Friday, May 26, 2006

Coca Cola 600 preview

I am laughing my ass off right now. During a break in the NASCAR Busch Series qualifying, Greg Biffle and Matt Kenseth were together on camera. The microphone was handed to Da Biff, who interviewed Matt. Biffle might have a future in acting, but it won't be in sportscasting. He asked the tough questions, like, "what do you think of that green suit you're wearing," and, "Why are you wearing that hat?" (like any good driver he highlighted the sponsors).
The mike was then handed to Matt, who said, with a laugh, "I can't do this. Why are you guys making us do this? It's not even raining!"
I like Matt Kenseth.
I like the Home Depot commercial, which ends like this:
Stewart: "Harvest Gold? Dude!"
Zippadelli: "Boys, I smell another championship!"
No matter how many times I've seen it, I still like it. Same with the Allstate commercial, either one, where the women are fantasizing about Kasey Kahne and wreck their car, causing catastrophic damage.
You know what else I like? Wait a minute, Cloudy Revelation Ball (CRB) is trying to tell me something. Oh yeah, time to make my picks for the Coca Cola 600.
Scott Riggs got the Pole! Good job Scotty. I have made no secrets of the admiration I have for Riggs. Even before he was racing for Everham, I have had high hopes for Scott, and it looks like he is stepping up this season. I think he has the talent to get a top ten finish--he seems to have the car, and the team is getting it together. I would like to see him win, but I don't think it will be at the Coca-Cola 600, even though he dominated the Nextel Open at Lowe's last week.
The 600 has been a first win race for several drivers. I don't know how that works, because it seems that such a long race would take a lot of experience to endure and keep the adreneline to have the talent to win at the end. I believe that JJ Yeley is gaining the talent, and is learning in giant leaps, but I don't think he has the experience to win. If he doesn't wreck towards the end of the race, he should be able to pull off a top ten at Lowes. Have you noticed how JJ Yeley and Smoke seem to have a similar sense of humor and style in interviews? JJ and Smoke have had a fairly long relationship, as Yeley was driving for Smoke in 2003 when he became the second driver in USAC history, after Stewart, to win the USAC triple crown in a single season. One is inclined to suspect that Smoke is tutoring JJ in interviews, as well as in driving.
Greg Biffle's luck has changed, and now that it has, I don't expect him to not have a top five finish at any intermediate track. The guy is exciting to watch, when he isn't being an "idiot," and, even then, he can be exciting. I think, if his luck holds out, and he suppresses his tendency toward idiocy, he will have a strong run at the finish.
The last Winston Cup Champion, Da Biff's team mate, will also make the top ten. He really deserves the win, and he is one of the most patient drivers in the sport. In fact, his combination of skill and patience is strongly reminiscent of NASCAR great David Pearson, a driver who has multiple wins at the North Carolina track. I would not be unhappy if he won, and it would definitely make for an exciting finish if he did.
Another Roush driver, Mark Martin does have several wins at Lowe's Motor Speedway, and it is a track he loves. He seems confident that he will win Sunday, and when Mark is that confident, watch out! He loves to race door to door, and if he is beside another driver, that driver better hope he has the faster car. If not, he has two choices: 1) let off the throttle and let him pass, or 2) wreck.
Where did Boo Bait get his personality? Last week, he donated $1 Million to Victory Junction Gang Camp for a sports stadium, and he did it without too much self-agrandization. In today's interviews (I'm writing this Thursday evening) he was very upbeat and entertaining. I'm wondering, is Penske doing this for him, or did he buy that personality somewhere? Can I buy a personality? How much does it cost? Maybe if I get my ears pinned back? Actually, in spite of myself, I'm beginning to like Kurt Busch.
Back to the top ten picks. The whole point of the Coca Cola 600 should

