Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Happy New Year! Not for America

Soon we will be ringing in a new year. A new year, full of hope and anticipation.

But unfortunately this time, I am afraid that I cannot get too excited about a new year. Yeah, I get to celebrate another birthday on New Year's Day. Big deal, I turn 46, Whoopie!!!!

But when I think about the trouble that our country is in, I can't help but feel like there cannot be any possible way this new year, can bring anything more than more trouble and problems.

With the current administration, Congress and the Senate, hell bent on destroying this country, there is no way to be happy about the fact that they are still in control of this country.

The only good thing, is that 2010 is an election year. A year in which we can at least get rid of these liberals and moderates in the Congress and the Senate who are going along with the destruction that Obama and his croonies have laid out for this country.

And folks believe me, I have never been one to really get into politics. But I do care about this country. And there is nothing good, that is coming out of Washington, D.C. these days.

There doesn't seem to be anyone who is willing to stand up to Barack Obama and tell him that he is doing this country wrong.

This man and his croonies have went out there and turned this country into a third world country in less than one year. And folks if you don't believe what I am saying, just look around in your neighborhoods and see how many foreclosures you see there.

Now I am not saying that all this stops at his doorstep. Because, I know that he inherited alot of problems from the past administrations, and yes I did mean to say Administrations. Because this is not something that started with George W. Bush. But alot of this started back during Clinton's administration. But less face it, he and his croonies have done nothing to ease the problems. Only to take control of major banks and companies. All things that our Constitution says the President of the United States cannot do.

These are the things that a dictator does, just before he takes over control of every aspect of people's lives. Now he is working on health care. And at the rate that Pelosi, and Reid are going, this thing is going to be law very shortly.

Folks it is illegal for the President to do the things that this man is doing. But who is going to stand up to him? Who can this country find to stand up and demand this man be accountable for his actions?

Folks it is up to us, the Voters to demand and accounting from this President, his administration, the Congress and the Senate. They all WORK FOR US! We DO NOT WORK FOR THEM!

Obama campaigned on Change! Well guess, what, We got Change! And it was not for the betterment of this Great Country of Ours!

May God in Heaven, Have Mercy On This Country. Because, folks without his mercy, this country is lost forever!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Remembering Days of Ole

This time of year makes me think back to the days of my youth. And I was reminded yesterday of a poem. It was a poem that my favorite pastor's wife use to recite for all the church band's Christmas dinners. Every year, she would recite this poem. She told it to her own children as they grew up, and every child and adult that heard it recited was touched by her rendering of the poem.

I got word that one of her sons had done it at the church I use to attend. I called him up, and asked him if he would come and recite it for the children at the day care. He so generously agreed. I was so touched by it, I could not get it off my mind.

So I got online and went in search of the poem. And lo and behold I found the actual rendering she use to do. I found it at the below link. I hope that you enjoy it. As much as I have through all the years.

The will of God will never take you where the Grace of God will not protect

Thursday, 17 December 2009

Annie and Willie's Prayer

The following poem my sister Edie used to read to me when I was little

'Twas the eve before Christmas.
"Good night," had been said,
And Annie and Willie had crept into bed;
There were tears on their pillows, and tears in their eyes,
And each little bosom was heaving with sighs,
For tonight their stem father's command had been given
That they should retire precisely at seven
Instead of at eight-for they troubled him more
With questions unheard of than ever before:
He had told them he thought this delusion a sin,
No such creature as "Santa Claus" ever had been.
And he hoped, after this, he should never more hear
How he scrambled down chimneys with presents each year.
And this was the reason that two little heads
So restlessly tossed on their soft, downy beds.
Eight, nine, and the clock on the steeple tolled ten,
Not a word bad been spoken by either till then,
When Willie's sad face from the blanket did peep,
And whispered, 'Dear Annie, is 'ou fast as'eep?"
"Why no, brother Willie," a sweet voice replies,
"I've long tried in vain, but I can't shut my eyes,
For somehow it makes me so sorry because
Dear papa has said there is no 'Santa Claus.'
Now we know there is, and it can't be denied,
For he came every year before mamma died;
But, then, I've been thinking that she used to pray,
And God would hear everything mamma would say,
And maybe she asked him to send Santa Claus here
With that sackful of presents he brought every year."
"Well, why tan't we p'ay dest as mamma did den,
And ask Dod to send him with p'esents aden?"
"I've been thinking so too," and without a word more
Four little bare feet bounded out on the floor,
And four little knees the soft carpet pressed,
And two tiny hands were clasped close to each breast.
"Now, Willie, you know we must firmly believe
That the presents we ask for we're sure to receive;
You must wait very still till I say the 'Amen,'
And by that you will know that your turn has come then."
"Dear Jesus, look down on my brother and me,
And grant us the favor we are asking of thee.
I want a wax dolly, a teaset, and ring,
And an ebony workbox that shuts with a spring.
Bless papa, dear Jesus, and cause him to see
That Santa Claus loves us as much as does he;
Don't let him get fretful and angry again
At dear brother Willie and Annie. Amen."
'Please, Desus, 'et Santa Taus turn down tonight,
And b'ing us some p'esents before it is light,
I want he should div' me a nice 'ittie s'ed,
With bright sbinin' 'unners, and all painted red;
A box full of tandy, a book, and a toy,
Amen, and then, Desus, I'll be a dood boy."

Their prayers being ended, they raised up their heads,
With hearts light and cheerful, again sought their beds.
They were lost soon in slumber, both peaceful and deep,
And with fairies in dreamland were roaming in sleep.

Eight, nine, and the little French clock had struck ten,
Ere the father had thought of his children again:
He seems now to hear Annie's half-suppressed sighs,
And to see the big tears stand in Willie's blue eyes.
'I was harsh with my darlings," he mentally said,
'And should not have sent them so early to bed;
But then I was troubled; my feelings found vent,
But of course they've forgotten their troubles ere this,
And that I denied them the thrice-asked-for kiss:
But, just to make sure, I'll go up to their door,
For I never spoke harsh to my darlings before."
So saying, he softly ascended the stairs,
And arrived at the door to hear both of their prayers;
His Annie's "Bless papa" drew forth the big tears,
And Willie's grave promise fell sweet on his ears.
'Strange-strange-I'd forgotten," said he with a sigh,
'How I longed when a child to have Christmas draw nigh."
"I'll atone for my harshness," he inwardly said,
"By answering their prayers ere I sleep in my bed."
Then he turned to the stairs and softly went down,
Threw off velvet slippers and silk dressing gown,
Donned hat, coat, and boots, and was out in the street,
A millionaire facing the cold, driving sleet
Nor stopped he until he had bought everything
From the box full of candy to the tiny gold ring;
Indeed, he kept adding so much to his store,
That the various presents outnumbered a score.

Then homeward he turned. When his holiday load,
With Aunt Mary's help, in the nursery was stowed.
Miss Dolly was seated beneath a pine tree,
By the side of a table spread out for her tea;
A workbox well fitted in the center was laid,
And on it the ring for which Annie had prayed,
A soldier in uniform stood by a sled
"With bright shining runners, and all painted red.'
There were balls, dogs, and horses, books pleasing to see,
And birds of all colors were perched in the tree!
While Santa Claus, laughing, stood up in the top,
As if getting ready more presents to drop.
And as the fond father the picture surveyed,
He thought for his trouble he had amply been paid,
And he said to himself, as he brushed off a tear,
'I'm happier tonight than I've been for a year;
I've enjoyed more pure pleasure than ever before;
What care I if bank stock falls ten per cent more!
Hereafter I'll make it a rule, I believe,
To have Santa Claus visit us each Christmas Eve.'
So thinking, he gently extinguished the light,
And, tripping down stairs, retired for the night.

As soon as the beams of the bright morning sun
Put the darkness to flight, and the stars one by one,
Four little blue eyes out of sleep opened wide,
And at the same moment the presents espied;
Then out of their beds they sprang with a bound,
And the very gifts prayed for were all of them found.
They laughed and they cried, in their innocent glee,
And shouted for papa to come quick and see
What presents old Santa Claus brought in the night
(just the things that they wanted,) and left before light:
'And now," added Annie, in a voice soft and low,
'You'll believe there's a 'Santa Claus', papa, I know"-
While dear little Willie climbed up on his knee,
Determined no secret between them should be,
And told in soft whispers how Annie had said
That their dear, blessed mamma, so long ago dead,
Used to kneel down by the side of her chair,
And that God up in heaven had answered her prayer.
'Den we dot up and prayed dust well as we tould,
And Dod answered our prayers: now wasn't He dood?"
'I should say that He was, if He sent you all these,
And knew just what presents my children would please.
(Well, well, let him think so, the dear little elf,
'Twould be cruel to tell him I did it myself.")

