Odds and Ends- Death Penalty for Parking Violation and Lack of NASCAR Love

Each week I take a random tour of the world of NASCAR (Mostly) and give my take on the latest news. I hope you bring your funny bone to the party and take the good natured jabs in a responsible way. Some of what you see below is satire and if you are looking to be offended you are in the right place! You will also find my “Fantasy Insight” predictions for this week’s race complete with the best computer analysis available for NASCAR racing.

And now on with the show…

Death Penalty for Parking Violation

I feel sorry for NASCAR. They have an epic and crazy post race situation after the race at Charlotte Motor Speedway and no matter how they handle the penalties the fans will be upset. Fine someone $50,000 and fans cry, “That’s like five bucks to you or me.” Suspend a driver for a race and people hate you for life and criticize you any time you fail to suspend the guy they don’t like. Fans bitch every week that these guys don’t show emotion and then have a meltdown when drivers do react with more than a sponsor plug. There is a sign I have seen at more than one short track across the country that says, “Fight in the pit area- $100 fine. Fight on the front stretch- $50 bonus.” No we don’t need to see guys flying off the top ropes WWE style after every race. But what in the heck is wrong with the emotion bubbling over once in a while to the point that drivers go nuts? Now NASCAR is in even more of a bind at Talladega Super Speedway. If Dale Earnhardt Jr wins NASCAR will hear people scream, “He got the magic restrictor plate for sure!” If he loses then Junior Nation will claim they will stop watching until Daytona in February. No other sport in the USA faces as much criticism as NASCAR. Their dilemma is that no matter what they do more people will be upset than pleased. Brad Keselowski deserved a fine and probation for his reckless drive through the garage area. A $50,000 fine seemed to fit the crime since I didn’t see parts flying around as Denny Hamlin claimed. Also Hamlin was not purely innocent in all of this either. I am sure glad NASCAR fans are not in charge for other things in life. They would support the death penalty for a parking violation.

Breaking NASCAR News…Lori Munro returned to the Thunder Crew for the award winning Quick Change segment! Listen to the Thunder Crew discuss the latest NASCAR news with an attitude at https://soundcloud.com/racetalkradio/thunder-crew-14oct14

Lack of NASCAR Love

Nobody expected ABC to leave a tied football game among ranked football teams to head to the NASCAR race but the lack of a backup plan by ABC Sports, ESPN and NASCAR was pathetic. These are the NASCAR playoffs yet ABC couldn’t get one of their ESPN channels to be free to cover the start of the race from Charlotte Motor Speedway. Even worse they sent NASCAR fans scurrying around like mice through the channel maze. The race will be shown on ESPN News. No wait, the race will be seen on ESPN3. ABC never had the nerve to let us know that non-ESPN events are NEVER shown on ESPN3.com! Every week ESPN tries to fit a 4 hour football game into a 3 hour window and then wonders why fans are upset. Other football fans are upset not just NASCAR fans that ESPN doesn’t care about after this season. Why didn’t NASCAR work with ABC and ESPN to have an online backup in place, such as their FansChoice.TV network? ABC didn’t even apologize for the delay that saw the first 39 laps of the race lost here in the Chicago market. (ABC said they switched 27 laps into the race but fans then saw several commercial breaks and show promotions and didn’t get racing until lap 39) ESPN built their network using NASCAR race fans as a way to cover live events added to their outstanding coverage of obscure sports 30 years ago. Now ABC and ESPN gave those same NASCAR fans the one finger salute! I am feeling a lack of love from ABC for us NASCAR fans.

 Fantasy Insight-Talladega 2

Every week I break down the statistics for the upcoming race with my exclusive Pro Power Ratings. Here is this week’s fearless forecast for Dega.

Top Tier 92+

No Drivers

————————————————————

Second Tier 90-91.99

Driver Car # Last 5 Course Type PRO

Ky Busch 18 93.4 89.6 84.8 90.54

————————————————————

Third Tier 85-89.99

Driver Car # Last 5 Course Type PRO

K Harvick 4 93.2 83 87 88.9

J Logano 22 97.2 73.6 79.2 86.52

K Larson 42 96.2 74.2 78 85.96

J Gordon 24 91 80.8 80.2 85.78

M Truex 78 89.8 83.8 78.4 85.72

R Newman 31 89.2 80.8 83.4 85.52

B Keselowski 2 88.8 83.6 79.8 85.44

M Kenseth 20 86.4 87.6 78.8 85.24

J Johnson 48 86.6 82.4 85.6 85.14

Win- Matt Kenseth- Led 190 more laps in last 5 Dega races (12 to 1 Odds)

Place- Kyle Busch- Top rated driver this week (20 to 1 Odds)

Show- Dale Earnhardt Jr- Needs the magic restrictor plate (10 to 1 Odds)

Longshot- (20 to 1 or More) David Ragan- Best track rating last 5 races (50 to 1 Odds)

Don’t forget to send in YOUR pick to win this week’s NASCAR race via email at dennis@racetalkradio.com or on the RaceTalkRadio Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/RaceTalkRadio

From NASCAR to the dirt tracks or road courses, RaceTalkRadio covers it all! Join us every evening or on demand on your schedule any time.

Sunday- Speed Freaks with Kenny Sargent and Crash Gladys-10pm ET

Monday- Doin’ Donuts with Lori and Dennis- 8pm ET

Tuesday- Thunder Crew with Mike Harper- 8pm ET

Wednesday- At the Apex covers road course racing- On Demand

Wednesday- Inside PASS is the official radio show of the Pro All Star Series- On Demand

Thursday- Track Source Radio covers the business of racing- On Demand

Thursday- Outlaws Weekly covers the World of Outlaws- On Demand

Friday- Flashback Friday brings the best of RTR- On Demand

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Lori Munro Returns to the Thunder Crew

(For Immediate Release)

Chicago, IL (October 14, 2014) – The swallows returning to Capistrano, General MacArthur returning to the Philippines and Lebron returning to the Cavaliers were all great returns but they pale in comparison to our news. Tonight marks a huge milestone in radio history as Lori Munro makes her triumphant return to the “Thunder Crew” on RaceTalkRadio.com.