Jimmie Johnson does not own Lowe's Motor Speedway. Bruton Smith does. It is not his house, it is Humpy Wheeler's house. Somebody ought to show him that. While it is quite a feat to have three consecutive wins in the Coca-Cola 600, and I don't have anything against Johnson, I would really like to see someone else win.
That someone else could very well be Tony Stewart. Nine times out of forteen starts, he has had a top ten finish at Lowe's, including a win in the October race in 2003. Two of those top tens have come after he drove in the Indianapolis 500 on the same day. He starts in the 32nd position Sunday, but it is a six-hundred mile race, and he could start one or two laps down, and finish in the front. Race fans know that, whether they like Stewart or not.
So here is how I imagine the finish, as portrayed by my Cloudy Revelation Ball:

White Flag! Johnson and Biffle are still racing side by side for the win. Stewart and Jeff Gordon are fighting for third, a mere five car lengths behind. Coming out of turn two, Johnson inside, Biffle inches away on the outside. Gordon cuts in front of Stewart! Stewart tries to go low, Gordon blocks. Contact! Gordon slides up the track, and Stewart makes the pass. Gordon brushes the wall, but no caution. Going into turn three, Johnson and Biffle are still side by side! Stewart is right behind them, closing rapidly. Johnson gets loose coming out of turn four! Biffle moves up the track to avoid, but Johnson hits Biffle! Stewart goes low, and takes the lead! Stewart wins!
Stewart takes his Victory Lap, does a Bootlegger turn at the end of the front stretch, and parks in front of the flag stand. The crowd is wild, chanting "Climb it, climb it, climb it!"
Hammond, who do you have down there on pit road?
Hammond: I'm talking to a very unhappy Jeff Gordon. Jeff, what happened back there, coming out of turn two?
Gordon: Whaaaaaaaawhiiiiine!
Interpreter: I have to say the Dupont team did an excellent job throughout the race, getting the car into a winning set up.
Gordon: Whaaaaaaawhiiiiine!
Interpreter: We were gaining on the leaders, and could have passed them before the end of the race. Our car was good enough.
Gordon: Whaaaaaaawhiiiiiine!
Interpreter: But some moron decided that he had to try to wreck us. That's okay, it's a long season. There's plenty of time for paybacks.

Sorry, CRB got carried away. Here are my top ten picks for the Coca-Cola 600:
1. #20 Tony Stewart
2. #16 Greg Biffle
3. #48 Jimmie Johnson
4. #17 The Last Winston Cup Champ
5. #6 Mark Martin
6. #29 Kevin Harvick
7. #18 JJ Yeley
8. #10 Scott Riggs
9. #2 Kurt Busch
10. #24 Jeff Gordon

Monday, May 22, 2006

Time to Get Serius

This is exciting news for all Tony fans. Tony will have his own radio talk show, on Serius Satellite Radio beginning next year. Betcha I have satellite radio before I have an on line hook up for my 'puter at home. Here is the story:
NASCAR Driver Tony Stewart to Host Live Talk Show Exclusively on SIRIUS Satellite Radio

But It's Good TV!

