So here’s what has been happening since we last spoke…
Hello kids! After a month long (maybe longer, don’t judge) vacation I’m finally back just as the racing season is starting to heat up with news. It’s good to be back as between work and snow; I’ve been bored out my mind since hunting season ended. … But enough about that! We’ve got so much to catch up on! So let’s start with the news and notes form the end of the season!
Mayfield’s house burned down
Jeremy Mayfield gave up his home to be burned down for fire fighter training. While a good gesture, you have to wonder…wasn’t it just going to burn down eventually anyway?
Brent Drewar became COO of NASCAR
Drewar, a GM executive became COO of NASCAR. Great, a new person to tell us what we did wrong.
NASCAR teams Gen 6 car with new rules
NASCAR did extensive testing over the break on the GEN 6 car. Spending time in Charolette they tested everything from spoiler to ride heights on the car. No word on final rules package yet.
Smoke and Kahne honor Lefturn
Tony Stewart and Kasey Kahne came together with the late Jason Leffler’s girlfriend Juliana Patterson, and former father-in-law Bob East to enter a car into the Chili Bowl Nationals in Tulso. Stewart and Patterson were owners of the car and East built while Kahne drove the car. Unforternalty they would DNF on Friday, the second to last day of the event.
The 3 is back
Come on…tell me you know this was going to happen…Austin Dillon and the 3 are now in Sprint Cup with Dow and Cheerios on the car. He even led Pre-Season Thunder Testing.
Labonte in the 500
James Finch just can’t stay away as he has used his stakes in Phoenix Racing, which he sold to Harry Scott Jr., to put Bobby Labonte in the 500. I told you James wouldn’t leave us for long.
Hornish Jr moves to JGR
Sam Hornish Jr. has moved to Joe Gibbs Racing and will drive in the 54 for seven races in a car that will be split with Kyle Busch…great, another guy to screw the Nationwide full time regulars.
Elliot brings NAPA to JR. Motorsports
When NAPA left the Sprint Cup series, many suspected that they’d leave the sport for ever. However, someone (maybe me) said a partnership with Dale Earnhardt Jr. in a form would be a smart move for the company. Well, color me right as they are now sponsoring Chase Elliot for a full time ride in the Nationwide series with JR Motorsports.
NASCAR continues to screw up the Budweiser shootout….I mean the Sprint Unlimited!
NASCAR has announced the fans will decide the format for the Sprint Unlimited. The fans will be allowed to vote on all three segments of the race, including line up, restart orders….Good grief. Why can’t NASCAR remember KISS? And no, I do not mean the rock band.
KISS: Keep It Simple Stupid!
Buck the competition director
Richard Buck has replaced John Darby has competition director of NASCAR. It will now be Buck who bitches about the teams at punishment news conferences.
Chip breaks up with Teresa and Roger gets weird…
Chip Ganassi has changed the name of his NASCAR race team from Earnhardt Ganassi Racing to Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates. Roger Penske, not to be outdone also changed his team names from NASCAR to IndyCar to Team Penske…it’s a slow month in racing folks.
Tony Stewart says he’s going to be 100%
Tony Stewart is saying he is on schedule to be able to race in the Sprint Unlimited barring no setbacks. Thank god, then we can get rid of that stupid #Smokewillrise
Letarte moving to the booth
The biggest shocker was the confirmed rumor that Steve Letarte will not be Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s crew chief next season. Letarte will crew chief the 88 for 2014. and then he is moving to the booth of NBC Sports in 2015.
Swan Racing gets help
Anthony Marlowe, an Iowa businessman, has become a team owner and investor in Swan Racing. He joins Brandon Davis and Bill Romanowski as co-owners. I’m hoping this proves good things for Swan Racing as I’m a big fan of Cole Whitt and Parker Kligermen, the team’s two newest drivers for 2014.
Almirola and Smithfield Foods sticking with RPM for next three years
Aric Almirola and Smithfield Foods announced that they will both be with the 43 team for the next three seasons as both extended their deals together to 2016. Smithfield also upped their sponsored races going from 24 to 29.
Busch still pondering Indy
Stewart-Haas Racing driver Kurt Busch has said he hopes to have the sponsorship needed to run the Indy 500 this year. A decision could come as early as the end of the month on if it’s a go. Busch has said he thinks this could be his last attempt at trying to pull the Memorial Day double.
Haas wants to be in F-1
Speaking of Haas, Gene Haas wants to get into Formula One ownership. He has applied to become a team owner and is waiting FIA approval. Why? I don’t know considering the spoiler alert for Formula One in 2014 was already released: Vettel wins.
NASCAR ’14 coming on February 18th
NASCAR’s latest videogame endeavor with Eutechnyx will be released on XBOX 360, PS3 and PC on February 18th. I’m a huge gamer, and loving racing games. With each installment Eutechnyx has made improvements for the previous editions. Not saying they are as good as NASCAR Thunder 04 or NASCAR 2003, but they were better than the last two installments from EA. I’ll be sure to make a full review of the game because, well…I’ll be buying it that day…..DON’T JUDGE ME!
NASCAR considering Chase Changes
NASCAR is said to be considering some major Chase changes. Nothing is officially but a rumored format that has come out is as follows.
The Chase field will increase from 12 drivers to 16. Win and you are in the Chase. If there are more than 16 winners in a season, the drivers with most wins or higher points total will claim the spot. If there are less than it goes off points rankings.
The 10 Chase Races would be broken up into driver eliminations. Drivers would be eliminated after the third, sixth, and ninth race of the playoffs. Elimination would be decided by the drivers with the four lowest points total.
This elimination style will set up a winner take all race at Homestead.
I will go more indepth on my thoughts when we have officially announced what the point system will be. For the time being, I like the overall idea. My biggest pet peeve is why does have to be 16 drivers? More does not mean better.
Bowmen and Truex to BK Racing
Alex Bowmen will move up from the Nationwide series to the Sprint Cup series to drive for BK Racing in the newly renumbered 23. Ryan Truex will make the move up to the series as well driving the 83. The Team will keep the number 93 in house to use for part time.
Kvapil’s case moved back.
Last October it was reported that Travis Kvapil was involved in a domestic issue that required a court appearance. That court appearance has been pushed back to February 28.
Schumacher stable, still in coma
On December 29th, legendary F-1 driver Michael Schumacher was involved in a skiing accident and has been in a medically induced coma since. Updates have come from his camp and for the first time the term “critical” was not used. My thoughts are with his family right now and hopefully Michael makes a full recovery.
Random Sport/Non Sport Thought:
Only 33 days and counting until the Daytona 500!
Have a question, suggestion or witty comment? Feel free to leave one below! Don’t want to do that? Then the fastest, easiest, and quickest way to interact with me is on Twitter, @tpierc07. I also am on Facebook, but that one you have to work for. Don’t do social media? Then feel free to e-mail me at email@example.com!
So until we meet again next Monday, I’ll be waiting for you in the next turn of a snow embankment on I-196 here in ol’ South-west Michigan!