“I said yes to this,” asked Lori Munro. “I suppose I haven’t been tortured enough.”

Rumors have swirled that NASCAR fans petitioned the United Nations for this return and host Mike Harper is giving the fans just what they wanted. The “Quick Change” segment featuring Lori Munro will return this week to the Thunder Crew.

About Lori Munro

Inspired by the color of speed fans have loved Lori’s War-Wagon.com website for years featuring hand drawn cartoons about NASCAR. Lori brings that same witty approach to her radio appearances on RaceTalkRadio every week. She is also the creative genius behind everything you see on RTR.

About Thunder Crew- 8pm ET Tuesday Night

Mike Harper hosts the show every week with the same unique approach that his SpinOutZone website brought to the world of NASCAR reporting. Lori Munro and Dennis Michelsen round out the Crew every week and take you inside the world of NASCAR like no other radio show in the world every Tuesday night at 8pm ET.

About RaceTalkRadio.com

RaceTalkRadio.com ownership combines NASCAR writers Dennis Michelsen and Mike Harper with the creative talents of digital media artist Lori Munro. This unique blend has produced some of the most cutting edge programming in the racing industry and is the online home for Kenny Sargent and the Speed Freaks.

PR Contact

Dennis Michelsen

E-mail: dennis@racetalkradio.com

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Odds and Ends- Stewart Mania and Battle of Richmond Edition

Each week I take a random tour of the world of NASCAR (Mostly) and give my take on the latest news. I hope you bring your funny bone to the party and take the good natured jabs in a responsible way. Some of what you see below is satire and if you are looking to be offended you are in the right place! You will also find my “Fantasy Insight” predictions for this week’s race complete with the best computer analysis available for NASCAR racing.

And now on with the show…

Stewart Mania

It was great to see Tony Stewart back in a race car at Atlanta last weekend because the man is a racer and racers are supposed to race. Some men look great wearing an expensive suit. Tony Stewart always looks best wearing a race car. Sadly NASCAR blew it by giving him an exemption to qualify for the Chase if he happens to win a race before the Chase. Why? Because this put Stewart in a more intense spotlight if he would have won at Atlanta or this week at Richmond. I understand that NASCAR fans who love Tony Stewart were excited to have their guy back but by hash tagging away you were also bringing more attention to your favorite driver than was needed. ESPN dedicated a camera crew to follow Tony Stewart anywhere he went hoping I guess to see some sort of reaction they could play over and over. (Thank you ESPN for turning off the camera when your guys tried to follow Smoke into the Port-a-Potty) A writer at Sports Illustrated asked whether 3 weeks was long enough after killing someone before a driver returns to NASCAR racing. Yes this sort of story brings out the idiots of the world looking to use a tragedy to make themselves famous and that just turns my stomach. The whole Stewart Mania hoopla made me uncomfortable last week even though I was happy to see Stewart return to racing.

Battle of Richmond

Fourteen Nations have punched their ticket to the Chase. Their armies are adding the latest cannons and mortars to their arsenal and their foot soldiers are being trained for the big showdown. (Will they give Albania an exemption?) OK, my sarcasm shows you just what I feel about the NASCAR commercial hyping the Chase. Does any other NASCAR fan base call their group a “Nation” other than “Junior Nation?” But this week we will see the biggest Battle of Richmond since General US Grant captured the city in April of 1865. (Hopefully without the fires, which were set by Confederate troops unlike when Sherman marched on Atlanta) Thirteen drivers enter this race with a chance to punch their ticket for the Chase by winning this race. This should lead to late race fireworks IF the right guys are in position to win. Fourteen drivers locked into the Chase have nothing to lose and will want those bonus points heading into the start of the Chase next week at Chicagoland Speedway. NASCAR wanted more “Game Seven” moments in the sport and they get one this week. The Field Generals have their battle plans. The foot soldiers are ready to give it all they have so their Nation can advance. Now it is time for another Battle of Richmond.

Fantasy Insight-Richmond 2

Every week I break down the statistics for the upcoming race with my exclusive Pro Power Ratings. Here is this week’s fearless forecast for Richmond.

Top Tier 92+

No Drivers

————————————————–

Second Tier 90-91.99

Driver               Last 5   CourseType    PRO

K Harvick        91.8     89.6     90.0     90.78- Unhappy with crew happy with car

Earnhardt Jr      88.4     90.8     95.2     90.48- Having best season ever

—————————————————

Third Tier 85-89.99

Driver               Last 5   CourseType    PRO

J Logano          94.6     84.0     86.2     89.74- Best thing since sliced muffins

M Kenseth       85.2     93.2     93.8     89.32- Mister Consistency looking for 1st win

C Edwards       86.2     91.4     88.8     88.28- Best driver not in a Chevy or Toyota

J Gordon          86.0     90.8     89.6     88.16- Dipped in the fountain of youth

R Newman       86.2     90.2     90.0     88.16- Bubble Boy has been very consistent

G Biffle91.4     83.2     86.0     87.86- Bubble Boy has been somewhat consistent

J McMurray     89.0     84.2     83.0     86.36- Win or go home time for Big Mac

K Kahne          86.2     86.8     82.4     85.62- Chase eligible but can he pick up pace?

Win- Dale Earnhardt Jr- His kind of track (12 to 1 Odds)

Place- Kyle Larson- Treating race like B-Main at Chili Bowl (20 to 1 Odds)

Show- Kevin Harvick- Asking Santa for new pit guns (6 to 1 Odds)

Longshot- (20 to 1 or More) Jamie McMurray (60 to 1 Odds) Needs win to advance

Don’t forget to send in YOUR pick to win this week’s NASCAR race via email at dennis@racetalkradio.com or on the RaceTalkRadio Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/RaceTalkRadio

From NASCAR to the dirt tracks or road courses, RaceTalkRadio covers it all! Join us every evening or on demand on your schedule any time.

