Fantasy Racing: Martinsville and the Chase for the Sprint Cup

As I sit at my in-laws this weekend, I definitely wish that I was about 45 minute’s north in Martinsville. Well at least I can participate in fantasy racing from the comfort of their couch. The race for the NASCAR Sprint Cup continues this weekend and we get closer to crowning a champion. Being from the south, right in the middle of NASCAR land, I am a huge Dale Earnhardt Jr. fan. After his victory at Michigan this year and his lead in the point standings I was sure this was his year. Unfortunately Dale Jr. had something working against him; I am one of his fans. Every team or person that I cheer for is inevitably going to lose (case in point: Carolina Panthers, Charlotte Bobcats, and the Baltimore Orioles.) The Chase is shaping up to have a great finish. With Jimmie Johnson on Brad Keselowski’s heels, it gets very interesting during the last couple of races.

One great thing about NASCAR is that it offers multiple chances for fantasy play. The guy’s at Fantazzle have put together some great games to satisfy any NASCAR fans craving for fantasy play. I love the salary and pick-em games that they offer weekly. With qualifying shaping up in a weird way NASCAR fans should look forward to awesome race.

The two Chase leaders qualified in two extremely different ways. Brad Keselowski qualified 32nd, but due to his terrible qualifying throughout the Chase it hasn’t seemed to faze him. I look for Brad to finish top 10 this week and continue his pursuit of the Cup. Johnson qualified 1st, this is an exceptional qualifying spot and will provide him a top 5 finish. Read more…

Brad Keselowski’s drive towards a Chase Championship

brad keselowski

If 2011 was the year that put Brad Keselowski in the championship driver discussion, 2012 has only cemented that status going forward.

Sports fans and NASCAR buffs – not to mention professional gamblers – trying to handicap the competition for the 2012 Sprint Cup Championship will probably make a pair of multi-time champions the betting favorites as we head into the Chase for the Cup, the NASCAR equivalent to a postseason which starts in September.

Five-time champion Jimmie Johnson and defending champ Tony Stewart are going to be the odds maker’s top picks for obvious reasons – they have demonstrated the ability to endure the mental and physical strain associated with racing automobiles at the pinnacle of the sport’s competition.

Nevertheless, a lot of the smart money is going towards a brash young upstart, who – despite not having the championship pedigree of a Johnson or a Stewart – has been turning heads with his iconoclastic blend of charisma and audacity.

Brad Keselowski has come a long way in the two years since he began piloting Penske’s Racing’s #2 Miller Lite Dodge in 2011.  First known to NASCAR buffs for his aggressive – often brazen – racing tactics and the cheeky demeanor that he flashed during post-race interviews, he now has firmly established the Blue Deuce as a race car to be reckoned with on a week-in week-out basis. Read more…

Should NASCAR drivers have independent testers?

Brad Keslowski before a race.

As NASCAR Nation wants to know the results of AJ Allmendinger’s  B sample, Penske Racing wants to know if they will get Allmendinger back this season or will he be suspended indefinitely.As NASCAR Nation waits for some kind of result, drivers have started stepping up and speaking out about NASCAR’s current drug testing policy.  Does NASCAR really need to fix one of the toughest drug policies in the United States or is there room for improvement?  Could independent testers really help NASCAR or cause more issues?

Carl Edwards seems to be heading the cause for independent testing.  Edwards decided to express his thoughts this past weekend at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway.  He thinks that drivers should be able to hire their own independent company to perform drug test on the driver that is called in for a random drug test by Aegis Sciences Corporation, the company that runs the NASCAR tests.

“I think the drivers need to get together and we need to have our own group that is paid by us, that work for us, to be here in tandem with the NASCAR drug testers and have them test us at the same time so that we have not just an ‘A’ and ‘B’ sample,” Edwards said.  “I don’t think it would be a contentious thing. That would remove almost all doubt it any situation of a positive test.  Until we do that, no matter what is found to be positive, no matter what the test results are, there is always going to be that little question of maybe there was a mistake.”

