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NASCAR Qualifying Discussion October 26, 2008

Posted by claireblang in claire blang, NASCAR, XM Radio.
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NASCAR’s Qualifying Subject of Seemingly Endless Discussion
Truth: Changing qualifying is NOT on NASCAR’s front burner
 
After Friday’s rained out qualifying here at Atlanta – The phone lines were buzzing on “Dialed In” show (3-6 EST XM Channel 148) with listener’s creative ideas to change NASCAR’s qualifying format. Because we had debated it for hour after hour – in the days and weeks leading up to the 10th rained out qualifying of the season -I tried to direct the callers to other hot topics – to no avail. For weeks the talk shows and columns and questions to drivers from media members has been how to change qualifying and whether the format needs changing. The ideas ranged from the well thought out to the absurd but fun to throw out there. There was no stopping the ideas for qualifying.
 
We can talk until we’re blue in the face – and come up with ideas ranging from great, to tongue in cheek but why?  OK, there are not a lot of other things to talk about on a rained out qualifying day.
 
First, despite the comments from drivers about setting a special qualifying for the “go or go homers” who are not in the top 35 when their shot to qualify is rained out – NASCAR is not close to coming up with a special “go or go home qualifying.”
 
Second, there are usually good reasons why some things that seem like the best idea ever won’t work – when presented to NASCAR.  It’s fun to throw ideas out – but when you sit down with those ideas and talk about them realistically – most of them just don’t play out as workable.
 
I decided to talk with NASCAR Spokesman Jim Hunter about the qualifying debate so that everyone could be on the same page as to what NASCAR is thinking about qualifying today – and the background as to what it’s been in the past.
 
NASCAR Spokesman Jim Hunter –
 
CBL: We’ve had ideas on redoing qualifying – everything from ping pong ball picks to foot races…let’s start at the beginning:
 
Hunter: “Well we’ve heard stories about even turning them around and running them counter clockwise – just to line them up in reverse and all that sort of thing. But going back to the beginning for the big races we used to run four laps of qualifying just like Indianapolis. If you start to think about that – four laps per car- and there have been times when we’ve had over 60 cars. So 60 cars times four laps, let’s say a minute a lap, I mean you’re talking hours. Then we knocked it down and we even had at one time we used to line the field up with the top 30 by time trials and then had a qualifying race – a last chance race for all the cars that were there and at times way back we would have as many as 30 cars trying to make 6 spots. And we finally settled on two laps most of the places.  Running multiple events on a weekend where you run two national series and in some cases three national series. At New Hampshire for example we’ve got Cup, we’ve got trucks, we’ve got the Camping World East and Featherlight Modified. That’s four divisions, four sets of cars that you’re trying to establish qualifying time for in a schedule. It’s so difficult to reschedule qualifying. A lot of people wonder why you do it by points. It’s because points are earned by the drivers and teams who race. So in our mind it’s fair for the teams who do well to earn this as opposed to doing a lottery and draw for positions. I mean you might could do that in weekly races but at this level the points system works well because the people who will have earned their way into the chase deserve – weather is out of everyone’s control. In one sense of the word though Claire I think it’s really good because everybody comes up with an idea.”
 
CBL: Fans are even talking about letting them qualify on race day. Can you fathom that?
 
Hunter:” It would be very difficult to do because schedules are put together a long time in advance. Just like pre race for example – all the things that you have to do on race day and getting people in and out of the race track, getting the track prepared – it just wouldn’t work. Realistically that just would not work. Now we did-we didn’t qualify -but on 9/11 and we had to go back to New Hampshire. We rescheduled that race for the Friday after Thanksgiving. The reason we did that is that gave us Saturday you know it was in November so in New Hampshire everybody was saying there could be snow, there could be ice. We impounded the cars. We went in there that morning I think we had a one hour practice session from 8 to 9, something like that. Then we ran the race at like 11:00 and all in one day. So, if you plan that ahead of time you could do that. But by the same token when you have a preliminary event on the day before the Sprint Cup race then it makes it difficult to reshuffle everything and that’s why. I think this year it was our tenth, when we had to cancel qualifying. That’s very, very unusual. We have had some years when we might have had three or four. This is one of those that I think might be one of those records that we don’t keep (laughter). I don’t think we want to be reminding people of the year we had ten qualifying sessions washed out.”
 
