Saturday, August 31, 2013

"Caption This" Winner: @SoCalRaceGirl14

So Juan, what exactly do you mean when you say,
"Say hello to my little friend?"

Congratulations to @SoCalRaceGirl14 who contributed the winning caption for this photo of Jamie McMurray and Juan Pablo Montoya.

Please send your full name and mailing address to bbreinke@skirtsandscuffs.com to receive your prize, a copy of the devotional book Race Fans' Devotions to Go.

Thanks to everyone who played "Caption this!" Check back next Tuesday for a new photo and your next chance to submit a caption.

Friday, August 30, 2013

TV Schedule: Aug. 30-Sept. 1

Sunset at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Credit: Wesley Hitt/Getty Images for NASCAR
All three series are running this weekend in NASCAR, and one is making its first stop outside the U.S.A.

The Sprint Cup and Nationwide series head to Atlanta Motor Speedway for their annual race weekend while the Camping World Truck Series holds its inaugural international race at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park, the Ontario road course.

The following is a handy guide to track events and television coverage at Atlanta and the Canadian Tire Motorsports Park. All times are in EST. Events without a channel listed will not be televised.

Friday, Aug. 30:
11:30 a.m. NCWTS Practice
2:30 p.m. NCWTS Practice
3 p.m. NSCS Practice, FS1
4:30 p.m. NASCAR Race Hub, FS1
7 p.m. NSCS Qualifying, FS1 (tape-delayed from 6:40 p.m.)
9 p.m. NNS Practice, FS2 (tape-delayed from 5 p.m.)

Saturday, Aug. 31:
9 a.m. NNS Practice, FS2
9:30 a.m. NCWTS Practice
10:30 a.m. NNS Final Practice, FS2
12 noon NCWTS Final Practice
3 p.m. NSCS Practice, FS2
4 p.m. NNS Qualifying, FS2
5:05 p.m. NCWTS Qualifying
5:30 p.m. NASCAR Live, FS2
6 p.m. NSCS Final Practice, FS2
7 p.m. NNS Countdown, ESPN2
7:30 p.m. NNS: Great Clips/Grit Chips 300, ESPN2. Green flag: 7:47 p.m.
11 p.m. NSCS Practice (re-air), FS2

Sunday, Sept. 1:
12 a.m. NSCS Final Practice (re-air), FS2
1 p.m. NCWTS SetUp, FS1
1:30 p.m. NCWTS: Chevrolet Silverado 250, FS1. Green flag: 1:43 p.m.
5:30 p.m. NASCAR RaceDay, FS1
7 p.m. NSCS Countdown, ESPN
7:30 p.m. NSCS: AdvoCare 500, ESPN. Green flag: 7:46 p.m. Reruns at 12:30 a.m. Monday on ESPN2.

An Altering Game: Five Questions for Atlanta

Wesley Hitt/Getty Images for NASCAR
They say people never change. Every mistake and fumble they’ve ever made, laced in their DNA, wired to reoccur down the road. Trust is broken, hearts are shattered, and all that is left is the ghost of who you thought they were long ago.

Over time, this phrase has been disproved to me. I’ve forgiven friends, fallen back in love with someone, and locked all the apparitions away. Although the backstabbing continued and heartbreak returned, it taught me a lesson: there are times to give people chances, and then there are times to damage their belongings with a baseball bat.

Fortunately, Kurt Busch is with the former.

Through ups and downs, this past NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion has mentally erased his mistakes and moved on. The talent he’s shown in sub-par equipment convinced everyone else to forget, too.

So many people have told me Busch doesn’t deserve this opportunity at Stewart-Haas Racing, that he doesn’t appreciate what he has worked with over the years. I’m sorry, but you’re wrong. If you look close enough, you’ll understand why.

It’s a combination of personal realization and an outside influence. I’ve already talked about changing himself, but light must be shed on another aspect: his girlfriend, Patricia Driscoll. She’s the president of the Armed Forces Foundation, an organization that has Busch delving into work with injured troops and military families. Working with those who have been in war is eye-opening, and that may have had an affect on him.

Also, he is now a “step-dad” to Driscoll’s son, Houston. Busch even has a special firesuit made for the kid, and their bond is strong. Parenthood is an altering game, even if you aren’t a fulltime player, so to speak.

A boyfriend, father and compassionate person is what Kurt Busch has become. Doesn’t that in itself earn him a spot on a team with championship-caliber equipment?

This weekend takes us to Atlanta Motor Speedway, another night race that is sure to cause more drama. Aside from post-Bristol drama with Kasey Kahne, I talk about silly season, glass bones and more. Five questions, five answers, and five rants from yours truly.

Are you keeping up with the silly season drama? I’m having a difficult time keeping up with the 2014 news (blame a busy senior year of high school, not me), but here’s what I know: Kurt Busch is going to Stewart-Haas Racing, AJ Allmendinger will drive for JTG Daugherty Racing, Justin Allgaier is in at Harry Scott’s “Phoenix Racing” (name is TBA), Brian Vickers will run for Michael Waltrip Racing full-time, and Juan Pablo Montoya, Ryan Newman and Bobby Labonte are all scrambling for rides. If I’m forgetting anyone, don’t be surprised; it‘s getting crazy out there. Hopefully you’re keeping tabs on who’s going where, and that’s only on the NASCAR Cup Series side.

Why is everyone angry at Kasey Kahne? Bristol is known for its tempers, and many fuses were lit after Saturday night. What wasn’t expected was the outrage from fans towards soft-spoken Kahne. As he and Kenseth checked off the laps, it was apparent that the No. 20 wasn’t giving up the vital high side, and aggressiveness would be Kahne’s key to the win. That forceful bump and grind never happened, and the No. 5 came in No. 2. Fans are upset because of how clean Kahne raced. Well, that was the best thing to do; if he had attempted to wreck Kenseth, then both of them would’ve been taken out. Racing smart gets you an intact racecar and more points. I’m not sure why people are suddenly outraged by this. Kahne has always raced clean, and he is definitely respected throughout the garage for it. That may be something fans need to try and understand.

How will next year’s Rookie of the Year battle look? Strong rumors are placing Kyle Larson in the No. 42 for Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing next year, placing him under rookie status. This would pin him against Austin Dillon, who’s expected to run for Richard Childress Racing, and Allgaier as I mentioned before. That sounds like a heavyweight battle: Sprint car ace/stock car novice vs. past NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champ vs. NASCAR Nationwide Series veteran. Let’s get ready to rumble, folks. This will be a fight to watch.

Racers have glass bones? Ever since Tony Stewart broke his leg in a Sprint car crash earlier this month, it seems like injuries have been abundant. In this past week, Martin Truex Jr. and Denny Hamlin both suffered hand injuries from wrecks at Bristol, and Bobby Labonte broke three ribs in a bicycling accident. Hamlin’s back injury is still making headlines, and don’t forget about Michael Annett’s bruised sternum from February. These injuries are scary, but I see it as a reminder than these drivers aren’t invincible, as I discussed last week. Fans need to remember that, because we all forget their mortality every once in a while.

