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Friday, November 19, 2010

Congratulations to Ryan and Krissie Newman

Nothing compares to having a first baby. Nor is there anything more splendid than looking into the face of your newborn. There is a sense of familiarity, not just for the mother who nurtured the tiny infant, but for her father as well. It is that first monumental moment when you realize that all things really are possible.

I'm so happy for Ryan and Krissie Newman. Ryan announced the birth of their daughter, Brooklyn Sage Newman on Thursday, when he reported via Twitter and Facebook that mother and child are doing fine. I can't wait to see first pictures, hear the first interview.

These are two beautiful, caring people whose very nature is loving and nurturing. Brooklyn is a lucky little girl to have such caring parents.

Congratulations to the happy couple and Happy Birthday to Brooklyn.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Sick of religion and politics in NASCAR

Isn't there a little too much religion and politics in NASCAR?

I think Jamie McMurray's little speech in Victory Lane after his win at Atlanta Motor Speedway was totally uncalled for.

I like McMurray. He seems like a genuinely nice person. But to go into a diatribe about why he cried in Daytona months earlier and then to give credit to God for getting into Victory Lane was a bit much.

I never want to take anyone's religion away from them. But, I don't want it foisted upon me at a public venue either. What if I don't happen to share McMurray's religious beliefs? Do unto others as you would have others do unto you. What if I stood up and said, "Jamie, you fool, there is no God." I'm sure he would be offended by that. Well, I was offended at his religious remarks.

It would have been just offensive had he said he was a Buddhist, Muslim, Catholic or proclaimed that Karma, the Virgin Mary, or Allah pushed his car to the lead.

Enough is enough.

Why does NASCAR insist on an invocation before every race anyway? If the drivers want to say a prayer as they prepare for a race, that is not objectionable. But to force the paying public to sit through Joe Gibbs giving a sermon is a little much.

NASCAR wonders why they have empty seats. Maybe their lack of inclusion, due to their religious beliefs, not to mention their politics, has something to do with it.

With regard to religion, I think it was a little over-the-top to invite a candidate for governor to participate in the start of the race recently, just to give a political boost to the Republican non-incumbent candidate.

What's the matter NASCAR, hasn't the Obama Administration sent any earmark funding your way? Good, NASCAR should not receive public funding. 

Monday, October 4, 2010

A blog post worth savoring

I just caught this blog post this morning. As I appreciate all things Ryan Newman, I thought this was worthy of sharing.

I didn't watch the second embedded video, but I certainly enjoyed the first one. Any day that starts with a review of that beautiful ending of the 2008 Daytona 500 is bound to be a good day.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Did NASCAR affect race to the chase? Just wondering?

It is very interesting that Clint Bowyer's car failed inspection after his win at New Hampshire, the first race of the Chase for the Sprint Cup Championship. It is even more interesting that reports indicated NASCAR had a problem the previous week, but did nothing about it.

So, is it NASCAR that kept Ryan Newman out of the chase? Given NASCAR's history and apparent dislike for Newman, I wouldn't be at all surprised.

Had Bowyer lost 150 points at Richmond, when according to Steve McCormick at, Bowyer's team "very nearly failed inspection," that would have kept him from that coveted 12th place spot in points. McCormick went on to describe the problem as, "while not exactly the same, it was in the same area of the car."

If Bowyer's penalty of 150 points would have been assessed at Richmond, it would have put Newman into the chase. At the conclusion of the race Bowyer was 142 points ahead of Newman. Biffle moved into the 12th position, 98 points ahead of Newman.

Had NASCAR's arbitrary decision to dock Bowyer 150 points after Richmond, Newman would have been in and Bowyer out. At the very least, this is an interesting development, especially given the lack of transparency in NASCAR's penalty policy.

Any indication of there being a problem with Bowyer's car after it was inspected at Richmond causes me concern.

I have to agree with Dustin Long's comments that The Chase became a sideshow after NASCAR's penalty to Clint Bowyer yesterday. And while Long referred to the potential manipulation of chse contenders through an appeals process that puts all the decision-making into NASCAR's hands.

Long also added, "The fact that NASCAR could not or would not explain the exact nature of the infraction, the fact that NASCAR seems to have in place a selective use of warnings, that officials have a cavalier attitude when it comes to motives (they said Wednesday that they don’t know if the infraction would improve performance nor did they care), that the car passed pre-race inspection is all going to lead some to think the penalty was excessive and arbitrary."

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Race for the Chase for the Championship ends

Finally, Ryan Newman fans can breathe again.

The NASCAR Race for the Chase for the Championship and all the associated drama is over. That's OK. Ryan did well, finishing just a few points behind the top 12. Had better luck prevailed, he may have been inside the cut-off rather than just outside.
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Perhaps hindsight will give 20/20 vision to Newman's critics. Maybe they will get it now -- why Ryan was so ticked off at Joey Logano. Had it not been for the incident at Michigan where Newman had been running in the top 10, perhaps the entire outcome of his season would have had a different result as well. Ryan could have squeaked past Clint Bowyer in the points. We will never know, thanks to the incident with Logano. It is not far-fetched to believe that it cost Ryan a chase berth.

It no longer matters, however, since as they say; it is, what it is.

While those guys get all dressed in their suits and their wives spend a fortune on gowns for the big awards dinner--all uncomfortable and having to make small talk, Ryan and Krissie will be sitting in the comfort of their home, playing with their new baby, enjoying all that the good life has to offer. I think when that time comes, Ryan will be much happier at home than the other 12 of his com padres in Las Vegas.

With the chase pressure off, the remainder of the season can be used to figure it all out.

For us fans, we just have to tune out the commentators, but then we are used to doing that. Ryan obviously isn't the golden boy when it comes to broadcast coverage. We fans will hardly notice all the fawning they do over the top 12 drivers. But that doesn't mean that the 13th among them can't rally from just behind the line to win races. I can't wait for Ryan to win a post-chase race. It will force those broadcasters to have to talk about him. Perhaps they will even get it--that being oh-so-close, isn't so bad.

Monday, September 6, 2010 saved the day - Fun, Easy Fast Live VideoI have long proclaimed my unbridled affection for the Internet, but never more than this weekend when the Dish Network satellite receiver died. 

Thank goodness for the capability to watch this weekend's NASCAR races on the trusty laptop computer, on Finding the race broadcast live and free online kept me from being really cranky.

