jump to navigation

And it’s on to Michigan! Quick Turnaround for Fans and Teams! August 12, 2009

Posted by claireblang in 2009 Season.
Tags: , , , , ,
3 comments

Finally arrived after massive delayed flights and a closed runway at Charlotte’s airport back at home at 11:00 p.m. on Tuesday night. That was ok because it was after a great race with tons to talk about with you all. I received much email and am going to post some of the notes I got from you below as well as some conversation about the race at the Glen.

Tomorrow, it’s off to Michigan and I am hearing that there is no chance of rain in the forecast there. If that changes or if anyone hears differently – please don’t tell me. We’re due some sun at MIS and for the race fans. God bless the race fans who braved lightening and weather and banded together under the grandstands and then resurfaced on Monday for the Sprint Cup Series race at the Glen.

I also wondered this – what about the fans at home who watch on TV. For fans who traveled to the race, and the teams and drivers and the traveling group that is NASCAR the week was thrown off a bit by a second rain delayed race. How does it affect those of you who are at home watching on TV and scheduling your TV time and weekend around watching racing? Did any of you take off another day to watch the race? Email me: insidercbl@aol.com

Here’s my schedule for the week/weekend on air: Check claireblang.com for updates and also check out my column in Challenge Magazine at most all Pilot truck stops across the country. America’s truck drivers are the kindest and most compassionate folks ever – I’ve gotten to know them over the years on satellite radio and this column is a chance to give them something special.

Claire B.’s SIRIUS NASCAR Radio “Dialed In” SIRIUS NASCAR Radio – Channel 128 (Best of SIrius on XM Channel 128) schedule this week:

Wednesday, (tonight) August 12
“Dialed In” wth CBL- 7-10 p.m. EST

Thursday, August 13
“Dialed In” with CBL 7-10 p.m. EST LIVE from Michigan International Speedway

Friday, August 14
“Dialed In” with CBL 7-10 p.m. EST LIVE from Michigan International Speedway

Saturday, August 15
“Dialed In” with CBL -2:00 – 3:00 p.m. EST LIVE from MIS leading up to the start of the Nationwide race – the Carfax 250 at MIS

Post Race: “Dialed In” with CBL after race until 8:00 p.m. EST

Sunday, August 16

CBL in the booth for the SIRIUS NASCAR Radio Pre Race Show LIVE from MIS 10:15 a.m. -12:15 p.m. EST

CBL in Victory Lane LIVE and on the SIRIUS NASCAR Radio Post Race show for two full hours after the race

Followed by:

“Dialed In” wit CBL until 10 p.m. EST Sunday night breaking down the race post the post race.

That’s my schedule for the week. Here (BELOW) are some of the emails that you have been sending me this week. You all are very good…raising some great points and bringing up good issues. Keep sending them on at ClaireBMail [at] ClaireBLang.com

Thanks.

“Dialed In” MAIL BOX….. The glenn
Posts to ClaireBMail [at] ClaireBLang.com (Claire B)

Hey Claire,

Can u check on something for me? I am trying to figure out why
Stremme was not penalized for running over his front air hose on the
last pit stop. There was even an official standing right there, and I
do not think the rule has changed, has it?

Thanks.
Hey: Thanks for the note. I checked with Kerry Tharp with NASCAR who contacted David Hoots – race director. Here’s your answer:
Referenced 9-15 P in the 2009 rule book: (…when a car completely runs over or under its air hose or over any other equipment within its assigned pit box, the driver may be instructed to return to the car’s assigned pit box for inspection at the direction of NASCAR officials …)The two key words of the rule are “completely” and “may” be penalized. Not in Rule book, the official has the discretion to not make the call if only a part of the hose is clipped or left remaining

The above interpretation of the rule was applied in this particular case involving the No. 12 car

Claire

the people that keep saying Kyle bush need to change are crazy….i have raced from my 5th birthday and i am 58…2nd place is first looser….this crap about being happy with 2nd or 3rd is dumb….1st is the only winner …i think he is great he cant say what you want to say so dont say anything…..m&m mars candy is the only one that counts and Joe Gibbs
say he see a different Kyle….these dumb people they complain should just shut up…..Kevin harvick is saying what it takes to get his team to let him out of his contract….he just a cry baby i can remember when he was the one running all over everyone……again everyone leave Kyle alone …..he is the best driver all around in nascar now

David Watkins

Response: Hey David. Thanks for the email. David I agree —he won’t live with second. But I think winning championships requires that you cannot let that throw you or your team off when you finish less than first. It takes being solid no matter what the issues or the day —-I don’t criticize him for his spirit I LOVE that. But I do think to win a championship he has to find the right balance between the total and complete all consuming desire to win and being up on it and not letting it get to him. It think he knows that and is working on getting there. It’s a tough edge of the razor to find. Thanks again.

Claire B

Hi I missed your show all this week————-sorry———–. What was your opinion of the #11 not getting the same penalties as the #7 and #12? Also about the # of free passes a driver can get. I don’t think that any driver more than 1 lap down should get a free pass. Everyone is bragging on the #48 for making up 3 laps. They didn’t make up anything it was given to them. Once again the no reason for cautions that you know I hate played a major role in the race. I don’t mean it changed who won, but it did allow several teams to get far better finishes than they should have had. A good example was the #12 hitting the wall ,but kept going and they immediately threw the yellow flag. I looked hard ,but could not see anything on the track,nor did TV say anything about anything on the track.Have you ever thought about the advantage a team like the #48 last week has getting 3 lucky dog passes in a row. They get a lap back which everyone knows ,but think of all the extra time they have to make changes to the car that other teams that are good enough to stay on the lead lap don’t have. Just another way that NASCAR in it’s infinite wisdon effects the outcome of a race. thanks jim in fl.

Thanks Jim. I grilled series director John Darby on this topic on air on “Competition Wed.” on “Dialed In” after Pocono. I’m sorry you missed it. I am going to try to get the tape and transcribe it so that you can catch up on what he said. I’ll try to do that as soon as we have a race weekend that is the normal length. I am slammed to get to Michigan tomorrow. Maybe should have gone directly to Michigan from Ithica huh?Hey, maybe can transcribe it on the flight. Will work on that and will post it here as well. NASCAR basically said that the #11 wasn’t malicious although hard racing and they felt that the 7 and 12 were in their eyes after seeing tape. Debris cautions we can and do debate every single time they come out. Like you I want to see what they are. Three lucky dog passes – sometimes those work in your favor sometimes they don’t. I will try to get that tape done so you can read discussion with Darby on all this. Thanks for the email. My opinion – we have a complicated sport with strike and ball calls….we’ll be debating them until the cows come home. Some I agree with some maybe not so much. I do think that NASCAR tries to be fair with the calls – and depending on which driver folks like opinions are varied. It’s part of the sport – that will never change.

Hey thanks for the email.

Claire B

Hi Claire,

I thought you might get a kick out this. It was in the Press and Sun Bulletin (Binghamton, NY paper). It’s not the headline of the story for the nationwide race, but it was the first sentence of the story. “Marcos Ambrose out Kyle-Busched Kyle Busch.” I thought it was clever.

David Romanowski

David: Thanks Loved it. To the rest of you keep sending headlines from your area. Good stuff.
Appreciate it David.

Claire

Claire,

I don’t dislike Kevin Harvick. He is a great guy and a hard racer and I like him. I’m not extremely upset about him saying he didn’t want to bother going back out (at Glenn)….but I am extremely disappointed.

You asked what we would think if the roles were reversed and it were Jr. Well, I think Jr has shown time and time again that he is not like that. He is known for staying in it to get everything he can get…every position…every point…even if he does not actually gain anything in the end…he always tries. Jr is having just as bad of a year as Harvick is…if not worse. I know he is under much more intense pressure….yet he still handles everything with class and never gives up. He gives his team everything he can give them. He has awful luck and I know he’s frustrated but he does not use that as an excuse to give up.

