Ain't it the truth! I have very fond memories of the old Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway watching Sterling's dad Coo Coo racing on Saturday night. The Alabama gang coming to town for the Late Model Sportsmen events and of course DW being the local track champion. Heck I remember when they ran the old modifieds, the 40 Fords and such. There was my favorite local boy Bobby Ruether who used to wave out the back window at the grandstands as he entered turn 1. Gold #44. Good times. :up
By Matt Taliaferro
Published: August 25th, 2006
As the Nextel Cup calendar slowly works it’s way from summer to fall, the circuit makes it’s second visit to Bristol Motor Speedway for — with apologies to Newell Rubbermaid — the Bristol Night Race. This the final “must see” summer event of a long, hot three months on tour.
I’ll proudly go on record as saying the Bristol Night Race — not the Daytona 500, surely not the Brickyard or even venerable ol’ Darlington — is far and away my favorite stop of the season. See, I grew up in the small town of Owensboro, Ky., home to such NASCAR familiars as Darrell and Michael Waltrip, Jeremy Mayfield and the Green boys. More importantly, Owensboro was home to a small 3/8-mile asphalt oval called Kentucky Motor Speedway. On any given Sunday night (for some reason, they raced at KMS on Sunday night, not Saturday) my Dad and I would head out in the county down a long, roughly paved stretch of pavement known as Haynes Station Road and park in a field just outside of Turn 1.
The sites, sounds and smells at a short track for an 11-year old boy are beyond description. Burnt rubber, engine exhaust and the reverb felt in my chest as the cars rumbled by are all sensations I can still vividly recall to this day. Just as important, the taste of a racetrack hot dog, eaten while sitting on hard planks of wood that served as grandstand seating, is just as memorable as the racing itself.
Of course we had to make a day of it. We weren’t the guys who just showed up for the A-Main. We got there as qualifying began; before the sun had set in the country woods behind Turn 3. We would stand with our faces pressed to the chain link fence that housed the garage area (our quaint little speedway was too small to hold a garage area in the infield). I’d intently watch the local weekend warriors tinker with their engines, revving them until I thought the things were about to blow.
As day turned to dusk, it was back to the grandstand, where the cars filtered onto the track through an opening in the Turn 4 fence for the heat races. Beating, bumping and banging ensued in the tight confines as the local daredevils positioned themselves for the Feature. This was stock car racing in its purest form. The Bomber, Street Stock and Late Model Divisions ran their heats one-by-one; short sprints that, at the end of the night, climaxed in each division’s Feature event.
The Feature race at any small town track is just that. These guys and gals depend on a payout or risk not being able to show up the next weekend. A slap against the wall could have the same implications. With this in mind, it is no wonder I witnessed my first few live fistfights at KMS. The garage area following a Feature race was often times as entertaining as the action on the track.
Which brings us back to Bristol. In a world where big-time stock car racing has lost touch with its roots, there is still Bristol. It’s the closest thing most of us have to those hot August nights spent out at the local short track. It’s an occasional finger out the window, a fight in the pits and a quote that will be talked about for a solid week. It’s not keeping the nose of the car clean for fear of ruining the aerodynamics. And it’s surely not aero-push or staying in the draft. It’s bump-and-runs, chrome horns and beating the next guy into the turn. It’s man vs. machine vs. racetrack. It’s stock car racing’s day game at Wrigley Field. It’s tradition. It’s racin’ the way it ought’a be.
As day turns to night this Saturday, I’ll be watching the Bristol race and will be thankful we still have a link to auto racing’s past. My home track of Kentucky Motor Speedway has been closed for two years now, the sad victim of economics. But Bristol — and therefore tradition — will always live on.
Enjoy the show, folks.
Sounds like he's in victory circle getting that plug in for Dodge. :lol At least he didn't say he had a "real hot rod out there today."Quote:
--Former Champion Credits Safety of Dodge Durango for his Survival--
MOORESVILLE, NC (August 29, 2006)—Late Monday evening, former NASCAR champion and ESPN/ABC Sports lead auto racing analyst, Rusty Wallace and his wife, Patti, were involved in a major auto accident while returning from the weekend's IndyCar Series event and a taping of the “NASCAR Angels” television show in California. The 2006 Dodge Durango Wallace was driving was hit directly in the driver's door by another motorist who ran a stop sign. Miraculously, all parties involved survived unscathed and did not require medical treatment.
Noted Wallace, “I've been in a lot of crashes in my time, but that was one of the craziest things I think I've ever experienced. Patti and I were driving home from the airport, driving the speed limit, somewhere around 45 miles per hour I believe, when all of a sudden, out of nowhere, I got hit directly in my door. We really got knocked around in there and we're both really sore.”
Despite the Wallace's involvement in the accident, their immediate concern afterwards was the well-being of the other party involved. “As soon as we came to a stop and realized what happened, our thoughts turned directly to the other driver, who miraculously, was uninjured as well.” Wallace continued, “She was really shaken up and very apologetic. She claimed that somehow, she just didn't see the stop sign. Luckily for both of us, there was a police officer directly following me and another coming in the opposite direction, both of whom witnessed the entire thing,” Wallace continued.
