WHOA!!! HEY!!! Howdy and good day Gabbers, gawkers and others. It's time once again for another round of NASCAR updates. As the track turns as it were. We have more penalties, a suspension, a new baby, a sponsor leaving and lots more.
BABY OTIS ARRIVES
Right after the Daytona race on Saturday Delana Harvick was ready for delivery. Actually she was ready long ago but Otis wasn't. On Sunday 7-8-12, weighing in at 6.8 lbs and 19.5 inches came Keelan Paul Harvick. It would seem that Otis was just a code name on Twitter for the baby till he arrived. Congrats to the Delana and Kevin Harvick.
For the 2nd week in a row Austin Dillon's team got penalized. This time his qualifying run was disqualified because a vent hose was left off under the seat that led to the outside. This was figured to give them an unfair aerodynamic advantage. Dillon's crew chief was fined $10,000, suspended from racing till July 25th and on probation till end of year. Car chief Robert Strmiski was also suspended.
Tony Stewart was hit with the same penalty in the Cup race for Daytona. Greg Zippideli the Director of Competition said they didn't mean for that hose to be off. Thr back window was changed and must've been bumped. NASCAR said, no excuses. That will be 6 owners and 6 drivers points deducted and a starting position of 42nd for Tony Stewart in the Daytona race. Crew Chief Steve Addington gets a $25,000 and probation till August 22nd. Car chief Jeff Meendering the same thing.
US ARMY LEAVING NASCAR BUT NOT ARMY NATIONAL GUARD
The US ARMY has decided NASCAR isn't getting them the exposure they need for better recruits. So they're leaving NASCAR. They sponsored Ryan Newman and will keep the 12 races for 2012 at $8.4 million. They have no plans to leave Shumacher in the NHRA though.
The Army National Guard plans to stay with Dale Earnhardt Jr though. They have been with Jr since 2008 and get some revenue back from his merchandise sales. They feel that sponsoring Jrs car has brought them quality recruits since teaming up with him.
Mean while there are 2 US representatives (Betty McCollum-D-Minn and Jack Kingston D-GA) who are sponsoring an amendment to the 2013 defense appropriations bill to block any military divisions from sponsoring race teams.
Says McCollum," The Army made the right move to eliminate a wasteful program and protect taxpayer dollars - which has been my goal all along. Congress is facing a very difficult budget environment and I want taxpayer dollars protected - even at the pentagon.
So I can go along with these 2 representatives if the taxpayers is why they're doing it. Too bad for Newman though. At the start of the Season Stewart told Newman that if he wanted to look for another ride he could because sponsorship is drying up and with The US Army making that announcement this week it's safe to say unless a miracle happens Newman is done at SHR. Best friends or not Tony can't or won't run a race team out of pocket. Just divide 8.4 million by 12 once or multiply it by 3 for the total amount for 36 races. That's 25.2 million for the season.
ALMENDINGER DRUG TEST FAILURE
Yep. AJ Allmendinger failed his random drug test after the Kentucky race. So 90 minutes before the Daytona started last week it was announced that AJ wouldn't be driving. Penske racing was frantic till they got a hold of Sam Hornish Jr in Charlotte North Carolina who was in the middle of doing a live show on SPEED when he finally took the call during a commercial break. Off he ran for the air port and made it to the car just mere minutes before the start of the race. The crew had his seat, steering column and pedals changed out just for him. He did experience some issues but for a last minute change out it was as good as it gets. NASCAR even gave extra start up laps so Hornish could get pit speed info and last minute adjusting in the car.
Mean while, AJ had till Tuesday to have his "B" sample tested or to make it known he wanted it tested. Since AJ wants his own attorney and a toxicologist of his choosing there it won't take place till next week. Penske is standing behind his driver or at least being very professional about it. AJ has not spoken to the media.
AJ released a written statement through his rep...." I have requested that the "B" sample be tested following the steps according to NASCAR's 2012 rule book regarding this situation. I fully respect NASCAR's drug usage policy and the reasons they have it. I am hoping this can get resolved as quickly as possible so that I can get back to driving the No.22 Penske Racing Dodge. I am sorry that this has caused such a distraction for my Penske Racing Team, our sponsors and fans. Obviously I would never do anything to jeopardize my opportunity here at Penske Racing or my fellow drivers. I am very conscious about my training and health and would never knowingly take a prohibited drug."
AJ said he tested positive for a stimulant. Didn't say what or how or if it was illegal. This is a very dire situation AJ finds himself in. There's no ticky locks, no do over, no the lab screwed up or no time outs. NASCAR takes this seriously and AJ needs to be open and forth coming about any and all foods, drinks, medications, supplements, etc he's taken in the last week before he was tested. It's possible he could keep his ride but I'm seeing a suspension for 90 days at least and rehab. No matter how insignificant this looks in the lab. While this is being worked out Sam will be back in his car this weekend and there are several drivers in the wings who want or need a ride. Newman is one, David Ragan, Brian Vickers, Joey Logano, Kurt Busch and David Reutimann. Doors open. AJ better play along or lose his ride for good.
DAYTONA COKE ZERO 400
Matt Kenseth and Greg Biffle dominated the race till cautions changed the line up and Tony Stewart who had to start in the back found his way to the front and stole the lead and the win away from Kenseth. It was an exciting finish with nail biting door to door action and cars spinning every where. Glad NASCAR has those electronic transponders to help with who is where. Any way this gave Stewart 3 wins now. I'm not sure if the 6 penalty points dropped him another spot in the standings but he's still in the top 10 and the Chase no matter what.
Danica had an accident at the Daytona Nationwide race and ended her day in 31st. She's 9th in the points though. Another female I've been watching is Johanna Long. She came in 12th at Daytona. Would be nice to see what she could do in a well sponsored ride and good equipment. Hhhhhhhmmmmmm.
NEW HAMPSHIRE MOTOR SPEEDWAY
This weekend it's off to a 1.058 mile flat track. Tough to drive. I expect Stewart, Gordon, Johnson, Newman and Kyle B to do great things. In fact Kyle has the pole for tomorrows race. My under dawg picks are Keselowski, Kurt B and Burton. My "C" List guys are Bobby Labonte and Brian Vickers.
I went out on a limb for my Yahoo fantasy picks this week. Gordon, Kahne, Newman and Vickers. Gordon and Kahne have had bad luck all year and Newman is just crazy. He's either top 10 fabulous or wrecked. Vickers is hungry for a ride and is subbing for Mark Martin this week. So I'll be chewing on my finger nails all race long. Wish me luck. This is the last race with TNT. Thank God for that.
DEPRESSION COOKING WITH CLARA
Lastly is something that's not racing but I found it and I thought there'd be some interest. On You Tube is a channel called Depression Cooking With Clara. Her grandson is a film maker and decided to film her cooking food she ate during the depression and telling stories of how she lived at that time. Very interesting. Now I know where some of the recipes my grand parents made came from. She made her last film last summer because she said she was damn old. I guess at 96 you could be that.
You all have an awesome week. I hope you got a splash of rain like we did here in PA. Thanks for stopping by and take care now......