CBL: Is there any thought to changing any part of qualifying. Like the go or go home qualifying moving to Saturday (after rained out qualifying)?
 
Hunter: “I think that we’re ok with the way it is. We’re constantly getting suggestions very obviously from the people who are not in the top 35 which is self serving to that group. We think locking in the top 35 is, I think, a really good thing because it rewards the people who race the most and things should be performance based. That’s based on a team’s performance. In the real world when somebody says well you should stretch it to 36 cars because somebody happens to be 36th  your response to that team should be well you need to race well enough to be 35th. We think about it – but I think it’s served us very well.”
 
CBL: So (changing it ) it’s not on the front burner?
 
Hunter: “No, No. I think qualifying rain outs are only on the front burner when it rains. And it goes away quickly. Like here in Atlanta on Friday I mean it rained all day. We finally got the track dry and what did they get 6 laps 5, laps or 8 laps and the mist started coming and the track got wet again and it had taken us like three hours to dry the track and plus we were racing the truck series here. So all and all I think it’s the way to do it.”
 
CBL: Why don’t they come in on Saturday and qualify when you have a rain out?
 
Hunter: “Well I think that the biggest difference or the biggest reason is when you have another event. Like this (Saturday) morning we scheduled some practice times. Remember these cars hadn’t even other than those 8 laps some of them took four had not even been on the race track. Getting the cars prepared for racing is more important than getting the cars prepared for qualifying. So that’s why we do that. They’d have to change, even today when they don’t do all the things they used to do with a special motor and all those sorts of things, still they have to switch the car from qualifying trim to race trim and we’d rather the guys have practice time so that they are better prepared for the race.”
 
CBL: Why is it ok for the go or go homers who don’t’ get to qualify to go home when they did not have a chance to qualify?
 
Hunter: “Well I don’t think you ever justify it to them. But there has to be a way to do it. And, to us, the way we do it seems to be the fairest way.”
 
CBL: Do you remember in history when people were complaining when we had years the rain days were excessive like this year?
 
Hunter: “Yea, and even more than that I remember when, if you were a rookie, we had several days of qualifying leading up to an event. In the old days we used to qualify on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. Back in the 60’s, I was a PR guy at Darlington. The guys would come in on Tuesday night and we would have the first round of qualifying on Wednesday and we would take the top 8 cars. The first 8 would be locked in. Then Thursday we’d take the next 8 that would be 16 and then Friday we’d take another 8 and that would be 24. We started 36 cars. Then Saturday we ran a qualifying race – so whoever didn’t get in – and we kept that going until the teams were having to come in so early from a cost standpoint time. And we got to where we went through a time back then in the 60s and early 70s where we would only have if we were starting 36 cars – we might just have 36 or maybe 37 so when you got to that qualifying race – everybody was going to make the race anyway so it wasn’t really a race.”
 
CBL: Fans would love to see something like that (a qualifying race). What would you like to say to the fans who have suggestions on everything from ping pong balls to qualifying races:
 
Hunter: “Keep thinking. A qualifying race today – there’s just no time for it. Plus when you run a qualifying race you have certain teams that know they might not get in regularly or the regular way or they’ll have a special motor built just for the qualifying. I mean there’s all sorts of cost related things to the teams and the tracks that prevent us from doing that. Times change. Even back in the older days those qualifying races – everybody criticized us for running the races because they didn’t race, they didn’t have to. Then the teams that had to run 20 laps wanted the promoters to put up more money for qualifying race because they were using a set of tires. You get into all those things that you don’t normally think of.
 
Our fans usually when they get all the information they may not always agree with what we decide. But we hope that they’ll understand why we do it.
 
You have to change with time. The demands on the time of our teams today is so much greater than it used to be with sponsor appearances, media obligations.”
 
CBL: So the fans will continue to talk about lots of ideas. But there is no thought that it will change any time soon?
 
