GET R DUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUNE GABBERS!!!!!! Yep. It's me again welcoming all you Gabbers and others to another one of my NASCAR updates and other fast stuff. I love tractors. Would love to have one but I don't have a farm. †I haven't been down to The Buck to watch tractor sled pulls in a couple years.†
This sure has been a dark and miserable week. I'm still bummed about Robin Williams. There's been so much speculation on why he did it from depression to Parkison's diagnosis to money troubles. To me all these things are nothing to lose hope over. You deal with them. One at a time. It's life. But then again you have those nasty trolls on Twitter attacking his daughter Zelda. What did she ever do to deserve that? She suspended her social media accounts because of the trolls. Twitter has promised to look into troll controls and has suspended a few accounts over this.
We have some really mean ugly black souls spewing their blackness upon the world these days via the web. I watch a lot of You Tube videos and the one thing I hear a lot is the video makers complaining of those troubled individuals and how they go through and delete the negative comments so they don't overwhelm the page. Has the push to be so politically correct caused this negative back lash?
I know I'm sick of being sent to sensitivity, respect, peer to peer coaching and integrity classes at work. I think those classes inflame the situations further. I'm afraid to speak or show any emotions at work any more. Everyone is on hyper sensitive alert. It's almost like the end of the movie Invasion of the Body Snatchers (original movie) where everyone is pointing and screaming at the last remaining human. I feel just like that most of the time.†
ALS BUCKET CHALLENGE
One bright spot this week has been the ALS bucket Challenge. Not sure where it started but it's been fun watching the videos. Dale Jr is a Redskins fan. After practice this week linebacker Ryan Kerrigen and WR Pierre Garcon took their ice baths and challenged Dale Jr to do the same. So at Michigan he made a video in the garage area of him getting a bucket of ice dumped on him. He threw down the gauntlet to his crew chief Steve Letarte, Jimmie Johnson and Redskins owner Dan Snyder. Jimmie passed but said he'd write the check. Kevin Harvick made a video of him getting a bucket of ice water dumped on him by his wife. He issued challenges too. Sounds like a fun time.
KURT BUSCH SAYS HE"S INTERESTED IN THE DOUBLE AGAIN
This week he said he'd love to go through it all again next year. AND Michael Andretti has said repeatedly he'd love to have him come back to drive again. He feels that Kurt would become a favorite. A 6th place finish in a car you rarely drive is pretty awesome if you ask me. It will be great to see if Montoya can get his double set up for next year too. I would love to see both do it. It would be a first in history to have multiple drivers doing the Double at the same time.
STEWART FIASCO REVISITED
So like I said it's been a black week. Young Kevin Ward Jr was laid to rest Thursday and this Saturday the track where he died held a memorial for him and went racing per Ward Sr's wishes. He said his son would've wanted it that way.†
As for Stewart? He's not racing again this weekend. Jeff Burton will be stepping in. And there again it's been truely amazing the hatefulness and spewing of dark uneducated tweets and comments about Stewart and what happened. I know he's cultivated a tough guy image but he's not a homicidal maniac. I've read a lot. Some of those comments almost made me cry. A lot of the comments were from people who race or were there and gave good comments on what happened or how the cars react.
I know that these cars are set up to rock n roll as soon as you touch the throttle. They're light and go 90 to 120 mph. You steer by using your break and throttle together a long with the steering wheel. Most racers love these cars because they're so much zip, bang and drifting wow factor for the money.†
A comment from Cory Sparks a driver a couple cars behind Stewart said," From what I saw, Tony did everything in his power to turn down away from Kevin to avoid him. People say they heard the engine rev up and he gassed it. In a sprint car the only way to steer is with the rear wheel as much as you do the steering wheel. In my opinion what he did was he gassed it to turn down away from him."
I knew this is what I saw when I tried to explain the video. I thought he was using a combonation of the brake and gas but apparently only the gas. In another video it was put in slow mo and you can see the kid grab the wing of the car. This was just a really unfortunate turn of events. A young kid with hormones a blazing thought he was going to show everyone he wasn't taking crap from that NASCAR driver Tony Stewart.
In reality he should've been looking to Stewart as an opportunity to show case his abilities to race with the big dawgs. After all he wanted to make it to the World of Outlaws. In that series as in NASCAR Nationwide, if you want better sponsorship or a better ride or to move up to Cup you get noticed by running up front and or beating the Sprint Cup interlopers on race day. Too bad this young man didn't see it that way.
Going forward I hope the parents find peace and understanding. I hope Stewart finds peace as well. I know he's deeply effected. Maybe something good could come from all this.
Dirt tracks around the Nation are instituting no getting out of the car rules. NASCAR has re-instated theirs. You may not exit the car unless it's on fire, smoke in the cockpit or fuel is leaking before the emergency crew gets there. It's a start.
