Skip to comments.NASCAR Offseason Withdrawal Therapy Thread 2005
Posted on 11/21/2005 4:45:03 PM PST by WestCoastGal
This forum is to help us get through the offseason by posting news, silly season rumors and anything else devoted to Nascar.
I was just bumping this up for my comments page so I could find it. Lots of stuff going on. Steve Park has a 10 race Busch ride in the 31. I wish it was a better ride, but it's a start.
Testing at Vegas going well for most.
Mikeys old ride. Speaking of Mikey, his practice times have been way off - looks like they have work to do.
It doesn't seem that long ago.
It still doesn't seem right.
"He was bigger than life,'' said a fan named Doug Micha on that morning after, parked outside Gate 8.
He was gazing at the wall of tribute that was already growing there. Fans had covered the fence with flowers and photos and messages.
I wrote then about one of the tributes. It was an American Kennel Club certificate, the registration of a dog named "Master Earnhardt of Daytona.''
The dog was a black Rottweiler.
"Oh, wow,'' Gordon responded. "There's nothing more fitting - as long as that Rottweiler had a soft side to him."
The day after Earnhardt was killed, many drivers issued statements. Kyle Petty called Dale "the last cowboy." Johnny Benson said, "Our sport will go on, but I don't think it will ever be the same."
As the 2006 Speed Weeks begin to unfold in Daytona, much will be said and written about how NASCAR still misses Earnhardt.
Think about how much Earnhardt has missed.
He missed seeing a car he owned, driven by his close friend Michael Waltrip, go on to win that 2001 Daytona 500 - by .124 of a second ahead of his son, Dale Junior.
Indeed, Michael Waltrip would win three more races in a DEI car and parlay those wins with his class-clown antics to become a fan favorite and now to become the lead driver for Toyota's entry into Nextel Cup next season.
Geez, Toyota in NASCAR. What would Dale think?
He has missed seeing his son become a success, on and off the track, assuming an iconic role that sometimes Little E wears uncomfortably.
Earnhardt has missed seeing Gordon assume the role as NASCAR's signature driver. As much grief as Earnhardt used to give Gordon, I'd like to think it was some "tough love" to prepare him for the position he's in.
And don't you know that Dale would love to get under the bumper of Kurt Busch and, as Earnhardt would put it, "rattle his cage.'' And how much we'd love to see that.
He missed being a part of NASCAR's Madison Avenue boom. Earnhardt was one of the first drivers to do commercials, and was a natural. But if you can't surf through channels and not see Greg Biffle selling sandwiches, imagine how much Earnhardt could do - and make - in endorsements.
He missed saying goodbye and farewell to friends and competitors, like Bill Elliott and Terry Labonte, and especially his close friend and rival, Rusty Wallace, headed now to the TV booth. In an interview, Wallace once told me, "I've never seen nothing in this sport like him and I were.''
We "never saw nothing" in this sport like Earnhardt, the last cowboy, nor will we again. Five years later, we're reminded that even in death, he's bigger than life
We "never saw nothing" in this sport like Earnhardt, the last cowboy, nor will we again. Five years later, we're reminded that even in death, he's bigger than life.
10. Football fans are forced to wait all season for the Super Bowl ... the NASCAR season starts with the Daytona 500.
9. Daytona 500 has never had a wardrobe malfunction.
8. Remember the big riot when Dale Earnhardt won the Daytona 500? Me neither.
7. Burnouts in the grass cooler than spiking football in the grass.
6. NASCAR: The ultimate "contact sport."
5. Pit stops more fun to watch than water breaks.
4. NASCAR's ever-changing rule book offers added layer of suspense to the race.
3. Taking the checkered flag a better ending than running out the clock.
2. No one watches the Daytona 500 "for the commercials."
1. There's no such thing as halftime in a NASCAR race.
You and Dale Jr. originally split up because there were some personality clashes. What are you doing now to make it better: Couples therapy? Trust falls?
No, were like two brothers. You dont like it when your brother gets on you like, Hey, lets get to practice on time. It turned into that. It was a bunch of childs play. You know, I think Im really good at what I do. He thinks hes really good at what he does. Splitting up showed him what I was carrying for him and showed me what he was carrying for me. It was a wake-up call for both of us. Both of us are good at what we do, but were better together.
Can you give an example of how you worked through something recently that would have been a problem before?
