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Martinsville Blog October 16, 2008

Posted by claireblang in 2008 Season, Trackside.
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AMP Energy (lemon-lime), O...Image via WikipediaHey all!

This weekend at Martinsville I will be in the Chevy Mobil Broadcast Unit on Friday from 3-6 p.m. EST – I’ll be at the Chevy Display in the fan area at Martinsville Speedway broadcasting “Dialed In’ live.

I heard from a source today that Ryan Newman will be racing a truck at Atlanta. I’m loving that thought…..Newman in a truck! I’m hearing it will be announced soon.

I have never entered a contest in my life….but you know I started thinking about all the contest winners I have interviewed at tracks. I got to thinking the only reason other folks win things is because they enter. I’m not eligible as a reporter but I’m thinking that for all of you. Are they serious? See this below. Win a bus?

WIN A BUS: Fans can go to http://www.AMPEnergy.com to sign up for the “Ultimate Talladega RV” sweepstakes. One lucky fan will win the one-of-a-kind No. 88 AMP Energy-branded bus (the bus that drove around at Talladega). Special features include an entertainment system, cooler for AMP Energy drink, custom wheels and autographed Earnhardt memorabilia.

LOL Email of the day:

I got a kick out of this email from Texas. I am still LOL:

Hey Claire B,

………..I came to a conclusion I know why Dale Jr blew a tire this weekend. It’s Jessica Simpson’s fault (LOL) she was wearing a Dale Jr shirt and an AMP Jacket. You know she brought bad luck to Tony Romo and he broke his finger last week during the game. Anyway just a Wednesday conspiracy theory. (LOL) Have a good day and thanks for all your hard work.

Debbie Long……..Addison, TX

It is “Conspiracy Theory Thursday” so while I’m at it here’s another “conspiracy” email. I got a kick out of it.

Claire B:

What do you think the chances of Carl Edwards’ ignition problem that was
“Magically” rectified, being a stealth penalty imposed by NASCAR to
remind the #99 Driver who is running the show?

Unless Rousch admits that Cousin Carl hit the kill switch, my money is
on NASCAR being behind the electronics failure….it wouldn’t be hard to
do.

Happened on pit road….

Magically went away….

Carl is on probation….

Mike B.
Missouri

Well Roush Fenway mechanics replaced the box – so that’s when it “magically” went away it was because the box was replaced. RFR is currently looking into what made the box fail.

I’ll keep you posted.

Claire B
“Dialed In”

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Update BREAKING blog- Casey Mears; Greg Biffle June 27, 2008

Posted by claireblang in 2008 Season, Breaking News, Drivers, NASCAR, Teams.
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Outside Roush headquarters.Image via WikipediaMore from New Hampshire 11:41 a.m.- I stopped by the radio room here in the Media Center at NHMS for a quick second to send you this update:

Casey Mears was just in the deadline room here and to his fans – I can report he was doing just fine. He’s not one to hang his head and he said that he has known for weeks. Naturally, he said, he would have liked to have stayed but that it’s almost a relief to know what is happening so he can concentrate on the rest of the season. He seemed extremely upbeat at the potential for the future.

He said that he had not thought about next year and at first he was afraid nothing was going to be open but that he’s been talking to a few folks and has been “pleasantly surprised.”

One question to Mears is whether or not he was up for the fourth Richard Childress Racing ride because his name is now being linked to it – he answered, “You know if something like that were to develop that would be a great opportunity.” He added that he’d like to get his future ride tied up as soon as possible so that he can focus on the remaining part of this year at Hendrick Motorsports.

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I’m already getting email from you all:

Sad Sad Sad,I can not believe Mr Hendrick has thrown away Casey,My God these drivers are Human beings with feelings,Why Why would Rick do this,why did he not move CC’s or Car Chiefs Etc.Rick did this last year to Kyle and now to Casey,I hope and pray Casey can get another cup ride Jeez with impending fatherhood How can Rick be so COLD!
Leslie Eaton Addison Mi

Some of you are not as upset – but more interested in who might go in that ride. Send me an email and let me know what you think: ClaireBMail [at] ClaireBLang.com
_____________________________________

News on the Biffle contract signing watch. The ink has dried, thank goodness.

Here’s the news release issued this morning from Roush Fenway Racing:

Loudon, N.H. (June 27, 2008) – Greg Biffle announced today that he has
signed a three-year extension of his contract with Roush Fenway Racing.
Biffle has been with Roush Fenway Racing since 1998. During his 10
years at Roush Fenway Racing, Biffle has accumulated 46 wins, 166
top-five finishes and 250 top-10 finishes in 496 starts. In 2002,
Biffle took the NASCAR Nationwide Series title making him the only
driver in NASCAR history with both a Nationwide and a Craftsman Truck
Series championship title. He is currently seventh in the Sprint Cup
point standings driving the No. 16 3M/Dish Network/Jackson
Hewitt-sponsored Ford Fusion.

