Monday, November 23, 2009

Hendrick is STILL a Convicted Felon

This blog gets at least 10 hits daily for people trying to find out more about the convicted felon, Rick Hendrick, who has used his million$$$ (billion$$$?) to advance in NASCAR. The fact remains that Rick Hendrick PLED GUILTY to 1 count in the infamous Honda Bribery Scandals. The fact that he was BOUGHT a pardon by a donation to the Clinton Library still does not negate the fact of his admitted guilt.

Some of us don't readily pardon someone who can afford to be involved in a $250 MILLION DOLLAR bribery scandal. Just because you buy your way out does not make it right. NASCAR and HENDRICK have become synonymous with the word GREED. The facts are the facts.

It's sad to realize that NASCAR has become a 'sport' just like the WWE (or WWF or whatever you wanna call it).... The days of the true racers are apparently long past. Maybe those who don't know the sport are impressed with the Hendrick-funded Jimmie Johnson 4th 'championship.' Well, not all of us. It's far more impressive for the NHRA's Tony Schumachers ACTUAL run of 7 (count 'em) SEVEN consecutive championships in a far more difficult series.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Leave it to Keselowski to Cause the Big One at Talladega

What is NASCAR waiting for -- Brad Keselowski to kill someone??? Yet ANOTHER wreck at the end of the race caused by Keselowski. Maybe they WANT to nickname him Killer....No doubt it would take something like that before the NASCAR hierarchy does something about this talentless jockey causing wreck after wreck after wreck.

We know the sport was altered forever with the death of Dale Earnhardt. We have witnessed too many racing-related deaths over the past 20 years to have much patience with NASCAR's utter avoidance of this issue. Keselowski has not proven that he has an ounce of talent. Only that he is quite adept at the old 'wreck and run.' No wonder he has fit in so well with the other Hendrick drivers....If all the drivers that owe him a payback were to take action, young master Keselowski wouldn't have anything left to load up on the hauler and take home.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

If Only Brad Keselowski Could Drive

Apparently young master Keselowski only knows one way to race--knocking his opponents out of the way. He has yet to actually win a race by ability and talent. Once again, in today's Nationwide Series race in Memphis, Keselowski showed his appalling lack of talent by taking out Justin Allgaier before 40 laps had been completed, wrecking Carl Edwards later in the race and knocking out yet another young driver towards the end. The Hendrick folk, particularly Tony Eury, Sr., seem amused that they can get away with this. One of these days, Keselowski is going to seriously injure or even kill someone--especially if NASCAR doesn't stop kowtowing to the mighty Hendrick dollar and refusing to do anything about this overly aggressive wanna-be driver. One has to laugh at the folks who used to complain about Dale Earnhardt. Dale was aggressive, sure--but he didn't deliberately wreck the competition like Hendrick drivers have been well known to do over the years. But--that's the difference between a racer, a driver and a hack. Keselowski has shown himself to merely be a hack--and sooner or later, it's going to catch up with him. If you can't win by racing and not wrecking the opposition race after race after race, you don't belong in the sport.

Next season, Keselowski is set to driver for Roger Penske. Penske doesn't have the clout of a Rick Hendrick with NASCAR. Maybe that's why Keselowski is getting what he can now. When he no longer drivers for Rick Hendrick, his talentless shenanigans are not likely to be put up with by NASCAR. Too bad NASCAR doesn't have the guts to pull the reins in now on this kid, before he does injure, maim, or kill someone else.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

NASCAR to Standardize Race Times?

You mean, like it used to be in the olden days when we all knew what time the races started?

Gee...what a novel idea....

Always amazing how far NASCAR has strayed away from what used to work. Now, if only they could de-regulate the major teams that still are strongly suspected of lying and cheating in the sport ... and maybe even penalize the latest cheaters.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Hendrick Cars 'Warned' by NASCAR

Earlier this week, the #5 Mark Martin car and the #48 Jimmie Johnson car, both owned by Hendrick Racing, were found to be 'close' to the tolerances allowed. Johnson's car was found to be over the limit mandated by NASCAR. The cars had been taken as a routine check to the NASCAR R&D facility in Concord, NC.

Courtesy of Fox Sports:

The buzz within the NASCAR community suggests that the offset on the tail, which helps the rear of the car stick to the ground instead of spinning out, of the #5 Kellogg's Chevy just made the tolerance. NASCAR allows a tolerance of 0.070 of an inch for the body off of the center line of the car. Suffice it to say, JJ's #48 car didn't make it. But by how much? NASCAR claims it was .006 over the tolerance. That's about the thickness of two sheets of copier paper. Others in the garage hint at a charitable disposition on the part of the sanctioning body. So how did NASCAR view the situation with the Hendrick cars? "The 48 and 5 were brought back to the (Research and Development Center)," according to a NASCAR statement. "We've been doing this since the inception of the new car as a part of routine post-race inspection. We bring the winner and a random pick back to the R&D Center after each event. While both cars passed postrace inspection, we informed the 48 and 5 they were extremely close on some of the tolerances.

Leave it to NASCAR to only admonish the two teams leading the points in the 'Chase for the Cup.'

Um, 'too close to the tolerances,' eh? In the olden days this was called C-H-E-A-T-I-N-G.