Just like today. His brakes went out and he wrecks…just bad luck every week. Yet, he still tried to go back out there. From what I gathered through e-mail updates(I was working) today, he did not gain any positions but at least Jr still tried. Everybody gets frustrated and has a bad day and you want to throw in the towel. But you can’t give up…and i’m damn proud to say my driver Dale Jr never gave up!!!!….that means a lot to me as a fan!!!!!

Jennifer in SC

Jennifer – I guess I try really hard when someone says something about a driver to change names with another driver (any driver from Gordon to Earnhardt to Bowyer to anyone else on the line up) and see if fans would say same thing. I guess sort of like a fairness meter. I do it all the time….I am sure not implying that another driver would have said that. The drivers who came out of the care center all banged around were kind to stop and talk after that. I appreciate whatever a driver says at that point and if he’s frustrated I guess that would be the ultimate of frustration. Some fans said they thought Kevin was saying he didn’t want to go out there to be crashed by someone not as experienced at road courses again…..perhaps so. It seems like he was just so frustrated. Not sure that works in anyone’s favor. Read rest of emails below. I got a lot of them. Fans are passionate about Harvick.

Claire B

I am not worried about Kevin Harvick at all Claire. I believe he was just fed up with this car, this race, this entire season.. It has been devastating for him, his team and the whole organization. That interview culminates the feelings of all the guys and girls on that 29 team, and probably the 31 and 33 teams also. But they don’t give up and they didn’t either. The team worked on the car, and Harvick got in the car and drove it as hard as he could until he couldn’t anymore. So there are no worries for this huge 29 fan and there shouldn’t be any worries with the rest of us.. Don’t worry guys, he’ll be alright, maybe he’ll end up at Stewart-Haas Racing! Either way, I will support him and the RCR organization.

Thanks Claire

Lee
MS

I guess he was never a rookie.TONY TX

I was going to ask you to send the 14 around but i dont think he needs your help. he did it fine on his own. GO TONY!!

jay in nh

I think Kevin did not want to go out there and be with racers
who were over their skill level – who could wreck him again.

Joanna

Harvick is a big crybaby jerry in

When something happens like Kasey Kahne and Sam Hornish getting together and a big nasty wreck ensuing, how does the driver (in this case Kasey) block that out of his mind to continue the race and not dwell on what happened? It also seems like some drivers may be able to block it out better than others. Is this also the case?

Heidi
Lewisberry, PA

Heidi: Yea they have to. If they don’t they would make more mistakes and have “road rage” incidents that would really be counter productive. It is hard to think of how these racers don’t have more “road rage” since they are so ultra up on it to do what they do -so much more competitive than most of us to get themselves to the edge of speed like that. It’s pretty amazing. But most of them that attain championship status have the ability in the car to keep that in check and find a focus spot that keeps them that way. Good point…yes. you are right. Thanks for the email good point.

Claire B

Hi Claire B.
Have they made any changes to the run off area in turn 9 i don’t remember the crashs being that violant there…Now they hit hard and get spun right out into the race traffic…I see its still grass if they haven’t changed anything they need to…
Randy Henry
Old School with an Attitude
Go Martin Truex Jr….KICK ASS AND TAKE CAR NUMBERS
glad everyone is ok in the kandy kahne I can destroy half the field wreck.. Hornish and Gordon in particular took huge shots—-nascar busted jr for speeding….im in shock

Claire:

Jeff was just on ESPN and they asked him why JJ was so much faster
than the other three. Jeff said he just wasn’t aggressive enough in
qualifying. But he also said that Jimmie and Chad had been working
hard on their road course program. He said they’ve found some things
on the car and after tinkering with the car, they seem to have found
something that works in the COT. Yeah, and tinkering is probably the
right word. Jeff said they had hit on something like he and Ray had
back in the ’90s. Hmmmmm.Technique? Are you kidding me? Nah- it just goes back to that same old twosome for JJ: he’s the luckiest person on the planet and he has
Knaus for a crew chief. How good would his “technique” be without
Chad’s black magic? I’m sorry; Duchart is copping out.

Ann from Indiana

Ann- you are really such a Jeff Gordon fan and I’m sure that he’s thrilled to have folks like you who would go to war for him. I told you that that 48 team had been consumed with energy about doing well at this road course. I think there is some merit in What Doug said….and remember he’s unbiased across all the teams. While the drivers were looking for speed the organization said it’s also about technique. I can tell you that that is exactly what Marcus Ambrose told me when he was on the air with me. He said the technique on these road courses can make such a time difference on every turn –it’s hard to put it into words how important that is and how different it is between drivers at these road courses. Remember the COT is a factor here too along with the driver. I agree with all – it’s a mix.

Better luck for your team this weekend Ann.

Appreciate the emails always.

Claire B

hey CBL it sounds like you guys are having a blast in the stuido 1 question for ms sprint cup what is the weridest victory lane you have been in and one tip if your gonna enjoy beer enjoy it responsbly thank you guys

Collin
From Michigan

Collin THANKS. We did. I ran down during the break before they threw it to us for rain delayed coverage and got as many folks as I could. I ran into the band going up the starts to the green room and snagged them, as I did my buddy Jim Utter in the deadline room and Miss Sprint Cup etc etc. I want the rain delayed coverage to be as full of what is going on at the track along with calls as I can because I want you to feel as if you are there. Your note made me want to work harder and gave me energy to do that thanks.

The wildest one so far –well NH with the lobster is right up there. Rain moved victory lanes tend to be insane. I’ll have to think back. Will do so on flight to Detroit.

Thanks you are so kind. It’s great to cover NASCAR for folks who appreciate it. like you. Appreciate your taking the time to write.

Claire B

Hi Claire,

Great Race for Marcos Ambrose nice to see him get another win. These races have been great with the double file restart, I hope Nascar keeps it going. Going to be a great race for the chase and chase.

Of Course Kyle Bush still cries, thought he was going to step on his bottom lip (post race interview) and have to go to the care center. IF Kyle had made the move Marcos did, he would say “that is racing, he just can’t handle it” if it is a great move on him….it is time to pout and cry.

Don’t you want to be at the Bush Thanksgiving table if Kurt makes the chase and Kyle don’t? Wouldn’t you really want to be there if Kurt won the Championship and Kyle don’t make the chase. Wait would Kyle even be there or would he still be off pouting. HE would probably have to go to Jeff Dickersons house so he can tell him how great he is and rock him to sleep….lol…

Have a great day, hope they get the race off today, hope Kyle has something to pout about tonight. I think guys are finally standing up to him, and doing to him what he does to them. He doesn’t like payback or people to race like he was.

Gene Burkhart
North Port, fl

Hey Gene: Thanks for the email….Yea thanksgiving at the Busch house would be fun any time! I do think the boys support each other more than it shows in the media or on live TV. I think they wanted to establish their own identities at one point so they are not always hanging on each other in public view but I think they wish the best for each other and are closer than it looks. If I get to their house for Thanksgiving ever you’ll get the first report LOL

Thanks for the email. Great to hear from you.

Claire B

idiots! this has nothing to do with the West coast!! l had to miss race at Calif spdwy because of rain,should l blame it on the East coast?

Boy if that isn’t a good point. Can’t we all just get along? Or like the clip I have from Ryan Newman, “World Peace!” On to Michigan……I do wish the races were earlier. I was driving from WG to my hotel Monday and it was still light out….better for the fans better for everyone.

Better get my suitcase out of the truck and turn it around for leaving tomorrow so gotta run.

Thanks for the email. Loved it. Sign your name next time ok? Or do you think the East Coast will get you?

Can’t we find some middle ground people?

Claire B

That’s it for now folks – I really do have to go. Thanks for the emails to insidercbl@aol.com. Can’t wait to see what unfolds at Michigan. I’ll be live there tomorrow.

