Second race of the season…NASCAR season that is

Well what a week it has been in NASCAR. Who would have thought that the biggest race in NASCAR would have ended on the account of rain? Not taking anything away from Matt Kenseth who ended up winning, but this race should have been at the very least post-poned until Monday so that they could finish. Matt led hardly one lap before the caution came out for rain and then not long after, they called it. Oh well. Also did Dale Jr take out Vickers or was it just racing? You decide.

Now we are in California and the restrictor plates will be off for awhile and we will get to see some real racing. Hang on to your ballcaps folks! Let’s go racing! Go Kasey Kahne! Go Jimmie Johnson! Go Bobby Labonte! Go Martin Truex Jr!

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And in the other season that started this weekend, the Bassmasters Classic is still going through the final weigh-in out in Shreveport, LA. I will update you with the winner as it comes in but as it stands now Mike McClelland from Bella Vista, AR is in the lead with a weight of 52 pounds 1 ounce with a limit of 15 fish over the three day tournament.

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Just need to make this announcement

It has be said that a grown man who cheers for the likes of Kasey Kahne is more like a middle aged woman! I am far from that so I decided to take this time as the first of the Gatorade Duels get underway.

Growing up I wasn’t really much of a NASCAR fan even living here in Charlotte just a stones throw away from the track. I did go to a World 600 (what is now the Coca-Cola 600) when I was 11 back in 1978 when Darrell Waltrip won the first of his five 600 wins. No I’m not a DW fan. After that I never really followed NASCAR all that much. Sure I knew who the popular drivers were and I did like Alan Kulwicki back in the early 90’s. He has been missed in NASCAR, he was a great driver and a great Champion (92). I was also a Rusty Wallace fan! There was Dale Sr and Bill Elliot and the Allisons, the Labonte brothers, Jeff Gordon, and all the others since then.

Well when I got out of the Navy in 97 and moved back to Charlotte and married my high school sweetheart and when Dale Sr died in the Daytona 500 in 2001 I started to really get into NASCAR and tried to pick a driver I could get behind and follow.

It took a couple of years but I had decided on one, the Number 1, Martin truex, Jr. Why? Because I wanted to pick someone that came up new from the then Busch Series and follow them into the Sprint Cup Series. Martin is a two time champ of the Busch Series from 04 and 05. I was getting into fishing and loved going to Bass Pro Shops so it was a great fit for me.

Then I bought a Dodge. Ok its just a Neon, but it is still my Dodge. I went headfirst into Dodge, their history, racing, all that stuff. And at the same time I dragged my daughter Savannah into my obsessive love of Dodge. I wanted her to have a driver she could root for too and she has a friend who is a Kasey Kahne fan so we also started rooting for him. My willingness and desire (sometimes going overboard) to give Savannah what she wants, I have unkowningly become a true Kasey fan as well.

Am I saying that I am turning my back on Kasey or Martin? Not at all. Could I be tagged a fair weather fan? Maybe. Martin didn’t have a good year in 08 and I wasn’t a fan of DEI after Dale Jr left so the Number 1 Bass Pro Shops car got kind of put on the back burner. This year could be a good year for Martin. I’m still no fan of the new EGR but I think Martin’s team has better equipment and a better attitude this year and you will be hearing a lot from him in 09.

You will hear a lot from the Number 9 as well. The new Richard Petty Motorsports is going to be in it every race. I really believe they will be a contender in each race this year and Kasey will make The Chase if not one of the other drivers from that team. Reed Sorenson and Elliot Sadler are going to elevate their games this year. Mark my words.

Oh yeah, one more drive that I like to follow is Bobby Labonte, the 2000 Champion. Although he is driving in a Ford this year and was spurned (imho) by Petty Enterprises, I will be keeping my eye on him this year as well.

So for being a middle aged woman or a Kasey Kahne fan or bouncing back and forth….guilty (ok maybe not-guilty on the middle aged woman thing!) but all I know is that it is NASCAR season and I will be watching every single race from green to checkered. I love this sport! I love the excitement! I love the fans!

