Sunday, July 29, 2007

Toyota's First

Jason Leffler's newer tires gave him the edge to get past Biff in the final laps during last night's Busch race at O'Reilly Raceway Park. The fender to fender racing was awesome. What was even better happened a few minutes earlier when Leffler's Toyota locked horns with Reutimann's Toyota. It was a battle for second that left dents and donuts in both cars with Leffler ultimately banging his way in front of the #99. Post race interviews had the usual finger pointing which I thoroughly enjoyed!! This was one of the best Busch race's thus far this year.

Reed Sorenson on the pole!! With Monty riding in the 2nd spot, Flyin Ryan in 3rd, Jr. in 4th and Kasey topping off the top 5. Four Dodge's in the top 5 starting grid!! But will one of them take the checker?? Nah!! Well maybe!!

Friday, July 27, 2007

Mans Best Friend

I am suffering from abit of writer's block this morning. I came across the quill image and it made me think of Mark Twain of all people. He was once quoted as saying "If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and a man. " Mr. Twain was many things, but his brutal honesty was his best friend. I think of the recent allegations against Michael Vick as purely horrendous crimes against dog's, our best friends. Now I realize that Twain's statement is not about dog brutality, but it says a lot about what some men are capable of. I just cannot imagine stealing someones beloved pet right out of their yard for the pure enjoyment of watching it get murdered by another dog. Vick's plea of not guilty is a given, but if the evidence is true, the trial will make a mockery out of him and if in the end he his found guilty I hope the Federal prison term includes raising pups that become service dogs. But on the other hand this would allow him to feel his ego as he makes a statement in his own simple mind... "Look at me, I love dogs!!" Better yet... put him in a boxing ring with Hannibal Lecter.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Who's Who

So now that the Ginn-DEI marriage is on the honeymoon how long before Theresa's talons dig deep? She has already gained tremendously by moving the whole operation into Ginn's garage and picking up Mark Martin with the unwavering sponsorship of the US Army. Bobby pretty much gave her full rein, but sources say he maintains ownership of the #01 and has also taken over the #15 and Paul Menard. Perhaps this merger will work and become an example of what future teams will do. The "New" NASCAR... 4 or 5 major teams? And I've not read or heard what [or if] the name of Ginn-DEI will become. At least the merger of Rosox left us with a catchy name. With all due respect to Dale Sr. I would hope the name remains.
Back at the Cottage... It's hard to believe that July 07 is about to end. My contracting business is so busy that I have lost track of everything and my head is spinning. I am behind schedule with one addition being held up due to an excavator that left me hanging for ten days, but that's finally completed so I can start the framing... then to top it off I had problems with an employee and finally had to let him go. This too set back the clock, but he has been replaced with a nice guy carpenter/drummer, but today, his first day on the job, was put on hold due to his family being hit by a flu virus. The weather has put a damper on things, literally and as of next week I am suppose to be starting another big family room addition, but that will be put on the back burner for at least 3 weeks. The good thing is... my customers are patient and understanding and this I can pat myself on the back for because I have established myself after over 25 years of this. I am also the designer/engineer so my desk and drafting table are backed up too. Maybe I need a merger!!!

Monday, July 23, 2007


Intrigued by an article I just read > FDNY Racing a true 'grass-roots' Truck Series team on not only taught me a few things, but also reminded me of 9-11. I personally know a fireman who went through the Sept. 11th fiasco and well I'll just say that for many months to follow he had a love affair with a bar stool. It's cool to see one of these guys, whether or not he was part of 9-11, do something like this article reads.

Back to race week!! And The Brickyard 400!!

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Raceless & Restless

The off weeks of The Nextel [Sprint] Cup leave me with a sense of separation anxiety. It's like I need to check the schedule to remind me it's for real. When one is as passionate about a sport as I am, the lack of the traditional weekend goings on from Friday Happy Hour, qualifying and practice to the actual race leave a big void in time. I could welcome the break and actually get some "Honey-do" things done or play some golf, which I may just do, or mow that rain soaked lawn, but I normally do those things anyway inbetween race stuff. Pattyjo and I do have a wedding to attend today, but those events usually make me want to go home as soon as I get there, especially when that one person who is always present at a wedding reception takes that 14th drink that turns them into a raging lunatic. Maybe the food will be good and make it worthwhile. I barely know the bride and I've never laid eyes on the groom, so why is it we feel obligated to attend a wedding when we get that invitation in the mail? Then there is the Busch race tonight. It could be a race where a non-whacker wins. But Cousin Carl is part of the lineup.
I hope all of you folks suffering from said affliction have a good weekend regardless of the withdrawals.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Driver's From Hell