Enjoy the day

Claire B. Lang

Live at The Glen August 7, 2009

Posted by claireblang in 2009 Season.
Tags: , , , , , ,
1 comment so far
Map of New York highlighting Schuyler County
Image via Wikipedia

Hey!

Sorry I’ve been behind on the blog a bit. Between traveling to the Midwest for Chicagoland and Indy and my sister’s wedding and being away for almost a month and then the rain delay at Pocono and shortened week I have fallen behind. I’m looking ahead to getting back to normal now.

Speaking of which here’s my broadcast schedule for this weekend at Watkins Glenn.

(Friday, August 8) – LIVE AT THE GLEN
“Dialed In” 7-10 EST

(Saturday, August 9) LIVE AT THE GLEN
“Dialed In” 2-3 p.m. EST (Leading into the start of the Nationwide Race the Zippo 200 here at Watkins Glenn)

“Dialed In” after the Zippo 200 until 8 p.m. EST

(Sunday, August 10) LIVE AT THE GLEN

I’ll be in the booth for the SIRIUS NASCAR Radio Pre Race Show from 10-12:15 EST and then in Victory Lane LIVE on the post race show when the Sprint Cup Series Heluva Good Sour Cream Dips at the Glen) is over for two hours after the race is over.

“Dialed In Post the Post Race Show until 10 p..m. EST
———

Kyle Busch – Rare Form!
At the Dover Test Kyle Busch Opens Up

Kyle Busch hung out with the media this week (August 4-5) at Dover during the Goodyear tire test there. He said some pretty interesting things and I wanted you to be able to read it in it’s entirety so that you could really get the full story. Here it is. Let me know what you think about what he said. I’ll catch up with you later in the day and through the weekend.

Q. You struggled with the results of last weekend. Does a week of testing like this give you a chance to regroup with your crew and get focused for the upcoming race?

Kyle Busch: “Yeah were looking forward to this weekend in trying to get back. We won here last year, so it’s something familiar here with the setup. It’s been a struggle because we haven’t hit it this year. We’ve really missed on something. Our teammate Denny has really been running strong. Joey’s been doing better too. We’re not sure what’s going on but were trying to learn here this week. It’s a good chance to get back to the race track at a track we race at and try and learn some things here. Hopefully we can have a good test here tomorrow. We did do pretty well today.”

Q. Have you enjoyed anything about this season because it seems like no matter what you do, with the fantastic finishes in the Nationwide Series, it was no consolation?

Kyle Busch: “No it’s not. I mean when you finish second a couple times in the year it’s fine and when you win a couple times it’s good too, but when you have eight second place finishes and there’s only one more guy you got to beat that day and you didn’t get it done you know you didn’t beat that guy and ultimately you finish second. Your team wants to win, you want to win. We tied a record for the most first or second place finishes for nine weeks in a row but if we could have won those races then we would have broke another record which is the most wins in a season, so its been a fun year, we’ve had a lot of success on the Nationwide side, that sides been fun. The Cup side we won in Vegas, we had a great shot to win both Daytona races this year. My birthday in Richmond, you know those are some real special memories this year on the Cup side and just lately we just can’t seem to hit it. You know we just seem to fall apart.”

Q. What if you don’t make the Chase?

Kyle Busch: “I mean I’ve thought about it. You know if you don’t make the Chase then ultimately you run the rest of the year for nothing. I guess it’s a building block for next year but that’s about it because you go to Loudon and you’re not as good as you can be there. And then I come here and I feel like this a great place to. We tested at Loudon last year and we ran seventh or eighth this time and that was better than what we were last year. Last year we had a sway bar break where we ran in the back and in Dover we had an engine failure. But testing at both of these places has been good for us to try and get ahead of the game and be ready for when the Chase starts so ultimately man we got to be in it.”

Q. A couple of weeks ago it was talked about how you needed to be a better leader and teammate.

Kyle Busch: “Well I mean Rome wasn’t built in a day, but we’re working on making progress and making some changes, but the biggest thing is and I think a lot of it is I fight myself throughout a race instead of more so fighting the car. When you explain things to the crew chief instead of just saying, ‘Man this thing is junk,’ well they don’t know how to fix junk. You know they can fix loose and tighten it in the center, you know they can fix whatever you explain, so it’s progress of not getting frustrated on the radio or whatever because it’s so easy for me to do. Because we always like to be the guy going forward and lately me’m the guy going backwards, man it’s not much fun. So it’s a struggle for me and ultimately me becoming a better leader to help take the team to the next level. So there’s a struggle in the rest of the day to try and work towards something and gather a better day out of a bad day.”

Q. How do you feel about the double file restarts at Dover being up front? Would you choose the outside or inside from the start?

Kyle Busch: “I’d probably choose the outside at Dover because you can get such a run around the top side of one and two on the outside that you can clear the guy down the back even if that guy got a good restart. Typically you know who ever takes off first can almost beat the guy to the next corner so which ever row the leader picks you hope you’re in that row because it seems to move along at least one car better than the opposite row. Double file restarts; it’s a challenge. Once you get about five to eight laps into a run then they start switching back off and its really a challenge and a pain in the neck when you’re the guys going backwards cause you know how hard those guys are going to be to pass when you go back by them. And so you got to really have a car that handles well on the short run and the long run so you don’t have to get mixed up in that mess.”

Q. Follow up on getting down to the nitty gritty. Everything requires so much stress and focus any other sport there is no reason to be in that position. They focus on that and nothing else. Talk about how maybe it would be good to just focus on one series and instead just the Chase?

Kyle Busch: “You could, but then you sort of lose out on getting at least one NASCAR championship. I don’t think it would be worth giving up a Nationwide championship to just walk yourself into the Chase. I mean for M&M’s and the sponsors on the Cup car, yeah they would certainly say it would be beneficial to be in the Chase rather than gain a Nationwide championship. But when you look at the sponsors that are funding the Nationwide side, you’ve already committed too, you can’t just fall out of the deal so it’s a tough balancing act and you know I don’t feel like our Cup effort has diminished any because of my Nationwide Series stuff. You can battle that all day long. Denny’s running decent. Joey runs better when he’s not doing it, but to me I’ve learned so much more when I’m out there on the race track then just sitting in the motor home not doing anything. I’d rather be out there and working hard and trying to win races and learning about different things. The only thing that lacks is my time to communicate with Steve (Addington) after practice. You know to just sit there and digest and cut apart practice you know just look at what we did what changes we made you know we text all the time when I’m on the planes and traveling back and forth and anyway. I call him race morning sometimes to see what he’s up to and to see what our changes are going to be. Other than that I don’t really see how we can make our Cup cars better at the race track. I mean a lot of the work has just got to come out of the shop.”

Q. How about flying at two in the morning with your schedule like that. Are you tired? Is that a problem or is that an issue?

Kyle Busch: “No, not really. The worst time we got back was at around 1 or 1:30 in the morning. It was Pocono, first race from Nashville, that’s the latest I’ve gotten back. Typically the sponsors have been gracious enough to allow me a little sleep in time so I don’t have to get up so early. I can sleep in until like 10:30. So I’m getting plenty of rest, so it might be at the right schedule but I get plenty.”

Q. Do you expect too much of yourself?

Kyle Busch: “Sometimes I joke around with other team guys that I’ve worked with in the past and they’re like, ‘Man why are you so down on yourself?’ or ‘Why are you always so upset after the race?’ And I’m like you know, I’m Kyle Busch, I’m supposed to win races, that’s what I’m here to do. I’m supposed to be the guy that’s that hardest to beat out there. But you know essentially you got to have a good handle on race cars too. You know the cars are a big part of the game. You have to have good leadership skills within yourself, good leadership skills within your crew chief and good race cars and everything. For me, I put a lot of pressure on myself to go out there and be the best. I want to be the guy that everyone says, ‘We got to beat Kyle Busch,’ and that’s the guy we got to beat week in, and week out, whatever series it is. I had that this year but I haven’t quite lived up to that name you know in the Cup Series as much as I have on the Nationwide Series and were trying to turn that around.”

