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!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Want To Be Part Of A NASCAR Team? Here's How!

Our Racing Dream.com Could Be Your Racing Dream Come True!
May 26, 2009

Do you enjoy NASCAR truck racing? I do. The Camping World Truck Series offers some of the best racing in NASCAR today. Would you like to change the way you watch truck racing by becoming involved personally? If so, I have something amazing to tell you about.

Our Racing Dream Motorsports, or ORD Motorsports, is a non-profit race team based out of Charlotte, NC and debuted during the Speed Street Festival in Charlotte this past weekend on May 21 through May 23, 2009. Truck series drivers Todd Bodine and Jason White made autograph session appearances at the ORD tent for the grand opening.

Sammy Lopez, President and Director of Marketing, summed up the Speed Streets grand opening weekend to me in an e-mail today. “We had over 20 members in two days signup, and there were so many people that came to see Todd Bodine that he ran out of hero cards to sign. Right now we are up to 28 members and we are really just looking to create a fun community of race fans and go truck racing.”

How can it be your dream come true? ORD Motorsports Inc. is a Registered Non-Profit 501c(3) Organization whose mission is to provide the ultimate, most unique interactive adventure of a race fans’ lifetime, while acting as a primary conduit for charitable organizations by donating the paint scheme to a different charitable organization chosen by members every race weekend.

For only $25.00 your tax-deductible yearly membership fee allows you to be part of this unique racing community and donate to a great cause.

"With sponsorship struggles in NASCAR these days there couldn’t be a better time to introduce a new, unique way to bring the fans closer to an ever expanding sport," says Sammy Lopez, President and Director of Marketing of ORD. "Not only can we tap into the heartbeat of the racing fan’s passion," adds Chris Graham, President / Director of Business Development, "but the team acts as a true conduit for charitable organizations brining awareness and national media attention to their cause. It’s a win win, and a great way to give back to the sport so many people enjoy."

Do you have questions about the truck team such as who will be the driver? What paint scheme and sponsor will they run? Who goes over the wall to pit the truck? Watch a video from OurRacingDream.com by Speed TV personality Krista Voda for the answers.

I love what Krista Voda says in the video. No more screaming at the TV. Why? When you become a member, you become part of the team and have input on those decisions.

This effort is an out-of-the-box, forward thinking way to integrate NASCAR with social media and connect with fans on a whole different level. Connect with members via their profile pages on OurRacingDream.com. Besides sharing your ideas and opinions for the truck team, membership guarantees many exciting perks including the chance to win autographed memorabilia, the chance to have VIP race tickets, and much more.

If you are on Twitter, please follow Ourracingdream to connect with the members and founders of the team. They will be glad to give you more information or answer your questions. More importantly, you will enjoy them immensely. Additionally, look the team up on Facebook.

I'm very excited to have introduced you to OurRacingDream.com and hope that you will take advantage of getting in on the ground floor of this one-of-a-kind experience. We all want to be winners, so click on over to learn more and join!

My deepest appreciation goes out to Mr. Lopez for his contributions and information for this article.

To Follow HotfootLori on Twitter, as well, follow @BamaTweetBird!

In The Groove: Coca-Cola 600 - May 25, 2009

In The Groove is dedicated to bring you a peek at the Highs and Lows of racing randomness from Charlotte USA. Welcome to the Washing Machine edition for the 50th anniversary of the Coca-Cola 600.

We started the endurance race on the Soak cycle on Sunday, with zero laps being run. I've seen that referred to as the Coke Zero. NASCAR made the call to postpone until today. So, we continued on to the Rinse & Spin edition on Memorial Day. The cars got rinsed, spun around for a while, got rinsed again. You get the picture. Rinse and repeat.

The High Groove

Running first in the High Groove is David Reutimann who brought home the 250 lb trophy. Wow, what a call to stay out on that final rain caution/red flag. Points of interest: The No. 00 had never been to victory until today; this was The Franchise's 75th career start; and this was The Franchise's first Cup victory, ever. Additionally, this was the first win for Michael Waltrip as an owner. Congrats to MWR and to David Reutimann!

Running second in the High Groove is "Rocket Man" Ryan Newman who started on the pole and chose the outside line to bring the field to the green flag. Newman had a pit problem early in the race but came back to finish 2nd with the call to stay out at the end. Newman continues his top 5 finishes and now sits in 7th in the points. Good job.

Running third in the High Groove is the decision by NASCAR to throw the caution for the Memorial Day Remembrance moment of silence at 3pm EST. Very classy. I found it very respectful and moving. Thanks NASCAR.

