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.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Schedule Changes

Thought I'd put in my 2 cents about next year's schedule changes since part of it affects me.

While I'm really bummed that Fontana is losing a date, I understand. The track doesn't sell out, and Southern California isn't known for being the biggest NASCAR market around. However, I really hate that we're losing the Chase race. I know, I know, Chicago has the second-largest media market in the series, so we can't compete, but here's why it sucks:
  • October was the perfect time of year for a race at Fontana. Not too hot, not too cold. I can't tell you how perfect the weather was last year.
  • The spring races at Fontana and Las Vegas are too close together. If anyone else is like me, they would like to go to both, but they have to pick one or the other because it's too much money to spend all at once. I understand they're probably going to move Fontana a little later and make Phoenix the second race (which I'll get to in a minute), but if it's any earlier than April, it's not going to work. May would be perfect, or June. Don't even THINK about putting it back in August though - that'd be one way to be absolutely certain nobody shows up. I refuse to sizzle like a miserable piece of bacon on a hot skillet.
  • I'm just mad at Chicago, okay? They won the Stanley Cup this year, somebody with an Illinois license plate cut me off today, and now this. It's a good thing Chad is from Illinois; otherwise I'd be REALLY grouchy. :thinks happy Chad thoughts: Okay, I feel better now. :)
One thing I do like, though, is that they're moving Phoenix into Fontana's former slot as the second race of the season. There's still too much of a chance of rain in Fontana in February, if you ask me, and Phoenix is already too darn hot in April, so this is a perfect switch. I just hope that they actually do SWITCH the dates instead of jumbling things around so that Fontana comes earlier than April; otherwise, like I said, it's too close to Las Vegas. I mean, I suppose everybody in Arizona is going to be bummed that Phoenix is so close to Vegas now, but Southern California has a much bigger pool of people who might want to go to a second NASCAR race, so I think we win that battle. I wish they could be spread out so all of us could go to all three races around here, but seeing as how Florida and the Southwest are the only places that aren't under piles of snow in February, a couple of them have to be back-to-back out of necessity.

Also, I think it'd be super awesome if Las Vegas was the last race of the would segue so nicely into Champion's Week! It's so not going to happen, especially since Ford pours a whole bunch of money into the Homestead race, but just for the record, I think it's a great idea! I'm sure everybody in Florida would disagree, and I know if it was here and they took it away, I'd be heartbroken, so I won't whine about this too much. Just sayin', I sure wouldn't mind if the season ender was in Vegas.

Monday, August 2, 2010

...And a word on Pocono

Just really, really glad Elliott Sadler and Kurt Busch are okay. Elliott scared the absolute insides out of me. I never really understood the overwhelming importance of the HANS device until today...if a car hits something with enough force to yank the engine out of the car, ugh, I don't even want to think about what that's doing to your body. Yeah, let's not go there... Hugs for everybody!

I was hoping Tony would win since he got the pole and needs a win and all, but for once I'm okay with a Roush driver winning because I want Jack Roush to feel better as soon as possible, and if that doesn't make him feel good, I don't know what will. I'm so glad he's basically okay, too. What a week.

A load of BS by any other name will smell just as bad

Can I just say how completely torqued off I am that Denny Hamlin and Ryan Newman got fined for "talking smack" about NASCAR?

Now, I understand that there is a need to straighten up and fly right when it comes to your sponsors; they're paying you to represent their company. But when a GOVERNING BODY, which is supposed to be for the benefit of the sport, suppresses freedom of speech, all that says to me is Soviet Russia.

NASCAR apparently thinks that drivers sharing their honest opinions about the governing body is detrimental to the sport. To me, this is denigrating and condescending to the fans. Do they think we're so stupid that we don't realize when a screw-up has occurred, and that if they shut up the drivers and the press, we'll just suddenly get amnesia about said screw-up and think everything is hunky dory? How very insulting to our intelligence.

Also, I'm not sure what they're afraid of if the drivers DO say something negative about NASCAR. If so-and-so says, "NASCAR sucks and here's why!" on national TV, do they think we're going to say, "Yeah, he's right, I'm going to stop watching NASCAR from this moment on"? Uh hur hur, maybe if we didn't pass 3rd grade. However, if we did, we're probably going to say, you know what, he's right, there's a problem, now let's see how we can fix it. And we'll all call up Chocolate or Moody or whoever on XM (hehe, I listen to that channel wayyy too much) or write in our blogs or even send some mail off to Brian France c/o NASCAR with all of our ideas on how to fix the screw-up. We like NASCAR, capisce? We appreciate drivers' honesty on what's wrong with it because they're our voice and because we, the drivers and the fans, all want to see it improve! Call a spade a spade, for frack's sake, and let's move on!

My other big beef is the complete inconsistency and unfairness with which NASCAR handled this particular situation with Ryan and Denny. I specifically remember Carl Edwards, after one of his episodes at Dega (probably the Brad run-in), saying something like, they'll keep going along until somebody gets hurt and then they'll finally change something. Now why didn't he get fined for making comments detrimental to the sport in that case? And I'm SURE Tony Stewart has mouthed off before, and sometimes he gets in trouble, and sometimes he doesn't. I don't like that at all. I always thought NASCAR did a little better than most other sports about having fair and consistent rules, and then stuff like this comes out of nowhere and makes them look like the damn NHL (you know I love hockey, but Gary Bettman can shove it). Some people are already sure NASCAR plays favorites with drivers, and picking on two drivers out of all of them to fine does not help their image whatsoever.

In a nutshell, this inconsistency in rule enforcement, coupled with the total bass-ackwardsness of trying to control their image by suppressing the drivers' thoughts, is doing WAY more damage to the sport than Ryan Newman saying, "Hey, these restrictor plate races have some problems" EVER could.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Chad on Race Hub Tonight!!

The one and only Chad Knaus will be on SPEED's NASCAR Race Hub tonight at 7 pm ET.

Will write more later...was out of town.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Why JJ hasn't picked a name yet

Wondering why JJ and Chandra haven't come to a decision on what to name their baby daughter? Well, I think I might know what happened: seeing as JJ implicitly trusts Chad in all things, he certainly must have asked his 4-time champ crew chief for some suggestions on what to name her, knowing that, much like his creative solutions at work, he'd come up with something besides the usual choices like Ashley or Emily (I like those names myself, but you smell what I'm cooking...I mean, hell, my name's Jessica - doesn't get much more common than that in the '80s). What he didn't count on was how much Chad's passion for his work would influence his suggestions...

Chad's list of baby names:

- Micheline
- Valvolina
- Chevelle
- Mercedes
- Pennzoilita
- Daytona
- Charlotte

So, after JJ read the list, one of two things must've happened: either he realized that the names weren't exactly what he was looking for, or else he thought they were great but Chandra nixed them. Either way, at that point they must have reached a bit of an impasse when it became clear that Chad, despite his uncanny prowess at the track, was not going to help them in this field. Hence, they still need a few days to think about it! Sounds logical, right?

You know, in all seriousness, after writing that list, I actually think it would be kind of cool if they named her Charlotte. I think it's a good, normal-sounding name by itself, and it also happens to be a track that Jimmie's really good at, so it would have extra significance without scarring the kid for life (unlike Daytona, for example). But Pennzoilita's my real favorite, though, lol.

New Hampshire Photos

I only gave it a quick look, but I didn't see any Daytona pics, so I guess I'll get up-to-date on last week's pics, at least. And sorry for the lack of race recap this week...I was in the middle of writing it on Monday when I got on Twitter and found out that former Red Wing and general hockey legend Bob Probert had passed away, and I didn't really feel like writing anymore after that. It wasn't really shaping up to be anything exciting, anyway. It's a lot harder to think of flowery language when your guy gets wrecked with 12 laps to go...but it's a lot easier to think of colorful language, on the other hand. Anyway, the pics:

Ya know, I can't say that's my favorite pic of either one of them. JJ looks like he's entered into an oddball sunglasses contest versus Kyle Busch, and my dear Chadly has Graham Chapman-meets-hat-hair. Nothing personal, boys, you're still studs, but I just couldn't let this one go. The first pic, for instance, is much more indicative of your inherent charm. Even if you do look slightly tense there, heh. And, of course, Johnson still needs to lose the shades, but bonus points for the pose. Okay, catty fangirl will try to get some sleep know it's late when you bring up a thesaurus and then type the word "thesaurus" into it, ha.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Congrats, JJ!

