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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.
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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

Unwritten NASCAR Rules…… September 14, 2008

Posted by claireblang in 2008 Season, Controversy, Drivers, NASCAR, Trackside.
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Claire B. Lang – New Hampshire Motor Speedway
Sunday, Sept. 14, 2008
There are a set of unwritten rules in NASCAR – amongst the drivers and the crew members and one of them, I think, played out on Saturday after the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race as team members from two teams fought. David Starr was confronted inside his car on the grid after the race by a crew member from another team. Anyone who knows me knows how much I respect the NASCAR crew members and how much I work to tell their story as well as that of the drivers. However, I can see why Starr drew his fist and used it.

My understanding has always been that the cockpit of a guy’s race machine, car or truck, is his sanctuary and it’s his area. For another driver to come up and pull him out would be setting up for a fight – and I think all drivers would agree to that. For a crew member from another team to go to a driver’s vehicle and grab or confront him- is beyond an unwritten rule – it’s fighting time. In an argument about racing – the crew member and driver are not on the same level. It’s driver to driver and even then there are set areas of acceptable confrontation. David Starr immediately drew his fist – and used it after he was pulled from his truck angered that a crew member would pull him out of his vehicle. In the NASCAR Sprint cup garage today I talked with crew members and drivers about the unwritten rule and the above is how they saw it exactly.

Members of several teams said that they are not even to confront another driver – or ask him why he did something verbally and that the level of pulling another driver out of his vehicle would definitely result in them being fired. The team haulers of the 48 and the 18 teams are parked next to each other in the garage here. The team guys said to me that they get along really well and that if their drivers got in a fight they would not think it was their place to get involved in it…unless a driver came to their pit area- and then that is their turf. What happened violated an unwritten rule. You fight for your team – you’d do anything for your team – but a crew member does not confront a driver. It’s just not how it’s done because the argument was between two drivers. That, despite the fact that the team guys build the cars and trucks and have a lot invested themselves. So, there will be much said about this. I likened it to someone coming up to a guy in a bar and flicking his cowboy hat or baseball cap off. There’s something about that that every guy knows is so over the line that it is violating a “guy” unwritten rule.In this case the crew member violated a driver unwritten rule. He went over the line – and Starr reacted. So, does star get punished for the punch? Does the crew member get fired? “When a crew member comes to a driver and wants to fight…man that driver needs to kick the tar out of him,” Joe Nemechek told me after the drivers’ meeting. “That’s wrong, that’s the worst thing that can ever happen.”Nemechek said that additionally, “In my opinion that crew member should be fired from his team and banned from NASCAR.”

Drivers Meeting:
The drivers’ meeting was over and the prayer was said. No questions were asked but the doors were locked and no one was allowed out. We were waiting for a “special guest” who was, of course, US Senator and presidential candidate John McCain. He came into the drivers’ meeting with the media corps that follows him on the campaign trail. The media who were ushered in looked confused being in a steamy and humid drivers’ meeting garage with the drivers and crew chiefs prior to this race with McCain. McCain thanked the group in the drivers’ meeting for supporting the US Military – and the men and women who are serving…”I thank you, they thank you and God Bless America,” was the basic message McCain delivered. He received a standing ovation from those in attendance at the drivers’ meeting.

Crew Chief Handout Info from Drivers’ Meeting:

Pit Road Speed today: 45 mphCaution Car Speed: 50 mph
Pit Road Speed begins: 185 feet before the first pit box
Pit Road Speed ends: 75 feet past the last pit box
Minimum Speed: 33.93 seconds

The race may be influenced by the weather. Let’s hope not. We’ve been soaked all morning and it’s supposed to clear up so – let’s go racing and stay racing through the completion of the entire race.

I’ll keep you posted Claire B



***REMINDER “Dialed In with Claire B Lang” will air 3-6 ET beginning Monday, Sept 15th XM Channel 148 (not 144)

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New Hampshire Motor Speedway Drivers’ Meeting June 29, 2008

Posted by claireblang in 2008 Season, NASCAR, Trackside.
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New Hampshire Motor SpeedwayImage via WikipediaThe drivers meeting for today’s race here at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, which just concluded, was short and sweet. There were a few sponsor introductions the normal going over of the rules and regulations and no questions from the drivers. Then we prayed and it was over.

