Once again, I join forces with good friend and fellow racing guru Kristina Majors to bring you our own version of lap-by-lap coverage of Martinsville! Enjoy :)
KM: Keelan and Jimmie’s daughter Genevieve are getting so big!
KM: The future of NASCAR is so bright with all of the children growing up in the sport! I love it! The babies just keep coming this year:)
KM: I love Ricky’s car this weekend! He wears the pink well also:)
KC: Tony Stewart is on Danica’s radio…. Little Sister :)
and WE ARE OFF…
KC: “We passed about 130 cars here last time, 30 should be no big deal." Love Brandon!
KM: He is PERFECT for the job! I felt honored to finally get to meet him! Just so funny to talk to him in person and then hear him on the radio!
KC: yes! I was glad I got to meet him. And Jay too!
IN REFERENCE TO THE NEW SPRINT COMMERCIAL:
KM: Clint in the nursing home is priceless, but Kim Coon is to precious! Love that commercial!
KC: Gah! Ricky with damage :(
KM: Thats what I was just looking at, not a good start for the day but I know he can recover no problem!
KC: Sounds like there is a lot of nasty on the track… might take a while to clean up.
KM: Yes, hate seeing Ricky being an innocent victim to someone else's crap!
KC: SHR tweeted: "The combination of oil and speedy dry on the track will make for an interesting restart." - Captain Obvious
KM: It was so fitting for the moment:)
KC: RESTART: Lap 20 And Johnson with the early lead. Taking off!
KM: Looks like we will have to watch Busch today, he seems a bit antsy!
KC: Im wondering when Keselowski will retaliate after the Kansas incident..could be today.
KM: Hmmm he is very smart & sly…
KM: LOVE Newman’s car this week:)
KC: And Almirola’s! No.41!
KM: Yes it has a lot of history behind it
KM: I’ll be okay if it is a Kenseth/Johnson battle all day
KC: Me too. This is a good Champ battle for the two of them. Very respected guys!
KM: Yes & it is so much fun with them being so close in points!
KM: Lap 47: Gordon passes Busch for third
KM; It is not a good day on the Ricky Radio
KC: Lapping cars already. Need some yellows!
KM: Wheel Hopping reminds me of Watkins Glenn I hope I get to return to that beauty in 2014!
KC: I would LOVE to see that track!
KC: Going to be very few cars on the lead lap today.
KM: I don’t like it when Martinsville plays out like that:(
KC: Multiple lead changes too. Johnson, Busch, Kenseth
KM: These cialis commercials are too much with a side note, see our ad in Golf Digest….
KC: Awkward commercials… haha
KC: Johnson will have his hands full with Kenseth today. Won’t be an easy race for him. Kenseth is strong today.
KM: All this lap traffic makes it difficult to...whoever wins today will have had a heck of a fight to victory lane
KC: 75 laps down and only 1 caution. Pit stops should be coming shortly.
KM: Pit stops will definitely shake things up a bit, I am excited to see how strategies play out today
KC: Yes! Pit road will definitely be a factor today.
KC: Looking for a strong run by Elliott Sadler today. Glad he is getting a chance in some Cup races. Sad it had to come at the expense of Vickers though.
KM: yes but we can’t always plan for the unthinkable, I am just glad they put a respectable guy in his place!
KC: Definitely! Sadler is a great guy and a great driver. Deserves a chance at getting some Cup experience.
KM: I really dislike it when drivers start going a lap down at this track…
KM: Lap 88: Montoya hanging on to 5th position, it is going to be different without him on the track next year, but I think he will soar back in Indy car!
KC: CAUTION! Lap 89; Kvapil spins. Thanks to Edwards again.
KM: I don’t think Kvapil’s car can handle much more of that today!
KC: Only 24 cars on the lead lap.
KM: Listening in on Ricky’s radio, he said the car feels like it did here in the spring! Hoping they can turn this day around, get the water temps down and gain some ground. When we get commercials in the middle of pit stops it really irritates me:(
KC: I hate commercials….
KM: Big brother on the radio, I am loving it! Lots of support for Danica today! Not far from the LUCKY dog spot, I believe we can do this, it always starts out rocky here but with 400 laps to go no worries between the team and D, I feel we will have a strong finish!
