Had to happen sooner or later!

Yes it did, and I’m so glad I was able to watch and listen as it unfolded. Richard Petty Motorsports team #9 driven by Kasey Kahne made it to victory lane in Sonoma, CA at the Toyota/SaveMart 350. It has been 10 years since Richard Petty has had a team in victory lane, back when John Andretti won at Martinsville, VA in 1999. It was awesome to watch the race with my family and hear Savannah cheer on her favorite driver to victory.

Say what you want about NASCAR but when you get a race like the one Sunday night where it could have gone to any one of about 4 or 5 drivers, to see your driver make great pit stops and awesome restarts (4 of them late in the race) to stay out front and in front of road course guru Tony Stewart is just simply cool!  I hope this is the beginning of great things to happen for RPM and Kasey Kahne and the other drivers in RPM (AJ Allmending finished 7th and Elliott Sadler finished 10th).

Kasey is now 3 points out of 12th place. The top 12 drivers make the Chase for the Cup which is the last 10 races of the year. Those 12 drivers have their points reset to 5000 a piece and 10 extra points for each win they have and then are reseeded 1-12 for the last 10 races. In other words, lets say you are in 4th place to begin the Chase but have more wins that the other 11 drivers. Guess what? You are now in first place to start the Chase, pretty cool huh?

Anyway…on to Loudon, NH and the 1 mile track up there for the Lenox Industrial Tools 301. Yeah, 301 miles, 301 laps. Don’t ask. The Race To The Chase begins Sunday June 28th at 1:30PM. Strap in and hold on!

Richard Petty Motorsports comes alive!

Well it took a while, but with the new Dodge engine in all the RPM cars, all four drivers (Kasey Kahne, Elliott Sadler, Reed Sorenson, and A.J. Allmendinger) qualified in the top ten for the Autism Speaks 400 at Dover International Speedway. I am really stoked for this race. I really feel that this will be the turn around for all these drivers. They have all had different levels of success in the past and from what I have read else where that RPM may have been throwing around the idea of switching to Toyota and that is the reason they did not research and switch to this new Dodge engine sooner (like Penske Racing did), I feel that all of these drivers will now be more competitive and consistent for the rest of this year.

I like Dover, it’s a great track with a lot of personality. The Monster Bridge which is billed as “The Most Exciting Seat in Sports!” offer fans a unique view of the track and the race. The bridge stretches across the track on the back stretch right before turn 3 and is a mere 29 feet above the racing action! How cool would that be? Check out these views! Have no idea how much those tickets would cost, there are only 56 seats in there and I am sure they are all sold out through the 2099 season!

See you after the race!

***UPDATE*** I stand corrected. Only Kasey Kahne is running the new Dodge engine, according to this ESPN.com article. Maybe there is a placebo affect happening with the other drivers, but it sure is good to see them all performing well and starting up front. let’s hope they stay there!


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!

This is pretty cool.

Just this past Monday it was announced that the merger between GEM and Petty Enterprises would be named Richard Petty Motorsports as I wrote about in my last blog. Today I did a search for richard petty motorsports on Google and found this. I will let you read what the owner of that site has to say but it is very cool what he did. If you don’t feel like going there I will summarize. When he found out that the two teams were going to merge he did a search to see if http://www.richardpettymotorsports.com was available and to his (and probably most other race fans) it was, so he purchased it. Not sure who through, doesn’t really matter. You can get a domain name for under 10 bucks these days so no skin off his back I would guess.

Anyway, he posted a note on the site saying that he is going to give the domain to RPM free of charge if they want it (who wouldn’t). He is doing this because a few years ago Richard Petty, Greg Biffle, and Darrell Waltrip went to Washing state (where this guy is from as well as Greg Biffle and Kasey Kahne) to talk to politicians up there to see what they can do to get a racetrack and Sprint Cup race in the Northwest. According to Dale Renner, owner of this site, they were basically laughed out of the state.

By Dale giving this domain to the new RPM team, it is his way of apologizing to the three men who came to spread NASCAR to the Northwest. I say good for you Dale! I hope there are more people out there like you and I hope they are all NASCAR fans! This is what Yahoo! sports blogger Jay Busbee had to say about this site. This was also posted before the name was announced.

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24 days 21 hours until the Daytona 500!

Richard Petty Motorsports is born!

The name is official! Richard Petty Motorsports (RPM, get it :)) is the new team formed from the merger of Gillett Evernham Motorsports and Petty Enterprises. petty_logoThey will field four cars this year with Kasey Kahne in the #9, Elliot Sadler in the #19, Reed Sorenson in the famous #43, and A.J. Allmendinger will be in the #44. So far it seems that Kasey and Elliott will keep their sponsors from last year. No word on the sponsors for the 43 and 44. Also not sure where the #10 will be that was part of GEM last year.

All I can say is that I am pumped! Admittedly I have only been a Kasey Kahne fan since last year and mostly for my daughter Savannah. It’s going to be a great year for Kasey. Savannah just turned 9, Kasey drives the #9 and its 2009! And now he will be part of RPM! This is just way too cool. I am so glad that there will be a strong Dodge team this year. Seems like they don’t get any credit. Yeah, they only won 4 races last year and one of those was a rained shortened (by only 7 laps) race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway won by Kurt Busch, but I really feel that the Dodge drivers will step it up this year and get to the front much more often and stay there!

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In other news, Bobby Labonte and his new #96 gets the points from Yates Racing’s #38 who finished 27th in owner’s points, to be locked into starting the first 5 races of 2009. All cars who finished in the top 35 in owner’s points get a guaranteed spot in the first 5 races each year. They still do the qualifying for the race but it is only for starting position, not to get in, they are locked in from points. This only goes for the first 5 races, after that you have to stay in the top 35. If you fall out of that, you have to qualify to race. If you don’t, you go home. Bobby Labonte will be the only Ford driver I will pull for. Period. I am a Dodge Fan after all!