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 NASCAR.com 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 fan...you 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 year...it 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.