Sunday, December 23, 2007

More from Good Times Auto Show

I thought I'd post some more cool pictures of cool cars from last August's Good Times Amature Auto Show, which takes place right here in my neighborhood on the west side of Colorado Springs.

This one reminds me of the cop cars in the old gangster movies.

"It's a new Baccaruda, I mean, Barracuda." Looks fast just standing still. Correction: It is not a Barracuda. Somehow, I had that in mind while I was looking at the cars--I had just been looking at a '69 Barracuda--that I was taking a picture of that car. It plainly says "Dodge" on the hood and it's a '73 Challenger RT

Classic Shelby Cobra.

Classic Mustang Shelby Cobra with original paint scheme.
Hopefully I'll be able to post more soon.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Something to occupy the off-season

TSR-A Fan's View is an excellent blog normally featuring news about Tony Stewart's WoO and USAC teams. During the off season, however, TSRfan is keeping himself, and the visitors to the site, occupied by posting videos of highlights of Tony Stewart's Cup racing career. I think that this is an excellent idea for the off-season season, and the site is well worth a visit.
And, darn it, I wish I'd thought of that!

Friday, December 21, 2007

The Kasey Kahne Ordeal

This article is one of many we have seen of Kasey Kahne's pending legal troubles. What follows is an item we haven't seen, but, I suspect, is out there somwhere:

Now Hiring--Security Guard

Requirements: Must be at least 60 years old, weigh less than 120 pounds and be able to take a fall convincingly and sustain injuries.

Salary: Employee will be paid $15 per hour while standing post, plus 40% of all revenues received by the employer from lawsuit, settlement, or punitive damages.

Apply at the law offices of Scruem and Moore

Monday, December 17, 2007

Interesting stuff elsewhere

I have been neglegent in promoting the bloggers who have joined the Blog Catalog Group NASCAR Bloggers Full Throttle. Since I have more time to do so now, I would like to direct the readers' attention to Trouble In Turn 2 Mike, the blog's author has a series of several posts giving a rundown and review of each Cup team's season in '07. This is good reading, for Mike manages to stay mostly unbiased, informative, and entertaining in his writing. Please take the time to visit his site, and enjoy!

One of my all time favorite Christmas Videos

Bing and Bowie Classic, including the introductory sketch. Merry Christmas, Everybody!

Thanks to Poor Grrl Zone for digging this up!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Is there a quick fix?

Everybody has ideas about how to repair the perceived problems in NASCAR. I say "perceived," because some of the problems are just journalistic pot stirring with no real basis, and I mean "everybody" because even people who don't pay attention to NASCAR have suggestions.
A lot of the blame goes to Brian France, some of it unjustified--"he is in Hendrick's pockets," some say--but much of it is justified. Why? Because Brian thinks like an accountant, without the savvy for NASCAR that his father and grandfather had.
So Brian felt compelled to spell out what he thought were the issues, during the Championship week in NYC. As quoted in this article by Daytona's Mark DeCotis, Brian made himself more of the problem:

"It would have helped if he (Dale Jr.) would have been competitive. He didn't win an event, and he certainly didn't make our playoffs. And that's unhelpful if you're trying to build ratings."

