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Dover Racing – Chase Race #2 – NASCAR Sprint Cup Race Weekend! September 25, 2009

Posted by claireblang in 2009 Season, Breaking News.
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ATLANTA - MARCH 06:  Mark Martin, driver of th...
Image by Getty Images via Daylife

Welcome to Dover. The forecast is part of the conversation this weekend – as is Mark Martin’s age, the chase format, the high banks of Dover, concrete versus asphalt, pit road incidents and what to do to prevent them, and partial schedules for drivers (i.e. Jeff Gordon and would he ever go part time)

Let’s start with the weather: This is one of those weekends that might be affected by rain – but hopefully we’ll be able to make it through without significant delays to the schedule and/or impact on the racing. So let’s start there:

Here’s the latest weather forecast for Dover:

Sep 25 Friday
Mainly cloudy. A few peeks of sunshine possible. High near 70F. Winds NE at 10 to 20 mph.
Sep 25 Friday Night
Some passing clouds. Low near 55F. Winds ENE at 10 to 20 mph.
Sep 26 Saturday
Cloudy early with showers for the afternoon hours. High 66F. Winds E at 10 to 20 mph. Chance of rain 50%.
Sep 26 Saturday Night
Cloudy with periods of rain. Low 59F. Winds SE at 10 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 90%. Significant rainfall amounts possible.
Sep 27 Sunday
Cloudy with rain in the morning. Highs in the upper 70s and lows in the low 60s.

Claire B.’s SIRIUS NASCAR Radio Broadcast Schedule:

Here’s the broadcast schedule for “Dialed In” on Sirius NASCAR Radio and for met this weekend.

Friday, Sept. 25th

“Dialed In” with Claire B. Lang 7-10 EST

Saturday, September 26th
“Dialed In” 2PM-3PM leading into the Dover 200 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Race
Also “Dialed In” after the race until 9PM ET

Sunday, September 27th

SIRIUS NASCAR Radio Pre-Race Show
10:15AM-12:15PM ET (Claire B.in Studio)

SIRIUS NASCAR Radio Post Race Show (two full hours after the Sprint Cup Race) – (Claire B. in Victory Lane)

After post race: “Dialed In” with Claire B. Lang until 10:00 p.m. EST

Now what’s going on here in the Media Center at Dover:

BREAKING NEWS: Here in the Media Center today at DIS:

Mark Martin’s Age Continues to be a Topic:

To Brian Vickers: How amazed are you with Mark Martin’s accomplishments this year?“It’s crazy to think about that. It really is. …….. Why is he still doing so good at that age? I think it has less to do with his age and more to do with the fact that he’s still really hungry. If he had won four championships, would he still be able to do it at 50? I think desire has more to do with it than age. He is still real hungry. And what he has, and is a huge advantage over any of us, is he has just as much desire, but he has a lot more experience. I think experience in these cars goes a long way. We don’t have the telemetry. We don’t have the computers telling the crew chief what to do to the car like Formula One does. I think that’s where the experience comes in. Knowing these tracks and understanding these tracks, 500 mile races. It’s easy to say it, even for a young athlete, that you gotta be there at the end of the race to win it, but it’s much harder to do it. Mark is always there at the end of the race. He’s had some problems at the beginning of the season, but most of those, were those his fault? I’m proud of him. I’m impressed. I admire him for what he’s accomplished throughout his entire career, and especially what he’s done this season. I think he’s a huge threat to win the championship. I don’t think his age hurts him whatsoever. I don’t see that as being old, me personally. But I’m not 50 yet. I might change my mind when I get that age. I think most of the time, when a very talented athlete — even a race car driver — gets to be that age, if they’re still in the sport, then they’ve probably had a certain level of success. And with that, they get, ‘Okay, well I’ve already done it. Do I really want to push myself to do it again? I’ve won four championships, or five, or six or seven or whatever.’ They probably lose a little bit of desire. Mark is hungry. You can see it. You can see it even when you talk to him. You can see it on the race track. He’s never won a championship before and he wants it bad. He’s got more experience than anybody and he’s probably in better shape than most of the guys in this garage.

