jump to navigation

48 Team Post Texas Motor Speedway Crash “Let’s Build Something Together” November 8, 2009

Posted by claireblang in 2009 Season, Drivers, NASCAR, Trackside.
Tags: , , , , , , ,
6 comments

Dallas/Fort Worth 11/08/09 – Claire B Lang 5:48 p.m. EST Sunday

As the Lowe’s team lifted the cover on the #48 team’s crash cart to begin work on Johnson’s destroyed race car – I noticed the Lowe’s logo and the slogan printed adjacent to it in large white letters, “Let’s Build Something Together.” That is exactly what the Chad Knaus (crew chief) and Ron Malec (car chief) led race team did – they rebuilt the 48 car after a second lap crash not of their driver’s making.

As I watched the Lowe’s team work on their race car, I was expecting Johnson to jump out and grab a wrench and Chad for to ask him ( as he does in the Kobalt tools commercial), “What are you doing Jimmie?” And Johnson would reply, “I’m helping fix the car Chad.” But Johnson stayed right were Knaus wanted him -inside the car ready to pilot it back out when the time was right, because Knaus had supreme confidence that this car was returning to the race track.

The team replaced the rear end housing, drive shaft, rear deck lid, mounts, front end, welded the chassis and the list goes on and on. It’s easier to list what this team did not do to their race car. Watching this team work exemplifies what makes the 48 guys so good.

It’s as if they had rehearsed this scenereo to perfection. There were some 15 Lowes guys working in sync, without speaking, on the points-leading race car while three NASCAR officials looked on. Knaus, as always, carried himself like the team owner, keeping calm and overseeing a major reconstruction project.

Twenty five media folks, local, national, print, broadcast, all standing around watching the one hour plus repairs on Johnson’s ride in the garage here at Texas Motor Speedway. Their comments initially ranged from, “He needs to man up and get out of the car and talk,” to “This is so smooth it’s like watching doctors work in the ER,” to “They’ll never get this car back out there,” to “that’s incredible.” Most of the comments were about how this team went to work, didn’t show even so much as a frown or a facial expression of any kind, any of them, and, like machines, went to work to get the car back on the race track.

There was Chad Knaus pounding sheet metal to bend it using the side of the garage stall’s concrete wall to bend the piece. They were welding, pounding, fitting, inspecting, and screwing metal, hoses, tape and wiring. They carefully used a broom under the car several times to clear the way for the tires as they prepared to pull out of the garage and at one point welded near the gas tank and a fire extinguisher and safety tarp were brought over.

Three times, they’d get close to being ready to take the car out and Chad or one of the officials would see something that needed attention. So, once again without expression, the appropriate member of the team, or Chad or Ron would move in and finesse the area one more time.

Chad would feel around the spoiler, or a rim or area he was concerned about and the team would watch him like a hawk, instinct telling them what they needed to do next. Watching this team work on their car –one just knows that most of these guys know this race car better than they know their girlfriends, wives and family members.

As the car pulled out to return to the track, I watched the members of the 48 machine run out like a football team chasing on to the field to return to the pits. Leading those running out of the garage towards the gate that leads onto pit road was car chief Ron Malec and, as he ran, he turned around quickly once and look back over his shoulder at the team guys running behind him. His face lined with grease and sweat, he gave them a thankful and confident warm smile, in a trademark 48 calm and focused way – he did so faintly but I’m sure they picked up on it because I did.

And on the 48 went to take, once again, the field of battle in a car many thought would never make it back on this race track today.

Over the years I’ve covered this sport I’ve seen many teams make incredible repairs to race cars that we thought would never make it back out onto the race track- so this is not a first.

It was something to watch though.

They made it seem easy.

Advertisements

So Ready for Atlanta Motor Speedway September 3, 2009

Posted by claireblang in 2009 Season, Drivers, Live Show, Trackside.
Tags: , , , , ,
add a comment
Atlanta Motor Speedway

Excruciating Wait Until Saturday for Sprint Cup Drivers

It seems so unusual for there to be no track action on Friday. I get a kick out of how “on go” the drivers usually are. They can’t wait to get back to the race track and climb into their race cars. For those who have to hold their own or make up valuable and hard earned points to make it into the chase at Atlanta Motor Speedway it’s got be excruciating to wait until Saturday to get back in the race car.

Sure there are appearances and golf tournaments and sponsor events (see some of the driver appearances below) but the time will tick by on Friday – and this weekend for a stack of drivers there’s so much on the line.

Broadcast Schedule:

Sept. 3 (Thursday) “Dialed In” 7-10 PM EST
I’ll be on the air 7-10 p.m. tonight with “Dialed In”

Sept. 4 (Friday) “Dialed In” 7-10 p.m. EST LIVE from AMS
“Dialed In” will be LIVE from Atlanta Motor Speedway 7-10 p.m. EST. There will be no track activity but I’ll have a party for the listeners on air –and will be in the media center broadcasting

Sept. 5 (Saturday) “Dialed In” 2-4 p.m. EST LIVE from AMS
“Dialed In” will be on air from 2:00 – 4:30 p.m. EST leading into the start of Pep Boys Auto Club Qualifying (MRN coverage) Be sure to set your watch for qualifying as it’s on Saturday of this week.

Sept 6 (Sunday) “Dialed In” 2-3:30 p.m. EST LIVE from AMS
“Dialed In” will be on the air leading up to the SIRIUS NASCAR Radio Pre Race Show LIVE from AMS

“Sirius NASCAR Radio Pre Race Show” – 3:30 – 5:30 (I’ll be in the booth)

(MRN’s Inside track follows –the MRN coverage of the Pep Boys Auto Club 500 starts at 6:30 p.m. EST on Sirius NASCAR Radio

Driver Appearances
A number of NASCAR drivers will be making local appearances around the Atlanta area prior to the Pep Boys Auto 500 race weekend. Below are a few driver appearances preceding Atlanta Motor Speedway’s first Sprint Cup night race:

Clint Bowyer: On behalf of Prilosec OTC, Clint Bowyer will sign autographs at the Walmart located at 11465 Tara Boulevard in Lovejoy on Thursday, Sept. 3 from 7:00 through 8:00 p.m. Two hundred tickets will be distributed at 5 p.m. on a first-come, first-serve basis.

David Reutimann: David Reutimann will be making an appearance at Dick’s Sporting Goods at 1855 Jonesboro Road in McDonough on Friday, Sept. 4 from 5:00 to 7:00 PM.

Casey Mears: Casey Mears will kick off a month-long celebration of Jack Daniel’s birthday by signing autographs Friday night at Southside Steve’s from 7 to 9 p.m. at 715 Industrial Blvd. in McDonough, Ga. On race day, Mears will sign autographs and meet fans at the Jack Daniel’s merchandise trailer from 4:30 to 5:00 p.m. in the Display Lot. A limited number of tickets are available prior to his appearance and issued on a first-come, first-serve basis.

The Chase to the Chase – Get ready – Atlanta is going to be a doozy!
“All of them are important. No matter where you are in the points and in terms of the Chase, a good run always helps. We feel like we’re in a pretty good spot but we definitely will not take anything for granted. We want to go to Atlanta and win, just like the other guys.” Denny Hamlin

Story Line: The story of the weekend is the points position of the drivers on the bubble for the chase, or around the bubble. You can write it any which way you want..but it all comes down to this:
(Pos) (Driver) (Points +13)
8 Greg Biffle +75
9 Juan Montoya +64
10 Mark Martin +60
11 Kasey Kahne +52
12 Matt Kennseth +34
(Pos) (Driver) (Points -12)
13 Kyle Busch -34
14 Brian Vickers -39
15 Clint Bowyer -112

More when I get to the track. Beautiful day here in Charlotte NC. Enjoy the day!
Claire B

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

On Wisconsin! July 15, 2009

Posted by claireblang in 2009 Season, Drivers, Sponsors.
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,
1 comment so far
Shot by The Daredevil at Daytona during Speedw...
Image via Wikipedia

The Chicagoland, Madison, Green Bay, Indy Tour!

