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Hard-Earned Post Win Vacation For Kevin and DeLana! Body Shop for Most of the Field! July 6, 2010

Posted by claireblang in 2010 Season.
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Greenhouse Down!

“Greenhouse Down” is a race shop term that means you leave the the roof and the A, B and C pillars on the race car but replace the rest. That’s what will happen to the cars that made it through the carnage at the Pepsi 400 at Daytona International Speedway on Saturday. Kenny Francis, the crew chief for Kasey Kahne (finished second) says their car will get the greenhouse down treatment.

For many of the teams more will be required, as much of the field ended up being towed off the track after multi car accidents.

Meanwhile, the perfunctory, “What happened?” that reporters normally ask drivers at the care center after a big wreck- resulted in a number of unclear answers simply because of the close racing and the melee on the track.

Jeff Burton: “No, I can’t (tell you what happened) I know the two car had a really big run coming and I was just coming down and I don’t know we just hit one of those bad wrecks that happens at Talladega and Daytona but I don’t really know what happened to be quite honest.”

Kyle Busch “I don’t know ……..the 42 was on my quarter panel and the air on both of our cars just started steering me right, right across the nose of his car. I mean I didn’t turn right to wreck myself why would I do that?”

You’ll have that….when racing at Daytona at high speeds.

The list of “I don’t know” answers just kept on coming because, frankly, the cars were nose to tail and the average speed was 130.814 miles per hour. There were 9 cautions for 37 laps, 47 lead changes among 18 drivers, ad the margin of victory was .092 seconds.

Happy Birthday DeLana

Meanwhile, Kevin and DeLana Harvick, who celebrated in Victory Lane, are enjoying a long-awaited vacation this week. “We are actually going on our vacation, a vacation we have not been on together in several years. So, (a win) is the best way to kick off a vacation. We are going straight to Chicago, not even going home,” DeLana told me in Victory Lane. “My birthday is Wednesday so if (Kevin’s) trying to get out of getting me a birthday present, it’s not going to work,” She added smiling.

The Club House in Victory Lane!

Victory Lane at Daytona International Speedway is, as Dale Earnhardt Junior said Saturday night, a special place to be. “Victory Lane is like when you are a little kid and you got a tree house or you and your buddy has got a club house in the woods or whatever,” Earnhardt Jr. said. “That is what Victory Lane is to me and I like going there.”

I’m lucky enough to be LIVE in Victory Lane each week on SIRIUS NASCAR Radio after the race is over. There’s always a lot going on, and it is, as Dale Junior explained, not only something extremely special but for a brief few minutes one of the happiest places on earth.

Even the son of Crew Chief Gil Martin got in on the victory lane action – as Kevin Harvick dumped a bottle of champagne on the head of Martin’s son Ford. “That’s the first time I’ve been to victory lane in my life…14 years, and the first time I’ve ever been to victory lane,” young Martin told me.

Ford and his family went off to Universal Studios to celebrate after Saturday’s win. The young Ford said he was “praying like crazy” as the race was drawing to a conclusion.

You just won the Coke Zero 400 presented by Coca-Cola, what are you going to do now?

Going to Universal Studios!

Mail Bag:

Below are some of the emails that I got over the past few days. Write me at insidercbl@aol.com:

The Golden Horseshoe

Claire, I guess we still know that Harvick has that Golden horseshoe I sent him at the beginning of the year.

Jeff in California

(Note: Jeff, sent Kevin Harvick a gold horseshoe after hearing the comment about the strategically placed horseshoe of Jimmie Johnsons.)

Letter to Brian France from a Fan:

Dear Mr. France,

If you are looking to update or tweak the Chase format… I have the BEST way to do it.

You want to reward drivers for winning races, but if a driver doesn’t make the chase then those 10 bonus points don’t mean a thing. So first adjust the weekly race scoring. Make it so the winner of the race score a least 25-30 more points than second. That is incentive to go for the win. Make it so first place receives 210 points and second gets 180, then as usual from there. And still add on the bonus points for most laps and laps led. Then the driver receives an immediate reward for winning. And that winning helps him get into the playoffs.

