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New Claire B Mail… May 31, 2008

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mail-pile
I uploaded some interesting emails over in my Mailbox…. http://clairebmail.wordpress.com

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POSTCard from Dover May 31, 2008

Posted by claireblang in Drivers, Fun Stuff, In The Garage.
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Dover International Raceway
POST-Card -Saturday – May 31, 2008
dover monster

Scott Speed Rocks the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Garage!!
Welcome to Saturday afternoon at Dover! It’s so funny – I interviewed Scott Speed yesterday on my XM “Dialed In” show and he told me about his blue- tipped pedicure. I asked him to take his socks and shoes off and show me right then and there. He had the French pedicure with blue tips on the top of each of his toe nails. Wild! I laughed so hard I almost fell off the chair. Here’s a transcript:
ScottSpeed
CBL: You’re way different than anyone else in the garage!
SPEED: Yea – I mean I don’t know many guys who got a pedicure before they came here!
CBL: What? You take your shoes off and show me! He’s got striped socks. (laughter)
SPEED: (Showing CBL his toes) How awesome are those?
CBL: Why did you get the blue tips on them? (laughter)
SPEED: Ahh- just because I guess. They look cool I mean – You gotta take yourself lightly (laughing)
CBL: I can guarantee you that if you do kick some butt (today) they’ll be left with a little blue nail polish on.
SPEED: It just makes it worse for them. If they’ve got a guy beating them with blue nail polish tips on his feet – it makes it harder to deal with on Monday.
CBL: Can I just say thanks for showing me those.
SPEED: Hey no problem

The funny thing is that Speed went on to win the darn race. I got so many OMG emails on that one –fans enjoyed it. Here’s the part that cracks me up: In the garage after the Speed interview and before the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race I talked with a few other NCTS drivers. They joked that if Speed won- they’d have to paint their toe nails for the same kind of luck. They were kidding, of course, because they never thought Speed would win the race here in Dover. LOL on that one.

Mike Skinner:
SKINNER: I gotta find out who is giving Scott Speed all these pedicures and manicures and stuff. Obviously it’s working, he keeps moving up the charts every week you know Doug and those guys are giving them awfully fast stuff – I am starting to get a little jealous.
CBL: Maybe you should try it. Have you ever?
SKINNER: I am going to. We’re talking about – we’re going to show up somewhere – we haven’t figured it out yet. I’m going to wear those glasses and some of that outfit and get my toe nails done and stuff. He’s going to wear Justin boots and a cowboy hat and we’re going to confuse the whole NASCAR world!

Johnny Benson:
BENSON: Well -I mean his trucks blue so that would have been the color I would have went with. Maybe with my truck I should go with Red. Scott is just sooo funny. What you see with him here maybe doing interviews and out this and that is totally different than him in the truck and it’s totally hilarious…..I have enjoyed hanging out with him – but I did NOT get a pedicure with him….Apparently I have to get on the band wagon here or something.
CBL: Well if he wins or something you’ll run right and get one right?
BENSON: Well yea – there’s some weird stuff that happens if you win so if he goes out and wins there will be a lot of guys going out and doing it (a pedicure) I’m sure. (laughter).

Speed won. He gave short one-word answers after the win on the broadcast. He was more talkative in the media center after the race.

