There is only ONE Oklahoma

Saturday, May 31, 2008

An Open Letter to OneLugnutShort

I received this email in my inbox this week and this should be shared.

Two Classes of Sadler Fans – Which Circle Do You Travel In?

Dear Mr. Lugnut,

I am a regular reader of OneLugnutShort and have been a proud member of the Sadler Fan Club for a few years now. Sometimes I have a bone to pick with you about the way you seem to go at Elliott Sadler, his family, or his business manager. Sometimes I think you might be onto something (not just ON something)!! As time goes on, I got to admit that I keep leanin’ to the thinkin’ you might have a case for wondering what in sam the Sadler Camp is really thinking.

I had been considering attending the race at Richmond this September, but since nothing had been “officially” announced regarding a Sadler Fan Club event, I held off making any solid plans. Now that it’s finally been announced, I don’t feel so bad about the idea that I might be “missing out”. I’m not missing out on much. I’m sure it will be a great event, and those that can afford to attend will have a great time. The Sadlers have a lovely place and are quite hospitable. However, I don’t know that I could justify spending an additional $250 for this VIP Barn Party ticket, even if there were still some available.

This past weekend I looked into airfares to Richmond and what it would actually cost me to go. I’d be looking at about $800 + Taxes, Airport Fees and Fuel Surcharges (which didn’t exist or were at least 20% less, less than two months ago). Add to this race tickets, hotel for at least 6 nights, and a car rental and I’m looking at a minimum of about $1800. And at that price, I haven’t even bought anything to eat, a souvenir of any kind, or gas for said rental car.

Add to that the SFC Membership fee ($20) and the “regular” Barn Party ticket of $50. Now do I want to fly 2000 miles to be a “second class” fan and NOT get that VIP ticket? On the other hand, after spending over $2-Grand, can I justify shelling out another $250 for that VIP ticket? That $250 could cover at least two nights in the hotel, or a good portion of the week’s car rental. Or even new stuff at the souvenir hauler. Since I still don’t really have any of the new sponsor gear yet, that might be a good place to spend it.

The cost of this VIP ticket might be more reasonable if you’re an east coaster, or live on the right side of the country. But I considered another acquaintance living in Virginia. This friend and her husband have two teens whom I know would love to go to the Barn Party. A family of four could attend for $200 (plus that family Fan Club Membership of $25). This same family of four would have to cough up $1000 for those sold-out VIP tickets! That could put a serious dent in any family’s vacation/entertainment budget! They live in Virginia but would still probably have to get a room for at least one night, even if they didn’t go to the Richmond race. There are additional costs and incidentals all over the place for that kind of “just overnight” trip. That $1025 really just covers tickets!

In 2004, a fan could take the Double Duty Tour with Robby Gordon and fly from Charlotte to Indianapolis (and back) and attend BOTH the Indy 500 and the Coca Cola 600 with Robby’s entourage for $1000. Granted it was four years ago (prior to these rising airfares and fuel surcharges), and there are the additional costs of getting to and staying in Charlotte, but that’s a pretty cool trip indeed! Ok, maybe not for a family of four… And maybe it is comparing apples to oranges… But I think the Double Duty deal even included a BBQ with Robby & the Team at the shop during the week prior to the 600 and “Double Duty” souvenirs. People can say what they want about Robby. Not many would dispute he loves to race, and that such a trip would likely be very interesting, a learning experience and one of those “once in a lifetime” deals for any race fan!

I had considered Charlotte for the 600 or the All Star Race and hitting Sadler’s Bowling Event (which seemed like fun at a fairly accessible price), but had too much going on this spring to make it happen. I guess it all comes down to a question of how bad do you want it? How much are you willing to pay to meet your driver and be part of the fun, the exclusivity? If people are willing to pay, this type of Pay-Per-Use Fan Club Charity Events Sadler throws will continue to be a success.