Then for the chase, take the points they’ve earned and cut them to 10%. So if the driver in first leads second by 210 points, he starts the chase leading by 21. and if third place is 279 points behind, he starts 28 points back. In this fashion, a driver who is 570 points behind doesn’t start ahead of other drivers just because he won a couple more races. The drivers are rewarded for their performance for the ENTIRE regular season, not just a few races. It makes no sense for drivers to get a better position in the playoffs when they performed at a lower level during the season.

I’ve been a fan for years, and I appreciate you consistently trying to improve the sport. Some fans say “leave it as it is”, but they probably don’t like the forward pass in football either. If you don’t always look to improve, look to make things better, you will never get new fans and casual fans will lose interest, and eventually you will die.

Thank You
Stephen W Barnes

From a Jeff Gordon Fan:

CBL:

Talk about some hard racin’! Jeff survived by driving like he was on
a dirt track. It was awesome. He was sooooo close once again. He
just didn’t have all his teammates up there supporting him, like the
RCR guys. Several times tonight Jeff tried to get the 48 to help him
and JJ would either jump to the other lane or cut him off. The last
time JJ cut Jeff off, Jeff got shuffled and then the big one
happened. Where Jeff had been, there was JJ. And, therefore, the 48
got in the big one and not Jeff. Bravo to the 48 crew for pulling
Mark Martin out of his burning car! Hey! Jeff is second in points!!
Woohoo!!! I know it’ll get him a glass of yesterday’s ice water once
the Chase starts, but it’s still great. He seemed genuinely surprised
when someone told him at the press conference.

Ann from Indiana

List of thoughts

One listener sent me this – a list of things that he was thinking

This is bigger than Jr:

1. What a shot in jr’s arm he can win if he or his fans thought different.

2. Should he re think running both races the drivers that do win more often ? U might have the % done for the radio.

4. Will a lot say it was the # and not the driver.

5. If I was jr I would drive out were dad died and got out and walk away from the car. What u think.?

6. If he wins tomorrow what are they going to say then? (sent after Junior’s win but before he finished 4th in Saturday night’s Sprint Cup Race)

7. Was the noise louder than most wins ? It could have been the mike but it sounded like other fans were jr’s fans at end of race.

Thank you Ron

NOTE: Ron, the noise for Dale Junior is always loud at Daytona so it seemed very loud. But probably no more than it always is. I don’t see Junior getting out of the car and paying special note to his dad – I think he prefers to hold that close to the chest and mark it in his own private way. I think that is how he usually carries himself. Thanks for the note.

Email from Jennifer

Claire,

You do not know how happy I am to wake up….turn on my Sirius Radio…and hear you this morning! I am so happy to hear you on here! Too often, I have to work in the evening and I miss your evening edition on Dialed In Wednesday – Friday so I am really enjoying this opportunity this morning! Thank you so much for agreeing to do your show this morning!

In regards to Dale Jr and the 88 team….Dale Jr is doing the very best that he can out there and he is driving his ass off every week…but I am so fed up with Lance McGrew and his attitude during, and in some cases, after the race. The comment that Dale Jr made after the Cup race about the setup that was under his and Mark’s car…that really caught my attention. He knew what setup was under his car and he knew it was different than what the 24 and the 48 had and even he wondered why that was.

After all, he said they ran the same setup in February and they did not run well then either, several timely cautions just allowed Jr to move up through the field and finish 2nd in the 500. Why put that same setup in the car again?…especially under such different conditions because the weather was very different. Use the setup that the 24 and 48 were using…it couldn’t have hurt. It really makes you wonder if the 2 shops are truly sharing because if they were then they would all be working off the same setup.