Biffle is looking forward to the continued relationship with Roush
Fenway Racing as well as a long-term partnership with 3M.

“I’m extremely happy and relieved to have this contract complete,” said
Biffle. “I have a team that can contend for the championship this
season and for future seasons as well. 3M has been an incredible
partner for several years now and having them on board made the decision
even easier. All the elements are in place: the resources of Ford and
Roush Fenway, the excellent team, the outstanding cars and having a
great primary sponsor like 3M for the next few years.”

In addition to Biffle’s Cup Series program, he is also running a partial
schedule in the No. 16 CitiFinancial Ford Fusion in the NASCAR
Nationwide Series this season.

“I would like to run another partial schedule in the CitiFinancial Ford
next season,” Biffle said. “We’re still working out the schedule but I
have always had fun racing in the Nationwide Series so I’d say it’s
likely you’ll see me there in 2009.”

I was broadcasting yesterday from Bayside Inn at Alton Bay here in NH and so many folks stopped by to join the broadcast and talk racing. This part of the country has some serious race fans and I love the fact that the Camping world and Modified guys race here too this weekend.

_____________________________________

Oh I got a cool email from a listener named Jason who says there’s a camper here at NH next to him that has a mobile memorial to past stock car racers. Here’s the link to the camper that is taking this memorial across the country – I thought you’d like to see it. Jason, thanks for listening and for the email. Check out the memorial this race fan is taking around the country:
http://www.thecaretaker.ca

More later – gotta run. Duty calls.
Claire B

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Carl Edwards signs deal May 2, 2008

Posted by claireblang in Breaking News, Drivers.
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Bristol Motor SpeedwayImage via WikipediaHOT NEWS FROM THE GARAGE – Richmond international Raceway: Carl Edwards announced (when asked today by reporters in the garage) that he has re-signed with Roush Fenway Racing – a multi-year deal that will keep him behind the wheel of the No. 99 Office Depot Ford Fusion.
Heres a quick update:

WHAT’S YOUR CONTRACT STATUS?
Carl Edwards: “I signed my contract yesterday, so I’m staying with Roush. I looked at everything and I talked to everybody and, for me, the number one thing is looking into the future and saying, ‘Where can I win the most races and have the most success?’ I was honored at the people who I got to speak with and I just feel like for me personally this is where I want to be for the near future and we got it done. It’s good. I’m real happy about it. It’s a huge relief. It really wasn’t that painful. Geoff Smith and I get along really well and we just pretty much sat down and he’s really easy for me to deal with. It took us about a week-and-a-half of going back and forth with just little things and I feel like the luckiest guy in the world for the contract I got.”

WHAT WAS IT LIKE TO NEGOTIATE THIS YOURSELF – WITHOUT AN AGENT?
“It’s really neat. If I was dealing with someone that I didn’t trust or that I felt like I couldn’t just kind of air everything out with, then I’d probably have to have an agent, but dealing with Geoff from day one has been very easy at Roush for me, so it was really pretty simple. Besides, I feel like I know what I need more than anyone else. I know what I want to make me happy and this is cool. I’m very excited about being involved with Ford, too, because from what I understand about their corporate culture right now, they’re on their way up and it’s gonna be good here so I want to be a part of that. I want to help out.”

WHAT IS IT ABOUT ROUSH THAT’S WHAT YOU WANTED?
“There are a few things. Robbie Reiser running the place, that’s a big deal for me. More and more I’m understanding how important that is. Things we’ve been doing with this car of tomorrow to make it better, I feel like it’s very efficient how everyone is working and it’s making the cars faster, and I feel like our engine program has a lot in the near future that’s gonna be great. Plus, my pit crew, I’ve struggled since I’ve been here with changing people and having different pit crew guys, and I feel like finally with Robbie managing that I’ve got a group of guys that are going to be really good over the next three years. I kind of know everything and where it’s headed. We’re winning right now and I think it’s gonna be better, so that kind of made it easy for me.”

HOW MANY YEARS?
“I’ll just say it’s multi-year.”

LONG-TERM?
“A week is a long time around here (laughing). It’s a great contract. It’s a dream contract for me and I’m really excited about it.”

More later on this. Carl Edwards is now out of silly season talk and speculation
Back to the garage.

CBL

Good Morning – Garage at Richmond- Robby Reiser interview May 2, 2008

Posted by claireblang in Coffee with Claire B., My Show, Teams.
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Former logo of Roush Racing.Image via WikipediaGood morning from the Garage at Richmond International Raceway. I’ve been so busy on the air – I have forgotten to remind you to take the newest survey that I put up (http://www.polldaddy.com/p/548251/) about which female will make the first mark in NASCAR. I’m interested in your opinion.

Last night, I interviewed Robbie Reiser on my show – He’s the General Manager at Roush Fenway Racing. It’s no secret that Robbie misses being a crew chief but how much he wants out of the glass office and back on the pit box as Jack Roush would say, “Is the thing of which editorials are made.” Jack Roush has said there’s no room for another crew chief in his camp and that now that Robbie has moved up he’s not able to move him back. He simply doesn’t have another crew chief opening.

