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LOOSE LUG NUTS – From Vegas! March 1, 2008

Posted by claireblang in 2008 Season.
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ALMOST HOME BABY!

It’s evident here in Vegas that the team guys are in good moods because the weather is nice and they can almost see home from here. The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series test in Phoenix starts Monday and so, post California rain delays, some of these guys have not seen a lot of home lately.

This morning, I ran into the hauler driver for Haas CNC Racing – he told me he had been home only one day since Daytona Speedweeks. He also told me that after the race here at Las Vegas Motor Speedway he’s got to drive the hauler to Phoenix to drop off a tool box. He was joking over coffee, while waiting for the valet to bring our cars at the hotel complex this morning, that his stop at Phoenix to drop the tool box will be like a 747 making a drop. He joked that he was going to drive by PIR and push it out the back and keep on driving to beat it on home to his family.

HAULER PARADE – Accidents in the line up but crazy for the haulers!

The NASCAR hauler parade was so impressive Thursday afternoon that in the garage yesterday the hauler drivers were all saying how impressed they were at the turnout of fans. They were, in fact, blown away by the number of people that turned out to see their gleaming haulers on the strip. Construction workers who left their jobs to walk down and see them come by and folks here on other business and of course the race fans who were beaming with pride at the display.

It was a bit of a challenge on the line up I am told as two NASCAR haulers got in accidents with vehicles trying to get in position to line up for the parade. No one was injured but the line up was a challenge with the traffic of the afternoon and so many haulers trying to get where they needed to in time for the parade and then back to the track to line up in the garage.

The guys loved it though and so did the fans.

PEACE IN THE PADDOCK

The garage has been at peace this weekend. You can sense it when talking with the drivers and hanging out at the haulers with the team guys. Everyone’s happy and joking and in the mood that comes from the sky being blue and the humidity and temperature being low. The winds are kicking up here and some of the guys are mentioning the challenge that the high winds present. Of course with all the accidents in practice – things could crank up during the race if the trend continues.

BUSCH BROS. – ADVANTAGE WEST COAST TIME?

Pole sitter Kyle Busch had said that he felt he had an advantage over some of the other drivers here at Las Vegas Motor Speedway because he has been living on West Coast time back home in Vegas while other drivers have come back and forth from the East Coast.

I asked brother Kurt if he agrees, “I think it’s an advantage to stay on the West Coast during these these two weeks,” he said, ” just because for me I can park my plane and not have to fly it all the way back and take it all the way back so I save a lot of money that way. And then the other thing is yes the time zone – I’m not waking up at 5:30, 6:00 thinking that it’s 8:00 or 7:30 and so now everything is easy and dinner reservations are at normal times instead of you know at 10:00 at night east coast time it’s 7:00 here so that’s nice.”

Busch said he’s been catching up with all his friends back here at home. “It’s great that we’re able to still communicate keep in touch and texting is beautiful because you can quick get to somebody and tell them where to meet you or where to grab the tickets and so on and so forth.”

He says that some of his friends treat him differently now that he’s a NASCAR driver and he says that he tries hard to let them know that he’s the same Vegas kid they knew in high school and they should treat him no differently.

KAHNE COMMERCIAL – ALA TIMBERLAKE?

Kasey Kahne’s new AllState commercial airs this weekend. If you are a surfer you’ve seen the pictures of him on the internet in uniform looking a bit like Justin Timberlake. He dances in the commercial – in MTV style – in face he’s a dancing machine.

It’s so funny to talk with Kahne in the garage about it because up close he’s so not the guy in that commercial. He’s just so not that guy. He’s soft spoken but he’s got a glimmer in his eye and seems to totally enjoying stretching his personality a little. Kahne says it’s getting easier and easier to let loose in the commercials. The new one will air this weekend.

I asked Kahne about it. “It’s a lot different. You won’t expect to see me doing the stuff that I’m doing in it. I didn’t think that I could do it and I was able to do some of it. I don’t dance very well. We had a full on …choreographer and then we had some dancers and I was working with them. It was a one day deal and it was a lot of fun. They were really good at what they do. I saw it…it’s different, it’s pretty funny.”

Back out into the garage..more later.

Claire B Lang
Las Vegas Motor Speedway

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