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WATKINS GLEN RECAP
The Dinger wins. And what a trip it's been from a great ride at Penske to a drug test failure to a new ride on a lesser team. The single car team under dogs won. It was a battle between the Aussie Ambrose and the Dinger. Several restarts almost ruined his win. He even led 30 laps. The most of any one. The last time the #47 car saw a victory was back on March16, 1986. Jack Beebe owned the Buick that Morgan Shepherd drove to victory in Atlanta.†
Gordon was dominating the race when electrical troubles shut his car off and he ended his day 4 laps down. The Dinger got lucky.
7 laps in Harvick was in the pits because a bag full of bean bags used to bring the car up to weight came out from under the seat and got lodges under his pedals. This resulted in a $25,000 to crew chief Rodney Childers for not securing them properly. I thought only The Danica needed extra weight because of her small stature. If you picked her for your fantasy league last week you were rewarded with a 21st place finish.†
Lap 56 saw Newman go hard into the railing taking #95 McDowell with him. Both cars destroyed. Dale Jr claimed that car for his race car graveyard in his woods. This resulted in a 2 hour red flag while they fixed the railing.
With 9 to go Johnson goes around that makes it 3 weeks in a row the Danica finishes better than him. Scary.
All in all, a good race. Ambrose and the dinger gave us a great show. Congrats to the Dinger.
Top 15 finishers - Allmendinger - Ambrose - Ku Bu - Larson - Edwards - Logano - Harvick - Biffle - Kenseth - Vickers - Dale Jr - Kahne - Truex Jr - McMurray - Mears
Ok. Lots happening here. Ryan Truex who races in the #83 BK Racing Toyota wrecked big in practice. He was sent to the hospital and declared unfit to drive due to a concussion. JJ Yeley will sub for him.
Brother Martin Truex Jr was with his long time girlfriend Sherry Pollex while she recieved treatments for her ovarian cancer. He missed qualifying and practice. Matt Crafton of the truck series helped with practicing the car.
Michigan is a 2 mile track but it's fast. Usually long green flag runs that turn it into a fuel mileage race. They can go 5 wide at spots and they do. This track eats motors too. Last year Jimmie and Gilliland lost motors.†
Last years top 15 finishers - Logano - Harvick - Ku Bu - Menard - Bowyer - Ambrose - Kahne - Burton - Biffle - Edwards - Montoya - Keselowski - Newman - Stewart - Kenseth
Gordon - Has the pole again this week with a speed of 206.558 mph. Hendrick power. Top 10
Biffle - One of the fastest in practice. Top 10
Logano - Last years winner. He starts 2nd today. Barring any catastrophies...top 10
Ambrose - Is good at this track and usually finds himself in the top 10 at the end. I say yet again.
Larson - The rookie with the mostest. Top 10.
Ku Bu - Last practice speeds of 203.109 and 16th starting spot. If he don't self destruct...Top 10
Harvick - If the crew don't screw up, if he don't wreck and the levee don't break...top 10
Dale Jr - Starts 25th. That's a tall order to ask for a top 10 here but he's been extremely consistent this year. Gotta give it to him.
Keselowski - Starts 5th. Top 10
Edwards - Starts 3rd today. He's on a mission. Top 10
The Danica - Starts 14th today. Last year she was 21st and on the lead lap. Pretty good pick for this week.
Burton - Subbing for Stewart in the 314 if you need a semi cheap pick in your salary cap league.†
Johnson - Starts 30th today. Don't know what's going on with Jimmie but he's scaring me.†
Kenseth - Hamlin & Ky Bu are mired in 18th 21st & 24th. Ooo yuck
So it's to Michigan we go. Wishing all the Gabbers safe travels and happy grillin'. Did you here football is back? Not a rumor. It's true. Got to get my draft picks organized. Take care all.
First off, there needs to be a better way to describe this. The ďplayoffĒ is four teams, but there was a championship game under the BCS and you could describe the other major bowls as ďBCS bowlsĒ without confusion. CFP (college football playoff) bowls maybe? I guess Iíll call them that.
If youíre not aware, there is a three-year rotation for the semifinals. Year 1: Rose and Sugar. Year 2: Orange and Cotton. Year 3: Fiesta and Peach. So Iím going to go through all three possibilities using last yearís pre-bowl rankings.
The Top Four
Going by the BCS standings, this is how the semifinal would have looked last year:
Rose: Florida St. vs. Michigan St.
Sugar: Auburn vs. Alabama
However, I donít think it would have happened that way. I think given that Alabama did not have a particularly strong non-divisional schedule (Tennessee, Kentucky, Virginia Tech, Colorado St., Georgia St., Chattanooga), did not win the conference, and lost its final game, they would have been seeded no higher than 4th. When the loss takes place isnít stated as a criteria, but I canít imagine that wouldnít influence the results.
I donít think Stanford, which had the toughest schedule according to many and which won its conference, would have gone ahead of Alabama, but thatís another possibility. I would have picked Stanford myself.