I was even able to maintain two open windows, one with the broadcast and the other with NASCAR's race day scanner. It wasn't much different than how I normally watch a race. Though it wasn't HD quality, it was certainly acceptable. is an awesome service that provides a plethora of streaming video content to users. Thank you for allowing me to enjoy Saturday and Sunday's races.

Racing at Atlanta promised to be exciting

I was so looking forward to the racing at Atlanta Motor Speedway. My favorite driver, Ryan Newman was to run in the Nationwide race on Saturday and the Sprint Cup race on Sunday. 

For Sunday, he had the potential to win the record for number of pole positions there. He came really close to doing that too, had it not been for an early qualifying draw, which is generally a disadvantage. Newman was third to qualify. He was edged out by Denny Hamlin who was the 30th driver to go out onto the track. Maybe next season, Ryan. 

Measurement on the excitement scale was high. With the regular season winding down, the racing promised to be pretty edgy. It was! With Newman eyeing the final chase spot--in contention with Mark Martin, Jaimie McMurray, and Clint Bowyer, I just didn't want to miss any of the racing action.

A hint of trouble

As the weekend approached, and I readied for all the race day coverage, it turned out that Friday night was the last day to access television. This was particularly troubling since the Dish Network system had just been upgraded a couple of weeks ago. It was so exciting to have the new HD programming, complete with new dish and receiver. My excitement was short-lived however.

Friday night there was a little glitch. All of a sudden the screen went blank. There was no satellite signal. I was hoping the thing didn't fall out of orbit or something. My husband employed his favorite technological troubleshooting technique--turning the receiver off and then back on again. That seemed to work fine. Such was not the case Saturday morning when we awoke to a blackened screen that would not return. It remains that way, on this Monday morning. 

We called Dish Network who sent a technician out that morning. 

What great service I thought as he checked out all the things it could be. Trouble is, the problem was in the receiver--a brand new, out-of-the-box receiver. He had to order a new one. Since this was Saturday, that meant--maybe--getting a new receiver shipped here on Sunday. I didn't have high hopes for that actually happening. But the tech guy was great. He gave us his number and told us to call the minute the receiver arrived. 

Just as I had thought, there was no delivery, but I did call him anyway. He said he would check on delivery and let me know. Since this is the Labor Day weekend, I'm not too hopeful about hearing from him today either. Thank goodness I don't mind hanging around the house during the last official weekend of summer.
No, I really don't. This is Arkansas. We are going to have lots of nice temperate days for outdoor activity. We would probably stay home anyway, since this is a tourist area. This is the last hurrah for all those northerners who aren't as fortunate as us. Besides, I was able to get my race fix, so just as long as we get the thing fixed before the next race, life is good.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Ryan Newman vs. Joey Logano

I was starting to freak out as I read in numerous places that Ryan Newman should let Joey Logano have it at Bristol. The posts referred to the Michigan race when Logano first, got loose and hit Newman's car causing him to spin out, and then second, Logano was overly critical of Newman for racing too hard.

I'm a little more comfortable now as I see that both Newman and Logano are racing in the Nationwide series at Bristol. That would be the place for a little payback. Normally, I wouldn't condone such a thing, but if I was Newman, I'd want to provide Joey a little racing lesson. 

For some reason though, I don't see this happening either. I think Newman is bigger than that. He just won the Whelen Mod race. I doubt he is thinking about payback. Then again, if the opportunity presents itself, I say, what the heck!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

It is called racing, Joey

While it was obviously hot inside the race car, at Sunday's Michigan race, it may have been a little hotter once Ryan Newman got out of the car. Newman went looking for Joey Logano, who finished 10th, at Newman's expense. Newman finished 23rd, despite having a good race car that ran laps as quick as the leaders for most of the race.

When it was all over though, there was an altercation between the two. Instead of telling Newman he was sorry about causing him to spin, Logano got an attitude. ESPN reporters caught up with Logano as he proceeded to bash Newman for not giving him some slack. What wasn't shown on camera was visible this video from Fox Sports.

Clearly, Logano crossed the line as he told Newman, "Give someone an inch, man."

To that, Newman responded, "No." It escalated from there.

Hello Joey, don't you get what you are doing at the race track? It is called racing. It is not a Sunday afternoon drive.

Newman had every right to be ticked off. Logano clearly got into him and spun him, nearly ruining his day.

Newman had so much more to lose than Logano, which Joey failed to take into account, apparently. Newman, is 14th in points and was contending for a Chase (for the championship) berth; the top 12 in points. It looked early on like he had a good shot to achieve it too, had it not been for Logano ruining his day. Logano had nothing to lose, as he is in 21st place, with no chance to race his way into the chase. Newman had so much more to lose.

I'm sure that if Logano had simply admitted that his car got loose and he didn't mean to hit Newman's race car, all would have been forgotten. But that isn't what Logano did.

Not only was Logano at fault for the incident on the track, according to the NASCAR video, but he had the audacity to call Newman out for his driving style. Logano got into Newman's face complaining that he isn't the only one to mention how Newman makes it hard to pass.

Well, Duh Joey! Newman gets paid to race. He gets points for passing people. He would have gotten three more points for passing you, which he did until you hit him. What don't you get?

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Shhhh! More on secret fines

I have just spent the morning engaged in a tedious discussion about Ryan Newman and Denny Hamlin and NASCAR's secret fines against them for speaking their minds.

My view was pro-driver and free speech. The woman who authored the opinion piece took the pro-NASCAR view. The story was entitled NASCAR will never win with fans; proof in driver fines backlashShe defended NASCAR's actions with the same voracity that one would expect from NASCAR brass.

Her article was well written, but she accused fans of wearing rose-colored glasses even as she looked through her own pair. Admittedly many of the comments agreed with her defending NASCAR's actions. The ones that were not quite so generous were met with a near immediate response by the writer defending her position and theirs.

The writer was accused of kissing-up to NASCAR. I can't disagree. Up to 64 comments later, I've spoken my peace.

I hope NASCAR hires her to do public relations work for them. 

Thursday, July 29, 2010

NASCAR wrong to fine drivers for free speech

NASCAR finally came clean; identifying the drivers penalized for who they say made disparaging remarks about the sport. No congratulations here, for they had little choice, given the deserved criticism they got for their silence.