Honorable mentions: Robby Gordon and Brian Vickers

The Middle Groove

P1 for the Middle Groove is Dave Blaney. What, you say? Blaney finished this race. He did not park it on lap 49. He was only one lap down and even received five bonus points! He had the same sponsor this week as the winning car, Aaron's Dream Machine. I'm feeling tingly all over. Will it happen again this year?

P2 for the Middle Groove is Joey Logano. Logano, after having brake issues early in the race, was running in the top five when last caution came out but cycled through pit stops for a 9th place finish. He's looking better and better and I think the confidence will continue to grow. Kudos.

The Low Groove

P1 in the Low Groove is Mother Nature, of course. I believe the jet dryers logged more laps than the cars.

P2 in the Low Groove is Mike Bliss. Bliss was our Nationwide series winner on Saturday night due to a rain call, pretty much the same way as Reutimann won today. However, Bliss was the first (and only) car to cut out on the Cup race today. Dern Dodge engine.

P3 for the Low Groove is Kevin Harvick. Harvick made contact with Sam Hornish Jr., hit the wall twice, and was black flagged for speeding. Was DeLana on the pit box again?

Dishonorable Mentions: Dale Jr. and Kurt Busch.

And for the checkered flag we have In The Groove’s thought for the day ... What can I say, Kyle Busch probably should have won both the Nationwide and Cup race this weekend. He was leading both races when caution came out for rain and the race was called - early. I don't know why Kyle didn't stay out today to see if the race would have been called. Talk about shooting yourself in the foot, twice.

Quote of the week: "Billy Bad Butt." - Tony Stewart

We should be hearing some news by late tomorrow about the mandatory meeting called by NASCAR to meet with the drivers, teams, well, everyone. See you again after the Monster Mile.

In The Groove: Richmond - May 4, 2009

In The Groove is dedicated to bring you a peek at the Highs and Lows of racing randomness from Richmond, Virginia. Welcome.

The High Groove

Running first in the High Groove is Kyle Busch, naturally. The Show stole the show, all weekend. Richmond and Kyle Busch proved to be a fascinating "Combo." I wonder how many more records Rowdy will break or tie with by the time of his 25th birthday. Congrats, again.

Running second in the High Groove is Stewart-Haas Racing. SHR’s drivers Tony Stewart (2nd) and Ryan Newman (4th) were competitive and on their game Saturday night. Although Smoke said that they "backed into" their finishing position of second, I ain’t buying it. Smoke usually doesn’t get hot until about Daytona in July. There is something much more magical going on with him this year. Even Newman moved to the top ten in points. Of course, the contest now is to see which of these drivers will get a big "W" first. More Saturday night racing this weekend, so we might just find out.

Running third in the High Groove is Casey Mears. I honestly do not know how he did it, really. Casey Mears finished 9th. Surely after changing organizations, teams, numbers, uniforms, etc., etc., time and time again, one could excuse away his poor career. But, there Mears is – week after week. Still plodding along. Harvick’s and Mears’ entire crews were switched before the Richmond weekend and maybe Richard Childress had another stroke of genius. No, I’m not holding my breath just yet, but it was good to see. Kudos for your top ten finish.

Honorable mentions: Jeff Burton (3rd), Juan Pablo Montoya (10th), and Marcos Ambrose (11th)
The Low Groove

P1 in the Low Groove is Jimmie Johnson. Johnson was ready to hightail it out of Alabama and move on to Virginia. However, the defending champion had a rough go of it in Richmond. From speeding penalties, to no brakes, to getting caught up in an accident, Jimmie just could not get out of his own way. He finished in the 36th position, 32 laps down. I wonder if he thinks this track sucks too?

P2 in the Low Groove is Dave Blaney. Shocking, I know. Blaney wrecked before I could say start and park. I truly do not understand why the team/crew did not get him back out on the track as there appeared to be minimal damage. We saw how well Marcos Ambrose, Jeff Burton, Mark Martin and others ran after getting some damage to their cars.

P3 for the Low Groove is Kevin Harvick. Harvick blew a tire and smacked the wall, finishing in the 34th position, 6 laps down. Did you know that DeLana was sitting atop the pit box again this weekend? Why is DeLana jinxing him like that?

Dishonorable Mentions: David Stremme a/ka/ wrecking ball, Denny Hamlin’s pit crew, and Brian Vickers for missing his pit stall.

And for the checkered flag we have In The Groove’s thought for the day ...

