Posted on: July 10, 2008 4:03 pm

Jeff Burton's new ride

I might try to post new paint schemes here as I get them.

So for starters I got Burton's 2009 CAT car

Jeff Burton's 2009 primary paint scheme

Category: Auto Racing
Posted on: July 9, 2008 4:18 pm

National Champions All-Stars Bracket

So I'm taking a break from my usual motorsports commentary to bring you a little ....

college basketball?

Yup. That's right. A little choops in July.

This being the dog days of summer for college basketball, we put together a little feature to hopefully fill the void for a little bit. Get the passions running of the diehard college basketball fan.

What we've done is taken the six programs with the most NCAA Tournament championships (UCLA, Kentucky, Indiana, North Carolina, Duke and Kansas) and pitted them against each other featuring rosters of some of their all-time greatest players .... with one little rinkle. The All-Stars in this particular contest must have won a championship while at the school. So Kansas fans, sorry to disappoint you, but no Wilt Chamberlain.

Click here for further details:

First-round matchups: North Carolina-Duke | Indiana-Kansas

UCLA and Kentucky earned opening round byes by virtue of having the most national championships. If people vote with heads and not their hearts and/or hatred of a certain team, UCLA should win this thing hands down. We haven't revealed who is on UCLA's roster just yet, but you can probably make an educated guess as to who made the cut.

As for the first-round matchups, my feeling is the Indiana-Kansas matchup could go either way. I don't see either roster with a particularly distinct advantage.

The Duke-UNC matchup is just "wow". Man that would be a awesome matchup of these longtime rivals in their college primes. I acutally think the Blue Devils would prevail in this hypothetical matchup -- and I'm as anti-Duke as they come.

Let the debate begin ...

First-round matchups: North Carolina-Duke | Indiana-Kansas

Category: NCAAB
Posted on: July 8, 2008 11:00 am

Chevrolet goes 0 for Daytona

I thought this was kind of an interesting stat: A Chevrolet failed to win a points race (Cup, Nationwide/Busch and Trucks) at Daytona for the first time since 1988.

Chevy had been especially dominant in the Nationwide/Busch Series, winning 22 of the past 25 races at the track entering this season. 

Including the Truck Series, Toyota captured four of the five points races at Daytona this season and all three Joe Gibbs Racing drivers won an event at the track.

Category: Auto Racing
Posted on: July 6, 2008 12:39 am
Edited on: July 6, 2008 12:43 am

Daytona thoughts

Ridiclous. That's my thought.

When it comes to restrictor-plate racing, I've always tended to overlook its faults, but I can't take it anymore.

I used to think that when drivers complained about restrictor-plate racing it was just nonsense. Get over it and drive, I thought to myself. But as I sit here more than an hour after tonight's race at Daytona has ended waiting for NASCAR to figure out who finished where, I finally get it now.

All those wrecks late in the race were atrocious and it's not the drivers' faults. It's a product of the system.

And it's a shame. Sure the wrecks will make for some spectacular highlights, but it's not a true reflection of the sport. And it seems to happen in every restrictor-plate race nowadays.

I thought the first 3/4ths of the race, which was run fairly caution free aside from a couple tire blowouts, was pretty good, but the late carnage marred it for me.  

But what about you? Do you think you witnessed a great race Saturday night? Or were you too disgusted that final 30 laps became a demolition derby?

Category: Auto Racing
Posted on: July 1, 2008 6:18 pm

What now for Franchitti?

First off, in case you haven't heard, Chip Ganassi has shut down Dario Franchitti's No. 40 Spint Cup car.

Ganassi says he closed it because of a lack of sponsorship. And while on the face of things that's true, let's face facts, Franchitti wasn't getting the job done. Franchitti still has the option of driving Ganassi's Nationwide car, but as of right now it was unclear whether he planned to do so.

I dare say Franchitti's move to stock-car racing was the worst career decision ever made by an athlete. (Well maybe not as bad as Michael Jordan from greatest NBA player ever to minor league baseball, but it's up there.) From Indy 500 and IndyCar Series champion to an out of work stock-car racer in less than a year.

The decision to move to stock cars wasn't made on a whim -- at least I don't think it was -- but I wonder if he still would have made the move had he known Champ Car and IndyCar were going to end their feud.

He's better off back in IndyCar. That's his niche. Surely there's an IndyCar team that will give him a ride, maybe even Ganassi. I think it would be a mistake if he continues to soldier on in stock cars.

Jordon eventually figured out he stunk at baseball and went back to what he does best. Franchitti should do the same. I think he has a few wins left in him, just not in a stock car.