I was appalled to learn that Ryan Newman was one of the drivers named as being fined. Clearly, Ryan Newman is one of the smartest guys in the entire sport. He is open, honest, ethical, fair, is an independent thinker, and has an excellent sense of humor. Newman speaks his mind, which is one of his most cherished assets to race fans. It is unthinkable that NASCAR would attempt to muzzle him. Ryan growls a little, but he has way too much class to bite.

The growling is necessary. After all, the man has looked death in the face more than once. He, as much as anyone, has every right to question NASCAR when his life has been on the line. I would hate to think of what might have happened to him, had Kevin Harvick's car not broken the fall of his pirouetting race car at Talladega last year. It was heart-stopping to watch his race car tumble like a dish rag in the spin cycle while pieces and parts of the sheet metal ripped from it. Ryan had every right to complain about how NASCAR helped create that scenario through its restrictor plates and COT car. And he was big enough and smart enough to help them come up with a potential remedy.

More recently when Carl Edwards booted Brad Kezelowski out of the way at St. Louis during a Nationwide Race, the move had potential catastrophic consequences. Newman spoke out about it. He has been racing long enough and is smart enough to know how dire such actions can be. For cripes sake, he had already been the victim of the battle between the two — again at Talladega in last year's Spring race when Edwards' race car crashed into Newman's windshield.

NASCAR might not like drivers they cannot control, but it is morally wrong to try to censor them and even worse to fine them. I question how NASCAR can fine a driver—actually take money out of his pocket—for such an arbitrary and capricious excuse. Fining a team for trying to manipulate a race by using unapproved parts on the race car is one thing that NASCAR might have jurisdiction over, but to fine a driver for speaking his mind is something our country has fought against since its inception.

Who is Ryan Newman's fan base? Look at his sponsors. Does NASCAR think U.S. Army troops who follow racing will be pleased to know that the sanctioning body is dissing their boy Newman? Isn't the U.S. Army the entity that fights for our freedoms, such as freedom of speech which is guaranteed by the Constitution? Perhaps NASCAR ought to consider that as the Star Spangled Banner is sung and the jets fly over the track on race day?

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Challenge NASCAR reporters

I just learned through DearNascar, that NASCAR in its infinite wisdom has chosen to keep secrets from reporters and subsequently the fans it covets. 

Apparently at least two drivers have been fined for dissing NASCAR. Hmm, as a former reporter myself, nothing was more infuriating to me than when someone tried to keep secrets. Nothing inspired me more to dig deep.

I challenge all the reporters who cover NASCAR to find out just who are these drivers that NASCAR has censored. Race fans really want to know.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Ryan Newman has what it takes

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Ryan Newman didn't take the checkered flag at the Brickyard 400 Sunday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, but that doesn't mean he isn't a winner. In my mind, the race Newman ran Sunday and the way he ran it, has to count for something.

Newman was fast on Sunday. As proof, his qualifying effort placing him fifth on the starting grid. During the race, he certainly ran competitive speeds.

At least his race car wasn't among the splitter-crusher crash early on like so many others. I held my breath, watching the results of that melee. Then I felt relief. I watched so many race cars limp from the field and Newman wasn't among them. But he did a cut tire soon after causing him to have to pit under green. Damn, a lap down! That wasn't bad enough—but he cut down the new tire before even making a full lap. Another green-flag pit stop resulting in his being two laps down.

I always feel a bit jovial when the race begins. This week my mood was even heightened because of a week off.

So this new development dashed all hope. I thought Ryan's day was over.

I had so hoped Ryan would have a great day. Perhaps he would lead a lap, earning an extra five points. Perhaps he would even lead a few laps. Or better yet, just maybe he would lead the last lap. I had so hoped he would make it back into the top 12 in points. I know Ryan is a better driver than some who are there now.

Race reality is a hard thing. And when it kicks in like this, my mood downshifts to first gear.

But as I watched and listened to Ryan's radio communications, I didn't hear defeat. I heard determination. Without enough laps to go to make a real difference, I figured there was no way to get a good finish. Ryan was running around 37th, two laps down.

I kept watching. Ah, the curse of the late race caution—in some cases. It can also be a bonanza, which it was for Newman. He got one of his laps back. Then because all the lap-down cars took the wave-around, he was the only car one lap down. He got the lucky dog from another caution. The final charge put him into 17th position. I didn't think it was possible. And I rarely would revel over 17th place. But Sunday, it was a beautiful thing. Ryan has every reason to be proud of that finish. While it didn't appear to be his salvation in the points race, it was far better than it could have been.

Ryan never gave up. He rarely ever does. I admire his determination, his stick-to-itiveness, his driving ability. He ran competitive lap speeds with the leaders. Had he not lost track position early, who knows where he would have finished.

There is far more to racing than just left turns, checkered flags, and burn-outs. There is driver character, quality, and personality. Ryan Newman is endowed with all three. That is why he is my favorite driver. He is not unlike my own friends—people I choose to enjoy spending time with.  Ryan just happens to drive a race car.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Daytona thoughts

Alright, so Daytona proved not to be the race where Ryan Newman would cast aside whatever brings out the evil at Super speedways. I have to say that I am getting pretty tired of watching the carnage. If NASCAR wants to sponsor a demolition derby, perhaps the speeds are a little high.

My previous blog post may have been just a little too optimistic, but my hope really does spring eternal. I cannot imagine a Chase for the Championship without Ryan Newman in it. So I won't. He is only 80 points out of 12th, and there is plenty of time. So, we who watch the #39 so enthusiastically will just have to eat a few more tornadoes and just bide our time. It won't be easy, but is anything worth doing ever easy?

At least Newman didn't have to endure the spoils of Daytona's bad side all by himself. He was able to commiserate with the other 18 drivers whose cars also got wrecked.

I'm glad my Arkansas neighbor Mark Martin was OK. His role in the drama apparently looked much worse than it was.

My congratulations to Kevin Harvick who ran a great race. And how 'bout that Dale Jr.--finishing 4th? There will be plenty of people happy about that, although according to the post race interview, he didn't seem to be one of them.

Ah, Lady Luck. Someone should put her name on the front of their race car, or perhaps a decal on or near the spoiler or rear quarter panel. She seems to contribute more to races than just about any sponsor.

On to Chicagoland. Make it a good one Ryan Newman and tell Lady Luck where to shove it.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Congratulations to Dale, Jr.

