Saturday, December 8, 2012

2012 View From the Flagstand

As usual, we skip January and lead off with February, when racing roared back to life at Daytona. After three long, cold, months of waiting for the boys to bring back the noise, it took all of three laps of DW and Larry Mac to douse those flames of anticipation. Luckily JPM had earned his fire-starting badge and reignited them. Matt Kenseth finally won 2012’s Daytona 500, three or four days after it was scheduled to end, barely keeping the 500 in the month of February. Kurt meltdowns: 1.

Which left only a couple of days before our four March races. Smoke won two of them, way out west. Four races into the year and each of NASCAR’s four manufacturers (Ford, Toyota, Chevrolet, and Dodge) had a race win. Kurt meltdowns: 2

The first day of April found Clint Bowyer and Jeff Gordon slamming fenders with each other at Martinsville. Meh, they both seem pretty level-headed, I’m sure they won’t carry a grudge. Sniffles the Hamster scored his second win of the young year. Teammate, Kyle Busch, secured the first of what is sure to be many wins this year. Kurt meltdowns: 2.

At Talladega in May we saw Smoke lecturing fellow drivers on his special ‘no blocking allowed’ rule that he would begin enforcing immediately. Maybe we can get a demonstration of exactly what you’re talking about, Tone? Tone? It took eleven races before JJ won his first this season. Uh oh, could be a long year for the multi-timer. Kurt meltdowns: 3

In June five different drivers found victory lane. Joey Logano somehow followed the sliced bread crumbs to the winner’s circle at Pocono. Even more surprising was Dale Jr winning for the first time since 2008. Every time Jr wins a race, Obama wins an election. Thanks, Junebug. Kurt meltdowns: 1.

During July’s 1,118 miles of racing we somehow had 63 laps of cautions. So… my daily commute has a higher accident to miles driven ratio? And, it’s interactive… and free. JJ and Smoke won their third races of the year, and Kasey Kahne earned his second of the season. Kurt meltdowns: 2.

August found Jeff Gordon winning a race, finally. Did he really need his GPS to find victory lane? “Turn left. Turn left. Go five tenths of a mile and your destination is on the left.” Marcos Ambrose also made his yearly visit to VL at a non-oval track. Kurt meltdowns:1

 September saw the Hamster and Kez winning four of its five races. Oh yeah, the Chase started…. In Chicago? Kyle “points raced” himself right out of the Chase at Richmond. Strangely, he still has the same crew chief. Kurt meltdowns: 0.

We returned to Talladega in October and Smoke showed everyone what happens to blockers. Twenty-two other cars suffered collateral damage, but everyone agreed his demonstration was spot on. As the month wound down it looked like JJ might sail on to his sixth championship, as his lone challenger turned out to be, Keselowski, the new kid on the block (with the haircut to prove it). Kurt meltdowns: 1.

November signaled the end of Hendrick’s title reign of terror (yes that includes Tony) as Keselowski gave Dodge its first championship since Lee Iacocca was running the show. Google him, kids. I’m old. In other news, the title clinching race will be Dodge’s last one for the foreseeable future. Kurt meltdowns:0… but he can’t be happy that his old team just won the title, can he?

With appologies to Dave Barry

Monday, November 12, 2012

So much for getting the band back together: Lakers choose D’Antoni over Jackson as their next head coach