If you've ever dared to drive the roads and interstates in and around New York City you'll know what I went through for two days. Pattyjo and I drove down Wed. afternoon, well I drove, Patty sat and did scratch off's. Our trip was for a worthy cause because we were picking up a new pup for Pattyjo's mom at Laguardia Airport on Thursday. At first glance I thought it was Juan Pablo coming up so fast in a black Beemer I thought he was going to take us out... the Beemer swerved inbetween us and the car behind us then flew by us on the right side and cut in front dicing between us and the car in front of us and our speedo read 72 mph while going 3 wide into a corner. This was one of several instances of drivers thinking risking their lives and other's was better than being late for whatever. We spent the night in an over priced Holiday Inn with mattresses that would have been suited for a boxing ring mat, but the food was good. On Thursday morning I wished Pattyjo a happy birthday and soon we were on our way to the airport yet another 50 miles away. There are only a couple of ways to get out to Queens and thankfully I went with my gut instinct and stayed clear of the George Washington Bridge. We made it to Laguardia with plenty of time to spare, foolish that I am or a glutton for punishment, I drove on into Long Island to kill time. After an hour of wannabe NASCAR driver's around us I got off the 4 wide superspeedway and we found a Starbucks!! If I've ever needed a Frappacino it was then. I decided to spend our two hours wasting it at the airport... at least there the van was parked and we could watch people. What happened at 2:30 made it all worth it.... the little Jap-Chin arrived and Pattyjo was overwhelmed with joy. Her mother had lost a Jap-Chin on Memorial Day due to a car so this was a great moment for her. The ride home was better and before I knew it we were well north of that place where life flies by at the speed of light.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Deep Pockets

It's no surprise that Bobby Ginn has decided to downsize Ginn Racing, but it is a bit of a surprise that he got in as deep as he did from day one of taking over MB2 Motorsports. He literally dumped truckloads of cash and doubled the workforce to get Ginn Racing off the ground. With his hotel and resort success you'd think he'd a known better. Here we sit about half way through his first season and he has lost major sponsorships on two of his cars, 13 & 14, and now two veteran racers are out the door. It's like when I want a piece of chocolate cream pie and I cut a piece big enough for 4 people only later to get a belly ache. Too much too soon. Mikey has done the same thing. So does Ginn actually think putting a young rookie behind the wheel will make any difference? Perhaps in the long run Regan Smith will produce as he has shown some improvement, but his ace in the hole will be Aric Almirola... that kid can drive! So the gray beard's move on... Joe's mom must be heartbroken.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

One Passionate Fan

My wife Pattyjo is 100% Smoke. Her NASCAR season on Sunday's has been anything but. She is normally doing this or that thing, or with her mom, or busying herself on purpose to avoid the Tele, anything but watching the race and when it's over she'll ask "so who won?" and after hearing me say another Hendrick name she would shake her head in disgust. She liked hearing Jamie Mac and the few other non-Hendrick victories so far this season.
I came home after the race began this past Sunday to find Pattyjo actually sitting in her reclining sofa watching the race on our HD Plasma [this so you know how hard it is NOT to watch a race here] excited because Tony was having a good day. Call it women's intuition or whatever, but I think she knew it was Smoke's day. As he approached the finish line that woman started whooping and hollering with such passion that tears were rolling down her cheeks. It was so heartwarming to see this that I joined in and the next thing you know both of our dogs are howling. It was such a moment that our teenagers emerged from their dark corners of the house to find out what all the commotion was about. It was nice to see Smoke win again, but it was even nicer seeing my wife so happy about a NASCAR race.

Monday, July 16, 2007

So Be It

I've read several articles lately both media and blogger's that say they're tired of hearing "Tony is Tony". But that's the facts folks!! Tony is and always will be Tony and if the sport did not have the likes of him and guys like him the sport of NASCAR might as well be F1 or some other so called higher class version of racing. NASCAR has it's gentlemen and it has it's bad boy's and without that mix we would have a bunch of Ivy League snobs running around wearing Izod's and Top Sider's worrying about how they look when they see they're reflection. I mean, how many driver's in F1 would say to a media reporter.. "Let's see you climb that fence fat boy" on national television?? That's Tony and there's no changing him and it's why I like the guy.

Great win Smoke!!

Sunday, July 15, 2007


The makeshift airhose Jeff Burton's crew made for him in yesterday's Busch race has to be one of the stupidest things I've seen in awhile. It ended up flopping in the 200 mph wind hanging out his window. Gotta give those guys the credit for trying because I'm not sure how the hell Jeff managed to finish the race and that hose sure didn't help. Apparently his helmet airconditioner hose broke, so his brain must have been melting. If we see Jeff sucking from a straw in a wheel chair with a head brace today we'll know why.

Kudos to Happy Harvick for his win and glad to see Smoke and Denny kissed and made up.

I am full of "Sheet" sometimes as Vroom pointed out in yesterday's post, because that mile and a halfer race, and Busch race no less, was not the least bit boring with many lead changes and close racing. But!! I still think there are too many "Stamped" tracks.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Just Another.....