Congratulations to Jimmie and Chandra, who welcomed their daughter into the world today! July 7th...I like that date. They say 7's a lucky number, and it's 7/7, so there you go! I hope all three of them have a wonderful first day at home!

Monday, June 28, 2010

2 in a Row!!!

Wait, where am I?  Which race is this?  Suddenly I'm getting a funny deja vu!  Oh, of course!  It's because the 48 team won last weekend AND this weekend!  So not only is it deja vu because they won last weekend, but it's deja vu for the last time the 48 won back-to-back races at Fontana and Las Vegas (which I was there for).  I could get used to this!  On the other hand, this one will always stick out in my mind because it's always a good day when my two favorite drivers pass Kurt Busch for 1st and 2nd place.

Got a little hairy at the end there between Kurt and Jimmie...Kurt tried to put the nudge & budge over on Jimmie after the restart, but in the end, Jimmie gave him the ol' Dale Earnhardt "pardon me...#$%hole" move and took the win.  As much as I rag on Kurt Busch, that was some damn nice racing from both of them.  Nobody got too into it and ruined the other's day; each pushed it just enough to give himself an advantage.  Loved it.

Hey, speaking of smooth moves, can I give a shout-out to Kyle Busch for looking like he meant to do a complete 360 degree turn and then getting back in the gas after Burton got into him?  My God that guy can drive!  Please somebody give him a decent car again next week...I love watching him get up on the wheel.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Michigan Photos

Actually, the title is misleading because I could only find one whole picture from Michigan, argh. It's a pretty cute one, though, at least...I love Pensive!Chad. Especially with the arm on the can tell each and every car has a special place in his heart. ;)

Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips 400 at Michigan International Speedway, June 13, 2010

(Can I just say that this race and the Hershey's Milk and Milkshakes one at Dover have the most awesome sponsors? I've never tried either one, but I love the names.)

Well, as a consolation prize, here are a few pics of my favorite Michigander/Swede (hehe, you were afraid I was going to say Brad Keselowski for a second before I added "Swede," am I right?), Nicklas Lidstrom, who is the captain of my favorite hockey team, the Detroit Red Wings. Nick had the honor of driving the pace car last weekend at the Michigan race, which is where the NASCAR connection comes in, in case you were wondering where I was going with this. I love it when my two favorite sports come together!

Nick with Ndamukong Suh of the Detroit Lions

Driving the pace car

Love that smile...SO glad he re-signed for one more year!! A total class act.


Jimmie, Chad, and the 48 team just won their first road course race ever today, namely the Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, CA. Congratulations, guys! You can officially cross "Road Course Win" off your To Do list. Something tells me they won't be completely content unless they go for the double and get one at Watkins Glen, too, knowing how their minds work, hehe.

Well, I feel bad for Marcos Ambrose...I guess he knew the rule, so at least he wasn't caught completely unawares and didn't have it come as a nasty surprise, but it's kind of a bummer. I mean, I don't feel TOO bad since it played right into Jimmie's hands, but still, I think he deserved better than sixth. Oh well, that's racin'!

I just realized I haven't given a standings update all year, so now would be a good time to start: with their win today, the 48 moves up 4 spots into the No. 2 position in points. Harvick better be on the lookout! :Jaws music plays: We are getting closer and closer to Jimmeh Season with every race, after all.

Oh - Michigan pics are coming right up in a few minutes! Better late than never, eh?

Monday, June 14, 2010

6th at Michigan

Well, I'd say that was quite an improvement over last year's finish at Michigan! Not quite as exciting, but I much prefer the calm version, thank you very much. Didn't get to see the whole race...I kinda slept in after a, um, late night on Saturday, so I missed a lot. Therefore, I'm going to shut up and spare you all the usual hot air and just get the pics done NOW instead of putting it off, which I think will make everybody (if anybody still reads this) happy.

...Or not, since my favorite picture places haven't updated yet. Ok, pics are coming in the next couple of days, then; I promise.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Random B.S.

"...But wait," you say, "Shouldn't that be the title of every post here?" And the answer is yes. But that would be confusing. So.

  • JJ wins the Prelude to the Dream at Eldora Speedway, and all without Chad there to tie his shoes for him. Good job, dude!
  • JJ is on baby watch and has Aric Almirola lined up as an alternate driver for the next 5 races in case he needs to leave for the delivery. Chad says there's no way he'll let Jimmie miss the delivery: "You will be there. I don't care what it costs, what it takes, if we don't get points." (ESPN) Aww, see? Crew chiefs really do have feelings!
  • This has almost nothing to do with NASCAR, but congratulations to the Chicago Blackhawks for winning the 2010 Stanley Cup Finals! I have no idea if Chad is a hockey fan, but he is from Illinois, after all, so I thought I'd congratulate him on his home team winning, just in case. And he'd better appreciate it because this is the last time this Red Wings fan will ever say something nice about the Hawks. While we're at it, congrats to Jonathan Toews for getting the Conn Smythe trophy (that's the MVP award for you non-hockey peeps) because he's one of my favorite non-Wings players.

Pocono & Charlotte Photos

(Note: some of these are from practice or qualifying or whatever a day or two before the race, but I can't be bothered with details.)

Gillette Fusion ProGlide 500 at Pocono Raceway, June 6, 2010

Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, May 30, 2010

Dover Photos

Apparently I have work ethic today, so here are some pics from a few weeks ago at Dover, and then the two most recent races (Charlotte & Pocono) will follow in the next post.

Autism Speaks 400 at Dover International Speedway, May 16, 2010

Monday, June 7, 2010

Was that really Pocono?

Hey, it's me! I'm still alive! Well, I couldn't help but put in my two cents about all the drama at...Pocono. Hmm, "drama" and "Pocono" in the same sentence? Hey, works for me. I've always thought it was one of the more scenic tracks there is and wouldn't mind going there if the races were a little more exciting. Well, yesterday's race would've been a perfect one to be at!

First things first, the 48 finished 5th, which is a nice comeback from the last couple of weeks. I think it's funny how Jimmie has a bad couple of races, and everybody starts saying, "Oh, it's not Hendrick's year this year, looks like JGR's rising to the top," etc. Well, it's true that JGR is having a good year so far, and I like those guys for the most part, so that's a good thing. However, those who say HMS is losing its dominance aren't taking the past 4 years into consideration. As a Tony Stewart fan, I know exactly who was at the top of the standings this time of year last year: Tony. Not Jimmie. Funny how things change by the end of the year, eh? All I'm going to say is that we still have a long way to go.

Ah yes, now on to the Grudge Match 500. This involves two drivers I actually like (well, at least until now), so for once, no previously existing bias here. I'll make it short: I think it was Harvick's fault. Yes, they were going for the same piece of track, but since Logano was half a car length out in front of Harvick and could only see what was happening by his limited view from the mirrors, I feel that it was up to Harvick, who had a much clearer line of vision right out the windshield, to watch where he was going. Thanks, Harvick. You ruined Joey's top 5 finish and took a spot away from Tony, who had worked so darn hard to get to 2nd. Usually I wouldn't care about one measly spot, but that was an incredibly hard-fought 2nd place, and to give Kyle a chance to just breeze by Tony on the restart when he wasn't able to pass him before under green really sucked, at least for me.

I liked Joey's reaction at the end of the race. I thought it was really, really lame of Kevin's crew to surround him like that and not let Joey talk to Kevin...come on, it's not like Joey was going to start throwing punches or something. As for the post-race interview, well, I liked his sarcasm last year when he got into it with Robby Gordon after the Nationwide race at...Watkins Glen, I think? And I liked it again yesterday. Maybe it wasn't totally above-board to bring Delana into it, but it's not like he insulted her, so I don't think it was that big a deal. I think he did the right thing, all in all, and maybe Harvick will get a clue in the future. I like Harvick's aggressive driving style, but there's a difference between aggressive and reckless. If you're going to drive like that, you have to drive smart at the same time. Lord knows everybody's veered across the line from "up on the wheel" to "I-don't-give-a-darn-right-now" at some point, but it seems like Harvick has a hard time accepting blame and learning from his mistakes.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

JJ vs. Kyle

It looks like maybe I'm finally going to get to see my Jimmie vs. Kyle match-up here pretty soon. I was kind of bummed because I thought it was finally going to come today, but even though watching them go back and forth for the lead was fun, I wanted to see them race for the WIN, dang it!