I talked with Robby Gordon coming into the meeting and asked him about his views on a testing policy. He grinned and said,” No testing at all, add 8 races on Wednesday nights for no points. It would be the same as testing.”

I noticed that Kyle Busch is sitting in the last row at the drivers’ meeting with his crew chief. A humble place to sit for the points leader. Joining him on the last row: AJ Allmendinger, T. Labonte, B. Labonte, T Kvapil, J Roush and D.Gilliland.

Details of the drivers’ meeting:

Pit road Speed: 45 MPH
Caution Car Speed: 50 MPH
Pit Road Speed Begins – 185 feet before the first pit box
Pit Road Speed Ends: – 75 feet past the last pit box
Minimum Speed: 33.66 seconds.

Enjoy the race!
Claire B

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Sunday Blog – running back into garage – transcript of Darby with media June 29, 2008

Posted by claireblang in 2008 Season, Drivers, NASCAR.
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NASCARImage via WikipediaNH Sunday Morning –
Caire B. Blog – 6/29/08 8:30 a.m.

NASCAR IS ASKING CREW CHIEFS TO RESEARCH THE TEAM’S PREFERENCES REGARDING 2009 TESTING POLICY –

NASCAR Series Director John Darby was talked to the media after calling a crew chief’s meeting in the garage here at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Here’s the full transcript of the media session outside the NASCAR hauler in the garage after the meeting yesterday.

Q: So – what did you and your buddies (crew chiefs) meet about?
Darby: “Typically it’s about this time of year when we start talking to the teams about the next year’s testing and that was today only to start off looking at 09 with instead of handing them survey of tracks that they would like to test at we offered up redoing the whole test policy. What you know is every year it changes, the evolution of the teams change, the amount of resources in regards to seven post rigs and sim tests and rolling floor wind tunnels and all of that all comes into play and the only ones that can actually tell you what they need in regards to testing are the guys that are doing it.

NASCAR is the policy maker but if there’s one thing that is really reliant on the teams input it’s what we test, how many times we test and where we test. In the past it’s just been a matter of here select your race tracks and let’s go. This year, I felt it was time that we just sat down with everybody and talked and said look we’re open to whatever, any suggestions you have from leaving our testing policy exactly like it was in 08 all the way to what I’m going to call wide open testing – no limits -any track any week any time as many times as you want to go.

We’re prepared for either way – it doesn’t matter to us – we’ll listen to what all of the teams come back with for suggestions and formulate a test plan for 09 and go forward.”

Q: What was the reaction that you got?
Darby: “There was a pretty good gasp of air when you got to talking about wide open testing because the immediate perception is holy cats we’re going to be testing 38 weeks a year. After you talk to everybody for a little bit and then ask them to count the actual number of tests that they currently do at all the places they go to test and apply that to a wide open test policy for example or taking those same amount of days and applying them to tests where we race – there probably isn’t a whole lot of difference at the end of the day. But – that’s just food for their thoughts and I told them we’d get back together in a couple of weeks and see what kind of reaction they have and start putting it together.”

Q:Did you have any reference to cut down based on the economy and $5 a gallon for gas -is there a need for some teams to keep expenses down in that area?

Darby: “I don’t know because most of the testing that’s done today it’s under their own guidance anyway. The organized testing that NASAR has is a very small percentage of the amount of testing that’s done so it would be hard to answer that question. These type of plans or meetings or anything obviously the crew chiefs from all the teams are my easiest connection to talk to. Now, being good soldiers of good faith obviously they’ll go back to their organizations and sit down with the car owners and discuss them as an actual full blown team – they’ll make the decisions on their own.”

Q: What does Goodyear have to say about this – have you discussed with Goodyear the need for more tires if there is more testing?

“Darby: Goodyear is flexible. Goodyear can provide the tires for all of the tests if it went the direction that everybody chose to go. All they ask are the simple things like can you set it up with a 45 day advance ordering type situation so our staff can make sure we produce enough tires. All that is the easy stuff. I guess if there are any downsides to the whole thing if you look at what we are doing today to just a simple unlimited testing policy. Todays NASCAR testing because it is organized and is participation by all of the teams the effective cost of a test in regards to the bill you get from the racetracks is split by many more hands and that helps. The safety standards at a NASCAR test are much much higher than they would ever be at an independent test, a team test for example because with the NASCAR test we provide a full medical staff, medivac copters, a full staff of firemen, emt’s all of that and we do that because it’s an organized effort there’s 50 people feeding the kitty so you can afford to do that. A lot of those things wouldn’t be present at the individual tests but they aren’t today if you chose to go outside NASCAR’s testing policy anyways.”