How about some penalties? Oh, that's right -- these cars belong to Rick Hendrick. Never mind....

Monday, September 14, 2009

NHRA: John Force's Tanking It Is a Slap in Women Racers' Faces

Anyone who knows me knows a few things. I love racing. All kinds of racing, whether it's NASCAR, IRL, CART, F1, ALMS, NHRA or Thoroughbreds. I love the sport of racing itself. And, I have always maintained that a talented woman racer can compete on equal levels in the sports if she has the same talent, sponsorship and equipment of the top males competing.

Women have had to work to get where there are in this male-dominated sport. Whether it be pioneers like Shirley Muldowney, Lyn St. James, Janet Guthrie or Louise Smith. Then there are the women of the mid-1990s who tried to break into NASCAR - Patty Moise and Shawna Robinson in particular - and there are recent or current racers such as Hillary Will, Melanie Troxell, Shelley Anderson, Angelle Sampey, Danica Patrick, Milka Duno, or Sarah Fisher, women continue to strive to make their mark in racing, often still in lesser quality equipment or with lesser support.

That's what is so disturbing, I think, about the Funny car final rounds at Indianapolis Raceway Park in the US Nationals. Ashley Force has already proven that as a racer she is equal to any male driving in top fuel. Ashley has the talent, nerve, courage and ability, not to mention the famous Force name fielding her car with personal hands-on support from her father, 14-time champion John Force.

It was painfully obvious that Force tanked his round to let Robert Hight win to make the NHRA's version of NASCAR's Chase for the Cup, and in the finals, Hight veered off the line and Ashley Force-Hood became the third woman to win at the US Nationals, and the first to win in Funny Car.

Folks have actually defended this as 'team orders' and a 'time-honored tradition in racing.' Those must be the same folks who put convicted felon Rick Hendrick on a pedestal and really believe Hendrick racing dominates because of the drivers' talents and not the millions of dollar spent on R&R, cars, equipment and etc. every season.

It disparages Ashey's accomplishments to win such an honored and esteemed event based on team orders. Somehow, that doesn't make it quite as spectacular as a win back in the day by Shirley Muldowney or Lyn St. James, who literally had to fight their way to the top. I've long been a critic of NASCAR's WWE-type staging. Now, apparently, the NHRA is proving they are not exempt from these tactics if it helps gain an audience. Too bad--Ashley has talent and ability on her own. She doesn't need 'team orders' to win. By making it happen that way, it lessens this young woman's accomplishments in racing.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Sometimes I Wonder if NASCAR Can Hear the TVs Clicking OFF

Ratings for race after race are down, down, down.....NASCAR just doesn't seem to realize that a vast majority of fans do NOT love Hendrick Racing, Hendrick the Blob, Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson, Junior or anyone else associated with Hendrick Racing....and despite the announcers' insistence, Mark Martin is NOT the revered fan favorite of all time.....If racing ever gets back to a level playing field where the Hendrick vast fortune is not running the sport--fans might actually start returning to watching NASCAR. Just knowing Johnson is on the pole for a (ho-hum boring) road race is enough to get many of us making alternate Sunday plans rather than sit around watching the TV....or if we do, maybe there will be an IRL or NHRA or (fill-in the blank) sporting event that will be much more entertaining. At least, we sure hope so....

Sunday, August 2, 2009


Local Channel 2 sports announcer stated that Jimmie Johnson won today's race at Pocono....Guess no one told him it was delayed til Monday....So, apparently the FIX IS IN for NASCAR's race.

Friday, July 31, 2009

So was the Pit Road Speed Limit 55 or 60 or Did it Depend on Who Was "Caught" Speeding?

Leave it to NASCAR to have a nebulous speed limit zone on pit road. At last week's Brickyard 400, NASCAR claimed to nab JP Montoya for speeding on pit road. The speed limit was 55. The 'tolerance' was 5 MPH. HUH???? Well, which was it? 55 or 60 MPH? Jeez...NASCAR can't even make a simple determination as to a speed limit without throwing in a monkey wrench. If the speed limit is 55, then it should be 55. Does your State's highway patrol give you a 5 MPH tolerance if they pull you over?? I doubt it. Ours sure doesn't.

Aside from the fact that NASCAR took the race away from Montoya by issuing a speeding ticket for something like 60.001 MPH (and no one else was caught speeding...amazing), the bigger problem is that ONCE AGAIN NASCAR has a 'rule' they are enforcing which is, to be kind, nebulous. Leave it to NASCAR....

As technical and intelligent as NASCAR claims to be, a green flag pit stop should be at a reasonable speed but not necessarily a designated speed. A pit stop under caution should be just that. No one should be allowed to advance their position on a yellow flag pit stop. The field is frozen when the yellow is thrown. Let everyone pit and restore the cars to the same position. Not rocket science, NASCAR. Common sense. The race should be out on the track, not in the pits.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Once Again NASCAR Controls Outcome of Race--this time at Indianapolis

When Juan Pablo Montoya, who was dominating the Brickyard 400 NASCAR race from Indianapolis, was penalized by NASCAR for speeding on pit road today I turned the television off and went outside to work in the garden. I knew then that a Hendrick car was, indeed, being fitted by NASCAR for a 'win' at the Brickyard. It was bad enough that the pre-race hoopla, primarily on ESPN, focused on the Hendrick drivers ad nauseum to the point where once again fans became suspicious as to the fineagled race outcome. Usually when that happens you can bet someone is being groomed for the winner's circle.

