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Team Members Thinking of Dad on Special Day at Infineon June 21, 2009

Posted by claireblang in 2009 Season, Fun Stuff.
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Fathers Day – June 21, 2009

It’s Sunday, race morning, Father’s day and I’m walking down pit road prior to the start of the Toyota Save Mart 350. Ryan Tschudi, the quiet and sincere underneath mechanic for the 77 Mobile One Dodge walks up to me and asks if I have already done my SIRIUS NASCAR Radio show for the day. I tell him that I just finished the broadcast…..why? He said that he wanted to do a shout out to his dad for Father’s day.

The stunt pilot for the Red Bull Helicopter is doing flips in the air, the Infineon Raceway girls are posing with teams up and down pit road, the colors and sounds and energy of the moment are beyond intense. The pre race is unfolding and Ryan is thinking about his dad.

I raised my microphone, turned on the m audio player and asked him to do a shout out to his dad if he’d like. I’d find a way to work it into the post race show even if they do not win and visit Victory Lane. I’m thinking I will have to be creative on getting this one on a post race show but, darn it, I’ll find a way to do it. He said he didn’t want to make a big deal out of it. He had heard me have the guys do a shout out to their dads on the Friday broadcast and wanted to have his dad included. That’s cool.

“I want to wish my dad LeRoy a happy Father’s Day,” Tschudi said into my microphone.
“My dad is actually headed to Texas right now, he’s taking a load down to Dallas. Happy Father’s Day!,” He added.

I called my dad (John Bennett) today. He’s up North in Wisconsin with Mom at the lake fishing and enjoying the day. I appreciate all he did for me in my life and I am lucky that I can go on the radio and shout out to him and tell him so.

So many of the guys who are never home for special days and anniversaries and Father’s Days cannot. They would trade what they do for anything,but guys like the underneath mechanic on a team are unsung heroes of race teams. No one gives them attention and when the cameras are rolling and the live broadcasts are happening and the features are being shot – they are where they live, underneath the race car. They get no attention and they ask for nothing for themselves.

I think it’s really great that Ryan came up to me – and while he’d never ask for something for himself – he wanted to do a shout out to his dad.

I’m sure he didn’t expect me to mention it in my blog.

But you know it’s the small things about this sport that make some of the best stories and most compelling stories in NASCAR. On pit road and in the garage and back at home at race shops there are guys who would do just about anything to get to Victory Lane so they can call their dads from there and give them some attention.

Happy Father’s day to all the guys in the sport and all the fans back at home.

Ryan thanks for the shout out to your dad. I know that you never figured it would be in this blog – but you know your dad must be pretty special and that is way cool.

More Later – Enjoy the day!

Claire B.

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Welcome to Infineon Raceway…Pressure June 18, 2009

Posted by claireblang in 2009 Season, Listeners, My Show, NASCAR.
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I just arrived at Infineon Raceway and am setting up my home away from home in the studio here at Infineon Raceway. I got a bunch of email about whether I’m going to Wisconsin and the Milwaukee Mile again this weekend instead of Infineon which has been the mode the last couple of years.

This year, while my heart will be home with family and friends I’ve met in Milwaukee, I’ll be situated in the Sonoma Valley covering both races. Since I am in the booth for the pre race show it would be hard to anchor the show from a bar in Milwaukee across from the Milwaukee Mile. But it sure was fun wasn’t it? I’ll figure out a way to do that again one day – but this weekend I’m in the beautiful Sonoma Valley.

My “Dialed In” With Claire B. Lang broadcast schedule is as follows:
Thursday, June 18, 2009
Dialed In 7-10 EST LIVE from Infineon Raceway

Friday, June 19, 2009
Dialed In- 3-6:30 EST LIVE from Infineon Raceway (pre Sprint Cup Qualifying)

Saturday, June 20, 2009
Dialed In -5-8:30 p.m.EST leading up to the start of the NorthernTool.com 250

Sunday, June 21, 2009
Dialed In – 11-1 p.m. EST leading up to the start of the Sirius NASCAR Radio Pre Race Show.

SIRIUS NASCAR Radio Pre Race Show- Sunday, June 21 – 1:00-3:00 p.m. EST
Claire B. will be in the booth for the Sirius NASCAR Radio Pre Race Show

SIRIUS NASCAR Radio Post Race Show – Sunday, June 21 POST RACE
Claire B will open up LIVE from Victory Lane on the Sirius NASCAR Radio Post Race Show

Enjoy the day!!