“Well, to be honest, whether we win or not, it doesn’t really affect my confidence. I don’t let results control how I feel about myself. I said a thousand times, I mean, today we had a good strategy and we had an awesome truck. We got everything we could out of it. But if our truck was a fifth-place truck and we did the race and finished fifth I’d be just as happy with myself. Hats off to the team. They are really the ones that won this race. I’m pretty confident that anyone in this truck the last 50 laps of this race after the pit stop would have done the exact same thing. So, for me, I’m learning step by step. It’s going to be a long process. I mean just to have the experience to know what to do on the trucks or on the cars when I go to the COT. You can’t just learn it right away. It’s something you have to feel and you have to learn and the learning curve that I’ve had is amazing. I’ve learned a ton every time I go out on the track for a race I definitely come away with a lot of feeling, a lot of experience and knowledge. I’m certainly looking forward to continuing on and looking forward to my first Cup race but I’m not in any rush. I’m having the time of my life just coming over here and trying to learn this sport. And it’s awesome. Red Bull has given me an incredible opportunity to do this and my hat’s off to them. Without them none of this would have been possible.” HORNADAY SAID HE HAD AN ENGINE PROBLEM AT THE END OF THE RACE. DID YOU HAVE ANYTHING FOR HIM IF HE DIDN’T HAVE THAT PROBLEM? WERE YOU WORRIED ON THE RESTARTS? “It’s hard to say. He took four tires at the beginning so we expected him to be quite a bit stronger than he was. It really didn’t take much to pull away from the field so it wouldn’t surprise me if someone did have a problem. That’s how it plays out and that’s why I said it’s not this win that has made me feel great about myself because it just happens. It’s circumstance. Today it was our day.”

Several competitors told me that while Speed is low-key and almost calm and non-competitive out of the truck with comments about savoring meals and living the European life style – he’s just as competitive – with just as much racing edge as the rest of the drivers once he straps the helmet on.

Speed is definitely fun to hang out with. I never laughed so hard-during the interview I had with him. He’s a little off the beaten path – ok at times way off the path from the norm in the truck garage. That mix of drivers on the track makes things even more interesting.

Just don’t be surprised if a few NASCAR Crafstman Truck Series drivers have pedicures hidden under their fireproof racing shoes in the coming weeks.

They’ll do anything for luck.

It’s raining here…practice delayed. Now Nationwide back on the track.

More later –
Enjoy the day!

Claire B
XM Satellite Radio

All-Star Bachelor Party May 31, 2008

Posted by claireblang in Fun Stuff.
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Hey Racers! – Remember the guys who came to Lowe’s Motor Speedway for the All-Star race to celebrate a bachelor party. They sent me a picture this week- check it out (below) – They had a heck of a good time. Guys, thanks for the postcard! I’m passing it on to the web site 😉

Claire B

Claire B-
Attached is the 7 of us from the Bachelor Party in Charlotte.
L-R , Rob “Dorrman” Dorr, Rick “the TRickster” Shea, Wayne “Scrap” Applebee, Top: Chris “Wheezit” Leavitt, Woody “Woodman the Bachelor” Bailey, Carl “Kool Breeze” Urquhart. Dave “Live Cheap or Die” Withee. Thanks again!
-Rick Shea

LowesAllStarBachelor

Friday Fun- NSCS Dover Kyle Busch Notes and Quotes May 30, 2008

Posted by claireblang in 2008 Season, Drivers, Transcripts.
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Kyle Busch - One of my least favorite driver personalities, but he knows how to drive.Image via WikipediaHey: It’s been a little crazy today at the track. I will post tonight – have a bunch to tell you. In the mean time – here’s what Kyle Busch said today. I thought you’d like to read it for yourself. I’ve gotten tons of emails from all of you and I appreciate it. Tonight I’ll post some of what is in my mailbox. You all have been writing a lot and I love hearing your take. This (below) includes what he said about his little conversation with Jeff Gordon last week. More coming later – but for now I thought you’d like to read this……in its entire form. Read on:
Enjoy!
Claire B

KYLE BUSCH, No. 18 Combos Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing

How has the Joe Gibbs team enabled you to reach your potential?
“Well, I think they just gave me the leeway to go out and sort of be myself, I guess — be who I am. That’s kind of been the biggest thing. And just talking with Joe (Gibbs) and having conversations with him off the race track. He’s a pretty cool, laid back guy. He just keeps telling me to do what I’m doing and we’ll take care of the bad stuff when it happens later. So, the thing that’s just made this year a little bit easier is that, and transitioning to Joe Gibbs Racing and being able to get along with all the people and everybody. Especially, my teammates with Denny (Hamlin) and Tony (Stewart) — being able to work well with those guys, too.”