In any marketing endeavor, the first and most critical question to be asked and answered is “Who is your audience?”. If I had the chance to ask the Sadlers or Sadler’s business manager a question, it would be just that. Who is your target fan? Who do you want to appeal to? Who do you want to make yourself accessible to?

I’d ask just to see what they’d say. Because it seems rather clear to me the purpose for these Fan Club events benefiting charity is not to allow Sadler to connect with his average fan, but to raise money for the worthy causes near and dear to the heart of the Sadler family. It’s hard to fault them for that. They have contributed much to Autism Awareness, school children right in their hometown of Emporia, Victory Junction Gang Camp and other great causes, and have used their celebrity to do so. Commendable indeed. To that end of course, they want to appeal to the fan with the largest amount of disposable income.

I know it’s hard for anyone, especially a public figure, to please all the people all the time. It’s just not going to happen. The Sadlers are successful business people and live in an income bracket (or two or three or five) above most of us. So maybe they just don’t realize it. But even the items Sadler auctions off for charity (race helmets, etc.) are not cost accessible for an average or just-below-middle income person. How about a free draw once a year for all current fan club members? One lucky winner gets a helmet or other cool Sadler memorabilia – and no, I don’t want his used race shoes!

So who does Sadler want to make himself accessible to? I’m confident I know who it is NOT. It is NOT the typical, middle class American Nascar prides itself on appealing to. The fan and the families that Nascar sponsors pay big big bucks to keep their company names and products top-of-mind with. Sadler’s chosen audience doesn’t seem to include many of the average folk I have met in my race travellings that consider themselves Sadler fans. The focus of these fan club events is not to allow his “average” fans exclusive access or even to say “Thanks for your support”. It seems to be to get a hold of the fan’s money to further Sadler charity endeavors. Therefore any Sadler fan with hopes of attending such an event should have a good portion of disposable income or good credit available that will allow them to be included in the Sadler Fan Club’s fundraising activities.

Like it or not, this is how Sadler has chosen to make himself accessible to his fans. Maybe that’s why I didn’t join the Sadler Fan Club this year. I can say I am a fan without handing over $20, or trying to get an “exclusive” $250 VIP ticket to an event that’s going to cost me more than $2-Grand to get to. I still cheer for him on race day, listen to the 19 scanner on Trackpass, and I still give to charity - within my means, within my budget (yes, I support a few worthy causes too). But these are not the kind of Nascar circles I personally can afford to travel in, ‘nor the Joneses I want to try to keep up with. Maybe in a couple years when I save up enough to get back to Virginia, I’ll be ready to part with that $2-Grand. Of course, the way the cost of a barrel of crude is going, in a couple of years jet fuel might be equal to gold itself, and that $2-Grand could be mighty cheap in comparison! Oh well. C’est la vie.

I hope anyone going to this fall’s Barn Party has a magnificent time and make a mountain of great memories. I hope the Sadlers, Dale Jarrett and Kasey Khane raise a ton of money for their Foundations. I’ll be waiting hear just how much was given to charity too. If they should choose to tell those of us living in a lower income bracket.

Thanks for listening, Lugnut. Keep on truckin’!


A West Side Sadler Fan

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

The Physics of NASCAR

The Physics of NASCAR
How to make Steel+Gas+Rubber=Speed

We read and hear almost every race just how “NASCAR allows total access for it’s fans”, but in most cases that could not be further from the truth. Yes, there is much garage and pit access available and NASCAR fans can see from a distance the inner workings on race weekend, but do they really understand what they are looking at?

Have you ever asked yourself after a NASCAR penalty just what made the part illegal and what was the advantage gained?

Have you ever wondered why ‘your driver’ week in and week out seems to lose time exiting the corners? What are the other teams doing that your team is not?

Have you ever wondered why cooler track surface temperatures cause better grip and faster speeds at speedways?

Many answers to many questions are at your fingertips in “The Physics of NASCAR”.

