The New? Bristol Did Not Disappoint

Denny Hamlin

(WOMR file photo)

Saturday night all of Bruton Smith’s hoopla over ‘re-configuring’ the world’s fastest half mile, better known as “thunder valley”, or Bristol Motor Speedway, came full circle.  After two distinctively different races, the Camping World Truck Series, where Timothy Peters thoroughly dominated the race from green flag to checkered, and Nationwide Series, where there were different leaders and great side-by-side racing, the definitive  answer was to unfold Saturday night when the Sprint Cup drivers took to the race track.

After Bruton Smith decided to grind down the top 8-10 feet of the outside groove, decreasing the bank angle from 30 degrees to a max of 28 degrees, in order to force a one groove race track, precipitating more beating, banging, and ultimately wrecks, Smith failed miserably!

What ultimately occurred  after the first 1/4 of the race was that the race groove moved up off the inside line, and still allowed side-by-side racing.  In fact the fastest racing groove eventually moved up right next to the outside retaining wall!

The Sprint cup race, Saturday night, was a very exciting, side-by-side, 500 lap race.  Unlike some of the race fans, who have expressed their displeasure with a race at Bristol that resembles a race, rather than a destruction derby, I found the Cup race to be a fantastic racing show!  Much like the last few races since Bruton Smith’s SMI reconfigured the track to a progressively banked race track.

Nevertheless, SMI decided that they would grind down the top 8-10 feet of the track to reduce the banking, and force a one groove race track.  By reducing the racetrack to a one groove surface, the prevailing thought was that it would produce more rooting, gouging, rubbing, banging, and wrecking.  Surprise, it did not turn the show into a destruction derby.  Oh contraire my friend, there was quite a bit of fantastic, door-handle-to-door-handle style racing Saturday night!  And yes, it was Bristol, and Bristol did produce some traditional Bristol style wrecks, bruised egos, and many lost tempers.

In the end it was Denny Hamlin who took the gold home!  It was his third win of the 2012 season, thus putting him into the driver’s seat, and tying him with Tony Stewart, Blazingly Bad Brad Keselowski, and Jimmie Johnson, for most wins of the Chase drivers.

With just two races left in “the regular season” it is time for those drivers with Chase aspirations to “let the big dog eat”, and make their move to the front!

The clock is ticking!

Check out the unofficial results of the Irwin Tools 500.

Check out the current Sprint Cup standings.


Biffle Takes The Pure Michigan 400

Greg Biffle

(WOMR file photo)

In what started out to be a Michael Waltrip Racing domination by Mark Martin in the first quarter of the race, and later a sure win by Jimmie Johnson, turned out to be a win by Greg Biffle in the Pure Michigan 40 at MIS.

This was the second win of the season for Biffle, and thus, allowed him to re-take the Sprint Cup series point lead.

The scariest moment of the race occurred early in the race on lap 65.   That event involved Michael Waltrip Racing’s Mark Martin. Martin, who led 54 laps up to that point, got caught behind a spinning Bobby Labonte. When Martin slowed, he was hit from behind and sent careening uncontrollably  into the infield near pit in. His car got sideways and just as it did, it slammed the end of a pit wall.

The wall deeply penetrated the car just behind the Martin’s driver’s seat, detaching part of the rear clip from the body of the car.  Had the end of the pit wall entered the car about 12-14 inches forward of its present impact area, it would have encroached into the cockpit, possibly causing grave injuries to Martin.

The culminating, and decisive, event happened with 10 laps to go, Johnson went low, moved even and then cleared Keselowski for the lead. Quickly following Johnson past Keselowski was Biffle.  However, by the time Biffle made that pass on Keselowski, Johnson had built a sizable lead on the rest of the field.

But just four laps later, with just six lap to go in the race, the tides turned on the apparent sure winner, Jimmie Johnson.  As Johnson came whizzing by the start/finish line, his engine began spewing pieces and parts, and a plume of smoke poured out of the exhaust pipes.  Mr. Five-Time’s engine had give up the ghost, and was done for the day!

The blown Johnson engine brought out a final caution. On the restart, Biffle and Keselowski started side by side on the front row. Biffle held the lead into Turn 1 and over the next two laps, Keselowski was unable to take it away.

Biffle will head to Bristol for the next race with a 20-point lead over second-place Matt Kenseth, his Roush Fenway teammate.

Check out the unofficial results of the Pure Michigan 400.

View the Sprint Cup series standings after the Pure Michigan 400.

Next week the series moves to The Colosseum of Crash, Bristol Motor Speedway!



Allmendinger’s Defense Is Highly Questionable?

Sam Hornish,Jr.

