Saturday, October 4, 2008

Champlain Valley Racing Association

Mother Nature ruled last night. We have only a very limited amount of time left to get some more racing in this season but the weather shut it down. This leaves only the weekend of Oct. 18th and 19th.

CVRA owns and operates two oval dirt tracks. Devil's Bowl Speedway in West Haven Vt. and Albany/Saratoga Speedway in Malta, NY. They are family owned with the 2nd generation now running the operations.

I have picked up the Photog's position and I couldn't be happier about it. No... it won't bring me fame and fortune but it has opened a door into another world. The world of Dirt. In just a short time I have met and made friends with some of the coolest folks. They are tight!! Among each other that is.

My Photo taking style is slightly different from other track Photog's... not to say it's better... just different. I think this is mostly due to my bouncing all over the place, hanging over the walls, laying down on the infield and placing my camera in some unlikely places. The driver/owners have commented on my photos {and have purchased many} saying they've not seen such great shots before from any track Photog. Flattering statements for sure, but I remain humble because there is always room for growth and change. My true success in this remains to be seen, but my success will be measured by the satisfaction of the racer's, the fans and the track owners. Next season!!

Dega!! Having been there, I can honestly say the the NASCAR Nation is in it's glory this weekend. What a wild and fun place to be. Think of Mardi Gras tailgate style!! It's unlike any other track... including Daytona where I have also been. My Dega experience will forever be deeply inbedded in my heart and soul.

Happy 85th birthday dad!!!!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Grateful


The #11 in this shot is Don Miller. This car is an older model of this class, but his dad, Don Sr., brought this car out last week because their primary car was tore up the previous week. Don asked me to get some shots of this car...which I did... because it's racing days are pretty much over. Young Don nearly had the victory in this race and it makes me happy to have had the opportunity to photograph it in action.

The Miller's are great people. They are my first paying customers in the owner/driver circle and they have talked my work up to everyone which has created more sales. What's even better is Don Sr. and I have developed a nice relationship and has made my entry into the dirt track racing community awesome. I feel very welcome and comfortable as the newcomer and am very pleased to be looking forward to next season.

The Biff!! That just put the icing on the cake of what was already a good day. Greg is one of my top drivers and to see him in victory lane on the opening of the "playoff's" was an awesome sight to behold. This momentum will hopefully follow Greg to Dover, a track he runs well at.

Shrub did not have such a good day, but then neither did a few others, especially Kenseth. His whole attitude is rather drab. He's visibly unhappy with the Roush-Sox equipment and seems decidedly content on not winning the Cup. His words... "cautiously optimistic" pretty much summed it up.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Down to the Wire


Photographing these Modified Dirt Track cars is exhilarating. This shot from the infield had me up close and almost too personal.

It has it's dangers. A flying axle killed a woman this past week and a local photographer had an axle fly over his head at a nearby track last week.

The 12 Chaser's are pretty much locked in. The Richmond race will tell all. And what a great track for this to take place. We should see a plentiful race... provided Hanna's wrath does not dampen things.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Busy Busy Busy


Devil's Bowl Speedway
West Haven, Vermont

Things have been very crazy for me this summer with little time left to post on this blog. I'm working my construction business as well as my photography business. The above shot is at a dirt track. I've been given the opportunity to be their photog. I'm also doing our local Go Carts and weddings adinfinium.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

A Gentleman


Photo by me at Daytona in Feb. '08


I have to give Jeff Hammond a big kudos. I recently emailed him some photos I took of Patty and Jeff at Daytona. It was a hilarious few minutes. There is a post about it in my archives...

Jeff answered my email and remembers that day. It's so cool when celebrities take the time to reach out to the fans and it's rare. Funny thing.. Jeff's friend and co-worker Steve Byrnes also answered an email of mine.

Thanks Jeff!!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Smores


From our camping trip this past weekend.

We went up to Rogers' Rock Campground on Lake George Thursday 8/7. We no more than got things done and the rain came. I had engineered a tarp tied to trees and stretched it over 2 tents and a screen room/tent, so we stayed dry for the most part. Friday brought another period of rain but the night hours and all day Saturday were dry and very nice. Sunday.... more rain!!

Watkins Glen... the rain plagued qualifying but they were spared yesterdays wetness. The Glen is about 3 hours west of my house and it surprised me to see they were not getting hammered like the rest of NY state. This has been the wettest summer I can remember in a long time.

Maybe it's just me... but this 3 week stretch of the racing season is the longest...boring!! From Pocono's [yawn] race to Michigan's. At least there is Bristol as an encore.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Hey Rusty!!!!


A tribute to Rusty Wallace, although my dog's snout is too good for him.

Why does he whine like a baby and act like he's Holier than Thou? Based on his assumptions he and only he claims that Roger Penske fired Ryan Newman and even if it's fact, who is he to drag it all through the mud?

He and Newman have never been best friends, but that's because Wallace is a big baby and Ryan tells it like it is with his sarcastic humor and wit. Wallace truly needs to mind his own business.

The Glen... looks like rain again this weekend. Us folk up here in the Northeast have been plagued with wet for weeks on end. Perhaps NASCAR will try out the rain tires again.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Color


Night shot of Lake George Village, NY... 7/31/08

Posting my own photo... yeah well it's because I always post a photo from one source or another and night shots are among my personal favorites. Of course you have to be a photographer to fully appreciate why. These shots take time and patience... a tripod, a body of water helps and a full understanding of shutter speed and aperture are necessary. The results are usually very colorful despite it being dark...

Colorful... word of the day. And it's been anything but a Black and White week.... suddenly Manny Ramirez went from Red to Blue in a shocking trade between the Redsox and the Dodgers. My 10 year old son's favorite star and a devout Redsox fan has lost a piece of his young life.

