Hello and welcome to another Wednesday of deep thoughts. As we grind trough another week, it is a good time to stop and enjoy the bonus day on the calendar. Every four years, we add a day to our February calendar and today is that day..
Beeze always says have a week and truthfully, I feel like I have already put in a complete week. We are merging with another company and the process has been very faulty. I can't tell you how much I miss the mortgage world of years past. This compliance driven "era" is a pain. I have felt like Bill Murray in Ground Hog Day the past week...each day just sucked with no improvements. Hopefully today will be better. As I am late posting this, I better get in to the sports part of my blog.
As this is the "offseason" for football, I thought I would drop in a discussion of lifting. Each year, I have watched my son and his friends work their ass off during the spring in the weight room. My 180 something pound son is now squatting 335, benching 260 and power cleaning 270. As fans, we do not see the work that athletes put into their sport. It is a different world now. Athletes have a formulated plan to maximize their bodies potential. Do you know who LaRon Landry is? I saw a picture of him last week and I was astounded. Landry is a safety for the Redskins and apparently he lives in the weight room.
Does this look like a safety to you? Holy crap! This is an NFL safety? How would you like to go across the middle with this beast waiting for you? Landry is a free agent...
Spring is also baseball season. Football players that also play baseball do not go to baseball class, but continue to workout with the football team. After school, the players bolt for the locker room to change and head to the baseball field to join the practice already in progress. This year has been tough as the baseball coach has been requesting that my son be able to change his schedule to join the baseball class. Since the football coach is also the athletic director, you already know how this worked out. Being a two sport athlete is a tough gig, but I truly believe that my son is a better baseball player because he also plays football.
My son's high school baseball season kicked off last Thursday with a 6 game tournament. The team played well in spots, but the coach used a different lineup for each game. Baseball is an interesting game. It is a team game, but is also an individual test between pitcher and hitter. Blake began the season right with 2 HR's 3 triples and 2 doubles for the six games. He also had a sac fly and walked three times. His average for the season was .476 until last night. He went 2 for 3 last night with a double and a HR and now has 16 RBIs for the young season. There was a Twins scout at the Thursday game and he asked my wife and I a bunch of questions about Blake. There is a showcase tournament at Minute Maid in August that he would like Blake to attend. We contacted the clearing house folks for the NCAA and they have scheduled an interview with us on Saturday with one of their national scouts. I could not be more proud of my son as I know how hard he has worked. Last year was frustrating as I could see how close he was to being the hitter I knew he could be. Now, if the team can start winning, it will truly be a fantastic season. We lost our first district game last night 9 to 7. It was 9 to 3 going in to the bottom of the 7 inning, so we gave a gutsy effort to come back. We had the winning run to the plate before we ran out of gas. Our pitchers let us down a bit in hitting 5 and walking 6. It always comes down to the pitching...
Here are a few videos:
Blake and his guys are doing a bow and arrow thing this year. I sort of like it...
Here is Ben Johnson just crushing a ball over the center field wall. It is impossible to show how far this ball went. Ben has signed to play baseball at Texas next season. He is a really talented kid.
I am not even sure if baseball is Ben's best sport. I have watched this kid and cannot believe that Texas did not sign him to play QB.
This may be the one that I was most proud of, with two outs...Blake comes through with a big double to left.
I knew this was gone when it left his bat...he was mad that he hit an HR as he felt a base hit would have served the team better. There is something about clearing the bases during a rally that makes it hard to get started again. His teammates managed to keep it going, only just coming up short.
Did you know that Wade Boggs drinks beer and eats chicken?
Did you know that Andre could do all that and more...
Had to add this. You have probably seen Augie lose his shit before, but the South Park clip was too good to pass up.
That is all I have today. But I will leave you with a bit of Jack Handey...
"Here's a good tip for when you go to the beach: A sand dollar may look like a nice cracker that someone left, but trust me, they don't taste like it."