When is a second chance well-deserved? Kurt Busch is the quintessential Comeback Kid. Some say his second chance came at Penske Racing after being fired from Roush-Fenway Racing back in the early 2000s, but I see his entire journey up until his dismissal from Penske as the first half. A championship, a mistake and a temper all swirled together to kick him out of that seat. Phoenix Racing was a springboard for heading to Furniture Row Racing, where Busch re-evaluated himself. The result was a new man, a new driver, and that’s what gives him another chance with SHR. His dedication to the sport and the chance to change shows the true side of Kurt Busch. That side deserves this next chance.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

NASCAR Fantasy Fusion at Atlanta



Track Classification: Intermediate
Similar Tracks:  Charlotte Motor Speedway • Chicagoland Speedway • Darlington Raceway   Homestead-Miami Speedway • Kansas Speedway • Kentucky Speedway 
Las Vegas Motor Speedway • New Hampshire Motor Speedway • Texas Motor Speedway
Distance: 1.54 miles

Drivers with Most Top 10s (Last 5 Years):
By Race
Both with 4 - Jeff Gordon and Denny Hamlin
All with 3 - Matt Kenseth, Kyle Busch, Kevin Harvick, Brian Vickers, Kurt Busch, Jimmie Johnson and Carl Edwards 

By Track 
Kevin Harvick - 5
Both with 4 - Jeff Gordon and Kurt Busch

Recent Pole Winners:
2012 Tony Stewart
2011 Kasey Kahne

The Likely Suspects: Atlanta Motor Speedway and Jimmie Johnson were the perfect match for many years. Look for Jimmie to run well at this race along with Matt Kenseth, Kevin Harvick, Kurt Busch, Jeff Gordon, Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch.

My 2 Cents: My no-brainer pick this week is Matt Kenseth followed closely by Jeff Gordon. If you have any Jimmie Johnson starts left I would swap out Jeff Gordon for Jimmie as he needs to have a good week. I will round out my team with Kurt Busch, Brian Vickers, Greg Biffle, Martin Truex, Jr., A..J. Allmendinger and Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. Enjoy the race!

Post your comments here or email me at ssfantasyracing@skirtsandscuffs.com.

Checkered Past: NASCAR’s American holiday tradition goes north of the border


Denny Hamlin wins at Atlanta in 2012.
Credit: Wesley Hitt/Getty Images  

For many years, two of America’s biggest national holidays have been associated with auto racing. Memorial Day, the start of summer, sees action at two racing meccas, Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the IZOD IndyCar Series and Charlotte Motor Speedway for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.

The summer ends with Labor Day when the epic five-day U.S. Nationals for the NHRA invades Indy’s Lucas Oil Raceway. NASCAR is part of that Labor Day party as well, visiting Atlanta Motor Speedway for Sunday night action – but the action hasn’t always taken place in Georgia.

The original NASCAR Labor Day race was the historic Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway. Harold Brasington built the track in the late 1940s and cut a deal with Bill France Sr., whom Brasington raced against in NASCAR’s early days, to host a 500-mile Labor Day event in 1950 at his new South Carolina track. Co-sanctioned by NASCAR and the Central States Racing Association, more than 80 drivers entered the race, pursuing their share of the $25,000 purse. In two moves inspired by the Indy 500, Brasington used a two-week qualifying period and lined the qualified cars up three wide to start the race – all 75 of them. The inaugural Southern 500 was won by Johnny Mantz. It was only his third NASCAR race and his only NASCAR win.

In spite of the prestige of the Southern 500 and its Labor Day scheduling, the race was moved to the 10-race Chase for the Cup in 2004, and eliminated in name in 2005, when Darlington lost one of its two races. After four years, the Southern 500 returned to the schedule in name, with the race now held the Saturday night before Mother’s Day in May. The Labor Day race moved to California (now Auto Club) Speedway in 2004, remaining there through the 2008 season, after which the Labor Day date moved back to the south and Atlanta Motor Speedway.




In 2013, NASCAR’s Camping World Truck Series will be racing in a new frontier on Labor Day weekend. The NCWTS heads north of the border to celebrate “Labour Day” at Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada’s Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, a 2.459-mile road course co-owned by road course ringer Ron Fellows. The race marks the series’ first race in Canada as well as its first road course race since 2000.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Speak Your Mind: Busch comes full circle in deal with Stewart-Haas Racing

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Kurt Busch joins Stewart-Haas Racing in 2014. Credit: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images for NASCAR  
Everyone has an opinion, even the ladies of Skirts and Scuffs. In today’s special column several of our contributors share their thoughts on the news that Kurt Busch will join Stewart-Haas Racing in 2014.

We asked our contributors for their input on the following questions:

What do you think of this deal? Are you surprised another top-level team is giving Busch an opportunity given his history? Do you think these often temperamental drivers will be able to work together and be successful? Is it too soon for SHR to add a fourth team to their stable? (Several teams have tried the four-car deal but Hendrick Motorsports seems to be the only one to have long-term success.) Do you have any additional thoughts on this? Is this a slap in the face to Ryan Newman?

Stephanie Stuart:

NASCAR is many things, but it's not the best secret keeper. Reports have been swirling for a few weeks that Kurt Busch may be making his way to Stewart-Haas Racing for a multi-year deal beginning in 2014. These reports were confirmed Monday, with a formal announcement on Tuesday.

So what happens now?

Furniture Row Racing, the team that gave Busch, a driver with known anger issues, a second chance, is left scrambling for a driver. Stewart-Haas Racing, a relatively new operation, expands to four teams with four entirely different personalities. There is only one other four-car team in NASCAR. Its name is Hendrick Motorsports.

Is this a good move?

In my eyes, no. Time and time again, we have seen Kurt Busch try to function within multi-car teams, and time and time again it has ended poorly. He doesn't have the patience to be part of the show. He needs to be the show. With Furniture Row Racing, all eyes are on him. He can communicate to everyone, and everyone communicates to him. Once he goes to Stewart-Haas, he is not the center of attention. My other issue with this is that Furniture Row deserves a chance to be competitive, and Kurt was bringing them to life. A team can't find their ground if they are constantly changing drivers and personnel. Kurt needed time to hone his attitude, his temper and his ways behind the wheel. Furniture Row was the best place for him to do that. They offered great equipment and a 24/7 focus on him. Now he moves to an organization where he he is the start-up fourth car and the tempers can flare.

In 2014, Stewart-Haas will be home to Tony Stewart, Kevin Harvick, Danica Patrick and Kurt Busch. These four drivers under one roof are no easy feat for anyone. Will it be exciting to watch? Sure. Will it be a daily struggle to keep tempers in check? Absolutely. Stewart, Harvick, Busch and Patrick are four of the most polarizing personalities in the sport. It remains to be seen how they will all work together.

The other unknown is how well the four-car setup will work at Stewart-Haas. Many teams have tried to field four cars, and many have failed. To date, only Hendrick Motorsports fields four competing cars. It takes a lot of sponsorship money and personnel support. Being a new team, it may be a little too soon to be exploring adding a fourth car, although with the money that Patrick adds to the mix through sponsorship and merchandise sales, they may not be financially concerned.

Where does this leave Ryan Newman, who has been faithful to Stewart-Haas since day one? Well, right now it leaves him with an uncertain future, but with a lot of big name rides open. It's no secret that Juan Pablo Montoya will vacate the 42 at the end of 2013 or that Kevin Harvick will be leaving the 29 to come to Stewart Haas. It's my opinion that Newman will land with a multi-year deal with a team that values his contributions to the sport, both on and off the track. But I'm sure he's a little bitter about helping Tony build his race team and being kicked to the curb, and he should be. Think about it, Ryan is without a ride, and Kurt Busch, who has threatened to punch reporters and cursed out crew members on the radio is being offered multi-year deals. Seems like an alternate universe, doesn't it?

