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Posted by claireblang in Races.
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The driver’s meeting just concluded here at Atlanta Motor Speedway. As the meeting started, NASCAR’s VP of Competition Robin Pemberton warned the drivers and crew chiefs in attendance to allow the race to play out today here at Atlanta Motor Speedway. He told the drivers to not make NASCAR have to step in and/or monitor teams, teammates or competitors related to this race playing out and reminded them there were just four races in the chase left and not to do anything on purpose or outside the lines of good racing that would alter the outcome of the race. .
After the body of the meeting concluded, as always, Race Director David Hoots asked if there were any questions.
Drivers asked about competitors utilizing the grass while going down pit road. Hoots said there is no reason to be on the grass. Ryan Newman asked a follow up question regarding whether drivers would be penalized if they are forced onto the grass.
NASCAR President Mike Helton stepped in and said that NASCAR would keep an eye on the situation and that if a driver is forced onto the grass they would take that into consideration in their rulings but that drivers should not be using the grass as an extra lane on pit road.

STOP THIEF! October 24, 2007

Posted by claireblang in Help Out, Listeners.


I got an email from a listener today a listener on my show. She needed help and so I put her on the air and she told a heart breaking story about the theft of a trailer with her kid’s race cars in it. I know that a lot of folks on the road listen to “Dialed In” on XM and so here’s the email that I eceived from the listener with the specifics and information in it. To help I’d like you to pass the word, let’s find whomever took this. Please let me know if you have seen this trailer. If you have seen this or have any information a reward is being offered so please let me know and pass the word.

Claire B
XM Satellite Radio

I know that your audience includes many truck drivers and I am not sure if you can help but yesterday we had our trailer stolen from Avon, IN. Inside this trailer is our 2 boys most prized possesions, their quarter midget race cars. I have an 11 year old and 5 year old boy who are heart broken and I am just trying to get the word out to whoever could spot them. They were last seen traveling south on Hwy 51 in Illinois yesterday late afternoon and could be anywhere.
The trailer is a 8X20 Gray United UTX race trailer. It has a side door with a scrape on the side, a ramp door, and damage to the top, front corner. The license plate may still be on it which is 55637 IN plate and it did have a sticker on the side,bottom that read “Driver:Nathan Toney”

I appreciate any help you can provide or point me in a good direction. If someone sees anyone with this, they should call 911. I have 2 very broken hearted kids that just want their cars and a few of their personal items back. We are offering a sizeable reward for anyone that can help us get our stuff returned to us.

Thank you,
Beth Toney

“Racing for Shakes” October 22, 2007

Posted by claireblang in Help Out, Teams.
1 comment so far

CitiFinancial is sponsoring the “Racing for Shakes” fundraiser at Victory Lane Karting in Charlotte, N.C. Shane “Shakes” Hakes, who served as a tire specialist on the No. 90 crew was critically injured in a motorcycle accident on July 15 and continues to recover at WakeMed in Raleigh, N.C.

Donations can be sent to:
Regina Hakes
6300 Mitchell Mill
Zebulon, NC 27597


Kyle Busch’s Team Not Changing Motor Today October 21, 2007

Posted by claireblang in Breaking News, Crew Chiefs, Teams.
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I’m here in the garage at Martinsville Speedway – and getting IM’s from some of you who wonder if the #5 Hendrick team was changing a motor this morning. They were working o
on their race car this morning in the garage – and some folks thought they saw a motor change. They are not changing a motor – I walked into the garage a few minutes ago to check with crew chief Alan Gustafson….

CBL: It looked as if you were changing a motor but you are not, correct?

#5 Crew Chief Alan Gustafson: “Well we were practicing here at Martinsville the Kelloggs Carquest Chevy had some bumper issues. Had some contact with the 16 here on Friday and bent our bumper bar back so thats in pretty close proximity to the radiator so … we all know there’s going to be a little beating and banging here today so we just had to pull the radiator out and fix that front bumper bar and do some work on the nose that’s pretty much it. A little more (work) than usual but not too out of the ordinary for Martinsville.”

