Friday, April 1, 2016

I'm BACK!!!

Hi everyone,

I've not been keeping up this blog for some time. I was invited to join Facebook by a friend of mine, and most of my recreational computing time has gone to that pursuit; however, I need to take my soap box back because there are some things going on today that warrant further discussion; namely, the upcoming Presidential election and the remaining primaries are terrifying. We have four candidates between the two parties running who are absolute nightmares and could impact our society in incomprehensibly bad ways. The fifth candidate, John Kasich, actually is a pretty good fellow. He served well in congress and has had a huge impact in Ohio, a very tough state to govern. However, he's boring and comes across as though he's lecturing us. The American voter in the new millennium doesn't like that.  That he is a pragmatic politician who actually believes in fixing things and cutting the cost of government for the sake of the overburdened tax pay is a good thing exactly what we need someone to do with the Federal government.  Trump, Clinton, and Sanders would all grow the government out of sight.

Stay tuned. I don't know how often I will post here, but there's stuff that needs to be said. Let's get the discussion going. Hopefully we can influence our friends and family to take a more rational approach than what these sleaze bags running for President and the news media will offer us.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Sprint Cup 2014: Race 15 -- Michigan: Who Will Be the Big Papa in the Shadow of the Motor City?

Bobby Labonte will not start in the #47. The 2000 series champion for Joe Gibbs racing, with 705 career starts, one less than Rusty Wallace, and 21 victories, 32nd on the all-time wins list has been all but invisible the last few seasons unless captured in one of the “big ones” where multiple cars get wiped out. He will continue racing having been enlisted to race in James Finch’s #51 Chevies, Finch speaking openly of closing down his shop perhaps after the Brickyard 400 in Indianapolis late next month. Labonte has only two finishes in the top 20 in 2014, 15th in the Daytona 500 and 19th in Richmond.

Once one of the top drivers in the sport since 2004 when he won no races, Labonte’s career has been in a long downward spiral. He left Joe Gibbs racing in 2005 to energize Richard Petty’s enterprise at a t the King’s operation was in financial ruin. In 2006, Labonte scored 3 top 5’s and 8 top 10’s. Since that season, Labonte has only two top 5’s total, one in 2009 and another in 2011. Since 2007 with three top 10’s, he has typically only managed two top 10’s a season but none in 2010. Leaving Petty after 2007, Labonte has been little more than a journeyman driver, barely a cut above “start and park” entries, a convenience for underfunded teams whose available past champion provisional’s could assume him a starting spot.

Bobby Labonte was part of a crew of exciting drivers who moved from the then Busch series to Cup racing in the early 90’s along with Jeff Gordon, Jeff and Ward Burton, and Joe Nemechek, a crew of drivers to form the generation to succeed the likes of Bill Elliot, Dale Earnhardt, Darrell Waltrip, Rusty Wallace, and Mark Martin. Ward Burton is gone. Nemechek is racing a little more this year in a very marginal capacity having been one of the originators of the shameful “start and park” fraud. Jeff Burton has struggled working with a premium team with Richard Childress but where he will be next year is uncertain. Even four time champ, Jeff Gordon, struggles to find himself positioned to win having struggled for two seasons.

It’s hard to imagine a resurgence for Bobby Labonte but surely he might be able to hang around for a paycheck for the foreseeable future with his champion provisional cache, clearly JTG Daugherty working with Michael Waltrip equipment is anxious to find the winning formula and is turning to A.J. Allmendinger for at least the next few races to see if they can find the right combinations.

The buzz from practice and qualifying is speed. Finally the Ford drivers are right in the mix of competition with Toyota perhaps taking a bit of a fall back. Certainly Jack Roush, a Michigan fellow, must feel some relief to see Carl Edwards in the 99 Ford on the pole (and second in the points) but this has been a very difficult season for Ford so far.

Meanwhile, much attention will focus on Dale Earnhardt Jr. who won last year’s race and enjoyed his last two races in the Wolverine State.

1 99 Carl Edwards Ford  Fastenal  202.4520
2 78 Kurt Busch Chevrolet Furniture Row/Sealy  201.8790
3 5 Kasey Kahne Chevrolet Farmers Insurance  201.2130
4 27 Paul Menard Chevrolet Menards/CertainTeed  200.8030
5 43 Aric Almirola Ford  Eckrich  200.7640
6 22 Joey Logano Ford  Shell Pennzoil  200.7250
7 33 Austin Dillon(i) Chevrolet American Ethanol  200.6300
8 20 Matt Kenseth Toyota Home Depot Husky  200.5680
9 18 Kyle Busch Toyota M&M's  200.4570
10 42 Juan Pablo Montoya Chevrolet Target  200.4450
11 11 Denny Hamlin Toyota FedEx Express  200.4060
12 88 Dale Earnhardt Jr. Chevrolet National Guard/Man of Steel  200.1000
13 56 Martin Truex Jr. Toyota NAPA Auto Parts  200.0500
14 14 Tony Stewart Chevrolet Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1  199.7890
15 17 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. # Ford  Zest  199.7610
16 2 Brad Keselowski Ford  Miller Lite  199.7500
17 48 Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet Lowe's  199.6890
18 31 Jeff Burton Chevrolet Caterpillar  199.6560
19 16 Greg Biffle Ford  3M/Give Kids a Smile  199.3800
20 51 Bobby Labonte Chevrolet Phoenix Construction Services  199.3580
21 29 Kevin Harvick Chevrolet Budweiser  199.2310
22 55 Mark Martin Toyota Aaron's Dream Machine  199.2140
23 9 Marcos Ambrose Ford  Stanley  198.6920
24 13 Casey Mears Ford  GEICO  198.5930
25 21 Trevor Bayne(i) Ford  Motorcraft/Quick Lane Tire & Auto Center  198.4290
26 38 David Gilliland Ford  Long John Silver's  198.3640
27 15 Clint Bowyer Toyota 5-hour Energy  198.2920
28 1 Jamie McMurray Chevrolet McDonald's  198.0800
29 24 Jeff Gordon Chevrolet Drive to End Hunger  197.9220
30 98 Michael McDowell Ford  Phil Parsons Racing  197.2170
31 34 David Ragan Ford  Taco Bell  196.8130
32 47 AJ Allmendinger Toyota Charter  196.7910
33 83 David Reutimann Toyota Burger King/Dr.Pepper  196.2760
34 30 David Stremme Toyota Widow Wax  196.2660
35 39 Ryan Newman Chevrolet Quicken Loans  195.7370
36 7 Dave Blaney Chevrolet SANY  195.5140
37 10 Danica Patrick # Chevrolet GoDaddy  194.9000
38 35 Josh Wise(i) Ford  MDS Transport  193.9080
39 32 Ken Schrader Ford  Federated Auto Parts  193.0920
40 36 JJ Yeley Chevrolet (unsponsored) 192.9620
41 93 Travis Kvapil Toyota Burger King/Dr.Pepper  192.8330
42 87 Joe Nemechek(i) Toyota Belle Tire  191.9900
43 19 Mike Bliss(i) Toyota Plinker Tactical  187.1490
44-DNQ 44 Scott Riggs (unsponsored) No Label  184.3930