"As we were driving, we saw a sign that said 'Watch For Rocks.' Marta said it should read 'Watch For PRETTY Rocks.' I told her she should write in her suggestion to the highway department, but she started saying it was a joke---just to get out of writing a simple letter! And I thought I was lazy!"
Thanks for stopping by and feel free to leave a few deep thoughts of your own...
Total Nonstop Action (TNA) Wrestling is a privately held professional wrestling promotion founded by Jeff and Jerry Jarrett. In 2002, Panda Energy International purchased a controlling share in TNA, with Dixie Carter becoming the President of the company.
TNA headquarters is located in Nashville, Tennessee; its trading company, TNA Entertainment, LLC. Operates out of Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida, where the company has its weekly wrestling events. It does, on occasion go to other cities throughout the United States and selected overseas countries.
TNA broadcasts its events on television, with its primary television program, Impact Wrestling on Spike TV, and on the internet, fifty-two weeks a year, with approximately 1,100,000 weekly viewers.
TNA gains its revenues from live events, pay-per-views, product licensing, and direct product sales.
Shortly after the end of World Championship Wrestling (WCW), in 2001, Bob Ryder, Jeff Jarrett and Jerry Jarrett went on a fishing trip with the purpose of deciding their futures in the wrestling business. At the time, The World Wrestling Federation (WWF) remained at the time as the only wrestling product on the U.S. national television since the WWF had just purchased WCW in March of 2001, and Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW) had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in April 2001. Ryder felt that it would be better to have a wrestling company go straight to pay-per-view rather than on television. Jeff Jarrett took this discussion seriously while the other two thought of it as “just fish talk.”
Jeff Jarrett, with the help of his father, Jerry, found the financial help they need with HealthSouth Corporation, and the company put on its first show on June 19, 2002.
The show, under NWA Total Nonstop Action did not go well. In a dark match just before they went on the air, a 450-pound wrestler named Cheex hit the ropes with so much force that one section of the ropes collapsed. The estimated time to repair was 30-60 minutes, which they did not have because they were scheduled to live, on pay-per-view, in a few minutes, whether the ring was ready or not. The producers shuffled the schedule so that some non-wrestling segments went first to give the ring crew some more time, but they didn’t have a lot of crew members. The ring crew fixed the rope with the help of wrestlers Ron and Don Harris, and they went live.
In 2002, the president of Monterey Peninsula Talent contacted Dixie Carter and informed her that NWA Total Nonstop Action Wrestling, required a marketing and publicity outlet. Carter then began working for TNA. Two months later, she was informed by Jeff Jarrett that HealthSouth Corporation was having financial problems and had withdrawn support of TNA, and that the wrestling company was in trouble.
Carter, seeing “the potential in a marketplace that had only one company with a $900 million dollar operation and no competitor”, contacted her parents, who are the owners of Panda Energy International, a Dallas-based energy company. In October 2002, Panda Energy purchased 71% of TNA from HealthSouth Corporation for $250,000. On October 31, 2002, TNA was renamed TNA Entertainment with Dixie Carter as President.
NWA Total Nonstop Wrestling was a member of the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA). TNA was granted exclusive rights to both the NWA World Heavyweight Championship and the NWA World Tag Team Championship. TNA left the NWA in 2004, but was permitted to continue the use of the championships until the NWA canceled their contract agreement with TBA in May of 2007, after which TNA created its own championship titles.
TNA started showing their show as a weekly pay-per-view. The shows started on June 19, 2002 and were held mostly at the Asylum in Nashville, Tennessee. After 27 months and 111 PPV’s under their belt, TNA felt that they had enough of a fan base to begin holding a weekly television show and monthly three-hour pay-per-views. The last weekly PPV was held on September 8, 2004.
Wrestlers who starred for the company were in its infancy were, A.J Styles, K-Krush (R-Truth), Hermie Sadler (yep the NASCAR driver), Jerry Lynn, Samoa Joe and Sabu,
The first match of TNA history was Jerry Lynn versus AJ Styles.