I’m taking a few days off in Wisconsin – as my sister is getting married in Green Bay this coming weekend. There’s a flurry of activity here – but it won’t involve the radio. For the first time since I can remember I am not doing “Dialed In” and will be off Wed., Thurs, and Friday of this week.

I am headed to Indy early and staying in the Midwest since Chicago so I will return to “Dialed In” next Wednesday, LIVE from Indianapolis Motor Speedway. I always love covering the Brickyard – it’s something special so I’m looking forward to that. Right now though being spoiled by my mom and having meals made for me instead of coming home from a trip to an empty refrigerator. Can we ever get enough of our mom’s home cooking?

The weather is so beautiful here – and it’s great for the soul to be home after so much traveling. I’ll tell you all about the wedding when I return…it’s turned into a huge affair with family and friends I haven’t seen for years and I’m so lucky that out of the blue, not knowing the race schedule, my sister picked an off weekend for her wedding, which makes it easier for my schedule. (IE: No leaving the reception to check out the race on TV lol) My sister has invited some of my friends from high school and so I’ll get to see friends that I have not seen in forever. I’m looking forward to it.

Enjoy the weekend and I’ll catch you Wednesday 7-10 EST from Indy on the Midwestern tour!

Claire B

RACING NOTES:

Danica Patrick

I still think that Danica Patrick is not coming to NASCAR. We’ll see her show up here and there. It will rouse suspicion and plant seeds but in the end, I think she knows what it would take to move into NASCAR and it’s a gamble for her. Almost everyone who knows the sport says that it would require starting out in the Nationwide or Truck series for a while….and I just don’t see her doing this at this stage of her career after what she’s accomplished in open wheel. However, stranger things have happened and it’s weird economic times in both NASCAR and Indycar. She’s a smart cookie. She knows what it would take. I know she visited Stewart Haas racing for a tour, something that was NOT kept hush hush. If she was thinking about it seriously don’t you think that it would have been a closed door visit – kept secret? I think she’s in the mix and wants to be just that- it’s smart for her at this stage-but as far as actually moving into NASCAR. I do not see it. Unless she gets an offer that she can’t refuse.

I like Danica. I went to Chicago to interview her when she announced her “Go Daddy.com” Indycar sponsorship. She was really a lot of fun and I asked her all the tough questions, like was she really the ice princess that some said she was. She laughed and the interview was easy, as she answered everything I threw her way openly and fairly. She was actually very easy to hang out with. I met her mom and dad and husband and interviewed her folks as well. She’s really a pretty amazing woman. She knows what she wants and she is not afraid to go for it – for that she gets the reputation for being cold. I didn’t see her that way. I still don’t think she’s coming to NASCAR but whatever she chooses she’s talented and extremely marketable and whatever she decides to do she’ll be front and center.

Brad Keselowski Full Time Nationwide:

Brad K. would rather race and not spend his time worrying about where he’ll go next but he’s in a good position. I talked to him about his next move at Chicagoland.

CBL: Are you still working on next year? Everyone’s watching you

Keselowski: “Yea, You know I am working on it. Don’t have any answers on it – making progress. Things look good, they look very good for me to be back driving this #88 Nationwide car full time which is just as important to me as running the Cup series. So that’s all coming together nicely, not there but it’s coming together and I’m looking forward to it.

NAPA- A Sponsor’s View of Michael Waltrip, Martin Truex Junior and NASCAR Sponsorships:

I spoke with Bob Susor, who is the president of NAPA about their continued sponsorship at MWR

CBL: What pushed you over the top as far as sticking around?

Bob Susor: “Oh I think it’s just the overall good job that Michael has done for us. The fact that he had good, what appeared to be good technical support and have been able to recruit some high quality people.”

CBL: What about selecting Martin Truex Junior…how heavily did you recruit him? Did you interview him? What was the role NAPA played in selecting him?

Bob Susor: “Well we did interview him and wanted to make certain that he had a personality that fit our customer demographic and our internal organization as well. We think he’s kind of our kind of guy. We think we’ve got the opportunity to help him develop a personal brand maybe beyond where he’s gone to this point as well.”

CBL: What makes him your kind of guy?

Bob Susor: “Very low key. Just kind of a guy next door, son of a hard working entrepreneur and that’s pretty much our customer base.”

CBL: But Michael’s not that low key.
Bob Susor: “Well Michael’s Michael. You know there’s only one Michael and we like Michael because of how shameless he can be. (laughter). They are different personalities but we think having the combination of both….of course and obviously we think there’s the opportunity for improved performance as well.”

CBL: Did you look at video tape, study driving performance records etc?

Bob Susor: “We really didn’t look at video tape. We had seen him do interviews before because when we were with DEI previously we had been exposed to him so we had a little prior exposure to him. You know the fact that he’s stayed out of trouble off the track. That’s a big plus for us as well..”

CBL:And how to you see the landscape for sponsors?

Bob Susor: “Ahhh I understand it’s pretty tough out there. For our business, it’s an ideal demographic. It kind of matches up very nicely with what we do. So I’m not certain how others are viewing it but for us we think it’s still a good investment.”

—————

I hope everyone is enjoying the post July 4th summer fun! It won’t be long before we’ll be at Indy racing the Brickyard.

I’m excited to return for the weekend to Green Bay where I have not been for so long I think I will need a road map to find my way around.

Enjoy the day!

Claire B

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Lucky Dog! Joey Logano Wins at New Hampshire – Smart Crew Chief – In Position to Win! June 29, 2009

Posted by claireblang in 2009 Season, Drivers.
Tags: , , , ,
4 comments

Victory Lane: A Moose, A Lobster, Kid for a Winner , Mom, Dad & Coach!

Congratulations to Joey Logano on his first Sprint Cup Series win! When a driver scores his first Cup win and I’m in Victory Lane I try to soak it all in (no pun intended on the word soak) and etch it in my mind so that years from now I can reflect on more than simply a number in a record book. With this particular victory celebration, I will remember, a bit of chaos, a gigantic lobster, an almost stunned to be there and thrilled young driver (heck even the car chief seemed a bit shocked to have pulled this one off), a smart crew chief, Coach Joe Gibbs and the rain.

At a distance, I’m sure, Logano has seemed almost too good to be true – leaving folks to look for cracks, but there are not any. Looking ahead I think that Logano will show that he’s edgier than he may initially come across (remember how young he is and that he’s a rookie) and not afraid to say what he thinks. Later in his career, we’ll see how hard-charging he is and so not shy about doing what it takes to win. In this case, Logano’s job was to listen to his crew chief, follow directions, and do what many missed, work his way up from his 24th place starting position to be in position to win should it be his day when the rains opened up and victory fell from the sky. The kid did his job.

I received so many emails after the Lenox Industrial Tools 301 – I couldn’t possibly post all of them. The comments were all over the board. From congratulations to young Joey Logano to notes about the TV coverage and the rain shortened race to comments about the attempted three wide move of Kyle Busch during the double file restart on lap 175, which led to the crash involving eight cars, which he later apologized for. Was the apology enough? Martin Truex Junior was really angry – steamed would be the word and you can’t really blame him. “I hate that it happened,” is not a new phrase in NASCAR – and the question I am left with today is a simple one. Do fans want to see bold, aggressive moves (with rain coming) that may or may not end in what we saw?

Would you rather Kyle Busch not have made the move? I am asking honestly. It doesn’t matter who you follow as a driver..is this or is this not the kind of move you want to see? If you can separate who you root for and how this affected your driver – I think the question is a simple one. Do you want the guy to go for it or not? Martin Truex Junior was clear that he felt it was a “stupid” move – and it did take out a number of cars. What direction are you taking on this?

