There is only ONE Oklahoma

Monday, April 28, 2008

"We got clipped!!!"

"We got clipped!", were some of the final words over the 19 scanner by Brett Griffin following the final lap 'big one'. But maybe Griffin should have said 'We got Jipped!!!"

But unfortunately for the 19 team, this is a product of plate racing, and I am sure if we dug deep enough we can find a plate race from the past where Sadler gained 15 or so spots because of missing a late race big one. But that doesn't help the 19 team today.

I thought this Dega race was a pretty good one in terms of 'racing'. Like we saw last fall, if the drivers chose to race, there was two, three and four wide action. I felt during the later stages of the race that there were about 20 or so cars (including the 19) that had a legitimate shot of winning if the pieces fell into place the last 2 or so laps.

As for the 19 team, this race should be looked at like a baseball box score when a batter hits a screaming line drive into the gap, but the center fielder makes a diving catch for the out. It may not count for much, but to the batter, he knows he had good contact, but just got jipped. And can't wait for the next at-bat against that pitcher. The 19 team can say the same thing about their efforts at Dega yesterday.

On to the 'Action track' and another at-bat!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Can you hear me now?

I get blasted all the time via email from folks that feel I am ‘picking’ on poor, poor Elliott Sadler and that I should leave him alone. But as time goes by, it is funny to see how some of their perceptions change.

I have never met this person, but she seems to be singing a similar song that I have been singing for years when it comes to how the Sadler Fan Club conducts business. She recently joined the Kyle Busch Fan Club and compares her experience from just a couple of years ago dealing with SFC. She does not pull any punches:

“Two years ago, I joined another driver's fan club and was so disappointed by what I received, I called and requested a refund. Since then, I have not thought fan clubs were a good idea..... All indications are that Kyle Busch is a very, very classy young man and a savvy business person. He understands and appreciates his fans and values their loyalty. He obviously realizes you get what you give and if you treat people the right way, they will support you and reciprocate understanding.”

And then she twisted the dagger

“For two years, I have wondered why a great guy, like Elliott Sadler, has such a pitiful fan club organization.”

Her frustration is clear and something that is becoming more commonplace with each passing season when it comes to what is now being called ‘Sadler Speak’. ‘Sadler Speak’, has been noted on this blog a handful of times, and with just a quick look at the Fan Club site, it can still be seen today. For example when purchasing a SFC membership, one can read this:

“Everyone who joins the Sadler Fan Club now will be joining for 2008. Each member will receive a fan package after the first of the 2008 calendar year. The contents of the 2008 Fan Package will be listed at a later date.”

The irony lies is that the initial shipping of the fan club packages went out almost 2 months ago. But for new, prospective members, one still has to hear the ‘later date’ promises.

But it doesn’t stop there.

Just this week, the Sadler PR machine was once again in full damage control mode when some details for the annual ‘Sadler Barn Party’ leaked out to ANOTHER FAN CLUB! For what ever reason, members of ‘Club Kahne’ were informed that Barn Party would also be a joint venture of the Kasey Kahne and Dale Jarrett Fan Clubs. So much for ‘exclusitivity’ that SFC members have been promised over and over.

Thus the need for an ‘update’ from the “Southern Gentleman” himself. While it is great to hear that Bel is doing well, and that Sadler’s back is doing better. (Don’t worry about that ‘Fandango’ appearance at TMS with an ‘80%’ back doing his best Eddie Van Halen imitation) Once again we hear the excuses and ‘details to come’ spin from Sadler (really I should be fair and say that it is most likely ‘Spotterman’ doing the writing)

“The Barn Party plans are coming along. Blake is nailed down, Kasey Kahne is nailed down and so is Dale Jarrett. It'll be a blast. I think Sean posted the dates a few weeks ago but just in case it's going to be Sept. 3. It was easy to lock my schedule down but dealing with other guys that have crazy schedules, too, made it take a little longer to get all of the details together. We'll have information coming out soon regarding tickets.”

Side note:
Blake huh? I guess that helps explain some of the very unflattering MySpace pictures taken in Sadler’s Motorcoach at TMS. Must have been ‘negotiating’ and getting things lined out, but someone was missing!