Imagine my lack of surprise when I came back inside and turned the sports on, to find that Jimmie Johnson had won the race. NASCAR did not want Montoya to win this event--that was obvious. It's a shame they have become so transparent. And then NASCAR wonders why fans are leaving the sport in droves....

Incidentally, the plethora of empty seats at the famed Brickyard exceeded even our expectations. Why bother to pay for a ticket and go to the race if you can be relatively sure that NASCAR controlling-Hendrick racing is going to virtually be guaranteed a win???

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Rick Hendrick Felony Conviction for Bribery (book review)

So many folks find this blog via googling "Rick Hendrick" and felony or felon or criminal, I decided to post the following book review of a hard to get, out of print book about this:


As Reviewed By Michael Daly

In June 1999 Pocono Raceway awarded Rick Hendrick its prestigious Bill France Sr. Award of Excellence. Wrote Speedway Scene when the award was announced, "Rick Hendrick exemplifies the drive, dedication, and ideals long associated with Bill France Sr."

The talk about ideals reeks of irony.

Steve Lynch spent thirteen years with the American branch of Honda Motor Company, and he loves Honda automobiles. This passion helps animate and drive his eyewitness account of the long-running bribery scandal that rocked American Honda and involved one of NASCAR's most powerful team owners. The scandal not only involved Rick Hendrick, it swept others in NASCAR racing as well, through no fault of their own.

Lynch's love of Honda shows in his early account of the dismal state of the American automobile scene circa 1981. There is a certain glee with which Lynch contrasts the high quality of Honda's product with the lesser quality of American marques of the time. Such contrasts in quality were vital, for Honda automobles were selling themselves, unsupported by the kind of extensive marketing campaigns common to auto manufacturers.

But as Honda grew more successful, greed and graft within the American division grew bigger and more audacious, as a gang of car cowboys dipped into the till of corruption and made themselves multimillionaires as a result. Lynch notes how Honda's tightwad employment policies contributed to the atmosphere of thievery.

The prince of payola at American Honda was "the blacksheep son of a well-to-do North Carolina family," John W. "Jack" Billmyer. Billmyer first made himself known as corrupt when he first joined Honda in the mid-1970s. He tried to extort from a Honda motorcycle dealer. When the dealer complained to higher-ups, he was ignored - a trait that would permeate American Honda's approach to the scandal for nearly 20 years.

Billmyer "wallowed in the kickbacks of dealers" throughout the country, and following in his footsteps was his successor as chief of national sales, Stanley James "Jim" Cardiges. Cardiges' own lack of moral scruples first displayed itself in very Clinton-esque fashion around 1977; running a dealership with his uncle, Peter Cardiges, Jim hit on - and ultimately stole - Peter's wife, his own aunt-in-law, Effie.

Such men were natural candidates for criminality.

Rick Hendrick was the biggest dealer influence-peddler to play ball with Billmyer and Cardiges. His relationship with Billmyer went back to Rick's youth as a hot rodder. Billmyer helped Hendrick establish himself in the car sales business and was instrumental in getting him a dealership. Lynch shows how Hendrick wielded undue influence with American Honda and was thus able to acquire more car stores than anyone else. "All it took," Lynch writes, "were a few gifts."

Most car companies limit dealers to about six store. Rick Hendrick, though, didn't believe such a rule should apply to him, and in Honda he found a company that officially did not have such a limit. He nonetheless took no chances; Lynch notes that Hendrick store holdings were frequently in the name of others, notably his brother John Hendrick, and less than $1 million of the bribes Rick paid have ever been recovered.

Lynch shows how Hendrick used bribes and influence-peddling to bankrupt rival Honda dealers and poach their stores. William Van Dalsam of Corono, CA, was one. Dick Young of South Carolina was another. These two cases were directly witnessed by Lynch; there were many other such cases not mentioned in the book because they were not directly witnessed by him. According to Rodger Knupp of Asheville, NC, one such involved former NASCAR driver Dick Brooks; after rebuffing a Hendrick offer to buy his stores, he found cars slated for his stores winding up at Hendrick stores.

This tactic of bankrupting rivals also drives Hendrick's racing, as evidenced by the enormous disparity of Hendrick Motorsports' budgets and engineering compared to those of most other teams.

Lynch also reveals how team owner Junie Donlavey and crew chief Doug Richert wound up getting caught up, through no fault of their own, in Billmyer's corruption. Seeing that Donlavey, a Richmond, VA Honda dealer, needed a crew chief for his team for 1987, Billmyer put the squeeze on a dealer from CT, John Orsini, to put Doug Richert on Executive Honda's payroll. This done, Donlavey had his crew chief. But the deal reeked of quid pro quo, and left a paper trail that would help unearth the massive bribery within American Honda.

Lynch carries the story through the trial and conviction of over 22 defendants, including Hendrick. There is a sense of disappointment in Lynch as he notes that, with Hendrick's guilty plea to one count of mail fraud (pertaining to perhaps the biggest individual bribe he paid Cardiges, a bribe that helped Cardiges buy an obscenely expensive California house), the probe of the Honda scandal seemed to close.

