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!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

JJ on TV Monday

Jimmie Johnson will be on TV Monday, Jan. 18 during the following shows:
  • The Today Show - Monday at 10:30 am ET on NBC
  • The Jimmy Fallon Show - Mon. Night (early Tues. morning, technically) at 12:35 am ET on NBC
I'm guessing no Chad (they'd so have to drag him away from the shop kicking and screaming this time of year...and really, who wants that?), but at least we'll get to hear what the team's been up to recently. Well, unless Kathie Lee wastes time making him do some kind of inane trick LIKE THEY ALWAYS DO whenever the NASCAR guys come on the show. Although I guess it's probably not limited to NASCAR drivers...that just happens to be the only time I watch the show. :P

Oh wait, I was thinking of Live with Regis and Kelly, sorry - I'm stuck in the '90s and keep forgetting Kathie Lee's not on there anymore. Eh, all those things are kind of the same, though; honestly, I don't watch that much TV, other than NASCAR...and hockey...and NCIS and The Mentalist, because those are rad shows. Speaking of hockey, I'd just like to say GO RED WINGS!! Kick some Blackhawk butt tomorrow! Uh, not to insult Chad's home team or anything...sorry dude, but I love me some Wings.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

SceneDaily: "Chad Knaus is no Mark McGwire"

From Scene Daily:
Mark McGwire’s less-than-stunning admission that he used steroids will surely reinvigorate the debate about the validity of his career statistics and records.
While there is no direct correlation to NASCAR when it comes to assigning an asterisk next to the accomplishments of drivers or teams, allegations of cheating will surely persist even with the new car and its reduction of gray areas.
Simply put: Enhancing one’s performance in NASCAR is best accomplished by mechanical means. After Jimmie Johnson won his third straight Cup title in 2008, and while sitting across from Chad Knaus in his office at Hendrick Motorsports, the topic of cheating was raised.
Knaus thumbed through a NASCAR tech bulletin and said he’d never done “X” when the sanctioning body decreed that “X” was illegal.
“I don’t have one regret whatsoever. Nothing,” Knaus said on that day late in 2008. “We’ve pushed the limits on a lot of things, and you have to. We’ve got I don’t know how many rules in the rulebook just because of things that we’ve done. Hell, I like that. That’s good. I think that that is what it’s supposed to be.”

The public perception of Knaus as a cheater may persist because of high-profile suspensions and fines he was hit with by NASCAR in 2006 and 2007. But he is not one to worry about that label outside of the garage area.
“No. Because ultimately the people that know what we do for a living know that I’ve really not done anything wrong,” he said.
Clearly, McGwire could never say the same.
Even though I agree with the author, I'm not sure why this needed to be stated again just because the McGwire thing came up (other than because we've hit rock bottom of the off-season and don't have anything else to write about, which I understand, hehe).

The only thing I really have to add to this is that to me, sports like baseball and football are supposed to be a celebration of the natural human physique - it's supposed to show off the height of our strength and abilities as given to us by nature. To take steroids and other performance enhancers is kind of missing the whole point; instead of being a celebration of who we are, it becomes a sort of arms race to see how far away we can get from being ourselves.

That is not to say that arms races don't have their place; what humans have been able to do over the centuries with our increasing level of technology is amazing. I mean, we've been to the moon, for Pete's sake - that's pretty rad! And that was 40 years ago! Therefore, it's only right to celebrate our technological advances, too, and that's where NASCAR comes in.

The whole point of technology over the span of history has been to one-up our previous achievements - from the wheel to the wagon to the train to the car to the rocket ship - so sports like NASCAR and Formula 1 are built on this foundation of wanting to take everything to the next level. Our imaginations (and the rules book, hehe) are our only limits, so it just seems natural to me to want to take something as far as it will absolutely go.