I wholeheartedly agree that everyone deserves a second chance, but this seems like it's too soon for everyone involved. Four car teams are a huge gamble, financially. Kurt Busch still has a lot to prove to sponsors and owners. I think it takes more than a year and a half to repair the damage that he did during his tenure of rage. As far as Ryan Newman is concerned, I am sure he will land safely but I hate the way it is happening to him.

It's just another silly season.

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Credit: Debbie Ross for Skirts and Scuffs 

Lisa Janine Cloud:

I wasn't surprised that Kurt Busch signed a multi-year contract with a major team.  I was surprised that the contract is with Stewart-Haas Racing, and even more surprised that the architect of the deal was Gene Haas rather than Tony Stewart.

There's probably more to that story than we'll know until Stewart gets back to the track next season, if then. Bottom line: partner Gene Haas essentially said, "It's my money, I'll spend it how I like." Easy to do with Smoke convalescing.

Busch comes with a ton of talent and a full cart of baggage. Though I've been impressed with the change in him, he'll be tested being in such an ego-packed stable as SHR has put together.

I don't think there will be sparks, no punches thrown - at least not at the track.

Probably the best quote from the recent press conference announcement was Busch talking about the new car number. He said:

"My eight-year-old Houston says, 'Put 360 on the door!'
            'Why 360?'
            'Because you've come full circle.'"

From the mouths of babes.

Keep an eye on SHR. Next year should be interesting, to say the least.

AAA Kurt and Patricia smile for the cameras 6-2-13
Credit: Beth Bence Reinke for Skirts and Scuffs 
Katy Lindamood:

My first thought on hearing the news regarding Busch was, “Lions, tigers, and bears! Oh my!” but that’s exactly what’s going to be going on at SHR. With Smoke, Happy and The Outlaw as teammates, things are going to be interesting to say the least.

I say, "Bring it on!" Who doesn’t like a little excitement?

You can’t deny that Kurt Busch is a talent. That talent is attached to a passionate driver who sometimes lets his emotions govern his actions. He’s human and like many of us, doesn’t always say the right thing, but in terms of pure racing talent he’s pretty damn good.  If Busch can keep that combustible temperament under control he may return to his former level of competitiveness under the Stewart-Haas banner. If not, all fingers will be pointed at Gene Haas, who made this deal happen without consulting Tony Stewart.

While I’m excited to see what the entire SHR team can accomplish in 2014, part of me is concerned that now Busch will forget all he’s learned the last couple of seasons. I like Kurt Busch the underdog. I enjoy seeing a driver who has lost some of the best rides in the business have to put everything he has into making the best out of the situation at hand. Busch has given Furniture Row Racing a real chance at not only being competitive, but on the cusp of victory several times. Let’s just hope the tenacious driver and the underdog can meld into one.

As for whether or not it’s too soon to add a fourth team to the stable, that’s something a lot of people are discussing. Several teams, who have been in NASCAR far longer than SHR, have failed at fielding four competitive teams. Some might say that Danica Patrick isn’t really competitive and that’s partly true; she’s not contending for the win, but she’s still finding her wheels and has shown growth since coming to stock car racing. Will adding a fourth team hurt or help her growth? If nothing else it may take some attention off of her and allow her to grow without being constantly under the media microscope.

The only real loser in this deal is Ryan Newman, who finds himself without a ride because of sponsorship issues. One has to wonder why Gene Haas wouldn’t open his checkbook for mild-mannered family man Ryan Newman. There’s got to be more to this story and I’m sure we’ll hear it.

For now I’ll say good luck to Kurt Busch and his new ride. You can’t blame a man for taking an opportunity he probably thought he’d never see again in his career. Busch can’t be blamed for how this deal unfolded, but he can take this opportunity to show the world that he really has turned over a new leaf.

42
Credit: Charlotte Bray for Skirts and Scuffs 
Beth Reinke:

I'm still trying to digest the lengthy comments from the SHR press conference, but here are my initial, gut-level responses about the people and process of the deal.

Stewart-Haas Racing adding a fourth car doesn’t phase me. Team co-owner Gene Haas has the funding to make his company the car’s primary sponsor, so why not?

But how that fourth car was added is troubling. Haas made an offer to Busch while Tony Stewart was, using Haas’ own words, “incapacitated where I couldn’t talk to him.”

“I didn't have really a chance to talk to Tony about it at all since he wasn't really talking to anybody,” Haas said. “So I kind of did this on my own, probably overstepped my authority a tick there. I'm not used to having too many authorities to work with. I've been pretty much on my own. I did realize that Tony might be a little bit upset about it. He was, he was a little upset.”

When Stewart was informed about the offer already made to Busch, Smoke asked Haas to wait. But he didn’t wait. The fact that Greg Zipadelli said Stewart is OK with it now doesn’t change the fact that the deal was arranged without the team co-owner’s input. I wouldn't be surprised if more details about the timeline and who-said-what-to-whom are still to come.

On the upside, as questions swirl about whether this group of colorful drivers – Stewart, Harvick, Busch and Patrick – will be able to get along, I’m optimistic. I think the four of them will band together to prove the naysayers wrong. Even if their strong personalities lead to clashes behind closed doors sometimes, I believe they’ll show poise in public.

One other thing. On this SHR driver merry-go-round, Ryan Newman is the one flying off into the playground dust. But Newman, who won at Indy in July for SHR, is a talented driver and a class act. Whether it’s EGR or RCR or someone we don’t expect, I have faith the Rocketman will get a running start, climb back on and land a decent ride.

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Photo Credit: Debbie Ross for Skirts and Scuffs 


Charlotte Bray:

When it first broke about Kurt Busch joining Stewart-Haas I thought, "ARE you kidding me? How could Tony do that to Ryan (Newman)?" After learning more details on the deal, I'm still unhappy, but for other reasons.

Tony Stewart and Greg Zippadelli know the day in and day out operations of running a championship team, Gene Haas does not.

While it was Haas racing the team was thrilled for a top-30 finish, not quite champions huh?

Tony and Zippy know the team hasn't performed to standards with only three teams this year, so adding another could adversely affect all the teams of Stewart-Haas. 

I no longer feel it was a slap to Ryan from Tony. It was made very apparent Tuesday that this was all Haas' doing. If I were Stewart, I would be looking for another partner for the dance. The way he was disrespected is bottom line NOT good business, no matter what the business is. If it was not for Stewart, they would still be a 30th-place team or start-and-park team.

The company has grown to the capacity it is today because of Stewart. Haas may want to remember the times he visited victory lane before it was Stewart-Haas, which should be rather easy for him because there were none.

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Credit: Charlotte Bray for Skirts and Scuffs 
Rebecca Kivak:

I'm not surprised at all that Kurt Busch, the "Outlaw," is signing with a top-tier team. After his abusive behavior toward media and on the team radio lead to his leaving Penske and a tense season with Phoenix Racing, the 2004 Sprint Cup champion has had to rebuild himself from the ground up. And he's done it - gracefully and performance-wise - with Furniture Row Racing.

Busch has lifted the one-car team to new heights. The No. 78 team has become a consistent contender to win races and sits poised to make its first Chase. Even when things don't go his way, Busch has acted with class and motivated his team.