Sunday- Speed Freaks with Kenny Sargent and Crash Gladys-10pm ET

Monday- Doin’ Donuts with Lori and Dennis- 8pm ET

Tuesday- Thunder Crew with Mike Harper- 8pm ET

Wednesday- At the Apex covers road course racing- On Demand

Wednesday-InsidePASS is the official radio show of the Pro All Star Series- On Demand

Thursday- Track Source Radio covers the business of racing- On Demand

Thursday- Slinging Mud covers dirt racing- On Demand 

Friday- Put It on Target with Dan Meadows- On Demand

Friday- Racers Edge Report covers Continental Tire Series- On Demand

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Odds and Ends- Rush to Judgment in Stewart Incident and Larson Wins Edition

Each week I take a random tour of the world of NASCAR (Mostly) and give my take on the latest news. I hope you bring your funny bone to the party and take the good natured jabs in a responsible way. You will also find my “Fantasy Insight” predictions for this week’s race complete with the best computer analysis available for NASCAR racing!

And now on with the show…

 Rush to Judgment in Stewart Incident

I heard about the Tony Stewart accident with Kevin Ward Jr at Canandaigua Motorsports Park on Saturday night just as I got back to the hotel after the 54th annual Knoxville Nationals. The first headline said, “Tony Stewart Kills Sprint Car Racer.” Saying I was stunned would be the understatement of a lifetime. What in the hell did Stewart do was my first reaction. After seeing the video for the first time on ESPN’s Sportscenter I could not understand the first headline I saw that was definitive in its proclamation. In my world if someone is accused of killing someone I assume they were definitely at fault otherwise the term doesn’t apply. If I am motoring down the road at the legal limit and someone leaps in front of my car I did not “Kill” that person I hit that person in a horrible accident that led to their death. Media reports after this incident with Stewart and Ward Jr showed that each network seemed to be involved in some sort of limbo contest to see who could lower the bar the most. One network interviewed the boyfriend of Stewart’s ex girlfriend sprint car racer. You know the one, the one in which Stewart said he was “getting rid of dead weight.” Expecting that person to be unbiased is like relying on Baghdad Bob for updates on the Iraq War!

Maybe in today’s world we ALL think we are experts on police investigations, legal proceedings and more. After all I grew up watching Perry Mason, the TV show not the legendary Audi mechanic from Ontario. I have seen investigations solved in less than 60 minutes on CSI, NCIS, and every other letter combination possible. (I am a huge fan of CSI Mooseville Flats that was added to the CSI collection this year. That episode about the mysterious theft of the high school mascot that led to Ethel bashing Doris over the head with her cane was an amazing example of forensic science at its best) Just because you have seen them wrap up a case using the IBM Psycholatronic Video Reenactment Simulator on CSI that doesn’t mean you are an expert at breaking down the video.

I watched that first video of the Stewart/Ward Jr incident many times and I admit I saw different things each time. This week I reached out to sprint car drivers I have interviewed in the past and five of them agreed to an interview “Off the Record” to give me their unfiltered opinions. The consensus was that the worst that Stewart was guilty of was bad judgment because he might have been attempting to “Buzz” the driver and there was also a consensus that Ward Jr was trying to hit Stewart’s wing with his hand. (Buzzing is common at dirt tracks I am told and involves spinning the tires to sling mud and dirt at someone) Thankfully another slow motion video has emerged that seems to conclusively show that Ward Jr grabbed the wing as Stewart’s car passed him and got dragged along. There is almost nothing Stewart could have done to avoid that from happening and due to poor vision out the right side of the car it is unlikely Stewart knew that Ward Jr was holding on to his wing. Don’t let me convince you of anything…let’s all wait for the experts to finish their job and issue their report. It might not be done by the next commercial break but it will be the definitive word on what happened in what now appears to be a tragic accident not a deliberate act.

Fantasy Insight-Michigan 2

Every week I break down the statistics for the upcoming race with my exclusive Pro Power Ratings. Here is this week’s fearless forecast for the Michigan Sweet Corn Race.

Driver               Last 5   Course Type    PRO

Top Tier 92+

No Drivers

—————————————————

Second Tier 90-91.99

No Drivers

—————————————————

Third Tier 85-89.99

Earnhardt Jr      91.0     85.6     94.0     89.98- Tops the rating chart again this week

C Bowyer        87.6     92.8     88.6     89.36- Still not trusting of MWR to win races

K Harvick        84.6     93.6     88.8     88.14- If they remember the bean bags this week…

G Biffle 86.0     93.0     83.2     87.54- Still not trusting of Roush cars to win

M Kenseth       86.6     89.0     84.6     86.92- Should be ready for another win

K Larson          89.0     79.0     93.4     86.88- Discount the low track type and rookie wins

Keselowski      83.2     91.6     86.8     86.44- Should be the favorite to beat

J Logano          87.8     84.2     84.6     86.08- Always in the hunt on speedways

J Gordon          85.0     82.6     93.2     85.92- This is his worst track in this type

K Kahne          86.8     85.0     83.8     85.66- An enigma wrapped in a question mark

R Newman       84.4     86.2     87.8     85.62- RCR seems to be improving

D Hamlin          90.0     76.0     87.0     85.20- Low track type rating here last 5 races

Win- Kyle Larson- Gets his first Cup win this week! (18 to 1 Odds)

Place- Brad Keselowski- Would be my morning line favorite (6 to 1 Odds)

Show- Dale Earnhardt Jr- Could win a few more times (8 to 1 Odds)

Longshot- (20 to 1 or More) Clint Bowyer 30 to 1 Odds worth chance on MWR

Don’t forget to send in YOUR pick to win this week’s NASCAR race via email at dennis@racetalkradio.com or on the RaceTalkRadio Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/RaceTalkRadio

From NASCAR to the dirt tracks or road courses, RaceTalkRadio covers it all! Join us every evening or on demand on your schedule any time.