[The last race of the year at] Homestead wasnt a great weekend, but I dont think there was one argument. We were just like, All right, we know we dont have a great car here. Years before, we might have said a few words and gotten angry at each other. Instead, we just chilled out, made it through the weekend and came home. That was a big sign of everything getting better.
In 2007, NASCAR is talking about switching to a whole new carand you have one of them here. What do you think of it?
None of us really like it. Theyre trying to make it more like a truck. Its four inches wider and they stood the windshield up a whole lot more. They want to lower the bumper so, in case a guy hits you, youre hit more square instead of spinning out. The roll cage is wider and longer to give the driver more room, and theyre trying to keep the drivers window as big as they can, so the bigger guys can get in and out.
Hows it run?
It runs all right. The guy whos leading does fine; hes got enough down force that he can run one certain speed. But it busts such a big hole in the air that the guy behind him has trouble. Theres no air. Think of driving down the road and traveling behind a tractor traileryou feel the car wobble. Thats what the guys doing behind you. So he doesnt have the down force or grip to make a move on you. You actually have to mess up. So its something theyre experimenting with.
What happens if NASCAR goes ahead and makes that the car for 2007?
Youre basically throwing away every car that you have in your complex and building 15 new cars. Their goal is for this to be one car that you run at every track from Daytona to Rockingham. They dont want to see much difference in the cars. But there will always be a Daytona car because there will always be little stuff that you can do to a Daytona car.
Whats the driving force behind NASCAR and their rule changesboth with the new car and the current one?
NASCARs perfect world is to have 39 Matchbox cars lined up and each driver gets in one. They want you to have the same equipment as the guy in front of you, and the only thing thats going to decide the race is your ability as a driver, how your crew set up your car and what happens on pit road.
How does your job as crew chief fit into that?
My job is to tweak and find as many gray areas as I can around NASCAR. Say I come up a spindle package or geometry setting that works really wellthats not against the rules, but its an innovation and an advantage. If NASCAR thinks its too far over the line, they might make a rule against it, but most of the time they dont. We all know where the rules are and if you break them, youre going to pay the consequences. Sponsors dont like that headache and publicity. They just want to win races. And its our job to do it within the rulebook and gray area.
When you find something new, how long before NASCAR takes the advantage away from you?
It depends. Sometimes you can do stuff for six months. But if a guy comes up with something pretty wild, itll be a rule the next week. Hendrick [Motor Sports] got away with some shocks at Dover and ran first and second. The next Monday morning we had a bulletin on our desks with a rule about it. But when they look back six years from now and say, Jimmie Johnson won at Dover in 2005. No ones going to say, Well, he had those shocks. Theyre just going to say he won.
Whats the craftiest way youve seen someone out and out cheat?
In 1995, Ricky Rudd had hydraulics that would change the height of the back of his carbecause the lower you get the spoiler to the ground, the faster your car runs. He could hit a button on the clutch pedal and it would lower the car or release it. I actually have a book called Cheating on what some of the old-time guys used to do. Its hilarious.
Youve got high ceilings here in the shop. Ever take the cars out and set up some basketball hoops?
No, but a lot of times well throw a football around. We usually quit when it bounces off a hood.
Are guys always bringing their kids pinewood derby cars to the shop to juice up?
Oh yeah, and we also work on our [remote control] cars in here. Well tear the motors apart to sand blast the cranks and the inside of the blocks. Well fab up a spoiler or come in and order some titanium bolts to put inside. Then we go run them all day at a track we built at Dale Jrs house.
How does Junior do?
Hes got a lot of hand-eye coordination, so he does really good. He doesnt like the little cars, though, because they run so fast. Hes like, You cant control them. But weve also been playing around with a lot of quarter-scale cars because they run a lot slower and you can rub on each other and turn a guy sideways. Youve got a lot more car control.
So whos got the fastest RC car?
Oh, me. No doubt.
Days til Daytona!
Not to mention 17 days until #17 takes the checkered at Daytona.
Also from Jayski -
Things will settle down; after all, Daytona's only 17 days away, and the Trucks and Busch start even earlier.
I think Speedvision starts Nascar on the 10th?
Sounds about right. The Shootout's the 11th and qualifying's the 12th.
Have you seen the Yahoo group lately?
We're up to 48 spots filled.
