Race Journal Online
est. October 4, 2006

"I believe anybody who tells you he is unbiased is a liar. Being human gives you bias, and you can't avoid that. The best you can ever hope to be is fair."
-David Poole

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2014 Champion
Kevin Harvick!


NASCAR via Getty Images


Please keep Steve Byrnes
and his family
in your daily prayers.





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Announcement:

Quote of the Week
"For Bob Jenkins and Larry Nuber; for Benny Parsons and Ned Jarrett; for Dale Jarrett and Andy Petree; Allen Bestwick. So long from Homestead. "
-Allen Bestwick, signing off from ESPN's last race in a long history with NASCAR


By Carol Einarsson | 11/20/2014
 

Photo: Chris Graythen/Getty ImagesforNASCAR.


CHEERS to Kevin Harvick, Ryan Newman, Joey Logano, and Denny Hamlin. I don't know how they've managed to sleep this past week, and one of them likely won't sleep tonight, either.

CHEERS to the Pledge of Allegiance, a very nice prayer, and a great anthem by Caleb Johnson.

CHEERS to the curls of little Miss Newman. Curly hair rocks.

CHEERS to the guys who get to drive UNDER that massive American flag. With the sun out, and shining through it, there has to be an amazing patriotic glow in their cars!!

CHEERS to F-16s flying over Homestead. Yes, old-timey planes are nice, but there's just nothing like fighter jets roaring by!!


Comments: 22
Last Activity: 11/22/14
 
By Carol Einarsson | 11/12/2014
 

Photo: Eddie Laub for Race Journal Online.


CHEERS to most of the invocation, but JEERS to including the Chase in any part of a prayer.

JEERS to people singing the national anthem simply to plug a TV show. Oh, and it's on ABC? At least the bombs bursting managed to block out some of her bad singing.

CHEERS to Luke Air Force Base and the flyover, as well as the military presence at the track, and all the heroes past and present being honored over the weekend in addition to Tuesday. Is it just me, or does Veterans Day seem to be more celebrated this year than other years?

Comments: 11
Last Activity: 11/14/14
 
By Eddie Laub | 11/11/2014
 

Eddie Laub on assignment for
Race Journal Online.


After a morning “date” with my wife to Wal-Mart and Starbucks, I made it to the track and am ready to go.  I decided to start my day off with a hike, and join the common folks (haha!) in the stands for a bit.  I ran in to my sister-in-law and nephew working the concessions stands and, while that was pretty cool in itself, did they offer me a free Coke Zero??  NO!  How rude!

On a similar  note, I did find Coke Zero in the Media Center today!  Someone listened to me!!!  What's actually more likely is that it was there all the time; I just happened to look in the right fridge today.

There's also quite a bit of  Starbucks in the fridge this morning, but none of us know if it's up for grabs or if it belongs to someone specific, so we're all afraid to touch it.  Is it ESPN Starbucks? NASCAR Starbucks?  Starbucks belonging to some other all-caps-named organization?   We’re not sure, but nobody's willing to risk it.

Comments: 3
Last Activity: 11/13/14
 
By Eddie Laub | 11/07/2014
 
Observations from the day:

I got up early this morning, and for the first time since I started coming to the track for RJO, I had to get my wife and son up to go with me.  After some bribery, they didn’t grumble too much about leaving at 5am.  The promise of giant breakfast burritos and Starbucks on the way out of town can calm a lot of tension.  But now I can’t help but wonder how well a mixture of giant burritos and Starbucks will be later in my day. Guess I will find out…

After a slight issue with the car not starting first thing this morning, we got to Phoenix in record time: not much traffic; no blinding haboobs; and no Weather Channel professionals headed this way because of impending flood-storms.  And no mother, I was not speeding.

