Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The Long And Owens Of It

I know I haven’t written in forever. My topic today will revisit with two female drivers and some exciting news last week in the form of musical chairs, if you please.

It seems that Ms. Alli Owens and Ms. Johanna Long will be swapping seats in the ARCA Series. Next year, Alli Owens will be driving for Venturini Motorsports (the team that Long made her ARCA debut with earlier this year) and Jo Long will be driving for D’Hondt Motorsports immediately (the team Alli is driving for). EDIT: Long will take over the No. 19 ride for the season finale at The Rock, while Alli is listed to be in the No. 7 ride. Yep, found that out this morning listening to Alli's interview with the Thunder Crew from last night.

Here are the official press releases. I hope they both find success in their new ventures. I’m super excited for both of them.

Remember, you can follow Alli on Twitter: www.Twitter.com/AlliOwens

Johanna Long to make her DMS debut at "The Rock" in the Grandma Ruby’s No. 19 Toyota Camry

17 year old, Johanna Long will make her D’Hondt Motorsports debut in the Grandma Ruby's No. 19 Toyota Camry at the Rockingham Speedway October 11th. Racing in the ARCA / REMAX Series’ season final , the talented young lady will make her second ARCA Series start of the season.

Long, who blistered her home track’s {Pensacola's Five Flags Speedway} qualifying track record last week en route to leading all 100 laps of the feature and winner of 2 out of 4 Super Late Model "Blizzard Series" races all leading up to the December 6th Super Bowl of Late Model racing at Five Flags - "The Snowball Derby" - will test her new Toyota DMS ARCA ride tomorrow (Wednesday, September 23rd) at the famed Rockingham facility.

(Credit: D’Hondt Motorsports release)

Alli Owens and ElectrifyingCareers.com announce they will team with Venturini Motorsports in 2010. The team will compete in select ARCA Series events and potential NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races. The team is in continued talks with potential partners to expand her 2010 schedule. Owens will pilot the famed Venturini Motorsports Chevrolets.

“Venturini Motorsports’ reputation speaks for itself,” said Owens. “They’ve been in the ARCA Series for more than 25 years. They’re winning races and almost always finish in the top-five in points. It’s truly an honor to join their organization. I know their talent and resources will be an asset to me. I’m looking forward to working with them next season and know that we’ll achieve a lot together.”

The 2010 season will mark Owens’ and ElectrifyingCareers.com’s third year in the ARCA Series. In 2008, Owens teamed with DGM Racing for 12 events and drove to four top-20 finishes. Owens has competed in nine events this year with D’Hondt Motorsports. To date, Owens has tallied two top-10 finishes, seven top-20 finishes and sat on the outside pole at the Daytona International Speedway in the 2009 series.

“I watched her really mature this year,” said Billy Venturini, crew chief and general manager of Venturini Motorsports. “I’ve had my eye on her since she entered the ARCA Series. In 2008, she showed flashes of what she is capable of. This season she was steady all year. She ran in the top-10 and practiced well. I think she has what it takes to go far in our sport. We’re going to offer her all the tools she needs next year to have a breakout year.”

Venturini Motorsports is no stranger to female initiatives. Bill Venturini Sr. pioneered the first all-female pit crew in motorsports. The women were one of the first race day-only crews that specialized in performing pit stops. Billy Venturini is hopeful Owens will continue the team’s ground-breaking legacy in 2010.

“I’m really optimistic about her coming to be part of our organization next year,” said Venturini. “She performed at a very respectable level this season. We’re hoping that our team’s experience will bring her to that next level and hopefully get her to be the first lady to win in the ARCA Series.”

(Credit: www.AlliOwens.com)

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Bristol Motor Speedway and Patriotism

I received the following in an email from Bristol Motor Speedway. If you're on their e-mail list, I'm sure you received it as well.

However, I found this to be commendable and knew some of our bloggers out there have served in the military or have family currently serving, and wanted to spread the word. This is straight from Bristol Motor Speedway, not my words:

Seeking your photos to salute "Our American Soldier" during Sharpie 500 pre-race ceremonies

As Bristol fans, you know audience participation in pre-race ceremonies is a tradition here at "The World's Fastest Half-Mile." You also know patriotism often plays a role. As a salute to our nation and the men and women of our armed forces, we're preparing a video tribute featuring the song "American Soldier" by Toby Keith and we need your help.

We have Bristol fans who are veterans and many who still actively serve. Many fans have loved ones currently overseas protecting our freedom. Some have even made the ultimate sacrifice defending the Red, White and Blue.

We cannot think of a better way to salute "Our American Soldier" than to feature military service photos of you or your family members who have served, or currently serve our nation proudly.

