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Claire B. Schedule – Martinsville Speedway March 28, 2009

Posted by claireblang in 2008 Season.
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The weather is iffy here at Martinsville. Everyone’s in a good mood even with the cold, wet weather…….Here’s my broadcast schedule:

Saturday March 28, 2009 – Martinsville Speedway

“Dialed In” Sat. 1pm-1:30 pm ET ( pre Kroeger 250 Camping World Truck Series)

“Dialed In” Saturday from the End of the Kroeger 250 until 7pm ET

Sunday, March 29, 2009 – Martinsville Speedway

Sirius NASCAR Radio Pre Race Show (CBL in Booth Steve Post in Garage on Wireless)
10:15AM-12:15PM ET

Post Race – CBL In Victory Lane

Two hours after the Race “Dialed In” picks up – Live from the media center until 11:00 p.m.

Bristol Focus on Fans Should be Duplicated March 22, 2009

Posted by claireblang in 2009 Season, Tracks, Trackside.
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Jellovillians Unite for Bristol Fan Karma!

Saturday night I went to the campground area here at Bristol Motor Speedway known as “Jelloville”. I had gotten an email from a woman named Gloria who was a listener. She was headed to Bristol and had a birthday at Bristol Saturday night. The email read (in part):

“I want to extend an invitation to meet a wonderful group of fans while at Bristol this weekend. Some other tracks have famous areas of the campground, such as Hell Hill at T-dega, but none compare with Jelloville. Jelloville is located directly behind turn 1 just over the creek in the first row of campers. Just watch for the orange and black Harley Davidson colored camper, we will not be far away. You can also call Suzie, the “Queen of Jelloville”, she started the whole ball rolling about a year ago. Her camper is right in the thick of things. She is from West Virginia and Jamie McMurray is her favorite driver.”

The Jelloville group members met each other on the Bristol Motor Speedway chat room site. They began to gather, celebrate family and life occasions, trade paint about their drivers and bond. They camp together at races, some serve on the Bristol fan advisory board, and most of them talk to each other on line daily if not weekly and the group has become a support group in good times and in bad. The track has adopted this group – so much so that when I visited the area on Saturday night to bring my new friend Gloria a birthday gift….the president of Bristol Motor Speedway, Jeff Byrd showed up.

When Byrd arrived the Jellovillian group flocked around him and many new members of the camping area could not believe that the track president was there to hang out with them. Byrd wore a special event logoed vest which he removed and gave to one of the Jelloville campers. He cracked jokes and became one of them. The crowd went nuts. What was the president of a race track doing hanging out with mere fan mortals on race weekend? Well first of all members of Byrds staff were also there. They had formed friendships with this group and treated them as special track ambassadors. It was real and it counted. The staff at Bristol motor speedway didn’t just talk about the fans – they embraced them. A group from Jelloville even visited the track at Christmas and the track made special provisions for them to hang out in Bruton Smith’s suite and enter the complex. These folks have the cell phone numbers of the staff members at Bristol including the track president in their cell phones and they keep in constant touch – not just when it’s ticket renewal time.

Why the name Jelloville? Well it seems Suzie “the queen of Jelloville” makes batches and coolers full of jello shots. Now I know what you are thinking….but Jelloville was full of real cool people having a nice, but not a raucous, time. .These folks had become very close friends and warmly invited others into their group. I enjoyed a few jello shots and met a Jelloville camper who was at Bristol because he wanted to see a race before he headed to Iraq next week to serve his country. I was so moved by his story that I invited this young man to be a part of the SIRIUS NASCAR Radio pre race show and found out that he was actually carrying the Nevada flag in the Food City 500 pre race show along with fans from each state and a number of foreign countries.

In tough times, Bristol Motor Speedway did not cut the prices of their tickets. Instead, they used some of the money they made to give the fans more for their buck. They put on a Saturday Night Special legends race and shot fireworks off at the end of the night as if there was no tomorrow. The entire weekend was full of examples of being with the fans not just talking about them. Kudos to Bristol Motor Speedway.

To the folks at Jelloville – thanks for making me feel welcome. I came over after my Saturday night “Dialed In” show and I was ready to kick back a little. Their campground was an aura of positive, good natured fun. The jello shots were spectacular buy the way. Slipped right down so smoothly.

Shots to Jelloville and to Bristol Motor Speedway. The Saturday Night Special legends race was a spectacular idea and the way Bristol embraces the fans as members of the track is down right incredible, rare, and the right thing to do. Shots to Jeff Byrd and his staff.

Jello shots from Jelloville that is!

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Welcome to Bristol Motor Speedway! March 19, 2009

Posted by claireblang in 2009 Season, My Show, Trackside.
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NASCAR track (circuit) :en:Bristol Motor Speed...
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Welcome to Bristol Motor Speedway!
March 19, 2009

I’m finally back at the racetrack after a weekend off (it’s about time) – and I’m holed up in the Media Center in the rain here at Bristol Motor Speedway. The track crews are painting (or were before it started raining), the NASCAR team is setting up the inspection bay, and there’s an army of guys in rain slickers getting this track ready for an exciting weekend of racing. There’s so much going on here this weekend the story lines will be abundant

Here’s my broadcast schedule:

Dialed In – (Thursday, March 19) Tonight 7-10 EST LIVE from Bristol Motor Speedway
(Sirius NASCAR Radio Channel 128 – “Best of Sirius on XM Channel 128)

Dialed in – (Friday, March 20) (Pre Qualifying) LIVE from Bristol Motor Speedway – A 3:00-3:30 pre qualifying show leading into Sprint Cup Series Qualifying.