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Dale Earnhardt, Jr. fans must have been practically foaming at the mouth with excitement watching last night's Nationwide race at Daytona.

I have to admit, that while I am far from being a Dale Jr. fan, I did enjoy his long-awaited trip to Victory Lane in  the #3 in honor of his Daddy's induction into the NASCAR Hall of Fame. It is easy to get caught up in such raw emotion, as the camera panned atop the pit box to see an emotional Tony Eury, Jr. break down in tears. When Jr. got out of the car, he was obviously elated by the moment.

What I am not excited about is that this win will likely carry over to the rest of the NASCAR season where the pundits and NASCAR's favorite talking heads will capitalize on Dale Jr.'s inherited fan-favoritism combined with this one win at this one race at this one time. We will be hearing about it for what will seem like forever.

It was rather nice when Junior wasn't winning races; the adoring commentators finally stopped gushing over him. I'm almost afraid to read my email or watch Fox Sports for fear it will have already begun.

Dale Jr. is not the first person to win a race and he will not be the last. I only hope that when I get back to my NASCAR world from the real one I live in, that I hear about some of the other drivers as well. After all, it is not only unfair to racing aficionados of all persuasions to freak out over just one driver, but it is unfair to that driver. I feel sorry for Dale Jr. sometimes because it can't be easy to be bigger than life when you are really just a regular guy trying to do your job.

The over-zealous reporters and longtime friends of Junior's father who spout endlessly about Junior's hoped-for driving prowess actually caused me to dislike Dale Jr. I have since looked past that and have developed an affection for Dale Earnhardt, Jr. the person who just happens to be a race car driver.

I congratulate him on this long-awaited win and am glad it came at this time, on this track, in this car. He deserves a pat on the back, albeit I will refrain from bows or curtsies.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Looking for a good Daytona finish

As a Ryan Newman fan, I'm excited about the upcoming race at Daytona.

I know, I know; Newman's past performances at Super Speedway tracks--except for one stellar performance when all the stars finally aligned for him at Daytona in 2008, have not earned him bragging rights. But he has little control over drivers banging him into the wall or flipping him into the infield or parts of his race car simply giving up.

I noticed a change at Louden. Newman and his entire team really stepped up their performance, with every lap being noteworthy. The speed is there. The desire is there. Newman fought for every inch on the track last week. I have every reason to be hopeful about this weekend's results as well.

Being just 15 points out of the top 12 has to be an incentive to alter past events that have marred Newman's super speedway stats.

Newman has momentum on his side. Stemming from his recent win in the Whelen Modified series and pulling out a sixth place finish at Louden, and even finishing 16th in a compromised race car at Sonoma, Newman has been on top of it. I have every reason to believe this will be a good weekend for him. Besides, he will get extra practice when he drives in the Nationwide event Saturday. Love that double duty driving.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Ryan Newman got robbed in All-Star race

From a fan's perspective, it appeared to me that Ryan Newman was trying to emulate the name of his sponsor--the tornado with its furious winds, speed, and potential devastation in the last laps of Saturday night's All-Star race at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Newman was acting out the slogan from tornados--Bold is how we roll! Unfortunately, that was until NASCAR and its not-so-precise rules stopped him dead in his tracks.

Newman could smell victory. His foot had to be mashing the pedal with untold pressure as he tried to eke out every bit of horsepower from the car that seemed to have a mind of its own and had given him fits during the entire race. But in those last laps, Newman was charging toward the front. He went from seventh to fourth when Jimmy Johnson spun in front of him. There was no caution at first, so he kept charging. Then the yellow flag flew. When the field was reset, NASCAR positioned Newman in seventh position, behind Bobby Labonte, the #71.

That doesn't seem right to me, because if my memory serves me correctly, when Newman started the lap, he was behind Matt Kenseth, the #17.

Understanding the green-white checker rule, like so many of NASCAR's rules, has eluded me since it was instituted. Don't get me wrong; normally I like it. It brings excitement. But it has to be fair.

First, why did Labonte advance to his position but Newman didn't? It doesn't seem right that as the field advances, and there is a yellow flag, the entire field would revert to previous positions without restarting the entire 10-lap shootout. But that isn't what happened.

Furthermore, if the field was going to revert, why not just put Johnson back in third where he was running before he spun? Ah, because he pitted. Can we have it both ways? Johnson's current position was noted, but Newman's wasn't, even though Newman passed four spots on the last lap? Something is terribly wrong here and if anyone out there can help me understand it, I'd be real grateful.

My heartfelt congratulations to Kurt Busch on his win.

But, I will always wonder, if we could have seen another Newman/Busch finish like the one in Daytona, '08 that Newman fans will never forget.

Carol Henrichs,

Friday, May 7, 2010

Read about Ryan Newman

Read about Ryan Newman's racing history. To access this page, just click on "About Ryan Newman" above this post.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Tornados snacks, a great sponsor for Ryan Newman

A publicity tour, with a stop at the North Central Arkansas Speedway between Yellville and Flippin, AR on April 24, was to feature Ryan's #39 Chevy, along with samples of Ruiz Foods products. I was excited because this was pretty close to home.
Not only have I tried and liked Tornados snacks, but I was excited at the prospect of seeing Ryan's show car. I know this is a poor second to the real thing, but it is likely as close to his race car as I am going to get in the foreseeable future.

My husband and I got to the dirt track around 5 p.m. The event was supposed to be from 3 to 7. It was dead empty. We were very disappointed, but not surprised, since the weather had been pretty rainy in previous days. Storms threatened that morning as well, though never materialized. Disappointed, I wondered if rain really was the cause, so I emailed the track owners. Nice folks. They responded promptly that the show was canceled because of the weather.

I also emailed Ruiz Foods to ask the same question. They responded promptly also, apologizing for our trouble. Then yesterday, I received an envelope containing two 8 x 10 Ryan Newman cards, some coupons and collectible cards.

It is so refreshing when a company is responsive to its customers. It is also becoming rare, so I just thought I'd share.

Like just about everything associated with Ryan Newman, from his team, his family, his owner, and the passions of his life to name a few, his sponsor is quality as well.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Commentary: Kyle Petty over Jimmy Spencer

I was shocked to learn that a good number of people actually miss Jimmy Spencer on Speed TV's Race Day. Many have been critical of Kyle Petty as his replacement.

I am not among them.