Dr. Diandra Leslie-Pelecky treats us to a rare glimpse behind the curtain with extensive access to race shops, crew chiefs, mechanics, team engineers, pit crews and more! She has applied her love for Physics and maybe more importantly her ability to speak at a level that every NASCAR fan can understand. She uses complex Physics formulas and translates what is actually going on (both good and bad) on the track that contrast the 15 second explanations of ‘the air was taken off the spoiler from the famous ‘cut away car’ TeVee segments we see each week, by explaining in depth and in layman’s terms what effects take place on various parts of the car when this happens.

This book especially intrigued me personally from the start with a forward from “my driver’s” team owner Ray Evernham and Diandra’s exclusive ‘embedding’ of Evernham Motorsports.

From the first chapter (‘Bones of Contention’), Diandra reveals the inner workings of the NASCAR chassis base, to addressing the advancements of the physics involved in safety innovations, to the final chapter (The Checkered Flag) where she spends her last race weekend with the 19 team (Elliott Sadler) at the Lowes Motor Speedway and the 2007 Coca-Cola 600. She never takes off her ‘teaching hat’, the questions she asked and the answers she received were conveyed in such a manner that I felt I wasn’t being instructed or lectured to, but I was being ‘pushed’ to ask for more. (Fortunately she has continued her work on her blog here and the revelations can continue and grow just as NASCAR does)

Through her ‘embedding’ at the beginning of the 2007 season with EMS, she also was able to reveal some of the personal sides of the ‘faceless’ who lurk behind the scenes and even the airwaves. From ‘Kiwi’ (a shock specialist) calling the race over-the-wall guys ‘locusts’ (“because they arrive on Sunday, eat everything, and then leave”), and noting that Brett Griffin, ‘ever the optimist’ (I consider the best spotter in the business), to the frustration of Team Director Josh Browne revealing much more than just the “driver’s speak” of ‘the guys and team have worked hard all week” that we read in the Dodge post race quotes. (Somewhere residing in the bowels of the innerweb there is still that very tasteless 'For Sale' sign that needs to be destroyed.)

Reading this book is nothing like reading a textbook (although much of it could be used as one), the book has the flow and fluidity of a 43 car field rolling through the “S’s” at Sonoma or Watkins Glen. She brings rocket science, the human element and the pageantry of a NASCAR Race Day altogether and leaves the reader asking for more. This is a great read for any NASCAR Fan, and a must read for any Elliott Sadler fan. If I could only have two books about NASCAR in my possession, this would be one of them. The other? Well, NASCAR doesn’t publish publicly their RULE BOOK!

About the Author

Diandra Leslie-Pelecky is a professor of physics at the University of Texas at Dallas, where she researches bio-medical nanomaterials. Dr. Leslie-Pelecky (affectionately called by some bloggers as 'the Queen of NASCAR Physics') has published widely on her academic research and improving science education at all levels. This is her first book.


* Publisher: Dutton — 2008
* Author: Diandra Leslie-Pelecky
* Binding: Hardcover with dust jacket — 6¼ x 9¼ inches
* Pages: 288 — Black and white illustrations
* ISBN: 9780525950530

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The Barn Party Fluster Cuck

The emails are pouring in from the Sadler 'faithful' (now thats a relative term) concerning the Elliott Sadler 2008 Barn Party announcement. Looks like there are many question marks, followed by some unhappy fans.

More to come later in the week on this.

But lets give a shout out to the 19 team and a solid top 10. Lets hope this just isn't a blind dog finding a bone and ole MO can keep on trucking!

A couple of months ago, Diandra Leslie-Pelecky had a copy of 'The Physics of Nascar' sent to me for a review. If all goes well, Later this week I should have the finishing touches completed and post it here. This book is a must read for every Sadler fan, as well as any Nascar fan.

Friday, May 23, 2008

The 'Godfather' of the Oklahoma Wishbone

Late yesterday evening the news came across that wires that Former Oklahoma Quarterback and Lieutenant Governor, Jack Mildren had finally lost his battle with stomach cancer.