Q. How is the relationship between you and your brother Kurt? Are you closer this year than in years prior?

Kyle Busch: “It might just seem that way. I get a lot of questions about him because he’s running well this year. You know last year he ran like me this year and I know he had a win here and there but he really struggled and struggled painfully. Their cars setup well and handling well, but this year they’ve done a great job at turning their program around. They’re running in the top-four in points. You know with him becoming more recognizable on the radar people ask about him more and he’s able to talk more cause he’s got the media availability every week and everything so that’s about it really.”

Q. He seems to talk very highly about you and is very supportive.

Kyle Busch: “Yeah, we both want to see each other run well and ultimately we race and contend for championships. It’s cool to have him on your side. You know it doesn’t make life easier but it makes situations easier when you can go to a guy like that for help.”

Q. Will you be in the championship race this season?

Kyle Busch: “I’m hoping so. I’m not going to say we are but we are really working hard to be in the Chase. If we turn things around and start running better then yeah were going to be in the Chase. If we keep running the way we have been this year then no we will not be there. It all comes down to performance and how you finish on Sunday and the points you get. So when you look at who’s in the Chase and who’s going to fall out, man it’s hard too look at someone’s whose going to fall out. (Greg) Biffle and Kenseth, I mean (Matt) Kenseth has been in it every year so you can’t count on him even though he’s 12th or 11th now. You know Biffle, he runs strong in these next tracks that we go to. One of his best ones is Michigan and I think he runs well in Atlanta, but Bristol and Richmond you know those other two those are our tracks. You know we run really well at those tracks. Bristol you never know what can come out of that place so it’s a hard one too.”

Q. After the race is over how soon do you say, ‘Ok. Where we are in points?’

Kyle Busch: “I mean we sort of figure it out, on my phone I can’t seem to find the website that updates it quickly enough. Typically we find out Sunday night or Monday. We just wait and see where it’s at. You know this week we gained a spot in points but we lost some ground, so that’s the most frustrating thing because when you look at the guys we’re racing, Mark (Martin), Kenseth, Biffle, (Brian) Vickers, David Reuitimann. You know those are the guys we’re racing. So when you look at who finished in front of you there was six of those seven that finished in front of us on Sunday.”

Q. What means more to you, winning races or solid points finishes?

Kyle Busch: “If you can trade a winning season for a championship season anybody would always say you want a championship season. The thing for me would just to be a champion. If you can get a winless season and become a champion then you’ve got it. Then go win all the races you’ve lost. You’ve solidified yourself, you’ve made it in the sport, and you are a champion. You might be ridiculed for having a winless season. If you go one year winning ten races a year everybody’s going to be like man you’re the greatest thing since … Joey Logano (laughter). It’ll work itself out eventually.”

Q. Are you going to have to cool your jets down in order to make it into the Chase?

Kyle Busch: “Well we haven’t been going for a win since Charlotte. We’ve been trying to just get our program back in the right direction so the biggest thing for us is to run solidly and on Sunday man I got through the mess of one of those last restarts and I got up to I think eighth or ninth something like that and I’m like ‘Whoa, ok I’ve cleared the mess, I’m settled in, let’s go.’ I got down to Turn 3 and winded it up and I don’t even know what I did. I just got in the corner and I had no grip and I just lost it. You know that took us probably from a seventh to an eleventh place finish back to a sixteenth place finish and I had to fight for that. It could have been a lot worse but it could have certainly been a lot better. We got what we got and now we got to look into going to Watkins Glen this weekend where hopefully you know if it comes down to me running second on the last lap and making a ballsy move into Turn 1 and taking a chance at wrecking myself, I can’t do it. If I was at the point situation I was last year sure I’d wreck the leader, who cares. But I can’t do it this year, I just have to ride it out and finish second.”

Q. How is that when your instinct tells you to go for it and then you’ve got to pull back?

Kyle Busch: “That’s what happens when you try to become a smart points racer. You just got to do it and to mentality do that isn’t necessarily the old Kyle Busch, but it has to be in the new. We’ve got to make a good finish.”

Q. Did the new pit road configuration make a difference this year in Dover?

Kyle Busch: “Yeah, Dover was cool last time I came here. I don’t know why I finished 23rd. I qualified better than that. The race was a decent race. I remember we got off on strategy one time but you know coming to pit road on the green flag stops on the yellow flag stops, pit road was definitely pretty nice. The new asphalt is all there and the concrete and everything. It’s a tad bit wider which is always nice and the pit stalls are longer so we can get out a little easier. Denis (McGlynn) asked me if it’d be better to make it wider yet and I’m like it doesn’t really need to be any wider. You know we go to Indy which is narrower than Dover so because now it’s a little wider and a little longer it’s good.”

Q. Where’s your monster trophy from your Dover win?

Kyle Busch: “Sitting in my trophy room. It’s there with the rest of them. I’ve got all three trophies, one from each race. I won the truck one before it became the Monster trophy. And I do have a small monster and a big monster. Whether you want to call it big brother, little brother or father and son. They’re sitting next too each other. That trophy is a pretty cool trophy. It’s really neat to win that thing. The hand can hold a real die cast and you know that’s pretty cool. I got the die cast with the car that I won here with in it.”

Q. How big is that trophy room?

Kyle Busch: “Probably about as big as this room. You know the bad thing is that when I built it I had a ton of empty shelves and I’m like ‘Man, how am I ever going to fill this up?’ I filled it up and realistically there is no more room for any trophies in there. Now they’re just starting to line up on the floor and at home I tell myself I need to build a bigger one, but when you do that you have expectations to fill it, so I guess since its been full I haven’t won that much since I filled it so maybe then I need to build a 10,000 square foot warehouse to see if I can’t fill that baby up.”

Q. What are your thoughts about how some have said that you need to focus on the Cup side?

Kyle Busch: “The plan was last year when we were winning all the Nationwide races and running
really well. The plan was initially to go full season and then I felt like our Cup stuff sort of stalled. We cut it back. I didn’t go to Milwaukee. I didn’t go to Nashville, and I didn’t go to a couple others. I missed five races and if I could have just stayed at the same average finish that I had the first 19 to 20 races I would have won the championship, by 16 points over Clint Bowyer. So when you see that and I wrecked a lot those first 19 races and I still had a pretty good window there. We thought about it and how our cars are really good and Joe and J.D. (Gibbs) said man wouldn’t it be cool to have a Nationwide championship solely JGR owner and driver points, and so I said I want to do it. I want to win a Nationwide championship. Anybody would so our cars have been strong enough and that’s why we have done it. We won six races this year. It’s been good and maybe it’s taken a little bit away from the Cup effort. I don’t think it has but were already talking about next year and cutting it back and getting our Cup efforts back up to where they need to be. Hopefully we can get it down to about 22 or 24 Nationwide Series races, just companion stuff not flying all over the place.”

Q. With the season you and Kurt had last year, did he come to you for advice?

Kyle Busch: “Well yeah a little bit. He asked about our cars. Like what does yours feel like or what is different here or there depending on whatever track we were at. I’d tell him a little bit. They hired some people to get them turned around in the offseason. You know this year we have sort of flip-flopped. I have not gone to him for advice because I know what I need in a car. I haven’t had it this year. Last year the cars were doing things that were pretty good. We had good driving cars. You know we just haven’t been fast enough this year in order to take those cars to the front. It’s funny in some of the truck races I’ve been in they are the best handling trucks I have ever had and I’m running fifth. I don’t know if it’s me that’s taking it out of our cars or what. But were definitely trying to figure it all out.”