Of course there have to be rules governing races for practical reasons (unless they're destruction derbies), but the very nature of the sport makes us have to push the envelope out of necessity. If you're not testing the outer limits, you're not winning, and I think that's how it should be. Chad Knaus is the master of that. It's his job to make sure that car goes as fast as it can, and by God, he does. If that includes trying something in new territory that hasn't even been thought about before, and therefore isn't covered by the rule book, well, it'd be kind of dumb NOT to try it, don't you think? Anyway, the point is, Mark McGwire can only go so far before he just can't hit that ball any harder, but there's no end to what Chad Knaus can do with a car. Our bodies have finite limits, but our imaginations can take us anywhere with only self-imposed boundaries. That's how I see it, anyway, so the two are operating on completely different philosophies. (Did anybody actually read to the end of this? Well, I got it out of my system, anyway!)

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Blast from the Past: Richmond and Atlanta

Slim pickins today, I'm afraid; there was only one pic from Richmond that I could find, so I'm combining it up with Atlanta - how's that?

Chevy Rock and Roll 400 at Richmond International Speedway, 9/12/09

Pep Boys Auto 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway, 9/5/09

(I think these are all from practice)

(Hehe, I love this pic: "Jimmiiiiie...")

(Aww, there ya go, you got a smile out of him that time!)

While I'm here, I just wanted to say, as a patron of Auto Club Speedway, I'm incredibly happy to hear that the fall race is being shortened to 400 miles. I was already happy when they moved the race from summer to fall last year (because otherwise, I don't think I would've gone...way too hot), and now that it's going to be shorter, I think it'll be perfect. Also, since we're talking about race lengths, the Saturday night Phoenix race in spring is actually going to be extended to 500 miles, which will be cool - I love night races. (story at

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The Chad Went Down to Georgia

I know the Charlie Daniels Band already has one song about NASCAR ("The Intimidator"), but while I was bored a few days ago I figured there was room for another, so I reworked "The Devil Went Down to Georgia" to tell the tale not of Johnny and his fiddle, but of a NASCAR crew chief and an epic battle of good and evil. Well, I tried,'s the result (try not to laugh too hard, hehe):

The Devil went down to Georgia; he was looking for a soul to steal.
He was in a bind 'cause he was way behind, so he was willing to make a deal,
When he came across this young man crankin' on a stock car and runnin' it hot,
And the Devil jumped up on the team's war wagon and said, "Boy, let me tell you what,
"I bet you didn't know it, but I'm a race car driver too,
"And if you'd care to take a dare, I'll make a bet with you.
"Now you set up a pretty good race car, boy, but give the Devil his due.
"I'll bet a trophy of gold against your soul, 'cause I think I'm better than you."
The boy said, "Well, my name's Chad, and it might be a sin,
"But I'll take your bet, you're gonna regret, 'cause I'm the best that's ever been!"

Chad, call up your crew and work on tunin' that 48 car,
'Cause hell's broke loose in Georgia, and the Devil deals the cards,
And if you win you get this shiny trophy made of gold,
But if you lose, the Devil gets your soul.

The Devil climbed right in his car, and he said, "I'll start this show,"
And fire flew from his tailpipes as it roared to life on pit row.
Chad turned to Jimmie with a steely look and said, "Just do your best."
He didn't tell him that the stakes at Atlanta were higher than all the rest.

Now, the Devil was leading when Chad said, "Well, you're pretty good, ol' son,
"But sit back during this pit stop here, and let me show you how it's done!"

"Fire in the pit stalls, run, boys, run,
"Jimmie's coming in in 3-2-1,
"Take four tires and fill up the gas,
"Go down a round on the track bar, fast!"

The Devil bowed his head because he knew that he'd been beat;
Jimmie passed him off pit road and never let up on his 2-second lead,
And Chad said, "Devil, just come on back if you ever want to try again.
"I told you not once but FOUR DAMN TIMES, we're the best that's ever been!"

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Caption Time!

...because I really have nothing to say, hehe.  Come on, Daytona!

Chad: "But Jimmie, I never get to drive the car, it's not fair!"
JJ: "Maybe next time, Chad."
Chad: *pouts*

 Chad: "I find your lack of faith disturbing."
Crew Member: *grabs throat, gasps for air*

Chad: "WHAT did you say about my plaid shoes?! Say that again and your BUTT is gonna be red checkered, smart-***!"