 Sunday- Speed Freaks with Kenny Sargent and Crash Gladys-10pm ET

Monday- Doin’ Donuts with Lori and Dennis- 8pm ET

Tuesday- Thunder Crew with Mike Harper- 8pm ET

Wednesday- At the Apex covers road course racing- On Demand

Wednesday-InsidePASS is the official radio show of the Pro All Star Series- On Demand

Thursday- Track Source Radio covers the business of racing- On Demand

Thursday- Slinging Mud covers dirt racing- On Demand 

Friday- Flashback Friday brings the best of RTR- On Demand

Friday- Racers Edge Report covers Continental Tire Series- On Demand

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Odds and Ends- Capturing Eldora Magic and Cup Champion Dale Junior Edition

Each week I take a random tour of the world of NASCAR (Mostly) and give my take on the latest news. I hope you bring your funny bone to the party and take the good natured jabs in a responsible way. You will also find my “Fantasy Insight” predictions for this week’s race complete with the best computer analysis available for NASCAR racing!

And now on with the show…

Capturing Eldora Magic

The NASCAR Camping World Truck series race at Eldora excited fans more than any race in recent history not won by Dale Earnhardt Jr. It dawned on me that the love affair with Eldora is not just because the race was on dirt. Oh sure some of the excitement was because it was so unique but I also think the format had a lot to do with the fans love affair with this race. The media keeps telling us that we have turned into a short attention span world, look at the cute kitten. Instead of trying to find a way to get short attention span people to sit still for 500 miles maybe it is time to embrace the biggest change in NASCAR history! Let’s switch to heat races, a last chance qualifying race and then a shorter main event. This will give race fans as many as six different winners in the weekend. It will also build natural breaks for race day for television with the time outs between heat races and the main event. If they need to buy a little time for teams to get ready for the main event you could even add a B-Main sprint race to the mix. Keep the Daytona 500 and some of the other big events the same. But let’s capture the Eldora magic by bringing short attention span racing to NASCAR fans at the other races!

Cup Champion Dale Junior

The first year Dale Earnhardt Jr went over to Hendrick Motorsports I was a Kool-aid sipping believer that this would finally be the year he won the title. After a very disappointing end to a promising beginning I had resigned myself to the concept of Dale Jr being a very good but never great NASCAR racer. I also accepted the fact he would never win the Cup title. But something magical has happened over at the 88 team. Something even more magical has happened with Dale Earnhardt Jr’s level of confidence. This guy is flat out THE BEST in the NASCAR Sprint Cup division right now. Driver and Crew Chief have something to prove before the Crew Chief heads off to his new career as a television announcer. Getting to go behind the scenes at NASCAR races I have gotten to see these guys up close and personal and you really can pick up on their demeanor best when the television cameras are not on. Dale Earnhardt Jr looks like he is having fun again! I am not just talking about when he is winning a race like he did last week I am talking about heading to the car for practice too. Junior Nation has believed in their guy forever but more important this season the driver looks like he believes in himself and that is why he could win the title in 2014.

Fantasy Insight-Watkins Glen

Every week I break down the statistics for the upcoming race with my exclusive Pro Power Ratings. Here is this week’s fearless forecast for the Glen.

Driver               Last 5   CourseType    Power

Top Tier 92+

No Drivers

—————————————————-

Second Tier 90-91.99

—————————————————

No Drivers

Third Tier 85-89.99

B Keselowski   89.0     92.0     88.2     89.74- Very good at the Glen

C Bowyer        88.4     88.0     94.8     89.56- Super consistent road racer

Ky Busch         87.2     95.4     84.0     89.02- So close to winning here

R Newman       89.8     85.2     86.2     87.70- RCR on the improve slow but surely

M Ambrose      82.8     92.6     89.2     87.02- Solid road course racer

J Gordon          89.8     79.2     87.8     86.22- In Glen slump lately

M Kenseth       87.6     85.6     81.4     85.76- Mister Consistency at every track

Ku Busch         85.4     84.4     88.4     85.70- The right temperament to win here

G Biffle84.8     83.8     90.8     85.70- Mystery why he has been better at Sonoma

C Edwards       79.2     92.4     91.4     85.60- Team needs a strong finish to wake up

J Logano          87.2     82.4     85.2     85.36- Continues to improve on road courses

Win- Kyle Busch- Due for better luck at finish here (7 to 1 Odds)

Place- Brad Keselowski- Tops the Power Ratings this week (7 to 1 Odds)

Show- Marco Ambrose- Best road course racer in the field (5 to 1 Odds)

Longshot- (20 to 1 or More) Paul Menard- My sleeper this week (60 to 1 Odds)

Don’t forget to send in YOUR pick to win this week’s NASCAR race via email at dennis@racetalkradio.com or on the RaceTalkRadio Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/RaceTalkRadio

From NASCAR to the dirt tracks or road courses, RaceTalkRadio covers it all! Join us every evening or on demand on your schedule any time.

Sunday- Speed Freaks with Kenny Sargent and Crash Gladys-10pm ET

Monday- Doin’ Donuts with Lori and Dennis- 8pm ET

Tuesday- Thunder Crew with Mike Harper- 8pm ET

Wednesday- At the Apex covers road course racing- On Demand

Wednesday-InsidePASS is the official radio show of the Pro All Star Series- On Demand

Thursday- Track Source Radio covers the business of racing- On Demand

Thursday- Slinging Mud covers dirt racing- On Demand

Friday- Flashback Friday brings the best of RTR- On Demand

Friday- Racers Edge Report covers Continental Tire Series- On Demand

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Odds and Ends- Fustatin Times and Paying for Big Poppi Edition

Each week I take a random tour of the world of NASCAR (Mostly) and give my take on the latest news. I hope you bring your funny bone to the party and take the good natured jabs in a responsible way. You will also find my “Fantasy Insight” predictions for this week’s race complete with the best computer analysis available for NASCAR racing!