I like Kyle Petty in that role. He is knowledgeable about racing. After all, he is the son of The King, which makes him, in my view, the Prince of NASCAR. It is a part of who he is. Also, Kyle is a good and caring individual, exhibited by his hugely philanthropic nature. I like to listen to someone I admire.

Kyle has a good sense of humor. And he can be serious too. He is not afraid to take a stand and to stand by what he believes. Most recently Kyle was very vocal about the incident involving Carl Edwards and Brad Kezelowski at Bristol. Kyle wanted to see Edwards parked and penalized.

I respect where Kyle was coming from. My God, he lost his son to a crash on the racetrack. He knows better than anyone what can happen. He knows how dangerous it can be. It isn't odd at all that he would take the position he did. Admittedly he has his biases, just like all the other commentators, but he will never be as opinionated or offensive as Spencer and some of the others.

And there seems to be no contest in the IQ category. Kyle has it all over Spencer, with his ass-kissing demeanor. Yes, Spencer did come up with some good criticisms of NASCAR itself. But he was never consistent. It was like he made such comments for his own ego's effect rather than to better the sport.

Kyle is the kind of man I would like to sit down and talk to about racing because of his knowledge, including the sports' history. While I don't always agree with him, I do enjoy hearing what he has to say. He has a much less myopic view than other former-race-car-drivers-turned-commentator types. Some names that come to mind along with Spencer are Rusty Wallace, and of course, the kings of myopia, Jeff Hammond and Darrell Waltrip.

How tired are we of hearing about Junebug? There are 42 other drivers on the racetrack, boys. Still, I like DW. He too is knowledgeable about racing. And he is funny, but I'm really sick of his and others promoting their favorite drivers, teams, and sponsors. I even enjoy hearing about how he talks about his own experiences. He does after all have a plethora of them. Perhaps that is because I am relatively new to NASCAR. I didn't know about DW's day. I can see where veterans of the sport could get a bit tired of hearing about it, but I don't.

I've often wondered, wouldn't it be nice to have a professional journalist, knowledgeable about the sport, do commentary? Wouldn't it be nice to get a play-by-play without the bias toward a particular driver, manufacturer, owner or sponsor? I can only dream.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Johnson Gordon feud could have consequences

I don't know about anyone else, but I'm really enjoying the Jimmie Johnson/Jeff Gordon story. I know that isn't nice, but that's racin'. It doesn't have to be nice.

I'm starting to think that one of my favorite parts of racing is the relationships among the drivers. Throughout the history of the sport the relationships and subsequent rivalries have been a large part of the fascination of the sport. The matches from hell have long served to spice up the action, adding one more element to our affection for NASCAR.

The actions between these two Hendrick teammates seemed to escalate at Talladega. My mouth fell open when I saw the contact between them as they both fought for position. That initial reaction was followed with a wry smile.

I guess the only question has to do with the motive behind the battle. Is it is real, or is it hyped for effect.

My take is, that it is most definitely real. Take a look at where it comes from. Here we have a four-time champion -- Jeff Gordon -- who introduces a new rookie -- Jimmie Johnson -- to the sport. Before long, Johnson starts making Gordon look bad. This is a classic example of the student outpacing the teacher. Sometimes the teacher is cool, just proud of what he has accomplished as he does the job he set out to do. But Jeff Gordon isn't a teacher. He is a race car driver. And I fear his ego is pretty black and blue at this point.

Let's face it, as much as I don't personally want to admit it, Jimmie Johnson has had a long winning streak. He's been a champion four consecutive times for cripes sake. Like manyNASCAR fans, I admit I'm sick of seeing him in Victory Lane too. But I can only imagine how sick of it Jeff Gordon is. Jimmie has tied Jeff's excellent championship record and it looks as though might surpass it. That would be pretty hard to take.

But consider that it is just as hard for Johnson. This can't be easy for him either. And that is why I think Jimmie's feud with his mentor might just be the one that does him in.

Johnson couldn't stay on top forever. Something has to give. At the very least, if this battle between he and Gordon continues, it will become a distraction. That isn't to say he won't win a fifth championship, but if he does, it will be the hardest one he will ever win.

In fact, I'm going to take that a step farther. With Johnson and Gordon feuding, and 41 other drivers as hungry as a bears in the springtime, this one is Johnson's to lose. And, he just might.

Johnson and Gordon spat could have long-term consequences

I don't know about anyone else, but I'm really enjoying the Jimmie Johnson/Jeff Gordon story. I know that isn't nice, but that's racin'. It doesn't have to be nice.

I'm starting to think that one of my favorite parts of racing is the relationships among the drivers. Throughout the history of the sport the relationships and subsequent rivalries have been a large part of the fascination of the sport. The matches from hell have long served to spice up the action, adding one more element to our affection for NASCAR.

The actions between these two Hendrick teammates seemed to escalate at Talladega. My mouth fell open when I saw the contact between them as they both fought for position. That initial reaction was followed with a wry smile.

I guess the only question has to do with the motive behind the battle. Is it is real, or is it hyped for effect.

My take is, that it is most definitely real. Take a look at where it comes from. Here we have a four-time champion -- Jeff Gordon -- who introduces a new rookie -- Jimmie Johnson -- to the sport. Before long, Johnson starts making Gordon look bad. This is a classic example of the student outpacing the teacher. Sometimes the teacher is cool, just proud of what he has accomplished as he does the job he set out to do. But Jeff Gordon isn't a teacher. He is a race car driver. And I fear his ego is pretty black and blue at this point.

Let's face it, as much as I don't personally want to admit it, Jimmie Johnson has had a long winning streak. He's been a champion four consecutive times for cripes sake. Like many NASCAR fans, I admit I'm sick of seeing him in Victory Lane too. But I can only imagine how sick of it Jeff Gordon is. Jimmie has tied Jeff's excellent championship record and it looks as though might surpass it. That would be pretty hard to take.

But consider that it is just as hard for Johnson. This can't be easy for him either. And that is why I think Jimmie's feud with his mentor might just be the one that does him in.

Johnson couldn't stay on top forever. Something has to give. At the very least, if this battle between he and Gordon continues, it will become a distraction. That isn't to say he won't win a fifth championship, but if he does, it will be the hardest one he will ever win.

In fact, I'm going to take that a step farther. With Johnson and Gordon feuding, and 41 other drivers as hungry as a bears in the springtime, this one is Johnson's to lose. And, he just might.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Thanks fellow Ryan Newman fans

Thank you to everyone who commented on my latest blog post and to all new followers to 'CH on Track' as well.