The Chicagoland USG Sheetrock 400. It's not only just another mile and a halfer it's name "Sheetrock" reminds me of the doldrums of hanging and taping this awful stuff. My duties as a small contractor often include this dirty job. Even after years of experience spreading the goop I still find it boring and tedious. The name goes well with Chicagoland because it's just another mile and a half oval like several other tracks on the circuit. It may be a decent race, but it's just another Vegas or Texas or Miami. These tracks are the most numerous. It's probably just me because I love the short tracks like Dover and Darlington and I also like the Superspeedway's because there is nothing like the finishes we've had at Daytona this year.

This could be Smoke's weekend of redemption and which driver near the top 12 will close the gap... McMurray or Newman? I like Ryan on the mile and a halfer's.

Off to work, but no sheetrocking today!!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Sgt. Tom

Last weekend I met a Sgt. from our local National Guard post. This guy, Tom, has to be one of the nicest guys I've met in a long time. We, of course, got into a conversation about The Guard's NASCAR involvement. He explained that he has yet to receive any Casey Mears diecast or other related promo's from Headquarters. He said he hopes he gets some stuff soon because he enjoys giving it away. I mentioned Casey's recent victory and "The Biff" carried The Guard name for awhile so they may be playing catch up. At any rate, we had a nice chat and at the end he said "stop by the Armory. I have one Greg Biffle diecast left and you can have it." Yesterday I did stop by his office and without hesitation he pulled the Biff diecast out of a locker and handed it to me. Then after some small talk I came to find out that I know his brother and a friend of his brother's, Ted, is a friend of mine. Tom's brother owns a NASCAR motorhome adventure tour company and Ted, our mutual friend, owns Victory Lane, a NASCAR collector's store. I've always believed that things happen for a reason and one never knows who will cross your path.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007


Thoughts and prayers go out to the France and Kennedy families and to the families who suffered the losses in Sanford, Fla.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

What's Next for Tony & Co?

Being the Michigan native that I am, I have a deep nostalgia for Kellogg's. I recall the very early TV ad's in the early 60's when I was no more than 5 years old. The jingle included "Battle Creek" Mich., where Kellogg's was born and is still located at, which is just southeast of where I grew up and very near Kalamazoo. Now, "Kzoo" as it's often called, is almost cartoonish, or at least the name is and now having lived in various parts of the country I've often heard people say they've heard of Kzoo and they chuckle about it. This little piece of real estate in the Midwest has touched the lives of every single American in one way or another as well as people around the world. The early Kellogg's was nothing more than Corn Flakes... a drab concoction that turns into wet cardboard when milk is added... but that box with the Rooster on it sat on more American breakfast tables than any other cereal ever thought of. It was even synonymous with the early "Lassie" episodes. Later came "Snap, Crackle and Pop". How could you not like these little guys? My siblings and I would hush each other to hear their little voices under the milk. Then Kellogg's decided to sweeten the Corn Flake and along came "Tony the "They're Great!!!" Tiger".

Kellogg's has been part of NASCAR for ages and I can't stop but wonder what driver will be next to represent them. I've always had a bit of resentment that Kyle Busch has had them for as long as he has and after his most recent outrage towards his so called estranged teammates at HMS, I have a sense of gratitude that this piece of my childhood and an American icon is about to move on to bigger and better things that it so deserves. Is it likely they will stay with Hendrick, and if so what will become of them? Perhaps they can and will move on to another team. They certainly have the resources... Ginn Racing needs a few good sponsors.... hmmmm. I sure hope they don't follow Shrub to DEI!!!

Monday, July 9, 2007

Doing the Dew ?

I think Jr. and Mt. Dew would be a great mix. The marketing end of this would be incredible and Mt. Dew is no stranger to NASCAR having been a major sponsor over the years on some great driver's cars. D.W. drove the #11 Dew in the early 80's to victory lane several times. I can see it now... Talladega next April... nothing but GREEN!!!

But then again... there is always this possibility!!

Top Photo by Cepolina Photo

Sunday, July 8, 2007

"Now That's Magic"

Jamie McMurray's win was so close. It seemed surreal, almost magical as teammate Cousin Carl gave him that little nudge to get him ever so slightly past Shrub at the finish line. It made my whole night and as much as a sweep by Shrub on the same day on the same track would've been historical, I did not want to see another Hendrick victory. Shrub may be a lot of things... but that kid can race. Whomever happens to sign him on will get a winner. Back to Jamie... I like him as a person and seeing him take only his 2nd win after something like 166 races
[I think] is awesome. It's so cool to see an unlikely driver get a victory and it may be another 166 races before he does it again, but the Pepsi 400 trophy is one he'll never forget and will put him up there with the elite few Daytona winners. Now that he's done with the Bunny, maybe he should give it back to Kasey... he could use all the help he can get!!