My blog... this one, was flagged as a Spam Blog by Google Blogger and ultimately shut down or frozen in time until I could prove I am a human being. Interesting security measure, but what on Earth could cause such a thing? Well... apparently Google deemed me a human because NASCAR Eclectic was set free this morning.

Montreal.... a gorgeous city... very colorful indeed. The Big Apple of Canada. I've visited in the past and would love to return, but going across the border is no fun anymore. With the Nationwide crew in town Montreal is loaded with Americans this weekend... a contrast with the French and English.

I cannot leave out the drab. Gray is rather boring and the skies promise to be gray over the Pocono's today. In fact it is raining there now and it's only 7:30 am. There's a chance that the NASCAR race will be delayed or possibly postponed because there is more of this forecast for tomorrow... but not as heavy. At the very least they will have a green track.... more color!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Lebanon Valley

Lebanon Valley Speedway
West Lebanon, NY


This track is about an hour and 15 from my house. It offers a full schedule of dirt racing every weekend from the Pro Stock's to Modified and the World of Outlaws race a couple times a year. Tony Stewart has been here a few times as have some other big name drivers over the years.

I attended the races there last night for the first time and other than a burst of rain, that only made things messy, it was a pretty cool experience. The World of Outlaws are scheduled for 9/21... top row seats are a whopping $25... a 110% increase over a normal Saturday night. There are 1/2 dozen tracks similar to this one all within a couple of hours of each other and the ticket prices are about the same. You'd think these track owners would go broke!! I'll be attending the 9/21 event.

Tires!! Well... I don't think we've ever seen a race quite like the Brickyard 400. Somehow it did not seem like racing... rather a series of shootout's. One thing that stood out..... there was only one engine failure. Kudos to E.Sad for a great race today as well as Jamie McMurray and AJ Allmendinger. It's nice to see some different drivers with good finishes.

I'm liking Smoke's new digs. The #14 Old Spice / Office Depot seems very fitting. I've always favored the Old Spice paint scheme and next year it'll be on a Cup car.




Sunday, July 13, 2008

Roll With It


Believe that there are many photo thieves.... feel free to steal this... I hope you like the frame!!

For the rest of you good honest folks... I shot this at Loudon 2 weeks ago. My home track and a place close to my heart. Loudon is as boring a race as there is, but the facility itself is awesome and Bruton Smith is only making it better... my wish is he banks the corners.... make it another Vegas so to speak. Plans already include more seating and new modern restrooms. He'll never have a problem filling the seats there, as it is by far the best track in the northeastern US, next in line to Dover.

I posted this shot of the #20 because it's the final season with Smoke behind the wheel. I have a rather large diecast collection and after this past weeks announcement that Tony is leaving JGR I must add this car to my collection. It is many firsts... first year Toyota, COT and the first time Tony has raced something in Cup other than a Chevy. Then it can claim last as well. First and last in the same season. I will wait... my hope is Tony gets a victory and that raced version would be my purchase.

Some Stewart fans are distraught over his choice...I claim to be a fan of his, but I am the "NASCAR Fan Rare Breed". He is one of several of my drivers of choice. I suppose I am not fanatical. I roll with change fairly well and I see this change as an incredible opportunity. This is where Tony's heart is at and if one's heart is in it, the rest will follow. A good example of this is Dale Jr.. With DEI and Mother Teresa out of the picture he has relaxed and his performance has shown dramatic improvement. I realize that equipment plays part of this, yet it cannot be denied that Jr.'s state of mind is allowing him to focus from his heart. Tony only knows where Tony's heart is at.... but we all know it is with Chevy. That may seem trivial in the scheme of things, but guys do hold "things" as objects of affection. At least he'll be driving the car he loves. No, it won't be with Home Depot and we won't see those silly commercials.

For those of you who are angry, upset, distraught or any other negative emotion... these are self centered feelings based on what you expect. Expectations can be our biggest disappointments in life. It's much easier to roll with the River. Like that of a drifting twig... the twig knows it has no control over the river currents. It has times of turbulence and times of tranquility, but it only has true problems when it is caught up by resistance. Change is inevitable and acceptance is the key... so go ahead... rear up your heads and buck. I only hope y'all feel better for it.

Chalk up another win for Shrub.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Foot in Mouth



Or maybe it's a case of asking and receiving, or ranting and raving, either way the irony is... I wrote that crap yesterday about Newman and Stewart only to wake to an article in Fox NASCAR today... Report: Stewart to be granted release from JGR

I always liked Gene Haas, but he got caught with his hands in the cookie jar. The Fed's merely slapped his hands with 24 months in the slammer, a gift in comparison to what he could have received. Albeit, it has opened the door for Stewart to buy into Haas CNC Racing where rumors state he will totally revamp the entire organization. He'll be back in the Chevy Saddle again and give himself the opportunity to remain with NASCAR well into the future.

What's even more ironic is... rumor has it that Newman has plans to go with Stewart. Smart move... I think?

Joey Logano in the #20... that'll take some getting used to.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

A Fly on the Wall

Photo by none other...


With Silly Season now in full swing I wish I were this green eyed Deer Fly. If you've ever encountered one of these pesky creatures, you'd know they have the ability to literally get in your hair and any place else they feel like.

There is much happening and many of us "wanna be" flies wish we knew. One example for me is... I want to know what is happening in the Penske camp with Ryan... his contract is up and I've heard very little. I suppose I should pay Mike a visit...if anyone has the scoop on Newman, he does. We all know that Sam Hornish should have stayed in Open Wheel and other than Kurt Busch's luck of the draw and Ryan's 500 win, things are not looking good for Roger.