Hunter: “I haven’t heard one yet that our competition guys and that the garage would be happy with. I’ll put it that way. “
 
CBL: So keep talking.
 
Hunter: “Absolutely keep throwing out ideas because I have always believed in throwing things up against the wall and sometimes something will stick -what we call out of the box. Plus, I like it because our fans care, I like that.”
 
CBL: What about the points leader in a rain out getting the pole position but maybe change it so they do not also get the first pit selection?
 
Hunter:” It is what it is. Jimmie is leading the points. Our program is designed for whom ever is leading the points. We can’t, we haven’t come up with a way that if it rains ten times in a row – well if it rains twice here’s what you do – if it rains three times here’s what you do. You see where I’m going?  I hope our fans understand that. It’s simply the system is designed to reward whoever is first in points gets first choice second gets second choice right on down the line. So any of the guys who are12th and get 12th choice if they had performed better they would be first or second or third so that is how you have to look at it.”
 
CBL:Well what about the theory that the pit selection is helping them to perform better – unfairly just because of rain?
 
Hunter: “These races are usually long enough that a guy has still got to perform on the race track during an event and yea early in the race in some cases pit stalls are more important than others. But it’s still relies – if you’re pitting under caution and they talk about track position a guy has still got to pass people to get to the front.
 
And I think our crew chiefs in this sport – I call them the best spinners in the world. Those guys can spin things to make you believe that if their pit stall was one instead of 15 that they would have won the race. They convince me of that. (laughing) and I think that’s a part of the sport. But I don’t think it’s that big of a situation and it only comes up because it’s happened so often. If it’s every once in a while – and hopefully we don’t have another year where we have ten qualifying sessions rained out.”
 
 
CBL: Thanks Jim
 
Hunter:” Ok”
 

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Claire B. Blog Monday, October 20, 2008 October 20, 2008

Posted by claireblang in 2008 Season, Drivers, Items of Interest, Listeners, NASCAR, Transcripts.
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Ryan Newman in August 2007 a...Image via WikipediaClaire B. Blog
Monday, October 20, 2008
Charlotte, NC

Good morning from Charlotte! All the way home last night we debated sports in which the same team/person wins all the time and how fans of various sports react. That will be the topic today. I have had emails on how frustrated Kurt Busch was —ready to pull his car off the track – and asking for permission to do so……Penske management saying no. I have had emails from Johnson fans and fans of other drivers regarding the chase and statistically the chances that anyone can catch him.

I got this from a listener: Larry maintains that most race fans who are “up on the wheel” today about their driver’s chances in the chase do not understand that “IF” their driver were to win all the remaining races, why wouldn’t they be in first place and win the championship.

Larry writes, “Given that most of us thought it would take something like an average finish of 5 to win the championship, you will notice that ONLY three drivers can conceivably finish with a 5 or better average and that is ONLY if they win the remaining races. But what is really hard to fathom (for most) is that winning does not “dig oneself out of a deficit” because if a specific driver were to win and the top three drivers were to finish 2nd, 3rd and 4th, the largest point gain over the leaders would be a mere 10 points. At +10 points per weekend, it would take 10 weekends to make up for a 100 point deficit and then only if you won every weekend…the top drivers are “there” every weekend…..and to catch the 48 car, he will have to finish outside of the top 10 “more than once” for deficits to be made up.”

Potential best avg if….IF any of the drivers were to win all of the remaining races…however unlikely….
Chart- for Chase 10-20-08

Obviously, at the rate we are going, says Larry, a “sub-avg-5” will not guarantee a championship….but something well below a sub-5 avg….maybe.

Thanks Larry!

Claire B


NEWMAN TO DRIVE A TRUCK AT ATLANTA:

Ryan Newman is driving a truck this weekend at Atlanta. I wrote the story from a source in a blog a couple of days ago and now it’s official.
Ryan Newman, known as “The Rocket Man,” slides in behind the wheel of the No. 2 Kevin Harvick Inc. (KHI) American Commercial Lines (ACL) Chevrolet for the first time at Atlanta Motor Speedway (AMS). Newman has never driven in the Truck Series, but has an honorable pole record in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series with seven poles in thirteen Sprint Cup starts at AMS. Newman is currently tied for the all-time pole record in the Sprint Cup Series. Newman has two starts in the Nationwide Series and has one pole and a second place start in that division.

