WOO HOO!!! HEY HEY!!! It's Sunday and welcome Gabbers and others to my NASCAR updates and other fast stuff. Saturday night was the All Star race which I haven't watched. Just didn't feel like trotting over to mom & dads to watch it. Really am irked at the fact that I can't watch the race on my computer like I used to before they started booted you off Justin.TV. Grrrrrrrrrr. Wondering if FOX will make good on their promise of watching online. Guess we'll have to wait till August when FOXSports1 debuts to the web-o-sphere.
PASSING OF A LEGEND
The picture above is of a short track legend. The winningest short track racer in history. Richard Leroy Trickle or as most know him as Dick Trickle passed away of a self inflicted shot gun blast on Thursday May 16th. He was 71 and had been suffering from unexplained chest pains for quite some time. He made a call to 911 explaining where he was and that there would be a suicide. They found his body next to his '93 pickup truck.
Dick was from Wisconsin Rapids in Wisconsin. He traveled the midwest racing the dirt tracks and small speedways. He amassed over 1000 wins.
Career high lights--->In 1989 he became the oldest rookie in NASCAR at the age of 48. He also won rookie of the year.
----> Won 7 ARTGO championships between 1979 to 1987
----> 1984 & 1985 he won ASA championships
----> 67 wins in 1972
----> NASCAR Cup career stats---303 races---15 top 5's---36 top 10's and a pole @ Dover
----> NASCAR Busch Series (now Nationwide) 158 races---24 top 5's---42 top 10's---2 W's
Dick was a smoker and NASCAR allowed him to smoke in the car during caution laps. He had cigarette lighters installed in his race cars. He could always be seen with a cup of coffee and his cigarettes around the track.
Back in the 90's ESPN personalities Dan Patrick and Keith Olbermann would give their NASCAR update on Sports Center and always end it with where Dick finished the race. It was sort of a running gag which Dick enjoyed. He wasn't as good in NASCAR due to not having a power house ride. As I recall the guys in the broadcast booth would be mentioning Dick during the race too. They never missed an opportunity. He had a fun name to pronounce.
Matt Kenseth a fellow Wisconsin native said the last time he spoke to Dick was right after he had announced his switch to JGR. Matt said Dick poked his head in the trailer and asked for a beer. They talked for over an hour with Dick telling Matt what a great opportunity moving to JGR would be for him.
Mark Martin was heart broken and said that he, Alan Kulwicki and Rusty Wallace would not be the racers that they became without Dicks influence. He was very giving. He shared his race setups and driving wisdom. It was Dick who told an 18 year old Mark Martin---"In order to finish first, first you must finish."
I saw Dick at Watkins Glen one very hot humid summer. It was Mark Martin's 3rd win in a row at Watkins Glen that day. At the race start all the cars rolled by. As it progressed you'd hear the pack roll by and then a solo rumble a couple seconds later. It was Dick. About lap 10 the crowd would roar when he buzzed by after the pack. This went on for about 30 laps till the pack caught up with him. He even waved to us in the grass where I was standing and he had a cigarette lit too. Don't know where he finished but my man Mark got the W.
R.I.P. Richard Leroy Trickle.
Carl Edwards will have Dick Trickle above his door instead of his own name to honor his passing at the All Star race. He also has the pole too.
Last weekend on Mothers Day the truckers convoy carrying Make-A-Wish kids rolled up Rt 222 and collected money for the kids. This week a 16 year old young man named Jacob Entrekin who suffers from muscular dystrophy got a wish granted from those donations. He was taken to the All Star race as a guest of Richard Petty Motorsports. He got to meet Richard Petty and Marcos Ambrose. All made possible from the donations to Make-A-Wish. Hope it was a good one.
WIN A PAIR OF SHOES
If you go to Dalejrfootwear.com you can enter for a chance to win a pair of Dale Jr shoes. Amazing. He has his own potato chips and now shoes. Is there no end to this guys entrepreneurialship? I entered to win a pair and got a 20% coupon for shoes. Didn't check out the merchandise yet but I might later.
NO NEW RULES THIS WEEK
Well yeah, there was. In the past a car had to be on the lead lap at the end of the qualifying event for the All Star race to be eligible for the fan vote. This year they only need to be running and in race shape to be eligible. Guess who this will benefit the most? That's right folks. It's Danica. She seems to keep her cars in semi good shape in the back so it's conceivable that the fans will vote her into the main event and her car will be in running race condition. I can't say for sure about what happened because I'm writing as they're racing. That is if it's not rain delayed right now.
Last week at Darlington there were suspended crew chiefs for the #22. #2 and #20 cars. When a crew member is suspended from a race this means no radio chatter and they must be off the track. This didn't deter the teams effected. They used Face Time and texting while the team members were at the team shop. NASCAR says they don't plan to change any rules to deter that in the future. My question is, how could they? Ain't technology grand?