Saturday night, I once again found myself shouting at the television, "You guys cut it out!"
I have made it clear, on this blog, that Tony Stewart is my favorite driver, and that Matt Kenseth is very close to the top in my hierarchy of secondary favorites. And here they go again, saying angry words about each other after the NASCAR Nextel All-Star Challenge.
Honestly, even watching replay after replay, it just looked like a normal racing incident to me--two guys went into the corner, racing hard, bumped each other and wrecked. But Matt had some harsh words to say about Stewart's driving, and Smoke, watching it on TV in his hauler, came out with harsh words of his own.
If only they could be like Mark Martin, who, whenever he wrecks somebody, looks concerned and says, "I really didn't mean to do that."
Or maybe they could be like Carl Edwards, who wrecks somebody, flashes his charming smile and says, "I made a mistake."
Dale Jarrett, a seasoned veteran of much bumping and banging, usually shrugs such incidents off with, "That's just racing."
But Stewart and Kenseth, both world class racers in every aspect of the term, have a rivalry going. This isn't just since the 2006 Daytona 500--it has been going on since, at least, the very beginning of their NASCAR careers. I was at the ill fated PPIR for the Busch Series race there in 1998. Kenseth and Dale Earnhardt, Jr were in a heated battle for the points lead, and Tony Stewart was trying to get his first win in the Busch series. (By the way, that would have been an interesting win, for Pike's Peak International Raceway was where Tony had gotten his first win in the IRL series in 1997). Jr was in the lead, with Stewart close behind him, and Matt nearly on Tony's right rear fender. Approaching turn three, Tony saw the opportunity to go low and pass Jr. At the same time, Kenseth thought it would be a good opportunity to pass Earnhardt, himself. If there had been just a little more room at the bottom of the turn, it would have been three wide. However, there was not enough room, and Stewart lost out on the position, spun out and wrecked. Smoke, perhaps correctly, felt that Kenseth's disingenius move had deprived him of a win.
But it is not as if they are mortal enemies. They have often made appearences together at various events, and have appeared sincerely friendly with each other. Near the end of the 2003 Winston Cup season, while Tony was taking flak from the press and the fans for his anger management problems, and Matt Kenseth was taking flak from the press and the fans for having such a huge points lead without having won a race, Stewart talked to Kenseth on the telephone and gave him support, telling him to just take the criticism and stay the course, that he would be champion and that he would deserve it. Kenseth did express his appreciation for the encouragement from the 2002 champion.
Okay, so Matt could have held his line in the turn last Saturday night, or Tony, seeing that the #17 car was loose, probably should have let up off the gas. But they were equals, at the time, and they were racing each other. If the positions were reversed, there is little doubt that it would have been the same result. Rivalries make for exciting racing, and NASCAR and the TV and radio broadcasters know that. The fans love it. And while either, or both, of the could have shrugged and said, "That's just racing," the harsh words make for good TV.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

News From Home Depot Site

I'm not posting much, today, just trying to straighten things out. However, I have read the monthly newsletter from Home Depot Racing and there are some really good articles on Tony and the team there. I know, Tina Renee has already posted some of the articles on her excellent site(I have to say excellent because she quoted lil' old me on her site. Aww shucks.)(blush), but the entire page is great.
Unfortunately, according to Dave Despain, Tony will not be on Wind Tunnel next Sunday, as he had to cancel due to commitments as a car owner for his USAC teams. I hope he gets rescheduled sometime.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Another Thing for Race Fans To Vote On

This time it is to add names to the Talledega-Texaco walk of fame in Talledega. I go to so many polls-- popular driver, racing for a living, etc, I sometimes forget to vote daily. But, if you read this article from Scene Daily, you can find the details and the link for voting. Go Tony Stewart!!!

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

60 Percent, Whining, and other Comments on Darlington

The "Roush former champion" won at Darlington, Saturday night, but it was the former champion of the Busch series and Craftsman Truck series, not the former Winston Cup champion. I guess we should be more specific, when making our top ten picks. I can't be too Jeff Gordon about it, though, because 60% isn't all that bad.
The Richert/Biffle combination may become as big a part of NASCAR history as Everham/Gordon. Greg Biffle consistently proves that he is a good driver, a Cup champion caliber driver, in fact. At least as long as Doug Richert is his crew chief. Any driver who can win at Darlington is well worth his salt, and, though Da Biff isn't one of my favorites, I have to say that he deserves the win. Every driver, this year has talked about how difficult it is to win any race, and Darlington has proven itself to be one of the toughest tracks to beat. Still, though I am a fan of Doug Richert, somehow, I still can't find my way to being a Greg Biffle fan.
I'm not a Jeff Gordon fan, either, but it was nice seeing Jiffy in contention for the win. It is fun to watch him race, when he is on track, and Darlington has always been a good track for him to demonstrate why he is one of the all-time NASCAR greats. Whining has been part of racing since the invention of the wheel, and Jiffy, who is looking for recognition as a winer, certainly has shown that he is one of the great whiners.
We may never know if Ken Schrader was purposefully blocking Gordon from getting below Biffle at the end of the race. It is possible, because the Ford teams do tend to stick together when it is necessary. Kenny may have been actively working to get Team Ford a victory, if he couldn't do it himself. He did get his sponsor some TV time, which is something any good NASCAR driver does. Intentionally or not, Schrader did help Biffle defeat Gordon, and to Kenny, I say "You da Man!"
I don't think Tony Stewart spun intentionally, as some fans have implied. I may be biased, but I don't see Smoke using that kind of tactic. When Smoke spins by himself like that, it usually means that his car is "in a wreck, but just hasn't hit anything yet." Darlington, with its rough, almost gravelly surface, does tend to make cars loose. This was just another case of Stewart taking a 25th place car to a 12th place finish. For those who are not Tony Stewart fans, Tony is very good at improving the finishing placement of cars that just don't work on a given day.
Denny Hamlin ran very well, all night long. After winning the Busch race, he continued to show that his driving ability is more than plain old rookie luck, earning yet another top ten finish in the Cup series. Watch out for this guy; he is a living example of history in the making.
I have said it before--the level of competition now evident in the Nextel Cup Series has made this season one of the best in fifteen years, and certainly the best in the last seven. Jimmie Johnson, the driver who has won the most races, holds the points lead, which is, as many fans feel, as it should be. But don't rule out any other driver. With Petty Racing, RCR, DEI, and the #9 and #10 teams of Penske South all stepping up; with Roush, JGR and HMS all more competitive than ever; and with the high level of talent throughout the field, don't be surprised if there are many more than ten teams in this Fall's Chase for the Championship.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Darlington Preview