Then there's Smoke... in my opinion he should remain with Gibbs... perhaps a two year renewal will give him enough time to make up his fleeting mind on what his damn future holds. His performance this season is lacking so far and some say it's because he has too much on his plate... well now... if that is the case how will he perform as an owner/driver?... Get your head out of your ass Tony!!

The smartest decision made is Mark Martin's. He's no fool.

More night racing this weekend at Chicagoland.... perhaps Tony can do a repeat!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Robby Gordon-Driver & Owner of the #7 Jim Beam




We lucked out with the weather. For those of you that watched the race on the Tele you know a storm hit near the end. We were getting in the SUV just as the first drops fell. We missed the late race action, but stayed dry!!

Pattyjo and I had a blast with Robby Gordon. She had Robby laughing so hard. He really is a great guy and a good sport. The fan mob around for autographs were not so pleased with us....Patty was getting all of Robby's attention. It was the best part of the whole race day.

I want to send out a big kudos to my good friend George of "Vroom"... I was sitting in the main grandstand when my cell vibrated... it was George sending me a text message from his tropical island vacation... just very nice to hear from him and a pleasant surprise.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

If I had any at all........


Shot taken from my driver's seat....

This has been our pattern the past week or two... rain for two days, sun for one and it's looking as if Sunday's race will be threatened by rain... a race I have tickets for!! We live just far enough away...3 hours...that it's normally not a bad trip, but with gas at $4.20 and rising... well we better bring a tent and sleeping bags!

A very odd weather pattern...it's raining today, nice tomorrow with rain forecast for Saturday and Sunday, then nice again on Monday.... I am tempted to gamble and plan on a delay until Monday, but I cannot win a craps shoot with loaded dice. Plus we all know that if at all possible NASCAR will try to get to the 1/2 way mark.

Whatever happen to the Luck of the Irish? Must be that other European blood of mine that rules ! Oh well... umbrellas, rain slickers, hot coffee a tent and a zip lock baggie for my Canon... perhaps Kyle Busch can ask the Luck Angels for help...he seems to have them wrapped around his finger !

Wish us luck!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Silly What??


Well I admit that most days I am borderline.

How in the hell can Silly Season predictions possibly be warranted so soon?? Lee Spencer of Fox NASCAR has jumped on the bandwagon with her annual crap. Silly Season is silly enough and the Big Wig Media folk have to hype it up even more. Nothing against Lee personally... in fact I enjoy her editorials, but she has a huge leap of faith or a crystal ball or perhaps she's got a chair in the Oval Office.

A rather shocking lineup for the Sonoma race. Kudos to Kahne, but what a surprise and the top 5 are not what I expected with Road King Robby Gordon qualifying 6th. Freaking J. Johnson and J. Gordon in the top 5! WOW.... well Robby is my choice to win this... like him or not, he's due.

My own mother grew up with and dated Johnny Benson's dad. They are all Grand Rapids Mich. natives... I was born there... could it be Johnny's comfort level at Milwaukee is because it's close to home? Well actually there is 80 miles of water over the big pond of Lake Mich., at any rate...he has become the Milwaukee Beer Blast with 3 consecutive wins there.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Fathers Day


Photo Credit....NASCAR Media



First...Happy Fathers Day dad's!!

Finally a Nationwide race worth remembering. We have another prodigy on our hands... Joey Logano. 'nough said!.... He will become a household name, but then so has Kyle Busch. The difference being..Logano is a likable kid.

Today's race in my home state...Michigan!! Great state for sure. The race is rather on the boring side though... oh well. It's still racin' and the Winner will be................

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Pattyjo


By the look of this shot I took one would think these two have known each other for years. Actually.... this is at Daytona during Race Week...the Thursday. Jeff Hammond was awesome and few people can resist the charm and charisma of my wife Pattyjo.

It's this gift of hers that has landed us a pair of free tickets to Loudon for the 6/29 race. A local car dealer / friend called us last week and said he has two tickets on the finish line.... would we like them?? At first we thought..."ok, what's this going to cost us?"

Not one penny!! He simply adores Pattyjo and life has been very hard on us for the past 6-7 months due to Patty getting hurt at work. Terry, the ticket bearer, has even offered us a car off of his lot, with a tank of gas and a dealer plate for the 3 1/2 hour trip.

Now most men would never tolerate the antics and flirtatious behavior Pattyjo exhibits. Me on the other hand... well I just roll with it. I even encourage it at times. It can be quite entertaining and as you just read, rewarding too.

Last weekend Lake George had it's annual bike rally, The Americade. I turned away for one minute and when I looked back Pattyjo was on the back of a Harley riding off with some stranger. As it turned out he was a cop from Connecticut and he was nervous the whole ride thinking I was going to be pissed off..... hell, when they finally returned I took pictures of them!!

She is very, very much in love with me and would never do anything to compromise our marriage. Her spirit's are down and her self esteem is low because of her accident. It's this sort of thing that gives me pleasure... to see her happy doing what she enjoys.... flirting and getting attention!!

You go girl!!!

Monday, June 9, 2008

Speed of Light


This shot I took the other night reminds me a little of this past weekends racing.... Changes!!
It all started with Kyle Busch not winning the NCTS race and ended with Kyle Busch not winning the Pocono race. Perhaps it had something to do with his stretching things to the limit. He practically had to move at the speed of light to get from Pocono on Friday to Texas where he finished a respectable 2nd in the Truck race, but it was downhill from there. He was back in Pocono Saturday for practice only to wreck his primary car. He then bounced to Nashville for the Nationwide race only to have a terrible race, by his standards, with a lowly 20th place finish. A big kudos to Brad Keselowski for his 1st and well deserved Nationwide victory! Busch is either insane or just plain stupid because his showing in the Cup Race at Pocono Sunday was an obvious spectacle of an over tired, fatigued driver. With a careless move on the 47th lap where he just seemed to move up the track aimlessly only to find Jamie McMurray there. Busch's car was extensively damaged. Able to return later 87 laps down, he held out until he spun the car again with only 22 laps remaining landing him a 43rd place finish. His points lead has been narrowed considerably with Jeff Burton now only 21 points behind him.