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Sprint Cup 2013: Race 14: Party in the Poconos 400

Friday practice and qualifying was rained out for Sunday's action at Pocono Raceway as the Sprint Cup Season goes through a transition from Fox to TNT covering the next six weeks -- meaning no more "boogity-boogity" and the personality driven Fox coverage to TNT's more reserved coverage which in recent years, thanks to a no nonsense professional aproach has served them well. The network announced its coverage package on NASCAR.COM:

Much will be decided before the real hot push to the Chase deadline jumps into high gear with the Brickyard 400. The one real certainty for this year is the dominance of (surprise?) Jimmie Johnson and the #48 Lowes Chevrolet team with Chad Knaus leading the crew. Despite Ford's miserable overall performance, consistency and avoiding trouble paired with one early victory in Phoenix, Carl Edwards is in 2nd place. He's followed by perhaps another slight surprise in Clint Bowyer before the season's most visibly dominant driver, Matt Kenseth checks in 4th place burdened by engine failure at last week's Dover race. As red hot as the Joe Gibbs cars have been, the ticking time bombs of possible engine failure always hovers over their possible successes. 

Last year's champ, Brad Keselowski, is currently struggling to maintain 10th position in the standings dogged by two infraction episodes which have cost points and disrupted leadership. Ford entries seem to be just a little short on power so far this year. Perhaps that big stylish simulated grill is a wedge in the wind, but the entire Ford operation needs to turn up the performance in all facets to be possible championship contenders come September. 

The summer season is here for NASCAR. Will it be smokin' hot?  Last week's win by Tony Stewart was the first true highlight for Stewart-Haas since Danica Patrick burst upon the field securing the Daytona 500 pole.

Pos. Car# Driver Manu Owners Race
Points Attempts
1 48 Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet 1 13
2 99 Carl Edwards Ford 2 13
3 15 Clint Bowyer Toyota 3 13
4 20 Matt Kenseth Toyota 4 13
5 29 Kevin Harvick Chevrolet 5 13
6 88 Dale Earnhardt Jr. Chevrolet 6 13
7 5 Kasey Kahne Chevrolet 7 13
8 18 Kyle Busch Toyota 8 13
9 27 Paul Menard Chevrolet 9 13
10 2 Brad Keselowski Ford 10 13
11 24 Jeff Gordon Chevrolet 11 13
12 43 Aric Almirola Ford 12 13
13 16 Greg Biffle Ford 13 13
14 55 Mark Martin Toyota 14 13
15 56 Martin Truex Jr. Toyota 15 13
16 17 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. # Ford 16 13
17 11 Denny Hamlin Toyota 17 13
18 51 AJ Allmendinger Chevrolet 18 13
19 14 Tony Stewart Chevrolet 19 13
20 78 Kurt Busch Chevrolet 20 13
21 22 Joey Logano Ford 21 13
22 1 Jamie McMurray Chevrolet 22 13
23 39 Ryan Newman Chevrolet 23 13
24 31 Jeff Burton Chevrolet 24 13
25 42 Juan Pablo Montoya Chevrolet 25 13
26 9 Marcos Ambrose Ford 26 13
27 13 Casey Mears Ford 27 13
28 34 David Ragan Ford 28 13
29 47 Bobby Labonte Toyota 29 13
30 10 Danica Patrick # Chevrolet 30 13
31 38 David Gilliland Ford 31 13
32 7 Dave Blaney Chevrolet 32 13
33 30 David Stremme Toyota 33 13
34 83 David Reutimann Toyota 34 13
35 36 JJ Yeley Chevrolet 35 13
36 35 Josh Wise(i) Ford 36 13
37 33 Landon Cassill(i) Chevrolet 37 13
38 32 Timmy Hill # Ford 38 13
39 93 Travis Kvapil Toyota 39 13
40 87 Joe Nemechek(i) Toyota 40 13
41 98 Michael McDowell Ford 42 12
42 19 Jason Leffler Toyota 44 12
43 44 Scott Riggs Ford 46 6