It is clear that many others feel as I do, that Ryan is unique among race car drivers.

I enjoyed reading your comments and appreciate you sharing your insights. It is clear that we are all Ryan Newman fans who 'get' him. It is a shame we can't do a little race commentary. Wouldn't it be nice to have a biased Ryan Newman fan in the booth for a change?

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Critics just don't 'get' Ryan Newman

Why do so many people like to pick on Ryan Newman?
Perhaps it has to do with his easy-going attitude. Or maybe it is because he doesn't quite fit into the same neatly-tied package as other race car drivers on the NASCAR circuit. Or, it is possible that some just don't 'get' Newman's sense of humor or understand the way he thinks.

Personally, I think all of those things are what make Ryan Newman unique. That combined with his skills behind the wheel is why he is my favorite driver. I 'get' Newman, which is why I like to challenge his critics.

The latest unfair rant against Newman was the one this morning from Michael Lowe of the Savannah Morning News at:
Lowe said Newman was wrong about Talladega. He criticized Newman's suggestion that races at Talladega should be eliminated from the points standings because what goes on there is not racing. He went on to give a brief history of the track and some of the great racing that has taken place there.

Lowe saying Newman blamed the Talladega track itself for the late-race crash that took him out of the Aaron's 499.

Newman went into the race 16th in the points standings. His momentum was positive, especially after a recent win at Phoenix and a top 12 finish at Texas. Of course Newman was ticked-off when he got booted by Joey Logano one too many times and got turned around.

But I say it is Lowe who got it wrong.

Newman was not criticizing the storied Alabama race track. In fact, Newman is very respectful of all of NASCAR's history. He was criticizing the nature of restrictor plate racing, which continues to undergo changes, seemingly at the whim of the sanctioning body. Newman didn't say the racing was bad at Talladega. In fact, he said quite the opposite, recognizing that it is a fan favorite, filled with excitement rich with on-track action.

Lowe's criticism that Newman blamed the race track for his own misfortune is just flat out wrong. As was stated in Bob Pockrass' column for entitled "Plenty of shared blame for multi-car wrecks" at Newman blamed "restrictor-plate racing in general."

That is more to the point. Look at some of the incidents that have taken place at restrictor-plate tracks in general and at Talladega in particular. Newman could write a book about his own incidents at Talladega. Newman has been involved in some of the most dramatic incidents there, and not of his own doing. But not just Newman, there have been countless other drivers as well. The racing during Sunday's race was spectacular. It was extremely exciting to watch. The Harvick/McMurray finish was stellar.

But I think Newman made that point. He doesn't want to stop racing at Talladega. He recognized that it is a crowd-pleaser. But, winning a championship, which is the ultimate goal of all of the drivers at the track that is based on points, should be under the control of the driver and his team. It should be based on their individual and combined skills. At Talladega, it is, as Dale Earnhardt, Jr. pointed out, "a lottery."

A successful NASCAR career should not be dependent upon a roll of the dice, a crap-shoot, or a lottery. It should be under the drivers' and teams' control.
Newman is right.

Drivers and race teams should be able to control their own destiny in the sport. And that isn't possible during a restrictor-plate race when speeds are manipulated, rules are imposed, and drivers are dependent on the actions of the others around them for which they have no control. Being pushed down the back stretch is not driving. Relying on a push to make your car go faster is not driving. And not driving is not racing.

Newman is a race car driver, not a fast bumper-car pilot.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Sweet win for Ryan Newman at Phoenix

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Ryan Newman Photo & Ryan Newman Pictures

Watching the Sprint Cup race at Phoenix was a thrill, comparable only by the pinnacle of Ryan Newman's career – when he won the 50th running of the Daytona 500 in 2008.

As I watched the final laps of Saturday night's race, it was like watching the happy ending to a fine film where the plot moved along perfectly. That is just how Newman methodically moved up through the field at speeds to rival any other race car, showing just the right mix of patience, and determination. His drive to the checkered flag was obviously calculated. His aim was clear.

I admit that even as a diehard fan, I was comfortable with a top ten finish, a satisfactory points day.

I didn't seriously contemplate a victory for Newman, until I saw him re-enter the field after the last pit stop in second place. I had watched him pass Jeff Gordon all night. Suddenly I knew he could do it again.

I sat mesmerized, reliving Daytona in my mind, hoping for a similar result.

I couldn't believe my eyes when the leaders, including Newman, pitted with three laps to go. Taking two tires was a risk, but it was one played out by four other drivers in the top five. I recall Kyle Busch's late-race charge at Martinsville recently after pitting and using his four new tires to sprint to the finish ahead of the rest of the field. I hoped I wouldn't see that again.

But no matter what happened, I knew a nail-biting finish was about to commence for everyone that has ever cheered for the #39 car.

The Ryan Newman I so admire, a driver with ability far beyond the credit he receives, rocketed past Jeff Gordon, on the inside – no less – presenting an added dimension to his skill since the outside lane seemed to be the faster one.

Newman was masterful as he blocked Gordon and pulled away. As the white flag waved, I knew he was unstoppable.

It was a beautiful thing to watch. Newman was so deserving of the victory that has eluded him for two years. And it was fitting that he won at Phoenix – a track so special to him – the first track he drove in what was then the Winston Cup. It was ten years ago. How far he has come.

I chuckle at the thought that Newman's victory demonstrated that the know-it-all, biased commentators don't know everything they think they do. Not one of them considered that Newman would win the race, despite his skill, determination, and most of all ability. Those traits are obvious to those of us who listen to his radio communication and follow him his career. Yet, Newman wasn't even on their radar screen which apparently needs adjustment.

Newman's win Saturday night was not a surprise to me. The only surprise is that rotten luck didn't stand in the way this time. Newman has been driving well, gelling with his team, and gaining confidence.

My only hope is that perhaps a more objective eye from the broadcast booth will see the things in him that I see, the things that make Ryan Newman my favorite driver.

My congratulations to Ryan, the #39 team, and all of Stewart-Haas Racing. The race to the chase is on!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

NASCAR debacle over Kezelowski crash

From what I can tell, the Atlanta Motor Speedway melee Sunday, March 7 involving Carl Edwards and Brad Kezelowski was just another day at the races. It wasn't much different than any other wreck; it is the nature of the sport.