I had some great conversation on my radio show from some who said that Kyle Busch should be repaid by one of the drivers who were angry about his move – and who crashed as a result of it. They said that if that happened Busch would be more careful next time when he wants to get aggressive. This is true – it’s how the garage has worked in the past.

The garage has always regulated itself. That is in the DNA of the sport. When drivers have had enough of someone or don’t like his moves they put the hammer down on the guy. Do you want the hammer down on this move? Or, do you like it when a guy takes a chance and goes for it with rain coming.

You’re the fans – You buy the tickets, you pay the bills. Tell me, what is it that you want? If we want drivers to go for it then we are going to see some of this. If we don’t the racing will be more finesse racing. That’s ok too. The question is what do you want?

Here are some, in some cases a portion of, the emails in my box today:

Part of an email from Michele in Virginia:

……..I am a Dale Jr fan. I am proud of my driver both on and off the track. I am patient and I feel he has the talent. There hasn’t been much to cheer about lately, but I am a believer that things move in cycles. BUT, I am the first to omit, that if it is the middle of the race and the guys are just logging laps (so they can get to the end and be in a position to win), it is Kyle Busch that I am going to be watching to see what he is going to do next. I know I am going to be rewarded with him going three wide into turn 1 on the outside during a restart, passing six cars along the way and stirring up the next controversy for the next week of talk radio call-ins.

With all this as background, it came to me this morning that the reason everyone is talking about Kyle Busch 24/7 – from the listeners to the media to the radio/TV hosts – is because we want a rival to Kyle and there just isn’t one out there now. Kyle is the “black hat” – the bad boy – the young upstart who won’t follow the rules – in life and in racing. The problem is we don’t have a “white hat” racing on his same level, on the edge, to balance him out. What is the first thing a caller says when he calls in to complain about the latest misstep by Kyle – “the boy can race, BUT….” – and then they list their latest complaints. He said the wrong thing to the media… he didn’t stop and talk to the media… he wasn’t gracious enough in victory lane… he wasn’t….. Since we don’t have the white knight who can race the same way Kyle can AND say and do everything the fans want – they attack Kyle the persona and the personality, because they can’t hold up their driver to argue about the racing. Other drivers will have flashes of brilliance across the series, but no one is racing like him every race.

Face it what we really want is a rivalry where both drivers are evenly matched in skill and equipment. We want both drivers to be racing on the edge for a win every lap. We want one to go three wide to the outside while the other is making it four-wide on the inside. We want them to beat and bang and then we will hold our breath as we wait to see who wins this time. Because we know they are so evenly matched, that the outcome may be different next time. Then, we can spend the next week calling into the talk shows talking about the RACING!!! Not how someone was acting with the trophy in victory lane.

And here lays the problem…. I am not sure this is even possible. But it is what every fan wants.

Am I a Kyle supporter…. probably some. I love to watch him race across the three series. He is driving on the edge to win the race. But it is a crash and burn mentality of a 20 something that probably won’t win him a championship. Did I like him smashing the guitar at Nashville? The 45 year old mom part of me shook my head, wrinkled my nose and threw my hands in the air saying “that stupid inconsiderate kid.” But part of me also feels like that 20 something. That part of me still exists and was under the stands at Charlotte during the multiple rain delay doing Jell-O shooter – that part thought “YEAH!!”. That is the blessing of age – we learn to control our inner 20 something and act appropriately. But is it as much fun??

I hope that Kyle remains Kyle – with all his mis-steps. He sure is fun to watch. AND, I hope someone comes along soon to be the rival. I am ready for us to go back and spent time talking about this week’s race winner or the three-time consecutive champion. It has gotten to the point that what Kyle did or didn’t do overshadows the remaining 42 drivers. NASCAR is not about one driver…. But, there is always the next race!!!

As always, thank you for all you do! Dialed In is still the best show on the NASCAR channel!

Michele
Richmond, VA

From Jeff in Minnesota:

Oh ok its ok for Dale Sr to rub and bump every chance he got in every race he won but its not for Kyle?. Kyle should start grinning at interviews.
Respectfully
Jeff
MN

From Jim in Florida:

I think the TV coverage could be better. The announcers seem to have a small # of drivers they are going to talk about no matter what happens during the race. It would have been nice to know what happened to the #9 about half way of the race. He had driven up to 5th place when the caution flag waved. When he came out of the pits he was 19th. I think a short explanation was in order, but not one word was ever said about. This brings me to my question. What did happen on that stop? If you don’t know maybe you could ask and let me know. also last week when I looked at the standings Kahne was only 3 points behind the #42 the #9 finished 10th today and the #42 12th why is the #42 still ahead in points? thanks
Jim, in fl.

From Race Fan:

Claire:

What are some of your listeners drinking Junior Johnson’s sippin’ whiskey?

For the sake of argument lets say the same holds true for mid-race yellows that come just as pit stops start.

Some drivers make it to pit road before the yellow but then…. NASCAR parades around for 10-15 extra laps before opening pit road waiting for other drivers to run out of gas.

Just as nutty as one of your emailers I should think.

On the rain issue and earlier starting times…. Since when does it NOT rain at 1pm vice 2-3pm?

From Dusty:

Brian (Vickers) should know about stupid being forever, he lives it everyday. Can you say takes out the front of the field at Daytona including Kyle or maybe that his only Sprint Cup Win was accomplished by crashing a teammate. Oh & it couldn’t be JRs fault for spinning his tires on the restart cause JR never does anything to cause a wreck. Maybe instead of bashing Kyle about him being a hard charger Truex should try being a little more of a hard charger himself. I believe it’s 1win to 15wins in favor of Kyle. That’s Dusty’s opinion.

From Joyce:

For the most part I thought today’s race was the best I’ve seen so far this year. I love the double file restart, only hope the drivers will learn how to race the new format and not cause a “big one” like on lap 175. I’m sure Jr. didn’t spin his tires on purpose and I am also sure Kyle didn’t run into Martin Truex Jr. intentionally, I hated the wreck, but the side by side racing for the lead was awesome. I also loved the lap 151 caution for debris and how the race cars took care of it. LOL

I think the television broadcast would be more tolerable to watch if the commercials weren’t so mind numbing repetitive, if they would just change them up even if it were for the same product I would like it better. I’ve even decided to boycott some of the wares the ads hawk just because I feel like they are trying to tattoo their product on my brain…

Joyce,
Arkansas

From Bob in New Hampshire:

Claire B–

I trust you enjoyed your trip to the White Mountains and a big fat lobster. Just wanted to give credit to the New England race fans who filled at least 99% of the seats at NHMS today. After watching a sea of empties at Atlanta, Texas and other tracks, the full house in Loudon today is worthy of note when people start talking about future race date allocations, don’t you think?

Sorry about all the rain! Enjoy Daytona and thanks for all you do.

Bob in NH

From Marv:

Hi,

Let’s just say this is one of the lamest NASCAR seasons ever. Another rain win by someone who was not remotely competitive all day just like Kenseth and Ruetimann. They should have run 10 more caution laps to run the lame cars out of gas. Add to this debacle the fuel mileage races and this season really sucks. I usually get to 4 or 5 races a year and I am not renewing season tickets for a couple of tracks next year.

Marv Odell

From Dallas:

i don’t feel Kyle was the big cause of the big wreck.dale jr caused it by spinning his tires on the restart.
7 times out of ten their will be a wreck. and what Kyle said on the restart it is pretty close quarters and watching that double file restart,it was bumper to bumper for at least 2 laps. maybe if Martin Truex jr would of responded and made a hard left turn the wreck might not of happened. he knew what was gonna happen.in other words u check up your gonna get rear ended thanks

dallas

congratulations to joey logano

Randy from Ilinois:

I just know Truex has been running good and can’t catch a break….I could care less that NASCAR gave Logano a win…Lets see now we’ve got at least 3 wins this season that guys didn’t deserve or earn…So I didn’t get all mushy over NASCAR giving the boys the wins….They say a win is a win I quess…
Randy
Old School With An Attitude

From Tony in NY

Sure people would be mad if the race time got moved up for weather. Besides the fact that race fans generally like to gripe, I really think that race fans would be disappointed if they found they missed the call to fire engines.