For Busch to do what he has done this year with the resources of a small team is downright impressive. He's not only winning fans, but attention from team owners and rightfully so. Coming back from a nearly career-ending situation has put the emphasis back on Busch's pure racing talent, which is where it should be.

I don't blame Gene Haas at all for seeing an opportunity with Busch and trying to snap him up. If I were a team owner, I'd do the same thing. How often is a driver with the talent and accomplishments that Busch offers available on the market?

While Haas went rogue by making an offer to Busch while Stewart is recovering from his broken leg, I'm gathering that what concerned Stewart at first was not the choice of Busch, but Stewart-Haas Racing's ability to expand to four teams. (Remember that Stewart actually defended Busch's comments and threats against a Sporting News reporter last year). Stewart's been saying for months that the team didn't have the resources nor sponsorship for a fourth team. It was the first thing Stewart said when Haas told him about his offer to Busch.

"At first he said, Oh, wow, we can't really do this because this is going to be too much of a load on the team," Haas said. "We're not prepared for it. We don't have the space. There's a whole line. He actually is an astute businessman. He thought about all these little things, where are we going to get the people, the money, where are the buildings going to come from. I didn't think about any of that. From Tony's standpoint, he's more of a businessman."

"About a week later, Tony said, 'OK, all right.' He thought, it's OK. What are you going to do? ... I stepped up and said I would fund it. It's very difficult to find a sponsor in less than 24 hours. So we did that, too."

Now Stewart-Haas Racing has the sponsorship and will operate their four teams out of two buildings, a setup similar to Hendrick Motorsports. Will SHR be able to duplicate Hendrick's success? That still remains to be seen. Hendrick is the only team with four consistently competitive teams, and it's taken them years to get to this point.

Does SHR have the driver talent to do it? Absolutely. Can you imagine Stewart, Busch, Kevin Harvick and Danica Patrick under one roof? Yes, that's a whole lot of attitude, but a lot of passion, too. We've seen the SHR drivers get into it with other drivers on the track, but so far, not with each other. Harvick will bring his remarkable racing talent, longtime friendship with Stewart and support of Patrick to the team. Stewart, Harvick and Busch don't let anyone push them around on the track, which Patrick is learning as she makes her way in NASCAR's top level. Though Patrick has yet to contend for race wins, she has made a lot of progress on the track. Having not one, but two Cup champions in Stewart and Busch on her team gives her an even bigger pool of knowledge to draw from.

Unfortunately, the odd man out is Ryan Newman. Stewart said in earlier comments he would like to keep Newman on if they could find sponsorship. Now they have the sponsorship, which comes too little, too late for the Brickyard 400 winner. But with his talent, I think the Rocketman will land on his feet. My bet's on Richard Childress Racing. But another option for Newman could be to build on the success Busch had with Furniture Row Racing. If I were heading that team, I'd definitely be looking Newman's way.

Have an opinion? Join the discussion below and speak YOUR mind.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Fast Facts: Brad Sweet

credit: Getty Images/Jonathan Daniel
Nationwide Series and sprint car driver Brad Sweet has a couple of famous racing bosses to lean on at the track – Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Kasey Kahne. Find out more about this young multi-series star in this week’s Fast Facts.
  • Brad Sweet was born Dec. 31, 1985 in Grass Valley, California. He began racing in his native California in Outlaw Go-Karts, where he won five championships. He went on to compete in various national open-wheel circuits before being hired by Kasey Kahne Racing in 2007 to compete in USAC midgets and World of Outlaws sprint cars.
  • Sweet went on to win many prestigious sprint car and midget races for KKR, including the Belleville Midget Nationals, the Knoxville Midget Nationals and both the Sprint Car and Midget “Four Crown Nationals” at Eldora Speedway. Most recently, Sweet became king for a night as the winner of the 30th annual Kings Royal for the World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series at Eldora Speedway in July 2013, driving the No. 49 Ollie’s Bargain Outlet sprint car for KKR.
  • Sweet moved into stock cars in 2009, competing in the ARCA Racing Series and the Camping World Truck Series. He became involved with his current sponsor, Great Clips, while competing in the Truck Series, and has raced under its colors in both the Truck and Nationwide Series.
  • With Kahne acting as a mentor, Sweet is competing part-time in the Nationwide Series for JR Motorsports in 2013, sharing driving duties with Kahne, much as the duo did in 2012 with Turner Motorsports.
  • Learn more about Sweet at his website, bradsweetracing.com

Caption this: Jamie McMurray & Juan Pablo Montoya

Teammates Jamie McMurray and Juan Pablo Montoya having a chat.
CAPTION THIS!

Leave your caption in the comment section below. One entry per person and please leave your name or twitter handle. Anonymous posts and those with crass or vulgar content will not be eligible to win. Remember, this is all in good fun, so show us your creative, witty side.

We'll take captions until Thursday evening, then the Skirts and Scuffs staff will vote to choose a winner. Check back this Saturday to read the winning caption.

And yes, there is a PRIZE! The "Caption this" winner will receive a copy of the book, Race Fans' Devotions to Go. The winner must follow instructions for sending us his or her contact info, as specified in the winning caption post.

Bring on your funnies. We look forward to reading them! :o)

Monday, August 26, 2013

Travel Tips: Atlanta Motor Speedway – Aug. 30-Sept. 1, 2013


Celebrate Labor Day weekend NASCAR-style at Atlanta Motor Speedway, home of this weekend’s AdvoCare 500 for the Sprint Cup Series and the Great Clips/Grit Chips 300 for the Nationwide Series. The two series visit the 1.54-mile oval Friday through Sunday, Aug. 30-Sept. 1.

Get to town early and take part in a few extracurricular activities with some of your favorite drivers. Reed Sorenson hosts his Charity Golf Classic at Crystal Lake Golf Club on Thursday, Aug. 29. Benefitting Speedway Children’s Charities, registration for the tournament begins at 8 a.m. ET, with a shotgun start at 10 a.m. ET. Some drivers from both the Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series are expected to participate (subject to change).

The inaugural NASCAR Hauler Parade takes place that evening at 7 p.m. ET, beginning on Speedway Blvd. outside the speedway and continue through downtown Hampton.

David Ragan fans, catch the NRA David Ragan Shootout on Friday, Aug. 30 at Cherokee Rose Sporting Resort. Also benefitting Speedway Children’s Charities, registration begins at 10 a.m. ET, with on-course shooting starting at 11 a.m. ET.

On Friday night, fans get a chance to ask reigning Sprint Cup champ Brad Keselowski questions on the frontstretch at 8 p.m. ET, prior to the USCS Sprint Car special event on the quarter-mile track at Atlanta. There’s additional racing on Saturday, Aug. 31 as well, with Legends cars on track from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. ET on the quarter-mile track.

Key on-track times:

Friday, Aug. 30:
  • Sprint Cup practice – 3 p.m. ET
  • Nationwide Series practice – 5 p.m. ET
  • Sprint Cup qualifying – 6:40 p.m. ET
  • Tim Smith’s Climax Moonshine Sprint Car Shootout – 9 p.m. ET

Saturday, Aug. 31:
  • Nationwide Series practice – 10:30 a.m. ET
  • Legends races – 12:30 p.m. ET
  • Sprint Cup practice – 3 and 6 p.m. ET
  • Nationwide Series qualifying – 4:05 p.m. ET
  • Great Clips/Grit Chips 300 for the Nationwide Series – 7:30 p.m. ET

Sunday, Sept. 1:
  • Pre-race concert with Billy Currington – 5:40 p.m. ET
  • AdvoCare 500 for the Sprint Cup Series  – 7:30 p.m. ET

Find the complete weekend schedule here.