Iíll just go with Alabama though for this exercise. I think making them #4 instead of #3 would have been a significant enough departure from all the major polls.
Year 1: Semifinal
So this is what I think the semifinal actually would have been:
Rose: Auburn vs. Michigan St.
Sugar: Florida St. vs. Alabama
Year 1: Other CFP Bowls†(those bowls in the rotation but not semifinals in Years 1, 4, 7, etc.)
The Orange Bowl is the only one where we have any guidance really since the ACC #1 goes to the Orange Bowl if itís a year where the Orange Bowl is not a semifinal. In this case, itís actually the ACC #2 since the ACC #1 obviously would have made the semifinal. I think with a fairly highly-ranked alternate of the same conference, the Orange Bowl still would have picked Clemson. The other Orange Bowl spot is for and SEC or Big Ten #2 or Notre Dame. I donít think they would have fought the Cotton Bowl over Missouri, and Ohio St. was a very attractive pick, so actually, thatís the one relevant bowl that I donít think would have changed.
Orange: Clemson vs. Ohio St. (actual match-up)
Cotton: South Carolina vs. Oklahoma
Fiesta: Stanford vs. Baylor
Peach: Central Florida vs. Missouri
Year 2: Semifinal
Cotton: Auburn vs. Michigan St.
Orange: Florida St. vs. Alabama
Year 2: Other CFP Bowls†(those bowls in the rotation but not semifinals in Years 2, 5, 8, etc.)
Itís a little more straightforward not to have the Rose and Sugar as part of the semifinals. My understanding is that in Years 2 and 3, the SEC takes the highest non-semifinal Big XII and SEC teams no matter what, and the Rose Bowl takes the highest Big Ten and Pac-12 teams no matter what.
To editorialize for a moment, I donít know why the Rose and Sugar would be paired as semifinals. It should be like Sugar Fiesta one year, Rose Peach the next, and Orange Cotton the next. That way youíre only disrupting one major bowl arrangement at a time. In the years that the Pac-12/Big Ten game doesnít take place, there should still be the SEC/Big XII game and vice versa.
Sugar: South Carolina vs. Baylor
Rose: Stanford vs. Ohio St.
Orange: Clemson vs. Missouri
Fiesta: Oklahoma vs. Central Florida
Year 3: Semifinal
Fiesta: Auburn vs. Michigan St.
Peach: Florida St. vs. Alabama
Year 3: Other ďPlayoffĒ Bowls†(those bowls in the rotation but not semifinals in Years 3, 6, 9, etc.)
These years will be the most restrictive since there are three bowls with pretty specific formulas.
Sugar: South Carolina vs. Baylor
Rose: Stanford vs. Ohio St.
Orange: Clemson vs. Missouri
Cotton: Oklahoma vs. Central Florida
All years: Other Bowls (rough guess)
I looked at the anticipated bowl lineup and used my best guess as to how it would have worked had next yearís bowls all been in place last year. Keep in mind that there were two more bowl slots among the major bowls since last season, there was a national championship game made up of two separate teams, but this season it will be made up of winners of bowl games. Oklahoma St. would have been bumped in my estimation so it would not have played in the Cotton Bowl. The Peach Bowl will be very different, so neither Duke nor Texas A&M would have been under consideration for the new CFP bowls. In the case of Texas A&M, however, I think their spot in what will be a major bowl would have been taken by another SEC team: in this case South Carolina. So that would leave the Big XII and the ACC with another team for the remaining bowls, pushing the other teams of that conference down the ladder.
I do think some of the bowls would have been the same due to regional interests. It made sense to have two Louisiana teams in the New Orleans Bowl, for instance. It made sense to have Maryland playing in Maryland and North Carolina playing in North Carolina. The†bolded†teams are those who were bowl-eligible but did not actually play in bowls last season. There were a record number of bowl-eligible teams last year, so Iím not entirely sure there will even be enough bowl-eligible teams next year. I guess the NCAA will cross that bridge when it comes to it.
This is just an informal sort of exercise, so donít make a big deal out of it. Iím going by what Iím told the rules will be next year as far as the preferred conferences, etc. Most conferences do not fill all their contractual slots though. I wasnít always sure which bowls would have gotten the #8 team from a given conference and which would have had to find another team.
New Orleans: Tulane vs. ULL
New Mexico: Washington St. vs. Colorado St.
Las Vegas: USC vs. Fresno St.
Idaho Potato: San Diego St. vs. Buffalo
Camelia (new; Montgomery, AL): Ohio vs.†Troy
St. Petersburg: Middle Tennessee vs.†South Alabama
Boca Raton:†Toledo†vs.†Florida Atlantic
Miami Beach (new): BYU vs.†Texas St.
Poinsettia (San Diego): Utah St. vs. Navy
Bahamas (new): Northern Illinois vs. Boston College
Hawaii: Oregon St. vs. Boise St.