Congrats to Joey. I’m happy with the win even with my favorite driver finishing second.

Tony in NY

—————————————————————

Well – in NASCAR the show must go on. The haulers and teams have to pick up and move on to Daytona on Wednesday. It’s a quick turnaround and everyone will be scurrying to get it all in place for the Fourth of July Daytona NASCAR show.

In our sport – we race, we run around rain, and when we get it dumped on us the decision is made from the tower and we move on.

We have to – the show doesn’t stop.

Thursday, Joey Logano visited the Children’s Hospital at Dartmouth (CHaD) and David’s house which gives health care to young children. While there he dropped off several video game consoles and games from his NASCAR Nationwide Series sponsor, GameStop, and visited with many of the children and families who use David’s House while receiving treatment at CHaD. Logano also made the trip next door to CHaD to visit with children who were not able to make it to the David’s House event.

Maybe the skies opened up and the win was a Karma win!

What I will remember of this win was an almost dazed with victory Logano. He handled victory lane and the media exceptionally and I don’t mean that as if he didn’t know what to do. He was fine in Victory Lane. I have been to victory lane with seasoned drivers with many wins who as a result of a finish could not seem to really soak in the win yet. It was so like that for Logano. He had dreamed all his young life about this moment and there he was….he got it thrust upon him when the skies opened he was moved, hustled, hugged, photographed and interviewed and it still had not sunk in.

He was being hugged by a moose character, handed a gigantic live lobster, embraced by coach Joe Gibbs, visited by Tony Stewart, beamed at by his tearful mom and proud dad who was handling the cell phone calls, yelled at to face a different direction by photographers pushing for space in a crammed garage as the car is being wheeled in and the trophy slid in front of him. He just kept smiling and smiling. He was warm and interesting in the interview, but he was a bit dazed by the win. That is what I will remember. It was almost surreal.

Today, and tomorrow, he’ll relive and relish it.

He’s a great kid and I congratulate him.

Enjoy the day!

Claire B

Heading Off To New Hampshire June 25, 2009

Posted by claireblang in 2009 Season, Drivers, NASCAR.
2 comments

Hey all! I hope this finds you all well.

I’m on my way to the airport but figured I’d drop you a line with my broadcast schedule for the weekend and some thoughts for the day.

Dialed In: (Schedule for Thursday – Sunday)

Thursday, June 25, 2009
“Dialed In” 7-10 EST from New Hampshire Motor Speedway

Friday, June 26, 2009
“Dialed In” 7-10 EST from New Hampshire Motor Speedway

Saturday, June 27, 2009
“Dialed In” 1:30-2:00 p.m. EST — Leading into the Start of the Camping World 200 Nationwide Series Race

“Dialed In” AFTER the Camping World 200 Nationwide Series Race until the start of the Memphis Travel.com 200 Camping World Truck Series Race at Memphis at 5:30 p.m. EST

“Dialed In” AFTER the Memphis Travel.com 200 Camping World Truck Series Race until 10:00 p.m. EST

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Claire B Lang in the booth for the SIRIUS NASCAR Radio Pre Race Show 10:00-12:00 EST

Then: In Victory Lane for the SIRIUS NASCAR Radio Post Race Show

Followed by “Dialed In” until 11:00 p.m. EST Sunday after the Post Race Show

Three for Three on the Bets:
How the Heck Did That Happen?

I have taken bets for three weeks- wild bets on the races pitched by the listeners. I’ve taken one a week. I take the scraps…meaning they pitch the bet and I take the side that they don’t want. I’m not actually betting something I’m taking the other side of their bet. Sometimes they are crazy bets and yet –I keep winning. I have no idea how that keeps happening. Maybe karma for taking the underdog in the bet.

The week before last I bet with John in Louisiana. He’s a helicopter pilot that takes workers out to the oil rigs. He bet that that Dale Jr would finish in the top 10 at Michigan and he lost. He had to take picture next to his helicopter with a sign….(see picture here posted on site). I loved it…..you have to zoom in to read the writing on the sign but it’s a good one. Just posted today (6/25/09) along with this column. Most of the time the bets I take should never win. Last week I took the other side of a listeners bet that Kyle Busch would finish ahead of Carl Edwards. He picked Kyle and I had Carl. Well – Kyle who started second finished way below Carl at Infineon when it was all over. I won again. How did that happen?

Richard Childress Racing –Regrouping

What is the reason for the slump at Richard Childress Racing? Yesterday, Clint Bowyer had some thoughts about it that led me to believe that like some other teams, without testing -they shot the direction they figured was right and they went the wrong direction:

Clint Bowyer: “Kevin last year at the end of the year was really running good and they were on some drastically different things that we were running at the time, so we all kind of over the off-season put a lot of — our eggs in that one basket, hopefully that being the answer for the year starting off strong. It just wasn’t. So we have had to drop back and punt so to speak. We have had to come back and cut our cars up and change front clips, change body designs around, aero designs around, whatever the changes were. It takes time to get those all acclimated and back in place as a group and as a whole so we can all get back to running well. That’s kind of where we are at. We are starting to see all of the hard work of getting things back to where we were, you know, and going down the right path. We are starting to see some results, especially on my side. So I’m excited about the races to come here. I think we have got ten races left, to be a part of this Chase, I feel like we are starting to run good at the right time…….. But it takes that long to find the problem, fix the problem and get those changes that you’ve made acclimated into the system. You know, when you’ve got an organization as big as ours, it’s not something where you can just make one change and fix the whole problem. Everybody’s cars have to be changed. You know, if we find advances in the engine department, we have to make sure that those changes will live, and so a lot of sim and a lot of dyno work goes into place and making those changes and making a smart change.

So that’s the thing is when you get behind, it just takes a while to dig yourself out of that hole. I feel like when I said “stop the bleeding,” I feel like that meant we found the problem, we fixed the problem. And now it’s taking a little bit of a problem to get that problem and get those changes acclimated into our system. We are already starting to see results and things turnaround.”

————————————————-

It’s going to be an interesting weekend. If I don’t get going I’ll miss my flight and then – I’ll not be there to blog you from the track…so I’d better get in gear.

Enjoy the day.

I’ll write you when I get to New Hampshire.

Claire B

Kyle Busch’s Polarizing Persona June 9, 2009

Posted by claireblang in 2009 Season, Controversy, Drivers.
Tags: , , , , , , ,
11 comments
Talladega, AL 4-08 arriving for nascar race
Image via Wikipedia

Note: CBL’s Broadcast Schedule this week is below this most recent blog posting

Phone Lines Light Up – At Mention of KB’s Name

The phone lines are on melt down ever since Kyle Busch did the “rock star”, share-the- trophy-with-the team smashing of the Gibson Guitar trophy at Nashville. He won the Nationwide Series Race – but he crashed the trophy- in victory lane. It was impulsive but real emotion – yet he got criticism for being over the top.

Kyle’s fans want him to push the limits, race hard and have an outside- the-box, less than vanilla persona. Non fans are livid. One thing is for sure – simply mention this racers name and the phone lines light up. Folks want to talk about and weigh in on Kyle every week.

Because I simply could not get to all the KB calls on my show the other day and needed during the pre race coverage to get on with covering racing – I asked my listeners to write what was on their minds and that I’d post a great sample of them on my site in an unbiased manner. Here goes:

From Tennessee:
I live in Tennessee and I thought what Kyle did was AWESOME! Be a ROCK STAR if you like. It’s his trophy to do with it as he wants. The people that are getting upset need to first accept that the guy is great and second, get a grip on the history of music and rock and roll. I guess they are mad because Nashville is not Rock and Roll headquarters. Cleveland, OH is. If Sam Bass is OK with it, than the rest of the world needs to take a chill pill. Way to go SMOKE!