I'll just hold my pants on, though, because it looks like they're finally turning on the heat at the same time. In past years, it seems like if one is doing well, the other isn't. Kyle's been Mr. February-to-May for the past couple of years, and Jimmie, of course, always gets 'er wound up during the Chase. This year, though, Kyle seems like now he's just getting good and warmed up, and Jimmie's been strong at the beginning of the year, too, except for the last few races, so I hope they're finally going to get to go toe-to-toe and race up front against each other for a while. It'll also be interesting to see the two crew chiefs try to out-think each've got Mr. 4-Time versus the Upstart Smarty-Pants from Nationwide, so here's hoping Dave Rogers is up to the challenge (because I KNOW Chad is ready!).

Anyway, I hope both of them can stay hot and get a bit of a rivalry going because that was fun today! ...Until Jimmie blew it, anyway. But that's the great thing about NASCAR - there's always next week! I can't wait for's been a while since we've seen a good Coke 600, after last year's race got rained out and all. Bring it on!

JJ Can't Drive 55

Well, THAT was frustrating. I flip over to NBC to see how the Sharks and Blackhawks are coming along, relatively confident that when I flip back to Fox, Jimmie will still be leading the race as he had been for the last I don't know how many laps. Surprise! I come back to Jimbo punching it out of his pit stall to beat Kyle to the line and taking a speeding penalty that ends up costing him the race. Maybe it's my fault for changing the channel. In that case, I apologize profusely.

On the other hand, the 48 car staged a major comeback today, and Jimmie said after the race that what works at Dover usually works at Charlotte (per, so things are looking good for next week's race. I'll be expecting the usual domination at Charlotte, and I know the 48 team will come out stronger than ever after today's race because, well, that's how they roll. I hate that saying, but it's kind of literal in this case. Uh-oh, maybe I should take out that part about the "usual domination"...I don't want to jinx them! Okay, the 48 team is going to completely suck next weekend, and they're going to come in last. There, now I've jinxed them so they'll do the opposite. God, I was never this superstitious before I started watching hockey...

Well, the school year is winding down (holy crap, I can't believe it's May, but thank God it is!), so I'll have more time to work on the backlog of Chad pics from previous races. Help. My Flickr idea didn't pan out because you can't save pics from there unless it's a premium account, so maybe I'll put them into Photobucket instead. I don't know if I'll make it all the way back to the beginning of the year, but at least I can start with this weekend's photos.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Contract Extension Is a Go

I'm so late to the party here, so as you probably already know, Chad just signed a contract extension with Hendrick Motorsports, and will be there through 2015.

Here's what he had to say about his future after that date:
"Five years from now, a lot of things can change in that time frame, you just don't know what's going to happen. … Crew chief years are like dog years, so I'm thinking I'm about 97 years old, so I don't think I can go much more after that." (Scene Daily)
 Well, that's kind of a bummer, but logical...the mental stress has got to be agonizing.  I mean, I freak out at my TV just watching the races, and I don't have to figure out whether to take take 2 or 4 tires, or what to do if the setup isn't right, or how to fix the dang thing if somebody mangles it up.  Hmm, I wonder if I could make it to Homestead in 2015?  It'd be great to be there and do something to show our appreciation for everything he's done.  Uh, but let's not talk about that right now; it's too much of a bummer...ask me again in 2015.

Luck and Preparation

Not that Chad will ever see this, but just in case, I'd like to say, duuuude, you are so right!  You know how he's always saying you make your own luck?  I just had that illustrated to me in blindingly bright colors over the last three Red Wings games.  Yes, I'm talking about hockey again.  Sorry, it's taken over my brain.  So they're playing a best-of-seven game series against the San Jose Sharks, and there has been some epically bad officiating, and some epically bad luck for the Wings (Lidstrom's stick breaks, which leads to a Sharks breakaway, which leads to the game-winning goal for them...that kind of stuff).  They've lost all 3 games they've played so far.  Now, this hasn't been their best year ever, but I KNOW they can play better than they have been.  I do blame the reffing in part, but ya know what?  They needed to be prepared for that kind of stuff.  They needed to give themselves enough insurance so if they got a lame ref, or if their goalie had a bad night, or if Eaves got hurt and they had to put that #$% Williams in, it wouldn't cause them to fall to pieces.

THAT is why Jimmie and Chad are the masters of the universe.  Things go to hell in a handbasket at Texas?  No problem.  They've already won 3 Chase races and finished in the top 5 or 10 (probably the top 5...too lazy to look up the stats) in the others.  That allows them to concentrate on getting the car back out their as quickly and efficiently as possible and logging as many laps as possible, and then they can go on to the next race and kick some butt.  Which, of course, they did.

And I'm not trying to get down on the Red Wings here because I know playing to the level where you can have a little padding and leeway for errors is easier said than done.  For instance, you think you're doing pretty good going into the 3rd period with a 3-1 lead, and then all of a sudden the other team is tied up and you blow it in overtime.  You're never that far from trouble, whether it's an odd-man rush in hockey or The Big One at Talladega, and that just goes to show you just how very special the 48 team is.  They are prepared for everything, and when disaster strikes, they are composed enough to be able to take it in stride and go on to the next race knowing that everything is in place and ready for success.  That, ladies and gentlemen, is why the 48 team is lucky: because they put themselves in a position to be so.  And that is a really rare thing that I don't think enough race fans appreciate (including myself sometimes), even though Chad says it over and over.

Monday, April 26, 2010

LOL @ Jeff Gordon

Jeez, Jeff, have you been to the doctor lately? I'm no expert, but it sounds like you're going through menopause, man. I mean, over and above your kerfuffle with Jimmie, the fact that Tony Stewart had to calm YOU down last weekend tells me something just ain't right. What's next, Harvick and Edwards throw a popcorn party together?

But back to the Jimmie issue...I just don't understand why you've waited until now to be offended by a little beating and banging. I mean, you raced with Earnhardt for the first eight years of your career, right? I was assuming you'd probably be used to racing hard by now, but I guess I was wrong. What can I tell you, if it's still bothering you after all this time, maybe you should try switching to the kinder and gentler IndyCar Series. Either that, or like I said, give the doctor a call. He'll probably ask you a few questions, like, "Are you experiencing hot flashes?" I wouldn't know the answer to that one - you'll just have to be honest with yourself - but when he asks you if you're having mood swings, you can definitely answer "yes."

A Concerned 48 Fan

Read what Jeffie's whining and moaning about: "Gordon's frustration with Johnson continues at 'Dega" (

Sunday, April 25, 2010


Uh, hi! It's been a while! Well, despite Jimmie wrecking and ending up 31st, I actually felt comforted by today's race after watching the Red Wings blow it 5-2 in what could have been a series-winning game. Now they're going to Game 7...hold me. And this is only the first round - eep! As bipolar-disorder-inducing as the Chase is, I have to say, it's got nothing on the multiple-heart-attacks-waiting-to-happen that are the NHL playoffs. I mean, I'm not saying that the Chase is boring; it was wide open until halfway through the thing when Jimmie won at Charlotte, and it was blasted back open after Texas, so I think it's doing its job. I'm just sayin', hockey is trying to kill me, hehe, which is part of the reason I haven't been on here so much. The other, more boring reason is I'm taking classes and working at a real job, so that kinda eats up my free time, too...not that other bloggers don't have those obligations. I mean, I will readily admit that I'm lazier than them, but I just thought you should know that I didn't suddenly stop watching NASCAR or lose my mind and join the barmy band of Johnson and/or Knaus haters.

Speaking of which, hey, for once we weren't the ones caught bending the rules! Congrats to MWR for ensuring yourselves a top nomination for the Smokey Yunick Award this November at the 4th annual Stewie Awards.

In other, Chad-related news (haaaallelujah!), Hendrick Motorsports is getting close to announcing a contract extension with crew chiefs Chad Knaus and Alan Gustafson. More on that at Most of the article talks about how Rick Hendrick doesn't know what's going to happen with Kasey Kahne in 2011, so scroll down toward the bottom for the actual Chad talk.