Dialed In – (Friday, March 20) (Post Qualifying) LIVE from Bristol Motor Speedway 7-10 p.m. EST Regular Friday night Dialed In.

Dialed In – (Saturday March 21) LIVE from Bristol Motor Speedway -From the end of the Nationwide broadcast (PRN) until 6 p.m. (legends race starts then on PRN)
Then – Dialed In (Saturday Post Legends Race) until 8:00 p.m. EST

Pre Race Show (Sunday March 22) (CBL in booth, Steve Post in Garage) 10:00 a.m.- NOON. EST

Post Race Show (Sunday March 22) (CBL in Victory Lane) following Race.

Dialed In (Sunday March 22) Claire B Lang Post Race….8-11 p.m. EST

I don’t know how many of you got to hear the “Suitcase Jake Elder” audio that I found at my house over the weekend. I interviewed the infamous crew chief in 2001 and did a special on him. But because of music rights I was not able to re run the special and had to find the raw tape in my audio vault. I have almost an entire room of mini disks from various years and have decided to go through it. This is no small task. I was thrilled this weekend when I found the audio of the interview I did with Jake.

I had gone to his house to interview him – and since he was out of the sport by then had never met him. He popped me a beer and started talking. It was an interview that will now be preserved forever and I am so thrilled that I found it.

He’s in a nursing home now – but his stories live on forever. And man, can he tell a story. He’s amazing.

Suitcase thanks for the stories.

The stories of this sport and how the drivers and the crew chiefs and team members told them, leaning on tires, or on long drives to the race track before they had private jets are part of the storied history and fun of this sport. You sense when you talk with someone like Tony Eury, Senior and a list of others from the golden era that they know how to tell a story – how to truly enjoy laughing at someone elses and how to repeat the good ones just right in the garage.

I value that about our sport, the story telling. I also treasure that in 2001 I got to talk to a man named Jake Elder in a one on one interview that was about as compelling as any interview I’ve ever done. I value more that by finding the tape his story will live forever in history.

Here’s to you “Suitcase” Jake.

It was fun.

Claire B

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March 14, 2009

Posted by claireblang in 2008 Season.
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Claire B Lang Broadcast Schedule- Atlanta March 3, 2009

Posted by claireblang in 2009 Season, My Show, NASCAR.
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Broadcast Schedule This Weekend (SIRIUS NASCAR Radio – Best of Sirius Upgrade on XM)

Wednesday. March 4th:
“Dialed In” with Claire B.
7p-10p ET – LIVE from Claire’s Studio at home – in Charlotte, NC

Thursday, March 5th:
“Dialed In” with Claire B
7p-10p ET – LIVE from Atlanta Motor Speedway

Friday, March 6th:
“Dialed In” with Claire B.
From the end of Sprint Cup qualifying until 11PM ET – LIVE from Atlanta Motor Speedway

Saturday, March 7th
“Dialed In” with Claire B.
From the end of Truck Race until 8PM ET

Sunday, March 8th
CBL in the booth for Pre-Race from 10a-12p ET – Steve Post in the garage
Post-Race for 2 full hours from end of race -CBL in Victory Lane
“The Back Stretch” Claire B. with Pat Patterson from end of post-race until 11PM ET

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Home From Vegas But Barely March 3, 2009

Posted by claireblang in 2009 Season.
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Vegas was just sick!

Did you hear me interview Jamie McMurray this weekend? He was sick as a dog – said that last Wednesday he was so sick he could not have driven a race car. He actually had to have the hotel doctor make a room visit. I interviewed him – and a bunch of other race car drivers who were sick. Sunday night – about an hour before I finished the post race show I felt like I was hit by a truck filled with the flu. I was on the air when it came on and it is the only time in my life I felt like I knew exactly within the hour when I got ill. I barely left Vegas. If you were on the Vegas rental car shuttle and you saw a girl with her head on the rail of the shuttle that was me and it wasn’t a party that put me there . Honest, I was so weak that I had to ask people to help me. I ran into a listener who introduced herself and since she didn’t have bags she asked if she could help pull my bag, it was obvious I was about to keel over. I usually would say. “No thanks I can handle it,” but this time I could not. It was a good lesson cause I have never had to lean on others — I hated the feeling. So I let people help me get my luggage on and off the shuttle, and onto the airplane and the overhead. Blessings to everyone who helped me seeing how sick I was. I really don’t know how I got home without the help of others so thanks to the unnamed to helped. I was never more thankful to get home.