Remember just a week or so ago I blogged about this very thing and listed the order of questions many fans will have when it comes to an event like this? Just in case you forgot:

1) What is the date of the event so I can make some plans (take off work, make travel reservations, lodging etc)
2) When will tickets for the event go on sale?
3) How many tickets can a single member purchase?
4) Can I bring a non fan club member guest?
5) What are the specific details of the event (how long, who will be appearing etc)

Again, we are still stuck on STEP TWO!!!!!!

More promises of ‘details coming soon’, and ‘bigger and better’. But I would question is ‘bigger’ really ‘better’? The exclusive part of being a SFC member and access seems to be fading in the wind. Much like the not very well thought out VLP SFC poker tourneys. Where supposedly ‘private’ passwords were made public and many SFC members were left out in the cold.

Can you hear me now? Probably not. Some will continue to drink the kool aid no matter what, but as time goes by, others will move on. The Gal that wrote that Sporting News Blog, obviously has.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008


April 22, 1889: Biggest Oklahoma land rush begins

OU fans hear this question all the time; 'Where does Boomer Sooner come from?'

119 years ago today, at precisely high noon, thousands of would-be settlers make a mad dash into the newly opened Oklahoma Territory to claim cheap land. It was to be the first of many land runs, but later land openings were conducted by means of a lottery because of widespread cheating.

There were five land runs in Oklahoma:

1. Land Run of 1889 took place on this day at high noon in 1889 and involved the settlement of the Unassigned Lands (most of modern day Canadian, Cleveland, Kingfisher, Logan, Oklahoma, and Payne counties).

2. September 22, 1891: Land run to settle Iowa, Sac and Fox, Pottawatomie, and Shawnee lands. (Your correspondent's great gandfather Jim Lester made that one. Unfortunately, he got hooked out of his claim five years later because he hadn't "made the required improvements to the land." See, you didn't get to keep your claim unless you threw up appropriate buildings on it. He just farmed his, and being single, lived in a shack. No biggy, he ended up buying a quarter section in Okfuskee County and made a go of it, eventually acquiring a whole 160 acre section just northeast of Okemah. That area is still known as Lester Township. My great grandpa is buried in the Welty cemetery. His daughter (my granny), raised on that place married a boy from Lone Grove, OK and they settled in Ardmore in the 1920's.)

3. April 19, 1892: Land run to settle the Cheyenne and Arapaho lands.

4. September 16, 1893: Cherokee Strip Land Run. The Run of the Cherokee Strip opened nearly 7,000,000 acres to settlement. The land was purchased from the Cherokees for $7,000,000.

5. May 23, 1895: Land run to settle the Kickapoo lands

In 1889, President Benjamin Harrison agreed, making the first of a long series of authorizations that eventually removed most of Indian Territory from Indian control.

To begin the process of white settlement, Harrison chose to open a 1.9 million-acre section in the central part of modern Oklahoma that the government had never assigned to any specific tribe.

On March 3, 1889, Harrison announced the government would open the 1.9 million-acre tract of Indian Territory for settlement precisely at noon on April 22. Anyone could join the race for the land, but no one was supposed to jump the gun.

With only seven weeks to prepare, land-hungry Americans quickly began to gather around the borders of the irregular rectangle of territory. Referred to as "Boomers," by the appointed day more than 50,000 hopefuls were living in tent cities on all four sides of the territory.

The events that day at Fort Reno on the western border were typical. At 11:50 a.m., soldiers called for everyone to form a line. When the hands of the clock reached noon, the cannon of the fort boomed, and the soldiers signaled the settlers to start.

With the crack of hundreds of whips, thousands of Boomers streamed into the territory in wagons, on horseback, and on foot. All told, from 50,000 to 60,000 settlers entered the territory that day. By nightfall, they had staked thousands of claims either on town lots or quarter section farm plots. Towns like Norman, Oklahoma City, Kingfisher, and Guthrie sprang into being almost overnight.

An extraordinary display of both the pioneer spirit and the American lust for land, the first Oklahoma land rush was also plagued by greed and fraud. Cases involving "Sooners"--people who had entered the territory before the legal date and time--overloaded courts for years to come.

By 1905, white Americans owned most of the land in Indian Territory. Two years later, the area once known as Indian Territory entered the Union as a part of the new state of Oklahoma.

As time went on, "Sooner" came to be a synonym of Progressivism. The Sooner was an "energetic individual who travels ahead of the human procession." He was prosperous, ambitious, competent, a "can-do" individual. And Oklahoma was the Sooner State, the land of opportunity, enterprise and economic expansion, very much in the Progressive spirit that engulfed the old South in the 1920s.