What do you think of Joey Logano?
“There’s been a lot of hype around him, so hopefully we’re not all too disappointed. I don’t think we will be. I think Joey’s got a great future in this sport and he’s young and he’s upcoming and he’s ready for it right now. He wants nothing but to bite at a chance at it. I feel like he’s going to do a fine job. Hopefully, this weekend is just a telling story of how good he’ll really be.”

What advice would you have for Joey Logano?
“To me, I didn’t have all this hype around my debut as Joey (Logano) does and I finished second in mine. I hope Joey can do just as good if not better in his debut here. I feel like he has a good car. The biggest thing about Joey is that if he keeps a good head on his shoulders because he knows he’s in great equipment — (he) doesn’t go out there and try to make up for what it is not, and take a second or third instead of trying to get a win.”

What did it mean for Braun Racing to get a Nationwide Series win at Charlotte?
“It definitely meant a lot to myself to win for Braun Racing — to have those guys. They work just as hard as anybody else out there. To have the ability to go out there and have the care capable of being able to win was pretty fun. I wish Trent (Owens, Braun crew chief) and those guys were with me, but it was with Todd (Lohse, crew chief) and the third bunch of guys. But, still we made the most of the opportunity there. I felt like — we tested pretty well, we weren’t as good as we wanted to be. Then we started the race and we were just really, really tight. I did not expect that. We made some lofty changes during the race and got it better and better and got track position at the end. So, it was pretty cool.”

Can you win again with Braun Racing this weekend?
“I don’t know. We’ll see. We were battling the car all through practice. We were so tight and then a little bit loose. So, kind of battled back and forth a little bit with it. Hopefully, we can have a strong showing tomorrow. We just need to keep racing here. If we can get a win great, if not we’ll have a good points day.”

What do your post-race celebrations mean?
“It’s just fun for me to be able to win races in general. You never know when your last win is going to be and you always want to make them as memorable as you can. Yet, you go out there and celebrate with the fullest extent that that is your last win. To me, it’s not about getting out of the car and going; ‘Yeah, we won.’ It’s about getting out of the car and really celebrating and doing it as a team.”

What happened with you and Jeff Gordon last week after the race?
“I felt like when I was coming back through traffic there after we changed our battery we got to the 24 (Jeff Gordon) and everybody else wasn’t really racing and Jeff (Gordon) just raced me a little bit harder than anybody had all day. I wasn’t sure if he meant something by that or if it was just the way his car was acting or what. I tried to get a reasoning there after the race and it was just the wrong time to do it. All is cool now. We talked in Pocono and he just told me that his car wasn’t balanced the way it needed to be and he was just fighting for position. I recognize that and feel for him there that he didn’t have quite the car he wanted to pass people so he just had to fight a little harder to hold onto it.”

Was Jeff (Gordon) upset because you approached him while he was being interviewed?

“No. He wasn’t getting interviewed or anything like that. There was just media around. I think he was just — the adrenaline was still going after the race and whatnot. My mistake, but I learned from that. He gave me a bit of advice if there was a next time for that.”

What allows you to use less brake than most people?
“I don’t know — maybe that I roll out of the throttle a little bit sooner getting into the corner. I start the slowing down process a little bit sooner. Brakes with these things you tend to heat up the front tires too much so the cars don’t like that. For me to go out there and just run my laps and stuff like that, I can learn a little bit from whose at the top of the board like Jimmie (Johnson) says. It’s really not much. You just have to try to figure it out for yourself.”

Is the braking something you’ve learned from over the years?
“The bullring where I grew up, when I raced there I would always try to use brake and it really wouldn’t work. Anytime that I would get out of the gas early and not use any brake whatsoever I always turned faster lap times. There was times when my dad was my spotter and I was maybe a quarter or half straightaway ahead he told me to slow down a little bit and I’d pick up time not using any brakes. So it’s kind of weird. People talk about saving fuel and fuel mileage and stuff and people will pick up lap time by saving fuel. It’s just a way of racing sometimes.”

How satisfying is it for you to have the kind of season that you are having?