Initially all of TNA’s shows were syndicated and distributed to various television stations throughout the United States. TNA Xplosion was launched on November 27, 2002 as the companies first regular cable show and featured exclusive matches from the TNA Asylum as well as exclusive interviews with TNA Superstars. On June 4, 2004, TNA began airing TNA Impact! On Fox Sports Net.
With moving over to Fox Sports Net, TNA moved their wrestling operations to Universal Studios, Soundstage 21, in May 2004. Since then most of their wrestling is originated from here. TNA also has approximately 98 shows outside of Orlando, Fl in the United States and Overseas.
On November 18, 2004, TNA Xplosion became a recap show of the previous week’s Impact!. Xplosion resumed airing exclusive matches, billed as “Xplosion Xclusives, starting on October 7, 2005, in addition to recapping Impact! Fox Sports Net did not renew its one-year contract with TNA, and the company was forced to broadcast Impact! From their official website, while seeking a new television deal. Spike TV came to the rescue as they secured a deal with TNA, and aired its first episode on October 1, 2005. At the end of 2006 Xplosion stopped airing shows in the United States, while still producing shows for overseas markets. Impact! Expanded to a two-hour format on October 4, 2007. On October 28, 2008, TNA made the transition to high definition on all its television and pay-per-view shows. On February 15, 2010, TNA reached a new deal with Spike TV which moved Impact! To Monday nights. The first episode took place March 8, 2010, and with the help of Hulk Hogan, Kevin Nash and other former WWE Superstars, achieved its highest viewership ever, with over 2,200,000 viewing the show. Not bad, considering it went up against a live WWE Monday Night Raw. What help TNA was its started Impact! At 8pm where-as Monday Raw started at 9PM. Ratings went down for Impact! After its first Monday showing, so on May 30, 2010, TNA announced that Impact! Will be moved back to Thursday nights and re-branded TNA Thursdays. On May 3, 2011, TNA Impact! Was re-branded Impact Wrestling. TNA is broadcast in more than 120 countries all over the world.
On July 2, 2010, TNA set an attendance record of 5,500 fans at MCU Park, home of the Brooklyn Cyclones, minor league team of the New York Mets.
On November 7, 2011, TNA reached a deal with Ohio Valley Wrestling (OVW) to become TNA’s official training and development territory.
TNA Wrestlers are forbidden by contract from working for WWE, but are free to perform non-televised work for any other independent wrestling promotions, domestic or international. Many TNA wrestlers perform regularly for various independent wrestling circuits in addition to TNA’s weekly show. TNA wrestlers are independent contractors and are not entitled to form workers’ unions or employer health coverage.
The following is what originally made TNA unique:
It was the first American wrestling company to make exclusive use of a hexagonal wrestling ring, as opposed to the more conventional square ring. It was different and it made it more interesting because a wrestler can come at you from different, non-traditional, angles.
It’s X Division featured high-flying, high risk style of wrestling. TNA decided to emphasize high risk nature of the moves that wrestlers performed, removing all restraints on its wrestlers, allowing them to perform almost any stunt like wrestling moves. Even though the X Division was generally created for its cruiserweight wrestlers, some heavyweights like Kurt Angle, Samoa Joe and Abyss wrestled in the X Division occasionally.
The company also employed the unconventional rule that a championship can change hands as the result of a disqualification or count out.
These all changed with the arrival of Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff to the TNA scene, as they took a more active role in how the organization was to be run. Dixie still ran the company, but Hogan and Bischoff “had her ear.” Wrestling, in TNA, changed to be more in-line with the conventional way the way of wrestling.
The Occupy protesters start them young.
Still, I figured this made a decent segway into my topic today. My first year here at the Gab, all the way back on May 25, 2010, I wrote an article about pay for play in high school athletics. Since then I've had the privilege of being able to coach on a JV football team and to hear so many great stories from our proud poppas here like B.O.B. and my partner for the past year of so Jeff. In the wake of our Michigan primaries and my old high school's two school millage proposals, I've decided to revisit the issue. First, I'd like to bring my original argument to the table.