Read more here…

Why America loves NASCAR

Danica Patrick

On any given weekend during NASCAR season, thousands of fans pour into stadiums around the country to take part in a sport that is growing more popular every year. Tens of thousands of people gather around their television sets at home with their families every weekend to watch the races. NASCAR has become a household name and even those who are not fans still have some familiarity with the drivers. Ask just about anybody and they could tell you who Dale Earnhardt, Jr. or Danica Patrick are. NASCAR merchandise is sold in sporting goods and department stores all over the country as well as online and the demand for the sports products are growing all the time. So, what is it about NASCAR that makes the sport so popular?

Could it be the fact that many people identify with the sport by going all the way back to the days when they took part in soap box races? Maybe it started when they watched as their child raced down the road to win their first soapbox derby, or consoled them because their home-made race car didn’t quite have enough speed. Maybe you remember the hours spent in the garage with your Dad or your Mom, trying to create a faster soapbox racer because you were determined to win the next race?

It might not have seemed so important to us kids at the time, but one of the things that working on that old soapbox racer did was to bring families together. Whether Dad will admit it or not, he would get so caught up in the event that it was almost like his family’s reputation was at stake and he was determined to get his child to cross the finish line first in that rickety old soapbox racer.

Those old soapbox derby’s were the first step for many NASCAR drivers who would move on to go-cart racing and gradually move up until they found themselves in the drivers’ seat of a real NASCAR race car. Even then, many of the drivers’ would be guided by their father or grandfather who would work as a mechanic for the driver, or for a few, would even become their sons race car sponsor.

The one thing that Americans prize above all else is family. People may value many things in life, but when it comes down to it, they hold family above all else. Is it possible that we love NASCAR because, of all the sports, NASCAR has done more to promote a family image than any other sport? Whether it is a wife and children standing together with the driver while the National Anthem is sung, or the challenge of a son trying to continue the legacy of his father while attempting to create his own legacy for his children, NASCAR has become a very active promoter of family values.

Whatever the answer is, it looks like NASCAR has found a winning formula. As long as there are kids trying to win the race in an old soapbox, or families gathered round to cheer on their favorite driver, it appears that NASCAR’s future is secure. It would seem that America loves NASCAR, because NASCAR still represents our hometown family values!

Vintage Nascar: A legacy continues

Austin Dillon

Another chapter in the legacy of NASCAR was written on Saturday night, when Austin Dillon crossed the finish line to win the Nationwide  Race at the Kentucky Motor Speedway. NASCAR has a long history of passing down the lineage of race car driver from father to son and even grandfather to grandson. But on that Saturday night, one of the most exciting chapters in NASCAR began when the grandson of NASCAR legend Richard Childress crossed the finish line in the No. 3 car to win the race and continue one of the most storied legacies of NASCAR.

Most people associate the No. 3 car with Dale Earnhardt, Sr. and always will. But many may not know that the story actually goes back to 1971 when a young driver named Richard Childress was put in the driver’s seat of the No. 96 car. William France, Sr., President of NASCAR needed drivers to replace the regular drivers who had gone out on strike that year and found Childress driving in an independent circuit. Childress first race for NASCAR would be at the Talladega Superspeedway and he would become a household name on the NASCAR circuit within just a few years. By 1976, Childress had solidified his position on the circuit and began driving under the No. 3 as a way of honoring legendary driver Junior Johnson.

Childress retired from driving in 1981 and found another driver named Dale Earnhardt Sr. to drive the Childress No. 3 car. This would be the beginning of the legendary Richard Childress Racing (RCR) Team. The RCR team would go on to win race after race, building a team that has gained a record as one of the most successful organizations in the history of NASCAR.

The legacy continued on that Saturday night when Richard Childress own grandson, Austin Dillon, took the checkered flag, driving the legendary No. 3 car at the Kentucky Motor Speedway to start a new chapter in the history of Richard Childress Racing. Whether you believe in luck, experience or a bit of both, the RCR team and Austin Dillon have made their mark on history and it looks like there is much more to come!