Russell Athletic (Orlando): U. Miami vs. Ball St.
Armed Forces (Ft. Worth, TX): East Carolina vs. Louisville
Heart of Dallas: North Texas vs. UNLV
Military (Annapolis, MD): Marshall vs. Maryland
Pinstripe: Notre Dame vs. Rutgers
Sun (El Paso): UCLA vs. Texas
Holiday (San Diego): Nebraska vs. Arizona St.
Liberty (Memphis): Rice vs.†Western Kentucky
Texas: Texas Tech vs. Mississippi St.
Detroit: Pittsburgh vs. Minnesota
Independence (Shreveport, LA): Arizona vs.†ULM
Music City: Ole Miss vs. Georgia Tech
Belk (Charlotte): North Carolina vs. Cincinnati
San Francisco: Washington vs.†San Jose St.
Outback (Tampa, FL): Iowa vs. Georgia
CapitalOne (Orlando): LSU vs. Wisconsin*
Tax Slayer (formerly Gator; Jacksonville): Duke vs. Texas A&M
Alamo: Oklahoma St. vs. Oregon
Valley of the Sun (Tucson, AZ): Michigan vs. Kansas St.
Birmingham (formerly BBVA Compass): Vanderbilt vs. Houston
GoDaddy (Mobile, AL): Bowling Green vs. Arkansas St.
*It may have been the case that due to the fact that LSU plays Wisconsin to start this season, this match-up would not have been made. Itís possible that Georgia would have leapfrogged LSU, leaving the Tigers playing Iowa anyway. But as I said at the top of the section, itís just sort of a rough guess. I left LSU there because they were apparently seen as the more desirable team. Also, some may recall Miami played Florida St. in a bowl game in 2003 only to play them again at the start of the 2004 season.
Golly, Geeee Whiz, Geee Wilickers & Gosh dern it. It's that time again. Good morning Gabbers & others and welcome to my NASCAR updates and other fast stuff. Found this Tow Mater truck and I just had to get er dun. That Cars movie is still a favorite of mine even though my first grandson made me put it in everytime I baby sat. Like over & over &.... I think you get it. I even have a Matchbox car of Lightning McQueen on my desk. Speed, I am speed....†Good times.
So Fathers Day is over. Hope every Gab dad had a nice get together with his kids which involved lots of togetherness and of course my favorite, grilling stuff. I don't care if it's marshmallow peeps. Fire it up!!!!!!!
There's that World Cup stuff. Yawn. Saturday was Summer Solstice. Happy 1st day of Summer!!!! Yet another reason to fire up the grill. Give me a minute and I'll find more reasons.
NHRA FUNNY CAR RECORD
John Force's daughter Courtney has smashed another NHRA record and celebrated a birthday on the same day. During qualifying on Friday at the New England Nationals she ran a pass with her Traxxas Ford Mustang Funny Car of 4.031 seconds @ 323.35 mph. Congrats on the new track record Courtney and your 26th birthday. †Add that to her 100th win in drag racing for women and she's on a roll. Maybe she could give The Danica some pointers.
THE BIFF IS STILL IN THE AIR
Greg Biffle is still waiting to sign that contract to renew with Roush Fenway Racing. Says he's been talking to other teams but really wants to stay where he is. 3M says they're staying too. Wonder what the hold up is? He needs an answer by Julyish.†
EDWARDS IS UP IN THE AIR TOO
Carl Edwards contract with Roush Fenway Racing isn't getting any where either. Rumors have had him joining Penske as a 3rd car. Imagine Edwards & Keselowski as team mates. For those not remembering, there was some accidents between them that were not accidents. So I can see why Penske would shoot down that rumor.
Then there's the Joe Gibbs Racing rumor. The lastest being Edwards goes to JGR with M&M's as his sponsor and Monster Energy becomes the primary sponsor for Ky Bu. Rumor also shot down. M&M's says they're committed to Ky Bu.†
I guess it's a stay tuned and see deal.
GORDON'S BACK UPDATE
We're at Sonoma this weekend. Wine tasting and some road course racing. I'm sure there will be cheese served with the wine & whining. Jeff Gordon was asked about his back and how it was going this weekend. This road course has 10 turns. That's a lot of shifting and braking going on.
Jeff said his back has been fine so far. He was in great shape before the flair up because he'd been biking but had to give that up for a bit. Right now it's electrical stimulation, lots of ice, stretching and exercise. Says he should be good to go this weekend.