From Jesse in Orlando:
This kid is slowly pushing the limits of what fans will tolerate in a supposedly professional racer. This kid tries every, way shape or form to irritate and unsettle some traditions of NASCAR. Plus this person is a role model for future generations, you do not teach destruction to young people. Kyle is not a rock star, he is a sports figure. We do not want children imitating this imbecile. Kyle mostly acts before the mind goes in gear, he has no conception of fallout. This causes him to be extremely dangerous. It doesn’t matter whether or not he had Sam’s or NASCAR’s Blessing. He is a shock jock of the first order and therefore will likely drive many parents to prevent their kids from watching NASCAR. Controversy only causes momentary spikes in ratings. I also take offence to the many times this is being replayed on TV. This is to give Media fuel for the fire. This will not ultimately help the TV nor Radio ratings as this gets old quickly. Too bad he doesn’t know how to lose, he would go much further if he did. Life is the judge of how successful a person is, and this kid is not winning this war. Plus there are a slew Rock n Roll figures that committed suicide because they could not deal with reality. Trophies are not expendable guitars. Ask any racer who has lost ones in fires or had them stolen. Many non-fans who viewed “Talladega Nights” thinking this is what NASCAR is all about. Not a true picture of what NASCAR racing is at all. Kyle is portraying the same image as Ricky Bobby, and I take offense. For every action there is reaction, mine is disgust.

From Mike:
KB is an idiot. If he wanted his to have a piece of the trophy order one and cut it up for them . But don’t show disrespect as many of us saw it . Yes he can drive a race car, and if I were J.D. Gibbs he would be standing tall in my office Monday morning. Idiot!!

From Kenny in Delaware:
Kyle Bush. What can be said? I’m not a fan per say but here is another case where I give kudos. The trophy smashing was a classic. I don’t think he meant any disrespect to Nashville Super Speedway or Sam Bass. He wanted his crew to have a piece of the trophy. There are many rock band guitarists who smash their guitars at concerts. I believe he was mimicking that act and also getting his team the pieces he needed to give to them. It is freedom of speech. A way to express himself. Many will agree with this act and many won’t. But it was his trophy and his choice. It was his freedom that let him do this. And it is his right.

All sports need more celebrities who are spontaneous and natural and not some puppet on a string who always do what is politically correct. This is what makes Kyle, Kyle. I applaud him for it and encourage him and others to continue on with being themselves.

From Brian in Morristown, Tennessee
Can you say “Actions detrimental to NASCAR Racing”!!!!!!!!!
Kyle Bush’s actions in winners circle should brought into question. Is it appropriate for anyone to destroy there trophy. Yes you can say it was a “rock star moment” but after that I don’t care to even see him on the track again. I’m not Kyle bashing, I would be upset without regard to whoever did something like, that it’s just un-sportsman like conduct. If he wants to do something to share with his team, why not tear up the winnings check and hand out the pieces. Yes it is his trophy, but he is a representative of the NASCAR family.

From Cheri in Kentucky:
I was appalled when I saw Kyle Busch smash the trophy at Nashville. Not only was it a trophy, it was a work of art. His “rock star” analogy does not work. When a rock star smashes his or her guitar, it is the instrument they use to touch the fans, the “tool” of their trade. And it can easily be replaced. They don’t smash their platinum records, or music awards. These are displayed proudly. Kyle smashed a trophy, a work of art, and what should have been a revered memento of his win at that track. If he wanted to emulate a rock star, he should have taken a saws-all to the car, the tool of his trade. Sam Bass’s comments after he talked to “kyle” show that he is a class act. No artist could appreciate seeing a piece of their work destroyed by a brat. I do not blame the fans at Nashville one bit for uninviting him to their local track. That young man is in need of some serious “home training.” He is a perpetual sore loser, and cannot even figure out how to be a gracious winner. His actions make NASCAR less enjoyable for me.

From Heidi in Lewisberry PA
I defend Kyle’s right under the Constitution to do what he did to the Sam Bass guitar and even found it honorable that he would keep the promise he made to his crew to smash it, so all may have a piece of the trophy. I even found it to be an entertaining Victory Lane celebration. However, at the same time the guitar was smashed, my heart cried. It wasn’t just a guitar that was smashed, it was a piece of artwork that was destroyed. I found it comparable to burning a fine piece of literature or even the flag of our fine country.

From Bryan:
Plain and simple. Sounds like Sam Bass accepted Kyle’s explanation, so that should be the end of it. What some people don’t understand ,is Kyle was just doing his imitation of Pete Townsend, and Paul Stanley. Two rock icons that were known for breaking guitars on stage. I’m sure there are others besides them, that has done it. For those who got offended, or feels disrespected.get over it! Sam is and so should you. What’s next, you gonna sue him for pain and suffering?

From Texas:
Claire no matter what Kyle does he is wrong.Tony in TX

From Bob in Bedford, Texas
I was delighted to meet you a couple of years ago at TMS. I wanted to share my disgust about Kyle Busch’s destruction of the beautiful Gibson. I am a guitar player and own some beautiful Martin acoustic instruments. I am sure there are thousands players like me that are NASCAR fans and will NEVER have anything but disgust at his wanton destruction of a beautiful instrument made more special by the artistry of Sam Bass.

I sort of admired Kyle for his skill but now realize he is so far removed from the fans that he has no regard for this valuable instrument. I guess it just shows what happens to these kids when they become millionaires before they reach 21. I don’t buy the stupid excuse that he wanted to share it with his team.

A pox on his house.

From Kevin In Fort Myers, Florida:
I think that KB is a good driver but he is immature! very immature!!
I thought that the guitar smashing was disrespectful for the sport/sam bass/and the tn speedway
He would have finished better at pocono if he wasn’t such a punk at Nashville. Karma!
Kevin House

From Alberto in Nazar, Texas
I sent an email last year about Gordon blaming Jr when he got beat by Kyle Busch- just so you know…..let’s talk about what’s happening now. Brace yourself. I hear a lot of phone calls about Kyle that scares the hell out of me- the state of mind of the callers is what scares me. Yesterday I blew my top when I heard a lady with a husband and 2 daughters who loves Jr and Harvick complain about Kyle’s statement-so hear me out. I can’t tell you what Kyle was thinking when he said that but I’ll tell you what I think he was thinking-he was putting himself on the line to defend a friend who is going to become the next victim they are going to have with the mess with Jr. He was concerned about the crew chief that helped him out when he was driving the #5. He knew the facts -the risk-and that’s why he said what he said. So I’d like to tell that lady to spend more time teaching her daughters not to hate anybody. Being hateful to others is wrong and is not the right way to live. I am not a Kyle fan-my driver died a long time ago. And a lot of your listeners don’t know he won lots of races driving Oldsmobile #2 , Pontiac #2 and Ford #15 before he drove a bowtie product-#3. When someone put a mike in his face he spoke his peace and a lot of times they had to turn the mike off.- when he was running to his hauler trying to escape people chasing him he said “I don’t have a TV in my car”- “its just racing Man”. Kyle reminds me a lot of him. I don’t think he has to look back at anything or apologize to the Jr fans because Jr is not
winning races. If he goes and says what he feels they bitch about it-and when he runs to his hauler without talking to anybody they bitch about it. Get over it Man. This is not a beauty parlor contest-it’s just racing.