The Rev's Cloudy Revelation Ball is cowering in the corner. Yes, the name change is official. We just got back from the court house, it is no longer the "Crystal Revelation Ball."
For those of you who haven't read my posts before, the Cloudy Revelation Ball (CRB) is my imaginary friend who is supposed to help me make accurate picks when I am predicting the outcome of races and other things.
The CRB is cowering in the corner, not because of really bad picks the last two races--our drivers ran well, just not when it counted. The CRB is cowering because we were joking around and predicted that the Mighty Ducks would sweep our beloved Colorado Avalanche in the second round of the NHL Stanley Cup playoffs, and they did. We were just kidding, man, just kidding! What's bad about that is that we joked that Boo Bait Busch will win the Cup race at Darlington this weekend. He actually could. What's that, CRB? It sounded like "Aaaaaargh!"
The Black Lady, The Track Too Tough To Tame, The Muthah of Mother's Day Weekend, or, for those who now represent the majority of the population in this country, El Huevo Madre, does offer a conumdrum; it is a driver's track, yet there are so many other variables that could creep up. Mainly other drivers. We tend to expect experienced, confident, and level headed drivers to do well in this race. So, in the case of the driver of the #2 Miller Lite Penske South Dodge, one out of three ain't bad. Like him or not, Kurt Busch is the kind of driver who could do very well at Darlington. Who can forget that amazing finishing race between him and Ricky Craven in 2004? He definitely has the talant, but Darlington requires a high degree of concentration, on the part of the driver--something which Boo Bait hasn't always displayed so far this season.
A driver who does have the experience, the confidence, and is the epitome of level headedness may be the Roush driver who holds a Winston Cup championship. He is one of the few drivers who, according to his record there, may actually have a handle on Darlington. This is the driver I really expect to take the checkers.
Tony Stewart almost has a handle on the track. He has said that he doesn't understand it that well, but that he does like the track, because it is a driver's track, and a challenge. Ten of his thirteen starts have resulted in top ten finishes, and four of those were top five. I expect Smoke to get, at least, a top five finish tonight.
When Bobby Labonte came on Trackside, CRB started purring, wagging its tail and clapping its flippers. I agree, Bobby Labonte is cool. He may be cool enough to finish very well at Darlington. Hopefully, Everham has tracked down the problems they have had recently with their engines, which are used by the Petty Racing teams, and barring mechanical problems, Labonte should finish in the top five.
Ryan Newman is starting on the front row. I have always admired Newman's strong driving talent, and, if he weren't such a pompous a-hole, he would be among my favorite drivers. However, like him or not, he makes the top ten finishers in tonight's race.
Denny Hamlin, the winner of the Busch Series race at Darlington last night, is another driver who is known to have a high level of concentration. Even though he is a rookie in the Cup series, and rookies don't usually do well at this track, he will continue his upward trend to superstardom at Darlington.
A driver who hasn't shown much, so far this year, is Jamie McMurray. This will be his time to shine. I think McMurray has more talent than his record shows, and that he is another one of the few who has a handle on the Big Egg. He needs a good finish, and he knows it.
We can't forget Greg Biffle. Da Biff has seemingly overcome his bad luck, and, if he doesn't try to use too much track--there isn't much track at Darlington to use--he can have a very good finish tonight.
I will once again mention Mark Martin as a top ten contender.
Finally, RCR is on the rise, and has a very good chance to put a driver in the top ten. It will be either Kevin Harvick or Jeff Burton, or both. I'm going with Burton.
Cloudy as it is, here are my top ten picks for the Dodge Charger 500:
1. The Roush Former Champion
2. #20 Tony Stewart
3. #2 Boo Bait Busch
4. #43 Bobby Labonte
5. #12 Ryan Newman
6. #6 Mark Martin
7. #26 Jamie McMurray
8. #11 Denny Hamlin
9. #16 Greg Biffle
10. #31 Jeff Burton.
Those who have been keeping track of my picks know that this means that Dale Earnhardt, Jr will probably win. Other drivers I have not mentioned who will probably finish in the top five are Robby Gordon, Elliott Sadler, Kasey Kahne, and Martin Truex, Jr. I’ll just blame it on the full moon.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

