Back at Phoenix, ready for the Advocare 500 weekend to kick it into gear. The weather is absolutely beautiful. The track is fast and the stars are here.
Here are some of my observations from Friday practice and before the truck race:
During check in, I met Ken Bowers, PIR Chaplin. Iíve heard this man give the invocation for 22 years now (by his math, everyone knows that I canít count over 20) and I immediately recognized his voice. I introduced myself, and we struck up a conversation. What a blessing this man is! He is officiating a wedding this afternoon in the RV lot, and then is quickly heading to the start finish line to do the invocation for the truck race!
Get my seat in the media center, and while I donít see any chairs that Jeff Gordon has sat in, I do see Claire B Lang, and my spot is right next to hers!!!! Oh my, oh my, oh my!!! Last year here, she had a whole office to herself. I wonder who she ticked off to get stuck next to me?
Just barely get seated, and Sam Hornish bounces off the wall in first practice. Not a good way to start off the weekend for Smornish. Bring out the backup!
Junior likes to pop his throttle in the garage. He scared the crap out of a lot of people. Twice.
Over in what appears to be the primary-car junkyard, the Shell car is covered, and the Caterpillar crew is doing some extensive removals to Jeff Burton's primary car. Seems he also got into the wall. Bring out another backup!
HmmmmÖ. Interesting: Smornish and Burton are parked right next to each other in the garage. This does not bode well for Jamie McMurray or Marcos Ambrose who are next in line for needing backup cars if my theory plays out.
Juan Pablo Montoya just about ran me over. I don't think I am as big as a jet dryer. No bueno JPM!
Denny Hamlin almost ran me over, too. Could it be me?
Ahh, I missed that Dave Blaney also hit the wall. The team is repairing his primary car. But, there goes my theory. Great news for Jamie Mac and Marcos, though!
Just saw Tony Stewart and Richard Petty talking. I wonder what they were discussing? Perhaps sharing Champion stories? Or cookie recipes? Now that I think about it, I bet Richard was asking Tony to do all he can to keep JJ from winning #6.
Jimmie's in the gorgeous car again, the black and white Kobalt scheme. He makes it really hard to root for someone else when he does that.
ESPN has declared that Harvick will be running for Stewart-Haas racing in 2014. Both Harvick and Stewart have said that there is nothing to share yet, but with the recent leaving of Ganassi from the ECR engine shop, could Childress be in a whole heap of trouble? Or is this just how he is making room for both of the Dillon boys to have Cup rides?
I chickened out on asking Tony what his favorite cookie was, or what The King's was. Now Iíll never knowÖ
Time for Truck Qualifying. I canít take pics because I missed the morning photographers meeting, so I think itís time to head to the other end of the racetrack and go shopping. Tighten up the shoe laces and let's go shopping, Ed!
On my tour of the souvenir rigs, can you guess whose trailer had the most folks buying stuff? Nope, not Dale Jr. (even though he has two). It was Kyle Busch. Surprised me too.
Speaking of the souvenir rigs: It kinda sucks to go shopping at Phoenix anymore. For the second race of the year- they donít have any new stuff. For the second to last race of the year- they are sold out of everything. Guess this money will just sit in my pocket.
The race this year is on November 11. 11/11. Anyone wanna bet on Denny Hamlin?
I am slightly ashamed to find out my mother -- yes, my dear sweet mother -- is better at Twitter than I am.
As the day draws to a close, and the truck race is about to start, Iím gonna go be a fan and watch it. And maybe get some dinner upstairs. And definitely put on my sweatshirt! Itís getting chilly out here in the desert!