Love you and God Bless You-I listen to you all the time

From Ron in Chicago:
The very instant I saw Dumb#%& Kyle Busch try to smash his guitar into pieces I thought “I can’t believe how big of As57ole he really is! Buy doing what he did, I and many others, thought he disrespected Nashville speedway, Gibson Guitars, Sam Bass and everyone who has ever won one of these rare and beautiful guitars. I noticed that after he did that the representatives from Federated Auto Parts (the race sponsor) walked out of victory lane. I think someone should but this idiot in his place. Sure he is a great driver, but he has ZERO respect for almost everyone and everything. Why does he think his crap doesn’t stink, and that everyone else at any given race is below him. I for one, even though he is a great driver, will NEVER be a fan because it is time for him to grow up, act his age and show just a little responsibility for his actions. I say, I hope he never sells another die-cast, hat, shirt or anything else. I would really like to see M&M’s pull their sponsorship and move it to a driver that would do them proud. Kyle is just a immature BRAT.

————————-
You are either on one side or the other regarding Kyle Busch and, on this issue, there is a line in the sand and the NASCAR fans are divided. Some folks are really upset. I can understand some of that – it’s everyone’s right to have an opinion and for some – Kyle should have thought through the perception of it all even though it was his trophy.

Fans always bring in him talking to the media or not when he doesn’t win. I am used to taking the approach the drivers take – race someone as they race you no matter what he does to anyone else and Kyle has always been fair to me and never rude, not once. I don’t run after race car drivers as the run from the track if they don’t want to be interviewed – you know that. I usually figure I’ll give the time to someone who wants or needs the exposure at that moment. If a guy is too mad to talk – it means that he is so mad he doesn’t want to talk. I think I get the picture. Sure everyone wants to hear what he might say.

Kyle has admitted himself that he is a sore looser and indeed he is – even he admits that. Way too much sometimes it seems but how do I know what motivates him to be up on the edge? Does racing so many races in so many series keep a guy up on it emotionally to the point that keeping the edge prevents him from handling not winning in an appropriate manner? I wonder.

Point is – it doesn’t matter what Kyle does –appropriate or not – people want to talk about him. He gives us fodder plenty of times to discuss his actions but even on a quiet week for him – I mention his name related to qualifying or practice and the phone lines light up. It’s wild to see. Do folks want him to misbehave so they can talk about him? Do fans desire that in a sport?
I’ll post more of these later – I am just getting unpacked from Pocono. I’ve not posted for a while -but have now caught up on things and will be back on the blog regularly.

Broadcast Schedule This Coming Weekend:
Dialed In with Claire B. Lang at the following times:
Wed. June 10 –“Dialed In” 7-10 p.m. EST LIVE from Charlotte, NC Studio
Thursday, June 11 – “Dialed In” 7-10 p.m. EST LIVE from Michigan
Friday, June 12 – “Dialed In” 7-10 p.m. EST LIVE from Michigan
Saturday, June 13, “Dialed In” 1-1:30 EST LIVE from Michigan leading into the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series 200 in Michigan
AND Saturday “Dialed In” 4-8 p.m. EST LIVE from Michigan leading into the Meijer 300 Nationwide Race in Kentucky

CBL Pre and Post Race:
Sunday, June 14th -Claire B is in the SIRIUS NASCAR Radio booth for the Sirius NASCAR Radio Pre Race show which starts at: 10:15 a.m. EST
Claire B will be in Victory Lane LIVE after the race and “Dialed In” will follow the post race show two hours after the race is over until 10 p.m.EST.

Time to unpack!
Enjoy the day.
Claire B

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

RYAN NEWMAN @ Richmond International Raceway – Friday, May 1, 2009 May 1, 2009

Posted by claireblang in 2009 Season, Drivers.
Tags: , , , , , ,
1 comment so far
Ryan Newman Media Luncheon
Image by Bristol Motor Speedway & Dragway via Flickr

Hey all!

Interesting comments here at Richmond from Ryan Newman about the finish at Talladega and what he thinks should be done in the future. I thought I’d share them:

Ryan’s comments always make interesting conversation. Here’s what he said (Below):

Claire B

HAVE YOU WATCHED THE REPLAYS OF THE END OF TALLADEGA? “I’ve seen a couple of replays. I saw it firsthand so, I mean, it was scary enough then. It is part of racing. I was glad that everybody, within reason, was safe afterwards. Carl (Edwards) included, but I was more worried about the fans. Not to say that was a perfect situation. I’d say we escaped what could have been a worse situation.”

NASCAR SAID CARL’S CAR WAS ON THE WAY DOWN SO THE FLAPS WERE WORKING AND EVERYTHING LIKE THEY ARE SUPPOSED TO: “No. Like I said, we saw two cars that got upside down, all by themselves basically. They got spun around, but they still got airborne by themselves. So, there is work that needs to be done. I’m not satisfied with it coming back down. It should never get air borne in the first place.”

SO WHAT DO THINK COULD BE DONE TO PREVENT THAT IN THE FUTURE? “Work, I mean work on it. I was talking to Don Miller, who is still a good friend of mine; they developed the roof flaps in 1992. Its 17 years later and they have not changed much at all. We’re dealing with a different race car. We’re dealing with a wing versus a spoiler. Just put some work in to it. I am not saying that they’re far from being perfect, but, I am also saying that it is something that needs to be looked at. Looking at the big picture, we go faster at other race tracks than we do at Talladega. We just don’t sustain it for the entire lap, so there is potential for crashes to be bigger at other race tracks.”

Enjoy the day!

Claire B

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Kyle Busch- Formula 1? February 27, 2009

Posted by claireblang in 2009 Season, Drivers.
Tags: , , , , , ,
add a comment
Talladega, AL 4-08 arriving for nascar race
Image via Wikipedia

INSIDE THE MEDIA CENTER (Friday Feb 27th)

Kyle Busch came into the media center today and everyone wanted to know what he thought of the though to going to F1.since the new F1 team to be based out of Charlotte mentioned his name. I thought you’d like to read exactly what he said:

Do you have any thoughts of running in Formula 1 anytime in the near future?

“I have not been talked to, no. I don’t know if (Jeff) Dickerson (business manager and spotter) has or not. I toss the idea around — it’s definitely something I wouldn’t shoot down but I don’t think it’s the right time yet in my career and where I’m at. I’m happy with where I’m at. And, obviously the focus here is to go for Nationwide and Cup wins and championships and compete for championships – try to dismantle Jimmie (Johnson) off the top of the thrown so we have to work on that. It’s something that I’d love to give a shot at one day. Toyota gave me the opportunity to go over there last fall and do a test in Fiji (Japan), but we weren’t able to get there. Hopefully one of these days maybe I’ll get a chance to drive one and see if I’m any good at it.”

Did you ever think F1 was something you could do and was it ever on your radar?

“It was never on my radar, no. Open-wheel stuff wasn’t but it’s something that I wouldn’t mind trying. I wouldn’t mind trying IndyCars and running the Indianapolis 500 or Formula 1. It’s not quite the time for me to do that yet. I’d like to – if I could win a championship here in the next two or three years then I wouldn’t mind going over there and doing that, trying it for a few years and coming back. I think I’d still be young enough that if I could win a championship by 25, go run Formula 1 for a few years, be back by 28. I still have plenty of time left to run in NASCAR. It’s just what I see but a lot of things would have to work out for that to happen and you’d have to be guaranteed a spot with a team to come back with. That’s not always possible.”

Do you think your love of racing (always likes to race a variety of vehicles) is why you might look at driving a Formula 1 car?

“It’s just trying other things — doing something different. You kind of probably get dull sometimes and that might be why you see guys make moves from their teams. Granted Jeff (Gordon) has been at Hendrick forever and Kenseth and Biffle have been at Roush forever. It’s just a different form of racing, it’s a different auto sport. (Juan) Montoya looked to be like he was doing that. He went from CART to — I don’t know if he went to IRL or not — but then he was in Formula 1 for a while and then he came back and ran NASCAR. I think it’s just racers want to race different things all of the time and see what it’s like.”

Claire B

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Greetings from the Big Apple! December 2, 2008

Posted by claireblang in 2008 Season, Drivers, My Show, NASCAR, Teams.
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
4 comments

Hey all! Greetings from the Big Apple!