Junior nation, do you remember how irate and how vocal you were as a group this time last year? Kyle Busch wrecked Junior at Richmond and, goodness, we didn’t hear the end of that for a long time. Heck, people were still talking about it before the drop of the green flag this Saturday night. This year, Junior made pretty much the exact same move underneath Jeff Burton during the race, wrecking him, and yet I don’t hear the Burton brigade throwing tirades. Maybe a mention, but not an all-out call for Junior’s neck. Weird.

Quote of the week: "... as odd as this is going to sound, I've really been impressed with how good, Goodyear’s working really hard and they continue to not sit on their hands and they keep trying different things, and they keep trying to find combinations that make it better for us ..." - Tony Stewart

We have Saturday night racing up again this weekend at Darlington, the track "Too Tough To Tame." If you tried to be tough to tame growing up and your mom had to give you a few of those (Darlington) stripes, remember your Mom for Mother’s Day this Sunday and, if you can, tell her thanks for her unconditional love. Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers out there!

In The Groove: Talladega Baby! - April 28, 2009

In The Groove is dedicated to bring you a peek at the Highs and Lows of racing randomness from Talladega, Alabama. Welcome.

The High Groove

Running first in the High Groove is Brad Keselowski! Way to go BK!! Wow. I sure did NOT see that one coming. I have been cheering for this young man for a while and watching the underdog win sure is glorious, especially at Talladega. Savor it Brad, no one can ever take that away from you. Congrats.

Running second in the High Groove is David Ragan for winning the Nationwide race. Congrats on your first ever victory in NASCAR! Besides that, David looked like he might get a push from Joey Logano again on Sunday and be able to make it interesting for the win. Surely, former UPS-Sponsored driver Dale Jarrett must have given this fine young man lots of great pointers about restrictor plate racing.

Running third in the High Groove is Alli Owens. Nineteen-year-young Ms. Owens finished 6th in the ARCA race at Dega, her best finish this year, in the No. 19 entry for D’Hondt Motorsports. Owner Eddie D’Hondt is a fellow blogger here. Alli started racing on bikes, moved to dirt racing, then to asphalt and isn’t looking back! Alli has her own website, a weekly column on RacingOne.com, and can be found on Twitter. It is not hard to find her if you would like to more information. Let’s hope this well-spoken and talented lady keeps moving forward and we see her in the top NASCAR series in the future, not fade away like so many before her.

Honorable mentions: Marcos Ambrose, Scott Speed, and Joey Logano.

The Low Groove

P1 in the Low Groove is Ryan Newman. Okey dokey. This is a tough one. Ryan was in contention for the big W in both the Nationwide race AND the Cup race this weekend at ‘Dega. But, he didn’t get to VL in either race. Last lap passes in both races. Bummer. However, as a slight "attaboy," he did put that KHI #33 in contention in the NNS race to keep that teams’ momentum sailing, as well as getting a better finish than his boss in the Cup race - for once this season.

P2 in the Low Groove is, wait- I can’t put Dave Blaney? Blaney wasn’t even in the field this week. However, neither was his replacement Michael McDowell. I like you Mee McDee, but you have to do better than that and get that car in the show! Besides, you could have left after lap 49.

P3 for the Low Groove is the fact that the past two races at Talladega have been decided by the "yellow line rule."

And for the checkered flag we have In The Groove’s thought for the day ... did anyone else notice that Morgan Shepherd finished on the LEAD LAP of the Nationwide race Saturday? That was amazing to watch in person!

Quote of the week: "We had a lot of fun tonight." - Brad Keselowski. (Hey, BK, this isn’t short track Saturday night racing anymore. Welcome to the Big Sunday Show!!)

Up next on the racing schedule are two great short tracks ... Richmond and Darlington. Oh, and Kurt Busch (what the heck?) is now the points leader.

In The Groove: Phoenix - April 20, 2009

In The Groove is dedicated to bring you a peek at the Highs and Lows of racing randomness. Welcome.

The High Groove

Running first in the High Groove is Mark Martin. How could I not put him here? Martin started from the pole, lead 157 laps, and beat Tony Stewart by .734 of a second to garner his 36th Cup win, his second at Phoenix. Congrats "old man!" In my book, Martin is a shining example of the heart of a champion and the epitome of class.

Running second in the High Groove is Denny Hamlin. Despite Jimmie Johnson using Hamlin’s car as a ping pong ball early in the race, Hamlin finished 6th and he moved up one spot in the points to 5th place. Denny’s radio communication Saturday night was quite entertaining. Who would have thought Denny would be higher in the points standings than his teammate Kyle Busch, who is sitting 7th in the points?

