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.