(WOMR file photo)

 This just in from an article on

It is highly unlikely that AJ Allmendinger‘s positive test for amphetamines resulted from a single pill taken one time, as the suspended Sprint Cup driver recently stated, a source close to the situation told

It also is highly unlikely that Allmendinger will complete NASCAR’s Road to Recovery program, necessary for reinstatement, by the end of August, as the driver stated, the source said.

“That’s not going to happen,” the source said.

Allmendinger, who drove the No. 22 Penske Racing Dodge in Sprint Cup, was suspended indefinitely by NASCAR on July 24. He likely will need a lengthier recovery period, according to the source.

The driver said last week that the positive test resulted from prescription Adderall that he was given by the friend of a friend two days before he was randomly tested at Kentucky Speedway on June 29. Adderall is administered medically to control symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

However, the source told that Allmendinger’s one-pill defense is not consistent with the test results.

Adderall can remain in a person’s system for up to 72 hours, but the source said that in Allmendinger’s case it was “very unlikely that one-pill usage one time would be detected after 24 hours.”

Adderall does contain compounds of amphetamines, but so do other prescription and illegal drugs.

“They’re all going to be on their banned list,” said Dr. Don Catlin, co-founder and president of Anti-Doping Research & Support Clean Sport and founder and the former director of the UCLA Olympic Analytical Lab.

Catlin said that without knowing the dosage of the pill and the level of sensitivity in the laboratory testing he could not make an educated statement on whether one Adderall pill taken one time could produce a positive result. In general, Catlin said, Adderall would show in one’s urine for a couple of days.

NASCAR officials have said they are unaware of the specific substance that Allmendinger ingested, other than it was an amphetamine. NASCAR has declined to comment beyond that.

NASCAR denied’s request to interview Dr. David Black, who heads the Nashville-based Aegis Sciences Corp. that runs the drug-testing program for the sport, regarding Allmendinger’s claims.

“We don’t feel it’s appropriate nor necessary at this time for NASCAR to discuss AJ Allmendinger’s situation while he’s undergoing the Road to Recovery program,” NASCAR spokesman David Higdon said. “NASCAR’s involvement remains as a facilitator between the program and AJ to provide him the necessary means to be considered for reinstatement.”

Allmendinger, according to the source, also did not reveal to the medical review officer during standard questioning given before the random test that he took anything given to him by another person that possibly could register a positive test.

Such questions are common in other sports, with the Olympics’ guidelines setting the standard.

“That should be the place where they disclose that on the intake form,” Catlin said. “It’s an opportunity for an athlete to say what they are doing and an opportunity to declare if they have a therapeutic use or exemption.”

Allmendinger originally speculated while awaiting test results of the “B” sample split from his original sample that the positive test was triggered by a supplement or over-the-counter drug he might be taken.

Black, reached by last month, said this was unlikely.

“Certainly, if that had been a possibility (it) would have been ruled out before any action was taken,” Black said. “On every positive test we have, we look to rule out the possibility of a supplement being involved.

“I’m not aware of any commercial products that would have influenced the test outcome.”

Allmendinger’s reference to a prescription pill for Adderall wasn’t mentioned until more than a month after he first was suspended.

Based on his experience with Olympic athletes, Catlin said it’s not uncommon that they concoct stories to get a reduction in penalty for testing positive. The penalty for a positive test in the Olympics generally is a two-year ban from competition.

Catlin added it is Olympic policy to name the specific drug that was discovered in a test to avoid gray areas, such as the one in Allmendinger’s situation.

“They just believe it’s better to explain the program and facts and put out a lot of information than it is to put out information that can be read in a different way,” Catlin said. “I certainly support that. It’s a program I developed for them.”

In most sports, amphetamines are considered a performance-enhancing drug because they increase aggression, confidence, alertness and concentration. Adderall is used by many who have been diagnosed with ADHD to help them concentrate on tasks. Others, according to a 2011 report in USA Today’s college section, use the drug to get high.

Allmendinger said he does not use Adderall as a therapy for ADHD.

Dr. Charles Yesalis, emeritus professor at Penn State and an expert on performance-enhancing drugs in sports, said Adderall and other amphetamine-based products definitely would enhance a race car driver’s performance.

“You’re talking about a sport where a tenth of a second a lap difference is a big deal,” he said. “It blows my mind the [drivers] that hit their mark every time. It’s a no-brainer everybody would concede that in NASCAR concentration is unbelievably critical.”

Because there hasn’t been a specific case study on whether amphetamines might enhance a driver’s performance, Catlin said advantages from the drug are purely speculative.

“I suppose if the drivers are looking to stay hyper-alert, that’ll do it,” Catlin said of the taking of amphetamines.

Yesalis said there is cause for skepticism when an athlete says he took a pill without fully knowing its contents.