Q: THIS IS YOUR FIRST TRUCK RACE. WHAT ARE YOUR EXPECTATIONS?

Newman: “It’s the first time I’ve had the opportunity to run in the Truck Series. Everyone has always told me how much fun they have running the trucks, and now I’ve got the shot to see what it’s like. I expect to go there and have fun. But in saying that, we should have a shot at the win in the end. KHI has two really strong trucks. My teammate is Ron Hornaday, who is currently second in points, and I think he was second at Atlanta earlier this year so I expect we’ll have a really good truck – a top-five or top-10 truck. And by halfway, I’d like to be in a position where we have a shot at the win.”

Q: WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TO RUN A TRUCK SERIES RACE FOR KHI?

Newman: “First off, I have never driven a truck before and it was really something that I wanted to have the chance to do. Secondly, Kevin and DeLana (Harvick) are good friends of mine and (wife) Krissie’s, and when the seat came open in their 2 truck, we talked about it and he asked me if I would be interested. The timing was just right. It’s kind of a difficult time for them with having the need for a driver to fill the seat for the last few races, and I am glad to help them out at Atlanta this weekend.”

Q: WHAT ARE THE SIMILARITIES BETWEEN A TRUCK AND A SPRINT CUP CAR?

Newman: “I don’t know since I haven’t driven one yet. I’m sure I will be talking to Kevin and Ron a lot over the weekend so that we can get the No. 2 truck up front.”

Q: WHAT IS THE KEY TO RUNNING A FAST LAP AROUND ATLANTA?

Newman: “From what I understand, running the truck there, you are wide open. It’s a really fast track, trucks stick really well. The biggest thing I will have to learn is how the trucks race. It seems like they get pretty loose inside each other.”

CHASSIS HISTORY: The No. 2 ACL team will bring chassis number 014 to Atlanta Motor Speedway. The chassis took to the track earlier this season at AMS where the No. 2 team earned their first top-10 finish of 2008 with a sixth-place finish. Chassis 014 also competed at Bristol (Va.) Motor Speedway and was rebuilt after the event due to a crash. The team refers to this chassis as “Old Faithful” due to the fact that this is the oldest downforce truck the No. 2 team has in their stable of chassis. “Old Faithful” also has a consistent record of being solid throughout a race and coming on strong at the finish.

Thanks all….back to work in the studio getting today’s show ready. Thanks for checking out the blog!

Claire B

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Claire B Blog- Martinsville Speedway October 19, 2008

Posted by claireblang in 2008 Season, In The Garage, NASCAR, Trackside.
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An older Wells Fargo branch, located in Berkel...Image via WikipediaBLOG – MartinsvIlle Speedway
Claire B. Lang – Sunday October 19th, 2008

Good Morning and welcome to Martinsville Speedway!

I asked Richard Petty today about the rumored merger talks between Petty Enterprises (Boston Ventures) and Dale Earnhardt Inc. While talks have been going on – it’s just conversation between many teams as they posture their companies and adjust their business plans to include looking at satellite teams or mergers. Here’s Richard’s answer about the possibility of a merger – I’m sure parts of it will be used by others who were taping – but I wanted to give you the full answer to my question to Richard about the possibility of a DEI Petty Enterprises merger:.

CBL: What about the reports of a merger between Petty Enterprises and DEI:

Petty: “You read in the paper that Wachovia and Wells Fargo was trying to get together and everybody else is trying to get together. The Japanese sent a bunch of money to buy a bank in New York. Everybody in the world is talking about this crap. OK and that’s just the trend of the time right now. Yea, we’ll talk to anybody. I’d like to talk to Wells Fargo somebody that’s got a lot of money. I don’t, some of these teams that’s trying to join up they ain’t no better off than we are so we need to get some better help than that.