KC: I do too! She knows how to drive this track but track position is so important! Lots of racing left to go.
KM: Lap 100 : Bowyer & Hamlin making their way into the mix running 5&6!
KC: Junior gaining ground too!
KC: Its going to be an awkward and uncomfortable 4+ weeks at RCR for Harvick.
KM: Yes but he will make the BEST of it with SHR in the windshield :) Sights set down the road for next year!
KM: Lap 108: Ricky states he thinks the 51 is about to blow up
KM: Lap 111: The battle is still on, top two chase contenders still battling it out!
KM: Random but I can’t wait to see SMOKE back on the track!
KC: me too! not the same without tony.
KM: Top 13 lap times for D, I think she is digging her way back!
KM: Johnson leading. Gordon has a really strong car.
KM: Poor Stenhouse Jr very discouraged on the radio, states he can’t keep up with anybody:(
KC: Already 2 laps down. Not looking like a good day for him. Still a lot of racing left.
KM: Bowyer is creeping back up to the from settling in 5th on lap 129
KM: Looks like your Johnson shirt is bringing some luck today, is it because you grew your chase beard?
KC: ....Yeah…. I forgot to shave this morning. Whoops :)
KM: I guess a little 5’0 clock shadow is still lucky
KM: I commend these drivers for staying out & staying focused when they are 2+ laps in with 350+ laps of racing left, I just don’t know if I could stay out knowing I wasn’t going to get the finish I wanted. But then again I guess I would be happy to finish in one piece! Just seems mind boggling! A question I want to ask….
KC: It definitely has to be frustrating.
KC: Caution Lap 140. Reutimann. Patrick was about to go another lap down.
KM: Whew quick save for Patrick! Her and Johnson were side by side!
KC: Pit stops again. Johnson comes out P1.
KM: 23 cars pitting, Gibson trying to make the right decision to come or stay out...pressure is on!
KM: Excitement pitting with a clear in & clear out so she should definitely be a quick in & quick out!
KM: Pit Crews in Fruit of the Looms? hmmm can they do that one race?
KM: BIG Brother has taught her so much & is all about continuing to teach her, such a great relationship! I love how much she has grown in knowledge of the car and tracks this year, which means next year will be even more exciting!
KC: Lap 147: Restart. Logano into Kenseth on the restart. Johnson still leading with Gordon, Montoya behind.
KM: 55 is the Lucky Dog right now….
KC: Pit road is very tight at this track. Not a lot of room for the cars to change in and out of their stalls.
KM: It is neat to walk it when you are at the track and look at the minimal distance between them, how tight the stalls are!
KM: Did you see the replay of Montoya coming off pit road?
KC: Almost took out one of the officials
KM: That was crazy tight….he didn't waste any time though
KC: He is running strong today.
KM: Chase contenders are tightening up as the laps tick by….
KM: Lap 163: Newman and Biffle 19 & 22, furthest back of contenders
KC: Lap 167: Larson with some troubles. Blows up.
KM: Stenhouse Jr was correct some laps ago when he said the 51 was about to blow!
KM: Looking like a day of liquid flowing in all directions!!
KC: These cautions are going to come in handy for those just 1 lap down. Only 24 cars on lead lap before caution.
KM: 55 of Sadler was the LUCKY dog!
KC: Here comes the all mighty pit strategy.
KC: LOVING Junior’s paint scheme. So pretty!
KM: The pink 88 makes it perfect!
KC: Looks like the leaders are all pitting. Now would be a good time to take the wave around and get a lap back.
KM: Looks like some a few laps down are staying out & some are coming in, strategies are confusing at this point can’t wait to see how they play out!
KC: still a lot of racing left…good race so far!
KC: On the restart: Burton did not pit. Will lead the field to green. Followed by Johnson, Earnhardt, Kenseth, Montoya
KC: Hamlin, Kahne, Truex all with damage.
KM: Poor Kahne got the bad end of that deal. They stacked up quick. Patrick got lucky,EYES of a always on his toes spotter, paid off:)
KC: Have to feel bad for Hamlin. Had a strong car. This is just NOT his season.
KM: No its not but Kahne stuck that car up good!
KC: He ain’t goin’ nowhere. haha
KC: Danica is one of 3 cars just 1 lap down. Mears is currently in the Lucky Dog position. Gilliland is right behind her.