“There’s a lot of people that do it, but very few that are subject to drug testing,” he said. “If you are a drug-tested athlete, you should be darn paranoid about it.”

In his interview last week with, Allmendinger insisted he simply used “bad judgment.”

“Unfortunately, I hadn’t been sleeping very well all year, just putting all the pressure I did on myself,” he said. “It was just bad judgment. People are going to write it was stupid on my part, and I agree with them.” (

It would appear that A.J.’s future in NASCAR is very bleak.  His defense and/or reasoning regarding this drug test failure just doesn’t seem to hold water, according to some experts.  I would think that presently he would be a very tough sell to prospective sponsors in NASCAR.   However, Michael Shank Racing has already offered “The Dinger” a job as soon as he completes the NASCAR ROAD TO RECOVERY program.  Likewise, it appears that there may be a few IndyCar teams may be interested in Allmendinger’s services.

What are your thoughts?


Ambrose Manhandles “Blazing Bad” Brad!

Marcos Ambrose

(WOMR file photo)

What an exciting end to the road race Sunday in The Finger Lakes 355!

Marcos Ambrose passed Brad Keselowski for the lead with just two turns  to go, held Keselowski off through those final two corners, and went on to win Sunday’s Sprint Cup Series race at an oil-bathed Watkins Glen International road course.

With one lap to go, Kyle Busch had the lead, and appeared to be headed for the victory on the final lap, but lost grip in oil that had been laid down on the track by Bobby Labonte. When he recovered, he was still in front but with Keselowski right behind.

Keselowski moved in, bumped Busch sideways from behind and took the lead.

While Kyle and Keselowski were battling, Ambrose moved in on Keselowski over the final turns, bumped Keselowski out of the way and made the winning pass.

“I was the first one to slip in the oil and it was just getting worse and worse,” Ambrose said. “You could tell the car was staying out there because the oil was moving around the race track and you just take your chances. You’ve got to commit at that point in the race and it was great racing with Kyle and Brad. They’re the two best guys to race. It’s just awesome fun and that’s the way racing should be and we got the No. 9 Stanley Ford in Victory Lane.”

After the race, few drivers shared Ambrose’s assessment that racing on oil was fun. They took aim at NASCAR’s failure to throw a caution because of the oil which was on the track.

Among them were Jeff Gordon and Earnhardt, both of whom lost big points because their cars spun out in the oil.

“To work that hard all day long, come all the way from way back all the way up into the top 10 and have it taken away because they don’t want to throw a caution it’s pretty disappointing,” Gordon said. “I jumped out there to the outside of Kenseth and I think he could see the oil because he just gave it to me. I went out there and there was just no grip just completely came around.

“I went to the outside and hit it (oil on the track) and just spun right out. I’m just really disappointed because we fought hard today to come back to get what was going to be a pretty nice finish. The thing is, I’m just disappointed at how hard we had to fight for the position. The points are going to be what the points are going to be. We can’t control what other people do. We can only control what we do. And today, we took back control when we got off, and we were coming. It’s just unfortunate that it gets taken away from you because NASCAR doesn’t want to end the race under yellow.”

“Those last two laps were just out of control with the oil down,” Johnson, Gordon’s Hendrick Motorsports teammate, said. “You are studying the road trying to see if you can see an oil trail and there really wasn’t a large visible one to dodge. But you could feel the oil on your tires and slipping and sliding and then guys are spinning all over. It was chaos, but I’m glad we got back to the finish line, finished third.”

 All in all, oil down or not, the last three laps of racing from The Glen was extremely exciting, and very entertaining!
Check out the unofficial results of The Finger Lakes 355.
Check out the Sprint Cup standings after The Finger Lakes 355.
Next week NASCAR rolls into the Michigan International Speedway for the final time in 2012.

Donny Schatz Dominates the Knoxville Nat’ls, Once Again!



(WOMR file photo)

Stop me if you have heard this one before, Donny Schatz won the Knoxville Nationals Saturday night.  Schatz has now won this, the biggest payday in the sprint car world, $150,000.00, six out of the last seven years! That is a total purse for that time frame of $900,000.00!  You might have heard of Schatz’s car owner, Tony Stewart, yes, that Tony Stewart!

Asked if the sixth time felt as good as the first time, Schatz exhaustingly replied, “I think it was the hardest one to win.” Pausing for a moment, the six time Nationals Champion continued, “Man I burned the tires off of it. I just couldn’t get myself feeling very good and I knew someone would be coming those last few laps. It was everything I could do to keep it going forward. Last night was a lot of fun, tonight was a lot harder but it feels great.”

Rolling off fifth, Schatz would jump to third on the start as Stevie Smith took off into the lead with Jonathan Allard setting into the runner up spot.