See the footage below for a taste of Mildren’s brilliant captaincy of the ‘bone against a hapless Oklahoma State team, a clue of the reads and on-field brainbrawn that got Oklahoma 472.4 yards rushing per game in 1971, a standing record in the NCAA’s books.

I actually attending this Sugar Bowl game as a young Lugnut of 9 years old. #11 was greatness in the 40-22 win over Auburn.

From his presence on the field to the political world to being on the radio, the guy brought a very personal touch to everything he did. His call-it-like-I-see- it mentality was refreshing, not afraid to hold back what he thought.

'Thanks' to Jack for being a Sooner and a class act.
You'll be missed.

Jack Mildren
October 10, 1949-May 22, 2008

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Elliott Sadler, open mouth, insert foot…..part two

I few weeks ago I blogged that Elliott Sadler should really think before he speaks. Even some of his most ‘loyal’ fans agreed with comments like ‘he should just read from a script cause when he doesn’t, he just makes himself sound foolish'. Well, once again, Elliott Sadler has made himself look foolish with his comments from his weekly Sirius radio show with host Dave Moody.

It was only fair after Sadler's emotional comments he made when he just got out of a wrecked car last Saturday night that Sadler has a chance to speak more calmly about the contact between him and A.J. Allmendinger. And also have a chance to address the ‘bad press’ and fallout after his comments. Frankly, I have yet to read ANY writer support Sadler’s stance after his actions from the week before at Darlington. (If someone can find any, feel free to post them in the comments section)

While I still think Moody lobs softballs from time to time with his ‘regular’ guests, he did give Sadler every opportunity for some damage control. Once again, we hear Sadler open his mouth, and insert his foot.

Dave Moody: We are hoping to see more of you this weekend than last.

ES: Yeah, that was really hard to swallow. I am still as mad now as I was the other night. We really had a fast racecar, and wanted to run some and make it into the All-star race. I am glad my teammate got in the show and just had a tremendous night. Great call by Kenny to win the race. A lot of optimism for our team because of that.

Dave Moody: Have you had an opportunity to talk to AJ about it…to clear the road a bit between the 2 of you?

ES: No I have not. I am sure we'll bump into each other this weekend in Charlotte.

I am very frustrated with it. I want to say….talk about this today. There is a HUGE difference, and believe me you don't have to take my word for you can ask the other 42 drivers who race week in and week out. ….. Huge Difference in spinning under somebody and taking them out with you. That we see every week…when a guy gets on the bottom and gets loose and spins out and that is a big accident 99% of the time and not meaning to do that….there is a huge difference with that and just hitting somebody with your front bumper, which mean you could just lift off the gas and not run into him….a huge difference our…the way we race against each other because of that…..a big difference to see someone spin out under somebody and taking them out and running into the back of them. There is a lot of INTENT there, and intention to making that happen..there is still a lot of frustration there about that…..

Reagan Swain was one of the first to mention that Sadler was throwing stone from within his glass house, and others have jumped on this bandwagon. Sadler’s justifications simply don't fly and here is why.

1) In both wrecks that the 19 was involved with (Darlington and the All-Star), it appears that the car on the inside gets loose and makes contact with a car running outside of them. Of course it is clear to see that in the Darlington wreck, the 19 slid up into the 20 where the contact was with the 19s right rear quarter panel, to the 20’s left front quarter panel. But the bottom line is that the car running the inside lost control. The results after that fact is moot. And there was no front bumper to rear bumper contact as Sadler is insinuating.
2) Sadler uses the word ‘spinning’ as a justification. When comparing to two wrecks, I fail to see any car ‘spin’, once again, the term ‘getting loose’ is more appropriate.
3) Sadler mentions that ’42 other drivers’ agree that there is a huge difference. I am not sure what series Sadler is referring to, but I have yet to see any other CUP drivers support him in this cause.
4) Lastly, there is the ‘intent’ accusation. This is a very slippery slope Sadler is walking on, and only exposes Sadler as a whiner more than ever. Just as I did not fault Sadler at all for his wreck with the 20 car at Darlington, I’ll do the same for Allmendinger. In BOTH cases, there was no intent to wreck another car that can be seen, especially that early in either race.