Daytona, '07:
Jimmie: "Hey, Chad, I've got a great idea! Now if you took the back window and--"
Chad: "Um, actually, I think we're good on the windows this year, buddy..."

Friday, January 8, 2010

Changes to Car, Rules in 2010

This isn't strictly Chad-related, but it's one of the most relevant articles about NASCAR I've read all winter:
NASCAR Says Rear Spoilers, Yellow Lines, "No Bumping Zones" May Disappear in 2010

NASCAR's Managing Director Corporate Communications said today that the sanctioning body is investigating the possibility of replacing rear wings with old-style rear spoilers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, in time for the start of the 2010 Daytona 500. However, Ramsey Poston told Sirius NASCAR Radio's Sirius Speedway with Dave Moody that the change has nothing to do with cars becoming airborne during high speed crashes at the circuits two superspeedways; Daytona and Talladega.

"We took a car to the wind tunnel after last year's fall race at Talladega and recreated Ryan Newman's crash to as high a degree as possible," he said. "Those tests showed beyond any doubt that the rear wing had no effect on the way that race car took off.

"With that said, we talked to 14 different drivers at the NASCAR Technical Center yesterday, and all 14 of them were in favor of going back to rear spoilers as a way of increasing downforce and improving competition. As a result of the input we have received from those drivers, and others, I think it's safe to say that we are taking a very serious look at the possibility of reintroducing rear spoilers for the 2010 season."

If NASCAR elects to move forward with the change, Poston said the sanctioning body will wind-tunnel test the package almost immediately, before scheduling an on-track test session prior to the start of SpeedWeek 2010.

Poston said NASCAR has met with every track operator since the end of last season, along with drivers, owners, crewchiefs and even media partners in an effort to determine what might be done to improve competition, and that the rear wing/spoiler is only one item on the list.

"If it helps us improve competition, we will move forward with it," said Poston. "There are other changes that we will announce during the annual Media Tour that I think will be welcomed by everyone; drivers, crewchiefs, team owners and especially fans."

Poston revealed that NASCAR is likely to loosen the reins on drivers next season, saying, "We're going to let the drivers drive." While declining to give specifics prior to the official announcement, it is expected that NASCAR will eliminate the controversial "no bumping zones" at superspeedways, and possibly even the rule prohibiting drivers from racing below a yellow line at the bottom of the banking at both Daytona and Talladega. (from Sirius Speedway)
Interesting! Obviously safety's the main priority here, but since it isn't a concern in this case, apparently, I wouldn't mind them going back to the spoiler, just because I think it looks a little better than the wing. Plus, if they think it really will improve competition, then heck yeah, go for it.

I'll be glad to see the "no bumping zones" go, if they do decide to get rid of them. I'm not so sure about the yellow line rule, though...that seems like a "danged if you do, danged if you don't" situation. On one hand, it's like having a wall down there so nobody can do anything too crazy while trying to pass, but on the other hand, it's a little too much like a wall because then it forces drivers to do other kinds of crazy stuff to avoid getting too close to the line. The jury's out on this one...I'll defer to NASCAR without any whining or complaining this time, hehe.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

2010 Paint Schemes

You've probably already seen these, but in case you haven't, here's what the cars will look like next season. Sorry for not posting the pics directly, but I didn't want to steal from Jayski.

2010 Paint Schemes (

The black and silver one with the Kobalt sponsor at the bottom is pretty much the same as last year's, but the first one got a major overhaul, going from blue and silver to blue and white. Hmm, I think I liked last year's with the silver better... I'm not really a big fan of white on race cars in general; I wish they had run Dale Jr.'s green-and-black car that he had at Talladega for most of the year instead of the green-and-white one, myself. Similarly, my favorite 48 car is from 2008, which also has a lot of black on it.

I wonder what kind of hat Chad will have next year, speaking of color schemes. Black, white, or tan...hmm! Once again, I'd go with black, myself (what can I say - must be the Earnhardt fan in me), but I liked last year's white one too, though...made him easy to spot against all the other guys' black hats, plus I liked that the "48" was more prominently displayed, so I don't feel like a walking ad for Lowe's. My dad's got one of the '08 black hats (yes, I turned him to the Chad Side, hehe), and someone actually asked him if he worked at Lowe's...oy! Obviously, Chad doesn't need a hat to tell the world he's with the 48 team, but it'd be helpful for the rest of us, though. As for looked good on him, so no complaints there, but I like the last couple that have been more in line with the paint scheme.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Blast from the Past: Loudon Edition

As promised, a new edition of the Blast from the Past series.

Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, 9/20/09


I think the last one's from practice. In the future, photos from race day, practice, and qualifying will probably all be mixed in together unless, like with today's set, there happened to be a specific note about it, but at least you'll know which weekend they were from.

Chad - Top 10 of All Time

Rea White, writer for NASCAR Scene, made a list of her top 10 NASCAR crew chiefs of all time. It's pretty much a no-brainer to guess who's on it.
"Chad Knaus: The most modern entry on the list, and the only active crew chief on it, Knaus has set NASCAR records of his own by winning four consecutive Cup titles.

Knaus began his career as a crew chief with Melling Racing and driver Stacy Compton in 2000. He joined Hendrick as a crew chief with Johnson in 2002, and since then, the two have won 45 races together and four championships. They have finished in the top five in the standings every season."
The nine other crew chiefs to make the list were Dale Inman, Leonard Wood, Ray Evernham, Harry Hyde, Kirk Shelmerdine, Bud Moore, Herb Nab, Smokey Yunick, and Jake Elder.

It Can Be Taught!

This pic of Jimmie was on the front page of

Look at him sitting there lost in thought, intently taking notes with the utmost concentration! Gee, who does that remind you of? It seems as though all those years of rolled eyes, facepalms, and what-are-you-doing-Jimmies finally paid off - Chad has successfully created a Mini-Me! "No, Jimmie, we do not gnaw on our kitty. Leave Mr. Bigglesworth alone. Go write in your notebook...good boy."

(Later on I'll have more Blast from the Past Chad pics, I promise.)

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Sporting News on JJ Jr.

Writer Jim Pedley (from Sporting News) had a couple of suggestions for new parents-to-be Jimmie and Chandra, including a few concerning Uncle Chad:
  • "I wonder if the decision to have a child had to be cleared through Chad Knaus." (You know, somehow that doesn't sound as far fetched as it might seem...)
  • "I suggest to Uncle Chad that an arc welder is not an appropriate gift for a new-born." (Aww, why not? Gotta get 'em started early!)
  • "I wonder if Chad will be on the headphones to Jimmie and Chandra during those crucial moments in the hospital." (If it was up to Jimmie, heck, he probably would, but Chandra might have something to say about that!)
  • "I suggest presents to the child from Uncle Tony be thoroughly screened." (I just liked this one, hehe.) 
Read all the suggestions here.

Monday, January 4, 2010 Chad Knaus Is Weird

Tonight we bring you an in-depth examination of the inner workings of Chad Knaus's mind from Rowdy Racing's (no relation to Kyle Busch) Bass Masters VBlog:
OMG, newsflash, Chad Knaus is weird! ...Duhhh, big red truck, guys! What was your first clue? I mean, of course they pointed out that his dedication, crazy as it may seem to us common folk, is exactly what got him where he is, and of course they're totally right about that. I'm just surprised they didn't think he was weird before, that's all! As an English major, I guess I'm used to the fact that major weirdos end up doing great things. In fact, I can't think of too many authors who weren't a little warped. Don't even get me started on Lord Byron...

Anyway, don't wake me up for the morning news unless Chad suddenly starts agreeing with Michael Waltrip on This Week in NASCAR all the time - THEN we'll have a problem!

JJ *IS* going to be a father!

Hey, whaddya know, I wasn't going crazy after all!
"CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Four-time defending Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson and his wife are expecting their first child.

A spokesperson for the driver says Chandra Johnson is due in July. No other details have been announced.

Johnson won his fourth consecutive Cup title in November. He was The Associated Press Male Athlete of the Year last month, becoming the first race car driver to win it in its 78-year history." (from
Congratulations, Jimmie and Chandra! I'm sure 2010 will be your best year yet, on and off the track.