Sunday, March 21, 2010


Smell that? That is the scent of victory lap tire dust in the afternoon, y'all!!! Chad went for 4 tires, and Jimmie mashed on the gas during the final restart to take the 48 team's first win at Bristol Motor Speedway! Congratulations, guys!

Have I said how much I love Bristol recently? I love Bristol. Not only because it's an awesome race, and not only because Jimmie just got his first win there, but also because Tony Stewart came in 2nd after holding off Kurt Busch and raining on his parade. YESSS!!! Today is officially an awesome day, everybody.

Friday, March 19, 2010

48 starting 4th at the Valley

It's nice when you get a chance to use "the Valley" to mean something other than San Fernando...because usually I'm not talking about anything pleasant when I mention that Valley. However, at Thunder Valley, which is totally awesome, Johnson and the Knaus Sausage House (ladies and gentlemen, we now have our very own appropriately inappropriate nickname for the 48 team) qualified 4th today for the Food City 500, which is coming up on Sunday. ...I should really change this blog to 14 years and older, shouldn't I? *evil grin* Sometimes I wonder how clean is clean, but I'm pretty sure that crosses the line, haha.

I didn't find any Chad quotes from today (but I didn't look that hard...I really am the worst blogger ever...well, scratch that - just the laziest!), but I did find this quote from Jimmie and had to share, because who doesn't love a Ward Burton story?
"One funny one was when Ward (Burton) and I got into it one year at Loudon. We were coming from the back and coming up through there and we got together going into Turn 1 and I got into him and turned him around and he hit the fence. He got back on track and spent like four or five laps trying to crash me. So then I was pretty nervous about what went on and started tracking him down. I called his office but that didn't work and somehow I got his home phone number. And I don't know what made him more mad actually, whether it was me calling him on the phone or calling him at home. I think he was cussing at me because it was a little tough to understand him (laughter) but he went on for 30 seconds in just four-letter words and he finally calmed down and we talked it out from there. That's just a part of it." (

The next big news story: "Golf ball car fails post-race inspection"

So I was watching MythBusters reruns last night, and doods, they had the most awesomest thing ever on there! It was...drum roll please...a golf ball car! You know how golf balls have little dimples on them? Well, apparently I'm a clueless idiot (yay for redundancy) because I thought that they were just, I dunno, pretty, pretty decorations or something, like maybe it was a promotional thing - "Space Age Golf Balls, everybody! Craggy like the surface of the moon!" I mean, they have pink golf balls, right? Other than making it easier to remember which ball is yours, that really brings nothing to your game. The dimples, however, do! Here's the science-nerd explanation from Wikipedia:
Firstly, the dimples on the surface of a golf ball cause the boundary layer on the upstream side of the ball to transition from laminar to turbulent. The turbulent boundary layer is able to remain attached to the surface of the ball much longer than a laminar boundary and so creates a narrower, low pressure, wake and hence less pressure drag. The reduction in pressure drag causes the ball to travel further.
So, in a nutshell, the dimples create less drag! This is where MythBusters comes in. They thought maybe if they put similar dimples on the surface of a car, the car would create less drag and get better gas mileage. They were skeptical about it, but it turns out the theory was right. The car, when covered with modeler's clay but not yet dimpled, got 26 mpg. The car, with dimples (and weighing the same as before...they put the scooped-out clay in a box in the back seat), got 29 mph. Nice!

Pic of the golf ball car (too lazy to upload it)

Now, 3 miles a gallon more in a NASCAR race will do you quite a lot of good, right? Oh, Chad, yoohoo! I think I have an idea here that's calling your name! Of course, if a car went through pre-race inspection looking like that, the officials would laugh if the team's face, but come on, this is Chad "Skinny Windows" Knaus we're talking about here! There's GOTTA be a way to make the car appear flat during inspection, but then suck in to make dimples in certain spots during the race, right? I mean, obviously you'd have to use some sort of material other than metal, since duh, it's not that bendy, and even if you could make it dent in a little, it would bulge back out when you tried to straighten it out. I mean, obviously this needs a lot more thought and ironing out of "minor" details, but man, I'd love to see Chad or any similarly devious-minded crew chief take a swing at this (if, you know, it didn't result in major penalties and/or suspension, which it probably would).

(P.S. Ya know, I couldn't come up with anybody who could play Jimmie or Chad in a movie...Jimmie I probably just didn't try hard enough, but Chad? Nobody looks like Chad! Chad is just...Chad, man. I know, I know, I'm the one who came up with the dumb idea, so I should at least have the courtesy to answer my own dang question, but...too bad!)

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Cast a Team 48 movie!

HOLD EVERYTHING!!! Ladies and gentlemen, I have an idea!! I just wrote a big whine & complain fest about how I totally had writer's block and had absolutely nothing to say, but I guess that got it out of my system because now I actually thought of something! I mean, granted, it's not exactly a Cheesin' Chadwick quality idea, but it's better than nothing!

So, if you were to cast a biopic about the 48 team, who would you pick to play Jimmie, Chad, Mr. H, Ron Malec, etc.? Um, I don't actually have any ideas myself, which is lame, I know, but I'm going to think about it and get back to you. Meanwhile, if you guys have any great ideas, feel free to post them in the comments! *Wonders how many posts will go by before someone mentions Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal for Chad and Jimmie*

(I do, however, have an awesome idea for a '90s Red Wings movie, which is what spurred this whole thing. Wanna hear? Too bad, I'm gonna tell you anyway, lol. Okay, so Steve Yzerman will be played by Johnny Depp, which is a bit of a stretch, but check out Stevie with a mustache - I swear the resemblance is there! Brendan Shanahan will be played by Patrick Dempsey, which would be fookin' PERFECT, am I right? Then Jeff Bridges is Darren McCarty - actually, I'm pretty sure Darren really IS Jeff Bridges in disguise - and Paul Bettany is Nicklas Lidstrom. Too bad country singer Gary Allan doesn't act...I swear he and Nick look alike. That's what I've got so far, anyway...I'm still trying to think of somebody for Osgood and Fedorov. The only problem is most of these actors are older than the players themselves are now, so it'd be kind of hard for it to be set in the '90s, but eh, who needs logic?)

Tuesday, March 9, 2010 Video

Chad tries out a "hot" new pair of shades and gets to work at Atlanta:

All Access: Jimmie Johnson

(They're so you, Chad. lol)

Sunday, March 7, 2010

12th at Atlanta

Welp, no three-in-a-row for Jimmie, but the 48 car did finish 12th and moved up to 4th in points. I had to leave before things got exciting, so I didn't see the team's pit problems or the run-in with Newman. Or the Edwards-Keselowski incident, either! I GOTTA go back and watch that! I never thought I'd say this, but HECK YEAH EDWARDS!! Somebody needed to teach that kid (haha, "kid," he's almost a year older than me) a lesson. I don't care if the original contact between them was an accident; Brad's been stockpiling bad karma for I don't know how long, and it was time for someone to cash it in for him. Thanks for doing the honors, Carl.

I have to say, I don't like seeing anybody's car going airborne, though, and I'm glad Brad's okay. On the other hand, they now have their tit-for-tat: Brad flipped Carl at Dega, now Carl flips Brad. As much as I really am concerned about safety, a part of me can't help but think there was a measure of just deserts being doled out here.

Speaking of safety, Brad himself had a Public Service Announcement to make about clean racing afterward: "To come back and just intentionally wreck someone, that's not cool. He could have killed someone in the grandstands." (AP) Gee, Brad, ya think? Maybe you should have thought of that at Dega before you flipped Carl into the stands, which actually did hurt people! Oh wait, but that was totally accidental, I forgot. Just like all the other times you've "accidentally" wrecked people in the Nationwide Series. I'm so glad to hear that the safety of the drivers and fans is what's really at the forefront of your mind, and all that wreckin' stuff was purely coincidental.

Sorry this doesn't really have anything to do with Chad and the 48 guys...what can I say, they didn't spend last year wrecking half the Nationwide field, so they're just not as exciting to talk about at the moment. (While we're off the subject, I would also like to say congrats to the Red Wings for beating the Blackhawks 5-4! Honestly, I was not expecting that, and it was awesome!)