KC: Restart lap 192: Johnosn, Kenseth, Earnhardt, Montoya Gordon
KC: Just a handful of races left in the NASCAR world for Montoya. Has never won on an oval.
KC: Junior just moved McMurray out of the way!
KM: It could happen today! I think he will return to NASCAR eventually if the cards are dealt in his favor!
KC: Poor Kahne has had an awful Chase appearance.
KC: CAUTION! Kurt Busch gets spin...hits Martin.
KM: poor Martin he was hanging in there today!
KM: Patrick had a valid point: “Why do these guys fight so hard when they are many laps down?”
KM: Patrick didn’t feel as good about her run this time, hoping things turn around to put her back in a comfortable run! 4 tires and an adjustment, being 1 of 2 cars 1 lap down this could be a great strategy!
KM: Gibson to Patrick: you should be in the LUCKY dog spot, YES YOU ARE…
KC: Restart Lap 209: Not even halfway yet!
KM: Lap 217: Kenseth to the lead followed by Johnson
KC: CAUTION! 93 spins. Patrick is the Lucky Dog.
KC: Restart Lap 224: Rough restart for Johnson. Losing a lot of spots.
KC: Johnson, Busch, Logano all battling. Johnson lost a lot of spots on that restart.
KC: CAUTION! Lap 229. Reutimann spins in the middle of the track. Cars scatter to miss it. Looks like Truex may have helped that unintentionally.
KC: Johnson pits, Kenseth stays out. This just got interesting. Busch in as well.
KM: Can I get the officIal job standing on the track with the stop & Go sign...did you see that
KC: That would be fun!
KC: Strategy talk on the 10 radio with Tony Stewart.
KM: In search of clean air, pretty sweet running in the 14th position:) Love hearing him on the radio!
KC: Restart Lap 235: Kesneth leads. Pit strategy different now. Going to be interesting to see how it plays out in the end.
KM: Lap 237: Bowyer is pushing Kenseth pretty hard, he looks antsy to lead! hoping he can hang in there!
KM: Lap 239: Bowyer to the lead
KC: Despite the damage, Hamlin is having a pretty good race.
KC: Lap 243: Kenseth losing ground after restarting P1. Bowyer still leading.
KC: Halfway: Bowyer still in the lead. And now NASCAR goes NONSTOP!
KM: Burton still hanging up front in the 4th position Lap:256
KC: Elliott Sadler having a good race in the No55!
KC: Edwards and Montoya just went a lap down. Running P26 and P27.
KC: Lap 282: New Leader… JEFF GORDON!
KC: Lap 284: Reed Sorenson stopped on the track. Caution.
KC: 24 cars on the lead lap. More than I thought there would be by this time.
KC: Tony Stewart on Danica’s radio giving his little sister some tips on corner entry. Hate not having him on the track but he is definitely helping his drivers a lot by being cued in to their radios.
KM: He definitely has some great tips today! Love it!
KC: RESTART Lap 291: Gordon leads with Johnson, Bowyer, Ky Busch and Hamlin.
KC: Caution: Debris in turn 1. Very few drivers hit pit road. Patrick, Kenseth and a handful of others.
KC: RESTART Lap 303: Gordon, Johnson, Busch, Bowyer, Hamlin
KC: CAUTION Lap 308: Cassill spins. His car is pretty sweet. LOVE the paint scheme!
KC: Restart Lap 315: Gordon still the leader.
KC: Busch and Johnson are fighting hard on this restart!
KM: Tough break for Newman Lap:318
KM: Looks like Harvick got into him a bit
KC: 12 cautions so far. Still 180 laps to go.
KC: The more cautions in this race, the more money that Chevy donates to the National Breast Cancer Foundation. $200 for every lap under caution for Atlanta, Talladega and Martinsville!
KM: Thats right, thats why I don’t mind seeing cautions at this point in time:)
KC: As long as Danica gets through without incident :)
KM: So far so good...
KC: Restart Lap 325: Gordon still up front
KC: CAUTION again: Truex spins.
KC: Stewart telling his little sister that she is doing a good job today. I have to second that.
KM: I will third that she is hanging in and hanging on:)
KM: Stewart seems to be the LUCKY rabbits foot today! Love it she keeps hanging around 14! Only up from there.