To Mark Martin: ON YOUR DECISION TO SIGN A CONTRACT EXTENSION – COULD YOU JUST TALK A BIT ABOUT WHETHER THERE WAS MUCH SOUL SEARCHING INVOLVED? Mark Martin: “Really things are going really, really well. I’m having the time of my life. It’s a little long-range for my liking but for Hendrick Motorsports planning purposes, sponsorship deals and all those things it made sense to go ahead and make the commitment so they could plan longer term than just a year. I’m definitely having a blast. I’m having the time of my life and I think that’s obvious. So I was comfortable with it.”
Other topics:


To Brian Vickers: Would it be safer if NASCAR penalized drivers for hitting crew members or other cars on pit road?
“Well, are they going to make the crew guy run a lap if he jumps out in front of a car? They do it. I think that in the heat of the battle — it’s tough. The last thing I want to do as a driver is hit a crew member — I can assure you. I don’t think there’s a guy out here who wants to hit a crew guy. But, when you pull in your pit box and the crew guys they get up on the wall and they’re anxious and they’re ready to go and their car is a few behind you and they jump out a little bit early and they’re watching this and they’re not paying attention to here — oh, trust me, I’ve had plenty of guys jump out in front of me. And, I’ve had guys that they have a tendency to swing way out of the box. They run around the car about four or five feet out in pit road — they’re not even in their box.”

Jeff Gordon says since he has equity in Hendrick Motorsports he doubts he’d do a partial schedule in the future because he doesn’t see where it would make good business sense for HMS. He says if he’d go to Rick Hendrick and tell him he’d like to go to partial schedule that Rick probably would allow it – but it would never be with the intention of coming back one day to a full schedule. It doesn’t look as if this is something he’s considering.

Stewart has not talked with Danica:

Tony Stewart says he has not talked with Danica Patrick since the announcement was made that she was staying in Indy Car and had signed a new contract with Andretti Green Racing – that out of a report in the Indianapolis star.

That’s it for now. More later. I’ve got to get back out in the garage.

Enjoy the day.
Claire B

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California and Auto Club Speedway Weekend February 18, 2009

Posted by claireblang in 2009 Season.
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Main grandstand at Auto Club Speedway
Image via Wikipedia


Before I leave for California and Auto Club Speedway (fly out at 7:30 a.m. EST Thursday) I wanted to drop you a quick note. How are all of you? I’m working through emails – I got so many after the race at Daytona. Whew…the opinionated nation is up and at it.

Here’s my personal broadcast schedule from Auto Club Speedway:
(of course I am on Wed Night (tonight) (SIRIUS NASCAR Radio – Best of SIRIUS Package on XM – Channel 128 – 7-10 EST)

Thursday: “Dialed In” 7-10 EST live from Auto Club Speedway
Friday: “Dialed In” with Claire B. Lang- End of Qualifying until 11PM EST
Saturday: “Dialed In” with Claire B Lang -2p-2:30p EST (Camping World Truck Series pre-race)
Saturday: “Dialed in” with Claire B Lang End of Camping World Truck Series race until 7PM ET, handing it off to MRN Nationwide Series coverage
Sunday: 12p-2:15p ET “Dialed In” with Claire B Lang
Sunday: 2:15p-4:15p ET (SIRIUS NASCAR Radio Pre-Race Show with myself and Steve Post), straight into MRN Cup Series coverage/race.
Sunday: End of Cup Series Race until 12AM ET (SIRIUS NASCAR Radio Post-Race Show)

Rain Shortened Daytona 500:
I have had so much email with folks asking me if I didn’t wish the Daytona 500 had gone to the full length before the checkered. Of course, who didn’t? Here’s my story:

I anchor the rained delay coverage for Sirius NASCAR Radio. That means that if the network (MRN) throws it back to affiliates and says they will return later – I pick up the coverage. I also am LIVE from Victory Lane once the race ends. With about 20 laps to go I walk to the MRN trailer to pick up my live gear and then head to Victory Lane.