Where are you Atlanta?
I met the nicest people on the West Coast and they seemed so happy. Not trying to create anything artificial – I just felt as I met the fans on the West Coast that they were so appreciative and happy that it put me in a good mood and I just totally felt it when I met them. They came out late at night to watch the haulers, they screamed and jumped and got excited and were thrilled to be there and soak up every single small moment of the NASCAR circus being in town.

I’m wondering if we’ll see the same at Atlanta this weekend. I know it’s a different market. To me- it’s not all just about numbers of people –it’s the fans’ enthusiasm. Atlanta is a market that I would assume would embrace NASCAR as NASCAR has it’s roots in the deep south. Maybe that’s why sometimes it seems as if Atlanta takes NASCAR for granted. If you live in town maybe you don’t go to see your parents much as if you treasure moment with them when you live close. I live in Charlotte, NC and my parents and brothers and sisters live in Wisconsin so I miss them all the time and stay in touch more than they do even though they live closer. Maybe it’s that kind of thing. If the weather is nice I would hope Atlanta would show up big time this weekend- and have some fun – the kind of fun I saw people having in California and Nevada.

I’m not selling this – I’m simply observing. You can’t fake pure joy– and boy is it catching. I am just interested in what we see in Atlanta this weekend. By the way the weather forecast looks pretty good. Subject to change of course.

Observations – Check it out!
Scott Speed: I caught up with him at the care center after the Nationwide race on Saturday- at LVMS and was so impressed with his presence. The first few times I interviewed him he said he’d do his best in this sport and whatever came to him came to him and he wouldn’t worry about it. I was like “yea right.” I never saw a racer who made it with that attitude. But you know after getting whacked on the track and starting from the pole and just getting our of the care center- he had an inner peace I don’t usually see of drivers there and I have seen a lot of them there over the years. It was pretty impressive. I ran into him pre race and walked with him. He was so focused and had an inner calm. This guy seems to keep his head together and stay focused when the world is swirling around him. Could that translate to success on the track? We’ll see. Interesting to cover him this year.

Jeff Gordon: His fans have sent me so many emails. Have I seen a change in him? Not really – he’s always been appreciative of being in the sport – and he’s always had the fire to win. He is felling better this year and I think it shows in his driving. His back was an issue – no longer. Can it be true that Jeff Gordon was 23rd in points after Las Vegas last year. Woah. The SMI tracks are starting fan (PRN up to Speed) events with drivers on stage and when Jeff Gordon was asked about it he was the first to say yes he’d do it. I heard a story told to me the other day from a track official about Jeff and a guy who had a terminal disease. Not only did Jeff meet the guy but knew exactly what to say to someone who was dying…..the track official was in tears telling me how Jeff handled the situation with grace and deep sincerity and kindness but also with a deep faith, from the spirit, the heart. It’s good to see him figure into the story lines this year.

Carl Edwards: The man is really made of steel. He doesn’t flinch his timing is perfect (It’s the one characteristic I see in all champions). They don’t laugh at the wrong time or say the wrong thing at the wrong time or miss the timing in an interview. Sometimes in a pack of reporters when I leave the pack after getting what I need he will tap me on the arm as if to say thanks Claire for coming. He doesn’t miss anything. He’s always pleasant and on his game. The other day, I interviewed Carl while walking and fans noticed him – they came running and were talking to him and handing him things and we changed directions twice and he kept talking doing an interview. I always notice how his focus is about as strong as anyone I’ve ever seen.

Dale Earnhardt Jr: I have been covering him since he began in this sport. Usually I would use the word “respect” to define him. In previous years I would have always used that word when asked about him- more than any other driver. I am not seeing Dale Junior as the poster child for respect this year -yet. That is not a knock at all. He’s still a really nice and decent guy up close. I think he’s testing the lines of “too nice” and “I gotta show respect -not act a fool” that he learned as a child afraid to knock anyone around and pushing into “Damn I gotta get the job done and nice might not get me there.” Dale Junior has always been true and real -as I have seen in covering him and I would guess that he might be figuring out who he really is and how he wants to be as he grows at Hendrick so that he can be real about it. Cause he’s not going to give us anything fake. We’ve never seen any less from him. I remember the day that Martin Truex got his first Busch series championship and I went up on stage. Not bothering him I figured as owner I would not ask him too many questions. I said, “I hate to be a pain – but I’d like to talk with you.” He said quietly, “You’re not being a pain.” I never forgot the kindness because he didn’t need to say that. It was years ago – but it stuck with me. Or the sunglasses he designed that had the word “respect” on the tag. I knew that word was ingrained in him. Dale doesn’t like loud but if you are not asking for much he usually will do what he can to make time and he digs deep usually. I hope he doesn’t change that as he grows up. He’s a really decent guy. He’s just stretching.

Well that’s about all the observations I have now. I’ll talk to you more later. I need to get some sleep and fight this flu so that I can be ready to leave Thursday crack of dawn for Atlanta.

Thanks for all the emails to insidercbl@aol.com

To the anonymous people who I had to lean on getting home from Las Vegas: Thanks. You can’t imagine how sick I was and how much you helped me get home. You helped a stranger and I send you many blessings.

Claire B

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