Blind father! who caused your stem heart to relent,
And the hasty words spoken so soon to repent?
'Twas the Being who bade you steal softly upstairs,
And made you His agent to answer their prayers.


Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Wishing Everyone a Very Merry Christmas

Ho! Ho! Ho!

Merry Christmas
and a very
Happy New Year!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Some Down Under Fun For Stewart

Just when you think that maybe Tony Stewart is ready to rest and relax alittle. Maybe kick up his feet and take a nap.

The man makes plans to head Down Under to race. Tony will be heading to Australia to compete on the Tyrepower Parramatta City Raceway for the first time on December 26 for the Valvoline Australian Sprintcar Grand Prix. Donny Schatz will be joining Stewart for these events.

Stewart will also compete on December 29 in the Hogs Breath Sprintcar International.

Then on January 2-3, 2010 Stewart and Schatz will be racing against All Star Series champ Tim Shaffer, fellow American Jason Johnson, Australia's best racers includings Brooke Tatnell, Max Dumesny, Robbie Farr, Ryan Farrell and Kerry Madsen in the Scott Darley race, for the $50,000 prize money.

The last time Stewart was in Australia was during the formative years of his career when he competed at the Parramatta venue during a limited campaign.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Twas the Night Before Christmas, NASCAR Style

Twas' the night before Christmas.
And all through NASCAR land
Not an official was a stirring.

All the tools were hung up with care.
Nothing more to tweak this year.

The crew chiefs were all nestled with the ones they love
While visions of the next season danced in their heads.

Mike Helton in his office, and Jim Hunter resting,
Had just settled down for along season review.

When out on the track there arose such a clatter,
Helton sprang from his chair to see what was the matter.

Away to the window, he flew like a flash,
He tore open the curtains and threw open the window.

The moon shown down on the road below
Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below.

When, what to his wondering eyes should appear,
but 42 race cars, with 42 drivers,

With a familar veteran, so lively and quick,
He knew in a moment it must be King Richard.

More rapid than wild mustangs his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted and called them by name;

"Now Smoke! Now Newman! Now Gordon and Kahne! On Harvick! On Martin! On Hamlin and everyone else!"

Get your cars to the start/finish line!
Now Gentlemen, Start Your Engines!

The winner of this race will be the winner,
And Champion of this new season!

For Jimmie Johnson and Chad Knaus
Have been barred from this race!

And then in the twinkle of an eye,
These drivers were off like they were shot out of a cannon.

As Helton drew in his hand, and was about to shout,
Jimmie and Chad came in a screaming!

"Not fair, not Fair! We won this fair and square.
We are the champions, not them!"

Helton began pacing back and forth,
How could he fix this, for one and all?

Then suddenly a light went off,
"We will restart this race, and the 48 will race!"

"The winner of this race, will win the championship
And it will be fair for one and all!"

"So return to the start/finish line
And we will restart this race!"

So the race was off, heading into turn one,
Montoya gets loose and spins Johnson.

Johnson is out, and he cannot not win this race.
As the cars push each other, more and more spin and are out.

As they come to the finish line, it is Stewart, Gordon and Martin
All three pushing each other to the limit.

And it is Martin by a nose,
followed by Stewart and Gordon.

Mark has finally won his championship
Now he can say I am a Cup Champion.

As he got out of his car, he handed Helton the trophy,
"Next year, Helton, I will win this championship,
so tell Hunter, to make room for my name on that trophy!"

And as the drivers drove out of sight, I heard them all exclaim
"Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good-night!!!"

By Ann Cowey

Sunday, November 29, 2009

The Season is Over!!!

Image by Action Motorsports

The season is Over!

The champ has been crowned, once again it is the 48 team. The teams now go back to work on making their teams better for next season.

Some teams will go through major changes. Some will not even be in existence next season. While others will make small changes. And some will remain the same.

The 88 team will probably go through some major changes. This team has a driver who is capable of winning races. But there is something missing there. Don't know if it is the driver, the crew chief, the owner or just the whole chemistry. I do have my suspicions what the problem is.

In my opinion the problem with the 88 team is that it is missing a leader. Someone who can control the driver, the team and the duties of the crew chief. And in my opinion, that person is Tony Eury Sr.

Last night Gunaquat and I were talking and he pointed out Jr. had won most of his races under Eury Sr. Not since Eury Sr. has Jr. had a completely successful year. Not under Eury Jr. or Lance McGrew.

This not to say that it is the other two crew chiefs fault. It is just that Eury Sr. brings something that the other two do not. A father figure. Respect.

Jr. comes rural North Carolina. And in rural North Carolina, you are taught to respect your elders. (Not saying other parts of the country do not teach this, but I grew up in another rural area of North Carolina, so I know how it is taught.) You are taught to never second guess an adult. You are taught to do as you are told. You don't have to agree, but you do have to do it. And Jr. has this embred into him.

It is something that you cannot get away from. When you have two young bucks both trying to be a leader, they are going to butt heads. But when you have an elder leader, the young bucks may butt heads with each other. But few try to take on the elder leader. And those that do, some succeed, others, well they are left to lick their wounds.

Jr. is not ready to take over the role as leader. He is a follower. Therefore he needs someone who can continue to mold him into a leader. I am not saying that he cannot be the leader someday. It is just that right now, he needs someone to help mold him alittle longer. And help him get his confidence back.

And once Jr. has his confidence back, and he is winning races once again, then he will be able step up and lead his team.

Good luck Jr. you are going to need it.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Okay I give Up! I Have Jumped on the 48 Bandwagon!

Well, the NASCAR season is finally over. We all have our opinions as to what was good and what was bad about the season. And I don't think there is any doubt in anyone's mind, that I am sick of the chase format.

So since it looks like Jimmie Johnson is going to be winning the championship until NASCAR changes the Chase format. I think in honor of Ms. 24x2 I am going to pull for her driver. Might as well, get on his bandwagon. Doesn't look like anyone else is going to win.

So for the 2010 season, I am going to pull for the 48 team. And I hope that they do 24x2 right, and win that 5th straight championship.

Good luck Jimmie and Chad. Let 2010 be a banner year for the 48 team.

Now you really didn't buy that did you?

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Is There Something Special About Jimmie?

Is Jimmie Johnson winning four championships in a row really all that special?

In a word NO.

I know, I know, you are saying wait a minute Ann. The man has won four championships in a row, no one has ever done that before. Not Richard Petty. Not Junior Johnson. Not even Cale Yarborough. Or even the late Dale Earnhardt Sr.

And that is why it is not that special. These drivers won their championships, working the whole year to win them. They won races, they were consistent the whole year. Not just for ten races at the end of the year.

If it were not for the chase, Jimmie Johnson would not have won four in a row.

If it were not for the chase, Jeff Gordon, would have five championships by now, possibly even six.

Tony Stewart would be fixing to wrap up his third championship of his career.

Carl Edwards or Greg Biffle probably would have a championship by now. At the most Jimmie Johnson would have one.

So the fact that Jimmie Johnson is about to win his fourth championship, after a ten race stretch for four years, is not that impressive.

It is when a guy goes the whole year being consistent and winning races, that he should be crowned champion. Not just after ten races.

So while NASCAR and the media is hailing Jimmie as the greatest champion in NASCAR history, in my mind he is at best a one time champion. Nothing special about that.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Looking Back on some NASCAR Cup Happenings of 2009

I know this alittle early. But let's face it, unless something catastrophic happens to Jimmie Johnson in the next three races he is the champ.

The 2009 NASCAR season has certainly been a season unlike any other in recent memory, yet it also has a feeling of déjà vu.

This season we have seen a new team come in and compete and show that a car owner/driver can be competitive. Win races and even contend for a championship. Before the chase began he was the points leader. And only falling to 2nd when the chase started. Okay technically it is not a new team, it is a refurbished team. But when you compare the two organizations their performance is as different as apples and oranges. Tony Stewart once again you have proven that you ARE the smartest and most savvy driver in NASCAR today. Congratulations on your very successful venture, Stewart-Haas Racing. And to Joe Custard, you are the wisest business manager in NASCAR. Speedbeagle and Katie, better get some new voodoo dolls for next season.

And Cindi next time you are looking down on your favorite driver, maybe you can whisper in his hear, "Here Kitty, Kitty, come and get you some of this". And drive that car into more wins and into another championship.

And not only getting one his cars into the chase but both got in. Kudos Ryan Newman, Tony Gibson and the whole 39 team.