To that end, we're requesting you e-mail a photo of you, or your family member in uniform, either formal or candid, to photo@bristolmotorspeedway.com. Please limit your e-mail to just one photograph. Please make sure the individual in the photo is in uniform. While we cannot promise all photos submitted will be included, we will try to incorporate as many of them as we can into the video tribute. Photos must be submitted by 5 pm on Friday, August 14.

Thanks for your help in advance and God Bless America.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

In The Spotlight: Moses Smith

Moses Smith, 2009 NASCAR Camping World Series West Driver, is in his 3rd full season driving for the revered Bill McAnally. Moses Smith drives the No. 16 Hasa Pool Products/White Flyer Toyota Camry.

This past Saturday, NASCAR Camping World Series West raced at Miller Motorsports Park in Utah (near Salt Lake City). With his new sponsor Blimpie on board, Moses qualified the #16 Hasa Pool Products / White Flyer Toyota Camry in eighth position for the start of the Miller Motorsports Park “125.” However, after misfortune forced the team to pit three times, Moses found himself in 18th place at the race’s halfway point.

After the last yellow flag, with only ten laps to go, Moses charged forward from eighth place for a 5th place finish.

Want to see and hear Moses? Here is an interview he did at Miller Motorsports Park this past weekend in Utah:

Tomorrow, beginning at 3:00 p.m. ET, you can watch Moses Smith in action during the West Series Infineon Race on SPEED Channel.

I'm not going to pretend that I know the talent level of this driver in the spotlight, but I've become acquainted with Moses' mother Z. Smith through Twitter. Through the communications with Mrs. Smith, she has asked that I, and all NASCAR fans, vote for Moses in the annual Most Popular Driver contest for the Camping World West series. Moses won the prestigious Most Popular Driver Award last year and looks to keep his crown.

You can vote once daily through the NASCAR.com website at this link:


The drivers don't know the results until the awards banquet at the end of the season.

Thank you for voting for Moses Smith daily for the Most Popular Driver!

(Special thanks/credit go to Z. Smith and www.MosesSmith.com)

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Morgan Shepherd Is Now Talladega Walk Of Fame Member

This is straight copy & paste from RaceWithFaith.com news:

Fans vote Morgan Shepherd into Talladega fame
Author: Talladega Superspeedway PR
Date Posted: 07-28-09

TALLADEGA, AL - The fans have spoken...and Morgan Shepherd and Jack Smith will be the next drivers enshrined to the Talladega-Texaco Walk of Fame on Saturday, Oct. 31. Shepherd won the active driver nomination over Michael Waltrip and Kasey Kahne, while Smith won in the inactive driver category.

The Talladega-Texaco Walk of Fame in downtown Talladega is both a focal point saluting NASCAR’s greatest names and a tribute to one of racing’s brightest stars – the late Davey Allison. Developed in 1994, the Talladega-Texaco Walk of Fame has inducted one active driver and up to two inactive drivers since 1995 based on the fans’ vote chosen from a ballot of nominees selected by strict guidelines.

Shepherd, 67, a native of Ferguson, NC, made his NASCAR Winston Cup (now Sprint Cup) debut in 1970 at Hickory Motor Speedway. And, for nearly 40 years since, Shepherd has competed in one of NASCAR’s top divisions. He is a four-time winner in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and has 15 wins in the NASCAR Nationwide Series where he currently competes.

Shepherd is the 1980 NASCAR Late Model Sportsman division champion and recipient of the 2005 NMPA Pocono Spirit Award.

For Shepherd, his work in the race car is only part of his duties at the track each weekend. As co-owner of his Faith Motorsports team, he oversees all daily operations of the race team including car preparation, engine building, testing and racing. Shepherd also serves as a lay minister, spreading the gospel to the NASCAR community.

Smith, of Metropois, Ill., was one of NASCAR’s pioneers. He first raced in what is now considered the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in 1949, beginning a career that would span 15 years. He recorded 21 wins and is a member of the NMPA Hall of Fame. Smith passed away in 2001 at the age of 78.

Past active driver inductees have included Dale Earnhardt, Dale Earnhardt, Jr., Ernie Irvan, Dale Jarrett, Bill Elliott, Jeff Gordon, Tony Stewart, Bobby Hamilton, Ricky Rudd, Mark Martin, Kyle Petty, Darrell Waltrip, Kevin Harvick, Matt Kenseth and Bobby Labonte. Richard Petty and Benny Parsons were the first inactive drivers to be inducted, later joined by Alan Kulwicki, Cale Yarborough, Ned Jarrett, Buddy Baker, David Pearson, Junior Johnson, Harry Gant, Lee Petty, Tim Flock, Fireball Roberts, Buck Baker, Joe Weatherly, Red Byron, Bobby Isaac, Fred Lorenzen, Fonty Flock, Herb Thomas, Terry Labonte and Rex White.

