#3 SACRED OR JUST ANOTHER NUMBER?

dale-earnhardt-sr-nascarIt’s that time of year again. The Daytona 500, “The Great American race” The Grand Daddy of them all …Whatever label you put on it, it is a special place in the hearts of the most passionate fan base in the world. NASCAR fans…and with this passion comes loyalty, to their favorite driver, their sponsors but most importantly their favorite #!

No number is more famous than the #3 car. Even if your not a NASCAR fan chances are you can tell me who drove the #3. Around the world there are thousands of places regarded as sacred. Some are still carefully guarded but none more so than #3 in the hearts and minds of NASCAR fans. Some would say The number 3 should NEVER EVER be used in NASCAR again. It belongs to Dale Sr.! Dale Earnhardt  Considered one of the best NASCAR drivers of all time, Dale Earnhardt won a total of 76 races Earnhardt — known as “The Intimidator” for his aggressive driving — won seven Winston Cup Championships and broke $30 million in career earnings. He died in a crash during the 2001 Daytona 500.

So this year Richard Childress Racing brings back the #3 and maybe the ghost of the Intimidator…. Austin Dillion that’s right the grandson of  Richard Childress has taken the pole of Daytona 500 2014..so many may say it was the Ghost of Dale Senior driving the #3…

So what are your thoughts is the #3 sacred or just another number?

Join us tomorrow on the Balance and we will be opening this up for discussion…

Our Good Friend, Walter Cox

One of our favorite guests on The Balance is our good friend, Walter Cox. He’s a pit reporter for ESPN on NASCAR race weekends, but on his time off he’s on his farm in TN. He’s a country boy at heart! Check out this video starring Walter Cox. It’s titled Back to the Country.

This Week on The Balance – 7/20

The Balance
Airdate: July 20, 2013
Host: Tom Marquis

The Balance and Indy Pro Sports
1209 Country Club Rd
Country Club Industrial Park
Indianapolis, IN 46234
Phone (317) 903-8063
Email tom@indyprosports.com

9:05-10:00: Racing Talk – Kenny Barr and/or Cliff Tanner from Radio Speed Talk
10:00-10:25: Brad Jones and Chris Maggiolo – Meet Your Makers from www.tocurefood.com
10:30-10:55: Fantasy Football Huddle – The Boys are gearing up!!

You don’t want to miss this week’s show. You can catch it LIVE Saturday 9-11a EST on Blog Talk Radio here – http://www.blogtalkradio.com/the-balance/2013/07/20/the-balance AND on the encore on Indiana Talks from 3-5p. Also, feel free to call in to discuss racing, meet your makers, and/or fantasy football with host Tom Marquis at (917) 889-8516.

Blowing ‘Smoke’ Up Your Tail Pipe

Smoke

Written by Cliff Tanner

Host of Radio Speedtalk and Balance Contributor

Two weeks of promises. Tow very long weeks of anticipation. All it did was remind me of Heinz Catsup. Really?

Don’t get me wrong it was a great race Sunday at Martinsville. The race wasn’t a total disappointment. It was typical Martinsville short track racing. There was a great amount of beating and banking for sure. New rivalries started I believe. But not like Fontana.

Tony Stewart promised to get Joey Logano back for his blocking of Stewart at Fontana. Now granted I know that it doesn’t necessarily mean it would be the nest race but you can’t tell me you weren’t looking for it too. Hell the whole NASCAR Nation was looking for it. Tell me I’m wrong.

There were a couple of opportunities for it to happen. Logano was very strong early on in the race. He came around Stewart with no issues at all. Now you tell me that you were not thinking alright here we go.

Now I have to believe that there are several reasons for that. One is that being early in the season no one wanted to take the chance and get fined or lose points. Secondly Stewart admitted that it was so last race. Yes there can be some tempers that flare up and they can say they forget.

Yeah right I believe that last one. You see in all the years I have been around racing a driver never forgets. The memory of an elephant they say. There will be repercussions I can promise you that. However it could be weeks, months or even years.

Now that I have said that we find Joey Logano with some more enemies. Yes I know Denny Hamlin said that he is upset and he won’t forget. Believe it or not I am not talking about that. I am not sure how many of you caught the comment made by Kurt Busch earlier in the race. Busch had cut down a tire and had to head to pit road. They played audio later and he said, “You know that was the 22 that caused that.”  Poor Joey.