Comments: 3
Last Activity: 11/10/14
 
By NASCAR | 11/04/2014
 

NASCAR Penalizes Crew Members And Crew Chiefs

From The No. 5 and No. 24 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Teams

 

DAYTONA BEACHFla. (Nov. 4, 2014) — NASCAR has assessed penalties to crew members from the No. 5 and No. 24 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams for their involvement in post-race incidents on Nov. 2 at Texas Motor Speedway. In addition, the crew chiefs from those two teams also have been penalized.

 

Jeremy Fuller, a crew member with the No. 5 team, along with Dwayne Doucette and Jason Ingle, crew members with the No. 24 team, each have been fined $25,000 and suspended from NASCAR through the completion of the next six NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship points races. All three were found to be in violation of:


Comments: 12
Last Activity: 11/07/14
 
By Carol Einarsson | 11/04/2014
 

Photo: NASCAR on ESPN.


CHEERS to Texas Motor Speedway for the "bigger in Texas" production they always make. A great anthem, a wonderful invocation, the Harlem Globetrotters, a pre-race concert, and an EAGLE!! Texas still gets what it is to be American.

JEERS to nearly-immediate strung-out racing.

JEERS to mentioning Martin Truex and Sherry Pollex as she fights the battle of a lifetime, but not mentioning Steve Byrnes. Are the two necessarily linked? No. But would it have been a classy thing to at least mention? Apparently ESPN can't cross party lines and mention a guy from FOX. It just would have been a nice gesture.

Comments: 22
Last Activity: 11/05/14
 
By Carol Einarsson | 10/28/2014
 

Photo: Rusty Jarrett/HHP for Chevy Racing.


CHEERS to track chaplains. We love MRO, but when a track has (and utilizes) their own chaplain, we like that best.

CHEERS to little Miss Kenseth with her hands folded in prayer. That's good parenting right there!

CHEERS to a fantastic anthem!! Until today, I've weighed all marching band presentations the same. I don't know exactly what was different, but there was something in that presentation that was better than any other band we've heard. CHEERS to the UNC Marching Band, the Marching Tarheels.

CHEERS to the PERFECT amount of wind to keep every flag waving perfectly!!

CHEERS to old timey planes flying over, too.

CHEERS to DJ's advice from the booth. When he said there were two things most important, I was certain one would be patience. Nope. No patience required. Just use strategy and your front bumper! Yes, we do love Martinsville!

Comments: 15
Last Activity: 11/06/14
 
By Carol Einarsson | 10/21/2014
 

Photo: Brynn Anderson/AP forNASCAR.


CHEERS to Marty Smith. Just can't say this enough. The pieces he brings to us never disappoint, but that's not saying nearly enough. Just not disappointing isn't much of a compliment. Rather, his interviews and his stories consistently elevate the sport, the people in it, the network he represents, and journalism as a whole.

CHEERS to "What was my father like then?" Resting on his legacy and his last name... we appreciate the honesty we get from Dale Jr. that we don't often get from any other driver in the sport.

CHEERS to an acre of ploughed garlic being at least more appealing than a kidney stone.

CHEERS to the montages put together illustrating the pressure of it all. I'm not sold on the manufacturing of the pressure, but anything that includes the Matt Kenseth ambush of an unsuspecting Brad Keselowski is a feel-good video for me!

CHEERS to the piece Allen Bestwick did with David Hoots. Let's get this cleared up BEFORE the race so there isn't a mass outcry after the checkers when cars are strewn all about.

Comments: 18
Last Activity: 10/23/14
 
By Carol Einarsson | 10/20/2014
 

Photo: Carol Einarsson.


 The Chase for the Sprint Cup. It seems fans either love it or hate it, but to be honest, I've not yet met even one fan that loves it. I'm sure there's someone out there that does, and I'm sure of that for two reasons. First, because while I've often been certain that a particular driver couldn't possibly have any fans, I'll sometimes see one in the team colors. Second, because Matt Kenseth has fans.

You may remember that Matt Kenseth is the reason we HAVE a Chase. After winning the Championship in 2003 with just one win, over guys like Ryan Newman with his eight wins, NASCAR decided they had to do something to fix what appeared to be broken - a points system that had been in place since 1975.

