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Happy 4th of July – God Bless Our Troops: July 4, 2009

Posted by claireblang in 2009 Season, Trackside.
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Looking across the Daytona International Speedway
Image via Wikipedia

Broadcast Schedule:

“Dialed in”— 2-4:15 p.m. EST today
Sirius NASCAR Radio Pre Race Show 4:15 p.m. EST
POST Race: LIVE in Victory Lane immediately following the race

Happy 4th of July – God Bless Our Troops:

Since I travel a great deal I seem to spend nearly every other day either getting on or getting off of a shuttle at an airport.

So I’m getting on the shuttle at the airport at Charlotte and we were all wedged in the bus like sardines. As the bus pulled to a stop a young man began to literally unload the bags off the buss for several of us who were without help. We sure did not expect, nor ask for the assistance. “You are so kind,” I said to him, as I had a huge broadcast box a rolling bag and suitcase which would have required three trips off the shuttle and some massive lugging. “You must have been brought up by great parents,” I said to the man. “Thank you so much.”

“Ma’am,” he said, “I’m a US soldier,” he said. “I’ve learned a lot since I’ve been in.” I stopped, looked the young man in the eyes and said “Well God Bless you.” I was stopped in my tracks by his kindness and pride.

Today we stop and we thank the patriots, and young men and women who are the cream of the crop and who today, are representing us and keeping us secure around the world, or in past conflicts.

I won’t forget that young man. It sticks in my mind. I hope God keeps him safe.

Happy 4th of July!

Race Day- Daytona
Blog Thoughts – Daytona Site of Major Story Lines Over the Years

Daytona International Speedway has been the site of so many story lines over the years. Set up your computer, microphone, broadcast unit or photographers at DIS for NASCAR events and you’re sure to have cars that don’t pass inspection, penalties issued, “big one” crashes, comments from the sports owners that send reporters running to feed, a few celebrities and plenty to talk about. Think about all the major story lines that have broken while we’ve been here covering stories at Daytona. The list is long.

This weekend we’ve been on the Jeremy Mayfield watch. We’ve all heard that he’s coming to the race track – that he’ll make an appearance but we’ve not seen him. Perhaps today – and if he shows – it’s sure to be the story of the day pre race.

Here are some comments from drivers here in the garage and media center at Daytona to tune you up for the running of today’s Coke Zero 400 Sprint Cup Series race:

To Kyle Busch:

Was the bottom lane the place to be tonight (after Nationwide race)? “It was and I expected it to be that way tonight. The inside lane I figured was going to be the way to go because these cars are wide open the whole time almost. I think tomorrow it will be the top. The outside lane carrying the momentum is definitely going to be the better lane.”

To Jeff Gordon:

How is the rubber that the Grand AM cars are going to put down on the track before your race tomorrow night going to affect the race?
“I haven’t really thought about it a lot to be honest with you. It’s a good question but we won’t know until tomorrow. You know this track is always pretty hot and slick and those guys run pretty much around the bottom and I don’t know, I don’t think they are going to lay a ton of rubber down. So, I don’t think it’s going to be a big issue but we’ll find out once we get out there. You know this place is kind of strange for putting rubber down on the track anyway it’s not like most tracks because the radius of the corners is so big and its fairly abrasive and what wears tires, I can’t really say that it lays a lot of rubber down and if it does, it won’t take us long to get the Goodyear rubber laid in there.”

To Juan Pablo Montoya:

DO YOU BRING THE MENTALITY OF LOOKING AT POINTS FROM FORMULA ONE?: “Point are important in every series. A lot of guys that you get in here are guys that are winning races. When you’re winning races then you can have a bad weekend. If you finish first in one and 30th in another one then it averages out to like 12th or something with the points. It’s not bad, but when you’re finishing 10th and you have a 30th then it goes to 18th or something like that. It really hurts it. If our good weekends were to be a little bit better then it would be a lot easier. Then you can say, ‘I’m going for wins,’ but we’re not.”

To Greg Biffle ( who will have to start tonight’s race from the back because he will be in a back-up car that didn’t complete a lap during Thursday’s practice sessions. Biffle’s primary car was wrecked very late in the second practice session)

Since the car hasn’t made a lap yet, when the race starts what’s on your mental check list of things to check on the car right off the bat:
“Really, in the old days, it used to be tire rubs. Do you smell smoke? Nowadays, with the bodies being templated all the same and the suspension and all that, that kind of stuff is out of the question. So, really, as long as everything feels right – and these cars, we’ve been doing this so long, we unload cars all the time, they’re brand-new, and test all day, like at Indy. We unloaded the car, tested all day and then put it back on the truck, and we had no issues. So, I feel confident. And, really, the cars are brand new and have never turned a lap at every race we bring them to – because all of the parts come off of them, and they’re all put back on, and engines and everything else. So, technically, they’re all brand new every time we unload them for the day. But, yeah, we have little issues we have to fix. Here, we won’t have that issue. But, we have a big race track, two and a half miles, so you can do a lot of stuff under caution, as long as it’s not major. If you have little issues you need to fix or address or work on, here you have plenty of time. Track position, here, is not that important until the fifth hour.”