In keeping with the political tone we've been into this week or so, I'd like to bring up a big sports issue that is sweeping the nation: the debate on pay to play high school sports. I'd like to start by saying that I have some perspective on both sides of the issue.
While I was going through school, sports were a huge part of my extracurricular education. In addition to much needed exercise and socialization, they provided me with work ethic and leadership skills. I feel I learned just as many life skills playing sports and participating in other activities as I did in the classroom.
On the other hand, I know that the economic crunch has hit schools particularly hard. Like everyone, schools are being forced to do more with less. Given the choice between cutting classes and cutting sports programs, I would much rather see sports go. Given the choice between cutting sports programs or making people pay, I would much rather have them be pay for play. What I would propose, however, is to find other ways to keep sports a viable part of the schooling experience.
While reading the Detroit News yesterday, I came across a story about increased fees to participate in sports in Novi schools. Currently, students pay $175 per sport at the high school level. The new budget will raise the price to $350 and up the price to $200 at the middle school level. I may not have my hand right on the pulse of school budgeting, but don't most of the sports already have the equipment? I know there are other expenses to consider, but aren't there other options?
My main concern here is that this new plan will take the option of the high school sporting experience away from already struggling families. Most schools have a bit of a fund for underprivileged students, but how much can they really have? It seems to me that in a lot of districts, especially here in MI, that there can't possibly be enough for all the cash strapped families. Whatever the case, the opportunity to play a sport shouldn't be held back from a kid just because he is from an underprivileged family. There will be plenty of time for that kind of cold reality to come home for these kids. They shouldn't have to face it so early. Sports might be their best chance to improve their lot. Bottom line, a parents economic standing shouldn't keep a kid on the side line.
How can schools afford to keep their programs going? Well, let's go back to the parents. When I was in high school, if a team needed new uniforms or something, they would go and ask the Mom and Dad's club. This was an organization started by parents to support the school sports programs as well as any other clubs or organizations like drama or the robotics team. The parents would hold fund raisers through the year to build up a good supply of money. They also ran the concession stands at the games, so all the proceeds went to the kids. I don't know how prevalent this is/was at other schools. I know band boosters are rather common. Either way, it seems to me that if schools and the parents would sit down and think about things, solutions could be found. Everyone needs to come together to keep kids in the game.
To take this a bit farther, you have to wonder how high school sports don't raise more revenue. Looking at my old high school which is just a small suburb in metro Detroit Michigan, I can get a few ideas. It costs $4 a game to attend varsity football games. Each season there are generally about 9 games. Ten if you count scrimmages. There could be playoffs, but that money generally goes into the state pot. This season, four of those games were at home. If a person went to all home games, the school makes $16. Season passes (for any fall sporting event) can be purchased for $25. Students, of course pay less.
Garland Public Schools in Garland, Texas charges $4 for students and $6 for adults for advanced pusrchases. They also have reserve seats. Seats on bought on game day cost $7 for students and adults. These folks would stand to make $24 if they had the same schedule as my former high school and $28 if those folks didn't think ahead. There is also the idea of merchandise and concessions.
Still, according the Chicago Tribune, football programs routinely struggle to catch up to their costs. An October 28, 2011 article estimates that some of the most successful programs can drop around $100,000 a year to play. That's hard for any school to catch up to. Even if a school is big enough to earn notice on ESPN, they are generally only paid $1,000 a piece to play, a mere fraction of the ridiculous sums the network pays for college or pro leagues. Things can get worse when you look at coaching salaries with elite teams, equipment costs, and video editing equipment.
Some schools are turning to advertisers to off set some of the cost. Some have begun streaming live feeds of their games on websites and selling advertising space. Still, the brunt of the cost will be passed down to players.