Way to go, Mr. France, you just disenfranchised the rest of the 66% of NASCAR fans who are Dale Jr fans.
Now to be fair, that quote was taken out of context. But, nonetheless what Brian meant to say is still pretty disingenuous. This is the kind of thinking he used when he, the NBC sports producers, and Nextel Racing officials came up with the Chase for the Championship, that people won't watch racing if the competition level isn't up to their expectations. He figures that his ratings are down because Dale Jr wasn't in the Chase.
Part of the drop in television ratings is due to the fact that there are other ways to watch a NASCAR race from home using the Internet. Another part is the ineptness of the broadcasting effort on the part of ESPN/ABC in the second half of the season. These are things that neither Brian France, nor NASCAR can do anything about.
Unlike Brian France, the officials in NASCAR who really are in a position to fix things need to look at three real problems and hope that the TV ratings and attendance fix themselves.
Throwing out complaints that are based on personal gripes, dislike of certain drivers or teams, and conspiracy theories, the three main issues I see that need to be addressed are as follows:
1. The main thing that really grates on our nerves, because it is so useless and disruptive, is the provisional rules for the top thirty five in owners points. When six of the top ten qualifying times are not good enough to be in the race, something is definitely wrong. There are now more than forty three teams that try to make the field every week, so the reasoning for the provisional rule is obsolete. This rule has led to a lot of fan frustration and disenfranchisement. If NASCAR would just get rid of it, it would help things some.
2. Make the CoT racier. Many fans are bored to death thinking about parity and the way it was manifested in the fall Talladega race. The testing at AMS didn't seem very promising either. Though it made for one of the most exciting road races in the history of Watkins Glen, the prospects for exciting racing on the speedways and superspeedways with the CoT don't look very promising. Maybe the tire testing Goodyear will be doing with the car during the off season will amount to something. Almost all of the handling problems drivers had with the car were due to the hard compound on the tires Goodyear insisted on providing. It would be easier to fix the tires than to wait for the drivers to learn to deal with it.
In addition to the tires, the CoT at Talledega was absolutely boring. After Watkins Glen, I had high expectations for the car, but perhaps they were too high. Perhaps some way to reduce the speed other than restricter plates could be found? These cars need something to help them pass, as they are not as aero dependent as the old car, so drafting will never be much more than drafting. I thought NASCAR wanted to discourage bump drafting, but with this big, boxy car there is no way to gain a position unless you are bump drafted. Please, NASCAR, try spacers, or a smaller engine, or something that will allow these cars to have the torque they need to actually race at the superspeedways. Racing need not be about the Big One, so there is no reason to set conditions to create an inevitable multi car wreck. Some fans enjoy crashes, but the majority would rather see more racing and fewer cautions.
3. My last fix is partly serious and partly tongue in cheek. It would do a lot for making an even playing field if NASCAR would follow its precedent of putting the biggest cheaters in the position of finding and penalizing cheaters. For example, according to this article Gary Nelson was the third place cheater in NASCAR history, as far as number and severity of penalties. What did NASCAR do with him after he retired? Since he knew so much about cheating, they put him in charge of race inspections. The same thing with fifth place cheater, Robin Pemberton, who was more recently installed of NASCAR President of Competition. Personally, I feel that if NASCAR is really concerned about a level playing field, they should immediately make Chad Knaus Vice President of competition. After all, at the time the article about the top five cheaters was written, Knaus was one major penalty away from replacing Pemberton in the top five. We could find out for sure, then, if Jimmie Johnson really is that good.
But seriously, NASCAR isn't about to do that, and it really would not be fair. What would be fair, is instead of trying so hard to find something wrong with the cars, NASCAR could be just a little more lenient as far as technical innovation goes. Let the crew chiefs be just a little more creative, and the competition will certainly be tighter.
There is another issue that people still complain about but is no longer a factor--the phantom cautions were ceased shortly after My Favorite Driver's "WWE" comment about the bogus officiating used to tighten up the field.
So, maybe NASCAR is in mind to follow my suggestions, since I am not the only one making these suggestions, they could actually hear these ideas. Perhaps they do make these repairs, and gain back the confidence of race fans.
Perhaps the best thing they could do right now is practice creative use of Duck Tape when Brian France attempts to speak.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Andretti gets international recognition he deserves

As almost every race fan knows, Mario Andretti is the only driver to win a Formula One world championship, the Indianapolis 500, and the Daytona 500. For this feat, and for his outstanding career in motor sport, Andretti was awarded the FIA Gold Medal in Monaco,at the FIA awards gala Friday night.
Although the award is relatively new, it still carries the prestige of international recognition. the fourth recipient of the award since it was launched in 2004 and he joins a prestigious list alongside Sir Stirling Moss and Michael Schumacher.

"I was full of pride when I learned I would be the recipient of the FIA Academy gold medal," said the American, who won at virtually every level of racing during a career that stretched five decades, including taking the Champ Car National Championship four times.

Thank you Mario, for being such a great racer, and giving us a racing hero as we were growing up.

Also, at the banquet, the FIA awarded the Indianapolis Motor Speedway with a medal for the best promoter of 2007. Unfortunately, IMS will not be hosting a F-1 race in 2008, as negotiations between Tony George and F-1 cheir Bernie "Mr Snooty" Ecclestone broke off earlier this year. Ecclestone decided that "Formula One doesn't need America," and there will be no more United States Gran Prix. When the award for IMS was announced, Ecclestone was seen headed for the Men's room to change his Depends. Sorry, I just couldn't resist that.

Monday, December 03, 2007

She's back!

Much to my relief and delight, Clance', of The Church of The Great Oval, is back on line after a long hiatus. But what is the first thing she does? She tags me for the same meme that I did last month. This one
I don't like memes, but I did it anyway. However, because I didn't want to bother anybody, I declined to tag anybody. So what happens when you do that? You get it back. So, in an attempt to break this curse--
I tag: The Canadian Curmudgeon
Ann in Arkansas
The witty and affiable Racefan57
and NASCAR Girl, the one and only.
The rules are:
* Link to your tagger and post these rules.
* Share 7 facts about yourself: some random, some weird.
* Tag 7 people at the end of your post and list their names and link to them.
* Let them know they’ve been tagged by leaving a comment at their blog.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

2007 Revvin' Awards Part II

I just came across another category and award I just had to add. Best Save Award: There was plenty of great racing this year, with many good saves, especially as the relative newcomers started getting the hang of the car. But, my award in this category goes to a save that was not on the track, but in the booth, as Michael Waltrip comments during the Mountain Dew 250 at Talladega on October 6, 2007. Listen carefully:

If the video doesn't appear, please click here.