MICHAEL SCHUMACHER LEAVES FOR REHAB
Michael has awaken from his coma and been released from the French hospital he was at since his December skiing accident. He's been transported to Switzerland for rehab. No word on his condition has been released. Good luck Michael.†
NATIONWIDE SERIES NEEDS NEW SPONSOR
Nationwide has decided they want to sponsor Dale Jr for 12 races next year so they're giving up sponsoring the NASCAR Series just under Sprint Cup. Some of the notables that are being considered? Comcast Xfinity, Auto Zone & Advanced Auto Parts.†
NASCAR is asking $12 - $15 million to sponsor the Series and that doesn't include media & activation commitments. So maybe The Gab could sponsor the Series?†
NASCAR YOU GAB SPORTS SERIES. Coming at you fast...Has a nice ring to it...
MICHIGAN WRAP UP
So Harvick had the pole and won it with a new record and led the most laps but....he came in 2nd. Quite frustrated he was. His pit crew is leaving too much time on the clock. Not sure if switches are being made but the guys need to step it up.
There was a caution on the first lap when Vickers went for a spin. Took Kvapil with him.†
Lap #7 caution when Larson & Kahne went for a spin. Truex Jr got some of that too.
Lap 71 Ky Bu complaining car is filling with smoke. By lap #82 he's in the garage getting a broken rear hub replaced.
Lap #104 Ragan goes for a spin and Kahne gets back on the lead lap. Guys are complaining that Larson has an advantage because his rear bumper is still smashed in from the accident with Kahne on lap #7.†
The last 47 laps went green and with pit stops in there it got shuffled up at the end. This was not the long green flag run race of old. There were 20 carson the lead lap at the end. Amazing.
Top 15 Finishers - Johnson - Harvick - Keselowski - Menard - Kahne - Gordon - Dale Jr - Larson - Logano - Bowyer - Stewart - McMurray - Ku Bu - Kenseth - Newman
So there have been 15 races and 9 of those winners have Hendrick motors. Hhhhhhmmmmmmmmm....What motor do you want?
Like I said earlier we're in wine country. Wine tasting and road course racing are on the agenda for the weekend. Probably lots of exoitic cheeses to go with the wine too. Mmmmm. I love cheese. But back to the racing.
The drivers all agree that this will be an agressive driving weekend. No holds barred and a road rage extravaganza of epic proportions. Stewart, Kenseth, Kahne, Biffle & Newman of the Big Dawgs club need a win. Ambrose, Allmendinger, McMurray, Larson, Vickers, Menard and Truex Jr are planning on being spoilers. Truth is this is any bodies race. There are 20 guys that if the pit stops, fuel mileage and spins fall just right could be the winner.
Pretty much the top 10 guys at the end come from the top 20 in qualifying positions. Last year 5 of the top 5 started in the top 10.
Johnson came from 19th to finish 9th. He starts 21st today. He's the only one that in my opinion besides Stewart that could come from such a deficit to get a top 10.†
McMurray had the pole last year but had a flat tire near the end of the race. He has the pole again for Sunday. He's been knocking. I'll say top 10.
Ku Bu had speeding penalty after pit road speeding penalty and still finished 4th. If he doesn't take out his suspension on the rumble strips or some other stupid move he has to get a top 10.
Truex Jr won last year. He's not in a Toyota this year but you don't need a certain make of manufacturer to get to victory lane. You need talent...and luck. Don't know if he has luck but he's got the talent. Top 10.
Larson is the rookie to fear. He starts 3rd today. Top 15
Edwards starts 4th. Last year he started 3rd & finished 3rd. A top 10 is a fer sure.
Gordon has lots of great stats here. Came in 2nd last year. Thinking top 10 again.
Dale Jr isn't Mr Road Course. I'll give him a top 15
Stewart starts 20th. He has struggled this year. Stilllllllllll......Top 10.
Newman starts from 7th. Top 10
Keselowski is awesome at Watkins Glen Not so much here. Top 15
Harvick has been fast but the pit crew miscues have cost him dearly. He starts 6th today. Top 10
Menard is a top 15
Vickers is a good road racer but he a bit crazy from road rage. Top 15
Bowyer has his work cut out for him starting in 24th. Top 20
Ky Bu starts 19th. He had a run in with Montoya last year. Luck has not been with him this year. Top 20
Hamlin gets a top 20...maybe. His luck is right up there with Ky Bu.
Allmendinger starts 2nd today. Top 10.†
Boris Said is making an appearance along with Tony Drissi and a guy named Kenedy. If you're in a salary cap league I'd go with Boris. Cheap and the best of those 3. Top 25
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I leave you with some Einstein to ponder a long with your fantasy picks. Take care all. Travel safe.
Happy Fathers Day to all you Gabby type dads out there....& others too and welcome to my NASCAR updates and other fast stuff. It's been an up and down week temperature wise. Hunid & hot for half a day then a storm comes and cools it down. But my tomato plants are still happy. Lawn is mowed for the weekend & I just cut my herbs back. Cut my iPod ear bud cord too while I was at it. STUPID!!!! Still can not believe I did that. Any how, I have herbs hanging in the kitchen to dry and or use at my convenience now but no ear buds for my iPod. I need to smack myself upside the head with a can of V8.