  • Oil Rig Helicopter Pilot’s Bet on Dale Jr’s Michigan Finish:

    NOTE: See the photo of John in Louisiana’s landing spot (he’s the guy who made the bet with me last week that Dale Junior would finish in the top ten at Michigan. He lost the bet so he is going to send me a photo of him with a sign indicating he lost and with at least one of the oil rig guys near the helicopter and the sign. Check out where John has to land his helicopter when he shuttles the guys to the rig each day woah!

    Helecopter Pilot 174

    Read these Billy Joel Lyrics and then my notes below it.

    Pressure (Billy Joel)

    You have to learn to pace yourself

    Pressure

    You’re just like everybody else

    Pressure

    You’ve only had to run so far

    So good

    But you will come to a place

    Where the only thing you feel

    Are loaded guns in your face

    And you’ll have to deal with

    Pressure

    You used to call me paranoid

    Pressure

    But even you can not avoid

    Pressure

    You turned the tap dance into your crusade

    Now here you are with your faith

    And your Peter Pan advice

    You have no scars on your face

    And you cannot handle pressure

    All grown up and no place to go

    Psych 1, Psych 2

    What do you know?

    All your life is Channel 13

    Sesame Street

    What does it mean?

    Pressure

    Pressure

    Don’t ask for help

    You’re all alone

    Pressure

    You’ll have to answer

    To your own

    Pressure

    I’m sure you’ll have some cosmic rationale

    But here you are in the ninth

    Two men out and three men on

    Nowhere to look but inside

    Where we all respond to

    Pressure

    Pressure

    All your life is Time Magazine

    I read it too

    What does it mean?

    Pressure

    I’m sure you’ll have some cosmic rationale

    But here you are with your faith

    And your Peter Pan advice

    You have no scars on your face

    And you cannot handle pressure

    Pressure, pressure

    One, two, three, four

    Pressure

    Pressure

    Exposure, Television Mentions, Superior Performance More Crucial Than Ever

    The song “Pressure” by Billy Joel summarizes the state of drivers and team members in the sport headed into this weekend’s race here at Infineon. It struck me of late that when I am live with the winners in victory lane how many drivers and crew chiefs are now talking about the great vehicles that the manufacturer that they race for puts on the show room floors. Arm chair quarterbacking after the fact is always easy but maybe some more of that should have been going on before the economic crisis hit Detroit’s big three.

    Tough times teach us a lot – and I always say when times are tough the Good Lord is preparing us so that we’ll be humble when we win the lottery. Good times are coming. What lesson are we supposed to learn at this juncture? Am I the only one who thinks that some of what we have experienced, yes even in our sport, has made us appreciate it more?

    While GM teams ponder where to cut back to assist GM in their restructuring while professing long-standing support to Chevrolet – sponsors looking ahead to renewing or signing contracts with the sport look to the performance of teams and drivers like never before.

    Team members are uneasy, not sure where budget cutbacks will come from and hoping this is not the weekend that they mess up. Team owners and drivers say that they are resourceful and I agree. No one has seen yet what teams and drivers and crew guys will do to make teams thrive in tough times. I think it’s not like anything you’ll see in other sports — I think the resourcefulness of folks on NASCAR teams (creativity is what made winners in the sport) will lead to decisions that no one has yet thought of. Other sports – No I don’t see that resourcefulness not to the level of what will come from decisions made in tough times by smart team owners. Add to that the loyalty of the true fans and even in tough times, maybe more so in tough times, the sport will find a way.

    The pressure to perform which has been a part of this circuit forever is ramped up to a level these days that will absolutely affect the racing -perhaps for the positive. This is not the time to be mediocre and survive. This is a time when funding is on the line like never before and no one can race unmentioned at the back of the field and stay in the game for long with sponsors looking for the payback on every penny to justify the spending to boards of directors. Does NASCAR give the payback to sponsors? With everyone on their game yes – and the game will be stepped up.

    Drivers and team members know that, and since these guys (team members) do not dwell on the negative but rather the perpetual series of opportunities for hope that each race presents – they are not talking about it much. Where will the cutbacks come from? What programs, what team members and are layoffs in the future for these teams? These questions are inside, unsaid within the sport this race weekend.

    Those answers are yet to come. Team owners are positive and loyal and they will find a way.

    But as we head into this weekend -even more so than ever…for many in the sport – there is more pressure.

    Welcome to Sonoma. It’s going to be a heck of a race.

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