I will tell you this I am so glad to see Logano start to be the driver I felt he was capable of being. He is out there starting to not take anything from anybody. He is just starting to finally earn the respect of the other drivers. Remember it wasn’t all that long ago that his teammate Brad Keselowski went through the same thing.

Enough about that. Yes there was still a race that went one. What a race it turned out to be. Jimmie Johnson took the pole and dominated the race. He led a total of 376 of 500 laps. It wasn’t without drama though I guarantee you that.

After having a car that just didn’t work right Jeff Gordon and his crew got that 24 car fixed right and he was charging hard. He was picking off drivers like they put a jet engine in his car. He definitely had the car to beat on the long run. However a late caution flag meant he had to finish the race on a less than 20 lap race.

Gordon had driven through the field to second place when Kurt Busch caught tire and crashed into the wall. It was a sight to see. We witnessed what the under the hood fire extinguisher can do. It put out the engine fire out fast.

So with Johnson and first and Gordon in second we were sure to see a great finish. However with Gordon not doing well and Johnson starting on the inside made it a tough task. Johnson immediately ran to the bottom and put some distance on the rest of the field. Jimmie cruised to victory the rest of the way. The win broke a tie for third place on the all time wins list at Martinsville. Johnson took home his eighth grandfather clock.

Clint Bowyer came in second followed by Jeff Gordon. Kasey Kahne and Kyle Busch rounded out the top five. Mark Martin who substituted for Denny Hamlin in the 11 car overcame a horrible day to finish 10th. Marcos Ambrose started second but had some bad racing luck as well but recovered to finish eighth.

However the most impressive drive of the day came from a rookie. Danica Patrick spun out early in the race. Twice she came back from two laps down. She drove a nice clean race and until the final lap she had the best looking car out there. I don’t mean mechanical wise but clean. Hardly a dent or scratch on it. Which as you know is pretty damn good for Martinsville.

Whether you love her or hate Danica she gained a lot of respect from me. She got out there on the track with the feeling of just wanting to get some time and experience on the track. She got it alright. She finished 12th overall. She was also the top finishing rookie in the race.

Now earlier I said two things. One is that a new rivalry started and that Danica had a clean car until the last lap. Now on the last lap Brian Vickers who I would say had the worst looking car out there cosmetically decided to have a drag race with Danica, Kevin Harvick and himself. He banged off of Danica several times which in turn she banged into Harvick. Danica held her own and won the drag race. Harvick finished 14 and Vickers 13.

Well apparently Harvick didn’t like the move and turned Vickers as they crossed the finish line. As we all know Harvick doesn’t like to take stuff off others more than most. It didn’t stop there. As they approached the pits Harvick turned into Vickers a couple of more times to let him know his displeasure. So there you go a new rivalry. Funny thing was it wasn’t covered very heavily by FOX.

Well the bottom line here folks is simply this. If you saw the race you will see why I say we need more short tracks. NASCAR was built on the short tracks and they should remain that way. Kenny Wallace has agreed with me on Speed Talk. He mentioned that we should put some short tracks inside the bigger ones. This was we have one race that is the big race and the second be the short track. I agree Kenny Wallace.

I’m outta here,

 

 

NASCAR Not the Only Controversy Today

F1 carWritten by  Cliff Tanner
Radio Speedtalk

Ok race fans there was a ton of quality racing today. We had the IRL start their season. Earlier in the day F1 ran their race and then NASCAR ran at Fontana.

Yes there was excitement in all three of the race series today. However in this particular article I will be touching on the IRL premier and the F1 race. God knows that NASCAR will need their own page after what happened today. I promise it will come soon.

In the F1 series there was a bit of tempers flaring and controversy. Sad part it was between teammates and didn’t involve a crash or a push. Crazy isn’t it. Oh I suppose you want to know.

As well all know if you are an F1 fan the Red Bull team certainly and tend to dominate the sport. They have two of the best drivers in the series. They have produced some championships.

Yes I am talking about l. With just a couple of laps left Weber was leading the race. Vettel was second as you might well imagine. Well a directive was given to Vettel from team owners to stay behind Weber and let him win.

Well Mr. Vettel took a page from Honest Abe Lincoln’s book today. Now before I go on for you who don’t know how President Lincoln worked it went like this; Lincoln would ask his cabinet for their opinions and what they should do. Now you would think he would listen and sway their way. Well he would ponder then say no.

That’s tight Vettel did the same and passed his teammate Weber on the last lap and won the race. Now here we go immediately the whining started. Yes whining not winning although Vettel did do that.

Well Sebastian apologized to Weber and Red Bull Owners. Come on really?

F1 this is why you have a hard time making fans in the US. Too much team orders and certainly not too much racing. That is the truth.

Now I have to go away from the F1 baby momma drama.

Huge congratulations to James Hinchcliffe. He made a tremendous pass of Helio Castroneves late in the race to hold Castroneves for his first career win. Couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy.

Funny how things work out in racing. Yesterday I was on The Balance Sports radio show on Saturday. Tom Marquis asked me who we need to look out for this year. Immediately I mentioned that James Hinchcliffe would have a break out year. He made me look good and I appreciate that.

Hinchcliffe took over the Go Daddy ride when Danica Patrick left. Andretti Motorsports made a huge statement today with the win. I really don’t believe that Hinchcliffe is done.

Another driver I want to point out is Simona De Silverstro. She had a career best finish today. Although she finished sixth she should have been higher. With just a couple of laps left she began to have tire issues. She just had no traction left and went from third to sixth. She ran in the top four most of the day.

Now there were some interesting things that happened to day in St. Petersburg. Dario Franchitti went out of the race early. He had some equipment problems.

Now for the bone head driver of the day Award.  And the trophy goes to J.R. Hildebrand. WOW is all I can say. Now I know this has happened before I am sure. But J.R. apparently was looking at his maps or his gauges or something. By doing this he ran into the wall and ran over the back tires of Will Power. Power ended up in 14 after running in top five most of the day.

Bottom line don’t text and drive. Dang man don’t you watch commercials or read billboards.

Now with here is the bottom bottom line. Great racing. Weird happenings. This is a great start to what I believe will be a great year in IRL. Watch the drama unfold we have the makings of a mad dash to the championship.

Oh yeah. Danica who? Congrats again to James Hinchcliffe. Not only was this his first win but Go Daddy’s first as well. Yeah Danica who?

STOP!!!!! REFLECT!!!

clean speed talk logo no cliff and pete

Written by Cliff Tanner from Radio Speed Talk

STOP!!!!! REFLECT!!!! PRAY!!!!!!

When I reflect on all of the events of the Nationwide race today at Daytona I find myself wondering what is the problem with people. Now I know I may upset some people with my following thoughts but then again I am not afraid to speak my mind.

First I have been watching the Twitter action from fans, media and drivers. For the most part it has been very deep concern and prayers for everyone who may have been affected. It has always been my thoughts that the NASCAR Nation always come together when a horrific crash happens.

However I have seen some that want to fight on who caused the accident. Now I can understand some of that because it is part of the NASCAR fan base. But some of it has been hateful. First I understand that people are upset but damn people stop and think of what you are doing. While you are spewing words of hate there are people who are in serious trouble and pain. I mean both the injured and their families. There is a time and a place for that. Wait not really. But we need to pause the hate and throw out the love and the prayers to all involved.

Secondly believe me when I say this. It is NOT NASCAR’s FAULT. Do you really think they sit around and think of ways to hurt people? REALLY? NASCAR and the NHRA are two racing entities that take their safety seriously. To both it is THE most important thing. This is a once in a lifetime horrific crash and no matter what anyone does you can never stop everything period. Kudos to NASCAR and everyone who works damn hard to ensure the safety not only of the participants but the fans as well.

Whether you believe it or not or it looks like or not the catch fence definitely did it’s job. If you remember the catch fence was built higher after Bodine’s accident in the Camping World Truck Series a few years back. Trust me when I say this; It could have been a hell of a lot worse.

Prayers also need to go out to Michael Annett for his injuries and hope he comes out fine.
Again please people stop and take time to send your thoughts and prayers to all involved.

NASCAR Nationwide – Thoughts and Prayers

NNScrash

Written by Cliff Tanner from Radio Speed Talk

THOUGHTS AND PRAYERS

PRAYER TIME RACE FANS. With the horrific crash that ended the Nationwide Series race today at Daytona it is time the racing community comes together. Take some time and turn your thoughts and prayers to all fans that were injured.

If you missed the race here is what happened. On the last lap and dash to the finish line a multi car crash caused Kyle Larson to go airborne into the catch fence. As he went into the fence the front end of his car went through it and injured some fans. One of the tires flew into the upper deck. As this is still fairly new no official word has come from NASCAR or anyone else as to how many or what condition There are reports that at least 15 fans have been taken to the hospital.