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

SportsChump takes on the elderly in trivia: A mismatch for the ages

Friday, October 5, 2012

Kicking it into gear , 'cause it's football

Kicking it into      gear     , ‘cause it’s   football 

By Tophatal 

The   NFL  certified  referees  are    back,   and   much  of  that     has     been  brought  about   by    noted   referee,   Ed  Hochuli   ,  who  also  happens  to  be  a  successful     Arizona    attorney    and    founder  of  the   law  firm Jones  ,  Skelton  &  Hochuli  , LLC . Without  Hochuli’s     input    and  his    working  alongside     his   peers  ,  I  seriously   doubt  that  the  NFL     would   have   had  the   insight  much  less  the  intelligence  to  have   stepped  up   to the  plate ! As  to the  idiocy     of     Roger  Goodell    and  his   hierarchy  , that they   were  within  their    rights  to  have  enforced    the  lockout  of  the   referees. That   premise, shows about as much intelligence,  as    Goodell  has   shown in  his   handling   of  the   New  Orleans  Saints’    scandal   and  the  ongoing   legal   issues  the  league   faces   , concerning  that   of   player   safety. The  commissioner  is   now    pressing       for  all  of the    thirty  plus  cases  at  the   Federal  level    to  be  thrown  out  of     court  to  have  all  of  those   cases    conjoined  as  one  individual  legal   proceeding . Suffice  to  say, anything  that   Goodell   can   do   to  save  the    NFL     from  being  on  the   wrong   end  of a   lawsuit,  wherein     a  verdict  of   guilty,   is   rendered against  the  league  ,   with     punitive    damages   being  leveled  against  the  NFL. That certainly would not    sit well    with the hierarchy, and   specifically the   owners,   who would   likely have to    give the   go-ahead   in approving   any   type of multimillion    dollar payout, in    damages. Which begs the   question, what    does the NFL   still   have   to   hide   concerning the issue of player safety?         

Week  five  gives us  a plethora   of   games,  which   kicks  off    with a  Thursday  night   game between  the   Arizona  Cardinals (4-0) and   divisional rivals    the    St  Louis  Rams (2-2). The   Cardinals , quick  out  of  the   gate,  with a    4-0  start ,  may  well  be  the  surprise   team    in  the  NFL   this   early  in  the season. The  team’s  defense  is   sound ,   but  it  remains    the   offense,    that  is   still  a  work  in progress, as    head   coach   Ken   Whisenhunt   and  his   coaching  staff   try    get the  kinks  out   of a   somewhat  one-dimensional  unit. The running   game    of the  Cardinals   leaves  a lot  to  be   desired , and  but    for  the   defense  being    resolute  throughout  their   four     games ,  I  seriously    doubt  that  the  team    would  be   sitting with  its present  record !

Coming into this    game , the Rams   have   played   each of their    opponents   close, with  the  exception  of  the    seventeen  point    loss to  the    Chicago  Bears,  in  week three.  This divisional   and   conference  clash   between two   teams   with   postseason  aspirations,  promises  to   be  one  of  the   better  games  on  this  weekend’s  schedule. Quarterbacks, Sam  Bradford and   Kevin  Kolb    are    most  certainly  looking   to   improve upon   their   productivity from   2011, and    clearly   with  their    solid   starts  in  2012  ,  there  is      room      for   improvement  ,  wherein  ,  it  places  their     respective   teams   in  a    better  position  as   the regular  season  schedule  unfolds.

  To     read  more    of this       article      click   on the       link      provided .  

Kicking  it   into   gear  ,  'cause  it's   football

Ten gallon hats, true love and one unhappy millionaire: A tale of URLs gone awry

Monday, May 7, 2012

Dale Jr. Reaches New Level Of Consistency

Sometimes things just don't work out the way you plan. However, Dale Jr. can be thrilled with his 9th place finish for another reason...

What if? The hole-in-one scenario

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Sunday, April 15, 2012

White Knuckled Ride

Hot laps at Rockingham...

Monday, April 2, 2012

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Rating the Goody's Fast Pain Relief 500

A pretty clean Martinsville race went crazy when David Reutimann stopped on the frontstretch with just four laps remaining. How did that affect the Monday Morning Crew Chief Star Rating? Click on the title to find out.

My journey to Augusta National, Part One

Monday, March 26, 2012

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Rating the Food City 500

Bad Brad got back into Victory Lane at Bristol with his win Sunday. Did you like or hate the race? Click on the title to see the Monday Morning Crew Chief Rating.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Reasons we love sports, Vols. 3 & 4: Temper tantrums and the sound of inevitability

The Trifecta- Now The Real Fun Begins Edition

Greetings, race fans. I hope that everyone has recovered from the chaos that was Daytona. Congratulations to Hoosier on getting his first win. This week we jump back into the swing of things as the NASCAR gang heads to Bristol and the F1 boys make their season debut in Australia.