Pattyjo, my wife, says Busch is a pompous ass and deserved what he got. She says ... "Look at me!!" "I'm Kyle Busch... the next best thing to..." Well, you get my drift and I tend to agree with her. I also highly doubt he'll learn anything from this as he'll rationalize and place blame everywhere except on himself.

An outstanding race by Kahne and The Biff.... well, if Greg's luck would only turn we'll see him in Victory Lane.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Pretty Picture??


Photo from NASCAR Media


I'm not your "A" typical NASCAR fan. I am truly not a driver basher. I am not solely devoted to a single driver. Fans like me are rare, yet Ryan Newman made mention of this type of fan at a press release, which gave me a boost of confidence because I thought I was some sort of freak.

I am a firm believer in.... "Who am I to Judge". Passing judgment on someone without having all the facts is emotionally driven. Assumptions are biased ignorance and often times derived from ones own misgivings, shortcomings and/or mental illness. They can also be passion driven or done in the heat of the moment out of anger or defensively. We are all only Human.

This is what Kyle Busch did when interviewed after Jason Leffler accidentally spun Busch into the wall. The anger was understandable and his words were rather comical..."Da!". Jason's public apology was honorable, but I think premature. From what I saw he really didn't do anything wrong. His car got loose, period. The incident gave both drivers a DNF and the fans as a whole probably loved this. Right here in my own house I heard "YES!!!!!!"

At any rate, Busch is one hell of a racer. No denying. But his dominance in all 3 venues is making people either dislike him more or causing them to take a closer look at this prodigy. I actually saw for the first time, at a Dirt Track Race I attended, a Kyle Busch T-shirt on an adult male. I was surprised and even pointed it out to Pattyjo.

Speaking of prodigy.... a big congratulations to Joey Lagano for an incredible debut race.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Scott Speed




Dover always delivers and last nights NCTS race was proof.
Seeing Kyle Busch lose his Tranny turned my whole attitude around.... for the simple reason of redundancy. Unless of course you want to refer to the past 3 Truck races having first time winners...that being redundant, but not a boring one. Shrub's name in the news is very old.
Congratulations to Scott Speed.

Greg Biffle is high up on my Fave Driver's list..........GO GREG!!!!!
He won the Coors Light Pole Award, but can his Roush equipment hold up? He has had a winning car several times this season only to lose due to equipment failure. It'll be interesting to see what happens at Sunday' race.


Sunday, May 25, 2008

Dirt Trackin


Fonda Speedway, Fonda NY
Photo by Me!

Pattyjo and I took our 10 year old's son and nephew to one of our local dirt tracks last night. The boys had a blast...but I think Patty and I had more fun. It was our first...why? Good question because we have 5 of these tracks within an hour and a half from our house. We now plan on going to more. Lebanon Valley Speedway in Western Mass. is next on our list. Tony Stewart has raced there and The World of Outlaws are regulars.

Coca-Cola 600!!...Shrub again?? Getting old!!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Farewell Humpy


H.A. "Humpy" Wheeler


With the media abuzz with Wheeler's announcement, I felt it appropriate to wish him a farewell. His retirement from Lowes Motor Speedway may indeed be a gift to the NASCAR World as a whole. Perhaps his passion and genius for Stock Car Racing Marketing can be shared at the helm with Helton and others. Lord knows they need all the help they can get and Humpy is the man that can make drastic positive changes. Afterall... this is the guy who had a dead chicken placed in a large shark's mouth and driven around the track on a flatbed.... all this to honor D.W.'s new nickname, "Jaws". I truly enjoyed the movie "Cars" and in fact I own a diecast collection of the entire cast. Humpy played the voice of "Tex", the Cadillac, a voice heard by millions around the world, a voice that many look up to and a voice that I'm sure will continued to be listened to. So will he still cast his All-Star Race winner predictions? He'll be missed at Lowes, but his presence will not dwindle in the racing world.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Matt Crafton....Finally !!


Photo... NASCAR Media Archives


After an unlikely turn of events at Lowes Motor Speedway and a very strange attrition rate, Matt Crafton brings himself a victory after 178 starts. It's awesome to see something like this and especially in the Truck Series where the races are always dominated by a select few, a select few that found themselves with banged up wrecked trucks, Black Flagged or some other cause of their demise. Emotions even played part as Todd Bodine was sent to the end of the line for aggressive driving after he spun Hornaday. It was one crazy act after another that led to this young mans first victory.

Good for him!!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mothers Day Mom's


Photo Credit Me!

My wife Patty and son Adam.


I've been seriously slacking here. I'll try to post more often.... life has been crazy and I have too many logs on the fire.

Kyle Busch is on a role. I enjoyed the race nonetheless and even though the Shrub is one hell of a racer his dominance is getting to be a bit like deja' Vu..... JJ last season.

I sat and watched The Biff having a great night wondering when some piece of Murphy's law would come into play. I even mumbled out loud that this is too good to be true. Perhaps his statement during his DNF interview has merit. He seemed to be conveying a message that his RoushSox equipment is crap. When is his contract up? I'll have to look into that or if someone knows please tell me. I can see Greg doing very well in a Chevy.

