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Thursday, January 2, 2014

Happy New Year!

Daytona 500 coming soon
Daytona 500 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Happy New Year!

The time line in my mind is set on February 23. The way I see it, Christmas is over; the new year has begun. That means the next event on my calendar is the Daytona 500 -- just 52 days from the very moment that I am writing this.

Oh, I can almost feel the excitement. I will make guacamole, a race day tradition. I have a new tablet now, so I will be able to follow Twitter along with my usual computer accoutrements that aid in my race coverage. As a Ryan Newman fan, I'm all about Ryan's race. Generally I am only marginally aware of what else happens on the track.

When Race Buddy is available, I watch it. Otherwise, I am tuned into NASCAR's live leaderboard. I like to monitor Ryan's speed, lap times as well as the times of other competitors near him. I can glean the separation between his car and those directly in front or behind him, so I can pretty much tell when he is about to pass another car or if another is about to pass him. My suspicions are usually backed up by the race day scanner, which will always be tuned to what will now be the #31 team at Richard Childress Racing (RCR).

It is a bummer knowing I won't hear the familiar voice of Matt Borland, Ryan's crew chief both at Penske Racing and more recently at Stewart-Haas Racing. Luke Lambert will take over that role at RCR. Recognition of his voice and style will take some getting used. What is even more important than the sound of his voice though will be how he and Newman relate to one another. Of course, Ryan's voice on the radio will be easily recognizable. He doesn't say much on the radio, but there is generally enough to tell the story. He is always clear and concise about his concerns as he communicates concerns about handling issues and the car's aerodynamic behavior.

With Newman having a three-year contract, this first year will be an interesting learning experience. As the time for Speed weeks draws closer, the excitement level will undoubtedly escalate. For now though, I remain in anticipation mode.

Looking at the new year ahead is going to be so much more enjoyable than looking back at the last season.

The new diecast cars are available to purchase. Check this out--purchase a new diecast of the Quicken Loans #31. The Caterpillar car is also available for purchase at NASCAR.com.

So fellow race fans, it won't be long now...
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