More Evidence ISC is Goofing Up

ISC should have kept PPIR. It was a good track in a growing market. It seems they are having problems building new tracks elsewhere. Have I used the word "Morons" yet when refering to ISC and PPIR?
So you know what I'm ranting about, please readStaten Island councilmen reported united against track from Scene Daily

Monday, May 08, 2006

Richmond Hindsight

05/07/2006: I have a lot to write about today, but this won't be posted until Monday evening.

Nobody's perfect, but I'm beginning to wonder if maybe I am jinxing drivers by picking them to win. I was right about Denny Hamlin and Greg Biffle in my pre-race picks. Da Biff did break his unlucky streak, and Denny Hamlin did, indeed, finish very well. But I also picked Scott Riggs and Brian Vickers to finish in the top ten and they wrecked each other with only a few laps left. Kasey Kahne didn't fair well, either, and Mark Martin made an early pit stop, resulting in a penalty which kept him out of the top ten. I won't even mention Matt Kenseth. I better let Babs know that I am sorry for mentioning him in my preview. It doesn't ever work out for him when I do. But I didn't mention Dale, Jr, and he won. Okay, let me try this: Boo Bait will win Darlington next week.
While I'm at it, I'll predict that the Anaheim Mighty Ducks will will sweep the Colorado Avalanche in the NHL playoffs and go on to win the Stanley Cup.
All kidding aside (I hope I'm kidding), it was a very good race. This season, so far, has been the best in years. As much as I hate the concept of "parity," it seems to be working out, as far as racing excitement and entertainment go. Some of the young drivers who have been over-aggressive to the point of rashness in the past, seem to have settled down, and have added much to the quality of competition. Let there be fourteen or fifteen teams in the "Chase for the Championship" this fall. Oh My God, did I just make another "prediction?" Let's just call it a projection, because, if the level of competition remains as it is now, or gets even stronger, there will be more than ten teams in the chase. That should make it interesting.
My radio chatter quote of the week comes, once again from My Favorite Driver. The #20 team was having troubles getting a good set up on the car, and had been working on it the entire race. Zippy told Smoke, "Just keep driving your ass off."
"Okay," replied Tony, "I've got plenty of that."
Attitude has a lot to do with winning. The self-deprecating humor, the overall light-heartedness are considered by many as aspects of the "new" Tony Stewart. Those of us who have been fans of Stewart for a while have known that side of him all along. It is nothing new, but it has come to the forefront of his personality. And, so it seems, as long as that side of him is the side he shows, he, and his team, will have a winning attitude.
Speaking of Smoke, on May 21, Tony Stewart is scheduled to co-host Dave Despain's Wind Tunnel. This is a must for Tony fans, but, if it is anything like his previous appearances on the program, all race fans, like him or not, should watch the program. The man's savvy about all things racing is incredible, which shows that his racing ability is much more than dumb luck.
Best post-race quote: “I knew they were cheering for Junior, but I pretended it was for me”-Denny Hamlin.
Well du-uh department: “Why do you always hear the crowd cheering for Junior, and not for Jimmy Johnson or Jeff Gordon?”-caller on Wind Tunnel who obviously doesn’t have a clue.