Dale Jr. is really having a great season. His Hendrick car is almost always good and he is driving incredibly well. A victory for him is very high on my wish list. It was nice to see his mother there with him...she looks good. I think that may have been the first time I've seen her. He needs a win, but his stoic attitude is awesome. No whining, no bitching, just disappointment with determination.

Looking forward to the All Star race on Saturday night. It's alway fun to watch.


Monday, May 5, 2008

Get a Grip...Updated... 5/7/08


Photo Credit NASCAR Media


When I saw this wreck happen my first thought was "Oh no....not Jr.!" It truly was not either one's single fault. I cannot help but give a big Kudos to both of these guys. They said it like it happened in post interviews.

Kyle Busch is a racer! Period, and I will not fault him for that. His style is his and it will win him a Championship one day. At 24 years old he can out drive most anyone... what will he be like at 34 years old?!

Reading forums gives me a chuckle. The comments from the Jr. Nation are ridiculous. I respect Dale 100%. I am not a huge fan but he is one of my fave's. He is not God! He is not his Father! He is not untouchable! He is simply another racer who happens to have a Fan frenzy about him which in some ways is a turnoff. Many people are Fans of his simply because everyone else is... followers. I wonder how many of these folks are actually closet Fans of another less popular driver... they wear #88 garb in public but have hidden merchandise of the #24, #48, or possibly the #18!

Update...Wed. May 7th.

Okay... it's obvious it doesn't take much to ruffle feathers where Dale Jr. is concerned. Guaranteed, had this happened between Busch and Jeff Gordon I certainly would not have been writing about it in my tiny blog and half the world wouldn't know about it.

First of all...Kyle is reckless, oh and I stand corrected on his age... 23 not 24. His recklessness, selfishness and narcissism... umm.. could it be immaturity ?? I know at 23 I was not the most responsible kid on the block. Am I defending him? No! I am a realist and am not afraid to say it as I see it... the reality is... he is only 23, a child.

My statements about Jr. fans are in the general sense and not directed at all! There are many who are genuine, many who are dedicated for the right reasons. Dale is hard not to like, but my point is.. he is just another race car driver and it's his huge fan base along with the majority of them being fanatic that creates the otherwise not chaos.

My writing is often misconstrued because I write in a dry sense with much more information between the lines than meets the eye. If I wrote everything I thought on a subject no one would read my blog because it would be pages of useless jargon, so I'm brief, to the point and sarcastic.

Have a great Day!!!

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Hometown Hero


Photo Credit NASCAR Media


Slumber overtook my desire to see the finish to the Lipton Tea 250 at Richmond. I even snoozed during the afternoon yesterday with hopes of seeing the Nationwide race in it's entirety, but when one rises long before the birds do on a daily basis, by 9:00 pm the Sandman is dumping bags of the stuff on my eyes.

I am happy for Denny Hamlin, JGR and the Virginian folks who wanted to see their hometown hero in Victory Lane. A feel good finish that I missed... I am staying awake tonight if I need to super glue my eyes open.

Kudos to Steve Wallace for finally finishing a race.


Sunday, April 27, 2008

Crusty Kevin LaPage


Photo Credit....NASCAR Media

Smoke finally gets a Dega win albeit in The Nationwide Series.

What in the hell was Kevin LaPage thinking!!?? When I watched and listened to him give his live statement to millions watching the Tele my thoughts were almost sympathetic. He is either very stupid or just plain deaf, dumb and blind. I'm sorry, but I need to blast this idiot. Mistake... I suppose it was and they are all entitled, but to then justify it and blame the pack barreling at him at 180 mph was just downright ridiculous. I only live about 2 hours southwest of his hometown and he reminds me of the stubborn hard nosed attitudes of so many people that live in these parts. I am a midwesterner having lived in the Northeast for 30 years and like the wonderful Southern hospitality, the Midwest is also friendly and on the humble side of life. The Northeast, for the most part, is anything but! The demographics here are far different than anywhere in the Country and LaPage is no different. I suppose that is where my sympathy comes in, because as long as I have lived here it is part of me that will never get accustomed to or understand. That mistake could have easily taken the life of another driver. I hope LaPage rescinds and feels some responsibility today.




Sunday, April 20, 2008

Danica


Finally an "On Track" victory for Danica Patrick. It was fuel strategy that earned her the win. A good call by her team manager, Kyle Moyer. A first for her and a first for Indycar.

I have nothing but good thoughts over this. I am not even one bit against women in racing and in fact find it to be pretty wonderful. If the scantly clad photo layouts she's done haven't brought her world wide fame... this Indycar victory certainly will.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Prodigy


I think about Kyle Busch. My thoughts are mixed because last season and previous seasons I rarely gave the kid any notice. One cannot help but notice him this season. He has stepped out of the Hendrick shadows and into the Gibbs Limelight. I see a different man... no longer a boy... he is showing integrity and his pompousness is not so apparent anymore. He expresses gratitude and seems genuinely humble in some subtle way. His recklessness on track has leveled off, but not so much to take away from his driving style. It could be that I'm beginning to like him...or at least showing him the respect he deserves. A prodigy.

Mark Martin topping the speed chart in final practice..... hmmmm! DEI has given him a winning car. To see him in Victory Lane in the #8 would be outstanding!

"Smoke Racing Incorporated"

"Tony Stewart Racing"

"Smoke Motorsports"

Talk of Tony owning a Cup team in the future... now there's a man who would knock down doors in the France office.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Quiet Times



First.... My deepest sympathy to the family and friends of Brienne Davis.

Things in the NASCAR world just seem to be plugging along without anything silly or controversial. Last year at this time things were off the hook with the inception of the CoT, Michael Waltrip, Toyota and more. The biggest story so far this year is McDowell's introduction to the world. Silly season is apt to bring some interesting stuff.