A solution may call for many ideas rather than just one. Schools can help ease the pay for play tide by adding a slight increase to ticket sales, say a dollar or two, capping off tickets at $8. It may be harder for some parents, but it's a pittance compared to college or pro prices. It's even comparable to minor league venues. Another solution may be to try to limit the size of some squads, though this would surely be unpopular. While some schools have big enough squads that they are forced to cut players, trimming the group down to an economical size may go farther than pay for play in denying kids the right to the field. (The Chicago Tribune article estimates a standard uniform to cost at least $550 per player.) My best idea remains the involvement of parent groups to help fund and support high school athletics through fund raising activities. (I've also had hopes of being able to sponsor one boy and one girl for a season should I ever be placed in a district that uses pay for play. And yes, I've talked it over with the GF and she'd be cool with it.)
Another expensive trend that can be stopped is the switch to artificial turf. Converting to turf costs in the neighborhood of one million dollars. While some may clamor for millages and bond issues, the economic stress makes the passing of such measures highly unlikely in most communities.
Despite the economics, football remains the top draw in high school athletics. Still, the options for funding our Friday night lights are not promising. Pay to play schemes limit who can go out for the team. Such ideas also increase the strain between parents and coaches over playing time. Advertising and raising prices only serves to cheapen the last remaining pure football in the country, though ESPN and other big market players have been trying to overexpose high school athletics for years now. I believe that small increases in ticket prices ($1-2 max), ad revenue from local businesses, more parent fund raising, avoiding unnecessary expenses, and perhaps even some generosity through sponsorship from generous donors can help address the problem and do it in a way that won't cheapen the game we all love.
That's about all for this week. I think the topic came to me pretty easy because I started reading Friday Night Lights today. I hope to include my review of it next week. If I remember right, Jeff's boys have played the team chronicled in that book/film/tv series. Still, from what I've read it's a great book and worth a look. I picked it up cheap from my local Salvation Army (they have books 5 for $1, so I tend to stock up). Thanks for reading and as always feel free to share your thoughts and your suggestions. I leave you as always with this weeks vocabulary.
Condition suffered by a car, where seemingly painful inflammation and stiffness of the joints can cause groaning in parts of the car that normally make no noise.
It's 2 degrees outside. My car started, but when I turn the wheel, there is this crunchy, groaning sound. I think my car may have carthritis.
And one more thing for my bro, IHM....
The following is an excerpt from the statement released by Dino Laurenzi, Jr. Mr. Laurenzi was the MLB appointed test collector that administered, transported, and shipped Ryan Braun's drug test.
As a baseball fan, and someone who, in my opinion, has kept a fairly open mind to the matter, I find the recent spectacle that Ryan Braun put on at Spring Training the other day a bit disheartening. Yes, had he not defended himself, we would have condemned him further. Still, he stood up on the podium and tossed around rhetoric that only denied any wrongdoing on his part, but also insinuated that the handling of the sample was suspicious.
After reading the following statement, it would seem illogical to me that the samples were tampered with in any fashion, as they would have been red-flagged at the testing facility immediately.
But you can form your own opinions after reading the statement below.
I am a 1983 graduate of the University of Wisconsin and have received Master Degrees from the University of North Carolina and Loyola University of Chicago. My full-time job is the director of rehabilitation services at a health care facility. In the past, I have worked as a teacher and an athletic trainer, including performing volunteer work with Olympic athletes. I am a member of both the National Athletic Trainers’ Association and the Wisconsin Athletic Trainers’ Association.
I have been a drug collector for Comprehensive Drug Testing since 2005 and have been performing collections for Major League Baseball’s Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program since that time. I have performed over 600 collections for MLB and also have performed collections for other professional sports leagues. I have performed postseason collections for MLB in four separate seasons involving five different clubs.
On October 1, 2011, I collected samples from Mr. Braun and two other players. The CDT collection team for that day, in addition to me, included three chaperones and a CDT coordinator. One of the chaperones was my son, Anthony. Chaperones do not have any role in the actual collection process, but rather escort the player to the collection area.