May have to work for that trophy! :-D
Gazing into a cracked crystal ball
February 1, 2006
One of the amazing benefits of working at the Sporting News is having access to our archives. We've got questionnaires filled out by actual baseball players -- Married? Kids? What are you going to do in the offseason? -- dating back to forever ago, back when stick and ball athletes spoke to people other than their agents.
More impressive than that, I was noodling around online and found we have archives for events that haven't even happened yet. So if you're a gambling man, bet on this stuff happening in this Nextel Cup season . . .
February: Dale Earnhardt Jr. breaks out of his doldrums by appearing in six Budweiser commercials, four Wrangler ads and a Navy spot in the Super Bowl. In other news, he wins the Daytona 500 with a last lap pass of Jeff Gordon. "I was making eyes at my girlfriend and lost track of where I was," a despondent Gordon says. Jamie McMurray announces he has signed a contract to begin driving for DEI in 2010.
March: After five straight 43rd place finishes and constant feuds with his crew chief, Earnhardt Jr. puts the rights to punch Tony Eury Jr. up on eBay. Michael Waltrip makes the winning bid. Earnhardt fires Eury Jr. and hires Tony Eury III. NASCAR announces all teams will start using the Car of Tomorrow on the following Tuesday. Jack Roush's pituitary gland jumps involuntarily from his body. But nobody notices because rookie sensation Clint Bowyer finished on the lead lap for the third straight race.
April: Tony Stewart apparently meant it when he said he'd get in shape. He shows up for the Aaron's 499 at Talladega weighing just 125 pounds. But he's 36th in points and he has to have teammates lift his steering wheel so he can attach it. Earnhardt Jr. fires Eury III and hires Bob Vila. Earnhardt's car doesn't get any faster, but Vila builds him a wicked walk-in closet for his motorcoach. Earnhardt fires Vila and decides to act as his own crew chief. Somehow, he's fifth in points.
May: Greg Biffle wins his 10th straight race. But nobody notices because the media can't get enough of rookie sensation Denny Hamlin, who has three top 15 finishes. Earnhardt fires self as crew chief, re-hires Eury Jr. after tearful reunion at a Darlington (S.C.) Waffle House, where, coincidentally, Tony Stewart has eaten every meal for three weeks. The All-Star Challenge and Coca-Cola 600 are cancelled when Humpy Wheeler's ingenious resurfacing plan backfires. Apparently, Goodyear tires are not made to run on broken glass. Jamie McMurray announces he has signed a contract to begin driving for Bill Davis Racing in 2015.
June: Jimmie Johnson snaps after winning at Michigan and calls all Lowe's employee owners "a bunch of tools who can't get better jobs. And really, does anybody believe they are employee owners? Pfft!" But nobody notices because rookie sensation Reed Sorenson masterfully finished 14th for the third time in as many weeks. After Stewart goes on another midsummer tear, it is discovered that he found the 75 pounds he lost. Not to be outdone, Michael "Fatback" McSwain locks himself in an Arby's, which immediately signs on as the official roast beef sandwich of NASCAR.
July: The second Pocono race could be in jeopardy as the stands are completely empty when the race ends a mere 76 hours after it starts. "I like cars driving in circles, not triangles," says Bruce "Meat" Ocdonawicz of nearby Scranton. Will Ferrell brings NASCAR to the big screen with the movie Talladega Nights experienced by a guy who is High, Wide and Handsome. This is NASCAR's biggest pop culture splash since Days of Thunder, which was huge at the time but seems dated now, probably because its star has turned into a couch-jumping fruit loop. Ferrell's crew chief is played by Michael Clarke Duncan, who is hired and fired three times by Dale Earnhardt Jr.
August: Bobby Labonte wins the Allstate 400 presented by Soulless Advertisinig Sellouts. Post-race festivities are postponed when nobody from Petty Enterprises knows where victory lane is. Jamie McMurray announces he has signed a contract to begin driving for Petty Enterprises in 2017. Five Jack Roush Racing Fords are in the top 10, which prompts NASCAR president Brian France to initiate the Surname Exception, which bans all drivers from driving for a man with five letters in his last name. Bill Davis throws a fit. France agrees to grandfather him in.
September: Fourteen drivers make the Chase, but nobody notices because rookie sensation Martin Truex Jr. appears on The Today Show.