We have seen NASCAR’s favorite driver struggle. Loose his long time crew chief to be replaced by a unfamiliar voice in his ear. And yet he still struggled. All well Gunaquat, there is always next year. Maybe Dale Jr. and Lance will find the chemistry in the off season.

We saw a four time champ, deal with agonizing pain in his lower back and still win races, and contend for a championship. Poor Jeff, just how many more years do you have in NASCAR?

A longtime fan favorite was given a second life this season. He went out and won the most races during the regular season. Came into the chase as the points leader. Each and every week he gave his best and still somehow came up short. Mark you and the 5 team showed that the over 50 crowd still has great years left in them. That is very reassuring since I am only a few short years from the half-century mark myself.

This season we saw a former champion win the first two races of the year and then struggle to win anymore races and even lost his bid to compete in the chase for the first time. Maybe the impending arrival of your 2nd child and 1st for your wife, were alittle more distracting than you thought.

While two of his teammates made the chase, neither of them were ever a contender for the championship. Seems like the Roush guys love to be married, but none since Matt has even really contended for a championship or win, after getting married. Maybe they are just lost in wedded bliss?

We will also see for the first time in NASCAR the first 4 time champion in a row be crowned. Yahoo! Peafowl (24x2) your driver has done it again.
Jimmie I just hope that 2010 is not #5 for you.

And who can forget the 2 team, being told by their crew chief that he would not be back next year with the team. He is only allowed in the shop one day a week and his movements are restricted within the shop. Kurt guess you will be having a lot more outbursts on the radio next year. Roger you might want to install an anti-profanity button on Kurt’s radio next year. So that NASCAR and the FCC does not fine him or you. You know that familiar rule Sect 14.2 Actions detrimental to stock car racing. Sorry Kristen, but Kurt next year looks like it might be a bad year for the Miller Lite team. But then again, I could be wrong. LOL

And who can forget the warning that came down from NASCAR to Brad Keselowski, for racing the chase drivers too hard. Ummmm….isn’t that what he was hired to do? Guess Mike Helton and Brian France needs to go look up what National Association of Stock Car Auto Racing is really.

Oh and let’s not forget last week’s race at Talladega. NASCAR came up with that last minute rule change about no bumping. You were not sure if you were watching a 200 mph protest or a race. It looked more like a protest for most of the race.

More to come after all the season is not over with yet.

Looking Back on some NASCAR Cup Happenings of 2009

The 2009 NASCAR season has certainly been a season unlike any other in recent memory, yet it also has a feeling of déjà vu.

This season we have seen a new team come in and compete and show that a car owner/driver combination can be competitive. Win races and even contend for a championship. Before the chase began he was the points leader. And only falling to 2nd when the chase started. Okay technically it is not a new team, it is a refurbished team. But when you compare the two organizations their performance is as difference as apples and oranges. Tony Stewart once again you have proven that you ARE the smartest and most savey driver in NASCAR today. Congratulations on your very successful venture, Stewart-Haas Racing. And to Joe Custard, you are the wisest business manager in NASCAR.

And not only getting one his cars into the chase but both got in. Kudos Ryan Newman, Tony Glover and the whole 39 team.

We have seen NASCAR’s favorite driver struggle. Loose his long time crew chief to be replaced by a unfamiliar voice in his ear. And yet he still struggled. All well Gunaquat, there is always next year. Maybe Dale Jr. and Lance will find the chemistry in the off season.

We saw a four time champ, deal with agonizing pain in his lower back and still win races, and contend for a championship. Poor Jeff, just how many more years do you have in NASCAR?

A longtime fan favorite was given a second life this season. He went out and won the most races during the regular season. Came into the chase as the points leader. Each and every week he gave his best and still somehow came up short. Mark you and the 5 team showed that the over 50 crowd still has great years left in them. That is very reassuring since I am only a few short years from the century mark myself.

This season we saw a former champion win the first two races of the year and then struggle to win anymore races and even lost his bid to compete in the chase for the first time. Maybe the impending arrival of your 2nd child and 1st for your wife, were alittle more distracting than you thought.

While two of his teammates made the chase, neither of them were ever a contender for the championship. Seems like the Roush guys love to be married, but none since Matt has even really contended for a championship or win, after getting married. Maybe they are just lost in wedded bliss?

We will also see for the first time in NASCAR the first 4 time champion in a row be crowned. Yahoo! Peafowl (24x2) your driver has done it again.
Jimmie I just hope that 2010 is not #5 for you.

And who can forget the 2 team, being told by their crew chief that he would not be back next year with the team. He is only allowed in the shop one day a week and his movements are restricted within the shop. Kurt guess you will be having a lot more outbursts on the radio next year. Roger you might want to install an anti-profanity button on Kurt’s radio next year. So that NASCAR and the FCC does not fine him or you. You know that familiar rule Sect 14:2 Actions detrimental to stock car racing. Sorry Kristen, but Kurt next year looks like it might be a bad year for the Miller Lite team. But then again, I could be wrong. LOL

And who can forget the warning that came down from NASCAR to Brad Keselowski, for racing the chase drivers too hard. Ummmm….isn’t that what he was hired to do? Guess Mike Helton and Brian France needs to go look up what National Association of Stock Car American Racing is really.

Oh and let’s not forget last week’s race at Talladega. NASCAR came up with that last minute rule change about no bumping. You were not sure if you were watching a 200 mph protest or a race. It looked more like a protest for most of the race.

More to come after all the season is not over with yet.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Mystery Hill of Scotland County

Sit down and I will tell you a tale of a mystery that to this day looms right here in my hometown. There are those who try to say it didn't happen. That it is just the earth's magnetic pull. Whatever the truth is, doesn't really matter. What matters is that I have experienced it for myself.

There are two versions of the story. And I will try to recant both here for you. And you can decide for yourself if you believe it or not.

The first story takes place around the turn of the century. It was right after the first motor vehicles were sold here. The story goes that two young lovers were out for a drive. They were heading for what was then called lovers lane.

For some unknown reason, the young woman winds up walking away from the car. There are those who say they had a spat, others say she was just exploring the area, while he worked on the car. For whatever reason, she was out of the car.

The car broke loose from the young man, and rolled down the hill, running over the young woman. The young woman died there. Grief stricken the young man, gets in and drives the car back up the hill. Turns around, and speeds up to a high rate of speed. Drives down the hill and into a tree. Wrecking the car and killing himself.

The second story goes like this. It was 1940 four young sailors here visiting from Wilmington. They went out riding and came upon this hill. Their vehicle got a flat tire and they lost control of the car. The car went speeding down the hill and into a tree. All four young sailors were killed.

Now what makes this hill a part of a mystery was not these two incidents of death. It is what happens when you approach the bottom of the hill. Now the reason I know what I am about to tell you happens, happened, is because I have done it myself.

When a car approaches the bottom of the hill and is stopped. If you put your car into neutral, the car will be pulled back up the hill, backwards. Now there are those who say it is the young woman, trying to stop her lover from killing himself, and others say it is the four sailors saving unfortunate drivers from their deaths.

Whatever is the truth, I don't know. I am more inclined to believe those who say it is the earth's magnetic pull. But for the sake of Halloween, well, you decide which way you want to believe.........

Sunday, October 18, 2009

I know who has the Maltese Lugnut

So, Katie Scarlett O'Beagle (Speedbeagle) you thought that you could pass yourself as a Stewart fan and no one would be the wiser, that you are truly a Jimmie Johnson and Chad Knaus fan. You had us all fooled for awhile, but there is no denying it now. For the past couple years, this Maltese Lugnut has supposedly bounced back and forth. From this one to that one.

Lost, then found. Missing and then not missing. To now no one knows who has it. Well, after last night's race at Concord, N.C. It is pretty evident to this blogger, that You are an enemy spy in the Tony Stewart camp. Pretty sneaky, using Kristen Klvalus as your cover. This way, the lugnut could be passed back and forth to the 48 team without anyone being the wiser.

Pretty cleaver, but now your secret has been exposed. So come clean, it is the only way to save face.

Okay, I know this is not true. Speedbeagle and Katie are truly hardcore Smoke fans. And it would never cross her mind to be a Jimmie Johnson fan. I think she probably dislikes him as much as I do.

But the real question is what will it take to stop the 48 team from winning 7 straight championships? They do just enough to get them into the chase. And once the chase is in play, they pullout all the stops and blow through the rest of the field?

NASCAR is going to need to do some changes to this chase format, or Johnson and Knaus will win 7 straight. And by the time they get to that point, many NASCAR fans will have abandoned NASCAR for other sporting events or other things. I am one of those fans who is at that point.