Let’s go racing folks!

Martin Truex Jr gets the pole at the Daytona 500

Well NASCAR is upon us and what a great start. The Bud Shootout was a bit different this year than in years past, but still a very exciting race. I think almost every driver led at least one lap and Kevin Harvick squeaked out a win. Or as Mike Joy, commentating on Fox (which by the way had horrible audio problems), said “Watch him squirt like a hotdog out of a bun”. Congrats Kevin! I don’t really know who had the audio issues, could have been Directv. A friend of mine has Dish and he had no issues.

Anyway, the pole qualifying took place yesterday and one of my favorite drivers, Martin Truex, Jr won the pole. He will be lined up next to Mark Martin who got the outside position. These two guys will be locked in with the rest of the field determined during the two Gatorade Duel races this Thursday (my birthday!). There were others that got in also, some of the drivers that were not in the top 35 from last year like Bill Elliot who is running for Wood Brothers Racing in the famous #21. Bill won the 87 Daytona 500 for Wood Brothers and now they will try again. Good luck Bill!

Loving it that NASCAR is finally here! It will be an awesome week!

A six-pack of Superbowls!

Well the NFL season is officially over except for that one game that the all-stars get to play in sunny Hawaii next week that doesn’t really matter for a hill of beans in the grand scheme of things. So are you ticked that the Steelers won? Upset that the final Cardinals play WAS NOT reviewed? Steaming over the fact that Santonio Holmes got his toes down? Mad that Harrison ran for 100 yards for a Superbowl record longest play ever? Does it matter now? No it doesn’t. The game is over, the Steelers are the Superbowl champions (notice I did not say the best team I the NFL), and the Cardinals will have to go home and try again next year. Do I think they will be in the playoffs next year? Yes, if they can keep everyone around that helped them make it this year. Will they make it to the big dance again? Who knows. No one thought they would be here this year. Only time will tell.

I do know this. Kurt Warner had a heck of a game. Ben Roethlisberger redeemed himself from his poor performance in Superbowl XL where he went 9/21 for 123 yards and 2 interceptions. He did rush for a touchdown in that game and almost got one in this one, but as a passer he did horrible in SB XL. Not this time. Kurt Warner probably cemented his spot in the Hall of Fame unless something dreadful happens.

Who did I root for? Not really sure. Like my wife I was rooting for a great game and I think we got one. No, I know we got one. Best ever? No. Top 3? Maybe. Top 5? Absolutely. To see Pittsburgh grab their 6th title was pretty cool. It would have been just as cool to see the Cardinals put an end to a 61 year drought without a title. Ok I was pulling for the Cardinals a little bit more than the Steelers. There are so many Pittsburgh fans in Charlotte, it makes me sick. One of the reasons I cannot stand the Tarheels (or tar-holes as me and my brother like to call them) is because everyone who has a nose on their face is a fan. There are just too many of them, but that is for another post. Back to the game.

There were a few things that could have gone either way. But if it was the old days, before instant reply, it would not have mattered in the least and the outcome would have been the same. The Cardinals killed themselves with 3 personal fouls that kept a Steelers drive alive more than once. You CANNOT do that and win the Superbowl. Never gonna happen.

It was an exciting year to say the least. Ok so you are wondering who I think the best team in the NFL is? Well I will try to answer and no it isn’t the Panthers although they are in the top 5. So here is my list:

1. Tennessee Titans

2. New York Giants

3. Carolina Panthers

4. Baltimore Ravens

5. Pittsburgh Steelers

I’m sure I will take flake for that list, so be it. Bigger and better things are on the horizon. 12 days and 20 hours until the green flag drops at Daytona 🙂

I’m sure I will talk about the draft and training camp and preseason, but until August, except for NASCAR, there won’t be much sports to talk about. Yeah there is Baseball and the college basketball tourney, but those really don’t count now do they….