October: Stewart weighs in at 150 pounds and hasn't finished worse than fifth in two months. Earnhardt Jr. hires Stewart's chef as his crew chief. The resurfacing of Lowe's Motorspeedway hits another snag, as the Superglue that track workers used to hold track cracks together breaks apart. "I'd like to distract your attention with another glib and pointless remark," Humpy Wheeler says, blatantly stealing a line from The Simpsons. Jamie McMurray announces he will drive for Hendrick Motorsports in 2018.
November: Phoenix cops exonerate Kurt Busch. "We made it all up because we don't like him," the sheriff says in a statement. There's a five-way tie for the championship, but nobody notices because rookie sensation Brent Sherman qualified on the outside pole.
I'd say there is more than one crack in that ball!
Yes quite a few cracks.
At least you read it, sometimes I wonder if anyone does.
Also, remind me not to send FReepmail in the morning as I obviously can't see the typos. Haha
I'm sure there are quite a few that read everything posted on this thread, so keep up the good work!
Emergency. Where is the thread to get in? Jolly Ranchers. Or address?
I'll sell you my spot for $500 and a key to the Chocolate Factory...
I am out of work for 2 months. Redooing Chocolate World.
I'm back to doing stories for the newspaper and photography looking for shillings to pay the mortgage.
NASCAR Nextel Cup team owner and driver Michael Waltrip talks to the media as he announces that he will drive Toyota's new Camry in the Nextel Cup Series in 2007 during the NASCAR Media Tour in Concord, N.C., Tuesday Jan. 24, 2006.(AP Photo/Chuck Burton)
Did you have to give away the key to the Chocolate Factory?
LMAO!!!! As a long time Petty and Labonte fan, this is really funny!!
I raise a toast to former NASCAR Rookie of the Year, Dick Brooks, whom we lost this past week. His story is a good one. Farmboy with nothing turned driver in the big league. I have a videotape of an old Speedvision show that interviewed him for 1/2 hr. Unfortunately, I am having trouble finding a good bio for him online that matches his spoken bio on that show.
Dick Brooks #22 and Bobby Allison #12 duel on the banks of Daytona Int'l Speedway during the 1971 Daytona 500. The event was the site of the final appearance of a Winged car in NASCAR Grand National competition. Heavy restrictions were placed on the majestic muscle cars by sanctioning NASCAR. Brooks finished 7th in the race with a 305 cubic inch engine.
THX for da ping.
Holly Buckets, Jr. is a "B" driver. Guess it sorta sums up last year for him.
Dick Brooks takes the Checkered Flag for the final time. R.I.P.
Thanks Norm, the only change on the schedule was the three I gave to NY right? That way I don't have to check the whole thing. :)
I will have the Shootout/Speedweek thread up Wed PM or thereabouts. :) Yippee!! Here's what's up next week........
2006 Speedweeks Schedule
MONDAY, February 6th
2:00 PM IROC HAULERS ENTER & GARAGE OPENS
TUESDAY, February 7th
9:00 AM ARCA & CROWN ROYAL IROC REGISTRATIONS OPENS
10:00 AM ARCA HAULERS ENTER
11:00 AM ARCA GARAGE OPENS & INSPECTION BEGINS
5:00 PM ARCA GARAGE & REGISTRATION CLOSES
WEDNESDAY February 8th
7:00 AM ARCA & CROWN ROYAL IROC GARAGES & REGISTRATIONS OPEN
10:00 AM 1:00 PM IROC PRACTICE
2:00 PM 4:00 PM IROC PRACTICE
6:00 PM ARCA & CROWN ROYAL IROC GARAGES & REGISTRATIONS CLOSE
THURSDAY, February 9th
7:00 AM ARCA & CROWN ROYAL IROC GARAGES & REGISTRATIONS OPEN