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Fontana and Las Vegas Photos (and the crowd goes wild!)

All righty, I'm FINALLY starting to pick up the slack here! I've come up with yet another system of managing all the Chad piccy goodness - from now on I'm going to post each week's photos to its own set on my new Flickr account, so each week I'll be giving you a link to the last race's set of pics, and you can all have at it!

Here is the link to the Fontana set:

And here is the Las Vegas set:

Have fun! Oh, and if you're a total Ron Malec fangirl like I am, be sure not to miss either of photos - we've got Chad AND Ron pics, people!

Daytona will be coming along soon.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Car Falls on Jimmie Johnson (almost)

Hilarious "outtake" from an interview with Jimmie and Chad...don't worry, no 48 team members were harmed in the making of this film.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

48 wins at Vegas for 2nd in a row!!

JJ passes Jeffie on lap 251 to take a second win in a row at Las Vegas Motor Speedway - and I WAS THERE, WOOHOO!!!

The bummer is that I didn't get to use the Neon Garage pass because it took so long to get into the place that the pace car pulled off and the green flag waved just as we got to our seat, so no awesome Chad pics. :(  I should have left earlier, but when it takes an hour and a half to get there, I would have had to leave a BOATLOAD earlier, so I don't really know if I could've shaved that much time off it. ARGH!

Anyway, the race was fun, I got to listen to the 48 radio, which was pretty funny ("Gogogogo, HAUL ASS, HAUL ASS!"), saw them win, and I had a good time, all in all!

Pics WILL follow here shortly, I swear!!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Vegas Report

First up, here's the news-y type stuff: the 48 qualified 20th for the Shelby American 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

And now for the fun stuff! I've been having a great time in Vegas, of course. I'm staying at South Point (Brendan Gaughan's dad's hotel/casino), and wow is it good for people watching! I saw Steven Wallace while standing in the registration line, Mike Helton getting his shoes shined, Brendan Gaughan sitting in the lounge at the table next to us, and then Steven, Brendan, and Rusty Wallace were signing autographs last night! I haven't seen anybody from the 48 team, but hey, I haven't even been to a race yet! And WOW there are a lot of people here for the race! There are people with driver jackets (including myself) all over the place! It's like one big NASCAR party.

I got to see the hauler parade Thursday night - that was fun! They were staging it outside South Point, so we got to see the very beginning. I never knew there were so many different varieties of truck horns, hehe...they could've made an orchestra! JR Motorsports' hauler was my favorite - all kinds of chrome!

I was going to go to the World of Outlaws race last night, but it was a little chilly (and we'd already been there quite a while for qualifying), and my dad wasn't feeling so great, so we skipped that, darn it. I'm just glad to know they still come somewhere closer to me than Tulare...I was so bummed when they stopped coming to Perris - I thought I'd never get the chance to see them again! I really like the track; it's nice that it's smaller than ACS because you don't have to walk as far to your seat, and the seats are REAL SEATS instead of bleachers!! And, miracle of miracles, the cars on the backstretch look distinctly like cars instead of tiny little dots!

Anyway, I hope the Nationwide race doesn't get rained's looking kinda dark outside right now. At least there's plenty to do if it does!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Chad on Sirius XM TONIGHT!!

Chad's going to be on Sirius XM channel 128 at 8:30 pm (I assume that's ET), which means like 10 minutes from now - sorry for the short notice! He's also going to be on NASCAR Now, which was already on at 5 pm ET, but it re-airs at 1:30 am tonight.

Score another win at Fontana!

The #48 was able to hold on to the lead when Kevin Harvick made a slight error and won the Auto Club 500 at Auto Club Speedway. That makes 2 consecutive wins at Fontana, 5 total wins at Fontana, and 48 wins overall. I was hoping maybe they'd get their 48th at Homestead, but I'll take Jimmie's and my home track - that works, too! Congrats, guys! 4 straight championships - what a way to get to 48!

Sorry no posts for so long - between being super busy in general and all the hockey that's been on (hehe), I haven't been on the Internet that much period! Heck, I haven't even posted pics from Daytona yet, oops! Worry not, I'll have pics from both Daytona and Fontana either tomorrow or Wednesday, and then Thursday I'm off to Las Vegas, WOOHOO!!  I think I said this last time I went to a race and didn't do it, but I'll seriously try to sign up for the "blog from your phone" thing this time so I can give y'all live updates from the track. I do have pit passes this time, so mayyybe I'll get some great Chad pics (and mayyyyyyyyyyybe I'll get to meet him, oh my God!).

Thursday, February 11, 2010

48 WINS 1st Duel!!!

YEAH, BUDDY!!! JJ and the 48 guys took home 1st place in Gatorade Duel #1 after beating Kevin Harvick to the line by a hair! Way to start the season right! Not to mention nice comeback after practice! I am in a MUCH better mood now!

And a little quotage from Chad:
When Johnson had to start at the tail end of the grid after getting caught up in Wednesday's practice crash, it would have been easy for him to cruise around and play it conservatively. Instead, the four-time defending series champion simply drove the wheels off the No. 48 Chevy in the final few laps, impressing crew chief Chad Knaus enough to where he couldn't wait to see a replay.

"Anybody seen the car coming across? Was it sideways? I think it was awesome," Knaus said. "Jimmie did a fantastic job. Like I said, we put him out there at a disadvantage to try to win the race because it was really a situation where we didn't have a whole lot to lose. If we were going to sit around and run 15th or 12th, start 24th in the 500, hell, that's not any fun. We need to go for the win.

"That was our mindset going into it. We were going to go for the win. Whether that was him putting himself in a position to go for it or something we had to do to make it happen. I think he did a fantastic job of blocking those guys. He had two teammates behind him and a very aggressive Kyle Busch behind him, and he was able to hold them off. I think that speaks volumes about how good the car is and what a good restrictor-plate racer Jimmie is, and what a good spotter we have, for that matter."

And the fact that cars from the Hendrick stable are amazingly consistent, and teammates like Johnson and Knaus can take their data and transfer it quickly and efficiently from one to another.

"We do a really good job of documenting what the differences are in the race cars so we know how to adjust them," Knaus said. "We made some significant changes to our cars from the Shootout to the point we raced today. We were able to take exactly what we had in the car yesterday before we crashed and convert that over through some relatively simple math and put it in this racecar.

"As long as you have good documentation, know you have a good car, you can make it happen."
(full story at

48 starting 4th in 1st Duel

Well, wrong again, as usual. The first of the Gatorade Duels starts at 2 pm ET.

Jimmie will be starting in a backup car due to a multi-car wreck in practice yesterday that was started by Mike Bliss. Jimmie rear-ended Denny Hamlin, and Joey Logano was also involved in the incident. Wonderful. Just what I wanted to hear. I didn't get to watch the practices yet, so this is the first I've heard about it. There's a bit of a silver lining, though:
Johnson was unsure if the backup was the car he drove in Saturday night's Budweiser Shootout.

"The Shootout car was way, way loose, so if it is, we need to make sure we tighten it up," he said. "We had kind of a different setup today that we kind of gravitated to, and I was pretty happy with it."
At least he's happier with the car now! Here's more of the story from Chad, who says the backup car they're going to is indeed the Bud Shootout car:
But neither Johnson nor his crew chief, Chad Knaus, professed to be worried. The team will race in the 500 with Johnson's Shootout car, which the team will work on to improve its handling.

"This car raced here (Daytona) in July 2009, and we finished second with it," said Knaus of the No. 48 backup car. "And we ran in the Bud Shootout here just last weekend, last Saturday night. So we're just going to go through it and get it fixed up. We are fortunate we were able to keep this car. It's a good race car. We feel confident about it. We're going to send the other car back home (Charlotte) and get it fixed and have it back here tomorrow for a back-up for the 500."
(from Fox News)
I have to say, I'm totally not in the mood for silver linings, though. I mean, I'm glad things are working out okay despite the crash, but jeez, this has been the worst week in sports. Well, mainly just in hockey, and now a little in NASCAR, because doods, was the Superbowl awesome or what?! But since I'm being a stick in the mud here, the Red Wings lost yet again, which wasn't a big surprise, but the one that really hurt was seeing the NJ Devils lose to the Flyers TWICE. Bum. Out. Well, anyway, technically the new week starts on Sunday, so hopefully the Big Daddy 500 will put me in a better mood!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

New Pics, New Hat!