Now what seems to be over looked by Sadler, and conveniently so, was that just the last green flag lap before this restart, it was Sadler himself who slid up the track almost in the very same spot, as did Allmendinger. (and thus the 84 car actually passed the 19, but Nascar refered to the previous scoring loop) Had there been a car on the outside of the 19 when this happened, the results would have been similar.

Allmendinger, just as Sadler was Darlington, has been very humble in his choice of words and in his public apology to Sadler and the 19 team. But for some reason, this has fallen on Sadler’s deaf ears.

I think that Brett Griffin addressed this issue a bit better with this post on SFC.

“Most people are gonna defend their favorite drivers. It's part of the sport. I can promise you every Tony Stewart fan was probably happy... nature of the sport. What sucked for us is that's the car that was so fast at the test, that sat on the pole... and that we felt like we could win the 600 win. That's why we were all so frustrated. Hopefully the guys will bring a good car and we'll have a good run. AJ didn't mean to do it but that doesn't make it any easier to swallow. Just ask TS. “

I have ventured over to a handful of Stewart boards after Darlington and after the All-Star and it was interesting to see the responses. After Darlington, I expected to see the mud slinging towards Sadler and the petty name-calling, but to my surprise I saw none of that. The TS fans were very understanding and showed little knee jerk reactions. I guess that comes with the success TS have been able to enjoy over the years. Even when ‘Karma’ could have been used after Sadler was out of the All-Star, there was little mention of ‘pay backs’. It just seemed to me that TS fans don’t like to see anyone get wrecked, whether if it is their driver or another driver.

Also it seems the Brett doesn’t agree with Sadler in terms of ‘intent’ either. I do agree with his frustration even admit the fact, it “doesn’t make it any easier to swallow”, as I was just as frustrated and echoed Brett’s F-Bomb over the scanner. When one has high expectations and early weekend ‘success’ as the 19 did, it stinks to have the results that were handed to them. The unknowns are the ones that sometimes can sting the most.

Problem is that Sadler is acting like a spoiled kid (something his Mom mentioned the week before?) when commenting on this accident over 72 hours later. There is no speaking out of emotion excuse that can be used now. That free pass was used up Saturday night.

Remember, this was a NON POINTS race and DW even made the comment to Sadler before the race to ‘bring the car home in first, or don’t bring it home at all’, and Sadler agreed with that mantra. Of course, that mantra doesn’t apply to next week and the 600. Frankly, I am just as optimistic about the 19’s chances seeing the success from last week.

I would much rather be wrecked in the All-Star than in the 600 when I felt I had a good car. One has to feel that the car used last week, if not wrecked would probably have been this week’s back-up car. So that being said, the 19 has reason to look forward to racing this weekend.

I remember Sadler's sophmore season when it was just about this time of the year and the Wood Brothers were very concerned about the number of cars in the stable that were 'raceday ready', because of all the wrecks Sadler was involved in. I haven't really kept track of Allmendinger, but I would be surprised if the number of wrecked cars would be any higher than back in the 2000 season. How soon we forget sometimes.

I got over the All-Star race late Saturday night; Maybe Sadler should do the same. Sadler is scheduled to appear on 'Nascar tonight' on ESPN2 Wednesday, only time will tell if he choses to use up another mulligan.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Elliott Sadler, next time just give the THUMBS UP!

There is still time for Elliott Sadler to rethink his emotional statements from last Saturday night's All-Star 'open' Race.

One could say that he was just speaking out of anger of just being taken out of a non points race, but so far the 'Southern Gentleman' has been very quite. Sadler apologists are in full defense mode and are fully consumed in the effects of the kool-aid. Maybe instead of passing the cup around, they should just take a moment to read that 'Whats his name' did indeed address the contact and took FULL responsibility for it. Much the same way the Sadler did the week before for his 'rookie mistake' during a POINTS RACE.