Q: Why did NASCAR feel the need to propose this?
Darby: “Typically the way you really find out what a group of people want is to offer something as large as you can large to them and they’ll either say yea that’s perfect or they’ll say well you know that may be a little too much how about doing something like this instead.”

Q: Was there a consideration about going the other way and saying you can’t do any (testing)?
Darby: “Yea – but we already know – we can’t make that happen.”

Q: A lot of these current tests are not under NASCAR’S Supervision so by changing this would bring them under NASCAR’s supervision – would that be a factor as well?
Darby: “No I don’t know if it’s a relevance really. The relevance I guess would be today you can go to Milwaukee and work really hard for two days to try to simulate being at New Hampshire. If all of your correlation of data is right and if all of your wisdom and educated guess is correct it could potentially help you here at New Hampshire. Is that the right way to do it? I don’t know – maybe the right way to do it is to test at New Hampshire for New Hampshire.”

Q: Why does it matter. With all the computer technology that the teams have – why can’t they test New Hampshire all they want on computer sim. What’s so special about coming to NH to test when they have the ability to get all that data in the shop?

Darby: “Those are all good tools they are all good guides. There still is not anything as accurate as making laps on a race track and testing for multiple purposes. If (Dario) Franchitti had an opportunity to test at Sonoma last week for example – knowing he’s a good road racer anyways he could have potentially lessened his chances of going home. If a driver or a team constantly struggles at Martinsville for example – if they could go back to Martinsville once or twice or three or four times maybe they could get better. The simulation will only give you – a computers a computer – if you put crap in you get crap out you know what I mean? It’s that simple.”

Q: If you get all this feedback back and it comes back a split decision do you throw it back and say ok you guys vote?
Darby: “Were still not a democratic society yet. We listen a lot but somebody’s got to (make the decision) (laughter)”

Q: The car of tomorrow – is it an effort to get these guys a chance to have more time with these cars on the tracks they are racing on to add to the body of knowledge on the new car?

Darby: “No – this piece honest to God doesn’t have any relevance to the new car. I mean this is something that we would have headed to regardless cause we were almost there two years ago and almost there a year ago. Not that what we are doing today is broken but testing should be at the needs of the competitors in the garage and the only way we know what best suits them is to ask them and hopefully we’ll get enough information back.”

Q: All other racing series have been very tight – very restrictive in testing – has there been a lot of consideration that we have some new guys coming in – and we’ve had some people struggled that brought this on or what is more let’s see what happens?
Darby: “I think a lot of it surrounds you know that we’ve always hated doing anything that we can’t police properly and the teams have grown in our sport so large today that if a Roger Penske or a Jack Roush or a Rick Hendrick wants to build a race track or buy one they’re going to. So us having the absolute ability to say nobody’s going to test period is just not realistic. So what you do is try to manage a testing policy that satisfies the needs of the majority of the garage but still isn’t just so insanely crazy that it’s going to put people out of business.”

Q: Would one option be for teams to come in on Thursday to tracks and open the day to testing?
Darby: “That’s a very unpopular choice for a lot of reasons. You can’t plan a test agenda properly knowing that you are going to have to take that same car and race it the next day you know what I mean? The teams look at that more as an extended practice than they do an actual test.”

Q: Will you maintain the tests that you have scheduled the rest of the year?
Darby: “Yes, there’s only one left so yea.”

Q: Did it grow out of any criticism of the new car?
Darby: “No because the new car – there’s more work being done in the lab settings than there is race track stuff. What I mean by that is that’s where the gains on the 7-posts and the computer simulation and the engineers go to work. The teams know what they want for loads and pressures and all the rest of that- this is about testing and testing only.”