Lots of tweaks have been made to the Chase (the Jamie McMurray system introduced in 2011 after Jamie won the three biggest races of the year - Daytona 500, Indy, and Charlotte, but didn't make the 2010 Chase; and the Jeff Gordon adjustment allowing for a thirteenth chaser, just to name two), and now this year's tiered elimination that seems designed more for TV ratings than competition.

Comments: 19
Last Activity: 10/20/14
 
By Mark Brune | 10/16/2014
 
TNN.

Those letters probably don’t mean anything to a younger demographic, but, for me and many in my age group, they symbolize the very essence of what was great about NASCAR in the 90’s and went a long way towards making a fan out of me.


The Nashville Network used to broadcast the “slower” races, or the races which typically extended beyond 4 hours, back when the tracks did their own marketing and negotiated their own TV deals. They also used to broadcast myriad other racing series which helped to keep viewer interest in motorsports consistently high.

They boasted an elite group of broadcasters who are now considered among the best ever to grace the airways as well as a supporting cast who continue to provide excellent coverage even today. I’m sure to have forgotten some but I especially remember Ken Squier, Eli Gold, & Buddy Baker in the booth, and Glenn Jarrett, Steve Byrnes, Ralph Sheheen, Dick Berggren, and Larry McReynolds in the pits. (I don’t want to forget to mention ESPN here as an influence as well. Their broadcast team which included Bob Jenkins, Benny Parsons, Ned Jarrett, and Jerry Punch was peerless.) These guys weren’t just a bunch of pretty faces reading a script (or an advertisement) but deeply knowledgeable folks with a keen insight into racing and a talent for talking about it in ways that enhanced the race experience rather than distract the viewer from it.

Comments: 10
Last Activity: 10/18/14
 

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Official Rules of New Chase Format

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TV Times are only estimates
Sprint Cup 2014 Schedule
Saturday night races in red

Feb 23 Daytona FOX 1pm

Mar 02 Phoenix FOX 3pm
Mar 09 Las Vegas FOX 3pm
Mar 16 Bristol FOX 1pm
Mar 24 Fontana FOX 3pm
Mar 30 Martinsvl FOX 1pm

Apr 06 Texas FOX 1:30pm
Apr 12 Darlington FOX 7pm
Apr 20 OFF (Easter)
Apr 26 Richmond FOX 7:30pm

May 04 Talladega FOX 1pm
May 10 Kansas FOX 7:00pm
May 17 All Star SPEED 7:30p
May 25 Charlotte FOX 6:00pm

Jun 01 Dover FOX 1pm
Jun 08 Pocono TNT 1pm
Jun 15 Michigan TNT 1pm
Jun 22 Sonoma TNT 3pm
Jun 28 Kentucky TNT 7:30pm

Jul 05 Daytona TNT 7:30pm
Jul 13 New Hampshr TNT 1pm
Jul 21 OFF
Jul 27 Indianapolis ESPN 1pm

Aug 03 Pocono ESPN 1pm
Aug 10 WatGlen ESPN 1pm
Aug 17 Michigan ESPN 1pm
Aug 23 Bristol ABC 7:30pm
Aug 31 Atlanta ESPN 7:30pm

Sep 06 Richmond ABC 7:30pm

The Chase

The Challenger Round
Sep 14 Chicago ESPN 2pm
Sep 21 New Hampshr ESPN 2pm
Sep 28 Dover ESPN 2pm

The Contender Round
Oct 05 Kansas ESPN 2pm
Oct 11 Charlotte ABC 7:30pm
Oct 19 Talladega ESPN 2pm

The Eliminator Round
Oct 26 Martinsvl ESPN 1:30pm
Nov 02 Texas ESPN 3pm
Nov 09 Phoenix ESPN 3pm

The Championship
Nov 16 Homestead ESPN 3pm








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