Monday, April 21, 2008

The Media is a funny animal

After another great weekend of watching some ‘grass roots’ racing at ThunderHill Raceway featuring the TSRS (Texas Super Racing Series) and the Nascar Grand National Camping World West Series, there are still some that will complain. This year it seems that the complaints are coming for Media members who were denied their media access to this event due to not filling out the proper paper work in advance.

What the writer omits is that while this event was held at a ‘local track’, there were procedures put into place that were dictated not only by the race promoter (Full Throttle Productions), but also most likely by Nascar itself. So the writer’s statement of;

“I can understand if this happened maybe at Daytona, Talledega or Texas Motor Speedway. But we are talking about Thunderhill Raceway, a 3/8-mile short track in Kyle, Texas.”

is moot. The reason is simple, and because this was a Nascar Sanctioned event, one could assume beyond a reasonable doubt that media procedures would be different than a normal race weekend at THR.A couple of years ago, David Poole got on one of his whining-blogs about how the treatment of the media has changed over the years. He went on to complain about the free food offered, and even one time went so far as to complain about the live entertainment at the ‘press banquet’ in NYC during the awards ceremony week.

Sometime these guys (and gals) need to step back, and spend some race weekend as ‘just a normal race fan’, which includes making sure that they understand the tracks rules before ever leaving the house. Paying to park (if charged) and not parking within a stones throw of the venue, Paying the admission price, and even going through the sometimes hassle of pre-ordering tickets, Paying for refreshments, waiting in line. Their perspective and their coverage might change a bit.

I also found it funny that this writer also later stated that he was hired at the San Antonio Express-News in 1987, he was instructed by his editors at the San Antonio Express-News to never pay admission for an event that he covered for the paper. While that maybe the newspaper’s policy, it as just a further example of the arrogance sometimes shown by the ‘professional’ media. I wonder what the reaction of the San Antonio Express-News might be if one of their advertising sponsors who are paying big bucks for ad space, decide that they don’t have to follow the newspaper’s pre-ad rules. Then want to renegotiate the ad price because this newspaper does not ‘pay admission’ to cover events.

The writer in this case is taking much for granted and by writing the article is deflecting the real issue at hand. His lack of pre-race preparation. Asking most ‘regular fans’ just how much preparation they do before setting foot on a speedway property and they will tell you that it starts, weeks, and sometimes months in advance. Why? Because rules change and ignorance of those rules is not a very good excuse.

Like I said, I am just a regular race fan, but here is what I got for my admission price ($30.00). Two very competitive races, and 15 minutes after the race was over, full access to the pit and crew areas. I watched and listened to post race interviews from just a few feet away from both print and TeVee media. I watched post race inspections and was just as close to the ‘action’ as any other media person with full credentials. I guess what I didn’t have access to was the ‘media room’ in the press box, with the catered food and drinks.

Late in the race, I had a passing conversation with the track owner and was able to express my thanks for all her hard work putting an event like this together. It was refreshing that she was willing to walk through the masses and speak to the fans. Maybe that is just the different set of priorities that some of the local media took exception to where the race fan’s efforts came first, not just catering to someone with a press credential.

The track owner, the race promoter, Nascar, TSRS and everyone behind the scenes should be commended for their efforts. I’ll surely be back from Dallas next year for this event, and frankly will be down for a couple of ‘weekly race series’ events at THR as well.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Here We Go Again!

About this time last year I was fortunate to stumble about a diamond in the rough when I was invited for a weekend of short track racing at Thunderhill Raceway in Kyle, Texas. (just a few miles south of Austin) Now many race fans 'back East' just wouldn't understand the joy of driving close to 5 hours one way just to see some asphalt short track racing, but because 'everything is bigger in Texas', that is just goes with the territory.

So it is back the THR for the Camping World West Series and the TSRS (Texas Super Racing Series) for a night of up close and personal observation for the 'everyday race fan'. A place where pit passes run about $25 and the friendly staff is more than willing to lend a helping hand when needed and go the extra mile for their patrons.

A place where one can walk up an observe a Nascar post race inspection or walk just a few feet and eaves drop on the comments of such up-starts as Joey Logano about the night of racing.

A place where one can mosey up and listen in on the pre-race driver's meetings and hear just what these local racers and promoters go through each week to put on a good show for us race fans.