But this blog from SNAFAM pretty much says it all and much better than I could. At least until either Sadler or Brett Griffin decide to come out of hiding and renege on their not very well thought out original comments.

I'm not holding my breath though, but if they do re-address this, I'll be happy to post it, but maybe next time this happens Elliott, just give a simple THUMBS UP on TeVee. Chances are it will be a better PR move. I am sure there will be more to say about this as time goes on.

Friday, May 16, 2008

A no Win Situation for Elliott Sadler

First, let me state that for any sport I am not in favor of 'fan voting' for an All-Star event. Major League Baseball, for example, is more about a popularity contest than about which player is more deserving based on performance from the season.

The past week, Dale Jr made a comment that he hoped his 'Nation' would 'vote Elliott Sadler into the All-Star race'. While on the surface this is a nice gesture, but it does put Sadler in a no win situation.

1) If he doesn't 'race' his way into the race. (which in itself is not an easy thing to do) There can be the perception that Sadler just doesn't have 'what it takes' to make such a race.

2) If he does indeed get voted in, and doesn't run well, also the 'what it takes' perception maybe perceived.

In today's 'all or nothing' attitude with many fans (and that includes all sports), many times what gets lost are the little things that prevented the high level success. In Dallas, many fans call this the 'Superbowl or Bust' syndrome.

On the other hand, if Sadler is voted in with the help of the JR Nation, it may just be the "Racing God's" returning the favor from the 2000 All-Star Open when Sadler had a very good car that night, but the effort was cut short by an aggressive Mike Skinner (then driving the 31 car for RCR).

Watching this video reminds me of a few things. The first thing is that the contact looks very similar to the Sadler/Stewart contact from Darlington last week. Also the video doesn't show the previous couple of laps where the 31car was running the 21car 'up the track' almost every corner. But then again, that is a product of a non points race I guess.

Honestly, the only way for Sadler to 'win', is for him to drive the 19 car into victory lane at some point Saturday night. And sadly, that is not very fair.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Even Hitler wants to attend the Elliott Sadler Barn Party!

But he too is frustrated with the lack of timely information and official releases for the Sadler Fan Club event!

It's the middle of May, and still waiting for 'more details to come'. Only leaks of information and speculation. One has to wonder just how realistic this spoof is for the everyday Sadler fan reaction upon hearing about this stuff from other fan clubs.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

That was quick

Before one could say "track too tough to tame" the 19 was behind the wall. And it wasn't long after that the emails began to flow my directions asking what I thought of 'my driver' now.

Now I have rarely faulted the on track 'Southern Gentleman', and once again in this case, I don't fault him at all. I certainly didn't fault the new Candyman last week for getting into the 'Nation' last week, and this week is no different for the 19.

A few observations though:

I like what Spotterman (Brett Griffin) was doing just after contact. He never quit spotting, and was coaching Elliott to 'keep the car up there if you can' (out of harm's way). Once the green flag flies, Griffin never quits, you got to give credit where credit is due.

Also the way Sadler handled the post race. While in many ways one could consider he was being a bit hard on himself, he took full responsibility. It might be one thing if Sadler attempted to pull moves like this out of his butt week in and week out, but this is something that rarely happens.

It will be interesting to hear Tony Stewart on Sirius Monday with his response. Honestly, there isn't much he can say that Sadler hasn't.

Some are falling into the bad luck Sadler' trap, and that maybe true. But I'll just chalk this one up to just one of those deals that happen now and then.

Friday, May 09, 2008

If you are a fan, you plan

I was reading some of the NHL message boards the other day and saw many complaints concerning the NHL TeVee package and was reminded of some of the whining from a few weeks ago when ESPN was forced to shift some programing.

In a nutshell, ESPN was forced to move the NationWide broadcast to ESPN Classic (also broad casted on Speed I believe) in favor of a NBA play-off game. I saw that some NASCAR fans were upset about this move because either they didn't have ESPN Classic programing, or because the race would not be broadcast in High Def. And of course, it was all "NA$CAR's" fault.