Hey, hey, hey, it's the first pic of the new season!

"DUCT TAPE: The Choice of Champions! The most important tool in any crew chief's toolbox - great for taping the grille or shutting up an obnoxious driver! Available in gray, gray, and gray."

Well, I've been in total suspense all off season wondering if there would be a big New Hat Roll-out once the season began, and lo and behold, I wasn't disappointed! I like the blue stripe - racy! - and I'm glad he kept it white because it makes it easier to pick him out of a crowd on race day...only the Big Cheese gets a white hat, apparently. Even JJ respects the authori-tay of the white hat, hehe. Anyway, I know what I'm getting at Las Vegas, if they have them! (Hey, and they also have #48 PIT SHIRTS now, which I have been clamoring for for I don't know how long!) Holy crap, it's like I'm starting a collection of CK hats...scary, lol. Oh well, sounds more fun to me than stamp collecting, anyway. No offense to stamp collectors, but...yeah, that just doesn't appeal to me, sorry.

There are an absolute boatload of new Chad (and Jimmie, obviously) pics on the Team Lowe's Racing Facebook page, so I'll just give you a link to their photo album and let y'all go to town by yourselves:

6th in 500 "Qualifying," 13th in Shootout

The 48 car was 6th fastest in Pole Day qualifying for the Daytona 500, which is a pretty nice showing. He was the 3rd fastest Hendrick car (not counting Newman's SHR car) behind 1st and 2nd place finishers Mark Martin and Dale Earnhardt Jr.(WAHOO!), respectively. That means JJ will be starting 3rd in the second of the two Gatorade Duel races. At least that's how I understand it, which could very possibly be wrong because I got COMPLETELY screwed up about how the Bud Shootout worked, rawr!

And speaking of the Bud Shootout, the 48 finished 13th in the Bud Shootout tonight, while Kevin Harvick won for the second time in a row. I will have to watch the recording to see why JJ went from like 4th for most of the night back to 13th because I missed the middle of the race due to unforeseen circumstances. Double rawr! On the other hand, it's such a relief to see cars on the track, period. The withdrawals are over, everybody!!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

48 Starting 16th in Shootout

Good news! JJ did not wreck in either practice today, which does in fact qualify as news in my mind, given the number of cars that did wreck. He was 6th in the first practice and then bumped it up to 4th in the second practice - lookin' good!

Tonight he pulled the 16th position out of the Bud bottle, which isn't so spectacular, but of course that will only last until the green flag flies! God, I'm SO relieved to be talking about racing again! WOOHOO!!

Edit: Just wanted to add that the drivers who did crash and have to go to back up cars do NOT have to go to the rear of the field. However, since Kevin Harvick was sick and didn't practice, he will have to go to the back of the field, so Jimmie's starting place is actually 14th, I think (per

Second edit: Can I just say that those ads on TV for the Legends cars REALLY makes me want to try it? Those are seriously the raddest looking things on four wheels, and compared to, say, a Nationwide car, they're downright inexpensive! Would anybody like to sponsor me, by any chance? I have the fastest stock Honda Civic in San Diego! Probably shouldn't have admitted that, hehe, but oh well, too late! Any takers? Anybody?

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Hidy Ho

Sorry I haven't updated in a while...well, I guess a week's not really that bad; usually when I apologize for that kind of thing it's because I haven't been to that message board or website or whatever in a year or so, so actually, I'm not that sorry.

Here's another short little video from Chad (who is doing something productive with his spare time while Jimmie preens for the camera in the background), which gives you a sneak peak at the 2010 uniforms and paint schemes:
Did everybody watch the 2nd episode of Race to Daytona last night? Once again, good stuff! Bwahaha, I loved the part where the crew's in a meeting and Chad says, "Guess he jinxed himself on that one!" referring to Jimmie saying in the last episode that sometimes he goes out and crashes a new car. Hehe, I wonder what JJ's going to say to get back at Chad for that little comment? Gee, this show is even funner than I thought! *evil grin*

Um, this is off-topic, but I wanted to get on the predictions train (not as groovy as the soul train or as tasty as the gravy train, but then again I only like the gravy train when there's a biscuit involved...oh my God, somehow I'm talking about food again) and say who I think will win the Daytona 500. Now, this has no basis in statistics or any sort of advanced critical thinking, or even which driver I want to win; it's just purely based on a total hunch, and that driver is...Kyle Busch! :cue groans here: Now, OF COURSE I want Tony or Jimmie to win more, but for some reason I think this is Kyle's year, and he's going to git-r-done, folks! Watch, now he'll come in dead last (if that happens, you can blame it on me, Kyle), but that's my pick, and I'm sticking to it. I did halfway decently using my non-scientific but somewhat unbiased system during the Chase last year, so we'll see if I can keep rolling sevens here.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

JJ okay after crash at Rolex practice

"Four-time defending Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson was unhurt Thursday in an accident in the opening practice for this weekend's Rolex 24 at Daytona Grand-Am Rolex Series sports-car race at Daytona International Speedway.

Johnson was driving the No. 99 Chevrolet Riley fielded by defending Rolex Series Daytona Prototype champions Gainsco Racing down the infield straightaway that has a high-speed kink in the middle when a slower car moved over on him and forced him into the infield, where he hit a barrier backwards.

The car was badly damaged. Johnson visited the track's infield hospital and was released. He is hoping to get back behind the wheel for another practice on Friday."
(Full story here)
Jeez, Jimmie, don't DO this kind of stuff to me! :sigh: I'm glad he's okay. Chew him out for me, Chad (but not too badly).


Here are two short videos from Facebook with Chad's and Jimmie's reactions to the first 24/7 episode after the premiere (plus some revenge from the peanut gallery, LMAO - be sure to watch both):
LOL, makes you wonder if they took that photo in my last post before or after this incident...judging by the extra large sh*t-eating grins on their faces, I'm gonna guess afterward, hehe.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

New Photos! (from 24/7 premiere)

Say, "Cheeeeeese!!" There are plenty more at the Official Team Lowe's Racing Facebook page. (If you can't see the pics without logging into Facebook, let me know and I' something about it. I'm not sure what, but I'll think of something, lol.)

While we're on the subject of the show, I thought it was really great! It did a good job of mixing racing and their home lives without showing too much of either one, and the home life part wasn't stupid like Cribs where they walk around and go, "This is my throw rug...yep. Ooh, and over here we have my favorite lampshades!" and stuff like that. Totally didn't get to see any of Chad's cars, though, except for his drive-to-work SUV, though. Hey, but they did show Jimmie in his sweet Camaro...I want that car!

And even if you're not a fan of the 48 team or are burnt out on them or whatever, I still thought it was pretty interesting to see how a world-class Cup team prepares for the new season. For example, I knew the pit crew trained a lot, but I guess I didn't realize exactly what "a lot" meant...holy crap! I bet those guys could go run marathons, no sweat! And they're all like former college athletes and stuff...jeez, you know that show where Junior Seau was on an IndyCar pit crew for a day? That's like almost no joke with these guys, ya know? Man, I majorly admire their dedication...I knew it was a hard job, but man, that's a HARD JOB!!

Oh, and somebody totally needs to buy Chad some 48 pajamas, hehehe. Maybe they'd brighten his morning a little...I know I'd need a little extra brightness at 5 in the morning, even if I did have an awesome stainless coffee maker (lol, I wonder what brand that was) and the best job ever.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

2010 Official Photo (plus car pics)

Driver photos for the new season are trickling's the first one I found:

Official 2010 Photo with Chad, Jimmie, and car (Fox Sports)

The resolution isn't fantastic, but hey, at least Chad's in there! I wish more people would stick their crew chiefs in these official-type photos...the car's there, so to my way of thinking, the person who's in charge of building it ought to be in there, too. The driver gets most of the focus the rest of the year, so why not give them a little limelight? Heh, they're probably all like, "Noooo, don't make us do the evil photoshoot!" but come on, guys, it's only once a year!