Category: Auto Racing
Posted on: June 29, 2008 6:22 pm

New Hamsphire: Post-race thoughts

What a wacky race.

If you were following the race on our RaceCenter, you'd know that from the start I thought that weather would play a factor in the race. And if you don't know what the RaceCenter is, you should check it out sometime, we do it for every Sprint Cup race (

In any case, during the last round of pit stops I wanted to make a point, but never got the chance. I was going to say that some drivers -- even those that may have to have to pit with 10 laps or so to go -- might try staying out. But as I was in the midst of typing it, everybody that was going to have to pit, did pit, so it was a moot point.

Some will say my hindsight is 20/20 because I know what happened, but I'm telling you even before the fact, I thought it was a viable option for some drivers to try to gamble that rain would hit before they'd need to pit. I was looking at the radar and saw this huge red cell of thunderstorms. Crew chiefs had to know that too. I think it was worth a shot.

No guts, no glory I say.

But what I really don't get is the 18 car pitting. Kyle Busch was good on gas and did not need to pit. It ended up costing him even worse because of the run-in with Juan Pablo Montoya. He made it sound as if he fell his sword and pitted because he didn't want to win that way. I think they just made a dumb call.

In any case, the Race to the Chase continues to tighten up. It's going to be an interesting couple of months.

Category: Auto Racing
Posted on: June 23, 2008 8:58 pm
Edited on: June 23, 2008 9:00 pm

Scott Kalitta

Courtesy Kalitta Motorsports press release:

A public memorial service to celebrate the life of Scott Kalitta will be held this Thursday, June 26th at 7:00 p.m. at:

Ernsthausen Performing Arts Center
350 Shady Lane Drive
Norwalk, OH  44857

The Kalitta family appreciates your desire to send flowers to express your sympathy and asks that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to these charities close to Scott's heart:
The school his sons attend-

Saint Stephen’s Episcopal School
Attn:  Development Office
315 41st Street West
Bradenton, FL  34209
B.R.A.K.E.S. (Be Responsible and Keep Everyone Safe)
c/o Doug Herbert Performance Parts
1443 E. Gaston St.
Lincolnton, NC 28092

*All donations to BRAKES will be used for the expressed purpose of saving lives and keeping our children safe. Website –

A private funeral service for family members will be held at a later date.

Cards for Scott’s family or Connie can be sent to:

Kalitta Air
818 Willow Run Airport
Ypsilanti, MI 48198

Email condolences can be sent to:

Kalitta, a two-time former NHRA Top Fuel champion and one of just 14 drivers to have won in both of NHRA's nitro categories, died June 21, 2008, as the result of multiple injuries suffered in a qualifying accident at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park in Englishtown, N.J., during the running of the Lucas Oil NHRA SuperNationals. He was 46.

Kalitta was the son of legendary Top Fuel and Funny Car racer and Kalitta Motorsports team owner Connie Kalitta. Scott is survived by his wife, Kathy; sons Corey, 14, and Colin, 8; and his father, Connie.

Category: Auto Racing
Tags: NHRA
Posted on: June 23, 2008 12:28 pm

NASCAR quick hits

I haven't blogged in a while but there was some interesting news coming out of Sonoma so here goes ...

1. First off, I can't stand road-course racing. If not for the slew of late cautions I'd have given Sunday's race a 0 on a scale of 1-10. It was just a long parade most of the afternoon. The cautions tightened things up in the late stages, and drivers began to be extra aggressive vying for positions.

But NASCAR doesn't really go to Sonoma and Watkins Glen for the racing. It's all about the market, and that's a shame.

2. The hot and heavy rumor this weekend was that Mark Martin was going to replace Casey Mears at Hendrick Motorsports next season. I saw one report that it would be full-time and another that he'd split time with Brad Keselowski.

I heard Martin still only wants to do part-time which is one of the reasons DEI is planning to move Aric Almirola into the 8 car full-time in 2009. DEI would like to keep Martin it seems, but only on a full-time basis.

The facts will come out soon enough.

3. And wouldn't you know it, Mears snags his best finish of the season amidst all the speculation.

There are a lot of Mears apologists out there, saying he's never got a real shot because he's basically had a new crew chief and team every year of his career. Well, perhaps if he'd have actually shown some amount of consistency with those crew chiefs and teams they wouldn't have made changes.

I just don't see what the fuss is all about. But if it's true that Hendrick is going to cut him loose, I'm guessing another team is going to be willing to take a shot with him.

Category: Auto Racing
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