Right now, I don't plan on walking away from NASCAR. But right now my plan is to just watch the first 26 races next year, crown the champ and go do something else. And leave the final 10 races to the 48 team.

Now don't get me wrong. I love my NASCAR and I will watch it. But the final 10 races will not be on my top 5 list of things to do next year. So for this year, my NASCAR champ will be Tony Stewart. And the chase champ will be the 48 team.
What is wrong with Dale Jr.?

This seems to be the question that is on everyone's mind? It is simple. Jr. is frustrated. Jr. thought that once he left the shadow of DEI that he would be able to win championships and races. Jr. dreamed of victory lane celebrations and championships. But none of that has come true for him.

Many in Jr. Nation, has convinced themselves that Teresa Earnhardt is the reason Jr. is not doing well. Well, let's face it, she is not the reason.

Jr. is not performing to his ability because he is not comfortable with the situation he finds himself in. Jr. is like alot of us. When we get frustrated, we lash out. And when we lash out, we can't think straight. And then once we calm down, we regret the lashout, but the problem remains.

Jr. has stated that he "needs a dictator" for a crew chief. Jr. appears to me not to be comfortable with calling the shots. He makes me think that he just wants to tell the crew chief what the car is doing and the crew chief is going to say "Okay Dale this is what we are going to do, Period." No, what if we do this? Jr. has enough to think about in the car. He doesn't want to be the one who calls the shot on pit road.

Eury Jr. and Lance McGrew (Thanks Gunny) just don't seem to be the strong force that can hold Jr. to his potential. Seems like Tony Eury Sr. was the only one so far. Now don't get me wrong. I am not saying that Lance McGrew or Eury Jr. are not good crew chiefs. Just that they don't seem to be the right fit for Jr.

So what is the solution? Not sure. But if it is another crew chief, maybe Hendrick needs to find someone with Pop Eury's character to put with Jr. or nothing will change.

And one more suggestion, maybe Jr. needs to lighten his outside load of responsibilities (sponsor demands) and maybe that will make him relax a bit more and be more in the right frame of mind to work with a crew chief.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Treat People The Way You Want To Be Treated

There is an old adage that says: "Treat people the way you want to be treated." It is sound advice for all aspects of our lives. Throughout our entire lives we will come in contact with all sorts of people. And you never know how your actions will impact a person when you cross paths.

Whether it be good or bad, the way we treat others says alot about us. It doesn't matter if you are a big time NASCAR driver or just the average citizen on the street. If you treat others with respect then you will receive respect back. But if you push your way through life, then others will push back.

Resistance mets with resistance. While respect mets with respect.

Often times in life people with a little experience or age, deserves to receive respect from the younger generation. And while I agree that they do deserve respect for their years of experience and life lessons. Too often times, this respect is demanded. Instead of demanding that respect it is best to receive it through your actions.

Now while I do respect my elders and I do want to be respected by the younger generation, I do not expect it or demand it, without giving them a reason to respect me.

This takes me to Greg Biffle and Joey Logano. These two drivers seem to be developing a rivalry that will test the level of respect that each has for each other and the other drivers on the track.

It is always good to see a good rivalry. That is what we as fans love to see. Two drivers battling on and off the track. It is what brings the human side of NASCAR to the level of the fans.

But what Greg Biffle is doing is just plain wrong. You don't get respect from a younger driver, by saying over your radio that you are going to put him into the wall and then doing it. They causes that younger driver to distrust you and you develop the ruptation of being a dirty driver. Now I don't think Biffle is a dirty driver, but he is doing things that will give him that reputation.

Logano is young. He is expected to make rookie mistakes. That is why NASCAR puts a yellow strip of tape on the back of his car, to remind the veteran drivers that he is a rookie. And that he likely will make a rookie mistake. So be alert.

But Biffle is the veteran here. He is the one who should be playing the part of a role model to Joey. Biffle is the best one to show any driver how he wants to be raced around. By racing the other driver the way he wants to be raced.

This goes back to the old adage, "Treat others like you want to be treated." Just some sage advice from an older person , Me to the young kid, Biffle.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Going Back in Time

Not the way you may be thinking. It seems that NASCAR has decided to harken to the fans suggestions once again and go back to the old start times for races. The times will all be no earlier than 1 p.m. and no later than 7:30 p.m. EASTERN time. And the green flag is suppose to fly within 20 minutes of the start time.

So while this may not make some fans happy, it certainly does make this fan extremely happy. I was getting tired of trying to remember when that week's race was suppose to start.

So from a long time fan, Thanks NASCAR for making this race fan happy!

Below is the 2010 schedule with start times from

2010 Cup Series Schedule
All times Eastern
Date Track TV Time

Feb. 14 Daytona FOX 1 p.m.
Feb. 21 Fontana FOX 3 p.m.
Feb. 28 Las Vegas FOX 3 p.m.
March 7 Atlanta FOX 1 p.m.
March 21 Bristol FOX 1 p.m.
March 28 Martinsville FOX 1 p.m.
Aprril 10 Phoenix FOX 7:30 p.m.
April 18 Texas FOX 1 p.m.
April 25 Talladega FOX 1 p.m.
May 1 Richmond FOX 7:30 p.m.
May 8 Darlington FOX 7:30 p.m.
May 16 Dover FOX 1 p.m.
May 30 Charlotte FOX 5:45 p.m.
June 6 Pocono TNT 1 p.m.
June 13 Michigan TNT 1 p.m.
June 20 Sonoma TNT 3 p.m.
June 27 Loudon TNT 1 p.m.
July 3 Daytona TNT 7:30 p.m.
July 10 Chicago TNT 7:30 p.m.
July 25 Indianapolis ESPN 1 p.m.
Aug. 1 Pocono ESPN 1 p.m.
Aug. 8 Watkins Glen ESPN 1 p.m.
Aug. 15 Michigan ESPN 1 p.m.
Aug. 21 Bristol ESPN 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 5 Atlanta ESPN 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 11 Richmond ABC 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 19 Loudon ABC 1 p.m.
Sept. 26 Dover ABC 1 p.m.
Oct. 3 Kansas ABC 1 p.m.
Oct. 10 Fontana ABC 3 p.m.
Oct. 16 Charlotte ABC 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 24 Martinsville ABC 1 p.m.
Oct. 31 Talladega ABC 1 p.m.
Nov. 7 Texas ABC 1 p.m.
Nov. 14 Phoenix ABC 3 p.m.
Nov. 21 Homestead ABC 1 p.m.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Could this be the year of "The Kid"?

(Photo by Geoff Burke/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Mark Martin has been a fan favorite since he came into NASCAR. Even before that he was always a fan favorite on the small tracks that he raced on. Martin's personality is one that just seems to appeals to the fans. He is charming and soft spoken.

Martin is known for being, well, calm. He is very comfortable in his own skin and it shows. Martin has come close a few times during his NASCAR career to winning the championship. But due to one thing or another, it has allueded him.

So my question is could this be the year of The Kid Mark Martin?

Martin won four races during the regular season. And now in the first race of the chase he has won another one.

With Mark Martin showing no signs of feeling any pressure during this chase, could this be the year that he finally gets his championship?

Martin and crew chief Alan Gustafson have jelled so fast that it makes one think, are they one in the same? Gustafson has already told the media how he idolized Mark growing up and how he tried to be just like Martin. And it is showing that these two men have very similar personalities and it is working well for them.

So in nine more races we will know for certain if this is the year of "The Kid". But until then, Martin and his 5 team are celebrating another win and adding to their points lead.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

SYMT Chase Race #2:

Ernie Irvan

So the loss of Davey left the Robert Yates organization without a driver. But no one saw what was coming next for this race team.

In September, 1993 Ernie Irvan signed up with Robert Yates Racing to drive the Texaco Havoline 28 Ford Thunderbird. His first race for Yates Racing was at Darlington. Ernie started 10th and finished 5th.

Now Ernie Irvan was born Virgil Earnest Irvan on January 13, 1959 in Salinas, California to Vic and Jo Irvan. He is married to Kim Baker Irvan and they have two children: a daughter, Jordan born in 1993 and a son Jared born in 1998.

Ernie began driving racing at the age of nine. He drove go carts from 1968-1974. He won the California Championship when he was 15. Ernie finished 2nd in the national go-cart championship in his class division in 1974.

At the age of 16 Ernie started driving stockcars at Stockton 99 Speedway and he won his first race on asphalt, a semi-main event in 1975. From 1976-1981 Ernie raced at Madera and Stockton, CA every weekend. He even missed his high school graduation to race at Riverside, CA.