First-time fans can check this out for tips on enjoying the race.

Find out more about this weekend’s races and purchase tickets at www.atlantamotorspeedway.com

Travel Tips: Canadian Tire Motorsport Park – Aug. 30-Sept. 1, 2013


NASCAR’s Labor Day – or rather “Labour Day” – party goes north of the border this weekend, Friday through Sunday, Aug. 30-Sept. 1, as the Camping World Truck Series not only visits Canada for the first time, but also returns to a road course for the first time in 13 years. The inaugural Chevrolet Silverado 250 will be held at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in Bowmansville, Ontario, Canada, and the Truck Series will be joined by the Canadian Touring Car Championship and the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series.

CTMP is a 2.459-mile road course that’s just one part of this multi-track facility. The facility also includes a 0.5-mile paved oval, a driver training facility and 0.87-mile karting track. The track was purchased by Canadian Motorsports Ventures in June 2011. One of the owners who has been busy promoting the track and the race is Canadian “road course ringer” Ron Fellows.

Key on-track times:

Friday, Aug. 30:
  • Camping World Truck Series practice – 11:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. ET

Saturday, Aug. 31:
  • Canadian Touring Car Championship qualifying – 8:45 a.m. ET
  • Camping World Truck Series practice – 9:30 a.m. and noon ET
  • Canadian Tire Series practice – 10:40 a.m. and 1:10 p.m. ET
  • Canadian Touring Car Championship Race No. 1 – 3 p.m. ET
  • Canadian Tire Series qualifying – 4 p.m. ET
  • Camping World Truck Series qualifying – 5:05 p.m. ET

Sunday, Sept. 1:
  • Canadian Touring Car Championship qualifying – 9:45 a.m. ET
  • Pitny’s presents the Clarington 200 for the Canadian Tire Series – 11 a.m. ET
  • Chevrolet Silverado 250 for the Camping World Truck Series – 2 p.m. ET
  • Canadian Touring Car Championship Race No. 2 – 4:45 p.m. ET

Click here for track policies and FAQs.


Find out more about the weekend and purchase tickets at www.canadiantiremotorsportpark.com

Saturday, August 24, 2013

"Caption This" winner: Melanie Clarke

"Pop-pop, JJ Yeley wrecked me!"
"Hold my watch and my sunglasses, it's headlock time!"

Congratulations to Melanie Clarke who contributed the winning caption for this photo of Austin Dillon and Richard Childress.

Please send your full name and mailing address to bbreinke@skirtsandscuffs.com to receive your prize, a copy of the devotional book Race Fans' Devotions to Go.

Thanks to everyone who played "Caption this!" Check back next Tuesday for a new photo and your next chance to submit a caption.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Everything Happens for a Reason: Five Questions for Bristol

Drew Hallowell / Getty Images
I am a firm believer in that everything happens for a reason. Lucky breaks aren’t so lucky after all, and an accident has a whole other meaning. In my eyes, there is a universal balance beam we are all tiptoeing on. Gravity pulls us down when we’re too flimsy, and we regain our footing due to our personal strength.

That right there is the definition of life.

There’s this country song I listen to from time to time, and the singer talks about all the chances he didn’t take and lessons he didn’t know back when he was younger. In the end, he realizes that the things that didn’t happen set him up for the life he now has with his wife and his child. Everything that did (or didn’t) come through led to something greater.

This all ties into something I feel people lack: faith. I’m not talking about faith in a religious sense, either.

We never believe in ourselves enough, what our minds and bodies can do. When an obstacle ruins our perfect vision, our first instinct is to get upset and fester. What we should do is shake it off and reroute our mindsets. There is a specific reason for that twist, and that’s because you can deal with it. You don’t think you can, but you’re wrong.

The trials and tribulations of our lives are meant to test not your ability - but your faith. I think that’s a great thing. I also think it’s necessary.

Because everything happens for a reason, whether we realize it or not.

This week in Five Questions, I tackle the points leader, the redeeming value of a fantastic finish, and the impact of Tony Stewart’s leg. We’re headed to Bristol Motor Speedway, baby, and it’s going to be wicked.

How will points leader Jimmie Johnson fare in Thunder Valley? After troubles at Michigan International Speedway, Johnson’s concentration is slipping, and it may continue on at Bristol. The strong suit of the No. 48 team is mental acuity, and the crash in final practice led to a shaken brain setup. Also, the engine that blew during the race was meant for the first race of The Chase. That should make them nervous. So, with all those outside factors, the team is most likely off their game, and that makes them vulnerable. Vulnerable is the one thing you don’t want to be in racing.

Will Kyle Busch complete The Sweep? Wednesday night was the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race, officially beginning the ROWDY weekend (get it?) with a win by Busch. This threw everyone into a flashback, thinking about when he won all three races at the track. With new life and fire, is it possible for him to repeat that impressive tale? Heck yeah it is. The only thing that stands in his way are those who want it more, and being more passionate than Busch? It isn’t a common feat.

Does a crazily heated finish make up for an ‘Eh’ race? On his way to that win, Busch had to hold off a charging Timothy Peters, setting us up to witness an incredible finish. That got me thinking: everyone remembers the endings because they’re pivotal … but does an energetic finish overshadow a ho-hum race? I’m not saying the Trucks race was bad, but it started turning gears in my head. A book, for example, is usually known for its climax, and then its ultimate resolution. But does the underlying storyline and twists and turns force you to forget the terrible writing style and editing? That’s something that might eat at me for a while.

Who goes all out for that vital win? I mentioned someone wanting a win more than Kyle Busch, and there are a few candidates on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series side. Those who are in need of a win are on that list, as is one unhappy camper. Drivers like Kurt Busch, Brad Keselowski, and Clint Bowyer need a win to strengthen their Chase berths, while Kasey Kahne is angry at the youngest Busch and can retaliate this weekend. A win would sweeten his chance at the top 10, too. With The Chase looming, it’s time to go.

What impact does Tony Stewart and his injury have on NASCAR? As I said before, everything happens for a reason, and Stewart’s injury is no exception. Not only did it bring attention - yet again - to the dangerous side of the sport, but it brought out how much NASCAR benefits from the driver. It’s difficult to watch a race without him when he’s been in every one you’ve seen. That has forced us to change courses. We can’t pick him for our fantasy lineup, and it makes a world without him competing seem more realistic. I think the whole situation grounded us - and Stewart. For him, his faith is tested; it’s difficult to remain positive when you’re suddenly out for the rest of the season. Although this is a terrible incident, something can definitely be learned from all of this.

TV Schedule: Aug. 23-24

Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images
It's the concrete bullring, where feuds start and rivalries are born. NASCAR heads to its Bristol Motor Speedway, the .533-mile short track where racing in close quarters stirs bad tempers.

The Camping World Truck Series raced Wednesday. It's a double dose of racing under the lights: the Nationwide Series takes the stage Friday and the Sprint Cup Series is front and center Saturday.

The following is a handy guide to track events and television coverage this weekend at Bristol. All times are in Eastern Standard Time.