Instead, Lance just seems to throw something up into the air, hoping that it works for them. It seems to me that his attitude is…if it works that’s great…if it does not work…oh well! Lance does not seem to care at all because he acts as if the way Jr ran at Daytona Saturday night is no big deal. Well, I want to let him know that Dale Jr running well at Daytona and Talladega…leading laps…contending for the win most of the time…is a very big deal. It is a very big deal to Jr and it is a very big to us as his fans! It’s time Lance figure that out and if he has not figured that out then somebody needs to tell him!

I know Jr cannot win them all at Daytona and Talladega. I realize things are going to happen to keep him from always winning or always running well so I am not asking for perfection….I just think the effort is not always there on the crew chief’s part to make him the best he can be at those tracks. I do not believe that Lance believes in Dale Jr like he should…that is a shame!

I know that Friday night’s Nationwide Race was perfect…Dale Jr won and it was perfect!…and I know that will not happen every time. However, I was…and still am…so impressed with the overall effort from Tony Jr and that entire team on the Nationwide side. I am not only just impressed with their performance Friday night…I am extremely impressed with the effort that Tony Jr and the team put forth leading up to the race as well. They were well-prepared….they were truly a very cohesive team and they all seemed to gel so well. I am just so proud of the effort and all of the hard work that Tony Jr put into the race. They worked hard and it shows in the finish. Tony Jr was truly so happy after that race was over with and it showed in his emotions!

I just wish Dale Jr had that advantage on the Cup side…unfortunately I do not see it out of Lance McGrew. Every week on that 88 Cup car something else goes wrong…there is another excuse for a bad practice…a poor qualifying effort…or a poor race or finish. Something broke….somebody made the wrong adjustment….something was put on the car wrong….somebody messed up a pit stop. It seems to me a lot of crap goes on over on the 88 Cup car and it seems to me that Lance puts up with it and shrugs it off. Something tells me that if it was happening to the 24 or 48…it would not be “put up with”….heads would roll over there! I just wonder what HMS has to say about the fact that the 88 team is lagging behind every other HMS team, and the crew chief does not seem to care??? It is just a shame to have a driver so upset about how he ran but yet nobody else sees a problem with it. A crew chief who truly cared, would see a problem with it.

You know, Friday and Saturday night there were a lot of similarities with the 2 races Jr was in. The driver, of course, was the same…Dale Jr drove in both races. The pit crew was the same. According to the drivers, the new Nationwide COT drove a lot like the Cup COT does. There was one difference between the two races….the crew chief! Tony Jr Friday night and Lance McGrew Saturday. Friday night Jr seemed to do very well with Tony Jr…an crew chief it was obvious was giving his all to winning that race….obviously so because he won!

Saturday night it all falls apart under the so called “leadership” of Lance McGrew. To me, that speaks volumes and it tells me that Tony Jr should still be leading Jr’s Cup team. It may not ever do any good put I will always be a Tony Jr supporter and a big supporter of him being Jr’s crew chief. From where I stand, Jr was in a much better position when Tony Jr was leading his team because Lance McGrew seems to be grasping at straws out there! I just wonder when Rick Hendrick is going to come around to seeing this and actually do something about Lance McGrew because it is not working!

Thanks Claire….I have so enjoyed listening to you this morning!

Jennifer in SC

July 5th “floating holiday”

(much discussion on air over whether July 5th is a real holiday and who was working on this day versus whom is taking the day off).

Claire,
Your schedule is insane. After that crazy Saturday/Sunday, now you are driving to Chicago tomorrow?
I know that is why we get all the news but you are only human. Really you need some rest this afternoon.
By the way, I am off today. I am a software engineer for an aerospace company and it was a legal holiday for us.
Paula

Points Discussion – One Word – “Golf”

Claire,

With all the hubbub about the points, I’ll throw my 2 cents in–1 word–GOLF scoring format..Take away all the bonus points and give the driver and owner the points of their finish..1 point for 1st —
2 for second and so on…..At the end of the year..THE LOWEST SCORE WINS!!!! The chance of a tie is almost impossible but if it happens use a no points race to break the tie…Its just an idea but I guess its as good as any…

I drive a truck coast to coast hauling meat and listen to your show all the time–Keep up the good work and Love your show.