Lynch also notes a lesser-reported angle to the story -- how Hendrick reportedly also bribed Lexus. A cynic might thus question Hendrick's relationship with General Motors as well, given Hendrick's Chevrolet dealerships and the near-monopolistic clout and technical assistance GM provides Hendrick's racing empire.

One might also ask, if Hendrick is such a crook, why so many people so love him. Lynch answers that when he notes that, unlike the lesser dealers who bribed Honda, Hendrick was actually a good dealer, and his dealerships reflect him. Lynch notes Hendrick's generosity, his habit of providing whatever his employees need or want - most notably how he paid for operations on employee family members.

"Rick Hendrick has been a driving force in NASCAR Winston Cup racing," Joseph Mattioli of Pocono stated in announcing the France Sr. award, "and has displayed all the attributes that this award stands for."

Steve Lynch shows us just what attributes Rick Hendrick has displayed. NASCAR fans should be required to read this book.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Jeremy Mayfield Vs. NASCAR: Truth or Dare?

The issue actually at the forefront of the Mayfield drug test administered by NASCAR and purported by them to be a positive test for meth is that NASCAR has developed a 'drug policy' that rivals their rulebook. Secretive, unavailable to the public, and hard to believe or understand without information as to what's actually in it. One suspects NASCAR doesn't even know which drugs are on the forbidden list. You may recall that NASCAR was reluctant to implement drug testing and only did so at the outcry of fans and media after several minor drivers were quietly booted from the series after being proven to have used drugs. Shane Hmiel and Tyler Walker were the more well-known culprits; a few crewmembers this season have also been found to have been using drugs as well.

NASCAR is probably shocked (shocked!!) that their credibility is again being questioned. It's almost funny--they really don't realize that a vast majority of fans take their statements with the proverbial grain of salt. How can you possibly be naive enough to believe a governing body that could easily go into business full time selling conspiracy theories? How can you trust and believe NASCAR is on the up and up when you know that, a couple of years ago, their Chairman Brian France was heading home one night at Daytona to his condo, driving his Lexus, when he sideswiped two cars (was followed by a witness who got his tag number), ran the Lexus into a pole, then managed to drive it into his gated community where, a good half hour or so later, police showed up and apparently believed his statement that he spilled a soda in his car was the reason for all the carnage. Oh, what--no DUI test? Hmmmm....

I am 1000% for drug testing in sports, especially racing. But, once again NASCAR has managed to subfuge what's right and should be done with what they want to control, cover and hide. It's all so very simple. They need to issue a bonafide list of prohibited substances. If, as Jeremy Mayfield maintains, he was taking something like Claritin-D (a major NASCAR sponsor whose logos appear on Carl Edwards' #99 car during the season) along with other allergy medicines, and that showed a positive test for meth, then either the lab NASCAR is using (hopefully not the Wylie-Coyote owned ACME testing lab) is not up to par or Jeremy is lying. Which just does not wash with racefans who have followed the sport and have a good sense of the persona of the driver involved.

Mayfield got into hot water a couple of years back when he revealed his then car owner Ray Evernham was dating young female Busch-driver, Erin Crocker. Mayfield's main fault appears to be that he is too blunt and honest and does not take BS well. NASCAR appears to be targeting Mayfield, as they did Carl Long back in May 2009. And then theyy wonder why fans don't believe every word that comes out of NASCAR's headquarters is the gospel truth....

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Who Really Owns Stewart-Haas Racing??

Once again, NASCAR's version of the Blob, "Mister" Rick Hendrick, was fast to Victory Lane after Saturday night's Daytona win by Tony Stewart, to claim credit for Tony's victory in the race. Hendrick has been on the Speed Channel's Victory Lane show, as well, in the past to brag about how 'his' team, won the All-Star race. Funny, all this time, we have been told that Tony Stewart and Carl Haas owned the team, and Hendrick only supplied the motors. Looks like, once again, Hendrick is skirting the rules about team ownership and, in addition to his 4 Hendrick Racing teams, owns two more teams -- Tony Stewart's and Ryan Newman's. Leave it to Hendrick to find a way around the rules. Guess a convicted felon like Hendrick still is working at circumventing legalities.

It's very disappointing for Smoke's fans to see Hendrick mooch over and claim all the credit for Tony's work. Tony deserves better -- unless, of course, Hendrick really does own the team. Then it's just Hendrick $$$ once again running NASCAR. Maybe that should be changed to HASCAR -- Hendrick Association for Stock Car Auto Racing. And, poor Jack Roush -- he has to get rid of 1 team, to comply with having 4 by 2010 -- while Hendrick can brag about having 6 teams (at least).

