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OMG – Evernham’s New Office Crib!! Dakar Rally January 27, 2009

Posted by claireblang in 2009 Season, Crew Chiefs, Teams.
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OMG – Evernham’s New Office Crib!!

Today (Tuesday, January 27) I went to Ray Evernham Enterprises for a special lunch with Ray as he announced his new course for his future. I was blown away by the museum Evernham has put together at his new museum/shop just off exit 36 on I 77 North. (See the amazing picture).


Upon entering the facility – looking through the many trophies and notes and photos and framed articles of racers who lived and died (most all of them died) racing the vehicles on display – – I saw a “Rainbow Warriors” engraved plaque. The etched metal piece on the wood was engraved with the signatures of the guys on the #24 team. Although Evernham has a slew of motivational banners and signs (some given back to him by Lowe’s #48 crew chief Chad Knaus from the time he led the Hendrick group) this one stood out:

“We know how rough the road will be – How heavy here the load will be. We know about the barricades that wait along the track.

But we have set our soul ahead upon a certain goal ahead and nothing left from hell to sky – shall ever turn us back.”

I got goose bumps on that one. Each member of the teams signature is etched below the saying and it’s hard to believe that one group of young men could be as committed to winning and excellence as that team. But you’ll have that in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series racing and you could almost feel the passion given in the prime years of the guys on that team led by Evernham to being number one.

Today, Evernham is happy and doing things on his terms. It’s not time for champion crew chief Chad Knaus to stop and enjoy what he has built and achieved – he’s still on his game, Evernham said. One day Evernham may return to Sprint Cup racing – but today it’s Evernham’s turn to reflect, collect and share with young racers and up and comers and whomever the heck he wants to share his knowledge with. He’ll help set the land speed record, He’ll create racing opportunities for young stars, host on ESPN, serve as new owner of East Lincoln Speedway and continue to build the museum at REE.

The place was incredible -beyond description. Inside the building, a diner, an antique Texaco gas station store front, bar, and the vehicles…amazing. Check out the photo at right. Impressive Ray!

NASCAR Hauler Driver Meets Dakar Rally LIVE on “Dialed In”

I want to thank Randy Rodriguez the Sprint Cup Series hauler driver for Robby Gordon Motorsports for calling me the first week of January from the Dakar rally when I was on the air on Sirius NASCAR Radio. Not everyone knows that Randy is married to Robby’s mom and he’s a right guy.

I received a phone call as clear as talking to your neighbor and here it was a call from Randy in Argentina. What a story! He talked about the guys, including Robby sleeping in tents, and roll overs and near misses and the crowds that lined the streets and the throngs that welcomed them to South America. His story was so compelling. Once Rodriquez and the team returned he sent me some photos of the trip – (see the photos in the blog sidebar to the right). Enjoy! Rodriguez is a man of his word. He said he would call and he did – he had a special international cell phone and it was a real special surprise to be able to take my listeners LIVE to the Dakar Rally camp of Gordon’s team. Thanks Randy!!

Stay tuned for more excitement and unpredictable calls and inside stories on Dialed In.

I am going to begin posting regular for the season as I leave for Daytona and coverage of the 2009 Daytona 500.

Enjoy the day!

Claire B

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Jan 16th – FANFEST Daytona January 16, 2009

Posted by claireblang in 2008 Season.
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Looking across the Daytona International Speedway
Image via Wikipedia

LIVE from Daytona Blog
Friday, January 16th, 2009

Welcome to Daytona!

After waaaay too much time away from the track during the off season – it’s time to go racin’ boys! (Girls too!) I officially declare today, January 16th 2009 the official start of blogging on this site from the race tracks and the start of an inside look at the 2009 season.

I’m here at Daytona International Speedway covering Fan Fest and as I set up here in the media center I can hear the cars on the race track (ok – it’s the Richard Petty Driving Experience) and I can hear the thumping of music from the Fan Fest stage located right outside the door. I’ve always noticed that Daytona International Speedway plays the best music over the sound system – and each year when I arrive at Daytona to start the season -I wonder who put the music mix together up in master control.