Friday, Aug. 23:
9 a.m. NNS Practice, FS1
12 noon NSCS Practice, FS1
2 p.m. NASCAR Live, FS1
2:30 p.m. NSCS Final Practice, FS1
3:30 p.m. NNS Qualifying, FS1
5:30 p.m. NSCS Qualifying, ESPN2
7 p.m. NNS Countdown, ESPN
7:30 p.m. NNS: Food City 250, ESPN. Green flag: 7:44 p.m.

Saturday, Aug. 24:
6 p.m. NASCAR RaceDay, FS1
7 p.m. NSCS Countdown, ABC
7:30 p.m. IRWIN Tools Night Race, ABC. Green flag: 7:30 p.m. Reruns at 4 a.m. Sunday on ESPN2.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

NASCAR Fantasy Fusion: Bristol short-track racing




Track Classification: Short Track
Similar Tracks: Dover International Speedway • Phoenix International Raceway 
MartinsvilleSpeedway • Richmond International Raceway
Distance: .533 Miles

Drivers with Most Top 10s (Last 5 Years):
By Race
All with 4 - Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin, Matt Kenseth and Ryan Newman 
All with 3 - Jeff Gordon, Marcos Ambrose, Clint Bowyer and Jimmie Johnson

By Track
Both with 7 - Kyle Busch and Jimmie Johnson 
Both with 6 - Ryan Newman and Matt Kenseth 
Both with 5 - Kurt Busch, Jamie McMurray and Kasey Kahne

Recent Pole Winners: 
2012 Qualifying rained out
2011 Ryan Newman
2010 Jimmie Johnson

The Likely Suspects: Short-tracking on a Saturday night will provide both exciting moments for the fans and stressful moments for the drivers who can loop this track in 17 seconds. This is a great track for both the patient drivers as well as the wild ones. When we get to the finish look for these drivers: Jimmie Johnson, Kyle Busch, Matt Kenseth, Ryan Newman, Jamie McMurray, Clint Bowyer, Kurt Busch and Kasey Kahne.

My 2 Cents: My no-brainer pick this week is the calm, cool and collected Matt Kenseth. My next choice is Brad Keselowski. Jeff Gordon should also be a good pick, however I just don't trust him to finish well despite good past performances. If you have Busch brothers choose them both this week. I only have Kurt Busch starts left, so I'm picking him. I will round out my team with Ryan Newman, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Greg Biffle, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Casey Mears. Enjoy the race!

Post your comments here or email me at ssfantasyracing@skirtsandscuffs.com.

Win a ride of a lifetime from Lionel Racing

Last year I had the opportunity to ride shotgun with The Richard Petty Driving Experience. It was one of the most terrifying and joyous experiences of my life.

How would you like to have that opportunity this fall? What if I told you that you could be wheeled around the 1.5 mile Charlotte Motor Speedway by a Sprint Cup Series driver? How would you feel if I told you Dale Earnhardt Jr. would be your driver?

Do I have your attention now?

This morning our friends at Lionel Racing launched a new contest that gives race fans a chance to win a once in a lifetime experience this October at Charlotte and all you have to do is show your racing personality.

Sounds easy enough, right?

To enter this contest head over to Lionel Racing’s Facebook page and answer a few questions about the type of fan you are.

One grand prize winner will be chosen to hit the high banks of CMS alongside Dale Jr. on Wednesday October 9, 2013 for a three lap experience. Last year’s winner, Bette Paquet, a grandmother from New Hampshire, had a blast and now you can too! Check out the video of Bette's ride below.


The grand prize winner will  receive:
  •  Three laps with Dale Earnhardt Jr. around Charlotte Motor Speedway on Wednesday, October 9, 2013
  • A pair of autographed skull gloves
  • Two tickets to the NASCAR Nationwide and NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Charlotte Motor Speedway on October 11 and 12
  • VIP treatment by JR Motorsports staff with pit and garage tour
  • Intimate Q&A with Dale at the event
  • Meet N Greet with Dale, autograph and photograph opportunity
  • Food/Beverages at Ride Along event
  • 2 tickets to NASCAR Hall of Fame
  • 4 night stay at Hampton Inn, Huntersville NC
  • DVD of this once in a lifetime experience
  • VIP Swag Bag which includes SPY sunglasses and other awesome items
  • Set of Dale Jr. die-cast cars from Lionel Racing
  • Free membership to RCCA – The Racing Collectables Club of America
What are you waiting for? Head over to Lionel Racing's Facebook page and enter now. Good luck!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Checkered Past: Bristol giveth and Bristol taketh away


Bristol Motor Speedway is both one of the smallest tracks in NASCAR and one of the biggest. In spite of its 0.533-mile length, this super short track can hold over 160,000 spectators, putting it in the top 10 list of the largest sports venues in the world. With close-quarters racing a given, Bristol has provided some spectacular races, spectacular finishes – and spectacular wrecks.

For NASCAR Hall of Famer Darrell Waltrip, Bristol was a place for spectacular finishes. Twelve times in 52 career Cup Series races at the track, Waltrip was the first driver to cross the finish line, and he finished in the top five in half of the races he ran there. For his efforts, the seating in Turns 3 and 4 were renamed for Waltrip in 2000.

Michael and Darrell Waltrip each had a different type
of luck at Bristol.
Credit: John Harrelson/Harrelson Photography
For Waltrip’s younger brother, Michael, the track is the site of the most horrific crash in his driving career. In the spring of 1990, Waltrip was competing in the Busch (now Nationwide) Series race at Bristol when he tangled with another car, sending his car into the steel crossover gate on the backstretch. Waltrip’s car, to put it mildly, disintegrated – a piece here, a piece there…and an even bigger piece, containing Waltrip, over there. By the grace of God, the strength of the Banjo Matthew’s-built car, or some other higher power, Waltrip survived – even walked away. Unlike his brother, Michael Waltrip had a less-than-stellar record at Bristol – just eight top-10 finishes in 48 races – but at least he can say that he walked away.

The Pearson family has also had mixed luck at Bristol. Hall of Fame patriarch David Pearson, who also has a section of seating named for him, raced just 20 times at Bristol, with a resume of five wins, 10 top-10 finishes and three poles. In March 2010, the Tennessee track was the scene of near-tragedy for the Pearson family, as son Larry, a two-time Busch Series champion, was involved in a serious crash with Charlie Glotzbach during a 35-lap charity race. While the younger Pearson was being removed from his car, the elder Pearson was withdrawing from the race to be with his son. Larry Pearson suffered a fractured pelvis, fractured right hand and a compound fracture of his left ankle.

For 1988 Cup Series champ Bill Elliott, Bristol was something of a headache. In 44 races, Elliott – a superspeedway ace – had just one win, coming in the spring of his championship season. Elliott’s son Chase already seems to have better luck on the track, having become the youngest pole sitter in Camping World Truck Series history on August 21, 2013.

Faith on the Frontstretch: Miracle deal fueled by Smoke

Credit: Lisa Janine Cloud for Skirts and Scuffs  

“ ... and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.” Hebrews 12:1b

Do miracles happen in NASCAR? According to Greg Zipadelli, director of competition for Stewart-Haas Racing, they do. In a teleconference this week, Zipadelli expressed amazement at how quickly and easily the deal came together for Mark Martin to take over as driver of the injured Tony’s Stewart’s No. 14 car.

“It’s about as close to a miracle as you could have happen in such a short period of time,” he said.

For the deal to work, the top brass at both Stewart-Haas and Michael Waltrip Racing had to agree to it. In addition, manufacturers and sponsors for both teams had to approve it, as well as Brian Vickers, who will pilot Martin's vacated No. 55 Aaron’s Toyota for 12 of the remaining 13 races of the season. How many people had to say yes altogether? Zipadelli wasn’t sure, but he said it was “a lot.”