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Poor Tony Stewart Can't Even Celebrate as Owner Without Being Overshadowed

Tony Stewart has visited victory lane two times this year, with Sunday's win at Pocono. Under normal circumstances this should be quite an achievement for a brand new team. It's too bad this new team owner/driver can't even celebrate in victory lane without NASCAR's very own version of the Blob, Rick Hendrick, mooching over to take credit for the wins. Both times, Hendrick has managed to move in and try and grab credit for Tony's wins. One would think Hendrick's massive ego is fed enough with his prima donna ultra teams of Gordon and Johnson (funded by Hendrick's multi-millions of dollars poured into the outfit)? Add to that his masterminding of getting Dale Jr. away from Dale Earnhardt, Inc. (DEI), by suggesting the powerplay that ultimately led to Junior departing from DEI and managing to paint Teresa Earnhardt as the villain at the same time--well, you get the idea. Hendrick must fancy himself quite the Machiavelli of NASCAR. He's virtually running the front office of NASCAR as well, judging by the way NASCAR toadies up to him. Hopefully, some day Dale Jr. will realize how he has been played by Hendrick. No doubt the idea of getting NASCAR's most popular driver for the past several years into his stable of young men had Hendrick salivating. This move has also effectively alienated a lot of fans and there is not a noticeable 'sea of Amp green' in the grandstands like there used to be a sea of Budweiser red. NASCAR folks will tell you it's because Junior isn't winning. There's a lot more to it than that. Even P.T. Barnum said, 'you can fool some of the people some of the time, but you can't fool all of the people all of the time.'

How much credit does this convicted felon need? What kind of massive ego is housed in that portly body? It's pretty pathetic to see him horning in on Stewart's time in the spotlight. Add to that how neatly Hendrick took over Dale Jr.'s JR Motorsports and moved in to make that his own, and you begin to wonder what kind of meglomaniac this guy is. He is openly skirting NASCAR's team limit by providing engines to Stewart-Haas racing--in effect, he has at least 6 Cup teams under his umbrella by being so closely involved.

There is plenty of information online about Hendrick's conviction in the Honda Bribery Scandal and how he managed to avoid jail time with a mysterious form of leukemia which has since been apparently cured. Just google "Rick Hendrick Honda Convicted Felon" and you'll get all the information you can use. For example:

Largest US Honda Dealer Pleads Guilty to Mail Fraud
Seattle Times, 8/14/1997

ASHEVILLE, N.C.-- Rick Hendrick, one of the nation's biggest auto dealers and owner of a top stock-car racing team, pleaded guilty to mail fraud today in a case in which he was accused of making hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes to American Honda executives. The mail-fraud charge was one of 15 against Hendrick in a 1996 federal indictment that alleged a conspiracy to build his dealership empire by buying favorite treatment from the auto supplier. Prosecutors recommended a sentence of 10 to 16 months and a $250,000 fine and agreed to allow Hendrick, 48, to serve the time in home detention because he is being treated for leukemia.

Racing fans should be asking--if someone can manage to avoid jail time in a scandal in which hundreds of thousands of dollars changed hands, what is keeping this same type of thing from happening in NA$CAR? What, indeed?

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Carl Long's Treatment by NASCAR is Embarrassing to the Sport

It is absolutely astounding and embarrassing that NASCAR has fined and suspended independent car owner and driver, Carl Long, 12 races, $200,000 and 200 points. And, Long's appeal was denied--of course--by NASCAR's so-called 'Appeals Board' which is known to be a joke in the world of sports. If it wasn't a joke before--it certainly is now!

What is particularly astounding is that the penalty was assessed to Long for a car being entered in the NASCAR All-Star Race. It wasn't even a sanctioned points event!!! Does anyone else remember in the late 1990's when there was a wreck in the opening lap of this same event and, because Jeff Gordon's car was involved, Gordon was allowed to get his backup car off the trailer and run it in the All-Star race? That was the first time anyone was ever allowed to run an uninspected backup car in a race--and, even more amazing at the time, was the fact that the race was getting underway when this happened. But, that was a Hendrick car and it was 'only' an All-Star race.

For Carl Long to be penalized with the largest fine and points penalty in the history of NASCAR is abominable, blatantly unfair and totally egregious. Carl Long is known to be a dedicated racer who does not play the cheating games played by the major NASCAR team, particularly the Hendrick stable whose own Chad Knaus has been found guilty of cheating seven times--that we know of. With their multi-millions, despite the sinking economy, Hendrick could well afford to pay a $200,000 fine. Both Carl Long and his crew chief, Charles Swing, were EACH penalized $200,000--an act which could certainly bankrupt both men and send their personal finances into ruin. And, for what exactly? NASCAR once again fails miserably to see the big picture. First, this was an All-Star race. Gee whiz. Wow, what egregious cheating!!! More important, though, is the fact that the infraction was because the engine was found to be 358.17 cubic inches, 0.17 more than the legal limit. My God, what horsepower that would have produced!!!! A number so miniscule that only the most diligent could have likely found that numeral. A top engine builder could not possibly attempt to produce an engine with a .17 'advantage.'

When Jimme Johnson's car for the 2006 Daytona 500 was found to be illegal, Johnson and Knaus were fined and penalized--yet still allowed to run the illegal car in the Daytona 500, which Johnson 'won' that year. They were actually allowed to run the same car that was found to not fit the templates and specifications in the biggest race of the year! But, of course, that was Jimmie Johnson, not Carl Long. In Long's case, NASCAR argues that Rules are Rules. Guess it depends on who is breaking the rules.