Where NASCAR should devote all its attention, is safety; that is regardless of the reason for or intention behind the crash. The issue that NASCAR should focus on is that once nudged by Edwards -- admittedly intentionally -- Kezelowski's car flew into the air upside down and backwards, landing on its roof. That is a safety issue for the driver, other drivers and spectators.

Hypocritical NASCAR
I believe NASCAR erred in judgement when Edwards was ordered to sit out the remainder of the race. His being black-flagged was meaningless because he was already more than one hundred laps down. It did not exhibit leadership; it was nothing more than an unnecessary display of power. The disciplinary probation Edwards received was also meaningless, adding nothing to the situation.

How many times do drivers talk about "payback?" We often hear, "rubbin' is racin'?" Former drivers turned commentators snicker as they proclaim, "drivers never forget."

Mostly all of the actions on the track are intentional, whether they are admitted or not. Accidents happen, yes, but how many innocent victims are a result of simply getting caught up in one of those intentional hits between two other drivers.

NASCAR cannot have it both ways. NASCAR issued a directive to drivers to settle their own differences. NASCAR encouraged the beatin' and bangin' that was experienced between Edwards and Kezelowski. And while officials said they weren't going to interfere with a multitude of penalties and fines for driver infractions, that is exactly what they did Sunday with Edwards' meaningless black flag and subsequent probation.

NASCAR needs to figure out which way it wants to go because it cannot sit on the fence on this one. Either the sports' sanctioning body polices the sport fairly, or not at all. There have been numerous criticisms about favoritism in how penalties and fines have been handed out. Consider me among those who are critical of NASCAR's popularity and profit-driven motives.

My conclusion
The dust has settled on this issue. I have read various reports and watched the video. I have concluded that Edwards didn't do anything different than any other driver on the race track.

NASCAR is itself responsible for Edwards thinking little against 'mixing it up' with Kezelowski, even at speeds in excess of 190 mph. That may seem really fast to us non-racecar drivers, but to those guys, it is all in a days' work. And for NASCAR to go out of its way to encourage drivers to mix it up, what did they think would happen?

I think it was wrong to issue any kind of action against Edwards. I'm sure in his mind, during the split second that this occurred, he was doing what NASCAR expected him to do and in fact encouraged him to do. It was "payback." He was "mixing it up," following NASCAR's own directive.

What Edwards did was not the right thing to do. But in his mind, during the frustration of being punted into the wall himself, by Kezelowski -- intentional or not -- being several laps down, and with the words of NASCAR officials ringing in his ear, encouraging him to act accordingly, I cannot fault Edwards.

Had NASCAR not issued such a directive, Edward's behavior may have taken on a new meaning.

That said, there are 43 drivers on the racetrack at one time. Other drivers are often victims of one driver's aggression against another. But that is what the sport is all about. I believe NASCAR got it right to say that drivers should handle their own battles in their own way. Drivers need to understand that "payback" won't make you the most popular guy in the garage. Being the odd man out could easily translate to unhappy fans and unwilling sponsors.

Therefore NASCAR should back off with the fines and penalties. They should devote their resources to safety features that will avoid the kind of crashes that have been seen with the COT car. And until the problem is solved, and the car can keep itself on the ground, perhaps a little more reinforcement might be nice in the roll cage to offer additional protection for the driver.

Monday, February 22, 2010

California dreaming up in smoke

It looks like Kevin Harvick is going to give Jimmie Johnson a run for his money for the championship.

Not so fast
I say it 'looks like' because with only two races completed, the season is still in its infancy. Far too many races have yet to be run. Too many drivers have yet to come to stride. Predictions are for soothsayers or witches with crystal balls, not for racing. Every week will likely yield a new star, since the high level of competition of Sprint Cup drivers could produce a new one each week. But, even the best drivers must tolerate the interference of Lady Luck. She takes no prisoners. She just has her way with them.

Such was the case at Fontana, as several drivers lost their engines after a sustained 900 RPMs on California's fast superspeedway for just too long.

Losing one engine during a race is too many, but Sunday's race turned hard-nose race car drivers like Juan Pablo Montoya, Ryan Newman, and Martin Truex, Jr., into spectators. Kasey Kahne also had engine troubles as did Jeff Gordon.

Trouble is, so many commentators blathers about California being the poster child for the rest of the season. I totally disagree. If that were the case, I wouldn't bother to watch the remaining races. And anyone who knows me, knows that will not be the case.

Case in point
Ryan Newman's season is a woeful repeat of last year. As of right now, he is 0 and two. Two DNFs have resulted in Newman's poor showing of 36th place. Both were from no fault of his own. Newman needs to learn to woo Lady Luck since she seems to be out to get him.

Newman was one of the fastest cars on the track Sunday. He started back in 18th but was running second when a bad restart was followed by the dreaded billows of smoke and trailing oil following close behind as he tried to get to Pit Road.

Newman drove his tail off for the entire day, but all he got for it was a snide remark from Darrell Waltrip in the FOX sports booth that Newman's problem was 'self-induced.' We know Waltrip would never have been so cold over a Dale Earnhardt, Jr. incident.

I take offense at Darrell Waltrip's remarks
As a fan of Newman's I am really starting to take offense at Waltrip's remarks. While Newman admittedly spun the tires, he said he didn't rev the engine. It wasn't until the following lap that the engine let go, in a big way.

Waltrip made similar remarks about Newman last week after Elliott Sadler got into him, caused him to spin, and ended his day at Daytona.

For the most part, I have enjoyed DW's commentary. It is good for us non-drivers to have the explanation of a former driver who can tell it like it is. I even enjoy some of Waltrip's stories, since for me, NASCAR is as much about the people involved as it is the fast race cars. But Waltrip's obvious bias toward certain drivers, like his brother Michael and his adopted son Dale, Jr. over all the others in the field is becoming rather annoying. Perhaps it is time to get someone in the booth that knows NASCAR but who can respect all the drivers' abilities.

On to Las Vegas, the home of Lady Luck. I have my fingers crossed.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Pothole in my Daytona 500 dreams

I thought I would let the dust settle a little before commenting on this year's Daytona 500. There has been plenty to think about.

I certainly have little to add to what has already been said about the infamous pothole at Daytona International Speedway. It is too bad that NASCAR's premier venue simply wasn't up to speed.