Bob Osborne returns to the #99 pit box after serving his suspension for pushing the grey area this week and Robbie returns fully to the upper management role. I called him up and asked him about his feelings going into this weekend here’s a small part of that interview aired on “Dialed In” yesterday (4/2/08):

CBL: So how do you feel about your current management job –
Reiser: You can’t take the racer out of a lot of guys and I’m one of them. You know I love to go stock car racing no question about it and I’m a pretty competitive guy and it’s hard to take competitive people out of competitive things. So, sticking me in a glass office is a little bit tough but it’s the direction of what we’re doing and where we’re going so that’s what I’m doing.

CBL: Ok so it could be like you could be trying to get the papers to the photo copy machine the fastest and you figure out the way to do it. You can be competitive in an office too you know. But you can’t take the racer out of a racer I know what you mean.
Reiser: It’s more fun working on race cars than what it is worrying about sick pay and safety glasses and who is here and who is not and all that kind of thing you know. It’s more fun working on things that go fast and working with the people that make them go fast. So, between that, that barrier that’s some of the issue that I have. But it will be ok. Ahm it’s just a different role and you gotta learn the different role and everything has it’s new challenges and if it was easy everybody would do it so that’s kind of all of it right there.

CBL: But this is what you wanted though wasn’t it – what you asked for. Or did you not know it was like this – you know what I mean?
Reiser: Here’s the deal. If you look back a few years ago Clint Eastwood ran to be mayor of this township in California and the reason he ran for mayor was because he wanted to change one of the roads in front of his house. You know – I wanted a lot of things changed but I didn’t want all the stuff that went with it. So as soon as he got the road changed he quit his job as being the mayor. So I guess the moral to the story is watch what you wish for you may end up with more than what you really wanted.

CBL: I got an email from a race fan listening who writes –‘So when is he going to be sitting on the 17 pit box again, we all know it’s going to happen – He still probably knows the dyno numbers on the 17’s engine. They all like you a lot you know:
Reiser: Well, I mean, you know in the last six weeks I had to fill in for Bob (Osborne) and help him along and Chris Andrews went down on the early part of the weekends and got the car running well and did all the things so we helped Bob as much as we possibly could and you know we have five teams here that we have to support and keep running and obviously we want to make them all run the best we can so, ah, this weekend I’m going to go along with Chip Bolin on the 17 and give him a hand a little bit and you know next week I might go and help somebody else so that is just how we end up doing it here.

CBL: I have emails what is wrong with the 17 – I keep hearing from fans who are concerned. Is too much being made of their early struggles this season?
Reiser: Hang on, the #17 has been the same as it’s been for the last ten years. It’s basically the same right now. The only difference is that I moved 40 feet up into the front office and Chip Bolin and the rest of the guys slid forward and are working on the car. There is really no change there. If you go back to 2005 we struggled a little bit to and had some days where it didn’t look like we were going to make the chase and middle of the summer we put it together and were able to get back into the deal and run for a championship by the end of the season. Not every season is perfect and there’s a lot of ups and downs and that team performance wise has run well. It’s just that they have been bit a few times with mistakes they have made and been at the wrong place at the wrong time. So I think if everybody just hangs tight. They are only eight races into this they are only 120 out of the top 12. They’ll be just fine and hopefully all that goes away. I mean, Chip has done a great job for the last ten years and done a great job being an engineer on the 17 and he deserves all the opportunity in the world to run that team and all those guy s that have been a part of that team deserve the opportunity to move up. Anybody that is in any type of job always looks for a promotion. So those guys deserve that and they need the opportunity to put everything together and get it running the way they need to get it running. And I think with all that said those guys will be just find and don’t be surprised if those guys go out and win Richmond this weekend.

CBL: What would be the chances that one day you’d go somewhere else and be a crew chief that you miss it that bad. Or is it not that bad that you want to be a crew chief again?
Reiser: Why are you starting with me today (laughter – kidding). You gotta weigh everything out you gotta do it for a while. You can’t just give up on everything that you start because you’ll never finish it. So it’s important to get used to this and do the right things. Obviously, if it doesn’t fit the style after a while then you probably gotta change directions and do something different. Where that is I don’t know.
You know I don’t think you ever know. I sure didn’t think ten years ago that I’d be doing this so..it’s ahm all just part of life and you gotta roll with the punches once in a while and if it doesn’t fit you then you gotta make that decision and I’m sure I’ll decide as I go.

Note: The above is a condensed segment of a longer interview transcribed into a shorter interview to post on this site. Reiser went on to answer my questions about the Green Bay Packer’s draft and the fact that he’s never been to a Packer Game at Lambeau. The visit to Lambeau field to watch his Packers play he said is something he plans to do if and when he gets a day off.