Q. How you rate the COT now from before?

Kyle Busch: “It’s not bad, it’s not what I would have designed, it’s not what I would want to race but it’s what we got. We make the most of the effort and try and fix it and try to make it better. I think there are some things that NASCAR can do to help with. Whether that is fixing some aerodynamics, take some weight out of the right of the car to make it a little bit lighter. You know all the safety advances with the car are great but ultimately it comes down to competition. I feel like that’s how fans feel and have seen it in what the grandstands look like. If they get bored and they don’t come back to the race track you have a problem. It’s not like all of us are riding around not doing anything. So it gets pretty crazy on restarts and when you see Mark Martin blocking on restarts to try and hold position you know that you got a hard time with something. With everybody now fully concentrating on this car to make it better, not like two years ago when we were back and forth between the two cars, man that was the worst thing ever. We would drive the old car and be like man this is so great it drives like a Cadillac and we would get in that new thing and it would drive like an 18 wheeler going down the highway. It was hard to correlate between the two and now that we are in one which most of the Cup drivers are driving that one. I still drive the Nationwide so I get a taste of the old car. It’s good that everybody’s had a chance to work on that car and its gotten better. We’ve really crushed the car to make it do the things we want it to do with setup and stuff. You know now we’re just in this little box. Before you could work on things and make it better and now you’re just stuck in this little box and you’ve filled so many crutches. We have the tow, the rear-end housing, split track arms, rear ends pulled back. We’re doing everything possible with the back of the car to get the car to turn in the corner. So much that the front of the car really isn’t doing anything. That’s why sometimes some of the guys have a real problem with handling because the cars are so finicky. You know one corner you might roll this much and the next corner you might not roll as much. It changes the handling of the car so there’s a lot going on with these cars now that they wouldn’t let the old cars work.”

Q. If you could be (NASCAR President) Mike Helton for one day what would you change about NASCAR?

Kyle Busch: “I would work on the car a little bit. Like I said I think there are some aerodynamic things we can work on and change with the front end of the cars. The wing ok, I mean it doesn’t bother me. They had good intentions with it. What they wanted instead of a spoiler was that the air would hit the spoiler and go up which doesn’t allow any of the air on the car to go behind it. Which now with the wing the air has to go under it in order for a wing to work. I mean its air plane technology. They had good intentions with air going under the car to get on the nose of the car behind. But the noses of the cars are so dead because actually when you travel more you affectively lose down force. So it’s a catch 22. How much do you want to get the nose down and sealed and when you don’t get it sealed it feels worse. So you don’t know where to go that’s why a lot of people have been confused with these things so wind tunnel tells you one thing but the drivers on the race track tell you another and when you’re in traffic that tells you another thing. So I think less right side weight, you can just get some weight out of the cars, so that Goodyear has an easier times building tires. That’s not a blow to Goodyear; it’s just these cars are tough to work on for anybody. And fix the noses a little bit to add some character. A little more manufactured differences and a little more aerodynamics.”

————————–

Enjoy the day! I always want you to have the full comments when possible so that you are not depending on someone else’s take on things and can judge for yourself.

Back to the garage here at the Glen.

Claire B. Lang

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

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]

Hello from Talladega April 24, 2009

Posted by claireblang in 2009 Season, Live Show, Trackside.
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,
3 comments

Hi all! Hope your day is going well. My broadcast schedule for this weekend – is as follows:

Friday (April 24) “Dialed In”
7-10 p.m. EST – LIVE from the Media Center at Talladega

Saturday (April 25) “Dialed In”
After Qualifying for the Aaron’s 499 Sprint Cup Series Race until the start of the Aaron’s 312 Nationwide Series race at 2:30 p.m. EST on MRN

Then –enjoy MRN’s coverage of the O’Reilly Auto Parts 250 Camping World Truck Series race in Kansas after the Aarons 312

“Dialed In” continues after the O’Reilly Auto Parts 250 until 10 p.m. EST LIVE from the media center at Talladega Super Speedway

Sunday, (April 26)
I’ll be in the booth for the SIRIUS NASCAR Radio Pre Race Show for the Aaron’s 499 beginning at 10:15 a.m. EST.

Here are some thoughts on a busy Friday – after many trips to the garage:

Jeff Gordon on Aggressiveness at Talladega:

Gordon is working out the issues with his back which he told me were more of an issue at a track like Phoenix than they will be here. He was not feeling well (was sick aside from the back) last week and told me that he felt he did not give his team good feedback.

Gordon had some interesting comments on Talladega recently as we gathered to chat with him about this race:

“Things have always been aggressive at Talladega. Go back the last 15 years and show me a race that they haven’t had a big crash (at Talladega). You know their might be one or two…but this car is really almost designed for Tallladega. The way that the bump drafting happens, the aerodynamics of the car the engine package – it’s perfect for Talladega. We put on spectacular races but when you run that tight together in those kinds of packs it’s easy to make a mistake and one little mistake happens and a big crash is going to come out of it.”

“I think the one thing that I would like to see happen is that the bump drafting be a addressed a little bit more. We all hear about the warning and where the no bump zone is and it’s all the way around the track and yet we sit there and just nail one other all day long and nothing really seems to happen until some guy gets way out of shape and gets wrecked and you know it doesn’t seem to me that there’s really a lot being cracked down on that. I’d like to see that but even with that being said if all 43 cars at the end of that race one lap to go it’s still going to be a mele you know cause now it’s time to go and you are going to take the risk of being aggressive whether you get a penalty or not.” Jeff Gordon.

Richard Childress – RCR Changes:
I asked Richard Childress (RCR) what would happen if the recent swap of teams between the teams of Kevin Harvick and Casey Mears doesn’t work. He told me “We don’t have an option – it has to work – No options.” Look in the mans eyes and you know that he means business.”

Phoenix International Raceway- Rear View Mirror

Stewart’s Eyes

Mark Martin was just pulling his car into victory lane when I headed out to the grid to talk to Tony Stewart. I like Tony – and I think that one of the reasons I have never had an issue with him, even in his “tormented” days, was because I’ve always found Stewart’s eyes to be the gate to his soul and a clue to how he’s feeling. The first time I noticed this was after he won his first Championship and came to the XM Studios in New York City for an interview. I had an hour with him, and he was testy at the time. The PR team brought him in the bldg and I could see his eyes darting around the room as if he was a caged animal – he seemed to be looking for an escape and felt anything less than comfortable. I began to worry. On Impulse, I pulled him to the side and told him from the heart that I took great responsibility in interviewing him in a way that would show the fans who he really was and wanted to do a great job of being real and I needed him to feel comfortable and I felt that he was anything but, which made it impossible for me to do a good job at what I do. As I poured out my thoughts from the heart – and trust me I was scared to be so honest- Stewart’s eyes, warmed and the thaw began. He converted from a guy who wanted to escape to a guy who wanted to give me a good interview because he knew I was worried about it and wanted me to be at ease. That’s Tony Stewart in a nut shell and he’s been great to me ever since. It’s hard to imagine that Tony Stewart when you see him today.

Since then, of course, Tony has warmed in general and has done his own radio show and is much more comfortable in his own skin. But the eyes still have it with him and what I saw from Tony talking to him as he got out of the race car at Phoenix was total complete and uncomplicated pure happiness and joy. The eyes connected and he was rattling off how happy he was with his new race teams’ success. It was if he was bubbling over with excitement and for a guy like Tony Stewart who downplays the cliche question and abhors over blown story- seeking media questions from anyone – he was almost giddy. I don’t think I’ve seen Tony happier.

You don’t interview a race car driver right after he jumps out of a race car and not get a glimpse into his soul. There’s something raw about that first few moments with a man after a race once he climbs out of the car that is hard to explain. I wish that every fan could have a chance to see the intensity that these guys put into these races. It’s pretty amazing.