But then the drivers were certainly up to speed and then some. The racing, when it occurred was much improved thanks to the extra horsepower the new restrictor plates allowed.

I was quite disappointed not to see an interview with Ryan Newman following his late-race crash with Elliot Sadler. TV viewers didn't even get to see what happened or how it happened. The whole incident was practically ignored. Newman took one hard hit into the wall. It would have been nice for the commentators to do an on-camera interview with him, just to let his fans know he was alright. Had Junior crashed, we would have seen cameras walking with him to the infield care center and back again to his hauler, with reporters tripping over their own feet to get the interview. This unbalanced reporting is akin to potholes in the racetrack.

Speaking of Newman, I really wish he would change his strategy. Staying at the back of the field until the late-race dash to the front doesn't seem to be working for him. I'd really like to see Ryan get out front early and stay there. He might keep his car in one piece that way too. I cringe when I think about the wrecks he has been involved in of late, and mostly through no fault of his own.

Sarah Palin at Daytona - gag me!

Danica Patrick in her first Nationwide Race - I wasn't quite as impressed as the gushing Darrell Waltrip. But I was pleasantly surprised, not at Patrick's abilities, but at my own emotional enjoyment at seeing an obviously capable, and yes, beautiful woman, wheeling her car for all she was worth. She did a very credible job. As a woman, she made me proud. I am anxious to follow her progress.

I am thrilled that the seemingly everlasting offseason is behind us. I'm relieved that the 2010 season is finally upon us. It is nice to return to the NASCAR routine.

Congratulations to Jamie McMurray, Tony Stewart, and Timothy Peters.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

2010 NASCAR season soon to be on track

We race fans are about to satisfy our 'need for speed,' dogging us since Homestead.

The off-season is a thing of the past and Speedweeks is underway, with all eyes on the Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, FL.

Race teams and fans alike are gearing up as the racing crescendo builds toward the 52nd running of the Great American Race -- the Daytona 500 -- NASCAR's equivalent of the NFL's Super Bowl.

The green flag will drop on the most prestigious event in stock car racing at noon, Sunday, Feb. 14. I can't wait. I have been waiting for this for what seems an eternity.

First the Budweiser Shoot-Out. I can't wait for my first glimpse of the #39 with Tornados and Oreos on board. It will be so exciting to sit down on Saturday night to enjoy a race again.

Second in the racing trifecta to kick off the 2010 season will be The Gatorade Duels, the twin 150-mile qualifying races that will determine the starting grid for the Daytona 500. Does it get better than this?

Big changes on tap for 2010

NASCAR as a sanctioning body has been criticized for trying to exert too many rules and too much influence in the sport. I like that they have decided to back off this year, perhaps allowing drivers to settle their own differences on the track. Woohoo, this is gonna be fun! More beatin' and bangin' and trading paint. The result could be more aggressive driving, more fierce competition, and all-out better racing. It will be interesting to watch how certain drivers are put in their place by the others. I just hope the good drivers are penalized by the newcomers.

The COT car, which, designed with safety in mind, has proven itself. Drivers have been able to walk away from some horrific crashes, such as Ryan Newman's barrel-roll crash at Talladegawhen his upside-down race car finally came to rest on Kevin Harvick's hood. Newman's fans were also horrified during the spring race at Talladega when Carl Edwards' airborne car flew into Newman's windshield. While Edwards' car itself was diverted back onto the track by a catch fence designed to do as its name implies, some flying debris did cause injury to some spectators.

Talks about the dynamics of those accidents have led to the possibility that the wing on the back of the car will be replaced by a spoiler. The improvement will certainly provide a pleasing aesthetic change. That is not a lone fix for the problem of the car getting airborne, however, so other innovations are also being considered to keep the car from taking off like a jet taking on a runway. Safety, for both the drivers and the fans, remains one of NASCAR's top priorities.

And there will be newcomers

NASCAR will see plenty of new faces, in the cars and in the garage area. But, probably the one most talked about will be that of Danica Patrick, the driver who made a name for herself as an IndyCar racer, GoDaddy girl, and more recently as a swimsuit model. She has decided to join NASCAR for a limited season in the Nationwide series, driving for JR Motorsports, owned by NASCAR's most popular driver, Dale Earnhardt, Jr.

With new drivers, new sponsors, and a multitude of changes in store, the 2010 NASCAR season is here and is one to watch. Personally, I can't wait!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Stewart-Haas Racing isat the 'at the ready'

The Budwiser Shootout is now just days away.

Like the start of a new year, I am excited about this upcoming racing season. Armed with untold possibilities, I like what I'm reading about the off-season prep work at Stewart-Haas Racing. They seem more prepared than ever, with their inaugural season behind them, to begin their second season. I imagine that Tony Stewart and Ryan Newman are chomping at the bit, waiting for that first green flag fall. As a fan, I can hardly wait either.

I like the fact that they have hired a third pit crew. That shows forward thinking. It seems as though this is the move to prepare for Danica Patrick, or some other driver next year. They will be ready. I think a backup is an excellent idea, even if a third driver isn't in the offing.

While I am saddened that Greg Newman will no longer be spotting for his son, I understand the strategy behind it. I have long felt sorry for Greg, unable to sit back, as we fans can do, and 'watch' his son race. After all, Ryan is an elite driver who is living his dreams -- and the dreams of his father. Ryan is well aware of what his father sacrificed for his career. It is time Greg should be able to enjoy the fruits of his labor. At his age, he shouldn't have to subject himself to the grueling pace, the elements, and the emotional roller-coaster that goes with the job.

I admit it will certainly not feel the same, not having Greg and Ryan share radio banter during caution periods. Having the two of them talk together was like having them over for Sunday dinner.

It was comforting to have Greg on the box communicating with his driver, his son, like he has for Ryan's entire racing career. But, perhaps it was too family-oriented. Though it is doubtful, perhaps those close family ties did hold Ryan back to a degree. Maybe they were too comfortable. It will be very interesting to hear how Ryan reacts to a new spotter, one who isn't as familiar with his driving style or the way he wants to hear 'what he wants to hear.' I imagine it is going to be a real learning curve for both of them. But that might put them both right on that edge - the razor's edge that tough competition requires. Oh, I can't wait to see the results. I have a feeling we will see a new resurgence of the 'Rocketman.'

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Ryan and Krissie Newman

Happy Anniversary Ryan and Krissie Newman on your 6th Anniversary.