because HMS has won more Cups recently.

Moreover, I think what enables them to maintain a relaxed, team-player atmosphere is that second quality, professionalism. Hendrick's goal is to win, and if a team member isn't contributing to that goal, they can expect to be replaced. It's nothing personal; it's just how things have to be in order to get the job done, and everybody knows that. This is all to say that if you're going to win and lose as a team, first you have to be a team. If you're not able to go the extra mile and pick yourself up when you know you haven't been doing your absolute best, there's just no room for you on the team. If you're doing your best, then yes, you win and lose as a team, but if there are improvements to be made and you can't come through with them, then you're not really functioning as a team to start with, in my opinion.

Do I feel bad for the 48 guys? Yeah. That's gotta suck to know you and your entire crew just got replaced by someone else's, and it must especially sting for the members of the crew who have been there long enough to have 4 Cup trophies sitting on their mantles and who know they're giving 100%, but they've also got to know that it was the right thing to do at the time to ensure Jimmie a good finish and possibly a championship.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

I love the smell of Jello in the morning

Well, whaddya think, boys and girls? Twofer at Bristol? I know we haven't been the hot ticket in town lately, and our Fearless* Points Leader posted another big dub yesterday in Hockeytown -- oops, Michigan, I mean (wrong blog...gah, is it October yet?) -- but Bristol is anybody's race, and the 48 team has already given Jobu the big bird (and I don't mean a live chicken) and done it themselves once already this year, so what's to stop us from repeating? (And yes, I did watch Major League on VS tonight...funny you should ask.) We're already the Mack Daddies of Repeats (With Capital Letters), so I think everybody knows to never say never to this team. Plus, we've got that new Hendrick engine package, and while it wasn't what 3/4 of HMS's drivers were looking for last week, Stewart seem to have his horsies galloping westward-ho, so maybe he'll give his old pals down the street a tip or two.

Anyway, here in Jimmie Johnsonland, we also like to play a sport they call football, and our team is the Chargers (who knew, right? Not half of San Diego, that's for sure...not to be negative or anything). Bolts fans, as they're often called, have a little saying they like to trot out every now and then, a quote taken from that paragon of 20th century culture, Metallica, and that saying is: "Ride the lightning," bitches. That's right, my homeboy Jimmie will be riding the lightning at Thunder Valley this weekend, so better get out of the storm if you don't wanna get wet!

*because he ain't smart enough to be skeered

Sunday, August 15, 2010

12th at Michigan

The 48 finished 12th today...whew, I didn't jinx them! SPEED seems to think that's not good enough for the team, but hey, I'll take it, and apparently so will Jimmie. Not bad for a track that's been such a pest for them in past, I'd say. That's just one of them thangs, I guess...they've won a zillion times at Fontana, but they just don't seem to be able to roll sevens at Michigan even though the two tracks are so similar.

The 48 is now 5th in points...I guess I shouldn't necessarily say "now" since I'm not sure what spot they were in before this race, so they might have been in 5th before. I'd check, but for some reason I can't get to the standings page at right now.

Random thought for the day: I hate saying "the 48" all the time. I'm trying to emphasize the fact that this is a team thing and not just about Jimmie, although I think I appreciate Jimmie's driving contributions way more than some people who seem to think it's all Chad and the car just drives itself, but saying "the 48 car" makes it sound like the car really IS driving itself. Maybe I'll start saying Jaus or Knohnson finished in X position, but that kinda leaves out the pit crew, and saying JoKnauMalIvesBarGutPurcLingSimWesBrowTeagBoydMilMichPlemClar all the time would be slightly impractical (and some would say silly, but that's not really a concern here since this whole blog is nothing but silly). Whatever, I'll just stick with 48.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Jimmah starting 2nd @ MI

JJ is starting 2nd next to Kasey Kahne for Sunday's race at Michigan (weren't we just there? answer: yeah). Niiiice! That's what I like about being a 48 get a few "challenging" races here and there to make it even sweeter when they start winning again (and to make me laugh when the press inevitably starts in with the "OMG is JJ losing his touch aaaahhhhh apocalypse!!!" stuff).

Of course, I suppose this will be one of the more challenging races now that I've gloated all over the place, but really, as long as Chad's calculator has a fresh battery, and Jimmie doesn't floor it the whole time, and they FINISH the race, I'd consider it a pretty successful day at Michigan. Yeah, you're never going to live that one down, sorry, guys. I'm not that creative a writer, so I WILL exercise my right to bring it up whenever I have a lack of material. Like right now.

Also, speaking of writing, I'm also not that smart a writer and would like to take back most of what I said until the new schedule comes out. I am completely confused about when everything's going to be, so I will make more informed comments (such as, "OH HOLY GOD why is THAT race THERE?!" etc.) once everything is set in stone. Sorry.