Q: If for some reason Kentucky ends up on the Cup schedule next year would they still be able to use Kentucky to test at Kentucky like they do now?
Darby: “Ahm – I can’t speak for what may or may not happen with Kentucky. I know there are no plans – they are not on our 09 schedule now -the only thing I can really talk about are the race tracks that currently hold Cup sanctions and their restrictions which – you’re right they can’t test on a sanctioned track unless it’s organized by us today for 08”

__________________________________________

Tony Stewart Doesn’t Want To Be Asked

The journalists here in the deadline media room and at dinner here in New Hampshire have been talking about Tony Stewart not wanting to be asked about his contract status until he’s ready to announce it. I got a kick out of his quote that at least one entity reported as serious news:

Can you comment about the rumors regarding your future?
“I’ve still got two ARCA teams I’m talking to, a truck team and now the 5 car is available today so I still have a lot of work to do.” Are you negotiating with sponsors to try to get set-up for next season? “I don’t even know who I’m driving for yet so it’s kind of hard to pick a sponsor when you don’t know who you’re driving for yet. It’s kind of like, ‘which comes first the chicken or the egg?’

Stewart’s tongue in cheek reaction to a question about his future is far from breaking news as to what he may do – and, trust me, he’s not going to tell us all that he’s working on until he’s ready. The problem is that doing live radio three hours a day on XM – I get continuous questions about where Tony may go and basically as I gave two team members from another team a lift into the track this morning even the race team guys love to talk about who might go where. It passes time in the garage and, basically even for those inside the sport it’s fun.

I have never been much of a contract-stalker – but I do understand why folks have to ask him. Also, in a sense I don’t blame him. With Tony -you know if he doesn’t want to tell you anything – or has nothing to say – you’ll get a silly tongue in cheek reply (above) or the person with the question will be cut to the quick in no uncertain terms. While people talk about Tony Stewart wanting the media to not ask him about his deal- he’s not the only one who doesn’t want to give regular updates on what’s going on.

Dale Earnhardt Jr was asked over a month ago about the status of Nationwide Series racing and his JR Motorsports effort he mentioned that one day he might look at taking his team racing at the Cup level because it might at that time make more financial sense. Ever since then – the rumors of silly season have included Junior owning a team with someone. Almost every day that rumor gets brought up on the air – and it grows with every chat room mention and fan email. But Dale Jr says that his answering that question led to more attention than the comment warranted.

DALE JUNIOR Comment: New Hampshire Friday, June 27th
“I should have not said that man because I should have just kept that to myself. But I don’t really want to talk about it in the press you know. That’s personal to me – what I do for my business and I damn sure ain’t going to air my time line out over the media. So, you know, if we feel like we’re going to do that we’ll do it and we’ll let you know and that will be that. But I don’t want to answer questions about it every week because it’s really not that big of an issue. My teams doing great I’d be foolish to make too many changes right now….you know keep things where they are while they’re working.”

Remember, Dale Junior did not bring up the issue of moving his nationwide team to cup. He was asked a while back and on that day he answered honestly. From there – that grew to his fans asking regularly about it so much that it required asking him again.

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EMAILS:
Hi Claire…
I listen to your show every afternoon on my way home…. Love it!!!! I also saw you in the Chevy tent at the MI race on Father’s Day-when you introduced Clint Bowyer and grabbed the kids in the audience to ask Clint questions! You did a great job, and the kids lined themselves up perfectly!!!

I do have one nagging question regarding the Dodge Cup cars….. They went back to the Charger this year, but the grill decal is still the Avenger’s! I am a diehard Mopar fan and it aggravates me to see that grill every week! The reason I say this is the Charger grill is narrow at the top, and the Avenger grill is narrower at the bottom….. The new Charger has the Avenger decal with the Charger R/T emblem. The headlights look ok. Can you ask someone associated with Dodge and find out when they will correct this???

I know, it’s petty, but I notice stuff like that and it drives me crazy that I’m that way!

Thanks for the show and keep up the great work!

Randell
Microsoft Certified Professional

CBL: Thanks Randell – your question is a good one.

The new Charger nose is not approved by NASCAR yet for use in competition, as soon as Dodge is given approval to use it, they will. As of right now they do not know exactly when that approval will be given.

More later – off to the drivers meeting and into the garage.

Enjoy the day!

Claire B
XM Satellite Radio

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