CBL: That would be wild if two rivals (Earnhardt /Petty) Merged:

Petty “What happens is the way the system is now as far as the economy and also the way the system is with some of the other race teams that’s got satellite teams – here we’re sitting with two teams and some of these guys from the major satellite part is sitting there with eight teams. (It’s) kind of hard to compete with so I think that everybody’s looking at different angels of you know how do you compete with what’s out there right now.”

Petty also said that he would not comment when asked a follow-up by a reporter who asked if DEI needed Petty more than Petty needed DEI.

“Can’t never tell man – liable to be three or four names in there,” Petty added when a reporter followed up by asking if it would be Earnhardt Petty or Petty Earnardt if the merger ever did happen.

The word is that while everyone’s talking to everyone the meetings are more like fact-finding meetings and with a number of players in the garage – not just the two meeting to hammer out a deal.

Drivers Meeting:

Couple of quick notes – the main warning at the driver’s meeting from race director David Hoots was about Martinsville’s pit road: “LET’S LEAVE THE RACING ON THE RACE TRACK AND NOT ON THE PIT ROAD,’ Hoots emphasized. “We all know how small it is,” he added, “It’s been redone it’s nice and smooth – Let’s leave the racing out on the race track.”

There was one question in the driver’s meeting. It was from #48 Crew Chief Chad Knaus:
“Last race here it seemed that you guys opened up the pits kind of late. We were almost all the way through one and two – can you guys push that back?”

David Hoots answered: “Chad’s question is the last race we opened the pit road a little bit late and around one and two – we’ll try to advance it as much as we can but we also look at how the field is spread out and see if it makes sense but we’ll try to take care of that for you.

Pit Road Speed: 30 mph
Caution Car Speed: 35 mph
Pit Road Speed Begins: 110 feet before the first pit box
Pit Road Speed Ends: 75 feet past the last pit box
Minimum Speed: 23.00 seconds

No more questions and we prayed.

I’ll have more coming up – headed into the garage for a few more. I just wanted to get this posted.

Claire B

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Martinsville Blog October 16, 2008

Posted by claireblang in 2008 Season, Trackside.
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AMP Energy (lemon-lime), O...Image via WikipediaHey all!

This weekend at Martinsville I will be in the Chevy Mobil Broadcast Unit on Friday from 3-6 p.m. EST – I’ll be at the Chevy Display in the fan area at Martinsville Speedway broadcasting “Dialed In’ live.

I heard from a source today that Ryan Newman will be racing a truck at Atlanta. I’m loving that thought…..Newman in a truck! I’m hearing it will be announced soon.

I have never entered a contest in my life….but you know I started thinking about all the contest winners I have interviewed at tracks. I got to thinking the only reason other folks win things is because they enter. I’m not eligible as a reporter but I’m thinking that for all of you. Are they serious? See this below. Win a bus?

WIN A BUS: Fans can go to http://www.AMPEnergy.com to sign up for the “Ultimate Talladega RV” sweepstakes. One lucky fan will win the one-of-a-kind No. 88 AMP Energy-branded bus (the bus that drove around at Talladega). Special features include an entertainment system, cooler for AMP Energy drink, custom wheels and autographed Earnhardt memorabilia.

LOL Email of the day:

I got a kick out of this email from Texas. I am still LOL:

Hey Claire B,

………..I came to a conclusion I know why Dale Jr blew a tire this weekend. It’s Jessica Simpson’s fault (LOL) she was wearing a Dale Jr shirt and an AMP Jacket. You know she brought bad luck to Tony Romo and he broke his finger last week during the game. Anyway just a Wednesday conspiracy theory. (LOL) Have a good day and thanks for all your hard work.

Debbie Long……..Addison, TX

It is “Conspiracy Theory Thursday” so while I’m at it here’s another “conspiracy” email. I got a kick out of it.

Claire B:

What do you think the chances of Carl Edwards’ ignition problem that was
“Magically” rectified, being a stealth penalty imposed by NASCAR to
remind the #99 Driver who is running the show?