Righfully, Carl Long is frustrated. In a statement issued, he said,
'Big Bill [France, NASCAR founder] and Bill Jr. ruled the sport like a father -- at the end of the day they took care of their family' Long said. 'These guys don't care. They don't have any heart. Basically, it seems like they don't care about the sport, they just want to make a dollar. I truly have a sour taste of the management in our sport. They've forgotten the roots of how this sport was created, and who are the people buying the tickets, sitting in the stands. The people in the stands are me. I am very disappointed in NASCAR's decision. I am not arguing that the size NASCAR measured is big. Ernie Elliott says this happened because of distortion from heat. Allow me the .17 for expansion or show me metallurgy that states how much a block can change at extreme temperatures. Then take this hole in the rules and make engine companies sign the inspection sheet and take responsibility. Fix the rule! Engine builders can argue with NASCAR and their engineers instead of leaving drivers, owners, and crew chiefs to explain properties of cast iron, nickel, and the growth due to heat. We have the option to appeal to the national board in Daytona. I am trying to overcome my emotions versus the facts. After today's hearing, I have lost all faith in the way the appeal system works.'

So have we, Carl. So have we. Once again, NASCAR has pounded on the little guy still trying to make it in the sport while the multi-million dollar teams appear to get away with virtually anything they please. NASCAR is clearly only interested in catering to their Big Three--but in this case, that Big Three is Hendrick Motorsports, Roush Racing and Joe Gibbs Racing. Incidentally, whether it's admitted or not, Stewart-Haas and Junior Motorsports are no more than satellite or R&D teams for Hendrick's operation--which is another way of skirting around the 4 team limit for one owner. How does an independent owner racer stand a chance these days?

If the owners and drivers in NASCAR's Sprint Cup Series really care about the state of the sport, they would put together a fund to pay the total of $400,000 in penalties assessed to Carl Long and Charlie Swing. Even better, NASCAR should for once remove its collective head from its butt and rescind (or at least significantly reduce) the fine imposed. The amounts fined are simply astounding--and apparently intended to drive this struggling owner out of the sport. That would be the decent thing for NASCAR to do -- since NASCAR's governing board (Brian France and company) obviously does not care a whit how fans view their actions or that NASCAR is bankrupting one of the truly nice guys in the sport whose integrity, loyalty and love of racing has never been questioned.

PS -- Fans are already donating whatever they can to help out Carl Long. Sprint Cup driver and recent first time winner David Reutimann has already given $5,000 to get the ball rolling! For more information, visit Carl's website,

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Dirty Racing Deal at 'Dega--Kesalowski Proves Nothing

How many of you out there are sick and disgusted at the Fox broadcasters TELLING you what YOU saw, putting their spin on it, and defying anyone to disagree with them? Once again, after a harrowing wreck at Talladega on the last lap of the race, the 3 Stooges of the booth, Jeff Hammond, Larry McReynolds and good old Darrell "Jaws" Waltrip quickly jumped to the defense of Brad Keselowski, who wrecked leader Carl Edwards on the way to the checkered flag. It was clear that Keselowski got into Edwards left rear and caused the wreck, claiming that he had no 'choice' because Edwards was blocking him.

Can you imagine if Dale Earnhardt Senior had done the same thing? Do you think the Fox Stooges would have defended Dale???? No, there is no doubt they would have crucified his driving and intentionally wrecking the leader. So, why is this 'OK' now--because Keselowski was driving a Hendrick powered car? That's pretty well the bottom line. NASCAR vieweship, ticket sales, merchandise sales and about any other sales have plummeted--partly because of the economy, but as much if not more because the multi-billionaires running the sport have chased the long-time fans away with manipulation, greed and allowing multi-teams such as Rick Hendrick racing to run rampant even while insisting the Jack Roush's and other former multi-teams cut the number of cars they field. Now it's getting hard for even a venerated team like Earnhardt Ganassi to fund the #8 car, which was parked a couple of weeks ago due to lack of sponsoprship. Never fear, Rick Hendrick's tainted money will keep his own stable running, even as it also apparently keeps several satellite teams (such as Keselowski's) running partly as R&D teams for Hendrick. Oooops....we're not supposed to know about that stuff.

Keselowski's 'win' should have been stripped from him. It's certainly nothing to be proud of. And, if the Native American curse is indeed still active at Talledega, who knows? He might well join Bobby Hillin and a few others as drivers whose only NASCAR win came at the venerated raceway. That would be poetic justice indeed. Particularly since his car was sponsored by the Miccosuke Indian Casinos....

Carl Edwards was classy, as usual, in the post-race interview, declining to point fingers at Keselowski. The fans who watched the race's end -- and NOT the Fox announcers -- saw what happened, and it wasn't as they tried to portray it. Keselowski wrecked Edwards. Well, NASCAR is thriving on greed, so what's new?

Monday, March 30, 2009

Why Does NASCAR Have it in for Kyle Busch?

In NASCAR, it's who you are that apparently determines how you will be treated. If you're a Rick Hendrick racing driver, you can get away with punting the opponents, speeding down pit road, and various other infractions. If you're a talented, intelligent driver who threatens the status quo--then look out. We saw for a few years how Tony Stewart was treated by NASCAR, particularly when he spoke up for himself or spoke out about the (lack of) quality of Goodyear tires. For the past couple of years, Kyle Busch has become the victim of NASCAR's tactics. Witness last weekend's race at Bristol where a tire got away from one of Busch's crewmembers. The NASCAR official who was 'Johnny on the spot' there could have stopped the tire from crossing outside of the pit. We've seen NASCAR officials stop tires for the 24 and 48 teams in the past and no infractions were given. But, since this was Kyle Busch, instead, a penalty was called which effectively took Kyle out of the running to win the race.