When all was said and done, Wallace credited one thing with the ability of himself and his wife to survive: the safety of the 2006 Dodge Durango . Said Wallace, “You hear car companies talk about safety a lot, but I can tell you that Patti and I are both really thankful for the research and development that Dodge puts into the safety of their vehicles.” Wallace joked, “That felt like a crash at Talladega , but thankfully, everyone was able to walk away.”
I didn't realize Kerry's kids were that old.Quote:
Chevy holds their own 'Gong Show" At Caraway Speedway this week, General Motors officials set up cars in Chevy's version of the"Gong Show" [Rosuh Racing does it years running drivers to run a Truck team]. Drivers ran in a Ron Hornaday-prepared Busch car. Two days of testing at Caraway, with a platoon of engineers from Richard Childress' operation, under the watchful eyes of GM racing execs Pat Suhy and Alba Colon, then the group will go next month to a Georgia dirt track and then to Nashville's high-banked concrete track. The drivers being tested are: Jeff Earnhardt [Dale Sr's grandson via Kerry], Joey Logano, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Colin Braun, Chase Austin, Landon Cassill, Jeremy Clements, Marc Davis, Jay Gerst, Drew Herring, Woody Howard, Tim McCreadie, Chad McCumbee, Josh Richards, Jason Sarvis and Kody Swanson. One of last year's diversity drivers, Allison Duncan, is running this year for Childress at the same Virginia track at which Jeff Earnhardt is running. But there's no word yet on whether Childress plans to move Duncan up next season. Car owners Childress and Rick Hendrick were the most visible in this round of testing, but Kevin Harvick, who has his own NASCAR teams in addition to his day job with Childress on the Nextel Cup tour, is expected to have some input, too, along with several other Chevy teams.(in part from/see full story at the Winston Salem Journal)(9-15-2006)
I didn't realise he was that old! BTW have you ever seen Kelli Earnhardt? manomanomanoman!!
She was on "Payback" on Speed Channel with Jr. recently. He had a GMC Yukon tricked out for her to say thanks for all she has done for him, which has been a helluva lot. :nod
Oh I forgot to watch that one!!!
Issue with #29 and #31 cars after race at NHIS UPDATE's NASCAR denies; RCR & Speed's statements: FoxSports/Speed's Bob Dilner reports: have learned that there was an issue with the winning car of #29-Kevin Harvick and also his teammate, #31-Jeff Burton, in postrace tech [at New Hampshire Intl Speedway in the Cup race]. That issue surrounded the actual [wheel] rim of the race car. The team apparently manipulated that rim to act as a bleeder valve to release air pressure from that rim. In English, it was performance advantage for the RCR team. Now, it was not against anything in the rule book so there won't be any fines or points penalties later on this week, but they have been told not to do it again.(more at FoxSports)(9-18-2006)
UPDATE: Race winner Kevin Harvick and his teammate, Jeff Burton, did not have any problems in post race tech Sunday night at Loudon. Late Sunday night, it was reported that the Richard Childress Racing teams had manipulated their rims to act as a bleeder valve to release air pressure from the rim. According to NASCAR however, the issue of the rims never surfaced during post race tech. “We’ve been checking valves and valve stems for about 4 months now,” said Jim Hunter Vice President of Corporate Communications for NASCAR said Monday. “What it was, was one reporter trying to make something that wasn’t there. Then another reporter went on TV and reported it as fact, when it was actually totally untrue. It was one reporter’s unsubstantiated fantasy,”(Cupscene.com)
AND The following is a statement from Richard Childress, president and CEO of Richard Childress Racing (RCR), regarding allegations in the media after the Sept. 19 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series race at New Hampshire International Speedway that two of RCR's teams had manipulated the rules: "Reports in the media, specifically on SPEED TV, that one or more of our NEXTEL Cup Series teams was found by NASCAR to be manipulating the rules yesterday at New Hampshire International Speedway are false and misleading. Our cars passed post-race inspection and officials at NASCAR assured us last night and again today that no one from RCR was told at any time not to bring a part back to the race track. The reported events and conversations did not happen. Our focus remains on two of our teams competing for the championship and the other finishing as high in the points as possible.(RCR PR) SPEED statement: SPEED issues the following response to statements made by NASCAR and Richard Childress Racing regarding a story filed by SPEED reporter Bob Dillner during the Sept. 17 LIVE broadcast of The SPEED Report. "SPEED reporter Bob Dillner has a strong record of solid reporting from the NASCAR garage; so there is no rational reason for us to consider that the events and conversations he related to SPEED viewers are anything other than the truth," said Chris Long, SPEED Executive Producer for NASCAR programming.(SpeedTV.com) AND Kevin Harvick told Sirius Speedway that he believes a rival team was behind Sunday's SPEED TV report alleging that NASCAR had discovered issues with the team's right-front wheels. "I absolutely think it was a plant from another team," said Harvick. "NASCAR didn't say anything, so it's pretty obvious to me where it came from. It's an attempt to try and distract us from what we're doing, but they're going to have to do a lot better than that." Harvick said he knows who planted the story, but declined to name names. (Sirius Speedway/MRN Radio)(9-18-2006)