KM: Johnson restarting 20th on Lap:334 how do you think this will end up Katie?
KC: Slightly worried about the No48.
KC: Restart Lap 334: Gordon still up front.
KC; Caution again: Debris
KM: LOVE the coke zero commercial!!!!
KC: Restart Lap 343: Hamlin leads despite being in a wreck earlier.
KC: David Gilliland having a strong run. P11 on Lap 347.
(DURING COMMERCIAL: I SEND KRISTINA A PICTURE OF MY POPCORN MACHING)
KM: WOW when you say you are having some popcorn, you are having some serious popcorn. That is one LARGE popcorn machine! Did you steal it from the movie theatre?
KC: I don’t take popcorn lightly :) LOVE IT!
KM: Lap 351: Bowyer to the lead
KM: 147 to go Patrick running 10th:)
KC: Getting some TV love… well deserved!
KM: No doubt & Gibson too
KM: If we were on tires I think we would be shining in the top 5!
KC: Johnson working his way up through the field. Needs to get back up front!
KC: Caution Lap 365: Spinner in turn 4
KM: 30 of Whitt
KM: Stewart: Nice job getting in the box D, that was a real good job! I just love his encouragement & the way he believes in Danica!
KM: Stewart on the 10 radio is great encouragement with great words of wisdom!
KC: Stewart has been a big help this weekend
KC: RESTART: Lap 373: Sadler is the race leader after not pitting.
KM: Biffle has a flapper again :)
KM: Is there a car on the track with NO damage at this point? A lot of cars have flappers:)
KC: CAUTION: Lap 380. no.36 spins. Yeley
KC: Tough break for Biffle. Lost a lot because he had to pit.
KM: Yes it was...But it was dangerous to stay out as well, distraction for drivers
KM: It is amazing how much Martinsville does look like a paper clip from an aerial view!
KC: It looks really cool!
KM: It is a really great track! I prefer it in person lol, but thanks for keeping me company today!
KC: My pleasure :)
KC: RESTART Lap 387: Kenseth leads.
KM: 103 to go it looks like the 5-hour energy is hungry for some M&M’s...Go get them Bowyer
KC: Running in the top-15 again in just her 2nd start at Martinsville… just thinking a few years ahead… this could be a possible track that Patrick could get a W at :)
KM: Yes TOP 15 in the Spring, running Top 15 now, her talent & skill is definitely shining bright today! So proud of her & the whole team! The 10 team is definitely a perfect fit & can only get better with time:)
KC: Under 100 laps to go!
KM: I am tired of sitting, I am sure the drivers must be….
KM: More pep talk from Stewart about tightening entry on the 10...hoping to improve lap times! Sounds pretty genius to me!
KC: Debris Lap 416
KM: Smoke giving entry pointers to D. Keep the door shut when they are tight on you, open the door when you have room! I think this is the best thing to happen this weekend, Stewart giving pointers
KM: 80 laps to go, D to Gibson seems like nothing when your counting to 500:)
KC: RESTART Lap 423; Kenseth leading.
KC: ”D, keep in mind, everyone is going to be a little less friendly from here on out.”
KC: With all of these cautions… there are still a lot of cars on the lead lap.
KC: Can someone put me in a racecar? Or at least a kart? I wanna race! :)
KM: I have thought about karting we used to have a track on the farm and race every weekend, I miss it:( But sure you are never to old to start and work your way up! Give it a shot! I back you! Crew Chief in training:) Seems like it would be fun!
KM: I often think about how neat it would be to call racing your job! I go fast for a living:)
KM: 50 to go: Who has your vote?
KC: Kenseth… I had a feeling he would win this one.
KM: Did the 83 finally retire?
KC: I think so!
KC: 40 laps to go. How many more cautions before this thing is over?
KM: I say 3 :) and you?
KC: I agree!
KM: Alright serious recap here in full effect our laps are winding down...ONLY 3 races to go! We have three more weekends to have fun Katie!
KC: I don’t want the off season! My weekend are boring then. haha
KM: Traffic is in the dang way of Gordon & Kenseth...Gilliland fighting hard not to go a lap down...
KC: Danica is losing spots slowly. Hopefully she can stay in the top 20!
KC: Sitting at home leads to many unwanted distractions….