I’m blogging you from the Sports Business Journal Motorsports Marketing Forum at the Westin Hotel at Times Square.

Tonight I will be broadcasting (Sirius NASCAR Radio and BEST OF Sirius on XM) Channel 128 LIVE from the Sirius studios in Manhattan – from 8-11 EST. I’ll have a recap of the day here in New York City and I hope you can hang out.

Last night on “Dialed In” (Sirius NASCAR Radio) I told you all that the media have been asked to rank the competition stories from 2008. Several of you called in and asked if I could put the list on the blog so that you could help rank them in order of importance in your mind. Here’s the list (below).

Listed in no particular order are the nominees for the top stories of the 2008 NASCAR season. The media members have been asked to rank all 17 moments in order. What do you think?

• Jimmie Johnson wins his third consecutive NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship, becoming only the second driver in history to accomplish the feat. Johnson’s championship performance is highlighted by his strong showing in the Chase, as he posts three wins, eight top 10s, six top fives and an Average Finish of 5.7.

• The new NASCAR Sprint Cup Series car concludes it transition year and is raced the entire season.

• Kyle Busch excels in all three national series, winning a combined 21 races in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, NASCAR Nationwide Series and NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series.

• Tony Stewart announces he’s leaving Joe Gibbs Racing to become owner/driver of Stewart-Haas Racing in 2009. Stewart won two NASCAR Sprint Cup championships during his 10-year tenure with JGR.

• Carl Edwards wins a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series-high nine races and finishes runner-up in both the NASCAR Sprint Cup and NASCAR Nationwide Series.

• Johnny Benson edges Ron Hornaday Jr. to win the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series championship in the second closest points battle in that series’ history. Benson joins Greg Biffle as the only other driver to win both the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series and NASCAR Nationwide Series titles during their careers.

• In his first season driving for Hendrick Motorsports, Dale Earnhardt Jr. breaks a 76- race winless streak by winning at Michigan International Speedway on Father’s Day. Earnhardt Jr. finishes 12th in points with one victory, 10 top fives and 16 top 10 finishes on the season.

• Jeff Gordon’s streak of 14 consecutive seasons of winning a race is snapped as he goes winless in 2008.

• Clint Bowyer wins the NASCAR Nationwide Series championship and continues to establish himself as one of the rising stars in the sport.

• Ryan Newman wins his – and owner Roger Penske’s – first Daytona 500, with teammate Kurt Busch finishing second. It is the 50th running of the Great American Race.

• After being voted into the field by the fans, Kasey Kahne wins the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race and rides that wave of momentum with a victory the following week in the Coca-Cola 600.

• Joe Gibbs Racing’s No. 20 Toyota wins the NASCAR Nationwide Series Owners’ Championship, claiming nine victories with four different drivers during the season.

• Eighteen-year-old Joey Logano bursts upon the national series scene, competing in 19 NASCAR Nationwide Series events, winning at Kentucky Speedway and posting 14 top 10 and five top five finishes.

• Greg Biffle wins the first two races in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup and re-establishes himself as a championship contender after a two-year absence from the Chase.

• Canadian Ron Fellows not only wins in his home country but does so in the rain at Montreal’s Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in August. The event is NASCAR’s first-ever national series points race contested on rain tires.

• The announcement is made that Camping World will become the official sponsor of NASCAR’s Camping World Truck Series beginning in 2009. Craftsman had been the official sponsor since the series’ inception in 1995.

• NFL standout Randy Moss enters the NASCAR Truck Series as owner of the No. 84 Randy Moss Motorsports Chevrolet Silverado.

I’d better get back to the seminar.

Enjoy the day!

Catch you at 8:00 EST tonight on “Dialed In”

Claire B.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Chex Most Popular Driver- Hot Topic! November 21, 2008

Posted by claireblang in 2008 Season, Drivers, Fun Stuff.
Tags: , , , , ,
13 comments

Hey all: The National Motorsports Press Association and Chex are looking for ideas to further promote and grow the Most Popular Driver contest. This year’s voting is already over and will be announced in New York City next week. I brought this topic up on air and found that it was really a hot one! I got tons of emails and feed back ranging from pick a most popular driver each month and then have a vote off at the end to charging for charity $1.00 per vote. There was talk that ranged from allowing people to vote only once to allowing them to vote as often as they’d like.

We had a man who called who set two computers up to vote up to 150 times a day. The listeners were amazed that was happening. Others said it’s nothing new and leave it alone.

Let me know your feedback if you can. Here are some of the emails I got yesterday.

Thanks for listening and checking out ClaireBLang.com

Claire B

________________________________________________
Hi Claire

It’s my understanding you were asking on behalf of Chex about the voting for MPD. As a long time Jr fan and voter, I shouldn’t give you my insight (ans spill our secrets), but here goes anyway. I feel the problem is: it’s very difficult for a casual fan to even locate the voting. Once it moved from Nascar.com to Scene Daily it was even more confusing for the casual fan. If you don’ t keep a link in your favorites, locating the voting can be a challenge. Now us Jr fans, it’s easy. We’re a very organized group. This is just my opinion. Thanks for asking.

***Sandy Beddie***
Proud member of Jr Nation
________________________________________________
Claire B – I am diehard Dale Jr fan and I voted daily. I’d gladly pay $1 a
day to vote… Maybe money to driver’s specified charity? Then it would
really reflect driver’s popularity!
Kat in VA

Paying a dollar a day for each vote would cost me $30.00 a month. In this economy that’s just not practical. I could not afford it, and many others couldn’t either.

Ginger
________________________________________________
Hey Claire!
I’m not out of the office yet, but I understand you brought up the topic of MPD and wondered if it should be changed. My vote is NO!

If indeed Dale Jr is the winner again this year, and from the apparent description that you gave on the show it sounds like he is, it is because his legion of fans has faithfully voted each and every day. In fact, some of us were fairly concerned that we were doing enough to show our support and wanted to do more. If fans of other drivers are not voting, that’s too bad. Maybe they feel that there isn’t a chance, but the only way that they can show their loyalty is to vote, vote, vote! My guess is that if fans could only vote once a season (boooo), or once a month, Dale Jr would still win. He just has more fans! The only way he is not going to win is if he follows Bill Elliot’s path and removes himself from the voting list.

Some of the things that also convince me that he is the most popular are (1) the hands down majority of fans wearing his gear at the tracks, (2) the reception he gets in driver intros, and (3) the advertising minutes/stats that get generated every year. My guess is that somehow Budweiser isn’t gonna be at the top of the list this year! And that is not to take anything away from Kasey, it is just that he is not as popular as Dale Jr!

Goodness knows, the fans get no respect and are not listened to by the powers that be in Daytona Beach. Don’t take this away from us too!

Chicago, IL
________________________________________________
Claire,

I am in my car and cannot call you. Had to walk in the school library to send this e-mail. My driver is Dale Jr and yes I do vote in the Most Popular Driver Award ONCE every day. I don’t feel the need to vote more than that. The MPD Award is very prestigous and means a great deal to us as Jr fans, that we have been able to win it for him the last 5 years running. We take a lot of pride in him winning it and we know it means a lot to him. I totally disagree with anyone who says it dosen’t mean anything. It shows where the drivers stand with the people who make it possible for them to do what they love every week. Don’t tell me “it dosen’t mean anything!”

I resent that Chex is even THINKING of changing the format in which this award is voted on. Please do not insult us as fans by cheapening what is now a very prestigous award. We don’t need some new “allstar” format to drum up excitement. Leave it alone…the people who want to vote already do. People need to suck it up…Jr has the most fans and that is that. Let them change it to whatever format they want because it does not matter…Jr Nation will come out on top. Please let the Chex people know though Claire, that I purchase Chex Cereal as my cereal of choice. I eat it every morning for breakfast. If they change this format, I will pull my support. I will not buy their product if they do this. I only buy it because they sponsor this award, I can easily find me another cereal to eat, that I like just as much.