Running third in the High Groove is Joey Logano. Joey earned the Raybestos Rookie of the Race honors and moved from 35th in the points to 33rd. "Tonight was a good point’s night at Phoenix for The Home Depot team," said Logano. I don’t know that Joey will get any help this weekend at Talladega, but it would be great to see him continue to gel with his crew and keep moving in the right direction.

The Low Groove

P1 in the Low Groove is Jeff Gordon. First, for retaliating against Denny Hamlin when it was his teammate Jimmie Johnson’s fault for Hamlin getting into him early in the race. Secondly, Gordon’s pit crew for the lug nut error which eventually left Gordon one lap down to finish in the 25th spot. Gordon never even lead a lap at Phoenix. He’s still holding on to the points lead, however, 85 points ahead of Jimmie Johnson.

P2 in the Low Groove is, unfortunately, Dave Blaney. I know you all are surprised to see him here. Blaney played the start and park role in BOTH series this weekend at Phoenix. Boo!

P3 for the Low Groove the Dale Junior v. Casey Mears fiasco. Remember Kurt Busch and Tony Stewart at Daytona last year? I guess NASCAR doesn’t want to punish their cash cow.
And for the checkered flag we have In The Groove’s thought for the day ... who will hear about first as being let go from their teams at the end of this year - Reed Sorenson or Casey Mears?

Quote of the week: "Looking forward to having a new driver in the 55 next year" - Robby Gordon

We have ‘Dega this weekend and would love for Tony Stewart, sitting fourth in the points ahead of both his former teammates, to back up his win from the Fall in the #14 as a driver/owner.

Here’s to a great and safe race!

In The Groove: Texas - April 7, 2009

In The Groove is dedicated to bring you a peek at the Highs and Lows of racing randomness. Welcome.

The High Groove

With Easter upon us this weekend, we are running full throttle in The High Groove with the theme of giving back and supporting our NASCAR Community.

Running first in the High Groove is Elliott Sadler. Sadler was sporting his beautifully designed Autism Awareness helmet at Texas, which will be worn at every race this month. Autism awareness is a cause very near and dear to Sadler, as his niece was diagnosed with autism in 2001. The helmet will be put up for auction on Sadler’s birthday, April 30th, to raise money for autism-related charities and further research. If you would like more information on the auction, please visit www.SadlerFoundation.org.

Running second in the High Groove is Benny Parsons’ Rendezvous Ridge. Instead of popping open the champagne to celebrate Gordon’s win, how about popping open some wine? (Merlot is always my choice). The vineyard is donating $5.00 per bottle of wine sold during the months March, April, May and June, 2009 to the Greg Biffle Foundation. Even if you don’t make a purchase, by visiting www.rendezvousridge.com you will get to reminisce about the late and great Benny Parsons.

Running third in the High Groove is, well, The Greg Biffle Foundation. The foundation was founded in 2005 by Greg and his wife Nicole to "create awareness and serve as an advocate to improve the well-being of animals by engaging the power and passion of the motor sports industry." In addition to the Foundation’s website, you can visit Ebay.com here on the 16th day of every month when the Foundation lists various items, including autographed items, for auction to benefit the Foundation.

The Low Groove

P1 in the Low Groove is Bruton Smith for getting his way. How many of you saw the Championship Banquet being moved to Las Vegas? Most of you, that is how many. We saw it coming years ago.

P2 in the Low Groove is, unfortunately, the fact that Kyle Busch is a copy-cat. Did you see him perform the Unwind Lap after the Nationwide race? No, don’t jump in and say, but he couldn’t do his burnout - the sealed engine rule remember? Well, true. However, surely Rowdy is more creative than that? He even had to make a comment that he was NOT copying his brother with that celebration, he just wanted to show some love to the Turn One fans. Really.

P3 for the Low Groove goes to the mechanical issues, bad pit calls, two tires instead of four tires, running over air hoses, lug nuts popping off, and snappy loose cars in the race at Texas. Michael Waltrip Racing was the biggest victim, as Reutty was on the pole then running in the top 10, along with Marcos Ambrose. Then... boom. Carl Edwards, Brian Vickers, Greg Biffle, and countless others were also showing signs of greatness on Sunday, but it just didn’t come to fruition for these guys.

And for the checkered flag we have In The Groove’s thought for the day ... in percentages, how much would Morgan Shepherd’s performance improve with a full time sponsor, more than five people back at the shop, and a skilled pit crew?