“It’s definitely satisfying and also I’m pretty grateful to be having a season like this. It doesn’t come all the time and it doesn’t come for everybody so certainly you’ve got to hold onto it when you do have it. Hopefully we can keep going the way we are. I looked at it the other day and if it wasn’t for mechanical issues the worst finish we’ve had all year was a fourth-place finish. It’s pretty phenomenal. We just got to keep going the way we’re going and hopefully we can just keep getting our points and keep leading this thing.”

Are you surprised that people call you a villain?

“I guess there have been villains over the years so if that’s their word that they are going to call it, then that is what it is. To me it doesn’t bother me. I don’t feel like that’s who I am but that’s, I guess, the role that I’m portraying.”

Do you prefer to win in the Craftsman Truck Series more than the Nationwide Series?
“What tweaks the veteran guys is that they’ve been there so long and they’ve been doing it for so long and they feel like they are on their way out and they want to get as many wins as they can. To me, you just never know when your last win is going to be. It doesn’t matter if it’s in a Cup car or a Nationwide car or a truck or a late model or a damn mini-stock. That’s the part of this sport, to go out there and win and be known as one of the best. That’s how I partake it and that’s how I go out every week — just trying to win races.”

Happy Memorial Day- Coca Cola 600 May 25, 2008

Posted by claireblang in Drivers, NASCAR, Teams.
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Hey!
 
I’m here in the deadline room at Lowe’s Motor Speedway – and I figured I’d drop you a line. John Force and the NHRA racers just left the deadline room. I interviewed him yesterday – but Force was in the media center today and he had the group, as always, In stitches. I’ve never known him to be less than entertaining in all the years I’ve seen him and interviewed him off and on at tracks and events, even in private when the cameras and microphones are not on – but it was classic Force today. I swear the man looks better since he’s been through his injury than he did before his accident – He’s amazing.
 
Soldiers are everywhere. I have never seen so many soldiers and God bless them! There are like 1,500 soldiers here at the track who will participate in pre-race activities and I never saw so much young promise in uniform – or told so many young people thank you as I have this morning. They are everywhere – it’s totally cool.
 
Hey the Coca-Cola Olympic promotion brought Yao Ming to the race today and he is the largest human being I have ever seen. He was in victory lane this morning shooting basketball with drivers Kyle Petty, Michael Waltrip, Bobby Labonte, Jeff Burton and others. After the basketball demo – Yao and two-time US Olympic Taekwondo gold medalist Steven Lopez took their turn at a pit stop with the Kyle Petty team showing them how to change tires and jack the car. Yao Ming jacking a NASCAR race car..now that is a hoot.
 
Note: I am doing a “best of” show tomorrow on Memorial Day! It will open with a live to tape (recorded) intro that is fresh and I did my best to say what I really meant to the men and women in uniform. It’s the one real way that I can give back is to say thank you on air for those who wear the uniform or who have worn it in years past and have been in harm’s way to protect  us. I will have a debrief of the Nationwide Race and the Nascar Craftsman Truck Series race on Monday taped – but with some interesting audio – and then will dedicate Tuesday to the debrief on the Coca- Cola 600.  I needed a down day before picking it all up again and heading off on the circuit. So, I wanted you folks to know that I will not be taking live calls on Monday. I’ll miss you but the couch has been a stranger – and I plan on camping out on it on Monday.

Happy Memorial Day!
 
News in the Garage:

I was the first one on the scene yesterday when the Haas CNC cars were parked at the entrance to the garage and then declared to have illegal rear wing mounts. It was actually another team that alerted me to what was going on and I went over to check it out. I called a reporter or two and said “get down here” something odd is going on. I went over to the NASCAR hauler and waited for Series Director John Darby to come out of a meeting -but the meeting continued so I left.  Later, I went back to the other NASCAR hauler and there was John Darby sitting on the stair of the hauler with Haas Crew Chief Booty Barker and driver Scott Riggs in deep discussion. A source on the team told me that the teams had used the brackets all season – and that the timing of getting pulled for them now was wild. NASCAR says that’s what they all say when they get caught, basically.
 