In today's rain-delayed Truck Series race at Martinsville, under caution with only a few laps to go, Kyle made a move to skim his truck's back fender along the pit wall in order to try and keep the fender from rubbing the tire. Outside of the fact that this was an extremely smart move, the Truck Commentators, particulary Phil Parsons and Michael Waltrip, immediately pointed out to the viewers--and the NASCAR folks monitoring the broadcast--that Kyle had crossed the commit line to pit road, despite the fact that there was no intention on pitting. After mentioning this three more times, NASCAR penalized Busch for this 'infraction.' It's hardly the first time we have seen the announcers affect the outcome of a race and point out infractions to the NASCAR officials--it's just quite interesting that they only do this in particular instances. One can be quite sure they see many other infractions take place--they're just selective as to who they talk about.

The bottom line is that there is a lot of concern about Kyle Busch because he is quite probably the most talented racer we have seen on a track in a long time. And, Kyle is a racer, not just a driver or sheet-metal jockey. Kyle has 'made his bones' as a determined, competitive, smart and fast-thinking racer and a lot of people just can't stand the fact that he is so talented. Kyle dislikes being compared to other superstars of the sport, but he has easily proven himself to be the closest thing to a Dale Earnhardt, Sr., since Dale's tragic death. For those of us who like to see a racer actually race, instead of 'driving around in circles,' Kyle is a refreshing change to the style of the current batch of drivers and jockeys.

NASCAR should pay heed to this and stop trying to penalize Busch everytime he turns around. The current blend of vanilla bland drivers is certainly not keeping fans interested in the sport. Whatever is left of 'Junior Nation' is not showing itself in a sea of green. Hendrick Motorsports has only proven that money can buy championships and races--and the nauseating promotion of Rick Hendrick by FOX and Speed 'analysts' over the past couple of years only shows that they really don't believe that the real fans are familiar with Hendrick's felony bribery conviction during the Honda scandals of the early 1990's. Some of us don't put criminals and felons up on a pedestal--and NA$CAR seems to have conveniently forgotten that fact--or maybe they've just been paid to overlook it.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Denny Hamlin Should Realize Nice Guys Don't Finish First

Was anyone surprised to see Denny Hamlin get punted out of the lead by Jimmie Johnson in Sunday's Martinsville race? It's funny how the Hendrick drivers get away with tactics like that but let someone else try it and they'll get penalized or black flagged. Hamlin, who led most of the race, raced Johnson cleanly. Johnson returned the favor by a cheap shot pushing Hamlin's car high, then taking over the lead with less than 18 laps to go. And NASCAR folks are wondering why fans are getting more and more disgusted at the thinly-veiled favoritism shown the Rick Hendrick drivers.

Sure were a lot of empty seats at Martinsville, today, as well. Fortunately, ESPN ran the NHRA finals from Houston late this afternoon, so there was some actual competitive racing to watch...

Saturday, March 28, 2009

It's Time for NASCAR to Change Qualifying System in Event of Rainouts

Last season we watched Jimmie Johnson's enormous advantage of being on the 'pole' several times in the final races for the Chase for the Cup due to rain-outs in qualifying. If memory serves that was 9 times. Clearly, that was a distinct advantage when it came to starting the races and affected the finishes. Not to mention having first choice of pit stalls each time...NASCAR has never attempted to run qualifying at any time other than the initial qualifying time scheduled for the event (unless of course the rain stops in a 'reasonable' amount of time so qualifying can be run). It's long past time that this practice was changed--since NASCAR automatically locks in the top 35 in points in the races anyway, there is no real reason not to have the cars attempt to qualify on a Saturday -- or even on a Sunday! -- before the race. Most of the time the Truck and Nationwide cars qualify the same day, so what's the big deal?

This weekend at Martinsville is a prime example of this problem. Qualifying was rained out for the Cup cars on Friday, but the Truck Series managed to get qualifying in on Saturday morning--even though the Truck race was postponed to Monday due to rain. Even if qualifying were rescheduled and again rained out and ultimately not doable for Saturday or Sunday, there are certainly alternatives to starting races by points. How about drawing numbers? OK--it would have to be done in 2 segments to accommodate the current rules, first the top 35 cars, then draw among the rest of the cars entered to fill out the field. Since most of the cars are within thousandths or hundredths of seconds from the front of the field anyway, this would be at least an attempt at fair play. NASCAR needs to revisit this issue. They're wondering why ratings were down last weekend 18 percent from last year's Bristol race--Bristol!!--between the NASCOT (NASCAR COT) and general alienation, fans who are having to watch their budgets are not only not buying tickets, they're not even watching on TV....

It is apparent that fans are tired of the 'super team' concept. Fans are looking for equity. There is no equity in starting a field by points if qualifying can't be worked in. And as in this weekend at Martinsville, there were windows of opportunity for qualifying that, once again, were ignored.