A place that does have rules, but the list of rules are not so long that one ponders and asks, 'why not just make a set off rules of things I CAN do, it would be shorter that way'. A place where the main rule is just use common sense.

A place where the choice of beverage and food is still reasonable in price (Don't get me started about the 6 freakin Dollar Ice Tea at TMS), and served with a smile and a 'thank you'.
After going last year, I also noticed that HDNET broad casted the race, so throughout the summer I would tune into these broadcasts. The picture quality of HDNET is second to none and the night race formats make for some great race watching on TeVee. If you ever have the chance to catch any of these broadcasts, you should check them out. If not for the racing, just do it for the picture quality alone.

So yes, to some, driving 5 hours to watch a bunch of people I honestly don't follow go around in circles for a couple hours is truly a joy. Something I look forward to each spring now.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Phoenix quick hits

You just knew it was going to be a strange night when the FOX hierarchy decided to forgo the pre-race ceremony broadcast, in favor of a Major TeVee Market Area rained delayed Baseball broadcast. Actually, I understand their logic, I don't have to like it, but I understand it. But there were a few 'Heidi' jokes in the 'race chat' that I frequent during races.

Listening to the 19 team's scanner chat was pretty interesting. Elliott Sadler once again didn't like his car, but he also seemed to have a sense of focus and priority about his communication for the changes he wanted. That can only be viewed as a good sign. I understand that only a little more than halfway of the race was complete when the 19 had the terminal mechanical problems, but it would have been very interesting to see how the cooler track temps would have effected Sadler in the long run.

After the 19 went out of the race, I switch to listening to the 48 team (my ole standby back in the days of only having a dozen or so cars on TrackPass) The calmness and drive this team seems to have when going through adversity in a nut shell, is breath taking. Even near the end of the race when fuel windows were in question there was no panic over the scanner. I guess that why there are a couple of Sprint Cups in the 48's trophy case these days.

Over all, it was another entertaining race. I just wish the 19 can get rid of those inner demons when they have what seems to be a competitive car. Maybe in two weeks at Dega!.

Friday, April 11, 2008

The Long Wait is Over, well sort of

Word from Sadlerville has finally come down and the Sadler Fan Club Barn party date has finally been announced. But the story just doesn’t stop there with the SFC Webmaster’s announcement.

The ‘Goatfish’ states “Sept 3rd which is the Wed before the Fall Richmond race will be the date of the Barn Party”. (Hallelujah chorus in the background) Now Sadler fans are scrambling to find the best airfares, and might be a bit distraught and dismayed when they realize that airfare prices have risen over 25% to 50% since the original claims of ‘details coming soon’. To many Sadler fans, that 25% to 50% is a significant price to have to pay due to the procrastination of this announcement.

I don’t think many expected full details to be announce before the beginning of this year, but my contention has been since the original announcement that the fan event was indeed going to take place over 8 MONTHS AGO, simply announcing a date so fans can make travel arrangements should have been a priority. But it seems that the mantra when it comes to the consideration of the paying Sadler Fan Club members, is on a ‘need to know’ basis. How many times have we heard “Stay tuned and look for details soon!!” I have lost count!

There is a natural progression for fan questions when it comes to events like these, but for some reason the powers that be at SFC don’t understand them. What is this natural progression and curiosity for fans after the original announcement of an event? (and trust me, these questions have been asked over and over and have not been answered for some strange reason)
1) What is the date of the event so I can make some plans (take off work, make travel reservations, lodging etc)
2) When will tickets for the event go on sale?
3) How many tickets can a single member purchase?
4) Can I bring a non fan club member guest?
5) What are the specific details of the event (how long, who will be appearing etc)

So after 8 months and some waffling, this event that has been promised to be ‘bigger and better than ever’ has finally got passed step NUMBER ONE. (Hallelujah chorus in the background) It might not be so bad had we not had to go through 6 or so months of quotes like these:

“The plan is to announce a fan club party (aka barn party) 'details' before the end of the year.” Brett Griffin, October, 2007

“This year we plan on having more fan events including a bigger and better barn party. Our folks are working out the details now and we're hoping you'll like the lineup of drivers and entertainment we're trying to put together. We should have details out regarding the event in September by February.” Elliott Sadler, January 2008