Phoenix has been the Hendrick's track the past two races... Gordon in the Spring, Johnson in the Fall. My crystal ball is clouded on this one....but again... the Gibbs machines are the ones to watch.

Phoenix is an interesting track... it falls somewhere in between a short track and a super speedway at one mile. The cars average around 110 - 115 mph with a relatively slight banked Tri-oval design. It's almost a cookie cutter, but shorter. Should be a good race.


Sunday, April 6, 2008

Dessert Shrub


The Shrub finally pulls one off. Not much input from me on this because it's obvious very early in the season that Busch will dominate this year. I remain neutral... I don't particularly care either way. I suppose I'm done being so concerned about the dominance of one driver or another and instead place focus on the level of performance the drivers I do care about. This keeps me from getting aggravated.

Irony is a funny thing. I vividly recall my 8th grade English teacher driving home the meaning behind this word. Of course it is often coupled with coincidence, it has a varying degree of meanings and uses. In a previous post I wrote about Michael McDowell. I truly expected to see this kid climb to fame, but not so quickly and certainly not in this manner. Watching that crash...live, was scary.

So what will today bring? Another Toyota in Victory Lane? Perhaps another RCR car.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Monday


A rare 1967 Toyota 2000GT.

The Toyota... interesting because they've never really been serious muscle car builders, but they sit on top of the charts in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. The TRD started in the off-road circuit with huge success, entered into the NCTS with even more success and now they are in the big leagues and there is no stopping them.

A great race yesterday at Martinsville. Amazing how the race went on with a continuous light rain. This probably due to the slower speeds.

It was pleasing to see Hamlin take the win in his home state. Several drivers had a good day including Dale Jr. He is showing consistency with the Hendrick team, but it's the Childress guys that are leading the pack. Jeff Burton is doing very well, but his "Tude" towards Michael McDowell was out of character. It'll be interesting how Burton does at Texas ... being last years winner there.

Gordon and Johnson have finally broken into the top ten. Momentum??

Friday, March 28, 2008

One to Watch


Nice guy! But can he give MWR the boost they need. He takes over the #00 Domino Toyota. He is one to watch with this week being his debut race and of all places.....Martinsville.

Good Luck Michael!!

video

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Martinsville


It's almost time for the weekend kickoff. A full race schedule... NCTS, Nationwide and Cup.

Hoopla.... Jimmy Johnson winning!! NOT!! It's going to be a Toyota. A calculated guess or perhaps it's that clairvoyance, but I don't see a Hendrick car in Victory Lane.

Martinsville is one of those very active and exciting races. I've a passion for short tracks, although the restictor plate races are awesome. The biggest challenges for drivers at Martinsville is over driving the corners...like D.W. says.."slow down to go faster".. and then there is the tightest pit road on the circuit to contend with. All in all... Martinsville is never boring.

I'd love to see a Ford win...specifically The Biff.

Back at the Cottage... The winter from hell is finally showing signs of spring. The mercury will actually reach 45 today. Woooo.....whooooo!!!! My heating bill for this winter, which is not over yet, exceeded $3,000.00. We burned a lot of candles for extra warmth!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Easter Sunday


An Easter Lily.

The Nationwide race at Nashville... uneventful with a feel good finish. I admit that I know little about Scott Wimmer. The name is very recognizable, and his face is familiar, yet I learned more about him after yesterdays win. It was a feel good finish.


A quiet week on the NASCAR front.

I wish everyone a very Happy Easter.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Grand Ole' Opry


I always look forward to the Nashville Nationwide race. I was hoping to see fewer Cup Big Guns on the entry list, because it's so cool to see a minor leaguer win. The last one of these I recall was David Gilliland winning, which broke a streak and placed him on the charts.

Of course the entry list includes the likes of Ky. Busch, C. Edwards, C. Bowyer and D. Hamlin... so chances are slim to none that one of the little guys will take the checker.

Kenny Herman Wallace.... he's a funny guy right? And seems to be very fan friendly right? Yeah...well he's in love with the camera. I believe he's hoping to get noticed by some Hollywood Producer. Any time I've been in close proximity of him he has been a royal prick and his whole demeanor changes the minute they say "Rolling!".

He's been given a full time car in the Nationwide Series by Jay Robinson Racing. The #28 Border Patrol. Kenny boasts.."I'm going to put the Border Patrol Chevy up front and compete in the top ten every week"... yeah OK Kenny!! Ya might better take a seat at the audition tent for the Talladega Nights sequel.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Fall As They May


Typical Bristol. Gotta love it!!

Smoke's dominate run surely kept the records straight... the most laps led driver has never won at Bristol and it's always a surprise ending and always anyone's race.

Very impressive run by the "Cuban Missile" Aric Almirola with a top ten finish in the #8 DEI Army car.

Many kudos to RCR and the 1, 2, 3 finish. Finally a Chevy to Victory Lane and it wasn't a Hendrick mobile.

Toyota continues to show it's muscle with the only mechanical failure I know of being Kyle Busch's power steering... perhaps after their awful debut last season, they've got the bugs out.

A week off and on to more short track racing at Martinsville.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Farewell DJ


Photo from Dale Jarrett.com



I just took this shot on my dining room table with a navy blue sweatshirt of mine under it.
This is of course the RCCA Elite Autographed 2005 Herbie Fully Loaded paint scheme. This car was raced by DJ at the Richmond Chevy Rock and Roll 400, where if my memory serves me, he wrecked it.

The days of Dale's thunder had been past by 2005, his peak career being through the 90's and early 2000's with RYR. He leaves behind a very prestigious record with 3 Daytona 500 wins, and 2 Brickyard 400 wins. He retires this year with what has been an incredible racing career.

Rain, Rain Go Away!! Johnson on the pole again!

Back at the Cottage... My posting here has been lax. This is mainly due to the amount of time I'm spending honing my photography skills. I turned 51 a couple of months ago and I made a decision last year that I need to find another way to make a living as I entered mid-life. The contracting business is okay at best. I've been doing it for over 25 years, but it truly does drive me nuts. I can boast and say that I am good at it, but it's a rough business. I'll most likely always be a contractor, but with less and less hands on. I will have others do the work while I supervise under my good name. I really wanted to do something I enjoy. I am a certified C.A.D. operator with emphasis on architectural design, but I really don't want to spend my senior years behind a monitor for days on end....hence, photography. This will take the better part of 5 years to fully develop, but I am self driven. There will be a book out there one day full of images of the Adirondack Mountains and lakes with my name on it. That is my true enjoyment, but the real bread and butter is in photo journalistic weddings and I still have my sights set on NASCAR. All this said because I will not be as active posting here at NASCAR Eclectic as I was last season, but once or twice a week is for sure.


Monday, March 10, 2008

Tall Order


Kyle Busch.... We might as well get used to it. And I always hate to say this but.... I told you so! The kid has actually grown on me a wee-bit. Does he remind you of anyone?? Come on think real hard! Okay... so perhaps nobody wants to compare Rowdy to a late great Legend, but the young Busch drives like Dale and is just as intimidating. Point in clue... Busch nearly put Dale Jarrett in a tail spin on the final lap yesterday. This pissed me off at the time and I still feel it was an unnecessary evil, but Jarrett was holding Busch back from crossing the finish line with the Snickers car all by itself in the glory of the victory. He had it either way, so this just shows that he is still a selfish little you know what. But... what would Dale Sr. have done?? No driver got in his way and if they did they got pushed to the side and often into the wall and the fans loved this about Dale. I know I did. I don't want to piss anyone off here, but it is what it is. Of course there is no comparison between the two off the track... Dale's life and the way he lived it can never be compared. Kyle Busch is a turd but his skills behind the wheel are not short of amazing.

Goodyear. They've done a good job at pissing off many. Although the tires made for an interesting race. The drivers got plenty of practice driving loose cars.

Interesting. The point standings...not a Gordon or Johnson in the top 10. 3 Toyota's, 3 Dodge's, 3 Chevy's and the lonely #16 Ford. Quite a balanced mix. With short track racing at Bristol this week it's likely the Toyota's will continue to dominate. It's a nice change not seeing Gordon and Johnson dominating... we asked for it! But on the other hand it's going to get old real quick with that #18 Candy Car up front every week.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Hotlanta


What is up with Rowdy?! The kid is unstoppable taking his 2nd out of 3 NCTS win this year. He is also a favorite for Sunday's Sprint Cup race sitting on the outside of row 3. I missed the Truck race... I cannot stay up that late, but reading how NASCAR told Shrub to "Cool it" for passing on the inside didn't stop him.... he then just hugged the wall in a loose truck and worked his way to the front. Later pit strategy landed him in Victory Lane. The kid can pretty much out drive anyone, but his "Rowdiness" gets him caught up in melee more often than not. Maturity will bring him a Cup Championship.

Carl Edwards is touting the Aflac paint scheme for Sunday's race... nothing like a little insurance after his mishap's... the penalty and the wrecked million dollar motor home. It was torn up in an accident enroute to Atlanta... but Carl has new digs!! A 30' tag-along complete with a bathroom and an awning. To have it so bad.... poor guy has to spend the weekend in a $50k trailer instead of a rolling castle. He can borrow my moldy tent!

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Free Bird

I consider myself fairly literal in the literal sense, yet I had to look up the word "Sycophant"... sycophant \SIK-uh-fuhnt\, noun:
A person who seeks favor by flattering people of wealth or influence; a parasite; a toady. As taken from Dictionary.com.

"Can we get a collective sigh of relief from all the Robby sycophants who have been in a constant state of panic over Gordon folding his Sprint Cup tent?"

I never thought of myself as a parasite or a toady, but this is what Marc of Full Throttle refers to those of us in support of Robby Gordon's appeal. Oh well, I've been called much worse! And the good news is... he won!! Robby that is. It is a relief and I'm sure a collective one and not only fans of Robby, but folks in general. I am not a huge Gordon fan, although he is one of my faves. This is due to what he represents and the type of man he is. In a word.... BRAVO !!

I say he won...well not totally. But at least he has retained his 100 points. The money is replaceable, the probation is doable. I suppose this blows the theory that NASCAR is out to get him... well that is if NASCAR has any influence over The National Stock Car Racing Commission, but that would make NASCAR a sycophant.

In normalcy... Carl Edwards team got hammered. His drop to 7th in points hardly hurt, at least this early in the season. If he continues to show this fortitude of late, he'll be back on top in a matter of weeks.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Good Luck Robby Gordon


I titled this image "Fate". This is shot through an old John Deere window. Every picture tells a story, some sad, some happy, some inspiring, some comforting and in this case it could be any, but for me it suggests fate. The veins of glass that may have started as a simple crack and with time, ill repair and hard work the window progressed to a state of demise yet somehow can still reflect beauty. Perhaps the farmer that owns this Deere prefers to keep the old girl just the way she is.