KC: Lap 483…. Gordon to the lead!
KM: Lap 485: D in 17th, Lucky number 17 with 17 cautions today!
KC: I think this may be the longest green flag run of the race.
KM: I am calling Bowyer to WIN
KC: Kenseth and Johnson are currently tied in the standings!
KM: I love it when the chase is that close…
KC: yes! Good battle :)
KM: 5 to go…
KC: Patrick gets passed at the stripe. No lead lap finish. P17
KC: 16 cars on the lead lap.
KM: To bring a back up car to a top 20 is pretty sweet!!!
KC: Gordon wins! Definitely deserved that… and had a pretty wicked burnout/drift!
KC: That is one happy Jeff Gordon in Victory Lane! Glad he got the win!
Thanks for joining us at Martinsville! Stay tuned, there is more great racing to come!
When you think of Talladega Super Speedway, your mind automatically goes to the big wrecks and carnage. Even the popular movie (hence the title reference) ends with the top drivers wrecking and the racing on foot to the finish line. Unfortunately, it doesn't count. Carl Edwards tried that in 2009...at Talladega nonetheless! (Jump to 2:00!)
The final plate race of the season was run at Talladega and the only reference to the movie found during the race weekend was Kurt Busch's Wonder Bread sponsored car. For the eldest Busch Brother, this really isn't anything uncommon. He ran his ME paint scheme in 2012 when he drove the No.51. With no sponsor for the car, Busch put the famous paint scheme from the movie on his car, complete with the cougar in the back seat. With plenty of movie references over his in-car radio, Busch became Ricky Bobby and portrayed the character perfectly. Even driving backwards down pit road after spinning out! Check out his car and some of his in-car audio below!
Busch wasn't the first NASCAR driver to race with an animal in his car. Tim Flock had a friend in his car when he raced back in the 40s and 50s. Jocko Flocko became the first monkey to ever win a NASCAR race when he accompanied Flock in his May 16, 1953 win. Just a few weeks later, the monkey cost him a win...long story...read about it on Wikipedia :)
Now, back to Kurt Busch! Busch helped Wonder Bread get back into the spotlight this last weekend when he ran the iconic paint scheme from the movie...well, it was close anyway. The paint scheme wasn't exactly meant to reference the movie, Busch had to convince his owner to let someone else sponsor the car, but having the Wonder Bread paint scheme on the car at Talladega was a way to bring in more media buzz. And that it did!
Although the characters in the movie weren't references to actual drivers, many NASCAR drivers made cameo appearances in the movie! The most popular? Dale Earnhardt Jr! In rare fashion, NASCAR's most popular driver was the one asking for the autograph! Check out the clip below! Also, I've included a deleted scene in the garage with Junior as well!
With plenty of references within the industry since Talladega Nights was released in 2006, it's easy to see that drivers and fans are still getting a kick out of the worst racing movie ever made. Don't look for the references to end any time soon and, if you are like me, you now expect a "Nights" themed car from Kurt Busch for at least one of the Talladega races each season for the rest of his career. So, now that you have had your fair share of clips from the movie, GO WATCH IT, because I already have. Twice!
Now, pardon me, I am about to get kicked out of Applebee's.
Shake and Bake!
After my first experience at Kansas Speedway last year, I really thought it was going to be hard to top it. Boy, was I wrong. This time around, so many unexpected things happened that I am still not quite sure that it wasn't all an elusive dream.
Not even a year ago, I tried my hand at writing about the sport I love. Since that very first article (which you can read here), my life has changed so much. Now, I am not only the leading editor for the site where I got my start, but I also write for four others, making it a total of five racing websites. That's not counting my own blog and website series! From multiple Huffington Post Live appearances and online radio interviews, I can't believe how much my life has changed in the last year. Trust me, this all ties in to the story!
Anyway, back to Kansas! Going in to the race weekend, I knew I had a press pass thanks to one of the fabulous sites I write for, Speedway Digest. I wasn't exactly sure what to expect with a media pass but I was eager to find out! I spread my wings a little and set up a one-on-one interview with Nationwide Series driver Johanna Long. With this being my first interview with someone within the industry, I was slightly nervous for what was in store.