I root for the Busch brothers—-go 2 and 18.

Steve Neece

CBL On the Road Again:

I’m on the road again, and heading to the Midwest tomorrow. I’m traveling on the road to Chicago today (Tuesday) and then staying in the Midwest between Chicago and Indianapolis for the running of the brickyard.

I can’t wait to be in my home stomping grounds again for a while, see some family and cover the racing at the same time.

You can catch me on “Dialed In’ on SIRIUS NASCAR Radio or email me at insidercbl@aol.com.

Enjoy the day! Thanks for listening and for emailing.

Claire B

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

Posted by claireblang in 2009 Season, Trackside.
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American NASCAR drive Richard Petty meeting Ge...
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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

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Jan 16th – FANFEST Daytona January 16, 2009

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

LIVE from Daytona Blog
Friday, January 16th, 2009

Welcome to Daytona!

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

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

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

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

7:05 EST John Wes Townley

7:15 EST Reed Sorenson*

7:50 EST Jeff Burton*

8:00 EST Martin Truex, Jr.*

8:35 EST Greg Biffle*

8:50 EST Mike Skinner*

9:00 EST Ryan Newman*

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

12:15 EST David Ragan*

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

1:15 EST Paul Menard*

1:30 EST Jeff Gordon*

2:20 EST Alex Garcia

2:40 EST Denny Hamlin*

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

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

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

Hi Claire B.

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

Randy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hope 2009 is starting great for you. Stay tuned.

Cheers and many blessings this New Year!
Claire B Lang

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Morning from Daytona July 5, 2008

Posted by claireblang in 2008 Season.
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20080217-kab-1392Image by kBasarab via FlickrGood morning from Daytona. I hope you all are enjoying the 4th of July weekend.
The garage doesn’t open for hours so I thought I’d write you a quick post -ramping up to the start of tonight’s race. I’m in my hotel room writing you a quick blog before heading to the track.

Race Couch Notes:

Tonight’s Coke Zero 400 Sprint Cup Series race will be televised on TNT, beginning with a 90-minute prerace show at 6:30 p.m. EDT.

Sprint Cup Garage opens -3:00 p.m.
Driver Crew Chief Meeting -6:00 p.m.
Driver Introductions -7:30 p.m.
Green Flag 8:00 p.m. -(160 laps – 400 miles)

PACE LAP: Kyle Petty:

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series veteran and TNT analyst Kyle Petty will serve as the honorary pace car driver for the 50th running of the Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola on Saturday at Daytona International Speedway. Petty, who is a member of the Coca-Cola Racing Family of Drivers will pace the 43- car field in a Chevrolet Corvette Z08 before the race goes green.

Oh No – Thunderstorms!

Check out the weather – the Garage opens at 3:00 p.m. – the rain chances start at 1:00 today (scattered thunderstorms) and build up to 50% by race time (depending on which weather forecast site you use – the chances could change.) Please tell me that this race will not be delayed by rain into the early morning hours. I always wonder with the race taking so much mental focus how those delayed Daytona nights are not grueling for the drivers mentally.

NATIONWIDE SERIES RACE OBSERVATIONS FROM LAST NIGHT:

What was Carl Edwards upset about?:

Carl Edwards (finished 11th) was upset after he got out of the car after the Nationwide Race last night right? Carl Edwards:
“Yeah, real upset. When Colin Braun wrecked on the back straightaway, I was 100 feet in front of Clint Bowyer and then on the restart, because I drove through the grass, I didn’t go through their timing loop there, so they scored me behind Clint, which was very frustrating. I felt like we had a chance to win. And then on the restart, it just didn’t work out for us. Very, very frustrating. Congrats to Denny and those guys, they did a great job, and I hope the fans enjoyed the race tonight. It was a lot of fun out there on the race track.”

Who the heck is racing against me?