Two opposing race teams who came together to cement a deal. Cooperation between competitors. Some people would call that a miracle.

How did the arrangement happen so swiftly and smoothly? Mark Martin attributed it to the fondness folks in racing feel toward one particular guy.

“One thing I do want to say ... is the amazing amount of cooperation that it took to get this deal done by so many parties, and I haven't seen this much cooperation in the past, and I think it was largely in part for the incredible amount of respect that everyone has in the sport for Tony Stewart,” Martin said.

Cooperation is a tricky thing. It requires bending to the needs of others. There was evidence of deferring to others and praising others throughout the press conference where the deal was announced:

~ Mark Martin expressed his appreciation for the people at MWR and said he was proud of his teammates, Clint Bowyer and Martin Truex, Jr.

~ Zipadelli said they look forward to working with an accomplished driver like Martin, whom he called Stewart’s “first choice” to fill his seat.

~ Brian Vickers voiced his gratitude in a tweet: “Thankful for the opportunity to drive the @aaronssports @toyotaracing 55 the rest of the year. Except Talladega. That's all you @mw55.”

~ Most notably, as he discussed handing over one of his own drivers to a competitor, team owner Michael Waltrip made this statement:

“I'm just really thankful that Tony and Zippy and all the folks at Stewart-Haas wanted Mark to come help. And the reason why I say that is I know he'll be an asset to that organization."

He continued. “I love Tony Stewart, who he is and what he stands for, and I love Mark. He's a special person, and I'm glad he's going to be able to help those folks.”

Wow.

Somewhere along the race of life, these men in higher-up NASCAR positions learned that being a guy who cares about others is vital, especially in challenging times. They freely give resources and credit to others without fear that the praise might diminish themselves in any way. That’s humility.

In the Bible, humility is a precursor to receiving God’s blessing. He looks with favor on those who show true humility of spirit (*Isaiah 66:2.) He forgives those who humbly pray (**2 Chronicles 7:14.)

How do we become humble? The trait often develops as we muddle through hard stuff, times of personal brokenness. Yes, brokenness comes before humility. That might sound like a pun about Stewart’s broken leg, but it’s not. It’s a real truth we learn from life.

If something in life is broken – a relationship, health, whatever – that’s when we realize our smallness, and taste genuine humility. Hitting bottom prods us to look up and realize that every blessing comes from above.

We can be humble toward each other, too. In fact, these two race teams are a shining example.  Fueled by their love for an ailing, well-respected racer, a bunch of people were willing to humble themselves enough to reach a solution that helped him and satisfied everyone. How cool is that?

Thank you, God, for our many blessings, all of which come from you. Today we’re grateful for the humble racing folks who worked out this miracle deal. Help us to follow their example. Amen.

All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.” ~ 1 Peter 5:5b
------------------------------

* These are the ones I look on with favor: those who are humble and contrite in spirit, and who tremble at my word. ~ Isaiah 66:2

** ... if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. ~ 2 Chronicles 7:14

------------------------------



“Faith on the Frontstretch” appears every 1st & 3rd Wednesday and explores the role of faith in motorsports. Comments or twitter follows welcome: @bbreinke. See you on the Frontstretch!

Want more racing devotions? When you donate $25 to Skirts and Scuffs, we’ll send you a complimentary copy of Beth’s book, Race Fans’ Devotions to Go, a month-long, pocket-sized devotional book for female racing fans.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Fast Facts: Alex Bowman

credit: NASCAR via Getty Images/Todd Warshaw
Alex Bowman, driver of the No. 99 Toyota for RAB Racing in the Nationwide Series, is another one of the “young guns” making his way through the NASCAR ranks. Meet this Rookie of the Year candidate in this week’s Fast Facts.
  • Alex Bowman was born April 25, 1993 in Tucson, Arizona. He began his racing career at age 7 in Arizona and California, driving quarter midgets; he eventually competed in USAC before moving into stock car racing at age 17.
  • In 2010, Bowman competed part-time in the Pro Cup Series, then moved to NASCAR’s K&N Pro Series East in 2011. Bowman finished sixth in points and won the Rookie of the Year title in the K&N series. He also raced in two ARCA Racing Series events for Venturini Motorsports in 2011, picking up wins in both races.
  • Bowman moved into the ARCA Series full-time in 2012 with Cunningham Motorsports, winning four more races and finishing fourth in points. He made his top-tier NASCAR debut late in the season, running four Nationwide Series races – two for Turner Scott Motorsports and two for RAB Racing. He signed with RAB Racing for a full-time schedule in January 2013, and won his first Nationwide Series pole at Texas in April.
  • Learn more about Bowman at his website, alexbowmanracing.com

Caption this: Austin Dillon and Richard Childress

Austin Dillon drove the No. 14 car for Tony Stewart on Sunday.
CAPTION THIS!

Leave your caption in the comment section below. One entry per person and please leave your name or twitter handle. Anonymous posts will not be eligible to win.

We'll take captions until Thursday evening, then the Skirts and Scuffs staff will vote to choose a winner. Check back this Saturday to read the winning caption.

And yes, there is a PRIZE! The "Caption this" winner will receive a copy of the book, Race Fans' Devotions to Go. The winner must follow instructions for sending us his or her contact info, as specified in the winning caption post.

Bring on your funnies. We look forward to reading them! :o)

Yuengling Brewery to sponsor Ty Dillon's No. 3 in 2014 Nationwide Series

Ty Dillon. Credit: Lisa Janine Cloud for Skirts and Scuffs
First venture into NASCAR for America's Oldest Brewery

POTTSVILLE, Pa. (August 19, 2013) - Richard Childress Racing has partnered with D.G Yuengling & Son to be a primary sponsor on the No. 3 Yuengling Light Lager Chevrolet with driver Ty Dillon during the 2014 NASCAR Nationwide Series season.

As part of their 185th anniversary of brewing great lager, America's oldest operating brewery will be the primary sponsor on the RCR Chevrolet Camaro for eight races of the 2014 schedule. Yuengling Light Lager will be a key partner as Dillon moves full time to the Nationwide Series next season.

The announcement was made during the company's annual meetings at its Pennsylvania headquarters. This is Yuengling's first time partnering with a NASCAR team.

"The Yuengling Brewery is extremely proud to be partnered with a world-class organization like RCR for the 2014 Nationwide Season," said Lou Romano, director of Marketing and Wholesaler Development for Yuengling. "Both organizations are true American success stories exemplifying hard work, family values and proven results.

"Ty Dillon is a perfect match for us to help introduce our Light Lager brand to loyal NASCAR fans wherever Yuengling is sold. He's not only a strong competitor on the track, but shares many of the same interests as Yuengling drinkers. Ty is an avid sports fan, outdoor enthusiast and holds close family ties.

"We also know and understand the legacy of the No. 3 to RCR and in NASCAR history, and are honored to have our brewery appear with that number on Ty's car in 2014."

Dillon is currently competing for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series championship and has one victory to his credit this season.

"I'm honored to be able to represent an iconic brand such as Yuengling," said Dillon, who has eight-career Nationwide Series starts to his credit, to date. "I'm excited to share my first full year in the Nationwide Series with them as they venture into the sport for the first time this season."