I followed the same procedure in collecting Mr. Braun’s sample as I did in the hundreds of other samples I collected under the Program. I sealed the bottles containing Mr. Braun’s A and B samples with specially-numbered, tamper-resistant seals, and Mr. Braun signed a form certifying, among other things, that the specimens were capped and sealed in his presence and that the specimen identification numbers on the top of the form matched those on the seals. I placed the two bottles containing Mr. Braun’s samples in a plastic bag and sealed the bag. I then placed the sealed bag in a standard cardboard Specimen Box which I also sealed with a tamper-resistant, correspondingly-numbered seal placed over the box opening. I then placed Mr. Braun’s Specimen Box, and the Specimen Boxes containing the samples of the two other players, in a Federal Express Clinic Pack. None of the sealed Specimen Boxes identified the players. I completed my collections at Miller Park at approximately 5:00 p.m.
Given the lateness of the hour that I completed my collections, there was no FedEx office located within 50 miles of Miller Park that would ship packages that day or Sunday. Therefore, the earliest that the specimens could be shipped was Monday, October 3. In that circumstance, CDT has instructed collectors since I began in 2005 that they should safeguard the samples in their homes until FedEx is able to immediately ship the sample to the laboratory, rather than having the samples sit for one day or more at a local FedEx office. The protocol has been in place since 2005 when I started with CDT and there have been other occasions when I have had to store samples in my home for at least one day, all without incident.
The FedEx Clinic Pack containing Mr. Braun’s samples never left my custody. Consistent with CDT’s instructions, I brought the FedEx Clinic Pack containing the samples to my home. Immediately upon arriving home, I placed the FedEx Clinic Pack in a Rubbermaid container in my office which is located in my basement. My basement office is sufficiently cool to store urine samples. No one other than my wife was in my home during the period in which the samples were stored. The sealed Specimen Boxes were not removed from the FedEx Clinic Pack during the entire period in which they were in my home. On Monday, October 3, I delivered the FedEx Clinic Pack containing Mr. Braun’s Specimen Box to a FedEx office for delivery to the laboratory on Tuesday, October 4. At no point did I tamper in any way with the samples. It is my understanding that the samples were received at the laboratory with all tamper-resistant seals intact.
This situation has caused great emotional distress for me and my family. I have worked hard my entire life, have performed my job duties with integrity and professionalism, and have done so with respect to this matter and all other collections in which I have participated.
Neither I nor members of my family will make any further public comments on this matter. I request that members of the media, and baseball fans, whatever their views on this matter, respect our privacy. And I would like to sincerely thank my family and friends for their overwhelming support through this difficult time. Any future inquiries should be directed to my attorney Boyd Johnson of Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP.
WHOA HO HEY THERE GABBERS AND OTHERS!!!!!!! WOO HOOOOOOO!!!!! Welcome to the Daytona 500 that I thought was never going to end. After a 1 day rain delay and bumping it from 12pm to 7pm on a Monday we ended at 1am and FINALLY had a winner and by then I just didn't care.. Having no cable I managed to hook up my converter box and antenna before the race. I chased the signal in a 3 foot radius in my livingroom all race long. Since they went to digital the signal is so small if a tree branch moves in the wind your signal is blocked. But ANY HOW....On to Daytona.
We get started at 7pm and on lap 2 Elliot Sadler taps Jimmie Johnson in the left rear like has been happening in all the races during speed weeks and by now he should know better because there goes Jimmie hard into the wall and also gets nailed in the drivers door by David Ragan. Danica, last years winner Trevor Bayne and Kurt Busch are collected as well. Danica's car looked good to me but she went behind the wall for extensive repairs. Seems she needed a whole new rear end. New gears, trailing arms, housing and sheet metal among other things.
Lap 7 is restart. Greg Biffle, Carl Edwards and Tony Stewart are your top 3.
At Lap 13 Ryan Newman has a tire go down and around he goes. In the pits Newman's troubles continue. As he's leaving his pits the lug nuts aren't on and he loses his tire. AJ Allmendinger hits him in the rear. AJ never recovers. He's back in the 30's laps down for the rest of the race.