Quote of the week: "I thought he was past his prime." (3rd place finisher Greg Biffle giving his thoughts, jokingly, about Jeff Gordon winning at Texas)

Happy Easter Everyone!

In The Groove - March 31, 2009

In The Groove is dedicated to bring you a peek at the Highs and Lows of racing randomness. Welcome.

The High Groove

Running first in the High Groove is Jamie McMurray. Jamie McMurray brushed off Juan Pablo Montoya Friday morning in Martinsville and didn’t care to listen to anything he had to say about their incident the prior week. Seems "Cupcake" is now more like the new Klondike bar with a thicker shell. Should we now call him the Klondike Cupcake? Bite me JPM!

Running second in the High Groove is Incredible Pizza Company for their "The Incredible Heroes" campaign. Incredible Pizza is the incredible sponsor for the Nationwide Series entry of CJM Racing’s number 11 Toyota, with driver Scott Lagasse, Jr. The Incredible Heroes campaign is recognizing incredible people throughout the 2009 Nationwide series and coincides with cities along the racing circuit. The most recent recipient is a Dallas/Ft. Worth area gentleman who saved a man’s life from his vehicle, which had crashed and was engulfed with flames.Want to read the full story? Click here.

Running third in the High Groove is Marcos Ambrose. My love affair with this Aussie just gets stronger as this year progresses. I would say that this love affair is one-sided, but it would not be true. Ambrose respects and loves this sport and its fans, and gave a lot of his time this past weekend to us through Speed TV’s Trackside program Friday night and Raceday on Sunday morning. I know now what fizzed up, screen, and tin tops are. Oh, and using some newly found Martinsville muscle, Marcos drove his butt off with NO brakes at 40 laps to go, plus no new tires. His finish position at this rough and tough short track? Fourteenth!

The Low Groove

P1 in the Low Groove is Kyle Busch’s lack of maturity after the truck race yesterday. Running from the track? We are sorry that you had a bad weekend overall at this track, but Grow Up!!

P2 in the Low Groove is, unfortunately, Dave Blaney. Why is the Buckeye Bullet out there only running 50 laps of a 500 lap race? Yes, he led a lap. And? That’s another $69,665.00 into the fleeing moth fund for Prism Motorsports.

P3 for the Low Groove goes to Obama, for sounding like Mr. Bill France. "It’s my way or the highway."

And for the checkered flag we have In The Groove’s thought for the day . . . will Jamie McMurray succeed in gaining access to his frozen accounts and pay his taxes by April 15th?

Quote of the week: "Welcome to tear down, boys."

In The Groove - March 25, 2009

A new weekly series dedicated to bring you, a peek at the Highs and Lows of racing randomness. Welcome to In The Groove.

The High Groove

Running first in the High Groove is Andy Kane, the winner of the contest to name Kurt Busch's backwards victory lap. The winning name? "Unwind Lap." Thanks to KLVALUS for giving us the heads-up on the contest.

Running second in the High Groove is Tony Stewart and the Tony Stewart Foundation for donating an undisclosed amount of money to cover surgery costs for a three-year old Shih Tzu with a broken back, and the cost of the dog’s special "wheelchair" to make up for losing the use of his hind legs.

Running third in the High Groove is the Indy testing out at Barber Motorsports Park here in Alabama over the past weekend. Great weather, great speeds, and check out the great pics of Dario Franchitti’s hair nowadays. Dude! Hopefully, our State officials, the track officials, and the entire experience of 20,000 fans showing up throughout the weekend will convince Mr. George to bring an Indy race here, soon!

The Low Groove

P1 in the Low Groove goes to Paul Menard this week. Daddy Menard, can you pretty-please stop the cash flow? Cut it off! Immediately! I know he apologized, but punting Morgan Shepherd in the Nationwide race at Bristol is just uncalled for. Hey Paul - Mr. Shepherd doesn’t have unlimited resources like you and you messed up like one-third of his inventory. You’ve had your 15 minutes of LAME. But, he’ll be praying for you, I’m sure. Additionally, Mr. Shepherd’s news release about his Bristol weekend didn’t even call Menard out. Bummer.

P2 in the Low Groove is NASCAR. Making changes to the All Star Race. Will it never end? I know, the answer is NO.

P3 in the Low Groove goes to Clint Bowyer for appearing on a show called The Biggest Loser. Why? Just because. It is ironic, isn’t it?

In The Groove’s thought for the day.... do the drivers Google themselves?