This week's starting line up: Hoosier, Kristen, CR, Phil, Moseby, Hanny, SB, Tez, Jon, Dwindy. Remember that the starting order is used only in a tie breaker situation. You may post your picks in any order.

Now on to the races:

1.) The NASCAR Nationwide Series race from Bristol, Saturday March 17; green flag drops at 2:13pm ET (entry list)

2.) The F1 Australian Grand Prix, Sunday March 18; green flag drops at 2:00am ET (entry list)

3.) The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race from Bristol, Sunday March 18; green flag drops at 1:13pm ET.

Remember to check the entry lists to make sure your driver is entered.

That's it! Good luck and let's go racing!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Chad Knaus’ suspension again delayed, but why doesn’t Jimmie Johnson still have his 25 points?

Hendrick Motorsports got the expected answer Tuesday: No. That's fine, but why has the points portion of the penalty already been enforced when the fines and suspensions get to wait for the appeals? Click on the title for more from Monday Morning Crew Chief.

Reasons we love sports, Vols. 1 and 2: Fruit baskets and breakups (video)

Monday, March 12, 2012

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Rating the Kobalt Tools 400

It didn't take long for Tony Stewart to return to Victory Lane following his 2011 championship as he was dynamite late in the race at Las Vegas. Click on the title for the Monday Morning Crew Chief Rating.

Great Restarts, For Vegas And Biffle

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Rating the Subway Fresh Fit 500: 2 Stars **

The first race of the season took nearly three days, but it was surely memorable. This week, not so much. Click on the title for the Monday Morning Crew Chief Rating for Phoenix.

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly -- 2012 Subway FreshFit 500

This week's GBU is up. To find out who made the grade, click on the title.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

NASCAR buries crew chief Chad Knaus and #48 team with major penalties

NASCAR brought down the hammer in a big way Wednesday with suspensions, fines and points penalties for Jimmie Johnson, Chad Knaus and the #48 team. Click on the title for Monday Morning Crew Chief's thoughts.

View From The Flagstand: Kenseth Cruises at Daytona

Matty gets his second 500 victory!

Juan Pablo Montoya wrecks at Daytona caption contest

Monday, February 27, 2012

Rating the Daytona 500

Wow, that took a while. Click on the title for the Monday Morning Crew Chief Rating of a very long Daytona 500 experience.

Holding Court, Part Deux discusses Jeremy Lin, the NBA All-Star Game and MVP predictions

Friday, February 24, 2012

Power Rankings: Preseason edition

Fellow Lug Nuts, please welcome new Monday Morning Crew Chief Power Rankings guru Terrence Hunley to the fold. He will rank each week's top 20 drivers and tell you why he thinks they belong where he puts them. Click on the title for the premiere.

The mishandled Ryan Braun drug test and the hypocrisy of Major League Baseball

Thursday, February 23, 2012

The 10 Most Disliked Athletes in America?

Who ever said life is fair?

The Trifecta- It's My Birthday And I'll Bark If I Want To Edition

Greetings, race fans. Yes, the 2012 Trifecta season is finally here. The rules are simple: pick the driver you think will win in each of the three races. Points are based on how they finish- 1point for 1st, 2 points for 2nd, etc.- and the player with the LOWEST score wins.

The starting lineup for this week will be determined by first come, first post.

If you want to change a driver in a race after you make your initial picks, that change MUST be made 30 minutes prior to the posted green flag start of that race. There is no penalty for changing drivers.

Unlike NASCAR, we go for wins here. Trifecta central will notify you either here or by Facebook message, if you need to change a driver to go for a win.