Unless Rousch admits that Cousin Carl hit the kill switch, my money is
on NASCAR being behind the electronics failure….it wouldn’t be hard to
do.

Happened on pit road….

Magically went away….

Carl is on probation….

Mike B.
Missouri

Well Roush Fenway mechanics replaced the box – so that’s when it “magically” went away it was because the box was replaced. RFR is currently looking into what made the box fail.

I’ll keep you posted.

Claire B
“Dialed In”

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Race Day Blog – Lowe’s Motor Speedway October 11, 2008

Posted by claireblang in 2008 Season, NASCAR.
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Claire B Lang – Pre Race
Race Day Blog – Lowe’s Motor Speedway
Saturday October 11, 2008

The Edwards Harvick Argument Photograph……Has Been Outed

Welcome to Lowe’s Motor Speedway. I just saw a photo of the Carl Edwards/ Kevin Harvick scuffle in the Nationwide garage on Thursday here at LMS. The photo series has started to make it around to the various web sites. There are various accounts as to how the photos got out.

We knew that, eventually, the photo would get out somehow – it was just a matter of time. It always does somehow. I’ve heard various stories of why the photo of the argument was not released and was kept under wraps by a handful of photographers.

Several media members covering the race here at Lowe’s Motor Speedway noted that, in their minds, the photo would have been rushed to Associated Press immediately if H.A. Humpy Wheeler was still on staff here at LMS because, of course, he’d know how good it was for business and would have seen to it that the photo got out. Maybe some think that the photo is bad for the drivers involved or their sponsors but traditionally photos like this are good for ticket sales.

Last night here at LMS several of us in the media corps talked about why the several photographers who got the shot, who are photo and commercial journalists, would have agreed to not publish the photo. This usually happens due to pressure from sponsors that the photographers double dip for on side jobs or from the track or the Roush team. The discussion was that it was no different than someone getting a story off the record and deciding not to use it.

Also, many of the photographers who shoot in the sport do other jobs -and make extra money shooting for corporate and sponsor entities that might conflict with a shot like that getting out. Then are they not photo journalists? Some in the photo room say that the photo was in the garage, a place that is not the same as on pit road and therefore should not be released. Others in the photo room disagreed – saying that there are a lot of fans in the garages now and that while you would hold a photo of two drivers fighting in the motor coach lot, which is their neighborhood, the garage is more public. Now, the photo series is out.

I am asking you this. How much of an impact does a series of photos like this have on your support of a driver or sponsor. Here’s what I think – I think if you are a Kevin Harvick fan you do not change your thoughts about him related to this photo series and you support and back Kevin. If you are a Carl Edwards fan you support him and see the photo series a different way. It all depends on who you support how you see this series of photos right?

Bottom line – these photos will not change fans opinions of either the sponsor nor the driver.

Not one bit.

Am I wrong?

You can find the photos on any of the racing web sites. Let me know what you think

Claire B

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ON LOCATION: “Jail and Bail” October 8, 2008

Posted by claireblang in 2008 Season, Fun Stuff, My Show, NASCAR.
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Claire B Lang

LIVE on Location Blog – Wednesday October 8th 2008

Today I am broadcasting live (3-6 EST XM Channel 148) from the Brickhouse Tavern – in Davidson, NC (209 Delburg St.) LIVE in the Chevy Mobile Broadcast Unit today – broadcasting live from the first official “Jail and Bail” raising money for the Brienne Davis NASCAR Technical Institute Scholarship Fund.

Brienne was a Universal Technical Institute graduate and a NASCAR official who was killed in a car accident six months ago today (April 8th). The NASCAR community – drivers, crew chiefs and crew members and officials have rallied to raise money today for a scholarship fund in her name.

If you can come enjoy the music – meet the participants and help bail out the likes of Tony Stewart, Juan Pablo Montoya and others. If you can’t come listen on the air on Channel 148 and we’ll tell you how can participate.

I have had so many emails and instant messages regarding the finish of the race at Talladega – and I am going to post more of them later tonight. I’ve been busy on location – last night at Dale Earnhardt Inc. and tonight at the Jail and Bail.