In 1982 Ernie left California and headed east to North Carolina. He had his sights set on stockcar racing at the Winston Cup level. So he packed up everything he had, $700 in his pocket, a pickup truck and a homemade trailer and headed for Charlotte.

Once he arrived in Charlotte he took odd jobs so that he could stay where the heart of NASCAR was. Just in hopes that he might attract some owner’s interest in him.

Here is a list of some of the odd jobs he held: welding grandstand seats at Charlotte Motor Speedway (Lowe’s), built racecars, and he even unloaded Ken Schrader’s moving van.

All the while why he was doing this, he talked, prodded, wheedle, pester any car owner that he could. While he was awaiting for the big time, Irvan won nine races driving in the Late Model Series at Concord Speedway.

In 1984-86 Ernie continued to work odd jobs and he built racecars. Ernie drove a Firebird at the Concord Speedway. He won two races in his first year and eleven races the next.
Finally in 1987 Ernie got his first break into Cup racing. In a car built and prepared by Ernie and Marc Reno, he debuted at Richmond Fairgrounds Raceway on September 13. He was driving the #56 Chevrolet Monte Carlo sponsored by, are you ready for this? Dale Earnhardt Chevrolet. He qualified 20th. But due to an overheated engine after just 35 laps. He finished 29th and won $860.

In October Ernie was back in the #56 once again sponsored by Dale Earnhardt in his first Cup start at Charlotte. Irvan started 36th, led a lap 128, and he finished 8th. At Riverside, CA he drove the same car, only this time the number was #6 for Ulrich U.S. Racing team. He had two more starts for the Ulrich team one at Martinsville (Sept.) started 24th and finished 15th. The next race was at North Wilkesboro in October. Where he began 25th and finished 22nd. For his first five races in Cup, Ernie had One Top 10 fnish and $23,050 in winnings.

In 1988 Ulrich Racing signed Irvan to drive their #2 Kroger Chevrolets and Pontiacs. He competed in 25 of the 29 Cup Series events. Ernie lost the Rookie of the Year by just three points, to Ken Bouchard. This was the closest battle in Cup history. His best finish was an 11th at Martinsville in September. Irvan finished the year 26th in the points and he had won $96,370.
In 1989 Ernie was once again behind the wheel of the Ulrich’s U.S. Racing car. He started all 29 races that year. One of Ernie’s best showing in 1989 was at Bristol in the April race. He started 25th and by lap 38 he caught the race leader Mark Martin. Ernie would lead 56 laps that day. But due to an accident on lap 167 put him out of the race. He would finish 22nd in the points and his winnings for the year totaled $155,239.

At the beginning of 1990 Irvan was driving the #90 Bull’s Eye Barbecue Sauce Ford for Junie Donlavey. But three races into the year he signed to drive the Morgan McClure #4 Kodak Oldsmobile. His first race with McClure was at Atlanta in March. Ernie started 30th and he never looked back. He went on to finish 3rd in that race. This gave Ernie his first ever top 5 in Cup racing. But it would be only the first of many more.

Then in April at Bristol Ernie won his first pole And in August he won his first Cup race at Bristol. He finished his first year with Morgan McClure with three poles, one win, six top 5s and 13 top 10s. Winning $535,280 and finished 9th in the standings.

In 1991 he won his first Daytona 500. His next win came at Watkins Glen. After his win at Watkins Glen, Irvan had scored a victory on three of four of NASCAR’s type tracks. A short track, a super speedway and a road course. Making him one of NASCAR’s very versatile drivers. He finished 1991 with 2 wins, 11 top 5s, 19 top 10 and a 5th place standing in the points. He won over $1,079,017.

1992 brought about a lot of changes for Ernie. And not all of them were on the track. In 1992 Ernie married his wife Kim Baker on November 21st. Ernie would win three races: Sonoma, CA in June, Daytona in July and Talladega, AL in July. He also won three poles, had 9 top 5s and 11 top 10s. He would only win $996,885 and he would finish 11th in the points. One of the lows was when Ernie broke his collarbone during a Busch series race at Atlanta in March. He had 12 finishes 24th or worse and he also had seven DNFs. Not a very good year for Ernie.

But 1993 would bring about a big change for Ernie and his family as well as his career. While still driving for Morgan-McClure Ernie added two more poles and a victory to his resume. The two poles came at Dover in June and at Daytona in July. And the win came at Talladega in May. His career stats while driving at Morgan-McClure were 9 poles, 7 wins, and 51 top 10s in 105 starts.
Ernie signed to drive for Robert Yates Racing in September. His first race was at Darlington where he started 10th and finished 5th. Ernie’s first win with RYR came in his fourth start. It was Martinsville. And it was very fitting that Ernie dedicated the win to Davey. After all it was Ernie who caused Davey to lose the championship in 1992.

Ernie would later go on to win at Charlotte he lead every lap but six laps for the win. Ernie scored five front row positions including two poles and two wins in his nine races with RYR. Ernie was 9th in the points when he left Morgan-McClure. But he would finish the year 6th in the points after joining RYR.

1994 Ernie was very much a contender for the Winston Cup Championship during the first 20 races of the season. Going into the GM Goodwrench Dealer 400 at Michigan in August Ernie and Dale Earnhardt were tied with three wins each for the season. Ernie led in top 5 finishes and winnings and trailed Earnhardt by only 27 points. Ernie had led the standings for most of the season.

But once again tragedy struck the 28 team. During an early Saturday morning practice session, Ernie blew a right front tire sending the car into the Turn Two wall at over 170 miles per hour. This wreck would leave Ernie fighting for his life.

Track emergency workers worked frantically to get him extracted from the car. He was immediately airlifted to Saint Joseph’s Hospital in Ann Arbor, MI. Where he was diagnosed with critical brain and lung injuries and he was only given a 10% chance of surviving the night.

But Irvan has a fighting spirit that just would not let him die. As the doctors worked to keep him alive his stubborn refusal to leave behind his wife and young daughter brought Ernie back from the brink of death. By the time September rolled around Ernie was listed in “fair” condition and he was removed from the ventilator. A few weeks later the doctors decided that Ernie was in good enough condition to be moved to Charlotte to the Charlotte Institute of Rehabilitation. It was only a few short weeks later that Ernie was at the Charlotte Motor Speedway where he addressed the fans before the stat of the UAW-GM race.

When the Awards Banquet was held in New York during the month of December Ernie, was in attendance and he walked on the stage to receive the True Value Hard Charger Award. Even though there was still races left in the season, he had still raced among the top five for more miles than any other driver that year. Plus Ernie tied Geoff Bodine for the most poles during the season.

The beginning of 1995 found Ernie making huge strives to returning to the racecar. Ernie was so determined to get back into a race car and prove that he could still race with the best of them. Ernie would be put through many challenges on his way back to NASCAR. He put himself though very rigorous workouts to help him with his physical strength. He underwent extensive medical exams and procedures all just to prove that he was ready to get back into a car.

Ernie went through everything that the medical professionals and NASCAR could throw at him. Finally NASCAR cleared Ernie to get back into the car. The date ws September 16, 13 months after the wreck that nearly ended his life had happened.

Ernie first attempted to qualify for the Truck race at Martinsville. But due to rain, Ernie was not able to qualify. The following week at North Wilkesboro, September 30, Ernie qualified on the outside pole. Within six laps of the race, Ernie was out front leading. He lead for 23 laps before he had mechanical problems that put him out of the race.

That same weekend the Cup Series was in North Wilkesboro. The date was October 1, Ernie made his return to NASCAR Cup racing. This time instead of driving the 28 Texaco Havoline Ford, Dale Jarrett had taken over this ride when Ernie got hurt, Ernie was in the 88 Texaco Havoline Ford. Ernie had qualified 7th, and by lap 47 he was third. Ernie took the lead on Lap 125 and he lead for 31 laps. That day he finished on the lead lap in sixth positon. Not too bad for a guy who should have not been there.

Phoenix would be Ernie’s time behind the wheel of the race car. After he wrecked his primary car and had to start in the back of the 44 car field. Ernie swiftly made his way to the front. And by lap 75 he was sitting in the 7th spot. After the first round of pitstops, Ernie took two tires and that gave him the lead. Dale Earnhardt had taken four tires, but there was noone who could even touch Ernie for the lead. So for the next 110 laps Ernie was the leader. But unfortunately his engine went south on him on lap 197 of the 312 lap race. But that day Ernie lead the most laps.
And he proved that he was back and ready to go racing and contend for wins and hopefully championships once again.