Tonight (Friday, Jan 16th) 7-10 and tomorrow (Saturday, Jan 17th) 12-3 p.m. I will be broadcasting LIVE on SIRIUS NASCAR Radio from the media center here at Daytona.
Here is a tentative list of drivers that I will have on live and what time to expect them:

LIVE on “Dialed In” SIRIUS NASCAR Radio – Friday, Jan 16th
7:00 -10:00 p.m. EST – Channel 128

7:05 EST John Wes Townley

7:15 EST Reed Sorenson*

7:50 EST Jeff Burton*

8:00 EST Martin Truex, Jr.*

8:35 EST Greg Biffle*

8:50 EST Mike Skinner*

9:00 EST Ryan Newman*

9:35 EST Casey Mears*
LIVE on “Dialed In” – SIRIUS NASCAR Radio -Saturday, January 17th
12:00-3:00 EST Channel 128

12:15 EST David Ragan*

12:30 EST Jimmie Johnson*
1:00 EST Rick Crawford*

1:15 EST Paul Menard*

1:30 EST Jeff Gordon*

2:20 EST Alex Garcia

2:40 EST Denny Hamlin*

I’ve gotten a number of emails on the new rules regarding the Budweiser Shootout. The in box is going crazy on both sides of the issue.

Fans who follow a driver that is in the Shootout now because of a new wild card wrinkle are naturally thrilled.

Other fans are not happy: Here’s one on the “don’t mess with it” side:

Hi Claire B.

They turned the Bud shoot out into a joke….They’re just making it up as they go…I won’t even watch…what a farce how we just go ahead and let the rest of the field in….They screwed it up when they changed the format in the first place…Now they’re just making it worse…


Remember this is a non-points special race – like the All Star race. LMS event folks make format and rule changes to that race each year on a whim….is this any different? We know that getting the stars of the show into the Budweiser Shootout is good for ticket sales. What’s wrong with changing the format – as promoters have been known to do when the race is a special event? Just asking the question. Email me at insidercbl@aol.com.

The newly announced Budweiser Shootout rules below:
NASCAR announced today a revision to the 2009 Budweiser Shootout at Daytona format that provides each manufacturer with a ‘wild card’ entry, increasing the size of the field from 24 to 28 cars, highlighting the manufacturers’ involvement in NASCAR, and featuring more drivers for fans to support.

The 31st annual season-opening event at Daytona International Speedway will be held on Saturday night, Feb. 7. As was announced last August, the lineup will consist of the top six teams from each manufacturer, based on the final 2008 car owner points. Eligibility is based on owners competing in this event with the same manufacturer as 2008.

The new wrinkle calls for each manufacturer to be able to enter a seventh car, or “wild card” entry, based on the following criteria:
• Any owner outside of the top six in year end 2008 owners’ points whose driver is a past NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion that attempted to qualify for all of the 2008 events (only one position will be filled per manufacturer and will be based on the most recent past champion per manufacturer).
• If an owner/manufacturer does not have a past champion driver, the next highest eligible owner outside the top six in year end 2008 owners’ points from each manufacturer will be eligible to compete in the event.

As of today, cars eligible to compete in the 2009 Budweiser Shootout at Daytona would be as follows (using 2008 car numbers):
Budweiser Shootout
70* 10** 22** 38**
* past champion (Tony Stewart)
** based on seventh highest finishing position in 2008 owners’ points

Ok so what do you think? Email me if you can – I want to hear your comments!

Stay tuned to this blog for inside stories and updates on my travels and the show. I’ll be starting to blog more regularly and stay in touch this way with you.

I cannot tell you how great it feels to be back at a race track.
By the way, don’t we all feel great about the miracle on the Hudson! Incredibly positive stuff to watch.

Hope 2009 is starting great for you. Stay tuned.

Cheers and many blessings this New Year!
Claire B Lang

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Happy New Year! January 4, 2009

Posted by claireblang in 2009 Season, My Show.
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Claire B. Blog
January 4, 2009

Greetings friends from my studio in Charlotte, NC!

I wish you all many blessings in this New Year! Thanks for all the nice emails and instant messages with wishes! You all mean a lot and I appreciate it greatly. To all of you – thanks for following the show and keeping in touch with me and for the friendship and great racing conversation via email and on the air over the past year. Now, as we pack away the holiday trimmings — and welcome in what I hope is a positive New Year for all of you -it’s time to go racing isn’t it?