“It would be safe to say we have a date for the barn party. I know you guys are eager to find out as Sean and I have been getting numerous Emails. What's happened is the barn party is going to have multiple celebrities so we can't announce it until "everyone" is ready. Can you save a date? Yes I can help you with that. To be safe... save 2 days -- sept 3 & 4” We'll make an official announcement as soon as we can get everyone's blessing on what we'll be able to release. Brett Griffin, January 2008

“"We should have some information to announce for the Barn Party soon along with other Fan Club news for 2008." SFC Webmaster, January 2008

since those quotes, nothing has been said about this event nor questions been answered when asked. Me thinks this has been strung out long enough and the paying Sadler Fan Club members are indeed paying for it with ever-rising travel costs. ‘Steps 2, 3 and 4’ should not be that difficult to figure out and announce let alone step 1. Step 5 at this time really as not applicable till closer to the event anyway.

Now before the hate mail starts flowing, this event is probably one of the ‘top’ events offered by any Nascar driver to their fan club. I have yet to speak with a fan club member who attended the ‘annual’ party two years ago who felt they did not have a good time or felt like it was not worth it. But the fact is that not everyone has a private jet to fly around the country on a whim, or live with in a stones throw of Emporia. It is funny that there is a movement to ‘get back to your roots’ and return to catering to the ‘average fan’, instead of the ‘cooperate luxury suite’ fan. But the first 8 months since the announcement of the barn party, some may need to hitch a ride or sneak into a pool party just to feel like they are a part of something.

I realize that working out details for the recent 2 year contract extension between Sadler and GEM does take priority (but we all know those contracts don't mean much anyway), like always, I am sure there will be ‘more details coming soon’.

On to Phoenix where Elliott Sadler got those "Bob Uecker" qualifying tickets and is starting on the front rooooowwww!

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Just Thinkin

So Ryan Newman was hit with a 25 point reduction for having his right rear quarter panel being to high in post race inspection.

from Nascar:
NASCAR has issued penalties and fines to the #12 team that competes in the Sprint Cup Series, as a result of rule infractions found last Sunday at Texas Motor Speedway. The #12 car driven by Ryan Newman was found to be in violation of Sections 12-4-A (actions detrimental to stock car racing); 12-4-Q (car, car parts, components and/or equipment used do not conform to NASCAR rules); and 12.8.1C (right rear quarter panel height did not meet the required specification; too high in post race inspection) of the 2008 NASCAR rule book. As a result, Newman and car owner Roger Penske have been penalized 25 championship driver and 25 championship owner points, respectively. Crew chief Roy McCauley has been fined $25,000 and placed on NASCAR probation until Dec. 31.

My knee jerk reaction was 'why not the standard C.O.T. 100 point penalty'? But I didin't have to search for long to realize that there has already been a precedence set in a C.O.T. race last season. Flash back to the fall Dover race last season and you will see:

The #99 Ford driven by Edwards was found to be too low in the right rear area, which violated Sections 12-4-A (actions detrimental to stock car racing); 12-4-Q (car, car parts, components and/or equipment not conforming to NASCAR rules); and 20-12.8.1C (failed to meet minimum rear car heights) of NASCAR Car of Tomorrow Technical Bulletin #3 dated April 10, 2007. In addition, those infractions have resulted in a $25,000 fine for Edwards’ crew chief Bob Osborne, plus a penalty of 25 car owner championship points for Roush Fenway Racing. Osborne also has been placed on probation until Dec. 31.

So it appears that if Nascar cannot have reasonable suspicion that the violation was intentional for a height violation, then the standard penalty will be 25 points. (and the above)

I don't see a problem with that.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Another TMS race weekend in the books

I survived yet another TMS race weekend and once again the most fan friendly track on the circuit delivers. That not to say that TMS couldn’t do a better job with some things, but over all, the race weekend experience is second to none from any other Cup track I have attended. Late last night I received an email that Brett Griffin (aka spotterman) had made yet another post on SFC so I thought it would be interesting to re-post his perspective of the race weekend, compared to mine (just a typical race fan).

Brett: Did Texas Suck? Well, it depends on what we're talking about?
1. Fandango rocked. That's one of the coolest fan events of the year! Elliott and Jeff Gordon rocked out!!

Phil: Fandango is probably my least favorite event of the weekend. For me I simply don’t like that type of sideshow. However, that being said, I do understand that I am in the minority and that there are a lot of fans that love this event. It is a very nice fireworks display at the end!