Friday at noon, I walked up to the No.70 hauler and met her PR rep Cameron. We chatted for a few minutes as we waited for Long to finish up with a phone call. When she came out from the front of the hauler, it was go time! We are close in age, which made the conversation really comfortable and light. She was extremely sweet and I can't wait to talk to her again in the future.
Check out my interview here!
Beyond my interview with Johanna Long, I had nothing else planned for the weekend. I was just going to soak up the atmosphere of being at the race track. What I didn't realize is there were many adventures that were just waiting for me.
At each racetrack, there is a building that is home to the driver press conferences and usually has a designated area for the members of the media to plug in and write/record/produce/do their thing. I was right in the middle of it all. Surrounded by writer that I have admired since starting my own writing adventures was extremely inspiring. Here I was, a college junior with little professional writing experience, rubbing elbows with the likes of Bob Pockrass, Nate Ryan, Claire B. Lang and many more!
Friday was full of all things media. I camped out in the media center for most of the afternoon just taking in the atmosphere. I attended a few press conferences after qualifying but never got up the nerve to ask any questions. My partner in crime from Speedway Digest though, did end up asking some questions during press conferences later in the weekend!
With the ARCA Championship race Friday night under the lights, it was a great way to wrap up my first day as an official member of the media. Saturday morning, I was chomping at the bit to get back to the track. I had nothing planned for the day but I was going to make the most of it. Little did I know what Saturday had in store.
Back at the track, I dropped my stuff off in the media center, grabbed some breakfast (they were never short on good food and drinks...for free), and headed into the garage. Seeing the cars and the teams up close is incredible. Not many sports allow fans to basically touch the players and equipment like NASCAR fans get to.
During my time in the garage and at the track, there were a few instances where people would come up to me and ask me if I was well...me! NASCAR fans were recognizing me from my work and wanted to meet me! Knowing that I had written something that had caught someone's attention was unbelievable.
Also on Saturday, I was able to meet with many of the people on Danica Patrick's crew. Her spotter, Brandon, was one of the first I met. Following her from her Nationwide Series crew, Brandon has been with Patrick for a few years and after talking with him, it was very easy to see that he has nothing but respect for his driver.
Later that afternoon, I was finally able to meet up with Beth Gibson. One of the sweetest people I met all weekend, she gave me a tour of the GoDaddy hauler and a let me get a close look at the Pink GoDaddy No.10. It was really interesting to see Patrick's crew working on the car up close; those guys never stop!
Back in the hauler, Beth introduced me to her husband Tony, Patrick's Crew Chief and also, Danica herself! Although I had met Danica the season prior, it's easy to forget just how tiny she really is! Everyone on the GoDaddy crew was exceptionally nice, especially to a media chick from Nebraska! Definitely one of the highlights of my weekend.
The Nationwide race was an adventure in itself! The biggest excitement when Kyle Busch got into the back of Brad Keselowski and caused him to spin out and wreck. Keselowski, rightfully ticked, climbed out of his car in Turn 1 and proceeded to run across the infield grass, down pit road, behind pit wall, down to turn 4, and all the way to the infield care center. He basically sprinted a mile in total. Pretty impressive!
Sunday, I was a little bummed. It was my last day at the track and I wasn't ready to leave. I only had one event planned that morning and after I was able to meet some more great people before heading to the grandstands. Meeting up with one of my editors from another site, Popular Speed, we went to meet the creator of the website, Mike Calinoff (he is the spotter for Ricky Stenhouse Jr)!
My first adventure that morning was taking a pace car ride around the track! The pace car was driven by legendary driver Brett Bodine and after he got the car up to around 115mph, I have a new respect for those who go 180mph+ every weekend. The G-force is INSANE!
The Sprint Cup Series race was definitely an eventful one. Unfortunately, Danica Patrick wrecked out very early in the race and sadly, she wasn't the only one. When the checkered flag finally flew, there had been 15 total caution flags during the 400 mile race. One caution flag was for a fire, in the bushes by the stands. The smoke was so thick that it was hard to see through!
At the end of the weekend, I had one of the most memorable weekends of my life. I met so many amazing people beyond those named above including Darrell Waltrip, Richard Petty, PressDog, Stan Creekmore and many others! My time at the track made me realize that there is no where else that I would rather be. I can't wait to finally call the race track, and North Carolina, my home.