I tweeted about it over the weekend, but if you haven’t read Marty Smith’s article The story behind the song ‘Talladega’, go have a read. I’m a huge fan of Eric Church’s new album, The Outsiders, and like always Marty does a great job telling the story behind the album.
As the cars race around Daytona International Speedway, I wanted to pause to remember a Nascar legend: Dale Earnhardt.
Today is the tenth anniversary of his passing, following a wreck on the last lap of the 2001 Daytona 500. I will never forget watching that race as Darrell Waltrip called (and cried during) his brother Michael’s win and said, “I just hope Dale’s OK. I guess he’s alright, isn’t he?”
SceneDaily.com has published a collection of photos of Dale Earnhardt, so go take a look.
Today, remember the Intimidator. He was a racer from a different time and a different age. He embodied Nascar. And he departed way too soon.
SceneDaily.com also published an excerpt this morning from Michael Waltrip’s new book, In the Blink of an Eye: Dale, Daytona, and the Day that Changed Everything. This tells Michael’s side of the story of that fateful day. Be forewarned, it’ll bring you to tears.
ESPN has an incredibly touching segment on the day that Dale Earnhardt died, with some incredible videos and interviews.
The current system is confusing. According to Fox:
NASCAR legend claims the current system was devised on a napkin over drinks at a Daytona bar in 1974 and implemented the next season. The complicated scoring method gives 175 points to the winner, and decreases in increments of five points and then three points down to 34 points for the last-place finisher.
Five-point bonuses are awarded for leading a lap, and to the driver who leads the most laps.
The debated new system would award 43 points for first place (there are 43 drivers in a race) and one point less for each position, with 1 point for 43rd place. If they want to do this, why not just use the average finish? That’s even less confusing.
I know NASCAR wants to do all sorts of things to get more viewers, but here’s the deal. The last race of 2010 decided the NASCAR Sprint Cup champion in the closest fashion ever seen by race fans. And, the race was decided by the two best drivers of the year, working for the two best teams, who had the two best pit crews.
How much more action do we need?
There have been many news reports on the words being said between Denny Hamlin’s #11 team and Jimmie Johnson’s #48 team. Enter Kevin Harvick, driver of the #29 and the guy in (a still viable) third place in the championship standings:
I think when you’re trying to intimidate the guy that’s won four championships in a row, you might need to re-think your strategy and just worry about racing.
I love it! Granted, Hamlin won last weekend, so he has the racing part down. But, like Harvick, his team seems more worried about Johnson and the #48 Lowe’s team than winning.
An interesting comment in class yesterday sparked an idea for Twitter. Twitter has always lacked a business plan, and is just now deploying one that sells to companies.
My thought is an addition to this, to sell advanced services on Twitter to companies, organizations, and governments (and non-profits). Twitter could see these services:
– Verified account status for account
– Password and account management, including:
— Organization of employee sub-accounts, with authorization and revocation of tweeting privileges.
— An assurance that the account stays with organization (so no employee can hijack account if they leave).
— The ability to see which sub-account post on the account.
— The ability to post during a downtime (a Twitter downtime or natural disaster).
— A more secure account in general.
This is something I came up with rather quickly, but I think it would enable some corporate and government organizations to increase their usage of Twitter, while funding the service.
Let me know if you have any thoughts on this proposal.
The race today was phenomenal (aka, my guy won), but the end was marred by a speeding penalty to one of the better cars of the day, Juan Pablo Montoya. Montoya said he wasn’t speeding (doubtful), but Nascar wasn’t interested in proving the infraction: “We officiate the race, not the fans. We’re happy to share violations with them but right now, this is how we officiate the race.” That’s right, race fans, Nascar decided the race and they don’t care what you think.
After several days of no comment, Nascar driver Kyle Busch has finally spoken about the last-lap wreck that happened during last weekend’s race at Daytona.
Here’s a video of the wreck (Busch is in the green #18 Toyota, Tony Stewart is in the white #14 Burger King Chevy):
Like most weeks when he finishes poorly, Kyle Busch left the track without speaking to the media, leaving his poor crew chief to try and speak for him.
But at the track on Thursday, Busch spoke to the media and blamed the wreck on Tony Stewart:
Busch claimed Stewart “dumped him,” or, caused him to wreck, and questioned if drivers should be allowed to win if they cause an accident that lets them take the lead.
“I think NASCAR can take a step in looking at it, and if the second-place driver bumps the leader, then black-flag (him),” Busch said Thursday at Chicagoland Speedway. “He doesn’t get the win.”
Seriously? Stewart didn’t “dump” Kyle Busch. Busch swung back up the race track to block Stewart and ran into him. Did Busch not watch the same replay (see above)???
Wait, then Busch says this, confusing the issue even more:
“I gathered my stuff up and tried to block high and it was too late,” Busch said. “Tony was already alongside.”
Kyle: Did you cause the wreck or did Stewart? Make up your mind. If Stewart was already next to you, then you ran into him.
Jeff Gordon agrees with me:
“I certainly would not say that he got dumped,” four-time Cup champion Jeff Gordon said. “If Carl Edwards would have said that, I would have said the same thing. It’s not getting dumped when the guy has got a fender or bumper inside you and you turn and come across.”
Busch probably doesn’t care to listen to Jeff Gordon, but Jeff has won a hell of a lot more races and championships than Busch.
Three economic impact studies came out today, all from the Washington Economic Group (all reported on at Cup Scene Daily). They found that Nascar tracks continue to contribute significantly to national, state, and local economies. Martinsville Speedway (in Virginia) contributes $174 million in economic impact and 2,824 permanent jobs with two race weekends a year. Richmond International Raceway (Virginia) contributes $467 million in economic impact and 7,700 permanent jobs with two race weekends a year. Darlington Raceway (in South Carolina) contributes $54 million in economic impact and 874 jobs with one race weekend a year.
FoxSports tells the tale of Hendrick Motorsports and its storied 25 year history. A small mention of a unknown film about HMS (not Days of Thunder), something I would like to see.