Dale Junior (finished 3rd) thought Tony Stewart was in the #20 Nationwide car – Hamlin (race winner) got a kick out of it when told in the media center after the race that Dale Junor thought he was racing Tony Stewart all night: Denny Hamlin:
“I think honestly a lot of the confusion probably is cause it’s the same colors as what Tony usually runs but – I don’t know – my head is a lot smaller than his (Tony’s) so you couldn’t see that – but ahh I don’t know you could take it as another thing as I was driving a lot like Tony which is a compliment in my eyes. If I was driving like Tony on a super speedway that’s pretty dang good so I’ll take it. (Pause). Maybe he would not have helped me if he woulda knew it was me.

Missed Pit Stop Communication – What was that about?

What happened with the missed communication on the pit stops with Kyle Busch and Denny Hamlin? Kyle Busch:
“We were going down the back straightaway and it was 78 or 77 — one of the two and we were either supposed to be on pit road on lap 78 or 79 — I don’t remember which one. But anyways, we were going down the back and it was one lap shy of when we were supposed to come in and Denny was waving like, ‘I’m pitting this time, I’m pitting this time.’ And so I figured if he was going to come this time then I’m just going to come with him and he came off of turn four and kept digging and I was slowing down so I don’t know what happened there. I don’t know why he was waving unless he was just saying hi. Somehow we just missed communication there. It didn’t really matter much. I got out in front of him after the pit stops were over and he charged right back through the field and had one lap fresher tires, which really didn’t make the difference. He just had a faster car and got by us all.”

The Nationwide Cup Freight Train:
Brian Clauson was the top Raybestos Rookie in the Nationwide Series Winn Dixie 250 last night. Did he have drafting help during the race?

Clauson: “For a little bit. In the beginning of the race a lot of the Cup guys banded together and it looked like a Cup freight train rolling by me for a while.We kind of settled back in there and picked our way towards the front and you just kind of all of a sudden got pretty loose and I’m not sure if we were off a little bit on air pressure or what but about 20 laps into a run we’d just get real, real loose. It’s hard to really pass a guy unless I had him cleared mid-corner, kind of use up the racetrack because anytime I have to pinch it off the rear end would come around on us. But like I said we had a good car and I threw it away there at the end. We had a really strong car there and the driver made an error on that restart and missed a shift and cost us. I’m really disappointed for my team. They gave me a great car. We kind of fell off there in the middle of the race, got real loose. Not sure what happened there but we were still a top-five, top-10 car there. Just made a mistake and cost us a good finish.” He finished 19th after starting from the pole.

That’s it for now. Time to get over to the race track. More later. Enoy!
ClaireB

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BREAKING NEWS: Kerry Earnhardt to Drive Dale Earnhardt Inc. No. 8 Chevy in July Daytona Nationwide Race July 2, 2008

Posted by claireblang in Breaking News, Drivers.
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logo of Nationwide SeriesImage via WikipediaHere’s some news for you to sip with your coffee today – something for K. Earnhardt fans. I’m headed to the airport to fly to Orlando and then Daytona. I’ll catch you from Daytona at 4:00 EST from the XM Chevy Mobile Broadcast Unit. Have a good morning and thanks for all the calls and emails and IM’s – you all are the best!

Here’s the scoop:

For the first time in his career, Kerry Earnhardt, the son of seven-time NASCAR Champion Dale Earnhardt, will drive a Dale Earnhardt Inc. entry in a NASCAR race. Earnhardt will pilot the No. 8 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet in the July 4 Daytona 250 NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Daytona International Speedway.

“I’ve won several races with DEI in an ARCA car, but I’m really looking forward to driving a fast car at Daytona under the DEI umbrella,” Earnhardt said. “I appreciate DEI giving me the opportunity to get back in a car; especially one that I know will be fast and competitive. I love running the speedways (Daytona and Talladega) and can’t wait for the weekend to get here.”

Earnhardt, who currently works at Dale Earnhardt Inc. as a team liaison, will be making his 70th career start in the series, but only his fifth Nationwide start since 2003. He most recently competed regularly in the Craftsman Truck Series in 2006.It will be Earnhardt’s ninth career Nationwide Series start at Daytona International Speedway.

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