Later, as I finished my live reports from Victory Lane – I walked into the garage to check on the teardown. Most of the transports had left and the garage was almost empty. There was Tony Stewart standing with a group of officials in the middle of the PIR garage, with his race uniform half way undone and the top part tied around his waist, in the dark at around 1:30 a.m. EST. I first thought maybe there was an inspection issue with his car – and then I walked over and got a closer look. Tony was cutting up and beaming, hanging out enjoying the end of the race day as if he was at a local short track race where the garage doesn’t clear out and racers savor the day.

Tony Stewart is a real racer. In Victory Lane Saturday night, Stewart was one of the first of the line up of drivers to come and congratulate Mark Martin. I was standing there as he arrived and he was, again, so happy for Mark that he stayed at the stage and seemed to soak in Mark’s victory as if it was his own.

I’ve always felt that Stewart was a sensitive guy with a big heart and a hard core on the outside. I’m really happy – to see that things are going so well for him because new teams like his are so good for the sport and he’s going to be exciting and downright fun to cover his season.

Oh yea, and the eyes go completely jet black like the dark hole when he’s furious and I haven’t seen any of that directed to anyone since he began his own team.

Mark Martin Victory Lane
I’ve covered many victory lanes – and, yes, they’re all addictive. It’s a euphoria place where, for a brief hour or so, you forget about the economic crisis, the shop hours and toil, what you gave up or lost to be there, and yes, even the times that through luck, or misfortune or someone else’s dumb move you deserved to be there but were not.

Before the race as I interviewed him on SIRIUS NASCAR Radio – Mark Martin told me he was nervous and had butterflies in his stomach. As the race was winding down I recalled those comments – because even for Mark they seemed out of character. After all he’s a seasoned racer – and this was not his first rodeo. I totally got it when I was watching him take the checkered flag. He was nervous before the race because his car was that good and he wanted to not screw it up. Note to fantasy racers – when Mark worries it’s when he has a good car not a bad one.

I reflected on Mark’s win at 50 years of age, by remembering the journal that Mark kept after every race as a 14-15 year old young racer. It’s on display at his Batesville, Arkansas Ford dealership and I couldn’t get enough of reading it when I was there for his fan days. Some of the postings give a real look into the talent, heart and competitiveness of a young Mark Martin. The comments below are just snippets thumbing through the journal, race after race.

“Did alright, got 5-points $56”

“Blew up, second lap, no points,”

“Bumped others, a lot – Second in overall points”

“Everyone was too rough. Didn’t place in money”

Locust Grove: “Not a good night. Too sticky for heavy car. three points, $33.”

“Car wouldn’t run…flag man screws up, and puts #10 ahead of me in third heat race. Seven points, $9 a point, $63”

“Blew it up in the third race – had local boys to strike”

“I got run over by the #7 on purpose”

“I got the sportsmanship award. I beat Wayne by a fender”

“28 put me in the mud hole”

“I tapped him and I went around and he went crazy and ran over everything $125”

“State Championship, won pole position – ran good race with #43 for 30 laps. He had to pull out then the sob started playing ping pong with me. I got third, left mad so we were disqualified.”

In the journal Mart lists yearly totals. Here’s one: “1975 season totals- 96 races – feature races won 20, 51 firsts 32 seconds eight thirds, three fourths and two fifths.

Mark Martin learned a tough, competitive business as a child – and didn’t make much money at it to start. He became a gentleman racer and one of the most respected drivers in the garage.

Standing in Victory lane with the Hendrick #5 car covered in confetti and champagne, with the admiration of the superstar drivers in the sport , lined up to congratulate him, I thought back to what Mark put into this to be where he is today. The mud holes, the disqualifications, the times the engine blew up or a local guy went out of his way to take him out the times he made mistakes or lost despite his talent.

The challenges were there and Mark Martin persisted.

Now, he’s just getting started.

Look out!

Enjoy the day.

Claire B.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Pictures – Worth a Thousand Words: Behind the Scenes – Behind the Microphone! April 1, 2009

Posted by claireblang in 2009 Season, Items of Interest, Listeners, Mail.
Tags: , , , ,
2 comments

I always enjoy getting notes at insidercbl [at] aol [dot] com about where folks are listening to “Dialed In” on Sirius NASCAR Radio. You all probably don’t know how much I enjoy knowing who I am talking to coast to coast. That’s why I reply to emails and enjoy hearing what driver you follow and how you got into this sport. Every day, just before I flip on the microphone in my studio at home or in the media center at the race track and tell the story of the day, I envision who is out there in my mind. It’s strange, but I have never been nervous in front of a microphone because while I am scrunched up in my chair in the studio room in the front of my house in front of the big picture window, or looking down over a race track late at night on the air live – I never feel alone. I feel as though my neighbors and friends are the people out there listening coast to coast. I like having a close up conversation with all of you – even if you are too shy to call in.

I have never called into a radio station — unless I was calling in an official report. I would have been to darn shy to do that before I was in radio. So I am well aware that there’s a vast group of people who listen but remain unidentified. So, late at night, I sort of envision in my mind who is out there so that I see a huge group of people in my mind before I flip the switch and go live.

I decided, along with my broadcast schedule, I will be posting some more photos for the blog. The photos I will post today include: My trip to Jelloville, Susie the Queen of Jelloville, surprising Gloria (a listener who I just met at Bristol) with a scale model of the race track for her birthday, getting “arrested” by NASCAR officials at the Jail and Bail Fundraiser, posing for Pit Road Pets with “Rosie”, para sailing over Lake Lloyd over Daytona near the Blimp, interviewing David Pearson and Leonard Wood at Atlanta Motor Speedway a couple of weeks ago and more. Click on the photos and check them out.

Here’s my broadcast schedule for the weekend (SIRIUS NASCAR Radio Channel 128 and “Best of SIRIUS on XM Channel 128:

“Dialed In” – Wednesday, April 1, 2009 – 7-10 p.m. EST
“Dialed In” – Thursday, April 2, 2009 – 7-10 p.m. EST (LIVE from Texas Motor Speedway)
“Dialed In” – Friday April 3, 2009 – 7-10 p.m. EST (LIVE from Texas Motor Speedway)
“Dialed In” – Saturday April 4,2009 2-2:30 pm. EST (LIVE from Texas Motor Speedway) Pre Race for the Nationwide Race
“Dialed In” – Saturday, April 4, 2009 – After the Nationwide race until 7:00 p.m. EST
PRE RACE – Sunday April 5, 2009 – 10 a.m. EST – Noon
POST RACE – CBL in Victory Lane
“Dialed In” Post Race – after the Post Race until 10 p.m. EST.

Jason (Dialed In listeners prayed for his recovery) Update

Remember Gabe the “Dialed In” listener who wrote about Jason the racing buddy he met at the track and became friends with? Jason fell at work off a railroad bridge and was not expected to come out of the coma he was in. Gabe contacted me and asked for my listeners to pray for his friend. With all your prayers we had a miracle and Jason recovered – which was not even expected by doctors. Well the good news is that I got photos and a nice note from Gabe that Jason was able to visit the races at Bristol and Martinsville for a short time. Since he was still recovering they didn’t tell anyone they were coming yet but Gabe got to see his friend again for the first time. You can check out the photos on this site which I just posted. Everyone should have a friend like Gabe who, when the chips were down, wrote a broadcaster who he didn’t even know asking for her to solicit prayers for his friend. The story still amazes me. Below is Gabe’s recent note:

Hey Claire,

Its been a while and I have been meaning to write to you to update you on the latest with Jason, but with trying to get ready for a new baby its starting to get hectic.

Well on to the good news, Jason and Tara was able to attend the Atlanta race, Tara said Jason’s head was hurting however he didn’t want to leave because Gordon was doing so well.

This past week I was fortunate enough to get to go and spend some time with both Jason and Tara at the Nationwide race. We got to watch Happy Hour and he made sure to let me know that the 24 was higher on the scoring tower than the 88. However, Jason got to feeling bad and wasn’t able to make it to the start of the Nationwide race and also was still ill on Sunday and missed the Cup race. But it was definitely a true blessing from God to be at the track sitting and enjoying being there with my dear friends.