The last race of the year Atlanta saw Ernie start 26th and finish and finishing 7th. Ernie had advanced himself to fourth by the midway point and he was second before he had to make a late pit stop. So with only three starts in 1995 Ernie had 2 top 10s and earned over $54,000.

Ernie returned to the #28 Texaco Havoline Ford in 1996. He and Dale Jarrett sat on the front row for the Daytona 500 with Dale on the pole. Ernie would go on to win his 125 Gatorade Duel Race. He would also win the pole for the spring Talladega race. His win for the season would come at New Hampshire. The second win would come at Richmond.

Ernie would finish in the top 10 in points. He would have 12 top 5 and 16 top 10 finishes. He also led 15 of the 31 events and earned a career-best $1,670,113.

But 1997 it would mean the end of Ernie at Robert Yates. Yates having decided that he wanted to try a new driver, decided that this would Ernie’s final year with the team. Ernie would win at Michigan in June. He would have 5 top 5 finishes and 13 Top 10s and 2 pole positions. And he would earn $1,614,281. Ernie would finish 14th in the points.

But Ernie was picked up by the newly formed Mb2 Motorsports to drive their #36 Skittles Pontiac. He would have 11 top 10 finishes with three poles, and he would finish 19th in the point standings. Ernie was injured at Talladega and he missed three races in 1998. He would earn $1,476,141.

In 1999 Ernie was still driving for MB2 Motorsports in the #36. This year the car would have the M&M’s logo and characters on the car. It soon became the most popular and most recognized NASCAR Cup car.

Just when things looked like Ernie was final getting use to his new team and they to him, the unthinkable happened. Ernie was at Michigan practicing for the Busch Series in his #84 Irvan-Simo Federated Auto Parts Pontiac when he crashed. Ernie was airlifted from the track and was diagnosed with a mild head injury and a bruised lung.

Ernie and his wife Kim made the decision together that Ernie would retire from racing. So on September 3, 1999, Ernie along with his wife Kim and their two children, the announcement was made that Ernie would retire effective immediately.

So at a tearful press conference held at Darlington, S.C. Ernie Irvan’s NASCAR career was officially over.

So the official standings for Ernie are as follows 15 victories, 22 poles, 68 top 5s, 124 top 10s and over 11 million dollars in career earnings.

Today Ernie spends his time trying to educate people on the dangers of brain trauma. He and his organization have come up with a special helmet for children and adults to help to protect them from brain trauma.

Ernie also spends his time working on his son's quarter midget cars. So while he is not behind the wheel any longer. He is still very much involved in racing.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

It's No Lie, Stewart Won the Prelude

It's No Lie, Stewart Won The Prelude

Joey listens to Tony as they talk about the track. Vickers also is getting some helpful tips.

Tony talks cars with Leonard Woods. Casey trying to pick Smoke's brain.

With all of the talk about the two little words "You lie", that were spoken during the President's address last night to Congress, one could forget that there was a charity race in Eldora. That is if you were not a fan of dirt racing, NHRA or NASCAR.

With the stars making their trek to Rossburg, Ohio to run the dirt on the famous Eldora Speedway, it was easy to miss the President's speech. And from the fireworks that both Eldora and the speech has created it is ashame that one had to be forgotten. But since I did forget about the speech, and I prefer racing anyway. Thought I would bring you some of the highlights from last nights race, in case you watch the speech instead of the race.

During qualifying a new track record for the Prelude was set by none other but the track owner, Tony Stewart at 15.405. Here is the run down for qualifying. Tony Stewart, Denny Hamlin, Ryan Newman, Kyle Busch, Kenny Wallace, Clint Bowyer, Robby Gordon, Kasey Kahne, Aric Almirola, Jimmie Johnson, Matt Kenseth, Joey Logano, Kenny Schrader, Cruz Pedregon, A.J. Allmendinger, Kevin Harvick, David Reutimann, Brian Vickers, Marcos Ambrose, Casey Mears, Ray Evernham, Red Farmer, Ron Capps.

But of course this means nothing because of the inversion rule. And that is just to complicated to explain here. lol I will try to explain using Mike Joy's explaination from the telecast: Using Clint Bowyer as an example. Bowyer qualified 6th. Which means he will start outside pole in the 3rd heat. You have to be one of the first 4 finishers in your heat race to transfer to the A main toward the front. But then there will be an invert.

Darrell Waltrip got to be a part of the festivities. He got behind the wheel of a "Ripsaw MS2". Which is an automated military vehicle that can be used to go ahead of the troops to clear out landmines that were put there by the enemy. The vehicle has 700 horsepowers and it has a gun on top of it. It weighs 8000 lbs. And DW says it drives like a computer game. There has only been three people who have ever driven this vehicle and DW is one of them.

Darrell Waltrip truly had alot more fun driving this vehicle than he did the water truck he drove at Eldora a couple years ago. You should have seen ole DW doing donuts in this vehicle.

Next we had driver introductions: A.J. Allmendinger, Aric Almirola, Marcos Ambrose, Clint Bowyer, Rowdy Busch, Ron Capps, Ray Evernham, Charles "Red" Farmer, Robby Gordon, Denny Hamlin, Kevin Harvick, Jimmie Johnson, Kasey Kahne, Matt Kenseth, Joey Logano, Casey Mears, Ryan Newman, Cruz Pendrogen, David Reutimann, Kenny Schrader, Brian Vickers, Kenny Wallace, and Tony Stewart.

Next there was a picture taken of the Gillette Young Guns: Ryan Newman, Joey Logano, Denny Hamlin, Tony Stewart, Kyle Busch, Clint Bowyer and Kasey Kahne. Before the picture was taken, Denny Hamlin had alittle fun with Smoke by messing with Smoke's head. All of the drivers were clean shaven, even Smoke was clean shaven. A joke was made in the booth, that they better take the picture fast or Smoke would need to shave again. Saying Smoke calls himself, a "Chia pet".

The drivers were driven around the track not in the back of pickup trucks, but in the back of military humvees.

The national anthem was played on saxophone Jerry Depizo from the rock band OAR. And let me tell you, I love to hear the national anthem played on a sax. But this guy did not do it service. It started out pretty good. But then he started jazzing it up. And it was just not pretty. As long as he did not jazz it up. It was really good. But let's face it, the national anthem should be played correctly or not played at all. It is a truly beautiful song.

Now on to the heat races. The first heat race drivers were: Johnson, Gordon, Busch, Stewart, Schrader, Harvick, Ambrose, Farmer. Ambrose, hit the wall on lap 3 tearing the right wheel off. With Johnson winning it. Leading all of the 10 laps. Stewart finished second. Gordon, Busch, Schrader, Harvick, Farmer, Ambrose.

2nd heat race: Kenseth, Kahne, Wallace, Hamlin, Pedregon, Reutimann, Capps, Mears. Kasey Kahne won this heat race after leading all 10 laps. 2nd Kenseth, Hamlin, Wallace, Pedregon, Capps, Reutimann, Mears.

3rd heat race: Logano, Almirola, Bowyer, Newman, Allmendinger, Vickers, Evernham. On lap 4 Joey Logano tapped the wall and knocked his spoiler off. And then he wound up backing the car into the car damaging the car beyond repair. But lucky for Logano, Smoke had one of his cars there and Logan got to drive Smoke's car in the heat race. Almirola lead all of the laps in this race as well. Bowyer, Newman, Vickers, Evernham, Logano, Allmendinger.

Now on to the A Main event. Bowyer on pole, Wallace, Busch, Newman, Stewart, Gordon, Kahne, Almirola, Johnson, Kenseth, Bickers, Logano, Schrader, Pedregon, Allmendinger, Harvick, Reutimann, Ambrose, Mears, Evernham, Farmer, Capps. Hamlin was not able to compete because of engine problems. A lifter broke and there were pieces all inside of the engine.

The track was very fast. Even though Stewart and his crew worked hard to make the track slow and tacky. It just didn't work.

Joey Logano was given a couple laps in Smoke's extra car before the A main began.

Bowyer, took the lead. Kahne and Johnson both hit the wall during the first lap. As well as Allmendinger. Allmendinger caused the first caution, because his did alot of damage to his car.

Wallace got the jump on the restart. On lap 3, the caution came out again for Evernham for a broken front wheel. Someone got into Ron Capps but he was able to continue.

On the restart Wallace got the jump. Bowyer was hot on his bumper. Busch got around Stewart. Vickers spins, but no caution, he keeps it going.

Lap 6 Wallace, Bowyer, Busch and Stewart.

