Good morning Gabbers, gawkers and others. Welcome to your NASCAR update. Lots has happened this week. It would seem that silly season has broke loose again. This economy really has wreaked havoc on our sports teams and athletes these past years. So our first story is about Matt Kenseth who drives for Roush-Fenway Racing. He has struck up a deal with a new team for 2013. This was a contract year for Kenseth and sponsorship has not been coming easy. Roush was keeping Kenseth on the track out of pocket and piece mealing sponsorship together. Kenseth swears that there was no big blow out argument or incident that made him decide to leave. He maintains that he has the utmost respect for Roush, loves his team and doesn't feel that this move makes him a lame duck for the Chase Championship. He went on to sight Tony Stewart and Darian Grubb finishing out the year with Stewart getting the Championship as proof that there is no such thing as a lame duck season. Right now Kenseth sits in the number one spot in the Chase standings.
So where is Kenseth going you ask? Don't know. He's not telling. He's waiting for the team to hold a press conference first. Jack Roush did have one though so he could announce Kenseth leaving and Kenseth's seat being filled with Ricky Stenhouse Jr from the Nationwide Series. He also said he didn't initiate the split. Both sides have nothing but high praises for the other. Kevin Harvick says of Ricky..."He's a hard core racer who can drive the car sideways and under any condition. He's always aggressive and going forward. I'm a huge Stenhouse fan...I think he wound up getting what he deserves."
I think Kenseth was seeing the writing on the wall last year with all the sponsorship issues. He's 40 now. Stenhouse is 24. Without knowing what the deal he just got is I can't say if he's getting a better deal. The rumor is that he's going to Joe Gibbs Racing. Joey Logano is in a contract year also but until this year wasn't performing up to standard. So the rumor is Kenseth to drive the #20 Home Depot car and Joey goes back to Nationwide or a 4th team is started up with Kenseth in it with the Home Depot and Joey in the #20 with Game Stop and Dollar General as sponsors. Any way you look at it a door has been closed for Kurt Busch, Ryan Newman and a few others looking for a ride next year....Good luck Matt.
Last week Danica was on her way to a fantastic finish but then a bull in a China closet type driver punted her into the gravel of turn 5 just as she'd grabbed 4th place. The bull was Jacque Villenueve an ex F1 racer. Seems Jacque is bad for this and I've seen him drive the stock cars. He really is like a bull in a china closet. I guess it's something new and cool when your used to driving a car with no bumpers or fenders. Danica didn't cry. She just said that she drove in the top 5 all day and was trying to bring home a good finish when Jacque ruined her day. He took out the points leader Elliot Sadler too. Discount Tire issued a statement that said they realize this is a racing incident but don't condone what Jacque did.
Danica did finish 11th in the Road America road course race and remains 10th in the point standings.
Last week I said Eric McClure would be racing at Sonoma. I was wrong. The Nationwide series was at Sargento for The Road America road course.
Yep. I'm still irked with TNT. They can't keep the leader board scrolling. And WHAT'S with all the commercials? Twitter was all beside itself over the TNT coverage of the race. They never showed some of the spins that took place during the commercials. Hell, they never mentioned them. Good thing for Twitter or I wouldn't have known how the cars were lining up, where they were during the race or anything that was happening with the race. Kurt and Bowyer were having a hell of a battle at the end of that race. The journalists on Twitter were telling me more about what was happening then the Broadcasters. TNT SUCKS!!!! I think the NASCAR fans should be allowed to vote on what channel the race should be broadcast from.
KURT BUSCH....MEDIA DARLING AGAIN
Well, maybe just for this week. Kurt almost brought his unsponsored and under funded team to victory lane last Sunday at Sonoma. Clint Bowyer though wasn't having it. Kurt charged to the front and passed Jimmie Johnson for second on lap 58. For the rest of the race he was all over Bowyer trying to make him make a mistake so he could take it from him. With around 8 to go Kurt was the one who made the mistake. Going into turn 11 he brushed the tires on the ground and found out they were bolted down this year to keep the drivers from making that corner bigger to gain an advantage. He paid for it. Paul Menard and Kyle Busch got together for a spin which brought out the caution and brought about the green-white checker finish. Kurt and Stewart had one more shot at Bowyer but Bowyer kept them behind. After the race Kurt said," Those tires have never been bolted down ever, and I clipped a set of tires and it broke the front suspension and the rear panel bar and I couldn't compete for the win after that." Was planning to name his team ...Team Tiger Blood if they won.