POST NATIONWIDE SERIES- Pit Road Riles Up!
 
I was on pit road when the scuffle happened between the pit crew members of the Brad Kezelowski team and the Denny Hamlin team post race. I saw a whole lot of people standing like billboards trying to protect their drivers and I also saw an official being carried away limping after having injured his leg. I saw no actual punches thrown but it was hard to see beyond the crowd of team members that I was surrounded by. I literally could not move – and was being pressed into the bodies that were making the situation tense. Security was everywhere – and on top of the situation.  I went to the Nationwide hauler after the race and Denny, Brad, JD Gibbs, Kelley Earnhardt Elledge were all in the hauler. Later Coach Gibbs came up and had a discussion with JD – and later with Elledge.  I’ll detail more of this on Tuesday but Keselowski is not backing down – and cannot be pushed around even by a veteran such as Hamlin.  The media corps was impressed that even when he was seated next to Hamlin in the deadline room and Hamlin critiqued him – Keselowski didn’t crumble.
 
You’ll have that (In big time stock car racing). 🙂
 
This is Memorial Day weekend. Salute the troops and enjoy the day.
 
More later.
 
Claire B
XM Satellite Radio

Friday of Race Week 2008- Charlotte- Lowe’s Motor Speedway May 23, 2008

Posted by claireblang in 2008 Season, Drivers, Items of Interest, Tracks.
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It’s been “As the World Turns” type of drama in the deadline room of Lowe’s Motor Speedway’s media center this week. First, H.A. Humpy Wheeler (SMI President) retires and holds an impromptu news conference that has reporters racing to the track – with little advance warning. The word “rift” has been used in more than one story headline – yet Bruton says that Wheeler has been talking about retirement for a year. Wheeler says he didn’t quite leave on his own terms. Calling his own news conference – was a signature Wheeler move and we haven’t seen the last of H.A. Humpy Wheeler who will continue to be a force in the industry. Could he work for NASCAR? He says it’s not out of the question and he has had a conversation with them.
Humpy pic

Then, Bruton Smith (Chairman of Speedway Motorsports Inc) holds a news conference and announces that SMI has purchased Kentucky Speedway. The former owner of Kentucky Speedway says he feels certain that the Speedway will get a Sprint Cup Series date – and as litigation is still in the air with the Kentucky Speedway lawsuit NASCAR says don’t jump to conclusions any realignment of dates has to have their approval and they don’t appear to want to add a date or to move a date to that part of the country at this time.

With all the SMI goings on there was little space in the daily rag to fit some of the other “good stuff” in. I thought I’d pass on some tidbits this morning on the blog before I head out to Penske Racing, Chip Ganassi with Felix Sabates Racing and then Speed Street where I will do today’s broadcast from the Chevy XM “Dialed In” Mobile Broadcast Unit.

__________________________________________________________________________
Catch some of these nuggets:

Dale Earnhardt Jr
The Role of NASCAR Villains:

WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO BE A VILLAIN IN NASCAR? JR: “You got to wreck people. You got to be mean. You got to work the crowd and get them mad. Do what villains do, kind of like wrestling. The bad guy comes in wearing black, flipping the crowd off and cheating doing things like that.”
WHO DO YOU THINK HAS BEEN THE BEST VILLAIN IN NASCAR? JR: “It changed. Everybody had their moments. There were times when dad was a pretty good villain. Jeff Bodine turned into a villain there for a while in my opinion when I was a little kid. ’88 was a good year for that, him and daddy wrecking each other. Darrell (Waltrip) never was a villain, Darrell just whipped everybody. You know Kyle (Busch) whether he wants it or not has sort of become that. He could end up using that to his favor. There are people who will cheer for the villain. There are people who like that mentality and pull for the bad guy.”
__________________________________________________________________________
MARK MARTIN
On Joey Logano/DEI Mgmt.