The black-and-white Kobalt suits look nice (and so does the car)... I couldn't really tell you how they're different from last year's - they might be the same for all I know - but I like them, anyway! If you haven't seen the blue-and-white Lowe's suits for 2010, check out the bottom half of this post for some unofficial shots. They look good, too (and markedly different than last year's), although I'm less enthusiastic about the paint scheme for the car. Eh, it's not too, too bad...I can live with it for a year. ;) I definitely like the firesuits, though!

EDIT: Speaking of paint schemes, a couple pics of the actual 2010 Lowe's car (well, sort still has the wing on it) are up at I have to say, it looks a lot better in real life than it did in the drawings. Still a little too much white for my taste, but the clear coat adds a nice shine and depth to it that you couldn't see in the computer rendering. Can't wait to see it in action!

HBO Special - Be Sure to Tune In!

Team Lowe's Racing's Facebook status says that today's episode will be "highlighting TLR's Jimmie Johnson and Chad Knaus," so be sure to watch this one! Here's a little preview of what we're in for from
"Get ready for Chad Knaus like you've never seen him, folks.

We're talking 4 a.m. We're talking Chad in his pajamas."
Oh my God! I don't think I'm ready for this, lol! I wonder if he has those blue pajamas with the little 48's all over them like you can buy in the online store, hee hee! If he doesn't, somebody at the shop totally needs to buy him some for the sake of team spirit, methinks. And if he does, does he wear Superman underwear, too? I mean, isn't that totally the question that's at the forefront of your mind, too? I mean really, I don't know what all this brouhaha over Daytona is all about! Although considering that he was asked about underwear not once but twice on the "Ask Chad" section of Cheesin' Chadwick, I guess it really isn't so far from the truth! Speaking of the questions on there, I still want to know if he really has a tattoo or not or if he was just BS-ing. Depending on the placement of the tattoo in question, they may or may not be able to reveal that on national television, though... :evil grin:

Ahem, now that we've gone off track and straight into the gutter, let's focus a little. I wouldn't mind seeing his car was kinda cool to see Jr.'s on Cribs a while back, and you know Chad must have some pretty rad cars. I wonder if he's more of a muscle car kind of guy (his first car was a 1972 about rad! My first and only car is a 2003 Civic, snorrre) or more fins & chrome? I'm gonna guess muscle cars, but maybe he just likes 'em all! Maybe we'll find out today...


Read the rest of the article, where Chad talks about initially being hesitant to do the show, not because it might cause fangirls to ponder his theoretical tattoo a little too hard, but because he was anxious that it might reveal too many details of their setup (which proved to not be a problem after the show was finished), here:

Sunday, January 24, 2010

24/7 on HBO airs TUESDAY!

Don't forget, the first episode of 24/7 Jimmie Johnson: Race to Daytona airs this Tuesday, January 26, at 10 pm ET/PT. Thank God it's time to start thinking about Daytona!

In other news... Chad Knaus 4 Director? Terry Blount thinks it's a good idea in his article "John Darby's replacement? How about Chad Knaus?":
I have the perfect solution for finding a way to beat Jimmie Johnson.

I also have the perfect guy to replace John Darby as Sprint Cup Series director. Darby is taking a new position at NASCAR, which will be announced Thursday.

With four straight Cup titles between them, Chad Knaus and Jimmie Johnson are the most feared crew chief-driver combo in NASCAR.

And I can fix both things in one move: Name Chad Knaus as Darby's replacement.

Knaus is the mastermind crew chief who has guided Johnson to four consecutive Cup titles. He's also seen as the most innovative guy in the Cup garage.

That's the nice way to put it. Others might say he's the guy who has found the most ingenious ways to skirt the rules.

And NASCAR has a history of convincing the man who outsmarted it the most to switch sides and become its top policeman. I won't be harsh and say the biggest cheater, just the man who was best at pushing the envelope. Former Cup director Gary Nelson is one example.

So Knaus is the right man for the job. You couldn't fool him. For Knaus, it's been there, done that.
(Read the full article here)
I like it! I mean, I don't want anyone to find a way to beat JJ (except for Tony), so obviously I'd want him to wait until the next time the job opening comes around, by which time he'd have already accomplished the 48's world domination, but when it does, I think he'd be a great candidate for the job! He'd be like Sherlock Holmes...he already knows his competition like the back of his hand, and of course he knows exactly what he'd do in their place, so who better to make new rules? I mean, in a way he's already had a hand in the creation of several new lines in the rulebook, so it'd be an easy transition to make. Makes you wonder who the next upstart crew chief will be and who'd give him the most trouble, hehe...

Friday, January 22, 2010

Chad is one of NASCAR's 50 Most Beautiful People

I don't know how the heck I missed this, but Chad made Sporting News' list of NASCAR's 50 Most Beautiful People. Well, I have to say, I couldn't agree more! That's a super-cute picture they found for the article, too, aww.

Jeez, I've been reading that column for weeks now, wondering if he was going to be on there...turns out this came out back in December. See, this is why I majored in literature and not journalism, heh. I don't know where he ranked because I didn't even know that the hard copy was out yet, so I'll let you know when I find out (that is, if you don't already know because you're way more on the ball than I am).

CKF is goin' to Vegas!

Just bought my tickets for both races at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in February, plus a Neon Garage pass!  Woohoo, I'm so excited!!! Hopefully this means more opportunities for good pictures, so if you only visit this page one more time ever, definitely make it in early March. Hehe, pressure's on now - this time I have to get some good pics! I think I'll try to figure out how to blog from my phone, too, so if I have any Chad sightings, I can freak out on here immediately afterward, ha.

This is going to be so cool! I've only ever been to Fontana, so this will be a completely new experience for me! Plus my JJ 4-time-champ, really-flippin'-awesome jacket finally came in the mail earlier this week, and I can't wait for an excuse to flaunt it! Even if I don't get any shots of Chad, I'll have plenty of me wearing that jacket, whether you want to see them or not. ;) And last but not least, IT'S VEGAS, BABY! Seriously, could they have thought of cooler place to put a race track? I don't think so. There are cooler race tracks out there, yeah, but not in a cooler location than this.

And just to add some actual Chad to this post, here's a little something I thought y'all might like to see:

:Sigh: Ya know, Chad by himself always makes for good ogling, but Chad working on a car is just...I don't know, it's a little piece of harmony in this chaotic universe, ya know?

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Still no word on contract extension

From Fox Sports:
Chad Knaus not worried about contract with Hendrick Motorsports
Jimmie Johnson re-upped with Hendrick Motorsports last year. Crew chief Chad Knaus, an equally important part of the team that has won four straight Cup championships, hasn't extended his current contract beyond 2010.

Knaus, however, is convinced his deal will get done in due time.

"The contract deal will get done at some point," Knaus said. "I'm signed up through the end of 2010, and it's not on the forefront of my mind right now. What's important to me right now is just getting the cars built, getting to Daytona and getting the season back in place. Once the contract negotiations start, then we'll worry about that."

Johnson and Knaus are viewed as an inseparable combination, but Knaus said he could envision working with another driver -- just not any time soon.

"We really enjoy working with each other -- and why change it?" Knaus said. "Will I at some point work with another driver? Yeah -- I mean, more than likely. Will he work with another crew chief? Yeah, more than likely. Let's be honest. He's younger than I am. He's probably going to drive longer than I want to be a crew chief.

"Am I in a managerial role somewhere else doing something, or am I in a managerial role here working with these other teams? At some point, yeah, I'll be working with other people. Do I hope that he's always a part of my relationship with Hendrick Motorsports? One hundred percent. I'd love for that to be the case.

"There are no guarantees in life. You don't know what's going to happen years down the road. I feel like I've got four to six more years that I can do this, and then that's it. Then I've got to go and do something else. Now, hopefully, that go-and-do-something else is here."
Four to six more years? Aww... Well, I hope it's six instead of four. I mean, he definitely deserves more relaxation in his life at some point, but I can't say I won't be bummed when the time comes. At least he still sees himself at HMS and involved in racing in some capacity at that point, though. I can't believe it'll only be around five more years until we're all sitting around talking about "the good old days" with Chad and Jimmie, just like my dad talks about guys like Smokey Yunick and Junior Johnson. Wow, this is depressing! I'm going to stop before this devolves into crazy stuff like complaining about my gray hairs and how some of my friends are married with kids already and oh my god is that a wrinkle and stuff like that, lol!

