Tag Archives: Cherry…popped!

“HEY CLETUS, Junior Dun Won Hisself a Race!” ~ Week Sixteen NASCAR Update

Woo hoo… what an exciting weekend! NASCAR was only a few hours away in Brooklyn, Michigan. Mitt Romney was here yesterday for a Father’s Day campaign stop,  and the NHRA was in Thunder Valley, a.k.a Bristol, Tennessee!

As far as NASCAR goes,  Michigan is where I had my live NASCAR cherry popped! It’s a two mile track that is freakin’ huge and incredibly loud!

Being at a live race makes it so difficult to keep track of who’s where on the track, so you are forced to rely on the big ass scoring pylon to keep things straight!

And another thing…. for any other sporting event, the ideal seats are down low, and close to the action. This is not true at NASCAR races. Ya wanna be way up high, to hopefully see the entire track!

Our first seats at Michigan were four rows up from the track. I was so excited! I could see the drivers up close during their introductions! Then the race began…  I could see the cars coming down the backstretch at nearly 200 miles an hour, then they would enter turns 3-4, where we were sitting, and all 43 cars would be gone in maybe 4 seconds! THE GROUND SHOOK when they passed! It was fascinating, but it was all too fast to keep track of your favorite driver, however!

One of the coolest things about sitting so close to the track, as pointed out by my ex-wife, was the fact that there were little flecks of rubber from the cars’ tires all over our shirts, hands, faces, beers…. you name it. That rubber flies off them tires in the corners to a distance of at least thirty feet! It’s AWESOME! I guess you have to be a race fan to appreciate that!

Anyway…. here’s a look at Michigan International Speedway:

Saturday’s Nationwide Series race seemed pretty good. I was more involved with my youngest daughter’s 5th birthday, however, so I didn’t pay too much attention. I did see Danica Patrick spin out on the first lap. Why? Because I’m certain she was applying eyeliner! Seriously, though, she spun out again near the middle of the race and then late after contact. She finished 18th and was the last car on the lead lap, which is surprising considering all her screwups… Ugh… she’s terrible!

Mowing the lawn….

Austin Dillon qualified fastest, winning the pole, then finished fifth. Dude knows how to wheel a race car; except when Danica is around…. she confuses him. He was involved in her second incident, well, not really involved; he got within a couple feet of her left rear and she just went WOOP and spun! I wonder what the other drivers think about Danica… Not only do they have to race their cars like everyone else; the have to keep an eye out for her tight ass spinning across the track.

Joey Logano won… again! This win makes it his 5th of the year in the Nationwide Series… in 11 starts! That’s some good drivin’!

No, Danica, this spin was by design; t’s called a victory burnout…

I watched most of yesterday’s Sprint Cup race… then fell asleep for a bit… but HOLY SHIT DALE EARNHARDT JR. WON! It’s been four years since dude won a race!

I’m genuinely happy for him! Seriously… I’m not being sarcastic at all here, folks! I’m glad his fans have stuck with him. He’s like the most popular driver in NASCAR and has been struggling. It’s good to see him back in Victory Lane!

Sadly… we won’t see this pose for another four years! HA HA Sucka!

Next week, NASCAR goes to Sonoma, California. A road course! So for those of you who pick on NASCAR because they only turn left… Not the case this time. They will have to turn right as well!

Numbers after week fifteen:

Austin…

The work the pit crews perform… simply amazing!

Starts Wins Top 5 Top 10 Avg. Start Avg. Finish
13 0 7 10 5.0 7.3

Dale…

‘The Dark Night Rises’ graphics are pretty cool!

Starts Wins Top 5 Top 10 Avg. Start Avg. Finish
15 1 6 12 14.2 7.4

Danica (pictured in Danica’s stead, Jessica Biel’s ass. Oof! Jess is gonna get her own post!)…

Starts Wins Top 5 Top 10 Avg. Start Avg. Finish
13 0 0 1 14.6 20.8
The NHRA racing from Bristol was terrible…. Actually the racing was good, as always. It was the results… Courtney Force and her teammates John Force, Mike Neff & Robert Hight…. ALL eliminated in the first round. I hope they got all that losing out of their systems! The NHRA is off next week, they go to Chicago in two weeks… and in 20 days?? They’ll be in beautiful Norwalk, Ohio for the Summit Racing Equipment Nationals! And you know who’s gonna be there also? ME! And my sister, Alicia & her boyfriend! A Force car needs to win in our presence; preferably Courtney.

Sadly… I think John Force makes her roll her fire suit down… None of the other drivers do this.. Wait…. That’s not sad!