Get rid of the starting by points. There has to be a better way, in the event of rain washing out qualifying. If NASCAR wants to lure fans back they might well implement something SOON that looks like they are at least trying to be proactive and, dare we say, fair?

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Someone Please Give Jimmie Johnson a Razor!!

Why does Jimmie Johnson want to look like Brian Vickers? Yikes...

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

No YELLOW LINE Rule for Dale Earnhardt, Jr.

With all the hulabaloo the past few days over the incredibly stupid and sheer boneheaded move by Dale Earnhardt, Jr., to cause the big one at Daytona, taking out the race leaders, not once did I hear any of the FOX announcers, or the ESPN analysts, or the SpeedTv analysts bother to mention the most obvious rule violation made by Dale Junior. He clearly went well below the double-yellow line when he was trying to pass Vickers (who technically was the first of the lapped cars; Junior's was second), then came back up and hit Vickers' car to cause the wreck. Didn't anyone else see this? I saw it when it happened and wondered about it; all the replays clearly show Junior's car below the line...What gives? Are the yellow lines for everyone but the 88 car? Apparently....

FOX's analysts, particularly Darrell Waltrip, went from an immediate reaction of "That's just plain wrong" to a damage control reaction of "Oh, Junebug doesn't drive like that!" Well, DW--you and your buddies should realize that yes indeed "Junebug" does drive like that. His antics in the qualifiers, as well as the 500, show a driver who is out of focus and making a lot of errors. A few years ago at Bristol Dale Junior deliberately spun his car to get a caution, then was simple-minded enough to say so on the radio. Had he not done so, and that sound byte played on the air, he likely wouldn't have been penalized for that.

In the Nationwide Series race the day before, Jason Leffler was penalized for rough driving for 5 laps for something not nearly so vicious and egregious. But, NASCAR hasn't given up on touting Junior as their poster boy, so fans must assume that he's above reproach and won't be penalized by NASCAR -- or by NASCAR via the announcers who are certainly opinionated when it comes to some drivers.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

It's Official: Dale Earnhardt, Jr. Has Run Out of Talent

Ever since Dale Jr.'s much ballyhooed defection to Hendrick Motorsports, it has become increasingly clear that the apple has indeed rolled far, far away from the tree, and every day is rolling even farther.

Junior's antics this weekend, kicking off the racing season at Daytona, leave us baffled. Apparently, he does not know how to enter the pits anymore. He also doesn't seem to know how to race. In today's Daytona 500, Dale Jr. triggered an 11-car wreck that took out the leaders--and he was in a lapped car. He went below the double yellow lines (which the Fox announcers conveniently forgot to mention while they were trying to defend Junior's running out of talent and causing the wreck), then moved back up in the field to knock the other lapped car of Brian Vickers' into the lead pack.

Poor Junior. It's bad enough that he doesn't even know how to speak properly anymore during an interview...we've noted his grasping for words on many occasions since joining Hendrick Motorsports--now he doesn't have the remotest sense of accountability for causing a wreck which he clearly caused. Indeed, his major point made in his post-race interview was that since he had been penalized in the pits, then the rules needed to be changed....Huh??? Boy, he fits right in with his teammates. No accountability--just change the rules instead of penalizing him for breaking the rules. What an ego!! And, apparently a lack of talent to back it up.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Jeff Gordon is Saving $ by Flying Commercial?

Not using one of the the many Rick Hendrick's -- or his own -- personal jet? (Or, actually 'jets' -- they DO have more than one.)


You mean His Royal Hiney Jeff is going thru airport security like the rest of us peons? Seriously doubt that...especially with his 'supermodel' 'wife' and baby Ella.....yeah, That'll Be the Day....

I guess those folks at Hendrick believe that we're so damn stupid we'll believe absolutly anything they say!!!

That was a good one. We needed a good laff today!!!!!

Ratings were down about 22 % for the 'Bud (or should it be DUD) Shootout,' by the way....

Friday, February 6, 2009

What's the Difference Between NASCAR and the World's Oldest Profession?

Not much, apparently. Points can be bought by other doesn't matter what the details are or how the points were earned. If you've got the money, honey, NASCAR says FINE....

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Well, I'm b-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-c-k!!! NASCAR, have you missed me?

After a well-deserved break, I am back to help kick of the 2009 NASCAR racing season, such as it is....and apparently, just in the nick of time!

How come points can be sold between teams???? Ironic that NASCAR controls car numbers and won't let teams sell those--but points, on the other hand, are a a commodity that can be sold between teams.... WHY???? Why should one team be able to purchase points from another? That's just plain creepy. And, if NASCAR isn't profiting from this, that's almost creepier!!

It all goes back to that horrible decision NASCAR made around 2002, I think it was, that the top 35 in owners points are 'guaranteed' a spot in a race. Instead of (and I've said this a kazillion times) the FASTEST 43 CARS MAKING THE RACE. Maybe this will be the season in which NASCAR finally realizes that this is the ONLY FAIR WAY to set a field. After all, once the series is down to about 4 teams fielding 15-20 (depending on how you count the '4 team limit rule (ahem...)) cars, maybe they'll realize they should just let the race teams COMPETE AND RACE.

Tickets are still available for Daytona--who'd have ever thought that??? Sooner or later the 'braintrust' that runs NASCAR has to get it, don't they? can always hope....