Its only been 6 months and in one way it seems like a long 6 months,but on the other hand its been a short 6 months seeing the major steps that Jason has taken. None of this would have been possible without the dear Lord. All of the millions of prayers that went out for Jason back in November and still today are being heard and answered one by one.

I just wanted to email you and let you know that another of my prayers was answered to be at the track with Jason, enjoying one of the things that we both love doing most in life.

And one other good bit of news was that Jason has been accepted to rehab closer to home in Johnson City TN. Now he will be able to be in the company of his many friends and see that they support and stand by him all the way. The dear lord is still answering everyone’s prayers. He still has a long road ahead of him but with the prayers that are still going up for him I know that the lord will guide him the rest of the way.
I am attaching a few pictures of Jason and Tara at the Atlanta Race, and A picture of us three at the Nationwide race in Bristol.
I just wanted to say Thank you again for getting word out about this situation and for all of you support during this time. You have truly been a blessing sent from heaven.

Gabe

Isn’t life amazing! How about a racing friend who has traded barbs on your driver and met you at a race track -becoming the friend who stands by you and is so happy that you are back talking racin’ again. You gotta love the fans of this sport.

Gabe – thanks for the note. Jason – we’re still pulling for you buddy.

As always, see you on the radio!

Enjoy the day!

Claire B

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Infield at Vegas Behind the Scenes – Might Surprise You! February 27, 2009

Posted by claireblang in 2009 Season.
Tags: , , , , , ,
4 comments
Las Vegas Speedway
Image by tequilamike via Flickr

Infield at Vegas
Behind the Scenes – Might Surprise You!

Hey! You know I was compelled to write you about something that happened last night as I got off air and left the media center. I never feel alone because listeners cross country and coast to coast are always with me on air. But it was dark, it was late (11 p.m. EST) and no one was here in the media center. I packed up my equipment and walked down the dark hallway and down the elevator to the main floor of the media center building.

I asked a security guard if the gate was unlocked and wove my way around the gates to my car and headed towards the exit. Well – by the time I got to the exit gate that would allow me to turn right and go into the tunnel to leave the track I saw the bright, gleaming NASCAR Sprint Cup haulers blocking my path and coming into the track.

I realized it may be over an hour before I could leave the track and I shut the car off.

Here’s the kind of thing that makes my day. As I sat there and watched the haulers come in by myself in the dark with the car turned off and tired from having flown in from the east coast that morning..a sense of pride began to replace any sense of tired. I noticed all the fans, a large crowd of them that had come into the track and gathered at the fence in the dark of night to welcome the haulers to town and to the track. The fans were laughing, and jumping around, and taking pictures and holding up their cameras and having such a great time that I enjoyed it immensely.

Soon a white van pulled up. Two PR reps had just left the spa which is attached to the media center and they were laughing and thrilled with the spa treatment. When their hauler passed by they jumped out of the van and ran over to the step of the hauler and jumped up – their hauler driver was laughing and joking with them and the atmosphere, again was one of laughter and full joy. How could that not catch on?

Security soon came up to shoo the PR reps from the step of the hauler – thinking they were fans and the reps began to laugh with abandon. Sitting in my car – I cherished the moment and laughed as hard as they did.

Finally – the security let our two vehicles slide through an open spot between two haulers and leave the track. As I moved my car between two of the haulers, which by then were beeping and laying on their horns in response to all the fans, I noticed one woman in a NAPA jacket jump from the crowd and stand in front of the NAPA hauler. Her friends shot photos of her and as I passed her I saw such a complete picture of eureka and joy and laughter and happiness that I thought – this is something really incredible. I am so lucky that I saw this tonight.

I could hear the haulers horns beeping in jubilation and tribute to the fans as I left the track. The faces of the fans who had come out late at night to just get a photo and see the haulers – no drivers, no racing, no teams, just the haulers gave me such a great feeling inside about the fans here at Vegas.

Here I was stalled in traffic and it turned out – it was the best moment of the day.

I feel pretty lucky to have been stopped in traffic to see it. Isn’t that how life is?

We are handed hardships or frustrations and then find out later that there was a reason -because the frustration ended up being a blessing.

Thanks to the fans who added joy to my day Thursday night on the road at the track late at night at Vegas Motor Speedway.

More from the garage a little later today. I just had to let you know about this seemingly small but really large moment last night.

Claire B

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

What a Wild Ride February 14, 2009

Posted by claireblang in 2009 Season.
Tags: , , , , , , ,
2 comments
Jeff Gordon in August 2007 a...
Image via Wikipedia

What a Wild Ride
Claire B LOG – Saturday, February 14th, 2009

Welcome to Daytona – the eve of the Daytona 500. It’s been one really busy week and I thought I’d send you a postcard from the media center. I’m on the air tonight (Saturday) from 7-10 p.m. EST – for a final recap before race day.

Story of The Day – Stewart Haas Crash in Saturday practice

Today was wild. Watching Ryan Newman spin and Tony Stewart plow into him in the final practice – the crash drew a gasp from even the hard core media. The media here in the media center, most of them, got up off their chairs and stood at the monitors , almost in disbelief that lightning could strike Newman again and that the Stewart-Haas team which has been so organized leading into this race here at Daytona. This, in the last practice before the big race.

Out to the garage we went. Newman was Newman – pleasant but as honest as the day is long, unflappable and seriously frustrated with Goodyear and he wasn’t going to back down. Tony was pleasant and business like but it was one of those interview sessions where all of us knew that if you asked a stupid or ill thought out question, get ready, cause Tony would let you know in no uncertain terms what he thought of it. Tony told everyone that he was in an understandable bad mood and he wasn’t in a good mood. I think he was letting us know that he was still boiling inside so understand that.

One reporter asked Tony “Does this tire make you concerned for your safety?” and Stewart was on the edge, saying “Get out of here!” to the reporter. He later told the reporter that he’d likely not be talking to him any time soon. Those on the PR side of the fence thought it was an incendiary question and understood why it angered Tony. To his credit -Stewart spoke at length with the media and didn’t cut it short or run off – he but his anger at Goodyear was evident in his eyes.

Stu Grant the GM of Worldwide Racing for Goodyear came into the media center……and said that Newman’s tire showed no indication of high wear —and that they looked for fender rub – there was not enough of the upper side wall to give an indication of that. In their exam Grant said that Goodyear officials found a clear puncture or hole that was the “likely” cause of the air loss in Newman’s Tire. This is not what Goodyear wanted.

Newman tells me it was not a punctured tire

Later, back in the garage, I asked Newman about the puncture comment from Grant and he said “I’m sure he would have said that yes,” I asked him if he looked at the tire and Newman said, “It came apart. I felt it coming apart before it blew up. I was running 195 miles an hour and there’s nothing you can do. I mean it’s just – it exploded. A puncture in a tire doesn’t lead it doing what it did…the rest is more than obvious.”

In his media center session I asked Grant, “Tony out in the garage pretty much said not to let him anywhere near you guys when I asked him if he was going to go chat with you. Are you going to call a little pow wow with him this afternoon?”

Grant answered, “It’s not unusual to be very upset when you go through something like that as a race driver as a race owner and certainly that’s understandable. I do want to talk with Tony and I do plan to talk to Tony. Yes, I’ll do that Claire.”

Sometimes with Goodyear and Tony it takes more than a day for them to get back together. No idea if that meeting will happen before the Daytona 500.

Gordon Works on Back Issue -Stronger in 09

Here at Daytona Jeff Gordon had said that he was working on the issue with his back that had affected him last year. I asked him about it……”You were talking about your back -did you hurt your back or are you just trying to build up the strength in it,” I asked him. I had heard some back comments last year but this one seemed more serious. Could it be that a bad back – more than just a small back problem was bothering the four time champ and affecting his driving last year?