Hug your children and love them every day…

Related Posts:

Week fifteen
Week fourteen
Week thirteen
Week twelve
Week eleven
Week ten 

My 2006 Daytona 500 Experience

I’ve written before about how I got into NASCAR. With the  54th running of The Great American Race upon us I wanted to talk about my first and only experience at that event.

Previous to Daytona, I’d been to Michigan International (a few times) and Charlotte (once). Those races were great!

I popped my live NASCAR cherry at Michigan. We went to the August 2001 race. Got the tickets from a guy I bowled with. Back then, it was difficult to get tickets to ANY race… and Michigan was one of the tougher tracks at which to land seats. Mind you, when watching most stick & ball sports, closer to the field is better. NASCAR is the opposite. Michigan is a 2-mile track. The best seats are the higher ones so you can see more of the track… I didn’t know this and was happy with the fourth row seats I was able to get.

A few laps into the race…. Dina says, “Hey, look at your shirt!” There was a considerable amount of rubber on it from the cars hitting the corner right in front of us… Pretty cool, though we couldn’t see the other side of the track. Michigan was fun… but the seats were cramped and the view was minimal at best.

Charlotte was better, I think. Lots of drinkin’… seats were better (read: higher) and it’s a shorter track than Michigan. But the race we went to was a shorter event… The All Star Race. Still fun!

So mid 2005, my buddy, Jimmy Hendrix, starts working on me to get me to go to the next Daytona 500. He had asked me about going to the previous three or so years.. but I always refused because Dina got pissed if I did anything outside of her control. This time I said yes… and I’m so happy I did!

This wasn’t about just going to the race and sitting in cramped seats to watch it. This was about watching the entire race from the infield, or middle of the track. I’d never done that… but heard it was the way to go.

Driving down.. it was Jimmy, Jason, my ex-wifes cousins Tony and Brian, and myself. I volunteered to help Jimmy drive so I wouldn’t have to be cramped up in the back seat of Jim’s F-150.

We left at midnight the Monday before the race (that took place the following Sunday) so we could drive straight through to the Mooresville, NC area, where most of the race teams have their shops. We had breakfast in Mooresville then went to check out Roush/Fenway Racing and Gibbs Racing. Amazing how those shops are so pristine and kick out such bad ass race cars!

We stayed somewhere in Georgia on Tuesday night and partied a little bit to get ready for the next five days of partying watching racing.

Wednesday morning, we continue the drive… right to the Walmart in Daytona Beach (had to go beer & grocery shopping for what ended up being seven dudes). When we got out of the truck, we could hear the racecars practicing from almost two miles away… There was a “hum” that was quite noticeable from that distance! And there’s a different sound to the cars that race at Daytona versus what I was used to at Michigan or Charlotte… At Daytona they use that silly little restrictor plate to slow the cars down in an effort to make the racing safer. The plate gives ’em a different pitch!

After the grocery shopping is done we head over to the track… We get to drive through this big tunnel that goes under the track to find our camping spot in the infield. Now Daytona’s a huge track (2 1/2 miles), so the infield is a city in itself! They have all the vendors one would expect, shirts, hats, food & ice vendors…. but also full showers (Showers were really gross… every time I went, there was always a pair of flip flops, or underwear or used condoms on the floor… or a combination of all those) that I wore my shoes into.

After finding our plot… we set up our own little city. I think there were three vehicles,  four tents and a huge canopy set up to house all our coolers, tables and other accessories… Then we assembled a platform (preconstructed by Jim & Jason) to install in the back of Jim’s pickup. This platform gave us the vantage point we needed to see the entire 2 1/2 miles of racing surface.

Jim & Jackie working... with Jason & Rob supervising

After we got all our stuff set up we went and checked things out. There were tons of things to see. All kinds of different vendors…  giving stuff away (That stuff works… it got me hooked on Gillette Fusion razors). Hot girls everywhere. We watched interviews with different drivers, team owners & celebrities…

They're somewhat feisty!

After nightfall the party started. People had actual bars set up on their campsites… The one campsite had a freakin’ club set up… a decent sized one… they had music cranking, tons of people dancing,  and even had a DJ! It was called Club E (read:Earnhardt).  We watched wheelbarrow races… We watched golf cart races! We saw boobs! We saw people having sex in public! That night I was drinking this stuff that Jim and Jason made, called warm apple pie. I know there was apple cider in it, and some kind of overproof liquor we bought in Georgia. It really tasted like apple pie…! But messed me up rather quickly!

Not sure any of the ladies participated!

We ate like kings all week! Big breakfasts, deep fried chickens w/ french fries, burgers, bratwurst… sandwiches… you name it!

Not eating at this point... but no matter!

It’s kind of humorous…. the track would wake up everyone each morning with an announcement over the PA system, “GOOD MORNING RACE FANS,” and it seemed so LOUD because of the hangover… but it got me fired up nonetheless!