WHAT IS IT ABOUT JOEY LOGANO THAT MAKES EVERYONE EXCITED ABOUT HIS POTENTIAL? Martin: “I don’t know what it is. Joey is magic, take my word for it. You will see soon.”

DO YOU HAVE MUCH INPUT IN TO THINGS AT DEI OUTSIDE OF THE NO. 8 CAR? Martin: “Max, Teresa and John have been more interested in my opinion than anywhere else I have ever been. It still isn’t very much, but they are very interest in my opinion. I have a great relationship with Max and respect. The same with John Story and of course with Teresa as well. It is pretty cool, it makes me feel good that they are interested in my opinion on things from time to time. But, I don’t have a big role in it. I feel really good about where the organization is today versus where it was in October. I think it is very sound and made a lot of progress from where it was in October.”
__________________________________________________________________________
Elliott Sadler
On Sucking Oxygen and AJ

WHAT DO YOU DO DIFFERENTLY NOW TO PREPARE FOR 600 MILES? Sadler “I eat (laughs). I make sure that I eat a lot on Saturday night. I make sure that I eat a lot on Sunday afternoon, a big lunch to make sure that my body has a lot of energy and stuff to pull from. It’s a long race. Five-hours in a race car is very long. I take car of my body this whole week to make sure that I’m good mentality and physically for this weekend. I just make sure that I’m really hydrated. I’ve got a lot of fresh oxygen in my system and everything before the race starts on Sunday.”

WHY THE OXYGEN? Sadler: “There are a lot of guys out here that do (oxygen). Different guys either do it with the mask or in the (oxygen) chamber. It’s something that I learned from Dale Jarrett six or seven years ago. I take in a lot of fresh oxygen. I’m in a car for an hour-and-a-half today and another two or three hours Saturday. By the time Sunday rolls around on the weekend, you’ve got three or four hours of carbon monoxide in your system. So I try to take in some fresh oxygen Saturday night and definitely Sunday morning before the race just to make sure that my blood cells are as pure as they can be. When you’re in a car for five hours, you’re definitely going to get some carbon monoxide in your system. I’m just trying to take care of myself for longevity in the sport.”

DO YOU TAKE IN THE OXYGEN WITH A MASK? Sadler: “I do it with a mask because it’s just easier for me. I don’t really want to lie in a chamber; I’m kind of claustrophobic so I do the mask thing.”

HAVE YOU TALKED TO A.J. ALLMENDINGER THIS WEEK? Sadler: “I’ve got better things to do and more things to worry about than talking to him (Allmendinger). The Coca-Cola 600 is a big race here in NASCAR and I want to be focused and ready to go. Let’s just try and qualify and worry about that, I’ll worry about him another time.”
__________________________________________________________________________
Coca-Cola Pole Sitter Kyle Busch:
On Stuff:

What have you done this week racing so close to home? Busch: “Fortunately I have had a little bit of time off. I went out on the lake yesterday and finally got to enjoy my Centurion boat for the first time this year. The water is still a little cold, but it felt nice. I was able to do some wake boarding and was able to have some fun. I’m sore as all can be right now and I’m hoping that will be better for Saturday night. Other than that, it’s been a pretty calm week. Fortunately they haven’t had me doing too much stuff. It picks up now with today ………and Saturday and Sunday again. I get a day off on Monday and then we go test Tuesday and Wednesday in Pocono so back to it.”

__________________________________________________________________________
Jeff Gordon:
OK Fantasy Racers – His Chances for A Win on Sunday

DO YOU CONSIDER YOURSELF ON THE SHORT LIST OF FAVORITES FOR THIS RACE ON SUNDAY? Gordon: “I wouldn’t even put myself on the list. I think that we’ve got some work to do, performance-wise, but we’re such a good team that anything is possible. So I guess maybe you could put us way at the bottom of the list. When I think of favorites I think of people that show dominance or a lot of speed. To me it’s a very short list of people that are on the list that can win.”