Some of his fans, me included, have been concerned over the last few days because voting was supposed to be over at 11:59CT on Monday afternoon, and the website is still taking votes. Are the organizers of the award TRYING to sabatoge us fans who are voting for Jr??? Okay, I am joking so nobody get upset but it does make us wonder. Why will they not take the voting page down. Voting is over, yet, we can still vote. After hearing all of this, it just makes me wonder.

Thanks for your time

Jennifer

________________________________________________
Hey Claire!

1) Tell Gary the Mojo Crew says “Hey!” We got to talk to him a couple years in a row when he used to come to the Lowes Zone at LMS in Charlotte. He’s got some funny stories. I think Jimmie must get some of the humor from Gary. I thought Jimmie jumping into the crew reminded me for some reason of the Jimmie Gary talked about who invited everyone at a race he won to come to their house for a party and that when he (Gary) got home there were like a hundred people in his front yard. The spontaneous; I want to share my happiness with everyone; let’s have a good time Jimmie. They did a wonderful job raising Jimmie, Jarit, and Jessie. And I bet he’s enjoying Jarit’s little ones too. Congrats on that also.

2) Most Popular Driver voting: they need to continue to refine the program that runs that. Make it one where the voter has to enter a randomly generated code in order for the vote to go through so they can’t use the macro voting programs that generate votes without a person needing to hit the buttons by hand. Another would be if they can have it set up so it recognizes ISP addresses so people can’t vote with multiple emails from the same computer address. Just a couple of suggestions. Not a huge deal though. I’m a Jimmie fan and I know how wonderful he is whether other people figure it out or not. I’d rather be a fan of the 3 time Champion (IN A ROW! CAN YOU BELIEVE IT! I’M STILL A BIT EXCITED! Ha ha!) than the guy who is most popular but can’t get the job done on the track – and note my driver is physically fit enough that he can still breath and talk after 500 miles.

Thanks Claire! Love the show as always!

Pam J
________________________________________________
Hey CBL,

I haven’t voted in the most popular drive promotion in years, since Ward Burton got “booted” from the sport I haven’t had a car in the race. When you get some one as popular as Jr. it would be hard to cast that many votes, seems to me “awesome Bill” from Dawsonville was one like Jr. Don’t know what they could do to pull me into the voting again. I like Jr. but I like a lot of the other drivers too, maybe they should have a most “unpopular driver” segment too…I think I would be more apt to vote in that now than the most popular.

Joyce
Arkansas
________________________________________________
Dear Claire B

I am a faithful MPD voter, and I vote every day. This contest has been in existence for many years. I’m just wondering why you would want to change the format now. Is this Chex’s idea? PS Love your show.

G

________________________________________________
Hi Claire,
I voted for my driver, Casey Mears, everyday in the most popular driver voting. Everytime I voted I felt like it was a waste of time because the Jr. fans would win out every time Jr. is a choice for anything. I think that a driver should not be eligible after winning the Most popular award more than 2 years in a row. At least Bill Elliot had the grace to take himself out of the running after dominating that award for years.

David
Endicott, NY

________________________________________________
Hi Claire,

I’m and Dale Jr. fan and will vote no matter how they change it, but in my opinion if you ask people to pay to vote you will get fewer people to your website. These are going to be hard economic times and people will watch what they spend their dollars on.

In my opinion, I think if you offer participants a prize at the end of the year. A trip to the banquet for two all expenses paid. A trip to a race for two all expenses paid. Maybe some other smaller prize from their favorite driver. If you offer people something that they can’t get on their own in these hard economic time maybe they would be more likely to vote more often and then they would get more hit to their website.

Just my opinion.
Bonnie from Connecticut

________________________________________________
Should the NMPA Chex Most Popular Driver Voting be changed?

Yes it should be. I think it is a disgrace to the award to be able to make up email addresses and vote more than once. Try one person voting 6 times to 10 times. There should be a way that the IP address of the email address be registered and only to be used ONCE a day. No one will vote knowing the Jr Nation vote much more than once a day. This is fact. But, this is the ONLY trophy Jr will get. The one his so called Nation votes for him. Thank God the Championship is not decided by votes.

Have Happy Holidays
________________________________________________
Hi Claire,

Thanks for reading my email on the air! It was hard to drive and listen to something that I wrote at the same time!!!

Have thoroughly enjoyed the discussion. Now that I have a better feel, I have a couple more thoughts to share with Chex…

1. Whatever voting system is used, it has to be fair and open to all people equally or the results are questionable. To have someone pay to vote, or go to the track to vote, severely limits a segment of the population. While I would encourage them to put a donation link on their site, I would hate to see folks have to pay to vote in this economy, when racing/voting might be one of few perks in a pretty bleak existence.

2. I certainly support Chex wanting to have more hits to its website. Perhaps if after someone voted a set number of times in a month, they would automatically get a coupon for a discount on one of the Chex products. If, perhaps, one had to vote 20 times in a month, the coupon could not be possibly kicked out until the 21st of the month and if someone voted multiple times daily, then their votes would be discounted… the software is out there to match emails to votes. That would encourage folks to vote even if they perceived their driver not to be a potential winner!

3. I must say I like the idea of a driver of the month and then perhaps in the last month a run off of all (or the top 3- 5) drivers over the year.

Thanks to you for listening and thanks to Chex for asking!

Mary
Chicago, IL
________________________________________________
Claire B:

How about 1 per month then a “chase” vote during the last week or so of the season between the drivers that won each month for the yearly big winner.

Or a 1 per month; then between those 3 for the quarter with the final vote between the quarterly for the end of year winner with all the quarterly winners being acknowledged some way.

And yes by clearing cookies anyone can vote more than once and after about the first month this year fans didn’t even have to do that to vote more than once. Didn’t even have to use more than one email. I voted but will admit most weeks I only remembered 4 out of 7 days.

As much as I love giving to my driver’s charity I have a bit of a problem with $1 a vote or whatever because that leaves out a lot of people who could not afford to do that. You are talking even at only one vote per day up to $365 a year and for folks who are struggling to make all their bills or saying they can’t afford $100 for a race ticket, does Nascar or the sponsors want to add one more thing people would have to pay for? Just a thought. Now maybe if they did a vote off at the end out of the top so many for the year to get the winner for the year or something and during that week or whatever the time frame is they want to do that, that could be interesting.

Just a couple thoughts.

Pam
________________________________________________
Claire B,
If they insist on a popularity contast, why not vote for a favorite team.
Some folks cheer the car and what it represents and not the driver.
Besides, these drivers aleady have a hard time fitting their heads in their
tight little seats.

Glad I’m finally getting listen today. Been too long.

Duane
Menifee. CA
________________________________________________
Claire B: This is an easy problem to fix. Only allow each computer’s IP address to count for 1 vote no matter how mant times they vote. Travis from KS

No matter how you change it Jr will win as he should he does have the most fans. That said I keep voting to hopefully keep Jeff G in 2nd (they have told us some years where the others were after Jr). I do know people who
say the Jr fans outnumber any others fans so why bother. The sweepstakes they have is a good thing as people might vote just to have the chance to win that. What I would do would not be what they want as they would get less hits on the site and probably not possible. I would like one Fan one
Vote and although I know Jr would still win that would be more accurate instead of being able to vote every day with all your email addresses. I don’t think you can do it for MPD but have heard of people being able to program their computers to auto vote when voting in an on-line poll.

Deb
________________________________________________
Claire: I voted several times for Sadler and know many who did the same. They used to show who was in the top 10 from time to time in years past, but I never saw that this year. Maybe if they kept it up to date on the standings more people would take place.

I don’t think any changes need to be made to the voting for this award. It’s the FANS vote so please leave it alone! No one complain in all of the years that Bill Elliott won it why now?

Virginia Spann
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding…” Proverbs 3: