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
CAREER NEARING END?
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
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.
ON THE TRACK:
The buzz from practice and qualifying is speed. Finally the Ford drivers are right in the mix of competition with
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
|2||78||Kurt Busch||Chevrolet||Furniture Row/Sealy||201.8790|
|3||5||Kasey Kahne||Chevrolet||Farmers Insurance||201.2130|
|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|
|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|
|19||16||Greg Biffle||Ford||3M/Give Kids a Smile||199.3800|
|20||51||Bobby Labonte||Chevrolet||Phoenix Construction Services||199.3580|
|22||55||Mark Martin||Toyota||Aaron's Dream Machine||199.2140|
|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|
|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|
|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|
|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|
|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|
|DID NOT QUALIFY|
|44-DNQ||44||Scott Riggs||(unsponsored)||No Label||184.3930|
Saturday, June 8, 2013
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.
|6||88||Dale Earnhardt Jr.||Chevrolet||6||13|
|15||56||Martin Truex Jr.||Toyota||15||13|
|16||17||Ricky Stenhouse Jr. #||Ford||16||13|
|25||42||Juan Pablo Montoya||Chevrolet||25||13|
|30||10||Danica Patrick #||Chevrolet||30||13|
|38||32||Timmy Hill #||Ford||38||13|