I don't know how many Formula One fans read this blog. I don't expect very many, as I have been remiss at reporting my views on the races this season. But, I am passionate about racing, and I write what I am passionate about. The European Gran Prix, which ran early Sunday Morning, was not as exciting as the Italian Gran Prix two weeks ago, but it did have its moments, particularly in pit strategy. The end result was pretty much the same, with Michael Schumacher holding off Fernando Alonso, the current points leader and reigning champion, for the win. What is exciting about it, is that Schumacher, seven time World Champion, is back from his depressing slump of last year. Schumacher, who still shows a rookie's enthusiasm for the sport, celebrates each win as it it was his first, showing that his passion for racing is still intact. He may be on his way to an eighth championship. Who cares, you ask? There are an estimated 300 million Formula One fans world wide, making it, perhaps, the most popular sport on this particular plane of reality.
At any rate, racing is still the number one sport in my plane of reality, and I toast all who share this plane. Keep going fast!

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Richmond Preview

So, I’m watching the Avalanche get their butts kicked by the Anaheim Mighty Ducks, in the NHL playoffs, with ten laps to go in the Busch race, and I have an attitude, tonight. So, do I watch the Avs play miserably and lose, or do I watch this excellent finish between Happy and Jeff B? Hah, guess which I watched. To those who hate the buschwackers, how could you ever hope for this kind of racing if they weren’t there? My decision tonight is a no-brainer--as much as I like hockey, racing is much better.
I will go no further until I express my extreme pleasure at the fact that Harvick is staying with Childress. Racing needs that.
So it is with this attitude that I will proceed with my pre race analysis for the Crown Royal 500. Damn, I love racing!
My CRB (Crystal Revelation Ball) is off strike and we are ready to pick.
Well I’m not going to mess around. Tony Stewart will win. He loves this track, and he has the car and the skill and he will kick butt. I know I sound cocky about this, but this is much more than rooting for my favorite driver. Smoke will win. And that’s all I need to say about the Richmond race.

Well, okay, there are others who could win. Don’t discount Ray Everham and Kasey Kahne. The #9 team is on a roll, and the restricter plates are off, and the cute little guy will definitely drive his ass off and make a good run for it. He has the skill, and he is making up for the two years he almost won. Don’t forget that it was at Richmond where he won his first Cup race. And, this year, the team is operating much better than it was last year. You give a driver of Kahne’s talent enough time and he will be a winner.
Greg Biffle, says the CRB, has finally used up all of his bad luck. I have said it before, and I still maintain that I am not a fan. But I love to watch him race at Richmond. It is time for him to get a top five finish and break the chains that have held him back so far this year.
Forget about Jimmy Johnson and Jeffy Gordon--Richmond is not their kind of track. However, expect Brian Vickers and Kyle Busch to make a good showing for HMS. I am really beginning to “unlike” the Shrub, but that is because of his attitude, not his driving ability. I really like the way his driving style is all about Richmond. He is a short track guy, at heart, and, if he doesn’t do anything stupid (fat chance) he has a shot at taking the checkers.
The CRB really likes Robby Gordon. Robby knows how to build a good race car, and he is the kind of driver that Richmond likes. It isn’t only sentimental feelings here, Robby knows his stuff, and I think he will get his best finish to date, as an owner/driver.
Denny Hamlin likes flat tracks. He likes short tracks. He has a good car. I think he will continue to impress us at Richmond. It won’t be easy, but he does know how to do this.
I don’t have to say anything about Mark Martin, except that he will, once again, show why he is one of the all-time greats.
Did I mention Ryan Newman or Boo Bait? Well now that I did, I don’t think either Penske car is ready for Victory Lane at the short tracks, yet. Newman tends to overthink what he is doing, and really needs to rethink his attitude. He seems to have forgotten that he can drive a car. Kurt Busch is still busy trying to get his team together. He could do it, but I don’t think he will even make the top ten in this race.
JJ Yeley just may get a top ten finish here. He has still make a lot of mistakes, but he has also shown that he can learn from his mistakes. In fact, he as learned more this season than any other driver. I put him on the bubble for a top ten finish, but the CRB says that he will finish ninth or tenth at Richmond.
Which doesn’t leave enough room for Matt Kenseth. I think that the modern day David Pearson will make a serious push for the win. He should, at least, regain the points lead here. But my CRB doesn’t see it.
There should be more than ten spots for the top ten, and if there were, I would have to include Scott Riggs and Kevin Harvick. Yes, Scotty could do it, and Kevin just finished an excellent race against Jeff Burton, and it was an event that reminds me why I like racing so much.
Now that I have come a full circle--wait a minute, the Avs lost 0-5. Now that I have come full circle, here are my top ten picks for this week, take it or leave it.