Kurt Tweeted congrats to Bowyer.....Congrats to my bud @ClintBowyer you're a hell of a racer. had fun today racing you hard. Congrats to @MW55 too.
Kurt almost cried on camera with all the drivers coming by to pat him on the back. He met all his media obligations without incident......this week.
Top 10 finishers on Sunday...Clint Bowyer, Tony Stewart, Kurt Busch, Brian Vickers, Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon, Greg Biffle, Marcos Ambrose, AJ Almendinger and Joey Logano
It would seem somebody found an advantage and NASCAR said NOPE. Rule change. The teams have been using the sway bar as another shock or spring. To eliminate this NASCAR has mandated that the rear sway bar connecting link must be perpendicular to the ground at any angle at ride height. This may have been what was helping Jr to have such great runs....or not. We shall see.
Also In an effort to help the guys pass more by making the cars a tad bit more aerodynamic, NASCAR has said the side skirts can be raised to 4.5 inches on the right side and 5 inches on the left. Was 3 inches on both sides. This is good news because they're at Kentucky Saturday night and the track is bumpy. Drivers hitting the front splitter is an ongoing issue.
ANDRETTI TO NASCAR?
Andretti of Indy Car ownership is poking at the idea of coming to Cup racing. Supposedly he's talking with Dodge. He'll use the Evernham Motorsports shop in Statesville, NC. He is considered a Chevy Indy Car team but it doesn't matter to him what manufacturer he races in NASCAR with. Rumor has it that Richard Petty Motorsports is possibly moving to Dodge and would be able to assist Andretti in his transition to stock car racing.
Saturday night racing. I hear it's rather warm in Kentucky. Windy too. Qualifying had to be stopped for a bit because a wind storm blew in and took out team and hospitality tents. I saw video footage of a full size tool box being moved by the wind. Now THAT'S a wind storm. Those boxes weight a lot.
During practice runs Montoya and Keselowski got into it and Keselowski scraped the wall hard. Keselowski helped get his back up car out of the hauler and prepped it for the track. Practice was red flagged when he got back out there because Keselowski decided to show Montoya how upset he was with the earlier incident. Both came back to the pits. Montoya for more repairs and Keselowski to the hauler to explain what up. Montoya insisted it was an accident and had no idea why Keselowski was mad.
So this is only the second race for Kentucky. Last year Kyle Busch got the pole and the win. This year I'm not so sure. He's been having engine issues and last week he scraped the wall and broke the rocker arm. I'm just not sure what to think of Kyle at this point. Everyone seems to be leaning towards Johnson who came in 3rd here last year.
Me? I'm picking Kenseth. He was 6th last year. Also picking Newman, Kahne and Waltrip for my Yahoo fantasy league. Last week yours truly had all 4 drivers in the top 8. I'm now in 1st place 2 weeks in a row. The Bowyer - Stewart 1-2 finish for my work fantasy league put me squarely in first place. So I be kicking butt.
MORE JUST MIND BLOWING
DEAR "COOL PEOPLE", THEY DIDN'T NAME A CANDY AFTER YOU, DID THEY? SINCERELY, NERDS
I BET THE YMCA DANCE IS A LOT HARDER TO DO IN CHINESE
IT ONLY TAKES 3.5 INCHES TO PLEASE A WOMAN.....IT DOESN'T MATTER IF IT'S VISA OR MASTERCARD
DURING SEX YOU BURN AS MUCH CALORIES AS YOU DO RUNNING 5 MILES. WHO CAN RUN 5 MILES IN 38 SECONDS?
ROSES ARE RED, MY NAME IS NOT DAVE. THIS POEM MAKES NO SENSE. MICROWAVE
You have a great day, Happy 4th of July (early of course) and thanks for stopping in.........