And now on with the show…

Fustatin’ Times

Sometimes in NASCAR racing when you are slow at the beginning of the week you are tempted to try anything to find speed. Last week at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway it was a bit of a shock when the Fed Ex Toyota of Denny Hamlin was so slow in qualifying. Instead of battling Jimmie Johnson, Kevin Harvick and Jeff Gordon for the pole Hamlin was failing to make it out of first round along with guys like Casey Mears and Michael McDowell. Suddenly on race day Denny Hamlin was much quicker. NASCAR inspection discovered that additional speed was found by tampering with how the rear firewall block-off plates were sealed off. Why is this significant? The simplified answer is that any time you let air flow out of the car like that you can gain rear down force which is very important at a place like the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. NASCAR lowered the boom on the team announcing a P5 penalty which is the NASCAR version of a Red Card. Crew Chief Darian Grubb and Car Chief Wesley Sherill will go on a NASCAR imposed six week vacation from the sport and Joe Gibbs Racing will get the maximum fine allowed along with a 75 point reduction in owner and driver points. Listening to some NASCAR fans you would think this was the first time in the sport’s history that someone dared to cheat and they deserve to be flogged and removed from the sport. It got absurd on the other end of the spectrum too because I even heard a respected expert suggest this tinkering was done by some rogue crew member because Joe Gibbs Racing doesn’t cheat. Shall I take the time here to remind that expert about the infamous magnets under the throttle gambit? Maybe NASCAR should consider a point reduction for the Chase points to add sting to their penalties in this “Win and You’re In” era of the sport but fans need to relax. Racing has been going on since the second car rolled off the assembly line and cheating in racing has been going on since the third car found its way into the garage of a clever mechanic. These are FUSTATIN’ times for the 11 team.

Paying for Big Poppi

A few weeks ago on another radio station I was asked what was going on with Roush Fenway Racing. The rumor mill was chugging along nonstop about Carl Edwards leaving the team for greener pastures and I said it was all about the money. But why would a once large and proud NASCAR team suddenly be in the need to cut their budget is the question that needs answering. Now it is official that Cousin Carl will leave the only team he ever knew to race somewhere else in 2014 with Joe Gibbs Racing being the leader in the rumor clubhouse. Let’s take a moment to think about Carl and his Camo Shorts being reunited with former teammate Matt Kenseth. Now back to today’s subject. Since the big announcement at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway made it official on Sunday I think I finally understand why so many changes have been going on at Roush Fenway Racing. Like any huge conglomerate the actions in one wing of the business can often cause changes in another wing of the business. Maybe the penny pinching with their NASCAR drivers was necessary so the Boston Red Sox could afford Big Poppi! Roush Fenway was once the destination to race for a career and now maybe they are changing into the first step a driver will take along the NASCAR Sprint Cup ladder to success.

Fantasy Insight-Pocono 2

Every week I break down the statistics for the upcoming race with my exclusive Pro Power Ratings. Here is this week’s fearless forecast for the Tricky Triangle.

Driver               Last 5   CourseType    PRO

Top Tier 92+

No Drivers Ranked

—————————————————

Second Tier 90.00-91.99

J Gordon          90.6     91.6     91.0     90.98- Driver on a mission this season

Earnhardt Jr      91.8     90.6     88.2     90.72- Solid track type for Junior

—————————————————

Third Tier 85.00-89.99

R Newman       89.2     93.2     86.8     89.92- RCR seems to be improving

B Keselowski   89.2     90.8     89.0     89.64- Team and driver solid everywhere

C Bowyer        87.2     89.2     88.4     88.04- MWR a mystery this season

Ku Busch         85.6     89.6     90.0     87.68- Needs to pick up game to be title threat

T Stewart         83.2     93.2     89.0     87.36- Smoke is not at top of his game yet

Ky Busch         88.2     82.8     85.0     85.94- Not the best track for Kyle

J Logano          84.6     87.8     85.0     85.64- Bad luck last time here

J Johnson         81.8     92.4     85.0     85.62- Should improve this week

K Kahne          88.4     81.6     84.4     85.56- Finds ways to finish lower than car ability

M Kenseth       87.6     79.6     87.6     85.20- Not the best track for Matt

Win- Ryan Newman- Hunch combined with numbers makes Ryan the pick (25 to 1)

Place- Jeff Gordon- Back to back wins would not be a surprise (7 to 1)

Show- Brad Keselowski- Hard to leave off top three any week (4 to 1 Favorite)

Longshot- (20 to 1 or More) Kyle Larson- Young Money impressive last week (20 to 1)

Don’t forget to send in YOUR pick to win this week’s NASCAR race via email at dennis@racetalkradio.com or on the RaceTalkRadio Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/RaceTalkRadio

From NASCAR to the dirt tracks or road courses, RaceTalkRadio covers it all! Join us every evening or on demand on your schedule any time.

Sunday- Speed Freaks with Kenny Sargent and Crash Gladys-10pm ET

Monday- Doin’ Donuts with Lori and Dennis- 8pm ET

Tuesday- Thunder Crew with Mike Harper- 8pm ET

Wednesday- At the Apex covers road course racing- On Demand

Wednesday-InsidePASS is the official radio show of the Pro All Star Series- On Demand

Thursday- Track Source Radio covers the business of racing- On Demand

Thursday- Slinging Mud covers dirt racing- On Demand

Friday- Flashback Friday brings the best of RTR- On Demand

Friday- Racers Edge Report covers Continental Tire Series- On Demand

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Odds and Ends- Hey Old Timer and NASCAR Media on Vacation Edition

Each week I take a random tour of the world of NASCAR (Mostly) and give my take on the latest news. I hope you bring your funny bone to the party and take the good natured jabs in a responsible way. You will also find my “Fantasy Insight” predictions for this week’s race complete with the best computer analysis available for NASCAR racing!

And now on with the show…

Hey Old Timer

As soon as they showed the replay of 72-year old Morgan Shepherd crashing into Joey Logano I figured we were about to hear some smart-alecky comments about the old guy. But when Joey Logano lit him up about not being qualified to race any more because of his age I was surprised. The vicious attack by so many NASCAR fans and media members on social media stunned me. This is Morgan Shepherd! This guy has been part of the NASCAR family for over forty years. Morgan is the youngest 72 year old I have ever seen. The guy still has driving skills better than some of the rookies coming into the sport today. “NASCAR Sprint Cup should be about the best 43 drivers in the world,” shrieked some of the critics. NASCAR has never been about the top 43 stockcar drivers in the world it has ALWAYS been about the best 25 stockcar drivers in the world racing with and against 18 other drivers who can find the funding. NASCAR needs to have a rating system in place to prevent drivers who wreck several times every race from being able to continue their careers without suspension. But when was the last time Morgan Shepherd caused a wreck? Every week we hear drivers make the excuse that the air sucked my car around. We hear the experts say how much these cars are on the ragged edge and how if you could reach out the window and give that car next to you a push that driver would go around. We nod our heads and say that makes sense. But when a 72 year old driver or a pretty woman driver causes the wreck then that driver is a terror on the track! Stick a microphone in the face of a driver who just wrecked out and they will find someone to blame. How many other drivers wrecked passing Morgan Shepherd last Sunday?