“It’s something that’s been lingering for a while. I think it’s just years of bouncing all over race tracks going around in circles,” Gordon told me ” You know, I’m getting older and so, you know, I gotta pay attention to those things and work on them. You know especially when I get to short tracks and the road courses pushing on the break pedal is really affecting it. So, it’s something that I really noticed the last couple years but I really started working on it last year and during the off season I was really able to go to work on it and I hope it will pay off.”

Jeff Gordon’s Rabbit Foot:

John Bickford, Jeff Gordon’s step-father in victory lane after the Gatorade Duels told me with a big grin— “I asked (Jeff) if he emptied his rabbits foot box out to make it through that maize of cars and he said, “I think I got one left, I’m saving it for the 500.”

Meanwhile, Johnny Sauter, who raced on Friday the 13th in truck #13 -told me he was not superstitious. “I don’t believe in luck I don’t believe in any of that,” he told me before the Camping World Series race with a cheery disposition. “If somebody told me I had to wear a green uniform and there was peanuts all over inside my truck I’d say, Alright, let’s go race.” Sauter was out of the race caught up in an early incident not of his doing.

Luck in the 500. Oh yea..you have to have it.

Boris Said – Says We’ll Get Out of The Mess We are In:

Boris said did not make the Daytona 500. A comment he made here earlier in the weekend was worth posting in the blog, though, I think. “If you don’t think this is the best entertainment out there. If you didn’t like that Budweiser Shootout the other night. To me that was one of the most exciting races I’ve ever seen,” Said noted.

“Granted this economy is in a hole right now,” he said. ” But it’s the greatest country in America no matter who you voted for we have a new president and sooner or later we are going to get out of this mess and our country will be thriving. I’m a big believer in that. Unlike NFL which is the most popular sport in America. In NASCAR you can come here and you see the fans faces when they see Dale Earnhardt Junior and they can actually get his autograph. I have been to a football game and I have never got anywhere close to a Brett Farve or somebody to get their autograph. So I think it’s a unique sport in the fact that it is a fan friendly sport and hopefully NASCAR will still do their best to still keep it that way.
I think that’s kind of what’s grass roots about it. I see NFL and NBA players. I mean they are so sheltered and they are such babies about who they are. They don’t give back to the fans like racers do. So I think it is a good investment cause it’s good entertainment.

Shout out to Boris!

Daytona 500 Pick – Not Going to Happen:

Driver after driver this week has told us that it’s almost impossible to make a good pick for the Daytona 500. Impossible. Jeff Gordon said that anyone can win. He talked about how although Ryan Newman won the 500 last year he would never have selected Newman as a front runner before the race from racing around the team or seeing the practice sheets.

In this race you have to have help at just the right time. You ,preferably, would like a push from a teammate – and even that seems to be like two ships passing in the wind that at the right moment in time, when each driver has been patient enough to get ready to pounce and they meet at just the right moment in the race for the push to be executed.

Shut your eyes, point to the starting line up and have at it. LOL

I’ll be anchoring the pre race show tomorrow (Sunday) for the Daytona 500 and will be hosting “Dialed In” live from the media center 7-10 tonight. I’ll catch you then and will try to blog you before the start of the race Sunday.

So keep posted.

Take care, enjoy!

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Welcome to Daytona International Speedway’s Media Center! February 7, 2009

Posted by claireblang in 2009 Season, Trackside.
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,
add a comment
American NASCAR drive Richard Petty meeting Ge...
Image via Wikipedia

I wanted to let you know all that is going on here at Daytona and send you a few thoughts.

Around the Garage:
First: I heard wind that NASCAR might be looking at the restart lines at the race tracks and the pushing of the limit of picking up speed in the “vicinity” of the line by drivers abusing the system. It seems that the competitors have pushed that rule to the point that they may be abusing it. That is why you may have been seeing cars behind the restart line starting to “go go go” when the flag is not out yet and that some of the restart messes you have witnessed may actually not be the guy holding speed on the restart who gets the blame – but the guys behind him who are jumping the gun and abusing the restart line rule. Look for some thoughts on this to be reviewed. What do you think?

48 team replaces tire specialist at 11th hour:
Hearing that the 48 tire specialist Sean Kerlin was replaced the day before the team left for Daytona on Wednesday evening. Sean did driver comfort for Jimmie Johnson and was the teams tire specialist….He was replaced by LIsa Smokestead who is doing tires for the 48 team here at Daytona. She has been the data base manager and has been the tire specialist for the test teams of the 88 and 48 and I am hearing she is a temporary replacement.

Budweiser Shootout Pick Party:
Yep I was standing out in the cold at the Speed Stage as well as inside the media/VIP tent at the Budweiser Pick Party. Drivers huddled inside the tent prior to heading up to the Speed stage “Bar” set up. I got a kick out of AJ Allmendinger wearing his new “AJ” gear cap. Did you see his cap on the TV broadcast? It was a good one. It’s available on line. David Reutemann was teasing him in the tent before the pick party that he wanted one —and AJ said he’d make sure to get it. So if you see Rutemann wearing and AJ cap don’t be surprised. Most of the drivers huddled in the tent talked about being ready to get out on the race track….finally.

Rumors:
Viewers watching the Bud pick party were studying #20 crew chief Greg Zipadelli’s interaction with his young driver Joey Logano. I got this email:

CBL do you get a sense that Zippy and Joey (Logano) are getting along ok because last night on the (Bud Pick )show where they picked their starting position they barely spoke to each other. I didn’t know if it was just Zipp was annoyed he had to be there because his driver is under 21 or there are “issues”

No- there are not issues. I spoke with Zippy before he went out on stage in the TV area and he simply had a terrible cold and was feeling awful. He was sick…and didn’t feel well. If he was quiet that was the simple explanation. The two are doing fine.

THE KING – & NASCAR’s Top 35 System:
Richard Petty Motorsports unveiled today a paint scheme with historical significance at Daytona International Speedway. (The newly-formed Richard Petty Motorsports’ No. 44 Valvoline Dodge Charger, driven by AJ Allmendinger during Daytona Speedweeks, will feature a tribute to winning history with a replica paint scheme of the Valvoline Dodge that Kyle Petty drove to an ARCA victory for Petty Enterprises at Daytona 30 years ago.)

Question to The King – What is Kyle Petty doing these days?
Kyle Petty taped his show for Speed, as his father, Richard Petty, was in the garage unveiling the paint scheme of the No. 44 car (to be driven by AJ Allmendinger) that has been made to resemble Kyle Petty’s ARCA car that he drove to a win in his Daytona debut in 1979. Question to the King…what is kyle up to these days?

“Last time I seen him he was doing television. I don’t know, ” Petty answered. “In fact I have not seen him for a pretty good while. Cause we’ve been busy. I was in Connecticut yesterday talking to the Stanley people. So you are out there doing all that stuff. Then he’s out there doing a bunch of stuff. He’s been doing a bunch of stuff for the camp. Then he come to Florida to do a Red Cross deal this past weekend sometime and then he was at the 24 hour run for four or five days, I don’t know,” Petty said.

We have racing on the track. I have missed talking cars on the track with you. Cannot wait! The race season has actually started. Here is my weekend Sirius Schedule:

Friday, February 6th –
Dialed In with Claire B Lang
7-10 p.m. EST

Saturday, February 7th-
Dialed In with Claire B Lang
2:00 -4:15 p.m. EST
I anchor Bud Shootout Pre Race Show 4:15 p.m. EST leading into Budweiser Shootout

Sunday, February 8th –
Following qualifying until 8:00 p.m. EST

Looking forward to covering the 2009 race season and for you all and taking you live to races coast to coast.

Thanks for being such a big part of it! I appreciate your emails and live on the air discussions and your opinions and race rants.

Claire B

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]