Working the high line of the Knoxville Raceway, the top three began to motor away as the battle on the track shaped up for seventh as Kraig Kinser began to work on Joey Saldana. Holding the spot on the high side, Kinser would finally make the move a few laps later.

Back to the front of the field, Schatz would begin to make his march to the front. Taking the runner up spot off the bottom of turn four on lap six, the STP No. 15 would drop Jonathan Allard to third quickly followed by the Big Game Tree Stands No. 7 of Craig Dollansky who made the pass for the show position on lap eight.

Working into slower traffic at the tenth round, Stevie Smith would begin to feel the pressure form Schatz. Pulling even with Smith on the low line with thirty-nine laps to go, the “Black Bandit” would hold on to the top spot. With slower traffic looming, Schatz would seize his opportunity the following lap, pulling off the slide job on Smith exiting turn four.

Less than five laps from the mid-way pit stop, Dollansky would continue to march his way back to the front of the field. Falling back to fourth after starting outside the front row, “The Crowd Pleaser” would utilize the slide job to take the runner up spot.

Working into the mix after spending much of the first half riding fifth, Brian Brown would begin making strides with the pass for third on Stevie Smith just three laps prior to the mid race break.

Racing amongst the back markers, the caution would finally wave as the midway break gave crews 5 min. to make any changes necessary.

Back to green, Donny Schatz would quickly stretch his lead to over 2.5 seconds. Moving into the final twenty laps, Schatz would lead with Dollansky, Brown, and Meyers with Smith making up the top five.

With the tail of the field approaching, the caution would bring clean track to the leaders as the No. 1k of Kyle Larsonstopped with a flat on lap thirty-four. Larson would rejoin the race despite not changing a broken right rear shock.

Back on the hammer, Craig Dollansky would make a bid for the lead. Diving to the berm, Dollansky’s run would stall leaving the door wide open for Brian Brown. Taking a huge run to the bottom groove entering turn three, the Casey’s General Store No.21 would exit turn four with the runner up spot and only thirteen laps to run.

Slashing his disadvantage from 1.5 seconds to only sixth-tenths the Grain Valley, Missouri driver would bring the fans to their feet; pulling to the back bumper of the TSR No. 15 with only ten laps on the scoreboard.

Slipping up slightly in turn two, Brown would see his disadvantage jump back to over 1.5 seconds as both drivers neither lost nor gain on lap nine with Schatz and Brown both slamming the cushion on the exit of turn two.

Back on the heels of traffic with seven laps to run, Donny Schatz would have his hands full with Brian Brown again closing in. Working top to bottom on the Knoxville Raceway, the FVP No. 21 was back in the hunt as the leaders raced to five to go.

Held up by Cody Darrah with three laps remaining, Schatz would be forced out of the groove causing the four time World of Outlaws Championship to fry the tires; allowing Brown to close within two car lengths as the green flag waved to signify the final two laps.

Jumping the cushion, the chance at victory looked to be gone for Brown as Donny Schatz raced under the white flag but as Brown exited turn two for the final time the run was on for the race lead. Into the final two turns, Brown shot high as Schatz dove low. Reeling in Schatz, Brown would dive off the top for the pass at the line but as the checkered flag flew it was Donny Schatz taking his sixth Goodyear Knoxville Nationals Championship by 0.117 seconds.

Taking his best finish at the Knoxville Nationals, Brian Brown crossed second with Craig Dollansky holding on the round out the podium.

Charging into the top five on lap twenty-three, Kraig Kinser would climb from ninth to fourth with Jason Meyers settling for fifth. Shane Stewart would mount another impressive Knoxville charge coming from thirteenth to sixth with Stevie Smithcrossing the line seventh. Lance Dewease was eighth followed by Tim Kaeding with Davey Heskin, who raced into the show from the B-Main, charging from twenty-second to round out the top ten.

Knoxville locals Mark Dobmeier and Heskin were the local stars of the B main event, taking first and second. A hard battle was fought between third place, Brian Paulus, fourth place and final transfer, Jason Sides, and Sammy Swindellwho missed the main event. Swindell and Steve Kinser, who finished tenth in the B main failed to make the championship event. It was the first time without either in the event since 1975. Kinser had qualified for 34 straight.

Jac Haudenschild won the C main, Tyler Walker took the D main and Bill Rose claimed the E main. Dusty Zomer took a hard ride in the B main before a lap could be completed. He was uninjured. Kyle Larson, who finished 16th in the main event, was named Rookie of the Nationals. Sam Hafertepe Jr. and Rudeen Racing won “Best Appearing Car”, while Bryan Sebetto’s crew was named “Best Dressed”.

52nd Annual Goodyear Knoxville Nationals Results

E main (started), 10 laps, 2:38.6: 1. 6, Bill Rose, Plainfield, IL (2); 2. 2L, Ed Lynch Jr., Apollo, PA (3); 3. 7c, Critter Malone, Speedway, IN (4); 4. 7TAZ, Tasker Phillips, Pleasantville, IA (7); 5. 66, Geoff Dodge, Colorado Springs, CO (9); / 6. 10, Sheldon Haudenschild, Wooster, OH (8); 7. 74x, Josh Hodges, Tijeras, NM (6); 8. 20PK, Ron Krysl, Atkinson, NE (1); 9. 13v, Seth Brahmer, Wisner, NE (5) DNS – 2s, Lee Sowell, Nesbit, MS, 13v, Seth Brahmer, Wisner, NE, 81,Austin Johnson, Shakopee, MN, 02, Mike Reinke, Howards Grove, WI, 45x, Johnny Herrera, Albuquerque, NM

D main (started), 12 laps, NT: 1. 35, Tyler Walker, Hermosa Beach, CA (2); 2. 1s, Logan Schuchart, Hanover, PA (3); 3. 8, Casey Mack, East Grand Forks, MN (1); 4. 17A, Austin McCarl, Altoona, IA (4); / 5. 6x, Kaley Gharst, Decatur, IL (8); 6. 2x, Dustin Morgan, Owasso, OK (5); 7. 4D, Danny Smith, Chillicothe, OH (7); 8. 88, Jarrod Schneiderman, West Burlington, IA (6); 9. 47AU, Trevor Reynolds, Perth, WA, Aust. (11); 10. Geoff Dodge (22); 11. 2K, Kevin Ingle, Huron, SD (10); 12. 40, Caleb Helms, Findlay, OH (14); 13. Ed Lynch Jr. (21); 14. 1T, Chris Shirek, Thompson, ND (12); 15. 75,Glen Saville, Razorback, NSW, Aust. (15); 16. Bill Rose (18); 17. 20, AJ Moeller, Rockwell City, IA (9); 18. 71B, Robert Bell, Colfax, IA (13); 19. Tasker Phillips (23); 20. Critter Malone (20); 21. 1m, Jim Moughan Jr., Springfield, IL (19); 22. 24H, Bryan Sebetto, Fremont, OH (16); 23. 71AU, Domain Ramsay, Geelong, VIC, Aust. (17); DNS – 12P, TJ Peterson, Des Moines, IA, 51, Fred Rahmer, Salfordville, PA

C main (started), 15 laps, NT: 1. 59, Jac Haudenschild, Wooster, OH (4); 2. 1z, Danny Lasoski, Dover, MO (1); 3. 49,Brad Sweet, Grass Valley, CA (9); 4. 55xm, James McFadden, Brisbane, QLD, Aust. (6); / 5. 35AU, Jamie Veal, Warrnambool, VIC, Aust. (2); 6. 53D, Jack Dover, Springfield, NE (11); 7. 54, Cap Henry, Bellevue, OH (3); 8. 1x,Randy Hannagan, Pittsboro, IN (15); 9. W20, Greg Wilson, Benton Ridge, OH (5); 10. 7K, Jeff Swindell, Bartlett, TN (8); 11. Tyler Walker (19); 12. 47, Don Droud Jr., Lincoln, NE (18); 13. Logan Schuchart (22); 14. 49J, Josh Schneiderman, West Burlington, IA (20); 15. 18, Tony Bruce Jr., Owasso, OK (12); 16. 55x, Trey Starks, Puyallup, WA (17); 17. 12,Lynton Jeffrey, Prairie City, IA (16); 18. Austin McCarl (23); 19. Casey Mack (21); 20. 26, Sam Hafertepe Jr., Sunnyvale, TX (7); 21. 17M, Joey Moughan, Springfield, NE (10); 22. 99, Brady Bacon, Broken Arrow, OK (13); 23. 6R, Ryan Bunton, Morton, IL (14); DNS – 9P, Rager Phillips, Pleasantville, IA

B main (started), 22 laps, 6:26.8: 1. 13, Mark Dobmeier, Grand Forks, ND (2); 2. 56, Davey Heskin, St. Michael, MN (1); 3. 28, Brian Paulus, Mooresville, IN (4); 4. 7s, Jason Sides, Bartlett, TN (10); / 5. 1, Sammy Swindell, Germantown, TN (6); 6. 83, Tim Shaffer, Aliquippa, PA (7); 7. 41, Jason Johnson, Eunice, LA (5); 8. 71, Kevin Swindell, Germantown, TN (18); 9. 29, Kerry Madsen, St. Mary’s, NSW, Aust. (11); 10. 11, Steve Kinser, Bloomington, IN (15); 11. 96, Bronson Maeschen, Pleasantville, IA (17); 12. 98, Brooke Tatnell, Sans Souci, NSW, Aust. (8); 13. 63, Chad Kemenah, Findlay, OH (12); 14. 24, Terry McCarl, Altoona, IA (13); 15. 77x, Wayne Johnson, Knoxville, IA (19); 16. James McFadden (24); 17. Danny Lasoski (22); 18. 23w, Scott Winters, Butterfield, MN (20); 19. D4, Danny Holtgraver, Pittsburgh, PA (16); 20. 39, Greg Hodnett, Thomasville, PA (3); 21. Brad Sweet (23); 22. 7x, Dustin Selvage, Indianola, IA (9); 23. Jac Haudenschild (21); 24. 91, Dusty Zomer, Sioux Falls, SD (14);

52nd Annual Knoxville Nationals Championship (started), 50 laps, NT: 1. 15, Donny Schatz, Fargo, ND (5); 2. 21, Brian Brown, Grain Valley, MO (4); 3. 7, Craig Dollansky, Elk River, MN (2); 4. 11K, Kraig Kinser, Bloomington, IN (9); 5. 21m,Jason Meyers, Clovis, CA (7); 6. 57, Shane Stewart, Bixby, OK (13); 7. 19, Stevie Smith, Broken Arrow, OK (1); 8. 30c,Lance Dewease, Fayetteville, PA (15); 9. 83JR, Tim Kaeding, San Jose, CA (8); 10. Davey Heskin (22); 11. 9, Joey Saldana, Bloomington, IN (6); 12. Mark Dobmeier (21); 13. 0, Jonathan Allard, Chico, CA (3); 14. 82, Justin Henderson, Tea, SD (17); 15. 27, Daryn Pittman, Owasso, OK (14); 16. 1K, Kyle Larson, Elk Grove, CA (12); 17. 2, Dale Blaney, Hartford, OH (19); 18. 55, Ian Madsen, St. Mary’s, NSW, Aust. (11); 19. 5w, Lucas Wolfe, Mechanicsburg, PA (10); 20.Jason Sides (24); 21. 4, Cody Darrah, Red Lion, PA (20); 22. 89G, David Gravel, Watertown, CT (18); 23. 13x, Paul McMahan, Nashville, TN (16); 24. Brian Paulus (23). Lap Leaders: S. Smith 1-13, Schatz 14-50. Hard-charger: Heskin. (

If you want to see the best sprint car racing in the nation, then you owe it to yourself to head  back to Knoxville, Iowa, in the second week in August for this event.  I have had the pleasure of seeing The Knoxville Nationals six times in the last ten years, I will attest to the fact that this event is the premiere sprint car racing event each and every year!

The event is limited to 120 cars, and they get that car count every single year.  It is the best of the best sprint car racers in the nation that make up this event!

With Schatz’s latest Knoxville Nationals victory, he is well on his way to getting his “gold on the ceiling”!



Edwards Lights ‘Em Up At The Zippo 200

Carl Edwards

(WOMR file photo)

Carl Edwards made his first attempt of 2012 in the Nationwide series today at Watkins Glen International.  It appeared that Roush-Fenway Racing, Ford, and Subway put a deal together to try to give Edwards the opportunity to win a Nationwide race, and to give some relief from his ho-hum Sprint Cup performance in 2012.

However, Saturday, Carl Edwards didn’t just show up for the race.  Not even close!  Edwards came to this famed road course to put on a driving clinic.  However, part of that driving clinic encompassed the art of pushing, shoving, and turning Joey Logano around, via a punt midway through the race!

Nevertheless, Carl Edwards passed Brad Keselowski after a restart with 10 laps left in Saturday’s Zippo 200 at Watkins Glen International, held the lead on a restart with two laps to go, and went on to win his first NASCAR Nationwide Series start of the season.

Edwards took the lead from Keselowski on lap 73 of 82, completing a pass to the outside as the cars approached the esses at the 2.45-mile road course. Momentarily Keselowski regained the lead on Lap 76, but lost it again to a really smooth Edwards’ crossover move, as the cars approached Turn 1 to start Lap 77.

That’s when a caution for Austin Dillon’s blown tire slowed the field and set up a restart with two laps left. After a side-by-side battle in Turn 7 on Lap 81, Edwards held off Keselowski to win by 1.130 seconds.

Here is the unofficial results of the Zippo 200 at Watkins Glen.

The Nationwide series race for the championship is getting hotter, and the standings are getting tighter!  So as the Nationwide season begins to wind down, check out the standings after the Zippo 200.

The Nationwide series race for the championship is getting hotter, and the standings are getting tighter!


Watkins Glen: The History



Since NASCAR is making its annual trek to the Finger Lakes region of upstate New York, I thought that I would research the history of this famed road circuit.  I found it to be quite interesting, and decided to share that history with you!

Law student Cameron Argetsinger dreamed of bringing European style competition to the village where he spent his summer vacations. He drew up a challenging course that encompassed asphalt, cement and dirt roads in and around the village of Watkins Glen.

The dream became reality on Oct. 2, 1948. For five years, the top names in American sports car racing visited the small village and huge crowds came out to watch them race.

Competition moved to a temporary course in 1953, and 2.3-mile permanent circuit was built in 1956. The following year, The Glen hosted its first professional race, a NASCAR Grand National stock car event won by Buck Baker over Fireball Roberts.

The circuit itself was expanded in 1971, as the 1970’s brought a wide variety of competition to The Glen, including the Can-Am, Trans-Am, Six Hours, Formula 5000 and CART IndyCar Series. Race winners included many of the top names in international motorsports, including Mark Donohue, Mario Andretti, Jody Scheckter and Bruce McLaren.

Alan Jones’ victory in the 1980 United States Grand Prix at Watkins Glen marked the close of an era. Financial difficulties led to the Watkins Glen date being dropped from the Formula One schedule and as a result, the bankrupt track closed following a CART race in 1981. Over the next two years the track fell into disrepair, hosting only a few non-spectator SCCA weekends.

Corning Enterprises, a newly chartered subsidiary of Corning Glass Works, purchased the track in early 1983 and formed a partnership with International Speedway Corporation, forming Watkins Glen International. The Glen reopened on July 7, 1984, with Al Holbert, Derek Bell and Jim Adams winning the inaugural Camel Continental at the renovated facility. On Aug. 9, 1986, fans witnessed Tim Richmond’s triumph at the return of the Cup Series.

In 1991, Terry Labonte won the first Nationwide Series race at The Glen, beginning an impressive streak of four wins in six years, including three consecutive wins from 1994 through 1996. His three-year win streak ranks him with other Watkins Glen three-time winners: Formula One ace Graham Hill, sports car drivers Al Holbert and Derek Bell and Cup driver Mark Martin.

The 1992 season saw a major reconfiguration of The Glen’s back straightaway. The addition of the Inner Loop increased the length of the long course to 3.4 miles and the short course to 2.45 miles. The new turns enhanced competition while adding quality spectator viewing.

In 1997, International Speedway Corp. became sole owner of the historic road course, exercising a stock option buy-out of Corning Incorporated. The sale completed Corning’s mission of rebuilding the race track while revitalizing the Southern Finger Lakes Region.

So now you know the rest of the story!

Allmendinger And His Spin Doctors

(photo courtesy Christa L. Thomas)

Well, we now know that “The Dinger” has revealed that he tested positive for Adderall! That drug is prescribed for people with ADHA, attention deficit hyperactive disorder.

He does not have ADHD and therefore had no prescription. “The Dinger” explained that he had been out in Louisville, KY, the Wednesday before the Quaker State 400 race at Kentucky Speedway, and was tired. A friend, Allmendinger said, handed him a pill and stated it was a workout supplement that would give him energy.

Allmendinger ingested the pill. Two days later he was randomly-tested at the racetrack, a test he would ultimately fail.


He said neither NASCAR nor its drug testing team from Nashville-based Aegis Labs would inform him of the specific substance in question until after the B Sample was tested July 24, only that he had tested positive for amphetamine.

It was not until he was informed it was Adderall that he traced it back to that night in Kentucky. He said he does not abuse Adderall, rather that he took it just once.

Allmendinger is currently going through NASCAR’s Road to Recovery program, which he said he hopes to complete by the end of August. He said his case is being treated more as a stress-coping methodology than a drug rehabilitation.

Okay, now we know exactly what substance that Allmendinger tested positive for in that, ill-fated, drug test.  However, what we are getting from “The Dinger’s” PR camp, and from A.J., as well, is SPIN, pure and simple!

Now does his PR camp really think that A.J. took a pill that “a friend” gave him to combat fatigue?  Does those same PR people really think that we will buy that it was a one time thing? Also, that it just so happened that this “one time ingestion” of this pill just coincidentally happened before the random test?


These drivers make upwards of 1million plus dollars a year!  These same drivers also know that NASCAR has a random drug test policy in effect.  These same drivers know that, if busted, using anything that is on the NASCAR banned list, will result in an indefinite suspension from NASCAR, termination and loss of your huge paycheck, additionally, a good dose of public humiliation will follow!