CBL: I guess some folks thought they saw you changing the motor on the TV shot

“We had the car backed in here to work on it cause we didn’t want to get a bunch of debris here in the garage and all over these other guys cars here so we had the car nosed out of the garage which is usually the way you’d have it when you change motors.”

It’s amazing how on top of things the race fans are. Great job to those of you who asked about this today.

Claire B

Updated NASCAR Schedule October 19, 2007

Posted by claireblang in NASCAR.
1 comment so far

The NASCAR Schedule continues to be updated…..This NEW update at 2:26 p.m. EST

No cup practice today. They got in only 15 minutes – the rest has just been canceled due to rain.

Truck practice will take place from whenever the track is dry until 4:00 EST

Jet dryers are on the track.

Cup Qualifying is currently scheduled at 4:45 p.m. EST

Steve Hmeil – Takes the High Road October 19, 2007

Posted by claireblang in In The Garage, Teams.

Note: Cup practice began here at Martinsville a few minutes ago and it’s been stopped (after 15 minutes) because of rain. Jeff Gordon was leading in practice at 94.718 when practice was halted, (2nd) John Andretti, (3rd) Tony Raines, (4th)Jeff Burton, (5th) Jeff Green.NEXTEL Cup qualifying has been moved to 4:45 p.m. and the weather looks af it will rain on the NASCAR qualifying parade but we are hopeful. Gordon was fast off the truck having run only three laps before the rain came here.

Steve Hmeil LIVE Yesterday on “Dialed In” With Claire B. Lang After Parting Ways with DEI

Everyone here in the garage at Martinsville is talking about the impending rain. That, and the news of Steve Hmeil and Dale Earnhardt, Inc. parting ways. People are shocked – and up and down the garage stalls here they are saying that Hmeil will have no shortage of offers.

Last night on my “Dialed In” show – I called up Hmeil – the former technical director at Dale Earnhardt, Inc. who parted ways with DEI yesterday. He was fresh from clearing his desk out – and making an emotional walk out of the DEI building a place that was part of his character for nine years. I would not have minded if he did not take my cell phone call and took the night to think things over before going on my national show. I would have understood if his cell phone went to voice mail. He did not ignore my call. He agreed to come on and talk with me immediately.

He knew clearly why it was time for him to move on and, with class, he supported the direction DEI is going. During the LIVE interview last night with me he was candid and honest – and supportive of team DEI.

‘I want everybody to know it was a tremendous experience for me,” he told me. “I’ve only had 3 jobs in 33 years and I was glad for what happened at Richard Petty years ago and Jack Roush’s and now at Dale Earnhardt’s. That place will have a spot in my heart forever but this isn’t an emotional time, this is a time where you got to go out and make sure you continue to make a living and continue to make an impact on a sport you dedicated your entire life to. Im not quiting and im not giving up. Im just going to apply my trait to another direction and I just want to be in a situation that appeals to me.”

Hmeil has long been a guy to go to to if you need someone to explain a test session or a technical procedure to the race fans. He can take a mechanical issue and put it into layman’s terms better than anyone I know. He is passionate about the sport and his race team and he doesn’t mind if that passion shows. He’s hard charging and knows it – but the garage is made up of guys like that.

He’s lived through the good and bad parts of the sport. He’s seen it’s thrills an the pain it can deliver and he’s one of the true racers left in the garage.

It may be that the time has come that it was simply time to move on..but it won’t be easy.