Wondering how that guy keeps his sunglasses up without a nose. Just one of those wonders of the world.
JEREMY MAYFIELD UPDATE
He is still around folks. Thanks to doing an Alford Plea he has his life back...kind of...and he's back to racing...kind of. About 5 years ago Jeremy got popped for methamphetamine use in a NASCAR drug test. He said it was his Adderall and Claritin D mixed that caused the positive test. NASCAR said no way Jose. You go to the Road to Recovery Drug Rehab program or you don't race. Jeremy said no way Jose and now he don't race in NASCAR. Then terrible things started to happen to Jeremy. He got arrested for having stolen property and drug paraphernaliaon his property. Then he lost his house.†
I just watched a long video interview with Bob Pockrass talking to Jeremy. He was very calm during this interview and either he's delusional or he really is telling the truth. His truth being it was just bad luck all the way around and he simply couldn't go into rehab because he does not do drugs. As for all the stolen property he says he bought that stuff.†
The Alford Plea is where you acknowledge that there is enough evidence to convict you but your not admitting guilt. He had 22 felonies against him but by taking the Alford Plea it went down to 3 misdemeaners. That would be 2 for possessing stolen property & 1 for possessing drug paraphernalia.
Now if you wouldn't go to rehab for drugs out of your belief that you were innocent than why would you take a plea agreement if you knew you were innocent? That's the mind of Mr Mayfield.†
He says he got his life back. He's racing dirt modifieds and plans to work his way back up out of the hole he's in and help other racers that might need a hand. He's also going to be doing a video series about his situation. Explaining everything. I don't know what to think other than things just don't ring true.
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NEWMAN LEFT STRANDED AT THE AIRPORT
At the beginning of the week Newman called Dale Jr and asked to bum a ride on his plane to Michigan. It's a common practice amoung drivers. Plane pooling saves resources like car pooling does. But in this situation there was a hiccup.
Dale Jr's PR guy told him he'd booked extra media obligations so they'd leave at 8am instead of 8:30. So Newman showed up before 8:30 and saw Dale Jr's truck but no plane. Luckily Newman saw Dale Jarrett's plane and asked the pilot if they were heading to Michigan. They were and Newman bummed a ride off them. Of course the media guys all had a few laughs and questions about that one.
MCMURRAY VISITS JACKSONVILLE JAGUAR PRACTICE
Jamie McMurray practiced with the team as part of the 56th annual Coke Zero Powered by Coca Cola Media Day. He ran routes, caught passes from all the QB's and generally had a good time. He was amazed at the size and speed of the athletes. Then he decided it was good to be a race car driver.
NEWS OF THE DANICA
There's no secret. Haas has his F1 licence and driver hunting is on the list. When asked if he was considering Danica he said he felt she'd be a successful F1 driver and she was being considered for the job.
The Danica said that he hasn't asked yet and out of respect she'd listen to Haas's offer but she's happy where she is now. Had that offer come 10 years ago she'd have jumped on it but at 32 years old she feels she's too old to be starting a 3rd career in racing. Shall we say...to be continued?
TICKETS FOR THE DAYTONA 500 NOW ON SALE
Starting at $65. There's 3 ways to score your tickets. You can call 1-800-PITSHOP....visit the ticket office at the track or go on line ...DaytonaInternationalSpeedway.com.†
Hamlin had the pole but Keselowski took the lead and off he went.†
Caution on lap #32 for a smoking guard rail? Apparently peopl were playing with fireworks in the infield and the grass beside the guard rail caught fire.
And Keselowski continues to lead followed by Ku Bu, Harvick, Gordon & Hamlin
Caution #3 on lap #71 sees Johnson slam door on door into Ambrose on pit lane. Lotsof stops to fix that.
Ku Bu is out front now with Stewart, Harvick, Keselowski & Logano
After pit stops later Stewart leads. Then there's a caution. Harvick has a flat, Ku Bu over shoots his pit box and Stewart gets nailed for speeding on pit road.†
Keselowski assumes the lead.
Caution on Lap #138 The Danica is in the wall. Right front tire blew
Restart and Keselowski takes the lead. Caution is out again soon after for Kahne & Edwards big wreck.†
Restart and Keselowski retakes the lead with Dale Jr in hot pursuit. With about 10 to go Keselowski has trash on the grill blocking air flow into the engine. At 7 to go Keselowski is reporting the oil & water temps are hot.
Keselowski tries to scoot up behind Danica to get the trash off his grill but it doesn't work and it slows him down enough for Dale Jr to drive to the lead and his2nd win of the season.
Top 15 finishers - Dale Jr - Keselowski - Ku Bu - Hamlin - Larson - Johnson - Newman - Gordon - Truex Jr - McMurray - Bowyer - Ky Bu - Stewart - Harvick - Stenhouse
Fast fast fast. That's 2 miles of engine eating fastness. Harvick has the pole with the fastest qualifying lap since Bill Elliot at Dega in April of 1987. Bill's lap was 212.809 mph and Harvick's was 204.557 mph. That's 35.198 seconds around a 2 mile lap. Lift off speed fastness.