8:00 AM NNCS HAULERS ENTER
8:00 AM ARCA ROOKIE MEETING
9:00 AM NNCS REGISTRATION OPENS
10:00 AM NNCS GARAGE OPENS; INSPECTION BEGINS FOR BUDWEISER SHOOTOUT CARS ONLY
9:30 AM 11:50 AM ARCA PRACTICE
12:00 1:20 PM CROWN ROYAL IROC PRACTICE
1:30 PM 4:00 PM ARCA PRACTICE
4:10 PM 5:30 PM CROWN ROYAL IROC PRACTICE
6:00 PM ARCA, CROWN ROYAL IROC & NNCS GARAGES & REGISTRATIONS CLOSE
8:00 PM NNCS DRAWING FOR BUDWEISER SHOOTOUT
FRIDAY, February 10th
7:00 AM ARCA, CROWN ROYAL IROC & NNCS GARAGES & REGISTRATIONS OPEN
INSPECTION BEGINS FOR DAYTONA 500 CARS
10:00 AM 10:50 AM IROC PRACTICE
11:05 AM ARCA QUALIFYING (TWO LAPS, ALL POSITIONS)
2:00 PM 4:00 PM IROC PRACTICE
4:15 PM 5:00 PM NNCS BUDWEISER SHOOTOUT PRACTICE
5:10 PM 6:15 PM ARCA PRACTICE
6:30 PM 7:30 PM NNCS FINAL BUDWEISER SHOOTOUT PRACTICE
7:00 PM ARCA GARAGE & REGISTRATION CLOSES
7:00 PM NNCS REGISTRATION CLOSES
8:00 PM NNCS GARAGE CLOSES
SATURDAY, February 11th
8:00 AM IROC & NNCS GARAGES & REGISTRATIONS OPEN
10:00 AM ARCA GARAGE & REGISTRATION OPENS
10:00 AM 1:00 PM ARCA open garage/autograph session
10:30 AM 12:30 PM NNCS PRACTICE
12:35 PM 1:20 PM LUNCH
1:30 PM 3:00 PM NNCS PRACTICE
3:30 PM ARCA DRIVER INTRODUCTIONS
4:10 PM ARCA 200 (80 LAPS, 200 MILES)
8:00 PM NNCS BUDWEISER SHOOTOUT DRIVER INTRODUCTIONS
8:30 PM NNCS BUDWEISER SHOOTOUT (70 LAPS, 175 MILES)
9:00 PM NNCS REGISTRATION CLOSES
11:30 PM NNCS GARAGE CLOSES
SUNDAY, February 12th
7:00 AM IROC & NNCS GARAGES & REGISTRATIONS OPENS
10:00 AM 11:30 AM CROWN ROYAL IROC PRACTICE
12:10 PM NNCS BUD POLE QUALIFYING (TWO LAPS)
3:00 PM 4:30 PM CROWN ROYAL IROC PRACTICE
5:00 PM NNCS REGISTRATION CLOSES
6:00 PM NNCS GARAGE CLOSES
Yuparoo. no others changes so far.
Looks like we're almost there. whew!
farmboy turned driver Dick Brooks Bump
Oops sorry Jackknife, I meant to change to To: to ALL so it wouldn't mess up your comments page.
Nextel Cup Series
02|11|06 - Budweiser Shootout
02|16|06 - Gatorade Duel 1
02|16|06 - Gatorade Duel 2
02|19|06 - Daytona 500
02|18|06 - Hershey's Kissables 300
Craftsman Truck Series
02|17|06 - Truck Series 250
I'm making summer plans...
Williams Grove, Fonda, Lebanon Valley, Selinsgrove, Lincoln, Grandview, New Egypt, Brigeport, Hagerstown, Accord
Yeah, I'll go to both Dover races!
Got my first (of the '06 season) NASCAR BBQ already planned.
BTW, did ya'all here the news? Ryan Newman made the Bud Pole lineup!
Lurking in Kansas, PING!!
What's on the menu? (mmmmm, BBQ :-)
Great picture! Tony's almost lost in the crowd...
Haven't got to the menu yet, but typically will be ribs, chicken and tri-tip. It will be at my son-in-laws house. Huge backyard, outdoor covered kitchen and seating area, huge big screen with speakers all around the yard. Propane heaters if cold and a large swimming pool if warm. Should be in the 70's.
With Rusty's retirement, I guess I'll have to go with Carl Edwards from now on. I've rooted for Rusty for over 30 years now from our local track when we were in high school till retirement. It's just not going to be the same for me.
Carl's another Missouri boy and seems to be heading in the right direction so I will give it a try!
Ditto. Who cares about a stupid football super bowl. Daytona is the mother of all parties!!!!
Thanks for the ping!!
I cannot wait for the NASCAReason to begin.
NHRA starts this weekend too. WOO HOO Winternationals. GO JOHN FORCE!
WOW!!! Those are NEAT looking! (I did a search.)
What kind of power do they use?