Well, just one more thing: this is exactly why I'm enjoying this championship run so much. Some people roll their eyes when you try to say this is history in the making, and they think it's boring to see the 48 win over and over, but I know time will fly by and someday - sooner than I think - I'll be bragging to my kid(s) about how I got to see Jimmie and Chad win at Fontana, which is mine and Jimmie's home track, the year they won four championships in a row. I don't know about you, but I think that's a pretty cool thing to get to experience in your lifetime.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Knaus, Johnson not fazed by prospect of fatherhood

Hmm, my title kind of came out wrong, didn't it? Just for clarification, Chad is not going to be a father, and no, Jimmie is not the mother! Yeah, that's not any better... Okay, I can do this: Jimmie is going to be a father, and Chad, who is not facing parenthood in any shape or form, is not fazed by this. There. Okay, now let's pick ourselves up out of the gutter and get on with it.

Anyway, there's a new article up at entitled "It'll take more than a baby to knock Johnson off his stride." Here are a few bits and pieces concerning Chad, but the whole article's worth a read (there are quotes from Jimmie and Mark Martin, too). Click here to read the full article.
Finally, the great equalizer has arrived. Competitors and spectators who have withered under the dominance of Jimmie Johnson at last have that one thing they can cling to, an unpredictable element they hope will cloud his mind, distract his focus, and bring the four-time consecutive champion of NASCAR's premier division back to the pack.

They're betting on the baby.

At that prospect, Chad Knaus throws his head back and laughs. "I think they're screwed," the crew chief said.

Muahaha, that's our Chad! Mess with their heads, man! I love it when he comes out with the big smack talk, hehe. Next up is a big chunk; I was just going to put the quotes from Chad up, but I thought the part that said they were taking big swings at the car for Daytona was interesting:
The results speak for themselves. The No. 48 team carries with it a confidence level that's unmatched in the garage area, and shows on the race track.

"I think it helps us tremendously," Knaus said. "If we have a bad week, we know it's not going to reflect solely on us. We have the opportunity to bounce back. I think we've done a good job of, when we do have things go awry, we show the competition and [Rick] Hendrick and our sponsors that we can come back and be competitive next week. Look at, for instance, Texas [last fall], where two laps in we crashed and everybody wrote us off. Then we went to Phoenix and won the race. I think we do a really good job of bouncing back from adversity."

"I think it helps us tremendously," Knaus said. "If we have a bad week, we know it's not going to reflect solely on us. We have the opportunity to bounce back. I think we've done a good job of, when we do have things go awry, we show the competition and [Rick] Hendrick and our sponsors that we can come back and be competitive next week. Look at, for instance, Texas [last fall], where two laps in we crashed and everybody wrote us off. Then we went to Phoenix and won the race. I think we do a really good job of bouncing back from adversity."

Winning certainly helps. There are really two kinds of people working in the Cup garage -- those trying to win championships, and those trying to keep their jobs. There's a truism in racing that wrecks put a team behind, because they force organizations to spend more time fixing crashed cars, and less time making intact cars better. There are a lot of teams out there chasing the No. 48 team, doing the big-picture equivalent of fixing wrecked cars. Meanwhile, Knaus has his in one piece, and humming. He's already excited about the big setup swings he's taking at the Daytona 500, a luxury afforded by success.

"We're established to a degree," he said. "You're not in constant fear of losing your job, you don't have that hanging over your head. I can tell you, if you're not winning races and you're not winning championships, you're afraid for your job. That's the way this sport is. This is a very, very mean sport, let's just say it like that. Look at Steve Addington last year. Here the guy is, they won four races [with Kyle Busch] and he lost his job. Seriously, it's ridiculous. This is a very difficult sport. I think right now that we're in a very good position where we don't have to worry about that -- at least for a year."

As for my personal opinion, I'm with Chad: anybody else might let the sleepless nights get to them, but not Jimmie. Jimmie has focus like nobody else, and will rally - especially for the Chase - despite everything else that's going on in his life. And frankly, I don't think anybody but the media, who likes to stir things up, is really on the doubting side. His fellow competitors know what Jimmie can do and won't let their guard down for a second.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

It's Official: TWIN Canceled

There was one casualty from the network's 2009 lineup. The stalwart This Week in NASCAR on Monday nights has been canceled. Originally titled Inside Winston Cup, the show debuted in 1996 soon after the network was formed and enjoyed a 13-year run. But the news and analysis format, hosted by Steve Byrnes, Michael Waltrip and a variety of other guests, "just wasn't connecting with the fans anymore," Nickell said.
Well, okay, if you say so...I thought it was just fine. Well, they could have gotten someone besides Greg Biffle to come in when Chad couldn't make it (I thought Jimmy Spencer was okay there at the end), but other than that, I thought it was pretty darn good, clean fun. Okay, maybe not so clean ("you just gotta spank that monkey," anyone?), but fun, anyway. RIP, TWIN. See ya on NASCAR Performance, Chad...the one show left with people who are currently and actively involved in the sport (other than Race Hub, but they're usually guests).

Besides the Showtime program I was complaining about, SPEED itself is planning to add six to eight new NASCAR-related shows this year.
Among the new programming: A show that delves into the lifestyle of the fans who tailgate and camp at the track; a show that recaps the Cup race through scanner communication between the drivers and their crews; and Jimmy Spencer's own show, a first for the former driver and outspoken co-host of SPEED's at-track show NASCAR RaceDay.
I'm probably just being bitter at this point, but I'd much rather watch the TWIN guys goof around than watch a bunch of drunk people in lawn chairs roasting weenies...Well, okay, so I wouldn't mind getting a full report on Jelloville at Bristol, but this is going to be a weekly show, right? How many times can you walk up to a group of people outside their motorhome and ask if they're having a good time and how many races they go to a year and how many beers they've had this morning and who they think might win besides Jr.? I hope I'm being shortsighted and that they come up with more compelling material than I would, but I'm not feeling it. And I'd like to point out that they wouldn't NEED the radio chatter show if they hadn't canceled TWIN, although I'm glad it's going to be a whole show instead of just a segment.

TWIN Canceled?

So there's this new show called Inside NASCAR that's going to be airing on Showtime (!!) this year. We will have the pleasure of seeing Chris Myers host a panel including Kyle Petty, Randy Pemberton, and Brad Daugherty as they break down the week's events into nice, neat news items. Snoooorrrre. Who's great idea was this? There's a reason I stopped watching NASCAR Now, and that's on a FREE channel! Do you honestly think I'm going to pay EXTRA to watch a bunch of "experts" let out some hot air?

Usually, I wouldn't waste time talking or writing about this when I have the simple option of ignoring the show, but the creation of this show seems to have come at the expense of one of my favorite shows on SPEED: This Week in NASCAR. That show was different from all the rest, thanks to Michael Waltrip's shenanigans with Steve Byrnes. Now, obviously I'm a little biased, but I think they really hit on a good combination when they added Chad Knaus to the lineup. He and Waltrip were a great double act - Chad was the perfect Abbott to Mikey's Costello. Plus, it was a perfect mix of REAL insight into NASCAR (courtesy of Chad) and laugh-out-loud entertainment (thanks to both Mikey and Chad...I still love Chad's exasperated reaction when they're arguing about why the numbers on the roof face the infield). No stuffy talking heads sitting around a desk giving their "expert" opinion. Why mess with a good thing? I'm sure going to miss those two, if this whole thing is true.

Now, it's not completely official that TWIN has been canceled, but The Daly Planet, which covers NASCAR in the media, noticed that recent press information about Michael Waltrip included the following:
"In addition to his role as co-owner, Waltrip has been a popular television personality on SPEED since 1996. He's an analyst for its NASCAR Camping World Truck Series broadcasts and was an original member of one of the longest running shows on the cable network, 'This Week in NASCAR' 1996-2009." (Full Story at The Daly Planet)
This sure sounds like everything concerning TWIN is in the past tense, doesn't it? Then there's the end date of 2009. By itself, I wouldn't say that's enough evidence to definitely call it canceled - the 2009 date could've just meant that it hasn't been on in 2010 yet - but the rest of the sentence, with its epitaph-like finality, leads me to believe it's probably over. Well, this sucks, if it's true. If they think they can replace the good times of TWIN with another cookie-cutter panel show that you have to pay extra to see, think again!