Larson, Gordon, Dale Jr, Kahne, & Ku Bu were all fast in practices.
Harvick is pole sitter and finished 2nd in both races here last year. If his motor holds up...Top 10
Gordon has the most laps led here with 954 in 42 races. Has 18 top 18 top 5's & 8 of those were 2nd place. Top 10
Biffle won this race last year. He's got contract negotiations going on so there's something to prove. It's Ford's back yard too. Top 10
Kenseth starts 26th. Just as bad as last week. Scares me. I'll pass
Vickers has a 10th place start. I'll say Top 15
Larson is the rookie with the mostest. He's knock knock knocking on the W door. Really hard. Only a matter of time. Not this week though. Top 15
Dillon was in this race last year. Came in 11th. He'll do it again.
Johnson has issues at this track. No W here yet. Last year he was running 2nd with 3 laps to go trying to run down The Biff & he scccccccccccaraped the wall. I'm saying Top 10 but no W
Stewart needs to not make any more rookie mistakes like getting caught speeding on pit road. He took a Top 10 & threw it away. I say Top 10 this week
Dale Jr blew his motor last year but this is this year. He's on a roll. Top 10
Keselowski doesn't have good showings here. Top 15
Logano blew a tire in the Nationwide race while in the lead. He'll be a Top 10.
Menard would be my dark horse pick for a Top 10. He won that Nationwide race starts 5th today
Ku Bu is fast but unreliable this year. He sits mired back in 27th with 1 W in the points. Only 3 top 5's. Choose him at your own risk.
Kahne blew a motor here last year. He's fast in practice but can you trust him? Only 2 Top 10's this season so far. He's jinxed.
Montoya is in the #12 for Penske this week. Look out. I'm hoping he finishes the race. Top 20?
Moffitt is back in the #66 for MWR. Did me right in my fantasy league last time. Top 25.
So once again I bid you Gabbers & others who are fathers, An Awesome Happy Fathers Day. I hope you have the best Bar B Q ever, lots of family time, great weather to picnic in and just enjoy your day. Congrats to The Kings fans. I hear you won Justin Bieber. That's what it said on Twitter.
While still marveling over Storrs, Connecticut being the center of the college basketball universe...again...
COLLEGE BASKETBALL WRAP UP
UConn - Monday night saw the rise of the men's basketball team to the top of the heap after their 60-54 defeat of Kentucky. Kevin Ollie did a marvelous job in guiding the team to the title and Shabazz Napier was just awesome.
Following that up was the UConn women's team completing a 40-0 season with their defeat of Notre Dame, 79-58. As a matter of fact, the game and entire women's tournament went pretty much how I thought it would. I told a co-worker that the women's tourney would come down to a matchup between #1 UConn and #2 Notre Dame and then UConn would win by 20 points. Which is pretty much what happened.
Speaking of the tournaments themselves, the final breakdown of the four brackets I had going broke down like this:
Manhattan - After it was learned that Steve Masiello did not have the degree he claimed to have received and lost out on a job, he decided to try and stay at Manhattan. But the school put him on leave until they decided what they were going to do.
The news this past week was Masiello would keep his job but is on unpaid leave until he completes his degree studies at Kentucky. Associate head coach Matt Grady will run the team in the meantime.
UNLV - Former Runnin' Rebels coach Jerry Tarkanian was hospitalized on Thursday. The 83 year old complained of feeling weak and having trouble breathing. His son was quoted as saying his father was having trouble keeping his eyes open as well.
It was later reported that Tarkanian is being treated for pneumonia and while improving is still hospitalized.
Men's Basketball - There has been a lot of activity with the men's team this week. Between the introduction of the new coach to a flurry of transfer news both real and rumored, it has kept the fan base very engaged.
Men's Hockey - The Eagles faced off against Union College on Thursday in the Frozen Four.
They owned the first period, leading 1-0 at the break. But the start of the second period saw Union dominate the first 9 minutes. They took a 2-1 lead during that time. After that, the Eagles controlled the next 9 minutes allowing just one shot on goal for Union.
It was tied 2-2 after the second period. Union took a 3-2 lead. Boston College then got the benefits of a five minute power play. They weren't able to capitalize on it though. Union then took a 4-2 lead and things looked very bleak.
BC pulled their goalie with 2:32 left in the third and they managed to score to make it 4-3. Union countered with an empty net goal to make it 5-3.
Not to go down quietly, BC's Patrick Brown scored to make it 5-4. But with just 3.2 seconds left in the game, Union prevailed by that 5-4 score to end the Eagles season.
Also, while it doesn't reduce the hurt of finishing short of a national title, BC's junior forward Johnny Gaudreau capped his year by being named the 2014 Hobey Baker Award winner.