So the only benefit lost by starting in the back is not knowing right away how the car reacts in traffic? “Yes. Yes, that would’ve been nice for this not to rain out, we qualify in the top 20, we start there and then we could’ve gotten a feel for it right out of the gate. But, there’s a part of me that doesn’t mid starting in the back so I can figure it out on my own and then start working through traffic – because, inevitably, sometime during the night, you’ve lost some track position, you got out of line and get shuffled out and end up 30th, you get back in there and race your way back to 10th. So, you’re back and forth anyway. So, really, it’s a non-issue.”

To Tony Stewart:

HOW WILL THE NEW DOUBLE-FILE RE-START RULE AFFECT THE RACING THIS WEEKEND AT DAYTONA?
“I don’t think it will, honestly. As quick as people get shuffled forward and backward here anyway, I don’t think it matters. I think last weekend was more critical on which line you were in. But I don’t think for Daytona, I don’t know that anybody is going to sit there and say well, I’m going to ride third here because I want to restart on the inside. I mean you know don’t know if you’re going to get a caution. You don’t know when it’s going to come out. Nobody’s going to plan their strategy around a caution and where they’re going to re-start with it.

“You’re not going to decide. You’re just going to try to get to the front and stay at the front. If you can do that, you’re a much better racer than I am because I can’t think that far ahead. Nobody is going to be able to plan and put themselves in those kinds of situations. You’re just going to have to take it as it comes. It’s no different than if four guys pass you on one lap, that’s where you’re at when you restart. So, nobody’s going to try to plan that and say well, I’m just going to ride third so if we have a caution and have a restart then we can do something.

To Jeff Burton:

HOW DO YOU DEAL WITH THE HEAT AT DAYTONA AT NIGHT VERSUS WHEN THE JULY RACE WAS DURING THE DAY?:
“The cars are hotter then they were then, but we have more things to help the drivers than we did then as well so they kind of counteract each other. I like the morning because I can remember leaving here race day and being home, back in Charlotte, in time to be on the lake. It was kind of fun and coming down here was always kind of like a vacation. The teams, we would practice in the morning, the garage would be closed down by one o’clock or 12 o’clock, the way I remember it. Back then the teams weren’t so big that they’re families would come down and they would rent hotels on the beach and it was just a completely different environment, it was much more relaxed than it is now. This was almost like a race and an off-weekend at the same time. We don’t really have that atmosphere anymore. The intensity has picked up so much and it’s so competitive that there’s never a relaxed moment. It was fun to race at 10 o’clock, at the same time I think the fans like the night race a lot better. Obviously, it gets cooler as the race goes on versus it used to get hotter as the race would go on. But you would be done really so it wasn’t that bad. It is hot here, but it’s just what we do.”

I’m in my hotel room getting ready for today’s race. I’d better pick it up – much to do before my show starts over in the media center. I look forward to the heat, fireworks blowout, story lines, arguments, last-minute breaking news from the garage, fireworks filled summer 4th of July event that is the Coke Zero 400…..Let’s go racing!

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ON LOCATION: “Jail and Bail” October 8, 2008

Posted by claireblang in 2008 Season, Fun Stuff, My Show, NASCAR.
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2 comments

Claire B Lang

LIVE on Location Blog – Wednesday October 8th 2008

Today I am broadcasting live (3-6 EST XM Channel 148) from the Brickhouse Tavern – in Davidson, NC (209 Delburg St.) LIVE in the Chevy Mobile Broadcast Unit today – broadcasting live from the first official “Jail and Bail” raising money for the Brienne Davis NASCAR Technical Institute Scholarship Fund.

Brienne was a Universal Technical Institute graduate and a NASCAR official who was killed in a car accident six months ago today (April 8th). The NASCAR community – drivers, crew chiefs and crew members and officials have rallied to raise money today for a scholarship fund in her name.

If you can come enjoy the music – meet the participants and help bail out the likes of Tony Stewart, Juan Pablo Montoya and others. If you can’t come listen on the air on Channel 148 and we’ll tell you how can participate.

I have had so many emails and instant messages regarding the finish of the race at Talladega – and I am going to post more of them later tonight. I’ve been busy on location – last night at Dale Earnhardt Inc. and tonight at the Jail and Bail.