Michael Annett also had a wreck a few laps earlier. It was similar to the type of crash that Dale Earnhardt Sr had when he lost his life twelve years ago. Annett was air lifted to Halifax Medical Center. It has been reported that he is awake and alert. Tests are being run on him to ensure he is alright. Prayers to him as well.

Here at radiospeedtalk.com, Speed Talk, and The Balance we all pray for the fans and their families.

Could this be the one?

Danica-Patrick-women-Daytona-500-pole

I am sure by now you have heard that Danica Patrick sits on the 2013 Pole of the Daytona 500. I wonder how many other Poles she has been on? Alright that’s question for another day.  Yes she Danica Patrick laid down the perfect lap on Sunday…Ok I will stop but for the record this is to easy!

Danica did indeed make history on Saturday. She became the first woman in NASCAR’s history to win the Pole position. Could she become the first woman to take the checkered flag this Sunday in Daytona?

Here are some things to think about:

  • She has the best equipment…no I am not starting again, however she will have that as well.This year at Daytona in practice, testing, and qualifying she proved that she could  make the most out of her Chevy engine.
  • She has a great crew chief Tony Gibson who she connects with, has great chemistry with, and this is very important especially when you’re a Rookie.
  • She doesn’t want to be treated any different than her male counter parts in NASCAR
  • Tony Stewart is just that good! He has proven that he has always been ahead of his time and he sees something in Danica that others do not.
  • Ever hear the term “Lady Luck” well she has it and maybe Jesus will take her wheel on Sunday.

So if there ever was a winning combination this is it……However it is Daytona and anything can and does happen. It’s one thing for a car to perform at its maximum potential for two laps (five miles) at Daytona. It’s a whole new challenge for a car to hold up over a 500 mile race. Patience is a virtue but not necessarily one of Patrick’s best traits. Four polesitters have won the July Daytona race since 2004, Dale Jarrett was the last driver to win the Daytona 500 from the pole in 2000. While Sunday is not technically Patrick’s coming out party on the 2.5-mile track, she made just two laps last year in her Daytona 500 debut before getting caught in the first “Big One.”

So we will be on the edge of our seat this Sunday waiting for more history to unfold…Love or hate Danica Patrick she has the ability to have high value to sponsors, and it looks as if she will have high value  to Team Owner Stewart-Haas.

Ok fist bump me and go back to work!

WOW What a Finish!!!!!!!!!

Sprint Unlimited

 

WOW What a Finish!!!!!!!!!

Written by Cliff Tanner from Radio Speed Talk

Speed Talk Fans I will eat my words in a big way. Yes earlier I said there was no excitement for me tonight in this Sprint Unlimited race. Yes I almost turned it off as I recorded it but man I am so glad I didn’t. I can tell you this; the Gen6 car is the best thing to happen to NASCAR in awhile. It was a real treat to see the drivers control this race. This car is fast and gives it back to the drivers.

Congrats goes out to Kevin Harvick as he made two awesome blocks to hold off Greg Biffle and Tony Stewart for the win. He led 37 laps tonight. Unlike Obama a lame duck at the end of this term, Harvick wants to leave Richard Childress Racing as a winner. He made a statement tonight and is well on his way. yes I know this race is just a showcase but I saw the driver that Harvick used to be.

Tony Stewart made some people mad at him tonight. Stewart mad a move on lap 15 and brushed across Marcos Ambrose’s car and caused many people to check up and caused a nine car wreck which included two sets of teammates. They included Kyle Busch and Denny Hamlin as well as Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson. I have to say it was an agressive move by Stewart and a damn good one. IT was just racing.

I have to admit that it appears that if you want to win the Daytona 500 you have to be aggressive. Even Brad Keselowski said that. On a side note funny that the Sprint Cup defending champ didn’t qualify for the race. Clint Bowyer who finished second didn’t make the race either.

I was impressed with the way Matt Kenneseth drove tonight. He appeared he had the fastest car tonight he just couldn’t get any help. Matt who switched JGR this year lost his teammates in the earlier melee. He is also quietly becoming a good restrictor plate racer.

Joey Logano looked good in the 22 tonight ads well. I think the move to Penske will juice him up for the year. Sometimes change will make a huge difference in a driver. He will be a contender to compete in The Chase.

Overall there was some good racing going on. Aggressiveness seems to be the key. I am still not convinced that the fans should vote about the format. But like all sports entities they will continue to do so because the bias media will make sure of it. Or Sprint will pay enough money for it.

Sunday will be interesting. It is Qualifying day and today Danica Patrick had the fastest time in practice. Don’t get excited she still has to race. lol

I’m outta here.