“Things change, you know 8, 9 years is a long time,” Hmeil told me on the air yesterday. ” Im not saying things got worse or better, things are just different. I haven’t been as motivated as I was years ago of late. Its not a difficult situation there but its one that requires a lot of patience. I consider myself a young man. I want to do another 20-25 years in this business. Im anxious to go, im anxious to move forward, I want to see things get better. Probably a little over anxious at times but it felt like I would be letting myself down if I didn’t explore myself a little bit and go off and do something different. Its time for both parties to do something different.We shook hands and walked away. I had a terrific time there are some wonderful people there, I have great respect for what all has happened there. It has something to do with the sport changing, with DEI changing, it has a little bit to do with me still chomping at the bit with me wanting to prove something”
As always, when things like this happen – usually something better comes of it. It’s hard for both sides to cut the ties, to agree that it’s time to split. For Hmeil to box up the memories and move on when so much of his life has wrapped around DEI was the kind of pain that everyone understands…. it’s growing pains.

He’ll do just fine.

My Live Show in Martinsville this weekend October 16, 2007

Posted by claireblang in My Show.

Here’s where I will be this weekend in Martinsville! Friday, October 19 ………..4-7 EST


Friday, October 19, 2007
4-7 EST
Location: Colonial Downs-Martinsville
3951 Greensboro Road
Ridgeway, VA 24148

Pictures of My Mobile Unit October 9, 2007

Posted by claireblang in My Show, XM Radio.

Here are images of my mobile unit. Pretty cool! CBL



DRIVERS MEETING BLOG – Talladega October 7, 2007

Posted by claireblang in Drivers.

I just left the driver’s meeting here at Tallladega Superspeedway.

Not one driver asked a question after the instructions were given by Race Director David Hoots for todays NASCAR NEXTEL Cup race. At the conclusion of the meeting Hoots called up the Motor Racing Outreach chaplain for the routine prayer – and as he called him up today he asked that the minister lead the drivers in prayer for “patience,” which brought laughter from the drivers and crew chiefs, the NASCAR executives and the corporate people in attendance.

“This is your warning drivers,” Hoots told them, “If you race below the yellow line in our judgement to improve your position you will be black flagged.” He also warned the drivers against forcing anyone below the yellow line and warned again about the black flag for that infraction.

“We had the aggressive driving here.. ( in practice),” Hoots mentioned. He stressed that in the turns was not the place to be aggressive and reminded the drivers of the zones in which they are not supposed to be aggressive with bump drafting.

Apparently the rules were crystal clear – when Hoots asked the drivers if there were any questions…there were none.

Then we prayed…….for patience.

Claire B Lang
Talladega Superspeedway
11:26 p.m. Central Time

Ray Evernham in Garage this morning in Dega October 6, 2007

Posted by claireblang in In The Garage, Teams.

Busy in the garage at Dega:

Some notes from this morning:
Evernham says NASCAR is coming to a fork in the road:
Team owner Ray Evernham had some interesting things to say about the growth of NASCAR and says the growth is all well and good as long as the sport does not become “racing wallets”

CBL What can NASCAR do to prevent “racing wallets” :

Evernham: “I think they (NASCAR) are taking the proper steps with the car of tomorrow. The next thing that they are going to have to do really is take a look at some kind of a team union type thing because people are not honoring contracts they are stealing people from other teams they are raising labor crazily. I think NASCAR is working on the car stuff. I think they they are working on the engine stuff but the next thing is going to be in the personnel. You know again we have lost some team members to other people here that have come in and just doubled their salary and that’s ridiculous.

CBL: Team union….

Evernhan: There needs to be some sort of fairness on negotiating with team members.

Evernham said that he is not the decision maker on the much talked about contemplated merger of resources between Petty Enterprises and Gillette Evernham Motorsports adding, “I think those discussions are probably between the Pettys and the Gillettes. I think a lot of that stuff has stalled but again I have not been involved in (those discussions) purposely…at this point it’s like, ‘Look, tell me how many cars you neeed and I am going to make them as fast as I can.”‘

Ray Evernham has put his name to a charity event next week – Racing For A Reason Celebrity Cutsom Bike and Auto Show Fundraiser at the Cabarrus Arena October 10-11th. http://www.racingforareason.org/event .