UPDATE 3: Car owner Richard Childress told Benny Parsons during Monday night’s PRN's “Fast Talk radio show" that a Speed Channel report that RCR manipulated a rim giving the 29 car a performance advantage at New Hampshire was not true. Childress said reporter Bob Dilner “Got some bad information and he talked about it before he knew all the facts." Childress fielded many phone calls from various sponsors about the story, but he did not chastise Dilner. “I’ve got to say something for Bob Dilner. He did not report that on purpose. He didn’t do it out of anything derogatory to RCR or Jeff or Kevin. Its part of you guys (the media) job sometimes…you report things and maybe you don’t get the whole story.” Meanwhile the incident brought back some fond memories to the long-time car owner who won six championships with Dale Earnhardt. “All it did was made me think back to the days when Dale and RCR was winning and running good. You know, nobody ever loses…if you’ve ever heard that story...it’s because somebody’s doing something wrong to win. So, naturally with Kevin’s performance the last few weeks and RCR’s performance this year, people are going to say things.”(PRN's "Fast Talk with Benny Parsons" radio show)(9-19-2006)
This is a real shocker. :thud As many years as he's been with Ford this just really surprised me. :omg
Reports: Martin leaving Roush Racing for MB2
ESPN.com news services
TALLADEGA, Ala. -- Mark Martin will leave Roush Racing at the end of this season to drive a partial NASCAR Nextel Cup schedule for MB2 Motorsports, The Associated Press and NASCAR.com reported Thursday night.
Team owner Jack Roush, who has fielded a Ford for Martin in NASCAR's top series since 1988, is expected to make the announcement Friday at 10:30 a.m. ET at Talladega Superspeedway.
MB2 general manager Jay Frye has scheduled a news conference for later Friday morning at the Talladega track, where the Cup cars will race Sunday.Quote:
“ We have a man who's not ready for retirement, exactly. I'm pretty sure he's ruled out that this is the time in his life where he's ready to drive [wife] Arlene on her errands every day. ”
— Roush Racing team president Geoff Smith, on Mark Martin
Martin reportedly will share the ride in the No. 01 Chevrolet with rookie Regan Smith, a 23-year-old regular in the Busch Series, a source told The Associated Press. Joe Nemechek, currently racing in the No. 01, will remain with MB2, but will move to a third team entry, while Sterling Marlin will stay in the team's No. 14 Chevy.
It is believed that Martin will run 22 races for the MB2 team, NASCAR.com reported. Smith will run the remaining 14 Cup races, a source told the Web site.
Martin, 47, has been talking about retirement from the Cup series for the past two seasons. He was set to give up his ride in the No. 6 Roush Ford after the 2005 season, but he was persuaded by Roush to stay another year because none of the team's young drivers was ready to step into the ride.
Earlier this season, it appeared Martin would leave Cup in 2007 to drive a full season -- considerably shorter than the Cup schedule -- for Roush in the Craftsman Truck Series, but he recently began talking about the possibility of running at least a partial schedule in Cup.
Roush team president Geoff Smith said several weeks ago that the team would definitely not field a Cup car for Martin in 2007 and that it was close to completing a deal with Martin to drive a Roush truck. But that deal apparently fell apart after the MB2 ride became available.
One way or another, though, Smith said recently he knew Martin wasn't ready to leave the driver's seat.
"We have a man who's not ready for retirement, exactly," Smith said. "I'm pretty sure he's ruled out that this is the time in his life where he's ready to drive [wife] Arlene on her errands every day."
Martin himself has been hedging his bets in recent weeks -- talking about everything from just driving trucks to racing a partial Cup schedule and trucks to racing a full-time Cup schedule in 2007.
But one thing he said he was sure of was that his driving days are not over.
"I don't know what I want to do until I slow down and I'm not going to slow down unless I step aside," Martin said two weeks ago at Dover.
"For 19 years, I've really done everything that they've asked me to do at Roush Racing, and going forward I'm having to keep reminding myself -- what is it that I want to do?" he said.
The source said it was unclear if Martin might also drive in the truck series in 2007, along with the MB2 ride.
Meanwhile, Martin continues to drive the familiar No. 6 and the four-time Cup runner-up remains in contention for his first series title. He goes into Talladega third in the Chase for the championship, trailing leader Jeff Burton by just 70 points and just one point behind rookie Denny Hamlin.
Martin, who drove his first Cup race in 1981, has started 667 Cup races and has 35 victories, 234 top-five finishes and 372 top 10s. The versatile Martin also owns a Busch Series-record 47 wins and has five more in trucks. He also has 13 victories and a record five championships in the all-star IROC series.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.
thanks for the info. :yay