NASCAR Media on Vacation

The NASCAR brass that wonders why such small crowds show up at Nationwide and Camping World Truck races should be paying attention this week. It is not about Kyle Busch or another Cup guy stinking up the show. It is not that ticket prices are too high. It is because nobody including the media cares about these series any more except for us racing junkies! Look at the NBC Sports Channel and Fox Sports 1 for further proof of this theory. The NASCAR Nationwide Series is the main event this weekend at the Chicagoland Speedway. Wouldn’t this be a great time to put the future stars of NASCAR in the spotlight to generate some buzz and to get a bigger crowd at Chicagoland Speedway and higher ratings on television for this event? Both NASCAR America and NASCAR Race Hub are missing in action this week while the NASCAR Sprint Cup series takes their last week off for the season. Yes I understand that the NASCAR season is a grind from February through late November and that the A-Team at these shows need a week off. But how about bringing in the men and women who cover the NASCAR Nationwide Series every week to let fans know what they will see this weekend? NASCAR is not on vacation! The NASCAR Nationwide Series is heading to Chicagoland Speedway and I will be there to cover the event. But the NASCAR media sure is on vacation this week.

From NASCAR to the dirt tracks or road courses, RaceTalkRadio covers it all! Join us every evening or on demand on your schedule any time.

Sunday- Speed Freaks with Kenny Sargent and Crash Gladys-10pm ET

Monday- Doin’ Donuts with Lori and Dennis- 8pm ET

Tuesday- Thunder Crew with Mike Harper- 8pm ET

Wednesday- At the Apex covers road course racing- On Demand

Wednesday-InsidePASS is the official radio show of the Pro All Star Series- On Demand

Thursday- Track Source Radio covers the business of racing- On Demand

Thursday- Slinging Mud covers dirt racing- On Demand

Friday- Flashback Friday brings the best of RTR- On Demand

Friday- Racers Edge Report covers Continental Tire Series- On Demand

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Odds and Ends- NASCAR Hates the RTA and Farewell to Our Vin Scully Edition

Each week I take a random tour of the world of NASCAR (Mostly) and give my take on the latest news. I hope you bring your funny bone to the party and take the good natured jabs in a responsible way. You will also find my “Fantasy Insight” predictions for this week’s race complete with the best computer analysis available for NASCAR racing!

And now on with the show…

 NASCAR Hates the RTA

The biggest news about the surprise news that nine of the biggest teams in NASCAR Sprint Cup racing had formed an alliance called the Race Team Association was that NASCAR seemed surprised by the news. There is no doubt from their press release on the RTA that NASCAR hates the concept of this group! How can I be so bold to make that statement from the carefully worded NASCAR response? NASCAR media members have developed a strange talent of being able to read between the lines of NASCAR press releases to decipher their true meaning. Let me illustrate with this announcement line by line with the translation provided for your convenience.

“We are aware of the alliance concept the team owners have announced, but have very few specifics on its structure or purpose.”

Translation: What in the heck are these guys doing and why didn’t our extensive network of NASCAR spies find this out before the announcement? Did we waste all that money hiring those guys from the NSA and CIA? Is Edward Snowden available for hire?

“It is apparently still in development and we’re still learning about the details so it would be inappropriate to comment right now.”

Translation: Since our spy network failed we are just as puzzled as the media and fans at this point. But I wonder how the teams will like our new technical inspection process this weekend at New Hampshire!

“NASCAR’s mission, as it has always been, is to create a fair playing field where anyone can come and compete. Our job is to support and strengthen all of the teams, large and small, across all of our series and we’ll continue to do that.”

Translation: Our actual mission is to make as much money as possible for NASCAR but that wouldn’t be prudent to be that honest in our PR release. Hey RTA, do you want to know where you can stick your franchising idea? I wonder how many of those independent Nationwide Series teams we have priced out of the sport chuckled at this line in our PR release?

“NASCAR is a unique community with hundreds of stakeholders. They all have a voice and always will.”

Translation: It sure was easier running this sport when everyone was scared to tick off Big Bill France. When NASCAR says “Everyone has a voice” what we really mean to say is that you should hear our choir! Rick, Roger, Jack and Chip can even do a great Barber Shop Quartet with those voices too!

Stay tuned everyone…this new Race Team Alliance and how they get along with NASCAR sure will make for fun reporting this year!

 Farewell to Our Vin Scully

You are more likely to find a real life unicorn or to see President Obama and John Boehner shooting pool together soon than to find ANYONE within NASCAR that doesn’t love MRN’s Barney Hall. This man wasn’t simply a radio guy he was THE VOICE of NASCAR. When Mr. Hall started his career at MRN I was in Mrs. Power’s Fourth Grade class with a crush on Corinna Karpiel and playing Hot Wheels every day with Phil Edwards. (Phil had that cool Snake and Mongoo$e Drag Racing Set) I had the pleasure to meet Barney Hall at one of my first races covering NASCAR as a credentialed media member in 2002. The man was incredibly kind and even gave me a short tour of the MRN broadcast booth. Many years later I would get to call an ARCA race on RaceTalkRadio from that same radio booth. Just saying that Barney Hall is the best announcer to ever cover a NASCAR race doesn’t do justice to this man’s career. Play by play announcers come in different flavors with different styles and it is rare for NASCAR fans to agree on who is best. But there was something magical about the way Barney Hall reported a race. The only other announcer in the world with that same universal appeal is Vin Scully. There is no doubt that Barney Hall is NASCAR’s Vin Scully! Thanks for the memories Mr. Hall and for all you did for the sport behind the scenes for so many years.

Fantasy Insight-New Hampshire 1

Every week I break down the statistics for the upcoming race with my exclusive Pro Power Ratings. Here is this week’s fearless forecast for the Magic Mile.