Stewart's car is the fastest on the track.

Lap 10 Wallace taps the wall. But keeps the lead. On lap 10 Bowyer goes for the lead on the bottom. Wallace stays high and keeps the lead. Bowyer moves high, Wallace moves low. Busch is behind Bowyer, Stewart moves to the low side and gets around both Bowyer and Busch. But Stewart lifts to avoid having a wreck. Bowyer and Busch gets back around him.

Wallace leads. Bowyer moves high. Busch and Stewart go low.

On lap 12 Bowyer chops down in front of Busch. And Stewart takes the lead away from Wallace. Stewart begins to pull away. But on lap 14 there is a five car wreck: Schrader, Logano, Ambrose, Mears, and Gordon. Gordon cut down a tire. Schrader and Harvick get together trying to avoid Gordon. Logano tried to go between Gordon and the wall, and didn't make it. And Mears got into it at the end. Ambrose just spun and he was able to continue.

The race is red flagged at this time to clean up the track.

On the restart on lap 14 Stewart took off and pulled ahead of the field. Wallace is in 2nd. Bowyer and Newman are fighting for 3rd.

Lap 21 Mears spins in turn 2 bringing out the caution. He lost it just as Stewart lapped him.

Restart on Lap 21 Stewart gets a good jump. Bowyer cuts down Wallace's right rear tire, taking Wallace out of 2nd and out of the race.

Lap 23 Bowyer bounces off of the wall, Busch closes in on him. 5th place Kenseth is being challenged by Pedregon.

Smoke is riding the cushion and stretching his lead on Bowyer and Busch.

Smoke clears the lapped cars of Farmer and Mears.

Smoke wins the Prelude for the third time in four years.

Stewart, Bowyer, Busch, Newman, Kenseth, Pedregon, Reutimann, Almirola, Kahne, Johnson, Harvick, Vickers, Capps, Ambrose, Mears, Farmer, Wallace, Gordon, Schrader, Logano, Evernham, Allmendinger, Hamlin.

All of the photos are from and Getty Images.

Monday, September 7, 2009

You Decide Whether You Want Your Child to Hear it Or Not

Below you will find the speech in which Barack Obama is going to give to America's school children on Tuesday.

There has been alot of controversy surrounding this speech. Many parents are demanding that their schools provide alternative activities, because they do not want their children to hear this.

I have my feelings on this subject and I am not going to give them here. Because this blog is only to provide a link and the speech to anyone who might want to read it.

But America's parents need to read it and they need to make the decision as to whether they allow their children to hear this. Not the schools, not the White House or any other person should make that decision for the parents.

It was once said that it takes a village to raise a child. That thinking is wrong. It does not take a village to raise a child. It takes two parents and only two parents. No one else should tell a parent how to raise their child or what they should allow their child to watch or listen too.

Now I know there are exceptions to this rule. But that is for another blog and another subject. But in this case it should be totally up to the parents and no one else. Remarks of President Barack ObamaBack to School Event
Arlington, VirginiaSeptember 8, 2009

The President: Hello everyone – how’s everybody doing today? I’m here with students at Wakefield High School in Arlington, Virginia. And we’ve got students tuning in from all across America, kindergarten through twelfth grade. I’m glad you all could join us today.

I know that for many of you, today is the first day of school. And for those of you in kindergarten, or starting middle or high school, it’s your first day in a new school, so it’s understandable if you’re a little nervous. I imagine there are some seniors out there who are feeling pretty good right now, with just one more year to go. And no matter what grade you’re in, some of you are probably wishing it were still summer, and you could’ve stayed in bed just a little longer this morning.

I know that feeling. When I was young, my family lived in Indonesia for a few years, and my mother didn’t have the money to send me where all the American kids went to school. So she decided to teach me extra lessons herself, Monday through Friday – at 4:30 in the morning.

Now I wasn’t too happy about getting up that early. A lot of times, I’d fall asleep right there at the kitchen table. But whenever I’d complain, my mother would just give me one of those looks and say, "This is no picnic for me either, buster."

So I know some of you are still adjusting to being back at school. But I’m here today because I have something important to discuss with you. I’m here because I want to talk with you about your education and what’s expected of all of you in this new school year. Now I’ve given a lot of speeches about education. And I’ve talked a lot about responsibility.

I’ve talked about your teachers’ responsibility for inspiring you, and pushing you to learn. I’ve talked about your parents’ responsibility for making sure you stay on track, and get your homework done, and don’t spend every waking hour in front of the TV or with that Xbox.

I’ve talked a lot about your government’s responsibility for setting high standards, supporting teachers and principals, and turning around schools that aren’t working where students aren’t getting the opportunities they deserve.

But at the end of the day, we can have the most dedicated teachers, the most supportive parents, and the best schools in the world – and none of it will matter unless all of you fulfill your responsibilities. Unless you show up to those schools; pay attention to those teachers; listen to your parents, grandparents and other adults; and put in the hard work it takes to succeed.

And that’s what I want to focus on today: the responsibility each of you has for your education. I want to start with the responsibility you have to yourself.

Every single one of you has something you’re good at. Every single one of you has something to offer. And you have a responsibility to yourself to discover what that is. That’s the opportunity an education can provide.

Maybe you could be a good writer – maybe even good enough to write a book or articles in a newspaper – but you might not know it until you write a paper for your English class. Maybe you could be an innovator or an inventor – maybe even good enough to come up with the next iPhone or a new medicine or vaccine – but you might not know it until you do a project for your science class. Maybe you could be a mayor or a Senator or a Supreme Court Justice, but you might not know that until you join student government or the debate team.

And no matter what you want to do with your life – I guarantee that you’ll need an education to do it. You want to be a doctor, or a teacher, or a police officer? You want to be a nurse or an architect, a lawyer or a member of our military? You’re going to need a good education for every single one of those careers. You can’t drop out of school and just drop into a good job. You’ve got to work for it and train for it and learn for it.

And this isn’t just important for your own life and your own future. What you make of your education will decide nothing less than the future of this country. What you’re learning in school today will determine whether we as a nation can meet our greatest challenges in the future.

You’ll need the knowledge and problem-solving skills you learn in science and math to cure diseases like cancer and AIDS, and to develop new energy technologies and protect our environment. You’ll need the insights and critical thinking skills you gain in history and social studies to fight poverty and homelessness, crime and discrimination, and make our nation more fair and more free. You’ll need the creativity and ingenuity you develop in all your classes to build new companies that will create new jobs and boost our economy.

We need every single one of you to develop your talents, skills and intellect so you can help solve our most difficult problems. If you don’t do that – if you quit on school – you’re not just quitting on yourself, you’re quitting on your country.

Now I know it’s not always easy to do well in school. I know a lot of you have challenges in your lives right now that can make it hard to focus on your schoolwork.

I get it. I know what that’s like. My father left my family when I was two years old, and I was raised by a single mother who struggled at times to pay the bills and wasn’t always able to give us things the other kids had. There were times when I missed having a father in my life. There were times when I was lonely and felt like I didn’t fit in.

So I wasn’t always as focused as I should have been. I did some things I’m not proud of, and got in more trouble than I should have. And my life could have easily taken a turn for the worse.
But I was fortunate. I got a lot of second chances and had the opportunity to go to college, and law school, and follow my dreams. My wife, our First Lady Michelle Obama, has a similar story. Neither of her parents had gone to college, and they didn’t have much. But they worked hard, and she worked hard, so that she could go to the best schools in this country.

Some of you might not have those advantages. Maybe you don’t have adults in your life who give you the support that you need. Maybe someone in your family has lost their job, and there’s not enough money to go around. Maybe you live in a neighborhood where you don’t feel safe, or have friends who are pressuring you to do things you know aren’t right. But at the end of the day, the circumstances of your life – what you look like, where you come from, how much money you have, what you’ve got going on at home – that’s no excuse for neglecting your homework or having a bad attitude. That’s no excuse for talking back to your teacher, or cutting class, or dropping out of school. That’s no excuse for not trying.

Where you are right now doesn’t have to determine where you’ll end up. No one’s written your destiny for you. Here in America, you write your own destiny. You make your own future.
That’s what young people like you are doing every day, all across America.

Young people like Jazmin Perez, from Roma, Texas. Jazmin didn’t speak English when she first started school. Hardly anyone in her hometown went to college, and neither of her parents had gone either. But she worked hard, earned good grades, got a scholarship to Brown University, and is now in graduate school, studying public health, on her way to being Dr. Jazmin Perez.