Brett: 2. The weather was finally nice. Thank goodness!!

Phil: The area did need that storm that hit over night Thursday and for the average RV race fan, that storm probably aloud for fire pits in the RV areas. Note to Eddie Gossage: We all understand the dangers of open pit fires and that they should be handled with care, but when your WEBSITE with the camping rules don’t include a ‘change’ from previous years due to the Forth Worth Fire Marshal’s ‘memo’ dated near the first of January, expect a little back lash.

Brett: 3. The race was boring. This is one of the best tracks on the circuit. Jimmie said I didn't realize how bad these cars drive even when they are good... after he hasn't been in the game at the last few larger tracks.

Phil: This race reminded me of the 1999 TMS race (btw, that race was Elliott Sadler’s first ever top ten finish). The ’99 race had a similar amount of cautions and also like last Sunday’s race, had a very long green flag run of over 100 laps in the final 1/3 of the race. The ’99 race ended under caution just as this race would have had it not been for the green/white/checker. And yes, after the ’99 race, the consensus was that was a ‘boring race’ as well. The saving grace for that race was the winner (Terry Labonte) being a home state favorite.

Brett: 4. Jeff Gordon -- wow he dominated at some of the larger tracks early on. Sunday, he looked like we did at ATl and it bit him and he turned it into a test session. They'll recover but it goes to show you need something to drive!

Phil: Every race team gets a mulligan, and the 24 used theirs up.

Brett: 5. Elliott Sadler -- This Elliott's second best track in my opinion. We didn't capitalize on Sunday. At times we were a top 15 team and at times we weren't. There were several cars sliding around worse than ours but overall we just needed more overall grip!

Phil: I think that’s a pretty fair assessment for the effort over-all. Track position was key through-out the day, and when the 19 was able to take advantage of the 42 and 17 getting together, the 19 was able to run with the majority of the lead lap cars. What I did find interesting was that when this segment was taking place, Sadler was still not happy with his car, and the opportunity for drinking game consumption almost tripled. I guess a driver is never satisfied with his racecar.

Brett: 6. Carl Edwards -- Wow. On Fire! I guess he did think it was fun to drive considering his team is dominating these larger tracks... swap him with one of "the others" and see how he likes it. LOL! He may be LOST!

Phil: No ‘oil pan gate’ needed, just as I would guess that the infraction really didn’t gain a significant advantage in the first place. But Nascar did that right thing, with the penalty accessed. Even though at no time intent was proven. Carl was correct though with his quote that in racing there will always be cars that a ‘better’ than others. The C.O.T. is still work in progress, and what I find interesting, is that it is not just a single manufacturer claiming foul. Remember the ‘Ford/ Chevy’ advantage wars of the late ‘90s and ‘00s? Then Nascar would add or cut a little spoiler off one manufacturer or add some to another to ‘create equal racing’. Talk about a mess!

Brett: 7. NASCAR -- several guys were worn out after the race most notably the 11 and 12... are these cars to hot or is the first hot race of the year to blame? Please make it where these guys can race. Late race cautions aren't going to bail you out every week.

Phil: TMS is traditionally the ‘first hot race’ of the season. Just guessing but I think driver comfort had more to do with not being acclimated yet. As far as making the cars where the guys can race? Maybe that has more to do with ‘acclimation’ of the C.O.T. as well. I realize Nascar limits testing in an attempt to save the teams money, but at this stage of the C.O.T. maybe having more testing with Goodyear would be more beneficial than mid season C.O.T. aero changes. Just a guess though, I'm thinking Michael McDowell is pretty happy about using the C.O.T.

Brett: 8. 12 car -- typical COT fine is my guess...

Phil: Don’t see how it could be anything different either.

Brett: 9. E's back -- Sunday I'd say he was 95%

Phil: Back injuries are no fun and unpredictable. Glad to see that this injury hasn’t seemed to play a huge role over the past two weeks.

Brett: 10. Texas Motor Speedway -- Best Promoter in the sport. One of my favorite tracks. Great crowd!! Great state. Great people. I can't wait to come back!

Phil: There is a reason why I relocated to Texas some 10 years ago!

Lastly, a week or so ago I finished reading this book: The Physics of Nascar. I have been asked to pen a short review which I hope to have finished in a week or so, but if you are an Elliott Sadler fan (even if you are not) and followed the 19 team last year this is a must read book. More to come on this subject.