Lap 17 we restart. Paul Menard and Denny Hamlin didn't pit so they're out front followed by Carl Edwards, Greg Biffle and Regan Smith to round out the top 5. Denny quickly takes the lead.
Lap 22 Danica, Trevor and Kurt are still in the garage for repairs.
Lap 37 Trevor comes back on the track.
Lap 44 Your top 10 is Jeff Buton, Greg Biffle, Denny Hamlin, Paul Menard, Regan Smith, Joey Logano, Marcos Ambrose, Martin Truex Jr, Jeff Gordon, Clint Bowyer.
Lap 54 green flag pit stops begin. Jeff Gordon is complaining his car is running wide open but has no speed. Kevin Harvick has a small vibration. Tony Stewart slows to come in the pits but is blocked by another car. Must speed up and go around. This puts him as the only one on pit road and nobody to draft with to get to the lead pack.
Lap 64 Stewart is saved. Debris caution is called. Landon Cassil is awarded the Lucky Dog Pass to the lead lap. Danica is backing out of the garage and gets back into the race at 62 laps down. Matt Kenseth is over heating. Looks like a geyser with the water spewing out. Having radio issues too.
Lap 67 Restart. Top 10 is Jeff Burton, Greg Biffle, Marcos Ambrose, Martin Truex Jr, Kyle Busch, Mark Martin, Jeff Gordon, Joey Logano, David Ruetimann and Brad Keselowski.
Lap 70 Joe Nemechek does his Start & Park thing. He's off to the hauler.
Lap 81 Caution. Jeff Gordon's motor goes poof and up in flames. Says the gages never told him he had an issue. Tony Raines gets the Lucky Dog. Pit stops are mostlt fuel only but Kyle Busch takes right side tires too.
Lap85 Restart. Terry "The Iceman" Labonte is out front followed by Greg Biffle, Marcos Ambrose, Martin Truex Jr and Kyle Busch for you top 5.
Lap 89 Caution. Marcos Ambrose bumped Terry Labonte's left rear and he goes for a spin. Great save by Terry. Look mom no walls.
Lap 92 Restart and 9 laps to the $200,000 bonus for leading at half way. Martin Truex Jr manages to get the bonus. Greg Biffle is 2nd followed by Denny Hamlin, Jeff Burton, Carl Edwards, Brad Keselowski, Aric Amirola, Matt Kenseth and Kasey Kahne as you top 10.
Lap 101 Clint Bowyer complaining about over heating. By lap 119 it's even worse. .On lap 126 Bowyer is out of fuel. He misses pit road and brings out the caution on lap 129. A tow truck comes out to give Clint a push around the track to his pit stall. Ryan Newman gets the lucky Dog and there are 28 cars on the lead lap.
With 68 to go It's Martin Truex Jr, Greg Biffle, Tony Stewart, Regan Smith and Denny Hamlin in the top 5. Hey it's Mark Martin leading with 65 laps to go!!!!!
Hey!!!! Is that Sliced Bread out there leading? Sure is. Joey Logano leads a lap with 57 laps to go.
Caution with 43 laps to go David Stremme's motor goes bye bye. Pit stops begin and the Twilight Zone moves in. Juan Montoya is complaining of a vibration in every gear. He's hurrying to catch up to the pack for the restart driving down on the yellow line to stay clear of the trucks blowing debris off the track. Something snaps on Juans car and he careens into the trailer of one of the trucks. His car is destroyed and the jet helicopter engine used to blow the track is carrying 200 gallon of fuel and it's pouring down the track. Seconds later it's an inferno. Juan crawls from his wrecked car and the track worker is escorted from the burning truck.
The red flag is out with the drivers parked on the track. All start getting out to check out the mess. The flames are quickly extinguished and clean up efforts begin with skid loaders picking up the truck, speedy oil dry followed by Tide laundry detergent washed down with water and then a coating of street bond. This was a 2 hour delay.