Despite holding a 19 point lead in the 3rd quarter, the Celtics week started off with a 115-11 loss to the Detroit Pistons. The loss featured three Celtics going for more than 20 points apiece and Phil Pressey having a 12 point 11 assist night with Rajon Rondo sitting out.
Things didn't get much better on Wednesday night when the Hawks handed Boston a 105-97 loss. Avery Bradley scored 24 points to lead the offense while Rondo had 19 points and 12 assists. Jared Sullinger added 15 points and 11 boards.
However, the Celtics did manage to break their losing streak on Friday night thanks to a 106-103 victory over the Charlotte Bobcats. Bradley again led the offense by scoring 22 points and Sullinger had 20 points. Rondo was out with a bruised shin so Phil Pressey handled the point with 10 points and 13 assists.
They followed that up with a 111-99 win over Cleveland on Saturday night. It's been quite a while since they won 2 games in a row and over the first three quarters, the Celtics looked like the dominant team of yore as they built up a 31 point lead. A combination of them slacking off and Cleveland getting hot saw the Cavaliers outscore the Celtics by 19 points in the fourth quarter, making things tighter and the final score more respectable.
Kelly Olynyk scored 25 points and grabbed 12 rebounds to lead the Celtics. Avery Bradley also scored 25. Jeff Green and Brandon Bass also chimed in with 19 points apiece.
In other NBA news, Joe Dumars is reportedly going to resign as GM of the Detroit Pistons. He's been with the team for 29 years including a front office job since 2000. It's really too bad because he's been the one Bad Boys era Pistons player that you could actually root for.
But the team has been terrible the last few years and I don't think anyone can really argue that a change isn't needed.
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS
Now that he's with the Buffalo Bills, ex-Patriot Brandon Spikes mouthed off on Twitter this week about his time with the Pats. While most of his comments were inconsequential hype, the one comment that is sure to tick off a lot of people was how he termed his time with the Patriots as "Four Years a Slave".
Really Brandon? Seriously? You are trying to compare being a well paid pro athlete with the black mark on US history that is slavery?
While I'm not in the habit of rooting for ex-players that leave the teams I root for, I generally leave them alone in terms of the booing and such. But with the idiocy of his comments, I'm going to actively root against Spikes during the two games he faces off against the Patriots.
My fandom for the league has hit a downturn with the news on Thursday that the Chicago Sky had cut former Boston College standout Carolyn Swords.
She saw her season end early last year with a knee injury but when I saw her a couple of times at BC games this winter, she said rehab had been going well and expected to be back in Chicago for the upcoming season.
I don't know what if anything happened to make the team change their mind and release her. But I do know that they are losing out on a decent backup.
I don't know what her plans will be now. She could go overseas again or look for another WNBA team. (The Connecticut Sun would be a nice landing spot for my own selfish reasons of being close enough to actually go see her play again)
However, with her departure from the team, my interest in the Chicago Sky just went into the crapper. And with Katie Smith retired, there are currently no active WNBA players I have any interest in following. Yes I'll keep track of the New York Liberty because Smith will be an assistant coach there this season but it will be a different experience to not be rooting on a particular player.
HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
Wareham Girls Track - The team picked up their first win of the season by beating Bourne 106-30. They won all but one of the individual events in the meet. My ex-player Paige picked up individual wins in the long jump (14 feet 4 1/2 inches) and the 800 meters (2:41.4). She and another of my former players (Kali) were part of the quartet that won the 4 x 400 meter relay event (4:41.4).
Wareham Girls Varsity Softball - The Vikings got blasted by Fairhaven on Wednesday, losing 19-4 in a mercy rule shortened game. Rae-Lyn got tagged with the loss on the mound.
On Friday, the Vikings lost to Old Rochester 15-5, despite Gina going 2-3 with a home run.
They are now 0-4 on the season.
Upper Cape Girls Varsity Softball - The Lady Rams are 4-1 on the season after beating Cape Tech 16-0. The Upper Cape pitcher threw a no-hitter.
Friday's game against Old Colony saw the Rams take a 14-13 thriller to improve to 5-1 with a 2-0 conference record.
You can check out the video for the new Winger song "Tin Soldier" below.
Books - I finally finished reading a book this week. It was the Star Trek Enterprise novel Rise of the Federation - A Choice of Futures by Christopher L. Bennett. It was a surprisingly good read and much like the other books based on the Enterprise TV show, far better than anything that came in the first three seasons of the series. I loved the fourth season which was just awesome until the abomination they call the series finale.
I also picked up the Ingrid Thoft thriller/mystery Loyalty. It is the first book in her series featuring PI Fina Ludlow. I read a review of the second book in the series and thought it sounded good so I wanted to read the first book.
TV - The extended trailer for 24: Live Another Day has been released online. You can see it below. I get more excited as May 5th draws closer.