I have read your emails and they are good….. here’s a sampling:

Claire,
You just made a comment that a rule is a rule. That is 100% correct. If you
force someone below the line, you get the black flag. I can’t stand how
Nascar keeps changing the rule.
Brad Karlovec

Dear Claire,

How many races is NASCAR going to let Goodyear ruin before they either bring in some competition or a different manufacturer to make tires that do not determine the outcome of the race. After the debacle at the Brickyard earlier this summer, I, personally, would have thought that Goodyear would have been going above and beyond, even making a tire that was too hard, to make sure that tire failures did not affect the outcome of another race this season. Tire failure not only affected the outcome of the race this past weekend, it may, ultimately, have affected the outcome of The Chase and who the champion will be. The luck of the draw and whether the driver received a set to tires that wouldn’t inexplicably EXPLODE was very much present on Sunday. Denny Hamlin spent the night in a Birmingham hospital on Sunday after his tire exploded. This shows not only the frustration that the exploding tires was causing, but also the danger.

Four drivers were either starting backup cars or had crews that spent extra long hours fixing their cars Friday & Saturday after Dale Jr. had a tire blow up during practice on Friday. As a fan who wants to see the drivers determine the outcome of the race and not their tires, I believe that Goodyear should be on extremely thin ice with NASCAR.

Just my thoughts!
Jenn

I have been a little disconnected from the whole world the past two weeks. So Monday when I actually was able to get to my XM and couldn’t find your show I freaked. I am happy to have found you on your new station. Knowing that it was going to be a good one after the race on Sunday. I hate that I missed it but am sure that there were a lot of unhappy/happy people. I am one of those fans that was very excited to see Tony get a win (first of the year) as well as his first at Talladega.. GO Tony.. Tell Regan that he wouldn’t of wanted to get a win this way people would of questioned him getting his first win with an illegal pass. When people talk about his first win he wants it to be because without a doubt he earned it. Keep your chin up Regan it will come and then you will give people something to talk about.

Annette
Arkansas

SEND THAT 20 AROUND WOO HOO…..

Claire

I think Nascar should make the rule for all tracks and noit just the super speedways. This way it is the same rule for all the tracks.

I believe Nascar has more important problems to fix. Luckly they have not had anyone hurt in the big one yet, they need to look at how to break up the big packs before someone is. I don’t want to see that happen but if you play with fire or are bound to get burnt.

Paul

Hi Claire B,

Kudos to you for being there with Regan where the real story is, and kudos to Regan. Regan, You have made a name for yourself! Now I can place a face with the firesuit. I and the Biff agree that you were robbed. Did you notice how subdued the interviews were on NASCAR Victory Lane? I will be rooting for you!

Cynda
Associate of Robinhood

Regan is a class act the way he is handling this travesty. Can you imagine
the whining going on if this had need to Kyle Bush? The more I think about
this, the madder I get. That call was a joke, once again!
Brad

Hi Clare:)
I have been listening to all the banter regarding the finish at Dega
this past weekend and in a nut shell what Nascar has done by
rewarding Tony the win was let the drivers know that it is ok to
cause the big one on the final lap at Dega and Daytona. They have
basically just told anyone who is leading on the last lap to block
and force your opponent below the yellow line and you win.

They have really just told all drivers that they need to pass the
leader on the outside and only the outside on the last lap because if
you try the low side you will be forced below the yellow line by the
leader because we are ok with blocking. So now every leader will
always know that the guy in 2nd will be passing on the outside or
wrecking a lot of good cars trying the inside and holding his line.

Nascar has become a joke. every week I become more and more
frustrated with this sport I love.

Keep The Rubber Side Down

Lorne
Canada

wouldn’t go so far as to say there was a conspiracy theory that NASCAR wanted Tony Stewart or a big name to win the race, however, do you (or others) think that if the move pulled off by Regan Smith would have been pulled off by a bigger name that there would have been a different ruling?

In the NBA there were the Jordan Rules where we got the better calls by officials and I’m just wondering if a guy like Regan doesn’t get the benefit of the doubt like others would.

