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Tuesday, April 03, 2007

What will people do during the off-week?

-After spending two weeks cooped up in front of a TV, Mark Martin nearly explodes. In a Clark Kent-like move, he rips off his shirt to reveal his firesuit and immediately heads to the track. He will enter this weekend's Busch and ARCA races at Nashville, the F1 race in Malaysia, three local late model races and announce plans to run the full Cup schedule through 2010.

-”Hi, Chip? It's Casey, I was wondering...is the 42 still avail...? It's not. Okay, well thanks anyway.”

-Due to a Rick Hendrick imposed golfing ban, Jimmie Johnson stays at home and plays FreeCell all week. What else is he going to do, wind his grandfather clock or figure out which track is his weakness?

-Bob Dillner reports that the reason Kevin Harvick's door caught fire was because of laser-cut holes in the exhaust. He also reports the reason why Toyotas are struggling so far is that they are slower than the other cars.

-Jeff Gordon will be doing anything but going to Wrigley Stadium.

-In response to the Gillette Young Guns, DEI drivers shoot a public service announcement for goatees.
Martin Truex Jr: "Your friends might think it's cool to play with razors."

Paul Menard: "But that's not always true."
Dale Earnhardt Jr: "Remember, you can win with hair on your chin"

-NASCAR R&D is hopefully testing new kinds of foam for the doors of the CoT. All week. The rumor that Peeps will act as the replacement for foam is unconfirmed.

-After seeing Matt Kenseth's success after Robby Reiser's suspension, Greg Biffle meets with crew chief Pat Tryson to invent a way for NASCAR to penalize the team. Obviously having a car that was too low didn't work, so that means working harder on the off-weeks to get caught.

-ISC begins throwing darts at a map of North America to find the next region to propose a failed track site. Living in the Northwest I would personally love a racetrack near Seattle or Portland. The problem is that ISC wants the public to help fund it, but not share in the profits. Yes some of the lawmakers in Washington didn't exactly have open minds about the proposal, but ISC also didn't seem very willing to compromise either. On a racing note, the plan called for a 1.3 mile track. Unless it was a replica of Darlington that would not have been a popular length (and some would probably not agree with having a Darlington clone instead of a second race at the real deal either). In a perfect world any new track at the Cup level would be no longer than a mile long.

-Sadly, Red Bull will spend it mourning the senseless loss of a team member.

Torqued Off Tuesday:
-Hendrick Hating. I am far from a fan of Hendrick's drivers. And there have been times when it seems like NASCAR lets the organization off the hook with minor penalties for larger infractions. That still shouldn't take away from how well they are performing right now. Many NASCAR fans are saying they are sick of Hendrick cars dominating or even implying that there is a fix with NASCAR. One, there is no way possible that NASCAR can be fixed. There are plenty of questionable practices in NASCAR, but fixing a race is simply not one of them. Two, Hendrick is dominating because they have great crews and engineers that spend all year working on building great cars. They have the past, present and future Cup Champions as their top three drivers. Roush Racing was similarly dominant in 2005. Things are cyclical in NASCAR and right now Hendrick cars are the class of the field. The 48 and 24 put on a pretty good finish at Martinsville. As a racing fan it was an exciting finish no matter what team the two drivers come from. Cheer hard for your team and driver, but also step back and marvel at what Hendrick has done.

-Billy Packer. Watching a the National Championship game, it's hard to tell if he enjoys college basketball. At times it seems like he relishes cutting down teams and players. He picks two or three key points in the first five minutes of the game and then hammers these points for the final 35 minutes. There were times when Jim Nantz tried to correct him or spin something positive and Packer would grumpily interrupt to disagree. I don't care if he has called every title game for 33 years, CBS needs to find someone (not Dick Vitale) who at least conveys passion and excitement while informing the audience. With Packer all we get is an attitude of someone who apparently has somewhere better to be.