Driver               Car #   Last 5   CourseType    PRO

Top Tier (92+)

Earnhardt Jr      88        94.0     89.2     96.4     93.04-Solid type of track for Junior

J Gordon          24        93.2     92.4     92.0     92.72- Lock for a top ten

————————————————————

Second Tier (90-91.99)

Keselowski      2          90.8     94.4     87.0     91.12- Best Horses for Courses rating

J Johnson         48        89.2     92.6     91.2     90.62- Any track, any week, solid choice

———————————————————–

Third Tier (85-89.99)

K Harvick        4          85.4     88.4     95.8     88.38- Pit crew more important here

C Bowyer        15        87.4     87.4     83.2     86.56- MWR still a puzzle to me

R Newman       31        88.0     81.8     89.0     86.34- Low Horses for Courses, avoid

M Kenseth       20        81.4     91.4     90.0     86.12- Should be in the hunt

G Biffle16        82.4     90.4     86.4     85.60- Roush still a puzzle to me

K Kahne          5          84.8     87.6     84.2     85.52- No confidence in Kahne yet

Ku Busch         41        91.4     77.2     82.2     85.30- Low Horses for Courses

B Vickers         55        81.8     92.6     82.8     85.24- MWR puzzle, driver great here

Ky Busch         18        80.6     88.2     92.2     85.20- Should turn around recent bad luck

J Logano          22        83.8     84.0     90.4     85.18- Very good track for Sliced Bread

T Stewart         14        83.2     90.4     81.4     85.00- Smoke is over due, good shot

Win- Brad Keselowski- Betting on the high Horses for Courses rating (7 to 1 Odds)

Place- Dale Earnhardt Jr- Tops the PRO Rating this week (8 to 1 Odds)

Show- Jimmie Johnson- No need to get creative with this pick (5 to 1 Odds)

Longshot- (20 to 1 Odds or More) Ton Stewart- Great value at 20-1 odds.

Don’t forget to send in YOUR pick to win this week’s NASCAR race via email at dennis@racetalkradio.com or on the RaceTalkRadio Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/RaceTalkRadio

 

From NASCAR to the dirt tracks or road courses, RaceTalkRadio covers it all! Join us every evening or on demand on your schedule any time.

 

Sunday- Speed Freaks with Kenny Sargent and Crash Gladys-10pm ET

Monday- Doin’ Donuts with Lori and Dennis- 8pm ET

Tuesday- Thunder Crew with Mike Harper- 8pm ET

Wednesday- At the Apex covers road course racing- On Demand

Wednesday-InsidePASS is the official radio show of the Pro All Star Series- On Demand

Thursday- Track Source Radio covers the business of racing- On Demand

Thursday- Slinging Mud covers dirt racing- On Demand

Friday- Flashback Friday brings the best of RTR- On Demand

Friday- Racers Edge Report covers Continental Tire Series- On Demand

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Odds and Ends- Well Done Bubba and Bring Back Traditional Race Names Edition

Each week I take a random tour of the world of NASCAR (Mostly) and give my take on the latest news. I hope you bring your funny bone to the party and take the good natured jabs in a responsible way. You will also find my “Fantasy Insight” predictions for this week’s race complete with the best computer analysis available for NASCAR racing!

And now on with the show…

Well Done Bubba

Earlier this week Darrell Wallace Jr was invited by NASCAR and his sponsor Coke to attend the BET Awards. Fresh off his win at Gateway and one of the rising stars in the sport there is a reason Bubba is a fan favorite in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. As he took to Instagram to bring fans a look at the BET Awards there were the inevitable idiots that felt obligated to make racial slurs. Bubba Wallace handled it with style and class as expected with a great Tweet.

Darrell Wallace Jr @BubbaWallace

The people who are upset over the Instagram takeover w/ NASCAR n BET..are what’s wrong with the world today #ignorance

In this day and age where sports stars are afraid to speak their minds due to one side or the other taking issue with every word they say I applaud Bubba for speaking his mind! I also applaud him for being a class act who is a great representative of how a young sports star should behave.

Bring Back Traditional Race Names

Why can’t NASCAR have respect for more of the traditional race names in the sport? This week is the Coke Zero 400 but when you look at that name on the statistical pages in a few weeks or months you won’t have a clue where the race was held. This race was known for years as the Firecracker 400. Darlington Speedway respects their tradition by still using the name Southern 500 and simply attaching the sponsors name in the race name. Why wouldn’t the Coke Zero Firecracker 400 work? Coke sponsors so many different races across the country with their different brands. Wouldn’t it make sense to identify this race with its traditional name? Maybe it means nothing to the marketing pros or to the newer fans but to us older fans this race will always be the Firecracker 400. I would also like to see the World 600 brought back with the sponsor’s name attached. What other traditional race names would you like to see brought back?

Fantasy Insight-Daytona 2

Every week I break down the statistics for the upcoming race with my exclusive Pro Power Ratings. Here is this week’s fearless forecast for Daytona.

Driver               Last 5   CourseType    PRO

Top Tier 92+

Earnhardt Jr      95        94.4     88.4     93.50: Always a best bet at Daytona

Second Tier 90-91.99

J Johnson         95        86.6     90.6     91.60: Solid pick every week at every track

Third Tier 85-89.99

B Keselowski   94        86.8     80.4     89.12: Injury is not a concern, will be in the hunt

K Harvick        88        84.8     87.0     86.84: Easier to pass if pit crew screws up here

J Gordon          92.6     80.8     80.4     86.62: Solid but has been unlucky at plate races

C Bowyer        88.4     83.0     87.0     86.50: Excellent plate race driver

R Newman       86.8     87.4     82.2     86.06: RCR cars are strong bets at Daytona

G Biffle82.2     89.0     86.4     85.08:  Roush cars continue to be a mystery

Win- Dale Earnhardt Jr- Tops the power ratings and is the obvious choice (10 to 1 Odds)

Place- Kevin Harvick- Driver is hungry for another win (12 to 1 Odds)

Show- Greg Biffle- Roush Yates engines have shown success here (20 to 1 Odds)

Longshot- (20 to 1 Odds or More) Ryan Newman- RCR car is great bet at 30-1 odds

Don’t forget to send in YOUR pick to win this week’s NASCAR race via email at dennis@racetalkradio.com or on the RaceTalkRadio Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/RaceTalkRadio

From NASCAR to the dirt tracks or road courses, RaceTalkRadio covers it all! Join us every evening or on demand on your schedule any time.