The first inductees – “ Alabama Gang” drivers Bobby Allison, Donnie Allison, Red Farmer and Neil Bonnett – were inducted by decree of the board.

In the park, Davey Allison is remembered with a large marble monument, while drivers inducted into the Talladega-Texaco Walk of Fame have bronze plaques placed around the park, accessible by walkways that form the shape of Talladega Superspeedway.

For additional information, visit www.talladegawalk.com.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Random NASCAR Musings

The NASCAR Hall of Fame voting is up on NASCAR.com for us fans. We have a unique opportunity as fans to vote that other sports don't offer.

Caitlin Shaw debuted in the Camping World Truck Series this weekend. Good job (til she backed it into the fence).

I know I don't want to ever get a speeding ticket like JPM did, wow that was expensive.

IndyCar racing is coming to Alabama next year - at Barber Motorsports Park. I've been there several times and it is a great facility. Here is Alabama's Governor Riley sitting in an Indy car... anybody have the keys?

Alabama Governor Bob Riley gets in a Indy race car

Joey Logano was awesome at the Brickyard in his Cup debut there. Way to get it done, rookie!

There is a push for Sirius NASCAR channel to be streamed live on the internet. Gosh, I hope that comes to fruition.

The Daly Planet has been tormenting Mikey Waltrip on Twitter. And, Mr. Daly's latest column continues the torment him in its critique of TWIN this week. I like reading the column, but I disagree with this statement: "Unfortunately, those comments now often come wrapped in endless self-promotion and petulant behavior that is tough to watch." There are other points in the column I disagree with. I like Mikey and his perspective... much better than his on the track performance. Maybe Mikey is just growing on me with his fan interaction on Twitter. At least Mikey is man enough to step aside and put a good driver in his seat next year.

Did you know that not ONE of the RCR team cars are in the top 12 in points at this time, and probably won't make the chase. Yeah, I knew you did.

There have been rumblings/rumors that Jamie McMurray will be the odd man out at Roush-Fenway at the end of the season. However, from what I've read, he's just been told that he is free to "look around" at other options. I personally would tend to think that all 5 of the drivers have been free to "look around" this year knowing one of them had to go. Who will it be? I don't know, but I kind of thought David Ragan would have had a better year this year than he has. So, I think maybe it will be Jamie McMurray, but Ragan may move on...

Subsequent to the race at the Brickyard, Allstate Insurance has dropped its sponsorship of that race for next year. Interesting.

Pocono this weekend.... will Tony be a repeat winner? I sure as heck hope so.

As Sal says... I'm out. :)

Friday, July 10, 2009

In The Spotlight: Johanna Long

If you follow my blog, more than likely you know how much I love up-and-coming drivers. More especially, I love to get the word out there when they're from Alabama. This one is even sweeter because she is a young lady. We need more women drivers in racing to actually break through and make it to the top!

You might have heard about Alli Owens and her great runs in the ARCA series this year running for D'Hondt Motorsports. I have been happy for her and have written about her before.

Another young lady, Ms. Johanna Long, will be making her ARCA debut this weekend running for Venturini Motorsports in the #25 at Iowa Speedway.

"We got a phone call from Billy Venturini," Johanna said. "He asked us if we wanted to race at Iowa because he had no one in the car. That was such a good offer that we couldn't turn it down. They're probably one of the best ARCA teams out there."

"I'm not going to lie: I'm a little nervous about it. But what I want to do is get in the car and make it feel like a regular old Mobile race on Saturday night."
(quote credits: AL.com article )

Ms. "Jo" Long is a second generation racer following in the footsteps of her dad, Donald Long. Johanna has been racing Super Late Models in the Mobile, Alabama and Pensacola, Florida region. Jo is actually from Pensacola, but trust me, that is close enough to Alabama that we'll claim her. Johanna just won a race at 5 Flags Speedway on June 27, 2009 in the Blizzard series. This is probably why she got the call from Mr. Venturini.

Ms. Long has a great opportunity this weekend, in great equipment. I hope she can capitalize on this open door and get her name out there. Maybe even give Ms. Owens and the "big boys" a run for their money.

Good luck, Ms. Long. I'll be following you and hoping to see you in NASCAR soon.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

In The Groove: Happy Fourth of July

Well, I am really just writing this to thank all you who are following my blog. I'm sure it is just as a courtesy if I am following your blog, considering I haven't written in a while.

There are some interesting storylines in NASCAR right now, and most of them are not from the on track action. But, I'm kinda not interested in that.

I think it may be me. I may pick up a new interest to start writing about until my love for writing about NASCAR returns.

Again, this was just a THANK YOU to those who are following, as there were several of you within the past week. No comments necessary. Everyone have a fantastic Fourth of July!