I was between a rock and a hard place. If MRN threw it back I had to be in the studio in the media center..if the race was to be ended early I had to be in Victory Lane. I decided when the race was red flagged to go to the MRN trailer and see if I could pick up the equipment early. I was able to do that and as I was headed on the long walk from the MRN trailer (near the care center) I heard the word via a phone call from the program director that the race had been declared over.

With all the gear on in the rain I began running the long distance to Victory Lane from the MRN trailer. I wanted not to be out of breath when I got there and opened the post race show. I got there and was set to go when – my equipment did not seem to be right. Soon, a voice in my ear told me that they had forgotten to put a battery pack in my equipment so although I could hear them they would not be able to hear me.

I began running from Victory Lane back to the MRN trailer….and an engineer met me about half way and walked with me to Victory Lane to test the pack.

Good to go – I felt like I had been hit by a truck lol. I was soon caught up in the energy of the moment and as I interviewed Matt Kennseth his eyes began filling with tears and then turning red. Then, his chin began to quiver and I was like woah I’m going to remember this as one of the moments I have covered that will stick with me for a long time.

Earlier I had been at the care center when Kyle Busch came out – and as the national media waited for him to appear he flew by in a golf cart. “Look,” I told the group, “There goes Kyle.” In the blink of an eye the media group turned and jogged towards the garage where Kyle was dropped off and began walking into the garage.

He stopped for an interview and I was walking right behind him. The press of the media group against me I thought, “Good Lord, Don’t let me knock him over!” LOL.

It struck me how he talked about Brian Vickers and Dale Junior without using their names…he called them “lapped cars,” and when talking about Dale Junior did not use his name – not once even though he was angry. That sort of struck me.

I’m busy packing for the Auto Club Speedway and will have plenty of time to blog on the airplane…..so stay tuned for some inside stories.

What’s my take on the deal between Vickers and Junior? Not smart –both of them lost and someone should have backed off. It took a lot of cars out – and restrictor plate racing is a bit insane to me anyway. I’m not saying I don’t enjoy watching it cause I do. We see some pretty crazy stuff at these races. How can you judge one incident sanely and not all that have transpired over the years with the “big ones” caused by bonehead moves. It’s plain insane to me so how do you judge any of it with any sanity? Answer is I’m not sure you can. You can comment, wrangle, argue and put your two cents in but really – how crazy is talking about two guys going that fast racing that hard that close and who should have done what? Insane.

Agree or not?

For now…I’m getting the show ready – and packing.

More once I arrive in California. I’ll be blogging on the airplane so get ready.

Thanks for listening.

Claire B

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POSTCard From: West Allis, Wisconsin June 19, 2008

Posted by claireblang in 2008 Season.
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2006 Time Warner Cable Road Runner 225Image via WikipediaPOSTCard
From: West Allis, Wisconsin
Claire B Lang BlOG – Thursday June 19, 2008

Hey! Ok – yesterday I did shots, of reality, as I took “Dialed In” To Paulie’s Pub & Eaterie across the street from the historic Milwaukee Mile. It was crazy (what was I thinking?) – there I was doing a three hour broadcast while people were banging dice cups on the table (reminds me of old times) shooting dice and putting down shots and drafts. As I did the broadcast I watched one young guy celebrating the day of his divorce right across from where I was broadcasting talking about the significance of a road course.

I got a kick out of just going out on the road. I live at a race track pretty much – so it’s cool to go out and run into folks and just ask them what they think about things in general and chew the fat (cheese curds) while talking about topics of the day in NASCAR. I took the broadcast to Milwaukee a day early so that I could see my family so the bar was full of mostly regulars. Today, Paulies will be packed not only with patrons but with the race fans who are coming into town to enjoy the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series and Nationwide Series races here at the Milwaukee Mile. I’m thinking what kind of trouble am I going to get into today? Yesterday, there were times, I could hardly hear myself or the people I was interviewing talk – it was so loud – as people simply enjoyed the late afternoon on a beautiful day in Miwaukee. Today, I’m sure it will be insane and the bar will be packed. Hope you can come along for the ride.

And yes, I was kidding about the shots. I never could handle them.