Fate... I read a clip on Fox Sports last night about Robby Gordon's impending appeal. The idea that the outcome of this could very well seal his fate was disturbing to me. Losing the appeal will place him in a position that will likely cost him his NASCAR career. He has fought so hard to gain the ground he has as the only owner/driver left in NASCAR, well Kyle Petty qualifies for this too but with the Petty Empire behind him. Robby has courage, stoic integrity and blind faith with a backbone made of steel. He has managed to keep Jim Beam as a sponsor and somehow keeps things moving forward. I don't care what anybody says... this infraction is not his fault or the fault of his team. Dodge has taken full responsibility and given that this was Robby's first race in an Evernham Dodge it's all too obvious that they were only following protocol. Whatever happens happens, yet I will be feeling his pain. Fate will be, but Faith in Robby moving forward in another venue helps. Back to Open Wheel perhaps and he has his Offroad career.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Happy Race Day


I eat my words Marc. The Nationwide race was anything but boring. What is up with turn 4? An oil slick! It was the early demise of several including Smoke who probably would've had the 3 in a row.

I just love seeing Mark Martin win a race. In Jr.'s car no less. What awesome integrity that Mr. Martin has. He felt so bad for wrecking Carl and Brad Keselowski. It is a shame, but "that's racin' boys". Young Brad did an awesome job in the 88. His average finish for '07 is 26th.... ya think that'll climb 10 or more? Yeah Buddy!! He'll be in a Cup car for '09.

Some bloggers have asked how to gain access to the NASCAR Media website. It's an application process and they do not hand out credentials to bloggers as a rule. I am a photographer and that's what I think gained me access. It's anybodies guess, but I applied last year and was denied... this year I was accepted. They have some strict guidelines.

Back at the Cottage... Ole man Winter brought March in like a lion. I woke up to 12 inches of the white stuff. The good news... temps in the 40's all this week. I'm ready to move south by George!!

Friday, February 29, 2008

Newmaaannnn!!!!


I got this shot at Daytona. It's a bit hazy because it was shot through a window in the garage area. I was annoyed with Ryan back then because as you can see he was just hanging around but would not give any time to his fans... on that day. I've since gotten over it and he is back up in my top 5 fave's list.

I have Vegas practice on the tele as I write this and Ryan just ran a quick lap.

I've uploaded a media video-news conference from the NASCAR Media only site. It's worth the 16 minute watch as Ryan is very funny. He is quite the character and I laughed out loud several times.

Vegas predictions.....naw! I'm not a gambler, but Carl Edwards....hmmmm. And Bobby Labonte lookin real good during Nationwide practice. I'd love to see Bobby win a race...even a Nationwide.

video

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Much 'bout Nothin


As I surf around reading story after story about nothing exciting I wonder when the next big controversy will emerge. The biggest story this week has been Robby Gordon and correct me if I'm wrong but I've not found anything more on his appeal process. He is clearly innocent of any intent and it would only be in everyone's best interest if NASCAR overturns the penalties...to some degree of lesser severity.

Another big story has been Kyle Busch. This kid is like a rock... but in a Toyota. It's too bad he is not a very likable guy because his success as a Champion is imminent, yet he really does not have the fan base to make it exciting.

On to Vegas. It's another boring flat wide track, but it's at least now a bit seasoned after last years repaving. The drivers should enjoy it more. Here is a short clip with Denny Hamlin on this subject.

Happy race weekend!!



video

Monday, February 25, 2008

Flipper does it


Photo Credit: Getty Images


Carl made my day. I skipped the afternoon from my other responsibilities to watch the conclusive race and had images running through my mind of Jimmy Johnson in Victory Lane. It's just too soon and the feelings of Johnson's domination from last season still linger in my soul. It was a feel good finish to what was a not so feel good race weekend.

I'll be watching some of the Nationwide race.... it's just after 4:oo pm now. I'm heading out on a photo shoot, but will be back in time to catch the last half.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

"Sun"day ?


This is something we don't see very often. Dodge leading the pack. Probably not since the "King" days when Mopar ruled. This will change if Fontana ever dries out.

Last nights rain delay gave me a chance to watch a DVD... "Gone Baby Gone". An awesome production by Ben Affleck, starring Ben's younger brother Casey Affleck. It's worth the watch...but it is a tad on the violent side.

What a discouraging weekend the drivers and crews have had. Today does not appear promising either.

I have access to press release videos and other multimedia stuff through NASCAR Media. I have placed this video on here but unsure if it'll work or not. Windows Media player is a pain!!
There are many videos available... this is the latest.

Pray for dry weather.




video

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Wet


What a mess Mother Nature can make. The Speed Channel guys were shivering on live TV last night. Fontana rarely gets that chilly and after leaving 80+ Daytona weather.....

I got this from the NASCAR Media web site....



Revised Schedule: Saturday at Auto Club Speedway

Saturday, February 23rd

6:00 AM NNS GARAGES & REGISTRATION OPEN
9:00 AM NCTS GARAGE & REGISTRATION OPENS

9:30-11:00 AM NNS FINAL PRACTICE

9:30 AM NCTS DRIVER/CREW CHIEF MEETING (CONFERENCE ROOM )

11:30 AM NCTS DRIVER INTRODUCTIONS-SECURITY –CLEAR PIT ROAD
12:00 PM NSCS GARAGES & REGISTRATIONS OPEN
12:00 PM NCTS RACE (100 LAPS, 200 MILES)
1:00 PM NCTS REGISTRATION CLOSES
1:30 PM NSCS ** HOT PASS IN EFFECT **

1:30 PM NNS DRIVER/CREW CHIEF MEETING (CONFERENCE ROOM )

2:00-3:55 PM NSCS FINAL PRACTICE
4:00 PM NNS DRIVER INTRODUCTIONS-SECURITY –CLEAR PIT ROAD
4:30 PM NNS RACE (150 LAPS, 300 MILES)
5:30 PM NNS REGISTRATION CLOSES
5:30 PM NSCS GARAGE & REGISTRATION CLOSES

The Truck Race is at Noon and Nationwide at 4:00 Pacific Time

Happy Saturday!!