I promised that when I was about to go back on the air I’d write and let you know. Although formal announcements are forthcoming I have a lot going on and have a major role in SIRIUS NASCAR Radio starting next week and I wanted to keep you all posted. Hopefully, many of you were able to hear the LIVE broadcasts of “Dialed In” when I was in the SIRIUS Studios in New York City for Champions Week in December. I hope you enjoyed the special broadcasts.

I am going to be very busy returning to SIRIUS NASCAR Radio in 2009 -and will be anchoring pre and post race broadcasts, putting together broadcast specials, anchoring live broadcasts from all special events in 2009 (Sound and Speed in Nashville, the Lowe’s Motor Speedway Media Tour, Fan Fest, Daytona etc.)

Yes…. I’ll be anchoring “Dialed In” as well – and the first official “Dialed In” show will be at 7 p.m. this coming Wednesday on SIRIUS NASCAR Radio channel 128 and on XM for “Best Of” subscribers on the “Best Of” SIRIUS channel 128.

As I said, I will be extremely busy taking you live everywhere on SIRIUS NASCAR Radio that special events are going on and very busy taking my show on the road covering the NASCAR circuit this year again. I will be leaving for Nashville on Friday and broadcasting “Dialed In” Friday and over the weekend from “Sound and Speed” from the SIRIUS XM Studios in Nashville. I love taking you into live events and to race shops and broadcasting from the track where action is happening. I will be doing that as well as “Dialed In” in 2009. It’s going to be exciting to take you on the road and to events with me and whenever I have news breaking you will hear it on the channel – and I’ll be checking in each night at 7:00 p.m. EST once things start rolling.

As to how the holidays went – thanks for asking.

First off, my birthday is not January 1 and any information on Facebook as to my birthday was totally incorrect. This blog (Claireblang.com) is posted on the social networking sites but since I did not update my personal information – somehow the sites computer automatically put January 1 as my birthday and tons of you sent me emails wishing me a happy birthday. My birthday is in August so thanks for the wishes but I am not a New Years baby! 🙂 Geeze how many birthdays does someone need in a year?

The other thing that I wanted to write about was all the economic woes that the sport is going through that seem to be the main and sometimes only story line topic everywhere you turn. While I have spent a great deal of time covering the economics of NASCAR and I have so many friends who are affected within the sport —people are hurting everywhere. Every business and every sport and seemingly every American is affected. What we need now is not to ignore the economic story – of course not –It’s major –but to get back to covering more than just the easiest picking off the story tree and focusing only on that. I’d like to get back to covering racing and my wish in 2009 is that we start to see a turnaround in the economy in general for you all- that we start to see any inkling in our lives that we can begin to enjoy sports again – and that we can start to pick up the pieces, all of us in America, and turn things around.

I think we do that by working hard. We do that by being extremely thankful for our blessings if we have a job and helping others if we know people who do not. We do that by finding things about whatever sport we enjoy (football, basketball, hockey) to give us something besides the grim news to talk about. I am a positive person by nature and I am feeling deep inside that it is my job to work harder to find compelling stories that have not been told yet about players in the sport, and to tell those stories the best that I know how.

My commitment in 2009 is that I want to take you live to more events than you could possibly ever go to anywhere else other than SIRIUS NASCAR Radio. I want to take you inside, make you feel as if you are at the parties and inside the shops and at the special events and I want you to know how important you are as we share stories and wrangle and debate and laugh and enjoy another season inside this sport. I want to keep seeking to be unbiased and fair – and to find more sides to a story than just a simple opinion.

I’m excited to be back on the air and I will have so much to tell you when I return this coming week.

Again thanks for the friendship. A shout out to all my friends in racing, both those who are in the sport and those who lost jobs and are waiting to find positions to return. And, a shout out to all of you coast to coast no matter where you live and no matter what you do for a living. Your story is important too.

Thanks for the emails.

I’ll catch you back on the radio this coming week on SIRIUS NASCAR Radio, Channel 128.

Happy (Not my birthday :)) New Year to all of you!

Enjoy the day!
Claire B

P.S. Can’t wait to talk with you again on the radio. Stay tuned for more news on this blog and for me to be writing here more in 09. I got a digital camera today so that I can post more up to date and inside photos on this site…so get ready for that as well.

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