Now I don't really consider myself a huge hockey fan, but when the play-offs role around I will try to tune in, especially when the Dallas Stars have advanced to the conference finals. Last night was 'game 1' between Dallas and Detroit and one would think that someone living in the DFW area would have no problem tuning in. No such luck for the 'fair weather' hockey fan. It seems that VERSUS is only offered by Dish Network on their highest level (and pricing) packages. I do have the 'top 200' package (mainly because it offers all the Nascar and College Football programing I seek), but to receive VERSUS, I need the 'top 250' package.

I have little room to complain though, because if I really cared about the NHL (and more specifically the Stars), I would have ponied up in order to receive the programing I desired. The same would be said if the Nascar TeVee package changed to some obscure network, I would gladly pay the extra bucks because it is a priority for me. If i am a fan, I'll plan.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Elliott Sadler spoofs 'Chocolate Rain'

21 million YouTube hits later, the 'Chocolate Rain' Phenomena took an unlikely twist this week when Elliott Sadler recorded his own version of the song. "Southern Gent' is sure to become an over night YouTube sensation once released. Double secret inside sources have leaked the lyrics of 'Southern Gent' and a photo from the recording session.

"Southern Gent"
(sung to the tune of 'Chocolate Rain')

Southern Gent
EA Sports will never be the same
Southern Gent
Track Side Live is getting pretty lame

Southern Gent
Growing hair, what happened to your shame?
Southern Gent
Aruba trips can give you some back pain

Southern Gent
Pre-race quotes have just become a game
Southern Gent
Decrypted words of just who is to blame

Southern Gent
It’s so cool to speak some Sadlereese
Southern Gent
Of course a portion will go to Charity

Southern Gent
Jet setting across the U.S.A.
Southern Gent
Love the games that people play

Southern Gent
What happens when you only have four?
Southern Gent
Or late night banging on your door?

Southern Gent
Trying to continue to be the heartthrob
Southern Gent
Remembering it’s still a job

Southern Gent
Another Crew Chief comes and goes
Southern Gent
Remember your ride is the one you chose

Southern Gent
Parties inside your Motor Coach
Southern Gent
Teachers are the very last to know

Southern Gent
Trying hard to go fast and turn left
Southern Gent
Wondering if he will ever be the best

Southern Gent
Fans aren’t true unless they can pay
Southern Gent
Deserted souvenir haulers on the way

Southern Gent
Do you miss the Candyman?
Southern Gent
Remember when you had some vocal fans

Southern Gent
16 bologna burgers ain’t no thang
Southern Gent
What is the one thing you might want to change?

Southern Gent
Driving clean and with some respect
Southern Gent
Hoping others don’t get you wrecked

Southern Gent
Searching for two thousand and four
Southern Gent
Feeling the pressure more and more

Southern Gent
What ever happened to that master ‘plan’?
Southern Gent
Hawking your name to sell some land

Southern Gent
Forgetting about the average fan
Southern Gent
Taking advantage while you can

Southern Gent
Finding out that MySpace is the devil
Southern Gent
Never know if you are on the level

Southern Gent
What ever happened to ‘quiet confidence’?
Southern Gent
Gone are the days of good ole Diamond Ridge

Southern Gent
A contract is just a piece of paper
Southern Gent
Don’t tell them now, just tell them later

Southern Gent
Make them think you are such a great guy
Southern Gent
Look a little closer and see the lie

Southern Gent
After all this time, surely there’s something more
Southern Gent
How much longer before everyone gets bored

Let the Youtube searchs begin! and feel free to add a verse or two in the comment section.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Next year’s budget is finished

When it is budget time, the outside world stops and this budget ‘season’ was no exception. Signing off on an annual budget that is larger than a multi car ‘tier one ‘ Sprint Cup team is really not that hard, but it is time consuming.