"They are family operated and America's Oldest Brewery, something which fits our heritage at RCR. We think their family culture will make for a great partnership with the RCR and Childress family cultures. To say I'm looking forward to racing the No. 3 Yuengling Light Lager Chevrolet next year is an understatement."

About D.G. Yuengling & Son, Inc.
Based in Pottsville, Pa., D.G. Yuengling & Son Inc., America's Oldest Brewery, is family owned and operated since 1829. Principal beer brands include Traditional Lager, Light Lager, Lord Chesterfield Ale, Dark Brewed Porter, Original Black & Tan, Premium and Premium Light Beer.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Stewart out for remainder of 2013, Martin named replacement

559574_450670228282335_1853162936_n
Credit: Debbie Ross for Skirts and Scuffs  
There are few things worse for a racer than watching another driver climb behind the seat of your car and go to work. Unfortunately for Tony Stewart, the rest of the 2013 season will be spent recovering from an injury sustained earlier this month in a sprint car. Veteran Mark Martin will fill in for the rehabilitating car owner/driver for the final stretch of the season, with the exception of Talladega, where Austin Dillion will pilot the No. 14.

On Monday afternoon Stewart Haas Racing released an official statement quoting SHR competition director, Greg Zipadelli:

“After consulting with Tony’s doctors and speaking with Tony, we agreed it was best for him to focus on his recovery. For the No. 14 team, our focus is on positioning them for a run at the owner championship. Mark Martin and Austin Dillon give us the best opportunity to do that, and we certainly appreciate Michael Waltrip Racing and Richard Childress Racing for making Mark and Austin available to us.”

Martin, who was on the verge of winning Sunday’s Pure Michigan 400 before running out of fuel, was released from his obligations with Michael Waltrip Racing in order to make the move happen. Martin’s release allows Brian Vickers, who was slated to take over full-time in the MWR No. 55 in 2014, to take over the seat early. Vickers and Martin have shared the No. 55 with team owner Micheal Waltrip for the last two seasons with Vickers earning a win earlier this season at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Vickers will pilot the Aaron’s Dream Machine for 12 of the 13 remaining races in 2013. Michael Waltrip will take the wheel in November at Talladega Superspeedway.

At 54 years of age, Martin is one of the most respected drivers to ever race in the Sprint Cup Series. His 40 career victories, including two at Bristol, are near the top of the chart for wins among active drivers. And although he’s only raced part-time since leaving the No. 5 at Hendrick Motorsport in 2011, Martin is still a fierce competitor and someone many up-and-coming drivers look to for guidance.

Martin spoke about the opportunity during a teleconference on Monday:

“Well, I'm incredibly honored. Sometimes I have a hard time understanding how Tony could possibly feel that way toward me when the guy is so amazing, the modern‑day A.J. Foyt. When I was growing up, A.J. drove anything and everything and was fast and won in everything he drove. And Tony is the guy today that really does that and is successful at it….I'm really, really sorry that it comes at the expense of Tony getting hurt.”

Stewart is expected to return to racing in January, while Martin's future is still up in the air.

Travel Tips: Bristol Motor Speedway – Aug. 21-24, 2013

credit: NASCAR Media
“It’s Bristol, baby!”

Three words have never said so much about a NASCAR race weekend, and it means even more in August, when all three of NASCAR’s top series, along with NASCAR’s oldest series, the Whelen Modified Tour, invade "Thunder Valley" for the IRWIN Tools Night Race weekend, taking place Wednesday through Saturday, Aug. 21-24.

Even with all the action on the track, there is plenty happening off the track as well. The biggest event is Food City Race Night, taking place from 1-9 p.m. ET on State St. in Bristol, TN and Bristol, VA on Thursday, Aug. 22. The fun includes live music, show cars, vendors, driver appearances, food sampling and more. Tickets are $5 in advance, $6 at the gate.

Another event on Thursday is the Ford Transporter Parade, starting at Bristol Mall at 9 p.m. ET and ending at the speedway. Before heading on their 10-mile journey to the track, the drivers of these big rigs will meet with fans in the parking lot of Bristol Mall.

Key on-track times:

Wednesday, Aug. 21
  • Whelen Modified Tour practice – 8:30 a.m. and 11 a.m. ET
  • Camping World Truck Series practice – 10 a.m. and noon ET
  • Modified qualifying – 2:45 p.m. ET
  • Truck Series qualifying – 4:35 p.m. ET
  • Titan Roof 150 for the Whelen Modified Tour – 6 p.m. ET
  • UNOH 200 for the Camping World Truck Series – 8 p.m. ET

Friday, Aug. 23
  • Nationwide Series practice – 9 a.m. ET
  • Sprint Cup Series practice – noon and 2:45 p.m. ET
  • Nationwide Series qualifying – 3:40 p.m. ET
  • Sprint Cup Series qualifying – 5:40 p.m. ET
  • Food City 250 for the Nationwide Series – 7:30 p.m. ET

Saturday, Aug. 24 –
  • Pre-race concert with Hank Williams Jr. – 5:45 p.m. ET
  • IRWIN Tools Night Race for the Sprint Cup Series – 7:30 p.m. ET

Find a full weekend schedule, including driver appearances and special events, here.

Find a list of prohibited items and activities at the track here.

Find lodging information here.

Find information about other attractions in the area here.


Get tickets and more information about this week’s races at http://www.bristolmotorspeedway.com/

Saturday, August 17, 2013

McDriver on the Nationwide pole at Mid-Ohio

Michael McDowell at TMS in 2012
Credit: Debbie Ross/Skirts and Scuffs
Michael McDowell chose to drive in the Nationwide Series race at Mid-Ohio today in hopes of earning a trophy instead of earning points in the Cup series. He's off to a good start with the pole at the Lexington, Ohio road course.

Fresh off his first NNS win, AJ Almendinger starts second, with road-course specialist Owen Kelly third and Kyle Larson fourth.

Jason Bowles qualified the No. 3 for Austin Dillon, who's rushing in from Michigan where he's filling in behind the wheel of the No. 14 for Tony Stewart. Although Bowles earned the 13th spot, Dillon will start from the back of the field.

ESPN's coverage of the Nationwide Children's Hospital 200 starts at 2:30 p.m. ET, with the green flag flying 2:50 p.m.

Here's your lineup:

  1. Michael McDowell
  2. AJ Allmendinger
  3. Owen Kelly
  4. Kyle Larson
  5. Nelson Piquet, Jr.
  6. Regan Smith
  7. Brian Vickers
  8. Sam Hornish, Jr.
  9. Parker Kligerman
10. Max Papis
11. Ron Fellows
12. Brian Scott
13. Austin Dillon
14. Elliott Sadler
15. Justin Allgaier
16. Andrew Ranger
17. Alex Bowman
18. Travis Pastrana
19. Ryan Truex
20. Chris Buescher
21. Michael Annett
22. Alex Kennedy
23. Jeremy Clements
24. Jeff Green
25. Stanton Barrett
26. Reed Sorenson
27. Kyle Kelley
28. Chad Hackenbracht
29. Kenny Habul
30. Mike Bliss
31. Alx Danielsson
32. Mike Wallace
33. Ryan Ellis
34. Anthony Gandon
35. Chase Miller
36. Kevin O'Connell
37. Jeffrey Earnhardt
38.  Blake Koch
39. T.J. Bell
40. Tomy Drissi
41 Kevin Lepage
42. Dexter Stacey
43.Tim Cowen