THIS WEEK WILL BE THE LAST RACE HUMPY WHEELER IS IN CHARGE AT LOWE’S MOTOR SPEEDWAY. WHAT’S THAT GOING TO BE LIKE FROM A DRIVER’S PERSPECTIVE? Gordon: “That’s huge. To not really hear anything about it and for that to come out like that, I’ve never thought of this sport or Lowe’s Motor Speedway without Humpy Wheeler. He’s just constantly pushing the envelope. All the creativity and excitement and entertainment he’s brought for the competitors as well as for the fans, is definitely going to be his legacy. He’s set a high bar, for sure.”

DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE HUMPY PROMOTION?
Gordon: “Oh, man. I can remember back when I was a rookie in the Cup Series, he used to use us rookies quite a bit. I can remember we did human bowling up there near the Speedway Club one time (laughs). Probably the one that stands out the most was when we did a stagecoach thing where we came out in a stagecoach in a Western theme and there were like bank robbers and we were shooting little cap guns. I would have never done that today (laughs). Back then it was pretty comical.”

DO YOU EXPECT DALE JR. TO WORK MORE CLOSELY WITH YOU NEXT TIME (Restrictor Plate Racing)?
Gordon: “Not at all. I don’t expect him to. I’m not asking him to. It’s just that we have a better understanding. My goal as a driver is, I don’t car if it’s my teammate or not, to not allow them to make the pass. My job is to make sure my line is going forward and I’m using my mirrors. I’ve always said that. I did expect for that type of move to maybe happen later in the race; not at that point in the race. So now I know and it just allows us to work together and know that when those things happen, don’t take it personal. It’s just part of the way the race is unfolding at that point. And we’re competitors who want some position and sometimes that means working with your teammates and sometimes that means not working with your teammates. I’ve been in this thing long enough to know that I haven’t always made my teammates happy by everything I’ve done. But I think I’ve gained a little more patience over the years and know how much I want to have those guys on my side towards the end of the race. That’s way I try to make as many friends as I possible can If it’s possible.”
—————————————————————-

That’s a wrap for this blog. I had better get up and at it. It’s going to be a busy day – and while there’s no action on the track at Lowe’s Motor Speedway I’ll be checking on the trucks at Mansfield Motorsports Park and spending the day kicking around the race shops in Charlotte.

Enjoy the day!
Claire B

Photo of Carol Bickford co-hosting my show May 21, 2008

Posted by claireblang in Drivers, Fun Stuff, My Show.
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Here’s the photo of Carol Bickford (Jeff Gordon’s Mom) co-hosting my “Dialed In” with Claire B Lang Show from Chevy Mobile Broadcast Unit at Darlington. If you didn’t get to hear the show, check jeffgordon.com to hear audio segments from the show.

Claire B
Carol Bickford and Claire B-Darlington

Burnout Official scoring May 17, 2008

Posted by claireblang in 2008 Season, Drivers, Fun Stuff.
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Pennzoil Platinum Victory Challenge
Burnout Competition Official Scoring

1) Greg Biffle Time: 25.406
Penalty: 5 seconds for not maintaining a tire spin.

2) Clint Boyer 28.971
Penalty: 5 seconds for not stopping in finish box

3) Kevin Harvick 31.916
Penalties:None

4) Kyle Busch 40.554
Penalties: None

5) Jimmie Johnson 69.017
Penalties:
10 seconds for not maintaining a tire spin (5 sec per occurance)
10 seconds for hitting cones (2 sec per cone)
5 seconds for not stopping in finish box

Pennzoil Burn Out Contest Blog! May 17, 2008

Posted by claireblang in 2008 Season, Drivers, Fun Stuff.
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Lowe’s Motor Speedway

Hey: I guess you deserve a quick note on the burnout competition since I talked about it a lot this week.

I just got back from the grid from the Penzoil Burn Out competition prior to the Sprint All-Star Race. Who would have imagined that Jimmie Johnson would have decided to just break the rules and blow the tires? I figured that it was Kevin Harvick that would have done that- but it seemed Johnson got to it first.