1. Tony Stewart
2. Greg Biffle
3. Kasey Kahne
4. Mark Martin
5. Denny Hamlin
6. Robby Gordon
7. Kyle Busch
8. Brian Vickers
9. Matt Kenseth
10. Scott Riggs.

It’s short track racing. Short track racing good!

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

My Favorite NASCAR Cartoonist: Lori Munro

I have been checking Lori's site, Lori Munro's War Wagon at least once weekly for about three years now. She is a very good cartoonist, seems to be a Smoke fan, and is often very funny. She also seems to have Clance's attitude toward Kurt Busch, which is also often funny.
I found this article on Lori's web site. It is exciting news for her and her fans:

Press Release-Lori Munro's Art Accepted by Hickory Museum of Art
On April 29th an exhibit of "NASCAR Inspired Art" will debut at the Hickory Museum of Art. Stock Car Pit Pass and Race Team USA are proud to announce that our graphic artist Lori Munro will be among artists chosen for this prestigious exhibit. Inspired by the "Color of Speed," Lori is the creator of the popular "War Wagon" cartoon. Her unique digital media art starts with a Sharpie marker and a vivid imagination! Lori's work has also been on display since August 2005 at the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame in Knoxville, Iowa. Her work will be featured at the Hickory Museum of Art in Hickory, North Carolina along with other stock car racing artists including Garry Hill and Randy Owens.

On May 20th from 10am until 2pm the Hickory Museum of Art will have their "NASCAR Festival." This event is free to the public and will feature real racecars, drivers, and some of the artists participating in the exhibit. The Hickory Museum of Art is a United Arts Funded Affiliate of the Catawba County Council for the Arts located at 243 Third Avenue NE in Hickory, North Carolina. (Part of the "Salt Block" Arts and Science Center of Catawba County) For more information call 828-327-8576.

Opportunities still exist for corporate sponsors to get involved with the inaugural "NASCAR Inspired Art exhibition," which opens to the public on April 29th and runs through September 17th.

Information About the Hickory Museum of Art
In the short span of about ten years after its inception in 1943, Hickory took the lead in the Southeast as being the first city to establish a museum of American art. With the help of artists associated with the National Academy of Design in New York (established in 1823), the Hickory Museum of Art became what was called the "Southern Outpost of the National Academy." Among the artists represented in the HMA collection are names such as Gilbert Stuart, Thomas Cole, Asher B. Durand, J. Fredrick Kensett, William Merritt Chase, Worthington Whittredge, F. Ballard Williams, Eanger Irving Couse, Elliot Daingerfield, Anna Hyatt Huntington, Hobart Nichols, Albert T. Bricher, Edward Potthast, and many others.