That being said, I have finally been able to collect my thoughts from last Saturday’s fine race at Richmond. It is always interesting to take a back seat and watch the fall-out from such a ‘controversial’ race, before commenting. Here are some thoughts:

There will always be a ‘Villain’Kyle Busch is playing the leading role as the ‘villain’. Now all that is missing is a Russian accent or a cheesy mustache. The ‘Junior Nation’ (actually much of the Nascar Nation) has turned the late race contact into grounds for an execution. On the track, it was simply two race car drivers fighting for the same 18 or so inches of race track. I saw no intent what so ever on either part. I did see two drivers wanting and fighting tooth and nail to win a race. (I wish ‘my driver’ would be in position to do that someday) BOTH had changed their racing lines in order to make it more difficult for the other, that’s called ‘racing’.

One doesn’t have to like little Busch at all, but the Junior Nation’s memory grows shorter with each passing race. How soon they forget when Junior ‘turned’ Kyle when Kyle was in the CHASE at Kansas last year. Not that two wrongs make it right, but the point is that ‘their driver’ is not immune from causing other driver’s grief. (BTW, JR went on to a top ten finish that day while Kyle finished in the high 30s)

But their has always been a villain. If you look back through the eras of Nascar they can be easy to spot. From Little Busch, to Tony Stewart, to Jimmy Spencer, to Dale Earnhardt SR, to Darrell Waltrip, to even someone as gracious as Morgan Shepherd (waiting for lightning strike). All these race drivers at one time in their young careers were not the most ‘favorite’ when it came to the mainstream race fan. And yes, the BOO BIRDS could be heard during driver intros. One thing for sure nowadays though, is that there is more of a microscope on the ‘villain’ today, than in previous eras and Kyle will have to deal with that off the track.

Like the ‘magic towel’ in Soccer:Ever watched a World Cup Soccer game and see a player get taken down and the player rolls in pain holding his knee? Well, what the player is doing is trying to ‘sell’ his ‘injury’ in order to get the official (referee) to call a penalty. Whether a penalty is called or not, what happens next is almost comical. A trainer comes to the player who is still flopping in pain and applies the ‘magic towel’ for a few moments. Then all of the sudden said player jumps to his feet as if nothing had happened. This is how I equate the stunt that Denny Hamlin attempted to pull. Should Nascar have taking the action that they did? Of course, and the reason was that precedent had been set numerous times in the past few years. Honestly, two laps may not have been enough, but on the other hand, Hamlin doesn’t have a history of actions like this. So he does warrant some leniency.

Just Brakes!!!!!Another promising qualifying effort slips away to a not so thrilling finish for the 19. but it could have been worse. Elliott Sadler pointed the finger at ‘changing the brakes’ from last year, and that very well could be the case but I have a few concerns. Sadler did have a history of ‘using up the brakes’ (his words, not mine) when he was with RYR from time to time, so maybe the problems might be more driver induced and not an equipment flaw. Had the 9 or 10 cars also had brake issues it may have supported Sadler’s claim a bit, but neither car reported that. The 9 car did however have some rear brake issues at Phoenix earlier this year, but from the sounds of the explanations, these two were not related. (The 9 car was not over heating, but that the rears were not disengaging when the brake peddle was lifted) And isn’t it odd that there were no complaints from Sadler about these brakes at Phoenix? One would think that if this were really a problem, it would have been mentioned before.

‘Over heating’ brakes is a product of racing at shorter track and is not uncommon. I think that more times than not, it is caused more by ‘driver abuse’ than a part failing. Should Sadler blame the brakes? Nope. Should Sadler blame himself? Nope. It is just one of those things that happen, and frankly, Sadler made the best out of a bad situation. He stayed out of trouble. He and his spotter (Brett Griffin) were able to maneuver out of harm’s way of the ‘big one’ this time, and through attrition of others, was able to take home a top 20.

Not what the 19 team wanted, but it could have been much worse. Especially at a track that could be considered one of Sadler’s Achilles Heal. On to the Old Lady in Black, and a track that should bring some optimism for Sadler fans.