How about Harvick getting to the “victory lane” area and then taking the car up to the wall and sending smoke to the grandstands. And Kyle Busch – who bowed to the crowd after a mild burnout but got the fans booing and steamed the stands with the bowing. It was all for fun with charity money on the line. Greg Biffle, driver of the No. 16 3M Ford Fusion, was declared the winner. Outside the deadline room just now the Pennzoil executive was looking for ideas should they do it next year. Here are some suggestions:

1) Let the drivers bring their own stuff
2) Let more drivers participate
3) Let fans vote.
4) Include the trucks!

Biffle won $10,000 for the Greg Biffle Foundation. Down on pit road afterwards he was still enjoying the moment – Here’s what he said:

GREG BIFFLE “It was pretty fun. I wish it would have started a little bit better because I dumped the clutch over there to get the tires going and the clutch slipped. The clutch just started spinning and didn’t get the tires spinning, so I had to stop and rev it up again to get the back tires spinning. These things don’t have a real heavy race clutch in them, so it was hard to get the tires spinning. They had a lot of grip, but once I got them spinning it was just kind of donuts as usual, I guess – a burnout after the race. I haven’t had much practice this year, but, hopefully later tonight I’ll do another one.”

WHAT ABOUT THE FAN REACTION? “It was awesome and I gave them a little slide job over here around the Legends track, so the fans loved it. They want to see the smoke and the excitement and I think they saw that.”

HOW WOULD YOU RANK YOUR BURNOUT? “Kind of a D- taking off, but I would say after that a strong B, I guess, maybe a B+. It definitely wasn’t an A burnout, but it wasn’t bad.”

YOU GET $10,000 FOR YOUR CHARITY AS WELL. “Yeah, that’s great. We’re gonna give the money to the Greg Biffle Foundation. We support a lot of animal shelters. We’re getting ready to build a shelter in South Iredell County right now, in the Mooresville area, so Friends of the Animal Board, we’ve been working on it for about a year-and-a-half. We’re excited and just getting ready to launch that thing and get it going.”

JOHNSON BLEW OUT SOME TIRES. “Yeah, he definitely put on a show for the fans. We had to follow the rules a little bit and he knocked some cones down and some other things, but it was good fun for the fans.”

SHOULD THEY DO IT NEXT YEAR? “Yeah, I think they should do it next year. I don’t know how to make it better. Kind of change it up and maybe give us a little more room or something and start the cones back a little further, but it was a lot of fun.”

HOW ABOUT BRING YOUR OWN STUFF? “I want to bring one of my cars because I think the fans would get really juiced up about us bringing our stuff out here and doing it. That would be pretty cool for them to see that. I’m talking about one of my personal cars. If Goodyear would bring us some tires, I would bring my Shelby GT500 car. It’s got a lot of power and it would look cool out there laying down some rubber and some smoke.”

If you have ideas for next year’s contest post them here!

Topic: What are your thoughts on the burnout competition and what would you add?

Enjoy the All Star Race!
Claire B

DRIVERS MEETING: Sprint Cup All Star Challenge May 17, 2008

Posted by claireblang in 2008 Season, Drivers.
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Lowe’s Motor Speedway
CBL Pre-Race Blog

Hey! Well the driver’s meeting is over. Nothing major but a whole lot of reading of rules and because the rules for this All Star night are so different – everyone listened intently.

When David Hoots, the race director, was finished going over the rules – there was a question only from one driver. Kurt Busch asked if on restarts the leader has the choice of the lane he wants to use? Hoots replied that no the leader must take the inside.

There were secret service guys in the drivers meeting as well – North Carolina Governor Mike Easley showed up at the driver’s meeting and I assume that is why there were secret service checking out the media center today. Guests in the drivers meeting included a Major General from the National Guard, General of the USAF, John Walsh from America’s Most Wanted and the owner of the Atlanta Falcons.

The most significant moment in the driver’s meeting was the mention of Dale Jarrett’s last race…and a long, very long and meaningful standing ovation.
dale-jarrett-signed-sealed-delivered-ups-big
Congratulations DJ!

Now – it’s off to the burnout competition.
Claire B