Mark C. Winkler

Claire,
Please tell your listeners that the Talladega horse is dead, move on, get over it, it’s a done deal. TONY WINS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Wayne in NJ

He is a racer and wanted the win but he was justified in staying low and
just backing off. He did not have to try and get back inline and would
have gotten second.

I hope this silences all the crazies that call in and say Stewart would
never win a race in a Toyota!

Rick
I’ll post more of the hundreds of emails that I have when I get off air tonight.

Take care…raining in Charlotte…pouring in fact.

How much money will it take to bail out Tony here tonight?

Claire B

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Talladega Drivers Meeting October 5, 2008

Posted by claireblang in 2008 Season, NASCAR.
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Casey Mears Girlfriend – Is not in labor:

Note: Despite conflicting reports that you may read or hear – I am told she is not in labor. She is in the time frame where technically she could go into labor but is not in labor at this time (Sunday 12.24 EST) . So – unless something happens he’ll be fine to race. They are just being prepared. The Hendrick folks told me today that she was not in labor – and asked if I’d clarify. So-that’s the accurate story as of this hour.

Talladega Drivers Meeting:

Pit Road Speed: 55 mph
Caution Car Speed 70 mph
Pit Road Speed Begins 175 feet before the first pit box
Pit Road Speed Ends: 75 feet past the last pit box.
Minimum Speed: 54.66 seconds

THIS IS YOUR WARNING DRIVERS: Race Director -David Hoots told the drivers and crew chief’s today “This is your warning. If you race below the yellow line and in the judgement of NASCAR you advance your position, you will be black flagged. If, in NASAR’s judgement you force someone below the yellow line in an effort to stop him from passing you , you may be black flagged”

Hoots added: “Aggressive driving zones..first off don’t place yourself in position of opening up in our judgement of what’s aggressive. It’s considered all the way around the race track with much emphasis and observation placed on the turns and in the tri-oval. If you think that you are getting ready to go over being aggressive back off and let’s get to the end of the race.

Hoots also warned the group about speeding. “I would remind you all we had numerous speeding penalties yesterday at the entrance and exits and yellow line to yellow line,” he said.

NO Questions:
When asked by Hoots if there were any questions – the room of drivers and crew chiefs was silent.

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Talladega Superspeedway Blog October 5, 2008

Posted by claireblang in 2008 Season.
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C l a i r e B Lang
Talladega Superspeedway
Sunday, October 5, 2008

After Qualifying on Saturday Dale Junior talked to reporters about how the Hendrick cars will work together in todays race. How many of you think that he and Jeff Gordon will be able to give and take enough to draft together? So many times plans are forged in pre-race conclaves and motor coach chats here at Talladega and they never materialize. Here’s exactly what Dale Junior said about working together here at Talladega today.

“Me and Jeff are thinking about going up front and running hard. I think the 5 and 48 are going to be patient and try to take care of their cars a little bit better in back so me and Jeff are going try to go up there and try to learn to work together.

CBL: So how’s that going to work.

Junior: “I think it will work good. We got to make it work.”

Dale Junior said that he and Gordon working together here at Talladega is simply an issue of figuring out who does what who with perhaps a pinch of who is better in the mix.

“Well we both think we’re the best. So that is really where the conflict comes in,” Junior said (laughing). “Whose supposed to be out front and who is supposed to be helping who. You know what I mean. But when it’s all said and done we both know we’re going to try to win the race. We do a pretty good job and we get better at it every time we do run at the plate tracks of working together a majority of the race the first 75 percent of the race and ah he knows what he’s doing and he can be a great help to you and you just got to – you get what you give and sometimes maybe I’m not as giving as I should be in certain points of the race but that’s how it works. You tend to get help from the people that you helped earlier in the race you know not just somebody out of the blue.”

CBL: Did you guys talk about it prior to this race?

Dale Junior: “We just said we’d try to go up there and run hard and try to learn how to work together and do a better job and enjoy working together instead of being so competitive.”

I’m headed out to the garage…back with more in a few. Wanted to post this first.

I’ll have another post pre race so stay tuned.

Good morning !

Claire B

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