Reading all this SPIN from A.J. Allmendinger’s PR camp, Walldinger Inc., reminds me of the lame excuses that kids give to their teachers. Let me see, oh, my dog ate my homework assignment.  UMMM, my brother got my completed assignment, and or I, dropped it in a mud puddle.  Oh yeah,yeah, I turned my assignment in—you (the teacher) must have lost it!


Why is it so hard for people to step up to the plate and admit that they have done something that they shouldn’t have done?  Is it so hard to admit guilt?

If I remember correctly, two weeks ago A.J. put out that he was going to test his motorhome, and all its furnishings to see if that would have caused a positive drug test.  He was professing his innocence at this time.  Now he suddenly remembers taking a pill given to him by his friend (this is assigning blame to the friend) just a couple of days prior to the drug test.



Fortunately for “The Dinger”, Mike Shank Racing, the team that A.J. drive for in winning the 2013 Daytona 24 Hour Rolex race in February, has stated that as soon as A.J. finishes NASCAR’s Road to Recovery, he would put him right into his race cars.  A.J. may have some opportunities left in IndyCar, however, it appears that his NASCAR future is very much in question!

This has been like a cheesey daytime soap opera!


Could Dodge Be Bailing Out Of NASCAR?

Sam Hornish,Jr.

(WOMR file photo)

Today, Tuesday, Dodge is set to make a n announcement regarding its stake in NASCAR. reports that Dodge has set up a press conference to discuss the manufacturer’s 2013 plans, and that it does not include NASCAR!

Monday’s announcement that Penske Racing will use Roush-Yates engines, when they transition to Ford in 2013, was held to allow Dodge time to announce its plans for 2013.  However, weeks turned to months and Team Ford’s patience ran out as Dodge dawdled with its NASCAR plans.

Nevertheless, SRT Motorsports, Dodge’s racing entity, has ramped up its involvement with the Dart in Global RallyCross, and the Viper GTS-R made its first return to the American Le Mans Series since 2000 last weekend at Mid-Ohio. The GTS-Rs will run a limited schedule in 2012 to prepare for a full campaign with two factory-backed teams next year.

While there have rumblings in the garage area about Furniture Row Racing going to Dodge in 2013, it appears that Dodge may be reallocating their racing resources in 2013 to other racing series.  This could make perfect sense, since Dodge’s parent company is now Fiat (which stand for Fix It Again Tony)!

Could it be that Dodge may be, once again, bailing out on NASCAR?


Furniture Row Racing Changes?

Regan Smith

(WOMR file photo)

Denver, CO based Furniture Row Racing could be in the beginning phase of some gigantic changes for 2013.  There has been some garage rumblings that the owner of Furniture Row Racing, Barney Vissor, is interested in buying Roger Penske’s Dodge engine building facility. That alone is signaling where that company may be heading for 2013.

Furniture Row Racing is prepared to switch from Chevy to Dodge in 2013, if the manufacturer chooses to go in that direction. Furniture Row general manager Joe Garone said Sunday at Pocono Raceway that there have been initial talks with Dodge about making a switch, and adding a second team, potentially with 2004 Sprint Cup champion Kurt Busch.

“If Dodge comes to us and says here’s the right deal, we would do it,” Garone said. “They’re trying to figure out who they’re going to do it with and how they’re going to do it.”

Furniture Row currently gets its chassis from Richard Childress Racing and engines from Earnhardt Childress Racing. Everything else is built at the organization’s Denver shop. Garone said the organization intends to keep driver Regan Smith, who won at Darlington Raceway last year, beyond this season.

He said there have been talks with Busch about expanding, however, that would depend on finding a sponsor or a manufacturer willing to give financial help. Garone said he has not given Dodge a deadline for making a decision, but he’d like to know sooner than later. Garone said they are waiting on a decision from Dodge before completing a deal with Smith. “It’s our intention to bring him back,” Garone said. “With all this other stuff pending, you don’t make a commitment and find there is another avenue we should have taken.”

Not only is there a driver “silly season” going on, now that Penske has left the Dodge camp for Ford in 2013, there is an owner “silly season”, regarding manufacturers.  With the loss of Penske, the only Dodge race team in NASCAR, Dodge is scrambling to find a race team to bring onboard to represent Dodge in 2013!

Therefore, it is looking like Furniture Row Racing may just be a Dodge team in 2013. Additionally, given the appropriate sponsorship dollars, that organization could expand to two race teams, with the addition of the 2004 Sprint Cup champion, Kurt Busch, driving a second car!

I am not sure how KuBu would fit into this organization.  We all know that KuBu is a great race car driver. Notwithstanding his driving abilities, the one thing that has proven problematical in his rise to greatness is his attitude and his vocal chords!

Therefore, absent his bad attitude and his mouthiness, this could hold great possibilities! In other words, if you ripped out KuBu’s vocal chords, he could be a great champion, once again!