We watched lots of practice from the platform on Jimmy’s truck. We watched the qualifying races on Thursday. But Friday night was the first racing at Daytona I was able to see with a full field of vehicles! It was the truck race…. and the freakin’ ground shook every time the field went by! It’s something you can only appreciate by being there!

Now I wanna skip to race day… 2/19/2006. It was warm and sunny the entire week… But we woke up on Sunday and it was overcast, chilly and there was this mist in the air all day. It wasn’t rain, but it made everything cold and wet. Sort of uncomfortable… I hadn’t packed well enough… assuming that central Florida didn’t get like that in February.

But I didn’t feel the cold… For the entire time we were there, the stands were never full. But come race day, we watched some 170,000 people fill the stands. I remember hearing the PA announcer say that… between the fans in the stands, the ones in the infield (US!), the various track workers, the NASCAR officials, the drivers and their teams… there was damn near 250,000 people there for that race! UNREAL! There was an excitement in the air that I simply can’t describe… That’s all why I was oblivious to the cold.

HUGE crowd... best thing I've ever seen!

I do have to mention the pre-race show! Jimmy, Jason, Jackie and Rob went in search of some food I think, while I stayed back with Tony and Brian to go watch the driver introductions and get a look at the Budweiser Clydesdale team that was making their way around the track. It turns out that Jackie found one of the vests that the “ticket takers” wore. He used that vest to allow them to all get into the prerace show! They were damn near front row for the Bon Jovi show that took place near the middle of the the front stretch! They stood with the drivers for the singing of the National Anthem…. while I was looking at horses!

Anyway… It was a pretty good race although my driver, Carl Edwards, got caught up in a wreck on lap 78 (I saw his car up on top of another car; right in front of us) and ultimately finish dead last. And Jimmie Johnson, who I despise, won the race, so it was some sort of double whammy kidney punch to me!

But it was an experience I’ll never forget… and one that I’d like to try to replicate at some point in the near future. Like this year!

Special thanks to Jimmy Hendrix and Jason Turk for letting me tag along!

L to R... Myself... Jim...Tony...Jason...Brian

Thanks to Dina Barnes and Tracy Jacin, my first ever blog post ends up being a rant.

Aunt Alicia

I’ve been wanting to get this blog going for quite some time, but keep putting it off for various reasons. Some events over the past several weeks, however,  have caused a bit of a backup in my brain, so I’ve gotta vent here or I’m just gonna lose it. I wanted my first post to be an introduction of sorts, but that will have to wait.

Everyone who knows me knows that I’m viciously protective of the people in my life that I care about. Friends, family…. doesn’t matter. This one is a family deal, so it’s huge.

I have a sister, Alicia, who attends Kent State University. Alicia is a caring, beautiful, intelligent young woman. She does well at Kent. She parties at Kent too. Now I didn’t go to college, but I know a lot of people who did. Seems like the common theme is work hard, play hard. I have no problem with that!

My daughters idolize their Aunt Alicia! Heck, so do I! I’m so proud of her!

Some necessary back story here…. My marriage started to fall apart in February of ’06. All hell broke loose 19 months ago and our divorce was final June 29th of this year. Throughout the entire divorce process my ex, dina, painted a very bad picture of me to people (maybe more on this later). LIES! Oh well, I expected nothing less.

Well, Alicia has recently acquired an apartment at Kent. She is proud of this, and wants my oldest daughter, Alexis, to spend a night with her so they can hang out. Alicia wants to spend time with Alexis and potentially spend some of that time to mentor her a little bit. Alexis is very excited to do this! Obviously, Alicia and I have to schedule this visit around the various happenings at Kent! I have no problem with that as I know Alicia wouldn’t schedule a visit during a time that would put Alexis in a situation that would be uncomfortable or dangerous for her (read: party).

It’s come to my attention that, recently, dina (I don’t use caps for those that don’t deserve caps) has been bad mouthing Alicia…. Saying that she would expose Alexis to some kind of drug fueled underworld.  Even though she knows Alicia, she’s been saying that it’s dangerous for Alexis to spend time with her Aunt. Her Aunt. My sister. Seriously?? NOT TRUE! Alicia would NEVER put Alexis in a dangerous situation. Then, this morning, I find out that the woman (tracy jacin) who babysits my youngest daughter (coincidentally, dina’s cousin) is talkin’ the same shit as dina. She talks this shit to people who are friends of Alicia. That shit gets back to Alicia, then gets back to me.

JUST LET IT GO IDIOTS! LET IT GO! Quit bashing me and my family and get on with your lives. My sister is AWESOME! My kids are AWESOME!