I have read your emails and they are good….. here’s a sampling:

Claire,
You just made a comment that a rule is a rule. That is 100% correct. If you
force someone below the line, you get the black flag. I can’t stand how
Nascar keeps changing the rule.
Brad Karlovec

Dear Claire,

How many races is NASCAR going to let Goodyear ruin before they either bring in some competition or a different manufacturer to make tires that do not determine the outcome of the race. After the debacle at the Brickyard earlier this summer, I, personally, would have thought that Goodyear would have been going above and beyond, even making a tire that was too hard, to make sure that tire failures did not affect the outcome of another race this season. Tire failure not only affected the outcome of the race this past weekend, it may, ultimately, have affected the outcome of The Chase and who the champion will be. The luck of the draw and whether the driver received a set to tires that wouldn’t inexplicably EXPLODE was very much present on Sunday. Denny Hamlin spent the night in a Birmingham hospital on Sunday after his tire exploded. This shows not only the frustration that the exploding tires was causing, but also the danger.

Four drivers were either starting backup cars or had crews that spent extra long hours fixing their cars Friday & Saturday after Dale Jr. had a tire blow up during practice on Friday. As a fan who wants to see the drivers determine the outcome of the race and not their tires, I believe that Goodyear should be on extremely thin ice with NASCAR.

Just my thoughts!
Jenn

I have been a little disconnected from the whole world the past two weeks. So Monday when I actually was able to get to my XM and couldn’t find your show I freaked. I am happy to have found you on your new station. Knowing that it was going to be a good one after the race on Sunday. I hate that I missed it but am sure that there were a lot of unhappy/happy people. I am one of those fans that was very excited to see Tony get a win (first of the year) as well as his first at Talladega.. GO Tony.. Tell Regan that he wouldn’t of wanted to get a win this way people would of questioned him getting his first win with an illegal pass. When people talk about his first win he wants it to be because without a doubt he earned it. Keep your chin up Regan it will come and then you will give people something to talk about.

Annette
Arkansas

SEND THAT 20 AROUND WOO HOO…..

Claire

I think Nascar should make the rule for all tracks and noit just the super speedways. This way it is the same rule for all the tracks.

I believe Nascar has more important problems to fix. Luckly they have not had anyone hurt in the big one yet, they need to look at how to break up the big packs before someone is. I don’t want to see that happen but if you play with fire or are bound to get burnt.

Paul

Hi Claire B,

Kudos to you for being there with Regan where the real story is, and kudos to Regan. Regan, You have made a name for yourself! Now I can place a face with the firesuit. I and the Biff agree that you were robbed. Did you notice how subdued the interviews were on NASCAR Victory Lane? I will be rooting for you!

Cynda
Associate of Robinhood

Regan is a class act the way he is handling this travesty. Can you imagine
the whining going on if this had need to Kyle Bush? The more I think about
this, the madder I get. That call was a joke, once again!
Brad

Hi Clare:)
I have been listening to all the banter regarding the finish at Dega
this past weekend and in a nut shell what Nascar has done by
rewarding Tony the win was let the drivers know that it is ok to
cause the big one on the final lap at Dega and Daytona. They have
basically just told anyone who is leading on the last lap to block
and force your opponent below the yellow line and you win.

They have really just told all drivers that they need to pass the
leader on the outside and only the outside on the last lap because if
you try the low side you will be forced below the yellow line by the
leader because we are ok with blocking. So now every leader will
always know that the guy in 2nd will be passing on the outside or
wrecking a lot of good cars trying the inside and holding his line.

Nascar has become a joke. every week I become more and more
frustrated with this sport I love.

Keep The Rubber Side Down

Lorne
Canada

wouldn’t go so far as to say there was a conspiracy theory that NASCAR wanted Tony Stewart or a big name to win the race, however, do you (or others) think that if the move pulled off by Regan Smith would have been pulled off by a bigger name that there would have been a different ruling?

In the NBA there were the Jordan Rules where we got the better calls by officials and I’m just wondering if a guy like Regan doesn’t get the benefit of the doubt like others would.

Mark C. Winkler

Claire,
Please tell your listeners that the Talladega horse is dead, move on, get over it, it’s a done deal. TONY WINS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Wayne in NJ

He is a racer and wanted the win but he was justified in staying low and
just backing off. He did not have to try and get back inline and would
have gotten second.

I hope this silences all the crazies that call in and say Stewart would
never win a race in a Toyota!

Rick
I’ll post more of the hundreds of emails that I have when I get off air tonight.

Take care…raining in Charlotte…pouring in fact.

How much money will it take to bail out Tony here tonight?

Claire B

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