Hey there's Kasey Kahne again. No he didn't win but he should've. He got into it with this guy. Kyle Busch.
With 35 to go on a restart Kahne and Kyle are out front. They do some fancy cross over moves on each other as well as the side by side stuff and then Kyle goes down on the apron which he had been making it work all race long till this one time. Up he came and seemingly missed Kahne. You couldn't fit a piece of paper between them. Kahne got squirrelly and off he goes for a spin. His radio chatter had lots of French in it. He didn't crunch any fenders but needed tires. Kahne ended his night in 17th. He of course expected a phone call and apology. Supposedly they talked. Kyle says he didn't mean it and expected his car to stick which it didn't. He doesn't see Kahne exacting revenge but understands if it does happen.
Other happenings in the race were that there were a lot of green flag laps. In fact the first caution didn't come out till lap 124. Darlington is not a nice track. She gives out stripes to unaware drivers left sides. This track was built when cars raced at 70 mph. Now they go around 170 mph at this track and the only way to do it is at the top of the track up close to the wall. Concentration is a must.
This was Denny Hamlin's first race back full time. He looked spent at the end of the race but he pulled a 2nd place out of his helmet.
Gordon did his usual whining through the race. With 35 to go and in 5th place he was still whining. I'm so sorry for his CC Alan on top of the box.
Kyle dominated this race but came up short. No win. The cautions at the end of the race put 17 cars on the lead lap. At one point only 9 cars were on the lead lap.
Top 15 finishers - Kenseth - Hamlin - Gordon - Johnson - Harvick - Kyle B - Edwards - Montoya - Dale Jr - Newman - Bowyer - Truex - Biffle - Smith - Stewart
FIRST SEGMENT REPORT CARD
So we've ended the first 11 races. For those of you in my fantasy league, you will have to pick new drivers by next Sunday. Johnson has been the smoothest or most consistent with only 3 races outside the top 10. That's why he's first in the points. Edwards, Kenseth, Keselowski & Dale Jr had 4 races outside the top 10. Kyle, Bowyer & Kahne have 5 races outside the top 10. This is why these 8 drivers are your top 8 at this time. The Chase Champ will most likely be one of these guys.
Almirola, Harvick, Menard, Gordon, Biffle, Truex and McMurray are the 9th thru 15th drivers. Almirola only has 3 races where he was worse than Gordon. Wrap your head around that one. Gordon needs to Step it up. He's had 4 REALLY bad race finishes. If he keeps it up he'll be fighting over a wild card spot again. Harvick is starting to come to life. I expect him to be at least in the 10th spot come Richmond. Biffle started strong and has dropped off. I think he'll be in the top 10. Truex lost his consistency of last year. No top 10 for him in my opinion. McMurray won't make the Chase but it's nice to see him and Montoya finishing better in their new HMS rides.
Hamlin is back but unless he wins a few races and gets into the top 20 we won't see him in the Chase. There is a chance. He sits 27th and 61 points out of 20th. He's got 15 races to do it in.
The 15th thru 21st positions are Stenhouse, Newman, Kurt B, Logano, Burton & Stewart. Stenhouse would be a great filler after you pick 3 top drivers. Don't know what happened at SHR that Newman & Stewart can't figure the new cars out but a 19th average won't cut it. Logano has dropped off. Not sure why. Kurt just expects way too much from his equipment and over drives it. He wants a win so bad he can taste it. All these drivers are worth a pick on your team.
So when you pick 3 top drivers & a mid tier driver, you'll need a C lister or lower equipment challenged driver if you want to be politically correct. Casey Mears, David Ragan, THE DANICA, Bobby Labonte, Dave Blaney, David Gilliland, David Reutimann and Landon Cassill always get in. Mears 25th and Ragan 26th have the better records. Cassill is in the #33 fielded by Richard Childress. He's young and it's my guess he's the one in the experimental set ups. The Danica has SHR equipment and at least tries to finish the race. Very important for points. Bobby is right there with her. He's a veteran. Don't expect more than a 20th to 30th place finish from these drivers. They can surprise you like Ragan and Gilliland did with the 1-2 finish at Dega some times or Danica's 8th at Daytona.
Mark Martin, Ragan Smith and AJ Allmendinger are good choices but they only run limited schedules so you'd have to keep an eye out for the days off to make a switch.
So good luck in your picks. I hope this helps and if you have questions there's a box some where below to write your query. As always, it's Sunday and hopefully the sun is shining where you are and the weather is warming up for grilling. Take care, hug you pets, honey, kids, teddy bear or your beer. And....
I'm outta here.......