 Sunday- Speed Freaks with Kenny Sargent and Crash Gladys-10pm ET

Monday- Doin’ Donuts with Lori and Dennis- 8pm ET

Tuesday- Thunder Crew with Mike Harper- 8pm ET

Wednesday- At the Apex covers road course racing- On Demand

Wednesday-InsidePASS is the official radio show of the Pro All Star Series- On Demand

Thursday- Track Source Radio covers the business of racing- On Demand

Thursday- Slinging Mud covers dirt racing- On Demand

Friday- Flashback Friday brings the best of RTR- On Demand

Friday- Racers Edge Report covers Continental Tire Series- On Demand

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Odds and Ends- We All Fall Down and Hello CBS Sports Channel
Each week I take a random tour of the world of NASCAR (Mostly) and give my take on the latest news. I hope you bring your funny bone to the party and take the good natured jabs in a responsible way. You will also find my “Fantasy Insight” predictions for this week’s race complete with the best computer analysis available for NASCAR racing!

And now on with the show…

We All Fall Down
The state of NASCAR reporting really concerns me. Here is how an average week goes nowadays. Writer X publishes an article with a rumor and five more writers publish an article talking about that article. It doesn’t matter how far fetched the rumor might be or whether the original writer did their due diligence of good reporting techniques. The result is a flood of Twitter and Facebook messages that make that original rumor look like it is 100% true. Finally over the weekend a reporter actually does some real reporting and the original rumor is put to rest. Could you ever imagine Tom Higgins writing a story about what Steve Waid wrote back in the day? Over the next few weeks I will be grading the rumor makers to see whose batting average is the best and worst in the NASCAR media. NASCAR has worked hard to control the story lines every week by sending out story ideas and running the NASCAR Web Service and we have all fallen down.

Hello CBS Sports Channel
Last Saturday night the CBS Sports Channel brought us live ARCA racing from Elko Speedway. Over the past decade our ARCA short track races have disappeared leaving this once great series showing off their worst races. ARCA on the speedways might be important from a driver development standpoint but races at Michigan and Pocono are often the worst races of the year in ARCA. Now ARCA has bought time on the CBS Sports Channel and brought Rick Benjamin’s media service in to cover three races from short tracks this season. The Elko broadcast brought back memories of the old ESPN coverage of NASCAR racing where race fans got what they want…great race coverage without the cutesy BS. Rick Benjamin was superb as the play by play man and nobody knows ARCA better than Andy Hillenburg who was Rick’s sidekick in the booth. They also bring us dirt racing with our good friend Dave Rieff calling the action. Hello CBS Sports Channel I never knew you existed until you started bringing us race coverage. I hope we get ALL of the ARCA short track races next season!

Chase Rules Working
It is time for a confession…I was wrong about these Chase rules. OK so I still think 16 drivers making the playoffs is too many but we have not heard many drivers saying those most awful words this season. “We had a great point’s day.” Those words can be banished to some corner of the NASCAR Hall of Fame as an explanation to new fans how the old reliance on points took away the exciting NASCAR action we remembered from the 1970s and 80s. Maybe NASCAR needs to go all in and make winning even more important! Forget limiting the field to 16 drivers leave it wide open ONLY to race winners and the driver leading the points after Richmond. (If that driver hasn’t won a race yet) Let only the race winners from the first six Chase races along with the point’s leader advance to the final four race playoff and then make a win in the last four races worth a 25 point bonus! The Chase rules are working better than I imagined they would.

Fantasy Insight-Kentucky
Every week I break down the statistics for the upcoming race with my exclusive Pro Power Ratings. Here is this week’s fearless forecast for Kentucky.

Top Tier 92+
Driver PRO
J Johnson 93.88- Top dog week in and week out now
—————————————————————-
Second Tier 90.00-91.99
J Gordon 91.00- Lowest Horses for Courses in top tiers
K Harvick 90.74- His kind of race track
Keselowski 90.54- Stronger at KY than others in this track type
—————————————————————-
Third Tier 85.00-89.99
M Kenseth 89.80 – Consistency Rating low among top tier drivers
Earnhardt Jr 89.54- Another top ten likely
J McMurray 88.86- Another track where driver could win
C Bowyer 88.44- MWR teams a big mystery right now
J Logano 88.00- Highest Horses for Courses rating
K Kahne 87.64- Is he racing for his job?
Ku Busch 87.28- The rougher the track the better Kurt Busch
C Edwards 86.32- Still hard to like Roush at speedways
T Stewart 85.36- Will the real Smoke please show up?
—————————————————————

Win- Joey Logano- Strong at this track and my hunch bet of the week
Place- Jimmie Johnson- Must have this guy in top picks every week
Show- Kevin Harvick- His kind of track despite that #@%& pit crew
Longshot- (20 to 1 Odds or More) Jamie McMurray- Great bet at 40-1 odds

Don’t forget to send in YOUR pick to win this week’s NASCAR race via email at dennis@racetalkradio.com or on the RaceTalkRadio Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/RaceTalkRadio

From NASCAR to the dirt tracks or road courses, RaceTalkRadio covers it all! Join us every evening or on demand on your schedule any time.

Sunday- Speed Freaks with Kenny Sargent and Crash Gladys-10pm ET
Monday- Doin’ Donuts with Lori and Dennis- 8pm ET
Tuesday- Thunder Crew with Mike Harper- 8pm ET
Wednesday- At the Apex covers road course racing- On Demand
Wednesday- Inside PASS is the official radio show of the Pro All Star Series- On Demand
Thursday- Track Source Radio covers the business of racing- On Demand
Thursday- Slinging Mud covers dirt racing- On Demand
Friday- Flashback Friday brings the best of RTR- On Demand
Friday- Racers Edge Report covers Continental Tire Series- On Demand

Share and Enjoy:
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