Brad Keselowski made the best of the situation by having his iphone with him. He now has the distinct honor of being the first to Tweet a picture during the race. He also gained 55,000 followers on Twitter. It would seem that some of the drivers had compartments built into their cars during practice and speed weeks to hold their phones. Although Kes was the only one to have his and the drivers took turns playing with it.
When some of the drivers got too close to the clean up the fun police intervened and sent them back. Carl Edwards wanted a snack. Said a sub or Cheez - its would be great about now. Dave Blaney, Landon Cassil, Tony Raines and David Guililand didn't pit and held their breaths as a threat of rain was issued during clean up. Dave was only trying to get a bonus point for leading a lap but would've been happy to take the win. But at 11:25 the drivers are directed to get in their cars. Weather threat is over, the tracks cleaned up and crew members have been bused to the back stretch to help hook up, belt up and window net the drivers.
Around midnight the cars start moving. The front 4 that gambled have now gone to the pits for fuel and tires. Kyle Busch comes in for a splash of fuel just in case there's a green/white checker ending. He has to start as the last one on the lead lap due to pulling a tear off off his wind shield.
It's 12:10am with 34 laps to go and we're off again. Matt Kenseth, Kyle Busch, Kevin Harvick and Greg Biffle lead the pack.
At around 24 laps to go the pack comes up on Casey Mears who is all by himself. He gets cycled back through the faster cars and a wreck happens. Ricky Stenhouse Jr moves down on Aric Amirola so Casey Mears and Marcos Ambrose go around.
With 18 laps to go we restart. Before they go Joey Logano is sent from 6th to 18th place for not maintaining the pace car speed. Don't know why.
15 to go...Matt Kenseth, Greg Biffle, Dale Earnhardt Jr, Denny Hamlin and Paul Menard are your top 5.
Caution with 13 to go Jamie McMurray has a tire go down. Aric Amirola, Regan Smith, Tony Stewart, Kasey Kahne, Carl Edwards and Brad Keselowski all caught in the mess. After watching the replay it would seem Tony Stewart has no damage even though he drove into McMurray's door. Edwards needs ride side front fender work.
Restart with 7 to go. Kenseth, Biffle, Dale Jr, Hamlin and Harvick are your top 5.
Caution with 4 to go. David Guililand pushed Ricky Stenhouse into Tony Stewart. Stewart spun but says he needs new tires even though he saved the car. McMurray is back on the track without front fender.
We now have a green/white checker to end the race. It's Matt Kenseth, Greg Biffle, Denny Hamlin, Dale Jr, Jeff Burton, Kevin Harvick, Paul Menard, Mark Martin, Joey Logano and Martin truex Jr for your top 10.
On the restart Kenseth, Biffle and Jr hook up and stay ahead of everyone else. Nobody seems to be able to get together and freight train by them or even to them. Kenseth is never challenged and wins at 1 am AND it's finally over.
Some of you are probably wondering why they went to all the trouble to get Danica's car fixed and back in the race. Well being in the top 35 in the owners points gets you a guaranteed starting spot for every race. Even though she'll only be in 10 Cup races, she's sharing that # with somebody else. So every point counts even if your down 62 laps. Stewart Haas Racing bought the owners points from Tommy Baldwin Racing for 10 races. Those came from poor Dave Blaney who had to race his way into the Daytona 500 in the Duels on Thursday. Besides all that Danica needs seat time in the car. A Cup car is different from a NNW car.
So next week is Phoenix. I hear it doesn't rain there. Maybe a few cacti will come onto the track and bully some drivers or a few buzzards with do a fly by. One things for sure it shouldn't be a 6 hour affair like Daytona. I'm beat. I need a nap.
If any one is so inclined to do so you can bring some of the videos here. I'm not so computer talented. Typing and surfing are my only skills. I wouldn't consider 3 fingers typing either. Till next time, you have a great day and thanks for stopping by......