This week's races:

1.) The Camping World Truck Series race from Daytona, Friday February 24; green flag drops at 7:52pm ET (entry list)

2.) The Nationwide Series race from Daytona, Saturday February 25; green flag drops at 1:34pm ET (entry list)

3.) The Sprint Cup Series race from Daytona, Sunday February 26; green flag drops at 1:30pm ET.

*For CWTS and NNS races, please check the entry lists to ensure that your choice of driver is entered.*

You may post your picks here or on the Lug-Nuts Facebook page. Results will be posted after each race.

As always, if you have any questions, feel free to ask.

Good luck, and let's go racing!!!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Dale Jr. Lone Hendrick Horse In First Gatorade Duel

Kyle Busch’s shootout win may have been greatest restrictor-plate race performance ever

Kyle Busch with the best plate race in history? Click on the title to find out why Monday Morning Crew Chief thinks his shootout performance might have been the best we've ever seen.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Rating the Budweiser Shootout

What a way to kick off the season! If the rest of Speedweeks is any where close to the Shootout, we are in for one heck of a week. Click on the title for the first Monday Morning Crew Chief Rating of the season.

2012 Sprint Cup Preview Part III

Final preview. Toyota drivers are the focus.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

2012 Sprint Cup Preview Part II

Ford and Dodge drivers are diagnosed.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Saturday, February 11, 2012

2012 Sprint Cup Preview Part I

Click the title to see my Sprint Cup Preview Part I.

Friday, February 10, 2012

NASCAR New Year's Day approaches

We've finally made it to the final dark weekend of the offseason. Click on the title and enjoy the start of the new season!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Not surprisingly, Brian Vickers still without a ride

Brian Vickers might have caused one (or five) too many crashes last year to get a Cup ride for this season. Click on the title for more from Monday Morning Crew Chief.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Danica Patrick takes unusual route to Daytona 500 starting grid

Danica Patrick will be in the Daytona 500. That fact is no longer in question, but the way she got there includes many questions. Click on the title for more from Monday Morning Crew Chief.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Finally, a NASCAR season without major changes

Apparently the 2011 season is what NASCAR was looking for during all these years of changes to the sport. Click on the title for more from Monday Morning Crew Chief.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Miss the Hall of Fame inductions? Yeah, so did everybody

After terrific coverage of last week's test session at Daytona, SPEED fouled up big time with how it handled the Hall of Fame induction ceremonies this weekend. Click on the title for Monday Morning Crew Chief's rant.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

NASCAR gets close to Daytona package during test, but won’t do away with two-car draft

NASCAR made progress toward changing the style of racing back to the pack, but it didn't (and likely won't) go all the way to eliminate the two-car drafts. Click on the title for more from Monday Morning Crew Chief.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Daytona testing helps kick off anticipation for NASCAR season

The Daytona 500 might still be a month-and-a-half away, but that doesn't mean we have to wait that long to enjoy some NASCAR events, starting this week with Daytona testing. Click on the title to join Monday Morning Crew Chief in the excitement of the start of the preseason.

Top Three Stories For NASCAR In 2012

Guest author hopes soccer/rugby talk does not get lost in translation

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Many NASCAR teams in worse sponsorship situation than when economy collapsed in 2008

The economy might be slowly getting better, but many NASCAR teams are hurting for sponsorship now more than ever. Click on the title for more from Monday Morning Crew Chief.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

NASCAR offseason picks up again as Almirola gets rare second chance

It didn't take long for the NASCAR offseason to get rolling again as David Reutimann and Aric Almirola found jobs this week. It's a good week for both of them, but it's better for Almirola. Click on the title for more from Monday Morning Crew Chief.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Where NFL contest ends, NBA contest begins. Our futures recap, winner and NBA picks for 2011-12

2011 Stewart vs. Edwards championship battle

Tony Stewart and Carl Edwards had one of the greatest championship battles in the history of NASCAR in 2011, and Monday Morning Crew Chief was at the penultimate race to capture the intensity of the Chase. Click on the title to view the video.