I’m thinking about Andoni Schultz, from Los Altos, California, who’s fought brain cancer since he was three. He’s endured all sorts of treatments and surgeries, one of which affected his memory, so it took him much longer – hundreds of extra hours – to do his schoolwork. But he never fell behind, and he’s headed to college this fall.

And then there’s Shantell Steve, from my hometown of Chicago, Illinois. Even when bouncing from foster home to foster home in the toughest neighborhoods, she managed to get a job at a local health center; start a program to keep young people out of gangs; and she’s on track to graduate high school with honors and go on to college.

Jazmin, Andoni and Shantell aren’t any different from any of you. They faced challenges in their lives just like you do. But they refused to give up. They chose to take responsibility for their education and set goals for themselves. And I expect all of you to do the same.

That’s why today, I’m calling on each of you to set your own goals for your education – and to do everything you can to meet them. Your goal can be something as simple as doing all your homework, paying attention in class, or spending time each day reading a book. Maybe you’ll decide to get involved in an extracurricular activity, or volunteer in your community. Maybe you’ll decide to stand up for kids who are being teased or bullied because of who they are or how they look, because you believe, like I do, that all kids deserve a safe environment to study and learn. Maybe you’ll decide to take better care of yourself so you can be more ready to learn. And along those lines, I hope you’ll all wash your hands a lot, and stay home from school when you don’t feel well, so we can keep people from getting the flu this fall and winter.

Whatever you resolve to do, I want you to commit to it. I want you to really work at it. I know that sometimes, you get the sense from TV that you can be rich and successful without any hard work -- that your ticket to success is through rapping or basketball or being a reality TV star, when chances are, you’re not going to be any of those things.

But the truth is, being successful is hard. You won’t love every subject you study. You won’t click with every teacher. Not every homework assignment will seem completely relevant to your life right this minute. And you won’t necessarily succeed at everything the first time you try.

That’s OK. Some of the most successful people in the world are the ones who’ve had the most failures. JK Rowling’s first Harry Potter book was rejected twelve times before it was finally published. Michael Jordan was cut from his high school basketball team, and he lost hundreds of games and missed thousands of shots during his career. But he once said, "I have failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed."

These people succeeded because they understand that you can’t let your failures define you – you have to let them teach you. You have to let them show you what to do differently next time. If you get in trouble, that doesn’t mean you’re a troublemaker, it means you need to try harder to behave. If you get a bad grade, that doesn’t mean you’re stupid, it just means you need to spend more time studying.

No one’s born being good at things, you become good at things through hard work. You’re not a varsity athlete the first time you play a new sport. You don’t hit every note the first time you sing a song. You’ve got to practice. It’s the same with your schoolwork. You might have to do a math problem a few times before you get it right, or read something a few times before you understand it, or do a few drafts of a paper before it’s good enough to hand in.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it. I do that every day. Asking for help isn’t a sign of weakness, it’s a sign of strength. It shows you have the courage to admit when you don’t know something, and to learn something new. So find an adult you trust – a parent, grandparent or teacher; a coach or counselor – and ask them to help you stay on track to meet your goals.

And even when you’re struggling, even when you’re discouraged, and you feel like other people have given up on you – don’t ever give up on yourself. Because when you give up on yourself, you give up on your country.

The story of America isn’t about people who quit when things got tough. It’s about people who kept going, who tried harder, who loved their country too much to do anything less than their best.

It’s the story of students who sat where you sit 250 years ago, and went on to wage a revolution and found this nation. Students who sat where you sit 75 years ago who overcame a Depression and won a world war; who fought for civil rights and put a man on the moon. Students who sat where you sit 20 years ago who founded Google, Twitter and Facebook and changed the way we communicate with each other.

So today, I want to ask you, what’s your contribution going to be? What problems are you going to solve? What discoveries will you make? What will a president who comes here in twenty or fifty or one hundred years say about what all of you did for this country?

Your families, your teachers, and I are doing everything we can to make sure you have the education you need to answer these questions. I’m working hard to fix up your classrooms and get you the books, equipment and computers you need to learn. But you’ve got to do your part too. So I expect you to get serious this year. I expect you to put your best effort into everything you do. I expect great things from each of you. So don’t let us down – don’t let your family or your country or yourself down. Make us all proud. I know you can do it.

Thank you, God bless you, and God bless America.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Heading to Hot-Lanta Fans Hoping to See Smoke Back on Top of His Game

While Tony Stewart seems to be having a dream season for a driver/owner. There have been some spots that have not been so bright. And the break last week hopefully gave the two-time champion and his teams a chance to regroup and get refocused on the challenge at hand.

Since Stewart won at Watkins Glen, the Stewart-Haas #14 team have had finishes of 17th and 33rd. Not the type of finishes that Stewart fans have come to expect from this new team and its veteran driver.

But still the #14 team has only three finishes outside of the top 20. And only 6 finishes outside of the top 10. The rest of their finishes have been in the top 10 or better.

As Stewart heads into Atlanta this weekend, he still leads the points. Where he has been since he won at Pocono in June. That is an amazing 12 weeks. Before this year the most weeks Stewart had lead the points consecutive weeks was in 2005 for 8 weeks. That year he lead the points a total of 15 weeks. In 2002 he lead the points for 7 weeks. Both years in which Stewart lead the points, he has won the championship. Once under the old rules and once with the chase rules.

So while all of the teams are preparing to head into Atlanta, Stewart fans are eagerly waiting for Stewart to get back on track and have more top 10 finishes and win more races before the end of the year.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

I am back and I am un-HAPPY!

Okay, I have been silent long enough. It is time to get back to blogging and sharing my thoughts with all my blogging friends.

While I have enjoyed my own self-induced sabbatical and I have enjoyed everyone else's writings. I am ready to get back to it. Sometimes burnout just comes and you just have to step away. And that is what happened here.

Now I have been reading alot of stuff. Sports, news, blogs and even funny stuff. But this one things has caught my eye. And I think you should see it for yourself. Depending on which side of the political fence you are on. You will either find this disgusting or you will enjoy it. You will also find a transcript of the video for you if you are unable to download the video.

Lady in the audience asked the question of Van Jones the White House "Green Jobs" Czar on February 11, 2009 at Berkeley, CA

When Bush was in office they had the majority it was isn't 60, they didn't have more than 60 but they still were able to push through all of these bills, but, when we have you know 58, we seem not to be able to, move things, um, as progressively as many of us here would want, as Obama wants, (Jones in background "right") and I don't, know he has this strong interest in bipartisanship. (Jones in background "right") But when nobody in the Republicans, the Republicans are voting with him. How, how, how are the Republicans able to push things through when they had less than 60 senators, but somehow we can't?

Jones "well the answer to that is they are assholes".
Crowd erupts into laughter and clapping. With many including the lady who asked the question shaking their heads in agreement with Jones.

The woman "I was afraid that was the answer."

Jones "As a technical, political science term." Crowd laughs.
Jones "Um, and, and Barack Obama is not an asshole. So, um, now I will say this, uh, I can be an asshole. And some of us who are not Barack Hussein Obama are going to have to start getting alittle upiddy."

I looked up the definition of "Asshole" just to make sure I had the right definition.
Webster's New World College Dictionary

1.the anus
2.Slang a person who is stupid, foolish, despicable, etc.
Webster's New World College Dictionary Copyright © 2005 by Wiley Publishing, Inc., Cleveland, Ohio.
Used by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons, Inc.


Pronunciation: \ˈas-ˌ(h)ōl\
Function: noun
Date: 14th century
1 usually vulgar : anus
2 a usually vulgar : a stupid, incompetent, or detestable person b usually vulgar : the worst place —used in phrases like asshole of the world

After seeing this video I must say Van Jones has it wrong! It is not the Republicans who are A-holes, but the Democrats. After all like the lady said, the Republicans had less than the 60 majority senators and they were able to pass legislation. While the Democrats have the 58 majority and they cannot not pass legistion through.

It is the Democrats who are stupid and incompetent. But that is good for this country. Because the more incompetent and stupid they act, the less damage that they can do to this country.

It is all of the name calling that has me unhappy! But their lack of being able to get things done in Washington, D.C. is really something to celebrate.

Until two weeks ago, I had never even heard of Van Jones. But since then, I have heard more about him than I want to. And none of it is very favorable. I must say my opinion of him is very much like my opinion of Obama, Pelosi, Reid and most of the Congress and the Administration.

It is people like Van Jones, Rahm Emanuel and Eric Holder that is going to go along way to destroying this country. But that is for another blog at another time.

I know this probably doesn't make much since to most. But that is okay, it is just my way of letting off some steam. lol