Last night, after the show, I went to the ball game of my brother’s kid Alex and sat in the stands in Milwaukee on a cool evening at a local ball park and watched the nephew I never get to see cover first base. I don’t get many chances like that and I soaked it up totally.

Shots of reality today on “Dialed In” from Paulie’s Pub and Eatery adjacent to the Milwaukee Mile at 4:00 EST on XMSN Channel 144

Speaking of reality -I wanted to catch you up on what Brian Vickers was so upset about after the race at Michigan. He ended up talking to NASCAR about it. Here’s what he told me:

CBL: Brian you had some questions after the race out on pit road -this past weekend. Did you ever go to NASCAR and got the full explanation so that now you understand better or have a better view of it?
Vickers: “So I had some questions about at the end of the race before the last caution – we passed the 8 car about two laps before the caution came out and then under caution they put the 8 car in front of us and to be honest with you I was furious. I was pretty upset about it and rightfully so and you know wanted an explanation as to why that took place. I feel that in a lot of ways that cost us a shot at the race. You know there’s no guarantees what would have happened but it definitely hurt us. I did talk to them after the race and they said they made an honest mistake – they said the 8 car was supposed to be behind you and you know I think that’s all you can ask for. I mean – you know it’s like when a driver on the race track gets into you. It makes all the difference in the world if they call you up the next day and say, ‘Man I’m sorry. I messed up, I’m sorry, you know lets just move forward from here on out.’ And I totally respect that. I mean I have made many, many mistakes in my life and I will probably make many more and I think that the important thing is to own up to it and move on. Unfortunately, in our sport – and if I was in the tower I couldn’t do any different. You can’t just call a time out and go look at the replay and sort it out. I mean you’re talking about – you look at a football game and they get a bad call on the field and they call a time out and they fix it and they move on. Well that’s one call. For those guys it’s 43 calls up in the tower – they got 43 positions to sort out every caution not one and it’s a tough job – you know. And they can’t just pause the race – they got guys running out of fuel and the race is coming to an end and it’s time to go green and get the checkered out there so you know it’s time to move on.
But, you know, they did say they made a mistake and owned up to it and that’s all you can ask for.”

That’s it for now. Stay tuned for more from Milwaukee.

Enjoy the day!

Claire B
XM Satellite Radio

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Quick post for today May 6, 2008

Posted by claireblang in Coffee with Claire B., Drivers.
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Testing Note: Good morning everyone! There was an interesting comment at testing yesterday from Brian Vickers – Here’s a transcript of the question and answer. I thought you’d like to read it. Claire B

What was it like to have ‘Junior Nation’ upset with you following your incident two years ago at Talladega?
“As far as the situation you’re referring to — I didn’t really think much about it to be honest with you. It was a racing incident and obviously the fans are passionate. I believe it was Humpy (Wheeler) that put out a press release about security and that he offered us security and he never actually offered it to me, he just put it out in a press release. I think that Lowe’s Motor Speedway does a good job promoting the race track and supporting the event, but that particular instance with me personally that you’re referring to — it kind of pissed me off to be honest with you. It was really more about publicity than anything else and that’s a shame. As far as the fans themselves, like I said then, I have a lot more respect for our fans than to think that just because I got into Jimmie (Johnson) and (Dale Earnhardt) Jr. or Kyle (Busch) got into (Dale Earnhardt) Jr., his life is in danger. There’s a lot of nuts in the world and I’m sure if you took a big slice of it, there’s a couple floating around here. Maybe even me included, nobody’s perfect and I understand that, but for the most part I’ve met some fans that love one driver and hate me. I’ve never met one that I felt for my safety. I’m ok with that — they don’t all have to like me, they don’t all have to like (Dale Earnhardt) Jr., but most of them like (Dale Earnhardt) Jr., but they don’t all have to like all of us and that’s just part of the sport. I’ve never felt for my safety and I think that whole safety thing is blown out of proportion. Kyle (Busch) is probably going to get a lot more boos, in all honesty, he got a lot anyway and he’s probably going to get even more now. I got a few more after the whole Talladega thing too.”