Tony and Denny... one of those two morons had the car. Nuff said.

I'm working on the name "Sprint Cup" in my minds eye. When the shift went from Winston to Nextel I disliked it, but "Sprint" seems like it'll be easier to accept.

In my opinion... changing the guaranteed 35 spots to some "other" number is vital. Many say let them all race for position, but we know Le'France won't do that. What is the magic number?? Perhaps Brian and company should ask the Bunny.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

A Steal

The tiny village we live in has an annual 2 day 4th of July event on the water front called "Heritage Days". It's atypical, with greasy food vendors, rides and games for the kids and vendors selling everything from Avon to rustic furniture. Last night our crew walked down and I came across a guy selling an assortment of NASCAR collectibles. Most of it was useless stuff, but he did have a few diecast that caught my eye, mostly Dale Jr.. Then I spotted the #3 pictured above nestled in among some Jr. cars. It now sits in my display case. It's the Dale Earnhardt Action 1/24th Scale 1999 Winston All Star Race Goodwrench Wrangler Monte Carlo and I paid a whopping $30.00 for it. I'm suffering from sticker shock!! Ted, my buddy who owns "Victory Lane", our local NASCAR store, has this car for sale with a much, much larger price on it. I almost felt bad for the guy who sold it to me. I'll be going back to the water front today to see if the guy has re-stocked something out of his dusty old closet.

I also got a 2004 #31 Cingular 1/24th scale RCR/Robby Gordon for $25. That's about all that's worth but I didn't have any Robby Gordon pre Robby Gordon Racing.

Will the skies be friendly to Daytona today??

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Needing 8 Days a Week

These shots were taken from my cell phone camera. This because I am so busy at times I forget my digital at home. That was nothing more than a cluttered basement, until we turned it into this rustic family room. At any rate, my life as a contractor has me going in several directions currently, leaving me little time for much of anything. I find myself exhausted and ready for sleep by 9ish. My recent blog posts have been very short and needing help!! The good thing is I do take the time to read many other blog's and NASCAR related media.
Looking forward to the Daytona night race!!

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Happy 4th

I hope everybody has a great and safe holiday!!!
Oh and, has anyone else besides me heard that Gibbs is going Toyota next year? Please tell me it ain't so!! I heard it on a video at Yahoo NASCAR. Geesh.. who knows maybe Tony and Denny could make those things fly.

Has Anyone Seen Sam ??

I think it was back in April when there was a rumor floating around that Sam Hornish Jr. was in line for a Penske Cup ride. Rumor has become fact with Sam switching over full time in 2008 in what will most likely be a Mobil 1 sponsored Dodge. This seems like going in reverse because it'll be a far cry from the glory of Indycar and Roger Penske's desk is full of potential drivers to fill Sam's Indy seat... even the likes of Tony Kanaan is showing interest who is not only a top Indy driver but is also the guy whom Kevin Harvick ran into and Kevin said, "You got your caramel into my Reese's."
It'll be a miracle to see Sam in Victory Lane driving a Penske Dodge. Roger should consider Chevy's as another rumor has it that Ryan Newman is possibly leaving for a GM ride... DEI... Ginn ??

Shrub says he can't sell a favorite candy bar to a kid but he's working on it. Who in their right mind would buy anything from him?
I never hear a kid say "I want Frosted Flakes for breakfast because that's Kyle Busch's cool #5 car". The kid has so much potential, but will he ever develop some humility and gratitude? Well, until he does he couldn't sell an ice cube for a penny to a horse with no name lost in the desert... but he's working on it.

Monday, July 2, 2007

New England Style

What a great finish to yesterdays Lenox Tools 300. It looked like Jeffyboy was going to push Young Denny out of the way but he played fair and this may have something to do with Hamlin's racing style, being a fair player himself. The "right side's only" worked well and the team was in sync for once.
An enjoyable race with plenty of action and not too long. NASCAR should have more races of this duration. I was able to get the lawn mowed and cook 5 pounds of chicken breast on the grill without missing a beat. True New England fashion... most things are at a fast pace up here!!

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Viva Craftsman

There's nothing like good ole Craftsman tools. They have been around forever it seems, because I do remember trying to turn a worn out old screw into a scrap piece of lumber my dad had with a Craftsman screwdriver. Sears always said "if you can break one of our hand tools, we'll replace it".
This amazed me as a boy and because of that my dad would end up with a new tool from time to time... me being all boy and testing the limits.
Today I am a craftsman and I do own some Craftsman tools.
The name "Craftsman" is synonymous with the trades as well as The NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series and what a perfect name for this awesome racing. NASCAR has a way of "fixing something that ain't broken", I just hope they are always able to keep "Craftsman" as there major sponsor for the Truck Series.

Kudos to Travis Kvapil.... again!!!